Thursday, February 28, 2013

Spring 2013 Edition of Airstream Life Magazine

I was so thrilled to hear that the portrait I took of Robert at Alumapalooza 2012 made the current cover of Airstream Life Magazine.  This image was one of my favorites from the event. Robert and his pups were such great sports to pose for me!

This will be my 3rd cover image for Airstream Life Magazine.  Looking back, I noticed that all three covers have a dog in the photo.  There must be something about traveling with pets that is so appealing.  I know that I can't even imaging traveling without Max.  The article in this issue is all about traveling with your pet...something Max and I know a little something about.  

Thank you, Airstream Life!

Your Mama Hears...

...from the very plugged in high end real estate yenta Yolanda Yakketyak that film and television writer/director/producer Judd Apatow is fixin' to custom build a major residential monument to his Tinseltown success on a one acre flag lot that overlooks the manicured golf course at the ritzy Riviera Country Club* in Santa Monica (CA).

Whatever they are building on the vacant parcel they picked up last June (2012) for $8,600,000 it must really be something, children, because in July 2009 the Hollywood supernova and his actress wife Leslie Mann shelled out $18,250,000 in an off-market deal for a walled and gated three-quarter acre mini-compound in a particularly posh pocked of Brentwood that includes a 10,000-plus square foot main house with five bedrooms and eight bathrooms, 3,500 (or so) square feet out outdoor entertaining space and a 17-seat screening room in a substantial poolside pavilion.

Mister Apatow still owns his Beverly Hills (Post Office) starter house, a 4,356 square foot house just below Mulholland Drive near Benedict Canyon that he picked up in late 2005 for $1,656,000, and in October 2010 he sold a just over 6,000 square foot and very un-funny mini-mansion on a gated Pacific Palisades cul-de-sac for $5,260,000.

Mister Apatow produced the hit comedy Bridesmaid (2011), he currently executive produces the cable tee-vee sensation Girls and is currently at work producing the next Steve Carell and Will Ferrell movie vehicle Anchoman: The Legend Continues. Missus Apatow—that would be Miz Mann—frequently snags roles in Mister Apatow's movies but has also landed roles in a number of non-Apatow projects including Sofia Coppola's not yet released The Bling Ring and the animated tee-vee series Allen Gregory.

*The Hollywood Reporter reported in (June) 2011 that initiation fees at the Riviera Country Club run up to around a quarter million clams and some of its Showbiz bigwig members include Mark Wahlberg, Adam Sandler, Dennis Quaid, Luke Wilson, Jon Feltheimer, Jay Sures and Ari Emanuel.

John Legend Buys Bigger in Little Italy

BUYER: John Legend
LOCATION: New York City, NY
PRICE: $2,494,712
SIZE: 1,969 square feet, 1 bedroom, 2.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Late last November nine-time Grammy-winning singer/songwriter John Legend sold his 1,359 square foot apartment in New York City's impossibly chic and fully gentrified Bowery neighborhood. Lucky Mister Legend sold the convertible two bedroom and two bathroom condo crib for $2,675,000, $775,000 more than he paid for the place exactly three years earlier.

Last month, the increasingly celebrity-centric folks at Architectural Digest published a picture driven piece written by the ever so clever Mayer Rus about the sophisticated but earthy and modestly proportioned 1960s mid-century modern residence in Los Angeles' Lake Hollywood area owned by Mister Legend since 2007 and shared with his swimsuit model/accomplished amateur cook and food blogger fiancée Christine "Chrissy" Teigen.

At first Your Mama thought maybe Mister Legend and Miss Teigen had simply packed it up and high-tailed it to Los Angeles for a left coast life of better weather. We recently learned, however, from The Bizzy Boys at Celebrity Address Aerial that Mister Legend didn't vacate New York at all but, in fact, traded up to a larger—if less expensive—condominium in a newly converted 19th-century brick building in Little Italy.* Property records do indeed reveal that last August (2012) Mister Legend dropped the rather unusual amount of $2,494,712 on a 1,969 square foot loft-type condo at the so-called Brewster Carriage House building with just one bedroom but 2.5 bathrooms and a total of $3,144 in monthly taxes, maintenance and common charges.

Listing details and other resources available on the internets show the 160 (or so) year year old building was completely worked over by starchitect Winka Dubbeldam's cutting edge firm Archi-Tectonics in a manner that eco-consciously marries antique architectural details with state-of-the-art technology and modern amenities.

Mister Legend's loft-like but low-ceilinged Big Apple pied-a-terre has an open-concept main living space with delicious variable width white oak flooring, a couple of exposed cast iron columns and, at the roomy living room end, a paneled reading nook, a gas fireplace and three deeply inset metal-framed French doors that open to wrought iron railed Juliet balconies.

The three windows that line one wall in the dining area and kitchen are certainly over-sized but they also look directly across a very narrow air shaft to a solid brick wall. This up-close brick wall view will probably perplex and perturb any number of the children not accustomed to the sometimes compromising realities of urban living. Howevuh, hunties, just like they are with all the ugly-ass air conditioners that hang out of the windows of even the most expensive of apartment houses on Fifth and Park Avenues, New Yorkers are used to this sort of thing. Windows that open into air shafts large and small are simply a fact of residential life in New York City, even in the most luxurious of buildings.**

Anyhoodles poodles, the lone bedroom of Mister Legend and Miss Teigen's apartment opens directly off the living room area and has two street-facing windows that could make it tough to sleep during September's annual 11-day long Feast of San Gennaro. Fortunately, to ease that pain, there's a walk-in closet larger than many bedrooms in lower Manhattan and the windowless attached bathroom has radiant heated floors, an over-sized shower stall and a floating walnut vanity equipped with two sinks and slow-closing drawers.

