Saturday, November 10, 2012

Warm Bodies: Read it or Watch it? BOTH

As a fan of zombies (shout-out to We're Alive- The Zombie Podcast) I'm pretty much qualified to tell you that this book is awesome, in it's own strange way. The movie is being marketed as a Zombieland meets Twilight teen romance but the book is black comedy all the way. 

What is Warm Bodies and why does it sound like a Harlequin novel? Basically, the novel is about a post zombie apocalypse world seen through the eyes of R, a zombie who is slowly becoming self aware. 

In the novel R is a twenty-something year old zombie shambling around post apocalyptic Manhattan wearing the same slacks and a tie he died in. Back-story on R is limited but the story clearly hints that he was, at some point ,a young professional on the up and up:
Before I became a zombie I must have been a businessman, a banker or broker or some young temp learning the ropes, because I’m wearing fairly nice clothes. Black slacks, grey shirt, red tie. M makes fun of me sometimes. He points at my tie and tries to laugh, a choked, gurgling rumble deep in his gut. His clothes are holey jeans and a plain white T-shirt. The shirt is looking pretty macabre by now. He should have picked a darker color... (Warm Bodies)
Mentally he's intelligent in that dry and witty way, but that stops when he opens his rotting mouth to speak. ZOMBIE BABEL! Anyway, R is just the kind of guy who'd be having an existential crises with or without the whole zombie apocalypse ordeal.   

Warm Bodies novel and trailer review
The movie version of R has clearly been aged down a bit. In the trailer he's wearing typical teen angst getup: a hoodie and jeans. Julie's a teenager in both the novel and film so his teen makeover makes their creepy-as-hell romance acceptable...from a legal standpoint at least. I knew they'd have to age one of them up or down to get around this but I was hoping the movie would take a chance and make Julie a bit older instead. But alas, a supernatural romance MUST appeal to tweens and teenagers. Le sigh.

Other cool things about R that probably wont make it to the movie: He's "zombie married" (not to Julie) with 2 adopted zombie kids. I'm not even joking about this. This book is strange, I know.

In the novel, when zombies kill, they temporarily absorb their victim's thoughts and emotions, which is where Julie comes in. After killing Julie's boyfriend, R naturally develops an infatuation with Julie. Creepy, yes, but understandable considering the rules the story established.

Julie's attachment to R, on the other hand, made me uncomfortable. The novel does not give R the "Twilight treatment"; he is very much a decaying copse with limited motor and speech functions. Much of her emotional attachment to R comes from, ironically enough, her lack of human companionship. Which begs the question: who the hell has she been hanging out with? 

The last scraps of human kind live holed up inside of a giant compound under the control of a military dictator that happens to be Julie's father. From there the story really wants you to know that zombies are a metaphor for the death of human creativity, free will and love. And the inhabitants of the last human colony on earth are seriously lacking in all three.  

The minute R gets to this compound the story becomes a lame teen drama, and R, being a twenty something on the up and up, should know better! Pretty much the conflict is:
-She's like: Hey military leader and father, may I date your mortal enemy, the predator to our race?
-And he's like: Hell no, daughter. Now let's sound the drums of war Pocahontas style (I dare you not to read that like Gangnam Style)

The only thing that saves the story is the introduction of a 3rd enemy (no spoiler here). "The bonies" are the zombie version of the elderly and they control the zombie population. Since the novel doesn't say how long ago the zombie apocalypse happened, it's only natural to assume that "the bonies" are just older, more decayed, zombies, and the author does a good job of getting you to ignore them as background creepers for awhile. The more the story reveals about the nature of zombies, the more and more truly evil the skeletons seem until you realize, too late, that there is actually something more sinister going on with them.

