Clean and Crisp Wednesday, Apr 25 2012 

With the boom of Pinterest, anyone who isn’t planning their wedding-real or imaginary- is definitely decorating their one day “dream house.” The magic of home décor is that, unlike wedding planning, you can always keep garnering new ideas. Decorating carries no expiration date. No matter where you live now, there is always room for improvement, and no matter your budget, it’s always fun to look at dream ideas for the perfect “someday” home.

 

My hubby and I have a list of must haves for our future dream home. We bandy these ideas about, and over time, some fall off to the wayside, but some stick to each and every list we craft. We definitely need at least one large walk-in closet, a kitchen with double ovens, some sort of  fireplace, a ceiling fan in the bedroom, and plenty of large windows. I also have a wish list for my future home. Things that would be great additions and I’d love to implement/renovate over time. My master bathroom is very important to me. A bathroom is supposed to feel like a spa, and always smell accordingly. A haven of cleanliness and relaxation, the master bathroom is where I spend a huge portion of my time-showering, makeup application, hair styling, etc.

 

A major element of a beautiful bathroom is that it is white.

Soft and white. Clean and bright. Yes, I probably would work edelweiss into my fresh-flower rotation in my bathroom as well. 

 

 

Ivory, with its warmer tones, is my neutral of choice in all other regards (wedding color, living room palette, etc.) but for the bathroom and bedroom, only crisp white will do.

 

 

 

I also love a nice, plush towel. Call it an obsession, but I love nice thread count on towels and bedding. These are my absolute favorite white towels from Pottery Barn and the Hotel Collection from Macy’s… a HUGE perk of our wedding registry!

A fresh, clean white palette will make any space feel larger and more luxurious. By keeping the major color a lovely neutral, you can work in colorful accents over the years.

Right now, my accent is a dark, rich purple. I have a few plum hand towels, and a deliciously soft dark purple little rug in the bathroom entryway. Our current bath mat next to the shower is a softer lavender color, to ease the transition to the stark white shower curtain and other bathroom accessories.

 

 

What are your favorite bathroom décor ideas? Color schemes?

Media Credits:

first photo courtesy of houseofturquoise.com

second photo courtesy of pinterestguccibags.com

third photo courtesy of yourdictionary.com

fourth photo courtesy of designstaging.com

fifth photo courtesy of remodelista.com

sixth photo courtesy of potterybarn.com

seventh photo courtesy of webnuggetz.com

eighth photo courtesy of southernliving.com

ninth photo courtesy of room-by-room.com

 

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Fitness Focus: Brandi Glanville Tuesday, Apr 24 2012 

She’s not only the snarky, refreshing newcomer on the most recent season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills or the famously-spurned ex-wife of dog Eddie Cibrian. She’s also a mother of two boys with an incredible body. And for the record, how much does that suck that whenever someone (for the most part) writes about her or thinks about her, the Eddie Cibrian/Leann Rimes stuff comes up? That must be hard for her.

Anyway, I really enjoyed her on RHOBH, and thought she was hilariously honest, funny and likeable. Just the breath of fresh air that the glitzy zip code needed.  So I’ll stop talking about her dramatic divorce now, and move on to gushing about her gorgeous body.

 

At 5’9, Brandi was obviously a former model- not surprising anyone, right? She’s another hard-working celebrity mom who credits her body to the leaning, lengthening Pilates, starting during her first pregnancy nine years ago. She says she now hits the Pilates studio three times a week, after dropping her boys off at school.

She’s also a fan of the outdoors, staying active with hiking, biking and walking her dogs. Of course she doesn’t eat like a glutton either, focusing on a healthy diet, complete with perfect portion control. She sounds so normal about her exercise regimen, making it sounds attainable and a normal, healthy part of her life. She obviously values her appearance but isn’t obsessed with herself, and that in itself is something else to emulate.

She may be trying that whole “normal Hollywood mom” thing, but her body is anything but ordinary.

 

Media Credits:

first photo courtesy of examiner.cm

second photo courtesy of examiner.com

third photo courtesy of celebrityfocus.com

Date Night Out Thursday, Apr 19 2012 

Every magazine and relationship expert will tell you how important “date night” is to a lasting marriage. Getting busy and bogged down with work, kids and other obligations can let romance fall by the wayside, and imposing a “date night” strategy will help keep your connection to each other alive.

One major problem I have with this is the incredible discrepancy between this “date night” philosophy, which is all about closeness and intimacy, and the comfortable options available to today’s couples. Let’s face it: a number of options are not quite “cuddle”-friendly.

