Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Mrs. Madden Glams It Up

How good did Nicole Richie look in this cut-out dress at an Oscars after-party this past weekend? The woman can do no wrong!

Dress: Haston; Shoes: Christian Louboutin; Jewelry: Lorraine Schwartz, Ofira

image via people.com

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Currently Loving: Lace

What I'm loving at the moment: lace. Lots and lots of lace. I know, I know, maybe I'm a bit late with this... I have no doubt whatsoever that bloggers left and right have already written about this pretty trend, maybe several times already. But, for whatever reason, it wasn't until I spotted some photos of Michelle Williams sporting this beautiful Oscar de la Renta number at the 2011 National Board of Review Awards Gala that I thought to myself, Hmm... I have yet to feature this on MY blog. And so here we are! Lace, if done correctly, is classy and elegant... yet it can also be used to give the look a bit of an edge, which I love. Which brings me to Jessica Biel, showing off a bit of skin in this gorgeous Emilio Pucci dress (pictured below) back in June. This look alone is walking proof of that old saying, "a little bit goes a long way". Jessica shows us all how to use lace to look sexy without looking, well, trashy. Personally, I love lace in classic shades like black or ivory. And, my advice would be do as Jessica does when incorporating lace into your outfit: don't go overboard with it! Pair a lace top with a solid skirt or leather shorts. Step into some lace pumps to add a little kick (no pun intended) to your LBD. At the same time, don't be scared to use lace to spice up your outfit. If you're going for an all-over lace dress, make sure it isn't too long and drapey, and that it's overall flattering for your figure, otherwise it will age you and distract from your bod. And to prove our point, we have Kirsten Dunst. I tried to like her look, but for some reason this Valentino dress wasn't doing it for me. I don't know if it was the sleeves, or the fact that the dress is a little stuffy with the tights... but the whole look was kind of a flop for me. It's just so unflattering and does nothing for her. While Michelle's lacey look is classy and Jessica's is sexy, Kirsten's is just old woman-ish. But I digress.

I will leave you all now with these stunning Alexander McQueen flesh lace pumps...

So... what do YOU think of lace? And of the looks I featured? And of these swoon-worthy shoes? Oh and as always, thank you so much for the sweet comments. xo

images via justjared.com; alexandermcqueen.com

Monday, January 10, 2011

Quelle Nouvelle!

You may remember my borderline ridiculous excitement over the news that Natalie Portman is pregnant, just a couple of posts back? Well today I read even more adorable celebrity baby news: Marion Cotillard is expecting also! It's no secret that I adore her and would absolutely place her at #1 on my top 5 favorite actresses (Natalie, Kate Winslet, Michelle Williams, and Rachel McAdams... in case you were wondering). I was giddy over the idea of her and longtime love, Guillaume Canet, as a couple since the day I saw them together in the French film, Jeux d'enfants. At any rate, when I read the news on Yahoo this morning, my mind couldn't help but wander to possible names... I'm thinking something very French, but modern. Classy like the mom-to-be herself! Congratulations to the two of them!

What do YOU think of Marion? And do tell, am I completely and utterly ridiculous for dedicating a post to the big news (in my defense, it was also partly influenced by the fact that I was just watching Nine for the billionth time)? Be honest, I can take it...

image via weheartit.com

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Birth of Venus

Because I realized it's been such a long while since I've done a book review on here, and because I just recently finished a book that I literally could NOT put down...  it only made sense for me to share it with all of you today. For those of you who are into historical fiction (and even those who are not), The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant would be a novel I highly recommend! The perfect mix of suspense, intrigue, history... readers are instantly pulled into 15th century Florence as seen through the eyes of a young, ambitious Florentine girl. The book chronicles the trials and tribulations faced by this otherwise luxurious and thriving city, including the terrifying threat of plague, the downward spiral of the Medici dynasty, and the rise of one highly influential Girolamo Savonarola. This Renaissance-era novel is rich with art history, which may have been one of the principle reasons why it had me so captivated. I also loved the complexity of the novel; so many layers, intriguing characters and side stories come together to create such an elaborate and gripping tale complete with love, drama, and even bits of mystery. Even more than the story itself, I loved Dunant's style... as a lit major, I do notice and appreciate uniquely beautiful prose, and I found Dunant's language to be so appropriately extravagant. I definitely do not want to include spoilers, so I'll keep this already lengthy review short. If you're looking for a good book to curl up with, this one will not disappoint... take my word for it!

Before I go, I wanted to wrap this post up with a photo of Botticelli's  painting, The Birth of Venus, just because. The original is currently located in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence (sadly, photos were not allowed in the gallery when I was there but needless to say it is absolutely beautiful in person)...

