Video: How To Pack For Summer Vacation

Posted by    |    June 12th, 2012 at 7:00 am

If you read my blog about the Packing App a while back, you’ll appreciate this packing tutorial done by one of my favorite Irish stylistas.  Anna Soccone has an international following because of her quirky, fun, and refreshingly honest video and blog posts.  Watch one video, and you’ll fall in love with her style tips and fun expressions like I did.  Enjoy her fun packing tutorial and thumb through her cool cosmetic how-tos on blog as well. Ciao!

How To Create the Ultimate Summer Closet

Posted by    |    June 11th, 2012 at 3:35 pm

It’s hot.  It’s humid.  And you need just the right thing to wear.  Is your closet ready for the heat of summer?  If not, fetch these basic items that will work season after season…and keep you looking cool in the process.

Must Have #1: A maxi summer dress.  This is ideal for those days you forget to shave, or you don’t want to bare your pale legs.  It looks fresh and beautiful.  maxi dress, maxi dress for summer,

Must Have #2: A straw hat.  It can be floppy, fedora, or any style in-between.  The stylish straw hat can go from day to night and always looks chic.

straw hat, porkpie hat, summer hat

Must Have #3:  A fitted tank in a neutral color.  It can be white, black, khaki, gray, or navy-anything that can be worn with other complimentary colors.

tank top, jennifer aniston tank,

Must Have #4: Cropped denim jeans.  This one is a no-brainer. Show off those ankles and sexy pedicure!

capri, capri denim, cropped jeans

Must Have #5:  White dress pants.  These work for brunch, church, weddings, work, you name it.  A touch of class.

white dress pants, summer pants

Must Have #6: A comfortable, short sundress.  Because who wants to wear jeans to an outdoor concert in the summer? (This one is only $49!)summer dress, comfortable dress

Must Have #7: A pretty pair of wedges.  All the sex appeal of a stiletto, but on a comfortable wedge.

chloe wedges, summer shoes

Must Have #8: Skimpy sandals that show the full monty.  Skinny sandals that show off your feet and keep them feeling comfy are a necessity.

sandals for summer

Must Have #9: A pair of classy shorts.  Shorts may not always be work appropriate, but they are perfect for so many other occasions-like any hot summer day!

summer shorts, dress shorts

Must Have #10: A pair of Jackie O sunglasses.  Always chic, these match any outfit, no matter how dressed down.  Whether you find a bargain pair or go the designer route, make sure they have plenty of coverage to shield your peepers from the harsh sun.

jackie o, sunglasses, summer sunglasses

 

The Name’s Wu. Jason Wu.

Posted by    |    June 8th, 2012 at 7:00 am

Jason Wu Wu, Jason Wu. jason wu jason wu Jason Wu SS12

See all this ridiculously gorgeous eye candy? It’s Jason Wu. He’s the mastermind of modern fashion, and has done everything from couture to Target.

According to ABCNews.com this past winter, “Mere hours after Target released designer Jason Wu’s limited-edition collection in-store and online Sunday, the fashion line was sold out.“The collection became available shortly after midnight online, and was sold out within a few hours,” said Joshua Thomas, a spokesman for Target. “The feedback from consumers has been overwhelming positive. …Jason Wu is a fashion darling and his collection is very wearable by a variety of body types and styles.”Thomas added that out of the 1,800 Target stores nationwide, 1,200 of those stores carried Wu’s collection and many were “sold out or running low.” Wowza.

Women world-wide love him for his feminine designs and use of bold color.  (Men hate him for draining their wives’ pocketbooks.) And now, Dallas is getting their own taste of Wu as his Jason Wu Fall 2012 Collection debuts on June 22nd from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Neiman Marcus Downtown.  Simply head to  the Couture Salon on Level Two and dream away of what you’ll wear this fall.  Wu will woo you.

(images via)

Ming Wang: Fashion for REAL Women

Posted by    |    June 5th, 2012 at 5:07 pm

Ming Wang.  It’s an unforgettable name, with something even more unique than the moniker-a passion for catering to real women.  Several other national brands have tried this approach: The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty and the Skinny Girl Shapers come to mind, using real women to represent the products.  Ming Wang takes this one step further-actually meeting with these women and educating them on the brand.  How do I know this?  Ming Wang Knits invited me to take a peek at their cutting edge approach called I Am Ming Wang and why it works.

