QC Prêt-à-Porter || A Bit Dotty

15/06/2012 § 1 Comment

A weekend to celebrate Dads of all sorts…

Equipment washed silk shirt
J.Crew Faille mini skirt
Illesteva detachable front tortie sunglasses
Proenza Schouler PS1 leather and twill belt
J.Crew Biennal satchel in blue sea
Ralph Lauren Brenna II suede and mesh wingtips

I must note that the J.Crew skirt above is massively — and universally — flattering.  I own it in a different color, but I suddenly feel an urgent need to get it in red as well…

On the docket for the weekend:  Calling up my Dad, catching The Little Black Jacket in SoHo before it closes, dinner with a friend who is visiting from out of town, and working on bettering my pace with the Nike+ GPS app.  Aspirational goals include: catching up on the Mad Men finale, which I missed (horrors!) and the Winston Churchill exhibition, Churchill: The Power of Words, at the Morgan Library.  Oh, and tacos.  Tacos are always on the wishlist…

Have a lovely weekend!
xoxo. M.

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Happy Mother’s Day

12/05/2012 § 4 Comments

Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful mothers out there,
and especially to my own fabulous mom.

Also, if you’d fancy reading a post I did for the Rugby Ralph Lauren Style
blog
about three style lessons I learned from my mom, you can find it here.

Wants: Stella McCartney Lingerie

01/02/2012 § 1 Comment

While poking about the internet for my Valentine’s Day gift guide, I realized how much I love the new lingerie collection by Stella McCartney.  Normally I leave it to Sarah to talk about underpinnings, but I just couldn’t resist after I saw these gorgeous pieces.  Sexy without being trashy, feminine without being prissy, and modern with just enough vintage inspiration, I’m having a hard time deciding what to pick up first.  Isn’t that pink silk amazing?  I’m also happy to hear that Stella has recently dropped her price point a bit and has decided to expand her range of sizes — genius!

So gents, if you are the type that purchases lingerie for your lady on Valentine’s Day, I definitely recommend Stella McCartney. (Sidenote: Whenever shopping for giftable unmentionables, I definitely recommend you always avoid anything with marabou, pleather, fishnet or absolutely anything from Frederick’s of Hollywood, as they think this is acceptable.  Pfft!)

Browse Stella McCartney lingerie at Net-A-Porter here.

His & Hers Gift Guide: Valentine’s Day

29/01/2012 § Leave a comment

Love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is just two weeks away, and I’ve pulled together a few ideas for budgets big and small alike.  Personally, I’d take anything on either list…just in case you were shopping, that is.

From top left:
Kiki de Montparnasse satin Muse corset bra and matching heart panty
La Maison du Chocolat heart box 13 piece assortment
Henri Bendel lady compact
Art can only be erotic – Pablo Picasso
Stella McCartney “Sam Partying” silk-satin playsuit
Cartier Panthere yellow and white gold ring
Diptyque votive in Baies
Hermès “Boucles et galons du Tsar” vintage style silk scarf
Smythson leather jewelry box
Santa Maria Novella Toscano cologne
Moynat Pauline crocodile city bag
Kiki de Montparnasse “My Tie” leather and silk restraint cuffs
The Lover, by Marguerite Duras

From top left:
Turnbull & Asser paisley dressing gown
Smythson leather watch roll
Hermès “L’Arbre de Vie” silk twill pocket square
Terrapin Stationers “I Fucking Love You” valentines
J.Press glen plaid patch cashmere scarf
Kiki de Montparnasse erotic chess set
Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair, by Pablo Neruda
Holland and Holland canvas bolster bag
Kiki de Montparnasse massage candle
Barber’s Adagio
Shackelton’s Whisky: Mackinlay’s Rare Old Highland Malt
1930s closed case Rolex
Santa Maria Novella shaving kit
Levi’s Vintage Clothing shawl-collar wool cardigan

Resolved: 2012

02/01/2012 § 10 Comments

Photo via George Eastman House

“Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account”
Oscar Wilde

In referring to my often-neglected journal to find my resolutions for 2011 and 2010, I saw a few repeats, a few things I achieved, a few things I failed miserably at, and a few things I completely forgot that I had resolved to do.  With this in mind — along with Oscar’s words above — I’ve decided to pare down my list for this year, from its usual ten or eleven item list to six.  Thus, here are the six things I can achieve, and will achieve, this year:

  1. Travel to at least one new country.  I’ve managed to keep my streak alive for the last three years, and I’m definitely committed to continuing this year.  Currently thinking my new country for 2012 will be somewhere in North Africa, Southeast Asia or Eastern Europe, but this is definitely not nailed down yet.  Have any suggestions for me?
  2. Run two half marathons.  I ran the New York Marathon in 2010, and have run plenty of road races of shorter lengths over the past 4 years (view my running posts here).  Admittedly, after the marathon, I suffered from a bit of burnout and my training has been uneven ever since.  This year I resolve to run two half marathons.  I will give myself extra points for sub-2 hour finishes, but I will be more than happy with two uninjured, smiling finishes.  I’ve got a former international competitor as a training partner (eesh!), but she assures me she needs just as much training as I do.  We’ll see about that.  Have any races you’d suggest I look into?  Even better, would you like to run with me?
  3. Cook some things.  My friends frequently point out that I blog about plenty of interesting things, cocktails and whatnot, but I almost never mention food.  Were you to look into my refrigerator, you might understand why.  It currently holds water, condiments, booze and two oranges.  And the oranges are for making Old Fashioneds.  I also cannot honestly remember the last time I used my oven or stove.  So in 2012, I’m resolving to actually buy myself groceries and cook at least once a week.  (Sidenote: Please do understand that “cooking” shall be construed quite liberally.)  Have any ridiculously easy, yet nutritious and delicious recipes for me?
  4. I’m on a horse. This was actually a 2011 resolution that I did not achieve, and so it’s getting carried over.  For as horse crazy as I am, I really have no excuse for not riding anymore.  I grew up taking all different kinds of lessons — even mounted drill team…yes, I am that awesome — and I still feel the need to get on a horse almost daily.  Admittedly, it can be a bit difficult doing so, living in New York City, but this just can’t keep being the reason I don’t ride.  This year, be it lessons, a trail ride, or perhaps even a dude ranch, I will get myself on a horse.  How do you make time for your interests?  Do you ride?
  5. To read twelve books.  I’ve always been a rather voracious consumer of all sorts of information, but I have found that in the last year my reading of books has been a record low.  Not acceptable.  To that end, I resolve to read twelve books — hopefully, one a month — in 2012.  Read any great books lately?  How is this best accomplished?  Do you think I need an e-reader?
  6. To live with purpose.  Rather abstract, I admit, but 2012 will definitely be my year of living with purpose.  Making decisions, choosing actions to make sure I achieve my goals, focusing on the immediate as a way to get to the eventual.  My life is best lived when I grab it by the horns, summon up the courage and blaze my own trail.  If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have ever lived in Italy by myself, travelled alone in Europe, moved to New York, or gone to law school — and who knows what else.  No sitting on the sidelines this year.  No letting life meander on without making affirmative decisions of my own.  Live like that, and life will pass you by.  How do you put your words into action?  How do you live with purpose?

Lastly, I’m excited to see what 2012 will bring for ye olde blog.  A big thank you to everyone who takes the time to read, email me, comment, Tumbl, Tweet, Pin and otherwise share the rather random stuff I post about.  I’m deeply grateful for your indulgence and I look forward to learning more from you in 2012.

Here’s to having our best year ever.  Cheers!

Dial MUrray Hill 8-2205 for Santa

25/12/2011 § 4 Comments

“Hello, Santa Claus.  How you feel?”  Jo Ann Ward, 3.

In December of 1947, New York children could dial MUrray Hill 8-2205 and be directly connected with Santa Claus, to discuss their Christmas lists and other such business.  The phone number was actually answered by a small staff of Santas at the world-famous toy shop F.A.O. Schwarz, which did not employ a costumed Santa because they felt it might disappoint some children.  So fascinated by the prospect of a chat with Santa, some children wanted to talk all day.

To view the original article, which appeared in the
December 15, 1947 issue of LIFE, head here.

The F.A.O. Schwarz Santas, hard at work.

All images via the LIFE Archive.

Happy Hols!

24/12/2011 § Leave a comment

Some of my very favorites:

I am wishing you a wonderful holiday season,
wherever you might find yourself.

And if you’d like to try your hand at my family sugar cookie recipe,
you can find it here.

Happy Hols!

Yes, Virginia, there is…

24/12/2011 § 2 Comments

DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.
Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
Papa says, ‘If you see it in THE SUN it’s so.’
Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?

VIRGINIA O’HANLON.
115 WEST NINETY-FIFTH STREET.

VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Unsigned editorial (written by Francis Pharcellus Church), appeared in the New York Sun on September 21, 1897.

View the original clipping here, courtesy of the Newseum.

Happy Birthday to Corinne

22/12/2011 § 6 Comments

On this day in 1915,  my grandmother Corinne Carey was born in Washington, D.C.  Were she still alive, she would be turning 96 today.  We used to commiserate on quite a few items:  we both were/are Christmas babies (my birthday arrives in just a *few* days, in fact); we both were/are the eldest sister; we both were/are on the tall side; we both love/loved art.  Little-known fact: I carry her name as my own middle name. 

I do find it a bit funny that I have never forgotten her birthday, but can’t seem to ever remember my parents’ wedding anniversary, which happens to be sometime in December as well.  (I suppose my mother finds this less funny.)

Important things I learned from my grandmother:

  • Red lipstick is never, ever, EVER wrong.
  • It is important to always smell pretty.  Even if you end up wearing enough perfume to knock out your entire family.
  • Always have your hair done.  By someone else.  Twice a week.
  • It is acceptable parenting to get all gussied up with your sister and then put your children to bed, telling them that you and their aunt are just going sit on the porch and “chat.”
  • Drinking beer from the can can definitely be ladylike.
  • Let your husband have his hobbies.  As long as he keeps them in the garage.

From Corinne, you should take bit of a devil-may-care attitude with a healthy dose of no-nonsense.  A perfectly polished party girl who didn’t take no guff from nobody.  She was a proud mother, a loving sister and a grandmother I miss dearly.

Happiest possible returns, Grandma.

Happy Veterans Day

11/11/2011 § 1 Comment

Armistice Day, New York, 1919.
Victory Arch.

Veterans Day was originally celebrated as Armistice Day, commemorating the day that the Great War ended, which at the time was thought to be the “War to End all Wars.”  By 1939 it became apparent that this ideal would unfortunately not bear out and the holiday was expanded in 1953 to honor all veterans, living or dead.  Veterans Day has my father, grandfather, great uncle and many other friends and family members who have proudly served our country front of mind today — not least of all because the parade will be passing my office on Fifth Avenue.  To each and every one of them, I owe a deep debt of gratitude and I admire their commitment and bravery.  Thank you.

Happy Veterans Day.

Armistice Day, New York , 1919.
Colonel Donovan and staff of 165th Infantry, passing under the Victory Arch.

Armistice Day, London, 1918.

Armistice Day, Virginia, 1943.
Arlington National Cemetery, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Images via US National Archives and LIFE Archives.

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