And there's your mid-week inspiration... stunning, n'est-ce pas?

images via goodreads.com; botticellibirthofvenus.com

Monday, December 27, 2010

Perfectly Portman

Good morning lovelies! Hope you all had a warm and merry holiday weekend and are now gearing up to push through this last week of 2010. I spent my weekend with family, eating lots, baking, and catching up on some reading. This morning I woke up to news of Natalie Portman's engagement AND pregnancy, featured on my Yahoo homepage, and I have to say (as lame as it may sound now) it did get me just a little bit giddy with excitement. I adore Natalie (Garden State will always be one of my all-time favorites), and though I have yet to see Black Swan, I can't tell you how excited I am about it. Needless to say, I think it's so, so cute that she is expecting. And so, amid such sweet news, I thought it'd be appropriate to feature Natalie's January Vogue cover and a couple of pictures from the spread. As always, she is looking picture perfect and completely elegant. She looks stunning in soft, girly pink on the cover but what I loved the most were the two ballet-inspired photos in the spread (click the image to get a closer look). They have this hauntingly beautiful quality about them that just captivates you and pulls you in. Love it!

What are your thoughts? On Natalie, the film (no spoilers please!), these photos, her big news...? Let me know in comments! xo

images via popsugar.com

Friday, December 24, 2010

Tis the Season... of Caffeine!

Everyone in my life knows I am addicted to coffee.. this is nothing new. If I haven't mentioned it before on here, consider this my confession. I love, love, love coffee and can pretty much never start my day without at least one cup. So naturally, I also share an equally grand love for Starbucks. And, as I love the month of December and do all I can to get into the holiday spirit once Thanksgiving is over and done with, every year I eagerly anticipate the arrival of the seasonal drinks at Starbucks. And every year I take full advantage by ordering one every chance I get until the very last day they offer them up. So for those of you who have yet to taste these creamy, wonderful red cups of goodness, I have to ask... WHAT are you waiting for? Lucky for you, I'm here with a guide to... well, my personal favorites. Today I discovered one of the best hot chocolates I have ever tasted: the salted caramel hot chocolate. Oh. my. goodness. Equal parts rich, sweet, chocolatey, with the slightest kick that makes it the perfect sweet & salty guilty pleasure. I must say, one taste and this drink quickly shot its way up my favorites list. A more classic favorite would be the gingerbread latte, always. And as for the seasonal drinks I prefer largely over ice? Peppermint mocha and pumpkin spice lattes are both enjoyed better on the rocks, take my word for it (that's not to say their warm counterparts are not mouth-watering, as I am sure they are). And there you have it, lovelies... I have shared with you my expertise. The only one left on my to-try list at this point is the new caramel brulee latte, through which I will probably be consuming enough calories to substitute for an entire meal. Ah, c'est la vie. Because really, how often does Starbucks pull out those beloved red cups? My point exactly.

Happy holidays to you and yours, dear readers. xo

image via weheartit.com

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Holiday Nightmare

Don't we all tell ourselves every year that we will do our holiday shopping online, nice and easy, with a cup of coffee, wearing PJs, no problem at all -- and every year, we fail? We venture out into the busy, crowded malls, spend about half our time stuck in traffic or circling around the lots aimlessly, hoping to spot some defeated shopper whose spot you can steal, wait in long lines, hear the screams of children drowning out the Christmas music... and so on and so forth. No? Just me? At any rate, I DO always wonder why I don't get more of my shopping done online in the comfort of my own home. I asked myself that just the other day, after I got home from the mall, dripping from the rain (non-stop gloom and showers for about a week now in Los Angeles -- better than a sunny Christmas, I can say that much).
I think it's safe to say I literally spent more time in my car, searching for parking or just trying to get in/out of the lots and the general vicinity of the mall... than I actually did IN the mall. At any rate, my best friend and I gave up within a couple of short hours, got NEARLY nothing done, and headed straight for the food. Tuna burgers and cheese fries made the excursion semi-worth it, but I digress. Next year, either I stop with the procrastination and get this stuff done nice and early, or I do it on my laptop in my PJs... dry, warm, and screaming-child-free.

I promise that was the last of what might sound a lot like a Grinchesque rant. And I promise, in all actuality I do really, really love Christmas and the holidays in general. We will now return to regular festivities... cue the Pandora Christmas music station, peppermint hot chocolate, and gift wrapping!

Also, please be sure to keep up with me on TWITTER & BLOGLOVIN xo

image via weheartit.com