Even the most brief of perusals of the floor plan included with marketing materials reveals that in addition to the master bathroom and the half bathroom near the front door there's another full bathroom off the kitchen. With all due respect to Miz Dubbeldam—who Your Mama thinks is a goddamn architectural genius—but this location for a bathroom notably larger and more extensively equipped than the actual master bathroom seems a bit silly.

This big ol' second bathroom might make more sense if the condo was configured in such a way that would allow for a quick and simple addition of a second bedroom but, despite it's nearly 2,000 square feet, it doesn't. Given the scale and location of the second bathroom—not to mention the pass through walk-in closet—the absolute best location for a second bedroom would be exactly where the kitchen is currently located. Moving the kitchen seems radical and expensive—if it's even possible. Where else could a second bedroom be added without completely compromising the main living space(s)?

*Marketing materials describe the building as being in NoLIta—as in North of Little Italy—but Your Mama's understanding of New York City neighborhood borders actually puts it not in NoLIta but rather in the northern heart of Little Italy, just off the authentic yet touristically ersatz ristorante- and trattoria-lined Mulberry Street.

**Trust Your Mama, children, it's way it's better too have air shaft windows with a dead on view of a brick wall than to have windows that open into a window-lined air shaft. For more than a decade Your Mama lived in a rent-stabilized two bedroom tenement apartment in which the smaller of the two bedrooms had a single window that opened into an air shaft lined with more than a dozen other kitchen and bedroom windows of the apartments in the building next door. You can't imagine the visual, auditory and olfactory horrors that regularly came through that window. Seriously. Like call the police, please, there's a situation going on over there that is not good. Anyhoo...

listing photos and floor plan: Douglas Elliman Real Estate

Miami Bound!

I am on my way to Miami right now for the Cotton 24 Hour Runway Show!! As soon as I check into the hotel I have to start getting ready for the night's festivities!  There will be a welcome reception on the rooftop which includes a photo shoot and video with!! I think it's all starting to sink in as I sit here on the plane.  I worked really hard to get to this point and I am very thankful for all of my amazing supporters for helping me along the way.  I am feeling nothing but good energy right now and I have butterflies in my stomach! 

Here's a quick selfie I shot in the airport bathroom :)  I always love traveling with comfort and style! Although I know I will probably be sweating once I land lol.  I have been so used to the cold Jersey weather though.  Being in the warmth for a few days is going to feel great.

Wearing a Nirvana Tee from Forever21 (repping cotton!) I am loving this new bag I got from H&M.  It's huge and the perfect carry on.  I was able to fit my macbook as well as my other belongings in it.  And of course, I've got my canon with me too! I don't think I have ever stressed packing for a trip as much as this one.  I don't even know what's in my luggage at this point lol  I hope you all like the cotton looks that I came up with for the events out here! As I mentioned in the last post it was a little bit of a challenge for me.  I will be taking as many pics as I can and documenting my trip on film with fellow blogger Sazan from SpazMag! She won for the South region! When we get back from Miami she is going to do a really cool edit of the footage and I can't wait to share that with all of you.  Thanks again for all of the support and I will be posting again soon! 


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Your Brain on Potato Chips

Or, more accurately, a rat's brain on potato chips.  Last week, PLoS One published a very interesting paper by Dr. Tobias Hoch and colleagues on what happens in a rat's brain when it is exposed to a highly palatable/rewarding food (1).  Rats, like humans, overconsume highly palatable foods even when they're sated on less palatable foods (2), and feeding rats a variety of palatable human junk foods is one of the most effective ways to fatten them (3).  Since the brain directs all behaviors, food consumption is an expression of brain activity patterns.  So what is the brain activity pattern that leads to the overconsumption of a highly palatable and rewarding food?

Read more »

Brad Goreski and Gary Janetti Did It In Westwood

BUYERS: Brad Goreski and Gary Janetti
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $2,333,500
SIZE: 4,542 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: We recently received an unexpected query from a gal we'll call Nelly Needstoknow who wondered if Your Mama had any idea at all where bespectacled and bow-tied celebrity stylist and reality t.v. denizen Brad Goreski and his long-time man-friend, successful sit-com writer/producer Gary Janetti, high-tailed it after they unloaded their low slung contemporary in L.A.'s Lake Hollywood 'hood last year for $1,799,000. We didn't. A second email from Nelly, fast on the digital heels of the first, revealed that she was quite concerned that, after more than a decade of romantic domesticity, Mister Goreski and Mister Janetti might have busted up. Well, children, since Mister Goreski hasn't returned any of our calls lately, we didn't know a thing about that either.*

Naturally, we contacted our always acutely well-informed friend and informant Lucy Spillerguts to see what she maybe knew about the situation. She told us—and we later confirmed with property records—that it does not appear Misters Janetti and Goreski have gone their separate ways and, in fact, they together purchased a multi-million dollar domicile last August in the upscale Westwood area of Los Angeles.

Just in case any of the children who don't dabble in the lesser wattage rungs of the Showbiz food chain don't already know let Your Mama quickly educate you on just who we're talking about. Mister Janetti is a four-time Emmy nominee who wrote for Will & Grace in the early to mid-2000s and currently writes and co-executive produces for (lackluster Academy Awards emcee) Seth McFarlane's wildly successful animated sitcom Family Guy.

