Far Too Cute: Musings about fashion and beauty

A blog all about covetable, charming, and far too cute fashion, beauty products, and accessories in Boston and beyond. See my vintage store at www.Far2Cute.com!

Monday, October 31, 2005

This Week's Musing: Off the Cuff

I've been noticing a real comeback for the cuff bracelet recently. Designers of this season's must-have jewelry piece are playing around with a lot of interesting materials notably wood, steel, and leather as well as vibrantly colored gems. A lot of the bracelets seem to have a boho or renaissance vibe to them-- keeping in step with this season's trends. Here are my picks for cutest cuffs.

1. Goossens's Horn Cuff with Black Medallion at Vivre.

2. Hammered sterling silver from Trunkt.

3. Beaded lattice cuff from Banana Republic.

4. Anthropologie's cameo and brass cuffs.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

This Week's Round Up: What I Bought This Week

Since my wallet is still warm from last week's purchases, I did a whole lot of window-shopping this week. There are some huge deals to be had both online and in Boston. (Here's hoping they're still around once my credit card is paid off!)

1. My first stop was at Poor Little Rich Girl in Somerville. A friend who knows my love for all-things-vintage turned me onto this cute shop. I'm glad I went there! Items to be noted include a pair of deep purple Prada boots with a stacked heel for $50, a vintage Christian Dior button-down stripe shirt for $21, and gorgeous vintage scarves ranging from $5-$20 dollars. The store was a little scant in terms of its jewelry and bag collection--but I would certainly come back to buy something from this store in a heartbeat.

2. Normally, I avoid a J. Crew store like the plague. Every time, I walk into one of their Boston locales, I find myself caught up in a swarm of overzealous customers fighting over the last size 4 monogrammed lobster skirt or a pair of flannel-lined chinos. Ugh!

It's not that I dislike all their clothing-- in fact, quite the opposite, some of it is very cute. I just prefer to do my J. Crew shopping in the comforts of own my home. I'm LOVING argyle right now and found this crewneck sweater on their website's sale page for $49.99. I think this piece would look very cute Vivienne Westwood style, paired with a plaid skirt and contrasting shirt.

3. You thought our culture's lust for photographs of celebrities and socialites was a modern-day phenomenon? O contraire! The rich and famous have been captured on film since the camera was invented. My love for photographic art (coupled with a bit of voyeuristic interest into high society) is making me covet Slim Aarons book, "A Place in the Sun". A world-renowned magazine photographer, Slim was allowed unlimited access to many stars. He captured everyone from Katharine Hepburn, the Kennedys, to Sir Laurence Olivier, and Truman Capote. This coffee table book documents celebrities (mostly of a bygone era) on sandy shores, snowy slopes, and in their elegant homes. It has been put prominently on my Amazon wish list.

Friday, October 28, 2005

This Week's: Fashion Events

TGIF! Lots of shopping to do in Boston and beyond! Check it out.

1. Nanette Lepore Opens Their Doors to the Boston Shopping Masses
When: Thurs. & Fri., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun., noon-5 p.m.
Where: 119 Newbury St.

2. For You Web Shoppers Out There
What: Loads of designer fragrances at cheapo prices.
Where: FragranceNet.com
Promo code?: You bet! TOPBUTTON10 for an additional 10% off.

3. Love Vintage and Live in Massachusetts? You're in Luck!
What: Check out "Lisadonline Revolving Vintage" (a.k.a. Lisa D's overflowing home studio). Lisa's vintage collection will be on display for admiring, trying on and/or purchasing. The collection includes items spanning the 1950's to the 1980's with a sprinkling of contemporary fashion including: Coats, blazers, skirts, pants, dresses, bags, shoes, jewelry, and accessories. There will even be a tailor onsite for alterations!!
When: Sunday, October 30th between 5PM and 8PM.
Where: 211 A Forest Street, Medford

Thursday, October 27, 2005

This Week's Fashion Alert: Shameless Plug for a Friend

You know when you have a super talented friend and you want the world to know just how awesome she is?? Well, I have such a friend, and I figure I can get her name out there a bit with this blog. My very hip, and down to earth friend, Sara, just started her own web business that showcases the jewelry she's been designing for the past two years. Her necklaces, bracelets and earrings are designed with with the prettiest semi-precious quartz and freshwater pearls I have seen. She also has the uncanny ability to make pieces appear both bold and dramatic while retaining an elegance at the same time. I had a chance to catch up with this busy gal for a quick Q&A about her collection.

Question: Where do you find your inspiration?

Answer: I find inspiration for my jewelry in nature; I love jewelry that looks down-to-earth, as if you could have picked it from a field or a vine. Also, since I started designing my own jewelry, I window shop all of the time. I pay much more attention to the jewelry in display cases, just to gather new ideas.

Question: What's the biggest challenge you face designing jewelry?

Answer: One of my biggest challenges is finding the time to make the jewelry. It's tough with another full time job. Also, this is a new business, so I need to make sure I have the funds to get it up and running.

Question: What sort of customer wears your jewelry?

Answer: I think anyone can wear the jewelry I design. Jewelry can reflect your mood on a given day, and make a very particular statement. Some of the pieces I design are earthy -- with lots of greens and browns and reds -- some have an urban flair, some are on the wild side, and others are a bit more conservative. You can wear them everyday, or for a night out. They are very versatile.

Question: What's your favorite piece in the collection?

Answer: My favorite piece is a necklace I made for my mother. The beads are smoky quartz, and they look like little leaves. The beads sparkle and change color when they reflect the light.

Though her web store is still undergoing construction, you can check out some Sara's collection on her website. Interested in a piece? Send her an email at sara.weiss@gmail.com

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

This Week's Q&A: Party Girls

Question: My girlfriends and I try to meet up every couple of weeks for a girl's night out (or in--depending on the mood) in Boston. We're getting tired of the same old coffee shops, bars, and Blockbuster options. Any suggestions?

Answer: Your timing is perfect. This Friday, Spark Craft Studio has just what you gals crave. Head on over to their Somerville location for a night of Wine and Craft. You'll get your fill of wine, cheese and crackers while making cute wine tags to decorate your next dinner party's glasses. Not so much into wine glass jewelry? No problem. Upcoming Wine & Craft Friday events include holiday wreaths, hostess gifts, and gift tags. Chianti and craft--a perfect combination!

For more information, check out Spark's website here

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

This Week's Website: Write Away!

Even though I spend most of my waking hours in front of a computer, I'm really a paper-and-pen girl at heart. I've never owned a palm pilot, wouldn't know how to use a blackberry, and prefer making long lists on scraps of paper rather than microsoft word.

I think that's why--suffice it to say, I'm a bit of a notecard snob. I can't stand the impersonal and corny cards my Hallmark is usually offering up. I prefer to do my thank yous, birthday congrats and other well wishes with something unique.

When I found Pink and Brown, I was in heaven. Nicole Balch, the designer behind these whimsical cards, creates all sorts of paper goodies. From weddings and babies to bookplates and everyday greetings, her notes are stylish and chic without a hint of appearing mass-marketed. Check out her website at Pink Loves Brown.

Monday, October 24, 2005

This Week's Musing: Gloria Guinness

Unfailing confident, strikingly gorgeous, and wrapped in mystery, Gloria Guinness was a true woman of style. A socialite from the 1950s through the 80s, her exceeding wealth could have afforded her all the designer pieces she could ever want. However, Gloria always kept a minimalist look, mixing couture with bargain buys.

I am a huge fan of Gloria's style. The designs she chose were always timeless. Whenever I get into a fashion-funk, I scour old photographs of her for ideas. And, what I always come back to is this: "less is more". Gloria had an unerring eye for what looked right on her body, and she didn't wear trends from head to toe.

