December 22, 2007
It's All in the Bag
Now Playing: Louis Vuitton Mongram Aquarelle Speedy Bag
Topic: Beauty Thoughts & Reviews
I am not a fan, in general, of Louis Vuittion bags or leather goods. I don't like the coloring of the brown with the gold initials. It's an icky poop-brown color. As the LV logo has become synomous with luxury goods, I've also come to loathe any bag or fashion item with logos emblazoned across it. It's a little tacky, and makes the wearer seem like an attention-starved braggart. Look at me, I'm carrying Louis Vuittion. With that said, I did have a severe fascination with the Murakami LV bags a few seasons ago.
I longed for them and scoured the streets and internet for the Cherry Blossom Murakami semi-perfect replica (a.k.a fake or the less illegal-sounding "inspired by") bag. I loved the whimsy of the red cheeries and pink smiley faces on white leather, or in my case, pleather. I still own XOXO imitation that I bought five years ago. It hangs in my closet to remind of one of my most series fashion quests and follies. It's too small to carry my everyday essentials, so I mostly just pull it out on Easter Sunday to go to church. Soon, I'm sure, my two daughters will be playing dress up with it as I played dress up with my grandma's retro (and surprisngly sturdy!) handbags from the 40s and 50s.
There is a new Louis Vuitton bag with pastel colored LV logos smudged and silkscreened on white canvas was designed by artist Richard Prince in collaboration with LV artistic director, Marc Jacobs. The handles and the frame are painted beautiful raspberry color. (The handle is genuine snakeskin.) It is delicate yet sturdy looking, and designed to dangle from the crook of your elbow. It's playful yet not as frivilous as the Murakami bags. It also costs $3,600 and there are no pictures available on the internet. (I suspect that is to help protect from being copied and bootlegged.) However, if you pick up a copy of the January 2008 issue of Allure magazine you'll be able to see a great picture of it on page 71. Harper's Bazaar also has a picture in its most recent issue.
I've found my latest fashion accessory obssession. Sweatshop workers and victims of terrorismm, please forgive me for buying faux. Maybe XOXO will have a nice inspired-by come spring.
The name of the bag is the Mongoram Aquarelle Speedy Bag. Below is a picture of other LV Speedy bags.
December 8, 2007
Rocked My World
Now Playing: My Top 5 Entertainment Stories of 2007
Topic: Celebrity News/Thoughts
The New Year will be upon us soon, and so will the deluge of end-of-the-year wrap-ups. I decided to beat the rush and inform you of my five favorite entertainment stories of 2007. Enjoy!
1. Michael Vick pleaded guilty for his role in a dog fighting operation on his property in Virginia. He admitted to financing the operation and to the brutal victimization and killing of pit bulls. He turned himself in early to prison in November, and could face up to five years in jail. Fortunately, 47 of the 53 dogs seized from Vick’s property were sent to rescue shelters. An animal expert believes that the dogs can be retrained and adopted as pets. Michael Vick is an ass. He’s making more money than he can spend as a football player, so why fund and operate an illegal dog fighting operation?
2. Oh the shock! The movie Dreamgirls was supposed to be Beyonce’s big break-out role. It was supposed to be the movie that made Beyonce a true triple threat—singer, clothing designer and an award-winning actress. However, Jennifer Hudson’s strong acting and even stronger singing catapulted her to the top of the awards heap leaving Jay-Z's Bonnie in the dust. Jennifer was an American Idol reject slated for obscurity until her turn as Effie in Dreamgirls. In 2007, the plus-sized humble beauty became the fashion protégée of legendary Vogue editor Andre Leon Talley; became the face of Avon’s new fragrance Imari Seduction; and joined the cast of the highly-anticipated Sex and the City movie. Along with a Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, and a BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) award, Jennifer Hudson became just the third African-American actress to win a Best Supporting Actress Oscar. Rumor has it that Jennifer dumped her childhood sweetheart, and is now dating New York Jets’ player Kerry Rhodes. Let’s hope the roles and money keeps rolling in, and Jennifer doesn’t cave in to Hollywood’s standard of super-thin beauty. 3. Will the kids keep reading anything now that J.K. Rowling has finished tje uber-popular Harry Potter series? Well, let’s hope so or yours truly is going to be out of a job. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows did a great job of tying up every lose end from each previous novel, and keeping the action and emotions building until the final battle. Rowling also won over critics with her much-improved writing style. The biggest surprise, however, wasn’t in the pages of the book but revealed at press conference with American fans. Albus Dumbledore is gay.
4. When Britney Spears filed for divorce in the fall of 2006 from K-Fed, who would have thought that Kevin Federeline would turn out to be the court-approved better parent? In early October, a superior court judge ruled that K-Fed would retain custody of their two children “until further order of the court.” Losing custody of her two sons was just one in long list of sad (and no longer funny) things to happen to Britney Spears.
