Design by Dessert: Fashion Week, Fall 2012 Collections


1. NYC Skyline Cake
2. Bananas Foster
3. Orange Honey Caramel Corn
4. Opera Cake
5. Marchesa
6. Philosophy di Alberta Ferreti
7. Rodarte
8. J. Mendel
9. Theyskens’ Theory
10. Marchesa
11. Carolina Herrera
12. J. Mendel
13. Zac Posen


1. Cotton Candy Cake
2. Lemon Souffle
3. Creme Mousse
4. Baked Alaska

5. Oscar de la Renta
6. Oscar de la Renta
7. Prabal Gurung
8. Christian Siriano
9. Marchesa
10. Christian Siriano
11. Naeem Khan
12. Carolina Herrera


1. Gold cake
2. Macaroons with Sparklers
3. Champagne Cupcake
4. Rock Candy Cake
5. Donut Holes with Sugar Crystals
6. J. Mendel
7. Oscar de la Renta
8. Carolina Herrera
9. Naeem Khan
10. Reem Acra
11. Monique Lhuillier
12. Rebecca Taylor
13. Monique Lhuillier


Leave a comment

Filed under Dessert, fashion

Everything Valentines (2012)


1. Red Wool Chapeau
2. Heart on Your Sleeve Sweater, ASOS
3. Ace of Hearts Charm, CWonder
4. Silk Polka Dot Pants, Robert Rodriguez
5. Cha Cha Chocolate Clutch, Kate Spade
6. Dress, Foley + Corinna
7. Heart Shaped Umbrella, Amazon
8. Lip Barettes, Rachel Roy
9. Satin Pump, Kate Spade
10. Heart Cuff Ring, Far Fetch
11. Jeweled Headband, ShopBando


1. Heart Cut Out Ring, Top Shop
2. Rosette Dress, Foley + Corinna
3. Melissa-Vivienne Westwood Pump, Far Fetch
4. LOVE Barrett, ShopBando
5. Embellished Dress, Robert Rodriguez
6. Heart Shaped Balloons!
7. Dress, Jason Wu for Target
8. Satin Clutch, DSW
9. Hot Pink Tights, Nordtrom
10. Two-Toned Pumps, Valentino Red
11. Printed Dress, Marni
12. Spot Flower Dress, Top Shop


1. Raspberry White Chocolate Scones
2. Egg in A Heart Basket
3. Strawberry Cocoa
4. Heart Shaped Pop Tarts
5. Conversation Heart Cookies
6. Heart Shaped Grilled Cheese
7. Lobster Pot Pie
8. Conversation Heart Cake Pops
9. Cut Out Brownies
10. Nutella Lava Cake
11. Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries
12. Pot De Creme
13. Dark Chocolate Chiffon Cake w/Rosewater Frosting 


1. Happy Valentine’s Day, Rifle Paper Co.
2. I Like You and Naps, Etsy
3. You Float My Boat, Kate’s Paperie
4. You’re the Mac to My Cheese, Kate’s Paperie
5. You’re A Fox, Rifle Paper Co.
6. I Love You More Than Cheese, Etsy
7. Homemade Kissing Cards, Instructables
8. Piece of My Heart, Papyrus
9. Wood You Be Mine, Etsy


1. Heart Shaped Dunkin’ Donuts
2. Snoopy Whitman’s Chocolates
3. Harper’s Bazaar Premier Redesign
4. Champagne
5. Heart Shaped Cookie Cutters
6. Red and Pink Tulips  

Leave a comment

Filed under Chocolate, Dessert, fashion, Holidays, Valentine's

TENS in My Twenties: January 2012

I admittedly screwed the pooch when it came to keeping up with this in Q4 2011. I apologize. Since I only have 9 mos left in my twenties, I promise to be on this like Seal on a divorce attorney (too soon?).

Here is what I have enjoyed and am grateful for in January 2012.

1. The Houston Texans Make the Playoffs
This was a big deal for my family. We grew up on the Oilers, they peaced out. When Houston got a new football team, the Effenson season tickets were lined up quickly (thanks, Papa Bear). This year, the Texans made the playoffs for the first time in 10 years. After watching airfares the entire week, by Friday tickets were low enough, miles were forfeited, and I had a ticket booked by 12 noon. I had just enough time to run home, throw some close in a bag, and get to JFK for a 9pm flight. And that’s how it’s done.

