Narcos.

 

DEA
Whats not to love about an event with adorable dogs, great food, lovely people, and interesting speakers? Netflix has outdone any other FYC events I’ve attended.

Well, another FYC event has come and gone. This past one was for the show Narcos, which MSM watches religiously. Actually,  MORE religiously he watched Battlestar Galactaca– if “binge watching” is considered “religious”, but he does very much enjoy Narcos and I wanted to take the opportunity to treat him to something special.

Narcos_Panel

Narcos is about the life (and death, at some point) of Pablo Escobar. The show is in Spanguese with English subtitles. They claimed it was all Spanish, but I can tell there is some Portuguese thrown in. Impressively, actor Wagner Moura (who plays Escobar) immersed himself into a Spanish speaking village for three months in order to learn the language (his first language is Portuguese)  and embrace that which was indigenous to Pablo Escobar, the Cultura and enviroment that potentially made him into the man that he became. I mean that is dedication! The panel for this event was Moura, his supporting actor, Boyd Holbrook (DEA cop), and the two show creators/producers Jose Padhila and Eric Newman. It was fascinating to hear how much prep work went into the show. They planned from the get-go to use real stock footage as a coup to aid the viewers into believing the story, because without it, “Escobar’s story is too hard to believe.” It was also interesting to hear how the director is very supportive of improv-ed lines, how he felt these lines are what make the characters feel more real and not “acted”. I enjoyed watching the screening of Ep 1 (there was no pilot) on the “big screen”. Its safe to say this show is feature quality. Obviously Netflix does not cut corners on production, nor on their events.

FlowerArrangement_Columbian

The story telling and camera work on Narcos is remarkable  but the real reason the show  will get my Emmy vote is Netflix REALLY knows how to throw a party ;). I say this in jest, because of course it takes more than that to get an Emmy vote, but WOW Netflix! I mean WOW. SO classy. Its not hard to make the venue, Paramount Theater lobby and patio at Paramount Studios, look amazing. Though not ostentatious, it is nothing short of stunning.The fountains, the lighting, the arches, and the architecture is old world and humbling, in a comforting way. It amazes me that this theater has held in its halls some of the most incredible actors and actresses. The Golden Era starlettes who had less entitlement issues and more excitement about the process of film making. This night, the patio and lobby were nicely decorated with tailored small table rounds holding simple floral arrangements. Heat lamps were strategically located to keep us protected from the unseasonably chilly air. Buffet tables, small and various, were displayed about the patio. Suit-clad butlers carried tray passed hor devours. The food, from  Bomba’s through  Bandeja Paisa all the way to the Churros, was exquisite! Though it seems obvious, it was genius to serve all Columbian faire. I had never had Columbian food before. I didn’t even know it existed- other than coffee, of course. It was a nice lesson in the cuisine of a South American country other than Mexico.

desert
The desert buffet was a festive mix of columbian specialties, strawberries, donuts, and brownies. I loved that Netflix thought of providing something for everyone. For our meal the had vegan and vegetarian options as well. So thoughtful!
Bambas
I’d like to introduce you to Bomba, a DELICIOUS mix of mushrooms and who knows what else? Who cares?! They were fantastic!

The people at this event were as elegant as the venue. Seemingly friendly, cultivated, and polished but with no air of superiority. MSM and I enjoyed conversations with music producers, DJs, and pod cast producers. It was a fantastic arrangement of industry professionals.

What the heck to wear to an event at a theater on a movie lot:

Other than being with MSM, the food and the actual screening, my favorite part of the evening was taking a photo with the DEA dogs on the red carpet!

RedCarpet
Jacket: Joie T shirt: H&M Skirt: Helmut Lang Bag: Chloe Shoes: Sole Society by Juliana Hough 

As we left the studio lot, in vein of Stephen Spielberg, I made a wish on the gates of the lot. As did his, I hope mine come true!

Overall, well done Netflix! I’ve been wanting to work with you on new content since 2008. If you treat your employes with a fraction of the love and attention you give your productions and events, I hope one day I get an opportunity to be on your team!

xoxo

QJ

QJ

 

 

FYC: For Your Consideration.

JaneTheVirginScript

Its that time of the year again- the time when boxes upon boxes of DVD’s show up at my edit bay door. Sent from a plethora of networks, these DVDs contain TV show episodes and movies that need Emmy nominations from Academy members. I always wonder if most members watch through everything?! I try and watch the ones in the categories for which I’ll vote. It would take a year to get through all the DVDs….maybe more! I don’t necessarily look forward to all the boxes, but I DO look forward to being part of such an exhilarating time in the television season.

I’m so delighted to have launched this pre-Emmy’s season with a bang. Last night I attended my first For Your Consideration (FYC) Academy event at El Portal theater in North Hollywood, exploring one of my favorite shows; Jane The Virgin. (I even blogged about this show here ).

Marqee
This photo includes elegant Ana Dela Cruz. While in line, I enjoyed our conversation. Ana is an actress on many shows and commercials, often playing the roll of the doctor- as she did in the second season of Jane The Virgin. Here’s to many more rolls for the lovely Ana!

All Academy members are invited to FYC events. Its another opportunity for networks to explain why they feel their show(s) deserve an Emmy nomination. Usually these events start with either a screening of an important episode, or a sizzle reel displaying samples of exemplary work. The screeners are followed by a panel consisting of actors, writers, producers, sometimes editors- moderated by a guest. The moderators ask the creatives/producers questions regarding the creation of the show, the working environment, personal revelations….the list goes on. At the end, questions are opened to the audience (academy members). The panel is followed by a cocktail and appetizer reception where the members and show runners/creatives/producers can mingle. I believe that some members try and attend all of the FYC events during the pre-Emmy season. I tend to only visit the ones covering shows I adore, or shows MSM likes (if I’m allowed to bring a guest).

Jane The Virgin Table Read Season 2 Ep 1
It was unique for the producers of Jane The Virgin to kick off their event with a table read rather than a screener.

I was beyond excited when I received my FYC invite to Jane. The crew handled their event a little differently. Rather than a screener, the members all received a script from the show and we watched a table read of Season 2 Ep 1. I was SO relieved that’s as far as they went into season 2 because I only watch shows on Netflix, so I’m  a season behind. This way there were no spoilers!

After the table read they had their regular panel, moderated by surprise guest Mario Lopez! Yay! A Saved By The Bell throwback! I’ll take it!

JaneTheVirginPanel

 

JTV_PanelCU
This is as close as I was able to get to “Raphael”, Justin Baldoni and “Petra”, Yael Grobglass. Both seemed really down to earth- just like the others. This is the type of crew I always hope to be working with, and am lucky that right now I am. Little side note- I have always loved the name Yael.

