Laura Geller Highlight Blush Bronze Sculpt Palette

Baked Color & Contour Palette by Laura Geller

Baked Color & Contour Palette by Laura Geller

I purchased the Laura Geller baked contour trio in May while on vacation in Helena, Mt.  I only brought minimal travel type makeup and I quickly became bored with the same makeup after a few weeks.  Once I found Ulta, I was a kid in a candy store.  I was really missing some type of contour makeup item and I wanted something in a palette.  I looked at the It Cosmetics Vitality Face Disc and the Laura Geller Contour Palette.  Both brands have hit and miss products for me, but what won me over was that the Laura Geller trio was … just … so …. pretty!

Baked Color & Contour | Laura Geller

Baked Color & Contour | Laura Geller

Ok, it’s pretty, but does it work?  Is it a good product? I’d say .. yes!  If .. you like a light look.  The goal of this product is to enhance your facial features, not really chisel your facial structure. There are numerous matte contour palettes that will define and shade facial features.  This product gives a brightening, but soft look to the skin.

Trio in the sunlight

Trio in the sunlight

Trio in the shade

Trio in the shade

The tricky shade in the palette is the marbled section.  The color pay off depends on how you swirl your brush in this section and I think the smaller the brush, the better.  I use the Elf Studio Angle Brush and this brush seems to apply and blend the product perfectly.

I’d also like to say that the palette overall is fairly solid.  I managed to drop the palette on the hard wood floor and after a howling .. noooooooooooooo!!  I opened the palette to find the product perfect with the exception of the closure tab which snapped off.  Oh, well the product is still usable, I just need to secure the palette with a rubber band when traveling :-)

Have you tried makeup by Laura Geller?

Cheers,
Monica

Denim on denim

I have much envy for all the blog posts about denim on denim looks, but I really didn’t know if I could pull it off.  While getting dressed, I kept putting on various black blazers, then black sweaters and nothing “looked” right.  Then I put on a chambray shirt that I have from Eddie Bauer and waddya know ~ I works!

Denim on denim

Denim on denim

For jeans, I have on the Ex-boyfriend jeans from Style & Company (Macy’s).  These jeans are fairly forgiving with a little weight gain as they have a bit of stretch to them.

Eddie Bauer Chambray Shirt | J Crew Factory Tee

Eddie Bauer Chambray Shirt | J Crew Factory Tee | Necklace from Francesca

My tee is new from J Crew Factory ( Striped Photo Collector Tee ).  The tee is described as “airy cotton” and they aren’t kidding because this t-shirt material is quite thin.  I really liked the graphic so I bought it, but not sure I’d recommend this particular tee.

The chambray shirt is from Eddie Bauer and although they don’t carry this particular shirt, they do have a boyfriend long sleeve shirt in a tencel material.

Merona Wedges from Target

Merona Wedges from Target

The black wedge sandals are from Target.  They are sold out of this style, but the Quarter Strap Wedges are similar.  I love these sandals – they are super comfortable and easy to walk in. The jute covered wedge and the black cloth material give the shoes an updated espadrille look. I think these wedges are fabulous for summer.

I’d love to pair these wedges with a cute maxi dress.  I better get shopping.  By the time I find a maxi dress that fits, summer will be over 😛

Cheers,
Monica

Linking up with Alice over at Happiness at Mid-Life and Nicole at High Latitude Style

Blueberry Almond Tea Cakes

Blueberry Almond Tea Cakes

Blueberry Almond Tea Cakes

When I gain a bit of weight and my pants are too tight, I cut down on my calories, track my food, exercise more etc.  I also tend to focus on what I can’t eat instead of what I can eat.  This is a vicious mind set (at least for me), because then I feel deprived.

I love to bake so I decided to find tasty alternatives for my favorite treats.  One of my favorite afternoon treats is the Blueberry Muffin with Yogurt and Honey from Starbucks. One muffin has 380 calories which is pretty much a small meal.  While searching the internet I found the Blueberry Almond Tea Cakes recipe and recalled that I clipped this recipe out of a magazine years ago, well 5 years ago, and never made the recipe.  The recipe calls for two egg whites beaten until soft peaks form and I thought, “I can’t be bothered to do that, it’s too much work”, so I never made the muffins.  Well, cheez .. beating egg whites until they form soft peaks is so easy! I can’t believe that stopped me from making these delicious muffins.

