Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Beauty Junkie

When it comes to beauty products I am like a moth to a flame. I am drawn to them. It like shoes, but worse because there are so many categories to choose from. 

My travel has stepped up a notch with my latest exploits and as a result I have been on a plane at least once a week for the last month. While I have discussed my needs for a nighttime hydrating regime as a result of this, I have found that my daytime routine needs a boost as well to keep up with the dry environments of planes and hotels. Luckily my friends at BirchBox have once again read my mind and two months ago I received Olìe 004 Huile Moderne. Right on the bottle it declares that it is the ‘Everyday Everyone Everything skincare Oil’, so of course I tested it’s limits. With three different kinds of oils, including my beloved argan oil, it goes on smooth and penetrates quickly, fully nourishing my deeply dehydrated skin. It even perked up my way too many cocktails and trying to pretend I was 20 again the night before skin. That is a true test of miracle oil if I do say so myself. 

This does not mean I have given up my argan oil though, it just means that I use it on my hair and nails instead of my face each morning. It still is magic!


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hello. My Name Is

A few weeks ago it was a perfect sunny day here in Southern California and nothing sounded better than a long, wine inclusive lunch with my girlfriends. Then it occurred to me that I don't have any girlfriends in my new hometown. I haz a bit of a sad and then started thinking about how do I as a working from the home, travel loaded and general non group sport type of person make friends as an adult? I looked on the Internet and to my surprise and shock I realized that I am very much not alone in this. There are a lot of women around the country wondering and trying to figure out the same thing. I will always and forever have my BFF's no matter what city they are in, but who is going to be my call to come over and watch Pride and Prejudice (Colin Firth version. Although the other one is good too) and have way too much cheese and regret nothing? Working on it still, but so far it's between my Sugarist and the girl behind the Pinkberry counter, but both know way too much about me and my personal habits to make it a true and lasting relationship outside of our existing arrangement. Maybe I need a dating site for girlfriends. Know where I can get one of those?

Friday, May 25, 2012

Cupcake Mania



I have had the urge for cupcakes ever since I made these a few weeks back. After fighting it for a week or so I decided to indulge when I found this recipe for fresh strawberry buttercream frosting. Never having made a buttercream frosting before I had assumed it was difficult. Not only was it fairly easy, but it was so good that I almost made myself sick taste testing the frosting. I did totally cheat on the batter and used a cake mix to save a little time, but the frosting definitely takes the overall flavor to a homemade taste. Sandra Lee would be proud.

Cow full of cream

Mix

Enjoy!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Mothership

I have talked about Nordstrom on this blog more times than I can count. I have posted things you can buy there almost weekly and recommend them to everyone who will listen. I follow them on twitter, Pinterest, Facebook (and lucky me they follow me back) and participate in surveys on a regular basis for them. In short I LOVE Nordstrom. The other night a girlfriend and I were meeting each other for a quick drink. She was feeling a little sick that day so we were going to make it an early night so everyone could get some rest. Fast forward three drinks, dinner and a little too much fun and you end up at the Nordstrom Flagship shoe department with little care about the cost of a good shoe (What? I got three jobs.). I tried on so many super fabulous shoes and then picked a perfect pair of summer shoes by Stuart Weitzman.

Exhibit A - Also soooo comfortable.

As soon as everything was purchased we decided to celebrate the acquisition of our new shoes before heading home.  While sitting in the restaurant I couldn't resist taking my shoes out of the box for a quick admiration glance. That's when I found this:

I am aware that the cost may be ridiculous for some.
We all have our things.
Anyway, if you can't see what is going on, what I was charged
does not match the sale price on my shoe. I actually think
these were marked down early for the half yearly sale that
didn't start, at that time, for a few days.

So I tweeted this picture to Nordstrom and here is the DM conversation that took place:

I modified the size of the tweets so this wasn't a super long picture, but I didn't change anything in the actual tweets.

I think this all speaks for itself and I had no idea that I could love them even more. I walked in the store in Fashion Island and didn't even need to say a word outside of my name. They are amazing!

Thank you Michael, Theresa & Nordstrom. I will always be a shopper for life!



Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Balance

I have never really known how to do things the easy way. You show me the smooth road with no bumps or road blocks and I say, "No thank you. I prefer the bumpy, rocky, turbulent road over there." Because either I am crazy or trying to make amends for being a complete idiot in another life. Take your pick.

Back in the fall I went from 180mph crazy busy to about 2mph thinking about life and things. That prompted this post that I wrote around that time, but recently posted because I came across the quote in the photo and it just fit with what I was talking about. Well now I have gone and flipped it again. Things are back in action and the schedule is back up to at least 150mph with no signs of slowing down. What I am hoping is that I can take the lessons that I learned from my not so distant past and apply it in such a way that I achieve balance in all areas of my life. While work (the kind with the paycheck) is important, specifically if you like food and shoes and stuff (which I like all of those things), I have other things in my life that also need my attention. There are the obvious friends and family, but then there are the other things, you know the things you really love to do. For me it is reading, photography, this blog and other writing. In the past and even now I allow other things to take priority over of the things I want to do for me. They get shoved to the side for when I have enough time to do them and sometimes that time does not come soon enough. This time around I am trying to put aside one hour free of distraction to write, read, walk with my camera or just work a little on my blog. For me. For my sanity. For full balance. Everyday. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Taste's Like Summer

I have been waiting for the perfect warm afternoon to make cucumber lemonade, a recipe that I have been holding on to for years, but recently uncovered during the move. As luck would have it the perfect afternoon has arrived and I happened to have all the ingredients on hand. I whipped up this batch super quick and couldn't believe how delicious and refreshing it was. This is now officially my virgin summer drink of choice (I have to have a distinction, because a cool rosé on a summer day is still number one) and highly recommend that the next time you are looking for something new to sip while sitting on the deck, lawn or beach you give this a try. Trust me now and you can thank me later!

Cucumber Lemonade

2 cucumbers
3/4 cup of sugar
1 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice
4 cups of water

Blend the cucumbers and sugar together (you may need to add a bit of water) then add the lemon juice and water. Stir, Chill and Serve. Yum.

Blend

Squeeze
Bottle & Chill

Enjoy

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Embers



There used to be this person that enjoyed getting up each morning and going to work. She loved her job, loved her life. She made a good living, had a nice house and crazy ambition. Then something happened, but I can't quite put my finger on it. It's like this spark caught fire and instead of providing light and warmth it burnt everything to the ground. She is try to figure out how to rebuild, but the directions are so confusing that she stops reading halfway through. How did she get here? Where is she going? How does she move forward? It's way harder than she ever thought possible. The world hasn't ended, but it's not quite moving forward for her. Ever have one of those years? It's a bitch. Thank goodness there are still some embers in the ashes.


Monday, May 14, 2012

Bites of Heaven



A few weeks ago I was browsing through an old magazine and discovered this recipe for mascarpone mini cupcakes with strawberry frosting. I have been dying to try it ever since and mother's day seemed like the perfect day to do it. The recipe is so incredibly easy and quick that it's the perfect last minute dessert or can just be a fun twist on the classic cupcake. To change it up I used fresh strawberries with a squeeze of lime to give the icing just a little kick and I also made regular size cupcakes instead of mini's. I don't necessarily recommend baking them as a regular size since the bigger cakes tend to be a little crumbly, but it does not effect the taste at all. Overall the reviews were good with my niece proclaiming that they are like heaven. Definitely something to keep on the rotation! Next time I would try and prepare the cake part from scratch just to do it, but as is they are pretty darn good.






Friday, May 11, 2012

Mail Stop Whoa


You know what happens when you have your mail on hold for three weeks? This.

So yeah.

It is so fantastic to be home. I missed the warm air, sunshine and my rock star mattress of pure goodness and love these last few weeks. While I would love to say that this weekend will be filled with time zone adjustments and margarita’s, it instead will be jam packed with cleaning, grocery shopping and working so that next week I can head to the Pacific NW for a few days. With the jet lag, which results in me waking up at 4:00am, I have an early start on the day to get it done. Then there is the crash around 7pm, but we will deal with that later. We also have company coming on Saturday which means I need to clean the guest bathroom. I had hoped that this would be a chore that I could avoid for awhile, but living in Southern California people like to visit. I think to console myself I am going to buy these.

Image via kate spade


I totally deserve them. It’s a big bathroom. Maybe I should get this too.

Image via Ann Taylor

Have a great weekend & Happy Mother's Day to all you Mothers!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The City That Never Sleeps

I love NY. The minute I step foot in it I feel like I have lived here for years. I have my favorite places to eat, sleep and shop, but the best part about this city is the minute you think you know everything about it you find a part of it you never knew existed. I am not the first person nor will I be the last to declare their love for the Big Apple. The number of movies, songs, books, TV shows and plays dedicated to the Empire City is staggering. It's not for everyone, that's for sure, but there is just something about this place that is completely magical. I am pretty sure it's not just the NET-A-PORTER delivery service, but it certainly doesn't hurt.

