Tuesday, July 28, 2009

One Pot Wonder

In this week's Trocadero Tidbits, we continued our 15 Tips for Easy Summer Entertaining and our #4 One Pot Wonder mentioned a fabulous recipe for a New England Clam Bake. You don't have to be on the ocean to create this traditional meal:

New England Clam Bake

2-3lbs fresh spinach blended w/ 4 tsp. salt
4 lbs fresh shrimp
4 lbs crab legs
8 ears corn, shucked
2 lbs new potatoes
2 lbs yellow onions, quartered
4lbs clams, soaked to remove sand
1 lb unsalted butter, melted

Pour 1 inch of water into a 20- quart steamer or kettle. Divide the spinach and salt into 4 equal parts. Place one quarter in the bottom of the steamer, and nestle the shrimp and crab legs on top. Cover with another layer of spinach, and position the corn, potatoes, and onions over it. Cover vegetables with a third layer of spinach, and scatter the clams over it. Cover the clams with the last of the spinach.
Bring the steamer to a boil over high heat, then cover and steam for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the clam shells have opened wide. Divide the seafood and vegetables among eight large platters, and serve with equal portions of melted butter. Discard the spinach.

*Recipe Courtesy of Home By Design

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Care for Your Hair

Since the last time I posted (about a week ago... yikes!), the weather has changed from rainy to scorching hot to breezy and back again. On top of managing my schedule for work, fun, and that ever needed "alone time", I've had to manage my outfits and hair for every type of weather Nebraska's temperamental summer has thrown at me! As you can tell from my last blog, July Showers Bring August Flowers?, I don't have too much trouble managing my outfits. However, my hair is a different story. Being born with a full head of light brown, thick-as-can-be hair isn't quite the blessing my mother thought it was. My 'do does have its benefits (like being able to handle any style), but it also seems to cause me such trouble on these summer days I speak of. Waking up with it knotted and wavy, I take various approaches to each style I choose to sport. Curly takes quite a while to fix up and doesn't last for long, stick-straight is easy but doesn't contribute much to my look, and a ponytail seems too "plain Jane" for me. I sometimes begin to wonder... does anyone else have the same hair problems I do? Though I try my best to switch my hairstyle up every day or two, I've finally realized that it isn't all about what I do with my hair; it's about how I care for it and then how I style it. Which leads me to the entire point of this post... essentials for summer hair care. So, save yourself the trouble I have to go through and let me guide you on how to clean, style, and accessorize your hair.
Take a look-see at this mini-guide and find out what products work in which way and for what purpose. We carry all of the items at Trocadero. From Malin + Goetz Sage Styling Cream to Ole Henriksen Neutral Hair shampoo and conditioner, you're bound to find something to tame your mane for the summer.

Monday, July 20, 2009

To cover or not to cover? That is the question.

One thing to definitely consider as we start to slowly roll into cooler climates ahead is transitioning your peep toe heels into Fall and further into the colder months.

Heels and Tights are still very much IN, which means that those cute, peep toe heels you've been sporting are to going to get even more wear this Fall & Winter. This works great with like colors like black on black but daring colors and patterns can be just as chic.

Trocadero not only has heels that will transition into your Fall & Winter wardrobe, but these Brian Atwood heels are on SALE too!! The Lidia Self Platform and the Trixi Platform Pump are great shoes to work into your wardrobe right now and into Fall.

Use these accessories to create a look and feel around these fabulous heels!

July Showers Bring August Flowers?

Today's weather forecast: cloudy and light showers with a chance of thunderstorms... yick. That dreaded weather report turns everyone's "supposed to be summer" day into one of those "I don't want to do anything other than lay in bed and watch HBO" kind of days. This one rainy day mixed into a full week of lovely weather has been irking me since I woke up. Everyone's supposedly cooped up in their house watching the latest episode of True Blood or at a coffee shop warming up with a latte because there isn't anything better to do. However, I think most people don't go out on days like these because they have no idea what to wear. I often find myself thinking, "ya' can't sport a sundress when there isn't a ray of sunshine" or questioning if jeans and a long-sleeved shirt would be too much cover-up for the month of July. And even though you could technically categorize my daily schedule as something similar to those inside-only types (except I'm required to be inside for work), I decided to turn all my unused energy into a tutorial on how to dress for a rainy day.
Starting off with a trench coat and a pair of slim-fit jeans (two things every closet needs), you can go for a variety of looks. Make your neutral coat pop with the bright colors in "This Look" or glam it up with rich purple and gold tones in "That Look". Carry a bag that won't get soaked if you have to take it out into the rain. I recommend the usually water-resistant fabrics like nylon or patent leather. As well as covering your belongings, keep your feet out of the puddles with a sturdy pair of patent leather flats, like the Miss Marc ones featured, or put on your favorite pair of pumps. It'll save your feet and pants from the water and add "umph!" to your look. Pretty much a win-win situation, if you ask me. To top it all off, you can even find an umbrella to match!

