Archive for Featured Guests

Re-Emerging, Renewed – BethKaya 3.0 Spring Update

Bali life is pretty good. As in, it's amazing. I'm grateful for every single second of it. And the tub is definitely a bonus :)
When we still lived in Java I got dengue fever and typhoid a few times. You just get sick a bit easier here in the tropics. We didn't have hot water for years, and when we left I knew I wanted to move to house with a bath for the days we get ill. When the soreness and the aching gets into your bones and your knuckles, and it hurts even to lie down, nothing is more relieving than a nice warm bath. And a little self-care on the weekends never hurts!
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COVER ART / :listen:

So it’s been about 2 months since I have checked in here. There is so much to say. Let’s start with I am feeling good. That’s a great place to be. This surgery was huge but also reminded me how small I am as well. A lot of surviving hardship is about “surrender” – a lot happens we don’t expect, and when we resist , it becomes even tougher. This time I surrendered and am very pleased with things.

The time I’ve had off to focus on self care has been wonderful. My soul feels like I gave myself the space and energy it deserved to get through this hurdle. The tumors came out clean, pathology came out great and I have spent my time resting, binging on a new found love for television and a reignited old flame, pinterest. I realised that I haven’t felt RESTFUL in so long. No wonder I was constantly anxious and stressed out.

This experience has been a shift and a gift. I hope you all enjoyed the instagram takeover from my dear friend Meri from @gardensofthesun

https://gardensofthesun.net/ out of Bali. She let us into how she enjoy’s BethKaya’s goodies from her lens and voice.

If you missed her residency here are some outtakes!

Caption: The bug soap is my daughter's absolute fave. She loves the subtle scent, the soft lilac color and how she can let it fly over the tub.  Next up I hope to give her one of Beth's golden buddha soaps! Has anyone tried those yet?

“The bug soap is my daughter’s absolute fave. She loves the subtle scent, the soft lilac color and how she can let it fly over the tub. 
Next up I hope to give her one of Beth’s golden buddha soaps! Has anyone tried those yet? – Meri”

 

Bali life is pretty good. As in, it's amazing. I'm grateful for every single second of it. And the tub is definitely a bonus :) When we still lived in Java I got dengue fever and typhoid a few times. You just get sick a bit easier here in the tropics. We didn't have hot water for years, and when we left I knew I wanted to move to house with a bath for the days we get ill. When the soreness and the aching gets into your bones and your knuckles, and it hurts even to lie down, nothing is more relieving than a nice warm bath. And a little self-care on the weekends never hurts!

“Bali life is pretty good. As in, it’s amazing. I’m grateful for every single second of it. And the tub is definitely a bonus :)
When we still lived in Java I got dengue fever and typhoid a few times. You just get sick a bit easier here in the tropics. We didn’t have hot water for years, and when we left I knew I wanted to move to house with a bath for the days we get ill. When the soreness and the aching gets into your bones and your knuckles, and it hurts even to lie down, nothing is more relieving than a nice warm bath. And a little self-care on the weekends never hurts! – Meri”

 

The salt scrub is my absolute fave. This is my third bag of the most divine smelling salts. Beth, you can never ever stop making these!!! . . . . . [Bethkaya takeover by @gardensofthesun]

“The salt scrub is my absolute fave. This is my third bag of the most divine smelling salts. Beth, you can never ever stop making these!!! -Meri”

I've been a raving fan of BethKaya for several years now. I still remember my very first purchase from Beth - the warm vanilla fig perfume oil mixed with little rough gems. I keep coming back to this scent, it's the one that got me hooked. Do you remember your first purchase from Beth?

“I’ve been a raving fan of BethKaya for several years now. I still remember my very first purchase from Beth – the warm vanilla fig perfume oil mixed with little rough gems. I keep coming back to this scent, it’s the one that got me hooked. Do you remember your first purchase from Beth? -Meri”

 

The gemstones hidden inside the soaps are the best thing ever! It's like a little surprise. The tumbled stone is slowly revealing itself from the Brandied Pear & Lemon Poppy Soap. Can you guess what stone it is?

“The gemstones hidden inside the soaps are the best thing ever! It’s like a little surprise. The tumbled stone is slowly revealing itself from the Brandied Pear & Lemon Poppy Soap. Can you guess what stone it is? -Meri”

 

"How does Beth even dream up all these wonderful combinations?! I mean citrus, basil, vanilla and mint! Amethyst, lavender and orange!

