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Monday, February 28, 2011

"Truly Outrageous"

(Photo via de.ioffer.com)
Sorry, I couldn't resist! I love Jem and I love Dolce & Gabbana's Fall RTW 2011 collection. Some may turn their noses up at its bountiful use of stars, the color black, and female tuxedos, but I adore and appreciate the playful wearability.

And come on, giant star earrings dangling from the lobes...such a clever way of transporting us back to the glamorous 80's, a fashion era criticized way too often for its heinous contributions. I mean, open your eyes, take a look and think back to the days; when ruffles were actually appreciated, colorful, fist-size gems were worn just as carefree as Hermes scarves are today, and fashionable androgyny was making its debut.

(All photos by nymag.com) 


Since I can remember I've been enamored with supermodels! I knew how to pronounce Laetitia Casta's name before Laetitia Casta did, back in the mid-90's when I was...uh, of the sprightly age of like 12. I know, it's a little freaky; OK, a lot freaky, but I was destined for a career related to fashion.

My adoration for the glamorous life, trials, tribulations, rituals, successes, and downfalls of models has not faded. However, I do have to say, no group of Botticellis will ever compare to the "rat pack" (if you will): Naomi, Linda, Cindy, and Niki. Heidi, you're amazing and Kate, you too, but let's be honest--maybe it was the way high-waisted, tapered jeans hung on the hips or full eyebrows framed the face...

So let's honor the past, appreciate the present, and ogle a little bit over the beauties in this world with a few photos from the Chive, a great resource for wasting time and drowning sorrows in the ever-so-addictive world of gossip. The Website is kind of like smoking; if you haven't started, that's a good thing. 

And...because I love you all so much, I went a step further and listed a recipe below for Orange Mocha Frappuccinos! If you're not laughing, go rent Zoolander

(All photos via the Chive)

Orange Mocha Frappuccinos

(Recipe via movierecipes.net)
Serves 2 
  • 3 oz. hot espresso
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 Tbls. dry pectin
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • 1 pinch cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbls orange chocolate chips
  1. Stir sugar into espresso; cool mixture.
  2. Stir milk and pectin into espresso mixture until pectin is dissolved.
  3. Fill a glass with ice and either serve mixture over ice, or pour glass contents into blender and frappe for 30-45 seconds.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Couscous a la Cece Baker Cook

A colorful bowl of couscous with currants, curry, and cinnamon
(Photo by Cece Baker Cook) 
K, kids...I'm starving for some Mediterranean food (and a trip out that way too), so I figured this was an opportune time to present you with an incredibly creative and tantalizing recipe for Couscous, enhanced with exotic spices and both sweet and savory ingredients. Inventive and simple, this fluffy, healthy, hearty side dish can be paired with any protein--from salmon to chicken--so get your spices out, chop up some veggies, and away we go!

Thanks to Cece Baker Cook, my new cooking instructor and longtime friend--who took me and many other young professionals under her wing last weekend during one of her classes--my recipe book has grown and blossomed into a mature bible of lunch and dinner staples. She makes the kitchen seem so welcoming and suggests some ingenious tools*, to boot, that Food & Wine (bless its little gourmet heart) neglected to share with me. It was tool time in there, as Cece pulled out everything from a lettuce dryer bag to a pink pair of onion goggles!

Thanks, Cece! You make the kitchen a better, less intimidating place. Follow her on Facebook in the link above to learn more.

One of Cece Baker Cook's centerpiece creations of green and orange, a  lovely year-round color combo
(Photo by Cece Baker Cook) 
Couscous with Curry, Currants, and Cinnamon 
Serves 8 
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup warm water (for currants)
2/3 cup dried currants
2 cups couscous
1 1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup minced parsley
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup diced green onions
1/3 cup slivered red onions
1/2 cup grated carrots
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 tsp. course salt
1 tsp. curry powder

1. Place the currants in warm water to plump; about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

2. Bring chicken broth to a boil and stir in couscous. Cover and remove from heat; let stand for five minutes or until all the liquid has been soaked up. Transfer to a large bowl, adding all vegetables; toss gently.

3. In a small bowl, whisk oil, salt, pepper, cinnamon, and curry powder. Then drizzle over couscous until incorporated.

4. May be refrigerated before serving.

 *Cece Baker Cook's Recommended Kitchen Tools

Pretty Pink Onion Goggles
(Photo via Google Products) 

Granulated Honey: Because it stays better longer and doesn't get all gooey. $7.95 at Williams-Sonoma.

Shooter Glasses: Because they're just so darn cute, and perfect for cocktail tastings and soup hors d'oeuvres. $2.95 per glass at Crate & Barrel

Stainless Steel Condiment Cups: Because they make setting aside ingredients easier and cleaner. $.95–$2.95 per cup at Crate & Barrel.