I think nowadays, we are sometimes all too eager to hop on every fashion trend that gets publicity (myself included). When really, the best advice is to stay on track with fashion by finding what looks best on your individual body type. Look for pieces that play up your best features. Choose one signature piece for each outfit. Don't overload on trends. Timeless fashion--like Gloria's-- will never go out of style

Saturday, October 22, 2005

This Week's Round Up: What I Bought this Week

Unfortunately, I was not born with the ability to knit, crochet, or even sew more than a button back onto a pair of pants. Believe me, I've tried on more than one occasion to develop these skills. But, after weeks of struggling with a ball of yarn and knitting needles, I've resigned them to the back of my closet. However, it doesn't mean I can't appreciate a well-made scarf when I see one. With the weather already dipping into the 40s at night, I picked up a Micco crocheted flower scarf at Niemans this week. I know this will be a regular go-to accessory in about 2 weeks time.

I have been salivating over Becky Kelso's jewelry line for months now. Her rings reminds me of all the darling pieces I used to fawn over in European antique markets. I love the gemstones and settings Becky picks for her collection-- they're distinctly delicate and feminine but statement pieces as well. So, I finally bit the bullet and picked up this lovely, little bauble over the weekend. Ohhh, it's gorgeous! It has a vintage feel to it which I love. I'll be able to play it up with a cocktail dress or pair it down it with a pair of Sevens pretty seamlessly.

Though not a purchase quite yet--I've already started a "necklace fund" for this beauty from Fulham. I caught a glimpse of this necklace at Ravin Style. I love the look of these gold coins layered with green stones. Tres chic! While I'm waiting to make the purchase, I grabbed this cute little necklace from Talbots--yes Talbots, stop laughing. The store's got a few cute jewelry pieces on display these days-- and they're affordable. I think this necklace has just the right mix of colorful glass and semi-precious stones.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

This Week's Fashion Alert: Spooky Steals

Are you all in the Halloween spirit yet? Personally, I love any night that celebrates gorging yourself on candy. This year, the Halloween party I'm going to doesn't require a costume (I know, the shame!)-- but I still want to show some Halloween pizzazz without looking too cliche.

In my searching, I stumbled upon the web store Arcane Nonesuch. Their eclectic jewelry collection (often of a dark nature) is created using a stained-glass technique. Rebecca, the designer, crafts each piece by hand utilizing glass, metal and appealing images. Her pieces are so unique you can really wear them any day-- not just October 31st. I hd a chance to find out a bit more about Rebecca and the jewelry line she creates. Our interview follows.

Question: Tell us a little about yourself and your collection.

Answer: My collection of collage jewelry really speaks mountains about myself. What I make really is my style – from my dress, to my home décor to what I look for when collecting art, etc. I am inspired by so many things – all of which have a role in the artwork I create – from the macabre, to vintage photography to classic tattoo art. Originally from New Jersey, I moved to Salem, Mass seeking a more spiritual environment. I fell in love with Salem’s mystique and old New England charm at an early age and always felt I belonged here. I guess I finally let my soul make the decision when it came to moving here after a job fall-out. With the gothic and New Age feel of my work, it is the perfect place for me to live and create.

Question: Your jewelry seems so intricate. How long does it take to create a piece?

Answer: The most time really goes into the development of the image. I am still a scissors and rubber cement girl, so when I create collages it is labor-intensive but very therapeutic at the same time. Each pendant takes about a half an hour to create from start to finish. My husband and I have really perfected an efficient working process. It’s taken three years to do though!

Question: Living in Salem, Massachusetts must provide you with tons ideas for your pieces. What about the area inspires you?

Answer: I am very inspired by Salem. There is such a history here that seems to continue to resonate in what I do. I truly enjoy history, especially early-American history, so this is the perfect place for me to be. I live in a home that was built 200 years ago, which I really enjoy. I love everything old – the architecture, the cemeteries and especially the feeling of things past. There is an aura that surrounds Salem that has kept me inspired.

Question: A lot of your pieces have a retro-feel to them. What decade inspires you the most and

Answer: Decade? Ugh, that’s hard. I’m mostly inspired by two eras: very early American history (i.e. Witchcraft Trials period) and then the Edwardian/Victorian era. I love collecting old photos from this time.

Question: What’s the best Halloween costume you’ve ever had?