Old movies like Grease embody the adorable drive-in date nights of decades past. But today, the dependable “dinner-and-a-movie” evening plays out in a series of uncomfortable seats. Most movie theaters today have horrible seating, with-get this- armrests that do not lift. How does that mitigate cuddling for couples, or even the ever-popular stretch-then-arm-around-the-shoulder? Come on, even airplanes, in all their infamous glory, let you lift your armrest!

Sure, some novel theaters (like the 21+ Luxe Level at the Patriot Place Cinema at my home theater in Foxboro, MA) do feature a plusher movie-watching environment, complete with first-class cushiony seats and a selection of beer, wine and snacks. But unless you want to fork over serious cash (for a new release, you could pay upwards of $25 per adult evening ticket) you’re stuck in the too-tight, too-cramped stadium seats that force you to stand up any time someone in your row wants more popcorn, sticky armrests locked in place.

Sure, some theaters do feature the fancier seats that allow the armrest to lift between seats, but not nearly enough. We all know how important cuddling is!

With all the FABULOUS new movies coming out this summer, why not bring back the Drive-In? You can cuddle up in your trusty old car, where you spend most of your commute anyway, put your feet up on your own dashboard, and sprawl out as you please. I would much rather go see The Dark Knight Rises in my hubby’s comfy Volkswagen Eos than be stuck in a dark room of strangers squished together, subjected to those annoying beams of light from not-so-subtle iPhone glances all evening long.

Drive-ins have proven to be a more enjoyable, intimate date experience- just look at all the happy couples who got to enjoy them back in the day. Younger couples today face more stresses, demands, less free time and of course, the ever-looming and rising statistic of divorce. Why not re-charge our date night attitude and invest in a future of happy date nights for years to come?

Bring back the cuddling in date nights! Who’s with me? Would you prefer the drive-in or comfier movie theater seats?

Media Credits:

first photo courtesy of assoconcierge.com

second photo courtesy of cinemaretro.com

third photo courtesy of eralving.com

fourth photo courtesy of cepro.com

fifth photo courtesy of theater.com

I’m Posing Wednesday, Apr 18 2012 

A wonderful blogger friend, Christa of www.freshqueezedfashion.com recently introduced me to the newest App to hit iPhone’s catwalk! “Pose” is a fabulous fashion-forward photo sharing App, where celebrities like Rachel Zoe and Catt Sadler post photos of their OOTD. Oh, and us mere mortals can also share our daily fashion statements too!

I love the “tagging”- you can tell everyone what brands you’re wearing. A little bit Instagram, a little bit Polyvore, and very Red Carpet.

My biggest problem with their “tagging” feature is that not all brands are represented. Of course it would be impossible to include everything, and they do let you type in your own “tag” if you’re wearing a brand they haven’t already prompted. Pose seems to favor big-name brands like Michael Kors, Chanel and other high-shelf labels, which is quite fun to look through.

But the thing is, some items- especially my jewelry- are not a “brand.” They’re from a fabulous little boutique underneath the Louvre in Paris, or they were a gift from a wonderful local jewelry shop. But how do I “tag” those? That’s where I fill in the description underneath each photo.

Are you Pose-ing? What do you think? Follow my poses! I’m jmmccormick.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Media Credits:

first photo courtesy of luckymag.com

second photo courtesy of overlapps.com

third photo courtesy of crunchbase.com

All Hail, Ser Jorah Mormont Tuesday, Apr 17 2012 

Today’s Game of Thrones obsession: Ser Jorah Mormont.

 

The fallen-from grace knight exiled from Westeros, dashing escort to Danaerys Targarean. Estranged son of Lord Commander Mormont of the Night’s Watch. I can’t really say more about him without tearing up or gushing, so we shall stop there.

 

His rugged good looks, charming persona and obvious-yet-honorable infatuation with his Khaleesi are enough to make us adore him, but it’s his real spirit and enigmatic Westeros back story that gives an entirely new angle to the Dothraki story lines.

 

After the death of Viserys, Ser Jorah is Danaerys’ only tie to her homeland, and her only “Common Tongue” companion for much of her journey. It is Jorah who tells her “There is no word for thank you in Dothraki,” and we can then see the fear in Dany’s eyes as Khal Drogo lifts her up onto her white horse to begin their wedding night.

He admirably watches her grow and embrace the Dothraki ways, and heartbreakingly watches her with Khal Drogo during the first book. Their journey together takes many turns, and of course it’s Game of Thrones, and thereby unpredictable. His acting in the last scenes of the amazing season one finale was the perfect mix of anguish and enthralled wonder.

 

The brilliant Scottish-born actor Iain Glen brings warmth and generosity to Ser Jorah, and delivers his memorable lines with the perfect mixology of charisma and pallor.