I was impressed with how well the crew got a long and how modest they all were. I can definitely relate to the wonderful and refreshing joy it is to be with a kind and talented crew that is grateful and excited to be part of the team of that particular project. I had fun meeting some of the actors. I wish I could have met them all, but I had to pick my top few because they were getting bombarded and I knew there wasn’t enough time to talk with everyone. I loved meeting Jamie Camil (Rogelio). During the panel presentation I noticed that this man is smart, sassy, and down right hilarious. I also think his acting on the show is superb.  While waiting in line I also met a few actors that played reoccurring incidental parts. All very lovely people.

Gina_Rodreguez
Gina was literally swarmed. I just can’t get over how crazy things got after the panel. We all work in the industry so I was wondering why this particular event was full of people wanting AUTOGRAPHS. I mean yes, the crew is stellar and they all seem so humble and appreciative. I was excited to meet them as well. But acting like a bunch of star struck teenagers?! I was embarrassed for half the people that were there. Then I remembered… why worry about the things you can’t control? I just stayed true to myself and let the others deal with the craziness :). Gina seemed like a doll and took the time to speak with everyone that wanted to talk with her. She was eloquent and classy and seems to be a fabulous roll model for today’s young women. I have to say I felt the same about Andrea Novado, who plays Jane’s Mother, Xiomara. Both impressive.
TeamMichael_JaneVirgin
Team Michael? The lighting in this place was terrible for photos but I had to post this one.  It was cool meeting the happy-go-lucky and easy to talk to Brett Dier. Brett is a little more laid back and humorous than his character Michael (though I adore Michael as well). We talked briefly about ComicCon, but then I had to move on. Not kidding about the actors being swarmed after the panel!
Rogelio_Jamie
So sue me, I’m Team Rogelio all the way! Jamie Camil was amazing. Funny, smart, talented- the whole package. I adore this selfie we took. It completely captures the essence that is Jamie. My favorite thing that he said? That he can’t stand those people that act like they are “the last coca-cola bottle in the dessert.” I concur.  Well said Mr. Camil!

I had to prioritize, so I missed out on meeting “Raphael”, “Petra” and others. I was very exctied to meet head writer and producer Jennie Urnan. I had learned, while waiting in line for the event, that Ms. Urnan has been a writer on pretty much every show I enjoy (Ugly Betty and Gossip Girl, to name a few). I wanted to let her know that I would be excited to cut a show she wrote. I realize writers probably have no say in the hiring of post production editors, but her writing is so smart and funny and so many of her shows, mostly dramadies,  have covered subject matter that I dream of cutting.  I have learned over the years that the things we do that we feel passionately about 9 times out of ten end up fairly amazing. And the process of creation is even that much more fun. So universe…..I hope one day I can cut a show on CW that Jennie is writing.

Next I met Ivonne Coll. Honestly, she’s the initial reason I gave Jane The Virgin a shot. Ms. Coll also plays the Grandmother in Switched At Birth (I just adore this show. It gets my vote for Drama every year). I was curious to see what other show she picked to collaborate.

 

Abuela
Ms. Ivonne Coll is a remarkable actress with so much range. I just adore what she puts in to her characters. She mentioned that when she has a spanish part in an american show, she writes her intensions in english. This was interesting to me because maybe it helps non spanish speakers to understand what she’s saying via her mannerisms…..

I do believe Jane The Virgin should get an Emmy nomination, at least definitely for the writing. The show is smart, funny, and a fresh creative twist on dramedy. If you haven’t checked it out yet, definitely do!

WHAT THE HECK TO WEAR TO A FYC EVENT:

I was freaking out a little about this one because I knew these events tend to be fairly casual (unless its for Mad Men) but I still wanted to appear chic and successful. Here’s my Danielle approved selection:

FYC_Outcfit
Jacket: Alice and Olivia Sweater: T by Alexander Wang   Jeans: Current Elliott Shoes: Valentino Necklace: Chanel
Chanel_Necklace
I hardly ever have an opportunity to wear this statement piece. I think I need to casually throw it in to more outfits……

I feel like I don’t look so great in all the photos, but the lighting in there…..lets just blame that! What a great night. I’m curious to see if Jane gets a nomination and if so, who will the show be up against? There are a lot of good ones out there. There are also a lot of HORRIBLE ones. We shall see…..

xoxo

QJ

QJ

Stranger Things Have Happened.

CoverShot_calvinHarris
Calvin Harris orchestrates the room. 

Well, I can’t believe it but I actually managed to pull it off. I stayed up for 24 hours. Not only did I plow through it, I genuinely enjoyed myself. I’ve heard that Vegas hotels pump oxygen into the air, which I am sure aided me in my all night excursion. Too bad most of the positive benefits of all that extra O2 is negated by the amount of cigarette smoke swirling in the atmosphere! I always view Vegas as a great check back to whats really going on in the rest of our country, since LA seems to be a microcosm of attractive actors and rich people who pay a lot of money to look 20 years younger. There are “normal people” here as well- obviously- like me and my friends. But the ratio weighs heavier on the handsome folk.  Alternatively, Vegas attracts many different types. Albeit some are gorgeous, but the ratio seems more of an actual representation of the “real world”, and I am just amazed at how many people smoke! Ew. Just gross.

Last weekend we were in Vegas to join 17 of MSM’s closest friends in celebration of Darren’s birthday (Darren as in Ugly Sweater Party. See Ugly Sweater Party ).

Night 1 

was a Nobu catered feast, followed by dancing like rockstars into the vampire hours at the Omnia nightclub in Ceasar’s Palace. Sadly, no sighting of Stefan, Damon, or Edward. But there WAS sighting of Calvin Harris. Right in front of us, in fact, because we were honored with VIP “seating” in the DJ section! Not gonna lie, the view from the top was amazing.

CalvinHarris.jpg
MSM and I agree that Calvin looks like he could be Ryan Gossling’s brother. Lucky Taylor Swift. Hopefully she doesn’t mess this one up.

Omnia was nothing short of spectacular. Inside feels like The Fifth Element meets Cirq Du Soliel – except the patrons are actually in it rather than viewing it. Theater of the round is the theme, with the DJ smack in the middle. Gymnasts hang from ropes and dancers stand on columns, inspiring moves for the crowd. Multiple levels and areas allow for plenty of patrons to enjoy themselves. Despite ample space, the place gets PACKED. I didn’t even dare leaving our coveted booth to go to the restroom. The DJ area was comfortable with plenty of space to dance :). If you’ve saved up enough for a bottle service area- I would highly recommend it. The drinks were delicious and they kept them coming- with plenty of water to restore and hydrate. Some shots of the inside:

Omnia_Cover

Night 2

was more mellow. Pool and Pizza in Darren’s suite followed by some table play in the casinos. I had never been to a penthouse suite in Vegas before and this did look just like in the movies! Yep, the pool table was in the room and the view was divine from every window. It was FREEZING last weekend, and raining- both rare for the area, which is why we all decided to stay in. After dinner we went down to the MGM casino to play some craps. I made it through one round of the Wheel of Fortune slot machine and was ready for bed by midnight. I guess one night of Vampire is all I can handle. So far….Once bitten I am sure it will get easier ;).

