Monthly Archives: November 2010

Beauty - "The Lovely" - Gift Guide - Hair

Gift Guide: HAI flat iron with built in MP3 player

November 23, 2010

Since it IS the holiday season, I’ll be posting gift ideas throughout the week. Let’s start with this one: HAI’s Hot Tunes MP3 Styling Iron.

HAI Hot Tunes MP3 Styling Iron, $130

Sometimes, I really have the applaud the creativity of these manufacturers. I would have never thought of this, but I think it satisfies my hair styling needs and music junkie tendencies at once. This iron has a built in MP3 player that can store up to 2 hours of your favorite music, and has premium quality speakers, with bass and treble range. Plus, the edges are beveled so it can double as a curling iron (which I love, since I use my straightening iron to curl more than I do to actually straighten).

I think it makes for a pretty sweet gift. It’s normally $175, but you can purchase it on for only $130 + free shipping.


What do you think? Would you ever buy a flat iron that you can play music with while you use?


Inspiration of the Day - RANDOM

I enjoyed watching this.

November 22, 2010

Jake Gyllenhaal and Jimmy Fallon during a commercial break…but really, any excuse to put Jake on the blog <3:

Beauty - "The Lovely" - Hair - Spas and Salons

Going Ombre at Gossip Girl’s favorite: Sam Brocato Salon

Entrance to Sam Brocato Salon in Soho

When it comes to dyeing my hair, it’s very simple: I’ve had a traumatic experience. The first (and last) time I dyed my hair was four years ago. I got highlights done at home and it was WAY too light. Even worse, the colored strands had a texture similar to straw. It just looked unhealthy and terrible. I dyed it back dark eventually and hardly considered ever coloring my hair again since.

But that was a long time ago. I’ve been aching for a change.

Ironically enough, earlier this year my inspiration came from watching the very blonde (read: very different looking) Whitney Port at the opening of The City. Her hair was lighter around her face and at the ends, but darker on top. I decided I wanted something similar in theory, but that would compliment my hair color. The problem was the “ombre” trend had not really caught on yet and I had no idea what it was called. I started searching terms like “dark hair on top, light on bottom” or “hair styles with lighter tips” and I was just not getting what I was looking for, especially examples of brunettes. Lucky for me, I began coming across celebs like Jessica Biel, Lily Aldridge, and Olivia Palermo who were sporting a similar darker on top/light on bottom style. I decided I wanted to go for it. And yeah, I was thinking this could turn out really good or go horribly wrong.

Sam Brocato Salon

My friends were generally not feeling the idea, I think. I wasn’t even sure how I felt since I’m normally not a fan of dyeing hair and am very conservative on what I think looks good on my own complexion. But the stars aligned and I got an email from Sam Brocato Salon with a whole report on the “ombre” trend, which they describe is the new technique that creates an effect that is soft, darker and diffused at the root, fading into lighter and brighter highlights on the mid-shaft and ends. The colorists there are experts at turning monochromatic hair color to a pretty gradient. The other great thing about this technique is it’s relatively low-maintenance, since they grow out just as beautiful and the focus is on the ends. That’s one of my biggest thing about coloring your hair — I always feel like it would be too much to keep up, and I need something that doesn’t need THAT much attention.

I made an appointment through their PR right away. To calm my nerves further, coincidentally after booking my appointment, I hear Blair say on the episode of Gossip Girl just a few days before my appointment:

“Dorota! I need Sam Brocato and an assortment of Chloè that’s subtle but sexy.”
“For your meeting with Mrs. Archibald?”
“No, for my dinner with Chuck.”

I need Sam Brocato!

(And yes, I found out that the Gossip Girl cast really do go to Sam Brocato for their hair!). I took it as a sign…well not really, but it helped.

I met with colorist, Mary. I told her I want the gradient to start subtle and have the ends pop, keeping the top dark. She knew exactly what I was going for. She started teasing the ends of my hair, adding the de-colorizer and separating them in pieces of foil. After a short heating session, she washed it out and patiently took out the tangles from all the teasing. Finally, she added a little toner and a few minutes later, I was ready for a blow dry with Joy.

Two hours later (yes, it’s a process!), I was giddy with excitement to see that my hair was exactly what I wanted. The ends were noticeably lighter, but the top of my hair was still dark and untouched. The dye is infused with Murumuru Seed Butter, Macadamia Seed Oil and Green Tea Seed Oil (and ammonia-free) so it’s more conditioning than other dyes.

My colorist Mary (left), me, and stylist Joy

It probably looks a little lighter under the lights than it really is. I took some pics with my computer to show my sisters and friends, thinking I would take better pics for this post…but since I’m lazy, and these kind of show the color better, you get the same ones, yaay:

Quick pics from my computer

What do you think? I dunno, I think sometimes change is fun.

