Monthly Archives: February 2014

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It’s Still Cold Out

There’s so much commitment in a real winter coat. I’m talking the coat you wear when you consciously choose to mouth breathe to avoid that horrible feeling of breathing through your nose when it’s TOO cold. As I mentioned before, I can dig 30 degrees. It’s refreshing. I get to wear layers. I may be trying to stay positive… but I kind of mean it. After last weekend, getting back into the winter coats was disheartening. Then I realized I love my red coat so I lived, but you, what did you do? In that winter coat that has been so good to you all season, how did you feel? Hated it.

Why pick up something else? Haaa, is that even a question? Why not? The 10 day forecast for Brooklyn isn’t seeing temps above 40 and today (really laughing out loud as I type), the “feels like” temp is 1. HA. Like always, you have options and they are all on sale. It’s damn near March, no one is selling coats at full price. But we’re going to explore another option. The thrift shop. I hit the vintage shop, but Celine, the little creative genius fueling my blog with high quality images found an amazing, luxuriously suede, polar vortex fighting coat – for $10.

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From an undisclosed store (sorry, gotta keep this one to myself for once) Celine got this and her other winter coat I love so much. Check out some thrift stores in your area. Grab something different, have a little fun with it. YOLO, if you will. Before you know it, we’ll all be stressing the humidity, I think.

xo Rae

All images were taken by Celine of Cup of Rahman

 

 

 

#BrooklynBound

Monday night The Fader and Converse Rubber Tracks hosted their latest Brooklyn Bound event headlined by New York’s World’s Fair. Bad Rabbits, out of Boston, opened and Brooklyn’s own, Kitty Cash DJed.

Huge props to whoever is handling Brooklyn’s Bound’s booking because both Bad Rabbits and World’s Fair put on a SHOW and to anyone the RSVPed but didn’t come through – sincerely, your loss. I’ve been to a few events Kitty Cash played, she kills no matter what. I’m talking the current turn up tracks, Danny Glover to OG Bobby Johnson to classic Ginuwine and TAMIA (CAPITAL LETTERS because I almost dropped my drink and tripped over my own Chucks) to close the night. I hadn’t listened to much of World’s Fair or even been aware of Bad Rabbits prior to Monday. We arrived while Bad Rabbits was on stage. These boys have soul… AND moves (I see you very Boston, bass player). I will undoubtedly feature them very soon. World’s Fair has that classic New York production and wild showmanship. What could be better? Bad Rabbits came back out to offer World’s Fair a band behind the first half of their performance. I love hip hop over a live band (someone tell Wale to bring it back the go-go, just saying).

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Bad Rabbits, lead singer, Fredua “Dua” BoakyeIMG_0120

Nigel Rubirosa of World’s FairIMG_0140

World’s Fair and Bad Rabbits

Monday night, live music in Brooklyn from the Fader and Converse? Chucks, duh. No questions asked. Conveniently, they keep a super reasonable price point, but my secret to fulfill the constant desire for a fresh pair? DSW stores and online always have them for a little cheaper and regularly mark them down to around $35.  I mean, two please? Really.

fader converse rubber tracks brooklyn bound chuck taylors celine

All images were taken by Celine of Cup of Rahman and check her video below.

xo Rae

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Cozy

They said, “winter was so mild last year.” “You’ll be fine”, they said. They said,”you grew up upstate!”

“It’s going to be so cold out you might call your mom and tell her you’re considering jeopardizing your future because you can’t leave the house”, said no one ever.

Excessive, perhaps. So real, though. Bring on the snow, just keep that temp above 25, someone, please. Especially after this weekend? I am so ready for spring, but winter is acting very much like that ex that really needs to let go. It’s going to snow tomorrow, again.

Expectedly, my winter clothes stock was thin. Unsure of a definitive direction for my cold weather wardrobe, during the fall (blog hiatus), pre-storefront, on a Saturday afternoon, I met the owner of Installation Brooklyn and made my first purchase.

Blatantly men’s and extremely shapeless, it was perfect. Perfect for putting a denim or white, flowy tunic under, it was perfect throwing over distressed denim, just perfect for getting extra cozy with leggings and the high socks.  At this point, deep into my first February, at $20, this is what I’d call a success, or Saturday morning’s finest.

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All images were taken by Celine of Cup of Rahman

xo Rae

spinach avocado pasta super foods

Hot Super Foods

I am beginning to think I should have changed my domain name to youhaveoptions.com (which is available if you’re interested). That or icantsticktothescript.com, because doing your own thing is so great. In fact, I encourage you to use this recipe more as an inspiration or guide, do you.

