Monday, January 31, 2011

SAG Fashion

So, I totally forgot about the 17th annual Screen Actors Guild awards. Like, it didn't even occur to me that they were on until about 11 o'clock last night.

No!!! was my immediate thought.

And then I realized: Wait a second. All I really care about is seeing what people wore. Thank you, Internet.

So I browsed. I oohed and ahhed. There were a few ughs in there, too, as always. But, I'm too nice to point out the fashion that failed. Instead, I've compiled here the fashion that, in my opinion, was fabulous. Take a look and let me know what you think! (to see bigger, click the photo!)

Ladies in Red
I adore Mila Kunis in this belted, flowy Alexander McQueen dress. It is romantic yet edgy and young at the same time. And her wavy locks and trademark smoky eyes are the perfect fit. She looks cool and a bit sassy, just as I imagine her to be.

And Tina Fey, well, I just applaud her! She has been known to find herself on the worst dress list; but she looks stunning in this red lace Oscar de la Renta gown. It hugs her in all the right places and the embellished bodice adds a bit of fun to a dress that could otherwise be too serious for the comedienne.

Shining brightly
Critics debated whether her crisp white Azzaro column sheath was a bit too tight for her baby bump, but I think Natalie Portman looks gorgeous. (The $2 million in Tiffany jewels doesn't hurt, either.) And I even heard criticism of her hair, that it was a bit too severe. But I don't mind the pulled back look-- because just look at that skin! Flawless! Glowing! Pregnancy is doing Portman good.

Onto Julia Stiles, who, I have to say, looks better than ever. This is how I would want to look on the red carpet. Seriously, that faded navy-and-white Monique Lhuillier gown makes her look lit from within, don't you think? And her hair is great, too. I love the tumbling golden ringlets over her shoulder.

"Glee" starlet Lea Michele abandoned her usual show-stopping ball gown for a sleeker style. Her shimmering sliver Oscar de la Renta dress is sexy but not over the top, and the combination of dewy skin, nude lips and just-rolled-out-of-bed hair completes the effortless look.

Fun & Funky
I've probably mentioned it on here before, but I love color on the red carpet. Don't give me black and boring. Give me fun and funky! I give kudos to gals who take chances when it comes to fashion and I think these risks paid off.

Claire Danes is bringing spring early in her floral belted Louis Vuitton gown. The ruffles at the bodice gives her a little oomph where she needs it and the pops of pinky-orange on her lips and tips-- ahem, nails-- are an unexpected but fun contrast.

Hailee Steinfeld, of "True Grit," is the new face of young Hollywood, and the new face of fabulous young Hollywood fashion. Two awards shows in a row she has nailed it, looking fresh, pretty and age-appropriate (she is only 14 after all). Hailee looked picture perfect in cream at the Golden Globes. She went an entirely different direction this time in a magenta, black and tangerine-striped Prada dress but again, picture perfect! And so cute. I kind of want to wear a shorter version of that dress this summer.

Soft & Nude
Now these weren't my favorites but they are getting honorable mentions. Lea Michele's "Glee" co-star Heather Morris looked sweet and chic in a strapless, crystal embroidered, peachy Romona Keveza dress-- proving fair girls can go nude.

Also looking ethereal was Angie Harmon. The train is perhaps a bit overboard, I'll give you that. But I can't help but love her feathery ballet pink Monique Lhuillier gown. So frilly and feminine and hey, I'm a girl's girl.

Daper dudes
Fashion isn't all about the ladies. Check out these handsome fellas: Justin Timberlake in a Simon Spurr tux and James Franco in a Gucci suit. But really, who am I kidding? I don't care about what they're wearing. Take it off boys! Ooh, sorry. Got a bit carried away there. I'll simmer down...

A different approach
"Modern Family" hot mama Julie Bowen showed the boys how it's done in a Catherine Malandrino paintsuit. You may knock her choice but you gotta give it to her for guts. In a sea of gowns, Julie wasn't afraid to stand out-- and her body is smokin'.  

A forever do...
Finally, I'm throwing in the classic, forever beauty Betty White-- pictured here accepting her SAG award for Best Female Actor in a Comedy Series for "Hot in Cleveland"-- because 1) we should all be so lucky to look this good at 89, and 2) she is the reason I missed the awards to begin with! Besides the fact that I forgot, I was too busy watching her and my new girl crush, Jennifer Love Hewitt, in the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie "The Lost Valentine." Betty had me blubbering like a little baby. It was the sweetest and saddest love story ever. If you see it on while flipping through the channels, you should watch. You won't be disappointed.

