Wednesday, February 16, 2011

New York Fashion Week

NYFW is over in a day. Expect summary of the best of fashion and the best of fashion I would actually buy and wear.


The weekly struggle between eating healthy and just eating anything that is around never ends. Basically eating healthy comes down to

1. learning how to throw random stuff in your pantry and fridge together
2. buying random stuff to leave in your pantry and fridge

Last night, we had a very unhealthy frozen chicken pot pie, mini-quiche and popcorn chicken meal. Thanks Costco for giving us such great convenience food. They were all amazingly tasty.

To balance that, I made a salad. Thanks to Costco again for providing most ingredients again! It's a good and bad place. You can buy 5 baby romaine heads in a bag and a box of frozen popcorn chicken.


a few handfuls of spinach
a few stalks of romaine lettuce
cubed tomato (much as you want)
finely diced red onion (much as you want)
two small handfuls of pecans, toasted
one handful of dried cranberries
finely diced ham
[whatever protein, lettuce, veggies, crunchy and sweet things you have on hand]

1/4 cup cider vinegar
2-3 teaspoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon finely diced red onion
grapeseed oil


1. Put together all salad ingredients except ham.
2. Saute ham in a little oil until slightly crispy. Cool slightly and put in salad.
3. Saute red onion briefly until softened.
4. Pour in cider vinegar in red onion pan.
5. Heat up vinegar and add brown sugar.
6. Leave at low boil until slightly thickened. It will boil down a bit.
7. Remove from heat and cool if you can wait.
8. Add grapeseed oil to vinegar when it cools down slightly.
9. Shake dressing mixture and add to salad.
10. Grind some pepper if you like.

If you have some great dressing, you can finish at step 2. That's even better. I had no idea where the balsamic vinegar was and no other dressing so I had to improvised.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Online Magazines

I miss blueprint and domino. I still have the first issue of blueprint and it is still really good. The new online magazines are not as well made (no surprise there as I'm sure the budgets are much smaller).

Lonny is an online shelter magazine that is from someone who worked at Domino. I don't care to check who it is because it would make no difference to me. As a result of its founders, it is actually a very nice online magazine. Rue is a shelter magazine too, I think. However, it has a lot more fashion/beauty product content than Lonny. Both are fairly established now. Most people who read design blogs know about them.

As for High Gloss and Matchbook, I found both boring but Matchbook better than High Gloss. Unfortunately, both premiered for their February issues within a week of each other (at least within a week of me knowing about them on various blogs).

High Gloss, are you really doing a travel piece on Napa Valley's fancy hotels and shops? It is such an insipid choice. And the fashion in this magazine? Terrible, investment pieces are great but it's doubtful that anyone who can afford a Burberry trench really needs yet another magazine telling you that it is a good investment. And the Marc Jacobs bag in that piece is from last season. Try selling something that is actually coming out this Spring '11. My mom bought that bag before Christmas. I'm doubtful that it will be released in black until next fall if they decide to bring it back. I was told it sold extremely well. However, High Glass had a really nice cover. If I was to choose between it and Matchbox at the bookstore, I would have picked this one. I loved the use of black.

Matchbox is great but the cover was so boring. Not eye-capturing at all. The pink is pretty but dull. The cover subject is an attractive but not beautiful woman with her dog. Inside the magazine is great content. It also had a fashion piece on investment clothing but instead of a dozen, it had 50 items. They also had the trench but the other choices were better. However, I still stand that no one needs to be told what the classics are. That's why they are classics. Everyone has it or knows they should get one. Matchbox traveled to Peru which is a great choice. Their interior design piece was on a studio apartment in Chelsea. Also different. So far I liked it better.

To sum it up, Lonny and Rue are strong choices but if you want to give a new one a shot, go for Matchbox. Hopefully High Gloss improves but really most of these magazines are interchangeable. I don't see much of a specific type target reader for either magazine.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

iPad and magazine apps

I have now tried the Elle magazine, the Martha Stewart Living and the Vogue UK apps for the iPad device. Out of these 3 apps, the only one I recommend is the Elle Magazine app. I will briefly describe each one and basically explain why they are great but still disappointing.

