Wednesday, March 5th

The HotList #SXSW Edition

I love a good trend. Especially in Austin during SXSW, when techies show off their newest gear and music lovers prance around like hipster peacocks. The conference is a nod towards what’s new, what’s artistic, and what’s going to happen over the next year.

Podcasts. Everybody cool has got one. The Austin-American Statesman recently started one. The recurring fad of digital media has true loyalists. People who listen to podcasts are passionate and those that create them are confident. Because it’s not easy to listen to your own voice.

Mr. Betty and I joined podcasters When in Austin for their first recording session of 2014 to talk about SXSW. Take a listen here and enjoy our tips, our fumbles, and our South Jersey accents.

podcast

Photo by When in Austin

Style. From sunglasses to sneakers, Keep Austin Stylish guides you to the right gear to wear. Achieve the right balance to looking cool while sprinting around town from event to event. If you pull it off well enough, you might even end up in one of her famous street style posts.

Libations. The parties never stop and the drinks are flowing during SX. Free drinks range from high-end martinis to all the cheap, tasteless beer you can drink. Those traveling from out of town might want to try the new, limited-edition Absolut Texas. They sent me a bottle of the cucumber and serrano flavored vodka and I was surprised at how good it was. The Absolut website provides recipes and my friends and I really enjoyed mixing the vodka with pineapple juice, cilantro, and jalapeño slices.

Absolut Texas

White Teeth. A bright smile is always on trend, actually, so when Influenster sent me the new Colgate Optic White Pen, I was pleased. An easy way to get whiter teeth in just a few days. Have you tried it?

Burgers. Shake Shake will be feeding thousands of hungry SXSWers with a complimentary pop-up. Late night burgers sponsored by Late Night with Seth Meyers? Oh, yes. We want that. Check it out on 6th & Red River (March 8-10) or E. 6th and Brushy (March 11-14.)

Ranch. Willie Nelson’s ranch isn’t normally open to the public, so when there’s an opportunity to get inside the gates, people jump at the chance. For the third year in a row, the Heartbreaker Banquet will take over the ranch with lots of live music and a full day of fun and partying. It’s invite only and therefore exclusive, but there are ways to win tickets.

Wednesday, July 10th

How to Dress Your Apple

I was contacted recently by a cool company in Holland to see if I wanted to check out their beautiful sleeves for Mac products. Um, hell yes? I chose one for my MacBook Pro and was delighted when a sleek package with a Netherlands stamp arrived at my door.

Mujjo MacBook Pro sleeve

Mujjo makes designer sleeves and covers that snuggly fit Apple products and touchscreen gloves. One might say they make your tech life more attractive.

Mujjo sleeve and MacBook Pro

Mujjo sleeve The Originals collection

The gray felt is thick, high quality and 100% wool. It is soft and luxurious while maintaining structure. The leather flap is vegetable tanned and hand dyed. The white is chic and classy, but I also love the brown leather. All the products come in both options.

Mujjo Mackbook Pro Sleeve

If you’re looking for a unique gift for an Apple-loving friend, this would do the trick. Check out the store for all the cool sizes and products. I have officially retired my neoprene case in exchange for this gorgeous new one. My laptop has never been so happy!

Disclosure: I received this product free of charge in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are my own and no monetary compensation changed hands. I keep it real, yo.

Friday, March 8th

Chronicles of a Party Girl

It’s South by Southwest and I pity the poor souls who aren’t in Austin right now. The next week and a half or so will be devoted to consuming as much pop culture and tech as we can squeeze in. And the parties, MY GOD, the parties! My event schedule is too big to properly manage, so I will be whisked away in the herds from one place to the next, hoping that I don’t forget too many. Taking a note from the scenesters, I’ve RSVP’d to everything and am on every list.

While SXSW officially starts today, most of us have been living it up for a week already. You know the pre-parties are necessary training for the actual week. And like conditioned athletes, we train hard. I’m already having too much fun. New career goal: socialite who attends parties for a living. Will someone pay me to do that? Pretty please?

