Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Shocking and yet not surprising...

I stumbled across a blog this week that revealed the before and after of a Redbook cover shoot featuring Faith Hill. She's a pretty, but apparently the industry standard dictates she be transformed into a woman much younger than her 39 years. Scroll down on this link for the animated reveal. The thing I realized is I didn't notice anything weird about the cover photo until I saw the before -- shows how much I am used to seeing such images. If this does nothing else, it should make everyone feel better about themselves and stop comparing themselves to retouched images of celebrities. Based on this, Faith looks like someone we'd see in our everyday life. I think it would be great if she came out and acknowledged the trickery involved in these things the way Kate Winslet did a few years back when British GQ decided to photoshop away several inches from her thighs. She raised bloody hell and it was awesome!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Should I get bangs?

How many times have we asked ourselves this question ladies? I think my sister and I have talked each other out of them several times!

Enjoy this take on the whole dilemma from Thursday's NY Times...

July 26, 2007
Skin Deep
Bangs Return, and With Them, Naysayers and Chopaholics

LAURIE PERRY is a thoroughly modern, well-functioning 36-year-old who has no problem making millions of little decisions every day — except when it comes to figuring out how to style the hair at the front of her head.
If you meet her, she may even ask you to weigh in on this particular matter.
“ ‘Do you think I should get bangs?’ is pretty much my default conversation starter,” said Ms. Perry, a writer and graphic designer living in Los Angeles. “Basically, if I’m experiencing any kind of emotional crisis, it’s the thing I’ll focus on. I was literally on the phone with my hairdresser the day before my divorce proceedings, talking about bangs.
“He hung up on me.”
Few hairstyles are as packed with emotional triggers as the bluntly cut bangs that have been cropping up on runways and in salons. They can bring back childhood memories and raise deep-seated feelings of longing (for the look) and loathing (for anyone who can pull it off). Some see them as cute and playful. Others think they’re anything but, especially on those over 30.
“To me, they scream: ‘I’m cooler than you, I have a lot of sex, and if you leave your husband with me I’ll devour him,’ ” said Meredith Hays, a literary agent in Manhattan with an unbanged brow. But Ms. Hays said she quickly becomes more rational: “It’s maybe more a cry for help, like ‘I’m getting older and so I’ll give myself a youngish haircut to compensate.’ ”
Whether they conjure painful visions of husband-stealers or happy memories of Betty and Veronica, bangs are an appealing option in the summer, when the weather forces the bangless to march around with hair greased back with sweat, like so many W.N.B.A. players or Romanian gymnasts.
The ease with which the look can be yours is what makes that frontal flap of hair so covetable — and dangerous. Flat abs require months of work and new wardrobes necessitate spending a bundle, but just one look at Anne Hathaway in “The Devil Wears Prada” or Cate Blanchett in “Notes on a Scandal” can lead to the conclusion that life would be immeasurably improved with a few snips of the scissors.
If only it were that easy.
“If someone comes to me and wants a full bang for the first time,” said Steve Berg, a stylist at Robert G Salon in the West Village, “there are automatically some questions I’m going to ask, like, ‘Did you break up with someone?’ Or, ‘Are you on your period?’ It’s so often an impulse decision, but it’s not an impulse like buying a new pair of shoes. You can’t return it.”
Kate Burke, a book publicist in Cambridge, Mass., caught the bangs bug the moment she saw Reese Witherspoon with her yellow forelock and yellow dress at the Golden Globes in January.
“I think I can get them to look like Reese’s maybe once a week,” she said. “The rest of the time, they sort of curl under and I feel like I just walked out of my 11th-grade yearbook picture.”
The large cosmetic companies don’t seem to have discovered bangs care yet. Some hairstylists, like Kattia Solano, the owner of Butterfly Studio in Manhattan, are filling the void by putting together free maintenance kits for their clients.
“So much of good fringe is about commitment and maintenance,” said Ms. Solano, whose kit contains a Beuy Pro fiberglass comb, a small bottle of Malin and Goetz peppermint shampoo and an information sheet on “Keeping Your Fringe Fabulous.”
She advocates washing bangs daily to avoid a greasy look. “You can pull the rest back in a ponytail and then just wash your fringe when you wash your face,” she said.
Mr. Berg suggests that his clients use a little bit of baby powder or a Bumble and bumble spray-on hair powder at the roots. To avoid frizz, use spray-on wax, he tells his clients, but “always applied onto the fingers first.” For general maintenance, he suggests using a light hairspray applied to a flat rubber-cushion boar-bristle brush (he favors Mason Pearson’s).
But all the washings and applications of hairspray in the world won’t keep bangs looking fresh forever. Some salons offer touch-up trims for free, but many clients find the do-it-yourself urge difficult to resist.
“For some reason, it’s something women always decide to do when they’re drinking,” Ms. Solano said.
There are several products for bangs-wearers who want to trim at home. The Fringe Kit ($30, http://www.fringekit.com/) is a small tin including scissors, a plastic cape, a mirror and a how-to booklet. The AccurEdge ($9.50, http://www.localoc.net/) is a plastic clip designed to hold bangs flat during trimming. The clip packs as much glamour as the Flowbee System of infomercial fame — which also offers a bangs attachment.
Still, Mr. Berg said, a good pair of hair scissors or nail scissors are all anyone really needs. He recommends twisting the bangs together and cutting vertically instead of horizontally.
So does that mean that the woman with the perfect bangs has reached a pinnacle of style and eternal hair happiness?
Scratch anyone with perfectly styled bangs, and you’ll likely find a woman who occasionally lifts up the curtain of hair and gazes back at someone with a less cluttered bathroom sink, a more relaxed morning routine and a nighttime outfit that doesn’t involve a headband to stave off eyebrow-acne.
Some bangs wearers become captives of the look, sometimes long past the point where they appreciate the comparisons to Bettie Page or Jane Birkin.
But committing to a lifetime of bangs is easier than dealing with the many months of awkward grow-out. That period is fraught with what stylists call bang paranoia: Are my bangs too heavy? Do people notice me or my obscured forehead? I’m going for Rihanna, but is it too Margaret Mead? Eve Ensler? Jane Jacobs! And can anyone see the Orion’s Belt of pimples on my forehead?
“It’s the grass-is-always-greener haircut,” said Jessica Vitkus of Manhattan, a producer at Public Radio International, who opts for a shaggy Loretta Swit-type fringe. “The shorter bangs are too cutesy,” she said. “I don’t think you can name one woman who has those blunt bangs who is taken seriously in a professional setting.”
Anna Wintour?
“O.K., but try naming two.”
Seeing the singer Cat Power’s thick bangs at a concert almost inspired Ms. Vitkus to get out the kitchen scissors. “You have to contain yourself until you get through the bad times,” she said. “You can’t break down and cut them again, or else all those months of growing them go out the window. It’s a lot like trying to abstain from drinking.”
Without the meetings with free coffee, that is.
Ms. Perry, the writer and graphic designer, hoped to be sporting bangs before leaving Los Angeles for New York in June to promote her book, “Crazy Aunt Purl’s Drunk, Divorced, and Covered in Cat Hair” (HCI, October 2007). But her hairdresser vetoed the idea, citing her bangs-adverse “chipmunk” cheeks — and hinting at the hell she’d live if she didn’t like them.
“You always think it’d be easy to grow them out, but really it’s terrible,” Ms. Perry said. “You can’t be a 36-year-old wearing barrettes walking down the streets of L.A.
“Still, I envy those people who have full-on bangs and have a ‘look’ — people who aren’t afraid to wear leopard prints and who hang out at cool places like ... ” She paused.
“Well, I don’t personally know any cool places,” she said. “But if I had them, maybe I would.”

