Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Movie Reviews: “Ingrid Goes West” & “American Assassin”

   Ingrid Goes West
   Rated R

After her mother’s death, Ingrid becomes mentally unbalanced, stalks a social media star and integrates herself into her idol’s life.

A dark comedy, Ingrid Goes West, speaks volumes on our current society, including how things aren’t always as they appear, the lack of depth in social media relationships and the loneliness experienced by some. Despite being a cautionary tale, this film is well-done and entertaining.

American Assassin
Rated R

After his fiancée is killed by terrorists, Mitch become a vigilante and is soon recruited by a covert CIA group. Soon after, Mitch and his boss are searching for a nuclear weapon and trying to prevent a war in the Middle East.

If asked to describe American Assassin, I would describe it as a solid action movie. It was fast paced, easy-to-understand and entertaining. If action is your genre, this is the movie for you!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Book Review: “Your Perfect Life”

Your Perfect Life
Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke

Best friends Casey and Rachel envy the other’s life. The morning after their 20-year high school reunion, each awakens in the other person’s body. Will Casey be fulfilled as a stay-at-home mother of three, and can Rachel cope with the cutthroat world of celebrity gossip

Though the idea of switching bodies isn’t new (Remember Freaky Friday?), Your Perfect Life is a nice summer read. It’s entertaining, easy to read and makes an important point-that despite appearances, no one’s life is perfect.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Home Style: New Overhead Lights

Overhead light before

Overhead light after

For more information on this product, click here

Probably because I lived most of my life in Southern California, I like a bright, naturally lighted home. I now live in New England, which doesn’t have nearly as many sunny days, so I try to make up for the lack of sunshine by heavily illuminating our home. First, I purchased and installed white LED lights. The change made our home brighter, but it was still darker than I like.

Next, I asked our handyman to lower the inset ceiling lights flush with the ceiling. This change and the light bulb swap brightened our home sufficiently. The only problem was that he was unable to lower some of the lights, so he suggested installing a new type of LED light.

These new LED lights are amazing. They provide lots of light, are flush with the ceiling and are much more aesthetically pleasing than the previous lights. I like them so much I plan on installing them throughout our home!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Style: Biker Workout Wear

Lululemon bra top (old), Alo leggings, Michael Stars top,
Nike shoes, Ray Ban sunglasses

I hate to admit this, but I wear exercise clothes much more that I would in an ideal world. Granted, I exercise six days a week and while I should work out early, shower and put on real clothes, sometimes I don’t feel like exercising in the morning so I end up in athleisure wear for most or all of the day. Because of this propensity, I’ve been elevating my workout wear.

When I saw these biker style leggings, I couldn’t resist them. They’re very different from all of my other leggings and add a cool factor to any outfit. Paired with a strappy bra top, blush-colored off the shoulder top and black athletic shoes, this ensemble is dressy enough to wear around town running errands.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Cooking and Entertaining: Love and Olive Oil's Nutella Swirl Brownie and Sugar Cookie Tart

Nutella Swirl Brownie and Sugar Cookie Tart 

I very much enjoy the process of entertaining-I like all of it, the meal planning, cooking and hosting. To me, it’s a way of showing friends and family they’re special by giving them my time and effort. I realize, however, that not everyone shares my viewpoint and/or can’t put time into preparing elaborate dishes for guests.

This tart is the perfect dessert for dinner parties because it’s both delicious and impressive-looking. It's basically a brownie with a Nutella swirl in pie crust topped with sugar cookie bits and sea salt.  It can be made completely from scratch or can be assembled using premade and/or boxed ingredients. I used a combination of purchased pie crust, and homemade brownie batter and sugar cookie dough. To me, preparing this dessert took just the right amount of time because while it tasted home-made, I still had time left to prepare the other dishes served that evening.

the ingredients-pie crust, brownie batter, Nutella, sugar cookie dough
and sea salt

Steps 1 and 2, but the pie crust in the tart pan and pouring the brownie
batter on top

Adding a Nutella swirl

Topped with sugar cookie dough and sea salt

Love and Olive Oil's Nutella Swirl Brownie and Sugar Cookie Tart
Click here for the recipe

Friday, September 8, 2017

Four Star Finds: Loukoumi (Greek candy)

Click here for more information on loukoumi

A new friend recently traveled to Greece and Italy and generously brought us back a few delicacies, including coffee, porcini mushrooms and Greek candy. Though I haven’t used the mushrooms yet, the coffee and candy (loukoumi) are delicious!

Loukoumi is best described as an even better version of Turkish Delight. Like the latter, it’s a jelly based candy, but is less sweet, chewier and has a better texture. I like it so much that I found it online, am planning to place an order and am even giving some away as gifts! After all, who would love what is essentially the nectar of the Greek gods?

As always, I receive no compensation for this endorsement.