Month: July, 2012

Weekend Fun

My sisters came over this past weekend, which is always nice, since we’re all so busy it’s hard to plan a time when we’re all free to see each other. So we decided to go out! We started off with dinner at GEM in the financial district:

Hamachi & Tuna Tartare with Grated Maui Onion Soy, Crispies

Penne Bolognese – Ragù Of Beef & Boar, Cream, Pasta

Pressed Crisp Chicken with Marsala Jus

Prime Rib Eye, Garlic Butter, House Fries

Of course I forgot to take pictures of a few of the appetizers! Everything was delicioso. Then it was time for more cocktails and fun! We ended up at BOND Restaurant | Lounge at The Langham, Boston. FYI – BOND was originally the member’s court of the first Federal Bank Reserve in Boston. Kind of cool, huh?

I LOVE a giant crystal chandelier

We were all mostly useless on Sunday but it was worth it. What did you do this weekend?

Nude Nude Nude

I was in hot pursuit of the elusive perfect shade of nude lipstick for what felt like FOREVER. Nude lipstick can be so tricky – wear a shade that doesn’t quite suite you perfectly, and you’re the walking dead, but find the right shade and it will complete your look. That said, searching that perfect shade can take FOREVER. But, I’ve found my Holy Grail of nude lipstick, and I have to share it with you – it’s Tom Ford’s ‘Nude Vanille.’ It’s a little pricey, but it’s SOOO worth it, because it’s the perfect blend of paleness with a hint of pinkness, so it’s not draining. You’ll never have to buy another shade of nude again.

Indoor lighting with flash

Natural lighting, no flash

The formula is divine. The Tom Ford website calls it a matte lipstick, but I think it’s more of a semi-matte, venturing on cream. I’ve gone through dozens of other lipsticks searching for that perfect shade, and this is it.  When I’m extra pale in the winter, it will brighten up my face, when I’m on the tan side, like around now, I’ll apply it with a lighter hand and it really pops against my skin, without looking Jersey Shore-ish.

Even People StyleWatch is touting how great a nude lip is this week. Do you have a perfect shade of nude yet?

Chicken and Mushrooms in a Garlic White Wine Sauce

So yesterday was the one day of the year when I tried being a good wife by cooking up something delicious for dinner (I kid, I kid…..sort of). Here’s the thing with me- I don’t cook often, but when I do, I make some really good recipes. I’m not bragging, but usually people who don’t cook regularly will make mac and cheese from a box and consider that to be legit. That’s not me- I’ll make really involved recipes that usually turn out really well and wow Jonathan. It’s just that I’ll go a long time in-between each of these cooking excursions. But last night I felt like making something. I had chicken, and I had a white wine that I wanted to use. So I perused the internet until I found THIS, and decided to give it a go. Not only did it end up being fantastic, but it’s healthy too! Take a look:

Here’s what you’ll need:
8 chicken tenderloins, 16 oz total
2 tsp butter
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup all purpose flour* (use rice flour if gluten free)
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
12 oz sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup white wine
1/3 cup fat free chicken broth
salt and fresh pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Directions:
Preheat oven to 200°. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Lightly dredge in flour.

Heat a large skillet on medium heat; when hot add 1 tsp butter and 1 tsp olive oil. Add chicken to the skillet and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes on each side, or until chicken is no longer pink. Set aside in a warm oven.

Add additional oil and butter to the skillet, then garlic and cook a few seconds; add mushrooms, salt and pepper stirring occasionally until golden, about 5 minutes.

Add wine, chicken broth, parsley; stir the pan with a wooden spoon breaking up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook a few more minutes or until the liquid reduces by half. Top the chicken with the mushroom sauce and serve.
(Source SkinnyTaste.com)
Now, here’s the thing – I totally messed up and FORGOT to add the chicken stock. I know, I know…. Also, I decided to use about a cup of white wine, instead of what the directions suggested, which I really liked. Finally, I decided to serve this over rice, but only had some boil in the bag brown rice, and I must not have used enough water, because the rice soaked up everything and the bag broke and it was a hot burnt mess. Salvageable, but a mess none the less.  All in all though – this turned out to be a delicious, easy week night meal that’s good for you too! Jonathan and our occasional house-guest (my sister, Alyse) both LOVED it.

Make sure to check out the link to look at the nutritional stats!

