I've been reading about this palette by Urban Decay on blogs and websites since around the holidays. I've never really used too many Urban Decay products but after my little make up class last weekend, I decided, in my fit of retail therapy to fill the void of my traveling husband, to bite the bullet and give it a whirl.
My only disappointment..apparently the demand for the Naked palette is so huge that Urban Decay can't make their 24/7 eyeliner pencil fast enough. This palette is supposed to come with a double ended black/whiskey pencil...so a big boo that I got stuck with the brush..because I have a million floating around.
here's a shot of the inside...notice my fluffy blue robe in the mirror :)
Here are some close ups of the different colors...I'm loving that they're not your typical boring neutrals and that there's a mix of shimmery and matte and a great range of colors.
Here's a pretty cool picture from http://www.makeupgeek.com/. It shows all the colors against skin to give you an idea of how they'll go on.
I must say...I'm thoroughly enjoying this. I have brown hair and hazely sometimes they look light sometimes they look brown eyes. These colors are working well. It took me a couple days to get used to how powdery UD shadows are. You definitely swipe the brush and tap..if I didn't, I found shadow getting everywhere. It was also my first time using UD primer..must say..I did love it. I only noticed the eye shadow wearing after probably 10 hrs..and this was after a 2 mile run at the gym and a power yoga class.
now...my new secret obsession....searching YouTube for videos on how to use the Naked palette. I can't tell you how many hours of entertainment make up tutorials on You Tube provided for me this week. It might sound silly...but just try it. I tried a new foundation and was given the suggestion to look at a tutorial on YouTube for application tips...I'm now addicted!
Just a couple looks I'm enjoying so far...
-Toasted on the lid, Hustle in the crease, Sin as a highlight on the browbone and a little Hustle to line the lower lashes
-Naked on the lid, Hustle in the crease and Virgin or Sin as a highlight on the brow bone
- Toasted on the lid, Buck in the crease blended up into the brow bone, Hustle in the crease and Virgin as a highlight on the brow bone
Just to name a few! This palette is sold at Sephora and, I believe, Ulta stores as well. Good luck finding it in stock at the stores...I went to two different Sephoras last week and both had none in stock. Online might be the way to go...and Sephora is having a special with face care samples until April 5th...so what more of a reason do you need now!
I'm not a make up guru...but I do like to go to Sephora and try new stuff. This palette retails for $48 at Sephora and I'm deeming it a good 48 bucks spent. You get a ton of colors, liner or brush and a little bottle of primer. I also find myself using a lot of colors..not like other palettes where you have some butt ugly colors you would never ever use!
Lastly..my favorite Youtube tutorial..I think it's her neat little accent that makes it my fav
Love...quite possibly my favorite shorts of the last 5 years. Perfect for vacation and perfect to wear over a bathing suit and perfect to pair with an Old Navy tank
Hate..Organic Salamba pant..bought a size up and they gave me a fierce muffin top
Love..printed Muscle Up Tank..one of the only tops they have that doesn't have a shelf bra and you can fit a regular sports bra under
Hate..all Athleta headbands. Unless I have the oddest shaped head ever..they stretch out in a matter of weeks and are pretty useless if they're falling off my head
Love..Ananda Capri. I think I bought at least 5-6 pairs of work out pants from Athleta this year. The lengths are all over the place. One pair were the worst highwaters..the next I was standing on 3" of material. My solution..their capris..but I only buy the wider waistbands to avoid muffin top issue that I had with pants above
Hate..shirred cup tankini..I love that they make tops for women who are not an A-B cup..but the underwire in this was shaped odd and gave a total flat smooshed pancake boob look...aka not attractive
Love...their bra cup size bikini tops..I think having the tie at the back and neck allows you to tighten and avoid flat pancake boob look...way more support than the tankini
So..I love this website. I love their catalog..which is probably why I purchase absurd amounts of items from them. When I find an item that I like, I don't like it, I LOVE it. It's a great quality and I'd rather pay $20 more dollars for something that will last vs. buying 10 of the item that was $10 cheaper. However..finding stuff I like has been a little game..all I can say is thanks to the Athleta gods for free returns.