Even at it's most predictable, I enjoyed reading every bit of it. I honestly don't think I've ever read or seen anything like it, except for maybe Fido. There's no necrophilia in it, thank God. BUT there's just enough creepy supernatural romance to keep the twilighters happy. Unlike twilight, however, Warm Bodies is pretty well written. I say, if you like will-he-or-won't-he-kill-me romances, dark comedy, horror/comedies and zombies give both the movie and novel a try.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Ciaté Velvet Manicure Review

Ciaté Velvet Manicure

I was extremely excited to try Ciaté's Velvet Manicure this week. Don't judge me--I'm easily excited! After applying and wearing it for a day however, I can honestly say it's okay. Just okay.

The Good: The nail varnish and velvet textured sprinkles are super easy to apply and they stick.After washing my hands and dishes several times today the majority of the velvet flakes are still intact so this isn't just a one day look.

The Bad: The base coat color looks a bit dull and cheap which saddens me; I was looking forward to wearing it by itself.

The Ugly Truth: The textured effect leaves my nails feeling hairy to the touch. It's downright sort of gross, especially when you're used to touching your face or, God forbid, other people.

I think it's okay... It looks cute but I don't know if I'm down with hairy nails.

I would have been happier if I had paid, say, $9 for this instead of $19 at Sephora.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Vintage Photoshoot Time!

Dress: I'm wearing a 1930's style dress I actually found in my mom's closet. 
Makeup: Besame Cosmetics: Violet Brightening Powder and Cherry Red Lipstick
Jewelry: Vintage Necklace, Forever21 Earrings
Val's wearing all kinds of thrifted vintage goodies. 


Yeah, we're fabulous. Love us. ;)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Lighten Up, It's Just FASHION

Today's look. Off to work I go. 
Shirt: Forever21
Pants: Express
Shoes: Jeffry Campbell knockoffs from a place I affectionately call the Brazilian shoe store

Monday, September 10, 2012

Pass That Dutch Braid

This is me try figuring out what to do with my hair while I wait for my baroque dress from Boohoo. 
Don't ask me why I always scowl in photos. Probably because I'm not wearing glasses. Oh well, I'm just going to have to embrace my bitch face. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

No Shame In My Shoe Game

Just scooped these Jeffrey Campbell inspired (ehem, knockoffs) boots from a little place I like to call the Brazilian Shoe Store

Monday, September 3, 2012

Throwing a French Tea Party

Sigh...Is there anything more wonderful than lounging in a ankle length dress, lips bright red and hair pinned up in curls, sipping tea and eating french pastries? NOPE!

How to throw a French Tea Party:
Having mastered the art of making scones, whipping up fresh Devonshire cream, and hosting a proper engligh tea party, I'm excited to add throwing French Tea Parties to my repertoire of lofty pursuits. Though I'm fairly certain the french don't do tea parties and if they do it's just a funny euphemism for drinking more wine. But what a french tea party may lack in authenticity it makes up for with butter. Oh so much butter. And what's more french that that?

Some things you'll need:

1. French pastries: The french bake, right? A french tea party must have french pastries. I chose a raspberry tart with pate brisee crust (or shortbread) and financiers with raspberries. And again this weekend, I made the same with cherries. Financiers are an interesting pastry made with butter cooked on a stove and ground almond flour then topped with fruit. Both cherries and raspberries worked perfectly with them. The raspberry tart was a bit hit or miss. It's made with pate brisee (a fancy way of saying a shortbread cookie crust). I wasn't a fan of the tartness of the raspberries on the first try so I customized it with dark cherries and clarified butter (Mmm memories)--a huge improvement. Anything that's fruity and delicate will give your tea party a french flair. (Recipe links below)  

2. Decor: When you're setting your table for low tea, ask yourself, "Would Marie Antoinette approve?". Think pastels and creams, and for God's sake put a tablecloth on your table! Think palace of Versailles: baroque, decadent, and daintier than a french confection. A little pastel goes a long way. 

3. Stereotypes! When in doubt, bring out the wheel of brie and baguette. brie and baguettes are not only telegraphically french, they also make wonderful side savories that balance out all the sweetness of the tea and pastries. 

