Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wedding Wednesday: Sylvia Weinstock Edition.

As you all know, (since I am constantly and possibly annoyingly bombarding you with recipes), I love to cook. I love everything about it, and although I'm still very much learning how to cook, I can't get enough of it.

My dad and I have bonded over the years watching Top Chef - he is a major foodie, and when we first started watching, he was thrilled that there was a show with real professional cooks making gorgeous food (he hates shows like Hell's Kitchen, where no one can cook).

When he and I heard that there was going to be a spinoff of Top Chef that was based solely on desserts, we added it onto our DVR queue, and began watching, very pleased that we had a new foodie show to watch!

A few weeks ago, on Top Chef: Just Desserts, renowned celebrity cake decorator Sylvia Weinstock was a guest judge, which only served to remind me of just how fabulous (and absolutely adorable) the woman is.

Is she not the cutest thing you've ever seen?
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If I had an unlimited budget for my wedding (fingers crossed), one of the first things I would do would be to commission Ms. Weinstock to design a cake for moi and whoever I ended up marrying. She is absolutely perfect, and each of her cakes is unique, and so absolutely breathtaking, it's incredible.

In my opinion, Sylvia Weinstock is like the Willy Wonka of cake design - you look at something and it looks so real, and then you find out that it's entirely made of frosting (and not fondant!). These cakes do come with a price - from what I heard from my cousin who had a consult with Sylvia Weinstock's company for her wedding, for a very basic cake, it starts at around $3,000, and it's not unusual for her to make cakes that are around $25,000-$100,000 (!!) - so my cousin ended up going with Buddy from Cake Boss instead.

So for now, I'll just admire her work and dream. (If you've never seen her work, just keep in mind as you look at these that EVERYTHING you see - besides the base - are 100% edible!).

Okay, so clearly these are not wedding cakes, but they're still gor-geous and take some serious talent!

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Wedding Cakes...

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This one is my fav-orite!
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Ri-dic-u-lous.
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Any favorites?

Would you spend $3,000-$100,000 for a wedding cake like one of these?

Currently listening to: Damien Rice - Volcano [Sometimes I forget how much I absolutely adore Damien Rice, but songs like this bring me back into full-on adoration).

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Anthropologist.

In New Jersey, you can't throw a rock without hitting a mall, especially where I reside in Bergen County. Malls are everywhere, with many strip malls opening up as well. This is not good news for a twenty-two year old post-grad, with a (very) part-time job, and not much income - especially one with a penchant for designers and fashion.

As much as I love fashion, I love the idea of moving out of my house more. Therefore, I have been sticking with trying to make better use of my wardrobe - pairing older shirts I have in different ways with belts or different accessories, and saving my money for pieces that I can wear in a few ways.

As I start penning my Christmas list (in October), I have been sending email after email to my parents and grandfather of my Anthropologie wishlist - which never stops growing because of how fabulous absolutely everything is in that store! (And all the lower-cut tops make me wish my bubbies were bigger, so maybe I'll ask for a boob job for Christmas too? Just kidding, kind of).

So, until I either get a full-time job, marry someone exceedingly rich, or win the lottery, all I can do is look... and pressure my parents to get me some amazing Christmas gifts!

"High tea" blouse (too perfect for words) and the "Bracken Stripe" blouse. Gor-geous.

High tea blouseBracken Stripe Blouse

The Obi sash on this "Falling First" blouse is too gorgeous for words.

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I die for these sweaters - the "Rainbow Trellis" cardi and "Filamentous" cardi.

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I also love how there is so much of a 50's "Mad Men" ish feel to a lot of the dresses in the fall line. The "Vestiges" dress, "Sugar Coated" shirtdress, and "Braque Bodice" dresses all scream "Betty Draper" - but with a modern twist on them too.

Vestiges dressSugar-coated shirtdressBraque Bodice dress

The "Babergh" and "Yukata" dresses are also just beyond.

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I could totally see Charlotte York wearing this "Cym & Ripple" red coat.

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The "Namaste" pullover and "Montpellier" sweater

Namaste pulloverMontpellier top

I absolutely adore robes - though right now my big, fluffy, white one is not looking as desirable as the "Waving Slumber" or "First Sip" robe.

