Posted: September 25th, 2012 | Author: lnorkin | Filed under: About Me, Activities, Art, Beauty, Dining, Fashion, Music, Product Review, Shopping | Tags: art, beauty, clubs, gift ideas, men's underwear, savings, stationery, subscriptions, sunglasses | No Comments »
Originally published on What’s Your System, a blog about people’s tips and tricks for getting stuff done.
I learned about thrifty subscription services the hard way. After my brother got 12 CDs for a penny from Columbia House Records, he realized he could sign up again using my name. A box came in the mail for me.
But, of course, it was not for me.
Ben snatched the stack of CDs like proverbial candy from a baby sister. My one and only shot at the penny loot was plundered, which very well could explain why two decades later I’m intrigued by every “of the month” club that comes along.
Subscriptions have gone way beyond the record clubs or Harry and David fruit and cheese boxes of years past. You can now get razors, in-season shirts, vitamin regimens, and bacon via snail mail for a flat rate. Brands like beauty delivery service Birchbox seem to be having a moment. Columbia House is even still around, now peddling DVDs at basement prices (though not for a penny, that ship has sailed).
So if you find yourself shopping for one item at a time, and gasping that infomercial truism: “There MUST be a better way!” Crack open the internet, sign up for any of these at-your-service subscriptions and check the mail. Your goodies await.
1. Razors: Dollar Shave Club.
The Don Draper of subscription services, this for-guys-by-guys buy explains “your handsome-ass grandfather only had one blade, and polio.” Signing up for The Humble Twin gets five two-blade razor cartridges a month, for one dollar. The Executive ($9) brings in three six-blade cartridges. dollarshaveclub.com
2. Sunglasses: Stunner of the Month.
Maybe you’re Corey Hart, or maybe you lose everything that’s not nailed down. If you need shades in bulk, nine dollars a month gets you a new pair just as often. That’s a lot of shade for a little green. Plus they offer men’s, women’s and unisex styles. stunnerofthemonth.com
3. Shirts: Elizabeth & Clarke
This subscription supplies you with basic shirts every season. Current styles include the Bennet, a racer-back tank with zipper detail, the Taylor, a flouncy button-down, and the Liz Lemon, a classic casual tee. Get all three for $60, two for $50 or a single shirt per season for $30. elizabethandclarke.com
4. Bacon: Bacon of the Month Club
For the real breakfast enthusiast, order up two pounds of gourmet bacon for just under $50 a month. Subscriptions range from three-month to 12-month commitments, and could make a great gift for that friend whose health is really of no concern. amazingclubs.com/bacon.html
5. Men’s Underwear: Mack Weldon.
Ok, so it’s not news that men hate shopping for basics. Consider his boxers and tees taken care of when this brand new label of high-end underthings launches auto-replenishment in January. mackweldon.com
6. Stationery and Gifts: Lost Crates.
The Myers-Briggs of subscription services, Lost Crates takes you through a visual quiz to choose which gifty assortment you’d like best. The resulting themes include things like stationery, high-design odds and ends, gourmet or green necessities, and tchotchkes galore. Subscriptions range from $25 to $48 per month and can feature guest curators, like style blogger Man Repeller. lostcrates.com
7. Vitamins and Supplements: BuluBox.
If you’ve jumped on every fad diet and health craze since the Nordic Track, you stand to save buckets of bills with BuluBox. For $10 a month, you get samples of leading vitamin and health supplements to try before committing to (and investing in) a whole bottle. bulubox.com/pages/bulubox
8. Art: Artist of the Month Club.
You had to fire your art consultant when the recession hit, we get it. But that space above your sofa’s been looking a little blasé. For $200 a month, you get an AMC-exclusive piece of art just as often. The artists remain anonymous until you get your signed (sealed and delivered) pieces. Just think, if one of the artist hits it big, you could be back at Sotheby’s in no time. artistofthemonthclub.com
Posted: September 25th, 2012 | Author: lnorkin | Filed under: About Me, Activities | Tags: bride, budget, decor, green, wedding | No Comments »
Originally published on What’s Your System, a blog about people’s tips and tricks for getting stuff done.
This is the story of how one fabulous set of Ball jars zig-zagged up and down the East Coast and into four different weddings.
It all started in August 2011, three months before my wedding. My soon-to-be Sister-in-Law came across a set of 36 blue Ball jars on Etsy for $200. We had been scouring online shops, out-of-town antique stores and even stalking one Soho sidewalk vendor who specializes in salvaged glass, to come up with enough bottles to decorate our massive wedding venue, the Metropolitan Building in Long Island City, Queens.
