November 30, 2011

ES Doesn't Discriminate: New Store Kicks

I am beyond overdue on a men's post so I apologize to all my male readers.  I decided to take a little bit of a different angle with this post and focus on a single store, Zara.  While this happens to be one of my favorite stores, it is certainly not somewhere I thought to shop for my boyfriend too.  This being said, I began working on a post for guy's winters shoes (per a friend's requests) and decided to check out Zara.  After 5 minutes of perusing, I realized I didn't need to go any further.  Zara offers every type of shoe there is for men.  From funky velcro sneaks to the classic oxford with a twist, this is a serious one stop shoe shop for guys.  I selected a few of my favorites below, most of which are perfect winter options.  Who knew fur lined shoes could look so manly?  All the links to the shoe selects are below.  Enjoy boys!
All Shoes from Zara: 1. Vintage Brogues; 2. Blucher; 3. Winter Sneaker; 4. Urban Ankle Boot; 5. Ankle Boot with Brushed Cap Toe; 6. Welly Boot; 7. Herringbone Shoe; 8. Urban Blucher

November 28, 2011

Knitted Comfort

I can't remember a time where I didn't love pairing together slouchy sweaters with leggings. This fall, I have been loving the sheer cable-knit sweaters that can easily be transitioned from day to night, a factor that was crucial during my time home last week. I spent 5 wonderful days with my family and friends going straight from day to night activities almost every day. While leather leggings might feel a little aggressive to wear to a trip to the mall or movies, I chose to dress mine down with minimal jewelry and a simple black tote. For nighttime, I was able to fit a smaller clutch into my day bag, along with my chunker earrings and statement wrist candy to really jazz up the look. Not only is this combination incredibly comfortable, but the slouchy cut of the sweaters make everyone's legs look long and lean (especially when worn with a pair of black booties). Depending on how risque (and warm) you like to be, you can opt to wear a camisole under these types of sweaters. If you opt not to, just make sure you have a some killer undergarments options to work with. Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!
Sweaters: Helmut Lang; MBYM; Mod Cloth; Hollow; Leggings: Malene Birger; Shoes: Steven by Steve Madden; Day Bag: Reed Krakoff Boxer; Night Bag: TopShop; Bangle: Kate Spade; Earrings: Judith Jack

November 23, 2011

Arm Statements

Bracelets: Anthropologie, J. Crew, Michael Kors Watch

As I have mentioned here, I love stacking bracelets with my watch to really give my arm some bling.  On Monday I decided to make a statement with just my wrist by wearing a simple white sheer blouse, black skinny pants, and grey booties.  With this neutral palette, my arm candy stood out even more than usual with the shiny juxtapose of materials.   I plan to get extra creative with my wrist decorations this holiday season to glitz up even my ugliest Christmas sweater.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!

November 20, 2011

Fancy Fries

I am sure I have mentioned this before, but I have a slight (okay major) obsession with french fries.  This unhealthy love affair started at a young age when after a fun trip to the zoo, my grandparents took me to a local eatery, The Greengarden Tavern.  This restaurant served typical diner food, with the classic shoestring fries that had that perfect mix of crispiness and saltiness that every fry should have.  It was since this experience that I was officially hooked to any and all fries.  Over the years I have tried fries cooked every way possible (including on sandwiches thanks to Pittsburgh's famous and incredible sandwich chain, Primanti Bros.) and have never gotten sick of these delicious potatoes.  However, for as obsessed as I am, I had never actually attempted to make my own fries.  In a recent pinning session, I saw a mouth-watering picture of White Truffle Oil and Parmesan fries and immediately clicked on the recipe (which can be found here).  Since the recipe was so simple, the only additional items I needed to purchase were Yukon gold potatoes and white truffle oil (all of the ingredients needed are pictured to the right).  The prep is simply slicing 4 to 6 potatoes into thin wedges and mixing them in a bowl with olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Once the potatoes are evenly coated, they are laid flat onto a baking sheet (I used foil to line the pan but I recommend parchment paper if you have it) and cooked in the oven at 425 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.  When crisped to your liking, the cooked wedges are put back in the bowl and tossed with drizzled truffle oil and parmesan cheese.  I also added parsley for a pretty garnish, but this of course is not necessary.   Since these fries are not fried, they feel a lot healthier than the traditional versions I am used to, and I am certainly OK with that.  This was a perfect snack for our Sunday afternoon of football.  Since the pig skin season is far from over, I will definitely be making these fancy fries again.  Enjoy!

November 16, 2011

Easy Prints

Work to Play
1.  Dries Van Noten Printed Silk Dress - $1,235; 2. International Jewellery Earrings;
3. House of Harlow 1960 Black Tote - $429; 4. Supertrash Grey Pumps - $205

This week has been a whirlwind of post-work activities.  As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts here, to prevent packing new outfits for week night events, I am always on the lookout for pieces that transition easily from day to night.  Recently my go-to item is various printed, long-sleeve dress options because they take minimal thought and planning during my morning routine.  Additionally, since the print is a statement piece in itself, these dresses pair perfectly with muted neutral accessories (a funky grey bootie will ALWAYS work).  While the printed dress pictured above is a bit (ok A LOT) out of my price range, I have found some affordable options at Zara and Anthropologie.  Enjoy!

November 14, 2011

Delicious Simplicity

Photo Credit: I Nom Things
I have been wanting to do more recipe posts since I enjoy cooking when I have the time and the gas in my apartment is actually working (that's a whole different story).  Pinterest has given me motivation to try new meals since I love to pin dishes and recipes that I want to make.  Yesterday a friend and I were pinning away and we came upon this delicious image above.  When I clicked on the recipe (which can be found here) I saw that it was incredibly simple and would satisfy my 24/7 pasta craving.  The main ingredients include a garlic clove, olive oil, fresh basil, pine nuts, a lemon, Parmesan cheese, of course, pasta.  My boyfriend and I decided to also add grilled chicken to give the dish more protein. The total preparation took less than 25 minutes and the end result was delicious.  While I always remember to take pictures AFTER I have consumed half of the meal, I swear ours looked similar to the above image (with slightly more Parmesan cheese).  I promise to start taking pictures of my own in the future.  If you decide to try out this recipe, be sure to let me know what you think!

November 11, 2011

Tough Cuffs

Coach Joe Paterno, Photo Credit: Sun Journal

I don't want to use my blog as a place to express my opinions about the recent allegations at my beloved Alma Mater, Penn State.  I think the one thing that everyone has agreed upon in this awful situation is the true tragedy in all of this is the terrible and unspeakable actions that were taken upon innocent children.  I have full confidence in my school and in the legal system that those that were in the wrong will be punished accordingly.  And yes, it was a sad day for many of us Staters to learn that our beloved coach of 46 years was being terminated on someone else's watch, but I personally still want to remember him for all of the positive actions he did make during his time at Penn State.  While Joe Pa has so many memorable characteristics and traits, my absolute favorite is his cuffed pants.  He has been rolling these bad boys up since the 1960s because his wife (aka Sue Pa) would get upset when mud would get on his then wool slacks.  This trademark style stuck as a part of Joe Pa's uniform and truly will never be forgotten in my eyes.  Coincidentally, cuffed pants have been all the rage this past year. Was Joe Pa a trendsetter ahead of his time?  Absolutely.  And when I am at the game this weekend, I will not only cuff my pants because it looks cute, I will do it for Joe Pa.

Let's go State.

November 9, 2011

Chunker Jewels

One of my closest friends from Pittsburgh has always been obsessed with large statement jewelry.  Additionally, her favorite word to reference to this style of jewelry is "chunker".  Whether it is a massive bauble necklace or giant ring, it always described as a type of chunker.  I immediately adopted this phrase because it is a.) hilarious and b.) a very appropriate description of her style of jewelry.  Since I also love statement jewelry, we always look forward to hearing about each others latest  finds.  This past weekend, I picked up my newest chunker piece when I was in Hoboken, NJ, where my boyfriend and several of our friends live.  We had some time to kill and he had remembered passing a "funky crazy jewelry" shop that he thought I might want to check out.  The name of the storefront is Aaraa and it features gorgeous and unique handmade Indian jewelry pieces.  Luckily for him (and me) there was an eclectic antique shop attached to Aaraa, which kept him distracted for a good 20 minutes.  I perused the tiny storefront a few times over since there were so many gorgeous pieces to choose from and decided on a pair of glitzy bronzed earrings.  The muted color makes them simple enough to wear everyday but since they are so large, they can certainly dress up any outfit.  I couldn't resist sharing my chunker find with everyone so I snapped a few pics of the jewels.  If you too are a fan of large obnoxious jewelry and are ever in the NYC/Hoboken area, I highly recommend checking out Aaraa.  Do you have any chunker pieces of your own?  Please share!

