Monday, September 24, 2012

Happy Monday (& Thank You Sponsors!)

Nicole Alesi sketches
Hope everyone had a great weekend!  This week, I'm taking a pause to concentrate on my illustration work.  Feel free to pop on over Stuff by Nicole and say hello!
I'm looking forward to returining next Monday with new and exciting Happy Pretty Things to share.  But before I go, I would like say THANK YOU to my very special September Sponsors!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Happy Pretty Links

We did it! We made to Friday! I can't wait to start the weekend but before I head out, here are some happy pretty links that I hope excite your day...

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Sarah Dennis

Sarah Dennis feather3
As an artist, I find that sometimes it's healthy to put down the sketchbook and explore what is happening in the creative community. This used to feel overwhelming but now I see it as a tool for encouragement. Appreciating another person's work motivates me to be a better artist. This week, my motivation comes from Sarah Dennis.
Sarah Dennis sea2
Sarah Dennis seaclose3
Sarah Dennis is a freelance illustrator from Bristol.  Her work combines traditional paper cutting called, "scherenschnitte" with collage.  Her influences are drawn by storytelling, Japanese artwork and her Grandfather's collection of old books.
Sarah Dennis fox2
Sarah Dennis foxclose2
Sarah's work focuses on the beauty of nature in fairy tales and childhood dreams, telling classic poems and folk tales all through the medium of paper.  I love how she commits beautiful attention to every detail - the time and patience she dedicates with every piece certainly does not go unrecognized. Looking at her work will send you to a dream-like world - to Sarah's world...and it's quite esquisite.
Sarah Dennis whale1_43
To view more of Sarah's work visit

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Haunted by You

HauntedToday I'm in a Halloween-ish mood. A Tim Burton-ish mood. A Lemony Snicket-ish mood.  And I think it shows in my latest Etsy Treasury. And although the items I've curated are not necessarily spooky, I do think the equisite photos create a gothic feeling that I think is just delightful!
  1. Hand Printed Circular Scarf by Little Lost Soul
  2. Silver Velvet Plush Clutch by Marie's Corner
  3. Antique Chandelier by Ocean Swept (this item's actually reserved but there are other great items available)
  4. Vintage 80s Leather Jacket by 86 Vintage
  5. Large Canvas Shoulder Bag by knife in the water
  6. Halloween Bat Earrings by Mage Studio
  7. Vintage Deer Antlers by BeeJayKay
  8. Vintage Ornate Corner Shelf by Niftic Vintage
  9. Rabbit Leather Mask by Sundries And Plunder
  10. Tree Branches Photograph by Lupen Grainne
  11. Watercolor Feather by Geometrickink
  12. Multichain Necklace by Rebel by Fate
  13. Little Black Dress by natful
  14. Copper & Black Necklace by the 333 alliance
  15. Polymer Clay Necklace by Jull Made
  16. Half Moon Necklace also by Jull Made

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Maison Kayser

Today's guest post comes from my husband Joe!  There's a new bakery-restaurant in our neighborhood that's incredible!  So incredible that since its grand opening, Joe has made it a routine stop on his way home from the subway. Everyday he sings their praises so I figured why not pass the torch over and let him tell you all about his love affair with Maison Kayser....
I was surprised when I realized how passionate I am about bread. I realized this when I insisted that my neighbor take a chunk of bread from my bag while we waited for the elevator because I wanted him to experience what I believe is the very best baguette in NY and possibly North America.  He agreed it was good! I am talking about the baguette at Mayson Kayser, a wonderful and much needed addition to the UES. 
There are plenty of very good loaves to be had in NYC, this one however, strikes the perfect balance between what I want in a loaf of bread: texture and flavor.
A word of caution about the sweets and pastries: addictive. Be prepared to fight temptation for the rest of your life after having just one molten chocolate soufflé.
Maison Kayser seems off to a great start and I can understand why. I have no doubt they will do just fine in NYC, hell, they deserve it. I hope they stay in walking distance to our apartment for a very long time.
Maison Kayser 1294 Third Ave at E. 74th St, NYC

Monday, September 17, 2012

Happy Monday

Tumblr_ly3j63VhqY1qh0381o1_500illustration by Studio Muti
Here's to a great week. Now let's work hard so we can play hard on the weekend!

