Excessories Expert

Elizabeth Savetsky

A Guide to Excessive Accessories

Filtering by Category: #GIRLCRUSH

#GIRLCRUSH: The Cook of Love

Annie of WifeLife

Accessorized and Accomplished

There's a new recipe guru on the food blogger scene and if you don't already know about her, you need to.  Annie is the chic chef behind WifeLife, a rapidly growing Instagram account and soon-to-be website.  Her beautifully presented, easy, low-fat recipes not only satisfy every appetite,  but as an expression of her full and happy heart, she inspires her followers to add personal touches that reflect their love and devotion to their families and friends through healthy food. In addition to her crush-worthy kitchen expertise, Annie also happens to be a gorgeous and fashionable excessories devotee who hikes in heels and wore a hot pink floral head wreath on her wedding day! Could we love her any more?

Images from the @_wifelife_ Instagram account

Images from the @_wifelife_ Instagram account


Annie was born and raised in Brooklyn and moved to the Upper East Side when she was 22.  A well-rounded girl of varied interests, she studied marketing and minored in photography and graphic design at Baruch College.  She also dabbled in  classes at various cooking schools including the ICE and the Natural Gourmet Institute throughout high school and college.  After school, she spent 9 successful years with a career in finance, and was the only woman in the whole company at her most recent job.  She recently resigned to focus on expanding WifeLife and devote her time to her loving husband and beautiful 4-month-old son, Teddy.  


Annie has had a passion for the kitchen since she was a young girl.  Even before she was old enough to use the oven, she helped her mom and older sister with the plating and presenting the food.  When she saw how happy her beautiful plates made her family, she felt like she had found her calling. As she got older, Annie took cooking classes, watched the food network regularly, and began hosting dinner parties for her family and friends.  

Falling in love with her husband inspired Annie to turn her passion and hobby into WifeLife.  She says, "He is the greatest man I ever met and he completely changed my life in every way.  Cooking became much more than enjoying the activity, taste, and experience. It is a look into my life as a wife and a family woman, specifically through my cooking.  It is a way of speaking my heart and mind, and showing my love, but on a plate, in a bowl, or in a lunch bag."


There are 2 parts to WifeLife:  the cooking and recipes that Annie creates and lifestyle goals for a happy, healthy, fulfilled life. 

Unlike so many food bloggers that share beautiful photos of their complex recipes that are too time-consuming and complicated for the average person, WifeLife provides simple, delicious recipes filled with accessible and affordable ingredients.  The message is that anyone, from a stay-at-home mom to a working bachelor, can cook a healthy, homemade meal with easy prep and easy clean up that is also pleasing to the eye. 

WifeLife also encourages a healthy and happy lifestyle that provides inspiration to be a loving wife, strong partner, and supportive friend.  Annie says, "It is my mission to take care of my family and make them feel loved and appreciated.  Taking the time and effort to make my husband lunch and write him a sweet note are things that add romance and happiness to both of our lives." A WifeLife is a well-rounded life that makes time for workouts, hobbies, and life's beautiful moments.   

Follow WifeLife on Instagram @_wifelife_  and be on the lookout for the WifeLife website coming soon! It will feature Annie's recipes along with videos, tips, and information about her private classes.

Style Q&A

Describe your style in 3 words:

Feminine- I love everything that makes me feel like a girl and a woman. Dresses, skirts, bows, ruffles, shoes, tights. Everything except for overwhelming sparkles and sequins. My one surprising exception is a long, navy, sequined blazer from Zara.

Sexy- Sexy, but in a beautiful and classy way. I have a rule. Only one article of clothing can be short or tight. I won’t wear a tight crop top with a mini skirt, but I will wear a crop top with a mid length A-line skirt.   

Original- I love to mix and match. I will splurge and buy an expensive top from Barneys but then pair it with a great piece from Century 21. I love to wear bright colors, unusual patterns, and daring pieces.

Who are your personal fashion icons? 

Cher from Clueless and Jackie O

What inspires your style? 

