Thursday, July 24, 2014

Stylish Warby Parker launches new Beacon Line of eyeglasses and sunglasses


Warber Parker has asked me to help announce the launch of their latest collection, the Beacon Collection which was inspired by "impromptu, can’t duplicate- them all-nighters, when having no plans brings endless possibilities. To set the scene, we called on photographer Petra Collins, whose snaps of unsupervised thrills and sweetly private moments reveal a lot of smarts and humor. Petra joined us one June evening on a detour
through downtown Manhattan’s Doyers Street, an elbowshaped alleyway dotted with preserved neighborhood remnants and modern businesses. The collection name is a hat-tip to the morning star, which you can catch just after sunset or just before sunrise, depending on the time of year. We designed our Beacon Collection frames to make a similarly fine companion to late night dates, rooftop sunrises, and everything in between. There’s something just as unexpected about each new frame: they’re repeat contenders, no matter the hour."

For those of you unfamiliar with this fun, philanthropic and stylish brand their story is short, simple and very sweet. And you absolutely should get to know about who they are and why they came to be.

It all started with a very basic notion. "Glasses are too expensive. We were students when one of us lost his glasses on a backpacking trip. The cost of replacing them was so high that he spent the first semester of grad school without them, squinting and complaining. (We don’t recommend this.) The rest of us had similar experiences, and we were amazed at how hard it was to find a pair of great frames that didn’t leave our wallets bare. Where were the options?"

It turns out there was a simple explanation. The eyewear industry is dominated by a single company that has been able to keep prices artificially high while reaping huge profits from consumers who have no other options.

"We started Warby Parker to create an alternative...
... We believe that buying glasses should be easy and fun. It should leave you happy and good-looking, with money in your pocket.

We also believe that everyone has the right to see.
Almost one billion people worldwide lack access to glasses, which means that 15% of the world’s population cannot effectively learn or work. To help address this problem, Warby Parker partners with non-profits like VisionSpring to ensure that for every pair of glasses sold, a pair is distributed to someone in need.

There’s nothing complicated about it. Good eyewear, good outcome."


 Below, the in the Beacon Sunglasses you'll be brighter than the sun!





Nearsighted or farsighted with the Beacon eyeglass frames you'll be a sight for sore eyes!




Starting today, July 22, the Beacon Collection is available at www.WarbyParker.com/Beacon, in stores and
showrooms. For a greater selection of eyeglasses click here, and for a greater selection of sunglasses click here. You should also check out their wonderful blog.  




Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Haxby :: A new line of luxe fashion for the modern man




Hot New Menswear Brand: Haxby

The term “luxury” doesn’t simply mean a lot of money was spent on a product – luxury means top quality in a lasting, impressive product that comes with an additional sense of pride. Haxby is one of the few clothing brands that can back their claims of luxury with real info on their products and production methods, making their releases all the more impressive. There’s no question that this casual menswear is luxurious in the best sense of the word. Here’s a closer look at this new brand Haxby, which is quickly on the rise in the luxury men’s fashion realm.





The Birth of a Brand

Haxby was founded by Timothy White and Michael Dow. These style fanatics traveled for two years to numerous countries to find the perfect materials and artisans to create their products. Their L.A. based design team provided them with pointers in their Savile Row-inspired designs, which are understated while still leaving quite an impression. Dow and White capitalized on the highest quality denim and optical engineering found in Japan, as well as the most luxurious leather for belts and shoes from Italy. It is evident that their travels did not go to waste.

The Products

Haxby’s premiere collection is comprised of casual menswear that bridges the gap between contemporary and classic style. The innovative blend of current looks and custom methods of craftsmanship make for some of the most impressive accessories and clothing of the season. Here are some of the highlights of this limited edition collection.



Footwear: 

Haxby intends to redefine contemporary casual footwear with their leather sneakers, handmade and buffed in Italy. Available as high, mid, or low top sneakers, each with rich Spanish cordovan leather, these shoes transcend the concept of “casual shoe” and make for a great-looking accessory to any outfit, whether for work or for play.



Denim:

Materials for their jeans have been sourced from Japan and Italy, home to the world’s greatest denim mills. With their in-house design team overseeing the assembly of each pair of jeans, the quality of any pair is guaranteed. If that wasn’t enough, the rivets, zippers, and buttons are plated in 24-karat gold.



Eyewear: 

Their sunglasses also feature 24-karat yellow or white gold, but their manufacturing pedigree is even more impressive. The Masunaga Optical factory in Japan employs the top optical engineers in the world, and with sunglasses that take 200 manual steps for creation, it’s not hard to see why having the best is crucial to crafting luxury eyewear.




Belts: 

The hand-cast precious metals and precision-cut and polished sapphire crystal used in these belts must be handled with care in production. That’s why the designers rely on craftsmen in Switzerland and Italy, who work with only the finest leathers and materials, to craft these amazing and unique belts. Best of all, the wide range of available colors makes accessorizing easier than ever.


The Haxby team promises a full range of outerwear, knitwear, bags and watches are also on their way, and if their current products are any indication, they will continue to revolutionize casual wear with unique luxury that can be worn every day. After all, it seems that these innovators understand that clothing doesn’t have to be loud to make a statement.