“How does Beth even dream up all these wonderful combinations?! I mean citrus, basil, vanilla and mint! Amethyst, lavender and orange! – Meri”

 

What a beautiful tone to return to!

I still need a few weeks to get my act and line up together. But my focus is centered on re-invigorated intentions – tones like Citrus, Ginger, Orchid, Artic, Mint , Guava, Coconut and Rain,. I will lean on those myself to get my physical capacity back up to where it once was again then design self care pearls for the shop.

On another note some; and by some I mean a “paraphrased few” of my words were published in an article “sort of” about self care in Refinery29 – you can find the article here:

http://www.refinery29.com/2017/02/142584/modern-witchcraft-self-care-holistic-approach

What do you think about it?

It’s ironic that a little self pampering and love is exactly what I needed for so long considering this is what my offerings are rooted within. Sending you all the best the ides of march has to offer and thank you for many of your supports.

2.27.17

Makeup
Makeup can be the difference between feeling undead
And human again
A bra
A bra is motivation to do something
House work ?
A scar below the bikini line seeing with two stab wound eyes in the belly and a belly button puncture for a nose
Can mean weight or weightless
And a prayer you’ll never forget how hard the fight is
And where to see the light is
even when bleeding from where you shouldn’t be

 

See you in April!

Warmest –

Beth

 

*All photos on today’s blog from Meri Geraldine @GardensOfTheSun 

 

Inspired Interview – Lex

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As mentioned in my last blog – I am going to be rolling out some new projects. One of those projects is a life study of sorts. I free flowed with some interview questions, inspired by questions I’ve been asked myself in interviews. These are also questions I feel frame the voice of what information I want to showcase from the individuals I’m blogging about. The protein. All of these individuals, are just that, individual. They are inspired, living their truth and sharing it with the world. Like me. Sometimes everyone feels like it’s an uphill battle, and sometimes feel alone. The fellowship is there that helps light the path for dreams. We can be inspired by real people, heroes in every day life. These same questions are going to be the root of this project, and the participants – the leaves of a beautiful growth. I’m not editing their words either – this is the freedom in the flow of affirming this stuff.  I’d love to start this project with Alexis Pellegrino, local musician, dance technician and swagger magician.
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*Cover Art (Listen)*

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Tell me about yourself in a few sentences.
I consider myself to be an appreciator, curator, and mostly….a creator of art. I don’t like to limit myself to a certain medium or style. I make music one day, paint another day, embellish a jacket in the morning, conduct a dance class at night for young adults, design graphics, design clothes. I am ALWAYS trying to learn and appreciate new things. I am inspired by everything. Currently, I’m working on my solo project, “Lex Rex and the Dragons”. 
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What is the “why” behind your magic?

I’m not sure I know how to express myself any other way. I think I have an addiction to expressing myself. 
 
Much like many people who express themselves through creative outlets, I had a pretty interesting childhood. I was terrorized in school. I like to skate and surf. As a kid I was ranked in the Eastern Surfing Association. I used to paddle out during the winter months and if you know anything about a full suit….you know having long hair is a pain. So, I chopped my hair off. Short cut, and I was absolutely a “tom boy”. I used to get made fun of for being “gay” and a “dyke”. Then my hair grew out, and I was made fun of for being expressive. I always dressed quirky. I’d paint my pants, paint my shoes, make t-shirts…..I guess I was pretty DIY punk at a young age…but I didn’t even know what that was at that age. I was just being me, really. 
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How has your past influenced where you are now with your career?
Honestly, my past has both negative and positive influences on my career….but I am a firm believer of believing in the universe. I was very nervous to start making and doing music. It is the only thing safe to me. Gets me the highest. I was nervous to put it out in the atmosphere for some time. It was/is sacred to me and I didn’t want to be put down like I was in school. 
 
In college I used to have night terrors, that I would never actually start making and doing music. So I said “Fuck it” I am going to do this, even if it is a slow process. I started playing the keys and doing some covers. posting them online. I was in a hair metal cover band for some time, then I decided I wasn’t being fulfilled by that. I started posting some covers more covers on Facebook and was getting really into the “scene” in Asbury. I started doing some small acoustic shows and here we are. 
 
