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.


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
Lean Dog Pottery & Jewelry

2011 Calendar, Dreaminess, Fine Art Photography
Judy Stalus Photography

Papercut Art by Tina Tarnoff

Be Merry

Cream Flapper Headband

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
(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.

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Slice of SoCal Fall

This time of year I go gaga over the fall blogs you all post. Living in Los Angeles, fall doesn't really exist. There are no trees so there is no foliage. The air doesn't get too crisp, right now we're in the low 70s, coming off of a week in the high 90s. And, it's not uncommon to see people still wearing flip flops and hanging at the beach. I thought November meant cool temps...guess not!

To some, that may sound ideal but I just want to see red and orange scattered leaves as I sip a warm beverage!

In order to get into the autumn mood, I like to go to Oak Glen. It's an area about two hours east of LA. Some of you may recall that I visited a few weeks back to go on a haunted hayride. This time around I wanted to get some fresh air, see fall scenery, and pick apples.

Much to our surprise apple picking is expensive! We stopped at a few farms and couldn't find any picking for less than $12 a pound. Sorry but that's insane! Hence our appleless return. Also, I was a bit disappointed that none of the trees had changed color yet. We did make the most of our trip, though!

We started off with some fresh apple donuts. They were SO warm, soft, and good! As we snacked on these scrumptious treats we walked around the farm store checking out the produce and trying samples of the apple varieties.

As we headed down the mountain we happened across an alpaca farm! It was a bit hidden so we were the only ones there and had the animals undivided attention. Literally all of the alpacas just stood there and stared at us...all but the two gettin' it on in the corner...disturbing.

All in all it was a great few hours out of the city taking in the nature that surrounded us.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Lavin ♥ H and M

Have you heard about H&M's latest collaboration? It's with Lavin! From what I've seen it seems to be a pretty hot collection, perfect for the upcoming holidays. I could totally imagine wearing one of the dresses to Thanksgiving dinner or a New Year's Eve party.

The line will be released on November 20 in the US and Canada and on November 23 in other select markets. These items will go fast, though. So it may be best to call your local store to find out if they will carry this collection.

In true Lavin style, the typical flare is still present but it's found mainly in the accessories. Shoes and jewelry paired with the beautiful, basic clothing is the perfect mix of classy attitude.

To check out all of the photos, including the men's items in this collection, head over to H&M's Lavin ♥ facebook album.

Photos courtesty of: H&M