The Britney Spears Timeline of Distress:
February 22, 2007: Britney checks into rehab for the second time in a week. After leaving the first time, Brtiney shocks everyone by shaving her head bald.
March 21: Britney is out rehab after completing a one month program.
September 9: Britney gives a sad and pathetic performance at MTV’s Video Music Awards. Some criticize her for not being in peak physical shape.
September 18: The Superior Court judge overseeing her child custody case rules that Britney must undergo random drug tests, because she is engaged in “habitual, frequent and continuous use of controlled substances and alcohol.” She also has to spend 8-hours a week with a parenting coach.
September 21: Britney is charged with a misdemeanor hit-and-run and driving without a license.
October 1: A judge orders Britney to give up custody of her kids.
October 11: Britney wins modified visitation rules that allow her children to spend one overnight a week with her. Yet, a week later, the rights are suspended until she complies with the court orders in the custody battle.
5. The real stars of Hollywood, in my opinion, the writers, went on strike the first week of November. More power to them. The Writer’s Guild of America unanimously agreed to its first walkout in 20 years. The writers want to negotiate a new deal for royalties from DVD sales and new media. Late night talk shows will feel the pinch first, while daytime soaps and prime time shows could make it to the end of 2007 before the feel the pain. My prediction: MORE CRAPPY REALITY SHOWS. Give the writers the money. They earn it.
Postscript: This year was a bad time to be a Black athlete, wasn’t it?
Marion Jones admits to using steroids after years of denial. She has to pay $700,000 in prize money, and is stripped of all her medals and honors dating to September 2000.
O.J. Simpson is crazy. He is also being held without bail for a Las Vegas robbery arrest. O.J. is accused of leading a group of men in an armed robbery to retrieve what O.J. claims to be stolen sports memorabilia. As Shirley Strawberry of the Steve Harvey Morning radio show has said, “Sit down O.J., everyone has seen you.”
Michael Vick, see above.
Barry Bonds was indicted on perjury charges and obstruction of justice stemming from a federal probe that examined his alleged use of steroids. He pleads not guilty. Folks, that's his story and he is sticking with it.
December 1, 2007
What's for the Kids, Is Sometimes What is for the Mommy
Now Playing: A Prayer of a Distracted Parent
I am a born-again Christian, but I carry my beliefs and my Christianity very close to my chest. People who know me will probably find this odd, since I'm so much of an open book in the other areas of my life from my depression to my infertility. I mainly keep my religion and spiritiual beliefs mainly to myself as to not offend others and to not be challenged by the zeal of the "over religious." However, when I do want to mention something of a spiritual nature, I feel like I'm being a fraud because I don't advertise my beliefs. With all that said, I am trying to pray more and develop a better relationship with God--whatever a better relationship means. In this journey, I've been reading a lot of books about positive thinking and spirituality and prayer.
I'm currently reading a daily affirmation book by the late pastor Norman Vincent Peale. It is called Have A Great Day. On the November 28th day, it featured a prayer that I found very relevant to my life as a mother who can sometimes be short and impatient. I'd like to share it with all my fellow parents and impatient people.
Here it is:
Prayer of a Distracted Parent: Dear Lord, I love my children, but they are driving me to distraction [nuts]. I have lost my self-control, and I need help. I realized, dear Lord, that I can never direct them in their young lives if I am disorganized. Help me not to be angry and to not shout at them. Give me a sense of humor. Help me to know that their restless [and rebellious] energy is a sign of vitality and part of their development. Don't let me be tired and upset, but rather enter joyfully inot my relationship with them. Thank you for my children, Lord, but don't let them get me down. Amen.
Dew and Jo-Jo, I say this prayer specificially on our behalfs.
November 20, 2007
A Gangster's Rise and A Gangster's Fall
Now Playing: American Gangster
Topic: Movie Reviews
American Gangster is such an engaging drama that I hardly noticed its 2.5hour length. It's a good-paced and well-acted movie. It's no Oscar contender, but it is a good film. Denzel Washington's portrayl of uber-gangster Frank Lucas was well-played and subtly acted. In some scenes, it could have been easy for him to go over-the-top like Al Pacino in Scarface. Russell Crowe's was great as the scrappy New Jersey cop trying to bring down Harlem's drug kingpin. Russell's performance was also surprisingly low-key. It also made me re-realize how sexyRussell Crowe compared to the other pretty-boy leading men.
Josh Brolin stands out as the dirty and flashy New York City cop on the take. In a scene where she confronts her son about his dirty business, Ruby Dee is powerful and steals the limelight as Frank Lucas' mother. In his brief role as rival drug czar Nicky Barnes, Cuba Gooding Jr. acts against type. It made me want to see more of him.
