It’s no secret we’re pretty amped (along with the rest of the world!) for The Great Gatsby film coming out May 10th. After seeing the last trailer, we were especially excited for the first release off the soundtrack, Lana Del Rey’s Young & Beautiful. It just launched today so check it out and have a great Monday!
Way back when I promised Tank, my French Bulldog and CPO (Chief Persuasion Officer), that I would blog relevant happenings for him from time to time. Being that today is Tuesday and Tank’s friend from the French Bulldog Rescue Network, Lenny the Lentil, is well, awesome, I thought what better day to start?
Lenny the Lentil is one of the sweetest and most adorable puppies (apart from Tank, of course) we’ve ever laid eyes on. He’s a 6-week-old French Bulldog who, with his sister, Edamame (I know, can’t even handle the cuteness), were taken away from their mother and given to FBRN from a commercial breeder when they were just 2 days old due to having extreme cleft palates (a common issue with Frenchies). They were rushed to the veterinary hospital, but unfortunately Edamame didn’t make it and Lenny is the sole surviving member from a litter of four. Due to his condition and being separated from his mother so young, he has a long road ahead of him of multiple surgeries and has to be hand fed using a tube due to his palate.
We’ve been following his progress via FBRN’s Facebook posts and just saw that he made the Huffington Post along with a variety of other major news outlets! However, this complication is serious business (so much so that he’s been taken to Cornell to be evaluated) and veterinary bills are piling up for little Lentil. If you can donate to FBRN for Lenny or any other pup that warms your heart, click the link here. I know they would be extremely grateful. Without support for this amazing organization, pups like Lentil wouldn’t have a chance and Tank wouldn’t be where he is today.
-Tank & Stacy
ps – What sent us over the edge was the new video of Lentil wearing his new cape. It’s quite possibly the cutest thing you’ll ever see. We’ll try to embed the video here once it goes on YouTube, but for now, click here to check it out.
In the meantime, we have Lentil demonstrating his fighter mentality vs. a Chihuahua. I can’t even handle it.:
Hope you all had a great and safe St. Patrick’s Day Weekend. With that in mind, there’s nothing better for a hangover cure than a good brunch. Sunday brunch is a ritual here in New York, but if you want to stay in and have people over, I have a great (and somewhat healthy recipe) for you. Okay, actually the kale is the only thing healthy, but whatever, it’s delicious. =)
This particular recipe was inspired my local coffee shop here in Brooklyn. Every weekend, when I pop in for my morning latte, they have these amazing little kale and egg bird nests. However delicious they are, I’m always slightly bummed because the egg yolks are cooked through (which, I understand as they’re not made-to-order). So, I decided to do a little research (thank you Pinterest) and concocted a recipe à la my coffee shop version + a handful of other recipes to create perfect yolk’y goodness. =) So, here we go…
Kale & Egg Bird Nests
1/2 large bunch kale
2 big cloves of garlic (add more or less depending on your love of garlic)
2 tbsp Olive Oil
sea salt & pepper (to taste)
1 shallot, minced
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced (if you don’t have fresh herbs, i get it, but they do make a big difference in taste)
½ tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
1/2 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tbsp butter cut into pats (can omit, but much tastier – of course) =)
Olive oil or canola oil spray (truffle oil wouldn’t be too shabby either)
Optional ingredients (I decided to add these suggestions in because, well, I like options and experimenting in the kitchen. =) Choose 1-3 if you like, but no more as those little cupcake tins can only hold so much deliciousness):
- freshly grated parmesan or cheddar
- jalapeño pepper – chopped
- crispy cooked bacon – chopped
- chopped artichoke hearts (if canned, drained and padded dry with paper towel)
- chopped prosciutto
- chopped sundried tomato
- chopped roasted red peppers (if canned, drained and padded dry with paper towel)
- the options are endless! (just make sure you chop whatever you choose into small bits)
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray 6 wells in your cupcake pan with canola or olive oil spray, making sure to not forget the sides. Cut pats of butter (use your discretion) and place 1/2 a pat in the bottom of each well. Put pan aside.
In a small saucepan, heat 1/2 tbsp butter and 1 tsp olive oil. Add shallot and sautée until soft and fragrant, 3-5 minutes. Add herbs and 1/2 tsp sea salt; remove from heat and stir to combine. The mixture should be somewhat coarse and just a little buttery.
Wash kale, shake or pad off excess water and rip leaves from stem. Discard stems. Put olive oil and chopped garlic cloves in a large sautée pan or skillet heated to med-high (i’m a fan of cast iron, but use whatever you like to sautée in). Sautée garlic for 1 min. Add kale and keep moving the mixture around. Sautée until bits of the kale start to turn brown. I like to sautée mine for a little longer to make it nice and crispy. Dash with sea salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.
