Sunday, January 24, 2010

Love it to the Core

I realize the cold snap in the south creates some serious impact on our winter fruits, and yet- I'm hoping that the pineapple will survive! I don't particularly crave pineapple (sure, in a good fruit salad, I'm never one to turn it down), yet I have developed a new appreciation for them after I discovered the BEST little tool to de-core one!

In a magazine (and for the life of me, I cannot remember which one), I saw this fun little trinket of a tool to slice a pineapple. It looked thoroughly "gadget-y" and the price was very reasonable, so my own curiosity led me to take my little car over to the Chestnut Hill Mall and check it out!

Sur La Table (what a fantastic store to begin with) can be overwhelming. Finding anything specific in that store could take hours, but hey- that's what the employees are there for, right?! So, I put on my best southern charm, approached the clerk, and asked to find my most recent obsession: The Vacuvin Pineapple Slicer!So the next time you get a craving for the sweet goodness of a pineapple: you really should pick this little gadget's fairly easy to use, and produces a great, clean slice. SOLD!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Blame It On The Rain...yeah yeah!

Milli Vanilli anyone? Whatever happened to those posers??? A valuable song nonetheless...

I'd like to take a moment to blog about the value of owning a good umbrella.
Rain, snow, sleet, freezing rain...I feel like we've had our fair share of this madness in New England lately. Last weekend when it literally was raining ice, I thought to myself, "Dangit- my umbrella is in my office!"

So, how many umbrellas have you owned that either broke, got lost, was torn, or my favorite: can't open!?!? Ugh, it's all happened to me. I argue with myself about whether I should invest in a designer umbrella (I must say that Burberry makes a freakin' adorable mini purse size one- I covet my mom's) or just keep buying the $10 ones at Target. Here's what I found:

If you don't keep track of your umbrellas- leave them places, forget them in restaurants, etc. Don't bother with spending more than $10 on one. But if you're able to keep track of yours, I think there's a couple good options.
  • GustBuster umbrellas are indestructible and not bad looking. I can't get over how strong they are!
  • Believe it or not: Totes rates as one of the best mid-level umbrellas around! They aren't as durable as higher quality ones, but I've been pleased with the designs, price, and longevity of the ones I have owned.
So, on those wet days (Cali residents, I hear the mudslides have been CRAZY- so clearly, rain has been an issue!) grab a good umbrella, and maybe your grey skys will turn blue soon! Otherwise, just blame it on the rain... :)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Color Me Badd

Anyone remember that band from the early 90s? I just snickered to myself as I came up with it!

So, I'd like to talk more about the all important use of color- and I actually don't mean in clothing this time (while I do support that strongly). A recent visit with my friend Dawn reminded me of the value of fabulous painted walls in your home!

I remember when I bought my home and had the somewhat daunting task of choosing wall colors, I was nervous about the importance of those decisions. I wanted to create a good space, a warm space (I live in New England afterall), a space that felt soothing and calming, but also inspired creativity since it's my first home purchase.

Thankfully, my mom, a stylist fashionista herself, came into town and gave me all the right tips to think about when painting the walls. I even utilized an artistic co-worker who literally came into my home and told me (once I had selected my colors) which walls to paint. Who knew how INCREDIBLY important that advice was?!

So here's a few things to think about when selecting wall color and where to put the color: Happy Painting!
  • Choose a color palette that transitions well from room to room. I remember testing the walls with the three colors you see here to see that the green flowed well into the blue, while creating separate identity from the sand color on the far window wall. All three tonally work together well.
  • Use color to identify space. My home has several rooms that feed into one another without doors, so it was important to notice the transition from the kitchen to the living room. Here's a shot of my galley kitchen where I painted one wall pear green to show the "dining space" separate from my white kitchen.
  • Remember to use the walls to NAME space. My artist co-worker named this so well for me. I struggled with whether to paint the wall with the clock on it. It felt like a wall of my living room, but really, it is a hallway, which had a bathroom off of it, and leads to my bedroom. An important shift of perspective as I was again, creating defined spaces.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

two thousand and ten

I had considered giving two thousand and ten shopping tips for the new year, but I decided in light of a new decade...ten was more feasible :) May this year bring us all a chance to shine, to be healthy, and to live our best lives.

  1. Buy a color that looks good on you. If you've always wished to wear orange, recognize it doesn't look good on everyone. Stick with what works, even if you end up buying lots of one or two colors!
  2. Buy only things that fit well. I've spent too much time worrying about the size, and not enough on whether it really fits, regardless of the number or letter. No one will see the size, and everyone can see fit!
  3. Be good to your shoes. You should spend time taking care of your walking wonders, especially because they protect an essential body part! Scotch-guard your suedes, mink oil your leathers, brush your canvases--and with any really good pair, it's a good practice to have the sole and heels of shoes reinforced. If you live in wet or icy climates, having those slick soles refinished with rubber saves some serious slipping injuries :)
  4. Accent your best body parts. I've said this before, if you have a small waist, show it! If you have long and lean legs, wear skirts or shorts! Whatever it is you like about your body, shop for it- there's no need to dwell on those areas we all feel need some work.
  5. Let jewelry do its job: accessorize you! Separate your jewelry in two categories: everyday and fun/special occasion. And I'll be the first to say that sometimes wearing a special occasion piece on an ordinary day gives you just the little pep in your step. I highly recommend this practice on Mondays!
  6. Dress age appropriate. There are fashion trends that truly only look good on those who still put their books in lockers and move with a ring of a bell. Likewise, only those who pay monthly bills should wear other trends. Recognize where you are on the spectrum and buy with ease.
  7. Invest in wardrobe staples: suits, great dress shoes, timeless coats...This is your time to own them. Plus, these after Christmas sales are ridiculously good. If you haven't been to the Brooks Brother's outlet, you are seriously missing some good sales gentlemen.
  8. Know your limits: financially and with the trends. Nothing feels worse than paying too much for a "must have item" if it creates stress on the budget. (Isn't life stressful enough?) And I cringe at seeing men and women in clothing that simply is too tight, too bold, too ANYTHING- it's obvious to the outside world when you don't look natural in your clothing. If big flower prints are your thing...please make sure you aren't 4'11 and still can fit in juniors...
  9. Compliment yourself daily: not just verbally (I actually do think this is a good practice), but find a clothing item that makes you YOU. Everyone can wear a turtleneck and jeans, but find a way to make that style compliment the true you: maybe with a great vest, brooch, or scarf.
  10. 2010 Resolution of the Year: Rise above the little things! (and shop to ignore those little things! :)
Happy New Year everyone!