Prices to get your hair colored the same way vary at Sam Brocato…for longer hair like mine, it’s about $180. Mary pointed out that longer, layered hair look best with this style. It might not come out as obvious on curly hair and may be too drastic of a color change for shorter hair, but I think you should always go in and at least get a consultation to see if it will work on your hair.

To make an appointment, visit or call (212) 334-3777.

Salon Info:
Sam Brocato Salon

42 Wooster St.
between Grand and Broome St.
New York, NY 10013


Beauty - "The Lovely" - Fragrance (perfume/cologne) - Product Review

New Favorite: Secret Scent Expressions Body Splash

November 21, 2010

Secret Expression Body Splashes

It seems like so many brands better known for their deodorants are starting to create body sprays in complimentary scents. I’ve tried a bunch of these already, but I think Secret’s Scent Expressions Body Splashes are by far my favorite.

I was sent a package of the five scents (Cucumber Aloe, Fresh Water Orchid, So Very Summerberry, Cocoa Butter Kiss, and Ooh la la Lavendar) from Secret. When I first started testing them, my roommates seriously kept aah’ing over every one. They smell so fresh and light without being overbearing, as I find with other body sprays (especially the ones with fruity-notes).

I love that they are so small and portable too. Right now, Ooh la la Lavendar goes with me everywhere in the city. When I went on vacation to Turkey recently, I packed the Cucumber Aloe. And now, I’m visiting my aunt’s house in Jersey for the weekend and my cousin followed me out of my room to ask me what I’m wearing (it’s Cocoa Butter Kiss).


• Scents have multiple benefits beyond what your nose enjoys, aromatherapists say that essential oils from flowers and trees can ease muscle cramps and improve short-term memory.

• Scents help stimulate the mind and memory functions. Specifically, scents such as Rosemary can help you feel more alert and on your game. These benefits are tie back to how the sense of smell is the only sense directly connected to the central nervous system.

• To reduce stress, look to lavender, bergamot, marjoram, sandalwood, lemon, chamomile and valerian. These scents have been shown to produce sedating brain wave patterns that make people feel calmer and better able to cope.

And best part is, each of the body splashes are less than $5. Check them out when you’re at the drugstore next and let me know what you think!

Have you tried any of the antiperspirant/deodorant brands’ body sprays? Which ones are your favorite?

BEAUTIFULLY DELICIOUS LINKS - Beauty - "The Lovely" - FOOD - "The Delicious"

Beautifully Delicious Links, 11/19/10

November 19, 2010

Ke$ha with the world's largest faux-hawk. Photo source: Bellasugar

What’s lovely and delicious this week:

  • Why Ke$ha, why?? -Bellasugar
  • Japan vending machines recommends drinks using facial recognition – Reuters Canada
  • The Gaga manicure – NYLON
  • Impress your guests with quick, healthy appetizers – Health
  • Beauty house calls – The New York Times
  • Gift guide for the hot dog lover – Serious Eats
  • H&M goes bold for their Lanvin runway show – Bellasugar
  • Vegetarian options for Thanksgiving – Serious Eats
  • The purple lipstick trend – Glamour

  • x

    FOOD - "The Delicious" - Recipes

    Bobby Flay and Lori Loughlin share some easy Thanksgiving recipes

    November 18, 2010

    Lori Loughlin and Bobby Flay

    Just in time for Thanksgiving (personally, my favorite holiday), chef extraordinaire Bobby Flay teamed up with actress Lori Loughlin for Hellmann’s once again to relay some tips in the kitchen for holidays and, of course, a few fantastic recipes.

    The two went right to work, starting with balsamic-glazed stuffed mushrooms. They used cremini mushrooms for the recipe (and by the way, did you know cremini mushrooms are just baby portobellos? I always thought they were different kinds!). I already knew this would be my favorite recipe, since I’m a mushroom fiend and it’s really easy to make. Mushrooms, shallots, Hellmann’s mayo, some spices and cheese and you have a delicious appetizer ready to go.

    Balsamic-glazed stuffed mushrooms

    Next up, turkey reuben sandwiches with thousand island coleslaw which were equally easy to make. Loughlin told us how coleslaw is one of her all-time favorite side dishes, while Flay showed us how he glazed Hellmann’s mayo on the outside of the bread and placed on nonstick pan for a picture-perfect golden/brown texture.

    Turkey reuben sandwich

    Finally, they ended by making turkey paella with lemon smoked paprika aioli. Flay said, “The key to Thanksgiving is hot chicken stock!” He told us between his two NY restaurants alone, they use about 50 gallons of chicken broth a day! He also tipped us off that smoked paprika is “one of the trendiest ingredients right now.”

    Cooking the turkey paella

    Lori cooking some paella

    Turkey Paella

    At the end, we got to nibble on some more snacks. These slices of bread with cheese and grapes (yes, at first I thought they were chopped red onions too!) were so delicious!

