Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Return of Saturn

To anyone who is aged 27-30, 56-60 or 84-90 and is facing a particularly tough, confusing and disorienting time in their lives like I am currently, read ahead.  I found this to be surprisingly insightful.  A variety of friends have mentioned the Saturn Return to me over the past few months, and I finally took the time to find out what they are talking about.  I'm not usually one to be into/interested in astrology, but it makes sense to me for some reason.  If it can help you in any way, I'm glad I could have shared it with you.  I wish you luck and courage through your journey.


The Return of Saturn

In astrology, the Saturn return is a believed phenomenon which is described to influence a person's life development at 27 to 29 or 30-year intervals. These intervals or "returns" coincide with the approximate time it takes the planet Saturn to make one orbit around the sun, i.e. 29.4 years. It is believed by astrologers that, as Saturn "returns" to the degree in its orbit occupied at the time of birth, a person crosses over a major threshold and enters the next stage of life. With the first Saturn return, a person leaves youth behind and enters adulthood. With the second return, maturity. And with the third and usually final return, a person enters wise old age. These periods are estimated to occur at roughly the ages of 28-30, 56-60 and 84-90. A fourth return occurs for only a few people, at age 114-118.

The Saturn return always occurs between the age of 27 and 29, seemingly lasts a lot longer, and is one of the most feared and misunderstood points in personal evolution. It is usually a difficult time with a lot of stress and pressure, where things come to an end, hard realizations are faced, and the weight of the world is felt, very acutely. However, it is also a time of many opportunities to make important choices and decisions, moving out of unconscious patterns and obsolete conceptions of our purpose into more deliberate and thoughtful expressions of our unfulfilled self.
It represents a time of completing a major life cycle, and because it is Saturn, it shows that we now have completed some lessons about what we can do and cannot do, what we can live with and what we cannot. It is a time where we examine our chains, and lift off the ones we no longer need to wear. It is where we choose behaviors that will lead us to forms of dominion and slavery in our life. Before now, these were chosen for us by our elders and our unconscious patterns. But no longer. This is the moment where free will works most powerfully to make our lives a grand adventure in becoming our true authorship in the world, stepping into our chosen authority, or where we perpetuate life habits that enslave us to obsolete authoritarian patterns.
It is a time of important endings, but also major new beginnings that will affect our lives for many years to come. It is a time where our free will shows us more of our life purpose freed from old patterns we once needed, but do not need to live with any longer. It is often associated with a time of hardship, difficulties, and major challenges, but these occur because we are resisting our own tide of personal evolution, or because we need the skills to deal with these things that will help us reveal our higher purpose in the years to come. During this time of clearing our old psychological refuse, whatever must change WILL change, whether we want it to or not, and whether we like it or not.
It is important to note here that Saturn is not "causing" these things to occur. We are the engineers of our own lives, the determiners of our fate through our free will. As it was said, we are the dispensers of "glory or gloom" to ourselves, and no others. Nothing external compels our destiny. Since character is destiny, as we make our character we make our destiny. Saturn and its cycles merely indicate the part of our inner nature which must learn certain lessons as a direct result of our own maturation process, and show us clearly the cause-and-effect cycles we have set into motion before this time of radical choices and changes.
The Saturn return is a time when the "chickens come home to roost," for good or ill. Again, this is a time of evaluating what we can live with and what we cannot. It is the most important time for examining what our priorities are and what must be dropped from our lives to allow us a more mature expression of our "dharma," a Sanskrit term approximately meaning "true function" in the higher sense of the term. This is when we learn to make time and experience our ally, and come out of immature ways and lesser ways of being into our greater response-ability.
Saturn again returns to its birth place again between 57 and 59, where we choose once more how we want to live, this time for what most of us believe will be the rest of our lives. Again we make choices. This time, though, we are challenged to turn away from old limitations, rules, responsibilities, fears, and unfulfilling behaviors. This is the time to distill wisdom from the realizations we’ve had so far, reflected through the filter of over 30 years of adult experience. It’s usually hardest on those who still operate out of immaturity, irresponsibility, or fear. To the extent that we have not learned how to fulfill our higher purpose, or ignored the physical or emotional lessons of the various crisis points between 29 and 58, this is a very difficult time. Of course, it may also show us that we have done exactly what we were supposed to do, and marks the point of embracing a new adventure, having fulfilled the old purpose.
Any time Saturn touches any planet in our charts, it indicates a time when all of the above factors are brought to bear on the psychological function of the planet visited by Saturn. For example, when Saturn conjuncts our Sun, it is a time of receiving the rewards of "living our light," or feeling oppressed as a result of past self-betrayals. It may be a time of recognition for what we have accomplished, and where we restructure how we view illumination, and how we live your heart's higher purpose. Things end, but only those things which our light no longer needs.
When Saturn touches our Moon, it is a time of seeing what habits and feelings we can live with, and which ones have become too calcified to endure any longer. It is a time of restructuring our emotional experience. Though it may be experienced as limiting and restrictive, it also brings emotional and experiential rewards as well as a deepening of our inner connectedness with our true nature if we show the virtues of patience, responsibility, maturity, perseverance, self-discipline, and organization.
Saturn shows us the lessons we must learn to grow in our "authorship" in life, regardless of what personal, interpersonal, or transpersonal sphere we move through. The Saturn return shows us how we are or are not exercising "free will," rather than fear. Saturn is the part of us that has learned to be rigid and authoritarian, but also where we take responsibility for our lives and choices, and come to a genuine life renewal by ending whatever has oppressed us while embracing a more mature sense of self. Saturn may symbolize our limitations, but also shows us the way to the perfection of our personalities so we can live our Dharma, which is our Highest Self.
Though it is not usually a "joyous" time, it can be if we find the right point of view. Though it is not usually an "easy" time, it can be if you are living your higher purpose and don't resist the process of becoming more than we were. We simply must learn what people and circumstances and fears we no longer want nor need, and let go of lesser things. Then we can find a greater maturity, effectiveness, and purpose that enables us to enjoy our future as a grand adventure rather than be frustrated at not being able to stay in childish or unfulfilling patterns of acting, feeling, or thinking.
Ultimately Saturn can lead us to our primal innocence, where we do what’s right for the greatest good for all, without ulterior motives and controlling behaviors. We just have to learn to be mature, without being old. With the perfection of our Saturn function, we become part of the wisdom of our ancestry, our era, and the holographic patterns of all who share our life lessons. Our Saturn lessons help us learn and teach the greater way for those who follow us in the portion of the wisdom we are here to learn. The trick to it all is to embrace Saturn and its lessons and not fear that which makes us greater than we could have imagined.




