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HORS D’OEUVRE Contributors: Who’s who in this issue From the Desk of the Editor: Celebrating the Women’s Issue Things We Love: Your editors’ picks Behind the Scenes: A look at the cover shoot set


BEAUTY & WELLNESS The Skinny on Health: Five things to get fit fast {Beauty} Trick to Try: Liquid or pencil? Try this eyeliner tip

ARTS & LEISURE Pages: A Hollywood insider’s perspective inside Iran Good Eats: Keep calm and drink tea Made: Vintage flair for your spring style! A Few Words: Tapping into passion with poetry



You & Me: Gwen Stefani and ShoeDazzle make a perfect pair! Share Your Where: Driving barefoot through Austin Share Your Wear: Phone cases stepped up A Killer Combo for Spring: The tee and pencil skirt reimagined A Gutsy Girl: Jamie Noel, Hollywood’s next hottest thing

Always end with something sweet

CAROLINE A. WONG Editor-in-Chief

BRANDON GAMBLE Creative Director

FASHION AND FEATURES Fashion and Beauty Editor BREANA POWELL Features Editor AMANDA CHI Features Writer LINDY TOLBERT



ART Lead Photographer ALEXANDER HERMAN Assistant Photographer HAIL NOWAK West Coast Editor ROSIE RYAN UK Editor JENNA ANDERSON

Contributors 04 /14

Lisa Eberly of wellness and lifestyle site The Skinny on Health uses her scientific knowledge to keep Tastevin readers in tip top shape. This month, she serves as your fitness BFF, sharing the top five things you need to stay on track with those (long-forgotten) New Year’s resolutions.

Chandler Rabens is a Los Angeles-based journalist and interviewed cover girl Jamie Noel, getting behind the glam to the gutsy girl within. She says that Noel is “one of those rare types of people that form an instant connection with anyone they meet.” 2

Megan McKenzie is a Los Angeles-based actress and poet, and her work has been featured in Tastevin numerous times. Her latest piece, “The Velvet Eye of Desire,” takes you into the dark recesses of passion.

Arts and Leisure Editor Mollie McKenzie is a Los Angeles-based writer, but she takes a literary visit to Tehran, Iran, chatting with Hollywood actress and writer Shohreh Aghdashloo about her memoir in this issue’s “Pages” column.

Danielle Robbins shows off her craftiness every month in the “Made” column. Check out her vintage button necklace in this issue or head over to www.DanielleRobbins.Etsy.com to snag her designs for yourself!

Alexander Herman, Tastevin’s lead photographer, was purely SoCal this month, photographing cover girl Jamie Noel near LAX and traveling with our editor-in-chief to Venice Beach to shoot pieces from Gwen Stefani’s new line with ShoeDazzle for the “You & Me” column.

Tastevin Magazine April 2014

from the desk of the


Women are awesome. Men are awesome too, but with this month’s Women’s Issue, it’s the time to really celebrate the greatness that women bring to the table, be it in the home, at the office, or simply out and about. And don’t forget it’s Earth Month too…what better way to celebrate Mother Earth than with a fully digital Women’s Issue! There’s a whole league of awesome female actresses out there, but we’re particularly intrigued by Hollywood starlet Jamie Noel, a fresh face on the scene who’s quickly making a name for herself. Just this year she has four projects launching, including her producing debut, Two Guys & a Gal. Check out her chat with us on page 60. The rest of the issue is dedicated to a bunch of really awesome women, such as innovative designer Vanesa Rey (“Share Your Wear” page 48) and Gwen Stefani with her hardcore—yet feminine— collection for ShoeDazzle (“You and Me” page 36). There are also some decidedly feminine spotlights, from a vintage button necklace (“Made” page 28) to a contemporary twist on teatime with your gal pals (“Good Eats” page 22).

Last, but obviously not least, thank you to all the women on the Tastevin staff and to all the female contributors this month. Every issue is put together with a lot of thought and passion, and we’re always excited to release a new collection of pairings for your busy lifestyles. So this month, flip through this Women’s Issue, grab a bottle of wine, and have a girls’ night out!


Tastevin Magazine April 2014


Things We Love Caroline A. Wong, Editor-in-Chief

“Bioré’s Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser is part of my new nighttime beauty ritual. Charcoal does more than grill your meat; it pulls out impurities from the skin and evens out your complexion. This formula really freshens my face before I go to sleep so no leftover makeup is lingering around to clog my pores.”

Breana Powell, Fashion and Beauty Editor BCBG Generation Shoes “Nothing could keep me away from these BCBG Generation shoes, which retail at $80-$100 depending on where you go. When they didn’t have my size at Macy’s, I ordered them online. And when they arrived in the mail and I realized they were too big, I lived by the words of Tim Gunn and ‘made it work’ by stuffing the tips with insoles. They’re iridescent perfection.”


Bioré Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser

It’s Ladies’ Night for the Women’s Issue! The Tastevin editors share their monthly obsessions.