    Cheese spread and chopped grapes

    Roasted potatoes

    Here are some more tips for Thanksgiving from Lori and Bobby:


    • Think through the menu and be sure to incorporate a couple of dishes that you know you can make in advance. For example, you can always make cranberry sauce, stuffing, and soups days before; soups and stuffing can be heated up that day. You’ll save time without sacrificing taste!


    • Don’t be afraid to make the same dish multiple times during the holiday season. If you have a recipe that everyone loves, most of your guests are probably hoping you’ll serve it when they’re visiting!


    • During the busy holiday seasons, the meals you’re most likely to eat (and prepare) have real, simple ingredients and are relatively easy to make, such as Flay’s Blackened Chicken Breast With Mustard Herb Sauce.

    • Make simple desserts for everyone to enjoy. Package cookies, brownies and candies into a colorful gift bag with a creative tag for guests to take home.


    • If you’re planning a party, it’s a good idea to use a calendar and schedule times for every member of the family to pitch in and do what they can to prepare in advance.


    • After a delicious, filling meal with family and friends, use your leftovers to make a lighter lunch for the next day such as Bobby Flay’s Turkey Salad with Grapes & Walnuts.

    AND here are the full recipes in case you want to try any of the dishes at home!!

    A Bobby Flay Recipe

    6 servings
    Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 25 minutes
    20 cremini mushrooms, stems removed and finely chopped
    2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
    2 medium shallots or 1 small onion, finely chopped
    Pinch crushed hot pepper flakes
    2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
    2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, chopped
    1/2 cup Hellmann’s® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise, divided
    2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar, divided
    4 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese, divided
    1/4 cup plain dry bread crumbs, toasted

    Preheat oven 400°.

    Toss mushroom caps with 1 tablespoon oil in large bowl. Season, if desired, with salt and pepper. Arrange mushroom caps in 13 x 9-inch baking dish, stem-side-down. Bake 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove mushrooms; drain liquid. Return mushrooms to baking dish, stem-side-up.

    Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat and cook shallots, stirring occasionally, 1 minute. Stir in mushroom stems and cook, stirring occasionally, 8 minutes or until tender. Stir in hot pepper flakes, parsley and thyme. Season, if desired, with salt and pepper. Turn into medium bowl. Stir in 1/4 cup Mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon vinegar, 2 tablespoons cheese and bread crumbs. Evenly spoon mixture into mushrooms.

    Combine remaining 1/4 cup Mayonnaise with remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar in small bowl. Season, if desired, with salt and pepper. Drizzle over mushrooms, then sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons cheese. Bake 15 minutes or until mushrooms are golden and heated through.

    A Bobby Flay Recipe

    4 servings
    Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes
    1/2 cup Hellmann’s® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise, divided
    1/4 cup finely chopped dill pickle
    2 Tbsp. ketchup
    1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
    2 tsp. Dijon mustard
    2 cups coleslaw mix
    8 slices rye bread
    8 slices Swiss cheese
    1 lb. sliced cooked turkey

    Combine 1/4 cup Hellmann’s® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise, pickle, ketchup, vinegar and mustard with wire whisk in medium bowl. Season, if desired, with salt and pepper. Stir in coleslaw mix; set aside.

    Top 4 bread slices with cheese, turkey, coleslaw mixture, then remaining bread slice. Evenly spread outside of sandwiches with remaining 1/4 cup Mayonnaise. Cook sandwiches, in batches, in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat, turning once, 8 minutes or until golden brown.

    A Bobby Flay Recipe

    6 servings
    Prep Time: 25 minutes Cook Time: 35 minutes
    1/4 cup Hellmann’s® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise
    2-1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
    1 tsp. grated lemon peel
    1/2 tsp. paprika
    2 Tbsp. canola oil
    1/2 lb. spicy turkey sausage or pork sausage, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
    1 small Spanish onion, chopped
    2 roasted red bell peppers, cut into thin strips
    3 cloves garlic
    1-1/2 cups uncooked regular or converted rice
    3 cups chicken broth
    1 cup green peas
    1 lb. leftover turkey, finely chopped
    1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

    Combine Hellmann’s® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise, lemon juice, lemon peel and paprika with wire whisk in small bowl. Season, if desired, with salt and pepper; set aside.

    Heat oil in 4-quart Dutch oven over high heat and cook sausage, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until golden brown and just cooked through. Remove to paper-towel-lined plate.

    Cook onion in same Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 4 minutes or until onion is tender. Stir in red peppers and garlic and cook 30 seconds. Stir in rice and cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. Stir in broth. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer covered 15 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Stir in peas and turkey and let stand covered 5 minutes. Gently fold in lemon-paprika aioli and parsley. Season, if desired, with salt and pepper.

    What will you be cooking this Thanksgiving?