Thursday, May 31, 2012

Marry You Proposal and the Cast of Many

At our barbecue on Sunday, everyone was buzzing about the big proposal video that blew up over the weekend.  Bruno Mars even tweeted how much he liked it.  Have you seen it?
What a production!  If you're curious about who all the people are in the video, you'll enjoy this article, which has lots of fun details.  The amazing dancer in the red dress, who is the first person to appear, is a choreographer and choreographed the whole parade.  She's with her husband, and Isaac Lamb, the future groom, officiated their wedding!  The next couple -- with the bouquet of flowers -- is Lamb's parents, and the marching band are actually theater friends of the couple's, wearing costumes from a production of Sweet Charity that the groom directed and Amy Frankel, the bride, starred in.  The laptops were the bride's friends and family on the east coast, who couldn't be there, and I think this is my favorite detail of the whole thing: you can't see it, but one of the laptops shows the bride's mom dancing in her wedding dress, and her dad dancing in his tuxedo!  Also hilarious: the "dancing Jews" were a nod to the bride's half-Israeli heritage.  So funny.

I would have died had this many people been present (or watched later!) when I got engaged, but this guy clearly knew his audience, which is what makes this so sweet: his fiancée is beside herself with glee as the whole thing is unfolding, from the moment the first couple walks out to the jazz-hands-accompanied-"will you marry me?" at the end.  

When we got engaged, the question-asking part was at my apartment with just us (unless you count J.D. and Turk from Scrubs in the background, which my husband had been watching before I got there to keep him calm!).  We went out for a fancy dinner afterwards, and as a huge surprise, my family, who lives out of town, was there (the maître d' was like, "ma'am, your table is over here," and I kept thinking, "but there are people at that table already" before I realized I knew them!).  After that, we went to a bar where a ton of our friends were waiting and many celebratory drinks were had.  For me, it was perfect.  

What about you?  Could you -- or did you -- love the big show?  Or would you rather keep to yourselves?  Would you enjoy being the center of all of the attention like this, or would you prefer to freak out in only your fiancé's company? 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I got a bicycle!

Hello there -- it's been a little while! The internet was down at Tall and Salty headquarters last night, and the IT department here is not as devoted as one would think.  Sorry for the delay, and hope you had a great Memorial Day weekend! 
Besides unsuccessfully trying to fix my computer, I was also busy yesterday doing something far more satisfying: getting a bike! I’ve been on the lookout for a vintage cruiser for a few weeks now, and finally found one, an old blue Schwinn. I’m far more excited about it than any thirty-year-old woman should be about a bike!
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I’m sure I look perfectly silly riding it because it’s too small (as you can see above!), but I’m okay with it. Some not-so-tactful-fellows at a local bike shop were like "pssssht . . . good luck, lady" when I told them that I didn't want a men's bike, and I may or may not have indignantly stomped out.  Dudes, let's be serious: it's not like I'm going to be entering any races on this thing. 
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On the other hand, the guy I bought if from was the nicest: he adjusted the seat for me to try it out, waited patiently while I rode up and down the sidewalk like a wobbly eight-year-old, and said to give him a call if anything at all goes wrong with it (beats the usual Craigslist customer service, eh?).
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I am of course now on the lookout for a basket (too bad my passenger is approximately seven times too heavy to fit in this one). Maybe a bell!  Or a cup holder (the possibilities are endless).  And don't worry, Mom and Dad: a helmet.
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Major confession though: I’m terrified of riding on city streets! I'm hopeful that with more practice, I’ll be less afraid of the traffic and fast-moving (i.e., crazy) cars. However, I have this completely irrational fear that when I’m riding next to a row of parked cars, someone is going to open his or her door right in front of me and send me flying! Unlike watching for moving cars and "being aware of your surroundings!" as my dad always cautions, I feel like no level of vigilance will protect you from random door-openers. So this will be a major test of getting over my fears.
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Do any of you have this phobia? (Or have you ever had this happen to you, either as the rider or the door-opener??) Any ideas for getting over it?

PS: More about bikes: a cute Pinterest board of girls on bikes, bike street style, downtown from behind, and what must surely be the most insanely cute bike ride in the history of the world (if you click on one link in this post, make it that one.  Seriously).

