Also referred to as SNOMG and SNOWTF, the North American blizzard affectionately known as Juno is gracing Brooklyn. I am indoors, under a chunky knit blanket, having just made Italian wedding soup (gluten free) and sipping wine. The radiators are hissing away.

For the first hour, snow in NYC is gloriously white and pristine. The city is becalmed, and covered in a blanket of pixie dust. The streets close, the walkways come to a halt, and all is still. Then, the dogs begin to piss, and the oil leaks, and the soot returns. But, oh what a lovely hour!

Blizzard Juno Comfy Gear AKA How to Stay Fashionable Indoors in the Winter

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“The snow doesn’t give a soft white damn whom it touches.” ― e.e. Cummings

In slang terms, when something is “clutch,” it knows how to perform under pressure in those crucial moment that comes between winning and losing.

In fashion, a clutch is made to carry the essentials: lipstick, keys, a phone, and perhaps a few tampons. The bag is generally used at night, and meant to be held in one’s hand as easily as an envelope or small parcel.

Combining these terms, one can have a “clutch that is clutch”.

A Wheel of Clutches for your evening bag needs, featuring Kayu, Rebecca Minkoff, ASOS, Alice+Olivia, and more.

(From Top Right, Clockwise)

  • Imperial leather box clutch by Anya Hindmarch includes her signature cartoonish eyes that give this piece whimsy.
  • The Leo Clutch by Rebecca Minkoff features an exposed zipper trim.
  • Alice+Olivia’s Stripe Be Beaded clutch adds an elegant touch to any outfit.
  • A seriously cool clutch for all the heart melters out there by Minty Jungle. 
  • The ASOS Punchout clutch is created using laser-cut flap designs.
  • Partially Parisian, and very feminine, this Poodle print envelope is the ultimate quirky pattern from ASOS.
  • Edie Parker’s Jean Striped Acrylic and Glitter Clutch is inspired by midcentury styles worn by socialites and showgirls.
  • Matte leather, magnetic closure and beaded sequins intermingle in this geometric masterpiece by River Island. 
  • A hardshell Kayu clutch with embroidered stars on the woven exterior.

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Thai Food that isn’t Pad Thai

My husband and I just returned from a trip to Thailand and Cambodia. In Thailand, we visited Lampang, Chiang Mai, Doi Inthanon Mountain in Chom Thong District, and the capital city of Bangkok. We literally booked round-trip tickets within a week of watching the Thailand episode of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown featuring Andy Ricker of Pok Pok fame (even going to his favorite haunts in Chiang Mai). Through tasting preserved fish jerky to morning rice congee to Thai-iced tea to Dtam Som Oo (Thai Pomelo Salad), one constant that is obvious in almost all Thai cuisine are the vibrant colors.

Thailand’s flavor profiles and spices vary greatly in each region: this is due to many factors including palates of its own royal Ayutthaya or Lanna empires to Chinese, Vietnamese, Khmer, Malaysian and Indian influence. Western impact, beginning in 1511 CE with the Portuguese, also brought now common crops like the chili pepper. At Santa Cruz Church on the banks of the Chao Phraya River in Thonburri district, Portuguese influence is apparent.  Narrow, winding passageways meander through the Kudeejeen Portuguese Village where a special bakery remains that conjures treats as they were enjoyed centuries ago.

Common flavors in Thai food come from garlic, galangal (Thai form of ginger), coriander, cilantro, lemongrass, shallots, pepper, and kaffir lime leaves. I could not stop consuming Pandanus (also known as Screwpine!) teas made from pandan leaves,  a tropical plant replete with tons of medicinal benefits.

Some of my favorite dishes and street snacks were the savory green papaya and salted crab salad (som tum pu pla raa), “dry” Kuaytiaw Sukhothai noodles, and the sweet Coconut Rice Pudding Cake with Scallion (kanom krok). As they say in Thai:

เสน่ห์ปลายจวักผัวรักจนตาย – “English version: The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” (Meaning: When a wife cooks well the husband will love her until the end of life.)