Monday, October 14, 2013

Roasted Strawberry-Buttermilk Sherbet

I knew it'd been a long, long time since I posted... but I didn't realize it'd been 6 months. Yikes! So let's get right into it.

One of my favorite kitchen gadgets is definitely my ice cream maker, and usually I'm making this recipe. But for some reason I never really branched out from that recipe because I always assumed that making homemade ice cream was a time consuming process. I didn't want to deal with cooking the eggs and cream, making sure it's tempered, etc. etc. Ain't nobody got time for that.

So I was really excited when I saw this recipe for Roasted Strawberry-Buttermilk Sherbet in Bon Appetit a few months back. It looked so quick and easy (and delicious)! I've since made it twice, and I have to say that it's now one of my favorite frozen treats. Not to mention that the smell of the strawberries and vanilla bean roasting together in the oven was the MOST heavenly smell to ever come out of my kitchen. Seriously! Someone should turn that into a candle scent.

Roasted Strawberry-Buttermilk Sherbet


  • 4 cups strawberries (about 1lb), hulled, halved or quartered if large
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split length wise
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • pinch of kosher salt
(Note: I used a full vanilla bean, as I LOVE the taste of vanilla. I recommend doing this)


  • Preheat oven to 425°. Combine strawberries and sugar in a 13x9x2 inches baking pan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean and add pod; toss to combine. Roast berries, stirring occasionally, until juices are bubbling, 15–20 minutes. Let cool.

  • Discard pod. Purée berries, buttermilk, sour cream, and salt in a blender until smooth. Process mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer sherbet to an airtight container and freeze until ready to serve.

  • DO AHEAD: Sherbet can be made 1 week ahead. Keep frozen. Let soften at room temperature 15 minutes before serving.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Favorite Beauty Products

Hi there! I'm apparently back to my old ways of posting once a month, whoops! In my defense I was recently in Paris, as well as Houston and Miami a few weeks back.

Anywho - something I've been meaning to write about recently is my list of favorite beauty products right now. As most of you know, I recently started working at Birchbox (check it out here) and since then I feel as though my love of beauty products has skyrocketed! Below are my tried and true, go-to products that I really can't live without.

Benefit they're Real! Mascara

I used to be devoted to L'oreal Voluminous mascara.. until I tried this one. One of my biggest complaints about every single mascara I had tried previously was the smudging and flaking. I would get so frustrated at the small, black mascara pieces that would fall on my cheeks and under eyes throughout the day!

This one not only stays put no matter what, but it makes your lashes look AMAZING. Seriously, this is the best mascara in the entire world. No doubt.

Buy it here.

NARS Orgasm Blush and Illuminator

I've been wearing NARS Orgasm blush since college, and then recently I tried the Illuminator and was hooked! Both work really great with any skin tone (I'm super, super fair) and give the perfect peachy-pink glow. 

Buy them here (blush) 
and here (Illuminator)

All things Oscar Blandi: Hair Lift Mousse, Dry Shampoo, Texture & Volume Spray

I was a fan of Oscar Blandi's dry shampoo way before I started working at Birchbox, but now the texture spray and lifting mousse are necessary items in my styling routine as well!

I have very fine, limp hair (thanks mom and dad). So everyday I put the mousse in my hair while it's damp, and then after blow drying I spray my roots with the texture and volume spray for more lift. It makes all of the difference!

Buy them all here.
AHAVA Dermud Hand Cream

I was actually given this hand cream as a gift last winter, and I've been addicted to it every since. If you're anything like me, your hands take a serious beating in the colder months. They're super dry, itchy, flaky and can even crack and bleed in the uber cold months (ouch). 

This hand cream is the ultimate salvation and the only thing I've found that actually prevents dry hands, as well as treating it. I don't just use mine in the winter though - it sits next to our bed and gets used constantly year round!

Buy it here.

