Ooh, my favorite!


Argan Illuminizer
October 29, 2013, 10:12 am
Filed under: Beauty, Clean, Green

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My friend Christine always looks so put together, but one element I’ve always admired is her effortless make-up: flawless, but still so perfectly light and natural. A line we walk everyday, it’s not often you come across someone who truly knows how to properly accentuate…no paintball applications here. It wasn’t until Christine gave me a tip on using a highlighter for just above the cheekbone that I finally got why I was so enamoured with her make-up. It’s the je ne sais quoi of maquillage; that subtle touch that adds so much.

Since I only use a BB cream/tinted moisturizer I needed an equally light highlighter, and I found the perfect one in Josie Maran’s Argan Illuminizer. It offers the most beautiful shimmery (NOT glittery) glow, with a hint of bronze, that’s perfect for day or night. Paired with  Josie’s Creme blush (my fave!) it has the most lovely, dewey shine. Just dot a small amount with your ring finger slightly above a lightly blushed cheek and blend out toward your hairline. A little goes a long, long way so tread lightly.

Formulated WITHOUT the use of phthalates, GMOs, parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances.

Josie Maran Argan Illuminizer, $28



A SMEG in my future?
October 28, 2013, 10:50 am
Filed under: Art and Design, Home

smeg

Andrew and I live in the greatest little, big house. It’s a classic Victorian style home built in 1908, and over the years it has been turned into a flat on the main floor, and two apartments on the top floor. We have the coziest little nook upstairs, but the other small studio in the front is in desperate need of some love. Thus, we are starting the big project of renovating. The hardwood floors need replacing, the kitchen needs relocating, and the original french doors need restoring! I’m excited to have a small space to play with since we’ll be renting it out fully furnished, but before I get too crazy with that part, right now there is a slight possibility that I will be able to use one of these sexy bitches in the new and improved kitchen!

We are going to make the former living room into the kitchen and dining area which will be a much better layout overall. (And everyone knows all the good stuff happens in and around the kitchen.) It might be a tight fit for the fridge but with some creative planning I’m hoping to make it work. I mean, what better way to offset a neutral kitchen than with a bright and beautiful SMEG? The 50’s style lines, the range of colors, and the A++ energy rating kept me up last night, for real. So, without trying to jinx myself, what color is my favorite?

SMEG USA | Also newly available through West Elm

source-nordic-leaves-great-kitchen-perfect

(c) Nordic Leaves (My fave!)

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A thing for lamps
October 22, 2013, 10:09 am
Filed under: Art and Design, Home

Charlton Table Lamp

I sort of have a thing for lamps. And by thing I should probably say fascination/obsession/fetish. I’d forgotten how weird I can be about proper interior lighting until my mom reminded me that even as a kid I’d create different lighting schemes for different activities in the living room and even in the kitchen. Strange, I know. But in my defense proper lighting at home has so much influence over your mood, especially here in the gloomy Pacific Northwest. A room that’s too dark can be depressing and cause you to feel sluggish, but with the addition of properly placed lights your room can have a cozy glow that will ease you into a relaxing evening and night.

Until now I’ve been collecting vintage lamps which definitely gave me more bang for the buck, but suddenly I am at the point where a real modern touch would be nice. These Charlton table lamps by Aerin Lauder are precisely the look I’ve been dreaming of: simple, delicate and yet sturdy, interesting.

Also available as a floor lamp or wall sconce which are equally sexy. See the whole collection here at Circa.

Charlton Table Lamp



Rearranging
October 16, 2013, 12:10 pm
Filed under: Art and Design, Home, Nostalgia

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These cozy, gloomy autumn mornings are perfect for rearranging and hibernation prep, and out of these last few days came my new favorite little nook. For some reason I hadn’t been feeling very creative or inspired, so I was excited when I finally channeled some kung fu and got things settled.

I reworked our new PS cabinet into more of an office/key drop area in an attempt to be more organized. I liked it before with my heart bowls, but it wasn’t as functional as it needed to be, especially since it sits just inside the front door. The white tray used to house remotes and notes on the coffee table, but since we use the table so often we kept having to move the tray to another spot, and then back again when we were done. Finally I decided to give it a new, permanent home here and it’s perfect for pens and paper. And at the base of our note board it makes lots of sense. I like hiding keys and other weirdness in the little brass box–the things you use regularly but maybe shouldn’t be left out all the time. You know what’s in there? Nail clippers. Like, four pair because Andrew has some weird thing with nail clippers.

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And I think my very favorite part of this new nook is a home for two of my most treasured pieces. I got these tiny little guys on a fourth grade class trip to New Mexico! These are ceramic pieces from the Acoma Pueblo outside of Albequerque and until now they’ve been scattered in random and obscure places. Seeing them everyday brings back happy memories of New Mexico, soppapillas with honey, and the trip home when Scott Wilson bought me a beaded bracelet and had Eddie Gleason give it to me but I was so shy and embarrassed that I hid it away. So yeah…find your old, favorite tchotchkes and get them out of hiding. It will make you happy.



Lace details
October 14, 2013, 12:28 pm
Filed under: Fashion

zara lace

I’m loving the lace details and intricate straps on this Zara dress. So sexy and still very elegant. The look of lingerie will be everywhere soon, so this would be a great way to get the look now.

Zara Studio Mesh Dress $179

(PS- With all that back exposed a dry skin brush regimen is essential!)



Family Jewels
October 8, 2013, 10:25 am
Filed under: Fashion, My favorite things, Nostalgia, Vintage

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After a few years of trying to add a few key pieces to my jewelry collection, I’ve finally realized that nothing will ever be as good as the pieces I stole from my mom, who had inherited them from my grandmother and great-grandmother. They just don’t make them like they used to, and even with a few missing beads and links they are my very favorite pieces. I suppose my message here is to raid mom’s jewelry box if the mass-produced modern guys just aren’t doin’ it for you.

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The Changing Face of America
October 7, 2013, 11:46 am
Filed under: Compassion, Photography

changingface

I get the “what are you question” all the time, and while there are certainly better ways to frame the question, it still makes me happy that people are curious and interested. This is a really cool photo essay and article in National Geographic on The Changing Face of America. After the Cheerio commercial controversy seeing all of these fascinating and beautiful faces makes me happy.

[Thanks to my friend Nancy for sharing]



Slip on Chucks
October 3, 2013, 11:11 am
Filed under: Shoes

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I’ve always loved traditional Converse, but they’re even better with the ease of of an elastic heel and no laces to be tied. Slip-on, runaround, cute.

Chuck Taylor Slip- Ons | $50

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14 Pantry Essentials
October 2, 2013, 11:58 am
Filed under: Chocolate, Food, My favorite things, Organic, Recipes, The Finer Things

pantry

It seems that everyone is talking about how much they love fall lately. The changing leaves really are lovely, and the crisp, gloomy weather is a nice change of pace from the summer heat, but I’ve always loved the arrival of fall because that’s the time when I prepare to hibernate. And no hibernation would be complete without the addition of a few pounds around the old midsection and a well stocked pantry because regular trips to the farmer’s market and grocery store just ain’t happening.

Here are some of my very favorite pantry staples:

1 Arvum finishing vinegar  This family of vinegars are perfect finishing vinegars for soups and salads. Throughout the autumn and winter drizzle a little bit over a kale salad or a nice bean soup to add a little zip.

2  bionaturae organic pasta  One of our favorite pasta brands for spaghetti, shells, or these papardelle’s we keep a variety of shapes on hand just in case there are cravings for Carbonara.

3  Askinosie chocolate hazelnut spread  Oh my god, I love this stuff. Askinosie’s chocolate hazelnut spread is my favorite for sweet tooth cravings and snacks. No weird ingredients and no cheap chocolate here, just Hazelnuts from Lynden, Washington and the same cocoa powder and nibs used in their bars. They’re the only chocolate maker in the US making this from scratch! I like it on toast or in Andrew’s pastry dough as a pop-tart.

4  Cento San Marzano tomatoes  San Marzano tomatoes are the shit, but you have to make sure what you’re buying has been certified. There are (expesive!) brands stateside that are not authentic, and therefore not nearly as good or as sweet. Our favorite Cento brand is grown in the ashes of Mount Visuvius where the rich soil makes for sweet tomatoes. Such a bright spot in the middle of a cold winter we use these for pasta sauce and soups. Though the organic is hard to find, the conventional is easily found at Trader Joe’s and other grocery stores.

5  Red Boat fish sauce  Artisan fish sauce, finally! Made using a 200-year old process free of chemicals or added water this fish sauce really is wonderful. Having grown up on fish sauces there really is something about the clean flavors and finish of Red Boat. It’s not cloying or sharp,  so whatever you’re using it in is that much better. Perfect for a nice bowl of Jok.

6  Olo’s Chipotle paste  Chipotle paste in a tube is genius. My friend Tessa created this amazing paste and it’s one of my very favorite pantry staples. We use it to spice up condiments (like ketchup or sour cream), or in soups for a bit of smoky spice. Tessa does this as a hobby in addition to work and two kids, and somehow that makes this even better. Give it a go and you’ll absolutely love it.

7  Bob’s Red Mill organic steel cut oats  Love Bob. Love steel cut oats. These award-winning organic guys are great for oatmeal with a little texture. I like mine with butter, milk, brown sugar, and almonds.

8  Matiz Espana sardines and pulpo  These are probably our most essential pantry items because they’re so easily converted into great snacks or meals. Both the sardines and octopus are easily dressed into salads and served on toast or crackers. Also, sardines have more omega-3′s and fewer toxins since they’re lower on the food chain.

9  Aptera olive oil  This olive oil from the island of Crete is not only one of the best olive oils in our collection, but the pricepoint is crazy affordable. It is also naturally organic as it is illegal to spray pesticides on the island. We use this as our everyday oil for cooking, but it’s still good enough to use in salads and finishing too.

10  Arroyabe Italian tuna in olive oil  Italian tuna packed in olive oil, the best tuna ever. Like the sardines and octopus we love this guy for emergency snacks and sammies.

11 Rancho Gordo heirloom beans  The heirloom beans from Rancho Gordo are so badass. Have you ever seen such beautiful beans? We use any variety of their beans for soups, chilis, and stews.

12  Wakame seaweed  Andrew’s lamb seaweed soup is one of our favorites, so we have wakame seaweed by the pound in our pantry. Aside from soup we like it as a cold salad and we use the water for spa-like purposes.

13  Raw organic almonds Also on-hand by the pound in the pantry, we use these raw almonds for almond milk for smoothies and almond cake for sweet cravings. Briden WIlson Farms has beautiful almonds so we get our almonds directly from them. Their fall harvest is available now.

14  Organic saltine crackers  Sometimes you just need a saltine. My favorite is with an application of almond butter and jam, but then there’s also the times we use these as a crust for fried chicken thighs.




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