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January 2011 Archives

I'm leaving on a jet plane en route from Detroit to Ft Lauderdale and since I have free in-flight Wi-fi, (thanks Delta) I felt impelled to blog about all of the things I loved about my journey up north while I'm still in a Michigan state of mind.

Top 10 Reasons Why I Heart Michigan

10. Chic Michiganistas on the street showed me 4 new ways how to rock a scarf.

9. The scenic, snowy, curvy and hilly roads oozing with Thomas Kinkadelike charm.

8. Fireplaces.

7. Cool Cuban cuisine in Ann Arbor & banging burritos in Mexican Town.

6. The intense loyalty and adoration that Michiganites have for Kid Rock.

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5. Caribou Coffee.

4. The fact that I didn't sweat, not once.

3. Pastys.

2. Mackinac Island is pronounced Mackinaw Island. Ultra cool. Knick Naw Patty Whaw, Give Your Dog a Bone.

1. My hair looks awesome there.


What I Didn't Like About Michigan

1. The fact that I'm not there anymore.

Taylor Swift and Jake Gyllenhaal have broken up. I am oddly torn up about this.

No, this is not how I wanted to start off my New Year. I invested a lot in Jake and Taylor. I was 73.948% sure that Juliet had finally found her Romeo. In fact, they were my #1 draft pick for my Fantasy Celeb Romance League.

You have to admit that they were gosh darn'it cute together during their two month whirlwind romance, picking apples, sipping coffees and trying to stay under the radar in New York, Nashville, Los Angeles and London.

What happened? Where did it all go wrong?

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Maybe it was the age difference. Maybe it was their schedules. Maybe Jake finally saw Taylor's awkward performance in Valentine's Day.

I'm used to doling out sound advice when it comes to fashion rather than matters of the heart, but if I were Taylor I'd stay away from the teen werewolves, the A list movie stars and the John Mayers of the world.

Stay Country Strong (in theatres Friday) Tay.

There is a boy out there who is perfect for you. One who will bring you chicken soup when you're sick, keep your guitars in tune, compliment you whether your hair is corskcrew curly or flat-ironed straight. Hold out for the guy who will rub your feet for you after a long day of touring Taylor.

Those are the guys who deserve to have songs written about them.

iPad Case in Point

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Santa, cleverly disguised as the UPS guy is bringing me a very special gift that should be delivered in 0-900 hours.

He had my name confused with some naughty chick, which was surprising since there is a general shortage of Samaras in the Continental US. Nevertheless, he checked his list twice revealing my sugar and spice and everything nice record, issued a swift apology, packed up a brand new shiny iPad and hightailed it back to Florida.

So now I'm on a search, a search for the perfect case.

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It's a personal thing, choosing the right cover for your iPad, ereader or other tablet device. I'm finding it even more daunting than procuring the perfect purse. Women have multiple handbags for different occasions, moods, outfits, etc. With one iPad case in rotation, you want to get it right.

Some people might go for the understated look while others want a case that cries out "Hey look at me, I got an iPad...jealous much?"
I narrowed it down to a few options that reflect a few key facets of my iPad personality.

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1. Traditional. The portfolio-like Leather Parcel Tablet Sleeve from Fossil appeals to my chic businesswoman side with vintage-inspired herringbone, genuine leather, suede interior and an easy wrap and go cord for $40. I dig how it doesn't scream iPad case. I could easily have important documents, contracts or the next great American novel in there. If you're looking for something classic, I rest my case.

2. Smart. If you're focused on functionality, the Brenthaven 5-in-1 case from Kolobags features five fab features and options that provide protection, an ez-grip handle for portability, a typing stand, horizontal viewing stand and a cool strap attachment system to view shows on the go. My smart side knows I'm getting more bang for my buck for $59.95.

3. Earthy. For the same price as the 5-in-1, the DODOCase features a faux black leather cover and an eco-friendly bamboo interior available in 8 different pops of color. Your iPad never has to leave its case thanks to the fold back exterior and elastic strap that make it so user friendly, even a DODO can work it.

