Tuesday
Mar262013

Spring Cleaning for the Face

 

Spring cleaning is upon me. Though spring itself is no where to be found.

Started with the closets, bags of goods to sell, donate and giveaway.  Worked my way through all the cabinets next. Eventually landing in my medicine cabinet. Which led me to not only toss the old cosmetics and meds, but to re-evaluate what I use on the hair, face, and body daily. And why not share some of my new discoveries along with my tried and true loves?

La Roche Posay Anthelios SX: Part moisturizer, part sun block, the work horse of my skin routine. I mix it with la Mer when I need some extra moisture during those harsh winter months. I slather it on after my Aesop Parsley Hydrator in the AM for SPF protection. Pair it at night with my Rodin. It is a forever constant in the cabinet and readily available at CVS or Amazon (where I order everything). Don't be shocked by the sticker price for a CVS brand. It came recommended by my dermatologist and is worth every penny.

Rodin Olio Lusso: One of the newest additions to my skin care arsenal. It's the priciest item I indulged in but so far, I am happy with the return on my investment. Don't fear the oil, even if you have skin that is prone to be oily like myself. All my washing, make up, outdoor activity can leave my skin stripped. I use this at night before bed and I am always happier in the morning. It is never greasy and smells like a lush garden, one stop shopping for your moisture needs and a little aroma therapy for your zzzz's.

Aesop Parsley Anti-Oxident Hydrator: Drink the Aesop kool-aid. I have and it's delicious. From the sleek, modern store interior, to the old school apothecary like packaging, and top notch ingredients, I was caught- hook, line and sinker. This light formula is perfect for the warmer weather. I layer it on before my Anthelios for day time use. Never feels heavy and I am perfectly hydrated through out the day.

Mustela Stretch Mark Cream: Most people assert that stretch marks, and whether or not you will be graced by their presence, is hereditary. I am not one to leave something like this to chance, so I have stocked up on just about every product on the market- Bio Oil, Mustela, Cocoa Butter, etc. This is my favourite. It's non greasy and has little fragrance. Important factors when you are slathering half of your body with it. I'll have to report back in a few months on whether or not it was worth the effort.

Note the absence of anti-aging products. It's not because I discovered the fountain of youth. It's because I have a great dermatologist and understand that if I really want to fight wrinkles and remain blemish free, that I need professional assistance, aka, the big guns. Over priced cream made with ground up pearls, gold, or whatever the latest fad is, is not going to do it. Not pictured (because I can't use them while pregnant), the topical cream Tazorac, used at night and Clindamycin, used in the day. They are the one two punch you can't get at Sephora. 

Tazorac: Available by prescription only- does not mess around. Like Retin A, long held as the gold standard for clear skin and wrinkle prevention, this cream is no joke (the two are very similar in use and effect). Use sparingly, as I did, only a few nights a week. Otherwise, my skin became a flaky hot mess. Mind you a clear, mess, but a mess all the same.

Clindamycin: Also available by prescription only, is a milder antibiotic gel that is applied during the day to keep the skin free and clear. Ever notice how your skin is magically perfect when you are on a round of antibiotics? Same principle, but topical. 

Et voila! Any items you love? Share!

Friday
Mar222013

Iris, Greek Goddess of the Rainbow

Above: Jennifer Chun Iris shirtdress, YSL boots (similar here), Reed Krakoff bag (new tote/version here), Zara jacket, Hannah Blount Earrings, Hermes bangles

 

It was only a matter of time before I made this Iris shirt dress from Jennifer Chun S/S 2013 mine. As demonstrated here, and here, I was clearly in love.

Thank the lawd that the dress is not only gorgeous but forgiving of the expanding belly line. The minute I put this on, and realized the size 4 was flowing with plenty of room, my day went from doom and gloom to rainbows and unicorns. The genius is in some darts, cleverly concealed on the sides, that fold in, and I am sure will grow along with me and baby Z. Easily justified non maternity wear purchase. 

Jennifer flexed her creative muscles with not only the design (which comes in a few different colors), but in this particular version with a stunning Iris print. She designed the print herself. Her talent knows no bounds! 

I wore this out to the BCRF Saks fundraiser last week and received not 1, not 2, but 5 comments on the dress. Tell me the last time this happened to you? Thank you Jennifer! Praise Iris, Greek goddess of the rainbow! It was a lovely evening out for a great cause, 10% of proceeds went to BCRF and we were treated to an exclusive preview of spring collections. I walked away with a new pair of shoeshusband approved...to help the cause of course. 

 

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Friday
Mar222013

Banana Layer Cake with Caramel Cream and Pecan

 photo f4a4ace6-b1ab-4250-8b34-44b656d3b032_zpsb36c1f64.jpg

 

What is a girl to do when winter throws a curve ball upon one's birthday? Well, one bakes your own d@mn cake. 

Last month Nemo, arrived right on time for my birthday (who's number shall not be named....). Rather than my usual carrot cake from Rosie's Bakery, I decided to whip my own up. The picture of this banana layer cake drew me in like a siren song on the Bon Appetit pinterest page (original recipe here).  I altered the frosting recipe heavily! Note, not letting your caramel cool enough before mixing in whip cream = recipe for disaster, take my word on this one. I hate when I get impatient and just don't follow the directions to a 'T'.

So when my cream separated and I had a goopy mess, I stopped mid pour with the banana caramel, salvaged what I could and turned to my fail safe cream cheese frosting. Daring though it was, I made a blizzard trip to the supermarket for some cream cheese. My advice, don't try to save calories by getting the low fat stuff. Mine, as you can tell from the photos, clumped up a bit and created a bumpy final coat for the frosting. I filtered my powdered sugar, cross my heart! 

I also substituted a maple liqueur for the rum, making sure to boil off the alcohol before pouring over the cake and keep baby friendly. All in all, the cake was just delicious. Like, epic delicious. So good, I am asking the chef at the site of my baby shower to recreate a version for my guests. I can also safely thank this cake for about 5 of the pregnancy pounds of I gained. And I wouldn't trade a delicious calorie. This is a cross between banana bread, caramel, and the most fabulous cake you have ever had. Make it.