Between the holidays, the cold weather, travel, and a very busy beginning of a very exciting year, it’s been tough to find the time to write. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been finding new favorite things, or thinking of a million things that I’d like to write.
Over the last year or so, while I approached thirty, I began to take into consideration things I’d never cared much about before. Face cream. Wrinkle prevention. Grey hair camouflage (because those suckers are popping up all over the darn place), reasonable amounts of caffeine, and so on. You get the drift. I think it’s good to get ahead of the game before too much more time goes by.
Facial Routine. Recently, I listened to an interview with Kate Somerville, world-renowned esthetician who works with many celebrities, including the gorgeous Meghan Markle, to help them feel their best. She said that if you splurge on one beauty product, let it be your moisturizer. Coming from her, I took it to heart. While each face is a little different, it’s important to take a moment to consider what you need to feel your best. Maybe you’re oily. Maybe you’re a little dry. Maybe you have rosacea or acne. I have been using Trader Joe’s oil free moisturizer, which I love. I also use their Nourish Antioxidant Facial Serum. I love how I feel but thought I’d try something with anti-aging properties. Again, I’m all about prevention here. While at Sephora, I ran into a very helpful lady who allowed me to try several samples and I ended up with Kate Somerville Nourish Daily Moisturizer. After washing my face with Philosophy Microdelivery Exfoliating Facial Wash, I pat dry and apply my moisturizer. Wait, rewind a bit. Let’s talk a little about the face wash. I absolutely love this face wash. I used Juice Beauty forever and love it, but switched to Philosophy because of the gentle tiny exfoliating beads. It’s so mild + affordable. I added a few drops of grapefruit oil to give it a little scent since it’s pretty much scent-free. It’s great because it leaves me feeling clean but not dry, exfoliated but not raw. Perfect for daily use. Ok back to my routine. In addition to the all over moisturizer, I dab on a little eye cream not only around my eyes but between my eyebrows, and even where my smile lines are. I figure a wrinkle is a wrinkle. Why not? I have been using It Cosmetics Confidence in an Eye Cream. It’s thick and creamy and amazing. While all of this is happening, my little diffuser is also hard at work creating a lavender oasis. Spa night at home (every night). I’ll take it!
Simple Cooking. My husband and I took a trip to Italy this month. It was fantastic in every way. Of course, the food and wine was to die for. One of the major things I took home with me was the amazing quality that can come from simplicity. In a society where convenience is everything, we lose a lot of the ability to enjoy and reap the benefits of being crafty. For one, we eat out an awful lot here. Expensive. Probably not the quality of food you would buy at the grocery store (who knows what is happening behind those commercial kitchen doors). One step below is buying all of the pre-packaged, overpriced foods from the grocery store. I don’t know about you but these pre-packaged items never taste quite as good, especially because I’m usually thinking about all the preservatives they must have while consuming them.
Back to Italy. Every single thing I ate seemed to have been slow cooked all day. The thing is, a lot of it probably was! Also, there were few ingredients. The only salad dressing I had the entire time was optional balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Here at home, we cake our salads with unhealthy calorie-heavy dressings. It’s just one more thing to add to the shopping list, and one more thing to make us fat. I’m done with dressing. Bring on the balsamic! While I understand being busy, I always try to cook several nights a week. This allows for some quick leftover nights. The nice part about slow cooking is that it allows you to throw it together and forget about it, and creates an awesome dish. Maybe to some, slow cooking means a crock pot. Maybe to some, it’s a dutch oven (my preference), or maybe it’s just a simple baking dish with some foil on top. Whatever the case, as long as you seal it up to allow the steam to do its wonders, and cook for a long time at a low temp, you are in for a treat. The key here is planning. So, grab beans, meat or some other type of protein. Grab some veggies, and throw it together with some salt, pepper and a little avocado oil and test your cooking skills. My new favorite dish is ribollita without the bread. I’m not going to link a recipe because there are so many ways to make it. It’s this delicious bean+veggie soup with bread (a few days old) mixed in. I left the bread out. I soaked white beans for half the day (maybe 3 cups dry). In a Le Creuset Dutch Oven, I browned some onions, threw in my soaked beans, some chopped kale, swiss chard, fresh tomatoes, garlic, italian parsley, water, and s+p. I cooked on low for 2 hours and mashed some of the beans to create a thicker creamy taste. I added a little more s+p to taste and garnished with some olive oil. So delicious, lots of vitamins, protein and fiber. It cost me 20 minutes, $10, and fed a family of four 3 times. Just saying.
Blended hair. In pursuit of healthy, youthful hair, I keep settling on the balayage look. There are so many varieties and techniques. Also, it can be done on blondes, brunettes, redheads or those that fall somewhere in between. While I’m not there yet, I have a vision in my head. Don’t be afraid to ask your stylist (who we all know can be quite bossy) for something more boho, more blendy, more balayage! Also, if you aren’t ready to commit, do a little gloss. I am considering using an ashy gloss to blend my roots in on my quest towards beach goddess. More info to come. Some of these techniques can even be done at home. This video shows how to do it DIY via the tease method.
Enough for now, I’m off to find new favorite things!