Monthly Archives: May 2011

Shortcut to Fabulous Hats for Summer

030B027229530001-1The Royal Wedding has impacted women all over the world in ways we are only beginning to realize. One of the biggest effects of the wedding has been the hat frenzy! It has sent shockwaves across the fashion world, but for the average gal, we are left scratching our heads and wondering how to wear the trend without revealing to the world that we watched the royal wedding on our DVRs 3 three times.

Not to worry gals. There are some simple ways to start sporting hats that wont reveal your lasting obsession with the Royal wedding all these weeks later. Wearing a hat to the beach is a great way to start incorporating hats into your wardrobe. I found some great floppy beach hats at Marshalls for under $25 last week, so that is a great place to shop for hats. For American women, the most realistic place to incorporate hats outside of beachwear is into your weekend wardrobe. Try wearing a fun fedora, like the one pictured here (on sale for $6.99) with a maxi dress and wedge sandals for a fun weekend look!  I also have a secret list of online stores where you can find cute, affordable hats that you can easily incorporate into your weekend wardrobe for under $20:

  • American Eagle- I know you probably haven’t been in an American Eagle since high school, but they have some pretty great hats for your summer beach wardrobe under $20
  • Target- This is a more obvious place to look. I have to say there are a few great hats, but not the vast stellar selection you would expect. My two picks: The Merona Round Crown Floppy Hat ($12.99) and the Merona Blue Pattern Floppy Hat ($12.99)
  • KMart- This to me is the best selection of hats of any of the discount retailers! The Jaclyn Smith and Joe Boxer hats are super cute and super affordable. I love the Joe Boxer fedora pictured in the top left…only $6.99!
  • Macy’s- Macy’s carries many David and Young hats, which are favs of celebrities and very affordable…most under $30.
  • For a mini-Splurge try a Christies Hat…the London hat maker has been in business since 1778. My fav is this violet Fedora with a Christy’s Pin ($62.50)
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Shortcut to Fabulous Interview with Candace Bushnell!!!!

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I had the absolute privilege of meeting and interviewing one of the most important writers for any woman on this planet that truly aspires to be fabulous. This past Tuesday, I interviewed none other than Candace Bushnell, author of the iconic “Sex and the City” book that led to the HBO television series and two movies that brought the chic flick back in style.

Candace is on a book tour right now promoting her latest creation of the Carrie Diaries series, “Summer and the City: A Carrie Diaries Novel.” For those of you who have been hiding under a rock or stopped reading books after you discovered Cliff’s notes, there is a series of books chronicling Carrie Bradshaw’s life before the Sex and the City years, and the second installment has just been released.

As someone who swore off books during law school (and yes my dears…that included law books which made it kind of hard to pass but somehow I managed!), I rediscovered my love for reading about a year after law school while reading one of Candace Bushnell’s novels, “Lipstick Jungle.” On a long flight to Europe in coach my television screen broke and a fellow sardine…I mean passenger, lent me her copy of “Lipstick Jungle.” I could not put the book down and the eight-hour flight felt like five minutes. I was completely transported from a coach seat in a packed plane full of screaming babies, body odor and a sticky tray table to a world of absolute fabulosity. When the flight ended and I hadn’t finished the book, I was heartbroken and I found the first internet café in sight and ordered the book from Amazon so it would be waiting when I got home.  100 or so chic lit books later, I have Candace Bushnell to thank for helping me rediscover my love for reading.

If you made it through the long-winded story above, you realize the night was a special night for me. When Candace arrived, they whisked us to a grubby storage room to conduct the interview. Candace was given the only chair behind a desk and I was asked to stand. I was a little shocked that I would be conducting an interview of such a glamorous woman in a musty storage room that so unglam, but I was pleased as punch for the interview and chalked up my surprise at the surroundings to lack of knowledge about the book biz. Candace assessed the situation quickly asked if we could go somewhere with more “ambiance.” She suggested the outdoor, very public courtyard of the bookstore where we sat at a cozy table smack dab in the middle of tons of fans gawking at us like we were the last two pieces of chocolate left on the planet. As onlookers gawked, she smiled and seemed completely relaxed. Her wide smile and warmth created an atmosphere akin to two old gal pals out for a drink…oh and what was she drinking? White wine.

