Archive | February, 2012

Oscar Hits and Misses

29 Feb

Like 41+ million other people, I too watched the Academy Awards on Sunday night. It is by far one of my favorite television nights of the year.  The event took on an old theatre theme this year that I just loved. Between Billy Crystal’s somewhat fun attempt at musical numbers, the Muppets, Cirque du Soleil and the gorgeous dresses I was kept well entertained.

Like any good viewer, I settled in around 5:30 with Ryan Seacrest and the E! team to watch the red carpet. It’s probably the best part of the night. I was a little distracted by Kelly Osbourne’s hair (I can’t believe she kept it like this for the whole awards season – tragic), Giuliana’s large smiley face and the swarm of cleaners that attacked Ryan after The Dictator spilled “ashes” on him  but all in all it was a good pre-show. So what were some of the hits and misses this year? Well, if you want an official review you can check out E! but I think my review is just as good.

HITS

Let’s give some props to Giuliana Rancic who was sporting a gorgeous Tony Ward number. Those sleeves!

Oh Gwyneth. I have such a girl crush on you. Your white Tom Ford dress was amazing and although the cape interfered with your posture a bit, you looked regal

Viola Davis is not only talented but she is a stunner. This green Very Wang dress was exceptional – love the top

One of my favorite dresses of the night was worn by Jessica Chastain. A relative newcomer, she rocked the red carpet in this classy Alexander McQueen gown

Leslie Mann may not be a true A list celebrity but she certainly acted the part on Sunday. This Roberto Cavalli dress was amazing and I love the navy

I really loved the bronze sequins dress worn by Ellie Kemper. This Armani Prive number was hot!

Tina Fey looked the prettiest I have ever seen her look. Her black, classic Carolina Herrara gown was perfect for her and I just loved her hair

Octavia Spencer  was one of the prettiest women on the carpet. Her Tadashi Shoji gown shined like a star and was flattering for her figure

MIXED EMOTION

Let’s talk about the red on the carpet (no pun intended). I loved the color on each of these three ladies but the looks were a bit off. Emma Stone has impressed me over the past two years with her red carpet style but something about her red Giambattista Valli dress threw me off. That bow was bigger than her head! Natalie Portman looked sweet in her big red Dior gown but polka dots for the Oscars?? Not so sure. I also didn’t like her necklace with the dress…it didn’t match.  Those of you who read often know that I love Louis Vuitton and Michelle Williams’ dress was very pretty but I didn’t love the odd sparkle adornment at the waistline and the most off-putting part about her look on the red carpet was her hair – where is it?? Time to grow it back sweetie

I am torn on Stacy Keibler’s dress. Everyone is talking about how amazing she looked  in her Marchesa’s single-strap gold lamé column gown but the color is too chinzy for my taste and the big flower is distracting and somewhat unflattering on her (maybe this is jealousy talking)

Angelina Jolie needs to gain some weight. Her super sexy Atelier Versace gown shouted movie star but her skinny arms took away from her look (and her weird leg poses on stage didn’t help)

MISSES

Can Jennifer Lopez wear something that covers her? Her Zuhair Murad dress didn’t work. I’m over the plunging neckline and the stripes were distracting

Dear Meryl – I understand that you are an older woman but that doesn’t mean that you need to wear a gold drape around your body. Horrid

Not to be mean, but the Valentino Couture on young actress Amara Miller was so drab. Where was the color for this young starlet?

I usually am a huge fan of Elie Saab but this dress that Berenice Bejo wore was unfortunate. The color was ok but the beading was confusing

Sandra Bullock’s Marchesa dress didn’t fit. It simply didn’t fit…who styled her? They’re fired

Rooney Mara is dark and interesting…yeah, yeah…we know…it’s a shock that she didn’t wear black. That being said, where is her jewelry? She is so bland in her Givenchy gown. She looks like a glass of milk

Anyway, I could go on and on. Love, love the Oscars. Maybe someday I’ll go like my friend Reshma did this year. She looked very pretty herself – even without the stylist.

