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Shopper’s Delight

The people have demanded that I provide more ways to buy pieces similar to the outfits I’m wearing.  Or rather, I should clarify, my best friend Kiki suggested it when I pressed her for feedback on this little project of mine. 

I shall endeavor to bring the people what they want!

Here goes with a weekend outfit:

Saturday and Sunday. Because, really, if an outfit is any good and you feel amazing about it, you should definitely repeat it. (Provided you run zero risk of being seen by any of the people from the day prior). I had a number of events to attend this weekend, including my regular volunteer shift at MoMA, church, the movies, after-movie drinks, and an afternoon of brunch and shopping the next day.

Jacket: Tinley Road, Pants: Cartonnier, Shoes: Kenzie

Create the look! (prices range from low to high):
Jacket: (P & YGreylin, Herno, Philipp Plein)
Pants: (ExpressMCQYSL )
Shoes: (BCBG, Manolo Blahnik, Charlotte Olympia)

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More to come! I’ll figure out to adjust these posts so you can shop images as opposed to links.

xoxo,
Mimzy

P.S. How did you like my little Vogue-inspired pose here? Those models always look so cheerful – if only Mario Testino was behind my camera!

Macaroni and Cheese Soup

One of my mom’s dear friends is a classically-trained French chef. I had this rather outlandish fantasy of her slaving in her kitchen, whipping up coq au vin and delicate vegetables, along with heady spices and herbs for her children on a nightly basis.

It was not until this week that I learned the devastating truth. Her kids like basic American food just as much as the rest of us.

Apparently, one of her children’s most oft-requested meals is Macaroni and Cheese Soup – a recipe so embarrassingly simple that I wasn’t even sure I should share it. But it is quite inexpensive and delicious; a welcome respite from rich foods and evenings out in the city.

I modified it slightly to add a little extra flavor.

  • One box, Annie’s Homegrown Mac & Cheese
  • 10 oz. Birds Eye frozen mixed vegetables (the one with beans, carrots, corn & peas)
  • 1/4 cup margarine (I used Smart Balance)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 14 oz cans of chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • A few twists of fresh ground black pepper and pinch of Hungarian paprika (optional)

Cook macaroni in boiling, salted water for 5 minutes. Add the frozen vegetables and cook another 4 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Melt the margarine in the same pot. Add the flour and cheese packet from the Annie’s box. Mix well. Slowly stir in milk and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Add the vegetables, macaroni, paprika and black pepper and heat through. Serve with a nice, crusty bread and a glass of Sancerre.

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Confession: I eat Annie’s Mac & Cheese at least once a week. So often that I now buy in bulk, as if I were feeding a family of four rather than just my single-girl self. This soup is a nice way to mix things up and feel like I’m meeting my veggie quota as well.

xoxo,

Mimzy

A smattering of outfits

I don’t know about you, but I find it dreadfully challenging to dress when it is ridiculously cold multiple days in a row.  A day or two here can actually be fun; you get to pull out those once-or-twice-a-season-super-warm-furry boots  and maybe throw on a hat you completely forgot about. But when cold, frost-bite-inducing weather stays around for days on end? Now there is a challenge I’m ready for.

A few of my strategies for getting excited about getting ready on a cold morning (or any morning, really):
1.  Breakfast and coffee for a jump start
2.  Mixing new and old or high and low pieces from my wardrobe
3.  Styling my hair differently than the way it was any other day this week
4.  A spritz of great perfume

Thursday:
Jacket – Milly, Skirt – an old standby from H&M, Boots – Banana Republic
Hair: straight with curled ends and a just shy of center part. 

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Friday: Dress – Calvin Klein, Earrings – Stella & Dot, Shoes – JCrew (pleeeeease bring back the Mona pumps! I would buy so many more pairs!)
Hair – a fun, twisty updo

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Monday: Dress – Ann Taylor, Shoes – Dolce Vita
Hair: straight, bent ends, center part

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Tuesday: Top – JCrew, Sweater – unknown, Skirt – H&M (see, told you it was a standby!), Necklace – Ann Taylor
Hair: French braid (tucked in)

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Today (Wednesday):
Jacket – Greylin, Top – Gap, Skirt – Phillip Lim
Hair: pin straight, side part

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That’s all for now! Let’s see what inspires me for the remainder of the week!

xoxo, Mimzy

Easy Protein-Packed Meatballs

When the weather outside is frightful…its nice to be able to stay in and cook!

