Maven at home: Affordable Photography for your lonely walls

Hi, Tuesday. It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood. Perfect temps and Khan and I just took a long walk through our neighborhood and are thankful for a less sweaty day.

So many people have asked me through the years where to get art for the home that is not super expensive and is also super cool. I've collected a ton throughout the years but want to shout out WAX, an amazing poster company in Cali offering archival printed photo posters for a really great price (most under $100). As you all know, I'm a huge photography fan and am always looking for ways to enhance my collection. I'm so glad I stumbled upon this awesome company on one of my late night interweb rabbit holes.

I'm officially obsessed.

Two of my favorite photographers are featured- Hugh Holland, whose 1970s Southern Cali scenes (note my Vans yesterday- I'm feeling love for Cali right now) evoke a round the clock Summer vibe that will warm your walls (piece above a classic), and Matthew Porter, whose flying cars are a love of my husband's and a great choice for something dynamic for your home (see below his Eastside piece). And he lives and works in BK so there's that too.

Each of these great poster prints are $79.95 apiece and are worth the price. And since they are a standard size (24"x36") they're easy to frame- great frames available everywhere these days from IKEA to West Elm. So go to Wax Posters here, loads of options for your lonely, sad walls at a great price.

Cause that's what's up this homey Tuesday in the BK. Yours, in pretty pictures. XO

Maven recommends: A Vans slide to take Summer home

Good morning, Monday. Had a lovely if not humid weekend at home with hubs enjoying the city when it empties out Summer weekends. New York in the heat is not easy, but if you play it right you can enjoy it anyway by going to movies and taking it super slow. Lovely.

So yesterday I found myself in Nolita and popped into one of my favorite shops, Warm. Warm now does their own line of boho chic dresses in the manner of Ulla Johnson and Isabel Marant but somehow way more beachy keen. I love the store as it immediately evokes the very best of Summer- and they stock the coolest pieces for girls in search of that gypset dream. I want everything in there most every time I visit.

But I ended up buying not a $700 dress but a really cute pair of Slides by Vans, that ultimate Summer shoe brand. I love the classic checkered Van most of all, and these slides are a great way to not spend a ton of money but freshen up your Summer shoe game a bit- I for one have been wearing my white Birks all season and was ready for a little bit of a change. And the girls working in the shop were rocking these with long boho dresses and jumpsuits with patterns- somehow the contrast between the checkerboard and the boho prints was just so chic. I love a surfy vibe and with these little suckers costing 30 bucks, you kind of can't go wrong. And they're immediately comfortable. Love 'em.

Go get a pair here. You'll thank me- size down ps- I'm an 8 /12 and bought the 8 and they're perfect.

Cause that's what's up this endless Summer kind of Monday in the 718. Yours, in sandy classics. XO

On Hillary, Donna, and casting my vote

Good morning, Friday. It's rainy and yucky here in NY but I'm feeling upbeat and sunny because last night I got to see my girl Hillary speak about the future, a future that includes a female President. Never in my lifetime can I remember such a momentous election- with so much at stake, I can very happily say "I'm with her" because she is brilliant, relentless, and fierce. I'm amazed that these very same qualities that make men great leaders make many question a woman's character. I enjoyed seeing some of her softness last night when it came to others talking about her love of her family and her infectious laugh. Plus, her positive view of America and her love of country is infectious, for all of us. I'm psyched. You should be too. I love this photo from last night shot by David Hume Kennerly who has photographed every President since Nixon and won a Pulitzer for his work in Vietnam back in 1972 - it shows her energy and enthusiasm and sheer joy.  What a beautiful moment.

And since my visual compendium is vast when it comes to references in culture, I can't help but recall the amazing 1992 Donna Karan campaign shot by Peter Lindbergh, featuring model Rosemary McGrotha in a very presidential role, being sworn in wearing pearls and a 90s style power suit. This campaign has always stuck with me- a powerful testament to Donna Karan's genius when it came to portraying strong, stylish women running the show. It's hard to believe it's been almost 25 years since then, and that's it's taken us this long to get there, but people- we are here. What once seemed so groundbreaking still is, but now it's actually in our sights and not just an insight from a designer who was always a champion of professional woman going wherever they wanted and being whoever they wanted to be.

