1. Be A Better…Host.

    Lately, I’ve been crafting cocktails like a mad woman and there have been quite a few keepers going into the recipe books (god I wish I was a person who was responsible enough to put my recipes in their own book…but yeah, INTERNET is where I keep all of the things). 

    I digress.

    3 events in my not-so-recent past have called for custom-crafted libations and I of course, was happy to oblige. 

    My friends Desiree and Stephen wanted giant jars of special margaritas to go alongside their taco truck-catered wedding reception in Palm Springs. Now, to be honest, I abhor tequila. Instantly I flashback to a time where 3 for $1 ( did you get that…repeat, 3 for ONE DOLLAR) tequila shots in border town Mexico seemed like a decent/good idea and my liver was 10 years younger and agile like a jungle cat.

    There may or may not have been a mechanical bull involved often after said tequila experiences.

    BUT, people getting hitched seemed like a good time to get over my bull riding PTSD and I was bound and determined to make a margarita I would actually want to drink myself. 

    Here’s what I came up with:

    El Toro Margarita:

    • 2 oz Tequila
    • 2 oz Fresh Lime Juice
    • .5 oz Agave Nectar
    • Pinch of Salt
    • 1/3-1/2 Bottle/Can of Mexican Beer (I prefer Dos XX)

    Mix all the ingredients well and pour over ice. Garnish with salt (I got black salt for home use…Buy it HERE) or a lime.

    These other two cocktails were for work events I did…and both really lit it up. 

    The Pineapple Spice:

    Start by adding your pineapple juice, lime juice, tequila, cilantro and ginger puree into your shaker. Shake with ice for 10 seconds and then strain over fresh ice in a high ball glass. Top with club soda and garnish with cilantro.

    The Apple Crisp:

    • 3 oz fresh apple cider (cold)
    • .5 oz lemon juice
    • 2 oz  pineapple Skyy Infusions vodka
    • Dash of cinnamon 
    • Lemon zest
    • Grated ginger
    • Club soda

    Start by combining apple cider, lemon juice, lemon zest, vodka, cinnamon and ginger in a shaker. Shake to combine and then pour over ice. Top with club soda and garnish with lemon peel. 

    Cheers to Fall and know that next time…we’re back to bourbon. 

    xo C

     


  2. Be a Better…Dresser.

    Skirting the Issue Edition:

    I have to admit, I’m having some fashion issues right now. With other people’s clothes. 

    What’s with the ugly quotient this season, ladies? I’m seeing a lot of Laura Ingalls Wilder look-a-likes and I really hate it. It’s like everyone’s allergic to sexy and we’ve resorted to guerilla knitting over our lady parts so we can look straight up Grandma status. Let’s tackle the issue of our bottom halves today and we’ll get into our top bits next week.

    I love a good maxi. Makes ya look tall, feel kinda princess-y, and overall can be quite romantic looking (to other ladies). So why the hell have you people taken the maxi and turned it into a floor-length chastity belt? I mean…seriously?! I thought broomstick skirts ended with my mom in the 90’s (who obviously paired it with a turtleneck skirt and chunky silver cross necklace)…but I’m seeing them again. Which is a damn shame. If you are going to go maxi, keep it simple, modern, and stay the f*ck away from tiered styles. Also, new pleated styles are great…but beware, buy it a size larger so you don’t maximize that fupa situation that can often happen with a large pleat. (just sayin.)

    I think mid-length skirts are maybe the hardest thing to full off when talking about the lower region. They can easily go from Mad Men to frump-fest with one bad fabric choice. Stick with a pencil skirt, in a bold color to stay away from looking like the teller at your local Bank of America (those f*cking cheap pin stripes KILL ME). Also, a note…gathered front midi-skirt…actually just looks like lady parts attached with Velcro™ on the outside of your clothing. RESIST. 

    If there were political parties dedicated to fashion…I would obviously be in the Mini-skirt party. Paired with a good sheer, black, back-seam pantyhose…minis can be a perfect transitional Fall item, keeping your style, sexy but functional. If I was a man, I’d be a leg man for sure. BUT…can we talk about bubble skirts? I REALLY HATE THEM. They ALWAYS look like you sh*t your skirt or like you are smuggling mashed potatoes down under. Soft and squishy is just an unfortch way for your super hot bum to look, so try a tailored mini in a sparkly fabric to glamorize your Fall look without trying too hard.

    Ralph Lauren has been hustling the plaid skirt for decades now, and Kudos Ralph, they are certainly making a resurgence lately in main stream style…but there are three ways the plaid skirt can go. Chic equestrian/Americana, naughty school girl, or Math teacher. Let’s not do the second two. Deal? Keep your plaid in modern cuts with minimal pleating to maintain the chicness and reduce the skank-prude factor. Also, I can jam with a long plaid skirt…but it NEEDS to be all the way to the floor and not paired with an orthopedic looking shoe, as seen above. YUCK!

    Putting a sweater on your lower bits can be tricky. It can add major poundage without much effort. To reduce the chance of a fatter looking ass, try the trend out in an A-line form…rather than this super tight pencil option, and keep whatever you have on top, less voluminous and do NOT pair with another sweater for fear of looking like a wooly, lumpy, Urban Sherpa. 

