Tuesday, November 30, 2010

my minnetonkas

When Maria and I were in Chicago a few weeks ago, Sarah was raving about her Minnetonka moccasins. So this weekend I'm so excited to test out my new pair of Minnetonka moccasin boots! In addition to Sarah's stamp of approval (she says she has several pairs that she rotates), they got an extra thumbs-up from my godmother, Carol, who is a lifelong student of the Dakota Sioux. She explained that the fringe holds both symbolic significance and practical use: It visually resembles sweetgrass, which is used in smudging, and the layers add extra warmth while the slits allow for ventilation. Sweet, huh?

Photos by Shanti Knight

mariah carey christmas

Mariah Carey is full of big news these days: she's pregnant and she's released a new Christmas album!

I have to say, I'm thrilled. Mariah's orginal Christmas album, Merry Christmas, is electric. I love-love-love "All I Want for Christmas Is You" and my absolute favorite track on the album is "Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)." It's so feel-good!

Merry Christmas II You includes "A Charlie Brown Christmas" (chills), "Auld Lang Syne" and a new version of "All I Want For Christmas is You."

Are you excited, too?

Photo courtesy of Princess Wonder Boots

Monday, November 29, 2010

issa dress

The after-math of the announcement of a royal engagement? Once the date has been decided (April 29) and the location booked (Westminster Abbey) and bets have been placed on the designer of Kate Middleton's wedding dress, the only thing left is for every aspiring princess to purchase the dress Kate Middleton wore for her first public appearance as Prince William's fiancée. That's right. Hop on over to Net-a-Porter (dear old friend) to reserve yours.

Photo courtesy of Camera Camcorder

allan stewart konigsberg

Thanks to A Cup of Jo, I just discovered Nerd Boyfriend, and thanks to Nerd Boyfriend, I just discovered this incredible portrait of one of my favorite film artists and writers, Woody Allen.

the perfect lipgloss

When I was a kid, I got introduced to good makeup thanks to my dad. Just to clarify, it's not a Chandler Bing situation. It's just that as a portrait photographer, my dad likes to have good makeup on hand so he can touch-up his subjects with colors that he knows will work well on-camera.

When I was in high school, my dad started buying Lancôme Juicy Tubes to have around the studio. After trying out a few colors, he decided Beach Plum was his favorite. I really love it, too. What I've discovered about Beach Plum is that it really is the most perfect color for an all-around lipgloss. I have a few sparkly ones that I like to use for parties or going out, but if I were to only have one lipgloss, it would be Beach Plum.

Why? I'll tell ya. Beach Plum is a kind of muted cranberry. It's soft enough to work for fall and winter but colorful enough to work for spring and summer. With one coat, it's shiny & light for daytime. A second coat makes it radiant for night time. Plus it goes on easy and is soft & shiny.

Photos courtesy of Lancôme

order a tube =)

What's your favorite lipgloss?

a candle burns

Thanksgiving is over and Christmas is officially starting. I've been getting so excited that it's been difficult not to post about Christmas every day for the past few weeks! Last night, Augusta and I kicked off the Advent season by going to a 9 p.m. mass and then decorating the entire apartment.

A cute little tree on top of the television.

Tinsel hung at the fireplace.

An advent calendar from Augusta's mom!

Little snowflakes to hang all over.
Also featuring today: "My digital life is just as excited as I am."

Exhibit A:
my desktop

Exhibit B:
my iPhone wallpaper

Exhibit C:
my ringtone is "Hey Santa Claus" by the Moonglows

How are you getting in the spirit?

All photos by Shanti Knight

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

give thanks

I'll see you next week! Enjoy, and give thanks.

Among all of the amazing things I have to be grateful for is this perfect rainy morning in the woods. Photo by Shanti Knight.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

eat pray love

Back in the day when Eat Pray Love (Penguin Group, by Elizabeth Gilbert) was the book  to read (when I was 18), I read it. I liked it alright, but I was far from crazy about it.

Photo courtesy of Crakowski

Just half a year later, my friend Taylor and I had the opportunity to hear Liz speak, and I loved her. Absolutely fell in love. She is so straightforward, so real, so honest, so forgivable, so smart, so happy. I loved her. We even got a chance to talk with her after her lecture and take pictures with her!

Just me and Elizabeth Gilbert... no big deal ;)

Then this summer the movie came out and Erika and I went to see it to celebrate her 20th birthday! I really really liked it. I'm often of the camp that believes the book is better than the movie, and I do believe this about Eat Pray Love, too, but not at any fault to the makers of the movie. Julia Roberts always has been and always will be a great actress (she has an Oscar, people!). The production made no sacrifices in story-telling, generously following Liz's own footsteps to Italy, to India, to Indonesia. The movie wasn't over-glamorized. And there is no one better to play Felipe than Javier Bardem (hamana-hamana-hamana).

