28 March 2011

Winslet-Watch: "In a New York minute, everything can change"*

Now wait up just a gosh darn cotton pickin' minute.

No sooner do we get used to Kate's brand new tresses than she goes and pulls a Victoria Beckham on us and changes it all up all over again.

Here she is, pictured in New York yesterday at the premiere of her new HBO show, Mildred Pierce. Her hair seems to be long enough to pin into a soft upstyle and it looks even darker than her pre-bleach, pre-crop usual honeyed shade of blonde.

What do you think, should she have kept the crop just a little bit longer than a teeny tiny New York minute?

Thanks to the Marie Claire website for this breaking news.

Post title: Lyric from Don Henley's 'New York Minute'

25 March 2011

Summer Lovin': Penneys/Primark Summer 2011 Collection

I was doing a bit of channel surfing yesterday evening when this striped jersey midi caught my eye on Xpose. I got to thinking about my upcoming trip to Italy in June, about how I'm in desparate need of a new holiday wardrobe, and about what I could sell or steal to fund this little endeavour. But then I heard it was from Penneys, and I was able to relax.

I mean, I can still afford Penneys.

I think.

Update: That lovely stripey number (top) will hit stores in June and cost a mere €17. The other dresses are actually Primark, and not Penneys.

24 March 2011

Five Favourite Things

Along with the sunshine, here are a few things that are currently making me smile.

My friend Lola bought me these lovely handmade ear-rings for my birthday, from the Loft Market. Look at the little horsie! Ahem...moving swiftly on...

I was also lucky enough to receive this big box of Kiehl's goodies from my friend Joanne, so expect a whole host of reviews coming up. So far I've only tried out the tinted lip balm, which I love.

This coral twist-lock bag from Dorothy Perkins was bought for me in London by my sister, Vicky, and brightens up pretty much any outfit.

Another gift - this time from both my sisters, at Christmas. This is gorgeous; lighter than Chanel No 5, which I also wear, but with a similar powdery floral vibe going on. And it's bleedin' massive, too, so I can't imagine running out soon.

My new favourite dinner is pretty much anything chucked into the George Foreman and then served with salad and this delicious, easy-peasy sweet potato dish. It's another one of Jamie's and yes, he is annoying, but he also does some damn fine eats. He calls this smashed potatoes and it was part of one of his 30 minute meals. Using 1 potato, 2 sweet potatoes, half a lemon, 1 red chilli, some feta cheese and a bunch of fresh coriander, it's quick, easy and absolutely lovely.

Irish Blog Awards – the end of an era

I enjoyed an extra long Paddy’s day break this year, pottering about the city’s many watering holes and bringing our visiting friend, Chris, to some of our new favourite places in Dublin, like the Workman’s Club, The Grand Social and Boojum. Unfortunately, it meant I had to miss this year’s Irish Blog Awards – Chris flat out refused to consider a wee trip to Belfast – and I was sorry about that, especially when I found out it was the last one (at least in its current incarnation.

I’m glad I made it last year; I had a lot of fun, especially at the Ladies Tea Party, where all of the witty and wonderful female bloggers I met inspired me to start up fluff and fripperies. I’m grateful for the opportunity, and want to thank Damien and the judges and everyone else involved for all their hard work.

I had a lot of fun the next day too with my friend Jen, who writes over at The Lady Loves Books. The polystyrene Blog Awards sign caught her eye, and I was happy to be their sidekick on the great Galway Gadabout of 2010.        

14 March 2011

Words of wisdom: because Prentice's dad is a hell of a lot smarter than mine is.

"Telling us straight, or through his stories, my father taught us that there was, generally, a fire at the core of things, and that change was the only constant, and that we - like everybody else - were both the most important people in the universe, and utterly without significance, depending, and that individuals mattered before their institutions, and that people were people, much the same everywhere, and when they appeared to do things that were stupid or evil, often you hadn't been told the whole story, but that sometimes people did behave badly, usually because some idea had taken hold of them and given them an excuse to regard other people as expendable (or bad), and that was part of who we were too, as a species, and it wasn't always possible to know that you were right and they were wrong, but the important thing was to keep trying to find out, and always to face the truth. Because truth mattered."

From Iain Banks, 'The Crow Road' (thanks Chris).

What's the best piece of advice that's been handed down to you?

10 March 2011

Boardwalk Empire: bloody brilliant telly, once you get past the dodgy Kerry accent...

Nucky Thompson
There might not be much right with the rest of the world but we are definitely living through a new Golden Age of Television. Having been thoroughly absorbed by clever, complex and compelling shows like The Wire, Mad Men and, er, Fade Street, I was only too delighted to welcome Boardwalk Empire to my life.
This 1920s mobster drama actually has a lot in common with the shows I mentioned above: you’re dropped into a vivid but unfamiliar world, populated by a host of intriguing characters whose individual stories gradually unfold throughout the series.
While this can be confusing - you’re expected to keep up without explanation or constant repetition of plot – it’s also incredibly rewarding. The show just gets better and better, episode by episode, with excellent storytelling and countless subplots as Sopranos writer Terence Winters slowly develops his characters.  
It’s a big, stylish, extravagant production too - the pilot episode, directed by none other than Martin Scorsese, is said to have cost $20 million alone. (Scorsese is also an executive producer and continues to be creatively involved.) But make no mistake: while Boardwalk Empire is choc-a-bloc with gangsters, booze, violence, politics, prostitution and great period costumes, what it’s really about is the people.

Set in Atlantic City, the action centres around the charismatic but corrupt county treasurer, Enoch ‘Nucky’ Thompson - brilliantly played by Steve Buscemi – as he endeavours to keep his city, known as The World's Playground, 'wet as a mermaid's twat’ throughout the dry days of prohibition.
He’s well matched in Margaret Schroeder, played by Trainspotting’s Kelly Macdonald: once we get past what is possibly the worst Irish accent I’ve ever heard, we find an intelligent, complex and morally ambiguous leading lady who is all the more interesting for it.  

Margaret & Nucky
The rest of the cast are equally good. In a stellar cast, Michael Pitt as the intense, troubled Jimmy Darmody, Michael Shannon as the creepy Van Alden and Stephen Grahama as the young Al Capone stand out.  And I was thrilled to see Michael K Little, who played Omar in The Wire, turn up here as Chalky White.

In fact, my only complaint about the first series (leaving Margaret’s accent to one side) is that Chalky doesn’t get nearly enough screen time for my liking.
This is brilliant, beautiful telly, and I cannot wait for Series Two.
Are you watching? What do you make of it?  
Van Alden
Photo credit: All images from the Boardwalk Empire Facebook page

08 March 2011

Hair do or hair don't? Kate Winslet's April Vogue cover

Forget about Jennifer Aniston and her two inch trim - now this is what I call a haircut. Kate Winslet is Vogue UK's latest cover star and with her bleached, cropped tresses, she's certainly sporting a radical new 'do. "New body, new look, new life", screams the cover, which begs the question: was there really anything wrong with the old ones? It all looked pretty good from where I was sitting...

What do you think of Kate's transformation: hair do, or hair don't?