Gwyneth Paltow on Elle (September)

For its September 2011 edition, Elle magazine is featuring Gwyneth Paltrow, a perennial favorite among designers and fashion editors. although she doesn't always photograph well, i must say Gwyneth Paltrow looks quite good in these series of images, taken by well-known photographer Carter Smith.

here, the photographer opts for a laid-back and natural shot. the black-and-white presentation emphasizes Gwyneth Paltrow's relaxed air.
...effortlessly evoking classic Hollywood allure and glamour with stylish pumps, sleek black dress and a great pair of legs.

poised and pensive gwynnie... the harshly lit background provides a nice backdrop to give her a soft, wistful air.

all in all, this is a nice blend of deft camera work, a great photographer and a good subject. nice work, Elle. definitely worth a grande-sized soy strawberry frappuccino on a hot, lazy afternoon.

current It girl, elle fanning, getting her caffeine fix courtesy of Starbucks.

basking in her recent success as one of the teenage leads of Super 8 (directed by JJ Abrams), elle fanning (yes, the younger sister of dakota fanning), is set to work on Twixt Now and Sunrise (a film by Francis Ford Coppola) and We Bought a Zoo (a film by Cameron Crowe).

at the ripe old age of 13, elle fanning has already compiled an impressive array of films (Babel, Somewhere, The Nutcracker in 3D), attracting the notice of many critics and industry watchers -- a feat that would be an object of envy for many aspirants twice or thrice her age.

looks, abundant talent, excellent prospects -- what more could a girl want?

here are 10 dining places that, according to New York Times, are worth spending your hard-earned $$ on this year (2011).

nope, we're not just talking about the tab (although i'm willing to bet half of my annual salary that it would be quite hefty, too). you also have to factor in travel expenses (fare, accommodations, etc.), because these restaurants are located in various parts of the globe.

1. Aponiente
El Puerto de Santa MarĂ­a, Spain

2. Benu
San Francisco, CA (USA)

3. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
London, UK

4. M. Wells
Long Island City, NY (USA)

5. Mirazur
Menton, France

6. Mamofuku
Sydney, AUstralia

7. Restaurant Andre

8. Restaurante Garzon
Garzon, Uruguay

9. Tickets
Barcelona, Spain

10. Willows Inn
Lummi Island, WA (USA)

hmmm... this makes for a nice screen cap but frankly, for most of us these establishments will remain as interesting items on a vaunted list -- like exotic species to be gawked at but unlikely to be savored.

but for those with deep-lined pockets, bon appetit!

Seattle's Best new ads

Seattle's Best Coffee (Seattle, WA), a Starbucks subsidiary, recently unveiled its latest batch of ads, which i found droll and to the point (see below).

Seattle's Best, which positions itself as more yuppie-centric, is currently focusing on a new marketing slogan as part of its first major ad campaign -- Seattle's Best: Anywhere great coffee is needed.

hmmm... i wonder what they'll come up with next.

RATING: 4 cups

Starbucks bento

if you're ready for lunch and still want a dose of your daily caffeine fix, what could be more perfect than this...!

ahhhh... my cup runneth over.

a veritable feast for your eyes and your palate, this. don't fret. you can still have your coffee to go along with your dessert later.

RATING: 4.5 cups

latte and cheesecake

after 2 days of staying within the confines of my quarters, i decided to go out. as great as it was being on my own, i needed time to clear my head and check out my surroundings.

funny thing was, i didn't really do anything much. after my usual stop at a favorite bookshop, i just bought a couple of things and looked for a place to sit.

i eventually ended up spending a couple of hours at Starbucks (mall of Asia) (big surprise). good thing i brought along my laptop because i actually got some work done. i guess looming deadlines have a way of setting your priorities straight even when the view gets kind of hazy

and oh, i had an Oreo cheesecake. i normally don't go for cheesecake when i'm having toffeenut latte, but this time it felt right. yummy.

RATING: 3 cups

coffee and iPhone

here's another mouth-watering item to go with your coffee -- an iPhone cookie!

nope, i kid you not.

on a cool rainy day, a nicely baked cookie is always a welcome sight, but when they look as good as this one -- a great idea that sprung from a Japanese country bakehouse -- your first instinct is to look at it and exclaim over its details, followed by a quite-understandable resolve to keep the cookie instead. surely, such a yummy-looking creation was made to be displayed and not eaten!

ms. kumiko kudo, the owner of Green Gables (Japan), started baking and selling iPhonecookies in 2008. apparently, the making of these meticulously crafted cookies (each sells for 2730 yen, or roughly $33) is rather time-consuming -- she can only make 20 pieces a day. this should explain why the waiting list for this hot-selling yummy item (online orders only) could be as long two months!

oh man. now, i really want one.

RATING: 5 cups

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