Fashionably raspberry

I have a growing obsession for this red fruit. I feel ever-so-spoiled by a bowl of juicy raspberries, or even just a handful! 

raspberry sorbet

Sure, I try to get creative with raspberries. I add them to my chocolate cake. I sprinkle them onto my green salad with goat cheese, and add a warm vinaigrette dressing! I top them with whipped cream and chocolate syrup. I put them in pies. I dig a refreshing, sparkling raspberry drink! I like them moussed, whipped, creamed, frozen or fresh! 

But, really, most of the time, once the raspberries make it into my hand, it’s a rarity that they make it elsewhere, other than my mouth!

triple chocolate raspberry cake

triple chocolate raspberry cake

Raspberries are up there with the top HEALTHIEST foods, especially for women. They are some of the most powerful antioxidants, and help prevent heart disease, cancer, insomnia, and Alzheimers.

"parfait skirt" by BB Dakota

 In fact, all berries help lower risk for breast, oral, and colon cancers in women. 

And which such stunning statistics and such glamorous looks, I think raspberries certainly deserve their place in fashion, too. 

Hello, Raspberry Parfait Skirt! 🙂

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The Obama Dress

Obamamania hits Rome’s catwalks

Greetings, fellow Obamatarians!

Copyright 2009 Andreas Solaro / Getty Images

Copyright 2009 Andreas Solaro / Getty Images

Are you having a hard time taking this dress seriously? You are not alone. But make no mistake: if I had this dress in my closet, I would totally and most definitely wear it. Where, you ask? Anywhere! To the grocery store, post office, night clubs, at work, at Sweet Life Patisserie…a-n-y-w-h-e-r-e.

If you live in Eugene, you probably understand that showing up dressed like that earns you brownie points instantly. I bet I would get a free dessert at Sweet Life if I showed up in the Obama dress! We all love Obama around here!

Back to biznas. obama face runway

This dress was actually shown on a legitimate catwalk in Rome last month. It was part of Italian fashion house Gattinoni Haute Couture Spring-Summer collection 2009, during the AltaRomAltaModa. I have no idea how they made it so cool, which is why I am not a designer. :) The round symmetry head-to-toe is stunning, and check out that red zig-zag running through the model’s middle body…all made of Obama’s features/shadows! Lovely.

I am inspired to make my own now. Although mine is going to be made of an Obama t-shirt, cut-out to look like a short blouse-dress type-of-thing, and accessorized properly.

Hehehehe…CHANGE is here!

Bold Tuesdays

Birds of a feather

In today’s Bold Tuesdays, do you have what it takes to wear…feathers?

feather_girl

Yes, feathers. Feather-accessories, to be more specific, from mere plumage to peacock eye, are my latest obsession. So devoted I am to this “cult” that I can’t even pick one such accessory out…I want them ALL!

featherpeacock-eye
Left: a feather barrett that you clip to your hair (see photo above).

Right: Peacock feather earrings -so gracious, yet utterly sophisticated!

And below, one of my long-time loves: the peacock feather tights! I’ve been wanting these for months now, but they cost about $30 on Modcloth’s Web site and somehow that cost isn’t really justified to me. Then, again, can you ever put a price on what you love? 🙂

peacock-tights

All photos courtesy of modcloth.com

Stylewatch Mondays

I have to hold myself back and remember it is barely March, today it snowed (it was a mix of snow and sun, actually), and summer doesn’t officially start until June…or until late May. Otherwise, I’ll soon start blogging about bathingsuits.

But until we can throw in our towel and hit the beach, there are still quite a few styles we can take in this Spring. In fact, the transition from Winter to Spring is one of my favorites in terms of fashion. We are starting to show some skin, just not a lot, mostly bare legs. I think Spring is for bare legs and gorgeous locks, if you ask me. 🙂

When it comes to bare legs, 3 items are very hot right now: the empire-waist dress, the paper-bag-waist skirt or dress, and skirts or dresses with ruffles!

The Empire Waist Dress

Urban Outfitters Spring 2009

Urban Outfitters Spring 2009

Just for the heck of it, I posted this photo (far left) of a less conventional empire waist. It looks like a long t-shirt, doesn’t it? Well, that’s why I like it. 🙂

Here’s a more traditional look for the empire waist:

empire waist

The Empire Waist is, basically, that hi-cut right below your breasts and above your normal waist line.

Ups: Definitely a feminine cut. Also, if you’re too skinny and want to add volume to your body, this will definitely do it.