Source: 
http://www.aquariuspapers.com/astrology/2005/10/the_saturn_retu.html


xo,
Viva

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Happy Holidays Everyone!








I want to wish everyone a happy holiday season.  Be back soon...re arranging some things and people in my life. 

Big kisses to everyone, and I'm looking forward to 2012!  

xo,
Viva

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Halloween 2011!

Halloween 2011


I sure had fun dressing up this Halloween!  Even my typically "I don't like dressing up for Halloween" best friend got into it this year and it was FABULOUS!!!  


Can you guess what our costumes were?










Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Feel the Pulsation!



It's been a while, my friends!  I have a tip for you - men and women alike.


For the most part, I feel like facial masks are pretty shi-shi foo-foo and don't really do alot.  They all claim to "draw impurities from the skin", but how much do they really do?  I can never really tell any difference after taking them off - just that my skin might feel a little softer, or have a chalky residue left behind.


However - This mask is no joke.  I found this product at my local hippie dippie all organic/sustainable/free range/cageless/local grown/you-name-it grocery store and picked it up on the recommendation of a friend. You blend this bentonite clay powder with raw unfiltered apple cider together to create a fizzy, frothy mixture, then smooth that onto your face.  Let it dry, and before long your face is pulling, pulsating, tightening, being slightly contorted (lol) - all sorts of weird things.  This is not for those non-adventurous folks - you may get a little freaked out by it when you first try this.  However, after washing it off I do see a difference in my skin.  My skin is always bright red after I wash it off, but not in a painful way...more in a "whoa, my face is rejuvenated and the circulation is definitely going" kind of way.  Additionally, the seemingly permanent little bumps on my forehead - AKA the bane of my existence - have been clearing up since I started this.  


Too good to be true?  We'll have to see...but I'm sticking with this for now!  It definitely brings a "glow", that's for sure!  My routine: I wash my face with my go-to Johnson's Baby Wash, apply this mask, follow it with my velvety La Mer Concentrate which calms my face while leaving it "fed" and soft - and lastly, I apply my moisturizer of 12 + years, Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizer.  My face is happy and well-fed from this combination! :-) 


Try it out!

xo,
Viva

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Wardrobe-Maker. It's a Necessity!

Alright ladies, I must confess: I've been obsessed with this bag for too long!!


