An Ultra Layer That Is A Smart Purchase

The key to surviving winter may be UNIQLO.  It is no secret that I love UNIQLO.  The reason is simple:  they offer clean, well designed, functional, and affordable pieces for the whole family.  Pieces that you will actually wear on repeat.  They also do great collaborations.  If you missed my earlier post about their Alexander Wang collaboration then check it out.  I just received my Heat Tech, NO REGRETS!  Here are two other pieces you should really consider.  The Ultra Light Compact Down Vest is a slim layering piece that will go undetected.  It costs $39.90.  Wear it under a blazer, coat, or over a blouse.  The alternative to the vest is the Ultra Light Compact Down Jacket.  The jacket will cost you $59.90.  Both are amazing adding zero bulk to your look.  They will help keep you toasty.  I personally live in a vest from now through April.  Add the Heat Tech for optimal happiness and warmth.  Happy Winter Folks!

The Extras

It all works and you won’t be a walking trend.  No fuss accessories that will give your wardrobe a refresh.  A bit of color doesn’t hurt anyone.  I know that black is so easy but so is adding a little color.  The wrap is your base to work around.  Underneath it I would wear neutrals consisting of a couple of layers (denim tuxedo and a cozy cardigan or jacket).  Accessories that have complementing colors will give you a look that is a bit more interesting but not so obvious.  Accessories are an easy way to express your own personal style.

Isabel Marant Lipstick, Jennifer Behr Bow, Deborah Lippmann nail polish, Wandler Tote, Alexander McQueen Scarf, The Row’s Cape, Haskell Eyeglasses by Warby Parker 

Gifts For The Home

I like to think about giving a gift that one would not buy for themselves.  Lovely pieces for the kitchen and home are always a welcoming treat. There are many beautifully crafted possibilities.  Consider your recipient’s hobbies, interests, and aesthetic.  Get creative and make it personal.  Perhaps think about pairing the lovely paper napkins with a small floral arrangement or the pitcher and syrup accompanied with your favorite pancake recipe.  They all are oh so perfect whether it is a small gesture gift or a celebratory gift.  It just depends on the occasion. 

Starting from the top left:

Linen Tea Towel, Alessi Tree Diffuser, Neutral Sky Candle, Petite Silo Pitcher & Syrup, Vintage Glasses, John Derian Paperweight, Black Burgundy Truffle, Ceramic Tree Ornaments, Bird Paper Napkins, Laguiole Cheese Knives, Wine O’s, Shibori Dyed Cocktail Napkins

Holiday Plaid All The Way!

There is never too much tartan and egg nog during the holidays.  It is fun, festive, and traditional.  Don’t just wear one piece.  Mix and match many pieces together to really get into the spirit.  Here is my selection from J.Crew to get you head to toe excited.  They have a fab selection.  FYI, holiday sale is in progress!  Happy Holidays.  Go tartan. It is a classic!  There is nothing here that you can’t wear year after year.  J.Crew

Mid Week Dinner With Scallion Turkey Meatballs

Scallion Meatballs With Soy-Ginger Sauce

Smitten Kitchen always makes my evenings a little easier in the kitchen.  It is my go to sight for tasty easy peasy recipes.  I should mention quick recipes are the ones I seek out for mid-week options (who doesn’t?).  I have been making SK’s scallion meatballs with soy-ginger glaze for the past few years.  They are one of my low prep dinner favorites that are healthy, tasty, and a crowd pleaser.  Even picky eaters can’t resist these yummy little nuggets.  They are meant to be appetizers but I serve them over a bowl of brown rice with a side of roasted broccoli or baked sweet potato.  I should also mention I don’t get too caught up with a perfect shape when I am forming them.  Sometimes they are more like small patties.  The turkey mixture is pretty soft.  Wear food grade gloves then wet your hands with water (so the turkey doesn’t stick to the gloves) to make the meatballs before placing them in the skillet.  (sometimes brown each side and then let them finish off cooking in the oven on a low temp around 300.)

isostilo in the kitchen
Meatballs and sauce can be made ahead to save time! You could do the same with rice and veggie.

Smitten Kitchen Scallion Meatballs With Soy-Ginger, you won’t be disappointed.  Dinner is served and you can thank me later.

(top image from SK, bottom image with the imperfect meatballs are from isostilo:)

Holiday Gifting To Sip, Savor, And Share

Who wouldn’t love a tasty cheese basket, fresh citrus, or a wine surprise?!  Holiday season is upon us and the hunt is on for online speciality gifts.  Here are a few ideas for your gourmet loving friends who would enjoy something to nibble and sip.   Cheers!

Starting from the top left!

For the family, Holiday Goodies from Olive & Cocoa

For the chocolate lover, The Signature Crate from L.A.Burdick

For the savory, Cheese or Charcuterie Club from Dean & Deluca

For those who enjoy wine, Vinebox

The best ever Peppermint Bark with a cult following is from Williams Sonoma

Say no more with a Cheese Lover’s Basket from Formaggio Kitchen

Happy Holidays with a Magnolia Wreath from Dean & Deluca

For those who appreciate craft beer, The Craft Beer Club

Stay Healthy with fresh apples from Pak it Rite

Sunshine in a box from Hale Groves 

Closet Refresh

Every winter a closet overhaul is a necessary task.  It is a time to reevaluate, purge, and shift clothes to make dressing easier.  Otherwise, it is too easy to wear the same favorites on repeat and neglect at least 90% of everything else you own.  You have way more options than you think.  I have figured out a pretty efficient system which is simply removing everything from the closet.  You need to start with a blank slate.  Clear a day!  It is an eye opening experience.  You must be willing to try things on then make honest decisions to keep, repair, or donate.  It is important that the clothes fit you well otherwise no sense giving up valuable space.  Declutter your life.  Keep what you love.  Know what you own.  The closet reorg gives everything a home.  It is also a way to take care of your clothes.  They will last longer.

You will enjoy a well-organized closet.  Try to accomplish this task before making any new purchases.  It allows you to take an inventory of what you own.  This will also point out what wardrobe basics you may be lacking help you justify that new piece you have been eyeing.  Shopping with intention.  Need vs want.  I can definitely say I own enough leopard print!  This winter, my gap is with basics.  I will be hunting for warm layering pieces, possibly a new loafer, one seriously functional warm rain coat, and I’m sure a few little gems.

Here are few closet basics that can help you during your closet refresh.

Sweater bags are the best way that I have found to store sweaters.  The zip closure will keep out the moths and dust.  PEVA sweater bags have been my saving grace to preserve my favorite sweaters.  They also keep them neat and visible with the clear packaging.

These slim Huggable Hangers from Joy Mangano are non slip which will prevent your silks from hitting the floor.

The Sweater Stone can make a little mess but is sweater friendly when it comes to removing the pills from your favorite pieces.  I have also read good reviews on the Conair Fabric Defuzzer-Shaver.

The Laundress offers everything when it comes to taking care of your laundry.  I will be trying out their Wool & Cashmere Shampoo for an alternative to dry cleaning.

Wool Dryer Balls are another new one for me.  They are 100% pure New Zealand wool promising to reduce drying time, lessen static, and eco-friendly.  Lasts for 1,000 loads (wow imagine if you tallied how many washings you do?!). You can also add natural oils to the balls for a lovely added scent to your laundry. (gotta admit this is a funny thought!)

BTW I don’t bother organizing my workout drawer.  Nice to have that one drawer you just don’t fuss over.  Happy sorting folks!