Mister Goreski first popped up on the pop cultural landscape a few years back when he turned up on the boob-toob looking all clean cut, cute and bubbly in Tom Ford nerd glasses and a parade of designer duds on celebrity super-stylist Rachel Zoe's eponymous reality program (The Rachel Zoe Project). Itty bitty Miz Zoe and the nearly as slender Mister Goreski un-amicably parted ways in the fall of 2010 and—as far as Your Mama knows—still avoid each other with the same fervor that Your Mama avoids sobriety. Since Mister Goreski got out from under Miz Zoe's professional wing he's opened his own celebrity styling salon with clients like Rashida Jones, Maya Rudolph, Demi Moore and Swedish actress Noomi Rapace, written a breezy memoir laced with fashion advice, secured a lucrative and plum consulting gig with Kate Spade and—suprise!—stars in his own eponymous reality show called It's a Brad, Brad World, which, as it turns out, begins its second season on Bravo tonight.**

Property records reveal Misters Janetti and Goreski picked up the renovated residence in August (2012) for $2,333,500. A detached street level garage is about all that's visible from the street as the four bedroom and 3.5 bathroom house sits haughtily high on a knoll behind a concrete wall and a dense thicket of trees and foliage. A locked gate opens into an terraced courtyard bisected by a a limestone stairway that make a long and glutially arduous ascent to the front of the house.

Listing details we scrounged out of the internets shows the two-story faux-quoined vaguely Mediterranean villa was originally erected in 1933 but was recently subjected to a contemporizing transformation that defined itself on the exterior with and unexpectedly modern frameless glass loggia on the second floor that probably has a lovely over the tree tops view of the L.A. Country club but also looks like a damn department store window. Perhaps that feature was a pee-in-his-D Squared jeans-with-glee bonus for Mister Goreski who could surely whip up and install some spectacular holiday tableau up there.

High gloss ebony wood floors and gallery white walls make a high contrast graphic statement throughout the lower level living spaces of the 4,552 square foot residence that's entered through an inset and off-center center hall. The foyer and stair hall divides and organizes the main floor living spaces that include adjoining formal living and dining rooms, the former with a fireplace and both with direct access to sculpture and fountain dotted outdoor living areas and gardens. In addition to the adjoining living and dining rooms the house also has a family room/den with a vaulted ceiling and loft space accessed by an industrial looking steel and wire staircase that Your Mama would absolutely not want to navigate after a long, gluttonous afternoon of cheap candy and expensive gin.

A hulking carved wood buffet makes an important counter balance to the relative modernity—and banality—of the center island kitchen that's finished with chatoyant white cabinetry, sleek Euro-style stainless steel appliances and a center island cook top with circular hood. Of course, children, keep in mind listing photos show the house as it appeared at the time the Misters Janetti and Goreski purchased the property. They very well may have already made any number of minor and/or major alterations and improvements not to mention it's highly likely the non-celebrity sellers took the carved cabinet that Your Mama thinks is the only bit that gave the kitchen any stylistic intrigue or gravitas.

One of the two upstairs bedrooms that connect through to the aforementioned department store window like loggia appears to be the master bedroom that also includes a bedroom-sized bathroom/dressing room combination with an egg-shaped free-standing soaking tub that juts out at an cockamamie angle from one of the corners.

Back downstairs the L-shaped outdoor lounging and entertaining areas include a slate terrace with a built in dining banquette shaded by vine laden trellis. A few steps up a small, trough-like body of water (that does not appear to be a spa or a swimming pool) anchors one end of the yard. At the other end is a puny patch of grass and in between there's an open air flagstone terrace. Sorry boys, but for nearly 2.5 million bucks Your Mama wants a proper in-ground swimming pool and spa, preferably heated and salt water equipped.

Your Mama, who was not invited to their house warming, wonders if the Misters Goreski and Janetti brought their mid-century modern infused aesthetic to their new digs or if they veered of in a more colorful and decoratively decadent angle, like something, say, elegant but unusual and richly saturated in a Miles Redd-y sort of way or something even more madcap and cacophonously Kelly Wearstler-ish?*** Perhaps we'll get a glimpse of it tonight when—we refuse to be embarrassed to admit—Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter will likely be tuned in to Mister Goreski's frothily meranged slice of the reality t.v. pie.

*We tease. Young Mister Goreski has not returned any of Your Mama's ringy-dingies because we've never actually called or otherwise attempted to contact him in any way.

**No, puppies, Bravo did not pay Your Mama to plug their damn show but perhaps they's consider doing so in the future Hello? Andy Cohen? Call me.

***Your Mama has no idea if the Mistes Janetti and Goreski had a house warming party and we don't have any idea if they did the place up themselves or hired an expensive, name brand decorator like Miles Redd or Kelly Wearstler. No doubt we'll find out just what when down during the second season of It's a Brad, Brad World.

listing photos: Prudential California

Maria Bello Lists at a Loss in Venice

SELLER: Maria Bello
PRICE: $1,850,000
SIZE: 1,759 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Television and movie actress Maria Bello must really have an itch to shake up her living situation because the two time Golden Globe nominee recently pushed her multi-colored and Buddhist iconography packed Craftsman style abode in arty-farty (and still a bit nitty-gritty) Venice, CA on the market at a (small) loss.

Your Mama's brief and entirely unscientific research shows the current $1,850,000 asking price represents a $45,000 loss on the $1,895,000 she paid for the place in November 2005. That's probably a pretty doable amount for a reasonably well-do-to working actress like Miz Bello but one that does not take into account improvement expenses, carrying costs and real estate fees. Even if her very team of successful real estate agents coaxes a full price sale, depending on how much she did or did not spend on renovations and etc., Miz Bello's losses could easily tally up to a couple hundred grand.

Current listing details show the two-story 1915 Craftsman sits secreted behind a gated fence and high hedge on a postage stamp sized, .08-care parcel on one of Venice's famous walk streets. The L.A. County Tax Man indicates the three bedroom and 2.5 bathroom house has 1,759 square feet while the official listing shows 2,085 square feet.

West side real estate snobs may grouse about what a gang-infested ghetto Venice still is and how the community's hordes of RV dwellers sometimes dump their fecal waste on the streets but they can snipe all they want because the area is none-the-less quite and increasingly pricey. It's also home to Abbott Kinney, currently and arguably the most interesting and impossibly hipsterish shopping and dining enclave in all of Los Angeles.