The violence, blood and gore are minimum, and the cameos are maximum! The RZA from the Wu Tang Clan appears as cop! Recently arrested rapper T.I. is as an up-and-coming pitcher turned drug distributor. Although Lucas ended up imprisoned for 15 years, losing his wife and his fortune, many wanna-be real life gangsters will treat American Gangster as the new criminal primer.
November 5, 2007
Don't Cry Mommy
Now Playing: The Kids Are Growing up and I'd Wish They'd Stop For A Minute
Being a mother is hard, exhausting, and heartbreaking work. I have two daughters—a 2.5-year-old and an 8-month-old. I am simultaneously filled with melancholy and joy over them. They are hitting their developmental milestones—sometimes faster than I would like, and it is wonderful to see. Yet, it is also saddening to see. With each milestone they reach, the further from being babies they become.
Dew, my oldest, speaks in full sentences now. She knows what she likes and she wants it. She is too big for me to carry in my arms, and hates it when I try to carry her like that. She is fiercely independent and strong-willed. She won’t give an inch to me or her father. It seems like it was just last month when she was sitting her high chair, kicking her legs, and happily eating the steamed broccoli I fixed for her dinner. Or perhaps, it was just six weeks ago when she discovered she could run and would shout “Mommy, I running” as she did it. It wasn’t that long ago when Dew had just wisps of hair that I could barely get into a pony tail holder, and now she has a head full of hair that I must fight with her to comb. I get weepy just thinking about it.
My baby, Jo-Jo, is about to turn 9-months-old. Just ten months ago she was in my belly flipping around and kicking me—keeping me up at all times of the night. She’s now crawling and pulling herself up to standing. Walking will surely be close behind. Jo-Jo has already lost her new baby smell, and I miss sorely. No amount of bathing in Johnson’s and Johnson’s Baby bath or slathering on of Baby Magic lotion will make Jo-Jo and Dew smell brand new again.
On the one hand, it is tough being a brand new mom and I don’t want to go back there again with the guilt, the fear, and the strangling post-partum depression. Yet, I don’t want to go forward. I’m not ready to potty train, to teach sharing, or have long discussions about the joys of sleeping in the big girl bed. God forbid if the preteen and teen years rush upon me. Shoot me where I stand, because training bras, maxi pad shopping, and the first of a thousand conversations about sexual health will most definitely kill me. I can’t even think about it.
They are growing up so fast. Sometimes I want to skip work and just stare at them. As much as they might frustrate me, I am going to enjoy every terrible-twos tantrum and one-year-old walking-fall down-get up again adventures while they happen. Sometimes I think about trying to have another baby—naturally (like Jo-Jo) or by adopting (like Dew)—just to get that baby newness back into my house. Then, Jo-Jo will do something like snatch my eyeglasses off my face and try to eat them. That brings back to the present and of sound mind. I convince myself to swallow the sadness of watching my children grow up and just enjoy it while I still can.
October 21, 2007
The Fashionable Swag Bag
Now Playing: Fashionably Late with Stacy London Gift Bag
Topic: Beauty Thoughts & Reviews
I can't reiterate enough how much fun I had during the taping of Stacy London's new show despite the fiver hours it took. The warm up guy, Brian, was funny and personable. Even better was his knowledge of 80s pop music. (Yours truly was the only one to guess "U Got the Look" by Prince and Sheena Easton when he read the lyrics.) Stacy London looks incredibly petite in person and was nice and gracious. I don't know how much of it was act or how much of it was sincere, but either way I felt it was genuine. She's much tinier in person, but she has really great muscular legs! And folks, her hair is as beautiful and shiny in real life as it is on the television screen!
Although some audience members received free stuff between the segments, everyone in the audience received a swag bag filled with everything that was given out--with the exception of the bra laundry ball--during the taping. One audience member received a pair of size 9 pink stilettos from Stacy's wall of shoes. (The wall was to die for if you're a shoe lover like I am.)
Well, enough of the build up here's all about the swag. The bags were very chic black paper bags with ribbon handles and the name of the show written in hot pink on the front. A few of the things I cannot use, but I was pleased to receive nonetheless.
1. Goody Styling Therapy Add Shine hair brush which is infused with jojoba oil to remedy dull and damaged hair. Warning: don't ever use with a hair dryer!
2.The Original Gal Pal garment deodorant remover.
3. Two Alexis Bittar costume jewlery rings.
4. The hilarious Shame On You Kit which inlcudes 1 toothbrush, toothpaste, a one size fits most thong, 3 condoms, 1 "emergency" phone card, 1 packet of pain reliever and 1 "leave behind" note. The motto on the bag: For those days when you just can't make it home...you are prepared!"