The main thing that inspires my style is nature. I love everything about the beauty of the outdoors and that is reflected in my closet. Bright colors make me feel alive and floral patterns make me feel pretty. My style is not what follows the trend but rather what is timeless and consistent like nature. 

What are a couple of your favorite places to shop? 

One of my favorite designers is Dolce & Gabbana and almost my entire collection is from Century 21! I also absolutely love Betsey Johnson and was heartbroken when her store closed. I bought a bubble gum pink tulle mini dress from Betsey Johnson 6 years ago and I kept it in my closet and swore I would wear it to my bridal shower one day. 6 years later I took the tag off and wore it! 

Three items in your closet you can't live without: 

Chanel ballet flats, a great white button shirt, and my extensive collection of coats

Do you have any style tips for the ladies out there?

ANYONE can pull off ANYTHING! There is no such thing as someone not being able to wear something. Confidence is the most important thing you can wear, no matter what. If I feel like wearing pompoms all over my body then I will. And I have. And i got a lot of compliments that day!

In her coveted Betsey Johnson dress at her bridal shower 

The expectant mama glowing in her favorite floral patterns this past summer

Five Fun Facts

1. Hot Mama: Likes her food very, very spicy and will challenge any takers to a spicy-food-eating contest. 

2. Tree Hugger: Can't live without the mountains, hiking, and camping, but always packs her designer dresses.  Rugged walks in kitten heels led to 3 broken ankles. Yikes! (Our kind of girl!)

3. Old "Sew"l:  Loves to knit and sew and recently made a cashmere navy baby blanket for her baby that he used during his bris. 

4. Walking Woman: Takes her baby for a 3-hour walk in Central Park every day! (Probably in those kitten heels)

5. Adventure Seeker: A travel fanatic who recently spent her 3-week honeymoon in the French Polynesia followed by road-tripping through New Zealand. The day she returns from any trip, she books the next one. 

A WifeLife "ANYTIME" Recipe

Fat Free Baked Egg White Muffins: Serving- 8 Muffins

What you'll need:

  • 8 egg whites
  • 1 zucchini, diced small
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced small
  • 1 small shallot, diced small
  • 1 big handful of baby spinach, chopped small
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • paprika
  • garlic powder

Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until they are fluffy and a little frothy. Season with salt and pepper and whisk a little more. Add all the chopped vegetables and stir together. Season with paprika and garlic powder and any other spices you like such as cayenne pepper for some heat. Spray a muffin tin tray with pam or oil to prevent sticking. With a large spoon, fill each cup with the egg mixture, filling almost to the top but not quite. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 25-30 minutes. Each muffin is equivalent to one egg white.

*Pesach Friendly

For inquiries e-mail itsmywifelife@gmail.com.

#GIRLCRUSH: The Dazzling Dermatologist

Karen Hammerman MD

Accessorized and Accomplished

#GIRLCRUSH is a new section on Excessories Expert featuring crush-worthy gals who are both accessorized and accomplished.  Several ladies come to mind who fit this description, but I couldn't think of a better first #GIRLCRUSH than my good friend, Karen Hammerman. Want to know why?  Keep reading...


Karen was born to two doctor parents and grew up in Great Neck, New York as the eldest of three.  Her parents encouraged her from a very young age to set high goals for personal achievement and professional success.  Her mom told her, "You have two choices: you can be a lawyer or a doctor." She chose the latter.  After earning her undergraduate degree at Barnard, she went on to medical school at Downstate where she also completed her residency in dermatology. She is passionate about "making people feel good about themselves by looking younger."  

She married Jason, the love of her life, and had three sons (James, William, and Brody) back-to-back-to-back all while finishing residency and embarking on her dermatology career at Vanguard Dermatology.  After 10+ years in NYC, she decided to move her beautiful, expanding family back to where her roots were laid.  She lives in a gorgeous home in Great Neck where she enjoys spending downtime with her family and is a fixture in the Jewish community as a volunteer and leader for Shaare Zedek, Colel Chabad, and her local synagogues. 

In addition to her amazing accomplishments, she is never without her fabulous accessories.  This Chanel addict jazzes up her white coat with glittering tights, bangles, and Rockstuds.  Her off-duty wardrobe? Equal parts  girly and glamorous.  

