August, 2014

My New Favorite Foundation

DSC_0004-(ZF-7445-37833-1-036)photo via Kelsey Erin Photography | bareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation | bareSkin Perfecting Face Brush

I’m a huge makeup person. I own more than any one person should own. Sometimes I do make up for people, so that’s my justification. I may have only had 3 makeup jobs this year… Shhhhh don’t tell The Captain. When I cleansed my life of toxins and whatnot, my makeup drawers remained untouched. I’m still working to find natural brands that I like… It’s a slow process, but I saw a post on bareSkin foundation via Refinery29 before it was out in stores and how it was formulated with out oil, silicone, fragrance, and parabens, I was determined to try it. When my local exchange had the whole rainbow of colors and only 1 of the patent pending magic brush left, I decided it was time for a new foundation. I was matched easily and loved the sheer application and buildable coverage.  I decided to jump in and buy the brush even though I was skeptical. Well let me say, since purchasing I’ve fallen even more in love with both the foundation and the brush. You need a shockingly small amount of foundation to cover your entire face. After you shake the foundation you place 1-3 drops of foundation in the well of the brush and then buff it into the skin. I don’t find that I need more than that, but if I’m going out-out I might do another 2 drops over trouble spots or any extra preggo redness. I’ve applied it with a Real Techniques foundation brush which blends it well, but doesn’t quite spread the foundation like the bareSkin brush. I really don’t like fingers to apply this foundation, I think you loose the ability to spread it well. It soaks into your fingers and I think you end up needing more product.

Bottom line: LOVE IT. This stuff is pretty marvelous. It goes on light and easy, with a nice sheer coverage that can easily be built up to a medium coverage. It gives your skin a lovely airbrushed look and softens the look of blemishes and fine lines. Go buy it already!!!!

Today we eat our feelings…

photo 1Sometimes a girl just needs to eat her feelings. I’m lucky that my beautiful and wonderful and tough as nails friends agree. I’ve moved a lot since I married The Captain over 7 years ago and San Diego is where I’ve blossomed. In those years I stumbled a lot, I had a lot of things to figure out once I moved away from my friends and family. Now over the years growing up and finding security in myself and my faith is what really helped me become the Lauren I am today. For the first time in years have true [non-crazy] adult friends. I’m just beyond blessed that I’ve found people who love and accept me for the right-nutter that I am! Okay, I digress. Back to the food. So my kick ass friends decided we needed to do brunch and they are so awesome they let me make my crazy vegan food and one buddy even made the fluffiest most delicious vegan pancakes ever!! I mean like whoa.

photo 5I made The Minimalist Baker’s Best Damn Vegan Biscuits and I can assure you that they are insanely delicious and absolutely live up to the name! I finish them off with Fat Free Vegan’s killer Mushroom Gravy and it tastes like unicorns and fairy dust. The awesome pancakes from Food.com were so yummy, I was amazed at how fluffy they were!!! Definitely try making these at your next big breakfast! And now my vegan quiche, the love of my life. I keep all the ingredients on hand to make this quiche just in case the craving hits… and yes, it hits often. Like really, really often.

Yields 8 Pieces [basically it feeds 2 hungry people or 4-6 normal people]

1 vegan pie crust, I love the Wholly Wholesome brand

1 box of silken tofu

1/4 of refrigerated firm tofu [basically like an inch or so]

1/4 cup of nutritional yeast

1 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of turmeric

1 tablespoon of arrowroot [you can substitute corn starch]

1-2 tablespoons of unsweetened almond milk

Preheat oven to 375. Mix all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

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For this particular filling I used:

1 onion, sliced very thin

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 cup of kale, chopped

I like to caramelize my onions with water. Crazy thought I know, but seriously. I put the onions in a hot pan with 1/4 cup of water. Cook on high heat until  water evaporates, then continue the process until the onions are browned and yummy. It usually takes about 10 minutes. Then I pop in the red pepper and kale until heated through. Mix with tofu mixture and place in pie crust and bake for 45 minutes. Take out and let sit for at least 5 minutes.

Now there are a tons of options here, like seriously, whatever your heart desires. Here are a few of my favorite combos.

[sautéed onions and mushrooms] [red bell peppers, artichoke hearts, and kalamata olives] [chopped spinach and vegan cheese, like Daiya]

Enjoy!!!!

Lotsa Leopard

DSC_0030-(ZF-7445-37833-1-022)DSC_0036-(ZF-7445-37833-1-026) DSC_0028-(ZF-7445-37833-1-021) DSC_0033-(ZF-7445-37833-1-023) DSC_0035-(ZF-7445-37833-1-025)photos by Kelsey Erin Photography | [dress] BCBG [ring] Besty & Iya

As if being pregnant could stop me form wearing leopard, pssssshhhhhhh! I can’t help it. My love for leopard knows no bounds. This kid better like leopard too because he’s gonna be forced to wear some bad ass leopard moccasins and leggings. Hipster Baby in the making. Dreams coming true. I found this dress at a BCBG outlet for 32 bucks. It is made from the most perfect stretch jersey and it’s lined so the fabric never looks thin around my growing tummy. I’ve been able to wear this dress throughout all trimesters and for that reason it’s been sorta my fave purchase thus far. Hitting 32 weeks is pretty crazy, 8 weeks until due date!!!! I mean, look at that BELLY!!!! Just so super excited!!!! Peace, Love & Leopard.

Taking a Fan-Freakin-tastic Picture

Blissful Happenings  2 - 65Photo via Kelsey Erin Photography

Here’s the thing. I’m not a model. Not even close. For many, many years I fancied myself an actress and I think that’s probably what helps me with ease in front of the camera, but the good news is ERRYONE can take a great picture and this is my advice as to how.

1. Don’t take yourself too seriously. This is the best advice that I can give. As soon as you start to think you have to be Gisele you are gonna look a hot mess… Comparing yourself to anyone, especially a supermodel, is not going to get you a pretty picture. Also, don’t be to harsh on yourself. I get so sad when people are like “well, we can just airbrush that or photoshop this…” True, we love some well placed airbrushing, but come on, you want the pictures to look like you!!! So realize that out of 100 pictures there might only be 3 or 4 that are truly magical. 3-4 are really all you need.

2. Practice makes perfect. Okay, this sounds cray, but seriously, if you don’t know your face and what looks normal or what looks forced, then you won’t be able to get the most from your shoot. So take a page out of the Tyra Banks school of modeling and practice your smeyes… Yes, I said smeyes. To smile with your eyes. It’s a great face to learn and  practicing it will make you epically more comfy in the camera. You will feel ridiculous, but I refer back to point 1. Don’t take yourself too seriously.

10273385_10152363074578419_6869067408763208759_oPhoto via amPhotography

3. Have fun. Photo shoots are so much fun!! Documenting a point and time and your life is such a beautiful and important thing. People often comment on the amount of photos I have in my home and it’s because I love being surrounded by memories and reminders of something or someone I love. Photo shoots are a blast, so go into the process with an open mind and expecting to have a good time. Being nervous or a negative Nancy is completely counterproductive. Also, don’t drink. A sip of champagne or so, before a boudoir or couple shoot won’t hurt, but as one of my fave photographer says, droopy eye looks good on no one.

4. Find a photographer that gets it. A great photographer makes all the difference in the world and I am beyond blessed to have some brilliant photography friends!!! There’s a reason that those groupon photog pics turned out less then stellar and it might have something to do with the old adage “you get what you pay for.” Not to say that all discount sites offer subpar work, but a true photographer is able to help guide you as much or as little as you need. They understand what’s flattering and what’s not. They are able to tell you move your head an inch to the right and bring your nose down a smidge and boom instant fabulousness.

74822_905688810271_4096243_nphoto via Krista Little Photography

5. Like your look. Make sure you like what your wearing. Feel confident in your look. If you are fidgety and feel uncomfortable then that is going to read all over your face. Now the only exception is boudoir. Ladies, you just might feel awkward at first, but if you are in something that makes you feel sexy, no matter how strange it feels in front of the camera, it might take a few shots, but worry not you look fierce. Also, if you follow the previous rules you are good to go.

So this was just meant to be a little encouragement for those who don’t think they can take a great pic! Pish posh!! You absolutely can!! Note: I love every single photographer I posted, so if you are in San Diego, Virginia Beach, Minneapolis, or Chapel Hill one of these brilliant ladies is near by!!!

tkpPhoto via Tatum Kathleen Photography

I ain’t got time for that sh– stir fry.

photo 1I love stir fries. I had them all the time when I was a kid and I totes see why!! They are packed with veggies and take 5 minutes to make. I have very little patience to cook these days, but am conveniently hungry all the time, so these are the perfect quick meals. I still opt for very quick cooking veggies that taste delish crunchy. Other quick options are thinly sliced red onions, thin asparagus stems, shredded kale, mushrooms, etc. You get it. I serve mine with jasmine rice because for some reason pregnancy has made my desire to eat brown rice non-existent. For the perfect rice, I always go just a little shy of the package ingredients. I loathe mushy rice. Like ugh, that’s just day ruining. photo 2Feeds 2 decently hungry folks

2-3 tablespoons of vegetable stock to cook veggies

Big ole handful of snow peas, trimmed

1-2 handfuls of mini bell peppers equivalent of say 1 small bell pepper, sliced

1 can of baby corn, eat approximately 3 handfuls while prepping food

Sauce

1/4 cup Tamari

1/2 cup veggie stock

1 tablespoon arrowroot or cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder

Optional

Sambel Oelek or Garlic Chili Sauce [I like to add mine as I go]

1-2 tablespoons of crushed cashews

So add a tablespoon of veggie stock to a pan and add snow peas. Cook until bright green and still crunchy, a few minutes. Add another tablespoon of stock and add the peppers, cook for just a minute or two. Then throw in the baby corn. Mix all of the sauce ingredients together and pour into the hot pan. Cook on medium high until the sauce is thick and delish. You can then top with cashews or some spicy sambel oelek. If you want to have fun with the sauce you can add a touch of honey for a little sweetness or mix in a tablespoon of smooth almond butter for a delish nutty flavor. Seriously, the possibilities are endless.

photo 3