Style: a Peek Inside the Rachel Zoe Winter Box

Okay, I must say I’m getting quite used to receiving my seasonal box of goodies. After all, it is curated by one stylish team.  So for the past two years I feel it would not be a start to a new season without it.  So there!This time the box was waiting for me on my arrival to Palm Springs.  And as usual I already had a look ahead at what was in store.  Because as much as I love an element of surprise….I just can’t help myself. And it’s always fun to get a little spoiled.  So here’s what’s INSIDE THE WINTER BOX:

RACHEL ZOE FOR BOX OF STYLE CLUTCH (in black or white)

Designed exclusively for Box of Style, Rachel drew inspiration from her favorite periods in fashion – the deco elegance of the 20s and the effortless glamour of the 60s and 70s.  Retail value: $125

HOUSE OF HARLOW 1960 MESA EARRINGSRachel collaborated with her dear friend Nicole Richie on these stunning earrings exclusively for Box of Style. These statement-makers can work into any look for that extra dose of sparkle.  Retail value: $115

OSEA
ESSENTIAL HYDRATING OIL

Hydration is everything. Apply as your first step in the morning and your last step before bed. It’s also perfect to keep in your handbag as your on-the-go refresher. Retail value: $68

TARTE
SEX KITTEN LIQUID LINER

A sleek cat eye transcends both time and style. From black-tie glam to rock ’n’ roll flair, it’s the ultimate finishing touch.  Retail value: $20

FAUX FUR STOLE (as in Unreal)

Pair this luxe alternative to your winter scarf with anything from a cocktail dress to a cozy sweater to completely elevate your look.  Retail value: $85

SUGAR PAPER “THE AGENDA”

In today’s digital world, many people still prefer to write things down, Rachel included. She chose motivating words from extraordinary women who inspire her every day, in hopes they will motivate you in the new year. I’m motivated!  Retail value: $48

I think this is a really fun and worthwhile subscription.  For as little as $100 you receive over $400 of luxury fashion and beauty selected for you each season.

Here’s how to order:

http://boxofstyle.thezoereport.com/

Don’t forget to tell them I sent you.

 

 

 

 

 

The Last Movie: The Last Movie Star

The closing choice to end the Palm Springs International Film Festival was a movie about faded fame and growing old.It was also a movie about a small town film festival awarding a lifetime achievement award to an over-the-hill beloved ex movie star.

An overall great character study with an ageing Burt Reynolds in the starring role and a precociously under dressed, depressed, complex young woman perfectly played by Ariel Winter (Modern Family).  An almost unrecognizable Chevy Chase plays Sonny, friend to Vic Edwards (Reynolds character) who urges him to go to Knoxville, Tennessee to collect his award.

I loved this movie by Adam Rifkin (in attendance) who said that Burt Reynolds was his childhood idol.  He wrote the movie specifically for Burt and sent the script to his agent saying that if he decided not to do it, he would not make it period.  He got a call the very next day from Burt Reynolds.  Reynolds said that if the script was sent to him ten years ago the answer would be “no” but at this stage in his life he was ready.  I loved that he spliced film clips from Reynolds old movies like Deliverance & Smoky and the Bandit alongside what he looks like now.  It’s quite bittersweet to witness the differences between now and then.

And it’s a movie that makes you think about life in general.  Not just that of an ex-famous movie star.  It has all the necessary elements for audience appeal.  Humor, feel-good, sadness, regret, choices.  Some of the scenes brought tears to my eyes.  It was completely human and utterly charming.

What woman did not fall for the charms of Burt Reynolds in his glory days?  What a hunk he was with personality to top it all off.  Handsome, funny, talented with substance.  I mean just look at the women he used to date from Sally Field (the one who got away) to Dinah Shore.  How time flies.

I found this film to be a refreshing and honest look at life.  I highly recommend seeing it when it comes to a theatre near you sometime this year.  Especially if you like (or used to like) Burt Reynolds.

Then. It was a centrefold from Cosmopolitan Magazine. Yes, I had it!

Tomorrow: Best of Fest.  If you’re in the Palm Springs area you will want to check this out:  https://www.psfilmfest.org/2018-ps-film-festival/films/best-of-the-fest

 

 

 

Documentary: Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood

As you may know I’m in Palm Springs where the International Film Festival (PSIFF) is still in full swing until it ends on the 15th.

Scotty Bower then

As you may also know I very unfortunately had to miss a whole bunch of great story telling due to some kind of awful virus I picked up.  So for my second movie only since arriving here on December 31st, just beginning to feel myself again, I chose a documentary. Documentaries are some of my favorite story telling because of the truth involved.

Also, this one was directed by Matt Tyrnauer who directed the phenomenal documentary feature Valentino: The Last Emperor (2009), which was short listed for an Oscar Nomination in 2010.  He’s also a special correspondent for Vanity Fair Magazine.  He was in attendance as was his subject, Scotty Bowers, a now 94 year old man with a carefree attitude and great smile.  And one amazing story.  Oh do tell…

Scotty and the Gang

After returning from Marine Corps combat during World War II, this handsome young man arrived in Los Angeles and started pumping gas and pimping (for lack of a better word although he’d prefer to say he ran an introduction service) at 5777 Hollywood Blvd. The gas station is no longer, but the memories are.

As Bowers tells it, an overture from a seemingly unlikely customer, the tweedy gentlemanly actor Walter Pidgeon, led to Hollywood connections with some of the biggest names at the time.  Names I won’t repeat here (you’ll have to see it yourself). Scotty got some of his pals into the act and pretty soon the Richfield station was flooded with customers looking for a quick trick.  The town pump.

Well this is old Hollywood news, is it not? I mean Hollywood has a history and we’ve heard the stories before (yawn, yawn).  Well….not exactly…like this Trust me when I tell you there’ll  be some new and eye raising reveals.  Really!

And then you’ve got to ask yourself “why am I here?”  I mean in the sense of being in a sold-out audience room full of voyeurs like yourself finding out personal information on people you’ve only heard about going back years before your time.  With a little bit of embarrassment for being party to it.  But then relishing the wicked information told through Scotty’s adventures.

As the story delves into his tortured past we can’t help but wonder if Scotty was making his own escape from reality.

The story is told extremely well, it flowed perfectly with just the right amount of interviews, humor involved and naughty intrigue.  A perfect afternoon escape with a man who makes no apologies for his choices – having been the discreet pleasure pleaser of the past to both sexes. Until aids came around to claim the life of Rock Hudson and he decided to shut it down.  As he put it “I enjoyed helping others.

Scotty and his wife Lois Now

And in the manufactured Hollywood of yesteryear there was definitely a time and place for Scotty’s services and that of his posse.  Full Service indeed and Full Steam Ahead!

For tickets (while available):

https://www.psfilmfest.org/2018-ps-film-festival

 

 

Hello hello…

Good riddance 2017!

If you take away the “o” in “Hello” that’s what kind of  year it’s been.

That may sound harsh, but realistically it was the worst year of my life. It was not only a  year full of  world catastrophes and lives lost to the cruel irrational behaviour of degenerates on the news every other day, but for me it was a year chock full of deep seated challenge and great personal loss.   But I did have three good things happen.  I purchased a little piece of paradise in Palm Springs and one more dog to enjoy it with.  I also reconnected with my childhood bestie all the way back to grade school in Montreal.  Other than that…. 

I couldn’t wait for 2017 to end and didn’t make any New Year’s resolutions.  Only reflections on the year left behind and what lies ahead.  So after a quick toast to a new year and an off to bed early evening, it didn’t exactly start off as planned.  I found my place in the sun but I’m writing this from bed where I’ve been for the third day in a row.  I don’t remember being this sick.  Coughing, listless and a bit dizzy when I get up although I managed to do a little better today.  Nothing seems to be working. Feeling a little sorry for myself. There’s an epidemic going around California so I hear.  Thank you very much. California welcomed me with open arms and a virus.

I’m hopeful things will get better because it’s only the second week of a new year.  A fresh new start. And nothing can be worse than what I went through last year up until the very end I might add. I’m not looking for miracles or expecting that a new year will make all the sadness and madness erased from my memory (which as I’m writing this reminds me of the movie (“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”) but I plan to make positive changes, handle some things differently, learn from bad experiences (which is the only positive thing I can come up with from having had a bad experience), remove people from my life who have not been there for me when I most needed them (you know who you are) and find some peace of mind. And live stress free as long as I can.

I came out here with media credential to cover the Palm Springs Int’l Film Festival (which is one of the largest film festivals in North America with an incredible film lineup and movie stars in attendance for the celebratory annual Film Awards Gala, and a host of other exciting parties ).  I saw the opening night movie but missed a bunch more I wanted to see but it doesn’t end until the 14th so we’ll see how I make out. I missed a screening of “Wonder Woman” with Gal Gadot in attendance, “The Polka King” with Jack Black in attendance and also Annette Benning was here for “Movie Stars don’t die in Liverpool”.  Darn!

After the opening there was a reception at the Palm Springs Art Museum (I love that building) but I went straight home after the movie ended.  I wasn’t planning to schmooze with the stars, it was enough seeing Steven Spielberg, Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks give a half hour talk about their very first collaborated film together.  It was informal and very interesting.  And let’s face it, they are the crème de la crème.

When I got to the theatre looking for the red carpet a man visiting from Boston went to his car, grabbed his sweatshirt and made me put it on after he heard me cough and decided I wasn’t covered up enough.  That’s what gentlemen are like!  I know because I was married to one.  And you’ve got to love people from Boston.

Getting back to last year, I lost a total of six people.  My husband, one of my best friends, a friend I only met last summer but who was awesome, and three other good people I knew.  When people say “well you know we’re at that age when we start to lose people in our lives” I cannot accept that.  If only because one of those people was a 38 year old woman, a man in his fifties who was senselessly murdered (wrong place, wrong time) and two others in their fifties. So you would never say to the friend of the 38 year old “well you know you’re at that age….”  It just doesn’t make sense to me.  Because as it so happens some people die young.  It’s the god awful truth.

So if last year taught me anything at all it’s that you cannot control in many circumstances the way things turn out. This year I’ll try to calm down, listen to my intuition, make the most of the life I’ve been given and accept change the best I can.  We need to still believe in love, have a sense of humour and family is the most important. And true friendship. Believe me you get to see who your real friends are when lightening strikes.  It’s good to know.

So if you were given a chance to erase from your mind all the bad things that happened would you do it?  You know what…as tempting as that sounds I don’t think I would play around with mother nature.  These are life lessons and hard school knocks and apparently they are character building. I’m quite the character I’m told. And I know that this year no matter what, it has to be better than last!

Here’s to an upswing of a Bright New Year!

 

 

 

Art/Culture/History: “The Post”

OPENING NIGHT – Palm Springs International Film Festival 2018 (PSIFF)

Clip from the film

There is a saying about relationships in Washington: If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog. – Katharine Graham

The feature film began with a panel discussion with the key players on the stage of Palm Springs High School.

Streep, Hanks & Spielberg

Katharine Graham for those of you unfamiliar, was America’s first female Fortune 500 CEO. As the renowned publisher of ‘The Washington Post,’ she guided the newspaper to national prominence, most notably when it published The Pentagon Papers and reported on the Watergate scandal.

Meryl Streep stars as Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham and Tom Hanks as editor Ben Bradlee in Steven Spielberg’s gripping true life drama behind the publication of the Pentagon Papers in Nixon’s White House. This history making movie at the time of an incensed, vindictive president meant risking careers and the future of the newspaper.

A cover-up that spanned four U.S. Presidents pushed the country’s first female newspaper publisher and a hard-driving editor to join an unprecedented battle between journalist and government.

Decades of government lies which led the U.S. into the mire of the Vietnam War were lifted from top secret files. The risk of publishing them was greater than great.

Spielberg, Streep, Hanks

Words to live by:

It’s hard to remake decisions and even harder to rethink nondecisions. Sometimes you don’t really decide, you just move forward, and that is what I did—moved forward blindly and mindlessly into a new and unknown life.

A long time ago I had to decide whether to be a lady who lunched or a women who worked. – Katharine Graham, Personal History

The festival runs until January 15th.  Check out the film and events lineup here:

https://www.psfilmfest.org/2018-ps-film-festival

 

Art/Culture/Film – Palm Springs International Film Festival 2018

Movie Magic 2018

Can you keep a secret?

The Palm Springs International Film Festival tradition of the Secret Screening continues, sharing a brand-new, yet-to-premiere film with only the most discreet of discerning filmgoers. You won’t know the title of the film until you see it on the screen, and once you’re in on the secret you can’t spill the beans. No talking, texting or tweeting before, during or after. While we can’t disclose specifics, we can tell you that this classified title features one of this year’s Film Awards honorees alongside one from 2017. It’s a story that may be familiar, but we promise you’ve never seen it like this before. Ohhhh….

Alongside Films and Documentaries from…

Pop Eye

The heartwarming journey of a man and his elephantThailand

To

Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood

A fascinating, dishy documentary about the life and times of Scotty Bowers, who, after serving in the Marines in WWII stumbled into a career satisfying the sexual desires of some of the most famous people in Hollywood, both male and female.

And Everything in BetweenAs a member of the PSIFF media to cover screenings and events, I look forward to sharing some stimulating stories with you.

Perhaps with a touch of stimulating Pinot

HAPPY NEW YEAR

Feel-good Friday: little differences

To err is human—to forgive, canine.

Getting cleaned up for the holidays

Owners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are god. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are gods.

Christopher Hitchens, The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever

Natasha (Tasha for short) is the new addition to my friend Rosa’s life. And you can bet she’s a princess.  So is the cat.

Jia Jia models a gift from uncle Michael

Not to be outdone by Layla who definitely has attitude.

Just give me a comfortable couch, a dog, a good book, and a woman. Then if you can get the dog to go somewhere and read the book, I might have a little fun. – Groucho Marx

Wishing you a warm and cuddly holiday season

 

Beauty: Erno Laszlo – the original skin maestro

The Hungarian-born dermatologist and skin care guru who founded the Ernő László Institute may be living no longer, but his skincare line is alive and thriving at high end department stores such as Holt Renfrew (Canada) and Saks Fifth Avenue (USA). Now celebrating 90 years of glamour.

Ava, Audrey, Greta, Marilyn, Jackie O – they were all devotees.

With numerous choices at the beauty counter and abundance of new lines cropping up it’s nice to look back to an influential original.  Some of the product line was gifted at a recent women’s fundraising luncheon so I’m testing them out.  So far, no complaints.

I OWE 50% OF MY BEAUTY TO MY MOTHER AND THE OTHER 50% TO ERNO LASZLO, – AUDREY HEPBURN

The philosophy is that there’s more to skincare than meets the eye. Skincare isn’t just about taking care of your skin at the surface: it’s about total body wellness. Taking care of your skin begins from the inside out. Good diet, nutrition, and dedication to a skincare ritual will keep your skin healthy, clear, and glowing.

The Laszlo bespoke double cleansing duos let you customize your routine to meet your skin’s unique needs.

why cleansing oils?

Nourishing Cleansing Oils soothe and soften skin by gently breaking up dirt, makeup and other impurities without stripping your complexion of precious moisture.  Yes, I knew that! I thought I was the one who invented that idea.

why cleansing bars?

Indulgent Cleansing Bars boast game-changing antioxidants and botanicals, plus soap inherently combats oil on contact. Translation? Bye-bye bacteria, hello fresh glow. Okay, I didn’t know that.  My mom always told me to stay away from using soap on my face but maybe this is a whole different bar of soap.

why together?

Depending on your skin care need they help to exfoliate, brighten, firm, hydrate or soothe. When combined, the cleansing oil and cleansing bar create a rich cleansing mask that gently washes away oil and debris from pores.  They impart active ingredients to your skin that work to target your skin concern long after cleansing is done.

And of course there’s everything else in the line such as serums, creams and such.

Have you tried anything in this line?

 

Style: a parody for non conformists

Genderless, androgynous, intersexual..whatever you want to call it,

Ryan Gosling on SNL

designers have been creating collections that both men and women can wear for a while now. Infact my last style post was about the dual jumpsuit which I personally prefer on women but still.  And we know girls like to borrow their boyfriends jeans .

We also know real style is personal but when it comes to wearing jeans everything goes.  Depending on our mood and our body type we can choose from skinny to slightly sloppy boyfriend style, cropped, high waisted, wide-legged and everything in-between.  And for purists Levi’s are still #1.

So when SNL recently did a skit on Woke jeans, made for a generation that defies labels, I had a good laugh. Because sometimes we need to take fashion with a grain of humor.

https://vimeo.com/236776084

What do you think?

 

Food: One-Pan Salmon with potatoes and romaine

Dinner Simplified

This easy salmon recipe gives you the main course and sides all at once, so fewer pots and pans to clean later.  Plus I happened to have tiny potatoes and romaine to use up in my fridge. And sometimes all you need are just three ingredients. 

Makes 4 servings

1 pound baby Yukon Gold potatoes (or other bite-sized)

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Four 6-ounce salmon fillets

1 tablespoon melted butter

¼ teaspoon paprika

2 hearts romaine lettuce

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

2. In a medium bowl, toss the potatoes with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil; arrange in a single layer on a greased baking sheet.

3. Roast the potatoes in the oven until slightly golden and fork tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

4. While the potatoes roast, cut 2 romaine hearts in half and rub with 2 tablespoons olive oil and the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

5. Brush the salmon fillets with the melted butter. Season each fillet with paprika and salt and pepper to taste.

6. Arrange the romaine and salmon on the baking sheet with the potatoes. Continue roasting for 5 to 7 minutes more, until the lettuce is tender and the fish is cooked through.

7. To serve, divide the potatoes, romaine and salmon among four plates.

For when you fancy nothing fancy; just good!