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Who are these two crazy kids?

We celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary tonight by returning to the Parmenter Street Gallery in Middleton where we held our ceremony and reception on July 19, 2003. The owners have opened the place up during the week as a bar -- so we took advantage of the chance to go back tonight. It was smaller than we remembered, but still felt very special. We were able to picture many of you grooving on the dance floor and whooping it up with us that night!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Where is Thumbkin?

Just Because!

Our House-Take 2

The foundation has been poured -- no turning back now!

Minneapolis weekend

We spent last weekend in Minneapolis visiting Jenny's sister Heather, our brother-in-law Rick and our two nieces, Anna and Caroline. Rick's birthday was on Saturday and Don's on Monday so it was a great chance to celebrate the two men lucky enough to marry the Price sisters! We had a pretty smooth journey up to the Twin Cities (after all, Gavin is a pro riding in the car after his 19-hour trip to Florida in April).

We had a great time on Saturday, walked around Lake Calhoun to a restaurant where we enjoyed some tableside guacamole (I think that's what they call it when someone else besides you makes it). Gavin wasn't so sure about the whole thing, but he does like the chips! While on our walk back, we discovered a new art form Rick dubbed "karancing," it involved clapping, drumming and what looked like slow-mo karate fighting. Sort of mesmerizing to be honest!

After some well-deserved naps, the adults were recharged for an evening out on the town, joined by Heather and Rick's good friends Jeff and Faye. We enjoyed some cocktails on the rooftop of a tapas restaurant called Solera, with a great view of the PowerBall billboard, too!

From there it was on to Bucca di Peppo for a gastronomic marathon of salad, pasta, dessert and Limoncello

Best of all, Gavin got to spend some time with his cousins, learning how to make a space helmet out of common household items and of course getting a rousing rendition of "Where is Thumbkin?" going.