Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Makeup Product Review: E.L.F Studio Flawless Finish Foundation

 
 
 
E.L.F FLAWLESS FINISH FOUNDATION:

Product Description:

What ELF says about their Studio Flawless Finish Foundation $6.00: "Achieve a flawless complexion with this silky smooth foundation. The lightweight and oil-free formula blends in naturally for a beautiful semi-matte finish. This liquid foundation applies easily and lasts all day for visibly brighter and radiant looking skin. Using our Flawless Finish Foundation not only restores uneven skin textures and tones, but most importantly, the SPF 15 protects your skin against harmful sun damage"

I have tried many ELF products and have found that some are very good and some are just ok. The prices though cannot be beat. 

It's been a while since I mentioned a foundation product. That's probably because when I find a foundation I really like I usually stick to it. The two I gravitate to the most are the Revlon colorstay liquid foundation and the mac face and body foundation depending what kind of coverage and look I'm going for. With all the new foundations on the market right now I've had to try some for myself mostly out of curiosity. Looking for a new foundation can be an intimidating task especially when you walk into the drugstore and see walls lined with bottles and bottles all claiming to give you flawless skin with a youthful glowing appearance so I'm hoping I can help with that in doing these reviews. 
 
This one from eyeslipsface is actually an oldie for me. I purchased it and tried it when it was very first released in fact. At first I didn't really like it and put it away. Recently I pulled it back out again and here's what I think of it:
 
What I Love:
 
 -Offers a medium to full coverage and blends into the skin beautifully, evening out the skin tone but is still pretty light and comfortable for wear.  
 
- Has a nice dewy finish without being greasy, or unnaturally oily and shiny looking. 
 
- Has a very slight but pleasant scent that disappears pretty quickly after application and therefore shouldn't be too bothersome.  
 
-Budget Friendly: As with everything else ELF it is very affordable at $6 and can be purchased at eyeslipsface.com and some Target stores.
 
-Contains SPF 15 which is very important for being outdoors at all.
 
-Comes with a very convenient pump dispenser which is so much easier to use then having to turn the product out onto your hand- wastely. It is also small and sleek which makes it easy to store and travel with.
 
-Has a decent amount of product .08 oz- a little less then standard meaning the product won't run out too quickly.
 
What I Don't Love:
 
-Lasts alright after being set with a powder- I would say 6-8 hours at the most on normal/combination skin types which is not fantastic compared to some of my go to foundations which give 24 hours easy. I wouldn't recommend it for oily or sensitive skin types either as it most likely won't last and although it is oil free could still cause minor breakouts.   
 
-This foundation is a part of a very small shade range- only 6 in total. Although that makes choosing one easier there definitely isn't a color to match all the different skin tones and undertones. "Porcelain" is the closest match for me. Also, be aware that the colors shown on the website are not accurate to what they truly are.
 
-It dries really fast which makes application a little difficult. I like to do it in portions starting at the center of the face and working outwards using a sponge to blend it quickly and smoothly. 
 
- The outer packaging is a heavy glass and many of them come with broken pumps which kind of defeats the purpose.
 
-Doesn't photograph so beautifully so would be most likely be better for every day wear and wouldn't be so great worn at special occasions or nights out where photos are likely to be taken.
 
Overall:
 
It's a pretty good foundation for every day wear and would be perfect for more of a tight budget. Compared to some of my favorite more affordable ones though it's just alright and I'd definitely reach for those first.
 
Have you tried E.L.F products? Particularly this one? What do you think of them/it? Please let me know in the comments below. I love to hear from my readers!


Stay Updated! Subscribe in the left side bar of the blog with bloglovin, gfc or by email to be aware of whats going on at Gigi's Kitchen all the time.
 
Feel free to follow me on twitter & "like" my facebook page for extra inspirations and updates!

To all those who were effected by this devastating hurricane my best wishes are with you! I hope the recovery process can be as quick and easy as possible!

Have a wonderful evening! Thanks for stopping in!
 
XX.
Gigi.
 

Monday, October 29, 2012

October's Kitchen of The Month: Cute & Cozy Cottage Kitchen

 

