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1.30.2017

My Fashion Uniform

I've been wanting to do more personal fashion posts, but I've been a little unsure whether I had anything interesting or useful to contribute to the conversation of clothes. Plus, there are a lot of really great fashion blogs out there already. However, a lot of them seem really unattainable to me. Either the blogger looks like they could be a straight up model or the prices are way out of my league. I really love fashion though (plus recently lost about 20 pounds, so feeling more confidant than usual), and thought I'd go ahead and give it a try. So, for all you short, curvy, regular gals out there, let's talk clothes!

I basically have a fashion uniform, and this is it. A henley blouse, skinny jeans, and ballet flats. I also try to accent with some fun jewelry whenever I can.
Why does this outfit work so well for me? First, a henley blouse is flattering on all, but it's especially flattering on my body type. I try to stay away from anything that hugs my stomach area (hello, two kids!!). The drape of a henley works well to camouflage your mid-section. I'm also on the busty side and can't really do button down shirts (they gap between the buttons across at the chest). The little pintuck on this v-neck brings just enough structure for the ideal fit and flare fit. The cream blouse also has a bit of texture and a nice tone-on-tone pattern for some added visual interest.

Moving on to the jeans. Again, the skinny jean is pretty universally flattering. When you're carrying a few extra pounds you want to streamline your silhouette as much as possible. Skinny jeans don't add any extra bulk to your legs and have a great slimming effect. They're called skinny jeans because they make you look skinnier, not because they're only for skinny women. Then, the blackish color is a fun change of pace from your ordinary blue jean.

Finally, the shoes. Ballet flats are classic and comfortable. While I love a great heel, I've come to terms with my height (4'11" for the win!) and find I like the ease of movement a great flat can provide. The burgundy color brings a little contrast keeping what is essentially a basic black and white outfit from being too boring.

I especially love this look because it can easily get me through an entire day. My day job has a very casual dress code - jeans and sneakers allowed daily. So, it's more than pulled together enough for the office, comfortable enough for all the after work running around I need to do as a mom, and just dressy enough to go out to dinner and a movie with friends.

A closer look at a few details.
I echoed the cream of the blouse in my choice of earrings.
A delicate gold necklace is versatile and goes with everything.

Blouse: Cream henley blouse (similar here)
Pants: Old Navy Mid-Rise Rock Star Jeans (similar here)
Jewelry: Kate Spade Disco Pansy Flower Stud Earrings | Pottery Barn Kids Gold Name & Date Tag Necklace (similar here)

I'm looking forward to building a new wardrobe as most of my current clothes including all shown here are getting too big for me! My goal is to build a really versatile wardrobe. Ideally, I'd like to be able to make at least three distinct outfits with each piece of clothing I own, and I plan to share them all with you! Stay tuned!

1.27.2017

Books - The Spice Of Life

Are you ready to add some instant art to your child's room for under $20! Good, cause I'm about to show you how.

First, let's take a walk down memory lane here in Seamus's room. When we moved in, it looked like this. Bright blue walls, sponge paint, airplanes, and a wonky rail around the room.
After we painted (Benjamin Moore Cement Gray for the walls and Pure White for the doors and trim), it was vastly improved, but still pretty bare. I wanted something for the little wall space to the right of the closet that was fun and colorful, but still had some sort of function.
Enter IKEA and their $4 spice racks (these here). There's a million uses for these handy-dandy little shelves (just google IKEA spice racks and see), but I wanted to particularly use them to display books and add a bit of color to Seamus's walls.
I thought about painting them, but decided to leave the natural wood for now. It goes well with his dresser and stools (see here and here).
Picking the books was a little harder than I thought it would be. I wanted lots of yellow and red, but found a few punches of white helped balance things out. 
Picture books are really little pieces of art already, so it was fun to get some of my favorites off the bookshelf and on display. I'm sure to be continually shuffling these around all the time.
There you have it.  $16 for the shelves, and a couple of bucks for screws. As always, thank you to Bill for hanging them up!! I think I'll be adding some to Madeleine's room too, but I'm going to paint hers white first. Stay tuned!

