Thursday, July 31, 2008

Project Runway Recap:Holla at Cha Boy...?

This week, Project Runway Season 5 progresses with lame catch phrase attempts, flashy rain gear, and, er, Sandra Bernhardt? Warning: Spoilers ahead!The best and worst (according to the judges)

After seeing last weeks previews for this episode, which involved heaps of trash-talk and Tim Gunn leading an army of designers in rain gear through New York City, I hoped for some elaborate team challenge where the designers must create a couture gown made entirely of plastic poncho material in the middle of Times Square (or, um, something like that...). I was slightly disappointed to find the challenge to not be so extreme, but no worries, it was still very fun.

The episode started out with the easiest, most undramatic model selection by Suede, the annoying blue fauxhawk (please excuse my use of the term, fauxhawk) sporting, third person speaking guy. The designers then head back to their swanky Atlas apartments (seriously, do they really need to show a shot of the building logo every time) and wait for Tim Gunn who, apparently, is taking them for a night on the town.

If there's anything I've learned from watching countless hours of reality television competition shows, "a night on the town" never actually translates to an actual night on the town. Tim arrives and announces that they will be taking a double-decker-tour-bus ride, despite the rainy weather. He then distributes a plethora of plastic ponchos and bright wellies (!) for all, while, I might add, looking quite smug (or according to Blayne, 'licious. -shudder-)in a black trench.

Most of our contestants are riding around, positively giddy, while some are not. Korto worries of the fate of her hair in the slightly torrential downpour (don't worry, I can relate) and Blayne wishes he was all dolled up for a real night on the town.

The contests are then told that their challenge is to take pictures of New York City nightlife (gasp! how different! what a surprise!) and create an outfit inspired by a photo of their choice. We then undergo yawn-worthy footage of the designers taking photos in the locations they're dropped off at in groups. Meanwhile, Blayne tries to make another slightly successful attempt at being this season's token character by looking for a tanning salon in the middle of Times Square,while Suede fails when he refers to himself in the third person. Among other things, Stella doesn't understand how a camera works; we're not surprised.

Back at Parsons, we're slightly frightened (and entertained) when Blayne scrunches up his face and exclaims to Kenley, the super cute girl with the lovely red lipstick and swoon-worthy hairpieces, that he is going to eat her, but I think he looks more suited to be food with his utter resemblance to a carrot. Kenley reacts by trash talking about...Emily (the obvious reaction, of course), the hipster girl with and "edgy" haircut and plethora of hippie headbands. Perhaps there's too many hair accessories in the room for Kenley to handle? I think he looks more suited to be food with his resemblance to a carrot. Meanwhile, Stella, obsessed with leather, hammers away.
Tim makes his usual rounds to check up on the designers, where he attempts to relate to the younger, slightly "urban" contestants. “Holler at your boy? Holler? Holler? I don’t get it.” Blayne then clarifies that it's "Holla at cha boy, dawg!" -shudder-.
During the commercial break, viewers can answer the question we're all dying to know the answer to: Should "Holla at cha boy" be Tim's new catchphrase?. In case you really were dying to know, 87% said no. So, I guess that means about 3 of the entire 20 viewers with horrible judgement to begin with (they did pay 99 cents per text message, after all) thought that "Make it work" was getting a bit stale.

I envy her
After the high of having a real celebrity judge, Natalie Portman, during last week's runway show, we were sorely disappointed that the producers turned to the E-list (yep, worse than the D-list) and appointed supposed comedian Sandra Bernhardt. Apparently, being a part of the New York nightlife comedy circuit a couple of times qualifies her as a fashion judge? Does this woman even own anything other than a pantsuit? Does she have a chronic disease and the Make-a-Wish foundation now caters to adults,thus deciding to provide her with her dream of being a Project Runway judge? One can only wonder...

(oh, and whats with your hair?)
The runway show was a bit disappointing. Blayne and Keith both present us with dresses reminiscent of something constructed in home ec. Jerrell presents a green tiered gown that really isn't suited for a night on the town and looks reminiscent of medieval princess costumes of Halloweens past.
Kenley, with her cute, 80s inspired turtleneck dress, Terri's flowy frock and pants ensemble, and Leannes sculptural black skirt and top are on top, while Emily, Keith, and Jennifer are on the bottom.

It comes down to Emily and Jennifer. I secretly like Jennifer's clock inspired dress, even if the judges disagree (it's kind of reminds me of Erin Fetherston...for Target, at least), and am glad that Emily is the one auf'd.

You're superhero headwear
will not save you now, Emily.

Well, until next time, folks, holla at cha boy! I'm sorry, I promise never to say that again...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Refill, not landfill, please.