October is coming to it's end already! It's insane how the months seem to just fly right by. This months kitchen is very different then the ones I normally choose. I usually go for the more modern and colorful feel with my dream kitchens (all courtesy of pinterest including this one). The reason I am picking this kitchen is because of it's cozy cottage like appearance. It reminds me so much of my great childhood memories from visiting with my grandparents at their cottage in Canada during the summer times. Sitting in the hammock with the girls, climbing up to the tree house, peddling the paddle boat with my brother out to a shallow area of the lake where we would catch little fish and bring them back in a bucket, catching crayfish from the dock using a stick to back them into a net, swimming, large family bbq's and roasting marshmallows over the fire pit are all some of the fun things we would do there. I was visiting with my parents recently and recovered a whole bunch of old photo albums that had gotten lost in the basement at some point. We had so much fun flipping through them and found many pictures from those lovely summer times at the cottage which is what reminded me of those great memories. With this huge hurricane blowing through I really like the idea of getting comfy in this small cottage kitchen right now: stirring soup, drinking hot chocolate, playing a fun board game and reading a good book. My favorite parts of this kitchen are a) the unique counter area with all the different colored wood pieces put together and the small nook cut out of in the corner for storing cookbooks, cutting boards and other taller cooking utensils (or wine :)) b) the large windows which can easily let in so much natural light (in the case of our cottage you could see the sun rise in the early morning watch the baby loons swim behind their mother) ,  c) there's something so adorable about those two mismatched stools d) I love the open wood shelving with all the colorful dishes, vases, tall glasses and interesting collective bits. I hope to bring my own family to visit that cottage someday where they can enjoy that peacefulness and make their own memories.
 
Do you like the cottagey feeling or do you go for more of that modern vibe?
 
Off to enjoy some savory butternut squash soup, healthy portabella mushroom quesadillas, a warm cup of tea, and a few of my favorite scented candles on this windy rain filled evening.
 
Wishing you all an easy time with this hurricane- stay safe, warm & dry!

Stay Updated! Subscribe in the left side bar of the blog with bloglovin, gfc or by email to be aware of whats going on at Gigi's Kitchen all the time.

Feel free to follow me on twitter & "like" my facebook page for extra inspirations and updates!
 
XX.
Gigi.
 
 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Today Was My 23rd Birthday

Today was my 23rd birthday!  My husband always makes my birthdays extra special in every way possible. He's seriously the best! I enjoyed all of my favorite things today- time at the gym, sushi, ice cream, plus an amazing gift. I mentioned it in my birthday wish list post. I've wanted this ultimate face makeup palette by Bobbie Brown for what seems like ages. It hadn't been available on the U.S. website for over a year and I only noticed it's return a couple of weeks ago. I was so excited when I unwrapped it and extremely surprised at the same time as my husband doesn't usually read my posts but I'm sure he's heard me mention it just a couple of times. I knew it would make a great addition to my makeup artist's kit and as I've already tried the Bobbie Brown concealers and correctors both I know how useful this palette will be to me. I can't wait start using it and I am extremely grateful to say the least. I love gifts. I love giving gifts most of all.The best part of this birthday was spending it with those who mean the most to me. Although the sky was dark and ominous with hurricane Sandy threatening it's arrival this day was bright and cheerful in every way possible for me. I am looking forward to another great year ahead. Thank you to everyone for your birthday wishes it truly was the perfect one.
 


 
14 Concealer Shades
 
13 Corrector shades 

 20 Cream Foundation Shades

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Thanks for stopping in!
Hope you all had a lovely weekend! Hoping that this hurricane doesn't give anyone too much trouble. Good luck to all! Stay in and Stay safe.
 XX.
 Gigi.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday Fashion: Accessories To Finish Any Outfit

 
It's Friday already...And you know what that means it's time for some Fashion fun! Lets talk about some accessories this week. My style is usually neutrals with a pop of color or a trend stuck in here or there. Accessories can make an outfit easily. Take a little black dress for example and add some turquoise heels and a leopard print cuff and tada you've got an outfit or take a bold printed dress and tone it down with a neutral necklace and a pair of toned down booties and again a perfect outfit. So accessories are for sure a must have! Scarfs, jewelry, shoes, bags, sunglasses and hats there's so many to choose from and they will be the perfect addition to any of your outfits this fall!

Here are some of the accessories I have been eyeing recently that I think would make any  fall outfit just right.

 
Scarfs: 

 



Shoes:
 


 


Jewelry:
 


Go check  out my Lyst.com to see more great accessory ideas. I try to update it pretty often and have added quite a few things under $150 recently so get shopping for your fall-winter wardrobe! Good luck!





Have a good Shabbos!
XX.
GiGi

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Beauty Tip of The Week: Ingredients and Products for Acne Prevention & Treatment:







In my last beauty tip I talked about different sorts of acne, many of the main causes and some quick fixes. Honestly I have to admit I am pretty lucky when it comes to skin and I don't often get major acne. When I do get the rare spot I know exactly how to take care of it mostly from trying different ingredients and products and seeing what worked well for me. In this post I want to talk about prevention and treatment.  If you are having any major troubles with your skin then I would recommend going to see a dermatologist as I am no professional. A dermatologist can look at your skin and do specific tests to see what's going on as well as prescribe you with stronger medications that aren't available over the counter.

