Sunday, June 29, 2008

SATC therapy!

I really recommend you see Sex and the City - the movie twice. Why? Cuz the first time you're just too excited to see how the story will play out, and there's so much fashion going on it's like you're tripping on a triple dose of tequila as the colorful wardrobe, gowns, fur, shoes, and purses fly around the screen before your eyes.

This Sat., we devoted our afternoon to some more SATC therapy, kicking it off with a small brunch like Carrie & Co. and heading to the theater to laugh and feel happy all over again. Amazingly, the count of ten women who showed up for the second round was even more than the first viewing on the day of release, and the level of excitement was quite the same (or even more as there were some first timers.) At dinner, one person scored 98% on the SATC trivia quiz and won the prize I got from my recent NYC trip. Coincidentally the store where I got the prize (SCOOP) appears in the movie in the background of the DVF store. Nice job!

Now more about the movie & fashion... I saw Sarah J talking about how a vintage belt was used repeatedly on many of her garments throughout the movie, which was fun to observe during the second viewing (pictured here w/her green dress.) I also had room to take in the various purses this time, from Carrie's sportier Chanel to Charlotte's lovely silk Prada clutch, which I've had my eye on for some time. Speaking of Prada, did you get a chance to check out their "Fairy Bag" this season (pictured here)? A special collaboration with James Jean and Prada, this is totally sold out thanks to so many celebs snatching up the limited edition.

But if you're not ready to splurge $2500 on a Fairy Bag, then you might try what Carrie's assistant Louise (played by Jen Hudson) did. Rent your euro-bags online at: They're having a one week free rental special to celebrate SATC; nice deal! The "Love" key chain Louise carries that's "key" to the storyline is custom made for the movie in 18 ct. yellow gold by H. Stern on Fifth Ave., a $6000 piece! There are a few people cashing in on knock-offs already, but hey, you can't blame them, it sure is cute!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Silicone is in!! But not for your boobs....

Thanks to my Cordon Bleu trained cooking mentor Mrs. K, I got into cooking when I was in NYC. Since then, I've had some hit and misses and am pretty picky on cooking utensils these days. For the last few years, silicone (non-stick) is no longer the object of affection for women who want to "bust" (yeah, literally.) They've actually made their way into our kitchens in many shapes and forms!

So here are a few I've found useful, and there's a mutual common element with silicone: they're soft, come in various sizes, nice-to-touch and totally get the job done!

I got most of my tools at Sur La Table, Williams Sonoma and Marshalls in the U.S., but you can get them on Amazon or other online stores. Refresh your kitchen tools and dazzle your guests

1. Tong (Orka brand)
I use this the most, almost every time I cook. Flippin' stuff on the grill, stirring my pasta... but the best use is tossing delicate salad leaves! These come in different lengths so I own a short and long one.

2. Basting Brush (Orka brand)
Good for pastry, basting, etc., this is the BEST brush I've ever owned. They come in various lengths so I have one for the kitchen and one for my BBQ grill. Soooo easy to clean it's unbelievable!

3. Pot Clip Utensil Holder (Trudeau brand)
Just clip them on the side of your pot and you've got an instant utensil holder! The picture says it all... it's so smart!

Thursday, June 26, 2008


My friends are so social, I luv em'. Last night I was introduced to a fun global "social" site where folks can register to various groups of interest and attend social meetups. is the name (duh!) and they've got tons of interest groups all over the world. I used to use for local events, but this has some basic profiles, etc. and is kinda like Y! Groups with physical meetup events. I checked the event calendars of various groups and can say that a lot of them are quite active with many attendees. You can search for groups in your area based on keywords, or click on folks that are members of other groups to see what they've joined.

I joined the Palo Alto Wine Meetup and the Third Thursday: Social Media in Marketing & PR. Like I said, they're global so there are many groups in Tokyo, Europe, etc There's even a Vampire group (what the heck??) Go mingle!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Women Who Rock!

Pretty girl Anne Hathaway's (actress in Devil wears Prada) 29 yr. old financier beau made it on the front page of Wall Street Journal today. Only catch is, he's been charged with funding a lavish lifestyle by using $$$ from a fund that was supposed to redevelop surplus Catholic Church properties. Shame on you, Raffaello Follieri!!! We're really happy there is news that cute Anne has split and that your bail was set at $21 MM. Money can be better spent and here's one example.