I loved the way Hillary looked last night in white by the way- happy she chose to lose the Nehru jacket and lighten up- that suit fit her beautifully and she was glowing.  One reporter commented on her amazing smile- think about it- have you ever seen Donald Trump really laugh or smile in an authentic way besides his arrogant smirk? Hillary is real- she may not be a natural campaigner but she's got heart. And she's got brains. And she's going to change the game even though many think she's going to be very status quo. I don't think so. And why does everyone say that? I say give her a chance to show us what she's made of. I really do believe she will be a great agent of change- but in a smart way. Making sweeping changes quickly in this country is far from easy, and I know she can navigate and have the brains to do things we can all be proud of, and unite the country in such divisive times. 

Though I will be sad to see Obama go (please move to NYC), I am hopeful and excited about having a female president who is capable, intelligent, and values family and togetherness and unity. Cheers to Donna Karan for dreaming big way back in '92- I'm so glad the future is now and I can cast my vote with HIllary come November.  I truly believe in her.

Cause that's what's up this obviously with her kind of Friday in Brooklyn. Yours, in girl power. XO

Maven recommends: Lipsticks from Linda Rodin, an icon of ageless glamour and style

Good morning, Wednesday. Welp, it's hot yet again here in the city and I have just about had it. I kind of can't wait for pumpkin spice season aka Fall. Or at least just temps in the 80s vs. 90s. Every little bit helps. I'm so not a swelter fan. As if you didn't know that already.

So I wanted to write a post about the convention and how pumped I am but I'll save that till the whole thing is over. Needless to say, I'm enjoying the big show in Philly to the absolute max.  And as we females celebrate our influence and potential, it's worth talking about another lady I really adore- Linda Rodin. She's a mature woman who is so damn glamorous and whose Olio Lusso oil is legendary for its ability to make the skin glow in the most magical way. But now she's making lipstick and they are absolutely divine. Not cheap mind you, but divine.

Truth be told, I've always had a love/hate with lipstick. I feel like I admire it on others, but it has always looked weird on me. Until now.

I tried two colors- Billie on a Bike and So Mod- two very different shades but both great. Billie on a Bike is a deep berry while So Mod is a nudish pink, a color I have always been able to tolerate. Billie on a Bike is not my normal jam, but Linda said it looks good on everyone and I have to say, I really like it. Even though its major color, it goes on in a lovely way and is super hydrating- you can play with how much color you want by putting on more for lots of pigment or blotting to make it seem more like a stain (I'm team stain). It's gorgeous. And bonus points for the really pretty clear packaging- very modern and transparent and pretty. She's also doing the perfect red, a great orange, and a hot pink. Link to buy here. And here's some inspiration for you with some pics of Linda's amazing style. When doing a Google search for her, it's almost impossible to pick which pictures of hers to share- there are so many fabulous testaments to her coolness out there.

 These are some of my favs, but she's a wonderful example of how we can all get better with age, and that's what's truly wonderful about being a woman- there's no time limit on being beautiful or achieving your dreams.  I love that after a lifetime of work, a woman can still be more than relevant in her power and break those ceilings with great aplomb, particularly in such an ageist world. Hello, Madame President. 

Cause that's what's up this feeling pretty kind of Wednesday in the 718. Yours, in getting better all the time and feeling so very hopeful. XO

Behold the caftan: The antidote to the sheath dress

Good morning, Tuesday. I am so happy to have watched the first night of the DNC last night. Needless to say, many smart people, much to look forward to, and good vibes all around. Plus Obama/Booker 2024 has quite the ring, doesn't it? Outstanding speeches by both of them. Happy they are choosing to move on and as Michelle said, "when they go low, you go high". I completely agree- the high road is the only way, and although we have much work to do on many issues, this is still a pretty wonderful place and we should all sustain hope that we can get through some big challenges with the right woman at the helm. Yup I said it. Still with her. Next.

So I wrote the other day about sheath dresses and how Hillary could surely use a little help, and I couldn't help but wonder as the country points a compass to a more progressive ideal, could Hillary not just own the caftan? Yea, probably not. But indulge me. Incidentally, you can spell caftan with a c and you can spell kaftan with a k. A girl likes options.

But I digress because ze caftan is the perfect and polar opposite to the sausage dress. When rocking a caftan, a woman can eat a decent meal and laze about telling the rest of the world that zero f's are given. And if there is a poster woman for someone who gives zero f's, it's Hillary. I love this little profanity filled spoof of hers on Medium. Amazing.