    Love you all. And have a fantastical Fall weekend!

    xo Chinae

     


  3. Be Better…at Fall.

    New Playlist Edition:

    It’s that time of year, Fall. 

    You are going to need a new playlist, and here it is folks. Bright, Fun, and Full of Expectation!

    Sorry for the short post today y’all, wisdom tooth is coming on out today and I gotta head to the dentista!

    Download playlist link for Spotify HERE.

    Be Better Y’all.

    X Chinae

     


  4. Be a Better…Dresser.

    Fall Fashion/Blazers Edition:

    When I hear the word blazer I think of three things.

    1) Chevy Blazer (Blame Texas)

    2) Designing Women and 90’s Style:

    3) Questionable Comedians such as Paula Pounstone:

    So naturally, when incorporating a blazer into my Fall wardrobe, I had some mental/emotional obstacles to navigate over (mostly the idea of being Paula Poundstone’s body double) before being able to commit to Blazerdom, once and for all. 

    Most times, I think women don’t know how to wear this piece correctly because 9 times out of 10..they look like a linebacker, like they sifted through their Aunt Diana’s (pronounced Dee-Anna) garage sale $1 bin, or that they will be proudly escorting me to my table and will be providing me with the Soup of the Day options. 

    Let’s look at the good and the ugly and figure out how to still visibly look like we own lady parts.

    The FUGLY:

    1) What you think…

    I look f*cking regal today. A Jackie-O doppleganger if you will. People are going to want me to give speeches and save schools wearing this blazer. I’m practically Michelle Obama. And to think…I only paid $20 at Charlotte Russe to look like I bought Chanel. It’s pretty much the same thing. 

    Reality Check: Look, I’m not trying to be a bitch, but when you buy a Chanel look alike, you will look like you bought a Chanel look alike. The only speech you will be giving is whether you prefer paper or plastic. Let’s be honest here, there are better blazer options than a Chanel ripoff…and unless you are a Grandmother to at least 3 children, stay away.

    2) What you think…

    I am totally doing that cozy, knitted blazer thing…it’s perfect, really. Like a sweater and a jacket had this super chic baby.

    Reality Check: You look f*cking homely. It’s not working sister friend. If you want to wear a sweater, wear one. If you want to wear a blazer, wear one. But we really don’t need to be wearing these strange hybrid clothing pieces that make you look like you make birch bark stools in some Amish encampment, by hand all day. 

    3) What you think…

    I get the look of a blazer, and then these ruffles totally hide my problem tummy issues and look super fashionable.

    Reality Check: You look like you have lady parts attached to the front of your jacket. STOP. 

    4) What you think…

    Corduroy makes me look so refined and equestrian.  I bet people think I escape to my country house in upstate New York and own at least one horse. Also, I feel totally smart…like I read Steinbeck and smoke my boyfriend’s pipe while thinking about my future “essays” that I’m going to write.  Who says cords can’t be sexy!

    Reality Check: You look fat. Corduroy just isn’t flattering for most women on top. Maybe try a skinny cord pant…but seriously, you’re probably going to look bulky and mushy, unless you’re Sienna Miller. 

    How to Wear a Blazer Well:

    1) Why this works: Structure and clean lines make a blazer flattering. Pick a bold color and have the jacket be the statement piece in your ensemble. That way, you don’t have a potentially boring piece..fading to the background. 

    2) Why this works: A shrunken blazer with some interesting details can turn stodgy into stunning. Pair a shrunken blazer with a great pair of structured pants and you’ll feel downtown cool but still professional.

    3) Why this works: I love the idea of a cocktail blazer. Throwing this on over a dress or to glam up a pants ensemble is just delightful. The detail of a belted waist also will keep you looking extra lady-like.

    4) Why this works: For you hip chicks…going the complete opposite of fitted can be a real gem. Just make sure the sleeves are the right length and that you keep the rest of the outfit close to the body. This is a great piece to pair with dressy shorts.

    Here’s to looking like this…

    And not so much this…

    xo Chinae

     


  5. Be a Better…Bartender.

    Apple Redux Cocktail Edition:

    In concordance with my post yesterday (re: Whiskey), I think today dear readers, we shall make a Bourbon cocktail. 

    I want Fall to be in my mouth right about now, even though it’s muggy and raining in New York today…we should revolt and drink Fall in anyway.

    (The only thing this photo has to do with this post is the relation of how much bourbon she had to drink to get an apple tramp stamp. I couldn’t resist)

    Apple cocktails have gotten a bad name in drinking history (thanks you TGIFridays and Applebee’s for your bright green appletinis with a maraschino cherry to garnish). Let’s take back the reputation of the apple right here and now in the world of libations.

    Apple Redux Cocktail:

    What you’ll need:

    2 oz Bourbon
    0.5oz lemon juice
    0.5oz maple syrup
    1 oz fresh organic apple juice
    1 oz passionfruit juice
    ¼ oz campari
    1t honey

    Combine all these ingredients into a shaker, shake and strain over rocks. Add some fresh cut apple slices to garnish!

    Happy Fall b*tches!

    xo Chinae