Every time I do a show, I do it and “pour some out” for the people who said I was nothing…..Thank you. 
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What are two major things that you can’t be without on your day to day operations?
Well, in 2016 I would be absolutely lying if I said my phone wasn’t a big deal. I am inspired a lot by photographs online as well as daily things I come across in life. I am always taking pictures with my phone, as well as listening to music. I also really love to stay in contact with my friends and family. They are very supportive of me and I am always showing them love as well. 
 
The other Major thing would be my backpack. I keep my journal in there, my dinosaur figurine Parizzz and my dragon figurine Rex Jr., My polaroid Camera, A plethora of headphones, pens, USB drives, my computer……it’s basically my life kit. 
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What is something that you learned only after you went for your goal, that you want to share with anyone shooting for theirs?

STAY TRUE TO WHAT YOU WANT, AND DON’T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT FITTING IN OR BEING LAME. 
 
For SOOOO LONG, I tried to fit into the local scene. The rock that the local scene is doing isn’t exactly what fits me best. I grew up listening to Jazz, Hip-Hop, and Pop. That is where my music is focused now. That is me. Always be YOU!
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Where is the rush in this passion for you? 
The rush isn’t exactly the finished product. It’s the foreplay. It’s the mental vision, the inspiration, the soul, the guts and glitter behind
what I am trying to convey. The finished product is usually never EXACTLY how you envision it….if you are lucky and work with the right people…..it’ll be better. But like I said, it’s about the process. The process is the sexiest part. 
*
What are the pitfalls?
The pitfalls are definitely just life in general…you know…the saying “Life Happens”. Your life happens, my life happens, the people you work with…their life happens. You have to trust the process though. We aren’t Interscope, we aren’t robots…..we are humans trying to make art, while living. Shit happens. In saying that, I am definitely what I call OD and absolutely OCD. I am always trying to make myself and the people around me challenge themselves and let the “babies” we make inspire them. 
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How do you manifest things into reality? 
Didn’t you see the Barbie Jeep I rolled in on? For real, I have one….her name is BJ. 
 
Reality is a big thing for me. I understand every artist has an ego of sorts. I see some people in the scene with some REALLY BIG egos. I don’t ever want to take anything for granted, I don’t want to take people for granted, I don’t want to be a monster and treat people like shit. I believe in being firm…I don’t believe in being a dictator. I work with kids everyday. if you don’t humble yourself, they will humble you….and sometimes even if you humble yourself, they will still humble you. haha
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Where are you hoping to head next?
I am currently in the studio, looking to have a single drop for my project “Lex Rex and the Dragons” before November. I am also having an EP in the works as well as some videos happening. Super stoked for that. I am excited to just live in the process. 
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Currently listening to? 
I am absolutely a playlist kind of girl. I’ll rattle off some artists on my current playlist.
 
Kendrick Lamar, David Bowie, Frank Ocean, M.I.A., Lauryn Hill, Kanye West, Gorillaz, Madonna, Stevie Wonder, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Rae Sremmurd, The Weeknd. 
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Some one or a quote that inspires you:
My dad is my biggest inspiration. He is arguably the reason I am a creative. He is a phenomenal Jazz musician. He still hustles teaching children and playing gigs. If i can be half the person my dad is, I’d be the happiest person. 
 
Both of my parents are my best friends. I literally and figuratively wouldn’t be here without their love and support. 
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What drew you to work with BethKaya? 
 
I love to work with passionate people. Beth is a passionate person. I am always supporting her endeavors and cheering her on via social media. It is so refreshing to see someone who makes quality art, who is also the most positive, supportive, and absolutely energetic person. I am also super inspired by her accomplishments thus far as well as her work ethic and drive. She is building an empire. HOMEGIRL is NOT MESSIN ROUND. #womancrush. 
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Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lexrexandthedragons/

Instagram: lexrexandthedragons
*Photos Property of Alexis Pellegrino
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Karma Cartel Fragrance Launch – Collab

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Back in October of 2015 I vended a local punk rock flea market. In the front area I remember meeting these two well dressed young men, with sleek correlating gear on. They were Jose Serrano and Chris Rockwell, partners for the clothing and lifestyle brand, Karma Cartel. I wouldn’t know it till nearly a year later, they would be collaborating with my own brand.

