Little Fashion Secrets

Because I vow to always keep you lovelies in the loop on secrets worth sharing, I need to fill you in on this amazing site! Have you heard of Rent the Runway? It's kind of amazing and if this is news to you, I'm happy to let you in on the secret! What is it? Well, it's a designer closet of dresses, bags, and jewelry at your disposal to wear fabulous frocks for any occasion you like. With designers like Herve Leger, Badgely Mischka, Tibi, Thread Social, Shoshana...and basically any designer you can think of. I've been wanting to try this service for over a year and never really took the leap because I was afraid dresses wouldn't fit me. I finally decided to give this a try for my birthday party and it worked out so well! You choose 2 sizes and get them for 4 or 8 days. I went with this Nanette Lepore dress and I absolutely loved what came my way!  My dress fit great and I'm sad to be tossing it in the mail back to R2R. I can't say enough good things about my experience and I definitely plan on using this again for upcoming weddings and events.

Dresses arrive in a garment bag with a
USPS envelope with postage for the return

Both dresses from Rent the Runway
There are so many times you have probably bought a dress only to wear it once- I know I'm guilt of this one on several occasions. This is a really fun alternative. Have you used Rent the Runway? I'd love to hear about your experience!


What's a sci-fi term for HELL?

As promised- Date Night Fridays starts NOW!

J and I conversed a couple years ago when I was on Jdate originally. He seemed nice and was attractive enough, but we never met and I paid no mind to it until many years later when I was on the website again searching for the perfect blend of Seth Rogen and George Clooney. While J was no combination of the two, when he reached out again I was a tad more receptive.
Things progressed as naturally as they can for a Jdate match. Jdate IM went to Gchat, which begat the telephone number. J, on paper, was completely respectable. A 34 year old who grew up in Beverly Hills, had his own place in West LA, a college graduate and worked for LAUSD. On the phone he was nice. He asked questions about me and my hobbies and didn’t do that creepy thing so many Jdate men do: push the sexy time talk. Gross.
A date and time to see each other was in place. He would meet me during my lunch hour and we would grab coffee or something to eat. I prefer a lunch date when Jdate-ing for the obvious reason which is that I would only have to suffer for an hour. It doesn’t hurt anyone’s feelings when you tell them that you have to get back to work, so put that little tip in your pocket and carry it with you!
I was pleasantly surprised when I saw him. He was true to his picture. Height was as described and he wasn’t a 50 year old man. We walked a block and settled on a cafĂ© where we could have a nosh. The conversation or connection wasn’t mind blowing. He didn’t go to camp with my best friend’s brother nor did we have a mutual love for some random, we’re the only two who would ever love this thing and now we have found each other thing, but it was just fine and pleasant. Since our time was short, we agreed to meet later for dinner.
Just as the conversation was pleasant at our first meeting, the dinner was equally fine. Could we get to know each other and fall in love?  Who knows? First/Second dates are awkward and sometimes you can’t judge those things. Dinner was a few blocks away from his home. I had parked my car there originally and instead of getting in my car and driving away, I decided to accept his invitation to “see his place”. I’m only human people. A girl has needs too! Stop judging me!
Moving forward, in the middle of our make out session, he stopped and laid on his back. He then went on to tell me about what a horrible day he had at work, that his mother was suffering from breast cancer and he had a lot on his mind. Uhh…ok? Being a person who is in tune to other people’s social cues, I offered to depart, no hard feelings. But oddly, he didn’t want that. He suggested we watch a movie, which I didn’t really want, but the man’s mother was suffering from breast cancer so who am I to be the bitch who said no to a movie offer. And then the lights went on, and I got a good look at the room. His living room was adorned with figurines. All types of figurines. Figurines in glass cases. Figurines on the entertainment system cabinet. Figurines, figurines, figurines. How did I miss this?
Seems as though J never told me about his number 1 hobby of fantasy games! Dungeons and Dragons, Magic the Gathering, something with 4000 in the title. The list went on. Also, these figurines were all HAND PAINTED! Let me repeat myself: how did I miss this???