Times Square 2007

A quite walk in the park

View from the top

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Weather Up Here is Fine Thankyouverymuch

You don't have to get very far on this site to realize I love high heels. I own a lot of them. I wear all of them (some more than others, but it changes depending on season and mood) and take exceptionally good care of them. In fact when I bought my condo the first thing I did was have a shoe wall built in my small walk in closest to make sure they were displayed properly. The one thing that you may not know is that I am 5 feet 9 inches tall in bare feet. While this is not record breaking, in the US this is tall for a woman.  On top of that 5 feet 9 inches I wear 3 to 4 1/2 inch heels. Often. I also hang out with people shorter than me so I am almost always the tallest in the group. This may not seem like a revelation to you, but this was a big deal for me for years. Nothing makes you stand out more than being a head taller than everyone in the room. When I was in my early 20's I thought it was better to stay away from heels and stick with cute flats to blend in, all the while I was jealous of my friends in their fancy heels. Then one day out shopping I found an amazing pair of pink 4 inch heels that I had to try on.  Once they hit my feet I just knew that I had to have them. I immediately wore them out that evening to a gathering where no one said anything other than how much they loved my shoes (in fact a lady at the 7-eleven told me they were "bangin'"). It took me until that night to realize that the only one with the problem with my height was me (and the guys with the little man syndrome, but who really cares what they think). That night the monster was born and quickly my credit limit was reached. I still have moments where I feel the heel maybe too tall, but now that is more about comfort rather than looks. My only regret is that it took me so long to get this all figured out, think of all the shoes I have missed!

This post is for the tall ladies who with or without heels are over 6 feet. The advantages are vast and the view is amazing!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Clumsy



I would like to think of myself as graceful and that when I enter a room I glide (also I may have been reading the 50 Shades of Grey series and while it is horribly written, it is addictive. The author constantly talks about how graceful the leading man is and how clumsy the girl is. The books have that Manic Pixie Dream Girl vibe to it, except with lots of porn. ANYWAY), however I know this is not the case. I don't know if it's the fact that I have long limbs or that I am occupied with everything else that is going on around me to look where I am going, but it seems that I am destined to fall, trip or smack some part of my body on something on a regular basis. It used to be a regular thing that on my birthday I would somehow always end up falling on the ground. That is easily explained though. A few cocktails, high heels, the sudden urge to run to the next bar instead of walking, not to mention it was usually raining or snowing, and bam I would hit the ground. Yesterday, however, I was not drinking nor wearing high heels and still somehow managed to loose my feet out from under me while going down the wood stairs at the house. I would blame the stair case (in all truthfulness I am surprised it has taken this long for me to fall since they are so steep), but I think my shoes were a little wet and hitting the slick steps I just slipped. And it hurt. It doesn't take much for me to bruise, in fact you poke me too hard and I will get a mark. Needless to say I am the proud owner of several bruises from my calf to my lower back. Plus as a bonus I am getting on a plane today for a trip from Amsterdam to New York. 8.5 hours of sitting in a chair and being uncomfortable. Good times.

Hope your Monday is a little less painful!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Balance

This may shock all of you, but when I am stressed, sad, upset or just feeling down I turn to shopping for relaxing. If I buy something, it is a bonus for sure, but definitely not the intention. The actual browsing, trying on and walking around my favorite stores is the actual therapeutic part for me. It is my time to be alone (I do prefer to shop alone) and let my mind stray from the daily crap we all deal with. This week in particular has been a long one for me, we have had so many things going on that it has been going in 5th gear all week. To try and re balance myself last night, instead of working or spending time with the family (I know this sounds bad, but really it was for the best), I did some online retail therapy. While it doesn't have the same feel as doing it in person it definitely satisfied that bit of me that loves looking for that special piece that my closet, kitchen or house is missing. Here are some of my favorite pieces that I may or may not have purchased.

J.Crew Linen V-neck Cable-Knit Sweater 
This mint sweater is perfect for those chilly spring
and summer nights.
image via J.Crew


Elizabeth and James Milo Crop Pant
A total splurge I know, but this is the only pant that
I have found that is pale pink and not super skinny.
Image via Piperlime


Old Navy Chambray shirt
This will help balance out the total
costs don't you think?
Image via Old Navy

Annie Asymmetrical Ballet Flat Sole Society
These are so perfect and Sole Society is my new
favorite shoe store. I will let you know more once my
first order arrives before I give a final stamp of approval.
Image via Sole Society

Love.
Image via Zara

Do you see an outfit too or is it just me? Maybe I do need to purchase it all...

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Rainy Day



Yesterday was a rain day here in South Holland complete with thunder and a little lightning which I decided to use as an excellent excuse to get a little crafty indoors. Since I am in Europe I don't have all my trusty craft items that I have in the US so I needed to find something simple that didn't require much more than old t-shirts and possibly some glue. After hitting Pinterest for a whole three minutes I found a super easy jersey knit bracelet tutorial here that completely fit my criteria. I had seen a similar bracelet on a style blogger site a while back (unfortunately can't remember where) and had been meaning to try and figure it out, but this tutorial is even better. There are a few changes/adds that I did that differ from the the original post. In the tutorial she uses jersey knit strips from the store I opted to up cycle a cotton jersey tank (the green one) that had a few holes in it and loved the results. The second shirt I used was a ribbed cotton tank (brown one) and while I was piecing the strips together I wondered how it would turn out because it's such a different material. I actually ended up liking it even better than the first one, so much so that I made two of them! The ribbing added a great texture to the bracelet that gives it an earthy, bohemian feel that I am totally digging. I also used less total length of the strips than in the tutorial, but I have freakishly small wrists so maybe that is just me! The other thing I did is that once I finished with the bracelet I noticed there were a few ends sticking out from where the strips were pieced together. To give it a slightly cleaner look I ended up tucking and stitching a few of the strip ends back into the bracelet, but other than that the bracelets came out great. I think this would be an excellent project with kids not only because it's easy, but if you have an old t-shirt hanging around the project costs nothing. Hard to beat that!

Shirt, ruler, scissors. That's it. 
I cut the shirt across starting from the bottom in
strips, snipped off the seam and then pieced the strips together as she describes in the tutorial.

Finished product using two finger weave.

Finished product with ribbed shirt using the three finger weave.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Consider This My Good Deed of the Day. Sharing.

Image via All Women Stalk

While on Pinterest (yes I am still addicted) I came across a pin that said you will regret not pinning this incredible hair site. I was intrigued, so instead of pinning and forgetting I went to the site and lost a day. OK, well not really a full day, but a few hours at least. There is literally almost everything you could possibly want to know about hair styling, care, idea's, cuts, dyeing, etc.. There are things that I never even thought of, but now have to try simply because they make so much sense how can I not try them. There is talk of product, but it's more about picking the right type for you instead of suggestion of a ridiculously over priced product made out of crush diamonds and goat milk. I could go on and on, but here are a few of my favorite posts:

7 Good to know hair tips from stylists

7 Home-made hair treatments

7 Amazingly easy blowing drying tips

7 Top hair products I'm in love with now

and my favorite one, that I am trying starting tomorrow:

7 Way's to fall in love with your natural texture

Curly, straight, long, short, man, woman, child and all colors, shapes and sizes possible they have you covered. Bottom line, check it out and keep those bad hair day's at bay! Best. Hair. Site. Ever. Hair. All Women Stalk

P.S. I forgot to pin it.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May Day

Bet these would make a great bouquet
When I was 4 or 5 my mom decided that we were going to make a May day bouquet for our neighbor, while I don't remember the neighbor's name I remember the yappy dog she had was named Skipper (Skipper was a jerk if I recall correctly). So off down the alley I went in search of some flowers to compliment the lilacs that we had gathered from our yard. I have no idea if I actually got anything better than dandelions, but I do remember being pretty proud of the finished product. We wrapped the flowers in a construction paper cone and added a handle to the top for hanging. I then went to her door, hung the flowers on the door knob, rang the door bell and ran. I hid behind the fence with my mom and waited for her to come to the door to see her surprise. She was so excited to receive some unexpected flowers (I mean really who would be unhappy) and I was deliriously happy that we did it, but I am pretty sure Skipper was still a jerk. Today is a great day to do a little something unexpected, so perhaps a small bit of flowers picked from your garden and left on a co-workers desk is just what you need to kick off the month of May. Just don't pick from someone else's garden. That will get you in trouble and I refuse to be a part of you get yelled at by a little old lady.

Happy May Day!


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