I sure hope that you, dear reader, are enjoying the eco-conscious bar soap we discussed last week in my series of green living tips that are easy and, by no means, trendy. So, for this week I challenge us to...
Just Say No to Bottled Water
Yes, I know, this is an obvious tip. If bottled water were a color, it would be red,the exact opposite of green (ba-duh-bum! sorry...). Now, you probably know all about sins of bottled water (Quirky & Co. readers are particularly intelligent), but I'll remind you of them, anyway.
First of all, the plastic bottle it comes in alone does not deteriorate for thousands of years and requires resources to be manufactured. Then, the water inside is transported (using fossil fuels, I might add) and bottled. Those bottles then must be distributed by automobile or any other type of fuel-powered transportation.

I really don't mean to bore you, dear reader, with the process of bottled water manufacturing, but if you'd like to know more, this article is actually quite interesting and does a far better job explaining than I ever could. This is really quite a fuss over something that most of us have access to just by walking into our kitchens and turning on a faucet.
So, my green challenge for us this week to drink absolutely, positively, no bottled water. If we can manage to live without it for one week, why not all of the time? Now, don't worry, dear reader, I used to be a water bottle junkie, myself. So, to make our tap water fete a lot more interesting, here are some lovely gems of reusable water bottles to fill with that ambrosial liquid known as tap water.

I've always had a fondness towards unnecessary objects plastered with Hello Kitty's adorable face. I used to save my allowance as a child (OK, so I still am a child...) for a visit to the Hello Kitty store. This bottle, by Sigg, available at , is a slightly more mature way to get my Hello Kitty fix (slightly), but for $44.95, I just may have to keep saving that allowance -sigh-. It's cheaper than buying bottled water for the rest of my life, right?

This bottle, by Nalgene, is much easier on my wallet, with the low price of $10. It's message, "Refill, not landfill," is just so clever that I may have steal, uh, I mean borrow it for the title of this post...

Friday, July 25, 2008

News Bits and Baubles

As you embark on your weekend, dear reader, here are some fascinating, lovely, interesting, and slightly thought provoking (please excuse my excessive adjective use) snippets to keep your ingenious brain from turning to mush as you absorb endless television marathons and devour boxes of popsicles (what? Am I the only one that spends their weekend that way?).

When in doubt, eat the whole thing.

+I am absolutely delighted to see that tween (please excuse my use of the word tween) bloggers are getting attention. This bit talks about 12-year-old fashion blogger Tavi (we linked her blog, Style Rookie, look at the blogroll to your right), who is soon appearing in The New York Times style magazine, T. After visiting her blog, I think I can concur that this lovely little girl (little girl? who am I to talk? I'm a mere 2 and 3/4 years older) has much cooler style than most grown women.

+Remember my banter on how eco-friendly living is becoming a fad? Well, apparently, that's not just an opinion, but a fact.

+ While the rest of us may be relaxing and taking in the heat of summer, it's holiday season for brands. Check out how Sephora plans to lure us into buying overpriced cosmetics for our loved ones, come December. I secretly wish someone would gift me that giant lipstick.

+California bans all trans-fats in restaurants. According to this article, they've already been banned in my neck of the woods, too. I didn't even notice (I guess, that's a good sign?). Good news, Californians, you can feed your donut habit without all the guilt of trans fat. Go ahead, grab another chocolate glazed with sprinkles!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

That brown eco-silk might as well have been burlap...

Season 5 of Project Runway proceeds with an earth friendly challenge and a celebrity guest judge who is actually a real celebrity. I've provided, you, dear reader, with my thoughts, minute by minute. Warning: Spoilers ahead!

The Best (according to the judges)

The Worst (according to the judges)

8:59 Resisting the urge to read episode info...

9:01 Suede talking about Suede is going to get old very quickly.

9:04 This model drafting is all too reminiscent of gym class.

9:05 Making a cocktail dress for the model? Snooze (unless it's anything like the model wedding dress fiasco of season 1).

9:06 Green fabrics? Good. This challenge? Still, yawn.

9:07 The models pick the fabric, now I'm awake. If there's one thing we've learned after religiously watching Project Runway for several seasons, it's that a lovely face and good style do not go hand-in-hand.

9:17 Blayne, like I have mentioned before, the whole -licious thing will not take off. I'm not the only one that thinks so.

9:18 Kelli to Stella "Hey, Drapey Draperson!" Now, there's a catchphrase.

9:20 I'm drooling over the dress Emily is wearing. In fact, I'm being more entertained by the designer's outfits than what they're sewing. Just look at Kenley's entire persona or Leanne's geeky-chic glasses.

9:21 Tim Gunn just said "hot mess." A sign of the apocalypse, perhaps?

9:24 A young celebrity?!? -oohs and ahs-

9:29 If Stella needed leather so badly, maybe she could just use some of Blayne's overly tan skin?

9:36 A Rachel Zoe reality show? I think I'm going to "die" Remind me not to tune in (although, I inevitably will).

