2.03.2016

YES YOU CAN MAKE: RICOTTA TOAST WITH FIG JAM AND BALSAMIC GLAZE


Sometimes you try a combination of flavors and you just can't get it out of your head. My local coffee shop has this incredible ricotta toast with spiced pears and balsamic. I try my hardest not to go there every day because the toast is just so darn amazing.

I thought I would take a stab at creating it at home. It turned out awesome. This makes a wonderful breakfast, lunch or snack. You could also make mini versions for appetizers.

Ingredients
Jam (I used fig but feel free to switch it up)
Ricotta (please, please use full fat, the non-fat kind is just gross)
Balsamic glaze (I bought mine at TJs)
Sea Salt

Its pretty easy. You toast the bread. Spread on the fig. Drizzle with balsamic glaze. Sprinkle with sea salt.

Deceptively simple yet so incredible.






2.01.2016

EASY WINTER HAIR STYLES


It has been dark in the morning and a little bit cold. Dark + cold = me not wanting to get out of bed. Luckily, I have been experimenting with new, easy winter hairstyles to make my hair look fancy but stretch out the days between washing and doing it. Below are 5 of my go-to quick yet elegant hairdos (they really are easy, promise no #pinterestfail). 




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1.29.2016

YOU HAVE ME BLUSHING


I have to admit when I heard what the new colors of the year were going to be I cringed a little. I mean just because it is perfect for a baby's birthday doesn't mean that it would be perfect for the color of the year. But as time has gone by, I have warmed to the idea of Rose Quartz and Serenity and now I think they aren't too bad. I think I am liking Rose Quartz more for the home. Here are some of my favorite picks for home accessories in Rose Quartz (that don't look like they belong in a nursery)



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1.27.2016

REAL GIRL BEAUTY: 3 MAKEUP ESSENTIALS THREE WAYS


I am going to try and do more makeup posts more often because my friends are always asking me for makeup tips. I could talk all day about makeup because its what I do for my job but for so long, I was just as puzzled as most of you.

So, I want to make it easy for those of you that aren't watching YouTube videos about how to do the latest contouring trend (or even know what contouring is).

Today we are talking about how to take three key staples: brow pencil, liquid eyeshadow and highlighter and wear them three very different ways.

OUR THREE INGREDIENTS

Urban Decay Brow Beater Brow Pencil
This little guy is super versatile because its build-able. You can do anything from a wispy natural look to a seriously bold brow in a few lines.

Giorgio Armani Eye Tint in Senso
I know eye tint sounds scary but it essential is liquid eye shadow that is really easy to apply and can be layered to create different looks. There are also lots of fun colors so you could play around with blending multiple shades.

Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Liquid Lighting
Just like the name says, this magical highlighter gives you the perfect glow like you were being light from the stars. I like it because you can use as a eyeshadow or as a true highlighter.


Look #1 - Weekend Brunch

Add Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue, Sephora Collection Air Brush Blush and Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Mascara, Bite High Pigment Pencil

For an easy weekend look, use this natural-looking tinted moisturizer mixed with a few drops of the Celestial Lighting Liquid for a perfect glow. For brows create a easy-going look by just filling in sparse areas of brows and brushing brows up. Lightly spray blush on cheeks for a flushed, wind-blown look. Using the pointed end of the eye tint applicator lightly line outside corners of eyes--blend with fingers. Finish the look with a swipe of mascara and a natural, mauve lip.


Look #2 - Workn' 9-5 


For the perfect office-ready look, apply Lancome foundation all-over face. This stuff will stay on your entire 8 hr + work day and still look great for happy hour. For eyes, apply eye tint all over lid and use finger to create a light smokey-eye. Add the mascara to finish off the look. Follow the steps above for your brows but create a stronger outline around the perimeter of the brow for a more structured look. For the face, put highlighter on the high cheekbone and bronzer in the hollows of the cheeks, bridge of the nose, chin and forehead. (think of drawing a 3 on the side of your face) Add the lipstick at the end to finish off the polished look. 


Look #3 - Friday Night Ready

Add Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lip in Chianti, Kat Von D Lock-It Foundation, Hourglass Gel Eyeliner, DiorShow Mascara

Take the look a little bit more dramatic with the addition of full coverage Kat Von D foundation. Follow the same steps above for the highlighter and the shadow. Line the inner rim and outer lash line of the eyes with the Hourglass liner. Create a bolder brow by layering on more hair-like light strokes in the brow and lightly lining the shape of the brow to provide definition. Layer on several coats of the Dior mascara to create the look of false lashes. Add the dark, dramatic Stila liquid lipstick on the end to really take the look to the next level.


