Thursday, January 27, 2011

be mine valentine

Countdown....only a few more days of the despicable month of January.  I am ready to move on to new things and have some things to look forward to--and as cheesy as it may sound, I love Valentine's Day.  Love it.  Why not embrace even a holiday such as the Hallmark of all holidays, and make it  your own.  Otherwise its just a Monday.
Granted, I have had more than a few not so great ones in the past--single girl, particularly in my 20's was not always so fab.  And one year we threw a Valentine's party for a bunch of friends and it was the first cocktail party we had ever hosted.  I worked day and night on all the details to make the party beautiful, made all the food, David and I taste tested champagne every Thursday, (see my brother Tom Astle's movie "Failure To Launch" from a few years ago and yes, he wrote "Champagne Thursday" into the movie--that's me!) and then ended up with the flu the night of the party (but I was young so I powered through with more champagne).   My little valentines at home now reap the benefits of having a mom stung by cupids arrow.
Maybe you don't have a special someone, or your significant other has a consistent history of missing the boat on celebrating occasions, or .....well, anyhow, you are a modern girl so get your own cupid on this February.  I have made a list of a few of my favorite things...

  • Personally, I think giving lingerie for Valentine's Day is super cheesy.  But I have to admit  I am a big fan of Commando's Red Snake Thong--a racy print on the best underwear in the world.  
  • Tom Binns Faith in Fate Heart with Safety Pin Necklace has a cool rock & roll vibe to it.  And a great price.
  • I love Tarina Tarantino.  Although you may be familiar with her in conjunction with Sephora, her jewelry is way fun.  I bought this fabulous lucite heart "Electric Heart Necklace" from her line a few years ago and wear it year round.  And I stack her carved rose bracelets--pick black or pink--for whatever message you would like to send...
  • I can't leave out the Cartier LOVE bracelet.  Remember the original one could only be opened with a tiny screwdriver?  Now they have branched out to necklaces, earrings and different styles, but the original bracelet still has my heart.  
  • Dolce&Gabbana's Leopard Print iPad sleeve is over the top--but then sometimes so am I.
  • A maroon colored Converse Chuck Taylor is a great way to put on your red shoes and dance. 
  • What would February be without a bit of bubbly?  Francis Ford Coppola's Sophia, a tribute to his daughter, is a favorite of mine.  The Blanc de Blancs is elegant and festive, plus you can get it in an individual 187 mililiter can with its own little straw--stylish and just for you.  And you don't need it to be Valentine's Day or Thursday for that matter.
Here's to love, to friendship, to February~ cheers.

Monday, January 24, 2011

roll with it

I am loving the 70's vibe that is coming out for spring--in denim there are wider legs, flares and trouser looks were back on New York Fashion Week's spring runway.  The slightly higher (no mom jeans here) waist are flattering when worn with two of my favorites--a tall wedge shoe and a menswear shirt.  Its cool vibe is a perfect update for those of you who are ready to move on from the super skinny look.
I, for one, love the skinnier jeans, especially when tucked into boots.  My favorite update for wearing them is with the more stovepipe leg, which is not as tapered at the ankle.  I have been rolling them to barely mid-calf,  pairing them with neutral (think grey or black) socks and wearing them with a wedge short bootie or my KORS Michael Kors Angie boot with that fabulous chunky heel.  And yes, I said socks.
In the spring, you can ditch said socks if you want and still rock the wedge shoe, or go for a flat.  Remember fit and proportion matter, fitted jeans with a looser style top and a boyfriend jean with a fitted shirt keeps you from looking like you stumbled in from a different era.  Update your look with a couple of rolls to the cuff--and if you need inspiration check out this fabulous photo from Milan on my all time favorite blog, The Sartorialist.  What is not to love about a fashionable girl on a bike?  Enjoy.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

give good face

Putting my best face forward just got a little easier thanks to my Clarisonic Mia that made an appearance under the tree this year.  As a teenager, I was lucky-- I hardly saw a single zit and was basically oblivious to my gift of nice, clear skin.  I only wanted to be tan (it was the 70's/80's--everyone was very TAN) and my skin is on the fair side so it only became golden.  Despite ignoring my mother's (wise) advice to wear sunscreen --which I for the most part, ignored, I am now fairly unscathed.  But uneven skin tone is still a common problem-- life, age, environment, heredity and lifestyle make a major impact on what face you end up with and frankly, couldn't we all use a bit of help? The unrealistic hopes of that airbrushed perfection that we see everywhere is in my head as well.
My trainer is constantly reminding me to drink a ton of water, and why is something that simple so difficult?  I try.  I also am a big believer in sleep.  My days of being the last girl at the party are gone, and I am fine with that.  Exhaustion shows on your face.  So does sadness, but that is what it is.  I also have been focusing on eating real, not processed food--which is in keeping with the focus of eating foods that are in season.  Its just getting in the habit of making the effort for these things when our lives are in constant fast forward.
Lest you think I am on going the holier than thou route, I am here to say, I have some major flaws.  Despite my best efforts my glass of wine with my evening meal is a bit hard to give up.  And I do still love the Vitamin D in its purest form--a sunny spot at a pool is also hard to resist.  Oh, and I am not a red meat eater but who can say no to the occasional burger?   :)  Flaws just make you more interesting, right?  
Anyway, the Clarisonic has helped give my skin a glow that has been noticeable & I love it.  Your skin is your biggest beauty asset, so treat it right--its never too late to start.  As for those crows feet, laugh lines and the events of my life that show on my face, I am proudly showing those off too.  I earned them.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

