Weekly Finds

Weekly Finds

 

I would like to start off by thanking all of you for your patience while I took a mini break from the blog.  Many of you who follow me on Instagram and Twitter, may know that I recently had my baby boy.  That’s right, Cooper Alan is now apart of this world and my life, and I couldn’t be happier.  The past month, I have been a little busy getting ready for Cooper’s arrival.  Now that a little bonding time has passed, I am happy to be back to blogging because I missed you all!  My weeks aren’t what they once were, but I am getting used to life with a baby and really good at typing with one hand.  One thing is for sure, I am starting to miss fun summer plans.  Usually this time of year, I’ve spent many hours by a pool and enjoyed fun summer activities in the city.  Life may be a bit different, okay a lot different, but I am working hard to find my way back to a happy medium.  That being said, I hope that this weekend my husband, baby, and I can get out of the apartment for some NYC summer fun!  In the meantime, I have had a lot of downtime roaming the Internet and found some fantastic must-reads for this edition of Weekly Finds.  So this weekend, while you stay in with the AC blasting, check them out!  Also, don’t forget to visit the blog and read up on my recent outfit posts.  There are a lot of great ideas for how to dress your best this summer!  Have a great weekend!

 

FINGER LICKIN’ GOOD:  When I was in the hospital after giving birth, my brother brought me a fried chicken sandwich from David Chang’s new eatery, Fuku. There isn’t much to the sandwich but the red sauce makes it mouth watering good.   If you’re a fan of Chang’s ramen bar and fried chicken dinner, then this is the sandwich for you!

PALETTE PLAY:  I am a big fan of Victoria McGinley’s blog.  She has the most stunning pictorials and this decorating post is no exception.  I am in love with how she has combined Mediterranean blue and gold. I’ll definitely keep this in mind when I redecorate next.

AS IF:  It’s the 20th anniversary of one of my favorite flicks, Clueless. From an early age, this movie’s costumes inspired my own fashion and still do to this day!  If you too are a fan then you have to read Elle Magazine’s interview with the film’s costume designer, Mona May.

SUMMER BEAUTY:  One thing you need to know about me is that I am cursed on the hair front.  I have very fine, limp hair that has zero volume.  That is why this Refinery 29 article about the best new hair texturizers out there is right up my alley!

FUN IN THE SUN:  Have you jumped on the flamingo train this summer?  Lately flamingos have been all the rage from prints on accessories, dresses, to pool toys.  If you’re not on board yet, take a look at this blogger’s flamingo themed pool party to inspire you.

AIN’T HE CUTE:  My baby Cooper may not know it yet, but he is going to be the most stylish boy in Manhattan.  While browsing online, I found out that Joe Fresh sells baby clothes.   I really can’t decide which bodysuit I love more, but at these prices, I can definitely have more than one!

 

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Party In Style

The best way to enjoy the summer is to have as much fun in the sun as you can.  Whether you’re going to a barbeque, a rooftop party, or having a picnic in the park, summer is the time to party!  We can stay inside once it’s cold again, but I say grab your favorite sunnies and take advantage of the beautiful weather while you still can.  Of course you are going to need a fabulous new outfit for all of these fun activities.  Today’s post is all about dressing for any social occasion.  Personally, I love a rooftop dinner with friends; sipping on cocktails, eating great food, all while overlooking the beautiful city.  Wear any of these outfits and you will look flawless no matter how hot it is.  So tell me, what is your favorite kind of summer party?  Whichever it is, chose one of these outfits and you’ll be the most stylish girl there!

Party In Style  1. Stella & Dot – Renegade Cluster Bracelet  | 2. Julie Vos – Baroque Cocktail Ring | 3. Seychelles – Hello Lovely Sandals | 4. Madewell – Embroidered Dress | 5. Ralph Lauren – Eyelet Fedora | 6. Warehouse – Bucket Bag

Party In Style

 1. Gorjana – Hoop Earrings | 2. Asos – Leather Flat Sandals | 3. TopShop – Strappy V-Neck Romper | 4. Karen Walker – Harvest Sunglasses | 5. Daniel Wellington – Classic Bristol Watch | 6. Vince Camuto – Calli Clutch   

 Party In Style 1. TopShop – Wildflower Print Bardot Top | 2. Steve Madden – Euphoria Flat | 3. Gap – 1969 Girlfriend Jeans | 4. Ray-Bans – Aviator Sunglasses | 5. Loren Hope – Triangle Cuff | 6. Clare V. – Oui Clutch   

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Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