Rosie Ryan, West Coast Editor American Eagle Outfitters Denim “After trying on some designer pairs with no luck, I FINALLY found a pair of boyfriend jeans that I love—from American Eagle Outfitters, no less. And at $60, they’re affordable too!”


Tastevin Magazine April 2014

Behind the Scenes Actress and producer Jamie Noel met the Tastevin crew at the Sheraton Gateway hotel near Los Angeles International Airport, with the nearby runways buzzing with planes. It’s rather fitting, as the newest star in Hollywood is a jet setter, what with her four projects coming out just this year, including her producing debut, Two Guys & a Gal. Check her out in this month’s release The Coed and the Zombie Stoner, available on Xbox Video April 18th. Photos by Caroline A. Wong

Mirrors were a theme on set, used to capture unique angles of the gutsy Hollywood girl.

Noel started the shoot in a Hollywood glam look, leaving a lipstick kiss on the mirror in classic starlet fashion. Alexander Herman photographed Noel as she tossed pillows around the room for a more relaxed, playful feel.

by Lisa Eberly

It’s that time of year… we’re trading in our winter coats for bikinis and our riding boots for wedges. It’s the time of year we remember that those resolutions we made to stay fit and thin didn’t really last as long as we’d hoped. It’s time to slim down for summer, people! If your New Year’s weight loss resolution fell through, here are five key pieces you might have been missing to make your weight loss more successful.


A person. Yes, you need external support from your family, friends, boyfriend, girlfriend, or whoever—but you also need THE person. The one person who not only believes in you, but guides you and teaches you. You need someone to rely on, to help you follow through, and to push you forward toward success. That person can be a dietitian, a personal trainer (though I would not use their nutrition advice, only fitness), myself (who I highly recommend!), 12 Tastevin Magazine April 2014

or a best friend or significant other doing a diet with you (probably the least effective, but still helpful person). You need to know that if you fail, you’ve not only let yourself down, but you’ve let them down too. I know that sounds harsh, but it’s easy to forgive ourselves when we’re finally diving into the ice cream we’ve forbidden ourselves from having. It’s a lot more difficult to explain to a dietitian that you know, you had a really rough day cause you missed the bus and your boyfriend was a pain in the ass so you decided to cry it out and gain five pounds in French fries last night.


A thing. This thing is something to always have on hand. Something that you have to subscribe to and contribute to when you make good choices. A food log. An activity log. A goal tracker. An app on your iPhone. Something to clue you in and keep you on track.


An investment. This investment can be time, a formal program, or money. A gym membership, subscription to healthy food delivery, Insanity videos, or a simple, less expensive meal plan are all positive investments. When you spend money on your diet, you have invested. That way, when you come home from work and think, “Blehhh I will literally fall over trying to do Insanity right now…” you’ll remember that you spent your hard earned cash on that video and damnit, you’re doing it.  If you don’t have the money to spend on even the cheaper option of a meal plan, investing your time is also effective. Spend Sunday afternoons planning your meals for the week and prepping them. That way, when Thursday comes along and you want to order a pizza, you know you spent hours planning recipes and cutting up veggies for the delicious dinner you picked out from that awesome blog The Skinny on Health (wink!). Time, money, what have you, invest anything in your health and capitalize on that investment!


lete named Lisa (I can’t make this stuff up)? She literally covers her apartment in motivational post-its and I am totally on board. So, post-its, pictures, yoga mats—whatever they may be— set up some triggers that will keep you motivated and moving through your diet with ease.


A positive environment. You also need to be sure your environment is consistently supportive and won’t destroy all your hard work. I have two types of friends (who I love equally): bad influences and good influences. Some of my friends just bring the “badness” out of me, and I totally adapt to a “screw it” attitude about being healthy. Unluckily for me, this includes my family. When I’m with these types of friends, they remind me of unhealthier times (like my college days of eating pizza while hungover in bed, or growing up in my parents house and eating terribly). Other friends have the opposite effect. I crave healthy foods that I enjoy by myself when I’m with them. Make sure that you know which friends are which and that you know how to control your habits when you’re with the bad influences. Although I’m sure they’re great friends (and, unless they’re competitive girls, obviously not doing it on purpose), make sure you know how to handle eating with them. Maybe eat a big healthy meal before seeing them or find a way to suppress your lack of willpower with them. Or, hang out with your positive influence friends more often to motivate your healthy habits! If it’s your boyfriend or girlfriend that’s a negative influence (trust me, I’ve been there and it seriously blows), try to diet together or cook your healthy food for them too!

