Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Spring party dresses for every body type
Stacy London of TLC's ‘What Not To Wear’ presents the best frock for you
Read more: http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/17916879/#ixzz0jp27Aj0M
Do you carry your weight in your hips, which is a very common body shape for women? A way to camouflage that is to call attention toward the upper half of the body with a skin-baring neckline, a defined waist or an empire waistline, which sits directly at the top of the ribcage, and a skirt that floats away and off the hip. Primary colors like canary yellow, cobalt blue and red are the standout colors of the season, really almost primary in their tone (like crayons) and so bright they are almost neon.
If you're well-proportioned between your shoulder, chest and hip and have a small waist, a square neckline is particularly flattering for highlighting your body shape, with attention given to the shoulder and waist. Knee length is perfect for a more mature woman, although I only recommend sheen on a dress if you are comfortable with curves being seen. Shiny fabrics highlight curves. Matte fabrics don't.
After 35-years-old, the primary colors that are popular this season will be too harsh for your skin tone. Opt instead for a saturated jewel tone. It will warm up your skin, and yet you will still be wearing a rich color. When it comes to accessories, they don't have to “match,” they have to “go.” Utilizing color with color is a great way to modernize any party dress. Don't play it safe. Using turquoise (contrast) and garnet (compliment) as supporting players to amethyst, they highlight the dress color without overtaking its focus.
Petites can wear a mini dress quite well. You won't lose your leg line, so you still look long and lean, despite your height. On a petite frame, be careful when it comes to a cute shift dress. They have less shape than a sheath, for example. Make sure the shape isn't so sack like that your frame gets drowned in fabric. And showing leg is important if you wear a mini dress because, without a defined body shape, you need to compensate with some visible skin in order to look sexy and proportionate.
Also, petites will have problems with the primary colors as well. They can make you look a bit childish when you are small to begin with. Metallics like brushed gold are another very big trend this season (both in clothing and accessories) and much more appropriate for a sophisticated look on a small frame. Remember, metallics are neutrals. They go with any color and they go with each other. You can mix all your metallics together!
To play up curves, you need to be careful that you don't cross the line between sexy and voluptuous into trashy. You can show cleavage, but a super deep-V neckline would be inappropriate for a larger chest. Always keep your waistline defined. Look for dresses with rusching or banding at the waist. Let your clothes work for you to help you create an hourglass set of proportions.
The taller and curvier you are, the more important proportion is. And the wider your features, chest, waist or hips, the more you must compensate with length. Anything too short on a frame would make you look top heavy instead of well-proportioned. A larger frame should have larger accessories, like a multi-tiered necklace. Again, accessories need to be proportionate to the woman wearing them.
Fit is essential when you are slender. Many women think having a slim body is so easy to dress, but when you are tall and thin with long limbs it can appear as if you have outgrown your clothes when sleeves and pant legs are too short. Sleeveless dresses are great for spring.
Be careful not to wear items that are too voluminous. Too much fabric will drown a small frame and, in fact, make you look thinner. When you are pale, many people assume you should stick with light or pastel colors. But darker and richer tones can provide strong contrast for a truly breathtaking look. Skintight clothes or dramatic deep-V necklines may emphasize your frame and make you look thinner. Instead, try a high neckline with A-line shape to add the appearance of curves.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Dress party for special needs prom students
YAKIMA, Wash--May 7 is prom in the Valley… but this won't be your average prom...mostly because the majority of the attendees will be special needs students. In preparation for the event, there was a dress party today for Yakima area special needs girls. The students got to sort through the dresses and pick one to wear for their big day.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Saturday, March 20, 2010
This week, instead of giving you the directions and expecting you to find out how to do it on your own, I will post a video of a goofy guy that explains in great detail how it is done. So enjoy the movie and enjoy your Washington Apple.
P.S. This is a great drink to enjoy before the Apple Cup against the Huskies at the end of the year. Be advised-- the guy in this video is kind of nerdy =] Don't let his looks ruin a great drink! Plus, he talks alot about nothing. Entertain yourself, and your taste buds with this great drink!
Sunday, March 14, 2010
For this St. Patrick's Day, try celebrating with a green cocktail. Even those who aren’t Irish can feel Irish for a day!
First and foremost: Green Beer. Not hard to make at all, and still the same great taste… Only if you are a beer fan, of course.
- Beer! Duh!
- And green food coloring.
Now put the food coloring into a clear beer glass (a few drops is all it takes), and pour in the beer! What a wonderful St. Patty’s Day delight!