I only knew a handful of people when I moved to the bay area and wanted more local gal pals. Where can I find them...? I learned about the Jr. League volunteer organization and there they were! The most intelligent, caring and warm hearted women who rock! Thanks to the experiences I've had and the great friends I've made, I can't endorse volunteering and social contribution enough. Hey I'm no socialite and can't throw $$$$$ fund raisers but there are many ways to show you care by contributing time and effort. Last year I was on a committee that teams up with the Bring-me-a-book Foundation and we taught lower income family parents how important it is to read to your child. I loved the efforts and learned alot so I am continuing on this same committee again this year.
The underlying criteria to be a member is that you're a positive-minded person and you care. Oh, and we can't forget... you have to be female ...sorry guys! We donate time, effort and money to various causes, just cuz because we can and it feels so good :-) Well, the League (more than a hundred years old) is soliciting new members for this year (the year starts in Aug.) If you're interested and want to make a difference, go click the link and apply! For our mid-Peninsula & Palo Alto org., we have several fun Open Houses from June-Aug. (6/25, 7/12, 8/14) for potential new members. Join us or donate and feel like Angelia Joilie!

Aside from our regular activities, in private we shop, dine, smile and hug.
Yes, it's that kind of quality organization full of women who rock!!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Can I touch this?

In NYC and can't decide which museum to visit this summer? Make sure you check out the Jeff Koonz exhibit @the MET. The MET has a rooftop garden that's open to the public during the warm season (May - fall) and they're exhibiting three absolutely CUTE and HUGE Jeff Koonz objects!! Some of you may know this American talent as he's famous for his silver bunny object and pieces that look like gigantic inflated balloons, twisted into animals... or hearts in this case. Here are some pics from my recent visit. When I shared this with a friend, she asked "What's this golden thing?? I wanna touch it!!" Very cute! And did I mention the rooftop garden has a small food bar where you can even order a Mojito? It was sizzling hot in NY when I was there so I was sippin' Mojitos from 11 am, LOL!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

My cotton candy!

I just found out that my condo may change the "one cat" policy to a "one cat or one dog" policy and am just ecstatic!! I haven't had a pet since my beloved kitty passed away last Oct., and while I love him dearly and miss him much, I think it's time to look for a new companion. I was told that the dog policy will likely have many restrictions and naturally limit the size of the dog, probably just small sized breeds will be allowed. That's okay! I don't need an Alaskan Huskie since I don't own a sled.

So I started my due diligence to see what darling breeds I might consider, and came across this adorable Coton de Tulear breed. Don't you think they look like teddy bears??? How cute are they! The breed seems to be very friendly, funny and they're used to traveling. Ooooo, my heart is pretty set on this little munchkin and I can't wait to hear if the HOA is going to approve the policy... stay tuned!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Yum, yum, yum!

As I'm no longer a resident of NYC, it's hard to plan my visits these days. Why? Cuz there's just too many new restaurants I want to try and not enough time! Noticing so many cool places sprouting downtown, I chose the new Duane St. Hotel in Tribeca this time, just a block away from Bouley. The hotel is modern & cute with good service so a total thumbs up start!

While we munched on Bouley bakery pastries in the morning, I've gotta say that the best bite in town this time was our 5-course tasting menu at the raved Degustation restaurant (East Village.) For $50+/person, the dishes are well constructed, creative and tasty! The fun part is watching the dishes prepared right front of your eyes. They only have counter seating that wraps around a tight spaced "mini-kitchen" where the chef and his team efficiently grill, whip and assemble. It was amazing to see how the talented 26 yr. old chef, Wesley Genovart, a Spaniard who worked at Perry St., whip up the marvelous and delicate dishes. Wesley kindly gave us advice on where to head for drinks in the neighborhood, which definitely topped off our memorable evening. The image is of the appetizer we had there. Bon appetit!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Lolitas in training

My tropical vacation in Puerto Rico continued on to vacation Part 2 in NYC, my fave town! Having lived there for 3 yrs. with an office down the block from Tiffany and Barneys NY, I thought I was the one that got to live the high life in total luxury. Agh, was I sooooo wrong!!

