Here we go

Hi! I'm back! Technically I've been back for a week, but, guys? It seriously took a while to get back in the groove. Between the jet lag and catching up on all the work I had fallen behind on, I've been an actual madwoman these past few days. Luckily, things are evening out again, for the first time since I got back I was able to fall asleep at an appropriate time last night (despite the fact that I was up late watching the debates) and woke up feeling like an almost-human.

My time in California was lovely, if a bit of a whirlwind. I'm very happy to be home though. And right in time for the best season of the year! I've been rocking my mom jeans every day and I couldn't be more pleased. The downside is that my allergies have kicked back in so it's been glasses central over here. So since makeup and contacts are out of the picture for a few days, I've been stepping up my skin game. THIS COMES AS A SURPRISE TO NO ONE. My vanity knows no bounds. But if I'm going to have puffy, red eyes and glasses the size of Jupiter sliding off my face all week, you better believe my skin is gonna be shimmering like a fucking star.

I'm now 100% devoted to the TonyMoly sheet masks that Urban Outfitters is carrying. I wrote an article last week about how Urban is a surprisingly great beauty resource, despite all their issues. And these TonyMoly sheets are just SUCH a good deal. They're significantly better than the Sephora sheet masks and much cheaper. You can get 4 for 10$, which is a steal in my opinion. I've been using them every other day for the past week or so and my skin is in really bright, glowy, and clear.

I also FINALLY got my backordered Glossier Haloscope highlighter after months of waiting. I was concerned that it'd be oily on my skin since it has coconut oil in it, but luckily my skin totally took to it and it really was as glowy as advertised. Would really have come in handy during the summertime, but oh well! I love how smooth it is and I can't feel it on my skin when it's there, which is a plus. It also blends really easily so I don't have to worry about looking streaky.

You know I'm a Glossier ride-or-die, but to be honest, I do think the majority of their products are manufactured for people with perfect skin. I can't imagine having oily skin and being able to use the Haloscope or skin tint. That said, I do think their new line of serums, The Supers, are really great. I was really skeptical about these serums, mainly because I'm like, why didn't you just make one fucking powerful serum instead of making three separate ones? That still kind of boggles my mind.

The three serums are called Super Pure, Super Glow, and Super Bounce, and each have different vitamins that help boost your skin depending on what it needs that day. This is frustrating to me because rarely do I have just one skin need a day, so I have absolutely been blending them together. Usually just two at a time, though I doubt there'd be any harm in using all three at once. At night I've been using two at a time and then putting my Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate on over it, and waking up like a glowy angel baby.

All in all, I do think the serums work and have been giving my skin a really nice boost that is leaving it super soft and baby-like, even despite the fact that I've been scratching my eyeballs out and acting like a crazed tiger any time Theo comes near me with my medicated eye drops. The embarrassing selfie below is me after a couple days of using the serum and I have the Haloscope on my cheeks as well.

Color corrected for my scarf and lipstick, but left my skin alone.

Color corrected for my scarf and lipstick, but left my skin alone.

If you've never used a serum before or can't afford to get your dream serum quite yet, these are a really affordable alternative, comparatively. I would imagine that it's especially ideal for people in their early/mid twenties, who are just starting to take their next steps with taking care of their skin. But again, as I said, I've seen benefits on my craggy old 32 year-old (as of this coming Sunday, barf) and it's definitely better for my wallet than say, my dream Aesop stuff.

What do you think? Have you tried them out? I'll post a picture of the Haloscope when I get home from babysitting tonight. If you want to try out the Glossier stuff, click here for 20% off your first purchase!

Littles Fall Fashions

I'll have you know that it takes just the most tremendous amount of self-control to stop myself from purchasing baby clothes for my fictional future children. I love love loveeeeeee baby clothes. There is just nothing sweeter in the world. So you'll just have to deal while I indulge myself in some of my favorite fall fashion picks for wee ones. I gravitate towards gender neutral clothes and colors in general, though I can't resist a tiny baby dress when I see one! The Hanna Andersson jumper is giving me major Heidi on the mountain vibes and I LOVE IT. I would 100% wear it in my size. I'm loving the prevalence of rust in these kids' lines, and you put a baby in stripes and I am DONE. Take advantage of these Labor Day sales that are cropping up and snag some of these adorable little outfits for your babbies, fictional or no!

Milk

How is it Monday already? I need so many more sleeps! It's just never enough, am I right? I went out of town with my girlfriends this weekend and as always it was wonderful to get out of the city. The traffic on the way out there was brutal though, I'm definitely not used to being in cars anymore! Why do they go so fast? You'll be happy to know that despite being the most nauseous and carsick person on the planet I did not barf during our journey.

