Eating (and Drinking) Locally

You can have your kale and eat it, too. Even if you’re not raising chickens in your backyard, keeping bees or storing a compost bucket under your kitchen sink, you’ll want to enjoy summer’s yummy fruits and veggies at their freshest. That means they’re grown within a 100-mile radius, rather than flown in from another continent. Lots of restaurants claim to offer farm-fresh ingredients these days -- and it’s worth seeking out a neighborhood eatery that stays true to its promise. Meanwhile, here are four restaurants with produce so local you can reach out and pluck it from the dirt while you’re having dinner (but leave that to the chefs!).

Los Angeles

If you admire the lemon verbena, purple basil or gorgeous mint that flourishes in the on-site garden at Post & Beam your waitperson might just cut off a few sprigs for you to take home. The restaurant, from celebrity chef Govind Armstrong, is located in a shopping mall in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Baldwin Hills, but the vibe is pure southern, with dishes like shrimp grits, buttermilk fried chicken and black-eyed peas with house-smoked bacon and roasted yam. The produce is all freshly picked, not only by the chef but by the bartender as well, with garden-to-glass cocktails like a daiquiri made with just-snipped pineapple sage.

San Francisco

One of the pioneers in high-end meatless cuisine, Greens Restaurant has been dishing out fine vegetarian fare from a converted warehouse at the historic Fort Mason Center for 25 years now. The views of the San Francisco Marina and Golden Gate Bridge are stunning and so is the food. The seasonal produce comes from the Green Gulch Farm, a residential Zen community and organic farm located less than an hour away. The early summer menu included a farro risotto with morel mushrooms, asparagus, savoy spinach, leeks, green garlic and fava beans -- a veritable garden on a plate. 

Chicago

Homestead on the Roof calls itself “a literal farm-to-table restaurant.” The 80-seat rooftop patio includes a 1,000 square-foot garden, two massive vertical hanging gardens and dozens of planter boxes. The vegetables, fruits and herbs grown on the premises make their way into every course. You could dine, for example, on an appetizer of smoked asparagus with a fried duck egg, followed by a pig head croquette (yes, the menu is adventurous!) with pickled fennel salad and, for the main course, seared scallops and short ribs with wilted greens and chamomile-lemon jam. Dessert is also brimming with ripe ingredients like compressed rhubarb served with vanilla mascarpone panna cotta and pink peppercorn ice cream.

New York

The Farm on Adderley in Brooklyn’s newly hip Ditmas Park neighborhood isn’t actually a farm, but all the ingredients -- meat, dairy and produce -- are sourced from local purveyors. The dishes are vibrant in both flavor and color -- a vivid chilled pea soup with pistachios, squid salad with sorrel, radish, spring onion and mint, and a burger made with pasture-raised beef on a homemade English muffin. You’ll also want to raise a glass to the Blue Ant, a cocktail made with dandelion wine, white rum, dry vermouth, rose water, cucumber and herb de provence.

 

Where’s the best place to get your locally sourced grub on? Tell us on Twitter at @thestyleglossy.

How to Stop Freaking out About Bikini Season

The so-called “bikini season” has arrived, and we have two words for you: Calm down.

It’s easy to get into a panic, we know. Every woman knows. Try on a bathing suit in front of a three-way department store mirror and it’s all you can do to keep yourself from running out shrieking. The new, hugely unflattering compact fluorescent lighting that is everywhere these days certainly doesn’t help. Meanwhile, every fashion magazine, billboard and store catalog features images of women with beyond perfect bodies.

So, if you want to keep yourself from freaking out about bathing suit season, you’ll need a varied toolbox, from the practical to the inspirational. Here are our five don’t-panic tips to dressing for the pool or beach.

1. Find a self tanner you love, and use it regularly. Self tanners aren’t just about the “glow,” but giving you smooth, even color that instantly makes your legs, arms and belly look sleeker. That’s why it’s a universally flattering beauty booster for any skin tone. Erica Kelly, a dermatologist in Galveston, Texas, self tans twice a week, using a lotion on her legs, arms and torso and a spray on her back. Then she sprays a tiny bit of product on a makeup sponge and applies it to her face.

