Archive for November, 2009

Cyber Monday!!

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sue on November 28th 2009 in shopping, sophistix

dress up your macbook: a list of great decals!

I’m really deeply in love with my Macbook Pro, and ever since I bought it a month ago I’ve been playing with it and tweaking its look. ;) So I bought this really awesome decal online (a Snow White one) and am now eagerly awaiting its arrival!

I’ve also been adjusting the icons on my laptop with some awesome icon sets; apparently it’s simply a matter of cutting-and-pasting to replace folder icons. I’ve got this rather cool armchair with Apple pillow as my Macintosh HD icon. I’m still not too sure how to adjust dock icons manually, but I’ll hopefully figure it out soon. I also love that the size of the icons in Snow Leopard can be adjusted up to 512px! Seriously!! Though I do rather doubt I would ever go that extreme on the size; I keep it at 128×128.

Plus I’ve been downloading loads of freeware (like widgets / NeoOffice / VLC Player / Adium); do check out this site for a great listing of open source software - I do wonder how good the Photoshop alternative Gimp is? Might try it out soon. And of course, there is this old but still relevant post with an interesting list of cool things you can do on your Mac (that you might not know about). Do also visit this great site - it’s one of my favorites to download wallpapers.

Some interesting sites to check out up there (I might have gotten a bit carried away), but before I get even more technical/geeky, I’ll stop and get back to my point: the really awesome macbook decals I never knew were available out there. Check them out!

I <3 Apple Pie decal @ moviemagicman

Batman Gotham City Decal ($12.99) @ lildecalshoppe

Your own little Apple trash cleaner; Wall-E holding Apple decal ($12.99) @ lildecalshoppe

One of my favorite games as a child reinvented as a decal - the Whack an Apple decal ($12.99) @ lildecalshoppe

The wicked witch holding the archetypal poisonous Apple decal ($12.99) @ lildecalshoppe

Snow White’s Revenge decal ($12.99) @ lildecalshoppe (MINE! Can’t wait ’til it arrives <3)

Apple trash talk! Your PC Sucks decal ($5) @ moviemagicman (this one made me LOL)

Awesome tetris decal ($10) @ moviemagicman

The Wizard of Oz Decal ($10) @ thatstickerguy

Another version of the lovely Snow White decal ($15) @ coolandkawaii. This store also does personalizations from ANY IMAGE; really tempted to stick my own pic on my laptop ;)

Have your apple & eat it too with this great decal ($24) @ coolandkawaii

Penguins, a melting apple and global warming. Make a statement with this cool decal ($15) @ coolandkawaii

This isn’t strictly a Macbook decal, but it’s oh-so-cute, don’t you think? Love is Vinyl decal ($17.99) @ coolandkawaii

That’s it for my list. I’m sure there’s tons more out there as well that I’ve not mentioned, but these are some of my personal favorites, though I went with that Snow White one in the end! Did you know that President Obama also has a decal on his Macbook Pro? Yes, he really does — a Pacman one! You can buy it here and see his laptop here!

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sue on November 25th 2009 in Uncategorized

how to wear it: zip it up

It’s no longer simply a necessary garment fastening, but now a fashion accessory as well - the exposed zipper is a must-have style for this fall/winter. The trend’s been around since spring but the zippers are only getting more and more pronounced for the end of the year. What are you waiting for? Get ready to add this chic trend into your wardrobe!

It’s a hot trend for Fall/Winter 2009 and so easy to wear. If you live in the tropics, just throw on a stylish zipper detailed dress, pair with a cute charm necklace and you’re ready to go! Living in colder climes?  Pair your dress with a stylish black blazer and tights. The zipper trend adds a unique edge to an otherwise plain dress. It is so easy to wear and channels chic sophistication at low prices and minimum fuss.

Looking for something slightly more detailed? Try out this tulip cut printed mini dress. The zipper detail adds definition to this clean style. Try pairing with a short sleeved black jacket to add some solid color to break up the patterns. Wear gladiator style heels or peep toe wedges to complete your look. If you’re wearing tights, black boots are perfect for complementing the zip-front dress.

