Ugly Beauty: Birkenstock Revival

Society has been conditioned to hate Birkenstocks. We are Birkencists. We think they’re ugly, super hippy, totally not chic.

I’ll admit it: I was Birkencist for a really long time. I had an ex-boyfriend who lived in his and they were just soo… ugly. One summer, my free spirited cousin was rocking a thong-sandal version of the Birk that her sister bought for her in Germany. She let me try them on. I slipped them on as I looked over my shoulder making sure no one saw me (wearing, god forbid, a Birkenstock) and shunned me for interacting with the Birk-kind. The moment those clunky, leather shoes touched my toes I knew I was in trouble. They were sooo comfortable! I never noticed the tension in my feet until I wore those birks. My feet felt like they were on beautiful soft clouds and life was good.

That was a few years ago, but I never forgot that feeling. Outwardly, I was still a Birkencists, though secretly I was fighting a battle to repress my love for Birks. Last spring, I was perusing Pinterest and saw a pic of some chick rocking a pair of white Birkenstocks and I admired them. They were effortless, chic, and practical all at once. Shortly after, I read a piece in Vogue highlighting the “Pretty Ugly” (in cool metallics, nonetheless!) in which various Vogue editors described secretly wearing their Birks around the house, to run quick errands, etc. Each one hiding their love in vain. With each picture and article I saw, my Birkencism began to untangle until this winter, I denounced it once and for all!

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Boulder, being the hippie haven that it is, has a plethora of Birk-wearing shoe shops, so I marched down Pearl St. after days of researching shoe care, examining the styles, and comparing colors to pick up my shoes. I finally settled on the traditional Arizona (“Jesus sandals” to some) in shiny, black patent leather. I’m obsessed with them. In fact, as I type this piece I’m wearing them.

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Now it seems the rest of the fashion world is finally letting go of their Birkencism. Everyone from Celine to Zara and even J.Crew have created their versions. Instagram Fashion-girls are modeling them in #ootd selfies and yet, I still have a group of friends who call them ugly and other names. Guess what? I dgaf. Finally happy to be embracing my once closeted love for these bad boys.

Farmer’s Market Cordon Bleu.

Summertime in Boulder is one of my favorite things! It rains enough that the whole city turns green with lush trees and grass and wildflowers. With the warmer months comes the Boulder County Farmer’s Market. As a kid, I spent Saturday mornings with my mom at the local Farmer’s picking out flowers and honey sticks. I feel that nostalgia every time I’m there which is why I’ve become so adamant about going to ours every Saturday morning. It’s a great place to pick up brunch and enjoy it on the grass after meandering through the stalls.

Lately, I’ve been obsessed with a local farm’s heirloom tomatoes, and have picked up a few each weekend from the Farmer’s. I had a bowl full last week and was searching for a quick lunch to prep at home which is when I created this beauty:

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I call it a Rustic-Farmer’s Market Cordon Bleu.

Instead of wrapping it in cheese and meat and frying it, I went for a much simpler (and healthier) version and stacked everything on a piece of gluten-free Bavarian bread I picked up from the corner store (which is really delicious, albeit $6 a small loaf). Here’s what you need for the fanciest, easiest lunch (using leftovers!):

  • Thin sliced Bavarian bread (or rustic, day old bread you like)
  • Last night’s rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • Whole grain mustard
  • Spinach
  • Thick sliced, heirloom tomato
  • Munster or swiss cheese
  • Fresh dill
  • Salt/pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Stack all your goodies (I went: bread, mustard, chicken, spinach, tomato, salt/pepper, cheese) until it looks like this:

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…and then pop that bad boy into the oven for about 10 minutes, or until your cheese is bubbly and gooey.

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Pull it out and slide your open faced masterpiece onto a plate and top it with fresh dill! Your friends will think you’re a gourmet chef working in a trendy, farm-to-table community seating restaurant!

What Farmer’s Market finds do YOU love! Lemme know in the comments!

Bon Appetit!

Is it Summer Yet?

So I know its not quite summer but Memorial Weekend has become my official summer kick-off since moving to Boulder. This weekend I’ll be BBQ’ing, Creek Festing, working on my tan, and running the BolderBoulder on Monday (4 years  strong!).

In the meantime, here are a couple summertime things I’ve been dreaming about…

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Happy Weekend! What are you up to this holiday?