Answer: Roller Girl. It’s really not my style, but there was something about skating into a Halloween party that will never be forgotten. I think I had the best time out of everyone because nothing beats 80’s reminiscing while you are actually on skates!

Question: Candy corn or “fun-size” chocolate bars?

Answer: Quoted directly from my husband, “there is nothing fun about fun-size bars”. If you are going to splurge, splurge! But yeah, I’d prefer a fun-size Three Musketeers bar over candy corn.
Check out Arcane Nonesuch's work here. Find something you like? Email Rebecca at Info@ArcaneNonesuch.com and tell her you're a Far Too Cute reader. She'll send you a PayPal invoice with the 10% discount. Happy shopping!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

This Week's Q&A: Hunger for Something New

Question: I'm tired of lugging my lunch with me everyday to the office in my purse. My sandwich, cookies, and yogurt don't leave a whole lot of room for the other essentials I need to stash in my bag. Plus, the fabric seems to take on the odor of whatever it is that I'm eating that day. Any suggestions for a cute lunch tote that doesn't look like I just left the jungle-gym?

Answer: Hey, don't knock the grade-school lunch pails. Some of those retro boxes make great storage boxes :) However, if you're going for a more mature look, I'd suggesting picking up one of Dos Chicas lunch bags. These handcrafted food holders are double-lined, hard bottomed, and embellished with ribbon and a pewter charm. Plus, if your new bag picks up yesterday's tuna sandwich smell, just wash it with soap and water. Mucho bueno!

Got a question? Email it to fartoocute@hotmail.com

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

This Week's Website: Retro-active

I've been in a vintage state-of-mind recently. It's not that I'm jumping on the Sienna Miller/Boho wagon (that train has come and gone), but I think there are some great vintage pieces out there that will last through all the trends. One of my favorite retro-inspired websites to visit these days is Plaid Pony Vintage.
Their internet store has loads of lovely retro style dresses, skirts, tops, and accessories. The site is super easy to navigate and the owners even sort the clothes by sizing (gotta love that!). I found this gorgeous, hand-beaded evening bag for $68. This purse would dress up a pair of dark denim jeans and silky top perfectly! Lucky magazine recently did a piece about trendy owl pieces. This super cute, vintage owl necklace goes for $24 bucks. There are so many treats in this store, it's hard not to load up your internet shopping cart with everything.

Hurray up and check out the site. They're offering 20% of all women's clothing.

Monday, October 17, 2005

This Week's Musing: Change of Heart

The coin purse (AKA "change purse") is by far one of the most misunderstood accessories. Often times, this little bag falls into the same category as the wallet. My fellow fashionistas, we laugh at this gross comparison. The coin purse is the perfect accoutrement for the little things in life -- coins, cash, credit cards, chapstick, phone numbers ;) Who needs an It bag for a night on the town, when you can sport one of these little gems? So, start your own mini-fashion revolution and "change" people's minds.

Tu-anh, $35

EuroChic, $20

Isaac Mizrahi for Target, $8.49

Sunday, October 16, 2005

This Weeks' Round-up: What I Bought This Week

Rain, rain go away. Come back another day. (Otherwise, if you keep raining like this, I will continue to stay in my apartment and buy everything from my Amazon wishlist.)

So, here's the round-up of what I bought this week.

1. Stocked up on some great light reading for a business trip I have coming up. I had to grab a copy of the cult classic, Valley of the Dolls. I'm a sucker for campy books--especially if they are about the highs and lows of glamour girls in NYC.

2. I'm still trying to make sense of all the brouhaha on this season of Lost. I know everyone is confused as to what's happening on the island. But, I think I'm doubly befuddled as I missed half of last season's episodes. I finally went ahead and bought myself season 1 on dvd. I'm going to need a sick-day to watch all 24 episodes back-to-back.

3. I Love Deb Talan's music. Her song writing is original and I can't really compare her voice to any other singer. A friend of mine clued me into her about a year ago. I bought her "Something Burning" CD--which I highly recommend. Now I'm going to give "A Bird Flies Out" a try.

