Tuesday, June 22, 2010

vintage flicks #1

do you ever wish you lived in another decade? i'm in love with the 1960s - and i've barely started the mad men box set. the music, clothes, furniture and films are a gas (that's 60s slang for the sh*t, right?!). i know i'm romanticizing the decade - perhaps i've been wooed by my trips to palm springs (1 / 2 / 3). my home and closet are being taken over by midcentury items like a vintage starburst clock, an antique mirrored bar and scarves and baubles a plenty. and lately, i've been watching lots of films from the 60s - you know, the lighthearted ones centered around two or more ridiculous misunderstandings, where the stars of the film also provide the soundtrack. here are three films starring real-life couple/heatherlovesit favourites bobby darin and sandra dee...

come september
rock hudson, gina lollobrigida, sandra dee, bobby darin, walter slezak
  • american millionaire robert talbot (husdon) spends every september at his villa in portofino with his with his one-month-a-year girlfriend lisa fellini (lollobrigida). however this year he arrives unannounced in july and discovers that his head of household, maurice (slezak), has been using the villa as a hotel the rest of the year. talbot demands that the guests - six american teenaged girls and their chaperone - leave immediately. but before he can evict them, the chaperone slips on a champagne cork and injures her back, and talbot is stuck with his guests. then four american college boys arrive at the "hotel" and begin courting the girls. [hilarity ensues]
  • "the bedroom is like a wedding gown; it's bad luck to let the fella see you in it before you marry him"
  • "houses are like women; the older they get, the more paint they need"
  • listen to bobby give the plot details in this vintage recording
  • gina lollobrigida is not just fun to say, she's also the poor man's sophia loren, according to me [love her!] plus, rock hudson is a total stud in this movie

if a man answers
sandra dee, bobby darin, micheline presle, john lund
  • chantal stacey (dee), daughter of a french mother (presle) and an american father (lund), meets and falls in love with commercial photographer eugene wright (darin). they marry, but when eugene begins to take chantal for granted, she turns to her mother for help, who instructs her to train her husband as if he were a dog. eugene responds well enough until he learns of the "dog theory" and attempts to get back at her. [hilarity ensues]
  • "men develop appetites when they are twelve, muscles when they are sixteen and principles only after they are married"
  • bobby talks about his character in this recording

that funny feeling
sandra dee, bobby darin, donald o'connor, nita talbot
  • aspiring actress joan howell (dee), who makes her living as a maid, has a number of accidental encounters with publishing executive tom milford. after one such meeting, she invites him to her apartment, but, ashamed of her tiny place, she borrows the apartment of one of her employers whom she has never seen and believes to be out of town. tom (the employer, who canceled his trip) is surprised when joan takes him back to his own apartment, but he goes along with the ruse. [hilarity ensues]
  • watch a video of bobby singing the theme song here
  • sandra and bobby's last film together
sandra dee & bobby darin trivia
  • dee and darin met in italy filming come september. according to dee, darin showed up in portofino in a ridiculous canary yellow suit and said "hi, i'm bobby darin. you're gonna be my wife." she thought he was abrasive, cocky and insulting, but after awhile, he won her over and when she arrived back in the states after filming, he greeted her with an emerald-cut engagement ring. they married december 1st, 1960 at a friend's home in new jersey at 3am. she was 18, he was 23. they had one son and divorced in 1967.
  • sandra dee was born alexandra zuck and bobby darin was born walden cassotto
  • their son dodd wrote a biography about them called dream lovers
  • the 2004 kevin spacey film beyond the sea is based on their story
  • if you come to my house, expect to see one of the above movie posters shortly - you can buy them at moviegoods
  • if a man answers and that funny feeling are available to rent at videomatica in vancouver and all films are available on netflix for you lucky americans

Monday, June 21, 2010

music monday #5

"songs are not copyright. songs are emotions."
- terry mcbride, ceo & founder, nettwerk music

we live in a world that believes music should be free. we're already paying $250 for an ipod - why should we pay for the music to fill it, right? well to each their own, but i like to pay for my music. maybe it's because i know too many struggling musicians or maybe it's something a little closer to a moral high ground. itunes may look like the majority shareholder* of the corporation otherwise known as my monthly credit card bill ($0.99, $0.99, $1.29, etc.), but i like free music too. so here are a few free & legal song downloads to spice up your music library...

