First off, I apologize for my unexplained absence this week! We are only a week into 2015, and it is already turning out to be one of the most exciting years yet. I’ve been spending the last couple of months getting The M.A. Times’ new blog platform up and running, which (fingers crossed), will be making its appearance next week. I’ll be checking out early this week to wrap up some major changes I have going on, but be sure to check out The M.A. Times’ new look next week, and resubscribe to receive post alerts by email! Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.
If there’s one thing I’m terrible at, it’s taking care of my skin. If I could go weeks without washing my face, I may just be ok with it. However, especially now that my skin is slowly aging, that isn’t the case. In the middle of winter, my face is drier and more irritated than ever. I decided it was time to suck it up and start taking real care of my skin. I took a trip to Sephora – and after one of the best customer service experiences ever, here’s what I walked out with.
Origins Eye Doctor Moisture Care for Skin Around Eyes: One of my problem areas (the problem that pushed me over the edge) was that the skin around my eyes was flaking. This cream, when applied after gently exfoliating, is specially made to help repair and moisturize the tender and sensitive skin under the eye. It also helps to correct fine wrinkles and dark circles, and can be applied twice a day and worn all day.
GLAMGLOW Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatment: I had heard great things about this from co-workers. Seeing as I had no current way of exfoliating, I decided to give it a try. After just one use, I instantly noticed my skin feeling tighter and my pores smaller, without feeling dried out. My skin felt refreshed and clean and I can’t wait to continue to see the results from this amazing product. I got a smaller sample size to try it out – a little goes a long way with this guy.
Sephora Collection Instant Moisturizer: My final purchase that day was an every day moisturizing cream. I didn’t need anything fancy, just something lightweight that would keep my skin from getting dry during the colder months. The sales associate recommended their brand, and I can’t be happier with it. It isn’t sticky or make my skin irritated, and keeps my skin feeling moisturized all day.
We had warm enough temperatures this past weekend that it no longer felt like winter. I wanted to make something for dinner that would make me feel like I needed to be warmed up from a winter chill (despite the 70 degree weather). I knew I wanted tomato soup, but decided to get adventurous with the pairing. That’s when I found this recipe for Margherita grilled cheeses – it’s like eating a pizza in a sandwich. If you like either pizza or grilled cheeses, I suggest you try this tonight. Its amazing.
1-2 pinches garlic powder
2-3 slices mozzarella per sandwich
Cover each piece of bread with pizza sauce. Sprinkle fresh basil and a pinch of garlic powder on top. Cover with cheese, and close sandwich.
Cover both outsides of the sandwich with olive oil. Coat a grill pan with olive oil, and place over medium heat. Toast both sides of sandwich until golden brown. Enjoy with a bowl of tomato soup.
It has been a relaxing start to the New Year so far. I’ve been off work more than I’ve been there, and spent one entire day being lazy. It’s something I don’t do often – it makes me feel like I’ve wasted the day. Much to my surprise, staying in bed until 11 and eating Chinese takeout on the couch really isn’t that terrible. It was nice to have a day and some time to recharge, and get energized for all of the exciting things 2015 has in store for me.
(A great dinner with family and friends to ring in the New Year)
(Taking down Christmas // putting out my new coffee table books)
One of my favorite parts of fashion blogging is the ability to be creative and go outside of the box. When I first tried on this jumpsuit weeks ago, the lady letting me in the fitting room said to me, ‘Oh, I love this. It’s so outside of my comfort zone but it has ended up being one of my favorite pieces.’ I shrugged it off as a sales tactic – until I put in on. I was instantly in love. I owned nothing else like it, and suddenly felt more daring slipping it on. I love how a piece of clothing can suddenly make you take on a while new personality and confidence.
Naturally, since this piece is slightly outside of my comfort zone, Ryan and I decided to take some creative liberties with the shoot as well. We did our first ever night shoot – and while it may have been freezing cold, there was something fun and mysterious about shooting in the dark. I love that with blogging, it’s okay to try something different, find what works and what doesn’t, have have a ton of fun along the way.
Looking back over the last year, it’s hard to believe I fit so much in. I looked back through all my old posts at the close of 2013, and remember being impressed then. Now, that I doubled the amount I have blogged, it is crazy to go back, and look at how much I accomplished or changed in the last year. Here are some posts that stood out to me as I looked back through – some are because they were favorites, some because I had a great time doing them, and some, well, they are just funny. Hope everyone has a very happy new year!
One of my favorite treats to have growing up was crumb cake. It was usually something we had on the weekend, when we could just take our time enjoy a slice. I’ve had a few days off for the holidays, so I woke up one morning feeling like I needed to recreate those leisurely mornings from my childhood. I found this recipe on Pinterest, and it may be even better than the boxed kind I used to eat. The touch of almond extract really adds extra flavor, and it is extra crumbly.
Mix dry ingredients for crumb topping together in a large bowl. Create a well in the center and set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together butter, vanilla, and almond extract for crumb topping. Pour into well of dry ingredients. Pull dry ingredients into wet with a fork, and begin to form crumbs. You want some larger and some smaller, but no larger than a 1/2 inch. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugar for cake until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and mix well. Add in vanilla extract and sour cream, scraping sides to make sure it is well combined. In a separate bowl mix together flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. Add mixture to butter mixture, and beat on low until just combined.
Pour cake mixture into a greased 9×13 inch pan and spread evenly. Pour crumb mixture on top, and bake for 30-35 minutes.