Prevention & Treatment Products:

Here are few specific ingredients to be looking out for when shopping for new products to manage your specific breakouts as well as prevent them from coming back as harshly and as often. Also listed are some products that I prefer for handling breakouts since they contain those ingredients and work well in most cases. Keep in mind that every one's skin may respond differently to various products so what works for you may not work at all for another and what works for them may not work for you. Try to stick to one over the counter product at a time to see what is most effective for you. Over-cleansing the skin could cause other skin issues. If none of those do the job then it's time to see a dermatologist who can recommend a good mixture of some of these ingredients in a product customized specifically to your needs as well as perhaps giving you a higher dose of these ingredients to be even more effective. 


A) Salicylic Acid: Salicylic Acid originates from willow trees and the pain reliever Aspirin is made of it as well. It is one of the most popular ingredients used since it works so well in ridding of all acne. As soon as it's applied it penetrates the pores cleaning out and breaking up any clusters of dead skin cells which tend to clog the oil glands causing breakouts. At the same time it gives the pores a really deep cleanse/exfoliation thus doing the best job possible. The great thing is that so many products can be found at the drugstore or at a makeup counter that have the active ingredient salicylic acid in them. Look for products that contain at least 2% of this active ingredient. The Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit Cleanser is the perfect example if you are interested in trying something with salicylic acid. 
 


 
 
 
B) Benzoyl Peroxide- Benzoyl peroxide acts as a peeling agent essentially. It really dries the skin out which is what makes the acne dissipate so quickly and at the same time it increases the cell turnover significantly. It is very effective in treating acne so use a product that has at least 2% of this ingredient in it. You should notice a pretty quick difference once using this ingredient.  The Clean and Clean Continuous Control Acne Cleanser has 10% benzoyl peroxide in it's active ingredient list.   It is a product that I actually have at home right now and use in my own skin care routine. I have really found it to work quick and effectively 
 

C) Sulfuric Acid: Sulfuric Acid is not as popular a method as it is extremely drying.  Because it has that characteristic it works wonderfully at sucking out any moisture or bacteria in the specific problem area and drying it right out. This ingredient is usually used as a spot treatment for very inflamed red and uncomfortable blemishes. Kate Sommervile Eradikate Acne Treatment is a good one and it contains 10% sulfuric acid. 

 

D) Retinal and Retin-A - Both of these ingredients are very effective as peeling agents. Not only are they great for treating acne but also for aging skin-wrinkles, fine lines and sagging or skin that's been over exposed to the sun. A very light dose of retinal or Retin-A which contain vitamin-a is just good enough. These ingredients help promote cell turnover at a rapid rate when applied to the skin at night before going to sleep. These ingredients also aid in speeding up the natural process of exfoliation of the skin which normally can take up to 30 days. Over time you will look more radiant and you will find less breakouts when using this ingredient. Keep in mind Retinals can be found over the counter but Retin- A needs to be prescribed by a doctor in most cases. Either way they do a similar job. ROC Retionol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream is a great example. 
 

E) Glycolic Acid- Glycolic acid is a part of the alpha hydroxy family and is derived from sugar crops.  It is very similar to both benzoyl peroxide and retinals in what it does. It is also a peeling agent but I feel like it gives a nice luminous healthy look to the skin that other ingredients may not.  It's great for hyper-pigmentation and clogged or enlarged pores too. Look for 2-5% of this ingredient in products you purchase. It is a pretty intense peeling agent so be sure to use a high SPF sunscreen when using this item. Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Acid Facial Wash with 3% Glycolic acid in it is a good one. 

Other easy steps to take in keeping acne at bay is a) deep clean the pores weekly with a clay mask- I like to treat myself to some sort of at home spa night once a week either way and this is a great addition to that. I like the ones by Freeman since they smell delicious, feel good on the skin and do a fantastic job. b) If your skin tends to get very oily during the day then it's best to keep blotting papers with you at all times whether in your handbag or medicine cabinet. They can be used to press on shiny skin and soak up excess oil production and stop acne before it even shows up.

Those are some of the ingredients and products that I'd recommend to start with in treating and preventing your acne. Hopefully I was able to inform you in the best way possible to help you clear up those pesky breakouts. 

Do you have some products that work well for you in clearing up acne breakouts? Please share in the comments below to help out me and others who will surely appreciate the information and opinion! I love to hear from you!

Stay Updated! Subscribe in the left side bar of the blog with bloglovin, gfc or by email to be aware of whats going on at Gigi's Kitchen all the time.

Feel free to follow me on twitter & "like" my facebook page for extra inspirations and updates!

Thanks for stopping by!

 XX.