 [ChloĆ© Paraty Medium Tassle Leather Bag]


I'm a firm believer that every woman needs a wardrobe-making handbag.  This in particular is one that I've had the opportunity to see in person a few times, and it sure is glorious, I must say. 


Isn't it just delicious looking?  Ok, maybe delicious isn't the right word...but that's how I feel about it.  Yum!  Just wanted to share this piece of work with you all, as it's a great example of the "wardrobe-maker".  Every girl needs a wardrobe-making statement handbag.  You WON'T regret that purchase, believe me.  It makes all your outfits look better, even if you only paid $10 for your clothes.  A great bag brings everything together and adds just the polished finishing touch needed.


This is a debtworthy bag!  Ugh.  Not this time for me, sadly.   If you have to money to buy it, DO IT.  I would!
xo,
Viva




]
[Images via net-a-porter.com]

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Anyone who Has Trouble Sleeping, Read Ahead!


[The Cloud]

I have to share this with my readers.  If you suffer from insomnia, trouble sleeping or light sleeping, you need to experience the best thing I've discovered literally since...I can't even think of a discovery close to as remarkable as these were for me!

Mack's Pillow Soft Earplugs have changed my life.  I had given up all hope on sleeping well.  I thought I was doomed sleep terribly for the rest of my life, always being burdened with irritability, the feeling of being "cracked out" and dark bags under my eyes.  I have always been an incredibly light sleeper.  I never really knew if I was sensitive to sound, movement, light, or just had trouble sleeping in general - I just knew that sleeping for me has never been easy.  I'd tried all the foam earplugs before, and they barely helped.  I had written off earplugs entirely, until someone at my work (a loud nightclub) made me use Mack's Earplugs to protect my ears from our loud, pounding soundsystem.  They drowned out so much of the booming music efficiently, I thought about trying them for my insufferable sleeping issues.

I have not achieved this much solid, uninterrupted and sound sleep literally since I was a young child.  It turns out that sound is the primary culprit that interrupts my slumber and that wakes me up at night.  These earplugs have literally changed my life.  I can now sleep.  I CAN NOW SLEEP!!!  I am not irritable every day.  I am not fighting with my loved ones from being grumpy all the time.  I feel healthier, well rested and in general more relaxed and less stressed out.  I can sleep through the night without being woken up to the slight sound of the wind outside, or my neighbors flushing their toilet.  Or the sounds of city life.  I am even able to sleep through other human activity in the room I am sleeping in - something I NEVER thought possible! Literally a huge breakthrough for me.  I am now a normal sleeper, like everyone else.  I feel freed - like my sleep is no longer dependent upon other people.  I feel protected by my earplugs!  If you are using them properly - sealed partially inside your canal and to the outside of your ear, blocking out all noise - they are the BEST earplugs you'll ever experience!

So, THANK YOU, Macks.  You have absolutely changed my life.  And for my readers who feel hopeless and that their insomnia will ultimately continue to have them by the BALLS, give these a shot.  While insomnia is partially a result of your psyche going wild...drowning out all outside noise helps more than you think it will.  I didn't think that sound was the primary reason I was not sleeping well before I discovered these - I thought it was my racing mind.  Looking back, my mind would race increasingly the longer I stayed awake, stressing out about not getting enough sleep.  Those who know will recognize this little "game" that is no fun whatsoever.  These have helped me so much, and one of the best things about them is that they are DRUG FREE.  So many people suggested going on Ambien to help my insomnia...and I'm so glad that I won't be feeding my system with unnecessary chemicals just to get some rest.

FINALLY.

xo,
Viva

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Bring on Fall



Something about this look screams effortlessly chic, falling leaves in New York.  Bring on fall!  This picture is making me excited for chunky sweaters, black jeggings, boots, leather, scarves scarves scarves, beanies, sunnies and a statement bag to bring it all together!




xo,
Viva

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

You Have to Wait for Your Reward with this One :-)



Bond No. 9: Eau de New York


This is a very peculiar fragrance. Its one of those that does a complete 180 from the initial burst to when it settles into my skin. Usually all perfumes do change somewhat from when you first apply to after it's been sitting on your skin for a while, but this one is a night and day difference. The *reason* I bought this was because of the dry down that it possesses.

The initial scent I get when I spray this on is a lot like Tom Ford's Neroli Portofino, which I used to own.  A LOT. And although I do like the initial burst of citrus, basil, lots of neroli and the general "freshness" of the smell - it's the fade out that I'm really waiting for. I just cannot describe the smell of this fade out ... it's incredible. The smell that remains is that of a warm, almost velvety type of draping layer that lingers on your skin and just smells "good". I've smelled this (or something like this) on a woman before, and I just cant remember who or when it was, but I remember thinking that she smelled so inviting and good, but not in a perfumey way - but like it was just her natural scent that I was smelling. Slightly sweet, soft skin. That's what this smells like after the initial 10 minutes of citrus that you get.

