Monday, December 26, 2011

4 Year Blogiversay Giveaway!

This Thursday marks four years of Join the Gossip. Above all, the most exciting thing about this blog is YOU. Yes, you. Each and every one of you who take a second to read my posts and/or leave comments. I am so lucky to have met so many amazing people as a result of blogging. I could have never imagined that when I created Join the Gossip and hit "publish post" for the first time on Saturday, December 29, 2007 that I'd still be going four years later. So thank you for inspiring me on a daily basis. I am extremely grateful to you.

To show my thanks, I am hosting a HUGE giveaway. One lucky winner will walk away with all of these incredible prizes:

A pre-made blog template of your choice, courtesy of Silly Grrl.

A 16oz Christmas Cookie candle and a Cake Batter Ice Cream body whip provided by Infinity Line.

A trio of iPhone 4 cases donated by Reni of in HER shoes.

A Full Set thanks to French Tip Dip.

The Alternatives CD, T-shirt, and tote bag sponsored by Christianna of The Girl With the Blue Bow.

Deluxe Samples (a pack of six travel size body washes and shampoos) from Bath Bar.
Sound pretty awesome? Want to win? Follow my blog and let me know you did so to be entered (mandatory). For extra entries:

-Like Join the Gossip on Facebook (+2)
-Follow @jointhegossip on twitter (+2)
-Tweet about this giveaway mentioning @jointhegossip (+1)
-Follow Silly Grrl's blog (+1)
-Follow @sillygrrl on twitter (+1)
-Follow @infinityline on twitter (+1)
-Follow in Her shoes' blog (+1)
-Follow @inHER_shoes on twitter (+1)
-Follow @FrenchTipDip on twitter (+1)
-Follow The Girl With the Blue Bow's blog (+1)
-Follow @BlueBowGrl on twitter (+1)
-Follow @TheAlternates on twitter (+1)
-Follow @BathBar on twitter (+1)

That's a total of 15 possible entries! By no means do you have to do anything other than be a follower of Join the Gossip, but if you want to up your chances, there's plenty of opportunities!

One winner will be selected and announced on Tuesday, January 2. Good luck :)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

White Hot

Three more days until Christmas! Are you all ready? I sure am. I'm ready for a beautiful Christmas mass, to be with family, pig out on food, officially get the Apple TV my parents bought for me, and enjoy a full week of work off.

To celebrate the season, this week's theme is white hot. We don't get white Christmases in Southern California which sucks, but then again earlier this week it was warm enough to drive with my sunroof down so I guess the trade off isn't too bad.

White hot

I may only have pops of white in my outfit but I def think it's white hot. This is the perfect outfit for me - totally something I'd wear. I'm all about black and white. And how cute are those pumps?

If you're blogging about fashion link up for Friday's Fancies and Fashion Fridays!

And since I won't be back until next week, I wanted to wish you a very Merry Christmas! I hope it's magical and filled with all of your loved ones :)

Stay tuned for a big announcement on Monday. Here's a hint: it involves my four year blogiversary and lots of awesome items!

San Francisco: Round 2

Today I'm guest posting over at Chrsitina's Pop Life. It's all about Christmas in San Francisco so please stop by and check it out. And be sure to read her other posts while there - she's great!


Continuing with my San Francisco recap, let's pick up with Alcatraz. My dad and I headed to "the rock" early Friday morning and the weather was perfect. Sunny and clear skies. Plus, nothing says father-daughter bonding like a maximum security prison haha.

Definitely a must-see when you visit SF. This was my second trip and I enjoyed it just as much this time around. It's incredible that the families of the guards lived on the island and had a peaceful existence as if the prison wasn't even there. And the views from Alcatraz are incredible. We heard stories about how the city of San Francisco was so close yet so far away for the prisioners that it was a form of punishment in itself. On New Years Eve they could actually hear the city celebrating at the stroke of midnight - that's how close the island is to the mainland.

After our tour we picked up my mom and headed to North Beach (the Italian neighborhood) for some pizza at Tony's Pizza Napoletana. We ordered a traditional NY pepperoni pizza and a side order of deep fried garlic string beans which we all loved.

Before heading to Lombard Street for a ride down the crooked road, we stopped in at an amazing hat store called Goorin Bros. Hat Shop. It seriously felt like stepping back in time in to the 1920s. They have been around since 1985 so they know what they're doing. I walked out with a Liam flatcap (or newsboy cap) and am loving it. It's the one I'm wearing in the pic below.

After driving around for awhile we ventured into Chinatown for some authentic food. It was quite the experience. There are so many shops and most of the restaurants are hidden but we managed to find Sam Wo's, a tiny place where you walk directly into the kitchen before heading up the stairs to a small dining area. I'm not a huge fan of Chinese food but for the cheap prices and amount of food served it was worth the experience.

The next morning we went back to Chinatown to pick up some fresh fortune cookies at Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory. It is located in small side street called Ross Alley (no joke, it was like a Jackie Chan movie!) and there was no parking so I stayed in the car while my parents went inside the shop. They said it was a cool experience to see the cookies being made. And you can choose from traditional or adult cookies with naughty fortunes! Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of the inside but my dad did snap an alley photo.

