Friday, December 27, 2013

How to Make Clementine Candles + Potpourri!

I LOVE me some clementines during the cold season! And it always seemed like a waste to throw away those sweet-smelling rinds. Then, on a recent flight, I found a fun blurb in a magazine about turning clementines into candles! I also did further research on blogs such as this one. Thank you for the guidance!

You only need clementines, olive oil, matches, and a knife.
Here's the trick:

Cut a clementine in half (a paring knife is recommended. I just used a steak knife).  Pull the flesh away from the rind carefully to keep the center "wick" intact.


Fill up the base of clementine with olive oil.  I didn't fill it up completely.  This much worked fine.  The candle has been burning for nearly an hour, and it's still going strong.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Outfit of the Day (Not Today) + How to Wear Heeled Booties Comfortably

This was my outfit on Thanksgiving. I decided to get dressed up for our classy ghetto taco night.  If you don't know what that is, think of those childhood boxed Ortega taco nights. Except we keep it organic. (my husband's request)

I don't know how these fashion bloggers do it. I felt a little silly taking photos in our building, but I thought, "Why not?" The staircase would be perfect for a Kardashian Christmas card parody. 

image via the

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Review: LANCÔME Hypnôse Drama Mascara Set

image via

For $33, this is a darn good deal available at Sephora. It's valued at $66 and includes a full size Art Liner in Noir (0.04 oz) and Hypnose Drama Mascara in Black (0.22 oz).  Though it is not a full size, a 1.7 oz Bi-Facil Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover completes this limited edition gift set.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Weekend in Pics

It's official.  I ate way too much over the weekend. Time to get the Fitbit out and count those calories.  UGH.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Train Your Brain

We were dealing with mold in our old apt. One of the symptoms of mold exposure is a deterioration in brain functions. Our doctor recommended the website Lumosity as a way to train our brains. The brain games are pretty fun!

image via

Who's Ready for those Post-Thanksgiving Sales?

I love eating. I love saving money. So Thanksgiving and all the zany sales afterward are a pretty good combination! I have actually never physically gone shopping during Black Friday, but it seems like the high would rival an insane narcotic bender. (Someone please confirm?) 

These are some deals that got me giddy:

Target is offering an iPad Air 16GB Wi-Fi for $479.00 AND a free $100 Gift Card! 

Walmart is also selling the iPad mini for $299 and a $100 bonus Gift Card.

image via
Deal at Target
In store at Walmart

If you prefer an iPad alternative, the Microsoft Surface 32GB HD (without the keyboard) will be on sale for $199 at Best Buy, and Microsoft stores. Walmart is selling the Surface with a black touch cover for $249, but the steal is from Micro Center for both the tablet and black touch cover for $179 (in store only)!

Yay to Thanksgiving!

Good morning! Happy Thanksgivukkah! Thank you so much for joining me on my page + blog. I started writing in my blog 3 years ago. Even when I was contributing articles for a magazine, it was my own blog post that I most looked forward to writing. Life's little joy for me, and you guys make it even more fun! Here's a pic from one of my first posts when I was still new to NYC!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

How to Break Down BO from Clothes

You may wear antiperspirant but still sweat onto your clothes. Or find the perfect shirt at a thrift shop and need to rid it of BO. I tested out spraying 1:1 white vinegar/water mix to remove odor, but it either didn't help or clothes smelled like vinegar! I made a paste out of baking soda and water, and this mix destroyed odor and broke down the layer of antiperspirant that can get on clothes and trap bacteria. I highly recommend baking soda!


Getting Rid of Sweat Stains

It's the epic battle between stinking or yellowing up your shirts. Have you tried any of these sweat stain removal strategies? 

Amazing stuff there!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Fashion at the 2013 AMAs

Miley Cyrus arrived in a very sleek, androgynous look. No bare midriff, underboobage, or thighs here. I loved it. And two thumbs up for keeping her tongue in her mouth!

Riri got sleek AND vampy. The bottom half looked a bit Halloweenish (S&M?).

Taylor Swift's choice of outfit had some media outlets nicknaming her the Golden Goddess. I usually love the sophisticated looks she brings to the Red Carpet, but this was strange to me.  Her fluffy 90s hairdo with the nude panel looked awkward. Taylor, what happened to your gorgeous hair? What do you think of this look?