9:39 Notice that Nina is now just "editor-at-large."

9:39 The young celebrity guest judge is...Natalie Portman! I wish I could stand behind a shadow screen and do jazz hands and look as cute as her.

9:40 Keith, your dress reminds me of fine draperies. A bubble hem? Seriously? I though we had moved on.

9:42 These designers aren't doing much to promote eco-fabric.

9:46 Wait, Stella's is one of the best? It looks like something a semi-rocker girl would wear to her 1998.

9:47 Leanne's is one of the worst? I find it interesting and adorable. Those darn judges...

9:56 I can't get over how much Suede's dress reminds me of my tot ballet class costume.

9:57 It's OK, Kenley, yours is still lovely.

9:58 Leanne! Leanne! Leanne!

9:59 I'm sorry, Wesley, your look is clean and classy, that dress, however, is not.

10:00 Next week: ponchos, trash talk, and a Tim Gunn freakout. I can't wait!

Those were my thoughts on this week's episode, what about yours, dear reader?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Roll Out The Red Carpet...

I am very very very excited to announce I have been awared the Brilliant Weblog Premio by Keri of I,Suburbanite. I beg you to visit her lovely blog.

The Rules of The Award Are...
1) When received, you may post the premio on your blog.
2) Link to the blogger you received from.
3) Give it to 4 blogs
4) And link to those blogs
5) Also, leave those four bloggers a comment about receiving the brilliant premio.

I have decided to award these fellow bloggers...
1. Sasha of The Copycatters.
2.Shirley of Shirley's Place.
3.Mary of Hail Mary.
4.Jenn of Go Couture Yourself.

Lime Raspberry Mousse Cupcakes with Basil Cream Filling (minus the basil cream)

Last week, I embarked on quite an adventure making these little cups of deliciousness (I got the recipe from the extremely lovely and inspiring cupcake bakeshop by Chockylit). First, there was the hunt for raspberries in my local Whole Foods (apparently, if you don't get there by 2 in the afternoon, the raspberry monster comes and buys them all), which resulted in me turning to the frozen version. Then, there seemed to be no basil in sight (I really wish someone told me from the start that basil isn't store with all the other herbs. Instead, it has it's own little basket near the ...apples).

I then managed to fail at making simple syrup, not once, but twice. Actually, I don't think I ever succeeded because when I added the the syrup to the whipped cream, it turned out looking more like egg salad -sigh-. It tasted horrible, and, thus, ended up in the garbage disposal. The raspberry mousse tasted alright, but didn't look anything like the loveliness perched atop the original cupcakes -another sigh-.

After reading the cupcakes needed another flavor component, I did, however, manage to create a magnificent recipe for lime cake. I simply added 2 tablespoons of lime juice and some zest and took away 2 tablespoons of milk. I will most definitely make the cake part again.

Overall, I'm absolutely sure I did something wrong with the mousses. But, hey, nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? Right?

Dear Lindsay Lohan,

Why? Why must you create garments that contribute to the downfall of society? We thought the leggings trend was this close to leaving the building, but, alas, you are trying to revive it. Sadly, it seems to be working, as your line has sold out. Come on, do you really have to call your line 6126, after Marilyn Monroe's birthday? We think it's highly inappropriate that you seem to be comparing yourself to a very troubled star, who, in case you forgot, took her own life (plus, Sienna Miller already played the birthday-as-name-of-fashion-line card with Twenty8Twelve).

Calling what looks like leopard legwarmers "ankle gloves?" Last time I checked, my ankles aren't really prone to coldness, especially in the middle of July. If we really wanted a pair of skintight, lame, high waisted leggings, we could just hope on over to American Apparel, where they don't cost $99. I don't even want to consider why anyone would even need leggings with built in kneepads. The zipper pair isn't terrible, but I refuse to pay $123 just so I can have air vents on the side of my leggings.

Please, reserve leggings for yoga class, not the night club. And, one more thing; why do you even need to collect the profits from this line? You are probably one of the highest paid young people in the world (How and why? I just don't know). Why not actually do something meaningful, like giving the profits to a charity (Which charity? I do not know. Maybe something along the lines of "Fashion Victims Anonymous").

Gabby (and the rest of humanity)

P.S. The leggings only come in sizes 0,1,2,3. Is that your interpretation of xs,s,m,l or are these just reserved for skinny folks?

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Spectacle of Sorts

The other day, I decided to visit Jonathan Adler's online shop. You may ask, dear reader, what is a teenage gal like me doing visiting the site of an interior design maven? Well, it could be that HGTV has been blasting on my television lately, due to my mom's interior design obsession, and that it has now trickled down to me.