A couple of my beefs...the pant lengths. I can't get through my head how I could buy 5 pairs of pants in the same size, same length, and different styles..yet the inseam differs so much. My solution..their capris.
I love the bikinis..and I wish I could enjoy the tankinis so I could have a beer or two in the summer with a straight face not worrying that I need to be in a bikini by the weekend. I'm not a fan of any of their bottoms..they run small and tight in the leg holes for me.
Yoga tops..I swear I should create a line of yoga tops for those of us with boobs who can't wear tiny spaghetti strap deals because we need a sport bra. Also..they have tons of tops with shelf bras...if I wear a sports bra in a top of theirs with a shelf bra, I look like I should be in stripper pole jazzercise because it was pushing my chest right out of that top. The same thing with their dresses. So many were cute but if they have a shelf bra..off the table for me because of problem above.
when the animals refuse to cooperate. I was so gung ho to haul ass around the house and spring clean until the cows came home. I read my latest issue of Real Simple magazine. I was prepared to re-do the bedroom with lighter, brighter, springy-er linens. I was even debating the advice from Real Simple to sprinkle baking soda on your mattress and vacuum it up..but I didn't go that far..mostly because the cats thought spring cleaning = play time
as if ironing your curtains and dust ruffle doesn't suck enough...its even harder when Reese thinks it's her play cave
While I was trying to wrangle Reese out of the dustruffle...I intermittently had to yell at Davie who was plotting how to scale the mattress
Once the mattress cover was washed and a fitted sheet was put on the box spring..mostly because we have a naughty cat who likes to scratch the boxspring near our heads to alert us to the fact that she's hungry...the bed was put back together and my girls, Reese and A-belle, were playing sweet...I guess I enjoyed it because normally they're chasing each other around the house like gang busters screeching bloody murder
Then they decided they didn't like the clean room and needed to cat hair it up for me
As I cleaned our master bedroom top to bottom and vacuumed and dusted..a total of 7 cat toys were found in various nooks and crannies in our bedroom.
But..at least I have a sparkly clean master bedroom..well at least for the week until it's full of cat hair, hairballs, and toys. I guess it's true..the cats kind of do run the house.
After I got the first pedicure of the season for Mexico in February, I've been itching for warm weather to come and for me to bust out the flip flops and be able to wear them with a straight face..aka not being the moron wearing them in 40 degree temps. The weather in New England has no cooperated as I sit here at work in a dress with a scarf on since my office is a bit chilly today.
Even though spring has been quite nippy here in RI...but it hasn't stopped me from going through the nail polish collection, ditching the really old stuff and deciding what new colors I'd like to buy for the warm weather.
This week I went to 3 different Target stores..all different locations. Hey, I was bored, there are 2 conveniently located with 3 miles of each other near me..and I went to see my mom this weekend and what do the ladies in my family do best...shop. At Target no less.
So, on all trips I was tickled pink to see that Target has started to carry ESSIE nail polish. This revelation may have been one of the most exciting things that happened during my weekend. Yes, Mr. Allan is still away so little things like this are really exciting to me.
I LOVE Essie nail polish. In my book, it's sooooo much better than OPI. It's almost the same price but it stays so much longer than OPI. I have a million and half nail salons near my house and I drive to a certain Star Nails in Middletown, RI, solely because they have Essie Polish.
So..my Essie scores at Target...
Wicked..to fufill my dark polish needs
Imported bubbly for the hands
and a little Plumberry
I also tried their top coat...I'm not a huge fan of how thick the OPI top coat is and after trying to thin it out with some nail polish remover..it was time to move on! Essie nail polish was sold at all my local Targets for around $7.