Chris runs a local series of events and coordinates with a lot of local talent in a very unique way. Support, Encouragement and Teamwork seem to be values that engulf the activities that the gentlemen take part in and host.

We found ourselves cosmically meeting to create a new flavor for their incredible brand, a pair of fragrances. These fragrances would embody the moral, spiritual and even swagger of their blooming indie label.

wonder

Several smell sessions and thought storms later, a really effortless set of communicating fragrances were born. ” K ” & ” C “

While entirely meant to both be unisex, one employs more of an assertive vigor while the other is softer and vulnerable.

image1Each is firmly rooted in  fine sandalwood and home brewed madagascar vanilla. “K” is twisted with brighter coconut tones and “C” is bound in leather & amber.  “K ” is paired with genuine grade AAA peridot and moonstone and whole Jasmine Buds. “C” is met with genuine garnet & coffee moonstone as well as red sandalwood bark.  Sandalwood and Jasmine both represented a karmic relationship, as both are deemed in some cultures as holy and sacred natural offerings. Both are made of certified green fragrances and plant concentrates and are nearly completely natural. image2 The outcome of this duo is much like the collaboration itself, my organic vibe meets their urban luxe & street spirit driven aura and the results are in the fragrances. Like all of my hues, each is meant to take you somewhere you longed to be,  perhaps once knew, and most certainly wish to go to again and again.
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Karma Cartel is launching this line Thursday August 18th! Visit their site, check out their label, and read more about these fragrances as well as snag them for yourselves! It was a pleasure designing for such a lively brand rooted in community and culture.

Valentines – The Stats and A Rosey Collab Offer

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So naturally this is the time of year to consider that little romantic holiday. Some suggest it was invented by hallmark to sell cards, but there is obviously a lineage and lore associating in so many ways to different countries and cultures, dating back hundreds of year all over the world for St. Valentines Day. I got a little curious and decided to go on a little internet book report style scavenger hunt. Here are some totally serious and maybe a few BS stats I found from sources that range from CNN to random Joe Smith blogger!

The Stats –

-More than 35 Million Heart Shaped Boxes of Chocolate Will Be Sold For Valentines Day

-Over 110 Million Roses Will be Sold Over the 3 Days That Valentines Day Falls

-Women Purchase 85% of All Valentines

-3% of Pet Owners Will Treat Their Pets On Valentines Day

-In the USA – 65% of Men Do Not Make Valentine’s Day Plans in Advance

– 21 % of Consumers Will Spend $4.8 Billion on Jewelry This Year

– 60% of Valentines Given Are To Family While 20% are Given to Teachers (The Third Highest Group)

-One Third of Valentines Consumers Will Purchase Gifts for Loved Ones From Tablets

-2 Billion Dollars Will be Spent On Candy This Year

-50 Million Dollars Will Be Spend On Jewelry This Year

Speaking such expenditures a few of my fellow conscious energy warriors have pitched in to provide a group special for our shops collectively!

TRIOCOLLAGE

EmmyEffDesigns                 BethKaya                 Wingostarr Jewelry

*Click * Directly on Our Names to Be Directed Straight To Our Etsy shops!

USE CODE :     LOVE2016

Use this code in any of our three shops and you will get $5 off your entire order over $20. **ALSO upon ordering from my shop, if you provide proof of prior purchase from our trio, you will automatically receive a Faithful Grace crystal infused sample fragrance with your order.

So feast your eyes on a romantic preview of seasonal delights any Valentine would be delighted to receive!

BLOG COLLAGE

Make your own yummy status up this season! Got any fun Valentine’s Day Facts to share? Comment !

Lunar Love, Beth

Listening To:     Zero 7 – I Have Seen

Album – Simple Things (Def Romancin’ Music)

“Stay Gold” First Aid Kit – Review By Meredeth Harvey

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Alright folkers this one’s for you.

First Aid Kits third full album, “Stay Gold”, is a folk filled, haunting journey that will leave you happily nostalgic.  This is their first album with Columbia Records and it shows a lot of potential.  It’s full of melodic harmonies, matter of fact lyrics and it has a 13 piece orchestra to boot.

