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Manolo for the Big Girl | Archive | December, 2008
Archive - December, 2008

The Big Question: What are you doing on New Year’s, New Year’s Eve?

So I had this thing written about swans for the 12 Days of Plumcake, but it was about my grandfather and how every year and this time when we lived on the Chesapeake Bay in Annapolis he used to take me across the dune with a bag of stale white bread to see and feed all the thousands upon thousands of migrating swans. But then I cried, and there’s No Crying in Baseball (or fashion blogging.)

And THEN I remembered that time a swan flew onto my deck and tried to attack my sweet –and now permanently waterfowl-shy– pooch, Dozer, and I realized that swans are bastards and they don’t DESERVE a day.

So we’re skipping it (although this does remind me to introduce you to F*** You, Penguin, my new favorite blog. The language is not work-safe.)

ANYHOODLE

Today Plumcake wants to know:

What are you doing for New Year’s Eve? 

Post-Christmas Sales

Well, now that all of you dear readers have given away the presents to your loved ones, it is time to relax and do some online shopping to find a little something for yourself. The following vendors of plus-size clothing are all having the sales! Some of them are incredible. Follow the links to see!

Saks Fifth AvenueDesigner sale. Designer plus-size sale here. Free shipping on orders over $200 with code SAKSFS

IgigiUp to 75% off everything. Ends tomorrow.

Liz Claiborne WomanTremendous discounts, ends tonight!! Additionally, you’ll automatically get $25 off purchases of $100 or more, or $50 off purchases of $150 or more, or $125 off purchases of $300 or more.

Avenue – Shop The Ten Dollar Event!

Monif C – Up to 80% off everything at the site.

Nordstrom – Sales for women and men. Plus sizes are here.

Svoboda – “Preview” sale ending tomorrow: take 35% off anything you want with code PREVIEW09.

Land’s End– Semi-annual sale. Plus sizes here. Tall sizes here.

Lane Bryant – Up to 60% off everything on the site, and semi-annual lingerie sale.

Silhouettes – Lots of end-of-season The sale items, and take 20% off your order of $50 or more with code S8W908.

Old Navy – Clearance sale! Plus sizes here.

JC Penney– After-Christmas clearance. Plus sizes here. Tall sizes here.

Talbots – End-of-season sale. Plus sizes here. Petite-plus sizes here.

Kiyonna After-Christmas savings deal: Through December 31, use code GIFT20 ($20 off purchases of $100 or more), GIFT50 ($50 off purchases of $200 or more) or GIFT100 ($100 off purchases of $350 or more).

Coldwater Creek – 50% off the whole website. Use code SAVEBIG at checkout. Plus sizes here.

Bloomingdales – Sale on selected items ends December 31. Plus sizes are here.

Always for MeSwimwear sale. Use code freeship100 and get free shipping on orders over $100 in continental US.

Roaman’sAfter-Christmas sale.

One Stop Plussite-wide sale.

Chico’s – Winter Sale on select items. Use code 6380 to receive $10 off your purchase of $50 or more. (Also, at their affiliated Soma Intimates store, there is a lingerie sale going on, AND you get a free panty with any purchase at the Soma store with code 7126.)

J.Jillup to 70% off. Ends January 5. Plus sizes here. Tall sizes here.

Woman Within-Clearance sale.

Evans (British sizes) – Up to 70% off

TorridHoliday through January 4th. Also through the 4th: an additional 50% off clearance items.

12 Days of Plumcake: Six Geese a-laying

And now back to the @%^#& birds.

Six geese a-laying.

Actually, I’ve got some REALLY fantastic ideas for this one, but I’m pretty sure none of my ideas are safe for work or a family website, so I guess I’ll just annoy the vegetarians and other people whose “social consciences” trump delicious goosey goodness.

This, in case you were wondering, is what $1600 of foie gras looks like.

Block Of Goose Foie Gras Micuit with 3% Truffles by Rougie

OM to tha @#%’ing NOM.

I love foie gras so much. How much?

When Andre declared his intentions to me and I screamed and ran to lock myself into the bathroom in a blind panic (what can I say, I’m a romantic) I made sure to grab the piece of bread with the foie gras on it on my mad dash to safety.  Hey, I figured I was going to be in there for a while.

Bavaria was beautiful …

 King Ludwig's Castle

. . . but Francesca is so very happy to be home in the Good US of A!

And:

EVERYONE is having an after-Christmas/end-of-season sale. Full information and links to come in a few hours, after Francesca unpacks!

12 Days of Plumcake: Fiiiiiive Golden Riiiiiings!

FINALLY a break from all that damn poultry. Seriously, I thought I was going to get that Chinese chicken disease.

It might not surprise you that I have Important Opinions about rings. Wedding and engagement rings should be tasteful bordering on discreet (there is nothing so vulgar as an enormous diamond solitaire. “Better no money than new money” as grandma always says) but if the threat of an open-handed smack while wearing a cocktail ring doesn’t leave the potential victim worrying about risk of concussion, then your ring isn’t big enough.

One of the great things about being a big girl is you can get away with Big Jewelry. In fact, you ought to be wearing it because little tiny delicate things, no matter how precious, just get lost and it ends up looking sad and sometimes –though I’m not sure why– trashy.

For big flashy cocktail rings I particularly like HSN.com, yes THAT HSN.com. Their stuff is fun, affordable, and they carry some really significant designers including My Dear Friend (okay we met once, but she loved my outfit and thus is obviously good in all things and every way) Kendra Scott.

