We've moved! We are now at genmaicha.tumblr.com.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

If you like an ukulele lady...

At some point in late February, I decided that the most awesome thing I could do would be to learn how to play the ukulele. Because sometimes I just get the urge to do things like that. And so I bought a blue Mahalo ukulele and got to tab finding. I took an ill-fated quarter of guitar in college, so I'm not completely jumping in blind. Just a little bit blind.

I've gone right into learning how to play songs like Rilo Kiley's "Wires and Waves", Death Cab for Cutie's "Soul Meets Body", and Neko Case's "I Wish I Was the Moon", as well as things like Lily Allen's "Smile" (super-easy!), Rihanna's "Umbrella" (which translates really well to acoustic ukulele), and whatever I feel would be fun. (Surprisingly difficult? "Womanizer" and "Single Ladies", both of which would be a blast to play if they weren't so dang hard! Alas.)

And so, using my ukulele as an inspiration, I put together a little Polyvore set based around the two ways one might play an ukulele: at a luau/picnic, and at a swanky jazz club. (Because why not?)

ukulele lady!
ukulele lady! - by msjeanneb on Polyvore.com

I definitely wanted the blue accessories to play off of the blue ukulele, with only a couple of close-fitting bracelets so they wouldn't bang against the instrument (which knocks it out of tune). And, if you notice, the dress has fringe to sway a la a hula skirt -- fancy! Meanwhile, the more casual outfit plays with lei-like florals and shell earrings to bring up Hawaii style without running around in a muu muu (though there's nothing wrong with that either).

I'm still working on plunking around with my little ukulele, but if you want to see some really awesome ukulele in action, definitely check out Molly, or sweetafton23 on YouTube. Her covers, including "Toxic" and "Anyone Else But You", are awesome.

So here's the question: what songs do you think I should learn how to play on the ukulele? I'm always open to requests/suggestions...

image from polyvore.com

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Science Fair for March 23rd-29th

This week's is a spoooooky Science Fair...brought to you by the various joys and terrors of friends' GChat status messages, and our random web navigating! It's bad, every day without fail, I will send Jeanne a steady stream of links to interesting news articles, she sends me an onslaught of beauty-blogging posts. We should just run our own Jezebel site to boot, for how much we discuss the articles and comments on their site!

-From my college friend Stephanie (we bonded over weekly Tuesday nights watching Law & Order: SVU), the 21 Best Ghost Photos ever documented. I am a natural skeptic, but some of them are JUST TOO WEIRD. There have to be explanations, right?

-Culled from the best of the food photography best, aka Tastespotting, is Denver blogger Rachel Ruff's Egg McRuffin. Let me tell you, when I was living on my own, I basically ate this every single morning, noon, and night. My version: one toasted crumpet, one slice pan-fried Canadian bacon, maybe a slice of sharp cheddar cheese, and an egg cooked over-hard. NOM NOM NOM, as the kids say.

-I just came back from a business trip to dry, tourist-filled Las Vegas, where I wasted two of my hard-earned dollars on tiki slots machines, had no alcohol, and thoroughly enjoyed the Mandalay Bay hotel gym/spa. I walked down the Strip, those recreations of the Eiffel Tower and Statue of Liberty are WEIRD. Photographer Michael Hughes has a different take on the world's greatest landmarks: he replaces them with strategically positioned souvenirs. Genius!

-Upon my glorious return to California, which by the way is far superior to Nevada, I was bit by the baking bug and made a delightfully zesty orange cornmeal cake. This recipe has been approved by me, my family, and Jeanne! (If I hadn't brought her the rest of the cake, I would have eaten it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!)

-If you are a big fan of Easter eggs, check out Our Best Bites' silk-dyed eggs tutorial. Color me impressed! Who knew some old silk ties could be so lovely imposed onto delicous, delicious eggs? I may have to go raid a few closets...

-Last but not least, as if your cholesterol hasn't spiked dangerously already reading this Science Fair, I present--for your heartburn-inducing pleasure--CHICKEN FRIED BACON. Thank, and good night!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Shiseido Perfect Rouge - Red for Spring?

You're probably already reading right along with Blogdorf Goodman's 40 Days and 40 Nights of Lip Service, right? As a lipstick/lip gloss fiend, you bet I'm enjoying the series.

