Monthly Archives: December 2014

Beauty - "The Lovely" - Travel Beauty

10 things I’m taking on this flight!

December 19, 2014

I’m way too excited about my tropical vacation today! I have to leave for the airport in like 15 minutes, so let’s see how fast I can tell you about my in-flight essentials :).


1) BluePrint Orange Grapefruit Lemon juice – Packed with all kinds of antioxidants and vitamin C to help support healthy cells and keep skin happy. I already drank two of their drinks this morning (their Carrot Lemon, and Kale Apple Lemon) which just gives me a little boost of nutrients. All their drinks are 100% juice and help to keep skin hydrated especially during these colder months.

2) Snacks (Belvita Soft Baked Breakfast Biscuits and Clif bars) – I always need snacks on a plane and I’m trying to go a healthier route with snacks that have fiber and protein like these two!

3) BareMinerals Ready Compact with brush – This is a buildable compact foundation that I take with me for a quick pick me up (it helps too if I’m feeling oily but it’s not like a powder that will dry you out). I use it in Golden Tan.

4) Aquaphor – Lots and lots of Aquaphor for my lips and eyes.

5) Van Cleef & Arpels California Reverie perfume – a bite size perfume because I never travel without one. This one is a light and refreshing one from Van Cleef I’m currently obsessed with.

6) Skyn Iceland Icelandic Relief Eye Pen – A quick pick me up for tired eyes for during and after my flight. I love that you can apply it directly from the tube and it has a nice, cooling effect that depuffs and refreshes.

7) Emergen-C – Another in flight essential to keep my immune system ready for the long haul.

8 ) Colgate Wisps – Ask anyone and they know I’m addicted to these. Any oral hygiene junkie will love you for introducing you to these if they haven’t tried it yet. Perfect for in between meals because I’m too lazy to get up and brush my teeth everytime I’m done eating.

9) Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream – I NEVER ever travel without this. It smells so medicinal and is a little sticky but nothing hydrates your skin better on a flight or otherwise.

10) Yogi Lemon Ginger tea – I’m obsessed with anything and everything ginger (and tea). I love Yogi tea especially because each tea packet has a nice message written on it. Tea for the body and soul 😉

What are your flight essentials! Let’s see what else I pick up on my travels! See you on the flip side.

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BATF Giveaways - Body

Giveaway: Essence of Beauty bath & body sets (15 winners!)

December 13, 2014

So excited for another giveaway and this is the first time this many BATF readers could potentially win — 15 to be exact :).

Forbidden Orchard and Vanilla Whisper

Just in time for the cooler weather, CVS’ exclusive line Essence of Beauty has launched two gorgeous new scents: Forbidden Orchard (which has notes of red apple, nectarine and fig) and Vanilla Whisper (with notes of Tahitian vanilla and peach) seen above.

Fifteen winners will each get one set of all 4 products (body mists, and body/hand creams pictured here by entering one of two ways (do either to enter, both to increase your chances):
– Like BATF’s Facebook page and comment on this giveaway post
– Follow me on Twitter (@BeautyNDFeast) and tweet “Hey @BeautyNDFeast, I want to win a set of #EssenceOfBeauty products! #giveaway”

Make sure you leave a comment below to let me know how you entered. Winners will be picked and notified by Dec 17th. Good luck! *Winners must have a US mailing address!

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Beauty - "The Lovely"

Holiday beauty with Tagspire (PS you can now shop my photos!)

December 12, 2014



Hey guys! Just wanted to let you know about a cool new feature I’m going to be implementing in my blog that makes it easier for you to find the products I photograph. It’s from a new social shopping site, called Tagspire (think of it like shoppable Pinterest). My very first example below with some suggestions for holiday beauty and accessorizing :).

I love all that is bold and sparkly for the holidays, so that’s why I put together a bunch of my favorites that describe both:
*MAC’s Ruby Woo is a must — the perfect red.
*I tend to wear my chunkier, gold watch like this Marc By Marc Jacobs one around this time of year because it compliments more lush fabrics.
*This new Hermes ear cuff is something I just got from Baublebar (on sale too)! Like little trinkets for your ear.
*Cargo’s Cannes blush is the perfect I-just-got-back-from-vacation peach that I’ve been using more and more lately. It compliments medium skin tones so well.
*Use with Tom Ford’s Shade & Illuminate contour cream for the perfect sculpted face.
*Erickson Beamon Rocks cocktail ring is a nice splash of turquoise to the darker outfits I’ve been wearing lately.
*Finally I recently been introduced to the amazing world of Burberry Beauty by way of Mary Wiles (their celebrity makeup artist). It’s not just a label, these products are some of my new favorites. People always notice when I wear their Bold Lash mascara in Ebony. It elongates lashes with a silk and super dark finish (no tarantula lashes here). And finally, their new My Burberry perfume is a rich mix of patchouli, freesia, roses and bergamot that you can actually monogram to personalize for a beautiful gift (I pictured the small one here, but you can get the full sizes inscribed).

