5 Beauty Products I Use Daily

I have a bad habit of waiting until I get to the office to put on makeup. This habit started over a year ago as I found that trying to apply makeup in the gym bathroom was fruitless. Still damp from the shower, the makeup wouldn’t stay in place and the moisturizer would melt right off. After doing this the entire Spring, while working out at Barry’s Bootcamp before work, this became a habit which I’ve had an issue breaking.

IMG_9408

Instead of trying to break this habit, I’ve tried to figure out a few quick ways that I can leave the house looking just a bit more presentable each morning. These five products, which range in price from $6.99 to over $200 have left me feeling & looking fresher & more vibrant each morning when I walk out the door.

I’ve been using these products for over a month and noticed the difference almost immediately. Each morning I wake up and find that my skin is radiant and my under eye circles and bags have drastically reduced thanks to the eye cream and moisturizer I apply each night. My co-workers have commented on my makeup at the coffee shop in the morning when the only thing I’m wearing is lipstick and concealer. The moisturizer repaired my wind chapped skin after a weekend of skiing while the concealer hid the fact that I’d been out dancing until 4am. A quick swipe of this red lipstick  makes me look awake and put together even when I’m running ten minutes late. The vibrant orange-red hue is best for medium complexions like mine hand helps counteract any tiredness or dull skin coloring during the winter months! If you’re trying to figure out what the best red is for your skin-tone, check out this helpful Allure article!

While I love each of these products, for very different reasons, if I had to buy one today for every person on my Christmas list it would be the Crest Pro-Health Clinical Mouthwash. It has left my teeth at least two shades whiter without resulting in any sensitivity. I get asked about my whitening treatment at least once a week from friends and co-workers, a sure fire sign that the mouthwash is working.

IMG_9407

Whether you try one of these products or not, if I could give you a resolution to add to your list come January 1st it would be to use moisturizer and under eye cream daily in 2015. None of us are getting any younger and you can easily improve the look, feel, texture and radiance of your face by using these products and drinking plenty of water. It only takes a minute or two each night to apply and makes a world of difference after just a few weeks.

Also, keep in mind, many skincare products such as moisturizers and eye creams, only require a small amount each day. This means that a product can last multiple months before you need to replace it. Your skin is an investment and you only have one chance to take care of it! Spending $200 on a moisturizer which lasts 6 months nets out to less than $0.55 per application!

Your Turn – What’s your favorite beauty product that you use daily?

*While I am an employee of Procter & Gamble I did not get compensated to review any of these products. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Follow:

Eye on The Prize

Bo and I are both highly motivated when there is an end goal in mind. Therefore, I knew that if every speaker was going to be mounted, every wire hid, box unpacked, and rug purchased, we needed to have a goal completion date. After debating back and forth we decided that having a housewarming party the first weekend of May would be a great opportunity for multiple reasons:

1) Celebrate our move into the city with friends

2) Get back to our Southern roots by giving it a Kentucky Derby theme and starting it before 5pm when the Derby takes place

3) Experiment with fun food ideas all relating to either the South or Bourbon in honor of the Derby. (Anyone have any recipe ideas?)

4) Have an opportunity to introduce all our amazing friends from different aspects of our lives.

5) A perfect address to don seersucker and a fun summer frock.

With only a week between our move in day and housewarming party, we knew that we had to make the most of every moment this weekend. Therefore, Friday evening until Saturday afternoon we lived and breathed the unpacking process. There were countless trips to The Container Store, Home Depot, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Pottery Barn. We were quite the site as we lugged our goods ten blocks having to stop every few minutes to rest our arms. Moving is hard work and lots of heavy lifting!  We made great progress on the apartment by the time we left for the first time around noon on Sunday for Lauren’s birthday brunch.

