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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Fun Little Weekend Updo

I feel like having a little fun with my hair. Something playful yet still with that classic sophisticated look. I decide to divide my hair in half- keeping the top portion smooth and tucked in for that flawless feel.

For the bottom half, normally I would do something of a french twist and blend it into the top portion, but instead and seeing as I am feeling playful, I break it up into portions and twist them all up together for this fun little look. Smooth on top, swirls on the bottom and a bow to meet them for that extra feminine touch.

Play with it as you like and make it your own. It is quite simple to do and takes little time. I think this will add a whole new feel to any outfit as well.

Alright loves- more styles for you later. xx

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Bold, Red, And Feeling Lucky With A Bow

I always thought I was an ox, and it was only recently I found out I am a rat. Being a Capricorn, my birthday is in January- which is the beginning of our year. Whenever I look at the Chinese fortunes, they are determined from year of birth. Naturally I always looked at it with my birth year in mind, the one designated by our calendar. It never occurred to me to look at it with the Chinese Calendar in mind. Obvious, I know now- since their year begins in February- that makes my birth year the previous one, and thus I am a rat.

Anyway, we are currently in the year of the Rat, which is what brings me to this post. Wearing a red ribbon (traditionally around the waist, wrist, or ankle) during your Animal year (which cycles every 12 years) brings you luck. As I am now aware that it is currently my year, I thought it nice to incorporate it into my fashion.

I tend to do so with a big and bright red ribbon around my wrist or as a belt around my waste (outfit allowing of course). The ribbon I have been using is a very distinct red, and when I found this cute top that matches it EXACTLY I couldn't pass it up. Even the material has the same sheen to it. A lucky find, indeed. I'm wearing the ribbon in my hair in the photo (don't think it has the same effect for luck there, but I still do quite like it, and it keeps my mind on a positive outlook).

It is such a rich color and I am loving it. I tend to wear only black with this top, as it is so bold and bright any other colors would be competing. I like just one thing to stand out, and in this one it is definitely the color (though the back is a nice touch, too).

Alright Rats, may the year bring you much luck and happiness! xx

Friday, August 29, 2008

Soupe à l’Oignon Pour Votre Sante

When it comes to soups this has always been my favorite one. Soup a l'Oignon or French Onion Soup is a delicious bowl of onions in beef broth (often spiced with a bit of sherry and herbs) with the occasional crouton and coated in a blanket of gruyere cheese with a heavenly aroma.

I am a bit of a sniffling mess at the moment, and nothing cures me like a bowl of French Onion. It warms my throat and keeps my belly happy.

I don't have to be sick to enjoy it though, I adore it much the same whether sick or healthy. The crispy cheesiness that clings to the bowl is also a nice ending treat.

Traditional is my favorite, as I find sometimes when people try to dress it up it loses its character. Multiple cheeses doesn't offend me, but keep the broth simple- it should never be cloudy or creamy. Abide the rules and you will be rewarded every time.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Richard Chai Raises Fashion Glamor At TARGET

It's the unique touches that make a signature I like most, I think. For the pieces I have seen from designer Richard Chai in the nearby TARGETs, each piece stands out as something of a unique individual's vision rather than a large produced run of the mill item.

Its the small things I love. The bold color of this outfit along with the sleek material and finish; not to mention the adorable shorts in the same beautiful matching color.

They're too cute on their own, with nice details on the pockets and a button that wraps to just one side. Quite fun (and yes, short).

There was a dress that stood out to me too, an elegant deep purple print with a black border and gorgeous drop swoop neck. Something fun, unique and just a simple twist on a classic form.

I am looking forward to see more and hope TARGET's designer spotlights (as well as those offered by others) continue to provide new inspirations and wonderful fashion alternatives. Great style should be accessible to all, of course.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Kostritzer, Mmm I like my beer like my coffee: BLACK

I am quite particular when it comes to my beers, though I often find myself rewarded for it. By far, Black lager is a favorite of mine. Kostritzer is everything I love in a black lager in one convenient and pretty bottle.

Don't think me a snob- I will try any beer at least once (usually a sip of another person's so I am not dedicated to it) and am open to other styles. Belgium ales are consistent choice for me as I love my Blue Label Chimay. The Trappists know what they are doing. But that is another entry altogether. More on that one later.

Ooh, the Kostritzer though! Look how lovely it looks on its own- so delicious.


For its rich and dark appearance, it has a surprisingly light and clean finish (nothing like a loaf of bread others may offer). It has a delicious malty texture to it as well, but again quite surprisingly light in body. It certainly has body, don't be misinformed- it is such a nice balance.

This is a special treat for me, as I have only been able to find it at this restaurant we go to in Sarasota when we visit my fiance's father. It makes it that much more of a treat to enjoy it in great company.

If you see this one around let me know and try it for yourself. Even if you *think* it may not be your thing, it is always worth a taste to see for sure. Who knows, it could be your new favorite, too!

