Posts Tagged ‘Yeah… I said it.’

Sleeveless: The New Micro Mini?


The right to bear arms.

Absentmindedly, while giving myself a pedi, I was watching a show on Fashion Television, where Jeanne Beker was interviewing two sisters, who I believe were writers – forgive me,  for I only caught the show well into more than half of it. In the interview, she asked if, in their opinion, people, specifically women, ought to dress their age. This question was met with dead silence, which seemed to have lasted forever, but I’m sure in reality only lasted a couple seconds. The writers looked at each other with a bit of a puzzled look, followed by a smirk, and then a huge grin.

Indeed, a controversial topic, if ever there was one.

Should we dress our age?

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In the end, it seemed that the both writers agreed that it would be recommended, although one was more emphatic about that view than the other, expressing utter shock and horror at women ‘of a certain age’ wearing sleeveless tops… or exposing their necks.

Poor Jeanne, who was visibly shocked at the response, or perhaps I should say more so disappointed. In light of the fact as, in light of the fact that she revealed that, though she was currently wearing a turtleneck, she is, in fact, a lover of the sleeveless. It was evident that she didn’t share the same view, though, though she was aware that, in some circles, this may be considered a major fashion “don’t”, as she recalled commenting on her arms – on camera, during one of her shows. See for Jeanne, she sees fashion as more of a mindset than an age thing.

Or should we dress our minds?

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Maybe there is no black and white answer.

Perhaps we ought to dress how we wish others to perceive us, or at least dress in what we feel most comfortable and powerful in, – outside of sweats *cough*.

“Dress your lifestyle, and you’ll always be relevant.”

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If one’s clothing doesn’t match one’s lifestyle, there will never be balance, and so, perhaps the problem is bigger than the clothes.  Just my opinion.

I’d be the last to condone dressing to please anyone else, but there must be the acceptance that there is a generally understood concept – how you present yourself to the world, is one of the factors which help communicate to the world exactly which point of view you are coming from.  It’s all a part of the ‘body language’ conversation really, and less so rocket science. Though complex as individuals, as a species humans are simple – It the end, it’s all about vibes.

What vibes are you giving off?

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Side note: The writers threw out an interesting statistic – That one in three (3) things we purchase, is a mistake, i.e. it either is not flattering, or is not the best look for us, aka it’s just wrong. E. Gad, say it ain’t so.

Perhaps the whole notion of dressing your age may be related to that. Logically speaking, the older we get, the more in tune with our personal style we ought to be, and so the less mistakes we are likely to make. But of course, it’s never that simple, is it. That high-waisted, fuschia, American Apparel leggings for example that I purchased with a matching navy one, and standard black long tank comes to mind – Yeah, about that statistic, I get you.

Having it all

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Something else that caught my attention was a conversation about “Having it all’. One of the writers said that she found it interesting that at every graduation, at every turning point in young woman’s life, there is a well accomplished woman who, by all appearances has it all, (which is why I suppose she was asked to address the young women in the first place), who is usually the greatest advocator that it’s not possible to have it all. Funny. She later concluded, less often regarded fact to this discussion is that to have it all requires a great deal of hard work, sweat and perhaps more than a few tears. That, perhaps that it’s less so that it’s not possible and more that it’s not a path for the weak willed, or lazy among us.

Right about here the sister of the first writer offered her two cents – that having it all simply means that you are at a point where

“…what you want, and what you currently have are in balance.”

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Simply, it does not necessarily reflect the balance on your chequing account, the number of kids you have, or if you are married or in any sort of committed relationship or not. She then recounted a time when she had just gotten a divorce, was living in a tiny apartment, and was a struggling writer, but at that moment in her life she felt like she had it all – that is to say, she was in a place where she was happy. She was doing exactly what she wanted to do, at that point in time, and felt that she was well on her way to success on her terms.

I’ve read that success is not the key to happiness, but that happiness is the key to success. So ya, I get it. I get it now.

In the end, it always seems to come down to balance, doesn’t it?

b FiercelyFabulous

Photo Credit

Parabens and YOU

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Parabens. Parabens. Parabens.

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I’ve just cursed you in skincare language – 3 times too. Ha!

Parabens have received a pretty bad rep in skincare recently, resulting in large part from a UK study back in 2004 that looked at paraben-containing deoderant and it’s relation to breast cancer.

But before we get into that…”I know they are bad but…”

What ARE Parabens?

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Parabens are preservatives that are commonly used in the cosmetic, pharmaceutical and food industry to guard against bacterial and fungal activity, and prevent the growth of other possible organisms such as mold and yeast. They are widely used because they have been found to have the least ability to sensitize (cause redness and irritation, among other reactions) the skin in preparations that are left on the skin.

Parabens are easily identifiable as they would normally contain the word ‘paraben’, as in methylparaben, ethylparaben, etc.

Why use preservatives cosmetics?

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Well… let’s think about it for a second.

Take your everyday skincare cosmetics – Your cleanser. Your toner. Your moisturizer. – Chances are water is listed somewhere on the ingredient list.

This would be the case unless of course you are using something that contains no water at all, like 100% of an oil based substance – 100% Shea Butter for example, or perhaps loose powder (or ‘baby’ powder) which is basically 100% talc – no water present. We’re not talking about these. No water means no disease carrying organisms to worry about.

Think about mixing a concoction of different (edible) ingredients from your kitchen with water in a container, covering it and putting it away on a shelf. Then think about opening this container 12-24 months later. Would you drink the mixture? If not why not?

Cause it will be wrenk that’s why. Eww.

Bacteria and fungi have a field day and multiply in water (with the presence of oxygen), unless there is something, in this case some ingredient present that inhibits it’s growth.

