Tag Archives: cheap thrills

Wedding Wednesday Quick Post – Trending: the Statement Bracelet for brides.

Brides come to us for the following reasons:  a) they have no time, b) they are stressed, c) they hold demanding jobs and volunteer work, d) they live out of town, e) they are planning a destination wedding (aren’t they all at this point?).  One common misconception is that said brides need style guidance, but that is simply not true.  Our brides are chic, stylish and most of all, entirely unique.  So, when we hold forth about trends or kick a glaringly tacky one to the curb, it is not a reflection on the part of our clients – ever.

This is a teaser for the larger “What’s In?  What’s Out?” wedding post that is coming soon.  Very often, I’ll see a bride with way too much going on, accessory-wise.  Not my brides.  But if you are planning a wedding and here on this blog, let me just say that tweaking the expected and editing down your look is key.  Tiaras=no.  Unless you are 4 years old.  If you are 35 and wearing a tiara and you are not royalty, it’s just jejeune.  Updo with curlicued tendrils PLUS a statement necklace PLUS too much makeup PLUS giant briolette earrings?  No.  Just. No.

This season, I am hoping brides will wear their hair long and loose, keeping the neckline clean and focus on the arm candy.  That’s right – the Statement Bracelet! All eyes will be on your hands anyway, so give it a little more attention!  So many companies are doing links, cuffs, skins, stones, estate, antique, costume, real, coloured stones, yellow gold, white gold, rose gold (!), Deco, tribal, or old-Hollywood glam that it gives you a great chance to show off the long-overlooked and most lovely wrist.  Generally speaking,  worn on the opposite hand of your engagement and wedding rings.  There are so many wedding possibilities, in all shapes, sizes and budgets, so let’s do an overview, shall we?

J. Crew (bow down to Jenna Lyons) is rife with possibilities.  I love the Deco Bow Bangle.  I also favour the Classic Pave Link Bracelet (and own it!).  So wedding-ready is the Crystal Mosaic Bracelet – it’s got that weight and heft to it.  Pair ANY of these with the Crystal Sunburst Earrings and you have a total look with glossy hair and a great manicure!  These also make insanely great bridesmaids’ gifts.

Savoy Bracelet by JewelMint

Credit: J. Crew - Deco Bow Bangle

Moving on to my favourite jewelers – the real stuff, at a good price – are ALL of the bracelets (except the leather ones) from J. L. Rocks!  Check out the page and images here!    Have you seen JewelMint, a carefully curated lookbook of wonderful pieces at $29.99 cofounded by actress Kate Bosworth and stylist Cher Coulter? It’s like ShoeDazzle or The Row for jewelry and it’s quite beautiful.  I have a crush on the Savoy bracelet (above)!

Credit: J. Crew - Crystal Mosaic Bracelet

Big spender?  Look no further than this diamond flower bracelet from Ross-Simons, who, by the way, has lovely CZ versions of their important pieces.  I also love love Emitations, an online retailer that cultivates great red carpet looks for less.  Chances are, you can find a faux copy of your engagement and wedding rings to wear while, say, scuba-diving.  Their marketing director, Jenni Beckstrom, is all kinds of awesome, to boot!

Of course, who doesn’t love the Trinity and Love bracelets from  Cartier?  Check them out online!  In yellow gold, rose gold, white gold, with or without diamonds.  True love!

Credit: Ross-Simons

Recipe of the Week: (Last Chance) Summer Garden Pasta

Nom Nom Nom

Yes, we know it’s Wedding Wednesday and there’s a fantastic (and long) post about 2011/2012 wedding trends, along with reviews of the 4 Weddings mentioned previously, via Team Dolce, coming your way!  But in the meantime, we hope you had a terrific summer!  I just got back from 5 weeks in East Hampton, where I shed some old habits, picked up some wonderful new workout secrets and beauty weapons and, of course, party ideas.  Here is a recipe for any stressed out reader, bride to be, or person looking to use the best of the last of the bumper crop of fabulous tomatoes!