In NYC for some, luxury seems to start much earlier in life. While my friend and I were enjoying a late lunch around 3 pm at Fred's inside Barneys NY, I noticed some of the other tables were filled with teenagers in their uniform sporting Chanel sunglasses, Pucci hair bands, Louis bags. Hmmm.... We hit the shoe floor where racks of summer sales with Pradas, Louboutins and Manolos were piled up and what do we witness? Another group of teenage gals in uniforms trying out boxes and boxes of shoes galore, skipping around in those delicate heels rejoicing in delight. To top it off, a couple of Barneys shoe fitters are totally waiting on them. I seriously couldn't believe my eyes and never realized Barneys was an extended cafeteria and playground for the nearby private schools. Alas, I finally understood why Tiffany sells silver pacifiers and $100+ baby dishes!! I wouldn't be surprised if AMEX came out with a Paris Hilton AMEX card soon; the mini-black AMEX for teenage spending sprees... wish I had one!

Recommendations on NYC restaurants coming in tomorrow's blog!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Go Bronze!

This is the evening sky in Puerto Rico where I lounged all day, sipped on piña coladas and didn't touch a PC for days. It can be done!!!

And thanks to some great tips from Cameron Diaz courtesy of InStyle magazine, I'm sporting a spectacular bronze tan and am dying to share this new bronzing technique. This is a truly fool-proof, no peeling, no burning, smooth bronzing technique that worked like magic. The trick is very simple, just layer sun defense and sun tan lotion in the following order and you'll soon be ready to wear your summer wardrobe and dazzle!
1) Before you go out, slather on an SPF 30 (or as low as 20) sun defense lotion over your birthday suit (a.k.a. naked body.)
2) Stay in your birthday suit for at least 20 min. or so and try not to even sit down (...that's what Ms. Diaz says!)
3) Now slather your low SPF tanning lotion (2 or 4) all over your birthday suit.
4) Wait a few min. and finally put on your bathing suit.
5) Go hit the sun!
6) Make sure you use lots of after-sun lotion to preserve the tan and provide moisture to your skin.
7) Repeat this procedure daily, increasing your sun exposure gradually so you don't burn.

It takes about 20 min. for the human body to absorb the lotion so keep this in mind and be sure to slather more lotion after you swim or are in the sun for more than an hour.

My fave lotions are from NATURA BISSÉ (manufactured in Barcelona and used in Spas there.)
You can buy these @Neiman Marcus or online.
Here's the NATURA BISSÉ product combo I used.

- Sun Defense Fluid SPF 30
- Sun Defense Active Bronze Cream SPF 2
- Sun Defense Sun Radiance Lotion (after-sun tan accelerator w/Aloe and Vitamin E.)

Happy tanning!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Spin the Sugar!

I'm heading out to Puerto Rico and NYC for a long-awaited vacation! I can't wait to sip the cocktails at this mega-gorgeous resort and party on! So here's a pre-vacation blog till I return on 6/15. Yeah! I'm going totally leaving my laptop behind!

So I know I'm contradicting myself when I just blogged about a diet-aid pill but this is too sweet to pass! When I met my colleague in London, he kindly gave me a box of sweets called "Dragon Beard Candy" that he brought with him from Hong Kong. Dragon what?? I was pretty clueless on what to expect. Opening the box and popping one in my mouth, OMG, this is the most delicate candy I've ever had and sooooo decadent! The candy is in a form of hand spun malt sugar that's traditional in China, and wrapped around yummy chopped roasted peanuts, sesame and coconut. Ha! I caught you drooling already. The Chinese invented this for the emperor about 2,000 years ago, good taste! Very fine strands of sugar give the appearance of a fine beard – hence its name. You're thinking, "Hmmm, you never offered me one to try." Sorry, it was gone way before I unpacked my suitcase. But have no fear, I found a site in the U.S. where you can order. Quantities are limited so hurry and get yours!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Who inspires you?

Since I'm heading out for a fffabulous Puerto Rico & NYC vacation next week, I'm in a Manhattan mode! When I lived there before moving to the West Coast, my best memories weren't about the revolving door of men who "didn't" show up. Yes ladies, SATC is a drama not a biography!! Nor was it the Zagat top-ranked restaurant dinners that filled my schedule at least half the week - yes this part, I feel like Carrie Bradshaw!