And, in case you're wondering, from top to bottom, the books on the shelves are:
  Curious George by H.A. Rey
  Mix It Up! by Herve Tullet (which I talked more about here)
  One Thousand Things by Anna Kovecses
  The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf
  Who Done It? by Olivier Tallec
  Last Stop On Market Street by Matt de la Peña
  The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper
  My Big Dinosaur Book by Roger Priddy
  Bugs Galore by Peter Stein and illustrated by Bob Staake
  I Like You by Sandol Stoddard Warburg and illustrated by Jacqueline Chwast 


1.25.2017

Let's Go To The Movies - Hidden Figures

My two BFFs and I went to the movies over the weekend and saw Hidden Figures!

During the Space Race of the early 1960's, NASA needs only the best and brightest if they're going to beat the Russians to the moon. Three extraordinary African American women rise to the challenge despite enormous obstacles and opposition from their peers in segregated Virginia.

Finally a "based on a true story" movie about amazing women!! Woo-hoo!!

There was so much to applaud about this film, the story being number one. It so needed to be told and is long overdue. It was surprising enough to find out women were forging ahead in the fields of mathematics, engineering, and computers at NASA in the early 1960's, but when you add on the fact that they were African American women to boot, it's beyond impressive. Such pioneers these women. And who knew NASA was so ahead of its time, you know, besides the whole space travel thing.

I loved the look and feel of the film too. It was bright, colorful, and full of great music and energy. Impressive and moving performances by Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monáe, and especially Octavia Spencer. They each brought their all to their respective individual stories, but especially shined when together. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen such chemistry between a group of females on screen before. Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, and Mahershala Ali rounded out the rest of the ensemble cast nicely.  

The fact that Hidden Figures felt so incredibly fresh and relevant here in 2017 is unequivocal proof of how rarely true stories of women of color are featured in film. The fact that this movie is doing great at the box office is why they need to be told more. There is an audience for these films - great date movie, great Girls Night Out movie, great family movie. Great movie!

P.S. The Oscar nominations came out yesterday. Hidden Figures nabbed three nominations including Best Supporting Actress for Octavia Spencer and Best Picture!

1.23.2017

Why I Marched

I debated for a while whether or not to write about why I participated in the Womens March this past weekend. This isn't a political blog, nor do I want it to be; but it is a lifestyle blog of which my life is front and center. So, while I don't want to get into a huge political discussion here, I think it's important that we, no matter what our beliefs, get more involved in the political process; so I wanted to share why I marched.
At the core of my specific political beliefs are some underlying principles that I try to live by, hope others do as well, and especially expect from those elected to represent me in government - kindness, equality, respect, and generosity.  Yet, for the first time in my adult life, I am disheartened to find I see none of these qualities reflected in our current president.  

In addition, I found it deeply concerning that almost half our country's population either agreed with this man's rhetoric and behavior, or chose to turn a blind eye to it in exchange for keeping their party in charge. I guarantee you if the situation were reversed, I would have happily crossed party lines when casting my vote as some things are just more important than one's personal politics.

But, alas, here we are, and I'm afraid I see an America more akin to that of my parent's generation then the progressive and modern country I thought we had become. One that is scared of diversity instead of celebrating it. One that values money and greed over compassion and love. One that wants to build a wall to keep out "your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free" instead of welcoming them in with open arms.

And you know what, I take my share of responsibility for that. I was complacent. I took my rights and the rights of others for granted. I thought what was hard fought and won by others was now safe for all eternity, and for that naive and misguided view I'm truly sorry. It's time for me to atone. It's time for me to do my part. This election showed me that. It woke me up, and you better believe I'm paying attention now. I could no longer sit on the sidelines just watching and waiting to see how this all unfolds.

So, I marched.

1.20.2017

Book Report - Dark Matter and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

I had hoped to have a post today about a little house project we recently finished up, but I wasn't able to take proper photos of it yet. Something for you to look forward to next week then.