Texans vs. Bengals

2. Atlanta
The very next weekend took me to Atlanta to kick it with Phaedra Parks. Not really. I went to visit my best friend from childhood, her husband, and their 1-year old, Jack, who I had only met once before, and otherwise when he was in his mommy’s tummy. He gave me a hug when the Texans lost to Baltimore in the second playoff round. Also, I had Chick Filet and it was smashing.

Adorable Jack. Don't even act like you're not jealous of his outfit. It's Marc Jacobs. Just kidding.

3. Napa
My third travel weekend in a row was to San Fran for another besties’ 30th birthday.

4. My Little Pony
If you didn’t notice on Facebook, I made myself a custom My Little Pony and am fine with that.

5. A Hippo Bar
This bar from Lauren Santo Domingo’s apartment is cool on so many levels. One: invisioning drunk hippos. Two: The opportunity to say, have some brandy straight from the hippos butt. Best bar EVER, and you know I love my home bars.

6. Donuts at Hearth
These were delicious, as was the entire meal. Definitely recommend Hearth as a spot to try in NYC.

Apple cider donuts. I shared, but didn't want to. (My life in six words of less).

7.  Bargain Buys on Kelly Market
Money saving: Yes! Cute: Absolutely!

I'm in to this highlighter yellow thing. As the classic highlighter color, I feel that it will garner obnoxious attention toward me.

8. Kitchen Sink Cookies
Inspired by Momofuku Milk Bar’s Compost Cookie (name change, guys), I made my own kitchen sink cookie for a treat for a super bowl party this Sunday, a thoughtful gift, and leftovers went to the office. Here’s the lowdown: Mix 1 3/4 cup flour with a touch of cinnamon, tsp baking soda and powder, and sprinkles if you so chose (I did. I truly believe that when in doubt, go sprinkles). Separately mix a cup of sugar, 1/2 cup light brown sugar, tsp corn starch, tsp vanilla, and 1 1/2 sticks softened butter. The separately, mix the junk: favorite candies, chips, pretzels, granola, peanuts, chocolate chips, toffee, butterscotch…however you want to fly that kite. MIX TOGETHER and experience beautiful gooey integration. Throw that blend in the fridge for 30 minutes+ (a must so they cook right) and watch an episode of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Bake for about 10 minutes at 400 degrees. Chow.

9. Loving the Kid Inside
Vanity Fair’s lovely nod to childhood on Charles Dickens’ 200th birthday. Read it here. You’ll be happy you did.

10. Orangatans on an iPad
As they should be.

Do you think he's reading Chocolate vs. Sex? Click the pic to read the story, pretty good.

Leave a comment

Filed under Cookies, Donuts, Friendship, Gratitude, TENS in my twenties

Later, 2011.

This is what the end of 2011 looked like for me.

Trip to MoMA.
#39 on my 101 list. It’s embarrassing that I haven’t been, and if you haven’t, or aren’t sure if you should include it in NY travel plans. DO! I went on the free Fridays (sponsored free entry to the museum…usually $25…from 4pm-8pm on Fridays). Go early (I was there by 3:40ish), wait in the line (because it’s totally worth it), and then use your $25 to buy a drink or dessert at the Bar Room at the Modern. My fave was the extensive de Kooning exhibit, which closes on Jan. 9th, and it was FABU!


Sculpture garden.

de Kooning later works.Took myself on a dinner date (I like going to museums alone) and didn't mind treating myself to glass #2.

Scene at the Bar Room.

Lobster Pappardelle. Don't mind if I do. Not too creamy, was the right portion size, and didn't skimp on the lobster.

Chocolate pistachio dome for dessert. Was not my favorite thing in the world, but really pretty and inventive. I wasn't dying for ice cream, but fair warning, nearly all desserts on the menu have it.

The dome: layers of cake, pistachio ice cream, dipped in chocolate with a few hazelnuts for CRUNCH!