(Image of me on my bike by Tall and Salty; images of the Beatles, Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman, Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller, Frank Sinatra, and Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly from the Rides a Bike tumblr.)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Have a lovely (long) weekend!

Grace Kelly PopsicleHey there, ladyfriends, and happy Friday of a long weekend!  I'm starting mine out with a BYOB manicure gathering with friends tonight (and I've been promised champagne in a can!). 

Tomorrow I have a hot date at the playground with a friend and his painfully cute family, followed by a visit to the Randolph Street Market (where I will likely be wearing some variation of this).  

On Sunday, we're having a barbecue and the only thing about it that has actually been settled is that there will be plenty of this delicious-sounding cocktail.  Depending on bravery levels, perhaps this berry deliciousness for dessert.  

I hope you'll be putting your extra day of weekend to good use.  Get started by enjoying this extra-large set of links for your extra-large weekend!

A fantastically comprehensive roundup of striped outfits to get your summer outfit vibes going.

A lock for your ice cream!

Why are awesome art installations like this always in such faraway places?

A hilarious account of thirty-six hours on a juice cleanse.

I personally think this little girl is rocking her hair bow, thank you!

Books, books, books for your long weekend pleasure (new Emily Giffin squeeeee she is my guilty pleasure)!

Will you be wearing ranch pants this weekend?

A truly fascinating article about at-home births, hospital births, and why there isn't a middle ground, already.

Hilarious: the president of Lithuania went fabric shopping during her down time at the NATO summit.

New Yorker covers that never made it.

Steal like an artist (not to be confused with "steal art."  PS: do not miss this picture).

Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy in a buddy cop movie?  This could be awesome, or terrible -- I can't decide.

A wise sentiment about regrets.

Interesting article about office acoustics.

Isn't this house the perfect mix of traditional and modern?

Smart fix for ugly bathroom lights.

Awesome blog alert (serious time drain ahead: proceed with caution) (via Elements of Style). 

What an image (and there are lots more on the White House Flickr stream). 

Baby cheetahs.  You want to see them.

A handy program that will let you keep all of these links to read later.

And finally, take a moment to remember just why Monday is a holiday.

(Image of Grace Kelly via here)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A little something to tide you over...

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It's the Thursday before a three-day weekend!  Are you having as much trouble concentrating as I am?  Let's all pretend that our weekend starts now and hop on our bikes in a fantastic summer outfit, shall we? 

Fedora (from Target),
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Reiss stripe top (this is cut sort of long and loose, without being giant or sloppy-looking, and the jersey fabric feels amazing),

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a Timex watch,
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J. Crew red shorts,

4" chino short
TOMS shoes (or some Soludos espadrilles),
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and a Cole Haan cross-body bag (on sale!) that you can wear while you're riding a bike. 
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Is it Friday yet?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Flutter away

I made a discovery last week that is too good to keep to myself: when I was getting ready to go a black tie event, I decided to give glamorous false eyelashes a go.  I've tried once or twice before, but could never get them on myself!  I'd blink right at the crucial moment and end up with the lash strip stuck to the very tip of my eyelashes, flopping back and forth.  Not exactly the effect I was going for.
So I gave up and called in the professionals: I went to my local MAC store (for you Chicago ladies, I went to the one on Armitage, where they couldn't have been nicer) to buy some lashes, and for the princely sum of sixteen dollars, I was able to buy a set of lashes and a professional application.  Priceless!
The extremely nice makeup artist who put on my lashes even offered to put on my eye makeup for me, which I loved.  (You can also make an appointment for a full makeup application, with a guaranteed start time, for $50.  If you walk in, you're at the mercy of their timing, but it's complementary!) 
They felt a little weird at first, but I got used to them after an hour or so and I didn't notice them anymore, and I loved the way they looked.  I wanted to wear them for my wedding, but the lady who did my makeup said that they would drive me nuts and wouldn't let me have them!
Have you ever worn false eyelashes?  The MAC folks were all singing the praises of Latisse, the prescription potion that you put on your lashes to make them grow.  It made me want to use it, but I'm too afraid that it will irritate my weirdly sensitive eyes.  Have any of you tried it?

(Images of the gorgeous Adele and her fantastic fakes via Yahoo!, LV Loves, Prefix, and Vogue

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Vows, twenty years later.

