Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Alyssa Milano's Line of Cute Sports Clothes

We love sports, the games, the fans, the excitement…but we don’t always love how the jerseys are oversized and generic. We really like Alyssa Milano’s new line for fans, allowing you to show your love for your team without looking like a clone who is one step away from face-painting. At Fandalia, you can buy tops, hoodies, jackets and pants all made to fit your taste and your size. They feature teams from the MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL, and NCAA. The Fandalia website is very user-friendly, and allows you to view each item according to team to see how it will look when you order. Now you can look and feel sexier while cheering on your favorite player and team.

Homer Simpson GPS

One of the greatest inventions for road trips to a new state or for those, like us, who can get lost in our own backyard, is GPS. We’ve had many a vacation where we simply couldn’t have found our way without it. The new TomTom Homer Simpson GPS uses everyone's favorite cartoon character's voice as the guide. Homer will not just tell you to make a left or exit off the highway. He says things like “Woo hoo! You have reached your destination and you can hold your head up high, because you are a genius!"

We think we would love listening to Homer for the first 5 minutes, then want to throw it out the window. Now, if they could come up with a GPS using Johnny Depp's voice or Hugh Jackman's--that we could get behind!

hugh jackman

Caribbean Island: Barbados and Grand Cayman the Food and Hotel

Yesterday I told you about the general differences of Grand Cayman and Barbados. Now, here's an overview of the food, nightlife and hotels.

Barbados and Grand Cayman are about on par when it comes to food. While Bajans are quick to tell you that Barbados is the only island with its own Zagat's guide (it's given away for free at the airport, restaurants and most hotels), I wasn't blown away anywhere I ate. There's a lot of fried flying fish, which is tasty in small quantities. Sadly, I didn't have the chance to eat at Oistins (below), the outdoor market that's hopping on Friday nights with people and dancing. If you go, stop by Uncle George's fried fish stand (that's him, above), which is rumored to be the best.

Overall, most of the food I ate was over-sauced. I often wished I was eating a simple piece of grilled fish, rather than a piece of grilled fish topped with orange pesto sauce on coconut-flavored rice. My favorite meal of the trip was at Restaurant at Southsea (below. That's not my photo--it was raining when we went there) where I had a yummy grilled lobster. The prices for food on both Barbados and Grand Cayman are pretty similar--about $25-30 for an entree. We didn't have any meal that compared to Eric Ripert's Blue in Grand Cayman--in food quality or cost, but I hear a meal at The Cliff comes closest.

When it comes to nightlife, Barbados has more of it than Grand Cayman. St. Lawrence Gap is lined with clubs and pubs and is reportedly Rihanna's favorite haunt when she's in town. My group opted to skip the club when we were told we had to pay a cover charge (Hell-o! We were four women and they wouldn't cut us a deal.) for a quieter pub, where we could drink our Banks beers in peace on a patio. That said, I had a good deal more fun in Grand Cayman, but I think that's because I was with my good friends, who I could have fun with in the back of a pick up truck.

Now the biggie--the hotel. I was excited to stay at a small hotel, after staying at the 300+ room Ritz Carlton in Grand Cayman. That excitement soon waned when I arrived at Mango Bay (that's my room above). My biggest issue with the hotel was the mosquito colony that lived in my shower. That's followed closely by the aggressive birds who flew into the dining room and felt at home on the buffet at the all-you-can-eat breakfast and lunch buffets. (Ever since a pigeon wing once touched my head, I have a sever aversion to any creature that flies. They don't always miss.) I could go on, but I'll limit myself to three complaints. Complaint #3: The hotel was overrun with pasty Brits and their much younger girlfriends enjoying the all-inclusive resort. The small beach was so crowded on our last day that you had to bob and weave through the umbrellas.

To Mango Bay's credit, my room did have a stellar view of the beach. Unfortunately, there was a steel drum band playing every night to entertain those Brits and the majority of the rooms surround the pool.

We did have the opportunity to visit The Crane, which has one of the most stunning beach views I've ever seen. It was the first hotel on the island, and has since grown into a multi-building compound with shops and three restaurants.

The Crane is on the east side of the island and the Atlanic is notably rougher than the Caribbean. The Crane has a number of suites and penthouses that would be ideal home bases for a girls' trip--all have kitchens or kitchenettes. If you can swing a penthouse, it's worth it, if only so you can bathe in the outdoor tub.

I've also heard good things The Hotel, a chic 34-room hotel and JSG's friend, Carolyn, did enjoy her stay at the Fairmont.

So, with all that being said, I would probably pick Barbados to go back to, especially given that American flys there non-stop from JFK, Jet Blue starts flying there non-stop from JFK this fall and Air Jamaica is flying there non-stop twice weekly through the summer. But more than anything, this reinforced that who you travel with is more important than where you go!

Read Part 1 of Annie's adventures in Barbados.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Eco-Friendly Sunglasses

We always love when we can multi-task and with the new Modo for Jennifer Creel sunglasses, we can look good, prevent crows' feet and save the world all at once. The sexy shades, available exclusively at Bergrdof Goodman's, have bamboo frames and come in wood packaging. Moreover, for each pair sold, Jennifer has committed to plant a tree, according to WWD. Our pick is the Virginia shades, shown above.

W Hotel South Beach Opening July 2nd

W Hotel South Beach
We can't wait to hit South Beach, especially because the W South Beach is opening this Thursday, July 2nd. The brand new digs on Collins Ave. sport four bars, a couple of infinity pools, a Bliss spa and the delicious Mr. Chow. What else could a girl ask for? Well, try this fabulous package:

The Heat of Haute includes a bar crawl (ya know where you have a cocktail at each place?) through the Lobby (above), Solea, WET, and Wall; the Little Black Book of Party Games; Dessert at Mr. Chow; Bliss Hot Salt Scrub; Sunblock application at WET (one of the two pools); a DJ lesson at Wall; a 30 minute jet ski ride; and an upgrade to a Spectacular Room.

Mr. Chow W South Beach
Patience is not our forte; but we'll have to wait for Mr. Chow (pictured above) which opens August 15th, 2009 and the Bliss Spa which opens December 15th, 2009.

Stay tuned this week for our sneak peek at the new W Hotel opening in Washington, D.C.

Caribbean Island: Barbados and Grand Cayman

After being ridiculously fortunate enough to visit not one, but two Caribbean islands this month, one of the questions I've been asked a lot is which island I liked better, Grand Cayman or Barbados. It's hard to compare the two islands, because the trips were so different: I went to Grand Cayman with my girlfriends and stayed in swank hotel and was in Barbados on a press trip with a mix of folks, including the delightful Barbara (above left, with me) and stayed in a not so great hotel. But here goes:

From what I experienced, Barbados is a bigger (166 square miles to Grand Cayman's 76), prettier island with more going on culturally. It has a long history as a producer of sugar cane and rum, notably Mount Gay Rum. Virtually everywhere you go, you're offered a cup of rum punch, no matter what time of day it is. I suggest you drink it--I never was a rum punch fan, up until this trip, but it's tasty stuff when done the Bajan way.

That history transfers over into many sweet little homes and museums. My favorite was the St. Nicholas Abbey (above), one of the oldest surviving sugar plantations on the island, dating back to 1650. Be sure to visit the loo to sit on an original Thomas Crapper.

And, being a native Virginian, I appreciated the George Washington House, perhaps more than others. George visited the island with his older brother Lawrence, who was suffering from tuberculosis. By all accounts, the young George was molded by his trip here, learning about the military, agriculture and perhaps having his own Thomas Jefferson moment with the local ladies, if the unintentionally amusing, over-acted film shown at the house is to be believed.

George Washington House

While I'm not a fan of gardens in general (I joke that living in NYC, the only thing I know less about than plants, is cars), a trip to Hunte's Gardens is well worth the detour. One of the commenters on the garden's website put it best: "It is like entering a dream, a fairy tale. Before you know, your heart is filled with joy, and you almost expect to see a flying fairy behind next bend of the path." I couldn't put it better. I would only add to it that one should be sure to leave plenty of time to visit the well appointed home and chat with the adorable Anthony Hunte and ask him to share his stories about everything from growing up on the island to entertaining Helen Mirren. That's me and Anthony, below. We hit it off pretty well, as the photo attests.
Anthony Hunte

Is it worth skipping a day at the beach to check out these sites? I say yes, if only to see more of the island than you would from your cabana. I would also recommend it on day 3 or 4 of your trip when maybe you've had a little too much sun. You will need to rent a car or hire a driver to get to St. Nicholas Abbey, George Washington House or Hunte's Gardens, so be sure to figure that into your budget.

