Sunday, July 29, 2012

{Cocktail Hour}

I happen to be in LUST with a certain cocktail served up at a local watering hole named the Hotsy Totsy. This concoction is made from Tito’s Handmade Vodka, St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, grapefruit juice and a splash of cranberry. It is refreshing and so tasty. What I also love is how they serve it poured over perfectly square 1 1/4 x 1 1/4 inch ice cubes. More and more higher end cocktail lounges are investing in expensive ice cube machines which produce these flawless and chunky squares. Not only do they clink satisfyingly in your rocks glass, they also produce more surface area than regular restaurant ice makers thereby melting slower and chilling your drink faster. I just enjoy feeling like Betty Draper when I slink around holding my In the Pink cocktail, perfectly pretty and resplendent with its chunky ice cubes tinkling in my fellow patron's ears. Cheers!

Saturday, July 28, 2012


Are you as addicted as I am?

There are so many fun things to do with Instagram pictures. 
With the help of a few apps, your creativity is just waiting to be unleashed...

Butter's Guide to Instagram fun:

Need some new or original art for your walls?
Bumblejax prints and mounts your Instagram (or any digital pic) on cool mediums like bamboo, Plexiglass, aluminum or foam. Real expensive looking artwork right from your iPhone!

Maybe your fridge is a little dull?
StickyGram turns your pics into cute little 2 inch x 2 inch magnets. You get a pack of 9 for only $14.99

How about a teeny spiral-bound mini-book?

Too busy to deal with buying post card stamps? Postagram will create a real post card (not digital) from your Instagram, iPhone or Facebook library and send it through the USPS. All you do is snap the picture.

How 'bout an iPhone case with your own pictures instead of some designers?

Or maybe you'd like to re-tile your bathtub or shower?

These teeny stickers are great for car windows, second quarter earnings reports and bathroom stalls (especially at the office).

Think the world should be wholly covered with your phone camera awesomeness? You can plaster virtually every surface with your i-phone pics using Instamaker. T-shirts, mugs and pillows are all possibilities.

Not interested in turning something digital into something physical? 
Maybe your favorite Instagram App is actually the same as mine:
InstaPuppy or InstaKitty. This little App shows only pics of dogs or cats found on Instagram. Keeping the slideshow playing in the corner of your monitor during a workday is found to dramatically boost productivity.*

*(tested, evaluated and substantiated by Sugarbear)


It's a beautiful Oakland Saturday in late July and I wish the summertime would never end.......

photo by Luis Guillen

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

{Shine on...}

If you haven't yet tried a Gel manicure, what are you waiting for?

I contend that the UV brush-on Gel polish (not to be confused with gel powder--which is actually a powdered form of acrylic), is one of the most important advancements in women's beauty since the advent of hair color.  

The process is similar to a routine manicure except clients choose colors from special Gel bottles and let their nails 'cure' under a UV light in between applications. The results are instant. A high gloss, mirrored shine which is bone dry and with no risk of chipping or peeling for at least two weeks. Creative Nail Design (CND) is the leader in the field and have trademarked the name Shellac which is now the most requested brand in Gel colors. OPI has recently converted some of their most iconic shades to Gel too. Clients can now choose such company favorites as 'I'm Not Really a Waitress' or 'Lincoln Park After Dark' in gel form.

Since the aesthetic at Butter leans toward the flashier things in life, my favorite look is a golden tip on any shade of gel nail. From baby pink to coral to peach to dark pink to natural: all base colors can benefit from a touch of glam at the top.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

{Here Kitty Kitty...}

A dramatic cat eye is a classic. The only problem is that unless you work as a pin-up model the look can be a little suggestive for daytime. That's why I love a cute Kitten Eye.
Like the Cat Eye, a Kitten Eye is the softer, more gentle version. It's the same shape--simply less. It's a  more demure look and is achieved with a softer, even smudged line. To perfect a Kitten Eye begin with a sharp pencil. Use it as a guide and then trace over it with a slanted brush and gel or a liquid liner. For unknown reasons, drug store make-up works really well for achieving a near flawless Cat or Kitten Eye. I  like L'Oreal's Super Liner or Wet-N-Wild for their formula and range of colors. I also prefer Mac and LOVE Bobbi Brown's Long-wear Gel Eyeliner. This look is less about absolute precision than a Cat Eye but it should still look neat. Start at the corner of the eye near your nose and use a sweeping motion across the lid as close to the lash line as possible. Thicken the line to follow the arch of your eyebrow and create the wing by extending it out to the corner and up. Join your the wing at the corner and fill it in to whatever thickness you desire. Aside from black, the Kitten Eye is also pretty when created with metallic colors such as gold, copper, and silver OR with brights including purple, green and the classic choice for eye make-up authorities: electric blue.

