NATTY [Life] STYLE: Blossoming Vegan Feast in the West Village

July 17th, 2014 admin


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Back in the 1950’s a meal wasn’t a meal without meat.  But this isn’t the 1950’s, and meat isn’t what it used to be.  With the production of pork, beef and poultry that’s being raised and slaughtered en masse – meat and animal products have become less revered as a clean source of nutrition, and more feared for it’s hormone laced byproducts.  So, while I am not against the consumption of (sustainably raised and responsibly produced) meat and dairy, I do opt for an 80/20 rule most of the time – going vegan whenever possible.

 

Obviously when you’re cooking for yourself, it’s easy to control what’s on your plate.  But what can be trickier, is finding satisfying vegan options at restaurants.  Vegan cafés are often heavily lacking in atmosphere, and occasionally the food itself is just as lackluster.  Thankfully, there’s Blossom – a local, mini chain of 4 restaurants in NYC that gives vegans a place to indulge in delicious eats, without sacrificing food quality or experience.  Blossom’s menu renounces all animal products in favor of organic, plant-based dishes that source their ingredients locally and from small farms and distribution companies.  And guess what…?  They’re actually DELICIOUS!

 

My personal favorite is Blossom on Carmine – not only because of its extreme proximity to my apartment (aka my Treehouse) in the West Village, but also because of its tapas style menu and open-air dining room.  The casual yet decidedly un “crunchy” ambiance was a perfect setting for my latest Hippie in Heels Feast.

 

It was a hot summer weeknight, and my girlfriends and I were craving a healthy meal over which to gossip and catch up on each other’s lives.  Blossom’s satiating, small plates menu is perfect for sharing – and share we did.  Over savory mushroom tacos, Moroccan veggie tagine and a bottle of wine – we devoured a total of 7 dishes and countless stories and anecdotes from the week behind.  My favorite dish had to be the seaweed “caviar” crostini, which was every bit as delectable as it’s namesake.  Although it was a close tie with the quinoa salad – so richly flavorful, that it had us all digging in until we thought our bellies would burst.  The meatless meal even converted Ashley (notorious for once requesting a drive by steak after eating a vegan lunch) to a believer in the potential of creative vegan cuisine.  As for my favorite moment?  Probably when we went around the table assigning each other clothing avatars.  There was no debate when it came to nominating me as a caftan.  “Like a vintage Pucci caftan with a deep V” specified one friend.  Well, good thing the flowy, floral sundress I’d selected for the occasion wasn’t too far off!


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[STYLE FILE] A Decadent Chocolate Feast in A Mod Mini Dress

July 15th, 2014 admin

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Although many love to believe that women in fashion don’t eat; for the most part that couldn’t be farther from the truth.  (Seriously, you should see how fast the catering disappears backstage before a runway show.)  Plus, let’s be honest – we ladies love our chocolate.  So it makes perfect sense that Belgian chocolate and ice cream brand, Magnum has a close knit relationship with the fashion industry – starting with Karl Lagerfeld as it’s spokesperson back in 2011.  It also makes perfect sense that at 5pm on a Wednesday night, the brand had no trouble filling seats for a dinner party hosted by James Beard award winning chef, Andrew Carmellini in the private dining and wine cellar of his gorgeous NoHo restaurant, Lafayette.  The occasion?  A celebration of Magnum’s latest collaboration between Carmellini and fashion designer, Christian Siriano to create “The World’s Most Fashionable Dessert.”

 