 4. French Music: Another must. Simply go pandora and type "La Vie En Rose" and let the digital DJ do the rest. :) 

See my previous post on How to throw a Proper English Tea Party.

1.) Quiche:
7 large eggs
1 cup of cheddar
1 cup of baby spinach
1 sauteed onion
1/3 cup of heavy cream
puff pastry crust (thawed)
-Cook the bacon.
-Dice and saute the onion(Set both aside in the refrigerator to cool for about 10 minutes)
-In a large bowl whisk 7 eggs, heavy cream (add shredded cheese, spinach, and the cooled bacon and onion)
-add freshly ground black pepper
-Use a roller to flatted the thawed puff pastry and use it to line the bottom of a round pan, fill the pan will the eggs (leave room for the eggs and pastry to expand)
-Bake 400 F for 15-20 minutes.

2.) Cherry Tart: Recipe for raspberry tart (JoyofBaking)
Cherry Tart: Add 4 teaspoons of confectioners sugar to this pate brisee dough
2 cups of fresh cherries (pitted)
1/3 cup of clarified ("browned") butter (place unsalted butter in a small pan on medium heat. Allow it the bubble and froth for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally) (This is the same butter used in the financiers)
-Follow the raspberry directions from Joy of baking, using the cherries instead. drizzle the cooked butter over the top of the cherries.

3.) Financiers (See Joy Of Baking Recipe) 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Jamaica: Day 2. Christiana Street Style

Jamaican street style, vintage jamaica style
Halfway Tree, Kingston: Crowd's Reaction to Bolt, Blake, and Wier sweeping the 200 meter race in London (Olympics)

Jamaica: Yam Country Day 1

It’s almost midnight here at what should be a quiet mountaintop in Wait-a-bit, Trelawney, known to the world as the yam growing hometown of Usain Bolt. But, as I lay here typing, the steady bass from a nearby dancehall invading my room is likely to last all night. Perhaps it’s the leftover nationalistic pride from Monday’s 50th independence anniversary or the excitement from watching Shelly Ann grab her 2nd medal in the 200 meter or maybe it’s just Wednesday.

Wait-a-bit, a town that should win a gold medal for its name alone, is a little farming community miles high up in the Jamaican mountains. Travelers are almost guaranteed to find religion before getting here; the 2 hour drive upwards along a winding, treacherously narrow road full of blind spots and cliff-edge turns without barricades will make an atheist find Jesus quick. Here in Wait-a-bit it’s harvesting season and the only thing anyone seems to have business with is the Olympics and yam. The world’s supply of Jamaican yam comes from right here, and since Usain credited it for his record breaking run in Beijing four years ago, it seems to be in high demand. Walk down the uneven winding roads and all you see is yam: donkeys carrying yam, people weighing yam, machetes chopping yam. And with all this yam you would think the town would be whipping around faster than NYC but no, things move maddeningly delightfully slow here.

Born and partially raised in Falmouth, Montego Bay, I can tell you that the mountains and the rest of Jamaica are as different as Manhattan is to Kentucky. The pace is slower here, we don’t eat the same foods; things like red beans and rice are rare thing to come by and you might be blessed to see rice on Sunday, the air is clean and cold here while the rest of Jamaica is muggy and hot and the patrois here is a mumble and a drawl opposed the quick sharp tongue of the city slickers down at sea level—but these are just my Americanized observations.

Two weeks in wine yam country visiting my grandma. What’s a buji Americanized girl to do? Eat and blog! I’ve decided to do what everyone else not occupied with yam is doing, drink my time away at a rum bar and keep up with the races. Jamaican rum bars are everywhere. You can’t throw a stone in Jamaica without hitting a little shack with a red stripe sign on the door. So today I decided to “go up a shop,” or walk to my uncles rum bar, to rub elbows with the locals, catch some Olympic events, and polish up my rusting patrois.

The rum bar campaign was a success. I quickly turned from patron to bartender, churning out the moonshine rum with a flourish and a smile, rum so strong it practically eats a hole through the counter when you spill it. It was easy to get into the rhythm of bartending; the patrons mainly asked for moonshine, a cigarette, or a phone card (probably to call a ‘wurl of girls’ as the billboard suggests). I may have gotten a little bit ahead of myself by asking for tips. The idea of tipping a bartender hasn’t reached Wait-a-bit  yet. But, after getting a few sharp (woman I’ll kill you) looks, a few of the patrons got into the spirit and I left with $200 Jamaican in tips tonight…too bad that can only buy me a red stripe and pack of gum, but hey, baby steps. Tomorrow I’ll make enough to call a "wurl of girls" for sure. ;) 

Alright sleep for me! The hamsters churning the internet wheel are getting tired and so am I.
I leave you with the best damn Jamaican commercial I’ve seen so far:


Sunday, August 5, 2012

What Happened in Vegas

Cosmoprof 2012, Vegas,

I wasn't planning on blogging about my adventures in Las Vegas. After all, there's a Vegas code... BUT, today I got an ego-boosting request for an update on my gloriously nonsensical life from a reader that made my day. So, without further ado I bring you: What Happend in Vegas.

Vegas was never on my bucket list of places to visit. I've never understood it's appeal. With it's bars, hotels, clubs and casinos, It's where people who haven't been to South Beach go to experience what my mum jokingly calls "dutty life". Not that I had any plans of living la vida "dutty". I was there on business to attend Cosmoprof and introduce a new product called INCEPTION, NOT gamble away my imaginary inheritance and indulge my hedonistic urges while a portrait of me rots in the attic.

Cosmoprof was a success. It was such a pleasure networking with the big wigs behind some of my favorite beauty brands and discovering some new and innovative products. My favorite meet-cute was meeting owner and creator behind Besame Cosmetics, the makeup behind movies and shows like The Artist and Mad Men, Gabrielle Hernandez, a woman who looks as if she just stepped out of a fabulous 1940's movie.

I have to take a moment thank the lovely models: Joyce Jones and Nataesha who, besides stopping traffic lanes of international business men in suits with their...ehem...charm, made working the convention so much fun.--And makeup artist/hair stylist Kaye Dash who transformed the girls into runway divas each morning (I definitely have to get her secret to getting those curls).

For a city named sin my trip was pretty tame. I spent the majority of it either working or having way too much fun riding the sideways-moving elevators in my pyramid hotel. But I did get to do some-sightseeing; the Venetian, Cosmopolitan and Caesar's Palace were okay but they had nothing on the blown glass ceilings, the whimsically themed gardens, and the dancing waterfall at Bellagio.

Being in Vegas was like being inside of an 80's arcade with no tokens left. I can't say it's on my the top of the list of places I've been; the novelty had definitely worn off by day 3, but it was a nice change and who can complain about staying in a pyramid (unless, of course, you're a mummy).  Model Joyce Jones put it all perspective with her insight: "If you don't sin a little, you'll explode!" to which I could only reply, "now that is what I call convention-al wisdom."

Models: Cool Blue Talent
Hotel: The Luxor
Hair by: Kaye Dash

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Vintage Tuesday: The Ice Boy Cometh

First and foremost; new hairdo y'all!!

Now... Allow me to introduce...the baddest, ice-coldest, mint-freshest hipster in the land: my little brother.  As part of his induction into hipster society, I took him thrifting for vintage goodies in old Deerfield Beach and he spotted this classic wooden coca-cola bottle crate. The boy already has an eye for vintage!

 (Don't ask...but kudos to you if you get my random reference!)

 I'm going to Zooey Deschanel the daylight out of this crate. The next time you see this, potted daisies will be sprouting out of it.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

"Rain, Pouring. All my Cars is Foreign."

