Thursday, October 2, 2008

Cheese Thievery...

I don't really appreciate when notes get put up in my apartment because I, like this website, find it to be terribly passive aggressive.

That being said... this blog (Passive Aggressive Notes) is my new favorite thing.

Ahhh, cheese thievery, the roomies of 2C know you all too well.

Friday, September 19, 2008

New Weekliness!

I'm not sure if that's even a word, but nonetheless! I am announcing the first weekly installment here at Le Hot Tomato of Perfect Photo Friday*.
Because it's the first Friday of Fall, and we all know that makes me happy... I give you this photo, which makes me happy in the exact same fashion.

* I reserve the right to change the name of this weekly entry at any point when I'm feeling more creative.

Vote for Chuck!

Fall is my favorite season for many reasons, but mainly it's my favorite season for clothes. Colder weather means more layers. More layers mean more opportunity to play with different looks. Fall is perfect for this because you don't have to ruin your look with an enormous coat.
My inspiration this fall? One word. CHUCK!
Above is Charlotte "Chuck" Charles, the charming heroine from the show Pushing Daisies.
Below is Anna Friel, the actress who plays above mentioned character.

Basically I am of the opinion that who ever is costuming this show is a genius. Or at the very least is someone I want to be really good friends with. The clothes and show are totally kitschy and right up my alley, and the character of Chuck is so spunky and caring and adventurous.

I want to be Chuck.

Also, I would really like Lee Pace for christmas this year.

Here are some real world ideas on where to nab some of Chucks modern vintage style.

Silhouette's from the 1940's-1960's are essential. Play with texture and detailing in the construction of the garments. Chuck also often rocks a monochromatic palette, with matching shoes, hat and bag. As long as you are working with peices that are bright and detailed it won't look too dyed to match. Keep it creative.

Nanette Lepore

Also keep in mind prints, and keep them large and girly, nothing too modern.

Michael Kors

Finally, this show is nothing if not whimsical, so just remember to have fun. Wear things that are a little bit fairy tale. As long as you wear it with confidence you will pull it off. Chuck also has a bit of a tomboy streak, so always include a nod to that sensibility. It will keep the look grounded.

Tracy Reese

In the end just remember to enjoy yourself when dressing no matter what your personal style. Don't wear something unless you love it and feel good in it, and let your internal compass (not the current trend) be your guide.

Happy Dressing, and Happy Fall!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

And yet my will power lives on...

Remember this Anna Scholz dress I wrote about back in May...

Well it's down from $630 to $422. Maybe it will get down even lower someday. Le Sigh.

Also the reversible Cynthia Rowley skirt I fell in love with back in November is on clearance.

But not in my size. Le double sigh.

It's fashion week in NYC so expect more coverage!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

And the rice veil opened...

This past week I have been reading Julie and Julia by Julie Powell. I realize that I'm a little late to this party. It's one of those books that I heard about through an incredibly long grapevine and was more interested in because it is resulting in a movie in which Meryl Streep plays Julia Child more than for what it was actually about. This was of course before I realized what it was actually about.

Now being a New Yorker who works as a secretary but is really an actress who is not currently really getting anywhere with it is something I can completely identify with. Loving good french food is another. Needless to say, I am enjoying this book. I can laugh along with the author about the vagaries of New York City apartment plumbing. I know all to well the thin line between happiness and humiliation that is toed when throwing a dinner party with nothing but a faulty gas stove and a prayer.
Does it make me want to follow suit and whip up every single recipe in Mastering The Art Of French Cooking? Absolutely not. At least not in 365 days. However, it does make me realize that even for all of the adventurous eating I do, there are so many things I've never tried, either from simple lack of opportunity or stubbornly clinging childhood resistances.

What finally got through to me was the section of the book where they kept eating liver. And rhapsodizing about it. Now this is definitely one of those childhood things, and except maybe for turkey liver chopped up tiny in the Thanksgiving gravy, liver is definitely a substance that has never passed my lips. Well, last night I finally manned up. That's not to say I ate any liver, but I did call my mother to request that she make it the next time I'm home. (My mother is a liver fan, and I always like to have something cooked for me once before I attempt to make it myself.
So I suppose what I'm trying to say is that I should attempt to be an even more adventurous eater than I already am. I should seek out new and exciting flavors (and make myself try them in at least two or three preparations before giving up.)

