Is Blair Waldorf dating an Aussie?!?

I'm a HUGE GG and Leighton Meester fan. She was shooting her new flick Monte Carlo (in Paris) and was spotted canoodling with her Aussie co-star Luke Bracey. He's no Chuck Bass, but they look kinda cute together.
Off the movie set

On the set of Monte Carlo

Holidays Dresses for under $30

Printed Strapless Inset Dress
This dress had me swooning and in person it's more of a grayish shade than purplish (as described on their site). On sale now for $53.94. Plus, The Limited currently has a Cyber Monday sale going on so you get to take an additional 40% off all purchases, plus you get free shipping.  Buy it here
Knit Lace Inset Dress
I adore this dress. Based on the reviews, I sized up on this one from a S to a M and it fits perfect. I paired it with high heel booties. On sale now for $47.94 (plus take 40% off that price if you buy it today). Buy it here

Anthro-Like Dress — Rising Vapor

This dress reminds me of a Gray Chiffon top or dress at Anthro. I don't remember the name of it, but when I saw this dress, it immediately reminded me of Anthro. I think I can style this as a dress or a tunic. On sale now for $29.99. Buy it here
***Update, a reader just alerted me to the fact that it's similar to Anthro's Rising Vapor Dress below.

More Lovely Lauren Conrad Finds at Kohl's

I found more lovely sweaters and cardigans by Lauren Conrad at Kohl's. And Kohl's now has a deal where if you enter the code EXTRA 20, you get an extra 20% off until Jan 19!!! And most of LC's line is already marked down by about 40%-50%. Arggghhh, this does not spell good news for my wallet. 

LC Lauren Conrad Rosette Sweater
I sized down on this sweater. Original price $50. On sale now for $29.99. Buy it here 
It comes in Heather Gray too.

LC Lauren Conrad Embellished Cropped Cardigan. 
Comes in Black and Gray.
Original price $50. On sale now for $24.99. Buy it here


My LC Lauren Conrad Picks

LC Lauren Conrad Lace Jacket
Size up on this jacket. I'm usually a size 2 and I got it in a size 4. It looks really cute paired with skinny jeans, dresses and skirts. And it's gorgeous in person. Original price $72. On sale now $35.99. Buy it here
LC Lauren Conrad Embellished Tank 
Size down on this top. Original price $50. On sale now for $29.99. Buy it here

I'm not usually into bohemian tops, but after seeing it on the future princess Kate Middleton, I'm having second thoughts. Am gonna try and recreate this look. 

LC Lauren Conrad Floral Peasant Top 
Size down; it is pretty roomy and I was quite impressed with the quality of this top. Original price $40. On sale now for $23.99. It comes in two shades, this one is a pink and it also comes in blue. Buy it here

Anthropologie Free Flow Tank Twin

I went shopping with my mum-in-law on Black Friday. And guess what I came across at Kohl's? Anthro's Free Flow tank look a like in two different shades. It's by LC Lauren Conrad's designs and it's called the Tiered Tank. And it's now on sale for $25.99. Buy it here
Here's the description from Kohl's website.
  • Grosgrain trim, bow and straps
  • Adjustable button straps offer a custom fit.
  • Soft pima cotton blend ensures all-day comfort.
  • Shell: cotton/modal 
LC Lauren Conrad Tiered Tank at Kohl's
Anthropologie Free Flow Tank

Tangled - The Old Disney is Back

I'm a total Disnerd and I  just went to see this movie today with my two lil girls. Finally, the old Disney is back. The music is beautiful, the storyline is sweet and heart-warming, and it brings back memories of the old fairy tales I grew up with (Beauty & the Beast, Little Mermaid, Aladdin). Zachary Levi and Mandy Moore did an awesome job, and their duet still gives me goosebumps. Who knew Zachary Levi could sing? I leave you with my fav song from the movie - I See the Light. *Sniffles* This song is so moving it brings me to tears . . .



If I have not convinced you to see Tangled yet, check out the featurette below . . .

OOTD Anthropologie Hidden Hummingbird Tank

Top - Anthro Hidden Hummingbird Tank (One of my fav. tops, I own it in beige and purple). I got it for sale- $19.95, call around the stores; they may still have it. Fits true to size, this is an XS, the S was slightly longer.
Cardigan - Anthro Elodie Lily

A Blast From The Past . . . A-Ha Take on Me

I was rocking out to this song in my car today. I know, I'm a dork :)
When I was 8 years old, I idol worshiped A-Ha's lead singer Morten Harket. I think he has the greatest falsetto in pop music history. *Sigh* I miss the days when they made music videos like these . . .

