Friday, November 30, 2012

I blame the recipe...

Today I am back with another failed recipe. I'm wondering if I should stop integrating these tales into my blog...

I was perusing Pinterest the other day (user name hea12...find me!), and I came across this recipe for "Crispy Edamame." Healthy? Yes. Tasty? Absolutely not. Let me tell you how I made it and why you never should!

I followed the instructions perfectly, the only exception being that I added a bit more parmesan than asked for (they ask for 1/4 cup, I added about 1/3). I also cooked the edamame for about 40 minutes as oppose to the suggested 15. 15 minutes equates to mushy, watery edamame. Yum!

So after many taste tests, hoping that the edamame would in fact become crispy as the recipe name claims, I finally pulled the baking dish out—why does the recipe require these be cooked in a baking dish? Seems wrong—and plated the darn things.

These appear slightly crispy, but let me tell you, they aren't. They manage to be hard and mushy, undercooked and overcooked. Gross. Dan and I ate about 3 each and I tossed the rest.

The lesson here? If cooking up some frozen edamame to make a healthy and delicious snack sounds too good to be true, well, it probably is.

Onward and upward to triumph over more recipes!

Til next time.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sunday Brunch

A couple weekends ago, I had the pleasure of celebrating my aunt's birthday at the Buckeye Roadhouse—an amazing Mill Valley restaurant that serves beignets...enough said.

As I feel that brunch is a more refined affair, I decided to dress in lady-like, casual separates.

H&M Cardigan, Alfani Pussy Bow Blouse, H&M Skinny Jeans, Nine West "Martina" Pump (Favorite pumps I own!), and Chanel Clutch.

This outfit is the essence of simplicity, and feminine without being fussy. My biggest advice for brunch style: wear a loose top so you can indulge in the beignets, eggs benedict, and the grapefruit mimosa. Just lovely.

Til next time.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Matrimonial Monday!

Image Courtesy of

I'm back! I decided to take Thanksgiving week off from blogging, which ended up being a good decision, as it was one crazy week.

Today I'd like to say a word or two on bridesmaids, specifically, bridesmaid style.

Bridal fashion is so different than it use to be. No longer are the days of ruffly-teal dresses with sky high shoulder pads, to which the bride claims "You can definitely wear this dress again!" There are now so many ways to let your bridesmaids maintain their individual style, while fitting in with the brides aesthetic, and ultimately looking fabulous.

Image Courtesy of

I personally love the look of mismatched bridesmaids dresses. Maybe you have a sexy, sassy bridesmaid, or maybe you have a sweet, demur bridesmaid. If you go with different dresses in the same color family it allows everyone to shine! (I am obsessed with the picture above!)

A tight up-do is rarely a good look on me. On some ladies, it highlights all of their features. For this reason, I want to work with each of my bridesmaids on finding the perfect look for them. I'm not a lover of symmetry, so I am more than happy to have variations in all of my bridesmaids. This includes hair, makeup, shoes, name it. I want my bridesmaids to be comfortable and confident.

My point: let your bridesmaids be them! Making the wonderful, unique women you have picked to be in your wedding be something they aren't not only won't look good, but it won't feel good. Work with each bridesmaid to strike the perfect balance of both of your styles. Because even though they are representing you that day, a girl always has to represent herself.

Til next time.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Dry Skin Solvers

I have always had dry skin. And as many of us know, dry skin equals dull, lifeless skin. It often means redness and irritation, too. So pretty.

The good news is that I have discovered some products that work miracles for my very dry skin. The best part, most of them are very cheap!

So here is the list...

If you also suffer from dry skin, you know that cleansing your skin can be a rather upsetting task. Cerave's Hydrating Cleanser ($13 depending on where you buy) makes cleansing comfortable! It doesn't lather, which takes some getting use to, but I think that makes it all the more gentle.

Remember when I mentioned redness? Well, the genius' over at Eucerin created a whole line that target just that. The Eucerin Redness Relief Lotion ($15 ish) is soothing, light, and it has SPF. When the lotion comes out of the pump, it is green, which helps to neutralize redness—red+green=neutral—this also takes some getting use to, but if you have redness, it won't take long to love this!

I find that no matter how good a moisturizer is, sometimes I just need something more. Introducing the Eucerin Professional Repair ($8 ish). This stuff is seriously good. Seriously. I am not going to pretend to know the science behind it, but it's amazing. My only tiny complaint is that it can feel slightly sticky. But, if you don't use too much, that isn't a problem!

Night cream. A part of my skincare routine I have just initiated. This one, also by Eucerin, is part of the same Redness Relief line ($13 ish). I notice a visible difference when I wake up in the morning after wearing this. It leads to soft and calm skin. I couldn't ask more of a night cream.