2. Choose a bathing suit that covers and reveals the body parts you want. Think beyond the two-piece suits you see paired on the racks at department stores and customize your bathing suit to work for you. Love your legs, but not so much your middle? Try a tankini, like this polka-dotted halter from Ann Taylor and this shrunken low-rider bottom from J. Crew. Want to flaunt your cleavage but draw attention away from your hips? Pair a bold and brightly colored top with a boy short or skirt. And if you’d rather check out these options in the privacy of your own bedroom, do your swimsuit shopping from a website that has a liberal return policy, like Lands' End.

3. Take some advice from Tyra Banks. Yes, she’s beautiful, but uniquely so, with a big forehead, as she likes to point out, and a tendency to carry weight in her thighs (as a tabloid pointed out when it published photos of her with -- gasp! -- actual cellulite). “Girls of all kinds can be beautiful,” says Banks, “from the thin, plus-sized, short, very tall, ebony to porcelain-skinned; the quirky, clumsy, shy, outgoing and all in between. It’s not easy, though, because many people still put beauty into a confining, narrow box … think outside of the box … pledge that you will look in the mirror and find the unique beauty in you.”

4. Listen to Lupita Nyong’o and refuse to give in to what she called “the seduction of inadequacy.” Before she won her Oscar, became a red-carpet sensation and was named People Magazine’s “Most Beautiful Person,” she felt, like the rest of us have from time to time, “unbeautiful.” Teased about her “night-shaded” skin, she’d wake up every morning praying the mirror would show that she’d gotten paler overnight. It took a while, she says, but she realized that “beauty was not a thing that I could acquire or consume; it was something that I just had to be … what is fundamentally beautiful is compassion -- for yourself and for those around you. That kind of beauty enflames the heart and enchants the soul.”

5. Accessorize brilliantly. Don a gorgeous coral colored straw hat with an oversized brim (also a great way to shield your skin and hair from damaging UV rays). Forget neutrals and rock nail lacquers in hues that evoke sunflowers or Gerber daisies. Swipe on some peach-colored lip balm. And, finally, make sure you’re wearing a smile as dazzling as the sun. As Serena Williams says, “My smile is my favorite part of my body. I think a smile can make your whole body.”

5 Mother's Day Gifts That’ll Instantly Make You Mom's Favorite

She’s spoiled you rotten your entire life. Now it’s time to return the favor and make Mom feel like the queen she is. These epic Mother’s Day gifts are sure to score you a ton of brownie points, not to mention get you in her good graces (if you aren’t already, of course).

1. Erica Sara Designs Mother’s Love Necklace

Because the best gifts truly are those that come from the heart, we know your mom will fall head over heels for this sweet necklace, which can be custom engraved with the names of all the people she loves. Add on extra charms, such as mom’s initials, to further personalize her Mother’s Day gift.

$94 at Ericasaradesigns.com

2. eCreamery Personalized Gourmet Ice Cream

Satisfy your mom’s sweet tooth by creating an ice cream, gelato or sorbet just for her. Choose from among 40 flavors and three dozen mix-ins like praline pecans, butter brickle and candied ginger. The online ice-cream parlor also has suggested Mother’s Day collections of four pints, such as Mom’s Tub of Hugs (sea salt caramel with chocolate-covered pretzels), World’s Sweetest Mom (chocolate cake with fudge swirl and brownie bites), Mom’s Love by the Spoonful (white chocolate pink peppermint chip) and Made with Love for Mom (coffee with Heath Bar pieces and caramel swirls).

Starting at $49.99 for four pints at ecreamery.com/

3. Fishers Finery Silk Pajamas

Encourage your mom to take it easy on Mother’s Day by giving her silk pajamas. They’re the ultimate in luxury loungewear. Bonus: These PJs from Fishers Finery come gift wrapped with a box of Godiva chocolates, so basically it’s two Mother’s Day gifts in one.