The same concept applies regarding water-based skincare cosmetics – basically different ingredients suspended in water.

Therefore, it is important to use a preservative(s) in these cosmetics when it is required that they remain safe for use after sitting on a shelf in a store, on your dresser or worse – under the face-basin in your bathroom for a year… or two.

Okay… But what’s the deal?

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So back to the initial sentance, the real jibber-jabber with parabens came around 2004 when a UK-based study looked at the use of parabens in deoderants, and it’s connection to the development of breast cancer.

The Issue: Parabens have been shown to have estrogen-like qualities and they’ve also been shown to be absorbed into the body when applied topically, hence begging the question – Are they somehow cancer causing?

Studies and tests have shown that:

1. The estrogenic effects of parabens are thousands times lower than the most estrogenic compound in the body and that

2. Once they enter the body, parabens are incapable of imitating estrogen. The U.S Food & Drug Administration [FDA] has also stated:

“FDA is aware that estrogen activity in the body is associated with certain forms of breast cancer. Although parabens can act similarly to estrogen, they have been shown to have must less estrogenic activity than the body’s naturally occuring estrogen.”

Moreover, the Milady’s Skin Care and Cosmetic Ingredient’s Dictionary indicates that plant substances including but not limited to soybeans, strawberries, sage, dong quai, pumpkin, red clover and rosehips are considered to have natural estrogenic effects 1000 to 1,000,000 times stronger than parabens.

Righto. I type this as I inhale a bowl of fresh strawberries I just copped for 99c a carton.

So with no solid proof that parabens are related to [breast] cancer then…

Why the controversy?

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Who really knows?

There’s not nearly as much fuss over the use of tanning beds and its relation to skin cancer, and it can be argued that the case is much stronger for that link.

Perhaps, as with most other skin care myths, it’s just a marketing strategy, which means that the ‘controversy’ is being fueled by the skin care manufacturers – Those who have replaced the use of parabens in the skin care cosmetics with some other preservative, never mind they don’t state exactly what that preservative is, other than stating “Paraben Free” on the label.

Given that parabens were shown to be the least sensitizing, could it be that the replacement preservative(s) is/ are more sensitizing/ dangerous than the use of parabens?

Or perhaps, I don’t know, the replacement preservative used is less effective than parabens and therefore puts the user/ user’s skin at more risk if the product is either used past it’s safe-by date (which usually goes unchecked), or after having endured unfavourable conditions, like being out in the sun for example.

I can ponder forever.

Definitely something to think about while you sip your overpriced soy latte after making a trip to the local tanning salon.

Just sayin’.

b Freakin’Fabulous

Photog: Nualpradid / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It’s Official | Look Like Your Ex for $69.50

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The madness is now official.

Meet the Levi’s “Ex-Girlfriend Jeans”

Product Description:

“Remember the girlfriend with the great style? Here’s a tribute to her — a fit that’s super-snug allover, an update of the five-pocket classic that’s as skinny as it gets. Made with plenty of stretch.”

Shown in Mask and available at a Levis Store near you.

Or if you really can’t wait, shop here.

Why do I feel a burning desire to tag this under “skin damage”?

Perhaps, the reason she left you was because you kept taking her isht?

Food for thought.

b Freakin’Fabulous

Dodging Fashion Roadkill | The Maxi Dress



S2011 | Micheal Kors

As long as there are women, there will always be the Maxi dress. Designers must find this fact annoying because, perhaps in an effort to relieve their boredom, they’ve decided to inject different textures and structures into this spring/ summer staple. The possible result? An epic miss, with some of the most unflattering combinations known to man… or in this case, woman.

The word “Maxi”, as it applies to a dress (or skirt), refers to either length (usually floor grazing) or fullness  (voluminous) – either way there is a whole lot of fabric. The goal of a Maxi dress is to create the illusion of easy sophistication, but this punchline can easily get muddled when designers run with such wild abandon in the park of imagination,  that they miss the mark  totally.

Most of trends for this Spring/ Summer 2011 (S2011) may be seen somewhere on a Maxi Dress near you. Beware of the pitfalls.

1. The See-Through-Maxi

S2011 Trend: Lace/ See-through Fabrics


S2011 | Giorgio Armani

The issue: Visible underwear, isn’t Sexy. [Visibly] going without underwear, tramp style, is worse.  No-one is interested in seeing your ‘titillating’ ‘assets’. This dress will flatter noone with an ounce of flesh. Much more than the sheer fabric will be… bouncing… in the wind.


S2011 | Givenchy

The solution: Go sheer without going bare. Printed sheer materials can offer less translucency that plain coloured ones. Also, well placed detailing can detract, or conceal, areas of perverted interest. Depending on the dress, you can wear a (modern) slip.

2. The Bright, Boxy, Structured, Maxi

S2011 Trend: Bold Colours/ Menswear/ Suits



S2011 | Jill Saunders

The issue: Your waist called. He misses you.

May be laid back,  but this look is definitely not sexy. All that’s missing here are the potatoes, which is ironic because that’s probably the last thing that’s available  on that menu.

Proportions. Proportions. Proportions. An hourglass shape, or the illusion of one, is the key to classic style. Also,tThe overly structured look of this dress defeats the purpose of a Maxi dress.


S2011 | Lanvin

The solution: The bold colour rocks. Keep the structure to an asymmetrical neckline and a belted waist.

3. The Retro Maxi

S2011 Trend: Retro/ 60s Ladylike/ Red carpet glam


S2011 | Vivienne Westwood

The issue: More like 60s/ Ladylike Prom, and looks like the dress equivalent to helmet head – Untouchable.