Onion Goggles: No, explanation needed. $20 for a really cute pair of pink goggles as seen above (Cece Baker Cook wore the same ones!) at Google Products

Lettuce Dryer Bag: Because salad spinners break and get everything wet. Plus, they take up too much room in the fridge and don't keep greens fresh. $14.95 at the Digital Kitchen Store

Indian Spice Cooking Kit: Because you never know when you'll need them or what you'll be in the mood for. $17.94 at Cost Plus World Market®

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Rock Steady: Chase.Dakota Jewelry

Chase.Dakota's collection on Etsy
(Photo by Chase.Dakota) 
I have a hard time purchasing jewelry. Some of it looks too cheap and dispensable, and other pieces are priced beyond what I would ever spend.

OK, OK, so the truth comes out; I would rather splurge on shoes because shoes are never too expensive. But honestly, I'm fine with getting jewelry as gifts--my collection mainly consists of keepsakes and of course my wedding diamonds.

I probably struggle because I don't practice "frosting" myself that often. However, this whole 70's craze, involving large crystals and rare rocks has got me going...and swooning over one designer in particular, which my favorite Australian blogger, Opinion Slave, introduced me to.

Her fellow Aussie jewelry designer friend goes by Chase.Dakota and she sells her handmade, one-of-a-kind pieces on Etsy for very reasonable prices. She adds new jagged creations to her marketplace every day so be sure to stay au curant, but don't go too crazy and save some for me.

Double Shot Rainbow Quartz Ring & Clear Quartz
(Photo by Chase.Dakota) 
Opinion Slave's recent amethyst ring purchase 
(Photo by Opinion Slave) 
Pyrite Galaxy Necklace
(Photo by Chase.Dakota) 
Crystal Bullet Statement Necklace
(Photo by Chase.Dakota) 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Walking in a Spider Web: Ashish at LFW

What Gwen once said so eloquently: "Sorry I'm not home right now, I'm walking in a spider web, so leave a message and I'll call you back," Indian-born, Brit designer Ashish Gupta reinterprets with his fall/winter 2011 collection for London Fashion Week.

Spider web knee decals, plaid mini skirts, 90's off-the-shoulder sweaters, and of course his trademark sequins, glided down the runway on models with uncombed hair and lip rings. He lets the clothes speak for themselves, and boy do they talk to me; they say: "buy me, love me, take me home, and grow some additional fashion 'balls.'"

It's all so hard to resist, as I can see Clueless being remade with an inverted plot--a preppy girl joins a grungy, punk rock clique from the other side of the tracks, but maintains some of her original fashion roots.

Think about that while my obsession for the labels grows even stronger.

(All Photos via Zimbio)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Celebrity Makeup Artist Pati Dubroff: The Woman Behind the Face of Kate Bosworth

Clarins centerpiece & Pati Dubroff at Sunset Tower Hotel brunch
(Photos by Clarins) 
Wanna look like Kate Bosworth? Here's your chance.

Do everything Pati Dubroff says because she's Bosworth's main makeup artist. She's also Clarins' new beauty ambassador. I learned both of these important facts last week during a special brunch I attended at the Sunset Tower Hotel, hosted by none other than Dubroff.

Actually getting to pick her brain for a few intimate moments as we sat next to each other, nibbling on chocolate croissants and sipping lattes, I asked Dubroff how she achieved Kate's perfect, punch-colored lip as seen below. She replied by explaining that she coated her lips in a neutral shade then dabbed the centers (only the centers) with a darker, bolder shade and then worked her way outward. "Genius," I thought to myself. Aloud, I contained myself and politely said, "how clever."

But, the product that captured my heart and my developing fine lines was the brand's Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch. Unlike most primers out there, the magical product smooths lines, pores, and wrinkles sans the chemicals. Allowing foundation to go on like satin, it dissolves right into the skin, leaving it light, as if nothing went on at all. P.S. it comes in a wand too for touch-ups on the go. GENIUSSSSS!

One of Dubroff's many magazine covers
Kate Bosworth at the 2010 Hollywood Style Awards 
(Photo via thestylelocket.blogspot
My favorite product 
(Photo via Google Products) 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Tux it Out

Clockwise from the top: Rihanna, Carrie, two looks from Ralph Lauren fall '11, Alexa Chung
(Photos via themeteveryday, fashiontipsfromcomicstrips, theglobeandmail, nymag)

Ralph Lauren's fall 2011 collection, which recently debuted at NYFW, satiated one of my biggest fashion cravings: the female tuxedo. However, instead of traditional tapered slacks and a-line jackets, the collection showcased silk palazzos and harem trousers, and exquisite velvet and fur boleros.

Carrie Bradshaw walked down the aisle in one in SATC 2 (one of the only good things to come out of the disappointing yet fashionable film), evolving into the perfect groomsmaid for Stanny's wedding. Alexa Chung often pulls off the look with unorthodox white blouses and atypical bow ties. Rihanna has also tried it out; her look incorporated the 80's by adding puffed shoulders and shiny taffeta.

I've pulled together some pieces, so you too can try it out. Have fun with it--I always do!

Zara's Studio Blazer
Stylestalker's Damned Collar Shirt
Jean-Michael Cazabat's Larita Bootie at Shopbop
Edun's Crop Tuxedo Pants at Nordstrom