Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Vested Interest

I'm loving vests right now as an easy way to pull together an outfit. They've been on the scene for a while as a casual accoutrement, but I like them better with a dressier look. The waistcoat, as the Brits call it, can top a ruffled shirt and pencil skirt, or a flowy blouse and baggy trousers - perfect for fall! Or, spice up a little black dress with a colorful vest a la Yves Saint Laurent's stunning blue spin on the traditional "le smoking" jacket.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Le Reve Americain -- or My American Dream

So this internet thing has me really thinking. If I can create a fun blog, why can't I also create a blog that helps me attain a dream. Millions of people worldwide have made their dreams come true with the help of some internet friends. Why not me?

If you build it, they will come - that's my new mantra. This itgredients blog is not about me - but I've made one that is. It's about my dream to own a French Chateau and how I'm going to get there. I've never been one to ask for help - but I'm asking for it now. Visit my new blog, read about my journey, bookmark it and share my dream with your friends, family, coworkers, anyone...

Vive la France

If only I had a million dollars. Yesterday, I visited chocolatier extraordinaire Lexington Chocolatier in the Georgia Tech complex to buy some of their sinful chocolate covered oreos. What does this have to do with France you ask? Or a million dollars? Well, we got on the subject of our collective obsession with Marie Antoinette and my dream to one day be an English speaking tour guide at Versailles. The owner of LC regularly monitors a French Chateau-for-sale web site for his dream home and sent me the link. Mon dieux, I need a Chateau tout de suite and can get one for only 1 million U.S. dollars. Anyone want to lend me some money?

While I dream of owning property en France, I'll indulge my weakness for French pastry at Douceur de France in Marietta. This tiny, off-the-beaten-path patisserie sells Atlanta's most authentique French pastries, cakes, baguette and more. Just this morning, I bought a selection of croissants, macaron de Paris and un Napoleon for a weekend of indulgence. Yum!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Creature Comforts

As our Olympians begin their long journey to China, a special kind of athlete is also preparing for the trip. America's equestrian team is loading up their athletes of the hooved sort for a long journey to the Hong Kong Jockey Club.

As anyone who loves horses knows, these equine athletes are the true stars in this show - and at more than a million dollars a pop, they should be. I hope NBC's coverage includes some of the competition - usually it's relegated to the overnights.

Coco Would be Proud

Karl Lagerfeld and the team at Chanel continue to innovate. This time, they're crossing over into the art world with a mobile exhibit traveling globally over the next few years. The show will stop in New York's Central Park this fall.

The exhibition's web site is stunningly beautiful, with amazing photography and a mini film following the first installation in Tokyo. What an inspiration for marketers like me.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What's Next?

I've been debating what to post next, since nothing particularly inspiring is going on this week. Let's drag ourselves out of the mid-week doldrums and find something fun, unique, exciting!

Belts - belts are exciting! Belts for fall are exciting - like little jewelboxes for your waist. I have to confess, I haven't worn a belt since college, but all of a sudden I decided I had to have a belt. Not just any belt, a thick belt - but not a corset-like belt a la Sex and the City - those are so passe. Find something unique, that fits your style and wear it to your heart's content.

Food - food is always lots of fun! Today we had a snow cone truck come to work, I know, what kind of job has a snow cone truck come to work? I'm so lucky. Snow cones make great summer snacks - if you're in Atlanta track down the Orleagian Snowballs truck at Ponce and Moreland - or, even better, have them come to your next party.

