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Aren’t all of our lives so enriched by the introduction to friends of our friends?!  Today is another case in point of this fact with this seasonal and trendy fashion forecast from our wonderful friend Jessica’s friend Kathryn White.  I had a sneak peak of Kathryn’s stylish post and have already been incorporating her tips into my winter look.  Thank you, Kathryn!

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I always look forward to returning home for the holidays to spend quality time with the fam. Now that I’m living in New York, heading back to sunny California at the brink of winter makes my travels all the merrier. Christmas came and went fairly quickly, and now I’m enjoying my last bit of fun in the sun before I head back to the cold. Like many of you, I’ve been spending the majority of 2013 hitting up the sales and re-vamping my wardrobe for spring. Hopefully it comes soon! In the mean time, we all have to endure those awkward few weeks of the year where winter slowly transitions into spring. As our puffy feather down jackets and wool coats begin to suffocate our bodies, tank tops and sundresses begin to devour every sweater and circle scarf hanging in department store windows. Despite the allure of all those flimsy frocks, we all know it’s far too cool outside for pool parties and rooftop barbeques. This realization sparks a deep frustration with the contrast between our current wardrobes and the merchandise being sold in stores. Turtleneck sweaters and knee-high boots seem overkill, but we’re not quite ready to bust out the booty shorts either.

These were the thoughts running through my mind as I shopped the sale rack at Urban Outfitters. Ultimately, I decided to mix and match a few warm weather pieces with a few cool weather pieces to satisfy the demands of the season and the runway. I came up with three simple ways to incorporate spring and summer pieces into your current wardrobe without having to freeze in the name of fashion. Hopefully these tips and tricks will inspire you to create ensembles that will ensure a smooth and trendy transition into the start of spring!

1. Invest in Lace-Ups  

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Lace up booties will be your best friend by the end of next month (if they aren’t already). They’re trendy, versatile, and practical. They’re also much warmer than the strappy sandals sitting in the department stores. Feel free to wear a pair with maxi skirts, dresses, or leggings. The only other cold weather item you’ll need is a light jacket. Denim is perfect for this time of year because it’s lightweight when worn on its own, and seals in heat when layered over a cardigan.

2. Love Your Layers 

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A lot of ladies avoid the layered look as spring approaches because they assume the added bulk will make them feel as though they’re stuck in the month of November. However, thin and lightweight layers will have the opposite effect. Here, I layered a cardigan over a loose fitting tank top, and topped it with a cargo jacket. Similar to denim, cargo jackets or military button ups are heavier than sweaters, but more breathable than coats. They both make excellent transition pieces. For bottoms, simply switch out your dark denim for a lighter wash to incorporate a spring color palette.

3. Cover Up Cleverly

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You don’t have to wait for 80-degree weather to rock your favorite mini skirt. Tights and leggings will keep your legs warm without distracting from the ensemble. As spring draws nearer and nearer, replace black tights with gray or pastel colors. Pattern on pattern is a great trend for spring, and it’s easy to mix and match with printed skirts and tank tops. Top it all off with a basic leather jacket for brisk evening strolls.

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Kathryn White is a senior at LIM College finishing her degree in marketing with a concentration in fashion publishing.  She is currently interning for Real Beauty.  Read more from Kathryn here and here.

Remember our close friend, former Homie and uber talented jewelry designer Bethany Cocco?!  Well, she’s been busy working on a resign of her website and adding some new pieces to her collection.  We love the new look and had to give you a little peek.  Check it out, then head over to view the rest of Bethany’s jewelry which is being offered at a 20% discount price through the New Year.

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This is just small sampling of her work.  Visit Bethany Cocco Jewelry to see more and to take advantage of the 20% holiday sale.  You can also visit Bethany’s Etsy Shop here.

