Thursday, January 31, 2013

Some football reading for Sunday

What are you doing for the Super Bowl?  As far as football goes, I'm a one-team girl, but I'll be watching on Sunday, if only for the snacks, Beyonce (!), and the commercials.  Should you want to catch up on some of the main pre-game story lines and learn a bit about the teams and their players, check out The Spish.
The Spish -- short for Sports Dish -- is the brainchild of my friend Tom, a huge football fan who married my friend Shaina, who has two sisters.  With no brothers or brothers-in-law around, he figured out that the way to keep his in-laws' television on the NFL and away from girly stuff was to weave in details about the players' backstories and personal lives, in a "this quarterback is dating this model" and "that wide receiver won Dancing with the Stars" kind of way.  Shortly thereafter, The Spish was born: it's football coverage that's less X's and O's (although you can find that there too) and more like sitting on the couch with your own irreverent, football-obsessed brother-in-law filling you in on all the gossipy details.  Don't miss the gallery of Randy Moss' hairstyles of yore.  

PS: remember this awesome ad from last year?

(Top image of Beyonce via The Atlantic; bottom image of Drew Brees, who is not playing in the Super Bowl this year but did win one in 2009, with his adorable baby, via People by Hans Deryk/Landow.)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Weather + style

Have you heard of StyleUp?  It's a free service that sends you an email each night telling you what to wear the next day, based on the weather where you live.  
StyleUp | Your StyleUp for January 17th
When you sign up, you put in your zip code and answer a few questions about your style, like whether you work in a more professional or casual office and whether you dress more conservatively or funky.  Each night, you get the weather forecast for the next day and a picture of a style- and weather-appropriate outfit that you can put your own spin on.    

So simple, but a genius way to make getting dressed in the morning a lot easier.  And it's much prettier than the Weather Channel app. 

(These images are from my StyleUp recommendations, which is Chicago-weather-based and the "Professional Conservative" style.)

Monday, January 28, 2013

To camo or not to camo?

Yesterday, while checking out the postage-stamp-sized tall section at Topshop, I found a casual parka with a fur collar. It was on sale.  It fit.  It was warm.  Hooray!  But it was camo, and that's one of those things that I always assume is best left to others, like these stylish ladies.

I like it, but I fear I will look like a nutjob in it, as I do in most hip, trendy styles.  What do you think?  Is camo best left to experts, or can the rest of us pull it off by following their lead and keeping everything else really polished-looking: ladylike flats or pumps, chic sunglasses, and red lipstick?  Weigh in while I'm busy trying out the jacket with multiple outfits and convincing myself not to wear it out of the house.  (Everyone does that, right?)
atlantic pacific camo sweateshirt celine denim jacket

(Top photo by The Sartorialist; bottom photo by Atlantic-Pacific.)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Have a lovely weekend!

Hope you're having a warm and cozy weekend.  I had a wine-cheese-and-cured-meats-filled evening with ladyfriends last night, and have been laying low since then.  My only other plans for the weekend involve making this pasta, which seems like it should warm you up, and hanging out with my brother, who's visiting.  Hope you're warm and well, and enjoy these links!

I have been wondering for a while what this movie is all about (and why these people are all in it) (via Go Fug Yourself).

Beautiful sketches of Michelle Obama's inauguration gown, and proof that even the First Lady gets annoyed sometimes.

Cool new tv show (Felicity plays a Russian spy!).

Hilarious photobomb.

Mia Farrow sets the record straight on her pixie cut.

A New York City public library is loaning out an American Girl doll to little girls who don't have one.  Eight-year-old-me is so jealous

Five great ideas for How I Met Your Mother.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Set your DVR!

Mad Men returns on April 7!  With a two hour premiere, no less.  Enjoy these photos of ridiculously good-looking people cavorting at what is surely a fabulous cocktail party.
And just because I love prognosticating on what the season will hold based purely on promotional photos, don't these speak volumes about the women in Don's life?

Betty: OVER IT (but obviously not really, because who could ever really be over Hamm, so a little stone-cold posing can't hurt, can it?). 
Sally: Turning more and more into Betty Junior with every passing minute.
Megan: "Heeeey."
Peggy: "I'm coming for you and all your business, Draper.  And if you think your side-eye scares me, you've got another thing coming." 
What do you think will be this year's Zou Bisou Bisou?  And DOES THIS MEAN THAT FAT BETTY IS GONE?

