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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

free Happy New Year Wallpaper

Year 2008 has come to end and the count down has begun to welcome 2009. Free wallpapers blog offers you Beautiful happy New year Wallpapers. Feel Free to download High quality PC desktop wallpapers.

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New year Image : Blast celebration , Black trees
New year Text Msg : Happy New Year

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New year Image : Green Baloons , Green wallpaper background
New year Text Msg : Happy New Year

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New year Image : Green Leaves
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Download free Happy New Year Wallpaper
New year Image : Party Drinks to celebrate happy new year
New year Text Msg : Happy New Year

Claire & Adriana's New Years Fashion Resolutions

So it's New Years Eve!!
My boo and I are flying to London to party it up. What are you doing for the big day?
Along with celebrating with loved ones, this is the time to make resolutions for the New Year. Last Year, My Resolutions for the Fashion Bomb were quite simple:
1. Take the Fashion Bomb International (Hello! Checking in from Paris!)
2. Chill on the Big Ticket Items (I did do that--and managed to find quality items at sample sales).
3. Take the Fashion Bomb to the Stratosphere! (Work in progress, though we've certainly come a long way!)
With an eye on the future, Adriana and I are going to give you our New Years Fashion Resolutions for '09. For me, they're short and sweet:
1. Dress like Carine Roitfeld of French Vogue:

While in Paris, I've nurtured quite an admiration for French Vogue. The shoots are eye catching, breath taking and push the limits, and the editrix, Carine Roitfeld, is uberly fierce.

While Carine may play with color on occasion, she shows more often than not that black on black is consistently chic. Mixing slim pencil skirts with jackets in innumerable combinations topped off with sky high stilettos, Carine rules French fashion and looks super stylish while doing so.

Roitfeld definitely invests in her pieces, and in a similar vein, I'd like to invest in my wardrobe once and for all! So instead of buying 5 J.Crew blazers (yes, I've done that), I'll save my pennies for items like the following:

1. Vivenne Westwood Red Label Stretch Wool Blazer, $835. 2. Christian Louboutin Blood Mary Ankle Boots, $1,365. 3. Alexander McQueen Checked Tulip Skirt, $1,495.
Of course I'll continue to scour sample sales and the like, but this year, it's all about building that ultimate Fashion Editor wardrobe!
2. Read more Fashion Literature:
I own both the Fashion Book by Phaidon and Fairchild's Dictionary of Fashion, but haven't had the time to read 'em cover to cover until now! I'm going to study like I've got an exam, and get my fashion knowledge up to snuff.
3. Lastly, continue to expand the Fashion Bomb!

A lot has happened in the past two years: multiple redesigns, contests, tons of cool events and even merchandise! Adriana and I plan on continuing the fabulosity, and we're looking to the New Year for new contributors, fresh ideas, more updates, and scintillating Real Style. Hope you'll join us for the ride:)
That does it for me!
Adriana has a few as well:
"1. Follow the "1 In, 1 Out" Rule

My closet was so full at the beginning of this year that it took about three rounds of purging to get it down to a manageable size! I started using the "1 in, 1 out" rule as a way to really make myself think about purchases: if you add a new item to your wardrobe, you've got to take out an old piece. It makes you think a lot more before you buy, and I'm willing myself to keep doing it in the new year!
2.Finally Watch a Whole Season of "Project Runway"

It's my dirty fashion secret: I haven't been able to sit through an entire season. Not because it's not fun or interesting--I just end up forgetting about it! It's terrible. This year I resolve to not forget and make it to the bitter end so that I don't have to hide anymore when it comes up in conversation!
3. More NY Scene, Fashion Bomb 101s, and Celeb Interviews

It's been a dream of a year working on the FB, and I'm grateful to both Claire and our readers for being fabulous and inspirational, as well as encouraging me to grow as a contributor. Here's to more NYScene, helpful 101s, and celebrity interviews to stimulate and satisfy your style jones!"
What are your fashion resolutions??
The Fashion Bomb

Our New Year Eve Dinner - passing the baton of cooking

What's your idea of a New Year Eve Dinner? Hotel? Best Restaurant in Town? Parents-in-laws?