Anyhoodles poodles, a compact but well organized front entry garden has a minuscule patch of faux-grass and a slightly raised deck with lounging and dining and lounging partly furnished with Parisian park chairs that look like they could have come from the Rose Bowl Flea Market where Your Mama and our stylish and dear old friend Flower from New York are headed in a couple weeks to scout out and score some vintage finds. But we digress...

Tomato red French doors mark the official entry through a wee glassed in foyer/sitting room/veranda. Fortunately for all use aesthetic sensitivos, the mortifying but practical patchwork slate tile flooring in the foyer/sitting room/veranda switches to the far more pleasing original narrow strip wood floors in the living room that gracefully and thankfully stretches the full width of the house. One end of the room is anchored by a book shelf flanked red brick fireplace and the other end by more book-filled built-in bookshelves, a frumpy-lumpy slip-covered sofa and a big ol' wall-mounted flat scree tee-vee.

The medium brown toned wood floors continue into the dining room that's equipped with a charming built-in buffet and dressed with dark chocolate colored walls, a rustic and well-worn farmhouse table girdled on three sides by bent cane bistro chairs and a beaded chandelier that looks almost exactly like an upside-down Chinese coolie hat.

Hardly huge, the kitchen is reasonably sized for a small(ish) house with plenty of room for a mac-daddy commercial style range, a vintage metal-topped table for two set in front of garden view windows and a butcher block topped center work island equipped with handy-dandy vegetable sink. The beige tile on the rest of the counter tops—by Your Mama's humble and utterly meaningless decorative opinion—are an offense to the eyes and the pot rack is, well, a pot rack and anyone who's been hanging around our little online endeavor for very long surely knows by now that Your Mama has no use for a damn pot rack.

All three of the bedrooms at Miz Bello's house are located on the second floor according to listing details. Two guest/family bedrooms—one with a ribbon of square windows—share an average sized but (generically) renovated hall bathroom with pedestal sink and perfectly ordinary square white tile lined tub/shower combination. The master bedroom isn't gonna work for master bedroom size queens but it is sunny with windows on two walls and does have a walk-in closet and a reasonably roomy if dated, late 1980s era attached bathroom with two sink vanity, gray-ish blue tile work and dark stained wood work, a vaulted and wood beamed ceiling and, finally, a spa tub and separate glassed in stall shower.

Given that the entire lot is smaller than many suburban tract houses it's really a wonderful feat of space planning that there's any additional outdoor space beyond the aforementioned humbly scaled front yard area. The kitchen has direct access to a narrow graveled side yard with raised herb garden and there's another smidgen of yard marooned behind both the house and the detached single car garage that, according to listing information, could be converted to additional off-street parking.

Miz Bello previously and briefly owned a converted commercial building in Venice that had been used as a small hotel in the 1940s. She sold the loft-like residence in November 2005 for $2,715,000 to Incubus front man Brandon Boyd who, in turn, sold the quirky crib at a small loss in February 2012 for $2,705,000 to an as yet unidentified buyer who may or may not be a celebrity.

Although she's rarely the headlining star, a quick spin through the interweb reveals Miz Bello's been shaking her smoky voiced money maker around Tinseltown for 20-some years and has an extensive resume that shows stints on t.v. programs that include Mr. and Mrs. Smith, E.R. and Prime Suspect. Her numerous silver screen credits include A History of Violence, The Cooler and Coyote Ugly. She currently has a regular recurring role on Touch with Kiefer Sutherland and half a dozen movie projects in the works that include Prisoners with Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal and The Third Person with Mila Kunis and James Franco.

listing photos: The Agency

Snapette Interview

Hey loves!  I mentioned in a previous post that I was going to have an interview/feature with the fashion app, Snapette! They're an amazing shopping app that helps you browse and discover tons of new products from different stores in your area.  Basically if you are at the mall and you find something you like, you take a pic of it and can tag the name brand, price and location.  It's a great way to help other people shop for the things you find and also help you see what's trending in your neighborhood.  If you see a snap that fits your style, you will instantly know where it's from so you can get it for yourself! They also let you know about some amazing sales as well. 

You can check out my interview/feature with them HERE! It is also listed on the left hand side of my blog under Features. They asked about my personal style, how I started blogging and more. 
They also listed me as a suggested user to follow on the app which is pretty cool, so make sure to download the app and follow me! 

 These past few days have been superrrrr crazy and I apologize for the lack of outfit posts.  I definitely feel like I am coming down with a cold because I have been all over the place this week trying to prep for Miami (leaving tomorrow morning).  It's been a little bit of a challenge trying to find the perfect cotton looks for my trip.  I've been trying to find cotton pieces that fit both my style and represent the North East.  I'm doing one last shopping round early this morning so wish me luck. I also have some amazing news!! 
I found out a few days ago that People.Com will be filming all of the winners at our reception dinner and will be streaming it to the site!  I am so excited and nervous at the same time.  This is seriously a dream come true and an incredible experience that I will never forget. 
 I can't wait to share it with you all! 


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Vincent Gallo Flips Out in Manhattan

SELLER: Vincent Gallo
LOCATION: New York City, NY
PRICE: $2,295,000
SIZE: 1,275 square feet, 1 bedroom, 1.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Yesterday the property gossips at The New York Observer revealed that idiosyncratic and usually L.A.-based actor, wannabe male prostie and notorious serial property flipper Vincent Gallo scooped up a "Nouvel Pad" in New York City's West Chelsea for exactly $2,000,000.

