Sunday, December 26, 2010

What Did Santa Bring?

Doesn’t everyone love presents? This year, Santa was, once again, very generous, although my dad did tell me that the jolly man was having a hard time coming up with gifts for me so… to compensate for the fact that my sister got an iPhone (now we're a complete iPhone family), iPad, guitar, and $300 Coach purse, among the usual lot of dvds, video games, etc, I get to do some sweet after-Christmas shopping. Sounds good to me.

Despite what my dad said, I still think I made out pretty nicely. Here’s a quick rundown of what I got from not just Santa, but the rest of my family, as well. 

- Avatar: The Last Airbender Seasons 1-3
- Community Season 1
- Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Vol. 1-3
- Supernatural Season 5 **wishlist item!
- The Vampire Diaries Season 1
- The Venture Brothers Season 3

Video Games for PS3
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
- Spiderman: Shattered Dimensions
- Spiderman: Web of Shadows

- Bebe Eau de Parfum
- Chanel Chance Eau de Toilette
- Michael Kors Island Bermuda Giftset
- Victoria’s Secret Noir Giftset 

- Barbie Basics doll
- Breakfast at Tiffany’s coasters
- Death Note manga box set
- Express skirt
- Garmin GPS
- Roy Mustang plush and keychain
- Spike Speigel figure
- Taylor Swift’s Speak Now CD **wishlist item!
- Vera Bradley “Imperial Noille” note cards & mailbox

How blessed/spoiled am I, right? Don't worry, I know this is a season of giving not getting. And as much, as I love receiving gifts, I love giving them even more!

What did you all get for Christmas?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas from F&F!!

I hope everyone had a wonderful and safe Christmas!! Mine was filled with good food, great presents, and quality time with family. No special post today, just some random Christmas-related pictures. :)

Left: My sister and I after we just finished decorating the tree (the picture doesn’t do it justice). 
Right: Another tradition: each family member has their own special ornament. Mine's a cute, high-heeled shoe. Suits me perfectly.

Left: My cat, Xander, got to join in on the “open one gift from dad” Christmas Eve tradition. He got a 3-foot scratching post (and loves it).
Right: My Christmas outfit! Dress from Express (bought on Clearance for $24). Shoes were bought brand new at Goodwill (Target brand) for $4.

Next post: What I got for Christmas!! =)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve Traditions & Hot Cocoa

I hope everyone has been having a wonderful Christmas Eve! I know I have! My family is very laid back (I wouldn’t have it any other way) and our evening together consisted of a dinner of grilled hotdogs (done from the balcony of our apartment) and curly fries, while watching the Nicktoons marathon of Avatar: The Last Airbender (FTW!).

My family has several Christmas traditions and one of them is to open one gift from my dad on Christmas Eve. This year I got a “Justin Case” Roadside Assistance kit. I guess my dad heard about my 2 consecutive “Worst Driver” awards. It even comes with an "SOS banner."
Another tradition is for my dad to make his special hot cocoa for my sister and I in our cute Santa mugs. I asked him how he makes this seriously delicious concoction. Here, my friends, is how (you’re welcome):

For one cup of hot cocoa:

You’ll need:
1 cup of milk
1 teaspoon of cocoa powder
3 teaspoons of sugar
1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
A drop of cinnamon extract

(All measurements are approximations. You can add more or less milk to taste.)

1. Heat up ½ cup of milk for 1 minute a in microwave oven.
2. Mix in cocoa and sugar. If desired, strain into another cup to get rid of cocoa clumps.
3. Add rest of milk and marshmallows.
4. Heat up for another minute.
5. Stir in vanilla and cinnamon extract.
6. Add more marshmallows, if desired.
7. ENJOY!!!

What are some of your Christmas traditions?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Gifts That Give Back UNDER $50