Mine has often been home cooked if we are not travelling not that we travel a lot. It is usually at home and with some friends staying with us. I cook so much that sometimes I think I operate a Bed and Meals homestay but that is what the family is for since my grandmother's time - never let a traveller pass by the home without a good meal.

This New Year Eve is slightly different because I am working right until five. And someone other than yours truly must get the meal going. Therefore we suggested children-cooked meal.

And thus a New Year Eve dinner was cooked in spite of the travelling the hair perming and the hard to come by mint and basil. We managed to do some photography too.

If you need a good dish shashimi is always a good idea. There is no preparation except for the wasabi and Kikoman sauce and perhaps a good knife to slice the salmon well. This is a good way to start a good CHILDREN- cooked New Year Meal.

For a change instead of making the usual Foochow Spring Roll my daughter made a Vietnamese inspired roll with Vietnamese rice paper (bought in Kim Joo Miri) . the rice paper is different from the normal spring roll skin. We used salmon and cucumber as part of the filling. turned out quite exotic especially with the authentic Vietnamese sauce suggested by my son's Vietnamese classmate.

This is Grandma's pork meat balls (small king pork balls in Foochow) made to perfection and even served in a traditional Foochow soup tureen (made in China - blue and green).
My son is a kind of family specialist for this dish. Once upon a time he wanted to eat them so much that he called up grandma for the recipe and the tips to make the pork balls just like hers. BTW I am a "the original 5 minute speedy cook " so I do not do time consuming dish like this. My son once told me that he had been mentally and physically denied this wonderful pork balls and he was definitely traumatised . Miri restaurants do not do this Foochow dish. For generations in my mother's family would gather together in the early morning before the festive dinner to make each pork ball with great love from scratch ( YES - WE DID NOT BUY MINCED PORK). And that is why the dish is just so wonderful and meaningful. I am glad my son is the holder of the recipe now. And this evening the spirits of my grandmother and Third Uncle Pang Sing were with us.

My last outing in making a huge humber of this pork ball was when a cousin got married in Sg. Maaw and my Third Uncle Pang Sing and his helpers including some of us made enough pork balls for 12 tables!! Easily 2 balls per person - so 240 balls!! That was more than 40 years ago.

This is our family dish - the crispy skin belly pork with really crunchy and melt in the mouth skin. The pork was seasoned for a good 24 hours and then roasted over high heat in the convectional oven until the skin blistered and crackled. Then for a short while the rest of the meat is slowly roasted until it is tender to the teeth. Every member of the family has been trained to prepare this dish.

One important dish my children has to perfect is the Szechuan vegetable pork rib soup Foochow Style. Fresh pork bones and ribs must be par boiled and so must be the szechuan vegetables. This is one of their favourite soups. So they got it ready for dinner spending a big slice of their afternoon watching the stove top pot .

This is almost my kind of "instant" dish " I often have broccoli at home or I can pick it up from the way home from my favourite import vegetables lady hawker (whose daughter is going to be an economist now studying in UNIMAS) and whose 20 year old son who sells vegetables in another market drives a racy Honda car. With dried mushrooms and a tin of sea asparagus I can do this dish in 20 minutes and I have taught my children about this kind of "instant" cooking. I do believe that my children can now rustle up something like this for their friends and relatives.

The mun mien (braised noodles in seafood and soy sauce) is a Foochow "last dish" which signifies the host's generosity. It is the dish that says" one for the road". In case the meal has not been decent enough this noodle dish will fill you up and you won't get hungry along the way home. Excellent idea from the Foochow elders!! And the trick to remember to pick it up(and remember to order in the morning) as you pass by your favourite mung mien outlet or your favourite hotel restaurant on your way home from work. Just add more of the bok choy which you have put on standby in the fridge if you want more greens. The problem about cooking the noodles yourself is the large amount of washing of the wok and other utensils!!

I think I can retire from the family kitchen officially now and read Bertrand Russell or Cecilia Ahern with my legs on the footstool while the stoves are roaring with their fires!! Or blog when "some one is in the kitchen washing dishes!!"

Happy New Year!! And May God bless you Bountifully in 2009!!

New Year - Gifts and Celebrations around the World

2008 will end in 15 hours from this time of writing! And 2009 will be another year, a new year! How time has flown. A relative said very aptly last night : "I hardly felt the year passing by!"

We have grown a year older and hopefully a year wiser. And many of us have put a little more in the middle and not as much in the bank!

Two thoughts today: gift traditions at new year and different ways of celebrating new year throughout the world in order to understand the culture of some selected people of the world. Perhaps we can be united in our diversity one day.

Gift Tradition at New Year

With the new year coming in all of us think of new clothes and gifts for each other. We just cannot help it. We dig deep into our pockets to buy things for our loved ones. This generous feeling just comes in suddenly at the end of the year.

From the Celts to the Romans:
The Celtic-Teutonic Druids used to make a gift of their holy plant mistletoe at the beginning of the Year. Among the Romans such gifts were called 'strenae', a word said to be derived from the goddess of luck, Strenia. At first the gifts were branches from sacred trees meant for wishing recipients an auspicious New Year. Later objects like gilded nuts and coins bearing the imprint of Janus, the god with two faces to whom January was sacred.

Rome had also developed a custom of presenting gifts to the emperor. But later the spirit ceased to exist and a 'forced payment' replaced the 'gifts'. Courtesy, the power wielding Roman despots. It went on for some couple of centuries until the practice was forbidden by Pope Leo I the Great in 458.

The English and the Scots:
English royalty, also began to force their subjects in the matter of New Year's gifts as early as the time of Henry III (1216-72). Queen Elizabeth was very watchful of the "who's and what's" of the giving and received great amounts in jewels and gold on New Year's Day. She systematized the practice to the extent of keeping descriptive lists of the gifts presented to her from all walks of life. However, following the splendor of Queen Elizabeth's reign, the practice declined. Finally, when Oliver Cromwell and the Puritans came into power, the custom stopped.

The New Year gift exchange was also a common practice among the ordinary English people until the Victorian regime. Gloves were a usual gift. Also popular were oranges stuck with clove, used to preserve and flavor wine. When the English had settled in America they brought in the tradition and continued to exchange gifts and presents at the New Years. So did the French. Thus we find, the predominantly French, New Orleans continued with the New Year's practice for a long time. And in France even today gifts and greeting cards are presented on New Year's Day.

In Scotland, where New Year's is the biggest feast of the year, gifts were solicited by bands of boys who went from door to door begging for money and food and singing the ditty: " I wish you a Merry Christmas
And a Happy New Year,
A pocketful of money
And a cellar full of beer,
And a good fat pig
To serve you all the year."

New Year Around The World

Baby New Year Tradition
The tradition of using a baby to signify the New Year was started around 600 B.C by the ancient Greeks, who, at the start of a year would carry a baby around in a basket. The purpose of it was to honor Dionysus, the God of Fertility and symbolize his annual rebirth.

2) Hogmanay
The New Year in Scotland is called Hogmanay. The people in Scotland follow a ritual that appears nutty but actually has a great significance. One can find barrels of tar set afire and gradually rolled down the streets in the villages of Scotland. This ritual symbolizes that the old year is burned up and New Year is going to begin.

3) Burning "Mr. Old Year"
In Columbia, Cuba and Puerto Rico families stuff a life-size male doll with things and then they dress it up in old clothes from each family member. At the stroke of midnight, this 'Mr. Old Year' is set on fire. This is done with the simple belief that a doll thus stuffed have bad memories or sadness associated with them, and that the burning of these will help one to do away with all past grief's and usher in happiness in life with the coming year.