A very long hour was sucked up with talks of fake characters and warlocks and wizards. He wanted me to play a weird Lego board game with him that had strange things like magical potions and little plastic swords. When I kindly turned down his offer and told him it was getting late, he told me to just hold on a second, to have a seat at his dining room table and that he had something to show me. While he was rummaging through papers, I quickly texted a friend to tell her that I was in Hell and needed to leave. Her response was to just get up and go, but HIS MOTHER HAS BREAST CANCER I wrote back!!!
He returned with what is only one level above my worst nightmare of having a boy play his guitar to me while singing…he brought me some of his writing to read. To be more specific, he brought me his fantasy writing to read. I skimmed the pages pretending to digest every word when in reality I was wondering how nice of a person I really was and if karma would get me for leaving this depressed man child whose mother HAS BREAST CANCER! Then he asked me to read it out loud to him. I protested and finally gave in. I wanted to cry. I don’t want to forget to mention that in this time he also microwaved a frozen pouch of vegetables and gulped down the last water he had without offering me any.
Another half hour later I escaped. I practically ran to my car.
Two days went by where I didn’t hear anything from him. I was so relived. And then the calls started to come in. And the texts. And the IM’s. And the Emails. All went unreturned until the guilt building inside of me, not to mention many friends telling me to let him know I wasn’t interested, took over. At work, over Gchat, I let him know that while he was very nice, I didn’t think we had a lot in common and I didn’t want to waste his time. His response was that he didn’t really care if we had a lot in common, that he had a really nice time and that we should move forward. I reiterated that I didn’t want to waste his time. A half hour later, my relationship with the man child who will forever be known in my mind at Dungeons and Dragons was over.
On to the next freak!

This tale of dating horror comes from Carly, 31, Los Angeles. 

If you have a dating tale to share, email me!



One of the more unique gifts we got for our wedding was a generous gift certificate to Providence. We knew we wanted to save this for a special occasion and a 30th birthday sounds special enough to warrant such an incredible meal. Off we went last week and it was quite spectacular! I spend the days leading up to this night drooling over the menu and plotting every dish I wanted to try. We chose to split a half bottle of wine and did the 9 course tasting menu as it would give us ample variety and the 16 course menu sounded like a tad excessive. The whole experience at Providence is beyond just a dinner. It really is an experience! Every course was exceptional and while we did get very full (we had to take the cheese course to go), the presentation and techniques are show stoppers! The service is exceptional, you are treated to something very special, and about a 3 hour meal. If you ever get the opportunity to dine here, take it- its an evening like no other.

Bacon and black olive breads
Screwdriver and Mojito "Cocktails."
The screwdriver bursts with liquid in your mouth
and the mojito was like an icy block of intense mojito flavors.

Amouse Bouche: Trout on Salmon Skin and Gougere

Kanpachi sashimi with Mexican cucumbers and cherry creme fraiche

Santa Barbara sea urchin
hiding beneath soft scrambled eggs

Nancy’s down east sea scallops with oven roasted tomatoes
{I started getting full right about here}

Striped Bass with foie gras foam, brown butter powder, and turnip

Salmon with artichoke and jalapeno pistou

Dutch Valley fFarms veal tenderloin with oyster mushrooms

 {Cheese course not shown. A rather impressive cheese cart gets wheeled around the room and you choose your cheeses and they create a lovely plate for you}

Palate cleanser: raspberry and lemongrass sorbet

Chocolate dessert with peppermint chocolate ice cream, cocoa nibs,
and dehydrated strawberries

Box of petit fours including passion fruit macarons, lychee gelee, and caramels

This meal was epic! It's hard to talk about because it's just...so..WOW! Have you been to Providence? What was your most spectacular dining experience?


Lately Loving: Fresh Brown Sugar Perfume

Sense of smells is a pretty powerful thing and when we catch a whiff of something we like it's hard to shake it. Over the weekend I spritzed on some of Fresh's Brown Sugar Spray (or get a small bottle if that's too big for you) while passing the Fresh store and I fell in LOVE! I have to have this fragrance. It's all I want to wear right now!

