Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Primp: Spring Products with Revlon


The long wait for spring is over!  And with that change comes a change in my make-up routine. I put away my full coverage foundations and moody lipsticks to swap them out for bb creams and moisturizing lip butters.  I'm drawing inspiration from Mother Nature and the budding flowers in all kinds of rosy hues, especially this brighter-toned fuschia.  It's eye-catching and cheerful.  On the face, these fresh pinks create a youthful, healthy glow.

Here's how:
-BASE: Skip your usual moisurizer and apply the BB cream using your fingertips.  If you need extra coverage on spots or dark circles, reach for your concealer.
-BLUSH: The lip butters provide a glossy, sheer wash of color so I like to use this on my cheeks to add a beautiful flush.  Using your fingertips, just pat the color on to the apple of your cheeks and blend away.  The texture is so creamy, it melts right in.
-SET: If you're prone to shine, go ahead and use setting powder down the center of the face.
-EYES: Using the lightest shade in the eyeshadow palette, dap it in the center of the eyelid to create a wide-eyed, brightening effect.  Pat a small amount underneath the brow bone to lift the eye up.  I also like to take what's left on my finger to highlight down the center of my nose and cupid's bow. Be sure to add mascara--it's makes a big difference!
--LIPS: Apply a wash of color using the lip butters straight from the bullet.  It's pigmented enough to tie the whole look together but forgiving enough to be able to apply with out a mirror, making in the perfect product for girls on the go--don't forget to throw it in your purse for touch-ups!

Enjoy this beautiful weather!



Lookbook: Fresh Blooms







Dress: F21 // Sweater: J. Crew // Purse: J. Crew // Shoes: Steve Madden // Necklace: Madewell

I guess I'm blending in amid the beautiful blooms at this weekend's Cherry Blossom Festival at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, but this breezy floral number was calling my name.  It was a wonderful day and if you're nearby, you must make a stop here soon to see the cherry blossoms while there's still time!  I'm so grateful for sunny days and the usual adventures with my love on our Sunday's together.  It's what gets me through week to week.  Keep scrolling for more from our day in Brooklyn (basically, more flower pictures).

Brooklyn buildings are so dreamy.  Photo by Dressed to Ill

Cherry Blossom at full peak, BBG

Grape Hyacinth at the BBG

Tulips are the BBG

Brooklyn details.  Photo by Dressed to Ill

Monday, April 28, 2014

Lookbook: It's High Time






Top: Madewell // Jeans: BDG // Necklace: Violet's Blue // Shoes: DV by Dolce Vita // Purse: Kate Spade

I remember a time when high-waisted bottoms were dreadfully unfashionable.  I wouldn't have been caught dead in anything less that the lowest of low-rises.  And subsequently, spending half my life making sure I wasn't exposing too much to the world.  When these mid-rise/high-rise came back on the market, I thought no way am I ever going to wear those "mom jeans."  

On this matter (and many, many more), I stand corrected.  Guess what?  Low rise pants are not comfortable.  And these hips that don't seem to be going anywhere, fit much better in something that sits higher on the waist.  It's slimming and hides all the bits I want to hide.  This little discovery led to to high-waisted leggings, skirts, shorts, swimsuits, etc.  I think it will be a happy and lasting relationship.

PS--one more word: magnolias.  

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Lookbook: Geo Dynamic





Dress: c/o Aeropostale // Jacket: Loft // Booties: Aldo // Purse: Coach // Necklaces: F21, J. Crew

Boyfriend took one look at me in this and said "you belong in dresses."  I would have to agree.  I could live in dresses. And after a brutal winter, it felt great to show some leg.  The cut on this dress (on sale currently) is very figure flattering--sweetheart neckline, narrow waist and a-line flare at the hips.  Not to mention the geometric print does all the work for you and the simplest of accessories is the perfect accompaniment.  




Product Review: Lush "Love Lettuce" Fresh Face Mask

I love face masks.

No, no--I LOVE face masks.  They are easily the best part of my skincare routine and I probably have and use more masks than necessary, rotating them depending on what they do.  Any night of pampering includes a bath, a mask and a manicure.

Lush, known for the handmade natural products, do a great line of "fresh" face masks.  They use fresh fruit, veggies, juices, extracts, etc so they MUST be stored in the fridge to prevent spoilage.  For that reason, they are only available in-store but you can read about each one here.  I've tried a few different ones but Love Lettuce is my favorite so far.  

Love Lettuce is an exfoliating mask that gently buffs away dead skin cells with ground almond shells when it's time to take the mask off.  The kaolin clay draws out impurities and unclog pores while the French lavender, seaweed and honey moisturize and sooth the skin, which helps balance oily complexions.  It's a multi-tasking mask and one of the best I've used.  I just apply a generous amount all over, let is sit for 10 minutes and then remove it with warm water, rubbing in small, circular motions.  My skin is amazingly soft and glowing afterwards.  Even after I take if off, I can smell the fresh lavender so I love using it at night for a relaxing experience.  The sensation of applying it straight out of the fridge takes some getting used to it but it's nice how cool and refreshing that it is. 

Be sure to read about the other Fresh Face Masks and find the one that fits your needs.  I have yet to try one I didn't like but wanted to highlight this stand-out. 



Monday, April 21, 2014

Lookbook: Mix Up







Top: Tulle (dress version) // Pants: F21 // Shoes: Aldo // Purse: South Moon Under // Rings: Urban Outfitters // Belt: J. Crew

Half sheer polka dot panel, half paisley print?  Dreams do come true.  I love how eclectic this top is--it's me in a nutshell!  I love the feminine dots against the bohemian printed, joining the best of both worlds.  I tried to find a link to this but instead discovered that it came in a dress.

I have to step away from the computer now or else I'll give in to temptation. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Eat: Zucchini Noodles with Romesco Sauce (vegan, gluten-free, paleo)

One word: CARBS!
When I'm in a bad mood or I come home after a long day, I just want to stick a pot on the stove and throw some pasta in.  It's comforting, easy to make and change up with different sauces and vegetables. For this vegetarian, pasta is my weakness.

But of course, it's not exactly nutritious or beneficial in any way.  A cup of pasta with sauce is about 200 calories (don't quote me on that) and let's face it...we're definitely going to go back for seconds.  In an effort to cut out gluten from my life (I'm pretty sure I'm intolerant to gluten since I get headaches and stomach aches afterward and also, it makes me very sleepy) and eat less carbohydrates (buh-bye bread, I'll miss you so), I knew I had to replace pasta in my life so when I did crave it, I could substitute a healthier option.

I bought this spiralizer, hoping to make gluten-free zucchini noodles--or zoodles if you want to sound like a five year old. And good news!  It was delicious.  I'm not going to sit here and tell you that it tastes like spaghetti because it doesn't.  I can tell I'm eating a vegetable but since it's thin and has a nice bite to it, it's very satisfying in it's own way.  I like to dress it up with sauces, like this romesco one (recipe below) and top it with fresh basil and feta (omit if you're vegan or paleo, obviously).  You can enjoy this raw but I like to put it in a big pan with a drizzle of olive oil and let it cook for a bit. 





For the Noodles:

  • 3 medium zucchini
  • vegetable spiralizer
  • kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • basil (optional)
  • feta cheese (optional)
Instructions

  1. Cut each end of the zucchini before fitting it onto the spiralizer.  Follow the instructions for your equipment and make sure you fit the right blade for spaghetti-type cuts.  This part is the easiest and you should have perfect noodles in just a few minutes!
  2. Add the olive oil to a large frying pan.  Add the noodles and saute for 5-10 mins.  The noodles will release some liquids.  I find it better to drain the noodles and then add them back to the pot to continue cooking.  Add salt (and any other spices you like).
  3. Remove from heat and smother in your favorite sauce and cheese!


For the Romesco Sauce:


  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • ½ cup whole, raw almonds
  • 1 garlic cloves, peeled (or sub. asafoetida powder)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon any vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Turn on gas stove and place a red bell pepper over the flame, using tongs to rotate the pepper as it chars. Char on all sides of the pepper then set aside to cool. Once cooled, place under cold water, peel off the black skin and remove the stem and seeds. Set aside for later.
  3. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, add cherry tomatoes, almonds, and garlic clove. Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes, remove almonds from baking sheet then put the sheet back in the oven to roast for another 15 minutes.
  4. Once tomatoes have roasted and slightly exploded, place the roasted red pepper, tomatoes, almonds, garlic clove, and the rest of the ingredients for the sauce in a food processor and puree until smooth: about 30 seconds.
  5. Add the sauce to your zucchini noodles and garnish with fresh basil and feta cheese.  Enjoy!


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Lookbook: Go With the Flow






Top: J. Crew // Skirt: F21 // Scarf: South Moon Under // Sandals: Madewell // Clutch: Express

Look! No socks! I'm over the moon about the weather and even today's horrible rain can't get me down--because at least it's not snow.  Maxi skirts are as comfortable as they are cute.  I love the movement in the wind and how it elongates your body.  Plus, if you have yet to come out of winter hibernation and shave...then there you go.  TMI? Probably.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

EAT: Lemon Ricotta Strawberry Pie

I made this pie for my mom's birthday, which always coincides with early spring.  And there is no better welcome for spring than fresh lemons and strawberry.  It's a timeless pairing for the season. I made the pie with a lemon poppy seed shortbread crust with an easy ricotta no-bake cheesecake filling.  Strawberries arranged in a floral pattern make this dessert (almost) too pretty to eat.     




INGREDIENTS

For the crust:
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup powdered/confectioners sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

For the filling:
  • 1 cup ricotta
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest

Topping:
  • 2 pounds strawberries, sliced
directions
    FOR THE POPPY SEED SHORTBREAD CRUST:
  1. Cream the butter, mix in the sugar, lemon zest, poppy seeds and salt followed by the flour and mix until it forms crumbs.
  2. Press the mixture unto a 9 inch pie/tart plate and bake in a preheated 400F oven until lightly golden brown, about 15 minutes before letting it cool.
  3. FOR THE LEMON RICOTTA NO BAKE CHEESECAKE FILLING:
  4. Mix the ricotta, cream cheese, honey and lemon juice and zest until smooth.
  5. FOR THE PIE:
  6. Spread the ricotta mixture across the bottom of the baked and cooled crust, arrange the strawberry slices on top, starting at the outer edge and working towards the center. Enjoy!



This recipe is adapted from Closet Cooking.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Lookbook: Spring Training





Jacket: Madewell // Tee: Madewell // Purse: Fossil // Shoes: Nine West // Necklace: F21

Psst...I think Spring is here. I don't dare say it too loud in case I jinx it and suddenly I'm walking in a winter wonderland. Please take this moment to knock on wood. 

How cute is this varsity jacket? It's the perfect springtime layer.  I especially like that the only physical activity I had to do was swipe a card on a machine. 

Also, I fell in love with Philadelphia this past weekend. Good coffee, good vegetarian food, and awesome murals all over...like this one behind me. But the parking? Yikes! 

Hope the sun is shining wherever you may be!