Get Gorgeous with Honey

September 30, 2013

With its antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and humectant properties, honey really is the sweetest way to glowing skin and shiny tresses. It's no wonder so many beauty products list it as an ingredient. But before you rush out to the beauty counter, pick up a jar of raw honey (not pasteurized!) and reap the benefits with these tips.

1. Add ¼-½ cup of honey to a hot bath for silky, moisturized, and sweet-smelling skin. Pour in some milk for a bath worthy of Cleopatra herself.
2. Mix a tablespoon of honey with two tablespoons of almond flour to make a paste and use as a facial scrub. 
3. Make this lip scrub for a softer, sexier pout. 
4. For an acne-fighting facial wash, gently massage raw honey into dry skin and let it sit for  10-15 minutes. Rinse off to reveal clean, healthy skin. 
5. Mix equal parts honey and sugar for an awesome body scrub. 
6.  Make a super hydrating hot oil hair mask by mixing three tablespoons of honey with three tablespoons of olive oil and microwaving for 25 seconds. (Use more honey and oil for really long hair.)
7. Help scars fade by smoothing raw honey over them and covering with a bandage overnight. Wash off in the morning.
8. Make a rich body moisturizer by adding a few tablespoons of honey to whipped coconut oil.
9. Cleanse skin with a mixture of one tablespoon of honey and one tablespoon of lemon juice for a clean, bright complexion.
10. Restore mind and body by drinking a glass of warm water with two tablespoons of honey mixed in. 

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Currently Drooling Over: Bold Accent Pillows

September 27, 2013

One of the fastest, easiest, and often cheapest ways to redo a room is to add decorative pillows. In an effort to inject more color into our home, I've been looking for new pillows to toss on the sofa; I'm starting to fall in love with bold prints I'm seeing, and I think I may need to update more than just the living room.
Hand painted blocks in a cool color combo. 
A classic print lends an air of sophistication and pairs will with other prints.
Colorful pillows with an ethnic print will add charm to a small space, like a reading nook.  
Simple squares make a big impact.
A watercolor effect that's as expressive as it is vibrant might work in the family room.
Polka dots could add a punch of playfulness to my bedroom.
Black, white and yellow by Trina Turk.
Blue cubes from Jonathan Adler are an optical illusion.
A striking pattern in a gorgeous citrusy color.

Happy Friday

September 27, 2013

It's the first full weekend of autumn, and while it still feels very much like summer in Phoenix, I have the urge to do some baking, one of my favorite fall pastimes. I've made exactly one apple pie in my entire life (and that was with the help of a few peers in my high school cooking class), so I might give it a go this weekend. Do you have a favorite fall activity? I'd love to hear about it.

Have a fantastic weekend and God bless!

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How to Spot Clean Suede

September 25, 2013

Suede can be a little intimating because it's so high maintenance, but if you've got a small stain, scuff, or spot on your favorite suede piece you can actually clean it yourself. First, make sure the spot is dry, then rub it with a clean towel to bring up the nap. After that, gently rub the area with a pencil eraser and you should be good to go. Beats running out to your dry cleaner every time your suede gets a little dirty, right?

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Corn and Sausage Griddle Cakes with Honey Butter

September 23, 2013

Griddle cakes are really just pancakes, but somehow calling them griddle cakes makes them sound even more warm and comforting. This weekend I made these corn and sausage griddle cakes and they were a huge hit with my family. They had a slightly crunchy texture thanks to the cornmeal, and the addition of sausage and cayenne powder gave them a little kick. Topped with a drizzle of salty-and-sweet honey butter, these cakes made for a perfect breakfast on a cozy Saturday morning. 

Corn and Sausage Griddle Cakes
6 tablespoons unsalted butter 
¾ cup breakfast sausage, casings removed
1½ cups fresh or frozen corn kernels, thawed if frozen
1 cup yellow cornmeal 
½ cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper 
½ teaspoon baking soda 
¼ teaspoon baking powder
pinch of cayenne pepper
1¼ cups buttermilk
2 large eggs

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, then spoon milk solids from the surface and throw them away. Pour the clarified butter into a glass measuring cup and set aside. 

Cook sausage in a large heavy nonstick skillet over medium heat, breaking it up into small pieces as it's cooked through, about 8 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer sausage to a bowl, then add corn to the same skillet (don't clean or wipe the skillet). Stirring often, cook the corn until it's slightly browned, about 5-6 minutes. Remove corn and add it to the bowl with the sausage. Wipe the skillet clean and set aside.

Whisk the cornmeal and the next 7 ingredients in a medium bowl; in a separate large bowl whisk the buttermilk and eggs. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk until combined, then fold in the sausage and corn. 

Heat 1 tablespoon of the clarified butter in the corn and sausage skillet, and working in batches, add the batter by the tablespoon. Add more clarified butter between batches. Cook cakes until they're golden and brown, about 2-3 minutes, then flip and cook an additional 1-2 minutes longer. Transfer to paper towels to drain. 