I already like brussel sprouts, eggplant, and beets which are kind of the trifecta of veggies that everybody hates. So, what should I try next? I'm open to suggestions. although I do think there's no way any of you will ever get me to eat aspic. What I do know is that the next time I decide I need a cocktail at the end of a stressful day I'm going to try a vodka gimlet on for size. You can only read about how delightful they are for so long before giving in to temptation.

Monday, June 16, 2008

To Be Stirred...

is I think one of my favorite life experiences. Whether it's a peice of art, or a song, or just something you hear someone say on the street; that feeling of your heart lifting in your ribcage in a moment of euphoria is something that is always genuine. And anything in this day and age that is truly genuine should be cherished.

I was stirred last night during (possibly the worst ever) Tony awards broadcast. But though the broadcast itself was bad, there were a few numbers that stood out. For me, there was nothing to compare with "Move On" from Sondheim's Sunday In The Park With George. This performance along with the letter Sondheim wrote in acceptance of his lifetime achievement award, absolutely made the night for me. I'd like to share them both with you here.

Stephen Sondheim
Special Tony Award® for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre
(As read by Mandy Patinkin)

Thank you all, but this award has to be shared with Julius Epstein, Arthur Laurents, Burt Shevelove, Larry Gelbart, George Furth, Jim Goldman, John Weidman, Hugh Wheeler and James Lapine. These are the men who created the characters that sang the songs, the situations that gave rise to the songs and the criticism that improved the songs. They were my collaborators. They are called playwrights. They invent. They make whole cloth out of nothing. They make a hat where there never was a hat. And they don’t just write musicals.

Oh, and if you’re wondering why I’m not sharing this Award with Hal Prince, it’s because he already has one.

Lifetime Achievement has a deadly sound to it, a ring of finality, a faint whiff of "You’ve outlived your usefulness." And, as you get older, you start to believe that. At least some writers do, including me.

The problem is that the more venerable you get, the harder it becomes to avoid the fear of not living up to the expectations and praise that are bestowed on you -- as in the form of a Lifetime Achievement Award. Nevertheless, buoyed by your encouragement, with more Lifetime I -- we -- promise you more, if not higher, Achievement.

Thank you all again.

Edit: How could I forget the one part of the evening that actually made me tear up a little!!!!! What is wrong with me. I am referring of course, to this...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

At this very moment...

I want a margarita.
A real one.
I'm not talking pre-made mix.

I'm talking on the rocks.
With salt.
Perhaps a few muddled strawberries.

First person to make one magically appear in front of me gets a BIG kiss.
So hop to it. You know you want some smoochin'.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Perfect. Just Perfect.

He is so spot on with this. And yes,I am totally a nerd for David Cook.

I was also highly amused by the following during the American Idol Finale. I should really dedicate an entire post to the magical love affair I have been having with Robert Downey Jr. since I was 11.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Shoes. Let's get some shoes.

Jen and I bought shoes today. Red and blue for me (Bogo!), and mustard for Jen (Remix).

We also trekked to Brooklyn to check out an A+mazing PLUS SIZE boutique I discovered last night while watching an episode of What Not To Wear. Lee Lee's Valise is located on the corner of Court St. and President St. They had so many beautiful things that actually fit me!!! The staff were friendly and pleasant but not at all overbearing. The owner, Lisa, even persuaded me to try on a $700 Anna Scholz gown. Can I just say that I have not felt so tall EVER in my life, not to mention thin. Obviously I was not going for the red carpet dress, but I may have to save up for some fabulous Svoboda wide leg jeans.

Next, we made our way to Union Square for the farmers market. (Enroute we got sidetracked by a few shoe stores as you can see above.) We also stopped in at Filene's Basement to check off some items on Jen's to do list for her upcoming tour in Asia, but we didn't have too much luck.

