Friday, March 29, 2013

Is it possible to wear a headpiece in real life without looking like a fool?

Hey ESB,

Longtime listener, first time caller.

So I've been going over the whole veil debate, or rather, I've firmly decided against the veil, but perhaps I don't want a naked head. At first I thought one of my artist friends could make a rad hair clip/headpiece out of vintage pearlized buttons (he makes magic with buttons). My FH is really into the silent movie actress look and casually asked if I would be wearing some sort of Cleopatra headpiece.

Then I started getting all the pieces together, the dress, the shoes, my grandmother's jewelry (awesome and deco), and I'm starting to think I'm going to look like Kim Kardashian if I wear anything on my head. Is there such thing as a hey-this-looks-so-cool-and-not-overdone headpiece?





that's all i've got.

Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra (Promo)

Thursday, March 28, 2013



(Lauren & Abby Photography via 100 Layer Cake)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A low-key wedding in Edinburgh?

Dear ESB,

In order to avoid the ALABAMA WEDDING MACHINE, my fiancé and I have elected to "elope" (with ~35 close friends and family) to Edinburgh next spring. 

Do you or your readers have any suggestions of venues to hold a low-key reception? Anything else that is a must-do in Edinburgh?

Thank you!


Kirsty from A Safe Mooring has written you a SLAMMIN where-to-get-married-in-Edinburgh guide. (And also included must-dos such as a good smelly cheese shop + a creepy museum because duh.)

Here she is:

First off, congratulations! You're joining a long line of vagabonds and misfits who have eloped to our fair nation over the centuries. Generally speaking, people eloping to Scotland have been fleeing from parental disapproval and pesky age limits, but the Alabama Wedding Machine sounds equally forbidding.

Before I get started on reception venues, a quick word on ceremonies. Civil marriages in Scotland have to take place either in a registry office (Lothian Chambers is a beautiful one, bang in the middle of the Old Town) or in a place that has been formally approved by the City Council (here's a list of approved places). Most popular reception venues are approved for ceremonies, as are a random assortment of public buildings from the whisky society to the zoo.

In keeping with our tradition of liberal marriage laws, Scotland is also one of only six countries in the world where a humanist ceremony is legally binding. Unlike their civil counterparts, humanist and religious weddings can happen absolutely anywhere. That includes the great outdoors, if you're willing to gamble on the Scottish elements. (Pro tip: bring an umbrella. Even in spring. Especially in spring.) If you're being married by a humanist or religious celebrant though, you'll need to pick up your wedding licence at least seven days before the wedding, so make sure you keep that in mind when you're planning your trip.

So, on to the reception. Edinburgh is a city of many characters. The so-called New Town (strictly speaking it's not all that new, but wait until we get to the Old Town) is filled with airy Georgian terraces and elegant neo-classical architecture. If you were looking for something super glamorous, I'd suggest Edinburgh landmark The Dome. An intimate dinner in one of its private rooms, followed by cocktails in the glass-domed bar, wouldn't be bad at all. But for something more low-key, try Howies Restaurant on Waterloo Place instead. It mixes a beautiful period interior with fresh Scottish food (and has that all-important civil ceremony licence, should you decide to keep things all under one roof). If you really want to channel your inner Jane Austen, the Georgian House, run by the National Trust for Scotland and next door to the First Minister's pad, is the real deal.

That's classic European elegance out of the way; let's move on to something a little darker (metaphorically and quite literally). Edinburgh's historic Old Town is riddled with vaults, alleys and sinister tales. The growth of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe has seen many dingy, forgotten spaces opened up and transformed into venues. Lucky for you, the Fringe is in August, so come springtime you'll have your pick.

Marlin's Wynd and the Rowantree are both worth investigating. Ancient, candle-lit vaults built into the very fabric of the city... it doesn't get more atmospheric than that, as long as you don't mind a venue with a bit of witch-hunting and the occasional murder in its past. Hey, nowhere's perfect. If you'd prefer somewhere with actual daylight, the Secret Garden is an old close (alley) that has been glassed over and turned into a restaurant. Old Town charm with added vitamin D. The food's pretty tasty too, and the service is excellent.

Just around the corner from these crumbly old cellars is something at the very opposite end of the spectrum: the Hotel Missoni. From the men in chevron-patterened kilts flanking the entrance to the branded bathroom stalls, everything about the place screams Italian passion and fun. Why they chose to open in Edinburgh is beyond me - the spiritual home of dour Presbyterianism isn't exactly known for embracing la dolce vita - but I'm not complaining. It's even right across the road from the registry office.

If you're just looking for somewhere reasonably priced and relatively stylish where you can treat your nearest and dearest to a good meal, then Edinburgh has no shortage of restaurants. La Garrigue and Iggs are particular favourites if you fancy some European flavour. Timberyard is a relatively recent addition but it's already making a big impression; the interior is as stylish as it gets, and the food has been going down a storm. It also boasts an enclosed courtyard, perfect if you're lucky enough to see some of Edinburgh's rare spring sunshine. (I really wasn't kidding about the umbrella.)

