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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Chocolate Cherry Brownies

                             The brownie looks almost black because of all the dark chocolate- yum!

Brownies are one of my favorite desserts, but somehow I always end up messing them up- they're too hard, too soft, have a mysterious oily layer on top (yeah, I don't know either.  That recipe definitely got trashed), but these brownies are the richest, most delicious ones I've ever had.

Usually when I make brownies, I make a very, very low fat version sprinkled with a tiny bit of powdered sugar- under 100 calories a piece and amazing.  Sometimes, however, you want all the richness associated with a three egg and multiple chocolate brownie.

This one is it:)

1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder
3 eggs
3/4 cup peanut or canola oil
3/4 semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup halved maraschino cherries


Mix everything but the chips and cherries in a bowl by hand (don't overmix!).  When it's combined, but just barely, add the chips and the cherries.  Gently mix in.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Spray a baking pan with canola oil or line with parchment paper.  Pour in the brownies and bake for 30-35 minutes.

You can either...

-wait until they cool, cut them into tidy little squares and serve them to your friends and family like the lady/gentleman you are.


(and this is my favorite method)

-Slice them up scalding hot and eat with a glass of icy cold chocolate soymilk.  Offer to share if you feel like it.

                         You can't see any cherries, but the chocolate looks sooo delicious and melty!

Seriously, how easy was that?  Original, untampered recipe from this website.  

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Coconut Oil Hair Treatment Review

I've written before how I dyed my hair every color of the rainbow in high school (you can read about it here), and because of that, I'm always looking for the latest and greatest in hair treatments and masks.  I love buying a commercial one, with all the lovely scents and outlandish claims, but I always go back to the easiest, cheapest, and quickest to find of them all: Coconut Oil.

This tasty and useful product has been used for thousands of years from South/Central America, Africa, India, to many parts of Asia.  It's quickly gaining popularity here in the West, where people often seek to use really natural products.

                                         Shiny hair last Christmas, courtesy of coconut oil(:

I use Spectrum Brand, but any brand would probably work (although according to some reviews on Makeup Alley, other brands aren't quite as good) and the process is very simple.

1. Take your dry or barely damp hair and gently massage plenty of oil from the ears down, focusing on the ends and the dryest parts of your hair.

2. You can either blow dry your hair, still coated in all the oil to speed up the process, or you can:
     -let it sit for an hour, with your head wrapped in saran wrap or a towel while you do homework or something.
     -Wrap your hair in a towel, lay towels over your pillows, and sleep in it overnight (my favorite way to do it!)

As I write this, I have my hair coated in coconut oil and piled up on top of my head with a hairclip, enjoying the delicious aroma of coconut!

Any of the three ways works beautifully.  Be sure to wash your hair thoroughly- depending on how much oil you use, you might have to wash it twice- and condition & style as usual.

Enjoy your beautiful, shiny, healthy hair!

Until Next Time,


Monday, November 28, 2011

No Regrets

I've always thought that it's best to have no regrets in life.  For awhile, I regretted blowing off high school and having to go to a community college.  I realize now, however, that it was the best choice for me because I had no idea where I actually wanted to be, or what I wanted to do.  When I was seventeen, my dream in life was to either go to Temple University in Tokyo or eventually transfer to the University of Southern California.  I wanted to double major in Psychology and History.  I wanted to be a CIA psychologist and solve the problems of the agents.

I switched my major to History and after visiting Tokyo, realized that although I loved it dearly (and rank it among my top 10 favorite places in the world), that it wasn't the right city for me to live in.  I began to look at schools in Europe, where I was born and lived for the first few years of my life.  I remembered how much I loved it when I visited in 2007, and eventually found my dream school, which I'll be applying to in January (fingers crossed that I get accepted!).  After finishing high school with a sad 2.5 GPA, I now have a 4.0 in college: one that I've worked really, really hard for.

I love school and now hope to attend graduate school and earn my doctorate in History.  Someday I want to work in conjunction with the BBC/History Channel to create documentaries to educate people about the past.

I would never have realized all this if I hadn't screwed my life at no regrets:)

Until next time,


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Inspired By...Das Wilde Leben (and a lovely, Happy Thanksgiving!)

