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Hello 2018

Alison Pegg

Some 2018 Goals

I wasn’t really sure I wanted to write something like this this year but after reading Grace’s post at The Stripe it inspired me to put keys on a keyboard and express some thoughts.

To be honest, I’m not really sure how I feel about 2017 at this point. For all of the anxiety I felt from the political and social state of the world, I balanced that with travel and discovery, and even managed to check off a bucket list too. I’ll have more peace about 2017 in the coming weeks, but I guess it wasn’t THAT bad.

For 2018, I’m not really sure if the thoughts below are final goals for the year, but that’s something I’m 100 percent okay with. These are just goals that I want to look back and hold myself accountable to, some things that are quasi-public to try and stick to.  

Here goes….

  1. Express Myself // Thoughts of self-expression have been running through my head for the last couple weeks.  I lost myself heavily in my job in November and December, and I think that’s why I’ve been looking for an outlet for me, something I can give myself to. I'm not sure what form this self-expression will take, whether it's in the form of this corner of the internet or another visual or audible medium remains to be seen, but all I know is it's time to give more to me, instead of the alternative. 
  2. Fall in love with a new band // Right now I couldn’t be more stoked for Justin Timberlake’s new album and tour (SO EXCITED!). But it’s been awhile since I’ve discovered an artist that I’ve loved, regardless of when they started on the music scene. Getting lost in a new voice and a new point of view for the first time is something I can’t wait for.
  3. Get out of the country // For good? Probably not. Lately, I’ve been craving culture and diversity and itching to experience both outside of the comfort of the English language. I want to eat like a local, experience art and music in another language, and most of all, just take in the sights, sounds and feeling of a new place.
  4. Nurture my girl squad // One of the greatest treats in 2017 that I was privileged to experience was placement in a women-only peer group full of support and candidness. I forgot the power of positive female relationships, ones that uplift, inspire, and provide so much support. This year I want to continue to practice what I’ve learned from these female relationships and lead others to do the same.
  5. Spend more time in nature // There’s something magical about nature’s air, from the way it invigorates and refreshes, and relaxes and uplifts. Every time I spend even as little as an hour in nature, I always seem to ask my self, “why don’t I do this more often?” This year, it’s time to let nature feed my soul.

Are these it? Who knows. But it feels good to get the above goals out there and work towards achieving them over the next 300 or so days. 

Met Gala Faves

Alison Pegg


It's the first Monday in May and the most important red carpet of the year. 

Yep, we're talking about the Met Gala, the signature event to support the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This year's honoree, Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garcons, has the distinct honor of being the institute's first ever living honoree, an honor that couldn't be more deserved considering the art and sculpture she produces. 

My red carpet faves all have something in common this year - they dressed for the theme. From the riskier sculptural pieces to the avant-garde, and the exquisite detail on Rei's signature black and red, guests who dressed the theme this year were fewer than normal. This year, more than most, it seemed that the dresses quite frankly had nothing to do with the actual fashion theme, and more to do with the flashbulbs the celebrity invitees were trying to induce.

So without further ado, here are my favorite looks from this year's Met Gala. 

Tracee Ellis Ross


Kerry Washington


Gigi Hadid


Kate Bosworth and Zoey Deutch

Joan Smalls

Hailee Steinfeld

Michelle Monaghan

Ruth Negga

The A List: March

Alison Pegg

So I guess this series is officially a monthly favourties now? I'll take it!

Here's a look a what I've been loving this past month in fashion, food, beauty, home and entertainment.


This month was all about accessories for me, getting together my shoe and sunglasses games together for traveling and spring. And because I couldn’t resist, I also picked up a great top that can go from office to night out in a cinch. I’ve been looking to pick up a pair of mules since the holidays, but because the style is so trendy, I knew I didn’t want to spend too much money on a pair. (And the $600 Gucci’s are out of my price range). The shape of these from ASOS are fantastic, they cover lots of the foot, don’t have too many embellishments, and don’t look like a cheap knockoff of something much higher end. And the ASOS premium leather is SO comfy - I'll be wearing these all spring. Another find I’ll be wearing all spring are these QUAY sunglasses, the rose gold and mirrored lenses are super trendy, yet they’re so darn fun I can’t take them off. Speaking of fun, add this Topshop blouse to the top of my spring rotation, it’s the perfect to style for the office (black pencil skirt and heels) or a night on the town (black jeans and sandals). But be forewarned, tacos and bell sleeves aren’t a pretty pair - I might have learned the hard way. =)