Gifts That Give Back
Christmas is just around the corner, and many of us are still scrambling to find last minute Christmas gifts for our loved ones. But what about those less fortunate than us? Wouldn’t it be nice to help make their Christmas a little brighter in our own small way? Well, here are 15 super affordable gifts that do double duty as they all benefit a charity in some way. Get those last minute Christmas gifts, and if you decide to get yourself a little something as well, don’t feel guilty – you’re helping to make the world a better place.
  1. St. Jude’s Laptop Bag (Lucky Brand, $35) -100% of this stylish laptop bag’s net profits will go towards benefiting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
  2. L’Oreal Paris Color of Hope Eye Makeup in Bouquet of Strength – (L’Oreal, $9) - $1 from each item sold goes to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.
  3. Eye Wish Palette (Smashbox, $45) – Purchasing this limited edition Smashbox makeup palette (worth $240) will help a child fight a life-threatening illness through the Children’s Miracle Network.
  4. Organic Shea Butter Hand Lotion (Out of Africa, $6) - Your purchase will help provide education to children in West Africa and supports PBS educational programs.
  5. St. Jude’s Gumball Machine (Juicy Couture, $25) - 100% of the net profits of this adorable gumball machine will benefit the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
  6. Soft Hands, Kind Heart Hand Cream (The Body Shop, $7) – 100% of net proceeds will go to ECPAT to help stop sex trafficking of children and young people.
  7. Love Lisa SPF 15 Lip Balm (Too Faced, $16) – A large portion of the sales will go towards helping to find a cure for melanoma disease.
  8. Last Letters Home DVD (HBO, $20) – The net proceeds will benefit the families of soldiers who have died in military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere since 9/11.
  9. Breast Cancer Crusade Strap Watch (Avon, $15) - 100% of the net profits will be donated to the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade.
  10. Rachel Roy Tote UNICEF Charity Tote (Shop Bop, $20) – For each of these totally cute bags sold, designer Rachel Roy will donate $20 to the US Fund for UNICEF in support of food relief efforts in Pakistan.
  11. Brow Marker in taupe (Laura Geller, $23) – A portion of the proceeds will help fund research solutions for lung cancer.
  12. Satya Tree of Life Necklace (Satya Jewelry, $45) - 100% of the net proceeds of this beautiful necklace designed by actress Kristen Bell (adore her) will go towards Invisible Children’s programs in Uganda.
  13. Silver Glitter Women’s Shoes (TOMS, $54) – For every pair of shoes sold, TOMS will give a new pair of shoes to a child in need. Why not try these stylish pair?
  14. St. Jude’s “Give Thanks” Shirt (DKNY Jeans, $24) – Look good while you’re doing good like Jennifer Aniston! 100% of net profits benefits the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
  15. Destined For Smoothness Gift Set (Aveda, $51) – Your purchase will help support communities protecting the rainforest in Columbia. (Sorry, I realized after I had made the collage that it was over $50)
I'm so tempted to buy all of these! Seriously! My favorites are the Rachel Roy tote, Kristen Bell necklace, and Juicy Couture gumball machine! How cute! How about you? Know any other "gifts that give back?" Comment and let me know!

My 2010 Winter Break Movie Picks

Classes are out and, for 3 weeks, we have all the free time in the world. One great way to kill time and have fun is to hit the movies. It’s one activity that everyone enjoys. However, with all the different movies being released every week, you might like some guidance on what to spend your hard earned cash and precious time on (so you don't end up feeling like you've wasted 2 hours of your life). Well, look no further, your resident movie buff is here to save the day! Here are my 2010 Winter Break Movie Picks, conveniently organized by who you should see each with (because who really wants to see a movie alone?).

Tangled – If you didn’t see Tangled with your family for Thanksgiving, see it for Christmas! The movie stars a killer voice cast with Mandy Moore as the spunky and free spirited Rapunzel, and Zachary Levi (LOVE him) as the charming and handsome Flynn Ryder. Like every good Disney movie, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll walk away with a smile on your face. Definite must-see.
Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader – Transport you and your family to the ultimate world of fantasy and wonder in the third and latest Narnia movie. It’s sure to be a visual feast for the eyes, as well as an epic adventure that everyone will enjoy.
Gulliver's Travels – This comedy based on that book we all had to read back in high school arrives Christmas day, and with stars like Jack Black, Emily Blunt, and Jason Segel, you’ll definitely leave the theater going “Hahaha” instead of “Hohoho” (sorry, I know that was bad).

Little Fockers – The whole cast is back in the long-awaited sequel and final installment of the Fockers franchise. If you’re looking for a fun comedy among all the dramatic fare this Christmas, look no further. Lots of laughs are sure to be had with this bunch.
Black Swan – Probably one of the most buzzed about and anticipated films of the season. Don’t go in thinking this is your typical ballet film. Be prepared for a super intense, psychological thriller that will leave your mind reeling. Natalie Portman, delivering her best work to date, stars as a self-destructive ballerina in this dark cautionary tale about the strive for perfection. This has Oscar bait written all over it.
Tron: Legacy – A young man, haunted by the death of his father, a famous video game developer, gets sucked into a special-effects laden digital world in this high-tech action movie that is sure to entrance your friends, girls and guys alike. And although it is a sequel to the 1982 film, no previous knowledge is needed to understand Legacy. BIt of trivia: While attending Comic Con last summer, I got to participate in the world’s largest crowd recording for a scene in this movie.

