Monthly Archives: November 2013


Spiked Cider with a Cinnamon Sugar Rim

November 26, 2013

This time of year we all want nothing more than to be curled up next to a fire with a hot beverage. While we may not all be lucky enough to have a fireplace, you can still cozy up with a mug of this warm & spicy spiked cider. This recipe is very simple, with only a few ingredients, and can easily be made into a larger batch for guests. Happy Thanksgiving, gals!

spiked cider

Spiked Cider with a Cinnamon Sugar Rim

Makes 2 cocktails

  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 oz bourbon or whiskey
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon sugar
  1. Warm the cider on the stovetop with the cinnamon sticks until it’s very warm and reduced slightly. This should take about 15 minutes over low heat.
  2. Pour the cinnamon sugar on a plate. Just barely dip the rim of your glasses in the cider, then dip it in the sugar.
  3. Add the 2 oz bourbon or whiskey to each glass and top with the cider.
  4. Garnish each glass with a cinnamon stick and enjoy!

What’s your favorite cold-weather beverage?


P.S. This cider will give you a case of “warm soup belly” (HIMYM fans?). You’ve been warned. :)


The Secret to Really Good Eyebrows

November 23, 2013

If your eyes are the windows to your soul, then your eyebrows are the curtains. Perfectly polished and groomed eyebrows have the power to complete your face. That being said, many women have trouble achieving eyebrow perfection. My secret to perfect eyebrows? The Benefit Brow Bar. I recommend the Benefit Brow Bar to all my friends – those Benebabes are professionally trained to give women the most fantastic eyebrows of their life!

Last Saturday, my friend Meghan and I took a trip to the Benefit Brow Bar (located at Ulta) to have our brows waxed and shaped. I’ve been going to the Benefit Brow Bar for years (hi, Cait!) and rave about it constantly to all my friends. Meghan has been working on growing out her eyebrows because she is tired of regular salons waxing them too thinly.

The fabulous Emily was our arch expert. How awesome is her dark purple hair?!

  1. Emily started out by mapping Meghan’s brows. She used a straight edge to determine where her brows should begin, arch, and end.
  2. Brow mapping looks a little scary, but those arch experts are professionals! They always do this so they know exactly where to wax.
  3. Emily then applied the wax to Meghan’s brows and waxed only the places outside the lines of the brow map.
  4. After Emily was finished waxing, she applied Gimme Brow to Meghan’s brows to add volume and to hold them in place. Under the brow she applied High Brow to emphasize and highlight the arch.

before & after

What a difference! Emily gave Meghan’s brows shape and structure while maintaining volume.

Such a beaut. Gals, go make an appointment at your local Benefit Brow Bar now! Those Benebabes are brow rockstars and will make you look like one too.




Makeup for Blue Eyes

November 17, 2013

Welcome to my very first makeup tutorial! Meet my friend Catherine. Catherine is a fifth grade teacher and was looking for a natural-yet-pulled-together everyday makeup look that she could wear to school. This tutorial is a for soft and neutral makeup look that emphasizes those gorgeous baby blues. Let’s get started!

As you can see from the photo above, Catherine has a standard eye, meaning you can see the entire eyelid when the eye is open. Her eyes are round and protruding (the opposite of deep-set). She also has light eyelashes and eyebrows so I kept her look neutral and soft.

Step One: Start by applying Benefit Stay Don’t Stray primer to the entire eyelid with your fingers.

Step Two: Apply a matte cream colored shadow to the entire lid, from the inner corner all the way up to the brow bone. I used Lancome shadow in Coquille, which is discontinued, so try Lorac shadow in Cream.

Step Three: Using a dense, flat eyeshadow brush, place a red-toned brown shadow in the crease. I used Lancome shadow in Rustique (discontinued) so try Lorac shadow in Sable. Then, pick up some more of the brown shadow with a crease brush and blend thoroughly into the crease using a windshield wiper motion. Only place the shadow in the crease! If you bring it down on the lid it will look too dark and dramatic for daytime.

Step Four: Apply a shimmery champagne-colored shadow in the inner corners of the eyes. I used Lancome shadow in Honeymoon.

Step Five: Using a dark brown eyeliner, line the upper lid as close to the lashline as possible. Use your ring finger to smudge the line ever-so-slightly. I used L’Oreal Voluminous Smouldering eyeliner in Brown for Catherine.

