Monday, 16 April 2012
Breaking news: summer is coming, look busy. Or, better yet, get busy – I don’t know about you, but at least in my case there’s a lot of prep to done before I can feel beach-ready and body-confident for the fast-approaching summer months ahead. Below, a won’t-waste-your-time (you’ll need that for waxing, sugaring, tanning, sweating…you get the idea) guide to prepping for summer.
First off: fitness. Come on, you knew that was coming, right? Those thighs ain’t gonna tone themselves. There’s a fine line between looking good and looking like a Victoria’s Secret model, and we intend to cross it. In general, it’s a great idea to focus equally on strength and cardio, but it can help to lean more towards strength if you want to tone up, and cardio if you’re looking to lose weight. For girls like me, who bulk at the even the sight of one-pound hand weights (or anybody who wants long, lean muscles like a dancer’s or willowy Pilates devotee’s), I recommend Pure Barre for strength, and Tracy Anderson’s treadmill workout (find it, in Parts One and Two, on YouTube) for cardio. Pure Barre is a great, incredibly challenging alternative to traditional weight training and incorporates Pilates-inspired isometric movements, using your own body weight, and yoga-themed stretches to build strength, not bulk, while chiseling long, dancer-like muscles. Anderson’s cardio workout is challenging on all levels (it keeps your heart rate around peak levels for the duration of the workout, and tests your balance, coordination, and proprioception), so you know you’re getting an amazing workout, while making time fly and being crazy-fun all at the same time.
Now, let’s say you want to be in great shape this summer, but squeezing a Pilates ball between your inner thighs or pounding the pavement just isn’t going to cut it. Perhaps you’re not ashamed of your curves, but your joints won’t take the strain of exercise and/or you know you need to get healthy, and you’ve been considering lipo as a kickstart to a healthier lifestyle. Or perhaps you’re already an avid exerciser but there are certain small, pesky areas that no amount of working out or dieting will touch, and your friend, who has been singing the praises of CoolSculpting, has got you curious (I myself am pretty interested in this). Or maybe you’d like to look a bit more like a Victoria’s Secret model in, well, the most important area. Head on over to aboutplasticsurgery.com. It’s a great, informative website that covers everything you need to know about all of the above concerns, and can also help you find a great surgeon or specialist in your area, should you decide to take the plunge. Of particular note is their interesting article on CoolSculpting versus laser lipo, which you can find here.
Alright, now you’ve got your smokin’ bod – get ready to flaunt it! We all know the waxing drill: full legs, underarms, maybe a Brazilian if you’re feeling fruity (and brave). But we all know that, much like a dental drill, this procedure can cause a lot of, well, let’s be frank – AGONY. Take it down a notch and actually enjoy your appointments with sugaring. Essentially waxing with a sticky sugar paste instead of, y’know, wax, sugaring reduces pain by eliminating hot wax burns and by adhering to the hair, but not your skin. And sugaring can do everything waxing can: legs, underarms, and yes, even those Brazilians.
And there you have it: how to be a real-life VS model, in three easy steps. Helloooo, Adam.
Photos: Pinterest, Kangaroo Promotions, About.com & Listal.
Monday, 27 February 2012
Ah, the hazards of Fashion Month: composing a street style blog-worthy getup (or five) everyday, getting to shows on time (Ethan Hunt, meet your nemesis), remaining sane through the sleep deprivation (a Guantanamo Bay-certified form of torture), getting up sparkling reviews and spectacular photos (good luck actually getting those) on your site faster than Usain Bolt can run the 100m... Not a pretty picture.
For a better outlook, see above. The Milli Millu Zurich bag might not help with the sleep deprivation (in fact, in the spirit of full disclosure, I'll admit that it might actually aggravate the situation: such a chic accessory will get you noticed, and maybe even invited to those sleep-swallowing after-parties), but it'll certainly solve all your other problems. Tommy Ton? Eat your heart out. Gisele sauntering down the runway in the next cover-hogging star buy? Whip out your super-DSLR from the incredibly spacious bag and get snapping. Readers chomping at the bit and pageviews contingent on timely updates? No worries - get thee to a Starbucks and withdraw your MacBook Air from the special pocket in your Zurich (and your notes on the show that you just made from another specially designated compartment) and get going.
All in all, a great investment, and cheaper than a personal assitant. Probably chicer, too. Hey, this isn't Devil Wears Prada.
For my original feature and other editors' must-buy pieces, check out the JNSQ piece.
Sunday, 20 November 2011
Well, I can deny it no longer: the holidays are here. Christmas, in particular, is fast approaching, and bringing with it the sensation of impending doom and the Nightmare Before Christmas: credit card hell. “With a look at bank statements and a sense of great alarm, I have seen grown men give out a shriek. With a wave of my hand and a feather, understandably, I have swept the very bravest off their feet.”