Swedish sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg began composing at a very young age.  They released their first home recorded single “tangerine” and quickly began getting airplay in Sweden.  They were eventually noticed by Jack White who invited them to record a single in his studio which got the ball rolling for the American circuit.  They became friends with Conner Oberst who brought them on stage to collaborate with Bright Eyes which led them to Mike Mogis of Saddle Creek Records. He produced their second album “The Lions Roar” which hit the Billboard Charts but never got much recognition aside from the single “EmmyLou”.

Third album, “Stay Gold”, is an eclectic mix that takes you on an emotional rollercoaster of sound.  There are a lot of parallels in with this album and the Bright Eyes album “First Day of My Life”.  It’s obvious that Oberst has influenced these sisters in all the right ways.  The album starts with “My silver lining” which is about moving forward and being empowered and it ends with “A long time ago” which makes you stop, hang your head, and relive heart break. This is the kind of album you blast with the windows down on a pretty day when you need to sing your guts out.

I’m not certain these girls have honed in on their own personal sound but I foresee good things for them in the folk market and as long as they continue to grow their sound I would imagine they will have a long and lucrative career.

You can catch them on tour in the U.S. this fall or at:

 http://www.thisisfirstaidkit.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfglZXexLvE

EDM with Liz Echeverri, Echostage Venue

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2135 Queens Chapel Road Northeast

Washington, DC 20018

(202) 503-2330

http://www.echostage.com/

It’s nearly 3 am, the lights are coming back on and the closing act is finishing the last song in their set. You follow the crowd and make your way out the door holding on to your best friend/boyfriend/girlfriend. It’s late, you aren’t even thinking about how you have to work in a few hours or the lack of sleep from what you just saw. You are tired, actually exhausted and still buzzing from the excitement. It was one of the best experiences in your life at one of the top venues in the Washington, DC area: a night at Echostage.

After some extenuating circumstances and renovations the DC venue reopened in September 2012 and since hosted some of the top DJ s in the world including: Above & Beyond http://www.aboveandbeyond.nu/ , Armin van Buuren http://www.arminvanbuuren.com/ , and Tiesto http://tiesto.com/. (Electronic Dance Music or EDM http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_dance_music ). This is the birth place of the trance duo, New World Punx https://www.facebook.com/NewWorldPunx which include Ferry Corsten and Markus Schulz. Located on Queens Chapel Road in North East DC, this concert hall is 30,000 plus sq ft, top-tier design with balconies on each side, and advanced LED displays. They recently installed LED panels in front of the stage for light shows which makes the performance ten times more appealing for the audience. Before its opening, Panorama and Club Glow co-owner Antonis Karagounis told The Washington Post, “The idea is to create the biggest concert venue in the tri-state area (DC, Maryland, and Virginia)… Something that will be used for amazing electronic music shows, but will be able to accommodate hip-hop, R&B and rock, as well.”  Brightest Young Things (BYT) described Echostage as, “The venue that Washington DC has been missing.” Since its rebirth, the fame and popularity of Echostage has been growing fast over and gaining popularity, not only is it number three in the country, it has now earned its place as number nineteen in the world in DJMag “Top 100 clubs”.

You know when a celebrity goes back to their hometown and they talk about a special place they always went to for music? That is what Echostage is for me: ‘my second home’. I have had the privilege to see some of my favorite DJ s including Armin van Buuren, Above & Beyond (twice) and Adventure Club https://www.facebook.com/AdventureClub.  A place I have learned what EDM really is, to understand why people love not just the music but the atmosphere as well, a sense of euphoria, unity, and magic of seeing a DJ/producer in their element. As the “ravers” and “bassheads” like to say, “Nothing, but good vibes.” Every time I leave, no matter how late it is, I am the happiest I have ever been, the atmosphere and people are what make this space special. I have developed a connection with Echostage and from time to time, I get “withdrawals” from not being there. No matter who are you or how old you are, you should go experience one night at one of the greatest places on earth (in my opinion).