Oddly enough, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley wore the same dress for a Glamour shoot with One Direction. And she looked really good in it! I think it's definitely easier to cheat to look good in a photo shoot (angles, still shots, clips in the back), but the dress probably also just works better on a curvier woman.

A big fat THANK YOU...and what happens going to Pennsylvania!

I know that I'm not the best at keeping up with this blog. And yet, many of you keep this on your reading/browsing list. So thank you!

I'm fully aware that people accidentally stumble upon this page after googling key words such as "porn" and "face of herpes". (The stats page is fun to read, y'all.) Although I'm a bit perplexed by the number of you folks still using Internet Explorer as your preferred browser. Also, aol email addresses weird me out.

And believe me, my opinion counts.

Slumber Party Joni agrees. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

My NYC Peeps! A DELICIOUS grand opening!

My buddy Robie told me that Xi'an Famous Foods is having a grand opening on the Upper West Side on Dec. 7. And if you like them on Facebook, you get a coupon for free food that day. I love the lamb burger, and my friend Allison loves the lamb face salad. Yes, that's right, lamb face. 

Dat lamb burger tho!


And here's a pic of Anthony Bourdain enjoying some burgers and salads at Xi'an to give some cred. And because Renee thinks he looks like my husband Andrew.

image via

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Let the trial begin!

I have spotties on my face. One of the sun spots is huge. And it matches my mom's and my grandmother's. Weird! Oh, even better. Their spots grew with age.  Like they were feeding the dang thangs!

Day #1 of using Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector! 3 friends of mine swear this stuff works.  Although I believe it took more than 3 months for the results to really kick in.  Anyone else have any experience with this product? I'm pretty sure I'm bleaching my face off.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Opposite of Food Porn

Sometimes I feel bad about not being a great cook for my husband. But then I look at cookingforbae's Instagram and feel much better. #struggleplates

images via cookingforbae on Instagram

Monday, November 11, 2013

We Heart You, Philippines.

image via
It is so heartbreaking to see the effects of Typhoon Haiyan. When I visited the Philippines over 10 years ago, I was struck by the warmth and happiness of the people.  In an email today, a Filipina friend described the situation with a positive outlook: "Surely we will weather this with hopeful spirits." This devastation, and yet, such hope.  I don't know.  I hope to see people moving forward.  But I also understand that it may be a huge struggle.

If you plan to contribute money toward the relief efforts in the Philippines, I recommend checking out Charity Navigator to make sure your money is being efficiently used toward the services in which you are interested.  It's unfortunate that you have to also be aware of scam organizations that seek to profit from disaster donations.  Charity Navigator provides information and ratings that will help you feel at peace about where your money is going. Here is a link that can get you started in your search for a charity that is a good fit for you.  Also, some companies will match employee donations to charities so check if you have that option!

I wrote a post on Memorial Day that included Charity Navigator as an important tool for determining which organizations to work with in helping families of troops and veterans. The post included several ways to support these military families, including volunteer work and item donations.  Seeing that today is Veterans Day, it seemed nice to revisit the idea of helping our military men and women in need.

PS. When I went on these charity websites, I felt overwhelmed by all the human crises around the world. Yes, there are natural disasters, but in addition to those catastrophes, there are ongoing wars and relief efforts. It's nuts to think about the comforts of my American life.  It kind of makes me feel like an asshole, but it also reminds me to be grateful.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Anker Astro 2 External Battery for My Cell Phone is My HERO

I finally made a video of my experience with my Astro External Battery for my cell phone. I LOVE it! The battery, not the video. Bloopers at 7:19...this was actually my 2nd attempt because the 1st one was so bad.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Would You....Do Last Messages?

Although I love my Samsung Galaxy 3, there have been plenty of times that the sucker has died on me during the day.
It's supposed to be a pic of a woman hating her dead phone, but I think this one is more of a "SALE on Net-a-Porter?!" expression.

I have been the person to hold up text and email threads because of a dead battery. And in some cases, hours can pass until I am able to revive my cell.  None of my contacts get concerned about my lack of responses. They just think I'm being an asshole.

But for those of you who have a "support system" with overactive imaginations stemming from paranoia (super crazy jealous boyfriend, anyone?), the "Last Message" app will let your contacts know that your phone died so they don't need to send you any panicked or angry messages.