Instead, let's talk books. I recently read Dark Matter by Blake Crouch and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One and Two by Jack Thorne.

First up, Dark Matter by Blake Crouch.
Jason Dessen is living the most ordinary of lives. He's married, has a teenage son, and teaches physics at a small college. He's content, but like most people do, occasionally wonders what his life would be like if things had gone a different way. That is until he is kidnapped, drugged, and wakes to find himself in an alternate world - one where he didn't marry his wife, his son doesn't exist, and he is a world renowned physicist who actualized something amazing he had only theorized before. Desperate to get back to his family, Jason begins a dangerous quest of unknown consequences all the while being chased by an unforeseeable force hellbent on making sure he never makes it home again.

Dude, this book was trippy! I need to read it again sometime because I'd love to try and wrap my head around the concept a little bit more now that I know how it all unfolds. It's actually quite hard to talk about without giving away crucial plot points, so I'll just say I enjoyed it a lot. The story is captivating, and the writing top-notch. It's a complete thrill ride that you won't be able to put down. If you're looking for something different and highly entertaining, give Dark Matter a go.

Next up, the play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One and Two written by Jack Thorne, but based on a story J.K. Rowling came up with him and John Tiffany. 
It's not easy being the son of Harry Potter, the most famous wizard of the wizarding world. Albus Severus Potter, seems to have little in common with his famed father, and the two continually have trouble forming a connection. When Albus gets sorted into Slytherin and befriends Scorpius Malfoy, son of Draco, their relationship becomes even more strained. Then, one day, Albus overhears his father refuse Amos Diggory's pleads for Harry to use a Time-Turner, go back in time to the Tri-Wizard Tournament, and save his son Cedric from dying at the hands of Lord Voldemort. Albus decides to take matters into his own hands and save Cedric when his father won't. But, changing the past is serious magic indeed, and Albus soon finds himself in way over his head. Now separated by time, Albus finds he needs his father's help more than ever as he attempts to right the now drastically changed past and put things back as they are supposed to be.

I was actually quite excited to revisit the world of Harry Potter with Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, so i dove right into this play. I knew it wasn't written by J.K. Rowling, but it seemed to be blessed by her, so I was on board. However, it didn't take me long to realize that I definitely wasn't reading J.K. Rowling. At first, I thought it was just because it was in play format, which takes a little adjusting to on its own; but it turns out that wasn't it at all. The more I read, the more I realized the story truly lacks her voice and feels inauthentic. Without her words to breath life into these characters, the entire thing started to read like bad fan-fiction. Instead of the satisfying "where are they now" story I was expecting, I ended my reading experience disappointed and longing for the original. For Harry Potter purists (which apparently includes me), this is not the sequel you've been waiting for. If you're missing Harry Potter and all your Hogwarts friends, you're better off just re-reading the original series then wasting time on what is just essentially someone else's interpretation of J.K. Rowling's work.

What are you reading these days?

1.18.2017

Coming Soon - The Founder

I saw a sneak peak of Michael Keaton's new movie, The Founder, which opens nationwide January 20th. Check it out!

After witnessing the revolutionary styled restaurant of two brothers, Dick and Mac McDonald (Nick Offerman and John Carroll Lynch), salesman, Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton) takes McDonald's from a single site family run establishment to one of the most successful businesses of all time.

Let's hear it for your classic nice guys finish last story - and a true one at that.

I never know what I'm supposed to take away from a story like The Founder. To me, it read as a cautionary tale to those that dare put themselves out there by actually creating something new or innovative. Watch out, because guys like Ray Kroc are out there just waiting to leech onto your success and steal it right out from underneath you.

While I wouldn't say The Founder was celebratory in its portrayal of Ray Kroc, as the clear "winner" of the story the film thereby grants us permission to revel in his genius, however maniacal it may have been.  Again, as I pondered in my review of War Dogs last year (see here), what does it say about our country that we continually memorialize these types of men on film?

Yet, as the film reminds us, McDonald's is America. Ray Kroc's story is your classic American tale of rugged individualism. Anyone can make it here if they just work hard enough. Who cares who you might topple over on the way to the top, as long as you're the one who ends up on top in the end, right?

Michael Keaton gives an excellent performance as Ray Kroc - you'll love to hate him; and more notably Nick Offerman (who, by the way, looks so weird without his mustache) and John Carrol Lynch as the McDonald's brothers were amazingly solid throughout - humorous, hopeful, and painfully poignant.

If you're looking for a different kind of film glorifying the antihero in us all, then check out The Founder. It's an interesting film worthy of a view albeit more for the thought provoking conversation that is sure to follow than for the film itself.

1.16.2017

Let's Go To The Movies - Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Friday night was date night, and Bill had been wanting to see Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

As a child, Jyn Erso's father is forced by the Empire to build the most dangerous weapon ever known, the Death Star. Now grown, she has received a message from him about the one and only way to destroy it. With the entire Rebel Alliance counting on her, Jyn leads a band of misfits on a life or death mission to steal the plans for the Death Star.

Full disclosure, for some reason, I wasn't too interested in seeing this film, and I might have dosed off here or there as well. Sorry.

I think if you're a big Star Wars fan then Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was probably right up your alley. While I enjoy the Star Wars franchise, I wouldn't say I'm a fanatic. So, the biggest problem I had with Rogue One was that it assumes you're very well versed in their universe. The film takes place directly before the original Star Wars, and while I have seen it a few times in my lifetime - it's been years since my last viewing, and I'm not one who has all the minute details of the film memorized. This is my long winded way of saying I was probably not the target audience for Rogue One, and I was a bit confused throughout, not so much with the plot, but by the who's who of all the characters.

I still enjoyed the film though. It's a bit darker than most of the films in the franchise both in content and look. Felicity Jones did great in the title role, and you know how I like my heroines. The film is action packed and had some really funny moments too. The new droid, K-2S0 (voiced by Alan Tudyk) along with the blind guardian-warrior, Chirrut Imwe (Donnie Yen), provided some much needed humor and great one-liners throughout. The battle scene was a tad long, but the payout is big, as the final moments of the film are worth the wait.

If you're a Star Wars fanatic, you'll love this film. If you're a casual fan, like me, love might be too strong a word, but it's an enjoyable enough ride.


1.13.2017

2017 Golden Globes Fashion - Best of the Best

I've saved the best for last. Let's take a look at my top 10 looks from the 2017 Golden Globes. Here we go!!

Lily Collins
First up, nominee, Lily Collins's romantic rose colored Zuhair Murad Couture gown. The color, which is a hard one to pull off generally, looks absolutely gorgeous on her. The illusion bodice is one of the best I've seen, the lacework lovely, and the extra ruffle adds that extra bit of visual interest and drama. The Snow White combination of her milky white skin, dark hair, and red lip accent the look perfectly. Absolutely stunning!

Priyanka Chopra
Priyanka Chopra really stood out in this metallic gold Ralph Lauren dress. The color looks great on her, and the intricate pattern work brings a lot of visual interest. Her hair and make-up are styled well, and the pendant was a fun choice too. It's maybe a skosh too tight in the bust, but still a stunner of a look overall. Beautiful!

Claire Foy
Nominee, Claire Foy, wore this sparkly pink and silver gown. The fabric and bead work look gorgeous, and the wide neckline balances out the surprising choice of puffed sleeves. Then the whole look is anchored by the lavender belt which attracts the eye with its unexpected punch of color. Exquisite!

Chrissy Teigen
Chrissy Teigen wore this gold lacey Marchesa number. The embroidery and lace of the fabric look beautiful, and notice how it is fully lined? Finally! The dress is piling on the feminine with the frilly neck, peplum waist, and kick train, but it all combines perfectly. The fun earrings, sleek hair and bold burgundy lip compliment the look well. Fabulous!