To make the honey butter, melt ½ cup butter (1 stick) butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Once melted, whisk in ½ cup honey honey. Serve the warm honey butter over the griddle cakes.

photo by Angelica Golden

First Day of Fall

September 22, 2013

The weather is getting brisk and the leaves are starting to turn the colors of a glorious sunset. Commemorate the arrival of fall with these musts.

What to Wear
Leather! If you're not quite ready to go all out with a leather jacket or pants, try an on-trend shirt or sweater with just a bit of leather detail, like this Leather Sleeve Top from J. Crew. 

What to Eat
It's apple season...If you happen to live near an orchard that allows the public in for picking, plan a day to go apple picking with friends, then go home and make these sweet and savory Apple-Onion Tarts.

What to Drink
Besides a chill in the air and leaves on the ground, fall brings about an abundance of candy corn in the grocery store. Pick up a bag so you can make Camarena Candy Corn Cordials for a grown-up Halloween party next month. 

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5 Emmy Party Cocktails

September 20, 2013

Whether you're hosting friends for an Emmy Awards viewing party or watching in your PJs by yourself, you'll appreciate these cocktails inspired by five popular Emmy-nominated shows. 

Dry Martini -- inspired by Mad Men
Serve with: Deviled eggs, a popular snack of the '60s

Breaking Blue -- inspired by Breaking Bad
Serve with: Rock candy, of course!

Bootlegger's Secret -- inspired by Boardwalk Empire
Serve with: Finger sandwiches (Sliced bread was invented during the Jazz Age, making finger sandwiches popular at the time. Make them with rye bread as a nod to the bootleggers and their rye whiskey.)

Red Wine -- inspired by Scandal
Serve with: Nothing, Olivia Pope only has time for wine. And sometimes she drinks straight from the bottle!

Mr. Bates Bittersweet Cocktail -- inspired by Downton Abbey
Serve with: Oysters on the half shell, a common starter of this era

Happy Friday

September 20, 2013

It is officially the last weekend (or Saturday, at least) of summer; when you wake up on Sunday it will be fall. I, for one, am looking forward to a shift in weather, and I welcome the brisk mornings and cool evenings that autumn brings with it (though I'm told it won't start cooling down here in Phoenix until mid to late October). 

How do you plan to bid farewell to summer? Whatever you do, have fun and be safe! God bless!

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5 Favorite: Fall Trends for Guys

September 19, 2013

Maybe it's the rich colors or the variety of textures, but for some reason I love fall fashion more than that of any other season. This year, I paid close attention to a few of the menswear collections, and I was pleasantly surprised to see how some of my favorite ready-to-wear trends translated onto the menswear runways. Here are five fall trends that I love, that also work for guys.


  Neil Barrett


  John Varvatos

  Topman Design

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National Guacamole Day

September 16, 2013

It's National Guacamole Day! I have no idea who decreed it, or when, and frankly I don't care. I love guacamole, and I'm celebrating by making one of these five favorite recipes. Do you love guac? What's your favorite recipe? I'd love for you to share it.

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Must Have: Glitter Salad Set

September 13, 2013

I know it seems most of my must-haves involve glitter (see my last must have here), but what can I say--I'm fancy! So when I spotted this salad serving set I was immediately drawn to it. It's completely functional (the glitter is encased in acrylic so there's no fear of getting any in the salad), completely adorable (hello, glitter!), and completely affordable (it's available here for 38 bucks). It also comes in silver in case I ever get over my obsession with all things gold.

Happy Friday {and a Happy Birthday}

September 13, 2013

Today is not only Friday, it's also Friday the 13th and it's my birthday. *cue the 50 cent club anthem* Go shawty, it's my birthday and I'm gonna party like it's my birthday!  Actually, I'm going to party like a mommy who just gave birth six weeks ago, which means a quick dinner out with the hubby and back home to cuddle with the bambina. 

Whatever your plans for this weekend, be safe and have an amazing time! God bless!

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10 Essentials for a Diaper Bag

September 12, 2013


A well-packed baby bag is a mom's best friend. Besides diapers, wipes, formula, and extra clothes for baby, here are ten things to help make heading out with baby a little easier.  And by the way, a fully-packed diaper bag makes an awesome baby shower gift.  

1. This diaper therapy cream is well worth the price--it heals any irritation almost immediately.
2. Keep little ones busy while dining out with these place mats that stick to the table (You can pour snacks directly on them!) and feature entertaining pictures and activities.
3. Leave your handbag at home and pack a cute cosmetic bag for your keys, phone, and a few beauty essentials.
4. A clean shirt for you...because poop and spit up happen.
5. Disposable changing pads make diaper changing on the go a cinch. 
6. No need to put a soiled bib back in the diaper bag when you carry disposable bibs. 
7. Chewbeads for teething little ones.
8. A water bottle with a built-in filter to keep you hydrated. And if you use formula, there'll always be purified water on hand to mix it. 
9. Baby-safe antibacterial wipes to clean hands, faces, high chairs and booster seats at restaurants, changing tables in public restrooms, and myriad other surfaces your baby may touch.
10. It seems obvious, but between sleep deprivation and trying to remember everything, you might actually forget baby's favorite toy.

5 Ways to Smell Good All Day

September 11, 2013

Besides being told you're gorgeous (c'mon, who doesn't love that?), having someone say you smell nice is way up there as far as compliments go. In addition to the obvious shower, deodorant, and splash of perfume, here are five things you can do to keep those compliments coming all day.

1. We all skip shampoos (any hair stylist worth their salt will tell you to do so), especially if you have curly or kinky hair. To keep tresses smelling sweet between washes spritz with hair perfume or use a scented dry shampoo.  

2. Use a rich, fabulously scented hand cream after every hand wash and throughout the day. As you absentmindedly touch your hair and clothes, a little bit of the scent will be transferred and you'll get a whiff of it as you move.

3. To make your perfume last longer, dab a bit of body oil or Vaseline on your pulse points, then spritz your perfume on them. Don't forget about the backs of your knees. 

4. Make like Sarah Jessica Parker and lightly spritz the clothes in your closet with your favorite perfume or body spray. You can also spray cotton balls or Q-tips and place them in your drawers to make your underpinnings and folded clothes smell great too.

5. After you've showered and are completely dry, use a puff to dust perfumed body powder all over your body. It's such a deliciously retro thing to do, in a glamorous, pin-up girl kind of way. And if you can't find a body powder in your favorite fragrance, here's how to make your own perfumed powder

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Boardwalk Empire and a Sidecar

September 8, 2013

The season premiere of HBO's Boardwalk Empire is tonight--who's planning to watch? My husband and I are a little obsessed with gangster movies and shows and this one doesn't disappoint. Everything about it is so good, from the characters to the clothes. And speaking of the clothes, I'm totally obsessed with the 1920s, particularly the fashion.  Men wore suits, ladies wore sequins, and they all drank fancy cocktails...glorious! 

If you're watching the new season of Boardwalk, why not imbibe a '20s drink? Here's a recipe for the Sidecar, a sweet and sour cocktail that combines Cognac and triple sec with fresh lemon juice. 

1½ ounces Cognac
1 ounce Cointreau (triple sec)
½ ounce fresh lemon juice

Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake well, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. For a sweeter drink, dip the rim of the glass in lemon juice, then in sugar. Enjoy!

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Happy Friday

September 6, 2013

We've only a couple weeks left of summer so take advantage of the warm weather and long(ish) days while you still can.

Have a fantastic weekend, and God bless!

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It's Football Season!

September 5, 2013

Whether it's your hubby or boyfriend, girlfriend or grandfather, chances are you have a football fan in your life, and since the NFL season kicks off today you'll likely be watching a game or two at some point in the next seventeen weeks. If you're not familiar with the game, or were too distracted by the hot men in tight pants to learn, here are some general football terms to get you through the season. 

Down: Starts when the ball is put into play and ends when the ball is ruled dead; the offensive team has four downs to advance the ball ten yards.
First down: The offensive team's first attempt to advance the ball ten yards; a new first down is earned after the team has gained ten yards.
Field goal: a kick that's worth three points; a team can attempt a field goal if they aren't able to get a touchdown.
Fumble: When the player who's holding the ball drops it or gets it knocked out of his hands before the end of a play.
Interception: When the defensive team catches the ball in the air after the offensive quarterback has thrown it; also called a pick (for some reason). Basically, it's a steal. 
Tackle: When the person carrying the ball is wrestled to the ground by a member of the opposing team, and any part of his body, except for his hands, touches the ground; the play is ended after a tackle.
Touchdown: When the offensive team crosses the opposing team's goal line or catches a throw (pass) in the end zone; this is worth six points. Also called a TD.

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5 Favorite: 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target Looks

September 5, 2013

We're ten days out from the launch of the 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target collection but I'm already plotting my purchases; my plan is to shop early and online so I get exactly what I want. These are just five of the looks I'm hoping to score. 

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DIY Perfumed Body Powder

September 3, 2013

Cornstarch has long been a remedy for absorbing sweat and odor, so when combined with a favorite perfume, it makes a wonderful and inexpensive body powder that'll keep you dry and smelling fabulous all day. I received this Henri Bendel Persian Lime & Pepper eau de parfum as an early birthday gift from my mother and I just can't get enough of it; naturally I had to make myself some body powder using it, some cornstarch, and a cotton ball. So simple!

DIY Perfumed Body Powder
2 cups pure, food-grade cornstarch (find it in the baking aisle at the grocery store)
Cotton ball

The first step is to saturate the cotton ball with the perfume. This will take about 30 to 40 spritzes, but don't worry, it's a surprisingly small amount and won't drain your perfume bottle (unless it was almost empty to begin with).  Next, drop the saturated cotton ball into a large, clean glass jar with a lid and pour the cornstarch over it, making sure not to fill all the way to the top (leave about 4 to 5 inches of space). Put the lid on and shake the jar vigorously. Store the jar in a cool, dark place for 3 days, shaking once or twice a day. Now it's ready! You can transfer it to a pretty jar or container and use a powder puff to dust it all over your body.

photography by Angelica Golden 
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