Speaking of being nauseous, if you know me you might be surprised to see the title of today's post as I am a vehement opponent of milk. No, I'm not vegan; cheese courses through my veins and I would bathe in milkshakes if I could. I just hate the taste and consistency and smell of regular, plain milk. I truly don't understand why anyone over the age of 16 drinks it, it actually horrifies me. Take a calcium pill and get a grip! Even as a child I'd have to put tons of chocolate in my milk to get it down, and, you guys? I don't really even like chocolate. It was just the only thing that made it palatable. When adults drink milk for pleasure, it truly boggles my mind. When I lived with my sister in Los Angeles, I came home from work one evening to find her and Theo sitting on the couch quietly watching TV and drinking milk in near total darkness. It was like walking in on a horror film, I'm sorry I didn't include a trigger warning just then.

So, it's funny that the new, trendy, supposedly cool girl makeup is a brand called Milk Makeup and I think that I love it. You can get it at Sephora, Urban Outfitters and very soon it'll be available at Birchbox as well. They're going down a similar marketing route that Glossier did, harnessing the power of social media and the appeal of the cool girl to get their products out to the masses. They're all about being "high concept, low maintenance." I was skeptical at first that it would be a low quality product, but I must admit to being pleasantly surprised! Not only are their products manufactured in an eco-friendly facility, but they're also cruelty-free, vegan, paraben-free, and made of high quality oils and natural ingredients.

I've yet to actually purchase any Milk products, but they've become my go-to makeup when I stop into Sephora to freshen up before going out after work. What? Everyone does it. I have to try stuff before I buy it! I am especially impressed with their highlighters, because I really thought they would be too oily and over the top for me. But I liked them so much that I even took a picture of their Holographic Stick next to their Highlighter on my arm so that you could see what they look like. I'm super into how highly pigmented the Holographic stick, it's so fun! And the lavender tint makes it extra space-agey. I was initially worried the highlighter would be too dark for my face skin, but it actually blends really beautifully and is the perfect subtle glow. I usually lean towards pearly highlighters, but the Milk highlighter made me look super dewy in a perfectly natural way. I was very pleased!

Left, Holographic Stick. Right, Highlighter.

Left, Holographic Stick. Right, Highlighter.

I also tried their Coverage Duo, thinking as I always do that it would do nothing for my insane under eye circles. I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that not only is the actual coverage great, but the consistency of both the little marshmellow puff side and the pot side are really creamy without creasing. It was long lasting, hydrating, and blended beautifully. I will definitely be investing in this guy.

If you're interested in the brand I definitely recommend checking out their site before heading to Sephora, their concept is really interesting and I appreciate their commitment to their aesthetic. I also love the minimalist packaging. I also appreciate that they have videos of people trying their products on the site. It's just so helpful when trying to determine if they're worth buying! I'll be really interested to see where this company goes and what kind of products they roll out in the future. Would you try it out? Do you like drinking milk? Are you a monster or a child?

Re-Calibrating My Self-Care Routine

As I've mentioned before, my love of beauty is rooted in my belief in the importance of self-care. Do I love how pretty my nails look when I get a manicure? Yes, of course, duh, I'm a Libra and aesthetics are important to me. But the best part is that I get an hour all to myself, where I'm not pushing around a stroller, or answering emails on my phone, and I don't have a baby or a dog's hot, sweaty body pressed up against mine at all times. It's the same any time I take a moment to do something for myself, like masking, or getting my eyebrows and 'stache threaded (as much as it hurts!) It's a chance to exhale and briefly escape from the daily grind. For the most part, staying on top of my self-care routine is a priority and I am able to successfully incorporate it into my daily and weekly routines. But as with all things, it's easy to slip off it and get in a rut.

I'm super lucky that I get sent lots of products to test and write about for this blog as well as the various other sites I freelance for. You'd think with a relatively constant influx of beauty products that need to be tested and reviewed that I'd constantly be working on my beauty and taking care of myself, but to be honest, a lot of the time it just feels like work. So even though for the past few weeks I've been (thankfully) very busy working on lots of great projects and trying out awesome products, (which explains my absence here) I haven't exactly been taking care of myself, and it's shown in my anxiety levels and moods. A lot of it has to do with the time of year. August is gross; it's hot and humid, it's depressing because it's the end of summer, and I'm starting to feel all the impending weight of the end of the year beginning to bear down on me. I have been in serious need of a reboot.

First things first, I caved and got an air conditioner this weekend, which if you know me is almost unimaginable. I've always been highly resistant to air conditioners, firstly because I am sensitive to the dry air and to the cold, which sounds ridiculous but what can I do, I am who I am. Secondly, it kills me to know how bad air conditioners are for the environment. Even the so-called energy saving ones are such a drain, not to mention the flow of horrible shit it's expelling out into the air. It gives me the shivers just to think about. A lot of my anxiety is based in how we are harming the environment, and not having an AC has really helped me feel like I'm doing my part in staving off the inevitable apocalypse and calm those fears a bit. (In addition to a whole bunch of other hippie shit I partake in to assuage my guilt.) That said, the last few weeks have really taken a toll on me physically and emotionally. I'm fairly certain that I've had heat exhaustion with basically no relief. When I'm hot and melting and in a bad mood, I'm certainly not bothering to take care of my appearance in the slightest. And if I think I look like hot garbage, I'm most likely also feeling like hot garbage.