S2011 | Lanvin

The solution: Switch up the fabric. Interpret the retro ladylike, rather than raid your mother/ grandmother’s closet. Similar silhouette, different reaction.

4. The Graphic Maxi (I)

S2011 Trend: Floral Prints


S2011 | Jill Saunders

The issue: Large prints, like this floral overwhelms petite frames. The dress’s voluminous nature around the waist area also does not complement a woman’s figure.


S2011 | Marc Jacobs

The solution: Choose a floral print that is proportional to your size – larger frames are better able to carry larger prints. Add interest to a floor grazing floral number with a contrasting detail in a complementary colour at the waist. Peek-a-boo skin, unveiled through a v-neck, gives balance to a potentially, visually dizzying number.

5. The Graphic Maxi (II)

S211 Trend: Bold Colours/ Geometric Prints/ Asymmetrical hems


S2011 | Vivienne Westwood

The Issue: An effort is made to highlight the waist with a twist-tie, but the  over-sized vertical stripes + no structure + peculiar dress length + bold colours+ excess fabric = Please Stop. My head hurts.


S2011 | Marc Jacobs

The solution: One voice at a time. Keep silhouettes, to dresses in busy fabrics, simple. The ruching detail in the right places breaks the monotony, and gives a flattering look to even the no-no horizontal stripe rule.

6. The White Maxi

S2011 Trend: All White/ Minimal/ 60s Ladylike


S2011 | Chloé

The issue: The abundance of fabric on the top half, in white no less, coupled with a gathered waist would make for an excessively commodious, unflattering look on most humans.


S2011 | Chloé


S2011 | Chloé

The solution: A wrap dress, or one that mimics it, is universally flattering, even in white, as it breaks up the details, as well as highlights the natural waist.

Tip: A V-neck works better than a round neck for fuller and/ or curvier figures.

7. The Unfinished Maxi

S2011 Trend: Asymmetrical Hems / Metallic/ Sheer/ Unfinished Detailing


S2011 | Vivienne Westwood

The issue: The first issue is the trend itself – Unfinished garments. Unhemmed garments, unclipped trimmings. A frayed, fuzzy look with thread dangling everywhere. Why? I’ll file this in the juvenile section, right next to destructed jeans.

More than the hems, the statement is undone in this crinkly, scratchy, bed-head looking kit, the draping of which also makes for an unflattering profile. Besides, if you are going to tote all of this fabric, and still have a peep show, why not just don a fitted, loosely crocheted dress instead? Oh yeah, that’s also a don’t.


S2011 | Micheal Kors

The solution: Just because the fabric has a metallic finish, doesn’t mean it has to look like it will cut you. Switching up the fabric to a touchable knit, (one that is also less sheer), and tightening the silhouette a touch, gives the still-asymmetrical look an easy-going, figure-enhancing flow. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

8. The Body Concious Maxi

S2011 Trend: Body Concious/ White/ Lace/ Sheer Fabrics


S2011 | Emilio Pucci

The issue: The combination of the above trend may make for a body conscious, but not a body flattering combo. Perhaps this would be better worn as resort wear, in the form of a beach cover-up.


S2011 | Emilio Pucci

The solution: Emphasize your curves in one trend. Either in lace/ sheer fabrics OR a body hugging silhouette.

OTHER USEFUL TIPS

1. DO give unexpected skin via a high slit or an asymmetrical hemline to give overly voluminous , or excessively lengthy dresses a modern edge, as Emilio Pucci does here.


S2011 | Emilio Pucci


S2011 | Emilio Pucci

2. DO play with the Military trend with ‘sober’ colour choices – e.g. olive green, navy, combined with subtle masculine detailing.


S2011 | Lanvin

Whoever said that Power can only be unleashed in a pant suit must have never experienced the Power of a Maxi.

b Freakin’Fabulous

Best Mens S2011Trend | Colourific Love

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S2011 | Custo Barcelona

There are some staples that a man should possess, regardless of the season. A timepiece, tailored suits, and the good sense to know that brown shoes go with a blue suit.

Then there are Spring staples. For example, a waterproof trench coat, a lightweight, cotton sports jacket and a pair of vintage sunglasses to shield you from the glares of average men. For men especially, the difference in seasonal trends, from year to year, may be a change in colour, cut, or perhaps an update on a classic style. Toss in some “out there”s, and your wardrobe, as a guy, is as good as complete. No fussing, no fighting.

Spring 2011 Trends.

There are the obvious trends, e.g. Military and the Biker trends. It is Mens Fashion after all. Chances are that the Military look would count.

An interesting, but perhaps not so obvious change is that it seems that a looser fitting mens pant leg is back. Yay! The cajones can breathe. This is not to say that the Mens skinny pant is no longer worn, because it is, but at the very least, the style seem to have peaked.

The, for want of a better word, absurdCrop tops, Chains, Meggings (Mens leggings), Lace and sheer fabrics so delicate that not even I would  wear them,  Florals and Monokinis.

A glimpse at what Emporio Armani offered:


S2011 Monokini | Emporio Armani

Where do I start?


S2011 Meggings | Emporio Armani

Make up your mind. Do you want to be warm or cool? As if super, skinny, stretch jeans on men weren’t bad enough, the weather warmed up and brought us Meggings.


S2011 | Emporio Armani

Regardless of your sexual orientation, putting your jewels on display is always a DON’T.


S2011 Cropped and Sheer | Emporio Armani

Cropped tops looked odd in the 90s and this aesthetic never improved. They look even more out of place on the 21st century metro-sexual.

Cropped pants shorten your legs. Do forgo.


S2011 Lace and Chains | Emporio Armani

Want to get in touch with your softer side? Wear lavender or pink, rather than lace.