How beautiful is that outfit?  It's from one of my favorite movies, Das Wilde Leben.

I definitely need a new shirt for that, but in a pinch I think it looks okay.  The skirt is a souvenir from Iraq(!), as my dad goes there frequently on business trips.

Side note: How beautiful are those Saguaro cactus?  Love those, and they only grow in Arizona!

                                Caught me unawares, but I kinda dig those sorts of pictures:)

I don't know about everyone else, but my Thanksgiving was incredible.  This year we eschewed the usual Tofurkey in favor of taking the two day road trip to my uncles.  Everything was made from scratch, and with the exception of the Turkey, everything was also vegetarian!  We ate outside with beautiful, glimmering lights and the tall Saguaro's watching over us...truly magical!

Finished off the meal with two slices of pie (one Pecan and another Dutch Apple) and a glass of Pinot Grigio.

Life is good.

I hope everyone else's Thanksgiving was as magical as mine (for those who celebrate it!) and until next time,


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Inspired By....Marie Antoinette & Daniel Deronda

Yesterday we went to Old Tucson, where they filmed classics like Bonanza and (gasp!) Little House on the Prairie!  I grew up with those books, and thoroughly enjoyed the TV series, even though it may have deviated from the books like crazy.  

For once, I didn't take my usual show-off-the outfit pictures.  I suppose I was just too excited and forgot! The only one I really took was in a casket labelled "Horse thief."  How much fun is that?

Dress: Macys, Cardigan: Juicy Couture, Unseen Shoes (same from yesterday): Coach

How cute is that hat?  I wish hats would come back in style, like they used to be.  Sometimes a girl doesn't feel like a headband or dry shampoo to cover up second day hair, amiright?

Pictures (again) from here- side note, how great is that website?  I feel so inspired, just browsing through the costumes!

                                        The view on the way back- so beautiful and wild looking!

We went to an Ethiopian restaurant for dinner, and this was next to it.  I was so confused- Mexican insurance?  A thousand different thoughts raced through my mind as to what that could possibly be.  I've been to Mexico (well...spent a day in Tijuana), but didn't remember having to get special insurance to go (then again, I was 13...).

Have a great day everyone and until next time,


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Day 2: Texas, New Mexico, & Arizona

The downfall of traveling in the fall/winter is that you can't rely on the temperatures.  We stayed in Texas overnight, and awoke to 40 degree weather.  Just a few hours later, in another part of Texas, it was in the 80s.  How is a girl supposed to deal with a 40 degree temperature change?

                                           Near Sierra Blanca, Texas.

Answer: She froze because she didn't think it would be so cold.  Oh well.  Live and learn.  

Monday's outfit was inspired by Gwendolyn Harleth in Daniel Deronda:

The dress is actually a lovely royal purple, but it doesn't really come out in this picture.  It was insanely cloudy and icky that day.  Dress: Macys, Cardigan: Juicy Couture, Shoes: Coach.

A little darker and more glamorous:)

In the New Mexico Welcome Center, they have this crazy cart thing.  It reminded me of the car they dragged the townspeople off to the gallows in the movie "The Crucible."

The purple really comes out in this picture:)

Too cold for Rattlesnakes, thank goodness!

Photographs from Period Movie Caps.

Have you been to the Southwest?  If so, how did you like it?

Until Next Time,


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Traveling throughout the American South!

We left Alabama super early this morning and drove through Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, and stopped halfway through Texas, near Forth Worth.

13 hours.  OMG.

Today's outfit actually isn't based on a movie/miniseries (unfortunately), but it's just so crazy comfortable and cute that I couldn't resist wearing it.

Before the outfit though, I have to share this:

Dr. Enuf.  How have I never heard of this before?  It's like Sprite, just with a stronger lemon-lime flavor, which is SO delicious.

Sweater: Nick and Nora, Skirt: Home Made (Loving making my own clothes!), Shoes: Chinese Laundry.

Side note: I can't seem to find hose the right color.  I want them more like my skin color (several shades lighter than what they are in real life).  If anyone has any suggestions for brands to try, let me know!

Until Next Time,


Friday, November 18, 2011


I know it's a little early (by a week, anyway) to be talking about **Thanksgiving** but I'm so excited, I just had to post about it.  I'm going on a lovely cross country trip on Sunday, and won't be coming back until the following Saturday.

I had the ingenious idea of planning out all my outfits to be based on my favorite movies and miniseries, which is SO helpful, and SO inspiring!  I'll be adding my own touches and channelling some of my favorite outfits from Das Wilde Leben, Young Victoria, Daniel Deronda, Marie Antoinette, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, and The Tudors.

I won't be doing my regular posts that usually involve recipes, etc, but I will be posting my outfits and the things I did.  I'm going to a place I've only been to once before, so it'll be really exciting!

Until Next Time,


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Peanut Butter Walnut Cookies

I've been craving peanut butter for the past week (although to be honest, when aren't I?).  My mom and I found ourselves on a sugar rampage last night, which is the worst thing to happen when you don't have any all purpose flour.  And barely any white sugar.

O M G.

So I took a basic peanut butter cookie recipe and tweaked the hell out of it to make it healthier, as well as having a softer, chewier middle, and a lightly crispy outside.  Perfection?  Absolutely.

This is something you'll need a food processor for, if you're going to use the walnuts.  If you don't have one/don't like walnuts or just plain don't want them on your cookies, you can sprinkle them with a little white sugar (provided you have the foresight not to run out!)

                                                       Ground Walnuts

1/2 melted butter
1/2 all natural, crunchy peanut butter
1 1/4 cups bread flour
1/2 cup minus one tablespoon white granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground flax
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup walnuts


1. In a mixing bowl, beating butter and peanut butter with an electric mixer on medium high speed for 30 seconds.  Add 1/2 cup of the flour, the sugars, flaxseed, egg, baking soda, baking powder, and vanilla.  Beat till thoroughly combined.

2. Beat in remaining flour.  Cover and chill for at least an hour (as with all cookies!).

3. Meanwhile, take the walnuts and pulse them until finely ground in the food processor.  Transfer the nuts to a shallow bowl.

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Take a tablespoon of the dough and shape into a ball.  Take the bowl and roll it in the nuts until covered.  Place the balls on a cookie sheet, two inches apart, and make a criss cross design in the top with a long fork.

                                             Criss-Crossed Walnut-ty cookies

5. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until done.

                                              Yum!  Cookies!

So delicious- if you try, let me know how it goes!

Until Next Time,


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

More Food for Thought

I've found that yoga helps me "be calm in my heart" even when things are really stressful (like the end of the semester).

How about you?

Until Next Time,


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sweet Potato Fries

For lunch, I had my favorite wrap (a tortilla with melted Vermont cheddar, mixed field greens, sun dried tomato vinaigrette, pecans, and a sliced soy chicken patty) and sweet potato fries!  I had never had them before and was a little hesitant- after all, the only way I had ever had them was in a sweet potato casserole (never, ever again).

It turns out that one sweet potato provides two servings, so my mother and I shared a single potato, which was the perfect amount for both of us.

1 sweet potato
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika

Preheat oven to 450 F.
Peel and slice the sweet potato into thin strips.  In a large bowl, combine the sweet potato slices and the oil, tossing to coat.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika, spreading it around to get each slice evenly covered.

On a baking sheet spread with parchment paper, lay out the slices so that none are overlapping.  Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and flip.  Return to the oven and bake for another 5-10 minutes, until done (but not burnt).

I baked mine for the full 20 minutes, which turned out to be too long.  Mine were a little burnt, but still surprisingly delicious.

If you try, let me know!

Until Next Time,


Monday, November 14, 2011

Random Things

A top five list of things I want for Christmas:

Am I the only one obsessed with the Borgia family?  If I could dedicate my life to researching and learning about Italian Renaissance history, I would (just thinking about it makes me want to go to grad school even more!)

I love Somerset Maugham.  If you ever get the chance to see the play "Holiday of Rain," I highly recommend it.  It's based on the short story, and absolutely hilarious.  Best play I've ever seen, bar none.

Another copy of Adrian Lyne's "Lolita."  It's vastly superior to Kubrick's, and my copy is starting to skip a little.  I'm on my second copy of the book, so why not the DVD as well?

Written by a contemporary of Dickens (and edited by the great man himself), "North and South" is one of my favorite books (and BBC miniseries- after all, it introduced me to the delicious Richard Armitage, and that's always a good thing).  I actually prefer Gaskell's writing to Dickens- she's a little less wordy and more to the point than he is.

A trip to Cuba.  I'm a little obsessed with it right now (forbidden fruit and all that).  Right now travel is only open for religious groups and cultural groups (neither of which I belong to, sadly).  If anyones been, I would looooove stories!

Until Next Time,


Katy Perry's The One that Got Away

I'm obsessed with this music video right now.  If you've never seen the movie Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights(so much better than the original!), you might not get my love for Diego Luna.

This music video will fix all that.

Until Next Time,


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Review of Phyto Phytokarite Hair Treatment

When I was 15, I bleached my normally dark brown hair blonde- platinum blonde.  I was aiming for Brigitte Bardot, and ended up with something a little more...crayon colored.

Cue the horror movie screams.

Nevertheless though, I didn't give up on my dream of being blonde.  I used intensive conditioning treatments and bleached it out a little more until I ended up with something more Marilyn than Brigitte, but still entirely satisfactory.

I look back on that now and wonder, "What was I thinking?!"

My hair was a fried, poufy mess and far from the luxurious wheat colored strands I longed to flip over my shoulder with a carefree laugh.  I did research (hours upon hours of it) and stumbled across the French line Phyto.  Made from mostly natural ingredients, its Phytokarite line is designed especially for people with really, really dry, damaged hair (like those of us who decide to lighten our hair by 15 or so shades).  I used the line until I no longer needed it, then stashed it back in my closet of forgotten beauty supplies.  The shampoo was used up by visiting guests, but the hair mask was sadly neglected until I found it again last night.

I normally do a hair mask once a week, but didn't feel like using my usual Shiseido one, so I used this instead.  Since I got my hair cut, and have been heat styling, it's felt a lot dryer so I dug this one out.

The mask is a little different to use than others, and it's really best that you do it while taking a bath.  To begin, you wash your hair as normal, then towel dry, until it's more dry than wet.  Then take a small glob of the product in your hands and liquefy it in your fingers until it's thin and creamy.  Massage in your hair, and continue to do so until your whole head is covered (yes, whole head- not just the ends!).  Put your hair up and relax for 15-60 minutes.  When your ready, wash it out.

My hair already felt softer last night, and this morning, I noticed less breakage when I finger combed it (I only brush my hair before washing it, every other time I simply fingercomb and style).

I love this product, but it's one that you can only use when you're hair is really messed up.  It's weird- if you use it when you don't need it, it seems to make your hair dryer.

It's also not animal tested, which is a big pro.  You can read other reviews of Phy Phytokarite hair mask here: Phyto Karite

Until Next Time,


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Macaroni & Cheese with Brussels Sprouts

To start off with, I don't have a picture of the following recipes that I made last night.  Sad to say (or happily), it was eaten too fast to get a picture.  

So that's that.  

Is there anyone who doesn't love a good macaroni and cheese?  I'm not talking about the boxed kind, with the florescent orange dress, but the homemade kind, with several different kinds of cheese and a rich creamy sauce.  

Oh my God, yes.

So, without further ado:

Macaroni and Cheese Recipe:
(Adapted from Alton Brown)

  • 1/2 pound short noodles
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon powdered mustard
  • 3 cups soy milk
  • 3 tablespoons dehydrated onion flakes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded white Vermont cheese
  • 2 slices Pepper Jack cheese, torn up into strips
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh black pepper

  • In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.
    While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes. Make sure it's free of lumps. Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes and remove the bay leaf.
    Temper in the egg. Fold in the cheese, one cup at a time, stirring until it's completely melted before adding more.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  
    Try to not eat the whole pan yourself, and enjoy!  

    Brussel Sprouts:
    (Adapted from Jennifer McCann's "The Vegan Lunch Box")
    1/2 pound fresh brussels sprouts, cleaned, trimmed, and cut in half (half a pound equals about 9 sprouts)
    1 tablespoons olive oil
    6 tablespoons water or vegetable stock
    1 tablespoon sugar
    1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
    Heat the oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat.  When hot, add the brussels sprouts and sprinkle with salt to taste.  saute, stirring occasionally, until the sprouts begin to turn golden, about 5 to 10 minutes.  Add 3 tablespoons of the stock or water and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer, covered with the lid left slightly ajar, until the brussels sprouts are almost completely tender and the stock or water has been cooked away (10 minutes).  Remove the lid and add the last 3 tablespoons of water, the sugar, and the apple cider vinegar.  Bring to a bubbly simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced to a syrup, about 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve hot or at room temperature.  

    My parents were too afraid to try the sprouts, so I ended up eating the whole batch myself (which is supposed to feed two).  I was fine with that though, because WOW are these things delicious!  The macaroni and cheese complemented the sprouts really well.  I was pleasantly surprised by it.  

    If you try it, let me know they go!  

    Until Next Time,


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sorry for the hiatus, guys!  I've been absolutely swamped with schoolwork (among other things).  How much does that suck?  So when I found some spare time, I relaxed in my favorite way by baking something delicious.

Ergo, peanut butter and chocolate cookies that are just sooo good.  If you can't tell, chocolate and peanut butter is my absolute favorite combination- there's nothing (except maybe falafel) that I crave more than that combination.

The recipe calls for chocolate chips, but I actually didn't have any (for once).  Consequently, I used a bar of 60% Ghiradelli bittersweet dark chocolate.


I chopped the chocolate up with a meat cleaver and ended up with this:

Recipe for Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies:

1/2 Cup Sugar
1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 melted butter
1/2 Natural Peanut Butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1 cup self rising flour
1/2 cup oats
6 ounces Chocolate Chips (or a bar of chocolate)

Beat sugars, butter and peanut butter together.  Add vanilla and egg until creamy.  Mix in flour, oats, and chocolate and blend well.  Cover tightly with saran wrap and refrigerate for AT LEAST one hour, or until the dough is really stiff (since the butter was melted, it has to firm back up).

Drop dough by rounded teaspoons about two inches apart on an ungreased baking stone or cookie sheet.  Bake 10-15 minutes, or until browned.

                                            On a well used baking stone

                                         One stone's worth on a pretty plate : )

Side Note: I hate crunchy cookies.  As in, I refuse to eat them if they're not soft and delectable.  So what's a girl to do when she overbakes her cookies and makes them crunchy?  Put a slice of soft white bread into a sealable container and add the cookies.  Seal it tightly overnight (or just for a few hours) et voila- the cookies get soft, and the bread gets hard!

Until Next Time,


Monday, November 7, 2011

Home Made Tomato Soup Recipe

When I was little, I always h-a-t-e-d tomato soup.  Like, with a passion.  We always had the canned stuff from Campbells, which tasted nasty and metallic.


I thought I would always hate tomato soup until I found a recipe from scratch and modified it quite a bit until it practically no longer resembled the original recipe.  I was absolutely blown away by how delicious it was!  I never thought I would love tomato soup as much as I do now.  It's just so warm, creamy, and comforting- and super easy to make vegan, if you want.

Home Made Tomato Soup Recipe:

Serves 4

4 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons all- purpose flour
4 cups tomato juice
1 cup water
2 tablespoons sugar
salt and pepper to taste

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter.  Add the flour and stir well, making a smooth paste.  Add the tomato juice and water cup by cup slowly, stirring in between to minimize/eliminate lumps.  Bring to a boil for two minutes.  Stir in sugar, salt, and pepper. 

 As you can see, the only animal based ingredient is butter, and it would easy to swap out something else.  

If you try it, let me know!

Until Next Time,


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Inspired by Bleak House

Isn't Bleak House a terrible name for a book?  When I first heard about the miniseries (my introduction to the incredible Dickens novel), my first thought was that it must be very, very depressing.  Well, I recently watched the full BBC miniseries, starring Carey Mulligan among others, and was stupefied by the beautiful clothes, and intricate, lively plotline.

It's difficult to describe the actual plot of "Bleak House" since it involves so many people and has several different intertwining storylines.  Suffice to say, it's not as bleak as it sounds, and actually has a very happy ending.

Once again, I was struck by the beautiful period costumes of the miniseries, particularly this one worn by "Esther Summerson":

Beautiful, isn't it?  Once again, I raided my closet for something similar, and found an Anthropologie dress I bought last year.

I took advantage of the lovely fall foliage near the top of our driveway as well.

This weather is beautiful.  I haven't experienced a real winter since I was 13 (so about six years?  Wow), so I'm pretty excited about this one.

The book "Bleak House" is on my Christmas wishlist, and I definitely look forward to being able to read it as a r-e-a-l book, not on the internet.  I don't think I'll ever be an internet book convert.

Have you read/seen Bleak House?  Are you a Dickens fan?  Let me know!

Until Next Time,


Saturday, November 5, 2011

7 Billion People

So 30 October marked the birth of the 7 billionth person on Earth.  Regardless of where this person was born, I think we can all agree that seven billion is remarkable.  It's hard to believe that only a few hundred years ago, the Black Plague wiped out a third of the European population, reducing the worlds population to roughly 375 million people.  I realize that seems a little random, but for the population to increase by 325, 000, 000 in only a couple hundred years amazes me beyond belief.

More to the point, with the Earth's population expanding so rapidly, it becomes increasingly clear that our way of life is unsustainable.  I found this awesome infographic by PETA this morning, which astounded me.

Isn't that amazing?  It makes me wonder what the change in impact is if one simply goes vegetarian instead of full on vegan.  For the most part, I've made a few painless switches- soy milk instead of regular milk, and trying egg swaps in my baked goods (which never turn out right, sadly enough), but my few attempts at going full-on vegan have been less than successful (my current record being a day and a half before succumbing to a Subway veggie delight with extra cheese).

Even though I'm not a vegan, I try to make sure my animal-related foods are harvested as painlessly as possible.  My family has stopped buying eggs, and instead purchases them for a dollar a dozen from a coworker of my fathers.  The chickens roam free and are housed and fed in sanitary conditions.  I've also noticed a distinct difference in the taste of fresh eggs from happy chickens, and the older eggs from the grocery store.

Things like this really make me think though.

Infographic comes from:

How about you?  Are you vegetarian/vegan?  If not, how do you feel our current way of life?  Let me know!

Until Next Time,


Friday, November 4, 2011

Essential Shopping

Is there much more enjoyable than a good day out shopping?  Even if it's for essentials?

Yeah, I don't think so either.  I put a pic of my (really small) haul up above.  I got my favorite, HG foundation, MAC Pro Longwear (Shade NW 20, for anybody who's interested):

I have to say that I was honestly surprised, a year ago, when I bought the foundation.  I never expected to love it as much as I do.  The one bottle lasted me a year (with daily use), so I feel perfectly comfortable buying it.  After all, with a department store product, there's no shade guessing like there is with a drugstore foundation, and I know I can return it if I hate it.

Not only that, but I LOVE MAC.  Not only do they not participate in animal testing (a huge thing for me, being an ethical vegetarian), but their products are top notch for a fraction of the cost of other high end brands, like Dior or Chanel.

I also bought my favorite Erno Laszlo Sea Mud Soap.

and my favorite (and the only one I've ever repurchased) moisturizer, the Antioxidant Mattifying Complex.

Before last year, I had never heard of Erno Laszlo.  I got a facial from them as a special promotional offer at Nordstrom, along with a goody bag of all the products I used.  After doing some research on the brand history and ethics (have to check for any unnecessary animal abuse, y'know!), as well as using their phenomenal products, I invested money in the whole line, and have been hooked ever since.

Erno Laszlo dates back decades, and is/was used by Hollywood beauties that we still know and love today- Marilyn Monroe, Greta Garbo, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, and Uma Thurman being among them.  I have to say that since I started using these products, my skin has a glow that it didn't have before.  I also used to have a major blemish problem, and my 1:00 routine keeps them mostly at bay.  If you haven't tried it/heard of it before, I definitely recommend that everyone give them a look- at the very least, you'll probably get some new skin tips that you've never heard of before.

Until Next Time,