As for must-dos, I'm reliably informed by my American friends that a massive castle in the middle of the city never gets old. The best view of it is from Calton Hill (you can actually rent out Old Observatory House, which sits on top of the hill, if you're looking for somewhere really special to stay).

Edinburgh's a fairly compact city with lots of meandering streets, so it's ideal for those who like to wander. For shopping, I'd avoid the chain stores of Princes Street and the abominable tartan shops of the Royal Mile. Instead, head for the independent boutiques dotted along West Bow, the Grassmarket and West Port. Admire work by local artists and designers at Red Door Gallery or Black Box Boutique, indulge in some seriously smelly cheese from Iain Mellis, and finger some Scottish cashmere and Anta soft wool blankets (preferably do this before you've fingered the cheese).

If you feel like venturing outside the city centre, the Shore area of Leith is worth visiting for some fresh Scottish seafood (try Fishers, or The Ship for the best fish and chips you'll ever have). And just along the road is an attraction that I recommend without a trace of irony: the Royal Yacht Britannia. It's like your granny's kitsch holiday house has been blown up and floated out to sea. If your granny were the Queen.

For those into museums, the recently-reopened National Museum is pretty excellent (oh hey, and it has a ceremony licence and a great restaurant too - let's add that to the list, shall we?). And lastly, because anything London can do we can do better (you'll find this is a common theme in Scotland), we have our very own museum of creepiness, with a bonus serving of serial killer. Enjoy.

p.s. I also found you a PHOTOGRAPHER! (Okay, Kirsty found you a photographer.) These images from Lorna & Dave's wedding are by Edinburgh-based Lauren McGlynn.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Mom's dress versus Dad's feelings

Good Morning, East Side Bride.

Hell froze over and I'm getting married. I don't care about much of the entire planning process except that I want to wear my mother's wedding dress (short, 60's sheath with a matching swing coat). And, I probably really want to wear her dress because that means I can devote all my wedding-wear money to the shoes - the Rockstud Valentino shoes of my dreams.

My issue is my father. My acts-like-a-12-year-old ever since the divorce OVER 20 YEARS AGO father. He really, really didn't want the divorce. He really, really doesn't like the idea of me wearing my mom's dress - the one that she married him in. Since I'm not wearing it for sentimental reasons, should I forgo the dress that upsets him? Or say, fuck it, and wear what I want even if it makes him uncomfortable?

I should say that I plan to be slightly inebriated at the ceremony as I often am when my parents are in the same room. I've found it's the best way to cope with their shenanigans so perhaps I won't notice if he's pouting.

The Often Overprotective Daughter


Awwwwww. Cut your dad a break. You can find another dress.

Diana D by Dancian for Io donna via visual optimism

Monday, March 25, 2013

Breaking up with your MOH

Hey there ESB -

First off, I'm a fan - I appreciate the honesty and when you're planning a wedding, hearing other people's horror stories kinda puts things into perspective. So, to all you brides out there, here's mine:

My wedding is way over (almost 2 years now), but the legend of my MOH lives on and actually continues to haunt us to this day --- she still stalks me and my husband. Dead. Serious.

MOH and I have been best friends since high school, but her friendship comes with a few toxic caveats (she's very possessive, not interested in meeting new people, and has a terrible temper). Not that I'm perfect, I can be the flake-of-a-friend who forgets your birthday. We share another mutual best friend who we've also maintained a close relationship with since high school. Both of these girls were in my wedding party.

The trouble started at my bachelorette party (always does, doesn't it?) - somehow through the course of the day it was misconstrued in my MOH's brain that I wasn't giving her enough attention compared to the other girls. She did this weird pouty thing (which is hard to pay attention to at a baseball game), and barely spoke to anyone all night. I noticed her mood but was trying to play host to the rest of my crew - so my ability to decompress her was limited. By the time the evening ended, she had disappeared (supposedly into a cab to head to the hotel) and I was getting frantic phone calls from my husband. She had shown up at my apartment, tired out the doorbell, and spent the rest of the evening crying on my husband. When he finally convinced her to get a cab to the hotel she decided to drive back to the suburbs, to her parents house, drunk. The next day her parents called me and confronted me about "allowing their daughter to drive home intoxicated" citing a lie that MOH told them about how I forced her out of the hotel room. I was so embarrassed.

