Thursday, January 31, 2008

chirp, chirp, chirp

These adorable porcelain birdie cups from Uncommongoods.com (one of my favorite shops) would make a fine addition to any home. So cute & brimming with sweetness. A great gift for any hostess or friend with exceptional style.
image credit: uncommongoods

organic betrayal

My whole world was turned upside down last weekend when I discovered that the "organic" farm I frequent regularly for all of my fruits & veggies had deceived me. The fruits & veggies sold there are not all organic! In fact, only about 20% of the stock is actually certified organic. I couldn't believe it! There is an 8 ft. "Certified Organic" banner in the front and the same advertisements on the inside of the stand, but I discovered that one must read the tiny hand-written cardboard signs above each item to find the real organics. They do grow their own organic crop, but it appears that they fill the rest of the bins with regular, pesticide-infested goods. Every weekend I make a special trip with my reusable bags in tow to buy all of my produce fresh from a local organic farm. What could be better than that? There was something so wholesome & authentic about the process; the inconvenience of it all, the dirt & gravel parking lot, no lines, a small produce stand in the middle of a monotonous Orange County suburb. Alas, my paradise is in fact too good to be true.
image credit: Thailand for Visitors

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

built indie


After a 4-year absence from Bryant Park, the designs of Wendy Mullin of Built by Wendy will be back on the runway next week for Fall 2008 Fashion Week. Founded in 1991, she gained popularity with her cool & colorful guitar straps and the success of her clothing line soon followed. She also wrote Sew U, the modern person's guide to sewing & creates patterns for Simplicity Pattern Co. called "Built by You". All in all, she's one cool chick & her designs are equally as cool. I can't wait to see what she sends down the runway for fall.

in photo
: Wendy Mullin (left) and her muse, Joanna Newsome, who will be the musical guest at her show

image credit
: http://www.style.com/

hello, kitty!

UK-based designer Kitty Cooper offers fantastic eco-footwear that isn't ugly! In fact, the shoes are so lust-worthy, with sleek designs & wonderful vintage fabrics from the 1920s to the 1970s. They do use leather, but it is tanned using organic substances instead of ecologically toxic chemicals.
"Beautiful & ethical"



image credit: Kitty Cooper

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

my first word was shoes

Yes, it's true, my first word was "shoes". Pronounced "shzz", as told by my mother. Destined from birth to be obsessed with shoes (and all things fashion), as a little girl I regularly walked around the kitchen in my mom's pumps just to hear the beautiful sound the heels made on the tile floor. It made me feel so grown-up to look down & see my little feet in her pretty shoes. I longed for the day that I would have my own high heels. As I got older, I graduated to my first pair of black patent "dress-up shoes" with a 1" heel, which I wore proudly to my piano recitals & on fancy occasions. Then my teens hit & I was only interested in buying my clothes from thrift stores & dressing my feet in tennis shoes. Still obsessed with shoes, but of a different sort. College was a transition period between tennies and big girl heels. Mostly, I wore any kind of platform shoe ever made, really clunky versions of boots, tennies, flip flops, and slides. My grandfather was appalled. He described my shoes as men's work boots, like his father used to wear. Once I finished school, my footwear quickly became more sophisticated as I landed my first corporate job, which sent a huge shock wave through my life, not only when it came to the change in shoes (but that story is for another time). Happily, now in my late 20's, I continue to be head-over-heels in love with shoes (no pun intended). 57 pairs (I counted) of shoes currently reside in my overly-packed closet and only 4 are tennies or flats, the rest heels or wedges. What's the saying, "Good shoes open all doors"? I'm a believer.

image credit: In Style

no mom, i'm not pregnant


But, I am that annoying aunt who always buys eco-stuff, educational toys/games, and lots (& lots) of books for my cute niece & nephew. My favorite site for really cool & unique baby/kid gifts is Progressivekid.com. They offer a wide selection of organic & recycled items and everything is healthy & non-toxic. How cute is this organic bath bag? A great gift for a new bambino.
They also have a blog! Click here for their thoughts on living green & progressive parenting.
An excellent source for progressive kids with progressive parents!

image credit: Progressive Kid

Monday, January 28, 2008

no country for scary hair

Javier Bardem in "No Country for Old Men" may be one of the best villains EVER. Between his creepy haircut, dark inset eyes & deep chilling voice, his portrayal of a ruthless killer was unbelievably freaky. This film was genius and one of my favorites of all time, although I'm sure the novel by Cormac McCarthy was even better (since they always are). EXCELLENT stuff.

image credit: latimes.com

a lovely little tree branch?


Ok, so I finally gave in & bought myself a pair of flats after much coercion from my friend Jenny. They are terribly cute, especially the adorable functional pockets on the front (a place for parking meter change?), and oh so comfortable. Hopefully I will look like "a lovely little tree branch" (encouragement from Susan) in these precious Seychelles flats instead of a tree stump. This is purely a trial, with only 1 pair of jeans hemmed short enough for flats, my heels will have little rest. Sorry feet.

image credit: http://www.zappos.com/

a few jewels

There wasn't much to drool over at last night's SAG awards, but I did LOVE Sandra Oh's homage to her Korean heritage with this lovely modern version of a hanbok made by a local designer. I have no doubt that this will make a lot of worst-dressed lists (reminiscent of Charlize's big bow a la Christian Dior at the 2006 Oscars). But, I think Sandra Oh's dress is lovely (bow and all) & I applaud her for a unique vision & unconventional approach to red carpet fashion.


Although I loath Debra Messing (not sure where these feeling stem from), I must admit that I absolutely LOVED her gold Oscar de la Renta number. It was so sleek & the bejeweled neckline was superb.

image credits: anne cusak/los angeles times

Sunday, January 27, 2008

must we pretend to be men?

When it comes to fashion, Hillary Clinton has been disappointing in her dated power-suits, reluctant to show femininity because of whatever political repercussions she feels that might entail. I don't know if this is a knock on Hillary or more on our society as a whole.

However, in sticking with her power-suit theme, she has managed to show some signs of girlishness.
She steps outside of the black, grey, brown pallet pretty often, as seen here:

And, there is some definite femininity here in this suit, eyelet lace & all:


Would it be political suicide for her to wear something other than pants on the campaign trail? And, what about a great bag or a fashionable pair of shoes? Is there no power in fashion....

Clinton recently snubbed Vogue by declining their invitation to be featured in the fashion bible (and photographed by Annie Leibovitz no less). Anna Wintour lashed back at Hillary in February's letter from the editor:

"Imagine my amazement, then, when I learned that Hillary Clinton, our only female presidential hopeful, had decided to steer clear of our pages at this point in her campaign for fear of looking too feminine. The notion that a contemporary woman must look mannish in order to be taken seriously as a seeker of power is frankly dismaying. How has our culture come to this?"

image credits: dbiking, myrezyness, and nymag

obama for your mama

February's Haper's Bazaar featured this Politics of Fashion spread in which most of the candidates were featured. Obama was my favorite with his ease of style in his sharp & classic black suit.

image credit: www.bazaar.com

Saturday, January 26, 2008

admirablement fran├žais


"Fashion is not simply a matter of clothes. Fashion is in the air, born upon the wind. One intuits it. It is in the sky and on the road." - Coco Chanel

Lead by the fashion influences of French couturier, Coco Chanel, Parisian women are the embodiment of impeccable style and sophisticated beauty & elegance. With a smart approach to fashion, they focus on classic pieces such as the trench, pencil skirt, a good coat, jeans, boots, and don't forget the scarves.

Feeling a bit gloomy during this transition period between seasons, I've turned my thoughts to the ever-inspiring French women to keep the January blues at bay. It's too cold outside to break-out our spring pieces, but too late in the season to still be excited about winter. Ready to move on, but stuck in the cold, the classic pieces inspired by the ever-fabulous Parisians & classic look of Chanel are brilliant all year round.

image credit: www.images.encarta.msn.com

Friday, January 25, 2008

mj, be still my heart

Oh so beautiful oxfords by Marc Jacobs. Find them here.

where are those peta people with their red paint?


Oh SJP, how you disappoint. As a part of the print ads for the SATC movie, SJP (Carrie Bradshaw) is seen here in a fox coat by Burberry. How many foxes do you think were killed for this one coat? My guess would be at least 40. Not to mention the others that will be sold (at $9,000 a pop) as a result of this ad campaign & her endorsement of fur. I am a die-hard SATC fan and love, love, love Carrie's fabulous fashions, courtesy of Pat Field. But, never witnessed Carrie flaunting fur through the whole SATC series, so why start now with the movie? I could be wrong, but I've seen every episode at least 54 times & fur catches my eye the instant it is on the screen (the repulsed physical reaction soon follows along with an extreme feeling of loathing towards the person wearing it). I admit that I love this ad sans the murderous coat made of innocent, cute & fuzzy foxes. Doesn't she know that fur is dead?