Blake Lively and the Couture Gowns

So Blake Lively is having a serious fashion moment right now. I might even go as far and call it epic. When she popped up in Cannes last week, I wondered why she was there (apart from Gossip Girl, I often forget she’s an actress…) but then I read that Ryan Reynolds will be starring in The Captive.

Anyway, back to Blake and fashion… You may or may not know this, but Blake Lively does not have a stylist. I repeat: BLAKE LIVELY DOES NOT HAVE A STYLIST. Finally! A Style Icon, who actually earns that title herself! (Ahem, Kimye…Riri.) She’s also pretty good friends with the Queen of Fashion herself and the gorgeous face of Gucci. So obviouslyyyy she came prepared to kill it in the Cannes fashion game.

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She showed up to opening night at the Grace of Monaco premiere looking glam and gorgeous in a wine colored Gucci gown. A safe look but quite frankly, she glows in anything. The gown’s subtlety was balanced by delicate touches of sparkle and a relaxed up-do. This is how a California girl does red carpet glamour. (And based on the reviews of Monaco, her look was probably the best thing at that screening).

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"Mr.Turner" Premiere - The 67th Annual Cannes Film Festival

 

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Right… so in case you were wondering: THIS is what a movie star looks like. Like, ohemgee, I don’t even think being this gorgeous is allowed in the real world. Luckily, Cannes isn’t the real world. (See how her hair is blowing in the wind? That only happens in Cannes). She wore a fantastic Chanel Couture illusion gown that was as whimsical as it was beautiful. However I was watching Fashion Police and they made a great point: She should have rocked a flat, not pumps. The ankle cropped gown was presented on the Chanel runway with sneakers, and a flat would have brought something entirely different to the red carpet, plus she’s tall enough that it would have looked chic, not frumpy.

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Here she is at The Captive premiere, and she clearly saved the best for last. She looked like Grace-fucking-Kelly herself. It’s just stunning. Utter perfection. Bonafide movie-star. Classic Cannes red carpet. Timeless. (Okay, clearly I’m obsessed with it.) But really there just isn’t much more you can say about it.

Blake Lively wins again, and I hope she keeps it up because I’m over the whole young Hollywood, boho-Cali girl look.

The End.

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If Pizzeria Locale Were a Person, I’d Marry It.

This post originally appeared on AboutBoulder.com, a new site I’m blogging for! Be sure to check them out! 

Simply put: Boulder is a foodie town. You’ll find everything from dive-y college burger joints, to trendy gourmet-fusion tapas bars, farm-to-table spots, chic big ticket hubs, and a couple hole-in-the-walls that will change your life. Now, Colorado may not be known for it’s pizza, but it should be…

If you’re familiar with the exceptional fine-dining at Frasca, then you probably know Pizzeria Locale. Nestled between Frasca and Caffe (now closed), Pizzeria Locale serves up Napoli-style pizza with fantastic salads, cocktails, and service that offer a refreshing change from many other local eateries.

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We headed down Pearl St. just before dusk and found a bustling and cheerful crowd already mingling at the bar waiting to be seated. We were greeted by a modern, bright dining area (a nice break from the darker, more rustic restaurant interiors in Boulder) with an open kitchen and Italian stone oven, plus a communal bar. Boulder was treated to it’s first warm weekend of the year so the garage door was up, connecting a patio bar to the main bar. We sipped a couple of cocktails as we waited for our table. (The Limoncello is refreshingly light!)

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Dom(WHO IS DOM) was feeling a little…err… “under the weather” so the bartender recommended a bit of Amaro (an Italian digestif to ease his stomach). It was wildly strong (think super concentrated peppermint) but it worked wonders for him!

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Once we got our table, we were feeling extra cheery and ready to eat! We started with a plate of Verdue Miste (grilled eggplant, peppers, zucchini, and onion) and a round of Arancino (fried risotto and mozz). They were so delicious we had to order a second round to wash down our first!

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When it came time to order the pizza, we thought it was a pretty safe bet to each order our own that way we could try a little of everything. We decided on the Crudo with prosciutto, parm, and fresh arugula! (See, my pizza is basically a salad! Healhy, right?)

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The Maiale was a little something for those who prefer more “traditional” toppings (similar to the Crudo, but with a tomato sauce).

