Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Five

We have come to the end of the week once again!!! I am very excited for this weekend, but first my five favorites from this week. 

1. Rose Gold - I have been wearing rose gold for several years now. My husband purchased a monogram pendant for me in 2008 and It is one of my favorite pieces. I added a rose gold and lucite Toy Watch to my collection shortly after, and then a few rings. Now, rose gold is popping up in more than just jewelry and I could not be happier. Rose gold shoes, rose gold bags and rose gold make up - I am in heaven!!! I am currently on the hunt for a nice pair of rose gold flats (which I will not purchase until Lent is over!).
clockwise : Michael Kors Runway watch, Marc by Marc Jacobs Tiny Heart Pendant necklace, Ivanka Trump Pinkish pumps, Halston Heritage Jenny Fold Sequin clutch

2. Linsanity - I am not a New York Knicks fan. My childhood crush on Larry Bird forever cemented me as a Celtics fan. However, my husband is a huge Knicks fan. So much so that during basketball season we frequently argue and make ridiculous bets when the teams play one another. I may not be a Knicks fan, but I love Jeremy Lin's underdog story and so does the rest of America! Lin is great for New York, great for the Knicks and great for basketball. The Lin puns might be getting a little ridiculous but at least they are bringing attention to this guy. Did I mention that he has made the cover of Sports Illustrated two weeks in a row and scored the cover of Time magazine? I thought this video was great.

3. The iPhone Rangefinder - I love phoneography. I think it is a great way to take pictures on the go without lugging around your DSLR and with all the amazing apps for photography, there is so much you can do with your phone's camera. I have even seen photography exhibits with images taken on an iPhone. Some of the best photographs I took on our California vacation were on my iPhone. Naturally, when I saw this I knew I had to have it (after Lent of course).  The iPhone Rangefinder makes your iPhone look like  a classic camera. There is a viewfinder, shutter button, aperture numbers and a mount for a tripod. There is also an option to purchase it magnetic cell phone lenses that turn your phone's camera in to a fisheye lens, a wide angle lens or a telephoto lens. This case is amazing and the vintage look of it just makes it more appealing. With the magnetic lenses this case retails for $99.

4. Central Park Vinylmation - Hunny and I are Disney freaks We love all things Disney, so naturally we started to collect the latest Disney craze - Vinylmations. We have several sets and individual vinyls, but I was so excited when I saw the Central Park one. It is perfect for us. The front of the vinylmation has an image of Bethesda Fountain, which is where we were engaged. I am currently searching for a new place to display this.

5. CM Punk vs. Chris Brown - Like most people, I was disgusted that Chris Brown was asked to perform twice at the Grammy Awards. He is not the type of role model that young men and women need. He has yet to learn from his mistake and it seems like his cockiness and disregard for anyone but himself is growing at a rapid rate. Now, Brown and Rihanna release two new remixes featuring the other. Is this real life? Who thought this was a good idea? What a horrible example this is setting for the very impressionable youth of this country. I am not sure if or why Rihanna is choosing to forgive and forget, but I have a hard time with this. I still cannot get the image of her banged up face out of my head and apparently neither can CM Punk. Punk released a video berating Brown and challenging him to a real fight,  but Brown hid behind his twitter, of course. It would be great if they actually did fight.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Anyone care to take bets on how long it will take me to breakdown?

Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Each year, I usually give up peanut butter and cry for 40 days because I miss the one thing I truly enjoy eating. My go to dinner of peanut butter and jelly is usually replaced with cereal (yes, I am this unhealthy people!). This year I decided to give up something that I am addicted to - shopping.
Most people like to shop. Some people only shop when they have to do it. I shop almost on a daily basis. I shop like I am super rich and have a never-ending well of money. I like nice things and sometimes buy designer clothing, shoes and bags that I know I cannot afford. However, no store or item is off limits - I am an equal opportunity shopper. At work, I go to Family Dollar on my lunch hour. Before school, I will make pit stops at The Gap, Sephora, Old Navy, Macy’s or H&M. I drag my husband to Target at least once a week. I have an addiction. The Etsy and Ebay mobile apps have helped to put me in serious debt. Online shopping is so simple and quick - I don’t even have to leave the house and no one sees me buying things, so most of the time, I can hide it.

