Monday, November 15, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Katherine Kwei — Spring 2011 Preview

As written for
Though Katherine Kwei merely debuted her unique line of luxury handbags little over four years ago, her Spring/Summer 2011 Collection lends itself to years of quality and impeccable design. During the press preview earlier this month, the designer hosted event attendees at her spacious Soho apartment and office, where she walked us through each intricate piece in the line.

In typical Katherine Kwei form (and much to my delight), her signature "Eternity" knot, a traditional Chinese weave, rings true throughout the new collection, appearing on wallets, totes, satchels and hobo bags. Yet the line remains perfectly on trend with vibrant psychedelic-inspired colors (think teal, burnt orange and sunflower), animal prints and unexpected metallic accents, a detail which was beautifully woven into the body of the sling bag. The sling bag — which was gifted to editors and event attendees — is most certainly an item that I will be sure to incorporate regularly into my Spring 2011 wardrobe, especially seeing as A-list fans of the line include the ever-fashionable Sienna Miller and Gossip Girl star Blake Lively. With most made of the softest lambskin and/or calfskin, the supple pieces are a worthy splurge, with the smaller bags retailing for an average of $500.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Paranormal In Gettysburg, PA

At the risk of sounding batsh*t crazy, I experienced definite, without a doubt, paranormal activity last night. If we’ve met, you know that I doubt anything, everything and its mother. I also cannot tell a lie. To save my life.

Backstory: I have a friend, Phil, who likes ghosts. A lot. Ghosts, ghost hunts, ghost stories, Ghost Adventures… probably even people in sheets screaming, “BOO!” He also has his own EMF detector. I’m not judging; I love the guy. And I love adventures and scary stuff. I never really took it seriously, though I always secretly wanted to. I wanted to believe. Phil has dragged us all over the Northeast on various paranormal excursions. The accomplices often vary — though usually it’s me, his wife Lindsey and our friend Andy, give or take a few others. There was the time when we traipsed through the Pine Barrens of New Jersey, on a hunt for the Jersey Devil, where our tour guide taunted the mythical demon with phrases like, “YO MOMMA WEARS COMBAT BOOTS!” Another time, we went to Gettysburg where we spent four hours in a field, in the middle of the night, with a psychic medium named Miss Emily (photo), where we asked the spirits questions such as, “Do you like macaroni & cheese?”

This has all been fun. No more, no less. No real evidence; just a bunch of maybes followed by a few what ifs. Not to sound like an over-dramatic ghost nerd, but that was until last night. What follows after the jump is a true, non-exaggerated account of what happened.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Ann Taylor — Spring 2011 Preview

As written for
"Pleasantly surprised" describes how I felt when I popped into the Gramercy Park Hotel to preview Ann Taylor's Spring 2011 collection earlier this month. I envisioned simple shift dresses, solid blocks of color and career separates, well suited for the hopeful Park Avenue fashionista. But what I got was a slew of classic pieces, each with a unique, eye-catching update. Bold prints on classic-cut shirts and dresses — think floral and leopard — along with rich textures like lace, metallic and fringe, prevail for spring. Styles like a polished seersucker blazer paired with dark denim shorts and a nautical-inspired sweater/shorts combo accessorized with boxy bracelets and a jeweled belt both caught my eye, and they perfectly defined Ann's motto for spring, "...the new casual as a polished way of dressing down." A beautiful burnished medallion necklace gifted to preview attendees was honestly the icing on the Spring 2011 cake. Well done, Ann!
Photos courtesy of

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

NY Fashion Week 2010: L.A.M.B.

As written for
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week ended on a high note with Gwen Stefani's debut of the Spring 2011 collection for L.A.M.B. As an upbeat remix of Santogold and M.I.A. began to blare through the speakers, the Theater at Lincoln Center felt more like a high-energy party than your average runway show. Gwen's lively designs merely appended the festivities, with a colorful mix of plaid, geometric and African-inspired prints. In her signature style, midriff-baring tops were abundant, along with baggy pants, tailored jackets, draping and cinched waists. Like her ready-to-wear, her accessories were delightfully over the top, with layers of bangles, cross-body bags, platform wedges and the occasional fedora.

Gwen's husband, Gavin Rossdale, bobbed his head from the front row, often taking iPhone photos, with a giddy Kingston on his lap. Other front-row attendees included Mel B., Omarion, Russell Simmons, Debbie Harry and Christian Siriano. The show concluded on a sweet note when Gwen appeared during the finale and none other than little Kingston, blond curls bouncing, rushed to join her down the runway, leaving the rest of us smiling, no doubt.

 Photos courtesy of and Getty Images

Friday, October 1, 2010

NY Fashion Week 2010: Naeem Khan

As written for

Naeem Khan's runway show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week elicited a slew of much-deserved OOHs and AHHs from the crowd with his bohemian-inspired pieces, many of which had me wishing that Spring 2011 weren't all of six months away. Big-haired models clad in multicolored maxi dresses, chiffon gowns and floral-print skirts glided down the runway to Latin tunes by La Lupe and Eddie Palmieri. Thanks to the intricate beading, by-hand embroidery and aptly placed sequins on Khan's lust-worthy silhouettes, it's no wonder that the designer boasts such A-list fans like Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Alicia Keys and Carrie Underwood... and received a standing ovation.
Photos courtesy of Getty Images

Thursday, September 30, 2010

NY Fashion Week 2010: Mackage

As written for
Walking into the Mackage presentation in The Box at Lincoln Center during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week was like walking into a surreal display of smoke and mirrors. Literally. The models posed in groups of four on small platforms swathed in electric black light and dry ice as the rest of us gawked at the raw, ethereal scene as if peering at a hungry caged animal. The gaunt, wet appearance of the models, the up-close-and-personal aspect of the entire arrangement and the sultry new-wave sounds of Kate Bush wafting through the speakers all added to the hypnotic high-fashion experience.

Despite wanting to break a cheeseburger out of my bag for the seemingly thinner-than-your-average models (and growing increasingly self-conscious over the size of my hips), I was enchanted. By all of it. Typically known for their outerwear and leather goods (often worn by Britney Spears, Blake Lively and Hilary Duff), the Montreal-based line raised the bar for Spring 2011 with tailored jackets, high-waist skirts, shift dresses and slim-fit pants, all with edge-defining details like studs, grommets, zippers and skinny wrap belts. The diverse palette ranged from your classic black and white to soft neutrals (camel, taupe and olive) to candy-colored spring hues (melon, peach and canary yellow). Due to the slow-moving nature of the presentation, I was able to visualize the intricate details and see how each piece was constructed and layered to form a most beautiful outfit. I almost liked it better than a runway show. Almost.

Photos by Tina Smithers

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

NY Fashion Week 2010: Toni Francesc

As written for
After the spectacular Alice + Olivia party, I headed over to Toni Francesc's "Urban Forest" Spring/Summer 2011 runway show. As I waited for the show to begin from my perch in the second row behind recording artist Jeannie Ortega and actor Eric West, I spotted Kelly Cutrone (Francesc is a People's Revolution client) directing her minions, hard at work. Then the lights dimmed, and out glided model after model, sporting vivid hues of chartreuse, mango and steel blue in an array of free-flowing fabrics. Inspired by natural landscapes and elements, Francesc brought eco-friendly materials and embellishments into his enchanting collection with chunky wooden heels and accessories, as well as beautifully sculptured pieces that made the line a true stand-out during Fashion Week.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images; Video by Tina Smithers

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Chic Shoes You Don't Have To "Spring" For

As written for
Shortly before Fashion Week, I represented I Heart Heels at a store opening for Manhattan's first Spring Shoes boutique, a slightly less expensive division of Aldo Shoes. While the prices range anywhere from $39 to $99, the quality and craftsmanship is definitely there. As an advocate of spending a bit more for classic items and less for trendier pieces, I found Spring Shoes to be extremely on trend, with a wide range of footwear — patent pumps, lace-up oxfords, studded ankle boots and yes, even some ruby slippers! (Some of my favorites above; I am so getting the oxfords for fall.) The brand also boasts an offering of accessories including handbags, clutches, jewelry and legwear.

Friday, September 17, 2010

NY Fashion Week 2010: Alice + Olivia

As written for
Always a Fashion Week favorite, Alice + Olivia's Spring 2011 presentation was by far the most stunning spectacle of the week-long event, in my little opinion. Decor was sparse in the spacious warehouse-like venue of NYC's Cedar Lake, but the energy knew no bounds. Only the essentials were present — row upon row of brightly colored mixed drinks, a glittering platform filled with paparazzi near the red carpet (assembled for only the most influential of arrivals — Nicky Hilton, Denise Richards, Mad Men's Elizabeth Moss, among others) and a DJ booth where one of my personal favorites was spinning tunes, Gabe Saporta of Cobra Starship.

Oh. And one minor detail. Toward the back of the venue was a stage that  resembled some sort of retro-style burlesque parlor. I fell in love  with what I saw. Model after model wearing quirky-glam confections of sparkles, lace, ruffles and feathers, mixed with the brightest of colors and boldest of prints. Picture last year's bohemian-hippie obsession on crack with a sprinkle of ultra-feminine details. Carrie Bradshaw but way cooler. Handkerchief hems, high waists and big, oversized accessories. Oh. My.

Monday, September 13, 2010

NY Fashion Week 2010: Perry Ellis

As written for fashion blog 
Despite a sudden torrential downpour (which caused me to add yet another shitty $5 street umbrella to my growing collection) and a new Upper West Side location, the fifth day of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week was abuzz with excitement, free drinks, outrageous outfits and long lines. I was thrilled when Julie asked me to cover a few of the Spring 2011 shows for, as I had a blast at the tents last February. The energy (and people-watching!) that you experience at Fashion Week is indescribable... not to mention the clothes.

Menswear line Perry Ellis did not disappoint earlier tonight with a series of classic, preppy pieces predominantly consisting of some combination of tailored trousers, linen shorts, v-neck sweaters, polo shirts and the occasional cardigan or blazer. Under the design direction of John Crocco, the new S/S 2011 collection exudes a sort of timeless appeal as one might expect, but the styles remain refreshingly on trend with bright pops of coral, rose, lime and teal, along with a sprinkling of aptly placed prints — think plaid, argyle, gingham and stripes.

The male models were easy on the eyes, as well, not to mention a few of the front-row guests. A-list attendees included actor Chris Riggi (you might know him as Rufus and Lily's love child from Season 3 of Gossip Girl) and Detroit Pistons player Ben Gordon.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images; Video by Tina Smithers

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

If I Didn't Have To Pay NYC Rent...

As written for fashion blog

I would be adorned in jewels all the time. Recently stopped by the Yasmin & Jazmin press preview, and I must say... this jewelry is to die for! Stunning. Gorgeous. The items are a little pricey ($250-$900), but they're well worth the investment if you want a statement piece of jewelry that will last until eternity. I fell head-over-iheartheels in love with the Black Onyx Square Pendant, as well as the Citrine Circle Ring. The line has a huge celebrity cult following, boasting fans such as Lindsay Lohan (Tethered Cuff, above), Nicole Scherzinger (Stone Tip Cuff, above) and Lo Bosworth from The Hills (Black Drop Earrings, above). Ex-couple Audrina Patridge and Ryan Cabrera were also spotted sporting matching Unisex Tag Necklaces from the line... you know, back when they were trying to be an item.

Monday, August 23, 2010

My Dad Questions My Sexuality

I am at work. It occurs to me that I haven't spoken to my dad in 2.5 days. So I call him during my lunch hour. We discuss menial things like the weather, our weekends, work... I mention a friend's wedding that I am attending this weekend in Seattle. Our conversation unexpectedly takes a queer turn (literally):

Me: Yeah, so I'm going to a wedding in Seattle this weekend.
Dad: You are?! As in Washington? How much was that plane ticket?!
I love how at 29 years old, my dad still asks me about my finances. In my usual fashion, I knock off about 30% of the actual cost.
Me: About $400. It'll be a bit expensive, but I'm excited. I've never been to Seattle.
Dad: That's great, I want you to experience new things.
Me: Yeah, I'm sharing a room with two of my guy friends.
Dad: Tina, are you gay?
Me: ...
Dad: Oh, f--k, I'm sorry. But you have all these guy friends. And you go camping. But you don't have a boyfriend.
Me: (wondering how I can address this in close quarters with coworkers nearby)
Dad: Tina, if you are gay, it's really OK. I don't mind!
Me: Dad, I'm not. (whispering) I like boys. I'm not attracted to girls!
Dad: I don't mean to be offensive!
Me: I know you don't, and I love you. But, um... I'm honestly a little hurt that you asked me that... are you being serious?
Dad: Well! It's crossed my mind... but I guess you are more hetero than homo.
Me: ...
Dad: I'm sorry, really, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have asked.
Me: It's OK, it's kind of funny... I mean, I do want to have a husband, and a child...
Dad: When?
Dad: So you're not gay?
Me: No, I'm not.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Holiday 2010 Fashion Preview

As written for fashion blog
Is it that time already?! The only thing about working in fashion, or in publishing, or I guess working in any industry other than burger-slinging at McDonald's (be jealous — I was once the Mickey D's Employee of the Month, complete with engraved plaque), is the fact that you can rarely live in the moment. You're always looking ahead at least three months.

I recently attended the Holiday 2010 Preview for Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy, which brought back memories of working at Old Navy during the holiday season of 1998. I was a greeter/bag passer-outer, and the only thing I recall is that the cheesy '70s-inspired holiday tunes got old real fast. The painful recollection quickly dissipated when I laid eyes on the season's upcoming styles, set to hit stores this October.

Banana Republic doesn't disappoint, with chunky jeweled accessories and plenty of sparkle on everything from sequined clutches to peep-toe pumps, perfect for that holiday party. In terms of ready-to-wear, the slightly pricier Gap, Inc. brand was all about the cardigan — cable-knit, oversized, boyfriend, fur-trimmed, you name it — all available in muted, season-appropriate hues.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Day 3: A New York Ass-Kicking

Significantly easier. This is likely for two reasons. 1. COB was not there, so I was not as scared nervous. 2. The DI had us sample various obstacles, thus, I spent a few minutes waiting for other recruits to finish so I could take my turn. After some laps and stretches, we were split into two groups, namely, those in fatigues (the old-timers) and those in black pants (the Groupies, aka me). My platoon was taken into the middle of the pit o' hell, where the DI selected a girl (NOT ME!) to crawl up onto this semi-uphill net made of rope. Said girl hopped up onto this net of sorts and began to flap around like a dying fish crawl through this rope, while six of us watched. When she got to the top, the DI instructed her to flip head first onto the ground via a somersault, landing on her feet. She looked at him like he was crazy. I looked at him like he was crazy. She did it, though he essentially had to manually flip her body and lift her down. I got in the back of the line.

The DI moved on to the next device while one girl at a time crawled through the rope-net. Up next? A rope swing near a log and a pit of water, that resembled an oversize tupperware container. The object? Swing over the log, taking care not to fall in the water. Hoping he wouldn't notice that I did not crawl through the rope-net, I got on the rope swing. I didn't get very far. I tried again, and got on the other side of the log! Hallelujah! "I did it!!" I squealed! "No, you didn't," DI said. "The rope was between your legs; it should have been to the side of you." I picture Tarzan. "Oh." I walk back to the rope-net and try that. I start crawling. I flail around in the middle of the net. I feel like a giant bass. When I get to the top, I wait for DI to assist me with my somersault. "Tuck your head, bend your legs," he instructs. I am frozen. Somehow I do a flip of sorts and he lifts me down. Later, I find that this rope-net gave me rope burns and bruises on my arms (above). No pain, no weight loss gain, I guess.

Now we move on to a giant wall with a rope attached to one side, some pegs on the other side. As DI demonstrates, I am scrapping my jaw off the rubbery pit. He scrambles up the rope/wall all GI Joe-like, only to peg his way down the other side. I recall thinking to myself, "If I can go up and over that wall before my two weeks end, this will all be worth it." He motions to a recruit. After  a couple of tries, she makes it to the top. I am scared for her; I can't hold back. "Oh! Be careful!" I shout. Another girl looks at me and laughs, "You're such a mom," she says. I do not know what to say to this. The girl on the wall makes it down in one piece. DI suddenly looks at me. He wants me to go up the wall. Uhm... I make a run for it, grab the rope and try to scramble up the wall all Spiderman-like, only to slide back down. He teaches me how to use the rope to get up to the top. I do this. I am scared. I am now holding on for dear life to the top of this wall, legs dangling, trying to scurry my legs up to meet my hands and get on the other side. I am frightened of falling off the damn wall altogether. I hear a recruit shout my name, "C'mon Tina, you can do it!" Somehow I pull myself on top, now belly-side down. Where is the f**king peg on the other side? DI instructs me. Scared. I place my foot on the peg. Still scared. Another peg. Now I am low enough that if I were to fall, I would not break a limb. I make it down! On my feet! I feel good. I am Power. No. Wait. I am SHE-RA, PRINCESS OF POWER!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Day 2: A New York Ass-Kicking

Suffice to say that Day Two was worse than Day One. I wasn't planning to write a blog series on my two-week stint at Pure Power Boot Camp. But the absurd situation I've put myself in, combined with my incessant laziness, kind of makes for laughable material. *face palm*

I arranged to arrive to class at 8pm on the dot, body in pain from the first class — the lady at the desk said I could skip my push-ups, as class was starting. (Success!) I ran my laps and met up with my platoonmates for partner stretches. I did not mention these in yesterday's post. Partner stretches consist of sitting in two lines, pushing our partner's back/legs/arms/what-have-you so you get a painful nice stretch. The recruit nearest me (aka my partner) was a guy; I could tell he was a frequent boot-camper. You can easily differentiate the old-timers (clad in faded camo fatigues) from the Groupon newbies (black pants). I held his legs down during the butterfly stretch and did my best to keep my hands as far away from his, um..., as I could. *awkward* After the stretches, my Drill Instructor (a different guy from Day One), whispered something in my stretch partner's ear, who then ran to the front of the line. I guess I was slowing him down. Now I was the weird girl at the end of the line with no one across from me. Our DI silently walked down the middle. He turned to face me. "What's your last name?" "Smithers?"

Side Note: I was scared because Commanding Officer Brenner (aka the hot ab chick PPBC owner) sent me a "new recruit" email saying I could email her with any love/questions/etc., and my coworker suggested that I email her a link to my blog. So I did. She did not respond. So when the DI asked my name, I assumed that I was in big trouble. /end note

"WHAT?" "Smithers? Smithers." "Smeeters, are you confused?" "No! No." "OK, Smeeters. Good." (ShitIoffendedCOBwithmyblognowI'mscared.) Jumping jacks. I do about 50 and then take a break, continuing to count and wave my arms. The DI spots me. He laughs. I relax. I laugh. COB takes the old-timers. The DI takes the people like me. Only they're not really like me, turns out I'm Still That Girl. More hurdles. I straddle. (But I spotted another Straddler!) Over the huge walls. Only this time we have to go up the side without a ledge. So it's like... a flat wall that we have to crawl over like f-cking Spiderman. DI sees me struggling. He gives me a boost. Now I am belly down on the top of this wall with my arms and legs dangling over the sides. I kind of fall off and somehow land on my feet. I may not be Spiderman, but I am a cat!

Now we are instructed to pick up a rubber tire. I get my tire. We're told to do 50 of these tire lifts over our heads. My tire is heavy. DI says I can trade with another guy who's tire is lighter. I want to prove that I am badass, and I say no, I can handle my tire. After three lifts, I regret it. He says I can switch. I still can't really get past 10. My legs are shaking. I am seeing spots. He tells me to go get a bar and lift that instead. I run by myself to get the bar, while my platoonmates all have tires. This is embarrassing.

Now we do dips. I can't do these either. I feel like I am going to die. Did I mention that I haven't worked out consistently, oh, EVER? My body is in shock. I meekly ask if I can get water. He lets me. We do sit-ups. I am told to get an 8-pound barbell and to do 60. I do a shitload. I lose count. "SMEETERS! What number are you on?" "I don't know. But I have been doing them!" "No. Start over, Smeeters. You can do 20." I start counting from 5. He laughs. He is going easy on me. I appreciate it. But I am also ashamed.

Class is almost over. We get in a circle to say our kindergarten-classroom Words. It is my turn. I debate which Word to say. Strength? Honor? I try Power again. "POWER...?" "Are you sure about that, SMEETERS?" "Yes! POWER! POWER! POWER!"

On the way out of class, I meet two fellow boot-campers in the elevator. "I'm so embarrassed," I say. "It's OK! Is this your first day?" "Second." "Honestly, your second day is worse than the first. I don't know what it is, but it's brutal." They both agreed. "Really?! So you felt nauseous and faint and death-like?" "YES," the girl said. "It gets better!" Gosh. They're so nice. I will not quit this. I can finish! I am a cat!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A New York Ass-Kicking

It's no secret. I have commitment issues. I am easily distracted. I have been known to join multiple gyms, go for a month and then lie to get out of the contract. (I once "moved in with my grandma who lives in southern Missouri" and even had my cellphone bill sent there for two months so I had change-of-residency "proof.") So when I saw this Groupon for 75% off six classes at Pure Power Boot Camp, I figured what the hell. I was sold when I saw that it's located two blocks away from my work. I enlisted for two weeks of classes in early August (um, now).

The day of my first class (um, yesterday), I looked at the website in detail. Torture devices stared back at me — things like Barbed Wire Crawl and Belly Robbers scoffed in my face. I was getting nervous. I calmed my nerves with an iced coffee and a small cookie the afternoon before class. It's my birthday week. I can have a cookie. I arrived to class 15 minutes early (gasp! have we met?) as instructed in my "platoon uniform" of black pants and sneakers. Upon arrival, I filled out a waiver for new "recruits" stating that sprains and fractured bones are possible and that I will be added to some sort of "KILL BOARD" if I fail to arrive in uniform. Then they tossed an oversize army T-shirt at me and ordered that I do five push-ups. Done. Sort of. I changed into my shirt and joined my "platoon." We were surrounded by ropes and hurdles and torture chambers of all kinds stuck in a pit of what seemed to be an odd combination of loose rubber and styrofoam. The outskirts of the pit was swathed in camouflage and feel-good Words like POWER, INTEGRITY, STRENGTH and TRUST. It reminded me of those motivational posters in kindergarten classrooms. I liked it.

Suddenly, it occurred to me that my shirt was on backward — my dog-tag graphic was in front. Everyone else's was in back. Peeked in collar, sure enough, there was the XL tag starring back at me. Quickly switched shirt around and got in line for jumping jacks. Everyone just automatically knew to start counting. I was confused. For every number they shouted, they did three or four jacks. They also seemed to be counting backward. I mouthed various numbers and waved my arms around.

Time for some laps. Now I like to start out with a nice, light jog. Many of my fellow recruits/platoonmates/soldiers were sprinting past me. Overachievers, I thought to myself. We then split up into two groups. Commanding Officer Brenner (aka the hot chick with the abs) took the overachievers. A drill instructor guy (I will call him DI) took people like me. We immediately had to go over these wooden hurdles that went up to my belly button. Those in front of me were sticking their left leg up and pulling themselves over all professional-like. I straddled it. Left leg up, straddle, right leg over, slide off. The DI showed me out to do it. I was scared and thought I was going to trip over the hurdle, falling on my face in the pit. I straddled it again. I straddled them all. I was That Girl. The Straddle Girl Who Slowed Down The Whole Platoon. Then we went to a wall of sorts that was much taller than me. We had to climb over it and jump down. I got up to the top, looked down and freaked. DI claimed it's not that far and to jump down. So I did. I landed on my feet! I did three more.

Then we had to do these box step-up things and squats. I went to grab my water. "PUT THAT WATER DOWN!" DI shouted. Jaw dropped, I did what I was told. He wanted us to count while doing the steps. I don't think anyone knew whether to start backward or forward. So we didn't speak. "You can't count, so then GET AWAY FROM ME!" he snarled. "Go run three laps." So we did. I was scared. A nice girl introduced herself while jogging, asked if it was my first day. "Yes. Is it almost over?" "You've got 20 more minutes. Don't worry about it, you paid for it, do what you can." I liked her. At this point, I was feeling faint. I must've looked pale. Vomit was rising in my throat. I seriously thought I was going to collapse. We were given a 10-second water break.

Then we did some 200 sit-ups of sorts while being ordered to scream things like "I AM A SEXY BITCH!" The minute my DI turned his back, I rested. Yes. I am a dirty cheater. At the end, our platoon sat in a circle, and we were ordered to shout Words. DI told me to say POWER. "Power?" I said in question form.

When I walked out, legs shaking, I felt like I'd accomplished something great, aside from swallowing my puke. I realized that I had a huge sweat spot that looked as if I had peed myself. For a split second, I questioned whether or not I really peed myself. I did not. Whew. I go back tonight. Five more classes. I can do this.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Nobody Hacks MY Dad

My dad's Yahoo email account got hacked. I know this, because he sent me a link about a Canadian drugstore. I happen to know his password. Knowing that it could take him five hours to figure out how to change it, I went ahead and fixed it. Then I immediately called him.

Me: Dad. Your email account got hacked.
Dad: What?! How do you know?
Me: Because you sent me a link to a Canadian drugstore.
Dad: What?! This is terrible!!! This happened before, I think. That... mailer...
Me: Yes, MAILER-DAEMON. You didn't change your password?
Dad: Yes! Mailer demon! I didn't know what happened. I feel so bad.
Me: It's OK. Don't worry, it happens to lots of people.
Dad: Even you?
Me: Well... no. I have Gmail. But I changed your password. It's X.
Dad: So I need this password to get on the Internet? What about my Favorites? Where I pay my bills?
Me: Dad, this is just for your Yahoo email address. Everything else is the same.
Dad: Even my Favorites?!
Me: Yes, even your Favorites. But your inbox is filled with spam. You should really get a new email address.
Dad: How do I do that?!
Me: I'll set you up with a Gmail account. It's better. More secure.
Dad: Well, I want to come up with the name.
Me: You don't want to just use your regular name?
Dad: Like...
Me: Um, no. Like your full name.
Dad: Isn't that bad?! I don't want my name out there!!
Me: It's OK. It'll be OK. I can switch over your contacts, too.
Dad: Like, my address book? Will you give them my new email address??
Me: Yea, sure.
Dad: But what about the hacker's? I don't want him to have my new email!!!
Me: It's OK, dad. He won't. But um, you should really take a basic computer class.
Dad: Like, on the Internet? Or where I get in my truck and drive?
Me: Um...
Dad: This is the start of you wiping my ass, isn't it?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

If You Only Visit One Store In New York...

As written for fashion blog
It was March of 2002. I was living on a college girl's budget and had come to New York for the first time ever. My much more fashion-savvy friends immediately started raving about this elusive H&M and demanded to go. I didn't understand. Until I saw for myself. I was smitten. Fabulous clothes! Shoes! Accessories! More clothes! I could spend $100 and walk out with five outfits. To this day, I don't know what it stands for (Hugs&Mustaches? Hearts&Milkshakes?), but I remain ever loyal. So of course when my friend Julie at asked me to cover H&M's Fashion Against Aids event last month, I jumped at the chance. Side note: I interviewed at Seventeen during that first H&M-filled visit to New York. The following summer, Julie and I ended up interning together at the iconic teen magazine. We discovered we were sorority sisters *cue secret handshake*, and a friendship was instantly born. Moving on...

New York's Fifth Avenue H&M store was packed to the gills with fashion lovers and shoppers at the May 19 event, which boasted a 20% discount on everything (squeal!), appetizers, drinks, live music, you name it. Basically, I shopped. A lot. And I also admired their new Fashion Against Aids collection — 25% of every single sale made from this collection will be donated to various HIV/AIDS prevention projects. That's a hell of a lot of money... especially seeing as the collection is gorgeous and is bound to sell out. Some of my favorite pieces from the FAA collection:

I fell head-over-heels in love with that angelic white ruffled maxi dress after seeing it on one of the models. When I tried it on, it didn't look quite right on me, and I almost cried. (Sadly when I left Kansas for NYC over six years ago, my hips came along for the ride.) Luckily, I was able to find a few pieces worthy of my Beyoncé-sized booty. $200 worth to be exact. Sigh. It's not really spending frivolously when it goes to a good cause, right? xx

Friday, June 4, 2010

That Girl (You Know The One)

So my coworker/friend Nicole is, for me, That Girl. You know the one — she's charismatic and always looks immaculate, even while pregnant and wearing 4-inch heels. When getting dressed in the morning, sometimes I think to myself, what would Nicole pair with this? Would she opt for the beaded necklace? Would she belt this cardigan? This is usually followed by me saying fuckit, picking up the same Get Up Kids hoodie off the floor and bouncing off to work in my Converse. Said Nicole has also bled into my eating habits. Afterall, it was her who first told me about that damn Blueprint Cleanse. She is the one who said that berries are better for you than bananas, thus forcing me to buy a bag of frozen berries that I inevitably threw out because they tasted like tart, tangy mush.

For fear of sounding creepy, let the record state that I am easily influenced in general, doesn't matter who you are. Whether I'm taking business advice from Jami, boy advice from Jessi, permission to eat croutons for dinner from Meagan or love-handle reassurance from Crista. While the aforementioned ladies make up some of my best friends, Nicole will forever be That Girl for me. The one who makes wearing heels look effortless, who has the willpower to only eat half an office brownie (not five), who at first glance appears to be the epitome of one of those all-together New York "fashionistas" — the intimidating kind — that I used to see in magazines and on TV while growing up in Kansas City. Yet one might be surprised to find that her humor (she was the one who loudly pointed out the peculiar-shaped sweet potato in the office minifridge) and inner beauty very much outshine her chunky cuff bracelets that I covet on a daily basis.

For instance, her 365 Heartbeats Project has me looking at life just a little bit differently. She spent the better part of an evening photographing me in the rain on a deserted New York street (see above) for this project. As awkward as this was for me... with N's help, I was able to laugh at myself. And ironically, it was a quick shot taken the next morning (at left) that she ended up posting — I like to think that it captures a part of my soul that is very genuine. That je-ne-sais-quoi that is inside of me and what my dad refers to when he tells me to "stay golden."

My point is this: Oh. I don't really have one. I told her that I would post about her cute new weekly fashion blog on AOL's (read it — so you, too, can be That Girl... or at least look like one) which got me to thinking, Is there anything that this chick can't do?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Giveaway: Sex, City & Ruby Slippers

Woo hoo! I've been given a pair of Sex and the City Hotspots Tour tickets (an $84 value) for a giveaway on this here blog. Perhaps it's because of all the yapping I do about SATC. But before I tell you how to win 'em, I'd like to make you NYCers aware of this little ditty:

*start PR pitch*
Sex and the City Midnight Madness Package
Take the day off work, fork over $179 and enjoy all things SATC on Wednesday, May 26, 2010. This amazing package is well worth the ticket price and includes:
  • The Sex and the City Hotspots Bus Tour
  • An Italian buffet dinner at NYC's Fresco by Scotto
  • A ticket to a midnight screening of Sex and the City 2
  • VIP admission to Marquee nightclub after the film (which, coincidentally, is where I stumbled upon Beyoncé and Jay-Z back in 2004)
  • Special appearance by Willie Garson (aka Stanford Blatch!)
Click here for more info and to purchase tickets.
*end PR pitch*

Alright, as I was saying, I have a pair of tickets to give away for the Sex and the City Hotspots Bus Tour, which features over 40 real-life locations used in the show. Now I could attempt to give you a SATC tour myself, but I can barely pronounce Manolo Blahnik. So let's do this, shall we?

Contest Rules: This contest is open to EVERYONE. The tour tickets never expire, so if you don't live in NYC, you can simply use them during your next trip to visit me. OK, ready? To enter to win, you must be officially following my blog (you can follow using your Google, Twitter, Yahoo or AIM account). You won't get spammed, and you won't even get an alert when I post a new blog. It is there solely to make me feel like the popular girl in English class. The winner will be selected at random (by closing my eyes and pointing at the computer screen) from my list of loyal followers on Thursday, May 28.

Because I'm nosy, what would YOU like to see happen in Sex and the City 2? Want to see Steve grow a pair and put Miranda in her place? Sigh. Me, too.

UPDATE: Congrats to Sharon, who won the SATC Hotspots Bus Tour tickets! Sharon, please email me your mailing address. Thanks to all of you for following my blog!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Trials of Living 2,000 Miles Away From Home

If you know me at all, you'll know that not only do my dad and I have an interestingly tumultuous relationship, but he is also the love of my life (in a non-creepy way). The minute my mom passed away back in 1998, I immediately jumped into "parent mode" and have spent every waking moment since putting my pop in his place, lovingly bossing him around. I don't know why I do this. I often wish that I didn't, as it would save us a lot of bickering. But truth be told... deep down, I don't think he'd have it any other way. After all, if I don't take care of his goofy ass, who will?

Me (calling dad): Hi, I tried calling you yesterday.
Dad: Oh, I was at the hospital.
Me: Why?!
Dad: I just fell in the basement and broke my foot... but I'm OK!
Me: What?? When did this happen?!
Dad: Day before yesterday. But I thought it was fine until I took a shower yesterday and saw that my toes were going in two different directions.
Me: Oh, dad... you're an older person, you need to get these things checked out right away. Are you OK? Do you have crutches?
Dad: I'm OK, I just have a big giant shoe I have to wear.
Me: Well... why didn't you tell me right away??
Dad: Because I knew you would get upset and worry!
Me: This is why I worry. Because you don't tell me things. I would've told you right away!
Dad: You're right, and I would want you to. I'm sorry. But hey, I never lie to you!
Me: So, what, am I supposed to know which questions to ask you every day — "How's your foot? How's your wrist? How's your head? Do you have cancer?"
Dad: Is this going on Facebook?
Me: Yes.

My dad then proceeds to spend the next five minutes urging me to say a swear word. "C'mon, Tina, just say 'fuck.'" No, Dad. I'm at work. "C'mon... you're so cute when you cuss." Goodbye, Dad.

Photo of Dad and I, circa 1981.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

NYC Cleanse: Post Cleanse + Verdict

Wake up today refreshed and psyched that I don't have anymore juice sitting in my fridge. Am 5 lbs. lighter since Monday! After five days with no coffee, my first stop is my personal Cheers, where the baristas all know my name and how I take my joe. I know the stars are aligned when I see that the flavor of the day is my absolute favorite — Caramel Nut Fudge! I then throw them for a loop when I request skim instead of my usual full-fat milk. Practically skip to work, pausing to pick up some fruit for breakfast. Upon arriving to work, I don't feel like eating. Shocking, I know. I finally start noshing on my fruit at around 10am, and it takes me a good hour to eat it.

At around 2pm, I head to Energy Kitchen for a salad. Apparently they're giving away sandwiches from 12-2pm today because it's tax day. Um, OK. The guy at the door won't let me in because he needs to cut off the "free food" line. I snap, "I don't want your free food. I just want to buy a damn salad." I'm pretty pissed. 1. Your business is open. There are better ways to run things. Like cutting off the free food line, not the entire store front. 2. I haven't eaten in three days. If you don't get out of my way, I won't hesitate to go all Hannibal Lecter on you and eat your ass. He proceeds to have an employee escort me to the salad bar. After nibbling on my salad, I begin to feel a bit nauseous. Maybe it's mental, but I'm turned off by food at the moment. This is a first.

*rant* Since living in New York, I've found that my patience has worn thin, and I feel extremely entitled when it comes to customer service. I blow up at cabbies who don't know their way around Manhattan and at waiters who don't know their ear from their elbow. I can understand if you're new, but if you're not new, and you were hired to do a particular job, and you work at an ice cream shop and don't know how to say "flavor" in English, we're going to have a problem. *end rant*

Off to La Casa Day Spa for my um, first-ever colonic. I don't think I will go into too much detail after all, but if you're that curious about my poo-poo endeavors, you need help feel free to message me privately! It was pretty much what I expected — my um, "stuff" came out in a tube. Then I sat on a toilet for 30 minutes. 'Nough said.

Total Pounds Lost: 6 lbs.

Overall, Jami (who lost a whopping 10 pounds!) and I are both extremely glad we did it — I feel lighter and healthier. I don't even want the chocolate in the conference room. Well... not really. Not only do I get full faster (thus, eating less), but I think twice about what I put in my body. Granted, talk to me in a month to see where I am. But I do hope this "health kick" sticks and rather than eating four cupcakes a week, I only treat myself to one. Would I do this again? Perhaps. Would I recommend this to a friend? Yes. But I do think there are less expensive options out there. I mean, it's just juice. Psst... if you decide to try the Blueprint Cleanse, use this 15% off discount code. You're welcome. Maybe next time I'll try Salma Hayek's Cooler Cleanse, though they do make you drink a juice that's identical to my personal hell the beet juice. Erm, nevermind. Thanks to my friend James, I will be playing Whack-A-Beet on a daily basis, instead.

Note: If you like what you've read, please follow this blog. Thank you!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

NYC Cleanse: Day 3

It's my last day, yaya! Confession: I am really proud of myself. Yesterday, fellow cleanser Jami asked if I've cheated. I happily said no, I have not cheated, and no, I am not lying. BPC says you can have snacks like cucumber and celery if you really need to eat — but it's been only juice and water for me. And I honestly haven't been too hungry. By the time my stomach starts to growl, it's time for another awesome juice, which does the trick. Also looks like I've lost a total of 4 lbs. Final weigh-in coming after tomorrow's colonic. And yes, you're going to hear all about it.

Juice 1: Green Lemon
8:30am See? Even Sophie Sassypants wants nothing to do with the liquified leaves Green Juice, and she's been known to eat pretty much anything.

Juice 2: P.A.M.
11am Oh, Pamela, how I am going to miss you. Your pineapple-minty goodness has been my saving grace. You are the one BPC juice I would happily purchase for $1.79 from my local convenience store. But alas, you are only available in $200 increments surrounded by your less redeeming friends, Green Apple and C.A.B. Perhaps we will meet again after a few donuts and slices of pizza.

Juice 3: Green Apple
2pm And you were just starting to get bearable! Adios, GJ.

Juice 4: Spicy Lemonade

3:30pm Meh. I have very little love for you. *Desperately wanting an iced coffee right about now.*

Just got this email from a coworker:
From: Coworker

Wednesday, April 10, 2010, 5:25pm
Chocolates in the Conference Room
Hi all,
I brought chocolate back from Hawaii for everyone. Please help yourself and enjoy.
I was halfway to the conference room when I remembered where I was and what I was doing. FML.

Juice #5: C.A.B.
Let the record state that if you like beets, you would probably like C.A.B. But as a result of a traumatic experience, my distaste for beets goes into a full-on hatred. Case in point: Out to dinner recently with my friend Rachel. Her entree comes with beets. I proceed to make faces throughout the meal due to the smell alone. Looking back, it was a bit rude on my part. Sorry, Rach. Anyway, good riddance.

Proceed to spend next hour talking Jami off the ledge.
She wants to *gasp* eat dinner tonight! I tell her that it's like sex — so much better when you wait. Our "doctor's appointments" are tomorrow, and BPC says to ease back into eating "solids," so I'm planning on mixed fruit for breakfast, and a cheeseless green salad with olive oil for lunch. I have been thinking about Friday's food intake all week. I had originally decided on an onion bagel with full-fat scallion cream cheese for breakfast, followed by a celebratory Chipotle lunch with Jami. Then I remembered — my eating habits must change. If I'm going to have a damn bagel for breakfast, I better be prepared to have a salad for lunch. And vice versa. Chipotle and Fiber One it is. It occurs to Jami to mix vodka with her remaining juices.

Juice #6: Cashew Nut Milk

8:30pm I drink this with pleasure. Me: 18. BPC: 0. I did it!!!

Day 3: Done. (But my journey does not end here, my friends...)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

NYC Cleanse: Day 2

Went to bed last night with anxiety about the next day's juices and severe headache — I blame lack of caffeine. Wake up this morning cranky. Probably because I know I'm not getting coffee or food of any kind. I'm not hungry, I just LOVE FOOD! Cheesy pasta goodness? Get in my belly. Determined to plow through, I drink my hot lemony water and go about my business. My um, bathroom habits are fairly normal, btw. (I know you were dying to ask.) Oh! But I seemed to have lost 2 lbs. Score.

Juice 1: Green Lemon
8:30am Plug nose and go for it. Surprisingly easier than yesterday. Side note: Maybe it's mental, but I find it useful to hold my nose during Juices #1, #3, and #5, because if I can't smell it, it's not really there... right?
Juice 2: P.A.M.
10:30am Have decided that this juice is my favorite. It's refreshing and thirst-quenching... like a healthy Gatorade of sorts. I sip on this for an hour, savoring it, and trying not to think about what's to come.

Juice 3: Green Apple
1pm Halfway there! I let my boss sample the grass-in-a-bottle Green Juice, and she seems to enjoy it. Then again, she is a phenomenal cook and enjoys various types of veggies that are generally foreign to me — most of which I wouldn't touch with a 10-foot pole. Done and done. Me: 3. Green Juice: 0. But I run out of giant Starbucks straws. Must replenish stash for Juice #5. *shudders*

Juice 4: Spicy Lemonade
2:30pm No biggie. I drink this while stealing straws running errands.

Juice 5: C.A.B.
5pm Have been dreading this moment all day. Wishing I were Dwight Schrute right about now. He has a beet farm. You can't have a beet farm and not love beets. Coworker Naomi is intrigued by my plight, so I offer her a sip. (Less for me!) She mentions that it tastes like pickles. Plug nose. Dive in. And then there was one. Looking forward to tonight's "milkshake."

Juice 6: Cashew Nut Milk
8:30pm Still doesn't taste like ice cream, but I kind of like it. Kind of. Tonight I noticed that my body feels lighter, overall — likely a result of not being weighed down by cheeseburgers and donuts. This must be how vegans feel. I have no plans to convert, but I am hoping that this feeling will help me think twice about cleaning my entire plate of penne a la vodka.

Day 2: Done!

Monday, April 12, 2010

NYC Cleanse: Day 1

Yes. That is my weight at the right. Don't judge. Supposedly it's average for my height. On the higher end of average, but I digress. And kindly disregard my orange feet, courtesy of last week's Mystic Tan. This is my journey to cleanliness, and I am not holding back. Moving on... BPC says to start the day with warm water and lemon — apparently this gets your intestines moving. Fine. I paid $200, and I'm going to do it right. Pour glass of warm water and immediately squirt lemon juice in my eye. Ouch. Am not off to a good start.

Juice 1: Green Lemon (romaine, celery, cucumber, green apple, spinach, kale, parsley, lemon)
8:20am I have not heard good things about this Green Juice, so I take drastic measures in the form of stealing some of those big straws from Starbucks for faster, um, sucking. Toothbrush is prepped with toothpaste. I am ready. I start gulping. Not so bad. I pause to catch my breath. Oh, God. I am overwhelmed by healthy bursts of flavor. Kale. Parsley. Spinach. Determined to get my money's worth, I finish in one slurp. I burp celery. This $20 bottle of juice cannot come back up. Gulp water, brush teeth, I am done. I am rock star.

I pass my coffee shop on the way to work — it is calling my name. I say I am sorry, but I cannot come in today, even if the flavor of the day is Caramel Nut Fudge. I see a man eating McDonald's hash browns on the train. I stare longingly, mouth agape. I realize I resemble one of the New York crazies and go about my business. Side note: Jami says she loves the Green Juice. FML.
Juice 2: P.A.M. (pineapple, apple, mint)
9:45am Tasty. This one I like.

Juice 3: Green Apple (romaine, celery, cucumber, kale, parsley, green apple, spinach, lemon)
12:30pm You, again. I love how they change the name of the juice to entice me, when truthfully, it's the same ol' shit I drank this morning. Awesome. Jami says to focus on the green apple, so I do. It helps for all of two gulps. Then the spinach rears its ugly head. But I finish.

Juice 4: Spicy Lemonade (filtered water, lemon, agave nectar, cayenne)
2:30pm Not bad. It's like lemonade... with a kick. Trying not to think about Juice #5. Post Juice #4, I sit through a brutally long meeting. For the first time today, my stomach growls.

Juice 5: C.A.B. (carrot, apple, beet, ginger, lemon)
6pm *nervous* Can't. Handle. Beets. Traumatic childhood experience: 9 years old, babysitter's house. PB&J and beets for lunch. I try the beets and immediately gag. Babysitter won't let me leave the table until beets are gone. The other kids ate their beets and are bouncing on the trampoline outside. I sit there until 5pm when my mom arrives. I am forever scarred.

Fill plastic cup with ice, prep Starbucks straw. Mmmm, Starbucks... Focus, Tina! The colder the juice is, the less I will taste the beets. And ginger. I forgot about the ginger. Hate the stuff. Pour juice, start gulping. I barely taste it! Until I pause to take a breath. Then the lingering taste of beets mixed with ginger manifests in my throat. Memories of my 9-year-old self waft through my mind. A coworker walks in to find  me staring forlornly at my cup o' beets. I laugh and try to explain why I'm staring into a cup of thick red juice. Mention the cleanse and impending colonic. (Seriously?! Do I have no filter? Do not discuss colonics with work colleagues I rarely interact with!) She raises her eyebrows and leaves. I finish my juice. I burp a beet and shudder. I leave work for my Monday night dance class and continue to silently burp beets mixed with ginger all throughout class. Gross is an understatement.

Juice 6: Cashew Nut Milk (filtered water, raw cashews, agave nectar, vanilla bean, cinnamon)
9pm After class, I longingly walk by all my favorite fast food joints — Five Guys (burgers), Chipotle (burritos), Grimaldi's (pizza). I heard a rumor that Juice #6 tastes like a milkshake, and it's my saving grace. I get home, pop it open and take a sip, expecting to savor its ice creamy goodness. WTF?! This is not a milkshake. It's... it's nothing more than a nut-flavored milky substance with a hint of cinnamon. So much for great expectations. I drink it anyway. Ha. Nut-flavored milky substance... oh, shutyourpiehole, you thought it, too.

Day 1: Done.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The New York Cleanse

Donuts, bagels,  coffee, macaroni & cheese, pizza, pasta, diet coke, brownies. The occasional vegetable. My eating habits need an overhaul. My body needs an overhaul. When my sweet work colleague Nicole first recommended the Blueprint Cleanse, I scoffed. $200 for three days worth of juice?! No, thanks. That was last winter. It is now Jersey Shore season, and I intend to flaunt my semi-bikini-bod with confidence. Truthfully, I just need a kick start to a slightly healthier lifestyle. At 28 years old, the time has come for veggies and anti-wrinkle cream. Armed with my cleanser-in-crime Jami and Nicole's encouragement, I schedule myself for the three-day Renovation Cleanse — this is for the person who thinks french fries are a vegetable, aka me. And just to ensure that my insides are fully clean, I've scheduled a post-cleanse colonic. Sorry, being my friend naturally comes with TMI.

BPC suggests preparing a few days before by phasing out sugar, coffee, meat and dairy. So on Saturday, I quit my morning coffee (and we all know how important this is to me). BPC doesn't mention carbs, so I have a bagel for breakfast. (OK, and a smear of cream cheese...) Then I have some mixed fruit — something I never do. For dinner, I make stir-fry veggies, without rice. (OK, I tried to make rice, but I burned it. So by default... no rice.) I am on a mission to rid my kitchen-slash-living-room of any and all temptation. I toss my cheese. And eggs. Then, I spot a bag of jellybeans. Well, I have to get rid of them, right? So I decide to hide them... in my belly. Dammit. BPC also doesn't mention popcorn, so I eat some of that. And I discover some chocolate chips in the cupboard — I already f---ed up with the jellybeans, so I go ahead and eat those, too.

On Sunday, I vow to start over. In the morning, I accidentally eat half a frosted donut. Whoops. Then I have some mixed fruit, points for me. This is followed by an avocado and a tomato. Then Meagan comes over to watch a movie. She has a Coke Zero. I haven't had caffeine for two days. If I don't have a Coke Zero, I'm going to rip someone's face off. So I drink it. It. Feels. Great. Then I devour the rest of my popcorn. Needless to say, Jami did better with her BPC prep. All that remains is 18 bottles of juice in my fridge... to be continued.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Surfing In New York?

As written for fashion blog 
When you're a New York fashionista, anything goes — even when it's California-style surf wear. I had the privilege of attending the Cynthia Rowley for Roxy launch party last week at Barney's CO-OP, on behalf of friend and fashion blogger Julie at I Heart Heels. Rowley's spring 2010 line for the popular surf brand fuses California chic with New York couture in the form of everything from wetsuits and swimwear to pencil skirts and ballet flats. The stylish Soho soirée was crawling with magazine editors and fashion's elite, including designer Cynthia Rowley in the flesh. Rowley arrived at the bash in style, wearing a few of her own designs — her Kaleidoscope Tank ($56, and her Threadbare Sequined Tank ($325,

Photos courtesy of PMc

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Google Goes All Kansas On Us

Google thinks they're being funny with their April Fool's Joke. I don't.

 Update, 8/12/10:  Google, you have redeemed yourself.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

NYC Beauty Ritual: Eyelash Extensions

As written for pop culture site 
Confession: I am beyond obsessed with whatever it is that makes Hollywood’s movers and shakers look, well, nothing like the rest of us. I’m addicted to Life & Style and Allure — if Heidi Montag’s had it nipped and Madonna’s had it tucked, I probably read it first. Rachel Bilson swears by $1,300 jars of La Mer? Why, I love Rachel. Rachel has great skin. Off I go to the nearest Bergdorf and Bloomie’s to feign interest in making a massive purchase, scoring a few samples in the process.

So it should come as no shocker that my most recent fascination came in the form of eyelash extensions. Paris Hilton, Molly Sims, Ashley Tisdale and Danielle Jonas (yes, the eldest JoBro’s wifey) all swear by ’em. So when I randomly won a Twitter contest hosted by @WEtv (don’t hate — I dig their Golden Girls re-runs) for a free Xtreme Lashes application, I. Was. Psyched. I never win anything, let alone a fancy schmancy $300 procedure! Luckily, I live in NYC and immediately requested Xtreme lash stylist to the stars, Cheri Wroblewski of Lash Boutique. If I’m going to spend two hours having someone poke and prod at my eyelids, I want the best.

As requested, I arrived at Cheri’s adorable midtown lash studio at 9am on a Thursday, sans eye makeup. Professional and sweet as ever, Cheri took one look at me, stated that I have gorgeous “cat eyes” (hey, I’ll take it) and said she had the perfect lash look in mind. Apparently, the “looks” can range anywhere from natural to dramatic to OMG-my-lashes-touch-my-forehead. I lay down amidst a cluster of itty-bitty jars of synthetic lashes, and Cheri placed a pair of soothing anti-wrinkle pads underneath my eyes. I closed my eyelids and instantly relaxed. Self-proclaimed ambidextrous, she quickly worked with both hands and two teeny pairs of tweezers — isolating one of my lashes with one hand and placing a single lash extension on the base with the other, using a hi-tech medical adhesive. It was literally an eyelash extension. I was in awe. Throughout the next hour, I barely felt a thing. Sure, there was the occasional tug, but nothing crazy. No irritation whatsoever. When she was finished, I sat up, looked in a mirror and squealed like your little sister at a Justin Bieber concert. I’m not exaggerating when I say that my face was completely transformed, and I wasn’t even wearing makeup (obviously a daily ritual for me, see first ’graph). Cheri the Miracle Worker had meticulously applied nearly 200 individual eyelashes in just over an hour! I thanked her, left a generous tip and skipped five blocks to work, batting my lashes at anyone who dared glance my way. 

Friday, February 19, 2010

NY Fashion Week 2010: Monique Lhuillier

As written for fashion blog 
Having outfitted nearly everyone who’s anyone from Bilson to Barrymore, Monique Lhuillier continues to dazzle with red carpet-worthy couture. Her Fall 2010 collection combined the tough, militant flair of the ancient Chinese warrior with a contrasting hint of soft, feminine elegance. As one would expect, the line was largely composed of striking evening gowns — touches of tulle and chiffon embellished with embroidery and aptly placed hardware. I literally gasped when I laid eyes on this gorgeous number:
With hair wrapped in buns, minimal eye makeup and ruby red lips, the runway models took on a stoic, fierce presence — fitting amongst the strong silhouettes and high necklines. Shades of crimson, gold and navy were also dominant amid the party dresses and dragon-print jacquards.
Accessorized with chunky cocktail rings and textured lace tights, the latest Monique Lhuillier collection was a massive hit; just ask actresses Melissa George and Sophia Bush, who were in attendance. “[Monique’s] clothes are so beautiful,” Sophia says to celebrity gossip blogger Just Jared. “They’re such a throwback to really classic, tailored, feminine design. She can really do anything. It’s just so elegant.”
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