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Shameless Self-Promotion: My Latest Articles

By Nora Zelevansky / January 17th, 2013

Well, folks, it’s been a while since I shared a slew of articles, so I guess I’ll just get down to it.  New Year.  Same me (and you!).  Yay!

But, seriously, it’s either this or ramble on for hours about The Bachelor and, honestly, it’s too early in the season for that.  Sean is the “Most Sincere Bachelor Ever.”  He’s falling for a trick who he thinks has a good heart.  She’s not there for the right reasons!  Whatever will he do?  (I mean, besides keep her until there are five girls left and then finally see her true colors.)  Why don’t the Bachelors and Bachelorettes ever believe the other contestants when they try to forewarn, when they themselves have seen, during their respective past seasons, that the other contestants have unique incite and are probably telling the truth?  But I digress.

Anywaaaaay … back to the articles.  Because we’re highbrow.  And we like to read.

1. In January’s Town & Country, I wrote a personal essay about the trials and tribulations of developing a big chest for their LOOKING GLASS section called: TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT.  (The story may or may not still be available on newsstands, as the February issue has likely already dropped.)  You may also want to check out the magazine’s new website, as it just launched in earnest and it looks fantastic.

BTW the personal essay includes snippets about growing up on the Upper West Side, which is partially what inspired parts of my still new novel, SEMI-CHARMED LIFE.  Not to be pushy (ahem, ahem), but if you haven’t yet grabbed a copy, now is the time!

2. In this month’s ELLE (that’s the February issue), I offer a sneak peek into Once Upon a Time actress Ginnifer Goodwin’s lifestyle and Hollywood Hills home.  (Hint: She loves tea!)  It’s both a profile and a design piece, so check it out.  It’s currently on newsstands.

3. For this past Sunday’s Los Angeles Times “Image” section, I wrote a story called Beckley Joins The Cool Kids about new shop Beckley opening on LA’s Third Street.  (The area is a local favorite, cool strip of independent boutiques and restaurants near West Hollywood and also where I used to live.)  The store’s owner Melissa Akkaway also launched her own clothing line last year, Beckley By Melissa, and those pieces are worth ogling online too.  I believe there’s a sale happening as we speak?  Also, look out for spring’s Beetle-Print Party Dress.  It’s on my “MUST HAVE” list.

4. Lastly, it hasn’t come out yet, but this Sunday’s “Image” section will likely include another story by me about a new cool, artsy store opening, helmed by a fabulous and interesting chick.  I can’t say more, but keep your eyes peeled!

xo – N.

THE BEST BIRTHDAY TRADITION

By Nora Zelevansky / November 9th, 2012

My friend S.D. and I have a tradition: On our birthdays, we send each other packages of either strange (but enticing) or indulgent foods from companies across the country.

The whole thing started during my sophomore year in college, when SD—with whom I’ve been friends since we were four—first sent me a candy bouquet.  Let’s just say I can’t believe how long its been since my 19th birthday and what we’ve sent each other in that time: We’ve exchanged everything from artisanal Baked marshmallows (support Red Hook!) and Zabar’s cheese crackers to salt and flavored popcorn, dark chocolate spreads and chili-infused brownie bites.

For a while, thanks to S.D., I was even a member of the Jelly Belly fan club (yup, I’m admitting that), which meant that I got advanced tasters of any new flavors that were coming out.  Yeah, I tasted the Dr. Pepper flavor waaaay before it came out.  No big deal.  I’m not bragging or anything.  Don’t hold it against me: It’s not my fault if that makes me cool.

Anyway, this Monday is my birthday yet again.  (They seem to come quicker as you get older, right?)  And today I was feeling a little blue.

This has been an amazing year, for sure.  My husband Drewser and I moved from LA back to NYC, my debut novel was published, I even just returned home from a great trip to LA, where I got to teach a Writing Workshop at Scripps College (my alma mater) and work on a feature for ELLE.

But, in the aftermath of Sandy, this is an odd time on the east coast.  Though, for me, the Obama news is happy as can be.  Writing my second book is turning out to be a slightly different process than the first time around, a bit more pressured, less carefree.  Also, I guess the passage of time always make us pensive.

Anyway, I was feeling melancholy.  But then I received S.D.’s gift for this year!  It was the above super adorable and well-designed box of Parisian Macarons from Macaron Café in NYC, from which I will most definitely sample while writing my NaNoWriMo words today.  Just the kind of writing motivation I needed and something cheerful to remind me that birthdays may be strange sometimes, but they also can be sweet.

xo – N.

PS Does anyone else think that this post should be read to the tune of That’s What Friend Are For?

 

What’s The (Fashion) Story? “Sisterhoods of Style” in The LA Times

By Nora Zelevansky / August 12th, 2012

Meet the Smith sisters, the impossibly cool kats behind the clothing line you’re about to start hearing about constantly and seeing everywhere nonstop, Elkin.  Don’t they look like dolls here or some inexplicably updated Renaissance painting?  You might recognize their stuff from the recent cover of New York Magazine, featuring the cast of GIRLS largely dressed up in Elkin frocks.

This duo is just one of the sister designer teams—also including the Malakpour sisters behind coveted accessory line NewbarK and the Thornhill sisters-in-law behind drool-worthy new jewelry line Liv Haley—I wrote about for yesterday’s SISTERHOODS OF STYLE story in the Los Angeles Times “Image” section.

My editor gave me a heads up late last week that the story would be getting the cover, which is always amazing news, but I still get excited for the reveal of what it looks like; it’s a surprise.  I think it ended up looking beautiful!  Also, with all the book craziness lately, it’s kinda nice to focus on journalism for a sec!

Anyway, I may be in Brooklyn right now, but in spirit I’m still in LA too … only with a smaller apartment, better bagels and less Earth Bar nearby.

xo – N.

THE BEST TIME FOR A BIG UPDATE (& Shameless Self-Promotion)

By Nora Zelevansky / October 24th, 2011

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Well, the rumors are true.  Oh.  Wait.  You haven't heard buzz in the press about my move to NYC?  (And by "press" I mean on my Facebook page.)

The Drewser & I are headed back to the east coast, where an NYC apartment already awaits.

In the meantime, it's been fashion and beauty central online for me, hitting events and launches all over the place.

Also, I'm not sure if I've even mentioned this on PL before, but I have a novel coming out in the spring!  It's a very big deal for me, so I can't even pretend to be cool about it.  The book is called "SEMI-CHARMED LIFE" and I'm sure you'll be hearing more about that from me in the coming months.

That's monopolized a lot of fun time too (in a great way), along with my good old "Fit Like Us" self.com blog (which, considering my lack of exercise lately, should really be called "Fit Like Anyone Else").

Anyway — a few highlights from the last few eons for your reading pleasure (one hopes):

Geren Ford's new multi-purpose space with boutique The Annex, showroom and event area opened this weekend (pictured above).  elle.com

Warren Tricomi Salon's west coast partner Kaz Amor just launched a new haircare line (mostly au natural) called VoCe.  It's all about the Surf Mist. elle.com

Beckley Boutique (on LA's Melrose) owner Melissa Akkaway launches her inaugural clothing line, Beckley By Melissaelle.com

Veuve Clicquot & Rachel Zoe got together for some polo and some charity fundraising at Will Rogers State Park in the Pacific Palisades. Style.com

Dior Launches Scented Nail Polish (like roses!) and a whole new "Garden Party" cosmetic color palette during a luncheon at The Chateau. Style.com

Beauty happenings in LA: Natura Bisse teamed up with The Beverly Wilshire for a spa dinner fit for The Hunger Games' Capital; The Nail Bar opens at The Beverly Wilshire & Rossano Ferretti opens in Beverly Hills. Style.com

Vosges Chocolate lands in Beverly Hills with some exotic takes on chocolate from curried versions to vegan. Daily Candy

Whetherly t-shirt company launches with an ideal cut and color from a sports wear expert.  Daily Candy

That's all for now.

xo – N.

 

LA (AND BEYOND): SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION [Supermodels/Angels]

By Nora Zelevansky / May 13th, 2011

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Rumor has it that "talking to an angel is like trying to catch a falling star.”  Still, I didn’t find the task quite so challenging at the exclusive Victoria’s Secret “Bombshell Summer” kick-off event on Wednesday afternoon.

Standing next to a supermodel?  Now, that’s daunting.  In fact, a picture exists of Miranda Kerr above and me, but I'm hoping it will never see the light of day (for the love of all things good!).

Anyway, I took the self-esteem lumps for Style.com, chatting up the fresh-faced, Balenciaga-clad VS “Angel” (a.k.a. Mrs. Orlando Bloom) between manicures, hand massages and makeovers at LA’s notorious SkyBar.

Read all about it and Victoria's Secret events – that you can attend – all over the country in the next few weeks!

xo – N.

 

SANTA MONICA (AND BEYOND): Tea for two and two for ME! [URTH CAFE’S NEWEST TREAT]

By Nora Zelevansky / April 18th, 2011

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Like any mostly sane person, I have been a dedicated Urth Cafe fan for as long as I've lived in or near LA.

When I left for college in California, my parents also moved to LA (sort of a coincidence and a long story).  But I still went home to NYC for holidays to see my friends.  Otherwise I worried my legs would atrophy from never walking.

ANYWAY, when I would return to the sunny left coast with my joints greased, my parents would pick me up at the airport and whisk me off to Urth Cafe.  That always felt like my official re-entry into my sanctified Cali world.

Even after all these years, I don't often stray from my Urth Salad order (feta cheese, hearts of palm, chickpeas, olives, a baguette on the side – what else does a girl need?), though sometimes I do add a sticky bun at the end for dessert.  SO chewy and wonderful!

But yesterday, I noticed that they'd added these boba teas to the menu.  Now, that in itself is not so special, since boba tapioca balls had a Pinkberry level moment in LA several years ago.  But at Urth Cafe, not only are they using good high-end ingredients, but you can opt for soy, rice or ALMOND (yay!!!) milk instead of regular in your blended boba drink.  In short, as a lactard, I can still drink these mofos.

I used to be able to get a soy version at Zen Zoo, but – alas – that place is no more.  (R.I.P.!)  This is even better anyway cause it's almond milk (or so I keep telling myself).

I have TOTALLY gotten on board for the almond milk trend, which is also having a Pinkberry level moment, as we speak.

At least until someone decides that too many almonds are toxic and cause wrinkles, dysentery and erectile dysfunction.

But for now I be chillin' with my boba in hand.

xo – N.

LA (AND BEYOND): THE BEST WAY TO CELEBRATE EARTH DAY (AND SHOP VIRTUOUSLY)

By Nora Zelevansky / April 22nd, 2010

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[The special reduced price Earth Day Bundle, which actually does seem to hold all their best stuff.]

The earth is going to the dogs (and not the cute ones).  Well, maybe one of those weird "designer" hybrid dogs like a labradoodle or a puggle.  They might sort of signal the end of days.

Eh, ANYWAY.  This is just my twisted way of saying that today is Earth Day.

On my first ever Earth Day (and maybe it was officially the world's first ever), I was in circa sixth grade.  I went to Central Park to see the B-52s perform on an enormous lawn.  When I couldn't see, some friendly dude picked me up and put me on his shoulders.  (These days, he would probably be some kind of serial killer psycho and I'd end up on a "ripped from the headlines" Law & Order, but anyway.)  During the celebration, the park got so ripped up and littered with beer cans that they had to replant the entire area's grass.  So much for saving the earth from puggles.

This year, I suggest you do something equally self-serving, but less destructive: Jurlique is offering 25%-off all orders on their website today.  So, buy yourself some rose water toner and call it a happy Earth Day.  See?  Earth Days are easy!

A portion of proceeds will go to preserving Botanical Gardens in S.F., L.A. and N.Y.C.  Actually, if you shop in-store at the Madison Avenue boutique, they'll also give you a free pass to the Botanical Gardens.  (Although, if you spend weekdays strolling along Madison Avenue and shopping, maybe you don't need a free pass.)  Eh, plant it or something.  Maybe a flower will grow.

Speaking of which: Do you know what puggles do to gardens?  They dig them up!  Not very earth friendly.  I think I'm onto something here.

xo – N.

LA (AND BEYOND): THE BEST SPLASH OF COLOR FOR THIS COMING SPRING

By Nora Zelevansky / January 25th, 2010

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I'm too tired to be charming.  I just got in from a weekend in Vegas (and boy are my arms tired).  See?  I've resorted to Borscht Belt humor.  And it doesn't even make sense cause I didn't fly home.  I drove.

Take my wife.  No. Seriously.  Take my wife.

Annnnyway, just thought I'd share some info on my newest wardrobe obsession: specifically the above Dylan George lavender and turquoise denim leggings, which je refuse to call jeggings.

I'm sorry.  But I have to draw the line somewhere.  Skort?  Maybe. Tankini?  Sure.  But jeggings?  Never! On second thought, maybe I'll change the name of my blog to PLINT.

Anyway, I always love when I can whole heartedly sing the praises of a local LA brand and j'adore these jeansamagiggies (that's a better name than jeggings, right?) with flats or boots or little sneaks without socks or whatever.  They're incredibly comfortable and soft and the colors are super vibrant.  They're not out quite yet, but I've been fortunate enough to preview a pair.  The company's founder, Danny Guez, is also the dude behind Justin Timberlake collaboration William Rast.

And, no, I am not going to make a "bringing sexy back" joke.  Jimberlake has been the butt of enough of those.

xo – N.

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.

LA: CRUMPLED TWENTY

By Nora Zelevansky / February 5th, 2009

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(Walnut on Beverly Blvd–can you see the pattern?  It's subtle, so you have to be really attuned–feel the wallpaper, know the wallpaper, desire the wallpaper . . . This is getting a little frightening, even for me).

The Best Link Today:

So wallpaper can be a tough nut to crack, meaning–well, sort of nothing–but it sounded good right? No, but seriously, blogger Rachel Leonard introduces readers to adorable little design/wallpaper shop on LA's Beverly Blvd, Walnut, and offers up a link to expert Julia Rothman's tips on how to make your own.

Personally, I love to draw, but I'm not always so good with the paper mache and macaroni art, you know?  But for all you craftsy bitties (yeah, I said bitties) like Rach out there in the BK lounge (I dunno), seems like a pretty cool thing, no?  Me?  Let's be honest: I'll go buy the stuff at Walnut.

xo – N.