I've had the first good night's sleep in weeks since we got the AC on Sunday, and today I woke up feeling more like myself and less like a swamp demon from hell. I had a little (large) splurge at Glossier, and I can't wait to slap those masks on my face and finally try their Gen G lipstick, which I ordered it in Jam. I am in serious need of some exfoliation before I hit the beach on Thursday, and now that I can finally take a hot shower again I'm ready to scrub my skin til I'm as soft as a baby.

I highly encourage everyone to work on their self-care routines. For some people it includes working out, or meditating, or staying on top of flossing! It's easy to let the grind start to wear you down and not realize that you're slipping when it comes to taking care of your basic needs. And yes, I think self-care is part of our basic needs. Sometimes you just need to re-evaluate, try to figure out what's making you feel out of sorts, and try to make gentle, slight adjustments to bring yourself back to an even keel. It doesn't have to be some radical thing!

If you're needing a bit of a splurge to re-calibrate, click this link for 20% off at Glossier, those masks are perfect for taking a bit of time for yourself. I'd love to hear your tips and tricks for taking care of yourself when you're starting to feel a bit out of whack! And when all else fails, swipe on some lipsticks and get thee to a giant, cold tiki cocktail!

 

For You and Me

Is there anything more unpleasant than a nasty summer cold? I am so glad it's behind me now, for the most part. I spent the entirety of yesterday laying in bed and it worked wonders. It's easy to forget how important it actually is to rest when you're sick; seems easy enough to remember logically, but in practice it's much harder. Even if you do have a day to rest it's so difficult to not turn it into a day of errands, or try to do something at night. But spending 24 hours doing absolutely nothing while laying in bed or on my couch kicked the cold out faster than all the zinc and turmeric and lemon juice in the world could have. I am reborn! Oh, has anyone seen The Night Of? It's a new procedural on HBO and thanks to my illness-induced couch laying I started it yesterday and it's so great and so stressful. Which apparently is all that TV is these days. Great and stressful.

I'm so excited that the Olympics are finally starting! As much as I loathe sports and sports culture, I am a huge fan of the Olympics and I await them excitedly every two years. I can't even decide if I love the winter games or the summer games more, they're all so great! I hope that there aren't too many infrastructure issues or safety issues that get in the way of them. It's such a shame that there is so much corruption and exploitation amid what should be a celebration of human accomplishment.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend full of joy and love. Don't forget to watch Simone Biles kick butt this weekend! Here's some links for your eyeballs and a little ditty for your heart.

Cosplay revenge.

Nicole Cliffe is hilarious and a national treasure and also a werewolf.

If only I lived in the country so I could really see this.

Love this kid.

I will never understand the urge to compliment someone's thinness.

Still having the same conversations, almost 40 years later.

"Do not lose hope. We found new hope. There is no hope..."

A cute cartoon about manners.

Our sad reality.

This article made me realize I had the same internalized misogyny as a child as well.

Revisiting A Love of Sentences.

I hope this is true because I am in the midst of my truest awkward hair phase.

I would like to eat this please.

 

Inside Out

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a lovely weekend. You know I'm L. I. V. I. N. G. because the weather cooled down and I didn't wake up in a pool of sweat several times a night. It's extremely unpleasant. If you follow me on Insta (as you should! @lourdzilla) you'll know I got caught in the rain at my favorite tiny street fair on Saturday, the Hester Street Fair. It was Girl Power Day, so all the booths were run by female small-business owners. Even though it started raining, it was worth it to hang out and meet some of the ladies selling their wares. They always have the best snacks, so of course we indulged in some treats while sitting under an umbrella and enjoying the pitter-patter of the rain and the lovely music floating over from the Dj booth. I even shared some of my banana ice cream with Maeby, who rightly deserved it as it was her birthday weekend. 

Yesterday I woke up with what I was desperately hoping was allergies, but as time has now told is a full-blown summer cold. C'est la vie. I saw it coming last week when my little Lamb had the sniffles. It's like, "Ah, yes, that shall be me in a week!" What can you do, it comes with the territory! Luckily, it's pretty mild as far as colds go, and I'm not feeling too terrible overall. Mainly just have a very runny and stuffy nose. Fingers crossed, I'm hoping to avoid the nasty cough that always seems to accompany colds. So all things considered, not feeling especially concerned about my beauty today. My lil nose is getting rubbed raw and red from all the nose blowing, so I'm making sure it stays hydrated by alternating between Camellia Seed Oil and Glossier's Balm Dot Com. If you've never tried camellia seed oil I highly recommend giving it a try for when you need a shot of extra skin hydration. I only use it when I'm quite dry, because it really packs a punch. 