Downs: I wouldn’t necesarily call it a “hot” look. Also, if you are looking for a dress to slim you down, this won’t do it…it kind of has the pregnant-look to it.

The Paper-Bag Waist Dress

The Spring Chickadee Dress by Mink Pink. Featured on modcloth.com.

The Spring Chickadee Dress by Mink Pink.

If this dress isn’t a cutie patootie, I don’t know what is. 🙂 I love the paper-bag waist style so much because it follows the hi-waist trend in a less conventional way. Plus, until not long ago, for years we were infatuated with low-rise everything. Now, as we are left with those items, sometimes don’t you want to do just this>>>>>>

>>scrunch-up your old low-waist skirts and tie them around your high waist just like you would tie a paper pag? Ha! Gotta love it.

Ruffles Winter, Ruffles Spring, Ruffles-Ruffles Everything!

ruffles

<<<Hey, so, ruffles have been popular since winter, huh? Well, if you’ve come to love them, you are in for a treat: they will still be popular into the late Spring and early Summer! Ruffle collars, ruffle dresses, ruffle scarfs, ruffle sleeves…aaaaghh! But ruffles are cute, so we put up with them anyway 🙂

Here is the ultimate challenge: combining these different styles!…For example: wearing an empire-waist dress that’s also got ruffles…or wearing a paper-bag waist skirt/dress with ruffled shoes. 

Ok, I’m joking.


Sandals: coming soon to a sunny location near you

I am more ready for summer than you can imagine! I’m especially ready to lose all these layers and sweaters and socks and tights etc. and make room for sheer fabrics and sandals! 

gladiator sandals

gladiator

Photo courtesy of Primark's Spring-Summer '09 collection.

Talk about sandals, I’ve noticed the gladiator style continues to be a favorite in this upcoming season and I am glad because, I have to admit, I haven’t had a chance to buy into it, and I regretted it by the end of last summer. I was fascinated with how the Olsen sisters wore the gladiator sandals but it wasn’t enough to convince me to own a pair.

I’m a slow-poke sometimes. 🙂 So between last summer and now, I’ve come to love this style. It’s a bit more masculine in a sense, but definitely sexy if you wear it right. Match them to a pair of very-short shorts, or a short dress or skirt, and let them show off your legs…as well as the strong woman within! Gladiator sandals make for a great casual summer look and since they come in all shapes and sizes, you’ll have plenty to choose from: high-heel, flats, high-rise, low-rise, leather or man-made material, plus an abundance of colors! While some are merely “gladiator-inspired” sandals with just a hint of the gladiator look, others will make you look like Brad Pitt’s comrade in the movie Troy. And every girl dreams of playing alongside (or with) Brad Pitt, right? 🙂 I know I do…

 I haven’t decided which type I am yet, but I’ve noticed an alternative look to the gladiator sandals and loved it. Check it out (below):

 

Photo courtesy of modcloth.com

Photo courtesy of modcloth.com

I know, I know…not THESE colors (although they’re not bad, just maybe too somber for summer?), but this STYLE. I haven’t been able to find a name for it yet. It’s as though they are *hugging* your ankles and keeping you warm on a breezy night on the beach. They cover you a bit, yet not completely, on a colder summer day while you’re trekking around town. I found them very chic! 

Here is another similar model. 

Summer just can’t get here soon enough!!!

Networking: for the business whore in you

Okay, I thought, if this is what it takes…I’ll do it!

So armed with my speakeasy Slacks, a funk-tastic paisley-patterned black and white shirt, high heels, Jackie-Kennedy inspired coat to top it all off, and my soft and cozy purple scarf as the icing on the cake…

…I headed there.

I had no idea what to expect and zero expectations for that matter. I was nervous, no doubt about that, but I kept thinking…desperate times, call for desperate measures. I’m not selling my soul, I’m just trying to make a living. And someday, when my dream will come true, I’ll know it will have all been worth it…

networking

Tight asses. Wine glasses. Pretentious Hors D’ouvres. And chatter. Lots of chatter. No, this isn’t your parents’ dull cocktail party. Instead, Welcome to your new “work”: the netWORKing meeting! 

Nowadays, as a business professional or owner of a small to middle-sized business, you don’t exist unless you belong to one of these groups: Networking Meetings…Networking Parties…BNI (Business Network International) groups…yada yada yada…mostly the same content, different packaging. If you’re trying to make a name for yourself, contract new business, or learn about other professionals in your community, you attend a networking meeting. What you hope to get out of it is, well, word-of-mouth advertising for yourself or your business, publicity, free referrals, marketing tips, improved public speaking skills and much more. 

These meetings have become increasingly popular also among Americans who have recently lost their jobs, mostly due to the recent turn of events in our economy. You’re thinking “support group”? Well, you’re sort of right. But consider that about 4.4 million (that’s like the entire population of Ireland, New Zealand or Costa Rica!) Americans were fired between now and December 2007 and you are on your way to understanding why people who attend such meetings are not minorities anymore–they are part of the latest trend! Moreover, as the downturn continues to deepen without an end in sight, they become a vast majority. 

This is what I knew before I attended one of these. So how did I end up at a networking meeting? Well, along with several jobs I have, I’m also a video producer. That is my business: I make you video real good 🙂 weddings, promotional videos, music videos, PSAs (public service announcements), documentaries, live recordings, interviews, news packages–you name it, I make it. A photographer I’ve been working with invited me to a networking meeting, saying it would be a good opportunity to meet potential clients. My business has been getting better and better ever since I started, with bigger and bigger contracts coming my way. But since you can’t take anything for granted these days AND because I want to ensure a constant flow of clients, I decided to give it a try.

So there I was, walking in with my above-mentioned outfit, into a room full of adults. At merely 23 years-old, I’m no adult, just a cutie-patootie, but I can fake it. I can hold a glass of wine and chatter meaninglessly, too, you just wait and see! Inside, I find lots of jolly people. But, to my surprise, no one is wearing buttoned-up shirts or ties. The women are wearing colorful, sexy dresses, they are giggling and flirting. Guys got their game on, playing the all-powerful jocks who seduce chicks. Did I misunderstand the invitation? Is this like a hook-up game? What kind of “networking” are we doing, eh?

Hmm. I get uncomfortable — and I am not one to get easily uncomfortable. I’m wondering, is there much to any of these conversations? These people seem…well, drunk. As a recent college student, believe me, I know drunk when I see it :-). Ahhh, silly adults! What’s next…break-out the peer-pong table? Okay, let’s check this out…

I make my way through the crowd, holding a glass of wine just to show I’m “one of them.” I start shaking hands. “Hi, I’m Sabina! Yeah, that’s Sabina, no “r”, not “SabRina.” Hahaha…that’s okay, I get that a lot…’Sabrina, the Teenage Witch,’ eh? Well, it’s easy to remember my name that way. Oh, I’m a video producer. Yeah. How about you?” Uninteresting responses follow. With some people I click instantly, others…I just skip quickly and keep moving along. 

After an hour of loud chatter, the event organizer asks us to put our business card in a bowl for a drawing. There’s about 50 of us in the room. I win, of course (I’ve won every drawing I entered since the beginning of 2009). The prize is a bag advertising a marketing company, filled with a wine bottle (shocking!), two cute martini glasses, some bubbler (?), and pop-rocks. Handy dandy! Dorel and I drank the whole bottle that night. Thanks, Rosetti Marketing! 🙂 Then random business cards get drawn from the bowl. If you get picked, you introduce yourself and your business to the group, and you tell SPECIFICALLY what you are looking for.

Fast forward this past week–my second time attending. I also introduced someone new to the group–an actor/model who has worked with me and the photographer I just mentioned. And I earned his business right at that meeting! He hired me to make his resume DVD. Cha-ching! 🙂 By now, I also knew to leave the slacks at home and wear a dress. I don’t flirt, thank you (I’m a married woman, remember?), but I don’t have to. I smile, look good, and talk a lot, so people come to me. Some remembered my name from last meeting and now weren’t strangers anymore. We could discuss about our respective businesses in a meaningful way and figure out how we can help each other. I got away many ideas and I also implanted ideas in others, suggesting to them how “a video on your Web site could really enhance and benefit your business; it’s an effective way of making your business personal to potential clients and it’s cheaper than advertising; plus, ANY reputable business has at least one video on their Web site — it’s the biggest thing since…well, photos!” 🙂 

I’m also meeting with a chick I met there for coffee next week. I got Jessica’s attention with my shoes:), which she loved and then started talking to me about herself. She works for Paychex and basically does payroll and taxes for small businesses. Most importantly, she’s going to give me lists of everyone in town who just opened a business. She stays on top of all that and has many connections to help her find out about new businesses. I’m mostly interested in up-scale restaurants — I want to make them some badass action movie-clips of how their chefs prepare their signature dishes “behind the scenes.” This is a big hit on restaurants’ Web sites.