Check back tomorrow to learn more about nightlife, restaurants and hotels in Barbados.
Read Part 2 of Annie's adventures in Barbados.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Win a Vacation

Do you need a vacation as badly as we do? Enter to win Home Away's Summer Vacation contest where the grand prize is a $10,000 Home Away rental. You can chose to stay at any number of dream homes like the the 7 bedroom oceanfront home in Honolulu shown above. To enter, share with the world why you need a vacation via an essay, photos or a video. If you do enter, shoot us an email and we'll help campaign for you! But hurry, because entries are only accepted through July 2.

Speaking of campaigning, let's all join in with Home Away to lobby Congress to declare August 7 National Vacation Day. August is like March--one of those endless months without a single holiday. We could use that day off! Sign the Save Our Summer petition on Home Away.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

4th of July Deals - Last Minute 4th of July Deals

The other night at dinner, our friends were plotting their last minute 4th of July vacation plans. No, they're not out of luck, planning a trip a week before the big day. In fact, there has never been a better time to be a procrastinator. There are still plenty of 4th of July deals to be had. A few of our favorites:

Looking for a Caribbean vacation? The U.S. Virgin Islands (St. John, St. Croix and St. Thomas) has an ongoing Sizzlin Sampler Promotion, that includes: a fourth night free at participating hotels, $300 air credit, plus various coupons for dining and attractions. Our pick is St. John (below).

Barbados is still surprisingly affordable. As of today, you could get airfare from NYC and three nights hotel from $772 a person from STS Vacation. (We make no guarantees on the hotel, but, hey, it's still the beach!)

Want to stay in the country? Thanks to Miami and Beaches on Twitter for alerting us to the following two specials:

At the Mondrian South Beach, (below), the Sunset Lounge Package gets you a night at the hotel, a bottle of Champagne or vodka at the hotel's Sunset Lounge and 20 percent off spa treatments at Aqua. Prices start at $235 a night, and rooms are still available over the Fourth.

Miami and Beaches tweeted about a $175/night July 4 package at Viceroy Miami (below), but we couldn't find it online, though they do have plenty of rooms available starting at $195 and a third night free special going on. Our advice: Call them.

We grew up in D.C. so maybe we're biased; but the best place to watch fireworks is the National Mall (as long as you're cool with a crowd). The Kimpton Hotels is offering a "party like it's 1776" deal at their D.C. area hotels including the new Hotel Lorien in Alexandria and the Hotel Palomar in DuPont Circle (pool pictured below). Beginning the July 4th weekend if you stay two nights you can get the third night for only $17.76. All of their hotels whether in D.C., Arlington or Alexandria will give you a great view of the show.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Web Snob Roundup 6-26-09

JSG is super honored to join the exclusive group of Web Snob round ups! We'll be sharing weekly links from these kick a** blogs every Friday. Enjoy!

Stiletto Jungle
found cream eyeshadow the really doesn't crease.

All About the Pretty gives us what's in her Beach Bag this week.

Enter All Lacquered Up's giveaway and you could win bottles of Chanel Cosmic Violine and Mica Rose nail polish.

Allie is Wired has crazy celebrity teeth transformations.

Bag Bliss suggests a money-saving idea: How to Host Your Own Clothes Swap Party

Bag Snob exclusive: Speedy Sequin from Louis Vuitton, Snob or Slob?

Beauty Snob Falls for Bobbi Brown Fall Nudes collection!

Coquette dishes on UK's vending machine flats from Rollasole to save your tired clubbing stiletto-wearing feet.

Fashion Pulse Daily
Fashion Pulse Daily picks itscanvas favorites for June, ranging from hats to bags and shoes!

I'm Not Obsessed has to ask... do you think the shirt Kristin Cavallari wore while shopping is really worth $115?!

Check out Second City Style's recent 'He Said/She Said' about the recent ripped denim trend.

Shopping and Info loves the Chanel nautical stripe worn by Claudia Schiffer and Sienna Miller.

Going away for the weekend? Find out what to pack at StyleBakery.com

Stylehive has rounded up our favorite bright and colorful pairs of sunglasses, perfect for the brighter days ahead..

The Beauty Stop reports on the to-be-released Twilight Beauty Makeup from the makers of DuWop.

The Daily Obsession brings you the chicest finds under $50.

The Fashion Bomb compiles a fashion tribute to the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson.