However, if beer doesn’t suit your fancy, try an apple cocktail…
- 2 oz Michael Collins Irish whiskey
- 1 oz sour apple schnapps
- 2 oz white cranberry juice
Add all three ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add ice, shake for about 30 seconds. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a fresh apple slice.
This drink was found at http://cocktails.about.com/.
And most importantly, an Appletini.
- 1 1/2 oz Smirnoff® Green Apple Twist vodka
- 1 oz DeKuyper® Sour Apple Pucker schnapps (or Rose's Cocktail Infusions-Green Apple, if you don't want it too strong)
Stir ingredients together with crushed ice in a martini glass, and serve
Enjoy the Irish day, and enjoy the green in your spirit!
More drinks can be found at http://www.drinksmixer.com/.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Ready to get in the zone for a slam dunk party?! That's right it's time to get a little MAD.
There are so many ideas you could do for a March Madness party...dress up as refs, dress in your favorite team, make basketball cupcakes...and one thing that always seems to be always present is beer. Take a look below at the best beers in the America. Opening round is Tuesday March 16, 2010. (find the complete list at http://www.sprecherbrewery.com/imgpdf/25_best_beers_in_america.pdf)***If you're not a big beer fan try brewing your own root beer!***
BEST BEERS IN AMERICA
1 - Firestone Walker Pale Ale
Paso Robles, CA
Brewed with gentle British bittering hops and finished with American
cascade hops (the same stuff that makes Sierra Nevada smell like pinecones), Firestone
Walker combines the subtlety of a British ale with the fragrant bite that Americans
weaned on microbrews have come to expect. If you’ve ever enjoyed a bottle of pale ale, we suggest you seek this one out.
2 - Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA
India pale ale, a British style that is traditionally brewed with extra hops and higher alcohol content
3 - Stoudt’s Pils
Stoudt’s is the oldest craft brewery in the state, and its experience shows in this light, buttery brew, which is subtle and full- flavored enough to compete with the finest European pilsners.
4 - Russian River Temptation Ale
Santa Rosa, CA
The aging and the addition of brettanomyces move Temptation beyond standard
blond ale territory (sweet, estery, highly alcoholic) into the realm of something worth cellaring and saving for special occasions.
5 - Avery Mephistopheles’ Stout
Diabolically strong at 15.1 percent, it’s an ideal after-dinner drink, perfect with dark chocolate. warned.
6 - Anderson Valley Boont Amber Ale
Boont Amber shows
what potential the style has: room for floral hops, melony aromas reminiscent of those found in the finest Belgian ales, and a round, full, sweet- malt body that doesn’t show a trace of the rotten- fruit sourness that can taint lesser amber ales.
7 - Great Lakes Holy Moses White Ale
This variation on the Belgian wit, or white, beer, a light, frothy wheat-based style spiced with coriander and lemon peel, has a nice American twist. It’s dry-hopped, which lends a floral character that combines nicely with the coriander and chamomile — and believe it or not, you can taste the chamomile.
8 - Full Sail Session Lager
Hood River, OR
Session has real taste which makes it all the more likely to lure you into that long night out.
9 - Rogue Brutal Bitter
It’s a British “bitter,” a lightly hoppy ale that’s apparently shocking to the
English palate but crisp and clean to American tongues.
10 - Bell’s Expedition Stout
Not surprisingly, it’s potent at 11.5 percent, though cocoa and dried fruit flavors balance the booze.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
One of my favorite events of the year is fast approaching: The Academy Awards! The ritual I associate with viewing the Academy Awards is borderline occult. Every year, I must view every single Best Picture nominee, and then I download a ballot online and fill it out according to who I believe will win. I sit about three inches away from the television to watch the ceremonies, and I always wear a formal outfit and eat an austere appetizer like baked goat cheese with capers or sundried tomato pesto baked pastry. This confession may make me seem a bit fanatical, but I hope I do not appear as pathetic as I feel I do when I go back and read my description (wearing a formal outfit to watch TV stoops to Bridget Jones-like patheticness).
This year I plan to socially enhance my Academy Award experience. My dear friend has been planning an Oscar party since October, and I feel an event of such significant preparation is worthy for attendance on such a holy evening (even upon typing this, I know how pitiable I sound). I told my friend how dear I hold this evening, and she was impressed with my enthusiasm. She asked I be in charge of appetizers for the evening, and I plan to take my role most seriously (clearly, as I have established my menu a full five days before the event). Here I share with you the appetizers I plan to bring, and hopefully you will find them as austere and sophisticated as the legends accepting their golden statutes.
