Saturday, January 31, 2009

It's all about fit

Tim Gunn has always proclaimed how important fit is whether its to a project runway contestant or a New Jersey housewife. I couldn't agree more. My mother always proclaimed this important rule to me, and today I pass it along to you, young jedi.

With many of my friends in their last semester and preparing to enter the real world for the first time they're embarking on networking at industry events and interviews trying to make a great first impression. In the advertising industry how you present yourself and look is everything. That's not to say you have to have the latest and trendiest outfit although touches here and there help keep you look modern. Plus head to toe trends just makes you look like you're trying too hard. Number one rule in fashion: fit. If your clothes don't fit right you're going to look like a sloppy hot mess.

Here's a couple of key rules to ensure proper fit:
1. Remember you can always take things to the tailor, and probably should. This rule does not just apply to men and suits. Women take your jeans to the tailor. There is nothing worse than jeans dragging on the ground collecting street slush and looking filthy.

2. A dark wash pair of jeans goes a long way. Make sure they're properly fitted in the hem, and ladies make sure they sit high enough on your wait and tush to ensure there's no muffin top or plumber's crack.

3. This one is for the women. When buying a button down blouse make sure the button between your breasts doesn't pop. Its tacky, it instantly brings up references of a slutty secretary, and brings everyone's eye level down there instead of your mouth listening to what you have to say. I've seen many women break this rule, and its not pretty. Express sells a good women's fitted blouse. Look for one with darting under the chest and the gaps in between the buttons aren't too big. Wear a tank top underneath to ensure no bra or skin exposure.

Good luck out there kids...its brutal.

Tacky Trend: Maternity Bridal Gowns

I'd heard rumor these garments existed during summer wedding season, but I thought it was a tacky joke. Turns out its just tacky and true. This is by far one of the tackiest things I've ever seen in my life, and I grew up in a small rural town I've seen a lot. Here's the thing: I accept and generally encourage having a nontraditional family, but then don't expect to have a traditional wedding. Sorry but you can't have it both ways. A white dress does have symbolic meaning whether you like it or not. If you're going to walk down the aisle during your second or third trimester than don't wear a floor length, white lace bridal gown. It just screams shotgun wedding! Either wait if you want the princess dream gown that badly, or wear a different color in something tasteful and flattering. In the immortal words of Miranda: "I said no white. I have a child. The jig is up!"

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire. Does it deserve Best Picture?

Last night after two failed attempts I finally saw Slumdog Millionaire. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. It is grand, beautiful, emotional, a true love story. Danny Boyle has created a great film, one that the Indian Tourism Board definitely doesn't want you to see. Can you blame them though? It takes place in the slums of Mumbai, and shows the harsh reality of growing up on the streets as an orphan in one of India's largest cities. Yet intertwined into this dismal setting is one constant emotion, hope. The emotion of the year that has overwhelmed many of us in these dismal times.

So my question is does Slumdog Millionaire deserve Best Picture or is it simply a reflection of how we're all feeling in this rough year? Will this picture stand the test of time and become a classic? Many have said Benjamin Button will stand the test of time and become a classic. Its still on my list and I've decided once I've seen Button I can decide for myself who I think deserves Best Picture: Slumdog or Button. In the end we all know its down to these two films anyway.

I recommend Slumdog. Its a beautiful story narrated by a beautiful score, with an engrossing cast from the small children to Frieda Pinto and Dev Patel. It has the makings of a Best Picture and we'll find out on February 22nd.

My fav contestant on Top Chef 5...Carla of course!

After watching one of my favorite shows on television, Top Chef, tonight I decided my fav contestant aka most entertaining is Carla. She makes great T.V. hands down. Those facial expressions, her interview commentary. Pressure... She's eclectic, a little crazy, seems like she puts a lot of love into her food, and always says exactly what I'm thinking about the situation or the other contestants. Plus her winning two tickets to the Super Bowl...AWESOME!! That was priceless T.V. You couldn't write that reaction.