Our bad luck continued with a frightening trip to the Union Square McDonalds, (we know, we know.) And unfortunately, things didn't get much better at the farmers market. I don't know if it was the chilly weather today that kept the vegetable sellers away, or if we simply came too late to catch anyone. By the time we got there, the market was mainly comprised of butchers, bakers, and... apple sellers. In the end we came away with some delicious cider and apple cider donuts from the same orchard/bakery. So we weren't too upset.

All in all we had a beautiful gloomy Saturday, and came away with some cute new kicks. Hope everyone is having a good weekend!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Bramasole Soup

So named by my sister Magpie because I made it on a rainy day. Bramasole (apart from being the name of the house in Frances Mayes wonderful books, Under The Tuscan Sun and Bella Tuscany) means "yearning for the sun." I thought it was a perfect sentiment for the improvised pot of loveliness I made this past Monday night. I am a huge fan of Tuscan white bean soup but hadn't personally made it before and when I went searching for a recipe I didn't find anything that particularly struck my fancy. So I decided to just make it up. Unfortunately we ate the whole pot before I thought to take a picture, which is quite sad as it was full of color and gorgeous when plated with the cornbread that went along with it. I think maybe next time I will try polenta fries instead. Hope you enjoy the recipe...

Bramasole Soup (aka happy rainy day soup!)

Olive oil
1 large yellow onion (halved and sliced)
4 cloves garlic (minced)
salt & pepper
3 medium red potatoes (1/2 inch cubed)
Sweet Italian sausage (with sage if possible)
1 can cannellini beans (drained not rinsed)
1 large can whole peeled tomatoes (completely drained and roughly chopped)
1 bag baby spinach
2 cups water
3 cups chicken stock
3 tbsp or more Italian seasoning (or fresh italian herbs, whatever is more readily available)

1. Heat olive oil in stock pot. Add onions salt and pepper. Cook onions 4-5 minutes.

2. Add garlic, continue to sauté for a few minutes and then add potatoes. It's fine if the skins stick a bit. This will come up once you've added your liquid.

3. Add sausage. Let this mixture cook for about 3-4 minutes. Keep stirring.

4. Add water, chicken stock, and Italian seasoning. Let simmer

5. When you've got about 10 minutes left, add the beans and tomatoes. Simmer 10 minutes

6. Add spinach, cook until just wilted. Simmer on low until ready to serve.

*I'm trying to decide whether the potatoes need to be a smaller dice, or eliminated completely. If anyone tries this out please let me know what you think. :) *

Please forgive my horrible recipe writing skills. I'll get better I promise!

Friday, April 25, 2008

At Laaaaaaaaast...

My loooove has come aloooong... my lonely days are over....

I picked up my new digital camera today. (My old one died. So sad, so sad.)

Here are the first pictures on my new baby. Ah, Central Park in spring.

Prepare for me to be a little camera happy for awhile. :)

Espresso, Cream, and Mustard

This is the inspiration picture Jen and I are using to redo our living room. Obviously it is an apartment in Paris, (it is Paris on the brain over here lately as I'm sure you can see.)

I'll let you dwell on this until the blogs pixies send me something exciting to talk about. Which I hope will be soon!

We're also thinking of adding in deep plum as an accent color. Just very sparingly. Any thoughts?

Friday, April 11, 2008

A Very Delicate Thing...(and a little surprise!)

When I was a teenager I was one of those kids. The kids who loved to make mix tapes. I still have a whole box hanging out somewhere in my parents house, full of treasures such as "Alterna-mix '96" and "Emily's Jazz Licks." The great thing is, I can still listen to these tapes today. I still love each and every song. Of course, with the advent of CD burners I graduated to a new format, but I have to say I do miss the tactile quality involved in good old fashioned cassette mixing.

John Cusack really does sum it all up in the movie "High Fidelity" when he says,

"Now, the making of a good compilation tape is a very subtle art. Many do's and don'ts. First of all you're using someone else's poetry to express how you feel. This is a delicate thing."