5. Strap Tamers which are "the hassle free way to hide bra straps!"
6. Two pairs of DKNY tights in black and brown.
7. Hollywood Fashion Tape which "holds your clothing in place." (It's the miracle that kept J.Lo's infamous green Versace dress from revealing everything!)
8. Yoga Toes, which bills itself as the "ultimate freedom after shoes."
9. This product has to be one of the most ridiculously luxurious product a person could carry. It is from France and it is ready to freeze spring water ice cubes. It is called IceRocks. I used it in my regular New York City tap water and tasted nothing different nor did I feel any more (or less) glamourous.
10. Shubi--a really stylish and reusable tote bag to carry your fancy shoes to and from work. It's very pretty and durable. You could probably throw your Shame On You Kit in it along with your "F*** Me" pumps for those just in case after work dates.
11. Finally, we received a copy of the new cookbook from Rocco DiSpirito called "Rocco's Real Life Recipes: Fast Flavors for Every Day." The recipes looked easy and delicious, but I won't be trying any soon since my household has recently become lacto-ovo-vegetarians.
October 18, 2007
Now Playing: My Mini Preview of the new Stacy London show
Topic: TV: The Soft Blue Glow
I went to a taping of a new show called Fashionably Late with Stacy London. It is a new weekly fashion late night show featuring the host of TLC's What Not To Wear. Except for it being a nearly 5-hour event , I had lots of fun at the taping. I was worried about being dressed stylishly enough because the e-mail from the audience coordinator said to dress in something that pops! I'm a mom of two children and I work with children, my clothes don't pop. I ended up wearing a black and white print dress, and the very gay set designer set that I looked very nice and that my dress went great with the set--bright red chairs and 2 zebra print couches.
I got to watch Stacy interview Carolina Herrera, who is one of my fashion/working mom heroes. She's stylish and poised and her designs are beautiful. She always wears a crisp white shirt, and always looks fresh and brand new. She also has four daughters and ten grandchildren. She worked while being a mom, and two of her daughters are in business with her. Unfortunately, she is as dull as dirt to hear talk. lol. We got great gift bags that included some Khiel's lip balm, some pretty costume jewelry rings, bra strap tamers that keep your bra straps from slipping down, special sponges that remove deordorant stains from your clothes, and a cook book from a tv chef named Rocco DiSpirito (sp?) who is really cute and flirty.
The idea of the show is that bunch of stylish women are just hanging out in a great bar, having fun, and talking fashion. There's even a bartender! We had really great drinks, but only one per person and they were in really small cups. It was more of a shot of a really great drink. It was the taping for the premiere episode, which will air the first Friday in November. I'm excited. I got invited to come to another taping on Wednesday, but I couldn't get the time off from work.
Next post: The names of the products that were in the gift bag!
October 13, 2007
I Love Stacy, But She Also Kind Of Scares Me
Now Playing: Fashionably Late with Stacy London
Topic: Beauty Thoughts & Reviews
I like to keep my promises. Keeping my promises is one of my virtues. I made a promise to myself approximately five months ago that I would attend a taping of the new late night fashion talk show, Shut Up! It’s Stacy London. Well, I have kept promise. On Monday October 15th, I will be attending a taping of Stacy’s new show, which has been renamed to Fashionably Late with Stacy London.
I am very excited about attending. The audience coordinator has promised that there will be drinks, makeovers, and great giveaways (see e-mail below). He also said that there will be celebrity guests in the audience (and, I’m assuming, on the stage). I am also nervous about attending. They have given strict orders for the audience members to not wear black, but to wear color and to dress as we’re going out on the town with our friends. *Sigh* Don’t they know I am a native New Yorker and a mother of two children in diapers? Most of my clothes are of the black, brown, and dull variety. The e-mail confirmation instructed me to wear something that pops. Well, I do have one jersey mock-wrap dress in a black and white print that my husband says pops. But I’m not sure it is pop-py enough for the show. (I could wear it with my faux fur red
cap!) All of my somewhat colorful clothes are not fashionable enough or even appropriate for the season. I do have a pair of ivory white dress pants that I could wear (and that I save for special occasions like church), but what to wear over it? I have a red mock-neck turtleneck, a pastel lilac blouse and a bright red sleeveless handkerchief hem blouse. I’m thinking that the red sleeveless number is sexy and does pop, but it is sleeveless! I’ll be freezing when I get there.
I am also considering wearing my Audrey Hepburn-esque black shift dress with a turquoise poncho thrown over it. I wore this outfit to my brother’s wedding last year and received many compliments. Maybe it will be worth a try to do it again? Or, maybe I should pop the turquoise poncho of the B&W print mock-wrap dress? UGH! What’s a fashionista-in-her-dreams-but-not-in-reality do?
