3.04.2015

REAL GIRL BEAUTY: WEEKEND ROUTINE


It sort of seems like an oxymoron, "weekend makeup." But it really is a natural version of makeup that you can do any day of the week. Here are a few steps to get naturally gorgeous…


On the weekends, I always like to start by doing a mask while I'm cleaning around my house. This mask totally gives me glowing skin and is pretty gentle too. I put the mask in front of my face because I wanted to cover up my completely no-makeup face (I'm so clever huh?)



Go ahead, put your groceries away, sweep the living room. Just let that mask do its job. After about 10-20 mins, rise off with warm water. And now you're all prepped. Continue with these easy steps...


Look at that. Pretty glowing skin in a totally natural way. 


Now you're totally brunch ready.


Mask / Tinted Moisturizer / Blush / Brow Gel / MascaraLip Balm

3.03.2015

THROW A LITTLE SPRING IN


Sometimes I get stuck in a rut with clothes. I get in the habit of grabbing the same shirt, throwing on the same pants and, in general, dressing pretty similar each day. But then spring comes around and I shake off all of those heavy sweaters and take a second look at how I can liven up my wardrobe.

I just was reminded of Boden the other day while looking for a perfect spring coat. I totally forgot about their playful-yet-chic collection of clothes and accessories. Well what a lovely surprise it was to discover their latest offering. It's perfect for spring with fun, floral prints, sporty stripes and cool metallics mixed in. These finds will definitely get ready for spring!



3.02.2015

NEIGHBORHOOD PROFILE: HAYES VALLEY


As I've mentioned before I love San Francisco. It's not the city for everyone but, for right now, it certainly is the city for me. Every time someone comes to visit, I like to show them the things that make me love the city so much. Usually, my first stop is Hayes Valley. With it's delicious restaurants, cute little local shops and parks, it is the perfect place to start to fall in love with the city. I thought that I would put together a little list of my must-stop places while you are visiting the neighborhood. These are places that I go time and time again to eat and pick up little treasures. 


I recently just went here for the first time and I plan on going back over and over again. From the adorable dishes to the sweet ladies working behind the register and in the pocket-sized kitchen, I immediately was smitten with this place. I had the most incredible lox bagel with freshly made everything bagel. For dessert, we shared a slice of the heavenly honey cake. 








Miette

I always stop in Miette when I am in Hayes Valley because of their gorgeous shop. Their treats are the perfect San Francisco souvenir for bringing back home. I also love their selection of unique chocolate and their house-made cakes and cookies.




Maker & Moss

I couldn't mention visiting Hayes Valley without talking about this shop. Maker & Moss is a beautiful home decor store that has home inspiration everywhere. They carry wonderful, locally-made pottery, a lovely selection of candles and the most amazing furniture and lighting pieces. I couldn't take my eyes off of the doe print couch with the wood stump tables. I purchased a little oval dish that is perfect for appetizers. It would be a great place to pick up a hostess or housewarming gift for a friend.








This store brings together all of my favorite things: stationary, candles, jewelry, clothes and home accessories. I can't walk out of here without having purchased something. They have an amazing collection of Rifle Paper Company products that covers an entire wall. This would be the place to pick up a to-do list that would keep you motivated (and your desk looking pretty) a great gift for close friend or a card to send to your friend who lives in another state. I always leave here super inspired to inject some color into my home. 





There are even more amazing stores in the neighborhood--these are just a few of my absolute favorites. I encourage you to visit this neighborhood soon and stroll it's beautiful cafe-lined streets.




2.25.2015

NEW DISCOVERY: FRAMEBRIDGE


Being able to take photos from your phone has been both a blessing and a curse. I take so many more photos but never take the time to look back and appreciate them. Even further, none of them get printed. It seems like too much of a hassle to print, then find the right frame size and hang it up. So I go along taking pictures without ever being able to really enjoy them. 

Then I discovered Framebridge. It is an easy framing service that makes custom framing super easy. You can either print your photos or send in your artwork and they will build a custom frame around it. Plus they have really beautiful frame options. 

Framebridge let me try out their service and I tried both the printing and the sending in. I couldn't be happier with the results. 

The first photo I framed was one that I took in Versailles. It was at Marie Antoinette's house and the sun was streaming in, making the chandeliers sparkle. I chose to print this photo because my whole trip to Paris meant so much to me. I love it in the entryway because it sort of is an optical illusion that makes the hallway seem to go on forever (and my apartment look a little more like Versailles). The gold frame (called the Chelsea) really looks beautiful with the refurbished side table. It makes me happy every time I walk by. 




The second piece of art I framed was this beautiful artwork that my best friend gave me for Christmas. It was drawn by her husband and features my zodiac sign (Leo!) and pine trees that remind me of home in Seattle. The process to send the artwork in was so easy, I just slipped it in the pre-paid mailer and sent it off. I selected this slim gold frame (the Richmond) because it really brought out the gold in the artwork (and who doesn't love a little more gold in their life)




I am so happy that I framed these two pieces and thankful that the lovely people over at Framebridge let me try it out. Having memorable pieces of artwork custom framed ensures that you will have them for decades to come. Happy framing!


This post is sponsored by Framebridge. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible. 



2.23.2015

WEEKEND RECAP


This weekend, my friend was in town. Inevitably, when people come to visit, I always find myself on the road up to Napa. It is one of the things I like best about San Francisco, the proximity to the wine country, to the mountains and to the ocean. Within an hours drive you can find yourself at all three (ok maybe add a few hours for the mountains)

I have lived in SF for 6 years now and I find myself falling in love with it more each year. I know people are always lamenting about the cost of living in the city and the parking and on and on…but then you can drive up to wine country, shuck oysters right out of the bay, taste amazing, inspirational culinary innovation, see technology before it is released, go to amazing art shows. The truth is that you get out of it what you put in. If you don't go see the good stuff, the bad stuff will probably outweigh it.