Photo courtesy of A Little Bit Silly

After re-reading the book this fall (and loving it approximately 1000% more than I did the first time), the only thing missing from the movie is Liz's beautiful descriptions of her experiences with meditation and reaching new spiritual planes. And that is just nit-picking, because as an avid movie-watcher, I know that it would have been too much to put in more than they did. I suppose the most disappointing part was the portrayal of the Ashram and those practicing. They were loud and dancing, which is great, but hardly accurate of most of my personal experiences with Indian spiritual practices nor of Elizabeth Gilbert's own experience. While it was visually exciting, it made the Indian Ashram feel more like a Native American Powwow. (Native American spirituality is beautiful, too— just not what Indian spirituality is.)

Even with that in mind, the real point is, I love Elizabeth Gilbert, I love the book Eat Pray Love, and I love the movie Eat Pray Love.

And the DVD releases today! Will you be buying it? Renting it?

And tell me— did you see this movie or read this book? What are your reflections?

Monday, November 22, 2010

our bartender was george

Friday night, my pal Rachel and I went out for some late-night decompression and girl talk. After nixing several other possible venues, we found ourselves at The Irish Lion. We'd never been even to eat, and we were impressed. Our bartender, named George, wore a tie and vest and called us "ladies" (we simply can't hear that enough). He recommended Tanqueray for our gin and tonics and when they accidentally made an extra Mai Tai, gave it to us. (Delicious, btw.) We loved the atmosphere, too. The high ceilings were molded and the decor was very fitting to a place called The Irish Lion. (Deer heads mounted on the walls, etc.) It was active and fun, but not too loud. All around a really delightful way to spend an evening. Perfect for a drink with a friend when you're hoping to actually talk to each other.

Photo courtesy of Ambassadors Formalwear

walk, let the earth talk

Maria's mom Linda is a wonderfully inspired individual. She seems to always be thinking of the world creatively. Case in point: this labyrinth she created out of fall leaves in her backyard.

Photo courtesy of Linda

As you or may not be able to see, this is a replica of the labyrinth that famously is found on the floor of Notre Dame Cathedral in Chartres, France. There is another recreation of the labyrinth in New Harmony, IN. But since the labyrinth is supposed to be used as a tool for meditation, I like the idea of its being made of leaves that can— at any moment or over time— blow away or become again part of the soil. It really drives home the concept of making peace with the earth. I've gathered that Linda and her friends walked her labyrinth this past weekend while the moon was full. Coolest thing ever!

Friday, November 19, 2010


Thanks to my friends the brilliant Fox sisters, I'm a new fan of Cracked.com, which is like Snopes.com except they reveal the truth of things you never thought to question and they do it with ironic and funny flair.

A few of my current favorites:
Recent Inventions
"Unsolved" Mysteries

We Kept This?

Excerpted from "Unsolved" Mysteries. Chuckle.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

happy anniversary to kyle & ruth!

Kyle & Ruth are some dear friends. Kyle is Tim's best friend since childhood, and for a long time, he's just felt like family. Ruth is his charming and gorgeous wife. Four years ago, my dad photographed their wedding and I got to be there!

It's a delight to call them my friends! I don't get to see them as much as I would love to because they live so far away... but I am looking forward to Christmas!

have a beautiful anniversary, you two!

Photo courtesy of Kyle & Ruth =)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

where have you been living, under a stupid rock?

In case you actually have, you must watch Harvard Sailing Team's "Boys Will Be Girls." No. I mean it. Right now. Just click the link.


Kthanks. Sure hope you didn't pee your pants laughing!

sjp: a love letter

Sarah Jessica Parker is a goddess. Obviously her arms and her hair are the stuff of legend. But most striking to me is her face structure, which I once read described as "Cubist." I love that that acknowledges the artistic angularity of her profile. She somehow manages to be ravishingly beautiful (those enchanting eyes! that wide smile!) and still also be totally adorable. She totally has her cake and eats it, too!

Photo courtesy of Entertainment Weekly

More to love:
• She's sweet and charming and modest. Her early life in Cincinnati and her upbringing in a large family with little money has resulted in a woman who seems to be acutely aware of what she considers right and what she does not. (She's the only actress on Sex and the City who was never nude on-screen.)

Photo courtesy of Reality TV Magazine

• She's so committed to Matthew Broderick. What a darling couple they are, with their three children and West Village life.

Photo courtesy of NY Daily News

• And even with all those kids, she's a hard worker. Fragrances, a production company (Pretty Matches), president at Halston Heritage... oh yeah, and a hugely successful acting career.

• Her style. She looks good in everything— when I see her in a big puffy coat the size of a tent, my first reaction is to find where I can get one like it. (Um, the Salvation Army?) But besides that, she has this way of pairing clothes that is just magic. Who else can wear bright red jeans and a bubblegum pink knit tank top and look cutting-edge?

