Monday, April 30, 2012

White House Correspondence Dinner Fashion


This past Saturday night, Hollywood flocked to Washington, D.C. to attend the annual White House Correspondence Dinner featuring President Barack Obama. Politics, environmental issues and world peace was the talk of the dinner, but what we all love is the A-lister's fashion picks for the prestigious night! So with that said, here are my favorite looks of the night!

Kate Hudson
Kate sparkled with her bubbly smile and midnight blue sequined Jenny Packham gown, that she paired with a metallic clutch. The dress fit her like a glove, hugging every curve in the right way.  My favorite look of the night!

Charlize Theron
The South African beauty stunned at the event in a black and nude lace Emilio Pucci gown. With her hair slicked back, you were able to concentrate on the detail of the dress and left her jewelry and makeup subtle. Job well done, Charlize.

Kerry Washington
Scandal star Kerry Washington wore the color of the summer: coral. She looked radiant in a simple, yet elegant gown designed by the one and only, Calvin Klein. Slicked back hair was all the rage this night, and Kerry was no exception. She completed her look with a snakeskin clutch and limited jewels.

Malin Akerman
The actress rocked the glam look with this ivory silk strapless gown and sky-high platform pumps. She went old-Hollywood with her up-do and subtle jewelry. Perfection.

Anna Paquin
The newly-pregnant True Blood star dressed her belly to the nines in a gorgeous black Herve Leroux gown with great cut-out and detailing in the back. This is how to dress your baby bump!


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Friday, April 27, 2012

Fun Findings Friday


Bill Shrink
Think you're paying too much for gas, TV service or your cell phone bill? Us too. Billshock, a new site, allows you to enter your account login information and compare what you're paying to options that are potentially better for you (and that could save you a lot of money)! Having been featured on trusted news sources such as CNN, ABC, and NBC, Billshrink is a great resource, verified by the experts. The site was also named as one of the 20 Best Money Sites by Money.com.


May Instagram Photo A Day
We can't believe how fast this month has flown! With May just around the corner, we wanted to share with our fellow Instagram users, the May Photo A Day Challenge, which starts next week on May 1st. Each day, you take a picture to match the word listed. It's a fun way to get creative and grow your photo collection. Happy Instagramming!


The Conversation
While mindlessly watching an entertainment news show one night, we came across a segment about a show that Demi Moore was producing. We then saw multiple A-List celebrities in the preview, and it captured got our attention. Together with Lifetime, Moore and dear friend, Amanda de Cadenet created a show named "The Conversation". The first episode aired on Thursday night featuring Gwyneth Paltrow, Jane Fonda, Sarah Silverman and Zoe Saldana. The show is basically Amanda sitting down on a comfy couch with her celebrity girlfriends and girl-chatting. They discuss everything from motherhood to body image issues to family to love. It's perfect for us girly girls who all enjoy a good girl talk every now and then. We know we do! And now you get to watch famous people do it. I'm in! The Conversation airs Thursday's on Lifetime at 11pm. More guests appearing in future episodes are: Lady Gaga, Kelly Preston, Kate Bosworth, Miley Cyrus, Eva Mendes, Christina Applegate and more!

Gwyneth Paltrow and Amanda de Cadenet for The Conversation.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Do's and Dont's of E-Blasts



Recently I've gone on a kick of deleting old e-mails and unsubscribing myself from the e-mail list of many companies. Perhaps the main reason (and company I'll be using as my main example) is the amount of spam e-mails I've been getting from Ann Inc.'s brands Ann Taylor and Loft. Now don't get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE both stores. But getting an e-mail every day advertising a "new sale," well that's not really a sale at all. Set up a strategic plan prior to sending your blasts out and make sure to keep my tips below in mind. From both a consumer and marketing communications professional standpoint, here are my do's and dont's for e-blasts:


Do:
Have a frequency option for your customers when they sign up for your e-mail list
Send out an e-blast when you legitimately have a good deal or something you want to stand out
Offer a quick and easy way for customers to unsubscribe
Come up with a fun and catching headline that will make your customers want to open your e-mail
Ensure that your message is readable on mobile devices- most people use smartphones for communication


Don't:
Send out a daily e-mail- it's overkill
Leave out contact information, in case subscribers want to get in touch with you
Use all caps in your subject line, it looks like you're yelling
Put important info at the bottom of your e-mail, people won't always read all the way through
Forget to make sure all of the links you included work properly

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Denim Day 2012



As I was preparing to write a celebrity fashion blog today, I started streaming through my Twitter feed and came across an article posted by Kevin Bacon, written by his friend, Law & Order: SVU star Mariska Hargitay. What I found there, in that unsuspecting tweet, changed my mind on today’s blog post. There is something more important than the latest fashion trends to write about today. Tomorrow, April 25th, is national Denim Day. 


About Denim Day:
Denim Day was started back in 1999 to campaign against rape by making a social statement all over the world. The Peace Over Violence organization encourages everyone to wear denim all day (to work, school, social events and outings) to help protest misconceptions that are entailed with sexual assault by making a fashion statement. So now, on April 25th, you too can join this important cause.


Why Denim?
According to The Huffington Post article by Hargitay, back in 1992 an 18-year-old girl was raped by her 45-year-old driving instructor in Italy. After the brave girl told her parents about the incident, they helped her press charges and capture her rapist. The jury later found the prosecuted rapist innocent due to the fact that the girl was wearing “very tight” jeans and, in their minds, there was no way the man could take them off of her by himself. Therefore, she must have assisted him with the jean removal so the rape becomes “consensual sex”.


This idea is not only ludicrous, demeaning, hurtful and disrespectful, it is dangerous. Many rapists are going uncaptured, able to rape again and again over a ridiculous notion. Peace Over Violence is hoping to inspire men and women everywhere to make your own statement tomorrow by wearing a pair of jeans and showing off our power and ensue leadership against this strong misconception. 


To learn more about Denim Day, you can check out their official website here, as well as reading the The Huffington Post article by Mariska Hargitay here. Make sure you register as a participant in Denim Day 2012 and send the link to your friends and family so they can all become educated and register to help such a sincere project as well! You can also donate some extra bucks to the cause here. If we all work together, we can make a difference in this world!

"There is no excuse for and never an invitation to rape."
  

You can also join the cause on Facebook and share this important day with your friends!

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Tuesday Tunes


Rachel:
This week, my song pick is "Trouble" by Ray LaMontagne. This soulful tune has the quality and sound of Otis Redding. Although this song came out a few years ago, it's recently been one of the songs I've had on repeat on my iPod. This is definitely a tune worth downloading!




Kayla:
My song choice for this week is "The Story" by Brandi Carlile. This song is a few years old now, but has remained one of my all-time favorite tunes since I first heard it on Grey's Anatomy many seasons ago. The rasp in her voice is killer and the sound of the song has such soul to it. The lyrics are so detailed, beautiful and true. They tell such a real story. So, if you haven't heard this one yet, I strongly recommend that you do!


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Monday, April 23, 2012

Favorite Harry Potter Finds


I've been a HUGE Harry Potter fan since the beginning. I read the first book when I was in elementary school, and proceeded to follow the books and movies from there on, attending midnight book releases and movie releases. Always on the lookout for new fun HP things, I've compiled a list of 5 of my favorite Harry Potter finds, all under $20.

The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook 
Although not officially affiliated with HP, this cookbook may as well be. Featuring all kinds of recipes from dinners to desserts that we read about and saw in the movies, this book will make you feel as if you live in HP world yourself. You can snag one for less than $15 on Amazon.



Ministry of Magic Toilet Decal
This is one of the greatest HP products I've seen. If you recall from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Ministry of Magic employees had to flush themselves down to toilet to get to work. Although I don't own it myself just yet (it's on my list of things to buy), it's definitely an epic decoration for any HP fan. Etsy finds are the best!