If you’re a blogger, this feature is going to change the way you do your posts. “Social shopping” is a new way of to buy what you see on posts or make it easier for your readers to locate certain items — and did I mention you get PAID? It’s super easy to use: just sign up for a Tagspire account, upload the picture you want to use on your post and tap each item you want to sell. Tagspire has a whole gallery to give you the option to buy directly, or link to the site where it is. You can also add a comment or video to the item as related. After you’re all done, it provides you an embedding link to insert in your post (or post on Facebook). Tagspire will keep track of all the sales generated from your social commerce tags and you get commission on them automatically. To learn more, check out this video on YouTube.

To take full advantage, you can join today (October – March is the busiest online shopping time of the year, FYI, so get a move on!). I love to direct friends to my favorite bloggers and looks – I’m actually ten times more likely to buy something I saw on a blogger than in a catalogue — which just goes to show the power of word-of-mouth sales. Plus for someone as non-tech savvy as me (really, not every blogger is), this is so easy to use. I’m going to incorporate it more in my own features so let me know what you think!

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*This post was sponsored by Tagspire but opinion on the experience is my own!

Dessert - FOOD - "The Delicious" - Homemade - Indian/Pakistani - Recipes

#BauliBakeOff recipe: A spin on a traditional Indian dessert

December 8, 2014

Bauli, a company whose signature is their ready-to-eat Italian pastries, recently launched a contest to create a recipe using one of their baked goods. I wanted to try my hand in making something different using their star-shaped Limonce (lemon) cake, and my friend Shazeen suggested trying a traditional Indian/Pakistani sweet shahi tukra (literally translates to ‘royal piece’) which consists of fried dough and a sweet saffron sauce topped with nuts. I never tried making it before but I loved the vision of blending an Italian dessert with and Indian one and seeing what happens. Spoiler: it tasted delicious and the nuts and roses (playing off the rose water infused in the sauce) makes it the prettiest dish too. Check out the recipe below (and vote for it if you like it on their Facebook page HERE)!

First time making our version of 'shahi tukra'

We used Bauli's Pandoro Limonce cake


Bauli Pandoro Limonce (lemon) cake
14 oz sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp of saffron
1 tsp rose water
8 tbsp olive oil (for frying)
4 tsp butter (for frying)
Sliced Almonds
Edible silver leaf foil (optional)
Dried roses (optional)

Some ingredients for this recipe



In a blender, ground a handful of pistachios and set aside.

For the sauce:

In a pot, pour sweetened condensed milk over medium heat for a few minutes then pour in milk, saffron, and rose water. Keep stirring until it bubbles and thickens. Set aside.

Step 1

Stirring in milk, saffron, and rose water

Waiting for sauce to bubble and thicken

For the cake:

Ready made Bauli cake

1. Slice the ready-made Bauli cake in four pieces lengthwise. Then, chop each piece evenly in little loaves.

Slicing cake


Ready to fry

2. In a sauce pan, pour 2 tbs of olive oil and a tsp of butter. Warm over medium heat. Fry pieces of the cake until just slightly brown (this happens quickly, each side should take about 30 seconds to a minute depending on the heat).

Frying cake


4. After frying the cake slices, arrange on a dish as desired. Take sauce and drizzle over and around slices. Sprinkle ground pistachios, whole pistachios, and slice almonds over the dish. To decorate, you can add the edible silver leaf foil, and dried rose buds (we found this at an Indian grocery store — note to NYC’ers, Kalyustan’s has everything you need and some).



Try it and let me know what you think. I loved how the lemon already in the cake blended so well with the pistachio, almond, and saffron spices. If you want to enter your own recipe/photo, check out Bauli’s Facebook page to submit a photo or make sure to hashtag #baulibakeoff on Instagram or Twitter to enter!

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Beauty - "The Lovely" - Body - Product Review

Moxxie: handcrafted plant-based bath products

December 6, 2014

More and more, people have been asking me for natural and plant-based beauty product suggestions. As if on cue, a line called Moxxie was sent my way and totally fits the bill if you’re going in a more green direction.

