Merry Christmas & Happy Hanukkah

A very belated happy holidays to all of you out there! I had to dash out of LA earlier then expected (Seattle snow days will get ya!) and had no time to post with all the celebrating with family and friends! Here's hoping Santa brought you lots of goodies, the food was plenty and the love of friends and family surrounded you!

Here's to 2009!


Gift Giving #12: Wrapped with Love in a Robe

I received a very cute, short white terry cloth bathrobe from my parents my junior year of college. That puppy traveled with me from Pullman (2000), to Washington to both of my apartments in California (2008). It was still intact (barely) but had been washed one too many times and with items that bled in the washer. No longer white, no longer new, it was tattered and in desperate need of retirement. One day shopping at Bloomingdale's I noticed this adorableHoneydew Striped Robe (see below) and since it was on sale, I plucked it up and brought it home to me. Let’s just say that the new robe did not go unnoticed by my friends.

This bathrobe is not only ultra feminine but it is so soft and cute enough to answer the door in.

Stripes too bold for your giftee? How about a Robe fit for a queen, princess or whatever royalty you are purchasing for. This Juicy Couture Gift Robe is ruffles, and terry and embroidered – Oh My!

Arden B’s Ruffle Edge Robe is similar to the Honeydew Robe but all solid and all out cute!

Now if terry cloth is just not warm enough for your lucky friend, this Fleecy Little Robe from Victoria’s Secret should definitely do the trick.

Enjoy, stay warm and learn from me…tattered robes are just wrong in so many ways!



Happy Birthday Lindsay!


Happy Birthday to my girl Avery Bleu. Can't wait for the year ahead! It's sure to be a good one! XOXOXOXO


Gift Giving #11: I've Got My Coat To Keep Me Warm

As I brace myself for the chilly, beyond cold weather that I will be encountering next week in Seattle, I realized that I must share my most recent purchase that not only keeps me comfy, cozy, and warm but also stylish and fancy. If you have a cold weather friend that can never seem to find her jacket, pick her up this Classic Pea Coat (the cream is the perfect winter white)from Forever 21. Totally affordable, stylish and it looks WAY more expensive then it really is.



Happy Birthday Kare!


Happy Birthday Karen! Can't wait to celebrate and get happy tomorrow! XOXOX


Gift Giving #10: Jet Setting

For that glamorous, fabulous travel buff of yours, nothing will please her more than these accessories from JCrew.

This Mirror-Metallic Luggage Tag will shine bright as it makes its way down the baggage claim. TSA might speed them through the line faster when they flash this Mirror-Metallic Passport Cover. And once they are on the plane, they can sip their champagne, catch some shut eye and have some serious Caviar Dreams which they can jot down quickly upon landing.

Whether you gift one, two or all three….you are sure to get a first class hug and smile.


Recipe Swap 2008!

Shelby is hosting Christmas with her family this year and had a marvelous idea for everyone to post a recipe that was a smashing success.

My recipe to share is Martha Stewart's Butternut Squash & Sage Lasagna. I made this recipe a few weeks back and now whenever we have a potluck, I get requests to make this delish dish.

It wasn't too difficult, but I definitely wouldn't say it was a piece of cake. Lots of prep (especially since I made individual dishes). But it was definitely worth all the hard work!

Butternut Squash & Sage Lasagna:
*3 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
*2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
*Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
*1 pound whole-milk ricotta cheese
*1/2 cup heavy cream
*2 large egg yolks
*1/2 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, coarsely grated (2 cups)
*Freshly grated nutmeg
*2 tablespoons unsalted butter
*1/3 cup loosely packed fresh sage leaves, coarsely chopped
*1 1/4 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
*Fresh Lasagna Noodles, (you will need only 1/2 of the batch), cut into 4-by-13-inch strips and cooked, or store-bought dried noodles, cooked
*4 ounces finely grated Parmesan cheese (1 1/4 cups)

*Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss squash, oil, and 1 teaspoon salt on a baking sheet. Season with pepper. Bake until light gold and tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool.
*Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees. Combine ricotta, cream, yolks, mozzarella, and a pinch of nutmeg in a medium bowl. Season with salt.
*Melt butter in a small saute pan over medium-high heat. As soon as it starts to sizzle, add sage, and cook until light gold and slightly crisp at edges, 3 to 4 minutes.
*Place squash in a medium bowl, and mash 1/2 of it with the back of a wooden spoon, leaving the other 1/2 in whole pieces. Gently stir in sage-butter mixture and stock. Season with salt and pepper.
*Spread 3/4 cup of ricotta mixture in a 9-cup baking dish. Top with a layer of noodles. Spread 1/2 of the butternut squash mixture over noodles. Top with a layer of noodles. Spread 1 cup of ricotta mixture over noodles. Repeat layering once more (noodles, squash, noodles, ricotta). Sprinkle Parmesan over ricotta mixture.
*Place baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake until cheese is golden and bubbling, 30 to 35 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

Bon App├ętit!

Now it's your turn! Post one (or more) of your favorite holiday recipes on your blog to share with the rest of us. Be sure to leave a comment here so we know where you're at and what to look for. And be sure to encourage all of your blog followers to post their recipes and so on and so on.