How Do You Know? This romantic comedy stars the lovely Reese Witherspoon as a woman who is being pursued by two men: a successful, womanizing baseball pitcher played by Owen Wilson and a sweet, bad luck-ridden businessman played by Paul Rudd. If you and your girls are looking for a charming "chick flick," this is it.
Country Strong - Gwyneth Paltrow plays against type as a fallen country star trying to regain her career after a stint in rehab in this drama, which also stars Garrett Hedlund (fresh from Tron), Tim McGraw, and Leighton Meester. As we’ve seen from Gwyneth’s recent appearance on Glee, she really can sing. And don’t worry, you don’t have to be a fan of country music to appreciate this film.
The Tourist – This movie, which stars two of the most beautiful and talented people in Hollywood (Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp, in case you didn’t know) is a sure bet for a fun and entertaining night out with the girls. Combining action and romance with some of the most beautiful locales in Europe, this film is sure to have something for everyone.

127 Hours – Boyfriend or not, I’m seeing this film (as soon as I can find it). I was hooked from the trailer, and sensational reviews have only cemented my desire. It’s been nominated for just about every “Best” award out there, and it’s sure to win a handful. James Franco single-handedly carries this film as a hiker who gets stuck under a boulder in the middle of nowhere. We’ve all heard the story before, but this film is so much more than just about a guy who cuts off his arm. If you’re looking for a well-made film that’s both gut-wrenching and inspirational, look no further. Just go see this film.
True Grit – Updating a John Wayne classic? If it were anyone but the amazingly talented Coen brothers (or Clint Eastwood), I would be skeptical, but obviously this film is in very capable hands. Especially, when you look at the talent: Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon play a U.S. Marshal and Texas Ranger who are hired by a girl to track down the man who killed her father (Josh Brolin) in this critically acclaimed western.
The Fighter – All three leads (Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, and Amy Adams) deliver stellar, award-winning performances in this boxing drama/dark comedy that focuses on the life of professional boxer “Irish” Micky Ward. I’m not the biggest fan of boxing films, but I have heard nothing but raves, and Christian Bale has yet to disappoint me with a film choice. I’m sold.

Well, those are my picks. What do you guys think? Agree? Disagree? Did I leave out something? Comment and let me know!

Monday, December 20, 2010

My Christmas Wishlist

My Christmas Wishlist by ambitiousdreams featuring coach shoulder bags
It’s that time of year again when people start asking you what you want for Christmas. Of course, we’d all love it if our loved ones could read our minds and surprise us with exactly what we wanted, but since they’re not Sookie Stackhouse, that is not the case.