Everywhere we looked, they were up to $15 apiece—so the Etsy set was a must-buy. Plus, we saved on shipping because the vendor happened to be vacationing in the same beach town as my parents, who orchestrated a hand-off by the boardwalk.
Jars travel from Maryland’s Eastern Shore to my Brooklyn apartment in the back of my mom’s Honda CRV.
The jars were perfect for our urban-rustic-vintage-city wedding. It was a picturesque fall evening and my soft white and pink flowers dusted the space in the twinkling blue glass.
And then… my apartment was full of jars.
Jars travel from Brooklyn to Frederick, Maryland to party in a barn.
One of my oldest friends was planning her April 2012 wedding and had chosen a barn with an open view of rolling hills as the setting. The jars would be a perfect accent, and even thematically relevant! The bridal magazines she didn’t care to read would’ve been so proud. Sarah was more than happy to save a few bucks on décor, and had already enlisted some relatives and friends to help arrange wild flowers for her big day.
Jars travel back to Brooklyn and then head right back out to Rhode Island, for an elegant backyard wedding in July.
Sarah’s wedding was over, and the jars were heading my way, via my parents, again. (Thanks, folks!). In between all the planning and partying, another set of friends got engaged. My husband’s high school buddy Nathan and his fiancé Sara were whipping up an outdoor summer affair. The jars were booked again.
Another high school friend and his fiancé came to Nathan and Sara’s wedding, and did that thing engaged couples do at weddings—noting every detail they haven’t thought of yet. When my husband caught them considering the décor, he told them the jars were up for grabs—for free—if they wanted to use them. They did.
Jars travel from Rhode Island to Brooklyn and wait for Matt and Hannah’s October wedding in Massachusetts.
I bought the jars in the first place because I loved the look of them. They were something I could imagine having around my house and that’s the kind of wedding my husband and I wanted. Now, I love the jars because six of our closest friends will have shared them with us and, in a way, shared their weddings with us.
Even though I didn’t intentionally adhere to a system, here are a few I’ve figured out in hindsight:
1. Go in on wedding décor with other engaged friends. You can all use it, then re-sell.
2. Buy wedding décor in bulk for cheap, lend it to your friends so they can save money on those random items that always add up.
3. Use vintage, blue Ball jars for everything. They are really pretty.
So when the jars travel back to me in October, I’m going to hang onto them. I’ve been dreaming of making one of these chandeliers for a year now. Plus, I’m 29. I’ll probably have friends getting married well into the next decade.
If you want some blue jars of your own, here’s a bunch on Etsy. I found other shareable wedding bits on 100LayerCake, which is also a great resource for re-selling.
Photo By: Mackler Studios / MACKME.COM
Posted: August 13th, 2012 | Author: lnorkin | Filed under: About Me, Activities | Tags: centerline, exercise, fitness, lila, mind body, mods, studio anya, Yoga | No Comments »
This blog originally appeared on The Sagebook, a mind and body resource created by the owner of Studio Anya in New York.
This week I attended both Mods and Lila, two of the more challenging core classes available at Anya (pause for applause…thank you). But this post isn’t going to be about how great I am for doing a bit of exercise for once. It’s about a theme I noticed while doing that work in various parts of the Anya studio: lines.
If you’ve attended anything at Anya, you know that “centerline” is an important phrase. This is a cue that helps us lengthen, to get taller and graceful, by lining up crucial points: sides of big toes, inner knees, pubic bone, tip of nose and crown of head. (I’m forgetting a few, but you get the gist). You can centerline while standing in front of a mirror in the group classroom, or while laying on your back on a reformer. But what I found, in my studio roaming this week, is that you can centerline with the help of some inanimate objects as well.
In Mods, I positioned my mat by chance right below one of the ceiling’s exposed pipes. That became an external cue to line myself up. It was extremely helpful in the bridging series; Johnson challenged us to maintain centerline with our hips elevated, and feet pushing into on a soft inflated ball (yeah, right). When we stood up and grounded our feet, I noticed the wooden floorboards provided perfect lines to create a straight foundation. I have knock-kneed tendencies, and straightening out my feet, I’ve learned, is the first step to correcting every awkward bend from there up.
Later, in Lila, we were working on the wall. Not only are the Pilates Sticks a cool toy for teasing balance, but the metal bars affixed to the wall are great visual triggers. Thanks to Sarah’s cueing, we tried to broaden our collarbones to mimic the horizontal bars. We used them as inspiration for opening the sit bones wide, which gives space for an elongated back and leg line. The top bar was even a gentle reminder to keep gaze set high, which opens the base of skull to gently stretch your neck.
When lines are all around, overhead, underfoot, perpendicular, and in plain view, it’s hard not to try and mimic their form. In my one-on-one with Courtney she helped me find a bit of length in my waist, effectively ironing out some lumpiness. It was a great trick, and one I’ve been able to take home with me by imagining the pipes, floorboards and metal bars in the studio. Why shouldn’t my posture be as unequivocally straight as theirs?
Posted: May 22nd, 2012 | Author: lnorkin | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
Blackhawk down? More like Blackhawk up, up and away with this adult version of, say, a race-car shaped bed. Picture your very own gleaming mid-20th-century aircraft, all steel, aluminum and masculinity. Your chest just puffed out a bit, didn’t it? Now wrap that plane into a mod-shaped desk and go to work. The aerodynamic shape’s bound to give you a bit more speed when facing your next deadline.
Tips & Deets:
-Handmade of polished aluminum wrapped around solid hardwood.
-Drawers are lined with black cotton canvas.
Season: Spring 2012
Check out some of my roundup pieces for JULIB.com here and here.
Posted: May 15th, 2012 | Author: lnorkin | Filed under: Beauty, Dining, Fashion, Nightlife | No Comments »
As part of our Trendsetter Series, we’re turning the focus to folks who live a decidedly JULIB.com lifestyle. Read on to see where these standouts eat, travel, and shop to stay so ahead of the curve.
Founder of Niche Media and a soon-to-launch luxury concept, Jason Binn is uber-tapped in to our favorite cities. He chooses restos by what he calls “the sizzle of the steak,” as in the vibe and energy. Faves include Nick & Toni’s, MPD’s Catch, and Milos (he tells us one’s opening in Miami). If you’re in South Beach, he says you “can’t beat the bay views at The Mondrian.” Cartier, Audemars, and Franck Muller watches anchor his classic look. [See his picks.]
Since two of last week’s Trendsetters mentioned Jennifer Fisher among their faves (her cheeky gold jewelry to be specific), we had to tap her for this installment. Her designs have been seen on celebs like Heidi Klum, SJP and Uma Thurman, so it’s safe to say her personal style is star-worthy. She curates an edgy look with faves like leather leggings, vintage tees and an ironic (we hope) gun tote. But when it comes to beauty, she’s all lady. [See her picks.]
Former hedge fund manager, author, and founder of financial news site Minyanville, Todd Harrison says he’s a creature of habit. Breitling Emergency watch. Dinners at BLT Steak. The Four Seasons for drinks. But the former “professional bachelor” has become a father (and soon-to-be Step Dad) and is planning his honeymoon to South Africa. Sounds like he’s welcoming change like his fiancée’s Kiehl’s shampoo (he loves it). [See his picks.]
Her faves list reads like a who’s-who of the downtown fashion elite, but Editor-in-Chief of Gotham and Hamptons magazines Samantha Yanks isn’t as NYC-obsessed as you might think. Her fave spa experience is in Miami (and inspired by Italian volcanoes) and she goes to San Fran to eat Angels on Horseback. Her current style signature is a collection of gold and black diamond bangles—one of many looks you’ll want to emulate. [See her picks.]
Nicknamed The Iron Palate, Karine Bakhoum knows where to find great eats. Of Le Bernardin she says, “The room is soothing and the service is like a ballet.” She knows Rafael Nadal’s fave pasta in NYC, and hits Mr. Chow when craving green prawns. An inspiring cancer survivor, she values her family above all else but wouldn’t mind retiring in the South of France, “in a farmhouse with a great kitchen surrounded by lavender and poppies.” [See her picks.]
Check out some of my other roundup pieces for JULIB.com here and here.
Posted: March 30th, 2012 | Author: lnorkin | Filed under: Beauty, Product Review, Shopping | Tags: antioxidants, beauty, cherry, lip balm, lip gloss, lips, lipstick | 1 Comment »
BITE Whipped Cherry Fruit Scrub
You’re no novice. When it comes to lip products, you know you can’t get a smooth color application without first treating your pout perfectly. Enter the BITE beauty brand, which infuses everything from lush lipsticks to glosses and pencils with as much of the antioxidant Resveratrol as five glasses of red wine (that’ll stave off signs of aging, encourage plumpness, and more).
