Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy Happy New Year!

I'd like to thank all my fabulous readers for reading my blog, posting your comments and sharing the love.


I just took a little trip down memory lane to see what I was talking about this time last year.

www.tigerbites.blogspot.com/2007/12/do-you-still-make-resolutions.html

I still don't believe in making resolutions but as I'm a goal oriented person I like to set goals to achieve. Same thing, different lingo?

My aims for 2008 were..lets see how I did at achieving them.

1. Increased financial stability.
Hmmm. Tricky one. I think I'm better at managing my money now. Not sure about the increased financial stability but I'll settle for increasING financial stability.

2. Develop Tiger Tem
Kinda sorta. I developed a jewellery brand under a new name instead. Once the ecommerce is up and running I'll share the details but so far, so very good! Not sure what 2009 holds for Tiger Tem but I'll keep you posted.

3. Develop a secondary career
This time last year it was a toss up between writing and interiors. Pleased to say writing won! Its been going very well, I've been writing for a wider range of publications in different parts of the world, and two (possibly three) very exciting looking projects for 2009 so I'll pat myself on the back for that.




2008. Its been a great year, ups and downs, good bits, bad bits and ugly bits.

But as long as you can wave adieu to 2008 with a smile and welcome 2009 with a wink and in style.....you're on the right track.

Have a good one and I'll be back with more good stuff in 2009.

In the meantime, in case you missed out on the love of gilt last time...here it is again.

www.gilt.com/invite/tigerbites

The best sample sale site ever and you can sign up for a limited time period through my personal link.



Enjoy.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Things to Do Over Xmas

1. Correct anybody that says Happy Holidays with Merry Xmas.
I'm so with Diddy on this, check out his Diddy Blog on youtube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ofCma-P9RM

Xmas is not about holiday time people, its about the birth of Jesus. So the next time somebody says 'Happy Holidays', smile and say 'Its Merry Xmas actually'. You don't need to be PC about calling things what they actually are. If a Jew said Happy Hanukkah to me on Hanukkah, I wouldn't be offended, I'd just say Right back atcha.

All this overly sensitive PC nonsense needs to stop. Respecting everybody's culture, belief and customs are the way forward, not homogenising everything to a glorious hue of beige.

2. Exercise.
With the recession looking deeper and darker than most of us had anticipated we're all going to be spending a lot of time at home. No need to let your increased sofa contact turn you into a lard ass though. Get thee to a gym. Or if not, walk long distances, jog, get a skipping rope, whatever tickles your fancy, just make sure you do some exercise.

Nothing like being broke and a few/several inches thicker all over to make the recession seem a hell of a lot worse than it is.
...make the most of the extra free time by getting yourself better acquainted with some exercise. Your ass will thank you for it.

Currently on my On-The-Go playlist
Camp Lo - Lumdi (yes, they're back!)
Lupe Fiasco - Hip Hop Saved My Life (Lupe I can live without, but I'm loving Nikki Jean's vocals)
Jazmin Sullivan - I Need You Bad Remix (she opened for Maxwell ...you know, the show where we were front and centre!!!)
Cut Copy - Lights and Music (discover the underdog and learn to love them people)
Estelle - Come Over (not a huge Estelle fan but I'm loving this one)
Lady Gaga - Just Dance (fun, upbeat, pefect gym/club song)
T-Pain and Justin Timberlake - Can't Believe It remix (trousersnake, on the vocoder, love it!)
Beyonce - Diva (don't like the video much but feeling the 'tude of the song)
Geto Boys - My Mind's Playing Tricks on Me (old school, they did almost all of it better)


3. Read
Most of our broke asses will be sitting out the recession at home so get yourself better acquainted with the low cost past-times. A good healthy mix of a little silly chick lit with some classics and a light sprinkling of contemporary classics will keep you entertained and intrigued. Reading for me is like feeding your mind and soul. You get to meet a wide range of people, discover places, vicariously live through experiences you'd never get to learn about any other way. Curiosity might have killed the cat but being daft as a dodo doesn't look all that fascinating either so, grab a nice Liberty cushion, a blanket and start working your way through some seriously good reads.

I do about a book a week so if anyone is interested in getting a book swap going, I'm game.

Here's my list of a few fabulous reads. Read them quick as the entertainment industry has a nasty habit of picking great books and turning them into crap films and TV shows.



Lipstick Jungle - Candace Bushnell
Candace Bushnell is the reigning Queen of the chick lit scene in my opinion. A genre of books that can be so mind numbingly dull, you really need to choose very wisely.

I've read all her books so far and this was by far my favourite (I'm awaiting the arrival of One 5th Ave so I'll let you know what I think about that after I read it). Its sexy, string, plausible, glamorous and set against the sexy decadent backdrop that is New York. Victory the fashion designer, Nico Reilly, Head of Bonfire (clever word play on Bonfire of the Vanities that makes me think its a thinly veiled Vanity Fair), and Wendy Healy, married to the beautiful but not so sharp Shane, studio head of Parador.

This book is a much better read if your mind hasn't been adversely affected by the decidedly sub-par TV show.

Shantaram - Gregory David Roberts
Don't be put off by the sheer size of this book....and it is HUGE. A friend of mine in Spain gave me a copy and I almost left it there as it was so damn heavy and bound to tip my case over the baggage allowance.

Its at least 1000 pages but it moves quickly as Lin's story takes us from his escape from a 19 year sentence in Australia to the under belly of India which sees him moving with all walks of life from slum lords, slum dwellers, his Pakistani taxi driver who becomes his best friend Prabakar aka LinBaba....and of course, the girl, Karla.

Every man's story centres around a girl and even for hard-as-nails Lin, the elusive and beautiful Karla proves the rule. It is one of the best books I've read in a long time and although it has faint echoes of Papillon, this is also a based on Gregory David Roberts true life story. Gregory David Roberts captures the essence of live in India, and the chameleon like qualities Lin possesses allows him to traverse the country and society and get front row and centre seats to every social strata.


Yes, Hollywood is butchering it. The film is due for release in 2011, but it might just be redeemed by the fact that Johnny Depp is playing the lead. I'd pictured Lin as a heftier, almost shaven headed Russell Crowe type, but we shall see how this pans out.

100 Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
A true Latin classic that is characterised by magical realism and a musical and melodious literary flow. I have a lot of love for Latin writers as more often that not they manage to weave a strain of beautiful fantasy into their story lines...and oh my, the way the Latin writers speak of love. This book doesn't have a conventional plot, more a series of connected narratives. The underlying tone, as I understood it, seemed to be, don't forget your history, culture and where you came from (so I'm sure he'd agree with me and Diddy on the nonsense of Happy Holidays).

His second (?) book Love in A Time of Cholera was penned almost 20 years later and is a story centred on the complicated love between Fermina, Juvenal and Urbino. If you ever need to find great quotes on love, say if you need to do a reading at a friend's wedding or something, leave all the 'How shall I compare thee to a summer's day' nonsense at the door and give the people something interesting, powerful. magical and real to think about.


On Beauty - Zadie Smith
I've read all her books so far, White Teeth, The Autograph Man and her most recent work, On Beauty.

I really didn't get what all the fuss was about White Teeth, The Autograph Man, for me, was a much more interesting read and On Beauty is a fantastic book. It was hard for anyone in my vicinity to talk to me when I wasn't at work or asleep as I was constantly reading this boo. Its a look at the inner machinations of a British/American family living in the fictional university town of Wellington, just outside Boston. Howard Belsey is the never quite lived up to his full potential professor from England, his wife, Kiki is his robust, rambunctious African American wife and they have three very lovable children, the quiet tortured soul Jerome, the acerbic, insecure and incredibly intelligent Zora and Levi...who is just a little boy lost in hip hop translation, and an absolutely adorable one at that.

I loved the accuracy with which Zadie captured all the characters in her book, you feel like you're practically living with the Belseys and watching the emotional landscape constant;y shifting and changing in that way characteristic of all families. The book has many other characters such as Howard's professional nemesis Monty Kipps who is of Caribbean descent and an infinitely more successful academic, and his devastatingly beautiful daughter Victoria who seems willing or unwilling (you decide) to wreak havoc wherever she goes.


Half of a Yellow Sun - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
It took me a while to get round to reading this. i love the fact that a young Nigerian author is doing so well on the global stage but I have to say, i was more than just a little bit put off when I met Ngozi at an event, I was presenting an award and she was doing a book reading and she came off as just a little bit frosty and stand-offish. So while that put me off reading her book for a while, I'm glad I did as its fantastic.

