Subtle Sparkle

new years 1958January 1958 Esquire cover, from their archives.

It’s time to set fire to 2012! 13 is one of my favorite numbers, so here’s hopin’ 2013 is full of adventure, mirth, fizzy drinks and tons of smiles. I may seem a bit over-the-top, but when it comes to sparkle, I say subtle is the key. What do I mean?

Sparkle Collage

1. Create an easy confetti launcher with a balloon and a tiny paper cup. 2. A gold-rimmed coupe glass is a sure-fire way to get some sparkle to your lips. 3. An invite or well-wish card via Paperless Post (or for me – a new desktop wallpaper!) 4. Some subtly glitter dusted brogues. 5. A photobooth corner covered in sequins and a smile will be all the sparkle your party needs!

Bonne Année, Amis!

Last Links of the Year

Some fun roundups for the end of the year, plus some fun extras. Let’s go!

♠ Probably the most thrilling and cool “selfie” of the year:

♠ This article about the M & F subway trains is fascinating.

“There are no station announcements to signal to riders which train will arrive first. There are no countdown clocks. And so the travelers help one another, communicating the hints they have trained their senses to capture: the pitch of a screech when a train comes to a halt — unique depending on the line, some insist; the rustling of newspapers, windswept by an oncoming train; the wave of a hand, the nod of a head, a pull on the top of a baseball cap, like a third-base coach advising his player to steal.”

♠ Leslie Knope sent out her end of the year newsletter, with the top 3 Park events of 2012. Always a good year when you become raccoon-free.

♠ One of my favorite places to be inspired by photography, The Big Picture takes a look at 2012 in pictures, Part I, Part II, Part III, and the best Nature pictures.

♠ Any L.A. photography I can find that documents things like this – things that could be a strange setting in a David Lynch movie – are in my wheelhouse. “I find the mundane to be extravagant and I find the beauty in the expired; This is my Los Angeles.” The Expired LA series, by photographer Vicky Moon, is great.

♠ Last month on the Diane Rehm Show, she talked to Domingo Martinez, author of The Boy Kings of Texas: A Memoir. I didn’t catch the original airing, so when I heard it this morning, I knew I had to read this book. I love strong matriarch Latinas.

♠ I found my new favorite way of capturing the year ahead and behind: One Charming Party’s Resolution Printable.

♠ A stellar, gorgeous song that makes a perfect end-of-year winter song.

An Esquire Christmas

Since it has been well documented that I am an avid fan of Esquire Magazine, I thought I’d share a few of their December covers (via their glorious Cover Archive) that are my favorites.

The Cover Men:

cover men

Murray Christmas, 1998; America’s first Black Santa, Sonny Liston (the photo shoot has a great backstory here); The Power Stance, 2000

The “Esky” Covers:

cover decor

For those not familiar with “Esky,” he is Esquire’s little mustachioed mascot.
I will put a page break here, because the next photos are semi-NSFW.

Continue reading “An Esquire Christmas”

My Home Bar: The Derby

Come one, come all, see the amazing cocktail that shattered my cocktail shaker!

To defend the cocktail – which is not bad – my cocktail shake was plastic, so it was bound to happen sooner rather than later. Perhaps my very own Santa will bring me a sturdy one.



  • Ice
  • 1 ounce bourbon whiskey
  • 3/4 ounce lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 1/2 ounce Grand Marnier or orange curaçao
  • Lime wedge or mint leaf, for garnish


Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add bourbon, lime, sweet vermouth, and Grand Marnier and shake well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lime wedge or mint leaf.

It’s the “shake well” that got me. Well, got my cocktail shaker. So when the bottom cracked, the above picture of the actual drink was all that I could save. Quelle sadness.

Recipe from the book Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails, as created by Michael Dietsch on Serious Eats (of course), found via the Bourbon Babe

Links and More Links


It should say Happy Holidays, but it’s a vintage card so…apologies to non-Christmas lovers.

Let’s get to the week in fun stuff!

♠ I like this short, but perfectly stated article called “There Should Only Be One ‘Santa Baby’.” All non-Eartha Kitt versions are invalid, because she knows how to purr with tongue implanted firmly in cheek:

“It’s just a novelty Christmas song, obviously, and not that deep, but it’s worth noting that “Santa Baby” is one of very few Christmas hits written by a woman (Joan Javits), so it’s interesting how the song, depending on the singer, can either be tongue-in-cheek or needy and vaguely depressing.”

The proof is in the purr:

Warm Winter Salads might sound like the rudest thing someone could mention days before the big Xmas feast, but this slideshow from Food + Wine actually made my mouth water. You had me at “bacon vinaigrette.”

♠ Instagram released information about their new policies, to be updated in January, and received a huge amount of backlash. They have since reverted back to the original policy and thanked its members for being a community not afraid to stand up for their personal rights. It has made me think about how sad I would be if I had to get rid of a community that I felt inspired by, so I’m pretty happy they have kept the privacy. But, I’m still going to back up all my photos on flickr, my first online photo love.

♠ I think Gala Darling posted this last week, but I have been so busy I didn’t get to it now. Emily Henderson’s guide to picking the perfect color palette has my decorating wheels turning. We’ll be moving in March, and where ever we land, I am going to definitely use this to help me focus my haphazard decor.

♠ I must admit to feeling kind of nervous about taking our holiday photos because I didn’t want to look funky, so thank goodness for I Heart Faces’ post on fixing posing mistakes. Never square yourself to the camera, always lean in, and chin up! Steph’s post about makeup for photos also helped. I am a huge advocate of fake eyelashes – they make me feel like I don’t need any other makeup! hc black eyes

♠ As with many other bloggers, I am obsessed with typefaces and hand-made signs, so I love Jon Contino’s work and his instagram keeps me inspired. I have to say, I am pretty excited about the sneak peek of this 2013 shirt.

♠ The always creative Melissa created some inexpensive, but damn fancy looking coasters over at Honeybee Vintage. I think they would be perfect for a New Years countdown party, but what I love most are her GORGEOUS thrifted owl glasses.


♠ Quite Continental has a perfectly suited playlist of Christmas crooners on a Spotify playist so if you can listen, hop on over and please do.

What’s new in your neck of the woods?