There you have it! My SAG fashion rundown. So, did you watch the SAGs? Do you agree with my choices? Who was your "Best Dressed" of the night? (Mine's a tie between Mila and Julia.)

Red carpet images via Yahoo!
Betty White photo via E! Online

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

And the winner is...

Happy Wednesday, everybody! Hope you are having a good week so far. We're almost to Friday!

Well, it's that time. Time to announce the winner of my second-ever giveaway. Thanks so much to everyone who entered! And a special hello and thank you to new readers who played along, too!

Ok, without much further ado, the winner of my giveaway (as chosen by the classic names-on-slips-of-paper, put-em-in-a-cup, shake-shake-shake method) is...


The lovely and fabulous and always inspiring Amber, of The Girl With The Red Hair!! Congrats girl!

I seriously couldn't believe my eyes when the paper was pulled. Amber was my very first commenter. My very first! But I promise, there was no funny business. My dad actually did the honors of pulling a name out of the plastic cup. My first words were, "Are you serious!?" Haha. It was meant to be.

Amber, I think I already have your correct address, but maybe shoot me an email just to confirm? Thanks, love! I'll put those goodies in the mail to you asap... I hope you enjoy!

And thanks again to all of you! If you didn't win, don't worry. Giveaways are just too much fun; I may have to host another one before I hit my third blogiversary :)


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

New fave... Ghost Whisperer

Last week I discovered my new favorite show: "Ghost Whisperer."

I know, I know. The series finale was last year. Better late than never?

Here's what happened: It was, I want to say a Thursday night, and I was up late-- which is nothing new-- flipping through the channels-- also nothing new-- when I stumbled upon "Ghost Whisperer" on WE TV (Side note: I love "My Fair Wedding with David Tutera"!) "Hey!" I thought. "This is new!." So I watched. All it took was one episode and I was hooked. (The fact that they keep running marathons helped the addiction along, of course.)

First, I was captivated by the complete and utter gorgeousness that is Jennifer Love Hewitt. You'd have to watch to get the full effect but her hair looks absolutely perfect in every scene. I am totally envious of her waves. Anyway, Miss Love-ly (sorry, couldn't help myself!) plays Melinda Gordon, an antiques shop owner in a small town and she, oh yeah, just so happens to be able to see and talk to dead people. Or, as her grandma called them, "earthbound spirits" who have unfinished business with the living that is preventing them from "crossing over" into the light.

Second, I was entranced by the hotness and hunkiness of David Conrad, who plays Melinda's unbelievably charming, romantic and supportive hubby, Jim Clancy. Unbelievable as this perhaps too-good-to-be-true character may be, I'd totally play the damsel in distress to his prince and fall into those strong, toned and tanned arms. Just sayin'. Oh, and he has pretty nice hair, too!

Third, of the five or six episodes I have recorded and watched so far (most from Season 1), none have disappointed. They all suck me in and keep me clicking fast forward through the commercials to see what happens next. There's funny moments, cute moments and enough semi-spooky moments to keep things interesting. I will say though that "Ghost Whisperer" is most assuredly a "chick show." Which is not to say a guy wouldn't want to watch it (he likely would for other reasons, see: Jennifer Love Hewitt) but at the end of every episode I get a little choked up when the ghost imparts its final message, finds closure and crosses over.

I know. I'm such a sap! But I love it. I'm thinking I may have to go out and buy the series on DVD.

So, have you seen the show? First run or in late-night marathons like me? And have you discovered a new favorite show? I'd love to hear!

P.S. Time is running out to enter my giveaway! Do it! :)

P.P.S. While we're on the topic of Jennifer Love Hewitt, what did you think of her dress at the Golden Globes? I wasn't the biggest fan, though she did look romantic, soft and ethereal. Her hair and makeup on the other hand were perfection. Some things never change!

Top image via "Ghost Whisperer" facebook
Other images via the show's official website

Monday, January 24, 2011

Cleaning house

I feel like I have spent the past four days trying to organize my life. From scrubbing down and decluttering my bathroom on Thursday (which took three hours, a bottle of 409 and half a roll of paper towels) to laundering my clothes and actually putting them away (in my closet and dresser, as the case may be). In between that, I went through some of the piles of junk in my room that have been sitting around since I moved home (more than six months ago, shhh). I found pretty funny stuff from high school (dance pictures, choir journal) as well as a few college journalism portfolios that I still can't bear to part with. But I did manage to throw away a garbage bag full of stuff and fill another bag with more clothes to give away. (I desperately had to make room in my closet for all the cute new clothes I've gotten recently!)