(Photos via AMC.)

Thursday, January 24, 2013


It is downright freezing and unpleasant outside.  If you too are a Burrito of Sadness, a few things to help you cope:

The Mindy Project.  It is laugh-so-hard-you-wake-up-your-sleeping-dog hilarious.  (And you can watch it burrito-ed into your couch.  Mindy would approve.)
THE MINDY PROJECT: Mindy (Mindy Kaling, second from R) passes out condoms to a high school volleyball class in the "Teen Patient" episode of THE MINDY PROJECT airing Tuesday, Nov. 27 (9:30-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. Also pictured Kara Crane (L)

I've been using Vitamin E oil to moisturize my face (I read about this trick here).  It is heavy, and I don't know that I'll keep it up once I have my heater dialed down and there is a drop of moisture in the air, but for now, it feels fantastic.  For the rest of your parched winter skin, Kiehl's Creme de Corps is a splurge, but so very worth it. 

And if all else fails, drink.  These Winter Sun cocktails are citrusy (fights scurvy!) and a great pick-me-up for when you feel like winter is never, ever, ever ending (warning: your kitchen might end up looking like this).

(Top illustration by Jillian Fleck, via The Daily Muse; Mindy Project image via Vulture; skin photo by Yulia Gorbachenko; Winter Sun cocktail images by Two Tarts via Cup of Jo.)

Well they certainly have me pegged . . .

This new commercial for Internet Explorer is hilariously on-the-nose for anyone in their late twenties or early thirties.  
This is like watching my childhood and adolescence  flash before my eyes!  (All that's missing is a dog-eared copy of Anne of Green Gables.)  The bowl cut: amazing.

(Via swissmiss.)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Anything Could Happen

Given Lena Dunham's sweep of the Golden Globes, I appear to be in the decided minority when I say that I didn't love Girls.  I wanted to think it was fantastic, but I just didn't -- I didn't hate the show, but I couldn't figure out what everyone else saw that I didn't.  It bothered me to the point where I watched the first season over again to see what I was missing.  And then, it hit me: I cannot stand creepy boyfriend (?) Adam.  He just repulses me and I found the way Hannah followed him even worse.  Once I put that aside, I liked it a lot more, and the second season trailer looked a lot more interesting.
It got stuck in my head, too -- thankfully, not because of creepy Adam, but because of the catchy song in the second half, Anything Could Happen by Ellie Goulding.  Do yourself a favor and listen to the rest of her album, Halcyon (available on Spotify) -- it's great.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Calling all letter writers and bill payers

After Christmas cards and thank you notes, your stamp supplies are probably depleted.  Order new ones soon: on January 27, the price of stamps goes up again, so this is the perfect time to stock up on Forever stamps.  I just bought a bunch of these and these.  Annoying to spend money on, but the feeling of not having to scramble around or go to the actual post office the next time I have to drop an envelope in the mail?  Priceless. 

(Image by Jackie Rueda via Pinterest.)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Have a lovely (long) weekend!

Happy Sunday to everyone.  Hope you are enjoying a relaxing long weekend (and staying warm and cozy -- the temperature has nosedived in Chicago).  Doing anything fun?  The highlight of our weekend so far was seeing The Book of Mormon on Saturday night, a Christmas gift from my parents.  It was hilariously awesome (although "politically incorrect" doesn't even begin to cover it)!  Before the show, we made these fantastic cocktails at home, and went out for a delicious dinner.  We're toying around with the idea of seeing a double feature tomorrow since it's going to be so cold tomorrow -- lots to see before the Oscars in late February.  Whatever you're up to, hope you have a great one, and enjoy these links.

Apparently it's "cold" in Los Angeles too.  You have to see this video of clips from the news.

A Clueless quiz (I got 18 out of 22.  You?)  (via Go Fug Yourself)

If you've caught the flu or a cold, maybe try this bath soak?  Feel better! (via Refinery29)

These Golden Globes photos of children posing as stars must be seen to be believed.

The most ridiculously adorable video of a puppy trying to go down the stairs with the help of his older pal.

Forget about sales: I just want Lululemon to rethink their absolutely ridiculous return policy.

According to the New York Times, The Karlie is The New Rachel.  Respectfully, I think you need a supermodel head to pull it off.

What a fun idea for kid stuff and supplies.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Real superheroes

How cool is this?  Earlier this month, window washers in a couple of different cities wore superhero costumes while they washed the windows at two children's hospitals.  Clearly, they were a hit.  (They even sprayed silly string at the kids as they went by.) 
A serious hat tip to all of these guys for going above and beyond to make these little dudes' days.  (And who doesn't wish they could suit up in a superhero outfit for work?  Everyone wins!)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Skirts and pastels and shorts, oh my.

J. Crew's Spring collection has hit the web site . . . 
and this sweater is, as it claims, darling.
See any standouts?  I can't even begin to fathom wearing these airy pieces when the thought of going outside with skin exposed takes my breath away.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A little hair tip.

A little cleaning tip for getting your Middleton on in the new year: clean the filter on your hair dryer.  I am horrendous at staying on top of small chores like polishing silver, cleaning jewelry, or removing fingerprints and smudges from my glasses.  I just get used to the status quo until something is so dirty that it finally catches my attention (or, much more likely, my mom comes to visit and cleans it for me).  The upside of this flaw is that whenever I do finally get around to doing the neglected chore, the difference is mind-boggling.  

When I was in Miami last week, I was blown away (I swear that was unintentional, but I'm leaving it because it makes me giggle) by the not-at-all-fancy hotel hair dryer.  Drying my baby fine hair took a fraction of the time it was taking me at home.  When I got back to Chicago and turned on my dryer, it felt like a butterfly gently flapping its wings in the general vicinity of my head.  And that was when I realized I haven't cleaned the filter on the thing in the year that I've owned it.  

Sure enough, it was almost completely clogged.  My dryer has a little plate on the back that covers the filter and screws off, and I just ran it under the faucet until it was clean and popped it back on.  Difference: mind-boggling.  Give it a try -- by tomorrow,  you'll be giving Middleton a run for her hair-flipping money.

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Golden Globes

Did you watch the Golden Globes last night?  I was parked on my couch with a hunk of brie, a glass of wine, and my judgypants.  The highs, lows, in-betweens, and other fun:

My two favorite female comediennes who were the best awards show host(esse)s I've seen: Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.  This was so very their night, and they both seemed the best possible versions of themselves, comedically and sartorially.  I liked all their ensembles, but Tina's winner was the teal halter dress, and I thought Amy's suit for the red carpet was genius -- a hilarious play on being Tina's date, but also flattering as hell (A+ for accessories on that one).  But really: between "Stay away from Michael J. Fox's son" and canoodling with George Clooney, their wit simply rocked.  Has been booted up yet? 
Winner of the "If I had this body, I too would wear a minimalist horizontal-stripe sheath to showcase it to its full potential" award: Stacy Keibler.
Looked really great for someone who usually goes out with a perma-sourpuss and seriously, seriously dowdy crazy clothes: an uncharacteristically smiley Zosia Mamet.
Also looked surprisingly great in comparison to many of her usual getups: Lena Dunham.  (But why didn't she shuck off her unwalkable shoes?  On a related note, I think the seat-planner must have gotten fired today.)  I don't love this dress on its own merits, but she looked happy in this and it is miles ahead of some of the things she has worn recently.
And to round out the Girls (Jemima Kirke wasn't there): Allison Williams.  She has a lot of raw material to work with, and while I am all for simple and classy, this was sort of meh.  Perhaps she didn't want to upstage Dunham on what was clearly her big night?  Let's go with that.  That was nice of you, Allison.
Could have been sort of cool and different, but veered way too close to the time she went out dressed like a lampshade: Kate Hudson.  (Side note: Kate and Stella McCartney are apparently very good friends, and Stella made the  aforementioned lampshade ensemble.  In the years since, they did an interview together where Stella apologized.  This is perhaps the famous-people-equivalent of my friends apologizing for encouraging me to wear snake-printed pants to a dorm party my freshman year of college, and that kind of makes me want to forgive both Kate and Stella for the whole thing.)
With all due respect to Kate, did the black-and-gold-long-sleeve-gown better: Helen Mirren.
Made me concerned that she was getting stung by bees all night: Nicole Kidman.  (But weirdly, I kind of liked it, sheer ribcage and all.)  
One big step in the right direction away from dresses the color of old pantyhose, but unfortunately one giant leap towards a terribly unflattering bustline: Kristen Wiig.
Honorable mention on the moving away from garments the color of old pantyhose front: Taylor Swift. 
Front of her dress writing checks the back can't cash: Julianne Moore.  Hard to say that she didn't look fantastic though.  The more I look at it though, the more I am convinced that the only issue I have with this is the little tie.  (PS: have you seen Game Change?  It's fascinating!)
Making concessions for a sort-of-too-small-fit, one of my favorite looks of the night: Jessica Alba.  There is nothing in particular that is spectacular about this dress, but this color, on this woman, with that hair and makeup, with that necklace, was just simply stunning.  
  I CAN'T EVEN:  J. Lo.
"Oh honey no," to someone whom no one should ever have to say "oh honey no" to: Halle Berry.
"Oh honey no"-norable mention: Kerry Washington.
Clearly only stood in front of her mirror and forgot to actually walk in this dress prior to leaving the house: Eva Longoria.
Looked stunning but needs to recognize that the only person in America not groaning at her television during her acceptance speech was Rachel Zoe (who was undoubtedly cooing "Oh Annie, you look ah-may-zing and BAnanas" in her huge all-white living room): Anne Hathaway.  Also, she should keep this pixie forever.  It suits her features so well and goes a decent way in giving her some edge. 

