Sunday, February 28, 2016

My Favorite Oscar Gowns 2016

Click to enlarge - Getty photos
Although we still have a long Oscar night ahead of us, here are my quick picks of favorite red carpet gowns tonight. If I had to describe this year's look at the Academy Awards, it is pretty (as opposed to) drop dead, show stopping glamour. Tasteful without taking too many risks. Still the actors (and various spouses) look sharp!

I think the following gowns stand out: 1) Elisa Fisher in Marchesa; 2) Naomi Watts wearing Armani Prive; 3) Jennifer Lawrence in Dior Couture; 4) Game of Thrones's Sophie Turner in a Galvan; 5) Brie Larson wearing Gucci; and 6) Musician Dave Grohl's wife, Jordyn, in an unknown designer's lovely red dress.

Full disclosure: If a vivid blue dress is half-way flattering, I will always love it! I adore sapphire blue. 
Who would you add?  Theater

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Walk The Walk With Modern Vice

Custom make your shoes: Leather, suade or snakeskin
Listen up shoe lovers: There's a one-of-a-kind shoe experience waiting for you in the heart of New York City's Garment District. Modern Vice, located at 247 West 38th Street, has a showroom, leather room, design studio, glass shoebox and factory on its premises. And, the manufacturer of  private label shoes gives tours!

Experience shoe making in person by taking a tour of the factory to watch experienced cobbers at work. On a visit, you can either buy shoes at factory direct prices from the showroom, or get fitted, select your own leathers and work with the designers to custom make your boots and shoes.


The experience is a throw back to another time. For a reasonable price, you get a handmade, quality shoe that is designed and stitched togther by people who have been making leather shoes for generations.

Wow, Modern Vice is the right name for this shoemaker! The private label shoes are chic, comfortable and affordable.
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Monday, February 22, 2016

Tex-Mex Taco Bowl Quick Meal

Photo: Debra Turner
Sometimes when I arrive home, I don't want to cook or wash lots of dishes, but I still want to eat a hot, healthy meal. So years ago I began making my version of a Tex-Mex Taco Bowl. A tortilla, or wrap is not something I usually stock at home (I'd have to go out to get it), so instead, I use brown rice. This quick and easy dish is a delicious mish-mash of textures and spicy goodness.

Debbie's Taco Bowl

Ingredients:

1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
1/2 cup of salsa (I like medium, or hot -- and chunky)
Photo: WiseGeek
1/4 cup diced raw onions
a protein: Choose one of the following: cubed tofu; cooked ground beef; diced ham, leftover and cubed beef, or chicken, etc.
1/2 to 1 cup beans, such as pinto, pink, kidney or black (Use what you have or like.) You can also open a can of refried beans.
sliced or shredded cheddar cheese
Seasonings to taste: I use --
dried garlic powder
onion powder
cilantro, dried or fresh
sometimes a few snips of a jalapeƱo pepper
lettuce, shredded (and whatever crunchies you wish to add. Sometimes I use a portion of a bag of salad.)
1/3 - 1/2 of an avocado, sliced or diced (or guacamole, if you have it)
salt and pepper to taste
sprinkle of rosemary, parsley, dried celery

Directions:

1) Cook the brown rice according to the package directions: For one serving: 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice, 1/2 teaspoon salt; about 1 1/4 cups water goes into a pot. Cover with a lid. Bring the rice to a boil; reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes, or until tender.
Photo: health.com
2) Transfer the hot, finished rice to a large soup bowl.
3) Top with the spicy salsa, raw onions, protein of choice, beans and slices of cheddar cheese.
4) Sprinkle on the seasonings to taste.
5) Microwave until the cheese melts and bubbles. About 2 - 3 minutes. Remove from the microwave.
6) Finally, top with the lettuce and avocado.
7) Optional: I sprinkle vinaigrette dressing on the lettuce and avocado.

The above ingredients are for one serving, if you have a huge appetite like me! Double the ingredients for two people. Triple for three, etc. The dinner has everything you need: protein, starch, vegetables, salad and flavor. Spear and mix with a fork and enjoy!

