Monday, September 26

enchanted event: artists for haiti at auction

hello lovelies!  just a quick message to let you know about an amazing charity event that occurred on thursday at christie's: the artists for haiti auction.  headed up by ben stiller, the auction consisted of only 26 lots by both established & up-and-coming contemporary artists, & all of which were donated & sold, four for record prices, including one purchased by jennifer anniston & her beau.  the auction was headed by ben stiller, who was sighted last tuesday giving interviews in the christie's galleries.  the total $13.7 million raised at the auction will go directly to non-profits to rebuild schools on the island devastated last year in the earthquake.  check out the e-catalogue here & press release here.  isn't so lovely to hear about something both glamorous & incredibly charitable?  xx hillary 

Saturday, September 24

simple fall dessert: swirly baked apples

have been so so busy & unable to blog & am feeling just terrible for it.  but i'm becoming more accustomed to my crazy new schedule & life in nyc, so this will improve, je te promets.  i just think that these swirly apples are beautiful & so easy & actually relatively healthy.  have you been enjoying the gorgeous fall produce thus far?  must run, but hope you're having such a lovely weekend.  xx hillary

Saturday, September 17

fragrant & fresh: union square farmer's market

hello lovelies!  a taste of today's trip to union square farmer's market ... lost in the joy of farm-fresh produce, charmed by the bright flowers, new yorkers with most adorable dogs (miss you, nala!), apples appearing in bushels & bushels {i chose the prettiest ever blushing french breakfasts}, quarts of cider & piles of plums & petite pears. oh & local grapes, have you ever tried true concords? & with autumn beginning, still the remnants of late summer with sweet corn & heirloom tomatoes.  ohh i do adore seasonal, local fresh produce.  now for writing & organizing before meeting best girlfriends.  i hope you had the most lovely & relaxing saturday, at the farmer's market perhaps?  have a beautiful weekend.  
xx hillary  

Friday, September 16

perfect plum pudding: rustic plum & port tart

image via {bon appetit}
c'est officiel: with a temperature drop of 20 degrees yesterday, autumn has graced the east coast.  i could not be happier with the cool, crisp air this morning & thoughts of cozy fall cooking.  on wednesday i discovered this delicious & simple tart on & think it would be the perfect dessert to celebrate the beginning of my favorite season. with only seven ingredients, including the accompanying vanilla ice cream, i plan to pick up my plums at the farmer's market tomorrow & cannot wait to enjoy.  give it a try too & do let me know how it goes.  happy fall.  xx hillary

p.s. access the recipe {here}

Wednesday, September 14

je t'aime brian atwood shoes & saks fifth avenue

saks fith avenue presents brian atwood via {here}

hello my darlings!  am so happy to report that i have just returned home from the most lovely event for the brian atwood shoe collection lauch at saks.  so many amazing fashion bloggers were present {as they have been all of fashion week in nyc! amazing}.  have you heard of brian atwood?  he is possibly the most gorgeous designer with amazingly parfait shoes for both day & evening.  i was so thrilled to try on his chunky animal print heels this evening & am lusting over his pony hair boots & charming heeled booties in every color, merging classic & statement.  oohhh je t'aime brian atwood.  it was also lovely sipping cocktails & nibbling hors d'oeuvres with fellow bloggers, representatives from the line, &, of course, saks employees.  shoes + party + blogging = bliss. do please enjoy! {and buy here.}  xx hillary

b brian atwood video campaign via {here}

 p.s. items referred to above (& image) via {here}

Tuesday, September 13

weekday petit-dejeuner: whole-grain salads for lunch

image via {martha stewart}
hello darlings! now that fall is in full swing, & workday workweek has resumed with a zeal, lunch has once again become an important consideration.  buying out everyday can become quite expensive & may not be the healthiest option, but often mornings are rushed & both preparing & packing a wholesome lunch simply is not an option.  & this is where the whole-grain salad comes in.  i love the idea of a healthy whole grain salad with veggies & goat cheese or feta & nuts, all tossed with a beautiful vinaigrette.  quinoa is possibly the perfect base to employ here, as it is actually a complete protein & is très satisfying.  & the best part is, of course, that these salads can be prepared easily on a sunday afternoon & portioned out & you will be absolument ready for the week ahead.  i like martha stewart's quinoa and apple salad with curry dressing & quinoa and corn salad with pumpkin seeds & a food network fall - winter recipe for farro salad with apples, pomegranate seeds & pine nuts {farro is an ancient whole grain, nutty & delicious}.  any thoughts on these substantial salads for lunch? do give one of the recipes a try.  

hope you had the most lovely tuesday.  i was given such a treat today in getting up close&personal with a few amazing pieces of newport furniture from the 18th century.  another week is flying by, with brian atwood launch party tomorrow & kate spade on thurs.  what a delightful whirlwind . . .   

p.s. also be sure to check out the article from martha stewart september : "going with the grains" for more wonderful lunch recipes {not yet available online} 

Sunday, September 11

move over cupcakes: ladurée macarons in nyc

image via {here}
have you tried a proper french macaron yet?  these light as air, beautifully colored & flavored cookies are the new trending dessert, recently becoming a staple at weddings & other elegant events.  martha stewart living magazine even featured an article on how to make the parisian delicacies at home, each essentially two disks of italian meringue held together with cream.  often in light pastel tones in such darling flavors as rosewater, pistachio, jasmine, orange flower, sea-salted caramel, creme de cassis & the palest brown chocolate, stacked in pyramids, they are aesthetically oooh so pleasing & delicious, and although they have been widely available in the us & the uk in speciality shops, the original & most beautiful & indisputably authentic brand is ladurée {& with the most enchanting packaging}. only until the last few months these ladurée macarons were exclusively available in paris, but shops have opened in london {including a mini shop in selfridges} & a proper store in covent garden.  & most excitingly, madison avenue has been graced with a laudree {71st & madison).  apartment hunting {ultimately successful, i should add} deterred our plans to stop by, but we will undoubtedly visit very soon & i cannot wait to have a beautiful box of my own perfect sweets.    
image via {here}
image via {here} 
image via {here} 
image via {here}
image via {here}
image via {here} 
image via {here} 
image via {here} 
image via {here}
au revoir weekend, passing so quickly & dominated by upper east side real estate & more amazing alumni football, but onto a fresh new week, to be filled with lease signing & a saks launch party & kate spade fall fête & perhaps my first day as an employee at j.crew collection on madison.  how was your weekend?  i hope you are enjoying the most lovely transition from summer to autumn ...  now to get organized before monday monday & bon soir.  xx hillary  

Friday, September 9

fur, lace, leopard, redvalentio & fashion's night out

pumps via {here}, furs via {here}, lace print dress via {here}
at fashion's night out yesterday in nyc, it was clear: fall 2011 is all about leopard print, fur & lace.  and i am over the moon.  the three, particularly when the leopard print is combined with soft-as-satin calf-hair, represent luxury, glamour, romance & femininity.  at the saks party last night, i also discovered my ideal line: red valentino.  full of bows & frills, this new line gives a modern twist & gorgeous embellishments to classic pieces.  a few phrases from their blog seem to evoke my ideal personal style: 

"romanticism with a girly yet feminine twist ... bows and tailoring"

"playful mix of lace, ribbons & prints: basic meets romantic"

"fairy military: from military to fairy tales.  victorian inspirations for an unusual mix of fairy like shapes & military hues and details"

"pure and clean silhouettes mix together with romantic and funny printed bows for a swinging bold attitude."

