Showing posts with label new york. Show all posts
Showing posts with label new york. Show all posts


A few of you requested more beauty-related content on Design Darling and, while it's admittedly not (yet) my area of expertise, I'm excited to try out a few new-to-me products and services and bring you the best of what I find!

First up is Paintbox Nails, a chic-as-can-be manicure studio in SoHo that specializes in nail art. Now I'm normally not a big fan of nail art (some of the designs I've seen remind me of the little flowers I requested during manicures circa age seven) but Paintbox has a range of designs that are more minimal and sophisticated than anything my elementary school self would have sought after. I brought my Design Darling summer interns, Mary Claire and Taryn, during an extra productive work week and it was such a fun way to celebrate! 

The decor inside is to die for: bright white walls, navy leather banquette seating, and modern fixtures that are a serious step up from my usual neighborhood nail spot. And the manicurists were super friendly and had lots of advice on which colors and designs would look best. The three of us wound up choosing three different looks — I imagine it would take years to get through their full range of options!

I got navy and white colorblocking, Mary Claire got lavender with a pink stripe, and Taryn got coral with a white stripe. I think I'd get something more subtle next time but it was fun to try something a little outside my usual pink and red comfort zone!

(Side note: how hilarious is this candid of Mary Claire and Taryn? I trained them well ;) I am going to miss these two SO much!!!)

A close-up of my manicure (worn with a cameo ring from Sweet & Spark!). Have you ever tried your hand at nail art? Would you give Paintbox a go? You can book an appointment online here!


I have a bit of a sweet tooth but I rarely crave cookies or cupcakes. If I could only eat two desserts for the rest of my life, I'd go with Talenti sea salt caramel gelato (there are no words) and vanilla macarons. I'd been told that macarons are difficult to make but stubbornly I wanted to see for myself so Will and I signed up for a macaron workshop at Mille-Feuille through Vimbly, a booking site for activities and classes in New York. 

The class was taught by a fabulous French baker named Olivier (I mean, really, what more could you ask for?) and had only six students so it was easy to keep up. But it's true what they say: macarons are not a walk in the park! It's a very involved process and it would definitely take a lot of practice for me to be able to make them at home... I might even have to take the workshop again just to get more comfortable with what everything should look like before progressing to the next step. For those who requested the recipe when I posted on Instagram, here goes! Good luck :)

SHELLS: (~75 macarons)

In a large bowl, sift together:

385 grams confectionary sugar
385 grams almond powder

Then add the following:

155 grams raw egg whites

Add coloring according to your desired color. (We were in charge of vanilla so these are just white!)

In a KitchenAid bowl, whip the following gently until firm:

155 grams egg whites
(Optional ingredients: 3 grams dried egg whites, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, or 1 pinch cream of tartar)

In a sauce pan, cook at 245°F the following then pour it on the whipped egg whites:

475 grams regular sugar
160 grams water

Add the meringue little by little to the first batter.

Pipe the macarons on a tray then leave them for 20-25 minutes minimum at room temperature.

Bake at 320° F for 13-14 minutes.

Vanilla Ganache (~25 macarons)

Bring to a boil:

95 grams cream (36% or 40% fat)
2 vanilla beans (Amadeus Trading Company), should be moist and soft

Pour on the following:

190 grams Ivoire Valrhona (Valrhona 35% white chocolate or Soie from Guittard)

Blend, spread in a tray, and put in the fridge.

Chocolate Ganache (~25 macarons)
Bring to a boil:
95 grams cream (36% or 40% fat)

Pour on the following:

85 grams Caraibes Valrhona (66% chocolate)
35 grams European style butter (>82% fat, cut in pieces)
15 grams honey

Blend, spread in a tray, put in the fridge.

Pistachio Ganache (~25 macarons)

Bring to a boil:

95 grams cream (36% or 40% fat)

Pour on the following:

210 grams Ivoire Valrhona (Valrhona 35% white chocolate or Soie from Guittard)
20 grams of Pistachio paste

Blend, spread in a tray, put in the fridge.

