Living

Lifestyle news, features and reviews on Monsters and Critics. The latest from health and fitness, food and drink, fashion and more.

Christmas Cocktail Recipes From Beefeater Gin and Plymouth Gin

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Christmas Cocktails Ginned Up: Beefeater Gin and Plymouth Gin are mixers extraordinaire.Both brands are reasonable and excellent bar basics to create cocktails that can run the gamut from classic G&T’s to holiday punch, so be daring and add fresh herbs, citrus peel and other exotic ingredients to push the boundaries and expand on your entertaining repertoire.As a relatively new gin lover, I can thank the growing craft cocktail movement which has helped reignite a spirit category not quite as popular in the United States as it is in the UK.I’m talking gin, Dry London style to unusual, less Juniper forward […]

Nail Color Gurus OPI Makes Stunning New Line of Interior Paint For Ace Hardware

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Home Improvement just got a bit more interesting!  Monsters and Critics loves the new OPI Color Palette by Clark+Kensington!For the first time ever, the nail shades you love are now available in paint colors too! Ace Hardware and nail color gurus OPI recently launched the OPI Color Palette by Clark+Kensington. The launch is bold and beautiful:The OPI Color Palette by Clark+Kensington is the first collaboration of its kind, and allows fashion-forward beauty aficionados the opportunity to incorporate their favorite OPI shades into home décor.  There are colors that will blow you away and lovely updated neutrals too.OPI, the nail polish […]

Best Bar Newcomer For 2014: rokz Clever Infusions and Rimming Spices

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Our Cocktail of the Month takes a delightful and well deserved turn this December 2014, with American small business rokz, who make a fantastic array of drink infusions and spices to beef up the bar and add to your mixologist reputation amongst friends. Their idea was simple, take fantastic herbs, fruits and spices, add to a glass apothecary style infuser, pour in your favorite spirits and voila, less than a week later you have a craft cocktail base liquor to build incredible custom libations!Of all the accessories and accompaniments to good pours we tested and tried out, rokz wins hands […]

ScotsFestival & International Highland Games, The Queen Mary Feb. 14-15

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Travel Spotlight: ScotsFestival & International Highland Games XXII Celebrates The Queen Mary’s Heritage Feb. 14-15Experience Scottish History with Highland Athletics & Dancing, Whisky & Beer Tastings and Authentic Music and FoodFestival Kicks Off with Rock Yer Kilt Concert Feb. 13 The Queen Mary announced the annual ScotsFestival & International Highland Games XXII February 14-15 from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Experience the rich culture and history of Scotland first hand through an array of authentic activities, athletics, dancing, entertainment and cuisine in ode to the Queen Mary’s Scottish legacy.If it’s not Scottish, it’s CRAPEighty-four years ago, in the quaint seaside town of […]

Knomo Clutter! “Techcessories” Organize You With Style

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I found a terrific Christmas gift for the tablet fiend who likes to be organized and chic, it’s called the Knomad Mini Portable Organizer and it is perfect for your boss, your mom, your teacher, your bestie or even yourself… would that be a “giftie”?Let me begin by saying, it doesn’t look like it was designed for 20-something year old who has a Hello Kitty fascination or lives in a 420 world. Hallelujah to the people at Knomobags.com who realize there are actually people in the world who want to spend their folding paper money on quality and timeless accessories. […]

Santa Baby, Zooop It Up For The Holidays!

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Zooop it up just in time for Xmas!Have I got a gift idea for you!  Well actually, it’s the designers of Zooop who are going to help you find that last minute different, fun cute and cuddly gift to give for the holidays and no, it isn’t a puppy, it’s a Zooop!!First off, let me explain just what a Zooop is… a Zooop is the ultimate in comfy wear. If you just want to kick it at home and spend the day keeping warm and watching TV, then wear a Zooop. If you want to tease and flirt with your […]