$99 at fishersfinery

4. Vrai & Oro Solitaire Diamond Earrings

When it comes to fine jewelry, your mom only deserves the best of the best. That doesn’t mean you have to pay an arm and a leg to snag something top of the line for her, though. These solitaire diamond studs are simple, yet stunning, and totally timeless too. Yes, they’re a splurge, but not as much as you might have thought.

$405 at Vraiandoro.com

5. Spafinder Wellness 365 Gift Card

When in doubt, send mom to the spa! Nothing beats a day of pampering, which is why you really can’t go wrong with Spafinder’s Wellness 365 Gift Card. It grants mom access to more than 20,000 different wellness centers and spas worldwide. She can relax with a massage, get her hair done, or heck, even hire a personal trainer or a nutritionist. The options are endless, really.

$25-$1,000 at spafinder.com

Celebrate National Eggs Benedict Day With These 9 Brunch Recipes

The weekend is awesome for many reasons: no work, sleeping in and most importantly, brunch. April 16 is National Eggs Benedict Day (yes, that’s a thing), and it’s the perfect excuse to host a Sunday brunch with friends. Here are nine mouthwatering recipes sure to please your guests (and your taste buds).

Eggs Benedict

What brunch would be complete without eggs Benedict? It’s the quintessential brunch dish. And what eggs Benedict would be complete without a creamy hollandaise sauce? Lyuba of Will Cook for Smiles shows you how to make this basic sauce, and it’s much easier than you may think. Use it to top off eggs Benedict made with bacon, as Lyuba does, or one made with traditional Canadian bacon or even spinach.

Get the full recipe here.

Courtesy of Will Cook For Smiles

Dungeness Crab Eggs Benedict

There are so many versions of Eggs Benedict, but this one from Sandy of fancyfoodfancy just might take the … crab. The sweet, delicate Dungeness crab, rich poached egg, sautéed spinach, toasty English muffin and luxurious hollandaise make for a truly decadent dish. Sandy says the hollandaise sauce -- the recipe for which comes from none other than Julia Child -- is so good she would happily eat it on cardboard. But we wouldn’t recommend it.

Get the full recipe here.

Courtesy of fancyfoodfancy

Eggs Benedict Casserole

When whipping up food for your brunch bunch, an eggs Benedict-inspired casserole might be the best way to go. Amy of Chew Out Loud layers Canadian bacon and English muffins in a baking pan, then adds beaten eggs before letting the casserole refrigerate overnight. All she has to do in the morning is throw the pan in the oven and make a hollandaise sauce to drizzle on top of the dish. This leaves plenty of time for taking care of more important things, like sipping mimosas.

Get the full recipe here.

Courtesy of Chew Out Loud

Asparagus Quiche

Eating seasonally is a big trend right now and it’s no wonder why -- in-season produce tastes better and is supposedly better for you. So why not capitalize on the spring’s bounty and make a beautiful asparagus quiche a la Audra of The Baker Chick. In addition to fresh asparagus, Audra packs her quiche with lots of leeks and gruyere cheese. It looks fancy, but it’s pretty easy to make, especially if you use a premade pie crust.

Get the full recipe here.

Courtesy of The Baker Chick

Baked French Toast Sticks

If savory isn’t your thing, try this delicious baked French toast recipe from Kristin of Iowa Girl Eats. Kristin adds a touch of whimsy by cutting the bread into strips -- perfect for dipping. Plus, it’s another baked dish that requires minimal work so, you know, #mimosas.

Get the full recipe here.

Courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats

Whole-Wheat Pancakes

Pancakes are a classic brunch dish. Andrea of the aptly named Pennies & Pancakes blog makes her pancakes with whole-wheat flour and a secret ingredient she swears makes the most delicious pancakes you’ll ever eat. Guess you’ll just have to see for yourself.

Get the full recipe here.

Courtesy of Pennies & Pancakes

Maple Bacon Pancakes

Sure, pancakes are good on their own, but do you know what makes everything better? Bacon. Laicie of A Thousand Threads knows this and, thankfully, has shared her mind-meltingly amazing maple bacon pancakes recipe. Hot and fluffy pancakes, salty bacon and sweet maple syrup are the makings of one memorable meal. Serve this at your next brunch and you’ll probably have people lining up at your doorstep every weekend.