I wanted to share with you one of my secret potions that makes me feel better when I'm sick and happens to have lots of beauty-fortifying ingredients. If you've never tried Golden Milk Tea before, give it a shot! It boosts the immune system, helps with depression and anxiety, and is great for your hair, skin and nails! There are lots of recipes on the Internet, but here's mine!

Steep about a half inch of ginger and a tablespoon of turmeric in half a cup of boiling water for about 5 minutes.

Add the juice of half a lemon, a teaspoon of cinnamon, a sprinkle of cayenne, a pinch of black pepper, a squirt of honey, and a quarter cup of coconut milk and mix it all together. 

It's got a strange, strong flavor at first, but once you get used to it it's so creamy and delicious, you'll want it every night! There are lots of variations of this online, so you can also play around with the proportions and see what works for your taste buds. For example, lots of people prefer using lemon and ginger tea bags as opposed to using it fresh and that totally works too! Part of me thinks I should experiment in making it as a smoothie tonight, if it's too hot to drink tea. 

If you have any cold-busting tips that happen to double as beauty tips I'd love to hear them! 

For You and Me

Happy Friday, yet again! Just in time for this so-called "heat dome" to take over the city. I'm hoping it's a good excuse to drink some pina coladas and go see Ghostbusters. If I could do these things at the same time that would be the best case scenario. I have loved pina coladas since I was a child and my love has never waned in all these years. They are the perfect summer drink! (Yes, they were non-alcoholic when I was a child.) Hmmm, what are the chances that I'll get home from work tonight and there will magically be a bottle of pina colada mix and some malibu rum in my apartment? If only there were magical alcoholic apartment fairies, or like, a boyfriend who could do that.

I've had to do a bit of a social media cleanse this week with the RNC going on. I'm picking up some bits and pieces of info as I go, but I'm just in a place where I need to protect my heart from the frightening reality of the hateful platform that the GOP is officially operating on. I did enjoy some good Melania memes, though. I'm keeping it a bit lighter in the links section in terms of political stuff this week, a lady can only take so much. I wish for us all to bask in the peace of a gentle, love-filled light and to have unlimited access to a cheese fountain.

I hope you have a great weekend! Stay out of the heat! Drink a pina colada! Here are some links for your eyeballs and a little ditty for your heart:

I love witches.

Satellite babies.

Makes my heart hurt.

Astrophysicist, Wine Lover, and Foodie.

An embarrassment of pandas.

I need to make these ASAP. Erin is a genius!

I need an off-the-shoulder minidress IMMEDIATELY IT IS AN EMERGENCY.

How to deal with unsolicited parenting advice. (Mine isn't unsolicited because you come here of your own volition...right?)

This bookshelf would be perfect for my tiny lil home.

Dream home.

Mud for your pregnancy skin.

Not to be a dick...but here are Nordstrom's best beauty deals from their anniversary sale.

All my fave things in a pasta!

My favorite two Instagram accounts to rabbit-hole down when I can't sleep: Juniper and paint mixing.

Hoping to pop in here this weekend.

Their Bodies, Themselves.

I hope that wherever you are the day is as beautiful as it is here in NYC. We've been granted a slight reprieve from the heat wave and it's a nice reminder why this city is such a beauty. Listen, I know I talk about the weather a lot on here, but my life is dictated by it in every way! And it never was before when I lived in Los Angeles. When you're born and raised somewhere that you don't need to give the weather a second thought, the moment you are somewhere that it actually affects the quality of your life it permeates your every thought! So sorry to say you'll just have to deal with my rantings and ravings about the weather for as long as I live here!

Last Wednesday we chatted about getting kids to eat salads, and in general I love helping kids find their passion for healthy foods. It's one of the best parts of being a nanny. But I think it's also important to take a moment and talk about how we influence the way kids eat through our own comments and actions, in ways that can really affect children on a deeper psychological level. Personally speaking, I grew up watching every adult woman in my life obsess over their diet. There was never a gathering of extended family that didn't include a breakdown of what every person was doing for their diet and a lengthy conversation about what was wrong with their bodies. Not even being dramatic about it, it was always a commonplace and casual conversation. I know for a fact I am not alone here. Every woman I know grew up hearing their mother's talking negatively about their own bodies without a second thought about how that might affect their own child's view of themselves. And to be honest, I don't blame anyone here. With my generation especially there just wasn't the awareness of how our parent's behavior deeply affects our psyches, not to the extent that we know now.