Wink,

Style Girl

Beyond Fenway Franks

24 Feb

My friend Julie is a bit of a foodie. I asked her about what’s hot in town and she offered to write up a little number on one of her fave new dining locations – Fenway. Here’s her take on where to nosh

Eating My Way Through Fenway

I love to eat and I take great pleasure in trying new restaurants and genres of food.  So, when Style Girl asked that I write a feature about dining, I most happily obliged! 

Since I work in the Fenway area, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to brag about the wonderful variety of provisions found in this neighborhood.  What?  Great dining near Fenway Park?  I know – it hasn’t always been the case.  But it’s certainly the case now.

The Fenway dining movement started with the opening of the Hotel Commonwealth.  The heart of the hotel is Eastern Standard and it’s certainly “the heart that keeps Kenmore Square pumping.”  This establishment does everything right – both food and drink. Nationally-recognized for its award-winning cocktails, the dining options are just as impressive and run the gamut of everything from a burger to the daily offal. Yes, that’s right – offal (sounds like “awful”) which according to Wikipedia, refers to the internal organs and entrails of a butchered animal.  Doesn’t sound appetizing to you?  Well, people who enjoy delicacies like foie gras, pate, and sweetbreads would beg to differ.

Steps down from Eastern Standard is the popular Island Creek Oyster Bar.  Seafood lovers unite!  There is an extensive list of 12-18 oysters on the daily menu, as well as other cooked and raw bar necessities like lobsters, clams, and shrimp. Meat-eaters, do not fear!  The “from the land” section of the menu offers selections like organic chicken breast, sirloin and an Angus burger with house-cured maple bacon.  If you can’t decide between the land or the sea, toss a couple of fried oysters on your burger for just a few dollars more.

And although the historical establishments like Pizzeria Uno, Bertucci’s and Cornwalls Pub remain, we’ve seen some newcomers in the likes of Fin’s Sushi and Grill, UBurger, and Boca Grande.  Petit Robert Bistro, approaching its seven year anniversary in April, offers a mix of French cuisine where the most expensive dinner entrée is under $25 and the frites are untouchable.

Just up Brookline Avenue towards Fenway Park  you’ll hit the typical sports bars like Cask ‘n Flagon (in business for over 35 years) and Game On. Just across the street is the brand new Fenway Café, which offers a variety of coffee (try the Fenway Blend), breakfast pastries (the pumpkin muffin is a must-try) and ice cream. A bit further down the road you’ll notice a new spot about to open, Yard House, a restaurant that offers pub fare and a massive selection of beers on tap. On the next block sits a Chipotle and Starbucks, with a LongHorn Steakhouse, UFood Grill (formerly known as KnowFat Low Fat) and the delicious sweet scents of Panera Bread beckoning from across the street – all perfect spots for quick bite.

 Boylston Street is also hopping.  My old lunch standby, Burton’s Grill, has recently closed its doors (sniff, sniff) but the current window display is for “Happy’s Bar & Kitchen.”  According to eater.com, Chef Michael Schlow (of Radius, Via Matta, Alta Strada and Tico fame – not a bad resume) is turning this space into a rock ‘n roll diner slated to open in April.

Just next door is Sweet Cheeks Q.  How can you go wrong with a name like that?!  Chef/Owner Tiffani Faison, known for her stint on Season 1 of Top Chef (she finished in 2nd place) and Chef de Cuisine Daniel Raia, have created a delicious menu of down home southern BBQ.  My recent dinner at Sweet Cheeks consisted of the Berkshire pork ribs and a beef short rib, both of which melt in your mouth. I have a soft spot for mac and cheese, so of course, I had to make it my side order (and was not disappointed), along with the collard greens and fried green tomatoes.  The “GIANT nutter butter” dessert was the perfect way to end the meal. See a picture of my yummy meal to the right.

 Some of the other recent additions to Boylston Street include Jerry Remy’s, Tasty Burger, Basho (sister restaurant to Douzo in the South End), Citizen Public House and Oyster Bar (where you can order a whole roasted suckling pig serving 10 people), and Sweet Caroline’s. The list goes on!

So, next time you’re contemplating where to eat out, why not suggest Fenway?  There’s something here for everyone.  Bon Appetit!

London Catwalk

22 Feb

Most of you know that I adore London. Actually, I am slightly obsessed with it. Having spent some time there I appreciate its fine balance between classic and edge in everything from its sights and sounds to fashion and culture. London is truly a unique place that lends for an amazing melting pot of a runway.