Much love and divine tastes, xx

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Yes, I Know My Sunglasses Are Big, Thank You

Why, yes... I did know my sunglasses are bigger than my head- thank you! Some people are such comedians. I actually do get asked that from time to time- if I am aware of the size of my sunglasses to the ratio of my head. And I do.

I love Oliver Peoples, of all my sunglasses I cannot help but keep coming back to these. Such a classic style with a modern twist- the thing I look for most in fashion.

I will be wearing these for quite some time as well. Less a trend and more a classic. It is funny how things blow up overnight. I'll never forget shopping in Cannes for the biggest watch I could find- and covered in crystals at that. Something I concocted in my mind and had to have. It was impossible to find, and once I discovered it I was ever so pleased with it. Then- some time after returning to the states- it was everywhere and all that *could* be found. Made it a bit less desirable and more of a trend. I still had my fun with it though. The sunglasses blew up quite the same way.

Oh well, more options and designs, no? I am always great with that. It is all in how you wear it anyway. This year I am feeling more traditional classic designs in bold new colors. Whether or not its the next thing to blow up, I will be looking for it. More to come.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Fashion Day Wear Cute Find

I am doing my normal day to day TARGET shopping when something catches my eye. TARGET has a tendency to get a good response from me, but quite unusually I am finding it to be more and more in their clothing department.

Their designs have rapidly grown and improved through the years, and now stand up to anyone else. With new designers and spotlight designers they are doing wonderfully.

I've found some exceptionally fun pieces from the GO International Collections and will continue to look for more. Here is a top I just purchased and adore- the design is great with subtle twists on classic features. Slightly sheer- but not enough to cause any trouble, and decorated with well placed large buttons.

I like the sewn in belt, too- its a nice feature that really makes the top stand out. Casual yet sophisticated, it stands alone great or could compliment anything form simple to funky jewelry. I have some safari styled jewelry pieces I think would work the outfit great.

I like to wear my hair to the side on this one, in a neat little side swept braid. Simple and cute, and it doesn't hide the collar which would otherwise be lost in all of my hair.

Yes, I think I will continue to peruse the TARGET clothing section much more often, as well as the designers they are attracting. Richard Chai has gotten my attention most recently. Definitely a name to know and follow. More on that latter.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Side Swept Beautiful Updo

A little something I did before leaving the house to run errands. It is a bit rainy outside, or at least threatening to be, and so when I wear it down it has the tendency to poof beyond control. I thought I would win this battle by pinning it back in a cute little design and avoid the hazards of the weather.

I did it quickly and so it is a bit messy, but I think it works rather well that way with this style. The "controlled mess" look. Some pins keep it in place and then I decided to top it off with a black bow. Just a little something more for that feminine touch.

My hair is so dark I don't think you can really see it, but the shape adds nicely to the silhouette which is what I was really going for. Next time I will most likely use a piece that pops and stands out- ooh maybe a feather broach/hair pin would look nice... would definitely be one to do!

I like this since it looks nice and it smoothly transforms for an evening look- perfect for cocktails. Mmm, may have to have one now.

Much love! xx

Make Me Up In Golden Beauty

I am feeling a bit gold today, it is such a radiant and rich look. Doesn't take too much which is nice- subtle touches of the right hues in the right places is all.

I had been in a lingerie fashion show where the theme was wild animals. I was assigned the leopard (much to my pleasing) and simply loved the make up Morgan, the make up artist, had created.

Above and beside are photos of her work (it was a late show and some champagne and enjoying the evening afterwards makes one a bit tired- even so I think the make up held up quite alright).

Anyway, remembering this look, I allowed it to inspire one of my own. Though the side bronze is quite beautiful and great for show- it is a bit much for day to day.

So Instead I thought to make it softer with some bronzed gold coloring just covering the lids and underlining below. Gives it a bit of a bold pop- but then a soft finish so it works for the day.

For the lips I used a favorite of mine- a gold lipstick that is slightly sheer and more than anything gives a complimenting golden shimmer to the natural lip color. The make-up I use is Guerlain, they have some wonderful bronzes and golds that work beautifully together.

I love a little gold indulgence. Much love.

Lovely Little Bites Of Yumminess

Alright, So I have been out of town over the weekend and naturally somehow everything in the fridge has either vanished or is on its last breath. I'm hungry and it is pouring rain outside- I'm stuck with what I have for now.

Some things have not even been in there that long- honestly it seems to happen every time we travel no matter how short or long the time. Oh well, this trip was a bit of a late notice so we did not have much time to prepare the house before leaving. Normally I time out the food to run out just in time- that way I can purchase fresh new groceries upon returning without any waste.

Okay, As I have no intention of hauling groceries in the pouring rain... I need a snack to keep me happy in the meantime. My options which are left in the house are:

About a pound of gruyere cheese, Some (not a lot of) spinach, garlic, butter, and some cherries that may have a little life in them yet- we will see. Also, there is the tiniest bit of goat cheese left.