I think it can be really easy to forget that kids remember every little thing you say and do, that when a mother says, "I hate my nose," a kid thinks, "Well, we have the same nose, so I guess I'm supposed to hate mine too." And listen, I'm not innocent of this either! My inner self-hating monologue is always on full blast, letting me know that my stomach is too fat, my cheeks contain multitudes, and I truly believe that if I had thinner arms there would be world peace -- but I keep this shit TO MYSELF when I'm around kids. When I'm around kids, I say things like, "I love how my nails look today!" and, "Look how strong I am!" when I lift and spin them around, and, "I love how I look in my dress today!" And while it may sound ridiculous and conceited, I think kids need to see adults loving themselves and expressing joy in their own bodies. It starts an inner dialogue for them, where they can feel comfortable saying and thinking, "Oh yeah! I am really strong! I love my nose because it helps me smell my favorite things!"

This goes without saying, but negatively commenting on our kid's bodies is just as toxic, if not more so. I linked to this article from The New York Times a while back, and it really struck a chord with me. I don't know a single person, adult or child, who has benefited from being called out for their weight. It just doesn't work that way. The way to have healthy kids is to model health for them, both physically and emotionally. If kids begin having eating issues, most likely there are underlying emotional causes that are causing that, and believe me, nitpicking their bodies isn't going to help them in the slightest. 

Kid's don't need to hear about your diet, and when you workout explain that it's because it helps you stay healthy and strong, and let your kids see you indulging in a treat every once in a while. I once babysat a lovely family in Los Angeles where the mother would only eat two slices of turkey for dinner in the months leading up to the Oscars. And you better believe that when her daughter turned 11 years old, she started requesting two slices of turkey for her dinner as well. If we make eating food a joyful and healthy experience, balanced with body positivity, I truly believe we can change the way kids view themselves and get their self-esteem through the roof. I don't need to go over all the reasons why having low self-esteem is detrimental to kids, so why add even a tiny kernel of self-doubt into their minds?

I know this is a really tough and sensitive topic, but I really am adamant that the conversations around our bodies have to change for the sake of our children.

 

Signature Scents

These days, NYC's signature scent is that delightful mix of hot garbage, piss, and that completely putrid yet unidentifiable smell that wafts around street corners and assaults your senses at every turn. If you've ever spent a summer in New York, you know what I mean. I think the combination of oppressive heat and random city smells is what makes so many people opt for lighter, cleaner fragrances during the summer months, which is what we are talking about today! I personally have always kept my fragrance choices very limited. Mainly because perfume is expensive, but also because I've always really been into the concept of having a "signature scent," which is a pretty commonly held belief, I think. My earliest scent memories are of my grandmother's Chanel No. 5 and my mom's Dior perfume that she'd wear when she was going out to a party or a fancy dinner. I'd sneak a spritz here and there and feel supremely elegant. Scents are so powerful! I love the idea that someone associates a certain smell with you. There's something so romantic and comforting about it. Every night when I get in bed I put lavender oil on my wrists, and I like the idea of knowing that one day my future kids will associate that smell with me at bedtime.

When it comes to perfumes, I stick to one or two faves that I've had in rotation for years. Some since I was a teenager! The only weird thing about me (okay, one of the weird things about me) is that I tend to do the opposite of fragrance trends. Meaning, in the summer time I want heavy, sexy florals like jasmine, gardenia, combined with woody, earthy scents and in the winter I go for very light, clean scents that are reminiscent of soap and baby powder. I like the crispness of it in the winter. That said, I really, really want to expand my perfume repertoire in the coming months/years. I want to start investing in higher end versions of the scents I love, and to that end I even made a new Pinterest board! It's a mix of what I've got and what I want. These days, what "signature scent" means to me is less about it being one specific perfume, and more about being a fragrance profile, if you will -- which is why I'm so eager to expand my collection.

My every day, go to scent in the summertime is Lust by Lush. I love how heavy and floral is, and it reminds me of the jasmine that blooms in LA. I've had it in both solid and spray form, and while the spray bottle lasts longer, it does stain, which is such a bummer. You basically have to apply it while nude and then wait for it to dry, which is very inconvenient. So I've been using the solid version and love it. I rub it on my wrists and under my ears as well as under my hair. When I had an undercut I would rub it into my hair and loved it. If you don't mind a bit of oil, you can also rub it into the ends of your hair.

I'm hoping to one day upgrade this guy to Lys 41 by Le Labo, which is basically the high end version of this perfume. Similar floral scents, but with woody undertones. I am obsessed with it and would do pretty much anything to have even a tiny roll on bottle. It is so cost-prohibitive though, I've never been able to justify it. Also dying to try their Jasmine 17 body oil, can you imagine how luxurious that must be? Why is the world holding me back from being the fancy rich pre-revolution French lady that I was clearly meant to be?

I've also been gravitating to rose-based scents like crazy this year. I used to hate it and actively avoid it, to the point where when I was living in Morocco and we went to the most stunning rose garden I've ever seen, I skipped the gift shops and didn't get myself any fragrances or oils like everyone else was. I could kick myself. My go to rose scent right now is actually an olive oil body balm by 80 Acres called Bohemian Rose. It's so rich and smells like actual heaven. I always get compliments when I'm wearing it. I use it on my hands and then always rub some into my neck as well.

