Fashionable Friend Friday Emily McElwreath

This week’s Fashionable Friend Friday is Emily McElwreath. Emily is equipped with over seventeen years of experience as an adviser, independent curator, and art educator; she also boasts a background in sales. Thanks to her time as Director of Communications and Education at the Brant Foundation Art Study Center, Emily demonstrates the unique ability to understand the art world from both the point of view of the artist and the audience. This skill is continually perfected through extensive involvement in art education: throughout her career, Emily has organized multiple programs, lectures, and panels, featuring distinguished artists, on university campuses and leading NYC venues, in addition to lecturing herself at Sotheby’s Education. Emily has worked on blockbuster exhibitions including Andy Warhol, Julian Schnabel, and Nate Lowman at The Brant Foundation, as well as lecturing at top NYC museums including The Whitney and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Most recently, Emily has curated multiple exhibitions with leading emerging artists and is now the host and CEO of The Art Career Podcast. Building relationships with artists continues to be Emily’s main focus, frequenting studio visits, connecting artists with collectors, and building partnerships within the art community. With an MA from Purchase College in Art History with a Concentration in Contemporary Art Criticism and an Art Business Certification from Christie’s Education, Emily McElwreath possesses the diverse, real-world experience and formal academic training.

McElwreath Art Advisory is a full-service firm that provides guidance and assistance to art collectors through a comprehensive list of services. Whether the goal is to acquire a single work, build a collection or add to an existing one we do so through an educated exploration of the art market.  We are uniquely positioned to invigorate the advisory market with a new approach to arts patronage and love to work with individuals and corporations who appreciate being a part of the cultural conversation. Our mission is to promote the work of living artists through interdisciplinary collaboration, institutional partnerships, and most importantly, acquisitions.

Want to learn and be inspired by the leading art professionals who are shaping our culture? The Art Career Podcast is a space-breaking barriers by letting you sit in on candid, straightforward conversations with leaders in visual arts, writing, music, theatre, and film. Join New York-based advisor, curator, and overall artist advocate, Emily McElwreath, for authentic and inspirational conversations with icons of our generation like Cheryl Strayed, Jerry Saltz, and Marilyn Minter. Emily dives deep into topics like self-development, career trajectories, mental health, social justice, and the artists that have changed our lives. Expand your journey through the arts and feel empowered about what you do. Subscribe to The Art Career wherever you find podcasts.

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Creative Cooking with Chef Rajni

I was lucky enough to be able to sit down with Chef Ranjni and ask her a few questions about her private chef experiences and how she can come to you!!! Please visit @creativerajni for more information or to contact.

What inspired you to become a chef?

I have always loved cooking right from a very young age. I had always been helping my grandma in the kitchen as well while she prepared her outstanding and laborious meals. After I came to the US, I pursued my other interests in fashion while my son was growing up. My passion was still cooking. My favorite shows are the cooking videos on the food network and cooking channels. I was really inspired by the stylish plating by Chef Jean Georges. I had the opportunity to work at a Jean Georges restaurant as well as meet the amazing Chef De Cuisine-Chef Ron and meet the Michelin star chef Jean Georges himself. That was my ultimate inspiration – meeting Chef Jean Georges. I went to the Institute of Culinary Education for fine dining. I decided to combine my fashion and cooking through my intimate and elevated private dinners for small groups of 12 max. Hence Creativerajni was born. I create a 3 course stylish, S.indian-inspired plated dinner service in the comfort of your home. 
Another inspiration for my cooking classes is to inspire and help orphans in my hometown Kerala.

Explain Indian cooking?  Does your cooking come from a specific region or area?

India is a vast country and the cuisine is very different in different areas. Indian cuisine is very eclectic. Indian cooking uses a ton of fresh herbs and spices in the cuisine and has an array of deep-fried snacks, sauces, rice dishes, flatbreads, vegetarian dishes, and flavorful meat, and fish dishes. 
My roots are from the Southern tip of India from a state named Kerala- also called the Land of Coconuts. Kerala cuisine uses coconut in all different forms along with the herb curry leaf.  Cooking from this region is my inspiration since it brings in a different flavor profile than in the north plus a variety of vegan options as well. My cooking is based on flavors from Kerala. 

How do you choose the dishes on your menu?

The dishes on my menu are South Indian inspired. I take an authentic dish from the south and I bring in the flavors from that dish to the dishes here. I also make sure that I adjust the heat level so that everybody can actually taste the food. I also bring in seasonal veggies onto my menu. 

What would you say is your signature dish?