I have known for sometime that I need to curb my shopping problem. I always say I will, but never actually accomplish it. So, this year for Lent, I will go without shopping (minus food shopping which my husband tells me is a necessity). I hope I can handle it. I wonder what the withdrawal symptoms will feel like. In the end, I hope to be able to pay a small chunk of my debt off, but I also hope I feel like I did something good for myself and to honor the meaning of the Lent/Easter.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Quirk Theory

I cannot remember a time in my life when I was not considered "weird, quirky, strange, odd or different." My mother loves to tell this story about when I was in brownies in the first grade. It was Halloween, and everyone in the troop was decorating pumpkins. We all had paint, glitter, glue, markers and all of the stuff you would need to draw a nice image on your pumpkin. My mother picked me up and I was the only one left still working at the craft table. The other girls were  off playing somewhere. I noticed my mother and held up my pumpkin with such pride. My mother was horrified. While ever other girl had painted a face or a halloween scene on their pumpkin, I made what my mother called "a splattered mess." I was so happy with my pumpkin. It was colorful. It was fun. It was not like everyone else's. Apparently, it was similar in style to a Jackson Pollack splatter painting (How my mother couldn't appreciate this is beyond me).  I do not remember this, but it makes sense. I hated having things that everyone else had. I never purposely tried to be different, but I would never follow suit with all the other girls. I just did what I felt was right for me. I wore glow in the dark zebra converse while the other girls wore L.A. Gear. In a time of giant mall hair, I cut all of mine off to look like Donnie from N.K.O.T.B -complete with rat tail. However, have no fear; I was able to tease that up real high!
Quirky is a word that is getting tossed around a lot lately thanks to the amazing, Zooey Deschanel. Is quirky becoming commonplace? I doubt it, but it sure is nice not to feel like such an outcast all the time. Its also nice to know that a quirky girl can have legions of female fans who appreciate her style. Most people feel that you simply cannot call yourself quirky; it is something that people assume about you. I guess this is true. I never found myself to be completely weird, but I will say that I enjoy not being a carbon copy of other girls I know.
I love to make up songs about what I am doing. I wish life was a musical. I like to pretend to be a troll and dance in a way in which I imagine trolls to dance. I pretend my  French bulldog has an accent and understands the few french words I say to her. I dream about being a crazy old lady and dressing up in head to toe sequins to go to the supermarket and possibly crash high school dances. Is this quirky? Maybe, but it is all me.

The Huffington Post had a great video on the time line of quirky girls. Watch it here

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Keith Haring

May 4 1958 - February 16, 1990

Today is the 22nd anniversary of the death of Keith Haring. Even if you do not know much about art, you have seen some of Keith's work. My first encounter was in 1987 with the cover of Run DMC's Christmas in Hollis album cover - even then I knew the image of the radiant mother and baby was powerful. As a child, my father used to drive us down to the Village on the FDR and we would pass the "Crack is Wack" mural. I was in awe of it. I still am. My husband always slows down slightly on the highway so I can see it. I love keeping my eyes open as we walk or drive through NYC because most of the time, we notice a "new" Haring work.

Haring's work and activism put him at the forefront of NYC's street art movement, but also solidified him as an activist - a man who wanted to help fund AIDs research and programs for underprivileged children. During his life, Haring opened the Pop Shop, to make sure that regular people could afford his art - not many artists seem to care about this! Haring died at a young age from AIDs related complications, but his artwork is still as popular as ever and the message is still relevant.

In honor of Keith Haring, go get tested. HIV/AIDs treatments have come such a long way and diagnosis is no longer a death sentence.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day

I hope everyone told their loved ones how much they are appreciated today. Valentine's Day is always one of my favorite holidays of the year. How could it not be? Chocolate and hearts play a predominant role in this day. Except for that one year when we got engaged and the diamond was the star attraction!

Hunny and I are continuing our tradition of going away for Valentine's Day. This year we chose California. Tonight, we are in Disneyland. We are celebrating with a fireworks picnic. I'm pretty excited. Minnie Mouse ears have been my acessory of choice and I think it is a pretty fitting one.

I hope everyone had a loving day.

To my hunny: I carry your heart with me. I carry it in my heart.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday Five

Happy Friday everyone! The week is over and some of us even have off on Monday.
Here are my Five favorite things from this week.

1. Jason Wu for Target- fashion magazines and blogs have been drooling over Jason Wu's designs for Target since the look book was released a few months ago. I am proud to brag that I am the happy owner of every single item in the line. I cannot wait to wear the black flared dress with nude belt to my cousins wedding in July. Like previous designer collections for Target, this one sold out almost immediately. 

2. The Super Bowl - the New York Giants Won their fourth Super Bowl title on Sunday and New York threw them an amazing ticket tape parade to celebrate. Madonna's
halftime show was my favorite one in the last six years. She looked amazing, her
dancing was fantastic and she sang "Like a Prayer," which, to me, is the best Madonna song ever.  