Now I just have to choose.

Worst-case scenario, I hate it and ask Santa for another cover next Christmas.

Model Theft

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Black Swan Queen For a Day

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This past weekend I relived my budding ballerina days with a viewing of the critically acclaimed, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominated film, Black Swan.

Directed by Darren Aronofsky, (the mastermind behind Pi, The Wrestler and Requiem for a Dream), Black Swan stars Natalie Portman as Nina Sayers, a young, gifted and meticulous ballet dancer at her prime who wins the coveted role of the Swan Queen in Swan Lake. As the innocent, delicate, virginal and perfectly cast White Swan, Nina struggles to get in touch with her darker side in order to fully capture and rock the dual role of the sinister Black Swan. In her process of self swan discovery, Nina goes a little cuckoo for cocoa puffs as she finds herself locked in a web of competitive intrigue with the new ballerina on the block, the seductively reckless Lily, played by Mila Kunis.

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As far as psychothrillers go, Black Swan delivered three acts of on the edge of your seat intrigue, mesmerizing choreography and performances that were as on pointe as the shoes that graced every tightly bunned dancer's feet. Portman, who began rigorous training a full year before production even began, deserves every bit of Oscar buzz dancing around for her intricately layered portrayal of a girl transforming into a woman transforming into a tortured artist. In short, her Swan Queen blew Queen Amidala away.

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Things are looking good for Natalie, she is not only being recognized for turning out the performance of her career, but she is also engaged to and expecting a baby with her Black Swan co-star, French choreographer Benjamin Millepied. To wrap up my review, Black Swan is a definite Award season must-see. There's even some hot ballerina on ballerina action that will keep your boyfriend from falling asleep, even though he'll swear he's not into that kind of stuff.

It's been awhile since I performed grand pliés and relevés in a ballet studio, but I longed to slip on my old dancing shoes with the sight of every perfectly executed pirouette. If I were to rediscover my inner swan (the good one), I would start off by investing in the right footwear, like the Glisse by Capezio Pointe Shoes from Dancewear Solutions. Then I would splurge on a twirly girly tutu like Leo's Professional Tutu from Discount Dance Supply, available in pink, white and black if you're nasty. Finally, I'd nail the look with NARS Cream Eyeshadow in pure inky black, the NARS Glitter Pencil in silvery Roxbury, and NARS Lip Lacquer in Diablo.

Now all I need is a tiara and some feathers.

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If money grew on trees in my backyard in high denomination notes, this Burberry Prorsum Studded Sleeve Trench from the Spring 2011 Collection would so be hanging in my closet.

Let's face it. I'd kill for any iconic Burberry trench, but this baby goes far beyond all the other Burberry coats in the trenches by taking a classic piece and adding enough edge to sustain an entire room full of Ke$has.

Not only does it make a sharp statement with the bold studs bedazzling the upper sleeve and collar, but it would also make a rather menacing defense weapon against potential attackers.

Hermione has one, so should I.

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Model Boy Meets Model Girl

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Last night I was excited to sit back and take in the 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards, especially since I've seen the majority of the films nominated this year, with the exception of The King's Speech. Congrats Colin, I'll catch you on Netflix old chap.

As for the red carpet looks, overall I'm sad to report that the theme was more Golden Girls than Golden Globes, with gowns that were long, heavily adorned, and a bit dowdy. Blanche, Rose and Sophia would have looked smashing in most of the dresses that made their way down the red carpet (Dorothy would have worn pants), but most of the starlets who were 30 and under came off looking like they had just arrived at the Kodak Theater after spending the day playing dress up in their Nanas' closets.

Nevertheless, here are my golden pics for the best dressed chicks of the night.

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Love and Other Drugs best actress nominee and future Oscar host Anne Hathaway got my attention even while seated in a striking backless amber Armani Privé gown embroidered with Swarovski crystals. My boyfriend did not like Anne's dress, but he is a boy and straight, therefore his Fashion Police opinions are overrided.