My New Cookbook:
I follow the Homesick Texan blog, but obviously not enough because I didn’t know there was a cookbook! A surprise holiday present that I can’t wait to use (jalapeno/strawberry jam and chipotle corn crabcakes are happening stat). My dear friend who gave it to me (love you, S) wrote the perfect inscription: “I’ll bring the Shiner.”
New Year’s Eve

I was nervous about new year’s in the city, where getting a cab was allegedly harder than getting a boyfriend who didn’t want to go to the MSG Phish show. But things worked out absolutely stress free, including washing my hair for the first time (I had a little too much anxiety that ALL of the red would just wash out immediately). Hair worked out (God Bless Tessa copper shampoo, velcro rollers, and bobby pins), and holy WINNING (I’m not using this term ever again outside the context of 2011), we had ZERO trouble getting taxis all night! Girlfriends and I had a late dinner at Collichio and Sons, which we leisurely extended until about 1:15am. And oh, Tom, you did not disappoint. 

Zeppole (Italian donut. Yeah, I asked the waiter) with apple butter. I switched out the vanilla ice cream for marshmallow ice cream, which was a sign to come of good decision making.

Apple butter! Apple butter! Apple butter! Ahhhhh.

When spanx start to hurt.

Cookie plate. Never hurt anyone.

Chocolate tart. This was my favorite, and was served with lemon sorbet, which I at first thought worked as well as Demi and Ashton, but ended up being totally Angelina and Brad. Note: I'm a little embarrassed I just wrote that. Color me lame.

Staff banging on pots and pans for the NY countdown.


Bloody Mary's at Essex the next day. KEY. Cheers to a spicy 2012.

Leave a comment

Filed under 101 Things List, Chocolate, Cookies, Dessert, Donuts

Red-headed Blonde

Dye my hair brown is #88 on my 101 Things List. I have no idea what I was thinking when I filed this under “arts and education” on the list, but changing my hair color ended up being both: an art, and educational. Rather than brown, I went for an auburny-red inspired by Drew Barrymore’s recent dye. Having been a blonde from birth (perhaps with some enhancements over the years…), I wanted to go with another vibrant color, and felt like a brown would be too muted for my personality since I couldn’t highlight right away in order to avoid damage.

Inspirational shot. I had a serious collection of shades I wanted to capture, and Drew was 98% of the photos. Pics are a MUST when changing color.

So back to the art and education. Let me tell you, this was a process. AND SOOOOO fun. I really wanted to do the color change while I was in L.A. for the Christmas holiday, because I wanted my mom around for support and to tell me the truth. But apart from my mom, I also had, CARLOS. Carlos is a color genius at Sally Hershberger, and gave me an entirely new respect for hair color. He was a blast to talk to right away, and totally got what I was trying to achieve. But better yet, he made me feel comfortable and confident that he could get it done. It was certainly a journey.

BEFORE shot.

Cappucino to get the day going.

View of the Hills at Sally Hershberger's fab space on La Cienega. (Above Kelly Wearstler's studio! Fun!)

Because I’d been a lifelong blonde and my hair was so light, it didn’t take the color right away, which was expected. I was a lovely little carrot top after the first base color.

Carlos and Liz, masters at work.

Orange. Minor solute to pantone's color of the year, Tangerine Tango.

Carlos and his very cool, very sweet, very knowledgeable assistant, Liz, knew what they were in for and were prepped for the next round- a second base color of red.

Waiting for the color to set. Good thing this step is not usually seen...not too hot...But if you look closely you can see my mom in the background reading a magazine.

The next steps we all quickly nicknamed “surgery,” because getting the shade of red right was an absolute procedure. There were multiple glosses, stuff put on the base, shampoos, stares, all while sitting next to Tori Spelling getting her hair and eyebrows bleached. Carlos and Liz would conference on what to do next, looking over the patient. Then they would confer with my mom- “her hair isn’t taking the color.” It was like a montage from Grey’s Anatomy (the Denny era). But, after an entire day (12:30-6:30pm) in the operating chair, a return trip the next morning for another gloss, as well as a third gloss two days later (on a side note- the additional glosses were complimentary as a continuation of the original service, which I think speaks versus of this salon and their service), I was a red head.

Pic in the changing room. Raquel Welch walked in on my changing and told me to remember to lock the door. Thanks, Raquel.

I LOVE luuuuv looouuuuuvvvv my color. Really couldn’t be happier with it, and am so glad I made the change. It feels sophisticated, but still fun, and I think suits me.

