Thursday, February 28, 2008

Amanda Peet and Baby Frances Pen




Here is the gorgeous Amanda Peet looking lovely even without make-up at the airport. How beautiful is her daughter, Frances Pen? She makes my heart melt.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

New Trailer for The Hills


The second half of The Hills' third season is slated to start on March 24th. It is one of my guilty pleasures and after this long television draught thanks to the writers' strike, I can't wait for it to return. Check out all the drama here.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Black, White, and Red All Over

Anne Hathaway in Marchesa

Red was the overwhelming color of choice at this year's 80th Annual Academy Awards which took place on Sunday night. Other notable trends include draped dresses and mermaid silhouettes. There was a three-way tie for favorite in my eyes. I loved that the usually laid-back, un-fussy Jennifer Garner looked edgy and glamorous and anyone who knows me, knows my affinity for black clothing. Then, there is the lovely, classic Anne Hathaway in a gorgeous Marchesa gown reminiscent of a sea-foam gown Kate Winslet wore a few years ago. Rounding out my top three is the stunning Helen Mirren. I would love to age as well as she has. She exudes a type of confidence and sensuality that rivals that of many actresses half her age.

Jennifer Garner in Oscar de la Renta



Helen Mirren in George Chakra



Marion Cotillard in Jean Paul Gaultier



Heidi Klum in John Galliano - I can't decide if I love or hate this dress. One thing's for sure, it fits her beautifully. Then again, she's Heidi Klum. Everything fits her beautifully.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Spanish Style: Hospes Madrid Hotel

When traveling, my husband and I usually choose to stay at boutique hotels. We find that the experience and service are much more personal and boutique hotels tend to be better designed than the big chain hotels. I will be traveling to Spain in June and came across the beautiful Hospes Madrid Hotel while researching Madrid. I am going with a teacher friend and students, so I won't be able to stay at this gorgeous boutique hotel this time around, but hope to someday. It is on my list of hotels to visit along with the Oasis in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

The Hospes is housed inside of a building that dates back to 1883 and is home to 41 guestrooms, including various suites, a spa and wellness center, Senzone Restaurant, a tapas bar, lounge, and a "chill out" patio. It is situated in the Plaza de la Independencia and may of its rooms overlook the Parque del Retiro (Madrid's "Central Park") and is walking distance from The Prado Museum.



The Lobby at Hospes Madrid Hotel





Alternate View of the Lobby




The Hotel's Library




A few of the different guest rooms









Senzone Restaurant



The "Chill-Out" Patio



Photos courtesy of Hospes Madrid Hotel

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Can a girl give away too much?


Popsugar has posted a brand new Sex and the City movie trailer. This one is longer than the first, but it gives away many of the plot lines, so watch at your own risk. I am kind of shocked that they would give up so much of the movie. Has the studio not learned anything from Charlotte? A girl should keep her "audience" waiting and shouldn't give so much away so soon. If you decide to watch, let me know what you think about Carrie and Big, Miranda and Steve, Charlotte's new family, and Samantha and Smith.

Meanwhile, check out what Patricia Field has to say about how each girl's style has evolved and what she has planned for the movie's wardrobe in this USA Today Article.

This Week's Quote




Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Other Boleyn Girl



Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson recently attended the premiere of their movie, The Other Boleyn Girl in London. I think they both looked lovely. Personally, I think Natalie is incredibly beautiful and has the most amazing facial features while Scarlett has a very Old Hollywood appeal. I am looking forward to seeing this movie and am intrigued by the fact that they cast Natalie as the bad girl and Scarlett as the innocent one. It should be interesting to see how that works. I wonder what Prince Charles could be saying to Natalie while holding his fingers like that.

Congratulations, Ferocia Coutura!



If you're a fan of Project Runway, then you probably watched the reunion show last night and know that Christian won the title of "Fan Favorite" along with $10,000. Christian is fierce and isn't afraid to let you know it! I think he is incredibly talented (he is 22 and has worked for Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood) and he cracks me up! I've kept a list of infamous Christian quotes this season, but you can find all of the clips with said quotes in the video above. He's definitely got my vote this season!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Houston, we have a problem.

I am a Houston girl, born and raised. There are many things I love about my city although I have been "exiled" in the suburbs for almost two years now. One of my absolute favorite things to do is drive around the city's most beautiful neighborhoods. Last summer, I wrote a post, Urban Beauty, which was devoted to my favorite place in Houston, the Museum District (Southampton, Broadacres, West University). It is home to beautiful historic homes and the most gorgeous Live Oak trees you'll ever see. You'll find a mix of stately mansions, charming cottages and bungalows, and some tasteful new homes. Unfortunately, there has been a recent infux of new McMansions being constructed on lots where beautiful old homes once stood.

It breaks my heart to see how little regard our city has for its past. Last year, it was announced that several Houston landmarks were going to be demolished so that they could be replaced with shopping strips and high-rise condominiums. While old homes have been replaced by new ones all over town for many years (The Heights, Bellaire, Memorial, etc.), I find it especially heartwrenching to think that the place that I consider to be the most beautiful in the city is changing so much.

When will Houston learn that the past should be cherished? Perhaps this is why I love cities like New York and San Francisco as much as I do. Things change there, too, but they manage to keep the historical integrity of their cities in tact. If Houston continues at this rate, what will we have left? It's shameful, really.

Here are some examples of some lovely old homes which have been torn down and replaced with new suburban-style homes.


Exhibit A Before: 1932 Cottage on beautiful North Boulevard
It angers me that it was a lovely, completely livable home with tons of charm and character, yet someone felt the need to tear it down and replace it with yet another Tuscan style house.




The Kitchen looks updated, though it seems the former owners maintained some of the original charm.



Great, original mouldings in the living room




Exhibit A After: A 4,500 square foot McMansion on a 6,000 square foot lot
As you can imagine, the interior is "Tuscan Inspired".




Exhibit B: 1938 English-Style Cottage on South Boulevard
It had so much character.




As you can see, it is on a very desirable, scenic street.




A side view of the house




Exhibit C on Albans Road
Scheduled to be demolished soon


The Sartorialist: West Village, Manhattan


I absolutely love this photograph. The contrasting textures are great and there is something about the way the girl is standing with her toes pointing inward and her hands tucked under her chin that give her a very gamine quality.

This Week's Quote:


Saturday, February 9, 2008

Brown Design

One of my favorite TV shows of 2007 was definitely Bravo's Flipping Out. (Check out a clip here.) The show followed Jeff Lewis and his slew of assistants as he and his business partner, Ryan Brown flipped houses in the Los Angeles area. I loved the show because of Jeff's over the top personality, but also because Jeff and Ryan have quite an eye for design. I absolutely love their style. The other day, I decided to google images of Jeff's houses and lo and behold, I came across Brown Design, the interior design firm that Ryan runs along with his brother, Joshua. It just so happens that all of the houses featured on the show were designed by Ryan.

The Brothers Brown, whose parents are residential developers, seem to have an instinct for the business. "Our parents instilled in us a respect for our environment, the belief that there is beauty all around us. Traveling is one of the most important ways we find inspiration. We believe in juxtaposing a mixture of modern and clean lines . Our best work comes when we are able to combine the client's personal needs and style with our own instincts." Their work reflects their philosophy perfectly. The result is a look that is both classic and modern, with touches from far away lands. I sincerely hope that Bravo will produce another season of the show so that we can see a little more of Jeff's craziness and Ryan's beautiful work.


Queens Road, Ryan's former residence was featured on Flipping Out. I love the laterns in place of a traditional chandelier.




Foyer at Queens Road



Queens Road Kitchen




Nottingham- Ryan sold his house before Jeff did and the prize was living in this beautiful 1920's Spanish style house which they had restored.



Nottingham Dining Room. I love the color of the walls and the ceiling medallion.




The guys use these great sink fixtures in a lot of their houses.



Nichols Canyon - The over all look of this house is very prep meets Palm Springs.




Hancock Park - A more traditional approach was taken in this home.




Beverly Hills- Modern Glam Dining Room


Coffee table in a house in the Hollywood Hills



Visit Brown Design to see Ryan and Joshua's portfolio in its entirety.

This Week's Quote

In the spirit of Valentine's Day, I thought I would post my favorite rendition of the song "I Wish You Love" by Rachael Yamagata. This video is from the last scene of Prime, one of my favorite movies and includes flashbacks of a couple's relationship.





I Wish You Love

I wish you bluebirds in the spring
To give your heart a song to sing
And then a kiss, but more than this
I wish you love
And in July a lemonade
To cool you in some leafy glade
I wish you health
And more than wealth
I wish you love
My breaking heart and I agree
That you and I could never be
So with my best
My very best
I set you free
I wish you shelter from the storm
A cozy fire to keep you warm
But most of all when snowflakes fall
I wish you love
My breaking heart and I agree
That you and I could never be
So with my best
My very best
I set you free
I wish you shelter from the storm
A cozy fire to keep you warm
But most of all when snowflakes fall
I wish you love
But most of all when snowflakes fall
I wish you love.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Ding dong the strike is dead!


The writer's strike is finally over! CNBC is reporting that an agreement has been reached in the writer's strike. Check out this great grid from the L.A. times to see if or when your favorite shows will be returning with new episodes. I am so excited that some of my favorite shows will be back on sooner than later!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

How was your day, honey?

Every evening when my husband arrives home from work, I ask him about his day and he asks me about mine. "How was your day, honey?" I asked this evening, to which he replied "Oh, you know. It was really busy. I started working on a project with a guy named Nate Berkus. Have you heard of him?"

"Have I heard of him? Of course I've heard of him! He is a great designer! You know, he's the uber-cutie that Oprah has on her show all the time. I love him!" I shriek at my husband. He then proceeds to tell me that he knew the name, but couldn't remember what he looked like.

Then, as all sweet husbands do, he asked "How was your day?".

"How was my day, you ask? Well, I spent the majority of my time telling kids to stop talking and tried coaxing them into doing their work. But don't worry, I managed to get some Spanish in when I wasn't teaching teenagers about the wonders of common courtesy." It's a joy to teach these things when you thought you'd signed on to teach AP Spanish. "Oh, and you know that cute white button down I bought a couple of weeks ago with the ruffle neckline?(I can't find a picture of it and have already changed out of it, but I assure you, it is very cute) I wore that today and my students (teen boys) let me know that my shirt looked like it was "from the 1800's", was "very piratey", and asked if I've ever watched the episode of Seinfeld with the puffy shirt. (For the record, it looks nothing like that. Not even close!) It was great, honey. Thanks for asking!"

Lucky hubby. He gets to speak to Nate Berkus and work on projects like Gwyneth Paltrow's house and the Sex and the City Movie . Meanwhile, it's "Aaarrrgh! A pirate's life for me...".

Monday, February 4, 2008

Ciao, primavera!

The new Spring line has arrived at J.crew and I am head over heels with so many pieces. The collection is filled with polished, feminine pieces featuring sweet details like ruffles and flowers. To top it all off, the campaign was shot in Rome, one of my favorite cities!


Fontana Dress, $140
I want this in yellow, navy, and the black and white print


Lisette Dress, $450
Available in April

Joelle Blouse, $98 in a gorgeous hyacinth color
Beaded Flower Tie Belt, $68


Jeweled Posy Patent Leather Flats, $225
Jeweled Posy Capri Sandals, $118



Turquoise Bubble Necklace, $150



Martine Satin Heels, $235
All of the colors are gorgeous! It would be impossible to choose!


Gayle Ruffle Trench, $250