She’s guided us before, and never astray.  We’re so excited to have yet another wine guide installment from our dear friend, wine connoisseur and very recent birthday-girl, Catherine from Grapes of Cath.  [Previous editions include a Guide to Bubbles and Rosés]  In this edition, Catherine’s provided a marvelous selection of 12 Wines to Keep You Cozy This Winter, so get real comfy and enjoy!

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Never are voices so beautiful as on a winter’s evening, when dusk almost hides the body, and
they seem to issue from nothingness with a note of intimacy seldom heard by day.

-Virginia Woolf

(image via here)

There is something so beautiful about the quiet of winter. Nature acts all on its own, with no
direction from any one of us. In the northeast it grows cold and dark a little too early in the day.
Our natural environment sends a message to follow suit – slow down, quiet your soul, nourish
yourself, take care.

And what is more nourishing than an inviting glass of wine on a chilly night? Preferably with a
delicious little snack, (I’m a sucker for salted nuts, doesn’t take much). Or even some comfort
food.

There are lots and lots (and lots) of red wines on the U.S. market. Hopefully you’ve found
yourself a good shop with savvy clerks. If not, ask your local store to bring in some of your true
blue favorites or untried curiosities. We can change our overall selection with a little effort.

Here are 12 suggestions that will help keep your palate and soul nice and toasty this season.
Some are lesser known, others certainly not. All are responsibly produced. Approach them
equally and see what sings to you.

1) Cahors 2010 Clos La Coutale
Cahors is one of the first wines that comes to mind when I think of wintertime. Almost every
bottle of Cahors I have tasted possesses a depth that fills the chilly crevices of the day. It is a black
wine, deep and inky in color and tannin. 100% mesmerizing Malbec. The Stevie Nicks of
Southwest France.
Approx. $14

2) Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripasso 2010 Tommasi
Typical styles of wine from this specific area in northern Italy’s region of Veneto are practically made for meditative winter evenings. Tommasi is a 4th generation family producer that makes traditional regional wines using Valpolicella varieties like Corvina Veronese, Rondinella, and Corvinone. The long-used ripasso process calls for made wine to be passed over the warmed skins of Amarone.  Tradition reigns!  Textbook yumminess – silk and cocoa and other luscious romantic sorts of things.
Approx. $22

3) Crianza Vina Cubillo 2005 R. Lopez de Heredia
Really real Rioja. Featuring Tempranillo and blended with a bit of Garnacha and other local
varieties, it is pure and deep and lovely in a red cherry, clean earth sort of way. Produced
sustainably and bottled unfiltered. The stuff that Rumi wrote of.
Approx. $26

4) Mayacamas Range Zinfandel 2009 Storybook Mountain
I could recommend the wines of Storybook Mountain over and over again. In my opinion,
their Zinfandel sets the bar. Zinfandel grapes are grown at an eastern aspect in Napa Valley’s
Mayacama Mountains. Excitedly stocked with all of the hedonistic Zinfandel attributes that Zin
lovers fiend, yet not sluggishly full-bodied. Compact yet agile. Certified Organic.
$36 direct from winery

5) Dolcetto d’Alba DOC Campot 2010 Castello di Verduno
Castello di Verduno, the castle at the top of the highest hill in the village of Verduno, Piedmont,
produces many beautiful wines. Of all their admirable and mention-worthy and wines, I am
going to point out their Dolcetto because, despite the grandness of their Barolo, it is the coziest.
Harvested from the campot, or highest vineyard on an eastward facing hill in the commune of
Barbaresco, this affable grape makes a wine full of heartbreakingly ripe purple fruit, balanced by
a grounding minerality. All in all, the wine comes together in a want-to-drink-it-every-day sort
of way.
Approx. $18

6) Petite Sirah 2010 Proulx
Harvested from old vines in the western part of Paso Robles, Proulx is made by Kevin Riley at his
family wine cellar. Voluptuous yet supple, concentrated like sun-soaked French plums.
Approx $14

7) Chinon Vieilles Vignes 2010 Domaine de Colombier
This selection is 100% Cabernet Franc grown in the Loire Valley’s limestones soil. Its sophisticatedly subtle blackberry, rosemary and thyme flavors are a perfect pairing for a hot cup of chile (and a football
game?!). Earthy and chalky and somehow always just right.
Approx. $18

8) Dao 2011 Quinta Cabriz
There are amazing values to be found in Portugese wines. Lots of lush and savory blackberry
in this old world quaffer made on an old property in the heart of Dao using local varieties like
Touriga Nacional and Alfrocheiro.
Approx. $8

9) Langhe Rosso DOC 2010 Produttori del Barbaresco
Produttori del Barbaresco is an inspiring example of what happens when people come together (in this case land owners and winemakers) to make something great. Produttori is a cooperative that was started in 1958 and produced its first 3 vintages in a church basement. The joint effort has consistently turned out quality wines that pay all of the respect that is due to their terroir. Produttori’s wines are made from 100% Nebbiolo in all of its brilliant strawberry layered glory. Price-wise, the value of their Langhe Rosso, Barbaresco, and cru vineyard wines is unmatchable. Worth trying many, many times (and vintages) over. Their Langhe Rosso is a fitting introduction.
Approx. $23

10) Pinotage 2010 Graham Beck
The marriage (or, technically, crossing) between Cinsault and Pinot Noir back in the mid 1920s
resulted in this idiosyncratic grape that wine drinkers usually love or hate. Personally, I love
it. Ripe, round red dirt and fresh tar are lured into a proper wine with a skilled winemaking and
little bit of oak aging.
Approx. $16

11) Zweigelt Novemberlese 2011 Weingut Steininger
Zweigelt, another crossing (between Blaufrankisch and St. Laurent), is oh-so-Austrian. Austere
with a crisply white and sunny winter day appeal. This wine, from the Kamptal region, is
the perfect thing when you seek something a little bit lighter in body, when you want some
cranberry and smoke, when you don’t want to think too hard. When you feel like that, you drink
something like this.
Approx $13

12) Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG 2008 Antonelli San Marco
Sagrantino is one of the most tannic grapes in the world. The wine it yields is big and wild and
hairy. In a nice way. Antonelli tames the feral beast into elegant (and age-worthy) wines to
open up and drink over the course of say, a long chilly work week. Perfect with chewy gamey
meat.
Approx. $32

*Vintages noted are the most current.

For the past couple of weeks my various newsfeeds have been full of treats spreading the Halloween spirit.  My friend Rhode Montijo is an amazingly talented children’s book author, illustrator and artist with a deep love for Halloween, and I’ve been closely following all of his postings.  He is also truly one of the nicest people I have met.

Two years ago Rhode published The Halloween Kid, and has since put out two zines under the same name.

Rhode has also been decorating his parents front yard in California for Halloween each year since he was in the fifth grade; I’ve never seen it personally but can only imagine it to be the most delightfully festive sight you could see.  This year Rhode is also part of an annual Halloween group art show, Bewitching II at Stranger Factory in Albuquerque, NM.

In addition to his Halloween-specific work, Rhode is the creator of Skeletown, “where every day is the Day of the Dead and all of the inhabitants are skeletal!”

You can keep up with Rhode’s work here, and find @HALLOWEENKID and #rhodemontijo on Instagram. It is not to be missed.

Other Rhode Montijo projects include the books Super Grammar, Cloud Boy, Lucky Luis and more.

I was recently at an event with other Airbnb hosts from the New York City community and had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Loni.  In addition to hosting travelers in her home in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, Dr. Loni has begun holding a monthly fish fry in her back yard.  She came up with the idea after a number of her guests expressed an interest in having more authentic, in-home experiences while visiting New York City.  Though the fish fry events are mainly set up for travelers, they are open to anyone looking to make real, community-building connections.