I hosted a small dinner party in the garden for some good friends and it was terrific.  The menu:  grilled marinated flank steak, chopped salad (mine has hearts of palm, Sagaponack corn and goat cheese in it), bruschetta with pesto and grana padano, grilled asparagus with truffle oil, fresh blueberry cobbler with vanilla bean ice cream and bottles and bottles of local rose wine from Wolffer Estates, served bone-chillingly cold.  The real star of the show was the pasta course (well, not “course” – everything is served family style from large white Vietri platters).  I swear it took about 10 minutes to make.  You can make the “sauce” ahead of time and let it marinate or just throw it all together!

Summer Garden Pasta (use spaghetti, thin spaghetti or angel hair)…Serves 4

1 lb. favorite dry pasta (see above).  DeCecco is best.

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 cups grape or pear tomatoes, halved (I like the heirloom kind in different colors).  If you cannot find grape or pear tomatoes, regular ones or Romas are fine – just roughly chop into chunks.

1 large clove garlic, finely chopped

2 tsp. good balsamic vinegar

8-12 oz. fresh mozzarella, cut into a dice for tender chunks (or use the bocconcini)

2 handfuls fresh basil, rolled and sliced into ribbons (or torn roughly for a more rustic look).  Save some whole leaves to garnish the platter

1/2 cup Pecorino Romano (grated).  You can also use Parmesan, if you prefer it.

Kosher or sea salt

Fresh cracked pepper

*look at the end of the recipe for fun add-ons to suit your mood.

– Prepare pasta according to package directions in heavily salted water.  Towards the end of its readiness, reserve about 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid – just skim it off the top with a measuring cup or ladle.  It helps thin out the sauce and keep the pasta strands from sticking.  It also imparts a nice sheen to the dish.

– Combine all ingredients except the Pecorino Romano in a large glass bowl.  Toss gently, fold over, and revel in its gorgeousness!  You can also let this sit for about 30 minutes to an hour for more depth of flavor and THEN cook your pasta.

– Drain the pasta and put it back in the (still) hot pot

– add the uncooked sauce and toss with tongs gently

– add the additional cooking liquid and keep tossing

– sprinkle the Pecorino and toss through

– pour onto a platter and garnish with whole basil leaves

*If it floats your boat, throw in 1 tsp red chile flakes for some heat, or 2 teaspoons capers, maybe pine nuts, some arugula, a drizzle of truffle oil, some anchovies, a swirl of fresh ricotta or even some panko bread crumbs for crunch.  Mangia down, twirl, enjoy, feel accomplished.

To wear:  a caftan in Ikat print, gold gladiator sandals or bare feet, beachy waved hair, minimal makeup.

To flower:  bunches of the last hydrangeas (don’t invite Madonna!  ha!)

To ear candy:  Adele (natch!), Harry Connick, Jr., Cake, Kings of Leon, Frank Sinatra, Snow Patrol, Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Sunday CakePop Crumbs…are YOU ready for Missoni at Target?

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OK, I admit, I have always loved Missoni – both vintage and new – and I’m lucky enough to have a few prized pieces – a tunic, a sweater, a bikini.  But they come at a price!  Well, frugal gals (and guys), Margherita Missoni and famiglia bring their prized zigzags to Target on September 13, with most prices under $40.  Here are a few of the things I am coveting.  I am sure I’ll storm the barricades that morning at opening, pronto!  Will you?

So many pieces for brides, bridesmaids, your newlywed home, those who love to entertain and beach!

So loving this demitasse set for espresso! Prego!How adorable are the appetizer plates?

Unrelated - Missoni Bugaboo. Spotted Rachel Zoe with hers last week in East Hampton Starbucks. She looked great and the baby is adorable!

Four fabulous looks! Check out the swimsuit!

Thirsty Thursday – Chic Indoor/Outdoor beverage tubs. Love!

