June 28, 2011

The Post College Gin Bucket

This past weekend my boyfriend's apartment threw their annual summer bbq party.  The weather was perfect and they had a great turnout of people, which of course makes all the planning, cleaning, etc. totally worth it.  Most people brought some sort of food dish or drink to share, which was much appreciated by all.  One of my favorite contributions was a fellow Penn Stater's brilliant idea to make a Gin Bucket for the party.  In case you are not familiar, Gin Bucket is a yummy drink made in a large "bucket" with Fresca, Gin, Limes, and Lemons.  It was very well known at Penn State but I think I was a little too busy tailgating (no judgements please) to realize how refreshing this drink actually is.  Additionally, when made in an aesthetically pleasing bucket, the drink looks so pretty .  With the lemons and limes floating a top, it is the perfect summer picnic cocktail.  Since 4th of July is right around the corner, I wanted to be sure and share this wonderful (and very easy) drink recipe for your upcoming barbeques.  I also included a few ideas for what to serve your Gin Bucket in.  Not a huge Gin Fan?  Substitute Vodka instead; the drink will still taste delicious.  Enjoy!

Gin Bucket Recipe:

1.75 Liters of Gin (can vary based on your guest list)
4 Liters of either Fresca or Sprite or Lemonade (your preference)
16 oz. of Lime Concentrate (optional)
2 Limes sliced
2 Lemons sliced
Lots of ice

Pretty Summer Glassware Ideas:

  1. Target Acrylic Clear Beverage Tub - $18
  2. Pottery Barn Glass Drink Dispenser - SALE $80.60
  3. Crate and Barrel Granada Glasses - $6.95 each
  4. Kosta Boda "Mine" Tumblers - $25 each
  5. Bubble Glass Tumblers - $28 for set of 6

June 26, 2011

One Piece

While it's assumed you like most things you buy (we all have our regrets), there are certain pieces that you cannot help but favor more than others.  Whether it is the pair of jeans that hug your hips perfectly or the shirt that fits in all the right places, not all of our wardrobe is created equal.  Since I certainly play favorites, I wanted to bring this concept to ES.  Anytime I discover something that I fancy a little more than everything else in my closet, I will be entitling the post as "One Piece".  The frequency will vary on how often I find a new favorite, but I am hoping to make it a regular feature.  For my first One Piece post, I have selected a recent skirt purchase from H and M (pictured below).  The minute I tried it on, I knew I had to have it.  The vibrant coral orange color and extreme asymmetrical cut of the skirt makes it a perfect piece to wear on a hot summer night.  At the same time, there is just enough flounce to make it appropriate for daytime wear as well.  I plan to wear it to my upcoming trip home this weekend at either my friend's wedding rehearsal dinner or a 4th of July BBQ (see the versatility here!).  Have any favorites of your own?  Please share!

H & M - $39.50

June 24, 2011

Jorts Lovin'

Jorts and I are frenemies.  Some summers, I live in in them and buy multiple styles throughout the season.  Other years, I put them on once, think they fit in all the wrong places (cliche girl, I know) and never take them out of my closet again.  It is very much a love/hate relationship.  For those that are loving jean shorts this season, I too am feeling the same way.  From the jegging style to the brightly colored cut-offs, there is a fit for everyone this year.  For daytime, pair any of these bad boys with your favorite kicks, a loose fitting T, and a cross-body purse and you will be ready to strut the streets all day.  For nighttime, throw on a pair of high wedges or back zippered stilettos, cropped tank, and a statement belt and you will make your jorts look hotter than any LBD.  The best part about jorts is, in terms of price, you can find an awesome pair at places like Forever 21 for less than $20!  That way next season when you are back to hating them again, you don't have to feel so bad.  Enjoy!

  1. 1969 Gap Skinny Cut-Offs - SALE $34.99
  2. J Brand Cutoff Short - $152
  3. 7 for All Mankind Mid Roll Denim Short - SALE $95.40
  4. Madewell Denim Drifter Shorts - SALE $49.99
  5. Topshop Blue Scallop Hem Shorts - $60
  6.  Levi's 501 Roll-Up Short - $54 
  7. Forever21 Denim Short w/ Tribal Lined Pockets - $15.80 
  8. J Brand Cutoff Shorts - $158 
  9. Madewell Denim Shorts (Garment-Dyed Bone) - $65

