Sunday, March 1, 2009

love momma earth

We all know the drill with recycling: separate aluminum from paper and glass, put them each in their respective bins, and turn them in to designated places. We know to not throw batteries or printer toner cartridges in the trash, but to turn them in to special centers. We know all this, but actually doing the recycling is the tough part. I don't know about you, but I personally feel very bombarded lately with recycling messages and requests and I feel like no matter how much I try, it's never enough.

Well, the truth is ... a little can go a long way. And while not all of us are earth's best friend and are scared of the commitment to always do what's right for our planet, there are little things that we can all do to help without much effort. Recycling does help, but what would help to cut back on our consumption. And such a thing is difficult in a country where the economy and entire system is based on consumerism. Even so, please consider the following tips as ways to ...well, cut back with little effort.

  1. Unplug it! And this refers to anything that's plugged in to an outlet and you're not using right now, such as:
  • phone charger
  • microwave oven you use only once a week/month (you know, the one you keep plugged just for the clock?!)
  • Cordless vacuum-cleaner (it doesn't need to suck up electricity constantly. Just plug it a little before you are ready to vacuum. a little inconvenience can go a long way)
  • DVD/VCR player you use rarely (yes, it still sucks up electricity)
  • electric cordless shaver (just charge it right before you need it)
  • and more! just look around your house.
2. Air instead of water! If an item of clothing is not dirty (maybe it just smells like the food you just cooked), instead of tossing it in the laundry basket immediately, put it on a hanger and let it aerate in the fresh air outside for a couple of hours (or more). You will be amazed at how wonderful the fresh-clean smell sticks to it immediately and you cut down on your water and electricity use by not doing laundry* as often.
*On that note, you should only run your washer when you can fill it, not just for a shirt or two. Otherwise, it is a BIG waste of water and electricity.

3. To bag or not to bag? Your recycling bins don't always need to have plastic bags in them. For example, the ones where you recycle paper--which is clean -- just empty them straight into your recycling collector outside, no need for a bag.

4. The real cost of free? Well over a billion single-use plastic bags are given out for free each day. In a landfill, plastic bags take up to 1,000 years to degrade. As litter, they breakdown into tiny bits, contaminating our soil and water .(This info courtesy of That being said, NEVER toss a plastic bag in the trash. Please collect them in a spot that's not in the way in your house and either turn them in to your grocery store or re-use them.

5. Bulk it! Consider buying whatever you can in bulk (flour, sugar, meat, milk, detergent, etc.) in order to cut back on packaging consumption. This will also save you money, besides it being good for the environment. And if the quantities are too much for you to handle, just share the product with a friend --this way you'll all be saving $$ and saving the planet!

6. Paper for cloth! Whenever possible, consider replacing paper napkins with washable and reusable ones. For example, if you clean your windows with paper towels and Windex, consider using a cloth instead; just throw it in the washer when it gets dirty and then reuse it on and on. The same goes at the dinner table. As often as you can replace paper napkins with cloth ones you are cutting back on waste.

7. Bring your own! This might be on a fine line between being easy or difficult, but it's one of my favorites! Talk about those plastic bags, if you just had a bag of your own (preferably fabric --they last longer because they don't break as easily; even if they break, you can sew them up; they clean up nicely if you need to wash them) that you always brought when you went shopping, you wouldn't have to find a use for all those plastic bags you keep accumulating. For the more ambitious, consider buying a set of plastic reusable silverware and plates to use instead of the one-use ones. If everyone did the same for every big gathering, at the end there would be NO pile-up of dirty plates and utensils in the trash. How awesome would that be?

thanks for reading and I hope you have a good week!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Style-watch Mondays: the Oscars!

While I was getting ready to write this post about the 2009 Oscar Awards Ceremony, I thought to myself, "nothing really stood out this year." Most dresses were bland and blended in the setting. And we go downhill as we move towards hair-styles. Where was the glamour? The glitz? Good or bad, at least give me something to talk about?? :)
As it turns out, many share my opinion. I googled "Oscars 2009 fashion" and ran across spanking fresh articles that portray it bluntly as...disappointing
Still, after watching the Awards Ceremony meticulously, I can name one dress in particular that stood out to me: Marisa Tomei's Versace dress.
 To be honest, I didn't even know who Marisa Tomei is until I saw this dress. :) 
Well, she played the single-mom stripper in The Wrestler and she was nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category for her performance (the Oscar, however, went to Penelope Cruz).  
Back to the dress now. The cut is really sophisticated and I love how the many creases (or folds) twist along in various directions, yet manage to come together and look seamless! Simply stunning! It makes me think of a twister, actually. Marisa's dress also embodies a very strong trend at this year's oscars: that fishtail you may have noticed on other dresses, such as Beyonce's (whose dress was terrible, by the way) and Vanessa Hudgens'. 
Marisa wore the white the best, in my opinion. (This is the best photo I could find of her dress, but the angle that would truly do her justice is exactly the opposite, where you could see all the fabulous twists!) Penelope Cruz's vintage Balmain was also a hit, but her hair ruined it for me. Sarah Jessica Parker wasn't bad in her Dior dress, but too bridal of a look. Angie looked good, but her look is getting really old: long locks, black dress--same old, same old. 

Anyway, this is all I've got. All that's worth mentioning. Almost everyone's hair disappointed me. I think simplicity is a great thing, but not at the Oscars...not when it comes to hair. It ended up translating into lazy, as far as I'm concerned. Either that, or...the recession has hit the stars, too, and they could no longer afford a hair-dresser. I could just see them twisting their locks in the bathroom with the hot iron. Yikes!

Best to end the note with Marisa Tomei's dress. After all, she wins my style-watch category for the week ;)

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Before any discussion of dresses, glamor, fashion (or faux-pas), and dresses once again, I need to mention the one who stood out most to me during this year's Oscars Awards Ceremony.
Heath Ledger.
Not at all surprisingly, Heath won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar Award for his performance of the Joker in the Dark Knight. And no other man deserved this more. It is unfortunate when men as great as Heath have to leave us so early. But although Heath could not be on that podium to accept his award, and although his parents were on the stage where he should have been--where we all would have liked to see him--there was still that rare and strong emotion across the audience's eyes that only Heath could have provoked. The same feeling I experienced the first time I watched one of Keith's performances ("Ten Things I Hate About You") and the last time, too ("The Dark Knight"): a mixture of love, admiration, compassion, envy, enthusiasm, respect and euphoria. His humble attitude left me ever wondering...what's a girl to do with Heath...give him a big bear hug or seduce him?
Such was Heath: lovable, yet humble; seductive, yet serious; rebellious, yet devoted.
And to many of us, he still is. 

The Woodstock of our times

SASQUATCH and I go a long way back. Well, no, I haven't actually gone to the Sasquatch! Music Festival, ever, but I have fantasized about doing so for the longest I can remember. My desire got stronger and stronger since sophomore year of college, when my roommates went and I couldn't go. Mostly, it was because it's always been too expensive for me to go. Tickets cost about $160/person for the entire 3 days and a camping pass is at least $95. Then, you add the cost of  driving and food and other expenses over the three days and you can easily get close to $500, plus a second ticket for Dorel, close to $700. And it takes place at the end of May, close to when I'm always ready to leave for Romania. Since my trip to Romania is my biggest expense of the year --but also my most important trip--there is little left to choose. *sigh* 
BUT, I can dream. (besides, things can change over night...all we need is a big video/photo contract and....voila! we could both go!).

This image has always made me dream of Sasquatch. I would love to lay in a pool of people and tune out to the music; to drink with friends and float around, fly high and forget about all else; it looks as if all those people are sitting at the very top of the world. It's so beautiful! 

Plus, the indie bunch. Have you seen this year's line-up??
Saturday, May 23th
Kings of Leon / Yeah Yeah Yeahs / The Decemberists / Animal Collective / Bon Iver / M. Ward / Doves / Sun Kil Moon / The Gaslight Anthem / King Khan & The Shrines / Ra Ra Riot / Shearwater / Passion Pit / Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band / Vince Mira / Blind Pilot / Owl City / Arthur & Yu / Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele / Death Vessel / Hockey / James Pants / Todd Barry / Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! / People's Republic of Komedy

Sunday, May 24th
Jane's Addiction / Nine Inch Nails / TV On The Radio / of Montreal / The Avett Brothers / Calexico / M83 / The Airborne Toxic Event / The Walkmen / The Wrens / St. Vincent / The Dodos / John Vanderslice / The Submarines / Viva Voce / The Builders And The Butchers / AA Bondy / Fences / Point Juncture, WA / The Red Wine Boys / Zach Galifianakis / Deadmau5 / Natalie Portman's Shaved Head / People's Republic of Komedy / Devotchka

Monday, May 25th
Ben Harper and Relentless7 / Erykah Badu / Silversun Pickups / Fleet Foxes / Gogol Bordello / Santigold / Grizzly Bear / Explosions In The Sky / Girl Talk / Blitzen Trapper / The Knux / Monotonix / Bishop Allen / Black Moth Super Rainbow / Beach House / Mugison / The Dutchess And The Duke / School Of Seven Bells / Horse Feathers / The Pica Beats / Loch Lomond / BLK JKS / Demetri Martin / God's Pottery / Chromeo / Tobacco / People's Republic of Komedy

Did you wet your pants already? I did... :)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Bold Tuesdays

This Spring, as you leave behind your winter blacks and whites, don't just welcome the sun with color, but do so with INTENSE color! As tempting as those pastel colors might be (lime-green, pale-pink, pale-yellow, etc.), you can have more:
Try some clear-cut Green, Blue, and Red! Add Yellow and everything in-between, so long as it is an intense, definite color!

Don't just say, 'hello, Spring!' ...Flaunt those primary colors like you mean it! ;) 

Happy Spring, everyone!
PS: These lovely outfits are courtesy of BB Dakota --I'm a huge fan of their collections!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Style-watch Mondays

Season must-have's

First of all, *high-waist everything* (here's a basic idea from American Apparel). Seriously. Donate or set aside your low-waist items of clothing and make room for high-waist skirts, pants, overalls, dresses, shorts, etc. Any of your old tops will work perfectly covered by a high-waist skirt or pair of pants.

*On a budget?* Simply create the idea of "high-waist" by accessorizing with a belt tightened around the highest point of your waist, rather than around your hips. Or, wear a skirt that you already have in your wardrobe tightened around your high-waist, rather than your low-waist.

*Not for your body-type?* If you don't think you have the body for high-waist skinny pants and also don't want to look like chubby Jessica Simpson in them, you can never go wrong with a skirt. Skirts and dresses are good for all body-types.

Second of all, *vests* = the easiest and most fun way to accesorize and add character to an
otherwise-plain look. Vests are not only trendy right now, they can also make you look sophisticated easily, as if you actually spent time putting your wardrobe together. If you are worried about your budget and don't want to spend a lot on being up-to-date with fashion, vests will get you there. For example, they go perfectly with skinny, high-waist jeans, a long top, and either flats or pumps.

Now, in no particular order:

*Pumps* Very fun shoes that add height to any petite silhouette (like me). I love pumps because they can be fun, serious or sexy, depending on how you choose to wear them.

*Scrunched skirts* If you'd like to try something fun this season, consider getting a high-waist skirt in its scrunched version. Sure, you're thinking this isn't the sexiest outfit. Sexy, maybe not. Feminine? Yes. Fun? Most definitely. It's a nice, alternative office look, if nothing else.

*Belts* No explanation needed here. Any fashionista must have a belt by this point. Belts are good on dresses, skirts, pants, shirts, coats, sweaters, jackets, name it! They complement that high-waist look I just mentioned.
*On a budget?* Try using an old scarf or tie in place of a belt. If you have tops you are getting ready to throw away, consider cutting out a strip and using it in place of a belt.
*Scarves* Silk or wool, cotton or lycra, print or plain, scarves are a definite statement of who you are. Have fun picking one out and letting it show one or two of your true colors.