gin + tonic

A study of cocktails, culture and couture

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Net-A-Porter

As anyone who knows me can tell you, I am a chronic shopaholic. As if that in itself isn’t bad enough, one of my favorite things to do is to peruse sites that I know are 82% out of my price range (unless I am Kate Middleton. Which I am not). $3,000 on a cocktail dress? Only in my wildest (and most well-heeled) dreams. But half the fun is in dreaming, and there is something so majestic and dreamy about couture. One of the coolest sites in existance is Net-A-Porter, and twice a year they allow girls like me to touch the cloak of gorgeousness - their end of season sale. I will pause for a moment while you take in the awe-someness of McQueen at 40% off.

In honor of this once-in-a-blue-moon occasion, I put together a list of the items I am loving (and seriously considering maxing out my credit card for)

1. Gucci “cracked-leather and suede sandals"…and while we’re at it, these.

2. Alexander McQueen “pleat-back crepe tuxedo jacket”. So Middleton a la Troping of the Colour, circa 2011.

3. Richard Nicoll “tiered silk-georgette gown”. Love the mint, love the 20’s style cut.

4. Stella McCartney “Jane Snuggling lace underwired bra”. I would wear this baby peeking out of a sheer blouse.

5. Kenneth Jay Lane “22-karat gold-plated crystal ladybug ring”. So cute for summer.

6. J.Crew “pleated silk-chiffon blouse”. I love anything that is flowy (Read: hides my muffin top). This blouse fits the bill.

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Scent of a Lady

I’ve always had a deep affinity for perfume. Perhaps it all started when I was a babe, watching my mom get glamified for a night out with my dad, with her whole tray of perfume bottles, each one uniquely different in bottle design and scent. I remember the sleek black Chanel No. 5 and it’s spicy scent. I remember the thrill when she would hand over one of the little sample bottles she received as a “gift with purchase,” and how I would hoard them, saving them for a “special occasion.” Until my baby sister found them and drank them, resulting in a call to Poison Control, and an end my perfume collecting days. 

It wasn’t until high school that I really began to appreciate what a spray of perfume can do to a girl. The first scent I really fell in love with was Marc Jacobs. It was quite the love affair, and I kept it up for seven years straight. I switched boyfriends, got new cars, but Marc and I were soulmates. I tried other scents - like the ill-fated weekend I spent with Tom Ford Black Orchid, and no matter how many showers I took, I couldnt shake the spicy heaviness from my body. It wasn’t until four years ago, when Mr. A bought me a bottle of Bond No. 9 Eau de New York for our first Christmas together that I realized the world of perfume was so much bigger than my little rationed bottle of MJ.

Since then I’ve realized that there is no need to stick with one scent. I love Jo Malone Orange Blossom for every day (including my wedding day), and Fleurs D’Oranger for evenings. I like to mix it up, and I love that Jo Malone’s scents were made for layering - it makes it so much easier to find a scent to exactly fit my mood. These are a few I have in rotation right now.

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"Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together."
So said the wise Elizabeth Taylor, and if there is ever a day lipstick and libations are needed, it’s the lowly Wednesday. Lipstick, once thought (by me) to be the makeup of old ladies (and anyone who partied hard in the 80s), has suddenly seemed more glam and sophisticated. I think we can all remember our first tube of MAC lipstick in all it’s not-matching-your-skin-tone glory (let’s all shudder together now), but the colors out today are so vibrant, they’re hard to pass up. My favorite is Chanel’s Rouge Coco Shine line - the colors are creamy and light with just a HINT of shine. My go-to favorite is Monte-Carlo: a perfect pinky-red thats light enough for day time (for that “just mowed a popsicle” look) and bold enough for evenings.

"Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together."