My signature dish is Spiced Chicken in a beet coconut milk sauce and curry leaves which has a ton of flavor from the roasted whole spices, curry leaves as well as coconut milk. It is my son’s favorite and I have been making it for quite a long time.

What 3 kitchen tools can you not live without?

I can never leave behind my chef’s knife from Tokyo, Japan. The second would be my spice box which has the basic spices for my cooking. Thirdly – I love to use my kitchen scissors while preparing meat or fish dishes.

Do all Indian dishes have to be spicy? 

A huge No. Indian dishes can be catered to everybody. The dishes can be prepared with amazing spices for flavor without the heat. The flavor is what the dish needs which can be enhanced with fresh herbs like fresh curry leaves & cilantro, variery of whole spices, coconut milk, tangy flavor from tamarind and so forth. 

What is your least favorite dish to make?

I love to cook everything. What I would say is that I learned to cook beef later since I grew up eating mostly veggies and fish. I love to cook vegetarian dishes but am happy to make anything according to the taste profile.

What is your favorite?

My absolute favorite is the Vegan crepe called Dosa filled with seasoned potato mash and a side of green coconut chutney and shallot lentil stew with tamarind also called Sambhar. The crepe batter is fermented for a day or two after grinding it. It’s a delicious vegan dish and I would totally eat it in the morning, noon, or night. I love it very much.

Do you experiment with seasonal dishes?

Yes, I do. Love experimenting with seasonal veggies. I do love going to the farmers markets to get fresh locally sourced produce and would test using them. I’m planning to source organic Indian vegetables from a local farm and will be including these on my upcoming menu. More details to follow.

When you are not cooking Indian food what is your other favorite food to cook?

I love to cook Italian or French. Love making pasta salads, pasta bakes, Chicken/Eggplant parmigiana. With fresh cuisine, love to make savory and sweet crepes, buttered carrots(so delicious), gratin dauphinoise (Potato gratin)

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Essential Home Upgrades for Clean Air and Water

Welcome homeowner! Did you know that many homeowners often ignore the significance of clean air and water in their homes? 

This can lead to a variety of health issues, including respiratory problems, skin irritation, and more. As a homeowner in Concord, it’s essential to prioritize upgrades that can improve your home’s air and water quality. 

This article will discuss essential upgrades you can make to ensure your family breathes clean air and drinks safe water. By implementing these upgrades, you’ll create a healthier home environment that benefits you and your loved ones.

Upgrading Water Quality

Upgrading water quality is a crucial aspect of maintaining a healthy home environment. Interestingly, according to Plumbing Solutions experts, neglecting plumbing maintenance can drastically affect the quality of water in your home. 

Outdated pipes and fixtures can contaminate the water with harmful chemicals and bacteria, leading to health problems for you and your family. Installing a water filtration system is a simple and effective solution to improve water quality. 

Regular plumbing maintenance can also help prevent leaks and clogs, leading to water damage and even spreading bacteria in the air through choked drains. It’s important to take action to ensure your family has access to safe, clean water by upgrading your plumbing and investing in a water filtration system. 

Upgrading Air Quality

Inadequate air quality can lead to a variety of health problems, such as allergies, asthma, headaches, and respiratory issues. To improve air quality, it’s important to invest in air purification systems, proper ventilation, and the use of natural cleaning products. 

Air purification systems such as HEPA filters can help remove harmful particles and contaminants from the air, while proper ventilation and air circulation can prevent stagnant air and mold growth. Using natural cleaning products can reduce the amount of toxic chemicals in the air, improving indoor air quality. These upgrades are especially important for those with respiratory issues or weakened immune systems.

Upgrading Energy Efficiency

Upgrading your home’s energy efficiency is good for the environment and benefits the quality of air and water in your home. By properly insulating and sealing your home, you can prevent air leaks that contribute to poor air quality and allow pollutants and allergens to enter your home. 

It can also reduce harmful emissions released into the air, further improving air quality. Additionally, by using renewable energy sources such as solar panels, you can diminish your carbon imprint and support a cleaner environment. Upgrading to energy-efficient appliances and properly insulating your home can also reduce energy bills, saving you money in the long run. 

Bottom Line 

Investing in essential home upgrades for clean air and water can create healthy and secure living conditions for you and your loved ones. Don’t wait until it’s too late to prioritize these upgrades – having the right promotions at the right time can help maintain your home’s and its occupants’ health. From upgrading your plumbing and air quality to improving energy efficiency, taking action now can prevent health problems and save you money in the long run. Make these upgrades a priority, and enjoy the benefits of a healthy and comfortable home.