All the accessories (other than the umbrellas) featured are available down here at the Troc. So, if you need something to do on a day like this, add your own touches to our stylish outfits to look great on even the most drab of days!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

All in One-Piece

Okay, so I know bikinis are the choice of many fashionistas out there for showing some serious skin this summer, but don't cancel out the one-piece.

A one-piece can look very sophisticated with a hint of divaness and dare I say, just as sexy as a bikini.

If you are at a loss of what type of one-piece to wear or because maybe you haven't worn a swimsuit in ages, try channeling your inner goddess with these inspirational pieces from some of the most popular icons in fashion.

From Marilyn Monroe to Jane Birkin, there's something for everyone that will compliment a unique personal style.

Don't forget to spice up your one-piece with these accessories from Trocadero for a more fashionable look.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

15 Tips for Easy Summer Entertaining

Summertime and the Living is Easy...

All July we've been sharing our tips for simple and chic summer shindigs in our weekly newsletter Trocadero Tidbits . Check out our complete list of suggestions this week as we end our list.
15. Themes aren't just for children's birthday parties, but also for the detail-oriented individual. Choose a theme like "Mediterranean Soiree" and carry it out in everything from the decor to the invitations to the food. Sweet Myrtle & Bitter Honey: The Mediterranean Flavors of Sardinia by Efisio Farris is full of tasty, authentic dishes.
14. Utilize the great outdoors with a backyard bash. Just be sure to have both sunny and shady areas for your guests and if entertaining at dusk, be sure to take care of problems like bugs with a natural deterrent like a lavender candle from Diptyque or more traditionally with Tiki torches and candles with citronella.
13. Use bright splashes of color to create a fun and vibrant atmosphere. Kikkerland's "Sing Sing" plastic dinner trays add a unique touch to any setting and are the perfect indoor and outdoor buffet line plate.

12. Bring out your inner Ina Garten. Yeah, sure, some of the Barefoot Contessa's recipes look hard to replicate but we have this easy, light salad made with fennel and oranges that will impress your dining companions. Take 2-4 fennel bulbs and chop into bite-sized pieces. Peel 3 oranges and slice into slivers. Mix with 2 oz of arugula. Combine and whisk 1/4 cup olive oil, the juice of 2 lemons, kosher/sea salt and freshly ground pepper and pour the dressing over the salad and toss. Serves around 6.
11. Create a "Signature" Drink. Instead of having to play bartender (or hire one), fill pitchers with a summery cocktail for guests to serve themselves. Just be sure to have plenty of ice on hand. We love this recipe for Clementine Margaritas from chef Todd English and actress Eva Longoria. The cocktail reminds us of combining Bond No. 9's "Little Italy" with "Coney Island" -- yum!

10. Create instant conversation starters. Encourage dialogue and mingling by playing an after dinner game. Try writing hot topics on small pieces of paper and filling a large bowl with them, pass the bowl around the table and have each guest start off the discussion on a topic. This activity is sure to keep friends entertained long after the food is gone.
9. Here's a quick start to a first course. Use the bounty of the season, and serve a chilled soup. All you need is fresh fruit and herbs, heavy cream, and a blender, and you are set for a dish that is as refreshing as it is filling.

8. Let Your Stomach be Your Guide. Be resourceful by using items you already have around the house for table decor. Filling clear bowls or vases with fruit makes for a fail-proof centerpiece and an appetizing treat for the eyes.
7. Get to Know the Neighbors. Co-host a 5-course "block party" with your fellow homeowners/apartment dwellers. Start at home #1 for appetizers and move onto the next for soup, the third for salad and so forth. If you're a wine connoisseur, create special pairings with each course. Perhaps start with an Italian Prosecco and end with a French Muscat. And with no driving, it's not only safe but also eco-friendly. Eat, drink and be merry!
6. You've Got Mail. Email invites just got revolutionized by
Paperless Post. These stylish and eco-friendly invites resemble fine stationery and are sent to your guests in a virtual envelope that even opens with a click of the mouse. Finally, the elegance of handwritten invitations is back and more convenient.

5. Bring the Ocean to your backyard. Create a beach theme in your home or backyard by decorating with items from the shoreline. Set the table with beach pails filled with condiments, silverware, or napkins, and decorate with picnic baskets and scattered seashells. To enhance the beachy atmosphere, burn a Diptyque Feu De Bois (firewood) or Essence of John Galliano candle (which has notes of Birchwood) to give the feel of a bonfire without the hastle of one.

4. One pot wonder. Nothing says summer on the beach like a New England clam bake. Since Omaha is a little far from the ocean, the traditional method of cooking it on the beach forms a challenge; so try an in-the-kitchen version like this one from Home By Design.
3. Spend a night overseas. Take a tour of the foreign beaches of St. Tropez or Biarritz with a menu of French seafood. Take a venture from the typical ocean cravings and try recipes from Eric Kayser's New French Recipes.
2. Take the party on the road. Lighten your load of responsibilities by taking advantage of festivities already going on in the community. Grab some friends, pack up a picnic basket and head to a summer music festival like Jazz on the Green to enjoy dinner and a show.
1. Create an instant dual purpose party-favor. Buy a dozen glass bowls and a dozen betta fish and use them as decorative touches on cocktail tables. Then at the end of the night, guests can choose a fish bowl to take home.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Troc Look of the Week

When Cygne came to work the other day she had an extremely "je ne sais quois" French look. It seemed quite effortlessly chic and something that seemed reminiscent of what I would see on young French women in Paris, the city with the most fashionable looks.

What works here? The lightweight, spaghetti strap cotton summer dress in white paired with a same length charcoal cotton cardigan makes it work appropriate. The short-sleeves on this cardigan is a modern take on the traditional, "grandpa" style item. Cygne's choice of accessories really worked too. The nude sandals don't distract from the neutral ensemble. And the piece that really ties the whole look together is the skinny tan belt that she "borrowed" from her mom's closet. I'm not a big fan of belts (Trocadero, in fact, does not carry them at all) as I find them awkward to wear most of the time. But her use of this "vintage" piece from her mom's closet made me think that I need to start wearing some of my own collection of belts, both skinny and wide ones.

Let us know what you think of Cygne's look. And check back here for future posts on our Trocadero Look of the Week.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Summer Hair Care on Sale at Trocadero

It's July and the height of humid, sticky weather in Omaha. We know what that means for your hair! So we're trying to make it a bit easier by offering some incentives on our star hair care products from Paul Labrecque. Personally I cannot live without Paul's incredible mud conditioners. At Trocadero we carry both the Daily Mud Conditioner as well as the one for Color-Treated hair. Both are truly amazing, with moisturizing sea mud that does not weigh down the hair follicle. I swear by both. For a deeper leave-in treatment, their Repair lotion is the bomb. Combined with the Repair Shampoo, you'll have restorative effects on your color-treated and sun-damaged hair. Believe me, this stuff is better than Kerastase. And right now at 20% off all Paul Labrecque products at Trocadero, it's worth it to test out.

Paul Labrecque's styling products are also superb. Just look at this month's In Style that featured both his Shine Spray and his Humidity Control Hair Mist.
I'm in love with his Curly Style Hair Gel as it really brings out some of the natural wave in my locks. And for a versatile product for short (for guys too!) and long, layered hair, you can't go wrong with the Paul Labrecque Daily Finish Matte Pomade. It has the awesome sea mud formulation like his mud conditioners and it smells so good. I can't get enough! I highly recommend you take advantage of the special hair care savings. And then let us know what you think of the products. Are they worth every penny? We want to know!