I'll admit it. I was stir crazy this week. I didn't realize how much entertainment Mr. Allan provides. I wasn't really taken with this season's Dancing With the Stars Cast..so there was nothing to watch on tv Monday, I cleared out Tivo, watched more Netflix than I ever have in a weeks time and went to the gym a lot. There are lots of things I do enjoy about being alone..like sleeping smack in the middle of the bed and not having to share the bathroom sink counter and being able to leave my make up spread out for days on end. But, I got bored. So, I decided to test run some recipes I've wanted to try, keep looking at, and have been dying to see what they taste like. So, one night last week, I gave these Lemon Whoopie Pies a whirl. I saw them on the site Joy the Baker. So..my night shaped up to be running, yoga, grocery store to buy lemons, home to watch the Back Up Plan while I made batter, ate dinner while these baked, watched the rest of the Back Up Plan while I made the filling and put them together during the American Idol Results show and then I groaned when the judges used the save on Casey..not my cup of tea and I liked the whole upset of the judges' favorite.
Back to the Lemon Whoopie Pies...Fun to make, the work peeps seemed to really enjoy them..so I'm calling them a grand success...something I'll make again and figure out how to do a mini version of.
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 large egg
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk.
Lemon Cream Cheese Filling
6 Tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 3/4 cup powdered sugar
Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and butter the paper.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, sugar and lemon zest until smooth, about 3 minutes. Stop the mixer to scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during the mixing. Add the egg, lemon juice and vanilla, mixing until blended, about 1 minute. The batter may look curdled. On low speed, add half of the flour mixture, mixing just to incorporate it. Mix in the buttermilk. Mix in the remaining flour mixture just until it is incorporated and the batter looks smooth again.
Drop heaping tablespoons (about 3 level Tablespoons each for a giant cookie) of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 3 inches apart. Bake the cookies one sheet at a time until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the tops feel firm, about 12 minutes. With the exception of a time line at the edges, the tops of the cookies should not brown. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 10 minutes, then use a wide metal spatula to transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. To make the filling-
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on low speed, beat the butter, cream cheese, vanilla, lemon zest and lemon juice until thoroughly blended and smooth, about 1 minute. Add the powdered sugar and mix until smooth. If the filling is too soft to hold its shape, chill it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
Turn half of the cookies bottom side up. Leaving a 1/4-inch plain edge, use a thin metal spatula to spread each one with about 1/4 up of filling. Gently press the flat bottoms of the remaining cookies onto the fillings.
Wrap each cookie in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Serve cold. The wrapped cookies can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Just a couple notes from me...
* one lemon was enough to get all the zest and juice I needed. I bought three for some reason, so I figured I'd save you the extra expense of buying too many!
*I used my OXO medium cookie scoop for the batter. This made a top and bottom for the whoopie pie that was about the size of my palm. These cookies spread big time, so keep that in mind. I was aiming for smaller whoopie pies so I'd have plenty for people at work and they came out much bigger than I anticipated. Also, on my large Chicago Metallic jellyroll pan, I put batter for 8 cookies and I really cut it close and almost had them bake into one another
here's the OXO medium cookie scoop. Love this bad boy! using a cookie scoop = nice uniform sized cookies!
*Take the advice and wrap them in plastic wrap. I left some in a tupperware container and they kind of stuck to the bottom a bit. My mom also suggested to dust them with some powdered sugar to get rid of the tackiness and sticky nature of the cookie part.
*just be careful when you're removing them from the cookie sheet. I always use my Silpat. I also use a wilton metal cookie spatula. I still had to do it quite gingerly to keep them in one piece.
I love this Wilton spatula. It has a somewhat sharp flat metal edge to the spatula. It's awesome for getting under that cookie and sliding the spatula underneath. Just be careful..if you don't use Silpats or parchment, I'd imagine you could really scratch up your cookie sheets
So what's in store for me this weekend...Friday night..I think I need to hit up the mall. I saw a dress that I really liked last week while I was shopping with my sister..I tried on one size, it was a little big, and was too lazy to try on the smaller size..and, of course, I can't stop thinking about it! I'm digging the nice tailored dresses..mostly because as long as they're appropriately cut I can get away with them in Court and avoid a suit!
