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Beauty

Beauty, Food, and Fashion, April Monthly Favorites

Beauty April 29

7 months ago

With Wendy

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Sharing my monthly favorites – a jade roller to ring stacking to sheet masks to a gluten-free pasta recipe, and of course, cat photos!

Can you believe it’s already the end of April?!  Where does the time go?  Wherever you are, I hope you’re enjoying some warmth and sunshine.  And please share it with us New Yorkers!  It’s slowly, very s-l-o-w-l-y getting warmer here.

With April about to be over, today’s post is a special one.  Sharing my monthly favorites, and if you scroll down to the bottom, my lifetime favorites =)

:: Monthly Favorites – The Jade Roller ::

True story… a few months ago Colin and I were on the couch working and I mentioned that my jaw was hurting.  Some people hold stress in their lower back while others in their shoulders, I hold mine in my jaw.  It gets super tense and will lock from time to time.  As we’re sitting there, Colin starts to dig his knuckle on my right jaw side.  It was a very intense jaw massage but the next morning, my right jaw side was noticeably less tense/puffed/enlarged than my left side!  It was noticeably slimmer!  After that day, I made it a point to massage my jaw every day.  Not only does it help with the tension, it also helps de-puff the area.

So now every morning and night instead of using my knuckle to massage my jaw, I use a jade roller (I bought mine on Amazon, it’s highly rated and made with 100% natural jade).  I massage it all over my face and still focus on applying more pressure on my jaw.  The results are the same!  The jade roller significantly reduced puffiness and provided better circulation.  Some people put their jade roller in the fridge, I literally run mine under very cold water for a few seconds, wipe it dry, and it’s the same effect as putting it in the fridge.  Using a cold jade roller is like applying cold compress on your face.  It helps reduce swelling, puffiness, and it’s so relaxing!

:: Monthly Favorites – Rings, Rings, and more Rings ::

I love love delicate stacks!  It’s such a fun way to style and personalize your jewelry.  If you’re starting a ring collection or interested in ring stacking, I hope this mini tutorial is helpful!

Upper Left :: Start with your favorite ring.  I find that delicate stacks look better with more sculptural rings.

Upper Right :: Add a thinner companion piece next to your favorite ring.  It feels complete when the sculptural elements match (for example, the opening of my thin ring lines up with the T ring).  Then add two or three more delicate rings to your ring finger, mixing widths and designs like this band and sparkly eternity ring.

Bottom Left :: Mix thin bands to the look.  I find that thin bands are great neutral pieces that add depth and complexity to the look without disrupting the overall flow of the stacking.  Whenever I feel like two rings are not connecting design wise, I add a thin ring between them and it creates a more natural flow.

Bottom Right :: Finish the stack with a signet ring!  For delicate stacks, I prefer thinner signet rings so that all of the different widths and designs flow harmoniously together.

But honestly though, there’s no “right” or “wrong” way of stacking.  It’s really about how you feel and it’s an expression of your personal style.

:: Monthly Favorites – Sheet Masks ::

My skin is very sensitive, and unfortunately I’ve had some odd skin reactions and allergies in the last few months.  Just the other day, I tried a new eye shadow and woke up with golf ball swollen eyelids.  I’m very careful when trying new products and especially appreciate beauty and skincare products that work on my sensitive skin.

I’m a huge fan of face masks not only because they help calm my skin, but also because they’re super soothing and hydrating.  These are my favorites – Erno Laszlo Sensitive Hydrogel Masks, SK-II Facial Treatment Masks, and Tatcha Hydration Lifting Masks.  After exfoliating with my Philosophy Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash, I apply my face mask and alternate between the three every week.  The Erno Laszlo anti-inflammatory formula mask comes in two parts (a top and bottom part as seen above) so it has a perfectly contoured fit.  The SK-II mask is a super saturated cloth that’s extremely moisturizing.  The Tatcha mask is a coconut-derived sheet mask that leaves your skin plumped and hydrated.  Since they come in single-use packs, I also love traveling with them.