Hope you liked these looks. I look forward to bringing your more makeup posts soon!!

1.25.2016

FLORENTINE MEMORIES


I thought this post was just perfect for today because I just booked a trip to Europe on Saturday. My sister and I are planning a European summer trip through Paris, Florence and Portugal. More to come on that later.

I studied abroad in Florence 10 year ago (was it seriously that long ago?!) and this was one of my favorite soups to enjoy there. It is called Ribollita and it is a veggie soup that is very popular in Italy in the winter months. Ribollita means "re-boiled" in Italian and it is basically a everything-but-the-kitchen-sink-type soup. The peasants in the Middle Ages would salvage what they could from the lords' banquets and soak in broth to make it edible. Don't worry, you wont need to beg for crumbs to make this tasty soup. You can pretty much put whatever you want in it but the hallmark ingredients are always bread chunks and white beans. I also always remember some sort of kale or swiss chard being included.

I used to pick up my groceries in the market then head upstairs to grab a cozy soup before making my way home. The other evening when I made this, it brought me right back to my days spent in Italy. I put a few parmesan rinds in the soup when I was making it and it really added a rich, complex flavor to the soup. I also recommend a drizzle of olive oil and some fresh parmesan to make it extra yummy. The best part about this soup is that it tastes better heated up the next day so it's the perfect thing to bring to work for lunch.

There's pretty much no way to mess up this soup so even you beginners will be totally fine!

Ingredients
32oz of chicken stock (sub veggie stock for vegetarians)
3 medium carrots
2-3 grated cloves of garlic
3/4 cup of chopped white onions
2 cups of chopped Tuscan kale
1 cup of whole canned tomatoes
Parmesan rind
Good crusty bread
Grated parmesan (to top soup)
Olive oil (for drizzling)

Step No 1

Heat a soup pot over med heat with 1 tbsp of olive oil.

Step No 2

Put the onion and the garlic in the oil to cook until soft. Add in pepper and a pinch of salt.


Step No 3

Add in the broth, carrots and parmesan rind. Bring to a boil.


Step No 4.

Turn down to med heat. Add in kale and tomatoes when carrots become soft.


Step No 5

Serve and top with chunks of bread, a drizzle of good olive oil and grated parmesan. 


To store, put in a sealed tupperware. I like to leave the rind in while storing. Just make sure to you take out before serving.


Enjoy your body-warming meal! This soup is full of lots of good-for-you ingredients so feel free to take seconds!

1.18.2016

A NEW WAY TO TEA


First off sorry for the long silence in 2016. This year has been moving at a crazy pace and I'm just trying to stay afloat.

I  have been so slammed since 2016 started that I dedicated this entire long weekend to doing absolutely nothing. Well not quite nothing...I did re-watch season two of Gossip Girl, go to the gym, visit a friend and try out some new recipes. So not exactly nothing, but not exactly a packed schedule.

One of the things I also got around to were trying these new tea crystals from Pique Tea. While the concept of crystalized tea may have you puzzled, see below for pics. Basically they are individual serving perfect-for-on-the-go packets of organic tea that dissolve easily in water. The company sent me their tea to try and I have to admit I was quite intrigued.

I am vowing to drink more tea and less coffee this year so these little guys are perfect for throwing in my purse for work or even if I'm out. I only need hot water and I'm ready to go. You just pick your flavor and they magically dissolve in water without even the stir of a spoon. My favorite part is that your tea is perfectly steeped and ready instantly.

I'll have to admit I was a bit hesitant at first about something being modified from its original form. Typically on-the-go things tend to be a potent brew of sugary chemicals. But this tea is made from organic tea leaves. When you drink it it actually tastes like perfectly brewed real tea (yay!)

A few pics of my new tea experience are below (who could have tea without macarons?) If you would like to try it out for yourself you can sign up for a free week supply (14 teas) at piquetea.com











This post was sponsored by Pique Tea. Thank you for supporting the brands featured on this blog.

1.05.2016

GET ME THROUGH THE MONTH


You guys getting back to things yet? Me...well I'm struggling a little. January can be a tough month but its nothing a shiny new pen or beautiful-smelling candle can't fix. Here are a few little things that can help me get through this month...



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