And if caftans feel less than presidential, mere mortals like tu et moi can rock them too. I was in Steven Alan the other day on the way to pick up Khan because I needed an a/c break. They've got some great looks for Fall (more on that later this week) but what I really fell in love with was this caftan from Black Crane, my go to brand for bohemian minimalism at not so terrible prices. I have two of them from last season and though my husband calls me "Moses" when I wear them, I care not. I rocked one my birthday weekend at the beach, and some lady came up to me and said simply "you look cool". I'll take it. After all, it was a very hot day, and besides looking like you give zero f's in the chicest way possible, you are wearing the equivalent of a built in air conditioner. Divine. 

And today's National Bagel Day soooo. But make no mistake- it's not about hiding your flaws or bagel belly- it's more about being comfortable and free and completely unrestrained.

I really feel like caftans are the perfect piece of clothing for women who want to keep things really chic without making too much of a fuss. Pat Altschul rocks them like nobody's BI on "Southern Charm" as she sips martinis surrounded by dogs, so that's pretty much a life goal right there. You know you want to party with her. So do I. Behold the humble caftan. And as we search for ways to make Hillary look like less than a Teletubbie (please stop with those colors, my lady. Even if you don't give the oft mentioned f) and more like the only choice, I have a dream. And in this dream is a caftan. And the first female president.

Cause that's what's up this light and airy Tuesday in bohemian Brooklyn. Yours, in pumping up the volume. XO

On sheath dresses and Republicans: The "must have" moments at the RNC

Good morning, Monday. Since everyone and their mother is penning open letters about Trump, politics, and everything else, I thought I'd write my own. And it's not truly about politics, well not really anyway. It's about the politics of fashion. And why on Earth the women of the RNC seemed to be poured into their clothes.  So read on.

Dear women of the Republican party (and to the women who report on them):
Recently I watched your version of the red carpet, the Republic National Covention. Besides the ubiquitous cowboy hats and stars and stripes forever vibes, I couldn't help but notice another trend when it comes to Republican style (yes, that's a thing).
I noticed that you ladies of the party of Lincoln and Reagan and doom and gloom Trump like to wear really, really tight dresses. In most cases, sleeveless. In some cases, cap sleeved. And in the case of the potential hottest First Lady of all time, a trumpet sleeve, which, incidentally, was not designed by an American.  Quel surpris.
As I watched all four nights alternating between shock, awe, and emotional eating, I found myself riveted not only to your candidate's insane hair, but to the way you were all dressed. I have never seen so many sheath dresses in my life- in color, color, TECHNICOLOR. Screaming in a way that denotes a taking care of business ideal that somehow translated more into a very desperate housewife dressed up for career day in Bethesda. And most of the reporters of the female persuasion decided to follow right along and wear sheaths that spoke louder than their commentary and showed us more than we needed to see. I suppose it's all appropriate though- the thought of Trump makes many uncomfortable, so mission accomplished when it comes to wearing clothes that cut off your breathing supply. Is it hot in here?

And the fact that Michelle Obama took so much heat for showing those amazing arms of hers is ridiculous. Because you ladies of the Republican Party rock dresses so tight, I can see your ovaries. Not to mention everything else, or at least the tight outline of parts on parade. I have no doubt the men of the party like their ladies to look traditional, but since when did fembot denote Christian values and second amendment rights and pro life ideals? Annie, get your gun. And ye olde sheath dress. Don't forget your sheath dress.  

Thing is, I just found the whole thing so incredibly off putting, so incredibly hyper feminine in a Stepfordish version of what it means to dress like a woman today, that I find some solace in Hillary's pantsuits, as admittedly terrible as they may be.  Because modern women should be comfortable in their own skin and wardrobe, not sausaged into some off color casing that no amount of Spanx can manage. And although Ivanka and Melania both have well toned bodies, I hate the way they dress. It's super sorority girl on steroids and is devoid of any personality whatsoever, and the Donald's a handsy one- particularly on his own daughter. Ewww.  Plus how can one emotional eat when watching Trump's speech if you're wearing a dress that is crushing your internal organs? 
 And if you are anything over a 32B, and you have had several children,  your boobs are going to look terrible in a dress like this. Except if you're Michelle Obama. The look works on her beyond belief. She is the major exception to this look. And a Democrat. Sorry not sorry.