I’m sad to admit that outside of my trip to D.C. I didn’t branch out too far this month for my foodie fix. It’s easy to blame the weather (so I will), but I did manage to visit two of my local faves, both who are great for a quick grab and go. My first stop was Si Senor’s new Grandview location, an opening I was so excited for that I went the second day it was open. This is the Latin American sandwich shop’s second Columbus location, a location I'm thrilled is within walking distance of my house. Their sandwiches are second to none in the city, but it's their pasta salad with cilantro cream that might be their best item on the menu. So so good. My next, more frequent, stop was the Hill’s Market Downtown, one of my favorite places to pick up a quick lunch during the work week. Their prepared salads are fantastic, their sandwich and hot bar delicious, but it’s perusing the aisles for their local treats that I love the most. And with an excellent wine selection, you can grab a bottle on your way to post-work get-togethers. I’m so spoiled it's so close to the office. Speaking of after-work libations, my last foodie favorite is one that’s perfect for the warming temps. Every time I head north to Toronto, Dillion’s Distillery has become a must-stop on the way to the city. Located almost halfway between Buffalo and Toronto, the distillery not only produces some pretty original spirits, it's also an Instagrammers dream. My current fave? Their rose gin, perfect on ice with a splash of tonic for the warmer temps.  (Hills Market image via)


What I love about my beauty faves this month is that all three of my picks I randomly stumbled upon while searching for something else. Example number 1: After wandering into a Walgreen’s to pick up some cold medicine (stupid March temps) I did a fly by of the beauty aisle because I couldn’t resist. This Rimmel bronzer randomly stood out on a featured display, with just a great no-nonsense bronzer without any shimmer. It’s perfect for adding a little warmth to my features, and way less severe than my other bronzer which I use as a contour. Example number 2: One of my all-time favorite stores is & Other Stories, and when I get the opportunity to visit one in person, I cherish it. On my last trip to DC, I happened upon their newish store in Georgetown, complete with a HUGE beauty section. After I was done drooling over Stories’ amazing shoe and bag department, I stumbled by the beauty aisles and snagged this duo blusher, the most perfect “pop of color” coral you could ask for. Example number 3: there’s not a week that goes by that I’m not browsing ASOS’ site - I love their fashion basics that just have that “it” factor. And since ASOS is like any other online retailer with their shipping policies, I’m often looking for small, inexpensive items to qualify my order for expedited shipping. My go-to department for these items is the beauty department, because they carry hard-to-find European and Korean brands, often at a super affordable price. My latest order “qualifier” is this Nip & Fab bee-sting fix lifting mask, which not only visibly plumps up my skin after I remove it, but leaves it amazingly soft. So soft, it's almost creepy how much I want to touch it, which of course means I love it. 


Is it me or is network tv just kind of “meh” right now? (Sorry, I don’t have HBO). Lately when it comes to my entertainment options, I’ve been looking for options outside of the big four networks, unless it is my beloved Saturday Night Live. In an era of tired tv jokes and even scarier tv news, SNL has become appointment tv for me, with Weekend Update a much-needed highlight after the events of the week. Speaking of funny people, my other comedian crush (after Colin Jost) Trevor Noah’s Netflix special was freaking FANTASTIC. His international background provides so much perspective personally to me, and his jokes are so smart compared to some of his peers. Plus who can resist jokes about drinking in Scotland? Not even the Scots. And lastly, in keeping with the British theme, I can’t stop listening to Ed Sheerhan’s latest record over and over. Castle in the Wind still remains a favorite of mine (and was featured on a previous playlist), and I’m obsessed with Save Myself. I can’t wait for his live show here in Columbus in October. 


To throw out an overused word, this month has been all about the hygge for me. Between traveling, nursing a cold, and the overall March blah’s, I haven’t been doing much on the home front around my place and was more interested in being cozy and comfy than anything else. There’s no better way to cuddle up than under a great throw, and I’ve been eyeing these from Province of Canada for quite some time. One of my favorite Canadiana brands, I love how sleek these throws look, in a simple dark gray streamlined pattern. Adding to the gray/streamlined theme, while in DC I spotted these concrete candle holders from CB2, they’re the perfect traditional and modern hybrid, perfect for my bookshelf or table. I just wish I would’ve bought them then, turns out they’re only available in-store (#wompwomp). To round out the hygge-ness that was my month, this Cedar Stack candle from Boy Smells added the perfect smell of cozy after I tired of the balsam smells left over from winter. And the black glass holder looked great glowing on my tv console. 

The easiest banana bread recipe

Alison Pegg

PSA: I won’t, and never will, proclaim to be an avid chef or baker in my lifetime.

Yes, I love the comfort of a home cooked meal at my house or the smells of a fresh baked confection almost ready to come out of the oven. 

But I’m also a career woman who has the luxury of not always having to be at home, allowing me to indulge in trying the latest restaurants, bakeries and other food destinations that pop-up in town. So in my long list of life ambitions, food blogger/restauranteur probably isn't going to make an entrance on my CV.

Another life ambition that has been a constant struggle bus for me is eating enough fruits and vegetables before they go bad. And no fruit turns nasty faster than the beloved banana. I’ve shared previously how I love to freeze them once they go off, and I’m back with another recipe to share when the frozen ones start to take over the freezer. 

This banana bread recipe is everything you want a banana bread to be, moist, flavorful and beyond easy to make (the buttermilk is key). And since the recipe makes two loaves, it's super easy to cut in half or even easier to gift your friends or neighbor with a loaf of their own. 

Adapted from this recipe from Betty Crocker.

The Easiest Banana Bread Recipe


1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed very ripe bananas (3 to 4 medium)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon 


  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottoms only of 2 loaf pans, 8 1/2x4 1/2x2 1/2 inches. (I used a toaster over to bake this!)
  2. Mix sugar and butter in large bowl. Stir in eggs until well blended. Add bananas, buttermilk, and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Stir in flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon just until moistened. Pour into pans. (I baked these one at a time in the toaster oven.)
  3. Bake loaves about 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Loosen sides of loaf from pan; remove from pan and place top side up on wire rack. Cool completely, about 2 hours, before slicing. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature up to 4 days, or refrigerate up to 10 days.

The A List: February

Alison Pegg

Awhile ago when I was attempting to post weekly to this site, I had the ambitious idea to try and post a weekly list of favorites, my A List of sorts.

Talk about an ambitious undertaking and one which was ultimately doomed to fail (it did). You see, sometimes life comes at us faster than we anticipated, and for every week full of new experiences and new inspiration, sometimes there’s a week where routine and Netflix are just what the doctor ordered. 

But as you can see from the title of this post, I’m not giving up on trying to be a tastemaker in my own life, I’m just stretching out when I share said tastes with the world. Apologies if you were looking for five seemingly random pieces of pop culture to feast on, instead, I like to think I’ve got my act together a smidgen to share with you my monthly faves in fashion, food, beauty, entertainment, and home. 


In a shocker to no one, all of my fashion picks for this month are black. But ever versatile, there’s no color I'd rather be wearing in the rut of winter than my beloved black.

There’s also no other cut of dress I’d rather wear than a mashup of my two favorite styles - turtleneck and swing.  This dress from ASOS is just that, easy to wear, hides all the flaws, and looks great with everything from sneakers to over the knee boots. 

Similar in their versatility, these Louise et Cie oxfords are perfect for the winter months, the block heels adds just enough height without sacrificing comfort (key for tall girls like me) and the patent finish adds a bit of polish to mix in with the oxford’s hint of masculinity. They’re my vision of the perfect daytime shoe.

My last fashion fave I haven’t even purchased yet, but I’ve had my eye on it for awhile, this grommeted vest from Zara. Knee length vests have become a staple of mine, they’re the perfect non-bulky topper that leans the line of any outfit that I'm wearing. Here I’m loving how the grommet toughens up the look of the vest, while the ribbon tie adds a hint of femininity to bring the toughness down a notch. Consider it added to my shopping cart. 



Brioso image via, Rockmill Tavern image via, Bravo image via 

One of my greatest memories about working across from the Statehouse early in my career was all of the “powerhouse” coffeeshops that were in a five-minute vicinity from the office. You never knew who you’d come across in each of the java houses, but you were always guaranteed to see a power player or two in Cafe Brioso. I was lured into Brioso by the company it attracted, but stayed for two of my favorite coffee concoctions, the Ohio Maple Latte and Honey Vanilla Latte.  Recently to me I’ve noticed Brioso Roastery & Coffee Bar opened up shop on Long St near CCAD and to be honest, I couldn’t be more thrilled. The shop is roomy and open, but stills keeps that cool Brioso vibe regulars have come to love. And just like the good old days, I can walk to Brioso from the office again. 

Likewise as a nod to the good old days, and oldie but goodie happy hour reemerged for me this past month, Bravo.  I used to avoid Bravo’s happy hour like the plague, mostly because on warms days in the past, it’s always been swarming with the judgmental suburban crowd (sorry, not sorry). But after wandering in this past month on a random Tuesday with a friend, I realized the prices and portions really can’t be beat. Cocktails and wines are a steal at five bucks a pop, but it was the food that was the real steal on weeknights. Bravo’s flatbreads are basically the size of a normal pizza and are super cheap, and their meatballs almost rivaled Palle’s in terms of deliciousness. I recommend grabbing a seat at the bar to keep the stuffy out of the experience - an experience I never thought I'd rediscover again. 

From old to knew, this month I also had a chance to try Rockmill Tavern for the first time. Let me just say - I. Get. It.  It being the atmosphere, it being the decor, and of course, it being the CHICKEN SANDWICH. I can totally see why Rockmill is Columbus’ new hotspot, and I’ll definitely be back to try more of the amazingness. 



When I think about beauty during the month of February, I think about moisture, I think about ease, and most importantly I think about fool proof. February is when my skin takes a dive for the barren, my face starts to look a bit dull, and my makeup routine feels a bit monotonous. All three of these products helps to combat one (or all of those).

I stumbled upon Too Faced’s Mascara Melt Off in one of their holiday gifts sets, and never thought to try it until recently. I’m so glad I did. It loosens your mascara after a long day of wear, so you’re not pulling on your lashes when trying to remove it. (Plus, leave it on for more than its recommended minute and you’ll look straight out of a bad romantic comedy with the black around your eyes).

Similarly, after a long day out in the cold, or stuck inside the dry heat of the office, my face starts to tighten and dry up to the point it feels stiff. Sheet masks have been my saving grace during the evenings, and these Korean ones from Donkey Milk are some of my faves. They’re full of hydration to replenish your skin, and the price for a pack can’t be beat . They’re the perfect complement to a night of bad tv. 

The one other fix I rely on during the winter to brighten up my skin is a bright saturated lip color. I'm loving the new Make Up Forever Acrylip lipsticks, they're a lighter and less drying version of my beloved liquid lip versions. Not only is the color payoff great, they're definitely long-lasting and easy to apply with the sponge applicator tip. Plus, the Raspberry Red (#402) is one of the prettiest blue-reds I've come across in awhile. 



To my surprise, this past month was the ten year anniversary of the series finale of The OC. Why was I surprised? Because before I found this out, I've been binging on Season 1 for much of this month. My favorite season of all, the trials and tribulations of the southern California crew still seemed fresh and the banter between Summer and Seth still adorable. Even the beloved Chrismukkah episode was quirky cute, but the same can’t be said for Oliver (still hate the guy). OC 4 EVER.

When not reliving the 2000s, my other favorite piece of television this month has been Blackish, aka the best comedy on tv. Between tackling race, the election, and many more power issues, Blackish balances the tough talk with the hilarious. And while I love the quirky Rainbow, and the crazy evil grandparents (and Diane for that matter), my favorite character trophy has to go to Junior, he just flat out cracks me up. Cheers Blackish, thanks for letting us laugh again.

Even though it has been more of a swimming pool than an ice rink this winter, the Blue Jackets outdoor ice rink is still one of my favorite wintry things to do in Columbus. I love that it was downtown again,  with a view of the skyline while you skate your way around the rink. If you time your visit just right next year (sadly, it's now closed) you can easily find a session that's not too crowded to twirl to your heart's delight. There's literally nothing better skating outdoors during the winter months. 




It's amazing how some products sweep into our lives and we somehow forget we ever lived without them. That’s pretty much how I feel about my Saje diffuser. Not only do I love the aesthetics of it (the sleek black lines!), it’s the immediate place that it takes me to that love the most. A quick couple drops of tranquility before I go to bed every night, and I’m immediately drifting away to dreamworld not to be awoken. Yep, truly a life changer. 

While my diffuser might be a life saver, my One Canoe Two calendar actually helps to keep my life in order. This is the second year in a row that I've relied on this calendar, and what I love most is it’s functional and fashionable. Perched on my side table each month brings a new mini piece of art to my living room, all the while performing one single function that matters most, keeping track of the days ahead. Fashion and function, what a beautiful idea.

The only thing more I could ask for out of a home item than fashion and function is one that gives back to some part of the world. And my Cambie blanket does just that. Purchased as it’s ubiquitous shop on Queen West in my hometown Toronto, these blankets not only look good and keep you warm, they also are eco-friendly and help to lift up artisans in Peru. Every time I see that at the bottom of my bed, I can’t help but smile. 

Last, but definitely not least, my final pick of the month is this Le Labo candle, in fact, it's sitting on my desk next to me at this very moment. It’s the perfect grown-up and room setting smell, not too strong and not too festive. And I love the deconstructed tin that it comes in, it’s a little piece of industrial chic on my otherwise scandi-modern desk.