Usually I buy fragrances for how they smell on my skin straight away after I spray them on, and I end up being disappointed with the fade out. This perfume however, is the opposite - I can't wait for the initial notes to burn off, revealing the warm, inviting, delicious and soft undertones that this perfume has.

It's expensive, but when you find a great perfume that suits you, it's more than worth it! Enjoy!  A lot of the Bond fragrances are worth looking into.  



xo,
Viva

Monday, August 29, 2011

Beyonce's Red Carpet Bump!

I'm sure you've all heard the news by now that Beyonce is pregnant.  I just wanted to share this picture since it brought some joy and excitement to my otherwise dreary Monday morning.  Beyonce and Jay Z are a great example of love and marriage in the public eye, in my opinion.  They do seem to truly love each other and above all, have always remained very private which I have a lot of respect for.  They don't feel the need to pimp out every detail of their marriage for press (cough cough KIM K. cough), and I think it's exciting that they're expecting.  It does seem like a real marriage and like a real relationship with love.

And talk about a way to debut that baby bump!! Spectacular! Another red carpet memory made!

Well wishes to the happy family.

xo,
Viva

Monday, August 22, 2011

Absolutely Flawless, Ladies!

I know this doesn't really count as a real post, but I wanted to share this product with you all, and I will have a new post up soon!


Ladies, you must try this product by Too Faced:










A while back I shared a product by the name of "Erase Paste" with you, and I must say that this is even better, especially for those with oily skin.  Erase paste is better for people with dry skin.  Both products are pretty amazing, however if you are a fan of Makeup Forever's HD Liquid Foundation, you will like this.  Both Makeup Forever HD and Absolutely Flawless have the same silky consistency, except this product is more potent which makes for a great concealer.  It only comes in three shades, but all three shades are very versatile and since you will most likely be putting bronzer or powder on top of it to blend, you will most likely be able to make one of the three shades work for you.  Additionally, the product is extremely pigmented and you literally only need about the size of three pinheads to cover all of your problem areas, so this little tube will last forever.  I love it!  Available here!


Props to Danielle for turning me onto it!


Viva

Monday, July 18, 2011

Lamasrichie Gone?

I know I have some readers that found my blog through the Lamasrichie website, and today I discovered that the website is now down.  Using this post as a forum, does any one out there have any additional info about this?


I found her blog to be a lighthearted, humorous and whimsical website that was fun to read and converse on.   Apparently, many other readers took what she had to say much more seriously and subsequently felt the need to bash and hate on every little thing Shayne had to say, which is likely what caused her to stop updating the blog and eventually lead to the entire website being taken down.  My fear is that Shayne lost her heart in the project after reading the endless barrage of hate laden, PMS driven commentary.  In my opinion, there is nothing more cowardly and pathetic than the anonymous negative commenter.  If you don't have something nice to say, at the very least say it with your head held high or don't say it at all.  Reanalyze why you feel the need to comment negatively on someone's blog that you don't know or have never met.  I'm glad I did get to experience Shayne's blog for the short time that it was in existence.


Ladies, what's your take on the end of Lamasrichie?  We all knew it was coming.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

It's Time for Your Close-Up

Have you ever wondered why you can spend over an hour getting glamorous, done, pulling it all together until every last detail is smoothed down, straightened, highlighted, covered up, plucked and coiffed...looking fan-f*cking-tastic in the mirror, only to have pictures taken of you 15 minutes later come out looking more haggard than ever?  Why is that so?  Well, if you didn't already know...there is an art to taking a good picture.  Lets give this some quick thought.  Disclaimer - I am not a professional photog, and I am not a professional model.  This is my own normal person's guide to taking a decent picture.


1.  Angles
2.  Lighting 
3. Positioning
4. Being tan
5. Posture
6. Make up application 


All of these factors go into making or breaking a good picture, and if you can get at least 4 out of the six down...you'll be golden.