". . . the fairy tale continues . . ."

red valentino images via {here}
the brand seems to be focused on fun pop-up stores, on the french riviera, for example, but is also always available at saks.  & although the prices are still steep, they are nothing like true valentino couture & with some serious spending discipline, are within a fashionista's reach.  

so lovelies, did you attend any fashion's night out festivities?  my nyc fno was possibly not as enjoyable as last year's london experience, which included a vast quantity of free drinks & hors d'oeuvres, the best of which were at burberry for certain, but this year i was most impressed by the sheer quantity of people who turned out for the event {the streets were swarming!}, tiffany's 60's/70's inspired disco, including live models visible through a small opening in the storefront windows, dripping in gold & also the michael kors rockefeller center party, where my roommate & i found so so many things that we liked, including an affordable fur muff, a great dj & flutes of dry champagne. mmm bliss.  

i successfully completed my very first work week, as i have fridays off, but for the rest of you, weekend is only hours away.  the sun is finally shining on the northeast & i hope that your friday is just perfect. what are you up to tonight? bon week-end. xx hillary.  


Tuesday, September 6

enchanted object: 'the vivid yellow' at auction

images via {christie's}
hello darlings!  had a most lovely day first day of work today & am so excited for the months ahead.  waking up to the {strong} pitter-patter of rain on the city & a breeze of cool air through an open window, it was if the weather purposely shifted just in time for the coming of autumn & new beginnings, and my belted trench triumphantly re-entered my wardrobe. 

& here is something quite exciting that i learned about today & could not wait to share with you ... 'the vivid yellow' diamond that will be auctioned off by christie's new york on october 18, the star of its magnificent jewel sale.  at 32.77 carats, the pear-shaped stone is highly unusual in its bright yellow hue & is expected to achieve between $6 - $8 million, surpassing the current record price per carat of $203,000, set by christie's for 'the golden drop' diamond in 1990.  i learned that colored diamonds are generally rare because the color represents an instability in the famously hard & stable stone, most are pale & light, the shade of color demonstrating relative instability.  a yellow tone is caused by an irregular quantity of nitrogen in the highly pressurized area within which a diamond is formed, the quantity of nitrogen around this example so high that it is considered a gemological 'freak.'

christie's is selling & allowing the stone to be viewed sans mount, so that a potential buyer may be able to envision it as a ring, necklace, or even tiara, although this piece may very well ultimately be purchased for financial reasons, as the value of these extraordinary gems has recently proven to be stable & growing, making them an excellent investment.

but what are your thoughts on colored diamonds?  and particularly colored engagement rings?  would you prefer a greater number of carats of an uncolored diamond, or an unusual hue in your ring of choice?  & will you be at this sale, or saving your pennies for the elizabeth taylor auction later in the seasons? hope you had the most lovely tuesday {possible}.  xx hillary  

Monday, September 5

labor day weekend catch-up

all american bbq via pinterest
hello mes chéries!  & for those of you in the us, happy labor day!  i have been horribly busy lately & deeply apologize, but am happy to report that i'm settled again & will be back to frequent blogging.  friday was working working, saturday so much fun at the opening of the football season at my alma mater with best college friends & tailgates galore, & sunday packing & more packing & visiting with family, then today driving & carrying & a glorious unpacking into an adorable apartment on the upper east side to share with one of my best girlfriends from college.  new york is just perfect, as was my first {remarkably inexpensive, may i add} new york manicure {in light brownish purple in honor of autumn}.  & tomorrow is first day of work, ahem, interning.

but what did you lovelies do to celebrate the {unofficial} final day of summer? :: très triste ::  a bbq or pool or beach party?  whatever it was, i hope that you had a wonderful day & that you wore white & you reflected upon a beautiful summer past & that you are ready for the most charming & romantic autumn.  will be back tomorrow with a real post.  xx hillary

Friday, September 2

autumn inspiration: orange interiors

images via {here} and {there}
perhaps it's the perfect crispness of the new england air today & a school bus sighting & the prospect of college football tomorrow, but i am adoring the splash of orange in these martha stewart living interiors, tempered by grey and cream.  i'm always cautious about using orange, whether in decorating or dressing, for fear of looking like halloween {eek!}, but these photos indicate that the perfect perfect balance is possible.  the most lovely september to all! new beginnings & leaves turning; autumn is my favorite by far.  xx hillary