Monthly Archives: October 2013

BATF Giveaways - Beauty - "The Lovely"

Target Bridal Shower Gift Ideas PLUS Giveaway!

October 21, 2013

Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Target.

Let’s hope your soon-to-be-married friends are nothing like this Bridezilla. *shudder* But weddings are a time of celebrating and joining in on the love, so there’s not better way to shower the bride with a couple of essentials at the bridal parties. At the bridal showers I’ve been to, there’s always some mix of pretty under-things, and home essentials for gifts which leaves a lot of room to give a really unique gift. Target Weddings came to me with their theme “Be Yourself, Together,” which explores two unique people joining together while still celebrating their individuality. Here are some thing from their Wedding Catalog I thought would make particularly beautiful gifts:

1) Threshold™ 16-Piece Round Dinnerware Set – Black and Cream or Corelle 16 Piece Dinnerware Set in Sketch ($59.99-$69.99 for 16-piece sets)



I feel like these may be my NY-city sensibilities, but I love the simple black and white designs of these two sets. Not overbearingly masculine or feminine, but grown up and elegant.

2) KitchenAid Choppers ($39.99 – $41.49)


Trust me, the more you cook, the more you’ll realize how essential this is. I love how this comes in a rainbow of colors. The hardest part will be choosing which one represents the couple most!

3) Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS19K 14.1MP Digital Camera with 20x Optical Zoom ($249.99)


After the wedding comes…the honeymoon. Just another way to make sure they’re well-equipped!

Now for the fun part: Target is offering one BATF reader a $25 gift card! In order to win, check out their Wedding Catalog and leave a comment on which one is your favorite for a bridal shower and why! You’re automatically entered once you leave the comment and I’ll notify the winner next week by October 28th. If you don’t see your comment pop up right away, don’t worry — I’ll be approving the comments as they come in and it’ll appear shortly after! AND if you’re getting married, sign up for Target’s Wedding Registry…trust me, everything you need is on there :).

Keep the convo going by following #TargetWedding on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest!


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FOOD - "The Delicious" - Homemade - Tea/Drinks

Coffee-Mate releases new holiday flavors!

Hands down, the best way to announce your new seasonal flavors is sending cupcakes to illustrate your point:

Coffee-Mate new seasonal flavors a la Crumbs


Coffee-Mate is a staple in my kitchen (mostly thanks to my roommate Amina, and also now that I need a creamer to accompany our beautiful espresso machine). Now, they come in some sweet seasonal flavors, including Pumpkin Spice, Spiced Latte, Dark Chocolate Fudge, Eggnog Latte, and Peppermint Mocha.

Coffee-Mate new flavor line-up

They’re available only until December, so get started on spreading that holiday cheer :). Available at grocery stores for $4 each.

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American - FOOD - "The Delicious" - Homemade

Progresso Blogger Ambassador for the NYC Wine & Food Festival!

October 17, 2013

OH Hi! 😀 It’s been a heck of a week. Sorry for being away, but had some exciting things happen in the past few days. For one — I’m an aunt again! I lucked out because my baby niece Amelie decided she wanted to make her debut during my (very) short visit home! It was a LOT of travel in less than 24 hours. Needless to say, I haven’t slept properly in a while. But I have a couple days to catch up before I take up my duties as **drum roll** Progresso’s official Artisan Ambassador at the New York City Wine & Food Festival‘s Grand Tasting this weekend!

Progresso Artisan soups!

I’m psyched — psyched! — to be included in a short list of bloggers who will be your eyes and ears to the festival (good time to add me on your Instagram and Twitter @beautyndfeast!). A few weeks ago, we were sent samplers of Progresso’s Artisan soups which I’m still eating my way through. Even better, we also had a chance to speak with Progresso culinary expert Dr. Heidi Teoh, who helped create amazing flavors like Creamy Tomato with Roasted Red Peppers, Masala Curry Butternut Squash, and Smoky White Bean and Winter Vegetables. Heidi talked about the brainstorming process, where she whittled down ingredients that people get excited about and how to make soup “grown up.” Speaking on how much the presentation matters as much as the aromas, Heidi told us how a lot of the artisan flavors are a twist on the traditional soup. “I don’t make soup,” she told us. “I deliver experiences.”