Naomie Harris
Nominee, Naomie Harris, wore this intricately beaded gold Armani gown. Her figure looks amazing - OMG those arms! Loved the side-swept wavy hair, make-up, and earrings. Perfectly styled from head to toe. Love!

Reese Witherspoon
Reese Witherspoons's yellow Versace dress may not have been the most exciting look of the night, but there's no denying it suits her to a tee. The silhouette works well on her, the color fun, and the slit brings just a little bit of sexy. Hair and make-up are all in check, and the necklace a perfect choice. Classic!

Kristen Bell
Kristen Bell wore this sexy black Jenny Packham number. The squared neckline works on her petite frame. Great choices for the jewelry, accessories, and make-up; but it is her perfectly styled hair that really made the overall look for me. Gorgeous! 

Caitriona Balfe
Nominee, Caitriona Balfe wore this navy blue and orange Delpoza dress. Loved the dramatic touches from the flower, complimentary colors, and fabric folds. Keeping the hair and make-up simple really lets the dress shine. Pure elegance!

Emma Stone
Winner, Emma Stone, wore this star embellished Valentino Haute Couture gown in the palest of pinks. It's slinky, but still structured enough to hold it's shape. It's sexy, but the soft color and whimsical stars keep it playful. Her hair and make-up perfectly compliment the look - loved the lip color; and that stunner of a necklace capped off the whole look. Lovely! 


AND FINALLY...

Evan Rachel Wood
Nominee, Evan Rachel Wood in this Altuzarra tuxedo was my pick for best dressed of the night. It was a different and bold choice that paid off in spades. The fit is impeccable, the waist coat a delightful surprise, and the bow added the perfect little feminine touch to complete the look. Flawless!

All photos from here, except for Kristen Bell's which was from here and Caitriona Balfe's which was from here.

1.12.2017

2017 Golden Globes Fashion - A Dress Is A Dress Is A Dress

Today I have a group of dresses that really have nothing in common other than they are all being worn by women far more beautiful and talented than me, and well, I just wanted to talk about them. Let's take a closer look.

Natalie Portman
Nominee, Natalie Portman, had a whole sixties vibe going on in this yellow Prada gown (very apropos since she was nominated for her portrayal of Jackie Kennedy, no?). The style suits her, and the color bold; but the dress looks like it's wearing her and not the other way around. She gets my automatic pregnancy pass though, as I'm sure comfort was top priority here. Not bad, Natalie. 

Felicity Jones
I may be in the minority here, but I kind of liked Felicity Jones's nude and pink Gucci gown. The black accents anchor the soft colors, and there's a lot of visual interest and movement going on - plus a cute metallic bow! Her hair and make-up complimented the look well. Way to bring a little whimsy to the red carpet, Felicity!

Zoe Saldana
Zoe Saldana wore this two-toned pink dress, which was also Gucci. There's a lot of pink and a lot of ruffles going on here. It's all very soft and frilly and feminine, which is fine, but her severe hair and barely there make-up felt like styling for a very different dress than this. I'm afraid this one was a miss for me.

Emily Ratajkowski
Emily Ratajkowski wore this yellow Reem Acra number. The color works well for her, and she can pull off the slinky look. It was a little over-designed for my taste, what with the strange silver stripe right down the middle. The shoes were underwhelming as well, but I loved her hair and make-up. It's not my favorite look, but I'll admit she wears it well.

Brie Larson
Red was not a popular color at this year's Golden Globes, so Brie Larson really stood out in this scarlet Rodarte dress. The sweetheart neckline, sparkly, and criss-crossed bodice all draw your eye upward to her lovely styled face. With so many interesting dresses this year, this felt like a pretty tame dress in comparison, but you can't deny - pretty is pretty. Good job, Brie!

Issa Rae
Nominee, Issa Rae wore this white Christian Siriano number. I loved this whole look. The stark white looks great against her skin. The fit is impeccable and it's accessorized really well. Everything is setting off her flawlessly styled head perfectly. Great job, Issa!  