She had on the cutest short-sleeved white sheer button down shirt with a white lace cami underneath, a green white and navy striped skirt that looked like Kate Spade or maybe Milly NYC. Her outfit had a totally vintage yet fashion forward vibe. Oh and she had the most fabulous blue nail polish on her toes! Here is the part about her appearance that surprised me the most…she actually looks better the closer you get! I have had the opportunity to meet a few celebs, and generally the old Monet theory definitely comes into play. They look great from far away, but when you get close they lose some of the “wow” factor and look more like the girl in the next cubicle that could use a good night sleep and a better hangover make-up routine. However, I found Candace to be more radiant and beautiful up close. Couple that with her wit and girl next-door humility and you’ve got one fabulous woman!

We chatted for a few minutes before starting the interview and I must say, she is so much fun!  I knew time was ticking and I wanted to give you guys as much dish as possible, so I jolted myself back into reality and out of “oh my gosh I think I might be able to convince Candace Bushnell to be my best friend with if I had another hour” mode. So here is the interview she did with me and a few questions from the Q & A session after the book reading…enjoy and buy her book by clicking here…I promise you wont regret it!

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Q:            Did you find it more challenging to write the Carrie Diaries series that your other books, since Carrie is so young in this series?

A:            In some ways it is about revisiting some of the great things about being that age and also some of the horrible things about being that age that we don’t necessary want to remember, but you have to mine it a little bit and I remember being young and being sort of frustrated that nobody takes you seriously. You have these ideas of what you want to do, but people just kind of pat you on the head and say…you know…yeah right…go on your way. When you are that age, you really don’t know what’s going on. Carrie is thrown into this world of adults who are sophisticated and successful and would be kind of hard for regular like people to deal with.

Q:            We all know that the Carrie Bradshaw Character from “Sex and the City” is based at least in some part on you and your own life. How much of you is portrayed in the young Carrie Bradshaw from the Carrie diaries?

A:            That is rally hard to say. I think that one’s own experiences and viewpoints creep in obviously with that character. With the character Samantha or Miranda, it’s really like getting into their head and getting into the head of someone who looks at the world that way they do, but with the Carrie character it is just trying to refine how she looks at the world. You know, there is a basis for it. What’s in your head and then getting it down on the page, you know, there is a big gap there. I can’t really say, but something creeps in.

Q:            Why do you think that women are still so in love with the Carrie Bradshaw all these years after the series aired?

A:            Well, I used to say that she was every girl, but then in writing this book, I realized that she’s unique. Fans [they] really appreciate things about the character and they appreciate the fact that the character is relatable and a is regular girl in some ways and at heart, but that she strikes out on her own and is her own person and I really think that can be said of anyone in this audience..

Q: How were able to capture the angst and anxiety that women that age feel, when you yourself are so accomplished and are sort of where every women wants to be?

I don’t think that angst and anxiety EVER goes away. I’d like to say that it does, but it really does get pushed down, but there is something so cruel about that age. Everything that happens to you is your first time. When you get to be my age, 52, it like ehh…that’s happened so many times, its like whatever!

Q:            Is there a beauty product or accessory that you are really into right now or you can’t live without?

Well you know, chap stick and I would say…I love make up! Oh gosh. Like right now am in very into Make Up Forever and they have this high def powder. I am very into that powder and colored eye shadow.

Q:             If we were to open your handbag right now, what would we find in there?

A:             Reading glasses, chap stick and the powder!

Q:            Do you have an favorite vintage shops, any secret hideaways that you might be willing to share with our readers?

A:            I don’t think any of them are secret hideaways anymore. They used to be, but now I think there is a shop called NY Vintage that everyone knows about now. Now of course stylists often shop there for clothes for movies, clothes for TV shows.

Q:             What would you say motivated you to write, to create?

A:             Writing the Carrie Diaries has really brought me back to those questions and I don’t think I could have answered those questions when I was younger. One of those things is anger actually. I grew up in the 1960’s…I was a kid in the 1960s and one thing that sort of struck me was that in the 60’s if you were a woman you were a second class citizen and nobody ever hesitated to let you know, so it was a kind of a constant as soon as I left my house and went to kindergarten at 4 years old. So, I railed against the system. I knew I wanted to be a writer when I was 8 and I think that one of the things that drives me is really, you know, this feeling that there is something wrong with the world and it’s like wait a minute, I am here and a woman and already you are telling me I am not good enough…I don’t accept it and that is what drives me.