The Jet Set Girls visit the Barbie Suite at the Palms Las Vegas.

The Shoe Goddess is completely enamored with these super hot Giuseppe Zanotti platform boots!

TheMakeupGirl visits the >Ritz Carlton Spa in Marina Del Rey and has the best massage ever....

V-Style discovers an unexpected skin care product in extra virgin olive oil.

eye4style gets glossy at Dashing Diva..

Twilight Baseball Vacation

Calling all Twilight fans: It's a little late, but if you're a serious fan, you can find a way to make the Twilight Fan Trip that starts on Monday as surely as Edward is cold and Jacob is hot. Included in the trip is a tour of Forks, La Push, the Quilete Tribal Nation and Seattle and Portland. You even get to have dinner at Bella Italia, where Edward told Bella the truth about being a vampire. The highlight of the trip is the July 4th Vampire Baseball day to benefit Make-A-Wish with the Portland Beavers where Victoria (aka Rachelle Lefevre) will throw out the first pitch. It looks like Peter Facinelli and Ashley Greene will be there, too. Wonder if they'll glow in the sun!

All this for $1599 per person. We would prefer a Sex And the City inspired Mexican trip, ourselves!

Bungalow Hotel New Jersey - On Our Radar - Bungalow Hotel

bungalow lobby
Looking for a one-tank of gas trip from NYC or Philly? We're hoping to drive ourselves on down to the new Bungalow Hotel in Long Branch, New Jersey later this summer. We get the sense that it is to the Jersey Shore what the Surf Lodgee is to Montauk, which means the hotel is destined to have its fair share of lovers and haters. But as with Surf Lodge, we're going to go out on a limb and say we're probably in the fan camp.
bungalow hotel bedroom

The 24 room Bungalow Hotel has a beach-goes-chic vibe with white linens and walls accented with kitschy accents like cowhide chairs and "Vive La France" wall art. The lobby features a 1940's pool table, a foosball table and a fireplace that is sure to be very romantic in the off season.

bungalow hotel pool
At night time, head up to roof top bar, Avenue Nuit. The action centers around the pool and fireplace; you'll find us lounging on one of beds. The website promises the club is fashioned after the "festive party paradies of St. Tropez". Sounds like a tall order to live up to, but we love them for trying!

Rates start at $229 plus taxes midweek. It seems slightly pricey, but at least we don't have to buy a plane ticket to get there.

Atlantic City more your speed? Check out the Chelsea in Atlantic City.

Origins Gloomaway Grapefruit Body-Buffing Cleanser

We've had a tough week, so receiving a sample of Origins Gloomaway Grapefruit Body-Buffing Cleanser was particularly timely. Origins brought back this line which includes their body souffle, bath bar, bubble bath and bubble gum. The Gloomaway line combines grapefruit essential oils, field mint, and sweet orange to lift your spirits and refresh your body.

We're partial to a scrub during the summer: to prep our skin for self-tanner and to slough off the dry skin we get from sun and salt water. The Origins Gloomaway was especially effective on our dry heels we've got from wearing flip flops everyday.

The collection is available July 2009 at Origins stores and Origins.com.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Top Secret Video - Sneak Peek

When Yuli from MyItThings emailed and asked me to be part of her top secret video project for the Style Coalition, I jumped at the chance to be involved, even when she said it involved being photographed sans makeup. Had I known it involved being photographed without shoes, I may have turned her down. Kidding!

In all seriousness, the video focuses on a message I care deeply about. It will be released in the next week or so and I can't wait to share it with you! In the meantime, here are my before and after photos, proving that it does take a village for me to look good! Thanks to the team at DEX New York, including Naomi who did my hair (that's him, below) and John Henry who did my makeup, and Thomas Cantley for the photos.

Here's my finished look. Proves that hair, makeup and a rockin' Tory Burch dress will make just about anyone look good!

Stay tuned for the video and check out Second City Style for more fashion blogger makeovers.

Megan Fox - Get Megan Fox's Look from the Transformers Premier

Megan Fox

Want to look like Megan Fox? Who doesn’t! For the LA premiere of her new movie, Transformers, Renato Campora for Frederic Fekkai created beautiful beach-y waves. He started with the Fekkai Summer Hair Marine Beach Waves to create surf-sexy texture. Renato then blow-dried her hair with the a round brush, then used a one inch curling iron to keep Megan's hair from looking to messy and give her style a modern and fresh feeling. Next, Renato pulled the top and the sides of her hair back and secured it with bobby pins. Then he used a long rubber band that goes around the head to create the hair bump in back to give the look just the right amount of height. He finished by spritzing Megan's hair with Fekkai Glossing Sheer Shine Mist and Sheer Hold Hair Spray to hold her style in place.

