Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Three Year Blogiversary

Three years. It seems so crazy that I've been blogging since December 29, 2007 (check out my first post!). With 2011 fast approaching, I want to thank all of my readers who have been with me the past days, weeks, months, and years. I cannot even describe the joy it brings me to receive comments from each of you, to read and comment on your blogs, and to make the connections - friendships - with you.

I've met so many amazing people and had so many amazing experiences as a result of this blog. Thank you all so very much!! To commemorate the milestone, I am hosting a giveaway!

One lucky reader will win a Stila set that includes:

  • 1 oz Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer in Shade 01 (supposed to be for light complexions; however, I own this and it's pretty much just translucent moisturizer - should be suitable for most)
  • 0.02 oz One Step PrimeColor in Per Suede (dusty rose)
  • 0.08 oz Lip Glaze in Mayberry (rose with shimmer)
  • 0.09 oz Eye Shadow Trio in Anya (soft peach shimmer/ soft brown/ deep purple shimmer)

To enter, become a follower, become a Facebook fan, become a Twitter follower, and/or tweet about this giveaway including @jointhegossip.

You can do any one of these, or all of them. The more you do, the more entries. Just be sure to let me know how you are entering in your comment(s).

The winner will be selected Wednesday, January 19 @ 9am PST. Good luck!




Photo courtesy of: Wonderful Worte World via Sephora

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas, friends! I hope your day is filled with lots of love, joy, and peace...well as much peace as possible at a family gathering ;)

While there are never white Christmases in LA, I'll be daydreaming of one. How are you celebrating?




Photo courtesy of: aarthiraghavan.com

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Pink Friday

Let's talk about something that completely surprised me - Nicki Minaj and her debut album "Pink Friday." I am loving it and her! Totally not my style either. I'll listen to pop stations, and rap comes on occasionally, but it's definitely not my genre of choice. This album is literally THE first rap album I have ever bought.

Nicki is so strange, yet so entertaining. She's constantly making faces and singing/rapping in crazy voices, but it totally works for her. I listen to Pink Friday on repeat over and over and it pumps me up every time. I highly recommend it.


Here's a little taste of "Check it Out" featuring will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas:




Does anyone else have this album? Or an opinion about Nicki Minaj?



Photos courtesy of: Amazon and MinajPhotos.com

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I'm Only Happy When it Rains

And yes, I sing that Garbage song over and over when it rains!

It's been pouring for several days in LA. While everyone else is hating it, I'm loving it! We don't get rain enough and despite the fact that Angelinos can NOT drive in wet weather, I enjoy splashing around in the puddles and taking in the extra green scenery.

Instead of hiding under the covers all weekend (I only did that all day on Saturday ;) I hung out with friends, kicking the weekend off with dinner at Tart. The restaurant is a small but classy establishment located across the street from the famous LA Farmers Market and The Grove.

Although a bit on the pricey side, the food was delish! We all split an order of fried green tomatoes - yum! I followed up with the truffle mac & cheese and Partridge Pear (pear liqueur and champagne), while my friends got the cheese pizza and the BBQ chicken salad.


Of course we had to get dessert so we ordered a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie smothered in vanilla ice cream (think BJ's pizzookie).


Sunday I headed back to the same neighborhood to meet up with a friend at The Grove for lunch at Maggiano's where I ordered gnnochi. To my amazement, they had a special where when you ordered certain dishes you could get another order, for free, to go! Score. Now I have eggplant parmesan waiting in my fridge for dinner tomorrow. I'll be going back for sure.



After the tasty lunch we caught a screening of "How Do You Know", the Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, Owen Wilson, Jack Nicholson film. It was different than I thought it would be but it was pretty good. I could have waited to rent it because it didn't blow me away, but I don't feel that I wasted money seeing it at the theater. If you're in the mood to catch a romantic comedy, I say go for it.



Friday, December 17, 2010

Puppy Love!

In addition to being MIA due to my Dominican Republic trip, I have another reason that I haven't been posting regularly. I got a puppy! First let me say I love the little thing, but geeze! I feel like a single mother. This little girl is hard to take care of!

A few months back a friend of my brother had a pit bull that got pregnant...by a basset hound. No joke. Let's just say this guy is a moron. I've never met him but I hate him. They didn't want the puppies in the house because they cried too much. Well yeah, duh! They are babies. Babies cry! The solution was to keep the pups outside (at the time it was raining). These poor things were only weeks old. Being huge animal lovers, my amazing parents took in all four puppies at six weeks old, in addition to our own two dogs.