I talk this out with her and that mutual best friend bmaid and decide to let it go - let's get on with the wedding fun, ya know? Fast-forward to a month later, at the rehearsal dinner, she shows up to the bowling alley 2 hours late and makes this huge scene in front of our families, crying, screaming, and accusing me of wanting our mutual best friend bmaid to be the Maid of Honor and not her. This is all because I gave the ladies the option of staying in the hotel with me the night before the wedding --- MOH opt-ed out, but mutual friend opt-ed in. During this scene, she tells me that she's "not going to show up at the wedding, since I don't want her there anyways" before storming out. I can't even explain how this whole thing felt, I didn't want it to consume my evening (I mean, shit, I love to bowl!) - but I felt so numb and shocked that someone I knew so well could just turn into a complete crazy-pants.

The next day (wedding day), my mom and the gals are all with me getting ready in the hotel room and about an hour before we have to leave MOH shows up. Hair done, dress on, like nothing happened. So no one says anything and we head off to the venue. Wedding was fabulous, food was great, live band was even better. I don't really remember MOH's speech, except that she cried a TON. She also spent the end of the evening in my mom's hotel room, crying on her until 4am.  

Since these events, I've distanced myself from her --- she calls me about 3 times a week and calls my husband about once a week, we do not answer. She shows up at our new apartment, out of nowhere, and we either have to exchange awkward pleasantries for an hour or we pretend like we aren't home. The kicker is, she knows that I'm done with having a friend like her --- about three months after the wedding day I sat her down and we talked about what happened. She blamed me for not paying enough attention to her and not making her feel special as the MOH. I told her that I didn't think we should really continue being friends and she obvs didn't get the message. It felt like breaking up with that normal?

It's a damn shame when someone looses their marbles like that.

That's my story!
Still Stunned


I'm just glad you had the guts to break up with her. KUDOS, lady.

You should be able to block her number. AT&T will charge you for that privilege (a*holes) -- I don't know about other providers -- but it might be worth it.

Comme des Garçons by Sophie Delaporte for Idoménée Fashion Book Spring/Summer 2013 Idoménée via Abigail Lorick

Friday, March 22, 2013

Speaking of sheer tops....

Kidchamp just found the ultimate in what to wear under sheer tops.



(I'll take the sweater, too.)

**UPDATE: kidchamp reports that the straps are flimsy. Sadly, this bra may not be rated for ppl who need bras.**

Thursday, March 21, 2013

just fyiz

According to T Magazine, this is what's happening at Valentino.

If it means we're done with short-ass fucking strapless dresses, that is FINE BY ME.

You can pre-order this Antique Embroidered Gown (estimated delivery Jul 15, 2013 - Nov 15, 2013) for only $13K down!

What do I wear under the dress?

I have a practical question here, what am I supposed to wear under my dress? Lacy underwear... Spanx...  

The big dilemma is my dress has a sheer back so I can't have a bra, but would still like some extra oomph and support, would stick on-cups be a total mistake? I envision sweating and them falling out, or something equally horrifying.

Here's a pic of my dress on someone else (reckon she went bra-less?)


I kinda think you have to go sans bra.

(Which, that bride is juuuuuuuust pushing the envelope. I hope your boobs are small!)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Did your mother boycott your wedding? (UPDATE!)

There was a wedding! And it was nice! Everyone attended and there wasn't a single bit of drama (at least not during the wedding)!... *sigh* IDK, I'm glad it's finally done. So much stress has been lifted and I never want to play armchair psychologist to anyone ever again. I took a lot of what was said in the comments of the original post and it essentially scared/inspired me to inject some tough love into this whole thing.

So! The guy in this wedding has changed quite a bit over course of the last year and a half. Most of us still think he's incredibly weird but after a brief breakup my friend has gotten her mind together to make sure he knows she's not going to let him take advantage of her. It took some getting to know him, which I was extremely not thrilled about, but I learned that he was not as bad as I first thought him to be (whatever, he turned my friend into a robot). Don't get me wrong, I still think he's controlling and manipulative (he whined and turned into an angry, dictating child to get his way about some things and I understood why my friend is so passive sometimes!) but I can't do more than I've already done to make things better because I know if I pushed my friend like her mom did all that time prior to the wedding, she would have shut everyone out again, had a secret wedding, probably get pregnant, and be posting baby's 1st photos right now with no one knowing wtf happened.

It took loads of getting things into perspective for everyone. It was remembering what Anon 3:15, Rhubarb, and Madison said that really kept me focused. Thanks for posting the original email because it helped me then and it helps me now. Relationships have been repaired, lives are on a better track, and it was a regular, American wedding in which the florist nearly ruins the day instead of the family.

A Stress Free Me


It's so unlike me to brag.... But I have, like, REALLY GREAT READERS.

Photo by Ilva Heitmann by Markus Pritzi for Sleek Magazine via Fashion Gone Rogue

speaking of H&M...

These slim-fit suits from the Conscious Exclusive collection look pretty good.

Apparently H&M now has e-commerce in the UK? But if you're in the good old US of A you'll have to line up on April 4.

what if you can only decide on the shoes?

We are eloping. In Austin. You may decide that I can't be helped after you read this.

I can't decide on a ring. I can't decide on a dress. I can't decide on my hair or if I'll carry any flowers. I haven't even thought about setting or an officiant. I can only decide on these shoes (in either color). I'm surprised I can decide on that! The thing with all the other stuff is I don't have a precedent. I don't wear white or dresses much (NY. black. and yes I know I don't have to wear white, and I don't have to wear a dress, but I'd like to give it a shot since we are eloping and I think FH [and our families, if they were privy at this stage] would like us to keep a few things traditional) and I never wear rings. I'm a bracelet girl. I would love help with both because I'm at the point where the internet has swallowed my perception and intuition up and everything looks the same. or bad. and just not me. but I'll take whatever seems most fun to y'all.

Budget under $700, and something around $400 or less would be sooo great. My instinct says on the shorter side is the way to go because I don't want it to feel over the top. I'm not into the ball gown elopements. And I'd probably feel more comfortable in less-than-head-to-toe-white. And I wanna see the shoes! I'm 5'3", 32C-24"-34". I like interesting shapes, architectural details, and a modern clean feel, because it's more flattering to my midget body but I'm not opposed to a little lace, and a touch of gothy feel. I do not do bohemian. I do not do bling. Even subtle bling. I wanted to love this LOVER and this Manivet (with a slightly opened up neckline) before we were eloping, when we were having a tiny wedding, and a normal-ish one respectively. Of course the LOVER is not available in the US and it does not go with the shoes. There is this LOVER which is over budget and while I love it on the model, I'm not sold that it's for me.

Rings. I love Anna Sheffield. My favorite one was this. Then when my dear friend got engaged in November, she had her jeweler uncle make her a replica. What can I say. We have similar taste. So that's out. Other things: I like black. I'm not sold on diamonds (ethics, and said hesitation regarding over-blinginess). I like herkimers but I don't want the setting to look too crafty. I want it to look modern and polished and I haven't seen any that cut it. I also like rutilated quartz. I'm not sure that I want two rings, and so am also open to a stone laden band. I've thought about Mociun, Alex and Chloe, Macha, and everything on Catbird. There was this ring which is so out of character for me but it is also my birth stone. I also like Bario Neal but none of them sing to me. I'm open to stacking and I like the idea of mixing metals because I do that in my other jewelry. Oh budget on the ring(s)... under $2k and I do have my mom's setting from her first marriage (with my dad) to mine for stones if i somehow go blingy.

phew. After reading this it's probably easier to just help me with the dress even though the ring should come first. or neither. jeez.


eloping-naked-in jeffrey-campbell-shoes


I found your dress.

It's from H&M's Conscious Exclusive collection, which will be in stores April 4.

You're welcome, FUSSYPANTS.

p.s. What about a wedding bracelet? Just throwin it out there. Nobody says you have to have a ring.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

welcome to my new favorite shirt

This mesh tee from Sarafan + Duende arrived in the mail from Pour Porter yesterday and I almost lost my shit. Even H said, "Wow, that's cool" the instant I opened the box.

[Update: They are now SOLD OUT!]

p.s. I got an email recently asking "where do the cool girls shop?" Pour Porter is definitely one of those spots.

p.p.s. Maybe "where do the cool girls shop?" could be a new series. Or would that be redundant?

Bridal party woes

Hi ESB, 

My wonderful fiance and I are getting married in August and when we got engaged I decided I wanted to forgo having a traditional bridal party. But now my sister and sister-in-law are upset that they're not "involved" in our wedding, and while they keep saying that it's my day and I can do what I want, I feel like they're upset I'm not having a bridal party and they're not in it. 

So, I'm thinking of having all the siblings walk down the aisle before the ceremony (a la a traditional wedding), but instead of having them stand up there with us, I was just going to have them take their seats in the front row (I'm also thinking of giving them all readings as well). This seems to have calmed them down a bit, but now my mother is saying that I should probably involve my friends in the ceremony as well. My mother is very well-meaning and I respect her opinion, but this wedding is turning into me figuring out how I can keep everyone happy and it's starting to stress me out. 

Do you think I need to try and include my friends in the ceremony if I'm now including family? And if so, do you have any good ideas as to how I can do it?

Thank you! 

- My wedding is being hijacked 


People will get upset NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO. And then they'll get over it.

But if you don't stand up for what you want, you don't get to whine about how your wedding is being "hijacked."

Monday, March 18, 2013

cunty wedding guests &tc.

Hello dearest ESB,

I wrote earlier about throwing a bachelor party for my own fiance (my bff's boyfriend put together the most epic local beer hopping evening ever, all worked out perfectly). Your call for the cunty MOH and general dramas encouraged me to write you have some of the nitty gritty parts of my wedding. While I'm not looking for advice, I hope it will at least be temporarily satiating.  

First there was Paula. We were on-and-off friends for 15 years, more recently getting along really well and I quite enjoyed our friendship. I invited her to our small (50 person) wedding; immediate family and friends, and while she dropped hints about being a bridesmaid before my husband and I were engaged, I wanted a small bridal party and did not include her as a bridesmaid. I thought since very few of my friends were invited at all, that it would all be alright if she wasn't a bridesmaid, as being at the wedding at all was significant. I guess it didn't matter either way as she missed the ceremony entirely, making a dramatic entrance after we had started the receiving line.

Then there was Natalie, a friend of my sister in law, whom the out-of-country in-laws invited to the wedding because they hadn't seen her in a long time. I fought this for weeks, and then just gave in because I figured I'd at least get a sweet present out of it (so shallow, I know). Well. Natalie (who in all fairness seemed like a lovely girl) brought her boyfriend, and being a small wedding, there wasn't a place set for him. Then I noticed another surprise guest had shown up, my bff's boyfriend Luke whom husband had invited drunkenly during the bachelor party. He had been left off the guest list because bff and Luke had broken up while she was out of the country, and I thought it might be weird for her, but then then got back together, blah blah, so I gave my sister ONE look (she is the best sister/MOH ever) and she said "I'll take care of this". And that's how Natalie and her boyfriend got kicked out of my wedding. Yes, I had to pay for it the next week, but it was worth it to have Luke there. Plus Natalie didn't bring a gift, so I didn't have to write an awkward thank you note either.

So after the ceremony, we had time for guests to play games and get drinks before the reception while the bridal party took pictures. Somewhere along the line, one of the guests got spectacularly inebriated, and proceeded to stumble belligerently through the reception, interrupting speeches and almost face-planted on the flower girl. 

In the meantime, Paula is at her table with mutual friends, when Helen accidentally spills red wine on Paula's shoe. Paula then cries in an outrage, and throws her glass of water on Helen. Helen returns the gesture, and both are drenched in water. Paula then proceeds to tell all three bridesmaids (and some relatives), how shocked she was thatthey were chosen as bridesmaids, and not her. Many of our guests were visiting from Australia, and some of them were left in the company of a now drunk and bitter Paula. For whatever reason, Paula felt it necessary to share her dislike for the Australian people, saying to their faces that she hated Australians. Furthermore, when she had joined said Aussies for a few drinks and snacks post-reception, she left before paying her part of the bill. 

And the icing on the cake? A handful of jaded married men coming up to my dear husband saying that This was the end, it's now time to give up his self-identity, and to put my every whim before his, causing a very tired newly wedded couple to have the most epic of all fights on the wedding night, lamps toppled, crying, and a serious lack of romance.

It seems like it was a total disaster, but 75% of this happened behind the scenes and I didn't know about it until a few days later. There was a bit of drama and ridiculousness, but it was heavily outweighed by the love, joy, and support from the rest of the family. All ended well, and it remains to be a fondly remembered weekend. The only burnt bridge was with Paula, whom I haven't spoken with since the event (over 6 months ago). Oh well... To new beginnings!

Photo by Henrik Bengtsson for Sara Andersson via The Creative Book via NOTCOUTURE

Thursday, March 14, 2013

while we're on the subject....

Dear ESB,

Dreamboat and I are getting married in late April. I bought a clearance dress from J.Crew early on in my engagement (I know). An amazingly talented amazing designer friend is completely reworking it (after we both decided, instantly, that the original dress kind of sucked--no shocker there). It's nearly done, and is flowy and a lil' goddessy and lovely, but maybe not terribly flattering...but very wedding-y and beautiful. Long, high necked, almost-racerbacked, silk chiffon, etc. the more i've tried it on, the more i've warmed up to it.

Meanwhile, I found an amazing lace dress accidentally while looking for a dress for my bridesmaid/maid of honor/best lady. Kind of haunted by it, I ordered it, "just to know." I just tried it on, and love it. It's a lil' sexy, strangely sort of demure at the same time, short-ish, and, what to do?

I mean, I have a custom, lovely gown designed for me by a friend (though not a friend who will be at the small wedding), and this sexy, interesting gown I bought off the rack. I didn't mean to have to have 2 dresses!

The solution that comes to mind is to wear the lovely, wedding-y gown to the ceremony in our backyard, and the sexy, edgier dress to the reception at a gallery downtown, but that's fussy, right? And silly to have two dresses? What to do?

Your advice requested

(got no clever name to use instead)



why is this even a question.

don't drop, fragile by Stéphanie Baechler (photo by Anja Schori)

find my perfect dress

East Side Bride,

I am in desperate need of your keen eye. I am a fashion photographer in Seattle and have been searching for my wedding dress. I want to be comfortable but look modern and sleek. Of course my crew of stylists have their own opinions on what I should wear and everything I pick out they think is not "formal" enough.