Although I’d received notice of the event via email weeks before, one week before the party, I received by messenger a giant bar of chocolate engraved with the details of the party.  “Now THAT’S an invitation”, I thought to myself as I broke off a corner and popped it into my mouth.  Being a full-fledged foodie, as well as half Belgian – I really can’t say no to a lavish meal punctuated with chocolate.  Even better when the meal itself is locally sourced and mostly organic… Lucky for me, chef Carmellini knew his crowd for this fashion-meets-food event and whipped up a meal filled with just such guilt-free ingredients.  Organic carrot soup, wild black bass from Long Island, and fava beans from an organic upstate farm called “Buried Treasures” were just a few of the delights that warmed us up for the main event: The Dessert. Double caramel with champagne mango and pineapple, coconut cream and basil: the chocolate “lace” trimmed bar is as much a mouthful to say as it was to eat… At one point I remember chef Carmellini gesturing to the plate while explaining something about the importance of champagne mangoes, but to be honest I could barely hear him through the symphony of my senses as I focused on the decadent flavors in front of me.  It’s a good thing (and definitely no accident) that the meal leading up to dessert had been fairly light, because from my left to my right and all around my table, not a single scrap of the bar remained on anyone’s plate.  In fact, one eager guest even snatched up the display dessert that Carmellini had used to explain the dessert to the crowd.  Seconds anyone?  Yes please.

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[PARTNER POST] My Daily Summer Essentials – via Today.com

July 14th, 2014 admin

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NYC-based stylist and The Hippie in Heels blogger Natalie Decleve is famous for her impeccable gypset style and natural approach to beauty. Natty took a minute out of her summer travels to share with us the well-edited products she’s never without.”

[CLICK HERE] To read full post & see 2 other blogger’s beauty favorites on Today.com

NATTY [Life] STYLE: 3 Perfect Picnic Recipes with 3 Steps or Less

June 27th, 2014 admin


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Inspired by my recent Connecticut jaunt, I’ve had picnics on the brain.  Really, when the weather is as pitch perfect as it is in June, what better way to soak it up than on a blanket in a park with something to nibble on?  Whether under a tree or on a beach, with a group or on a date – picnics are a quintessential part of summertime.

 

Rather than heading straight to the Whole Foods salad bar to stock up, I’ve got a few easy ideas that’ll save you some cash as well as calories.  Below are some of my favorite simple salad recipes – straight from my treehouse kitchen to your picnic basket… and just in time for 4th of July!

 

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[STYLE FILE] Pretty in Pink for RoomZoom’s Summer Solstice Launch Party

June 25th, 2014 admin

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In many ways, finding a roommate is like finding a husband.  You’ve got a contract that binds and you share an address… so you’d better be darn sure you like the person!  Thankfully, now there’s an app for that.

 

Much like OKCupid or other dating apps, RoomZoom links like-minded roommates based on personality traits and lifestyle.  Hooray!  Now “Game of Thrones” addicts everywhere can spend Sundays together in front of the telly, while hoarders and neat freaks stay comfortably apart.  Genius.

 

Founded by my cutie petutie friend and Vanity Fair editor, Elien Blue BecqueRoomZoom is still in Beta, though it’s already growing rapidly in New York, Los Angeles and London. So clearly, a party to celebrate the app’s launch and mounting success was imperative.  Being the most social of social butterflies that she is, Elien hosted an impressive roster of her nearest and dearest friends for a Summer Solstice bash last week. Simbarashe (of Lord Ashbury) was in the mix – capturing every candid moment, while Juan Patino snapped portraits for the site of all of the gorgeous faces in attendance.   There were writers and musicians, editors and models, artists and art dealers… and little old me, just happy to be sipping rosé & nibbling dolmas with the eclectic mix of friends both old and new.

 

Maybe I was already channeling the endless stream of rosé when I chose my outfit for the eve: a flowy, hot pink Ramy Brook jumpsuit draped with a rose quartz BuDha Girl beaded necklace.  Either way, I didn’t need rose colored glasses to see the writing on the wall: if RoomZoom is anything like it’s launch party, it’s sure to be a smashing success! Read the rest of this entry »

[LINE TO LOVE] My Summer Collaboration with Hunter Bell

June 19th, 2014 admin

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If you’ve been following my site for a while, you’ve likely seen me wear a number of Hunter Bell (previously of Hunter Dixon) items over the years.  Her playful feminine aesthetic always works well with my own wardrobe and her designs favor color as much as I do.  Since Hunter changed the name of the line from Hunter Dixon to Hunter Bell last year, the brand has expanded rapidly – now selling everywhere from Saks and Nordstrom to Shopbop and Revolve plus over 70 boutiques nationwide.  Hunter also starred (and WON) NBC’s Fashion Star – proving that she can count Nicole Richie, Jessica Simpson and John Varvatos among her loyal fan base.