cliff diving

I have been thinking about doing something a little crazy lately.  January does that to me.  What is it this time of year that make me feel so... insatiable?  Or maybe its that little part of me that likes surprising people, even myself.   I figure it is one of those thing that helps me feel like a little bit of a rebel, even if I am actually just folding the laundry.  I mean, I know who I am but it doesn't hurt to think outside the box sometimes, right?  Doing things that scare us can sometimes surprise us into really feeling, jumping right into the middle of life.  I am not saying that this is one of those things, but it still appeals to me.  Its not for everyone, I get that. Still, when I get an idea in my head.....well, just ask my loved ones.....
I decided to pole a few folks on my idea and got a mixed bag of answers.  The surprise was that the people I thought would say "Don't do it!" did not say that--they asked questions of me and seemed to trust I knew the answer already.  One person laughed.  For about five minutes.  Love that. The people I thought would say "Go for it" didn't say that at all.  There were strong and definitive opinions, but that is what I asked for.
In the end, I usually do what I want, no matter what anyone else thinks. And I guess I knew what I was planning on doing before I asked.  So, off I go, on a January adventure.  Love it or hate it, I am just being me.

rose colored glasses

I love Michael Kors for many reasons.  He has recently become unpopular with a couple of my family members because of his decision on the latest Project Runway, but I still love him.  I love his new Bel Aire Chronograph watch --its big, chunky fabulous rose gold is a very fun modern look.  I also love his style, attitude and how his things have a longevity feel to them.
That being said, he has completely won me over recently after he discussed how the old rules of fashion have been altered and abandoned because of today's concepts in design.  He states that a woman should not worry about dressing "age appropriately", but for her body type.  I whole heartedly agree.  I always feel a bit frustrated when I look through the fashion magazine sections that divides the what to wear now into decades, 20's, 30's 40's etc.  Quite often I love something that is not officially in my age category, and the lines are often and should be blurred when it comes to finding what looks good on you.  I have never liked being told what to do, and that includes outdated guidelines that may undermine the less confident into finding something that would be fabulous.  It all boils down to this, take off the rose colored glasses when you see yourself in the mirror and at the same moment, celebrate your body for what it is, and decide for yourself what you love.  Use your head when you dress--fit, proportion, and quality always matter.  That doesn't mean the next time you blow out the birthday candles you must rid your closet of your skinny jeans, just wear them in the proper size, and pay attention to how they are to be worn best on you.  Some of us need more help than others in finding our stride in the fashion world, but its important to remember this--how you dress tells the world a little story about you each day--so make sure its your tale that you are telling.

Monday, January 3, 2011

jewels that don't cost a mint

I recently signed up for the online jewelry "club", JewelMint.com  and am happy to report that it is awesome.  Actress Kate Bosworth and her friend & stylist Cher Coulter, have teamed up to create an online monthly jewelry club that offers unique pieces designed by the pair, and inspired by runway looks, vintage finds and their own personal styles. Log onto the website and take a style quiz, then pieces are selected and suggested to you based on the looks you have chosen in your profile.
They then are added to your own "Showroom" where you can click and check them out in detail, as well as be shown how & what to wear them with, if you need inspiration.  You can add new selections at any time, and each month you will get a notice of new pieces available for purchase.  All pieces are $29.99 and the shipping is not only fast, its free.  If you decide to skip a month you won't be charged either, so that makes it more fun, less hassle.
I like how the Showroom keeps track of the pieces that I have purchased and that I have a Jewelry Box on the website that keeps track of all my purchases as well.  I actually added a piece a day later after my first purchase and they came together, quickly.  Here's the best part--they are beautiful, quality pieces that I absolutely loved.  My first purchases were the Saber Pendant Necklace, which is an ebony piece hanging from an edgy silver chain and the Metal Mosaic Ring, kind of rock and roll looking & artistic at the same time.  I am a big fan of costume jewelry, particularly unique vintage pieces and I really love the fact that you won't see yourself coming and going.
I am feeling that there will be lots of bold and bright colored stones and big statement pieces, lots of gold and also geometric patterns in the spring jewelry lines.  Dig through your own jewel box and resurrect some of your pieces maybe you have skipped over the last few years, then pair them with something new that has caught your eye and you'll have yourself a new look.
So, take a peek & check it out.  It'll be yet another reason for you to love that other man in your life, Mr. UPS.