March 29, 2013

TRAVEL: essentials

Tis the season for travel!  Whether you're headed to a sunny beach or bustling city, you gotta be sure to have your travel essentials handy.  Here are a few of my must haves when traveling (clockwise from top):

  • water  //  high priority essential (especially if you get water anxiety like me)
  • lip balm - Carmex, $1.50  //  complete addict.  I want to try this pomegranate one
  • eye drops - Blink, $7   //  dry contact lens eyeballs from airline air pressure is no bueno
  • planner, Galison New York, $14  //  I'm old school.  I have to keep a physical planner with me at all times
  • journal, Jill Bliss, $10  //  also always with me to jot down ideas, notes and quotes
  • books - Amazon Kindle, $140  //  love reading so long flights are the perfect time to catch up
  • watch – Omega Speedmaster, gifted  //  so used to wearing one now I'm always glancing down for the time
  • perfume – See by Chloe, $58  //  my new favorite scent, so fresh and so clean clean
  • scarf – Urban Outfiters, similar here  //  has to be super soft.  I like ones that fold out to use as a blanket/wrap on cold flights
  • messenger bag – Celine, $980  //  perfect for travel.  lightweight, compartmentalized and the pouches snap out to use as a clutch
  • snacks – Kind Bar, $1.50  //  one of my favorites.  All natural and really good
  • iPhone/headphones  //  gotta have great music on flights, especially if you need to drown out crying babies/snoring/airplane turbines

bon voyage! xoxo

March 27, 2013

WEAR: DIY flower halo crown

Spring is in full bloom!  Especially here at NB.  Want to fool an unsuspecting stranger into thinking you were sent from heaven with your innocent, angelic look?  Get (make) yourself a flower halo.  Flower power!  

We can't guarantee it'll transform you into an ethereal fairy or garden nymph, but it sure is great for hiding limp hair and freshening up your look.  What more can you ask for?

Shout out to the Coachella-ready, music festival fairies! *shout

DIY tutorial on floral maxi skirt coming soon.  Stay tuned!

Don't be fooled by my halo, shenanigans are my specialty. Flower (wild) child. 

xoxo, Happy Spring!

Photos by:  Paulo Salud
Styled by: Rose Tran

March 24, 2013

DIY: rose gold initial beaded bracelet

The newest addition to my ever changing regimen of arm swag is this rose gold initial beaded bracelet.  It's so easy to slip on (and make), and I love how jewelry pieces with initials add that tiny little personal and whimsical touch.

  • Stretchy jewelry string (Michaels, less than $3)
  • Beads (Michaels, $3-7 depending on color/length)
  • Initial letter with holes to string (mine was from DANGsupplies off Etsy, $5.25/4 pack)


Measure out the length of string you'll need for your wrist, add on a couple of inches (to tie the knot) and cut.  String the beads and add the initial in halfway through.  Tie a tight double knot, cut the ends and add a drop of super glue.  Let the glue set, and you're good to go!


March 21, 2013

WEAR: DIY peplum ostrich feather and satin ribbon belt

As of late, I feel like Batman has been my fashion icon.  My go-to for the winter months is all black errrthang.  Gotham City doesn't lend itself well to baring your legs during the winter months - don't be deceived by my bare arms, it really was 29 degrees fahrenheit out (took my jacket off for the pic).  And it just so happens that all my fleece lined leggings are black!  So my outfit tends to follow suit, black on black layers.  Accessorizing (throw on some chainz) and mixing fabric and texture (ultimate mixing: feather on satin over leather) is the key to bringing life to an otherwise drab, all black ensemble.  

Like the Dark Knight himself, that's where my peplum ostrich feather and satin ribbon belt (mouthful of fashion) comes to the rescue!  Figure flattering, feminine, flirty and fun (try saying that 3 times fast).  Peplum has been popping up in different forms and fabric all season.  It creates dimension and has a waist-whittling effect at the same time.  Check out the instructions below to find out how you can make your own.  It really is as easy as one, two, three!  

Materials: (can be purchased at any fabric store - links are just for reference)


Wrap the satin ribbon around your waist and tie a bow in the back.  The ribbon should feel snug but comfortable.  Trim the excess ribbon with scissors.  Next, wrap the ostrich feather trim around your waist.  Cut away excess trim where both ends of the trimming meet the bow of the ribbon.  Glue the top of the trimming to the middle of the satin ribbon using the fabric glue.  Wait 30 minutes for the glue to dry and then style it up with your outfit! 

Feathers, leather, and satin. Oh my! 

