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Chic and Charming
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30 August 2009

The Chic and Charming Bucket List: Things to Do before I Die

Well, I've recently joined the face book group "XX High School 10 Year Reunion Planning." Yikes! In honor of this momentous occasion I've put together my own personal list of things I want to do before I die...my "bucket list." This list is kind of fluid and will be updated from time to time. What is on your bucket list? Did I forget anything?

  1. Bring my weight down into the healthy BMI range
  2. Find a career where I can be incredibly successful AND enjoy going to work everyday
  3. Have babies
  4. Upgrade the condo so the babies don't have to sleep in the bathtub
  5. Make sure I can afford to send babies to college
  6. Kick so much ass in my job that I can hire someone to clean my house
  7. Buy a summer house on a lake in the mountains
  8. Host the ultimate weekend parties at my summer house
  9. Visit St. Petersburg for at least a week during the white nights
  10. Attend Hogmanay
  11. Spend two weeks in Bora Bora
  12. Visit the black beaches of New Zealand
  13. Shop until I drop in Singapore
  14. Take a self guided culinary tour of France
  15. Gorge myself of truffles at Alba International White Truffle Fair
  16. Build a wine cellar, including an impressive stock of champagne
  17. Build a collection of hardback literature to stock a library
  18. Choreograph several burlesque routines
  19. Write a book
  20. Turn my blogging empire into an LLC, but only as a side job
  21. Find the perfect skin care regime
  22. Find my hairstylist soulmate
  23. Build the perfect collection of vintage barware
  24. Start an underground supper club
  25. Collect enough high quality vintage gems to open my own jewelry store...but keep it all for myself!
  26. Become a fantastic chef and memorize a collection of signature recipes
  27. Regularly practice yoga
  28. Have my own studio space for my artsy hobbies
  29. Learn how to play golf
  30. Get back into tennis
  31. Be on track, by 50, to have a VERY comfortable retirement
  32. Be on the board of directors of at least two charities whose missions I really respect and want to support
  33. Attend a legendary party (like the black and white ball)
  34. Watch a game on the Wimbledon center court
  35. Go skinny dipping in a public body of water after midnight
  36. Set foot on all 7 continents
  37. Live in another country for at least a year
  38. Learn to scuba dive, dive the great barrier reef
  39. Participate in a Carnival parade in Brazil
  40. Learn a seriously sexy tango routine
  41. Swing dance with the kinds of moves that result in me getting thrown in the air
  42. Write a column for a print publication
  43. Attend Burning Man
  44. Attend Oktoberfest
  45. Ride the transsiberian railway
  46. Visit Machu Picchu
  47. Sunbathe on a nude beach
  48. Spend a weekend at a spa
  49. Have a showing of my art in a gallery
  50. Climb a mountain (a really big one)
  51. Become proficient in horse back riding
  52. See the northern lights
  53. Become an excellent seamstress and learn to make my own patterns
  54. Keep a journal
  55. Have the perfect capsule wardrobe
  56. Read the entire Bible
  57. Learn how to pick a lock
  58. Learn to ski
  59. Participate in an all out food fight
  60. Cross stitch family Christmas stockings
  61. Bake a 3-tier cake
  62. Witness a solar eclipse
  63. Take a float trip down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho
  64. Build a tree fort
  65. Find a pen pal, or several, with whom I can regularly correspond via snail mail
  66. Hit the bulls-eye at a shooting range with a hand gun
  67. Ride a mechanical bull
  68. Smoke a cigar in Cuba
  69. Etc...I'll keep adding, promise...
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25 August 2009

Kate Spade Sample Sale

Kate Spade Sample sale is online now through August 28th. Get 75% off some cutie accessories and $5 flat rate shipping. Woo Hoo!

23 August 2009

Looking Forward to New York, I Love You

I thought Paris, je t'aime was adorable. So, it is probably not surprising that I am really looking forward to New York, I Love You. Paris je t'aime seems to have illicited some pretty strong views from movie critics...mostly negative. The series of shorts is very sentimental and a bit sappy and I will be the first to agree it had weak points. But, I am still really looking forward to the next installment! What do you think?

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22 August 2009

I am so over Edward Cullen...