My upgrade version of this is the Rose Atlantic perfume that I finally got a whiff of this past weekend when I popped into Catbird to pick up my sleep mask. It will surprise no one to hear that I refuse to put up curtains in my apartment, therefore a sleep mask is mandatory unless you want to wake up at 5am with the beaming hot sun. Anyhoo, the Rose Atlantic perfume is the perfect blend of rose and bergamot, another favorite scent of mine. I'm so glad they let me try it on because my MEGA-UPGRADE version of this is the classic Rodin LLC perfume that I am obsessed with and will do literally anything to get my filthy little paws on my own bottle. In my mind, this is the end all and be all of perfumes. And a few months back they put a little sign up at Catbird asking that you please not sample it, most likely because I (and others I am sure) would go in there and just spritz themselves and walk out. If there is anything more heavenly than this jasmine and neroli heavy fragrance then I don't want to know about it.

Before I wrote this I was like, wait a minute, should I be sharing my perfume secrets? I literally just read an article that was like, DO NOT EVER TELL PEOPLE WHAT YOUR PERFUME IS. But here I am, unable to keep my mouth shut. I want to share the love. Also, it's not like most people are gonna run out and get them, though if you do, please credit me. Also, make sure you give these brands a try, you could find something more to your liking in their fragrance lines that aren't necessarily these. I tend to gravitate towards heavier scents anyways that lots of people find to be too overwhelming. Also, anyone have any connections at Byredo? I've never tried any of their scents and am absolutely dying to. They're the new It fragrance brand, and I know there's something there that I'll be absolutely in love with. What are your signature scents? Tell me!

 

 

 

Kid Eats: Salads

I can't deal with cooking in the summer because if I turn the oven on the entire apartment becomes a furnace. It's just not worth it! I don't know if I mentioned it before, but Theo and I don't have AC in our lil studio. I won't bore you with the million reasons why, but suffice it to say that the environmental impact + the electric bill are more than enough justification for me to sweat it out through the summer. We do have a FANTASTIC fan though, I promise we aren't suffering. But back to food. 

I love cooking and am always trying to find recipes that involve the least amount of stove-top time, and if I can avoid it altogether even better! Salads are definitely a summer staple in my house -- I have about 6 different recipes on rotation that make me feel full and are super tasty. If you know me, you know I'm not a big salad person, so there's been a lot of trial and error where salads are concerned in my home.

Whenever I suggest that kids eat salad, I'm usually met with eyerolls and skepticism. Which, first of all, rude, and second of all, give your kids some credit! As with all things, if you introduce salads when kids are very little and they are a normal part of their diet, then they won't reject it when they're older. I've always said that it's all about not giving kids junk options. If your kid has a taste for chicken nuggets at an early age well then, duh, he's gonna reject everything til you give him chicken nuggets every night! If from babyhood they are given fresh fruits and veggies, then they'll crave them instead. Kids are geniuses at knowing which foods are high in sugars, and will request carrots and bananas when they're having a sugar craving.

Anyways, back to salads. Kids will eat salad! I promise you! Here are my two "gateway" salads, as I like to call them, that have literally never been rejected by a child. The first is as easy as pie and since it mixes fruits and veggies, there are no foreign ingredients in it that would put a child off the salad. 

Here's what you need:

1 apple

1 tomato

A handful of shelled edamame

1 Avocado

Chop the apple, tomato, and avocado into bite sized chunks, throw in the edamame, drizzle with olive oil, salt lightly, and mix. Voila! Salad! I've literally never seen a child reject this in my entire life. Doesn't matter who you are or where you live. It's tasty, light, healthy, and easy as hell.

Salad no. 2 is the next step into the salad world for kids. It's savory, not sweet, but has enough kid-beloved ingredients (peas and parm) to mask any sneaky efforts to hide greens in there. I made this guy last weekend and was going to take a picture for this post, but we devoured it before I could remember to do so. I made it and then we promptly packed it up, took Mae to Tompkins Square Park, and watched a screening of Rocky Horror Picture Show as we ate it. I mean... New York in the summer I love you.

Here's what you need:

1 bag of peas (if they're frozen give them a quick blanching so they're cooked but still have a bite)

1 handful of finely chopped mint

A sprinkle of arugula or spinach

A generous helping of Parmesan

Dressing: A couple tablespoons of olive oil, salt, pepper, one peeled garlic clove, and some lemon juice. Mix all the ingredients together and allow the garlic clove to infuse the dressing. Before you dress the salad, REMOVE THE GARLIC CLOVE. This part is key. You only want the essence of garlic in there.

Mix all the ingredients together and serve!