All in all, I'd say our trip to San Francisco was pretty awesome! If you've been, what your favorite thing about the city?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

San Francisco: Round 1

Somehow I have a bunch of San Francisco to blog about, despite the fact I was only in the city for two days. I guess that's what happens when you're in a magical city around the holidays!

I traveled up north with my parents who have somehow never been to SF and the first night that we arrived we headed to Top of the Mark per the suggestion of Mayra from life is BANANAS. Thanks, girl. Perfect place to take in the city and get amazing views! Located on the 19th floor of the InterContinental Mark Hopkins hotel, you can see all of SF. It's quite the sight. We got there just in time for sunset so it was perfect. Although there are no meals offered there are some pretty tasty appetizers, along with a martini list boasting over 100 concoctions. I ordered the heirloom tomatoes (buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil) and loved it. I highly recommend you pay Top of the Mark a visit should you ever find yourself in San Francisco.

The next morning we were up bright and early to hop on our City By the Bay Tours bus. Another activity I suggest you partake in. We were lucky to have the tour to ourselves, expect for one other passenger. Not only did we get an intimate tour that covered almost the entire city, we were also pleased with the drivers' knowledge and personality. He made the experience really enjoyable! Here are a few photos that we snapped over the course of our nearly four hour tour:

Come back tomorrow for my Round 2 recap!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Blogger Meetups

Today I am guest posting over at
Blonde Episodes. Please stop by and check out my Christmas in LA post!


The last few days I have been lucky enough to do two blogger meetups. One was with Claire of Bicoastally last week while I was vacationing in San Francisco and the other was this weekend in Los Angeles hosted by Joelle of Something Charming.

Joelle arranged for several L.A. bloggers to meet at Taste on Melrose (one of my fav places to dine!) for brunch. It was wonderful! Good food, great conversation, and meeting ladies who love blogging. Also in attendance were Julie of Smitten Mintons, Amanda of Beginning of Everything, and a non-blogger, Tiffany. Here are a few group photos courtesy of Amanda:

Me, Tiffany, Joelle, Amanda, Julie

Tiffany and me

Amanda, Tiffany, me, Joelle, and Julie

And take a look at what I ordered. Bottomless mimosas for $14 and the porcini mushroom omelette yum!

As for my meetup with Claire, it was more of a reunion. I met Claire in person earlier this year and we really hit it off and bonded right away. She's amazing and I highly recommend you check out Bicoastally if you aren't familiar with her blog.

Since I was in her neck of the woods we went to a restaurant that she recommended, farmerbrown. It was the perfect Southern meal. I ordered the ribs and a side of cheese grits and really enjoyed it. But even more than the food, I enjoyed my company! It was like Claire and I were old friends that had never been apart.

Claire and me

Looking forward to many more meetups with these wonderful ladies in the future!

The rest of the week will focus on my San Fran trip. So I hope you're ready for photo overloads ;)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Man Candy Monday: Liam Hemsworth

Today is the last Man Candy Monday of the year. I'll be taking a break from this feature until the new year. So expect another hunk on Monday, January 2!

Not going to lie, today's Man Candy Monday selection makes me feel a bit like a perv because he's a youngster. BUT cougars are in...can you be a cougar at 28? Anyways, my pick is Liam Hemsworth. With all of the Hunger Games hype I'm not sure how anyone can deny that Liam is hot right now.

Source: via Leeann on Pinterest

Source: via Leeann on Pinterest

Source: via Leeann on Pinterest

Source: via Leeann on Pinterest

Liam Hemsworth

January 13, 1990

Born in Melbourne, Australia and grew up on Phillip Island south of Melbourne

Dating Status
Back on again with Miley Cyrus.

Interesting Facts
-Is the youngest of the Hemsworth brothers, which also include Luke and Chris, all actors.
-Was beat out for the role of Thor by his brother, Chris.
-Is 6'3"

Notable Roles
The Last Song
Neighbours (Australian soap)

Young but cute, right? Your turn! Pick your Man Candy, blog about him, and link up!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Sassy Sparkles {Krystal's Kitsch}

I'm so glad that I was able to guest post today for Join the Gossip! If you don't know me - I blog over at a little place called Krystal's Kitsch. I talk shopping, life, marriage, puppies and sales. I'm all over the map!

Leeann talks fashion a lot, so I wanted to make a post showing some of my New Year's Eve inspiration looks. I'm really into blush pink and sparkles right now. I'm longing for something that is girly and glittery to ring in the New Year.

Both of these dresses are in the current line at Forever 21 -- so they are accessible. I just need to bite the bullet and purchase them.

I'm leaning more toward the second dress as it looks more flattering with my body type - but we shall see. I'm hoping that if I order something online from F21 that it would make it by December 31st since holiday shipping can be delayed.

And, if one of those dresses is an option... I would need some sparkles on my nails and feet.

I wouldn't wear flats on New Year's, but aren't these darling?

Source: via Krystal on Pinterest

Though -- I already have the perfect shoes to wear for New Year's -- my wedding shoes:

They're Nine West that I purchased forever ago. They're sparkly, a mix of gold details with silver, and already worn in. I think these would be a great match!

Have you picked out your New Year's outfit yet?