Paris Hilton

Every company worth their salt hosts fabulous parties so you just have to show up, find parking, and enjoy the free drinks and eats. The parking is actually kind of a nightmare and while I’m usually lucky in that area, I might try to figure out how to (takes deep breath) take the bus. Unless someone is volunteering to chauffer me around for about ten days. Pretty please?

How to you prepare for a week of this?

6th St

Photo via The Statesman

SXSW

Photo via Extreme Air Shots

  • A fridge full of bottled water
  • 15 pounds of grapefruit
  • Starbucks double espresso shots
  • Ear plugs
  • Tons of eye makeup remover
  • Comfortable sneakers. Or heels, if you are stupid.
  • Phone, iPad, and laptop chargers
  • Book bag
  • Extra business cards
  • Mints and lip balm

Everyone might have a different Southby prep list, but that’s what mine looks like. In addition to all the parties I’ll be hitting the music circuit and some of the interactive stuff.

I’ll try to recap what I can after the haze clears. But I anticipate relaxing my blogging schedule for a week or so. See you on the other side, everyone!

Monday, January 14th

Just Another Glamorous Night

I had to make a decision on what to post today, a Golden Globe recap or a Downton Abbey recap. What would be better? Well, nothing’s better than the classiness of Downton. WRONG! Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are better than everything in the world! So Golden Globes it is. But Downton tomorrow…

So yes, Tina and Amy. Sigh. I wanted the opening to last forever. They looked so glamorous and have just a natural repartee. Great separate and better together, they are the comedy team of the millenium. Look at Amy’s red carpet look! So chic.

Amy Poehler

The Golden Globes are fun because they balance the serious stuffiness of the Oscars with the humor of the Emmys. The awards are split between television and movies, and I like that, as I love both so much. I halfheartedly watched the red carpet interviews before the show. Lots of great dresses.

Jennifer Lawrence had one of my favorite looks, feminine yet edgy, and took home the trophy for Best Actress in a Comedy. I still need to see Silver Linings Playbook.

Jennifer Lawrence

J. Lo’s dress was gorgeous, too. She has a knack for pushing the envelope and wearing daring designs and always. Pulls. It. Off.

Jennifer Lopez

Lucy Liu was simply stunning in this floral Carolina Herrara. And the messy braid is perfection. But I chose this photo for the crazy-looking ladies on either side of her.

Lucy Liu

Salma Hayek also wore one of my favorite gowns of the evening. I’ve seen her struggle with fit in the past, but not this time. The entire thing is beaded and it must weigh 25 pounds.

Salma Hayek

There were a few surprises during the show. Argo won for Best Drama and Best Director. Way to go, Ben Affleck. I need to see that one, too. And Bill Clinton presented Lincoln. 

Bill Clinton

Jodie Foster was the big honoree of the night. Her speech was…confusing. She started her speech by imitating Molly Shannon in the “I’m 50 Years Old” sketch, and that wasn’t great. She sort of came out of the closet, but of course, she’s been sort of out for many years. She vacillated between sentimental professions of love for her family and Mel Gibson, to lecturing about privacy, and what it means to be an actor. Then she sort of quit acting, but changed her mind during the backstage interviews. So, I’m not sure what the deal was. Was she drunk? Or is she just another Hollywood weirdo? Either way, she looked great.

Jodie Foster

Big winners of the night: Les Misérables, Girls, and Homeland. Oddest faces on camera were Mel Gibson, Taylor Swift, and a walrus Bill Murray.

Bill Murray

What were your favorite moments from the awards?

Friday, December 14th

Holiday Gift Guide: Hipstercrite Edition

Ho ho ho, all you Juggalos. There’s still over a week till Christmas, and if I know you guys, you haven’t started shopping yet. And for those of you who celebrate Hanukkah, well, you are almost done. Get busy!