 I love Fresh products- including their Rose Petal Mask, Brown Sugar Body Polish, and their Brown Sugar Lip Polish. The scent is sweet, but not cloyingly sweet and not overpowering like a blast of molasses to the face. Take my advice and you won't be disappointed with this one! What's your favorite smell or perfume?


Wistful Coachella

Hi- I'm Liz, you can find me here! It’s been a week since I’ve been back from the grounds and yet; I can still hear the music in the distance.  I can still smell the most amazing pizza I have ever had (goat cheese, pepperoni, mushrooms etc. were involved) and the overwhelming scent of sunscreen in the air.  Ahhh memories.

I can’t believe it took me so long to go back to Coachella.  I hadn’t been in almost eight years!  Known for its rows of porter potties (gross), over priced food/drink and hot, steamy weather, the festival is also known for it’s magical attributes.  Hipsters dressed to the nines (kind of.  Everyone is pretty much half naked), dance parties from morning to ___o’clock, and your favorite bands up close and personal.  I loved every minute of it – porter potties and all.  Good Bye Coachella.  It was the most fabulous, magical, crazy, exhausting, ridiculous weekend and I can’t wait to see you all over again next year. 

*Professional cameras weren’t allowed onto the grounds (unless you had a pass) so I brought my trusty Holga and shot film all weekend.  It felt good to go back to the camera that started my love for photography. 
 I loved that they displayed lineups from previous years.

Resting our feet.

The famous ferris wheel.

 Campers brought a little piece of home to their campsite.

Burst of Color.

 Fitz and the Tantrums.

Florence and the Machine was hands down my favorite part of the whole weekend.

Almost gave him money.  Almost.

 Really?  Yes!

 Sitting on the shoulders of her guy.


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Your Most Fabulous You

They say wisdom comes with age. I can see that. As I mentioned last week, I just turned dirty purdy 30 and I'm actually pretty into it. I think 30 is a great age! A lot of people have a hard time with that number, but I guess it's all about where you are in life. I know a fair amount of women who feel this pressure around 30 to be married or have kids or have a certain amount of success in their career. Some of these elements are a little out of our control or perhaps you took a little detour and it's ok. I say throw away the timeline. I do think there are a few things that us gals should really strive for by the time we turn 30!

- Find a signature lipstick. You can still play with the glosses, but find a lipstick that is YOU! Red is of the moment now, but find a shade of any color that really flatters you and makes you feel radiant.

-Learn how to wear make up, not just how to splash some color on your face, but really how to WEAR make up. Learn what colors are best for you, what techniques bring out your features, what brands you prefer, and what little tricks will save your day.

-Have a few go to hair styles in your arsenal. Going to a wedding? No problem, you got that look covered! Some hair tricks really take your style to the next level. On that note- know how to part your hair, wear or don't wear bangs, etc. Know your locks ladies!
- Know how to dress your figure. Just because belly shirts are out right now doesn't mean you need to wear them if they don't flatter your body. Actually, correction- if you're turning 30, let's just decide that you should not wear them. When you go jean shopping, there are about 10,000 choices and it's overwhelming. Now which kinds of denim and what cuts fit you best. Don't force yourself into trends and just stick to what does your body good. Learn how to accessorize and have fun with your style. On that note- you might as well get comfortable in your skin because if all goes well, you'll be around for a long time and like it or not, your shape probably won't change from curvacious to stick figure. Own it!!

- Lastly, have a perfume or a few that when other smell they think  of you. Sense of smell is so powerful and a spritz of fragrance finishes off an outfit like nothing else. Find your best scent and wear it always. If it's going to be discontinued, buy it in bulk!

I think these are a few essentials that we should really shoot for by 30.


Friday Night, Date Night??

It's Friday and that means it's date night! Hopefully you have something fun planned for this weekend and hopefully it won't be anything awkward- or hopefully it will and you hopefully you'll be interested in sharing all the gory weird details with us! I'm collecting any submissions of these tales and would love to hear from YOU!
We are working to roll out a series of dating disaster stories for your enjoyment- please send whatever you are willing to relive in your mind this way, email to bundtsofsteel@gmail.com.