Friday, October 14, 2005

This Week's: Fashion Events

Saturday, October 15th
The Bizarre Bazaar will be held from 10-5 both Saturday and Sunday - rain or shine. Head down to Essex Street in Salem, MA this weekend to score crafts from local artisans while enjoying food and performers. If you go, be sure to check out the work of Rebecca Dunn and Joshua deVries. Their jewelry, which uses a stained-glass technique, is amazing.

psst-Rebecca will be featured next week in Thursday's "Fashion Alert" section.

Sunday, October 16th
A little birdie told me that every Sunday night at Tonic, you and your gals can sip drinks while watching "Desperate Housewives" AND find new designers in the Boston area. Tonic's "Desperate Sundays" party invites local Boston stores to their lounge to entice you girlies with free goodie bags. The best part--there's no cost to drop by and check it out!

Wanna be in-the-know on Boston's fashion events? Get on the list! Send an email to fartoocute@hotmail.com.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

This Week's Fashion Alert: Wonder Woman

Wonderland Manhattan is a one-girl operation based out of NYC that creates hand-stenciled fabric designs on tops and totes. The pieces are quirky, very cute, and have just a hint of New York dry humor to them. I had a chance to catch-up with Lindsay, the designer of Wonderland Manhattan, whose internet store launched this July. Our interview follows:

I love the name of your shop. What made you come up with it?

Alice is my favorite Disney character, and New York is my favorite city! When I first moved to Manhattan, I felt like I was in a different world, just like Alice in Wonderland. Because I am so influenced by New York, I hope that my shirts contain a little of the magic that I see every day, living in the city.

How did you get started designing stenciled tops and bags?

I'm a sucker for iron-on letters, but unless you work at Neighborhoodies (a great iron-on clothing store in New York), the selection of fonts and colors is slim-to-none without shelling out the extra cash to get the shirt personalized. I also love the idea of making iron-on letters out of different fabrics in vibrant colors (I use a lot of hot pink, lime green and electric blue) that you don't see every day. This love for letters branched out to all sorts of appliques and designs, with many more to come.

Any designers, locations, people that were formative to your current creative vision?

New York City is, hands down, my biggest inspiration. I'm also inspired daily by all the g
reat DIY designers on Theswitchboards.com. The DIY revolution is something I love being a part of, because each product is made with passion and love, rather than being made by a machine mass-producing the same item to thousands. I'm also a theater major, so I'm heavily influenced by the music, theater and films that I see in New York.

How long does it take you to create a stencil?

Each stencil is created from a sheet of mylar - the outline of the stencil is drawn free-hand from an image and then burned into the mylar. Some are more complicated than others, but on average an applique will take about 30 minutes. Letters are harder - a set of 10 letters takes about two hours.

What kind of person buys your pieces?

I try to market my pieces to girls in their late teens and early twenties. I'm twenty, so I feel like I have a better grasp on what they might like to wear.

If your closet was burning down and you only had time to save one item, what would it be?

I have a Blue Marlin sweatshirt with "NEW YORK" embroidered across the front. It's a pretty standard idea, lots people have that type of sweatshirt - except mine is made of grey wool! It's so warm and fits my style, exactly.

Anything new on the horizon for you?

More sizes are coming, I promise! I also can't wait to get into sweatshirts and skirts. I have a couple more ideas up my sleeve (pun intended), but I don't want to give away any surprises!

Discount for Far Too Cute readers is 10% off any purchase atWonderland Manhattan, just enter the code: ILOVEFTC in the comments box at the Paypal Checkout.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

This Weeks' Q&A: Stop the Redness!

Question: I love getting in a good workout, but I hate the way my face looks afterwards. It seems like even if I don't workout that hard, my face becomes a red-inflamed mess. Any suggestions on how to calm it down as quickly as possible?

Answer: Ah yes, the dreaded "cardio face". How many women do I see leaving the gym looking redder than a tomato? It's fine if you're going home post-workout, but if you're heading to dinner or drinks, you'll want to calm that flushed skin quickly.