Oops! Keurig 2.Doh: Consumers Outsmart Unusable K-Cup Situation

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Coffee manufacturer Keurig has unleashed their latest and greatest 2.0, but don’t get too excited, as the widely distributed coffeemaker is equipped to only “read” licensed K-Cups, rendering many coffee producers’ K-Cups who refuse to be part of the Green Mountain cabal useless.The older Keurig machines take coffee pods from many different brands, not just Keurig. They also have an option for using your own coffee beans, while the newer version does not.One of our latest finds we loved, Counting Sheep Coffee, is featured in the CNN report as one variety of unlicensed K-Cup that makes the Keurig 2.0 go […]

Tech Trifecta 2014 Holiday Gifts, Something Fabulous For Everyone

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Monsters and Critics’ 2014 Holiday Gift guide continues: Tech Trifecta 2014 For Holiday Gifts, Something For Everyone!We loved testing and trying the new tech gifts that make life a little cleaner, brighter and more fit and fabulous this holiday season.Whether you’re upgrading a home, needing a great addition to your daily beauty regimen or improving yourself and simply want to get into shape quickly, our holiday tech gift guide has three excellent selections that work beautifully and are affordable, thoughtful and useful gifts to make your gift recipient very happy.Please take us shopping with you: Lutron’s Caséta Wireless SystemA wireless […]

Hall Winery’s ‘Luxury Red and White’ Giftbox A Holiday Top Wine Pick

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When visiting Napa Valley in California, you absolutely must book a tour and visit Hall Winery.Committed to excellence, Hall Winery is curated by Kathryn Hall and her husband Craig. The two have exceptional taste and a profound knowledge of the art of wine-making. They also have created a destination vineyard that isn’t just about selling you cases to go, but educating and enlightening you with compelling works of quaffable and visual art.Both are avid art collectors and major supporters of living artists. When you arrive at Hall winery, you immediately notice stunning abstract and figurative sculptures that are found throughout […]

Cocktail of the Month: Perfect Egg Nog Recipe With Sugar Skull Rum

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Welcome to our new series, “Cocktail of the Month,” to accompany our ongoing “Wine of the Month,” as Monster and Critics shines a spotlight on a deserving spirit, mixologist and recipe that add up to a tasty effort to try at home.Sugar Skull Rum is a new player in a crowded rum category, and it’s marvelous stuff that’s rolling out nationwide as I type.Look at this pretty, pretty eggnog cocktail:  We love spirits, with their various complexities and nuances in each category: Scotch, rye, bourbon, tequila, gin, rum, vodka and the liqueurs that can transform them with quality ingredients into beautifully crafted […]

Holiday Gift Guide: BelleDangles Gets You Organized

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I have a lot of jewelry, some cheap and trendy, some expensive, some old and some I just got yesterday… (I’m kind of a magpie!).The problem is that most of my pieces are gathering dust in a box on my dresser and my nightstand and in tiny little boxes scattered around my apartment. This makes choosing what to wear more of a jewelry treasure hunt and who has time to hunt for baubles when you have to meet the gal pals in 10 minutes. If it’s tucked away, I probably won’t remember that I have some really neat stuff that […]

Party At The Painted Nail: Two Day Holiday Pop Up, Details!

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Los Angeles Holiday Shopping Alert: Check out this amazing must-see must-do Two Day Holiday Pop Up -This Weekend Only@ The W Hollywood on Saturday and Sunday from 1-6pm.We love reality TV star (The Nail Files) Katie Cazorla, who just opened The Painted Nail right outside the W Hotel. The grand opening this fall also marked the launch of new products in The Painted Nail line. If you are in the mood to shop, come visit her nail-tastic manicurists and raise money for a great cause!It’s the one stop shop for all your gifts! A percentage of all sales will be […]

Holiday Perfection: My Saint, My Hero Inspirational Jewelry

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Inspiration: Hope Affirmation: I AM Found Day: June 13th Lifetime: 1195 to 1231 Saint Anthony is the patron saint of lost souls and lost articles.People pray to St Anthony whenever they need help finding something they lost. St. Anthony had the miracle of words, he helped the lost at heart find their way back home to God.If you find your life completely changed and turned around to an unexpected new direction, St. Anthony will be there guiding your way so that you feel safe. It is the road back home, back to your soul, back to God.Connect with St. Anthony […]

Emily Blunt, Anna Kendrick’s Step-By-Step Guide To ‘Into The Woods’ Premiere Looks

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Learn how to recreate Emily Blunt and Anna Kendrick’s looks from the world premiere of “Into the Woods” in New York on December 8th.Emily Blunt, who plays the Baker’s Wife, and James Corden, the Baker, star in this stunning film by Director Rob Marshall, producer John DeLuca, with help from costume designer Colleen Atwood and screenwriter James Lapine.“Into the Woods,” opening Dec. 25, closely follows the original 1987 musical by Stephen Sondheim and Mr. Lapine, which weaves together several fairy tales into a new parable about right and wrong. The Witch, played by Meryl Streep, is mesmerizing. Additionally, Mr. Marshall […]

Long Elegant Legs: High Fashion for the Leggy and Lovely

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I’m 5’8 with a 33 inch inseam, and wouldn’t mind an extra inch or two. So, I’ve never been one to offer a crying shoulder to the tall girl’s lament: “I can’t find anything to wear off the rack. The pants never fit, the sleeves are too short. I can’t wear heels”Hey all my Long-Limbed Sisters: cry me a river.You get picked first for Varsity Basketball, you don’t need a Bed Bath and Beyond stool to reach the high shelf in the kitchen and you can pass yourself off as a Rockette at Christmas. But it wasn’t until I bff’ed […]

Wonderbra 20th Anniversary Celebration and Show Photos

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We have added a set pictures from the event Wonderbra 20th Anniversary Celebration and Show at Ramses Club in Madrid. Photos are copyright by Solarpix / PR Photos. Wonderbra 20th Anniversary Celebration and Show at Ramses Club in Madrid, Spain. Photo is copyright by Solarpix / PR Photos. Wonderbra 20th Anniversary Celebration and Show at Ramses Club in Madrid, Spain. Photo is copyright by Solarpix / PR Photos.

2014 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show Pictures

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We have added a set pictures from the event 2014 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Guests and models included Izabel Goulart, Models, Isabeli Fontana, Model, Adriana Lima, Taylor Swift, Kelly Gale, Lily Aldridge, Behati Prinsloo, Doutzen Kroes, Sui He, Jac Jagaciak, Karlie Kloss, Jourdan Dunn, Taylor Swift and Karlie Kloss, Kate Grigorieva, Alessandra Ambrosio, Candice Swanepoel, Cindy Bruna, Ariana Grande, Lily Donaldson, Constance Jablonski, Lindsay Ellingson, Joan Smalls, Ed Sheeran, Jasmine Tookes, Eniko Mihalik, Devon Windsor and Lais Ribeiro. Photos are copyright by Landmark / PR Photos. Izabel Goulart attending the 2014 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show at Earls Court in London, UK. […]

Cocktail of the Month: CAMUS VSOP Elegance Makes a Merry Margarita

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Welcome to our new series, “Cocktail of the Month,” to accompany our ongoing “Wine of the Month,” as Monster and Critics shines a spotlight on a deserving spirit, mixologist and/or recipe that add up to a tasty effort to try at home.We love spirits, with their various complexities and nuances in each category: Scotch, rye, bourbon, tequila, gin, rum, vodka and the liqueurs that can transform them with quality ingredients into beautifully crafted cocktails for a reward after a long week, for holidays and special occasions. Nothing beats someone handing you a fantastically imagined and prepared-to-perfection mixed drink to toast […]

Banishing Lackluster Lashes For The Look you ‘Crave’

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Get your eyes Christmas party ready.Do you remember a few years ago when everyone was going on and on and on about Latisse for your lashes? It was like putting MiracleGro on and it was very popular and expensive. Well, now there is a new lash enhancer on the block from the Crave Collection that is less costly and in my opinion, works even better.I never thought I would suffer from “lackluster lashes” but after a lifetime of mascara and basic living, I have discovered that lashes, just like people, have a tendency to look tired and blah when not […]

