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The BEST 6 New Obsessions: From Lip Tar to Hoes

By Nora Zelevansky / February 14th, 2013

It’s been ages — ages I tell you! — since I last posted simply about my latest obsessions.  It’s about time, I say!  (Why am I talking weird and old timey?)

I know I actually neglected to post about The Bachelor this week too, but — you know — what was there to say besides Tierra is a pyschopath, who treats others terribly and then somehow manages to feel like a victim, Lesley and Catherine should get a room and Des’ hometown date looks potentially psychotic.  (The operative word is potentially, since the possible confrontation they teased may well have been a red herring, since she seems like the most likely final choice.)

SO!  Moving onto “real” life, here in Park Slope, Brooklyn and the my wee day-to-day pleasures:

1. LIP TAR from Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (*pictured above)

I’m not much of a bright lipstick girl because I don’t really have the massive lips to support it.  However, I’m so damn pale from NYC winter that a burst of color seemed like the only solution, so — the other day — I channeled my inner Zooey Deschanel (or okay Jess) slathered on this neon pink stuff and discovered that it’s brilliant.  It’s so opaque and bright that it’s like painting your lips, but it goes on thin and shiny like lip gloss.  I may be walking around looking like a fool — who knows? — but I am loving this stuff because it’s unlike any other lip sitch I’ve tried before.  And at least I don’t look as much like a zombie.

PS Also, I’ve been known to like natural products.  I’ve also been known to like chemicals and lasers.  However, I was happy to learn that this company is totally cruelty-free & vegan.  Now I feel even more virtuous wearing the stuff!  Their store is LES, but their products are sold all over.

2. LA ROSE DANCE WEAR & HOSIERY

Generally, I stick with Spanx tights/stockings.  Actually, that’s a lie: Generally, I stick with the random and sad assortment of stockings that have someone landed in my closet over the years.  Stolen from my mom?  Left by my sister?  Borrowed from a friend?  Gifted at some party?  (That last one refers to a pair of neon green fishnets that blend into my skin and make me look like I have scales from far away.)

But I digress: Yesterday, I picked out a dress for the next day’s Nanette Lepore Fashion Week show and then realized that I had no intact, hole-less stockings left.  It was already evening and I was late for The Gin Lovers book party, where I was meeting my editor and another author.  What to do?  On the advice of one very generous salesperson at a store down the street, I stopped into this old school Park Slope dance shop on 5th Avenue.  It’s really no frills, but the owner was there and let me in, despite the late hour.  She explained to me that I was looking at the wrong size for my proportions (she says the size chart is useless).  And she sold me two pairs of tights.  That are amazing.  And fit perfectly.  And feel like they won’t run.  For $8 each.  I am never spending $40 on stockings again.  The End.  Try a dance store near you!

3. THE SOUP BOWL

Locals will mostly know, but Drewser and I just happened upon this “pop up” spot that serves only soup and bread.  The menu is revolving — the man there said there are about 200 options — and range from Lobster Sweet Potato Bisque to Sausage & Eggplant (like red checkered tablecloth Italian food, as soup).  Bacon & Lima Bean soup AND Turkey Bacon & Vegetable have both been highlights for me.  The people who work there are lovely and you can sample any soups you choose — it’s so cozy and delicious during the cold winter.

Anyway, I am totally obsessed and I’m going as much as possible because they close, most likely, by March 1.  Then, they go back to being an Uncle Louie G. Italian Ices spot.  Which I sort of can’t complain about because I love that too.  Only, couldn’t we have both?  Couldn’t we?  Actually, I think it’s a totally brilliant idea; people should always split their shops by seasonal offerings.  Genius!

*They list what they have for the day on their site, but you should get their early if you have specific desires because they do run out of various kinds, especially if it’s snowy and cold!

4. UNIQLO LOUNGE WEAR

It’s cheap.  It’s super cozy.  It’s thicker and more substantial than you expect.  In need to buy three more pairs.  Need I say more?  Also, have you tried the FLUFFY SOCKS?  OMG.  Don’t get me started.  Let’s just say, it’s surprising that I leave my house.  (And I often do — with them inside my rain boots!  What?  Yup.  Blow.  Your.  Mind.)

5. FINE COLLECTION Sweaters

I have never been so thrilled (well, maybe at some point) than when I discovered that one of my favorite Nolita boutiques, Poppy, was opening up shop just blocks from my house.  I love their stuff, they have great sales.  It’s just reliable and good.  Anywaaay, actually the Manhattan store this week, I happened upon a Fine Collection sweater that was on sale — the price point is reasonable anyway — and just seemed like that item I’d been looking for all fall and winter without success.  It’s a completely simple, long-sleeves, non-itchy, over-sized but not without shape sweater in a color that sometimes looks slate and sometimes looks green.  It’s amazing.  And now I am super curious about the collection in general.  Eyes out!