The brand’s newest hero prod, just in time for Valentine’s Day and all that kissing, is the Whipped Cherry Fruit Scrub. Feels like a regular lip balm (and smells just as sweet) but teeny, barely perceptible little beads get to work sloughing off the less-than-smooth skin atop your lips. Now that you’re ready for color, the real challenge: which one to choose?
Posted: March 30th, 2012 | Author: lnorkin | Filed under: Beauty, Shopping | Tags: exfoliation, Molton Brown, skincare | No Comments »
Your favorite Brit brand has summer sexiness in mind with the Molton Brown Renew Ambrusca Wash and Scrub. With prods that help you sleep, slough skin, and generally rejuvenate, it’s a hit at home and away. It uses olive stone to reveal a smoother you. And since you’re showing all that skin, make it smell sweet with this signature scent.
Posted: March 30th, 2012 | Author: lnorkin | Filed under: Beauty, Product Review, Shopping | Tags: beachy waves, beauty, cult fave, hair, haircare, styling, woodley & bunny | No Comments »
The term “cult favorite” gets thrown around a lot these days. So let us prove our point when it comes to Sachajuan haircare.
1) They’ve been around since 1997. (Really, this whole time).
2. Their only salons are in Sweden. So, try getting an appointment that use these goods.
If that’s not enough to convince you, just try a spritz of their proprietary blends on sale at chic shops like Woodley & Bunny in Brooklyn (oh yeah, that’s #3). The sleek bottles with minimal branding get straight to the point: it’s two first names, and you should learn them.
With this beach spray in particular, you get loose summery waves year-round without the sticky, imitation-sandy feeling that comes along with some other brands’ near-misses. The shampoo bottles practically look like a design element in your shower, and we’re particularly fond of the spray wax for hold. Don’t you love being the first of your friends to try a new must-have? This brand would be it.
Posted: March 30th, 2012 | Author: lnorkin | Filed under: Beauty, Shopping | 2 Comments »
After humble beginnings in Hungary, Dr. Erno Laszlo went on to be a major game-changer in international beauty. He pioneered pH-balanced cosmetics as well as introduced water as a skin-healing agent (this was once a novel concept, really). So we all might owe a bit of thanks to him for his big ideas, as do famous faces like Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn who used his in-spa rituals before they were mass produced, and leading ladies Jacky Kennedy and the Dutchess of York who encouraged him to go retail with the “Rituals” in the sixties after frequenting his Fifth Ave. shop.
Now, the Good Doctor’s legacy lives on with face and body product ranges that cleanse, calm, clear, and more for skin types that are anything from a bit oily, to stressed out, over dry, pulled, puckered, or just normal. His best sellers include Laszlo Blue Firmarine SPF 30 ($195) which uses an algea-based Spirulina as well as 70 vitamins and minerals to provide marine hydration to slightly oily skin. Sea Mud Soap ($40) is an oddly black facial bar for normal to combo skin made with Dead Sea minerals. And the standout, Regular Normalizer Shake It ($48) blends exclusive “toner with color” technology to control surface oils, conceal blemishes and blot excess moisturizer with a transparent hint of color.
Posted: March 30th, 2012 | Author: lnorkin | Filed under: Dining, Nightlife | Tags: Beverly Hills, Brasilia, espresso, Italian, Jeremy Gursey, LA, Manny Elmaleh, pasta, SBE | No Comments »
You shouldn’t throw stones from a glass house, you know that one. But what does one do with a market of glass? Chef Manny Elmaleh serves up Italian antipasti and small plates with a fresh focus at SBE’s latest, Mercato di Vetro.
A buzz-building campaign painted the place as a social club you’ll fall in love with (see the online videos that call it an Italian affair, Vespas and all). The brand behind Bazaar and Katsuya ensures there’s plenty to love. Sure, there are floor-to-ceiling glass walls, but inside you’ll find that the craft of cuisine is held to the highest esteem.
Consider the details: espresso whisperer Jeremy Gursey has been brought on to deliver signature brews (of the caffeinated variety), like an orange-zest infused drip coffee from a siphon (the latest thing) and a Brasilia “Opus” espresso machine for the affogatos, macchiatos and hand-made espresso ice cubes. Pasta will be churned out of another classic machine (this one by Rosito Bisani) in one of the four kitchens (yes, four) where doughy faves like fresh spaghetti, pescatore and wood-crisped delicacies will be crafted.
Sartorial taste is of the essence here, too. The entire staff will be outfitted in jeans by Hudson (super skinnies for the gals and slouchies for the guys) to add a touch of British cool to the otherwise Ital-focused formula.
9077 Santa Monica Boulevard
near North Doheny
Beverly Hills, CA 90069