June 21, 2011

Pucker Up

I was blessed/cursed with a prominent set of lips.  Due to this, my mother taught me early on the importance of using lip balm to protect and prevent my lips from getting chapped or cracked.  This also explains my never-ending addiction to try every kind of chapstick, lip balm, and lip gloss out there.  When I was younger, my friends and I were obsessed with Bonnie Bell's Lip Smackers (I preferred Strawberry-Kiwi, my best friend liked Dr. Pepper).  Then I graduated to the Burt's Bees line since it was all natural and supposedly didn't make your lips "addicted" to it.  Since then it has been a mix of Rosebud Salve, Aquaphor, Sephora's Super Shimmer Gloss, and a variety of other random drug-store finds.  A few weeks ago, my friend told me about her two newest lip favorites, which were Korres Lip Butter (#2 below) and Clinique's All About Lips (#3 below).  I immediately went to Sephora to check these out, and ended up leaving with Korres Pomegranate Lip Butter (gives your lips a soft coral tint) and Super by Dr. Perricone.  I have been using Super for about a week now and I must say, it seems to be doing the trick.  It works great as an overnight treatment, as well as something to be worn during the day under lipstick (or even on it's own).  Assuming you all are as lip gloss crazy as me, I have recommended 5 different lip treatments for you to pick and choose from.  Each one offers different ingredients and advantages (i.e. Korres can also be used as a cheek stain; Mark's Big Fix can be used on other dry skin areas such as elbows; etc).  Feel free to provide any feedback you have on these products or one's that I don't have featured.  Nonetheless, be sure to keep those lips nice and hydrated all summer long.  Enoy!

  1. Super by Dr. Nicholas Perricone - $20
  2. Korres Lip Butter - $12
  3. Clinique All About Lips - $21.50
  4. Avon mark The Big Fix 15-in-1 Benefits Balm - $10
  5. Aquaphor Lip Care - $3.99

June 19, 2011

Father's Day Special!

Happy Father's Day to all the stellar dads out there.  My dad is the best father a daughter can ask for; especially because he has survived living in a household with all women (to be fair, we did always allow him to get a boy dog).  Between my sister, my mom and me, we have taught him more than he could ever imagine about what girls love, hate and everything in between.  Throughout our lives he has always been involved with all of the activities that we did.  Whether it was helping coach our tee-ball teams, attending annual dance recitals, or sitting through 4+ hour swim meets, our dad was always there to support us.  Besides his family, my dad's other big passion in life is golf.  He didn't start to get interested in the sport until his mid-20s, but with his talent and love for the game, you would have thought he grew up on the golf course.  He has teased me that he would like ES to have a feature on golf attire.  Since a lot of the pros have actually made a name for themselves based on both their talent and personal style (Ian Poulter, below, has his own line of clothing) it turns out that golf is a pretty stylish sport.  This being said, I thought today was the perfect day to honor my dad's request and really show you just how funky golf attire can be.  Happy Father's Day dad!

Ian Poulter:

  1. Polo Golf Pro-Fit Pima Color-Block Polo - SALE $74.99
  2. Polo Golf Cotton Argyle V-Neck Sweater - SALE $159.99
  3. Puma Special Edition Orange Cell Fusion 2 Golf Shoes - $199
  4. Stubart Darren Clarke Hand Crafted Shoes - $299
  5. Loudmouth Golf Shorts - $75
  6. Puma Golf Pants - $80

June 17, 2011

New Look at ES!

I have been itching to revamp ES's look (specifically the banner logo) and finally had a few free minutes to get creative.  My vision of the ES logo has always been some combination of streets, shoes, sidewalks, and symbols of NYC.  I initially wanted to take a photograph of shoes on my actual street, but then realized I will need a much higher tech camera to really capture the whole vision.  After doing some major image searching and lots of cropping, resizing, etc. I was able to create the current logo.  I also thought I would brighten the background up a bit to give the whole website a different vibe.  What do you think of the new look?  I would love to hear any feedback you have!

June 15, 2011

Because ES Does Not Discriminate: Watches

I must reveal that according to Blogger stats, Empire Stiletto's first men's post currently has the second most page views of any other post.  I am not sure if that means a.) I have a lot of loyal male readers, b.) there are a lot of ladies who wanted to update their man's shoe collection, or c.) a little bit of both.  Either way, I am excited to share ES's second men's post.  With Father's Day around the corner, I thought it was a perfect reason to spend some time on the men's side of the store.  After buying my boyfriend a killer watch for Christmas, I now think it should be a requirement for every grown man to own some wrist candy.  That being said, I have devoted this month's feature to my favorite men's watch styles.  Believe it or not, in talking with several of my male friends, I have come to realize how picky men can be when it comes to their watches.  Therefore, as I did with the first men's post, I have categorized my watch picks to fit within a wide range of guy's styles preferences.  Don't feel segregated into one category though boys, it is perfectly acceptable to like multiple styles of watches.  And ladies, if you are anything like me, you might be tempted to purchase some of these for yourself.  Enjoy!