I am too cold to juice and although I should hold the carbs, I needed something hot but still utilized two of my favorite super foods. I came across this recipe for Spinach Avocado Alfredo Sauce. I mean, really taking two of the healthiest fruits and veggies and pairing it with one of the top ten most unhealthy foods? Alfredo sauce? So much yes, followed by so much no. Besides, the recipe called for pulverizing the avocado and spinach down to nothing in a food processor creating a dish that essentially looked like green pasta. So, I did it my way.

Spinach Avocado Vegetarian Pasta

1 avocado
4 handfuls of spinach
1 heaping teaspoon of minced garlic
olive oil
salt
pepper
half a lemon (save the rest for your vodka tonic later)
red pepper flakes
1/8 cup parsley
grated Parmesan cheese
less than half a pound of whole wheat pasta

While waiting for water to boil for the pasta, cover the bottom of a large frying pan with olive oil and cook the garlic in it on low/medium. Gradually add in spinach. Make sure to add olive oil if necessary. The leaves shouldn’t be floating in oil but they should be covered. Remove pit and skin from avocado and cut into tiny pieces. Don’t forget to put the pasta on. Put the avocado in pan and add parsley, salt (I actually used garlic salt) and pepper to your taste. Toss everything together. Stay conscious of the olive oil because the spinach sucks it right up. Squeeze half of the lemon and add as much red pepper flakes as you can stand. Turn down the heat and let simmer on low for about 8 minutes. Serve the spinach and avocado over the pasta and generously sprinkle with Parmesan cheese (considering the original recipe calls for a quarter cup of cheese).

Prep time is minimal, probably less than 20 minutes and this is good for about two servings. Also, FYI, this would go really well with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.

xo Rae-

 

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Got Mine

The challenging weather of fashion week made the desire for the perfect coat constant. Let me get the worst part of this story out of the way immediately. I tried on this coat, walked away and left it in the store for over two weeks. Shameful.

Recently, a new vintage shop opened on Nostrand Ave in Bedstuy. I’ve stopped in Installation Brooklyn about once a week since their grand opening.  Margot Hughes, the absolutely delightful owner, is nearly my height and suggested trying the coat when I told her what I was searching for. However, initially, standing there in my sweats and Chucks, I was feeling wary of committing to such a bright color. After a few discussions with girlfriends and observing all of the NYFW street style, I reconsidered. If Cam can close out the McNairy show in a cape, I can wear a red full length coat. Besides, how many black coats can one own? This rhetoric being more self-encouraging than a serious question because we all know infinite black clothing is not only acceptable but celebrated, always. I think this was the Kanye, Kim K, Celine inspired, vintage collaboration I’d been waiting for.

I bought it. And I only paid $65 because realistically winter should be ending soon and it was marked down. Then, Refinery29 referenced me in an article and tweeted about it. Not really, but apparently a NY-born, LA residing fashion blogger was wearing something alarmingly similar around NYFW while NET-A-PORTER’s Senior Editor suggested an equally as bright, blue version.

netaporter tweet blue coat refinery29 NYFW tweet red coat

 

Truthfully, I couldn’t agree more with their suggestions at this point. The ankle length, double-breasted, stop sign red coat is one of those pieces that makes you walk a little taller while you pray that coat check isn’t mandatory. I kinda think it may need it’s own theme song. Regardless, I’ve worn it with everything from my favorite black leather, Stuart Weitzman boots to Chucks or Timbs and it always feels flawless.

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All images were taken by Celine of Cup of Rahman
 
 

 xo Rae

Set The Mood Right

Press play on the classic, little JT joint as you read, before you get to the goods.

It’s become quite apparent that my first winter back in New York has me in a constant state of “feeling some type of way.” Therefore, in light of instantly romanticized, snowy city views and Valentine’s Day, I found it necessary to pull together a short compilation of SERIOUS love songs for you. This is not for the haphazard, foot dragging, send flowers to her office to flex in front of her girlfriends Valentine’s dates. I’m talking can’t eat, can’t sleep, can’t tweet, wouldn’t be mad if you made babies sorta feeling playlist. Yea, THAT.

This exists still right? Anyone? Someone? MAYBE?