Today’s gift guide is by Lauren Modery of Hipstercrite. Lauren is kind of an Austin Blogebrity. (Yeah, I totally made up that word. Don’t use it or I will sue you.) Her blog is wildly popular and as the name suggests, it often speaks to and about hipsters. But it’s also quite poignant and melancholy, as Lauren ponders her existence and a deeper meaning in her day to day life. She’s not afraid to anger her readers (election time) or break our hearts. She’s so much more than the word hipster implies, but at the very core of the word meaning is cool. And cool sums up Lauren to a tee.

Check out Lauren’s Hipstercrite Gift Guide

For the Hipster

Creative Scratchings hipster series- I first spotted these adorable scratch drawings while feeding my face-hole with benedicts from Another Broken Egg Cafe. Of course I fell in love with them because they’re a.) anthropomorphic animals and b.) they’re dressed like hipsters. The very talented Austin-based artist behind these prints, Janis, has several hipsterrific portraits to chose from, but my favorite is the stoic cat with his Texas tattoo and cycling cap. You don’t have to be a hipster or hate hipsters to appreciate the beautiful meta-irony of these. The Scoutmob Shoppe is currently offering select prints for $17.

Creative Scratchings

For the Austin Lover

Austin skyline necklace by Vinca- I love everything this local kick-ass jewelry maker does, but my favorite piece (beside the mustache rings!) is her wooden Austin skyline necklace. Every piece of jewelry, whether it’s acrylic, wood or precious metal, is designed and cut inside her shop with the help of an awesome team of ladies (Amber Demure!). Stay stylish while supporting local business! $38

Vinca Skyline

For the Music Lover

I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead: The Dirty Life and Times of Warren Zevon- You don’t have to be a fan of or necessarily known who Warren Zevon is to enjoy this nail-biting, wall-punching book. For those who know him, Zevon was a popular musician in the 70s with hits like “Werewolves of London” and “Lawyers, Guns and Money” before losing it all due to his hard partying, drinking, womanzing, wife-beating and child-abandoning ways. After decades of being a reclusive asshole, just as Zevon tried to make amends, he was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. This harrowing book, written by Zevon’s ex-wife by the request of Warren, is a must-read for any rock n’ roll fan or aspiring musician. $15.99

Warren Zevon

For the Girly-Girl

Benefit “Sexy Little Stowaways” makeup kit- I’m a sucker for beautiful branding, and eye candy packaging is what Benefit cosmetics is known for. Luckily they have quality products to back up the style. I’ve been a big fan of the San Francisco-based makeup producer ever since I tried their now sadly discontinued She-Laq eye makeup sealant. It’s difficult to buy just one item, and with prices averaging in the low twenty dollar range, their products can quickly add up. That’s why their “Sexy Little Stowaway” set is the perfect gift for converting your girlfriend to a Benefit groupie. At $34, this collection of travel-size samples includes popular products such as Bad Girl Lash mascara, Cha Cha Tint mango-tinted lip and cheek stain and That Gal face brightening primer.

Benefit

Friday, December 7th

Holiday Gift Guide: Amber Demure Edition

‘Tis the season to be shopping. Darling readers, you are in for a treat! To get you in the spirit of the holidays, Mad Betty will be featuring a series of guest posts from a few of my favorite bloggers.

The first in the series is a gift guide from Amber Demure, Austin’s most notorious party girl with a penchant for the finer things. Her blogs Amber Demure and I Eat Fancy feature brilliant drawings that put her life on display for the world to see. There’s a little Amber in all of us, and she expertly navigates the city’s best happy hours and deals, directing budget-minded scenesters where to get a taste of the good life. Her “Classy Lady” gift guide is just like her: funny, outrageous, and sophisticated with an edge. If the classy lady in your life drinks her champagne from a brown paper bag, now you know what to get her.

Presenting Amber Demure’s Classy Lady Gift Guide!

Not sure what to buy for the elegant woman in your life this season? Perhaps you yourself are a claaaaaassy laaaaady, and need some inspiration for what to stuff your own silk stocking with this year? Never fear, I’m here to help, and I’m classy as hell!