When I was a kid, I lived two hours from the nearest mall.  Every summer, my mother would take me to Nordstrom for their legendary Anniversary Sale.  There we would shop all of the new fall collections and I would leave with a fabulous wardrobe for the back-to-school season.  Now that I am an adult, I still revere the Nordstrom Sale as a very special time of year.  As much as I love the warmer months, fall is my absolute favorite season.  Having the opportunity to shop the store’s fall collections at a lower price is very exciting.  So tell me, have you shopped the sale yet?  Are you planning to?  I, for one, had a hard time finding styles that I absolutely had to have.  Usually I have a really hard time narrowing down my choices, but this year that wasn’t the case.  I am not sure if it is because I am limited to shopping online or if I am just really not a fan of the 70’s throwback trend for fall.  Nevertheless, I did round up a few pieces that I would like to add to my wardrobe.  I would’ve liked to have found a lot more sweaters, coats, and boots, but I have put together for you my favorite pieces from the sale.  It may not fit all of my fall shopping needs, but it is a good start.  I would love to hear what you think of my picks and what items your wish list.  Hurry up and get to your local Nordstrom or shop online before the prices go back up on August 2nd.  Happy shopping!

** Click on images for the direct link

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Nordstrom Anniversary Sale  Nordstrom Anniversary Sale  Nordstrom Anniversary Sale  Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

 

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Movies & Films Review: Trainwreck and Minions 

 

Comedies For All Ages, But Only Separately

By Johnny Pomatto

 

TRAINWRECK

No matter where your tastes may lie, chances are there is something in Amy Schumer’s debut film TRAINWRECK that will appeal to you. Ever since “Bridesmaids,” when Hollywood suddenly discovered there was a market for female driven comedies, there has refreshingly been more of a push to let women headline more big budget films. Though Schumer is experiencing a kind of rare popularity that seems to be crossing over to multiple genders and age groups, Hollywood doesn’t like to take chances, and so director Judd Apatow has filled this “stone soup” of a movie with actors and plotlines that will lure in just about every demographic. Lest men out there fear their significant other will drag them to a chick-flick, the movie is full of sports humor, and even features several professional athletes in supporting roles, ensuring that you’ll leave the theater saying four words you never thought you’d say: “Comedic Genius Lebron James.” But of course the real star of TRAINWRECK is Amy Schumer, who introduces her raunchy comedic persona to the remaining few who have been living under a rock for the past few years. It’s a glorious unveiling and the kind of debut that is likely to birth a lengthy film career, though I was surprised that the edgy and occasionally controversial comic would conform so much to deliver a pretty traditional romantic comedy, albeit a very good one.

Schumer plays Amy, a girl who was raised by her womanizing father to go through life avoiding monogamy. While perfectly happy with one night stands and casual hookups, Amy starts to question her lifestyle when she finds herself attracted to the subject of an article she’s writing, a sweet and mild-mannered sports surgeon, played by Bill Hader. It’s easy to see why anyone would fall for Hader, though it’s a little difficult to see why Amy would. While we observe Amy’s character transform from an empowered and proud promiscuous drunk, we don’t quite see the motivation for her sudden urge to become a sweet and supportive girlfriend. Even she doesn’t understand the new emotions she’s feeling, but she also doesn’t do much to question or fight them. I don’t believe that the movie is proposing that the only thing this wild woman needs to be tamed is the love of a stable, well behaved man, but I’m not sure if the script ever gives a more credible motivation for her arc, or even an explanation for why she would want to abandon the bad habits she so seems to enjoy. I was shocked that the third act conflict that threatens to derail her new relationship seems to be more of a matter of Amy being a workaholic in a bad job, rather than her suppressed desires ever creeping back into her mind. This was a rare romantic comedy where I was actually somewhat rooting for the couple to not end up together at the end, just because I wondered if it might have been a happier ending for her. As wonderful as Schumer and Hader are opposite one another, the story never fully convinces us that they should be together for any other reason than the fact that they’re in a movie together, and that’s simply what’s supposed to happen. I didn’t want to root against the characters, but I do wish that the script shaped their path a bit more convincingly.

Though the script may sometimes struggle with selling its conventional story, Schumer has expertly filled it with enough laughs that it’s easy to forget its few faults. While Schumer anchors the film and provides herself with a perfect showcase for her brand of modern, feminist humor, she’s incredibly generous to her fellow comedians, and occasionally will stand back, (or even vanish entirely for multiple minutes from her own movie), to give some of the funniest moments to her male co-stars. Bill Hader gives his best performance to date, and proves himself as a quite amiable leading man and perfect straight man foil, while still getting plenty of laughs herself. His scenes with the shockingly hilarious LeBron James are some of the best moments in the film, and might just be enough to lure the “Sports Center” crowd away from “Ant Man” this opening weekend to make it an even bigger hit than expected. Brie Larson and Mike Birbiglia are so perfect as Amy’s straight-laced sister and her annoyingly pleasant husband that I almost wish Apatow would spin off these characters into their own film, like he’s done in the past with scene-stealers from previous projects. And two of Amy’s comedic mentors, Colin Quinn and Dave Attell, shine in supporting roles, with Quinn in particular delivering some sentimental pathos from an incredibly unlikely source.