 

It also helps that Hunter herself is such a doll; so when she asked me to collaborate on her summer lookbook and campaign– I said “of course!”  Hunter wanted her summer collection to embody urban sophistication and “California cool”.  When I asked her why she chose me for the project, she said “you embody California cool, I have always admired your style and I wanted to partner with a woman who identified with my vision for how women should dress.”  Well, flattery will get you everywhere Hunter – the feeling has always been mutual!!

 

So together we brainstormed the Hunter Bell girl and shot the collection this winter – all styled and modeled by yours truly.  The process was as fun as the clothes themselves – and now they’re finally all available to buy online!  Below is a sneak peak at the lookbook – but the rest can be seen and shopped directly on wwwHunterBellNYC.com.

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[STYLE FILE] Where I Went & What I Wore: A Picnic Party at The Glass House and a Cut-Out Carven Top

June 16th, 2014 admin

photo5Springtime is best enjoyed outdoors.  But what if you could enjoy the outdoors, even from inside your home?  Such is the case with The Glass House – a 1728 sq foot abode, designed by famed architect Philip Johnson in 1949.  Perched among 49 acres of lush landscape of New Canaan, CT, the home was once a residence – but has been made available to the public since Johnson’s death in 2005.  A true feat of engineering, the home shares the grounds with several other incredible structures and art galleries including a “Ghost House” and Lake Pavilion.

 

Needless to say, The Glass House is worth a visit.  So when I was invited to attend The Glass House’s summer fundraising party, I leapt at the chance.  Especially when I learned that it would be sponsored by Swarovski and involve a picnic on the gorgeous lawn overlooking a pool and the house itself.  Cadillac generously lent me a CTS, and my best friend Ashley Gail Harris and I cruised over from NYC to New Canaan in a little over an hour.  Immediately upon arrival, we were greeted with some of the most crazy, delicious tuna appetizers I’ve ever tasted (that’s no hyperbole – those things were so dang good I had to restrain from shoveling 4 more in my mouth, lest I be considered a heathen amongst the well heeled, waspy Connecticut crowd.)  From the entrance, Ashley and I plucked our way through the painting and sculpture galleries – both as impressive for the architecture as the artwork.  Precariously teetering on high heels (mental note, maybe not THE wisest choice for a picnic) we made our way through the serene house itself and back over to the tent to view the auction and eventually collect our lunch…


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[PARTNER POST] Packing Like a Pro for Darling Magazine

June 13th, 2014 admin

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Tis the season…to travel!  With Memorial Day just behind the bend, and summer Fridays creating long weekends for many – getting out of town is a must.  But nothing weighs down a vacation like excess luggage.  At the same time, the fear of spending time without our entire repertoire of clothes to choose from makes it easy to overpack.  But more isn’t always more, and having a bunch of clothes that don’t necessarily fit your needs is as useless as having nothing at all.  The key to smart packing, is to edit your options to only the most versatile and necessary items.

Part of being able to relax on a holiday is not worrying about anything – including your wardrobe.  While that may seem difficult for some, it can be easy to achieve with a little planning.  To get prepared for your next trip, check out these tips for a perfectly packed bag!

[CLICK HERE] For essential packing tips via Darling Magazine online.

[CURRENTLY COVETING] The Do’s & Don’ts of Practicing SAFE SUN, + Top 10 Safe Sun Essentials via Guest of a Guest

June 3rd, 2014 admin

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By now we all know how important it is to wear sunscreen. Skin cancer, melanomas, premature aging: obvi nobody wants that. But what if your sunscreen itself could be causing the very damage it’s meant to prevent? Many studies show that toxic additives and misuse can actually make certain products more harmful than helpful. Just when you thought you were being responsible by slathering on your Coppertone… But don’t you worry that freckled face of yours, I’ve rounded up some of the most effective and natural products on the market; along with essential Do’s and Don’ts that go beyond the basics on practicing safe sun this summer.