My mom shared this simple meatball recipe during our Saturday morning phone call, and I felt completely inspired.  I ran to the grocery store to pick up the meat and parsley, and spent less than an hour making the recipe. It is loaded with good-for-you protein (quinoa and lean beef). The fresh parsley is a must, as it brings that delightful peppery kick and pretty green flourish.

You could, of course, make this more labor intensive by making your own marinara sauce. But this version was absurdly easy, which is sometimes all I’m looking for in a recipe. I plan to put a few in the fridge to eat over the next day or two, and then freeze the rest in individual servings to be enjoyed on a weeknight when I’m weary and longing for Italian food. They are hearty enough to enjoy alone, but you could also make a nice little bed of pasta for them, too.

Quinoa and Beef Meatballs (adapted from Food & Wine)
Makes 12 delicious meatballs

  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef (I used sirloin)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano cheese (Sincere apologies to my foodie friends – I used Kraft cheese in the green bottle)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 24-ounce jar of marinara sauce (I used Barilla)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400° and grease a large baking dish with olive oil or cooking spray. In a large bowl, using your hands (disposable gloves are a must here), gently mix all of the ingredients except the marinara sauce. Form the ground-beef mixture into twelve meatballs.
  2. Arrange the meatballs in the baking dish and roast for 20 minutes, until just cooked through. Spoon the marinara sauce on top and bake until the sauce is hot, about 10 minutes. Garnish with extra grated cheese and serve.

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xoxo,
Mimzy

First day: presence and precedents

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The “first day” of a new situation is one of life’s purest opportunities for reinvention: first day of school, first day in a new neighborhood, first day at a new job. My case for this is simple:

1) No one knows you: your style, your work ethic, whether you are an introvert or extrovert
2) You’ll be meeting lots of people for the first time, so you can set a widespread tone
3) You won’t easily fall back into old routines – after all, you’ve got people who look up to you now!
4) It’s a chance to put those lessons learned from past mistakes into action

It’s not only a chance to be different, but to be better.

Maybe you were a gossip at your old school or job – did it really get you anywhere or make you any friends? Actively choose to contribute less snarky-ness to the world. Be the girl who secretly tapes pink Post-Its with “You’re beautiful!” in the ladies’ room.

Maybe you trusted someone you shouldn’t have. It stung, didn’t it?  This time, be more reserved until people start to show their true colors. Put a jar of candy or homemade muffins on your desk and let people come to you to tell their stories.

Maybe you always gave in on your diet to please other people – having a piece of each kind of cake so as not to offend or, conversely, skipping free pizza because you were so regimented to spinach salad. Don’t go to either extreme! Be strong but gracious. And, please, set an example by never commenting on other people’s food.

Maybe your last job cost you hundreds of hours of frustration, thinking they meant what they said about “meritocracy,” only to send you packing. Give more than what’s necessary, but never give your heart. Jobs come and go, and like friends and relationships, are often just poignant ways for us to learn something about the world or about ourselves. Be you, be your best, and be proud of the work you do everyday. You are shining light into someone’s life just by showing up.

First day at my new job outfit (although I was clearly not quite awake, as I forgot to add the Anthropologie jacket before I snapped the photo):
Top: Calvin Klein, Skirt: Tahari (similar) Watch: Michael Kors

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xoxo,
Mimzy

Favorite new DIY lip scrub

Confession: I’m not usually a DIY-beauty sort of girl. That’s why I tend to be in Sephora several times per month (or week). Friends, this is as close as it gets.

I was feeling a little under the weather today and have quite a few social events scheduled for the weekend. The New York winter air is not helping remedy dry lips and skin, so the timing was opportune to do a lip scrub.

After raiding my beauty cabinet, I found I was out of any lip-appropriate exfoliant. Many of the homemade lip scrubs I’ve seen contain messy ingredients such as olive oil or lemon juice. So, I created the easiest little recipe and was very pleased with the results.

Instructions:
Load up your lips with Smith’s Rosebud Salve
Top with Turbinado Sugar and mush with your index finger for 60-90 seconds.
Wash or tissue off, add some additional Rosebud Salve, and you are good to go!
I suggest doing this routine weekly, especially in the cold climates.