I immediately loved the spirit behind Dr. Loni’s concept and, though I was out of town and unable to attend myself, I asked Dr. Loni if she would give us a recap of the inaugural Fish Fry.  It seems that karma had a good amount to do with the success of the evening, which we so enjoyed reading about!  Thanks, Dr. Loni, for sharing it with us!

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Adventures of Karma!!!

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Well Karma was out and about last weekend and boy did she have a blast at the first FISH FRY FRIDAY at Dr. Loni’s Place.  Dr. Loni told folks that the party was actually all because of her and that just tickled her pink!

Although the fish and chips received some really good reviews, demonstrated by empty plates, the best part was the amazing folks that showed up.  Karma pulled in childhood friends, family, folks she met on the bus, coders, artists, other Airbnb hosts, inventors, scientists and entrepreneurs – all who were happy to sit in the garden and bounce the positive vibe back and forth.

The next event is Friday, October 5th – rain or shine – and Karma will be there with bells on.

Late last week Dummy Magazine premiered this fabulous music video by our good friend Geoff Feinberg for Monster Rally’s Forager/Jungle Nights.  We are especially excited about this collaboration as it showcases incredibly sharp and intriguing footage that Geoff captured of the New York arm wrestling world (who even knew there was one?!) set to the sounds of two songs off our little brother’s latest LP Beyond the Sea.

Monster Rally – Forager/Jungle Nights from weathered features on Vimeo.

Geoff tells Dummy Mag, This video came about almost coincidentally – I have been making a documentary (which I’m editing now) on a guy who happens to be a part of the whole arm wrestling scene over here in NYC, which has a small but loyal following. This guy hosts a weekly arm wrestling practice in the basement of his place in Queens, which he has been been doing for the past 15 years, so its a bit of an institution. There’s an open door policy, anybody from old timers to newbies show up and there are a lot of characters that end up coming through – great faces! While the doc I had been making is not really about arm wrestling, it plays a part. So, I had been filming a bunch of these practices and getting a load of footage, way more than I needed, but I couldn’t stop myself. It seemed pretty ripe for a music video (I really like documentary music videos and have had it in the back of my mind to do one for a while now).”

The latter part of the music video features the female champion of the Empire State Golden Arm Tournament, Joyce Boone.  Geoff goes on to say he, “liked the idea of doing a slightly more gritty music video, using heavier tracks [off Beyond the Sea]. I thought it would make a nice contrast – luckily Ted [Monster Rally] was totally open to this…I wanted everything to start off being super masculine and then subvert this towards at the end of the video where we see the women step up and have these intense arm wrestle battles.

We love it!  Read the complete interview with Geoff here.

We met Amber and Graham a couple of days after we arrived in Gili Trawangan.  They were the perfect people for us to meet and at just the right time, since they have been traveling the exact route that we are headed on.   They gave us tips about visas, scams, places to stay and to eat, etc.  We also laughed hysterically and had a blast spending time with them. 

Where are you from?

Amber:  Victoria, Canada
Graham:  Newton Hill, Scotland

How long you have been traveling?

For 14 months now. We left Scotland on June 8, 2011 and have been traveling through Southeast Asia ever since.

Favourite place?

Sri Lanka.  The people are some of the most friendly we met during our travels.  Also, the food was amazing and cheap.

Biggest lessons learned?

Amber:  I have learned to let go. I have also realized what home really has to offer.  All the answers are inside, not outside.

Favorite book you’ve read on your travels?

“Shantaram.”  It’s amazing!  It is about an Australian convict who escapes to India.  We literally split the book in half so that we could both read it.

Amber:  “The Art of Happiness” by the Dali Lama was another one of my favorites.

Craziest place you stayed?

We couch surfed most of our way, which saved heaps of money.  Staying at a Polish guy’s apartment in the ghetto of the Philippines was pretty scary.

What’s the first thing you will do when you get home?

Amber:  Eat scallop potatoes and ham.  My favorite!