Gift #1: The Wine Rack, $29.95

Wine rack

If there’s anything a fancy woman appreciates, it’s wine. Why not get her the kind of rack you’ve been dreaming of, while getting her the kind of rack she’s been dreaming of? Sure, she might have meant one made of mahogany, but she never specified, so who cares?! She can imbibe at the opera, during a ballet, or even as she walks her Yorkies on a sidewalk downtown. You’ll be happy, and she’ll be happy… because she’s drunk.

Gift #2: Diamonds, $16

Diamond earrings

Karats, schmarats. These diamonds weren’t forged in the high-pressure tight ass of Ann Coulter, NO! These were made right here in Austin! They may not last forever, but she’ll look trendy for seasons to come. (And you’ll save a fortune!)

Gift #3: Gold, $799

Gold pills

Gold isn’t just for jewelry anymore. It can be found in desserts, alcohol, and even in overpriced skin creams, but the one place I can bet your classy lady hasn’t found gold coming out of is her ass. That’s right. She can now literally sh*t 24 karat gold. If that doesn’t scream classy, I’m not sure what does.

Monday, September 24th

And the Emmy goes to…

Last night the Emmy Awards were hosted by Jimmy Kimmel. He can do no wrong in my eyes and he was fabulously funny. If you missed it, here’s his monologue:

The night’s big winners were Modern Family and Homeland. I guess I’d better see what Homeland is all about. Julie Bowen wore one of my favorite gowns of the evening. A stunning electric yellow green that contrasted perfectly with her skin, not to mention the red carpet. I’m in love with this dress.

Julie Bowen

I was really hoping to see Jon Hamm take home an award this year. But alas, it’s still not meant to be. And for once, it wasn’t stolen by Bryan Cranston. It went to some guy I don’t know Damian Lewis from Homeland. Claire Danes took home the female role in that category as well. Also wearing a yellow dress. Julianne Moore, too.

Claire Danes

Julianne Moore

While my favorite funny ladies did not win anything, both Tina Fey and Amy Poehler looked glamorous. They’ve both had red carpet blunders in the past, but there were no missteps this time around.

Tina Fey Jon Hamm

Amy Poehler

Awards I was not happy about: Jon Cryer’s win for Two and a Half Men. Nothing against Cryer personally, that show is just terrible. The Daily Show winning was a letdown, only because it would be nice to see The Colbert Report win one. And Mad Men won NOTHING. What the hell?

Okay, more fashion. Only Sofia Vergara could pull off this look:

Sofia Vergara

While I no longer support Ginnifer Goodwin’s haircut, I love this dress:

Ginnifer Goodwin

My pick for worst look of the night goes to Girls’ Zosia Mamet. It is weird and unflattering and her severe hair does not help.

Zosia Mamet

I’m leaving you with the finest moment of the evening, the opening. See you next year at the Emmy Awards!

Friday, August 31st

Make it Work

We’re in the tenth season of Project Runway. After dedicating myself to this show for so many years, I thought I might take a break for a season. Then I saw a preview of the candy challenge and I was sucked right back in. I can’t resist watching designers cry over trying to make clothing out of licorice.

This season features all the requisite character types that we’ve come to expect.

The Arrogant One: Ven Budhu is undeniably talented and he knows it. Offering little in the way of personality, Ven is there to win not to make friends. He’ll likely be in the final three.

Ven Budhu

Most Likable: Buffi Jashanmal has her own funky style and a charming accent. Her self-deprecating humor won over the other designers, but sadly her talent wasn’t up to par. She’s already gone.

Buffi Jashanmal

Bitchiest Gay: Gunnar Deatherage is the youngest contestant and has ridden the waves of bitchiness further than I thought he could.

Gunnar Deatherage

The Weirdo: Kooan Kosuke is as weird as his hair. Sadly, he decided the competition wasn’t for him and he quit. I don’t think he had a shot of winning, but I would have liked to see him stick around longer.

Kooan KosukeLaughably Bad: Andrea Katz. Every season there’s a designer so terrible that you wonder how they made it on the show. Andrea earned the title this season. She also quit the show by stealing away in the middle of the night. That made for some good drama.