After a lot of pooping all over, long sleepless nights, and a few vet trips, they managed to find homes for all of the little cuties - one of which was me!

Not gonna lie, it's lonely living alone and I really miss having my own dog. I've been wanting one but was afraid of the commitment. However, since this little girl just kinda fell into my lap, I went with it.

Meet Coco!


Female dogs can be very protective so I am looking forward to taking her on hikes and not being afraid of LA weirdos. I'll feel safe with her.

I am hoping she doesn't get too big since I'm used to lap dogs. I'm thinking the basset hound in her will keep her pretty short and thick. This chubbers is only three months old (today actually) and already weighs 13 pounds!

She goes to the bathroom on the carpet, bites the heck out of me, and eats everything. But I am already so attached! Can't wait to watch her grow.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Punta Cana


I'm back, friends! My trip to the Dominican Republic provided just the downtime I needed. No more headaches!! It was pure relaxation. I guess the warm sun, turquoise water, white sand, and fruity blended cocktails will do that to you ;)

A quick recap: getting to the Dominican Republic from California is a pain! There are no direct flights so we laid over in Miami for five hours. Not many flights go down to the Caribbean island so the best travel plan we could do was leaving LAX at 10:30pm (traveling on the same plane as Patrick Dempsey), arriving in Miami at 6am, boarding a plane to Punta Cana at 11:30am, and arriving at 3:30pm. Whew, were we tired and hungry when we got to our resort. The four hour time change took a bit to get used to as well (Waking up at 8am local time was like waking up at 4am LA time.).

Unfortunately when we arrived at out hotel, they put the three of us in a two person room...looking at a fence. Not cool. The next room wasn't much better better as far as sleeping arrangements but it had an ocean view. We were all really disappointed with the resort. It's supposed to be the second best in Punta Cana but we weren't fans. Maybe it's because we had such a great stay at the Iberostar in Riviera Maya a few years back. I highly recommend that resort!

Our resort at dusk


So many palm trees!


Shops right on the sand


I think the fact that there were only like 15% Americans at the resort was hard, too. I know it's a culture thing but it's difficult to get used to ladies with no tops on...especially the really old and really large ones. You could tell we were American because our culture is WAY more modest. We wore cover ups and my dad had shorts on that went past his knees lol. I knew that the banana hammock thing was inevitable, but I even saw some dude take his tiny suit off! so.not.cool.

For the eight days and seven nights we had the same routine - we ate A LOT, drank A LOT, and hung out at the beach A LOT. I've only stayed at all-inclusive resorts and I wouldn't have it any other way. Our biggest worry all week was having to adjust our lounge chairs to point in the direction of the moving sun throughout the day.

Sunset in paradise


Warm, inviting water


So peaceful

Many of the pictures are on my dad's camera so I'll do a follow up post with more pictures, including our dune buggy excursion.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Suntanned Toes Ticklin' the Sand

Sorry I have been a bit MIA over the past week. Crazy headaches have not gone away and it turns out I have daily chronic migraines. My dad hurt his foot playing softball a few weeks ago and we thought it was going to be pretty serious (but wasn't - yay!). My great grandma passed away this past Saturday, but she was 103 and led a wonderful life! All of these unfortunate events have seemed to be obstacles in our family trip to the Dominican Republic.

We were about two seconds from cancelling, thinking maybe there's a reason everything is going wrong. But then we turned it around. These crazy things happening are the perfect reason to go on vacation. We need to get away. We need to sit on a tropical beach. We need alcohol...and lots of it STAT!

So this is where I will be spending the next 8 days, at this resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic!


And in true Morrissey fashion, aka our Irish drinking inclination, we are going to live it up at an all-inclusive resort where the alcohol flows. My tropical drink of choice? Miami Vice. It's a mix of a pina coloda and strawberry daiquiri.

so.damn.good.


This vacation I need to step it up. A few years back when we went to Riviera Maya, my parents were the wasted ones and I was sober. My nickname that trip became "prude". This time I am letting lose! Although, I'm already mortified to think about how hilarious my mom thinks it is to order her fav beach drink called sex in a hammock... I'm sure the last resort made it up just to laugh at her order it haha!


Have a great few weeks. I'll catch up with you all when I return!