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The Salsiccia e Peperoni (sausage, peppers, and onion… the closest thing you’ll find to a “meat lovers” there. And about 100x more delicious!)

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And the fantastic Mais. Now, lemme let you in on a little secret: Food Network Mag voted the Mais to be the best pizza in Colorado. They are not wrong. While not your traditional pie, it offers the perfect balance of flavors one seeks in a pizza. The salty prosciutto is balanced by the sweet corn and rests comfortably on a bed of tangy crème fraîche making each bite is a slice of heaven. Try not to drool…

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Let’s take a closer look at that bad boy….

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The pizzas come out unsliced, in the authentic Italian style, and require some fork and knife skills; but frankly, I think that adds to your overall enjoyment of them!

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Pretty soon we had each finished our pizzas and reveling in how amazing everything was. Each server and bartender at Locale are extremely attentive and helpful. It’s definitely not your grab-a-cheap-slice-and-go type of spot but the vibe is great for a fun pizza night with friends or a casual date. It quickly climbed the ladder to becoming my favorite pizza in town, and possibly even ever! (Yup, even New York!)

Are you hungry yet? ;)

Be sure to check out their hours and prices here! 

*Pizzeria Locale now offers counter service in Denver, think Chipotle meets pizza! 

Rainy, Springy, Graduation Brunch

Graduation weekend was this weekend, and while I graduated in December, a few of my friends celebrated their success with a cozy, post-ceremony brunch. The week before had been a gloriously sunny one, but like most Colorado days, the weather quickly took a turn.

It was still a little balmy out, despite the drizzle so I opted for my favorite parent-appropriate dress and a simple pair of Zara heels.

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I watched Saving Mr. Banks the night before so I was feeling a little Mary Poppins-y.

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Zara heels/Three Ena dress/vintage Neiman Marcus purse/Alix & Ani bracelets

The Met Gala: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly.

Ohh the Met Gala. I dream about it, I write about it. And I’m still waiting for my chance to be apart of it.

Until then I’ll just drool over every single picture, red carpet video and article about it. This year’s Gala was an ode to Charles James, the classic gown designer (think Grace Kelley-esque floor sweeping princess gowns). Many found inspiration in Charles James and pulled out all the stops for show stopping, jaw dropping, floor sweeping red carpet glamour.

My favorite gowns came from Zac Posen, Oscar de la Renta, and Carolina Herrera… Those men (and woman!) know how to do ‘timeless glamour’. Here are a few stand outs:

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SJP in de la Renta

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Emmy Rossum in Herrara

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Liu Wen in Posen

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Sarah Silverman also in Posen

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Dita von Tease, also in Posen.

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Arizona Muse in Russo Couture

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More de la Renta on the gorgeous Karlie Kloss.

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Ivanka Trump in Oscar de la Renta.

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More de la Renta on Amy Adams… Why didn’t she wear this to the Oscars!? This looks like a leading lady if I’ve ever seen one!

Unlike last year’s gala, however (Punk: Chaos to Couture), a lot of attendees chose to stray from the theme. Particularly the ladies in the pant suits. If you read my red carpet critics, you know how much I hate pantsuits… especially at the Met. But these fashion babes brought sophistication and elegance to their chic 2-piece ensembles.

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And then, of course, there was the safe crowd…

Kim Kardashian redeemed herself after last year’s heinous couch printed, gloved mess. Regardless, she bored me. I half expected her fashionable hubby (did they actually get married?!) would have forced her to wear something more fashion forward. Especially after last year! Looks like he’s not wearing the harem pants anymore…

(I didn’t even bother to see who she’s wearing because I fell asleep looking at her).

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On the other side of Kardashian land, there was Kendall Jenner. Okay, let’s just give this Kardash a moment here: HOLY GEEZ! She looked absolutely fierce, flawless, stunning, breath taking,  glamorous, sexy… (it’s hard to pinpoint one adjective for it) in her custom Topshop (right!??? Who says affordable fashion can’t look amazing!?), mermaid gown?? The thing is, the longer I looked at her, the more I found it a little boring for the Met. It was probably one of the safest gowns last night, but it is her first invite and  the girl’s only 18 years old (double right!???) so I’m sure she has many more Balls to up her game.

This is truly an example of not letting the dress wear you. Jenner stands out far above her gown, which as you Fashionistas know: the most important goal in fashion.

