Top Emmy’s Looks

So the Emmy’s were last night. As in any awards show, the dresses/suits were my favorite part.  As per usual, Neil Patrick Harris suited up fantastically.

My top looks on the ladies are as follows:

I love Lea Michele. The navy color of this dress is v. flattering, and her necklace is freaking gorgeous. She also looks comfortable and happy in this dress.

Dianna Agron is so freaking gorgeous. I know a lot of people don’t like the dress, think it’s too old for her, whatever, but I love the color and I think she looks stunning. It’s also pretty different, and kudos to her for not getting something basic.

This dress works so well with Nina Dobrev’s coloring.

Kyra Sedgewick and her no degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon. Love this shade of purple.

What were your favorite looks this year?


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What makes a woman “strong”?

As the summer days dwindle and university quickly approaches for Sarah and I, I began to wonder what makes a woman “strong”? Sure, there are those save the world types like Michelle Obama or Mother Theresa. They light the world on fire for a specific cause or are very ambitious. What about people in our every day lives that make it better even if they aren’t famous or well-known? It could be the barista who smiles as she delivers a latte or the mail carrier.

I’ve been thinking about starting a new series at BCP centering around strong women and what makes them inspirational. But what do you all think makes a woman inspirational or strong? Who would you like to see in the series? What inspires you to be a better person?

Image from WeHeartIt.

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A Roman-Spanish Affair

The wanderlust in my soul has been aching for adventures abroad because it’s been a while since I left the United States. Sure, I’ve had crazy fantasies about jumping on the next plane to any destination outside of the States, but that’s not an option at this point. Instead of moping about, I decided to write about the places that have forever etched themselves onto my soul. I’ve been thinking a lot about Rome lately, but more distinctly, the Spanish Steps. Five years ago, I stumbled upon this epic Roman monument wandering the streets in search for the placard to John Keats (By the way, he died in Rome on February 23, 1821 from tuberculosis). Dorky, I know. My parents wanted to plan a family trip before I went to university and we stayed in Italy for a month. For some reason the Spanish Steps have always fascinated me and drew me in like 18th century drug that no history nut could resist.

The Spanish steps were first constructed in 1717 by Francesco de Sanctis. The purpose of the steps was to link the Bourbon Spanish Embassy (at that time) to the Holy See. It is composed of 138 stairs and is one of the largest staircases ever constructed in Europe.

The day I visited, I stayed all day basking in the warm Italian sunlight. I pretended to read a novel, but what I really did was people watch and spy on attractive Italian men. Perhaps, at that time, it was juvenile, but I shall never forget that perfect day. The Spanish Steps have more of a sentimental value, not only because of that day, but because it was made famous by “Roman Holiday” where Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn descend down the stairs while passing the time adventuring through the brilliant city.

If I ever do get married, it will be on the Spanish Steps. Where are some of your favorite places in the world? What makes those sights so special to you?

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The only people for me are the mad ones…

In honor of fellow blogger, Miss Sarah, being in London, I found this picture of our quote working at the City Museum. Sarah has always loved this quote and volunteered it for the name of our blog, Blue Centerlight Pop.

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, … but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow Roman candles, exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!'” – Jack Kerouac – “On the Road”

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London’s Markets: my picks

One of my favorite things to do on weekends while living in London was to visit one of the many amazing markets. I would get up early and have a great coffee and pastry while looking at interesting clothes and accesories at Broadway Market, have a falafel and a freshley squezed juice at Bourough Market, or search for a unique gift for a friend at Greenwich Market. Here is a guide to some of my favorite markets in London.

Broadway Market:

Broadway Market has a little bit of everything. Delicious food, such as Violet’s Cupcakes pictured above, as well as vintage clothes, handmade jewelry and crafts, cards, and books. In my time living in London, I’ve spent several Saturday mornings here, and always left happy and pleasantly full. I bought my passport holder here, and I’ve received compliments on it from friends and border agents at airports alike 🙂

Official Site:

Open on Saturdays: 10 minute walk from Bethnal Green Underground Station, or London Fields Rail.  The market is a “no-plastic bag zone” so bring your own tote if you plan on doing heavy shopping!

Greenwich Market

Image from Time Out London.  Greenwich itself is worth a visit for many reasons: the observatory, the National Maritime Museum, the architecture, the views of the river and the Docklands, but the market is one of my favorite things about the bourough. Leaving Zone One is completely worth it! The market has both a great food court on the weekends, and a cool array of arts and crafts. I bought handmade chocolates for a friend and a headband for myself made out of lace from a Victorian petticoat. Go to the market, and have lunch in a nearby cafe, and browse the stalls and the shops.

Open: Wednesday-Sunday, more is available on the weekends. Site:

Directions: You can get there by train, boat, or tube. DLR: Cutty Sark Train: Greenwich Station from Charing Cross, London Bridge, or Cannon Street
Spitalfields Marke


Spitalfields is a great place to see new fashions and get a gift for a friend. My friend Katie got Banksy-printed blocks for her boyfriend here, and I bought a dress. It’s an indoor market, and can get very crowded, but it’s worth take a look around. The restaurants and shops around the covered market are very nice as well. It feels more like an outside department store than anything. The market had a recent revamping, but there has been a market in this area in 1682, which as a history buff find so cool. You can buy wares from vendors like others have been doing for more than 300 years.