1.  The angle at which the camera is shooting you is probably the most obvious culprit of a bad picture...most of us know to avoid the from-below-triple-chin highlight angle, however there are a myriad of unflattering and flattering angles that you would benefit familiarizing yourself with.  For example, I happen to take better pictures from the left.  This works out well, as my best friend photographs better from the right.  So, when we're trying to "get our good sides" taken, we compliment each other well and are not fighting for sides.  Ridiculous?  A bit.  But, we know our angles and we use them to our advantage!  Do you?  I must add: it bugs me when a tabloid will run a obviously horrendous picture taken at a bad angle of a celebrity, claiming that they are on drugs or pregnant, etc...only to be photographed later that day or the next day looking fantastic.  Don't get confused...angles have that power!  The power to highlight your third eye pimple in the middle of your forehead, or the power to bring out your sexy lips.  You have some power in determining your photog fate.


2.  Lighting is probably the most important aspect of taking a picture, and is the primary reason why you can walk out of the house feeling like Giselle, only to photograph like Amy Winehouse coming off a four day bender.  I have heard that many celebrities, including Pamela Anderson (who are very in touch with the way they appear) have specific requirements as to which cameras and which flashes are allowed to take pictures of them.  It does make a significant difference.  Fluorescent lighting is the worst type of light - making skin look pasty, highlighting every little imperfection and creating gaunt shadows and awkward bone structures.  Avoid at all costs.  The best type of lighting for pictures in my experience is any kind of warm, ambient lighting - sunlight, yellow light, soft light.  And, the camera flash makes a LARGE difference as well.  In my experience, (which is still very immature - I am by no means a professional photog...my only knowledge comes from  vanity) Nikon camera flashes are the single most unflattering shades of blue, appearing cold and sharp - which highlights everything I DON'T want to know about myself or didn't know existed.  Once you begin to pay attention, you'll find what kind of lighting suits you the best.


3.  I'm going to lump positioning and posture in the same category - because it all has to do with the way you're making your body appear.  Obviously you don't want to slump, but you don't necessarily want to suck in, either.  Stand up straight, angle your head a slight bit, and figure out something nonawkward to do with your arms.  Stay away from anything too posey (the old hand-on-hip stance is beyond played out, yet is still a good go-to).  Variety is key - yes, you might look fabulous making a slight pouty face, camera angle coming from the left while your head is at a 37 degree angle, but too many of one type of pose begins to look silly and a tad ridiculous after the 45th picture in a row.  Mix it up - it'll take time but you will find what suits you the best...and candids always come out the best, in my opinion.  I know this is a lot of info to consider, but the more natural you are, the better...and you will get the hang of it.  I could also go on a tangent about wearing flattering clothing and how much of a difference that makes, but we will save that for an entirely different post.  Oh, and NO DUCK FACES.


4.  The tanner you are, the better the picture is going to come out.  Although cliche it really is true - being tan is flattering, especially in photos. Whether it's natural or fake, that's up to you.  However, make sure you invest in a good self or spray tanning system because appearing orange is NOT an acceptable look either.


5.  Certain makeup brands tend to cast a shadow in pictures.  Recently I was trying out NARS liquid foundation. In real life it was silky, smooth and went on with a clean, healthy glow.  However in pictures, it looked like I was wearing 4 layers of powder that was two shades too light, and it even seemed to highlight my undereye circles.  Ummm.... I though I paid $42 to AVOID that???  So, you will have to find the right makeup that works for you both in real life and in pictures.  For me, NARS did not cut it however I have a friend who uses that very product, and does not have that same issue.  Just because it didn't work for me or your other friend doesn't mean it won't work for you.  I recommend Makeup Forever HD liquid foundation, MAC Satinfinish Mineralize Liquid Foundation, and Bare Esscentuals has worked for me in the past as well (better for those with more oily skin).  These have all photographed nicely on me.  Using shadow and/or liner to define your eyes makes a difference as well...I don't know any girl who doesn't look sexier with a subtle smokey eyed look.  And, a dab of blush right on the apples of your cheeks (not up onto the cheekbone towards your temples) gives a healthy glow.  My favorite is Bare Escentuals Blush in Sorbet.


Good luck on your close up.






The difference between a bad picture and a good picture:



Now do you believe me?


Self tanner at it's worst.  Learn from my mistake. Lol.



Finally, a good one!


xo,
Viva

Friday, July 1, 2011

Writers' Block + New Tip!

Ladies, I've been having writers' block lately.  Throw some ideas my way!  


In the meantime, I have another product recommendation for you that gets the Vieve stamp of approval.  Verdict: Amazing!





Make Up Forever's HD Liquid Foundation.  Those of you who are my friends on Facebook have possibly already been made privy to this superstar product. This foundation is like butter on your skin.  It works for my skin, numerous friends' skin, and even my mom's skin.  This foundation really does go on like skin, not makeup.  It's very silky, and hides imperfections better than any foundation I've tried thus far.  I'm about a month in, and so far it has been very very nice.