I, myself, have issues with repeating songs; in that I refuse to do it. If I make a mix inspired by someone in my life, then no songs on said mix will ever grace the line-up on any other persons mix. This can create problems, but then it's probably also a big part of why I spend so much time searching for new music. I also insist on a perfect line-up. I'm not one to just pick songs and throw them on a CD, I'm a little too obsessive for that. I carefully screen each and every transition for flow and make sure the tempos and moods of each piece slide smoothly from one to the next.

A big highlight for me the past few years has been the creation of a yearly Holiday mix for my friends and family. I love to mix new and old as well as a broad spectrum of religions. What can I say, I want to please everyone. It's always a hit, and I love searching out new and interesting songs in such a limited field. 2008 will be year number four for this new tradition and I think I'm up to the challenge.

Now, as I'm sure you all know, I've been pretty anxious for spring this year, so I've decided to treat you all to a little Spring mix. I hope you enjoy, and I hope you can find most of these tunes fairly easily. So without further ado...

"Back Comes Spring..."

1. Isn't This A Lovely Day by Diana Krall
2. Snow Is Gone by Josh Ritter
3. Trouble Sleeping by Corinne Bailey Rae
4. Other Girls by Tigercity
5. The Motion Waltz by Rufus Wainwright
6. City of Blinding Lights by U2
7. April in Paris by Billie Holiday
8. People's Parties by Joni Mitchell
9. Love Me Tender by Norah Jones
10. South America by Shout Out Louds
11. Tres Tres Chic by Mocean Workers
12.(There Is) No Greater Love by Amy Winehouse
13. Via Con Me by Paolo Conte
14. I Thought I Saw Your Face Today by She & Him
15. Lettre A P... by Paris Combo
16. Like Someone In Love by Björk
17. Inside Of Love by Nada Surf
18. Dreamsome by Shelby Lynne
19. I Found Love by Styrofoam & Sarah Shannon
20. Queen of the Surface Streets by DeVotchKa
21. Just Like A Woman by Charlotte Gainsbourg & Calexico
22. Love Will Come Through by Travis
23. With Arms Outstretched by Rilo Kiley

Happy Spring Everyone!

**I'm having some issues formatting the list so that it's more readable. Any thoughts?**

Thursday, April 10, 2008

New Toy!

I discovered a new toy today while playing on the internet. Check out Polyvore! It's a fun place to play with fashion with out the temptation to buy. I created the following looks entitled (what else?)...

Le Hot Tomato in Paris!

and Le Hot Tomato in Paris II!

Pretty, no?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Happy Acquisitions

I still have not recieved my wish regarding springtime in NYC. It is still cold and gray and in general a bit yicky. But yesterday I may have discovered a cure. In order to make it through until spring I have to find new ways to make unenjoyable weather enjoyable. And what better way to do that than to make believe I'm in my dream city of the moment... Paris, where I would still be happy even if it was rainy and overcast.

Thus far three little things have helped me accomplish this...

On Sunday afternoon after having tea at Alice's Tea Cup with two of my lovely ladies, we walked around and did a bit of shopping. I wasn't really looking for anything when suddenly I was called from across the room by a truly lovely jersey tunic, with a neckline decorated in flat stitched chiffon rosettes. I tried it on and became convinced that if it beonged to me then dreams would become reality and The Sartorialist would want to take my picture. It was $20. How could I not?

Yesterday I was reading Rita's blog over at Domino Magazine and my curisoity was piqued by one of the books she had displayed in her current post. It is called "True Pleasures; a memoir of women in Paris." Looked good to me, but to my dismay it was hard to come by for some reason. In the end I had to call Barnes and Noble in Union Square and have it put on hold for me. It was possibly the only copy of the book in the city. And now it is mine. (As well as basically free thanks to some leftover balance I had on an old giftcard!)

When I arrived at Union Square I noticed there were actually a few stalls from the farmers market that hadn't closed yet, and soon an irresistible scent began to waft towards me. Now anyone who has ever tasted anything from Red Jacket Orchards probably knows just what a treat this was, and due to the chilliness of the day yesterday the guys from the orchard were cooking up fresh apple cider just inside their stall. I promised myself a cup on my way back to the subway. It did not dissappoint. Hot and almost creamy, with soft chunks of apple still floating in the brew, it has to be one of the best treats you can buy for $1.50. Thanks to that apple cider I fulfilled my goal of enjoying the gray day. Who wants hot cider when it's sunny? Not this girl.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Yes... I'll admit it.

