Friday, November 20, 2009

My New Favorite Show - Community

I heart Joel McHale! He's in my new favorite show. I could go on and on about it, but why don't you have a looksy and decide for yourself.

Deep Thoughts: Obvious Questions

As you can see, picture is from Socialite Life, and that's the hot neighbor I'm talking about.

The other day I was watching a show - don't remember which - and the girl said something really obvious like, "You're going golfing?", because she saw him put his golf clubs in the trunk of his car. He turned to her and said, "You're holding your purse. Are we playing a game where we point out obvious things about eachother?". I always wanted to have the courage to say that, but I always thought it was too mean. Hearing the guy say it, it didn't sound mean, it sounded right. It really, really bugs me when people ask obvious questions. Drives me crazy. For example:

I'm in the kitchen with a knife in my hand cutting meat and someone will walk in and say, "Are you making meat for lunch?"

I've got my "going out" clothes on, heels, purse, sunglasses and a full face of make-up and someone will ask, "Are you going out?"

I don't have to keep going, but you get the picture. I know that in most cases people are just being friendly - in their own annoying way - but it's really frustrating. I have to literally bite my tongue to keep from saying something sarcastic like, "No, I'm not making meat, I'm making shrimp, it just looks like meat because your eyes are stupid", or something like that. I have to confess that I'm not always as nice as I should be and sometimes I just can't help it and I say stuff anyway, but really is it any worse than the fool who's asking me super obvious things that don't need an answer at all? For the most part, I'm not talking about people I barely know and are just trying to make small talk. I'm talking about people I know well, people who should know better.

Anyway, I just wanted to say that because watching that guy on TV say those things with such freedom and zero fear of being mean was really liberating. I just remembered where I saw this, on Cougar Town with Courtney Cox and that guy who's hot but we don't know his name.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Christmas, Heathens, Leprechauns, Kool-Aid and more

Today I went to the mall after not having traversed through that little corner of hell in a while. During the week it's much less of a den of evil than on the weekends when all the troll creatures and mall goons make an appearance - along with their entire extended family. The mall has become a place where I dread to go. On the one hand it's really practical because you can do all your shopping in relative comfort due to the wide variety of shops and prices, AC, and security.

During or leading up to the holidays, the mall also becomes a place of sparkly lights, fairy dust, Christmas shopping, promotions and limited editions. Every year I count on the decorations being magical and creative - but more than anything, I'm looking for magical. There was one year when it was so magical I actually took pictures by the big tree at the display area. There was another year when I couldn't help but be blown away by the cuteness and baby magicalness of the decorations around and about the mall - there were stuffies and lovelies everywhere!

About 3 years ago it all started going downhill and eventually just went to the Devil. It all began with the alien poo decor fiasco of '06. Instead of sparkly magic they gave us bobbles in piles that resembled strategically placed poo in an assortment of colors - ranging from alien green to ET purple. To say that there was no magic was a kind understatement. It was weird, bizarre and freaky. It was creative in a way only Stargate Atlantis and Star Trek have been, and disturbing in the way Mars Attacks made us laugh and question at the same time. Where was my magic?

I started thinking about the people who were paid an alien load of colorful, sparkly bills to come up with the concept, outline what they wanted, travel and buy tons and tons of "decorations", only to produce a "masterpiece" not worthy of competing against a 1st grader's macaroni arts and crafts Christmas tree.

This year I believe someone was desperate. Desperate to get it over with and run home, that is. The theme is leprechauns, lucky charms and horse shoes. Really. I'm not joking. I can feel right now that you're thinking you must have read it incorrectly, so I'm going to say it again: leprechauns, lucky charms and horse shoes. Right. Of course. I forgot. Leprechauns were the baby Jesus' sitters, lucky charms are what the little tike's mobile was made of, and horse shoes were the infant Jesus' first toys. Wait, maybe that was Santa. Well, it had to have been someone's because how else would that have passed as a Christmas theme?

Way to make everyone, even little children and babies, completely forget what Christmas is about. Why focus on love, family, magic, caring, and the Savior's birth, when you can focus on weird little men with unruly eyebrows and beards, wearing green outfits that make Robin Hood and his Merry Men look as straight as Russell Crowe throwing a phone. I guess it's up to us individuals to make our homes as lovely and magical as possible and channel out the crazy leprechaun madness of this year's heathen Kool-Aid they're trying to make us all drink.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Perfect Nails and Cuticles

My nails had been giving me some grief and I've been less than enthusiastic about taking care of them. I know that sounds bad, but it's all such hard work and then it all goes down the drain (literally) every time I have to cook. I use gloves a lot to wash dishes and for chores, but for some reason my nails - especially my cuticles - were just not representing. I needed something easy, something simple, but something more intensive than my L'Occitane hand cream to keep my cuticles looking good regardless of what I put my hands through on a daily basis.

This is when I discovered Granado nail and cuticle wax. This stuff works really, really well. About 3 times a day I take a bit and put it on my nails, concentrating a bit more on my nail beds, and just like magic, they're beautiful. The wax instantly perks them up and makes them look good, absorbs quickly and doesn't leave any greasy yuck behind. Fantastic. I've been using it for 5 days now, about 3 times a day, and I can honestly say that I love it. I don't know what took me so long to find this stuff. I know most people use cuticle oil, but because I work with my computer a lot and have to type all day long, oil on my hands is just a bad idea. Making nourishing wax was a genius idea and I hope all you Brazilian readers will give this a try. I'm not sure this brand is sold anywhere outside of Brazil, but it would be work looking into. This product has been automatically added to the staples in my collection - you know, those ones you cannot do without like: L'Occitane Shea Butter hand cream, Tweezerman tweezers, Blistex lip ointment, Sebastian Potion 9, Shiseido Sun Protection Powder Foundation and Johnson's Lavender baby powder. It's part of the Pink line by Granado and costs about R$12 (US$6). It comes in a tiny pot with 7gr but a little goes a long way. I expect the little pot I have will last about a year, give or take.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Perfume: Scented Body Powders

I love scented body powders. They feel old fashioned and classy, old movie style glamour. This new dusting powder popped up and I think it might be the only version of Angel that could work for me. I had a bad experience with TM Angel when I was teaching English at Berlitz. There was this one student who would bathe in it right before class where I was locked in a classroom for 90 min. inhaling the toxic fumes. Needless to say it made me nauseous and from then on I was unable to see the name Thierry Mugler Angel without mini vomiting. All the teachers would draw straws to see who would teach her because no one could stand it and no one had the guts to tell her to ease up because she was basically Brazilian royalty - I'm serious. I'm sure everyone has an elevator story that includes being gassed out by Angel, but being stuck in a poisonous classroom for nearly 2 hours inhaling hazardous material is about as bad as it can get.

A good friend of mine uses the perfume - and I think she would love the powder - with a very light hand. She wears just enough so you can tell she has it on, but it stays really close to her skin. The only way it can be tollerated. Anyway, I'm interested in trying this powder and I think James (my friend Greti's fiance) should totally buy this for her. She would just die.

Here are some powders I covet:

Prada L'Eau Ambree. This probably smells like something I would want to wear all the time. Like the YSL Opium powder. I could dive in a vat of it and just sit there letting it permeate into my skin.

Quelques Fleurs by Houbigant. It's so cute, I can barely stand it.

YSL Opium - love it so much. One of my mother's friends used to own this. Divine.

Guerlain Shalimar - I can't use the perfume, but I think I would love the powder. I hope I love it. I really want to love the perfume, it just doesn't love me. At all. It makes me sad to think about it.

Miss Dior - I love Miss Dior perfume, so think this powder will be a winner. Plus, its' super, super cute.

This packaging is to die for! It's Juicy Couture. Don't know what it smells like, but I want it in a big way.

This is also Juicy Couture. Give me, give me.

Oscar de la Renta. Lovely. it probably smells like heaven and weddings. This would make a beautiful gift. It's just so pretty.

Makeup: Blake Lively

Photo is from Celebrity Paradise.

I got this picture from Blogdorf Goodman - a blog I love, love. In the post the celeb makeup artists talks about what products they used to create this beautiful, beautiful look which I think is perfection. Please hop over there and read the post. You'll see that the makeup artist used Chanel Rouge Allure in Mythic and called it a perfect nude. Do you remember that I myself called it the perfect nude -- yes dear ones, you heard it here first. Anyway, click on the picture to see it in really high res.

Chanel Rouge Allure in Mythic. Photo from Marie Claire.

This is what I'll be doing over the weekend. I'll have plenty of places to wear it at as I have activities and outings scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I've got a super full agenda and I'll need to look gorgeous everywhere I go. Friday I'm going to a show, Saturday I'm meeting with friends for coffee and fun, Sunday I'm going to the theater. I'm going to wear pretty much this makeup look to all of them, but I'm going to wear different perfume. I'm thinking SL Fumerie Turque for the show (it'll stand out and it smells smokey so it goes well with clubs), Balmain Jolie Madam for Saturday afternoon (violets, gardenia and leather - nice...although, if it's too hot I think I'll go with Chanel Cristalle), and Chanel 5 for the theater.

Hugs, Kisses and Chanel Wishes!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Weekend Update: Saquarema

There's a cute little church on the top of the hill where you can see the whole city. The view is breathtaking and the church is beautiful.

This past weekend (wow, it's taken me long enough to write about it...) HRH, Thing 1, Thing 2, Meury, her boyfriend Gui and I went to a nearby beach paradise called Saquarema for a bit of RNR. It was so hot this last weekend there were moments when I didn't think my skin would stay on. I was literally melting. So gross. The nice thing about this place is that while the sun beat down on us with all its fury, there was a constant breeze to refresh and cool. The water was cristal clear and fresh. The beach we went to was not crowded so we were all just the right amount of distance from others. (Okay, I'm lying just a tiny bit. There was this douche named Aloisio who was a little too close, even though he was technically pretty far away. He was such a douche in fact that from now on instead of calling people jerks, we'll just call them Aloisio. He didn't stay long, so thank God for small mercies. Not even Aloisio could dampen our moods, we channeled him out and had a blast anyway.)

HRH's beer tower.

The heat was intense, but it was nothing 50 cans of beer couldn't fix, so we brought our cooler and drank like we were trying to prove something. About 3 hours in we got hungry and ordered some freshly caught pargo (red porgy) from the kiosk about 50 ft from where we were. What I'm going to tell you know is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth - so help me God. It was the best fish I've ever eaten in my whole entire life! It was cut in half (half had the head still attached and other other part had the tail), dipped in batter and deep fried. It was crispy, crunchy with just the right amount of seasoning, on the outside. The flesh inside was tender, moist, and oh so very delicious. The tender bits of fish just melted in your mouth. The flavor was mild (like milk) and the smell was like the sea - fresh, crazy fresh and wonderful. We ordered french fries to go with it, but really, who cares. I'm telling you now for the record that we will be going back, if for nothing else, for that fish manna from Heaven. I'm sorry I have no pictures to put here - my camera's batteries pooped out, but I promise to go overboard with pics the next time around.

Thing 2 and Thing 1 - they loved it.

The kids swam and went hunting for little tiny crabs. HRH rested and had a much needed and overdue break from work, and I relaxed and worried about nothing but keeping everyone coated in sunblock for two full days. On Saturday evening we made fresh shrimp and penne with a fresh tomato sauce and drank chilled chardonnay. That's the life! I need to do exactly that for like 3 weeks straight. I'm already making plans.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Nude is the new Red

Nude lippies were all over the Emmy red carpet - some wear it better than others

These days I'm all about nude lips - not counting Halloween, of course. The Spring/Summer 2010 runway trend this year was all out nude lips. There were some your-lips-but-better looks, but for the most part nude was nude. Sometimes the natural lip color was lightened with foundation, sometimes it was just a sheer wash of nude color. Using a nude lip can be tricky and challenging (finding the right shade for you), but once you find it it's a very nice place to be. Reapplying a nude lip takes a lot less effort than reapplying a red, fuschia or berry lip (all colors I love, but have placed on the back shelf for a little bit).

Backstage Armani Spring 2010

I'm loving some of the MAC offerings. I went to MAC to look for a nude lippy and found at least 5 I would easily wear, among them: Blankety, Hug Me, Love Me and Freckles. I bought Blankety and have been very happy with it. I feel like there's a tiny bit of pink in it, maybe, I don't know...maybe peach. The thing about it is, it's a perfect nude that doesn't wash out your features. Some nudes can leave you looking a bit anemic, but not Blankety. You can maintain your healthy glow while keeping a comfortable nude lip. It's a healthy, upbeat nude. No grey whatsoever.

Jessica Stam - I don't know what show this is

All the major brands make at least one nude - in fact, most will have one named NUDE - and they'll range from pinkish nudes, greyish nudes, brown nudes and yellow/peach nudes. I'm biased to the pinkish and peach nudes, they look best on me. MAC Blankety is a good example of a peachy nude, MAC Bare a good example of a pinkish nude, and Chanel Allure Mythic a perfect example of beige nude (with a bit of shimmer). All lovely, all must-haves for me - at least for the next 6 months, give or take.

Very fun use of color here, and totally wearable if a bit more sheer

When it comes to texture I prefer the creamy to very matte, although matte lipsticks are great under gloss, creamy not as much. Basically, you have to test, test, test until you find the ticket - the one that works for you. Pairing a good nude lip with cheerful cheeks and/or color fun eyes can be a super cool way to hit Spring/Summer in style. For this season I would recommend staying away from the heavy black smokey eye and instead opt for a good liquid eyeliner and illuminating shadow, or brown smokey eye, or better yet a brown/burgundy eye. This will give you that night-out-on-the-town you're looking for while keeping it fresh and chic. When I wear nude I like a very luminous and perfect, even complection. In order to acheive this I use foundation, a bit of bronzer, a peach or pink blush, and highlighter. The to get your foundation to glide on smoothly and avoid streaking is to moisturize your face first. Even in hot weather you'll find that putting on a nice thin layer of moisturizer will help your skin look better and your makeup perform 100% better. There are oil-free and even mattifying options that are perfect if you have oily skin.

Hugs, Kisses and Lipgloss Wishes!

Monday, November 2, 2009

10 Worst Food Trends - according to the Chicago Tribune

Photo from

I signed up for the Serious Eats newsletter and it was one of the best things I've done. I signed up for it years ago, but every week I get it I'm excited about what I'm going to see. Articles range from helpful to entertaining and it's always a treat. Yesterday I opened the newletter and my eyes fell on the link called "The 10 Worst Food Trends? Really?". Oh, man, it made me laugh! I went right to the original article they're referring to in the Chicago Tribune and it's a great read. Check it out here.

Here are my comments on the 10 Worst Food Trends:

10. Fried Onion Blossom - Uh, yummy! I hardly ever eat this, maybe like once a year, but when I do I really enjoy it. I think it's an awesome thing.

9. Molecular Gastronomy - I think everyone's going overboard and most of the time you can't tell it's food. It's lost its charm. No me gusta. It's one thing to combine technology and research with food prep to understand more about the ingredients the way Heston Blumenthal does, but it's another thing entirely to make your food a science lab experiment and expect us not to think of it as food for aliens and pretentious fools.

8. The $40 entree - Total agreement. If it's a serious place, alrighty, but at a regular neighborhood place, I don't think so.

7. The communal table - No thank you!

6. Proudly obnoxious fast food options - I agree. In a day and age when we're supposedly getting more appreciative of good and well made food, wholesome ingredients which have been carefully grown/raised and prepared, bragging about a sandwich humans should never eat (at least not on a regular basis) is just sad and weird - not to mention alarming.

5. Knee-jerk online reviews - I don't mind that so much. You can have a good food critic go on and one and sometimes they're just full of it. To get a review from a simple blogger is usually more honest and easier to believe. I do agree that you can't base your review solely on opening night, other than that, I think it's fine.

4. Foam - Hahahaha! This one cracked me up! I couldn't agree more. What the frick is foam? Puh-lease.

3. Menu as book - This one was so funny! People waxing poetic in their menus. Cracked me up! It's soooo pretentious! - and not in a good way, in a totally boring way!

2. Chef as media whore - Oh, snap! That's hilarious - and true. Sometimes they earn their place in the media spotlight, but sometimes they just know how to market themselves better, or have people who market them better. I'm not impressed. Although, in their defense, they can cook, and they did work hard to get where they are, regardless of the spotlight. What gets me sometimes is I just don't see why they're all over the place, everywhere you look. Are they really that good? No really. Is Rocco? Is Bobby Flay? Is that Italian mob guy Emiril? Probably not. But they can seriously work the crowds and they are entertaining to watch. Well, not Emiril, or Rocco, but for the most part they're fun to watch.

1. Deconstruction - OMG! Thank God someone else said it! I've been saying it for ages: foam, deconstruction, molecular crap - what in frick? So it's not just me. There are others out there who are just like, enough already!

Movies: Blogworthy Productions

I've seen some movies recently that I feel are worth mention - definitely worth blogging about. Over the last couple of months I've been going a bit more regularly to the movie theatre, by more regularly I mean that I've gone maybe once or twice each month for the last 2 months. Movies I've seen include District 9, The Time Traveler's Wife, Inglourious Basterds. The Time Traveler's Wife is not blogworthy. The other two I mentioned are.

District 9 blew me away. The story seems so real and possible. There are alien movies that are so out there you know you're watching fiction - most of them actually. This one felt real. It felt like it could totally happen. Like it happened. The story of a regular, and kind of dorky guy, who because of crazy circumstances is forced into extraordinary situations. He turns into a serious fighter and a quasi-Rambo. He's a hero, even though he doesn't want to be and he doesn't know how to be. There is less action than you would expect, but definitely more than the characters want. Well written, directed, acted and produced. An example of what people can do when they put their minds to it. So many mediocre movies are made every day that it makes it hard for us to believe that there are still people out there who want to make something they can be proud of. This movie was a masterpiece and should be shown to film students as an example of what can be done without excessive 3D and computer manipulation. All you really need is a good story, and good people to make it.

Inglourious Basterds. My sister had told me it was not Tarantino at all and that it was even kind of slow. This comment kind of turned me off and I was totally uninspired to see it. I went anyway and I'm glad I did. It was truly worth the ticket. This may be my favorite Tarantino. It was a fantastic story with a super entertaining cast and very Tarantino production. There are long moments of dialogue that don't feel long because they're so tense. The movie makes you laugh, makes you nervous, and grosses you out. It seriously entertains. I was not expecting to be wowed, so it was a very pleasant surprise. What a great film. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend you do. There is something to be said about a man who is able to put out a limited number of movies in order to make sure that each one not only represents, but is better than the last. Bravo!

The Painted Veil. I saw this one on TV. The story is beautiful and heartbreaking. The cinematography is breathtaking. It takes you on a journey to a far away land. This is the true sign of a good story/movie, when you feel like you're on a journey with them. For two hours I was in China and traveling with them. This is a good story made by people who felt very strongly about what they were doing, and their passion translates perfectly into the film. You can tell this was personal to them and that makes all the difference. It's a love story that leaves a lot of room for discussion as it touches on sensitive, but honest issues without sugar coating or exaggeration. It ends on a disappointing note, but that doesn't change the way I feel about the movie. If I had to sum up what I feel about the movie I would say that it's an honest, passionate love story that will take you on an exotic journey to the Chinese countryside with all the ups and downs that come with it.