I kinda liked Leighton Meester's Loretta Lynn-like long sleeved Nude Crepon Print Ruched Crescent Dress from the Burberry Prorsum collection, thanks in part to the sexy open front slit, but I loved her sparkling Jimmy Choo shoes even more, proving that shoes have the power to transform any mediocre outfit.

Claire Danes won Best Actress in a Miniseries for her multicolored performance of Temple Grandin and she also won points from yours truly for taking a chance on the color wheel in her custom Calvin Klein Collection neon silk halter dress that was bold, backless and an awesomely flattering shade of hot pink.

Best actress nominee, Easy A star Emma Stone scored an Easy B minus in my grade book, making an understated choice in a minimal peach hued Calvin Klein number. Even though she came off as prim, poised and plain, I still couldn't take my eyes off of her Grace Kelly doppelganger effect due to her dyed blond Gwen Stacy hair for her role in the next Batman movie. Simple and nicely played Emma, you wore enough slutty outfits in Easy A.

Worst Dressed
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Natalie Portman didn't look her best in her Valentine's Day inspired pink frock with a sequined red rose splattered on the bodice, but she's pregnant and won Best Actress, so she is forgiven.

Helena Bonham Carter. You are not Lady Gaga. You are nominated for Best Supporting Actress for The King's Speech, which I did not see but heard was lovely. Match your shoes.

Michelle Williams. Michelle, my belle. You are not allowed to dress like this after rocking the red carpet year after year. This gown is fine for Drew Barrymore, not for you. Even though your daisy decked dress is Valentino, I'm not feeling the flower power.

Tilda Swinton. Enough with the Oxfords and skirts. Help her Jil Sander. You can do better, and put on some make-up, people are taking pictures of you.

I'm over winter.

I realize that it's only mid-January and I have 61 something days to go before the birth of spring, but once all of the Christmas candy, cookies and wish list gifts are gone, I'm already craving Easter baskets, daffodils and planting the seeds of my new seasonal wardrobe.

I purchased the perfect little lime sundress yesterday, {note to self, buy self tanner for pasty white legs} and discovered another must have accessory that will help me celebrate the next budding season in style.

I've got Spring fever, and the only prescription is floral sunglasses.

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I can't think of a better way to embrace my upcoming spring awakening than with a pair of these fun and flirty shades. Thankfully, my newest obsession is practically as cheap as a box of marshmallow peeps, with most of my featured picks pricing in around $10 and under.

Take a peek:

*I heart great deals and I heart these I Heart Floral Sunglasses from deLiA*s for $10.50. Woo-ee-oo, you'll look just like Buddy Holly...if Buddy Holly's glasses ever had flowers on them.

Not marshmallow peep cheap enough?

*Forever 21 takes my flowery cheap shade craze a step further with these adorable classic Square Floral Sunglasses. You'll be pretty in pink without being in the red with these Wayfarer-like shades on sale for only $5.80.

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*If you're prone to puking when wearing pink or pastel hues, you can still embrace the floral eyewear trend with these black framed Full Tilt Floral Ditsy Sunglasses from Tilly's for only $9.99. They're Goth and fem-friendly.

**If you appreciate the finer things in life and sensible shades aren't your thing, go ahead and spring on a pair of Sabre Poolside Glasses that make a swell statement from Swell for $95.

My Forever 21 floral shade picks are twenty-five dollars cheaper by the dozen, but who's counting?

Okay, so here's the deal.

I'm too short to be America's Next Top Model, too high maintenance to be an Ultimate Survivor and too unmotivated to be the next Apprentice (I'd also make fun of Donald Trump's hair and hear "you're fi-ahd" after the first round)...but my dear loyal readers, if there's one title I can hold, it's the Next Big Style Blogger.

Refinery 29 is sponsoring a stylish search for the next big style blogger and that could very well be me.

Just go to Refinery 29's contest page HERE, find my adorable mug (the same one pictured below, concealing a hiccup) and click on my heart to show me some bloggin' love.

You have to sign in through Facebook and click "allow" to submit your vote.