Gigi.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Recipe: Mashed Root Veggies with Crispy Shallots

 

Thanksgiving is almost here. Although I don't really celebrate it I like the idea of a perfectly cooked turkey with fruit stuffing,  gravy and mashed potatoes. The latest food network magazine has already arrived and it is chock full with thanksgiving recipes. I look forward to cooking my very first full sized turkey!
 
You may or may not already know this but my absolute favorite food in the whole world is potatoes in any which way shape or form pretty much. So of course the one thing I am most excited about is the mashed potatoes.This version is certainly colorful and very tasty. The recipe idea was inspired by a cookbook I've mentioned a million times previously called "Winter Gatherings" by Rick Rodgers.
 
If you are planning a big thanksgiving feast then I hope this will be a good addition to your menu. More of these great autumnal recipes coming soon so be sure to check back for those!  and finally, Here's the recipe:
 
 
Mashed Root Veggies with Crispy Shallots:

Ingredients:

3 Large Yukon Gold Potatoes, Peeled
1 Large Carrot, Peeled
1 Large Parsnip, Peeled & Core Removed
1 Tablespoon Melted Margarine
A little Salt and Pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon Parve Heavy Cream/Whipped Topping
2 Large Shallots
2 Tablespoons of Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 Teaspoon Brown Sugar
Some Olive Oil for frying

Method:
 
1. Start by preparing the mashed veggies. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the 3 Yukon gold potatoes, carrot and parsnip. Allow them to cook for about 20 minutes or until they are soft enough to mash but not yet crumbling apart in the bubbling water.
 
2. Place the warm melted margarine in a large bowl, add the salt, pepper and heavy cream and whip it up just a little and combine with a whisk. Add the boiled veggies to the bowl and mash them with the margarine mixture. Transfer to a serving bowl when ready to serve to keep them nice and warm.
 
3. Now for the crispy shallots- combine the flour, garlic powder, brown sugar and a sprinkle of salt and put the mix on a large plate. Chop each shallot into thin circle slices. Take all of the layers apart and lay them out in the flour mix. Heat a non stick saute pan over a medium flame and add the coated shallots. Let them saute for 2 minutes or so or until they are nice and crisp.
 
4. Drain the shallots on paper towels for a few moments and then put them in in a small serving bowl to be added as a garnish for the mashed potatoes once ready to serve. 
 
Yum!
 
Do you have a autumn themed or thanksgiving recipe that you want to share with me and everyone else. Feel free to leave it and any other comments below. I love to hear from my readers!
 
Would you like to stay updated?! Subscribe in the left side bar of the blog with bloglovin, gfc or by email to be aware of whats going on at Gigi's Kitchen all the time.
 
Feel free to follow me on twitter & "like" my facebook page for extra inspirations and updates!
 
Thanks for stopping by!
 
XX.
Gigi.

Monday, October 22, 2012

5 Random Things: What I've Been Up To Lately

Once In a while I like to veer from the regular topics I constantly discuss here on the blog: beauty, cooking, fashion and whatever else I may be fancying at the moment. Today I am going to talk about some of my own little personal updates. Here are 5 things that I've been busy with lately with some iphone pics.

 

1) I rescued this little kitten towards the end of last week- growing up I'd always been taught to love and care for all animals and surely not be afraid of them excluding wild bears, lions, tigers and rabid squirrels of course! hehe. So I've always loved being around all sorts of animals and  friendly pets ecspecially baby ones- they are just adorable! To make a long story short, I noticed a little kitten hanging around my neighborhood the other day. It seemed to really like sitting on my neighbors driveway- not a very good place for a small animal. I didn't see it's mother hanging around but it seemed to be getting along fine on it's own. The next morning as I waited for my sons bus I saw it again but this time it was sitting in a puddle of cold water shivering in the autumn wind. It seems as though someone was not very fond of it and had hosed it down- not a very nice thing to do mind you. I knew I had to do something or this little creature would not last the night. So I took it and put it in a large box with a warm towel, some milk and cat food. It curled up first thing and went straight to sleep. I cannot actually keep pets where I live and I'm not sure that I'd want the responsibility for ones care either way. I did have to be pretty wary with this one as animals that are out in the wild can contract all sorts of things- fleas, worms, rabies etc! Luckily my brother who is 2 years younger then me is amazing at taking care of animals and already has a few animals of his own. I asked him if he would take this one, get it fixed up and find it a home and he said that he would. I was thrilled. An hour later he was there to pick her up- the poor thing was so sick with a terrible cold sneezing and wheezing. He took it home with him and she's doing far better already! Sh'es been named Kiwi as she's small and fuzzy. Can't wait to see her again when I'm there for a visit!
 