In addition to the story, please include your first name (or let me know if you would prefer to have your name left out), your city, and your age. Of course it is also ok to change names to protect the innocent/dating-challenged.

We have some pretty funny stories in our arsenal to share and I can't wait to add your story to this collection!

Thank you!!


A Birthday and a Craft

Happy Birthday to me! Yes, today is my 30th birthday and it actually snuck up on me a little bit. I'm feeling good about this birthday, aside from wishing I could turn back time on my eye wrinkles and wishing I were here right now. I'm excited for what lies ahead in my 30's and feel better about where I am today than when I turned 20. I'm looking forward to a little celebration with some friends very soon and have been busy with crafting for a most festive decoration!

Tissue Paper fringe

The beginning

The almost finished produst

I found the tutorial for this at Oh Happy Day and adapted it slightly. It's been a tad time consuming, but in an enjoyable way and I'm excited with how it's turning out- finished product (and a zero) to follow! Do you have any favorite party crafts that you make? I've been really into crafting lately and would love to get some more ideas!

And now the panic begins as my Mr. is taking me to a very special dinner tonight (hint- it's well endowed with Michelin Stars) and I have no clue what to wear- help, please! Can't wait to indulge in the amazing meal that awaits us and share all the details with you soon!


Lately Loving: Pantone's Sephora Match

Sephora + Pantone= A match made in beauty perfection.

I'm still really loving this year's color of the year, Tangerine Tango and I love the new Sephora collection honoring this lively shade. You can check out the whole lot of fabulousness over here it's chockfull of lipstick, nail polish, beauty tools, blushes, and more. I haven't ordered any yet, but this nail polish is calling my name!



I went in for the same reason I'm sure a lot of people go- I wanted to see how Cole's measures up to one of my long standing downtown favorites, Philippe's. I've had a long standing live affair with Philippe's and have been going before Dodger games with my family for years. Philippe's is a place like no other- you go and wait in line from anywhere between 5 and maybe 20 minutes, order your food with an old fashioned cafeteria looking ladies getting your choice of dip with whatever cheese tickles your fancy, maybe a side of their macaroni salad (best in LA), grab the goods and fund a seat in a booth or communal table above the sawdust covered floor and hope the mustard doesn't kill you as you devour your dip. Cole's is a different kind of downtown haunt- you wait to be seated by the hostess in the dark dining room complete with red walls and ceilings and plastered with old timey black and white photos and them smell of garlic fries wafts through the room. A waiter donning a tie and fedora comes by and takes your order from their fairly small menu. I went with a turkey dip with swiss and a side of the bacon potato salad, choosing to skip one of their classic cocktails or blood Mary's. Minutes later out food was on the table and right away the first difference was clear. What is this?? A bowl of aus jus and an undipped sandwich?! That is not what I'm used to. I like my dips predipped, all juicy and less work on my end! The sandwich is definitely good and the mustard on par with Phillipe's. Good quality meat but imams a tasty aus jus. The bacon potato salad was my highlight. Not mayo based, full of flavor, and chock full of bacon. Really nice move to add this little number to the menu.

It's hard to challenge someone's tradition and win and in this case, I have to say, I'll always be a Phillipe's girl, but I didn't mind my rendezvous with Cole's. For the record, I still think Philippe's is the ORIGINAL home of the french dip!

don't overlook this atomic pickle, not too shabby!

the real main attraction: bacon potato salad


Ankle Straps

Original Source

 I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! What did you kids do?? To dull the Monday blues, let's talk about shoes! I like that I'm seeing a lot of ankle straps, but unfortunately, I don't think I've mastered how to properly walk in ankle straps and I don't like how they look on me. I'm destined to admire these from afar, and admire I shall!

Giambattista Valli mint heel with chain ankle strap

Love these wedges, via Masterpiece on a Napkin

Glittered perfection, via Talking with Tami

Sam Edelmans perfect for Spring

Rachel Zoe's Gladys Flat Sandal

Little pop of neon - The Label by LD Tuttle

Glitter peep toes from Pixie Market

Seychelles Gerbera Flats

Tell me, what are your thoughts on ankle straps?
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