Ugh, Bon Appetit is driving me CRAZY lately. I get it, they have to update and embrace the digital age and revamp the magazine and try to please Gourmet’s former customer base etc. etc., but I’m just finding it so . . . SMUG. It’s like reading GQ, just with food. I’m not knocking GQ, so much, because one of my good friends is a phenomenal writer and once took me out to sushi on GQ’s dime and it was the most transcendent $400 sushi dinner I’ve ever had in my life (or probably will have again, for that matter). But, look, I kind of taught myself a lot of my cooking and baking technique using Bon Appetit, from the time I was about eight or nine years old. I learned about mousse and ganache and genoise and sauteing and stuff from Bon Appetit, and lately the magazine seems so much more interested in trying to impress me with its sophistication and name-dropping than it is in, you know, cooking. So the August cover trumpets a “Pie Party: Cherry Bourbon, Chocolate Cream, and More”, and by “more” they mean “one more, unless you want to put down the magazine and turn on your computer and go to this link online, oh and also do you want to make, you know, the crust for these pies? You have to go to a different link for the crust, we don’t do that in the magazine.”
There is SO MUCH lingerie on the internet. In many ways, it’s thrilling and empowering: the industry is really booming, brands are really listening to customer feedback and paying attention to fashion trends, and new brands are emerging all the time that cater to specific shapes and sizes of women. It feels great to know the options are out there, but it’s also hugely overwhelming. I wanted to spotlight a few options that I’ve come across recently that cater to a full-figure customer. In some cases there will be some overlap for the full-bust customer, but by and large I want to focus on brands that cater to women who may struggle to find sexy lingerie that fits their hips and bellies as well as their breasts.
Wow. I kind of love everything on this site. I think Hips and Curves is a great place to start, if you want to dip your toes into super-sexy lingerie. The prices are eminently reasonable, and the designs are elegant, sophisticated, on-trend, and sensual. The site offers bras, panties, sleepwear, costumes, fun burlesque accessories, shapewear, corsets and bustiers, stockings, suspender belts, even leather and patent lingerie. It’s a fun one-stop shop for any lingerie needs- everyday wear, special occasion, bridal wear, and more risque fun. Continue reading
I’m deliberately starting these introductions with the brightest and girliest brands I know, because I want to reassure you that if you’ve just been fitted and you’re having a minor freak-out about a cup size that’s a letter you didn’t know existed, you will have PLENTY of sassy lingerie to choose from. You may even have some sassier options than your more average-sized counterparts have. I’ve ducked into Macy’s, Target, Old Navy, and the Gap recently, and beige, black, and hot pink seem to be the boring de rigueur, especially once you leave “juniors” brands. I’m an old cat lady, but I want cute duds, dammit.
(Also, massive tangent: American retailers and buyers are OBSESSED with t-shirt or seamless bras. I will grant you that there’s a time and a place for them, but I beg you not to build an entire wardrobe out of them. For starters, if you’re fuller-busted, a bra cup that has seams is much stronger, more supportive, and better at shaping than a molded cup. Molded cup bras are the trickiest to fit (see By Baby’s Rules’ excellent post here that talks about some of the common pitfalls), as your breast tissue can’t, well, to be kind of graphic, smoosh and settle into the cup like it can in a seamed bra, so you have to find precisely the right shape for your individual boobs. Molded cup bras are also a PITA to store, because you can’t cram them in a drawer with all your other frilly bits, and is there anyone out there who feels they have too much storage space, whatever shall they do? Yeah, didn’t think so.
Furthermore, can I tell you how much I love opening my lingerie drawer and seeing colors! and patterns! and lace! and polka dots!? I love it a lot. Opening a drawer to a sea of beige and black? Again, sometimes you need those guys, and there ain’t no shame in that, but should practicality really be the primary mission of your lingerie drawer? Booooo. We have to be practical ALL THE TIME: we have to pay our bills and our taxes and go to our jobs and eat healthily and keep our bodies moving etc. etc. When it comes to our lingerie, let’s support ourselves in style and have a little fun, shall we?) Continue reading
Can you remember your first bra? I think a lot of women can. I remember Julia Lambert and I were about ten years old, and I think we were having a birthday party of some sort in the backyard, and our neighbor’s gift to each of us was a white “training bra” that looked a lot like a cropped camisole (why the hell are they called “training bras”? What a ludicrously unattractive term. It’s like we’re strapping our children into pieces of equipment). Everyone squealed and shrieked, and I was delighted, slightly confused, and largely embarrassed. I think this was the first time I realized other people observed my breasts. Now, in this neighbor’s defense, I’m sure she wasn’t looking at me as a ten-year-old and thinking “kid needs a bra, stat.” I think the gift came from a place of love and a sense of fun: “all girls have to go through this rite of passage (among many), so I’ll take the pressure off them and their mother and help out.”
So we had those for a while, and it felt strange to wear something under my clothes all the time. I remember thinking “oh man, welcome to the rest of my life. I will wear a bra every day for all eternity. Farewell, my freedom.” Eventually all our girlfriends had training bras, to the endless fascination and delight of the boys in our classes.
The next round of bras were pink and blue thin cotton bras with triangle-shaped cups and the first proper band numbers and cup sizes, although we had no clue, none at all, what the numbers and letters meant. Thus began the next dozen years of “I guess it fits.”
So how can you help a young woman in your life who might be ready for a bra? How can you help make sure her experience is one of empowerment, understanding, and positivity? Whether you’re her mother or father, older sister or aunt, godmother, confidante, what-have-you, you may feel some uncertainty about how to approach the topic, one of many confusing changes that are going on in this young woman’s life. Continue reading
I have a new best friend, a new girl crush, a new hero. You must, you must, you must, you MUST read this book. I don’t care if you’re a dude or a lady.
Up until college, I emphatically and uncaringly said I was a feminist. I was down with women’s rights and the vote, ergo: Feminist. Done. Simple. And then one day in the cafe outside the university’s theater, while we were all blearily caffeinating ourselves, I said something scathing about a new women’s group on campus that was for-traditional-values-anti-women’s-liberation or something and had written a soul-crushingly stupid and self-righteously-irritating editorial in the college newspaper about A Woman’s Place Being in the Home, and the talented, intelligent, funny, and lovely woman waiting for her caffeine drip with me quietly and firmly said “I don’t consider myself a feminist.”
I literally gaped at her, stunned into silence. I had assumed anyone in this day and age who claimed to be anti-feminist was just a wing-nut, ignorant and backwards and embarrassing. All women, surely, were feminists; how could they not be? Equal rights and opportunities for all of humanity: that’s what feminism was about, right? So when I heard this talented, intelligent, funny, and lovely woman say with a hint of pride that she wasn’t a feminist, I shut up and started looking around and listening. Continue reading
Virtuously trying to write and research deep-thinking, soul-enriching stuff, hindered by mimosa-induced brain fog and certain distractions:
- Oooh, I could paint my nails!
- Oooh, a cat!
- Get off the coffee table, cat!
- Oooh, Captain America!
- Bleeeugh, Carlos the Waiter. You and your mango mimosas are false friends.
My lingerie and lady-business posts vastly outnumber my recipes at this point, but even so, the recipes are embarrassingly choco-centric. I can’t help it, chocolate is my drug of choice. This recipe is another oldie-but-goodie from Death by Chocolate Cookies, and I’ve been making it since I was in middle school. These cookies are so, so good and appealingly simple: you stir your ingredients together, chill the dough while you’re doing other things (painting your nails and watching Captain America being my preference), put them in the oven, and through the magic of baking, the outside morphs into a craggy, crackled chocolate landscape. They’re also very tender, chewy, and addictive, and I’ll note that they don’t travel particularly well. No matter how carefully I’ve packed them in the past, they tend to arrive at their destination sadly beyond repair. They do freeze well, if you’re one of those weird people for whom batches of cookies linger longer than a few days, but be sure to seal the container tightly.
Chocolate Crack(-up) Cookies
adapted, barely, from Death by Chocolate Cookies by Marcel Desaulniers
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. vegetable oil
4 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. confectioner’s sugar
Um, you guys? Look at what has been blowing up all over my newsfeeds this week:
These are the remains of a linen longline-style bra. It and several other undergarments were found in a pile of discarded rubbish preserved in the foundations of some 15th century renovations to a 12th century castle. A medieval lady was wearing this 600 years ago. The original BBC History Magazine article is here.
I . . . I’m having a moment over this. Continue reading
So, look, I don’t love Magnolia Bakery cupcakes (sacrilege!). All I taste is sugar, and sometimes they’re kind of dry or almost stale. But if you’ve never been in one of the bakeries, I totally get the appeal. Going into Magnolia (or one of the many cupcake bakeries that spring up continually all over the city) is like walking into a sugar-coated old-timey bake shop. One packed with mobs of people ordering their cupcakes and puddings to go after they’ve just missed out on SNL seats after camping out overnight on the sidewalk outside Rockefeller Center on the coldest night of the year. Not that I’ve done that or anything (I totally did that). The retro pastels, the frosting swirls, the icebox cakes, the classic sprinkles: it’s all really simple and appealing and comforting. No Earl Grey-infused glazes or port wine fillings, just easy, pretty, familiar treats. Treats that just don’t taste all that interesting. Sorry. But the Magic Cookie Bars are, pardon me, fucking awesome, and I’ve heard tell the banana pudding is some of the best you’ll get anywhere, so credit where credit is due.
Anyhoodle, apparently they just launched their corporate event menus and services, because on the last day of Staff Appreciation week this year the office hosted a cupcake event, and if you want to say “Hey Sweets, we appreciate you,” you will give her kitchen supplies, technical tips, and sugar, and you will let her frost cupcakes at work. I was geeking out the entire time. The Magnolia reps gave us white chef’s aprons to wear and lined us all up around conference room tables like we were on the Food Network, and we each had a six-pack of cupcakes, a tub of frosting, a spatula (which they kept calling a “frosting wand”, which I want to make fun of for being totally twee and absurd, but instead find completely charming. Like Fauna in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty, making her cake with her magic wand. FINE, Magnolia, you won me over), and a tub of sprinkles. We got a mini training session on frosting a cupcake Magnolia-style, which honestly once you get the hang of (my first two cupcakes got re-frosted at least six times each) is kind of fun and I’ll probably totally do it on my own.