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Thursday, February 18, 2016

Malani's Everyday Eyes Power Eyeshadow Collection

Let's say, you're about to take a trip. You don't want to pack tons of makeup, but still wish to have all the cosmetics you will need to look polished upon arriving at your destination. Here's a new palette to make it easier. Instead of bringing separate containers of shadows and highligthers, pick up Malani's Everyday Eyes Powder Eyeshadow Collection for $10 at the local drugstore. It has everything you need to contour, color and create endless, professional looks. The hues are coordinated to be mixed and matched effortlessly. They work together to create one-of-a-kind looks, which are gorgeous!

The Everyday Eyes Powder Eyeshadow Collection contains six richly pigmented shades, a step-by-step guide for how to achieve each look, and a duel-ended, professional brush.

I adore all beauty products, but especially love finding affordable options at the local drugstore that stand up to the luxe brands. Nowadays get quality and results without breaking the bank!

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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Play-by-Play Complimentary Show Tickets

Photo: newnownext.com
One of New York City's best kept secrets is Play-by-Play, an organization that offers its subscribers a selection of unsold tickets to a variety of entertainment events. Events include Broadway, off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway shows, as well as, sports, music concerts, comedy clubs, lectures and special events. 

Here's how it works: Play-by-Play posts the day's available events to a website. Members log on to check availability and order tickets. They pay $115 per year for membership, then pay a $4.50 processing fee per ticket. With a single membership, a subscriber can order up to 2 tickets per show; a double membership costs $222 and gives a subscriber up to 4 tickets per show. The tickets are non-transferable. Only members of Play-by-Play can use them.

Photo: chicagotribune.com
It's a terrific deal all around. Producers get a full house of enthusiastic patrons, while members get to enjoy plays, concerts, operas, dance, comedy, lectures, sightseeing tours and more. If you live in New York City, it's an unbeatable value, but if you only visit the city during the year, a membership still pays for itself. One Broadway show, or Madison Square Garden concert will set you back more than the price of a Play-by-Play one year's membership.

Not all the popular shows appear on Play-by-Play, but you'd be surprised at what does. Many Broadway shows get listed while in previews, or on a day when it is important for the house to be filled to capacity.

Play-by-Play is for people who enjoy all forms of entertainment. How else can you see a Broadway show, or Met's game complimentary, paying a small service fee? With a membership, you can take chances on entertainment, go out every night of the week, or see things you'd otherwise miss, all without emptying your bank account.

Often you pick up your tickets at the venue's box office. At other times, you meet a Play-by-Play representative, close to the theater. Although all the Play-by-Play reps I've met are fabulous, I sometimes wonder if an unknowing person who sees our transaction from across the street is mistaking the handoff of theater tickets in a white envelope for a drug deal going down. :)


Play-by-Play makes it very easy to see lots of plays and a variey of shows. It's an amazing site with a great staff!
 EmojiEmojiEmojiEmojiEmojiEmoji
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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day Pretties


Valentine's Day is fun for young and old alike! I first became aware of Valentine's Day in first grade. We glued red hearts on brown paper bags, then walked around the classroom dropping Valentine's cards, which we brought to school that morning, into the festive sacks of each of our classmates. As we were still learning to read, matching the correct names with the intented recipients was hit and miss. That evening I remember my parents going through my cards addressed to schoolmates with names like "Sammy," "George," and "Michael." 

My classmate, Sharon, received a card, but the giver had trouble spelling her last name, "Rhodes," which was misspelled and crossed out. No problem: Sharon "Streets" was substituted. Indeed, it's the thought that counts!


As adults the day is celebrated with all the goodies we still cherish, a heartfelt note, delicious dinner, good conversation and laughter.


Fine chocolate truffles often make an appearance on Valentine's Day. Men ... your mate never gets too old! And ladies, don't be above dropping a few chocolatey hints. It's hard to believe, but not everyone can read minds!
Moreover, every woman deserves to have a few nice pieces of jewelry from time to time. Valentine's Day is an idea time to give and get it.