Thanks for the fun idea Shelbs!


Gift Giving #9: Holiday Night Eyes

With the holidays, come many parties and any excuse to dress up. The sparkly the better is my philosophy! With the pretty glow from all the holiday lights it seems just too fitting to give that flashy girlfriend of yours CARGO's Holiday Nights Collection. The smokey shadows, petal pink blush and glitter eyeliner is sure to be a hit in this cute little palette. No longer will your friend need to find all the right shadows, cause this little guy has got her covered! And you needn't worry that this gift will leave you unable to stay out all night, cause at an affordable $25, you can enjoy the night out with her.


Song Of The Week: White Christmas

My absolute favorite holiday movie is White Christmas with Bing Crosby, and I am also a really big fan of The Drifters version of the infamous song, which always makes me think of Home Alone (another holiday must).

So whether you really get a White Christmas (I am crossing my fingers that I get one in Seattle) or you just enjoy the song....have a holly jolly Christmas - 10 Days left!!


Happy Holiday Weekend!!

I am a lucky lady to have my girlfriend Lisa in town visiting and a birthday celebration full of girly time (which are sure to lead to cozy, hungover time chillaxing). Have a glorious weekend and good luck finishing any shopping you have left!


Gift Giving #8: Bag Lady

Still trying to find the perfect Secret Santa gift? On a limit of under $25? You needn't worry my loves...The Lillian Tote is sure to please a range of people from the Olsen Twins to Jessica Simpson. All at an affordable price and seriously luxurious looking.

It's all in the bag.....Cheers!


Gift Giving #7: Silver and Gold

I am seriously head over heels in love with these Rachel Leigh Capsule Rings. Simplistic, classic and elegant these 7 bands can be worn all together or in any combination the wearer fancies.

Who ever said you couldn't wear silver and gold together CLEARLY hadn't seen these rings.



Gift Giving #6: Wine is Fine

Williams-Sonoma has created a magnificent Wine Club just in time for that tricky person left on your list this holiday season. Wine snob, wine enthusiast or beginner alike can become a member of the perfect wine club for them. The Explorer starts at $90, The Entertainer $180, The Connoisseur $180 and The Six Bottle Fine wine Club at $360. Just read the description of each club, select the right price for you and viola! A few bottles will be delivered right to their door throughout the year complete with a message from you and a recipe to compliment the wine they received.

This gift is sure to leave everyone with a taste that they won’t spit out and a bit of good cheer throughout the year!


Gift Giving #5: In a Clutch

With all the parties happening here and there, a flashy, and fun clutch is definitely needed to keep the spirit bright. This adorable Felix Ray Mesi Clutch is perfection in every way. Flashing gold, a pop of color and leopard interior. Perfect for that gal that is glamorous and has everything else! As an added plus it can be used for any occasion even after the holidays!



Gift Giving #4: Office Gifts for the Lips

In the winter, keeping your lips hydrated, soft and kissable can be a bit of a task. Also tricky is finding little gifts to give to your co-workers without breaking the bank. Lucky for ya’ll Sephora’s The Life of the Party Tootsie Roll Lip Balm Set can get both jobs done and is sure to get you office Cheers all around and lips soft enough to kiss under the mistletoe.

For $38 you get nine lip gloss tins (with SPF 15) that are perfect to keep around for that last minute gift you forgot to get. They also make adorable additions to gift wrapping and last but not least, make a fantastic stocking stuffer.


Song Of The Week: Santa Baby

Since I was a little girl I have always loved Santa Baby by Madonna at the Holidays. Her voice is just too cute and pouty and it is one of those songs I can (and do) listen to over and over every Christmas time. I know that there are many other versions out there but I will argue that this is the best version yet.

What do you think? Madonna's version, Pussycat Dolls version or the original Eartha Kitt version?

Also, I got some great songs to add to your listening list this season....

* Jackie recommended Christmas All Around by Billy Mack from Love Actually and I have to say it is PERFECT!!!

*Newport Nuptials enjoys Britney Spears My Only Wish (This Year)

*Emilee and Caity Of The Keps both enjoy I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas which I hadn't heard of until last week. Cute and funny!


Gift Giving #3: Forever Frugal Friday Finds

With the economy the way it is, gift giving can get a little tricky and risky come this holiday season. Luckily, you can find many gifts for most people on your list that are affordable and still stylish and fabulous.

This yellow Fab Crochet Beret will not only keep you looking chic but also take care of that hot head you (or your friend) may have.

Carrie Bradshaw may be the only one able to wear that vintage studded belt from the SATC movie, but this Pyramid Stud Belt is sure to please any SATC fan.

Britney is sure making a comeback and featured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine looking glamorously sexy in a simple grey tee, which you can replicate easily with this Heathered Pocket Top that everyone should really have in their closet.

And just in case, your friends still isn’t sporting the hottest accessory around, pick her up this Metallic Detail Scarf which festive enough for the holidays but pretty and bright enough to carry on into spring.

All of the goodies above are under $15 and would be welcomed into any home. All of the gifts above also would make great donations gifts to your local shelter or collection agency.