I tend to think that London Fashion Week is one of the best going. It never disappoints – always creative in profiling interesting designers who have something a little different to say.  The looks coming down the runway spanned taste and palette and while it isn’t as much fun to look at leather, coats and wool right now  (I’m dreaming of summer…), it was still interesting to see some of the creative concepts and upcoming trends: feathers, fur, neutrals, bright color accents, military and floral. 

What caught my eye? I am loving the looks from Jaeger London and desperately want one of Mary Katrantzou’s TopShop t-shirts. I also think the Matthew Williamson , Antipodium and  Sophie Hulme shows were gorgeous and that House of Holland delivered a much-needed burst of fun. I also love how Paul Smith plays with menswear as inspiration. I was a bit saddened by Twenty8Twelve (Sienna Miller’s line) – it was so drab. Come to think of it, there was a lot of gray out there.

If you’re interested in British designers and what’s hot across the pond, read up on the British Fashion Council where you can find a load of information about British talent. If you’re looking for some reasonably priced Britishwear stateside check out some of my faves: Reiss, Ted  Baker, Top Shop and Karen Millen .

Wink,

Style Girl

So Fresh

18 Feb

Style Girl loves her girlfriends – especially those that share her passions. Welcome guest writer, MB – her discriminating taste and Boston know-how will never disappoint! She’ll be coming around every now and again to share a new product she has fallen in love, a favorite site or two and perhaps a coveted cocktail that should be on everyone’s list – Welcome MB!

My Mother Always Told Me I was a “Fresh” Girl

I have never been a make-up girl… something about applying eyeliner and mascara has always troubled me but I am a product girl and let me tell you, I have been a fan of the Fresh product line for quite some time. If you haven’t been to the Fresh boutique located on my favorite block of Newbury Street (between Clarendon & Dartmouth), I urge you to make a visit The girls (Sarah, Ulana, Storme and Jeannie) are just delightful and so helpful. And a fun little fact about this company, they started right here in our lovely city. Nothing like some home-grown talent.

Here are just a few of my favorite products:

Soy Shampoo 

I love everything about this shampoo – the simple packaging, the clean scent, the glow it brings to my locks. And the best, it’s known to bring moisture back to the hair. Genius.

Pomegranate Conditioner

Every good shampoo needs a good conditioner and this is the perfect complement to the Soy Shampoo. I typically wash and condition my hair everyday and this lightweight formula allows for this ritual.  And while these two products are a bit pricy, they last as you don’t need much to go a long way. And even better, they sell travel sizes so you can try it out before making the big investment.

Soy Face Cleanser 

I have been using this product religiously for at least four years. According to the Fresh Web site, “this cleanser is ideal for all skin types and contains nourishing amino acids, rich soy proteins, and soothing botanicals to hydrate, calm, and tone. The lightweight, natural cucumber- and rose-scented formula has a refreshing, cooling effect.” As an added bonus for those who wear makeup, it also effectively removes every last trace, even mascara. Note: StyleGirl uses this religiously too!

Black Tea Age Delay Moisturizer

Wait, did I really just admit that I use a product with the words “age delay”…. my secret is out. This nourishing and soothing cream has restored a certain glow to my skin. I can’t tell you how many have commented lately and I owe it all to this product (and perhaps the gallons of water I drink)!

And last but not least, the best lip balm in the world – Sugar Lip Treatment with SPF 15 which not only leaves your lips kissable but is now available in colors including Rose, Plum, and Passion. If you read one of my other favorite blogs “A Cup of Jo” than you know that Jo recommend this very product to feel pretty on a date.

Fresh products also make a perfect gift and their wrapping in simple and elegant. I actually use their gift boxes to store old cards on my desk.

Since I know we have all made the New Year’s resolution to be more mindful with our dollars, I should mention that Fresh has a loyalty program and for each $100 you spend, you get a stamp on your card and after 5 punches, you are rewarded with a $50 gift card. And a little inside tip, they routinely offer double points.

So stop by the store at 121 Newbury and sign-up today. Tell them MB sent you!

