Event: Sophie Kinsella Celebrates Shopaholic to the Stars at Red Door Spa

Shopaholic to the Stars
Shopaholic to the Stars

On Monday night, author Sophie Kinsella celebrated the release of her new novel in the Shopaholic series, SHOPAHOLIC TO THE STARS! I’ve been a huge fan of the series for years – and so is my mom!

Our Elizabeth Arden red lips.
Our Elizabeth Arden red lips.

We enjoyed mini-makeovers by Elizabeth Arden makeup artists. My mom got a new red lipstick and I got a new eyebrow powder. We also got mini oxygen facials and had snacks, Skinnygirl wine and cupcakes. And check out this Lanvin bag-shaped cake! Who else is excited to read about Becky Brandon (nee Bloomwood)?

Let them eat Lanvin.


Book Review: Backlash by Sarah Darer Littman

If you follow me on Goodreads, you know that I’m a big fan of YA. The Voracious Reader bookstore graciously lent me a copy of BACKLASH by Sarah Darer Littman, which deals with cyberbullying and the resulting fallout.

I tore through Sarah Darer Littman’s last book, WANT TO GO PRIVATE? and I’m happy to report that BACKLASH delivered the same level of page-turning suspense. The book is told from four perspectives, or two sets of siblings: Lara, her younger sister Sydney, Lara’s former friend Bree, and Bree’s younger brother Liam.

The book opens with Lara’s suicide attempt after a boy named Christian breaks up with her online, explains the events that lead up to the attempt two months prior, and takes the readers through the resulting fallout and the families trying to rebuild their lives. What I liked about this book was that I got a strong sense of each character’s motivation for behaving the way he/she did — even the parents. The events in the book are partly inspired by real events, so the book could have gone the direction of a Lifetime movie, but it didn’t. Instead, each character gets his/her chance to explain to the reader how he/she feels. The result is a thoughtful look at the impact that our actions, online and off, can have on others. This book asks an important question: does someone who bullies someone else deserve to be bullied in return?

BACKLASH will be out in March 2015.

Budget-Friendly Halloween Ideas

The fall and Halloween season is one of my favorites, but the costs associated with decorating and dressing up for Halloween can be, well… scary.

If you’re searching for affordable costume ideas, the internet (and Pinterest!) can be a great resource. When I was a college student with very little to spend, I once found a “Smarty Pants” costume idea online. All you have to do is attach Smarties Candies all over your pants! Cost: about $6, although drunk people may not get it. Still, it beats spending $50 and up for a pre-packaged costume. Another Tinkerbell? Yawn…

I found this list of 101 Cheap Homemade Halloween Costumes on PopSugar and my favorite is the Firefox costume! You’ll need orange clothing if you don’t already have it, fox ears, a tail,  an inflatable globe, and you’re done. It’s perfect if you’re ballin’ on a budget.

Facebook costume. Photo credit: coolest-homemade-costumes.com

Other good costume ideas can be riffs on pop culture and/or things that have been in the news lately. I’ve seen people dress up as a Facebook profile, and I know someone who is dressing as Ebola this year.

Crap! It's almost Halloween again! 🎃

A post shared by Dots, Patchez 🐮 and BUTTONS 🐼 (@fatcatdots) on

Pet costumes can cost a lot as well. The best places to find affordable options are eBay and thrift stores. I picked up this adorable pumpkin costume for Dots from Goodwill for just a few dollars – and it’s brand new!

candy corn nails!

If you’re opting not to dress up this year, Halloween-themed nails can be a fun way to celebrate, too. I came across these Hocus Pocus nails on CollegeCandy.com and there are lots of candy corn manicure options on Pinterest.

Of course, the best day of the year to buy Halloween candy, costumes and decorations is November 1st, when they’re all 50% off. It’s one of my favorite days of the year!

Pink Friday: Prada Nylon Tote, Inspired by Sharpay Evans

Welcome to Pink Friday, a feature in which I share my favorite pink things.

A few years ago, I was buying a neon pink Marc by Marc Jacobs bag at Barneys. “This color is very in-your-face,” remarked the cashier. I laughed and said, “I’m very in your face.” My best friend still teases me for that. However, as someone who wears a lot of black, I think there’s something special about a brightly colored handbag.

Ashley Tisdale/Sharpay Evans
Ashley Tisdale/Sharpay Evans

Ashley-Tisdale-as-Sharpay-Evans said it best in High School Musical:

“Fetch me my Jimmy Choo flip-flops/Where is my pink Prada tote?
I need my Tiffany hairband/And then I can go for a float.”

This season, Prada has made the ultimate pink tote.

Pink Prada tote, $830.

The term “pop of color” is overused in fashion writing, but I do think that’s what this tote is. “I need something inspiring to help me get along/I need a little fabulous; is that so wrong?”