“Tis the Season to give!



Gift Giving #2: Scent-Sational Gifts

Besides the music, lights, holiday scents are the my next favorite part of the season. I cannot get enough of the yummy goodness that comes in a form of a candle, hand soap or room freshener. I just take a big whiff, close my eyes and say...."mmmm".

Lots of love and joy is spread over the holidays, as are germs and colds (wah-wah). Help fight the latter of the two by giving the gift of good smelling and most importantly clean hands and house.

The Williams-Sonoma Pure & Green Peppermint Snow Collection will leave your hands smelling fresh and minty clean. Wiping down the counters has never smelled better with Method's Spiced Pear All Surface Cleaner. If you prefer a less minty approach and a more warm and fuzzy scent, Bath & Body Works Vanilla Bean Noel Hand Soap & Lotion is sure to please your guests.

With Holiday parties filling up your calendar left and right, trying to find the right host/hostess gift can be a bit difficult. Also difficult, is achieving that fresh cut tree scent with a fake Christmas tree. Fear not...these scent-sational home scents will fulfill both problems.

The Illume Mulled Wine Reed Diffuser not only smells amazing, but also is rather pretty and festive. I am a huge fan and believer in Bath & Body Work's ScentPort. This baby REALLY works. My bedroom smells delish and has left me curious about the ScentPortable for another other space that may require some sprucing up. Another pretty and effective way to infuse scent all around the house is this Pierced Oil Warmer that is sparkly, and warm.

Of course to me, one of the easiest, most functional gifts to give is a candle. You can customize the scent, and really splurge on some quality candles that perhaps they wouldn't buy for themselves. Candles are romantic, fragrant and perfect for those nights when the lights, go down in the city...

The great thing about candles is that they come in a variety of scents and prices. Method's Frosted Fir and Toasted Hazelnut are a steal at $10 and made of soy, so they burn cleaner. My all time favorite holiday candle is the Perfect Christmas Spice candle with all of its cinnamon-y splendor. However, I picked up this Voluspa Seasons Three-Wick Tin in Winesap Apple Spice last week and it may just replace my old favorite. A combination of spice, tart and tree is a good thing - believe me! Cheap and easy are Glade's assorted variety of "boutique quality candles" as the commercial reminds me everyday. Last but not least, light Creamy Nutmeg candle together with Illume's Eggnog Latte candle and you may just skip out all together on that run to Starbucks, as these two are sure to please you just fine!

All these scents have my nose working over time and I don't really mind at all!


Happy Birthday Lynne!

A very happy birthday to Lynne, celebrating up in Seattle today! Many birthday wishes and hugs! XOXO


Gift Giving #1: Be Green & Spakly

{The Barbara, Claire & Josephine}

Let’s just put it out there…giving/receiving jewelry as a present is always appreciated and in style. Giving jewelry that is Eco-Friendly and Drop Dead Gorgeous will definitely get you a ticket on Santa’s Nice List.

Enter Laura Elizabeth Jewelry. I have said it before and I will say it again...the goods are amazing and sure to leave the giftee jumping for joy. Laura jewels have been featured on Daily Candy, the TV show Bones and other publications. If you live in LA, you are a lucky one, as Laura Elizabeth Jewelry will be having a trunk show at Blonde in Santa Monica this Saturday, December 6th from 12-3 PM. The added holiday cheer...all of Laura’s jewels will be 20% off!! So come pop in, meet the stunningly gorgeous designer, sip some champagne and pick up some gifts while you are at it.

{Click to Enlarge}

Don’t you worry YBB readers not located in LA…there is a bonus for you as well! Visit Laura’s online shop and enter the code word holiday, to receive a special discount at checkout.



'Tis The Season

I am not sure where the time has gone, but somehow it is already December 2nd (Happy Birthday Brit) and I have 22 days to get all my Christmas shopping finished. I am not stressed (yet) and am hoping to share all sorts of fun gifts to give, wish for or buy for yourself (see below).

Now we all know that the holidays are about spending time with family and friends, and not so much about actual "gifts". However, I have always been one of those people who gets so excited to give presents (even if only to myself). That being said, I started the Holiday Season with a present to myself...these incredible Dolce Vita Snakeskin Covered Platform Pump. I just had to have them, and I figure I can get a lot of use out of them this season and the next. But this is the last present to myself until after Christmas....once those incredible after Christmas Sales hit I can't contain myself for long.

Stay tuned....


Song Of The Week: All I Want For Christmas Is You

All I Want For Christmas Is You - Mariah Carey

It just wouldn't be the holidays to me if I didn't listen to this song at least 50 times! Mariah Carey's All I Want For Christmas Is You has definitely withstood the test of time and even though it is relatively a new song (1994) it has become quite a Christmas/Holiday classic. Whether it is watching that cute girl sing it in Love Actually, listening in my car or hearing it at the mall for the 10th time that day...all I want is this song!!

What are your favorite Holiday songs? What am I missing out on? Please share as I am one of those Christmas Music Freaks and want to make sure that there isn't a song I don't know. (Warning: Christmas Shoe lovers need not apply)


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