navy for fall

Sep 1st 2013 01:27:15 pm

Spring is usually my fashion comfort zone, mostly because of my love for pastels… but I am really digging this fall’s navy fashions. Instead of the NYC all-black-everything style, I think I’m going to do head-to-toe navy this season.

TOPS: Soulland Gee Raglan Stonewash Sweatshirt | Madewell silk hydrangea top | Rebecca Taylor stainglass tank

EARRINGS: silver dipped triangle studs

DRESS: Joie Halsette dress

PANTS: R13 slouch skinny jean | J. Crew matte crepe drawstring pants

BAGS: 3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli bag | Clare Vivier messenger

SHOES: Rachel Comey Penpal Boots

NAILS: Yves Saint Laurent Bleu Majorelle | Essie After School Boy Blazer | Chanel Bel-Argus

What will your signature fall color be?

No Comments » Categories: Accessories, Clothes, Fashion, Shoes


Apr 14th 2013 02:08:03 pm

I like to think I am fashionable, but in reality, I have a fairly consistent history of questionable fashion choices. Prime example: This Banana Republic poncho I bought in 2004. I loved this poncho so much that I blogged about it THREE times: here, here, and here. It was basically just a rectangular piece of knit fabric with a hole for your head, but I thought it was cool.

Sadly, after purchasing the beloved poncho, I fell out of love. I think I wore it three times. BUT! I had this brilliant idea! I could make a nice striped pillow cover out of the poncho! So… I moved that poncho across the country with us twice, sure that I would enact my pillow plan soon… very soon…

It only took me nine years! I finally made the pillow cover this week. Sweet. It was super-simple. I used one of my existing store-bought 20-inch pillow covers as a template and basically just folded the knit poncho fabric around the template and created an overlapping envelope closure on the back. Then, I stitched straight lines down the sides with my sewing machine. I reinforced the stitching a bit, trimmed off the excess fabric, then turned the whole thing right side out and stuffed a pillow inside. I think it took me fifteen minutes!

Well, nine years and fifteen minutes… ha.

2 Comments » Categories: Crafts, Fashion, Projects

currently // november 2012

Nov 28th 2012 11:56:09 am

Shut the door on November and get in line for the frantic holiday season! I am not ready. What have I been spending my time on?? Oh ya, this stuff…

hosting… the 6th annual Holiday Fun Matchbox Swap! Yes, I have been hosting this same swap for six years. Wow! Come join me in some paper crafting fun.

reading… Island of Vice: Theodore Roosevelt’s Doomed Quest to Clean Up Sin-Loving New York. I love reading about NYC history, but the arrogance and self-righteousness of the reformers in turn of the century NY is starting to get on my nerves.

listening to… Miguel.

obsessing over… this coat and this ring.

looking forward to… playing the Hero-U adventure game. I was happy to support the game’s Kickstarter campaign. It won’t come out for at least a year, but it looks like a lot of old-school, Sierra-style fun.


What is currently grabbing your attention?

This is what I was doing last November.

1 Comment » Categories: Books, Currently, Fashion, music, Swap-bot

currently // May 2012

May 15th 2012 02:14:12 pm

running… The Brooklyn Half Marathon on Saturday. We have been looking forward to this race for months. I hope it lives up to all the hype! If nothing else, we will have fun ending it in Coney Island and riding the Cyclone.

looking forward to… The Great GoogaMooga Festival this weekend in Prospect Park. It is a brand new food and music festival. I hope it also lives up to all the hype!

wishing for… Something ridiculous: A Proenza Schouler PS1 Large bag. The price is completely prohibitive and insane, but I can’t stop thinking about these bags! I’ll take any color.

eating… Ample Hills Creamery peppermint pattie ice cream. I’ve actually only had it once, but I want more, more, MORE!

also eating… Zito’s! This Park Slope sandwich shop is delicious and laid back. It is a great place to go for post-run food.

What are you up to these days?

1 Comment » Categories: Brooklyn, Currently, Fashion, Food, running

best dressed 2012

Mar 5th 2012 11:14:32 am

This is over a week late — which makes it totally lame — but I already did all of the exhausting research, so without further ado…

My top fashion picks from the 2012 Academy Awards!

Full confession: I did NOT watch the Awards last Sunday. (Instead Travis and I watched six episodes of White Collar.) Also, I did NOT see a single one of the movies nominated for Best Picture. Not one. The only movies I saw last year were Fast Five, Cowboys Vs. Aliens, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and Mission Impossible. Surprisingly, none of those fine films were nominated for Best Picture.

Thankfully, we have E! News to catch up on all the movie gossip and fashion! Overall, I think I liked the gowns from the Golden Globes more, but the unique red and white dresses at the Oscars were quite striking. My favorites:

  1. Emma Stone was adorable in Giambattista Valli.
  2. Rooney Mara looked cool in Givenchy.
  3. Michelle Williams rocked her coral Louis Vuitton.
  4. Shailene Woodley was lovely in long-sleeved Valentino Couture.