6. RENOUVE

I honestly can’t say enough about this product.  I am completely obsessed.  This is brilliant: A hand sanitizer that’s the consistency of a serum and acts both as an anti-bacterial agent AND an anti-aging product.  I mean.  If you aren’t intrigued in this flu season, with harsh colder weather, you’ve lost it!  Lost it, I tell you.  Anyway, I am a fan 4-EVA because it doesn’t smell like alcohol or strip your hands of moisture and it dries super quickly.  That’s it!

Anyway … That’s all for now!  More later, as I explore the challenging world of  … I dunno.  Not bare midriffs.

xo – N.

 

It’s Been A While: Shameless Self-Promotion

By Nora Zelevansky / April 23rd, 2012

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If this post is incoherent, it's because I've finally succumbed to exhaustion.  Someone send me to one of those resorts/rehab facilities for celebrities, where I can go drink cucumber water and let other people take care of all my crap!

Who knew that setting the stage for a book release was so much work?  I guess it isn't unless you make it that way.  There's just an endless amount of things you can do to try to promote a novel and, though I'm sure some amount of it doesn't work, you want to exhaust every possible opportunity.  At least I do.  Still, I'm not complaining because I'm beyond excited (and not suave enough to hide it), but … I am tiiiiiiired.

Anyway, all that sleepiness certainly disappeared for a hot second, when Vicki, my editor at St. Martin's Press, sent me the above book cover, which is close to the finished version.  Yay!  I'm especially grateful for the effusive blurb from writer Molly Jong.  It's just so comforting to get positive feedback at this juncture. 

I've taken to Googling myself and the title, Semi-Charmed Life, kind of consistently (yeah, whatever, I admit it) to see if there are any new developments online.  That's how I discovered that I'd been added to Goodreads and, just this week, that the book seems to be available for pre-order at Target.com.  LOVE me some, Targé!  That was very exciting for me.

Meanwhile, I've been a busy bee, trying to pay my rent by writing the usual journalism stuff.  Here are some potentially fun reads from the bunch (maybe?):

For Style.com, a round-up of new spring spa treatments.

My Dame Magazine story on giving up cilantro for a year to become a millionaire and also a story on why smart women like "bad" TV.

A Huffington Post story on how I can't tell the difference between Park Slope and Portland.

My Huffington Post interview with Project Runway All Stars winner, Mondo!

A short interview for C Magazine with famous oncologist Dr. Agus about his new book, The End of Illness.

An interview with the goat farmer and creator of Laloo Ice Cream.

That's all for now!  Excuse me while I go pass out.

xo – N.

BROOKLYN (& BEYOND): Shameless Self-Promotion & a New Type of Sushi Roll

By Nora Zelevansky / December 17th, 2011

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This is very exciting for me.  This isn't just some regular old shamless self-promotion.  This is my book … on Amazon and Barnes & Nobles!  And the cover above!  SEMI-CHARMED LIFE actually doesn't come out until this summer when I'll be doing all sorts of readings and such (July!), but it's available for pre-order as of last week.

Also, I learned via a Google Alert yesterday that it's up on Good Reads too!  I have no clue at all how that happens, which is the case for me with most of what goes on in publishing, but I'm totally pysched.  This might seem silly, all these small details, but each public announcement or step makes the whole thing seem a little more real.

Anywaaaay, what else is happening?

Well, during my first month back in NYC (Park Slope to be exact), I've discovered a new ingenius sushi roll invention: The Tempura Sweet Potato Roll.  Yup.  It's become a regular thing for me.  Well, as regular as something can be after 28 days.  Or, actually, more like 21.  Time flies when you're  … unpacking boxes.  Whatever.  The roll is amazing.  What else can I say?

Also, I went without TV for four weeks and then wrote a story about it called "In Defense of The Boob Tube" for Huffington Post's new HuffPost TV section.  If you love TV like I do (and you all know I do), then I think you'll be nodding along with this one.

Some other highlights over the last few weeks?  An interview with my favorite pair of designer sisters from ELKIN on elle.com and a write-up of new antioxidant-rich line of beauty products, Radical Skincare, for Vital Juice.

Otherwise, I've mostly been on the road and all that implies (a.k.a. slightly broken out skin and a few extra fast food pounds).  Oh, and also the freedom of the open road.  That too.

Happy happy holidays to you all!  May the New Year bring you happiness, health, money and YES! a new season of THE BACHELOR.  It's baaaaaaaaack.

xo – N.

BROOKLYN (& BEYOND): Great Green Gobs of Coconut Cake

By Nora Zelevansky / October 1st, 2011

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I've been a very very bad blogger.  Here I am posting about my inaugural experience with the whole "Cake Man" Cakeville phenomenon in Fort Greene and I've obviously stolen the above picture.  I mean, that is CLEARLY not my thumb.

To make matters worse, while we did try the above red velvet/cream cheese icing flavor, it was a bright green Coconut Cake (the color of toxic venom!) with white icing that rocked my world.

But I didn't take a picture.  Because I'm lazy.  And because sometimes I have impulse control: Eat first.  Think later.  You would too, if you tasted this stuff.

If you haven't been or aren't aware of this whole sitch, basically this is an amazing cake-specific bakery — the kind of place where they remain open daily until they run out of cake (and they usually do) and where slices weigh more than a small guinea pig.

Back in the day at my elementary school's Spring Fair, I used to always participate in the "Cake Walk" to get a free cake.  For hours upon hours, I would buy tickets and walk in circles until the music stopped, just hoping to feel the elation of winning.  I never did.  Tragic story, I know.

That's the good news about being an adult and about the existence of "Cake Man."  Sometimes money does buy (at least culinary) happiness.

xo – N.

BROOKLYN (RED HOOK): GETTING BAKED [VANILLA AND CHOCOLATE MARSHMALLOWS BY BAKED]

By Nora Zelevansky / December 14th, 2010

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I probably shouldn't even admit this, but last night I watched First Daughter, which is that fiasco where Katie Holmes plays the President's daughter and the Commander in Chief is Beetlejuice.

Personally, I recommend you spare yourself that experience.  Don't even get me started on Katie Holmes' weird mouth. Yup.  I took one for the team and, I should mention, that it was only because of the above marshmallows.  My friend S. sends me yummy food baskets for every birthday and this year's included brownies and marshmallows (yup, chocolate flavored ones too!) made by a company out of Red Hook called Baked.

The Drewser and I have been roasting them on chopsticks over our old school gas stove, which is – I realize – a little college dorm room and a little low-end, but SO YUUUUUUMMMMY!

Just take a gander for yourself:

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They're good.  So good, in fact, that I watched all of First Daughter in a contented stupor.  Isn't life grand?  Sad sad state of affairs.

xo – N.

NYC (BROOKLYN): THE BEST (CHOCOLATE) GRANOLA

By Nora Zelevansky / April 29th, 2010

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I'm like Dionne Warwick (or at least her Psychic Friends).  I bet I can guess what you're thinking right now:

"Really?  Another damn post about GRANOLA?  How much granola can one person eat, no matter how deranged?"

I hear you (along with the other voices in my head).  But seriously.  This time is different.  Because this time I'm writing about Early Bird organic granola's newest flavor, Choc-a-doodle-doo.

This may not be the lowest calorie version you've ever had, but it's definitely the BEST granola you've ever eaten.  Seriously.  It's made with dark chocolate, coconut, olive oil, real maple syrup and a couple of other delicious treats, which combine to create this sweet and salty crunchy masterpiece of granola heaven.  You'll get a sweet bite and then a salty one and then you'll literally never be able to stop the cycle: I was like, wait I just ate sweet.  Now I need salty.  Wait, I just had salty.  Now I need just ONE more handful of sweetness.

The company was created in Brooklyn by former franny's manager and Texan baker, Nekisia Davis.  When it comes to flavor, everything really is bigger in Texas.

xo – N.

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NYC (BROOKLYN): THE BEST COOL KID YOGA MATS

By Nora Zelevansky / February 9th, 2009

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(Jill Malek's Limited Edition Yoga Mats: Aphrodite, Maidenhair, Sleeping Briar Rose)

You've all heard the one about the jewelry designer cum bag designer; publicist cum boutique owner; journalist cum blogger (ahem)?

Well, here's a new one for you: wallpaper innovator, Jill Malek, is now designing special limited edition yoga mats for Yogamatic.  I feel like I should have turned that into a knock, knock joke or something, but whatever. Two wallpaper designers and a rabbi walk into a bar . . . something about wall flowers? Eh, I give up.

Anyway, I'm psyched because, while I sadly own nothing to wallpaper (my laptop? my fridge? my cat Mina?), I can definitely use a pretty mat, as it can only make me more motivated to yogi out in downward facing dog.  That sort of invites a joke too, I think, but again I got nothin'.  Or at least nothing appropriate.

The fantastical patterns–with evocative names like Sleeping Briar Rose and Resurrection–are directly inspired by the wallpaper that Jill lovingly creates in her Brooklyn studio.  And, while Jill's mats are only available online via her own website or the Yogamatic site, her paper can be perused at shops like Brooklyn's design collective/gallery boutique Urban Alchemist and LA's Walnut. ( BTW–What is with the wallpaper/Walnut theme in the last two days?  Eh. Why fight it?)

You never know what you may find amidst the lint, you know?

xo – N.