25 April 2013

Disco Dress

Do you ever see a dress and think of dancing, drinking beers, laughing and having a great time rather than how you'll look, or if it will it hide the flaws you obsess over? That happened to me when I saw this one. Its so playful and I could tell just by looking that the skirt was made for twirling. Even though its a 1960's vintage, the pattern reminds me of half a dozen spaghetti strap tank tops I wore in middle school that were probably inspired by beauties like this.
I bought it from one of my favorite stores, Rust Belt Vintage and had intended to wear it on Easter but the weather didn't cooperate. Now that spring has arrived I hope I can wear it as often as possible.
Dress: Rust Belt Threads

22 April 2013

Blue Toile, Sunday Brunch

Here is how I looked on Sunday for brunch in Brooklyn and a walk around Queens. The brunch we went to was actually really cool, its called Spoons, Toons and Booze at the Nitehawk Cinema in Williamsburg. They have a breakfast cereal buffet in a movie theater where you watch old cartoons, play trivia games and in my case massive, delicious Bloody Mary's. It was a bit too dark for many pictures but if you're going to be in Brooklyn I would really recommend seeing a movie at this theater.
Sunday's have fallen into a happy pattern of sleeping in, eating delicious food and taking long walks around my neighborhood with Rich. I'd like to have 3 or 4 Sundays a week.
vintage toile dress
AA sweater
abercrombie denim jacket
uniqlo scarf
clare vivier purse
madewell sunnies

21 April 2013

Spring knit

How can anyone bear to wear a winter coat anymore with flowers blooming and the sun shining? I've taken to layering sweaters and wrapping up in big scarves. My favorite knit is this beautiful brown sweater I bought secondhand in Iceland. On Saturday night I wore this cozy ensemble to do a beer tasting and get a burger with Rich. For me its the perfect low-key date night outfit.
Icelandic vintage sweater, Red Cross charity shop
vintage pointelle sweater
JCrew gingham shirt (similar here)
AA skirt
Doc Martens
Clare Vivier purse

16 April 2013


I'm so down lately; its nothing but work, and more work, waiting for the endless days to crawl by until the weekend. When Saturday and Sunday roll around I can hardly focus on anything but menial tasks. Is this being an adult? It kind of sucks. I'm making more of an effort to do the things I want, but where will I find the energy?
Here's my dress I bought awhile ago and never photographed. Nothing was fitting me right so I finally ventured into the petites section at Topshop where I found this perfect blue dress. Now I just want all of the petite clothes. It fits all over, and doesn't need to be tailored anywhere. It's a miracle.

Topshop Petite dress
JCrew cardigan
Clare Vivier bag
Uniqlo hat/scarf
Steve Madden boots

14 April 2013

Saturday Lights

Saturday night there were two birthday parties at the $3 Tavern. Out on a still-cold spring night I noticed all the different lights.
Rich and I got ready with cheap wine and silly faces.
There are flowers on the trees and people firing up their grills outside. It was freezing though and my winter coat had to come back out.
Trees covered in blossoms lit up with fairy lights near Park Ave.
At the $3 Tavern.
The bar is like a carnival fun house inside with different rooms on different levels, mirrors, games, drinks and a a patio. Heres a peek at the air-hockey.
Outside there is a boxing game that some guys were trying, its crazy how everyone gets really into it and yells and cheers for them. The record for the hardest hit was a professional female boxer who hit 912, none of the biggest guys could get it.
When we left we took a cab, which is always a treat because I get to see the city lights.

09 April 2013

Spring details

And then suddenly it was springtime.
skirt: Asos
sweater: H&M
bag: vintage
shoes: Topshop

07 April 2013

Reykjavík Guide and Excursion Ideas

My trip to Iceland was fantastic and since there seems to be a lot of interest in my trip there, here is a little guide based on my experience. Since I only went for 4 days, this is geared towards travelers taking a long weekend or a short trip. No matter how long you plan to stay, these places are not to be missed on an Icelandic adventure. Hopefully I'll be back soon and can add to it.