Lumos/Nox Lightswitch
Get rid of all of the boring lightswitches around your house and make things way more exciting with the Lumos/Nox HP lightswitch. If you're reading this post, chances are you're a Harry Potter fan and know what this means. If not, lumos = light and nox = lights off, common spells used in the wizarding world.

Potter Weasley 2012 Car Decal
If you're fed up with politics or any of the candidates running for President this year, rock the Potter Weasley 2012 car decal and promote who should really be running the country- our favorites Hogwarts graduates. None of these ridiculous muggles, obviously.


I Solemnly Swear That I Am Up To No Good Bracelet
Who needs fancy jewelry when you can wear one of the most famous HP quotes around your wrist? This $20 aluminum bracelet from Etsy is another great product for Harry Potter fans that goes with everything!


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Friday, April 20, 2012

Fun Findings Friday


Floating Pool Speakers
Ever wish you could hear the music better while swimming in the pool without maximizing your iPod speaker and interrupting the whole neighborhood? Well, now you can! We just discovered these LED floating pool speakers! This stellar products light up for a cool nighttime look, while playing music and floating aimlessly around your pool. You get a set of three for $79.95, and you can order them here. Perfect for your summer around the pool, entertainment for the kids and adults during parties! Enjoy!


ShopStyle App
After watching E! News earlier this week, we discovered a new iPhone app that was featured in their "best fashion apps" segment called ShopStyle. We both downloaded it immediately and are already obsessed. This free Pinterest-esque application has all the clothing for men and women, accessories, shoes and handbags that are available in retail right now. You can browse, mark your favorites and see prices. The best part? If you absolutely looove something, you can save it and it will alert you when it goes on sale! Also, you can save your favorite stores and when they have anything on sale, they will alert you! This is heaven on your phone!

Soft Kitty T-Shirt
Do we have fans of The Big Bang Theory out there? Us too! While browsing through Pinterest one sleepless night, I can upon this T-shirt and immediately clicked the "order" button. As all of you superfans know, "soft kitty" is the song Sheldon always make Penny sing to him when he is sick or not feeling well. It's a fan favorite and now you can wear it forever! You can order your soft kitty shirt here!

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Apps For Earth Day 2012


Since Earth Day is this Sunday, I wanted to share some ways to help you add some green to your lifestyle. Although the Go Green initiative has really taken off over the past few years, most people (myself included) aren't always as green as they should be. So in an effort to help you, help Earth, here are a few of my favorite apps for going green:

My Recycle List

By entering your location or using the GPS feature, you can locate various recycling locations based on the category and items you select. Location information such as address, phone number, distance (from where you are), and a list of the items the location recycles is all available on the app. You can also save your search for future reference. So next time you're ready to do a spring cleaning, make sure you check the list to see what items you can recycle!


Good Guide
There is no better way to describe this app than the “good guide.” Perfect for grocery shopping, the Good Guide App allows users to scan product barcodes and receive detailed information regarding the item such as ratings for health, and social/environmental responsibility. Create lists of “good” and “bad” products to help yourself shop for better products and to push companies to reevaluate what they offer. If you find an item surprisingly "bad," reach out to the company via Facebook or Twitter about it- who knows, maybe you can spark something and get them to revamp their process.


Aluminate
This app is great not only for recycling, but also for earning you money by recycling aluminum cans. To start, set your goal by number of cans to recycle or how much money you want to earn. You can then track your individual or team efforts and view your progress in pie charts and graphs. The app also searches for nearby recycling centers making it easy for you to make a drop off while on the go.



One Stop Green 
The One Stop Green App Mobile App is perfect for people wanting to learn more about being “green” and saving money. Not only are there daily tips available through the app, but also a “Home Energy Audit” feature, where users can determine how much energy they use in their home. You can also determine your “Green Score” and see how environmentally conscious you are and how you can become more so.

 

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Movie Review: Think Like a Man



Earlier this evening, Rachel and I were invited to yet another early screening of a movie. This time we saw Tyler Perry's new comedy "Think Like a Man". Perry based this movie off Steve Harvey's best-selling book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy and Commitment. This movie follows five friends whose lives are turned upside-down when their respective women start following every advice written in the extremely popular book (of the same name in the film), and challenging them in every way. The men conspire to all read the book and do the same and teach the women a lesson.

Unlucky in love Mya gets tips on how to keep a good man from Steve Harvey's book.
I have to say, I wasn't expecting too much going into the film, but I thoroughly enjoyed watching this one. You do know exactly where the story is heading, and it is pretty predictable, but still hilariously fun to enjoy! It was smartly written and the acting was superb. Sometimes great acting can make all the difference, and in this case it's true. Everyone was perfect in their own roles and played their characters so accurately.

After being together for nine years, Kristin (Gabrielle Union) desperately wants her boyfriend to put a ring on it.
The hilarious Kevin Hart basically steals the movie in every scene he is in, playing the "happily divorced" guy watching his buddies ravel through the dating world from the sidelines. You also have the status-conscious CEO played by Taraji P. Henson, trying to decide if she "can" date the broke chef played by the very sexy Michael Ealy. There's also a long-time couple (nine years and counting) who is reeling through the issue of an engagement, a single mom matched with a mama's boy, and a no-luck-in-love girl who makes a 90 day rule before letting a man into her bedroom. All of these different couples and issues ensues cliched rom-com moments, but hey, that's what we girls love (and you know you guys do, too).

The very good looking Michael Ealy plays "the dreamer" of the group.
This isn't the first movie that was made based off a self-help book, but certainly is one of, if not the best one I've seen. All in all, this movie proves that dating is not easy, but when you find someone that's worth fighting for, sometimes it's okay to break the rules. I recommend this for everyone. There is plenty of eye-candy and romance for the girls, and genuinely funny guy talk for all the men to enjoy too! Well done, Tyler Perry!

"Think Like a Man" opens in theaters this Friday, April 20th.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Getting Crafty At Painting With A Twist


I'm usually pretty good at doing arts and crafts, but painting on a blank canvas is something I never thought I'd be able to master. Well, not master, but at least be semi-good at. But Painting With A Twist is something that's perfect for everyone- whether you consider yourself an artist or not.

My two paintings!
My first experience with Painting With A Twist was in Dallas, Texas last summer and I absolutely loved it! And a couple of weeks ago, I discovered another location in Tampa, Florida and was very excited to attend my second painting class, especially as the painting class was a fundraiser for the March of Dimes, one of the charities I'm most passionate about.

Currently in 16 states (with multiple locations), Painting With A Twist is something I would definitely recommend you do! The price and time of each painting class varies, typically from 2-3 hours and $25-$45, depending on the painting. The atmosphere is VERY relaxed, as you're allowed to bring in snacks and drinks (including alcoholic beverages)-- hence the twist. The painting is pre-determined, as you sign up online for the date/time/painting. Make sure you check your local calendar to see what paintings are available in your area. On the day of your class, make sure you arrive a little early to pick up your canvas, paint, and put on your painting apron (both included in the price). Arriving early also gives you some time to socialize with your friends and other people in the class, as well as getting your draaaank on beforehand.

My mom and I pre-class with our wine
 I already have my eye on a couple more paintings coming up. In fact, I'm thinking about making Painting With A Twist outings a monthly occurrence. It's THAT fun! For more specific information, check out the official website here.

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Tuesday Tunes


Rachel:
Semi-newcomer Andy Grammer's song "Fine By Me" is my pick this week. Sounding similar to Gavin DeGraw and fitting in amongst artists such as Matt Nathanson and Colbie Caillat, this artist is making it big on the radio waves. "Fine By Me" is his latest hit, a feel-good song about being in love. Follow Andy on Twitter here.


