Monthly Archives: May 2015

Palihouse

Palihouse in Santa Monica, California

While out in California shooting the NYDJ experience we took up residence at Palihouse in Santa Monica. This charming, historic 1927 boutique beach lodge was the perfect home away from home. Every morning we had fresh squeezed orange juice on the terrace and did work emails cozied up by the fire. One of the main reasons I chose this hotel, aside from my deep love for historic properties, was it’s location. The beach, third street promenade, farmer’s market and Santa Monica pier were all walkable. Many times we borrowed the hotel’s bikes to cruise up and down the beach or pop over to Venice for dinner. Our room was more like an apartment than traditional hotel room — we had a living area, two walk in closets and a kitchen which made the extended stay very relaxing.

Palihouse in Santa Monica, California Palihouse in Santa Monica, California (more…)

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Appreciate the Ones You Love

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Pandora Jewelry is all about appreciating the ones that you love and when they approached me about gifting charms to someone in my life I immediately thought of two of my best friends, Claire Mazur and Erica Cerulo, who have impacted my life greatly over the years.

History

We first met back in 2010 at a little coffee shop on the Upper West Side and they told me about their dreams of starting an emerging designers platform called Of a Kind. Not only did I come to learn these were two of the most intelligent, visionary women I have ever met, I would also find out that bonds between women are so important and powerful not only in our personal friendship but in the bond these two share.

We shot together, we shared the original Ann Street Studio in the financial district together, I photographed Erica’s wedding (something I never do – but for her, anything), unofficially Claire’s and even all the way down to Texas for SXSW. We’ve laughed and cried, swapped beauty tips and fashion tricks, and seen each other though relationships and moves, business ups and downs, and endless conversations about that future of our lives. I even bought one of Claire’s Grandmother’s paintings! (more…)

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L.A. Lady

NYDJ Summer 2015 photographed in Los Angeles, California

I was recently introduced to one of the most successful jean brands in the country, NYDJ. The relationship started when they sent me a pair of jeans to try out, which have now become my go-to photoshoot pants not only for their comfort but the fact they stretch slightly, making moving more functional and my job easier. I also like the fact they are slightly high-waisted and when she complimented me on the fit I knew there was something here.

Furthering the relationship, NYDJ sent me on a west coast adventure around Southern California with a suitcase full of their new summer looks to try on and wear out. For a week I lived in NYDJ and here is what I have to say – not only do the clothes travel well, they are easy to dress up or dress down making the unexpected travel plans manageable while still appearing completely put together on the outside and incredibly comfortable on the inside. What you don’t see is how they manage to do that. On the inside of the dresses they have a built in second layer that is similar to shape-wear, but not uncomfortable or constricting. It makes a flattering support system that keeps everything smooth and pretty while still allowing you to move, eat, sit and play with ease. It actually gave me more confidence while wearing dresses that showed off my natural figure.

I’ll be honest, this was a brutal winter in New York causing me at one point to actually take a cab four blocks home because I was too cold to carry on. This, in contrast to the endless snapchats of L.A. friends wearing tank tops and having backyard pizza parties in mid-February, was just cruel. I was happy to get out of New York which still seems to be slowly awakening into spring. I wanted to be surrounded by a color other than gray and something to do other than work 28 hours a day. Funny enough, I’m not the only one that feels this way. While in L.A. I woke up to a handful of texts, emails, tweets, snaps saying “did you read this!?”,  with a link to a New York Times article on just the sentiment I was living. It also didn’t help the case for New York that we were able to borrow a Jaguar F-Type convertible and spent the entire week with the top down, wind in our hair, and that sweet smell of honeysuckle wafting by.

Here are some of my favorite NYDJ summer looks and the great discoveries to be had along that gorgeous California coast….

  NYDJ Summer 2015 photographed in Los Angeles, California

Above and below- watching the sunset in a Jaguar F-Type convertible in the canyons in NYDJ’s Rosella Stretch Crepe Drape Dress, Phillips House earrings, and Phillips House “Love Always” bracelet before heading to dinner at Giorgio Baldi

  NYDJ Summer 2015 photographed in Los Angeles, California NYDJ Summer 2015 photographed in Los Angeles, California

We chose to stay in Santa Monica, just a few blocks from the ocean, at the Palihouse which we loved. Below, leaving in NYDJ’s Maia Jumpsuit (FAVORITE), Maiyet gold bangle, Schutz Juliana heels and Kotur clutch to meet friends at Jones Hollywood for a cocktail and then live show of our NYC friend that happened to be out in L.A. Matt Sucich.

  NYDJ Summer 2015 photographed in Los Angeles, California     NYDJ Summer 2015 photographed in Los Angeles, California (more…)

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Backyard Pizza Party!

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I met Gaby a few years ago on a trip through Chile and then later we were travel companions again through Brazil. We bonded over Pisco Soursred lips, and avocados (Gaby is VERY serious about them). I taught her the term “on brand” as a way to get in or out of any situation, and she taught me that slutty brownies are the greatest thing on Earth. Gaby is that west coast girl I fantasize I could be- healthy, fit, tan, on it, bikes everywhere, doesn’t drink eight cups of coffee a day like I do, and makes the most amazing food on the internets.

When she found out we were heading west to LA this week she called up her best friends and creative soul mates: food photographer Matt Armendariz and food & prop stylist Adam Pearson and threw together a backyard pizza party in our honor. Knowing that Ecco Domani pairs well with pizza parties, Kevin and I brought over a mirage of wines by Ecco Domani to pair with the different style pizzas from the red Merlot to the Pinot Grigio and ended the night sipping on the sweet prosecco by the outdoor fire.

Being a New Yorker, anytime I get to go to someone’s freestanding home is thrilling, and this backyard setup was one of the best I’ve ever been to. Matt and Adam have been working together for 10 years as a photography & styling duo for multiple cookbooks and industry giants such as the Food Network and in the new media world for places like Gaby’s site. Aside from curating a beautiful historic 1920’s Long Beach Home, running a successful studio that banks on editorial style and natural light, they were also married seven years ago on the first day same sex marriage became legal in California.

Cooking, eating, and hanging out with three major foodies comes with a bounty of tips and new recipes to update your traditional pizza. Pizza is one of mine and Kevin’s favorite at-home meals which typically occurs on Sunday night paired with a bottle of red wine and Game of Thrones. Of course it would be different taking this pizza party out west with old friends and new. Matt and Adam set up a pizza topping station where you could customize your own pie while we all hung out, caught up on our world travels, enjoying that perfect LA weather with our California sun kissed skin.

It’s nice to be reminded that the best things in life are shared memories with friends over good food and great wine. I hope this inspires you to have your own pizza party with friends or family and try out one of the recipes below and, of course, any pizza can only made better with a bottle of Ecco Domani.

 {PS- I brought one of my old Polaroid cameras some impossible film to take some instant party pics, the kind you can hold on to and rediscover one day in an old shoe box. You’ll see some of the moments developed below!} 

Scroll down for new recipe ideas and pizza cooking tips Adam & Gaby!

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For your pizza party, arrange jars of a variety of ingredients for guests to mix and match their favorite flavors and try to add some surprises such as roasted corn, jalapeño, green onions and soy-rizo (soy version of chorizo!).

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We always make our own dough, it’s so easy and makes the whole pizza process even more fun. Gaby’s recipe for homemade pizza dough(more…)



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