A trigger. There’s an effective method to quit smoking in which you put a picture of why you’re quitting wherever you typically smoke. So, if you always smoke in the car, you put a picture of your beautiful kids who hate your smoking on the dash. The same method can be used for dieting. First, you make your environment conducive to a healthy diet. When I get home from a long day, if I sit on the couch to read or watch TV before making dinner, I always face the brutal dilemma: Well, I guess I can miss my workout today if I definitely go tomorrow… Yet I always decide to go. Why? My nighttime workout is hot power yoga. Where is my yoga mat? Right in front of the couch. I literally stare at my yoga mat when I sit down. I love yoga and I know I’ll love being on the mat once I’m there, so seeing the mat triggers those feelings. I also tape gorgeous food pictures from healthy recipe blogs to the inside of my pantry and on my fridge. Healthy food is delicious, and you just need to remind yourself of that sometimes, espe- cially when unhealthy food is much more “accessibly delicious” as I like to call it. A similar method is post-it notes. If I’ve been having a rough few days, I put inspiring motivational post-its on my bathroom mirror (I am such a sucker for motivational quotes). Remember the movie How Do You Know, in which Reese Witherspoon plays an ath-


The Skinny on Health


{Beauty} Trick to Try By Colette Choi

Liquid eyeliner is a girl’s best friend. Sure, it takes some practice, but in the long run, it’ll save you from the wrinkles you get by pulling and tugging at the delicate skin of your eyelids with a pencil. That said, pencil liner is still a frenemy you should keep in your arsenal of makeup companions. Use it only on your lower lash line. It’s usually a lot easier to apply pencil on the bottom because of the difference in skin thickness there. And trust me—it does NOT take infinitely more time to pick up a different type of eyeliner so don’t give me that “Wahhh but I only have two seconds to get ready before work” whining. This method will have you look instantly more alert, awake, and professional—exactly what every girl should be aiming for those early mornings!


The eyes are the windows to the soul—or so they say. Open them up with this easy eyeliner trick.

Pages The Alley of Love and Yellow Jasmines by Mollie McKenzie

Tastevin Magazine

The title of your memoir, The Alley of Love and Yellow Jasmines, seems to be a metaphor for life. Can you please explain? Shoreh Aghdashloo It is indeed a metaphor for life and its scent of youth on the brink of time. Omar Khayyam wrote, “We are the puppets and the heavenly master is our puppeteer; this is the truth and not just a figure of speech; for a while we act out our part on this stage; then one by one we return to the box of doom.” TM What was it like growing up in pre-

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revolution Tehran? SA Watching a nation on the move, and witnessing Iran`s progressive journey towards modernism was magical, beautiful, and exhilarating. Iran was rapidly transforming from a traditional society into a modern nation, gaining international respect. Young Iranians were proud of being a part of such vital movement.   TM SA

What do you miss about it the most? I was once asked to close my eyes and see what it is that I miss about my country. Eyes shut, I saw thousands of tiny yellow jasmines under the early morning sun, proudly towering over short clay walls of long and narrow alleys in the old town of Tehran, the capital of Iran, where I spent most of my childhood at grandmother’s house and where, once upon a time, young lovers used to recite poetry to their loved ones. TM

The transition moving from Iran to London must have been very emotional and difficult time, but looking back, what was one of the most memorable moments? SA We reached Iran and Turkey’s border a little before sunset. The scene at the border was chaotic. Thousands of cars [sat] bumper to bumper, filled with Iranians claiming they were going to Turkey for a short visit. Leaving Iran, I sat in the back of my car to look at my birth country through the rear window. The moon was slowly rising against the turquoise sky while the fading sun was still sparkling on the tip of the mountains, forming endless shades of orange. [I was] thinking, ‘That is my


Iranian actress Shohreh Aghdashloo really seems to have it all. Featured in the Top 15 of IMDB’s “Hottest Chicks Over 60,” Aghdashloo is absolutely gorgeous—though it goes without saying. Her husky yet lyrical voice is enough to make you fall into a trance. Not only is she considered a star in her homeland—receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 6th Annual Noor Iranian Film Festival—but she is also regarded with high esteem in Hollywood. Her work in the House of Sand and Fog film earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress, and her role as the wife of Saddam Hussein in the controversial TV Mini-Series House of Saddam won her an Emmy Award. Yet Aghdashloo’s life has been anything but a fairytale. She barely escaped imprisonment during the Islamic Revolution of Iran. She left everything behind in Iran, started from scratch in London, and then began yet again in the United States. But throughout it all, she has never given up on either her dream of acting or her fervent political beliefs. We sit down with Aghdashloo to talk about her memoir, The Alley of Love and Yellow Jasmines, and her inspirational life thus far.


“I have never regretted lending my voice to the right causes. I am an artist. I do not have a gun. My art is my gun.” TM

You mention several times in your memoir that you won’t return to Iran until it is free. Do you perceive that happening anytime soon? SA Nothing is impossible, especially when it comes to politics. But one thing we can rely on is the youth of Iran that have never given up fighting for their basic rights. TM

What steps do you think Iran has to take in order to become a free country? SA Stop violating human rights and start practicing democracy by respecting its laws—one nation under one law, the democratic law, and not the Islamic law.          

TM You unabashedly speak out against the violence and oppression in the Middle East. Has there ever been a time when you regretted speaking out? SA I have never regretted lending my voice to the right causes, including the voiceless people of the Middle East or even else where. I am an artist. I do not fight with the calamity of life. I do my best to bring it to peoples attention through my art. I do not have a gun. My art is my gun. But I do regret not having said enough.