 

2) I've started working out at the gym to tone up-after talking about it for so long I've finally signed up to a gym and have been spending about an hour there every chance I get, working on toning up which means I am so sore and tired most of the time but I feel the best I ever have. Along with that I am trying to get back to dieting a little to get the best results possible. I took it a little easy last week but I hope to double these numbers quickly!

3) I've been Planning a birthday party for my almost 3 year old- it is jewish custom to let a boys hair grow out until he is 3 and then have a hair cutting ceremony with family on his 3rd birthday this is called his Upsherin. My son will be 3 in January and there is alot more involved in an Upsherin as well as cutting the hair so it's a big job. Some people make a small get together in the home with immediate family. As our immediate familys combined are quite large we have decided to just go all out and make a nice event for close family and friends. Quite a bit of planning is involved and as to keep relaxed and not leave everything to the last minute I have begun the arrangements already and I've been quite busy with it. I am so looking forward to this party!

4) I finally taught my son to ride his bike- Besides for the ever challenging feat of trying to get him toilet trained I've been working on reaching one goal with my son before winter arrives and that is teaching him to ride his bike. We purchased his first bike in the summer time and have ever since been taking him out to try and get a hang of it. I never thought he'd figure it out so quickly! It's just been a few weeks and as of yesterday he has learnt to pedal! It'll be a while before the training wheels come off but this is huge and we are so proud! 

 

5) I did the makeup at a photo shoot in the park- Over the weekend I spent some time working on a photo shoot applying the makeup on a beautiful model. Both the photographer and model were so lovely to work with and I had a fantastic time. I will try to get some photos up towards the end of the week so I can share it with you. The best part about the location was the scenery! Fall's foliage is just breathtaking!

Stay Updated! Subscribe in the left side bar of the blog with bloglovin, gfc or by email to be aware of whats going on at Gigi's Kitchen all the time.
 
Feel free to follow me on twitter & "like" my facebook page for extra inspirations and updates!
 
Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to leave your comments below. I love to hear from my readers!
 
XX.
 
Gigi.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Check These Nails Out- Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips: 240 Check it out

 

I recently got a tote bag for every day use- the kind that you throw everything into & run out the door that doesn't need to look perfect but is cute anyways for day time wear. It has this interesting check print. As soon as I saw it I knew I wanted it to be mine and I've really grown to love that print.
While I was shopping for some new lipstick and false lashes at the drugstore I came across these Sally Hansen Nail Polish Strips. I wasn't sure at first but I had heard some pretty amazing things about them and I am terrible at doing my nails even if it's just painting on a plain color. Designs are just not going to happen! So I chose two of them. ($10.00 each) This is the first, and I was so excited to find this adorable print which just so happens to match my tote bag. I was thinking of waiting to see how long they would last before saying anything about them but as they have all chipped at this point (2 days later) I feel the need to talk about them. Honestly, the idea behind them is brilliant but for me the application was far from easy and maybe they just aren't meant to last after washing dishes or giving my son a bath but  I'm not sure. I am willing to give them another go with the other design packet in hopes of finding something different. I found the application to be a bit tedious and that is because the sticker part wouldn't lift off the paper and I was left with a non sticky sticker with a thin paper backing that couldn't be removed. There are only 16 provided and even with that I was only able to just manage 10 fingers with the amount that needed to be tossed. They are really cool in theory as they look exactly like nail polish, feel like real nail polish can easily be removed with nail polish remover like real nail polish. If only they'd have lasted me for that prescribed 10 days even a regular polish manicure lasts me more then 2 days! I hope to be pleasantly surprised in trying the second packet. I will put my results here on the blog once I do.

Have you tried these Sally Hansens Nail Stickers? Please let me know if you have any tips, tricks or ideas!
Don't forget to subscribe with bloglovin, google connect or by email to stay updated with all that's going on here at Gigi's Kitchen.
 
Thanks for stopping by!

Hope you are having a lovely weekend!
 
XX.
 
Gigi.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Friday Fashion: Fall Looks for Day & Night

I've decided to do something a little different today. This is the start of a new series on my blog and it's fashion oriented! I'm no expert on fashion but I do love interesting outfit ideas that's for sure. For my own personal style I go for something more neutral usually with a couple trends worked in here or there. I like what looks good on me as well as pieces that I can carry through to other seasons and that's what I go for.
 
Here are some fun outfit ideas for fall. One a little more casual for every day and the other dressy for a night out:
 
Casual:



 

 
Dressy:



 
 

I hope I was able to inspire you for your wardrobe this fall.
 
Have a wonderful Shabbos! Look forward to some more fashion posts on most Fridays to come!
 
Thanks for Stopping in!
 
XX.
 
