I am all over Pinterest in the hair department. However, every time I try and recreate some amazing braid or up-do it is somewhat of an epic failure. I look at the picture, follow the step-by-step process, and can only come to the following as the reason for failure: thin, fine, hair. Blah! Why?! My mother and most of my siblings have these gorgeous and thick manes. What happened in the gene pool with me? Must be because I’m the first born. I’ve decided this is a great excuse for virtually everything in my life. This will not be the last time you hear me say this. So, clearly the pictures on Pinterest that I adore are of women with amazingly thick & luscious locks. Jealous. Very jealous. The two different hair styles below I have now perfected & are my two go-to styles for easiness, cuteness, and quickness. That’s the trifecta I am looking for, especially in the wee hours of the morning before I’ve had my coffee.
PS- 4 of those pictures are quite old. Still from crappy iPhone, remember, once I finally use all of these up it’s only quality shots to come.
The first pic is a split pic of the same hairstyle. The first 1/2 is a cleaner version- hair sprayed and bangs pinned to the side and under the braid. I wear it to work this way. The second 1/2 is my messy version. I keep my bangs out, don’t spray, and throw in a cute hair pin.
To accomplish this: Divide hair at part into 2 sections, brush, and braid each side. Next cross each braid over to the opposite ear and bobby pin the end pieces (securely). I usually throw a pin or two nearer the top as well, especially if you have thicker hair.
The other pics are of half a crown using a messy fishtail. Mostly because that’s the only kind of fishtail I can produce. Still, so cute! I spray this style.
To accomplish this: Gather all of your hair near the nape of your neck. Start the fishtail in the middle of your neck and braid. When done, pull over to the other ear and pin securely. For me, there are always some puffy spots, fly aways etc so I twist and pin them towards the direction of the fishtail and pin. Spray when done. Don’t make the fishtail too tight! Looser will give a thicker look.
Dear April & Fraya,
I will never forget the first time we hung out together, came back from the cold arboretum, and headed to April’s kitchen for the making of this amazing vegan, healthy, and delicious Creamy Tomato & Cauliflower Soup. What a freakin’ day we’d had thus far! Let’s just say I most certainly cannot and will not share the contents of our hilarious day. I’ll let your mind try and concoct crazy ideas of its own. It was a very, crazy, fun day, for sure! Oh to be 25 again. I don’t know that I could survive it twice though! Thanks for the recipe, April! Miss you girls daily! Xo
To everyone else reading this post: This recipe is so ridiculously easy and delicious. It is loaded with flavor, requires very few and super cheap ingredients. I love creamy soups that are actually healthy. Who doesn’t?! Winter blizzards need winter warmth. Wrap yourself up in this soup with some awesome hearty bread, and a nice glass of wine. Enjoy and stay warm!
- 1 lg head of cauliflower cut into florets
- 4 cans of good diced tomatoes
- 2 cans of white beans (save liquid from cans)
- 1 lg onion - diced
- 3 cloves of garlic - diced
- 2 C vegetable broth
- 1/4-1/2 C dried oregano (I like a lot)!
- 3 Tbl olive oil
- Salt & pepper to taste
- In large pot, heat oil. Add onions & salt - cook for approximately 3-5 minutes
- Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds to a minutes more-stir constantly
- Add white beans with liquid from cans. Add more salt and add pepper. Cook for approximately 3-5 minutes and turn up heat a bit
- Add tomatoes & half of the oregano. Cook & stir for about 10 minutes
- Take off heat and blend with immersion blender
- Put back on heat and add the broth, cauliflower, and the rest of the oregano
- Cook for about 10-15 minutes
- Serve with a hearty & healthy bread
- *If you want it thicker, use more beans or less broth. Thinner, add more broth.