So said the wise Elizabeth Taylor, and if there is ever a day lipstick and libations are needed, it’s the lowly Wednesday. Lipstick, once thought (by me) to be the makeup of old ladies (and anyone who partied hard in the 80s), has suddenly seemed more glam and sophisticated. I think we can all remember our first tube of MAC lipstick in all it’s not-matching-your-skin-tone glory (let’s all shudder together now), but the colors out today are so vibrant, they’re hard to pass up. My favorite is Chanel’s Rouge Coco Shine line - the colors are creamy and light with just a HINT of shine. My go-to favorite is Monte-Carlo: a perfect pinky-red thats light enough for day time (for that “just mowed a popsicle” look) and bold enough for evenings.

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High Street Market

One of my favorite activities (besides unrelentingly begging my husband to take me on vacation) is shopping. Unfortunately for me, spending the majority of my day at my desk Facebooking catching up on celeb gossip working is not very conducive to keeping my credit card well exercised. Thus, one of my favorite lunch-time rituals is perusing online shops. My favorites are the ones with a well-curated collection of both practical home essentials (linen pillows, or an interesting ice bucket) mixed in with delightfully weird ktchotchkes (antique Royal German antlers, anyone?). They satisfy the ecclectic old lady living inside me, which I love.

One of my favorite sites is High Street Market, which houses an awesome collection of ecclectic finds, post-modern furniture and interesting doo-dads to spruce up your house (I have my eye on these rad binoculars…) Check out their site and tell me - what’s your favorite online shopping destination?

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Summer Fete

With wedding season in full swing, and all that parties that ensue, I decided that this Spring was the perfect  time to punch up my closet with a few jaw-dropping  party frocks. I wanted to keep them comfortable (since no one likes to “shake it like a salt shaker” in a too-tight little number), functional (because no one wants a Janet Jackson Nipplegate moment after “shaking it like a salt shaker”) and sexy. Luckily for me, and my inner Janet, this season is all about comfortable, functional, and sexy. Now if I can only get Mr. A to agree that those LK Bennett pumps would make a great Happy Friday gift, I’ll be set to Macarena with the best of them this summer. Here are a few I’m lusting after this week (clockwise from the top).

1) Alice and Olivia Minka Sequin Shift

2) Diane von Fursetenberg Liluye one-shoulder crepe gown

3) Rachel Zoe Olivia Blouson Gown

4) Diane von Furstenberg Yazhi Straight Glazer Silk Jersey Dress 

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Lazy Sunday

A particularly hectic work schedule the past few months has left me haggard and really missing home (and my bed). I have been totally relishing a few weekends in a row of no plans, nowhere to be, and picture-perfect LA weather. There’s something so refreshing about waking up Saturday morning and not knowing where the day is going to take us - brunch at a new cafe in Santa Monica, Bloody Marys on the rooftop patio at SoHo House, or lounging on the couch, eating Pirates Booty and watching Jurrasic Park for the 37th time…oooh the possiblities!! While it makes the trek back to LAX on Monday mornings especially hard, the thought of Friday night keeps me going. Here are a few things I’m thinking of while I try to make it to Friday… 

The perfect weekend outfit

Wedding china and French-pressed coffee in bed…

Champagne for no perticular reason on Friday night…

Actually getting to enjoy the perfectly red tulips on the dining room table…

Using our already well-worn pizza stone twice in as many days…

Pulling out the good stuff

Filed under Weekend

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Eye of the Tiger

Ok, so it’s not really a TIGER, but eye of the ram wouldn’t have been as catchy. I’m loving this rad bangle by J.Crew. They have a knack for creating pieces that are quirky and fun, while still being luxurious and sophisticated. I’d love to pair this one with jeans, a simple white tee and a killer pair of shoes. This baby can stand alone.

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Always keep a bottle of Champagne in the fridge for special occasions…sometimes the special occasion is that you have a bottle of Champagne in the fridge.
Hester Browne (via Pinterest)

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Spring Forward

 

I’m usually not one to follow trends, and when I do, I tend to get it very, terribly wrong (just ask any of my high school friends, who swear they tried to warn me about the dangers of bleach blonde highlights in dark brown hair…), but the fresh colors and fun shapes on the runways this spring might be too hard to pass up!