Last but not least, eye serum. And yes, I am a believer in serums, not creams. I have dabbled with eye creams for a while, however they never really stuck with my routine. Part of the reason for this is that I felt the creams left my eyes heavy and puffy. This Boscia Enlivening Amino-AG Eye Treatment ($38) is great for those who want light-weight hydration. I notice that my under eye looks a little tighter and a little lighter when I use this consistently.

So that sums up the bulk of my skincare routine. Yes, there is the odd bit here and there, but this is the master list. I would give anyone my full recommendation for any of these products. Please let me know if you try any of them! I'd love to know.

Til next time. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Thanksgiving Fail

The other day, while surfing and trying to create a dinner menu, I became excited by the fact that Thanksgiving is only a mere 10 days away. So excited, in fact, that I decided to cook (with Dan's help) a mini-Thanksgiving meal.

Oh boy...

Although salad may not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think TG, I find it to be a necessary dish among all the butter laden ones on the table. This salad is refreshing and easy. All you need is spinach, toasted walnuts, dried cranberries, goat cheese, and a vinaigrette of your choice.

Number one reason for eating Thanksgiving dinner? Candied yams. Amazingly enough, yams are a pretty health starch, full of potassium and higher in protein than most root vegetables. These health benefits are only slightly hindered by the addition of brown sugar, butter, and marshmallows (a no-fat food!). Dan is not a fan of these, however I look forward to them every year, so they had to be part of our pre-thanksgiving thanksgiving meal. But these yams...they just weren't quite right. Normally I would be able to make an entire meal of these. Not this time.

So here is where all really fell apart. Herb roasted turkey breast. Sounds easy enough. According to Rachael Ray (whom I will never trust again), all we needed was skin-on turkey breast, fresh herbs—oregano, rosemary, thyme, parsley—lemon, salt, and pepper. This turkey was the worst. Ever. It may have turned me off to turkey for life. The texture was bizarre and beyond explanation. And as Dan succinctly said "I'm not sure how this turkey manages to be overly-herbed and under flavored simultaneously, but it does."

Long story short, Dan felt especially disappointed by "Thanksgiving," so he ended up where all failed meals do: McDonalds. I stole a few fries.

That concludes the tale of Thanksgiving Fail. The next time I feel like recreating a meal that only happens once a year, I won't. I guess that means I won't be making any St. Patrick's Day corned beef. Oh well!

Til next time. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Matrimonial Monday!

No one likes to admit when they aren't "in the know," but I am here to admit just that. I had heard rumors long ago that Urban Outfitters, Inc. (Anthropologie's parent company) would be starting a bridal store. I searched for a long time, but alas, never discovered the site. I think I gave up, and then forgot, until about a month ago when I realized that a site that I have loved for some time was the bridal site I had been hunting for! (palm to forehead) It's called BHLDN, and I love it so much, that I decided it deserved it's own post.

Everything on the site maintains the same whimsical nature of things found on Anthropologie. The dresses are flowy and romantic, the accessories are sweet and feminine, and the decorations are fun and idyllic. Every detail on every item is what the Anthro-girl would want for her wedding. And as a self proclaimed "Anthro-girl," I am obsessed with just about everything on the site. 

If I Have A Cake Topper, This Will Be It

I find this site very inspiring for my own wedding. The styling of the site is too beautiful for words, so I really recommend a visit to see for yourself.

Images Courtesy of

I'd love to know what your favorite item (OK, let's be honest, items) on the site is?

Til next time. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

In a haze...

I am basically sleep walking through my days lately. I gave up coffee—above is my new favorite, chai tea—due to bad sleep and anxiety. The time change has not been an easy adjustment for this sleepy girl (perfect time to give up the coffee, eh?). And as school stress mounts (5-weeks until I am done with my B.A.!!) my focus seems to be everywhere and no where all at the same time.

So here are some things that have been saving my tired-life as of late.

Minimal makeup. Some days, weeks, or months I find little to no desire to spend any amount of time doing my makeup. On such occasions, I grab for my foundation (currently using the L'Oreal Lumi Magique Foundation), a touch of Benefit's Dallas blush, couple of coats of mascara, and and my Anastasia brow duo. I finish it off with a lip stain—in this picture, I used Revlon's Kissable Balm Stain in "Honey." Too easy.

No-fuss footwear. I have had these Converse sneakers for aeon's, but they are always a classic and fun staple. Comfortable. Pair with nearly everything. And better with age. If you don't own a pair, I certainly recommend buying some. This color would be so great for fall!

Easy-peasy dinners. My mom gave Dan and I a magazine of nothing but soups recipes. Heaven. The Cheesy Potato Soup from above has only seven ingredients in it, plus, there were leftovers! We cut calories by using low-fat cheese and milk and it was still delicious.