Gigi.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Makeup Product Review: LORAC Black Multiplex 3D Lashes Mascara

  

LORAC Multiplex 3D Lashes Mascara

Product Description:

LORAC describes their 3D Lashes Mascara $22 as: "Take your lashes from 1-Dimensional to 3-Dimensional. This buildable, smudge-resistant and multidimensional mascara contains Silk and Keratin, which help to nourish and condition your lashes. With a Professional curved brush that easily grabs, lifts and curls for maximum coverage and length. Multiplex 3D Lashes is a volumizing mascara and thickening mascara that instantly delivers up to 3X the volume for a dramatic lash look. This is one of the best mascaras when creating that smokey eye makeup look!

What I Love:

- Very black in color

- The curved brush makes it simple to coat each lash from inner corner to outer corner.

- Small enough brush to coat the lower lashes without smudging everywhere

-The product doesn't clump on the lashes as it's applied

- Great at lengthening my short lashes without making my eyes feel uncomfortable. It's good to know that they are made up of ingredients that treat my lashes as it's worn instead of destroying them. 

Things I Don't Love:

- I don't see it building much volume or doing any thickening, in my opinion all it really does is add length.I feel like this is a great every day mascara but I would probably choose to use one that builds more volume and thickness for a smokey eye look to wear for a night out.

-The thin plastic brush is just a little too flimsy compared to some of my favorite mascara wands but still manageable.

  
On My Lashes

Overall: I like this mascara for use with a more natural look. It does lengthen my lashes like no other product I have ever owned as well as coating them in really black color from root to tip so in general this is a pretty great product but I'm not sure that I would need to repurchase as I have so many great mascaras in my collection that do the job I need for much less money.

Do you own any LORAC products? What is your favorite mascara for lengthening? Feel free to recommend your favorites in the comments below I love to hear from my readers!

Stay updated with all that's going on at Gigi's Kitchen by subscribing in the left side bar of the blog ( google connect, bloglovin or by email)

Thanks for stopping in!

Gigi.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

My Top 8 Favorite Cookbooks of The Moment

 

It's not too often that I use cookbooks in my cooking and no it's not because I think I'm such a good cook that I don't need one! :) Most of the dishes I prepare are ones I've done often enough to know them without a recipe. And otherwise it's because I just don't have the time so I kind of throw things together and do what my head and heart tell me- that usually turns out well. Once in a while I just get lost in the creativity department. When that happens I turn to my pile of cookbooks for inspiration and it's usually the perfect push I need. Recently this has been happening quite a bit so I've been pulling out some of my favorites. At this point I have a pretty big collection of cookbooks but I know which ones I can rely on any time. Some of these are old, some are pretty new and others are from the local library. Yes I said it from the library! To me this is the easiest way to enjoy a cookbook without spending a fortune and once I'm finished with them they can go back with no further thought instead of adding more clutter to my already full collection. These 8 have been the ones I've been turning to the most lately.
In no specific order:
 
1) Kosher By Design Entertains By Susie Fishbein- This cookbook is pure elegance. When I am entertaining guests this is my first choice! There are great photos and quite a few very original recipes. This one was a gift from my husband a couple of birthdays back and I have to say it was one of the best birthday presents I'll ever receive.
 
2) What's Cooking? This is a small cookbook in the way that it can be fit in my purse to take with me somewhere but the actual inside is very large. It is chock full of  fantastic recipes. There aren't any photos and it's a collective cookbooks from a bunch of balebustas & if I'm not mistaken my sister in law partook in creating this cookbook by adding some of her own original recipes and she is seriously one amazing cook!
 
3) The Bais Yaakov Cookbook- My landlady gave this to me as a gift for helping her with something small on the computer. It was so generous of her. The photos are stunning and most of the recipes are great! I like the big lettering and easy instructions as well. My favorite recipes are the two Tuna Steak recipes which we have enjoyed several times.
 
4)  The Kosher Palette II by Joseph Hebrew Academy Kushner-  You can see how much I have enjoyed this one by the wear of it. This was a part of the birthday gift I mentioned above. There is a recipe in every category that I can not be without and my favorite thing about this one is the large variety of fish recipes of all sorts in it.
 
5) The At Home Gourmet by Sarah Lasry- This is a newer addition to my collection. I received this in a swag bag at a blogger event this summer. As soon as I opened it I knew it was a great one. It is full of creative ideas and fabulous recipes. My favorites are the goat cheese salad and the "unstuffed" cabbage. Go check out Sarah Lasry's Blog you will love it!
 
6) Winter Gatherings by Rick Rodgers- ok so I have literally mentioned this one about a million times here on the blog ever since taking it out from the library. It is simply amazing! Every recipe I have tried so far has been delicious and it's the perfect thing for this time of year when soups, comfort food and warm drinks are all I think about.
 