Graham:  Wear jeans and play with my dog, Nelson.

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We had a great time chilling on the beach with you guys in Gili T.  See you soon!

We were kindly introduced to Katie and Lindsey of Stately Things by another beloved homie, Erin of WELL in L.A.  The bi-coastal duo, which hosted Farrell and me for their Wisdom & a Cocktail series last week, focuses on “bringing old school grace to modern life.”  Who doesn’t love that?!

Today, we have the chance to get to know the ladies a little better with an interview in the traditon of Vanity Fair‘s Proust Questionarre, peppered with some of my favorite images from the ever lovely Stately Things Instagram feed.

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1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
K:  The beach. Late afternoon. With the dog and the boy. A Mexican beer and a burrito from Rico’s (the best taco shop in San Diego, no room for negotiation). And barefoot. Definitely barefoot.

L: Being Happy. …but the kind of happy where your heart feels four times too big cause there’s so much good you’re gonna pop.

2. What is your greatest fear?
K: Getting stuck in a career rut and not having the energy or motivation to change it up.

L: Not fully living. I’ve got this reckless notion of living intensely, fully, passionately, and the idea of not actually living so makes me (quite literally) feel sick…in an unattractive way.

3. Which living person do you most admire?
L: I choose to change this question to “Which historical figure do you most admire?” And I very, very (very) easily choose Amelia Earhart. Like a thousand times over.

4.  What is your favorite journey?
K: The drive up the 101, especially the patch between Big Sur and Carmel & stopping for a glass of champagne at Nepenthe in Big Sur overlooking the sea.

L: To the fridge. Kidding. All journeys tend to be favorites (in the same way the last book I read’s my favorite), however: a journey into the mountains, to a place somewhere new, toward something inexplicable, and (of course) along the journey that yoga oh-so-generously provides.

5. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
K: Height

L: The virtue of not knowing how to spell. Just figure it out.

6. On what occasion do you lie?
K: To myself when I buy the 11th pair of nude ballet flats on the misguided belief that they are totally different than the others lining my closet.

L: To myself when regarding the practicality of eating all the hummus now v. later.

7. What do you dislike most about your appearance?
L: Thank god (or whomever) I got past this one awhile ago. So I’m changing the question again to say I absolutely LOVE that I can barely keep my eyes open when I laugh. The crow’s feet coming in are turning out to be very well earned.

8. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
L: Rad. Also, “Here’s the thing about…” and then I fill in the blank with whatever I happen to need to explain in a really serious (but not even a little bit) manner.

9. When and where were you happiest?
K: Change were to are – on the couch, with a good meal, a glass of cab, and a good movie.

L: I am the best person in the entire world when I’m traveling. Not even kidding. The best. I’m also happier than a thousand bushels of clams when I’m set free to do whatever I want creatively.

10. Which talent would you most like to have?
K: I’d love to master SLR photography, and I’d love to be more flexible (the yoga kind).

L: I’d potentially do a lot of not-so-legally-minded things to have musical talent. For example, I may or may not have once stolen a popsicle from a child and I would do it again if that meant I could sing.

11. What is your current state of mind?
K: Stuck in the future – counting down the days to a big move (to Washington DC), starting a new job, and the day when the boy and I finally end up in the same city.

L: Free and awesome with a side of floating. (There are a few reasons for this, but three include: a dear friend’s wedding, a world full of possibility, and a crazy fun few weeks ahead.)

12. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
K: I’d bestow upon myself the virtue of patience. This seems unlikely to be successful.

13. If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?
K: Geography (we’re very spread out)

L: Telling shorter stories and better jokes. And maybe that we were all LESS good at dancing — it’s hard to get a solo in when everyone thinks they’re Michael, you know?

14. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
K: Shoring up my willpower and not getting that late night slice of pizza that one time.

L: That I’ve mastered winking.