Friday, July 20, 2012

{hearts in your eyes}

I can't get enough of these wooden heart 'Lolita' sunnies. Handmade by Doug Switalksi and Beca Lewis Skeels in their Tennessee home studio, Tumbleweeds Handcraft, these shades are a perfect Butter essential. Combining the natural raw materials of a beautiful assortment of hardwoods with a classic ultra-chic, Hollywood heart frame is what 'earthy-glam' is all about. Plus for every sale they donate $1. to the Save the Manatee Club in Florida ( love that!

Think of  these as the updated version of what Nabokov would have had her older sister wearing: a more sophisticated design yet still reminiscent of that naughty iconic silhouette.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

{I really love s'mores}

Another thing I love about summer...? 

To me the word camp really means: free license to eat s'mores.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

{Butter's Guide to Packing a Beach Bag}

It's officially the heart of summer. The best time of year--don't you think? 
If you enjoy a good day at the shore, here are some tips for packing your best Beach Bag.  

The foundation to a great beach day is your chair.

The perfect chair is still the classic: Built in the USA since 1903 by the Telescope Casual Furniture Company, the Original Mini-Sun Chaise in Classic Stripe is ideal. Not only are these chairs built to last, (my parents still own theirs from their own parents decades ago), the design is flawless. Three adjustable settings, solid wooden handles and my favorite feature...the built in towel rack at the back. 

The next essential is the actual beach bag.

Again, leaning towards the classics here makes good sense. I've tried more trendy bags in different fabrics and materials but honestly nothing compares to L.L.Bean's durable canvas, Extra Large, Open Top, Boat and Tote Bag. I am partial to the hot pink trim with monogram but the celestial blue and camel hued tan are chic too. These days L.L. Bean offers customers the option of customizing the bag in all sorts of non-traditional colors, sizes and even shapes. Load this baby up and you'll only need two hands to carry it and your chair down the boardwalk. Easy! 

Without question: the best beach cover-ups are designed by Trina Turk.

(Also a big fan of Missoni, Nicki Minaj anyone?). Pant, caftan or tunic, they all exude a feeling of yachting off the coast of Ibiza, or lounging pool side at South Beach or attending a clam bake in East Hampton. Even if you're not lucky enough to visit those places, these cover-ups are also fine for wearing around the house on a hot day, hair in a top knot and feet in platforms while sipping on something sparkling.

I love my Kindle I really do. But for the beach? Not for me

When I'm spending the day in sand and salt I don't want to worry about my pristine e or i-anything. At the pool it's a different story. But for the beach? I like the old fashioned celebrity 'rags' picked up at my corner 7-11 along with maybe one light novel and if it's Sunday, the New York Times (but I only like the Style section, magazine and book review on a beach day).

Nothing beats a good flip-flop for walking through hot sand.

The newer Havaianas with slim strap is my choice. This sandal still offers the great marshmallow-y  foot bed Havaianas are known for but with a thinner strap for a more delicate look. I like the navy blue for summer. The color looks fresh and the slightly metallic straps add some funkiness.

I'm a firm believer that the only make-up needed at the beach is a good waterproof mascara and a brilliant, hot pink gloss
There's something about that dazzling sun which tends to wash out any nude or subtle lip shades and instead calls for something gleaming and vivid. Fuschia is fresh and flattering especially when combined with bronzed skin and sun bleached hair. I love Hot Wired Lip Lacquer by Nars not only for the flawless, mirrorlike shade of bright pink but also for the smooth formula which includes Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Avocado Oil, Sesame Seed Oil and Jojoba Oil. All of these ingredients mean tons of moisture and softness great for combating parched lips. I'm also a big fan of Nars Lip Lacquer in general if for no other reason than the adorable retro-inspired pot.

The best sandwich to bring to the beach?
Throw a few lobster rolls into the cooler. With light or even no mayo and tons of lemon, this is the perfect snack.

Have a sunny summer!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

{what's poppin'?}

One of the great things about living in the East Bay is the multiple fireworks shows which can be seen from the hills. Find the right vantage point and you can enjoy fireworks from Marin County over the Golden Gate to San Francisco to Berkeley and inland. Have a Happy 4th!