Thursday, November 24, 2011

Outfit of the Day: Thanksgiving!

I've never been a huge fan of Thanksgiving until this year. Something about working full time makes you crave any vacation you get. And since I'm in scrubs five days a week, getting dressed up on days off is a lot more fun. Without further ado, here's my outfit today!

Here's my outfit in full and I'll break each piece down for you. I know it's blurry. This is what I get for asking my fiancé to take a picture of me - guys just do NOT get it. We soon got into an argument over his lack of knowledge on how to take pictures of shoes...seen next.

Some people aren't fans of tights with open toe shoes, I don't mind it all that much, especially if the tights are really opaque. I also think it looks fun with colored tights, but that's just me. These are some seriously uncomfortable Steve Madden booties I bought a few years ago. I never wear them because of how uncomfortable they are. I seriously can't stand in them for more than a minute or two, and eventually lose all circulation in my toes. But, and you have to agree, they looked cute with my outfit. I also love the bows on the sides - they make ankles look tiny and add a very feminine flare.

This photo isn't quite as good because I took it myself. This was, of course, after the argument on how the fiancé couldn't take good pictures of shoes. This wasn't the skirt I had planned to wear, but I was forced into it because the one I had originally purchased yesterday didn't fit me at all. Literally, I zipped it up and it fell right off of me - I think it was a factory issue or was mislabeled. I do love this skirt, though, the slightly worn tribal-esque pattern is very fun and I'm a huge fan of that sort of dusty lavender/mauve color. The elastic waist band makes it easy to wear up high or with a top tucked in or out. I got this skirt in the Brass Plum section of Nordstrom's earlier this year.

This is one of my favorite tops ever. Ella Moss makes some incredible clothes - soft materials, girly and casual designs, everything she makes is lovely. I wear this top anytime I want to be comfy but chic. The lace panels on the shoulders is really delicate and pretty and the shirt itself is made from the softest material ever. I wore it for some of the engagement photos we took this summer.

Ahhh the jewels. My favorite part of any outfit. These are my Lisa Taubes chain link necklaces, sold here. I have them in varying lengths in both rose gold and silver, which I generally wear together because I quite like mixed metals. These necklaces are so delicate and sweet and dress up any outfit. 

And my second favorite part - the nail color! It's been so dreary out lately that I thought a fun, bright color would really cheer me up. This is Essie's Turquoise and Caicos, a milky turquoise shade. Since I have to have a glitter nail, I threw on OPI's Silver Shatter on the ring finger for a little sparkle. This isn't an every day color, at least not for me, but it sure is fun every once in a while!

What were your outfits this Thanksgiving?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Cooking with J.

Anyone that reads that title who knows me in person is probably laughing aloud. I've never been known to cook, I just never liked it. Since moving, and since getting engaged, I've really risen to the occasion and dived right in to cooking and I truly love it! It's something I've become really passionate about.

Anyway, I was looking through random blogs and found some awesome recipes I decided to make the other night for my super hot test subject that I call a fiancé.

The first one was from a great Fitness/Health blog I read regularly called Kath Eats Real Food. This girl is an awesome fitness inspiration and often has really cool recipes on her site. I was really struck by the Beer-Braised Cabbage recipe, as I'm an avid cabbage lovaaa. The recipe is available in the link and is super easy to make! Not to mention, the act of making a reduction sauce makes you feel like a pro chef by the time you're finished.

I followed that up with one of my fave Twitter gal's, Sharon Vaknin (@Sharonvak)'s, truly awesome salmon recipe dubbed Sharon's Soylicious Salmon. I subbed tombo, because I've never been a huge fan of salmon, but her recipe is incredible! Here is the link, you guys. Plus, it's SO much more fun to watch someone cooking on a YouTube video instead of just reading the instructions on a website.

Though I wouldn't make the two together again since the flavor profile was just too similar for my taste, these dishes are INCREDIBLE on their own. The salmon has a great tangy flavor and cooked wonderfully under the broiler. The cabbage recipe was delicious, but I would've cooked the garlic a lot less time, as mine ended up with a slightly charred taste. Needless to say, the fiancé was tremendously pleased with the meal. Happy cooking, guys!

Bad Girl! Bad Beauty Habits You May or May Not Be Aware Of...

Has it really been four days since my last post? Ugh, I'm not doing so good of a job keeping up with this blog!

Today's post is on bad beauty habits. We're all guilty of some of these and really, there's an infinite list. Some I'm not aware of and may never become aware of, and some that make me cringe when I see an offender. Here are my top BAD beauty habits, you bad girls, you.

1. Sleeping with your makeup on. This is the cringe-worthy offense. I literally cannot fall asleep without taking my makeup off. I'll lie there in bed thinking about the thick coating of chemicals on my face that is seeping into my poor, unsuspecting pores until I jump up and run straight to the sink. Please always take your makeup off before bed, otherwise you're leaving dirt, grease, and pore-clogging chemicals on your pillow for future use - not to mention the oils you secrete while you sleep just help push all that junk deep into your skin to cause acne and blackheads. GROSS.

