B-Jeweled

Thirty-nine and holding takes on a whole new meaning with last week’s debut of Victoria Secret’s 2008 Fantasy Bra. Encrusted with 39 hundred gems, including 3,575 black diamonds, 117 full-carat round cut diamonds, and 34 rubies, the brassiere de resistance weighs in at 1,500 carats.

Two pear-shaped black diamonds with a combined size of 100 carats form the focal point of this spectacular creation by celebrity jeweler Martin Katz. Watch as Brazilian supermodel Adriana Lima unveils this studded sparkler for the Victoria’s Secret Christmas catalogue.

Priced at a cool $5 million, this over-the-top gift is sure to make someone’s holiday season the merriest ever.

Hot dinner date

It’s a food lover’s dream: Indulge in all your favorites and never gain an ounce. That’s just one of the reasons why foodies are going to flip over the fabulously slim T700 Sony camera announced this week.

Only 5/8 of an inch wide, it’ll store up to 40,000 images in its 4 GB internal memory. At ten shots per meal, that’s enough to cover you for ten years of dinners.

I don’t mind toting a full-sized camera and lenses around while I’m traveling, but pulling it out of a bag to shoot pictures of the food isn’t exactly discreet. So I’ve been looking for a little sliver of a camera, one that will be equally at home riding to a trattoria in the pocket of my black jeans, or slipped into an evening bag for an apres-opera soiree. I’m pinning my hopes on the svelte T700.

Doing double duty as a photo album, the T700 sports a 3.5-inch touch screen for dazzling display, and allows you to search and organize shots by event or date. And once you’ve uploaded the high-res shots to your computer, it will offer to keep low-res versions in memory, so you can use the camera’s display to share images in slideshow or scrapbook format, complete with music if you wish. You can even import photos taken by fellow revelers, incorporating them into your mix. For those who want to upload photos or videos to social networking sites, the T700 includes pre-programmed sites like YouTube, and a USB cable for ease of transfer.

I’ve tried to coax the ship date out of my Sony Style store in Boca, but they aren’t talking. Until then, I’m eagerly anticipating my first dinner date with this hot little number. But like securing a coveted reservation for a top table, we’re going to have to wait another month or so to get a taste of what promises to be the best little dinner camera yet.

MacGorgeous

I have a pair of Mary Jane-styled Manolo Blahnik pumps in bubblegum pink patent leather.  Unabashedly sexy, and supremely suited to their purpose.  Just pulling them out of the closet puts a smile on my face.  Wearing them makes me happy all day long and sparks conversations everywhere I go.

My new MacBook Air is a lot like those precocious shoes. Guaranteed to garner glances of admiration, it makes working a pleasure.  Of course it’s not my primary system, or even my primary notebook.  I don’t expect it to do everything they do, not any more than I’d expect those fabulous pink patent pumps to stand in for my basic black heels. They’re not even the only pair of pink shoes I own.  The MacBook Air and the bubblegum Blahniks were both designed for a particular purpose, and each one fulfills its unique role in a way nothing that attempts to be something-for-everyone ever could.

Neither one was purchased on a whim. Like the shoes, the MacBook Air is the perfect accessory for something else. Something that was the driving force behind the accessory buy. Oddly enough, I didn’t really want a Mac at all.  I wanted Scrivener, a piece of software for writers that only runs on Mac.  Scanning the Mac display at my local Apple store, it was abundantly clear that only the Air would meet my need for fluid creativity and uber-portability.

Everyone I asked tried to talk me out of the MacBook Air and into the more practical MacBook Pro.  What they just don’t understand and probably never will, is that sometimes I just want to dance through my day in a pair of pretty pink patent leather shoes.

Car candy

Mi.To from Alfa RomeoIs small the new big?

Meet Mi.To from Alfa Romeo, the little car that could change your mind. Sounds like “Me, too!” but it’s actually named after two Italian cities: Milan, the city that created the car’s style, and Torino, which is responsible for its production.

Leave it to the Italians to take a car this tiny and make it sexy.

iPod extra

With a base price of $138,375, you’d think the Mercedes CL63 AMG would include a dock for your iPod. Nope. If you want the iPod integration kit, add another $425.

C’mon. Include every conceivable luxury. Not every one except our iTunes. Be completely fabulous!

Short on shoes

While Carrie and company made their big screen debut last night, I was out in search of the perfect shoe to complete my Sunday afternoon outfit. I know, I know. But even Carrie would agree: Shoes first.