7) Gordon Ramsey's World Kitchen- Another one from the library. If you don't know who he is go google him. He is seriously just a superlative chef who is so inspirational to me! This cookbook is lovely, it's full of recipes from all different cuisines across the world.
 
8) The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen by Levana Kirschenbaum- This one is brand new. In fact I only received it last week. I won another giveaway. I know what's the chance? I was so surprised and excited to hear it and I was sent this by Tales of an Overtime Cook after winning her giveaway! Thank you Miriam! I know that I love this cookbook already even without having cooked a single recipe. The pictures, the recipes, the vast amount of information inside etc. are what have me convinced. As soon as I begin using it in my kitchen there will be a full review here on the blog.
 
So if you are looking for a new cookbook any of these would make great choices! These are the ones I have been enjoying lately and have been turning to when I'm in a bind. What is your favorite cookbook? I would love to find another great one so let me know in the comments form below.
 
Don't forget to subscribe with bloglovin, google connect or by email to stay updated with all that's going on here at Gigi's Kitchen.
 
Thanks for stopping in!
 
Gigi.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

My Birthday/Fall-Winter Wishlist

I get really excited around this time of year. The month of October is my Birthday month. On the 28th I will be 23 years old. Growing older with every year is inevitable and therefore I don't moan about it instead I embrace every birthday and celebrate it to the fullest. Who doesn't love a nice birthday gift whether big or small? I personally really love giving gifts for any reason I can, it's nice to show someone how much you care about their special day. I always thought it would be more suitable to give ones mother a gift on the birthday as it was her that went through 9 months of pregnancy and the actual labor and delivery as well as the not so easy feat of raising a child from newborn until they leave the house etc. So I have to thank my mother right now for all the hard work she put in and how much she continues to support me through everything! Thanks Mommy I love you! Common now, who am I to deny the legacy of giving birthday gifts? Every year around this time I compile a little wish list. These are just some things I've been wishing for lately, all just a bunch of silly girly things related to cooking, fashion, makeup, blogging and all things I love. And no this isn't a hint for anyone. I just thought I'd share some things that I've been drooling over for a while now.  It is called a wish list for a reason.

 


1)  The Bobbie Brown Ultimate Face Palette

2) Kate Spade Skinny Mini Bow Stud Earrings in Royal

3) Sur La Table Le Creuset Cherry  Pot

4) Rebecca Minkoff Studded Wallet on Chain

5) La Petite Robe Noire by Guerlain La
6) Abs By Allen Schwartz Platform Booties

7) A New Camera Lens- Sigma 17-50 MM 


These are all really superficial things and as we live in this material world it's only to be expected but honestly my biggest wish which would be far better then anything else would be to spend my birthday with my close friends and family which is what I plan to do!- they mean the absolute world to me.
12 days left on the countdown and then happy bday to me! :)

Thanks for stopping by!
Gigi.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Recipe: Orange Cinnamon Hot Chocolate with Toasted Marshmallows


Lately it's been pretty chilly and rainy where I live and that always makes me think of a warm and savory cup of hot chocolate. Sometimes I'll pick one up locally and other times I find an unbelivable photo for inspiration or a recipe that looks fun and then I cook up something like this. The cinnamon and orange zest in this one really added an irresistable autumn-winter aroma and flavor.

I've mentioned a cookbook called Winter Gatherings by Rick Rodgers quite a bit here on the blog ever since discovering it. I have been so inspired by it and have found every recipe to be just right. This recipe is pretty much straight from the book with a little added twist of my own. Hope it will help you get through a rainy chilly day in the near future. P.S. I am pretty excited to have found out that this author has published over 30 cookbooks and even has a book like this for other seasons called Summer Gatherings and Autumn Gatherings. Seems I've jumped a little ahead. I'd better run and get the one for Autumn too.



Orange Cinnamon Hot Chocolate with Toasted Marshmallows:
Yields about 4 Servings

Ingredients:
1 Cup Water
8 Ounces Bittersweet Baking Chocolate, Chopped Up
2 Cups Milk
Zest of 1 Orange
2 Cinnamon Sticks
8 Large Marshmallows

Method:
1. Start by preparing the hot chocolate. Place 1 cup of water in a sauce pan or pot and turn the flame up to medium bringing it to a rolling boil. Once it has come to a boil lower the flame to very low and add the pieces of chocolate. Mix the chocolate and water constantly for a minute or so to remove any lumps and get it completely smooth. Then remove it from the flame and set it to the side for a moment.
2. Add the milk to the pot with the chocolate and water. Zest ( use a zesting tool to scrape some of the peel in small bits) an orange into the pot as well and add the two cinnamon sticks whole dropping them right in to settle at the bottom. Bring it back up to a simmer on a low flame. Mixing everything together the entire time. Remove the cinnamon sticks with a slotted spoon if you would like once it's finished.
3. Now toast the marshmallows, I like to use a wooden skewer but you can use whatever tool works well for you. Push the marshmallow onto the skewer just a bit. Open up the flame on the oven and hold the marshmallow up above the flame for less then a minute turning it to get an even toast. If they go on fire at all just blow them out and turn to the other side. Once each marshmallow is toasted to your desired amount set them on a plate or dish to the side until ready to serve the hot chocolate.  
4. Pour the hot chocolate into mugs or serving cup of choice till the very top. Add two toasted marshmallows to each mug and serve hot. 
Hope you will enjoy this recipe!
Stay warm.
Thanks for stopping by!
Don't forget to subscribe if you haven't already by email, with google connect or bloglovin' to stay updated.

Gigi.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Beauty Tip of the Week: Common Types of Acne, Causes & Quick Fixes

 
Skin is the blank canvas of beauty so before you do anything you will want to make sure it is as healthy and clear as possible. The right skin care ingredients can coax your complexion from dull to luminous, rough to smooth and blemished to practically flawless. To learn more about how to pinpoint what skin type you have and how to take the best care of it head over to this previous post where I discussed that in great detail.
 
Now let's talk about acne. Acne is no fun for anyone. Armed with some basic knowledge and the right treatment products you can keep breakouts at bay with ease. You would be surprised how many young adults and grown ups have concerns in this area. I am not a proffessional in the skin care department & if you are suffering with acne then I would highly reccomend going to a dermatologist with those concerns. These proffessionals can look at you and determine any individual problems with the help of blood tests and hormone level checks etc. I can still give you some info as well as tips that I've learnt from the causes of acne to treatments for prevention.
 
 
This weeks beauty tip will be all about about the different types of acne and their causes and in the next one I will talk about the best forms of treatment for prevention so check back for that soon.

Causes:

There are 3 Specific Types of Acne:

A) Comedenal: Comedones are clogged pores caused by excess sebum oil mixed with dead skin cells creating a thick sticky substance. An open comedone is a black head and looks like a large black pore. That black isn't dirt, it's the color that the hardened sebum turns as it oxidizes in the open air. A closed comedone is a whitehead- it has skin growing over it's opening and looks like a small white bump. Black and white heads can be caused by makeup and hair care products used that contain oil or by excessive sweating in humiditiy.

B) Papular: This is the most common form of acne which is characterized with pimples that are painful and are pink or red inflamed bumps. They develop when a clogged pore gets infected with bacteria. Stress or hormonal fluctuations all increase the chances of infection as they spur the body to produce more oil, which attracts bacteria. Bacteria is easily spread with your hands, makeup brushes or even a cell phone so sanitizing these items is extremely crucial.

C) Cystic: Perhaps the worst form of acne which manifests itself as large inflamed bumps arranged in clusters- these easily scar. It is unfortunately usually genetic and is found in people with hyperactive sebaceous glands that pump too much oil into the skin constantly. It can also be caused by abnormal skin cells that don't turn over fast enough and a highly developed inflammatory response that causes such severe infections that pimples can leave permanent pocket marks on the skin.
 
Different parts of the face may breakout for different reasons:

Forehead- if you commonly find breakouts on the forehead it could be caused by a) dehydration b) that you are allergic to a product that you are using in your hair c) your hair isn't cleaned often enough and you have bangs that sit on your forehead so the oil from the hair sinks into the skin. Stay plenty hydrated and be aware of new products that may be irritating your skin as well as wash your hair at least every other day.

Nose- if you notice that the nose area breaks out the most  it is usually a result of enlarged pores on nose area. Exfoliating and cleansing really well can help with that.
 
Cheeks- breaking outs in the chin area are usually caused by a) a food or product allergy b) from not properly disinfecting your phone or any other items that get pressed up against your face c) touching your face or leaning on your hands alot during the day. Be aware of new products that you may have eaten/used, make sure to keep anything that touches your face sanitized-your phone, hands etc. and try not to lean against your hands too often.

Chin- Breakouts on the chin area are most commnonly related with hormone imbalance or hormone levels being a little spiked.

Check back next week. My post will inlcude some great treatments ideas as well as prevention techniques and products I reccomend.
 
Have you seen my own personal skin care routine post? Go check that out here.
 
Thanks for stopping by!

Don't forget to subscribe if you haven't already by email, with google connect or bloglovin' to stay updated.
 
Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!
 
Gigi.
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