Editors Note: Hi everyone! Here are a few other venues/clubs around the United States that have the same kind of vibe as Echostage in case you are not in the Washington, DC area. BKDC, BethKaya Design & Consulting was built for artists and pieced together while chief creator, Beth was listening to a variety of music styles. We believe the relationship between music, art and style go hand and hand and we support and enjoy the eclectic tastes of all of our readers. Enjoy and don’t forget to stop and hear the music :)

-Kelly Hecht, Chief Editor at BKDC

 Miami: The Electric Pickle Company, http://electricpicklemiami.com/

Chicago: SpyBar, http://www.spybarchicago.com/

NYC Cielo, http://www.cieloclub.com/

Brooklyn: Output Club, http://outputclub.com/

Denver: Beta Nightclub, http://www.betanightclub.com/

Los Angeles: Sound Nightclub, http://soundnightclub.com/

Las Vegas: XS Nightclub, http://www.xslasve

 Chief Creative, BethKaya’s picks for her favorite venues. Check them out!

 NYC: Le Poisson Rouge, http://www.lepoissonrouge.com/

NYC: The Bitter End, http://www.bitterend.com/

NYC: Mercury Lounge, http://www.mercuryloungenyc.com

 DC:9:30 Club, http://www.930.com/

Virginia: State Theater, http://www.thestatetheatre.com/index.xml

New Jersey :The Saint, http://www.thesaintnj.com/

New Jersey: The Stone Pony, http://www.stoneponyonline.com/

NYC: Highline Ballroom, http://highlineballroom.com/

Brooklyn: Brooklyn Bowl, http://www.brooklynbowl.com/

Nashville: The National Underground, http://www.thenationalunderground.com/index.html

*All images from Google

“Baskets of Happiness” By: Lady Cartelli

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       Once a month I get a craving like no other. I need it. I have to have it. I can’t shake my hunger until it’s appeased. Xiao long bao (xlb), aka soup dumplings, is a Shanghai phenomenon that puts all other dumplings to shame. I have thought deeply about all types of dumplings. I once dedicated a car ride to brainstorming about all different cultural dumplings (ravioli, empanada, shumai, pierogi, etc.) and tried to engage my husband in such a conversation. His dumpling enthusiasm wasn’t quite at my level, but he can agree that soup dumplings are special. In fact, he lets me drag him to busy parts of Jersey, Chinatown, or even Flushing to satiate my obsession.

       When made correctly, soup dumplings are a culinary experience. Imagine a very thin skinned, steamed dumpling filled with a light pork mixture, as opposed to the dense mystery inside most take-out dumplings. Add to that a savory, decadent soup broth inside of the dumpling, surrounding the filling.

     Typically, restaurants that make xiao long bao will offer two types: pork and crab/pork mix. If you can’t handle fishy then I suggest sticking to the pork, I do.

How do you eat a soup dumpling?

First, try and control yourself when they present you with the basket full of happiness. They’re hot, so give them a minute. While you wait, put some of the vinegar accompaniment in your soup spoon. Use the provided tongs, or chopsticks, to grab the top, twisted part of the dumpling, and place the dumpling onto your spoon. Do this very carefully because if you break the dumpling you lose 90% of the awesome. Carefully nibble a small hole in the top of the dumpling, and sip some of the broth. Be present in this moment because nothing else will matter and troubles will fade away. Some of the broth will leak into your spoon (yay) and some of the broth will fall onto your plate (boo). Let the dumpling breathe for a moment, unhinge your jaw, and eat the best dumpling you’ve ever tasted. It’s blissful.

*Disclaimer, that is how I do it, and nothing about this process could be authentic.

Check out my husband, doing a decent job taking down a dumpling, here:

http://instagram.com/p/k5mgh6inUL

Here are my top 3 spots to eat xlb in the NYC area. Soup dumplings are best when the skin of the dumpling is thin, the meat inside isn’t heavy, and the broth is flavorful. I’ve tried these places out, and they fit the criteria.

  1. Petite Soo Chow, Cliffside Park, NJ
  2. Shanghai Cafe, Mott Street, Chinatown
  3. Nan Xiang Dumpling House, Flushing

In closing, if this post doesn’t make you rush out to try some xiao long bao, then maybe Anthony Bourdain can sway you:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SenvN3SjVbo

*Editors Note: Here are a few places in other neighborhoods outside of the New York area to get xlb. Enjoy!

-Kelly Hecht, Chief Editor

Shanghai Lounge, Georgetown, Washington, DC

Shanghai Taste, Rockville, MD

ROC, Los Angeles, CA

Moon Palace Restaurant, Chicago, IL

Lung Gong Restaurant, Miami, FL

Dumpling Happiness, Austin, TX

Gourmet Dumpling House, Boston, MA

Trendsetter: Jamie Chung

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Every month I am going to feature a person that I feel is a trendsetter and “fashionista”. This month I am putting the spotlight on fellow blogger and actress, Jamie Chung. I remember Jamie from 10 years ago when she was on MTV’S “The Real World”. Since her stint on reality tv the San Franciso native has become an actress, starring in ABC’c “Once Upon a Time” as Mulan, the movie “Eden” and now you can see her on NBC’s “Believe”.

Jamie has her own blog, whatthechung.com all about her personal fashion tastes and everyday life. Recently she moved to New York City, got engaged to fellow actor, Bryan Greenberg and is sporting a stunning diamond ring. 

She inspires many of my fashion choices and can really pull off a pair of leather pants and silver, flat oxfords. Hats off to you Jamie, for making it after life on a reality television show and your amazing blog. Please enjoy my choices for some of her best outfits, I hope it inspires you as well!

-Kel

*All Images from Google

Being Kind in Hollywood

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Anyone that knows me is aware I’m a huge fan of the show “How I Met Your Mother”.   It was hard to find a sitcom that was realistic in portraying life after college, the search for love and finding ones ‘self’ for early twenty-something’s. Carter Bays and Craig Thomas manage to create a show that did just that and with this clever sitcom taking their final bow after 9 years on Monday March 31 I thought it would be nice to reprint an article written in 2008 by Josh Radnor who plays ‘Ted Mosby’, the lead character. Rarely do we see acts of kindness in the entertainment industry especially ones that have no financial benefit or gain to the actor. This is a great piece about being kind in show business and how far it can take you in your career but also in life. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did when it was first published in the LA times a few years back. 

Kind Over Matter

Basic goodness means little in Hollywood….and everything in life

(Original article from LA Times)

only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.
—Kurt Vonnegut, 
God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater

Here’s a theory I’ve been kicking around for a few years: Success in Hollywood—being incredibly well paid to do something very few people get the chance to do—won’t make you happier, but it should make you kinder. It never made sense to me that someone would achieve any kind of success in show business, only to become a jerk.

It certainly seems like the unkind—craven, wildly ambitious, stab-you-in-the-back types—are rewarded time and again. But bad behavior generally ensures a short shelf life. The question is really, What kind of person do you want to be once you’ve “gotten” somewhere?

When I left NYU in 1999, the year I turned “pro,” I was on the lookout for examples of what kind of professional actor I wanted to be. Before long, I had the great fortune to work with Judith Light, who, in addition to being wildly talented, seemed to place a premium on kindness. I remember how she greeted everyone with a smile—no matter who they were. She listened as if the fate of the planet depended on hearing someone’s every word.

Maybe it has something to do with my being from the Midwest, but witnessing actors like Judith—and the decidedly less enlightened behavior of others—confirmed my suspicion that it was possible to be both a good person and successful in show business. I realized Vonnegut’s dictum was basically the only Hollywood rule worth following: You’ve got to be kind.

Kind to your fellow actors, to the producers and their spouses, to their assistants and their interns. You’ve got to be kind to the agents and managers (even if you often can’t tell the difference between the two), to the director and the people in wardrobe and props, to the photographer and the valet and the guy working checkout at Whole Foods, to the reporter at the press tour who thrusts a tape recorder in your face and says, “What song makes you want to get up out of your chair and dance?” And you must—and this is much tougher than it sounds in an industry that almost dares you to go insane—extend that kindness to yourself.

It really shocks me when I encounter people who think kindness doesn’t matter. Because I think it’s pretty much the only thing that matters. This should not be mistaken as a call for humorlessness or some naive, fussy moralizing on my part. It’s not about being “good” (a loaded concept, to say the least) or “nice,” which is really just a social convention that often has to do with worrying about being liked (occasionally masking real deviousness). It’s ultimately about compassion, recognizing that all of us are going through it all in our own particular way, no matter our social status.

It’s not our job to play judge and jury, to determine who is worthy of our kindness and who is not. We just need to be kind, unconditionally and without ulterior motive, even—or rather, especially—when we’d prefer not to be. For me, it’s simple and not entirely unselfish: When I’m kind, I feel good; when I’m not, I feel horrible. (Of course, the publication of this piece now ensures I will be caught on tape being a total schmuck.)