15. If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
L: Tina Fey. Duh. Next question.

16. What is your most treasured possession?
K: My passport

L: I’m real smitten with all the original artwork I’ve pilfered from my shockingly talented friends (and unfortunate acquaintances).

17. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
K: Sitting in traffic

L: Nothing’s that bad, but damn stirring the natural sunflower seed butter jar sucks.

18. Where would you like to live?
L: Melbourne. Or in a REALLY luxurious tree house that puts Swiss Family Robinson to shame with its sustainability, garden, general acoustics for dance parties, and overall ability to teleport (at my will) to other locations around the world.

19. What is it that you most dislike?
L: Apathetic people. I mean, c’mon, CARE. Ambivalence doesn’t look good on anyone.

K: Flakiness. And being hungry. That’s the worst.

20. What do you most value in your friends?
K: Humor & the ability to pick right up where we left off even if it’s been months.

L: Being positive, good, passionate people who laugh at themselves a lot (and who make fun of me).

21. Who are your heroes?
K: Meryl Streep, Alice Waters, Atticus Finch (not real life, but come on), Audrey Hepburn

22.. How would you like to die?
K: Old, well-loved and well taken care of.

L: In a blaze of glory. ….not really. What about near Ryan Gosling? No? Okay, maybe after a crazy full, amazingly storied, unbelievably legendary few years.

23. What is your motto?
L: Yes. And Please. Oh, and “Of course I’ll have seconds.”

K: What L said.

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In case you missed it, hop over to Stately Things for Sister Disco’s Wisdom & a Cocktail.

And keep up with the Stately ladies at Stately Things. Twitter handle @HelloStately

Janna Leyde and I connected through Gabrielle Bernstein’s Spirit Junkie world, a much linked-to favorite of Farrell’s and mine.  Janna is a New York City writer and yoga instructor who has written an incredibly personal memoir of life following her father’s traumatic brain injury.  We are moved by Janna’s bravery and willingness to share her story, and honored to have a post from her today on how she came to write He Never Liked Cake.  Janna has recently launched a Pubslush crowd-funding campaign to publish her memoir.  Learn about how it all works, and read more from Janna, here.

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BOOK

I was fourteen when I read the first of many books I’ve read on brain injury. It happened on one particular evening when my father was supposed to take my friends and me waterskiing when he got home from work. Instead, I found myself sitting in a hospital waiting room, reading a book because one of the nurses had given it to me, reading it because there was nothing else to do, reading it because I couldn’t find my mother and no one could tell me what was going on.

As the days, weeks, months and years following my dad’s car accident unfolded, life as I knew it started to unhinge. Well-intentioned as it was, the pamphlet-like book—When a Parent Has a Brain Injury: Sons and Daughters Speak Out—was not much help. But it was the only guide I had for this kind of thing.

By eleventh grade, the book had gathered dust in a bottom desk drawer; by college, it was lost. In 2006 it resurfaced in a package labeled ‘brain injury paperwork’ that my mother had sent to my apartment in New York City. That book was still the only resource for children (both young and adult) of people with brain injuries, and I’d since grown out of wanting to be a vet, a psychologist, a meteorologist, a National Geographic photographer and into a writer. It was time to write this book—from my perspective.

He Never Liked Cake is a memoir, the story of my life with my father’s traumatic brain injury—the raw truth, a wonderfully honest story about what my family and I have endured in the wake of his accident. It is the study of my father’s challenges and an ode to my mother’s unconditional love. It is the story of finding my path to acceptance and love.

I wrote it for any child that has any inkling of what living with a brain injury is like, for those children to know they are not alone. I wrote it for the families who fight for the new normal, and for survivors who fail to see how life is different.

I wrote it for everyone, because He Never Liked Cake is simply a story about how to embrace life when it doesn’t work out the way we had it planned.

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Help publish He Never Liked Cake through the Pubslush campaign, and keep up with Janna on Twitter @jannacabana

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