Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap

Once a dancer, always a dancer...that's my philosophy. As a former dancer for nearly 20 years, dance (particularly ballet) will forever hold the key to my heart. I remember attending Boston Ballet performances with Stella Bella (she's my spectacular mother) as a little girl and up into my late teens. As I slipped into my velvety dress, clasped my gleaming Tiffany jewelery and tied ribbons to my hair, I remember becoming consumed with anticipation. Once the primping was complete, my mother and I would set out to the Wang Theatre for the long awaited performance of Romeo & Juliet, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella or The Nutcracker (just to name a few). This is a tradition that I cherish and hope to continue with my own daughter one day.

In honor of Leap Day (it only happens once every four years), do something that you love, something that inspires you or something that you've been longing to do. Leap!

Leap

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pancake Crush


Happy National Pancake Day! That's right. An entire 24 hours dedicated to the decadent, floury bliss worthy of my food crush. Pancakes remind me of my father who was a hot cake extraordinaire. As a little girl (and even as a teen and young adult), he would whip up the fluffy goodness laden with plump, mouthwatering blueberries on Saturday and Sunday mornings. I remember being consumed by the intoxicating aroma of sizzling batter and thinking to myself only my Pups can make pancakes this perfect. Fast forward a few years and I've met yet another pancake master who is skilled with a spatula, however my statement remains true only my Pups could make pancakes that perfect.
  
Pancakes also remind me of a rustic romance. Think Under the Tuscan Sun. This is what I need in my life -- a quaint Italian villa (surrounded by vast vineyards, of course) where I can write, drink wine, maybe learn how to cook and enjoy the simple life. I probably wouldn't last more than a month, but the mere thought is soothing. Here's a look at my rustic inspiration board...pancakes and all!
 


  
 
         


If you make me pancakes, I will call you darling!

{all photos via pinterest.com}

Monday, February 27, 2012

My Red Carpet Rundown

By now I'm sure you're all Oscared-out. I know I am. Aside from Sacha Baron Cohen's ashy antics and Jo-Lo's shadowy incident, I'd say this year's Academy Awards were rather dull. I mean how many times can you stomach Billy Crystal?!? Thank goodness for the Red Carpet runway (and blogs) where ordinary women (like myself) can become instant fashion commentators and designer stylists for the better part of two hours.
 
Rue Le Chat's Catwalk
  
Even with her dreadful ponytail, my #1 best dressed pick goes to Gwyneth Paltrow in this Tom Ford ultra-sleek gown and matching cape. Her stunning diamond cuff added just the right amount of glam. Less is more, ladies! As for her hair, I'm not a stylist (I just play one on my blog) but, perhaps a loose bun or some sort of flowing up-do would have been more flattering.

My jaw dropped when I saw Angelina Jolie in this velvet Atelier Versace gown. I mean only a goddess could pull this off. Her toned-to-perfection leg peeking through the thigh-high slit was enough motivation for me to continue my leg lifts. For me, black is never boring...especially if it boasts dramatic folds at the bust. I do like her better with darker hair, but I've always loved her classic red lip.

I was captivated by coral when I saw Michelle Williams in this Louis Vuitton extravaganza. The bold color was just perfect on her milky complexion and I was drooling over the ruched bust and peplum skirt. My fellow fashion commentator, Stella Bella, called me immediately to gush over the Fred Leighton necklace. She loves her diamonds, you know. Michelle exuded a glamorous simplicity that I absolutely adored and I can't wait to see her as Marilyn.
  
Rue Le Chat's Walk of Shame
  
I thought this was just awful. horrid. repulsive, even. Jennifer Lopez's Zuhair Murad dress reminded me of a banquet hall curtain. Of course a mammary mishap was looming with this kind of plunging neckline. Save the gaudiness for the Grammy Awards (where anything goes). This is the Oscars, dahling. And her hair -- what a plastered mess. What happened to the style icon from the 2003 and 2001 Oscars? Jo-Lo, your stylist should be fired...like immediately! 

I can't remember the last time I actually saw Sandra Bullock wearing a dress that I liked. This Marchesa number was a total flop. What was that gold shoulder detail and gold "waist wrap" circa-Gladiator all about? The only part about this dress that I could tolerate was the bottom.

