(End of) Summer Reading: Gone Girl

Photo courtesy of amazon.com

Photo courtesy of amazon.com

I will admit I have a somewhat obsessive personality… To clarify what I mean is quite simply when I like something, I mean REALLY like something I tend to immerse myself into whatever that thing is. This summer, like most I spent a fair amount of time reading-between days spent at the beach lazily basking in the sun, to summer evenings refusing to allow another nanosecond of reality television to seep into my psyche, I read and I read a lot. This brings me to my latest literary obsession- Gillian Flynn; I had heard quite a bit about the book Gone Girl, Flynn’s 2012 New York Times Best seller and being the nerd that I am I insisted on reading the book before the film adaptation is released in October. I quickly became hooked on Flynn’s writing and found myself researching her other body of work. I’ve always had an affinity for crime and suspense and Flynn’s does the most amazing job of foreshadowing you can’t help but want to see how the story ends. Gone Girl had me hooked from the very beginning- this story about a dazzling Manhattan couple who’s relationship has gone a little stale with the loss of their jobs and the need to move to some Podunk town in Missouri. The story opens with the couple- Nick and Amy Dunne preparing to celebrate their 5 year wedding anniversary and the wife goes missing… I won’t say anymore as I don’t want to give too much of the story away but read the book! The Gone Girl movie will hit theaters on October 3rd.

Here’s a peek at the trailer

Big Easy Style Lounge: Design Essentials

 

Photo credit: Exclusiveaccess.net

Photo credit: Exclusiveaccess.net

The sound of jazz can be heard on almost every block once you hit the Quarter in N’awlins; during the 20th anniversary of the Essence Musical Festival that music was rounded out with the soulful or funkdafied sounds of just about every other genre of music that speaks to your soul.

The Superdome was the place to be in the evenings and during the day I had the opportunity to get up close and personal with a few brands that I’ve come to know and love. Design Essentials hosted an event featuring the Grammy nominated Ledisi who played host to their inaugural Big Easy Style Lounge. Guests were treated to massages, makeup application and had the opportunity to chat with professionals about the range of products and which specific combination worked best for individual needs.

Because I’m a naturalista currently wearing a weave (with some leave out) the sleek edge control was recommended as well as the hydrience which serves as both heat protectant and moisturizer.

For more details on the Design Essentials line please visit www.designessentials.com

Jet Magazine Launches New App

Jet magazine holds a dear place in the hearts of many- I can remember going to the beauty salon  as a child to get my press and curl and thumbing through the magazine while waiting for my turn, or accompanying my pop-pop to the barber shop where the walls were filled with the Jet Beauty of the week.

The iconic magazine has just launched an app which will replace the paper magazine and they will be adding new content on a weekly basis. The premier digital issue features ingenue KeKe Palmer.

 

Here’s a snapshot of what the new app will offer:

· The first 360-degree view of the JET Beauty, with enhanced interaction with the model
· An exclusive viewing of Black&Sexy TV’s RoomieLoverFriends debut episode of season three – available only to JET app subscribers until July 6
· A chance to win a VIP experience to the largest house music event in the country – the 25th Annual Chosen Few Picnic (2015) in Chicago
· Featured celebrities – Stacey Dash, Anthony Anderson, Trey Songz and Taraji P. Henson

For more details visit www.jetmag.com/godigital

KeKe Palmer

KeKe Palmer

 

Taraji P.Henson Rocks Bedroom-Sexy Hair

20140610-212028.jpg

My favorite fellow Howard U alum Taraji P. Henson sported bedroom-sexy hair on the red carpet for yesterday’s Los Angeles premiere of Think Like A Man Too. Celeb stylist Ursula Stephens used a range of Motions (official US sponsor of the film) products to achieve Hensons’ look.

Products Used:
Motions Straight Finish Cleanser
Motions Straight Finish Leave-In Conditioner
Motions Straight Finish Sealer
Motions Light Hold Working Spritz

First cleanse with Finishing Cleanser, then condition the hair with Motions Straight Finish Cleanser- after drying seal the cuticles with finish sealer and then create the voluminous curls with a 2 inch barrel curling iron- in order to maintain your curl finish the look with Motions Light Hold Working Spritz.

I for one cannot wait to see the sequel which will hit theaters on June 20th.

Motions is available at drugstores nationwide, interested in learning more? Visit their FB page https://www.facebook.com/motionshair

What In The World Happened to Hip-Hop?