You made your Hollywood debut in 1989

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when you starred in Guests of Hotel Astoria. What types of adversities did you face as a Middle Eastern actress? SA Hotel Astoria was produced and directed by Iranian filmmakers in exile. It was filmed in Istanbul, Amsterdam, New York, and Los Angeles. And, although I was working out of Los Angeles at the time, I had not yet landed a substantial role in an American movie. It was House of Sand and Fog in 2004 that made me a working girl in Hollywood. Having worked on a handful of major films and TV series, I have not yet faced any sort of adversities concerning my Middle Eastern background so far. I have always believed that we show makers belong to the same tribe, regardless of the color of our skin or our nationality. Out of all the characters you have played in the past, do you have a favorite? SA My favorites are Nadi Behrani, the voiceless, submissive, beloved wife of colonel Behrani in the movie House of Sand and Fog, and Dina Araz in the FOX television series 24.  TM

TM Although you have such an incredible repertoire of roles, what is one character to which you are still looking forward? SA The list is long, but I would particularly love to portray Indira Gandhi.

TM Your memoir details a passionate and full life, from being a political activist and awardwinning actress to the wife of your prince charming and mother of a beautiful daughter. What is one piece of advice you would offer to young women today? SA Be yourself and let others see the world through you. 


Persia, the ancient land of art, love, and poetry.’ It is the land of prominent philosophers and poets such as Rumi, Khayyam, Hafiz, and many more. We were soon on an icy road heading [to] Istanbul, and I would have cried if it weren’t for the two words—freedom and democracy—that had been [resounding in] my mind throughout the revolutionary nights. 

good eats


by Maria Eubanks


ea Time with a Twist A Modern Girl’s Guide to a Classic Tradition

The temperature is rising, the birds are chirping, and the flowers are blooming again… It’s Spring! And it’s the perfect time to throw on your flowing floral dresses, big floppy shaded hats, and pearls and grab your girls for a modern day tea party! Afternoon tea is a 17th-century tradition developed in a time when there were commonly only two meals served a day, breakfast and dinner. Tea parties were a social gathering at which tea, cakes, and other light refreshments were served between the hours of 3pm and 5pm—usually before a hefty dinner. Now we’re in a time where breakfast is usually just the largest caffeinated beverage you can get your hands on, lunch is either grab n’ go or non-existent due to a busy work schedule, and dinner is a culmination of everything in your refrigerator used to create a makeshift meal. With all the busyness, it feels good to sometimes take a pause in your day and make an event out of a light snack. Quintessential tea party components are, of course, tea, your finest serving ware, mini sandwiches, pastries, and your favorite floral sundress. Here, I’ve pulled together a few do’s and don’ts geared toward a classic tea party while also providing you with a few recipes to suite a modern appetite. Keep calm and tea party on!

Tea Party Tips

• A centerpiece of fresh flowers is key, simply for ambiance • Forks must always be on the left side of the plate with knives and spoons on the right • Milk must be placed in teacup prior to tea being poured • Tea is not to be stirred in circular motions but lifted and folded instead • The teacup is to be held with thumb and first two fingers and pinky is to be used to maintain balance (contrary to popular be lief there is no real need to exaggerate the lift of the pinky)

• Always place a teacup back on its saucer • The crust must be removed from sand wiches as they prevent unladylike chewing • Only small sips of tea and bites of food are to be taken • Napkin must be in your lap at all times • One must always have a fun and classy time

Tomato, Mozzarella & Basil (TMB) Tea Sandwiches on Flatbread What You Need:

• 4 pieces of flatbread (pita bread without pockets) • 8 oz. mozzarella cheese - sliced into 24 circles, 1/4 inch size • 1 tablespoon olive oil • 2 cups fresh basil leaves • 1 garlic clove, pressed or finely minced 1/4-teaspoon salt • 2 tablespoons of your favorite vinaigrette • 2-3 balls fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced (about 8 ounces) • 2 large plum tomatoes, sliced

What to Do:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 2. Place flatbread on a baking pan, drizzle with olive oil, and season with your favorite Italian seasoning. 3. Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown. 4. While baking, mix the basil, salt, and garlic together with a bit of oil. 5. Remove the bread from the oven, turn the pieces over, and drizzle with vinaigrette. 6. Using a sharp knife, cut each round into 6 wedges. 7. On each wedge, place greens, one slice of mozzarella, one slice of tomato, and an other slice of wedge as a topper. 8. Serve immediately. 23

Light & Fluffy Mini Buttermilk Beignets What You Need: • • • • • •

3/4-cup whole milk 1-1/2 cups buttermilk 2-1/2 tablespoon sugar 1/2-teaspoon baking soda 1/4-teaspoon salt 3-1/2 cups bread flour plus extra for flouring work surface • 4 tsp. active dry yeast • Vegetable oil for frying • Confectioners’ sugar

What to Do: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

10 11 12 13

In a small saucepan, warm the milk over medium-high heat until slightly boiling. Remove from heat, add the buttermilk, and, in a mixer bowl, whisk in the yeast and sugar. Add the flour, salt, and baking soda and mix on low until moistened. Gradually increase speed of mixer until a loose ball is formed. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for at least an hour to allow the dough to rise. Pour the vegetable oil in a large pot and fill it up about 3 inches deep. Over medium heat, bring the oil to about 375 degrees. Flour your work surface and sprinkle the dough with flour before gently pressing to flatten. Fold the dough in half, mold into a roughshaped round, and roll to ½-inch thickness. Cut dough into 1 ½-inch squares, stretch a few beignets, and drop them into the oil. Fry until they have puffed up and are golden brown, turning them as needed. Place them on a paper-towel-lined plate to soak up the excess oil. Serve warm and sprinkle them with confectioners’ sugar to your liking!