Thanks to a thoughtful informant we'll call Newell Newyorker we've learned that the famously itchy footed actor—who has bought more houses and apartments than Your Mama has brain cells—has already caught a screaming case of the Celebrity Real Estate Fickle and yesterday flipped the one bedroom and 1.5 bathroom condo at the Jean Nouvel-designed (and High Line adjacent) 100 Eleventh Avenue High building back on the open market with a rather ballsy 15% markup price of $2,295,000.

Most online listings show the fifth-floor apartment measures about 1,275 square feet—one online listing shows it has 1,325 square feet—and carries taxes and common charges that total $1,980 per month.

A wee, wedge-shaped entrance hall with adjoining half bathroom and coat closet pops open into combination living/dining/kitchen area defined by a curving wall comprised entirely of a complexly composed grid of different sized and shaped windows. The sleek, custom-fitted kitchen has glass and stainless steel cabinetry and top-grade stainless steel appliances. The massive center work island cantilevers over stainless steel cabinets that can be rolled out from under the counter tops thus creating a convenient snack counter.

Gleaming white terrazzo floors and the curved wall of glass seamlessly stretch into the lone bedroom that seems a bit compact but is none-the-less nicely equipped with a walk-in closet and an attached bathroom with Corian counter tops, soaking tub and separate glass enclosed shower stall.

A giant glass panel in the living area pivots open to a glass enclosed loggia that, in turn, opens through a sliding glass door to a squeezy 60 square foot terrace that faces the building's steel and glass atrium where, in a radical feat of engineering, the architect famously suspended an irrigated tree box.

This is hardly the first time Mister Gallo has bought and sold high priced properties at such a head-spinning rate and, indeed, the button pushing Brown Bunny has owned a slew of architecturally significant homes and apartment ins architecturally significant buildings on the right and the left coasts. In New York, in 2004, Mister Gallo sold a seventh floor apartment at the Richard Meier-designed 173 Perry Street for $2,465,000 that had only purchased exactly a year before, according to property records, for $2,150,000.

He briefly owned two John Lautner-designed architectural spectacles Los Angeles—the so-called Garcia and Wolff houses—and several apartments at the star-studded Sierra Towers building in West Hollywood, including the duplex that Cher recently made available as an off-market listing at a rumored price of $5.5 million. In the last days of 2009 Mister Gallo coughed up $2,340,000 for a 4,300 square foot penthouse loft at the Biscuit Building in downtown L.A. that he sold last April (2012) for $2,600,000 and he currently still owns a three story townhouse loft in the same building that he bought in July 2012 for $825,000 listed in early February (2013) for $1,295,000 and, as of today, is in escrow and about to be sold for an unknown amount.

exterior photo: Nicholas Strini for Property Shark
listing photos and floor plan: Halstead Property

From the Vaults: Piers Morgan

BUYER: Piers Morgan
LOCATION: Beverly Hills, CA
PRICE: $5,362,500
SIZE: 5,508 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms (plus staff room)

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Every now and then Your Mama hears from one of our myriad of real estate and/or celebrity obsessed sources who ask us something like, "Did you know that Soandso Celebrity surreptitiously bought a house a couple years ago?"

Such was the case late last week when we received a short but informative missive from the our profoundly plugged in (and rarely incorrect) source Yolanda Yakketyak who wondered if Your Mama had previously heard through the celebrity real estate gossip grapevine that way back in late 20011 British (tabloid) journalist and television host Piers Morgan quietly snatched up a five-and-some million dollar house in the Beverly Hills.

We had not. And as far as we know none of the other property gossips have either.

Mister Morgan is perhaps best known to Americans as the exuberantly and obstinately opinionated lefty-liberal lightening rod who took over Larry King's long-running late night interview-fest a few years ago (2010). His frequent tirades about gun control and other controversial issues often sacred to conservatives are the stuff of Showbiz legend and he regularly provokes the angry dander of politicians, pundits and other high profile people. He's also notorious in Tinseltown and beyond for his entirely unfiltered and undiplomatically colorful language as well as his long-standing and ongoing feuds with handfuls of famous folk: He called Madonna boring, annoying and "a complete con artist," described supermodel Kate Moss as "a vile little creature," labeled Hugh Grant a "tedious little man" and, last September (2012), called out Kelsey Grammer as a "tiresome diva."

Forty-seven year old Mister Morgan has additionally written eight books including three memoirs, was a judge on both Britain's Got Talent and America's Got Talent and he won Donald Trump's Celebrity Apprentice program in 2008. Before he made his way to tee-vee Mister Morgan was a well-known and very successful tabloid journalist in the U.K. who has been embroiled—and implicated—in the naughty phone hacking scandal that rocked and continues to rock Rupert Murdoch's tabloid newspaper empire.

Anyhoo, property records do indeed show the house in question, the one confidently alleged as Mister Morgan's by Yolanda Yakketyak, was quietly acquired for $5,362,500 in November 2011 through a generically named trust. This was right about the same time Mister Morgan's second wife Celia pushed out a baby at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Beverly Hills. Incidentally and for what it may or may not be worth to anyone, the house—a restored, updated and renovated 1929 hacienda—happens to be located on the very same tree-lined same street where Sharon Osbourne—a judge on America's Got Talent at the same time as Mister Morgan—and her doddering rock star hubby Ozzy currently lease a house of similar vintage, architectural style and size. In what may or may not be an additional coinky-dink, Mister Morgan's second wife's maiden name is identical as the name of the street on which this house sits. All of which adds up to nothing more than some circumstantial celebrity real estate rumor and gossip.

Listing information Your Mama quickly cajoled out of the internets shows the two-story, mid-block residence sits on just under a third of an acre, measures 5,508 square feet and includes four principal bedrooms, one staff room (or guest quarters) and 5.5 bathrooms.

