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New York Adventures: Up Close and Personal with Jean Paul Gaultier

 

This past Saturday wasn’t like any other Saturday. No, this time around, I cozied up with some whips and chains, corsets, knee-high stockings and everything in between at the Brooklyn Museum for the “From the Sidewalk to Catwalk” exhibit that showed off the many designs of Jean Paul Gaultier. Reminiscent of the Alexander McQueen exhibit a few years ago, this one was stunning, with video installations, robotic mannequins, and exquisite sexy designs that reminded you why being a woman was so much fun. Celebrating women of all forms, shapes, and sizes, his exhibit showed his passion for the female form through dramatic gowns, and my personal favorites, the mysterious and intricate corsets. I mean, you see his corsets and the intricate buttons and embellishments and it’s hard to not want to get strapped up in that piece and prance around like you are Madonna herself.

Being the Beyonce obsessed lady that I am, I loved seeing the corset Gaultier designer for Bey herself. I can see how Bey shakes it like nobody else in this gold corset. (Hey Gaultier, can I get this in my size for my upcoming birthday? No? Really? Fine.) There is so much Madonna in this exhibit, which is great but I’m not the biggest Madge fan. However, seeing how these two worked together on her Blonde Ambition tour reminded me why music and fashion are always best when combined. Other hits from the exhibit: editorial spreads of (all leather-clad) Karlie Kloss, supermodel Naomi Campbell and Linda Evangelista, tributes from venerable Vogue editor Polly Mellen, Richard Avedon, Luc Besson and more.

If you are headed out to the museum, I highly suggest getting their early because, much like the McQueen exhibit, the line to purchase tickets can be long. Plus, to really experience the exhibit, you don’t want to be surrounded by a pack of strangers. It’s best to go when you can take in all of Gaultier’s amazing work and really see why he is viewed as one of the most talented designers of all time.

And, I guarantee you will walk away from the exhibit with a sassy little strut just thinking about all the designs you just saw. Read up on the museum here via Fast Co.

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Who Run The World?

Sagittarius folks, it’s looking like this week is a big one for us.

Give it one final sweep, Sagittarius. On Thursday, the Sun blazes into your sign for a month calling for fresh starts. Spend the first half of the week cleaning house, literally and figuratively. Release toxic situations, bag up old clothes for charity, trim back your Facebook newsfeed. Most of all, be unapologetically clear about your boundaries. You may need to “take one for the team” early in the week, but after Thursday, stop making sacrifices and start asking people to provide you with the support you need and deserve.

- from Refinery 29

November 18, 2013 - 8:37 am

Maddie - Longtime reader/fellow Sagittarian here…your recent posts have really hit home. So this is just a thank-you for sharing so much with us online. Love your writing – and so nice to know someone is going through similar situations!

November 20, 2013 - 6:56 pm

aboyce18 - Wow, girl! Thanks for this. You made my night. xo

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Decisions, Decisions

Two weeks of nonstop work, personal frustrations and a roaring case of insomnia found me on the couch, Saturday morning, looking at apartments in California.  My lease renewal came in the mail last week, which is one of the most loved and hated documents a New Yorker can get because one, it makes you think about the future and two, it forces you to take a hard look at your current situation. Yes, I was tired, angry, hungover but mainly, I was just over it. I give up, you win New York. Which is funny because I just I told someone over happy hour a few weeks ago that I wasn’t ready to leave New York, when he asked if I was moving back to California. That just goes to show you my mental state. One foot in, one foot out. I needed  a dealbreaker, someone to just make this decision for me.

 

Turns out, the universe heard my nonstop whining. Ask and you shall receive.

Late Saturday night/Sunday morning while celebrating my friend Usha’s upcoming wedding, I had one of those classic New York City nights that made me remember why I love this city so much. After many glasses of champagne (damn you, DryBar and your free champagne) and so many plates of food, we found ourselves at Le Bain, which I ensure you, I never go to because of two reasons: there is always a line and it’s in the Meatpacking District aka a No-Amanda-Zone. However, this night was not like the others. Nope, it was like the universe decided to change its tune and remind me, “Hey! You like New York. You can’t move.” I get it, I get it. Thanks universe for making my decision just a little harder.

It was one of those classic New York moments where you kinda want to stop everything and be like, hold the phone, is this real? Do you ever have moments like that? Where you aren’t convinced that this is happening but sure enough, you are here and there is no movie script?

I was sitting outside at the Top of the Standard, taking in the view, soaking up the attention of a really cute Canadian discussing all the best parts about living in the city. He was kind, sexy and had a smile that killed. So basically, all good things, right? Anyways, he told me that this was the first time he’d been in the city and that it blew his mind, literally. He couldn’t wrap his head around how one could stay sane, how one could stay in a city with such a crazy vibrating pulse. I told him that in the 3 years since I’ve moved here, I’ve experienced the craziest, the saddest, the most rewarding moments of my life. And that I’ve never been happier. The moment the words left my mouth, I knew they were true. It’s not always sunny skies, it’s not always easy. And I don’t make this city to be a happy-go-lucky place where all dreams come true, because, let’s be real, that’s just what the movies and silly sitcoms want you to believe. I think after I expressed my love for New York, a face-splitting grin must have shown up on my face because he started laughing and grabbed my hand, saying that the city fit me, that I worked well here.  While that situation is TBD, I do know is that I’m not done with New York.

