Saturday, July 31, 2010

Movie Review: Ramona and Beezus

This family-friendly comedy about a troublesome young girl, Ramona (played by Joey King), does not miss a beat and is brilliantly adapted from Beverly Cleary's series based off the same character. The author is currently in her nineties and until now had been fighting her series' adaptation into film. Cleary ultimately decided she would like to see it happen before her death on the condition that it remain timeless, meaning no attention was paid to fashion or other current trends or technologies - which only made the film work better. The characters brought to life are hard not to fall in love with and the relationship between Ramona and Beezus (Selena Gomez) is heartwarmingly believable, especially for those sisters out there. Anchored by an amazing performance from the adorable King and rounded out by an excellent cast that includes Ginnifer Goodwin (He's Just Not That Into You), Josh Duhamel (Transformers), Sandra Oh (Grey's Anatomy) and John Corbett (Sex and the City) this is a refreshing and fun trip back to your childhood.
Best on-screen moment: Ramona's heartbreaking and hilarious attempt at taking the perfect school picture.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Album Review: Save Me, San Francisco

Train has been one of the best presences in music since they stumbled on the scene in 1998 with "Meet Virginia." The band then went on to garner multiple Grammy nods and wins for the album My Private Nation, et cetera et cetera. Their latest effort Save Me, San Francisco continues in the vein of fabulous pop/rock that fans have come to know and love. On the title track (and album opener), lead singer Pat Monahan croons "I've been high/I've been low/I've been yes/And I've been oh, hell no." Genius. Not to mention the first single "Hey, Soul Sister" has been a major anthem for the spring/summer seasons.
Catch Train on tour this summer with John Mayer, wrapping up Aug. 11, or by themselves through September in a city near you! (or you can "travel to Spain where the rain falls mainly on the plain" sound insane?)
Most notable tracks: "I Got You," "If It's Love"

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Thirsty? Why Wait?

It's about that time for summer session II midterms and many of us across campus are in need of some quiet study time. Sadly, the weather has also been gorgeous after many nights of rain so it's hard to stay cooped up inside just to do homework. Our proposal then is to get out of your indoor rut and study your brains out at a local cafe or restaurant with outdoor seeting. That way you can study, soak up some Vitamin C and enjoy a delicious, low-calorie beverage all at the same time.

VIM's summer day-drinks of the moment are:

Iced Skinny Vanilla Latte (no whip cream)
For those that enjoy caffeine

Raspberry/Mango Italian Soda
For the non-caffeinated crowd

Quench your thirst at a nearby Espresso Royale location, either 527 E. Grand River Ave. or 1500 W. Lake Lansing Road.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Shine Designs

Shine Designs is a local handmade jewelry and accessory shop begun by a recent MSU graduate, Roxanne Dewyer. Dewyer's collection is very fun, young and adds a pop to most any outfit. Plus, it's original and who doesn't love that!

Check out Shine Designs online at one (or both!) of the following links:
Shine Designs - Home

or visit the shop in East Lansing at 129 1/2 E. Grand River Ave.

Red Carpet Chic

Two movies premiered over the weekend, Ramona and Beezus (in NYC) and Charlie St. Cloud (in L.A.). We were blown over by the incredible fashion sense(s) exhibited by the films' starlets Selena Gomez and Amanda Crew, respectively. So here's a little eye candy/fashion inspiration.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Girls' Night Movie Guide

After all of the rainy summer days brought our way, we thought we'd offer up a list of our favorite movies to watch on any given girls' night in, so grab some popcorn and start your slumber party.

Funny Face

A true classic starring the wonderful Audrey Hepburn. This musical about modeling goes behind the scenes of the art of fashion and is set in gorgeous Paris, France. If that isn't enough, this film sees Hepburn paired with the infamous Fred Astaire.

A League of Their Own

Baseball played by... women? With an all-star cast, including Madonna and Tom Hanks, and some of the most hilarious lines ever uttered, this is a must see (if you haven't already). Not to mention it is an empowering flick for the female population.
"There's no crying in baseball." Thanks for that one, Mr. Hanks.