All of this took an incredibly long time and I am still not done, but at least now the counter in the bathroom is clean and clear and under control (aka, my brother can actually use it) and I can see the carpet on one half of my room! Haha. You may think I am exaggerating... sadly, I am not.

Anyway, I'm glad I was able to be productive this weekend. All this cleaning and organizing had seemed so overwhelming and I didn't know where to begin. But it wasn't so bad once I started. A good life lesson in general I think. A big project (or even a big decision) never seems so impossible once you take the first step.

Hope you had equally productive weekends! And if not, well, I hope you had tons of fun! :)

P.S. Don't forget to enter my giveaway! There's fun goodies up for grabs!

Image via a new-to-me but wonderful site, Pinterest

Friday, January 21, 2011


Is this not the most wonderful little windowsill garden? I am completely smitten! The cute snails (made by JooJooLand, owner of the garden) and the tiny bonsai tree... I want! Unfortunately, my windowsill is not this lovely and bright or big. So instead, I instantly saved the photo to my image file and set it as my desktop! Now it's like I am looking out a window when I am working at my computer. I know, I'm silly, but I had to change the snowy scene I've had as my backdrop since December.

Speaking of plants, do you guys remember my adorable Echeveria, Dondo? Well, he actually is perched--albeit precariously-- on my windowsill. And despite my black thumb, he's doing great! He's even grown a bit on top; there's a little bud that wasn't there before. So that's good news! Because with previous succulents, I pretty much killed them by now. Maybe I will eventually be able to get Dondo some friends and have a cute indoor garden of my own.

So how are things where you are? Aren't you glad it's Friday? (I am!) I've been hearing though that it is awfully cold and dreary where some people are. Is that what it's like where you live? Here in Southern California it doesn't much seem like winter anymore and it's not too chilly-- it has just been super windy! The tree in my backyard (that once upon a time produced nectarines) was even tipping over, so my parents cut it down. Super sad but it was rotted out. Still, other than the blustery breeze, it is nice and sunny here. (Sorry, I'm sure some of you are hating me right about now!)

Anyhoo, fill me in! What are your plans for the weekend? I don't have much going on at the moment-- though I would like to see "No Strings Attached"-- but I'm hoping my productive streak will continue; I spent three hours cleaning (more like detailing) my bathroom last night and I did my laundry! Not so exciting, but necessary.

Till then, have a good one. And thanks to all those who have entered my giveaway so far! For those of you who haven't, there's still time to get in on the fun-- just follow this link.


Garden found via You Are My Fave

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Two years + a Giveaway!

Big balloons for my blogiversary :)

Why, hello there! Life has been sooo busy lately! So busy, in fact, that I let my two-year blogiversary slip by on Saturday with nary a mention!

It's not that I forgot about it though. I most certainly knew it was coming and even marked it on my planner. I just didn't have the time to properly prepare to celebrate it. And by "properly prepare" I mean go out and get something to host my second-ever giveaway! Yay! I'm so excited and I hope you will be too when you see what goodies I have in store. (More on that in a minute.)

I just wanted to do something to thank all of you who stop by here regularly (despite my irregular posting!) to say hello and give such kind, supportive, insightful, encouraging and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny comments. Your little notes really do make my day so I'd love the chance to make one of yours by putting a sweet little gift in the mail to you.

When I began blogging two years ago, I never imagined what a welcoming and wonderful community I'd find. Many of you I consider friends and some I've even met in real life! And I look forward to meeting even more of you through your blogs. There are so many talented, creative and simply fabulous people out there... the blogging community is like an never-ending fountain of inspiration! I feel so happy and even blessed that I am a tiny part of it.

Ok, now onto the prizes :)

Yesterday, after laying out the newspaper, I got a moment to breathe and go to one of my favorite stores: Paper Source! There I picked up...

... an adorable, accordion-style mini desk calendar! This would add a bit of color and cheer to anyone's workspace, don't you think? It can be displayed stretched across a table top, as above, or it comes with a little easel to show one month at a time. And February is just so cute!

... a cheeky retro coaster set. When I saw these I couldn't help but laugh. They would be perfect for setting Cosmopolitans on, say during a girl's night in? My favorite: "I'm so happy it's happy hour." 