Many (including The New Yorker) picked Angelina Jolie as the best dressed, but i am bored of her. Or, maybe I’m just not a fan… what do you think?

1 Comment » Categories: Clothes, Fashion, Just for Fun

tangerine tango

Jan 26th 2012 02:22:12 pm

So, Pantone (the authority on color standards) announced that the color of 2012 is tangerine tango. Tangerine tango is a reddish orange and it is basically my least favorite color. BUT, in an effort to be more adventurous and open-minded, I thought I’d entertain the possibility of maybe growing to like the vibrant hue.

I searched around for a few acceptable uses of tangerine tango in fashion:

Kate Spade wedges | Tory Burch clutch | J. Crew necklace

I don’t know… I’m still not sure I can pull off a deep, bright orange… even in accessories. How about you?

Will you incorporate tangerine tango into your wardrobe?

No Comments » Categories: Accessories, design, Fashion, Shoes

thoughts on Alt Summit…

Jan 23rd 2012 05:03:45 pm

Alt Summit goodie box

Hello. I am back from the wild world of Alt Summit! It was an inspiring, informative, exciting experience… but if I am being 100% honest, it was also exhausting, intimidating, and overwhelming. A lot to absorb in a short amount of time. I am so glad to have gone, but also quite glad to be back home.

Welcome to Alt SUmmitAlt Summit is about inspiration, design, and online business advice. I attended quite a few informative sessions, on topics like “The Business of Blogging,” “Growing Your Audience,” and “Blogging Ethics and Etiquette.” Since I’ve attended similar conferences in the past, some of the content felt repetitive to me, but it was a thrill to hear the big names (like Heather from Dooce, Maggie from Mighty Girl, Ben from Pinterest, and Kal from [i]LoveLife) speak about their experiences of growing their sites and businesses.

I LOVED the keynote talk from Gretchen Rubin. Gretchen is the author of The Happiness Project, which I now feel even more compelled to read. Her talk reminded me that to be happy, you have to be honest with yourself about your true interests and passions, and it can be painful to let go of the person that you wish you were.

A few of my favorite quotes from Gretchen Rubin:

  • “You can only build a happy life on YOUR interests, YOUR nature, and YOUR values.”
  • “Technology is a good servant, but a bad master.”
  • “Preserve open space to think. (And don’t feel guilty about it!)”
  • “The days are long, but the years are short.”

To put it simply, she gave me permission to do the things that I need to do for my own happiness without feeling guilty, because being happier will make me a more productive and helpful person in the world.

photos from Alt Summit 2012

As a design conference, Alt offered lots of new ideas. The business cards that many of the attendees bring to exchange are like little works of art.

Some business card trends I observed: foil embossing, deep letterpress printing on very thick stock, DIY embellishments, like washi tape, and square formats.

My favorite business cards of the ones I collected:

Michelle Edgemont | You + Me Design | Making it lovely (one of my all-time fave blogs) | Ginny Branch | Deb Averett (an internet friend) | Fleurish Events | Elizabeth Giorgi | A Girl Who Makes (Laura is a high school friend who I ran into at Alt!) | The Salty Pineapple | Turquoise Ink | The Jealous Curator | Little Bird Soda Co. | Link with Love | I Still Love You (another of my fave blogs) | Armelle (with a QR code on a tiny pack of gum) | The Cuisinerd

Business card from Alt Summit

Since Alt is a conference for people (mostly women) interested in the online worlds of style, photography, design, and fashion, you can probably imagine how fashionable the attendees are. The outfits at Alt really were impressive.

Some fashion trends I observed: nerdy glasses, big necklaces, long, straight bangs, top knot buns, color!, stripes, red jeans, red tights, leopard print shoes, neon belts, pattern on pattern, floor-length skirts, sequins, and scarves. For men: bowties.

I did not feel quite up to par fashion-wise, but I tried. Here are a few of my outfits:

Yes, I went with the silver dress for the all-white-attire Winter Wonderland party. Thank you all for voting in my poll! (The big, blue bag was a gift from one of the Alt Summit sponsors, Epiphanie Bags. I actually love it!)

My favorite parts of the conference were the mini parties on Friday night. Different sponsors took over suites in the Grand America hotel and put on parties based around fun themes. There was delicious food and drink, party favors, and lots of confetti. I even forced myself to be brave and tried out one of the many photo booths solo.

Although the Alt Summit was a good experience, my favorite part of the entire trip was just getting to explore Salt Lake City. Seeing the mountains and the snow and staying in the lovely Grand America hotel was all very refreshing. I ordered room service, had a bubble bath, read good fiction late into the evening, and basically enjoyed spending some time alone.