Me w/Tracy Lee, Howard Homecoming 2010

Me w/Tracy Lee, Howard Homecoming 2010

The other day I was listening to my husbands high school reunion CD and while I happily bopped my head to the likes of Queen Latifah’s Ladies First and De La Soul’s Me, Myself and I- I had to ask myself- what in the world happened to hip-hop? I will show my age when I say this but here it goes- the first album (album, not CD) that I ever purchased was Run D MC’s sucker MC- I listened to that record until I knew every lyric and nuance of the song… Fast forward to my days at Howard U- the music of Notoroius BIG, and hell even the west coasts’ Snoop was in heavy rotation. You see the thing about this music is that it was lyrical- and told stories of people much like me who grew up with very little but were able to make it- by any means necessary; for me that meant having parents that sent me to magnet schools outside of my hood- they ensured I learned to the play the violin and when I got a little older and it became clear that I could outrun my male cousin- I had track. In any case; the music told stories of female empowerment, encouraged safe sex and yes sometimes it was gritty and raw, but more often than not it was music with a message. I remember when my HU friend Tracy Lee created the simple yet powerful Party Time and everyone would rush to the dance floor not only because we loved Tracy, but because he created music that made you wanna dance. Fast forward to today and I have to say beyond Kendrick Lamar- I have very little use for most of the music that is labeled *hip-hop* these days. Most of it is likely only taking strippers to the poll versus prompting anyone to run to the dance floor. I will readily admit- I often have to google half the shit that’s said in music nowadays…. If it weren’t for Lamar, I would chalk my general distaste for the genre to me just getting old- but hip-hop and it’s originators have grown up yet somehow the way that was paved for this generation hasn’t produced anyone who can generally claim the crown as the King/Queen of hip-hop. I won’t give up hope- perhaps the next BIG is in the studio spitting fire and preparing to take over the crown.

Mourning Maya

20140528-182645.jpg

photo source
There have been many personalities to “pass on” but never have I felt a loss as deep as when I opened my email to discover that Maya Angelou was no longer of this earth. No more newly knitted words crafted from the woman who exclaimed
” Pretty women wonder where my secret lies. / I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size… ” *
giving pride to this and all black girls with too many too’s to ever be considered beautiful- too fat, too loud, too black, too ugly… But yet in spite of all my “too’s” my milkshake can still bring the boys to my yard, because Dr. Angelou told me so.

She also gave us haughty permission to swivel our hips to the beat of an unheard of ancestral drum all the while celebrating the very essence of womanhood.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Baby!! Still I Rise gives new meaning to diamond life.

Maya Angelou’s greatness will forever live through her poetry, her boldness and her life that was clearly lived out loud. She has many legacies which is ultimately the greatest testimony to a life well lived but for me, her break down of what it means to be truly phenomenal, beyond societies expectations, outside the realm of normal standards of beauty has always put a little more starch in my backbone… A bit more arch in my step and given me the ability to revel in the fact that I am indeed phenomenal…

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman

Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,


That’s me.

*

*Excerpted poetry from Maya Angelou “Still I Rise” and Phenomenal Woman

Selfies, Pizza and Stars- Oscars Recap

Although the red carpet is typically the highlight of any awards, I dare say that Ellen Degeneres really stole the show in her role as host last night. Her comedic timing is always perfect but on oscar night it was even more so; between record breaking impromptu selfies, to making good on her promise to order pizza Ellen remained entertaining during a show that can sometimes be a snooze fest. She was funny, incredibly well dressed and was the primary reason I stayed tuned in- besides waiting to see Lupita win!!!!

Here are my top 8 moments from last nights Oscars:

8. Fashion moments I loved Pharrells trendsetting boldness opting to wear a Lanvin tuxedo that included shorts. Pharrell continues to make controversial fashion choices that keep us talking.
20140303-075852.jpg

Photo source

7. Best dressed- I also LOVED Charlize Theron in Dior, Kate Hudson in Versace and Kelly Osbourne in Badgley Mischka

20140303-075307.jpg

Photo source

6. Speaking of Pharrell his performance of his academy nominated song “Happy” was another highlight. The choreography was on point and who can resist dancing along to such an infectious song? Plus he made his way to the audience and had several nominees dancing right along with him.

5. Judy Garland Tribute- Pink is usually incredibly edgy and prone to acrobatics during her performances; however I loved seeing her all dressed up delivering a powerful rendition of Somewhere Over The Rainbow
20140303-081533.jpg

Photo source

4.Pizza! In the middle of the formality of the academy awards Ellen Degeneres polls the audience on how hungry they are and then proceeds to have pizza delivered. Apparently it was gluten free.