... and finally, a Parisian notebook. When I saw its vintage-style map cover, featuring little pictures of landmarks placed on the crooked streets, I snapped it up off the shelf.  I've never been to the City of Love and Lights-- but oh how I'd love to go! I figured this notepad would be a winner since bloggy people adore Paris. But really, who doesn't?

So, what do you think? Would you love to win? I kind of want to keep them for myself but don't worry, I won't. I know one of you will give them a lovely home :)

To enter:
 All you have to do is leave a comment on this post! Easy peasy. Maybe tell me what you've been up to since work has kept me out of the loop for a week or so... Oh, and international readers: you can play too!

My only rule: 
Since this giveaway is to thank my friends and readers, you have to be a follower. But it's so easy! Just click follow and--yay!-- you're done.

To give everyone ample time to enter, I won't pick a winner until next Wednesday, Jan. 26. And then I'll ship the prizes Thursday!

There you have it. My second-ever giveaway! I hope you'll play along! Before I go, one more time, thanks again for being here. Blogging simply wouldn't be the same without you.


Balloon image via we heart it

Monday, January 10, 2011

Scenes from a holiday

A Christmas post, you ask? Yes, I know, Christmas is long gone and over with. But I finally downloaded these images onto my laptop and I just couldn't resist sharing the ones of Hazel. So I hope you'll indulge me a bit. I figure a little cuteness is bound to make anyone's Monday a little brighter, yes?

Hazel in her velvety red Christmas dress. It reminded me of the dress Belle wears in the winter scene in "Beauty & The Beast."

Unfortunately, Hazel wasn't much of a fan and didn't feel like posing for momma (though she did love this pillow! Totally not her gift but she sort of claimed it for a bit.) 

The "torture" only lasted about 10 minutes, tops, and then I took the dress off. Still, she let me know she wasn't pleased with me. This is her giving me "the look" through some unwrapped presents. Even mad she's still cute!

Later, she tried to steal my gingerbread cookie. The little thief! But look at those eyes. It's hard to say no!

Oops, there's no Hazel in this shot! How'd this get in here...

There we are, a little family. I think we all look pretty funny but this was the only one of her looking at the camera!

Alrighty, I'll stop being a proud dog momma now. Hope you had a restful weekend and are having a good start to your week! I saw "Black Swan" with my bestie on Saturday. It was scary and creepy and intense... but good. I know it's gotten mixed reviews but I liked it. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time and when I got home I kind of tried to avoid mirrors. Ha! Natalie Portman was amazing and beautiful, of course. And it made me wish that I hadn't dropped ballet years ago (I always wanted to go on pointe). Have you seen it? What did you think? If not, what did you do this weekend?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Recent splurges

I don't know what's with me this week, especially given that we just went through Christmas and I got plenty of gifts, but I keep buying stuff! This is a problem, I know, and I feel a little guilty about it. So, in a feeble attempt to wipe my conscience clean, I thought I'd confess to you my shopping sins.

First purchase this week:
Item- the chic and simple, but so beautiful, fay necklace.

I had my eye on this dainty piece since the moment Rachel added it to her shop. But I always talked myself out of buying it, convincing myself that I had enough necklaces. (But honestly, in my world there's no such thing as too many necklaces!) But when Rachel's newsletter showed up in my inbox Sunday announcing a 20 percent off sale (sorry, it ended yesterday) to ring in the New Year, I simply couldn't stop myself any longer! Isn't it pretty? There are so many others that I'd like to add to my collection, like this pendant necklace, a light and airy bracelet, and these rings.

Second purchase this week:
Shop- Sephora

My justification for these purchases is this: I have heard rave reviews about the Urban Decay Naked Palette. (One of you first told me about it when I posted about this gorgeous Tarte palette, which I got for Christmas by the way.) One look at the UD palette and you know why people are gushing. Look at all those wearable shades! Plus, it comes with mini version of UD's cult-favorite Primer Potion. So why didn't I snatch it up in November? It was out of stock! That's how popular it is.

Well, as I told you before, I'm what they call a Beauty Insider with Sephora, which basically means they tempt me and test my willpower via email every week. They're always sending me new offers and codes! This week's deal: Enter 2011 at checkout and get two free mini products to celebrate the New Year. That's what got me browsing Sephora in the first place. When I saw the Naked Palette was finally back in stock I, again, couldn't resist! So there you have it. And why a nail file? To get free shipping, of course (I had to add a couple bucks to my order to reach the threshold). But it is a useful purchase. This will explain why...