Wow, this lady just had a baby: Claire Danes.  (Do you watch Homeland?  I might be the only person left that doesn't -- it's on my list.  On the flip side, My So-Called Life is available on Netflix streaming.  I watched the pilot episode last week.  Oh my goodness -- it brings you right back.  And Jordan Catalano is just as dreamy as you remember.)
This lady also just had a baby, and maybe shouldn't have worn a potentially midriff-baring two-piece outfit not because it looked bad or because new moms have to cover up or anything like that, but because she kept pulling at it while she was talking to Guiliana (who was inspecting her pores like a human version of those 10x magnifying mirrors) and sort of awkwardly said something about her stomach showing and just didn't seem very comfortable despite her face looking so lovely: Sienna Miller.  (Run on sentence award: me.)  She was also wearing two sparkly earrings on the ear that is not visible in this picture, and she was really cute when she told Giuliana that "it isn't for everyone, but I love it!"  It was so charming.
Also just had a baby and looked so great in the same black, sleeved, dress, huge eyelashes, and super-sized hair that has become her awards show uniform that she gets a pass on wearing the same look all the time: Adele.  Plus she wins for high-fiving James Bond when she won, and for giving a great, heartfelt, genuine speech (ahem, HATHAWAY).
This absolutely shouldn't work, but damn if she didn't go for broke and make it pay off: Lucy Liu.  And YAY POCKETS.
Couple I was most happy to see on the red carpet and then later when half of the couple won a Golden Globe for Best Director: Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner.  It seems they somewhat infrequently hit the red carpet together.  I suppose that at this point, awards shows for them are akin to going to the grocery store for the rest of us, and after three kids and several years of marriage together, it's probably nice to run errands alone sometimes.  But they both looked so genuinely happy when he won that I was really, really glad that they were there together.  Jen looked beautiful and this dress was perfect for her.  And is Ben wearing a nah-vy bleu tux-ahdo??? 
Just downright lovely and ladylike: Naomi Watts.  This was one of my favorites.
Also in the downright lovely and ladylike camp: Nicole Richie.  (And really, back in the days of The Simple Life, did anyone really think that sentence would ever be written?)
Most in need of a good heavenward tug of her strapless dress: Zoey Deschanel.  As someone who actually catches herself clutching her pearls on a not-irregular basis, I loved her necklace.
Only gets a pass on the atrocious cups on the boobs of her dress if she hid snacks in there: Jennifer Lawrence.  The size of her waist leads me to believe There are No Snacks Here.
"Out of my way you actress ladies, I am Fraulein Supermodel!": Heidi Klum.  She looked fantastic.
Beautiful woman in a beautifully-colored, ill-fitting bolt of cloth with weird hair: Jessica Chastain.  This reminds me of a really, really fancy version of the pretend dresses I would fashion out of bedsheets when I would play Oscars (yes, really) when I was little.  And a bit reminiscent the way my dad would fix my hair when my mom had to work.  The woman in the background of this picture agrees.
Gorgeous from the knees up: Marion Cotillard.  
Bringing shoulder pads BACK: Michelle Dockery.
Most likely to have been giving each other "I am totally pulling off this dress better than you are" side-eye all night: Amy Adams and Hayden Panettiere.  Advantage: Panettiere.

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