4) Eating Noodles
Late on the evening of December 3 1, people of Japan would eat a bowl of buckwheat noodles called "toshikoshisoba" ("year-crossing noodles") and listen for the sound of the Buddhist temple bells, which were rung 108 times at midnight. The sound of these bells is said to purify the listeners of the 108 sins or evil passions that plague every human being.

5) Eating 12 Grapes
In Spain people eat 12 grapes as the clock strikes midnight (one each time the clock chimes) on New Year's Eve. This peculiar ritual originated in the twentieth century when freak weather conditions resulted in an unseasonable bumper harvest of grapes. Not able to decide what to do about so many grapes at Christmas time, the King of Spain and the grape growers came up with the idea of the New Year ritual.

6) Gifts in Shoes
In Greece children leave their shoes by the fireside on New Year's Day (also the Festival of Saint Basil in Greece) with the hope that Saint Basil, who was famous for his kindness, will come and fill their shoes with gifts.

7) Carrying a Suitcase
In Venezuela, Argentina, Bolivia, and Mexico, those with hopes of traveling in the New Year carry a suitcase around the house at midnight. Some even carry it around the block to ensure traveling at greater distances.

8) Burning Crackers
The people in China believe that there are evil spirits that roam the earth. So on New Year they burn crackers to scare the evil spirits. The doors and windows of every home in china can be seen sealed with paper. This is to keep the evil demons out.

9) Times Square Celebrations
The first Ball Lowering celebration atop One Times Square was held on December 31, 1907 and is now a worldwide symbol of the turn of the New Year, seen via satellite by more than one billion people each year. The original New Year's Eve Ball weighed 700 pounds and was 5 feet in diameter. It was made of iron and wood and was decorated with 100 25-watt light bulbs.

10) Foods
It was thought that one could affect the luck they would have throughout the coming year by what they did or ate on the first day of the year. It is still held in some regions that special New Year foods are the harbingers of luck. For that reason, the Dutch believe that eating donuts on New Year's Day will bring good fortune. The hog, and its meat, is considered lucky because it symbolizes prosperity. Cabbage is another "good luck" vegetable that is consumed on New Year's Day by many. Cabbage leaves are also considered a sign of prosperity, being representative of paper currency. In some regions, rice is a lucky food that is eaten on New Year's Day. The ancient Persians gave New Year's gifts of eggs, which symbolized productiveness.

11) Black-eyed peas
Many parts of the U.S. celebrate the new year by consuming black-eyed peas. These legumes are typically accompanied by either hog jowls or ham. Black-eyed peas and other legumes have been considered good luck in many cultures.

12) Rings
Many cultures believe that anything in the shape of a ring is good luck, because it symbolizes "coming full circle," completing a year's cycle.

13) Wearing new slippers
In China, many people wear in the new year a new pair of slippers that is bought before the new year, because it means to step on the people who gossip about you.

14) Sealed doors & windows
During new year , the doors and windows of every home in china can be seen sealed with paper. The Chinese think that this will succeed in keep the evil demons out.

15) Jewish New Year
The Jewish New Year is called Rosh Hashanah. It is a holy time when Jews recall the things they have done wrong in the past, and then promise to do better in the future. Special services are held in the synagogues, children are given new clothes and New Year loaves are baked to remind people of harvest time.

16) Japanese New Year
On New Year's Day in Japan, everyone gets dressed in their new clothes. Homes are decorated with pine branches and bamboo, both of which are considered to be the symbols of long life.

17) American resolutions
40 to 45% of American adults make one or more New Year's resolutions each year. And these range from debt reduction to giving up bad habits to what not? But the ones that are the most common deal with weight loss to exercise to giving up smoking.

And tonight we will have another cookout with the whole family sharing the cooking and having a great Asian meal together. That's our family new year tradition for the time being.

Pass The Bubbly Please

Ah. The New Year is upon us - where did the time go? One more reason to celebrate with friends and loved ones, and one more reason to dress up and look fabulous. I'm sure you have all found your dresses already but I just passed by the store window of BCBG the other day. BCBG has always attracted me, there is something simple and ethereal about their dresses, and their cutting (for me at least, is superb).