Now & Then

Where to even begin with this amazingly underrated movie experience. We like to think of these girls as the original fearless foursome (to be followed by the ladies of SATC, the Sisterhood and countless other four-part friendships). If you've never seen this, or at least haven't in a long while, get the girls together and enjoy!


"Uh, as if (!)" you don't already watch this whenever it graces your television. A film that spawned countless stars (Donald Faison, Paul Rudd and Brittany Murphy anyone?) as well as catchphrases. Take a trip back to 1995 and laugh hysterically... even if just at the clothes.

Drop Dead Gorgeous

We chose this cult classic to round out our list because, to be honest, it never gets old. Apart from its stellar cast, this movie takes a serious stab at the world of beauty pageants in a way that is almost a million times better than another female favorite, Miss Congeniality.

**Honorable mention goes to the following flicks: The Breakfast Club, Grease, Mean Girls and Whatever It Takes

Friday, July 23, 2010

Easy Summer Hairstyles

Braided Updo

This style always looks classy and is really easy to do on your own. Simply craft a loose braid that spans from your part across half of your forehead around to the back of your head. Then bobby pin the remainder in whichever fashion you see fit. Ta-da, you're all set for a day in the sun or a night on the town!

As seen on Kristen Stewart (left).

Untamed Half Up, Half Down

This hairdo transitions easily from a day on the job (at your summer internship, perhaps) to late-night drinks with the girls. The slight bump toward the back adds a classic '60s edge to this half up, half down style. The loose way in which it is pulled back won't give you a headache, either.

As seen on Camilla Belle (right).

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Album Review: Time To Win, Vol. 1

This "album" (officially released in 2009) is more correctly defined as an EP, as it contains only seven tracks. The seven that are provided, however, give fans exactly what they are looking for. We've chosen to broaden horizons to this group as a result of their recent visit to the Michigan State University campus this past spring semester, opening for the Sparty's Spring Party concert headliner Cobra Starship. A seven-person band with quite an odd name, Down With Webster provides dance/electronic music fans a fabulous blend of party anthems on Time to Win. Lyrics like "It feels like we haven't seen each other in years/Why don't you join me for a couple of beers *clink* cheers/Wow/I seen you on my Facebook profile..." show the group's fit to the new generation of college students. If you like Cobra Starship or similar music, definitely check out this EP.
Most notable tracks: "Whoa Is Me," "Rich Girl$"

Get Their Look!

Fairly recently, Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens attended the Get Him to the Greek premiere at the Greek Theatre in Hollywood, Calif. Always the stylin' duo, we've scoured the Internet and found ways for you - guys and girls - to get their look... or at least part of it.

For Vanessa’s look, try:
Faux Leather Jacket – $52.99,
Flower Power Dress – $14.90,
Patent Leather Pump – $69, Fitzwell Carley III,

For Zac’s look, try
2-Tone Shawl Jacket – $68,
Organic Jersey V-Neck [in black] – $19,
Sturdy Straight Jean – $37.90,

Sweat (pant) Success: Stylish sweats for every day of the week

It’s 9 a.m. and your alarm clock didn’t go off. Okay, maybe you hit the snooze button a few times. You don’t have time to get dressed but you’re already wearing those cute sweatpants you bought last week. Why not wear them to class?
Here are a few pairs of sweats that are extra comfy and stylish for sitting in class for hours at a time. Plus, they double as pajamas. What could be better?

Victoria’s Secret Boyfriend Sweats, $39.50

Free City sweat pants, $148.00

Victoria’s Secret MSU Yoga Pants, $39.50

Victoria’s Secret Slim Sweats, $39.50

-Mandilyn Kerr

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Fake the Bake

As the summer temperatures continue to soar, many of us are devoted to getting that perfect golden tan. Unfortunately, frying in high UV rays accelerates skin aging (wrinkles, age spots, etc.) and can cause cancer. Mothers urge us to wear high SPF lotion—and while we may not want to admit it, they are right. SPF is vital and should be a part of your daily skincare regimen. Use a daily moisturizer that has SPF 15 or higher to be fully protected from the sun’s dangerous rays. If you are out in the sun, be sure to reapply face and body SPF lotion periodically and after swimming.