Did you see this article celebrating the twentieth anniversary of The New York Times' Vows column?  There are plenty of jokes to be made (and most of them have been) about how the paper's wedding announcements are the "single women's sports pages," and Katie Baker's monthly reviews of the announcements are truly hilarious, but kidding aside, the retrospective offers a fascinating look at twenty years of matrimony.  Lois Smith Brady, the writer of the Vows column (who didn't have an email address when she started writing it!), noted that "[t]he way people look at marriage, and live it, has changed over the years. It’s like farming, once considered drudgery and hard work, but now seen as a soulful utopian adventure."
Sunday's article highlighted six couples from the early months of the column, which started in 1992.  Some of the couples are married, some have divorced, some have been widow(er)ed.  Their reflections on marriage are sweet, funny, and in a few cases, heartbreaking.  
One woman, whose husband died of a heart attack, said she doesn't lock her car anymore, because after his death, "I’m beyond locking. I’m liberated. What could go wrong now?”
Another couple "talk about their marriage as if it’s a citadel, discussing the importance of protecting it from outside threats."  The wife said that she thinks it's romantic when her husband fills up her car with gas :) (as the designated gas-filler-upper and primary driver in my house, I agree!).  
My favorite line, however, came from a husband reflecting on his twenty years of marriage: “If I were to boil it down to one thing, Susan stayed nice and I stayed funny...If you can stay kind and keep a sense of humor, man, you can get through anything.”

That about sums it up, doesn't it?  

(All images by Max Wanger)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Have you seen this man? (He's likely in your closet.)

Hello everybody, and happy Monday.  I hope your week is off to a good start!  I'm catching my breath after a fantastic trip to New York City (and sort of in that first-day-after-the-end-of-a-vacation-malaise -- it was so fun and now it's over!).  I'll have lots to share about NYC later this week.

In the meantime, check out these clips from the upcoming CNBC program about Mickey Drexler, the former head of GAP and present boss at J. Crew.

There's been a ton of press about Jenna Lyons and how she has turned J. Crew into the brand so many know and love (side note: I've had the pleasure of meeting Jenna in person, and I cannot adequately express how absolutely lovely she is!) but Drexler seems to have his own magic.

And some serious quirk, to boot: at J. Crew's corporate office, there's a loudspeaker installed so that he can speak to everyone whenever he wants, and that he's been known to just call in and say things like "I'm on vacation and everyone's wearing white.  Do we have enough white?" or "Jenna, where are you?  I need you right now!"

Can you imagine?

You can see more clips here, and the whole documentary, J. Crew and the Man Who Dressed America, will air on CNBC Thursday, May 24 at 10 PM Eastern/9 PM Central.  (And here's a bonus interview with the fabulous Jenna.)

Will you be watching?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Have a lovely weekend!

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Book Spine Poetry via Brainpickings

Greetings from New York City!  I hope you have a fabulous weekend planned.  While I am busy emptying my wallet, packing on the pounds, and indulging in lots of mom time, enjoy these links:
Girdles: ouch!

Here's a shocker: Aerin Lauder's digs are, again, gorgeous.

While in NYC, I will be trying not to look like a tourist, but hopefully I won't perform this NYC rite of passage.

I've always wondered if perms were going to come back in a new and improved form.

Tips for starting off your morning.

This dress is gorgeous.  (Click around this site -- it's fascinating to see how things change and stay the same!)

Mindy Kaling is getting her own tv show!


Molly Ringwald is looking amazing.

The perfect pop song (it's such a guilty pleasure, but man, is it catchy).

Who's excited for the Olympics?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

NYC Ladies

New York City ladies in the 1940s.  Enjoy!

All photos by Alfred Eisenstadt for Life, circa 1944; via Miss Moss.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

How to pack a carry-on suitcase

Everyone I know has their own packing style, but here's a tip that I've seen lots of places: instead of folding your clothes (like you probably do when you put them in a drawer), roll them up in tubes, like this:
And then tile them in your suitcase, with the heaviest things, like jeans, at the bottom, and the lightest pieces, like tanks and camisoles, on the top.  
Efficient carry-on packing technique
I do this whenever I can (it takes a bit longer than folding things the normal way), and it really works.  Check out these pictures of the same suitcase of things, packed with everything rolled, versus with everything folded flat!

(All images via The New York Times)

Do your homework...or eat bad food!