My Fall TV Obsession

Mindy-Kaling-of-FOXs-The-Mindy-Project copyGoing to the movies in New York one of my least favorite pasttimes.  I live in a crowded city so the last thing I want to do on my night off is cram myself into packed tight room while being forced to pay $50 bucks for the experience.  Yup, you heard me -  going to the movies cost at least $50 - that's for two people, including popcorn and soda. There's nothing happy or pretty about this...
This is probably why one of my favorite things to do is catch up on some TV!  Lately, I noticed I've been watching a ton of programming. (I blame this on the recent addition of Hulu Plus on our Apple TV.) And now that's it's fall, I'm super stoked about the new lineup. Here's a list of what I'll be watching this season.  Feel free to OMG, comment and dish below...
New Show I'm Looking Forward to...
1. The Mindy Project
 The series stars Office alum Mindy Kaling as a single physician who tries to navigate her way through her personal and professional life. Caught the premiere on Hulu - I'm in! By the way Mindy's book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me is a great read! Premieres September 25th on Fox
2. Nashville
 Everytime I see the ad I like to shout 'NA-YASH-VEELE!' I love Connie Britton - she was amazing in last year's season of American Horror Story, so I'm really looking forward to seeing her and Hayden Panettiere duke it out as Country Superstar Divas! Premieres October 10th on ABC
3. The New Normal
 I'm a huge fan of any show created by Ryan Murphy so I'm not disappointed by The New Normal. It's a show about a gay couple , their surrogate, her precocious eight year old daughter, and her homophobic grandmother played by Ellen Barkin. (Did I also mention that NeNe Leakes is in it too?) The New Normal airs Tuesdays on NBC
4. 666 Park Ave
 I adore Vanessa Williams and I'll watch anything with Terry O'Quinn (John Locke from Lost.) 666 Park Ave is about a couple who learns that the upscale apartment they moved into is filled with crazy tenants possibly possesed by a demonic force. Can we say Rosemary's Baby anyone?  I'm down! Premieres September 30th on ABC.
5. Revolution
 Speaking of Lost, ever since my favorite show came to a close, I've been on a desperate search to fill that void - I think I might've found it. I caught the premiere on Hulu and! It's a science fiction drama that takes place in a post-apocalyptic Chicago. Within the first 10 minutes I saw that it was directed by John Favreau, produced by J.J. Abrams (Lost!) caught a glimpse of Juliet (Lost!!!) spotted Gus from Breaking Bad and watched the dad from Twilight kick some major butt. I...AM...HOOKED! Premieres tonight on NBC
Returning Shows I Anxiously Await For...
6. Revenge 
I am so excited for this season premiere - let us all take a moment to toss our hair to the side and  say the title of the show in our best sultry impersonation of Madeleine Stowe  - "REVENGE!!"  I can't wait to see what happens this season.  Will we meet Emily's long lost Mother?  Will we know if Victoria survived the plane crash? Will Nolan get a haircut??? This suspense is killing me! Season premiere September 30, ABC
7. Once Upon A Time
 Magic has arrived to Storybrooke and I can't wait to see it all unfold! I hope Regina/The Evil Queen gets what she deserves for being such a major b----- to Mary Margaret/Snow White! Season premiere September 30, ABC
8. American Horror Story
 Oh man... this show is definitley not for the faint of heart!  This year's season takes place in a 1960s insane assylum and Jessica Lange is back - as a different character of course! Season two starts October 17 on FX
9. Downton Abbey
 "Oh whatever is to become of Matthew and Mary!" The year is 1920, Shirley Maclaine has arrived from overseas to terrorize Maggie Smith and Lady Edith has a look that finally fits within the time period. Technically, the show won't air in the States until January 6 (?!?) But I am determined to find a way to catch the premiere with a little help from my friends across the pond. Premieres September 26, everywhere else except here (grrrr.)
Shows I'm Embarrassed To Admit I Watch...
10. Gallery Girls This is my crack. At first I hated this show but then I got over myself and now I'm utterly hooked! Gallery Girls is a reality show on Bravo (surprised?) that follows a group of 20 somethings trying to make it in the art world...blah blah blah... What they really need to call this show is Brooklyn Girls vs. Manhattan Girls. I didn't get the memo, but apparently there's a turf war going on in my own back yard, y'all! I don't even know where to begin - but I'll try. There's this girl named Chantal who does nothing and this other girl named Liz who does nothing and this miserable girl named Maggie who really does nothing... Gallery Girls airs every Monday night on Bravo.
11. Real Housewives of Beverly Hills & Miami
  My ultimate guilty pleasure, the Real Housewives franchise.  Just when New York and New Jersey come to a close, I can pick up where I left off with Miami and Beverly Hills. There's only one reason why I watch Miami: Elsa. As for Beverly Hills, I am truly looking forward to Brandi and Kim's cray cray and Kyle's splits. Real Houswives of Miami airs every Thursday and Beverly Hills is set to premiere mid November, both on Bravo.
And of course...
  • Glee: The College Years
  • New Girl (or Old Girl?)
  • Family Guy
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
  • Modern Family (Gloria's pregnant!)
  • The Final Season of Gossip Girl (theory - we'll find out they all write for Gossip Girl!)
What shows are you looking forward to? 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Happy Pretty Links