A few of the items I’m lusting over this week…

1. Chanel Le Vernis in Distraction…the perfect POP of color without being over-the-top.

2. J. Crew Schoolboy Blazer in Tipped Linen is the perfect topper for this season’s floral-print dresses or my new cherry-red cigarette pants I have been wearing everywhere.

3. I want everything from Marni’s new line for H&M, but I’ll settle for just this statement necklace with bold, feminine flowers.

4. I can’t stop thinking about this gorgeous Karen Tusinski fabric. It would look so chic on the bench in my living room, but until I master the art of re-upholstering, it will live here as my spring inspiration.

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Leaving on a Jet Plane

One of the things I think makes me so annoying charming is my innate ability to over-pack for everything. 53 pairs of underwear? Check. Jumbo-sized nail polish remover (and an assortment of polish colors)? Check. Vintage fur shrug (that I brought on the three previous trips and never actually wore)? Check.

Fortunately for me (and my husband’s back, which has been aching since we took that first ill-fated vacation together), I have learned a few tricks along the way. Hairdryer? Necessary. Backup Hairdryer? Not necessary. 53 pairs of underwear? Non-negotiable (always be prepared, I say). I’ve learned that if it has a lid on it, it will explode mid-flight. Through the 5 plastic Ziplocs I’ve carefully bundled it in. All over said vintage fur shrug.

I have found a few products that are not only make me feel like a super-saavy jet-setter, but actually work as well.

1.           Evian makes an amazing mineral spray to keep your skin hydrated mid-flight (and is a perfect size to keep in your carry-on)

2.           Jo Malone Orange Blossom Cologne is my favorite travel scent - light enough to wear during the day, and dressy enough for evening cocktails (and it doesn’t hurt that it’s a favorite of the Duchess of Cambridge…)

3.           This hanging travel case from Sephora might be one of my smartest travel purchases - it holds all my toiletries and makeup, and even has a separate compartment for my toothbrush and toothpaste (Best part? It’s under $40 and is machine-washable!)

4.           This reversible bikini by Missoni does double duty as two bikini’s in one (which means more room for those killer gladiator sandals I scored at last year’s end-of-summer sales!).

5.           H&M black leggings are little spandex lifesavers. Topped with a chunky sweater and boots, and they make the perfect “travel outfit” (don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about…), swap out the sweater for a soft tank and they go right into bed, and the next night, throw on a sheer blouse and stilettos and you’re ready for a night out on the town. They are slim and weigh about as much as a postage stamp, so pack both pairs and you’ll still have room for the 9 pairs of shoes you wanted to bring.

6.           A bright passport holder – the cheeky color by Kate Spade will make it 10 times easier to see from the depths of your over-stuffed carry-on when the TSA security lady is giving you the stink-eye.

I’ll definitely be pulling these out for our trip to Jamaica next month! What are your travel secrets to success?

Filed under Travel

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Seeing Red

 

Lately I’ve been spotting RED everywhere, and I am loving it. It adds a sort of joie de vivre to an outfit without being soo…trendy. It’s classic and sharp while still being playful. Keep it low key by adding a belt or bag in a bright cherry color to your otherwise neutral outfit.

I’m currently loving J.Crew’s Tillary purse in Dark Poppy.

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A blog was born…

I spent the better part of 2011 buying a house, organizing a wedding and planning a Honeymoon, so when the clock struck midnight on January 1, I couldn’t help but wonder what the heck I was going to do with myself, now that the arguably busiest year of my life was over. I needed something to throw myself into…I needed an outlet for all the creativity…I needed someone to brag to when I finally snagged those Miu Miu pumps that FINALLY went on sale…I needed a project! Thus, a blog was born…

I spend so much of my free time (and alot of my not-so-free time) watching Real Housewives perusing travel sites, planning our next vacation, decorating our new home, and shopping (emphasis on shopping), so I decided sharing my greatest finds with you, my one and only reader, would be the perfect outlet. Please don’t leave me!