So let’s gather the ingredients:

Ingredients

Ingredients

Blueberry Almond Tea Cakes: Makes six small muffins

3/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup Kamut, spelt, or whole wheat flour ( I used whole wheat )
3 Tbsp honey
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp applesauce
1 Tbsp butter, melted
2 large egg whites
1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries ( I used fresh blueberries )

Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Lightly grease a muffin pan; set aside

Mix together almond flour, whole wheat flour (or flour alternative), and baking powder in a bowl. Stir in applesauce, honey, and melted butter.

In a separate bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer for 4 minutes, or until soft peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into almond mixture.

Batter in muffin pan

Batter in muffin pan

Fill each muffin cup half-full with batter and top with blueberries.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until edges are slightly browned.  Cool 10 minutes before un-molding.

Each Serving ( 1 cake ) contains:
215 calories, 5 g protein, 10 g total fat (3 g sat fat, 0 g trans fat), 29 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 23 mg sodium.

I thought these little cakes were quite tasty!  They satisfy my need to bake and my need to eat baked goods 😉

What’s your favorite low calorie dessert?

Cheers,
Monica

 

Labeling lipsticks with Metallica Sharpie Markers

Now that my ability to read small labels is diminishing, I finally decided to label most of my lipstick tubes.  Labeling is particularly helpful if you have lipstick tubes from the same brand. It seems that once I find a brand with a fabulous lipstick formula and finish, I’ll purchase more colors.  However, this leads to a tray of lipstick tubes that all look alike.  I find it annoying to pop on my reading glasses to read the label at the bottom of the tube and I find it even more annoying to open each lipstick looking for “the one”.  The labeling concept isn’t new to me, the idea is from debbick1‘s youtube channel.  She doesn’t make YouTube videos anymore, but you can find her on Instagram under the same name.  If you like high end makeup, skin care and brushes, she’s the gal for you.

Let’s Begin:

I have a 3 drawer container for lipsticks and the first drawer contains my peach and red lipsticks. I get mixed up between the Bobbi Brown and Chanel cases, so the labeling will help sort those colors out.

Peach and Red Lipsticks

Sharpie Metallic Fine Tip Permanent Markers (Target ) | Peach and Red Lipsticks drawer

Gold Marker, Chanel's Poise

Gold Marker, Chanel’s Poise (color has been discontinued)

Silver Marker, Smashbox, Melon Drama

Silver Marker, Smashbox, Melondrama

Now that the lipstick tubes are labeled, I can see the brand and the names of the lipsticks.  This also helps with knowing what I have as well.

Labeled Peach and Red Lipsticks

Peach and Red Lipsticks ( Don’t you wish all tubes were the same size )

Next I moved onto the pink lipstick drawer:

Pink Lipstick Drawer

Pink Lipstick Drawer

And then the mauve / purple lipstick drawer:

Mauve and Purple Lipstick Drawer

Mauve and Purple Lipstick Drawer

I’m so happy that I finally took the time to label my lipsticks.  It has been great to look at my three purple shades in MAC and know which one to select.  I’m also going to label my newly purchased products with the purchase date.  That way I’ll know how old a product is and when to toss.

Have you labeled your makeup products?

Cheers,
Monica

 

 

Creating a fashionable outfit when your pants are too tight

I’ll tell you a little secret .. these white jeans are a little tight ~ yikes!  That’s ok because I’ve got it covered – literately – with this print top.  A voluminous top allows a little muffin top to over-flow and the busy print moves the eyes around so there’s no focus on any one area.  I’ve also added a long, light knit, flowing cardigan.  My goal is to create fluid movement with my clothing so that my problem areas are temporarily camouflaged.

It’s definitely not my favorite way to dress, but sometimes a gal has to work with what she’s got.

Levis Curvy Jeans | Top & Cardigan (Target)

Levis Curvy ID  Jeans (similar: Ann Taylor Curvy Boot Cut) | Top & Cardigan Mossimo (purchased at Target last year) | Karmen Pumps (Payless)

So what am I going to do about these snug pants?  Well, I’ve gone back to tracking my meals on My Fitness Pal.  I find this a chore, but it keeps me honest about how much food I’m consuming per day.  I’m also completing a 7-Day Beginner Trainer on Bodybuilding.com.  I did a 15 minute interval training routine this morning and it was quite fun.  I probably won’t be able to walk tomorrow with all the walking lunges that I did, but that’s ok, I’ve got to start somewhere.

We are also in the middle of June gloom. I swear I haven’t seen the sun in 2 weeks.  Here’s hoping your weekend was sunny and bright!