I have 11 measley votes at the time of this post. Don't let me go down in a blaze of no glory. I so want to take down Eva from Indianapolis.

xoxo,
samara
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Model eReaders

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Twin Sets - Then and Now

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When it comes to my fashion sense and sensibility, I will always covet classic pieces over trends.

I have held this stance ever since I became the object of ridicule at my eighth grade school dance for showing up in a bra and suspenders with jeans à la Kelly Kapowski of Saved By the Bell.

I will, on occasion experiment with a new trend when the price is right, but if I am spending a considerable amount of fash cash (fashion currency), I want it to last in my wardrobe rotation for more than a week.

One classic combination that will never go out of style - The Twinset.

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According to Wikipedia, A twinset, twin set or sweater-set is a matching set of a cardigan and a (usually) short-sleeved jumper or pullover. The twinset first appeared in the 1940s, but is now considered a classic wardrobe staple.

Our Moms and Nanas both adhered to the twinset trend that also graced the closets of style icons like Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and Jackie O. It's easy to embrace this vintage combo with confidence, a look that is flattering on women of all ages and body shapes. Although the popularity of the twinset will never die, there are a few key rules to keep the look more Modern vs. Mad Men, more chic than secretarial. Take this adorable page pictured above from the January JCrew catalog for consideration:

Twinset Tops

Then: A lady matched her twinset top with her cardigan
Now: Colors can be monochromatic or mixed up offering more color combinations for your buck

Twinset Accessories

Then: The classic string of pearls
Now: The chunky, sparkly cocktail necklace

Twinset Bottoms

Then: Skirts of the full or pencil variety, and/or khaki capris
Now: Short shorts, dress slacks or jeans

Today's thoroughly moden Millies can score twinsets from virtually any women's retailer, but I'd hit JCrew, Leon Levin (the home of the World's finest polo shirt) and Land's End first.

Another reason to love twinsets?

They make the "twins" look fabulous, and by "the twins", I mean breasts.

Eye Cream of the Crop

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Hi Sammy!

I need a good eye cream that is more than just an expensive moisturizer. Any suggestions?

Lorie
___________________________________________________________

Hi Lorie,

Guess what? I scream, you scream, we all scream for good eye cream.

You'll be pleased to know that I was on a search for my own holy grail of eye creams even before receiving your email, therefore I already had a list of miracle working remedies on hand to battle puffiness, dark circles, fine lines, wrinkles and all of the other ailments that we ladies need to keep an eye on.

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Here are the best products that I spied with my little eye.

NARS Nourishing Eye Cream, a luxurious and lightweight concoction featuring natural botanicals that soothe and condition that oh so senstivie skin around your peepers. It not only nourishes and improves your skin's resilience to generate a radiant complexion, but it also diminishes the appearance of those fretful fine lines for $76. And the packaging is pretty, which is worth at least an extra $15 in my eyes.

Garden Botanika's Advanced Anti-Aging Eye Treatment is a bestseller, hailed as a natural alternative to Botox and only $30 a jar. Eye like that price. Apply this treatment twice a day to moisturize the delicate skin around the eye area while visibly reducing and minimizing visible lines and wrinkles.

La Mer's The Eye Concentrate from Bliss World is a bit pricier for $165 for half an ounce of eye gunk, but it does claim to deflate puffiness, lessen the look of fine lines and wrinkles, brighten dark circles, and step up circulation all while moisturizing and toning like a champ. Oh, and it comes with a cute little metal ball applicator designed to help mega-size microcirculation instantly...and/or play a mini xylophone.

We may not see eye to eye on splurging on the La Mer, so if you're low on cash you can still avoid the dreaded puffy evil eye with these invigorating Cucumber Eye Pads from Caswell-Massey that have incredible depuffifying powers when you don't have any real cukes in your fridge at $7 for a pack of ten.

Or better yet, pop a couple of spoons in the refrigerator for a few minutes and lay the backs of them on your lids for a quick eye pick me up for free. Frozen peas work too.

Hope these pics hit the bull's eye Lorie.

xoxo,
sammy


Having a fashion dilemma or crisis?

Need to know what top goes with what bottom?