InaJillShenanigans
Goofing around with birthday photo props. 

What the heck to wear in Vegas in April:

Airplane-wear

Okay boys and girls. Enough with the sweat pants and velour jogging suits. We are not 70 years old and Juicy Couture is out of business. I’m not saying we need to dress up like in Pan-Am (the show), but I want to 86 the sweats. Unless they are tailored somehow. On the opposite end, WHY do some women insist on wearing high heels to the airport?! Honey’s, your feet SWELL on planes. Don’t do anymore damage than you need to. Designer sneakers are in now. Take advantage. Also they are easy to slip off and on before and after the security check. AND they are easier to run in – in case you have a connecting flight you have to catch 30 seconds after your delayed premier flight lands. Just saying.

airportAttire
Jacket: Maje Hoodie: American Apparel T (not seen): J Crew Vintage V Jeans: J brand Sneakers: Adidas (so comfy!) Bag: Chanel Luggage: Rimowa (love! its the best. A bit pricey but well worth it)

Vegas Night Club

So even if the dress code says “business casual”, in Vegas that is a lie. Cocktail attire. And nothing fit-n-flair unless it has some “vegas umph” to it- meaning sex appeal. Cut outs, spaghetti straps…something. We saw this girl in a gorgeous fit in flair dress with a scoop collar and short sleeves. The top was sequined and the bottom was white and flirty. Very pretty! But more appropriate for her nephew’s bar-mitzvah than a club in Vegas. I have noticed that we can get away with things in Vegas that would feel inappropriate anywhere else (other than the Playboy Mansion, may it RIP). If you wear something that is considered sexy in LA, in Vegas you will feel over dressed. And by over-dressed, I mean too much coverage.

jillPOol2

back
Jacket: Maje  Dress: Michelle Mason  Bag: YSL  Shoes: Stewart Weitzman 

 

Casual Night in Vegas/Freemont Street ware

We had planned to go to Freemont Street, the “original” strip. I was super excited because I have never been there. Unfortunately it was just too damn cold! But this is what I had planned to wear, and as far as I know- is totally appropriate.

CasualPool
I had so much fun loosing at pool. haha. Top: Chaser (old)  Leather Pants: Rag and Bone  Shoes: Prada
PradaPumps
Peek-a-boo.

A beauty product addendum

Partying like a rock star takes tolls, one of them being huge under eye baggage. I discovered (in a gift with purchase of all places!) the most AH-MAZING dark circle concealer! Maestro Eraser by Armani. I used #5, which at first I assumed would be too dark but it wasn’t. Its magic ya’ll. Magic! See for yourself.

before
Before: Yikes! I was tired. I mean granted we pulled an all night-er and this IS at midnight. But still….exuding exhaustion.
After
After: Image not retouched. Armani’s Maestro concealer is so amazing. It’s the exact right color to take away dark circles and has light reflective qualities that basically erase wrinkles (from a certain distance. I mean obviously in an extreme close up, those little buggers are still there). Makeup artist hint: I also dabbed a little over the outside of and between my brows. 

 

Lesson Learned:

Party on dudes! Sometimes staying young means fake it til you make it. I was nervous about pulling an energetic all night-er, but prepped my mind to just go with the flow and not only did I have a blast, I realized A. I’m not as old as I thought I was. Age really is mind over matter.  B. Its healthy to let loose every so often- no matter what age.  C. That armani concealer!!

PS Its taken me all week to recuperate. But I’m not saying I wouldn’t do it again ;).

xoxo

QJ

QJ

 

When Thursday is Friday

Today,  in celebration of the final mix of season 7,  our friends over at Mutato Muzika spoiled us with a rooftop lunch including Pizza and Champaign. I have a hard time turning down pizza. Its definitely one of my “red flag” foods. Its so high in sodium and fat but its so seriously delicious that if its around, I can’t seem to help myself to a slice or three. Today was no different, so I chalked it up to a Titanic moment (refer to my old post here ) and indulged. In lieu of Champagne, I decided to visit my inner child and  do a taste test between Vanilla Root-beer and Regular Root-beer. Maybe its my deaf nose (since smell holds a lot of clout regarding defining taste), but there were no differences between the two. Why is root-beer just SO good with Pizza?  Its acutely rare for me to drink soda but today, for some reason, I did. Perhaps the combo reminds me of the Laurel School Summer Camp Days when Charlotte and I would have that fabulous lunch of pepperoni and turkey sandwiches with Doritos and Dad’s Root Beer.

I’m not sure why the universe is denying me a salad, but it is. I’ve been trying to have a salad for a week now. I was sorely mistaken thinking there would be a salad served with the pizza. A nice chilled crunchy lettuce mixed with shaved carrots, maybe some pea pods,  purple cabbage topped with a small portion of some fantastic home made vinaigrette just sounds SO refreshing and delicious. I’ve been wanting to sink my teeth into this since last Friday. Friday night MSM and I went for a walk about to find a place for dinner. Every restaurant we pass has NO salad on the menu. I mean there’s salad but they’re all totally complicated- like fried pork belly or candied eggs – like nasty gourmet bullshit when all I want is a salad. Plain and simple. We end up going to some wine bar where I had 3 glasses of wine for dinner and apparently took photos with my phone that I have no recollection of taking. The weekend passes- no salad. MSM, bless his heart, did the grocery shopping for us yesterday. I get home SO excited for that fresh bag of salad. FINALLY. I open the fridge- spinach. NO SALAD. Whyyyyy? He forgot. I forgive him. Today I get into work and am reminded of the pizza party. I’m super excited because Pizza at work ALWAYS comes with salad. FINALLY. I’m gonna have my salad. I even text MSM telling him how excited I am. Yes, I’m jubilent over this salad. I run up to the rooftop deck- two GIGANTIC boxes with pizza and there it is….just above them to the left on the bar, that beautiful aluminum rectangle with salad. I can’t even stand how excited I am. But I notice the tin looks smaller than usual and wait….. there’s no big cups with dressings and spoons. Not that I wanted dressing, I actually didn’t. I just want salad. So I go over to look and sure enough, right there in my oblong aluminum bowl of  “salad” is a HUGE MASS OF CHICKEN WINGS.

Tonight I will walk to the local Chop Shop and get a salad.

 

What The Heck To Wear To An Afternoon Rooftop Party:

GigiInspired
Whoever Gigi uses as a stylist is amazing. This outfit looks TOTALLY comfortable for running around the city yet still so chic and en trend. I adore her (and her stylist). Though I’d never “cheat” on my fashion fairy godmother, I am starting a folder of outfits that I can copy using similar pieces that I own.