OK, I'm tapped out for today - must be the sugar setting in.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Mad About Mad Men

Have you seen it yet? Apparently I'm behind the curve on this one - since it was nominated for about 90 Emmy awards - but wow, it's good. During the first episode, I couldn't get over the women's roles, or lack thereof, in the workplace. Now I'm really into the storyline of these chauvinistic, alcoholic, cigarette-addicted advertising men and the women who love them. If you have OnDemand, check out the entire first season under "TV entertainment" - I promise, just looking at Jon Hamm in his debonair suits will be worth the lost time.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Yuppy Revenge

God, I'm craving Seattle sushi and red wine. I can't stop thinking of my favorite sushi haunt in Seattle's Madison Park neighborhood (Chinoise?) that my mom and I go to almost every time I visit her in the Emerald City. Super cute neighborhood, former home to Kurt Cobain - although it has nothing grungy about it. I think I'm craving a dose of Seattle - it's the perfect time of year to visit - and have a hunch that grunge is on it's way back. Prepare to be mad for plaid this fall - and look for a few flannel shirt-inspired duds on the catwalks.

Conversely, I have also been predicting a major return of the prepster for some time. While boat shoes (or Docksiders, topsiders, whatever you call them) are back in a big way this summer, keep an eye out for even more signs of the times (recession, anyone?) to make their 80's style mark as our economy continues to falter. Watch out for even more severe bobs, Barbour jackets, turned-up collars on starched polos, gold-link bracelets and Rolexes, vintage BMWs, totes and duffle bags. I haven't begun to see the signs in stores yet, so I may be ahead of the curve on this by at least a season or two, but I'd be willing to bet the farm on it. For a hint, check out the ultimate preppy band, Vampire Weekend. They're my new fave for weekends on the boat.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Home Sweet Home

I'm drawing a lot of inspiration from the New York Times this week (well, ok, pretty much any week but I promise I won't dedicate all posts to it). Today's interactive feature on homes designed based on emotional and psychological needs was pretty darn interesting - and the house they featured must have been taken right out of my psyche (sorry Mom - had to use a therapist's term).

Some day I'll have a farm like this. Hey, one can dream, right!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Le Meat, C’est Chic

Who doesn’t love a good, juicy burger? Apparently, France is embracing the all-American deliciousness of l’hamburger and putting the country’s own gourmet spin on the classic. According to an article in today’s New York Times, even three-star chefs are adding burgers to their menus – with the dollar at an all-time low, prices are beating even Le Cirque’s famed $50 hamburger.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Itgredients Road Trip - Chattanooga

I love a good road trip - or even a plane trip, despite the fact that flying is torture. A favorite road trip is just 1 and 1/2 hours away in Chattanooga -- an eclectic little town surrounded by mountains and water, kitschy activities -- and surprisingly good food.

If you're thinking of a trip, here are some of my faves:

Dogs need weekends too! Pets are welcome at the Sheraton Read House an historic hotel in the center of Chattanooga's business district. The Read House is the Old South at its finest, and also features the best of the 20th Century with a Starbucks on the lobby level.

For dinner or happy hour, the Boathouse is the perfect option. Off the beaten path in an industrial area, it overlooks the river -- perfect for sunset views. Get your garlic fix with their amazing roasted garlic oil - the chunks of garlic are like candy.

The most important meal of the day, breakfast, couldn't get better than sitting outside on the patio at the Back Inn Cafe in the Arts District. Another breakfast option is the quirky Aretha Frankensteins with delicious, yet strange-looking blueberry pancakes. Just don't go there expecting expeditious service - Chattanooga is definitely on it's own time.

If you want to really splurge (at least on fat and calories), try Wally's for some down-home cookin'. Their peach cobbler is to die for. And, the place has been around since 1937.

It's Official

Well, I've started a blog, and I'm excited to see where this goes. I'm tip-toeing into the waters of new and social media with this, so bear with me.

First, why the name? My favorite trend-forecasting newsletter used the phrase "Itgredients" in the most recent issue and I thought it was perfect. All of the postings to this blog will be ingredients for a better life - and things that I think are "It"! I'm hoping it will prove both informative and fun -- and continue to inspire creative thought around all things artistic, fashionable, delicious and just plain intriguing.

I also hope that friends, family and colleagues will contribute posts of things that make their lives hum as well.