Jonathan Adler creates rooms and furniture in the style which he calls "happy chic." Happy and chic, it is indeed, but, since I'm only a child, I really have no need for fine home furnishings (and even if I did, I would probably visit my very affordable friends at Ikea. Their food court alone is a reason to visit.). After looking over the said fine furnishings that I don't need, I stumbled upon the "curiosities page," where I found this lovely specimen, below.

This groovy needlepoint eyeglass case is the perfect thing to hold my spectacles. I've been searching for a cute case for so long (the clunky brown leather one that came with my glasses is a real bore) and this seems just right. There's also other novelty needlepoint goodies like coin purses and pencil cases, all of which can be found here. Of course, as everything that I seem to want these days is, it's a bit costly for me at $38. Yet another item to add to my list, entitled "Get Money/Beg Parents."

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Lean, mean, green living machine.

In case you haven't heard, green is the new black and, honestly, I'm kind of tired all this eco hullabaloo. It's not that i don't support being eco-friendly, dear reader, not at all. I'm just so very tired of people wearing shirts plastered with recycle symbols while throwing their soda cans into regular wastebins or girls sporting those Anya Hindmarch "I'm not a plastic bag" bags while drinking from a plastic bottle and using the tote as a handbag, rather than actually holding purchases in it.

I'm tired of the trendiness of it all, because making eco-friendly choices shouldn't just be a trend, it should be a lifestyle that everyone strives for. So, follow me, dear reader, as I attempt to make my life a bit greener and a little better with weekly easy, small tips that will hopefully make the world a better place.Fingers crossed.

Rub a dub dub, don't put liquid soap in your tub.
Liquid soap is probably something you don't think about very often, but think of this: the normal bottle of liquid soap is not recyclable. Apparently, the dispenser in the bottle prevents it from being recycled and ultimately ending up in a landfill. Plus, most run-of-the-mill liquid soaps contain a bunch of preservatives and chemicals you wouldn't want to rub all over your precious hands. Bar soaps are probably one of the most eco-friendly products out there, and you wouldn't even know it. They often contain little to no packaging and gentle ingredients. Best of all, they're super cheap,too!
I decided to pick up a simple lavender scented hand soap bar from my local Whole Foods, which cost a whopping $1.29 and had very minimal packaging. I also grabbed an organic and fair trade made bar with natural exfoliants built in, which cost $1.49 and the only packaging on it was a bar code sticker!

Project Runway Recap...better late than never.

Project Runway is, in my opinion, one of the very few reality shows that you can walk away from without feeling like your IQ has dropped a couple of points. So, as you can imagine, dear reader, I was super excited for season five to begin last Wednesday. I excitedly woke up that morning and kept checking the clock throughout the day to make sure I wouldn't miss the premiere. Finally, 9:59 came around and I sprinted to my television, only to discover an episode of ...Shear Genius, a haircutting competition show that could never even compare to the loveliness that is Project Runway.

Utterly confused and disappointed, I checked my TV guide; it turns out that Project Runway was on at nine, not the usual ten it had been for the past 4 seasons. After seeing countless promos, how did I not register into my head that it was coming on at nine? Do not fret, dear reader, I soon discovered it would be replayed at eleven. are my thoughts on the new season (spoiler alert!).

As you may know, dear reader, there has been quite a bit of drama over everyone's favorite fashion design competition in the last few months, including the extremely public firing of Nina Garcia from Elle and the show's move to Lifetime (yuck!) from Bravo for season six. No worries, though, the show's producers have seemed to make it work (bah-dum-bing! Sorry, was that a bad pun?).

Instead of featuring a mix of experienced designers and amateurs ,it seems this season mostly contains semi-established designers with excellent skill. The cast seems pretty diverse, with the exception of about three women who I still can't separately identify. They all had that indie-hipster look blunt haircuts. There's Jennifer, who's design theory can be described as "Holly Golightly goes to a Salvador Dali exhibit" and her favorite designers are Schiaparelli, Moschino, and Cynthia Rowley. I can't wait to see more of her work, since her aesthetic has to be my all time favorite of any Runway designer.

Then there's Blayne, a self-proclaimed "tanorexic" who seems to be attempting to market the term "girlicious" like Christian Siriano did with "fierce" in season 4. I suppose he hasn't heard of a little group call The Pussycat Dolls? If you thought that was bad, there's the super whiny Stella, a middle aged rocker with a knack for all things pleather. I think we can deem these two the annoying characters of the season (oh, and that guy Suede, who prefers to refer to himself in the third person).

The season-opener challenge (presented by hilariously flamboyant season one contestant Austin Scarlett. Boy, do I love when they bring old contestants back)was to create a look using products purchased from a grocery store, just like the first challenge in season one. I have to admit, I become positively giddy inside whenever Tim Gunn presents a challenge using unconventional materials, especially food (remember the Hershey's challenge of season 4? -swoons-).

