Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Desk to Dinner Style

I hope you're as excited as I am that our Megan is back from summer break! Here she is...

Megan: Every September, as the days grow shorter and the evenings cooler, I find myself wondering how summer could possibly have flown by so fast. I hang up my sundresses and put away my swimsuits for another season. As vacations (and summer Fridays for the lucky ones!) wind down and the schedule returns to a more regular 9-5, my calendar once again starts to fill up with post-work happy hours and dinner parties. Special events during the work week require outfits that can transition from desk to dinner with a swap of a shoe and a swipe of lipstick, so I’ve pulled together three looks perfect for week night festivities and celebrations.
Megan: If you’re headed straight from a day at the office to a date with a special someone, I love the idea of a long sleeve little black dress with some extra embellishments. The gems and metallic accents make this Kate Spade number special, while the ponte fabric and shift style keeps it from feeling too formal. For day, I’ve paired it with pointy-toed flats and let the neckline be the main accessory; for the evening, I’ve turned up the glamour by swapping the flats for a great pair of hot pink pumps and added a few more bangles and baubles and a sparkly clutch!
Dress: Kate Spade, similar Cynthia Steffe version here | Flats: Kate Spade | Watch and Bracelets: Kate Spade, similar bangle here (on sale!), similar bow bracelet here, watch here | Heels: Banana Republic, similar metallic version here and Kate Spade version here | Bag: Vintage Whiting and Davis

Megan: My love of fancy pants cannot be overstated, in part due to their ability to be dressed up or down. They are just as appropriate in a professional setting as they are at a dinner party with friends, and just a few swaps in styling can take them from day to night quite easily. I've paired this pair of blush-colored satin pants with a nautical striped top and a leopard belt. For the office, I've paired them with a simple, classic black d'orsay pump, and for the evening, I've paired them with a bolder gold cap-toe pump. It feels fancy without being fussy.
Pants: J.Crew, similar here | Top: BCBG, similar here, similar Gap version here | Belt: J.Crew, similar Factory version here | Black Pumps: J.Crew Factory | Gold cap toe pumps: J.Crew Factory | Jewelry: J.Crew; pearl bracelet, similar necklace here

Megan: If you work in an office where you can get away with jeans on Fridays (or Thursdays or Tuesdays, as the case may be), try dressing them up with a few special pieces to take them from the workday to drinks with friends. This outfit couldn't be simpler - essentially just a white button up shirt and a pair of jeans - but the embellishments and accessories make it festive. I've paired it with sparkly flats for day and a great pair of leopard d'orsay heels for the evening. A few extra crystals, and you're ready to pop the bubbly!
Shirt: J.Crew Factory | Jeans: J Brand, similar style here | Flats: Zara, similar here | Heels: Halogen, similar J.Crew version here | Bracelet: Banana Republic, similar J.Crew Factory version here | Necklace: J.Crew

Friday, September 26, 2014

Weekend Links: The Latest in Fall Celebration

Watch the artist hand letter the beautiful calligraphy above on Antiquaria. It's mesmerizing.
Fall is, without a doubt, my favorite season. It contains my two favorite holidays - Halloween and my birthday (yes I just called my birthday a holiday). Plus it's back to school time! Is there anything better than a fresh notebook and new pens?! (More to come on glam office accessories soon.) Here are your links for the weekend!

Bon Appétit put together a list of 15 Pasta Recipes to Make this Fall. I can't wait until I've lost the weight I gained during the summer of rosé & burrata so I can put it back on with this strozzapreti

A chef & master sommelier from Provence are touring America this fall, and you can hire them to put on a wine tasting and dinner party in your home. They'll even ship wine to you from their cellar in Chateauneuf du Pape in advance. What an amazing night that would be!

Speaking of the French, apparently there's a calendar featuring nude French wine harvesters. Only 100 copies were made to be given as gifts and it's a major coup to get your hands on one. No I didn't make that up.

Just one more thing - next week, MEGAN is back with desk to date looks!!

