30 November 2007

Preppy Pick - Jenny Bee Designs 2008 Calendar

'Tis the season for gift giving, and I highly recommend stocking up on Jenny Bee's 'Prep by Month' calendar.It's the goodie of choice for all the pink and green lovers on your Christmas list.

I bought one of these in 2007 and was so excited for the 2008 model -- it did not disappoint!

Every month has whimsical little background motifs like wellies, watermelons, and madras.This super cute desktop calendar is sure to brighten up your home or office.

They retail for $15 apiece, but the lovely Jenny is giving my blog readers some great discounts:

*Free shipping through December 25th on all orders. Use the code "MONTY" at checkout and click through PayPal link below.

*Buy 3 calendars, get 1 free. Write "Melissa C. Morris blog" in the comments section of your paypal order.

These make fabulous stocking stuffers and are a perfect present for the prep who has (almost) everything.

Again, please use the PayPal link below to receive the free shipping discount. Happy shopping!

29 November 2007

Sample Sales Sans The Hassles

Many of us have experienced the long lines, frenzied crowds, and general unpleasantness that often accompanies a sample sale. Sure the bargains are great, but is a good deal really worth all that fuss?

Now a new company, Gilt Groupe, brings you the best of sample sales -- the top shelf designers, the awesome bargains -- without all the chaos.

Gilt Groupe runs members-only sample sales online so all you have to do is point and click your way to some serious bargains. It's an invite only website, but once you've joined they alert you via email to all their upcoming sales.

In the past they've featured merchandise from Zac Posen, Rachel Roy, and Bulgari -- all up to 75% off retail. Each designer's sale runs for 24 hours and it's first come, first served until they're all sold out.

If you're interested in joining in the fun, shoot me an email with 'Gilt Groupe' in the subject line and I'll send you an invite (...invites are also first come, first served).

Happy shopping!

28 November 2007

Holiday - Palm Beach

Just as the weather turned brisk in New York we headed south to sunny, warm Palm Beach for Thanksgiving.

A sight for sore eyes:
Mediterranean-style fountain on the way downtown:
Early Christmas cheer:
A spot of shopping on Worth Avenue:
On our way out to Michael R. McCarty's:I'm wearing my favorite J. McLaughlin Harbor Dress and my new sandals from the aforementioned shopping excursion on Worth Avenue.

The happy couple, self portrait:
The preppy lounging poolside:
Our room at The Breakers:
I wish I always had this view from my laptop:
Off to Thanksgiving dinner in my super cute Bamba Dress from CK Bradley:
Handsome husband:
All smiles for the turkey dinner:
Three hours and many slices of pumpkin pie later...

Exhausted:...but very thankful for a terrific holiday.

27 November 2007

Mailbag - The Perfect NYC Proposal

Greg from Atlanta writes: I stumbled across your website while I was researching an upcoming trip to Manhattan for an upcoming engagement to my girlfriend...Can you recommend a unique, beautiful, off-beat place for the proposal?

I received this email over the summer, and Greg was planning his trip for the early fall. Hopefully the lucky girl has said yes by now and I'm not spoiling any surprises. So, here's a few suggestions for the perfect proposal in Manhattan...

There's a roof garden on the top of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It's got a breathtaking view of Central Park and is a very special, very New York place. That'd be at the top of my list. However, it's only open seasonally so call ahead for hours/availability.

If the roof garden is closed you might want to propose inside the museum itself. The Met stays open until 9PM on Fridays and Saturdays and it's virtually empty towards the end of the day. It might be very cool to pop the question in the Impressionist gallery or in the giant Egyptian ruin room.

For something completely different there are great helicopter tour rides around the city. They're really fun (at least to an aviation buff like me) and offer an adventurous way to see the city. It's especially romantic at night. That could be an option if you're into a mid-air proposal.

One of my favorite spots in all of Manhattan is the Cloisters/Fort Tyron Park. It's off the beaten path and way, way uptown, but it's so worth the trip. It's got great medieval-inspired architecture and a killer view of the Hudson River. This is the perfect spot for a lunchtime, picnic proposal.

And I'm not that keen on restaurant proposals, but if that's your bag I'd recommend Terrace in the Sky restaurant on West 119th Street -- very, very romantic with an amazing view and delicious food. Another option is The River Cafe in Brooklyn. Its waterside location and unbeatable view of the Manhattan skyline make it a truly special restaurant.