You hear that, universe? IT AIN’T OVER.

November 12, 2013 - 1:45 pm

Lindsay - You had me worried there for a second! Don’t leave! :)

November 12, 2013 - 5:08 pm

aboyce18 - haha I won’t! But you gotta come back and visit!

November 13, 2013 - 5:06 pm

Kat - Hey Amanda, I tumbled across your blog a few weeks ago because i think I was looking for some recipe- I am a major procrastibaker! Anyway, I literally spent the weekend reading through your archives- I’m not done yet!- you have a fantastic way with words and love reading all the stories about work, grad school, everything NYC related. I can relate to a lot of it myself, even though I’m in Australia. It’s also strange reading a post from you NOW, to one that you wrote 2-3 years ago. I’m not sure what made me comment, butI hope NYC works out for you. It is the envy of many Australians, to be able to work/ live/ experience life there! Anyway, keep going, and hopefully keep writing the blog- it’s a lovely read! :-)

November 13, 2013 - 5:53 pm

Kat - Hey Amanda, I hope everything works out for you in NYC. To many Australians, the chance to visit or work or even live there is a dream (despite all the negatives that many people comment on!). I came across your blog a few weeks ago, most likely finding a link to a recipe (I am a MAJOR procrastibaker- particularly now as I’m completing my Masters and need all the carb help I can get!) and absolutely love what I’ve been reading- the food, recipes, your life after grad school, NYC. I spent a weekend reading through your archives- I’m not done yet!- and can relate to so much of it myself. I’m not sure what propelled me to comment, but I hope life sorts itself out for you, and if you have time, keep on blogging!

November 14, 2013 - 7:13 pm

Ush - Don’t ever leave!!

November 17, 2013 - 6:43 am

aboyce18 - Thanks Kat! Love hearing from my Aussie friends! Hope you can make it to NYC sometime soon :)

November 17, 2013 - 6:43 am

aboyce18 - Haha I was WAITING for this. Not to worry, my dear. I’m here for a little while longer! xx

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Baking: Apple Crumb Bars

 

Oh Mondays.

You are the worst. My version hell would be never-ending Mondays.

You are undoubtedly tired from watching last night’s episode of Homeland or Walking Dead.

You ate too much, drank too much (or both, to be honest.)

You didn’t get around to doing your laundry. Nor did you take out the trash and your roommate is giving you major stink eye.

You were late to work and your boss is mad.

Your inbox is nutso and it’s only 9 am.

So why don’t we do this? Let’s all close our eyes and picture  7pm tonight.

Image slipping off your stupid heels (silly torture devices but god, they make the legs look good), reheating last night’s chinese takeout, pouring yourself a glass of wine, throwing on a cozy sweater. Then, once all of that has happened, imagine yourself on your couch, with your phone off, and your hand finding its way to this plate of Apple Spice Crumb Bars that are literally calling your name. No guilt – it’s a Monday. Desperate times, desperate measures.

Oh, and if you were to throw a little vanilla bean ice cream on top of these too, you wouldn’t hate it.

These bars are originally from Two Peas and A Pod, however I omitted the salted caramel sauce as I didn’t have the ingredients on hand. They were perfectly find without the sauce!

Apple Crumb Bars

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 16 bars

Ingredients

    For the Apple Filling:
  • 5 cups peeled and diced apples (I used Granny Smith)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup all-purpose Gold Medal flour
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground all-spice
  • For the crust:
  • 3 cups all-purpose Gold Medal flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. For the apple filling- place the diced apples in a large bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice. Mix gently. In a separate bowl whisk together flour, cornstarch, sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ground all-spice. Pour over the apples and carefully combine. Set aside.
  3. For the dough-in a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or by using your hands, until butter is mixed in, but you still have small chunks of butter. Mix the egg and vanilla together. Add into the flour and butter mixture and combine. The dough will be crumbly. Pat half of the dough into the prepared pan.
  4. Spread the apple mixture evenly over the bottom crust. Drizzle about salted caramel sauce over the apple filling, about 3/4 cup. Crumble the remaining dough over the apple caramel layer and pat gently.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into squares.
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You Knock Me Right Out

 

In 12 hours I’ll be dancing my butt off with this man. Sigh, ladies, it doesn’t get any better. Men, take note. In honor of the greatness that is JT, I figured I’d share the best JT moments ever. Can ya dig it?

 

Mhmmm, get it JT.

 

And because this right is here is my idea of heaven, let’s give it up for Queen B.

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