Monday, October 21, 2013

Fold Over Boots

I'm a sucker for boots, and if you can wear a pair multiple ways, even better!  That's why I'm excited about the look of fold over boots for the fall. Well...MOST fold over boots. You'll see what I mean.


I've been seeing a lot of combat fold over boots, which allow you to go from tough to cute on a whim.

Doc Martens Triumph 1914

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Would You....Do Blue?

I really started to get intrigued by blue hair ever since I met Jeannie Mai back in 2009 on a makeover segment of Today Show.  If you didn't remember the awesomeness, I went from a boxy 80s business suit to Spanx and camo (on the shoes).

Anyway, Jeannie Mai is a stylist and host. You may have seen her on Extra TV, How Do I Look?, Miss Universe, or E!  Not only is her personality and smile super warm, but she has this cool trademark blue hair!  She pulls it off so well that I actually considered doing it myself.  

Her blue seems to fluctuate between a more subtle dark midnight blue and a lighter, more noticeable blue.  Of course, lighting affects the color, too.  You can barely see the blue in the photo above.

Here is a photo where you see a tinge of blue streaks. I prefer the more subtle look.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Week in Pics (which week??)

I'm all sorts of lost on my week of pics, but let's just go cover last week and some of my CA trip. 

Last week started with a flight back to New York on Monday.  Usually, I'm totally ready to come back to the city.  But this time, I wanted to linger a bit longer in LA.  Ok, a lot longer.

It was just so nice to see close friends and enjoy the slower pace. You know what?  That's what it is.  It takes a little while to actually wind down, and having only four full days allowed us to start relaxing at day 3 and go right back home.  I love you, LA!

Flying into LAX around midnight, we huffed it over to the local luxurious La Quinta.  It actually wasn't bad at all. (Just avoid the La Quinta in the Portland Airport like the plague!)  Before heading out to Santa Barbara in the morning, I got a request to send off an audition tape within a couple of hours. I didn't have a suit so I wore my husband's suit jacket. I pretty much looked like this:

I didn't get the part.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

'Tis the Season to Wear Tights

It's starting to get chilly! Time to get out those tights and hosiery. I used to hate them when I was little (probably because the crotch part was always drooping.) But now I like to wear them under shorts, dresses, and even jeans--when it's super cold. What are your favorite ways to wear them?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Am I Going To Be One of THOSE People?

I've been eating like a big, fat, stereotypical Southerner all of my life.  Ask anyone who has ever met me, and one of the first qualities mentioned will be my monstrous appetite.  My sister-in-law calls me a human garbage can. Not only do I enjoy Texas (though I'm from Georgia) size portions, but my top picks are usually the most sinful. 

Breakfast for one

The time I got killed by a giant pizza. (I shared this one, guys.)

Friday, October 4, 2013

My newest obsession....and it's hot!

I've always loved jalapenos, but recently, I've been sticking them in/on everything!

These past few weeks, I've enjoyed those palate poppers in homemade salads, nachos, and my new breakfast of brown rice, sesame oil, soy sauce, avocado, and eggs.  

Monday, September 30, 2013

Easy, Breezy Over-the-Shoulder!

What do you think of draping your coats and jackets over your shoulders?  I saw a lot of grandmothers doing this while sitting in the pews at church when I was younger, but I guess it's a total DO for women of all ages. I would probably look really silly picking up my jacket off the floor constantly.  How do you prevent it from falling off?  Plus, it would accentuate my already broad shoulders.

Despite my reservations, many women are embracing the trend and looking cute doing it.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Review: Avon Moisture Effective Eye Makeup Remover Lotion

There is a cute little granny who sells Avon products near our subway station.  At least 3 times a week, I'd see her armed with her small wicker basket of supplies.  Having been a Mark rep in the past, I could relate to her entrepreneurial spirit.  So I bought a hand lotion and eye makeup remover.  The lotion just seemed like Johnson & Johnson baby lotion (it even smelled like it).  It was meh, but only $1.  

The eye makeup remover was $3.  And AMAZING!

Monday, September 23, 2013

2013 Emmy Awards Red Carpet Fashion

I thought these were some fashion choices that stood out from TV's biggest night.

