26 February 2012

2012 Academy Awards: Fashion

Did you watch the big show? I'm actually watching the Academy Awards right now and watched the red carpet coverage that preceded the show. One thing I noticed while pulling photos for my round up of favorite Oscar dresses is that so many of the gowns photograph differently than they show during the actual broadcast. And they probably look even that much different in person. That would be a dream come true, to actually be there on the red carpet to see all the gowns and stars in person!

I'm excited to see who takes home the big awards tonight, right now they're having a Cirque du Soleil moment. The award for best supporting actor should be coming up soon though. Let's get to the gowns, shall we?

(Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
Michelle Williams wearing Louis Vuitton 
The color is being referred to as "coral" which makes me happy, because of the whole, "no red on the red carpet" rule. The details on this gown looked gorgeous during the telecast. The tiny jeweled bow at the waist was a brilliant touch. Michelle always gets it so right! 

(Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
Rooney Mara wearing Givenchy
Overall, she looks lovely. Make up and hair are flawless. The neckline and trimming across the bust are not my favorite and I would have chosen a color, but that's not been her red carpet style that I can remember, so she is staying true to her style. There's something to be said for that.

(Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Image)
Gwyneth Paltrow - Tom Ford
Staying with a style, Gwyneth has that down. I like the addition of the cape for the red carpet. She removed if for her stint as a presenter with Robert Downey Jr. and the dress itself was pretty. Her make up looked radiant on the broadcast. I love the cuff bracelet too!

(Photo: Lester Cohen/WireImage)
Emma Stone - Giambattista Valli
She just presented and her perky newcomer schictk was making me a little nervous, but she pulled it off. Sigh. She broke the no red on the red carpet rule, but she did so with style. The shade is just right. And it looks much more stunning when you can actually see the movement and the drape of the gown. Well done!

(Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
Tina Fey - Carolina Herrera
 Tina Fey doesn't usually do glitz and glitter. This simple and elegant gown is perfect for her at the Oscars. It reminds me of old Hollywood with the peplum waist. Simple, not over-done hair was the solid choice too! 

(Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
Octavia Spencer - Tadashi Shoji
Beautiful everything! She looks lovely! I really love the cut of this dress on her, it's perfectly flattering. The sparkles are also a winning look and yes, she did take home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her work in "The Help."

So, what were your favorites? I always ask and so rarely do you answer! 

24 February 2012

What's for Dinner?

So I've had some asparagus in my fridge since doing groceries last weekend. I was feeling all inspired about making dinners this week. Friday rolls around and the asparagus is all, "hey, remember us?" Yeah, I do remember you and tonight's the night.

Here's what I did. I roasted about half bunch in the oven.  Rinse and pat dry. Snap the bottoms off. Sprinkle with a little olive oil. Salt and pepper liberally and pop it in the oven at 450-500 for 10 minutes. Fry up your egg and place it on your roasted asparagus, et voila a delicious simple dinner. Aactually it's an all around tasty, quick meal for any time you need one!

I usually fry up my eggs so they're over hard, but some folks dig the yolk with asparagus. It's like a thing, I guess. So I decided to go sunny side up and was glad I did. It was super tasty. Count me as one of those people who digs the yolk with asparagus now.

What did you have for dinner?

20 February 2012


Happy Birthday little Starr Fish!

Today is my actual birthday. It's an even number this year and for some reason it's not sitting that comfortably with me. It'll take some time to get used to, I guess. That or I'm going to start counting backward each year from  now on until I get to a number I like and want to keep. Ha!

For fun, here are some things I'm wishing for the coming year,  but I'll never tell what I actually wish for when I blow out the candles tonight.

To travel again really soon. Somewhere new and exciting. My wanderlust is acting up.

To best all my running times - my 25K in May, my half marathon in August and my full marathon in October.

To live well and to find happiness in all things.

To share my baked goods with more people.

To be in a situation (right dog, right time, right place) where I can finally have a dog.

Essentially it always comes down to being my best self. If I feel like that's happened at this time next year, then it will have been a good year!

15 February 2012

Places to Visit: Austin

Oh, hello...back again? 

So for a long, long time I thought I'd make it through life never visiting Texas. What's Texas got that I need to see? They say "Don't mess with Texas," and I pretty much agreed, until I had the chance to go to Austin and Dallas for work recently.

And then...I stuck around Austin for a few days exploring the city with a former Grand Rapidian who has lived in Austin for the past couple years. Austin is the capital of Texas and one of the fastest growing cities in the United States and I now know why!

You like music? Yes, they're the live music capital of the world. You like food? I don't know if they have any official food claims to fame, but I'm willing to bestow the Fresh Starr Fish seal of approval. Modern architecture your thing? They've got that in spades. Have you been? Do you love it too? If you haven't been, here are a few things I loved about it that maybe you will too when you go:

Lambert's Downtown BBQ, 401 W. 2nd Street, Austin TX. We went on a Thursday night to see some bands upstairs, so no BBQ, but my meat eater friends say it's good!  The bands were all were pretty darn good. The friendly opening band called Young Girls gave us their CD after the show when we told them we liked them best of the three that played. Oh and Lambert's has the best Coconut Cream Pie. Seriously! And if you dig some hard core cocktails, they'll hook you up. Try the Dubliner, I thought it tasted like cough medicine, but you know drinks aren't my thing at all! 

Jo’s Downtown Coffee, 242 W. 2nd St. We went for breakfast, but they had just switched to lunch. No worries though. Their lunch menu was full of goodies too. I had a the best veg bbq sandwich I've ever had in 18 or so years being a vegetarian. My friend had a burger and we were both happy! The decor is eclectic, fun and comfortable. Good music too! 

Inside Jo's Downtown Coffee

We did a lot of bike riding when I was there. The city is super bike friendly. You can easily "take the lane" and everyone driving cars just goes with the flow. There are also trails that are great for riding. Go ahead and rent bikes at MellowJohnny's, which is Lance Armstrong's store right downtown Austin.  Fast Folks on the east side of Austin is a super cool shop we actually went to. The dudes there were friendly and happy to talk bikes. Plus, they have the most awesome logo! 

24 Diner. Great vibe. Their site says they "blended mid-century modern design with Austin eclectic." and I'd agree. I loved the decor and they had super good food and lots of beers. I had "M's Grilled Cheese" with fries and wasn't disappointed. I also was eyeing the waffle breakfast with their homemade veggie sausage, which I hear (from a non-vegetarian) is delish.

There's a great independent record store one door down from 24 Diner called  Waterloo Records.  For anyone into actually purchasing music the old fashioned way like I do, this place is great! They had a ton of listening stations stocked with all the latest releases. They've also got vinyl and used music. Go!

Bar Chi 206 Colorado Street, Austin TX 78701. They do a great happy hour during regular happy hours and also have a late happy hour (featuring a DJ with dance/electronic music) both with specials on sushi. We sat at the front bar for drinks and a couple rolls. Our bartender was super attentive and they had Mike & Ike's on the bar like a regular bar might have peanuts or another bar snack. Basically they had me at the candy and the fact that we were in there in our biking clothes post ride and nobody gave us the side eye.

Although I did not stay at Hotel San Jose, on South Congress Avenue - where all the cool kids hang out - I really want to go back to Austin so I can! This place is adorable! Here are a few pics so you can see for yourself, then go check out their site. Everything about the place is cool!

Quick photo op at the Hotel San Jose.

South Congress has a ton of shops - clothing,  antiques, etc. I had fun exploring UnCommon Objects for treasures and bet you will too. You'll also find plenty of bars and restaurants for a good time. We tried Snack Bar a couple times and were not disappointed either time. We also hung out at the Continental Club and heard Hey Bale. They have a standing Sunday night gig at the Continental Club, so if you happen to be in town on a Sunday night, go for the music, especially if you like to dance.

What would a story about Texas be without a picture of a cow skull? This is just s small sample of the kinds of stuff you'll find inside UnCommon Objects!

One last thing to do. Several people told me about the Congress Bridge bats! Unfortunately they were not in Austin when I visited. Apparently they return around mid-March. Maybe I'll catch them another time!

14 February 2012

Happy Heart's Day

Found sidewalk art on South Congress, Austin, Texas.

10 February 2012


I first heard the new Die Antwoord song: "I Fink U Freeky" a couple weeks ago now and am still enthralled by the sound. The video is bizarre in the standard Die Antwoord way. I wouldn't expect anything less. They are playing the Metro in Chicago and of course the show is sold out. I would have loved to go and dance myself silly to the Antwoord beats! In the mean time, until I can purchase Ten$ion, I've been watching this video. I just found out they're streaming the whole release over here, so I'm getting a preview. Click the link to get yours!