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Lime & Mint Iced Tea What You Need: • • • • •

8 cups of water 8 bags of your favorite tea 1 bundle of fresh mint 1 ½ cups of granulated sugar ½ cup of fresh lime juice (4 limes, can also be replaced with lemon) • Ice

What to Do:

1 Bring a medium pot of water to a simmer. 2 Remove water from heat, place tea bags and mint in the pot, and allow to steep for 10 minutes. 3 Discard the tea bags, add the sugar, and stir until all of the sugar is dissolved. 4 Allow the tea to reach room temperature and then place into the refrigerator for a few hours. 5 Once cold, remove the mint, and add the lime or lemon juice followed by sugar until it tastes to your liking. 6 Add ice to tea or your favorite frozen fruit for added flavor!




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by Danielle Robbins

Vintage Button Necklace I get really bored of having to wear office attire and am always looking for a unique way to style up my work wear. I’ve found an easy and elegant way to do just that! Gather up some of your favorite vintage buttons from all that antique shopping to make this necklace. Or grab some new vintage-styled buttons from the fabric store. LaMode makes some really great ones.


Hot glue gun & glue Vintage buttons Needle & thread Felt

Chain Necklace clasp Scissors Pliers


Hot glue the buttons to the felt in the shape you want your necklace to be. Let dry. Cut the felt around the edge of the buttons so that no felt is showing. This creates a backing for your design.

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Measure two strands of chain to your desired length. Sew both pieces of chain to the felt on either end. Make sure the thread really secures the necklace to the chain—you don’t want it falling apart midway through the workday!


Using pliers, affix the clasp to the other end of your chain. Or, if you don’t want to use a clasp, sew one longer piece of chain to both ends of your felt and you will have an easy ready-towear version of this necklace!

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The Velvet Eye of Desire By Megan McKenzie

The moon shines through double paned windows Cotton sheets cling to my skin like a fever Your steady breathing Keeps time with the clock As it ticks My ear resting against your pulse Memories press against the double paned windows Searching—Thirsting The curve of your lips—My curiosity Green eyes—warm breath—burning My curiosity—Your hand against mine Lingering—Quivering Where does the time go—that velvet eye The desire once felt—so strong— Now porcelain embraces and steel kisses— A shiver down my spine And the velvet eye of desire closes As dawn bursts through the double paned windows

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The gx by Gwen Stefani line for ShoeDazzle is a “Sweet Escape” into a graphic world of tribal prints and Japanese street style. No question here— this designer collaboration is “Hella Good.” By Caroline A. Wong Photos by Alexander Herman

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hen I received news that Gwen Stefani would be launching a shoe and handbag line with one of my favorite brands, I squealed out loud in the middle of my local Starbucks. Not necessarily one to lose her cool, I composed myself…but still did a little jig on the inside. Gwen Stefani! For ShoeDazzle! But the real question would be whether Stefani could translate her punk queen cool into an independent accessories line for the shoe powerhouse. The No Doubt songstress carved a name for herself in the fashion world with the launch of her clothing line L.A.M.B. eleven years ago. Stefani has been on an uphill trajectory ever since. Her Japanese-inspired Harajuku Lovers line followed two years later, and a similar Asian influence is apparent


Worn throughout: Black and white Rino pumps, gx by Gwen Stefani for ShoeDazzle, $90. Black and white Zama clutch, gx by Gwen Stefani for ShoeDazzle, $80. Black backless jumpsuit, H&M Conscious Collection, $70. Sunglasses, Tastevin Magazine April 2014 Karl Lagerfeld, $180. Harlow drop earrings, Ily Couture. $35. Cabochon bracelet, House of Gemmes, $20.

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in her gx by Gwen Stefani collection. Stefani’s ShoeDazzle collection is infused with that kawaii sass in its punchy style and edgy silhouettes. Not for the faint of heart, the collaboration is a bold accessories line in vibrant tones, from saturated royal blues and show-stopping reds to graphic blacks and whites. It may be an unusual pick for spring, but I’m a huge fan of a minimalist palette for the season. In daring black and white, you’ll stand out from the pastel pack, much like you will with pieces from Stefani’s line. Or, let your accessories shout with their loud red or blue hues by pairing them with a basic jumpsuit in a neutral. The gx by Gwen Stefani collaboration is not your typical choice for an Easter brunch—but it’ll surely make for a sexy spring!

