Viva la Cesar!

Hats off to Cesar Chavez! It's a long weekend for me and I'm thankful that there isn't rain in the forecast. It looks pretty nice and that makes me want to do one thing: wear sandals and do something fun outside!

Gerbera sandals from Anthropologie
Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend and some time in the sun! PS- aren't those sandals so cute? Wishlist!


South By Southwest 2012 Roundup- Part Deux

Posted by Shannon Hunter

In case you missed, I talked about some of the non-musical experiences at SXSW earlier this week.

Now on to the meat and potatoes, which bands are worth checking out and who was a waste of my precious (and at SXSW it IS precious) time? The standouts for me were bands I’m already familiar with. This is actually surprising because I go to SXSW in search of new talent. But honestly, stars are stars for a reason. Stage presence and confidence just can’t be replaced. The absolute highlight of the festival for me was Jack White’s solo show. His label Third Man Records showcased many of their artists including The Black Belles (more on them later) but of course everyone wanted to hear Jack’s new stuff. I waited in line for well over 3 hours and every minute was worth it! His backing bands (he has one all female band and one all male band) were on point and a great addition to his sound. He hit a little bit of everything, from old White Stripes hits and well known Raconteurs stuff to up tempo and slower songs from the new album. Here he is with the all female backing band rocking ethereal white dresses.
Jack and his lovely ladies at The Stage on Sixth
And this is the mobile Third Man Records bus- which I was standing next to and grumbling for said 3 hours
You can also catch a glimpse of the line on the left hand side.

Santigold also blew me away. I know of her, and like a couple of her songs a lot, but by no means considered myself a fan. She rocked the crowd, didn’t let a couple sound system snafus throw her at all, and her new songs are promising. Also, she had a pair of KILLER backup dancers. They were the ones inside the horse costume- so bizarre it worked. Everyone was dancing and singing along, a nice change of pace for mostly too-cool-for-school insider crowd at SXSW. Check out her awesome crown and Lennon glasses combo.
Santigold and one of her backup dancers. Loved their ruffled shorts!

 The Barr Brothers played at St. David’s Historic Sanctuary. I got to sit in a pew, next to hymnals and Bibles, and the place had amazing acoustics. They are a popy-folk band from Canada and the singer has a beautiful voice and the lyrics are gorgeous. It was a spiritual experience y’all! Here is their great harp and a taste of the vibe of the setting
Crosses and biblical art at St. David's

 Shiny Toy Guns was another highlight. We saw them at the Pandora party early in the week so it was a fairly small crowd. They sounded tight and well rehearsed, and the two new songs they played were great. This one was a pleasant surprise for me.
Asymetrical rocker hair at Antone's

Other highlights were the Brooklyn electro pop band Friends. This would have been a fun, high energy show, but it started late and wreaked of the free Taco Bell they were handing out, one of the sponsors for the showcase. I blame Hype Machine since it was their party. But get a load of the singer’s Blossom-esque outfit- complete with a ponytail on the very top of her head, patterned high waisted pants, and a smock full of paillettes as big as your fist. And hey, they were also handing out free Tito’s vodka so it wasn’t all bad.
Friends singer Samantha Urbani. Is she wearing Keds?

I saw Reptar and Band of Skulls at Cedar Street, an awesome day party in a courtyard with bars and actual bathrooms (as opposed to port-a-potties) on either side. When the sun is out, your beer is in a koozie, and the music is on point, it’s one of the best parties in town. This chunk of the line-up did not disappoint. Reptar is an upbeat band out of Athens, GA. And we all know Band of Skulls from the “Twilight Saga: New Moon” soundtrack (or is that just me?)

I was hugely impressed with the sheer energy of Black Pistol Fire. They are a two man group that’s old fashioned garage rock. VERY similar to The Black Keys. All of my friends say they are too similar, but if Poison/Motley Crue and Back Street Boys/NSYNC can coexist, why can’t these guys?

Yellow Ostrich and Alberta Cross were also worth checking out, and I was super into the rockabilly vibe of Sugar and the Hi-Lows, a female fronted group out of Nashville. Check out her high waisted skirt with suspenders and ruffles.
At The Paste party outdoor stage

My biggest let down of the whole week was The Black Belles. I had seen them perform on The Colbert Report and they are on Jack White’s label, which I take as a ringing endorsement. I was stuck standing in line when they played that showcase so I caught them at Mohawk later in the week and they were truly atrocious. The singer apologized multiple times for her out of tune guitar and forgetting the songs. Now SXSW IS grueling for these bands- but who doesn’t know how to tune their own guitar? We left about 3 songs into their set, but not before I got a few shots of their cool witchy crochet look. There’s definitely something to be said for the power of a gimmick.
More hats and lots of black at Mohawk

We closed out the festival with Pennywise. This was not my choice, as they are SoCal mainstays and I’ve seen them several times, but boy was I glad I went with my group consensus- since Matthew McConaughey and his fiancĂ© Camilla Alves decided to check them out too (actually I’m pretty sure they were there for the headliner The Black and White Years- a local Austin band). In any case, Matthew looked amazing and was only inches away from me. A truly A-list sighting! Seeing him fist pump to “Bro Hymn” was hilarious and unforgettable.

As far as food is concerned (and it wouldn’t be a post on Bundts of Steel without mentioning food) the choices on 6th Street are quite limited. BBQ at Stubb's, lots of trucks to choose from, and plenty of Shiner beer. One of our only sit down meals was at Moonshine (you may have seen tabloid shots of Bachelor Brad Womack and Emily leaving this place). They have delicious southern inspired dishes and a killer hard lemonade made with Tito’s and fresh mint. Dinner comes with jalapeno cornbread and fresh whipped butter. No complaints here.

Horseradish crusted salmon, beans, and a good ole' mason jar at Moonshine

The best bar we went to had to be the East Side Show Room on E. 6th Street, out of the hustle and bustle of the actual festival. They have a cool speakeasy vibe, delicious drinks, and cute bartenders. Extra points for the ambiance of old fashioned lights and huge ice cubes.

As for the best spot to satisfy your sweet tooth, there is nothing better than the Hey Cupcake! truck. Its brightly lit cupcake is a beacon in the night after standing in line for hours or suffering from your drink being spilled all over you. Flavors like the Michael Jackson (brown cake, white icing) and John Lemmon tie in perfectly with SXSW. I make my pilgrimage to their truck at least once every year.
Shiny airstream deliciousness

Honorable Mention for best meal goes to Thendercloud Subs and their Nada Chicken sandwich. As a somewhat recent vegetarian I was struggling to find good protein choices the whole trip and unfortunately I didn’t find this one until I was on my way back to LA- but I’ll be coming back for more next year for sure!

…..and that brings my SXSW 2012 round up to a close. Thanks for reading and let me know what you think of the bands. Hope to see y’all on 6th Street next year!


Lately Loving: Erase Paste

I've recently confessed my concern to conceal the things that happen to the delicate under eye area as we age. This is one area I'm most preoccupied with in the physical aging process so it should come as now surprise that I'm into trying creams, serums, concealers and the lot of products that are designed to both reverse the signs of aging and to merely hide them. I'm still in the market for a great eye cream and am planning to head to Kiehl's to help me with the task at hand, but in the meantime I am checking out Benefit's Erase Paste to keep that area looking fresh and young. I've always been pleased with Benefit products, especially their primer, the Pore-fessional.

 I've been pretty happy with this product. It does as it says- "conceals and brightens." I feel like my eyes instantly don't look tired when I put this on in the morning, which on some days this is really quite a feat! It doesn't gunk up look crepe-y by any means, but the only issue I'm having is that sometimes I will see the ever slight touch of a mascara flake (I could write a whole post on my mascara preferences, but I am absolutely opposed to using mascaras that flake, which is why I shy away from waterproof mascaras and the ones I use have never caused this issue for me in the past), or rather, a mascara "dust." Nonetheless, I'm pretty happy with this product.

I'd love to hear from you about what you use for under your eyes. Remember- one of the best parts of having secrets is sharing them!


South By Southwest 2012 Roundup- Part 1

Posted by Shannon Hunter

What do a 2 person horse costume, Flaming Dr. Pepper, and Matthew McConaughey have in common? They were all unusual highlights of my sojourn to Austin’s SXSW this year.

Nothing says Texas like cowboy boots, red gingham, and sunflowers!

South By Southwest started off as a humble music conference/festival 25 years ago and has morphed into a film, interactive, and music juggernaut with all the pros and cons that come along with big name acts and corporate sponsorships. Here’s a little secret: I’m pretty sure the first time I ever heard about it was the Austin season of The Real World. Didn’t they have to make a movie or something? In any case, after glimpsing what the music scene was like, I was bound and determined to find a way to attend!