When my friends ask me what I want for Christmas, I usually tell them that I’m pretty easy to shop and buy gifts for because I have so many interests. You can either go the fashion and girly route or the geeky and fangirl route. For my dad, on the other hand, I have to give him a detailed list that includes all the links for where he can purchase the items – or else, no presents. Now just for funzies, I put together my own little Wishlist of must-have items.
1)    All-Over Lace Strapless Dress (Express, $98) – Count on Express to have the perfect winter party dress! So cute and SO on trend! I also love the Sequin and Chiffon dress.
2)    Fullmetal Alchemist Manga Series (amazon, $10 a book) – FMA: Brotherhood is my current anime obsession! What an engaging, complex story with such interesting and strong characters (Roy Mustang is such a BA)! I’m ready to relive all that awesomeness from the original source, the manga.
3)    Chanel Quilted Union Jack Purse (Chanel, $1295) – I remember when I held this purse at the Chanel store on Rodeo Drive. I was in love and didn’t want to give it back to the salesman. I’m obsessed with union jacks and if I were to ever splurge on a purse, this would be it. Of couse, unless there’s a fashion genie who’ll grant me three wishes, there’s no possible way I’m ever going to get this, but, hey, this *is* a WISHlist. And while I’m at, why don’t I just add Rachel Bilson’s wardrobe and Ian Somerhalder to the list?
4)    The Sims 3 Late Night Expansion Pack (amazon, $30) – Who doesn’t love the Sims? I’ve played this game for DAYS without ever leaving my house. True story. Sure, it’s a little obsessive, but you definitely get your money’s worth. I have every single one of the expansion packs for both 1 and 2, but have fallen behind on 3. I’m sure that will change though.
5)    Supernatural Season 5 on Blu-Ray (amazon, $54) – One of my all-time favorite shows! Excellent writing, interesting mythology, killer soundtrack, two hot guys – what more could you ask for? And, even with all the eye candy, it really is a show guys love too. My boyfriend loved the series so much, he blew right past the first four seasons within a week.
6)    Coach Poppy Disco Bag in gold (Coach, $148) – If you’ve read my previous blog post, you’ll know that I’m currently obsessing over sequins. Hence, when I saw this bag, I instantly fell in love it. When I saw that Rachel Bilson had previously picked it as one of three Coach bags to whose profits would help benefit a children’s charity, it became a must-have.
7)    Holly GoNightly Sleeping Mask (fredflare, $14) – Breakfast at Tiffany’s is one of my favorite movies and this sleep mask is just too cute!
8)    Candie’s Zebra-print Call Me Peep-Toe Heels (Kohl’s, $60) – I’m obsessed with Candie’s shoes, zebra stripes, and bows, and this shoe combines all three! So cute, and I can totally see myself adding these to a wide array of outfits. Definite must-have.
9)    Taylor Swift’s Speak Now CD (Amazon, $13) - I know every word of every song to Taylor’s last two cds. There’s not many artists I can say that about. Despite being one of the most famous celebrities on the planet, Taylor somehow manages to write some of the most relatable and personal songs for girls. I feel like I smile, cry, laugh, and regret with her on every cd. So how is it I’ve yet to pick up her latest cd??! I blame school and my crazy life, but this is something that needs to be remedied by Christmas.
10) Victoria’s Secret Pink Reversible Comforter (Victoria’s Secret, $99)– My current comforter is from the last VSPink bed set and I love it, I really do, but it’s time for something new. Fortunately, the new comforter from Pink is super cute and would look amazing in my room!

Now it's your turn! Comment and let me know what's on your list this Christmas! :)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

OBSESSION: Sequins For UNDER $50

Sequins For UNDER $50
My latest fashion obsession is SEQUINS! They are SO versatile (wear them to class, on a night out, to work or a meeting, the possibilities are endless!), and they add that perfect touch of pizazz to any outfit (or room, for that matter)! I especially love them in metallic tones like gold, silver, and black. The main thing to remember is to not overdo it. I wouldn't recommend any more than one sequin piece per outfit or it will look too over-the-top and tacky.

Sequins can transform a plain outfit and make it look expensive (just be sure to avoid the cheap-looking, costumey kind), and the best part is, you don't have to break the bank to obtain a piece. Here are a bunch of cute sequinned pieces that you can easily find for under $50. Pick up any to spruce up your winter wardrobe/room!
  • Bling Throw Pillowe from Victoria's Secret - $40
  • Lip Clutch from Sephora - $15
  • Lace Mini Clutch from Topshop - $20
  • Mannequin Jewelry Stand from Forever21 - $11
  • Foldover Clutch from BCBGeneration - $48
  • Bandage Dress from Forever21 - $18
  • Strapless Dress from Forever21 - $34
  • Pumps from Forever21 - $29
  • Floral Salon Clip from Wet Seal - $5
  • Hotpants from Forever21 - $16
  • Tunic from Victoria's Secret - $50
  • Cross Body Bag from Charlotte Russe - $19
  • Cheetah Skin Mini Handbag from Kmart - $7.79
  • "Silver Deco" Crystal Drop Earrings - $38
  • Bow Clips $2.50

Welcome & Introduction!

At the Atlanta Mart Fashion Show

Yay! FIRST post! Welcome! However, before we go any further, let me introduce myself. My name is Amanda and I am a senior at FSU majoring in Retail Merchandising and Product Development and minoring in Business and Communications. I consider myself pretty active on campus. I recently became one of the new Student Liaisons for the Collegiate Merchandising Association and am the Historian for Fashion, Inc. Aside from fashion organizations, I’m also very active in my co-ed service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega. I served as Fall 2010’s Historian, and was just elected as Recording Secretary for the Spring.  Somehow, in between all of these things, I still manage to have a life…and write this blog!

Here at Fashion & Favorites, I will write about all my interests from fashion and shopping to the rest of my “favorite” things such as movies, tv, music, cooking, and more! I'm super excited about getting this thing up and running and reading what other people have to say. Also, look out for guest posts from my super awesome and fashion-savy friends in the future.
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