November 2011

“The times they are a changin’…”

-Bob Dylan

New neighborhood. New house. New job.  There have been a lot of changes in the Pinkston household these last few months, but I am grateful to say they have all been positive!  Sometimes, though, when I think about how fast things change it kind of makes my head spin.  “Such is life!” my mother would say.  My apologies for being a little M.I.A.  Between the work on the house, the move, and not having internet I have been feeling majorly offline these days.  I did prep a really fun job on Friday of last week and finished it up yesterday, so I thought I would share some more photos from my shopping journeys since most of you seemed to enjoy those last week.  Feast your eyes on these little (or not at all!) local shops:

Winter at Stella (PS. Love the new remodel!)

Lanvin: Absolutely. Love. This. Store


(I am sort of super into all of the mannequins that are rocking black manes these days… saw the same look at Chanel.)

Gucci: So 70s and so good!

Margiela Metal Madness.

Everyone keep your fingers crossed that our internet finally gets connected tomorrow.  Here’s hoping!



Prepping in LA 2011

Have I mentioned that I really love my job?

 Its true and yesterday was no exception.  I was hired to dress one of my favorite clients to receive an award at the Hollywood Film Festival last night so I got to spend the day running around town pulling dapper suits and all that comes along with them.  After I finished prepping I headed over to his hotel to get him dressed.  As it turns out President Obama (and his security detail of dozens!) decided to stay in the same hotel so the place was absolutely insane!  Every single garment bag and shopping bag on my rack had to go through intense security. (You should have seen the scrutiny they gave to my leather hole puncher when they got to my kit!)

Here are some shots from my day running around the town:

Windows at Confedracy/Rebecca Minkoff

Menswear at Confederacy: One of my mainstays for male clients

Sneakers, Oxfords, and Wingtips, Oh my!

Working lunch: As long as I respond to emails and eat I don’t feel guilty about stopping for a bite!

Back door entrance at Prada

Amazing mod skirts + leather travel bags at Prada

Last stop before the Beverly Wilshire? Barneys of course!

A girl can dream, right?!

And how may you ask did I finish off such a spectacular day?  Drinks at the Chateau? Dinner at Ink?  No, no, I finished the day off by racing over the hill to meet a plumber about a leak under our kitchen sink… Nothing like dripping water and corroding pipes to keep you grounded!

Closing on Our First House, 2011

Last week was kind of epic.  My parents came to town for two days as part of their week long adventure spent driving up the California coast and I took them deep sea fishing. We saw dolphins, whales, seals, and all kinds of fish!  We also had dinner at my favorite restaurant, Pace.  I love when they come to town and always hate to see them go!

Then, on Thursday, we FINALLY closed on our dream house that we have been after for the last three months.  It was a short sale, thus a very long process.  However, it is everything we could ever want in a house and worth the wait!  If you are in the area come by and visit us!  Just be prepared to pick up a paint brush:-) (Big thanks to Kate, Taylor, Norm, Mariah and Garrettt for all of their painting handiwork!)

Finishing off one of my favorite week’s of all time, on Friday, I had the pleasure of working on my great friend, Mariah McManus’s music video she shot for her single Say It Again.  We shot on a stunning piece of property out in the mountains of Malibu.  It was one part vineyard, one part ranch, and all together amazing.  I can’t wait for you all to see it!

Family Time At Sea:

Getting the Keys (Followed by many trips to Home Depot!) :

My sweet friend– and house painter extraordinaire!– Mariah:

Chiang Mai 2011

When we were staying in Chiang Mai this summer, we rented a car and a driver and went trekking through the hillsides and villages outside of the city.  One of the tribes we came across is a tribe called the Karen.  The women there spend their days weaving silk scarves and making jewelry.  I was enamored by all of the layered colors in this woman’s necklaces.  I wish I could have bought them all but she only seemed willing to part with the one I am wearing!

Phuket 2011

After traveling throughout Europe the past two summers, Aaron and I decided that we wanted a change of scenery when we were planning a trip for our one year anniversary.  We were both dying to visit Asia and had heard great things about Thailand, so we booked our flights, packed our bags, and off we went!  We spent two incredible weeks in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket.  It was amazing and I have been dying to share some photos so here goes! (All photos were taken by my hubby, Aaron Pinkston.)

The vibrant colors, textured landscapes, and the warm, hospitable people of Thailand did not dissapoint.  In Phuket, we chartered a boat out to the Phi Phi islands and other neighboring islands.  We relaxed on sandy secluded beaches, fed bananas to the monkeys that lived on monkey beach, and snorkeled out in the open water.

We stayed on the northern part of the island on Nai Yang beach away from much of the hustle and bustle and, much to Aaron’s dimay, a Starbucks. : )Luckily, the hotel had a great barrista! We loved waking up in the morning and walking out to an almost empty beach.  It was also the perfect spot to enjoy a cocktail and the sunset at the end of the day.  If any of you are thinking of going, I highly recommend the hotel we stayed at, Indigo Pearl.  (Giant, private salt-water pool in the backyard? Yes, please!)

Since we did stay a little ways out from some of the more populated areas, we hired a driver for two of the days we were there to make sure we saw all the island had to offer: The markets, downtown Phuket City, Patong Beach, and Big Buddha.  We stayed for a week and were never at a loss for fun things to do or delicious food to eat!

More photos from Bangkok and Chiang Mai to come!

Where did you all spend your summers?  Would love to hear about your vacations!



Tart Recipe, Church and State 2011

If you know me at all, you know that I am a sucker for a delicious meal!  To me there is no better way to spend an evening than with a great glass of wine, yummy food, and good– and in this case handsome 😉  company.  To celebrate our one year anniversary a couple of weeks ago, Aaron and I had a low-key night at LA french bistro Church & State and it did not dissapoint!  We dined on goat cheese with lavendar honey and crostinis, steak tartare, a savory onion and bacon tart, and melt-in-your-mouth salmon!

Did I mention the tart?  It was so incredible that I was determined to replicate it!  This recipe definitely does the trick:

Recipe courtesy of chef Michel Richard.


4 ounces sliced applewood-smoked bacon
1 cup Wondra (instant) flour
1 1/2 cups water
Fine sea salt
1 1/2-inch-square chunk applewood-smoked slab bacon, or about 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium yellow onions (about 1 pound total)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/3 cup crème fraîche
Cornmeal (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper


 For crepe batter, place flour in medium bowl. Add water and whisk quickly and vigorously until completely smooth. Mix in 1/4 teaspoon salt. Consistency should resemble heavy cream. Add a little more water if necessary.

 Place a 9-inch nonstick crepe pan or 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spear chunk of bacon with fork and rub over bottom of hot pan, or melt enough butter to create a thin film on bottom of pan. Lift pan from heat and, using a ladle, ladle about 1 cup crepe batter into pan.

Swirl pan so that batter covers bottom in thin layer. Fill in any holes with additional batter. Return pan to heat and cook crepe 3 to 4 minutes, or until set, edges have curled, and bottom has browned.

 If crepe puffs as it cooks, poke small holes in it with a fork. Do not flip crepe: Slide onto a baking sheet. Repeat to make total of 4 usable crepes. If necessary, rub pan with more bacon or butter between crepes; if pan is a heavy nonstick, it may not be necessary to add additional fat. Reserve bacon or butter for baking sheet. (Crepes can be refrigerated, covered, a few days or well wrapped and frozen for longer storage.)

Slice bacon crosswise into 1-inch pieces, or lardons. Cook in nonstick pan over medium-high heat until fat has rendered. If cooking tart in convection oven, remove bacon before burned or crisp, because it will cook more later. But if you do not have a convection oven, cook bacon a bit more, until slightly crisped. Remove and drain on paper towels.

Cut onions in half through root end. Cut out and discard onion roots. Using very sharp knife, cut crosswise into paper-thin slices. You need 2 cups firmly packed onions; if extra, reserve for another use.

 Heat 1 tablespoon butter in medium skillet over medium-high heat. Toss onions in butter, reduce heat, and sauté gently about 3 to 4 minutes to soften onions, without browning. Transfer onions to bowl and let cool.

 Stir crème fraîche into onions, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

 Grease 2 baking sheets with chunk bacon or butter, or line pans with Silpats. Place 2 crepes, browned side down, on each pan, without letting touch. Spread even, thin layer onions on each crepe, spreading onions to edges. Cover each one with piece of plastic wrap and pat down to create even layer of onions. Remove plastic and sprinkle bacon slivers over top, again extending to edges. Smooth again with sheet of plastic wrap. (At this point, tarts can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated up to a day.)

Best results are achieved by baking with convection oven, with or without a pizza stone. To bake in convection oven with pizza stone, place stone on bottom rack of oven and preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Dust stone with a bit of cornmeal, transfer a tart to stone, and cook about 10 to 12 minutes. Cook remaining tarts.

To bake in convection oven without pizza stone, preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place pans in oven and bake 12 to 15 minutes, rotating pans halfway through cooking, until crust is crisp and bacon is browned.

 To bake in conventional oven with pizza stone, place pizza stone on bottom rack of oven and preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Dust stone with a bit of cornmeal. Transfer a tart to stone and cook about 15 minutes, or until crust is crisp and bacon is browned. Continue to cook remaining tarts.

To bake in conventional oven without pizza stone, preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place pans in oven and bake 15 to 18 minutes, rotating pans halfway through cooking, until crust is crisp and bacon is browned.

To serve, cut each tart into quarters and grind black pepper over top.

Thailand, 2011

Today Aaron and I had our first Bangkok adventure: taking a long-tail river boat across the water to one of the most famous Buddhist temples here.  Upon arrival I quickly learned that I shouldn’t have warn shorts– in my defense it is quite warm AND quite humid!  However, it all worked out because I quickly fell in love with this printed cotton wrap they loaned me.  Doesn’t it go nicely with my NIKE sneakers?

The temple was breathtaking, the stairs to the top very steep, and the people their kind and gracious.  Afterwards, while Aaron was taking photos I stopped and played a thai version of jump rope with some thai children.  It was so much fun! I couldn’t help but think how their “afternoon schoolyard” was the lawn of a Buddhist temple on a river that cuts through one of the world’s largest and busiest cities.

As we rode away on some version of the same boat we came in on, I couldn’t help but wonder if the monks dressed in their usual orange garb have any idea how in style that color is for the season 😉

Venice 2011

Aaron and I had an amazing little staycation at the beach recently.  Intelligentsia twice a day and Gjelina for dinner.  (Hello, have you had their brussel sprouts?!) Bike rides up and down the coast and antique shopping on Abbott Kinney.  It. was. AMAZING!  On one of our little bike rides, while enjoying the ocean breeze and of course the people watching, I started to think about the importance of context to personal style.

Hawaii 2010

There is nothing like a little Hawaiian vacation to say farewell to summer and embrace a new season!  The week before last, Aaron and I enjoyed six amazing days of eating sushi, lounging on the beach, and drinking mai tais.  Somewhere in between rest and relaxation we managed to squeeze in a zodiac boat trip oto the jagged cliffs of the Na Pali Coast, snorkel with sea turtles and other aquatic creatures, and helicopter over the lush green valleys of Kauai

Enter the real world: Eight hours after landing late Monday night it was back to work!  There were people that needed to be dressed for awards shows, new ventures to be explored, and prepping to be done for an image consulting job that I am very much looking forward to!  It may not have left much time for writing new posts, but it did give me time to examine a myriad of  new fall wardrobe possibilities!  From Gap to Gucci, no stone was left unturned!

New York, 2010

I have been m.i.a. lately here on Effortless Chic.  In the last two weeks my sister got married in Austin, Aaron and I spent a week in New York for work, and then we both worked on the VMAs this past Sunday.  Enough with excuses, here are some of my favorite moments from my week in NYC!

My most favorite–albeit very uncool– thing to do in New York is walk through the park early in the morning with coffee in hand.  (What can I say, I’m easy to please!)  So much to Aaron’s dismay, that is exactly what we did most mornings…

Most hours of most days were spent shopping!  Comme des Garcons for interesting cashmere, button shopping at 45 rpm, and the usual jaunts: Barneys, Bergdorf, Jeffrey.  My favorite stop though was at the Thom Browne store.  They were closed for the day shooting their Women’s Spring Lookbook, but Thom himself let us in and gave us a private tour of the collection.  Totally genius!  Preppy capes? Yes, please!

When Manhattan had been fully shopped, I ventured into Brooklyn to a couple of boutiques I had never been to.  Right across the street from each other, Bird and Smith + Butler are worth the journey 🙂

All of this shopping certainly does make for one hungry girl!  In a week I managed to have most of my favorite New York bites!  Almond croissant at Balthazar, caprese and lemonade from Olive’s, lunch at Torrisi on Mulbery, and the most amazing wine and small plates (and people watching!) at Cafe Gitane!

Avocado, chili flakes, and lemon juice on fresh 7 grain bread at Cafe Gitane!

On Wednesday night, Aaron and I were able to squeeze in a little late night dinner in the city and had one rule: No eatery repeatery!  We had to venture to a new spot neither of us had ever been before.  Earlier that day I was speaking to someone whose husband had just opened up a new restaurant just a week prior with Mario Batali so that is where we went! EATaly!  It is a huge 5000 square foot Italian marketplace complete with a full beer garden on the roof right across the street from the flatiron building.  It has four full restaurants within the marketplace– we ate at Manzo and highly recommend!

A weeks worth of shopping for other people and want to know the one thing I picked up for myself for fall?

A new white shirt from Steven Alan… because it never goes out of style and exudes effortless chic!

And of course you all know my love for a crisp, white shirt!

(And, yes, that is another morning walk in the park!)