I hope these ideas help and I'm sure your girlfriend will love whatever you choose!

***UPDATE*** I've already received a ton of comments/emails asking about our engagement, so here goes:

Chappy proposed to me in a bank vault. Very different, very cool.

The back story.... Chappy was single when his mother passed away and she left him her beautiful Art Deco engagement ring. He kept it in a safe deposit box in one of those impressive old banks in our neighborhood.

He took me to the impressive old bank one morning... We went down into the vault, got out the safety deposit box, ducked into one of those tiny little rooms where you have privacy to look at your stuff, and voila - he got out his mother's ring and proposed.

And we lived happily ever after...

20 November 2007

Gone Fishin'

Happy Thanksgiving!

14 November 2007

Quest magazine - the Entertaining Issue

Last month I participated in a photo shoot for Quest magazine's entertaining issue.

A dozen of us "fashionable New Yorkers" gathered at lunchtime at Gordon Ramsay at The London hotel. We were photographed hanging out at the bar, eating an out-of-this world lunch, and checking out the action in the kitchen.

I had a ball. Our group chatted, drank champagne, ate perfectly prepared lamb, and laughed a lot; I wish all my Monday afternoons were that glamorous.

Here I am with the Chef de Cuisine, Josh Emett:
A group shot during the toast (click to enlarge):
I'm at the top left. Clockwise from me - Anisha Lakhani, Luigi Tadini, Tatiana Papanicolaou, Andy Oshrin, and Michelle Smith.

The whole experience was positively delightful thanks in large part to Edward Barsamian, the super fashionable, super friendly producer of the shoot.

To view the full photo shoot and article pick up the November 2007 issue of Quest, on newsstands now.

13 November 2007

Mailbag - Autumn Cocktails

Angela asks: Now that summer has passed, so go the gin cocktails, sadly. Do you have any fun new recipes for cocktails for fall?

I'm typically a year-round, gin only gal when it comes to cocktails, but recently when I ran out of Hendrick's -- talk about a crisis -- I was forced to improvise...

I saw an enticing classic cocktail recipe on my buddy Matt's blog. He has very refined taste, so I figured in my gin-less state I'd give his Whiskey Sour a go.

The verdict: An oldie but goodie; the perfect autumn cocktail.Matt's Whiskey Sour

Four oz. Maker's Mark bourbon

One and 1/2 oz. simple syrup
One oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
One oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice
One Maraschino cherry + dash of liquid

Combine bourbon, syrup, and juices in cocktail shaker with ice
Place cherry and liquid into glass
Pour bourbon mixture into glass


05 November 2007

Monty Monday - chicken for a day

Halloween was fun for all members of the Morris family, including little Monty.

He wasn't pleased about wearing it, but Monty looked super cute in his chicken costume:
We made him pose for formal portraits in the living room:
And then we went out in the neighborhood:
Where Monty tried to run away from me and find an owner that wouldn't make him wear an embarrassing costume:
Monty had a go at trick-or-treating but this townhouse only had chocolate:
So he barked at the neighbor's decorations instead:
Here's my well-behaved boy in the elevator on his way back up to the apartment:
Then he became not so well-behaved...

Here he is trying to wriggle his way out of his costume:
And once he was out of his costume he decided he'd like to play fetch with it:
Or perhaps gnaw on the headpiece a bit:
But eventually he got tired of eating his costume and settled down:And because he was such a good sport Monty was rewarded with plenty of yummy doggie treats and a happy Halloween was had by all.

01 November 2007

Fancy Dress

Chappy and I like to dress in coordinating costumes on Halloween. In past years we've been Hugh Hefner and a playboy bunny or a doctor with his patient (I'd had one of my many shoulder surgeries and was in a sling so it was authentic).

This year we randomly decided to go with an alpine theme...

The St. Pauli girl:
And the (reluctant) Bavarian man:My husband is such a good sport. And for the record honey, you look fabulous in lederhosen.

The costumes are all well and good when inside the apartment, but what's one to do on a chilly October night when you need to get downtown to the party?

Perhaps the original St. Pauli girl liked Burberry as well:
And perhaps many Bavarian men regularly hailed taxis on Park Ave. wearing lederhosen:
Here we are enjoying the party:Some shots of the excellent Halloween decorations around the room:
The happy alpine couple at the end of a very fun party:Happy Halloween kids!