Braised to Perfection: How to Cook Lamb Shanks with Rich Flavour

Lamb shanks are among the most flavourful cuts of meat, with a rich and robust taste perfect for braising – a method that involves slow-cooking meat in liquid until it is tender and flavourful. Braising can bring out its natural flavour and create a mouthwatering dish for this meat cut.

However, amateur cooks might need help trying to cook this popular dish. But with a few tips, one can quickly create a delicious dish by modifying a popular recipe or following it down the wire.

Here’s what newbies must learn about braising this sought-after meat cut correctly.

Selecting the Right Shanks

Look for meaty and well-trimmed shanks with a good amount of fat marbling. They should match in size so they cook evenly. Additionally, it is vital to consider the age of the lamb. Younger ones will be more tender and have a milder flavour, while older variants will be more flavourful but may require longer cooking times.

Preparing them

Before you start braising, there are a few steps to follow to prepare the meat. Firstly, season them generously with salt and pepper, which will help enhance their natural flavours. Depending on your inclination, add other herbs and spices to the seasoning mix, such as rosemary, thyme, or garlic.

Next, sear them in a hot pan with a bit of oil. Searing will create a crust on the outside of the meat, which will help to lock in the juices and add flavour. Once the pieces are browned evenly, remove them from the pan and set aside.

Braising Process

You will need a large pot or Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid to braise the meat correctly. Add aromatics like onions, carrots, and celery to the pot and sauté them until soft. Then, add the meat pieces back to the pot, along with additional herbs or spices.

Pour in enough liquid to cover the meat. This could be water, beef, chicken broth, or a combination. Bring it to a simmer, cover the pot and place it in the oven. Cook the meat in the oven for several hours until it is tender and falling off the bone.

The specific cooking time will depend on the size of the pieces and the temperature of your oven. Generally, it will take two to three hours at 350°F (180°C).

A Quick Recipe

Beginners can use a simple recipe for cooking lamb shanks incorporating red wine and balsamic vinegar to add depth and richness to the flavour and rosemary for a fragrant herbal note.


4 lamb shanks

2 tbsp olive oil

2 onions, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

4 carrots, chopped

4 stalks celery, chopped

2 cups red wine

2 cups beef broth or chicken stock

½ cup balsamic

You can follow the above steps to prepare the meat and cook it with the other ingredients, ensuring you have the most delicious dish ever. You can also boil the liquid, reduce it until it thickens to your desired consistency, and add seasonings or herbs to make a sauce.

An Online Guide Can Help

You can find various recipes, cooking tips, and information on different cuts of meat and their best preparation methods online. These resources are dedicated to all things food and offer a wealth of information for experienced cooks and beginners.

With some research and experimentation, you can discover new techniques and flavours to create delicious and satisfying meals. Therefore, feel free to try new things and explore the world of cooking with the assistance of expert advice.

VL CEPHER for Mother’s Day

VL. Cepher is a contemporary fine jewelry house created by mother and daughter Rachel Fogel and Niva Benzino.

Upending the traditional for a new take on a classic, the house examines the delicate balance of precision and pattern to deliver subtle sophistication, impeccable details, and uncompromising quality.

Effortless and versatile, each piece is designed for how the modern woman lives and dresses – architected to be worn every day for every occasion.


-Nawal El Saadawi

Click on any image below to shop!

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Tips For Upgrading Your Bathroom

The bathroom is one of the most essential spaces in a home. It is where you spend time keeping yourself clean, getting ready, and doing parts of self-care. Hence its maintenance and makeover are particularly important.

Bathroom remodels can cost you anything between $6,622 to $16,744, with a national average of $11,365 — about $70 to $250 per square foot. In Oklahoma City, prices can go up to $37,900 depending on what you aim for and the materials you choose, so expect to pay something substantially higher than the national average, even for the bare minimum.

Also, as the property prices in the City continue to grow, small upgradation moves in the houses, especially in bathrooms, can significantly increase the value of a property because buyers are often attracted to homes with modern bathrooms. 

So, if you’re also considering upgrading your bathroom, here are some helpful tips:

  1. Invest in quality bathroom fixtures

Bathrooms equipped with modern fixtures, stylish designs, and energy-efficient features transform the space’s overall look. Always invest in high-quality fixtures that are built to last. Choose faucets, showerheads, and other fixtures made from durable materials so they don’t get damaged or rust too soon. 

