I know I am like the last person on the planet to blog about this, but the Liberty of London collection for Target demands mad love. The patterns and color patterns are just so beautiful and vivacious, that even a non-print obsessed gal like myself must croon. They are like little pieces of spring you can permanently keep in your home or wardrobe. Also, I love the variety of items that they have chosen to create – from negligees to umbrellas, from picture frames to lamp shades. If it’s solid, and doesn’t breathe, they can pattern that thang right up!
Nestled away in a hidden pocket of the garment district, Designer Loft is every bride’s fantasy waiting to be discovered. A small, intimate setting that feels more like some wonderful forgotten attic than a store, the Loft carries a selection of unique and carefully selected bridal-wear, artfully crafted.
Do you remember BluBlockers? I do, specifically from growing up in the eighties; those overly-excited commercials that touted these specs like they were the visual equivalent to the first moon landing. And who knew? Maybe they were. Being about six, I really couldn’t afford them at the time. The advertising certainly made you feel like all other sunglasses were completely unprepared to handle blocking out the sun, and they looked so futuristic and crazy with their sleek amber lenses and black matte plastic frames. For the past twenty-three years they have been a throw-back item, something to kindle delight, nostalgia and a bit of humor. Nowadays you can still catch the kids sporting these iconic originals in all their ironic glory, most notably Zach Galifianakis’ character in, “The Hangover.”
However, that’s all about to change. BluBlockers have caught up with the times. These ain’t yo mama’s sunglasses:
BluBlockers now has a micro-site, MyBluBlockers.com, that features their new line: speical edition frames in a vibrant assortment of colors and lens effects, including a revamp of their original tortoiseshell design.
Once I caught wind of these babies, I couldn’t resist grabbing up a pair. Particularly when I discovered they had a version in gold. And let’s be honest, I would buy monkey dung if it was gold-plated.
Monkey dung these are not. They are quite the opposite. Arriving in this hot, sporty little purple case, the BluBlockers were like some awesome pirate booty from Prince Island. The gold frames were a lovely warm golden color, and you can literally see-yourself in the ultra-reflective frames, exclusive to this model (yeah, that’s me in the right lens – ‘Sup?).
Wearing these proved to be quite the experience. See, I remember how the commercials would claim these would create a “cleaner, crisper” sunglass-wearing experience. What seemed to have slipped my mind was that it would turn the entire universe NEON FRICKIN YELLOW. It was exactly like this…
Once I got over the initial shock, the entire visual experience became pretty darn awesome. Imagine it like night-vision, but in the daytime. It makes the entire world brighter, but magically without hurting your eyes. Also, I have discovered that these are super on rainy days, as it often makes it significantly easier to see while driving, or doing other mundane activities, like blocking the color blue (Oh I get it THEY BLOCK THE COLOR BLUE! Ha!).
So yeah, BluBlockers are pretty awesome. And I must admit, they make my face a lot more “Blingy.”
There are some very annoying things about getting married. Don’t get me wrong, there are some very wonderful things too, like dedicating yourself to another person, cake, blah blah blah. But there are also some extremely annoying things, and one of them is the fact that your willingness to take risks aesthetically drops down to zero as the wedding day approaches. That new tattoo? Better wait. That bone through your nose? Yeah, a hold on that. And any haircut that might somehow put your wedding bouffant into question becomes completely impossible.
I wanted my hair very long for the wedding. To accomplish this, I spent the past year letting my hair grow as long as possible, and growing out my precious “keep hair out of my face because it drives me crazy” bangs. And at first it was very nice – my tresses grew and grew; my hair had not reached such lengths since right before I put it into dreadlocks in college (O yeah). For my wedding day, my hair was long and luxurious, just like I dreamed it would be. And about five minutes after the wedding, I was sick and tired of my hang-dog, bedraggled head of hair, and was ready to take it off with a bottle of scotch and a rusty knife.