Happy Friday!  I'm ending the weekend on a high note with my weekly roundup of links...

Thursday, September 13, 2012

I'm Currently Obsessed...

80s Purple
...with these decked-out sunglasses by Belle Nguyen of 80s Purple
Talk about making a statement!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My Autumn Bucket List

It's time for another seasonal bucket list! I love fall!  It's the best time to be in the city. For starters, the humidity is GONE and I can wear my hair however I choose...but enough about my frizz. My resolution this season is to experience and appreciate as much as I can before it gets too cold and I won't want to leave my apartment. Here are couple of things I would like to accomplish in the next few weeks...
1. Find a pair of kick-ass boots. DONE! Hooray accomplishments! While moving my sister back into college, I took advantage and "shopped" in her closet. I came across not one but three pairs of boots that are perfect for the season.  Who needs to go to Buffalo Exchange when you can just Sister Swap! (picture source: The Cherry Blossom Girl)
2. Do the Museums. There's so many exhibitions to see, I can even keep track but here are my top musts: Andy Warhol at the Met/ Picasso at the Guggenheim/Matisse at MoMa. I'm going to be real with you, as an artist, even I can't comprehend what the hell I'm looking at from time to time! Very rare is it that I get to see an exhibit that I actually understand so I'm going to milk it for all it's worth!
Hester street nights
3. Hester Nights.  This should've been on my Summer Bucket List but I'm glad that I saved it for now.  Hester Nights is a street fair that takes place every Thursday featuring food vendors from all over the city.  It happens right down the block from where my husband works - so I figure, what a nice place to meet him for happy hour!
4. Speaking of food, I also need to digest Smorgasbord. It's an open air market held every Saturday on the Williamsburg waterfront. I've passed through it before but never really made a day out of it.  There's so many delicious food vendors in one spot, I want to get there early and hungry so I can appreciate all the yummy goodness!
5. Mull Something.  Anything - cider, wine...I think that's about it. I just like the way the word "mulled" sounds so I want to do it. (picture source: Kitchen Confidante)
6. BAKE! I loooooove baking! And now's the best time to do it! This year, my challenge is to create my own recipes. This is scary and exciting all at the same time - I'll keep you posted on how it turns out! (picture source: Tracy's Culinary Adventures)
7. Go See The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I'm a huge Rocky Horror fan and sadly, I don't think I time warp enough! It's quite an experience and I highly recommend checking it out if there's a performance happening in your own town. 
8. Visit Salem, Massachusetts. I've always wanted to go! I love Halloween and I love witches - so I think a weekend trip would be a nice treat...or trick....
9. Make My Own Halloween Costume. Halloween in New York is a huge event - but to be honest, it's one I'm getting quite tired of. What bores me the most is the waiting on the long lines at Ricky's to rummage through a bunch of stripper clothes passed off has "cute" or "sexy" halloween costumes. They're also overpriced and I never wear them again so this year I'm just gonna make my own.