Andrea Katz

Fun Gay: Christopher Palu. The cast is filled with fun gays, but Christopher won me over with his Cher impersonation. He and Gunnar lock horns which provides some nice drama.

Christopher Palu

My choices for top three designers: In addition to Ven, I like Sonjia Williams and the oft overlooked Dmitry Sholokhov. All three are incredibly talented and I’d love to see a fashion week showdown. Sonjia’s personal style is my favorite on the show. Girlfriend rocks that blue hair with class.

Sonjia Williams

Dmitry Sholokov

The judges have really settled in a place of unified harmony.

After doing this for so many years they seem calm and all-knowing. It takes little banter to get to a place where they agree on winners and losers. Of course they only show a few minutes of the discussion, but in Tim Gunn’s book Gunn’s Golden Rules: Life’s Little Lessons for Making it Work, he reveals that the judging usually takes four to five hours. He also dishes dirt on former contestants, people in the fashion world, and random celebrities. While at times a little preachy about etiquette, the gossip is good and makes the book worth reading.

Are you watching the show this season? What do you think?

Friday, June 15th

Gossip Folks

I thought today we could just chitchat.

SJP Obama and Andy Cohen

Did you hear about Sarah Jessica Parker’s dinner for Obama? That’s the kind of dinner party I would love to attend. Andy Cohen was there, as well as Anna Wintour, Michael Kors and Meryl Streep. They must have talked fashion and politics for half the night, but then what? Real Housewives of New York? BTW, Aren’t those new housewives cray-cray? Where do they find these people?

Chyler Leigh

Now that a few weeks have passed and we are starting to heal, can we talk about the Grey’s Anatomy season finale? Holy crap. Does Shonda Rhimes get off on toying with our emotions or what? Just when things seem calm for a moment, BAM! Plane crash with all the doctors on board. I was really bummed to see Lexie Grey go and did not see it coming at all. At least she went out with a bang, while Kim Raver’s Teddy just petered out. I guess Teddy was always kind of lame though.

Lady Gaga Fame Perfume

In between getting her head clunked with a pole and fueding with Madonna, Lady Gaga is creating her own scent. The photos of the bottle were “leaked” (yeah, right) and here we have it. I think the cap is absolutely representative of her style: sharp, angular, looks like giant shoulder pads. I’m not thrilled that the actual perfume is black though. It looks like soot water.

Portia de Rossi haircut

Portia de Rossi got a cute haircut. Ellen likes it.

Rihanna bra

Rihanna is such a hot mess anymore. She’s so busy getting in the middle of Chris Brown and Drake, that she can’t be bothered to put on a shirt. And WHY is she associating with Chris Brown?! If you want to know what stupid looks like, read her tweets. Seriously. Girlfriend needs a nice long trip to rehab and a new PR team. Her image, like her style, is ghetto stank.

Kanye West and Kim Kardashian

Kanye and Kim. Yup, this crap is still happening. Is everyone else as annoyed by this as I am?

Tom Cruise Rock of Ages

And finally, will you be checking out Rock of Ages this weekend? I feel like I have to, because this is such an unusual role for Tom Cruise and he always brings it.

Tuesday, May 1st

American Hipster: Vintage

American Hipster Presents is a new documentary show produced by Seedwell. They will visit ten cities with a large hipster population and make five episodes per city.

Seedwell started in their home city, San Francisco, and then quickly moved to the top of the hipster food chain, Austin. Seriously. They could do all 50 episodes here and not even scratch the surface of East Austin.

So here’s the first episode:

This is completely fitting, as Austin has an amazing vintage scene. You can’t throw a rock in this town without hitting a vintage store. (You might also hit a tattooed guy with skinny jeans and a moustache. We have LOTS of those.)

Charm School Vintage is a great place to shop. I also really love Flashback, Room Service, and Hog Wild when I’m in the mood for vintage shopping. No doubt, we like our clothing weird, eclectic, and already worn.

I’ll post the next Austin episode when it comes out. I will also be watching closely when they film Philadelphia, whose hipster scene is totally different. Dare I say…darker?

Hipster Chart