That's right. I am a design snob. I know this about myself, and I'm pretty much ok with it. So what if I like to be surrounded by beautiful things? But at what point is this taken too far.

Well, I first started to realize I had a serious problem when I found myself purchasing food strictly based on the packaging. Frankly, most of the time it's still really good food, but at the same time I have to ask myself, "Who does that?"

Now here are some examples of fairly similar products. Which do you think I would choose?


And here again...


You can bet I would choose option b 9 times out of 10. Now granted these things are also pretty tasty, but I'm not entirely sure that's why I was attracted to them in the first place. It honestly was because they were more pleasing to the eye. I am confusing which of my 5 senses goes with which part of my life? Possibly. Am I admittedly a bit silly and frivolous. Without a doubt.

P.S. If you can find San Pellegrino sodas anywhere I really do reccomend them. They are tasty and all natural and very light and springy. :)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

15 things...

So I've been struggling lately with finding a focus for this blog. I am passionate about so many things that I get distacted and frustrated and then end up not posting at all. So I'm going to try a little experiment. I'm just going to blog about whatever I want until I can comfortably settle into a pattern. I don't want to force myself in any one direction until I'm certain it's something I'm going to want to follow through on. So that's that.

Today I thought I would share with you a list. This was inspired by Aimee over at Put Your Flare On. She is one of my favorite bloggers in Paris, and has just achieved something pretty big. She just opened her own cafe and tea house in Paris. Now Aimee is originally from Olathe, KS, and being a Kansas girl myself I'm pretty inspired by her story. Someday I'm going to have to go to Paris and meet her. She has a list on her blog entitled "30 Things " comprised of goals and wishes and dreams for her life. As these are things I've been thinking a lot about recently I thought I would give it a try. I'm half way there...

Some of these things are big and some are small. Some I can take care of soon, and some will take considerably more time. But for now, it's just nice to admit them to the world at large.

Without further ado, I give you my 15 (only slightly random) things...

15 Things Just For Me

  1. Learn to speak fluent French

  2. Take an extended cross country road trip. I want to know my country.

  3. Visit India

  4. Get back to my first love; Performing

  5. Own my own apartment in NYC

  6. Live more spontaneously/Be more open to the world around me

  7. Take classes at a culinary school

  8. Have a vegetable garden (even if it's just tomatoes and herbs on my fire escape!)

  9. Improve my guitar playing skills

  10. Get married and have 5 babies

  11. Sing in a jazz combo

  12. Have my own sewing room

  13. Find my happy place

  14. Live to see my siblings achieve their creative goals

  15. Spend a year in Paris

What do you want to do?

Friday, March 14, 2008

I'm in the mood for...simply because....

I have been in the strangest mood lately and I cannot tell you why. I just honestly have no explanation. I've been doing fun things, and I've seen some good flicks, and I've gone to some great restaurants...

And yet I am restless.

Maybe it's because I'm so ready for spring. Especially those elusive two weeks of perfect weather it brings to the city each year. I'm ready for the day when I wake up and smell the air and just KNOW that spring has finally arrived.

Ah to be wearing skirts and sandals and no coat!

Oh for the fresh asparagus and other yummy veggies to be had at the farmers market!

Oh for the street fairs and the jacket weather and outdoor brunch!

Oh for the gallons and gallons of iced coffee!!!

To me, those two weeks in spring make New York feel very French. Not that I've ever been to France, but that's the way it makes me feel.

When I was still living on the Upper West Side, one of my favorite signs of spring was the blooming of the Cherry trees along the medians on Broadway. They're so pretty and girly and always make me smile.

Of course this reprieve will be short and then the rains shall come. And they shall stay. And stay. And then BOOM it will be summer and too hot to think let alone move. But for the few weeks of spring that we do have I will remember the beauty of why I moved here in the first place, and maybe I will start to feel more settled again.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Color My World...