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Kendall’s new BFF (except on Insta), Selena Gomez looked so-so. If you’re going to the Met Gala, you should aim to dress the best you ever have in your life; and I’ve seen better on Selena. Don’t get me wrong, the gown/color/hair/make up were spot on but we’ve seen this look on her before. She can afford to be a little more experimental, n’est pas?

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Some more pretty, but risk-less gowns:

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Okay, Nicole Richie could have been one of the best-dressed but she basically wore the exact same thing with sleeves to last years gala.

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She might be the mother of fashion, but god–this just does nothing for me. I guess she’s never really the best dressed anyway… You think that’s part of her plan? She plants all the fashion seeds in the world and then never reaps what she sows. Thoughts?

The Beckham’s looked like they do every other moment of their lives (perfect), which doesn’t always work on a red carpet like this one. It’s important to bring something new and different to Fashion’s most mayyyjuh night. Nonetheless, I’m obsessed with her dress, it’s stunning and simple and chic. But can someone pleaseeee tell me why she always has this stunned look. Is she still shocked the Anna chose Kim K over her for a cover? #TeamVB!

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(Just in case you wanted to see how perfect they are/VB trying to show Anna she and Becks are Vogue cover material [they are]…)

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Toni Garrn looked like a modern day Grace Kelly, and Topshop has pretty much sold me on the fact that I should no longer buy gowns anywhere else.

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Maggie G’s outfit is actually not bad in my opinion… the pattern is fun and retro, but the color is a bit drab. Maybe if she punched it up with something a little less mud-toned? jake-gyllenhaal-maggie-gyllenhaal_11053485473.jpg_gallery_max

Here a couple more of my favorites:

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My Least Faves:

1. Rashida Jones looked like she showed up wearing the mom jeans of couture gowns. It was designed by Tory Burch, the uniform of all wealthy mom’s in America…soo maybe that explains it… Nothing about it was flattering on her, it was wrinkled and it just looked sloppy! Is that a hotel blanket poking out the bottom?

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2. Kristen Stewart: I very much dislike K.Stew. Don’t ask me why. Sometimes (very rarely) she can look fashionable. Not last night though. Maybe if the sheer skirt was longer? Hey, at least she was smiling?

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3. Elizabeth Olsen is usually a fashion winner, but I hate short dresses on a red carpet! Something was off with this. What do you think?

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4. Lena Dunham: She always makes at least one minor error every red carpet, and it kills me! She could own the red carpet if she tried to! Again, I don’t like short dresses. I think with a longer hi-low concept it could have been killer! (I think it’s Zac Posen?) It also kinda looked like she did her make-up herself using middle school eyeliner techniques.

img-lenadunham_215210405062.jpg_gallery_max5. God, I can’t even believe I’m saying this. But I’m just not getting Lupita N’yongo’s look. There’s just so much going on! Is she an Indian? Mother Earth? Hippie Tinkerbell? I’m lost. And for the love of God lose that headband. Headbands are for Coachella. And even there I hate them.

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6. Katie Holmes dressed as Belle from Beauty and the Beast, post sex with the beast. It looks rumpled not ruched, and she has sex hair.

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ABSOLUTE WORST DRESSED:

Kate fucking Upton. I just can’t. There are so many things wrong with this Dolce and Gabbana dress. First and foremost, it’s not flattering. The ruffles do NOT work on her body, and they are horizontal stripes!! (Dolce and Gabbana must be alluding to their possible future jail time..) It’s cut way too low for how huge her boobs are and I’m pretty sure I can see her vaj. Plus, that headpiece is just silly. I can’t even believe someone let her wear this. Or that D&G designed something this heinous. #notsorryaboutit

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VERY BEST AND BEAUTIFULLY DRESSED!!!

Now that I got all my least faves off my chest, I can end on a much more positive note! Hands down, my absolute favorite gown of the night was Karolina Kurcova in Marchesa. The gown paid hommage to the style Charles James was celebrated for. It was structured and unexpected and the details on the dress took it to another level. It was no longer just a dress, but a work of art. Kurcova’s elegant up-do and simple jewelry and make up were beyond spectacular. Stunning.

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What did you guys think!? Who were your faves? Who weren’t? I want to know so be sure to leave comments! Meanwhile, here are a couple candid shots from the Vogue website that I loved.

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