Fashion Icon: Amy Adams

So you’ve been a fan of Amy Adams since her Enchanted days. Even copied the sculptural faux bob she sported at 2014 SAG Awards. You’ve seen all her movies and bought affordable versions of all the pieces she wore at red carpet events. Then it’s confirmed, you are true blue Amy Adams fan.

Amy Adams as con artist Sydney in American Hustle (Photo credit: eonline.com)

Amy Adams as con artist Sydney in American Hustle (Photo credit: http://www.eonline.com)

Two days before the 2014 Academy Awards, all eyes are on Adams as she gets nominated for the fifth time, this time for Best Actress in the movie American Hustle. In this movie, she played a con artist and in addition to her Oscar nomination, the role earned her the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy.

Adams began her acting career on stage in dinner theaters. Her breakthrough role was in the 2005 independent film Junebug, playing Ashley Johnsten, for which she received critical acclaim and an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Adams subsequently starred in Disney’s 2007 film Enchanted, a critical and commercial success, and received a Golden Globe Award nomination for her performance as Giselle. She received her second Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nominations the following year for her role as a young nun in Doubt.

In 2010 and 2012, she received two more Golden Globes, BAFTA, and Academy Award nominations for her roles in the drama The Fighter and the psychological drama The Master. Adams also achieved further success in 2013 for portraying Lois Lane in the Superman movie Man of Steel.

Adams will be vying against equally-talented actresses for that coveted golden statuette. It might be uncertain if she wins or not, but one thing’s for sure, she will continue to wow us with her acting prowess.

For the mean time, check out these Amy Adams fashion ensembles that are sure to make you look like a queen:
• The blue Antonio Berardi dress with an embellished crystal waistline and accessorized with a Ferragamo clutch and Jimmy Choo ‘Vibe’ platform sandals, from the 2014 SAG Awards.
• The Roland Mouret ‘Tinea’ gown she wore at the 19th Annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards
• The Valentino Haute Couture from the Shanghai collection she wore at the 2014 Golden Globe Awards.
• The gorgeous Ellie Saab vintage-inspired, lacy gown she wore at the NYC premiere of American Hustle.

Amy Adams at the 2014 SAG Awards

Amy Adams at the 2014 SAG Awards

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Kid-friendly salmon dish

 

If there is one thing we learned from our childhood about food preferences it is this: kids do not like eating fish.  In a recent article from The Roanoke Times,  fish is right up there with liver and Brussels sprouts when listing food that kids hate. Most parents would love their kids to munch on a whole, skin-on, head-on fish or in some other form that is not breaded and shaped like a stick.

Child and Youth Health says that eating fish is good for the health of infants and young children. It aids in building a strong heart and nervous system. It is an excellent source of protein and is rich in important vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin D and iodine.

For mothers who would like for their kids to start eating fish without giving them a taste trauma, experimenting with salmon dishes is a good start. Aside from being packed with omega 3 fatty acids, salmon is full of flavor and has a firm texture which kids would absolutely love. You can do a basic recipe or try former Spice Girls member Emma Bunton’s salmon recipe. The Foxy Bingo Celebrity Mum for 2013 shares her recipe for grilled sesame-crusted salmon with a lemon mustard sauce, which is a hit to her two sons, Beau and Tate.

Ingredients:

a salmon steak

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 tbsp sesame seeds

For the sauce:

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest and 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

100g low-fat mayonnaise

100g non-fat plain yoghurt

1 to 2 tbsp Dijon mustard

1 tbsp drained, prepared horseradish

salt and pepper to taste

First brush both sides of the salmon steak with one tablespoon of olive oil. Season it with salt and pepper. Then, press the sesame seeds onto both sides of the fish. Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large, non-stick skillet pan. Put the salmon steak in the skillet and cook it for 5 to 6 minutes on each side.

While cooking the salmon steak, grate enough lemon zest for half a teaspoon, and squeeze enough fresh lemon juice to measure one tablespoon. Mix the rest of the sauce ingredients, starting with only two teaspoons of lemon juice, in a small serving bowl. Taste and add remaining lemon juice, if desired. Spoon the lemon mustard sauce over the salmon. This is best served with sesame noodle and cucumber salad.

Grilled sesame-crusted salmon

Grilled sesame-crusted salmon

 

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Me, My Grandma and the Top Tourist Attractions in Brisbane

My grandmother lived in Australia most of her life. When she was alive, she often spoke of her travels and adventures in Brisbane.  Her stories had always fascinated me and someday I wanted to see the place that changed her life.

On her first time in Brisbane. she started her city exploration with a wind-on-your- hair river cruise. It is a bargain-priced tour and ride on one of the high-speed City Cats that cruise the Brisbane River for 19km from St. Lucia to Hamilton.

Photo from http://http://www.fivedollartraveller.com

After that exhilarating river cruise, she enjoyed breath-taking views over the river city through the adventure climb on the Story Bridge, one of only three bridge climbs in the world (the others being Sydney and Auckland). It’s a two and a half climb that brings you to the eastern side of the bridge, up the steep rise to the summit approximately 80 meters above sea level.

I remembered how my grandmother described Brisbane as a very green city. Finding a quiet spot to sit and watch the world go by is quite easy.  Almost 25 percent of its area is bush land. The city has 9,500ha of bush; 1,500 parks and public gardens. She thought of enjoying a good book in a silent spot in the City Botanic Gardens at Riverside.

Being an avid walker, she also enjoyed hiking along the Energex Brisbane Arbour, a one kilometer path that winds its way through South Bank Parklands. She also promenaded through the Roma Street Parklands, the largest, subtropical city garden in the world which features 16 acres of spectacular horticultural displays, distinctive architecture, sweeping vistas and unique artwork.

Her journey would not be complete without sipping champagne and watching the sunset on the rooftop of Brisbane—Mount Coot-tha. She marvelled at the spectacular city skyline from Captain Burke Park below the Story Bridge at Kangaroo Point.

Last stop was all about enjoying one of the world’s largest collections of Asian and Aboriginal art at the Queensland Art Gallery and Museum of Modern Art and exploring Brisbane’s iconic City Hall in King George Square at the Museum of Brisbane.

I know there’s more to enjoy in Brisbane. Someday, I will have my own brand of adventure there.

Brisbane's City Hall and King George Square

Brisbane’s City Hall and King George Square

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Making the Perfect Cocktail

Being a social drinker, I like cocktails more than the usual light beer. The latter seems to have an unusual effect on my bladder that causes me to make frequent trips to the ladies’ room. Not exactly an attractive sight especially if you’re on a date.

Working as a call center agent at night is pretty stressful. After an exhausting work week, my friends and I would go out in bars and taverns to get some drinks. A good drink can really ease the stress away. Sometimes when I am on a very tight budget, I just invite friends over to my house and make cocktails for everyone.

What makes cocktails enticing is the mixture of various tastes in your mouth.  They used to contain three or more ingredients and at least one of the ingredients must be a spirit, one sweet/sugary and one sour/bitter. Nowadays, a cocktail usually contains one or more kinds of spirit and one or more mixers such as soda or fruit juice. Some also uses additional ingredients like sugar, honey, milk, cream and various herbs.

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Some of the most common cocktails are Mimosa (Champagne), Martini (Gin), Pina Colada (Rum) Tequila Sunrise, Manhattan (Whiskey) and Cosmopolitan ( Vodka), the drink popularized by the series Sex and the City.

If you’re tired of the usual cocktails in your beloved bar’s menu, why not try whipping up one of your own? You can find the newest and hippest cocktails recipes online. They feature new drinks such as Black velvet cocktail, Strawberryrade, Mint majjige, among others. They even have a cocktail finder feature. By selecting your preferences, this cocktail tool will bring up your favourite drink. They also have the latest cocktail video tips so making cocktails for everyone is as easy as ABC. Pretty amazing isn’t it?

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Crispy Cheddar Chicken

Saw this recipe from Facebook and thought this would be a great treat for my kids especially after exam week. After a brief search, it seems that there are a lot of sites that has published this particular recipe, I hope this won’t be deemed copying. (I can’t find the original source, so I can’t give due credits).

Ingredients:
2 lbs chicken tenders or 4 large chicken breasts
2 sleeves Ritz crackers
1/4 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup whole milk
3 cups cheddar cheese, grated
1 teaspoon dried parsley
Sauce:
1 10 ounce can cream of chicken soup
2 tablespoon sour cream
2 tablespoon butter

1. Crush crackers. If using chicken breasts and not tenders, cut
each chicken breast into 3 large pieces.
2. Pour the milk, cheese and cracker crumbs into 3 separate small pans.
3. Toss the salt and pepper into the cracker crumbs and stir the mixture
around to combine.
4. Dip each piece of chicken into the milk and then the cheese.
5. Press the cheese into the chicken with your fingers. Then press the cheesy coated chicken into the
cracker crumbs and press it in.
6. Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray and lay the chicken inside the pan. Sprinkle the dried parsley over the chicken.
7. Cover the pan with tin foil and bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes.
8. Remove the tin foil, bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the edges of the chicken are golden brown
and crispy.
9. In a medium sized sauce pan, combine the cream of chicken
soup, sour cream and butter with a whisk.
10. Stir it over medium high heat until the sauce is nice and hot.
Serve over the chicken.

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