And these soups really make you re-think the norm. They’re decadent, flavorful, and make use of expertly blended ingredients (think creamy tomato soup with roasted peppers, and olive oil from butter and a hint of garlic; Masala curry soup with spices, coconut, cayenne pepper, and smoky white bean soup with smoked paprika, carrots, parsnips, and turnips).

After covering over 720 miles of driving AND a plane ride in the span of two days, there’s nothing better than coming back to a quick, warm meal of chef-choice ingredients that costs less than $3 no less (I may or may not be having it right now as I type).

Ok well now, I need sleep. But rest assured I’ll be back with lots of fun content, interviews, and FOOD in the next few days :D.

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American - FOOD - "The Delicious" - Homemade - Recipes

Recipe: Mustard Roasted Potatoes

October 14, 2013

Recently, a friend whom, again, shall remain nameless, nicknamed me Spud because I love potatoes that much. I was hoping for a cooler nickname, but I guess I’ll take it. There’s really nothing better than some good ol’ carbtastic potatoes. Who gets a side of salad when you can get a side of fries?!

mmm potatoes...

Anyway. It’s not easy to blog about food when you’re fasting. But you know how the famous saying goes: a blogger’s gotta do what a blogger’s gotta do*. *Not a famous saying. This recipe for Mustard Roasted Potatoes is soo easy and you probably have most of the ingredients at home already. Seriously, all you need is small red potatoes, yellow onions, parsley, salt, pepper, olive oil, and whole-grain mustard seeds. I came across it first on Chrissy Teigen’s blog, So Delushious!, because she is one of my favorite people ever since I’ve interviewed her (twice!), and then she married my favorite singer ever, and they did the cutest music video ever together, and basically everything just came full circle so now I’m cooking her potatoes.

Ingredients: Parlsey, mustard seeds, pepper, salt, and onions

Since I’m home in Chicago for a couple days, I made dinner with my mom last night — stir fry chicken with snow peas and this made the perfect side dish.


2 1/2 pounds small red potatoes
2 yellow onions
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
kosher salt
1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Cut the potatoes into one-inch cubes (halves or quarters for the small potatoes, several more cuts for the larger ones). Place potatoes into a large plastic bag with a zipper seal (I was on a time crunch and didn’t have any plastic bags, so I just winged it and tossed it with my hands in a mixing bowl).


Peel onion and cut in half. Slice crosswise to about 1/4 inch thickness to make half rounds and add to bag.

Add the olive oil, mustard, 2 teaspoons salt, and pepper to bag; seal, and toss together. This can be prepped a few hours in advance and left in the plastic bag until ready to roast.

Ready to bake!

Line a sheet pan with foil and spread potatoes and onions onto pan. Bake for 50 minutes to an hour; until potatoes are lightly browned on the outside and tender on the inside. Toss the potatoes occassionally to prevent sticking and for even browning.


Garnish with chopped parsley and more salt if needed and serve immediately.

Recipe from Ina Garten

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Beauty - "The Lovely" - Beauty on the Streets

Beauty on the Streets: Nyala Chahine of

October 8, 2013

This week’s spotlight is on Nyala Chahine, who just launched her online store which caters cool, trendy, and modest options for the fashion forward. Not only is her fashion sense fabulous, but she has a few beauty faves from her extensive catalouge of experience as a beauty consultant at! -Shy


Name: Nyala Chahine

Age: 30- eek that just happened, still absorbing it.

Occupation: Owner & Consultant for Beauty

Location: New York, NY


Twitter/Instagram: @shopnylii

“I was washed ashore the Manhattan Island three years ago with great e-commerce experience from I tried the corporate worlds of media, consumer packaged goods, PR, beauty and even technology to no substantial fulfillment. I then, decided to fill the gap myself, hence Nylii and my Beauty Consultant role with

When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I think is: most mornings, I feel great and thank God for being alive. Other times, it’s, ‘S*** I’m late!’

The song I have on repeat right now is: The Weeknd’s – Montreal. I actually have everything he ever sang on repeat!

Growing up, I really wanted to be: I went from your parental influenced doctor to documentary filmmaker, to beauty expert, to corporate ladder slave, to e-commerce entrepreneur. I hope this is my last stop. I suffer from career ADD.