In the pantry there isn't much, only thing I could really recover or use is a box of the Honey Butter Ritz Crackers (pretty yummy actually, they'll do in a pinch any day).

Well, cheese and crackers are lovely on their own, but I need a bit more than that right now. I sautéed what was left of the spinach with the garlic and butter. A piece of Gruyere cheese and spoon of spinach on a cracker and it turns out to be quite the lovely treat! I repeat the process for as many as I am able to make and I must say I am quite satisfied for the moment. It will make the grocery visit a much smoother one.

What a lovely surprise- it is something I will actually repeat even when fully stocked with food. It doesn't really need anything else to it, and the presentation is simple and quite nice.

Hmm.. those cherries are tempting, may go quite pretty with the goat cheese. The honey butter Ritz cracker tends to be a bit sweeter and would compliment it well. We'll see how daring I am feeling. If anything, I'll get some more once the rain lets up.

Here's to more funny and delicious unexpected finds!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Flirtatious French Martini Madness

The little taste of chambord from my Kir Royal has left me with a curious craving for more. What better way than in another delightful drink of choice- the French Martini.

Now, this one is a bit more tropical and thus a playful and fun drink (and far different from the sophisticated simplicity of the Kir Royal). Ingredients are few and simple- vodka, pineapple juice, and chambord. The pineapple definitely adds that tropical value, and the chambord sweetens the deal beautifully.

I have seen the drink as a French Cosmo as well- and you can really play it up as much as you want to. For me, simple is best and divine.

A little twist and playfulness is always fun though- and this drink delivers it just right.

Much love, xx

Friday, August 15, 2008

Glamorous New Looking Dress Sleeves

I love it when a simple dress has just one distinct creative uniqueness that redefines the whole look. That is exactly what this dress is.

The sleeves are sequined and slightly puffed- then tighter around the arm- except unlike traditional puffed sleeves this one has revealing cut outs that are incredibly glamorous.

Everything else about the dress is subtle and simple- complimenting the sleeve design perfectly. It has the popping wow factor while flawlessly transitioning into sophistication.

I found it in this little Japanese Boutique called "Nonno" where the offer only two or three of each dress at the most. All clothing items are uniquely one of a kind- such a treasure, so long as you are there before it is gone. I'll show you more unbelievably fun designs from them soon, too.

As for this particular dress- it has inspired me to find more of the same. Maybe not all in dress formats- how cute would a puffed open sleeve be on a white cashmere top (maybe some silver or gold jewel embelishment) and with khaki shorts?

Or any other style of garment for that matter. I want to see more of it. This is a trend I can really enjoy.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Twenty Bottles By Two People In Less Than 15 Minutes

Oh you heard it correctly; last night my Fiance and I stumbled into quite the surprise- no to mention unimaginable find.

We actually went to the grocery for a bottle of wine (we had plans to meet with some friends for a drink later that evening). Little did we know at that very moment they were setting up a wine closeout like never before. I like this particular grocery for their selection- their wine steward has an excellent taste and presents a fine selection that competes with shops many times their size. Wow, oh my head this closeout.

Bottles were marked down at half price, and then marked down an additional half price. We purchased three bottles of Conundrum ($30.00) for only $9.00 a bottle. I love to try new wines and this is definitely the opportunity and way to do it.

Some we knew we liked (such as the Kim Crawford, Conundrum, and Groth) and others we knew we liked other varietals from their vineyards and were curious to try others by them- and with these prices it was impossible to pass up. There were some great French wines I have been curious to try as well that were included in the close out, a white Bordeaux among them. Pinot Noir is a favorite of ours and so we purchased some new selections to taste as well.

Oh, here's a kicker.. when you purchase six bottles (even with the close out) you receive an additional 10% off. Even more enticing to purchase more wine.

The Wine Steward was of great assistance, too- she liked many of the same wines we did and gave us some great recommendations of what to try next. There is so much here I am not quite sure where to start!

Needless to say, there will be some tasting notes posted as I do.

We bought a couple doubles (one bottle is being chilled and not pictured)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Because Who Doesn't Love Champagne

I love the bubbly, and the Veuve Clicquot is certainly one of my favorites. I would drink it all the time when out and about at night in Miami, not to mention at home as well.

I have Veuve on my mind and a bottle being chilled. Mmm... I love it on its own as a toast to... simply having it or me- who honestly needs an excuse? It is something I like to enjoy for the sake of enjoying. And the Veuve Clicquot Rose is especially special.

Although creating an occasion is always just as delightful.

Marlene Dietrich had it right- and I like to follow in her example on the subject. One of her favorite meals was:

hot dogs and champagne

I LOVE it- simply marvelous.

And that is just it, too- you make it marvelous. And no judgment or false snobbery- it is all about finding what you like and embracing it.

Who cares what other people think? We all have our own tastes. Certainly there are rules to abide but with in those rules are so many possibilities for creativity and uniqueness. Make it your own and make it Glamorous.