While Judd Apatow films are notorious for their abundance of scene-stealing cameos, they also have a reputation for their over-length and self-indulgence. I’m happy to report that he’s scaled back his ambitions and made his most focused and purely comedic film since “Knocked Up” and “The 40 Year Old Virgin.” He seems to be at his strongest when he is crafting a showcase for new talent that is so funny and natural that even a few too many subplots can’t mute it. That’s not to say that this film isn’t a hair too long and couldn’t have benefited from condensing of some of the characters. Both Tilda Swinton and wrestler John Cena make unexpected comedic turns, but both side stories last a little too long and distract from the main story thread. Perhaps Schumer would have been wiser to turn their scenes into sketches on her show, rather than include so many supporting characters that they limit her own screen time. But although Schumer still has something to learn about writing a balanced screenplay, TRAINWRECK is an incredibly strong debut effort and a welcome sign of things to come. Since I can’t imagine she’ll want to constantly play slightly exaggerated versions of herself and comedic persona, it’s kind of a shame that this might not have been the best possible film for her debut, but it’s an exciting beginning to what could potentially be ahead of her. TRAINWRECK may be more of an actual romantic comedy than a response to the tropes and clichés of the genre, but it’s still one of the best and funniest examples I’ve seen of one in quite some time.


MINIONS

I was not a big fan of the first two “Despicable Me” films. Their needlessly heavy plotting always just left me bored, but I would perk up anytime those yellow, babbling Minions came on screen. The Minions are a perfect example of comedy at its silliest and simplest. I couldn’t care less about Steve Carell’s super villain Gru conquering the world while still finding time to raise three adorable orphans, but I could watch the Minions fight over a banana all day long. These modern counterparts to the 3 Stooges are just what you need if you want to see an animated film that will make you giggle, rather than make you cry and reminisce about the loss of your imaginary friend. MINIONS is in no way a better film than Pixar’s masterpiece “Inside Out,” but sometimes stupid can be just as welcoming as the cerebral.

MINIONS has one of the funniest opening half hours I’ve seen in any animated film in years, as Geoffrey Rush narrates the humble origins of these squishy, adorably malicious creatures throughout time. Playing out like a serious nature documentary about the silliest of animals, it’s a fine example of how dialogue can be overrated, and the indecipherable language of the Minions is all one needs to tell a story. I don’t mean to put them on as high a pedestal as Tom and Jerry or the Roadrunner cartoons, but the Minions may be one of the best examples of near silent comedy that we have in this new millennium, and that’s nothing to scoff at. The Minions themselves are ingeniously designed and their strange baby talk mixes in the occasional bit of Spanish, Japanese, French, and Hebrew, so no matter what country in the world one might hail from, everyone has a justifiable right to claim a kind of ownership of the Minions for one’s own, which might be what’s behind its astonishing global box office success.

I would love it if Sony could continue the Minions story in a series of shorts, as 8 minute bursts seem to be the best venue for their brand of comedy. Even at about 85 minutes, their first solo feature is a bit too long, but I’m in no hurry to see them return to playing supporting characters for human stars. Eventually they encounter new super villains, (played by Sandra Bullock and Jon Hamm), and they merely serve as stand-in replacements for Carell’s character from the first two films. I, for one, am happier watching the Minions causing mayhem and don’t need stories about Sandra Bullock’s desire to steal the Crown Jewels from Queen Elizabeth. But if there’s hope for a string of new era Looney Tunes shorts, The Minions are a fine candidate to lead us down that path.

Hear more of Johnny Pomatto’s reviews on his podcast MOVIES AND FILMS WITH JOHNNY AND FRIENDS available on iTunes

Currently Coveting: Black & White Stripes

Summer and stripes go together like peanut butter and jelly. They are a classic fashion statement that will never go out of style. One reason why we may gravitate towards stripes is because they remind us of how French women dress. What woman doesn’t want to be mistaken for a Parisian? Stripes are a very simple and flattering print to wear; you really can’t go wrong with them. When it comes to summertime, most of us gravitate towards the nautical look. Whether you are vacationing at the Cape or home in the city, wearing navy and white stripes is a summer must! Now, I was going to do a nautical Fourth of July post, but I had a baby instead. So, I have decided instead that I would explore a different side to stripes. Most of us shy away from black over the summer. After a long winter of wearing dark and dreary hues, you want to dress in bright colorful prints. I am here to tell you that black has just as much of a place in the warmer months as it does when it’s cold. I believe that black and white stripes are just as chic and sophisticated as the nautical navy and white version. I promise you won’t look like a referee! Instead, you will look polished and put together, which is all we can hope to achieve when it’s disgustingly humid out. Need a little more encouragement? Below are three ways I have paired black and white stripes together. Wear any of these outfits, and you will be mistaken for a street style pro!
 