Janelle Monáe
Nominee, Janelle Monáe, brought her fun graphic style to the red carpet. She almost always wears big black and white numbers, so this was no surprise. The dress is super cute and perfect for her, and I loved the hair too. The make-up and shoes felt like a missed opportunity though. A bright red pop of color on the lips and a more interesting shoe would have really finished off the look more to my tastes. Still, this is loads of fun. Good job, Janelle!

 Carrie Underwood
Presenter, Carrie Underwood, wore this interesting Iris Serban number. I was a fan of the frilly rose inspired bodice, but the dress lost me with the bubble-gum pink color. The effect would have been much more dramatic in a darker or jewel toned color. As is, the whole thing felt a little too Barbie to me.  

Riley Keough
Nominee, Riley Keough, wore this Chanel Houte Couture black gown. Again, the word over-designed comes to mind. There's just too much going on here from the two different fabrics, the pleating, the diamond and triangle shapes throughout too; it's like they patched a bunch of different dresses together. Unfortunately, another miss for me.

AND FINALLY...

Sienna Miller
Sienna Miller looked the very definition of California cool in this white Michael Kors gown. I actually liked these cut-outs and how they gave the bodice a very crop-top feel. The big sparkly earrings and rings combined with the various sized pearls of the necklace and bracelets all mix well; as does the black clutch, which really pops against all that white. The barely there make-up and messy hair make the whole ensemble feel effortlessly chic. Way to go, Sienna!

All photos from here, except Janelle Monáe, Carrie Underwood, and Riley Keough which were from here.

1.11.2017

2017 Golden Globes Fashion - All About the Neck

The V-Neck was by far the most popular neckline of the night. I've showcased quite a few already, but here's some more noteworthy ones alone with a couple one-shouldered that caught my eye as well.

Jessica Chastain
I was having a bit of a love/hate reaction to nominee, Jessica Chastain's blue Prada gown. The V-neck was much too broad, but I liked the overall color and silhouette. The beadwork looks amazing, but I almost wish it covered the entire gown instead of just the one side. The jewelry and make-up all worked for me, but I wish she would have worn her hair loose around her shoulders. I feel like I should call this one a miss, but it keeps drawing me back to it, so...good job??

Gina Rodriguez 
I liked the flapper fringe on nominee, Gina Rodriguez's white Naeem Kahn dress. It brought a lot of sparkle and movement. The fit is a little wonky on the halter though, and it seems to be smooshing and squaring all her curves. Her hair and make-up were both pretty, but ultimately, this one was just okay for me.

Blake Lively
Blake Lively wore this black velvet Atelier Versace number with gold accents. The silhouette of the dress suits her, but the gold trim seemed like too much. It would have worked better without the pockets. I would have also preferred her hair long and loose instead of this severe style. Although I don't think it quite hit the mark, it was a memorable look.

Felicity Huffman
Nominee, Felicity Huffman wore this Georges Chakra jumpsuit. It fits her nice and shows off her fabulous arms, but for a nominee, it seemed a little on the casual side.

Gal Gadot 
Presenter, Gal Gadot, wore this slinky Muglier number. It's not my favorite look of the night. I'd have worn the hair down and nixed the necklace; but she's pregnant and looks fantastic and happy, so you know, good for her.

Laura Dern
Laura Dern wore this pink embroidered Burberry gown. It fits her well and her hair and make-up look great, but I'm afraid the fabric reminded me too much of upholstery. The only way this floral would have worked for me was if the lining was black and the flowers bright and multi-colored instead. Not so much a miss for me, as just a bit of a yawn. 

Busy Philipps
The adorable Busy Philipps looked adorable in this black Stella McCartney dress. It fits her great and the embroidery and train bring the visual interest. A slightly sleeker hairdo would have brought that final bit of polish, but overall, this gets the job done.

Anna Kendrick
Anna Kendrick wore this grey Vionnet number, and I almost loved it. The color is gorgeous, it has great movement, and I loved her hair and make-up. I couldn't get over the competing necklines though. It would have worked as a one-shouldered gown. It would have worked as a strapless gown. But, combing the two is too disrupting visually. This one was just okay for me.