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Share Your Where Driving Barefoot Through Texas

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By Jenna Anderson


itting on a shelf at the top of my closet is a dusty-brown corduroy Jansport backpack. It doesn’t look like much, but that backpack saw me safely through travels between home and school for four years in sunny Southern California and, afterwards, traveled with me to Brazil, Oahu, Moscow, Scotland, and Paris. While most other travelers have a passport, not many can boast that they have had a constant travel companion through every trip they’ve taken. It’s lasted every bit as long as my first passport. My backpack was a portable safe, recording each trip as a collection of things kept securely inside: gifts for family, hand warmers, not enough liquids, and far too many books. Its zippers still zip and its pockets always hold more than you think they possibly can, but over the past two years, its corduroy has become more dusty than brown. Fabric at the bottom has been tearing for ages. This winter, I sadly forced my beloved friend into retirement. But before I did, I took it along with me on one last adventure: a road trip to Austin to spend Superbowl weekend with a friend I hadn’t seen in eight years.

In Texas, you’re very aware that the highway you’re on actually intersects people’s lives. Along these highways—stretching for miles in a straight line—are farms, churches, and family barbeque pits. These buildings and open fields, in their turn, are surrounded by city signs that proclaim their towns as “historic.” I figure this must be another way of saying these towns are old, but the kind of old that makes you want to stay awhile. When signs aren’t advertising the nearest gas station or warning you of the maximum speed limit, they bear messages that tell you what’s important to the people that live there. History. Community. Meals. Land. Living. It struck me as I drove along the 10 and 71 that the messages we claim say a lot about us. I wondered what someone driving through my life would say about the

“Carry hope, travel


safely—two simple commands for driving barefoot through Texas.”

My experience of Texas can be encapsulated by one word: flat (words that should also receive honorable mentions are “brown” and “dead”). Still, I cherished those hours of driving. Usually when people drive their cars, they are just trying to get somewhere.


messages they saw along the way. I instantly feared that they wouldn’t have much to talk about—I tend to let other people put up road signs for me. Maybe that fear prompted me to keep my eyes open for messages that I could claim for my own life. I searched for them throughout Austin, a city that I found to be rife with intentional living.

“What you carry

with you is a choice, but how you travel makes a difference to those whose hearts go with you.” My first message actually came to me in the form of my backpack’s replacement, which I found in the center aisle of the original Whole Foods, located in the heart of Austin. Now, I don’t usually make a habit of buying accessories from Whole Foods; in fact, I don’t make a habit of buying anything from Whole Foods. But as I was walking down this particular aisle, I saw it: a mustard yellow backpack with the outline of a sparrow over the words “carry hope.” Proceeds from my purchase would help fund education for a child in a third-world country. My heart swooned, and there was no turning back. Of all the items that I could carry with me in my travels, hope seemed to be the one that would outlast them all. My second message also came to me in a serendipitous fashion. It took me by surprise in a quiet clothing store on South Congress. Tucked behind a thin glass panel, an anchor ornament decoupaged with newspa46 Tastevin Magazine April 2014

per clippings sat at the bottom of a wicker basket. On the front side of this particular anchor, in the midst of the news text, two words stood out —“travel safely.” Something about it struck me…the image of an anchor along with those words. I thought about the anchors in my own life and realized they were all people. While I initially responded to the concept of “carrying hope” out of personal gratification, I found it important to “travel safely” for others. What you carry with you is a choice, but how you travel makes a difference to those whose hearts go with you. I’m grateful for the messages I found in Austin, and the journey that led me there and back again safely. I’m learning to ask questions and actively look around me for the answers. I’m thankful for the straight, even road that allowed me to learn from the road signs this time. I want to make sure that I keep my eyes open when the road is less certain and when the browns of the land are traded in for greens and blues. But most of all, I intend to carry hope and travel safely—two simple commands for driving barefoot through Texas.


Share Your Wear Vanessa Ray

By Rosie Ryan

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o you really think women will wear this?”

On one hand, the idea of wearing your iPhone around your neck sounds like a no brainer, especially when you find yourself in a pocket-less outfit, but then again it’s not something you see every day…yet. That’s what Vanesa Rey wants to change with her blossoming tech accessory line. When manufacturers and vendors, most of them men, ask her this question, her response is yes. “[Men] may not know this because [they’ve] never had to pull data from an email and report on it in a meeting wearing a pencil skirt and a blouse with no pockets.” Through her experience in the fastpaced entertainment industry, specifically international film publicity, she saw a glaring need for tech accessories that were functional and, equally as important, fashionable. “As a 20-something working woman, I was constantly on the go, making tech gadgets instrumental in running my life. I was responding to hundreds of emails a day, traveling around the world, having to take photos of events and send to my higher ups back in home office in Los Angeles, see what was trending on social media, and trying (most of the time unsuccessfully) to stay connected to my loved ones.” Eventually, she had enough of rummaging through her overcrowded handbag to find her phone and wore it around her neck with a camera strap. 49

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But that wasn’t exactly the most fashionable solution. Enter the necklace case. It’s a necklace meets wallet meets phone case that comes in a wide variety of beautiful vibrant colors and even stylish bejeweled designs. They’re made with high-quality materials line genuine leather and even vegan leather. Rey envisions the modern working woman with a necklace case around her neck. “The VANESA REY girl […] is hustling every day to bring purpose to her life, whether it be through her profession, her family, her wardrobe, whatever. [She’s] not sitting around waiting for life to come sweep her off her feet, she wakes up every day and decides to conquer whatever the day brings.”