This year is my 4th consecutive trip, and each one has had a slightly different vibe due to the rotating slots in our core attendance group, the ever changing Spring weather conditions, and of course THE BANDS. This year I saw a grand total of 31 bands in 5 days, a lot to process! There was significantly less drama, and maybe not so coincidentally, significantly less alcohol consumption- but let’s not forget about that Flaming Dr Pepper courtesy of Touche'. This certainly goes into the “Don’t Try This At Home” category but just in case you’re curious: here is the recipe. Make sure to use Lonestar beer if you want that authentic Austin experience. Sounds scary right? It’s also quite delicious! Just don’t think about the bartender’s germs…but they had to burn off with all that fire right?
They dont call in "Flaming" for nothing
The main musical trend I noticed this year was a strong showing from female musicians. Way more ladies (as both lead singers and band members) this year than I’ve seen yet. As a card carrying feminist this makes my heart sing. As a music fan with very particular tastes in female singers (strong, clear voices) it muddied the waters with several whispery warblers.

Another trend was that band members are switching instruments during the course of their set. Drummers go to bass, keyboardists head to vocals, and vocalists pick up some kind of percussion instrument- did someone say tambourine?

As far as fashion is concerned, it runs the gamut of what you would expect: hipsters, hookers, rockers, jocks, and everything in between. For the men there was no shortage of beards. Best use of leather and studs goes to Theophilus London as seen below.
Theophilus at La Zona Rosa

Also, the singer of Oberhofer was rocking a nice Nautical/Texan vibe with this mix of stripes and chambray.
Oberhofer at the Hype Hotel
Hats of all sorts were both fashionable and functional as seen on Alberta Cross band members.
Alberta Cross at the Converse party at Bar 96

For the ladies there was lots of lace, cut off shorts, statement necklaces, pops of neon as seen on this skirt/belt combo at Cedar Street,
Hot pink leopard print with a skinny yellow belt.

Blunt cut bangs like these on the singer of Snake Rattle Rattle Snake were seen abound
at the Spokes Buzz party at 512 Bar

Colored denim (mostly reds and blues) was also big, and surprising amounts of sky-high heels like these. Now ladies….I’m in favor of lengthening your legs, but we’ll all be standing for hours on end. Why would you inflict this on yourself?
Leopard wedges and cutoff shorts in line for the Pure Volume house.

As for me, I rocked armloads of bracelets and lots of fun prints.
Fresh veggies are hard to find at SXSW! Gold ring is by Jewelmint. La Mer watch, bracelets by Coach, Urban Outfitters, and American Eagle.

Stay tuned for more SXSW coverage later in the week- including thoughts on what I really came here for, the music!


Drunk on Druzy

Druzy is basically a surface of fine crystals- think a split open geode. It sparkles a lot and who doesn't love some sparkle? I've been seeing a lot of druzy jewelry for awhile and it catches my eye every time.

Marcia Moran Cocktail Ring

Mickey Lynn Tassel and Druzy Charm Bracelet

Christine Darren Coppertone Druzy Ring
Claudia Lobao Druzy Teardrop Earrings

Christine Darren Druzy Chain Bracelet
Mini Druzy Stud Earrings
So many little pretty things- I want them all! Are you wearing druzy?


Hello Giggles Love!

A loyal Bundts of Steel reader and friend worked on a post with me for Hello Giggles- it's live on the site now. Cheeeeeck it out!


Happy {Hunger Games} Friday!

I got a bad case of Peeta Feeva!

It's a super special weekend and I hope you're as excited as we are. When I say we, I mean pretty much all my friends! Yes we are adults and hopelessly obsessed with The Hunger Games. I finished the third book last night- perfect timing. I feel all consumed by excitement to see this movie in a way I never have about a movie before, well maybe Sex and the City, but that's different. I'm going to see the movie on Saturday and in the meantime, I've really been enjoying Josh Hutcherson's Jaw!

I leave you with this amazing spoof on Lana Del Rey's Videogames:

Are you going to see it this weekend, did you go last night? Ready, set, talk about all things Hunger Games!!!


3.1 Phillip Lim and Refinery 29 Party

The other night I went to a party at West Hollywood's 3.1 Phillip Lim store put on by Refinery 29. Oh.My.Heavens! Such beautiful clothing, bags, shoes, people, and some very tasty cocktails! I fell in love with the pastels that popped up on all the racks and the metallics in the bags.

Cocktails mixed with Pressed Juicery

Pastels mixed in with neutrals and blacks


Serious satchel crush

oh la la lavender

Gorgeous peach dress in honor of spring

Check out the handles on these clutches

Beautiful mini desserts

little mix master

The cutest little girl ever!

Lucite heels- wwwhhhaatt!

shoes baby!
It was a fun night and finished off with a tasty dinner at Craig's on Melrose. Still dreaming about the racks of clothes and stunning accessories! More pics here from Refinery 29's recap!

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