Any suggestions? Help a girl out! I’d like to get a makeover, but I don’t want to be too badly clowned either.
P.S.: Did I mention that I’m coming straight from work—the land of the comfortable footwear?
E-mail Received from the Booking Coordinator
of Fashionabley Late with Stacy London:
CONGRATULATIONS! YOU are CONFIRMED for a Taping of “Fashionably Late with Stacy London” ON:
Monday, October 15th
4:30pm Check in Time
The entire experience will take a few hours, but it will be WELL worth it!
We will be doing Make Overs on select audience members, Celebrity Guests will be in attendance, there will be a bar, and we will be giving away various AMAZING ITEMS throughout the shows to everyone!
The taping will take place at:
[address deleted for the privacy of the show and its attendees]
Also, there will be a Casting Person at the front to greet you.
There are NO hard tickets. Your name will be on a guest list the day of the show.
Check in with the Casting Person at the door. Your guests will all be under YOUR name
The Dress code is to look stylish! Dress as if you were going out for a night on the town! Do NOT wear Black! The brighter the colors, the better it looks on TV!
[e-mail truncated by moi]
September 8, 2007
You Bring the Couch, I'll Bring the Potato
Now Playing: The New Fall TV Season
September is my favorite month out of the year for four reasons:
It’s my birthday month.
School starts and the library becomes less of a loud hang out.
Fashion Week debuts the Spring’s hottest trends; and
The Television Season begins.
For the past seven years, I’ve slowly tuned out broadcast television as my prime source of television viewing pleasure. However, shows like The Office, Ugly Betty, 24, Scrubs, Heroes, and Dancing with the Stars have renewed my desire to watch broadcast TV again. One of the reasons has been broadcast TV’s adaptation of the two-season season—one in fall and one in spring like cable. Secondly, shows have gotten bit edgier and funnier and different.
After sifting through TV Guide’s Fall Preview issue (September 10-16th, 2007), I’ve come up with a list of four new shows that I will be DVRing and watching when my babies fall asleep.
K-Ville is a new cop drama set in a post-Katrina New Orleans, and stars Cole Hauser (from the underrated campy Paparazzi) and Anthony Anderson (from The Shield) as two stress out cops patrolling a whole city suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome. It will suffer in the ratings, no doubt, because it shares a timeslot with NBC’s sleeper hit Heroes. Heroes will have its old viewers and new viewers who want to see what the hoopla is about, so I’m not worried about them. I will support K-Ville because it is filmed on location and 80% of the show’s workforce live in New Orleans. Maybe the success of this show will turn the still suffering N.O. around.
On Tuesday nights at 10 p.m., I will be turning into watch the sexy and talented Jimmy Smits head up a Hispanic cast in the business-family drama Cane. Set in Florida, it is about the infighting of a Cuban American clan who is in the rum and sugar business. Still hot after all these years is Rita Moreno playing the matriarch of the family. Think of Cane as a 21st century and a browner version of Dynasty. I have two gems waiting for me on Wednesday night.
First off is CW’s adaptation of the trashy teen chick-lit series Gossip Girls into a series. Changing coasts but not economic class, The O.C. creator Josh Schwartz brings his talent to the show. An hour later on ABC is Dirty Sexy Money starring Six Feet Under alum Peter Krause and Donald Sutherland. This wicked family drama is about a reluctant lawyer taking over his dead father’s practice, which includes representing a rich troubled family a la the Kennedys meets Paris Hilton. Peter Krause has a hot, slacker vibe about him and I’m longing to see him all dressed up and corporate. This is what’s funny: wasn’t his character on Six… a guy who reluctantly goes into dead father’s line of work? I’m just asking.
Let's enjoy this new season, shall we? Tell me what you think will be this year's break out hit.
September 3, 2007
Red Is my True Color
Now Playing: Fall Fashion and the Color Red
Topic: Beauty Thoughts & Reviews
Many of you probably don't know this but red is my absolute favorite color of all time. I own red purses, shoes, lipstick, wallets, and a handmade 2-piece red pants suit. Even my living room is decorated in the powerful color of red--couch, rugs, and curtains. What does the color red mean?
Type this question in Google and you'll get hundreds of thousands of links. To me, the color red means power and domination. It means passion, excitement, protective energy, and sexuality. According to an Asian friend of mine, the color red is very important during the Chinese New Year for it repels evil (and evil spirits). When I want to feel sexy I wear red. When I am scared and want to convey strength, I wear red. I'll wear red anywhere except to a funeral and to church, because I find that there is something slightly scandalous about wearing a red dress or hat to the house of the Lord. Red draws attention and attention shouldn't be drawn to me in church.