It was a bit disappointing to see the myriad of tablecloths purchased (During the commercial break, I envisioned creating a cocktail dress of cupcake liners embellished with bits and baubles, courtesy of the candy aisle), but there were some absolutely brilliant creations, like the sweetheart dress created completely out of those unambiguous plastic party by Daniel, the dyed vaccum bag skirt by Kelli, the fresh produce embossed dress by Korto and the tiered party dress composed of paper towels by Jennifer.

Some of my favorites

In my opinion, the judge's final decision was inaccurate (I threw my remote on the ground and started verbally abusing the judges). Blayne's horrific attempt at being edgy that turned out to look more like an ensemble for an extremely dark and twisted baby, complete with a high waisted diaper and bib shoulder pads and Stella's dress that started out looking like a trashbag and ended up just looking plain trashy seemed to pass just enough under the rador, resulting in neither of them being eliminated (I'm convinced ,Michael Kors was sympathetic towards Blayne. They both share a passion for day-glo colored skin, after all). Jerry was sent home for his raincoat ensemble, which was awful, but definitely much better than anything Stella or Blayne could stitch up in a lifetime. Well, no matter what the judges may say, I'm super excited to see more from this season's designers.

Some of the worst.

Well, dear reader, I'm very sorry for the long winded post, but I hope you enjoyed it. Be on the lookout for next week's live Runway post, just as long as I tune in at the right time.

p.s. What are some of your thoughts on the new season?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Carryall is not a literal term, ahem.

Rotten milk. Previously chewed gum. Unidentifiable substance that you think is peanut butter. What do all of these things have in common? Yes, they all happen to be things you could find in a dumpster, but that's not what I'm talking about. All of these things mysteriously work their way to the surface of my schoolbag by the end of the year. Dear reader, much to your surprise, the floors of the average high school are by no means clean, especially the floors of the cafeteria.

There are always inevitable moments where I must place my schoolbag on said dirty floors. It is during these moments that I believe my schoolbag becomes an unintentional paper towel for the filth created by the oh-so-lovely students. I find it rather unfair that my poor schoolbag is trashed, while I seem to be the only one to pick up after myself -sigh-. But don't worry, dear reader, my days of religiously scrubbing Tide-to-go pens across my poor schoolbag in a bathroom stall could soon be over.
This swoon-worthy carryall bag by Orla Kiely has a comfy handle, roomy pockets for my pencils, a versatile color palette, and space for my textbooks. Best of all, the fabric is laminated. So, if this lovely bag is attacked by the lunch room floor monster, I just need to wipe it clean. Granted, it is $185, and, like I've said many times before, I just don't have that kind of moolah to be throwing around, but, maybe with a little begging and pleading (and, um, hair pulling, door throwing,and a bit of screaming) I'll be able to convince my dear parents that this bag will, essentially, give me a happier, more peaceful, and cleaner schoolyear. Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Here Comes The Sun...

Ah, the sun. It makes plants grow, brings light, and supplies us all with a source of vitamin D. Oh, yeah, did I mention it can kill you? It seems everywhere I look, lately, there's a bunch of hullabaloo about sun protection. Tanning? Don't even think about it. SPF this, UVB-UVA that, skin cancer, premature aging...all of this talk is enough to make a gal curl up in her basement and never come out again. Take it from me, dear reader, I know a little something about what happens when one forgoes sunscreen, I generally burn up like a marshmallow on the flame of a campfire without it. Now, as much as I love s'mores, this is a very unattractive look. Now that we're into the thick of summer, I think it's appropriate to share some of my favorite products (and products I want to try!) for combating that big ol' ball of fire in the sky.

This transparent, matte powder SPF by Peter Thomas Roth is a super easy way to protect yourself. The brush applicator is very convenient, too. Plus, since it's a powder it won't clog your pores like many other suncreens. I'd love to try this, but for $30 it's a bit costly for me (I'm a teenage girl with a monthly income of $6.57). Maybe I'll add it to my back-to-school shopping list, after all, sun protection is important all year round. Available at your local Sephora.

Lately, I've been using this Coppertone Sport Faces Suncreen with an SPF of 50. Now, I am by no means athletic. In fact, I'm one those kids who kick the soccerball into their own team's goal (hey, at least I kicked the ball into a goal) and use every excuse possible to get myself out of gym class ("My pet goldfish died, yesterday. Due to the emotional trauma, I cannot participate"), but this sunscreen simply protects you from the sun even if you sweat or get wet. Since it's oil-free, it won't clog your pores. I recommend using it instead of your usual moisturizer and then apply makeup.Plus, with the price tag of $6.99, it's easy on the wallet. Available at your local drugstore.