it's almost like levi's peeked into my itunes and created a collection of free songs from a handful of my favourite musicians. they've dubbed this project the 2010 revival recordings, and each artist has recorded a cover of a classic song that inspired their music. to download, just click on the artists and register your name and e-mail address and receive the download links in your inbox.

available now: the swell season / colbie caillat / she & him
nas / the shins / dirty projectors / bomba estereo / jason mraz

coming soon: rachael saadiq / the kills
john legend & the roots / passion pit

a branch of aol music, spinner canada is a great website for free legal downloads that i've included once before. the site recently released a collection of free mp3s from artists who played this year's bonnaroo festival, including dr dog, lissie, phoenix, local natives, angus & julia stone, the xx and more.

*speaking of shareholders, it would probably be smart to buy apple stock with the amount i already give them. or i could just put that money towards the new weepies, janelle monae and jamie lidell albums. hmm... financial responsibility - another topic for another day.

[images via we heart it / quote via rollo & grady]

Friday, June 18, 2010

sunday always comes too late, but friday never hesitate

i don't care if monday's blue
tuesday's gray and wednesday too
thursday i don't care about you
it's friday...
i can't wait for the weekend ... only five more hours, halle-freaking-lujah. speaking of weekends, had the best one last week - trained down to bellingham to see my friend beth, strolled the farmers' market, brunched with a heaping side of world cup soccer, went to target and trader joe's of course (my american musts), drove to vancouver at 2am, sunday brunched with the amazing lavender lattes at cafe medina and lounged at the beach until the tide came up and hit our blanket. ahh, weekends. bring it on. [oh, it's already been broughten]

{ bellingham }

{ vancouver }
[i love that this is down the block]

enjoy your weekend :-)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

spotlight on LA (part 2)

when i think of LA shop & stay, i think pretty woman (i mean... am i right?!). shopping on rodeo drive and staying at the “reg bev wil” has got to be every woman’s dream, except for the, uh, premise of the film. no but seriously, whether you’re budget conscious or prefer the finer things, LA’s got you covered. here are just a few suggestions...

*this post was originally written for Trip Styler. check it out for tons of great travel tips and my original Spotlight :: LA Shop & Stay post.

part two :: shop & stay

abbot kinney blvd. is one of my favourite streets in all of LA. this strip is all about the local boutiques. grab a latte from intelligentsia and don’t miss firefly for books, stationary, knickknacks, accessories, clothing, etc.; milkmade and steven alan annex for men’s and women’s clothing; madley for baubles and vintage frocks; and surfing cowboys for mid-century modern furniture and surf memorabilia (say what?).

santa monica
the third street promenade is like the top 40 to abbot kinney’s indie rock. home to major chain stores, street performers, movie theatres and large crowds, the promenade is basically an open-air mall. shops include: anthropologie, banana republic, barnes & noble, forever 21, gap, h&m, j.crew, quiksilver, urban outfitters and zara. I find this street a little overwhelming, so be sure to head down to the pier and stroll along Ocean Avenue for a break.

west LA – boutiques
if your budget and tastes stretch a little beyond the gap, check out tenoversix for a well thought-out collection of clothing and accessories for women, men and home. another great shop is opening ceremony, where by just walking through the doors you feel like you’ve enrolled in “how to be cool without trying – or at least look the part 101”. look for labels like band of outsiders, alexander wang and OC’s eponymous brand. other faves include: tarina tarantino for baubles and marc by marc jacobs for everything from carry-alls to condoms (say what? #2).

west LA – malls
two big malls dominate these areas – the beverly center and the grove. i’m partial to the latter, which has a certain manufactured je-ne-sais-quoi in the form of a dancing fountain, train, celebrity sightings and valet parking. this is LA after all. but if you choose to self park with the common folk, don’t forget to get your parking validated and pay close attention to where you parked to avoid a seinfeld moment. top shops include: nordstrom, anthropologie, forever 21, crate & barrel, barneys co-op and the adjacent farmers market.