Photos courtesy of: Viajar and Forever

Saturday, November 20, 2010

An Esty Holiday Season

You can find anything on Esty! I've only made a few purchases (this headband and this monogram wall piece) but was impressed with the quality and uniqueness of those items. I feel like it's a great place to shop for gifts because, to me, the goods are more thoughtful. And I like the idea that something bought in an Esty shop isn't going to be found all over.

While browsing through Esty, I came across these goodies that's make great holiday gifts. Best part, all of the items are under $50!


Love Me Ring
$17
Lean Dog Pottery & Jewelry



2011 Calendar, Dreaminess, Fine Art Photography
$23
Judy Stalus Photography



Papercut Art by Tina Tarnoff



Be Merry
$12
LittleputShop.com


Cream Flapper Headband
$18

Emily Sparks: Handmade


While browsing these shops I came across several items that I would like to buy. It's so easy to find great products. The hard part is deciding what to keep for myself and what to give as gifts!

Photos courtesy of: Esty (all pictures belong to the shops listed)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Granny Chic

While working at Beauty Chat we were asked to describe our style for a site bio. Mine is best categorized as granny chic. I love pearls, oxfords, argyle and pretty much anything that your grandmother probably used to wear. Paired with modern items, I think that the aforementioned items work as staple pieces that never go out of style.

One of my favorite fashion pieces is one that isn't as popular today as it was in years past, the brooch. I think it's the easiest way to add a little class, or pizzaz, to any outfit. I have one that I adore and it was only a few bucks at Forever 21. I need to buy more!

What's cool about them is that you can buy vintage inspired brooches or more modern ones.






What's your take on brooches? All about 'em, or too old fashioned for you?




Photos courtesy of: Amazon, Polyvore, Little Viking Girl, Wooly Fabulous, Bionic Unicorn

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

People's Sexiest Man Alive 2010


Ryan Reynolds has been named People's Sexiest Man Alive 2010! Finally a dude that isn't so old that he could be my father...well at least that's how I've felt about a few of the past recipients. Clearly I'm not all about the Clooney. To each his own though, I guess.

Reyonlds is 34, and right in his prime. Wolverine. You know what I'm talking' about ladies! Those abs. And if you don't, let me refresh your memory...


BAM! That's one good lookin' dude. I guess it's fitting that this cutie Canuck's wife, Scarlette Johansson, was named GQ's Babe of the Year 2010. How ridiculously gorgeous are their children going to be?!





Photos courtesy of: People and 1.bp

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Most Beautiful Dress I Have Ever Seen...

Last week while reading *Viva La Fashion* I literally got goosebumps when my eyes locked in on an amazing Valentino Pre-Fall 2010 dress. Earlier this year, Anne Hathaway wore this amazing dress to the Costume Institute Gala.

I am pretty sure it's THE most beautiful gown I have ever seen. I know that's a bold statement, but it's that amazing.






What do you think?



Sunday, November 14, 2010

Naturalizer, Naturally!

I've been suffering from a boot obsession for the past few months. Back in September I started the search for the perfect pair of black, knee-high, boots with a heel. Fashion does not have to be painful in my opinion. It also doesn't have to cost a fortune.

So I headed to the internet to find comfortable, cute, cheap boots. Oh and did I mention that on top of all of that I also require wide calf? Yup, that's me, Miss High Expectations! Nice to meet ya!

Upon coming across a qualifying pair, I snatched them up like nobody's buiznazz. The beauts were a pair of Naturalizers at Macy's. These boots are super comfy and fit perfectly.

Naturalizer Shoes, Bayfield Wide Calf Boots
Reg. $99.00
Sale $84.99


I was so pleased with my first pair of boots that I felt I just had to have another. This time, I looked far and wide to find the exact style I wanted: dark brown, riding, not too much extra junk on them - a buckle or two, tops.

I ended up purchasing a pair from DSW that were the exact style that I was seeking (you may remember the riding boots list I posted not too long ago). The only problem is they weren't wide legged and didn't fit. With a heavy heart, I returned the beloved boots and headed back to the internet.

I finally realized that a good thing is not to be messed with and it was smart that I find another pair by Naturalizer. I know they provide everything I am looking for since I already own the other boots made by this brand. Plus, I am pretty confident that these boots will fit perfectly like the others. My only issue is the style. I think they are cute and I will totally wear them...a lot...but I didn't fall in love with them instantly. They are just OK.