Get the full recipe here.

Courtesy of A Thousand Threads

Crepes

If you can’t decide between sweet and savory, crepes are a great option. Amy of Cooking With Amy shares a basic crepe recipe that can be adapted for sweet or savory fillings. Satisfy your sweet tooth and serve crepes filled with strawberries and chocolate or Nutella and bananas. For a savory crepe, try eggs, ham and cheese.

Get the full recipe here.

Courtesy of Cooking With Amy

Blueberry Muffins

Send your brunch guests home with a muffin top. We mean an actual muffin top … well, the whole muffin to be exact. Samantha of Five Heart Home has a simple, one-bowl recipe for a fluffy muffin bursting with blueberry goodness. If only all party favors were this tasty.

Get the full recipe here.

Courtesy of Five Heart Home

9 Spring Trends That Are Turning Us Into ’90s Pop Stars

Many of the spring 2014 trends seem fresh and fun, but if you were alive and well in the ’90s, you’ve seen them before. These nine trends will have you saying “Oops, I did it again.” We ’90s girls wore similar fashions because our pop idols were rocking them on stage, in videos and even when just running to the grocery store. Here are nine trendy ways to emulate our fave pop queens this spring.

Short-Stacked and Platform Shoes

Is it just me or did pop stars wear more comfortable shoes in the ’90s? That probably had to do with how chunky, and supportive, their heels were. Well, hooray! Short-stacked heels are back again, so we won’t have to choose between comfort and heels. And you might have sworn you’d never wear platform sneakers again, but since they have graced so many runways for spring, why not reconsider that pledge.  



Eye Shadow

Here’s a challenge: Name a spring 2014 eye shadow trend that isn’t ’90s pop. Well, all those colors we rocked during our childhood because Britney/Christina/your favorite Spice Girl did are taking this spring by storm.

Pastel? Duh.

White? Definitely.

Blue? Super duh.



Bare Face

During our pubescent problem-skin years (thanks, hormones), it was hard not to notice how pop princesses had flawless and seemingly foundation-less skin. The queen of this look? Mandy Moore. So, channel your inner Mandy, skip the foundation and focus instead on getting your post-pubescent skin to glow with touches of liquid illuminator.



Crop Tops

If there’s one trend that every pop queen of the ’90s shared, it was showing off their bellybuttons. From the red carpet to the stage, the crop top was a wardrobe staple. Many a ’90s girl struggled getting out the door and past the parents when trying to copy this look. But struggle no more: The crop top is back, and classier than ever. This time around, skip the super low-rise jeans and go with bottoms with more distinguished waistlines, because … you know, #adulthood.



Oversized Pants

What better way to rock your crop top than with a belted pair of oversized pants? This spring, big pants (especially wide-leg) are all the rage. And while the ’90s men clearly owned the baggy pants look, it didn’t stop many a diva from getting her moves on in pants with extra legroom.



Sheer Fabrics

If you wanted to be sexy in the ’90s, you went sheer. And we all knew the magic fix for a skimpy top was a sheer over layer. Our ‘rents may not have been 100 percent with us on that one, but all our fave pop idols were doing it. Sheer accents and over layers are just as hot this spring as they were back in our tween and teen years.



Pastels

I’m pretty sure baby pink and baby blue were considered neutrals in the pop world from 1990 to 1999. Well, pastels have been adorned the “it” colors of spring 2014. Clearly Britney was ahead of her time.



Razzle Dazzle

One thing we learned from our pop icons was how to add some spice to an outfit. Yes, we’re talking Spice Girls. These gals were no strangers to the iridescent fabrics, embellishments and other quirky details that graced this year’s fashion week runways. Come on ladies, don’t be shy!



Mermaid Hair

Alanis Morissette. Need I say more? The “I-didn’t-brush-my-hair” look is going to be hot this spring for longer locks. So we can go back to the days of falling asleep in braids and even start parting our hair in the center again. I, for one, am very excited.



What ’90s trend do you miss most? Let us know on Twitter @TheStyleGlossy #90sthrowback