This fall, according to the September 2007 issue of Harper's Bazaar, is all about bright and bold colors. The issue features a story on the colors of fuchsia and purple. There is even a Kate Spate ad featuring rich-colored red, orange, and purple flats worn with red, fuchsia and yellow tights. Who says autumn has to be all about black, brown, and grey? I say embrace the strong and vibrant colors of the changing leaves--red, orange, and firey gold. I'm going red, red, red and even more red this fall because as a mom of a 2.5-year-old and a 6-month-old, I need all the sources of energy I can get.
These three pairs of red shoes from Payless Shoe Source are calling my name, and I was blessed enough to try them on in person during a rare afternoon by myself in the mall. (Unfortunately, I didn't really have the cash to purchase them but I'm nice enough to wish you well in wearing these stylish budget finds.)
These patent red leather kitten hell pumps stalled me in my tracks. They are sleek, shiny, comfortable, and have a low heel. They can be worn with jeans or dress up boring work slacks. I'd pair these with nude stockings or socks or with black depending on the color of your pants.
These casual suede Mary Jane sneaks are comfy as all get out. These are my favorite pair out of the trio of red shoes I tried on that afternoon. They are in line with my lifestyle. The styling will let me wear them all day at work and run around with the girls at the park. I can slip into them without much fuss and they can act both as a bright flourish or a neutral. These shoes will definitely being going on my birthday wish list. (BTW, my birthday is coming up during the month of September and I am willing to accept gifs at my leisure. lol. )
Last but least are a pair of lace-up fashion sneakers. They have a techno feel and combine the bright color, patent and metallic trend. They would be fun if I were to go out dancing or want to dress up an otherwise boring outfit (which I've seemed to be confined too these days).
Let's remember those wonderful and magical shoes from the Wizard of Oz when outfitting our feet this fall. When the world is scary, slip on those red shoes, click your heels together and shout "There's no place like home!"
(P.S.: Liven up your wardrobe with the versatile mock wrap dresses from Woman Within. Besides black and a black & white print, they now offer it in teal, purple and red. Who says that you can't be plus-sized and in style.)
On a Beauty Note, Allure siting the beauty trends seen at the Fall fashion shows, declared red lips for the Fall:
- "For fall, makeup artists chose to abandon the nude and Barbie-pink lips of recent seasons for bold shades of crimson."
Important Note: Tim Gunn's new show, Tim Gunn's Guide to Style premiere's Thursday, September 6th! Let's watch together, okay?
July 19, 2007
It has been a long time since I’ve written. My life has been busy with my full-time job and my two little ones in diapers. Being a mother, a wife, an employee and a cat owner is hard work. It is hard on the wallet, hard on the spirit, and hard on energy levels. However, I wouldn’t trade it in for the world.
Today while visiting the Society, Science, and Technology division of my library, I came across a book called Mommy Wars: Stay-at-Home and Career Moms Face Off on Their Choices, Their Lives, and Their Families. It upset me beyond reason to see yet another book pushing mothers to be at odds. I am sick of the smug and self-satisfied attitudes of Stay-at-Home Moms (SAHM) as though mothers who work are somehow destroying their children and society. I am also sick of the smug and self-satisfied opinions of Working Moms who think that SAHM are lazy know-it-alls. At the core of it, we all are mothers doing what we believe best for our individual families and children. So, GET THE FUCK OVER YOURSELVES!!
Every time one of these books, blogs, television shows, or magazine articles comes out and pits the two groups of mothers against each other, I want to throw up and slap the women who fall for the okey-doke. It’s another distraction created to keep women from being united—Whores vs. Virgins; Working Moms vs. Stay-at-Home Moms; Party Girls vs. Intellectuals. Where and when will the division end? This so-called war is as important to our well-being and the well-being of our children as Paris Hilton’s blood alcohol level.
Personally, I cannot be a Stay-at-Home Mom for financial reasons. Personally, I do not want to be a Stay-at-Home Mom because some days my babies drive me batty. I’d rather have three to four quality hours before bedtime with my children. My favorite moment of the day is when I come home from work, and my two-year-old runs up to me, hugs my leg, and animatedly tells me about her day using both real and baby words. My second favorite moment is when my 5-month-old goes from gurgling and staring at her fingers to smiling at me with recognition. It totally helps me to forgetting that my older girl’s tantrums and whining, and my baby girl’s colic and choppy sleep schedule.
June 13, 2007
I Found It!
Now Playing: Fabco Shoes
Topic: Beauty Thoughts & Reviews
Today had the makings of a crappy day. My infant daughter woke up at 4:30 in the morning and refused to go back to sleep even after being changed, fed and read to. When I was trying to leave for work, my eldest daughter started to cry and then wrapped her strong little legs around my waist. Mommy wasn't going anywhere. To top it off, my stomach was upset and I have a stuffy & runny nose.