Stila illuminating tinted moisturizer with SPF is perfect for those times when you need to wear makeup, but don't feel like putting on SPF and foundation (it's middle of summer, the last thing you want is a melting face). This tinted moisturizer not only protects your skin,
but gives it nice coverage and a healthy, natural glow (no orange faces here). I originally tried this when I purchased a full-size Stila kit from ULTA, which included this, an eyeliner/eyeshadow duo, eyeshadow, blush, lip gloss, and mascara all for the spectacular value of $40. I believe the kit is still available, so if you are blessed to live near an ULTA, it's the perfect chance to t
ry this (and many other products). If not, it's
available at Sephora for $32 (see what I mean when I say spectacular value?).

Now that you know my sun protection picks, what are some of yours, dear reader?

P.S. Does anyone know of a good SPF lip balm?

Monday, July 14, 2008

This tea is sublime, mate!

I'd like to dedicate this post to my favorite beverage, Honest Tea Sublime Mate. I mean, I'd really hate to have one of those blogs that just contains free pulls for stuff I like, but, dear reader, this stuff is truly sublime. Honestly, I reached for this at my local Whole Foods after seeing a line of Kiehl's face products containing Yerba Mate, a blend of tea. I thought "Hey, maybe if I drink this I'll have gorgeous skin!" A girl can dream big ,after all. I don't know if it did anything for my skin, but it sure made my taste buds feel good. The Honest Tea site sums up this ambrosial liquid best.

"A delicious energizing blend of South American yerba mate (pronounced mah'tay) and organic limeade with a hint of ginger. "

Even better, Sublime Mate is certified organic by the USDA, and, I don't know about you, dear reader, but I choose organic whenever possible.

P.S. Now that Yerba Mate has made my insides feel lovely, I think I'll make a stop at my local Kiehl's counter and try out the skincare line. Who knows, maybe it'll make my face feel lovely.

Friday, July 11, 2008

PB& J with no crusts, please. Actually, No bread, for that matter.

Last night I was struck with an immense craving for peanut butter and jelly, but, being the kind of gal I am, I could not simply enter my kitchen and make a sandwich. No, I had to make peanut butter and jelly cupcakes. With the help of my dear old friend, Google, I was able to find this extremely easy and delicious recipe. The cake was super moist, yet light, and the frosting was probably the best frosting I've made in my life. The setback was that I had no squeeze bottle for the jelly, but no worries, dear reader, I just cut a little piece off the top of each cupcake, spooned in some jelly, and put the piece back on. I then simply iced them with the scrumptious frosting to cover up my dirty work, and voila, some of the most delicious cupcakes I have ever tasted.

P.S. Does anyone know how I can get rid of the date in the corner of my pictures? It's driving me bananas.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Pajama Party

During a trip to the mall yesterday, I stumbled into Gap. I've been a huge fan of Gap, ever since I wore Baby Gap onesies when I was a,um, baby. Right now, they're having a terrific sale where anything that is marked down has an extra 25% off. I walked away with a simple, kind of slouchy white tee with tie at the waist, an oversized grey 3/4 sleeve tee, and this lovely dress, below. The odd thing about it is that the tag says Gapbody and it was placed in the Gapbody section of the store, you know where they sell loungewear and undergarments. So, I guess this great dress that I fell in love with is not a dress, but a... nightgown? That basically sums up the story of my life. Whatever the tag may say, I'll continue wearing this "nightgown" as a daytime dress. For your viewing pleasure, dear reader, here are some outfits I've composed with my dress/nightgown (I got tired of dressing my mannequin______, so I held back my camera shyness and modeled). Top: Guess (girls)
Belt: Abercrombie (salvaged from my horrific "aberzombie" stage a few years ago. Shudder.)

Tights: Target

The Darjeeling Limited

I had wished to see this film for the longest amount of time and, on a recent trip to the DVD rental vending machine(isn't that amazing? a DVD vending machine!) in my local grocery store, my wish came true. I had gone in search of Definitely, Maybe (my sister's request, not mine), which looks cute and all, but definitely not a piece of groundbreaking film (but hey, I haven't actually seen it. If you have, Dear Reader, I would love to hear about it). It turned out Definitely, Maybe was out of stock and so, I got to choose The Darjeeling Limited, which after viewing twice, I have decided is a very lovely piece of groundbreaking film. The movie follows three American brothers, Francis, the control freak of the family who's face was just mamed in a car accident, Peter, who is extremely nervous due to the upcoming birth of his son, and Jack, who is always stuck in the middle of his brother's arguments and can't let go of his inconsiderate girlfriend, who decide to come together for a train voyage across India, after not seeing one another since their father's death one year earlier, in hopes of bonding with one another, finding themselves, and ultimately, become the brothers they used to be.