Before your next sweat session, I recommend picking up a bottle of "The Antidote" from Skyn Iceland. (The name alone makes my skin feel refreshed.) This face lotion neutralizes your red skin super fast and it has a nice cooling sensation when you put it on. Plus, the lotion comes with an added bonus--it controls oiliness and tightens pores! So run, don't walk to your nearest Sephora to grab some. (Your face will thank you.)

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

This Week's Website: Pop the Trunk

I got this notice in my email box yesterday and I thought I'd share it with my readers. "By popular demand, the Trunkt Store in Tribeca is open for the holidays. Find unique gifts from the best independent designers around the world. Discover collections from elite global design talent including handbags, jewelry, clothing, kid's wear, home accents and much, much more!"

Shop online at Trunkt. Get 10% off your online find when you use the code 'TopButton10' at checkout.
Happy shopping!

Monday, October 10, 2005

What I'm Coveting Now: Free Thinking Fashion

You could get lost in a sea of J. Crew barn jackets and North Face pullovers when the weather turns cold in Boston. Personally, I prefer a jacket that makes me stand out of the crowd. The embroidered blazers I've been scoping online will do just the trick. Their price tag may seem a bit daunting at first, but I promise, these jackets' versatility will pay themselves back three-fold. You can wear these blazers over a pair of distressed jeans or dress them up with tailored pencil skirt. So, don't be a lemur--hurry up and get one!

Here are my top three picks for embroidered jackets.

Joystick, $260.00

Nieman Marcus Exclusive, $225.00

Sean by Sean Combs, $195.00

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Weekly Round-Up: What I Bought this Week

What is it about three-day-weekends that get me in the shopping spirit? Whatever it is, it did a number to my credit card this weekend. So, here's what I bought...

1. I've been searching for a new perfume for ages. I tend to lean toward more musky-type fragrances in fall and winter, but I couldn't find anything in Sephora that I was loving. On my trip to the newly-opened C.O. Bieglow in Copely, I came across Carthusia's "IO Capri". I love it! The fragrance is a blend of wild fig and tea leaves. It smells a bit masculine, but is not overwhelming. I think it may become my new signature perfume.

2. I picked up a bottle of C.O. Bieglow's almond body lotion while I was perusing the store. I love the smell of almond. That rich, nutty scent is so yummy. The lotion was quick-absorbing on my hands, and it made them feel soft all afternoon.

3. Aveda's rosemary mint shampoo is one of my favorite products of all times. I ran out of my last bottle Friday night, so I had to pick-up a new one this weekend. The peppermint smells wakes me up in the morning. I swear this product makes my hair twice as shiny than any other shampoo.

4. I found this cameo necklace in a vintage store down the block from my house. It's from the 1920's and oh so cute. I think I'll wear it with a mix of pearl necklaces.

Friday, October 07, 2005

This Week's: Fashion Events

I am getting super excited for this weekend. Why? Because the Fab Fashion Event will be taking place both Saturday and Sunday. The event will feature over 50 different designers at discounted prices. Entrance fees (1 day costs $15) go to the Big Sister of Greater Boston Association. It sounds like it's going to be a great sample sale with local and national designers representing their wares. Want an invite? Go to fabfashionevent.com.
Here's some of my favorite items from the designers who will be there.

1. Tiffany Christian- The Catalina Bag in Turquoise and Black polka dot. How much do I love this bag? Let me count the ways. 1) the polka dot detailing 2) the mix of function and style 3) the fact that this bag is far too cute for words

2. Ame and Lulu-The Blue Toile Shoe Bag. Every time I see a cute shoebag it reminds me how badly I need to buy one for all the traveling that I do. This one is just adorable, and it's practical enough that I feel like I'm spending my money wisely.

3. Pink Spike- The Horseplay Leisure Tee. Love this shirt! The vintage art is great, and all of Pink Spike's tees are limited editions, which means you won't see this tee on every urban hipster. The shirts are made of super soft cotton to boot.

Wanna be in-the-know on Boston's fashion events? Get on the list! Send an email to fartoocute@hotmail.com.
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Thursday, October 06, 2005

This Weeks' Fashion Alert: Winter Worries

What is it about Boston winters that I dread so much? Is it the end of another Red Sox season? Sad, but no. The endless amounts of hours it takes to switch my closet from summer items to winter clothes? Maybe...but what I really dread is the hunt for winter footwear.