5 Fun Facts

  1. Are You My Mother?:  All three of her sons have blonde hair and blue eyes even though she has dark hair and dark eyes.  
  2. Shopacholic: When growing up, as a punishment for overspending, her dad would clear out her entire closet and leave her with only one dress. 
  3. Fit Fam: She and her husband spend quality time together with Sunday morning gym dates and nightly  "8 Minute Abs" YouTube workouts. 
  4. Karen of All Trades: She is an accomplished tennis player, pianist, and oil-on-canvas painter.  Is there anything she isn't good at? 
  5. Who's the boss?  Anxious to learn the dermatologic profession, she went to work at her mom's practice in high school.  After a week of remedial tasks, she quit. She told her mom she needed to be the boss! 


Describe your style in 3 words:

Girly (tutus and huge bows), Trendy (I will try any trend once!), and Glamorous (love anything with sequins and sparkle!) 

What is your first fashion memory?

I remember falling in love with fashion when my mom and I designed the gown for my bat mitzvah.  She made it the most exciting experience for me. We went to my favorite store, Petit Chic on Central Avenue, and designed my dream dress from scratch with the owner.  It was green tulle and gold lamé with poofy sleeves and shoulder pads--the whole nine yards! It was so fun coming up with fabrics, colors, and styles on my own! 16 years later we did it again, but this time it was on Madison Avenue at Vera Wang for my wedding gown.  I cherish these unforgettable moments with my mom!  

What is your favorite excessive accessory? 

My first Chanel bag. Although my collection is growing (I'm an ADDICT), I will never forget my first. It is the small-medium black caviar leather with gold hardware and is so timeless and classic and it goes perfectly with everything.  

Where are your favorite places to shop?

I love ASOS because they make it so easy to shop. It comes so quickly and they have free shipping AND free returns. Since I have so little time these days, I do most of my shopping online.  If I do make it to a store, it's Bloomingdales.  They have everything and I count down to their Friends and Family promotions. 

What goes through your mind when you get dressed in the morning?

Mainly comfort and professionalism, but with a little sparkle added in.  I dream about the off-the-shoulder bodycon dress I want to wear on my next vacation, but that's just not practical for everyday since I spend hours on my feet, examining patients' skin. I like for my patients to see me as a friend who they can talk to about their skin, but also as a doctor who can treat them. Because it's still important for me to incorporate my personal style, I'll wear fun glittery or patterned tights, my Saint Laurent arty rings, leopard booties, or some layered necklaces.  When I'm not at work I'm usually at home chasing my toddlers or feeding my newborn, so comfort is essential, but I still stay on trend with ripped jeans, fun hats, and fur vests. 

Tips from the Skin Expert

Dr. Hammerman shares her top 3 secrets for great skin.

  1.     See the light.  A lot of patients come to me for treatment of under eye dark circles and puffiness.  While injecting hyaluronic fillers to the area can lead to dramatic improvement, there are some at home remedies for those who don't want to undergo a procedure.  Placing a cool object, like cold black tea bags, on the eyes can reduce the puffiness and darkness.  It's and old wives tale, but it works!  For shadows under the eyes, I tell my patients to use lightening agents like kojic acid, arbutin and retinol.  Favorites: TNS illuminating eye cream and Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair eye cream
  2. Retin-A is your best friend. Prescription Retin-A or retinol (over the counter) is still one of the most important discoveries in dermatology over the last 50 years. Both forms prevent wrinkles, improve pigmentation and texture, and treat acne. It takes a while to see results, but the payoff is huge.
  3. Pour on the protection.  Sunscreen is really the best way to keep your skin useful. Use products containing "zinc or avobenzone" listed in the active ingredients list.  Apply daily, no matter what the cloud coverage is.  The effects wear off within three hours so reapplication is key.  Favorites: EltaMD UV Daily SPF 40 sunscreen and Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen

For dermatological inquiries e-mail KHammerman@VanguardDermatology.com

Off Duty: at home with her loves


© Elizabeth Savetsky