In my last semester of college when I had hour requirements to kill and thought I’d be studious in something beyond my history classes, I registered for a philosophy class called “Perception vs. Reality.” The first class was all about color. “Is this red? Is this blue? What makes it blue? Is the blue you see the same blue he sees? What if there is no blue? What IS blue?” I dropped the class that afternoon, content with accepting blue was blue. I am a natural blonde. My hair color is blonde. But now, it’s red. It’s like a special little secret. Who knows how long it will last, but I’m grateful for the experience. Do something different. Why not?

Color the next day.

Leave a comment

Filed under 101 Things List

Rockin’ Around, the Christmas Tree/Hannukah Bush

This is what my Christmas looked like (NYC)…

Midtown Ornament Fountain on/around 55th and 5th

Wreaths at Grand Central Station

Snowmen cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery

Radio City

Rockefeller Center

Donuts from Peter Pan at work!

Giant candy canes on 57th St!

View of a cold Central Park from office

This is what my Christmas looked like (Los Angeles)

Not so cold anymore! Spent Christmas Eve with friends by the rooftop pool of the London hotel.

Ate homemade pumpkin ice cream from Bennett's at The Grove.

Celebrated my mom's birthday with the whole family...even Tatum the beagle, who got a taste of icing.

Puppy kisses to say thank you for the icing. (Note: sneak peak of my new hair color!)

I took my mom and brothers to the LA production of Wicked for my mom's birthday and our family Christmas present. Only one brother fell asleep in the second act, so I consider that a success.

The outdoor space of the Restoration Hardware showroom. GASP!

Beach themed Christmas tree.

More seashells and a "J" for Jackie. There was also a letter for each of my brothers' names.

Our Hannukah Bush!

Leave a comment

Filed under Holidays, Uncategorized

Stuff 2011

If you are a last minute shopper like me, and a bargain shopper like me (learn your lesson not use your credit card like it’s monopoly money during the holidays, NOW, twenty-somethings!), then you might be saying to yourself…Sh*t. I’m 24 hours from the first night of Hannukah and seven days away from Christmas. Fear not! See below! All $65 and under, but face it, you’ll have to eat the rush shipping or fight the in-store crowds (just swallow like a piece of chocolate gelt and move on).

I like these for year round ideas, but since we are obligated every December, here is a collection of the stuff that you don’t ever buy for yourself, but when someone else buys for you, you are SOOOOO happy you have it. These kinds of gifts are the best kinds, and inexpensive enough for you to get yourself a lil’ somethin’ for your troubles. Treat yourself!


Decorative books are great gifts, but should also be useful. Find unique ones. $30.

It's also nice when decorative books are pink. $29.

Still obsessed with this matchstrike ($42). Pair with a candle (please not holiday scented. those are cool for a week).


Love me a romper. $39.95.

Give a margarita! Pair this mini-patron bottle ($6.99) with a lime...

Add this with your margarita package ($4.49). Also a great opportunity for kitchy, thematic wrapping.


At home garden. Fresh herbs make all the difference in your kraft mac and cheese. $29.

Everyone wants this pancake pan. Nobody buys it. $39.95.


Candy Bar Library. $25.

Fall Little Pie Sampler. Four Mini Pies! Now you don't have to decide on a flavor. $30.


Changed my skin and makes me feel more makeup official. Also, this lasts forever and the bag is great. $65.

These have lasted me a year so far, and am pretty certain we'll pass two. $25.

Everyone's feet hurt at the end of the night. These roll up in your purse. At a wedding, I had one in my clutch, and the other in my date's jacket. $13.


$18. Could even throw in some Humboldt Fog at that budget.

These are available at whole foods. Pair with a wine or even just a bottle tote. Cute, reusable, and make great vases. Available at Whole Foods.


Obsessed. Since I am far away from family and lots of close friends, I talk on the phone a lot. I see myself having Bye Bye Birdie moments with this gadget. $28.95.

Pretty! $36.

Have never really understood these notebooks- do I really need a whole notebook to catalogue "surfers I met and liked?" But for bloggers this is great! You can put cards on the interior, or simply write down the name of the blog, because it's easy to find so many to follow. Hope mine is on yours!

Leave a comment

Filed under Gifts, Uncategorized