For the Guy Who Works in Finance, Wears a Suit to Work, and Wants to Talk About Both at Happy Hour:

  1. Burberry Classic Round Timepiece with Silver Dial - $395
  2. Breil Milano Stainless Steel Watch - $600
  3. D&G Time Carson Watch - $250
  4. Movado Musuem Classic Watch - $695
  5. Gucci G-Timeless Stainless Steel Watch - $1,850
  6. Emporio Armani White Rectangular Watch - $245
For the Guy Who Doesn't Want to Wear Anything that Shines, Glimmers, or Could Be Considered "Unisex":

  1. Marc by Marc Mr. Marc Henry Watch - $200
  2. Fossil Machine Watch - $115
  3. Fossil Deker Silicone Watch - $105
  4. Tag Heuer Formula 1 Grande Date With Rubber Strap Watch - $950
  5. Burberry 3-Eye Chrono Watch - $575
  6. TechnoMarine Cruise Sport Watch - $450
For the Guy Who Wouldn't Be Caught Dead in a Pair of Skinny Jeans:

  1. Victorinoz Swiss Army Infantry Vintage Watch $425
  2. Ted Baker Easy Reader - $75
  3. Timex Vintage Field Army Watch - $150
  4. Ted Baker Asymetrical - $135
  5. Kenneth Cole NY Auto Through - $150
  6. Frederique Constant "Runabout" Automatic Chronograph Watch - $2,995

June 13, 2011

Off to the Races!

This past weekend I went to the Belmont horse race, which is the 3rd leg of the Triple Crown.  This was my second time to the Belmont race and it was just as fun as I remembered.  While I may have developed a small addiction to betting on horses (although I am still trying to figure out the whole trifecta/exacta scenarios), I was still more interested in seeing what everyone was wearing at the race.  As you would assume, there was a plethora of gorgeous flower printed dresses, giant sunhats (some of which were actually resemblant of the Royal Wedding wear), and espadrille sandals galore.  My initial thought for this post was to take pictures of the best outfits I saw, but alas I am still working up the courage to actually ask random people to let me take their picture.  Nonetheless, I resorted to creating a collage of my top picks for summer dresses this season.  While I might have waited too long to suggest that you wear this to the next horse race, all of these dresses can be worn to any of your summer events.  Enjoy!

  1. Anthropologie Lila Frock - $158
  2. Milly Linley Wrap Dress - SALE $276.99
  3. Amanda Uiprichard Mayfair Burst Dress - $194
  4. Marc by Marc Jacobs Frida Flag Print Dress - SALE $208.99
  5. Nanette Lepore Go Getter Dress - SALE $208.99
  6. Tibi Bianca Dress - SALE $241.99
  7. Collective Concepts Ruffle Trim Dress - $69
  8. Greylin Feather Print Dress - $99
  9. Shoshanna Murano Dress - SALE $262.99
  10. Anthropologie Backswept Dress - $268
  11. Milly Heidi Sundress - SALE $276.99
  12. MINKPINK Stripe Sundress - $88  

June 9, 2011

Who Needs McDreamy When You Have McQueeny

After being away from the office for 10 straight days, the post-vacation work week tends to move a bit slower than normal.  Nonetheless, I have an exciting after-work event tomorrow evening that I have been looking forward to all week long.  I am FINALLY going to see the Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty Exhibit at The Met.  This highly acclaimed exhibit has been featured alongside rave reviews in every single one of my monthly reading publications and the anticipation to actually see it with my own eyes has been killing me.  I have several friends who have already visited and loved it, thus making my desire to go even stronger.  While I would love to put together a beautiful collage with all of McQueen's best (in my humble opinion) designs, I know it would take me far too many days/weeks/years to actually narrow them down.  Instead I decided to showcase a few sneak peak snapshots of the exhibit (courtesy of The Met blog and NY Mag's The Cut blog)  to show off some of McQueen's amazing creations that are being featured.  I am in love with the incredible platform shoes in the first image below - I certainly recognize that style from recently named "Style Icon of the Year", Lady Gaga.  For those of you who don't live in NYC, I highly recommend checking out the links above to see and learn more about this incredible designer.  For those of you that do have the opportunity to see this exhibit in person, put on your cultural thinking caps and GO! 

ES Note for Images: Gallery photography by The Photograph Studio, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Yale University Press

June 7, 2011

Sitting Pretty

It has been too long since my last post.  My excuse is that I spent the last week doing all things wonderful, none of which included my computer.  However, what it did include was sharing a gorgeous beachside house with 20 friends, lounging in front of the ocean with great reads, enforcing mid-afternoon daiquiri breaks, and taking an end of the week road trip to visit some of my favorite family (and friends) in Charlotte, NC.  As most vacations do, this past week allowed me to escape from everyday life and come back to my standard routine with a fresh outlook.  While at the beach I came up with a lot of new ideas and inspirations for ES, one of which was sitting right in front of me.  All week long, I could NOT get enough of these colorful beach chairs that came with our house.  They were simple plastic chairs, but something about their colors against the backdrop of the sunny blue skies made me smile every time I saw them scattered on the beach.  My favorite picture was taken one morning when unplanned, everyone's beach chair was placed in a perfectly straight row.  At one lucky point all of the chairs were vacant and I was able to snap a few shots of the empty chairs with our beautiful house in the background.  Even looking at these chairs now makes me feel like I am back on vacation again.  I am looking forward to sharing more inspirations and wonderful things with everyone this summer.  I hope you enjoy!