Blonde…..But Not Born That Way

Bostonian Brunette happens to be a bit of a blonde at the moment.  And what everyone needs to realize is – being a blonde is HARD work. All you full-time blondes out there deserve some credit – it’s not easy. I’d consider myself a part-time blonde, because I usually have dark hair, and will probably go back. BUT, while I am blonde, I thought it’d be a good idea to talk about what I do to maintain my light locks, because spending a few hours in a salon to turn into a blonde is one thing – but maintaining the color is another. It’s hard! Blonde hair is susceptible to turning dull, and there are certain things you need to do in to keep your color.

Side note – my father owns a hair salon, and is a master stylist. I worked at his salon as an assistant for years, so I have a few good tips on this subject.

First – When you bleach or use any sort of high lift product on your hair, it pulls the color out of your hair follicles and also breaks down your natural proteins. So, you want to buy shampoos and conditioners that focus on ‘restoration,’ not just ‘moisture ‘- moisture means the products will contain lots of oils, and that’s great, but you need products that contain proteins, in order to restore some of what was stripped from your hair.

Second – And this is one of the MOST important tips to keeping your hard-earned locks from turning drab – make sure you ONLY use products that are sulfate-free. Sulfates are one of the biggest causes of color fading. And this applies not only to blondes. FACT – red hair is the hair color that actually fades the fastest, followed by blonde, and then by brunette. If you color your hair AT ALL – you should NOT use any products that contain sulfates.  Here’s what I use on a weekly basis at the moment- I tend to switch up products every couple months, because I find my hair gets ‘used’ to them after a while. These have really helped me keep my light, bright color, and they smell wonderful:
I really like these products from Lanza – their ‘Healing Color Care’ line is completely sulfate-free, and they not only contain moisturizing ingredients, but they contain much-needed protein. I also don’t find them to be too heavy, so they don’t weigh down my hair. (Don’t mind the industrial sized conditioner, my father gave it to me). The purple tub on the right is Phyto-Organics Chromalife Color Lock Mask. This does exactly what it promises – locks in your hair color, preventing fading – and contains a heavy-duty amount of quinoa protein and moisturizing ingredients that restore strength to your hair.

Third – apply a hair mask once a week. This should be a heavy-duty restorative conditioner that contains proteins. Use it on a day when you don’t have to do anything great to your hair – masks tend to be very weighty, and you might find your hair won’t keep a style for the whole day due to it. I’ll usually use one on a Sunday.

Lastly – And this is another tip that’s great for everyone – not just us blondes – a lot of styling products promise to be a heat-protectant for your hair. Don’t put too much stock in this, because protectants, in general, only work up to about 180 degrees – most curling irons/flat irons go up to around 450 degrees. Do you iron your hair at the max temperature? Then your heat protector ISN’T protecting your hair. And honestly – if you tried to keep the temperature to 180 degrees, it’s not going to do much. So, be aware of this – don’t think your hair is safe just because you use this type of product. Don’t get me wrong, I use a couple mousses that promise to protect and I’m sure they work when I blow-dry – but they don’t do anything when I’m ironing/curling. Here’s a look at the styling products I use at the moment, they’re all from Goldwell. Again – I tend to switch product lines whenever I finish a bottle – just to make sure my hair doesn’t become too used to the products.
Keep in mind – I have a lot of hair, but it’s fine, so I always focus on light-weight, volumizing products. The ‘Double Boost’ is a root volumizer that helps give lift to your hair at the roots, the ‘Top Whip’ is a volumizing mousse, I use this on the middle & ends of my hair, applying a golf ball sized dollop throughout, and lastly the bottle on the right is Goldwell’s ‘Magic Finish’ hairspray. This is a light to medium hold spray that I just love – it’s not too ‘wet’ or ‘hard’ when applied. It has just enough hold to keep my style in place, without making me look like a helmet-head.

Keep to these rules and enjoy your golden locks for longer!

Sunny Sunday

I can’t believe that in all the time I’ve worked and lived in the city, I’ve never been to the Boston Public Garden.  I know – slightly ridiculous. But yesterday, the Mr. and I were downtown, and decided to take a walk through:

Are these some sort of palm tree??

So gorgeous. We’ll have to go back for a picnic one day.  Afterwards, we *accidentally* stopped by Saks where I picked up this:

Can’t wait to use it. Apparently, it’s a bit of a cult product, but Jonathan argued that can anything from Chanel REALLY be a cult product? I’m not sure, but it’s hard to find, so I was excited to nab one. I’ll let you know how I like it in a couple weeks.

Oh – and there was a legit WOLF, yes, WOLF on the subway:Side note – have you heard of a brand called ‘Scotch and Soda,’ before? I need to get Jonathan a pair of pants from them JUST because of the name.

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