Monthly Archives: March 2010

Coffeehouse/Cafe - FOOD - "The Delicious"

Coffee lovers, make your way over to Stumptown

March 29, 2010

I’ve been getting referred to some of the best places lately, and Stumptown has been one my favorites so far. My friend’s cousin, Imraan, recently came to visit NYC from Capetown and told me about this coffee joint he had come across. I figured if he’s missing it from S. Africa, then I definitely have to try.

Baristas at Stumptown

How awesome are the baristas in their vintage 50s get up? I was not expecting it but love that, along with all the old school roasters hanging back in the decor, add so much to the ambiance — makes it feel so much more authentic.

Not to say that it isn’t. In fact, before I went, I had no idea how much press this place has gotten ever since its Ace Hotel grand opening last September. TIME magazine has even been touting it as a major player in coffee’s “third wave,” referring to the free-trade philosophy rivaling the corporate likes of Starbucks. Owner Duane Sorenson is well-known to be bit neurotic when it comes to his roast. Some say he’s remaking the coffee business.

“[Stumptown] routinely pays more at auction for prized lots of coffee beans than anyone else, offers more single-origin coffees than anyone (20 at the New York plant) and is at the forefront of nearly every new-coffee frontier: espresso-delivery technology, international partnerships and generally changing the idea of coffee from a staple commodity, like corn or sugar, to something closer to wine, with seasons and terroir and varietals as different as Burgundy chardonnay and Austrian riesling.” [TIME]

Stumptown gained a cult following through it’s Portland-based outpost, after which Sorenson set his sights on NY. I’m so glad he did, because the latte I had was pretty nice…actually delicious. The iced latte my friend Summar ordered was yum too — I guess it lived up to the hype.

Stumptown Latte

Stumptown Iced Latte

Coffee lovers, you must try.

Read More:
How Stumptown’s Duane Sorenson Plans to Save New York from Inferior Coffee

Cafe info:

18 W 29th St.
at Broadway
New York, NY 10001


Beauty - "The Lovely" - Beauty Tip of the Day - Hair - Tips and How-To's

3 Pretty Hair Trends for 2010

March 26, 2010

Sorry for the sudden dead air, but I’ve had a little travel kick somewhere in between now and the last post. Excited to get things started again, and no less with a topic we can all appreciate: Hair trends for 2010.

Aussie and Clairol’s Perfect 10 hosted a great presentation last night at the chic MEET lounge in Soho to showcase some of the prettiest (and easy!) hairstyles you can be sporting this spring.

Guess what, I got to style a model too!

Joined by two of the sweetest and knowledgable in the hair industry, Aussie’s celeb stylist, Sarah Potempo and Clairol’s Creative Director for Color and Style, Marcy Cona, we learned how about how to amp up your own hair color and pair it with a cute style – they even got me to go up and try one myself on their model, Lisa! READ ON TO SEE ALL THE TIPS AND VIDEOS!

1) OLD HOLLYWOOD GLAMOUR (ROMANTIC WAVES): There’s more movement towards natural textures with just a little kick. It’s like beachy waves but softer.

Sarah teaches us not only how to make these beautiful waves, but also how to change your part without looking uneven.

1. Apply a mousse (like Aussie’s Catch the Wave Mousse + Leave-In Conditioner) to dry roots and loosely blow dry hair upward.

2. Section off hair and wrap 2” sections around a closed 1” curling iron—like the swirls on a candy cane. Wrap away from the face to get the most flattering wave.

3. After curling, use a bobby pin to pin up for bouncy, natural waves.

2) TWISTY UPDO: I adore this style because it looks so trendy and chic (and complicated) but so easy to do!

Sarah shows us how to make this style too, with along with a short lesson on the right way to tease your hair without damaging it!

1. Use mousse and blow dry. Tease your hair all around.

2. Section off the top half of your hair from the bottom.

3. Starting with the top half, take the right and left side of your hair, and begin knotting your hair (like your tying your shoe). Pin up.

4. Do the same with the bottom half. Wear a headband to finish off the style.

3) HALF-UP, HALF-DOWN STYLE: Take a half-up, half-down style up a notch by adding more twists and securing into a side-ponytail.

With my lack of hair styling skills, I would never think in a million years I’d be able to do this, but Sarah volunteered me to try! Totally not expecting to be called on, but I’m actually glad she did because I saw how easy it was to do!

Here I am styling Lisa’s gorgeous hair:

1. Section off hair like you’re making two pony tails. Tease the first section and add a little bit of hair spray to roots (or blow dry) to add some volume (Aussie’s Opposites Attract Hair Spray will give you a flexible hold!)

2. Separate into two sections, tie in a knot and wrap an elastic around it, and pin down to finish.

How great are these tips?? Will you try any of them yourself?

Oh, and they also had the most mouth-watering mini cupcakes from Baked by Melissa bakery. I’m going to get so fat.

Baked by Melissa mini cupcakes!


Beauty - "The Lovely" - Beauty on the Streets

Beauty on the Streets: A Peace Treaty’s Farah Malik and Dana Arbib

March 22, 2010

Farah Malik and Dana Arbib of accessories' line, A Peace Treaty

Name: Farah Malik / Dana Arbib

Age: 31/29

Occupation: Designers/Founders of A Peace Treaty

Location: New York, NY


A PEACE TREATY creates employment for skilled artisans working in places of socio-political strife, effectively supporting their craft while elevating their products to the level of high design for an exclusive, international audience.

