Saturday, August 29, 2009

Life Lessons...Quit Comparing Yourself

Our New Feature "Life Lessons" now appears every Saturday... If you have a suggestion for a Life Lesson you'd like to read about, have one you'd like to post or would like to suggest another type of feature, please email us at

"I will reward each one according to their faithfulness. You're on a even playing field with everyone!"
~ Don Franklin

Quit Comparing Yourself
by Daphne Merkin

I have often wondered whether I am tone deaf when it comes to learning from experience, whether I lack the basic self-preserving mechanism that would lead me to draw the requisite conclusions and not open the wrong door again, ushering in the same old demons in new outfits. It would be a nice compensatory gleam of light on the bleak horizon of growing older [as well as saggier and more forgetful] if the idea that people accumulate wisdom with age were a self-evident truth rather than an example of wishful thinking. But if Freud got anything right, it was that we humans suffer from repetition compulsion. I think of all my doomed romantic choices, despite umpteen years of costly therapy and rabid introspection and my refrain might well be: Do it to me one more time, once is never enough, with a man like you.

And yet even I have to admit to a small but signal change that has come with the passage of years. By the time I turned 40, I had stopped [well, almost] comparing myself to others. I had ceased, that is, running a kind of permanent college reunion in my head, a life contest in which I always fell last in the lineup of imaginary rivals. It's a psychological tic -a corrosive habit of mind- that is almost impossible to break. Virginia Woolf was beset by this compulsion, aided no doubt by the fact that she was one of many siblings and was intensely competitive with her older sister, Vanessa. Her need to scope out her place in the literary landscape among other women writers, such as Katherine Mansfield, is writ large in her letters and journals and frequently got in the way of her friendships.

I myself grew up as one of six closely spaced siblings and my mother compared and contrasted us with one another at every opportunity, usually to my detriment. My two sisters and I were examined and characterized in mutually exclusive terms; they were what I was not, they had what I was missing. So I formed the notion that the only way to know what I was feeling about my life was to assess it according to the self-incriminating standards set by others. Being a person of hyperventilating, even brutal imagination, I took this to ludicrous extremes. I remember lying on a beach chair in Maui on my honeymoon, wondering why I wasn't on someone else's honeymoon. [Yes, my marriage eventually ended in divorce.]

I knew I had to change. I had before me as a cautionary example a much older friend, a woman writer who had been married to a more famous literary figure. Both of them had been part of the incestuous circle known as the New York intellectuals, and my friend had never come to terms with her place in the world, continuing to be racked into her old age by feelings of being insufficiently admired, compared with Mary McCarthy, say , or Hannah Arendt. Watching this woman ravage herself scared me. Somewhere along the line I stared experimentng with inhabiting my own life, without recourse to envisioning the life of imaginary or real Others. Having a child helped ease me into the constriction - and occasional vivid pleasures- of being me and no one else on this carpet ride. I'm not yet up to celebrating myself a la Walt Whitman, but one of these days I just might get there.

repost from American Elle Magazine: "The Most Important Thing I've Learned"
...Image: "The Rokeby Venus" by Diego Velazquez

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thursday Snack...Wild Things

This one is for the girlies...

In their September editorial "Wild Things",
V Magazine features heavenly hunks bearing almost everything {even a bit of man bush}.

Female models Carmen Kass and Anne V are also in the shoot wearing lots of boho hippie inspired clothes, if you happen to take notice and are into that clothes-wearing thing.

No wonder women's fashion mags don't regularly feature men...we'd never notice the clothing they are trying to sell otherwise. Meow!

V Magazine, September 2009
Photography...Mario Testino
Styling...Beat Bolliger

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Will YOU Wear This Trend...Pin Heels

Hot for Fall is the super skinny pin heel on everything from stilettos to boots.

Will you be wearing this trend...and who has your favourite?