While it is extremely difficult to divorce ourselves from this mindset at this time of year, I think it is particularly important to in our day and age. Times are hard enough, in my mind, without poisoning what has the potential to be a truly beautiful time of the year. It is now that we should be forgetting, or at least trying to see beyond, our earthly troubles, focusing instead on the enduring qualities of friendship, love and family.
So, in the true spirit of the holidays, I am putting together a slightly more ‘spiritual’ post than usual. I proudly present to you my Christmas wishlist. Here’s to friendship, love and family. I’ll raise a glass of eggnog to that!
Francesca de Grandis is…a mystic. A comedienne. An enlightened soul. A non-dogmatic, non-evangelical, all-loving, most-everything-knowing, down-to-earth, hilarious spiritualist. Her writings are never dogmatic, do not talk down to the reader or dare to presume to, gasp, tell you what to do. Instead, they encourage, uplift, spark curiosity, inspire, and just make downright sense. Her newest book, Share My Insanity, is perhaps the most approachable, especially for those who do not identify with any one religion, or the concept of religion, per say. The words within the pages do not speak so much to faith or belief, let alone declare-your-allegiance-or-become-subject-to-Dante’s-inferno. Instead, they focus on, true to the book’s subtitle, knowing your beauty, being free, and fulfilling your fantasies. Talk about a holiday trio! Buy the book on Amazon.
VK Lillie is a design duo made up of mother and daughter Vanessa and Kira Lillie. Vanessa, the inspiration, has been making medicine bags since Kira can remember. Now Kira has taken the concept to a whole new level, producing the bags in vintage glove leather, fringing them with crystals and stringing them on gold or silver chains, creating exquisite and unique necklaces. But here’s the kicker: the necklaces aren’t just pretty, they’re spiritually practical as well: each medicine bag, which is hand-crafted and utterly unique, comes equipped with seven semi-precious crystals designed to remedy the ills of everyday life. I’ll take them all, please. Check out the collection at VKLillie.com.
Photos: Amazon.com, heartymagazine.com and dianepernet.typepad.com.
Tuesday, 20 September 2011
Well, because Mother Teresa has nothing on me, the giveaway is officially EXTENDED! Like a family involving uncles with tendencies towards pedophilia. Without the desire to wear overly baggy loungewear at Thanksgiving. And all you have to do now is follow me via Google Friend Connect and Bloglovin! Now that, that is just like marshmallow sweet potatoes. (The best part of the whole thing, if you were wondering.)
Friday, 2 September 2011
Ich habe crazy. It's a disease. Really - but don't worry, I'm self-medicating. It doesn't appear to be working, though - another martini, dear sir! Hence, my ADHD use of dashes and this giveaway. But anyway, I'm giving in and going along with it, luckily for you. I promise - no 12 Steps for Crazies or Givers Anonymous (at least until someone wins the Louis Vuitton). Hey look - brackets! Oh. Shit.
Here are my demands (mwahaha):
1.) Go HERE and like the photo (yep, that's my 'happy-maniacal' face). It's my competition entry for Bloggers' Wardrobe, a blogger-brand community, so you'll have to like their page first to like the photo. You have until SEPTEMBER 16TH to like my photo. Or the hostages die.
2.) Follow me on Bloglovin and via Blogger/Google Friend Connect (see sidebar for both).
That's it y'all! Time for some poetry: who's it gonna be? Who's it gonna be? Who's it gonna be who wins the Louis V?
Wednesday, 31 August 2011
Friday, 26 August 2011
Do you think there's a way I can legalize my shoe addiction? Maybe I should just call it a day and go to rehab. I hear the clinics are pretty swanky these days. Bipolar withdrawal tendencies make the cleansing distinctly unfun though - last time consisted of broken tableware that was definitely not Greek and bouts of bunny boiler behaviour. Anyway, this shit is INSANE. My dreams of sculpture, serpents, and fluro stars bursting across my vision are so vivid I know I must be hallucinating. Best hit EVER. Ride the high.
Wednesday, 24 August 2011
Another incredible concoction born of the talented hands of my favourite Czech bartender: a Squirreltini. Basically a chocolate martini, I'm not even sure if it has any gin in it - it just sounded good in the title! Seriously though, this cocktail is liquid heaven.
The DANNIJO Court necklace: my must-have fall accessory.
Kelly Wearstler's SICK jewellery collection.
The Bar Method, Pure Barre, Cardio Barre...I'm obsessed with all of them! Change your body? More like transform your body! Love love love.
The Chocolate Cafe at Cannon Beach, Oregon, and the most DIVINE chocolate shake you will ever taste. Seriously. I'm making a return trip just for this shake. It's that good.
Images (from top): ChocolateMartiniRecipe.org, DANNIJO.com, Net-a-Porter, BarMethod.com
Saturday, 20 August 2011
The most impressive shoe of the season...
...as seen in the Harper's Bazaar September issue...
...and the Vogue September issue...
...and the Marie Claire September issue...
...and the Elle September issue. So, basically, either editors really like these shoes, or they've gotten a lot of freebie mail recently.
Images (from top): Net-a-Porter and Refinery29
Wednesday, 17 August 2011
After spotting this story on the best-braceleted wrists on Refinery29 (Rachel Strugatz, pictured here, totally wins BTW), I remembered how much I adore bracelets, cuffs, and general wrist-and-hand adornments. Here are some of my favourite picks:
The EPIC Dinosaur Bones cuff from nOir, worn by Strugatz above.
A couple more picks from nOir. Find them here.
Kenneth Jay Lane Sculpted Branch Cuff
Pamela Love 7 Crystal Cuff
Made Her Think Mini Metal Thorn Cuff
Images, as attributed.
Friday, 12 August 2011
Unlike, well, pretty much everyone else on the northern hemisphere, I am already dreaming of shorter evenings and a windchill factor. Fall! Ah, the beauty of autumn. Think about it: there's velvet, lace, and fierce shoe boots, not to mention the social acceptability of sequins and the reappearance of the hallowed Starbucks Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate.
As you can tell, what really gets my blood running about fall is the rebirth of certain trends, predominantly that of romantic gothicism. Luckily for me, this trend was a major presence on the fall 2011 catwalks (hallelujah!). Look out for my article on how to make romantic gothicism work in real life in the September (and the first!) issue of JENESEQUA iPad magazine (I just recently signed on as fashion editor, and I can tell you, I'm so excited for everything that is to come! I'll let you all know when it's available), but for now, some inspiration:
Inspiration on the Alexander Wang and Antonio Berardi Fall 2011 catwalks
Rue du Mail Top at Forward by revolve
The Lake & Stars Bra at Net-a-Porter
Young, Fabulous & Broke Jennifer Skirt at Revolve Clothing
Alexander Wang Devere Bag at Net-a-Porter
Low Luv X Erin Wasson Bone Armour Ring at Revolve Clothing
CC Skye Mad Max Pendant Necklace at Ideeli
Pelle Moda Famous Open Toe Booties at Shopbop
To see more, check out my Romantic Gothicism Pinterest Board.
Images: all copyright belongs to the respective sites, links above.
Wednesday, 10 August 2011
As a bit of a globetrotter, it’s fair to say that I am exposed to a fair amount of culture simply by stepping outside. Today, I’ve decided to showcase some of my favourite global finds. Enjoy!
1.) They say it all begins and ends with a drink. Well, I do anyway. I’m most open to being plied with Don Julio tequila. I always try to get my Brave Bulls and Bloody Aztecs made with this, mostly unsuccessfully.
2.) I’ve mentioned this before, but I am TOTALLY OBSESSED with Mary Helen Bowers’ Ballet Beautiful fitness method. This ex-New York City Ballet dancer trained Natalie Portman for her role in Black Swan, and has produced a fantastic method that I adore. It’s hard, but in a rewarding sort of way. I fit it into my routine four times a week, along with cardio (I prefer Tracy Anderson’s dance aerobics), pilates and yoga. I actually got stopped not so long ago in Starbucks by a guy who politely asked me if I do ballet. Result!
3.) This photo encompasses two of my new favourite places: Crossroads Trading Co. on Hawthorne in downtown Portland, where I snatched up this practically unworn (and yes, real!) Louis Vuitton bag for $25 (whoaaa, you say whaaaat? Uh huh), and Yolo Lounge on 4th, also in Portland. A swanky sushi lounge and martini bar, this place serves fantastic food (the spicy fries are TO DIE FOR) and the decor is sublime (think crystal chandeliers, red and black walls, and geishas rising out of 3D murals).
4.) The latest spoils of my online shopping habit: imported Italian leather handbag by Michael Rome, crystal bib necklace by Amrita Singh (love her; just ordered her Jitney necklace in green) and Invicta watch (originally $500, purchased for $50!).
5.) My favourite book, basically of all time. My copy is currently all marked up with squiggels and excessive underlining as I pick apart Murakami's lyrical prose for my own gain. It's an incredibly different process, reading a book for pleasure and reading a book from a writer's perspective. I'm currently engaging in the latter, as I struggle through the first draft of my own novel. But more on that later!
All images, my own, except for the photo of the crazy-beautiful, crazy-flexible Mary Helen Bowers of Ballet Beautiful.