Happy weekend!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Outstanding in the Field 2014

I recently attended my second Outstanding in the Field dinner. (I wrote about the first one here.) These events have a little of everything I love: farm-fresh vegetables, beautiful tablescapes, and thoughtfully crafted cocktails. Not to mention the great group of friends I met last year! Since that dinner was on a traditional farm, this year we decided to purchase tickets for the dinner at the Brooklyn Grange Farm, located on the rooftop of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The views were incredible. My friend and very talented photographer Mike Ricca took some beautiful photos, which he generously shared with us here. Be sure to check out his site! There are still seats left for a few stops on the OITF 2014 tour - I promise this is one ticket purchase you won't regret.
Photo Credit: All photos by Mike Ricca of Mike Ricca Photography

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Masculine Bar Cart Design Featuring Susty Party

Have you noticed that most modern bar carts tend to be very girlie in theme and design? (Not that I'm complaining!) I've been wanting to put together a masculine bar cart design for a while now but I decided to wait until I found the perfect accessories. Enter Susty Party's Black Collection. I've already explained how much I adore this Brooklyn-based company that produces biodegradable tablewear. My favorite item they make is the cocktail straw (pictured below in the black cup). We know I'm no stranger to the paper straw (pictured top left), but I love the option of having a smaller straw perfectly sized for tumblers. Accompanied by accents from Susty's Green Collection, along with barware by Reed & Barton, and liquors from Mouth (also Brooklyn-based!), this bar cart design was just what we needed for my husband's birthday party. And believe it or not, I'm enjoying taking a break from pink! 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Birthday Party Supplies

Before "birthday month" officially comes to a close, I thought I'd share some of my favorite birthday party supplies. These items come from a few wonderful designers and small shops that you can feel great about supporting: Hattan Home, Waiting on Martha, The Flair Exchange, Sugar Paper, and Shop Sweet Lulu

Monday, September 15, 2014

End of Summer Bar Cart Design Featuring Onli Beverages

One of the highlights of my summer was our weekly share of fresh produce from the local Dumbo CSA, which I volunteer for. We decided to have a potluck as our end of summer gathering, and I offered to host it (naturally). Imagine my excitement when Onli Beverages generously offered to send us some of their beautiful drinks to try! Their "chef-inspired" flavors were a perfect fit for our members. Since we have been receiving watermelon in our farm shares, I thought the watermelon-lemon flavor paired with vodka or prosecco made a perfect cocktail for the event. Bonus: the packaging is beautiful! These are my new favorite bottles to display on my bar cart. Check out all their different flavors and buy a few for your own bar cart! Cheers!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Weekend Links: The Latest in Birthday Celebration

To me, birthdays are about friends, cake and champagne...

BAKED is releasing a new cookbook all about celebrations, or "occasions" as they call them. I've obviously pre-ordered this one.

7 ways you've been drinking champagne wrong - I'm only guilty of one! Phew. (Now what do I do with all my fancy flutes?! Oh, use them anyway.)

Custom. Confetti. Need I say more?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Royal Purple Birthday Party

I love throwing a party for a guest of honor - planning the theme based around their personal preferences is such a fun gift to someone. In this case, the birthday boy was British, so I decided on a color scheme of royal purple with gold accents. Plus lots of British chocolate and his favorite dessert, chocolate mousse, in lieu of birthday cake. (Which nearly killed me, but I managed.)
Giant Round Balloons - they could have been blown up bigger but I was worried they wouldn't fit through the door! 
Perhaps the biggest hit of the party were these photo party hats. I followed the tutorial found on Sugar and Charm.
British chocolates from Dewey's Candy in Dumbo were supposed to be party favors, but the birthday boy insisted on keeping them all for himself! 
The cocktail of the evening was a gin-spiked tarragon lemonade.
Guests were ask to fill out these pre-addressed cards, complete with vintage stamps from Verde Studio, that prompted them to fill in their wish for the birthday boy's upcoming year. 
Chocolate mousse with fresh whipped cream and strawberries in individual cups with wooden spoons
Purple m&m cookies, recipe by Bake or Break

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

3 Free, Pretty September Downloads for Desktop & Mobile

Heiday for Design Love Fest
Well, hello! I'm terribly sorry for disappearing for the past few weeks. I wrapped up the summer with a week-long vacation in Napa/Sonoma, my favorite place in the US. And I'm so excited to return back home to September - or "birthday month" as we call it in our home. My husband and I have birthdays 11 days apart and (now that I've learned to share) we love celebrating for a solid 2 weeks straight. So of course that means you can expect a lot of birthday festivities highlighted on A Bar Cart in Brooklyn this month! I'm working on a masculine bar cart design with the help of Susty Party that I can't wait to share with you. I'm also co-hosting our local Dumbo CSA's end-of-summer potluck. And I'll be attending an Outstanding in the Field dinner for the 2nd year in a row! Tomorrow I'll share with you some photos and details from a royal purple & British candy-filled birthday party I threw for a friend last month.

Here are a few desktop & mobile backgrounds for September. As always, click the links in the captions to go to the designers' sites to download.

Oana Befort
Sugar Paper