Impeccable fit, Debatable taste. Not a fan of conceptually complicated clothing and/or styling on men. They are intriguing and mysterious enough?, thanks. Me no likey. K.I.S.S.

By far the most stand-out-but-reasonable and, most importantly, wearable on trend this season is colour – Pastels or Bold, Printed or Plaid.

Your underwear may be monochromatic, but your clothes doesn’t have to be.

COLOUR

S2011 | Jill Sander

More editorial, less ready-to-wear for the average person perhaps, Yes?

I feel you.

Here are some ideas for wearing colour in a more down-to-earth, yet fashion forward manner. For balance, keep either the top or the bottom of the ensemble colourific and balance the other half with a neutral.  Standard neutrals include white, grey, brown, navy, olive green and of course this season’s neutral, khaki.

Fitted button ups


S2011 | Dsquared

The key here is fit.

Long-sleeved tops


S2011 | Gilded Age


S2010 | Giorgio Armani


S2011 | Ermenegildo Zegna

Casual Shirts


S2011 | Louis Vuitton

Cardis


S2011 | Gilded Age

Tees


S2011 | Giorgio Armani

Yay for everything, minus the raccoon eyes.

Dress Shirts


S2011 | Ermenegildo Zegna

Men in sandals are possibly the most misunderstood.


S2011 | Ermenegildo Zegna

Too loud for you? Try the Khaki Shirt, without question the season’s must have.


S2011 | Gucci


S2011 | Steven Allen

Never understood espadrilles, especially on men, but say what. I suppose it works here as a definite slipper upgrade.

The Khaki V-neck


S2011 | Etro

The Khaki Dress Shirt


S2011 | Dsquared

The Casual Khaki Shirt.


S2011 | Dsquared

There is so much versatility with this trend, we need to talk about this privately.

Pants

S2011 | Canali


S2011 | Moschino


S2011 | Ermenegildo Zegna

Bring out the colours in your ensemble with some complementary socks

S2011 | Tommy Hilfiger

Windbreakers

Worn with shorts…


S2011 | Micheal Bastian


S2011 | Micheal Bastian

or trousers…


S2011 | Louis Vuitton

The Slim-fit, lightweight, cotton blazer

Pair with fitted button ups, a coloured tee, or coloured dress shirt. Dress up or down as required.

Double breasted or a single button, the right blazer pulls it all together.


S2011 | Dsquared

That Body.

Moving on smartly we have the bolder version…


S2011 | Dsquared


S2011 | Prada


S2011 | Giorgio Armani


S2011 | Giorgio Armani

Minimalist options:

Casual


S2011 | Gilded Age


S2011 | Dsquared


S2011 | Gucci


S2011 | Louis Vuitton

or swanky


S2011 | Giorgio Armani


S2011 | Canali

Yum.

Leather


S2011 | Dsquared


S2011 | Ermenegildo Zegna


S2011 | Gucci

For the minimalists, brown counts too.


S2011 | Gilded Age


S2011 | Dsquared

Shoes

Add colour without going casual. Be casual, without looking like you’re going to the gym.


S2011 | Giorgio Armani

Swim trunks

Opt for solid-coloured, matte ones over tropical printed ones.


S2011 | Gilded Age

They mirror the solid, matte shorts of the season


S2011 | Gilded Age

I suppose if you are European, and live over yonder, and look like this, you can venture into these …


S2011 | Dsquared

God is great. Gives a whole new meaning to the word ‘minimalism’.

As we’re on the topic, if you aren’t one to stray too far from your neutrals, then  it’s all in the details for you.

The belt.


S2011 | Micheal Bastian

The tie.


S2011 | Gilded Age


S2011 | Gilded Age

You never have to be dressed up to wear ties like these.


S2011 | Moschino


S2011 | Ermenegildo Zegna


S2011 | Micheal Bastian


S2011 | Ermenegildo Zegna

Under a cardigan


S2010 | Gilded Age

The piping.


S2011 | Moschino

The pocket square.


S2011 | Giorgio Armani

2011 TAKE ON CLASSICS

The Suit

The single button jacket re-surges this season for a look that is both classic yet fashion forward.


S2011 | Micheal Bastian

So is the double breasted jacket.


S2011 | Canali

Madd.

The Trench

If not out of pure necessity, Spring requires a trench. Make yours as versatile as you wanna be -


S2011 | Buckler


S2011 | Gucci


S2011 | Canali


S2011 | Canali


S2011 | Moschino

Hot. No-one would ever guess that all your underwear is white.

In the event that you light afire, be sure to throw on a pair of these vintage frames.

Moscot

b Freakin’Fabulous

The Science of Valentine’s Day Gift Giving


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For some of us, the only thing more challenging than making it through Saint Valentine’s Day (V-Day), is getting the gift correct. Let’s face it, when it comes to V-day gifts, there are the OOOOOOOOOH!!!!“s, the “Oh….“s, and the “OH.“s.

Yes, V-Day is commercialized (what isn’t), and perhaps a bit overrated. We can go on forever and ever about that, but, if, at the end of all your boo-hoos and wha-whas, you are still going to give your special someone something, it has to make the grade.

A lot of pressure? Absolutely.
Especially if you only remember to get a gift the night before, and the only thing that is open is the pharmacy.

There is a science to V-day gift giving. Saint Valentines Day is a very unique day of the year. Though, like a Birth day or Christmas Day, it occurs every year, it carries a different sentiment. altogether There are no norms or customs. There is no onslaught of gifts from family and familiar faces. There is no expectation from anyone, but one, and that one, is YOU. Therefore, it is important that your gift does not flop.