Put sprayed cupcake pan with butter pats in the heated oven for 1 min to melt the butter. Remove from oven. Line each cupcake pan well with sauteed kale to form a nest for the egg to sit in. If adding any optional ingredients (cheese, jalapeño, bacon, etc..) do it now, putting a little bit of them on top of the kale nests. Don’t O.D. though as you need room for the egg (and you can always put more on top). Crack one egg for each nest, careful not break the egg yolks (I typically tap with a butter knife). Add the herb mixture on top (and if you have room, go nuts w/any additional ingredients). However, keep in mind you’re going to want to be able to see if the egg white is cooked through (and we do want this to actually cook). =)
Here’s mine before I popped them in (I did a variety of optional ingredients – those are jalapeños topping the right side):
Place in oven and set your timer to 7 mins. Make sure to pay attention to the timer as you don’t want to overcook the eggs. Check the eggs to see if the whites have cooked mostly through (if not, check on them again after another minute). When they’re almost cooked (white should be slightly milky-clear on the top, if that makes sense), crank up the broiler and put them in for another minute and then check to see if the whites are fully cooked. My oven took an additional 2 mins, but all ovens vary, just be vigilant. If you want the yolks runny, don’t overcook the whites. As soon as the whites are cooked, remove from oven. They should look something like this:
While you’ll want to inhale them immediately, let them sit for 3-5 mins. Then use a small spatula or knife to go around the edges and gently lift them out and wah-lah! Serve by themselves or with toasted English Muffins, crumpets, or whatever your carb of choice is. Enjoy!
Hope you all had a fab wknd. I met up with some of my favorite people and caught a show at The Knitting Factory in Williamsburg. The opening band was Midnight Faces out of Grand Rapids, MI. I hadn’t heard of them before (not surprisingly, as they just released their first EP) but was seriously impressed. Think…The National meets Explosions in the Sky meets…Mogwai…meets…Coldplay? Anyway, just have a listen! I’m jamming out to them in the studio now (check them out on Soundcloud or find their whole album on Spotify). Trust me – they’re the good stuff.
Creativity is what I live and breathe for, but sometimes you need inspiration like this to break through that wall you’ve been hitting. So, when my amazing friend, Dana, from The Tao of Dana, posted this yesterday on her blog, I had to share! It’s a great reminder to print out for your cube, co-workers, add to your Pinterest board, etc… So crank the music, grab a cup of a coffee and organize your space! I’m off for my second cup and to check more things off my list! =) Have a great Tuesday and hope this helps push your creativity a little farther today!
Happy Monday! If you’ve been following the blog, you know February was a pretty big month for me and I’m dedicating this Music Monday to all the women out there who are rocking it to the fullest. Surrounding yourself with such driven and inspiring people creates an amazing synergy I can’t even begin to fully describe. I feel so lucky to have a group like this in my life to help keep that amazing momentum going. I have to note, this doesn’t at all pertain solely to those succeeding career-wise but also to those reaching for personal growth, setting goals, obtaining achievements, etc…
As of late, close friends to acquaintances have received promotions, changed careers, had babies, gone back to school, started training for their next marathon (or just started back at the gym, period), opened businesses, achieved new certifications, moved across the country and world, and so on… It’s all about growing, going after what you want – what you’re truly passionate about, pushing boundaries and never becoming stagnant. The strength of these women – who come from all walks of life, mind you – astounds me. And so, ladies, this one is for you.
I’ve always made it a priority to surround myself with positive, supportive people and distance or eliminate those who unfortunately behave the opposite. With that being said, some very dynamic people have come into my life as of late, who have inspired me in a multitude of ways: from outside-the-box thinking for growing my business to those who remind me to stay open to new experiences, people and places. On that note, I came across this quote via one of my nearest and dearest friends today and thought some of you may also appreciate it. =)
Happy Monday! Hope you had a fantastic wknd and aren’t too groggy-eyed as we roll into the work week. I thought we’d start it off with a group I’ve been digging on as of late – that being Pillowfight, which is the Gorillaz Dan the Automator’s new project with Brooklyn-based hip-hop violinist, Emily Wells and Kid Koala. KCRW’s Jason Bentley introduced me to these guys last month as they’ve just released their debut, self-titled album (which you can have a listen to below – you’re welcome). ; ) I’ve particularly been cranking the track, “Get Down,” in the studio and at the gym as it has that perfect twist of funk disco with modern beats to get you up and at it. I’m a fan. I think you will be too. Enjoy. =)
My alma mater, pretty much summing up how I feel after this week. =) Have a great weekend everyone!
So here goes…2 weeks ago, I was approached by adidas Originals, asking if I could produce my men’s toiletry bag as their VIP Swag Bag for their NBA All-Star Weekend opening event on February 14th in Houston for the NBA Players and celebs. <<falls over>> The kicker? 350 of them in 10 days. Oh, and custom fabric. And labels. And trim. No. big. deal.
So what did I do? Well, what do you think I did? I said YES! (okay more like a, “I can’t feel my legs, holy *%#, YES!!!”)
Now how to pull it off? Well, if you know me, I’m extremely resourceful, work pretty well under pressure and project management is sort of my specialty. (I mean, not to toot my own horn but I tend to make things happen – so toot! toot! haha!). So how did I make this happen? Well…if you’re interested…See Steps 1 through 8…if not, I won’t be offended. Just scroll past for the eye candy and wrap up.
Step 1 – Fabric Sourcing. Ohhh the fun part. This involved kosher 24/6 hot food vending machines (scary) in Bed-Stuy (those vending machines were far scarier FYI)…
…Trips to New Jersey warehouses in the Mood Mobile (sadly, sans Tim Gunn)…
…and wayyyy too much time to find the perfect color of black leather (that I never ended up using, mind you).
While sourcing, I had to make sure anything we considered they had at least 45 yards of, while keeping in mind color restrictions, certain patterns, fabric types and weights along with the theme of the bag being “urban survival kit”. This is due in part that adidas designed the jerseys for the players with a camouflage background and are also releasing a new line of camouflage shoes over the All-Star weekend…
Then to overnight swatch pairings to the client for final selection…only to find out the initial fabric choices are now out-of-stock due to impending fashion week madness, barely skim by with enough yardage of the second choice aaaand…
Step 2 – Trim Sourcing. Think buckles, D-rings, zippers, etc… that’s trim. 350 antique brass D-rings? Cake. However, do you know how difficult it is to find 350, 11″ black #5 YKK brass jean zippers in 3 days? Well, I found out. Fortunately, between my supplier here in New York and a few recommendation’s recommendation’s connections in Chicago, I didn’t have to fly to the YKK factory in Japan to beat down the door …aaaand…
Step 3 – Create matching labels for both adidas Originals and Fritz & Fräulein. Lesson learned: fabric stamps of my label do not work on cotton twill tape. What does work on short order? Having the incredibly talented Jeraul at Liberation Prints in Chicago pull an all-nighter to silk screen 800 of the tiniest things she’s ever printed in her life and overnight them to me in New York.
*BTW, I should have bought stock in FedEx before this all began. And…
Step 4 – To simultaneously find, on the brink of fashion week, a New York manufacturer (do you really think i could cut and sew these all myself? sadly, no. not in 1 week) who wasn’t booked and could make the bags that I could A – trust, B – could replicate my quality and design to a tee, oh, and C – could produce and ship in 1 week. Done and done. Well…not really that simple, but let’s just say I had to deal with a few frogs, a few <<laughs loud in the phone>> <<click>>, before I found my bag guru.
Step 5 – Breathe.
Step 6 – Almost have a heart attack when said bag guru doesn’t return calls for 24 hours – 48 hours before my ship deadline. Returns call. Everything on schedule. Aaaand breathe.
Step 7 – Bags completed at 7pm on ship deadline date. Count, pack and QC 350 bags on short-order, putting the last shipping label on as FedEx shows up at 8pm to overnight to Houston. Breathe.
Step 8 – Bags arrive at 8am in Houston. Client happy. Stacy couldn’t be more pleased. Aaaand breathe.
Okay, enough PM 101, let’s see the bags, right? Right. I get it. Rock and roll.
A shot of the first sample bag made, which I made a few tweaks to, but you get the idea:
And the bag open with digital camouflage lining (please excuse the pinned-in labels, this was the production sample):
Finally, here’s just a portion of the 350 in all their glory:
And yes, there were EXACTLY 350, so no extras sadly (and only about 6 inches of fabric to spare – no joke). However, in our rush to count and pack them in time, I only took this quick shot of the pile of bags and didn’t get any additional shots of an individual bag and lining. Just imagine the second photo, but with the labels sewn in and you’ve got it. =)
So there you have it. The cats are officially all out of the bag. I have to particularly thank adidas Originals, Danica, my PM on the client side and their designer, who found me in the first place, as well as my amazing colleagues in the industry, Laerte, Juan, Jeraul, Ush, Jeremy and Steve, who all had a hand in making this happen. My gratitude cannot be expressed enough as, between this project and Hilfiger, my business has grown exponentially over the past month and really, I couldn’t be happier or more humbled.
So, with that, I’m going to take a little much needed vacation. Ironically, Texas and California are on the radar for said trip in the beginning of March. However, don’t think I won’t be be taking meetings. I think you know me better than that. =)