:: Monthly Favorites – Gluten-Free Pasta Recipe ::

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had stomach issues.  I was treated for an ulcer and gallstones in college, and fast forward to now, my day to day mainly consists of stomach aches.  However in the last few months, my stomach aches have gotten much more intense.  I’m currently going through an elimination diet to try and figure out which foods may be causing my digestive reactions.  I’ve removed gluten out of my diet, and to be honest with you, it’s too soon to tell.  It’s been only three weeks and I probably need two to three months to see if gluten is the culprit.  For now, Colin is helping me stay on this path and we’re (and when I say “we”, I really mean “he”) cooking at home more.  This is my favorite dish from my favorite chef!  It’s sooo delicious!

:: Gluten-Free Pasta by Chef Colin ::

3-4  Servings

Ingredients

4 slices Bacon, Extra Thick, cut to 3/8 of an inch wide
1 Red Onion, cut into 20 Petals
10 Tablespoons of Tomato Paste
12 oz of Gluten-Free Elbow Pasta
8 oz of Unsalted Butter, make sure to cut into small cubes

Red Pepper Flake and Salt to taste

Garnish

Oregano
Chili Oil
Pecorino Cheese

Quick Tip :: Prep all of your ingredients first!  This makes for quicker cooking and cleanup time.

 Start by heating a large pan and begin rendering the fat from the bacon until crisp and golden brown, about a few minutes.  Once the fat is rendered, add your 20 onion petals to the pan.  Cook the petals with the bacon in the rendered bacon fat.  The natural water stored in the onions will deglaze the fond residue left over from cooking the bacon.  Use a wood spoon to scrape the bottom of the pan.

Bring a pot of water to a boil for your pasta as you’re cooking the bacon and onions.  Cook pasta till desired bite or taste.  Shock pasta in cold water and put aside.

Add in the tomato paste once the onions are tender.  Make sure to fully cook out the tomato paste till the color becomes a dark red.  If the tomato paste is not properly cooked, it will leave your sauce bitter or acidic.  Use a wooden spoon to scrape and mix the fond off the bottom of the pan into the tomato paste.  Add in the red chili flakes.  Next, CAREFULLY add 1 cup of pasta water into your pan to begin building your sauce.  Slowly fold the pasta into the sauce, adding more water as needed to adjust the consistency of the sauce.  Once all of the pasta is added, fold in the 8 ounces of butter.

Finish by adding fresh oregano and pecorino cheese to garnish.  For added heat, use the chili oil.

Make sure to keep proper heat control on the pan when cooking this recipe.  Just remember to constantly use a wood spoon to scrape off the fond at the bottom of the pan.

If you’re interested in a step-by-step guide, please let me know!  We can do a full blog post or video!

:: Lifetime Favorites – Sammie, Sherlock, and Pip ::

I love love love taking photos of the kitties.  I know.  I sound crazy.  But they’re so funny!  Sammie and Sherlock are sitting next to me as I’m writing this.  Their little faces, little paws, and big personalities.  This is going to sound more crazy but here goes… I tell them everyday how lucky we are to have them in our lives.  I was in a really bad mental and emotional state when I was living in LA.  I was diagnosed with depression in college, so I’m familiar with the feeling.  In LA I wasn’t depressed, I just felt the blues all the time.  And I can honestly say Sammie saved me.

After he came into my life, I started making major life changes.  I distanced myself from toxic people, started believing in myself, and wanted to give myself a chance to love again.  I felt lighter, happier, and more at peace.  Cats tend to hide when they’re in pain, so I constantly tell them… if you’re not feeling well, you have to tell Momma.  I know I sound like I have unresolved attachment issues.  But they’re family.  And like all family… there are fights (cat fights included), lots of love, countless awww moments, and so many treasured memories.

Thank you so much for reading!  Thank you thank you!  Thank you for letting me share my monthly favorites and putting up with all of my cat craziness!

Thank you so much for reading!
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