Don’t miss Beyonce’s fab zip ruffled skirt here. Absolutely amazing! I don’t think I could ever carry off this look personally but wow it sure looks hot on her! Plus two really great lists of some awesome zipper-detailed items here and here. (I do love visiting social fashion/shopping sites for unusual trend inspirations, don’t you?) Skinny zipper detailed jeans as seen here are another great take on this trend that I would love to add into my own closet.

If you’re not ready to channel this look with your clothing choices, why not look at some stylish zipper detailed accessories instead. Check out hot zipper detailed shoes here (though I wouldn’t recommend pairing zipper detailed shoes with these dresses; there is such a thing as over-zippering!) ;)   Also check out some other cool zipper accessories and tights here. Do remember to only wear one zipper detailed item at a time though, otherwise you will just overkill this uber-cool look! :D

how to wear it: jumpsuits, playsuits & rompers

When we first saw it, we thought it was a one-season wonder, but it has endured and morphed and taken on a fashion life of its one. What am I speaking of, but the now ubiquitous jumpsuit. This fashion trend was big for S/S 2009 and looks set to endure through S/S 2010. The jumpsuit has become a fashion mainstay and every girl should have at least one in her closet!

While a lot of you might feel the jumpsuit is not appropriate for your figure, there are now tons of varieties to choose from. This piece has had quite the fashion makeover from its origins in the 70s and 80s. All you need to do is figure out your look and you’ll be all set to wow.  Read on to find out how to wear this hot fashion trend.

To begin with, a bit of vocab, there are three basic varieties of these one-piece outfits: the jumpsuit (long), the romper (short) and the playsuit (casual short suits). These terms can and are used interchangeably.

Wearing a jumpsuit can be difficult to master, but with some useful tips you’ll be rocking this look in no time. First, choose a style that suits your figure. Go for the middle ground; avoid jumpsuits that are too baggy or too fitted (unless you are a size 0)! Look for tailored or body skimming styles that can be worn for many occasions. When you choose your first jumpsuit, pretend as if you are wearing a top and long pants and look for a style with a forgiving fabric. You’ll immediately realize what looks right on you.

Some general tips:

  • Night Time Wear: For evening wear, look for fabrics like silk or satin with detailing like sequins or paneling or even leather. See below for some evening-appropriate jumpsuits.
  • Accessorize: If you are wearing a basic block-colored jumpsuit, there are tons of options available for you. Pair with a cropped jacket in a contrasting color or bold jewelry or cinch in your waist with a wide belt. Think of your jumpsuit as a canvas which you will paint with the right accessories to showcase the look you desire.
  • Shorter Height: Full-length, wide-legged jumpsuits look best on long legs. If you are of less than average height, do wear high heels to lengthen your silhouette. V-neck or plunging necklines will also give the illusion of lengthening your body.
  • Replace Your LBD: Consider wearing a long black jumpsuit (LBJ) instead of a little black dress (LBD). (lol…I think I should patent that term — sheer brilliance on my part! ;) ) If need be you could also add a belt to help break up your look.
  • Patterns: Choose solid colored pieces with contrasting patterns if you so prefer. Don’t wear jumpsuits that are patterned head-to-toe.
  • Shoes: If you’re tall and you’re wearing a long jumpsuit, pair with flats to maintain attention on your jumpsuit. Shorter length jumpsuits look good with heels which will help to lengthen your legs.
  • Fabric: Fabrics like silk will hug your curves far more than denim or cotton. Think of your own body before deciding on the best fabric for you.
  • Make Wise Choices: The right jumpsuit for you mostly depends on your body shape. If you have a big bust, avoid bandeau styles and look for V-necked designs. Long jumpsuits look best on curvy bodies, while the romper style suits shorter women best. The jumpsuit style can sometimes be too masculine for slim and boyish figures, so you would need to accessorize well to make up for this.

Wear a black, satin halter jumpsuit for an evening out. This simple black one-piece channels relaxed glamour and is an uber-fashionable alternative to the evening dress. Curvy and pear shaped women can rock the halter jumpsuit to create a hot silhouette. This is an ideal LBJ for a night out! Contrast the heavy black with a bright red clutch for a modern and sophisticated touch.

