Thursday, October 21, 2010

Is Guinness Preppy?

Is Guinness a preppy beer? According to the bible of preppy drinking, titled 'Tipsy in Madras' by Johnnie Walker & Mitzy Walsh, Guinness is not even listed! Is this because it was a long forgotten friend they just forgot to mention (that happens sometimes, and if that's the case, we forgive you Mitz & J) or is Guiness just so non-preppy it was not even mentioned?

Here are the top 18 preppy beers, according to Mitz & J, from preppy to least preppy order:
1. Heineken (aka Greenie) because its served on tap at the Yale Club in NYC
2. Lowenbrau because its the drink of choice for the rat pack, at least in the movie St. Elmo's fire
3. Molson Goldon (this one is my mum's favorite in the ski season)
4. Becks (aka the Keymasterrr) because its served on tap at the Harvard Club in NYC
5. Labatt's Blue because it's Canada's version of Budweiser
6. Amstel Light because the Farmington & Nightingale-Bamford set like it
7. Anchor Steam because there are some beer snobs in San Fran
8. Rolling Rock because "when you're going to a party at a yuppie's house but you don't want to spend a lot of money, and know that Bud would be ill-received"
9. Knickerbockers... not sure why this is on the list considering the company that produces it went out of business in 1997... oh wait, because if you can say you at least used to drink it, your part of an extinct preppy era
10. St. Pauli Girl because the good ol' boys like it
11. Corona.... I really don't know how this got on the list Mitz & J... really.I know you mention this is on the list because of the GDPs (Greateful Dead Preps), but really... I think they'd prefer a a Rolling Rock over this lime-needing Mexican beer
12. Budweiser aka "The King"... again, not sure how this one got on the list, but my only justification is because of the preppy house parties in high school when mum and dad went to the cape for the weekend with their friends and someone's older brother would buy a few 30 packs of Bud...
13. Coors... because the kids in Vail need something to drink after skiing all day (surprised this one is not higher on the list!!)
14. Foster's because the kids on the crew team need a favorite beer too
15. Red Stripe because Tom Cruise drank it in the preppy movie "Cocktail"
16. Grolsch Premium Lager... again!! ... for the A cappella singers? I don't think so. This should be removed from the list M & J...
17. Busch, for the innocent and young (I can justify this the same way I can justify Bud being on this list)
18. The Beast (Milwaukee's Best) because there are lots of Marty McFly wannabees out there.

And where is Guinness? At 9CHF a glass in Geneva, and 3CHF a can, only those who truly enjoy the taste or are willing to throw down extra cash, are buying it in Europe. Is it because its too flashy? No, since when was beer flashy or too nouveau? Mitz, J.... I think we should add it to the list.

Why do I like it? Normally a lover of light beers, I visited the Guinness factory in Dublin a few years ago. As they say, I had the best glass of Guinness from the top of the factory's view room. Prior to then, Guinness was just this bitter dark beer that was just hard to swallow. However, the creamy rich Guinness coaxed me to the "dark side" and since then, I have always loved Guinness. Its a beer you drink, not chug, and it reminds me of enjoying a really dark piece of bitter chocolate. AND it has the fewest amount of calories out of all non-light beers at 112 calories per glass.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Staying in with wine... Snobby or sign of growing up?

Last night- aka Saturday night, I stayed in with my cat. I rented the chick-flick 'The House Bunny' on iTunes and had two glasses of fabulous Bordeaux wine. I also had a box of Special K w/ chocolate that I picked from- straight out of the box.

The above has become a comfortable, easy habit for my Friday and Saturday nights, since moving to Europe. It's such a change from my life in NY before, when Thursday nights = Dorrians, Fridays = birthday party downtown, Saturdays = day drinking followed by a few typical UES watering holes, Sunday = EJs and major debriefing session with the girls about the antics of the weekend.