3.Matthew McConaughey’ acceptance speech- I have admittedly not seen Dallas Buyers club but after his acceptance speech for wining for his lead actor role in the movie I’m definitely going to check it out. He was the only winner to thank God for his win-
“There’s a few things, about three things to my account that I need each day. One of them is something to look up to, another is something to look forward to, and another is someone to chase. Now, first off, I want to thank God. ‘Cause that’s who I look up to. “He has graced my life with opportunities that I know are not of my hand or any other human hand.”
20140303-080713.jpg

Photo source

2.Selfies! Ellen did an amazing job of infusing her authentic self into every moment as host. When she broke out her phone to take a selfie with several of the nominees she broke records for having the subsequent tweeted picture be retweeted over 2 million times.

20140303-080314.jpg

Photo via twitter

1. Lupita Nyong’o wins! Lupita looked like a princess last night in her custom Prada and she served as inspiration to black girls everywhere-” may it remind me and every little child that no matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.”

20140303-082241.jpg
Photo source

#TeamLupita We WON!!!

20140302-225235.jpg

Lupita Nyong’o has found her way into our hearts not only as a bonafide fashionista and this seasons “It” girl, the Yale graduate can now add Oscar winner to her list of accomplishments. Lupita won in the best supporting actress category for her portrayal as Patsey in 12 Years A Slave.

Nyong’o was breathtaking on the red carpet with her custom made Prada gown in a beautiful shade that she referred to as Nairobi blue indicating that the hue reminded her of her native Kenyan home.

If you were not already in love with Lupita for her graciousness and savvy fashion sense, her acceptance speech definitely would win you over . “Thank you for putting me in this position. It has been the joy of my life. When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every little child that no matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.”

Congrats Lupita!!!

Photo source

Cheers! Sterling Wines The Official Libation of The Oscars

2011 Sterling Carneros Pinot, bottle shot

The Oscars is what I always love to refer to as the Olympics of Red Carpets and this Sunday the 86th Academy Awards will take place at the Kodak Theater.    The competition for the golden statues is fierce this year with very deserving nominees in every category.

One of the biggest trends for entertainment buffs and fashionistas alike is bringing the red carpet experience home by way of hosting Oscar viewing parties.   As you are prepping to host your soiree why not add a little of the glamour of the Oscars to your party? Sterling Vineyards is the official wine of the red carpet and you can toast your favorite nominee and determine who was best dressed with a little Sterling Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc  or 2010 Napa Valley Sauvignon Cabernet .

Having wine as an accompaniment to your Oscar bites takes the hassle out of coming up with a signature drink and by including both a red and a white option you can satisfy the tastes of most of your guests!   I am a certified wineaux and when I tell you my initial reaction to the Sauvignon Blanc- was quite simply wow.  I am an equal opportunity wine drinker and will grab a red or white depending on my mood.  The Sauvignon Blanc is floral with a bit of citrus and is the perfect white wine to appease even the biggest wine snob.

Visit my Pinterest Board for more Oscar Party Inspiration and check out www.sterlingvineyards.com for locations and where to buy.

 

Cheers,

Lisa

56th Annual Grammy’s Recap

The 56th Annual Grammy Awards took place last night and if you watched while engaged in social media the general consensus across Facebook and Twitter was the show was rather boring; the highlights for me included Mr. And Mrs. Carter AKA Beyonce and Jay-Z opening the show with a performance of Drunk In Love the hit from Beyonce’s self-titled album. Kendrick Lamar’s performance with Imagine Dragons resulted in me joining Lamar’s fan club- seriously, color me a HUGE Kendrick fan. Other highlights included Daft Punks performance with Pharell Williams, Stevie Wonder and Nile Rogers and a rather confusing wedding officiated by the gorgeous Queen Latifah.

As usual, the real focus of any award show is always the red carpet and here are my favorite looks from the evening:

Rita Ora was in an iridescent cocktail length dress by Lanvin. I loved the bombshell-esque waves of her hair, the bodycon fit of her dress and her makeup,were all just pitch perfect.

Rita Ora

Rita Ora

photo source

Tamar Braxton
I’m a huge fan of Tamar’s music, however her fashion choices always ring inauthentic to me. Last night she found her voice wearing crimson Michael Costello.

Tamar Braxton

Tamar Braxton

photo source

Taylor Swift wore a chain link Gucci gown and was simply stunning in a gown that quite possibly could be my favorite look of the evening.

 

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift

photo source

Beyonce also opted for a Michael Costello gown which definitely demonstrated her alter-ego “Yonce” is here to stay.

 

Beyonce

Beyonce

photo source 

Please visit Grammy for a complete list of winners.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers