Starbucks “Holidays Rule” CD

I am not the world’s biggest fan of Christmas music, but I thought I would give this one a listen since it features several of my favorite bands. The CD is well-done and is a more modern take on the Christmas classics. I like how each musician/band made the song their own without distorting the song into something unrecognizable. I will most definitely be picking up the “Holidays Rule” CD and listening to it throughout the Christmas season.

Track List:

Sleigh Ride – Fun.
Wonderful Christmastime – The Shins
Baby, It s Cold Outside – Rufus Wainwright featuring Sharon Van Etten
The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire) – Paul McCartney with Diana Krall
(Everybody s Waitin for) The Man with the Bag – Black Prairie featuring Sallie Ford
I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day – The Civil Wars
Green Grows the Holly – Calexico
We Need a Little Christmas – AgesandAges
That s What I Want for Christmas – Holly Golightly
May Ev’ry Day Be Christmas – Irma Thomas with Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Blue Christmas – Heartless Bastards
Santa, Bring My Baby Back (To Me) – Eleanor Friedberger
It’s Beginning to Look Like Christmas -Fruit Bats
Señor Santa (Mister Santa) – Y La Bamba
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel – Punch Brothers
What Are You Doing New Year s Eve? – The Head and the Heart
Auld Lang Syne – Andrew Bird

Studio 921 Salon & Day Spa

I have decided to slowly begin reviewing locations– such as spas, restaurants, stores, and more–  either around me or places I visit. The reviews will hopefully turn people on to some really fantastic stores and businesses that truly stand out and deserve recognition.

Studio 921 Salon and Day Spa— located at 921 E. Fort Ave in Baltimore, MD— has been named as one of the top salons in Baltimore for 4 years in a row and has also been featured in American Elle magazine as places to go for hair. I went to 921 for the first time yesterday after a hairdresser I had been going to for about two years dyed my hair black (I asked for a brown-red!) and chopped all of it off. Needless to say, I was a upset (I was up until three in the morning on Thanksgiving scrubbing Dawn soap into my hair trying to get the color out) and I was panicking. I honestly could not go back to college with that hair– it would have been horrible. So, my mother booked me an appointment at 921, which squeezed me in at the last minute.

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921 is located in an old factory that has been refurbished for businesses and offices in Locust Point, which is next to Federal Hill. The minute you walk into 921, you notice the clean space and juxtaposition of the old structure and modern furniture. It feels sleek, modern, and welcoming and instantly relaxed me as I walked in (with a large hat over my hair, of course).

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I was immediately taken back into the studio, where Beth, the technician, treated my hair. She was wonderful– not only did she get the color out in a way that did not ruin my hair, but she put in the color I asked for. She was very kind and did her job expertly. After she fixed my hair color, I was taken to Joe, who changed the kindergartener-like haircut into something Vidal Sassoon would marvel at. He expertly snipped at the layers and made it both grown-up and edgy, which is exactly what I wanted.

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921 offers many more services besides haircuts and hair dyes– they offer manicures, massages, waxes, and most spa treatments. I know a friend, who suffered a bad back injury while playing rugby, who went to 921 for a massage for her chronic back pain. She not only said that it felt nice and relieved her pain, but it also helped her straighten her posture and the effects lasted much longer than she expected.

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Overall, Studio 921 and Day Spa is a fantastic place to go to for any spa treatments or for your hair. The employees are extremely attentive and will not let you walk out unless you are 100% happy with your services. I truly loved my experience there and will be going back to Beth and Joe for all of my future hair appointments.

And the best part about it all? I walked out of there without the hat on my head.

What do you think? Have you been to Studio 921 and Day Spa? And are you interested in going there for services?

Phone: (410) 783-7727 

Service Hours:

Monday: 11 AM — 6 PM

Tuesday: 11 AM — 8 PM

Wednesday: 11 AM — 8 PM

Thursday: 11 AM — 8 PM

Friday: 10 AM — 6 PM

Saturday: 9 AM — 5 PM

Sunday: 10 AM — 5 PM 

http://www.studio921spa.com/

Has Black Friday Gone Too Far?

Black Friday has been considered the start of the Christmas shopping season by many and for many years, but has this day begun to go too far?

What made me question Black Friday was an advertisement done by Toys R Us, which was advertising that it would open its doors for Black Friday on Thursday (Thanksgiving) at 8 p.m. I am not saying that there is anything wrong with businesses looking to be the first open on this highly competitive day (I am a business major, after all), but I feel that it is wrong to make employees cut their Thanksgiving traditions even shorter by making them come in and work on that night. Is there something wrong about refusing to open your doors until midnight, when it is technically Friday? After all, the employees most likely celebrate Thanksgiving and have families too– so, by making them come in early to work and spend less time with their families, aren’t we basically telling corporations that this is okay? Aren’t we also then saying that Thanksgiving is less important to us than a made-up holiday that simply supports the consumerism of Christmas?

Personally, while I will be participating in Black Friday this year, I refuse to go out when the stores open before midnight. It is rough enough on the employees to make them work on the craziest day of the year, but to force them away from their homes and families even sooner is just plain wrong. So, while I don’t expect people to not go to these stores the minute they open (I am sure there will be plenty of people lining up on Thanksgiving to get in the minute the doors open), I simply say that if this dilema bothers you like it does me, then wait to go out.

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What do you think? Do you think it is okay for businesses to open their doors on Thanksgiving to start Black Friday earlier? And when do you think Black Friday should start?

What to Wear for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a holiday defined by spending time with family, parades, (american) football, and eating more food than your stomach can possibly contain. Well, there are different types of outfits to wear for different events during the day– but with so many people visiting and seeing you, you will never look unfashionable.

Parade/Outdoor Activities:

Whether you are going to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York or the one in your small town, parades on Thanksgiving are activities to be seen and to impress your family, friends, and neighbors. This is the time to wear layers and a nice pair of boots– comfort, but with style. I suggest a nice warm sweater that is belted, a pair of dark skinny jeans, a stylish cross-body bag, and either interesting shoes (preferably in a pattern) or a bright scarf. Remember a stylish coat and gloves as well.

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Thanksgiving Dinner

Whether you are eating out, at another person’s house, or your own house, what you wear can make or break the impression people have of you and everything about you. No lie, a friend of mine turned a horribly burnt turkey into something no one audibly complained about just because she looked stunning, which made everything around her seem just as lovely.

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For a more casual Thanksgiving dinner, I suggest a simple dress, unique accessoires that spice up the outfit, and trendy (but comfortable) shoes. You want to impress people and look nice, but you don’t want to look “posh” in a casual and intimate environment.

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If you need to go out to a fancy restaurant, a family member’s house, or to your in-laws’ house, then you should consider dressing more formal. Wear a nice dress that hits the knee or lower in length and has a modest neckline. As well, consider wearing a nice coat and/or blazer. Be bold in your jewelry– just not too bold– and make your accessories (i.e. your purse and shoes) ladylike yet modern.

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What do you think? How are you celebrating Thanksgiving– and will it be formal or informal? What do you think of the suggestions given, or do you have any more to offer?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Chanel Model to Play Yves Saint Laurent in Film

For the past few days rumors have been circulating that French actor and model Gaspard Ulliel will play famous French designer Yves Saint Laurent in a film under the same title. Ulliel is known for his work as the cover-boy of Chanel Blue fragrance (oh, you know the ad). Bertrand Bonello, who debuted his film House of Tolerance at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, is also scheduled to co-write and direct the film.

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I am interested to see how this develops. With the recent film Laurent biography L’Amour Fou, I am cautious to see something that has someone playing Laurent (L’Amour was that brilliant). Whether Ulliel will be a good Laurent, I am unsure of. He is a talented actor (and French), but I am unsure of whether anyone can pull off the complexities of this man effectively. Still, I will not complain to the notion of Ulliel in a pair of square, hipster classes.

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What do you think? Are you excited for the film? And do you think Ulliel can play Laurent well?

Fall Trend #8: Chunky Heels

Did you know that there is a correlation between the heaviness of your heels and the economy? Yes, there is. Dainty heels are associated with wealth, while chunky/heavy heels are associated with the middle class and poor. This is why this trend took off with such force in the 1990s and the grunge movement. So, what does this have to do with the current state of the economy?

Well, the economy has been on a slow recovery and is still in a less than ideal place, and with such movements as Occupy Wall Street occurring, it has become a bad thing to be considered wealthy. It means you are out of touch with reality and do not care about the current state of the economy.

So, thus Fashion Week for Fall was covered in chunky shoes. From Prada to Alexander McQueen, the chunky shoe became the most enviable thing on the runways. I recently bought a pair of chunky heels from Mossimo and have been wearing them non-stop (even on a 300-some odd acre college campus).

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I personally think that Jeffrey Campbell has the best style for this trend. He has been doing the chunky heel for years and has been selling his shoes at such stores as Urban Outfitters and American Apparel, two of my favorite stores. This style was popular amongst the “hipsters” for a while, and it has now been accepted by the mainstream consumer.

Chunky shoes go well with pretty much anything– it just depends on the specific style of the shoe and your style as well.

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What do you think of this trend? Do you like it or hate it?