Monday, January 28, 2013

A Miniature Rose Bush & Stew

Yesterday was perfect in the way that only gloomy Sundays can be.    I went to the grocery store to get ingredients for stew - it doesn't call for anything fancy - and it's simplicity is the sort of meat and potatoes goodness that is healthy but still filling.   I was also excited to find a miniature rose bush in the prettiest light pink.  The perfect find to brighten up a dreary day.  Rose bush and groceries in tow, I headed home to make my stew.

Stew has always been my favorite meal to have when the weather gets chilly.
This is my grandma's recipe that my mom always made us growing up and this was my first time attempting it.  It was easy, and turned out perfectly.  I made it on the stove, but you can make it in a slow cooker as well.

1 lb stew meat or round steak cubes
1 can beef consomme
1 yellow onion chopped
4-5 carrots
2-3 potatoes

Shake the meat in flour until it's coated.
Brown the meat.
Add the can of consomme, 3/4 cup of water, and the onion to the meat and let simmer 1 hour.
Add the potatoes and carrots and simmer one more hour.

By the time the stew is done, the meat and vegetables will be coated in a delicious gravy.  For a more thin gravy, cook for less time.  Serve with crusty French bread and enjoy.


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Link Love on a Sunday

One of my favorite blogs The Beauty File has made me remember how much I love when bloggers share their favorite links.  So I thought I'd give it a whirl.  Here are some lusts and distractions that have been keeping me entertained while the weather is cold and rainy.

1)  Dreary weather screams for comfort food - this recipe for Spanish chicken  is one I've been dying to try for a while now.

2) You all know -  I'm obsessed with Downton Abbey, I'm fairly certain I need the cookbook.

3)  Need some giftspiration for the men in your life? Try Wharf Clothing and Wares.  Amazing customer service, unique leather goods, and clothing you don't find every day.

4) I'm ready for spring!  This makeup from Lancome is the perfect way to welcome warmer weather with apricot cheeks, candy colored pouts, and shimmery shadows.

5) For all you crazy cat people out there.  Even if you're not, it's pretty funny.

6)  Wanderlust has set in - it's the end of January - I'm sure most of us have it.  I'd be okay with a getaway here.  Definitely okay with that.


Friday, January 25, 2013

Vitamin D & Huraches

Oh hey there.  It's that time of year I want the sun.  I want to step outside into humidity and be wearing flowy dresses and huraches.  I want to smell like Bobbi Brown "Beach" and sip Dark n' Stormy's in the sunshine.   I want to swim,  sunbathe, and read fashion magazines in the sand.  

(For the record this want of all thing tropical started with a dream about huraches.  Who dreams about  huraches?  Are they even in this season?  I don't know - but I think they're fabulous.)

Some Tory Burch huraches.... 
Some more classically styled huraches...


Friday, January 18, 2013


If Awapuhi were a place, it'd be similar to this...

Here's a lil' beauty tip for your Friday.   I use Paul Mitchell's Awapuhi shampoo as a body wash.  Awapuhi is a form of ginger that originated in India, but now is mainly grown in Hawaii.  And it truly is a heavenly thing.  Sure, it's a little pricier than your run of the mill body wash, but it's *so* worth it.  The smell reminds me of my childhood.  Specifically summertime baths post pool.  It's tropical in the most unusual way, and I really wish there was a perfume that could duplicate it's freshness.   It also is a wonderful shampoo, but the lather is so rich and fragrant I prefer it as a body wash.  I love finding out what it is us ladies do to stay beautiful - the secrets we've learned from our mothers and grandmothers - the stuff you don't read on on every other beauty blog.  So what are your beauty secrets?


Monday, January 14, 2013

A Natural Beauty

I'm infatuated with pretty skin.  The kind that's poreless, blemish free and completely even.  Several of my roommates in college had skin like that and I was unabashedly envious.  Last month I received an amazing facial from Kelly at Urban Effects Med Spa.  My skin was left looking so pretty, and I've been determined to keep it that way.  I am hydrating lots, using a toner and moisturizer designed to promote "radiant" skin and probably most importantly I've ditched the foundation in exchange for BB cream.  The light coverage gives the more natural look I have been wanting and leaves my pores clear.

