Friday, November 28, 2008

My Favorite chocolate Treats from MarieBelle

MarieBelle ( is one of my favorite chocolatier. I absolutely adore the dark hot chocolate ($19.00 - $25.00). It's rich and heavenly. But it's not the only sweet treats I love from them. Their boxed chocolates (from 2 pieces box set to 100 pieces) are not only cute with colorful illustrations but mouthwatering and delectable. I also love their teas especially the Dark Obsession Chocolate Rose Tea ($12.00 - $18.00) it combines two of my favorites: chocolate and tea.

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

My Life: Getting ready for Thanksgiving.

Really sorry about the lack of posts. The old cliche stands "I was really busy".
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I'm going to visit my parents. This year my mom wanted a non-traditional meal. Instead of turkey we will be having brisket for the main entree.

Not to show up empty handed, I'm going to take my mom some of her favorite dark hot chocolate from MarieBelle. It's my favorite as well. I'll add a post about it Friday or Monday.

I haven't decided if I'm going to bring a dessert or not but probably something chocolaty. Well I have the rest of the day to decide what to make if I do. I really looking forward to relaxing and catching up with family and what's going on with them.

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Coffee Set Carol Brady Would Love

Whether it's for a quick pick me up or inviting over a guest or two for coffee. These retro inspired coffee sets are not only quaint and cute but also a perfect gift for your coffee loving mom, your friend whose the perfect hostess or yourself.

The coffee sets are available for $64.00 each from notNeutral ( and includes a coffee pot, creamer and sugar bowl. The three sets available are: Black Ribbon, Blue Flora and Brown Links.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Cold Comfort: Food Banks and Homeless Shelters in Need of Donations

With the nights becoming cold and freezing, homeless shelters are starting to fill up but many shelters and food banks are in a real need of donations. From blankets to food they are in need of assistance. The economy being what it is, many charitable organizations are taking a hit.

The higher food costs are resulting in lower donations and supplies for many food banks. If you are unable to make any monetary donations there are other ways to help. You can organize a small collecting project with family or friends by collecting a box or two of non-perishable items and donate them to your local food bank. It doesn't have to require a lot of your time just go through your kitchen and find a few items that could help. Since, many homeless shelters are in need of warm blankets, you can donate a few older blankets or purchase a few fleece blankets to donate. You can also inquire if they are in need of clothing as well. If so you can donate some of your old (gently used and clean) clothing to the shelters.

Every little bit can help to make a difference.

As Thanksgiving approaches it's a great way to help others and to feel thankful.
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Friday, November 14, 2008

Savvy & Co. Designer Sample Sale -- L.A.M.B, Jill Stuart and more

Savvy & Co. Sample Sale
Featuring designes from L.A.M.B, Jill Stuart, HaraJuku Lovers and Kidrobot

Tuesday Nov. 18th
8AM - 1PM Private Savvy Customers Only
1PM - 8PM Sale open to the Public

Wednesday Nov. 19th - Thursday Nov. 20th
8AM - 8PM

Savvy & Co's NYC Loft
145 West 18th Street (between 6th & 7th ave)
New York, NY 10011
Tel: 212.388.0339

L.A.M.B handbags first launched in 2006 and have become a household name in the handbag industry. They are a favorite among the most stylish celebrities including Cameron Diaz, Carrie Underwood and Penelope Cruz. Gwen Stefani’s inspiration is gathered from her world travels and her designs delineate both that and her own eclectic personal style. “I love the designing process for the handbags. It’s always evolving and changing each season. This season I loved mixing different materials like leather and suede and then putting the LAMB twist on it.” Stefani says.

New York designer Jill Stuart, renowned for her eponymous line of contemporary ready-to-wear, had her beginnings in accessories, having sold a collection of suede-fringed hobo bags to Bloomingdale’s at the young age of 15. Stuart’s feminine, vintage-inspired fashions have quietly solidified her position as a quintessential New York designer with a devoted celebrity following. Inspired by her personal collection of more than 1,000 vintage handbags, Jill has created a line of stylish and functional satchels, shoulder hobos, cross-body handbags and totes for today’s contemporary “fashionistas.” The Jill Stuart philosophy of design is practical and gracious. “I appreciate personal style more than noticing a designer outfit. To create fashion and images that enhance individuality is my passion in life,” says Stuart.