Here, some styles that we love...

click to enlarge photos...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What We're Loving this Week...

click to enlarge...

from top, left to right...
1 } Night Black Rose Necklace by Japonicas 2 } Just a Flirt Dress by Claire La Faye 3 } Cafe Metropole Leather Skirt by 13Bees 4 }Leather Love Cuff by Love at First Blush 5 } Custom Devil or Angel Print by Dirty Pretty Things [RavenX] 6}Kiko the Love Love Print by Mikiep

* If you'd like to recommend an item for "What We're Loving This Week", please let us know by contacting us HERE.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Life Lessons...Perspective, Perspective

Our New Feature "Life Lessons" will now appear on Saturdays... If you have a suggestion for a Life Lesson you'd like to read about, have one you'd like to post or would like to suggest another type of feature, please email us at

Perspective, Perspective
by A.M. Homes

It's hard to know what came first, my desire to not worry or an overload of the worry systems---so much to worry about that I couldn't possibly do it all. Maybe it was a brush with death -or watching others die-and the birth of my child. I'm pretty sure it was right in there between death and birth...losing a parent I'd never known, a beloved grandmother, and a best friend...and watching the planes hit the World Trade Center from my window. After all that and my daughter's birth, following two miscarriages and years of fertility treatments, I like to think I've gained a certain perspective.

Maybe it was also the fractured disk I suffered seven months into my pregnancy, the two months I spent in a wheelchair and my accidental opportunity to experience the world and its flaws as a handicapped person...and then the back surgery four days after the baby was born, which left me wondering if I would walk again. I learned a lot -or more like I gave up a lot. Any ideas I had that one has control over one's life, surroundings, destiny all went out the window. And with that came freedom--I no longer care how great my hair looks or whether I have the right clothes for a party [Well, OK, I still care-but less than I used to]. Frankly, as a single working mom with a two-year old, I find just showing up a minor miracle.

Importantly, though, it wasn't as if this perspective just "happened". It was a decision I made to step back, to learn to wait, to pause before reacting. I meditate, I breathe, I remember to wait--if not necessarily to think--before acting: to feel and to note what I am feeling and to tell myself that it is just a feeling or a thought and that not everything needs to be acted on. I have taught myself to be mindful of small moments. And when I'm having a bad day, when I can't get a real person on the phone, when it feels as though all of life has been outsourced, I take inventory--beginning with the acknowledgment that I am in fact very lucky, I have a happy child, I am walking --and today, at least, no one I know has died. On good and bad days alike, I am also aware of what I can do for others--extending out of my own life and into someone else's, not just taking care of myself and my own but embracing the larger world. Maybe I knew that already--but it doesn't hurt to be reminded.

repost from Elle Magazine's "The Most Important Thing I've Learned"

Friday, August 21, 2009

Dirty Pretty Inspiration... Supreme Management Being

Paul Rowland founded Supreme Model Management to pursue his artistic vision of intelligent beauty. This specific beauty ideal includes qualities like androgyny, strength, vulnerability, youth, masculinity, individuality and honesty.

For a special edition of V Magazine that will be sold with V61 later this month, Mr. Rowland shot 19 girls from the "World of Women & Supreme" and we love the results.

Shown here, our favourites...

...Styling by Nicholas Grasa ...Makeup by Janeen Witherspoon...Hair by Rita Marmor, Leonardo Manetti for ION Studio & Franco Gobbi for Bumble & Bumble

Also, check out video of this fantastic shoot...

V61 Special Edition Covers by Paul Rowland on Vimeo.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Pretty Things Fashion...Cirque 21

Forever 21 never seems to disappoint when it comes to fun, funky {and knock off} fashion on the cheap...and that's why we love them.

Amongst all the other new lines they have going, they have introduced Twist, a new series of monthly capsule collections inspired by themes and all things vaguely termed "Young Hollywood."

For example, the circus-themed debut range appears to be loosely based on Britney Spears's latest tour "Circus", with ringmaster jackets and bustier tops (but trading the PVC hot pants for G-rated tulle petticoats).

But, act quickly if you want any of this sweet Cirque 21 collection cuz each collection lasts only four weeks and then it will disappear forever, allowing room for 45-55 new pieces to debut around a different theme.

What FUN!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Life Lessons...Enjoy Your Skinny Years

Our New Feature "Life Lessons" will now appear on Saturdays... If you have a suggestion for a Life Lesson you'd like to read about, have one you'd like to post or would like to suggest another type of feature, please email us at

Enjoy Your Skinny [or Skinnier] Years
by Ayelet Waldman

I have a notoriously dreadful memory. I forget everything: the titles of books I've read, the plots of movies I've seen, my children's favourite colours. Once, when I was single and living in New York, the true extent of my wretched momory was brought home by an unexpected phone call. The caller told me his name and waited. I felt a familiar clutch of discomfort. Was I supposed to remember him? "From college?" He said, "Jesus, Aylet. We slept together!" I paused, waiting for his name or his voice to trigger something, anthing. Finally I said, "I'm really sorry, but you're just going to have to narrow that field down a little more for me."