Cheers,
Monica

Miso Mushroom Soup from The Raw Food Primer

When I was interested in a raw food diet, I purchased The Raw Food Primer by Suzanne A. Ferrara.  In this book, there is a delicious raw miso mushroom soup.  I usually make this soup when the warm weather comes around, but sometimes I will make this soup in the winter and heat it up so that the vegetables are soft.

Miso Mushroom Soup Ingredients

Miso Mushroom Soup Ingredients

Miso Mushroom Soup from The Raw Food Primer: Serves Two

Ingredients:
1 cup cubed portobello mushrooms, scrape away the black gills.  One portobello is usually about 1 cup.
1 cup peeled and finely chopped zucchini (I leave the peel on).
1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup finely minced carrots
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped tomato
2 tbls olive oil
1 tbls Shoyu (soy sauce)

1 cup warm water
2 tbls miso (I use light yellow miso)
2 tlbs almond butter
1 garlic clove
cayenne, optional

Directions:
Place the mushroom, zucchini, red pepper, carrots, cilantro, tomato, olive oil, shoyu in a bowl.

Place the water, miso, almond butter, and garlic in a blender and blend until smoothly combined.  I used my small personal blender, a high powered blender is not needed.

Stir the miso-almond butter liquid into the fresh vegetable mixture.  Divide the soup between two bowls.  If you like a little heat, add a dash of cayenne pepper.

If I feel like a warm soup, then once all the ingredients are combined, I’ll place the ingredients into a pot and gently heat the soup on the stove top.

Finished Miso Mushroom Soup

Finished Miso Mushroom Soup

Cheers,
Monica

Stitch Fix No 4 – Similar to No 3, but fit a whole lot better!

Stitch Fix No 4 was one fabulous box.

StitchFix No. 4

Stitch Fix No. 4

I let the stylist know that I really liked the color palette of Stitch Fix No 3 so she selected a similar color palette, but she chose more forgiving tops that would flow over my hips.

Moscone Sequin Detail Blouse in Cobalt

Moscone Sequin Detail Blouse in Cobalt ($48) | Liverpool Collen Straight Leg Jean ($78)

When I tried on the cobalt top, my first thoughts were “too much skin!” ~ modest gal that I am, but even though it looks a bit skimpy this top is truly flattering.  The top has just enough volume to float over my hips and makes me look fit and trim with the thin straps and v-neckline.  It’s a keeper and I’ll enjoy wearing this top in the warm desert evenings.

I was excited to see the black jeans by Liverpool as I have the exact same pair (same size) in a dark blue wash.  The black jeans were very tight in the thigh area and I thought it was all my food indulgences from my vacation, but my dark blue pair fits just fine.  The black jeans will be returned.

Iner Brannon Crochet Detail Blouse

Iner Brannon Crochet Detail Blouse ($48)

I really love this black sleeveless blouse.  The design of the crochet applique is so pretty and the solid looking flowers are made of a faux leather material.  This top also flows over my hips (no bunching) and will be perfect for a dinner out with the spouse or friends.

41Hawthorn Yasmine French Terry Blazer

41Hawthorn Yasmine French Terry Blazer ($78)

This unlined blazer is perfect for my  casual life style – it’s the perfect jacket for cool San Diego evenings and freezing desert restaurants.  I also really appreciated that the stylist read my request for real pockets ~ none of than non functional faux pocket stuff.  These pockets aren’t deep, but perfect for carrying a lip balm or keys.

Lastly, I received these double chain earrings which I posted on Instagram.

Gorjana double bar drop earrings

Gorjana double bar drop earrings ($48)

The backing of the earring is a second chain and bar so I found these earrings quite unique and definitely a keeper.

This was really a fabulous box and I’d like to thank stylist, Mindy for selecting all these great items!  Also, a special thanks to Susanna N. for clicking on my referral link, I did indeed receive a $20 credit ~ thank you so much and I hope you enjoyed your Stitch Fix items :-)

If you’re ready for a style over haul or just want to find new and unique items to wear that you won’t find in main stream shopping malls, then I invite you to try Stitch Fix through my referral link:  Stitch Fix_Monica.  Or feel free to explore Stitch Fix and sign up on your own. Either way, I’m sure you’ll like this incredible shopping experience.

My next Stitch Fix is scheduled for July 30th and I’ve asked for more athletic inspired items ~ we shall see what I get!!

Cheers,
Monica

Linking with Patti over at Not Dead Yet Style

 

 

 

 

So where ya been?

Hi all ..  as you may have noticed, I’ve been absent from my blog for the month of May.  I was in Montana visiting family and although I had intentions of blogging, I found that I didn’t really have time to post.

Anyway, after I left my job in March, I started to plan a month long trip to Helena, MT.   I searched for a furnished house on VRBO that would accept a dog.  I found a lovely house in the historic district of Helena and rented the house below.

Helena House through VRBO

Helena House through VRBO

The owner was wonderful and easy to work with.  We managed to agree on everything through email.  The house was older, but very comfortable.  The only issue that I had was with the heating which I found to be unbelievably dry.  The heat worked great, but it was an older register type heating and not the forced hot air of modern homes.  After waking with a dry painful nose, I was off to Bed Bath and Beyond for a humidifier.

This little unit was $49.99 (no sales tax in MT!!) and it really cranks out the mist.  The improvement with my sinus pain was tenfold, so I highly recommend this little tear drop humidifier if you are in a dry house or climate.

As I mentioned, the rental house is located in the historic area of Helena and I loved taking pictures of these beautiful homes while walking the dog.  During the gold rush of the late 1900’s, many people became wealthy and built these lovely Queen Ann style mansions in Helena.

For example, the picture below is the Morris Silverman house that I’d see daily on my walks with Taylor.

Morris Silverman House | Helena, MT

Morris Silverman House, completed in 1892| Helena, MT

The Morris Silverman house is three stories with a side turret, intricate details and beautiful stained glass windows. All the historic houses have a small placard in front that describes the style of the home and who the owners were and where they came from.  This house was originally owned by Morris Silverman, a Jewish immigrant from Russian Poland.  After his death in 1931, his daughter Dorothy, a school teacher in Helena, lived in the house until her death in 1969.

Also, on one of our walks, Taylor and I climbed to the top of the fire tower and I snapped this picture of the Cathedral of St. Helena.

If I became a bit lost while driving around, I knew to head to those tall towers and I’d be able to find my way back to the house without always relying on the car GPS.

And lastly, I was probably the only one who was happy to see deer in town.  Apparently, the deer population is a bit out of control.  The deer like to feast on homeowner’s gardens making them a nuisance.  Of course, I thought the deer were adorable with their little flickering tails.

Wild deer in town | Helena, MT

Wild deer in town | Helena, MT

I am back in San Diego and happy to be home.  The two day drive from Montana to San Diego was long and I’m embarrassed to say I’m “saddle sore” – ok, my ass hurts from sitting so long in the car.

Regular posting should resume next week as I eagerly await the delivery of my next Stitch fix box.  I can’t wait to see what they sent me and I hope it fits as I’m a little pudgy from mom’s home cookin’.

Cheers,
Monica

White eyelet skirt for summer

I’m the type of person who will see a cute style or trend, but I will wait way to long to buy it. Then when I really want it – well, it’s sold out.  So this year I wanted to get a jump start on my summer wardrobe and on my list is a white eyelet skirt.  I mostly wear shorts during the warmer months, but thought this breezy eyelet material would be a nice addition to my closet.

The woven eyelet skirt  is from ISANI for Target, which I believe is a London brand.  The skirt is an a-line shape with a plain band front and elastic back.  This size medium skirt was easy to pull on and fit my waist without being too tight or too loose.

Woven Eyelet Skirt | Target

Woven Eyelet Skirt ( not sold in stores, online only ) | Target

I love that the skirt has two side pockets and easy care and cleaning – a simple machine wash in cold and dry and iron on low (no need to take the skirt to the dry cleaners).  The only caveat about the skirt is that the liner is quite thin and I didn’t feel comfortable wearing the skirt without the addition of a slip.

Sleeveless denim shirt | Forever 21

Sleeveless denim shirt | Forever 21

My sleeveless denim shirt is a last year’s find at Forever 21.  I like that this shirt has snaps instead of buttons.  F21 has a few sleeveless denim shirt options such as this single pocket button down shirt or this darker version double pocket chambray button down shirt.

BareTraps Royce Sandal | Famous Footwear

BareTraps Royce Sandal (color: Auburn Leather)  | Famous Footwear

The sandals above are a new purchase and are still available at Famous Footwear.  The Royce sandals are in a gladiator style with soft leather straps, cushioning insole and velcro closure. These sandals are so comfortable that I can’t believe they cost only $49.99.

What clothing items have caught your eye that you’d like to add to your summer wardrobe?

Cheers,
Monica

Linking up with Alice at Happiness at Mid Life

April 2015 Sephora VIB purchases

Can’t resist that 15% off for Sephora VIB’s!!  Hey, it use to be 20% off ~ yes, we long time shoppers remember Sephora!

April 2015 Sephora VIB Purchases

 

Links to products: