Wednesday, June 30, 2010

"Eclipse:" Third time's a charm

I went to the midnight show of Eclipse last night (early this morning, rather), and it was well worth my sleepiness at work today. I remember seeing Twilight at midnight in 2008, and it was on in like one theater, and we rolled up at 11:30 and still got a good seat! Those days are long gone. The film was showing in several different theaters all the way to 12:40 and many were sold out.

The third novel of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Saga has always been one of my favorites - yes, I know there are only four novels, but it still ranks at the top of my list. There's plenty of romance and action, and at the end, Team Edward wins once and for all sealed with a vintage diamond ring.

David Slade did an excellent job directing this film. Melissa Rosenberg's scripts have improved, too. Some very important back stories from the book, such as the Quileute legends and Jasper and Rosalie's previous lives, were incorporated wonderfully. I think that Twilight and New Moon were lacking a lot of the smaller but important details from the books.

The actors have also gotten much better. Robert Pattinson as vampire Edward Cullen is gorgeous and brooding as ever. Kristen Stewart is Bella Swan to a tee. Taylor Lautner is also getting better as werewolf Jacob Black - if only we could get him to reach Jacob's 6'5" he'd be good to go.

There were some great and well-delivered lines in the film, such as when Edward says to Bella about the seemingly always shirtless Jacob, "Doesn't he own a shirt?" Newcomers Bryce Dallas Howard as Victoria and Xavier Samuel as Riley were also quite good. It was nice to see Jasper (Jackson Rathbone) get to say more than a few words so that we could finally see that Southern gentlemanly side of his we'd read about.

Some critics are being hard on this film even though I don't know how they can deny that these movies are continually improving. Since Breaking Dawn will be two films, I think they'll just keep getting better and better. I will be taking a second look at Eclipse this weekend, and I can't wait.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Nordstrom beauty exclusives

I love just about any sale, but I'm so excited because my favorite sale of the year - Nordstrom's Anniversary sale - is starting soon. Typical sales consist of old items that have been out for a while, but not this one. These products are new for the fall season.

Right now, beauty exclusives can be pre-ordered to arrive by July 12. Here are the items on my list... [all photos]

-Bobbi Brown's 'Chocolate and Navy Set' ($75), a $135 value-Smashbox 'Evening Chic Set' ($59), a $155 value

-Chanel 'Coco Mademoiselle Fresh Moisture Mist' ($45), Nordstrom exclusive-MAC 'Look in a Box: Miss Violet' ($59.50), an $87 value
-Essie 'Fall Mini 4-pack' ($17), Nordstrom exclusive
-Lippman Collection 'All That Jazz Trio' ($40), Nordstrom exclusive $55 value

Check out all of the fabulous deals here. The Anniversary Sale starts July 16 and ends August 1. Nordstrom cardholders get to shop early.

Friday, June 18, 2010

J. Peterman catalog

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I received a J. Peterman catalog in the mail, and the travel and fashion lover in me was instantly intrigued. The company offers unique pieces for both men, women and home that were picked up from all over the world.

The products aren't shown as typical photographs either. Instead, they're lovely hand-drawings with cleverly detailed product descriptions. Most of the items are probably for a bit older crowd, but the concept is interesting nonetheless. The prices are fairly reasonable, too. Here are a few of my favorite items...

-Above photo, 'The King' English Pub sign, $850. It's one of the pricier items, but it'd be a cool conversation piece.
-'Carnival in Venice Mask,' $138. If you can't get to Venice, bring Venice to you!
-'Bali-Time Rose Caftan,' $79. I love the description of this, "When they return home in the evening, they take off the western garb, put on a caftan (yes, the men too), and immediately sink into what they proudly call, 'Rubber Time.'"
-'30's Derby Dress,' $179. This dress is so pretty and summery. It'd go perfectly with a mint julep.

-'Picasso at Vallauris Shirt,' $44. If it's good enough for Pablo Picasso, it's certainly good enough for the rest of us!

-'Italian Spectator Shoes,' $198. These Italian brogues come in men or women's versions. I'm glad that oxford shoes are still going strong for fall.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Eclipse soundtrack

I finally received my Eclipse soundtrack in the mail last week after pre-ordering on Amazon what seems like ages ago. I like it so far. I don't know that I like it as much as the Twilight or New Moon soundtrack (yet, anyway).

Here's the track list...

1. Eclipse (All Yours) - Metric
2. Neutron Star Collision (Love is Forever) - Muse
3. Ours - The Bravery
4. Heavy In Your Arms - Florence + The Machine
5. My Love - Sia
6. Atlas - Fanfarlo
7. Chop And Change - The Black Keys
8. Rolling In On A Burning Tire - The Dead Weather
9. Let's Get Lost -Beck and Bat For Lashes
10. Jonathan Low - Vampire Weekend
11. With You In My Head (Feat. The Black Angels) - Unkle
12. A Million Miles An Hour - Eastern Conference Champions
13. Life On Earth - Band Of Horses
14. What Part Of Forever - Cee Lo Green
15. Jacob's Theme - Howard Shore

Obviously there's a Muse song on there. "Neutron Star Collision" is very dramatic and rock-operatic. The "our love would be forever" lyrics are very appropriate for the Eclipse.

My other favorite songs include The Black Keys' "Chop and Change" (my only qualm is that the song is too short - just when I'm dancing and singing along, it's over!), The Dead Weather's "Rolling In On a Burning Tire," Vampire Weekend's "Jonathan Low," and the soothing Band of Horses' "Life on Earth." I also dig Cee Lo's song "What Part of Forever." He whistles in it!

"Jacob's Theme" by composer Howard Shore is quite beautiful. Shore had big shoes to fill after Alexandre Desplat's "New Moon (The Meadow)" and Carter Burwell's "Bella's Lullaby" from the two previous soundtracks.

The album is selling for $9.99 on Amazon now. I love getting the soundtrack before the film is out then recognizing the songs in the movie. C'mon June 30!

Colorful wedding dresses


I got an e-mail from featuring a pink lace wedding dress by British designer House of Holland for $1,200 (which happens to only be available in a US size 4). It's quite lovely and certainly unique with the sheer lower half and asymmetrical sleeve, but after picking out my wedding dress, I can't imagine wearing any color besides white or a variation thereof. On a side note: love the babysbreath bouquet and hairpiece!
More power to the brides who have worn or are wearing colored wedding dresses, but it seems like this is the one day in your life to wear white. Even Sarah Jessica Parker regrets her choice of a black wedding dress in 1997. She recently told Harper's Bazaar this in reference to renewing her vows, “White it up. I’d wear a beautiful, proper wedding dress, like I should have worn that day." Gwen Stefani found a way to incorporate color for her 2002 wedding. Her gorge Christian Dior dress's white-to-pink ombré was definitely one of a kind. A lot of brides choose colored sashes to accent white gowns. I still will be saving the colors for the honeymoon - except for maybe my shoes.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Target daily deals


I'm not sure why I haven't discovered Target's online Daily Deals before now. There's a limited quantity of a new item that is on sale for 24-hours only with free shipping.

I purchased today's item, the 'Ponte Side Tab Dress' in hot coral by Merona for $15.99 (regularly $24.99). Sheaths are always chic, and this one will be great for work. I love the summery color, too.

The final price with free shipping and a 20% off Merona coupon code (MRNADSSW) was $13.46. Now that's a bargain!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

One more reason to love Nordstrom

I don't think that a lot of people know that Nordstrom price matches. I have had them match a price for me twice lately on Leifsdottir dresses that I found less expensive elsewhere. I just called customer service, and they verified the price and gladly matched it.

The only catch is that the item has to be available in your size and color. Here is the policy on their site...
You'll never pay more. At Nordstrom, we are committed to offering you the best possible prices. If you ever find one of our items priced lower somewhere else, please call 1-888-282-6060 and we will gladly meet that price.

Yay! Thanks, Nordstrom. That's why we keep coming back.

Lust: Prada Postcards sunglasses

I love cat-eye shades, and Prada's Postcards sunglasses from the S/S10 collection are definitely at the top of my list. []

The $205 sunglasses are available in six fun colors named after cities: green (Milan), light pink (Los Angeles), clear with pink lenses (Manhattan), transparent with light grey lenses (Paris), transparent grey with orange lenses (London) and black (Lisbon). What a fabulous idea!

Though I adore the flashy Milan pair, I think I would either buy Paris or Lisbon since I'd get more wear out of them. I will be checking my local Sunglass Hut for these stat.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Mayan vibe


I've been seeing a lot of tribal prints lately, and they come in all price ranges. Of course my favorite piece happens to be the most expensive - Gryphon's colorful 'Mayan Mini Skirt' ($345) from Saks. Gryphon also make a pair of fabulous cotton-silk embroidered 'Mayan Shorts' ($275) from


Diane von Furstenberg's summer collection includes two chic tribal print dresses - the classic 'Julian Mini Wrap Dress' ($275) and the 'Moritz Dress' ($375) in the Byzantine Bands pattern.


My all-time favorite store Anthropologie also has some options. I normally head straight to the sale rack there to find the best deals, but the regular-priced 'Pueblo Dress' ($148) caught my eye the last time I was in the store. I love the beading on the waist. One tribal-esque sale dress is the 'Island Holiday Dress' ($79.95 from $148). I adore the beaded belt and rope halter straps. I think I'm going to have to add to this one to my honeymoon stash.

Forever 21's 'Ethnic Woven Skirt's' a bargain buy for $12.80. This rayon skirt would look great with a simple tucked-in white tee. I hope they have it at my local store! []

This summery dress from H&M is a mere $4.95. They've been featuring a lot of items for $4.95 and $9.95 lately. They also just had a 20% off Memorial Weekend coupon that ended on Sunday. Keep it up with the coupons, please!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Thigh-highs are back?

While perusing Madewell's new site, I was reminded that Alexa Chung has created a collection for them in the fall. Exciting! One of the photos featured thigh-highs. A product of the Clueless era, I definitely wore these along with knee-highs (plus plaid skirts, mary janes and feather pens...) in middle school. It's way too hot outside to imagine wearing these now, but they'll be cute for fall. []

Coincidentally also featured a gray crochet pair from Nasty Gal today in their "June Shop the Closet." I love those platforms they paired them with.

Also featured in this were an adorable pair of Mini for Many 'Striped Canvas Wedges.' The link sent readers to an awesome store near me - Richmond's Need Supply Co. Yay for shopping local!

Madewell's new site

J.Crew's sister store Madewell recently launched their Web site, They currently have 17 brick-and-mortar stores. I will have to check one out next time I'm in NYC! Their site features a lot of basics with some flare.
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Apparently the company has been making denim since 1937, so it's fitting that their new site features a denim bar with a wide selection of styles and washes. Denim prices are quite reasonable, too (around $95). I like the 'Rail Straight' jeans in white wash. They also come in two lengths!
I'm such a dress person that I was drawn to the 'Floaty Floral Dress' ($158) in poppy. They also have a nice selection of leather bags. The fringe on the 'Canyon Mini-Bag' ($98) is super-cool, and I love the parchment color.

Now, if Madewell will just have good online sales like J.Crew does, they'll be all set!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Toms Shoes wedges


The philanthropic Toms Shoes have come out with a line of peep-toe wedges called the 'Calypso' just in time for summer. This is exciting news! They're $69, and for every pair sold, a pair is donated to a child in need. Toms calls them "heels with heart."
Available colors include black, light green, yellow, navy stripe, orange stripe and red stripe. They can be purchased now at, and they're available for pre-order at Nordstrom also with a ship date around the end of June.

To La Mer or not to La Mer?


I've been reading about Creme de La Mer for years. As a celeb favorite, I've always wanted to try it, but it's expensive. About a month ago, I asked for a sample at Saks. Before this kind of splurge, I need to know that I like it. The lady at the counter gave me a small sample, which I carefully patted onto my face every night for a few weeks until it ran out.

The formula is made with a nutrient-rich "Miracle Broth" that was developed by a scientist who was burned badly in a chemical explosion. Just a tiny bit of creme is needed because it's rich. It comes with a mini spatula-like thing that helps scoop it out.

I honestly think that it did make my skin feel smoother. Since I'm in my twenties, I wasn't worried about smoothing wrinkles per se. It was more about prevention because I definitely got a lot of sun when I was younger.

So, I figured since my wedding is coming up, why not splurge? My first jar of Creme de La Mer has officially arrived. Here's to hoping for skin miracles!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

"Shoes for everyone!"

I know that most people don't go to the beach and see a movie, but I do - especially when it's the sequel to Sex and the City. I didn't think the second installment of the film was as good as the first, but it's still a must-see for any SATC fan.

The film begins with the too-long and slightly pointless wedding of Stanford and Anthony. Carrie sports a tux as the best man. Liza Minnelli also sings "Single Ladies" (kinda scary) while an all-male choir sings show tunes.

Most of the film takes place in Abu Dhabi after Samantha gets an all-expenses paid trip from a Middle Eastern producer for her and her besties. It was fun seeing them somewhere other than the Big Apple.

Leading up to the trip, each girl is having her own issues: Carrie feels like she and Big have lost their "sparkle;" Samantha is trying to fight off menopause; Charlotte is stressed out by motherhood; Miranda just quit her job due to a sexist boss. So, they all could use a lavish vacay. They fly over in a luxe plane and are staying at an even more luxe hotel with personal butlers.

Carrie randomly runs into Aidan (John Corbett) in the market. She agrees to go to dinner with him which leads to a lapse in judgment. I was all about some Team Aidan when it was a TV show, but c'mon Carrie. Her self-centeredness can be annoying at times.

Anyway, in typical Samantha style, she gets into trouble after she meets a gorgeous man (Brit actor Max Ryan) in the desert and flirts too much with him in public - it is the Middle East after all. Then they lose all of their privileges and have to get out of Dodge.
The fashion is unreal, but we'd expect nothing less from the talented Patricia Field. At one point they're riding camels in couture. Carrie wears A LOT of Halston Heritage in the film. My favorite is this one-shoulder dress she wore with a festive turban (above photo). While in the market on their way out of the country, Carrie buys $20 souvenir shoes for everyone hence the title.

Overall, I'd say that it's not as bad as all of the critics are saying it is. It's SATC, afterall, so I say lighten up!