Saturday, May 28, 2011

New Jasmere Discount - 25% Off Now Through Sunday at 4:00pm ET

Jasmere just reached it's 25,000th fan on Facebook. To celebrate, you can get 25% off of any purchase now until Sunday at 4:00 pm ET. Just enter 25K at checkout. This discount can be used on any of the current offers. The only things not included are previous orders or gift cards. Happy shopping!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Jasmere Discount From Now Until Saturday (5/28)

Jasmere has a special promotion discount (10% off vouchers/products) running from now until Saturday, May 28. Just use the code TRUSFLUV and get a discount on any of the multiple specials running on the site. You can also use it multiple times. Enjoy, and happy shopping!

Beauty Review: Birchbox Products from May 2011 Box

Reading the Birchbox Facebook page and watching the YouTube videos where the creators show their hauls, I've been rather surprised at how many people seemed unhappy with their May 2011 box. For the most part, I was very pleased with the products. Here are my thoughts on the products (in no particular order):

Ahava Mineral Hand Cream (full size [3.4 oz] $20): Although I have many, many bottles of lotion, I am not a lotion fanatic. Consequently, while I liked the lotion (it was moisturizing and not too heavy, which makes it perfect for spring/summer), I don't know if I will be buying this product. However, if I ever run out of lotion (unlikely, since my mom  gave me two huge bottles of Crabtree & Evelyn lotion that I still haven't made a dent in), I would consider Ahava.

Archipelgo Pomegranate Soap (full size [6.8 oz] $12.50): Even though I am indifferent towards lotion except during the cold, dry winter months, I love bath products. This soap is addition to my shower. Besides being moisturizing, the subtle scent and soft lather makes it seem like a luxurious way to start the day. While I have lots of soap (due to my addiction to Lush products), I am planning on picking up some Archipelgo soap from the Birchbox shop.

Bulgari Mon Jasmin Noir (full size [50 ml] $80): Perfume is a very personal thing. While the scent of this wasn't bad, it really wasn't me. I think one person (responding to her Birchbox haul for this month) noted that it seemed much more geared toward a more mature person, and I completely agree.

Stila Eyeshadow in Barefoot Contessa (full size [.09 oz] $18): Eyeshadow is one of my favorite products, and I was very pleased with this Stila shadow. It is smooth and easy to apply and blend, and the texture seems very refined. The color is also gorgeous. Although it looks like a rather plain brown color in the pan, it is more of a plum when applied, and I can definitely see it as a universally flattering and versatile color. Whether you want a light application for work or a heavier application for evening, this Stila shadow delivers. My only (very minor) nitpick with this product is that it came without a real compact. However, since this was a full size, I shouldn't complain too much (or at all).

Monday, May 16, 2011

Where Do We Go From Here? Two Reader's Polls

Dear faithful readers (and people who stumbled upon this blog while looking for literary costume suggestions or "The World is a Beautiful Place"),

I hope you are doing well. I am in the process of trying to decide what my focus on this blog will be during this summer. For the first time in a long time, I'm not teaching this summer. Even though I will be plenty busy at my other job, I'm hoping that I will be a better blogger this summer than I have been in summers past (or ever, for that matter).

I've been inspired to feature several different things, such as deconstructing/fawning over Sondheim's shows or rereading and reviewing classic children's and teen literature. However, since I am terribly indecisive, I am hoping for some suggestions. What would you like me to focus on this summer? By the way, when I say "focus," I don't mean that it will be the only thing I blog about this summer. However, I would probably dedicate the majority of my posts (let's say two-three each month) to the theme.

As this blog has become more eclectic (theatre, books, poetry, beauty, and the occasional food post), I have also been thinking about creating a separate blog for my beauty-related posts. Would you rather have those posts in a different blog, or are you happy (or at least resigned) to have them here?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Upcoming Theatre Events (Tony-Related and Otherwise)

Despite my relative apathy towards the Tony nominees this year, I am jazzed about some of the upcoming theatre-related events that are happening this month. Granted, few of them are occurring anywhere near me, but if you are in New York City or in Washington, D.C., then get ready.

In New York, there's the free Tony Award Documentary Film Series, which features Finding Billy (May 9 - sorry!), Every Little Step (May 16), and Show Business: The Road to Broadway (May 23). This also includes a panel discussion with some excellent speakers. While I haven't seen Finding Billy, I have seen the other two films and can safely say that both are very good. If you're in New York, this is definitely work checking out.

Washington, D.C.'s Kennedy Center is currently showing Stephen Sondheim's Follies, starring Bernadette Peters and Elaine Paige. It is running through June 19.

If you, like me, are not able to jaunt to NYC or D.C., you might be able to console yourself by seeing the New York Philharmonic's version of Company, which was filmed during its incredibly limited run and is being shown in movie theaters across the country.

