Archive for January, 2013


Real Ballet Style

No Comments   Posted by gretchen |  Category:Fashion

The influence of ballet style on fashion is all around us: ballet flats, pastel colors, flowing skirts and wrap sweaters are everywhere. But I have a little secret to tell you: That isn’t how real dancers dress! Cold muscles are the enemy of all dancers, so the professionals pile on the layers in class to keep warm. It isn’t uncommon to see dancers at the start of class wearing multiple shirts and pants, in addition to leg warmers, scarves, and even down vests! Of course, as the class goes on, the layers come off, but it would still be rare to see a professional ballet dancer wearing just a leotard and skirt in rehearsal.

The still images above come from a live broadcast of the Royal Ballet’s daily class for its company members. The hour-plus video is on YouTube, and is a must watch for anyone interested in ballet!

Don’t you kind of love their quirky mish-mash style? I do, so I gave myself the challenge of translating ballet rehearsal style to real life.

Start with the body-hugging layers of a camisole and tights. You’ll want to balance out the quirky look we’re going for with a fabulous updo.

Camisole: Free People. Tights: Express. Updo: Blueprint/Martha Stewart

Do you prefer the worn-in look of a well loved sweatshirt? Or is a soft scoop neck sweater more your style? (I also love how this sweater gives the illusion of layers, trés ballet).

Sweatshirt: Wildfox. Sweater: Splendid.

Go for the full ballerina with a full skirt. Personally, I prefer shorts when I take class.

Skirt: American Apparel. Shorts: Sam&Lavi.

Want to add a little texture with this burlap flat? Or are the clean lines of this ankle strap flat more your style?

Burlap Flats: TOMS. Ankle Strap Flats: Gabriella Rocha.

Finally, go ahead and throw on this printed down vest. The rest of your outfit is so sleek, you can play around with proportions with the puffy vest.

Vest: Patagonia.


The Monte Cristo

2 Comments »   Posted by gretchen |  Category:Food

Have you ever wanted to sprinkle powdered sugar on your sandwich? If so, the Monte Cristo may be just what you’re looking for. It utilizes the trifecta of sweet/savory/pan-fried and the result is pretty tasty (and pretty filling). I have to say that I thought making one would be tricky or involve special-ordering ingredients, but that was before I actually looked up the recipe. Basically, if you can make a grilled cheese and french toast, you can make this sandwich.

Most of the ingredients that go into the sandwich are probably in your kitchen right now. The two “unusual” ingredients are red currant jelly and Emmentaler cheese, but I was able to find these at my regular grocery store.

Putting the whole sandwich together was as easy as making a grilled cheese. I watched this segment from a local TV show for tips on making the perfect Monte Cristo. The suggestion to brush the egg/milk on top of the bread rather than dunk it was really helpful. I don’t own any basting brushes, so I just spooned small amounts on the bread. I will say that getting the jelly to stay on the sandwich was kind of annoying- jelly does not have the same consistency as jam, so it just kept falling off. Since I now have enough ingredients to eat Monte Cristos all week long, I’ll work on my technique.


Dressy Layers

1 Comment »   Posted by gretchen |  Category:Fashion

Glasses: Ray-Ban. Necklace: Claire’s (old). Coat: Madison (sold out). Purse: Coach (old). Dress: Kirna Zibete for Target (old). Sweater: Danskin (old, similar here). Tights: Spanx. Booties: Merona (old).


Invite Your Animal Friends

No Comments   Posted by gretchen |  Category:Home Decor, Inspiration

Can you guess what all of these photos have in common?

Jenny Komenda

Kim Jeffery for Design Sponge at Home via SFGate

Furbish Studio

Mark Iantosca for Teen Vogue

Lee Jofa

Why yes, they all have little animal friends incorporated into the decor. Even something as small as the little snail figurines seen in Jenny’s photo above can add just the right amount of, dare I say, whimsy to your room. I’m not really one for serious design- life is short and all that- and a little animal element really lets a visitor know that your home is a place to relax and have fun. Don’t believe me? Which Friend was the most fun (Joey). And who owned the sculpture of a greyhound? I rest my case.



Neon & Neutral

2 Comments »   Posted by gretchen |  Category:Fashion, Inspiration, Neon

Mixing your neutrals with a splash of neon just seems like the perfect way to make the standard winter wardrobe that much more enjoyable. As someone who lived through the neon craze of the late 80s/ early 90s, I’m in no rush to throw on head to toe neon, but I can appreciate the element of fun neon brings to clothing and decor. Where would you add a little neon in your life?

1. Mossimo Windbreaker

2. Clare Vivier Clutch

3. Studio Bin Scarf

4. Kate Spade Notepad

5. Shop Ampersand Print

6. Sperry Top-Sider Shoes

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Homemade is Best

1 Comment »   Posted by gretchen |  Category:Food, Photos

Photos: IKEA

IKEA’s cookbook- Homemade is Best- has been available for a few years now, but I just came across it a few months ago while on a shopping trip at IKEA. I’m sure I’m not alone in my fascination with the unique approach to food photography featured in the book. My first impulse was to add the book to my shopping cart, but I’ve been trying to be mindful of what I bring into my home (and stay away from impulse buys), and I knew that this book would still be there the next time I  visit IKEA. Since it’s been on my mind for a while, I think I will go ahead and bring a copy home the next time I’m at the store.

I also came across this behind the scenes video that shows a bit of the process of putting together these photos.


IKEA – Homemade is Best. from Forsman & Bodenfors on Vimeo.


Cape Time

No Comments   Posted by gretchen |  Category:Fashion

Sunglasses: Ray-Ban. Cape: Kut from the Kloth (old, similar here). Turtleneck: Old Navy (old). Clutch: Missoni for Target (old).  Ring: unknown. Jeans: Paige (old). Socks: Juicy Couture (old). Shoes: Sperry Top-Sider (old).


Breakfast with Friends

1 Comment »   Posted by gretchen |  Category:My Mini Movies

Breakfast dates have become the “thing” for me and my two dear friends Kari and Elizabeth. We’ve all got stuff going on, and early morning seems to work the best with all of our schedules. I’d hang out in a dusty gravel parking lot with these girls, but sipping coffee and sharing stories is the best way to start the day!

(Video: Me. Music: “The Soft Track” by Reifestromung)


Open Tabs

No Comments   Posted by gretchen |  Category:Open Tabs

Do you keep loads of tabs open in your browser? Me too. Here’s what’s been open on my desktop this week:

Amy Sedaris textiles- say no more.

The Lilly Pulitzer Holiday Party looks like the best company party ever.

Salt to cure what ails you.

Wondering how Downton Abbey’s Anna looks so lovely?

Anna Sui + Luggage= Perfection




While My Guitar Gently…

No Comments   Posted by gretchen |  Category:Home Decor, Inspiration

I’ve been learning guitar for the past month or so. Well, learning guitar AND learning that the expression “Out of sight, out of mind” is so, so true. See, when the guitar is out of sight, practicing is not on my mind. So, I did some digging for interiors that incorporate guitars.

Rita Konig

Little Green Notebook

House and Home, Apartment Therapy, Apartment Therapy

Design Sponge

I think the key is combining form and function. The guitars in these rooms are all really easy to access, but they don’t take away from the rest of the elements.

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