Third purchase of the week:
Shop- Zoya
Items- Nail polish

Zoya polish in Isla (a rich, blackened red shimmer), Kelly (a neutral gray with soft blue and purple undertones), and Edyta (a dark metallic with hints of gold and olive)

I was watching new YouTube beauty guru Nancy and she mentioned that Zoya, to celebrate reaching 20,000 "likes" on its Facebook page, was giving away three free nail polishes; just enter FB2011 at checkout and pay shipping. Well, I am still doing pretty good on my whole not-biting-my-nails-even-when-I'm-super-stressed-out thing and I figured what better way to motivate myself and keep my tips looking nice than spoil myself with some new nail polish (and the aforementioned nail file)? Especially free polish! Each bottle is usually $7 and I paid just $6.95 for shipping. If you want to get in on this act fast-- the offer ends tomorrow! What do you think of the colors I chose?

Ah, I feel better now that I have gotten that off my chest :) Do you think I'll be forgiven for my shopping sins? Are they good enough to get me a free pass to retail heaven?

Please do share your recent splurges, too! Shopaholics unite.

Ok, full disclosure. I just realized this post doesn't even take into account my run to Kohl's late Monday night. I had $40 in Kohl's cash from my Christmas shopping that was about to expire and I wasn't going to let it go to waste! Someone needs to save me from myself. Or confiscate my wallet.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Hello, 2011.

It’s that time of year again. Time to self-reflect. Time to set goals. Time to beat yourself up over what you didn’t get done last year. Ha! I’m kidding, kind of.

See, looking back at last year’s resolutions, I’d have to say that they mostly all still apply today. It’s a bit discouraging seeing that I haven’t made much progress in the past year-- though I have in the last two weeks stopped biting my nails. Right now I even have little white tips. It’s all very exciting. I hope this time it sticks!

Anyway, like I was saying, it is a bit of a bummer to look back and feel like you didn’t accomplish the goals you set out for yourself. But, there’s no point in dwelling. Just keep swimming! (Gotta love that Dory.) Perhaps I should print that 2010 post out and hang it on my bathroom mirror so that, while I’m brushing my teeth of all things, I’m constantly reminded of what my resolutions are. I really might just do that but while I’m not going to add a bunch of bullet points to that list, I will talk a little bit here about a few personal goals I’d like to work on in 2011.

In the online world, my perpetual resolution is to be a better blogger-- post more, comment more, you know the drill. But in general, I’d like to work on being a better friend, which can happen online but more importantly in real life. I work so hard at being a good employee and yet I still feel like no matter what I do it’s never going to be good enough. I think if I put my effort into being a better person, a better friend, that would be infinitely more fulfilling. And yet it is so easy for me to let the busyness and stress of daily life get in the way of doing the things I love and spending time with the people I love. I have found, particularly in the past year, that it is all too easy to neglect the things that make us who we are and make us feel good to concentrate on the things that we are supposed to do, demanded to do-- even if those things aren’t what build us up and inspire us. 

There’s a balance to be found, for sure, and it is a difficult one to master. There shouldn’t be all work and no play or the other way around, though that way would definitely be more fun! But I guess what I want to strive for is that "timeless" adage: work hard and play harder! What a motto, right? I sound like a sorority girl. (Oh wait, I was one.) But, hey! I’m only 25. I don’t want to look back on my life and only remember all the sleepless nights spent toiling away at my computer. If there is sleep deprivation in my future-- and I know there will be-- I hope it is more often a result of dancing till my feet hurt or spending hours chatting about life with a girl friend, not stressing out over work. Here, here! (Cue me raising a champagne glass.)

My overarching desire for 2011 is this, and I’ve said it before: to be happy. I want to discover true happiness, in all its forms. I want to find what makes me happy and do those things more. If it means taking risks, then I guess this timid, afraid-of-change girl will just have to find her courage, too. 

On the flip side, I want to find what doesn’t make me happy and then do my best to change it or cut it out of my life completely. I’m sure that exercise will be more difficult than it sounds but I really do believe joy is a choice and if you are letting things into your life that stomp all over joy, then really who is to blame for your unhappiness but yourself? So yes, finding, grabbing and holding onto happiness is my simple yet profound goal for 2011. Sure, to really stop biting my nails for good is definitely on the list again too, but I’m thinking that a happier me will be less prone to nail chewing, don’t you?

So here’s to a 2011 with more smiles, laughter and adventure. And here’s hoping your year is full of that, too.


Images via: 1, 2, 3, 4 + 5