A tailored jumpsuit is perfect for taking you from work to a night out with friends. Look for jumpsuits in solid colors with contrasting patterns that add sophistication to your look. Pair with matching black heels to elongate your legs in this leggy jumpsuit.

These playful rompers are perfect for summer. Rock this chic look if you have long legs and aren’t afraid of showing them off! Accessorize these block-colored jumpsuits with bright accessories to create a unique and stylish summer look.

Colorful sporty playsuits are a must have for summer. These sleeveless playsuits look great layered over a white shirt. Add some brightly colored retro accessories to channel a modern 70s style fashionista.

Still not convinced? Check out more info about this hot fashion trend here and here.

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sue on November 18th 2009 in shopping, trends, how to dress, sophistix, spring 2010

geek style: super mario

I love Super Mario. And I love etsy.

Putting the two together and adding a mushroom falling out of a brick produces a wonderfully unique selection of gifts and accessories that appeal in a heartfelt way to my fashionable inner geek-ette. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Super Mario has always had a special place in my heart as my favorite video game as a child. I remember many happy days whiled away playing Mario with my sister (though she always forced me to play as Luigi. Ah…the angst of being the younger one :( ). Nowadays I’m more likely to be playing Mario Kart (yes, I’ll never grow up!) on the Wii, as Baby Peach on the Nanobike! Though I do always try to get in a game of the original Super Mario while traveling (some airlines have it available as part of their inflight entertainment). The mushroom kingdom maintains a special position in my heart ’til today ;) .

So, to continue my story, the other day my sister and I were surfing around on etsy. (I imagine all of you as seasoned online shoppers would already know of etsy already, but for those who don’t (horror!), etsy is a marketplace to buy and sell handmade items). And she came across these amazingly geeky Super Mario and Luigi mismatched earrings. After some inspired and happy surfing time, I found a gold mine of Super Mario accessories and gift items. I’m in love with them!

Check them out (and do visit the shops):

The aforementioned Mario and Luigi mismatched earrings. Only $6 @ honeypopjewellery.

A set of six coasters featuring Mario blocks. Only $15 @ Pixelbrush.

Uniquely customized Mario gamer sneakers — really one of a kind! Only $110 @ ParadoxArtistry.

Super-size your style with this Mario mushroom bracelet. Only $14 @ Livethislife777.

This unique necklace features a mushroom popping out of a brick. Only $25 @ Paxalon.

Would you rock these Mario clips? I so would! Only $7.99 @ PlasticParadox.

This unusual decal features Yoshi eating the Apple on your Macbook! Only $12.99 @ lildecalshoppe.

So what are you waiting for? Buy yourself an early Christmas gift, or surprise your geeky friend with your thoughtfulness.

Btw, I also come across some other interesting Mario facts while writing this post. Did you know that the reason Mario wears his iconic hat is because the original creators of the game didn’t want to manage the difficulty of animating hair? Or that Mario was originally given the rather unimaginative name of Jumpman? Check out some of the wiki history here and here, as well as some interesting facts here. Oooh and apparently you can play Super Mario Online here. As for me, I think I’ll just stick to playing Mario Kart for now, and maybe get myself those awesome Mario clips ;) .

Recipe: Chocolate-Peanut Butter Fudge

A little baking break for all of you this weekend! This fudge is amazing and (very) sinful. It literally melts in your mouth and is really easy to make.

Out of curiosity I went to look up some of the history of fudge! So if you’re interested, here are some facts for you:

- Fudge is made of components very similar to that of the Scots Tablet (a sugary confection from Scotland) which was first noted in the The Household Book of Lady Grisell Baillie in the 18th century.

- A letter penned by a student at Vassar College contains one of the earliest references to American-style fudge (containing chocolate). The news of the fudge spread to other colleges like Wellesley and Smith, which have their own versions of fudge recipes.

- Some regional variations to fudge include krowki (in Poland) and penuche (in New England and the Southern US). The Polish candy looks delicious! Must try making it someday.

Do you know any other facts I could add to the list? Do let me know!