Consider your bathing preferences when selecting a bathtub or shower. Freestanding tubs, walk-in showers, or combination tub-shower units are popular choices. The drought in Oklahoma has made several residents complain about low shower pressure in the city, so consider shower replacement for better pressure. You can shop around for options for shower replacement in Oklahoma City and purchase something that fits the design you’re aiming for with the remodel. Getting professional help will save you a lot of hassle and thought as they custom-craft solutions for revamping your space. 

  1. Select appropriate lighting

Proper lighting is also essential in the bathroom. Consider natural lighting options like skylights or windows if feasible. This makes the entire space more spacious and bright. But if natural light is not an option, use a combination of ambient, task, and accent lighting to create a well-lit space.

While figuring out the lightning options, always consider energy-efficient options like LED bulbs and install dimmer switches for added flexibility. Combining these lighting aspects allows you to create a beautifully illuminated bathroom that meets both your practical and aesthetic needs.

  1. Choose flooring and wall materials

Select flooring and wall materials that are durable, water-resistant, and visually appealing. Ceramic tiles, porcelain, or vinyl are popular choices for bathroom floors, while options like ceramic tiles, waterproof wallpaper, or moisture-resistant paint work well for the walls.

The best part about these materials is that they are easy to clean and maintain. Using ceramic tiles for walls adds a practical and stylish element, offering excellent water resistance and protection against moisture. 

  1. Upgrade to a quality toilet

Invest in a quality toilet that offers both comfort and water efficiency. Look for options with dual-flush mechanisms, soft-close lids, and advanced flushing technology for a clean, eco-friendly toilet experience. Be sure to buy something that doesn’t clog very often.

  1. Incorporate smart home technology:

Consider integrating smart home technology into your bathroom. Install motion sensor lighting that automatically activates when you enter the bathroom, providing instant illumination without the need to fumble for light switches. Similarly, voice-controlled devices can also bring a lot of oomph to your bathroom space as they allow you to control lighting and temperature and even play music with simple voice commands.

Programmable shower systems are also a great way to set and control water temperature, flow, and even pre-programmed shower routines, ensuring a personalized and comfortable bathing experience.

  1. Consider DIY options for simple upgrades

You may take the DIY route for smaller upgrades and cosmetic changes. There are so many ideas, from painting the walls to adding accessories like shelves or a new mirror can often be accomplished with basic tools and some guidance from online tutorials or home improvement books.

The good thing about DIY projects is that they allow you to have more control over the design of your space and enable you to give it a personal touch. However, it’s important to be realistic about your skills and limitations. Take the time to research and plan your project thoroughly to ensure you have the necessary tools, materials, and skills. 

  1. Ensure compliance with building codes and permits

If you’re opting for major structural changes, familiarize yourself with local building codes and regulations before starting. Determine if permits are required for the planned upgrades. Non-compliance can lead to fines or complications in the future. Consult with professionals or contact your local building department authority to ensure you meet all requirements.

  1. Choose stylish and functional accessories

Select stylish accessories that enhance your bathroom’s aesthetic appeal and functionality. Consider items such as towel bars, soap dispensers, toothbrush holders, and shower caddies that align with your design style and provide practical solutions for storage and organization.

  1. Install mirrors for the illusion of more space

Mirrors not only serve a functional purpose, but they also create an illusion of more space in smaller bathrooms. Install a large mirror or a series of mirrors to reflect light and make the room appear larger and more open. Experiment with different shapes and frames to add a touch of style to the space.

  1. Add greenery and natural elements

Introduce greenery and natural elements to bring life and freshness to your bathroom. Choose plants that thrive in moist environments, such as ferns or bamboo, and place them strategically around the room.

Along with that, incorporating natural materials can enhance the organic feel of the space. Consider using seashells, pebbles, or driftwood to create a coastal or spa-like ambiance. You can use seashells as decorative accents, arrange pebbles in a vase or tray, or incorporate wooden accents through wall-mounted shelves or vanity countertops. 

  1. Personalize the bathroom with artwork and décor

Add a personal touch to your bathroom by incorporating artwork and décor that reflects your style and interests. Hang framed prints, photographs, or paintings that resonate with you. Consider adding decorative elements like scented candles, decorative baskets, or unique shower curtains to infuse personality into the space.


Upgrading your bathroom is an opportunity to create a functional, stylish, and environmentally conscious space. By making small changes, you can upgrade the entire look of your bathroom. For this, you can hire professionals who help you set up the entire space or do it yourself using DIY solutions. With attention to detail and thoughtful planning, your bathroom upgrade can create a beautiful oasis that enhances your daily routine and adds value to your home.