There is one aspect of my life, however, for which I possess perfect recall: I have a photographic memory for my bathroom scale. I'm like one of those savants who can recite the day of the week for any date in history. Tell me September 1986 and I'll say 102 pounds. May 1992? 107. July 1997? 170 [calm yourself, I was about to give birth].

I have always, from the moment I passed the 100-pound mark in my sophomore year, done battle with my weight. I've never been fat [pregnant! I was pregnant!], but I've spent the past 21 years feeling fat. I felt fat last June at 124 pounds, nine pounds more than the maximum dictated by the charts for a person of my height and birdbone frame--but I also felt fat in June of 1993 when I weighed 112 pounds...and in June of 1989 when the scale read an earthsaking 105.

I wasted so much skinny time torturing myself about my weight.
I've never had an eating disorder; my one attempt at bulimia involved six eclairs that tasted oddly the same on the way up as on the way down [March 1985: 101 pounds]. That experience has kept my fingers out of my throat ever since. But I've spent far too many of my waking hours the way so many of us do, standing in front of the fun house mirror in my bathroom, staring at every part of my body blown up out of all proportion and reality by my anxiety and self-loathing. If I had known in September 1991 [105] that 10 years later I'd be packing on 19 extra pounds, I would have worn a bikini! I would have pierced my belly button! I would never have worn relaxed-fit jeans.

This morning the scale read 120 and I thought, 'God, I'm so fat.' And then it occurred to me: Twenty-one years from now, am I going to wish I hadn't wasted this moment feeling fat? If there is a single lesson I've learned in the past 21 years, it's that as time goes by, most of us only get bigger. Someday I'll remember these years as skinny ones and I'll regret having wasted them just as much as I now reget my foolishness during the past 21. One of the hardest things to do is to see your body clearly. After 21 years, isn't it about time for me to do that? And anyway, if I think I'm fat now, just imagine what I'm going to look like in 2026.

repost from Elle Magazine's "The Most Important Thing I've Learned"

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

FREE i Tunes Download...Great Lake Swimmers

* Check comments to see which download codes have been taken...and please comment on which you take...Thanks! *

7 FREE downloads available...
Great Lake Swimmers

Great Lake Swimmers is a Canadian band built around the melodic folk rock songs of singer-songwriter Tony Dekker. The band's style has been compared to Neil Young among others. Dekker has said his influences include Gram Parsons and Hank Williams.

Music is interesting because it brings people together, and the more that I do this the more I realize the importance to that.

—Tony Dekker, Great Lake Swimmers

Starbucks & i-Tunes present this FREE Pick...

Note: Please take one download only {they are all the same song} and then leave a comment stating which you downloaded so everyone knows it's taken. Redeem at the i-Tunes store. Click "Redeem" and enter code. Codes can be used once only.
The following codes expire this Friday: August 14, 2009

i Tunes Download #1 "Still": Download Code: EFJ97FARXKPY

i Tunes Download #2 "Still": Download Code: FNM77LY7H67E

i Tunes Download #3 "Still": Download Code: 7J9MTW4KMR4L

i Tunes Download #4 "Still": Download Code: M7PHLE39FPRR

i Tunes Download #5 "Still": Download Code: P9NREMNYPX7F

i Tunes Download #6 "Still": Download Code: 9M6MPLAKHY6P

i Tunes Download #7 "Still": Download Code: LAPJKL9RK97T


Here's the song that you'll be downloading... "Still"

Monday, August 10, 2009

Parents: Please Don't Let Your Kids Worship THIS

Miley Cyrus, age 16 ( ! ), at the Teen Choice Awards virtually pantless and grinding it on a stripper pole!

"{Her} viewers mainly consist of the nation's most impressionable league of tweens and, probably, their little sisters. This is a golden opportunity for celebrities to teach them of the glory, comfort and fashionability of not only bottoms, but decency. And here 16-year-old Miley shows up in a skirt resembling a specialty Band-Aid, paired with towering stilettos many adults would have trouble walking in."