That sad, solitary rose broadcasts that you forgot, and so do gift cards. You are better off getting a blank card, and filling it with all of the things that you don’t find yourself saying on a daily basis.

Gift cards are impersonal, and scream that you either didn’t have time to get a real present, or that you don’t know the person well enough to figure it out. There is a reason why the gift card business makes money – It is only useful if you remember that you have it. I have a Sephora gift card floating around for the last 4 years, and I’m a Beauty-product Junkie. Let’s work that math out.

A friend recalls her best V-day gift.

“… the biggest, fluffiest, white and red teddy bear, a bunch of 24 long stemmed red roses, and the most beautiful pair of gold earrings….‎​was sent to me at work…delivered by 3 [uniformed] guys, all dressed alike…”

I cannot begin to count the fantasies in there. The 3 uniformed guys, showing up at the right time, could have been a present enough. “Heeeyyyyy!”

To date, the best V-day gift I’ve ever received was a heart-shaped, diamond ring, ambushed by long-stemmed roses. It was the best gift not because it was the most expensive thing that I’ve ever received, it was the best gift because I didn’t expect it. I was in high-school,  he was as hot as Hell itself, and it was the first possession that I can recall actively hiding from my parents. Now that I have had some experience with men, I should have probably kept him around.

All that to say, the key to V-day gift giving, is that the gift need not be expensive, nor dramatic, It just needs to be memorable.

So what’s hot for 2011?

TECHNOLOGY

Technology is the new bling. The best thing about this gift idea is that it works whether your partner/ significant other/ FWB, is male or female.

If you are running low in the cha-ching department, Apps are good idea. There are millions to choose from.

Another cool yet manageable tech idea getting upgraded phones. And why not? You don’t have to measure for size, wonder if s/he will like the scent or colour as you would if you were buying cologne, a tie, jewelry or of course, the guy’s fav… socks.

Already both have smart phones? Get an unlimited data plan so that you can sexy bbm whole day, or perhaps ones with video talk options *blink*. What you do with those options is your call.

Reading is Sexy. It is especially if you are reading from a Nook, Kindle, or, Helleeeer, an Ipad. An eReader is a good option if you have a little extra cash to spare.

CLASSIC MENTIONABLES

These take a little more thought, and may require more planning time. However, there is more mileage on the impression left.

A wellness service for two.

Gift cards for wellness services seem to be very on trend. Yes, we do all need to de-stress, but very few of us like to leave our house to de-stress alone. Whether your significant other takes you, or a bff, a couples massage, for example, will go a lot longer than one meant for… well, one.

Magazine subscriptions.

For a magazine that s/he actually reads, of course. Inexpensive but appreciated, s/he will be reminded of you for at least a year.

Entertainment for two

Tickets to a show that s/he likes, or to a sports game for a team that s/he is a fan of. Or what about ones to that jerk Trey Songz’ concert, because she’s been dying to see him for like… forever. So what if you think he’s gay?

You may not be a fan of the activity, but suck it up, get them, and go anyway.

You really shouldn’t do something because of the kick-back, but you never know how that favour may be repaid.

I’m just sayin’.

The Romance Option

For a real mojo igniter, how about a romantic overnight stay at a hotel, with a dinner for two, and a breakfast in bed option for the next morning? Or perhaps a weekend getaway to a city of your choice. Feel free to insert a Spa in-room couples massage here as well. You’d get at least a couple free passes out of the dog house for this one right here, let me tell you. Oh, unless you are aiming for company in 9 months, be sure to walk with your family planning kit.

Jewelry, with a customized twist

Up the jewelry ante by getting something with a special date or name inscribed in it. *Dark Vader’s Pookie Bear* on the back of that beautiful Micheal Kors Baguette-Bezel, Rose Gold, Watch. No judgments, just suggestions. Do you.

His & Her Clothing

His and her leather jackets. Fab.

Switch it up guys.

Take a walk on the wild side and visit your local Victoria’s Secret, or similar store, with your significant other. Again, go with her. Please, do not play hero and try to figure out the fit based on your sizing up of the sales person’s figure/ size. Yes, it’s a great thought, but doing so may very well result in a great thought that flopped, epically, in its execution.

The possibilities of this novel idea flopping are endless.

1. Since she has to wear it, it would help her mood if she likes what she is wearing, and of course if it fits well. There are very few things as uncomfortable as ill-fitting, non-stretch lace. I’d wear shoes that are too small for a day and a half, over doing that.

2. The last thing you would want to purchase for a woman is any clothing that is either overly big or overly small. This can result in an awkward silence, questions, or worse, just one question, the answer(s) to which you will never, ever be qualified enough to answer.

“You really see me as THIS BIG???”

or the thought…

***Wow… I guess I’m bigger than he thinks…***

They both suggest an issue with weight, which is, of course, not the response that are looking for. You shall be sleeping with yourself that night… on the couch. Not fun.

3. Regardless of what porn tells us, not all women feel sexy in lingerie. For these types of women, lingerie is then more of a present for you than for her, so maybe you can save this gift idea for your birthday. VS sells a myriad of things. Going with her enables her to get something that she actually wants – pampering beauty essentials, or even swimwear. Yes, I it may be still winter outside. A jump start on fashion on someone else’s dime? Always Fab.

b Freakin’Fabulous

Please Make the Stupid People Shut Up.


One of the most challenging things about parenting  for me is that, invariably, I have to deal with people who, in my individual life, I would not in a million years choose to associate with in any way, shape, form or manner whatsoever. As a matter of fact said folks would not so much as be identified on my human radar.

You see homo sapiens in fine form when they are dealing with their kids, especially when their kids are in a group with other people’s kids.