Waving Slumber robeFirst Sip robe

Even though I'm on a may-jah budget right now, the one thing I do allow myself to splurge on is premium denim (I'm sorry, it just does something for females that regular denim doesn't!). Anthropologie is my #1 stop for Seven for all Mankind and Joe's denim (though I don't kick J Brand or AG jeans out of bed either).

Joe's Muse and Socialite denim (I swear by the Socialite! I have both the Socialite, and the Socialite kicker... hello, my name is Allison and I am addicted to Joe's Jeans).

Joe's MuseJoe's Socialite

Seven for All Mankind Roxanne and J Brand Houlihan (which has been seen by like, every celeb).

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Even Anthropologie lingerie has the best names - the Romance Novel, Surreptitious corset, and Afternoon Tea.

Romance Novel setSurreptitious corsetAfternoon Tea set

And, of course, a girl can never have too many handbags - the "Cara Cara" (my fave), "Sepia" saddlebag, and "Petite Ecole" messenger bag are just too stunning for words.

Cara Cara bagSepia saddlebagPetite Ecole messenger bag

And yes, I am going to send both my parents a link to this blog post! ;)

What are your favorite stores to browse/shop in?

Currently listening to: Adele - Chasing Pavements

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Autumn Activities.

So, I've said it once, I'll say it again: I love fall.

I feel like being at school, I never fully took advantage of the fall and all it had to offer. To me, fall was the equivalent of midterms, aka, surviving on Red Bull and absolutely no sleep while writing out notecard after notecard of study material, or trying to stretch an idea into a paragraph for a ten-pager.

Due to the stress of just life in general as a college student, I totally took for granted how beautiful campus was as the leaves changed, barely ever made it to Starbucks for a PSL (seriously, I know - how is that possible?!), and definitely didn't venture out in nature as much as I should have (unless walking across campus to the library counts).

Now that I'm done with college, and have an awful lot of time on my hands, but not a lot of money to do things, J and I have been struggling a little with fun dates. We've been getting into this rut where it's all about hanging out around the house - even making food for TV shows is getting a little lame because for a while it was ALL that was happening. After a fight in which I expressed my frustration with the fact that his lack of a job equaled a lack of options for dates, we started making a list of free/cheap things we could do to get off our asses and have some fun! Apple picking was high on our list.

We decided to head to Lawrence Farms Orchards in New York state (nowhere near the city), and also planned on leaving early o'clock one Saturday morning, which gave the option of J sleeping over my house Friday night, as my mom instructed us on the different types of apples that were exceptional for baking, snacking, etc.

The next day we arrived at the farm, which was seriously enormous. Everyone is provided a wagon, which was extremely useful for us carting everything around (especially up and down the hills - thanks, J!) - and by us, I mean, J, because I have absolutely 0% upper body strength.

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Sometimes we had to climb trees to get the very best apples.

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The orchard was gorgeous - everything was labeled by the different varieties of apples, and thanks to the help of my mom and her extensive knowledge of apples (which is kind of a weird thing to have an extensive knowledge of), we were able to get right down to business, and take in all the sights.

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Aside from having over 20 different types of apples, the orchard also has strawberry, raspberry, pear, and veggie fields (eggplants, hot and sweet peppers, green beans, cabbage, etc) - and a huge concord and table grape section!

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Unfortunately, the grapes were either dead, or not quite ripe yet, which was a bit of a bummer (especially after we climbed a pretty steep hill to get to the grapes - thanks again for lugging that wagon along, J!).

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RIP, grapes.

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The view definitely made the trek up the hill worthwhile.

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Before we checked out, J decided he needed to stop and try to make new friends...

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At the end of a really nice (and uncharacteristically warm) day, we headed home with a huge bag of apples that were split amongst us, some peppers, and a few eggplants. Yummm.

All the apples meant lots of apples with peanut butter for snacks, and that I got to bake a yummo Tarte de Pommes a la Normande, aka an apple tarte to watch during Survivor one Wednesday! (The crust was really hard to make/form properly, so it didn't look so pretty, but it tasted great! - if I do say so myself).

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What are some of your favorite outdoor activities for fall?

Enjoy your weekends! It's gorgeous here in North Jersey, and I hope it's just as lovely wherever you are!

Currently listening to: Kanye West - Power.