Lately I’ve been really hooked on the way Gigi dresses. (Hadid– in case someone is reading this from far far away or in twenty years from now). Even her casual pieces are so well put together. So today I was inspired by Gigi in Adidas. I love these shoes! They are just so much more chic than a pair of Asics. And every woman needs to have a day to rest her feet. Thank goodness for fashion sneakers! I’m proud to admit that I bought the superstars before they became a big deal. Everyone had the Stan Smiths and I wanted something a little unique. I started a trend :).

 

Adidas
Kicks: Adidas Jeans: JBrand
SimpleFlapChanel
Chanel Simple flap bag. Looks just like the Classic but the liner is canvas not leather and theres no secret lipstick pocket inside. 

 

ragAndBone
Top: Rag and Bone Jacket: Maje

 

kickIt
I’m ready to kick off the weekend early! 

I’m excited to share that today, Thursday, is my Friday. Tomorrow I have a paid day off. MSM and I are going on an adventure to shop in my storage unit. Sort through things, decide what to donate, what to keep in storage and what to take. Should be interesting. Then we will head down to Orange County for some needed RnR.

Have a great weekend everyone!

xoxo

QJ

QJ

 

The OG Barbie.

European Western Barbie 1980 03
This is Barbie as I remember her.

Apparently some newly shaped Barbies have been released today (or a few days ago by the time I post this). Was the OG Barbie really all that evil?

Okay, let me ponder this for a moment. On the one hand- that’s great. I mean all these people who are blaming poor Miss Barbie for the vast eating disorders of America- now they have a new barbie body to look up to. Also its nice to have choices- Barbies of all shapes and sizes, similar to the American Girl Dolls, is probably not a bad thing.

BUT, on the other hand….

A. Is Barbie actually responsible for eating disorders and body dysmorphia? Did/do girls REALLY aspire to look like Barbie? I mean after all, she is just a TOY. I don’t know anyone aspiring to look like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle or someone from Monster High. At the most, MAYBE she’s affecting fashion choices?

B. Were that many people actually offended by the OG Barbie, Skipper, Midge, and Christie?

C. When does Politically Correct go so far that it crosses a line and actually becomes a product of its own conviction? Whats wrong with the OG Barbie? Is it such a crime to be a slender blonde white woman?

D. What about Indian or Chinese Barbie? If we have all sizes, what about all races? Or what about trans or gender reassigned Barbie?

E. Why do the haters focus on Barbies slender hip to waist ratio? Its not her hip to waist thats that far off from healthy- its her HEIGHT to hip to waist. Not to mention, if you HAD her height: hip: waist you’d look DISGUSTING, you couldn’t walk, you couldn’t even lift your head! No matter how thin a person gets- they will NEVER be able to look exactly like Barbie because without photoshop, its not humanely possible. Again, she is a TOY (or an alien?), not a body image roll model. The point of the doll’s creation was not be a body that girls could aspire to develop. She was created as a roll model for freedom of career choices, with hopes of pushing young girls into thinking for themselves regarding their future.

BarbieCouture2
I am falling hard for all the outfits on the adorable couture barbies!  Barbie definitely looks like a business executive in this outfit.
Cat-Burglar-Barbie-by-Louboutin-06
Seriously??? Love! Maybe couture Barbie is a more economical way to obsess over fashion……Another positive on Barbie’s side- one can live and nurture his/her own dreams vicariously though Barbie.

When I was about 8 years old Santa left me my first Barbie. There she was peaking Kilroy style just above the white fluff of my Christmas stocking. She was a ballet barbie, surprise surprise. After Ballet Barbie, I received the makeover Barbie- a huge barbie head and decollate that I could paint with makeup, and a thick head of hair that I could style. After that- I got the bionic woman barbie.

HAHAHA. Okay I’m laughing because while disclosing the above information, I’ve realized Barbie maybe DID have a pretty huge impact on me. Bionic Woman Barbie aside, let us asses. I’ve been obsessed with Ballet since I was young – and although the initial interest was sparked from visiting a local ballet school and falling hard for the pointe shoes (its always the shoes, isn’t it?)- perhaps Barbie helped me maintain my interest. Also- the Barbie head? I mean I WAS a professional hair and makeup artist for almost 14 years. And before that I did wigs and makeup for Opera and Ballet. And lets not forget about my obsession with fashion. Mom never wanted to spend too much on barbie outfits despite my strong desire to do so- perhaps thats why i never learned the correct way to outfit things and why I’ve need my fairy godmother of fashion, Danielle, as of late? In her defense my mother DID get me other fashion related toys. And actually they were toys that were even better at pushing creativity than dressing a Barbie; I had these fashion plates where I could design and combine different wardrobes, and fashion paper dolls that included clothing from a plethora of Eras. In fact, I probably learned more about the art of fashion and fashion history through those than I would have from a Barbie, but I digress…..

Barbie’s History and Original Purpose:

Barbieandfriends

Barbie was first created in 1959 by a woman named Ruth Handler. Ruth noticed that there was a need for a doll with which children could play and imagine their future. A future that was not necessarily pre-determined by 1950s stereotypical gender roles. With Barbie the child could pretend to be anything she wanted- a waitress, a stewardess, a doctor, even the president of a company or a country!

BarbieForPresident
There are now and never have been any limitations on what Barbie can do. In 2008 she became the first female American President. 

From the get-go there were complaints that Barbie was nothing but a “sex symbol”. In defense, Ms. Handler created two facially less mature looking dolls (though proportionately the same as Barbie). Thus begat Midge, Barbie’s best friend, and Skipper, Barbies little sister. In 1963 Christie was released as the first african american Barbie doll.

Unfortunately over time the doll continued to face exponential controversial growth regarding her unrealistic body image as well as complaints regarding her disposable income (designer clothes, dream house). Parents were concerned that she would instill body dysmorphia and materialism into the minds of their children.

CompareBarbies.jpg
The evolution of Barbie. First on the left, 1959, the OG Barbie.  Second in pink, 1970s. 1990s next to today’s Barbie in the stripped top. Definitely an improvement in the hair!! Also skin tone is more realistic. But overall, they all look plastic- except the original which looks porcelain. PS the original HARDLY looks like a sex symbol to me. Though her features do make her look about 40 years old…..The most current Barbie does look more “real”, but they are all obviously a doll. 

A positive or negative toy?

I’ve spoken with some girl friends and have asked them about Barbie and her influence on both them and their daughters. Most of the women responded exactly the same as my BFF Charlotte:

Barbie had no impact on me regarding body issues. I loved to play with her and she fueled creativity. I think it was actually a very positive, creative outlet! I think it is great to have barbies of all shapes and colors.

