Friday, August 31, 2012

I Love Purple!

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love purple. It's a little bit of an obsession. I love every shade variation from pale lilac purple to the deepest plummy purple. Purple clothes, purple decor, purple earrings, and of course, purple makeup! ;) If I stand facing a wall of makeup, my eye will always be drawn to the purple shades first. So, imagine my delight when i came across the most gorgeous purple lipgloss I've ever seen! Quick disclaimer: this gloss was part of Revlon's Fall collection last year, BUT it is still available online here: Revlon ColorBurst lipgloss in Decadent
if you have a purple obsession too and feel that life would not be complete without this particular shade!
A little more current shade of lipstick and one that I believe is a part of their standing collection is
This is a gorgeous matte shade but it's very creamy and not drying at all. In the tube it seems like it would be way too purple to pull off but on the lips it takes on more of a berry pink hue. I don't know about you guys, but when I'm feeling down, a bright happy shade of lipstick is just the thing to perk me up, and I love Berry Haute for that! In the below pic I am wearing Berry Haute topped with Decadent gloss.
At what age does one become too old for Purple lipstick? (never, is my answer!)
And here is Berry Haute smudged into the lips with my finger, no gloss.
And for the finishing touches in your purple repertoire, I give you
 I know you might scoff at Wet n Wild, but this new formula is very longwearing and they have a great selection of colors to choose from!
And that concludes this little Ode to Purple! 
May your weekend be long, joyous, and filled with all things bright, beautiful, and violet!

Nail Trio

Today I rediscovered an old favorite nail combination: Bonder Rubberized Basecoat by Orly, Topless & Barefoot by Essie, & Insta-Dri Anti Chip Top Coat by Sally Hansen.

The Bonder by Orly is one of the best base coats I've used. The rubbery texture really helps the polish adhere to the nail. As for the Topless & Barefoot Polish, let's just say, I have a love/hate relationship with Essie in general. I am always drawn in by the Essie colors but I really don't love the sheerness of the polish or the tiny brush. That said, I do love this particular shade enough to suffer through the 3 thick coats that it takes to achieve that perfect opaque look. It has enough pink in it to flatter most skintones and not too much yellow like some nudes can have.
And finally, we have the Sally Hansen Topcoat. I have tried all the high end top coats that promise long wearing, shiny, quick-drying results, but none of them have come close to creating the effect that the Sally Hansen one does. It stays shiny for days and days where other brands become dull after only two days, and it dries super quickly after application. I just love this one!
The resulting effect is a long lasting nude manicure that is perfect for daily wear or any occasion and it also looks great on toes! Let me know if you try this combo and how you liked it!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Easy Throw Together Dinner

Tonight I came home from work starving and dug through the kitchen cabinets looking for something quick and easy to make for dinner. I came up with this recipe and it turned out so well! It will definitely be a go-to recipe from now on, as I usually have most of the ingredients on hand at any given time. Hope you enjoy and let me know in the comments if you try the recipe out!
Pesto Chicken Orzo w/French Beans & Campari Tomatoes

Pesto Chicken Orzo w/French Beans & Campari Tomatoes
6 frozen chicken breast tenderloins
Cavender's Greek Seasoning (or sub your own favorite spices)
half of a 1 lb. box of Orzo
1 small pkg prepared reduced fat Pesto sauce (I used Buitoni)
1 small pkg French style green beans
1 tsp minced garlic
drizzle of olive oil
cracked pepper
parmesan cheese
campari tomatoes

Thaw chicken in micro for 3 min. Place on greased cookie sheet and sprinkle with Cavender's seasoning. Cook at 350 for 25 min.
Meanwhile, boil water and cook orzo for 11 min. Drizzle olive oil in a skillet with garlic and heat. Add green beans and a TBSP of water, cover and steam at medium heat for 3 min.
Drain orzo and add chicken to the pot, pour pesto sauce over top, and mix well. Allow to heat through.
Cut campari tomatoes into fourths on the plate. Add chicken orzo and green beans to plate and sprinkle all items with parmesan, salt, and cracked pepper. Enjoy!

Mojo was nearby to lick the plate!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Owl

This weekend I had the pleasure of visiting for the first time, The Owl, an amazingly inventive dining experience (because the word restaurant just doesn't begin to describe it!).
If you're a foodie and in the mood to try something different with a twist, The Owl is for you! The staff was friendly and helpful while the food was an artfully displayed treat for the senses. My friends and I thoroughly enjoyed everything about our evening there and I can't wait to try it out again soon! I'll just be quiet now and let the pictures be the review!

My Sea Foam Margarita
Sea Foam Margarita Description
Our Menu
Menu Take II
Pulled Pork: peach, verjus, chili, cabbage slaw, toast
Pulled Pork Take II
Pea Soup: preserved lemon, popcorn, mint yogurt - chilled
Cheese: fresh ricotta, beans, basil, honey, crostini
Curry: pork, coconut vanilla foam, pineapple, basil gel
Belly: citrus glaze, green bean, black garlic, golden raisin
Door to the Ladies Room!
Inside the ladies b/r was the tiniest mirror with the caption above "Girl, you look GREAT!"
Panna Cotta

Friday, August 24, 2012

Simple Things

One of my very dear sisters sent me a Starbucks gift card tucked inside a Secret Garden note card just because!
"Just Because" mail is the very best kind of mail, in my opinion. How great is it to sort through the usual assortment of bills, credit card applications, and unnecessary catalogs to find a personal card? It's practically unheard of in this day and age, and I love it!
I've been holding on to the gift card for a few weeks now just waiting for that day when Starbucks was the only answer to getting through the day. And that day turned out to be today! Nothing terrible happened, I just had a restless night last night, overslept this morning, had to gulp down a few sips of lukewarm drip coffee and speed to work with no breakfast in my belly. An hour or so later, I had a little break at work and decided to put my gift card to good use. One Spinach, Feta, and Eggwhite Wrap, and a Tall Skinny Mocha with sugar-free Hazelnut syrup later, I was a new woman!
 I may have frightened my remaining clients with a healthy dose of chocolate/caffeine induced enthusiasm, but that little gift card turned the day around and it reminded me how it's the simple things in life that bring the most joy!
A "fancy" coffee and a breakfast treat in an otherwise chaotic day gave me a moment of closeness with my sister who lives very far away, helped me to slow down and enjoy the sunny morning, and gave me a chance to give my beautiful husky Mojo a little head scratch! It's a good life!

My New Favorite Drugstore Lip Duo

Revlon Balm Stain in Precious & Rimmel Stay Glossy in Non Stop Glamour

 It was a happy accident when I saw these two little beauties lying side by side in my makeup bag a few weeks ago. Having bought them at different times and at different stores, it was like a little makeup fairy sprinkled a little sparkly dust my way!
As soon as the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains came out, I was hooked! The colors are rich and creamy and extremely long lasting on the lips without being dry in the slightest and the hint of mint flavor is a lovely little perk as well. These balm stains have become my go-to lip product of the summer, especially when I'm working and I don't have time to reapply my lipstick. I've amassed quite a little collection of them over the past few months because I thought that they were going to be limited edition, but now it seems they are part of the regular Revlon collection so I needn't have scrambled to collect them!
Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains
Anyways, back to the review... Even when the sheen wears off the balm continues to feel soft and smooth. I love the brighter colors like Smitten and Lovesick for those days when you don't have time to do a lot of fancy eye makeup but you want to perk up your face. The staying power of the brighter/darker shades is amazing and so nice because they don't feather out at all! More often than not, however, I find myself reaching for Precious because it is the perfect nude shade for me and matches with everything. It looks almost grayish in the tube but comes off as a soft fleshy pink. Not too brown, not too Barbie! I will say that this shade doesn't quite have the staining power that the darker colors offer but again, the balm  itself keeps your lips feeling soft and smooth for hours and this is a great one to swipe on when you're in a hurry and don't have time to carefully apply a lipstick in the mirror. But for a little extra pizazz, a juicy layer over the top is nice too! And that's where my other little discovery comes in; Rimmel's Stay Glossy Long Lasting Lipgloss in Non Stop Glamour. This gloss is not sticky or thick at all and just gives the lips a gorgeous plump and healthy look. It has a nice goldy shimmer to it without being glittery, and it is indeed very long lasting and smooth without any noticeable flavor.
Just a couple of days ago I introduced one of my sisters to this combo and I am hoping that she loves it as much as I do! What lippy pretties have you loved this summer?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Me Lucky Charms! (because Multigrain Cheerios just doesn't have the same ring to it)