For your enjoyment, here are some pictures from our work in progress. We are very open to any design criticism or suggestion so please, feel free to provide! Blog Pictures 2010 010 Blog Pictures 2010 009It’s scary how quickly we were able to fill this walk in closet. The next thing on my shopping list is a full length mirror for the side wall behind the door. I do love how I can get ready in one spot since i’ve made one shelf into a mini vanity.  Blog Pictures 2010 008 Blog Pictures 2010 011It’s amazing how much one change can make to a room. Bo and I received this vibrant duvet cover as a wedding present and waited until our move to switch it with the old one. We went from navy and cream stripes to bright peacocks and florals. We both love the richness of this with the dark wood. Blog Pictures 2010 007 Our amazing wedding party gave us the hutch you see in the background as their wedding gift. It has been the perfect place to store our china and crystal. It is also a gorgeous piece. I can’t wait to clear all the clutter off of it so it is only displaying our one large floral piece and our 8*10 wedding picture.  Blog Pictures 2010 006 Blog Pictures 2010 005 The new kitchen is definitely smaller than the last one but they made great use of the space. The biggest adjustment is the tiny dishwasher. I’m sorry Earth but I feel like we’re going to be running the dishes every other night. Oh, and our building is very strict about recycling. This is exciting except when you don’t know about it. Imagine my surprise and fear when I was throwing trash down the chute and heard “RECYCLE YOU NEW PEOPLE.” Evidently the maintenance staff wasn’t pleased with my empty milk jug going down the chute. Ooops! Blog Pictures 2010 004I’m currently in love with this pantry! Bo and I installed shelves on the right side wall this weekend which compliment the California Closet shelves perfectly. A pantry may seem like a given but after not having one for the last year you realize what a great asset it is! Our has been freshly stocked on the top 3 shelves with teas, oats, cereals, and other staples. We’ve also restocked our spices after throwing out any that didn’t pass Bo’s sniff test. I kid you not, I can’t make these things up. :) Blog Pictures 2010 003

This area isn’t complete as we are getting another component to our bar area via UPS tomorrow. The rug was one of my many stops today after work. I went from the UPS customer service area on the lower West side in search of a box, uptown to Pottery Barn where I lugged out this huge rug and two other bags, then over to Crate and Barrel! Phew.

Yesterday afternoon was filled with great food, friends, and laughter as we celebrated Lauren’s 26th birthday. It is amazing how convenient living in this area really is. Most of our friends live either in Union Square area or the Village. Therefore, our apartment is in between our offices in Midtown East and our friends. Leaving the apartment on Sunday and having the opportunity to walk from here to Lauren’s apartment in the village while making 3 stops along the way to pick up wine, gifts, and fruit was so refreshing. Even though LIC was only 1 stop on the 7 there is something to be said for not having to set foot on a subway. The afternoon included some spur of the moment blueberry margaritas made by Casey, Lauren’s boyfriend.laurens bday

Strawberry Shortcake, the birthday girl’s favorite: laurensbday2

and lots of smiles!

laurenbday1

The brunch birthday worked wonderfully as all 18 guests were able to socialize casually in Lauren and Casey’s apartment, everyone brought a dish, and there was no tipping or group difficulties to worry about. The hit of the afternoon was definitely Casey’s scrambled eggs. He made everything from plain jane, to cheese eggs, to finally bacon eggs! He went through 36 eggs in just a few minutes!

It’s off to bed for this tired gal! I’m looking forward to another morning of running at our new Equinox after having a great 5 miler this morning. I guess after almost a week break my legs were craving a run. This week I’m going to focus on running versus spinning as I’ve been a bit burnt out on spinning lately. Hopefully tomorrow morning I can beat today’s 5 miles in 47 minutes!

Please feel free to provide any Kentucky Derby/Southern recipe ideas, decorating ideas, or more! I value y’alls feedback and comments!

Follow:

What I’m Wearing Today

My friend Grace features this daily on her blog and thought it would make a fun addition! :) Enjoy! I primarily wear Banana Republic and JCrew pieces to work each day as they pair perfectly, are functional, and have really improved their style ante over the past few years. If you’re looking for a deal JCrew has one of the best outlets I’ve visited, outside of Kate Spade and Theory. Don’t forget to enter my Yoplait giveaway! I’ll pick a winner tomorrow morning!

Follow:

BLT Fish: Fresh, Delicious, Simple Flavors Impeccably Executed

I hope you all have had a great weekend. In case you missed it, we’ve been busy this weekend. Our fun has included
and
Other highlights include drinks at the Standard Beer Garden with great friends, dinner at Garage, my first acupuncture experience, finding a great summer dress from Ann Taylor Loft for FREE thanks to a gift card, and a wonderful catch up chat on the rooftop with Melissa. Now we’re curled up enjoying How to Make It in America (great recommendation Lauren). Parts of it are similar to Entourage but based in New York City and more about real, scrappy people versus lucky people. The theme song is fabulous as is the cast. You can check the video out here– How To Make It In America intro theme song – I Need A Dollar By Aloe Blacc http://youtu.be/cvfIGPiZL-g
 
Gorgeous night in NYC
But, now I want to back track to Friday night. I mentioned that Bo wanted to keep it just the two of us and enjoy a date night. He surprised me with reservations at BLT Fish. Located between on 17th street between Fifth and Sixth Avenue this little unassuming nook was the perfect date spot. Downstairs is a separate restaurant, BLT Fish Shack which is a casual raw bar that specializes in fresh shellfish and staples like shrimp in a bag and chowder.
 
Bears like fish.
We loved the feel of the downstairs portion and hope to come back soon once we’re in the area. But, Friday night they quickly escorted us up to the third floor for our meal. The second floor of BLT Fish is dedicated to private dining special events. Upon exiting the elevator we felt like we’d been transported to another restaurant. There is a retractable glass roof that makes the restaurant feel open and adds to the dimension. It has a classic open kitchen design with both table and booth seating. The focus point of the restuarant was a huge, gorgoeous floral centerpiece that broke up the room. After being escorted to a perfect corner nook table we were served fresh biscuits. They come out warm with maple syrup butter, and a cute little card with the recipe on it.  Since they shared the recipe with us I thought i’d pass it on to my readers:
Makes 8 biscuits.
1 1/2 C flour
2 t baking powder
1 t salt
1/4 t cayenne pepper
3 T shortening

3 T butter
1 T chopped chives
1 C sharp cheddar
1 1/4 C cream
Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and cayenne.

Cut the shortening and butter into the flour mixture. Do not overmix
Do leave the butter and shortening in small piece
Toss in the chives and the cheese.
Toss in cream, just until the mixture comes together. Do not mix too much.
Bake at 375 degrees for 15-17 minutes.

After the biscuits we chose a delicious wine to complement the meal. The next taste was a tuna herb amuse buche and was better than any simple tuna salad i’ve ever tried! Based on these two tastes alone we were definitely excited. Having never been to BLT Fish before we didn’t know what to expect but based on the service, wine and first two tastes alone Bo had decided that this may be one of the most underrated restaurants he’s seen on Zagat.
 
We both had two different appetizers in mind and decided ahead of time that we would NOT be going 50-50. :) I have a crazy love of octopus and rarely have the opportunity to enjoy it. Therefore, I chose the grilled Portuguese Octopus with chickpeas and roasted red peppers. It had nice chunks of tender grilled octopus  surrounded by a vinagrette and mache. The vinagrette complemented the smoky charred flavor versus covering it.
Since Bo has a soft spot in his heart for gnocchi, Bo chose the ricotta gnudi with seared rock shrimp morels and spring peas. The translucent rock shrimp were melt in your mouth tender while the gnudi was sauteed perfectly- browned on the outside but soft inside.
Everything on the menu sounded delicious but I knew I didn’t want a whole roasted or salt encrusted fish for my main course. Lately everytime we’ve enjoyed fish it’s been crispy (red snapper on the honeymoon, the huge fish at Butter, our last dinner Esca). We took our waitress’ advice and went split two of their most popular dishes for our main courses: Acacia Marinated Alaskan Black Cod and the Belgian Dover Sole.
I was a bit apprehensive of the cod as it seemed very typical due to it’s Japanese flavors. However, what I tasted surprised and delighted me. The cod was as tender and moist as any I’ve had, with the sweetness of the honey as a nice gentle additional flavor. As described by our server, it melted in our mouthes. The second I put my fork into the tender filet it flaked into perfect pieces.  The dover sole was the best browned butter caper sauce we’ve ever had.
We would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone who is looking for a special dinner destination which will delight their date with wonderful service, simple flavors which are impeccably executed, and a treat of sweet apple cotton candy as an after dinner treat!

Follow: