fashion. wine. design... and my life.

Archive for January, 2012|Monthly archive page

Finding “your” shade.

In Uncategorized on January 28, 2012 at 12:47 am

At times it could feel like finding a needle in a haystack.  Almost  impossible!

For the longest, those were my sentiments regarding finding the perfect shade of red lipstick.  Back in college is when it began.  Basically, it was trial and error.  Playing around with lip colors, experimenting with an assortment of shades… pretty much, just trying to find ones that worked with my complexion.   Some successes and even more fails – but eventually, I recognized my pattern and made a very fashionable discovery…

I LOVE RED LIPSTICK!

What a sexy color, eh?!

Starts off as seduction in a tube… then, with the right application on your lips, it turns into pure fire!  Come on now fellas – you know that you are intrigued by this look.  Ladies – when it’s done right, red lips are guaranteed to turn heads!  Don’t even get me started… red lips exude glamour, incite mystery, scream sophistication and yes… sometimes whisper risqué.  They evoke an attitude – no – they ARE an attitude.  An attitude that any woman can easily possess… it all rests in finding your perfect shade!

Ah’ight now ladies – what took me years and years to learn, I am giving to you in one sentence; the trick to finding your shade of red is simply determined by your skin tone.  To be exact, your skin tone temperature which is determined by your undertones.  Are you a cool?  Or… are you a warm?  Google it — the tests and quizzes that can be found are endless.  But the long and short of it is this:  red lipsticks are divined into two categories – cool shades that are blue-based and warm shades that are orange-based.  Generally, the rule is that blue-based reds flatter specific skin tones as do warm-based reds.  Soooo… if you have  a basic understanding your skin tone then you will be able to identify the red color category that suits you best.

Right?

Right!

Me?  All of that experimentation helped me discover that I lean towards blue-based reds.  Haha – and my preferred brand for that “knock ’em dead” red… MAC.  My red collection?  6 MAC tubes that I keep in rotation.  And out of them, there is one that takes the lead… it is my weakness — Ruby Woo (http://www.maccosmetics.com/products/spp/shaded.tmpl?CATEGORY_ID=CAT168&PRODUCT_ID=PROD310&SKU_ID=SKU1136).  This is truly a universal color.  Whether cool or warm… I can’t say that I have met a person that the color didn’t compliment.  A vintage color, great matte finish and long wearing.  Can you tell?  Ruby Woo has wooed me!

MAC should be proud for I definitely promote brand loyalty.  But recently…

I did stray and try something new.  Haha – I think lured is more appropriate.  For months now, I have been tabbing pages in my fashion magazines – dog earring sensational ads for red lipstick that seemed to be calling me to come hither.  Always the same ad for the same brand.  Since I am already a brand ambassador for the fragrances, I guess it was just a matter of time before I delved into other products.  And so it is… this girl’s added a 7th tube.  How fitting that it is the 7th addition… my favorite and lucky number!

My new shade?  CHANEL’s Lune Rousse (Red Moon)… and for the record, it has me captivated.  Compared to my beloved Ruby Woo, this is a much deeper red.  Equally as flattering, this blue-based red is a modern day version of what on-screen stars wore in those classic black and white movies.  Without a doubt, I could easily see Bette Davis, Ava Gardner or Joan Crawford applying this sultry color to their lips!  I’m sold and easily offer my recommendation… apparently I am not alone.

Lune Rousse is currently sold out on CHANEL’s website.  For my search, I went to two major department stores, both sold out.  Thank goodness for UPS… my tube – compliments of a Oregon Nordstrom.  Who knew lip color could be that popular…

Interested in my new find?  Looks like you are going back to Google  (http://www.google.com/products/catalog?client=safari&rls=en&q=lune+rousse+lipstick&oe=UTF-8&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=6035504906788449720&sa=X&ei=lXgjT6PcEufz0gGu6IDfCA&ved=0CFIQ8wIwBg#ps-sellers).  Haha- such a long link for such a little tube, eh?

There is something hypnotic about lips painted red… especially when the lip color is your perfect shade.  I’ve found mine — what’s yours?