I'm still mad that the little twit Leah is on and Arianne was given the boot a few weeks ago. Mark my words in a few months she'll have her own food segment on a morning show if not her own cooking show. She's relatable, attractive, comfortable in front of the camera, down to earth, a mom, and cooks classic food. The main ingredients that make a great cooking show host. I'm thinking a Today's show segment, since she won that challenge or a Food Network weekend program.

That's all for now, sorry its been slow lately, its the middle of winter here in the frozen tundra and there has been little inspiration. Stay posted after this weekend I have a feeling I'll be back in the swing of things.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Minneapolis Library

Sorry its been a while since a recent post, things have been a little hectic the last few days. With the renovation of the Walker, the new Gutherie overlooking the Mississippi waterfront, and the Minneapolis Central Library in just the last few years; Minneapolis is quickly garnering the reputation as a design city tucked away in the quiet midwest.

I've recently been spending quiet winter days in the Minneapolis Library. As a professional job hunter the funds are limited, but that doesn't mean I can't be cultured. The design lets in gorgeous light, and with its central location is a melting pot for the city. Meshing many cultures and neighborhoods that may not otherwise interact. One of the highlights of the library, besides free bestsellers, is the What's New? exhibit located in the Cargill Hall. The small space highlights a local photography project that focuses on several Twin Cities neighborhoods and its residents. Highlighted neighborhoods include: East Lake Street, Cedar Riverside, and the Northeast. The exhibit runs through March 1.

When you have a quiet afternoon head downtown to spend some time curled up with a free book that's been on your list for a while, and enjoy some captivating photography as well. Just make sure it isn't a Monday afternoon (the Library is closed on Mondays).

Top left photo: Michael Mingo

Friday, January 23, 2009

Anne Taintor

One of the best Christmas presents I received this year besides my amazing pink Dyson, and no don't think I'm domestic I just like a clean house, is my Anne Taintor planner. I'm a girl who lives by my planner (I'm a visual person who has to write important things down or I forget) and I'm always excited to see which theme my mom picks out. This year she hit a homerun. My family, a very cynical, sarcastic Irish-German Catholic group, laughed for a good hour flipping through the pages. My two personal favorites: Why yes I am overqualified, and Remember sweetheart...mommy loves you, but she doesn't have to like you. The former sums up how I feel about being a college graduate who is now a professional job hunter. I think I'll just start sending it out as my new cover letter. To the point, creative, and witty. Isn't that what it takes to be in the ad industry? The latter made my mom and I laugh hysterically, because women you all know you have those days with your mother or daughter.

Anne Taintor's hilarious spin on 40's and 50's Americana female imagery is just what I need each day to make me laugh. You can find Anne Taintor's work at many gift stores and her website
On my wish list: "You be Thelma. I'll be Louise." Passport holder. "Why yes I am overqualified" business card case.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Introducing...My Photography

Today it's hump day and I'm feeling a little blue so I decided it was time to refresh myself, and introduce to all of you to some of my favorite photos. One of my favorites is actually featured in my banner, which my beautiful, fabulous friend Katie Harris made for me. The photo is in Amsterdam, where I lived for six months in 2007. It overlooks one of its many beautiful canals, with a classic Amsterdam bicycle in the foreground with the famous Rijks museum in the background. It is quintessential Amsterdam.

Starting at the top and moving downward: Beautiful Lake Superior in Duluth, MN. The tulips in full bloom in May in front of Northrop Auditorium on the University of Minnesota campus. American pride on the footsteps of a beautiful brownstone in Hoboken, NJ.The beautiful, textured tulips in the Keukenhof Garden in the Netherlands. The perfect beach shot in Curacao, a beautiful Dutch Island.

I'll share more as time goes by. My photography is available for sale at Sara Cura in Dinkytown in Minneapolis, MN. If you would like to purchase from me directly you can leave a comment under this post.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Yes she's our new First Lady, but she's also a Fashionista.

