Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Ice Cold Beer Here!

It's almost summer and you know what that means BBQ season! Yee-haw! In my opinion there is nothing quite as tasty as a grilled burger, corn-on-the-cob, and an ice cold beer on a Sunday evening.


Beer has gotten pretty fancy over the last few years and I now frequently find myself perusing the ice-cold aisle at the grocery store not knowing what to bring home. You know how I feel about an unanswered question... I'm like a pit-bull that never lets go. Don't ask me for details (it's all very 007) but I have a Beer Czar. Yup, I'm that cool. He knows a lot about all things alcohol and was kind enough to anonymously answer my questions about beer. Read, buy, uncap, and enjoy. 

What is the difference between ale, lager, pilsner, stout, wheat beer, and porter?

Beers come in a variety of styles. All of these styles are contingent upon the ingredients and the brewing process used.

For example:
  • An Ale is typically darker and more bitter in style and flavor additives like hops are usually plentiful
  • A Lager is a lighter style
  • A Pilsner is actually a lager but brewed with a technique founded in Plzen (or Pilsner) which is a city in the Czech Republic
  • Wheat Beer is a lighter, sweeter style that is brewed with wheat

What is a microbrew? Why are they so popular right now?           

Microbrew - better known as “craft beers” - are beers that are locally produced in small batches in a small Brewery. In general, craft beers are dark, hoppy (more bitter) and generally are higher in alcohol than your mainstream beer. Craft beers are incredibly popular (double digit growth in volume) since they offer unique styles and flavors that are appealing to consumers who want to try something new. The “craft beer” craze has capitalized on being local, unique and given the industry some personality and fun. 

Beer consumers (like wine consumers) have become increasingly more educated and their palates for quality and flavor have expanded. Knowledge of the brewing processes at the consumer level has expanded and many people are beginning to “home brew” or create their own beers/styles at home. Craft beers will continue to grow as long as the consumer remains engaged and willing to experiment. The risk the craft beer industry faces is an oversaturation of brands to choose from (1500 new breweries launched in the US in 2012 alone). For more info here's an interesting article you may want to check out from Business Insider.

Now, on the flip side, the import beer category provides authenticity, tradition and consistency. Import beer brands have been brewing the same recipes for hundreds of years. They pride themselves on quality. Hence, the import beer category continues to be in growth mode.

What are some less-known beers that are worth trying? 

There is a style of beer or brand out there for everyone. One of the fun parts as a consumer is the task to find a beer that they like. There are so many options – many of the safest bets are import beer brands that have been around for hundreds of years.

The beer industry continues to thrive with the consumer. One of the fastest growing segments in beer right now is in the gluten-free beer category. Celiacs or consumers who are following a gluten-free diet or lifestyle have generally not had an option for alcohol consumption outside of gluten free producuts like wine or cider. Now, these consumers can drink a beer without the gluten contents. One of the most popular out in the market right now is a brand from Spain called DAURA. This beer doesn’t have the gluten content BUT tastes just like a beer.

What beer do you recommend for a woman vs. a man? Why? 

Women generally like lighter styles of beers. Wheat beers, shandy’s or light lagers are very popular with women – particularly in the summer when dark hoppy beers feel too heavy. However, there are many woman that like hoppy styles… its just a matter of finding the style you like.

Tap vs. bottle? Does it effect flavor? 

Draft beer provides the truest representation of a beer if it is served properly. Keg beer, is for the most part, climate controlled and kept away from sunlight (sunlight is beers biggest enemy since it causes bacteria to grow and in turn gives off a taste of skunkiness and sourness).

Best beer bar you've ever been too? 

There are an abundance of great beer bars throughout the US and abroad. The best ones are the ones that have an extensive menu that mixes local beers, import brands and options for unique styles. BUT, most importantly, the best beer bars are the ones that provide sociability with your friends… beer is meant to be served and enjoyed in group settings. Places void of karaoke, loud music, and loud TVs would be my choice. A knowledgeable and trained staff helps immensely as well – attention to detail in areas such as pouring the beer correctly, in the correct style of glassware, using clean glasses, etc. all adds to greatness (or disappointment) in the experience. Btw, this is a pretty cool chart.

Any good gift ideas to give someone who really likes beer?

A true beer connoisseur deserves to experience a trip to Oktoberfest in Munich Germany. Other (cheaper) options would be a home Kegerator system (for the man cave) or a Home Brewing Kit.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Sale On

The sales have begun and prices have been slashed. If you are male and averse to spending money look away. If you are female - get involved.  Summer is barely upon us and yet all these lovely little sandals and dresses are already on sale. Grab them before they are gone... Below are a few of my favorites from Barneys, Net-a-Porter, ShopBop and Bergdorf Goodman

This dress transitions seamlessly (pun intended) from day to night. Flat brown sandals for day with a chunky brown belt - and super high black stiletto sandals for dinner out.

White tee, black Frame skinny jeans, Sophia Webster heels, and these earrings. Done.

This skirt makes me happy. Classic, fun, full, and festive!

Go big or go home. Every so often each and every one of us has to embrace our inner rock star.  

I love a dress that is multi-seasonal. Wear it now with silver sandals and next fall with black tights and patent-leather pumps

For those of you with long lean legs - go for it!

These are that perfect heel height. Tall enough to make you feel fancy but low enough to wear to Sunday brunch. 

Body-Con does a body good...

Buy these shoes and they'll throw in two tickets to St. Tropez. A girl can dream can't she?

Yeah, well, now you know what I am wearing under my clothing. Best. Undies. Ever. Trust me. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013


On this Memorial Day... I honor those who gave their lives serving our country. My father served two tours in Vietnam. My grandfather fought in the battle of Iwo Jima. I am in awe of their bravery. They were boys when they went away to war - men when they returned. They saw and did things I can never imagine - facing danger head on - marching bravely into harm's way. I am proud that they risked their lives for what they believed in and I am sad for their fellow soldiers who never returned. All heros, never forgotten. 

"Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifice." 
- President Harry S. Truman

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Five Friday Favorites - For the Walls

A wall is just a wall - until you bring it to life...

Precious Prints for the Kitchen
Image: Judy Kaufmann's Home via Etsy

Loving this "Inspiration Board" 
Image: Heather Clawson of Habitually Chic

Adorable and Useful Wall Decor for a Child's Room
Image: Joanna Gaines' Home via Design Mom

Everything about this wall would be perfect in VT! 
Image: Zsa Zsa Bellagio 

With Wallpaper like this - nothing else matters!
Image: Oly Showroom from La Dolce Vita

Design Details

What makes a house a home? Is there a way to pull off creating a space that feels clean and lived-in at the same time? In my opinion the goal with interior design is to find that fine balance of old and new - a hint of history with a dash of current tastes. We rent our home and I cannot wait for the day when we own. I dream of window treatments, built-in bookcases, and customized carpets. When that day comes I plan on consulting Horton Design Associates where the very talented Stephanie Horton works alongside her mother-in-law Mimi. The spaces they create are divine. They feel fresh while also having a unique sense of history and character. Steph was kind enough to share some images from her recent projects with us. Below she walks us through some of her favorite design details. I gravitate towards "Young Traditional". How about you?

Wise Words from Stephanie Horton of Horton Design Associates:
(203.326.1090 -

So often young families find it daunting to define their style and then translate it into a home design that is livable and practical for their lifestyles. We're resistant to the idea of replicating our childhood home with our parents style, but comforted by the familiar and the time-tested.

At Horton Design Associates we have crafted a look that is neither traditional nor contemporary. It is a fusion of styles, periods, and cultures which is interesting and sophisticated but also clean, fresh and young. We mix classic, urban, traditional, and modern elements until the perfect balance is achieved for each client. We believe that this blend will result in a timeless space that will defy labels and endure ever changing trends.

Below we will take a look at 4 key styles that we use to achieve this balance. Hopefully you will find some inspiration to use in your own homes. Most importantly, we believe that everyone should experience the joy of living with things they love!

Young Traditional: classic, soothing and quiet, with a focus on art or views

With the "Young Traditional" interior, the focus is on soothing quiet tones, classic furniture shapes (perhaps updated in painted finishes), and a focus on art or outdoor views. When the room backgrounds are neutral, it allows the furniture and art to shine. And if you've got a great view, let it be the star!

Worldly: exotic, with an ethnic flair

The "Worldly" design style is heavily influenced by exotic locales such as India, Africa, China or the Middle East. Textiles and furniture often have an ethnic flair... such as suzani, ikat or batik fabrics, bone inlay furniture, Asian accent pieces, and animal prints. It is subtle, as you don't want to create a stage set, but far-flung influences clearly permeate the design.

Modern: contemporary art with touches of classic style

The "Modern" style incorporates contemporary art and furniture into an otherwise traditional canvas. Again it is nuanced not overt, but it results in a streamlined, confident interior. Pop-art, Mid-Century, and modern elements say 'I'm not afraid to mix yesterday with today'.  It's hip, retro and very American.

Whimsical: pops of color, playful, and fun

The "Whimsical" interior is all about pops of color, playful elements, and having fun. It's sophisticated, but it doesn't take itself too seriously. The whimsy can be achieved through unexpected paint colors and combinations, accessories, fabrics, or furniture... for example a Caviar lamp, stripes and stars, beach ball pillows, apple green fabric and accessories...  Have some fun!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

How do I get there from here?

Well, so, here I am. Almost 5 months since I sent out the very first post for The Sentimentalist and I humbly come knocking on your door with a confession. I lost track of my promises. When I started this blog I promised I would be working on a few things this year and then work, life, passions, kids, non-profits, writing, launching, exercising, dining, and discovering got in the way. I said I would be out there working on more saying no, more quality time with my kids, and more moments of meditational bliss. And then I started saying yes too often, I unintentionally pushed my kids to the fringe, and I let myself get frazzled.

That neck pain I so proudly got rid of with EIGHT weeks of Physical Therapy and rest? You guessed it - it came back. And the yoga classes I was attending weekly? Well until yesterday I hadn't seen the inside of a yoga studio in FOUR weeks. And then my minis... Well the neck pain and lack of meditation turned me into a mom who was fried and on edge. The tipping point came last week when I stopped by a friend's house to drop something off. I pulled into the driveway, parked right by the back door, and left my little Sophie buckled into her car seat - saying "Mommy will be right back." As she patiently waited my "quick run in" turned into a five minute conversation. When I got back to the car Sophie was in tears. I felt terrible. I know - five minutes isn't a very long time and it was a cool spring day so there was no health risk - but I've got to imagine it feels pretty crummy to be locked in a car seat, feeling alone, and wondering when your mom will be back for any amount of time whether it be five minutes or five hours. She's an easy kid - and I took advantage of that. I can hear John's kind voice now, "Lindley, she is  fine. It was five minutes and she has already forgotten about it." But the thing is, even if she has - I haven't. It was a tipping point.

And the other thing about the neck pain - it is back because I have been awkwardly carrying my almost 3 year old from place to place every day. Why? Because we are always in a rush! Her little legs can't walk as quickly as I would like them to so I just pick her up and off we go. Never mind the fact that it is healthy to walk. We. Have. Got. To. Get. There. Now. So what have I missed out on while speed-walking with Sophie in my arms from place to place? I have missed out on this special little thing that Sophie does. When we walk together Sophie likes to grab my hand, pull me close, and rest her little cheek on the backside of my hand. It's ridiculous. In a good way. Can you imagine missing that? Can you imagine wanting to be so close to someone that you rest your cheek on their hand as you walk? I am so lucky to have a child so full of love and gentle compassion. I just can't keep missing these things.

And then there was the church episode. I am embarrassed to say that John caught me making a to-do list in church. He saw the list being written on the back of the church bulletin and gently nudged my arm saying, "Put it away." I sighed and gave him the "one more second" hand gesture. The thing is that I really wanted to enjoy the sermon and I knew that once the list was written I would be able to concentrate MUCH better. Can you relate? RED ALERT!!! The list was eventually put away and when I heard the pastor's message I was reminded that I need to slow down, be a better listener for God's intention in my every day life, and work on creating days that are more joyful and less jumbled. We all need time to breathe between the chaos.
So now that I have seen the error of my ways - what to do? How do I get back to that place of peaceful pain-free bliss? I guess it just has to happen day-by-day and moment-by-moment. I have to get to yoga once a week - for my mind and my neck. And I need to consciously squeeze one less errand in each day so that we aren't always cutting it so close. And maybe I set aside allocated kid-free time for writing so that I am not on the computer in the kitchen as my girls eat dinner together around the corner just out of my eyesight. They discuss great things and I need to be a part of that dialogue.

The thing I have realized is that I want to say yes. I am honored, excited, and thrilled when new opportunities come my way. I can and will say yes in the future - but the pace at which I say yes has to be carefully considered. I have to be okay with a different kind of timeline. Don't we all just want to do everything yesterday? I want this site to be well-written, informative, and interesting every time I post. I want a million followers tomorrow. I am constantly jotting down blog ideas and eaking out email requests to future interviewees at midnight. I forget to pace myself. My mark on this universe doesn't have to be left tomorrow. I have to remember that this - this day, this post, this moment - is not my ending. In fact this isn't even my middle. It is still my beginning. And from here there is plenty of time to get to the end.

The goal is to look back and smile at the beginning, middle and end. You need to know you really lived, saw, heard, and laughed during each phase. How do I get there from here? I slow down, breathe deep, and pace myself. It will happen. In its own time. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Spring Line Up

There's nothing like a nautical stripe to freshen up a spring look... A simple striped tee is perfect with white jeans or khaki shorts on casual days. A more structured long sleeve stripe looks great tucked into a skirt and layered with a fitted coat for evening. A few of my current favorites are here, here, and here.


Alexa Chung

Tommy Ton

Olivia Palermo


Tommy Ton


Gwyneth Paltrow

Paul Newman

Kate Moss

Ondade Mar

Tommy Ton

Olivia Palermo

Elle Macpherson