So anyways, I love wine country and I love to visit when my friends are in town. We all piled in my friend's adorable Fiat 500 and hit the road with plenty of Meghan Trainor to sing along to. Our first stop was Domaine Chandon. Who doesn't like to start the day with a little bubbly? We sat out on the patio with our flights of champagne and caught up. It's so nice to breathe the fresh air and just sit around and talk with friends (minus the cell phones, TV, email) Sometimes we are too busy during our daily lives that it literally takes no cell service to force us to focus on just talking to people around us.


My absolute favorite sparkling wine is their Extra Dry Riche. It has a little bit of sweetness and it my go-to when I'm there. I always just ask for a glass because, why not go right ahead to your favorite? After we were done laughing until my cheeks were sore, we headed down to the store and picked up a few things to take home, including a whole bunch of mini bottles. They are perfect for watching the Bachelor, giving to a friend as a little pick-me-up or the perfect picnic companion. I'm throwing one in my purse right now just in case ;-)


After wrapping up at Chandon, we swung back over to the Sonoma side for rose and picnicking over at Hamel family. As you have seen in previous posts, I love this place. Something about it is magical. I just arrive there and immediately feel at ease. We snacked on cheese and salami while looking out over the beautiful vineyards. I seriously could just drink rose and live on that patio.


We completely lost track of time and realized it was 5. I guess we were so absorbed in the conversation and the warm sun that we didn't realize that we had been there for so long.


I convinced my friend to take a few pics out in the vineyards. I'm getting more comfortable with my new camera and have been practicing as much as possible. Luckily my friends are patient with my camera fiddling and are, for the most part, used to me always having a camera around. There is something nice about documenting the little moments, the trips here and there that aren't big but they culminate to amazing memories.


Overall it was a really magical day. We all returned to the city absolutely exhausted but refreshed from our time away from the busy day-to-day. I always have to remind myself that it shouldn't take a friend visiting, to get out there and experience things like Napa, a new art exhibit, a favorite museum, a restaurant on the other side of town. The truth is it is easier to keep doing what you are used to doing but by getting out and trying new things you might discover something you like even more. So this week, I'm going to try to do a little more of that. Even if its just popping a mini champagne on a Wednesday night. Because it's Wednesday, right?


2.18.2015

YES YOU CAN MAKE: BOOZY TRUFFLES


I had you at boozy didn't I? Today we are making super-easy truffles. If I'm being honest, I should have posted this recipe last week pre-Valentines day. Because hello, red chocolates? What could be more perfect for Valentine's Day? But I didn't because life got in the way as it does sometimes. So I am bringing them to you now. Ta-dah.

This recipe will come in handy when you need to make something for a housewarming gift, or maybe for your boss' birthday. These are great to have in your back pocket (not literally, yuck, chocolatey mess) for all sorts of occasions. The best part is that you can switch them up by changing what you add to the chocolate base or what you roll them in.

I got the recipe from Oh, Ladycakes and took her advice on adding the booze. Because, who doesn't love booze in their chocolate? And not only did I add booze but I added THREE kinds of booze. Yes, that's how I do chocolate. So, I would recommend that you follow her wonderful recipe. I've added a few notes below on things that I switched up. The main thing was that I used milk instead of almond milk only because that's what I had on hand. Feel free to use almond milk and make these completely vegan.

My three kinds of booze were Contreau for an orange flavor, Chambord for raspberry and St. Germain for a very light elderflower flavor. All delicious. I also used Guittard chocolate in the highest percentage  cacao I could find because that really makes the truffle delicious.


Mmmmm, look at that creamy chocolate. I found it very interesting that her recipe called for heating it in the oven but the method seemed to work very well so I'm not about to argue against it.



I rolled my truffles in three things. I choose coca powder for the Contreau. I crushed freeze dried raspberries for the Chambord and I used chopped almonds for the St. Germain. Visually, I love how all of the textures look together. I especially love the punch of red in the raspberries.


Look at those beauties.



Almost too pretty to eat. Almost.


Chomp. They were the perfect texture.



Pack 'em up and bring them with you to your next event. They will be a hit.


2.16.2015

REAL GIRL BEAUTY: NEUTRAL SPARKLE MANI


So glad that you liked last week's first post on Real Girl Make Up. I have so many ideas and can't wait for more installments. I've decided to relabel this series Real Girl Beauty so it encompasses more categories like nails and skincare.

Today we are talking about nails. Neutral nails have been all over the New York fashion week shows. I wanted to add a little dimension to this perfect everyday look. I swiped a bit of subtle silver sparkle over the tips to create a still-wet look. I love this look on longer nails but it would work with short nails too. I didn't realize but I am building up quite the collection of nude polishes. I included a few options below. You can also up the shine factor by adding larger glitter. I find that silver works best with nude.

Let's get started...


Step No. 1

File and buff nails. I like to keep mine round but feel free to do whatever your preference is.



Step No. 2

After applying a base coat, apply two coats of nude polish. I used Deborah Lippman in Fashion.


Step No. 3

After allowing the two coats of nude to dry about 10 minutes, use your shimmery shade (Deborah Lippmann in Whatever Lola Wants) and lightly swipe about half way down the nail. The swipes can be uneven, you want it to seem like ombre.


Step No. 4

Finish with a top coat. I'm a big fan of Deborah Lippmann's Gel Lab top coat. It helps manis stay for days longer than other top coats.


Then show off that oh-so-fashion-forward mani for all to see.