BB cream (which stands for beauty balm) has been all the rage for the past year or so, and it was one of those beauty trends I felt I could never embrace. I'm the kind of girl that needs coverage.  I was completely blown away when I tried it and it really did leave my skin looking flawless but still natural. My beauty routine has officially changed and I don't think I'll ever be without a BB cream again.

Below are some tips for making BB cream work for you.

1) Use Backup -  If I'm going out for the night, I will still apply some of my old foundation around my eyes, just to have a bit more coverage.  If I have a blemish, I'll use some concealer as well.

2) Apply with a Brush -  The best thing about BB cream is how natural it makes skin appear.  Not much blending is required, but applying it with a foundation brush ensures a flawless look.

3) Know Your Shade - When BB creams first came out there were several brands that boasted the shades "adjust to your skin tone."   Countless beauty reviews state that these "one shade work for all" aren't that great - get as close to your shade as possible.

4) Still Moisturize! - Although BB creams are an excellent way to keep skin hydrated, still use a moisturizer beforehand.  The more hydrated you are, the easier the cream blends.

5) Need more coverage? - If you feel like your BB cream  just doesn't give enough coverage, try mixing it with your regular foundation.  Or perhaps apply a powder afterwards to give a more finished look.  Don't be afraid to experiment - this is versatile stuff!


Sunday, January 13, 2013

My Golden Globe Favorite

It's no surprise I'll be cheering for Downton Abbey at the 2013 Golden Globes (it's up for best drama!) And I've been anxiously waiting to see what Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary Crawley) would be wearing.  She chose an Alexander Vauthier gown with hair and makeup that is reminiscent of her 1920's character.   Between her fair skin, auburn updo, and simple elegance of the gown, I'm really loving this look.


Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Detox Bath

Who doesn't love a good bath?  They have become one of my favorite ways to unwind after a long day.  So naturally, when I saw a pin for a detox bath, I was instantly intrigued.  Detox baths have been used for centuries - and they are not only a great way to rid yourself of sickness they ease sore muscles and joints as well as help sweat out nasty hangovers.   I was completely amazed at how utterly relaxed and soothed I felt after giving this bath a go last night.   This will most definitely become a weekly ritual.

1) Fill tub with as warm a water as you can stand.
2) Add two cups of epsom salts - to help replenish the body's magnesium levels and help flush toxins out of your body.
3) Add one cup of baking soda - to keep skin silky soft and neutralize the acids of toxins.
4) Add up to 1/3 cup ground ginger or fresh ginger tea - to help promote the sweating out of toxins (skin may redden a bit from the ginger, so careful with the amount added.)
5) Stay in tub for 40 minutes. Take caution when getting out, you'll probably be a bit light headed. Also be sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and keep flushing out your system.

I was lucky because I found epsom salts that were lavender scented.  If you can't find scented salts, add some essential oil to the water (try lavender, ylang ylang, or eucalyptus).  It does get hot, and you can certainly notice how much you're sweating, but do your best to stay submerged in the water the full 40 minutes.   When you get out you'll feel luxuriously limp and want nothing more than to grab a bottle of water and curl up on the couch.


Tuesday, January 8, 2013


I'm going to be completely honest with you all.  I have been busy - but not so busy that I can't blog.   Hush n Wonder has taken a back seat to my new obsession - Downton Abbey.  There are very few shows I get "hooked" on.  I think the last show I religiously followed was Full House.  But let me just say, Downton has me transfixed to my tv and/or Kindle and since I discovered it a week ago, I've already watched 2 seasons.  Season 3 aired Sunday night on PBS, and it's proving to be the most lovely little distraction with all it's Edwardian elegance.  I've always been drawn to English history, and I can't tell you how badly I'd like to be in Lady Mary's shoes for just a day (Those dresses!  That house! Cousin Matthew! Swoon!)

So do tell, are you a fan of the show?  Am I being ridiculous for wanting to imitate this turn of the century style, just a little bit?

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