OPI Nail Lacquer: Skull and Glossbones

This light grey shade by OPI is actually part of the Pirates of the Caribbean collection, and it's possibly my all time favorite nail color. It's a very light grey mixed with a tiny bit of taupe and is the perfect neutral for all seasons.

I end up doing my own nails 90% of the time (although they usually need full manicures, but that's just too darn expensive on a regular basis), so this is one that's often on my fingers. I often receive numerous compliments every time I wear it!

Buy it here.

Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer with SPF 15

A few years back I was having some issues with acne, and it seemed like every specialty moisturizer, cream, cleanser, etc. was irritating my skin. My dermatologist suggested that I keep it simple when it comes to my cleanser and moisturizer, so I switched over to this one by Cetaphil as she recommended. 

It turned out that my derm was right: my skin cleared up shortly after I stopped irritating it so much, and this moisturizer became a part of my daily routine. It's very lightweight and I love that it's already got a little SPF in it (although I wear much more if I'm going to be in the sun for long). 

Buy it here.

So these are some of my top choices when it comes to beauty and they will all stay in my regimen for as long as they're on the shelves.

Also: the more I write this post the more I realize I have so many more great products I'd love to share. I think breaking it down by type would be best- so be on the look out for more posts with amazing beauty products in the future!

Are there any beauty products that you'd love a recommendation on? If so, let me know in the comments below. Happy beautifying! 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Going Gluten Free

This post makes me kind of sad.. mainly because after tonight I will be going on a gluten free diet.


Long story short, I've had stomach pains and problems for about as long as I can remember, and last year I decided to do something about it. Thankfully the results came back that I don't have Chron's or celiac disease, but my doctor mentioned that adopting a gluten free diet would be a good idea. Except I never actually heeded that advice, until now - after I've finally had enough of dealing with the symptoms!

This is going to be tough though, since so many of my favorite things have gluten in them (beer! pasta!), but it will be worth it. Also, since I know for a fact that I don't have celiac's (probably just a gluten intolerance I was told), then I know that if I really, really want that Corona - I can have it. We're also getting ready to go to Paris, and I'm sure a croissant and some baguette will be in order at least once.

But for the sake of my health and confidence I will be maintaining a gluten free diet the majority of the time. I've also decided to give up pork products - for really no other reason than they make me feel sick and I've lost the taste for them. I don't think I'd say no to the occasional piece of ham - but all other pork products I'm happy to say goodbye to.

For anyone who currently eats gluten free, do you have any recommendations? I'm feeling slightly overwhelmed at this point at the number of things that are now no longer an option, so any tips and tricks (and recipes!) are more than welcome.

Here's hoping this finally fixes all of the frustrating problems I've been experiencing for years, and years, and years...

Monday, February 11, 2013

Favorite Things From This Week

Oh Sunday nights, how I loathe thee... I had planned to write about our San Juan trip today (a photo heavy post), but the day has slipped by. So instead, how about a few of my "favorite things" from this past week:

1. This Superbowl commercial that I'm watching on repeat.

Over the last couple of years I've actually been pretty disappointed in the Superbowl commercials, but this year was a little better. This Doritos commercial was by far my favorite of the bunch, and in my opinion the best part is the goat "scream" towards the end.. it cracks me up every time!

2. This mascara.

I've never posted about beauty products before, but I'm seriously obsessed with this mascara from Benefit. It may be quite a bit more expensive than my usual drugstore choice (which is L'oreal's Voluminous - I highly recommend that as well), but it is worth every penny. Zero clumping, zero smudging, and amazing looking lashes means that I am a convert 100%. Buy it here.

3. Blizzard drinks.

While this over-hyped blizzard was taking place, Vlady and I were enjoying a casual dinner at our favorite diner, Good Stuff. It's actually become somewhat of a tradition for us to go here during "big" events: we came here before hurricane Irene struck, as it was the only place open. We also happened to be in the diner the day that Whitney Houston died, and we came here after we voted in 2012 to watch the election coverage. So it seemed fitting to be here during the blizzard as well - and I celebrated by sipping a drink that made me want to be on a beach.