- Serving sizes varying depending on if this is a meal or a side
- White- Pinot Grigio
- Red- Rioja
This is an incredibly easy, healthy, and delicious breakfast spread that can be accomplished in just 5 minutes! I don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty amazing to me! Especially, on a busy weekend. Sometimes, a good-for-you & easy recipe can be more involved. Not the case here, which is why this is my go-to weekend recipe when I am movin’ & groovin’ with little time in between. This spread is inspired by one of my favorite vegetarian breakfast restaurants in Portland, OR- Muddy’s Cafe. This was a weekend fave for my veggie friend and I when I lived there. I loved sitting outside of the old Victorian, on the patio, and in one of my favorite Portland neighborhoods, or even inside the rustic and cozy warmth of the country-esk kitchen vibe that Muddy’s provided. No, this is not a paid advertisement, and sadly, it has closed after 9 years of business. Moment of silence for my PDX vegetarian foodies please… Sigh. Here is my version of a regularly ordered breakfast: A bagel (always an everything bagel in my case), slathered and oozing with cream cheese, hummus, and avocado (often all mashed together), sometimes with an egg on top (over medium), and always with a side of ripe fruit. Yes please! Save yourself some time and scarf it up this weekend!
- 1 bagel (I use whole wheat everything bagels)
- 4-6 Tbl cream cheese (I use veggie or chive cream cheese)
- 6 Tbl hummus (see my hummus recipe)
- 1/2 or 1 ripe avocado
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1 egg (optional)
- Fresh & ripe fruit of your picking
- Toast your bagel
- On each bagel half, slather on the cream cheese, then hummus, and lastly the avocado & salt/pepper (you can smash together if you want)
- If using egg, top on one of the bagel sides now
- Add your fresh fruit to the plate and voila! Done!
This awesome vegetarian enchilada dish was inspired by Martha Stewart’s recipe. My husband never knows what to cook for me. He wants to do it all of the time but I am a stickler for flavor (usually I want loads of flavor or no thank you!), and I don’t want to have to recite an entire recipe with specific instructions. That would ruin the idea of someone cooking for me, hubby agrees. He desperately wanted to make something for my bday two years ago. I figured, Mexican is almost fool proof and I freakin’ love it any time of day. It’s one of the few foods that I simply can’t get sick of. So, Scotland (my hubby is Scottish), let’s call him, in his fear and trepidation took to the internet to find me some vegetarian Mexican good eats. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about what the after math would bring. Would I be swallowing ‘said dish’ with a smile on the outside and wanting to spew on the inside? I knew however it turned out I’d have to “like” it… a lot. Really, I was just so pleased that he wanted to do this for me. This said, it was awesome! I was beyond super impressed and giving silent praise to Martha for all of her wisdom passed on via internet to hubby. Phew… the smile and enthusiasm for the enchiladas were very real and I’ve requested them many times since. Today, he has really become quite a good cook and is always looking for new recipes to add to his repertoire. Get yourself ready for a taste explosion in the form of “Holy Enchiladas!” You will NOT be disappointed!
- 8 tortillas (I use 8" corn tortillas)
- 1 small onion - diced
- 10 oz corn kernals
- 5 oz black olives
- 10 oz frozen spinach (thawed & strained)
- 1 can black beans
- 1 C shredded pepper jack cheese
- 2 C shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1 tsp of taco seasoning (optional)
- 2-3 tsp cumin
- 3 Tbl olive oil
- 1/4 C flour
- 1/4 C tomato paste
- 3/4 C water
- 1 can veggie broth (use a good broth)
- 4 scallions - diced
- Heat 2 Tbl olive oil in pan. Add 1 teaspoon of the cumin, flour, and tomato paste - mix well for about 1 minute
- Add vegetable broth, 3/4 cup water, and boil
- Reduce to a simmer and then cook until the sauce is slightly thickened (about 5-10 minutes)
- Add salt and pepper to taste
- First, start preheating the oven at 400 degrees
- In a pan, quickly cook the onion for about 3-5 minutes
- In a bowl add: 1 cup of each cheese (2 cups total), black beans, olives, spinach, corn, cooked onion, 1/4 of the scallions, taco seasoning if using, and the remaining 1 teaspoon cumin
- Add salt & pepper to taste
- With the remaining 1 Tbl of olive oil, brush oil onto two 8-inch baking pans
- Evenly divide the ingredients from the bowl into each tortilla. Roll up and face the overlapping part of the tortillas on the bottom of the pan
- Sprinkle the last cup of cheese and smother in your delicious mole sauce
- Bake for about 15-20 minutes]
- When serving, garnish with scallions
- Serve with a cold Mexican beer or a delicious margarita!