Initially, the search for the right red might appear arduous, but with patience and persistence…

it’s worth it.

Cheers!

-k

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Me and my Eggo…

In Uncategorized on January 26, 2012 at 11:32 pm

We were introduced when I was a much much younger…

and have been constant friends ever since.  For a good portion of my childhood, Eggo waffles were my staple for breakfast.  That yellow box with “Eggo” in red cursive lettering could always be found in the freezer and was never omitted from the grocery list.  Haha – a recess from cooking for my parents, for it was a quick and easy meal that I could prepare blindfolded!

As an adult, I still indulge.  I would have to declare Eggo waffles as one of my guilty pleasures.  The “L’Eggo my Eggo” commercials were my absolute favorite — growing up, who knows how many times I exclaimed that catch phrase as lightly browned Eggos popped up from the toaster.  From the toaster to the plate… spread on a healthy amount of butter and then pour an even healthier amount of syrup – Aunt Jemima, Mrs. Butterworth, Karo or Log Cabin – I used whatever was on hand.   Pair all of that sweetness with a tall glass of milk… guaranteed scrumptiousness and pretty much perfection.  Me and my Eggo, two peas in a pod and most certainly BFF’s!

Until…

as a pre-teen, I shifted gears and applied a new topping.  Haha – the evolution of my Eggo.  Simply, it was curiosity that ignited this twist.  A twist, that to this day, is still an all time favorite and the only way I enjoy my Eggos.  The twist?  Eggos sans syrup.  Instead of that sticky sweet liquid, I opt for the epitome of a “kiddie classic” and what most parent’s cupboards are never without… Peanut butter and jelly!

You got it!

Me and my Eggo, we are rebels, eh?!

Each time I bite into this irresistible treat, I am happily reminded of how it still tastes just as delicious as my first taste – some many many years ago.  Haha – it is damn near destiny!  Right out of the toaster, that grid of warmed square wells is the ideal home for peanut butter and jelly.  Actually, if your application is like mine, that would be more peanut butter than jelly… and truth be told, it would be jam rather than jelly.  Nonetheless – it is the bomb and how me and my Eggo roll!

Before you snarl, “NO WAY,” I say don’t knock it until you try it.  It really does taste yummy.  Not far from a regular ol’ peanut butter & jelly sandwich – the Eggo just presents a shift with the texture.  Naturally, you have to be fond of PB & J… and if so, I am pretty confident that becoming a convert is inevitable.  Hmmmm… perhaps I should rescind that statement.  Especially since I have hinted… suggested… attempted to get my two children to try.  Even my husband won’t bend.  Haha – they and their Eggos – faithfully committed to syrup!

Hey… but I do have an abundance of hash marks signifying those who I take sole credit for converting.  Sounds like the makings of a t-shirt, eh?!

Surely this concoction is an acquired taste.  Chuckling as I think of how Julia Child would react – probably offer a side eye and a turned nose at my creation.  Naaaah, because if she had one bite… just one bite…

Me and my Eggo, we’ve got a good thing.

Could be your thing too… you never know until you ____.

Cheers!

-k

My No. 2 pencil… is a skirt!

In Uncategorized on January 18, 2012 at 11:22 pm

The most common pencil for taking standardized test, eh?

Best friend to both students and teachers, the ubiquitous No. 2 pencil is an unquestionable “must have” for every school year.  It’s pretty much a no brainer – this slender tool is a downright nonnegotiable!   At least one will be  found in every child’s backpack and desk… the trusty No. 2 pencil is not only practical but it is guaranteed (with the broad assortment of stylishly colorful designs) to be the most fashionable element in the pencil-case.  In its own right… a timeless classic!

Classic…

Slender…

Timeless…

These words ring true to yet another type of pencil.  Haha – I am just putting it out there – when thinking of that “must have No. 2 pencil”, this is by far my favorite interpretation and my downright nonnegotiable.  My practical tool for any time of the year… the simple, elegant, understated and ageless pencil skirt.

I bet you would consider me crazy if I told you that those skirts make me week in the knees.  Humph… then I would respond by saying what’s crazy is any girls’ closet that is void of one!  Who wouldn’t want a garment that was versatile, sleek and highlighted their silhouette?  I am encouraging everyone to jump on board.  The pencil skirt is a fashion staple that suits many shapes – can I get a “Hallelujah” – for it is not just reserved for the girls shaped like pencils!

Christian Dior’s 1940’s design introduced the world to this curve hugging show stopper.  This straight, slim-fitting number is, in my opinion, a woman’s secret weapon.  An item that not only flatters your figure but elevates your wardrobe by offering countless styling options — that’s damn near magic, eh?!  Oh glorious pencil skirt, how do I love thee?  Let me count the ways!  I love you with flip-flops and a bright tank top… with sandals and a sheer blouse… with pumps and a structured blazer… even with boots and a chunky sweater.

Don’t even get me started on the most popular style and what Tim Gunn (www.facebook.com/TimGunn) would most definitely include on his list of 10 essentials — the “black” pencil skirt.  Seriously, it’s a chameleon.  It can be smart and savvy for the business woman, carefree and comfortable for those easy breezy ladies, and super sexy for the socialite club-hopping diva!  Like I said… truly a secret weapon!

Available in an array of fabrics and an even greater color and pattern selections, the pencil skirt is a work of art.  Animal print, charcoal gray, black, white, citron, banana yellow, turquoise and poppy are just a few of the styles that I own and keep in constant rotation – so I speak from experience when I offer this one tip…

The trick to looking great in your slim-fitting pencil skirt is paying attention the fit and not wearing it so tight that it appears painted on.  A tailored look is what you seek.  The skirt should hug your curves and have a little give.  This means that you just might have to ignore the size label inside of your skirt and opt for a smaller, or larger size to achieve the ideal fit.  With the construction of a pencil skirt, this should be easy, especially since you have leeway with where the skirt can rest on your waist.

And it’s just that simple.

Since I am sharing…

take a peek at these links  — five of my favorite spots for pencil skirt shopping!  These stores tend to be incredibly democratic with their fits, have both classic and trendy selections, and a range of price points for the savviest of shoppers.

www.jcrew.com, www.thelimited.comwww.anntaylor.com, www.loft.com and www.bananarepublic.com.

I am looking for feedback ladies.  Surely I am not the only one singing the praises of the pencil skirt!

Or am I?

Cheers!

-k

The wall…

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2012 at 3:26 pm

The wall is painted eggplant.  Classic color #1379 by Benjamin Moore.

Hands down – my  husband’s favorite color.  A regal color.  Majestic and grand.  And for this small space, just what was needed for making the room cozy and warm, while offering a jolt of color.

The room?

A half bathroom.  A compact yet spacious half bathroom with a customary pedestal sink, a casement window that allows the sunlight to pour in, and a petite three-tiered black table which holds an oversized pewter lantern (LOVE my candlelight) and a bounty of toilet paper.  Haha – we will have none of that embarrassing and awkward crying out for the paper!

This room is also home to the wall.  Hands down – my favorite element to my home.  The wall – dubbed that by family and friends – is an intimate pictorial collage that literally spans the walls of my half bathroom.  The candid pictures, which are all printed in black & white and displayed in a variety of classic black frames, depict random life moments; priceless moments, a slew of silly faces and even more pearly white smiles.  Truly it is a “working” collage and it transitions with my life.  Beside my non-negotiable favorite shots, I am constantly adding and subtracting pictures.

A pictorial documentary might be a more fitting description.  Journalistic insight?  Reaching, I know.  Bottom line is this; it is merely a creative way to freeze time, use the unexpected to infuse a bit of humor and to keep loved ones who live near and far in constant thought.  Did I mention unexpected?  I do relish the reaction of those who unknowingly enter my half bathroom.  Plenty find it novel – say how they loved scanning the wall and announce that they are going erect a wall of their own.  Most amusing though are those who comment about using the bathroom while a myriad of onlookers gaze intently!   My half bathroom, the “fun house” bathroom with cackling big-eyed faces peering at you… I guess that could be odd, eh?

Regardless of the reaction, the wall is always well received.  This tool that I use as a means of artistic expression is a definite conversation starter!  In concept, the wall is not a far reach from what many have implemented in their homes on walls leading up and down stairways.  But there is something… something  about a small space loaded with an obnoxious amount of black & white pictures that just packs a punch.  Haha – it evokes those Frankie Beverly “happy feelings” and it leaves a memorable impression on both my family and guests.

Established in my first home, the concept of the wall is now 9 years old.  Started in a teeny-weeny half bathroom… with a knee wall behind the toilet, painted a robust roman orange – Valspar color #WV36014, the wall just keeps getting better with age.  Hmmmm… perhaps I will credit a better eye and improved photography skills, eh?!  Side note — black and white pictures look fantastic on almost any color wall.

Surely I am not the only one with a wall?  I know that my girlfriend who just visited me from out of the country said that she can’t wait to get her’s started — amen for IKEA and their stylish yet incredibly affordable frames!

What about you?  Do tell… do tell.

Cheers!

-k

R E P E A T!

In Uncategorized on January 3, 2012 at 12:07 am

Once tends to never be enough.

Repetition.

Both my nemesis and companion.  A relationship established as a child… I am certain that it will forever be my constant oxymoron.  Perhaps it can be considered an eccentric habit.  Who knows – it’s just my thing.  When it comes to certain aspects of my life, I am subconsciously drawn into its arms.

Repetition.

I am positive that those in my circle probably chuckle at me. I am the girl who shops for the same tailored cuts in clothing – just in different colors.  I am the one who plays a song over, and over and over – and to me, it sounds just a good the tenth time as it did the first.  I tend to push that repeat button with the types of make-up and accessories I purchase, the kinds of food I eat… even the variety of wine I drink.

It just happens.  Once I discover something new, something appealing to my senses… I just want more and more and more.  Seriously, once is not enough!  I speak the truth when I say that repetition and I have a love/hate relationship.  Haha – there are times I fear that my repetitive quirks make me a bore?  Blah… who wants to get stuck in a rut?  Not me!  I certainly don’t want to deny myself new experiences.  Then again, there are times that I relish repetition.  It floods me with a feelings  – like an old friend coming back to visit.  It just fits… it just fits like a glove.

So imagine the smile that appeared on my face when doing a bit of research…

Comments from a friend regarding a blog that I posted triggered this research.  With my appetite for wine, he suggested that I might do blog on “the finish.”  Hmmm… the finish.  I could deduce from the term what it involved.  Gotta be sure though… especially with my wine skill set only being in the germination stage.  I still consider myself to be a pupil; learning quickly, but still a pupil.  Research pays off – Ah ha!  Found it!  Better yet… experienced it!

The finish is the last component of wine tasting.  It is what you experience once you swallow – the impression, the sensation, the feeling.  In a nutshell, it is the way the wine lingers on your tongue… it’s how long it lingers and its strength.  Mmmmm… quite possibly could be described as the way the wine makes love to your mouth.  And, just like with love-making, the finish of wine is momentous and is often the determining factor for engaging again.

Naturally, the finish of wine is subjective… the variation of palates and the quality of the wine dictates how one experiences that residual treat.  Throughout my research, there was one common thread – something that despite my schoolgirl wine tasting status – I have always know to be true.  According to my online sommeliers, a good finish makes you want to go back for more.  Have another glass.  Purchase another bottle.  Experience the wine again and again…

Repetition baby!  Haha – now you see why I was smiling!

Since I was researching, I had to conduct my own experiment.  So… with friends, I drank of bottle of wine, attempting to focus only on the finish.  You know I got sidetracked… especially since it was a bottle that I had never tried before.  Gifted to me was a succulent French red blend called Chateau Greysac Medoc.

Once I opened the bottle and sniffed the bottom of the berry stained cork, my toes literally curled in anticipation.  Looking at the way it poured into my glass and having hints of the true aroma tease my nose, I was even more anxious for a sip.  “Focus on the finish Kisha, focus on the finish” is what I whispered in my head.  I follow my routine; swirl the glass, deep inhale, sip, move the wine around in my mouth and swallow… in no time, I was greeted with a finish that was remarkable!