 
Currently Coveting: Black & White Stripes

1. BaubleBar – Cape Knot Collar Necklace | 2. Seychelles – Lyra Dress Pump | 3. Choies – Striped Dress | 4. Mango – Bleached Denim Jacket | 5. Gigi New York – Uber Clutch

 Currently Coveting: Black & White Stripes  1. Mango – Striped Flowy Shirt | 2. Converse – Chuck Taylor Shoreline | 3. Dorothy Perkins – Black Creoe Shorts | 4. Shinymix – Pink Link Bracelet | 5. BAGGU – Drawstring Bag

 Currently Coveting: Black & White Stripes

1. J.Crew Factory – Classic Chambray Shirt | 2. Vince Camuto – Louise et Cie Dalila Perforated Flat | 3. Zara – Striped Flared Skirt | 4. KT Collection – Teardrop Hoop Earrings | 5. Sole Society – Emmie Perforated Hobo

 
 
 

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Color Crush: Blush

In the summertime, I always gravitate to lightweight, pale-colored clothing.   This season is no different because I have a serious crush on blush. It is a perfect color for summer, even though I wear it all-year round, because it is a soft, light, and feminine color. When it is super hot outside, you don’t want to be in a dark color, and blush is a great way to cool things down. It has been a very popular color for the past couple of seasons and it is not losing steam anytime soon. With most pink hues, you run the risk of looking too Elle Woods or like a bottle of Pepto Bismol. However, blush is such a subtle version of pink that you can’t go wrong with either wearing it as an accent or the star. When styling your favorite blush pieces, keep in mind that it works well paired with navy, white, nude, or grey. If you love blush but don’t want to look too girly, try pairing it with a darker hue like navy or brown; it really changes the look. My last color crush was all about wearing white head-to-toe. I know that some of my readers didn’t like the idea of it, so wearing an all blush ensemble is a great compromise. If I can’t convince you, maybe these fabulous styles can? In this roundup, I have selected a few items that have been on my wish list for a while now. That’s no surprise though; I am currently very attracted to this color and believe that it should be on your top of your list for summer fashion must-haves!

 
 
Color Crush: Blush


Color Crush: Blush Color Crush: Blush Color Crush: Blush

 

 

IN THIS POST:

1. Zara – Tw0-Tone Flat Shoes | 2. Asos – Skater Dress | 3. Gigi New York – Desert Rose Carly Convertible Clutch | 4. La Mer Collections – Del Mar Watch | 5. Zara – Short Sleeve Knit Top | 6. H&M – Knee Length Skirt | 7. Dorothy Perkins – Tie Waist Joggers | 8. Kate Spade NY – Color Pop Necklace | 9. J.Crew Factory – Beach Sweater | 10. Kendra Scott – Parker Drusy Stud Earrings | 11. Essie – “Angel Food” Nail Polish | 12. Mango – Minimal Dress | 13. Joie – Kidmore Dusty Sneakers

 
 
 

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Movies & Films Review: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl & The Wolfpack

The Life Saving Power Of Cinema

By Johnny Pomatto

We all watch movies to be entertained, but they can serve a greater purpose and provide us with therapeutic comfort when we need it most.  Two movies currently in theaters, (one based on fiction, the other on fact) demonstrate the life-saving power of film better than any other example in recent memory.

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ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL

While I do my best to go into every movie I see with a completely open mind, sometimes I simply have to acknowledge that some movies out there just weren’t made for me.  This is why I can’t fully begrudge someone’s love of a film like “The Hunger Games,” even though I find it a complete bore.  This time last year there was a niche film that seemed to have a surprising amount of crossover appeal, the film adaptation of “The Fault in Our Stars,” and while I was able to admire some better than average performances in it, I still found it to be typical, by the books, young-adult fare.  Jesse Andrews’ film adaptation of his teen novel ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL features many of the same tropes that one might expect from a weepy “teen with cancer” movie, but it spoke to me in a way that “Fault” never was able to do, primarily because I found the characters so real and instantly recognizable.  It’s possible that I may be overly biased in favor of this movie because the person that I recognized most in this movie was none other than myself.

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