So, is my new, tamed weekend ritual a sign of growing up or just being snobby? Yes snobby, because I *do* have the option to go out here, it's just that I choose not to go out. Everytime I have gone out, I have been dissapointed by the prospects. Rather than going out and surrounding myself with a mix of students abroad who are way too young for me and a bunch of old, euro men- I choose my wine, cat, and movie. After all, am I really going to find another like-minded, american-blooded preppy out and about in Europe? More like trying to find a needle in a haystack here, whereas they are a dime a dozen on the UES... And there are better ways to spend my time than rumaging through a haystack.

I then spend my Saturdays and Sundays with my girlfriends- we shop, do tea, and go to the park.

Thus, have I just started to 'grow up' a bit or have snubbed the party life because of the lack preppy boys??

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, May 10, 2010

Do I spoil myself too much?

Mid-February, I decided to get semi-perminent eyelashes and a gel french-manicure. Now I have created a pedi, eyelash batting, money-spending monster of myself.

Then I decided I dressed too immaturely- enough with the cutsie pink polo cableknits and bright green hair ribbons- I'm a 25 year old professional for crying outloud and we aren't in New England anymore. Hense, the purchase of my two Hermes scarfs in early March.

Then April hit- perfect time to start thinking about getting in shape for summer. Yup, 10sessions of 1-1 personal pilates sessions purchased by me-- an expensive routine given that I plan on doing 30 sessions before mid-July to look fabulous in one of my best friend's weddings.

And now May. What have I done? I bought myself foie gras. Random, NBD compared to 2 Hermes scarfs in a week, right? No. It's just a symbol of this unnecessary spoiling streak that started in February. Enough is enough, and no one needs a whole little pot of foie gras for herself just because she can (plus it's so fattening!!)

Ugh, how to force myself out of this habit??

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Preparing for New Kitten!

So today I met my soon-to-be new kitten. So exciting! She is an orange tabby kitten, and absolutely adorable. I could have taken the kitten today, however, I haven't done any shopping for my new little friend... not even the purchase of a carrier to bring her home!

Thus, I have just ordered online the Shepra "Tote Around Town" carrier in Boston Tweed to pick her up in style-- no gross plastic cages for my kitten!

Then I ordered a cute pink harness and lead, so I can bring the new kitten to the park... how fabulous was the weather today by the way?? Beautiful day at the park..

And then of course, I need to get the monogrammed dishes for the kitten. However, I don't know what to name her! I'm thinking: Peaches, Empi (for Empire State, since I used to live in Manhattan), Bianca (because that's my fake bar name and my girlfriends think it would be funny), or something French (since I am living in a French speaking country now). I'm leaning toward "Empi" because its cute, but we'll see. However, I love these faux-leather (because real leather would get ruined in the cleaning process) bowls from

PS. Isn't she adorable?? This is me holding her today at the mother cat's house.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Preppy Office-Wear

One of my biggest adjustments after college was figuring out how to dress for the office. When I graduated college, I moved to NYC and I was working for one of the big investment banks. I was used to wearing a popped-collard polo and NorthFace fleece during most months of the year. Now I found myself in New York, constantly surrounded by professionals-- and mostly men for that matter. While men can be great role models in business, when it comes to office attire, I don't want to take after them :) For them, its as simple as a Brooks Brothers button down shirt, dress pants, and a tie. If he's a preppy banker, he wears a different Vineyard Vines tie everyday. You get the point- for men, its pretty clear on what to wear.

For women, its so frustrating because we have too many options! Whether it is a twin-set with pearls (which sometimes i think is not as dressy as it should be? I mean, I used to wear this normally on the weekends..), or a dress (which sometimes makes me feel over-dressed.. and again, I might wear the same conservative dress on a dinner date...), I am never quite sure what is crossing the line between too-dressy and not-enough dress. Further, what does a preppy girl wear to work? There is no Vineyard Vines for the working woman.