And I thought Stacy Keibler's gold dress was bad. Poor Meryl Streep. She is an extraordinary actress, but her Oscar win couldn't save her from this unflattering Lanvin drape. This dress was sloppy and offered no contour for her curvy figure...plus gold earrings, gold shoes and a gold bag. Gold overload. 
   
Who were your picks for best and worst dressed?
  
Tonight I will be enjoying the Fashion Police on E!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Snow Cones :: Adult Style


This is why I'm absolutely intoxicated and utterly obsessed with Pinterest: ideas, ideas and MORE ideas. I have so many ideas that I don't know what to do with them or where to put them...aside from my pin boards. I often ask myself (as I pin, pin, pin), do I have enough time in my life to try all of these fashionable finds, beauty tricks, decorating tips, mouthwatering recipes and so on? I hope so.

Today I was brought back in time about 25 years (yikes) when a fellow pinner pinned a picture of the Snoopy Sno-Cone machine circa-1979. I immediately pictured myself with long pigtails sitting at my parents' kitchen table and vigorously churning ice cubes through the white sno-making house as Snoopy himself sat atop his red roof and smiled. I waited with excitement as the slush slipped from the shoot and and into my little paper cup. I scooped any icy remnants with the red plastic shovel, garnished my treat with the sweet snowman syrup and voilĂ  - instant sugar high.


My brief trip down memory lane has inspired me to try a little snow coning this weekend. I mean what better way to celebrate President's Day and liven up a frosty February day than with a refreshing burst of summer. As much as I would love to literally use the Snoopy Sno-Cone machine to whip up my slushy concoction, it would be wise to use something more grown-up; think food processor or perhaps an actual snow cone maker. Here is a glimpse at some of the cones I hope to create...


Mango Strawberry Snow Cone

Make Your Own: Mango Strawberry Snow Cone
Ingredients
  • Ice
  • 2 mangoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced 
  • 1 lime juiced, plus wedges for garnish 
Directions
Fill food processor with ice. Process until the ice is very fine, like snow. Add mangoes, strawberries and pulse to blend. Pile the crushed ice into desired glass and shower with lime juice. Garnish with lime wedge. Serve immediately. Consider a splash of Grey Goose Citron to liven things up.

Happy Snow Coning!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love & Lust

After a lengthy hiatus from the blogosphere and just in time to spread a little love (and lust), I'm back with a luscious list of Valentine’s Day loot for the ladies. Gentlemen, take notice.
 
Aside from you, the Christian Louboutin Lady Fox-Heel Platform Slingback is the only lover she’ll need. Spice up her day (and night) with a pair of seduction.


If she's like me, she won’t don real fox fur on her feet so, consider a genuine baby fox. He looks like a kitten, only sexier. Can't find a baby fox for sale (or adoption)?!? See below.


Photo Credit: La Femme Provocatrice
Cartier is always a good idea. If she likes cats, a cat wearing Cartier is even better. This is sure to get you from the dog house to cat house in no time. 


Guys, long stem roses are so last year. Be creative and surprise her with a bed of roses, Italian style. A weekend romp in the 'Life is a Bed of Roses' room at the Maison Moschino in Milan is sure to stimulate her (and your) senses. I love the rich red and hot white minimalist-chic decor in this room. Bellissima!


For some intellectual stimulation, she’ll love a reading or two from Shakespeare’s Love Sonnets. What woman wouldn’t love to hear you recite, “Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?”


                                                       
Fortunate fellas can keep the luck alive with a bottle of Lucky Night from Swanson Vineyards. Luck be a lady tonight! 


Whether she’s a baker or not (like me), she’d start immediately if she found a sparkling hot pink KitchenAid mixer on the counter. I mean, what girl wouldn’t love baking with bling?!? It’s a dream come true! I’m dreaming of all of the tasty cakes and cookies to bake as soon as I'm done with this post. Custom made by Bling Diva Designs.


Finally, Valentine’s Day wouldn’t be complete without a sweet treat. Forget chocolates (boring)! Fudge, no thank you! Try your hand at homemade red velvet cake ice cream. She’ll be doubly impressed if you use the hot pink KitchenAid mixer.

Happy Valentine's Day! I hope cupid is good to you. xoxo.