A drinking group with a business problem? Perhaps. Nobody said these networking meetings are perfect. But all I know is that business doesn’t come to you…not these days. You have to go out of your way and find it. If you stay at home, nobody will hear about you. Internet is great advertising, but in-person meetings are the bread-and-butter of any contract signing. So until I’m as famous as Ryan Seacrest, Simon Cowell or Tyra Banks, I will continue to attend BNIs and, basically, sell myself 🙂

Drop-crotch pants?

Okay, so this isn’t any new trend, apparently, but I …just found out about it! I hear it’s been pretty popular in Europe for a while now, and even more popular in Britain (shocking!). 

dropcrotch

Courtesy of Bare Magazine

If you haven’t already done so, meet…the drop-crotch pants. This might seem like a masculine style, but plenty of girls sport this on the streets and some of them wear it quite well. I, for one, am happy to hear about this style because, being a size 00 / 24 / Xxs in pants, most pants that I find out there tend to fit me like the “drop-crotch” style. I mostly don’t mind it and, if I really like the pants, I 

will buy them and just overlook the fact that they don’t fit perfectly. I wear them with attitude and that’s all that matters 🙂 

135572_l_730d3b772b0ff57b33d33e5e227f9ad9

BY VAGABONDNYC.COM V., 28 YEAR OLD STYLIST/VINTAGE BOUTIQUE PROPIETOR FROM NEW YORK

Some people went really crazy with this style, but for the most part, I think it’s pretty badass, albeit very alternative. Do you have a pair?

 

 

Still more to come on Mod Love (TV announcer voice): Frances posts pictures of her own wardrobe and style, along with her latest finds in the local stores! Stay tuned 🙂 Plus, summer is fast approaching: is your wardrobe hype enough to cause a heat-wave? 🙂

love momma earth

We all know the drill with recycling: separate aluminum from paper and glass, put them each in their respective bins, and turn them in to designated places. We know to not throw batteries or printer toner cartridges in the trash, but to turn them in to special centers. We know all this, but actually doing the recycling is the tough part. I don’t know about you, but I personally feel very bombarded lately with recycling messages and requests and I feel like no matter how much I try, it’s never enough.

Well, the truth is … a little can go a long way. And while not all of us are earth’s best friend and are scared of the commitment to always do what’s right for our planet, there are little things that we can all do to help without much effort. Recycling does help, but what would help more…is to cut back on our consumption. And such a thing is difficult in a country where the economy and entire system is based on consumerism. Even so, please consider the following tips as ways to …well, cut back with little effort just by using less.

  1. Unplug it! And this refers to anything that’s plugged in to an outlet and you’re not using right now, such as:
  • phone charger
  • microwave oven you use only once a week/month (you know, the one you keep plugged just for the clock?!)
  • Cordless vacuum-cleaner (it doesn’t need to suck up electricity constantly. Just plug it a little before you are ready to vacuum. a little inconvenience can go a long way)
  • DVD/VCR player you use rarely (yes, it still sucks up electricity)
  • electric cordless shaver (just charge it right before you need it)
  • and more! just look around your house.

2. Air instead of water! If an item of clothing is not dirty (maybe it just smells like the food you just cooked), instead of tossing it in the laundry basket immediately, put it on a hanger and let it aerate in the fresh airoutside for a couple of hours (or more). You will be amazed at how wonderful the fresh-clean smell sticks to it immediately and you cut down on your water and electricity use by not doing laundry* as often.
*On that note, you should only run your washer when you can fill it, not just for a shirt or two. Otherwise, it is a BIG waste of water and electricity.

3. To bag or not to bag? Your recycling bins don’t always need to have plastic bags in them. For example, the ones where you recycle paper–which is clean — just empty them straight into your recycling collector outside, no need for a bag.

4. The real cost of free? Well over abillion single-use plastic bags are given out for free each day. In a landfill, plastic bags take up to 1,000 years to degrade. As litter, they breakdown into tiny bits, contaminating our soil and water .(This info courtesy of reusablebags.com) That being said, NEVER toss a plastic bag in the trash. Please collect them in a spot that’s not in the way in your house and either turn them in to your grocery store or re-use them.

5. Bulk it! Consider buying whatever you can in bulk (flour, sugar, meat, milk, detergent, etc.) in order to cut back on packaging consumption. This will also save you money, besides it being good for the environment. And if the quantities are too much for you to handle, just share the product with a friend –this way you’ll all be saving $$ and saving the planet!

6. Paper for cloth! Whenever possible, consider replacing paper napkins with washable and reusable ones. For example, if you clean your windows with paper towels and Windex, consider using a cloth instead; just throw it in the washer when it gets dirty and then reuse it on and on. The same goes at the dinner table. As often as you can replace paper napkins with cloth ones you are cutting back on waste.

7. Bring your own! This might be on a fine line between being easy or difficult, but it’s one of my favorites! Talk about those plastic bags, if you just had a bag of your own (preferably fabric –they last longer because they don’t break as easily; even if they break, you can sew them up; they clean up nicely if you need to wash them) that you always brought when you went shopping, you wouldn’t have to find a use for all those plastic bags you keep accumulating. For the more ambitious, consider buying a set of plastic reusable silverware and plates to use instead of the one-use ones. If everyone did the same for every big gathering, at the end there would be NO pile-up of dirty plates and utensils in the trash. How awesome would that be?

thanks for reading and I hope you have a good week!

Stylewatch Mondays: the Oscars!

While I was getting ready to write this post about the 2009 Oscar Awards Ceremony, I thought to myself, “nothing really stood out this year.” Most dresses were bland and blended in the setting. And we go downhill as we move towards hair-styles. Where was the glamour? The glitz? Good or bad, at least give me something to talk about?? 🙂

As it turns out, many share my opinion. I googled “Oscars 2009 fashion” and ran across spanking fresh articles that portray it bluntly as…disappointing. 
Still, after watching the Awards Ceremony meticulously, I can name one dress in particular that stood out to me: Marisa Tomei’s Versace dress.
 To be honest, I didn’t even know who Marisa Tomei is until I saw this dress. 🙂 

Well, she played the single-mom stripper inThe Wrestler and she was nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category for her performance (the Oscar, however, went to Penelope Cruz).  
Back to the dress now. The cut is really sophisticated and I love how the many creases (or folds) twist along in various directions, yet manage to come together and look seamless! Simply stunning! It makes me think of a twister, actually. Marisa’s dress also embodies a very strong trend at this year’s oscars: that fishtail you may have noticed on other dresses, such as Beyonce’s (whose dress was terrible, by the way) and Vanessa Hudgens’. 
Marisa wore the white the best, in my opinion. (This is the best photo I could find of her dress, but the angle that would truly do her justice is exactly the opposite, where you could see all the fabulous twists!) Penelope Cruz’s vintage Balmain was also a hit, but her hair ruined it for me. Sarah Jessica Parker wasn’t bad in her Dior dress, but too bridal of a look. Angie looked good, but her look is getting really old: long locks, black dress–same old, same old. 
Anyway, this is all I’ve got. All that’s worth mentioning. Almost everyone’s hair disappointed me. I think simplicity is a great thing, but not at the Oscars…not when it comes to hair. It ended up translating into lazy, as far as I’m concerned. Either that, or…the recession has hit the stars, too, and they could no longer afford a hair-dresser. I could just see them twisting their locks in the bathroom with the hot iron. Yikes!
Best to end the note with Marisa Tomei’s dress. After all, she wins my style-watch category for the week 😉

Tribute

Before any discussion of dresses, glamor, fashion (or faux-pas), and dresses once again, I need to mention the one who stood out most to me during this year’s Oscars Awards Ceremony.
Heath Ledger.
Not at all surprisingly, Heath won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar Award for his performance of the Joker in the Dark Knight. And no other man deserved this more. It is unfortunate when men as great as Heath have to leave us so early. But although Heath could not be on that podium to accept his award, and although his parents were on the stage where he should have been–where we all would have liked to see him–there was still that rare and strong emotion across the audience’s eyes that only Heath could have provoked. The same feeling I experienced the first time I watched one of Keith’s performances (“Ten Things I Hate About You”) and the last time, too (“The Dark Knight”): a mixture of love, admiration, compassion, envy, enthusiasm, respect and euphoria. His humble attitude left me ever wondering…what’s a girl to do with Heath…give him a big bear hug or seduce him?
Such was Heath: lovable, yet humble; seductive, yet serious; rebellious, yet devoted.
And to many of us, he still is.

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