Naturalizer Shoes, Array Wide Calf Boots
$149.99
(BUT, I only paid $127.49 with tax because I found a code for 15% off and free shipping! booya!)


I can't wait to receive them and am hoping that in person I will like them much more.

Have any of you made a purchase that you were unsure of and ended up being happy?







Photos courtesy of: slimages

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Silver Lining


The last month has been rough for me. I have had a moderate to severe headache for 28 days (as of today) save 3-4 days. It's been miserable. Pain meds don't work on me so I haven't been able to get any relief at all. Not even a trip to urgent care and a shot in the boo-tay of meds stronger than morphine could ease my pain. Of course my doctors were of no help either. For some reason a non-stop headache and missing several days of work is no big deal in their eyes.

Anyways...I finally convinced my doctor to order a CT scan. While I was convinced I had the worst possible outcome heading my way, there were other plans for me. Thank God! I got my results back early this week. I have a severe sinus infection. So. extremely. happy. Never been more excited to be sick with a bad cold!!

It's strange since the front of my head/face doesn't hurt and I haven't felt stuffy. Then again, I've never had a sinus infection so I don't know what they are supposed to feel like. Maybe the pressure just affected me differently than most.

I guess none of that matters because with antibiotics I should be all better very soon!

It may have taken me a month to figure out what was going on with my health but I am thankful for the silver lining - YOU!


I am blown away at the love, care, and support that have come from you all, my fellow bloggers and twitter pals. It's amazing just how strong my friendships have become with many of you - 99% of which I have never actually met in person. Please know that I appreciate each and every one of you. Thanks for being amazing ♥

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Taste on Melrose


Last week I was fortunate enough to be invited to Taste on Melrose for a meal and to learn about the current restaurant specials and upcoming events. Situated on Melrose, just below La Cienega, and just past swanky stores like Marc Jacobs, Alexander McQueen, and Diane von F├╝rstenberg, the establishment provides the fine dining that you'd expect in a relaxed, yet upscale setting. But, to my delight, I found that all of the eatery's prices are extremely reasonable!

For example, there is a lunch special that consists of pasta and salad, or soup or salad and a sandwich for only $8.50. That's a full meal at a great restaurant for about the same as what you'd pay for fast food. Also at the top of my list, the ability to build your own grilled cheese sandwich and the prix fix menus (because let's just be honest, sometimes we're all indecisive and it's nice to let someone else pick what you're going to eat!).

ahi tuna tartare


thai chicken cups


side salad


white truffle oil and mushroom mac & cheese


chocolate decadence cake


My host ordered the kobe beef cheese burger and it looked delicious. I haven't eaten red meat in nearly two years but I was about five seconds away from snagging that burger right off his plate!

kobe beef cheese burger


And what goes better with great food than booze?! Every month Taste has a "featured cocktail" - this month is a Pomegranate Basil Sangria served with raspberries and blueberries. This drink combines all of my favs: sangria, champagne, and fresh fruit. The best thing is it tastes SO good without tasting like alcohol and does the trick about halfway in. That's my kind of drink!


Happy hour happens Tuesday through Sunday 4pm-6pm. Well drinks are $4 and specialty cocktails are $6. As for happy hour food, small plates are $3.50-5. The thought of that sangria is enticing me to happy hour as I type!

Obviously, I am all for Taste and can't say enough good things about the restaurant. I highly suggest this place to everyone. For those of you who live in the LA area (or even those who plan on visiting) and would like to learn more about Taste, here are some cool tips:

- There are actually two restaurant locations: Taste on Melrose (8454 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood, CA, 90069) and Taste in the Palisades (538 Palisades Drive, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272).

-Bottles of wine are 1/2 off on Wine Discovery Mondays (Melrose location) and Wine Discovery Tuesdays (Palisades location).

-Brunch every Saturday and Sunday - and with your purchase of a $13 entree you can also buy bottomless mimosas or bubbly for an additional $13 fee.

-Have Thanksgiving dinner catered by Taste. Pick the items off their Thanksgiving menu and let the restaurant do all of the cooking for you.

For up-to-date info, be sure to check out Taste's facebook page and twitter account!





Photos courtesy of: Taste and my camera



Disclaimer: My meal was provided for free; however, this review is completely accurate. In no way was my opinion of the food and restaurant swayed.