Here's the trick, the first few times you make this, only put the tiniest amount of arugula or spinach in there, so as to not overwhelm the salad with it. Then as time passes, and they fall in love with it, you can add more and more. I prefer arugula, but since spinach is milder it's usually an easier salad vessel for kids. Just make sure it's raw. Even I hate cooked spinach. (Unless it's from Lil Frankies, in which case I love it. But that's because it's smothered in cheese. I too am a child.)

I promise you can get your kid to eat and love salads before the summer is out. It's all about how you present it. It shouldn't be a punishment, and there's nothing wrong with hiding the salad underneath what I like to call "goodies" like Parmesan and familiar fruits. Next step, a strawberry and spinach salad with goat cheese! It's totally doable!

Brush-a, Brush-a, Brush-a

Happy Monday! Hope you all had a lovely and restful weekend. I'm back in the swing of things and am eternally grateful that the heat has gone down a bit. The humidity last week was seriously oppressive, which I'm sure I mentioned before. The only thing I loveeeeee about humidity is how awesome my skin looks all the time. My hair is another story altogether -- it's maybe never looked worse. But I'm rolling with it for now. I'm embracing the double bun look, even if I feel slightly like an overgrown baby.

But back to my skin. These days I'm like a shimmery, sweaty, lil angel and am going makeup-free most days, which is always a joy. I usually go makeup-free when I babysit, but I've even been enjoying my bare skin on the weekends as well with just a swipe of mascara and a liberal amount of sunscreen. If I hadn't just broken my last remaining highlighter, then I'd be adding to my sheen with some of that as well. If you can't look like a melty, glimmering goddess in the summer, than when can you?

So imagine my surprise a few days back when I went back to my old makeup routine and promptly broke out on my cheeks. WTF was happening? It wasn't fair. And then I came upon the horrifying realization that I hadn't cleaned my makeup brushes in weeks, which is why upon immediate contact with my skin, it freaked out. I don't like admitting to this kind of tomfoolery, you guys, but I am doing so to remind you to clean your brushes. Don't be like me and suffer the consequences. Iknow it's a huge pain in the ass to clean them. I usually force myself to do it at least once a month, though in reality you should really be cleaning them once a week. That just seems like a lot to ask of me at the moment. Maybe one day when I have my shit together more I'll clean them every week. But not now.

If you haven't cleaned your brushes recently, or (gasp) ever, here are some tips to make it easy and painless for you.

You don't need to get a fancy brush cleaning mat or contraption to clean them. If you do have one, or want to splurge, then great! They seem really awesome and I've heard great things about them. But to me it's just like, another thing I have to clean and find a spot for in my house. My preferred method of cleaning is to squirt some gentle organic soap, like Dr. Bronner's soap or a mild shampoo into a cup, fill with warm water and let me brushes soak for about 3 minutes. Then I take a wet wash cloth and put it in the sink, and while also allowing water to run over the brush, I rub the brush in circles on the washcloth to get the dirt and makeup that's deep down in the bristles. Once the water is running clear down the drain and isn't depositing color onto the washcloth, I lay it flat on a towel to air dry. DO NOT dry the brushes standing up, as the water will drip down into the handle and could cause mold or other ickiness. 

You can get special brush cleanser to get them clean, I used to use the MAC cleanser all the time and loved it, but you really don't need it if you don't have it.

It won't take you longer than ten minutes to do it and with this heat, if you do it in the evening they'll be dry and ready to go by morning. You'll be so glad you did it. I don't even want to think about all the bacteria and junk that was lingering on mine!

Keepin' Fresh

Hi! Happy Monday to us all. How incredible was the strawberry solstice moon last week? I can't get over it. I love strawberries and I love the moon, so you can only imagine my delight. So much to catch up on, I spent most of last week basking in the slow pace upstate towns where we were lucky to have a little mini-break. We even went sans-Maeby! What a treat.

Now it really feels like summer, the heat is just starting to prick up, a tell-tale sign of which is I can no longer tolerate blow drying my hair. So that means I do a quick cold blow dry on my bangs so I don't look like an idiot, (even though currently, my bangs are a hate crime) and then spritzing my wet hair with a salt spray and plaiting it into a french braid so that it dries in waves. It doesn't always looks great, but it works for me most of the time. I feel like a total dork in my french braid, it sends me back to my childhood when my mother wouldn't let my sister and I go to school with messy hair, so we had to pick between a ponytail, one braid, or two braids. I usually went with a ponytail because my mom was a brutal braider, but there are lots of braids in my past. Eventually I was able to convince her to let my friend Haley braid my hair, because she was much gentler. My current braids are considerably messier, but they get the job done.

When I moved to NY, I was floored by how gross everyone, including myself, gets during the summer. In LA, you go straight from your air conditioned apartment to your air conditioned car to your air conditioned office, or wherever you work, so there isn't really a chance to ever get truly gross. The fact that it doesn't get humid there also helped. Not so much here. The subway is a swamp to contend with several times a day, which means that two minutes after I leave my house my makeup has slid off my face, my hair is damp, and inevitably I stink. Luckily, we're all in this together here. Everyone is in the same state of grossness. Every once inwhile I see someone swanning through the city looking fresh and nonplussed, but I choose to believe I'm having a heat hallucination.