Kayla:
My Tuesday Tune this week is “Starlight” by the English rock band, Muse. I’ve been really getting into their music a lot lately and this song is one of my favorites. I first heard this song in the Crazy, Stupid, Love. trailer last summer and fell in love with it. The sound is one of those you can’t help but blast and sing along. Check it out and follow the band on Twitter here.


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Monday, April 16, 2012

Hippie Is Back: Chicest Looks From Coachella


If you know Hollywood, you know Coachella. This is a huge music event in the desert of Los Angeles that happens every April. Coachella brings out much of the rich and famous, the "whose who" of Hollywood. Yes, this festival has tons of singers and bands (mostly indie) performing every day. But, what makes the most notice and gets the most buzz is the fashion, of course! The ensembles that the celebs rock here typically range from cute to crazy, tapping in on their hippie sides. The 70s are back in a huge way, and I couldn't be more excited about it! So, as this festival wraps up, here is a look at the best looks from this weekend. The chicest, and most wearable outfits for you to inspire from!

Nina Dobrev
This look is probably the most "everyday person" style. It is young, cute and perfect for fun in the sun! But, the best accessory she has is sexy boyfriend and Vampire Diaries costar Ian Somerhalder! Hot!!

Fergie
 Fringe is all the rage this year and Fergie matched her fringe-draped vest with an earthy white maxi dress. She ditched her six-inch stilettos for boots to complete the look.

Vanessa Hudgens
Too scantily-clad? Not for Coachella. The Disney star wore high-waisted destroyed denim shorts and strapless barely-there bandeau top. She completed this look with a flower headpiece to give it a more hippie feel.

Kate Bosworth
Kate dressed more respectfully in a mid-calf length floral dress, leather jacket and combat boots. She mixed three very different styles into one outfit and rocked it!

Diane Kruger
I absolutely adore this outfit and it is definitely a look I would wear on a daily basis. It is simple and chic, and looks extremely comfortable! I also love the fedora hat she matched with this ensemble.

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Friday, April 13, 2012

Fun Findings Friday


PicFrame App
Wondering how people make (and post) picture collages on Instagram or other social networking sites? This 99-cent app is how. This is one of our favorite apps, allowing us to show before and after pics, or just simple collages of things we love.


Serendipity Frozen Hot Chocolate Gift Set
Remember the 2001 movie Serendipity with John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale? You know, where the two meet in Bloomingdales and bond over the last pair of gloves and then walk a few blocks over for dessert at the famous Serendipity 3 restaurant in NYC? The restaurant is famous for their frozen hot chocolate and always has long lines to prove it. You absolutely MUST try it in person at least once in your life, but in the meantime, you can purchase this gift set, which includes: frozen hot chocolate mix, a glass, two straws and a plastic spoon. Deeeelish!




Rewards Gold
Magazines can be pricey, especially when there are several you enjoy reading. To help solve that problem, this rewards site gives you points for filling out surveys and referring friends. Once you've earned a certain amount of points, you're able to cash your points in for free one-year mag subscriptions. The subscriptions available vary on a day to day basis, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the ones you really want. What's even better about this whole thing, there's NO catch! Happy reading!


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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Fun Nails For Summer


More so than ever, cool, colorful and funky nails are all the rage! Whether it is bright neon colors or fun patterns, everyone is trying something different with their nail polish this year. After seeing so many different colors and ideas on celebrities on red carpets and while searching through Pinterest, I decided to put together a little viewing of some of my favorite ideas I’ve seen! So, next time you’re at the nail salon or at home debating whether to attempt your own polish, think about doing some of these fun trends of the year!


These are just some fun prints and colors to try! I'm currently sporting a blue neon nail polish for summer at the moment, but I'm eyeing those peacock nails for next time, and of course, the leopard print is a must! Have some fun with your nails this year, and if you don't like it, you can always take it off right away!! Enjoy!

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