Monday, December 11, 2017

Style: Pink Chenille Cable Knit Sweater

Vila sweater (similar), Uniqlo shirt, Madewell pants (similar),
Aldo shoes, Chloe handbag (different color),
Oliver Peoples sunglasses (old)

For the past year, I’ve been searching for a pink chenille cable knit sweater. I had pretty much given up hope and instead was looking for ANY color chenille cable knit sweater. I saw a few at the mall, but the sweaters just weren’t cut well for my body type.

I was watching a Niomi Smart (one of my favorite YouTubers) video when she featured this sweater in a haul and immediately bought it from ASOS, a British fashion website. Though I was worried the sweater would take weeks to be delivered, it arrived in a few days. This sweater was very reasonably priced and will probably only last a season or two, but I’m loving it while it lasts.

Shown with some very old cargo pants and velvet loafers, this sweater is the definition of cozy. Although it can't be seen, I wore a pink Uniqlo shirt underneath the sweater because the holes let the cold air through. My sweater is no longer available, but I’ve added a link to a similar one that I like equally.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Cooking and Entertaining: Dark Chocolate-Covered Peppermint Graham Crackers

A yummy holiday treat-Dark Chocolate-Covered Peppermint Graham Crackers!

I don’t know why, but I love dark chocolate-covered graham crackers. The slight bitterness and richness of the chocolate plays well with the mild sweetness and crispiness of the graham cracker. For the holiday season, I searched high and low for dark chocolate covered graham crackers with peppermint bits, but was only able to find them in milk chocolate. While the milk chocolate version is good, if I’m going to eat a “treat,” I want it to be amazing!

My solution was to make them myself. These tasty delights are very easy to prepare and require only three ingredients: Graham crackers, dark chocolate chips and candy canes. I crushed the candy canes, heated the chocolate chips, dunked the graham crackers in the melted chocolate and sprinkled them with the crushed candy. What could be tastier and easier to prepare?

the ingredients

I used a rolling pin to crush the candy

Dunking the graham crackers in the melted chocolate

Topping the treats!

Dark Chocolate-Covered Peppermint Graham Crackers

7-8 graham crackers
3-6 candy canes
2 C. dark chocolate chips (I used semisweet, but would also use extra dark chocolate chips)

Place the candy canes in a plastic bag and crush into small pieces. Set aside. In a heatproof bowl, melt the chocolate chips over a double boiler or in the microwave. If using the microwave oven, use 30 second intervals and stir each time, stopping when the chips are melted.

Enrobe the graham crackers in chocolate, place on a parchment-covered cookie sheet and sprinkle with peppermint candy. Allow the chocolate to harden (This process can be sped up by placing them in the refrigerator.) Enjoy!

Note: If the chocolate hardens too much, reheat the chocolate over the double boiler or in the microwave at 15 second intervals, stirring until the chocolate is soft again.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Four Star Find: Candy Cane ChapStick

Click here for more information on this product

About 6 months ago, I heard a lot of internet buzz about a lip balm and wanted to try it. I went to a department store and a saleslady educated me about it for around 5 minutes. I tried it on the back of my hand, liked it and decided to purchase it. I had already pulled out my credit card when she told me it was $60 plus tax. Even though I was mortified and didn’t want to spend that much money on lip balm, I was too embarrassed to tell her I changed my mind. That said, I love the product and use it every night, but think a great reasonably-priced alternative is Candy Cane ChapStick.

This lip balm is peppermint-flavored and likely contains some peppermint oil since it tingles a bit after application. It moisturizes and protect my lips from the bitter wind and cold and is a bargain at less than $3. If you’re interested in this product, buy it soon since it’s a limited edition.

As always, I receive no compensation for endorsing this product.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Book Review: “Origin”

   Dan Brown

Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is attending an event hosted by former student, Edmond Kirsch, at the Bilbao-based Guggenheim Museum where Kirsch is expected to reveal a belief-changing discovery. During the event, unexpected events unfold and Langdon soon finds his life in danger. Will he survive this difficult situation?

My Origin synopsis is deliberately vague because half the fun of reading Dan Brown books is slowing learning more about the situation and trying to figure out what will happen next. If you like mysteries, Origin is the book for you. It’s an engrossing read, full of suspense, and completely unpredictable!

Friday, December 1, 2017

Movie Reviews: “A Bad Moms Christmas,” “Roman J Israel, Esq., ” “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” & “Lady Bird”

   A Bad Moms Christmas
   Rated R

Three already overburdened moms deal with the added stress of the holidays, which includes a visit from each of their mothers.

A Bad Moms Christmas is raunchy and riddled with profanity, but it’s also bittersweet and a movie most daughters and moms can relate to. While I went into this movie with pretty low expectations, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it!

   Roman J Israel, Esq.
   Rated PG-13

Roman J Israel is a Los Angeles-based attorney whose idealism and activism are called into question after an upending series of events.

As always, Denzel Washington gives a superb performance as the socially awkward yet legal savant attorney. If you are in the mood for a very good drama, Roman J Israel, Esq. is the film for you.

   Three Billboards Outside Ebbing,
   Rated R

After her daughter is brutally murdered, Mildred Hayes rents three billboardson which she places provocative messages to catch the attention of local law enforcement.

A true gem, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is more of a glimpse into the protagonist’s life than a story with a beginning, middle and end. Unexpected and unpredictable, with very human characters, this film is one of my top ten for the year.

   Lady Bird
   Rated R

Set in Sacramento in 2002, Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson is a high school senior desperate to escape her hometown. While she and her mother love each other deeply, they have the same opinionated, strong-willed personalities which inevitably leads to clashes.

The only file to ever receive a perfect 100 rating from Rotten Tomatoes, I expect the cast and film to receive many award nominations. This funny and touching film perfectly portrays the mother/teenage daughter relationship.