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Before I leave for a trip, I try to do a little research on my destination and get ideas for things to do, places to eat, and stores to visit.  It drives me nuts when I’m visiting somewhere, looking for a place to eat or drink, and end up wandering until I'm starving and just give up and eat at a terrible, overpriced tourist spot.  I've found that the best way to avoid that is to do a little homework before my trip and get some good ideas for places to go.  Here are a few of my favorite resources for trip planning:

Design*Sponge City Guides
This is always my first stop.  The guides are handy lists of design-y shops, restaurants, and neighborhoods, written by local bloggers or otherwise design-minded folks.  I've used these for trips to San Francisco, Austin, Palm SpringsRome, and Florence, and they always have great recommendations.  Since they're written by locals, they send you to some great non-touristy places.  One caveat: they update these sporadically, so you may want to confirm that places you’re planning to visit are still open.
I used to use the Domino magazine city guides, which had a great mix of clothing, housewares, and vintage shops and lots of restaurants and cafes, but since it went out of print, I’ve been forced to look elsewhere (you can try your hand at a Google image search for “domino magazine ___ city guide,” but I haven’t had a lot of luck with that lately!).  The next best thing: Lucky magazine’s shopping guides.  At the bottom of the page, they have all of their city guides organized by state.  (Apologies to your credit cards.)
Blogs and Google Reader
I use Google Reader to keep up with the ridiculous number of blogs that I like to read, so it’s easy to search them all at once and see if they have any suggestions.  If I know a particular blog is based out of the city that I’m visiting, I’ll skim the site to see if there are any good recommendations.  Before a trip to Palm Springs, I even emailed the delightful Mrs. Lilien and asked her for a good cocktail spot.  She didn’t disappoint and gave me some great ideas (for the record, she suggested the Parker or the Viceroy, and could not have been nicer)!
Kate Spade City Guides
Kate Spade recently released a collection of city guides for New York, London, LA, Tokyo, and Tahiti, with suggestions for places to stay, eat, drink, shop, suggested itineraries, and lots of other tips.  I haven’t had a chance to use them yet, but I’ve got the NYC one bookmarked on my phone for my upcoming trip.
Racked Essential 38 has a ton of lists for best places to shop, including a number of “Essential 38” lists for cities across the country, listing the 38 best shops in the area and even mapping them out for you (again, apologies to your wallet).  They even update the lists quarterly, so they're always up-to-date.  Additionally, they have lists that break down the best stores by category, and a handy list of Manhattan’s Best In-Store Bathrooms.
This site has a devoted following of some very, very serious foodies, but is a great place to figure out restaurant recommendations, even if you’re not all that into food.  The searchable message boards are really helpful: you can search for itineraries from others who have gone on similar trips to you and check out all of the feedback from other diners, or you can post questions yourself.  I’ve used this for everything from planning a trip to Napa to my sister-in-law’s bachelorette party in Northern Virginia. 

How do you get ready for a trip?  Do you fly by the seat of your pants and just ask local folks for help, or do you find guidebooks more helpful?  A lot of people use Twitter to gather recommendations for places that they're visiting, but I haven't given that a go yet.  What about you?

(All images via eye poetry)

Monday, May 14, 2012

How to Look Like a Non-Touristy-Tourist

Happy Monday!  I'm headed to New York City later this week, so I've got a few related posts planned over the next few days.

First up: what to wear when you're traveling so that you look polished, but that will let you be out and about all day sightseeing, shopping, museum-hopping, eating, and generally wandering (one of my favorite things to do when I'm visiting a new place is to just walk through the different neighborhoods and get a feel for the city).  

My main guidelines are comfortable flat shoes, lots of thin layers so you can adjust for indoor, outdoor, day, and evening temperatures, and a bag that's big enough to hold everything you need, but not so giant that it's a pain to lug around.  This usually translates to lots of skinny jeans, blazers and jackets, cross-body bags (no hands needed!), shirtdresses, and flat sandals.  A couple of fine examples:            

image via Habitually Chic
image via here

available at

via Brooklyn Blonde
via See Jane.
via What I Wore
via Glitter Guide
via Glitter Guide
image via Atlantic-Pacific
What's your traveling style?  Do you have any particular shoes, bags, or staples that you never leave home without?
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