Saturday I'm heading up to western Massachusetts. I'm meeting up with my two sisters and we're spending the day with my mom. We're hopefully helping her with stuff around the house..I think I'm the only female tall enough in our family to clean her front window and I hear my mom's got a bad little 2 lb puppy who needs a little TLC so she stops piddling in the house. Then..maybe I can convince them to hit up the grand Holyoke Mall..where I worked for so many years at that stupid Gap.
Sunday...I think I might start some spring cleaning. The newest issue of Real Simple got me motivated. I've got cat hair tumbleweed in the house and hardwood floors covered with area rugs that haven't been lifted in a year...so there's lot to do around here. I figured since Mr. Allan is gone..I'll probably get a lot more done!
When I cook, I tend to stick to meals that go lean on the meat and heavy on the vegetables. So, I decided to mix it up a little last week. I sat at my desk and decided, I am going to make a meatloaf. I have a couple recipes, but nothing is over the top good. They all consist of meat, an egg, breadcrumbs, and some range from a package of Lipton soup mix to random spices..but they're all ok, nothing is spectacular that stands out in my mind.
So, off the to internet to find something I could make and write about how much I love it...and I'm glad to report that I found one..but sad to report that I'm a boob who forgot to take a picture of the final product...maybe I was that hungry and too excited to eat to whip out the cell phone and snap the pick!
This recipe is off a great site...www.trainermomma.com. The thing that makes this recipe stand out..go the extra mile and buy good ingredients and the combo of dried mustard, ketchup and brown sugar create an unbelievable topping to this meatloaf as opposed to the normal dumping of a can of tomato sauce!
Here's my ground sirloin from Whole foods mixed in with some fresh parsley and dried herbs..I also liked this recipe because it mixed nice with a large wooden spoon, because let's face it, I hate sticking my hands in and smooshing the meat together..mostly because meat gets stuck in those snazzy wedding rings
Here's the meat mixture in the loaf pan. Next time, I might deviate from my normal meatloaf making habits. Since the word loaf is in the title, I always feel compelled to use my loaf pan. But, the loaf pan keeps the excess fat and grease in the pan and makes it difficult to drain it out. Next time I might try using a jellyroll pan and just forming the loaf on the pan and see how I make out.
1 lb lean ground beef (preferably grass fed or organic)
2 slices whole wheat bread, diced very small
¾ cup skim milk
3 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp garlic powder
½ tsp ground sage
½ cup fresh chopped parsley
1 tsp kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
1 cup finely grated zucchini
A teaspoon or so of olive oil to coat the loaf pan
¼ cup ketchup
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp dried mustard
Pre heat oven to 350
Combine beef, bread, eggs, skim milk, onion powder, garlic powder, sage, parsley, salt, pepper, and zucchini in a large bowl.
Use a pastry brush to paint a thin layer of oil on your loaf pan to be sure that nothing sticks. Transfer the meat mixture into the loaf pan and pop into the oven for 50 minutes.
In the meantime, combine ketchup, brown sugar, and dried mustard in a small bowl.
Once the meatloaf is done, remove from the oven and spoon off any excess grease. Top the meatloaf with the ketchup mixture and place back into the oven for another ten minutes.
Allow meatloaf to cool a bit before slicing. Enjoy!
Makes 8 slices.
I used 93% lean ground sirloin from Whole Foods. I don't care what anyone says..there is such a difference between the crap meat you buy from the grocery store and the good stuff from Whole Foods.
Also, I toasted the bread before I diced it into tiny pieces..made for easy cutting!
I like a little crunch in my meat loaf...I added in two stalks of celery (chopped). I was going to add green pepper but forgot to grab it.
I paired it with some roasted brussel sprouts and thought it was one hell of a meal. Also...I'm not typically a huge fan of meatloaf leftovers...but I reheated a piece of meatloaf and made a meatloaf sandwich...it was delicious and filling...confession...that was my meal for the next 3 lunches and dinners! Enjoy!
I don't get a ton of questions...some I answer in comments but this was an email I received!
I love that you really seem to live a healthy lifestyle yet still find the time to bake all the delicious treats and cookies you post pictures of. How do you manage to keep up with the baking (since it's probably not the healthiest snack) and avoid going overboard and eating everything you make?
well...I must admit...baking is my weakness. I love to bake..especially from scratch..is there even any other way to do it? But, it is a huge challenge for a couple reasons. First, anything I bake is not remotely healthy..I usually post a disclaimer in any type of baked good post! Secondly, there's only myself and Mr. Allan at home. So, if I bake, we run into the trap of having the goods in the house tempting and luring us to eat them. I have a couple rules when I bake.
1) I typically solely bake on Sundays unless I'm making something for someone and need to get it to them for a certain date (like a cookie order) or if I'm baking something for a specific occasion. Why Sunday? Mostly because the next day is Monday. In order to not have baked goods in my house, because let's face it, if it's sitting on the counter, I'm going to eat it...I bake them on Sunday and bring them right to work on Monday for my work peeps. This way, Mr. Allan gets to taste one of two and then they're out of the house where we won't eat them.
2) When I bake, I usually chew gum. This is so I don't lick bowls, beaters and what not. If I have gum in my mouth, it keeps my mouth busy so I won't resort to eating a crapload of batter, chocolate chips, or whatever else work. If I don't have gum, a hard candy or even some baby carrots..anything to keep me busy and my mouth actively doing something else besides tasting!
3) I usually always allow myself to eat one of whatever I'm making. If I completely deprived myself 100% of the time, Mr. Allan would probably catch me hiding in the closet eating a whole bag of chocolate chips or a tub of frosting to get my sweet fix on. I LOVE sweets...they're my weakness but they're probably the worst kind of junk food you can eat. They're primarily made of processed things and chock full of calories and fat. So, an occasional treat is okay...but I usually bake, taste, then unload to a different location because I have no self control when it comes to them!
Thanks A for the question!
If you have a question about any recipe, tip, product, or other nonsense I write about....just email me!
It's Wednesday...hump day...but this week is d-r-a-g-g-i-n-g for me. Not to mention..it's spring now and there's accumulating snow in the forecast for tonight. I probably sound like Debbie Downer...so here's a cute little video I saw on this morning's Today show to make you smile...this baby is so cute he almost makes my non maternal biological clock tick a little...
I eat kind of strange meals when Mr. Allan is gone. Usually, I make a one pot meal that I can tweak into a different dishes and eat all week..I do this mostly because I'm sort of lazy when I'm alone and don't meal plan like I do when Mr. Allan is around. My confession...I've eaten Kashi Go Lean cereal for at least 1 meal every single day for the past 10 days...there were a couple days in there where it was two meals and maybe even the only thing I ate all day...
So, here's a little meal I threw together that has become a favorite of ours. I love the combination of roasted sweet potatoes, beans and a couple Mexican like spices. I also love the combo of the sweet potatoes and beans because it keeps me so full...something that is key for meals I make since I am a food grazer all day long....I won't even be hungry yet find my head in the pantry wondering what I can snack on just because...so a meal that fills me is so important!
So...this was a total kitchen sink meal...a day where I have nothing planned and pretty much comb the fridge and cupboards looking for ideas...
First, I took 2 sweet potatoes. I washed them and cut them into 1/2 inch cubes. I roasted them with a tiny bit of olive oil on a cookie sheet for 20 minutes or so at 425 degrees
I then diced an onion and sauteed it in a tsp of olive oil. I then added 2 tsp of chili powder and 1 tsp of cumin
I had pretty random stuff in the fridge...I chopped some cilantro, chopped some lettuce and cut up a tomato for my burrito filling. I also used some salsa and some Chobani plain non fat greek yogurt. This acted as my sour cream since it was all the fridge had to offer
I love these Ezekial wraps for many reasons. First, they come frozen and thaw out in 20 minutes. So, I can keep them in the freezer and take out 2 and still have some frozen. I hate buying a package of tortilla shells where we use 2 maybe 3 and the rest sit there and eventually go moldy on me. Plus..I LOVE Ezekial products. When I followed Tosca Reno's Eating Clean plan last year, I gravitated towards all Ezekial products because they're made with sprouted grain without other additives and chemicals you find in regular tortillas.
I then added a can of black beans. I rinsed and drained them and added them right to the onion. By this time, the sweet potatoes were done. I added them to the mix and voila...my taco, burrito, quesadilla filling. I've made them all with this filling.
Here's my naked sweet potato and black bean burrito
Here he is all dressed up ready to be rolled
I got three meals out of this. One day I had burritos, the next day I took 2 Ezekial shells, a tiny bit of shredded cheese and threw it in the oven to make a quesadilla. I stink at flipping them in the frying pan..so that's why I opt for the oven. Then, I just ate the filling by itself one night to finish it off!
Thank you to my sister for introducing me to this stuff and thank you to my sister in law for reminding me how much I love it and had forgotten about it! I love this stuff. Once upon a time I was an over highlighted blond...I know, what was I thinking, especially with my black eyebrows. Maybe I was trying to rock the Denise Richards look from years ago when Charlie Sheen wasn't crazy and everyone talked about her kiss in Wild Things. Then, I met my lovely hairdresser who brought me back to brown. My sister suggested this glaze by John Frieda. They make some specific to your hair color and this clear one as well. It gives my hair a little pick me up while I'm trying to trudge through the 6 weeks between color because I'm turning gray rapidly period. I use it maybe once a week when I need a little something something. It leaves my hair super shiny and silky..something my way too blow dried hair needs. Consider it a little tlc for those, like me, who give their hair a run for their money with the stuff I do to it on a weekly basis.
My house desperately needs it. I did a BJ's Wholesale club run this weekend to stock up on some cleaning products and other items....I did a double take when I saw these bad boys hanging near the laundry detergent
At first I thought...are people really that lazy that they can't push around a swiffer or vacuum? But, maybe these would be a good idea for someone who has back issues or is really pregnant? But then how are they supposed to pick up the dirt? I saw them and I must say they're not at the top of any of my wish lists and they're kind of Rosie the Riveter-esque with the pink bow. Just a word wise to the men...probably NOT a good birthday gift idea for any lady in your life.
I wore many different hats...the weekend was chock full of activity to keep me busy so I'd forget how much I miss Mr. Allan...(insert your awww here)
First off....I was a runner. I had so much fun meeting up with my friend, S, to run the St. Patrick's Day 5k race in Providence RI. We were part of the group of 4000 that ran this race. Out of the 4000 people...I came in 2530. Not that the place matters...I was happy to run the entire race and feel pretty good afterwards as I've been running mostly on a treadmill and only had the chance to run once or twice outside since the weather in New England has been so cold. Here's a shot of the mass crowd...unfortunately we were stuck behind about 3000 people at the bottom of the hill. I love running this race every year...it's like my unofficial spring kick off!
Then....I was named the unofficial cribbage champion of the 5th ward neighborhood of Newport. You might think..cribbage...that sounds like a total old person game. Well, my friends, pair it with beer, calzones, and some great friends and it makes for a fantastic night! Call it beginner's luck...but I think it was my mad skills and quiet demeanor until the end of the game that worked!
On Sunday...I wore my yogi hat. My gym offered a 3 hour vinyassa flow yoga class. I was a little leary if I could hack it for 3 hours, and a little more leary about a 3 hour class the day after a road race where I am always too excited to take my time and stretch afterwards and just want to socialize and eat the free bananas.
But, I'm glad I signed up, glad I persevered through it and apologize to the teachers who were assisting me through poses at just how much of a hot sweaty mess I become during class. I love that I can grab a mat and use my body to get some an amazing workout.
After sweaty yoga seminar....it was onto a Make Up Class put on by the lovely Kristin Greene of Simply Beautiful. (www.kristingreene.net). She's the go-to make up artist for brides in RI. The night consisted of some appetizers, lots of wine, and lots of this stuff...
I also used Kristin for my wedding....
It was fun to learn some new make up tips, have a glass of wine after a busy weekend, but most of all, hang out with some fabulous ladies!
So...how was your weekend?? Just think...five more days until we get to do it all over again!