For the Romantic

Floral velvet ring

This ring looks just like burned velvet to me, and it’s lovely. You know how I feel about overly-romantic stuff and anything that smacks of Stevie Nicks, but this is just delightful. Romantic but not delicate with a bit of bold design to balance out the Renn-fest (ptui ptui)leanings.

For the Machine Age Sophisticate,

Kimana - Diamond Polished Stainless Steel Square Ring

I love a bit of industrial design in jewelry, and this is done beautifully. I know it’s not completely gold, but it’s got some gold –actually yellow stainless steel, made in Italy– in it, so I’m counting it. Why? Because I’m the editor and I said so. Don’t make me turn this blog around.

For the Quirky Heiress

Kendra Scott ring

This is my favorite of the bunch. I love the delicate basket and the rope setting with that big hunk o’ lemon quartz. Kendra Scott Jewelry has been popular among the cognoscenti for quite a while, and she’s really a delightful woman –Style Spy and I had a nice chat with her this summer at the Lifeworks White Party. Her accessible line for HSN has all the charm of design of her more exclusive collection at more accessible prices.

For the Disco Warrior

Scaasi ring

Love this ring, and you just KNOW it would be even better on.

It’s sort of Viv Westwood goes tribal during the last days of Studio 54. I’m new to Arnold Scaasi’s jewelry, but of course the man is one of the last legendary couture-age designers (we are now post-couture, in case you were wondering) and while he was never as famous as Hubert Givenchy, he’s dressed his fair share of first ladies including Jackie Kennedy.

For The Full Mrs Roper,

Turquoise and Coral ring

BOOYAH. (that’s right, I said it) and don’t pretend you don’t love it either, because deep down in our souls WE ALL want to be Mrs. Roper. I would buy this thing in a heartbeat, and wear it with a great long patio dress AND my jeweled canary yellow turban AND my long dangly Balenciaga earrings AND I’d have the girl who does my lashes take me from Mostly Tranny to Full Blown Tranny Mess and I would be FIERCE.

12 Days of Plumcake: Four Calling Birds

So can I tell you a dirty little secret? I have ridiculous affinity for Cockney/Mockney girl pop.

Lily Allen, Kate Bush, Amy Winehouse, M.I.A, I love them all. Here are four of my favorites.

Kate Nash was born in 1987. She’s got a bit of Regina Spektor and a bit of Lily Allen but I like her better than both of them combined. However I keep getting Kate Nash confused with Kate Bush because

a) It’s only a two letter difference
b)I’m old and I swear if any of you young whippersnappers say “Kate Bush? Who’s that?” I’ll pop a goiter.

Here’s Foundations off her album Made of Bricks. I question her shoes.

I love Lily Allen because although she’s a hot mess, she’s an identifiable hot mess. We all know a girl like her, the endearing girl who Just Wants To Be Loved but knows she left her panties at whathisnames’ house.

(This has Never Happened To Me, nor have I ever said “I can’t remember his name, but I’m pretty sure it was one of the apostles.”) I love this video –the lip synching is almost as bad as the Kate Nash video, but I think this one is on purpose– of Lily Allen’s Knock ’em Out off Alright, Still featuring a delightfully chavvy big girl.

Okay, I don’t think Amy Winehouse is a major and inevitably tragic talent and I don’t think Mark Ronson is Teh Greatest Producer Evar. I’ve got better producers on speed dial — although I’m avoiding one of them because I was supposed to make him eggnog, and as of yet I haven’t done it as much as failed to do it in every conceivable way. Whoops.

Yes the video of Back to Black off the eponymous album is more than a little hokey, but I’m a sucker for a classic hearse.
M.I.A. on the other hand is a significant talent. I saw some of her installation art by happy accident a few years ago in London and bought Arular later that day. Her enormous hit Paper Planes off 2007’s >Kala (named after her mother) isn’t exactly a good message for the kids, but I find it –particularly the video– compelling and infuriatingly catchy.

12 Days of Plumcake: 3 French Hens or Sex is Sex, but Cookbooks are Cheating

I’m not sure WHAT to do about Three French Hens, because frankly, I’m still a little bummed that I can’t grow chickens in my backyard.

See, I recently moved and I thought even though I still technically live in the city, maybe I could have chickens. I wanted three chickens, and I was going to name them Shirley, Goodness and Mercy.

They’d eat bugs and lay eggs, and I could live my Green Acres fantasy in style, but alas, it was not to be.

This reminds me a funny story about Andre.

A few weeks ago my heat went out, and the only place I had to stay was with a good-looking gentleman friend upon whom I once harbored an epic schoolgirl crush. Was Andre fazed? Mais non. Not even a little.

The Complete Robuchon
Later that day I told him I’d purchased a copy of The Complete Robuchon by the legendary French chef Joel Robuchon.

Andre lost. his. MIND.

“Why you needs zat book?! You no needs zat book! *I* cooks for you! *I* brings you my recipes!” and on and on and on (did you know the French were an emotional people? It’s true!) until I rued the day I’d mentioned bringing another man’s cookbook into my home.

So, in the theme of “it’s not cheating if you don’t get caught” I present unto you three French hen recipes popular at Château Gâteau.

James Beard’s Chicken with 40 Cloves
Alton Brown’s fussy Coq au Vin
Chicken Provençal from Goons with Spoons

All are best prepared in a Le Crueset French Oven.

6 3/4 quart Le Creuset French Oven in Cobalt

I like the oval one better than the round; it’s prettier.

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