I couldn’t agree more.

My bff also brilliantly stated:

I think the main problem with body image has to do with other women/girls (and I’m interjecting ‘and men’ here)….we need to be supportive of each other and it is so hurtful to get positive attention for losing weight! Focus needs to be 100% on body as a healthy tool…are you strong? Feeling good? That is all that should matter!!!!

barbie real
I thought this was interesting. Its a  Barbie doll compared to a doll made with the dimensions of an average american teenager at age 16. To me it exemplifies that Barbie is a toy, a character to be used for imagination and play. Not a real person to emulate. And honestly, hello?! Who wants that flat ass and tiny feet anyways???

 

What the heck to wear if you want to dress like Barbie?

I thought it would be fun to see how much Barbie could be translated into the real world regardless of her shape/size. Is she actually a good fashion roll model? Can we look past her unrealistic proportions and see her as intended, a woman with creative freedom to become whomever she desires? I calculated  that in order to have her proportions, at my current bust and hip size I would have to have a 22″ waist  and 8 more inches on my height (hahaha, yeah right). The following are some fun outfits inspired by the doll. I believe they DO work despite my healthy waist to hip to height ratio.

 

 

I love Barbie’s idea here of juxtaposing upscale with casual, making this “fancy” skirt more “every day” and therefore more useful in the wardrobe. What a great way to make the cost per wear of a fancy high end piece more economical. And, in my opinion, it looks adorable! Skirt: Red Valentino  Jacket: Current Elliott White T: James Perse Clutch: Valentino  Shoes: Christian Louboutin.

 

I’m always a sucker for an outfit based on neutrals. Though mine isn’t identical to Barbies, I liked how her boots were just slightly off color from the rest of the palette. Sweater: Vince  Skirt: Mango  Boots: Valentino  Handbag: Chanel  Necklace: Tiffany’s (from MSM :))

I absolutely adore this outfit! Honestly, as obvious as it seems I would have NEVER thought of pairing this stuff together until I was inspired by Barbie. I guess there probably IS some stylist who helps outfit Barbie. Or maybe a team of stylists. Hmmmm….I wonder… Top: Joie  Jeans: Current Elliott  Shoes: Manolo Blahnik

 

Another adorable pairing inspired by Barbie. I love how the colors balance each other. The shoes and top are so bright I would have never put this together in fear of being overwhelming. But it looks cute, right? I don’t own a yellow bag, so I tried to pick a clutch with yellow tones in it, and a bit of ‘fun’- which I feel the yellow bag brings to Barbie’s outfit. Top: Drew USA  Jeans: Paige  Shoes: Valentino  Clutch: Clair V  Karlito (purse charm): Fendi suggested by MSM (“I think you need Karlito with this one” ! He’s so smart!!)

After this little investigation, when in doubt regarding an outfit, I may start asking myself “what would Barbie wear?” I bet Danielle would be relieved to have a night off 🙂

In Conclusion:

I think that the OG Barbie, disproportionate, “materialistic” and all, can be an incredibly positive influence on a child and an adult for that matter. She is optimistic, a go-getter, and has a great sense of style. By the way, that style can be whatever the doll’s owner wants it to be but no matter what, its always fabulous! What a great way to boost confidence.

As a child I loved Barbie. I was a kid, and she was a doll. I never once wanted to emulate her proportions, just like I also didn’t want to look like Baby Alive or a Cabbage Patch Kid. For the record, I didn’t have or want her dream house. I did have the convertible, which I grew tired of rather quickly. Seems like a good lesson to me; don’t spend too much on an overpriced cheaply made plastic fancy automobile because you’ll probably get sick of it anyways. I admit I was envious of her hair. Why don’t people complain about how unrealistic it is to have such gorgeous hair without extensions?! Oh yeah….because she’s a DOLL. Her (fake) hair technically IS just extensions, just like her (fake) body is from a plastic mold.

Its nice to have choices, so the new Barbies are great and a good way for Mattel to re-spark interest in the toy. But in my opinion socially the new body types weren’t necessary because honestly, they are all fake.

In case your interested, click here to see the new Barbies: Barbies Of All Shapes and Sizes

What do you all think of the new barbies?

xoxo

QJ

QJ

Spring Obsessions

Spring-Colours-Wallpaper
Two weeks into Winter and I’m already ready for Spring and her luscious bouquet. Empress Splendor Trees photo from google images.

Have you ever felt like you have so much to do that you know you wont finish it, so you don’t want to do it at all? Well, that’s where I am right now. So in an attempt to set myself up to focus I poured myself a huge cup of coffee and then drank the huge cup of coffee. As I sit here shaking from too much caffeine, I’m using my nervous energy to create a list of my current spring obsessions.

  1. Christian Louboutin Nail Polish: I have NO idea why this polish is set at the steep price of 50$ BUT the company did an amazing job at package design because for some reason I want a bottle. Look how cool it looks! Never mind the color inside, and that nail polish eventually goes bad. Having this piece of artwork on my dresser would just make me so happy:

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2. The Celine Nano: How cute is this bag? I die. I have a thing for tri color anyways (see photos of my dogs) so this would fit into my family very nicely.  Not sure if this is a fad or a phase, but I truly covet this bag.

 

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How cute is this? I can’t stand it. And I happen to love the size. Just big enough to fit exactly what you need, small enough that things wont get lost at the bottom.
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Here it is with snakeskin as the brown. Lovely and rich. Though I fancy the one above the most.

3. Chanel Espadrilles: I have to admit I may break my resolution (already) regarding buying things this year because I LOVE these shoes. With a price point of under 400$ for the canvas ones, considering they are Chanel, its easy to rationalize the purchase. I mean they will last (Chanel shoes are made particularly well), AND I can wear them traipsing all around Italy when MSM and I go on our adventure later this summer 🙂

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Here are the all leather Chanel Espadrilles, a bit pricier than the canvas ones shown below. 
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I actually prefer these canvas ones. They are hard to find because they sell out so fast.

4. Sun dresses: Lets face it, spring is just around the corner and I’m already craving some new sun dresses. To stay true to my goal for the year, I WILL only buy a few in exchange for consigning a few. I have some cute Parker sunnies that I’m ready to put to rest.

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Neither of these have had Danielle’s stamp of approval, but I love them. Particularly the second with the peacocks print. I Winter has been here for about a month and I’m already ready to put the booties and sweaters away. **Danielle does not love these 😦 

5. New Ear Candy: I mean OBVI the ear cuff is a fad, and I’m sure I can find something snazzy at Bauble Bar for a better price but I’m slightly obsessed with these at Saks:

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LOVE this ear crawler by Jacqui Aiche. Its ridiculously expensive but oh so beautiful. It reminds me of stars in the midnight sky.

 

 

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These by ABS seem a close second to the one above, and at a fraction of the cost may be worth the buy.
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And speaking of stars in the midnight sky…..i love these (also by ABS). Probably not at all in style, they’re just fun.

I wonder if Danielle would approve of any of these things. I do have a gift card arriving soon….

Okay, now off to work…..

Toodles!

xoxo

QJ

QJ

Music: Uniting Generations.

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This is such a pretty mural that I found here while searching for a headline photo for this post.

When I was ten years old my father took a business trip to Florida. I remember one day during his time away, as I sat diligently with my homework, the phone rang. It was my dad. He was SO excitedly beside himself!

Dad: “Guess where I am, Jilly?!”

Me: “Hi dad! I don’t know. Where are you?”

Dad:”I’m on a pay phone* right outside the convention center. Can you hear this?”

Me: (picturing father holding phone out at arms length) “No. I can’t hear a thing!”

Dad:”I’m at the Hall and Oates concert!”

I love my dad so much. I love that he felt so hip because he was seeing Hall and Oates. And how excited he was to share it with me, because we had a common love for music. Yes, I TOTALLY get that Hall and Oates has NEVER been hip. Nor have I necessarily ever loved them. They were more in the “I can deal with them until the next song comes on” category. But after that call from my dad- I love Hall and Oates. And every time for whatever crazy reason I hear them on the radio, I immediately re-live that wonderful moment with my father. He was such an enthusiastic vitaphile (is that actually a word?).

*dating myself

MUS400MusicIsTheUniversalLanguage

My family has always loved music. All kinds, from Classical to the Beastie Boys. Apparently my grandmother was a concert pianist and my aunt an opera singer. Yes, my mom walking around the house with her “Tab” soda rapping “slow and low that is the tempo” actually did happen….often. The only music we didn’t really love were National Anthems. Those I hardly ever heard played at home- if ever. We would often visit concert halls to hear The Cleveland Orchestra play some rendition of Tchaikovsky, the Yale Whiffenpoofs (my dad’s favorite barbershop quartet), or The Singing Angels. Sometimes, with picnic basket in hand,  we would head out to the Blossom Music Center for an al fresca concert. These ranged from Van Halen to Itzhak Perlman. Almost every evening after dinner my father would sit at his piano and play. I think it was his way of unwinding. My dad’s piano songs are now some of my favorite. At the time I, of course, thought nothing of it. But now that he’s gone its a totally different story. During a barre stretch a few weeks ago the pianist played one of my fathers songs. I cried as I stretched. I couldn’t help it. I could feel my dad there with me. It was so wonderful.

Wiffenpoofs
My dad, being a Yale Alumn, was practically required to love the Wiffenpoofs. I actually was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed their A Cappella shows.

My brother took me to my first rock concert when I was 14 years old. We went to see John Cougar Mellencamp, and had nose bleed seats WAY far in the back- but who cares? How cool of my brother to take me to a rock concert??? (He also was the first to let me drive a car- but more on that later).While JCM rocked out on his guitar belting “I was born in a small town”, thousands of  leather jackets danced around me. A tiny little cigarette circulated the audience. This my brother insisted I not smoke! “Just pass that on!” I had no idea what it was hahaha. Oh the innocence! It was really exciting to dance and sing with all those other people. Back at school the following day I suddenly became like 10x cooler.

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JCM circa 1984. He was a hottie back then. Look at that hair! I swear, every guy I know now would kill for those thick locks!

All this being said, spending New Years Eve at Motely Crue’s final performance was a TOTALLY apropos way to bring in 2016!

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Motley Crue, first formed in 1981, is an internationally loved and iconic hard rock band. Though the band members may be considered “veterans” of rock, their songs are still used currently for films and TV shows, and probably on most people’s….how DO people listen to music anymore….phones?

MotleyCrueNYE
There was a spectacular dropping of streamers and balloons when the clock struck….well, 12:05- because Tommy Lee getting stuck in that drum machine caused a time lapse in the schedule. But this is ROCK and ROLL time we’re on here!!! 

Its often sad to witness the “final” something of anything, so when the opening song “Goodbye-Farewell” from The Sound Of Music started to play, I’m not going to lie, I cried a little (give me a break, I’m sensitive, ok?). I mean its the end of an era. A chapter in the book of my life. Luckily, things turned around from there and what a fun and entertaining show it turned out to be! I first saw Motely Crue four years ago in Vegas on Vince Neil’s birthday. That show was RIDICULOUS it was so good! I literally felt like I had taken the hot tub time machine to 1984. Crazed fans were so excited, making the energy  vivacious and fun. This show was entertaining but not as crazy exciting. Lots of heart felt good-bye speeches from the band members- laced with comedic anecdotes, a great solo by Tommy Lee (who also got stuck upside down in his drum machine for 20min!), and an exceptional acoustic rendition of Home Sweet Home to end it all.

What To Wear To An 80’s Hair Band Concert:

Obvi! Lots of leather. Or pleather….whichever you prefer, and metal- of course!

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Bomber Jacket: Stella McCartney  Ripped T: IRO Metal and Suede Clutch: Chloe  Leather Jeans: Rag and Bone  Booties (not shown): St. Laurent.

 

rings
I found these super cool rings at, of all places, Charlotte Russe. Haha. They were litearlly 3$- TOTAL. Disposable costume jewelry can be fun for events like 80’s hair band concerts :). The X midi ring, on the other hand, is by Michael Kors. I just love it! Classic with a touch of edge. Midi rings seem to be trending now.
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Hells yeah! Nothing says “rock n roll” like these awesome edgy booties by YSL! Love!

And on THAT note….Coming soon….leather vs pleather, is it worth it?

xoxo

QJ

QJ

 

Euclid.

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The breath-taking Palisades Park. I can’t believe this is my back yard!

A few years ago I learned that cities rename their 13th street “Euclid”. At that time my friend Victoria decided that she would call the year 2013 “two thousand Euclid” and she bid it farewell. I survived a lot of craziness in 20Euclid that continued well into 2015. But towards the end of this year, the craziness started to dissipate, thank the lord and the universe.

Today I went for a jog along the path of the Palisades park in Santa Monica. There’s no way to describe the beauty of this run. Fresh ocean breezes and glorious azul reflecting a cleansing bright light makes one feel so liberated and free. As I ran against the backdrop of blue ocean and palms, I decided to leave behind 20Euclid and all that it dragged along with it. From this point forward I choose to believe that any other baggage is just due to PTSD. Therefore my mantras for 2016 will be the following:

A. But what if it doesn’t? No more negative projections. No more “but if I do this, (_insert something awful_) will happen. Honestly whats true is in the now and anything in the future has a 50% chance to to be negative or positive. So why not live in the truth that is now and choose to dream the future in the positive. If I hear my mind going to the “but I can’t do this because what if (something negatives) happens?” BUT WHAT IF IT DOESN’T? WHAT IF THE OUTCOME IS GREAT. No more fear of success. Lets grow and move forward.

B. The anxiety you feel now is real, but is not related to the current situation. Many people who suffer PTSD try and push aside their anxiety via rationalization. But guess what? We are not neurotic. The fear we feel is very real, and denying ourselves that feeling and calling ourselves nuts is only going to exasperate the situation. Tell yourself  (out loud) “yes, I know what you feel is coming from a real place, and thats ok. But it most likely isn’t related to the situation at hand.” I know this seems like it wont do anything- but it actually totally works. It placates the fear by accepting it. Then we can take a look and decide if the situation at hand is actually something to be nervous about or if we are negatively projecting something.

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For 2016 I hope more people are able to recognize their inner beauty and are able to easily recognize their life blessings.

FYI this is NOT a New Years resolution, I totally don’t believe in those (because the desire to do them usually doesn’t last past six weeks into the new year) but rather a lifestyle attitude change.

This is the last day of 2015 and honestly its been a great year. Lets reflect on that a bit. I worked on a feature film that was released in three major cities and is currently on the short list for an Oscar Nomination!!! I moved in with MSM into his small but cozy abode in one of  the best cities in the world. I took up ASL, which challenged my mind in ways I didn’t know possible. I made new friends and attended really exciting events. I’m still in love. My pups are happy. I look forward to next year and all that it may hold. Hopefully it will include salsa lessons with MSM, traveling to exciting far away places, learning new things, cooking up a storm in the kitchen, a return of my fur babies to my own home, and more success with this blog!

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The loves of my life (other than MSM). This pic is a perfect Xmas card for next year! Stanley looks so regal and Abby so happy with her Yoda ears :). Love.

What The Heck To Wear in 2016:

So another fun but challenging goal I have for this year is to dress with what I have. My new wardrobe from 2015 is AMAZING, thanks to Danielle. I have great basics, staples, and statement pieces. Since not shopping is a ridiculous unobtainable goal, I want to continue my fashionista training by learning how to be creative with what I have. I will allow myself new staples if my old ones become frumpy (ie. jeans tear, T shirts fade…etc) and every quarter a new statement piece could be fun. Otherwise, for this year I am challenging myself to pay down these credit cards and get creative with fashion! Let the self-discovery begin!

WholeFoods
I couldn’t wait to wear this outfit so I threw it on to go to Whole Foods in Venice Beach- where I was surprised to see I wasn’t over dressed! So many decked out west-siders in Venice! Booties: Prada Leggings: From Paris (so mad I didn’t buy more! They were 12$ and I LOVE THEM) Sweater: Sonia Reikel Denim Jacket: Current Elliott Scarf: My mom (literally) Bag: St. Laurent.

Happy New Year to everyone out there! May we have a fabulous and exciting 2016 full of growth, prosperity, love and laughter! Good Bye 20Euclid, bring in the new! What are some of your goals for 2016?

Off to Motley Crue’s last show! haha. More on that later…..

xo

QJ

QJ

 

 

To Jillian on her blankety blank birthday

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Happy birthday to me! Flowers and card from my beautiful cousin.

Remember that Michelle Pfeiffer movie from 1996? To Jillian on her 37th Birthday? Well, I never actually saw that movie, but I like the title so….

My birthday month has come to a close. Such an amazing month it was! Especially the last week, when my actual birthday fell. It began on Monday night when the show I just wrapped had a premier party at The Parlor in West Hollywood (I’ll review that another time) followed by dinner at Summer Buffalo with some cast mates (another review for another time- but WOW that food was good!).

Spago

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Initially we had planned on celebrating my actual birthday dinner (on my actual birthday) at Maude, Curtis Stone’s restaurant. At 300$/person (without drinks) for the “November Truffles” theme, we decided it would dip too much into our Italy fund, so, at my bosses recommendation,  MSM decided to treat me with reservations at Spago, home of Wolfgang Puck.

Back in the day Mr. Puck revolutionized the Los Angeles food scene with  Spago. He decided he wanted to create an affordable menu based on food that was indigenous to LA and fit the LA healthy lifestyle. So Spago was born and healthy contemporary LA eating was put on the map. High maintenance orderers finally had a place to nourish their souls!  MSM and I had never eaten there before, so we were thrilled to try something new.

Ambiance

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“Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman” – Coco Chanel

When you first go into Spago, you are in the bar. There’s a small lounge area with sofas and chairs and then the bar itself. Upon entering, the atmosphere feels rich but approachable. This area is nicely lit with dim over heads and candles. The hostesses are friendly but professional.

From what I could tell there were two main dining areas. The main room is a well lit indoor space with contemporary paintings decorating the walls. MSM mentioned in passing that he wished it was more dimly lit. I, however, was excited to be able to see the menu without using my phone flashlight (embarrassing age giver-awayer- I know, not a word but gets the point across). The other dining area is an outdoor garden which looked very romantic with trees and twinkle lights (my favorite!). I was a little jealous we weren’t out there, but whatever, where we sat seemed more tailored and luxurious.

meandKath
My Cousin, Katherine, and I enjoying our first visit to Spago. I am so grateful Katherine and her husband could join us. I love spending my actual birthday with family. Its so important to me. 

Most of the patrons at Spago, I hate to say it, were probably around 70 years old. I’m sure this is true because the place has been around for 30+ years and was SO ridiculously famously popular back in the 20th century that those visitors are still meeting there thinking its cool. Why is that? Like how come some people get stuck on things? Same hair cut for 50 years or clothing. Lord don’t let that happen to me!

Hilarious story- As I walked towards the restroom one woman, she must have been about 75, grabbed my arm and said “honey! Could you get me a glass of water? My leg is cramping. I can’t make it to the bar.” I’m pretty sure she thought I worked there (due to the average minimum age). Of course I helped her! And I told her to remove her stunning Jimmy Choos’ because they were the cause of the cramp. OMG 5″ heels almost killed me at blankety blank, how the heck is she wearing those at 70?? (and please let me be able to do the same without the leg cramp!).

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Once seated, the waiter brought us each a shot of mushroom soup. Delicious and soul warming.

Even though we were most definitely some of the youngest ones there, there was a mix of ages ranging from 30-80 and it didn’t feel stuffy AT ALL. It was lively inside. Fun. Lots of laughter and joy. I can see why its still listed in the top 3 restaurants in LA.

What to eat

AHi
The most ridiculously amazing spicy tuna on crispy rice I have EVER had. Eye popping good!

Answer: Everything. I can’t even tell you how AMAAAAZING the food was here.

We started our adventure with an aperitif shot of Wolfgang’s cream of mushroom soup. Hello! Can I have a carafe of that please??