How we deal with ‘challenging circumstances’ that we never saw coming, like when you feel like your kid is has a personal vendetta against you, and so tries to embarrass you  by telling the parent of one of his friends that you are having a ‘playdate’ with  that s/he “doesn’t eat kind of food, no thanks”, how we deal with ‘other people’s kids’, who, as we deem it, have no broughtupcy, or my personal favorite, how we as parents, deal with those issues that we are again faced with; the same said issues that perhaps we didn’t get over as a kid. After all, just because you stretched out of your uncoordinated limbs and managed to escape the nightmare that you may have experienced in elementary or high school, doesn’t mean that you’re over it.

Regardless of what the retail stores are trying to tell me, it is winter. I live in the northern part of North America – A human refrigerator for most of the year, a freezer for the other few months. So hell, you need to learn to do something with all that white stuff – whether it’s shaved or frozen. There’s a rink on the other side of the road, so I decided that the Guy and I would pick up ice skating. I figured, whether it’s recreational or for that dangerous looking sport that they call ice hockey, what’s the use of being a boy in these parts if you can’t hold your own on the ice? So… ice skating here we come. As it turned out, the ice skating classes that you can sign up for are all full, but so what. I was never one to accept that I couldn’t do something because the most obvious path was under construction.

Now, as a child of the 80s, I donned the white-and -red roller skates with the mismatched florescent bobby socks, complete with matching hair ribbons, and my half-and-half,  bikini-cut, panty-looking, acid-wash, denim that was  precariously attached to a pouffy, white, cotton fabric, like no other, with matching moves of course. Just call me the Roller Skating Ninja.

Then came the Roller Blade. Not as comfy as the Roller Skate in my opinion, but it was new and my aunt got a pair from one some family that lived in NY, so I of course took a borrows from time to time and got the hang of it.

Conceptually, the Roller Blade and the Ice Skate looked similar to me. I could at least manage to hold my own on the ice, and the Guy, just like I did when I was his age, will practice and practice, (i.e. fall and fall) until he can figure out how to hold his own,  I thought. After all, in this activity, more than anything else, balance is key. You can do almost anything if you know how to recover, if not maintain, your balance I mused.

In my desire to just “shoot the breeze and bond” on the rink, I realized a few things,  one of which was that his activity ain’t cheap. Helleeeer!

One hundred plus bills later we hit the rink. That was funny in so many ways I can’t even count them.

I fell once, and I’m proud about that, if only because my shins and knee caps are living proof of months and months of learning to skate by any means necessary. A couple of those scrapes resulted from scaling chain linked fences and climbing mango and guava trees -survival of the fittest when you grow up with only boy cousins in Barataria, but I digress.

The state of my knees is always a topic of conversation with guys I meet. They try to non-nonchalantly comment on it, and then I glance over at their silky smooth, hairless gams, and well manicured nails and a customary awkward silence follows. Pretty predictable but always amusing.

Maybe that’s what you get for growing up in the Caribbean back then, or maybe I was just a tomboy, who was never impressed by the fact that I was  born a girl  [the latter I know for sure]. Either way, I saw roller skating on TV, but I never had any cool roller skating parties to attend, so I learned it the only way I know how – on the everlastingly long, red, concrete, walkway with  a  pair of matching  concrete embankments with an uncanny affinity for my shins, that led to  the front door of my grandmother’s house. I think these days employers lump that under ‘The ability to use your available resources wisely’. So, after picking up a similar contraption some 20 years after, dammit yes, I’m proud that I fell just once this time.

Day 3 at the rink, the Guy sees a fellow Grade-mate and, of course, is  excited. I cringe a bit after seeing who the kid is – a whiny, know it all  who always finds the need to highlight what’s wrong with all the other kids- but relief soon follows as perhaps, I think, this means that I can spend less time on the ice, and more time on the side banks with the other parents. The class that I missed the sign-up date for, was about to start shortly so there was some time for the boys to kick it on the ice before they parted ways.

It’s all going skatingly well. I’m about to leave for the sidelines when I overhear the kid whisper:

“My dad thinks you’re a pretty lousy skater and that you can’t glide well… but I think that you’re doing pretty well… for your 3rd time. This is my 13th time skating”.

.

..

….

Because, of course Dad, your kid is Wayne Gretzky. What a nosebleed.

Ohh! It’s YOU who is the idiot Dad, for picking on a kid. That’s where the kid gets it from.

Truth is, I’ve realized that Guy is a whole lot tougher than I will ever be. I suppose part of it can be attributed to going to a public school in a Big City. I’ll just leave it at the fact that Guy handled the situation a whole lot better than I did on the rink. At school the day after, Guy and the kid swapped ice skating war stories, how excited they are to meet up on the rink again, next weekend.

I, however, am dreading seeing the Dad again, because the good Lord alone knows how I was able to hold it together to walk past him on the way out of the rink without clobbering him the first time.

If practice makes better, Guy will be better by the end of Winter.

However, that also means that, when Guy is running things in this world, the Dad will continue to be an even better Idiot, because the habit of practicing doesn’t discriminate between constructive and not-so-constructive behaviours and/ or outcomes.

“Dear God,

Please continue to give me the serenity, strength, and wisdom to deal with other parents.

Amen.”

Freakin’Fabulous.

Dodging the Office Party Pitfalls


The Christmas Party. Or, if you work for one of those politically correct companies, the “Holiday” Party.

Obviously, you ought to go. This goes without saying.

Sure, you may be antisocial, you may despise your co-workers or you may rather count sheep than live though a convo with Frank from accounting, but it will do your career more harm than good if you just skip the shindig altogether. Why? Because not showing up for an office related event – be it a party, family day or someone’s horrid excuse for a ‘team building’ exercise – gives the impression that you aren’t interested in the company or your future there.