I was on MAC's Mineralize Satinfinish Liquid Foundation prior to switching.  That is also a great foundation, especially with those who have dry skin because it leaves you very dewy.  However, I always suspected that it was causing breakouts for me as I have heard numerous times from a variety of sources that MAC foundations are infamous for causing breakouts.  In any case, Makeup Forever HD has succeeded Mineralize for me, and it might work for you as well!

Happy 4th of July!

Because as I've said before, we could all use some help.

xo
Viva


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Because we Could All Use Some Help


Ladies: anyone who needs a little help with undereye circles or other imperfections that concealer just doesn't seem to cut it with - please try this product by Benefit.  As a cosmetics company overall, I don't think that one could use only Benefit products on a daily basis, but they do have these random superstar products that I've found over the years and can't live without.  Similar to how one couldn't shop at just Trader Joes only for their grocery needs- but they sure do have some products that I absolutely LOVE and can't go without!  An example of this is Benefit's "Hoola" bronzer I've been using since I was 15 years old.  Over 10 years - WOW.  No other bronzer has been able to duplicate the perfect shade of naturally tan as Hoola, and most of my girlfriends agree. I think I might have found an equally awesome superstar product in this Erase Paste.

Like a concealer, but not really...more creamy and velvety than a concentrated concealer, yet the coverage is more than you'd expect by looking at it.  It has a nice melon tinge to it which I thought might be too pink for me, but ends up cutting redness and darkness really well.  It comes in only three shades, yet they all seem to somehow work for many different skin types and shades since this product is so curiously versatile.  The trick is to dab a bit on the top part of your hand and work with it like a palette of paint to avoid putting it on too thick.  Play around - I'm confident you'll love it.  I use the lightest shade, and it blends really nicely with my other makeup.

Recommended!  Available at these direct links: Sephora.com and Benefitcosmetics.com



Modeling my Benefit Erase Paste (not that you can really see it but what the hey)  ; )
[Dress by Nightcap Clothing, Sunnies by Carrera]

Friday, June 10, 2011

How it's Done



[Kate Middelton in Jenny Packham]



This is how it's done.  Perfection head to toe.  They are a truly exemplary couple, aren't they? 

Kate's gown is a perfect blend of age appropriate, event appropriate and status appropriate without being too showy.  You can be a global role model involved in international politics and still dress in attire that isn't unimaginative, like Angelina Jolie often does.  I appreciate that her main focus is charity and awareness, but she often looks so generic, yet everyone gives nothing but praises across the board.  Pfffft.

I love that Kate glams it up a bit without overdoing it.  She's officially a fashion icon in my book.

Am I making you sick yet?  ;-)



xo,
Viva

Thursday, June 9, 2011

No Strollers at the Wynn Las Vegas

Did you know that the Wynn/Encore Resort in Las Vegas has a no strollers policy?   I've been wanting to post something about this for a long time but have resisted, knowing that I will probably get a ton of backlash for my views on this.


I PRAISE the no stroller policy.  The world is filled with all kinds of special policies, special reduced family pricing/rates, rules, allowances, line cutting privileges, childrens' sections/tables, ECT ECT ECT ECT.  I appreciate that this is the ONE place that I can go to indulge without being bothered by other people's children and all the obstructions that come with them - i.e. strollers.  Vegas is not a place for children and I think this rule makes that very clear.

I understand it would be frustrating for a mom, and it might seem unfair.  But, some places are just NOT for children - and nobody seems to respect that.  I don't want to hear a screaming kid at the table next to me when I'm paying $400 for a nice steak dinner at the Wynn.  I'm sorry, but I don't want to be burdened by your choice to breed when I'm at the Wynn.  At the grocery store - fine, it's different, we're in public...the grocery store is a place for everyone.  But this is the WYNN LAS VEGAS - the Disneyland for adults ~ take your kids to the real Disneyland - the place that's MADE especially just for them.

End rant.

Not surprisingly, I wrote a blog about it!  It's called Baby Bullies.  Enjoy.  http://vievesverdict.blogspot.com/2010/11/baby-bullies.html

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"Perfect"

[People.com]


"I didn't expect this at all," the bride-to-be told People. "I was in such shock. I never thought it would happen at home, and I never thought now."


"In high school I went to Macy’s and bought this fake ring, my ‘perfect’ ring, and this is almost the exact same,” she says, staring down at the 20-plus-carat gem Humphries designed with jeweler Lorraine Schwartz, a longtime Kardashian friend..."


-Kim Kardashian, on her engagement to Kris Humphries




And there she is, beaming on the cover of People magazine, just days after the "surprise" proposal boasting her new 20.5 carat emerald-cut diamond ring.  Kim's desire to be married with children has been a prevalent theme on Keeping Up with the Kardashians for multiple seasons now.  Surprise?    They must have phoned People Magazine to set up the photo shoot within minutes of the proposal to make the weekly cover that's distributed every Wednesday.  


There's a difference between two people who belong together, and two people who feel like they should belong together.  This is a difficult topic for me to discuss and to express myself, because I want people to understand that I'm not speaking out against marriage in general. I'm speaking out about Fauxarriage.  


Is it just me, or do A LOT of people seem like they're getting married just to be married?  Because they feel they should be married.  To someone. ANYONE!!!  Why has it become so that people will say "yes" to marriage so willingly without actually being in love with the person?  Now, Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries may very well be deeply and genuinely in love. (eye roll).  Maybe they belong together (blah blah blah). I really don't want to judge them.  It just seems like she would have said an immediate YES! to any/the next guy who asks her that she's been dating for over a month.  She's been outspoken about wanting to be married and have children for years now - in interviews, on the shows, and from the surface this engagement reeks of desperation to me.  Is she really marrying him because she feels he is the one for her?  Or because she likes the look of a gigantic ring on her finger and desperately wants to have children?  Sham marriages in the public eye set such a bad example for others.  


You should only get married if you feel like it's your calling to be with this person. If  you couldn't imagine life without them because you love them so deeply.  Not because you feel like its the best thing to do, or because you're bored or want security in life.  And we question why the divorce rates are so high in this country?  I wrote a piece a while ago that I feel illustrates the Kim Kardashian syndrome very well.  Let me make this clear: I am not against marriage.  When two people are undeniably so perfect for each other, that their desire to become married is genuine and true, it's an unbelievably beautiful thing that I can only wish to have.  Its also very rare.  What are the chances that all these married people that surround us every day are actually soul mates and belong together, or just two shmucks that don't have too bad of fights and can withstand each other enough to endure a couple kids and 20 something years?  I'm going to go with the latter.


It really makes me appreciate true love, stories like this.  Maybe Kim and Kris are going to last.  Only time will tell.  When it comes to your marriage, however...don't do it just because you feel obligated.  True love reigns. 




Emerald-cut 20.5 carat ring, Lorraine Schwartz

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Gaunt Versus Thin: The Debate Rages On

The issue of being too thin rages on.  


Leanne Rhimes has been attracting a decent amount of negative attention for how thin and frail people believe she has become.  Here is a recent picture of her on her honeymoon in Mexico.




When I see this picture, I do wince a little bit.  It just doesn't look natural.  I don't think its only because she's too thin, however.  Hear me out.  For someone like Leanne who has an athletic build to begin with, being this thin tends to make the body look contorted and freakish looking.  Her frame is on the wide side, and I can tell that she naturally has a bit of muscle and is "big boned".  Her being this thin only highlights the abnormalities of her frame and makes her look boyish.   It's not a healthy or attractive look.  However, not all women look like this when they are on the too thin side.  Take this model for example (the one in the middle):






She is extremely thin.  But her proportional and more feminine body type make it so that how thin she actually is doesn't look as gaunt and emaciated, as with Leanne.  I'm not saying that being this thin is healthy or recommended, but I do think it's a good example of the importance of being in tune with your body type and what works for you.  If you are naturally a bit thicker, bigger boned or more athletic, embrace it!  I'm not saying jump on the "curvy women rule" bandwagon and use it as an excuse to scarf down a bunch of fattening and unhealthy food.  However, I will say that some women do look really good very thin, and some women should be a bit on the larger size.  The thin look works on this model, but definitely not on Leanne.  On the model it looks natural, on Leanne it's obvious that she has most likely abused her body to become this thin. 


Listen to your body.  You have to find your personal ideal size and shape. Don't idealize someone who has a different body type than you do.  It is unhealthy and will only contribute to a skewed reality.  I appreciate and have lusted after the body types of Audrina Patridge and Megan Fox...and then it dawned on me one day that I'm never going to be as voluptuous and womanly as they both are with the size negative A breasts I have.  I have a different role model that I follow - one that is more suited for my willowy body type.