Another hair care and beauty deal is going on with our Ole Henriksen products as well. Now thru the end of the month, buy one Ole Henriksen product and get another one for 1/2 off. We're in the midst of streamlining our beauty lines at Trocadero so we need to make room for the new products that will be lining our shelves come fall. Stay tuned to see what we have in store.

And lastly, we are offering a 30% discount on our SPF skin care products. That means our wild rose skin cream from Korres, Malin+Goetz SPF 30 face lotion and Korres watermelon face cream.

Isn't it time to treat yourself to some bargain treatments?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Postcards from Doha

So I've been living in the Doha for a month now, and I never could have predicted what I've experienced. Besides the lack of women, and the women you do see are completely covered up with abayas, the constant construction/sandstorms and the bizarre driving tendencies (last week I drove by a truck going backwards on the interstate) I love the shocking differences of this culture. Accessories are big here because women are covered up all the time. The difference is is that here they are way into brands (logos), which I think is kind of tacky. Just because you have latest Louis Vuitton logo handbag doesn't mean you're fashionable. But that's just my personal opinion. The women sure know how to dress though—seeing their platform shoes and jewelry peaking out from under their black abayas along with their perfectly painted nails and blown out hair is breathtaking (spa culture is also big here). Shopping malls are everywhere and the temperatures are so hot now (the average is around 108 degrees Fahrenheit) that most people either leave the country or spend all day indoors. Since I have to practice modesty (covered shoulders and nothing more than two inches above the knee) I've been wearing lots of T-shirt dresses with leggings, along with my Matt Bernson Flash sandal. The top ways I've been fighting the heat (I break a sweat walking across the street to get coffee) are....
1. Using aloe vera instead of face moisturizer. It soaks right in and doesn't sweat off.
2. Eating watermelon! It gets really old chugging water all the time here, and produce here is really cheap. It costs about $5 for a giant melon.
3. This white top from American Apparel. I layer it over my tank tops and the armpits are baggy enough for maximum airflow. 
Besides the extreme heat, it's just nice to know that my stereotype of the Middle East as a war driven, uber-conservative out of touch place is way wrong. I feel like an American idiot. I'm even going to try and stay after my internship ends at the end of August. I really want to see the Tribeca Film Festival in November. We'll see what happens...I'll keep you posted. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Let's remember these style icons.

This is Miss Marie blogging for the first time and even though I'd rather have my first blog for TrocTalk be about more uplifting pieces, I realize this is a great opportunity to touch base on what the passing of Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson has brought to the fashion community.

Whether it was Farrah's gorgeous locks and smile or Michael's white glove, pegged pants and stark white socks, they all left a very strong impression with us. Not only will these individuals leave a lasting legacy in the acting and music industry, but they will forever be an inspiration for generations to come. This is Trocadero's tribute to them and how they forever changed our fashion outlook.
Farrah's signature style was obviously her feathered locks. Above, Whitney Port and Paris Hilton pay homage to her iconic 70's-hairstyle. You can recreate this style by using some of Trocadero's haircare products from Paul Labrecque, such as the Volume Style Root-Lifting Spray and Daily Finish Matte Pomade.

Michael's Thriller album has him in a sleek, white suit that is not far from what Katy Perry is sporting. Ashley Olsen has the Billie Jean look down to a T. And...let's not forget that iconic red, puffy, leather jacket that Rihanna is rockin'. To get a little bit of the 80's look, try these Marc by Marc Jacobs flats and the Botkier fold over clutch.

All accessories are available at Trocadero.

The Ten...er, Eleven...Tastiest Burgers You'll Find

Summer is my favorite season, no questions asked. Not only is the weather usually fantastic and school out, but also the food that comes with is by far the best. Being quite a 'foodie' myself (I watch the Food Network for fun and started cooking my family dinner at age 11), I've come to love the cuisine of summer more than any other. Amidst all the hearty barbeque and refreshing popsicles stands one of the most iconic, delicious, and American foods there is... the burger. The New York Times just wrote a story called "The Elements of an Ideal Burger" and we think it's perfect timing. For a quest that proves both entertaining and tasty, we at the Troc have decided to scope out what we think are the best burgers in Omaha. So, I'll start us off with Trocadero's number 10 pick...