Last week, Ming Wang flew successful women from all over the country into Dallas for several days of the royal treatment.  These women were chosen for a myriad of reasons: some are boutique owners who carry the Ming Wang line, some are long-time fans of the brand, and some are just fashion devotees.  A fun mix of ages, sizes, and backgrounds, these women were wined, dined, and massaged into the right frame of mind for the  I Am Ming Wang Fall 2012 Look Book photo shoot.

Though admirable, I wasn’t sure at first about a brand using real women instead of amazon, glossy models for their photos.  We are comfortable with the models who make us feel inferior.  We are used to the unattainable measuring stick of gorgeous airbrushing.  We like gawking at supermodels with perfect teeth, breasts, and pouts.  Right?  Well, I have to admit, seeing real women in the clothes made an impact on me. A big one.

This is what the real customer looks like in the fashions.  Even living in Dallas, we don’t see supermodels on every corner rocking the trends.  We see women who are five feet tall.  We see young girls with Kardashian buttocks and beautiful smiles.  We see tall women who are over the age of 50 and not a size zero.  We see the reality.  And you know what?  I like seeing the reality much better!

While joining these lucky women after their photo shoot at a spa day courtesy of Ming Wang, I was privileged to hear their stories.  They want to look good and feel confident.  And they don’t want to waste time trying to look like Heidi Klum to do it.  Ming Wang is designed to be a  classic chic look that gives model confidence without having to change a thing.  These clothes are carefully constructed to flatter a woman’s body, no matter what size she is.  They are meant to be staples in a woman’s closet for years to come, alongside some fun, trendier pieces.  How can you argue with practical style that flatters everyone?

Though I’d never tried on Ming Wang myself until the day of the photo shoot, seeing how incredible the clothes looked on women from their 20′s all the way up to their 70′s really impressed me.  It’s real.  And I can get behind a brand that is motivated to highlight real women, real style, and real beauty at any age or size.  It’s comforting to know that someone like Heidi Klum and the average woman can both look stunning in Ming Wang.  Talk about a confidence booster.

(Find Ming Wang at Malouf‘s, Dillards, and local boutiques across the U.S.)

The Bikini Contest Experience

Posted by    |    June 1st, 2012 at 9:56 am

It’s a strange feeling judging people doing something that you yourself would never be brave enough to do.  But that’s exactly what I did this week.

Other than limited experience on Spring Break, I haven’t seen many bikini competitions.  Oh, I’ve seen pageants like Miss Texas and Miss USA where there is a swimsuit portion of the competition, but it usually counts the least towards the final score.  In a real bikini competition, it is the final score.  When I was asked to judge the Miss Twin Peaks All-Star National Bikini Contest, I thought it sounded like a chance to keep my self-esteem in check and motivate me to stay away from donuts.  I happily agreed.  Turns out, Donnie Nelson, general manager of the Dallas Mavericks and Courtney Kerr, featured last season on Bravo’s Most Eligible Dallas were also on the judges’ panel, which meant I was in good company.

Though I haven’t seen too many of these contests live, I have to admit: I wasn’t expecting it to be this classy, or this fun!  When I pictured a bikini contest, I envisioned rows and rows of unruly college guys tossing back beers and emitting war cries.  Turns out, it was nothing like an unsavory Spring Break at the Palladium Ballroom where the competition was held on Wednesday night.  Oh sure, there was a little drinkin’ and plenty of enthusiastic applause, but the overall tone of this event was good, clean fun.  And the production was out of this world wonderful. The show featured two lively hosts, behind-the-scenes video from a fun photo shoot with the contestants, and plenty of back-story on how these ladies arrived on the national stage.  Some of them were students, a handful were mothers, some were even married ladies who just want to show off their hard-earned bodies.  There were quite a few seasoned fitness competitors too, and it showed.

I saw more abs at this event than Chan Tatum in Magic Mike.  These girls aren’t the type who proclaim, “Oh, I never work out. I’m just naturally thin and toned.” They were kind enough to divulge their workout secrets-some attribute high, tight rears and sculpted arms to P90X, some to running, and a few to rigorous ab exercises.  I immediately felt inspired to invest in the Ab Roller.

When we chose Tember from Omaha as the new Miss Twin Peaks 2012, the crowd went wild, though still a controlled wild.  Rather than just gratuitous sex appeal, this event was promoting good fitness, female empowerment, and providing these young girls a way to capitalize on those physiques they work so hard to perfect.  The winner walked away with $5,000, the runners-up with several thousand each as well.  Who says bikini contests aren’t a lucrative investment?  Though my twin peaks are way past being brave enough to strut their stuff in a teeny bikini, I have a new-found respect for those who do.

(Photos courtesy of Jeff Hoferer)

How to Pack for a Trip

Posted by    |    May 30th, 2012 at 8:57 am

With this season being the busiest for travel, it leaves things wide open for packing all the wrong things.  Sometimes you’ll get to your destination with the appropriate clothes, shoes, and toiletries in hand, only to realize you’ve left your phone charger at home.  (Don’t you hate that?)  So it stands to reason that having a little help with the packing wouldn’t hurt anyone.  Heck, it might even be worth a $2 investment.

Packing

This is where the Packing Pro App comes in.  When I found this, I realized I didn’t have to forget my toothpaste and socks every single trip. The app’s website touts it as ” your very own portable, personal packing assistant. This powerful, flexible and easy-to-use tool can help you better manage your travel packing needs and expectations“.  Wow. Fancy. (more…)

The Only Salsa You’ll Ever Want to Eat (Plus a Giveaway!)

Posted by    |    May 23rd, 2012 at 3:57 pm

As someone who is now living gluten and refined sugar-free, I have my eye on all things natural and delicious so I don’t wither up into a rice cake ball and blow away.  I want tasty.  I want exciting. I want DELICIOUS!

Lucky for me and all the rest of you health nuts who don’t want to compromise on taste, I have good news.  News that will make you realize there is a whole wide world out there that is all natural, preservative and additive free, fat free, gluten free, kosher certified, and remarkably still the best stuff you’ve ever stuffed in your pie hole.

By now you’re probably thinking I’ve found the Holy Grail of deliciousness.  Well, you’re right.  Wholly Salsa.

Salsa? Yes, salsa.  And recognize the “Wholly”?  As in “Wholly Guacamole”?  If you’ve ever tried their guac, then you know what I’m guac-in’ bout. It’s darn good stuff.  And now they’ve got salsa that is so yummy I’d eat them straight out of the package without any dippers. (more…)

Is Fashion Your Religion or Religion Your Fashion?

Posted by    |    May 22nd, 2012 at 7:00 am

It has come to my attention (thank you, ABCNews.com,) that Pastor Ed Young of Fellowship Church has started a fashion blog called Pastor Fashion.  Kudos to their PR team for getting this story national attention, eh? This article poses an interesting question about how fashion and religion mesh together these days, and judging by the comments, no one seems all that sure.

Is there a way to bridge the gap between dressing to be noticed and dressing to be modest?  Should ministers care about labels and brands?  Should they be sent over swag to hock on their blogs to congregational readers? Or, is this a major leap forward in the world of religion to embrace the cool of our culture?  It stands to be reasoned that we gravitate towards those who look, think, and dress like we do, so more souls stand to be reached if we aren’t all wearing choir robes, right?

Either way, I compiled a few images of famous pastors and their style of choice.  Pinstripes seem overwhelmingly popular with the men of the cloth.

*On a side note, it seems like reverends always have an abundance of shiny, thick hair.  If theology is the secret to that, I’m kicking myself for passing over a religion major in college.

 

(more…)

Light the Runway Recap: Dress For Success

Posted by    |    May 21st, 2012 at 2:08 pm

Last Friday night, Tootsies opened their doors for an event that did more than just benefit Dress For Success Dallas-it put smiles on the faces of everyone there.  Not the “I’m smiling because there are photographers surrounding the place” smiles, but real, genuine, unforced smiles of joy.  Hearing the mission of Dress For Success Dallas firsthand from several ladies who have been through the program is something that really strikes a positive chord inside.

Basically, the organization promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. The confidence, the sheer pride in what they’ve accomplished…it’s inspiring, to say the least.

In addition to the priceless inspiration, father-daughter duos walked the runway wearing what can only be described as the most colorful, sparkly, and summertime fabulous clothes you’ve ever seen on a Friday night.  Tootsies was the ideal backdrop for this display, with colorful collections surrounding the runway beckoning attendees to shop their hearts out as soon as the show ended.  With Dress For Success Dallas as your motivation and shopping as your tool to help those in need, how can it get any better?

To find out more regarding Dress For Success Dallas, visit: http://www.dressforsuccess.org/home.aspx

 

 

Wedding Season Is Upon Us

Posted by    |    May 18th, 2012 at 11:18 am

Weddings.  They are like graduations, except more expensive and with more gifts.  Now that we are creeping past graduation soirees, wedding season is here to sear your eyeballs with loveliness.

As we ponder our own weddings (real or imagined,) here is some wedding eye candy for your weekend enjoyment.

Could these labels and invites from Pinhole Press be any cuter?  Personalized pretty stuff gets me every. single. time. (more…)