Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Sensational Cakes by Sylvia Weinstock

Sylvia Weinstock's Sensational Cakes -- Sylvia Weinstock makes cakes that astonish the palate, dazzle the eye, and reward the spirit. Her spellbinding cakes have graced the tables—and grabbed the attention—at society weddings, celebrity birthday parties, and inaugural balls. Whether it’s a tower of white roses whose thousands of blossoms have all been painstakingly hand-crafted or an entirely faithful—and entirely edible—facsimile of a treasured heirloom tea set, every Weinstock cake is a work of art.

“Never say never” is Weinstock’s response when clients dare her to achieve the impossible: an array of miniature cakes shaped and decorated like Fabergé eggs; cakes that look like cars, cravats, and circus clowns; or a menagerie of fantastic creatures (bunnies, bugs, tigers, terriers, and even an armadillo), all concocted from butter, flour, and sugar.

In Sylvia Weinstock’s Sensational Cakes, America’s most famous cake designer gives you an insider’s tour of her world: the fabulous fêtes where her cakes set the scene and the artisanal workshop where she and her assistants bake and embellish the confectionary masterpieces that have made her signature—including her trademark eyeglass logo—so sought after. Best of all, she reveals some of her secrets: recipes for cakes, frostings, and fillings that will make your own guests stand up and applaud.

So....have you ever been at an event where there was a Sylvia Weinstock cake? I have!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Eat This, Not That

I can't tell you how many diet books I own. It's insane. Has one ever helped me lose weight? No. I love these kinds of books because I am a visual person. I need to actually SEE the difference in anything. I am ordering Eat This Not That: Thousands of Simple Food Swaps That Can Save You 10, 20, 30 Pounds-or More! this minute and will let you know what I think when it arrives. I know it's going to tell me I have to swap a bagel for a bialy and that is something I don't want to hear!

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Paris Apartment

Claudia is a trailblazer in the "Paris Apartment" Decor style. Around the time that shabby became chic I discovered Claudia and The Paris Apartment. I remember when she had a store in NYC and I loved looking in the window. A few years later I found her again and bought her book, The Paris Apartment: Romantic Decor on a Flea-Market Budget and wanted to move into one of those wonderful rooms. And then I found her again recently through the blogs! One of my dreams was to go on one of Claudia's fabulous shopping trips to Paris but there was never a good time. I moved out of NYC, went back to school (which meant constant studying and no job which meant no money) and started another life. I am so excited that this is going to be the year!

Claudia decorates rooms that make me swoon and also takes the most spectacular photos of Paris that make me yearn for another trip to the City of Lights - in fact, if all goes well, I will be in Paris avec Claudia in May :-)

I particularly love this interview with her from NY Magazine a couple of years ago. And she is spot on, you either have it or you don't. Clearly she has IT. Oh and her blog is here. Stop by and say hello. It's wonderland.

Not only can you shop with Claudia in person, you can shop with her online. Check out these fabulous notebooks or a pretty moire covered French notebook!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Looking Good, Feeling Good, Eating Well

I just started reading Eat, Drink, and Be Gorgeous after I heard the author on the Martha Stewart channel on Sirius. She works for Dr. Perricone, author of such titles as Dr. Perricone's 7 Secrets to Beauty, Health, and Longevity: The Miracle of Cellular Rejuvenation which I never really liked. I do like Esther Blum's approach and I like the book so far.

I can't remember where I heard about The Little Black Apron: A Single Girl's Guide to Cooking With Style and Grace but it got great reviews and I can always use some help in the kitchen!

Winter Reading Selections

If you are looking for something to read right this very moment take a peek at these - there is something for everyone whether you want something serious or trashy aka "light reading" as I like to call it. I did not pick these out of a hat but in the interest of full disclosure have not read any of them yet. I have read print reviews as well as the reviews on Amazon and these are all in my cart - if you're not convinced wait a month or so and I will report back with my follow-up:

The Pirate's Daughter (this has been in my cart forever & is at the top of my list)
The Beautiful Fall: Fashion, Genius, and Glorious Excess in 1970s Paris (now in paperback)
Celebutantes (the name says it all)
Deep Dish (for you Southern gals)
The Opposite of Love (this sounds really good)
The Last Single Woman in America (for the single gals)

FYI - Most of these titles are available in Abridged Audiobook format for you ladies on the go!