For a safe golden glow, here are our top picks for self-tanners and bronzers—whether you want a slightly sun-kissed look or a savagely bronzed tan.

1. Stila Bronzing Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15- $32, This daily face moisturizer—infused with 24kt gold—gives a gleaming, flawless look instantly, in addition to the bronze tint that comes within two days.

2. Maybelline Dream Mousse Bronzer in Copper- $5.99, Walgreens The easy-to-apply air-whipped formula is extremely lightweight and perfect for those smothering humid days. No need for a fancy brush— you can apply with your fingertips!

3. Too Faced Tanning Bed In A Tube for Body- $22.50, Sephora Say goodbye to your tanning goggles! This body lotion gives an instant golden shimmer as well as a gradual tan.

4. Neutrogena Sun Fresh Sunless Foam- $9.99, CVS Pharmacy With a refreshing grapefruit and nectarine scent, this foam formula is ultra-light and absorbs easily into your skin.

5. MAC To The Beach Bronzing Powder in Golden- $22.00, This superfine bronzer compact provides glistening, warm highlights for the face and body.

Get your (sunless) tan on!

Album Review: The Bear

Lyrics like "Nobody's perfect/Let's bury the hatchet/'Cause a grudge can be contagious and I don't want to catch it" (see "All Part of the Show") are just one reasons we love this refreshing folk-rock group's newest album, The Bear. From sweet to comical to insightful, Stephen Kellogg & the Sixers, who hail from western Massachusetts, never fail to surprise their listeners. SK6ERS, as they're more affectionately known, can also be counted on to display wonderful vocals and rhythms on all of their tracks and albums. Though not exactly a new release (from Sept. 2009), we recommend broadening your horizons to this wonderful act, best known for their energetic live shows.
Catch SK6ERS at The Blind Pig in Ann Arbor on Oct. 7.
Most notable tracks: "Shady Esperanto and the Young Hearts," "See Yourself"

CoverGirl Smoky ShadowBlast

I'm sure you've seen advertisements for this new CoverGirl product in just about every magazine since spring but we just had to recommend it here; our favorite color combos are orange/green and purple/gray. ShadowBlast is so easy to apply and can really make eyes pop. You can find it, priced around $7.99, at any drugstore (though we're finding that popular colors are often out of stock - so go quick!).

Happy applying :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Style Watch: Celeb Inspiration

Leighton Meester, known to many by her character Blair Waldorf of the popular CW series Gossip Girl, is one of our major style icons. Pictured here on the set of the upcoming GG season, Meester is sporting a skirt from an unlikely department store, JCPenney. The chain has slowly been coming out with affordable "designer" lines, including one from Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. This floral skirt comes from I "Heart" Ronson and will be available in the coming months.

For a similar look from the same collection – if you, like us, can't wait to check it out – priced at just $17.99, click here.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Movie Review: Inception

Let's just start with the cast. A film with Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Cillian Murphy and Michael Caine cannot fail to be awesome, right? SO right. Not to mention it was directed by Dark Knight mastermind Christopher Nolan. That aside, this movie is a thinker's dream and is truly fascinating from start to finish (so much so that at times you forget how long - approx. 2 hours and 28 minutes - you have been sitting down). Mind-crime is the game and the script is so well-written, the film so well-directed that viewers become engrossed. It's almost impossible to describe this film without urging everyone to see it for themselves because there's no way to hint at much of the plot without going into a monologue of detail. Each and every actor, including Leonardo DiCaprio himself as Cobb, gives a winning performance and if you don't have a celeb crush on Joseph Gordon-Levitt (ladies) or Ellen Page (gents) yet, after (500) Days of Summer and Whip It! respectively, you're missing out.
Best on-screen moment: The van that takes hours to fall... you'll know what we mean when you see the film & Arthur's (Gordon-Levitt) zero gravity dream.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Album Review: Recovery

Consistent with popular belief, we think this album rocks! Multiple Grammy Award-winner and Detroit native, Eminem, does no wrong on Recovery, made more exciting by the fact that his last release, Relapse, failed to reach the rapper's caliber. That said, with Recovery, Eminem takes fans back to the reason they fell in love with his music in the first place, offering true insight to unseen, oft avoided, aspects of our culture (note "W.T.P." - classic, in a funny way) - as well as into his dark rehabilitation period. Not to mention, the album sees Eminem collaborating with two of the hottest female pop acts of today (P!nk and Rihanna)... and Lil' Wayne. In the vein of many of today's popular songs, Eminem capitalizes on the opportunity to sample from classic songs on many of the albums tracks. For example, on "Untitled" Slim Shady brilliantly samples the chorus of 1964's "You Don't Own Me." If the lead single "Not Afraid" wasn't enough to intrigue you into purchasing this, we hope our review will be.
Catch Eminem in concert locally at Comerica Park Sept. 2 (with Jay-Z).
Most notable tracks: "Love the Way You Lie," "Talkin' to Myself"

Anticipate the Launch: Sept. 2010

*Update: The magazine will not be out until Nov. 1, 2010

Monday, July 12, 2010

Say No to Rice Kitchen!

As many of us leave the comforts of home for rented houses or apartments along the streets of East Lansing, one of the scariest aspects of this newfound independence is the kitchen. While some of you may be an Emeril or Paula Deen in the making, most of us are lazy college students whose closest encounter with Bobby Flay is flipping through the TV channels on a lazy summer day.

If inexperience or fear isn’t your excuse to avoid cooking, then what is? Since we will all be busy come fall with classes and extracurriculars, time is not to our advantage. If you have time to call up Rice Kitchen or Pizzahouse and sit around waiting for the bell to ring like one of Pavlov’s dogs, you certainly have time to cook a homemade meal. Not only does homecooking cut the time and cost of food, it is a lot healthier. The list of health problems that come as side order to restaurant food is scary and depressing: high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, and heart disease are only a few. The high amount of calories, trans fat and cholesteral in these foods is alarming and certainly not friendly to any diet. Cooking for yourself will improve your health and bulk up your wallet, not your waistline.

Here are some recipes that will take less than 30 minutes, are less than 400 calories per serving, and are easy no matter your experience in the kitchen!

Loaded Pizza

You’ll Need:

12” Boboli whole-wheat thin pizza crust

1 cup tomato-basil pasta sauce (Try Muir Glen)

2 cups shredded part-skim mozzerella

15 slices turkey pepperoini

½ cup chopped roasted red peppers

½ cup chopped green olives

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 jar (6 oz) artichoke hearts, drained

How to Make It:

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cover the crust with sauce and then cheese. Sprinkle with the pepperoni, peppers, olive, garlic, pepper flakes, and artichokes.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbling. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings/ Cost per serving $3.00/ 300 calories per serving

Chicken Fried Rice

You’ll Need:

1 Tbsp vegetable oil

4 scallions, green and whites separated, chopped (Scallion greens are best used for garnish at the end, whereas the white should be used as onions to built the flavor)

1 Tbsp fresh ginger

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium zucchini, diced

2 carrots, diced

2 cups bite sized broccoli florets

2 cups mushrooms, stems removed, sliced

½ lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, sliced into thin bite-size pieces

4 cups cooked brown rice

2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce

2 eggs, lightly beaten

How to Make It:

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is lightly smoking, add the scallion whites, ginger and garlic and cook for 30 to 45 seconds. Add the zucchini, carrots, broccoli, and mushrooms and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, using a spatula to stir the vegetables throughout. Add the chicken and continue cooking for 2 to 3 minutes, until the pieces are no longer pink.

Stir in the rice and soy sauce and cook for another 5 minutes, allowing the rice to get crispy on the bottom. Create and empty space in the middle of the pan and add the eggs. Use a spoon or the spatula to quickly scramble the eggs until light and fluffy, then stir them into rest of the ingredients. Serve garnished with the scallion greens.

Makes 4 servings/ Cost per serving: $ 3.57/ 390 Calories per serving

Recipes are from Eat This, Not That! Available in bookstores nationwide.