It follows the lives of a rich Igbo family with twin daughters around the time of the Biafran war in Nigeria. We watch the stories of the beautiful twin Olanna, her professor lover Odenigbo who she moves to the town of Nsukka to live with. Her seemingly cold and reserved twin Kainene, her English lover Richard who feels as Biafran as anyone else and the charming and accurately captured 13 year old houseboy Ugwu. I wasn't around to see the Biafran war but this book tells the story of the savage violence and tribal hatred in such an accurate way, it helps to understand the underlying strain of tribal relations in Nigeria.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

All He Wants For Xmas

Even though I just told you what he really wants for Xmas.....if you must spend your hard earned shoe money on a present that you can put under the tree....here are my suggestions for your boyfriend/fiance/husband/object of affection.

I'll just start by saying the boys are very very difficult to get the right present for, if its something techie, they were probably one of the 5000 people that turned up at the Apple store the day it was released or its extortionate.

I've asked around and here are some of the very helpful answers I was given.

Porsche Carrerra GT2...yawn.



Pagani Zonda...a little more interesting but....yawn.


Mayback Brabus....what are you, an African president?


Bentley Continental GT Turbo...nice, very nice but David Beckham you ain't which means I don't have Vicky B's budget...yet.

But I'm guessing chances are, credit crunch and all, those might be a little bit out of your price range.

So here are some suggestions that are actually useful!


Most guys quite possibly have one of these already but you can always get him another one, for his office, the bedroom, kicthen..anywhere really, it will always be well received and it will always get used.


The BlackBerry Bold is a pretty popular choice, so is the storm so choose according to the depth of your pockets.


The other new phone that's been getting all techie freaks excited is the new Google phone the G1.


A watch can be a great choice, but only if you know his taste really really well....and if he already has a watch he wears all the time he'll need a reason to wear a different one. Like a dress watch, or a more everyday watch. I like this one, its a good choice for someone slightly younger or with more edgy style...from Invicta.


This is a more 'proper' option for a watch, also from Invicta. Its got that big, sturdy look I love with mens' watches and while its not cheap at $524....it is a lot cheaper than a lot of the big kahuna watches.


Computrace is $59.95 for a year's subscription and while it might not be the most exciting gift, after my Mac-napping incident, I can see how this could ber very, very useful. The software you install on your laptop enables your laptop, if stolen, to be tracked and then the HQ partners with local law enforcement to get your laptop back. Nice. I'd love to be there for the swoop on that!



Forget the widescreen plasma/LCD screen.....you need to get a projector in the house. Not credit crunch friendly admitted, but you'll probably be stuck home a lot more while we ride out the recession so you might as well make home the most fun place to be.


I'm a little obsessed with globes, i could stare at one (and often do) for hours and not get bored. the world is a very big place, learn about it. Replogle do some rather fabulous sexy looking globes so chances are that would be a well received gift...interesting at least.


And most women will never pass up an opportunity to stick our fingers in the pie that is his wardrobe...so here are a few good winter picks.

Erase all images of Patrick Bateman from your minds, and consider some leather gloves. They actually look better and a little more grown up on men than the cute woolly ones.


Cult brand Junk De Luxe are very popular for the retro styling. Love this jumper from www.asos.com.



A cheeky Tshirt never goes amiss.


No need to slack off completely when he's chilling out. Relax in style with this cashmere hoody from Vince.



And just in case you happen to not like the one he's wearing on Xmas day, 'convince' him he has to wear his new gift. Nothing like a fabulous cashmere jumper on a guy. This one is by Toscano and is a bargaintastic $80 from Nordstrom.





For Your Brother or any other Male Relative

Brother's and male relatives can also be tricky people to chose presents for.

The Game (Penetrating The Secret Society of Pick Up Artists by Neil Strauss $15.
Even if he think's he's got game, he could probably do with some help (unless he's married). I've read this book, pretty interesting read, and once he can get over the fact that he think's you're dissing his game and actually reads the book, he might learn a thing or two! It's not a fool proof manual, all women are different, all men are different so not everything will work on everyone, but the basis getting the ladies is confidence.....now that is sexy.