Their dresses make you feel almost old hollywood glam or simply modern chic. I know they're rather simple, definitely something you've seen before, but talk about excellent draping! I don't know, there's something about them that makes me fall in love.

Love the velvet bodice of this dress!

This dress is actually much more beautiful in person.

Aughhh...I need to get this - look at that sleeve detail!

So simple, so lovely (especially the colour). Hm, I will advise you not to wear a headband that the model demonstrates...

Ok, kind of generic I know, princess cut blah blah blah. But the material! And a colour that would look great on all skin tones.

What are you doing for New Year's? &equally important, what will you be wearing?

Fashion News: How to Shop Your Closet

"Shopping your closet" has been one of the hottest terms thrown around since we were officially declared in a recession, and the Wall Street Journal's fashion maven Teri Agins shares the scoop on just how your fellow fashionistas are doing it.Aside from tailoring your current pieces to jazz them up and selling jewelry you no longer wear (both of which Teri mentions), I'd also suggest tapping your friends to see if any of them need to do a closet purge. If enough people say yes, grab a few bottles of wine and invite everyone over for a chic closet swap party. It's a fun way to edit your wardrobe, get some new pieces, and kick it with your girls all at the same time!
*Photo courtesy of The Wall Street Journal

Throwback Video: Toni Braxton's You're Making Me High

Here's a bit of a throwback viddy for your viewing pleasure:

A few modern observations:
*How fly was Toni in that white catsuit?
*A+ for the Pizza Guy (wasn't that Bryce from Groove Theory?)
*Um, who were those other guys? Did I see Marcus Schenkenberg?
*Vivica A. Fox, Tisha Campbell-Martin (Gina!!), and Erika Alexander (Pam or Maxine Shaw depending on your preference) all looked great!

Didn't you just love this video?

15 under $150: Items to Spice up your Wardrobe

Spice up your wardrobe with the following affordable items:

1. Kimchi Blue Tiered Houndstooth Coat, $70. 2. Coiled Snake Necklace, $8. 3. Beckerman Charlotte Plaid Tux Jacket, $102. 4. Pyramid Stud Hinge Bangle, $7.50. 5. Free People Aletha's Tube Dress, $108. 6. Chunky Cocktail Ring, $17. 7. Priscilla Patent Leather Tote in Brown, $34.50. 8. Dolce Vita Madison Pump, $136. 9. Nine West Untracable Tote, $99. 10. Steve Madden Elivate Boots, $101. 11. LAMB Leather Miniskirt, $119. 12. French Connection Lofty Pull Over Sweater, $90. 13. Leather Pleated Clutch, $90. 14. Delia's Bobbie Solid Coat, $99.50. 15. Pins and Needles Leather Vest, $148.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Brandy's Louis Vuitton Swag

Brandy keeps it blinged out, recently spotted sporting Louis Vuitton boots and a matching Speedy bag for a shopping trip:
If you dare to splurge, get a Brandy look with these blinged out accessories:
Left to Right: Louis Vuitton Jodie Monogram Mini Lin High Boots, $1,510. Monogram Mini Lin Speedy, $775.
Ah, if I were a rich girl...

Good Golly Boots!

I found (and purchased) two pairs of boots this weekend.

Yes, two.

They are comfortable ... and I love, love, love them.

Steve Madden - Legion

INC Brook Riding Boot - mine are chocolate brown and aren't so shiny.

Oh sales how I love thee.

Fab Links

Hey Y'all!
I'm fresh off a plane to Paris, and am going to get my jet lagged booty to bed!
If you still need your fashion, beauty, and gossip fix, check out the following sites--they're the bomb!
* JC Report lists the world's top five must stop shops:
*The YBF brings the gossip, exclusively reporting that Eva and Lance Gross are now engaged...
*Fashionista thinks Beyonce's Diva video is a recreation of Gareth Pugh's Spring 2009 Show:
*And Scandalous Beauty gives the scoop on After Christmas beauty sales!
I'll be back in fine form tomorrow:)
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