Viola Davis 
Viola Davis looked stunning in this canary yellow sequined Michael Kors dress. It's a lot of color, and I questioned the shade of yellow, but ultimately I think she pulls it off. It makes her gorgeous skin pop. The fit is flawless. The sequins add visual interest. Her hair and make-up compliment the look well. My only quibble, and it's so small really, is that I would have chosen a black or gold clutch instead of the white. That's it though. Great job, Viola!

AND FINALLY...

Jessica Biel
Jessica Biel's belted Elie Saab gown made quite a statement. The pattern and the applique on the skirt is gorgeous. The deep...um, U-cut, I guess, of the bust combined with the high slit of the skirt brought the sexy. The belt worked, the shoes worked, and the hair, make-up, and jewelry all complimented the look well. It felt fresh and modern, and I loved it. Beautiful job, Jessica!

All photos from here, except for Laura Dern and Busy Philipps which were from here.

1.10.2017

2017 Golden Globe Fashion - Let It Shine

There was quite the array of sparkly, shimmery, and metallic dresses at the Golden Globes as well. Let's take a look.

Ruth Negga
Nominee, Ruth Negga, wore this silver sequined Louis Vuitton gown. It was a bold choice, but I couldn't get past the rectangular frame around her bust or the front zipper. Her beautiful hair and face more than make up for it though. Not bad, Ruth!

Thandie Newton
Nominee, Thandie Newton, wore this white Monse dress with firelike sequined detailing along the hem. I liked the combination of the off-the-shoulder neckline and long sleeves. It's a good silhouette for her too. I think it would have worked better if the main color of the dress was orange or red though. It's almost too stark a contrast between the bright white and the fiery colored sequins. Still, good job, Thandie! 

Amy Adams
Nominee, Amy Adams black sequined Tom Ford dress seems so basic compared to all the variety of this year's red carpet. As pretty a look as this is, I'm afraid it's ultimately quite forgettable in the end. Just okay for me.  

Sarah Paulson
Nominee, Sarah Paulson wore this silver and gold sequined Marc Jacobs number. The style suits her, but I would have preferred if the lining continued all the way to the floor. Still, it gets the job done.

Kerry Washington 
Nominee, Kerry Washington wore this gold lace Dolce & Gabbana dress. I loved the sleeves, little sash, and even the length was working for me. The shoes were a little lackluster, and of course, it should have been completely lined and in the color along her bust instead of black. Beautiful hair and make-up though. Not bad, Kerry.

Annette Benning
Nominee, Annette Benning wore this Pamella Roland sequined gown. I would have preferred this in a color, and the silhouette gives her a very rectangle shape. Still, it's age appropriate and has a very classic Hollywood feel to it.

 Regina King
Regina King's silver Romona Keveza dress mostly hits the mark. The fit is great, but the slightly asymmetrical top seemed odd. I don't think the hair was the right choice though, and the make-up a tad too soft. The jewelry, however, is all fantastic. That butterfly ring and those ear cuffs - so much fun. Good job, Regina! 

Judith Light
Judith Light's sequined Balmain gown was a lot of fun. It's a relatively simple silhouette, but the zebra print really brings the personality. Great job, Judith!

Tracee Ellis Ross
Winner, Tracee Ellis Ross, wore this white and silver Zuhair Murad Couture number. It looks unfinished to me. Actually, it looks like the corset and underpinnings one wears under a dress. The whole thing was pretty underwhelming from the hair to the shoes. This one was a miss for me.

AND FINALLY...

Millie Bobby Brown
Millie Bobby Brown's sparkly Jenny Packham cocktail dress was my favorite of the bunch. She's just too adorable. It's completely age appropriate (she's only 12!), yet blends in flawlessly among much fancier gowns. The shoes are adorable, the simple hair let's the dress shine, and the bright pink lip is the perfect pop of color. Fantastic job, Millie!

All photos from here except Regina King and Judith Light's which were from here.