Looking Ahead to the 2011 Tonys

The Tony Awards are coming up, and I'm hoping to avoid the technical difficulties that I experienced last year when watching them. The list of nominees are available on the New York Times' website (as well as other sites), and while it was an excellent year for straight plays (new shows like War Horse, The Motherfucker with the Hat, and Jerusalem had some great reviews), the musical categories aren't nearly as exciting.

I really don't have a lot to say about the nominated shows this year, since I've been out of the theater loop (due to lack of time and some lack of interest). Barring any unforeseen technical issues on my end, I will do my usual roundup/critique of the show after the event. In the meantime, to get you (and me) geared up for the Tonys, here are some suggested sources: This Week on Broadway: To get more information and thoughts on the Tony Award nominees, as well as predictions of who will win, you should head over to for the This Week on Broadway podcast, where some very thoughtful contributers (including Peter Filichia and Jan Simpson) talk about theater. It is becoming one of my favorite podcasts because the people involved are very knowledgeable and passionate about theatre; even when I don't necessarily agree with their reviews for a show, I admire their insight. Ben Brantley might not be everyone's cup of tea, but his website, which features reviews (his and others) on shows is a lot of fun. For an extra dose of Ben, be certain to read his thoughtful article at the Times on the 2011 nominees: "This Time, the Tonys Grow Up and Get It Right."

The New York Times Live Blog of the Nominations: Say what you will about the New York Times and their pay wall (which I have managed to avoid thus far). I love the live blog that they do for different events like the Tony Nomination and the Tony Awards. Even when the awards aren't that exciting, I can count on the live blog for snarky insight and analysis.

Beauty Review: Birchbox May 2011

I seem to get my Birchbox a little later than most people, and this is certainly a mixed blessing. On one hand, I usually spoil my surprise since I can find out (through YouTube videos and my Birchbox account) what is probably in my Birchbox before it arrives. While this can lead to some disappointment, it is also great when I actually receive my box and I discover that some of the products I'm not that excited about are much better than I expected.

For the most part, I'm pretty happy with this month's Birchbox selection.
First glimpse of this month's products

This month's theme is "elegant products that will always be in style, just like Mom." To that end, I received:
  • Stila eyeshadow in Barefoot Contessa
  • Bulgari perfume in Mon Jasmin Noir
  • Archipelgo Pomegranate Soap
  • Ahava Mineral Hand Cream
  • Tiny Prints greeting card (this was my extra)
So far, I've tried the Bulgari perfume and the Stila eyeshadow, and I'm looking forward to trying the soap (I love bath products) and the Ahava lotion. The Stila shadow seemed a little boring in the package, but it is gorgeous when applied (according to the Sephora site, the color is a shimmering metallic plum).
From left to right: Archipelago soap, Bulgari perfume, Stila shadow, Ahava cream, and Tiny Prints card
After I've spent more time testing the products, I'll put up a full review. If you have questions about Birchbox or about the products (from this month's box or from last month's), please feel free to leave a comment below!

Monday, May 2, 2011

"To the Little Polish Boy Standing with His Arms Up" by Peter Fischl: A Poem for Yom Hashoah

In honor of Yom Hashoah, which is observed today, here is an ekphrastic poem by Peter Fischl, a Holocaust survivor. It is a response to this picture:

"To the Little Polish Boy Standing with His Arms Up"
by Peter Fischl

You can see Fischl read his poem here:

I would like to be an artist
So I could make a painting of you
Little Polish Boy

Standing with your little hat on your head
The Star of David on your coat
Standing in the ghetto with your arms up
As many Nazi machine guns point at you

I would make a monument of you and the world
Who said nothing

I would like to be a composer
So I could write a concerto of you
Little Polish Boy

Standing with your little hat on your head
The Star of David on your coat
Standing in the ghetto with your arms up
As many Nazi machine guns point at you

I would write a concerto of you and the world
Who said nothing

I am not an artist
But my mind has painted a painting of you

Ten Million Miles High is the painting
So the whole universe can see you now
Little Polish Boy

Standing with your little hat on your head
The Star of David on your coat
Standing in the ghetto with your arms up
As many Nazi machine guns pointed at you

And the world
Who said nothing

I'll make this painting so bright
That it will blind the eyes of the world
Who saw nothing

Ten Billion Miles High will be the monument
So the whole universe can remember you
Little Polish Boy

Standing with your little hat on your head
The Star of David on your coat

Standing in the ghetto with your arms up
As many Nazi machine guns pointed at you

And the monument will tremble so the blind world
Now will know

What fear is in the darkness

The world
Who said nothing

I am not a composer
But I will write a composition
For five trillion trumpets
So it will blast the ear drums
Of this world

The worlds
Who heard nothing

it was you
not me