Moxxie's line of soaps, scrubs, balms, and body wash

The handcrafted line is 100% plant-based, vegan, and cruelty-free. The heart of their collection are their bar soaps which come in beautiful and varied herbal scents like Rosemary + Lavender (the one I’ve been using all month), and Lemongrass + Oatmeal. The soaps are infused with good-for-you ingredients like coconut palm, olive oil, and soothing olive oil.

Moxxie sugar scrub in lavender

My favorite by far though are their solid sugar scrubs. I’m so big on exfoliating in the shower. I’ve noticed a huge difference in my skin since I started being more diligent about it, since it not only sloughs off dead skin cells to make your skin smoother, it also helps your skin absorb any moisturizer or oil you apply afterwards. I’ve been looking for something heavy duty because too often the scrubs I come across are doused in gels or cream mixtures that aren’t as effective at exfoliating. That’s why I’m in love with these little cubes. They come in chunks that dissolve as you use, and is good to use from head to toe. Plus they’re infused with moisturizing oils like almond and grapefruit so your skin isn’t left parched.

Also, not to be missed: their Peppermint lotion which leaves behind a natural cooling feel. The line ranges from $3-$18, and right now their gift sets are on sale for $20-$60 — check them out :).

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*Products were given gratis to review but opinions are my own.

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

Sicilian cauliflower baked mac n cheese with Mezzetta

December 4, 2014

Sicilian cauliflower baked pasta

Sometimes good dishes happen by beautiful mistakes. More on this in a minute.

Since the holidays are in full swing, Mezzetta asked us about holiday memories when it comes to food. Since Thanksgiving was just upon us, I remember why it’s my favorite: every year, regardless if I’m in Chicago or on the east coast, it’s always a family-filled evening where we all come together to cook, bake, eat, and play games all night. This year, we had a full spread of whole chickens, roasted lamb, crostinis, and casseroles. When Mezzetta asked us to come up with holiday recipe, I was thinking of ways to make something that I could add to that spread next time, something simple but also tasty.

Mezzetta jalapenos and roasted red peppers

When I looked at recipes for inspiration, I came across one that I thought was baked mac and cheese from the picture. I realized only when I came home I was actually got ingredients for a cauliflower gratin. I had already invited my friend Shazeen to come over for ‘baked mac n’ cheese’ so I didn’t want her to be disappointed. Then I thought, why not mix up the two?

So I did. And it turned out to a pretty good dish with a mix of all the natural flavors the veggies and spices put together. Thus, my beautiful mistake. Plus, I was able to pull it off in less than an hour, so it was ready to be served warm by the time my guest arrived.

Sicilian Cauliflower Baked Pasta with Mezzetta


Mezzetta Deli Sliced Hot Jalapeño Peppers (about 10), diced
Mezzetta Deli Sliced Roasted Bell Pepper Strips (about 10), sliced
Mezzetta Pitted Greek Kalamata Olives (about 18), sliced
2 cups whole grain elbow macaroni
1/2 red onion, chopped finely
1 tsp minced garlic
Black Pepper
Italian seasoning
1/2 cup Asiago cheese, grated
1/4 cup Mozarella cheese, grated

Break up the cauliflower into small florets while you bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water generously and drop in the cauliflower. Boil 5 minutes while you fill a bowl with ice and water. Transfer the cauliflower to the ice water, let sit for a couple of minutes, then drain and place on paper towels.

Chopped cauliflower

2. In a separate pot, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil, and then add noodles. Let boil under noodles are tender. Drain and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Oil a 2-quart baking dish or gratin dish. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until tender, about 3 minutes, and add a pinch of salt and the garlic. Cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds, until fragrant and translucent. Remove from the heat and stir in the olives, jalapenos and roasted red peppers. Season with pepper and Italian seasoning.

Sauteed red onions

Place the cauliflower and cooked noodles in the baking dish and season generously with the Italian seasoning. Add the onion, olive, red pepper, and jalapeno mixture. Spread out evenly then top with the kale. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and season with a little more pepper.


Topped with kale


Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until the cheese is nicely browned. Serve hot or warm.

Since the dish is mostly veggies, and a light blanket of cheese, it still tastes light. The baked kale adds a nice crisp to each bite. Want to try your own dish using Mezzetta products? Mezzetta is offering a downloadable $.50 off coupon on any of their products. What’s more, they’re offering a Daily Holiday Gift Basket Giveaway from now until Dec 31st, where you can enter to win daily prizes. Each day a winner will be selected at random, and prizes will be shipped within two weeks. Click here to enter now!

*Many thanks to Mezzetta for sponsoring today’s #MezzettaMemories recipe story and encouraging me to spice up my favorite Holiday recipe.

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