Aloha Wedding

My mum-in-law recently got remarried. Her wedding was Hawaiian themed and there was a live band, with lots of fun and dancing. Here are some pics of my little girls on the dance floor...
My 'lil girl B

My girls B and M with their grandma and new grandpa

Aloha     
The yummy cakes were made by Aunt Gina

Danny MacAskill: Writing Poetry with a Bike

My husband usually sends me videos like these and normally, I'm not too impressed. But this Danny Macaskill guy is something else. Watching Danny ride a bike is like poetry in motion. This film follows Danny on a journey from Edinburgh back to his hometown of Dunvegan on the Isle of Skye and it's about 8 mins long.

Anthropologie Decor and Kitchenware - Tres Amélie

Most of the pieces below are from Anthropologie. It's quintessentially quirky, but I love it. It makes me smile and it reminds me of the French movie Amélie where the garden gnome popped up around the world. The glazed mushroom salt and pepper shakers are from Anthro, and so is the over-sized tea cup, along with the rustic hand carved pencils. Mon Dieu! Look! There's a mini gnome in a bird nest. I'm a cuckoo over bird stuff and bird motifs and the white ceramic bird is just the icing on the cake.

ROTW (Recipe of the Week) - SALMON WITH PEA SHOOTS AND GINGER-SOY VINAIGRETTE GINGER-SOY VINAIGRETTE

Here is dish #2 I attempted from Eric Ripert's cooking show Avec Eric.Verdict- Very simple, but very delish. My hubby is not much of a fish fan, but he really liked this dish. The salmon was cooked to perfection. Here's the recipe below. Bon Apetit!

SALMON WITH PEA SHOOTS AND GINGER-SOY VINAIGRETTE
GINGER-SOY VINAIGRETTE
1 tablespoon grated ginger
½ teaspoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
¼ cup olive oil
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
SALMON
1 (2 pound) fillet of salmon, skin and pin bones removed
Fine sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
PEA SHOOTS
1 tablespoon canola oil
8 cups baby pea shoots, (if not available, use adult pea shoot tops)
¼ cup peas
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon ginger-soy vinaigrette
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions
For the vinaigrette, stir all ingredients together; season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
Using a large fillet knife, cut the salmon into 8 slices about 1-inch thick.
For the pea shoots, heat canola oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Add pea shoots and peas, and cook just until shoots are wilted. Add garlic, ginger and vinaigrette and toss; season to taste and remove from heat. Set aside.
Preheat a griddle or plancha on high until very hot. Season the salmon on both sides with salt and pepper and brush with canola oil. Add the salmon to the griddle or plancha and sear the fish until golden brown and crusted, about 1½ minutes on each side. Fish is ready when a metal skewer can be easily inserted into the fish and, when left in for 5 seconds, feels just warm when touched to the lip.
To serve, divide the pea shoots between four plates; place 2 salmon slices on top of the pea shoots offset each other and spoon the vinaigrette around the pea shoots.

BOTD - Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin

Description From Publisher's Weekly:
In the Giffin's latest, Nick Russo is a pediatric plastic surgeon; his wife, Tessa (sister of Dex, from Something Borrowed), is a professor turned stay-at-home mom living a cushy life in Boston. Nick is called in to care for a six-year-old burn victim, and Nick's devotion to his work is soon tangled up in his attraction to the boy's mother, Valerie, a single attorney. Narrated in turn by Tessa and Valerie, the action centers around—will they or won't they, and, if they do, will Tessa forgive him? While unclear what Nick finds so unsatisfying in his marriage, adultery is always tempting and Tessa and Valerie both have their charms.

My thoughts - It's a good read, I liked that Giffin tackles both sides of the story. In marriages, you always wonder why men and sometimes women tend to stray, cheat, whatever you wanna call it. And this book gives you a tiny glimpse into the lives of a married couple and the 'other woman.' Although this book is not as good as Giffin's earlier works, it is still worth reading. As Giffin describes her own books - it's chick lit with heart. And this book has plenty of heart.


BOTD - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

My friend S told me about this book by Swedish writer Stieg Larsson (it's been translated to English). I haven't read it yet but it's on my TBR list. There's plenty of hype surrounding this book; some readers seem to love it and other seem to loathe it. Have any of you read this book? If so, what are your thoughts? Check out the trailer for the movie below (the DVD was released in July).