Ultimately, Rey wants this necklace case to help women be successful. “The truth is women play on a different playing field than men, we must be as quick in responding to emails, be just as competent in meetings, work just as hard, but, at the same time, look chic. There’s a reason why the top female CEOs have a strong, pulled together image. That is part of every woman’s journey to corporate leadership as she attempts to break the glass ceiling. I want to help women ‘lean in’ as one of my inspirations Sheryl Sandberg says.  I want to give women the tools that allow them to not hold back.” Her personal experience in the rapidly paced entertainment industry gave her the tools needed to venture out of her comfort zone and start her own company. “My time in the film business led to years of sleepless nights, urgent deadlines, and dealing with delicate situations, which



Men have never had to pull data from an email and report on it in a meeting while wearing a pencil skirt and a blouse with no pockets.


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was the perfect training ground to being an entrepreneur. I learned to always think of what is next, both creatively and strategically because of those film business experiences. I also learned that many times you will find yourself rolling up your sleeves and getting the job done yourself in pursuit of perfection.” After the necklace case, you’d better believe that there’s more to come from this ambitious woman. Expect to see tablet purses, travel bags and other high fashion accessories. “I dream that one day we will be able to be an established brand that we can create other items outside of fashion-obsessed tech, including a series of books, but one step at a time. The big picture for VANESA REY is that we become a company that women turn to when they are looking for style and substance.”


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A Killer Combo for White T-Shirt and a Pencil All’s fair in fashion and a foolproof outfit combination. One outfit pairing that can be worn over and over in a multitude of ways is a white t-shirt with a pencil skirt. It’s streamlined and simple, which makes it the perfect foundation outfit for experimenting with outerwear, accessories, and bold shoes. Here are three outfits, using a white t-shirt from H&M and three gorgeous skirts, to show you how amazing this go-to combo can be.

Work When you want to look professional, you can totally get away with wearing a plain white t-shirt so long as you keep it structured and clean. A black and grey check pattern skirt coupled with a black blazer is superb. Find playful or bright shoes to polish off your look, such as these emoji-inspired (#HighMaintenance) loafers, red pointed heels, or daisy loafers.

Night Out Black and white. Black and white. Black and white. It seriously never gets old when you want to look as chic as possible. The tee combined with a black, vinyl-looking pencil skirt and unique outerwear (such as this black bolero) will allow your accessories to stand out. Try layering chain necklaces or wearing big, statement earrings or ear cuffs. For shoes, oversized platform boots, strappy sandals, or printed heels will create an edgy vibe.

Weekend Think light, airy, and comfortable for a weekend tee and pencil skirt pairing. Denim is the ultimate weekend material. There’s something so classic about a white tee with blue denim. To finish this outfit, throw on printed outerwear, layer up on bracelets, and wear stylish shoes that will be appropriate for your weekend events. (AKA don’t rock 6” stiletto heels to Coachella.)

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Spring Skirt by Breana Powell


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By Chandler Rabens Photos by Alexander Herman


amie Noel is a busy bee. With four projects slated for release in 2014—including parts in the novel turned screenplay Mall; Nick Cannon’s movie School Dance; horror-comedy movie The Coed and the Zombie Stoner; and her producing debut, a short film called Two Guys & a Gal—I felt lucky to snag a few minutes of Noel’s time. The brunette beauty, still glammed up from her provocative cover shoot, chatted openly about her passion for comedy, transition to actor-producer, and tips for leading a healthy lifestyle while on the go. This South Florida native is a kale-loving, selfproclaimed “hot yoga junkie”—which explains her selection of our dinner spot, The Veggie Grill in Hollywood. Noel had me rolling on the floor laughing throughout our “chickin’” salads. I was impressed to learn this actress-turned-producer feels just as comfortable behind the camera. I like a woman in charge! My takeaway? This gorgeous, gutsy girl thrives when she’s making people laugh.

Tastevin Magazine

How would you describe yourself in three words? Jamie Noel Driven, Compassionate, and Mindful.

What made you decide to get into acting? When I was 19, I took my first acting class to be less shy and come out of my shell. That’s [when] my love affair started. TM JN

TM Since then, has there been one character you’ve played that you’ve really connected to? JN I play a character in Two Guys & a Gal named KC who takes a pretty hard hit after a divorce. I think everyone can relate to being devastated at some point or another over a failed relationship. She’s kind of foul, funny, and even though she hits rock bottom, she finds the humor in it all. TM You’re starting to garner a noticeable fan base. Do you get recognized in public? What was your last encounter like? JN Yes, I get recognized. My last encounter

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with a fan was at a bar. He came charging across the room yelling my name. My normal reaction [of] laughing and denying [it] worked...until homeboy pulled up my photo on his phone. Then I surrendered gave him a hug and bought him a shot. Cheers!