*For readers who are outside the Boston area, check out the Fresh line at Sephora

XOXO

14 Feb

Happy Valentine’s Day! This is a great day to celebrate love and sweetness – couples in love, friends and family too. I always send out Valentine’s and this year I was able to get even more creative than usual since I could dive into the cutesy kid stuff out there. So how did I prepare for Valentine’s Day this year? How did I show the love? Here are a few things:

1) I wore red to work today – this Velvet dress (wearing it in red) is so comfy – it’s like wearing dressy pajamas. Also whipped out my red lipstick

2) I bought my husband yummy chocolates and some concert tickets so we can plan for a fun date night

3) I bought myself flowers. A good reminder that you don’t need someone else to brighten your day – girl power!

4) I decorated my son’s nursery with heart balloons and paper heart garland. He also got a little toy

5) Everyone in my family awoke to little presents (including the dogs!) and heart-shaped pancakes

6) Valentines from PaperSource were sent out to everyone in my family – who doesn’t love getting cards??

7) We will celebrate Valentine’s Day evening making homemade pizzas (prosciutto and fig anyone?) and cuddling with our little boy Ok, ok…we may have to watch another episode of my new addiction Downton Abbey

8) I bought a new pair of pretty black high heels (I needed them) and a new panty set from Hanky Panky at Neiman’s

9) I gave my co-workers little chocolate treats

10) I called, texted or emailed my closest of close friends and family to tell them I love them

Any day can be Valentine’s Day and really it’s the little things that count. If someone wants to get me a pair of these diamond earrings I’ve been eyeing that’s fine by me but if someone just wants to spend time with me and tell me over and over again how awesome I am, well that’s good too.

Love and Hugs,

Style Girl

2 Feb

Breaking news (or at least to me): Do-gooders unite! TOMS launches line of ballet flat

Sheena Young


Finally TOMS have released a line of ballet flats due to overwhelming demand.

I love to support companies that give back. Too many businesses forget that they are part of a community, whether a local circle or a larger, global community, it isn’t just about driving profits.

TOMS is a footwear company that match every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need. ONE FOR ONE. It doesn’t hurt that these shoes are so comfortable and stylishly casual.

They ship to Australia so buy yourself a pair now. They are true to size but the canvas does stretch out so if you’re between half sizes, go for the smaller ones.

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Take a Seat

1 Feb

I love chairs. They can instantly change a space and add so much interest to a room, particularly when they offer a punch of color or unexpected pattern. I am on the lookout for a new set of chairs for my living room. Nothing too crazy because I don’t want them to compete  with my rug (the focal piece of the room). I want something substantial but not as hefty as a full club chair. Here are a few that I have stumbled upon online that I really like. Some more luxe than others but all of them perfectly suited for my space. Hmmm….

This armchair from West Elm looks really comfy and I like the “sweep” arms

I like the long legs on this chair from Room & Board. The look is a bit unexpected. Could be very pretty in “cement”

Crate & Barrel has stylish, decent quality furniture at good prices. If I’m going to buy two chairs, I may want to keep C&B at the top of my list. I like the look of this chair – the scale is right for the room. That being said, if I go with only one chair, this one is a favorite. I love the old-school parlor style and the color is gorgeous. I would opt for the Petrie style altogether but it’s the same as our couch and I don’t want everything too matchy-watchy

This chair from Mitchell Gold is great. I love the 60s look and it seems comfy as well. Again, I don’t think I could do two of these due to space constraints but I do think this would look great with my couch. Mitchell Gold has great fabric choices too

I am in love with the “Louise Chair” from Serena & Lilly. There are some great fabrics to choose from. I especially love the Night leather, Mist Linen and Mushroom Linen

You know, a little color never killed anyone. This chair in Twill Indigo or Orphelia Green is fun. Ballard Designs has a million upholstery options and it’s affordable so I’ll spend some time browsing around here

This chair offers a nice, subtle pattern and could really compliment the other pieces in my living room. It is also super inexpensive!

Now this chair from DWR is more like a little loveseat but it would look great. I love the soft leather

A pair of these tufted slipper chairs would look amazing

Two tips on buying chairs – always sit in them before you buy them and be careful of scale. You don’t want them to overpower your sofa and you don’t want them to be so large that they can’t be moved around easily.

Wink,

Style Girl

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