The tree-shielded house sits well off the street in a plush if fairly nondescript pocket of the Bev Hills flats and wraps tightly around a gated and lushly landscaped entry courtyard with a colorfully tiled fountain, vine draped loggia and an outdoor fireplace. An exterior staircase with brightly tiled risers ascends to interior space above the garage that may or may not be the aforementioned staff room/guest quarters.

Now listen, kids, we're not even going to discuss the inoffensive and ho-hum day-core seen in the listing photos because it belongs to the non-celebrity seller and Your Mama assumes that Mister Morgan has the good damn sense and the dough to hire a talented lady or nice-gay decorator to do this house up in a manner that does it justice.

The primary public rooms include a roomy formal living room with wide-plank wood floors, French doors on two opposing walls for excellent light penetration and cross breeze, a fireplace and a well preserved exposed wood ceiling with heavy cross beams and carved corbels. The dining room has a rather unusual ceiling detail as does the fireplace in the wood paneled den where we hope Mister Morgan has retained—and possibly improved upon—the convenient built-in wet bar.

A short butler's pantry with at least two under counter wine fridges connects the formal dining room to the center island eat in kitchen complete with two sinks, a combination of butcher block and slab stone counter tops and the customary complement of high-grade stainless steel appliances that include side-by-side fridge and freezer.

The spacious second floor master suite has a fireplace, two fitted dressing rooms, two adequate if stylistically uninspired bathrooms and a private veranda with what appears to be a disturbingly direct view into numerous windows of the neighboring residence.

Back downstairs the compact but well organized backyard has a trellis-shaded dining terrace just off the kitchen and family room, a wee patch of grass, a heated swimming pool backed by a dense thicket of jungle foliage, an elevated spa, a sunbathing terrace and a poolside pavilion perfect for escaping the relentless southern California sunshine with a stack of gossip glossies and industry rags.

Iffin Your Mama is being honest—and we always are—we'd confess to the children that we have no idea about Mister Morgans other real estate holdings. Presumably he maintains some sort of residence in New York City where his CNN program Piers Morgan Tonight tapes and we assume he's kept a property foothold in the U.K., probably in London and, perhaps, also in some scenic and upscale locale.

listing photos: Westside Estate Agency

Monday, February 25, 2013

Salt Sugar Fat

I'd just like to put in a quick word for a book that will be released tomorrow, titled Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us, by Pulitzer prize-winning author Michael Moss.  This is along the same lines as Dr. David Kessler's book The End of Overeating, which explains how the food industry uses food reward, palatability, and food cues to maximize sales-- and as an unintended side effect, maximize our waistlines.   Judging by Moss's recent article in New York Times Magazine, which I highly recommend reading, the book will be excellent.  I've pre-ordered it.

Rascal Flats Double Whammy: Jay DeMarcus

SELLER: Jay DeMarcus and Allison Alderson DeMarcus
LOCATION: Nashville, TN
PRICE: $1,599,000
SIZE: 8,554 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 5 full and 2 half bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: This morning Your Mama prattled on for spell about the very professionally decorated Brentwood, TN residence that Rascal Flats guitarist Joe Don Rooney and his former beauty queen wife recently pushed on the open market with a $1,679,900 price tag. This afternoon we've decided to stay in the same country music lane and discuss the Nashville area country estate that Mister Rooney' band mate Jay DeMarcus and his former beauty queen (turned occasional boob-toob hostess) wife Allison* have up for sale with a $1,599,000 asking price.

Property records and other online databases including Celebrity Address Aerial show that Mister and Missus DeMarcus purchased the 5.56 acre semi-rural/semi-suburban spread in August 2005 for $1,950,000 and they put it back on the open market way back in late 2008 with an asking price of $2,950,000. Over the intervening 4.5 years—an absolute ice age in real estate time—their increasingly albatross-y white elephant has been de- and re-listed a solid handful of times at a variety of ever-shrinking asking prices. It hardly takes an arithmetic expert—or Your Mama's bejeweled abacus—to quickly calculate that even if Mister and Missus DeMarcus' team of real estate representatives manage to scare up a full price offer the country music superstar is still looking at a $351,000 gut punch to his pocketbook, not counting any renovation expenses or carrying costs.

Current listing information indicates the 8,854 square foot mansion—a 1.5 story red brick pile with more than a passing resemblance to Thomas Jefferson's neo-Palladian Monticello in Charlottesville, VA—has five bedrooms with five all new en suite bathrooms plus two additional powder rooms.

The long, gated driveway sweeps up to the front of the house and on around to a side motor court with an attached three car garage. Wide steps climbs and a deep front porch makes for a genteel transition into an unexpectedly spacious foyer with thin-strip chevron-pattern hardwood floors, weighty and complicated ceiling moldings and a curved staircase with a wood and wrought iron banister.

There are formal living and dining rooms—the former with over-sized nine-over-nine sash windows and a fireplace, the latter with arched doorways, a shallow apse for the buffet and an inset gold-leafed ceiling—and less formal family spaces that include a sun room off the dining room and a roomy den with coffered ceiling, a second fireplace and a long wall of custom built cabinetry with wet bar area.

The kitchen has a milk chocolate colored wood cabinetry, thin strip hardwood floors laid at a 45-degree angle to the room—better would have been to continue the chevron pattern from the foyer, a boxcar-sized center island, dark gray flecked granite counter tops and the customary complement of sleek Euro-style stainless steel appliances. One wall of the kitchen has inset appliances that include a built-in coffee maker, three ovens, a warming drawer and a strange grid of black rectangles that we imagine are cubbies for cook books and other kitchen-related tchotchke. The kitchen joins to a breakfast area/family room with bulky brick fireplace, more built-in cabinets and shelve and a wide bay window with French doors.