2. Not moisturizing. I have some friends I have to beg to wear moisturizer. You may not think you need it, but you do. Moisturizer should ALWAYS be applied before wearing any makeup and after each time that you wash your face. Do your research and find a good one for your skin - even if you have oily skin you still need a good moisturizer. I used to be a product snob, and then I realized that a $20 Olay cream does the same thing as a $180 skin lightener/moisturizer that I used for a year or so (granted, I only feel this way about certain products). If you have oily skin, stick with a lighter moisturizer - Clinique makes some awesome ones. If you have dry skin, you're lucky because you can use practically any heavier (aka majority) moisturizer. I'm tired of typing the word moisturizer, so we're going to move on.

3. Rubbing your eyes. I am SO guilty of this one. I suffer from allergies on a regular basis and my eyes get puffy, itchy and watery, so I'm constantly rubbing my eyes to relieve the itchy feeling. Also, I rub my eyes when I first wake up in the morning, like most people. This is SO bad for your delicate, under-eye skin! I don't know if your mothers told you, but mine always let me know to not pull anywhere near the under-eye region, so as not to create premature wrinkles (roll your eyes all you want, they are coming for you, and they are coming soon). So let's hold each other accountable and just not rub our eyes!

4. 70s Blush/Bronzer. We have this horrible idea in our heads that people need to truly see our blush. It's not supposed to be this way! And trust me, I am a repeat offender on too much blush and bronzer. I still do it a lot for photos, as many flashes wash you out. But on a daily basis, you want to keep the blush light. This may sound like cliche advice, but nothing makes you look older or more dated than a huge swipe of bronze/pink/red from your apples of your cheeks to your hairline. Gross!

5. Touching Your Face. Don't do it! Think of all the stuff your hands come into contact with!! Gross!

Okay, so those are my biggest ones, some of which I am struggling with these days. So avoid these! And help me avoid these, too.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Product rave (?): Boscia Luminizing Black Mask

I haven't had a Manicure Monday post in a while. That makes me sad! Before I get into this post, I'll share my current nail color with you. No pic, but if you're into greys go buy Essie's Master Plan. As my friend Tess says, it is the perfect grey! She texted me to tell me about it the other day so I ran and got my bottle out of my stash. It's a really perfect fall/autumn color. Am I supposed to capitalize those? I never know.

Boscia is a skin care line found at Sephora, which advertises themselves as "preservative-free". I'd heard people rave about their Makeup to Breakup Cleansing Oil, but could never bring myself to try it because I have a hard time buying something with the word "oil" in it, as I already have oily skin. When a SA at Sephora tried to sell me on this Luminizing Black Mask, I just said, "Oh...thanks, I'm okay..." and walked off, scoffing that I'd never spend $34 on a mask that wasn't done by my esthetician. Incidentally, a girl who's YouTube videos I watch, purchased it nearly the same day and made a video on it and how amazing it was.

I relented and purchased it. I have this shopping problem, if you haven't noticed, where half the time I don't even care what I buy as long as I walk out of the store with something. This happened to be a purchase that made me happy long afterward. The mask was a little scary at first, as it is opaque black and warns you not to put it anywhere near the delicate under eye area, or the eyebrow area as it will damage the skin/rip all your hairs out.

(Photo cred:

After it's on, you let it dry about 20 minutes, or until it feels tight. You may want to do this on a date where your family/significant other is not home, as the sight of you will be scary and the mask is so tight that you can't move your mouth to reassure your family members that is, indeed, you. It is especially scary at night.

This is where it gets weird. I've never really used at-home masks before, until recently, and this one requires you to peel it off. While I imagine they are trying to make you believe (and maybe it works, who knows) that you are peeling off impurities that have stuck to the mask, it is also rather painful. If you have any hairs at all on your face, and we all do so don't even try to lie and say you don't, you can rest assured that they will come off. So if you think about it, you get a complementary waxing with your purchase of this mask. Albeit a painful, slow waxing.

This may sound like a slightly negative review up until now. The thing that got me with this product was that it actually does work. Your skin looks amazingly luminous after just one use. My favorite way to use it is to wear it for a while before going out, then do your regular makeup routine and your skin will look great all night.

At $34 a pop this mask is rather expensive, and I'd honestly say to skip it and go with something else - or put that money towards a legitimate facial. It has great results, but the road to get there may not be all that worth it.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

PDX Restaurant Raves: Swagat Indian Cuisine

My fiance and I (and my whole family, for that matter) are huge fans of Southern Asian cuisine. When looking for a good Indian place up here, we hadn't made much headway. A random craving for chicken tikka masala last night left me searching high and low for the best Indian place in PDX.

We ended up at Swagat's, a tucked away restaurant on Lovejoy St. in the Alphabet District. We were seated right away at a little table in the dining room and ordered beverages. My fiance is a fan of beer, while I love to try house martinis and went with the Rose Petal. Like it's name, it was a flowery, refreshing drink with crushed mint. We decided to skip appetizers and order the Thali dinners - a lunch special-esque deal...just for dinner. For $14-16, you get your entree, rice, raita, several sides of vegetables, soup, fresh naan and a dessert. Since I'm vegetarian, I went with the vegetable version of chicken tikka masala - a mix of nine different vegetables in a sweet, slightly spiced curry while my handsome date went with the chicken makhani - pieces of chicken cooked in a buttery curry sauce.

The Thali dinners were an awesome amount of food for the price, but I think in the future we'll stick with one Thali dinner and one entree a la carte. Otherwise it's just an insane amount of food - but does make for great leftovers!

Prices overall were really great, so if you're in the area, definitely eat at Swagat! They have an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet for around $9, as well!

Friday, November 11, 2011

It's Payday! A weekend shopping haul.

I rarely purchase myself frivolous items these days. I've got more important things to pay for, now that I'm out on my own. But since I've been working a ton lately and clocking some overtime, I was ready to get myself a few things as a treat.

First stop? Nordstrom. I've been dying to try Laura Mercier's tinted moisturizer. I've purchased her lip stains and lip glace's, but have never tried her face makeup. During the day, I like more simple makeup, so I had a sales associate color match me and was instantly hooked. I chose the color Porcelain, of course, their lightest shade because I'm whiiiiiiite, and loved the light and non-greasy coverage. It looked like I was wearing no makeup, but in the best way possible. They make an oil-free version as well, though I went with the original formula since my face has been quite dry since the weather changed.

(Photo cred:; Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer SPF20, $42)

While I was there, and because the sales girl looked like Kristen Wiig and I wanted her to like me, I asked her to show me these awesome Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick-esque products called Mosaic  Shimmer Blocs. The cool thing about these is that you can use the four shades for eyes or cheeks. They have four different mosaics, with four different shades in each ranging from pinks to bronzes. Just a light swipe on the cheeks made for a great natural, dewey looking sheen.
(Photo cred:; Laura Mercier Mosaic Shimmer Block, Pink Mosaic, $38)

Next I scooted over to Sephora, another favorite shop, and browsed until I found some things that caught my eye.

I've always loved Marc Jacobs perfumes, and one of his scents, Daisy, is a truly standout fragrance. I've wanted it for a while, and after smelling it on one of my amazing friends a while ago, it's always been in the back of my mind. If you haven't smelled this, I suggest you try it! It's young, it's floral, and it's super sexy.
(Photo cred:; Marc Jacobs Daisy, 3.4fl oz, $78)

While at Sephora, I also bought a few other things that really weren't worth mentioning - a nondescript blush brush, setting spray, etc. 

However, if you happen to have any suggestions of things to check out, let me know! I'm in a purchasing mood.

I'm such a Lush!

I only recently discovered Lush. I happened to visit a shopping area in Anaheim, CA with my fiance a while back and wandered in to browse. Needless to say, I was hooked right away by their products. Does anyone remember the Skinmarket? I adored that place in junior high, and was devastated when it closed, and Lush is practically the same thing!

This awesome shop offers handmade soaps, bath bombs. shower jellies, face masks, and hair products. I've always been a big bath person (I get it, it's not for everyone), so this place is like heaven!

As I write this, I'm currently wearing their Oatifix Fresh Face Mask - a delicious-smelling, soothing blend of oatmeal and mashed bananas made for people with dry and flaky skin. A tub of this will run you around $6.95 and can get you at least 8-10 uses! The only downfall is the expiration dates - because of the promised freshness, the face masks are only good for around two weeks.

Lush's bath bombs and bath melts are in categories all themselves. I've never used anything as fun as these! The bath bombs, as the name would inspire, are compacted bath salts that fizz once they hit the hot water. Try the Sex Bomb for a floraly, jasmine-scented bath but beware any of the bombs with glitter in them. You will NEVER get it off of you, or your clothes, or your bedding, or your carpet. The previously mentioned, bath melts are a small bar of various scents and textures and colors that is designed to melt ever-so-slowly into your bath water to leave a relaxing or invigorating scent - depending on what you're into.

Instead of having me just blab on and on about these awesome products, go check one out or visit their website, here! This is an incredibly affordable and fun way to pamper yourselves. Sorry I said pamper.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Black Swan - a DIY costume for under $20

I've never been a DIY'er, I'd rather pay the extra $$ to have it done for me. This year for Halloween I decided, and my budget decided, that I should scale it down and create my own costume. I knew, since I saw the movie, that I wanted to be Natalie Portman's character in Black Swan.

While my costume wasn't exact, it was pretty damn close....and pretty damn cheap. I paid $14.99 at a costume store for the black tutu and $2.99 for the little tiara. Other than that I paired black tights, some lululemon shorts underneath the tutu, a cami from Express and some ballet flats.

The makeup was a lot more detailed up close but this is what I ended up with!