November 7, 2011

Eye Adventures

I have always been more of a minimalist when it comes to makeup.  My typical routine consists of a base powder, quick brush of bronzer, mascara and lip gloss.  I rarely do anything more with my eyes unless it is a special occasion, such as a birthday or wedding.  During the rare instances that I do attempt to wear shadow and liner, I find myself using same color scheme and "eye effect" that I have been doing since college.  I have come to realize that I need to break out of my boring makeup shell and try something new for a change.  I recently started becoming more adventurous with my lipstick, which truly does make a world of difference, and I am now ready to start experimenting with my eyes.  Utilizing my new favorite website, Pinterest, I found a few inspiring new eye looks that I am dying to try out this winter.  Not to mention I am equally as excited for my shopping trip to buy all the right makeup supplies.  Once I learn how to replicate some of the looks below, I will be sure to share my results.  Which one is your favorite?

P.S.  Remember to "like" ES on Facebook here!

November 4, 2011

Tough Leather

I am thrilled to be back in NYC this weekend.  My sister is coming to visit and tonight we are headed to a dive bar in the east village, to watch her boyfriend's band perform.  His band, The Nico Blues, is an alternative rock band that plays in venues all along the east coast.  When I first saw them perform a few months ago I was definitely blown away by their talent.  If you want to check out some of their songs (all originals) you can visit their website here.

Whenever my sister comes to visit, we always look forward to getting ready together and playing dress up with each other's clothes.  Since we are headed to a concert tonight, I am planning to rock my faux leather pants (similar to the H and M ones pictured below) and my studded Sam Edelman heels, which I posted about here.  Inspired by all of this season's gorgeous leather pieces, I picked out a few of my current favorites that I would love to have in my closet.  I can't promise they are all budget friendly, but I think the gorgeous leather studded jacket just might be worth it.  Rock on.

Rocker Leather
From clockwise top left: Philipp-Plein Leather Jacket; H and M Faux Leather Pant; Max and Chloe Earrings; Mary Portas Short Leather Dress; Kenneth Jay Lane Bracelet; Top Shop Studded Bangle; Kelly Bergin Leather Circle Skirt;
YSL Booties; Rebecca Minkoff Boyfriend Bag

November 2, 2011

Cozy Zippers

Scarf - H and M; Top and Jacket - Zara

As I mentioned here, I had been wanting a dress form to showcase my own outfits for future posts. Coincidentally a friend of my mom's was giving away her dress form around the same time and my mom immediately took her up on the offer.  When my parents came to visit a few weeks ago, they kindly brought me the dress form so I could begin to execute my vision.  For my first dress form feature, I wanted to showcase a new scarf I purchased at H and M last week.  When I walked into the store, I immediately saw the 2 way zipper scarf on a mannequin and began searching the store for this gem.  While I couldn't find it anywhere, a lovely saleswoman saved my day by leading me to the only scarf left for sale in the store.  The scarf is incredibly cozy to wear since it offers a slouchy cowl neck with enough material to also act as a thick shawl.  The timing of this purchase was absolutely perfect since we had an early snowfall in NYC this past weekend.   For this post, I decided to style the scarf with a shiny new top I bought at Zara a few weeks ago as well as my standby grey leather jacket.  I love how the juxtapose of the materials create a very chic and warm fall outfit.  I would pair this with black skinny jeans or layer over a tulle dress or skirt (similar to this). I hope you enjoy the dress form posts as there will be lots more to come!