The main floor master suite, just off the foyer, is entered through a privacy enhancing vestibule and encompasses a bedroom large enough to accommodate a sitting area in front of yet another fireplace, a large and luxurious but perfectly ordinary bathroom with spa tub and steam shower and a custom-fitted bedroom-sized dressing room with dramatic charcoal-colored walls and a fireplace—by Your Mama's boozy count, the house's fifth.

In all honesty we really can't say if all or any of the other four guest/family bedrooms are located on the second floor but listing photographs do suggest the upper level includes one idiosyncratic six- (or more) sided room ringed by ocular and semi-circular windows. Also located on the second floor, over the attached garage, is a media lounge, an adjacent and adjoining recording studio and a petite, sky-lit second kitchen(ette) with snack counter.

Although the grounds are extensive and include several covered and uncovered terraces and acres of rolling lawns dotted with mature shade trees there does not appear to be a tennis court or a swimming pool. Pity that. A house of this caliber on an expansive piece of property like this really ought to have both or, at the very least, a damn swimming pool.

Mister and Missus DeMarcus long ago decamped this house for a sprawling U-shaped mansion of nearly 11,000 square feet that property records show they acquired in August 2007 for $2,725,000.
Some of the nearby homes are owned by NashVegas A-listers like young country music queen Taylor Swift who recently coughed up $2.5 million for an historic Greek Revival style residence and country-pop crooner Keith Urban and Aussie actress Nicole Kidman who maintain an historic, celebrity-style mansion they snapped up back in 2008 for $3,470,000.

*Before hitching her wagon to Mister DeMarcus, Missus DeMarcus née Alderson was crowned Miss Tennessee Teen USA (1994) Miss Tennessee (1999) and Miss Tennessee USA (2002). She currently hosts People Magazine on CMT, whatever that is.

listing photos: Donna Yancy for French King Fine Properties

Rascal Flats Double Whammy: Joe Don Rooney

SELLER: Joe Don Rooney and Tiffany Fallon
LOCATION: Nashville, TN
PRICE: $1,679,900
SIZE: 7,971 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 4 full and 2 half bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: After a series of covert communiques over the last two weeks from three well-informed and ever-so-helpful real estate tattle tales down in the country music capital of Nashville, Your Mama is finally getting around to discuss the Brentwood, TN mini-mansion owned by pop-country Rascal Flats guitarist Joe Don Rooney and recently listed with an unnecessarily complicated $1,679,900 price tag. Let's just call this kitty a cat and say it's listed at $1,680,000, shall we?

Anyhoo, property records indicate Mister Rooney and his beauty queen turned t.v. hostess wife Tiffany Fallon—a former Miss Georgia (2001) who went on to pose in her birthday suit for Playboy and was named Playmate of the Year in 2006—scooped up the stately, vaguely Greek Revival pile in October 2007 for $1,575,000.

A tree-shaded circular driveway bends up and around to the front of the imposing and pleasantly dour brick-built residence that's situated on almost three-quarters of an acre in an affluent, guard-gated golf course community about 18 miles due south of downtown Nashville.

Combined, the three livable levels encompass a spacious but hardly Brobdingnagian 7,971 square feet of professionally decorated (and mostly taupe, putty and beige colored) interior space that were all done up and worked over by the much-published decoratin' dynamos at the top-shelf firm McAlpine Booth & Ferrier Interiors. Mister and Missus Rooney themselves described their day-core in a November 2009 article in People as "very un-Nashville" and "Classy casual." The lazy and the infirm will appreciate the mini-manse's elevator that makes stops on all three floors of Mister and Missus Rooney's residence that listing details show has a total of 4 bedrooms and 4 full and 2 half bathrooms

An anemic portico protects the side-lighted front door that opens into a grand, wood-floored double-height entrance hall flanked by a formal dining room to the left and, on the right, through fifteen-pane French doors, a small paneled study with a coffered ceiling, the first of the home's five fireplaces and built-in shelves where some of Mister Rooney's scads of industry award statuettes are displayed.* The mocha-stained wood floors in the entrance hall extend throughout most of the main floor including into the dining room and the voluminous formal living room with an extra high ceiling, fireplace number two, a walk-in wet bar and a trio of towering arched windows that swing open to an expansive entertainment terrace and swimming pool.

Two corridors off the living room connect to the  family quarters where the floor plan included with digital marketing materials for the property reveals there's a laundry room larger than most middle class kitchens not to mention an 800-plus square foot open plan kitchen/eating/family room. The center island kitchen has a modern mix of stainless steel and putty-colored raised panel cabinetry, some sort of stone or solid surface counter top in almost the exact same shade as the cabinetry and all the customary high-grade commercial style stainless steel appliances one might expect to find in the million dollar plus mansion of an otherwise down-to-earth seeming country music star. The sun-flooded family room end of the vast space is anchored by the home's third fireplace, this on stacked stone with built-in book and display shelves on either side.

The main floor master suite, well if a wee bit awkwardly situated for privacy just off the formal living room, has yet another fireplace plus a walk-through closet/dressing room with his and her sides separated by floor-to-ceiling drapery. The master bathroom offers a pair vanities—one L-shaped with a make up station, two cabinets for linen and toiletry storage, a spa tub and separate glassed in shower stall and a fully enclosed crapper cubicle.

The three guest/family bedrooms on the upper level are easily accessed by the elevator, the main stairs in the entrance hall and/or the back stairs in the family room. Each of the bedrooms has a roomy walk-in closet and a private attached bathroom. The architect for this house was clever—and smart—not to have any of the bedrooms share walls, a situation that ensures private and peaceful slumber and—ahem—what have you.

In the aforementioned 2009 People article Mister and Missus Rooney described the fully finished and, as far as we can tell, entirely or at least essentially windowless basement as "Man Land," a designation that is arguably better than the ubiquitous and upsetting term "man cave" but none-the-less still sends chilling shivers of mortification up and down Your Mama's spine.