Further, I am going to take the opportunity to introduce you something new. I could indeed throw together classics, sprinkle a little NWTS, seal the deal with Bound 2 at the end, but you should be capable of that. Have at it.

Coming off catching him live Wednesday night in Brooklyn, I have to kick off with featuring Vashtie breaking it all the way down for us on the newest track. And then, like promised, for Valentine’s, Boy/Friend big ups all girls looking for real love like Mary J. All jokes aside, future wedding songs? Think so.

Onward, I saw Theophilus London open for Miike Snow at Syracuse University in like ’09, so naturally, I was anticipating the project he was releasing yesterday while I was listening to Eve. First listen, Figure It Out. I mean he’s branded LVRS but… two words. Mase flow. Which of course comes after Dev Hynes rips the intro.

Finally, the deal breaker, another deliberate Valentine’s week release, Amen, Awoman from Jesse Boykins and Melo-X. This is what I’m talking about, you may not want to play this for her unless you are most definitely proposing. Very Maxwell-esque type of vibe. I’m not quite sure I can openly write how this makes me feel. Call me and we can talk about it or email me and I’ll include a ton of capital letters.

If this get’s you nowhere with your bb, you might be hopeless but you can always make a desperation (or power) move and put on a little R Kelly, Bump N Grind. I sure don’t see a damn thing wrong with that, either.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

xo Rae

Bae of the Day: Boy/Friend

I’ve mentioned him before, last summer. I came across Boy/Friend on The Fader’s twitter and recommended downloading his freshman LP. I think I hit all my low key HBK’s over text and put them on to Leather Weather ASAP.

A lot can change in 6 months though. Not only did Shan Poo, aka the Asian Gosling, put out a Leather Weather, The Remixes (featuring BK-local favorite of mine, Melo-X, among other notables), release club single, Adam, and have a mix featured on SSENSE, but he performed at CMJ’s Fader Fort before TDE’s first lady SZA. Check some footage below.

But the real reason the twitter lover boy is my bae of the day is needing to acknowledge how he has really turned on the heat, despite this Polar Vortex life (which btw is the realest thing I’ve ever encountered), for Valentine’s Day and for everyone that disregarded proper cuffing etiquette. Him and his team, MNTN, Mel DeBarge and Jason ‘BetterYet’ Scott may just be the saviors of the cuffing season slackers with their latest two songs, Never Not Looking and Theme Song.

And the video for Theme Song… I cried candy coated teardrops of joy and watched my awkwardest years flash before my eyes. It’s. So. Good. I made my mom watch it. To put it in perspective, my favorite vinyl at 3 was Paula Abdul’s, Forever Your Girl. Basically, prepare to resurface every preteen emotion you ever confusedly felt for NKOTB.

 

Finally, most importantly, he’s opening for Kid Sister Wednesday night at The Glasslands in Brooklyn. You can get your tickets here.

You (yes you, no you, yes you) wanna go? (circle one)

Yes or No

xo Rae

 

the right way and there’s my way

It’s snowing again NY and being that I’ve spent the better part of my day in bed, it only seems appropriate to go ahead and post this warm meal tonight.

I frequently find myself arriving home after work, so cold, that my mind can’t function and all I can do is cook. Can’t go to sleep, can’t get on the computer, can’t take off my coat, shoes or Earmuffs by Dre, all I can do is cook.

For this dinner, there’s the long, vegan way and the quick “I’m so cold, I can’t function” way.

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Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients for the right way include:

1 butternut squash
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large onion
2 cups of water or vegetable broth
Large handful of fresh cilantro
Sea salt and pepper
Few drops of vanilla extract

My way includes:

1 carton of organic butternut squash soup
olive oil to cover the bottom of the pot
1 small onion
Large handful of fresh cilantro
Pepper
Few drops of vanilla extract
Half an avocado

The right way says to heat your oven to 400 degrees, stab holes into the butternut squash with a fork and rub olive oil on the outside. Bake it in a shallow roasting dish for one hour (this length of time is exactly why I did not do this on a week night). Let it cool long enough to work with, cut it in half, scoop out the seeds and remove the skin. Cook the chopped onion in olive oil until it is almost see through.  Add the squash and a couple minutes later, the water or veggie broth. Bring it to a boil, and then you’ll need to let it simmer for about 25 minutes. While it’s cooking add salt, pepper and vanilla. Put the soup in the blender and give it a quick whirl. Transfer the soup back to the pot, heat it again. Serve with the chopped cilantro on top.