near LAX
i hate rushing to the airport. you have to worry about traffic, returning the rental car, finding food since they don’t feed you on flights anymore… these just add to the inherent stress of travel. if you have some room left in your suitcase – and on your credit card – and want to head out towards the airport a little early, pop into the promenade at howard hughes center for nordstrom rack or westfield at culver city for target. and it doesn’t hurt that there’s a trader joe’s on sepulveda, a couple blocks from the airport – peanut butter-filled pretzels anyone?

bonus jonas!
#1: try your luck at the rose bowl flea market or the long beach flea market.
#2: the best LA-area urban outfitters is in studio city. don’t act like you don’t shop there.

i usually book LA through priceline or hotwire and choose 3.5 or 4-star hotels. since there are an overwhelming number of fabulous hotels in LA, there’s no point giving an exhaustive list, but…

a few of the more affordable options:
- farmer’s daughter hotel
- hollywood heights hotel
- best western sunset plaza
- inn at venice beach
- the standard downtown

a few of the more posh options:
- beverly hills hotel
- hyatt century plaza
- viceroy santa monica
- chateau marmont
- oceana santa monica

the best bet is to choose your area first. besides, you can always stop by the iconic hotels for a $20 cocktail and a george hamilton sighting – if you’re lucky. the most affordable hotels tend to be around LAX and downtown, and the most popular areas are beverly hills, west hollywood and santa monica. besides the area, how much time are you going to spend in the hotel? some are great for lounging at the pool and dining, while others are just a place to catch some sleep. keep this in mind, especially in LA, and you’ll be set. i’m jealous already!

** follow @tripstyler and @heatherlovesit on twitter. you know, if you want. **

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

spotlight on LA (part 1)

let's say you're at a party. one of those mildly pretentious, overly self aware yet enjoyable gatherings you love to attend and love to hate. now let's say you throw out that you just got back from new york and you just loved it and would live there if it weren't for immigration/apartment prices/work/weather/etc. everyone around you would likely agree and off you'd go in conversation talking about cool-sounding new york topics like the bowery, the newest banksy and how cookies are the new macarons which were the new cupcakes. now let's say you throw out that you just got back from los angeles and you just loved it and would live there if it weren't for immigration/traffic/work/pollution/etc. NOW what's the reaction? we're supposed to love NY and hate LA, right? well call me crazy, but i love LA. oh sure i don't love that cars are a necessity, or that everyone looks up when you enter a room to see if you "matter", but here are a few things i do love...

*this post was originally written for Trip Styler. check it out for tons of great travel tips and my full Spotlight :: LA Food & Fun post.

part one :: food & fun

silver lake location: 3922 W sunset blvd.
venice location: 1331 abbot kinney blvd.
*the best coffee in LA – and the best looking coffee shops (in both design and customers). don’t be discouraged by the line!

casual chic
location: 1429 abbot kinney blvd.*this might be my favourite street in all of LA, and this might be my favourite restaurant on that street. great thin-crust pizza, wine list, people watching (sit at the communal table to overhear some sweet conversations), brunch and bloody beer.

sushi katsu-ya
original location: 11680 ventura blvd.*incredible sushi in a strip mall in studio city? YES! order off the specials board. you *must* order the crispy sesame tuna and spicy tuna on crispy rice. worth. the. wait.

joan’s on third
location: 8350 W 3rd st.*eat in or take out, this adorable café has baked goods, deli items, sandwiches and specials, plus a gourmet market. don’t miss out on the caramel-covered marshmallows – they’re to die for!

various locations
*great selection with flavours like banana, red velvet (vegan or gluten-free options), peanut butter chocolate, chai latte or good ol’ vanilla. check the cupcake calendar online to see if your favourite flavour is in that day.

frozen yogurt
various locations
*it’s an LA institution, only a few years in the making. i like the original flavour with fruit toppings, but you can choose your own – that’s the beauty of it!

bollywood cafe
original location: 11101 ventura blvd.
second location: 737 cahuenga blvd.
*the vegetarian samosas, complimentary papadums and courteous service keep me coming back.

restaurants on my "to eat" list:
animal, flore, wurstkuche, pace, elf café, village idiot, umami burger, the griddle café, shaved ice truck, kogi bbq truck

** more LA food suggestions on Trip Styler **

griffith park
location: 2800 E observatory rd.
*stunning city views. stroll around the observatory and hike the trails - it will feel like you’ve left the city!

the getty center
location: 1200 getty center dr.
*another spot for city views, but this one comes with world-class art, architecture and a groovy tram. admission is free, but parking is $15, except on saturdays when it’s all free. beautiful way to spend a beautiful day.

hollywood bowl
location: 2301 N highland ave.
*home of the LA philharmonic and seasonal concerts. box seating down low and bleacher seating up high. go early and bring a picnic – it’s BYOW(ine)! oh and don’t park in the overpriced parking at the bowl – it’s stacked and takes forever to get out.

venice canals
location: between ocean ave. & pacific ave. / S venice blvd. & 28th ave.
*stroll along the lemon tree-lined canals and peek into people’s modern homes or kitschy bungalows you just WISH were yours.

places on my "to do" list:
lacma, dodgers game, rose bowl flea market, movie at the hollywood forever cemetary, moca, music at the hotel café

** more LA fun suggestions on Trip Styler **

what am i missing? what are your LA faves for food & fun? share the love in the comments section...

Friday, June 4, 2010

no more itsy bitsy teenie weenie... (part 2)

this summer's hottest swimsuit style is arguably the monokini [a name that's almost as good as jeggings!]. as much as i like the idea of the monokini, i'm sticking to one-piece suits with a little more coverage and class. if you want a trend suit, go for a one-shoulder number, retro style or bright print. and if you're at the pool, you'll need a hat, towel and bag. pass the spf 30 y'all!

part two :: one pieces and accessories

one pieces
left to right, top to bottom: prints - rosa cha watercolor maillot $298, j.crew palermo paisley tank $88, gottex reflection swimsuit $134, tory burch swimsuit $195, rachel pally yellow brick maillot $168 / ruffles - billabong runway ruffle one piece $120, miraclesuit camila one piece $142, marc by marc jacobs ruffled swimsuit $173, spanx one-shoulder one piece $134, spanx bandeau one piece $134 / create-a-waist - marc by marc jacobs underwire maillot $177, dkny draped solid maillot $108, zimmerman thorn corset swimsuit $230, marc by marc jacobs strapless one piece $173, eres swim faro jet lag swimsuit $500 / retro - lulu letty beach blanket bingo one piece $90, merona bandeau shirred one piece $35, diane von furstenberg carmen retro swimsuit $345, j.crew lomellina retro tank $115, juicy couture beach ruffled swimdress $150 / the big v - jean paul gaultier for target metallic gold swimsuit $25, marc by marc jacobs disco-stripe swimsuit $182, lenny ebbing tide maillot $89, issa color-block plunge-front swimsuit $250, karla colletto high dive maillot $238 / just fo' fun - la blanca by rob beattie bandeau swimsuit $109, fables by barrie sailor swimsuit $98, pez d'or calypso one piece $128, loeffler randall lace-up one piece $215, michael kors clear insert swimsuit $226

left to right, top to bottom: hats - marimekko keisarin hat $129, bop basics sunhat $98, gap floppy straw hat $30, eugenia kim striped hat $196, eugenia kim straw fedora $315, juicy couture pompom tassels hat $88 / etc. - sea bags sail tote $160, halsea kona koi large tote $135, jacobs for marc jacobs canvas jacobs tote $28, trina turk beach bag $198, deck towel $40, pendleton oversized towel $48, missoni beach towel $205

words of wisdom
  • a safe bet for all body types is a one-piece swimsuit with a deep v and shirred middle.
  • dark one-tone suits can be flattering, but bold colour blocking is just as effective for camoflaging "problem areas" and redirecting eyes towards your better assets. 
  • golden rule: darkest colours go on places you want to hide; bright colours go on places you want to show off.
  • prints aren't always no-nos! however, small prints get lost on larger bodies, so choose wisely.
  • never buy a swimsuit because it's cheap, on sale or you just don't feel like looking anymore. wait for the right one that makes you feel fabulous.
  • the tankini is not your friend.
  • if you don't got it, don't flaunt it.
  • look for good construction (ie. underwire) and fabric (ie. thick).
  • padding is your friend. you're going in water, ladies!
  • use cover-ups effectively - make sure they cover up the parts that need covering.
  • yes, heels elongate the leg, but they look a little "try hard". try some cute gladiators instead.
  • don't be afraid to shop online. buy a few and return the ones that don't work (just check the return policy!).