Today was her red carpet. Many have anticipated and analyzed, myself included, what Michelle Obama would wear on such a historic day. Above is the Isabel Toledo dress and jacket she wore to the Inauguration along with Jimmy Choo heels and J.Crew gloves. I'm still mixed on this outfit. Its not what I expected, which can be good and bad. It's definitely a risk and a different color palette than what I would have liked to seen her in. The outfit has grown on me slightly in the last several hours, but my initial reaction was NO. I think their could have been better choices. In fact I've seen better sketches by top designers in US Weekly. She's worn such beautiful pieces during such big moments in the past: the beautiful purple v-neck dress as Barack sealed the nomination here in St. Paul, the entire Democratic convention, to the beautiful Narciso Rodriguez red and black dress on election night. Today on the biggest moment so far I must admit in my eyes she dissapointed. Malia and Sasha both looked so adorable that's all I need to say.

The Inaugural gown I'm not going to hate on. Choosing young designer Jason Wu, 26, who is Taiwanese and works out of New York is a perfect fit for the moment. His Spring 2009 collection can be found here: The gown is etheral, dreamy, shows off her fabulous upper body, and cream/white always looks beautiful on African American women's skin. The gown is youthful and represents a new vision sweeping into Washington. Like it or not fashion is that powerful. First impressions are everything and today our First Lady made a unique and lasting fashion impression.

The outfit on the top is my favorite outfit from the last weekend of festivities. A beautiful black and camel Narciso Rodriguez ensemble that she wore for the Lincoln Memorial concert on Sunday. It's classic, regal, and beautiful. It's what I've come to expect of Michelle as the style icon she has grown into. Ladies here's some advice: Stick with Narciso! You can't go wrong, the man knows how to dress a woman and be stylish.

It's here!! It's here!!!

Myself on Election night. Right after CNN announced Obama had won Ohio and announced him the 44th President of the United States.

Today I'm as giddy as a kid on Christmas morning. I woke up to our new day by going to my morning yoga. Such a great way to start my morning. Exactly what my mind, body, and spirit needed. Then I became glued to CNN as I'm sure many of you were. I absolutely reveled in the moment, my one regret not having made it to D.C to be a part of the energy of it all. My support for Barack Obama first came last February right before Super Tuesday. I attended a rally at the Target Center, waited in a mile long line in the Minnesota cold, and my love for real politics was renewed. As a young child, I often told teachers I would grow up to the be the first female President. I was enthralled with politics, government, and the possibility of democracy. Like a young child who finds out Santa Clause isn't real, in my teenage years I realized the idealized democracy I had envisioned as a child wasn't real. Until Barack Obama came along. The possibility of what I can acheive, what you can acheive, and what we as a united country can acheive has been lifted up to new heights. Congratulations on this historic and happy day! Revel in a new day and a refreshing, much needed historic moment.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Is Disney the Prostitot factory?

What is with every young female Disney star walking around town looking like a child prostitute? It started back in the day with Lindsey and Hilary, during the years where every young teenage girl bared her pubescent tummy with little thought to the inappropriateness of it all. Now the prostitot role has been taken over by the Disney poster child: Miley Cyrus. I have my own grievances about the daughter of mullet loving Billy Ray, but that's a whole other post in itself.

I mean seriously where is her mother? Oh that's right her mother wears more inappropriate things than this. Case in point: that gawdy silver cocktail dress she wore at the Golden Globes last week. She could have moonlighted as Chris Angel's assistant at a magic show it was so vulgar.

Back to Miley. It seems that Disney continuously churns out the prostitots from Lindsey to Hilary to Vanessa Hudgens (nude pics scandal) to Miley. This wholesome family company forces young girls to grow up faster than ever, then act as role models to tween girls. I don't consider the picture above to be a role model. If I ever do have a daughter you can bet she won't be watching her generation's Hannah Montana.