After scoring a pair of pink platform sandals for $6 at Payless (I had $5 remaining on a gift card I received for Mother's day), I decided to check out the neighborhood shoe store. It was Fabco Shoe Enterprises and it is located on 2101 Church Avenue in Brooklyn, NY. It is like the poor man's DSW--floor to ceiling trendy shoes (some name brand, some the house brand) for deeply discounted prices. It took me only 5 minutes to find a pair of shoes that I love.
As you recall, I've been scouring stores looking for a pair of comfortable and affordable flats. Well, Fabco had several pairs! One was a muted metallic, low-wedged flat with a generous peep toe that didn't rub the sides of my toes. (The pic below is a similar style without the D'orsay cut out.) The insole was well cushioned, especially at the ball of the foot, and the shoe had good arch support. The sytle also came in soft black leather, patent black leather, and in black suede. I also found a pair in rugged brown leather with subtle studding. *Sigh* To top it off, they were only $18.99 and Fabco was having a buy one get one 50% off. Unluckily (or luckily), I didn't have enough money in my wallet to buy even one pair and I used all my restraint not to pull out the plastic.
Well, payday is coming and I will be swinging by Fabco. Now, I just have to stock up on a couple pairs of straight leg pants to perfect the Rachel Zoe look.
May 26, 2007
A Beautiful Disappointment
Now Playing: Dream Girls: The Movie
Topic: Movie Reviews
I was a 9-year-old Brooklynite when Dreamgirls debuted on Broadway in 1981. I remember fondly the radio and television commercials, and bus advertisements for the Dreamgirls as well as for other popular shows at the time (Annie, Evita, A Chorus Line, etc...). I wanted to see every one of those shows, because that's what rich and sophisticated New Yorkers do--the see Broadway shows. When the marketing machine started pumping out the pre-release hype for the film adaptation, I began playing the original cast album over and over in preparation for the movie's Christmas '06 release. (I had to wait until it came out on DVD since I was home, pregnant and on bed rest.) Needless to say, I was extremely excited when the DVD arrived from Netflix. I hadn't had such high expectations for movie since I heard that the new James Bond (Daniel Craig) was sexy , violent and used his hands more than flashy technology. Although 30-minutes too long, Casino Royale lived up to my fantasies and Dreamgirls fell flat.
The story about a singing group who tries to make it big in a dirty record industry and loses their lead singer is a story as old as time itself. We've seen it in movies (The 5 Heartbeats, the campy Josie and the Pussycats), in real life (Van Halen, Destiny's Child, the Jackson 5, No Doubt, etc...) and on Vh1. There's nothing new that can be added to this story, and will only be fresh to those who have just started following popular music and its trends. Dreamgirls is terribly clichéd from the shady business manager to singling out of the beauty as the only bankable talent to one character's tragic death. In this regard, the movie comes off flat. It is so predictable that you're unable to be drawn into the fantasy. As a stage production, it was probably easy to not notice this because the viewer is hypnotized by the lights, the glitter, costumes, the dancing, and the presence of the stars. There's a disconnect with the audience once a Broadway show becomes a movie. (I had the similar reaction to Chicago.)
Dreamgirls is not a bad movie. It just lacks dimension. There is no character development or really no spoken or seen catalyst for their motivations, hence no chemistry between the characters. Jennifer Hudson's overweight big-voiced Effie White and Jamie Foxx's shady music manager/car salesman Curtis Taylor Jr. have a love affair that is ruined when Curtis' record sales ambitions and affection are focused on Deena (played by Beyonce Knowles). When the inevitable break up occurs, it lacks heart because the audience never sees any spark that proved they were even together.
Hudson plays Effie as the sassy, sexy, cocky, diva to the hilt--a complete opposite of her own humble personality. Eddie Murphy does an excellent job playing the outrageous Little Richard cum Marvin Gaye-esque James Early. When these two are own the screen, you can take your eyes or ears off of them. It is their sheer inner-brilliance that brings life to their otherwise one-note characters. Beyonce is does well as the superstar-in-training, Deena. She's unbelievable when she is playing the young innocent singer who frowns on premarital sex, but she does bring vulnerability to the older Deena whose inactions makes her as strong a betrayer as Curtis. Jamie Foxx, who is usually charismatic and charming on screen, is a dull as dishwater. To call Dreamgirls a thinly-veiled account of The Supremes and the rise of Berry Gordy's Motown would be a great understatement. Deena's later/solo career costumes, hairstyles, and make-up is basically the look book for Diana Ross' Mahogany. There is a montage chronicling the rise of Curtis' record company, and the acts they feature are dead ringers for The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, and the Jackson 5. Later in his career, Eddie Murphy's James Early eschews his old sound for "message music," sports a rhinestone-decorated denim jacket, and crochet cap. If that isn't Marvin Gaye, I'm not an unpaid blogger but a writer for the New York Times Arts & Leisure section. As unethical and as controlling as Berry Gordy, Jr. might have been, he doesn't deserve the heavy-handed vilification he receives in this movie.
All in all, Dreamgirls is a beautiful disappointment. The acting is solid, the singing is terrific, the songs are catchy, and the costumes are eye candy. The Oscar nominations (and awards) it received were well deserved, and after seeing the movie, I can tell you the controversy about it not receiving a Best Picture nod was blown out of proportion. It wasn't an Oscar-worthy film.
Oscar Nominations for Dreamgirls:
May 15, 2007
Look and You Shall Find
Now Playing: My Top 5 Fashion and Beauty Finds of Spring 2007
Topic: Beauty Thoughts & Reviews
My Top 5 Fashion and
Beauty Finds of Spring 2007
5. The 7-Minute Face: Whittling down my make-up collection to just four sets of eye shadow palettes, four eyeliners, four lip glosses, 4 lip liners, 7 lipsticks and 2 mascaras has made an incredible difference in how much time I spend getting my face ready for work. With two babies, you have to be quick. I had so many make-up options before that it took me 20 minutes to make a decision and apply my colors. I’ve also given up on applying foundation to my entire face. It has been a wonderful experience. Two complementary eye shadows, a swipe of mascara, a dusting of bronzing powder all over my face with a kabuki brush, and a softly applied lipstick gives me a well-made and simple face.
4. PF Flyers Hi Top Reissue canvas sneakers in Black: Okay, okay, they aren’t the stylish, inexpensive flats with great arch support that I’ve been looking for but they are a pair of comfy shoes with arch support that I can wear to work. They’re a great alternative to my “security officer oxfords” when I wear my slacks and blue jeans.
3. Short-Sleeve, mid-calf length, ribbed tee-shirt dress by Woman Within: These $12.99 dreams from Woman Within are a perfect summer time staple. They come in an array of colors from black to purple to gold to coral, and can be dressed up or dressed down depending on where you are heading. Pop one on with a pair of ballet flats and long necklace, and you’re an in-trend chick. Add a pair of high-heeled pump and a waist-cinching belt, and you’re ready for the office.
2. Olive Oil: Since having my baby, I’ve developed the driest hands because of over washing. None of the lotions I bought helped, so I dried some Olive Oil. Lo and behold! It worked wonders. My hands, elbows, and heels are as soft as they have been in months.
1. Gauchos: They’re a big-thighed woman’s hot weather savior. If your thighs rub together and you can’t bear the thought of wearing biking shorts under your skirt, try a cotton split-skirt or a pair of gauchos. What’s great? The plus-size catalog Just My Size started selling them way before they became trendy. What’s even better? You can wear them in the winter time with a great pair of tights and knee-high boots.
May 9, 2007
The Five Minute Lit List
Now Playing: Books I'm Reading/Borrowing from the Library
Topic: Book Reviews
Although it has been only week since I've finished maternity leave and returned to work at the library, I've already managed to check out a large number of books that I plan on reading. It doesn't matter that I have three books at home that I want to read. I decided to share my my current reading list for you. I'll post reviews later when I'm actually done reading them. So get your library card and get to borrowing!
1.The 5 Minute Face: The Quick and Easy Makeup Guide for Every Woman by Carmindy: TLC's What Not To Wear's makeup artist Carmindy shares her philosophy and tips on make-up application for women of all colors and complexions.
2. Anyone But You by Jennifer Crusie: a 40-year-old divorcee finds romance with a hot 30-year-old doctor with the help of her sadsack of a dog, Fred.
3. The Makeover Book: Simple Ideas for Effortless Style by Jacqui Ripley: Fashion and Beauty writer Jacqui Ripley helps us to boost our style with simple and easy-to-follow directions.
4. Closet Smarts: Flatter Your Figure with the Clothes You Already Have by Emily Neill: Emily Neill uses real life female models to help readers to analyze their body shapes and dress them to their best.
5. What Shall We Do With The Boo Hoo Baby? Board Book (Board book) by Cressida Cowell: Any new mom, like myself, will enjoy the antics of a group of animals trying to stop a baby from crying.
The Three Books I Have At Home Waiting For Me Are:
Three Junes by Julia Glass
The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem
Sure of You (Tales from the City, v. 6) by Armistead Maupin-- in anticipation of reading the don't call it a sequel sequel, Michael Tolliver Lives.
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