Parmesan-stuffed Dates wrapped in Bacon
From epicurious.com, this recipe features fruit, pork, and toothpicks. Clearly, this recipe has all the makings for real sophisticated fare
18 (1- by 1/4-inch) sticks Parmigiano-Reggiano (from a 1/2-lb piece)
18 pitted dates (preferably Medjool)
6 bacon slices, cut crosswise into thirds
Special equipment: 18 wooden picks
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 450°F.
Stuff 1 piece of cheese into each date, then wrap 1 piece of bacon around each date, securing it with a pick. Arrange dates 1 inch apart in a shallow baking pan.
Bake 5 minutes, then turn dates over with tongs and bake until bacon is crisp, 5 to 6 minutes more. Drain on a paper bag or parchment. Serve immediately
Baked Artichoke Dip with Winter Crudites
Taken from marthastewart.com, this recipe may look complicated, but I guarantee the results are well worth the effort
3 cans (14 ounces each) artichoke hearts in water
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk, warmed
2 teaspoons coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (3 ounces)
1 cup grated pecorino cheese (3 ounces)
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped, plus leaves for garnish
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
Sliced fennel, radishes, carrots, celery, and cauliflower florets, for serving
Remove leaves from 1 artichoke heart; pat dry, and reserve. Thinly slice remaining artichokes; pat dry.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour, and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Whisk in milk, and bring to a boil. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne, and simmer until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in cheeses.
Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, and cook 3 minutes. Add thyme, garlic, and sliced artichokes, and cook for 3 minutes. Add to cheese mixture along with zest. Transfer to an 8-cup baking dish. Top with reserved artichoke leaves. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
Bake until golden and bubbling, about 15 minutes. Let cool slightly. Garnish with thyme leaves. Serve with crudités
Goat Cheese with Fresh Dill and Paprika
When I told my friend I was more than excited to supply the appetizers, she had one request: please make sure there is goat cheese. I got this recipe from thepioneerwoman.com, and am more than willing to accommodate my friend’s request. After all, what is a classy party without a goat cheese platter?
2 packages (11 Ounce) Fresh Goat Cheese
6 Tablespoons Fresh Dill (or More If Needed)
6 Tablespoons Paprika (or More If Needed
Place the package of goat cheese into the freezer to chill.
While the goat cheese is chillin’ in the freezer, finely chop your fresh dill and spread it out a bit on the cutting board to let it dry for a few minutes.
The goat cheese should now be slightly firm. When it is ready, carefully remove the goat cheese from the packaging and gently roll it over the fresh dill, coating it almost completely.
Now pour some Paprika (a few tablespoons should probably do) onto a baking sheet. Give the pan a very slight shake to spread out the paprika a bit. Roll the second cylinder of goat cheese in the paprika until it is covered completely.
Carefully wrap each roll snugly in plastic wrap and chill until it’s time to serve. (The Paprika Goat Cheese will not do well if kept for longer than one to two hours so don’t make it too far in advance). Carefully slice them (easier when they are cool) and serve on crackers or crostini
Crab and Avocado Crostini
This last recipe completes the sophisticated menu for the evening, and will surely be received warmly. How could it not: it boasts both crab meat and avocados as ingredients. This recipe, taken from foodnetwork.com, seems easy to prepare.
1 loaf ficelle or thin French baguette
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1/4 cup
1 Meyer lemon, juiced
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 yellow pepper, seeds removed and diced
1 avocado, halved, pitted and flesh diced
1 shallot, finely diced
8 ounces lump crabmeat
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Slice the bread into 1/2-inch thick slices. Lightly brush the bread slices with the 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Arrange the bread on a baking sheet fitted with a rack and bake until lightly toasted, about 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool before topping with the crab mixture.
In a large bowl whisk together the lemon juice, 1/4 cup of olive oil and salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
Add the yellow pepper, the avocado, shallot and the crabmeat to the lemon vinaigrette and toss gently, so as to not break up the crabmeat. Top the bread slices with about a tablespoon of the crab mixture and arrange on a serving platter
And with that, my ambitious menu for Oscar night 2010 is planned. It will surely be expensive to prepare, but is well worth it. After all, this is a night that only comes once a year, and beckons the most extravagant details. So proceed with vigor, and make your Oscar night a night to remember.
And fear not, readers, I will definitely post pictures from this extravaganza.