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Book club update: 50 Shades of Grey

I know it has been a hot minute since we updated you about our book club, but don’t take that silence as failure. Much like Beyonce, Ladies (insert current season here) Book Club is a fabulous, sparkling, beautiful success – not to mention one helluva dancer. Since our inaugural meeting in June, we have made it through 15 books, a hockey game, a brunch, an ornament/cookie exchange, and countless wedges of brie and bottles of bubbles.

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In an attempt to get my parents to stop asking me when I am going to update our blog, I am going to roll out a series of book club update posts (yay!). First up: 50 Shades of Grey. This was a controversial choice, but the the popularity of this book spiked our curiosity. While the consensus was the book was complete and utter trash, most of has had a good time reading it and discussing it, mostly because of these bomb discussion questions.

Have you read it? Did you love it/hate it/get super grossed out by it?

50 Shades of Grey

Book Club Discussion Questions

Throughout the book, Ana embarks on a whole new adventure in her life, sexually and romantically. As a little icebreaker, we will open up our own sex novels and start out with a little game of ‘never have I ever.’ Be prepared with at least 4 “Never have I ever’s”… and yes, you lushes, there will be drinking involved (duh).

Never have I ever

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Christian tilters on the line between total sweetheart romantic boyfriend and complete stalker in the tale. Has a boyfriend ever shown his psychopath side? Have you? Please provide examples of both.

Rumors are floating around of the making of a 50 movie (eeeeeeeek) and consequently, so are rumors of who will play the ever so dashing Mr. Grey. Opinions please ladies. (Be prepared with Google images ready on your phone as well, as this can easily turn into a heated debate).

What were your feelings on the end of the book? What do you think will happen in the next book? How do you think the series will end? Do you plan to continue?

That’s all…. for now.

Laters, baby.

50-Shades-Grey-Christian-Movie-Casting

Top Ten Worst One Direction Lyrics: in descending order of terribleness

During our countless hours listening to One Direction’s historic canon (utilizing Spotify’s wondrous collection and equally wondrous private-listening feature), Shannon and I have discussed just how badly worded and incomprehensible One Direction’s lyrics can be. So please let me now take what started as a friendly workplace game, and submit it as an official artifact for the Internet.

The worst 1D lines/The best 1D gifs*:

A juxtaposed love story

10. …and if we get together (yeah get together), don’t let the pictures leave your phone. – Live While We’re Young

Not the worst line, no, but one that stands out on account of how generationally specific it is. Lyrics that will speak to people born in a year that starts with “2—.”

9. “Oh, I just wanna show you off to all of my friends/Making them drool down their chinny-chin-chins.” – Kiss You

No thanks.

8. “The one that I came with/She had to go/But you look amazing/Standing alone.” – C’mon C’mon

The bright side of this totally insensitive premise: They certainly know how to look on the bright side.

7. “Hands are silent/Voice is numb/Try to scream out my lungs/It makes this harder.” – Moments

When we hit this line, Shannon wonders both what they are trying to say and if it is about penises.

6. “Cause I can’t compete with your boyfriend/He’s got 27 tattoos.” – I Would

This is opposite of the lyrical magic of Harry Styes’s hair.

5. “And I will steal us a car/And we will drive to the stars/I will give you the moon/It’s the least I can do.” – Stand up

How? How is that the “least you can do”? It makes no sense. Unless what you mean is, “Where we’re going we don’t need roads.” Then just say that. It makes about as much sense as the people drawing cat faces on 1D’s regular faces.

4. “I won’t let these little things slip out of my mouth…And I’ve just let these little things slip out of my mouth.” – Little Things

WHOOPS. Thanks for telling the whole world about how I have to squeeze into my jeans. Also from Little Things: “You’ll never treat yourself right, darling, but I want you to.” Sure, that sounds good.

3. “Every minute’s like a lasso.” – Everything About You

What does this even mean? No matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to “lasso” any meaning out of this.

2. “If I’m louder/Would you see me?” – More Than This

No. That makes no sense.

1. “And girl, what a mess I made upon your innocence.” – Gotta Be You

Gross.

In summation: At least they always seem to be having fun.

*All One Direction gifs are the best. I in no way narrowed these down by quality. That would be impossible.

 

Bourbon balls!

photo-7Ingredients:

  • 4 cups ground vanilla wafers
  • 1 cup ground pecans
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 cup good bourbon whiskey
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar (for rolling)
Directions:
Mix all dry ingredients and liquid ingredients first then combine both in large mixing bowl. Shape in small balls the size of a large cherry, and roll in confectioner’s sugar. Makes about 40 balls, depending upon the size.
NO BAKING INVOLVED!
These “cookies” will keep for about a month when stored in a tin can.

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headbands are the new winter hat

I learned this was a fact last year by accident. I stumbled upon a headband and decided to buy it because I fell in love with the adorable snowflake pattern. But after wearing it a few times, I quickly realized the headband functions way better than a hat does when you’re trying to be cute and warm at the same time (enter hair in bun.)

This is me looking cute in my headband.

This is me looking cute in my headband.

This season I planned to follow the trend on purpose, so I started my search online. There are tons of blogs out there talking about headbands but not many that actually tell you where to get one that’s cute, warm, AND affordable.
So here’s our list, complete with links to the website you can purchase them from (just click on picture!)…

portolano chucky cable

Portolano Chunky Cable — Bloomingdale’s
On sale for $35 from $50

Owl Headband by Miss Pom @ Top Shop$32.00

Owl Headband by Miss Pom @ Top Shop
$32.00

Jack Willis headband $30

Jack Willis headband
$30

Grey Knit from Target.com$9.34

Grey Knit from Target.com
$9.34

Also comes in ivory!

…also comes in ivory!

Jack Willis Taplow$29.50

Jack Willis Taplow
$29.50

Free People Diamond Jacquard Twist Headwrap$28

Free People Diamond Jacquard Twist Headwrap
$28

...also comes in black and white

…also comes in black and white

...and cream

…and cream

Jack Willis Cambray$29.50

Jack Willis Cambray
$29.50

Knit headband from Etsy.com$22

Knit headband from Etsy.com
$22

And if you're feeling really ambitious, click on this pic for a pattern to make your own from NobleKnits Knitting Blog...

And if you’re feeling really ambitious, click on this pic for a pattern to make your own from NobleKnits Knitting Blog…

#CYBERMONDAYSPECIAL

ASOS PETITE Christmas Cardigan
$61.57

It’s Cyber freaking Monday and I just bought myself a boatload of presents for not a boatload of money on ASOS.com.

They’re offering 30% off of EVERYTHING right now – even sale items – when you enter in CYBERMONDAYSPECIAL in the promo code box during checkout. A few tips you might find helpful when ordering:

  • They only let you use the promo code once so get your order right the first time.
  • Items only stay in your shopping cart for 60 minutes so make fast, smart decisions.
  • If you’re like me and ended up with 74 different scarves in your cart on your 1st round and need a little extra time to pick the winners, stick your goodies in the “saved items” section instead of the shopping cart. Saved items are held for a whole 60 days!
  • Sign in or create a profile before you start shopping so if you accidentally click out of the window or lose internet connection, your stuff will still be there when you’re back up and running.
  • Despite possibly having the worst guy models ever, they do have a great selection of men’s clothing… this sale is not just for the ladies!

If you need a little inspiration, here are the gems I picked up today (prices listed below are pre-sale, do your own math!)…

ASOS Fur Hooded Detachable Lined Parka
$149.51

Motel Grandad Cardigan
$66.84

Pieces Kvopa Trio Earrings Set
$15.83

ASOS Check Snood
$23.75

Pieces Tiffany Mittens
$21.11

Pieces Tiffany Beanie Hat
$15.83

ASOS Fluffy Yarn Cardigan
$42.22

Rare Matte Rubber Leggings
$40.46

ASOS Bunting Bracelet
$10.55

River Island Borg Earmuffs
$31.66

River Island Stripe Tunic Top
$17.59

Autumn Recipes

Happy Halloween!

In the spirit of one of our favorite holidays, we’ve compiled some recipes you can use today and throughout the season.

Candy Apples
Not only is this recipe perfect for Halloween but it’s also National Candy Apple Day today (yes, there is an official day for just about everything.) By serving these, you’re basically saying I just conquered the entire season of Fall.

Candy Apples

Butternut Squash Bisque with Frangelico
Ummm, did you just say butternut squash, bisque, and Frangelico in the same sentence. Yes. Please.

Butternut Squash Bisque with Frangelico

Pumpkin Waffles
Something that’s equally satisfying for breakfast or dessert without being too sweet undoubtedly deserves a spot on the list.

Pumpkin Waffles

Crispy Brussel Sprout Salad
For our fellow Chicagoans, I’m assuming you’ve heard of a little Asian place called Sunda. If you haven’t, stop reading this, go make a reservation, order the brussel sprout salad, and come back when you’re done….
That’s better. Now you’re inspired to make this sweet yet savory, Asian-but-not-too-Asian-that-it’s-impossible-to-make-it-as-delicious-on-your-own side dish. A few quick notes: I added sauteed shallots and raw carrots for extra flavor and crunch. Also, no one will judge you for eating the entire bowl on your own as a meal instead of a side dish. At least no one who’s tasted it.

Crispy Brussel Sprout Salad

Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Lastly, we couldn’t leave out the sweet potato. Despite the fact that there are endless opportunities with this versatile vegetable (it’s considered a vegetable, right? Or starch? Whatever.), we’re bringing it back to basics. I drizzled a little extra-virgin olive oil before putting them in oven and extended the cooking time to one hour. When they were done, a little pinch of salt and dash of pepper is all it took to complete the dish… no butter required!

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

What are some of your fall favorites?

How I would make Joseph Gordon-Levitt want to marry me: A three-part plan wherein I likely am a dancer

Mr. HannaBird

I’ve been doing a lot of really important thinking lately. Like really super important. About how, given the opportunity, I’d convince Joseph Gordon-Levitt to marry me. Wait, hear me out. I think this is really good stuff.

First we’d have to meet. I’m not sure how that would happen, but I’m sure it’d have to be somewhere laid back. Like, maybe I’m Ryan Gosling’s dog walker. And I run into JGL while out for a stroll with George around the neighborhood. (Obviously the built-in backup plan in that scenario is that Ryan Gosling loves me instead, or we at least split a pizza.) Of course, I’m gonna need a little Marissa Cooper magic for this to work. JGL should know he wants to love me as soon as he sees me. How did she do that? I should probably be drunk and spoiled. Unfortch, JGL has a pretty no-nonsense reputation, so I don’t think that will work.  I’m probably going to need to be a dancer, or have some sort of artistic talent that makes me more appealing. I’m hoping I’m the grown-up version of Lennon from Lennon and Maisy (in fewer words, I might need to be Zooey Deschanel).

Whoever I am, we decide to go on a date. Here’s the part I used my brain on: We’re gonna go to a White Sox game. My reasons are threefold:

1. Chicago still doesn’t expect to see celebrities, so we’ll probably get away with it. And it’s more likely he’ll be recognized by the (500) Days of Summer crowd up at Wrigley.

2. We can drink Oberon.

3. Based on My Best Friend’s Wedding, there’s romance to be had at ol’ Comiskey.

So, now here we are at the game. Me and JGL (of course with my singing prowess I’ve just NAILED the national anthem—almost blowing our “two normal people on a date” cover when everyone looks around to find the talent). Imagine us: drinking beer, eating hot dogs, having a good time at a ball game. This is where I seal the deal: It’s getting on in the game, Sox are down, Cal Ripken Junior (out of retirement and now playing for the South Side), is up to bat. He’s had a rough game (no doubt because he is way too old to be back on the field), but my heart is with him as always. The crowd is kind of heckling him. JGL doesn’t like it. Can’t have that. So I stand up. JGL looks at me, confused. I raise my arms out to the side, stretch out my neck, and get a real serious look on my face. JGL shakes his head no. Oh yes, Joe. I’m doing this, my eyes tell him. And I begin to flap my arms like the wings of an angel.

Cal needs an angel tonight, JGL.

Yeah. I’m asking for those Angels in that outfield to come home and help Cal out. JGL pretends to be embarrassed—but don’t you think really he likes it?  He’ll get up to make me stop, pin my dancer’s arms down and—voila!—we’ll be laughing, teasing, IN LOVE. We’re probably picked up by the kiss cam. Not that we’ll notice.

Tell me he doesn’t think Internet singing sensation me is delightful. I don’t believe you. I think this would work. Watch out, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, a combination part-time celebrity dog-walker, tipsy teenage drama llama, double-threat entertainment prodigy is coming for you. And she has a plan.

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