Monthly Archives: February 2012

My Favorite TV Shows Right Now

As I mentioned in the previous posts, I was unimpressed by movies of the past year. I’ve always loved going to the movies, but for the first time I invested in new television series instead.

I can count on one hand all of the TV shows I have really loved (I Love Lucy, whatever TGIF shows were on when I was younger, Dawson’s Creek and Sex and the City), I just find most mainstream shows underwhelming and would rather be doing something else. More recently though, it seems like I have found so many great series. I thought I would share a few of my favorites:

Mad Men (AMC) is back for its fifth season in less than a month and I could not be more excited. It is smart, beautiful and strangely gripping, despite being somewhat slow. The show never feels like it’s trying too hard. Plus, the costumes and sets are stunning (Jon Hamm is pretty good looking too). Janie Bryant the costumer is insanely talented.

Side note: my mom does work on the show so I may be slightly biased, but I loved it long before she started (just want to keep journalistic integrity intact here).

Homeland (Showtime) came and went with a bang at the end of last year. The season felt so short! I love this show because the characters are well-developed and it’s centered around the best female character I have seen in a long time. Claire Danes is incredible. Her character is complex, intriguing and likeable, even though she does some awful things. The show is simply riveting with lots of thrilling twists and turns.

Friday Night Lights (NBC) is a show that just had its fifth and final season late last year. Oddly enough, I am a girl who likes fashion and sports, particularly football (thanks dad). It’s weird I know, but nonetheless this show is compelling and really more about community and family than football. It’s lighthearted, straightforward, (except for one terrible plot line in season two that I have pushed out of memory), emotional and a little cheesy. The performances of the lead actors are impressive, namely Coach Taylor. Plus, have you seen Taylor Kitsch and his ruggedly good looks? His shirt comes off enough to keep any girl interested. Fingers crossed that they make a movie!

Game of Thrones (HBO) this show is said to cost nearly $5 million per episode to make, and let’s just say it looks that way. I know, I know, isn’t it fantasy? was my initial reaction too.¬† It takes a few episodes, maybe three to get hooked, but then there’s no going back. Despite a lot of blood and violence, the show’s tantalizing plot lines and intriguing characters battling political and psychological turmoil have me totally hooked. The sets and costumes are elaborate and stunning, and the show could not be cast more perfectly.

The not-so-new shows that I can watch (and re-watch) anytime:

Sex and the City 

It’s just the best show and I’m sure there is no need to list why (clothes, friendships, relationships). TBS is always airing reruns and even though I have seen every episode a hundred times, I still watch every once in a while.

House Hunters International

It’s all about pretty homes in beautiful places. A quick 30 minutes that doesn’t require any real focus or commitment.

Law and Order: Special Victims Unit

Even though most of the episodes feel similar, the show always has an unexpected twist to keep me interested. Again, no commitment or real attention required.

I think my next show will be Downton Abbey, I’m really looking forward to checking it out.

I would love to know, are there any shows you are enjoying now?

Images: Mad Men: agentcoop.wordpress.com, Homeland: Kent Smith / Showtime, Friday Night Lights: filmstage.com and Bill Records / NBC, Game of Thrones: latimes.com and fanpop.com.

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Oscars Prep: Behind the Scenes with Kate Young (for Michelle and Natalie)

Kate Young is such a talented stylist and she nailed it at last night’s big event. Here are some amazing images from her tumblr that I couldn’t resist sharing. For more snaps of the behind the scenes look at two leading ladies getting ready and an interview with Young, check out Into The Gloss.

The vintage haute couture Dior dress that Natalie Portman wore.

The slightly tattered label dated 1954.

A massive diamond collar necklace and spider brooch added glamor to Natalie’s look.

Michelle Williams (with her date Busy Phillips I believe) leaving to The Oscars. Speaking of, how cute is it that she brought Busy as her date? I saw them on camera prancing around arm in arm and immediately wished I was doing the same with my besty.

Michelle’s spot-on accessories included rhinestone-covered Christian Louboutins and a gorgeous pink, crocodile clutch.

The beautiful diamond necklace and brooch she wore. The brooch was perfectly placed at her waist and added interest, plus a little sparkle, to an already gorgeous gown.

How fabulous are these?

Happy Monday! xx

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The Oscars: 10 Best Dressed

The Oscars red carpet offered some exciting, beautiful looks. Since I wasn’t particularly impressed by any of the movies this past year, my focus was on the night’s fashions. There were many neutral gowns, but there were also brightly colored dresses like orange-y-coral (Michelle Williams) and fuchsia (Emma Stone). Most of the dresses featured strapless necklines, feminine details and pretty trains. Here are my 10 favorite looks of the night:

Obsessed! Michelle Williams looked ravishing in an orange-y-coral, tiered Louis Vuitton dress. The gorgeous color, peplum style and soft layers made it an unexpected and beautiful choice. Her pink crocodile clutch added a pop of complimentary color that was carried into her fresh makeup of baby pink blush and lipstick. The broach at her waist and diamond necklace completed the look flawlessly.

Angelina Jolie wore Atelier Versace. I loved the neckline of this dress and the volume in the skirt. I tried (unsuccessfully) to hunt down an image of the back of the dress because what got me was a large diamond leaf brooch above the gathering. Her hair color and makeup are so beautiful too. The sky-high slit was on the verge of being too sexy, but somehow the whole ensemble still looked sophisticated enough.

Emma Stone stood out in fuchsia spring 2012 Giambattista Valli and Louis Vuitton accessories. The dress was feminine and the large bow made it young and fun.

Jessica Chastain looked beautiful in an embroidered black and gold Alexander McQueen gown. Her gorgeous red hair worked so well with this daring dress.

Glenn Close was stunning in a forest green Zac Posen fall 2012 gown. The dress fit her amazing figure (she’s 64!) perfectly, and it was made age-appropriate with a tuxedo jacket.

Kristen Wiig wore a frothy, nude J. Mendel pre-fall 2012 gown. Her soft waves, dark nails and stack of diamond bracelets created an ethereal and pretty red carpet look.

Gwyneth Paltrow in slinky, white Tom Ford with an asymmetrical neckline. I kept asking myself who else could pull off this dress so flawlessly. It was modern, fresh and fit her perfectly. The cape is pretty too, but I liked the dress better without it.

Natalie Portman’s polka dot 1954 vintage Dior Haute Couture dress was classic, but playful. Her glamorous, old Hollywood hair, amazing jewelry and box clutch complimented the dress perfectly.

Rooney Mara wore a soft Givenchy Couture dress with geometric shapes. It was a lovely, but I was really looking forward to see what she would wear and I felt like this was not daring enough. I wish she would have gone for something with color and more edge.

Best Supporting Actress Winner, Octavia Spencer looked stunning in custom, sparkly Tadashi Shoji. This dress hugged her in all the right places and accentuated her beautiful curves.

What did you think of The Oscars red carpet looks? Were you happy with the winners?

Images: Michelle: harpersbazaar.com and nydailynews.com, Angelina: celebuzz.com, Emma: celebuzz.com, Jessica: celebuzz.com, Glenn: gossipcenter.com, Kristen: stylebistro.com, Gwyneth: mirror.co.uk, Natalie: stylebistro.com, Rooney: usmagazine.com, Octavia: celebuzz.com.

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Loungy Layers

The weather here in L.A. has been nice, but it varies so much throughout the day. Temperatures start at 45 degrees in the early morning, then go up to 75 degrees in the afternoon and back down to cooler 50 degree temperatures at night. Having several layers is essential to being able to be appropriately dressed at any given time.

I wore this ensemble out to coffee and boutique window shopping in the neighborhood last weekend. This silk maxi dress is my new favorite piece. It’s comfortable and fits so well. My younger sister got it for me from her adorable, elderly neighbor who had saved it from when she was younger. It makes the dress all the more special. On its own, the gown is perfect for warmer spring and summer nights, but paired with a wool coat and scarf the dress is instantly made cool weather-ready and less dressy.

Our game night yesterday was a success (I won, woo hoo)! The game, Settlers of Catan is a rather complicated, very long (and pretty nerdy looking) board game, but it does not lack in excitement or surprises. One of our friend’s made delicious mojito jello shots which added to the festive atmosphere. She soaked the alcohol in mint leaves overnight to give it extra flavor, which I definitely plan on trying for future get togethers. We have another game night tonight with a different group of friends and I’m pretty excited. Game nights are one of my favorite things. There’s never a shortage of interesting conversation, good-natured competition and yummy food and drinks. Hope you all have a great night!

Will you be watching the Academy Awards tomorrow? I’m not particularly excited by the films of this year, but I’m still looking forward to seeing what fall 2012 looks will make their way to the red carpet.

Dress: vintage, coat: Kristinit; scarf: handmade by mom, shoes: Aldo; clutch: American Apparel, earrings: F21, watch: Marc Jacobs, bracelets: purchased in Italy years ago (leather and gold bracelet), Sheila Fajl (bangles), Asos (large link), vintage (twisted gold), rings: Diament Designs and XIV Karats.

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Food Staple: Edamame and Hearts of Palm Salad

When I find something that works, I tend to stick to it. I have been making this edamame and hearts of palm salad for years now. I’m not even sure where I first got the recipe or idea (I tried searching), but whatever it once was has most definitely evolved in my kitchen.

The edamame and hearts of palm flavors and textures, (crunchy edamame and soft, but firm hearts of palm), go so well together. Unlike lettuce-based salads, this dish is satisfying and filling with its high levels of protein and fiber, while still being healthy.

Unfortunately, I haven’t quite perfected the photographing of food….or maybe it’s more that my food presentation skills are lacking, but either way this finished product doesn’t look nearly as good as it tastes.

Apart from the two key ingredients, anything goes. I usually add a shaved cheese like asiago or parmesan and sunflower seeds (or nuts), then finish it off with a dressing like homemade pesto or balsamic and olive oil. I am practically addicted to hot sauce, so that usually ends up drizzled on top as well. This simple, cold dish takes less than 10 minutes to make using either precooked or frozen edamame. I always make sure to undercook the edamame by a minute or two for extra al dente crunch.

Hope everyone had a great week! I’m looking forward to not one, but two game nights with friends this weekend and trying out a new restaurant/bar in our neighborhood.

Do you have any simple food staples that you swear by?

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