My affections have been transferred from Edward Cullen (of Twilight) to Eric Northman (of True Blood). I mean really, who wouldn't prefer a 6'4 viking hunk to a sullen teenage virgin? Yum.
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18 August 2009

Jenny Humphrey, fat hippy

Taylor Momsen is well known for having a tiny little body, after all she has a side career as a model. So, if a dress makes her look like a frump with thunder thighs the rest of us better pray that this look doesn't catch on...after all we JUST got rid of those damn trapeze dresses. I wonder if the Gossip Girl stylist was having some sort of flashback to Woodstock...the only possible reasons for this disaster are chemically impaired judgment or dressing up as Stevie Nicks for a Halloween party.
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14 August 2009

How To Throw a Mad Men Cocktail Party

Well, my lovelies, I have been up to my eyeballs in party planning. Saturday I'm hosting a Roller Derby Bachelorette Party and Sunday I'm hosting a Mad Men Season Premiere Cocktail Party. I'm planning to feature the bachelorette over on Boudoir Betty sometime next week...but I wanted to tell you all about the cocktail party now...in case you wanted to plan your own!

Step 1: Send out Some Groovy Invites, Like TODAY
Time is limited, so an evite is probably the best plan! I recommend either the blue, turquoise or pink retro cocktail party evite. Ask your guests to arrive about an hour before the main event so that you can get all of the conjecture out of the way and so that you can get a few cocktails in your belly.

Step 2: Standard Stuff
Tell your husband you just decided to have a party...in two days. Clean the house! Make sure you have cable! Set the DVR to ensure instant playback of the rumored to be shocking episode during the postmortem discussion. Don't forget to add an extra five-minutes to the end, as Mad Men will now be slightly extended to accommodate commercials. You might also consider stocking your bathroom with cute little guest towels and guest soaps..VERY retro chic.

Step 3: The DrinksPunch
This is where the fun truly begins...the cocktails! I would recommend serving at least one "punch." Not only is punch retro...it makes your life a lot easier...it allows you to quickly serve your guests a drink as they arrive and for guests to have a local for a quick refresher during the show. I would go with the Algonquin Bar Punch, although almost anything can be turned into a punch...especially anything that would be served in a tiki bar. Crate and Barrel has some great punch bowls.

Cocktail Menu
Chances are that you are not currently kitted out for a full on 1960s cocktail party, building such a bar requires a serious commitment of money and space. Therefore, I advise you to choose a few key cocktails to serve at your party and to print up a cute little menu to circulate amongst your guests. Perhaps you could include a brief history of each cocktail? Also, please, please, please do not buy pre-made drink mixes! Homemade is pretty easy, especially if you have time to prepare and tastes a million times better. Here are a few suggestions for drinks to serve:
  1. Old-Fashioned (allegedly fruit did not appear in this drink until the 1970s)
  2. Tom Collins
  3. Vodka Gimlet
  4. Vodka Martini (made with "Soviet-made Stolichnaya," which will make an appearance in Season 3)
  5. Manhattan
  6. Mai Tai
  7. Sidecar
  8. Brandy Alexander
  9. Champagne Cocktail
  10. Moscow Mule
A word on flips...if you are thoroughly investigating your 1960s drink options online you are sure to come across mixed drinks involving egg whites, in the world of bartending these drinks are known as flips (if they don't include creme) or eggnogs (if they include creme). A word to the wise...if you plan to serve a flip practice making it before you have guests. The mixing is a multi-step process...first you add all of the liquid ingredients (including egg) and do an ice free shake to emulsify, and then you add ice and do a second shake. I almost always see bartenders pour my flip through a fine mesh strainer before serving. The main purpose of the egg in these drinks is to add body/frothiness. Flips to consider for your party include theWhite Spider and the Pink Lady. Depending on your reputation, serving a flip at your party will either impress your friends or make them fear for their lives.

Step 4: Finger Foods
Given that this party will probably last at least two and half hours (surely more), you really need to serve some food unless you want your guests totally trashed, and quite possibly sick. Retro cocktails are serious stuff and deserve to be accompanied by suitably retro snacks. Here are a few suggestions:
  1. Deviled Eggs
  2. Pigs in a Blanket (from frozen)
  3. Cheese Puffs
  4. Oysters Rockefeller
  5. Shrimp Cocktail
  6. Southern Cheese Log
  7. Meatballs (from frozen)
  8. Fondue with crudites
  9. Dip with Chips and Pretzels
  10. Or something off this list
Step 5: Optional Flair
You could wear a hostess apron (like one from anthropologie). You could go on a vintage glassware bender at your local thrift store. You could institute a retro dress code for your guests. You could use cloth cocktail napkins, bonus points for monogram. You could put together a nice little retro play list for the pre-party.

Have fun Sunday night, I know I will!

Images from Nobody's Sweetheart, AMC
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Mad Men Costume Department

While AMC might not be releasing any clips from the Season Three Mad Men premiere, scheduled for this Sunday, they have released a few documentaries...including this one from the costume department.

Now, specifically, what should you be looking forward to in terms of costumes for Season Three? Believe it or not, word is the costume department is going to take it up a notch. I checked out their Season Three costume photo gallery and I frankly can't wait! Peggy's style is supposed to be improved, which is pretty exciting as it represents more fashion inspiration for us.

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13 August 2009

Twilight Lip Venom

Twilight Lip Venom from DuWop is kind of cool and marketing genius...but it also makes me laugh out loud at its total ridiculousness.
Image from Amazon

12 August 2009

Ruben Toledo Classic Lit Book Covers

I adore classic literature and I adore Ruben Toledo (the illustrator). So, what is not to love about Toledo's latest project: chic, fashionable cover illustrations for some of the best novels of all time? In my opinion, the only improvement that could be made on these deluxe editions is to publish them in hardback instead of paperback...because seriously, I want them on my bookshelf forever. From top to bottom, The Scarlett Letter, Wuthering Heights and Pride and Prejudice will be released in just a few weeks...order now!

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10 August 2009

Online Confessionals

How do you feel about online confessional type websites?
All over the internet, websites are popping up which allow you to anonymously post your darkest secrets, drunken ramblings and salacious gossip for all the world to see. It is not all that surprising as the internet provides the opportunity to share so much information anonymously. The idea has a certain appeal to me, my blogs are, after all, quasi-anonymous. So, it with a definite sense of curiosity that I assembled a short list of such confessional websites:

  • Texts from Last Night tends towards naughty confessions and TMI in abbreviated form. Think drunken frat boy shenanigans.
  • F My Life is the place people go to share embarrassing incidents, which then get voted on (ie "you deserved that" or "your life sucks").
  • Post Secret relies mainly on snail mail for its online content. People send homemade postcards bearing their secret confessions to Post Secret. Selected postcards are posted online. Some postcards even make it into the Post Secret book or one of the Post Secret museum exhibits.
  • I just discovered Group Hug.US, which has actually been around since 2003. Group Hug is really just a straight up online confessional and also has a book: "Stoned, Naked and Looking in My Neighbor's Window: The best confessions from GroupHug.us"
What is the appeal of these websites?
Voyuristic insight into another persons deepest secrets? Morbid curiosity about the thoughts and feelings of someone who has been through some of the worst experiences life has to offer? The thrill of thinking you may get caught, or that you may catch someone...recognize the real person behind the anonymous post?

I find these confessions can elicit an whole range of emotions. Confessions can be profoundly depressing, sometimes life really does suck. On occasion you can feel like you are being played by an anonymous stranger, a liar fabricating a fantastical story to tug on your heart strings. For those tragedies that seem authentic, you feel deep empathy and pity for others who are going through a rough time. On the other hand, some offerings are down right hilarious, especially on texts from last night.

What prompts people to post?

I personally have never posted to one of these websites, and I am not sure that I would ever be willing to share certain parts of my life online. Other people seem to have a whole range of motivations, from a call for help that will never come to the the secret thrill of putting your secrets online. Some posts seem to be motivated by the desire to make someone laugh and others by a desire for karmic revenge...everyone online will know your ex-boyfriend is an asshole and will be "on your side..." they just will never know who your ex-boyfriend really is.

Images from CW

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08 August 2009

Charming Blog: Look at this Fucking Hipster

I discovered Look at this Fucking Hipster via fashionista today...it is SO freaking hilarious.
P.S. Doesn't this guy look a little like Pedro from Napoleon Dynamite?

05 August 2009

Rodarte for Go at Target

Is anyone else SO super excited that the girls at Rodarte are doing a Target Go collection due out this December?! The line will be priced between $10-$80 and will include a leopard print jacket fit for the Holiday party circuit. Also, knee highs! I hope the knee highs are akin to those divine wide knit stockings from Fall 2008. *Le Sigh* I wish the collection included shoes.

Image from WWD