Once the shells are baked and the ganache is chilled, you can match up shells of a similar size and sandwich them together with a drop of ganache. They actually tasted delicious — I just don't trust myself to recreate them properly when left to my own devices! Still it was a really fun workshop, went by super quickly, and we each got to take home a box of macarons. A great way to spend a Saturday morning in New York!

If you're interested in taking the same workshop, you can sign up through Vimbly here. (They're also in Boston, Chicago, D.C., Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Maui, Orlando, and Seattle!) Here's a list of other Vimbly experiences that I can't wait to take advantage of!


Exciting news!!! H&M is launching its New York flagship on Fifth Avenue this week and it will be the first store in New York to carry their home line. (Don't worry — if you're not in NYC, you can shop the full collection online!) This is definitely going to become one of my go-to sources for decorating on a budget. Here are ten pieces that instantly caught my eye:

How cute are those bow hooks?! I also thought a few of you who asked where the gold candle up in this photo was from would like the gold pillar holder above! Check out the collection online here and, if you are in New York, you can swing by the grand opening this Thursday, July 17, starting at noon. The address is 589 Fifth Avenue at 48th Street. I can't wait to check it out!

*Thank you to H&M for sponsoring this post!


There are few things I love more than feeling like I really took advantage of a weekend. Will and I usually try to pencil in a dinner date, a double date or a group activity, and progress on one of our 101 in 1001 goals (he finally wrote his own list!). I thought it'd be fun to share a little glimpse into what I do each weekend... Think of it as a combination of a day in the life feature and my New York City guide posts (especially if you want a two-day itinerary for an upcoming trip!). Whether you're reading from afar or right around the corner, I hope it's a fun little read!

Friday, 5 p.m.
A call with Hanna to walk through final details for my blog redesign. Everything looks awesome and I give her my final stamp of approval. It should go live within the week — stay tuned! Obviously I celebrate the good news by popping into Sockerbit, the cutest little candy shop in the West Village, and stocking up on all things sour and cherry-flavored. (West Coast readers, they also have an LA location!)

Friday, 6 p.m.
I get a text from Katie Kime telling me my birdcage chair is ready for shipment. I freak out, text my mom, Instagram the photo, and get ready for dinner with Will and our friends Zach and Parker. We head out to Tertulia, a yummy tapas spot that makes an insanely good gin cocktail.

Saturday, 11:30 a.m. 
I head up to Columbia University to speak at the Her Campus conference with my girls Carly, Hallie, and Jess. It's my second panel of the week (Carly and I spoke at Smart Girls Group on Thursday!) and my blisters have blisters from running around in heels. I wore my Annie Griffin striped Olivia skirt (last seen here) with Ivanka Trump heels. Our panel goes off without a hitch and I get to meet lots of lovely readers afterwards! Meeting kindred spirits will forever be the best part of blogging.

Saturday, 2 p.m.
Will and I take advantage of being uptown and stroll down to lunch at Maison Kayser (one of my favorite spots when I lived on the Upper East Side!) and an afternoon at the Met (visiting three museums is on my 101 in 1001 list and Will had the Met on his as well!). No visit is complete without seeing the Temple of Dendur in the Sackler wing (that light!) and this trip I fall in love with the Charles Engelhard court (which I've been dying to see since seeing it on Jane's Instagram). 

Will wants to see the Impressionists and I have a favorite Chuck Close painting in the contemporary section so we battled the crowds and did a lot of walking. After the museum, we ran a couple errands, went to Nobu in TriBeCa for sushi (holy people watching...), and caught up on a couple hours of emails. P.S. Any recommendations for my next two museums?