According to the International Business Times, Melania's dress from Roksanda cost over $2k while the more humble and "just like us"  Ivanka wore a dress from her own line which jammed up the interwebs for hours and rang in at $138. That's like toilet paper for the Trumps, right? I have no doubt he's wiped his ass with US currency, but that's not her nor there. Needless to say, I have a couple of sheath dresses in my closet, but they are black and only black. And they are more Jackie or Audrey than Kappa Kappa Gamma cougar drinking pinot grig while railing against "the system".  To me, tight dresses and freedom don't really go together, but that's just me. And I never, ever wear a dress like that when I'm feeling hungry or hormonal. Which is most days. But then again, Ivanka and Melania probably eat ice cubes and swallow their own tears. 

So really, this whole sheath dress thing is pretty naf. I know women think it's very powerful, but I find it to to be the 2016 version of the padded power shoulder. When are women going to realize it's ok to not only wear the pants, but soften the silhouette? No wonder everyone at your convention was so irritable. They were all wearing clothes that were way too tight. In Cleveland.

That's all I've got right now. Let's see what the ladies of the DNC counter with. I'm hoping for a jumpsuit but I know that's too much to ask, and with Trump supporters calling for a prison sentence for our potential first female President, it may indeed be too soon. And after last night's email situation, I'm not sure Hillary is ever going to send an email again. Also, how dumb are these people to put this stuff in email? Everybody knows never implicate yourself in print/online. DUH. Can't they just have a shadowy meeting in a BBQ spot like in "House of Cards"? Ugh

All I can tell you is that I noticed the ladies of Trump land rocking some serious sausage numbers, and between my nightmares of a Trump presidency and my nightmares over Russian email hackers, I couldn't help but shout out the sheath. Cause that's what's up this uptight Monday in the 718. Yours, in loosening up.


The Maven XO

Leaving the country, with this little bag in tow

Good early afternoon and Happy Friday. This weather is no bueno. I'm super Victorian in the heat as you know and plan very much to keep things on the inside this weekend.

So the RNC ended last night with much fire and brimstone from Donald Trump and I remain terrified. Besides being terrified, I'm thinking of where I could go if there is a Trump White House- Canadian pals, I'm coming for you. Please let me and my brood sleep on your sofa. I promise not to make fun of the way you say "about". 

And besides being terrified and planning my exit, I'm also thinking about wardrobe pieces that say what I'm feeling. I love this little clutch from Clare V. on sale on Goop's site, an homage to the Tour de France but close enough- I may need to grand depart myself straight outta Dodge- and this little bag can hold some of my vitals. Oy. Strange days are these.

Cause that's what's up this dressing for an exodus kind of Friday in the 718. Yours, in all American. For now. XO

Throwback Thursday: Juergen Teller and Marc Jacobs = perfection

Good morning, Thursday. Happy TBT.

In honor of such an auspicious day, I have to shout out Juergen Teller's amazing ads he shot for Marc Jacobs, long before he refused to shoot Miley and had a falling out with MJ. I particularly love these images from 2003 with Gemma Ward, Winona Ryder, and Shirley Manson. So fabulous, non?

Hopefully you'll take some inspiration from these fun images today- heating up around here so looking forward to keeping it cool indoors. Cause that's what's up this early 2000s kind of Thursday in the 718. Yours, in throwing it back. XO

Maven recommends: A pop of green is easy on the eyes

Good morning, Wednesday. I'm enjoying this lovely day and looking forward to a fun dinner tonight.

So as I get older (I did just have a bday), I struggle a bit with makeup. In terms of- is less more? Why does concealer feel so off brand as I get a few more wrinkles seemingly each day? Why does bright lipstick look so harsh? The truth is, less is more when it comes to my face- but it's not necessarily about using less products, it's just about having a look that feels more natural and less trend focused when it comes to my visage- and that means a good primer, tinted moisturizer, bronzer, smack of liquid liner, and mascara. Oh and always a brow. I can't give up a well toned brow.

But sometimes a girl wants to have a little fun when it comes to color- and although I worry about looking like Mimi from the Drew Carey Show, I do sometimes crave something a little less natural and a lot more fun.