I am very, very picky about my hair and who I allow near it. Being curly haired, finding someone who understands how my hair works and how it should or should not be cut has always been a bit of a nightmare. There was this one time my mom took me to the Hair Cuttery when I was about 12 years old, and I left with what can only be accurately described as a football where my hair had previously been. This is just one of numerous hair nightmares I have had to endure at the hands of unprepared hair stylists. I have been so traumatized by these hair-mishaps that there was a period of about 5 years when I simply did not have my hair professionally cut at all.
Finally, my sister had had enough, and dragged me kicking and screaming to a salon. She introduced me to JJ, a wonderful stylist in South Jersey that knew what she was doing, and I have been going to her for several years now with faithful conviction. However, as she does not work weekends, and is now located almost 2 hours from me, my trips to her salon have been fraught with difficulty ever since I moved up north. Many a day Mr. Kaboom has broken all sorts of speed limits on the turnpike to try to get me to my coveted appointment on time.
So with my new lease on post-wedding aesthetic freedom, and a hankering for something completely new and different, I decided to try to find a new stylist a bit closer to home, in my beloved NYC. My searching immediately brought me to Devachan, a Soho-based salon and spa that specializes in curly hair. I expected a sharp cut, and maybe a bit more curl. What I got was a head of curls I never knew existed up there. These guys knew so much more about my hair than I did, it was almost a little embarrassing. I found the Holy Grail of curly hair. It was like they were the fairy godmother, and my head was Cinderella.
My stylist dry-cut my hair, something I have never before experienced, and explained that this process allowed for each curl to be cut just right. Throughout the cut, I was given a thorough education on what I should and should not do to maintain my curls; tips and tricks to allow my curls to live in their big, curly glory. A large part of their process revolves around their specialized hair products: Devachan advocates that curly hair should never be shampooed (too damaging), and instead advocates a product called “No-Poo” – a cleanser that leaves your hair clean and natural, without the chemicals and dryness of standard shampoo.
I can’t tell you how amazing my hair has been since I got this cut and started using the products. My hair feels softer and more natural than it has ever felt, and the curls look simply luscious. See for yourself…
For my non-New York pals, I am happy to report that Devachan products are available online. These are the three products that have changed my life:
Call me a converted Deva.
To learn more about Devachan and their products, visit Devachansalon.com.
One of my favorite parts about a new year is picking out the calendars I will use for the year. There are so many wonderful calendars out there to choose from!
My first rule of calendar buying is that I always wait until January, as most of the calendars are reduced up to 50% off, which is rather friendly on the old wallet. I usually buy 2 calendars: a pocket day planner to tote around with me, and a wall calendar for my office.
In terms of day planners, I am a devoted Moleskine girl. The
red edition of their weekly notebook is my ideal in terms of scheduling. The left page is devoted entirely to the week’s schedule, and the right is a ruled page, perfect for holding the week’s to-do lists.
However, in my calendar browsing, I discovered an even SHARPER version of my favorite planner. You can now not only purchase a red version, but a PATENT LEATHER version! O snap!
In terms of wall calendars, I usually choose something that leans towards natural landscapes: I like to be able to look at some magical place, and remind myself there is a great, magnificent world out there beyond my cubical. My 2008 calendar showed gorgeous pictures of Australia, a place I have dreamed of visiting my entire life. This year, I settled on National Geographic’s National Parks and Monuments Wall Calendar. The calendar is filled with the stunning imagery that NG is renowned for, and will also be a great way to brush up on any national parks I may be interested in visiting.
A close second for me was Lonely Planet’s 2009 Calendar. I am an enormous fan of the LP guidebooks, and they are always the first thing I snatch up when off to visit some new destination. For the avid traveler, the LP calendar does not disappoint: Not only is it full of riveting photos of destinations around the globe, but it also provides a great deal of information on each location featured.
For those of you that like a little design in your life, my personal favorite design calendar is the Cats Let Nothing Darken Their Roar 2009 Calendar. The brainchild of Spanish designer Noa Bembibre, the CLNDTR calendar is not only beautifully designed, but filled with clever lines that incorporate each month’s name in them. A bit pricey, this is a compelling piece of design that will engage and amuse you throughout the year.
Another calendar I have become rather smitten with is created by, of all people, a DJ. DJ DSL is known mostly on the music circuit, but he has put together such a fantastic wall calendar, I think he has a potentially awesome design career awaiting him should he ever defect. This gestalt calendar is both functional and lovely – and I get such a kick out of his invention of turning each day into a component of the monthly typography.
I love design illustrations – and JHill’s 2009 Wall Calendar illustrations are striking, sharp and beautiful.
I generally don’t purchase a calendar for the kitchen, but I am itching to get my hands on this Illustrated Wild Foods Recipe Calendar. Created by Christina Choi, co-founder of Foraged and Found Edibles and artist Emily Rae Counts. Each month displays beautiful illustrations of delicious grown edibles, along with mouthwatering recipes.
Their Etsy page doesn’t tell nearly enough about the creator, but the 2009 Floating World Calendar simply tickles me with its whimsy and careful detail. At first glance, you might not even REALIZE it’s a calendar, so carefully has FW integrated the months and days into the illustration.
Know a calendar worthy of commendation? Say it here!
…in a good way. My signature scent is Prada perfume – I find it simply irresistible, have worn it for well over 3 years and still love it as much as the first time I caught a whiff in a magazine. It is a heady, layered scent of sandalwood and patchouli that encapsulates everything I desire in a perfume – it’s spicy, sweet and warm. However, as absolutely perfect as I find this scent, it has one major drawback – it is very dense, and not at all appropriate for the warmer months. I simply can’t bring myself to wear it anytime after May, as it feels the olfactory equivalent of wearing a fur stole to the beach.
Thus began my search for the ideal summer fragrance. This hunt has been going on for well over a year now. Some girls are perfectly happy flirting around with a different perfume each day, but not me. I am all about commitment, baby. It took me YEARS to discover the perfect perfume in Prada, and I certainly didn’t intend to throw on just any old fragrance for the other half of the year.
In the process of searching, I have had my brief flings: first with a
Voluspa I picked up on the Jersey Boardwalk on a whim. While Mimosa Martini’s intoxicatingly sweet and buttery scent made me feel like I was perpetually fresh off the sand, it was a bit too wild for my tastes: she was the one dancing on the bar by the end of the night, while I was longing to curl up with a book and a cup of tea.
Next came a stint with the more subdued Sugar Lemon. Fresh’s scent was a nice change of pace from Mimosa’s tango-stylings, and it’s fresh lemon scent made me think of porch-swings and grassy yards. However, in the end there was no…magic. Lemon Sugar was just that – sweet lemons. No subtle notes, no implied hints, and in the end it’s lack of layers just bored me. We parted on the best of terms, though.
Fortunately, by the end of these two romances, the leaves had started to change, and I could once again return to my old love. But here we are, almost June again, and driven by an empty bottle of Prada I took up my search afresh (my sample bottle of Chloe was only going to last so long). So yesterday found me at Sephora with my friend Sundari, spraying and whiffing away once more for the perfect perfume. And suddenly, between a handful of paper sticks and a ticklish nose, BAM. Found it.
Michael Kors by Michael Kors
I have to be honest, I generally find Michael Kors fashion a bit of a snooze-fest. But damn, can he make some perfume. Michael Kors by Micheal Kors is a lovely, rich fragrance that perfectly blends floral and spice. The moment I smelled it, I practically swooned. It has freesia in it, which is one of my favorite scents, and just a hint of musk to give it weight. I was surprised to discover tuberose was the main ingredient, as I am not generally drawn to scents with floral bases, but I think that just shows how well the scents in the fragrance compliment each other. To me, it’s just perfect: sweet and blamy, like a warm summer night.
Honorable mention goes to Lolita Lempicka’s new fragrance, L. I have been enamored by this fragrance for months now, and came very close to purchasing it on several occasions. This scent has a base in bitter orange, much like my beloved Prada, and the fragrance reminds me of warm sugar and evergreen and awesome. However, like Prada, it is a very strong scent, and I think much more appropriate for the cooler months. Maybe I can have 2 winter scents after all…