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Chic and Charming
a modern salon for
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style, culture and etiquette.

28 September 2010

I've Moved

Hello Readers!
I've moved off blogspot hosting. All your bookmarks and links should still work because I've kept the domain chicandcharming.com, as it was here. However, the RSS feed is being a bit tricky! If you are receiving this message, you might need to resubscribe to my blog by following this link:


20 September 2010

Rationalizing Frivolous Antiques

This weekend hubby and I galavanted about the the region, checking out many cute local towns in Maryland and Virginia. In one particularly cute town, in one particularly cute store, we ran across a seven-foot-tall card catalog. Now, I've been obsessed with card catalogs for at least ten years. In fact, I already own one, comparatively small, card catalog that doubles as a TV stand and storage for my ostrich feathers, sequins, individually sized appetizer spoons and cocktail napkin collection. However, it pales in comparison to the magnificence of this latest specimen. Unfortunately, for all my frivolity, I do have a solid streak of practicality, like river of hot fudge in my otherwise whipped-creamy shopping self-discipline. Also much like hot fudge piled on top of whipped cream, which we can all acknowledge is generally a good thing, my practicality slowly seeps through and melts away the joy and the flimsy (yet fun) support for making such a purchase. Where am I going to put a seven-foot-tall card catalog in my one-bedroom apartment? Why would I spend almost 2K on a card catalog, when what I desperately need is a dining room table? Well, how about because it is totally awesome and when am I ever going to find a card catalog large enough to organize all of my craft supplies, or perhaps all of my accessories, again? Never! Imagine: a drawer for sunglasses, another for driving gloves, a third for compact mirrors and perfume atomizers. How divine! What is a girl to do?

Image from wikipedia

11 September 2010

Parasol Protectorate Book Series

I recently stumbled across the Parasol Protectorate Book Series, which currently includes: Soulless, Blameless and Changeless. Soulless was on one of those featured tables at Borders, so given my recent fixation on books featuring supernatural charters, it looked like a good bet. I enjoyed Soulless so much that I went out as soon as I finished it and purchased the next book in the series, Changeless.

I would really recommend this series to those of you out there that like supernatural romances with a feisty heroine. Alexia, said heroine, has the interesting ability to neutralize the supernatural, but more importantly she is a total badass. As much as I love Twilight and True Blood, its so nice for the female lead to be incredibly strong willed, self-sufficient and intelligent.

For those of your out there that love steamy romance scenes, the first book in the series delivers with a red hot love affair, but, sadly, the heat seems to peter off as the series continues. I'm not saying that the lusty love scenes disappear in subsequent novels, they are just briefer and fewer.

Finally, one of my favorite elements of the series is the Victorian era setting with a steampunk twist. For those of you unfamiliar:
"Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction, alternate history, and speculative fiction that came into prominence during the 1980s and early 1990s. The term denotes fictional works set in an era or world where steam power is still widely used, usually the 19th century and often Victorian era Britain. It has prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy; and it often features anachronistic technology or futuristic innovations as Victorians may have envisioned them." -Wikipedia
Personally, I've always kind of loved the look of steampunk, which I first became acquainted with through etsy. The Parasol Protectorate Book Series is my first foray into steam punk literature (discounting, of course, the classic novels that inspired the subgenre - Jules Verne, H.G. Wells). I think I might follow up by checking out some other steampunk books.