It's time for some Bush trimming

I found this interesting piece thanks to my amazing Google Reader. If you don't have Google Reader I highly recommend it. It consolidates all of your favorite websites onto one account so you can check them all without having to go from website to website. Ok so back to the article from AdAge. As the key target market of this promotion, I think its pretty brilliant. Bliss has always been a great brand (love their products which you can get at Sephora, basically my mecca) and clever with their product names and package design. I found it interesting that they handle all marketing in-house as many niche cosmetic companies do. Niche cosmetics brands are some of my favorite products, partly because of the smart package design and witty play on product names.

While I'm a loyal agency girl, this promotion has intrigued me to wonder do all brands need an agency to become a great brand? Agree with me, disagree with me let me know either way.

This is a great pun on the "Bush" name, but the best one I've ever seen was at a Bush rally in 2004. Bush's visit was being protested by some true liberal Minnesota hippies, and one girl stood out not for her actual voice but her simple, hilarious tank top. She looked at me and smiled coyly as I read her shirt and laughed. It stated simply: My bush would make a better president. Amen sister. Here's a toast to some great days ahead in this country: Martin Luther King Day, and Obama's Inauguration. I know I'll be celebrating come Tuesday.

Source: AdAge

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Entertained by this year's Golden Globes

As I watched E!'s red carpet I became enthralled like a young boy watching the first playoff game of the NFL. Awards season has always been one of my favorite things since I was a young child. Watching all of Hollywood return to its glamorous roots, and celebrate its best performances and films of the year always makes me smile. So far this year's Golden Globes has not disappointed. Always having been my favorite awards show for its huge star power, plethora of awards and champagne which always fuels entertaining moments, and often the only awards show that rewards both drama and comedy this year its back with a bang. Having been a scaled down, pitiful version last year due to the writer's strike the first hour of this year has given us some great moments. Ricky Gervais' hilarious presentation that quickly turned into a five minute stand up bit with a pint in hand on stage, to Kate Winslet fabulous and well deserved win and acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actress for The Reader. Stay tuned...I know I will.

Friday, January 9, 2009


My personal favorite bromance, because original is always the best.

Urban Dictionary defines Bromance several different ways.  Below is my favorite, and probably best describes the bromances I've witnessed.

The intense love shared between heterosexual males. A form of male bonding and 
usuallly invisible to the naked eye. This bond is normally only shared between two 
males that have a deeper understanding of each other, in a way no woman could ever 

"My boyfriend is off for some bromance with his best mate tonight..."

My introduction into the bro world began as a sorority girl.  Witnessing Frat Boys calling each other bro, watching the YouTube Bro Rape video, and watching these boys heavily influence one another's decision making process often at the expense of close girlfriends always puzzled me.  Watching boys bro it out was always fascinating to a girl who had never considered herself co-dependent on any particular person. Now I've seen this bromance epidemic spread to almost every male in my life.  They "bro" it up several times a week and some with several different bros.  Many seem more excited to bro it up than hang out with their steady girlfriend.  Some bromances even sound similar to a heterosexual relationship. "Yo tonight I told David I would revolve the whole night around him." Excuse me?! What occurs at these bromances is still of curiosity to myself and my close girlfriends.  When did the men, sorry bros, of my generation become co-dependent on each other?  When did they become so expressive of their mutual boy crushes on each other?  Why are they more in tune with their bro feelings than their feelings for women?  Is this a defense mechanism from transitioning into the next phase of adulthood or a true brotherly bond between two males or several males? Is there a female equivalent or can that kind of comradery not exist between a group of females?   

Feel free to post your thoughts...

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Checking in the B-card

I'm starting this blog as an outlet for the observations on culture I make each day.  As an avid people watcher and frequent eavesdropper I'm always watching my surroundings and gaining insight into the world around me.  The name of this blog came out of my love for photography, which I'll also feature on here.  I'll be touching on all topics on this blog, but there will be a few favorite consistent topics: Advertising, Fashion, Celebrities, Popular Culture.  I'll be talking about all of these topics on a local (Minneapolis), national, and global level.  Hope you'll follow along as I share my point of view...stay tuned.