Monthly Archives: January 2013

Sweater Weather

Here we go, guys! Remember that horrible, cold, depressing time of year that I wrote about a few weeks ago? It is upon us, and the chances of it letting up any time soon are pretty slim! It was cold (freezing!) and snowy all weekend, and I am already over it. We had a strange relapse into 40-degree weather yesterday (and more in the forecast for today), but I won’t be fooled — it will stay warm-ish for just long enough to catch us off guard, and then BAM! The freezing weather will sneak in again, and make us wish for spring to come even quicker.

sweaterroundup2013{1} Aritzia | {2} ASOS | {3} Zara

Stay warm on this Wednesday! Here are a few cute sweaters that you can stock up on to keep you warm and looking cute when the temperature drops again!

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Balsamic Beef Stew

balsamicbeefstew

Even though I’m not a big meat-eater, I seem to have an affinity for beef stew. Especially when the days get as cold as the ones we’ve had lately, there is nothing better than a hearty stew to stick to your ribs and keep you warm. Last night’s dinner of Balsamic Beef Stew went above and beyond my expectations, and couldn’t have been simpler to make!

You may remember the Kerala-style beef stew that I posted here a while ago. My one (easily addressed) complaint with that recipe is that the beef isn’t slow cooked, resulting in tougher cubes of meat. This recipe is intended for the slow cooker, both to help the meat get fall-apart tender and to meld the incredible flavors packed into the soup.

I know that some people use red wine in beef stew to bring a hint of acidity and a little richness to the broth. The addition of just three tablespoons of balsamic vinegar instead just took me by complete surprise. Not only did it bring a rich body to the broth (thanks also, in part, to the addition of tomatoes), but it also gave it the most pleasant tang!

You can really use any kind of vegetable in this recipe — I skipped the root veggies and instead just went with sweet potato (I live with a carrot-hater… compromises). The herbs are really what make this dish special though — fresh rosemary and thyme give the soup a fresh, earthy flavor that I loved. And the best part is, I have plenty of leftovers to last me another day or two! Yum.

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In the Eye of the Beholder

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A quick post today — just a few of my current favorite beauty products that are keeping my routine fresh. I find with beauty products that doing the same thing over and over again can get really boring, so I try to test out new things every so often. Anything to make me a little more enthusiastic about my morning routine…

{Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner} My mom actually introduced me to this eyeliner after finding one in her monthly Birchbox. Liquid liners can very easily look too harsh, but I love that the felt tip applicator on this one is built to be build-able! I prefer my eyeliner to be a little more subtle, while my sister likes to lay it on thicker and wing the sides out a bit. We can both be wearing this same liner and you’d never know it was the same product.

{NARS Lipstick in Barbarella} I’ve heard all of the talk about NARS lipsticks over the years, but not until recently did I finally take the plunge and purchase one for myself. Barbarella is a really great, sheer light pink color that can easily be worn for just a slight sheen of color or layered for a more intense look. The packaging alone makes me eager to touch up during the day!

{Chloe Eau de Parfum} This one almost speaks for itself — Chloe’s original scent is such a modern classic. Since I started wearing it, I’ve been receiving compliments non-stop. I went for the less expensive roller ball version of this scent so that I could test it out and see if I liked it, but now that the tube is nearly half empty I think I’m going to need to buy a bigger bottle!

What’s in your current beauty arsenal?

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Spring Preview

Sometimes when the weather gets just a little too cold and the days a little too dark, I can’t help but daydream about warmer days and shorter hemlines. I’m about at that point where I don’t want to think about another layer or go through the process of bundling and un-bundling as I come and go during the day. Luckily, even though the temperature isn’t quite right for bare legs and sandals yet, there are plenty of spring items sneaking their way into the stores already. I’m already stocking up! Here are a few of my picks for the spring.

springpreviewdresses13{1} Prabal Gurung for Target (available February 10th) | {2} Club Monaco | {3} Tibi

springpreviewbaubles13{1} Kate Spade | {2} Deepa Gurnani | {3} Etsy

springpreviewshoes13{1} Rebecca Minkoff | {2} Schutz | {3} Zara

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Winter Blues

winterbluesVia flickr

Once the warm glow of the holidays has faded away, we’re left with the months of the year that I dread most: January and February! The weather gets colder, the days can be bleak and overcast, and all I can think about is how badly I want Spring to arrive. It can get to the point where it really bums me out to be indoors all the time, and I know I’m not alone there. Of course, there’s no magic way to just skip over this part of the year, but here are a few of my suggestions for making the most of it!

Keep Moving — When I wake up and it’s still pitch black outside (and cold!), the last thing I want to do is jump out of bed and hit the gym. Ditto for when I leave the office at 6 and it’s been dark since 4:30. Do yourself a favor and figure out a way to keep exercising, even if that means you buy a workout DVD to do at home when you just can’t bear the thought of hoofing it to the gym. The endorphins you’ll get from a good workout will naturally put you in a better mood!

Lean on a Friend — During the warmer months, we’re more inclined to go out for drinks after work, pop by a friend’s apartment for a visit, or go out on a Saturday night. But when the cold sets in, a lot of people go into hibernation mode and the social calendar tends to slow down. Make an effort to do something once a week with a friend, despite the cold weather. See a movie, go to the gym together, or grab a drink (even if it’s just polishing off a bottle of wine at your place). It will keep you from getting too lonely and give you something to look forward to!

cozyVia Pinterest

Enjoy Some Downtime — Catch up on a favorite TV series, read that book that you’ve been meaning to read, work on a project that keeps getting pushed to the side, or just spend some extra time on the couch snuggled up with your #1 (person, pet, sappy movie… doesn’t matter!). Learn to balance your social time with some breathing time.

Plan Your Spring Wardrobe — As soon as the post-holiday sales wind down, the Spring merchandise starts hitting the shelves full-force. It can be tough to think about leg-baring skirts and peep-toe sandals when it’s freezing outside, but giving your closet a thorough clean out and mapping out your spring wardrobe will make you feel prepared as soon as the temperature rises!

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Recipe: Tofu Scrambled Eggs

tofuscramble

I’m going to pretend that we always eat healthy around here: you know, that this isn’t my feeble attempt to eat healthy because the calendar recently changed over to a new year, bringing me a new-found desire to take care of my body, go to the gym, drink more water… definitely not the case. Whether or not you are plagued by the “get healthy” bug this month, I recommend trying out this recipe because it is really quite delicious AND healthy!

Tofu has never been my favorite food. It’s bland and can be a little rubbery, so the dishes I’ve enjoyed most have usually been fried (what doesn’t taste good fried, really?). These Tofu Scrambled Eggs are now top on my list of tofu dishes for a number of reasons: The tofu is crumbled (like scrambled eggs), which gives it a nicer consistency than when it’s cut into blocks. You can add pretty much any fresh veggies that you’d like into this dish and have something tasty! You can serve this meal as a fun riff on breakfast for dinner, or actually eat it for breakfast. And finally, it has turmeric in it, which gives it the beautiful natural yellow color AND is thought to have some nice health benefits! I’d make this again in a heartbeat — the only change I’d make would be adding some freshly diced avocado into the mix!

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Resolutions

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Another holiday season and another year have come and gone! Tomorrow will be a “back to reality” day for me after enjoying more than a week of Christmas celebrations and downtime with family — wish me luck!

I’m not much of a resolutions-maker, since I tend to forget about them at the first temptation (skip the gym tonight to meet a friend for a drink? Sure, why not?). So this year, instead of setting a goal to go to the gym 5 times a week or start (and finish) a new sewing project every month, I’m going to aim to experience 2013 with my feet off the ground a little more often instead of always relying on the tried-and-true pathways that we all default to. Maybe that will mean being more open to experimenting with our weekly dinner menu, or something bigger like trying to launch a business (more on that later!). Either way, I’m looking forward to this fresh new year and everything it has to bring. Happy New Year!

 

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