Now regarding any work related events, there are two things to always keep in mind:

  1. No matter how far away from the office the venue is, remember that it’s still a work function.
  2. Regardless how convincing the higher-ups seem to be about oh how it’s a time for everyone to kick off their shoes and let down their hair and just have a great time…. They’re lying.

The following are my top 8 things to avoid doing at your office party

8. One-upping your boss

You may be stronger/ faster/ better but keep that info to yourself.

This is not the time to speak about your stint in Milan as a model after being scouted in your first year in university when your boss responds to one of your co-worker’s brown-nosing comments about him looking dapper. Neither is this the time to share the fact that you and your fiance are heading to the Megeve Ski Resort in response to the fact that your boss’s “lean Christmas” is resulting in him opting for a staycation with his cat. And it’s definitely not the time to bring up the fact that you were the brains behind the newly implemented program that is has saved the company Xmillie amount of moolah this year.

Some other don’ts in this category:

  • Don’t harp about how wonderful or wonderfully annoying your significant other is is – no-one, not limited to you boss, cares.
  • Don’t start a chugging or eating contest… or any contest for that matter.
  • Don’t brown-nose and/ or talk too much shop

If you are in line for a promotion, be sure to perhaps get your boss away from the melee for a minute and speak briefly on some of the ideas you have to implement strategies relating to a major upcoming project. Of course this should be done fairly early and pre-scotch, i.e. before the convo ends up going south a-la #5 below.

  • And at all costs, don’t do…

7. The Elaine dance

A definite fail.

If you don’t know what this is, chances are you’ve already done it. Because it’s impossible to describe, here’s a video clip:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2cz0i

Under this we can include throwing down to any song that is decidedly inappropriate for the occasion. For example, displaying your best moves to Akon and Eminem’s “Smack That” and proclaming

“Man, this is my jaaaayyym!”

That may quite possibly be the last Holiday party the company will see both you and the DJ.

6. Hook up with a co-worker in the bathroom

Especially if you didn’t the the object of your urinal fling was all that and a bag of chips the day before, and/ or the person is more into you than you are into them. There will never be a good end to this scenario.

5. Have an ‘off-the-record’ convo with your boss after having had 2 shots of Patron

Though you may not remember the convo, chances are s/he will, and there will most definitely be an “on-the-record”  convo about it the morning after.

Under this we will include ‘smackin’ your boss’ @ss to aforementioned song, or smacking anyone for that matter lest a sexual harassment case slaps yours.

4. Bring your 2-minute old significant other to the party.

Though it may seem like a good idea at the time, this here can auger like a ticking time-bomb. You have no idea what to expect in the moment and chances are you’d either have to babysit the entire night, or have to deal with managing the after effects of him/ her displaying any of the above.

Although there are varying views regarding this, I’d go out on a limb here and say that unless you’re any combination of an executive/ married/ in line for a promotion and/ or/ therefore wish to avoid any compromising positions with that being from marketing who’s been getting a touch to friendly recently, keep business and personal private and leave your spouse out of it.

For those of us who flirt and/ or have lunch time DOOs with (a) co-worker(s), do your colleagues a favour and leave your ‘significant other’/ spouse home will ‘ya? Office parties are awkward enough, no need to bring the drama that will undoubtedly ensue.

3. Being the last one to leave.

Sure, you don’t get out often because of your work/ home responsibilities. And of course you wish to make the most of the $40 you paid the baby sitter to keep the kids overnight, but under no circumstance should you party the night away at your office shindig.

Show up on time [fashionably late never applies to work-related events] nurse a drink in one hand and make it across the room taking pit-stops at key points to ensure that your presence is noted. Then, just when the ties and the jackets start coming off, exit stage left and meet up with your real friends.

2. Calling in sick the day after because of your hangover

This is one of the biggest corporate no-nos. NEVER call in sick the day after:

  • A company hosted event,
  • A public holiday, or
  • Your vacay.

I suppose the only thing worse would be being awakened by a tap on your shoulder by your boss… in your office, with your party hat on.

Find out what your company policy is on being hungover, being late – or not showing up at all – the day after the Holiday party. For most companies, it’s business as usual, no excuses.

1. Which all lead to the greatest office Holiday party DON’T ever:

Don’t get drunk.

Please enjoy responsibly.

Freakin’Fabulous

Related post: Office Party Ettiquette

Inappropriate Much?

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I was privy to a child of about 8 years old dressed in the same outfit as her mother.

Umm. Why?

I find this disturbing. Porque? Because that mother should have some sense not to dress her child in a Halter top and matching short, shorts and boots. It’s bad enough on the mother, who managed to look like a stuffed sausage in stilettos, but the child, dressed in what was an obvious attempt to appear cute, just looked like a little Jon-Bennet on steroids.

What mother in their right minds would dress their little precious like a hoochie mama from Murray street corner? How is that cute? and lemme at the person who invented children’s shoes with high heels! There are medical reasons why children should not wear high heels, the decision to wear them is purely an adult one, as the repercussions range from mild discomfort to bunions and back pain. Have we taken leave of our senses?

Gone are the days of those cute little dresses with the frills that actually said “little girl here”. The days of the T-Shirts and jeans that didn’t cup the buttocks, the ones with the pony tails and ‘My Little Pony’ skirts.

Not to mention children today don’t even look like children physically. I happened to see a little one the other day. Was that the beginning of boobs? Hips? a butt?

“But wait!”

I wailed to my sister.

“She’s only 8!”