Hotel Fron
Laugavegur 22a, 101 Reykjavik
For a short trip, finding a deal that combines air-fare and hotel together is best. It made the planning simple and there are always deals for travelers on a budget. We stayed right in the heart of the city on the main street within walking distance of all the shops, bars and cafes. They offer rooms with kitchens and a complimentary breakfast that really helps when you have a very early start time for excursions. The beds are super-tiny, so if you are looking for a romantic love-nest, look elsewhere.

Eat, drink, dance:
Laundromat Cafe
Austurstræti 9, Reykjavik, Iceland
A cozy bar with walls lined with books and maps feels a bit more like a student lounge or bookshop. What's really cool is that there is an actual laundromat downstairs. The amenities like wi-fi, books, magazines and a self serve water station and of course a full bar were all designed for comfort while washing your clothes. Such a cool idea to be able to hang out and grab a drink while finishing a chore.
Vesturgotu 3b, Reykjavik 101, Iceland (Miõborg)
Set back in a square and a few steps below street level it feels like a little secret. We were wandering the streets late on Thursday night in the city and someone overheard us being turned away from yet another dinner spot. They told us that Tapas was the place to go. It worked out perfectly because not only is there is something for everyone on its massive menu but it has an entire tapas menu for traditional Icelandic dishes. For example thre is a fixed dinner of puffin with blueberry sauce, minke whale and Icelandic lamb and a sample of the local liquor, Brennivín. I wasn't quite that adventurous, but the other Icelandic dishes like lobster tail, baked potato and lamb samfaina were delicious.
A really nice place to grab a quick coffee and where I first encountered the Icelandic cafe culture. Almost every table was occupied by people working at open laptops and full coffees. Also, there are no Starbucks (or really any American chains) because they pulled out of Iceland when the economy went bad a few years ago. This sustainability-minded shop has several locations throughout the city for a quick coffee fix. I hardly drink coffee but the late sunrise left me groggy, so I recommend having a cup to get going.
Hereford Steikhus
Laugarvegur 53b 101 Reykjavík
A very fancy place to have dinner on Laugarvegur. They have a fun system for ordering meals by giving each person a ticket that you fill out to choose all your options. We ate lamb, steak and the lobster bique was heaven-sent. Its always nice to have a dress-up fancy dinner at least once on vacation.
Bæjarins beztu pylsur
Bollagarðar 4 -170 Seltjarnarnes
It literally translates to, "Best Hot Dogs in Town," and lives up to the name. Its a tiny shack that serves late night lamb-dogs with Icelandic mustards and crispy onion bits. The sauce wasn't for me, but it was a tasty treat in the end of a long night.
(A few blocks away in Lækjartorg square there were other late night food trucks with fries, pizza, waffles and hamburgers. That perfect extra meal for when you stay out all night like a local.)
Dillon Whiskey Bar
Laugavegur 30 101 Reykjavík
This is THE place for drinking Icelandic beers and dancing to classic-rock hits all night long. I was partial to the upstairs section because it felt like an indoor beergarden but in an oversized attic. Hands down one of the best bars I've ever been to thanks to friendly bartenders and a welcoming crowd.
Country Hotel Anna
Route 1, Hvolsvollur, Iceland 861
A cozy spot for lunch with an interesting story. It was the childhood home of Anna of Moldnúpur, an Icelandic weaver and dairymaid who wrote beautiful and exciting stories about her adventures outside of Iceland in the 1950's. There is also a tiny hotel that I would love to stay at for a night out in the wild countryside. Our lunch here was included on our glacier hiking excursion and to warm our insides for the climb we were served delicious, traditional kjotsupa (meat soup).

Icelandic Red Cross Store
Laugavegur 12, 101 Reykjavík
A perfect secondhand that sells classic Icelandic sweaters, hats and other clothes at reasonable prices. The money goes to a good cause and is an affordable way to pick up your best souvenirs.

Rokk Og Rósir
Laugavegur 17, Reykjavík
A beautiful jewel of a store filled with outstanding handpicked vintage. Most of the items were very girly and feminine. Think glittery dresses, floral blouses and sparkling baubles. The decor and the clothes gave one the feeling of being in huge pink closet filled with treaures. This is the kind of store I would visit on the regular to search for those perfect one-of-a-kind pieces.

Icelandic Travel Market
Bankastræti 2 - 101 Reykjavik
Spend an hour or so here planning excursions to get out of the city and into the incredible countryside. There are so many tour options to choose from, but the staff here is knowledgeable and willing to feel out the kinds of things you're interested in doing and make recommendations. For example, our large group was torn between two trip packages and we only had two days to fit it all in. They offered us substitutions for certain activities to fit our interests. It worked out perfectly, and they were able to book us a superjeep and a tour guide for two whole days of Icelandic adventures.

To see where we went and that I highly recommend since I spent most of the time stumbling around in awe, see my posts Iceland Day 2, Iceland Day 3 and Last day in Iceland
I think that this is the most fun way to get around and you shouldn't miss it. When else will you get to ride in a mini monster truck? You can drive out into the moonlike terrain on trails that normal cars could never handle, the giant tires put you right in the middle of stunning landscapes that can't be reached by paved roads. Ours happened to be a van because we were such a large group, but they are available for groups of 4 and 5 too.

My two favorite sites in Reykjavík
Miðbær, Reykjavik
Ever wonder where the aerial pictures of the city on Pinterest come from? They come from the tallest structure in the city, the modern steeple of the Hallgrimskirkja. Inside the church itself is a very bright, clean space though when I visited it was under construction. From here you pay a few kroner and take an elevator to the top where you can see for miles over the brightly colored houses and white mountains.
Settlement Museum
Adalstraeti 16, 101 Reykjavik
The site of a 10th Century longhouse, uncovered almost 1,000 years after being built when the owners of the building above were digging in order to build a basement for their bar. Its below street level and you can walk a loop around the foundation of the house while seeing interactive displays that explain the history of the settlers in Reykjavík.

Bon voyage!

05 April 2013

Mushroom-hat pizza

On Wednesday night I had Rich over for dinner and made a new recipe I found on Pinterest that is a giant mushroom hat with pizza ingredients on top.
There were very few ingredients, tomatoes, an onion, a little garlic, some lemon juice and portobello mushrooms. I got a fun cheese blend of fontina, asiago and parmesan.

Chop everything up.
Sautee the onion, garlic, tomato and lemon juice in a big pan.
Rich helped out and cleaned up the mushrooms.
When the sauce isn't watery anymore I spread it on top of the mushrooms with the cheese and baked for about 15 minutes. Then it was time to eat!Super easy Wednesday night dinner.

02 April 2013

Phone photos of March

In March my camera went into semi-hibernation because my birthday month usually puts me off a little, maybe because its my birthday or because its the dreary ass-end of winter. It was also a very busy time with happy hours, parties and a trip to Mexico. At some point I let work get the best of me and I came home and went straight to sleep more than a few nights. Here's what it looked like through the lens of my phone.
I celebrated my birthday a bit early with my mom, she bought me beautiful perfume that I'd been wishing for. She also got me a blue tooth with instructions to call her more
Vacation to Mexico with Rich for 5 perfect days where I napped in the sun and turned 26
My beautiful birthday present from Rich was a Catbird ring (not pictured is the matching one with a star)
A dose of the real world: Back to work post-paradise and a weekend spent helping Rich move out of his apartment
My 26th birthday party, all the best people came to Otto's Shrunken Head and I drank radioactive rum drinks and got too caught up and forgot to dance even though it was Rebel Night.
March Madness Happy Hour with Court even though neither of us cares about college basketball. We do like drink specials though.
Non Stop to Cairo had a party for their music video, LK and I dressed as ghosts and hung around with Dave
I finally saw Sigur Ros
Rich and I had a really nice Saturday drinking beer, looking at weird buildings and I bought some new shoes. OH! And Rich had a brush with greatness when Joseph Gordon-Levitt walked very closely past him on the sidewalk
happy, honey & lark. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.