Photo courtesy of The Celebrity Review

• SJP is genuinely talented. In every movie, she blows me away. Especially The Family Stone. And she can sing! She can actually sing! (She played Annie on Broadway.)

Photo courtesy of People.com

• She once was a ballerina and still celebrates the ballet. (I have a ballet thing... already counting down to EDT's production of The Nutcracker next month.)

• She's politically savvy. She campaigned for Obama a few years ago and still participates in political events.
Photo courtesy of The Insider

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

william & kate

This morning I walked into the kitchen and Augusta told me the big news: Prince William and Kate Middleton are engaged! I'm over the moon. Because they are so cute, and it's one of those things where it's an interesting time to be alive— watching how the royal court works with Kate Middleton's commoner status.

Look at this ever-so-English announcement from the palace:
“The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince William to Miss Catherine Middleton. The wedding will take place in the Spring or Summer of 2011, in London. Further details about the wedding day will be announced in due course. Prince William and Miss Middleton became engaged in October during a private holiday in Kenya. 

Prince William has informed The Queen and other close members of his family. Prince William has also sought the permission of Miss Middleton’s father. Following the marriage, the couple will live in north Wales, where Prince William will continue to serve with the Royal Air Force.”

Also, read more hereherehere and here. And for Auntiehere.

Photo courtesy of Bowilkingham Palace

Update: This just in— William gave Kate Princess Diana's sapphire engagement ring!

Photo courtesy of People.com

Oh yes, and this.

saturday night in chicago

This past weekend, Maria & I took a really wonderful trip to Chicago where we visited my totally awesome cousin Tim & his completely lovable girlfriend Sarah. Here's a little recap:

Saturday morning on the road, the weather started off mild & the sky pearly gray, though it wasn't long before it developed into rain that followed us all the way into the city. Driving into Chicago from the south means paying lots of tolls. Maria is so funny. When we hit construction, she said, "What? They're making us pay to drive on this road?!" 
the endless toll booths!

Wow— the skyline was deep in fog... this was our view as we approached the city!
beautiful Chicago!

Once we arrived in Chicago, we met up with a high school friend, Zach, and took the El downtown to do some shopping. It was Maria's first time on an underground train! We discussed what underground trains are called in different cities (the Subway in New York City, the Metro in Paris, the Underground in London... etc.) and wondered how fast the train was moving (no idea).
Maria's first time on an underground train! Zach was less excited. =)

After shopping, Maria, Tim, Sarah & I walked to dinner at Dee's. We enjoyed lots of great conversation with the staff, several of whom know Tim and Sarah from their weekly visits. Our bartender (also named Tim) showed us some hilariously cute photos of his high-maintenance Miniature Schnauzers who won't nap without pillows!
Our sushi was seriously awesome. My Fashion Maki had spinach, salmon, masago, yellowtail, tuna and cucumber. So good. We finished with delicious hot sake, which had a really nice anise flavor. And then Tim-the-bartender treated us with complimentary shots of bright blue & tropical-flavored Malibu... something.
delicious sushi & sake at Dee's (left to right right: Tim, Sarah, me, Maria)

After Dee's, we took a cab downtown to the Trump Chicago Hotel to drink cosmos at Rebar on the second floor. It had floor-to-ceiling windows looking over the Chicago River, which was just beautiful at night.

Tim took this picture, in which he says Maria looks like Margaret from HBO's Boardwalk Empire (played by Kelly Macdonald.) I actually see it. What do you think?

weird cantaloupe-textured columns at Rebar

happy happy

After Rebar, Tim had another location (name long-forgotten)  in mind. We began to walk there, but before we arrived, we came upon Fadó Irish Pub. Sarah commented that she had celebrated her 21st birthday there, and for kicks, we decided to step in. Upstairs, we found a totally awesome party in full-swing. Selective Recall was on-stage playing Tommy Tutone's "867-5309 Jenny" & everyone was dancing. The atmosphere was laid-back but high-energy. We ordered drinks and danced to all these fabulous classics, & Maria & I danced on stage with the lead (who looked strikingly like Richard Simmons)! We ended up sticking around until 2 a.m., when Selective Recall called it a night.
my goodness. how beautiful!

Maria with her new bestie, Richard Simmons!

We finished up the night with great music at  The Redhead, a really fun piano bar. Of course, there was lots of Billy Joel: "Piano Man," which we sang along to, but also "Half a Mile Away" and one of my personal favorites, "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant." Additionally, though, the performer played Coldplay's "Yellow," Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours" and John Mayer's "No Such Thing" (a Studio B favorite). It was a really nice mix of music to wind up the night.

awesome cousin!

silly & lovable!

cutest couple!!

Sunday morning, we were sad to say goodbye and head back to normal life... But it was a perfect day for driving, despite the scary semis on the interstate. =)

master navigator

also, just because the northern Indiana windmills are so beautiful:  
They go on for miles and are completely mesmerizing. For more wind energy love, see this video via A Cup of Jo.