In a town like Boston, no amount of leather protectant is going to save your boots from the road salt, dirty snow and slush water this town collects. I'm not feeling the Ugg-love. (Though this brown/blue combo is pretty cute and on sale at ishopblush.com) To make matters worse, I refuse to wear anything less than a 2-inch heel at all times.

I was very bummed about winter, until Michael Kors came out with his new Snowflake wedge boot. Ladies and Gents, I am in love. The boot is a pull-on like the ugg, and it has a fleece lining to keep your toes warm. But, one major difference, the heel is almost 3"!! Bidding wars for the boots have already started on Ebay. Zappos is selling it for $350. I guess I'll have to wait until a knock-off hits DSW.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

This Week's Q&A: Yoga and Hair Cuts in Beantown

Question: My sister's birthday is coming up. She's gotten into yoga recently, and I wanted to give her a gift that would inspire her to keep practicing. Any suggestions?

Answer: Kudos to your sister! Every time I go to yoga class there's always one woman who comes wearing the cutest outfits with a matching mat. Of course, she is also the student that can bend her body into a pretzel. (I admit, I'm the one in the back of the class grunting like an old man during sun salutations.)

To help your sister channel her inner yogi, why not start with making sure she looks the part. A cute bag, like this one, will make her stand out in class. This mat adds a little extra cushioning during hour-long sessions. Finally, make sure you wrap your gifts with this.

Question: Where can a Boston gal with a meek salary get a good haircut (for cheap!) around here?

Answer: I recently had a fabulous experience at Giacomo & Rondi in Kenmore Square. The salon sells Aveda products (my favorite--especially the rosemary mint shampoo), the space is sleek but minimalistic, and the staff is bearable. My cut and blowdry set me back $40. Not too bad in a town known for over-the-top salon prices.

Got a question? Email me at fartoocute@hotmail.com

Monday, October 03, 2005

This Week's Daily Musings: Sick and Tired

When I have a cold or flu there is no limit to the excess I'll pay to feel better. Usually, at my first cough or sniffle I'm off to Vitamin World to stock-up on every herbal and mineral concoction that will cure me of my ills.

At this point, I'm well beyond trying to overdose on zinc or echinacea in the futile hope that my immune system will kick into high gear. It's time to switch gears and put my money into some surefire remedies. Sure, they may not speed up my recovery, but at least I'll feel better while moping around my apartment.

Here are my tips for a fabulous day on-the-mend.

1. A "sick day" should always be spent in your most comfortable robe.

2. Take an afternoon nap under your new sheets.

3. Indulge in some decadent hot chocolate.

4 . Don't forget to curl up with a good read.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

This Week's Website: Won't you be my neighbor

Take a step into my closet and you'll see more hoodies than cardigans, sweaters, and jackets combined. Yes, I'm the first to admit I tend to overindulge in my hoodie fixation. But, they are the most versatile layering accroutrement to anyone's wardrobe. A hoodie looks just as good thrown over a gym t-shirt and shorts as it does over a hippie skirt and tank top.

The newest way to get my "hoodie fix"...neighborhoodies.com. Go to the site to create a hoodie emblazoned with your neighborhood ["Soho"], your nickname ["Fashionista"] or your own fab motto ["You're far too cute!"]. The site lets you pick your hoodie style, size, color, text, even graphics. Now, if I could only figure out what to put on mine...

What I'm Coveting Now: Vested Interest

You'd think that living through one too many blistering winters, I'd have developed a nack for winter sports. Umm. no. I'll choose a chenille wrap and hot chocolate over ski slopes any day of the week. However, just because I am not athletically-inclined doesn't mean I don't want to look like a well-dressed ski bunny when the weather gets chilly.

Here are my three top picks for cutest ski vests.

1. Alice and Olivia Hooded Puffy Vest. $341

2. True Religion Star Vest. $187

3. J. Crew Puffer Vest. $98