My treasured memory is my encounter with black and white photography.

After work I took classes at the NY Center of Photography for almost two years. I developed negatives in my teeny Manhattan sized closet that had some designer clothes, but not as many Manolos as Carrie. All because I stumbled on a beautiful photo by the famed Harper's Bazaar photographer, Lillian Bassman. Born 1917, she revolutionized the fashion industry in the 40's & 50's with her most elegant, experimental and romantic prints. I had to meet her but was she alive? Luckily, one day she was holding a lecture at the NY Center of Photography. Aren't these pictures breathtaking? I treasure the book she autographed for me that day and only hope I'll age with as much elegance as her.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Cut it out!

My friend in London is an e-commerce guru. She finds so many things online and surprisingly, most items are from the U.S. One item on her list is Alli, a new over-the-counter diet aid pill and she's digging around for reviews. Seems like it prevents the absorption of fats from the diet, thus reducing caloric intake. The fact is, it's a half-dose of an existing diet pill by GlaxoSmithKline called Xenical, which is prescribed to the obese. This half-dose blocks about 25% of the usual fat-intake; good marketing! Side effects sound pretty minimal and Alli has its own site.

I'm not endorsing this product or anything, but do give comments on this if you've heard of it, or anything else that may have worked for you (besides excercise.) We all want to cut out the calories but still enjoy the dessert don't we?

Watch out Williams Sonoma!

My fffabulous friend reminded me I hadn't blogged about this wonderful store we came acroos, so here it is! Italian star chef Michael Chiarello, former owner of Tra Vigne in Napa, has embraced Los Gatos, yeah! But it's not a restaurant he opened, it's the retail store that showcases his line of cooking utensils, custom spices and wonderful cooking/home related items he imports from Italy and beyond. I came across his second cookbook before he got his show on Food Network and some of my fave Italian recipes are from his book. He's a firm believer of grey salt (vs. kosher) and you can now buy this at his store vs. paying s&h fees for an online order. My patio furniture is also from his catalog of years back and is still in great condition. I've had the pleasure of meeting the chef in person when my company hosted his recipe for lunch in our cafeteria (yeah, we're spoiled!) I can tell you this is a great place to shop if you're tired of the typical Williams Sonoma.

Now, if only they would serve a glass of his wine while we shop.

Napa Style Los Gatos
32 North Santa Cruz Ave. Los Gatos, CA 95030 (408) 354-1119
Monday thru Saturday: 10am - 7pm
Sunday: 11am - 6pm

Monday, June 2, 2008

Poetic Songs

I'm no country music buff but I occasionally come across tunes on the radio with lyrics that just make me freeze. Sometimes I wonder why this singer knows how I'm feeling. One day I was driving and heard a song called I Hope You Dance. It's about giving life and everything another chance and not sitting out. I totally forgot about it for months and recently heard a reprise on the radio and hunted it down. Lee Ann Womack's I Hope You Dance. Play it when you feel you've lost confidence or need to re-charge. I have some Faith Hill faves too, but Lee Ann ain't bad and this one's more about the lyrics. It can be a feel good song at the right moment.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Plz don't stop the music, Rihanna style!

In hindsight, I admit the Sex And The City movie was just a prelude to a super fun weekend, but boy did we kick it up a notch! On Sat. after splurging at Neimans on some new shoes from Loeffler Randall (I still can't prononce the first name) I was invited to tag along to a very nice "European" dinner party with lots of great guests, home made paella, gaspacho and sangria in the city. Post party we hopped over to Azul and danced the nite away till the lights came on at 2 a.m. Guess the D.J. ignored Rihanna's plea of Please Don't Stop the Music. Bummer! We could've been there forever. While I improvised my-own-style salsa at times (a.k.a. just swing with the beat) I'm envious of my friends who were born to Salsa and darned I never took it seriously! My upcoming vacation to Puerto Rico calls for some serious practice. Knowing my avid Salsa dancer friends would rather sleep on the dance floor, I realize I've a lot of catching up to do. So I'm looking forward to my Tue. Salsa lesson to make sure I don't step on the toes of my new amigos in Puerto Rico. Shall we dance?