The brother's "spriitual journey" goes haywire due to events involving objects such as deadly snakes, pepper spray purchased on the street, and Indian painkillers, but they soon discover an entire unplanned journey where they least expect it. The beautiful imagery of the film, not to mention the meaningful and often times funny dialogue (or the amazing soundtrack I can't stop listening to), is a reason alone to watch the movie. I give this film 5 out of 5 cupcakes.

P.S. The suitcases in this film, which play a huge role, symbolically, were made by Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton.
P.S.S. I am now stuck with a huge craving for Indian food.Perhaps these Indian cupcakes?

Thats her? Really?

Hmm, is it just me or does this young Hollywood beauty, look, well, a little less than that on this upcoming cover of Seventeen? Let's compare this cover to some other, shall we say, classier titles.

Yep, I'm convinced some super jealous tech-inclined intern over at Seventeen had something to do with this.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

This will make your eyes as big as your cake plate.

If you haven't noticed, I have quite a cupcake fetish. Cupcakes are all that is good in this world. They are sweet, beautiful,and best of all, make people genuninely happy (I mean, come on, have you ever ate a cupcake without experiencing at least a teensy bit of joy?). So, naturally, when I came across this lovely specimen, pictured below, I became very happy. The Great Cupcake Pan from Williams-Sonoma creates a cupcake of gigantic proportions with two sections; one shaped like the frosting and one like the cake. The frosting shaped portion can even be filled with ice cream to make an ice cream cupcake (ice cream cupcake! a giant ice cream cupcake!). It sells for $35 and is available at your local Williams-Sonoma or Now, granted, I don't have $35 to blow on a giant cupcake pan, but the next time someone asks what I would like for a gift, I'll know what to tell them (wink wink, dear reader).

Monday, July 7, 2008

Simply Boring

My Fourth of July weekend turned out to be pretty good (how was yours, dear reader?). My outfit turned out to be a success and I even had the pleasure of devouring a red velvet cupcake with red,white, and blue sprinkles. Unfortunately,though, my weekend at the beach turned out to be more like 3 hours at the beach when it was interrupted by clouds and thunderstorms -sigh-. In attempt to cure my boredom (the house I was staying in had no TV or computer, I had finished The Catcher In The Rye (the only book I brought with me),my oh-so-generous sister wouldn't share her laptop, and just the thought of visiting another ice cream shop made my hips expand), we drove to a Kohl's outside of the beach town to explore the Simply Vera by Vera Wang collection. Last fall, I'd seen a spread about the collection in Teen Vogue that made the clothes look absolutely fabulous and had been curious since. Dear reader, I was dissappointed. The design of the clothes was alright, but nothing spectacular. It was obvious that the clothes were not flying off the racks, as there was an abundance.The quality did not match the price point (think Forever 21 clothing at J.Crew prices). The few items I did try on were ill-fitting and, again, overpriced (a jersey dress was marked down 25% to $51). The accessories and shoes were not much better. Now, if Vera could only design something like this Vera Wang Lavender Label dress, below, in a cheaper fabric, we would be in business. Ahh, how I wish we lived a world where the clothes were cheap, but the design and quality weren't.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Hey, where's the frosting?

Hope your weekend is as sweet as this video!

Oh, how I wish my troubles would just skate away...

While shopping today, I stumbled into, of all places, a sporting good store. Now, dear reader, I have little to no athletic ability and I'm hardly seen wearing sweatpants or sneakers, so this fete of my mine was quite out of character. While stumbling around, I came to a clearance table, where among the deeply discounted footballs, baseball cards, and athletic gear (FYI: If you need to by a gift for a brother, father, grandfather, or any other significant male in your life and are running low on cash, mosy on over to Modells) I saw a pair of white roller skates with pink wheels, similar to the ones above. They were so retro cute and my size, but best of all, they only had a price tag of $20 (while looking for the picture above, I learned a pair of run of the mill white and pink roller skates can cost like $180!) Sadly, dear reader, I did not have $20 or a use for pink roller skates. I begged my mom, but she said "Yes, they're cute, but you will never rollerskate and they'll just collect dust if you try to "display" them in your room."

Unfortunately, she's right and even though I have dreams of being one of those women that glide around Central Park and rollerskate while looking so cool and effortless, I guarantee I'd twist my ankle after riding around for five minutes. So, buyer of cute white rollerskates with pink wheels, take care of them, please. But then again, maybe if I search my couch for change I could afford them...

I'm so American that I wear my patriotism on my skirt...

What isn't there to love about the Fourth of July? Hot dogs, fireworks, and patriotic outfits. Actually, I'll admit, I've seen some outfits that just basically made a mockery of our country in an attempt of patriotism (um, sequin oversized Uncle Sam hats, anyone?).Here is my fourth of July ensemble for tomorrow (modeled by the lovely _______, whom I'm still waiting for you, dear reader, to give a name!). The recently purchased skirt that I just keep gushing over is from Forever 21 and the tank is from Target. I'm considering keeping it simple and wearing a plain white tank instead of the ruffle one and pairing it with metallic gold sandals. I think this of a much chicer way to show off my patriotism rather than the Old Navy flag tees of my childhood,no? (Would anyone else buy them every July when they were little, or is that just me?)Should we pair it with this bag, or would that be too close to entering sequin Uncle Sam hat territory? Too much red?