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Easy peasy. And I feel ready to take on the weekend!

xoxo,
Mimzy

 

It’s impossible to be overdressed

I feel so strongly about the importance of playing dress-up at every age.  I was very lucky to have a group of childhood friends that played dress-up in my grandmother’s gowns until we were at least fifteen years old. Now that I’ve transitioned to grown-up status, I still look for ways to be glamorous whenever possible. While sophistication and taste are paramount, you should never ignore a reason to get dressed up. Even if you are the dressiest person in the room, don’t dress down to make other people feel comfortable. Be the best version of yourself for the particular event – it just feels good!

This weekend, I was summoned to be a fashion consultant for my friend Jayme, who is to be the MOH for a wedding in Las Vegas. She had no color or style constraints from the bride, leaving us lots of room for trials and exploration. We shopped for a few hours at traditional stores before ending up at Rent the Runway at Henri Bendel.  So many options! We narrowed the themes to “long” and “glamorous.” Its relatively impossible to be over the top at a Vegas wedding, right? 

Our stylist, Mink, at RTR was absolutely lovely. She saw me patting several dresses while Jayme was busy, so offered to set up me up with my own fitting room. I tried on the most fanciful dresses I could find, and had so much fun. See evidence below!

1: Carolina Herrera, 2: Nha Khanh, 3: Vera Wang

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Jayme ended up renting two stunning gowns: a Badgley Mischka and a Narcisco Rodriguez. I’m so proud of her and so grateful to her for letting me hijack her fitting with my own runway show!

xoxo, Mimzy

Miami and back

Here’s a super-post of a few of my Miami outfits (and today’s outfit for chilly NYC).

I decided to take a quick flight down to Miami to visit a dear friend while I have some time away from work. The sunshine and the happy faces of my friend and her children were exactly what I needed!

Old friends might be the 8th wonder of the world.  No conversation needs rehearsal or prolonged background information; you simply understand one another. It is so remarkable and refreshing that you can step into a room with one and instantly connect on topics old and new. 

Photo 1: You can’t really see the long maxi dress I am wearing, so I”ll focus on makeup. Eyes: Urban Decay Naked Palette #1. Lips: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable lipstick in Sweetheart Valentine. Face: Dolce & Gabbana matte foundation, Nars blush. Brows: Benefit Gimme Brow.

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The next day, heading to the beach. Pants: Gap. Shirt and hat: Nordstrom. Sunnies: Kate Spade. SPF: Neutrogena (body) and Elta MD (face).

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And today’s outfit, while I visited another friend in the cold reality of midtown NYC (comfy and suitable for 30 degrees!):  Sweater: Stella McCartney. Necklace: Ann Taylor (similar). Bandeau: Aerie. Phone case: Henri Bendel

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xoxo,
Mimzy

Braving the cold

Today was an excellent day to stay indoors. With the mercury barely hovering at 18*F all day, I took the opportunity to read this month’s Marie Claire from cover to cover, do a little yoga, make macaroni and cheese, clean the bathroom, and pack for my upcoming trip to Miami. 

Staying in all day would feel just too languorous, so I was easily lured outside with the promise of a warm dinner and cheerful drinks with friends in the neighborhood.

But OH, FASHION! How does one dress stylishly for an below-freezing evening? That, dear ones, is a challenge. My make-up is set to a rosy glow, thanks to Michigan Avenue‘s tips (those Chicagoans know cold weather!). Lots of layers and accessories seem to be the only way to go.

Top: Only Hearts long-sleeve cami, Scaglione sweater. Jeans: (not shown) AG Charlotte. Boots (not shown): Sorel Cate the Great. Hat: Sharif Studio.

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With one toe out the door, a hot chocolate on the couch is sounding mighty fine…

xoxo, Mimzy

Waiting for the snow

It is now nearly 6pm here in NYC, and the predicted snow that shackled my plans to next week hasn’t even begun yet.

Thus, I have no pictures to add to this post. Today was supposed to be a running-about-doing-errands-then-get-glamorous-for-drinks-with-former-coworkers sort of day, but regrettably, the drinks were cancelled and I never actually put on a stitch of makeup. Not much to see, I’m afraid.

Until tomorrow,
Mimzy