He also appeared in the wildly popular Downton Abbey and played Otto Frank in the 2009 miniseries The Diary of Anne Frank. I was delighted to stumble across an old (as in 2007) movie starring Colin Firth, Ben Kinglsey, Kevin McKidd (Dr. Owen Hunt!) and Thomas Brodie-Sangster, the adorable little boy from Love Actually, in a totally washed out epic of the Roman Empire. I watched for a few minutes, enjoying the Uncle Jamie action and mini-Love Actually reunion between my two favorite characters, when what do I hear but the gruff, refined voice of Ser Jorah Mormont! Looking exactly the same as on the plains of Vaes Dothrak in his glittering armor, there was Glen, appearing in this film as Orestes. I must admit, the fabulous ensemble cast was not enough to keep my interest, and since Glen’s character soon left the screen, I soon switched the channel.

 

Anyway, Glen’s energy as Ser Jorah Mormont is one of my favorite elements of Game of Thrones. His line “I believe what my eyes and ears report. As for the rest, it was 300 years ago. Who knows what really happened?” speaks to Danaerys’ inner conflict but is also a major theme of the entire series.

 

Besides Ghost, he may be my favorite supporting character.

 

 

Media Credits:

first photo courtesy of imdb.com

second photo courtesy of page2rss.com

third photo courtesy of tumblr.com

fourth photo courtesy of iainglen.com

fifth photo courtesy of tumblr.com

Springtime Shoe Thursday, Apr 12 2012 

Who doesn’t love adding a pop of color to their wardrobe?

With bright colors trending nationwide for the Spring, bold hues are everywhere. Even Kate Middleton was rocking some fabulous coral jeans!

 

While I don’t quite feel thin enough to wear such a statement color denim, I am all for bringing the brights! So I turned to one of the Duchess’ favorite shops, Zara, to bring some much-needed turquoise to my shoe collection.

 

 

 

These deliciously soft suede pumps are just what I need to add some excitement to my work outfit. I also happen to love the price and free shipping from the UK store! Highly recommend!

What’s your favorite way to add bright colors to your spring wardrobe?

Media Credits:

first photo courtesy of gvb.com

second photo courtesy of dashofglam.com

third photo courtesy (my shoes!) courtesy of my iPhone

I’m Tumbling Wednesday, Apr 11 2012 

A few of my fabulous writer friends from school have been on Tumblr for a while, and I’ve been thoroughly enjoying their posts about their glamorous lives in NYC.

 So I decided to make my own little Tumblr page– as a sister site to this portfolio. I’ll use it for more images, and little Parisian-themed posts along the way. Nothing lengthy like on here.

As for those fabulous friends I mentioned, feel free to check them out as well. The lovely Lana Russo has just started her Tumblr page. My dear friend Catherine (one of my Paris amis!) has been tumbling for a while.

Thoughts on Tumblr?

Natalie Dormer, Please Don’t Ruin Game of Thrones! Wednesday, Apr 11 2012 

Those of you familiar with my Game of Thrones affinity (preceded of course, by my Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire obsession- get the difference? So glad.) will understand my skepticism, hesitance, and total on-the-fence attitude about the 2nd season of the HBO hit. They’re adding gratuitous, visually unappealing extras NOT in the book that add nothing to the character development or the remarkable brilliance of the show.

 

I won’t go into all the details (I hate you, Ros) but let’s focus on the newest face of the third episode: the lovely sort of black widow, Margaery Tyrell, played by Natalie Dormer.

 

Oh, Natalie Dormer, you clever girl, you certainly have made a cozy little niche for yourself, haven’t you? Landing the role of the brat in Casanova to Anne Boleyn to Margaery Tyrell. Then playing them with the exact same breathy tone of voice, exact same open-mouthed, wide-eyed fake innocence and the exact same spoiled smugness? I tolerated you as the doomed Anne, because you were fresh, and exciting and our peaches-and-cream complexion brought everything that The Tudors needed. Horrid acting aside.

 

She even brings with her some Tudors-esque boy-on-boy action (another gratuitous addition:the Loras/ Renly love story was of course alluded to in the novels, but we never saw a love scene. We already saw one in the first season, and we’ve already heard that Loras sneaks into Renly’s tent from the trailer.

Renly’s homosexuality was really only addressed in the book for a reason to explain why Margaery would still be a suitable wife for Joffrey.) If the third episode features more than a few glimpses of Loras and an overly-ambitious Margaery instead of focusing on Catelyn Stark’s interaction with Renly (sort of very important in the book!) I’ll be quite upset.

 

Natalie is certainly lovely looking, in an overly satisfied pug sort of way.

I think she is much more suited to the Margaery Tyrell role than she was for Anne Boleyn- a creature who should have been mysterious, captivating and utterly voluptuous but was doomed to an overly sexed teenager sort of portrayal. Margaery doesn’t need to do much except look pretty and rich- the costume department can help Natalie with half of that. She certainly isn’t bad-looking, only I wish she wouldn’t speak so much.