Well, with all of my complaining about what to wear to the office, I do 'make do' and I thought I would share my preppy office attire with you! This is what I wore today: pearls, pink non-iron Brooks Brothers shirt, grey Talbots pencil skirt, brown Talbots heals, and a Lilly Pulitzer sash (that came with a Lilly dress I bought last year).

Hopefully that helps give you some ideas if you have been facing the same office attire predicament as me! :)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Preppy Pant Predicament

Jeans are not preppy. I hate to break it to those of you who think jeans are preppy, but whether they are from Jcrew or 7forallmankind, jeans are not traditional preppy. While trouser-cut jeans might be closer to a prep's closet, when it comes down to it, jeans are trendy and fashionable, but not preppy. Even Life magazine needed to comment when Jackie Onassis started wearing jeans, writing "In fact, post-Camelot, Jackie began experimenting more with fashion, choosing brighter colors and patterns and even daring to wear jeans in public." ( )

So, this morning I find myself in a preppy-pant predicament. Why? Because I look awful in khakis, and any other light colored pant. During the work week, its strictly dark grey, black, and navy pencil skirts. I sometimes go to the dark grey, black, or navy trousers. But this is the weekend, and for two days of the year, I should try not to dress like I am going to work! The summer is easy because I can throw on a cute dress or even some nice crisp white shorts. But during the winter, spring, and fall months-- its always a struggle.

Recently, I have been looking to purchase a nice pair of linen pants in navy, but I also get so frustrated because a) I am 5'2" so I will inevitably needed to get my pants hemmed, and b) I am hoping to lose about ten lbs over the next few months... so why buy pants now that will hopefully be too big in a few months time? I go through this same conversation with myself almost every weekend when I face this predicament and send myself to the stores to buy something other than jeans. And every weekend I leave the weekend empty handed. And now today is Sunday, and all of the stores in Europe are closed on Sundays. Guess I will need to struggle through today by being a 'fashionable' prep in jeans, or revert back to my stone colored cords that are actually too big and look a bit silly...!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Weekend In Paris This Summer

So, this May my little sister will be graduating from college (or as they say in Europe, 'uni'). She is then going to spend 6 weeks living with me in Europe. I am so excited to have her come visit, because she is very much a lot of fun.

And what will we do this summer? I hope to see lots more of the city, and also perhaps travel to some other European cities as well on the weekend. I have good friend from Boston flying to Paris in early July so it might just be the perfect excuse to plan a weekend get-a-way to Paris with my sister to see our friend.

Now its about booking the trip and the details. I love staying in fabulous hotels, it always makes the trip so much more enjoyable. You can argue the hotel is just the place you go to at the end of the day, and you can argue its silly to stay at nice hotels when you plan to barely spending anytime there anyway. However, I completely disagree. Nice hotels all of the way, whether you never plan on leaving your room, or plan on being out by 8am and back after 10pm every day.

So I am thinking of booking two nights at the Hotel St. James in Paris. It looks wonderfully lovely and its in a good location. My sister and I would plan to take an early train to Paris on Friday AM, and check into the hotel. Then we would shop. Then perhaps we would have my friend come to the hotel for cocktails in the library bar? Followed by dinner, we would then out on the town. Since my sister and I have both been to Paris before (and she spent a whole summer there a few years back), I'm not sure what we would do all day Saturday. Perhaps sleep in, and then a late breakfast? The hotel doesn't have a pool, which is unfortunate, but hey, we'll be in Paris. Maybe more shopping? Perhaps :)

Now that I think about it, maybe it makes sense to only go to Paris for one night? A city is a city, and its not far. Both my sister and I have been there before. Hmm, anyone have any thoughts?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Adventuring Into Town on a Friday Afternoon

Normally on a Friday morning, I would have been in the office, hurriedly running around trying to get work done. However, today is an exception and I have the day off. So what have I done? I spent the morning setting up this blog, while sitting at my desk in my plaid PJ set and drinking coffee. It was wonderfully relaxing to not have anything specific to do this morning.