There are a ton of books being released in April that there are no photos or descriptions for yet including an untitled novel by Lauren Weisberger (The Devil Wears Prada).

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Welcome to Coterie Books

Thanks for stopping by! You may notice the books you've seen on my other blogs - I have done my best to pull from them and put most of them (not all) here. I have tried to provide links to Amazon where possible and added a little Amazon search box to the sidebar if you are looking for something you don't see here. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Teen Reading

I posted about wanting to read The Luxe and guess what? I bought it and am now reading it. Yes, I know I am in my mid-30s but I watch Gossip Girl (I did not read the books) and thought this would be a fun read - so far so good!

From Publishers Weekly
With a quote from The Age of Innocence as an epigraph and an enthusiastic blurb from the creator of Gossip Girl on its back cover, this lavishly produced debut makes no secret of its twin influences. The story opens in 1899 with the funeral of Elizabeth Holland, a well-bred beauty said to have plunged to her death in the Hudson River. The narrative then travels back several weeks, tracing the relationships and events that have led to the somber assembly. This tangled web includes not one but two sets of star-crossed lovers; an upstairs/downstairs romance; a scheming social climber; a bitter servant girl; and oodles of money, all set in a Edith Wharton via Hollywood vision of Old New York. The dialogue has its clunky moments, and the plot twist that drives the tale is telegraphed from the very start, but readers caught up in the fancy dress intrigue are unlikely to mind much: it’s all part of the dishy fun. Needless to say, the ending paves the way for at least one sequel. Ages 14-up. (See, I am way over 14!)

From Kirkus Reviews
A big, sumptuous tale of catty girls, dark secrets and windswept romance unfurls in this compulsively readable novel of late-19th-century New York City socialites. Godbersen weaves a tenuous web of deceit, backstabbing and pretense that follows four teens: Elizabeth Holland, a prim and proper lady of old-money society, is betrothed to one man, though furtively loves another; Henry Schoonmaker, a debauched playboy who must marry Elizabeth or be disinherited; Diana Holland, Elizabeth’s younger sister who is in love with her fiancé; and Penelope Hayes, a member of the nouveau riche who will stop at nothing to win Henry’s affections. As Elizabeth and Henry’s wedding approaches, the spectacle unfolds in a wondrously grandiose scene, making for a fun, though not entirely unexpected dénouement. A delicious new twist along the Gossip Girl vein, readers will clamor for this sharp, smart drama of friends, lovers, lies and betrayal.
Simon Doonan has been busy with Barneys' Green Holiday and overseeing the eco-chic window décor. But between serving as the retailer's creative director and authoring his Observer column, Doonan had time to pen his fourth book, Eccentric Glamour: Creating an Insanely More Fabulous You, which will be released by Simon and Schuster in April 2008 and will retail for $24. His latest work offers advice on "creating an insanely more fabulous you." It is by no means your traditional style service manual; typically Doonanesque, the book offers quirky cultural commentary mixed with humorous personal anecdotes. He also offers one-on-one interviews with glamorous folk including Iman, Lucy Liu, Tilda Swinton, and Malcolm Gladwell. The book's tag line: "Say no to ho...and yes to eccentric glamour." This one sounds pretty good - my mother met him at Barneys and I have a signed personalized copy of "Wacky Chicks."

via Fashion Week Daily

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Reflections of a Man

Snapshots of Christian Dior, top, and Pauline Trigère taken by Stanley Marcus.

A reader asked me about the Stanley Marcus book around Christmastime and I highly recommended it as a gift even though you know how I feel about Neiman Marcus! Today's NY Times Thursday Styles hits the highlights. Click here for the article.
Addendum: The book can be purchased through Neiman Marcus here (photo above) or the University of Texas Press in conjunction with the exhibit mentioned in the article will publish. Not sure of what the difference will be but the price is significantly less on Amazon Reflection of a Man: The Photographs of Stanley Marcus to be released next month. I also came across the author's site which I will post later on.