FINALLY got around to decorating the office (6 months later!). 
Hehehe now I'm feeling so swaagnificently full of myself, posting titles that have nothing to do with the matter and jamming on Kanye's Lamborghini Mercy like a boss.
Ahh, the power of Kate Spade, Flowers, and a FIERCE Beyonce poster. 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

NYC on Business: 50 Shades of Cray

The Misadventures of a Blogger in NYC

Warning: This entry is NOT about how I met some strange, mercurial, billionare who took me down a kinky rabbit hole of whips and chains. And how we all listened to Rihanna's "S&M" song for the whole ideal. This trip to NYC was for business, not reenactments of 50 Shades of Grey. Ha! The closest I got to Christian Grey this week was meeting a young lawyer at a bar who has no idea J and I have created an entirely twisted backstory for him involving a sad childhood, deviant predilections, and yes, a red playroom. Poor Fiddy Esq

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Jamaican Easter Bun & Cheese

A Jamaican Easter means donning a frock worthy of Effie Trinket's approval, possibly a hat or at the very least a fascinator, and heading to church to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ in style. Then, after prancing around in pastel like a walking confection, we eat homemade Easter Bun and Cheese.

I know right. Jamaica is TOTALLY Suzanne Collins' futuristic Capitol. Manners y'all!

Ehem. Anyway...

Easter Bun, it's like American fruitcake only edible and deliciously topped with savory cheddar cheese. My family recipe has some minor deviations from the traditional Jamaican bun. I am a health nut after-all, so of course this has to be the most nutrient packed, fiber filled, whole foods embossed, Easter bun of them all. Plus it involves Guinness Stout, so you know it's good.

Dense and semisweet, we Jamaican's usually serve it topped with a slice of cheddar cheese.

1 bottle of Guiness Stout                                  4 Cups of Whole Wheat Flour
4 tsp Molassas                                                 2 Eggs (beaten)
2 tsp baking powder                                        2 tsp Coconut Oil                                    
1 cup brown sugar                                           1 Cup Raisins
1/2 tsp of anise                                                1 16oz bottle of Maraschino Cherries
1 tsp (Vanilla, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Allspice)
Orange Peel
(yeah, that's right, no milk!)

Step 1: Mix Guinness, sugar, molasses,coconut oil, Raisins, Orange peel, Anise,nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice in a small pan and bring it to a boil. Remove this from the stove and let cool. Add the beaten eggs.

Step 2: Mix dry materials (flour, baking powder) in a large bowl and make a hole in the center. Poor the step 1 liquid into the center and then fold the flour into it.

Step 3: Pour this in a bun tin and bake at 350 degrees until done. You'll have to check it with a knife in the center 30 mins in and reduce the oven to 300 from there. These cakes are dense so it's difficult to say exactly how long it takes.


And Happy Easter!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Black on Black

Hi! Just wanted to take a brief moment to tell you all about my nail art obsession.

I'm sure you've all seen the matte/shiny black nail combo that made its rounds on Pinterest a while back, but I decided to give it a go. The original used OPI "Lincoln After Dark", matte black polish. I checked a gazillion stores for it and I couldnt find anythign remotely close to it. Fortunately Sephora carries a matte top coat by OPI. It makes every color completly matte which is perfect because I'd love to try this matte/shiny combo with a host of colors. Matte black with neon pink, perhaps?

Anyway. All this nail art is just a way to keep my mind off the waiting list for the Caviar Manicure nail-polish from Ciate!

Come sooner already!!!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

I'm Thinking...Pink


Three Things:
1. Zat is a road-map of Paris behind me. I found it while digging around the house for my passport last week. I lost yet another aunt to the C-word--cancer, not Canada. She does...did live in Canada, however. *Sniff* Oddly enough, what cheered me up was finding my travel wallet which contained this map and a receipt from Laduree Paris. Sigh... les good times...

2. Warm welcome to the new beauty additions: Milani's Neon "Pink Rocks" nailpolish and Revlon's fuchsia lipstick.

3.Can I also throw in a plug for You Curl, my new favorite curling iron! Seriously, You Curl is BOSS! I never get these big curls from my traditional clasp curling irons.

Das hot, yeah?