3 bottles of nailpolish and 9 1/2 nails.

Clockwise from top,long stem roses, shorty pants, and bahama mama. All by Essie.

Today, my mom and I ventured to Ulta after recieving a flyer in the mail that boasted about an amazing once in a lifetime sale and included a $3.50 coupon. How could I resist(besides, I can be entertained for hours just swatching eyeshadow on my hand, seriously)? Essie and OPI nailpolishes were all buy 2 get 1 one free.Being the cheapskate that I am, I opted for Essie because it's an entire $1.50 cheaper than OPI. It took me a while to choose, but I narrowed it down to the three pictured above. I was a little nervous to jump on the yellow nailpolish bandwagon with shorty pants and still can't decide if it looks cool and lemony on or just like I have a nail fungus problem. Speaking of nail problems, I'm currently sporting 9 1/2 nails, yes, you read that correctly. We don't want to get into details, dear reader, but we'll just say we had a mishap while shaving our legs a few days ago.Anyways, everyone rush to you local Ulta because they have some amazing deals.

P.S. The background of the picture above is from the back cover of a vintage My Fair Lady film book that I scored for $4 at a thrift shop.

Name The Mannequin!

This is my lovely mannequin,_____. ______ has been a part of my life every since I stumbled upon her in a thrift shop at the age of 9 or 10. ______ has an excellent figure, wondeful style, and she fits in everywhere. Now, ______, will be serving as a model for Quirky & Company until I get over my severe case of being camera shy. The only problem is _______ has no name (I know, it's sad, I've always just referred to her as "the mannequin"). Dear readers, pick a name for _____ and I will choose one in a few days. Good luck!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Dear Brownies, please be delicious. Signed, Gabby.

We finally made those amazing looking chocolate cherry brownies (I know, it's been a whole entire 2 days! What took me so long?) and well, the result was not as spectacular as we would have hoped. They tasted absolutely delicious, but half of them wouldn't even come out of the pan and the rest were falling apart.They didn't have that amazing moistness like the ones from the original recipe. I think this is partially due to the fact that the recipe had metric measurements which I converted using possibly unreliable internet calculators. Perhaps if I used cupcake liners they would have held together, but I just can't do that as I hold cupcakes very dear to my heart and sort of feel like making a brownie in a cupcake holder is kind of sacrilegious.(hmm, actually now that I think about it, a brownie cupcake would be amazing. Future experiment? Definitely).My mom thought they were fabulous (her words, not mine), my dad will basically eat anything and think it's good, and my sister kept sneaking tastes whenever she passed through the kitchen. Overall, not bad, but I should eliminate recipes with metric measurements. If I didn't have such a passion for licking the mixing spoon covered in batter, I just might use the cheaper and easier path of buying brownies.Just maybe.

Peeves, Part Uno

Do you ever just get really annoyed by the littlest things? Well,if you don't, you either are the reincarnation of a saint or you have a supernatural amount of patience. I have neither of these things and I've decided to share my biggest pet peeves in a series I like to call, well, peeves.

-Bluetooth( not even sure if thats the correct spelling)
Seriously, take a step back and look at your life if it requires you to constantly wear a cell phone headpiece in your ear. Moreover, the reason I really hate Bluetooth are situations like this one at the grocery store last week:

Lady with obnoxious designer bag and Bluetooth (note: it was on her left ear, I was standing to her right. We are the only people in the aisle): Hmmm...what do you think is better? The vanilla honey granola or the cinnamon raisin?

Me: Well, I've never tried either before so I couldn't tell you, sorry.

Lady (doesn't even realize I spoke to her): Yea, but I can't decide because I know Maddie really like cinnamon raisin and Hunter likes the vanilla honey. Oh, whatever, I'll just get both. So anyways, how was your blind date with whats his name?(She walks away).

At this moment I realize she is wearing that darn Bluetooth in her ear.

-When there are crumbs in the stick of butter.
So, you know when someone's scraping butter on your toast and the crumbs go on the knife,take some more with it, and then don't bother to scrap off the crumbs on the stick of butter? It drives me insane! If I wanted your onion bagel crumbs on my poppyseed bagel, I would have ate an everything bagel!

So those are my peeves for today.What about you, dear reader, what bothers you?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Splitter Splatter

Feel like channeling your inner abstract artist? Try the ultra addictive, ultra fun Jackson Pollack art generator at Be warned: it's hard to stop.