TM Speaking of interacting with your fans, you are very vocal on your Twitter and Facebook pages. Something tells me you don’t have a problem speaking your mind… JN I’m very compassionate about life in general so I like to express it. Also, I like to hear other people’s opinions. That’s what makes social media such an awesome thing. It’s all about connecting. TM Is connecting with people part of the reason you became interested in producing your own projects, like Two Guys & a Gal? JN I’m just fascinated with the art of filmmaking. Even before I thought of producing, I found myself sitting in video village picking

This page and previous spread: Studded grey sweater, 63PinkTastevin Magazine 2014 Noel’s own. thong, Noel’s own. Rings,April Noel’s own. White filigree cuff, Forever 21, $10.

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“Whatever comes at me, I got this.� 65

the crew’s brain, checking out the shots. It’s still my favorite place to be on set—that and edit bays.

TM You grew up in South Florida… comparison between LA and Miami… go! JN Miami is where my heart will always be. There is nothing like the melting pot of cultures, the food, the music, the weather, the beaches, the clubs. I’m absolutely infatuated with the vibrancy of Miami. LA is awesome because it’s the mecca of art. It’s got even better weather and great hills to go hiking. TM When you have some free time, where can we find you and what are you doing? JN I’m a huge hot yoga junkie. I also like hiking, cooking, watching movies, and trying at least one thing a week [that] I’ve never done. It keeps life fresh. This week, I’m taking an Arial Acrobatics class. Next week I might jet set to a different city or meditate with monks. Life is about experiencing things and stepping out of a routine or comfort zone. TM

How do you keep up with the long hours on set and the constant travel? JN It’s a challenge. A daily one. I would say staying organized, bringing comfort items— Snuggies, warm socks, music—so it’s easy to get shuteye in between [projects helps in dealing with long hours]. Also, I drink lots and lots and lots of water and take vitamins. Most importantly, keep a flexible, happy state of mind. I always think, “Whatever comes at me, I got this!” TM JN

Any final words? Life is beautiful. Make every second count.

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Aside from learning how to become a serial killer, Monty finds himself learning how to navigate the equally treacherous waters of romance.

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This page and previous spread: Dress, Heavenly Couture, $20. Blueberry cascade necklace, House of Gemmes, $40. Earrings and rings, Noel’s own.

Something Sweet WOMEN IN THE MILITARY We would like to take a moment to thank those who have served our country in the armed forces—past, present, and future—with particular regards to women in service, in honor of this month’s Women’s Issue. Here are a few highlights from the history of women in the military:

American Revolution (1775-1783):

Women serve on the battlefield as nurses, water bearers, cooks, and laundresses.

Mexican War (1846-1848):

Elizabeth Newcom enlists in the Missouri Volunteer Infantry under an assumed male name. She marches for 600 miles before she is discovered to be a woman and discharged.

Civil War (1861-1865):

Women on both sides disguise themselves as men in order to serve. Dr. Mary Walker receives the Medal of Honor. She is the only woman to receive the nation’s highest military honor.

1901: Army Nurse Corps is established. World War I (1917-1918):

Over 21,000 Army nurses serve in military hospitals both domestically and abroad. More than 400 military nurses die in the line of duty.

World War II (1941-1945):

Over 60,000 Army nurses serve stateside and overseas, a number tripled in fewer than 25 years. Sixty-seven of them are captured and held as POWS for nearly three years. In 1943, the US Public Health Service establishes the Cadet Nurse Corps, training thousands of women for possible military service.

1948: The Women’s Armed Services Integration Act grants women permanent status in the Regular and Reserves forces of the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps. 1961: The first woman Marine is promoted to Sergeant Major. 1967: The legal provisions once capping the number of women in service and limiting her pro-

gression in rank are repealed.

1968: The first Air Force woman is sworn into the Air National Guard. 68 Tastevin Magazine April 2014

1972: The Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) opens to Army and Navy women. 1973: The first Navy women earn military pilot wings, and the first woman in the history of the

armed forces is promoted to major general.

1976: Women are admitted to service academies. 1984: For the first time in history, a woman is the top graduate of the Naval Academy. 1993: Congress repeals law prohibiting women from duty on combat ships. 2000: The first woman commands a Navy warship at sea. 2001: The US Army Women’s Museum opens at Fort Lee, Virginia. 2007: The first woman in US Naval history takes command of a fighter squadron. 2008: For the first time in history, a woman is promoted by the US Army to the rank of four-star


Although women are still banned from positions in all branches of the military with the exception of the Coast Guard, which does not restrict women from serving in any rank, we are grateful for however the women who serve are able to, and we recognize all who have protected the freedom of America. Happy Memorial Day.


Profile for Tastevin Mag

Tastevin Magazine April 2014 - Featuring Jamie Noel  

A Fashion and Lifestyle Tasting Menu

Tastevin Magazine April 2014 - Featuring Jamie Noel  

A Fashion and Lifestyle Tasting Menu