On my way to work this week, I saw a pink hoodie hanging in a store window. "Love Everybody," was printed across the front of it. Indeed, THE SAVVY SHOPPER loves you!

EmojiHappy Valentine's Day my precious readers!Emoji


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Monday, February 8, 2016

Winterize Your Skin: Natural Awakenings Advanced Healing Skin Cream

Manuka honey is the healing ingredient.
Winter is rough on skin. My hands used to feel dry and chapped, my cuticles cracked, and the skin below my knees flaked off like dandruff. But not this winter.

Slathering on rich moisturiser all winter long, right now I'm using Alba Botanical Very Emollient Body Lotion Original Unscented, and it's making a difference.

For years I made the mistake of using lotions and creams that contain perfume. Freesia smelled great! Although my aim was to moisturize my skin, the perfume in the lotion was, in fact, drying it out. Essential oils are different. Although essential oils have fragrance, they are not drying when added to moisturizers, and certain essential oils go further to benefit the skin with healing and anti-aging properties.

Nowadays I'm always on the lookout for good skin care products. Choice is good for consumers.

At my local health food store, I stumbled upon another promising skin cream, Natural Awakenings Advanced Healing Skin Cream. It's more expensive than what I buy, but it has some ultra hydrating and therapeutic  ingredients. The balm contains essential oil of rosehip, peppermint, nutmeg, clove, black pepper and lavender; aloe vera; shea butter; oat flour; flower essence of oak, sunflower, pine and vervain. It also has Manuka honey (from New Zealand) which has anitbacterial properties. Manuka honey is used to heal damaged skin. 

The Advanced Healing Skin Cream is in the not cheap, but affordable catagory. Depending on how chapped and raw your skin is, it might be worth the price. You could also try adding essential oils and the honey in your cupboard (as all honey is antibacterial) to your present (perfumeless) skin lotion, until you can justify paying the piper. There's nothing wrong with adding the same beneficial ingredients of a quality formula to make a DIY skin potion for less!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

A Common Space: Budget Friendly Style

All Photos: A Common Place
A Common Space is another online boutique offering trendy, inexpensive, everyday  clothing. Launched in 2015, the company's mission is to help women "elevate" their personal style on a budget. Clicking the website's Clean Slate tab takes you to quite a few wearable $20 bargains.
The clothing is designed for comfort. There are a mix of styles: Some pieces have a retro influence, while other items are modern, and still other articles have an edgy flare.
Very cute accessories also! And, the e-store writes a blog where upon you get shop talk, styling tips and various lifestyle subjects, all of which are informative and fun to read.
A Common Space is where you will find on-trend fashion (and more) for alot less. Very worth a browse and re-visiting from time to time!

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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

New Beauty Products

Photos: Taken from each product's website put togther by THE SAVVY SHOPPER
Three new beauty products just hit the market, and I'm eager to try them:

1) Eminence Rosehip Triple C + E Firming Oil - Gravity is a powderful force. Will a face oil stop our jowls from going south? Doubtful, a 
fountain of youth doesn't exist. But, we do what we can to slow down the effects of gravity! Rosehip is rich in vitamin C, and vitamin C has anti-aging properties. Reportedly, vitamin E helps vitamin C work better. So rosehip (and the vitamin C it contrains) slows the breakdown of collegan and elastin, which is what gives the skin a youthful appearance. You can't stop from aging, but taking good care of your skin will let you look your best at every age. {It is pricey, so here are two cheaper equivalents: Deep Rosehip Facial Oil Serum and Organic Roship Carrier Oil.} 

2) Lancome Visionnaire Nuit Beauty Sleep Perfector - Don't we all want to grow more beautiful in our sleep? Of course we do! This is a gel that turns into an oil upon application. It contains ceramides to hydrate and adenosine to firm the skin. Moist, firm skin is the name of the game.

3) Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer - Except for plucking away a few strays, I pretty much neglect my eyebrows. This pencil allows us to fill in our brows to define them, then use the brush on the other end for a blended polished look. While nobody wants to look Joan Crawford severe today, well-defined-eyebrows frame the face and give it a more youthful appearance.


We never get too old to look our absolute best!


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