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Although the idea of hosting an outdoor party anywhere without a breeze or a temp over 90 degrees right now is anathema to most sane people, these beauties can be used indoors or outdoors.

Our first pick is a jaunty, striped, monogrammed metal tub with enamel cast in fun colors from Neiman Marcus.  Click on the link to purchase.  Just gorgeous!

I recently went to a party down the block from me and the hostess had the most wonderful beverage coolers by Bungalow by Scout. It’s called the Scout Party Bucket.  They are waterproof PVC, can be filled with ice and are great to ice down beer, wine, waters, sodas – great at home or a tailgate and easily cleaned.  Lovely patterns like electric-hued toiles.  Scout has many other products in their line – from stylish lunch bags to insulated picnic coolers.

Photo Courtesy of Bungalow by Scout

Or, go to eBay and check out the many options there!




Hopefully, there’s no panda on your flight!

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Back in the day, my husband bought me a fabulous cashmere travel set (blanket, eye masque) that I take everywhere – vacation, client meetings, even in the car!  It must have cost a fortune since it’s still selling.  Well, knock me down and call me Judy because I just acquired the MOST amazing bamboo travel set.  For $45!  Yes, BAMBOO!  Yes, $45.  It is gorgeous, raspberry pink, sustainable, light, soft as cashmere and an excellent gift for the intrepid traveler or someone who needs a little TLC.  I’m wrapped in the blanket whilst typing this.  Clearly, I’m not wearing the eye masque.

Order at Horchow!

Light Sunday Supper!

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It’s still hot in the Northeast, the South – many places and I have a quick go-to recipe to hang onto those summer flavors.  I call it Liz’s Lemon Spaghettini (not to be confused with “Liz Lemon” Spaghettini – although I’m sure the “30 Rock” goddess could make it.  Just reach into the pantry and 12 minutes later, voila!  I use spaghettini, the thinner spaghetti, but use whatever you can.  Serves 4.  Or, 8 as a side dish!

Liz’s Lemon Spaghettini (adapted from a recipe by Giada deLaurentiis)

1 package dried spaghettini (I use Barilla)

1/4 cup good olive oil

2 large fresh lemons

1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese – I use a microplane grater

1 large clove garlic, finely minced

Sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste

handful of flat-leaf Italian parsley, for garnish

Boil a large pot of salted water and cook the spaghettini according to package directions.  In the meantime, mix in a medium bowl the juice of the 2 lemons, the cheese, the olive oil and the garlic.

Drain the pasta, reserving one ladle of the starchy pasta water.  Put the pasta back in the pot and add the lemon mixture and the reserved water.  Using tongs, serve in pasta bowls and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Garnish with a little extra grated cheese and chopped parsley.  *if you dare, add a pinch or two red pepper flakes for extra heat.

I like to serve some simple grilled or roasted asparagus as a side dish.  You can also try some broccoli rabe.  YUM!

Stop that Bandit!

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Here at DP, we are green wherever we can be – papery, sustainable food, locations that use LED lighting, LED lights instead of candles, even sustainable wedding gowns!  So, it comes as no surprise that when we do wine tastings, we veer towards organic and/or local.

Here comes the Bandit! Not only is the packaging genius and chic, but, if you are buying liquor for your own party (a huge money saver if your venue will allow it), note that each package contains 33% more than a bottle and each one runs about $10.  There’s a sangria, a Cabernet Sauvignon, a Riesling, a Merlot, a Chardonnay,  and our favorite in summer, a crisp Pinot Grigio!

It’s 96% wine, 4% packaging – no glass to break or recycle.  Made largely of renewable resources, lower shipping weight (which equals less fuel emissions), no corked wine due to the biodegradable packaging, 1 truckload of empty Bandit cartons equals 26 truckloads of empty wine bottles.  And you can crush it on your forehead when you are done!

Don’t let anyone rob you of your Bandit!

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