3. Glee - I have been In love with Ricky Martin since I was 7 years old. I got to meet him after a taping of Regis Philbin's morning show and that was it for me. I sat on his lap, stared in to his giant brown eyes and was forever a fan. Several years later, on my 13 birthday, Ricky sang Happy Birthday to me during an appearance at the Menudo store in NYC. Needless to say, seeing him on Glee makes me so happy.

4. New York Fashion Week - I cannot wait to see the live webcast of Rebecca Minkoff this afternoon and the looks from Levi's first show. Fall Fashion is my favorite, so I always look forward to see the upcoming seasons look. Watch the Rebecca Minkoff Show here. 

5. California!!- hunny and I will be flying to California first thing this morning.
I cannot wait to be on the west coast.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Leaving on a Jet Plan

Tomorrow morning, hunny and I are going to California. We will be staying in Disneyland and driving to L.A. and San Diego. This is our first time to Southern California and we are thrilled to be going (even though I am suffering with a horrible stomach bug). I cannot wait to visit MOCA and The Getty Center.

As usual, I waited until the last moment to pack and I think I took it a bit too far. My carry-on will not close - it is exploding with film, scarves and Rebecca Minkoff bags.  I think my carry-on bag is the cutest thing on the planet. It is white with blue stars and made by Crewcuts for JCrew. I know it is a kids' bag, but I am perpetually young at heart and in love with all things adorable and starry! I packed two outfits, several undergarments, my cameras and my bags in my carry-on. I am always worried that my bag will get lost and I will wind up my destination with only the wrinkled outfit I wore on the plane.

Hunny and I have travelled a lot in the last few years and I have compiled a list of things I must have with me on the plane.

1. Snacks - I usually carry granola bars and gummi bears because they fit in pockets and are not so messy to eat.

2. Ipod - I have several audio books on my ipod right now and I hope to get through them during the long flights. My brilliant aunt advised by to download the free Kindle app, so now I don't have to carry an actual book, and I have more room in my carry-on for my stuff.

3. Scarf - Great for if the plane is a little chilly, but usually I ball it up and use it as a pillow (that I know is clean because it came from my house).

4. Evian facial spray - helps keep my face moisturized since airplane air is stale and can dry you out.

5. Aquaphor - I wear it on my lips, rub it in to my hands and on the ends of my hair if I am being attacked by static.

Bye Bye New York! See you next week

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Art Lessons - Diana Al-Hadid

             Art is big part of me. I am a photographer. I received my MA in studio art last year. I am currently working on my MA in Art Market: Principles and Practices from The Fashion Institute of Technology. The F.I.T. program is amazing. I am learning about a lot of current artists that I otherwise would not have encountered because of my classmates and professors. Last week, I was introduced to Diana Al-Hadid and I was blown away.

            Diana Al-Hadid is a Syrian-born contemporary artist who lives and creates in New York. I can only describer her work as architectural sculpture. Al-Hadid uses materials such as plaster, wood, wax and fiberglass to create these unusual interpretations of architecture. Her work has included skyscrapers, cathedrals and towers. They often seem unfinished, which can lead the viewer to believe they are either in the process of being built or they have just been destroyed. There is an almost apocalyptical feel to her work.

Gradiva's Fourth Wall2011
steel, polymer gypsum, wood, fiberglass, paint
183.5 x 190.75 x 132 in.

polymer gypsum, steel, polystyrene, fiberglass,
 cardboard, wax, paint
58 x 56 x 75 in.
          Her drawings relate to her sculpture and continue to provide viewers with the sense that there is something dark and destructive in them, yet there is a sense of energy and passion in each one. There is movement, texture and pattern on such a large scale. I cannot wait to see them in person to truly experience the work.

charcoal, watercolor, conte, pastel on vellum
41.5 x 54.5 in.(105.4 x 138.4 cm)

           At just 30 years old, Diana Al-Hadid has an impressive list of previous and current exhibitions, awards and mentions in the press. It is easy to understand why.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Show Some Love

I love Valentine’s Day. It is one of my favorite holidays (second only to Halloween). How can you not love a holiday where the most popular gift is candy? Not to mention that it holds a special place in my heart - my husband proposed to me in Central Park on Valentine’s Day. So, in honor of this day dedicated to all types of love, I will be presenting you with some awesome gift ideas for Valentines Day.