In addition to the 600+ square foot recreation/media room—complete with pool table, fifth fireplace and  an adjoining wet bar/kitchenette—Mister Rooney's so-called Man Land also includes garage space with direct entry for five cars, a soundproofed state-of-the-art recording studio, a nearly 30 foot long exercise room and a space labeled on the floor plan as a "salon/flex room." Does this indicate that Mister and Missus Rooney installed a private hair and make up salon in their Man Land? Bueller? Bueller? Anyone? Bueller?

Tucked into the corner between the living room and the family room there's a screened porch (with heating) that leads out to a massive slate terrace that continues on to surrounds the swimming pool. At the far end of the swimming pool a series of tree-ringed stacked stone walls not only provide the perfect spot for an elevated spa but provide visual privacy from the looky-loo golfers as they make their way long the greens and fairways of the private Governor's Club golf course.

As far as Your Mama knows for our research on the internets both of the other members of Rascal Flats also maintain substantial homes in the Nashville area. Lead vocalist Gary LeVox owns a 22-room resident with 11,260 square feet that's located in the same small gated enclave where some of the other residents include Kix Brooks and Joe Galante.

Country music's most committed flat-iron aficionado Keith Urban and his porcelain-skinned Aussie actress wife Nicole Kidman used to live directly across the street from Mister LeVox until they acquired a larger and more opulent mansion in the same swanky gated enclave where some of the other homes are owned by unlucky in love country music super nova Taylor Swift and, as it turns out, multi-talented Rascal Flats bass guitarist and harmony vocalist Jay DeMarcus and his former Miss Tennessee wife Allison Alderson. Mister and Missus DeMarcus picked up their nearly 11,000 square foot behemoth back in August 2007 for $2,725,000 but, bless their real estate hearts, still own another Nashville white elephant they've been trying to unload since 2008. More on that shortly...

*The many awards and accolades of Rascal Flats include a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, six Academy of Country Music Awards (plus an ACM Home Depot Humanitarian Award), five American Music Awards, six CMT Music Awards, six Country Music Association Awards (plus a Horizon Award), five People's Choice Awards, one Radio Music Award and one Grammy Award for Best Country Song (Bless the Broken Road, 2006) plus five more nominations.

listing photos and floor plan: Fridrich & Clark Realty

Not All Who Wander Are Lost

 I love shooting on the weekends because my mom and I have more time to get a change of scenery.
I love this train station near my house.  It really makes me think of traveling and all of the places I want to go.  There's so many times that I wish I could just pick up and leave without any hesitations.  I feel very free spirited in that sense, just wanting to "wander" without anything holding me back.  For me, it's just about the journey and having that experience. The title of this post is one of my favorite quotes, and after looking at these pics, I instantly thought of it :) 

Jacket: C/O Eva Boutique/  Pants & Shoes: Zara (Similar)  / Top (Similar), Watch & Sunnies: Target
Spike Bracelet: C/O LexMila

I am obsessed with these Zara pants and this is the 3rd time that I have worn them on my blog.  It's been about 6 months since I wore them last so I had to bring them back out!  I wore this a similar way with a blazer before, but this time I made it a little edgier and laid back with this faux leather moto jacket from EvaBoutique.  I love the color of this jacket and how it picks up the print in the pants. 

With the Cotton 24 Hour Runway Show this Friday, I've been thinking a lot about cotton style and its versatility.  A white tee and a white tank are such great staple pieces to have in your wardrobe for both casual and dressier looks.  I know I've mentioned it on here before, but I always get the best tanks and boyfriend tees from Target.  I need to stock up on some new ones for this spring/summer. 

I had a really crazy weekend.  With the event Thursday, celebration with my friends on Friday and a birthday party Saturday, I honestly haven't had time to focus on my Miami trip. I still can't believe that I leave on Thursday already.  I am so excited for this amazing experience that I am about to have and I cannot wait to meet all of the other winners and bloggers, especially Sincerely Jules and my North East fashion influencer, Keiko Lynn! Now I seriously need to get all my looks together! 


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Behind The Scenes - Grand Opening

On Thursday night I attended the grand opening event for Behind The Scenes Makeup Academy in Hoboken.  I've known the owner, Juliette Laracuente, for years.  She was my makeup artist and hair stylist for all of the photo shoots that I did when I was working on my modeling portfolio.  She has been in the industry for years as a successful celebrity makeup artist and stylist and having her own makeup academy is a dream come true! 

Jules- Owner 

There was complimentary food and drinks plus a DJ all night.  The best and most surprising part was that they were filming the entire event.  As soon as I walked in I had to fill out a release form and get my photo taken because she is in the process of filming her own reality show for Bravo called Jersey Gems!  How amazing?!  It might be possible that I will be shown on the show from this event.  Her academy is located in the Monroe Arts Center in Hoboken in the same building and on the same floor as Glam Fairy.  Glam Fairy is a show on Style Network and I blogged about it before when I went to their season premiere event. 

I got to meet a fellow Jersey blogger and jewelry boutique owner Erica, from Lola Blue, the Closet. She was so sweet and came up to me to let me know that she follows my blog and instagram.  She was the second girl who said that to me that night.  It's so crazy because more girls have been recognizing me lately.  Such a great feeling! 

Of course I got a mini photo shoot in :)
Wearing Cotton On Skirt/ Forever21 Shirt/ Aldo Bag/ JLO Heels 

With photographer Carlos Peralta.  Love his work! I have done a bunch of shoots with him.  He will be one of the photographers at BTS. 

With Xio, Jule's sister. 

Anthony Roberts from Jerseylicious stopped by too.

With the BTS models.  It's so funny how short I am :) 

It was a really great turnout and I had a good time.  I love seeing the people around me succeed.  It's very motivating and very inspiring!  Make sure to check out all of the courses offered at