Taste{Full}: January 2012

Monday, January 30, 2012

Just to Pin It: Make-Up.

I'm not going to claim that this is a series because I tend to do that and then not follow through (Taste{full}: What's for Dinner?), BUT I basically got the idea while looking at a magazine to actually do something with the images I rip out from time to time.  I plan to create a "real," binder but of course, I couldn't ignore the fact that pinterest is just calling to me to create a virtual one as well.  I love pinterest.  It can be a crazy time waster but it can also be  an amazing source of great and creative ideas.  So I decided to take pictures of some of the images I've torn out of magazines-both to post here and to pin on my pinterest boards.  So here goes:

Lancome "Doll Lash Effect" Mascara- wide eye look.  I LOVE this.  I don't for a second believe my eyelashes will look like this just by using this mascara but I love it nonetheless.  I'm always looking for inspiration with make up--is anyone else afraid that they'll be one of those women wearing the same color combo and brands for thirty years?! 

Also Lancome.  So, so pretty.  Love the champagne with the grey.  I will be trying this.  Shoot- just realized I didn't capture her lips in the photo.  They are a shimmery pink.  Just lovely.

What make up looks have you pinned lately?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My Part Time Gig.

Hey peeps, Just thought I'd let you know that I am working for Tall Clothing Mall again.  Those of you who know me personally might remember that a couple of years ago I wrote articles for TallClothingMall.com.  Well Krista (the proprietor of the site) has asked me to re-join the team.  Since I am not working full time, I have a bit more time and will be contributing to her blogs, (tallclothingmall.blogspot.com & tallsnob.com) as well as writing her newsletter, and potentially helping clients with personal shopping requests. 
Me at 7 or 8.  Notice how much taller I was than the other kids!
This is a cause that's dear to my heart.  I've been tall my whole life (I came out of the womb at 2 1/2 feet.  ok, I'm kidding).  But seriously since I could remember, I was taller than the other kids, boys included.  If I had a nickel for every time I heard (from the latter) "she's cute but she's too tall..." I'd be, well not rich but I'd at least have a handful of nickels :)  I didn't  love being tall until I was in college.  Part of the reason why was the clothing aspect.  Back then you really couldn't find long inseam clothing (or certainly not in my parents' price range anyway) and I'd wear high waters or mens' pants.  I loved fashion even then and the fact that I had to choose between dressing like a boy and wearing high waters made me want to gag.  Every kid has her thing- too tall, too short, too skinny, too fat...so this is no sob story.  I only tell you that to let you know that I seriously empathize with people who are not the norm and can't find what they're looking for--clothes, or anything else for that matter--and am really excited about helping folks meet that need.  I also love to write (shocking!) and so writing about shopping for tall people?  It's pretty much a perfect gig.  The only downfall?  I am totally coming across tons of great clothing items that I must have...but since I'm not bringing home any bacon, can't really justify.  Shame right?! 

My first pair of womens' jeans that were long enough
were Lucky Brand.  I bought them my sophomore year of
college.  They were $70 and I had to put them on layaway!
Check out the site--even if you're not tall, her sales page is awesome and always loaded with discounts and coupon codes for a variety of stores, most of which are not specifically geared toward tall people.  If you are tall and haven't checked out Tall Clothing Mall yet, please do and make sure to sign up for the newsletter! It's an amazing resource full of options for you!

Wish me luck!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

My Milkshake Brings All the Boys to the Yard.

Ok, perhaps that wasn't the best title since it probably means something dirty.  This isn't dirty at all. It's actually delicious.  It tastes like ice cream. It tastes like a treat.  But it’s healthy!  How awesome is that?  I’ve been counting calories and as such when I come across something I enjoy eating that’s not a total diet buster, it makes me seriously happy.  A while ago I printed out some healthy snack recipes from a fitness website and while organizing the kitchen (more on that in a later post), I came across them.  Some of them weren't so delicious or original- raisins on peanut butter on celery?  How about I just eat a tablespoon of peanut butter and call it a day?  But this one intrigued me.  I made a few changes to it that in my humble opinion, make it rock.  Here it is:

1 frozen banana*
1 tablespoon of cocoa (or hot chocolate mix)
1 cup of skim milk
1 tablespoon of peanut butter (optional)

Put all of the ingredients in a blender.  Blend.  Enjoy an icy, frothy, experience.  (Hey I didn't say it was the most complicated recipe!).  It makes about 14ish ounces of deliciousness.  And at 323 calories (that's with hot chocolate mix vs. cocoa- using the latter will save you calories; I just didn't have it on hand) it's not exactly the aforementioned celery.  BUT it totally fills you up. Between the thickness the frozen banana adds and the protein in the peanut butter, it's definitely a get-me-to-dinner-without-munching-on-chips-or-cookies type of snack.  If you're really trying to go super low calorie with it, just use cocoa and nix the peanut butter or at the very least, use a light version. 

You could also add other fruit or even yogurt to this recipe to make it your own.

*an overripe banana works best.  It's not quite as sweet with a regular banana.  If you don't care about the sweetness, use either but to live up to my "it tastes like ice-cream" claim, use an overripe one. ;)

Hope you enjoy it!  And if you have any low fat snacks I should know about, please share!

Friday, January 6, 2012

My Little Pumpkin Turned TWO!

I've been meaning to post about Genevieve's birthday for a while.  I was excited to plan a cute but simple fete and even more excited to actually get good photos of it (so hard to stop and take pictures or be organized enough to have time to do it beforehand).  I was going back and forth regarding a theme but once I saw this post on the HWTM blog, I was hooked.  It was perfect for Genevieve.  At the time she was obsessed with pumpkins and I liked that it highlighted the fall season vs. me wistfully wishing she was born in June so that I could plan an outdoor summer party.  You gotta work with what you got people!  Also, due to our home remodel (which maybe I'll post about one day?), we really don't have much space to entertain so I planned to host it at my in-laws.'  My MIL's house is a fall harvest extravaganza with every fall color, foliage, and decoration you can imagine.  Perfect.
I really wanted to keep the party simple (KISS principle anyone?) after the craziness of her party last year.  The temptation when you are copying inspired by an idea is to copy it exactly.  However, let's get real- most of these parties are planned by professional party planners for people who, how shall I say it without sounding tacky- um, have freakin boatloads of cash. :)  I am not and do not.  Besides you want to be able to come up with something to call your own.  Doesn't matter if a party is gorgeous if it doesn't reflect you and  your child.  Ok it might matter a little...but only a tiny bit. ;) In that vein, I imitated a few of the elements I liked, then added a few details to make it my own.  So here are the photos along with descriptions and sources.

What better birthday cake for a fall party than a four layer luscious pumpkin cake?  I made this years ago for Thanksgiving and have always wanted to make it again. 

Favor table.  I took the HWTM idea of giving out the lil pumpkins but put them in a cute ball jar wrapped with ribbon and rope twine.

You can find these ball jars here.  They used to sell them at Wal-Mart ($4.97 for twelve!!!) but had literally JUST discontinued them when I began planning this party.  boooo!

I love the idea of framing the invitation for party decor.

The pumpkin wands I'd seen here. They were simple and fun to do. The boys immediately turned them into swords. And my sister-in-law thanked me for a house full of orange glitter. oops.  I put them in mason jars I got at AC Moore.

This was a major centerpiece of the other party and I knew I wanted to incorporate it.  I got the bale of hay from AC Moore also.  The large glittery pumpkin I happened upon at HomeGoods and seriously didn't even realize it was the exact same one used at the other party.  So lucky!

The paper printables were a centerpiece as well. I purchased them here.  Notice how I added pink to the party?  Adding a lot more glitter (a-la pumpkin wands and the cute pumpkins on the dessert table) and pink was a way to make it my own.

Dessert buffet.  I used the balloons and banner as a backdrop.  The sparkly pumpkins on either end were from Target.  I used burlap as a table runner.  (oh and ignore the tacky container. I removed it before the guests arrived).

I got the recipe for the pumpkin patch rice krispie treats from here. I also served pumpkin pie (store bought), pumpkin trail mix (recipe here but I substituted reeses pieces for m&ms),  and pumpkin dip with ginger snaps.  For dessert buffets it's important to use varying heights.  One of the ways I did that was to create a pie plate out of a planter by turning it upside down.
Since we live in NH it was too cold to go outside but I still wanted the party to have a harvest feel.  I found this wooden plant container in my garage.  I decided to use the same rope twine to bundle the silverware to add to the rustic feel.

See what I mean about my MIL's house?  This beautiful wreath was already there! I just added the sign and voila...
My inspiration party used fondant toppers.  I went the cheap route and used the candy pumpkins!  The only thing is, the dye did start to melt onto the cupcakes toward the end of the party...pretty sure the kids didn't mind though  ;)  I got the idea to put the cupcakes on scrapbook paper both from my fellow blogger Megan (who has used this idea in some of the adorable parties she's planned) and from this party.

The activity du jour?  Cookie decorating!  I am no good at planning kid activities but got the idea from here.  (Which is also where I got this by the way. ;) 

My mom helped me plan this party.  With a new (and high maintenance) ten week old, I didn't have a ton of time on my hands.  Thanks MOM!!

I think she likes it :)

Genevieve's cousins (and my mom with Nadia) partying it up.

My beauty just before cake time.  (like how I re-used the high chair from her first party? I tried to sell it on craiglist but apparently people just don't care about the details like I do and could find no use for an adorable pink high chair.  hmph!)

After all that, isn't this all that matters?!

Somehow the husband didn't make it in any of the party pictures...but here we are cuddling after a very busy party.
Hope you enjoyed the details of this party.  Now it's your turn--have you planned a party using a seasonal theme?   Or perhaps you've been inspired by a party and happy with the result of how your application of it turned out?  Do tell...

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