Well, one of the lipsticks she and her merry crew have been talking about the most has been the Shiseido Perfect Rouge line, created by make-up artist and artistic director for Shiseido, Dick Page.

So when I found myself wandering into Bloomingdale's to spritz a perfume on my wrist and needed time to let it settle onto my skin, I glanced over at the Shiseido counter and took a peek at the Perfect Rouge lipsticks. I wound up in the chair (don't I always wind up in the chair?), then bought the lipstick and matching lipliner (it comes with a lipbrush on the end!) in "Salon", an extremely pretty red. (Yes, I'm always a sucker for a great red lipstick. You all know this already!)

I did, however, find it a little harder to find a good spring-y pink, and while the salesgirl tested "Ariel" on me, I wasn't totally thrilled with it. Plus, since I already have a ton of neutral-pink or pinky-pink or coral-pink or other-kind-of-pink lipsticks and lip glosses, including the ones I just got from MAC Hello Kitty, I didn't really need to drop the money on another pink, especially if I wasn't super-stoked about it.

That said, I am still really excited about "Salon". Yeah, maybe it's not super-springy, but a great red is a great red is a great red, no matter what time of the year! Don't you think? I haven't really had the opportunity to wear it out just yet, but I'm looking forward to making plans just so I *have* to wear it...

image from nordstrom.com

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Science Fair for March 16th - 22nd

Happy Sunday! I took three days off of work this past week, so I'm currently on my fifth day of weekend... and am, well, ready to go back to work tomorrow! But I definitely enjoyed my time off. And so this week's Science Fair is a very home-y one.

- As I spent my brief vacation ("staycation", if you will, although that is an awful word) here in San Francisco, here's a little tidbit about Mayor Gavin Newsom, particularly what hair product he uses.

- Have you been following SFGirlByBay's Ode to My Deco series? Since Domino is closing down (noooo), she's been going through the Domino My Deco Files website and pulling all sorts of inspirational photo sets, from color themes (pink, turquoise, grey, white) to specific rooms (kitchens, dining areas, front rooms, bedrooms) to ways people display their collections or their artwork. Fascinating and inspiring stuff.

- Speaking of fascinating and inspiring stuff in your house, Chronicle Books has a fake deer-head for you to put together from foam core and wallpaper from their new book Dorm Decor. (My dorm decor was usually tapestries and string lights that I'd buy from street vendors, which would then fall down on my stomach or head in the middle of the night.)

- If I knew how to quilt, I would be making this color wheel quilt. I don't know if I would put it on my bed or put it on the wall, but I have loved this quilt for years.

- I recently (finally) went and picked up some soy sauce, mirin, and sesame oil at my local supermarket, so that means that nikujaga and oyako donburi is going to be happening, what what! (It looks like I have to get some cooking sake too.) And I've asked for my crockpot to finally come up to the city with me, so cooking experiments are a go.

Have a great week!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Lemons Sour, Lemons Sweet

Living in California, I find myself surrounded by citrus fruits for most of the year. My backyard has not one, but two lemon trees that seem to bear fruit year-round. As kids, we used to use the extra lemons as missiles against each other--I probably couldn't throw a curveball, but my lemon-aim is mighty sharp.

Jeanne and I recently embarked on a mission to find refreshing, sharp citrus scents in perfumerie. I'd been interested in L'Artisan's scents, their presentation was lush at Saks but nothing smelled right on me. When I came home, I looked around my bathroom for the products I loved to narrow down a scent I could master for myself. Lemons and oranges jumped out at me, and seem particularly appropriate for this Spring. Refreshing, zesty, simple, and clean. If you're looking forward to warm weather and sunny days, I have a list of products I can recommend!

-From the much-maligned but still awesome Vermont Country Store, LemonUp Shampoo wakes me up during every morning shower. Frankly, I'm upset that my bottle of LemonUp didn't come with the fabulous plastic lemon top, WHAT'S UP WITH THAT GUYS. Unlike similar clear, simply cleansing shampoos (I'm looking at you, Neutrogena), LemonUp doesn't dry out my hair so it turns into straw. If my hair were long enough, I would grab handfuls and sniff them when I felt sleepy throughout the day.