Although I did use real onions and blend the bland carton of butternut squash soup, in the cheaters way to do it, you can use a little onion powder and the directions are similar to above. Salt, pepper, vanilla to taste, bring to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes and serve with your avocados and cilantro.

I also tried it another way, without vanilla but with 1/2 teaspoon of cumin, cayenne and sliced almonds roasted in garlic and butter. This was good with a little extra pepper too.

You have plenty of options.

xo Rae

Maximus and Nika kick off NYFW

As NYFW officially kicks off today, after New York was slammed by two storms in less than 4 days, it’s only right we discuss coats. I am currently still searching for ‘the one’.

I must digress, my current biggest style inspo for my future coat is Kanye. Honestly, any ill opinions on him, save it, my heart nearly jumped out of my chest when that DJ from Tuesday night casually played Bound 2 twice, back to back. I’ll forever be fan.

Realistically, when I say Kanye is my inspiration in the pursuit for the perfect coat, I really mean Kim. However, ultimately, I hold Ye responsible for her apparent, upgraded style. If someone had taste like this, I sure wouldn’t mind their daily input. Regardless, she has been KILLING the coat game since fall, particularly the Celine coats. Here’s a selection of my favorites, all of which are stolen from her Instagram.

kim kardashian celine coat 2 kim kardashian celine coat 3kim kardashian celine coat

 

Unfortunately at this point in my life, I do not have a couple extra racks to spare on a Celine coat. Coincidentally, my friend Celine aka @ThatGOODRahman of cupofrahman.tumblr.com has also offered some inspiration.

@carmenemmi

Stunner. Her vintage L.L. Bean coat that she picked up at Unique Thrift Store in Brooklyn is precisely the direction I’m headed in, just need a little more length.

Until then, I am ardently looking forward to checking out how fashion’s finest bundle up in the upcoming week. Stay warm.

xo Rae

kilo kish

I am Alice, I’m in Wonderland

After having just written about Kilo Kish, I came across the Nokia Lumia, #NokiaFW event, aka The Prelude, at The Hole on Bowery featuring an installation by Mary Benson and performance by none other than Kilo Kish. I RSVPed and got two girlfriends to go with. Of course her performance was dope and Kitty Cash (a recent discovery) DJed.

Being only 10:15pm when we left, Val, Celine and I crossed the street to a bar called Von, before Nika showed face. The door man (first question, why is there a doorman at this bar?) explained there’s a DJ downstairs if we wanted to check that out (oh, that’s why). So we did.

Initially, upon entrance, the upstairs is a VERY dimly lit, distressed wood, beautifully stocked bar complete with fresh spices and fruit to assemble what appeared to be finely crafted/artisan (such a buzzy word) beverages. We opted for red wines and headed downstairs.

I don’t know that one could really refer to the person playing music as a “DJ” per say, however the song selector was on point. We took a seat below some random movie being projected on the wall behind us. Now, this unsuspecting basement also had a nice bar and nice bartender but what truly set it off was when the aforementioned selectah dropped Busta “Gimme Some More” and we all gave each other the “hold up, hold my phone” look. Then we realized the ENTIRE ceiling was all wine corks. You know what the means? Lots of wine corks means lots of bottles of wine. The bathroom walls were actually paneled in boxes (wooden, not Franzia) of wine as well.

von corks

It keeps getting better though. The foreign film being projected, was in French and accompanied by the most perfect sub-titles for three single women. I asked the bartender what the movie was. He handed me the Netflix, DVD sleeve. I felt a little nostalgia tug on my heart strings and I’m not quite sure if it was because the DVD came in the mail or the movie, Mississippi Mermaid, (released in 1969) just moved to the top of my must-watch list.

mississippi mermaid von 2 missippi mermain von

Further, as if all this perfection wasn’t enough, Mr. DJ dropped, No Diggity, Big Pimpin’ (two separate) times, a little reggae, Black Skinhead AND Bound 2, 1.5 times yielding a full dance floor of co-workers that were each about 3 drinks too deep. One of them did a pirouette.  People watching on 100.  Does this sound like a dream to you yet? Or perhaps a VH1 “awesomely bad” reference, but more awesome than bad?

von dance party

Regardless, I HIGHLY recommend checking out Von at 3 Bleecker Street for delicious drinks, song selection that will make your eyes wide like my most frequently used emoji and potential foreign film recommendations.

von

 

Tuesday, truly not half bad and Nika, you’re late to the party. 

xo Rae