I am not going to recap it all in full now, but I loved traveling to Park City to check out the Sundance Film Festival scene. I even got to see one of the films, West of Memphis, which was an excellent, heartbreaking documentary that I highly recommend. Completely unknowingly, I ran into a crazy-cool Banksy mural and I stumbled upon one of my favorite authors, Margaret Atwood, signing books and I picked up The Blind Assassin. On Saturday night, I struck out on my own, in the snow, to go see the Mormon Temple Square. It was impressive and spooky and wonderful. I had a grand adventure in Utah!

For more links from the conference, check out my “link love” round-up on the Swap-bot blog.

For more inspiration, view the Alt Summit 2012 Flickr Stream or search #altsummit on Twitter.

10 Comments » Categories: design, Fashion, Travel, Work

getting ready for Alt…

Jan 17th 2012 06:46:09 pm

This will be my first year attending the Altitude Design Summit in Salt Lake City… and I leave tomorrow morning! I am a little nervous, but basically just trying to get all packed and ready.

The conference is focused on lifestyle and design blogs, so there has been a LOT of talk about what everyone is wearing. A LOT of talk. There are many cute blog posts on the topic, like this one and this one. One woman says she is bringing SIX pairs of shoes. For a three-day conference!! I am a little intimidated. So I need your help….

There is a party on Thursday night themed “Winter Wonderland” and everyone is supposed to wear white. I was planning to just wear a white top and call it good, but I found a casual silver dress on Sunday at a Theory sample sale and now I am torn. What look should I wear to the party?

Either way I’ll be pretty boring and unremarkable, but what do you think…

Which look should I wear to the Alt Summit “Winter Wonderland” party?
 silver dress
 white silk blouse free polls 

I reserve the right to alter either look… but I will post a report on what I end up wearing on Thursday…

7 Comments » Categories: Clothes, Fashion, Travel, Work

golden gowns

Jan 16th 2012 12:22:43 pm

Picking my favorite Golden Globe fashions is something of an annual tradition of mine. (My picks from last year.) I didn’t even watch the full ceremony this year, but I managed to catch up on the fashion online. It is amazing how fast they get the photos up after the red carpet!

My very favorite was Claire Danes’ J. Mendel gown. It was a little weird and futuristic, but I thought it was a perfect, sophisticated choice for her third award win. I also liked the dresses worn by Heidi Klum, Helen Mirren, Amy Pohler, and Laura Dern.

The fact that I am choosing older women as my faves must say something about me… hmmmm… I really appreciate it when the women look fantastic without going the overtly sexy route. I think it is more difficult to pull off an elegant and unique look than it is to just show cleavage. (Michelle Williams also did it adorably.)

I usually love courageous and weird dress picks, but I didn’t love Angelina Jolie’s asymmetrical Atelier Versace dress. I think I may just not like red.

Who wore your favorite Golden Globes look?

2 Comments » Categories: Clothes, Fashion, Just for Fun

BurdaStyle book launch party in Soho

Dec 8th 2011 10:42:39 am

This post was originally published on the FaveCrafts Blog. A version also appeared on the Ace Department Gazette.

BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook is an online community for people who like to sew. The website, which has more than 600,000 members, offers free and inexpensive sewing patterns, step-by step sewing tutorials, skill sharing, and inspirational project ideas. On November 10th, they launched their very first book, The BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook.

BurdaStyle projects

BurdaStyle co-founder and author of the new book, Nora Abousteit, and her staff hosted a large and exciting book launch party last month at the Housing Works Bookstore in New York City. Examples of finished items created using sewing patterns from the new book were on display throughout the loft-like space. There were snacks and drinks, craft tables with make-and-take projects, and a photo booth from There was even a cake printed with the Sewing Handbook cover image!

BurdaStyle cake

My first stop at the event was at the Singer make-and-take table. I used a Singer sewing machine and Spoonflower fabric printed with the BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook cover to make a quick, little, drawstring bag. I was nervous to put my sewing machine skills on display since I was surrounding by so many talented and creative seamstresses, but the project was easy and basically error-proof.

BurdaStyle glitter tattoos

Next, I headed over to the glitter tattoo table. Megan Nicolay of Generation T and was applying sparkly designs to any willing party guest using stencils and Tulip Body Art Glitter. I played it safe and got an abstract flower on my hand.

Copies of the The BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook were available to purchase at the event. The 200-page, spiral-bound book contains over seventy step-by-step variations of five basic patterns: a blouse, skirt, dress, bag, and jacket. It has a large intro section that can help those new to sewing get started using patterns. There are also plenty of full-color photos of the finished projects, plus profiles of members from all over the world. The full-size patterns are also included in an envelope inside the back cover of the book.

BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook

It was exciting to meet the people behind the huge BurdaStyle community and to see much of the creativity from the website translated into book form. The BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook is a fun project book for both beginners and experienced seamstresses that will help you endlessly customize your wardrobe.

No Comments » Categories: Books, Crafts, Fashion

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I'm Rachel. I run websites and run marathons. I live in Brooklyn and write about art, crafts, design, food, fitness, fashion, my daily life, and New York City.





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