Friday, June 3, 2011

In Exchange for Vacation

Rachel Zoe
According to tough-as-nails The New York Times fashion critic, Cathy Horyn, viewing resort wear collections is "practically like being on vacation." If  that's true, I plan on religiously devoting myself to regular viewing  sessions for each and every collection every year for the rest of my life. 

Yves went nautical with anchors and all (kinda cliche?), but served up an awesome dose of 50's flare. Rachel Zoe knocked it out of the bananas bunch with her assortment of glamorous revival pieces. Chanel was very "black and white," yet once again showcased ethereal frocks for princesses at heart. 

And, even though I love him as a man, I don't relate well to Michael Kors as a designer. His looks often border on "Safari Barbie." However, this year, his resort wear appeared young and hip, welcoming neons into the picture. OK, OK, it's a little Bond meets Austin Powers, but you gotta love his chutzpah. 

Rachel Zoe
Michael Kors
Yves Saint Laurent
All photos

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Unusual Bag Suspect: Reed Krakoff

Photo via NET-A-PORTER
The cliquish sea of Givenchy, Celine, Prada, and Chanel bags can be intimidating to some up-and-coming lines, but for designer Reed Krakoff that just ain't true. Want to know why? Because he's the Creative Director behind Coach and knows how to make leather into wearable art.

With his independent line of high, but actually-OK priced handbags, Krakoff has started to make editorial waves in the couture universe. I love his clean shapes, sophisticated ideas, and contrasting neutral color schemes. Splurging on one of his creations would be easy due to the fact that they're all simply timeless.

Not enough? Krakoff does shoes, clothes, and jewelry too; also in a timeless yet edgy fashion. Find out more about his ingenious empire here.

photo via Saks Fifth Avenue
photo via
photo via

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Miu Miu is Shady

Just when I though I had kicked my sunglasses addiction, Miu Miu's fall 2011 collection had to go and do this to me...It just isn't fair!!! Jump on board and join the wait list. Kind of annoying, kind of snobby, but kind of worth it.

photos via StyleCaster

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Since you the readers have been a bit neglected (and starved) for the past couple of weeks, I've decided to feed you something unique and hearty, a street style photo courtesy of moi.

For my first go at the art of fashion photography, I picked a male subject truly in sync with his surroundings. Avery claims he gets asked to be snapped all the time. And why not, as he represents the epitome of fashion-forward Bucktown, Chicago and exudes what I love most about humid spring afternoons in the outskirts of the Windy City: casual, cool, cutoff bliss.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Rosie's Look for Less

Rosie Huntington-Whitely with Jason Statham
photo via Knight Cat
Lately, fellow fashion bloggers have been crushing hard on Victoria's Secret beauty, Rosie Huntington-Whitely. I can see why; she effortlessly captures that no-frills, refined bohemian look Kate Bosworth also lives by.

However, some of us can't afford that Alexander Wang hobo she's sporting in the photo above, so let's see how we can achieve the day look for less. I plan on trying to pull off the ensemble while strolling through Bucktown, my favorite part of Chicago, in a couple of weeks.

Outfit total: $330

Monday, May 9, 2011

Summer in Mexico

Cinco de Mayo has come and gone, but Mexican embroidery and lace are here to stay.

Aussie designer/swimwear maven, Nicky Zimmermann astonishingly delivered 1970's Mexico Riviera resort wear with pin-up swimsuits, smocked dresses, and buttonless sheaths in crisp linens, soft florals, and stark whites during Rosemount Australian Fashion Week (RAFW) last week.

"I had this idea of idyllic summers and the feeling of long warm days," says Zimmermann of her latest collection.

Fresh and breathable, each piece indefinitely captured what it was supposed to; the true heyday of Acapulco's stylish white-sand beaches! Buy Zimmerman here.

photos via Harper's Bazaar Australia

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Fashion Inspiration: Game of Thrones

Playing a timid, angelic creature yearning to return home to recapture her rightful throne, actress Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) explains her character to the editors at Nylon magazine this month. "She starts off as this very submissive, exiled princess, then by the end she's kicking ass," says the London-born, 23-year-old.

photos via
In addition to erotically wooing her savage husband, the chieftain of the Dothraki, she starts to exert control over the army she has been forced to marry into. "Dany" also dresses in the shadow of a goddess, floating about in sheer Greek-turned-tribal sheaths, gladiator sandals, and earthy garments that cohesively clash with her weathered, wavy coif of pale blonde hair.

Clarke's character is truly a female to live and dress by this spring and summer?

The Designer
Alexander McQueen Spring 2011 RTW
photos via
The Dress
photo via
The Shoe

The Accessory

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sail Away!

This weekend, my husband and I are getting our sea legs (literally). Arrrgh!!!

I can't remember the last time I set sail, but I do remember how much I love the feeling of total isolation and sunshine...and the smell of saltwater and fresh air. Only problem is I have absolutely no idea what to wear. Here's a guess. Let me know if I'm close.

P.S. a one-piece paired with jeans is my new thing, as it's more appropriate than a bikini since we'll be among my husband's work colleagues. This is no spring break trip. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Buddy Bands

photo via
You didn't really think I'd let you (or spring) get away without some Friendship Bracelet vs. Buddy Band vs. Love Cuff nostalgia, now, did you? Ohhhh...accessory feuds were so much fun back in the late 80's.

photo via
It's funny because a lot of fashion editors insist the decade's hold over fashion is on its way out; I highly disagree. Case in point: this new obsession with friendship bracelets. Everything from braided neon finds to semi-precious leather and twine creations are quickly becoming the number one accessory to "stack" with.

I've boarded the train, done the "wrist" work, and have to say that you definitely do not need to break the bank to look like one of the Saved by the Bell alumni.

Forever 21 
American Eagle Outfitters 
Max & Chloe
Lucky Brand via Zappos
American Eagle Outfitters 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Jamie Chung & Katie May

Yesterday, Creme Caramel; today, Jamie Chung.

Here's the Korean beauty on the cover of KoreAm magazine in waves galore, sipping away in staples from my new favorite up-and-coming Los Angeles designer, Katie May, wearing a Shauna Metallic Bustier and Sofia Shorts. She looks like a very chic version of "Exotic" Barbie, which I adore.

Modern femininity is May's motto, and something the bright-eyed wonder woman accomplishes all too well with her impeccably tailored washed silk blouses and dresses. I don't know about you, but I want it all! Right now, pieces are available exclusively via her Web site.

Happy Easter/Passover/Spring/or whatever makes you tick today!

Kimmy Jean Dress 
Keira Blouse
Krissy Dress

All photos via

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Weekend Needs

Zeng Toi's Coconut Creme Caramel from Food & Wine 
We all have needs; I look forward to fulfilling mine (don't get dirty, guys) during the weekend because gosh darn the week is just so busy.

As I've mentioned to you before, I have various writing jobs, two dogs, and a husband, so therefore Monday thru Friday is pretty much a race to get things done. Therefore, I'd like to start a new tradition on I'm Starving, where I'm going to pick out some food and clothing items I'll look forward to trying and wearing Friday-Sunday. Basically, it will consist of a list of guilty pleasures on a budget (sometimes not) that will make my weekends both productive and satisfying.

Friday Night
A delicious childhood favorite turned amazing, the look of these new Milano cookies reminds me of living in Florence, spending hours with roommates talking, sipping wine, and dunking shortbread cookies in Nutella. "Florence 15," so what?

photo via Pepperidge Farm

Saturday Morning/Afternoon
This month, InStyle says you should look cute (not embarrassed) for your trip to the juice bar post-workout.  I'm in need of some new workout gear and am probably the only one who prefers Nike to Lulu, so I'll be on the hunt. 

Saturday Evening
A good friend is turning 30 and celebrating with a house party. I'll bring two bottles of wine since the stuff is probably gonna flow like Sparkletts. 

For a French, Cotes Du Rhone style wine with an unbelievable price tag, try Rabbit Ridge (left), which can be found at Trader Joe's. Labeled an Allure de Robles, the blend hints at rich berries and black pepper. 

If you want a bubbly, La Marca is hands down my new favorite Prosecco; it's crisp, not too sweet, and leaves a honey aftertaste on the tongue. 

(photos via and

Sunday Evening
Trying out a new dessert recipe this Passover was a nightmare, but I intend to perfect it for my parents' enjoyment. Every Sunday we see them for dinner, so I intend on serving them the best Creme Caramel of their lives. 

Zeng Toi's Coconut Creme Caramel (pictured at top of post)
Published in Food & Wine


  1. 1 cup granulated sugar
  2. 1/4 cup water
  3. 10 large egg yolks
  4. 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  5. 2 cups heavy cream
  6. One 13-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
  7. 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  8. Pinch of salt
  9. 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut, toasted


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a saucepan, cook the granulated sugar with the water over moderate heat, brushing down the sides of the pan with a wet brush, until a rich amber caramel forms, about 15 minutes. Quickly pour the caramel into a 9-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish to coat the bottom.
  2. In a bowl, beat the egg yolks and brown sugar until very thick, 2 minutes. Beat in the cream, coconut milk, vanilla and salt and pour into the baking dish. Set the dish in a roasting pan. Pour hot water in the pan to come halfway up the dish's side. Bake for 1 hour, until the custard is just set but still jiggly in the center. Refrigerate in the dish overnight.
  3. Run a knife around the edge of the custard. Set the dish in a pan of hot water for 10 seconds. Invert a flat platter over the dish then turn the custard and caramel onto the platter. Top with the toasted coconut and serve.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Spring/Summer Fashion Inspiration: Katherine Heigl (at age 15)

photo via
As a long week ended last Friday, my girlfriends and I reenacted a favorite activity from our childhood, the sleepover. Dressed in pajamas and up to our elbows in cookie dough, us late twenty-somethings transgressed for a night and picked a flick that would really get us in the mood. My Father the Hero was the unanimous choice, "the" chick flick of '94.

photo via
Oohing and awing over Katherine Heigl's angelic teenage face and slender bod, we began to remember just how incredible her wardrobe was. Funny thing is most of her outfits are back in style. Floral skirts and shorts paired with cotton t's and tanks are in hot pursuit, so with that said, I think it's time for another outfit post. P.S. that Ben guy is hot, hot, hot...even if he does have an earring. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Meat Group!

(One of the Olsen sisters in the epic Sloppy Joe scene during It Takes Two
No, I'm not about to provide you with a recipe for a microwave burrito (Encino Man) or reminisce about how cute the Olsen sisters were. What I am about to do is supply you with instructions for the fiercest, easiest, most delicious, cunning, laudable dinnertime dish ever: the Sloppy Joe.

Last weekend, I got my hands on a pretty tasty "slider" version at The Six. A little bit more gourmet than any childhood version, these two-biters were made with turkey instead of beef and had fried pickles to add a little crunch and saltiness. Nonetheless, they served as inspiration to create my own version for your noshing pleasure. Trust me, they're delish. The secret: lots of ketchup and moist turkey (no extra lean &*^^%#@)!

The following recipe is adapted from one I followed as a kid. Let's get down and dirty and next time we'll "Wheeze the Juice."

Valerie's Healthier Sloppy Joe's
4 Potato Hamburger Buns
3 Scallions
1 lb. Ground Turkey
1/4 cup Ketchup
1 tsp. Garlic Powder

Finely chop green onions. Heat a frying pan over medium-low heat and add ground turkey and onions, chopping up the meat with a wooden spoon. Fry until brown and then add ketchup and garlic powder. Stir and simmer for only a few more minutes. Heat your buns and Voila! you're done.

If you're up for it serve with my oven-baked fries.