Next we shared an appetizer of  spicy ahi in a crispy cone; Mr. Pucks rendition of spicy tuna on crispy rice. OMG. There are no words. Seriously. One bite and we exchanged that look that only “that look” can describe. That “holy S*** this tastes amazing” look. It was like a symphony of flavor that all blended so well together yet stood tasty on its own as well; a symphonic poem of food.

After the heavenly tuna cones we shared an endive salad (delicious) and a Bolognese pasta that was TO DIE FOR. Both exploded with flavors; their own symphonic poems in our mouthes.

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Every single appetizer, salad, and first course that we tasted at Spago was incredible. A starburst of flavors in the mouth!
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I was SO excited that the special on my birthday was Veiner Schnitzel! It was as if they did that just for me! The breading was a bit dry, but the presentation was gorgeous. 

For the main course I was (sadly) underwhelmed. My favorite food in the world is Weiner shnitzel. No, NOT the hot dogs. The actual dish that originated in Austria. Now, the first time I had ever eaten Weiner Schnitzel was in Baden Baden, Germany, so I may be a bit overly critical when an american chef attempts to correctly make it. Back in Baden Baden I sat with my father under the enormous oak trees. I was 13 years old. Long wire-y haired dachshunds frolicked in the park across from us. As the kliener vogel (little birds) sang their songs and my dad and I laughed about our day, the waiter served us our Veiner Schnitzel. I remember my father exclaiming “wait til you try this, Jilly, its my favorite!” He taught me how to squeeze the lemon over the veal, and then stir the spatzel into the gravy. We each took a bite and I remember the moment it hit my lips and the flavor explosion that followed. So delicious. And we sat there, in silence, enjoying our food and Germany. So many unspoken moments with my father where I truly felt loved and accepted as me. I so miss him. Anyways, I digress…. They say food is experience, and I do believe that one reason I love this dish so much is because of that moment when I first tasted it.  So back here at Spago, the chef had huge shoes to fill and I’m sad to say he failed. It was dry and not so great.

desert
Desert was so yummy. Triple chocolate with raspberry sauce and lemon gelato. It looked so good we didn’t even stop to take a photo!

BUT….the desert resurrected my taste buds. Delicious combinations of citrus and chocolate…..HOLY COW it was yummy! And the four of us (my cousin and her hubby were with us) were serenaded by our waiters rendition of Happy Birthday. Of course our waiter was a dancer and an actor and a producer and a singer….the list goes on. We do live in LA, right?

 

What the heck do you wear to Spago?

So I was really nervous because I went here straight from work and had no time to do my hair. It was up in its usual work bun. It was to my relief when I walked into Spago and literally half the women there had their hair in a bun!

The dress is mixed. I mean I bet you probably could get away with wearing Jeans and gorgeous shoes with a swanky top. However, I would never. I think I would call the dress here upscale casual. I was excited to wear the new coat that I bought for my birthday. Danielle found this GORGEOUS gem ON SALE 🙂 YAY!

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Coat: Red Valentino  Booties: St. Laurent  Skirt: Chloe  Top: ALC

So began the my birthday week. Off to a great start! Next post- our trip to San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles wine tasting….

Bon Apetit! And thank you MSM for such a wonderful dinner! :*

xoxo

QJ

 

QJ

 

 

All in for Autumn.

PDetail2I don’t miss much about living in the mid west but I can admit that I do miss the one week in Autumn when the beautifully colored leaves paint the sky, reflecting water-color like portraits onto the lakes. Air that is crisp and fresh but not bone chilling, bracing just enough to rejuvenate the soul.

The Pacific Palisades Pumpkin Patch:

This year is the first time in FOREVER that I have gone to a real pumpkin patch. Well, as real as one can find in Los Angeles. With a backdrop of trees and hills and the glorious sounds of children laughing, the YMCA Pumpkin Patch in the Pacific Palisades most definitely delivered. There was a maize maze – albeit a short one (but who can complain? It was the perfect height for my inner child :)), hay bundles with scare crows, faux spiderwebs, and, most importantly, a brilliant selection of pumpkins!

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What to wear to the Pumpkin Patch:

I took this opportunity to break out my new favorite fall pieces, recently delivered by Danielle. The sweater is the ideal weight for a cooler day in Autumn or any day in an LA winter (yes, it does get cold here). The high waisted feminine flow-y skirt is so comfortable and will look cute with crops and regular length tops. I love how these five pieces can be re-arranged with other basics in my wardrobe in order to create a zillion different ensambles. They are the perfect statement pieces for Fall.

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How cute is this chloe bag? No offense to the “Drew”, I am loving the uniqueness of this one. It can be dressed up for a night out or dressed down for something as casual as the pumpkin patch. AND…its the perfect size!
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I love this hat by Rag and Bone. I’ve never been into hats before but I can see this coming in handy on those days I don’t want to fuss with my hair. Plus its just a fun accessory.
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Hat: Rag and Bone Sunnies: Celine Sweater: Chloe Skirt: Maje Boots: Vince Bag: Chloe All available via Danielleseligson_Klein@s5a.com

I have to admit, BD (that’s Before Danielle) I would have never thought to wear this to a pumpkin patch. I think going in cute jeans and a fun T or even a halloween costume would also be acceptable. Definitely lower shoes or booties. But it was a great excuse to wear my new items. Thanks Saks!

Finishing the Pumpkin:

MSM and I learned a very important lesson today at the pumpkin patch. Jack-o-lantern pumpkins are NOT, I repeat, NOT baking pumpkins! hahaha. Though most pumpkin patches ALSO sell baking pumpkins, make sure you get the correct pumpkin for your needs 🙂

Doesn't this look DELICIOUS!
Doesn’t this look DELICIOUS!?

The word “foolproof” is in this recipe title. Click the link in case you want to try and bake your Jack-o-lantern: Foolproof Pumpkin Pie

In memory of Autumn:

I’d like to dedicate this post to Autumn Radtke. Ironically I met Autumn at a Summer BBQ in Beverly Hills held at the Sharon Tate Estate, home of the Manson Murders. Though the party itself was festive and bright, theres just something so eerie about the estate.

Autumn and I bonded over her adorable bull dog and our common zest for life. Though very slender, she was  Rubenesque and completely unaffected or possibly unaware of her beauty. She was a cosmopolitan xenophile advanced beyond her 24 years. Her courageous sense of ambition was contagious. It was one of those moments that I’ve mentioned before, where you never know how much one person can affect another – even in the most random and slightest way.

Over the years Autumn and I would sometimes touch base via Facebook, particularly around Halloween- she was an avid fan of costuming. I hadn’t heard from her for a long time so I decided to check in on her page and was horrified to find that she has passed away. Too young to be taken, may her soul revisit the earth via the winds of her namesake, inspiring all of us to live life to the fullest!

Happy Harvest everyone!

xoxo

QJ

QJ