As always, make sure you are getting enough nutrition. If you seem to be perpetually 5 or 10 pounds heavier because of this, so what.  It is SO worth it to be healthy.  Long term lack of nutrition is one of the number one things that will age you and give you various sorts of developmental disorders as you get older. PLENTY of fresh vegetables, lean protein, healthy fats and water.  A good food based vitamin and probiotics work miracles as well.



xo,
Viva

Monday, May 23, 2011

Cannes 2011

Vanessa Hudgens in Fendi
Frumpy fabric and a frumpy cut = a frumpy Hudgens.  Cute for an innocent, younger look....maybe thats why she chose it.  To stray away from her XXX antics in recent history.






Bar Rafeli in Roberto Cavalli
This is the definition of sex appeal.  The dress hugs her curves unbelievably, and I love the deep sea blue color as a fresh look opposed to black, which is what I'd expect to see this dress as.  The cutouts are at interesting locations, giving just the right amount of tasteful curiosity combined with sexuality.   Additionally, her swept back hair adds the perfect polished touch to this look. 




Angelina Jolie in Atelier Versace 
I wish Angelina Jolie would take more risks in fashion.  There's something to be said for classic beauty, but most of the pieces she wears are so safe and generically "good" - and this gown is no exception.  There's nothing about this look that makes it memorable or showstopping.  And taffeta is never a favorite of mine.  Is it just me or is her hair bed-headish and in no way Cannesworthy?  



Brooke Shields in Roberto Cavalli
This is matronly, unflattering and reminds me of a moo-moo.  Also, what does the huge printed flower resemble?  Yea.


Gwen Stefani in Lanvin
This was my favorite look at Cannes.  It's bold, classic, yet non-traditional.  I love the gold belt, and the swept back hair is perfect for the heaviness that this dress brings.  YES.


Gwen Stefani in Armani Prive
Compared to the previous dress we just visited, this one falls short in a big way.  The bodice does not fit her ribcage well and is hovering away from her body, giving her that dreaded "flat chested gap" that is never attractive.  Additionally, the eye makeup is piled on too thick, which ages her in my opinion.



Penelope Cruz in Marchesa
I love this gown on her.  Its light, refreshing and ethereal...perfect for spring.  It is a good accompaniment to Depp's ice-white sportscoat.  And, I love the nude look it provides with certain parts of her skin peeking through without being too revealing.



Kirstin Dunst in Chanel
This is the BEST I've seen Kirstin Dunst in a long time.  I wish she would choose to dress like this more often and stray away from her ironic hipster look.  She looks beautiful here!  Well done.



In Chanel
This is another surprisingly great look from Dunst.  A bit similar to the other dress, but hey I'll take it.  The only thing I'd change are the non-matching shoes.  Good job!



Mischa Barton in ?
Very happy to see Mischa Barton looking cleaned up.  She's really becoming our generation's Courtney Love, I think.  She looks cute and girly here.  She's a pretty girl underneath the grunge.  I'm glad she opted to wear nylons, as we wouldn't want another dreaded reveal.  It is imperative to always wear proper undergarments, wardrobe tape, ect. to make sure your look is polished, not seedy.  Nude fishnets are one of my favorite go-to's instead of nude pantyhose.  They give you the coverage that you want and look chic, unlike traditional skin colored nylons that resemble tap dancer show tights or early 90's corporate wear.


 Rachel McAdams in Marchesa
This dress reminds me of the spring '10 Givenchy line.  Good on the runway, confusing in person on most people.  Too artistic for most women to pull off, and as no exception, I'm not loving the dress on her.  The dress itself is intricate and wonderfully detailed, but I think she's just the wrong person to carry a dress like this.  Someone like Gwen Stefani or Dita Von Teese would have rocked it.  Sorry to say, but Rachel McAdams just doesn't have enough presence or drama to work this.



Salma Hayek in Gucci
This dress is not a favorite of mine.  It looks waxy and stiff, and the heavy feather bolero is drag queen reminiscent.  And, the matte brick red color (with the matching shoes) is too muted and takes away from her natural beauty.



 Sarah Jessica Parker in Elie Saab
This would have worked better on a younger woman.  The colors and the pattern come off as a bit aged.




Tilda Swinton in ? and Roger Vivier Heels
I really love this look.  It's perfect for a formal affair during the daytime.  It's professional, feminine yet still powerful at the same time.  I'd love to rock this outfit at work any day of the year!



Uma Thurman in Versace
I absolutely LOVE this.  Refreshing, whimsical and mercurial in the way it moves.  It accents her body very well.  It definitely makes the grand entrance that you want when arriving at Cannes!