4. And of course, what favorite things post would be complete without a picture of my all-time favorite:

(picture stolen from my sister)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Outfit Post (Plus My Favorite Jewelry Designer)

Hi guys! I received pretty good feedback from the last outfit post, so I figured I'd put up another one from recently. I wore the below to work one day a couple of weeks back - back before it got to be so freezing!

Seriously, this weather is insane. I've been wearing nothing but pants and layers upon layers for the past week... but back before it felt like it was -1 outside (not kidding) I was able to wear stuff like skirts and tights.

Is it spring yet??

Sweater: Limited (similar)
Skirt: H&M (similar in coral, similar)
Necklace: Amrita Singh 
Tights: DKNY
Shoes: Qupid (practically identical - and on sale!)

Also - I wanted to mention the designer of the necklace I am wearing here. Her name is Amrita Singh and she's an Indian designer who makes the most beautiful, colorful pieces! I've been buying her jewelry on Rue La La for a couple of years whenever it pops up, and I am in love with everything she does! Take a look at some of the other gorgeous pieces below - these are the epitome of statement necklaces. A link to her site is here, but her stuff isn't exactly cheap - which is why I recommend waiting for it to come up on discount sites like Rue La La and Gilt Groupe (although she's having an amazing sale on the site right now!).

Sunday, January 13, 2013

I Actually Made Something From Pinterest!

I am sure there are many folks out there who can relate to the following statement: I LOVE PINTEREST.  I have spent many an hour pinning pictures of recipes, outfits and general pretty things, but I've never actually done anything with the pins. 

Until today! I came across a recipe a while back for raw cookie dough bites, and after following the link to the recipe I decided to give them a try. These scrumptious little bites of heaven were super simple and quick to make (they literally took me 5 minutes). Plus - they're much healthier than regular cookies, so there's almost zero guilt! Even Vlady raved about how yummy they are, and he's not a huge sweets fan. 

I will definitely be making these over and over, and it's made me want to give so many more of the Pinterest recipes a try!

Raw Cookie Dough Bites

Yield: 12-16 bites (depending on how big you roll them)

2/3 cup raw almonds
2/3 cup raw walnuts
2/3 cup raw oat flakes
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup raw agave nectar
2 tsp pure vanilla
3 tbsp cacao nibs or dark chocolate nibs

1. In a food processor, process the almonds, walnuts, oats, cinnamon and salt to a fine meal.
2. Add the agave nectar and vanilla and process to combine.
3. Next, add the cacao nibs or chocolate chips and pulse just to combine.
4. Roll the cookie dough into balls about 1 tbsp each (wet your hands if the dough is too sticky) and place them on a cookie pan lined with parchment paper. Place the pan in the freezer for about an hour to firm up. Store the balls in a tightly covered container in the fridge.

Notes from me:
- This recipe was made for people who only eat raw food, which I do not, so I purchased regular agave nectar.
- Honey could be substituted for agave nectar, but I think the agave gives a slightly caramel flavor that really made the bites taste like cookie dough. 


The finished product in the food processor. 

One more thing: that cinnamon is the best I have ever tried (Vietnamese Saigon cinnamon), and I highly recommend the company that sells it. Savory Spice Shop has stores all over the country (including in Raleigh) but they also have an online store that I regularly order many of my spices and seasonings from. They even send sample seasonings with every purchase! Check them out - you will not be disappointed.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Outfit Post

I wouldn't normally do an outfit post, but I received a lot of compliments on my outfit today.. so I thought "why not share!". I snapped a quick picture when I got home with my phone, hence the not so great quality and darkness. I'd still love to get a nice camera one of these days.. But until then, what do y'all think?

Blazer: Similar
Tank top: Similar
Pants: Loft (on major sale right now)
Boots: Similar
Necklace: IMaccessories (on sale!)
Watch: Fossil (Christmas gift!)