So I discovered this great eyeshadow from a favorite brand discovery of mine, Surratt.  Created by a top makeup artist, I find the line really fantastic and was so pleased when I found it in Barneys one day. Their eyeshadows are very pigmented and last a really long time on your lids- always a great thing. I'm loving this green shadow aptly called Envier for Summer- all you need is a well blended lid full of this gorgeous shade and your eye looks done, but not overly so. I like to use a bit of liquid liner (black or dark green or grey) on the outer lash line with some mascara to complete the look. I'm in love and think it's a fabulous way to have some fun without looking like a clown. I highly recommend this fun shade as a way to color these dog days with one of my all time favorite colors- green. Plus it looks good on my hazel/green eyes and would also look fab on brown eyes.

Cause that's what's up this green kind of Wednesday in the 718. Yours, in living color. XP

Link to buy here.

Stop laughing at Trump. (It's not funny anymore.)

Good afternoon, Tuesday. It's a lovely one here in the city.

So last night we all watched the RNC and many of my witty, urbane, liberal compadres had hilarious things to say about the whole shebang. From Trump's choice of music (Queen) to Melania's plagiarism to oh, just about everything, we all had a laugh at Trump and company's expense. Because we're liberal. And we're better than them. And we're smug as fuck. And that's our biggest problem.

Because guess what liberal America? This whole thing is very far from funny. There is a real chance that this idiot is going to be the next President of the United States. And I guarantee you won't be laughing then. So instead of amusing yourself with your punchy Facebook updates and viral memes, why not get a little more pissed off that this lunatic is even allowed on this stage? Why are you not more angry? Why are you amused in the way we're amused when the Kardashians make a gaffe or when celebrities dress badly at awards shows? Listen- I'm not above making fun of anyone and often nervously laugh on occasions that call for a poker face, but seriously- it's time for our smug and sheltered take on politics to get to work and stop bantering with our like minded friends.

I was in Delaware this weekend at the beach and saw what the rest of the country looks like and sounds like. While you were in the Hamptons drinking rose, I was seeing tee shirt shops full of Trump propaganda and very real Americans loving him and comparing him to Reagan. I saw that Trump was alive and well in a locale very close to Washington, DC. And to me, that's not terribly funny. At all.

Perhaps you don't realize the seriousness of all of this- why are we choosing to laugh this off when our entire future is at stake? Policemen are being murdered. Black people are being murdered. Innocent people celebrating their freedom are being assassinated and targeted like prey. But because we're better than all of them, we continue to laugh at Trump, create jokes about his hair, and make fun of Mike Pence eating with his family because we can't see his daughter's shadow. Yea, I know. We lambast the Trump/Pence logo because it's easy. It's easy to make fun of these jackasses, I agree. But you know what's hard? Real change. Peace. Tolerance. All the stuff we're not contributing to because we're too busy being overeducated and laughing when really we should be doing anything but. Yea, I know- if we don't laugh, we cry. But enough is enough. Go do something now to ensure we don't have to cry in the future. 

You can call me a party pooper. I don't care. Go ahead. But if you fail to see the seriousness of a potential Trump presidency, we don't have much to say to each other. I simply don't find any of it funny anymore. Maybe I will one day when it's a hopefully distant memory, but I'm not there yet. Don't underestimate the rest of this country to elect this buffoon to the White House. As we sit in our summer homes drinking kale juice and practicing mindfulness, you might want to make some room for, oh I don't know- reality. It's getting very ugly out there folks- so laugh all you want at his expense, because he doesn't care about your intellect. I'm simply wondering why more people are not more frightened about November. I'm far from laughing and hoping we can take our collective conscience and truly make a difference. No more memes. No more jokes. No more patting each other on the back because we're liberal and cool with one another. We may all love one another, but there's someone out there thriving in this atmosphere of so much hate, and I hope that some of you smart people out there find a way to point the needle where it counts- like not in Brooklyn and perhaps further down South and in middle America and everywhere Trump is being taken very seriously. And if we keep joking around and not trying to stop him, we're only kidding ourselves.

Phew. I said it. I'm angry and nervous. You should be too. You make think you're taking the wind out of his sails by laughing in his ruddy face, but you're only adding fuel to an already well stoked fire. Kaboom.

Cause that's what's up this all kidding aside kind of Tuesday in the 718. Yours, in serious business.