For more information please visit their website.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Summer Style :: La Chic Boheme (and how to create it)


I sometimes feel I was born in the wrong era. I was too young to really remember or know much about the 1970s - I was not 10 until the end of the decade. I was oblivious to the economic and political struggles... I was unaware that gays and blacks were fighting for their own freedom and rights. I lived in New York City surrounded by all people. I didn't know that anyone was "different." I was vaguely aware about Nixon and Watergate. My image and therefore my memory of the 70s was more about music and fashion and freedom. We had chic hippies with long hair and free flowing clothes, large sunglasses, beads, leather... The styles reflected the desires of the upcoming generation who seemed to shun the stifness and rigidity of eras past. There was talk of love and peace and people seemed to embrace a free-spirited gypsy-like lifestyle. At least this was my impression as a young city girl. 

My dress style tends to be more classic in nature - timeless by design. I do tend prefer styles that reflect grace and elegance - Classic but hardly conservative. I add my own flair and personality because that's what style is - It's a way of dressing that is truly one's own. But there's free-spirited vibe of the 70s style and lifestyle that resonates with me. I'm most definitely a free-spirit and my attitude toward many things has become much more relaxed over the past few years as I've learn to focus on what really matters, what is truly important. And it's not the small stuff.

Last week, on a warm and humid day I had a meeting on Long Island. I wanted to be comfortable and casual. I found an old maxi skirt with a fun print, paired it with a little tank top and flip flops. I added a daisy choker and a dozen or so collection of bead bracelets that danced up and down on my arm. I wore my long hair down - something I rarely do. My mood became as relaxed as my wardrobe - carefree but not careless. Call it hippie chic, call it Boho... call it what you will... I call it happy! I say we should all embrace our inner Hippie!


  


 

   

    

 


Want to create your own modern take on La Chic Boheme? Some suggestions below.
Feelin' Groovy


Feelin' Groovy





Sizzlin' Seventies Summer Nights


Sizzling Summer Seventies Nights




Preppy Hippie Chic


Preppy Hippie Chic





Boho chic, there's a style for everyone!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Slow + Simple :: Homemade Strawberry Jam - It's so easy to make!





The other day I shared with you my desire to make homemade bread not from a bread machine. I love homemade bread but the idea of it terrified me. It seemed so daunting! In my quest to try something new and to try my hand at those things that scare me I made the bread, with my daughter, and we couldn't believe how easy and delicious it was. A couple of weeks ago my children and I went strawberry picking. It was the the height of strawberry season in Connecticut and with the 10 pounds of fruit we brought home not only did we need strawberry recipes, but we needed recipes that would use lots of berries at once! And so it seemed that the time to try my hand at making homemade strawberry jam had come. I researched the recipes which looked easy and simple enough. I chose to use The Pioneer Woman's recipe. She had 2 very in depth, detailed and picture-heavy posts. I felt fairly safe that I could not go wrong. Well, we did! We forgot the lemon juice and I don't think we let the mixture boil quite long enough as our jam was still a tad bit liquidy - but it was fantastic nonetheless. They say that practice makes perfect and blueberry season is now upon us... Can you guess what we will be doing next week?!



What you will need:

Strawberries, 5-6 cups
Powdered Fruit Pectin (this is sold in the canning aisle of supermarkets), 6 TBS
Sugar, 7 cups
Lemon juice, 1/4 cup - We forgot the lemon juice and many recipes don't even require this
Small mason jars with lids, 8
Large canning pot
Large pot to make the jam

The Pioneer Woman suggests to get a rack to fit inside pot but we didn't have one and we were find. She also suggested to get a jar lifter. We didn't have that as well and used long tongs to pull the jars from the hot water.



Making jam is child's play! Here my 15 year old helps me can the hot jam.

 

I think this is what scared me the most... the boiling process. I thought if this was not done properly the result would be automatic botulism. I was wrong. If the jars don't seal shut it simply means they need to be refrigerated. I felt a lot better knowing I was not going to accidentally poison anyone... though, I've been considering Botox recently ;)

It is important that the jars are hot so that they do not crack when pouring the hot jam mixture into them, hence the reason for needing two large pans. Don't have 2? Don't spend a fortune. We made a quick run out to Home Goods and got a large and gorgeous pan for practically nothing at all. 


DIRECTIONS:

1. In a large pot that is large enough to hold 8-10 jam jars, bring water to a rolling boil, then turn down to simmer. Heat jars and lids until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.

2. Smash strawberries in a large bowl or on rimmed cookie sheets, then combine strawberries and lemon juice in a 6- or 8-quart saucepan. Gradually stir in pectin. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil that can not be stirred down, over high heat, stirring constantly.

3. Next add the entire measure of sugar, stirring to dissolve. Return mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil hard 1 minute, at minimum, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim foam if necessary.

4. Carefully spoon or ladle hot jam into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch head-space. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight.

5. Process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.
6. When cooled and refrigerated, several hours at least, spread on to some homemade bread, or do as my kids did and make your favorite sandwich!