If you have a teenage relative to get a present for, get him this, he'll be so mortified by his understanding of the title you'll probably never be required to get him a present again...ever. The Art Of Seduction By Robert Greene, contrary to what the title implies is not about how to bed the ladies, its way better, its about how to get into people's heads, stay there and play them like pianos...a very interesting read!



Tipping Point By Malcolm Gladwell is another great choice for a book gift. Very interesting look at the phenomena of how small things can make the biggest differences. And yes, I know, I read A LOT!


If any of the men in your life have a nimble way with words and find themselves travelling alot, this Jack Spade travel Scrabble set from Neiman Marcus could make a great gift. And even if he doesn't travel much, he'll be home a lot through the credit crunch so might as well keep that brain ticking!



Who didn't LOVE this film? And if he happens to get the projector for Xmas too....and you in a bow, it will be the Xmas that topped all Xmasses!

Enjoy and Have a fantastically fabulous time over the holidays!

Merry Xmas!

xoxo.

All He Wants For Xmas

All he wants for Xmas is you wrapped up in a bow.

Easy.

xx

Friday, December 19, 2008

All I Want For Xmas Is.....

Dear Santa,

I think I've been pretty good this year so I'll make this really easy, as many of any of the following items.

They're not in any order of preference.

Thanks.



And for anyone else looking for ideas, this list will be pretty handy for any of the women in your life (wife, girlfriend, sister, cousin, BFF)






Santa, I'm not normally a make-up junkie but this just looks like crack in the form of a beauty box. There is something for everybody in here. I gots to get me a hit. And its only $48 from www.sephora.com



And for a little more girlie nonsense, I really do need a beanie replacement and I love this crocheted version from Portobello princess Domakaya.



I love a good book, and I've loved all Candace Bushnell books so far, so I'm sure her new romp, One Fifth Avenue will be entrenched in the upper echelons of debauched Manhattan society yet again....love it already. £8.99/$15.99 www.amazon.com


Another great book from Cecelia Aherne, which my Mac-napper stole when they stole my laptop (and no I can't/won't forgive and forget)...so I'd like to be able to finish reading the book I was half way through. Seems a bit like a modern day Scrooge tale, lots of lessons for us to learn over the festive season...so I hope Mac-napper learns a thing or two about MORALS.



Yes Santa, I know I still have an ipod, but its really really old and kinda on its last legs so I'd quite like a cute bew updated version. In purple preferably, thanks. www.apple.com $138


And while we're on the topic of techy bits and pieces, I'd love some new earbuds and yes I'm loving these buds embedded with a storm grey Swarovski gem. Cheesy? Yes very, so just load me up with a good dose of cheddar in the form of these. Thanks. www.swarovski.com



Oh Santa, after much deliberation between the iPhone and the BlackBerry I think I'd like a crackberry for Xmas please, the Bold preferably, or the Storm...whichever you find first.




I am in all types of love with candles from www.thewhitecompany.com. A Xmas supply of the very seasonally scented Winter Candles, then we'll switch back to my all time favourite candle EVER...cassis. Fabulous. One for every room please, with an extra few.


And while we talking www.thewhitecompany.com they have these fantabulous cashmere cable knit socks that I just have to have to keep my tootsies (toes) warm through winter.


And while we're talking warmth, how about this hard working travel set that I would undoubtedly use as much as humanly possible..reduced to a much more wallet friendly $150 at www. cashmereboutique.com A fabulously soft and warm cashmere blanket, eyemask and cushion cover...it might take me a while before I can afford to turn left when I step onboard but this will be a very nice way to trick my body into the illusion of luxury.


Something else that's popped up on my horizon, a bit of a reworked blast from the past ...anything with the classic Ianthe print from www.liberty.co.uk Like this fabulous cushion for £22.50.

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And while you're in www.liberty.co.uk I'd love the classic Ianthe print silk coin purse too. £24.50.



www.smythson.com is the ultimate in premium quality leather accessories so how about a piece of that premium finery to house my jewellery collection. And yes, I'm loving this in the bright pink. $530.


And while you're dropping some major moolah in www.smythson.com I'd love the new Panama Diary in fuchsia croc as well. I get myself one every year but would be quite nice if beat me to it this year....thank you!



And what's a jewellery box without a fabulous piece of jewellery tucked away inside it. I'm in all types of love with these origami inspired earrings from Tracy Matthews, reduced from $185 t $68...fabulous.


Santa, santa, santa...I've had my eye on this table for AGES...and I still love it just as much as I did the first time I saw it. £385 requires some thought though. Its from www.grahamandgreen.co.uk and its an ancient Indian technique native to Rajasthan I think. No matter, love it. Want it. Thanks.



I know I really don't need any more bags but this one is so cute! From www.urbanoutfitters.com $28. Love it.

And most of all Santa, I'd love to see justice served to my Mac-napper. Something in the form of a freakish ma;function that gives them an electric shock. Not a shock big enough to kill them, not need for that over Xmas, but enough to scare the bee-jesus out of them...so they don't try to nick any more macs.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Hotness - Victoria Beckham's Dress Collection

Ho hum.

That was pretty much my reaction when I heard Vicky B was launching her own line of dresses.

But it seems the collection has the fashion cognoscenti all ruffled under their collars. The collection garnered rave reviews at New York fashion week and to maximise exclusivity in the best way possible, the initial production run was limited to just 400 dresses. Backed by the man that knows how to play the media like a piano, Simon Fuller, this looks to be a very successful and lucrative career move.

Selfridges had the UK exclusive and on the first day, there were only three dresses left unsold by 3pm. From late December/January, the dresses will also go on sale at Harrods, Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus.

The dresses start at around £1000 so clearly the credit crunch isn't crunching everybody!

If I'm entirely honest, I really don't see what all the fuss is about from looking at them. But then again with all the hidden corsetry on the inside, superior workmanship and premium quality fabrics, you probably have to try them on to really understand their beauty. (That's their story and they're sticking to it)


Dress No.1 is the Gavarnie Mirroire.



Dress No. 3 is the Minerve.




Here she is in the Frejus dress (Dress No. 4). Its a little too prim and proper for my liking but needless to say countless others have clamoured for it.




This is the Frejus, Dress No. 4 in all black, which is a MUCH better colourway in my opinion.




Dress No. 6, the Barbazan is definitely my favourite from the bunch. A simple strapless dress always works like magic for a formal evening out. The basket weave splattered with sequins adds a little oomph to a very simple and flattering style. (it looks like magic in white!)




Dress No. 7 is the Lombez and although its one of my favourites from the bunch, it doesn't look all that forgiving. But oh yes, the fabulous boning and corsetry on the inside....hmmm, still not that forgiving.



Proving the truth in the maxim, you are your own best PR, I love this dress the Bidart (Dress No.10). I doubt I'd wear it...but it looks fabulous. On Victoria Beckham.

Your thoughts?

The Hotness - Pump Action

For what has got to be the first time in recent memory, flat shoes have made their way to the top of partywear footwear lists.

Flat shoes might seem to take some of the fun out of dressing up, but sometimes, just sometimes, its nice to have a little injection of comfort.

The party season is THE season for dressing up to the nines for no apparent reason so if you're going for flat shoes, make sure the rest of your outfit is the hotness. In my humble opinion, flat shoes by night work very well when worn with very short skirts and dresses. And they look better when work with tights too. It helps tone it down just a teeny weeny bit.

So a thigh skimming, barely covers your bum LBD or black sequinned mini, a bright pop of colour with the tights (www.tigerbites.blogspot.com/2008/11/bit-of-leg.html...and some spingly sparkly ballerinas. Cuteness.




And you just knew I'd say the more sparkly the better. Be the dancing queen in these fabulously sparkly little pieces of joy from
www.faith.co.uk £21.54


Or if you prefer you spingly sparkly shimmer and shine with a little more sophistication, go for these black ballerinas. BP Edie from www.nordstrom.com $49.95.


And why not take a delicate pirouette on the wild side with these calf hair leopard print ballerinas? Fabulous. www.nordstrom.com $49


Jewelled is the way forward. Love these. www.asos.com £15.

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Oh my, these Antik Batik are very sophisticated aren't they? There's something about black suede that is so much more sexy than black leather n'est pas? www.asos.com £100 now down to £80.


And last but not least, a good dose of girlie fabulosity. Dolce Vita metallic pink leather ballerinas from www.nordstrom.com $69.95