Q:            Did you find Sarah Jessica Parker or did she find you?

A:            Well I have to say that Darren Star found her. Supposedly the story is, you know, Darren was the producer of Sex and the City and he worked with Kristin Davis on I think it was Melrose Place. So, his first instinct was to ask Kristin Davis to play Carrie and Kristin said “No. Darren I can’t say those words.”  Because of course it was on HBO and we had no language or nudity restrictions, and we wanted to take advantage of that. So, Sarah Jessica Parker lived in New York and she was with Matthew Broderick. They weren’t married yet. They got married shortly thereafter and Matthew Broderick supposedly had been reading the column in the New York Observer. I guess Darren called her and I think Matthew told her to do it. We saw her…she was in “Once Upon A  Mattress” and then we went to dinner with her and I just loved her…who doesn’t?! I mean she’s incredible. So, It was really kind of fate I suppose and you can’t manufacture that. Then, she and Chris Noth had incredible chemistry. Carrie and Mr. Big and that is also something you can’t plan for and manufacture.

Q:            Did you know Carrie Bradshaw was going to be such a big fashion icon?

A:            I did not know [that she would be such a big fashion icon]. I do remember I think it was when we were shooting the second episode there was a lots ‘ a talk about the wardrobe to the point where eventually Darren Star turned to me and another one of the actresses and said, “I don’t want to hear anymore about the clothes.”  You know he’s a guy. He does not want to hear about the clothes. Um, but, he did turn to someone and he said, “see her, ” pointing to me, “that ‘s how I want the character to look.” So, I suppose I was a sort of inspiration.  But really that came out of Sarah Jessica Parker and Patricia Fields. The two of them really collaborated, and at the beginning of the series there was no budget for clothes. They really went to vintage stores, and if you remember the first two seasons of Sex and the City its like whoa those outfits are wacky, but they look great.

Q:            Why was there no reference to family or no back-story for the characters of the Sex and the City?

A:            It was done deliberately. The reason for that was, you know, capturing this idea, which was a very real thing for me. When you move to New York, you create your own family. People move to New York because they feel like they don’t fit in their town, they don’t necessary fit in with their families. When you move to New York (I tried to capture this in “Summer and the City”), you suddenly have this feeling of “Oh my God there are other people who think the same way I do and feel the same way I do about life and I am not a freak.” I know it sounds like really dramatic, but you know [you feel] this is where I belong. The references to the characters back-stories are actually incidental. It was very deliberate that we did not know about there families, the idea was that they create their own family and I think that is something we see very much in “Summer in the City.”

Q:             What made you decide to write the prequel to the Sex and the City?

A:            For most of the audience, when you meet the characters in the 1990’s and they’re in their 30’s, in a sense that’s the middle of their story because these characters had to come from somewhere. The Sex and the City woman would not exist if it weren’t for certain social influences and certain social phenomenon that actually happened in the late 70’s and early 80’s. For the first time women we’re being told to go to college, to get a degree and have to get an actual career and not get an MRS. At the same time there was Cosmo saying, “have a career, have the big ‘O,’ have it all.” Remember that women were supposed to have it all and society did not really know what to do with this phenomenon of all of these young women suddenly in the office and in the work place. I do not want to be too serious, but this is the underlying seriousness of why I wanted to write the book. In the 1980’s you wore running shoes to work, and the reason why you wore running shoes, seriously, was so that you could run away from a rapist. I am not kidding. There was a lot of sexual harassment on the street, in the office. There was a real reaction from society towards these women who dared to go out into the work place and to be independent and potentially not to rely on men. It is really those circumstances that forged the Sex and City Woman we meet in the 1990’s. So, I thought it was kind of important to shed a little bit of a light on that while at the same time wanting to do that in a little bit of an entertaining way.

So ladies I hope you enjoyed this learning more about Candace and her writing. If you learned nothing else from this interview, you learned about a few items every gal should have according to Ms. Bushnell…chapstick, MAKE UP FOR EVER High Def Powder and of course a copy of her newest book: Summer and the City: A Carrie Diaries Novel

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Miami Monday…Shortcut to Fabulous Shopping Event

origI am a girl who loves a great deal. I also love shopping events. They make me feel all girly and special! Right now on Gilt City Miami, you can get tickets to the Fashionably Conscious Charity event where designer dud cast-offs from Miami’s socialites are sold at bargain basement prices with proceeds going to needy kids’ after-school and summer programs. The famed charity clothing and accessories sale that made the pages of W magazine and allows you the opportunity to score some fabulous stuff…we are talkin’ Jimmy Choo, Manolo and more! This year’s trove offers items for men, women and kids.

The first package allows admission for one to a VIP preview sale and cocktail party on May 13, plus a complimentary glass of wine at nearby Spartico Trattoria when you show your Gilt City voucher.

The second package includes entry for one just to the event’s all-day sale on May 14, plus all the above perks. So it’s shop ’til you drop with a much-needed rest in the late afternoon.

The only downside is waiting all year for the next one. Click here to visit Gilt City and check it out.

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Shortcut to Five Fabulous things I can’t live without right now

apple kissHere are five things I am in L-O-V-E with right now in no particular order:

  1. Summer and the City: A Carrie Diaries Novel Candace Bushnell’s newest book. I can’t put it down…and I already did a “speed read skim through” of the book last night to prepare for an interview with her today…stay tuned for that next week.
  2. Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs Medium Glow 4.4 oz. Now that Spring/Summer is here, I have made this product a regular for bare leg days. I get so many compliments on my legs and if you saw a before and after (oh wait…stay tuned for that in the coming weeks), this would make your must have list too!
  3. iWatchz Q Collection Wrist Strap for iPod Nano 6G This watch band has changed my life! You attach your ipod Nano to the wristband and it makes a totally cute watch. It is less than $25 and ensures that you have music ready to tune out the loud girl in the office or for a quick run in the evening. The Nano comes with a built in pedmoneter so it has been so fun and sort of depressing to track my daily steps…so far the highest I’ve gotten is 7,432 steps…um…you are supposed to hit 10K every day…no wonder my butt is expanding!
  4. LC Lauren Conrad Round Sunglasses. I bought these sunglasses on a business trip I took last week to the middle of nowhere and I now I find myself wanting to go outside just to wear them. They are under $15 and I am pretty sure they will look fab on any face!
  5. Its a 10 Miracle Leave In Product . I am not really a hair product girl, mostly because: A. I am too lazy to actually do my hair; and B. I have yet to find a hair product that works better than Aqua-net hairspray. I got a sample of this product from my friends at Ulta Beauty and I have to say I like the way it makes my hair feel and smell. I spray it on before I blow dry my hair and I feel like my hair looks shinier and more “styled.”
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Shortcut to Fabulous Fun way to waste a little time

So this post is a little silly, a little frivolous, a little bit of a time waster, but I couldn’t help but find it fun. People magazine has a feature on their website that lets you try out celeb hairstyles and looks. They added Catherine (grrr…why can’t we just keep calling her Kate and why if she is Catherine with a “C” was she Kate with a “K?”) Middleton’s wedding look to the site and so now you can try on her veil and tiara by clicking here.

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Shortcut to Fabulous Calypso St. Barth Collection

calypsoThe Calypso St. Barth for Target collection hit Target stores yesterday. There are some cute pieces including tunics and maxi skirts and the home collection is super adorable. A lot of stuff is already sold out online, so high-tail it to your neighborhood Target and check out this collection of beach inspired clothes and home goods from the label loved by many celebs like Jennifer Aniston and Kate Hudson.

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Miami Monday…Shortcut to Fabulous Affordable Food and Wine Festival

dinnerHave you ever tried to brave the crowds of the South Beach Food & Wine festival only to be disappointed by the high price of tickets, massive crowds of people and long lines for food. Well, this Saturday, May 7, 2011 in Coconut Grove you get your chance to attend a smaller, more affordable wine fest! The best part…right now you can get tickets through Dealtificate for $30. That is half off of the regular price. Click here to check it out.

  • Held on Saturday, May 7th (4:00PM-9:30PM)
  • Free complimentary 6.5 ounce wine glass included for wine tasting
  • Includes samples from Miami’s best restaurants from 6:30PM-9:30PM
  • Located on the St. Stephen’s Church Grounds
  • Kids corner includes bounce house, crafts & more
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