Hey ladies & gents!
Okay, first post in this portion of the blog. What shall we discuss?! Well, I’ve been thinking we should chat about my favorite makeup products as well as skincare products. This is a topic I take pretty seriously! I want nice skin on a daily basis and when I fast forward and envision myself in the future, I still want that nice skin! Okay, enough exclamation points, I think we all get the gist.
When thinking of this post, there is one line from a Beyonce song that keeps popping into my head – “…dip it, pop it, twerk it, stop it, check on me tonight…” This is how I feel about the millions of ways one can now “do” their face – “…contour, highlight, blur it, smudge it, check me out tonight…” Honestly, it’s too much! I just want to look good and not spend a heck of a lot of time doing it. This being said, let’s start with makeup. Below are the many products I use. However, I use the same few every day. I just happen to have a ton more for the rare occasions that I actually go out on a weekend night and want to glam it up for the hubby and the more vain side of my self-esteem. I have SO much more of this ‘weekend’ makeup and it is loads more expensive than my day-to-day stuff so you’re probably thinking that I’m a bit deluded about the actuality of my weekend social life. If this is indeed what you’re thinking, you’d be correct. I consider it all “for the one day,” which really translates to, “when my baby (lil’ G) is more of a toddler, I have a weekend sitter, and I live back in the US.” Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not complaining, just sharing with you the realities of my life. All of which I freakin’ love. So, without further adieu (have I already passed that point?) I shall begin with MAKEUP & BODY STUFF. PS- If you want to know more about the specific products, ask me! Let’s start a conversation!
The pictures are as follows:
Body/Hand/Feet lotions that I use daily. I love Palmers! And the smell, c’mon now!
Face Wash & Exfoliators that I use daily. Yes to Tomatoes OR Yes to Cucumbers (I prefer the Tomato), St. Ives Oatmeal Scrub & Mask (I use as a scrub, however, I use a different and random facial mask every Wednesday), Keyano Aromatics Lavender Scrub (purchased at a spa on Long Island).
Lipsticks that I use daily or weekly. From left to right: Banila, Rimmel, L’Oreal (I often combine the last two)
Perfumes & Lip Stuff I use daily/weekly. Fendi (L’acquarossa), Michael Kors (Eau de Parfum), Prada (Candy), Lip Smackers Celestial Strawberry (because I still wanna be a kid), Rosebud lips in Strawberry (best strawberry scented lip stuff ever), EOS in mint, IT lipgloss
Facial Products that I use daily. Retin-A (tretinoin) -in my opinion, there is NOTHING better to bust wrinkles than this. You need a prescription though. I use it every night after my lotion (about 30 minutes to an hour later) which is Alba Botanica Hawaiian Jasmine & Vitamin E. I use the Alba after I use my HA- hyarulonic acid serum. Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti Wrinkle Cream w/ SPF & Retinol (for day) OR Oil of Olay 7. During the day for under my eyes I use Clarins Extra-Firming Eye Lift. Clearly, I’m trying to stave off Botox etc for as long as possible!
Makeup I use in the rare event that I am actually going out. Urban Decay Naked Palette 2, Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue (or everyday), L’Oreal Magic BB cream (or everyday-I rotate these every few months), Cover Girl loose powder, CG Tru Magic the Sun Kisser bronzer, Benefit (highbeam – amazing!), Benefit Bene-tint (lips & cheeks), Benefit Hervana Blush.
Makeup I wear everyday. The highlighter was mistakenly photographed in this photo. I don’t wear it everyday. It should be in the section above but I for some reason shot it in this group (IT highlighter). The rest I DO use everyday: Garnier BB Cream (I rotate with the ones above) – I use this with my amazing Bare Minerals makeup brush, Maybelline Great Lash in very black with a curved wand (wand is essential for me), Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush, lastly, an eyebrow filler. I bought this in China.