-Fresh released a new fragrance in 2007, Hesperides, that's one of those products I always walk by, test out, enjoy but never buy. Why? I've been disappointed by Fresh's citrus fragrance efforts before, namely their Lemon Sugar. The Sugar series is nice, but Lemon Sugar smells like CLEANING SOLUTION. Seriously, one of the bathrooms at my work smells exactly like Lemon Sugar, and that is not a good thing. Hesperides, by contrast, is delightful. Sweet, not overpowering, and a complex combination of light+airy with fruity+fresh. (Obvs.)

-I picked up Burt's Bees Orange Essence Facial Cleanser on sale a few weeks ago while in search of a foaming face-wash (I need to stock up on DHC face-wash because it's freaking great). This all-natural orange oil wash doesn't foam whatsoever, doesn't feel oily, and doesn't leave your face dried-out. A perk? I have gotten at least a tablespoon in my mouth through overactive/half-asleep face-washing, and it's edible! Tastes a bit like orange rind and olive oil, not all unpleasant. I also found it easy on the eyeballs, through trial and error.

-Ever since I saw Korres products in my local (super-fancy) Whole Foods beauty section, I have been saving up my pennies to replace all of my bath products with theirs. As you can imagine, I love products that actually smell like natural things, NOT the lab-produced chemical approximation of scents. Surprise! If I wanted to smell like blue raspberry Kool-Aid, I would bathe in it nightly, but I want to smell like real fruit, from nature! Greek apothecary Korres has full lines of nifty, naturally-fragranced bath and beauty products, including basil lemon body milk and shower gel. YUM. I often come out of the shower smelling like a delicious gourmet mojito, fresh and clean! (Their watermelon tinted moisturizer with SPF30 may warrant a wee visit to Sephora. Also, if you are a man or a lady with a man in your life who needs scent-ervention, check out the lime styling gel.)

-Pure has all-natural, organic lemonade shower gel that I would probably drink out of the bottle in a drunken stupor. Not that I drink, really, ever. What is this post becoming, a cocktail-oriented showerfest? WEIRD, Karen.

-Caldrea's household cleansing arsenal includes a ginger pomelo line, ranging from hand lotions to stainless-steel cleaner. What more could you want? Pomelo is one of my favorite fruits, I look forward to winter farmers' markets the whole rest of the year, just so I can fill my bags with those massive lemon-grapefruit hybrids. Hint for eating pomelos: cut the fruit into quarters laterally, then slice off as much of the pith and rind as possible. Peel off the membranes and eat the wedges of pulp! Oh, god, I want one!

-My mother first introduced me to Juice Beauty products by leaving a bottle of their lemongrass SPF moisturizer in my car for about a year. It separated eventually, but smelled lovely--like Thai food. Just reading the description of Juice Beauty's lemon apple peel mask makes me feel thirsty: apple, lemon, and grape juices with raw sugar cane? YES PLEASE.

-Quite hypocritically, I rarely purchase new beauty products on a whim. The last thing I truly waffled on was between Bigelow Chemists' mint face-wash and their rose cold cream. Alas, the cold cream won, as I still have a tube of Queen Helene's mint julep mask in my cupboard, and one hundred years of beautiful complexions can't be wrong, right? Thus, I feel attracted to Bigelow's yuzu rouge eau de parfum. Yuzu rouge, you say? Aren't yuzu yellow/green? You are correct, and their peels are delicious when candied or used to garnish Japanese clear soups. This yuzu-rouge sounds like the perfect blend of citrus and floral to me.

What do you think, are any of these worth my hard-earned dollars? I could always just take a couple of lemons from my backyard and squeeze them into the bathtub for their purportedly skin-lightening qualities. Time for some post-work chamomile tea with a squeeze of lemon juice, with thoughts of warm summer days ahead!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Notes for Next Fall - Marc by Marc Jacobs

Oh yes, my dears, it's my last Notes for Next Fall until, um, next spring?