Open: All shops and stalls open Sundays (Not on Saturday!), Thursday:: Antiques & vintage Friday: Fashion & art

Directions: Tube to Liverpool Street

Borough Market:

Borough Market is a food lover’s heaven. The market only sells food, it’s like a farmer’s market on steroids. You can get anything from a kangaroo burger to an exquisite french pastry here. It gets really busy on Saturdays, so I would advise going in the morning or on Thursday for lunch. I try and get something new everytime I’ve come here. Be on the lookout for famous chefs and foodies, Jamie Oliver has been spotted here.

Open: Thursday-Saturday.

Directions: Tube to London Bridge.

Brick Lane Market

You can get anything and everything at Brick Lane, from a curry to a pair of fake Ray-Bans to a handmade designer dress. It’s bric-a-brac at its best, chaotic and exciting. I like the upmarket fashion area of Brick Lane and the outdoor makeshift stalls.

Open: Sundays

Directions: Tube to Aldgate East

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If You Follow Me, Would You Go?

Marina is adrift in her life. She runs from the numbness of her father’s suicide to Japan. She is in Shika, Japan for one year to be an English teacher. She thought she could escape her past, but in Japan her past found her.

In Malena Watrous’s If You Follow Me, she presents Marina, a young woman of 22 who follows her lover to Japan to teach English. In the book, the character references going to Japan because she wasn’t sure what else to do with her life. Marina is this raw, emotional character who leaps from the pages of the book and sucks in the reader.

Marina lives in Shika, an equivalence to rural Georgia, with Carolyn in a small disastrous flat that was occupied by American missionaries before them. The two inherit random junk from past inhabitants – including a monstrous refrigerator called an Amana that reeks of rotten beef. Among having to adjust to culture polar opposite to American culture, Marina receives almost daily letters from her supervisor Hiroshi Miyosh about their gomi, or trash. In Japan, there are very strict rules about the disposal of any type of trash. Only on certain days, certain parts of trash can be thrown away and must be placed in a special bin. Soon, Marina is convinced all of the neighbors watch her waiting for her to make a “gomi trash mistake”.

Soon, she begins teaching English at the local schools. She finds the students difficult to connect with because, at first, she only teaches the secretarial students. The students are all female, except for one male student Haruki, who locked himself in his room for four years. She tries creating worksheets to teach the students, but they are all disinterested. Frustrated, she tries to reach out to her Japanese colleagues to curb her loneliness, but she only feels isolation because of the language and culture gap.

Faced with more challenges, Marina begins teaching at the local elementary school that helps to find other people besides Carolyn. The art teacher allows her pupils to draw Marina while Marina gets to know the other students. Particularly, one Korean student who barely speaks Japanese attracts her attention because her inability to speak to the language. There is something about the girl Marina can’t shake – her loneliness, her connection to another foreigner or her inability to fit into Japanese society. Either way, Marina begins to really question why she went to Japan: Was it because of Carolyn? Was it her running from her dad’s suicide? Or was it something else?

At this point in the book, Marina really begins to ask herself what she is going to do with her future. After a shared kiss with her supervisor, she begins to doubt her relationship with Carolyn and the two begin drift apart. Marina flip-flops between teaching the elementary students and a class of teen-aged boys who work in the local power plant. They challenge her every day because no matter what lessons she presents in English the boys don’t care. They drove another female teacher from the school because they sexually harrassed her. After an interesting lesson about sexual education and a slip up with a banana, Marina realizes she must stop being timid and stand up for herself in a very loud way.

I skimmed a shelves of books looking for something new to read when this one leaped out. I looked at the back expecting to have another easy chick lit book to break up the endless science fiction novels I’ve been reading for a literature class. After getting 50 pages in, I couldn’t put the book down. There was something raw and clingy about Marina throughout the book. The “gomi trash” mistakes are a humorous part of the novel, but it was more about the themes of finding one’s self and the attraction of a foreign country. Marina is 22, and so am I. She turns 23 in the book and I am on the cusp of turning 23. Marina has an anxiety about the future and what she is going to do with the rest of her life, and so do I.

Watrous addresses the fear of being at a strange in between age that doesn’t seem to have much significance in American society. In one passage, Marina and Carolyn are talking about being 23. Carolyn begins, “At age 25 for some reason, lovers in Japan get together to eat sponge cake on Christmas Even. These sponge cakes go half off on December 25, when no one wants them anymore. At twenty-five, an unmarried woman is referred to as a Christmas cake.” Who wants to be known as a Christmas cake by the age of 25?!

I won’t ruin the ending for the readers, but it was refreshingly new and pleasant to read besides the umpteenth science fiction book.

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Milan Fashion Week: Armani and Bottega Veneta

After viewing these fashion shows, I was ecstatic to see COLOR! Finally, two designers use a palette not entirely made of neutral tones of black, gray, beige or white. Armani was my favorite show of the day because of the multiple bright colors and playful attitude of the clothes.


Bottega Veneta

This dress is for my fellow blogger, Sarah.

This dress is my favorite. There’s nothing like red to make an outfit pop!

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