Pumpkin spice latte
10. Enjoy a Simple Sunday. What I love most about the fall. Breathing in the crisp cool air while sipping a pumpkin spice latte, wearing my favorite scarf, and taking Rocco to the park. Is that too much to ask? 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

10 Reasons Why I Heart New York

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1. Everything is opened 24/7.  I can get anything I want at the snap of my fingers (Whaddup Seamless Web and Fresh Direct!
2. Diversity. Over time, I've learned to say "Hello," "How are you" and "Thank you!" in Spanish, Hindi, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Greek, Albanian, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Creole, Ethiopian...most of the time I'm at a restaurant but hey, it counts! 
3. If I can't go on vacation I can still have a "staycation" by visiting the Cloisters, seeing the tree at Rockefellar Center, catching an opera at Lincoln Center or eating my way through Brooklyn.  The possiblitlies are endless - thanks to my weekly subscription to Time Out New York!
4. I'm allowed to be obsessed with my dog with no judgement.  I have yet to find a city that's just as dog crazy as New York.  It's the only place where people will give you a dirty look if youdon't put a sweater on your pooch - and yes Rocco owns several...and about 3 Halloween costumes!
5. I can get away with staring, stalking or eavesdropping on someone's conversation and call it"people watching."
6. I consider hailing a cab a sport - and I'm VERY good at it. (20 points if you can do it in heels!) But If I can't get a cab, I can always take the subway, bus, ferry, tram, bicycle or my two little feet to get me from point A to B.
7. Pizzas, bagels, and black and white cookies - My answer to NY Comfort Food.
8. Our Pride. Yankee Pride, Gay Pride, Asian Pride, Italian Pride, NYPD Pride, FDNY Pride, Brooklyn Pride, Harlem Pride, Broadway Pride, Latin Pride, Tennis Pride, Food Pride, Pitbull Pride, Harmonica Pride, Paper Clip get my point - we have a lot of it, 'nuff said!
9. I can be whoever I want, dress however I want, practice any religion I want, love and marry any person I want and no one cares. Yay tolerance!
10. I have witnessed that during times of great need, New Yorkers are strong enough to put their differences aside and help our fellow man. Which is why I will Never Forget why my city is the greatest city in the world.
You are my home, you are beautiful and I will ALWAYS love you!

Monday, September 10, 2012

What I'm Working On...

Stuff by Nicole - Nicole Alesi
Happy Monday!  Hope everyone had a great weekend.
I'm in the process of getting my Etsy Shop ready for the holidays.  
Feel free to stop on by and say hello!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Happy Pretty Links!

Happy Friday! Here are some kick-ass links to get your weekend going...
Hope you enjoy and see you on Monday! xo ~n

Thursday, September 6, 2012

I'm Currently Obsessed...


...with these Ombre Tights by Tiffany Ju of BZR. So cute and just perfect for fall!

Happy Pretty Home: Bedroom Makeover

This week I'm moving into the bedroom area of our apartment. I'm a morning person, so I'm actually happy with the walls being white but I do think it's time to "feng shui" the area. We temporarily moved the bed to the window so we wouldn't feel too hot at night (gotta love New York in the summer time, eh?) But we're ready to move it back and spruce it up with some new additions. Below are a couple of ideas that inspire me...
I've always wanted a low bed - I think they look so cool. CB2 has a great collection...
I love the home furnishings over at DENY Designs. They support the art community by featuring talented designers on all their items - and everything is manufactured in the USA. Double win! I have my eye on this NYC Duvet Cover by City Fabric Inc

Hpt 3
These days I'm finding myself more and more attracted to furniture made with reclaimed wood. This rustic modern end table by Camille Montgomery would make a great night stand and thisexposed bulb woodland lamp by Urban + Forest would be perfect for a bedroom light!
Hpt 4
I'm also inspired to recreate a photo gallery like this photo spotted on Freshome.  And when I think of night time, I think of night owls - I think these ceramic barn owls by Desert Arts Pottery are simply adorable!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Into The Woods

Into the woods
Summer Vacation is officially over and Autumn is creeping around the corner - and I'm very much okay with that. Which is why this week's Etsy Treasury is dedicated to my favorite season and the element of wood. The items curated were inspired by my love of taking nature walks while breathing in the crisp air.  I hope you enjoy.