Thursday, October 27, 2011

skintastic

Hi there gorgeous!  If there is one thing I can tell you about me today is that I am OBSESSED with skin care products.  This love affair began many moons ago because of my beautiful grandmother.  She was a bit of a product "collector" and I adored going through her vanity and opening up the jars, taking in a deep breath in order to inhale that delicate scent of perfumed anti-wrinkle loveliness.  I remember my sister and I  going with her to Saks on 5th ave in NYC. We would navigate through all of the make-up counters while she had her consultations and I truly day dreamed of being one of those {glorious} women who worked in cosmetics.  Well, that dream came true, when I turned 18.  I got a job working for Lancome and it was one of the best times of my life.  Not only did I get to indulge in every type of whipped, silky concoction to remedy any dilemma known to woman; but I also got to experience that connection between women that I witnessed on those shopping trips with my granny.  The day I go back to work I hope to get back to skincare and beauty {in which ever shape or form that will entail}.

Today I thought I would share with you what my skincare routine looks like.  I have taken a more natural, pure approach since my days behind the cosmetics counter.  These days I shop mainly at Whole Foods and Target for my goods and I have been so pleased with the products I have encountered.  My routine is not completely established as of yet.  I'm missing a couple of products {such as a good serum and the perfect face wash} that are essential in my opinion, so I'll let you know when I find them and please don't hesitate to tell me some of your faves!  My skin is combination: I still break out {bleh}, especially around my forehead, but around my eyes the skin gets very dry.  It's all about prevention people so I never ever allow my eye area to be sans cream.  My concern is to prevent wrinkles around the eyes and forehead, but my major dilemma is the break-outs caused by ani-wrinkle creams.  So, here we go...

This scrub from Giovanni is just fabulous, the texture is fine and gentle, great for using 2-3 times a week. I've only been using it for about 2 weeks, but I have to say it's the best one I have found.


Durring the day I've been using the moisturizer from Giovanni and I love it because of it's light weight super silky texture {and no bad reactions}.


This cream from Weleda has been a staple of mine for about 5 years now.  I love it around my eyes and lips {much to heavy for me to use any where else these days}.  After a long day at the beach I mix it with pure aloe vera and apply it to my entire face~ heavenly!  It's definitely time to purchase a new one...


Tea tree oil has been an omnipresent ingredient in my routine since my teenage years.  These cleansing pads are awesome, but I only use them when the my skin is having a major break-out. 


One of my biggest fears is having loose skin around my neck and chest, so I apply this firming cream all over that area.  I loooOoove the scent of gardenia that this cream has and it's silky smooth feel.


I tend to frown WAY too much when I am "expressing" my-self, so I have been using this between my eyebrows and around my eyes.  Have I seen MAJOR improvements? not yet... but I'm hoping its doing more preventing then anything.  


This is the BEST lip balm I have ever used~ it gets applied a gazillion times a day!


These make-up removing towelettes from Target are so effective!  The price is fantastic and they are perfect for removing every ounce of make-up {including water-proof mascara}.  






I came up with this little recipe for a natural scrub/mask which I have been addicted to lately.  On friday nights I have my beautifying ritual before the weekend arrives and it begins with this to get my skin prepped, fresh and glowing for the fun times ahead.

First I zest a whole lemon.


Then I add the zest to a tablespoon of sea salt in a small bowl.


I squeeze 1/2 of the lemon & mix it all together.


I apply everything to my clean face in circular motions {this will get a little messy so be sure to do it over the sink}.  I let the salt sit on my skin while I give myself a mani & pedi and wash it off in the shower.  Afterwards I apply my moisturizer right away and I am always amazed at how soft and radiant my skin looks!  Let me know if you try this out, ok?



I will leave you with a couple of shots of Luna during tummy time on my bed. 



Ciao bellissima! 

Monday, October 24, 2011

weekend details

Hello Monday, you are back once again WAY too fast.  We had a very nice little weekend.  Saturday we went to church {got there 2 hours later then usual due to the fact that the kids woke up at 9 am, yes NINE AM.  I don't think that has happened in, like, 3 years}, then lunch with my family.  We had one of the most amazing lasagnas and our rendition of crepes suzette for dessert.  Delishhhhhhhhhh!  

Here I am with Bela on our way to church.  


We had a super productive Sunday~ Danny felt motivated to make our lawn look like someone actually lives in our home {lol} and made major progress with *operation transform garage into living space a.k.a. bedroom #4*.  Can't wait to post pics on that project very soon!   The plan is this: once the new room is done, we switch Max into his own room where the guest room used to be {room #3} and Lulu move out of my room and in with Bela.  I will finally transform it into a girly paradise {which I haven't been able to do since Max & Bela have been co-inhabiting room #2} and we will create a man-spcace for Maximo.   We spent the afternoon with my family, out to a delicious Mexican lunch {the best chicken enchiladas in town} and little light shopping for some frames for the girls room.  A great day indeed.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

pumpkin muffins

Nothing says fall like cool, crisp air, deep orange leaves, and pumpkin... well... anything!  This is the kickoff to a marathon of pumpkin infused recipes.  That is until I reach the point of not being able to stand the sight of canned pumpkin on my weekly trips to Whole Foods.  These muffins are so simple and the perfect balance of sweet and intense.  Yesterday, Bela and I decided to have a bake session while Maximo napped and I have to say these are some of my favorite times with my girlie.  My mom always let us have a blast in the kitchen growing up so I intend to do the same with my kiddos.  After Max woke up and as soon as they came out of the oven, the three of us devoured 5 {!} of them while they were still warm.  Danny had one with Nutella schmeered all over it for dessert and they were scrumptious with my green tea for breakfast this morning.  Enjoy!

These are the ingredients:


  • 1 cup flour {I mixed 1/2 spelt 1/2 whole wheat}
  • 1 cup pastry flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 can of pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbs agave or molasses 
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 milk {I think I will try buttermilk next time}
  • 1tbs vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg


 We start by mixing the pumpkin and eggs


Then add the brown sugar




Next we add the agave


My little helper loves licking the agave spoon :)


Time for vanilla


Now we add the four spices


Next comes the oil...


...and milk


While the batter is mixing, we sift the flours and salt together


and add in the baking soda


Give it a good mix {look at those little hands working!}


We add the dry ingredients a little at a time


Once the batter is thoroughly mixed it's time to fill the baking cups




3/4 full


400 degrees, 20 minutes and voila! 


The last batch we made a little bigger... we got 15 muffins total


Pumkinalicious!!!!  




* * * * *
Today we took the kids to a gorgeous park which has a carousel that is just stunning.  Before I had Luna we did a photoshoot there with my friend Diana, you can check it out here .  The weather this afternoon was perfection and the kids, my mom, sis and I had such a lovely time together.  So thankful for such an awesome day!


Here is Bela on one of three rides on the carousel.





~Wishing you a fabulous Friday~





Wednesday, October 19, 2011

run lola run


Hello darlings!  I've been working on giving my blog a new look.  This is what I've come up with so far, but it's still a major work in progress.  Technologically advanced has never been in the same sentence with my name, but I am definitely learning a little here and little there....

So, I am so excited to say that last weekend we did a little shopping for moi and I came out with a new pair of running shoes and a yoga mat. The inspiration was so overwhelming that I went running Monday morning in the rain and darkness and have barely been able to sit down since!  Oh yeah, the best pain in the world and it's time momma gets some tone back.  It's been 4 years since I've been on a good run and I am so thankful to have that part of my life back.  The strength and peace that I derive from running is incomparable.

 

Aren't these puppies adorable!  I was sold as soon as I saw the fuchsia laces.  Is it terrible that they were the only ones I tried on???   Good thing they are incredibly comfortable. 

~Take care stay tuned for Pumpkin muffins tomorrow~

Thursday, October 13, 2011

lentil lovin


We had a much anticipated lentil night last night.  I guess you can say there is a lot of lentil love in my home, why?  Well let me count the ways: they are super nutritious {high in fiber, protein and iron}, cook quite fast, and the are great for every age under the roof {well except Lulu for the next 3 months}.

Here is what the served plate looks like:


Now, let's show you the lentil way...

Ingredients~

2 cups of lentils {I used french lentils from the bulk bins at Whole Foods}
1 red pepper
4 shallots {one regular onion will do, but I love the intensity of shallots}
4 garlic cloves
any type of vegetarian sausage 
splash of soy sauce
1/2 cup of red wine
Herbes de Provence 
Coriander
salt and pepper to taste
4 cups of water

We begin by slicing the shallots nice and thin.


Then we chop the garlic.



Add both to a warm pot with olive oil and a dash of soy sauce.


Then add the red wine.


While they cook down, we'll prep the lentils.



Rinse them thoroughly and pick out any bad pieces.  


Now we'll add in the veggie sausage.  I love this veggie chorizo from Yves, it has such a great spicy kick~ I highly recommend it.  


Just cut the package open and add it to the pot {you can use any kind of sausage that you like, of course}.



The lentils will go in right after the sausage has a few minutes to start browning.  



Give them a nice stir and make a well in the center.  


It's time for the spices and seasoning. 


Add a little more olive oil, coriander, herbes de provence {crush them with your fingers are you are putting them in the pot to release their natural oils}, and salt and pepper.  Give them a minute to heat up in the oil, then give everything a good mix.


Now we'll add in the chopped red pepper.



It's time to add in the 4 cups of water, stir, cover and let simmer at medium heat for 30 minutes.


Make sure to open up the pot and check things out after 10 minutes to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom.  


Once the lentils are tender and the consistency is thick, we are ready to plate this puppy.  Make sure you give one last salt test and add a little more if needed before plating.  


I love to serve this on top of a bed of fluffy white or brown rice.


Bon appetite~ I hope you will give it a go and enjoy!