Here's more about the book from Publishers Weekly:
Cases rarely come much colder than the decades-old disappearance of teen heiress Harriet Vanger from her family's remote island retreat north of Stockholm, nor do fiction debuts hotter than this European bestseller by muckraking Swedish journalist Larsson. At once a strikingly original thriller and a vivisection of Sweden's dirty not-so-little secrets (as suggested by its original title, Men Who Hate Women), this first of a trilogy introduces a provocatively odd couple: disgraced financial journalist Mikael Blomkvist, freshly sentenced to jail for libeling a shady businessman, and the multipierced and tattooed Lisbeth Salander, a feral but vulnerable superhacker. Hired by octogenarian industrialist Henrik Vanger, who wants to find out what happened to his beloved great-niece before he dies, the duo gradually uncover a festering morass of familial corruption—at the same time, Larsson skillfully bares some of the similar horrors that have left Salander such a marked woman.

Pillars Movie Trailer - Let the Anarchy Begin . . .

The book was an epic tale, but the movie is also of an EPIC scale. It features a perfect cast and ranks up there with Rome, Tudors and Deadwood. All I can say is WOW! They aired it on the Starz channel a few months ago as part of an eight episode series, but for those of you who missed it, it's available on DVD below. Let the anarchy begin . . .




ROTW (Recipe of the Week) - Pork Loin with Mushrooms & Garlic & Sage Pan Jus

My husband and I love cooking shows, and after watching Julie and Julia, we became inspired and decided to cook our way through Eric Ripert's show Avec Eric. Ripert is an acclaimed French chef and co-owner of Le Bernardin - one of the world's most renowned restaurants. Ripert's style of cooking is simple and light compared to Julia Child's (her cooking tends to be more on the artery clogging side). His motto is to let the ingredients be the star of the show, so as long as you use good, fresh ingredients, there's not much else you need to do. The first recipe we attempted was a success. Both my husband and I love this dish. The pork is moist and it tastes rustic and delish! Check out the recipe below. Bon Appetit!

Serves 4
The Pork Loin and Jus:
2 pound loin of pork, trimmed and tied
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 head of garlic, cloves separated, unpeeled
2 bay leaves, lightly crushed
3 sprigs sage
¼ cup white wine
½ cup chicken stock
fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper

The Mushrooms:
12 ounces wild mushroom medley, such as morels, porcini, chanterelles or oyster mushrooms
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 small shallot, finely minced
2 teaspoons finely minced garlic
2 springs thyme
fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper


1. For the pork, tie the pork loin with kitchen string: once lengthwise and every inch crosswise. Season the loin very well with salt and pepper.
2. Heat the olive oil in large sauté pan over medium high heat. Carefully add the pork loin to the hot pan and sear on all sides until golden. Add the whole garlic cloves and lower the heat and continue roasting covered for 25-30 minutes.
3. While the pork loin is roasting, prepare the mushrooms by trimming and cleaning all of the mushrooms. Heat a sauté pan with the oil and butter, add the minced shallots, garlic and  thyme leaves, cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking until the mushrooms are tender about 5 minutes. Set aside.
4. Check the doneness of the pork loin by inserting a meat thermometer into the loin, it should register 145° F.  (It will continue cooking while resting.) Transfer the loin to a cutting board and let rest.
5. Place the pan back on the burner over medium heat; add the bay leaves and sage and deglaze the pan with white wine. Reduce the wine by half and add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer and lightly reduce again. Add the sautéed mushrooms to the sauce and remove from heat and let sit to infuse for about 5 minutes.
6. Slice the pork loin into ½ - inch thick slices and lay 3 slices on a plate. Place the mushrooms over and around the pork loin, spoon the sauce around and serve immediately.

BOTD (Book of the Day) - Pillars of the Earth

A towering tale and a ripping read. This book is a delicious romp across the medieval times; it's a super fast paced and an engaging historical thriller. There's war, there's love, there's lust, there's treachery. After reading it, be sure to check out the DVD. It captures the heart and soul of the book.

The Best Homemade Sherbert Lemonade

This is by far the best homemade lemonade by the Juice Master. I love it, my husband loves it and the kids love it! And it is SO simple. You gotta try this at home! **Remember to remove the rind off the lemon.

Anthro-like Kitchenware at Target

I got these canisters at Target; they're darling and very reasonable priced. They're much larger than the ones that Anthropologie previously sold (which were mainly for spices). These are more like cookie jars and they come in numbers 1, 2 and 3.

Tangled

My two little munchkins can't wait to see this movie Tangled, which will be out Nov. 24th. To be quite honest, I can't wait to see it too. It's Disney's take on Rapunzel but with a Shrek twist. Looks like it's filled with loads of fun, and loads of hair!

Anthropologie Lust . . .

Got my Anthro catalog today. OoooOoooh. Ahhhhh . . . Spinning Lace Dress by Tracy Reese. It's so Blair Waldorf. 


Ahhhh. My other lust . . .  waiting for a sale for this Rosette Quilt