Chocolate Peanut-Butter Fudge

For the recipe, I made a couple of changes to the original as I went, noted below. The next time I make this I want to make a few more changes — specifically to further reduce the amount of powdered sugar to 2.5 cups (it was a bit too sweet for my taste), and increase the cocoa powder and peanut butter to 3/4 cups each.

Ingredients

- 2 tbsp butter (softened)

- 3 cups powdered sugar (sifted)

- 1/2 cup powder

- 1/2 cup cocoa powder

- 1/2 cup peanut butter

- 1/4 cup milk

- 1 tsp vanilla extract

- 1/2 cup walnuts (optional)

Directions

1) Using two tbsp of softened butter (not melted), use your clean bare hands to grease a 9″ x 13″ glass cake pan. Be sure to coat the pan fully and evenly.

2) Place these ingredients in the following order in an extra large microwave-safe glass mixing bowl: powdered sugar, butter, cocoa, peanut butter and milk. Do not toss or mix. (Ensure there are no clumps in the powdered sugar as this will ruin the smooth consistency of your fudge).

3) Microwave on high for 2 1/2 minutes. Remove from the microwave using oven mitts, and add vanilla.

4) Beat the mixture at medium-high speed until smooth, using a hand-held mixer. Stir in the walnuts, if so desired.

5) Using a rubber spatula, spread the mixture evenly across the greased cake pan. Chill for one hour, or until solid. Once it is solid, cut into squares.

6) Refrigerate and store for up to two weeks — if you can resist finishing it for that long; ours only just barely made it two days! ;)

To serve, I grated some white chocolate and sprinkled it over the fudge and served with strawberries on the side. Enjoy! :D

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sue on November 15th 2009 in food, recipes

link love: food + fashion = a delicious mix

Phew — things have been crazily busy for a while. I’ve had absolutely no time to do a blog entry! So, here is my back-up entry style (which all of you should know well by now) — a round up of some of my favorite links that I’ve bookmarked in the past ten days or so! :D This entry is a fantastic and delicious concoction of two yummy life staples: fashion and food.

First up we’ve got this list of weird ice cream flavors. Personally, the strangest ice cream flavor I’ve ever tried is garlic — at the Garlic Restaurant at the Esplanade. I actually rather liked it though I don’t think it would ever be my first flavor of choice. I’d be interested to try some in this listing as well, like the mash cone and the pizza flavored ice cream, as well as the wasabi flavored ice cream I’ve seen around (but have yet to try).

Or maybe I should just buy an ice cream maker and start making my own novel flavors. I can think of some pretty weird ones like salmon teriyaki or caesar salad, though I don’t know how they would turn out. ;)   Or I could go even weirder and incorporate flavors like booger and ear wax a la Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans (in Harry Potter).

Second, in the spirit of my new ice cream making ambition, I would love to attend Gelato University. Gelato is one of the most delicious types of ice cream in existence (in my opinion). I’d surely love to be able to create it myself!

Third, a Japanese chef recently came up with an Obama sushi platter! Ken Kawasumi’s Obama rolls bear an amazing likeness to the President himself. Wow! I really wonder how he so carefully created the rolls.

Fourth, find out which colors suit your skin type. This amazingly detailed post at College Fashion helps you to understand your own coloring better and from this starting point how to dress best to flatter it. Really helpful for those who are unsure of what colors suit them best.

Fifth, I just came across some of these images from Hong Kong Fashion Week, which was on earlier this year. The Spring/Summer 2010 Collection had some novel and interesting fashion creations in alien-like and futuristic styles. Definitely not wearable, but certainly avante garde.

Sixth, for those of you who love Michelle Obama’s style, do check out Mrs O: The Face of Fashion Democracy (by Mary Tomer). The book follows the First Lady’s fashion and style from her wedding through her journey to the White House. There are exclusive interviews with some of her favorite designers and lots of hidden gems in the form of rarely-seen photographs. A must read for those who love her fashion! Btw, do also look out for a blog post soon about Mrs. Obama’s inspirational fashion sense.

That’s all for today. Things seem to be quietening down so with luck I’ll have a more substantial entry to share soon! :D

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sue on November 4th 2009 in link love, random musings, food