-- Amy Odell, The Cut

And, not only that...what's up with her provocative dancing and half-naked back up dancers?

I suppose there's not much more left Miley can do really. I mean once you've posed for photos whilst laying in your father's crotch, dated a 20 year old male model when you're still a minor, have dressed in the teeniest of mini skirt and hooker pumps and have writhed around in public on a stripper pole, what IS left?

Her parents obviously have no control over her now as she can buy and sell both of them. They actually sat in the audience of the Teen Choice Awards and cheered her on.

I suppose that whenever Disney FINALLY realises what they are really promoting to the youth of America and her career does start to wane, there's still a Playboy layout, a sex tape that mysteriously gets out and future pole wrangling at Crazy Horse.

Get the Look Feature

We are HONOURED to have our Dress Form Silhouette Original Art featured in Sunday's Get the Look: Home Decor Edition in The Storque.
A super big THANK YOU to Christine and Etsy!
We love you guys!

Go HERE to get your Dress Form Silhouette or other custom silhouette image of your choice!

* ❤ *

Etsy Finds Decor: Cottage Renovation

This weekend's Get the Look: Decor is inspired by the renovation of a 1924 bungalow by Portland, Oregon residents Jessica and Erik. The couple purchased their first home in February of this year and have already completed an impressive extent of remodeling.

I love the way the architectural details of the home mix with their vintage furniture and charming thrift shop and estate sale finds. For more information about Jessica and Erik's home renovation and where they get their inspiration, visit their blog, Domestic PDX.

Visit Jessica on Flickr to view more photos of her charming home. Check out the Etsy Finds below for creative decorating ideas that will add a bit of cottage charm to the place you call home.

For story & photo credits, go HERE
Published on August 9, 2009 in Spotlight

Saturday, August 8, 2009

He's Lucky He's Cute!

Chaps Picks a Show
starring...Chaplin, The Little Terror

"Hello, Hello...I'm here! It's me, Chaplin.  You're reading the LA Weekly without me?  I wanna help! Can I help you pick out what show to see? Pleeeease??"

"Tori Amos, Marilyn Manson, Linkin' Park, Alice in Chains, Tool...Wow! That's a lot of shows to choose from. I'll keep looking, but it's gonna be a hard choice!"
"Hmmm, how about this one here? The Pretenders with none other than CAT Power and that girl who likes to wear a lot of spandex, Juliette Lewis.
You can't EVER go wrong with CAT Power, am I right?" hee hee
"And, remember The Pretenders from waaaay back when you were a small like a whole 25 years ago?
Wait, that Juliette Lewis girl can sing??? ...AND she wears spandex? It all sounds scary!"

"Now, I know you like Marilyn Manson, but seriously, I think CAT Power is IT, THEE one, Numero go with them. Ummm, it's this ad right here. I'd call and book the CAT Power tickets for you but unfortunately I can't dial the phone very well with these big paws. That, and I don't have a credit or debit card."

"Whew! I'm exhausted now with all that decision making for you. Time for a nap.
Wait, Stop! ...Why are you still looking??!?"

"Please tell me that you're still going to the CAT Power show and you're gonna take me. We're going, aren't we? Aren't we?? I have my spandex kitty outfit picked out already and everything!"

Friday, August 7, 2009

FREE i Tunes Download...The Decemberists

2 FREE downloads available...
The Decemberists

The Decemberists are a rock band from Portland, Oregon. The band's songs range from upbeat pop to instrumentally lush ballads, and often employ instruments like the accordion, Hammond organ, Wurlitzer organ, and upright bass. In its lyrics, the band eschews the angst and introspection common to modern rock, instead favoring a storytelling approach. The band's songs convey tales ranging from whimsical to epic to dark, and often invoke historical events and themes from around the world.

Starbucks & i-Tunes present this FREE Pick...

Note: Please take one download only {they are all the same song} and then leave a comment stating which you downloaded so everyone knows it's taken. Redeem at the i-Tunes store. Click "Redeem" and enter code. Codes can be used once only.
The following codes expire TODAY: August 7, 2009

i Tunes Download #1 "The Rake's Song": Download Code: KWTY36636ETJ

i Tunes Download #2 "The Rake's Song": Download Code: WJJ6W9ETAY7F


Here's the song that you'll be downloading... "The Rake's Song"