The Martha Stewart app is a one-off issue like a special-edition for a holiday or wedding. The app version of the magazine is specially designed for the iPad. This means this issue can only be bought through the device. You cannot buy it from the newstands. Basically, being an Ipad issue means the images are amazingly crisp and the features are interactive. This makes for a great experience. However, once you finish reading it, there is little use for the app. You can use the recipes and enjoy the ideas but you would have to open this app each and every time. With multi-tasking functionality now, it is not a big deal but just annoying. Plus you have to keep the app on your iPad forever or until you never want to read it again. I have not tried to delete it before but i am wary that you will delete the purchase. I know you can upload your purchases to iTunes but I have not tested this feature yet. I'm a little too scared to try.

The Vogue UK app is not a special edition created for the iPad. It is their actual December 2010 issue with Emma Watson on the cover with extras and interactivity added for the iPad. This included behind the scenes video of the cover and feature shoot with Emma Watson. It has a nice little interview with her. There is also a video on the beauty shoot with the makeup artist Lisa Eldridge. This is great because she has a website that she posts makeup application instructions on and she is very good at those kinds of videos. Also the price is a bonus because it charged £4.99 which just under $8CAD. This is much cheaper than buying a copy at Chapters Indigo where it usually costs over $10 and about 4-6 weeks late. It is now even cheaper because the December 2010 issue is a back-issue. That is a problem because it is the ONLY issue available. They have not made any effort to put up other issues. I don't know if this is a money, staffing or lack of interest problem. Or it is all of the above. I try to check up on the Vogue UK site and frequently checking the App Store but it looks like it will just be that one issue for now.

The last magazine app is Elle US magazine. It is amazing. The first issue is from October 2010. There is many features and functionality added to the monthly magazine. First things are the corners of the page. There is the contents in the top left corner. In other top corner, you can find any special features. The bottom left corner is an inspiration board that looks like a corkboard. Anything you see in the magazine can be dragged onto this "board." The bottom right feature is my favorite. It is one-tap access to the website, facebook, twitter and email of whatever you are looking at. For example, I saw a photo of Prada flats for Summer 2011 and I wanted to email it to a friend. Since it seamlessly linked to my email app on the iPad, it was so easy. Other features include tapping on the items in the market pages to get a bigger and close-up view. Often there is a 'tap to buy' symbol leading you to an online retailer to buy should you want to. I never have but its a nice feature for those people who can afford to do that kind of thing. There are lots of videos and bonus photos as well. The greatest thing about the Elle US app is that it is free. Each month's issue is sponsored by a company like Lacoste or Armani or Burberry. I think it is effective because the ads are designed to look like the ads of the magazine (often they are the same ads) but with videos adverts included too. Also each month is consistently loaded with features so its not like they stopped trying after the first shot. Not surprisingly, I think their website is the best fashion magazine site out there. I was never a Elle magazine reader but I've grown to like the magazine. I would even consider paying for the iPad version if the price is lower than the print version.

What sets Elle apart from Oprah's O Magazine or Wired magazine app is that those magazines cost as much if not more than the paper version. I don't think that is a model that will work in the long run. Mainly my past O magazine one-year subscription cost less than $10 but one issue on the iPad is $4.99. Same with Wired. I rather have the less cool paper copy than pay 4x more for the iPad version.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

ebook wikileaks leaks

So NYTimes is the real winner in the wikileaks diplomatic wires release debacle (other than angry people in Tunisia and Egypt)

You can now buy the Open Secrets: WikiLeaks, War and American Diplomacy ebook at nookbook and coming soon to other ebook reader stores.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

I'm back

I am giving this another try.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Look of the Week

Marc Jacob again this week. Last week was brunch or lunch with the girls. Well this outfit is definitely dinner and drinks with the girls. It's not bombshell Versace sexy but an overt "trying to impress other women" sexy. Which makes it perfect for a "middle of winter, it's freezing!" girls night.

Marc Jacob Fall 2009 RTW