Anyway, I would like to take the opportunity to talk a little about Marc Jacobs. Specifically, I'd like to talk about his accessories for his fall/winter '09/'10 Marc by Marc Jacobs collection. I feel the need to be specific with which collection, because people will go "blah blah Marc Jacobs" and I'm like, wait, are you talking Marc Jacobs, Marc by Marc Jacobs, or Louis Vuitton or god he does do something else too, doesn't he, or am I thinking of Karl Lagerfeld because they both do so much while also simultaneously being either annoying or hilarious or both, depending on my mood and what sort of naked trouble they're getting into lately. Which, in Marc Jacobs' case, tends to be more often than not. (Karl, not so much with the naked trouble.) (Also, Wendy, I am sorry for searching for "marc jacobs naked" on your blog! At least you know it was me now.)

Anyway, Marc by Marc Jacobs. I am always intrigued by his stuff, but really all I ever really can wear/afford from him are the accessories (my enormous sunglasses are Marc by Marc Jacobs, and that's, uh, that's it for my MMJ pieces), and so thus the accessory focus of this N4NF.

Anyway, the show rocked out some incredibly awesome hats for Fall/Winter, and since I have been wearing a hat pretty much all winter this year, I am glad to see more excellent hats. I love the olive-and-purple hat, especially since it looks amazing with the model's hazel-y eyes (which I have) and a grey knit (which I will have). I am always in the market for a great black hat as well, and since I already have a navy blue top with a collar like that (hooray for the limited color palette, am I right?), it would be easy to add in a sweet yellow enamel pin as well. I am all for bringing back the charming winter hat besides the beanie/toque, and so let's try to make this happen next fall. Bring back the hat!

Next up, though, we have some seriously amazing colored tights and boot-legwarmer-thingies. I'm not really sure how the boots and tights all work together -- it's colorblock tights, then a ribbed cuff, then the three suede tiers, then the multicolored foot of the boot. I'm pretty sure that's how it works. Not 100% sure, but pretty sure. Either way, it's a fascinating look, and I love the tights in general, but pairing them with the boots is just incredibly cool.

He always has amazing stripe-y color combinations in his knits and such, so I'm intrigued by all of the color mash-ups here. Who knows, it might actually inspire me to knit something with some similar stripe patterns, if I'm not all knitted out already. (Perhaps some knitters besides me remember this classic Marc Jacobs-inspired Knitty pattern...)

So yeah, that's what I'm taking away from this collection: more great hats, great tights, interestingly awesome boots, and stripes! (Gosh, I love his stripes.)

And that's it for Notes for Next Fall! I hope everyone liked 'em. Maybe come September, I'll start making my Notes for Next Spring... In the meantime, I'm already starting my wishlists for this spring, which appears to be on its way! (To which I say, OMG, FINALLY.)

images from style.com

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Notes for Next Fall - Rag & Bone

Would it surprise you if I told you I was probably the most boringly-dressed fashion blogger ever? If I said that part of the reason I don't post up outfit photos is because they'd just be a rotation of pretty much the same outfit (skinny jeans/cords, solid color (or, occasionally, striped) sweater, sneakers, maybe a coat thrown on if it's possibly chilly)?

Anyway, so being a member of the "California corporate casual" and someone who lives in my jeans and basics, I really love the clothes that Rag & Bone puts out every season (I mentioned their '08 spring collection last February as a style I would want in the spring). And this fall, they worked almost exclusively in my favorite color palette: navy blues, greys, and blacks, then added in a great little bit of color with the poppy red pins.

I really love the layering up of the tights and slouchy socks (legwarmers?) over the little lace-up oxford booties, plus the cuts of the jackets (that navy tuxedo jacket!!) are great too. I already have the oxford booties, the legwarmers (I take ballet!) or socks, and tights and skirts in grey and black and navy... so yeah, of course this would appeal to me!

Plus, because of the limited palette, everything works and meshes together perfectly. (I have no qualms about pairing navy and black, obviously.) It goes to show that if you really do have great pieces, you can put them together however you like and they will look awesome.

So I guess that's another thing to think about for next fall -- and in general, really -- if all of your pieces are great and go together well, then you'll always look fab. I just reallyreally love the palette that they put together this fall. And that tuxedo coat. Ooh, that tuxedo coat. I might have to think about getting some little coral-red flowers to pop onto my lapels, too.

I also thought the make-up look was really pretty -- it looks like a light wash on the eye (maybe a light copper or bronze or gold?) and a soft neutral lip. Very casual, very pretty, very much something I can do with minimal time/effort (holla for that).

But yes, this fall collection is a really good example of why I look forward to seeing what Rag & Bone does every season... and will be thinking of them again come next fall.

images from style.com

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Science Fair for March 2nd-8th

Hi guys! I'm back from my business trip to sunny San Diego, where I discovered the amazing Pannikin Coffee & Tea, enjoyed lunch at Cafe 222, and sat in a conference for two days straight.

-Jeanne sent over this story on Glamour's photoshoots re-imagining present-day actresses as female "icons" of the 20th century. Our favorites are Rosie the Riveter, Althea Gibson, and OF COURSE! Michelle Obama. Amelia Earhart and Mary Tyler Moore deserve better.

-The UK Evening Standard has branded one of Posh's recent airport outfits crazy a la Thunderbirds. When you say Thunderbirds chauffeur to me, though, all I can think of is Team America: World Police. Would mere mortals be able to wear that cuckoo outfit of Posh's? Can a girl dream? Gary?

-I just discovered that the Polyvore head offices are just down the street from some of my favorite haunts here in Silicon Valley. Thus, when I ran across Blaze Danielle's all-grown-up versions of childhood storybook girls' fashion, I felt inspired! The Boxcar Children and the Chronicles of Narnia were probably my most favorite childhood books besides Goodnight, Moon. So many siblings who had adventures together, when I only had one who never took me on any adventures! (Except for that one time we explored the creek and my brother later told people he found a severed human ear. Liar!)

-You will just DIE when you see this baby otter falling asleep. I want him! He could live in my bathtub and be an adorably comical wild animal friend who would eventually have to be released back to his natural habitat, leading to sorrowful tears! Oh, my heart swells up with emotion just watching it.

Wishing you sleepy otter pups, happy childhood memories, and safe travels for the week ahead! My next trip will take me to Las Vegas, NV at the end of the month--anyone have interesting shops to share?

Braaains! and Etsy!

We're not dead, just kind of lurching along through the week! I promise things will perk up again soon...

In the meantime, while I'm dragging my feet, here's a various collection of some excellent zombie stuff from Etsy and beyond.

- Last weekend, I picked up Zombies Calling, the story of three college students who suddenly realize that yes, the z-words are real and taking over their campus. For more about Zombies Calling, check out the creator's website at FaithErinHicks.com.

- This zombie lolita dress from wearydrearies.etsy.com is absolutely haunting and gorgeous. (Is it too soon to start thinking about Halloween?)

- rockythezombie.etsy.com is a shop dedicated to the sweetest little zombies. I mean, they love cupcakes! And flowers!

- Bloodbath.etsy.com has some ghoulishly nifty products, from "Lip Embalm" to sugar scrubs with scents like Petrifying Pomegranate.

- HushHush.etsy.com has some killer (ahem) jewelry, including a ZOMBIE necklace and the slasher fan necklace.

- Oh, and how could I forget! Re: Your Brains. I'm among the zombie hordes here in this clip, and I would say "listen closely and you can hear me", but you can't. It's just too much zombie goodness.

Here's hoping this week doesn't continue to eat my brain!

image from amazon.com

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Science Fair for February 23rd - March 1st

It's Sunday, and so it's Science Fair time!

- We believe in science (obviously) and we definitely believe in cupcakes, and so we're stoked that there's a periodic table of cupcakes. Delicious and educational!

- So apparently Google is now mapping the ocean, which shows an interesting grid pattern under the sea. Could it be... Atlantis? Probably not, but fascinating all the same.

- Did you catch our bonus material over at Periodic Beauty? Karen and I put together a post on modernizing classic Barbie beauty and fashion for her 50th anniversary.

- In other spin-off news, I'm totally looking forward to the Gossip Girl spinoff starring Brittany Snow as Lily Rhodes (Serena's mother). I guess that's one more show to add to my must-watch list...

- Finally, Karen's been getting hammered over the head with these twice a week every week, but if you're watching American Idol, you have to read Jacob's recaps at TelevisionWithoutPity. Jacob is my most favorite recapper ever (his Gossip Girl work? Stunning!), and so I watch American Idol just so I can read his recaps.

Have a lovely, lovely week!

Related Posts with Thumbnails