Oh Chateau, how you warm my body.  I enjoyed the spicy heat that rushed over my tongue… truly impressed with how long it remained.  I intentionally spaced my sips and paid close attention to the results after swallowing.  Even during conversation, as I inhaled and exhaled in between words, the heat from my breath seemed to stimulate and reactivate the flavors left on my taste buds.  WOW!  Seriously, what was that I mentioned about making love…WOW!

Repetition indeed.

Not only do I now have a better understanding of the finish, I was lucky enough to discover a wine that I will consume again and… I think you get it.

Thanks D!  Haha – your suggestion is getting me closer to becoming a scholar, eh?

For all who are game and want to experience; http://www.wine-searcher.com/wine-35769-2007-chateau-greysac-medoc-france.  Of course I want to know your take.

Cheers!

-k

365 days ago…

In Uncategorized on January 1, 2012 at 12:02 am

A day that I vaguely remember.

In concept, I can imagine that it was a day of reflection… a day of assessment… a day to just put everything into perspective.  A day most likely spent celebrating with family and friends… receiving and extending wishes of happiness for the new year.   In some areas of my life, perhaps I was contemplating the notion of a fresh start… in other areas, surely there was rejoicing and gratitude  for the little things.  No lofty  resolutions.  Just a day… and the start of yet another new year.

So today, this first twenty-four hours of a brand new 365 days, I can’t help reflect on my last phone conversation with my brothers.  Last week, a hurried conversation while I was at work… one brother calling, conferencing the other brother in, simply to talk and share – hmmmm, enlighten is probably a better suited word.

Rushed.

That was my demeanor and definitely my tone.  Poorly attempting to multitask – working on the computer, cell phone on one ear listening to them while the work phone is on the other trying to resolve a designer dilemma.  It was obvious.  I was half-heartedly answering their questions… but in truth, I registered every word.  They were merely calling to include me in on one of their “typical”  meaty conversations.  Conversations in which they self -evaluate, chronicle daily life lessons and extract the positive from those learnings to improve their lives.

Minus the details, I will say that I do enjoy these conversations with my brothers.  They are both witty, engaging and intelligent.  Although alike, they each possess very unique personalities, careers and perspectives.   These conversations with them carry a comforting rhythm… and with the distance that separates us, I look forward to the connection.  Generally, these talks always take different directions.  This time the topic of discussion was so elementary, yet incredibly compelling…

One very basic premise.

3 little words.

“Try something new.”

Haha – I’ll give you a moment to let that marinate.

Try something new, eh?  Advice that has been offered since one can remember.  Try something new.  The ultimate intent of all marketing strategies.  Try something new.  Duh… the best way to figure out if you like something.  Try something new.  Without a doubt, the absolute best way to keep your senses keen, your mind sharp and in a constant state of learning.

Common sense, I know.  But somethings… some great things are just worth repeating.  Well then, no better time than a new year to provide a lil’ reiteration!

As we all begin our fresh journey – this 2012 dance that takes 365 steps to complete – I will definitely be incorporating doses of “try something new” into my daily routine.  For me, the newness awaits in so many forms; fashion, wine, design, food, books, art, travel, family outings and social events, even a state of mind… I am just going to try.  Yep, this girl has an appetite.  My objective  – haha – to keep my noggin free of cobwebs!  Naaaaah.  The truth –  experience more of this world and to simply be an example and hopefully an inspiration for my children.

Wondering how you too could start… or even find your impetus?

Of course I constantly revert back to my google searches — this could be an excellent start to get your try something new juices flowing.  Perhaps even doing like the experts advise.  If you have a goal, one of the best ways to ensure success is to write it down.  Gotta love a blog, eh?!

Excited and content with my approach, I am looking forward to great things.

Wishing the Happiest Happy New Year to you all… especially my try something new comrades!

I’m thinking that a quote by Maya Angelou is oooh so fitting for our adventure…

“Ain’t nothin’ to it, but to do it.”

Cheers!

-k