To learn more about one of the many plights of the fox species go here.

image credit: www.fashionweekdaily.com

book club


A few favorite passages from March by Geraldine Brooks, which I am currently in the middle of:

"What does a man really need, after all, in a material way? Bread, shelter, a little raiment. The latter we had, even to being able to sell some excess cottons, silks, and woolens. What man can wear two coats, after all? I was glad to give up the garments on the peg rail that spoke to me of slave labor, worm slaughter, and sheep theft - for is not fleece the rightful property of the sheep? And why should the humble silkworm be sentenced to death for our finery?"

"I had come in stages to a different belief about how one should be in this life. I now felt convinced that the greater part of a man's duty consists in abstaining from much that he is in the habit of consuming. If I prolong my dark hours by the consumption of costly oil, then I waste both the life of the beast slaughtered for the purpose, and the clarity of mind which comes from timely sleep. If I indulge in coffee then I pay to pollute myself, when instead I could have a cleansing draught of water at no charge at all. None in our household ate meat, but now we learned to do without milk and cheese also, for why should the calf be deprived of its mother's milk?"

This interesting piece of historical fiction is told from the perspective of Mr. March, the absent father from Louisa May Alcott's Little Women, who is off fighting on the side of the Union during the Civil War. A surprisingly complex character, Mr. March reveals himself as a devoted father & husband, committed abolitionist, devout vegetarian (borderline vegan), and a righteous & honorable man. A lovely read.

Thank you to my grandmother for the gift.

image credit: www.art.com

Thursday, January 24, 2008

fantastique

Mon amour! Christian Lacroix's Spring 2008 couture collection is absolutely delightful. The successful use of color & pairing of various patterns is pure heaven. I'm in love!






image credit: http://www.elle.com/

ode to valentino

Valentino, one of the most influential designers of the 20th century, ended his extraordinary & extensive fashion career with a final haute couture show in Paris at the Musee Rodin yesterday. After 45 years of red carpet glamor, high-drama, & celebration of the feminine form, his final collection presented beautifully & illustrated everything that is Valentino. Including, the parade of 30 models in identical red gowns that proceeded his final walk down the runway. View the collection here.

"I do not make dresses because it is the season to make dresses. I make dresses because a dress fits the new picture of a very modern way to dress - you can wear a dress with a jacket, coat, or a sweater over it. You can wear a fine sweater under a dress. I don't think there is anything quite so nice. The dress is far more useful than just another wool suit." - Valentino Garavani

Alessandra Fancchinetti, ex-Gucci designer, will succeed Valentino at the Valentino fashion house in Rome.

image credit: http://www.style.com/

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

tae bo nemesis

Dear Nemesis,
Why must you torture me so? I go to tae bo to simply workout so I can continue to eat chocolate and not get fat. I'm not the girl in the front exaggerating every move & providing an annoying soundtrack for the class with occasional yelps & woo's. I arrive early so I can get a spot in the back row & quietly sweat the hour away & go home. That is until you showed up. Now I am on edge every week just waiting to see if you will walk through the door. If you do, you will insist on standing two inches away from me even when the rest of the back row is wide open. Have you no mercy? I try to avoid you by changing my spot, but you still find me. My Wednesdays were so much easier before you appeared & ruined my life. If my roundhouse kicks two inches from your side don't dissuade you (my legs are too short to reach your head), I don't know what will. I even nudged you with my shoulder while putting away my mat one time (because you were standing on top of me), but you still came back. Why don't you forget your New Year's resolution & go back to sitting on your couch & stuffing your face with cheetos? I hear it does wonders for your figure.

image credit: http://www.physical-arts.com/

I don't need a bag, if you don't need to bag it


Pardon the foul language, we are talking about plastic bags here (gasp). The damage that these babies do to our cities, environment, animals, and planet is obscene. Litter on our streets, pollution in our oceans & streams, user of resources, & killer of animals, these bags have got to go. It doesn't take much to discontinue the use of these ugly bags in our everyday life, just a change of habit. Reusable & bio-degradable bags are the answer to our eco-prayers. Most grocery store chains now carry their own versions of reusable bags for approx. $1 ea. And, if you don't want to carry around a bag that screams the name of your grocery store while you're shopping at the mall or strolling down Rodeo, try these stylish totes:
1. Bazura Bags - made of recycled juice containers, each bag is unique in it's design & supports a women's co-op in the Philippines
2. Envirosax - Great designs & colors & they will easily fit in your over-sized shoulder bag, which will still be "in" for spring.
3. B. Happy Bags - Cute totes with more colorful designs to replace or carry with your regular bag while shopping.
4. Chico Bag - This one is my favorite because it is so easy to have with you at all times since it folds up to a little pouch & fits right in your bag. My step mom gave me my first chico bag & I love it. So cute & sturdy too.

And, for those of us with animal friends at home, try Biobags for cleaning up after your perfect pet. The dog waste bags are great for taking on your walks & the food waste bags are an ideal size for scooping the liter box. Also, try the food waste bags for produce shopping and the kitchen bags at home.

Saving the planet one bag at a time!

image credit: http://flickr.com/photos/dan4th/190211539

vegan feet



Natalie Portman designs a line of cruelty-free vegan shoes for Te Casan with 100% of the proceeds going to The Nature Conservancy. A standing ovation to Natalie for supporting a great cause & offering a designer line of shoes to vegans everywhere (and other socially conscious consumers), joining the likes of Stella McCartney. I adore the mary janes, but have to admit that I'm not sold on the design of the other offerings in the line, which seem to be a bit dated and boring. But, I can't complain as this cause is close to my heart & well worth supporting. Natalie succeeds in bringing us closer to having a broad selection of designer vegan shoes to choose from, which is something I hope to see more of in the near future. Check-out the full line of limited edition, hand-crafted vegan shoes at http://www.tecasan.com/.

image credit: http://www.elle.com/

letters home


Stefano Pilati for YSL has outdone himself with his Y-Mail Clutch. It is tres bien & oh so yummy. To carry this delicious clutch through the streets of Paris with a vintage couture frock & a pair of Christain Louboutin prive heels would be a dream come true. With the address of YSL's headquarters in Paris detail along with the charming postmark, this is sure to be a classic piece for your collection. Three cheers for Stefano! Available at select YSL boutiques.

image credit: http://www.fashionweekdaily.com/

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

dreams of canary yellow

If I didn't feel like a tree stump every time I wore flats, I would surely own these adorable yellow flats by Chie Mihara. A modern take on a vintage feel. Pair them with a floral top & cropped pants or let them peek out from under your wide leg jeans for spring. Yellow flats & heels are a must-have this season. These cute puppies can be found at http://www.nordstrom.com/.

image credit: www.nordstrom.com

fight for the whales

http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/news/greenpeace-activists-block-ref
Greenpeace continues to work tirelessly to block Japanese whalers from killing whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. After the moratorium on whaling in 1986, Japan continues to kill whales under the guise of "scientific research". Japan hunts hundreds of whales every year, including endangered species. The whale meat is sold to grocery stores, restaurants, and school lunch programs in Japan. Iceland & Norway have also failed to halt commercial whaling & are currently hunting whales in the North Atlantic. Although the demand for whale meat is decreasing, the whaling continues in these countries. The whale population is in extreme danger, and commercial whaling must stop. Please visit www.greenpeace.org & support this important cause.

image credit: www.greenpeace.org

sustainably chic



I adore this stool, made of sustainable monkey pod wood (no monkeys were harmed) & carved from a single piece. Eco-friendly furniture with style & great lines, imagine that. The look is fabulous & perfect for displaying your favorite accessories or books (to impress your friends). Great as an end table, and I've also seen these displayed on either side of a fireplace, which looks lovely. This table/stool is found at http://www.vivaterra.com/ ($349/set of 2).

image credit: www.vivaterra.com

hey big spender

Just bought two of these Swiss-made Sigg water bottles at Whole Foods for 20 bucks a pop, but they're worth the dough. The Sigg bottles are good for you & for the earth. Lined with a resin-based, non-toxic lining that has been independently tested and found to be leach-free, which means they do not leak toxins into your water like those pesky plastic bottles. You won't believe the difference in the way your water tastes. Like drinking water that you purified yourself out of a canteen while camping with dad. And, they will last forever because they are made of sturdy aluminum. No need to continue to fill-up the landfills with disposable water bottles. Be the envy of everyone at the gym when you carry around one of these eco-chic bottles. http://www.mysigg.com/

image credit: www.mysigg.com

Monday, January 21, 2008

my first blog


I'm new to the world of blogging, so we'll see how this goes. I started this blog, as I imagine most people do, as a place to post my thoughts. Mainly, I have decided to focus on style obsessions, coveted items, green info and ideas, creative expressions, and lots of random judgments about people and funny life events. I buy things for a living and as a hobby, so I will also post my critiques & recommendations of products with lots of attention to quality vs. price. Not sure anyone really cares to read what I have to say (except for hopefully my family & friends), so I won't worry about whether or not it will be read. It's more of an outlet for all of the things that I think & obsess about on a daily basis. I hope at least one person will get a good laugh, read about a new idea, share in a fashion craving, or be able to relate in some way. Thanks to whoever is reading this & please check back often.