I had an epiphany this morning as I was munching on my breakfast of almond milk, Multigrain Cheerios, and banana. I don't miss milk! Over the past few months I've been cutting back on dairy.
Now, before you start thinking I'm little miss uber health nut, I must admit that my initial reason for going low-dairy was because my friend had started doing it and she was looking quite svelte! I thought to myself, she looks amazing! If I cut back on dairy I'll look like that too! (I was quite certain that her new fit self was all due to the dairy cut back and had nothing to do with the countless hours she spends in the gym. The LIES we tell ourselves to avoid cardio!) But I digress. It was a real eye opener to realize just how much dairy I was consuming on a daily basis even though I had always thought that the dairy I was eating was the healthy kind. You know, organic skim milk with my cereal, Activia yogurt (because it has probiotics!), string cheese for snack, large dollops of not regular sour cream, NEVER regular sour cream, but LIGHT sour cream (because the light sour cream makes you skinny, right?), 2% shredded cheese in casseroles, etc, etc... By the way, I am neither a Dr. nor a health expert by any means and many people are able to eat dairy and remain perfectly healthy! For me personally, though, as I began to wean myself from all of the above a wonderful thing happened! Not only did a lose a couple of pounds (I'm not talking 20 lbs here people, like 3!) but I started to feel lighter in general! I noticed that my perpetually doughy face was less puffy, and best of all my belly didn't feel icky and bloated (ugh, has there ever been a more disgusting word than bloat!). It seemed that I didn't feel as sluggish and lackluster as usual. I also noticed that when I did allow myself the occasional Dairy Delight Day, I would feel the previous symptoms return. Belly ache, puffiness, fatigue... Let me just say that having a little bit of relief from those ailments really gave me the incentive I needed to continue on my low-dairy journey.
 I still, however, allow myself moments to splurge. For instance, I have a long-standing love affair with Talenti Gelato (specifically but not limited to the Double Dark Chocolate one!) This gelato is so delightfully yummy that I really couldn't care less that it will give me a stomach ache. The pain is worth every creamy bite! In fact, I feel that it is my duty to regularly consume this treat because if I didn't, how else would I store my beauty goodies? ;)
Talenti Gelato containers used as makeup storage

All of a sudden I've realized that I should've titled this post "How do I love Talenti Gelato, Let me count the ways!"
SO! In conclusion, while I am always looking for ways to skim a few pounds off the old belly, my foray into the low-dairy world has become more about feeling good and less about the cosmetic benefit. I now love substituting dairy milk for Almond Milk specifically the Blue Diamond Unsweetened Almond Breeze (try saying that 3 times fast) and also, when I'm not indulging in Talenti Gelato, the Chocolate Almond Breeze flavor. It's yumm-O and satisfies my ever present chocolate cravings! I haven't really explored any non-dairy cheese options but if any of you have, do tell!
Yes, the Talenti container is empty because they don't stay full for long in my house!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Take a bite out of BITE BEAUTY

A very, very exciting thing happened recently. Wait for it...
Sephora came to town! Woot! We did already have a little, bitty, tiny one, but it was nothing compared to the vast and shiny beauty mecca that we are privy to now!
At long last, a good friend and I made a date to have a full Sephora exploration. We were both immediately drawn to BITE BEAUTY's display featuring what promised to be the best lipglosses a girl has ever had the luxury to put upon her lips. And you know what? They weren't lying! My friend was looking for the perfect, rosy, your-lips-but-better gloss, and I wanted to try something a little bright and punchy. BITE's Honey Lip Laquers in Gamay and Aurora hit our respective marks perfectly! We were both amazed how even hours later the color payoff was just as bright as when first applied. Now, a small disclaimer. The Honey Lip Laquers look juicy, taste delicious, last on the lips forever, buuuuut, this is not the gloss you want to reach for on a particularly windy day! Or if you're riding on the back of a motorcycle. Or if you are attacked by a swarm of mosquitoes. Or on a first date. BUT, if you're planning on being indoors, need your lips to look great for hours without having to touch up, and love the flavor of honey, well, honey, this gloss is for you!
Bite Beauty Honey Lip Laquer in Gamay
Bite Beauty Honey Lip Laquers in Aurora(Top) & Gamay

Blogworld is scary...

Today is the day. I shall launch myself out into the great unknown world of the blogosphere! As a creative soul, I've recently come to realize that there are simply too many thoughts and ideas inside my head to possibly contain. They MUST COME OUT!
So, here you go, a little peek inside the mind of a self proclaimed beauty addict, skincare junkie, music lover, obsessive organizer, list-maker, book-o-phile, and wife! Stay tuned!