31 January 2014

Happy Weekend // Flower Friday

This week has been so cold, bone chilling & numbingly cold. To combat that I snagged these gorgeous tulips from Whole Foods. They have been the perfect reminder of spring days to come in my little apartment. Every time I come home and see them on my coffee table I instantly smile. This weekend is also supposed to warm up a little bit. I am so ready to welcome 45 degree temperatures,  compared to the past few weeks 45 sounds like a heat wave! I'll be celebrating my baby brother's birthday this weekend, along with a belated mani/coffee birthday date with Jordan. So many good things happening this weekend, I can't wait!

What fun plans do you all have? Are any of you celebrating anything?

30 January 2014

Gwyneth Paltrow Recipe 4 : Banana Ice Cream

Gwyneth recipe number four! When I scanned her book in Target I was thrilled to see an entire section on sweet things and desserts. [There is even a dark chocolate and coconut bark recipes in there...yes please!] The first one I decided to try was homemade Banana "Ice Cream". It was so simple and I had just about every ingredient necessary for it laying around the house.

What You'll Need :
-Four ripe bananas, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
-1/4 cup roasted almonds, finely chopped
-Two tablespoons plus two tsp maple syrup, divided
-1/2 teaspoon of coarse sea salt
-1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
-1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

To Make :
Place banana slices in a single layer on a plate or tray lined with parchment or wax paper; freeze for at least three hours. In a bowl, combine almonds, 2 tsp syrup and salt. In a food processor, pulse frozen banana slices, milk, vanilla, and remaining 2 tbsp syrup until mixture is the texture of soft-serve ice cream. Spoon into bowel; sprinkle with almonds to top.

29 January 2014

Currently Loving

Compared to last week this week seems like a breeze! I'm just as busy but much less stressed. Above are some of the things I'm inspired by and loving this week.

[1 & 2] Ashlyn and I had so much fun shooting an upcoming post this past weekend! I'm still on a total sugar and excitement rush from it. 
[3] A scene from last week's afternoon of working from home. Totally wishing I had the opportunity to do that more often!
[4] I am in a pastel craze I can't get enough. This outfit completely solidified that. Mint nails & a blush top?! Gone are my black & white combinations. Not really though ;)
[5 & 6] Food that looks as good as it tastes. This salad was one I snagged during a lunch at the office and it was insanely good. Romaine lettuce with grilled chicken, apples, grapes, walnuts, dried cranberries, and blue cheese crumbles with balsamic vinaigrette. Still drooling. I've also discovered the secret to oatmeal which I've been trying to learn to love. Mixing it with blueberries, bananas, and almonds [plus a side of green juice.] The polka dot straw helps too!

What are you loving this week? 

28 January 2014

Homemade Lipstick via Cupcakes & Cashmere

The other week Emily Schuman of Cupcakes & Cashmere debuted this post about creating your own lipstick at home. The second I saw her post I knew I had to try it immediately. It was so simple and as someone who went to art school the idea of mixing colors and creating something new was instantly appealing. Emily bravely cut up some much nicer lipsticks than I chose; but since this was my first time I didn't want to be disappointed with messing up a nicer lip color. I snagged these two shades at CVS one night and got to mixing the other weekend. The outcome is a fun and punchy coral and I'm totally in love with the idea of making more! 

Have any of you tried any fun DIY's like this before? I'd love to hear!

ps : Head over to my Instagram to check out a shot of the lipcolor on me. 

27 January 2014

Drugstore Beauty Haul

It's no secret I love beauty products, and don't mind splurging on them either. Since most posts I share with you all have fairly expensive products in them, I thought it might be nice to share some of my favorite drug store finds that I use on a daily basis and couldn't live without!

[1] Dove Deep Moisture body wash : It's frigid out and any extra moisturizer I can get into my skin, the better! This body wash smells great and nourishes.
[2] Night of Olay Firming Cream : I use this every night before going to bed. I swear by it and lately I've been using it in the mornings too as a base to my makeup. Walking everywhere in this cold weather... I need it!
[3] Maybelline Line Stiletto Liquid Eyeliner : This eyeliner is life changing and only a couple dollars. It stays put for an incredibly long time and is super easy to apply. The felt tip is flexible and the wetter formula makes the liner glide on easily with no pulling. I blow through tubes of this stuff so it's a good thing it's only about six dollars!
[4] Target brand 100% Acetone Nail Remover : So cheap and it makes taking off dark polishes so much easier. It's exactly like what the salons use and cut my manicure prep time in half.
[5] Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy Shampoo : Allure named this one of their top beauty picks so I decided to test it out. I love to alternate using my more expensive shampoos with this one.
[6] Olay Total Effects Foaming Cleanser : Super easy on my skin and great for removing makeup in the shower while cleaning my face.

Do any of you have an drugstore must haves? I'm always looking for new products to try!

24 January 2014

Happy Weekend!

Happy Friday readers! When I said last week was insanely busy I think I was just jinxing myself into an even busier next week. I was a little frazzled and a lot scatter brained with everything going on this week. I actually woke up Thursday morning and realized I hadn't shot Friday's (today's) post. Which is so unlike me; I'm always planning these in as much advance as possible. [To avoid mornings like that!] Anways, the week is coming to a close and on a rather high note! Some major deadlines have been met, I spent last night organizing and to-do listing, and Wednesday evening (when the peak of chaos had hit earlier in the day) my co-worker Dani and I took a much needed "mental break" and went for mani/pedis. It was exactly what I needed to recharge a bit to tackle the rest of the week.

I'm super excited for the weekend; to work on some really fun projects, see some friends that I haven't met up with in far too long, and to unwind a bit.

Do any of you have a favorite way to take a "mental break"? I'd love to hear!

23 January 2014

Gwyneth Recipe 3 : Almond + Kale Juice with Avocado Toast

Week three of Gwyneth recipes! This time is a focus on breakfast. The Almond & Kale juice is completely different than the Basil, Lime detox I shared the other week. It's sweet and almost like a dessert for breakfast. I actually ended up reducing the amount of coconut oil in the recipe after the first time I made it since I found it a little too sweet. 

Recipe from Gwyneth's book :
[1] One packed cup of torn kale leaves
[2] One Cup of unsweetened almond milk
[3] One tbsp of almond butter
[4] One tbsp soaked raw almonds (this is simply almonds that have been soaking in water, chilled in the fridge)
[5] One date, pitted
[6] One tbsp of coconut oil - I halved this to adjust for my preference

Blend everything in a powerful blender until smooth.

Along with the smoothie I've also been loving Gwyneth's suggestion of avocado toast. Simply toast up some bread [whole wheat is my preference but Gwyneth suggests ezekiel bread] spread vegan mayonnaise over it & top with sliced avocado. Super easy, super delicious!

22 January 2014

Currently Loving

Happy Wednesday readers! Above are some of the things I am currently loving & obsessing over.

[1] I've had this Essie polish [Bikini So Teeny] for a while now but always considered it a pedicure polish only. That is until this week when my pastel craze hit full force and I spur of the moment put it on my fingers. Loving it.
[2] Tuesday was a sort-of snow day! I was able to leave early to work from home. Cozy corner, blanket, hot tea, and working on projects in peace...always a win. A Sex & the City marathon and leftover Chinese takeout didn't hurt either ;)
[3] The gorgeous Ashlyn from Let It Be Beautiful was featured in the newest issue of Redbook Magazine! I was so excited to find a copy and see such a sweet friend in a major publication.
[4] My Birchbox came with this tiny eye shadow sampler. I'm not a big eye shadow wearer but these colors are so pretty and go on so nicely. I've had a good time trying some new makeup combos out.

What have you been loving this week? Did any of you get bunches of snow too?

21 January 2014

Spring Splurging & Purging

Ever since the new year I have been craving bits and pieces of spring [as seen from THIS post]. On a spur of the moment decision last week I made a stop into Loft and wanted just about everything in the store. I hadn't been in a Loft since it was warm enough to walk around without a jacket and I was so impressed with their new collection. The colors were everything I was craving, the chambray and denim tops had fantastic fit, and all the pieces could easily be interpreted into my winter wardrobe. 

Onto the purging portion...one of my New Year's Goals was to simplify my apartment and wardrobe. I have been working for the past two weekends on cleaning out drawers, cabinets, and everything in between. The most daunting task...my closet which truly needs a good purging. Buying these three pieces is serving as a reminder for that. They need a home in my closet. I started going through items last Saturday and getting an idea for what I haven't worn in ages. My plan is this coming weekend to take and put everything into piles and bags so that I can make trips to the Goodwill and consignment stores. My cleaned out kitchen and bathroom already make me feel so much "lighter" and I can't wait to see how I feel after my closet is cleaned completely too!

Have any of you made any fun spring purchases? Are any of you working on spring cleaning as well?

20 January 2014

DIY : Gilded Mugs

A while back I found these super inexpensive mugs from CB2 and couldn't help but scoop some up. I love their shape and how large they are. They are perfect for Saturday morning coffee or tea! I had some leftover metallic paint from the holidays and this past weekend I decided it would be a fun DIY to add a bit of sparkle to my mugs. I used Martha Stewart metallic gold craft paint & both sides of a very small paint brush. The big dots were made from the end of the brush and the little dots were made from the end with bristles. I kept the pattern the same put decided to mismatch where the dots went on each mug to keep them playful. 

Did any of you craft or DIY this weekend? I'd love to hear what you all were up to!

17 January 2014

Happy Weekend

This week has been nuts! Between hosting breakfast meetings, luncheons, clients popping in, and projects coming through I am so excited to see Friday roll around. I have a few fun things lined up for this weekend including some fun blog projects/work, checking out a new coffee spot, and hopefully grabbing a meal or two out since the infamous DC Restaurant Week is currently going on.
Have any of you attended Restaurant Week before? If so, what places are top on your list to get lunch or dinner at?
ps : How cute is this tea set?! My amazing friend Dani got it for me and I can't help but feel so proper sipping tea out of it ;)

16 January 2014

Gwyneth Paltrow Recipe 2 : NY Street Vender Salad + Yogurt Tahini Dressing

Week number two of Gwyneth recipes! While this is only the second recipe I'm sharing with you all I'm quite a few recipes in and it's safe to save I'm really loving Gwyneth's book. For the first few recipes I stood in my kitchen "talking" to Gwyneth aka my cookbook thinking she has lost her mind, she wants me to combine what?? Needless to say, every time I've had that thought she has proven me wrong. This week's recipe is another simple one for you. A very easy salad with homemade dressing. 

Click HERE for the Yogurt Tahini Dressing straight from Gwyneth's site GOOP.

The salad is super simple :
[1] Romaine lettuce
[2] Cherry tomatoes 
[3] English cucumber 
[4] Red onion 

Chop it all up, toss together, and enjoy!

ps : Two things, in the book (unlike online) it says to boil the water and tahini. The mixture doesn't need long, I think I left the mixture on the stove for about twenty seconds too long. But now I know. The other is that I found the red onion to be way powerful. Next time because of my preference I'm going to leave them off!