Trattoria Centrale

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Over the weekend, my close friend Amy and I decided to venture out on another lunch excursion since it had been a while since our last one (at the Spiced Pear Room, I believe), but it was also a way of filling the void of being unable to attend Atlanta’s International Fashion Week (long story as to why we couldn’t attend, but needless to say I was a little heartbroken). At first, we really didn’t know which restaurant to try. Between the two of us, we have eaten at some fabulous restaurants, so it was hard trying to find a new one. Eventually, we settled on a little place called Trattoria Centrale, formerly called Za Za Trattoria, located on 20th St N between 2nd and 3rd Ave N. I can’t tell you how many times I passed this place on my way to FEDex (usually to bind those wonderful marketing papers). In all honesty, this little place is still easy to overlook with its simple exterior, but one might disagree if you actually pay attention to the amount of people you see sitting outside enjoying their meals. While I was driving down 20th St N., I almost thought I’d overlook it yet again because I was more concerned about finding a parking spot fairly close to it because it was ridiculously hot and I had no desire to walk, plus I was also concerned about finding a spot that didn’t require me to parallel park (yes, I’ve been avoiding this issue for quite a while). Luckily, I did manage to find a spot and I took that as a sign that I would enjoy eating at this place.

Amy and I had come for a Sunday brunch. When we entered the restaurant, it was packed with no available seating and it was rather small (think NYC restaurant size minus the hidden upper level seating). The walls were adorned with funky pieces of art that one may choose to buy if they have enough money. Amy and I were partial to the one that was referencing twitter, so check it out when you visit this restaurant.

We examined the menus trying to decide what to get. A little warning to anyone who is a vegetarian like myself, this restaurant isn’t entirely vegetarian friendly, but no worries you will still find something to fill you up. I have to say the workers were quite friendly and were kind enough to let me know which items on the menu contained meat that could easily be removed. I eventually settled on French toast topped with blueberries, powdered sugar, and mascadore (not sure about the spelling) cheese with a mimosa as my beverage of choice. My friend Amy chose a crepe that I was tempted to get until I found out it contained ham. Amy also ordered a mimosa to drink. Both Amy and I were also eyeing the scones that they had for that day. Aside from the traditional scone flavors of blueberry and chocolate, they also had some more interesting types that were flavored with exotic spices, so if you are a lover of scones, I also suggest indulging yourselves in one of them.

Overall, I think our dining experience at Trattoria Centrale successfully filled the void that Atlanta fashion week had left in our hearts and stomachs. Although I’m not a fan of brunch, munching on their version of French toast on that lovely Sunday afternoon made me see that this is a downtown staple that I want to return to. I think my friend Amy can attest to this as well. Not only is the food yummy, it is also a great place to simply observe people. I noticed a lot of people seated around us were from UAB, so I guess one can assume that this might be a favorite place among UAB students, who enjoy exploring what Birmingham has to offer in terms of local cuisine.

The Spiced Pear Tea Room: A Review

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Last Thursday, my dear friend Chandra and I tried this little place near Soho in Homewood called The Spiced Pear. I was particularly ecstatic, because I had never visited a tea room, and it seemed at the time highly appropriate given my interest in Victorian culture and so on.

We parked out front and were surprised by the fact that our venue was a tiny little white house. How fitting. Quickly seated by the window, we flipped through the long menus, hunting for something to strike our fancy. I quickly settled on the "Cream Tea," which includes scones and clotted cream and lemon curd with my choice of tea. Chandra selected the pimiento cheese sandwich.

We had trouble picking between the large assortment of teas (there were several pages devoted to this task on the menu.) I ended up picking a Roobois tea that smelled heavily of muffins, and Chandra (of course) found a chocolate black tea. The flavor was very delicate, and little sugar was necessary to provide adequate sweetness. It was tasty, and a pot of tea only runs about $3. I was pleased.

The food came shortly thereafter. We were provided with well sized portions; Chandra's sandwich was served on a croissant and came with a salad. My scones were quite surprising. They were little squares with chocolate chips. Normally, I'm not a fan of chocolate chips left unmelted, but I was very impressed. The scones were delicious, especially with the amply supplied lemon curd and clotted cream. The mixture of all three and the tea was especially delightful.

And of course, Chandra and I -had- to get dessert following our sumptuous luncheon. We tried a trio sampler: chocolate mousse cake of varying layers, a delicate white cake with lemon, and a key lime tart bite. My favorite was definitely the white cake, and Chandra (of course) selected the chocolate mousse as her favorite.

All in all, a great time and done very inexpensively given the type of fare we were served. Our waiter was a touch random for the occasion, offering us quips on the 'wild' nature of the general customers (older ladies)at the tea room and how he loved to 'give the ladies a good time,' but the food and environment were definitely entertaining if you are seeking something prim and proper and delicious.

I give it a thumbs up.

Side note: I also found that my dear friend enjoys eating sugar cubes with silver tongs. Isn't she the best?

Fall Trends: an overview

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Fall is here, and with it the new trends and looks that inspire a legion of women to look silly. I have worked hard to find the cutest trend inspired items of the season. First, let's sift through the trend sand to see what's out there.

1. Biker trendy (according to one mag I read, more aptly titled the look "the L word")

  • This look is complete with tons of leather, chains, zippers, harsh lines, gloves, and overall black zeal. Not so me.

2. Geometry lesson

  • Crazy shoulder shapes, triangle bodice sillouettes, and lots of hard angles. Reminds me of Blade Runner. That's a good/bad thing.

3. Neon lights

  • The colors of the seasons previous have been bold and unique, but the switch is to the brightest, most fab colors possible. Be prepared to be blinded by the top designers. So... Can't lie. Love this.

4. Animal print

  • Nothing new. Honestly a little bored with the animal print but I can't say it isn't fun.

5. Gray

  • Again, kind of a normal thing in the fall these past few years. But paired with one neon item (or a few) and that'll shake things up a bit. Also, have to admit I like the gray eye look.

Anyway, so now the fun part. My favorite items for the fall season, complete with pictures.

1. Christian Louboutin Suede Over The Knee Boot in Purple at your local Saks Fifth Avenue. If you have a mere 2k to blow on a pair of boots, I salute you (as well as laugh because that's pretty ridiculous,) Oh Christian. Why must you taunt us.

Christian Louboutin Suede over the Knee Boots
I think my favorite outerwear designer is Sunner. I particularly love the Sunner Navy Wool-Cashmere "Calgary" Ruffle Short Coat on Bluefly. It's austere, yet feminine. Good mix of power.Photobucket

Fabric Necklaces - The new fad?

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The most recent neckwear trend is the string look. Why; I couldn't possibly tell. I don't particularly grasp the beauty of the 'neck lush' fabric necklace or the purpose. It's a ripped up scarf. Does anyone actually like these things?

I do admit, the one on the right is fairly cute, direct from They call this one the necklushie and it's only $22 dollars. I can't help but think of bungie chord though, and why you'd want a piece of jump rope around your neck, I can't imagine.

I think they have latched on to this fad and made the most of it in comparison to the companies I have seen that produce these thread necklaces, but is this a sustainable business plan? I certainly don't think so. I guess that's biased based on my dislike for the product in general but it just looks like a machinated scarf to me.

Maybe my tastes aren't eclectic or eccentric enough to take interest in a product like this. If I just had to have one, I think I would try to make one instead of just going out and buying it. Anyone interested in going that route can simply find some cute color yarn such as this kind at and create something unique and fun by themselves. Fun fashion craft project, perhaps?

On another note, I received a surprise gift in the mail last week. I figure since it's also a necklace I can throw it out there and brag a little on my boyfriend at the same time. He saw my blog post apparently and ordered the Swarovski Golden Shadow Briolette necklace under the radar. I almost even sabotaged him by ordering it last weekend when I freaked out over it being sold out, and having emailed briguysgirls, the necklace was put back up for sale. I must mention, this etsy retailer has great customer service!!! Ray proceeded to ruin my glee at the necklace being up again and kept telling me that buying the necklace was probably not a good idea and that I was supposed to be saving money.

I thought nothing of this, as I have a problem (i.e. wanting to buy a lot of cute things I see), and was bummed out for the rest of the day over it. (How fickle, I know.) A few days ago, I received my mystery gift in complete shock and created a bit of a tizzy at work, enlisting co-workers to help me figure out why I just received the necklace I had wanted so bad. Ray done good!

necklace.jpg love it! picture by exsanguisala

Gone Boutique Fishing: Cute Finds

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Today showing signs of a true addiction to etsy dumpster diving. To the right, I have a piece from an artist that shows the type of abstract painting that I really enjoy. It reminds me of a multicolored hibiscus/azalea flower mix. Nataera designs and develops dozens of this form of abstract art on etsy and her personal site. I believe my favorite part about the pieces I've seen is how warm and vivid they are. They are still not too abstract to prevent a relation with something in real life, thus leaving the imagination ample space to roam and decipher.

I also began to search for particular locations for the first time today. I had to, of course, search my hometown Birmingham, AL before doing anything else. I happened to run across the cutest little baby outfits at bakd's boutique; I've seen some of these designs in the Nomad Supply, at least I am fairly sure that they were the same label.

I also ran across some very minimalistic jewelry designed by a local designer named sundreams. My favorite piece is the Rebirth earrings, and at $7, it's hard to go wrong.

Two of my favorite pieces came from randomly searching locales away from my own. Of course the first location I searched after Birmingham was Ireland. I decided to give the entire country a shot at pleasing my tastes so I could happily show my Irish boyfriend my treasure trove of celtic goodies.

My favorite item was the Eau de Nil Triple Drop Earrings. I don't really have a reason to love them as much as I do, but given they are only $15 (or better yet, 10 euros) and absolutely adorable, I have the perfect reason to bug said Irish boyfriend into sharing some Celtic charm with the southern girl writing this post. Ooh la la. The designer's name is PearlyQueenJewelry and her designs are listed on etsy at very affordable prices.

EaudeNilTripleDropEarringsbyPearlyQ.jpg Eau de Nil Triple Drop Earrings picture by exsanguisala

The next designer that I found, on a completely unrelated search under the Paris locale, is Lunedhiver. Her pieces are all extremely delicate, simple, and tasteful, but with details that embody the inspiration that she writes below each piece. My favorite piece is the Josephine earrings - Gray Agate and Copper and the earrings are so feminine and unique that I just love them. The price is a little high at $26, but well worth it if the quality is as good as seems.

Josephineearrings-grayagateandcoppe.jpg Josephine Earrings - Gray Agate and Copper picture by exsanguisala

Today I've officially decided that this blog should be solely for fashion, beauty, and art (maybe pop culture as I expand). I have been puzzled over what focus I should have in this blog because I also want to write about several other things and wasn't sure how to mix everything together. For that reason, I am not going to. I am going to focus only on the nicer things in life, and give this blog a purpose of being a getaway for my busy life.

Boutique of the Week: White Owl

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Detroit has slowly been destroyed by the de-emphasis on American ingenuity and credence in the automotive industry. Okay so all things aside, that's the big 4's fault (mostly) for not acknowledging changing needs of the American auto owner and the residents of the city have been punished for being a part of the crock. It was good while it lasted.

The so-called "ruins of Detroit" pictures are examples of how far the previously 4th largest city in America has fallen. One of my favorite examples is the Michigan Theater, because it's previous glory is completely long lost in the new parking deck form. The deterioration and lost opulence is apparent in the quick side by side comparison. (Thanks for this great example.)

I picked White Owl this week because it is a perfect example of someone that is using pieces that, in my mind at least, commemorate the fallen city of Detroit. The energy of that glamor and sophistication is offset by the tinged metals and use of chain. All are very vintage, all strikingly simple and unique.

Also interesting, the most fabulous necklace sold out before I saved the image for this blog. We will have to do with a few other products that I fancy.

1st we have the Vivienne Pearl multichain necklace. It sells for $38 on etsy.

I really like the Mixed Metallic Chunky multichain earrings. These are also on etsy for $18.

I really like the lace that is used, and although I wouldn't personally wear the lace necklaces, I find these earrings adorable. They are called the Xandra lace earrings (vintage green bead) and retail on etsy for $22.

whiteowl3.jpg picture by exsanguisala

After doing a little history diving, I managed to find my favorite necklace in the pile even though it's sold out. It's called the Lillian multichain and if I remember correctly it cost under $40.

whiteowl4.jpg Lillian Multichain necklace picture by exsanguisala

My dream ModCloth outfit ... Today.

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Today I formulated the cutest ModCloth outfit ever.

Beginning with the the Empress Hotel Dress (here), I then decided some tights would be appropriate and chose the Satine Tights (here). As the delirium from impending cuteness developed, I questioned what else i could add to create my look.

From the ModLife blog, I found the most adorable jacket I have seen. It makes me think of the Coldplay's Violet Hill (or general image anyway these days). Which in turn is very powerful, seductive, and creative. Okay so this is the pretty posh princess cutesy version of the dingy battalion leader, but it's still beyond adorable and makes me think of... Daisies.

The Battalion Jacket in Ivory can be found here.

Finally, I picked the Toulouse Lau-Wedges to complete the look. With a mixture of grey and gold, all pieces of the outfit come together superbly (Or at least I think so.) This shoe can be found here.

Okay... I cheated. The last piece is actually from a completely different site (Etsy) and I just love it and think it matches the whole ensemble quite well. The designer is Briguysgirls and I love how detailed and ornately simple a special few of her pieces are. The necklace is called the Swarovski Golden Shadow Briolette on 14k Gold Filled Chain, Double Layered Necklace. The daintiness of the piece is what draws me to it.

Overall, I am very pleased with this look from ModCloth. Now if only I could afford to buy it right now. Such is my luck!


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