I'm definitely drawn to a gorgeous open back and also in love with this Stella McCartney
[pictured above]. I loathe anything traditional bride and can't even step one foot into the tulle world of bridal salons. I'm getting married in October in Palm Springs on an old artists colony on the side of a mountain.

Please help me find something "indian summer modern" and put my fashionistas to rest.

I owe you.


Dude, buy the Stella. Who gives a crap about some *Seattle* fashionistas??

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Men's Fashion HELP

[I made a graphic to go here but then I decided it was too hideous]

Dear ESB,

I am getting married this October in an outdoor wedding at my parents' home in VA. The guys in the wedding party will be wearing this bowtie and these socks with charcoal dress pants, a white button down, and brown oxfords.

I love the look of a cardigan with this combination of items, and I have been scouring the internet for a cardigan in something close to that shade of light purple in both the socks and tie. 

I am having zero luck finding something that will work....any ideas?



No purple cardigan. Do you read me? No. Purple. Cardigan. Also: No striped socks. Boy am I glad you emailed. I feel like we really dodged a bullet here.

Monday, March 11, 2013

umm, did I miss the memo


Soo, let me preface with the - I love your blog and never thought I'd be writing to you, but here am I.

My man and I have been together for 2.5 years and have begun (he has begun, not me) the discussions of marriage etc. In between trying to keep me from leaving the room, while he makes these noises, I have managed to establish the following :

 - he wants to get married sooner, rather than later
 - he'd like a couple of kids
 - he is not religious, but wants me to convert to his religion
 - I am not religious, but I don't want to convert for many varied reasons, I don't want kids, I am open to marriage

I have sinking feeling I know the answer to my issue. I possibly just want to hear from someone completely and utterly independent, because its going to suck big time doing this to someone I love, but if our ideas of the future are so different there doesn't seem to be a point in prolonging the agony.

Also, I'm Australian, white as a ghost, with very liberal parents and he is a Pakistani Muslim, with the world's most traditional family background. Although he is the black sheep of the fam, he is the oldest and I have watched him, since his father's death last year, slowly returning to traditional ways and values. We did have a super big argument a couple of months ago about the future, which ending with him saying "but my fucking family expect us to get married, you have to convert and do this."

Any thoughts, or should I keep hitting myself in the head while I try and keep studying for my law degree and working full time.


Rip off the band-aid. (And soon.)

You and I both know this ain't gonna work.

Sojourner Morrell by Arnaud Pyvka for Marie Claire Italia March 2013 via Visual Optimism

Friday, March 8, 2013

What should a cool Brazilian girl do in PARIS, Rome + Copenhagen?

Dear ESB...

Hey there!! (Remember me? I wrote the post about São Paulo...)

I am traveling with my family to Europe on April, and I was wondering if you are in the mood for another city-guide type of post.

We're visiting Paris, Rome and Copenhagen. I have never been to Rome, so I'm super excited to see all the touristy stuff, and major landmarks...

I have been in Paris before, and would love for some not so popular, but equally cool places to see and to eat and to go out at night (my brother is a tango dancer so at least one night we're book for dancing)...I'm not planning to splurge on shopping, perhaps a visit to Monoprix...heheh...

And Copenhagen, of course, we chose for the price of the plane tickets....heheh...and we have no idea what to expect or visit over there, and all that comes to mind is Hamlet and The Little Mermaid. I visited the Lonely Planet and discovered that is a jazz-loving city. And that's it!

If you find someone to send advice on either city I would be deeply and forever thankful!



It took me FOREVER to get someone to write up Paris. I think maybe Parisian women are too cool for ESB?

Anyhoo. The adorable (Irish) Badger and Bear finally volunteered, and when I saw this photo on her blog I knew she could handle the job....

Most of the things I love most about Paris involve food, wine, and people-watching, so this guide reflects that. I think most of the museums are over-rated, though I do make an exception for the marble polar bear in the Musée d'Orsay, and I do have some nostalgia for the Musée Rodin, since I proposed to my fiancé in a tiny cafe nearby.

(Praline Macaron from Pierre Hermé)

For food and wine and wandering all together, I still think the Marais is worth spending an afternoon in, although many think it's too gentrified now. This was historically the Jewish quarter, and still boasts a very popular Yiddish bakery (Sacha Finkelstein's) which the Parisians adore, although personally I think you're better off grabbing lunch to go from L'As Du Fallafel nearby. The Marais is now home to a lively gay scene, which makes for excellent people-watching and bar-hopping. La Belle Hortense (a wine-bar/book shop) and Le Petit Fer à Cheval (proper old Parisian hang-out with a stunning marble horse shoe-shaped bar) are some of my favourite watering holes here.

There plenty of great open-air food markets all around Paris, but one of my favourites is Bastille Market (Thursdays and Sundays), not far from the Marais. Here, the stall-holders compete loudly for the attention of passersby, and even the hippest young things tote granny trolleys for their baguettes and fromage. Also, the Promenade Plantée (which starts near the market) is worth a look, it's a public garden and walkway planted on an old railway line overlooking Paris, and apparently inspired the creation of the High Line in New York.

(La Promenade Plantée by Amy Toensing via HiP Paris)

If the Marais isn't edgy enough for you, then Belleville is what you're after. Properly gritty and hip, with prostitutes touting their wares most afternoons, the spectacular graffiti displays on Rue Denoyez make the adventure worthwhile. Grab a drink at Aux Folies and watch the world go by. Also make sure to visit Au Rouleau de Printemps for the best Vietnamese sandwiches I've yet had in Europe. Oh and the step on which Edith Piaf was said to be born is also nearby. From here, you can also easily visit the Buttes Chaumont, a beautiful, if lesser-known Parisian park, where the Temple of Sybil sits atop a hill, and there's even a film festival here in September, where they show movies in the park after dark.

The quintessential Parisian park though has to be the Luxembourg Gardens. My love for it may or may not be influenced by an amazing macaron experience I once had there (involving a giant raspberry macaron, stuffed with vanilla cream and fresh raspberries) - but in any case, it's worth a visit. It often has live music in the summer months under the bandstand, and has great paths for running on, plenty of ice-cream and waffle vendors around the edges of the park, and deck-chairs for people watching from and flicking cigarette ash at pigeons. The French Senate is housed in the old palace in the grounds of the Garden, and is spectacularly beautiful inside, so if you can manage to fit in a tour, it's well worth it.

If you want to play at being Amelie (or better yet, Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina), take a stroll through Montmatre. Dodge the hawkers offering to braid your hair or make you a friendship bracelet and climb the steps to Sacre Coeur (or if you're lazy, hop on the funicular), to peer out over the city through the viewfinders at the top of the hill. Montmatre itself has become quite touristy, but the nearby area Abbesses is quieter, and I think cooler. Try the tiny, crazy Argentinian bar Les Canons, or the excellent eatery Le Petit Parisien, where you MUST order the 'poulet roti de nos enfances' - which comes with dreamy puréed potatoes and a sprig of thyme, still smouldering from the fire.

(Parisian Hipsters by Théo Gosselin via I Like to Waste My Time

Finally, the two properly touristy things which I think are worth doing, are to visit Père Lachaise cemetery, final resting place of Oscar Wilde, Gertrude Stein, Marcel Marceau, and Jim Morrisson among others), and of course to have macaroons at Hermé. I also highly recommend a stroll along the banks of the Seine - with an ice-cream in hand from Berthillion. Notable stops on your stroll should include the Marché des Fleurs et Oiseaux on the Left Bank, and the string of pet shops on the Right Bank, which reliably, have puppies sleeping on top of each other in the windows.

Since you asked specifically about places to go dancing - it's not my forte, but a reliable source tells me that Le Pompon, a former synagogue in the 10th arr. is good fun - the bar upstairs plays swing and rockabilly, and downstairs it's more of a hip hop vibe, although sometimes there are live bands and guest DJs. If you want to see and be seen, you could try Le Montana in St Germain des Pres. April is probably a bit early for this, but the Jardin Tino Rossi has outdoor dancing (including tango!) in the summer time.

I couldn't reliably tell you anything about where to go in Rome, as the last time I was there I was a teenager, BUT, I did go to Copenhagen on a work trip last year and I really liked it - full of friendly hipsters - but it is expensive. My recommendations are Soupanaturel for lunch (as the name suggests, only serves soup, and a percentage of profits go to the homeless), Dyrehaven for a slightly scrubbed-up dive bar with excellent Danish beer, the Laundromat Cafe for lounging, reading and drinking, Sweet Treat for coffee and macaroons, and Fiskebaren for the BEST. FISH. EVER.

(Fiskebaren via The Sunday Times UK)

Everyone in Copenhagen cycles, so I'd recommend renting a bike as a fun way to get around the city.

[Editor's Note: I tried to get all the little French accent marks in the right places but I'm sure I missed a few and now I sorta wonder why I bothered.]

At top: Miss Tic via Dreemzology

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

crazysauce (by request)

Dear ESB,

Got a little crazysauce right here for you.

My sister (MOH) got the email below from our Mom regarding the bachelorette party. Please note the excessive use of "sorry" and "plz"and the casual mention of her cardiologist so you know this is all fucking with her heart literally and figuratively. Also, we have met Betty* twice and she was married to our cousin, shotgun style, last week.

Days ago your aunt called and said "here is Cousin A's email so you can invite his wife Betty to Bride's bachelorette party". Your aunt said "all I hear is Carol and Deb making plans", I said "I do not know anything about this bachelorette party....."
I am so sorry , I known it's a big deal. Sorry plz, plz plz do the right thing and invite her she may be under 21 I do not know.....I will lose your aunt and the family if she is not invited. Your aunt will make sure of that sorry, sorry. I did not sleep again yesterday. She called me again to see if I gave you the email, sorry.
I cannot deal with everything happening right know I do not say anything to you guys about anything. I keep everything to myself...But your aunt has no problem bringing this up........I have another appointment on Thursday with the cardiologist. He wants me on betablockers ...plz do the the right thing plz.Sorry Sorry...Like I said, I knew nothing about  the bachelorette party..........I am always the last one to know everything....I did not know Carol and Deb were invited . Here is your cousins email,

My sister being the boss that she is writes back:

1. We didn't invite Carol

2. Betty doesn't even speak English

3. I have bigger things to worry about than your family acting like a bunch of high school kids!
 Don't act like I'm doing something wrong by not doing the "right" thing! I'm tired of your crazy family!

This exchange is a nice little example of how my wedding planning has gone and how helpful my mom has been. To her credit, I don't know how she deals with everything going on -- my father is an ex-con and drug addict (they are divorced), my stepfather is physically disabled (walking me down the aisle because of those two things is another source of drama), her other sister was recently evicted and she has to make travel arrangements to the wedding for her brother because he's incapable of doing so for himself. Don't forget, he wouldn't have to make travel arrangements in the first place if we would have  just had the wedding in my hometown instead of where we currently live.

I have seriously started to think that weddings are just a bad idea if you don't have a semi-normal family. I know that no family is completely normal but being able to pretend you are is just as good. 

How do you keep positive when your family is such a mess and you feel like you don't even deserve to have a normal wedding?

*Names have been changed to protect the crazies.


You and your BOSS sister should start an anonymous blog to chronicle the crazysauce. is available! As is

Melting Ice Cream Dress by Kermit Tesoro via Fashion Salad via Steven Vandenplas via crimesofparis

Monday, March 4, 2013

You know you're getting old when….

1. Your husband gets a big check in the mail, and you go on a bender PAYING BILLS. Paying your property taxes, paying your cable bill, paying both of your wireless bills motherfucking EARLY. AND YOU'RE SUPER EXCITED ABOUT THIS.

2. You decide not to pour yourself a glass of whiskey at 9:30pm on a Friday night because WHOO, that might keep you up.

3. You realize you have a crush on Tom Colicchio.

3a. You find old Daniel Day Lewis to be the cutest Daniel Day Lewis.

4. Omigod forget it, this is depressing


Photo by Pinar Yolaçan via c ktnon via Frédéric Chollet

Spring is coming. I can smell it.

Styling by Amy Merrick for Kinfolk Vol. 7

via Old Faithful Shop

Riddle me this


My fiancee and I are getting married in a private ceremony with only our immediate families in attendance and then later on hosting a brunch reception for friends and additional family. We're paying for the wedding ourselves and as such, parental involvement stays at a minimum. While this was an intended consequence of our choice, I still want to be respectful of mine and FH's parents and not shut them out from the planning process and day entirely. I sent my parents our guest list last week asking them if there were any strong objections or additions they'd like to make to the list, while keeping in mind our limited space.  

My mom called to say they approve of the list, all is well...except she wants to know if they can throw another party the day after our wedding for "those who want to celebrate but were not invited." I did not turn her down immediately because she was so extremely careful to remind me that it's totally up to FH and I, they don't want to be in-law-zillas, etc. Basically, she wants to have a "casual-yet-tasteful picnic" in the suburbs where she gets to invite her friends and the extended family I left out.  

It's crazy though, right? I mean I think those people will be offended and very aware of the fact that they got a consolation picnic. Especially if my mom's invitation has anything to do with "celebrating the wedding of..." I imagine they will feel obligated to get a gift and yet they do not get to come the real party. 

(not to mention I've no interest in spending the day after my wedding anywhere other than our fancy hotel suite)

I want to be thoughtful and considerate of my mom but methinks this is asking for trouble and confusion on the parts of the b-list guests. 

It's a bad idea, right? 



Sidebar: I feel like my job here 90% of the time is just to encourage you guys to follow your instincts. Which I'm cool with. Though the times when I get to say NO YOU'RE CRAY are a lot more fun.........

Where have all the CRAZIES GONE? And the cunts? I haven't had a candidate for MMOHIAC in ages.

Related: I've really been missing the anonymous comments, but I enabled them for like five seconds last night and the spam IMMEDIATELY started flowing in. So, yeah. No.

Photo: Shalom Harlow by Steven Meisel for Vogue (March 1994) via tamera via Vanessa Correa