My style is: FARAH: vintage mish mash of international flea market finds and TopShop. DANA: distressed bourgeois (as in layered silks, knits and jackets).

Designers I love: FARAH: Peter Jensen, Phoebe Philo (Celine), Wood Wood, Alexander Wang (everything before F/W 2010 -ew) , Prabal Gurung. DANA: Hanna MacGibbon for Chloé, YSL, Rag & Bone, Phillip Lim, Rodarte, Lanvin, Vanessa Bruno, Isabel Marant.

People usually compliment my: FARAH: eye makeup or accessories DANA: shoes, hair.

My favorite makeup tip: FARAH: Bronzer, Bronzer, Bronzer Dana: use oil-free products.

Current beauty product obsession: FARAH: essential oil blend for face as night cream!! DANA: YSL mascara

But I also can’t live without: FARAH: am loving Jurlique’s organic stuff right now – especially Jurlique Purifying Mask. DANA: Laura Mercier oil-free foundation

My favorite scent right now is: FARAH: Trish McEvoy – #9 Blackberry and Vanilla Musk. DANA: L’Occitane Mom & Baby Water

I love wearing my hair: FARAH: long hair half back in a clip like my mom in the 70’s. DANA: as a jew-fro.

My favorite product for my hair is: FARAH: Kiehl’s Creme with Silk Groom styling creme for hair cause it de-nappifies my south asian frizz and poufy hair. DANA: Deva Concept’s DevaCurl – because it taught me how to wear my hair curly finally.

I don’t understand people who don’t like: FARAH: brussels sprouts. DANA: tomatoes.

The restaurant I can never get tired of is: FARAH: Diner Williamsburg; entree: The Burger!! DANA: Cafe Mogador; entree: Haloumi eggs.

Though I can make a mean: FARAH: Root vegetables, wild rice and lentil soup. DANA: Couscous salad.

What inspires me: FARAH: micro-finance/social entrepreneurialism. DANA: antique textiles from around the world.

Beauty - "The Lovely" - Body

Dial’s new NutriSkin Body Wash

March 18, 2010

I can’t say I was always big on Dial as a body wash. As a hand soap, their stuff is excellent. Though, when I tried their body wash years ago, I felt like it was a little harsh for my skin. I would actually even get a little irritated from the formula! I had pretty much glossed over their washes at the store since. But I guess things change. I was sent over their latest to try: Dial NutriSkin which just launched this month.

Dial's new NutriSkin body washes

The two fruity washes, they say, leaves skin moisturized from its cationic polymer, which attaches during cleansing which will stay on your skin instead of going down the drain. The green one also has microbeads infused with fruit oil from the Mediterranean wine region.

For me, I was pleasantly surprised that it didn’t irritate my skin at all, which I was nervous about. I typically prefer creamy washes since I like that it’s heavier and keeps me feeling moisturized (Like Dove’s Cream Oil — also amazing), but I found none of that dryness as I normally do in most gel washes either.

Both scents are a burst of fruit fragrance. I personally preferred the Lemongrass (green) wash over the Cherry Seed Oil (pink) — the latter was maybe too fruity for me whereas the lemongrass smelled a little more subtle and is more unisex for the guys.

PROS: Good for you if you’re looking for a body wash with fruit scents, and need something a little lighter than cream body washes. Loved that this was a hydrating formula that didn’t irritate my skin and instead left it feeling smoother.

CONS: It’s definitely more moisturizing than most body gels, but if you’re looking for something groundbreakingly different, I can’t say this is the one. I also wasn’t crazy about the Cherry Seed Oiland Mint scent, it was too strong for me!

More reviews to come of other body washes launching this month. But in the mean time, just curious, do you think you’d try this one?

Dial NutriSkin body washes are available now for $3.99. Check out for more info.


Dessert - FOOD - "The Delicious"

Levain Bakery makes cookies from heaven

March 17, 2010

I don’t remember the last time I came across cookies this good from an NYC bakery like Levain on the Upper West Side.

Levain Bakery's Chocolate Chip Walnut

The cookies are pretty huge, with a slightly crispy shell and super soft inside, and filled with soft, almost melted chocolate chips. It was just cookie perfection. I wish I could say I discovered it myself but all credit is due to my friend Fahad, who came across the cookies in NYC and stopped by just to drop it off for me and my cousins to try! We were all blown away at how it just melts in your mouth.

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter chip

The Levain back story is also pretty interesting, as I think rings true of most NYC bakeries. The co-founders Connie McDonald and Pam Weekes, met back in the 80s. Connie worked in banking and Pam in fashion, and through a mutual understanding during an unlikely time — while training for an Ironman Triathalon(yes, while they were training to swim 2.4 mi, bike 112, and run 26 mi nonstop) — all they could think about was cookies. And Levain was born.

Since then, it’s been touted by the best by the likes of Barefoot Contessa and Bobby Flay, most recently winning his Chocolate Chip Cookie Throwdown. Now that’s some serious cred.

Bakery info:
Levain Bakery

167 West 74th Street
at Amsterdam Ave.
New York, NY 10023
Upper West Side