Sheer dresses were a trend.
source: Wire Images
Lena Heady is normally covered up in "Game of Thrones", but last night, she wow'd us in this sexy black Alessandra Rich number.  Do you think it's just right or a little too much?

Whoo hoo!  Leslie Mann, go on with your bad self!  I thought she rocked this J. Mendel dress.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Week in Pics

I love any opportunity to be in the West Village.  Even if it's to work.  I totally do the dramatic hand-to-heart gasp when I look at all the cute cafes and restaurants in the area.  

I was on set doing some background work for an upcoming TV show called Broad City on Comedy Central. 

Here is what I love about the show.  The leads are two women who started off doing a web series on their YouTube channel.  These 2-minute-or-less clips got the attention of several important people, including Amy Poehler!  Mrs. (Ms?) Poehler then decided to help produce their show on Comedy Central.  Broad City will air in 2014! That's so exciting and very inspiring.  

I don't know how to travel light around the city.  This is the usual baggage, except the bowling bag is interchangeable with a really cool-looking backpack from Target that is ripping apart. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Return of the Vamp

I did some hand double work on a TV show, and the makeup artist used LSI's "Dark Matter" on my nails. 

I loved the color, but the polish was super thick and clumpy.  The makeup artists taught me a new trick: I didn't know it helped to add a couple drops of nail polish remover to revive old polish.  It will thin out the polish and return it to its initial consistency! 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Dry Shampoo Saves the Day(s)

It sounds gross, but I don't remember the last time I washed my hair.  

It was one of those weeks where I was in a rush so I opted for a body shower.  Then I would curl my hair for an audition, and it just seemed like a waste of good waves to wash my hair.  So that cycle would continue, and being able to pinpoint the last time my hair got wet became difficult. I must reiterate that I don't allow myself to waltz around in the fumes of ripe body odor. Keeping some natural oils in your roots and not washing your hair every day is actually healthy for you.  However, not washing your body on a regular basis is NOT that great for you. Or for others around you. 

Batiste dry shampoo came to the rescue for freshening up my locks. In the first "before" pic, oily roots weighed me down! What a difference in the 2 "after" pics.

My review of some top dry shampoos and how to make your own:

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Good Guide

Do you ever wonder what's actually in the products that you purchase?


With all of these health articles urging us to avoid toxic ingredients such as phthalates and parabens, I tend to stick to containers that boldly state that they don't contain those toxins.  But sometimes it's not easy to find all that information. And even if you do, it can be difficult to figure out which ingredient is unhealthy. Wouldn't it be great to have a guide that shows how good a product really is for you?

That's where GoodGuide comes in!  You can use the website or download the app.  You can search for a specific product or scan its barcode.  A rating system will pop up that informs you of how healthy, green, and socially responsible it is. Not only will you be provided a list of ingredients, but you get a recommendation of better product options!

  It's not just for beauty products!  Products range from food, personal care, apparel, and more!

My experience:

I downloaded the app onto my Android Samsung Galaxy 3.  Smooth process!

It did not have my JellyBelly's via barcode, but it had them listed via search online. It had data on the environment and social aspect, but nothing on health. Don't worry. I think I can figure out on my own that they aren't that great for my health.

My next test was scanning the bar code for my Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour foundation.  All the information immediately popped up on my phone.  I was shocked to see how poor the ratings were for the health, environment and social aspects.  With the brand taking pride in its natural ingredients, I didn't expect to see ingredients of "medium concern" in it.  I absolutely LOVE that they provide alternatives for it.

Have you tried this app?

Monday, September 16, 2013

No Curling Iron? Try socks.

On my recent trip to Portland for a wedding, I forgot my curling iron.  After throwing my fists up in the air, I saw that Hotel Monaco had a list of complimentary items it can provide their guests. Of course they would!  And of course, a curling iron was on the list.  Hotel Monaco is awesome.


Anyway, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to explore how to put some Oomph to your hair when you are curling iron-less.  It made me think back to my junior high school days when I would roll socks into my wet hair and wake up with dry waves.

In those hot iron deprived days, I would use long tube (!) socks, roll my hair up, and tie the sock ends together to secure them.  On this trip, I had only brought footsie socks.  But I did have some additional resources.

Rubber bands!

Rolled up those suckers