Shopping under pressure is never fun. Shoe shopping, in particular, is best when savored. But when time is tight, having the right people in place is half the battle. Suzy at Neiman’s understands this. Clients have her cell on speed dial so she can help even on her day off, which has saved me more than once. Then there’s Maggie, who has been in shoes at Nordstrom for 20 years. She can work miracles.

Yesterday, I found a sassy Weitzman patent pump that was the perfect shade for my Sunday suit, but too tight in the instep. With a single glance, Maggie accurately diagnosed the condition, taking the offending shoe behind the magic curtain. Moments later she reappeared, having rolled the unruly edge smoothly into place, salvaging an otherwise doomed match. And, while I was there, the soles of the retro Candies I was wearing decided to come loose. It’s almost as if they knew she would be there to save them. Maggie whisked them away to the back room, secured them with some rubber cement, and returned them with a smile. Bag in hand, I left her happier than I had arrived.

Shoes procured, I made it to the movie the following day, accompanied by five gal pals. Laughs aplenty, and good scenery, but in the end we all wished there had been more shoes.

Moon glow

Photo: ©2008 Visuelle Medien, www.visuelle-medien.deThere’s something undeniably romantic about moonlight.

Now you can capture the moment with some moonlight of your own, thanks to a German company called—what else?—Moonlight.

You may have seen their glowing orbs gracing properties in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, where they lend their luminosity as sculptural interior design pieces, illuminate outdoor paths, or even bob gracefully in swimming pools. Exclusively distributed in the U.S. by Moonlight USA, these gorgeous globes range in size from 10 to 30 inches in diameter and can weather temperatures as low as minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Their energy source? Rechargeable batteries or household current.

Now if they could only find a way to make them lunar powered.

Photo: 2008 Visuelle Medien, www.visuelle-medien.de

Bag bonanza

bag-bonanza.jpgJennifer’s my new best friend.

When I spotted a must-have bag on Bag Borrow or Steal, I got her on the phone and she assured me that I’d have it the very next day, in time for my overseas flight. That’s what best friends do.

Another reason Jennifer’s my BFF: She has access to a closet brimming with designer styles. And she lets me borrow whatever I want, whenever I want it, for as long as I want to wear it.

She’ll let you do it, too. Choose from 3,000 bags with names like Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs and Prada. Keep them for as little as a week, or opt for a longer get-to-know-you-better session. There’s a modest price to pay, but you won’t even think twice. Just consider it a thank you gesture for your new best friend.

First, I borrowed a stunning red lizard clutch by Kara Ross, which would have cost me upward of $2000 to buy. My price: a mere $51 a week. I wore it to a charity event and then blissfully returned it to its owner. It made the outfit, and it was such a smart way to accessorize a one-night stand.

Today, I’m enjoying the Exception tote by Lamarthe in black leather. It’s buttery soft and oh-so-chic. We’re en route to Europe, and if the first day of our relationship is any indication, I think I’ll end up stealing this bag so we can travel together more often.

Instant kitchen

cia.jpgCan an instant gratification junkie happily coexist in the kitchen with a partner who embraces the Slow Food movement?

Absolutely. If the CIA has anything to do with it.

At next month’s auction benefit for the Vintners Hall of Fame Dinner in Napa, the high bidder will walk away with an Instant Gourmet Kitchen, comprised of 80 essential items of cookware, bakeware, cutlery and tools. Makeover and Make a Difference will assist the winning bidder, at no charge, in donating their old unwanted kitchen items to a deserving charity, creating a second wonderful donation as part of their winning bid.

Those who like it slow will adore the rondeau, suitable for sultry braises, while the digital instant read thermometer will quickly satisfy those in a hurry.

If you can’t bid, you can still click to get your own Instant Gourmet Kitchen. What a fabulous way to outfit the kitchen at a vacation home. $5000.

Icing fight

german_chocolate_cake.jpgEveryone has a childhood favorite.  Cake, that is.  Mine’s German Chocolate.

When I went home this weekend to celebrate my mom’s birthday, I wanted to present her with one.  Trouble is, her recipe is so fabulous, I was a bit hesitant to bring someone else’s to the table for fear that it might not measure up to the memories.  But when a friend tipped me off to Jean-Jacques Bakery, and I discovered they do a German Chocolate, I rolled the dice.  Good roll.  We literally fought over the extra dabs of icing.

The bakery’s on a fabulous strip of Richmond’s Cary Street, a stylish swathof one-off shops known as Carytown.  I picked up a reverse-painted Robert M. Weiss Shih Tzu coaster at Janet Brown, oogled a Rebecca Minkoff bag at Que Bella, and lunched at Can Can Brasserie. — Hats off Skirts up to their Parsnip Soup with Apple Butter, Hazelnut, and Rosemary Oil.

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