Tune in next time - same Bat-time, same Bat channel!   :)

Skirt: Urban outfitters // Gloves: Saks // Tshirt: Uniqlo // Belt: DIY // Watch: Gucci // Necklace: Gold chain DIY

March 18, 2013

HOME: succulents galore

I HEART SUCCULENTS.  Who couldn't love these luscious looking flower-like plants made up of plump leaves?  There are so many different ones to choose from and they're incredibly low maintenance (and low cost! cha-ching).  Being a plant lover, these are my favorite as I'm far from having a green thumb (more like a grim reaper thumb).

My collection has grown exponentially as of late, and I have them scattered all over my house.  From the window sills to the kitchen to the bathroom - they go great everywhere.  The more the merrier!

A couple of quick tips I've learned (at the cost of a few poor succulents):
1. Use cactus and succulent potting soil that is quick draining
2. Less is more when it comes to watering.  I use a spray bottle to avoid overwatering and give the plants a few sprays each week.

March 13, 2013

WEAR: DIY leather trim wide brim fedora

Don't you just loathe it when you find that perfect "something" BUT, there's just one little detail off on it?  I've been on the hunt for a basic leather trim wide brim hat (try saying that three times fast), and came kind of close aside from the trim on it.

Well, you know what they say in life... if you don't like something, then By George, just fix it!

  • Wide brim hat (mine is from BCBGeneration)
  • (Faux) Leather belt (mine is a braided look from Forever21, less than $5)
  • E6000 Glue (you can also use super glue or craft glue)


Remove the old trim from the hat.  Fasten the leather belt along the trim of the hat and cut the excess length off (be careful to not fasten this too tight as it will cause bunches in the hat).  Glue the belt on and allow the glue to dry before wearing.

Hats off to you!

March 11, 2013

WEAR: DIY neon striped leather clutch

What's electric blue with neon stripes all over?  Why, the ever so versatile and chic day clutch!  We featured our first DIY painted day clutch here - but now it's back with a fun and bright twist in time for Spring.  You can never have too much of a good thing, especially when it comes to bags and shoes, right? 

Inspiration: Bee (Blair Eadie) from Atlantic-Pacific

Materials you'll need: 
  • glossy acrylic paint 
  • liquid gesso (preps the surface for paint to adhere to leather)
  • small paint brush
  • foam brush
  • painting bowl 
  • painter's tape
  • large leather pouch (mine is from American Apparel) 


Make sure the surface of your bag is clean and dry.  Measure the placement of the stripes across your pouch (the best way is to start out with the center panel placement width, then work your way out from there).  Use painter's tape to tape off the widths of the stripes.  

Prep the area where the stripes will be with liquid gesso by dabbing it on with the foam brush.  Wait about 5 minutes for it dry.  

Pour the paint into a painting bowl (just enough to cover the bottom).  Paint your desired colors within the marked off area inside the tape.  Wait about 5 minutes between each coat.  Paint as many coats as needed for the look that you want (I used 3-4 coats).

Let your pouch dry in a well ventilated area over night.  Afterwards, carefully take off the tape and voila!  If the paint happened to bleed a little bit, you can make touch ups with a painters pen or fine tip paintbrush.

Coat: Burberry //  Pleather Pants: H&M // Clutch:  American Apparel (DIY) // Shoes: Topshop  // Nails: Essie - Coral Reef

March 8, 2013

DIY: bubble and button push pins

Happy Friday!  Here are some pinspirations to brighten up your work space ...  

Along with reminders to help get through the grind and the work day ... mmmm vacation!  :)

March 6, 2013

WEAR: DIY crystal bib and satin ribbon necklace

Inspiration: Lanvin and Marni crystal bib and satin ribbon necklaces

I have a ton of old brooches, earrings, and other necklaces that I don't wear anymore but don't have the heart to toss (you know those impulse buys, especially when costume jewelry is mostly under $10 at Forever 21!).  My solution?  My forte of course - I take them apart and put them back together to form a new crystal creation!  FRANKENSTEIN status. 

Materials you'll need:  Stiffened feltwire cutter pliersE6000 glue, scissors,  jewels: old brooch, old rhinestone earrings, crystal clip-ons (pictured above) - everyone will have different items for the jewels, 1 /2 yard satin ribbon,  and flat back Swarovski crystals (below). 


1.  Using an old bib necklace as a template, I cut my stiffened felt into the same pattern.  You can cut your felt according to the jewels that you'll be using. 

2.  Then, taking my wire cutter pliers (most useful pliers I've ever owned!), I broke the back pin off the turquoise brooch.  I did the same to the baby blue crystal dangle earrings and the clip-ons.  Having flat backs on the jewels helps when gluing them on to the felt.

3. Rearrange the placement of the jewels until you achieve the look that you want.  Layering the pieces on top of each other gave me that Shourouk feel.    

4.  After you are sure of the placement, use your trusty E6000 glue to glue everything in place.  Trim the excess felt around the jewels with scissors and then fill in the open areas with flat back Swarovski crystal elements (order them online here).  In New York, I was able to get mine at a store in Soho called Crystallized

5.  Finally, after all the jewels are attached and the extra felt is trimmed away, measure how long you want the necklace to hang.  Cut the satin ribbon accordingly and attach the ribbon to the back of the felt with the same glue.  Wait a couple hours for the glue to dry (although this glue dries very quickly!).  Then you're ready to style your one of a kind necklace with your outfit. 

"Diamonds on my neck, dia-diamonds on my neck ..."

Necklace: DIY //  Knit Sweater: Zara // White Button Down: All Saints // Pleather Pants: H&M // Shoes: Topshop

March 3, 2013

EAT: momofuku cornflake and marshmallow chocolate chip cookies

 The first time I heard about this cookie I was instantly intrigued.  After all, you don't run into very many cookies with cornflakes and marshmallows included (what a delicious notion!).  The recipe is featured in the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook by Christina Tosi - owner and founder of Momofuku Milk Bar in NYC (the bakery-inspired dessert branch of David Chang’s Momofuku restaurant group).

With its salty cornflake crunch, buttery crispy edges, chewy marshmallow center and bits of sweet mini chocolate chips - this cookie is nothing short of UH-MAZING.  It's all that and a box of cornflakes.

The recipe takes a little more work than a standard cookie might, but it really is worth it in my opinion (nothing good comes easy, right?).  You'll also need a stand mixer for this recipe to get the consistency of the dough right.  Follow the instructions below to first make the cornflake crunch (heavenly) that you'll use to add to the cookie dough.


Cornflake Crunch
Yields about four cups

5 c. cornflakes
½ c. milk powder
3 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
9 tbsp. butter, melted

1. Heat oven to 275°.
2. In a medium bowl, with your hands, crush cornflakes to ¼ of their original size. Add milk powder, sugar, and salt; toss to mix. Add butter; toss to coat. (As you toss, the butter will act as glue, binding the dry ingredients to the cereal, creating small clusters.)
3. On a parchment- or Silpat-lined sheet pan, spread clusters and bake for 20 minutes, at which point they should look toasted, smell buttery, and crunch gently when cooled slightly and chewed.
4. Cool completely before storing or using in a recipe. Stored in an airtight container at room temperature, the crunch will keep fresh for one week; in the fridge or freezer, it will keep with one month.

Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Cookies
Makes fifteen to twenty

16 tbsp. (2 sticks) room-temperature butter
1¼ c. granulated sugar
2/3 c. light brown sugar, tightly packed
1 egg
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1½ c. flour
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1½ tsp. kosher salt
3 c. Cornflake Crunch (recipe above)
2/3 c. mini chocolate chips
1¼ c. mini marshmallows

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter and sugars; cream together on medium-high 2-3 minutes. With a spatula, scrape down sides of bowl, then add egg and vanilla and beat 7-8 minutes.
2. Reduce speed to low; add flour, baking powder and soda, and salt. Mix just until dough comes together, no longer than 1 minute. (Do not walk away from the machine during this step or risk overmixing.) Scrape down sides of bowl.
3. Still on low speed, paddle in cornflakes and chips until just incorporated, about 30-45 seconds. Paddle in marshmallows.
4. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Using a 2-oz. ice cream scoop, portion 1/3 c. dough at a time onto pan. Pat tops of dough domes flat. Wrap pan tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 1 week. (Do not bake room-temperature disks — they will not hold their shape.)
5. Heat oven to 375°. On a parchment- or Silpat-lined sheet pan, arrange chilled disks a minimum of 4 inches apart. Bake 18 minutes, until cookies are browned on edges and just beginning to brown toward the center. Cookies will puff, crackle, and spread. Leave them in oven for another minute or so if they still seem pale and doughy on the surface.
6. Cool cookies completely on pan before moving them to a plate or an airtight container for storage. At room temperature, cookies will keep fresh for 5 days; in the freezer, they will keep for 1 month.

Me eat cookie! Om nom nom nom