Call me crazy, but sometimes the idea of an hour plus gym workout sounds less than appealing. So lately I have been alternating workouts with the "Bum Bum Rapido" workout from the Brazil Butt Lift series. It's an intense 10-minute workout that always leaves me a little sore the next day. I actually look forward to doing this workout because I know it is effective and it's over before it starts! Best of both worlds.

That about sums up my guide to easy living. I think this time of year brings out the sleepy person in all of us, so I figure why not just go with it!

Til next time. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

An Underwear Story...

I’m confused about underwear. Victoria Secret and Agent Provocateur make beautiful undergarments, but often forget about utility and functionality. Jockey and Hanes make some pretty comfortable undies, but they aren’t always the prettiest things. And possibly the biggest issue is that few brands make underwear that stand the test of washing and drying many times over again. What is a lady who wants comfort, cuteness, and longevity to do? Knock Out! Panties might just be the answer. 

Knock Out! kindly sent me a pair of panties of my choice several weeks ago. I am going to say this up front—had they not been offered to me for free, the price would have scared me a bit. I’m the girl that fishes for underwear out of the 4 pairs for $20 bin, so $34 was kinda hard to swallow. I’ll admit, I did very little research on the brand before my pair arrived (saving the element of surprise!) but I would soon discover the reason behind the price and the joys of a great pair of undies.

After some deliberation, I went with the Lacy Panty, which is their “Signature Knock Out! Style,” in the color Lilac. Upon receiving them, I did a bit of reading, a bit of research, and discovered that these are no ordinary drawers. These underwear do triple duty by having a breathable cotton fabric, moisture wicking fibers, and odor absorbing molecules. They call these three actions “No Trace Technology,” which is a technology that Knock Out! has patented. I can confirm that I experienced the no trace, even after 45 minutes of serious cardio exercise!

Here are the things I love about Knock Out! Panties: They’re comfortable (sooo comfortable), they offer just enough coverage, they wash and dry perfectly while maintaining their shape, and they are very pretty (the Lilac lace is so gorgeous).

Here are the things I’m not so hot about: They show lines through thin-fabric bottoms, and of course, the price. The price is the real bone of contention here. But, I think with the amount of things that these knickers have going on, you have to expect a high price, and for some, they are completely worth it.

Who would I recommend these to: Everybody! But specifically, people who work out heavily, people who sweat quite a bit, and possibly, women looking for good maternity undies. I told a friend of mine (who just had a baby) that I think these would be excellent for pregnant or postpartum women who want something more supportive and comfortable, but still something that retains a “cute factor.”

Overall, I think Knock Out! is great. Their customer service is excellent, their site is adorable, and their products are darn cute while still being durable. Did I mention that Oprah likes Knock Out!? Well, she does, and that’s good enough for me. 

Til next time. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Matrimonial Monday!

Photograph Taken by Marcy Silveira

Not much to report by the way of my wedding this week. Above is a picture of a venue that I visited. The absolutely gorgeous Annadel Estate Winery. It's definitely a contender.

In the meantime, there have been a few things that have been inspiring or exciting me for my own wedding. Thought I'd share some of them.

Photo Courtesy of Style Me Pretty

I love the idea of having throw blankets as wedding favors. In your wedding colors, they can make a festive and practical gift.

Photo Courtesy of

Having one or two signature cocktails has become very popular and I can see why. It's a money saver compared to having an open, full bar, and the cocktail can be an expression of the couple. My cocktail would probably be fresh and fruity, but not too sweet. And it would have gin...

Photo Courtesy of Here

I have always known that candlelight would play a big part in my wedding. I love the idea from the picture above of using old wine bottles as candle holders. (Mr. Kate has a great blog post about how to do this yourself!) It's simple and inventive, chic and rustic. It's just lovely. 

There are so many fun and beautiful ideas to put to use when planning a wedding. However, maintaining simplicity is hugely important to me, so I want to choose carefully. 

Are there any trends or wedding ideas that you are loving right now? I'm always looking for more ideas, so tell me about them!

Til next time. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Painted Faces

I love makeup. Not just pretty, high fashion, or wearable makeup—all makeup. This includes strange, weird, and creepy makeup that one would don on, oh I don't know, Halloween?

Here are some face I have painted over the last few years. Enjoy!

The fellas above are Dan's band mates. They dressed up as dead Rastas.

 Dan battered and shot.

My mother...she's a trooper!

Starting and finishing this post with Dan as a sugar skull, Dia de los Muertos...person?

Sadly, another Halloween has come and gone. I never feel like I have gotten my fix of this holiday. The upside of this is now I have 364 days to plan for the next Halloween!

How was your Halloween? Any awesome costumes? I'd love to know!

Til next time.