My biggest fault with this casting choice is perhaps the plethora of choices out there- the Thrones producers and casting agents couldn’t find anyone else who was willing to hang out in period costume for a few weeks? That’s all the Margaery role really calls for- sit next to King Renly, wear a crown, look shocked when he dies, sit next to King Joffrey, wear a different crown, look shocked when he dies. Did we really need to scrape up a Tudors sloppy second, and then allow her play the exact same character over again, bringing her overly breathy voice whispering in her kingly husband’s ear that she’ll give him a son?

It’s like Joffrey agreeing to marry Renly’s young widow as long just because she’s rich and beautiful….hmmm….

 

Media Credits:

first photo courtesy of screenrant.com

second photo (as Anne Boleyn) courtesy of tvguide.com

third photo (as Margaery Tyrell) courtesy of chloe.burchata.com

fourth photo courtesy of the fashioninsider.com

fifth photo courtesy of thewertzone.com

sixth photo courtesy of wikifleet.com

Afternoon of Amazing: Glee’s “Somebody I Used To Know” Tuesday, Apr 10 2012 

The damn-catchy “Somebody That I Used To Know” is brought to new levels of brilliance tonight on Glee. I’ve watched this video probably 23 times. I also bought their version of the song on iTunes. No judgment, please.

Something tells me that Blaine Anderson was the actual trend-setter for Spring fashion, and had indeed been sporting that colored denim all winter. Impervious to fashion trends as he might be (complete with that top polo button that makes me want to be more violent to a button than ever before) Darren Criss has one of my favorite voices of like ever. His devastating rendition of “Somewhere Only we Know” is on my Top 10 list.

He executes the angst and repressed sibling rivalry-hopefully stemming from something a bit more substantial than a flashbacked big brother (looking creepily like Blaine’s main squeeze Kurt Hummel) holding a weird action figure just out of his reach.

He dramatically removes his cross-body bag at the precise moment to maximize the expression of his teen anger, and his poor biceps struggle to remain contained in that too-tight polo. Again, resist the urge to reach into your computer screen and remove his top polo button. You. Can. Do It.

Matt Bomer, another perfect creation of yumminess, then joins him on stage and assumes the perfect Les Mis-esque stance.

The two shoot dagger stares and scream at each other for the next eighty seconds, with enough smoldering drama and pain to satisfy viewers for the next two seasons. The clincher for me is Matt’s last shoulder shrug at the end of the number. Perfection.

His voice is pretty amazing, as well, which brings me to one of the most major questions of the day: why doesn’t Neil sing on White Collar? Are you listening, USA?

OMG, and Blaine’s brother’s name is Cooper Anderson. Trifecta of glory achieved, Glee! THIS is why I watch!

Will you be watching the new Glee episode “Big Brother” Tonight on FOX?

Media Credits:

link to YouTube video

first photo courtesy of popcrush.com

second photo (Darren Criss) courtesy of fanpop.com

third photo (Matt Bomer) courtesy of popwatch.com

fourth photo courtesy of popdust.com

Ski Style Tuesday, Apr 10 2012 

By now, the entire world knows that Prince William whisked his wife off for a ski break to celebrate their reunion. There was some original speculation on exactly where the Duchess was being whisked off to, but now that some photos have surfaced, it’s clear that the Royal Couple is enjoying some time on the slopes in Meribel at Three Valleys Resort with the Middleton clan. (much thanks to www.hrhduchesskate.blogspot.com for keeping me informed about the royals on holiday-I visit your blog every day!)

As if we didn’t already know that Kate looked gorgeous without make-up, there are some gorgeous photos of her, with a natural, sun-kissed glow from a day in the snow. Will and Kate looked like they’re having a blast with Pippa and her beau as well as Kate’s parents.

I happen to love Kate’s ski style. How does she still look so trim in the famously unflattering puffy skiwear? Maybe that’s her secret to being so perfectly skinny and toned? What brands is she wearing? Something tells me it’s not North Face. This makes me want to run out and grab a pair of pink ski pants, just for fun.

I have a feeling I’d still look like a marshmellow wearing a white puffy jacket with pink pants, but it’s fun to emulate Kate anyway, right? If Kate ever releases the name of the luxury ski clothing brand she favors, I’m sure their sales will skyrocket.

Still no word on who was baby-sitting Lupo while Will and Kate were away with her family. Perhaps Harry?

What are some of your favorite brands to wear on the slopes?

Media Credits:

first and third photos courtesy of hrhduchesskate.blogspot.com

second photo courtesy of hellomagazine.com

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