Holiday Guilty Pleasures: Oh Christmas Peep, Oh Christmas Peep

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Oh Christmas Peep, Oh Christmas Peep… how lovely are your flavors.The taste of Christmas can now be found in Peeps. Feel like a sugar cookie, or some gingerbread men? Eat a Peep. Want a cup of cocoa and cream? Pop a Peep instead! Trust me when I say, these Peeps will make your tongue very happy.The iconic Peep chick has morphed into a variety of fun Christmas-y shapes and colors like bright green trees with detailed decorations and happy snowmen complete with carrot looking noses. Plus, the geniuses at Peeps have come up with every holiday flavor imaginable to infuse […]

Holiday Gift Picks: LSTN Headphones A Musician Pick That Gives Back

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 Unless you have been living under a rock, you have to be aware that headphones are now officially a “thing”.When I was growing up I had a Sony walkman that came with a pair of cheapy, tinny earphones. Sure, I had a way to rock out to my mixed-tapes of Madonna and Duran Duran while on the “Jazzercising”, but the music sounded like it was a hundred miles away, playing in a metal drum, during a rainstorm. It wasn’t until recently after Dr. Dre cornered the market with his “Beats”, state-of-the-art headphones that became a staple of every NFL player […]

Spirits of the Season 2014: Nolet’s Silver Dry Gin For Christmas Cocktails

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Spirits of the Season 2014 will bring you the hottest new recipes, spirits and wines from the coolest distilleries, vineyards, restaurants and bars from all across the globe!Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s Eve and Day are all about friends, family and food, the planning and pairing of spirits and wines for some magnificent meals.The time compression and stress can be alleviated with having a tasty cocktail to unwind after work or when everyone piles over for a visit. If you’re looking for some festive gin spirits to usher in winter, Nolet’s Silver Dry Gin is an exceptional pour, at $50 […]

Historic Los Feliz Big Bar Hosts Repeal Day Celebration With Twelve Five Rye

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Gather up a chair and let me tell you about a wonderful story, one where some really effective church ladies made some signs, held some meetings and wore the most un-fetching of bonnets. Their stern demeanor and agenda ended America’s legal cocktail hour.This didn’t go over well, and the entire Prohibition era ended finally on December 5, 1933.  This date is a growing holiday, as Repeal Day is making craft distillers, barkeeps and cocktail devotees come together in a trifecta of all-day cocktail hour. The cool vibe of the speakeasy craft bevvie culture is growing in this country, with shows on TV like “Booze Traveler” and […]

Spirits of the Season 2014: DeKuyper Crème de Menthe, Cruzan Aged Rum Recipes

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Spirits of the Season 2014 will bring you the hottest new recipes, spirits and wines from the coolest distilleries, vineyards, restaurants and bars from all across the globe!Christmas and Hanukkah are all about friends, family and food, the planning and pairing of spirits and wines for a magnificent meal. The time compression and stress can be alleviated with having a tasty cocktail to unwind after work or when everyone piles over for a visit.Holiday meals deserve lovely dessert drinks too that complement the end of a tasty feast, and more importantly, satisfy the sweet tooth without going overboard with candy, […]

Scotch No Age Statement Malt-Off: Laphroaig Select Vs. Glenlivet Nàdurra Oloroso

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It’s Islay versus Speyside as two, no age statement scotch whiskeys crossed our desk and begged to be compared side-by-side.Scottish through and through, there are remarkable differences between Laphroaig Select and Glenlivet’s Nàdurra Oloroso, but the bottom line is there’s room at the Inn for both of these sexy beasts and both are deserving to stock up on, and each one satisfies different moods and cravings. It’s a relative tie.I love scotch. Even a so-so scotch is better than any other spirit in my books. There’s a real trend right now to de-smoke the single malts as Macallan Rare Cask […]