Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Black Magic

Black is a recurring theme here on ye old blog, and it has suddenly trickled into the food world. I mentioned Gourmet's Paris issue in a recent post, and discovered there a new find. Forbidden Black Chinese Rice! It's kind of like white rice, but ever more glamorous. Available at Purcell Mountain Farms, hopefully it will come to Whole Foods and other gourmet purveyors soon.

If you're not into black food, how about purple, coral or ruby red? Try these rice varietals from Alter Eco, a French-based company focused on fair trade and sustainable products, that was featured on Martha Stewart today. You can both create a beautiful meal and feel good about it in the process.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Merry Old England

On this dreary, blustery, sprinkly weekend, I'm reminded of England -- and continue to be inspired by Brit singer songwriter extraordinaire Richard Ashcroft. Staying inside allowed me the luxury of time to find some of his solo efforts online. This Verve frontman is just moody enough (yet surprisingly romantic at the same time) to set the tone for a rainy weekend.

Here are two of my favorite finds - Ashcroft with Coldplay at Live 8 (the highlight of the multi-day concert and Bob Geldof benefit) and a great love song that is not available on iTunes (yet)! I expect with the release of the new Verve album his music will get some rekindled recognition.

A Song for the Lovers

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Hungry for Hermes

Hermes - just the orange gets my heart racing. The ne plus ultra of luxury goods has outdone itself with its new web site Les ailes d'Hermes (The Wings of Hermes). While eerily similar to Coldplay's teaser site for Viva la Vida, which asked registrants to unlock content and revealed new videos, photos, songs and other fun stuff, the Hermes site has a collage of content - some artistic, some trying to sell one of their glorious products, and cleverly asking you to register. It's more than worth spending an hour of your time on - especially if you're a marketeer or just curious.

Speaking of Coldplay, the v2 video for Viva la Vida is a must-see.

Color Your World

A bit of frivolous fun for today's post. Check out your color sign on the Pantone "Colorstrology" site where you can learn more about what color represents you based on your birthday. Mine is creme de menthe! Yummy.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Paris Pilgrimage

Check out the Paris Pilgrimage post on my American Dream/vive la France blog. It's all about this month's glorious issue of Gourmet devoted to the most amazing city in the world. Mon dieu!

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Hills are Alive...

With the sound of catfights! Tonight marks the official return of the fall TV season, with the season premiere of The Hills. The reality show extraordinaire should be fantastic this season, with a montage of uncomfortable silence, an ever-revolving door of LC's new boy toys, Audrina's consistently plunging necklines (and short, short, short skirts and shorts), Whitney's blooming career and Lo's new bod.

Behold the casual fashion show and the frequent Chanel handbag sightings as a strong predictor of fall trends. And, let's all cross our fingers and pray that this season marks the end of the couple who shall remain nameless (let's put their 15 minutes to rest once and for all).

Happy viewing!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The French Roll

I'm pretty sure the French had no "role" in this one. Apparently, the press is calling Katie Holmes' newest "trendsetting" look - rolling the cuffs of her baggy and frayed (oh, the horrors) jeans - "The French Roll." Really? This is a total rip-off the the "tight pegged" look from the 80s, which I kindly called "the tight-pegging putz" because it was such a horrible look.

Katie honey, I think you have great style, but I'm going to have to say no on this one.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Back in Black

Summertime is almost over and that means black is back (not that it ever left). My favorite wardrobe staple can be found in many end-of-summer incarnations as seen in this week's slideshow from New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham.

For the remaining hot days, try a black tank and white jeans with wedges, or a simple black tank dress with flats or thong sandles. Don't forget your trusty cardigan just in case of arctic blasts once inside!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Rose Colored Glasses

After perusing the Neiman Marcus fall catalog, it is apparent the world will be looking at things through rose colored glasses this fall. What better way to see things when the economy is down?
To get your rose on, try Tom Ford's sunglasses in a super burgundy tint. Or, try on a romantic and ruffled blouse inspired by your favorite flowers. Expanding beyond rose, other jewel tones will be all over - purples, greens, royal blues. It's time to try on some color and think beyond basic black - that goes for me too!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Capitol Campaign

Wow - this country is campaign crazy. During a visit to DC this week, I realized what an industry there is just making hideous campaign T-shirts, buttons, mugs, snowglobes - all matter of paraphernalia.

On the less tacky side, DC's wonderful museums and cultural institutions always make me yearn for more culture. Currently, the Smithsonian's International Museum features the works of Jim Henson. Here you can see the real Kermit THE frog, Bert and Ernie and many more of our childhood friends, including the frackles pictured below.

After getting your fix of the big city, take a short train ride down to Alexandria. With its airy waterfront locale and amazingly beautiful and quaint historic buildings, you can almost feel our forefathers in the air. At the Torpedo Factory (yes, they did make torpedoes there once), local artists showcase their wares in dozens of studios. One of my favorites is Lisa Schumaier. Her Raku animals, monsters and people are so devilishly clever. I've got the "Smarter Monster" waiting for me to send for him.

Lisa introduced me to her friend Kathy Beynette, who is a painter. Kathy's work is also on my wish list - the wolf from Little Red Riding Hood reading a book or zebras speaking French schoolbook phrases, how can you get any better?