Thursday, November 20, 2014

What's in Makeup Bag Vol. I

It's always fun having a little snoop through someone's makeup bag; at least I think so! Here's what I carry on the regular (depending on the handbag I'm carrying, the number of items I carry can vary based on the amount of space I have to play with)

However, the usual suspects for any bag (big or small) are lip balm (this one by Khiel's has a cult following for a reason - super hydrating!), powder, concealer (love the Body Shop's stick concealers), and this cool portable compact brush/mirror that I picked up from Target by Sonia Kashuk. 

The lip colors are swapped out during the week depending on my mood, but one thing is always true - I carry a bright red and a nude shade at all times. Reds can instantly amp up your look if you're going out to drinks or dinner after work and can double as a cheek stain in a pinch for those days you need to add extra color to your face!

The nudes I had on hand this week are Jubilee by MAC and Boy by Chanel.  Jubilee is a caramel-y brownish-peach which is the perfect nude shade for olive/Tan skin tones, in my opinion. Chanel's rouge coco shine in Boy is a super sheer mauve with slight shimmer that mimics the natural color of your lips. It was kind of a lot of money to spend on a super basic color but the packaging is beautiful and classic and the shade is universally flattering so there's that!

The red shade is a new(ish) acquisition for me from Anthropologie. I'm always intrigued by their beauty offerings but had never really gotten serious about purchasing anything until this lipstick caught my eye. The shade is Poppy by Albeit Cosmetics. Love the retro gold packaging and the orange-red hue is perfect. 

Other random bits that found their way into my makeup bag (leather pouch from American Apparel) are bobby pins, a random lone throat drop (Ricola's are my fave), and last but not least, Bandaids. You never know when you or someone you know will get a blister or the random cut! 

What are your makeup bag must-haves?  


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Foodie Files: CPK-Inspired Thai Chicken Pizza

My local CSA farm share delivers our produce every Monday. And every Monday night I try to rummage through my fridge to figure out what to make first with the week's harvest! This week it was the carrots that saw their way into our bellies first!

With a few items I already had in my fridge: some baked chicken breast, my favorite naan, and shredded mozzarella cheese - I got to work on a quick and easy peanut sauce as the base for my pizza. 

Peanuts (Satay) Sauce:

Peanut butter 
Sesame oil
Crushed black pepper
Carrots (Grated)
Ginger (fresh or powdered)

A heaping tablespoon of Skippy peanut butter (as you know, this stuff is already super sweet so no need for honey or sugar for this recipe - unless you're using all natural peanut butter a little sweetness will be required), garlic, a splash of sesame oil, ginger, and cracked pepper all went in a microwave safe bowl and into the microwave for about 20 seconds. I added a few tablespoons of water to thin it out followed by a quick stir and it was tasty as can be and ready to slather on the naan. I topped the naan and peanut sauce with a light drizzle of mozzarella, then shredded chicken and grated carrots. Top again with a bit more cheese and throw it in the oven for about 15-20 minutes at 350 F or until the cheese is gooey and the crust is crispy. I added extra grated carrots and fresh cilantro after I pulled it out of the oven, just before serving!  Yum!

Adam claimed that this was better than CPK's Thai pizza -- that's a huge compliment in my book because I love CPK's original!  I'm just glad to have found a way to recreate it at home for those nights when we are craving it but can't be bothered to drag ourselves out in the cold to go get it!


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Nailed it: Navy

I ditched my go-to nude nails this past week when I rediscovered a navy blue nail polish by American Apparel called Passport Blue.  This color has been left neglected at the bottom of my stash for years and I was honestly surprised that the formula held up over time.  The application was deliciously streak free and opaque in just two coats.  Luckily this color is part of their permanent line so you can still find it here for only $7! 

From experience, I know that not all colors by the same brand are made equal.  I love a good Essie nail polish ('Sole Mate' and 'Sweetheart' are staples) but one shade I purchased over the summer is disgustingly streaky and requires a good three coats to look decent (I'm looking at you 'Concrete Jungle'!).  If you're impatient like me, letting three coats dry is an eternity and I can never get away without a smudge or a smear.   

At any rate, back to AA's Passport Blue -- the vsco'd-out photo above doesn't really do it any justice so here's another snap to seal the deal:

The topcoat I used is a cheaper version of my beloved Seche Vite dry fast topcoat. I have used it a handful of times and will post about how they compare so keep a look out for that!

Are you a fan of bold nails, a simple nude, or both?  Share your favorite must-have polishes with me in the comment section... I'll need your recommendations to inform my next hasty decision at the drugstore!


Saturday, November 8, 2014


It's getting chilly out there, which means it's finally time to pull out some snuggly knitwear and get cozy.  This is probably one of my favorite things about living on the East Coast -- sweaters actually serve a purpose instead of just looking cute (cue Cali-girl problems)!

This season I'm unearthing my favorite knits and I also added a few more pieces over the last month to supplement my current stash.

Can I just say that The Gap has really picked up their style game this season!  I snagged two sweaters for a cool 40% off and love them to pieces.  The top one is a Colorblock merino wool sweater that adds a little menswear cool to any outfit.  Keep your pretty embellished midi skirts from looking too girly by tucking this bad boy in there and you have an instant edgy-fem look.

The next sweater, in a burnt caramel color is aptly named the "cozy turtleneck sweater" and it really is just that.  It's oversized with a chic turtleneck - I'm envisioning wearing it with some skinny pants and ankle boots with a parka over top.  Let's also be real - I'll be wearing it with leggings, but rest assured, it's long enough to cover your behind so it's it's okay to wear leggings as pants in this case!

The navy and yellow speckled sweater is an oldie but goodie from my closet.  I bought it at Joe Fresh a couple of years ago and I find myself reaching for it every season.  It's itchy as hell - but when paired with a comfy turtleneck longsleeve shirt, it's love.  Nerdy fisherman style love that is.

You can't really see the texture on the next black sweater but it's a sheer piece with a fuzzy swirled pattern that is so super chic layered with a bandeau bralette underneath and any bottoms you want.  I love it in an all black outfit because the peek of skin underneath just adds the right amount of color to break up all the black.  This gem was from H&M last year and I wish I picked it up in the burgundy color too! I find that H&M tends to bring back certain styles so you can bet that I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for this sweaters return!

Up next, this cable knit is from Ralph Lauren and sports that iconic little polo horse on the right top breast.  I found this one at tjmaxx on sale for under $30 in the boys department.  It's perfectly preppy and easy to layer with your button down shirts and jeans.

The last sweater, which I doubt you can see at all, is a basic thick black knit with bell shaped arms and an exposed zipper at the back and was also nabbed at tjmaxx.  Knitwear at the popular shopping chain cannot be beat -- I highly recommend a peek through their knitwear racks because you can find some great colors/textures for not so much $$$.

Enjoy the cozy sweater-weather!