New to the Sartorialist this week...

How gorgeous is that color combo?

Monday, February 4, 2008

For Those About to Croon?

As you are about to discover, my kitschiness knows no bounds, including those regarding era.

Recently after a stint at the local pub, I accidentally reawakened my love for Hair Ballads of the 1980's. Especially those contained in the masterful 2 disc made for tv collection...

Monster Ballads!

Oh yes, we're talking Foreigner, Winger, Nelson, even Saigon Kick. Don't even try to deny your secret love affairs with "To Be With You" by Mr. Big, and "High Enough" by Damn Yankees.

I mean come on people. Ted Nugent singing bad late 80's schlock will not be denied.

Feel the power. Love the power.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Le Hot Tomato: Live On Etsy!

Hey There Guys and Gals!

This is the day I know you've all been waiting for with bated breath.

The Le Hot Tomato shop is finally up and operational on
You can visit it using the handy etsy mini to the right side of the blog here.

I am proud to say the first sale was made within the first 10 minutes after the shop opened! How's that for a nice welcome into the online selling community!

So, go check it out and I hope you like it!

Also, obviously I'm new to this so if anyone has any suggestions at all please feel free to let me know.

I have had so much fun getting this up and running, but I would be such a naughty little liar if I claimed to have done it by myself. So, I'd like to thank the following amazing souls for lending a creative and supportive hand...

My deepest thanks go out to Jen, Chad, and Saylor for modeling. Joe for lighting the photo shoot and helping me retain my sanity. My family for listening when I was stressed out and complaining. Last and mostly, Jesse for everything you've done. This entire project would not look anywhere near this good if I had not had you to lean on. You pretty much rock.

So that's all from this end for now. I should be updating the shop soon with some new pieces, so anyone who wants to model just let me know and I'll let you know when we're shooting!

Enjoy the links below!

Le Hot Tomato Etsy:

Le Hot Tomato Webpage: (Currently Under Construction)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Candie is Dandy!

If you are like me you get sad about silly things. Like the fact that you'll never get to go to summer camp again. Or that watching your favorite movie repeatedly isn't going to change the ending to something happier. Or the fact that Jacques Brel is in fact NOT alive and well and living in Paris.

Or in this specific case, that you will never get to hear new music from your favorite artists of the 1960's.

Joy of joys for me, because I do not have to be sad anymore!

Let me introduce you to Miss Candie Payne, a native of Liverpool who sounds like she stepped right out of a James Bond fantasy flick. She's a little slice of Audrey Hepburn meets Nancy Sinatra and frankly I just can't get enough.

I am absolutely in love with her music and will be buying the album as soon as it is readily available in the States, but until then I am content to be obsessed with the look of her videos. I am this close to dying my hair back to a bittersweet chocolate brown just so that I can slightly resemble her. Check out her hair and make-up in the video for the Mark Ronson mix of "One More Chance."

I don't know about you, but after that all I want to do is bouffant my hair and layer on the liquid eyeliner. She may just inspire my entire spring wardrobe, and I'm sure I'll be watching for her career to land stateside at some point in the near future.

Check out her myspace here:

Or go to her website where you can preview the entire album for free:

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Traveling Minstrel I, A Thing Of Shreds....

So I realize I'm a few weeks late on the New Years Resolution train. I made my resolution at the correct juncture, but am only now sharing it with all of you. I don't normally go down this road because I am well acquainted with my personal stores of will power, and they are somewhat, how shall I say, lacking.


This year I resolve to live like a pauper. I do this in the name of finally being able to afford my own apartment. Sans roommates. Sans design quandaries. Mine. My very own place.

I don't expect this to be easy. I know there will be skipped dinners, and extended rain checks on drinks with friends. I know I will seriously have to deliberate over which movies to see in the theatre and which to wait and netflix. I know there will come a time when I will have to pass up a pair of heartachingly cute shoes (even if they are only $15 at Marshalls, because let's face it, $15 is $15 no matter what my shoe hormones are saying.)

But if these small sacrifices mean that I can have this...

or this...

or even this...

then I suppose the shoes will just have to wait.