When my show How I Met Your Mother first went on the air, some people were quietly concerned the job would “change” me, as Hollywood lore is littered with tales of the monsters fame has created. Being a jerk was never all that interesting to me before I was on a television show. Now four years later, I’m happy to report no one has told me I’ve become one (to my face, at least).

Where will any of this get you in Hollywood? Maybe nowhere. That’s not really the point. Kindness is not about instant gratification. More often, it’s akin to a low-risk investment that appreciates steadily over time. One thing I’ve found to be true in show business, as well as everywhere else: Whatever you put out there comes back to you in some form eventually. Hopefully, one day you look around and say, “Hey, I’ve got a pretty nice life full of fantastic people.” If you have a better definition of success, I’d like to hear it.

This is bigger than Hollywood anyway. (Warning: If you think this is all a bunch of touchy-feely nonsense from someone who has clearly spent too much time in California, you might want to stop reading now and flip to the crossword.) I believe our thoughts and words are powerful far beyond what we suspect, that they carry some sort of mysterious heft that ripples outward, like the tiny flap of the butterfly wings causing a hurricane. Our planet is being despoiled in a myriad of provable ways, but might our unkind words be contributing on some level?

Consider it: What if we began to view unkindness as air pollution of the most toxic variety? Would we think twice before sending ozone-depleting nastiness from our lips into the atmosphere?

If you believe, as I do, that the state of the world is inextricably linked to our minds, that the external is a reflection of the internal, our minds are not in great shape. Every act of kindness, then, is not merely a sign of personal virtue. It’s saving the planet—the ultimate fusion of environmentalism, spirituality, compassion and common sense.

Of course, this is just a theory. In a more practical, less metaphysical sense, if you’re kind in Hollywood, people will want to work with you again. And if some unkindness is unavoidable, well, that’s why we have agents (or managers).

Written by Josh Radnor, Original article from the LA Times, 2008

All images from Google images

Desperately Seeking Pattie – Introducing Lady Cartelli

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Written By: Lady Cartelli

She is a new animal, a shock genetic mutation, and she has appeared everywhere, like a new model of a car, or an epidemic, or the flowers in Spring.

-Anthony Haden-Guest, The Birds of Britain, 1967

My most prized possession is a British, coffee table book that showcases the most phenomenal women of the London social scene in the sixties. Iconic powerhouses, women like Marianne Faithfull, Dusty Springfield, Mary Quant, Alice Ormsby-Gore, and Jane Asher (to name a few) were unique, talented, beautiful and free thinking.

Wearing Ossie Clark dresses and fraternizing with musicians like the Rolling Stones and the Beatles, these women helped shape a decade that has majorly influenced the world we live in today. After all, it was Pattie Boyd, wife of George Harrison, who got the Beatles interested in the  Maharishi, and where would music be today without the White Album as we know it? Pattie’s use of competing bold prints and over accessorizing is just as captivating today as it was in 1967.  The rebirth of bohemian style makes Pattie Boyd the perfect style muse for the coming festival season. 

 

 

Get The Look:

Necklaces:

http://gypsywarrior.com/accessories/virtue-beaded-necklace.html

http://www.urbanoutfitters.com/urban/catalog/productdetail.jsp?id=31289390&color=046&parentid=QUICKVIEW

Dresses:

http://gypsan.com/dresses/lovebird-dress

http://www.swell.com/Womens-Dresses/MARA-HOFFMAN-LONG-SLEEVE-MINI-DRESS?cs=BL

http://www.shopspanishmoss.com/collections/dresses/products/oleander-woven-tapestry-dress

Sandals:

http://www.freepeople.com/shoes-sandals/rae-sandal/_/PRODUCTOPTIONIDS/715A5FF0-96BB-4EA2-BD8A-336CF83A7593/

 *All Images Courtesy of Google Images

 Learn more about her – > 

http://www.biography.com/people/pattie-boyd-21291331

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pattie_Boyd

 

Note From Beth – > The showcase of Pattie’s style, while on the verge of Spring is so symbiotic with where we are in the design world right now. Follow BETHKAYA’s STEEZ board on pinterest, for textured, layered, spirited and competing style inspirations like Patties!  Stellar Showcase!