# 10. King Kong's Double Cheeseburger - Even though most chain restaurants' burgers are below-average on the taste and appearance scale, King Kong has made a name for themselves with their awesome cheeseburgers. They're put on the grill the second you order them and cooked to perfection. Though it's served with standard toppings, this burger goes above and beyond Mickey D's any day. Various locations.

#9. The Mattress Factory's Bluejay Burger - This burger is made from 100% Black Angus Beef and is topped with 100% quality ingredients. From bleu cheese crumbles, to cracked black pepper, to caramelized onions, the Bluejay Burger is the closest thing to a delightful 'gourmet' burger you'll find downtown. 501 N 13th Street. Phone: 346-9116.

#8. Burger Star's Angus Star Burger - Despite the fact that this burger comes from another nation-wide restaurant, they only have one location in Omaha, so it isn't quite as common. The restaurant has a ton of fresh, free toppings that are available to the customers. Just ask for the Angus star, add the condiments you prefer, and in the time it takes you to say "Burger Star"... there's one tasty burger at your fingertips. 1222 S 71st Street. Phone: 333-7827.

#7. Applebee's Cowboy Burger - The Cowboy Burger at Applebee's stands out to us because it's topped with a crunchy onion ring and slathered in BBQ sauce. I wouldn't even begin to ask for more taste in a burger, but they provide it anyway. Cooked to your liking and served on a toasted bun, this burger satisfies way more than just cowboys. Various locations.

#6. M's Pub Lamb Burger - This juicy ground lamb burger with hints of rosemary and thyme served with a side of Dijon mustard is sure to please any palate. The unique spices and condiments inside this burger keep us coming back for more each time we venture down Howard Street to M's. 422 S 11th Street. Phone: 342-2550.

#5. The 801 Chophouse's Happy Hour Sliders - Move over, White Castle. For just one dollar each, these mini burgers are an excellent deal from 4-6, Monday thru Friday. Using the finest cut of meat with hand-crafted buns, they're the ultimate treat in a bite-size portion. So, order as many as you like. 1403 Farnam Street. Phone: 341-1222.

#4. Louie M's Burger Lust Burgers - As a recommendation from my Father, I trust that the burgers at Louie M's live up to high standards. These burgers are available with too many toppings to count, served in any style you want, and always made-to-order. Especially juicy, large, and appealing, I now know why it's Louie's true burger to lust for. 1718 Vinton Street. Phone: 449-9112.

And tied for the #4 spot, Dario's Brasserie Cheeseburger - The French aren't exactly known for their spectacular burgers, but French brasserie, Dario's, takes one heck of a shot. Their house cheeseburger impresses us with its full flavor and crispy bite. It's topped with pickles, lettuce, tomato and a special sauce that makes it tres magnifique. 4920 Underwood Avenue. Phone: 933-0799.

#3. Twisted Cork Burger - This locally owned bistro is run by ex-"Seattle-ites" and who knew their Pacific Northwest background would prepare them for a unique burger primed for an Omahan's appetite? With a combination of pork shoulder and flat iron steak with white cheddar and served on a brioche bun, this isn't your ordinary burger. Maybe that's why it was named on the Food Network's 50 Best Burgers in the U.S. by master restauranteur Bobby Flay. 10730 Pacific Street. Phone: 932-1300.

#2. Dinker's Single Patty with Cheese - From the outside (and the inside for that matter), it looks like any other dive bar. But who knew, except for the large sign outside that states "Omaha's Best Burger," that a specialty of the house is indeed the various kinds of hamburgers and cheeseburgers. A nice, sized cut of beef flavored by the griddle has a perfect combo of juicy bits with some grease (the best part). Some of us thinks it is indeed Omaha's best burger. 2368 S. 29th Street. Phone: 342-9742.

#1. Stella's Bacon Cheeseburger with Fried Egg - When we heard about this joint in Bellevue that claimed to be one of the best burgers in Omaha, we were ready to take it to the test. While we expected a dive bar, it was in fact a cute little eatery that served up its pride and joy...on a paper napkin. No plate necessary, as you'll quickly gobble up your burger with all its fixin's. With excellent onion rings and french fries (and RC Cola), you'll truly have one most memorable meal. 106 S. Galvin Rd. Phone: 291-6088.