Don't go it alone. Ask Sammy!

Fringe Wedge Benefits

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binge (noun) \ˈbinj\
binged, bing·ing or binge·ing, bing·es

1. a drunken revel, spree
2. an unrestrained and often excessive indulgence
3. an act of excessive or compulsive consumption

I was doing so well. I made it through the holidays and stuck to my New Year's Resolution for almost an entire month. I felt lighter. I had more energy. My mind was clearer. I was no longer slurring my sentences.

After an entire season of exhibiting steady discipline and controlled restraint, I regret to admit that I have fallen off the wagon. I have been on a binge. I have been bingeing bad, bingeing like a Delta Delta Delta sorority girl on Spring Break in Cabo.

It's the stress, I tell myself. I need an escape. I need to forget my troubles, drown my sorrows. This is why I binge. This is why I binge on shoes.

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I splurged on a pair of Michael Kors espadrilles on Monday, and the moment my toes touched the soles, I was already jonesing for my next pair.

"You have a pair that looks just like those", says my boyfriend.
"I know. It's a sickness. Please don't leave me."

I'm moments away from my next bender and will probably order these Undercover Fringe Wedges from Chinese Laundry during Happy Hour on Friday. They're pretty Pochahantas, but I dig that.

And fringe rhymes with binge.

Model Hee Haw

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In his celebrated pastoral comedy, As You Like It, Shakespeare wrote: All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players... but not all of those players dress well, as illustrated last evening during the 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Nestled in between the Golden Globes and the Oscars, the SAG Awards ceremony is generally a simpler affair, in comparison to its other award show counterparts. The nominees and presenters slip into more relaxed styles and are able to redeem themselves for any previous goofs on the Golden Globes red carpet. I wasn't terribly offended by any of the Guild gowns represented, but with that said, there were still a few SAG WTFs.

Let's begin with the no class acts.

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Helena, Helena, Helena. In The King's Speech you hired someone to help your husband George VI conquer his crippling stammer, why can't you hire someone to help you conquer your crippling fashion stammers? Your Marc Jacobs gown was pretty understated on top, but then you got all Beetlejuice with the back tiered skirt and messy cotillion inspired updo. You did listen to me and match your shoes though. Thanks for that.

Jane Lynch. I love you Sue Sylvester, but this is probably the first awards show appearance where you hit a bad note in your lavender Ali Rahimi ball gown that made you look dated, hippy (wider in the hip area, not bohemian) and like you were tossed a reject bridesmaid gown from the Katherine Heigl rom-com 27 Dresses.

Winona Ryder. You might not have stolen the show in your cream mock prom/bridal number, but I wouldn't put it past you to have stolen that Alberta Ferretti gown. I'm just saying.

As for the best in class acts, I loved Mila Kunis' red Alexander McQueen gown, suitable for a Black Swan Queen alternate; January Jones revealed a lot less skin that normal in a lacy, ladylike Carolina Herrera gown perfect for any Hitchcockian heroine; and Rosario Dawson was the picture of elegance in J Mendel.

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Most honorable mentions:

I appreciated Julie Bowen for rocking a pantsuit without looking like Diane Keaton and Julie Stiles for her flowing ode to ombre, but Best Actress winners Natalie Portman and Claire Danes came closest to making it to the top of the class. Natalie showed off her baby bump effortlessly in a dazzling white Azzara gown that fit her expanding abdomen like a glove. Why doesn't she get an A+? That dress only works if you have a bun in the oven, and last I checked this blog post wasn't featuring the Best Pregger SAG dresses of 2011.

Claire Danes also impressed in a sweeping, floral patterned Louis Vuitton gown. Why didn't she go all the way? Her looped de looped belt threw me off. Don't go all hip hop on me Claire. Next time, keep it classy.

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Samara Sanchez

About Sammy

Sammy Sanchez is a Miami based freelance writer, greeting card designer, and self-professed USWeeklyholic. Sammy loves tall coffee light frappuccinos, vino not from a box, and Mark Ruffalo...not necessarily in that order.
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