Sunday, 10 a.m.
It's raining when we wake up to take Rory to the dog park so we head to the East Village for brunch instead. I found Prune through Instagram (where else?) over a year ago and am so glad to finally make it! The hot pink branding is to die for and I can't stop snapping photos. The iced coffee is so good I can drink it without a drop of milk (I usually like mine to taste closer to ice cream than black coffee...) and between the merveilles and the blueberry pancakes I'm on a major sugar high. I love love love trying new restaurants and this is definitely one I'll revisit. 

Sunday, 12:30 p.m.
All good things must come to end, but not before spotting the perfect pink building on our walk home! (Will spots it on East 5th Street and I take roughly 3,204 photos and ask myself why I don't live there.) Then we post up at Will's apartment, where I prepare this week's new arrivals, schedule a couple blog posts, and make a list of projects for my awesome interns to tackle this week! Any weekend that's a mix of good friends, good food, and good work is A-okay with me. 

What did you do this weekend? Any exciting plans for this coming one?!


I crossed another goal off my 101 in 1001 list last weekend: spending the afternoon at a botanical garden! Will and I took the subway out to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and couldn't believe how gorgeous it was. It was definitely a little hot so I'd recommend actually looking at the forecast before you put on jeans putting it on your to do list for next spring or early summer. That said, there were still plenty of blooms (the climbing roses were my favorite!) and it was so nice to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

This would be such a pretty color palette to recreate with a bunch of bodega blooms: white daisies, hot pink roses, and a touch of lavender.

Smiling and sweating profusely. #chic

Saving this to my dream home file... Here's hoping I'll inherit my parents' love of gardening as I get older. 

After a couple hours of strolling the different parts of the garden, we camped out under one of the cherry blossom trees in the middle of the park. It was such a peaceful little moment with birds chirping and kids playing tag that you almost wouldn't know we were just minutes outside Manhattan. (So that's why people move to Brooklyn...) This must have been even prettier during cherry blossom season in April. I'm making a mental note to head back next spring!

P.S. Happy Fourth, everyone! 


What: Late lunch at Gigino

Wearing: An Old Navy dress (on sale for $12... I mean) and a yellow crossbody bag c/o Henri Bendel (I'm in love!)

Where: 20 Battery Place, Wagner Park

Why: Classic Italian fare, but the view is the real draw! Open air seating with views of the Statue of Liberty (and a nearby ferry in case you have time to visit!). We'll be back for sure.


I don't know how I haven't gotten around to posting about Tipsy Parson before today because it is without a doubt one of my top five favorite restaurants in New York. If you're visiting the city (or you live here and somehow haven't already been), run, don't walk. You will not be disappointed!

What: Dinner at Tipsy Parson

Where: 156 9th Avenue, Chelsea

Why: Get. The. Brussels. Sprouts. A little sweet, a little spicy, and generally perfect. I like the chicory salad but I've been known to indulge in the mac and cheese if it's freezing out and I need to warm up. The Tipsy Palmer cocktail is so good you'll want more than one. Oh and I'd like to cover my life in their Brunschwig & Fils Bibliotheque wallpaper.

Need more recommendations? You're in luck. Check out more of my NYC favorites here!


What: Brunch at The Butcher's Daughter, a café and juice bar

Wearing: Vintage Ray-Bans, t-shirt dress (last worn here), Converse kicks

Where: 19 Kenmare Street, Nolita

Why: Beautiful branding. Friendly service. Healthy beverages and gluten-free groceries in the juice bar next door. Outdoor seating. Yummy avocado toast.

Need more recommendations? Check out my ongoing New York City guide here.


What: Toby's Estate Coffee, the chicest coffee shop you ever did see. A Brooklyn favorite brought to the city and nestled within Club Monaco's stunning flagship store. 

Where: 160 5th Avenue, Flatiron

Why: Antiqued mirror menu, bistro chairs for catching up with a friend (or the New York Times), delicious cold brew coffee, dreamy white subway tile, conveniently located next to The Strand for leisurely book shop browsing. In other words, how soon can I move in? More New York City recommendations here.

Keep up with Design Darling