Friday, March 28, 2008

Latest Hairspiration: Jessica Lucas

(Photo Credit: 1st:, 2nd & 3rd:

I like the effortless look of Jessica Lucas's hairstyle she wore to the 39th NAACP Image Awards back in February. Elegant, youthful and sexy. With a sleek upper part that has natural body and volumne to loose curls on the bottom. To achieve the curls, use a medium or large-barrel curling iron then separate with fingers. Set with a glossy hairspray to keep flyaway down and give hair a natural sheen.

Enjoy The Weekend!!!

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Friday's Happy Hour Drink: Pear Sidecar

This drink should be prepared one at time for the most flavor and taste.

Pear Sidecar from Sunset


1/4 cup pear brandy
2 tablespoons unsweetened pear juice or nectar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon simple syrup
1 or 2 slices fresh pear, about 1/2 in. thick

Simple Syrup:

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water

Pour 1/2 cup each sugar and water in a small pan over medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture turns clear; cool before using. Can be kept, covered and chilled, for 6 months.


1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
2. Pour brandy, pear juice, lemon juice, and simple syrup over ice.
3. Cover and shake vigorously for 1 minute.
4. Strain and pour into a chilled martini glass.
5. Garnish with sliced pear. Serve immediately.

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Style & Focus Weekend: Lunch and a Movie

Introducing a new weekly blog post, the Style & Focus Weekend, featuring tips, ideas or suggestions for enjoying the weekend.

Going Out:

Plan a fabulous girl's day out with Lunch and a Movie. It's a great way to catch up, have a good time, relax with friends and pamper yourself. Why not try something different and reserve a table at that new or ultra-exclusive restaurant you've been dying to get in. The good thing about lunch is you're more likely to get a table than for dinner. Plus, most restaurants offer lower prices and special menus for lunch. Following delicious meal, take in a afternoon movie - be it drama, comedy or whatever the latest movie is and enjoy.

Staying In:

Not in the mood to go out, plan a equally fabulous girl's day in with Lunch and a Movie. Invite a couple of friend over for lunch and a movie. Ask friends to bring over one of their favorite films. Lunch can be whatever you want to serve such as ordering take-out, preparing gourmet sandwiches and french fries or asking friends to bring over a simple dish for a quick potluck. While you're having lunch watch one of the films you chose or one of your guests. Then prepare to sit back and enjoy the movie.

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

13 Affordable Spring Dresses

For this spring and summer, I'm looking for dresses that are a little sweet yet sophisticated for day or weekend. Dresses are perfect for a quick and effortless outfit. Designer dresses are fabulous but they don't always fit the budget. Below are 13 affordable yet glamorous dresses that can fit almost everyone's budget:

City Style Halter
New York & Co.

Ruffled Silk Dress
Victoria's Secret

Linen-Blend Empire
Old Navy

Women's Plus Halter Maxi dress only

Cotton Jersey Smocked Strapless dress
Victoria's Secret

Converse One Star Woven Camisole dress

Boarder Print Tube
Wet Seal

Limited Collection Fairtrade Pure Cotton Tunic
Mark & Spencer
£15.00 (around $30.00)

Eyelet Smocked dress
Victoria's Secret

Printed Halter
Old Navy
$20.70 sale ($29.50 regular)

Women's Plus Linen Halter only

Pleated Print dress
Wet Seal

Tie-Front dress
Victoria's Secret
$55.00 sale ($69.00 regular)

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Are Fashion Magazines Still Key?

by Courtney Brooks, M.S.

Are fashion magazines still key? Are they still a top player for advertisers? With newsstand sales not at their best, will we start seeing fewer top advertisers in the next 3-5 years? Will we also see fewer fashion magazines in the upcoming future?

It has been written about numerous times about the onset of fashion and beauty blogs and how more companies are looking for more personal ways to reach out to their target market and acquire potential new customers. And blogs give them that additional option. Also, some top fashion and beauty blogs are more than just adequate competition to magazines they have garnered a large percentage of readers and have been established as a creditable free resource. But with blogs, there is a risk of abandonment not just from readers but from the blog owners themselves. There is a huge turnover rate with people starting and abandoning their blogs.

Magazines are still a key component for reaching customers but since most fashion magazines are published monthly the publishers have created more interactive websites with some being updated on a daily or weekly basis. And found on some of the sites are advertisements that are aimed at the target audience. Magazines are also still key with some readers because they satisfy a convenience, visual and tangible factors. Some readers even stock pile or collect their magazines instead of getting rid or recycling them at the end of the month.

Though most top fashion magazines are in no danger of disappearing, publishers still need to start promoting and advertising their products (i.e. their magazines) or risk losing readers to other forms of competition. Recently, a few magazines have even started offering coupons, for instance Real Simple and Woman's Day placed them in the Sunday coupon booklets. Teen magazine offered a printable coupon on their website for their Winter issue. Offering coupons may work for some magazines but may not fit the image of others but they still need to figure out a way to improve their sales.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Women Safety Tips: Travel Tips Part 2

Staying safe while in the hotel and in your room (9 tips from Detective Kevin Coffey and 2 from me):

1. Request a room near the elevators and away from any renovation work. Have your key out when you leave the elevator.

2. You want to be far from emergency exits (which someone might pry open to avoid using the elevators), and on an upper floor away from catwalks and terraces.

3. The door should have double locks--one of which is a dead bolt--and a peephole. Bring along a security doorstop for extra protection.

4. Don't place "please make up this room" sign on door it signals to everyone that you're not there. Call housekeeping instead.

5. Conversely, the "do not disturb" sign can make the room seem occupied (especially handy if you leave expensive items inside).

6. Put expensive clothing on hangers under other garments. Robbers usually "shop" what they can see.

7. Lock valuables in the front-desk safe or room safe.

8. If your bag is stolen from the hotel, recruit management to search for it. Most hotel robberies are committed by the staff, and many properties, especially while vacation internationally, don't allow employees to leave with packages; thieves take the money and dump the rest.

9. Stand near the elevator buttons with your back to the wall; if threatened, push all the buttons at once with your back.

*10. Turn on your TV when you leave your room. It will make your room seem occupied.

*11. Take pictures of all your valuables as soon as you settle into your room with your digital camera, incase items are stolen you can show the pictures to the police and hotel security.

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Designer Sales all Week from Gilt Groupe Starting at Noon

Gilt Groupe to feature sales from Diane von Furstenberg, Amrita Singh, Luca Luca and Alexis Bittar sales this week.

Gilt Groupe is a private online community, which is dedicated to providing its members with access to coveted fashion and luxury lifestyle brands at sample sale prices. For the special VIP link to register and to start shopping click here:

* Tuesday 3/25 – Diane Von Furstenberg (12pm EST) - Known for her simple yet revolutionary credo: "Feel like a woman. Wear a dress," we're wild about style icon and CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg. From her legendary patterns to her symbolic wrap dress, this Tuesday's sale will be huge and we urge you not to miss out!

* Wednesday 3/26 – Amrita Singh (12pm EST) - Keep an eye out for Amrita Singh. This rising talent is becoming famous for her tribal and exotic pieces, especially her colorful bangles (Vogue, W and WWD agree!)

* Thursday 3/27 – Luca Luca (12pm EST) - From on stage with fashion elite Cindy Crawford to on screen with Lipstick Jungle, Luca Luca designs are made to make every woman feel like a modern day Grace Kelly. Don't miss this exceptional opportunity to own a piece from designer Luca Orlandi's coveted collection

* Friday 3/28 – Alexis Bittar (12pm EST) Visit Alexis Bittar's sale for his line of hand-carved jewelry

About Gilt Groupe:
Headquartered in New York, Gilt Groupe is a privately held company dedicated to providing its members with access to coveted fashion and luxury lifestyle brands at sample sale prices. Each Gilt Groupe sale (3x per week) is designer-specific and held over a one day period. The Gilt Groupe production team creates a short video reel to introduce each designer and brand to its membership. There is no fee associated with joining Gilt Groupe; membership is by invitation only. Investors include leading venture capital firm Matrix Partners and prominent private investors such as Kevin Ryan, former CEO, DoubleClick, and Dwight Merriman, former CTO and Founder, DoubleClick.

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Monday, March 24, 2008

Latest Obsession: Keds

One of my spring essentials are a pair of Keds shoes. What I really like are the bright colors and comfiness of the shoes. These shoes are perfect for the weekend or just lounging around. Far from being a prep classic, Keds has reinvented their shoes into a fun and colorful classic. Maybe it's a nostalgic thing because I had a couple of pairs when I was younger but they have always been comfortable and stylish.

Elenor Flamingo Pink Skimmer

Nanette Lepore Wedge Lace

Matchstick Wedge

Nanette Lepore Low Rose Skimmer

Sealand Skimmer

Sea Scape Scuba Skimmer

Wiz Kid Doodle Skimmer

Champion Mod Sneakers

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Women Safety Tips: Travel Safety Tips Part 1

With so many women traveling either for business or personal, being safe has become a number 1 concern. The following travel safety tips come from Detective Kevin Coffey website, plus two additional ones:

When Choosing a Hotel:

1. Smaller is smarter: you want the staff to be familiar with guests and with you. The smaller the lobby, the more noticeable the loiterers.

2. Aim for a well-trafficked street (neighborhood restaurants and late-night stores mean traffic, corporate offices mean darkness). Affluent residential areas tend to have more reliable transportation and fewer threatening street people.

3. If you're still concerned about the area, ask a female employee--not one in reservations--whether she walks around at night. (Call the restaurant, for instance.)

4. A reception and concierge desk near the entrance, and/or the elevators, is more likely to deter non-guest undesirables.

5. There should be privacy for guests checking in: no one should be able to overhear a name, room number, or other personal information.

6. Room numbers should be written on the key envelope, not mentioned aloud or inscribed on the key--this way, anyone finding your key won't have access to your room.

7. Look for a parking lot that is well lit and secure. Find out if there's valet parking . . . and if it will be available when you need it. Use it, even it costs a little bit more.

8. Does the hotel gym have an attendant? Being alone and semi-dressed in the basement is not good for your health.

9. The hotel should have sufficient staff to walk you to your room late at night. Inquire when you book and you'll get an idea of how woman-friendly the hotel is.

*10. Don't just book a hotel based on it's pictures and online brochure. Search around the internet to read the guest's experiences (but you can't always trust those either because they might be PR reps writing in).

*11. Before booking, call ahead to the hotel (luxury, chain, etc) to make sure they don't give out room numbers. You can also ask them about the safety of their hotel (are there security guards?, safety around and inside the hotel at night, etc) and if they don't want to answer then that's probably not the hotel you want to stay in.

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Special Exhibit of Andy Warhol's Portaits of Ten Jewish Greats

What: The Jewish Museum's Special Exhibit of Warhol's Jews: Ten Portraits Reconsidered

This exhibition of Andy Warhol's ten "Jewish genius" paintings from 1980, presented 28 years after their initial showing at The Jewish Museum. Warhol’s iconic portraits attest to the lasting achievements and fame of these singular figures.

Andy Warhol's Ten Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century (1980) depict renowned luminaries of Jewish culture: Sarah Bernhardt, Louis Brandeis, Martin Buber, Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, George Gershwin, Franz Kafka, The Marx Brothers, Golda Meir and Gertrude Stein.

Warhol referred to this pantheon of great thinkers, politicians, performers, and writers as his "Jewish geniuses." Warhol's iconic portraits attest to the lasting achievements and fame of these singular figures. Originally published as a portfolio of silkscreen prints on paper, Warhol was so pleased with the commercial success of his Ten Portraits that he decided to create additional versions of the series as silkscreen paintings on canvas. The Jewish Museum initially showed three sets of paintings and an edition of prints in the fall of 1980. On view in this exhibition are one of the five complete sets of ten paintings, an edition of the final print portfolio, several sketches, a preparatory collage, and the photographs that Warhol used as source images, offering new insights into their development and historical context.

When: March 16, 2008 - August 03, 2008

The Jewish Museum
1109 Fifth Avenue at 92nd Street
New York, New York 10128
Phone: (212) 423-3200

Sat - Wed 11:00 am - 5:45 pm
Thurs 11:00 am - 8:00 pm
Friday Closed
Special hours for Children's & Media Center exhibitons open Sun-Thurs

Adults: $12
Seniors/over 65: $10
Students: $7.50
Children under 12: Free
Jewish Museum Members: Free

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What I'm Watching Tonight: Greek and The Hills

Greek 60min ABC Family

Casey and Ashleigh

(Photo Credit:

I'm actually quite excited for the second season premiere of Greek. It's one of my favorite shows. Season two continues with Casey dealing with her new responsibilties and duties as President of Zeta Beta Zeta including organizing a charity carnival and dealing with the aftermath of her breakup with Evan. Cappie and Rebecca continuing their secret romance while Calvin contemplate rejoining Omega Chi's after the luke warm reception he received after Ashleigh accidentally outed him to his chapter. Lastly, Rusty is continuing to deal with a broken heart over Jen K.

For those who missed the first season, there is a marathon at 11:00am on ABC Family.

And if that's not enough drama for you, the continued season three of The Hills also premieres tonight at 10:00pm (see below).

Rusty and Calvin

Cappie and Rebecca

Evan and Dale

The Hills 60min (1 hour premiere) MTV

(Photo Credit:

Season three continues with a special 1 hour premier of Lauren and Whitney jetting off to Paris but instead of enjoying the experience, Lauren hears bad news about Brody. While, Spencer attempts to win back Heidi with an impromptu trip to visit her in Colorado.

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Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday Recipe: Hot Cross Buns

Since today is Good Friday, I thought I would post a quick and easy recipe for Hot Cross Buns from They are delicious without taking a lot of time to make.

Enjoy the Easter weekend!!!

Hot Cross Buns
Makes 6

1 c. whole wheat flour (white flour can be used)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. shortening such as butter
1 tbsp. honey
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 c. raisins
1/3 c. milk

1/2 c. confectioners' sugar
2 tsp. milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla


1. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl. Cut in the shortening with a fork until it looks like coarse crumbs. Add the honey, cinnamon and raisins and toss lightly. Make a well in the middle and pour in the milk all at once. Stir it around quickly with a fork and form a ball.

2. Divide the ball into 6 small ones. Grease a baking sheet and place the 6 balls on it, about 2 inches apart. With a knife cut a deep cross through the top of each ball. Bake them at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

3. When the rolls are slightly cool, dribble the frosting mixture of confectioners' sugar, milk and vanilla over each.

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