[CLICK HERE] To read full post via Guest of a Guest

[PARTNER POST] Getting Glam with TONI&GUY for Refinery29

May 27th, 2014 admin

Slide1Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m pretty low maintenance (read: lazy) when it comes to my hair. I don’t dye it, I trim my own bangs as much as possible, and I rarely do much more than a messy top-knot or a ponytail when it comes to styling. So when Refinery29 asked me to get glammed up with TONI&GUY for their Hair Meet Wardrobe project, I jumped at the chance to get out of my comfort zone. Using a whole bunch of their runway ready products, the experts at TONI&GUY showed me how to twist and tack my hair into an elaborate up do that even I could attempt. The result was a very old Hollywood, vintage feeling pin-up look that was about as far from my usual mop as possible.

[CLICK HERE] to learn how to pull off this glamorous style and 2 other equally awesome looks!

[NATTY NEWS] Featured Interview in Bella Magazine

May 20th, 2014 admin

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A huge thank you to Bella magazine for my recently featured interview!  Choosing favorite restaurants was by far the toughest question for me… I live to eat, so I have so many amazing favorites!!

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[PARTNER POST] Swimwear for Every Body via DARLING Magazine

May 15th, 2014 admin

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Unlike winter’s cloaking costumes, bathing suits reveal bodies for what they are: natural, complex, ours. This kind of exposure can be intimidating as we bare what is otherwise mostly hidden behind bedroom walls. Prancing around in next to nothing, we open ourselves up to scrutiny — that of others, maybe — but mostly, of our own. We tend to be our own harshest critic, agonizing over the differences between our body and say, a supermodel’s.

Women come in all shapes and sizes, though the media often tends toward a narrow-minded viewpoint on what is beautiful and aspirational.  We are constantly being promised “ultimate diet secrets” and ways to “get the perfect body” by magazines and TV shows, yet through that we are also being programmed to feel ashamed of our imperfections; leading to a disappointing self-image and insecurity. Yet, rather than focusing on the so called flaws in our figure, the true path to contentment is found by embracing our bodies in full, the way one embraces a friend or a loved one.

As we bask in longer days and balmy temperatures, so too should a healthy body should be celebrated. Having a swimsuit that suits your figure will help give you the confidence to enjoy the warmer months in style. And nothing is more beautiful than confidence.

So drop your doubts along with your towel, and dive in with one of these bathing beauties!

[CLICK HERE] To view full post via Darling Magazine, or below for just the basics.

 

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[PARTNER POST] Where I Went & What I Wore for a Spring Feast at Laduree Soho via Guest of a Guest

May 7th, 2014 admin

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If you have a sweet tooth or have ever been to Paris, then you know that Laduree is the Parisian equivalent to New York’s Magnolia Bakery. That’s not to say that the cozy downtown bakery known for its cupcakes is much like Laduree’s elegant, historical house of tea and sweets (renowned for their mouthwatering macaroons), but both are ubiquitously worshiped for their specific, sugary specialties. In fact – much like a Manolo Blahnik sample sale, lines of chic locals and curious tourists often wrap around the block at both Magnolia and Laduree.

So when New York finally got its own Laduree, on the Upper East Side a couple of years ago, we clicked our heels and got in line. This year, the storied maison de macarons opened a second output in the former Borolo space in SoHo. At long last! Now downtowners can also delight in a delicate, 3-tiered pastry after brunch, or snatch up a box full of rainbow macarons to bring to a dinner party. But there’s more to the luxury bakery than confectionary treats. Two ornately appointed dining rooms (and soon a lush garden) offer everything from high tea, to breakfast, to lunch and dinner!

As a Francophile and macaron-o-phile, (did you know that macaroons are GLUTEN FREE?!) I knew that I had to experience Laduree’s latest location immediately – if not sooner. And what better occasion than Easter to indulge in pastel pastries?! Luckily, my friend and dessert aficionado, Elizabeth Minett, had the same MO, and was the perfect accomplice for an afternoon of decadence. Click through to see what we wore to this sweet, springtime feast!

*IMG_2801[CLICK HERE] For full post on Guest of a Guest

 

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Hippie in heels. NYC based Stylist & Writer. Guest of a Guest, BuzzFeed & Cosmo contributor. All natural, always Natty. www.nataliedecleve.com

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