I purchased the thin one for myself and the thick one for my husband. My bracelet is stamped with his initials and his with mine. I never take this bracelet off. Not only does it remind me of my husband but it is great piled with other bracelets or to wear alone. (These are our bracelets below)

This is the perfect gift for a parent or even a new boyfriend/girlfriend that you don’t want to be too mushy with (just yet). This mug has hand imprints that resemble a hug, and fit your hands when you are holding it.

This collar is perfect for smaller dogs, as it only fits up to a 17 inch neck, but the matching leash is great for dogs of all sizes. The turquoise and red color combination is one of my favorites right now. I think my Frenchie, Lola would love this (ok she probably could not care less, but I will love this enough for the both of us).

Who wouldn’t love to receive this five pound gummy bear? My sister would be thrilled if I gave her this. It is a great gift for your brother or sister, friends or nieces and nephews. There are eleven regular flavors to choose from and one special edition Valentine’s day flavor.
If you know someone who would prefer chocolate over any other candy, the Whitman's Sampler is the way to go.This is always my favorite gift and it works for anyone you want to wish a Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Friday Five

T.G.I. F. Friday is here!! Here are my Five Favorite things from this week:

1. Glee Tribute to Michael Jackson: There were so many things that I loved about this episode - Finn and Rachel engaged, Artie dancing, Santana's singing/manipulating/taking the high road and Sam and Mercedes reuniting. This episode did not disappoint me. It might be one of my favorite episodes ever.

2. Groundhog Day: On February 2, people across the country waited patiently to find out if there would be six more weeks of Winter or if Spring would come early. Staten Island Chuck didn't see his shadow, but Punxsatawney Phil did. I am going with Chuck - he's a New Yorker. Plus, with the balmy winter the East Coast has been having, it feels like Spring is just around the corner.

3. Billy on the Street: If you are not watching this show, you are missing out on the funniest stuff on television. Billy Eichner mixes comedy, pop culture and his personal opinions and gives you the  best half hour of tv. His Meryl Streep showdown  made me an instant fan.

4. 2012 SAG Awards Fashion: There were so many gorgeous looks on the red carpet for the SAG Awards. Here are my favorites.

 From left to right:  Michelle Williams in Valentino looked stunning from head to toe.
Emma Stone in Alexander McQueen reminded me so much of a modern day Audrey Hepburn.
Viola Davis in Marchesa looked like a Grecian goddess.

Emily Blunt (that slit!) in Oscar de la Renta and John Krasinski in Prada looked amazing and should win an award for the most fashionable couple - followed closely by Kyra Sedgwick (those cutouts!)  in Pucci and Kevin Bacon.

5. Banana Republic's Second Mad Men Collection: The first collection designed by the show's costume designer, Janie Bryant, was a huge hit in my book when it was released last August. The cuts were flattering for different shapes and sizes and I cannot wait to see what the new collection will bring.  The mere mention of this collaboration has me so excited. There will be 40 pieces in this capsule collection.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

When Will It End?

I was a skinny little nothing when I was younger. At a time when most girls in my class were developing, I was flat chested with braces and glasses - and not those cute metal frame glasses. I had the giant plastic frames you get for free from the insurance company. My braces were put on when I was in 3rd grade. They stayed on for nine long years. I was teased and bullied. I believe I was called "trap jaw" and "concave" (you can figure the latter out for yourself). I remember it bothering me. I could not wait for my braces to come off but I knew it would be worth it. My smile is now my favorite part of me. Basically, for me, it did get better.

This week a 14 year old girl from Yonkers, New York committed suicide as a result of bullying. She is now added to an unnecessarily long list of people who take their lives because they cannot bear to be mocked any longer. My heart breaks for her, for her family, friends, and neighbors. I cannot imagine how sad her classmates that truly cared for her must feel. However, I wonder about the ones that made fun of her, that bullied her and pushed her towards suicide. Do they care? Will they apologize to her family? Or will they just pick a new victim next week? Because that seems to be how bullying works.

I remember sticking up for my friends when I was younger. I hated to see people get bullied. Why isn't anyone doing this anymore? I can guarantee that if a bully knows that her prey has people willing to stick up for her, she will think twice about bothering that girl. There is strength in numbers. The It Gets Better Project  is proof of this in the LGBT community . But an online presence is not enough. Teachers do not let your students get away with bullying their classmates. Punish them. Notify their parents. Refuse to allow this behavior. Parents do not ignore this. No one wants to lose their child to suicide , so do not allow your child to be a catalyst. Teach them that it is wrong and will not be tolerated at home. Tell them how important it is to let an adult know if they or someone they know is being bullied. Bullying is an epidemic. There are too many news stories about people committing suicide because of it. Instead of saying how sad the situation is, be proactive and help prevent it.