Gwen Stefani found inspiration for the Harajuku Lovers collection the first time she went to Tokyo and saw kids in Harajuku that were all about self expression, unique individual style, making their own clothing mixing and matching with western inspiration and Japanese traditional style. The Harajuku Lovers line is an extension of Gwen’s music and a visual to its lyrics.

Founded by designer Paul Budnitz in 2002, Kidrobot is the world’s premier designer and retailer of limited edition art toys and apparel. Kidrobot merges urban street trends, fashion, and pop art to produce limited edition, collectible toys and apparel. Kidrobot launched their first handbag and small accessories collection Fall 2008. The Kidrobot handbag collection is available at Kidrobot stores in Miami, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco,, as well as better department stores across North America.

Style and Focus News Bites

** Tony Dow better known for his role on the classic TV series "Leave It To Beaver" will have his artwork displayed at the famed Louvre museum in Paris, France from Dec. 11 - 14. Dow is one of serveral artists from the Karen Lynne Gallery to be featured at museum as part of the Societe Nationale des Beaux-Arts exhibition. The sculpture that will be displayed is titled “Unarmed Warrior,” and is a bronze figure of a woman holding a shield. (The San Diego Union-Tribune)

** The Mayor of Boston, Thomas M. Menino launched an enhanced holiday promotional website designed to boost holiday sales and encourage families to enjoy the city's broad range of holiday events - many free or deeply discounted. Working in partnership with the local hospitality industry, arts organizations, businesses, neighborhood Main Street programs, Downtown Crossing Partnership, Copley Place and Prudential Mall. The city has pulled together a central marketing effort to offer discounts for: The theater, Dining, Shopping, Lodging, and Parking at (Press Release)

** Jennifer Hudson would like to thank fans for all the support during this most trying time for her. She wrote on her personal blog "I want to thank each and every one of you for your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time... My sister and I take great comfort and strength from your love and concern." (World Entertainment News)

** Hilary Duff has signed with NBC to create a new TV series. Also, the one-year contract will allow Duff, to guest star or appear in other NBC series. (Us Magazine)

** Whoopi Goldberg to produce "Sister Act" on the London Stage. Goldberg is headed for the West End to open a musical version of her hit film "Sister Act" in London. Casting is underway and will be announced next year. The musical will open June 2, 2009, at the London Palladium, with preview performances beginning May 6. Goldberg will join forces with Stage Entertainment, one of Europe's largest theatrical producers, a company headed by Joop Van Den Ende, in presenting the show. The musical will feature music by eight-time Oscar winner Alan Menken. (Black Entertainment News)

Friday Fashion Pick: A Shoe for Work or Play

I really like this shoe it's kind of like you get two for one. It looks safe and professional enough for work but also fun and flirty for after. They would look great with a pair of tailored pants to a sexy cocktail dress.

Matte-Leather T-Strap $77.00 (sale) Martin + Osa (

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Payless ShoeSource to Give $1 Million in Shoes This Holiday Season Through Its New "Payless Gives Shoes 4 Kids" Program

Now More Than Ever, It's Time to Help Families with Children in Need; Payless Calls on Non-Profit Organizations Nationwide to Participate in a Grass Roots Effort Aimed at Delivering More Than 65,000 Pairs of Shoes

Topeka, Kan., Nov. 11 -- Leading family footwear retailer, Payless ShoeSource, is launching a first-of-its-kind national, grass roots shoe-gifting campaign, the Payless Gives Shoes 4 Kids program, aimed at delivering $1 million of shoes -- more than 65,000 pairs -- to American families of children in need through a partnership network of local non-profit organizations across the nation.

Payless is giving more than 65,000 $15 gift coupons redeemable through Jan. 31, 2009, towards a pair of shoes at any of the nearly 4,000 stores across America (excluding Shopko).

"With the economic challenges in America today, the underprivileged are hurt more than any other group. Now more than ever, it's important to step up and help out," said Matthew E. Rubel, Chairman and CEO of Collective Brands, Inc., which owns Payless ShoeSource. "Footwear is a basic need that many of us take for granted. Yet a significant portion of children across America need shoes.

"A great pair of shoes can lift spirits, bolster self confidence and bring a huge smile to a child's face. We are happy to help families across America with the Payless Gives Shoes 4 Kids program this holiday season."

Payless said that the impetus to the nationwide shoe-gifting program included the significant need for children's shoes across the United States and today's economic crisis. In a tough economy, individual and corporate giving to charitable organizations tends to slow down at a time when they need the support the most. Smaller nonprofit agencies that provide direct support are often, in general, under-supported as well.

Payless took a grass roots approach to ensure direct, diverse and immediate nationwide coverage in delivering the shoe gifts.

"Holidays can be stressful enough, but in today's economy with rising unemployment, high gas and food prices, we want to take one thing off parents' plates and alleviate this basic need for thousands of families this holiday season," Rubel said.

A Call to Non-Profits Nationwide

Non-profit organizations interested in participating can apply at by completing a short online application. Selection criteria for non-profit participation includes IRC 501(c)(3) status, as well as direct access to underprivileged children in local communities during December. The application process for non-profit partners of the Payless Gives Shoes 4 Kids program starts today and ends Nov. 21. Selected partners will be notified and the shoe gift coupons will be distributed in various quantities to the partners based on the number of constituents they serve.

Payless will select as many well-suited non-profits as possible to serve as its partners in the significant grass roots shoe-gifting effort. In early December the company expects to announce all of its selected partners with an aim of blanketing the nation in both urban cities with dense populations, as well as rural regions of the United States.

Greater Horizons of Kansas City will serve as the independent third-party to manage the selection process based on Payless' core selection criteria. Greater Horizons, also a non-profit, is focused on helping donors connect with local and national charitable causes nationwide.

"Our mantra is 'when the causes you care about reach far and wide' and that fits very well with this new Payless program," said Brenda Chumley, executive director of Greater Horizons. "We are thrilled to assist in connecting Payless to the non-profit organizations that make most sense given the goals of the program -- to get a free pair of shoes into the hands of underprivileged children across America this holiday season."

About Payless:
Payless ShoeSource, Inc., a unit of Collective Brands, Inc., is the largest specialty family footwear retailer in the Western Hemisphere and is dedicated to democratizing fashion and design in footwear and accessories and inspiring fun, fashion possibilities for the family at a great value. As of the end of second quarter 2008, the company operated more than 4,500 stores. In addition, customers can buy shoes over the Internet at

About Collective Brands, Inc.:
Collective Brands, Inc. (NYSE: PSS) is a leader in bringing compelling lifestyle, fashion and performance brands for footwear and related accessories to consumers worldwide. The company operates three strategic units covering a powerful brand portfolio, as well as multiple price points and selling channels including retail, wholesale, ecommerce and licensing. Collective Brands, Inc. includes Payless ShoeSource, focused on democratizing fashion and design in footwear and accessories through its more than 4,500-store retail chain, with its brands American Eagle, Airwalk, Dexter, Champion and designer collections Abaete for Payless, Lela Rose for Payless and alice + olivia for Payless, among others; Stride Rite, focused on lifestyle and athletic branded footwear and high-quality children's footwear sold primarily through wholesaling, with its brands including Stride Rite, Keds, Sperry Top-Sider, Robeez, and Saucony, among others; and Collective Licensing International, the brand development, management and global licensing unit,
with such youth lifestyle brands as Airwalk, Vision Street Wear, Sims, Lamar and LTD, World Snowboarding Championships, Sugarboards, Carve, genetic, Dukes, Rage, Ultra-Wheels, and Skate Attack brands. Information about, and links for shopping on, each of the Collective Brand's units can be found at

About Greater Horizons:
Greater Horizons helps donors across the entire Kansas and Missouri region connect with local and national charitable causes and encourages donors, no matter where they live, to reconnect with causes in their hometown.


What to Wear for: Dinner with a Client

You finally have that meeting you wanted but it's for dinner. What to wear? You don't want to wear anything that's too flashy or will distract from your ideas or proposal. You want to be seen as the ideal professional. Pair a monochromatic dress with a great pair of heels and keep accessories to a minimum. Just make sure you're on time and prepared.

Knitted Jewelled Evening Dress $138.00 Boden (

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Outdoor Activities to Beat Winter Boredom

It's easier to stay motivated to exercise during the summer. The challenge comes during the winter with the weather and coupled with all the delicious food for the upcoming holidays and from the many holiday parties you will attend.

Some experts suggest doing a little bit of exercise daily to stay motivated and to strengthen your exercise habit during the cold months. When it cold is so tempting to just sit on the sofa and just watch TV the last thing you want to do is to get stuck in that routine. Not interesting in going to the gym, don't let the cold keep you indoors here are few outdoor exercises to get you in shape and having a little fun. Just don't forget your sunscreen.

- Racking leaves/Shoveling Snow: Yeah it might not be the most fun thing to do but it's a great upper body exercise. If you have a lot of leaves why not turn it into a leaf racking party make sure to supply the warm drinks.

- Football: Call up your friends and meet at the park for a weekend game.

- Skiing/Snowboarding

- Ice Skating/Hockey

- Sledding/Tubing

- Hiking/Snowshoeing

- Horseback riding

- A snowman building contest: it can be as crazy and wacky as you like.

- Take the dog for a walk: Bust them out of their winter rut with snowy walk.

- A snowball fight: a fun way to sneek in some exercise with family and friends. Follow it up with a mug of hot chocolate.

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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Congratulations to President Obama

Congratulations to Senator Barack Obama for becoming the 44th President of the United States.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Are There Too Many Comic Book Movies?

by Annice Brooks
Style and Focus Lifestyle PR

Is Hollywood over doing it with the comic book and graphic novel movie adaptations or are they just supplying a demand? Is this the new Hollywood cash cow? With the huge success of "Batman: The Dark Knight", "Sin City", "Iron Man", "V for Vendetta" and "Wanted"; Hollywood is hitting the comic book stores and are finding not just the most popular ones but also some that are obscure and forgotten. Even more movies in the works to be adapted to the screen including the upcoming "Sin City 2" and in December, "The Spirit" based on a popular graphic novel and Marvel's "Punisher: War Zone" will be out.

Marvel seems to be really churning out movies, they already had "The Incredible Hulk" and "Iron Man" out earlier this year and have announced a series of upcoming movies: "Spider-Man 4", "Iron Man 2" (2010) & 3, "The Avengers" (2011), "Thor" (2010), "Captain America" (2011), and "Ant Man" (2010). Plus, "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" will also be gracing the screen next year and not surprisingly it already has a huge Internet following.

DC comics also has a huge list of films in the works with "Superman: Man of Steel" (2011), "Billy Batson and the Legend of Shazam" (2011), "Jonah Hex" (2010), "The Flash" (2010), "Teen Titans" (2009), "Green Lantern" (2010), and also rumored Justice League and Wonder Woman movies. There is also the highly anticipated film "Watchmen" that hopefully will hit the theatres next year.

These movies are popular because they are full of action and visually stunning. A pro for making these movies for Hollywood is the built in fan base thus reducing the need for a large promotional budget. The budget will include advertising and promotion but mainly to promote to potential viewers who may not be familiar with the characters.

The comic book adaptions are not just limited to film. BET network has partnered with Marvel to create an animated series based on the character "The Black Panther". The CW network currently has the popular TV series "Smallville" although rumored to be nearing it's end and has announced a possible new show "The Graysons" based on a Batman character Richard "Dick" Grayson (Robin), but the show will take place pre-Batman. However, since the announcement of "The Graysons" it has been strongly opposed from bloggers, online forums posters and hardcore comic enthusiast calling it "the worst idea ever". The Cartoon network will premiere a new Batman cartoon "Batman: The Brave and the Bold" on Friday, Nov. 14th.

Hollywood does have a tendency to latch on to one thing until fans become tired of it and then move on to the next hot thing. Is the creativity in Hollywood lacking so much that they are focusing a great deal of time on comic books?

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David's Bridal Partners with Starlight Children's Foundation to Auction Dresses from "High School Musical 3"

Charity Auction Allows Prom Girls to Own an Exclusive Piece of HSM History, While Supporting an Important Cause

Conshohocken, Pa., Nov. 3 -- As Walt Disney Pictures' "High School Musical 3: Senior Year" hits the big screen, David's Bridal -- the nation's leading special occasion retailer -- is joining forces with Starlight Children's Foundation -- a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping seriously ill children -- to launch a ten-day charitable auction of David's Bridal prom dresses used in the making of "High School Musical 3: Senior Year." With dozens of hot looks from the set of the Wildcat's unforgettable prom, fans can bid on fashionable styles from their favorite flick now through Monday, November 10th at 7:15 p.m. PST / 10:15 p.m. EST. The glamorous gowns will be auctioned off for charity on eBay at, with all proceeds benefiting Starlight Children's Foundation.

"Working with Disney on 'High School Musical 3: Senior Year' was a natural fit for us, as prom is the biggest fashion moment for teens and nobody can offer a wider selection of on-trend dresses for the occasion than David's Bridal," said Robert Huth, CEO of David's Bridal. "We were thrilled to provide dresses for the film, but even more honored to auction them off to help children in need and the Starlight Children's Foundation ... all while making prom dreams come true."

For high school students, it's never too early to begin thinking about what to wear to this once-in-a-lifetime event. During the exciting charity auction, shoppers can show off their smart and stylish shopping skills by bidding online for the ultimate in HSM3 memorabilia. Now, teens can ensure they stand out in style on prom night by donning their winning, celebrity-inspired style that may have danced its way down the halls of East High School.

"The David's Bridal charity auction is the perfect way for fans to celebrate 'High School Musical 3' and give something back to other kids who are facing difficult times," said Starlight Children's Foundation CEO Paula Van Ness. "Winning bidders will be rewarded with not only their own piece of movie history, but also with the knowledge that they are helping Starlight brighten the lives of children who are facing chronic and life-threatening illnesses and life-altering injuries. It provides a valuable lesson about philanthropy that I'm sure parents and teens alike
will appreciate. We are grateful to Disney and David Bridal for putting together this charity auction to support our efforts to help seriously ill children and their families cope."

Now through November 10th, fans can unleash their Wildcat spirit and show their support for Starlight by bidding on their favorite David's Bridal prom dress. All dresses come with a certificate of authenticity from Disney. It's clearly never been easier to be both chic and charitable! For additional information on David's Bridal prom dresses, log onto

About David's Bridal:

With more than 50 years of experience, David's Bridal understands the importance of providing teens and brides-to-be with a vast selection of exquisitely crafted dresses, available at affordable prices. Today, with more than 290 locations nationwide, David's Bridal continues to expand its retail store locations, while maintaining its philosophy of superior quality, value and service. To locate a store nearby, consumers can call 1.877.706.PROM or visit

About "High School Musical 3: Senior Year":

Disney's "High School Musical" phenomenon leaps onto the big screen in HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 3: SENIOR YEAR, in which America's favorite high school students (Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, Lucas Grabeel, Corbin Bleu and Monique Coleman) hit senior year. Amidst a basketball championship, prom and a big spring musical featuring all of the Wildcats, Troy and Gabriella vow to make every moment last as their lifelong college dreams put the future of their relationship in question. A crew of sophomore Wildcats (Matt Prokop, Justin Martin and Jemma McKenzie-Brown) joins in the fun as the film's incredible new music and exciting dance numbers take maximum advantage of the big screen. Directed by Kenny Ortega from a screenplay written by Peter Barsocchini, the film opened in theaters Oct. 24.

About Starlight Children's Foundation:

When a child or teenager has a serious medical condition, everyone in the family is affected. For 25 years, Starlight Starbright Children's Foundation has been dedicated to helping seriously ill children and their families cope with their pain, fear and isolation through entertainment, education and family activities. Starlight's programs have been proven to distract children from their pain, help them better understand and manage their illnesses, and connect families facing similar challenges so that no one feels alone. Through a network of chapters and offices, Starlight provides ongoing support to children, parents and siblings in all U.S. states and Canadian provinces with an array of outpatient, hospital-based and Web offerings. Programs are also delivered internationally through affiliates in Australia, Japan and the United Kingdom. To learn more about Starlight visit or to view other auctions benefiting Starlight, visit our eBay store at

Unwind with a Spot of Tea

This day in age we're almost always stressed. I try to unwind from the stress by sitting down and having a little tea. It's a perfect state of bliss for me. You can set your state of Tea Bliss by turning off the TV, lighting a few candles and sit down for a calming evening.

Cresting Wave Teapot $60.00

Yixing Clay Tea Cups $48 for a set of four

Both available from Dean & Deluca (

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