Fekkai products are available at Sephora, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Fekkai.com.

Beach Jewelry - Sand Jewelry DISCOUNT

Time was when we didn't bother with accessorizing at the beach. Seriously, who wants to worry about losing an expensive piece? But now we take a cue from the Beckhams and glam it up a little. Now, we're not suggesting you layer on the lariats and the chunky bracelets and pair them with a blinged out watch, but a small piece of beach appropriate jewelry turns even the plainest bikini into a fashion statement.

We're loving the very affordable pieces from Sand Jewelry. Designer Therese Nguyen was inspired by the ocean, and most of her pieces are in the ridiculously affordable $30 range, with a few pearl piece topping out at $150. We love this Black Fire Ring for $32:

and these Orange Pulp Earrings for $48:

We're super excited to be able to offer JSG readers a 20 percent discount on all Sand Jewelry purchases through September 1, 2009. Simply use the code: JETSET20 at checkout.

Check out Annie's in her favorite piece of Sand jewelry here. It's her ring in the second photo down.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Barbie Suite at the Palms Las Vegas

barbie in Vegas
Raise your hand if you didn't want to live in Barbie's Malibu Dream house as a little girl? Well dreams do come true, and this time it's not at Disney World, though it is in Disney World for grown ups. The Palms Resort in Las Vegas recently opened the Barbie Suite, designed by Jonathan Adler in honor of her 50th. (Don't worry, Barbie, you don't look a day over 29!)

Palms Barbie Suite living room
The suite is furnished with pink and black furniture, a mirror framed by a starburst of 65 Barbies and Barbie-approved wall paper.

There's even a 2-way fireplace and a hot tub for when Ken comes to visit, in addition to the bed with a pink headboard.

Palms Barbie Suite bedroom
If we lived apart from our SO, we would insist on having a replica of this corseted chair.

When you go, don't forget to stop by the pool to indulge in one of the poolside spa treatments.

The Barbie Suite may just knock the Caesar's Palace Villa from the Hangover out of our top must stay room in Vegas!

For more pictures of the Barbie Suite, become a fan on Facebook.

Product Review - L'Oreal Paris's Newest Cosmetic Launch

We have been using L’Oreal Paris’s new Hip Color Presso Lip Gloss and Hip Kohl Eyeliner for the past few days. Here is what we think:

The lip gloss is great. It comes in a little, portable applicator with two colors. You squeeze one or both tubes in order to get your desired color. The gloss is not at all sticky, and the color combinations work well together if you decide to wear both at once. It adds a perfect amount of gloss and shine while smelling delicious.

The eyeliner is very chalky and does not adhere to the skin well. After applying it, we had to wipe away little particles which smudged all over. This is very bad if you are in a rush to do your makeup. Plus, the black comes out grayish, which does not translate to eyes that pop.

Carry On Bags: Cute New Carry On Bags

We're always on the look out for covetable carry on bags for our weekend getaways. Here are a rainbow of options on our wish list:

Lululemon Jet Running Tote Here's a little secret: Workout bags make great carry ons. They tend to have lots of pockets and compartments and are washable and roomy enough for the weekend. This one is no exception.

Rebecca Minkoff Morning After Bag Let's face it, getting to the airport to catch the plane and flying are stressful enough. A bright coral bag like this one is an instant pick me up. We love the roomy outside pocket for our ticket and ID.

Bettina Square Tote Bag
This is like a purse and carry on in one, so you won't have to do that thing where you shove your third bag into your second to show you only have two carry ons when you get to security. It has 5 credit card slots and pen holders and a groovy floral lining.

Kate Spade Union Square Travel Opus Because we're determined to get something from the Kate Spade sale and who doesn't love a bag that would make Kermit proud? The nylon zip top bag would make a great beach bag, too.

Marc by March Jacobs Tote This bag will looks just as chic when you're walking around the city as it does on the plane. Marc, you've done it again!

The DVF Tiger Box Bag We get it. Not everyone loves color. But if you're going with black, at least mix it up with a sexy pattern. Meow!
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