The best part of opening my online store is: Being able to fill a large gap for women who want to look trendy but still be modest and demure in their selection. We normally have to go from store to store to find a few items that might work. I enjoy representing these women by offering a wider selection of clothing that fits with in their style boundaries, all in one place.


My best styling tip is: Compliment your figure. Don’t fight it.

People usually compliment my: Lips.

I’ll never forget: I rode horseback through the sand, around the pyramids in Egypt. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

For my skin, I use: For many years I have been asked what I use. I have a very simple 3 step process: 1. Cor Silver Soap (my skins soul- with the help of my Clarisonic of course) 2. CosMedix Define Vitamin A Resurfacing Treatment 3. Sephora Instant Moisturizer

My favorite place in the whole world is: This is hard! Theoretically it’s where ever my heart (my husband) is. Although I have to say it would be Dubai. The beach is pristine, the shopping is superb the cuisine is spectacular and international. The nightlife is out of this world. Architecture is insane. The people are beautiful and the service is royalty. Dubai is EVERYTHING!


Current beauty product obsession: I’m currently loving lipstick I’ve always tried to reduce any attention to my lips but lately, I’m all over the red, pink and nude lipsticks! My favorites being Tom Ford Sable Smoke and NARS Pure Matte Lipstick in Carthage.

But I also can’t live without: Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder! It’s my real life PhotoShop filter.

Worst habit: hmm… that I usually always have a response.

When I travel, I MUST have: My Nap Luxe Blanket from Brookstone– pure coziness.

My favorite scent is:Tom Ford Santal Blush

People might be surprised to know that: I am a hippie at heart.

My current favorite hair product is: Pure Monoi Oil. I just rub a small amount between my palms and smooth it over my wet hair. Best conditioning product there is.

I don’t understand people who don’t like: green tea.

The restaurant I can never get tired of is: Yemen Café in Brooklyn Heights – hole in the wall but fills me up with bliss! I love their Salta a sizzling gravy with, okra, potato, carrots, and tomato. The menu item comes with a huge side of roasted lamb, traditional Yemeni bread, salad and a lamb soup.

Though I can make a mean: Lemon garlic mashed potatoes- I’ve been told they are the best they’ve had.

I hope in 5 years: Have additions to my family IA!

Who inspires me: I have 3 people who inspire me- My parents, ( yes they are one) My mom, an entrepreneur and creative mind that’s where I get all my creativity and style from. My father inspires me to be humble while I climb to the top of my world. My husband motivates and supports me no matter what I do, so I feel I can do anything with him by my side. My other most important inspiration is Colleen Winter Co-Founder of I have watched her successfully build a used clothing store into one of the webs most exciting online destinations. Her work ethic, humbleness, and willingness to give people chances have truly pushed me to my current position in life. I am so grateful for her.

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Beauty - "The Lovely" - Men - Male grooming

Men Days: A very imporant topic. Deodorant.

October 7, 2013

Your best game killer: pit stains. Or B.O. Or pit stains with B.O. Blekh. I get it, you guys do the quick scan thing when you’re at the store. I also realize men never like to let on that they’re sensitive (skin or otherwise). Recently, one of my guy friends complained to me that deodorants either irritated his skin or wasn’t strong enough. And the ones that were also left him with white streaks on his shirts. Here are some of the better ones I’ve found:

1) Dove Men+Care Extra Fresh Non Irritant Deodorant
(drugstores, $5)

Dove Men Care Extra Fresh deodorant

Given that it’s a Dove product, you can imagine it’s gentle on the skin. It not only provides 48 hours of protection, it also comes in a clear gel form so it won’t leave those pesky white marks on your shirts. If you’re on the sensitive side, try this one (it’s 1/4 moisturizer).

2) Degree Men Antiperspirant Sport Aerosol (drugstores, $5)

Degree Dry Protection Aerosol spray

My apartment swears by Degree spray deodorants, and the men’s formula is just as great. Not only does it have a pleasant smell (lemon, bergamot orange, and musk), it’s tough on sweat. While it’s not made of a clear formula, it’s a little more forgiving than solid deodorant sticks. And if you’re the type who is regularly playing sports or working out, it might give you the extra 24-hour protection you need.

What other deodorants do you use/love?

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