That said, I have come up with a few tricks to help me stay fresh during the summer months, before I let myself go and completely transform into a swamp animal for the entirety of August. Here's what works for me, I'd love to hear what works for you!

1. Two cold showers a day. Morning and night. Sometimes three, after I get home from work. Just embrace it! I'll hop in the shower and make it freezing right before I go to bed so I'm not sweating into my sheets. Gross. It really helps! I also feel less scummy in the mornings. Also it feels delightful. Just make sure the water is cold from beginning to end. None of this warm in the beginning and then cold at the end nonsense. You don't want to add any steam to the house.

2. I forget about chub rub every year until summer rolls around again. It's so rude. For those of you thigh-gap blessed motherfuckers who don't know what chub rub is, it's when the skin on your thighs rubs together and chafes when it's hot and humid out. I spend the whole winter in bliss, with tights and pants, but some summertime, my thighs be burning. Two options for this is to get some Body Glide, which was specifically made for this purpose, or to use coconut oil. Personally, I find the coconut oil to be a fine temporary solution, but it never lasts long and it has the potential to stain clothing. Some people just use regular stick deodorant and find that to be enough. A more practical approach would be wearing boyshorts under dresses that are long enough to cover the tops of your thighs and wearing longer shorts. I'm a true fan of the mom-jean shorts, last year I went to the Gap and got myself some jean shorts that weren't too low or too short and I've been in heaven ever since. So I only really have this problem with dresses and skirts. Booty shorts are a thing of the past for Lourdes!

3. Powder your booty! I had no idea this was even an option until I was chatting with some ladies at Lush about Silky Underwear, and I'm now obsessed. Powder your bits like you're a precious little baby and you'll keep the dreaded swamp-ass at bay, I promise. It's so worth it. I'm super into MMT's Baby Body Powder and it's an absolute delight. It makes me feel like a fancy Victorian lady, which is one of my top 5 goals, and it really does make you feel fresh all day long. That said, DON'T YOU DARE use baby powder or talcum powder of ANY kind on yourself or your kids. We know better now. It's just not good for you. I used baby powder as dry shampoo for years, and just a few months ago I made my sister send me a video of herself throwing her baby powder away. There are lots of really great and delicious smelling options out there that won't give you cancer!

4. As I mentioned before, try to avoid the hair dryer and heat appliances at all costs. No one needs that kind of torture in their lives. I've also found that it's highly counter-productive to blow dry my hair in the middle of summer after a shower and then be immediately sweaty and hot. Gross. Throw some sea salt spray in your hair and then depending on how long your hair is you can braid it, bun it, or twist it out of the way to dry during the day. My hair is above my shoulders and I get a decent braid out of it. I just ran out of my favorite sea spray, Captain Blankenship Golden Waves Sea Salt Shimmer Spray, and have been using my old standby, Bumble & Bumble Surf Infusion Spray. To be honest, it's fine. It's better than their classic salt spray, but it's nowhere near as good as the Captain Blankenship spray. I'll probably use it until it runs out and then replace it again with Golden Waves.

5. Whether you have color treated hair or not, it really takes a beating from the sun and heat during the summer months. If you plan on being outside for long periods of time, consider finding yourself a cute sunhat that will not only protect your skin, but also keep your hair from frying. If you have an hour a week, throw a hair mask on while you watch tv, do chores around the house, or even go to the gym! Use a hydrating hair treatment or hair mask to revitalize and keep your hair healthy from root to tip! You can also DIY it with some coconut oil or avocado! Just make sure when using heavy oils that you don't apply it on your hair higher than your ears, or you'll look like a greaseball all week!

6. I rarely use powder as part of my makeup routine, but when it's especially hot and sticky out, a little setting powder can go a long way in keeping you from looking like a melted candle. I love the dewy look, but when it's insanely hot out it goes from dewy to sweaty REAL quick. I use my super light and dewy foundations, like Glossier or Stowaway, and then top them with some loose powder just to set it. It doesn't take away from the natural look as long as it's not pressed powder. You can even use your highlighter under the powder as normal and it won't take away from the glow. You really can't go wrong with Makeup Forever HD Microfinish Powder, it's really light and translucent, so you don't have to worry about looking like a ghost in photos. Just make sure you use a light hand and blend well!

7. Common sense. DRINK WATER. Lots of it. You know how I feel about hydrating. Have your reusable water bottle with you at all times. I don't want to hear about y'all using plastic water bottles. Wear light and breathable fabrics, perhaps step away from the baby goth blacks. Eat foods that are water rich, like cucumber and watermelon. If you're a stinker, get a small travel sized deodorant to keep with you in your bag, or desk at work, or car.