This could not be happening. But it was. It is. I have realised that the time is now if we are going to grip the bulls by the horns and start to teach our daughters that the human body is a temple. That should be treated with respect. It’s now.

I’m really disturbed. If we as mothers are not teaching our children, by word or deed, to respect themselves, then are we really so surprised when they don’t know their own worth and accept other peoples disrespectful treatment of them?

This is a trend that is getting worse as the ‘little girls’ are getting younger and younger. Babies are toddling about in leggings and t-backed tops or pint sized bikinis for the beach… 15 year olds are dressed like show girls from las Vegas to go to Prom/Graduation.

Where does it end? You can’t dress your little one like an adult and then go off the deep end when she mouths off on you – she thinks she is a little adult and so she’s confused when you smack the teeth out her mouth ( which is incidentally the correct response for back talk – forget the police, send the army cause I’m about the bring it like Saddam.)

And these days these little children are coming out with their hands on their hips and a “NOW WHAT?” attitude, the days of little bobble head babies are long gone – these coming out with swag.

All the more reason to let these children be children for as long as possible.

Teaching respect for oneself is something that is taught by actions, the everyday living of it, not the talk.

As it is right now I am fully aware that there are crazies out there who can get high off those baby commercials where the baby is licking a spoon.  EW.

So how much more will they be triggered by the sight of your sexily dressed little one?

As adults we can handle the results of our actions, and so its much more acceptable if you want to wear a nice pair of (tasteful) shortpants that flatter your shapely legs. Good for you if your halter show’s off your baby soft skin , and boobies to make a priest cry.

But We’re adults. And therefore more equipped to handle any weirdos that may blow our way.

As Parents we must protect our children as much as we can. Chances are we wont see when the weirdo passes by, casing out the joint looking for his next victim. Chances are we won’t even see his face. But we should be damned if we make his choices any easier for him.

Children should look like children, and dress like it, and I believe that this goes across the board – from zero months – 12 years, they should look like children. Teens are a different story – but the same thought process applies. If they are treated like teens – then they will act like it.

Forward ever…

Dominatrix and Dollar Store Hooker Steez


Boo.

Two blinks and it’s halloween y’alls. That special time of the year where people who don’t have the “good fortune”, (whatever it takes, be it finances, circumstances, or just plain “no-clue”) to experience Trinidad Carnival, a celebration that’s dubbed the greatest show on earth, “let loose” and let their fantasies flow.

Now… some fantasies should be lived out and some should just be imagined. Really.

Issue at hand

Choosing a costume.

As usual, guys are normally covered, pun intended. Their costumes tend to be funny, original, thought provoking and even if it’s boring its usually, just that… “boring”. Not “obscene” or cause grievous visual harm to the casual unlooker.

My fellow X-X chromosomes? Wow. Another story altogether.

Ladies, let’s try to keep it together this rounds okay?.

For starters, not everyone was meant to be a Dominatrix or French Maid. Or better fete, a whore. At least we aren’t meant to walk the streets in that get up. If you have bills to pay sure, I’m not judging, but I’m saying. To walk around looking cheap[er] than you already are just for kicks and giggles? I mean, really. What’s the motivation?

I’ve overheard acquaintances and frenemies alike speak of their costumes and it just sounded like a broken record. Granted I’ve never really done the Halloween partying thing though, so .. maybe you have to be there to understand the appeal of going out of your way to just look like the cheapest, trashiest, hooker on a dime, but… I don’t get it. I understand that we’re going for the ‘Sexy‘ look, but ‘Sexy‘ and ‘Cheap‘ aren’t synonyms yo. I never, ever get it, but then again, I’m never, ever in the majority.

The dollar store isn’t a destination my lovelies.

One or two picks from there but not head to toe.

“Goooooooosh” (furnished with a Hills accent).

How about Grecian Goddess?

Sounds like a stretch I know. But is it? Not as half as trashy looking and a kazillion times more attractive than a dollar store ‘hoe. Even better, any size can organize a lil sum’n sum’n and look on point in that.

Real life or fantasy, never underestimate the power of dressing your size, and your ambition. That never goes out of style. Just because you’re a closet freak does it mean that you have to put your alter-ego on display come October’s end. Because guess what? You’ll no longer be a closest freak, you’ll just be a cheap trick in denial the morning after.

The draped fabrics. long or mini. Your choice. Leather bands with the feathers in the hair. Drop waist beaded dresses with the sequined head bands a la the early 20s singers. A long cigarette holder in your hand with a long glove, and a beautiful fan in the other.

Create the fantasy dammit. Drag it on. Get fabulously chic.

We’re grown for Goodness sake. Not much of a longing fantasy is created with a dominatrix costume.

If you need to parade in high heels and a dress with your butt cheeks and mammaries hanging out to feel sexy, then that’s sends a blinding red-light to signal that you just might have some deep, deep rooted issues which altogether spell ‘I-N-S-E-C-U-R-E’ and ‘D-R-A-M-A-_-R-I-D-D-L-E-D’. Either that or your play-date life isn’t as half as exciting as you’d like everyone to believe that it is. Either way your business, just like your mammaries, is in the road.

As I was discussing with one of my man friends the other day, the biggest freaks in the party will never be seen dancing on the club tables.

Underglow freaks ahead; Keep the pilot light on.

We know our moves. We ain’t got *ish to prove, cause trust that everyone who’s experienced it ain’t complainin’. That’s half the reason why our business isn’t in the damn road cause nobody want to mess THAT link up. No advertisement necessary. The right people know exactly where to find it. Hellleeeeer!

So get it right.

Dressing like a $2 hooker only makes you look like a freebie. Halloween or no Halloween.

Get Grown. Stay Sexy.

b Freakin’Fabulous

Photo: Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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