Step Six: Apply the brown eyeliner outer third of the bottom lashline as well. Use your ring finger to smudge and soften.

Step Seven: Curl one set of lashes. Apply a volumizing mascara (like L’Oreal Voluminous mascara in Black/Brown) to upper lashes only. Repeat on the other eye.

Voila! Here is the finished product. It is a natural, everyday look that’s perfect for the classroom!


P.S. 9 Steps to Your Daily Flawless Face!


23 Candles

This weekend kicked off with a cozy Friday night at Meghan’s house. She made me a super delicious birthday chicken pot pie, spiked cider, and cinnamon rolls for dessert (recipes to come!). We attempted to watch Bridesmaids but it wasn’t loading properly so we just settled for White Chicks instead (can we please talk about how they look NOTHING LIKE WOMEN and how everyone was fooled?). On Saturday we grabbed breakfast at Bagels & Cream and then got our brows done at the Benefit Brow Bar. We planned to have leftover pot pie for lunch, but food doesn’t last long around her house (thanks, BRENDAN).

Savoring the last few days of fall!

On Saturday night, Kyle and I grabbed burgers at Shake Shack, which is (obviously) my new favorite now.

Thanks for being so delicious, Shake Shack! It’s going to be hard to stay away from you.

On Sunday afternoon, Kyle treated me to SoulFire for a late birthday lunch. Amazing BBQ, you guys. They actually have BBQ chips crumbled into their mac & cheese! I think it’s safe to say this weekend was all about good food.

Yeah, that’s a puddle of gravy inside those mashed potatoes… and that cornbread tasted like cake!

How cute is this mini raspberry cheesecake?! Whole Foods, you always doin’ it right.

Thank you, friends and family, for a beautiful birthday! Can’t wait to see what you have in store, 23.



My 6 Favorite Fall Hats

November 15, 2013

As I previously mentioned, I’m really loving hats this fall. Besides obviously keeping you warm, hats are a stylish statement piece! Here are the six styles I’m loving for this fall.

1.wool baseball hatJ.Crew nailed it with this fun twist on the classic baseball hat – made of 100% wool, not canvas. It’ll keep your head nice and toasty while you look tomboy-chic.

classic camel fedora

A classic camel-colored fedora is a wardrobe staple this fall! It looks great paired with jeans and leather jacket for a casual-cool vibe.

3.pompom beanie

This hat is so cozy you’ll never want to take it off! Wear it on those extra chillllllly days for a look that’s super stylish and functional.

4. leopard beret

So Parisian-chic! Pair this jaunty chapeau with a red peacoat and complete your look with a faux fur collar for a style that’s elegant and festive.

5.floppy swinger hat

A floppy wool hat in a lovely color looks great paired with a light gray boucle coat, tights, and suede heels.

6. wide-brimmed fedora

This hat looks sharp and can instantly dress up even the most casual of outfits! Try it with your coziest sweater and skinny jeans for instant fall style.

Which hat will you rock this fall?


P.S. Check out my Instagram to see how I styled #2 and #6!


My Secret Weapon

November 11, 2013

Lipstick can be a tricky beast to master. Do I apply it right out of the tube? Matte or glossy?Should I buy the long-wear formula (and what should I do when I can’t get the darn stuff off)? Lipstick also has the tendency to smear, bleed, and fade throughout the day. I wear bright lipstick at least a few times a week and have finally found the secret to making it look really good (with minimal touch-ups) all day.

My secret weapon: clear lip liner. Like most women, I figured that lip liner was an unnecessary step and skipped it in my daily routine. I thought it was such a chore, not to mention a waste of money, to buy a coordinated lip liner for every lip color I owned. In fact, I didn’t even know clear lip liner existed until my last visit to Sephora.

Like a base coat for your nails, lip liner gives the pigments in the lipstick something to adhere to. Use it to not only line your lips but also fill them in completely (very important!). Lipstick application will be smoother and the color will have extended longevity. By using clear lip liner, your matte lipstick will no longer flake off in patches (anyone who has worn matte lipstick knows what I’m talking about). Also, since the lip liner is colorless, you can use it for every lipstick shade you own! Try it out and let me know what you think, gals!


P.S. I apply my lipstick straight from the tube, prefer matte over glossy, and never buy the long-wear formula because I am afraid that it won’t come off!