Now it is near noon, and I am still sitting on the computer. OK, its time to get out for the day, but what to do?

My plan is to shower and get dressed (that's a step in the right direction!) while listening to iTunes radio. iTunes radio is great because I can loop in to any of the US radio stations and hear the latest songs and news happening anywhere. And when I am feeling culturally inspired, I tune into the Parisian radio stations instead, to both hear the latest songs in Paris, and also to work on my French.

Then I plan on going into town on the main shopping street. I need to buy khaki pants. I have a few ideas of where to go, but not 100% sure. This will be my first time buying khakis somewhere other than Jcrew. Yikes!

Then I think I will 'do tea'. While this isn't something I was used to doing in the States, I have found that with having a much smaller network of friends in Europe, I have a lot more time to do things on my own. Thus, I have taken up a habit of 'doing afternoon tea' at the hotel bars in town. I usually go mid-afternoon, after a morning of shopping. I bring a book, and order a pot of tea and just read. My favorite place to go is the Four Seasons bar, as they have the best atmosphere and a wonderful selection of teas. They also have this fabulous menu where you can start with a glass of champagne, followed by a pot of tea with 3 small tea sandwiches, and a pastry. I could (and have) several hours slowly enjoying this wonderful treat by the window. I might just go do that today after my khaki shopping adventure.

Free Time & Membership of the Club

Traditionally, my "free time" has always been defined (since I have entered the working world) as any time after 7pm on a weekday, plus Saturday and Sunday (fun-days). Traditionally, I would spend that time with friends. We would go to the local park and sit on a blanket if the weather was nice, and in the evening we would get all gussied up to go out to our favorite bar that is always overflowing with boys in Nantucket Reds and blazers. Or perhaps I would have a meeting at my local woman's club, where we would chat over a glass of wine to plan an upcoming fundraiser event.

The point is, there is lots to do for a preppy in the States. There were lots of people with similar tastes, ideas of fun, and enjoyed the classic life of the young & preppy.

Now I am in Europe, a fabulous continent of history, culture, and classicness (is classicness a word?). But where are all of the preppies? Used to being surrounded by my forever-growing-small network of ivy league & NESCAC friends, I find myself like a sheep who has gone astray from the heard. I once lived the life where it was a rarity to go out with friends and meet someone who didn't know someone else I knew, in some way or another. It was like living in a bubble of 'just-like-me', where everyone had gone to prep school, gone to a good solid college, and was now living the fabulous, classic, carefree life of a young preppy.

There are definitely prepsters in Europe- I see them all of the time. But, how does this American preppy join that heard? We all know, being a *true* preppy is like being a member of an old, secret club. Most of us are born into the club because mummy and daddy were prepsters back in the day, and dressed us up in Lacoste. They had decided to raise us in nice 'W' towns in Massachusetts, or anywhere in Connecticut. They pushed us to work hard and make sure we came out at the top of our class so we would go to the best colleges. As a result, we were surrounded by preppy peers growing up, and thus, we were automatically part of the new generation of preppies by default. Our friends and friends-of-friends were preppies. It was easy.

So back to 'free time'. Normally spent socializing with the American preppies, I am now challenged to start fresh- no college or high school friends to rely on for my weekend planning. Where are the preppy bars and all of the Ivy League boys? Where can I find girlfriends who want to go to the Bilsdale Hunt Master's Ball in England with me in the fall?

I know the preppies are here, but it feels like I am trying to use my Hilton Gold Card at the Four Seasons hotel. While yes, you're in the top tier at the Hilton, it doesn't really mean much at the Four Seasons. You have to stay at the Four Seasons a few times first to earn that membership card. Your preferred hotel status cards really aren't transferable even though in the end, you have the same types of people staying at the hotels, give or take. Similarly, though I might be a member of the American preppy club, Europe seems to be a whole new ball came with no Hiltons in sight.