Aprils Kitchen of The Month: Gorgeous Green

I've spent about a week away after the passing of my dear grandmother Bubby Green and although I can't help being sad when I think of how much I miss her I know that it is important to try and find comfort and continue on with my daily routines to keep my thoughts busy. I just want to thank all of you again for leaving me such lovely comments with your words of condolence and for your patience while I took a break. I really do appreciate that so much.

The end of April is nearing which means it's time for me to feature a kitchen of the month. And for this month I have chosen this one with white and green accents. The color green makes me think of all things related to the Spring season like flowers, trees, buds and dew. It's also been named the color of the year for 2013 which I think is fantastic since I have always really loved all shades of green- chartreuse, mint, torquoise, teal you name it I love it!

The green color in a kitchen setting might not be to everyones liking and It's also got that country vibe which isn't necessarily going to be to everyones taste either. Although I can't see myself in a kitchen like this I do find it quite striking and beautiful too! I think the green island adds character to what would otherwise be a simple white kitchen and of course that green gingnam ceiling is what I love the most as it gives this kitchen so much personality.


Some of the details that appeal to me are: A) The built in appliances which give the room a modern feel B) The molding above the space where the stove is which seems quite unique in it's carvings. C) The space for wine at the front of the island is fantastic and saves space elsewhere.

 The details I'm not too crazy about are: A) the lighting which seems kind of rustic to me and even a little out of place with that modern background. B) The plates hanging above the stove are not my thing at all. I think it would do better with a piece of art or an appropriate painting. 

Would you consider adding some green to your kitchen? Even if you wouldn't go all out with a ceiling of green or an island painted green you could definitely add some accents of the color with accessories. Here a few creative ideas:


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Gigi.

Inspiration For Positivity During Hard Times


You may already know this, but my grandmother passed away on Monday morning. A part of me knows that we buried her and she is in a better place now but I keep thinking that when I take a vacation to Florida again we will go visit her place and she will welcome us with open arms, hugs and kisses. 

 

I want to thank all of you who have written me such lovely comments here on the blog, on twitter and on facebook it really is comforting to know there are so many nice people who care. My family is amazing as well with all the support we provide one another to make it through this hard time. She was truly a special person and I will miss her every day! 


 I have been very sad and I have cried lots of tears since finding out but when I think of all the amazing memories I have had with her it makes me feel happy.  When I am sad like this I try to think of all the things in my life to be grateful for and look for things that are beautiful and bright to pick me up a little. It will take me alot of time to really gather myself but I will still try to think  positively today.


Looking at pictures and reading words of wisdom and comfort are what I have found to be most helpful to shine a light on a gloomy day. Perhaps if you are having a hard time, a hard day or if you have lost someone close to you recently this can be that for you as well.


"Grief is not a disorder, a disease or sign of weakness. It is an emotional, physical and spiritual necessity. It is the price we pay for love. The only cure for grief is to grieve."



 "I may not have the words to make you feel better but but I have to arms to hug you two ears to listen to you and a heart that aches to see you smile again." 


May we only share happy news in the future! I hope to be back with a regular post on Friday depending how I am doing. Thanks again to all of you who have offered your kind words of comfort! 

Thanks for stopping in!

XX. 
Gigi.

Remembering My Bubby Green


I am taking a little break today from my regular posts to talk about a very special person who was very near and dear to my heart who passed away this morning and that is my Bubby Green. Words cannot really explain how special she was to me and how much I love her! It is a great loss for me and her family who all loved her so very much. I haven't been able to hold my tears back ever since getting the news this morning. She was an amazing grandma! 

I am thrilled that I was able to see her and hug her and tell her how much I love her just a few weeks ago when I was visiting in Florida. I didn't know it would be the last time at the time and thinking about that makes me so sad.  

She passed away peacefully and that does offer a little comfort but she will be missed so much by us all. 

Something special about my Bubby is how great of a listener she was. She always made time for me and whenever I called she would listen and help and care. She loved her children and grandchildren so much and she was so proud of them. Her boys were her world. 

I am wearing the gorgeous gold star necklace today that she gave to me when I turned 12. It hangs close to my heart where she will always be. 

I love you Bubby Green and I always will. I miss you so much! You were the best grandmother to me and I will never forget that!

I'm not sure when I will be back with another post as I feel like I need some time away to mourn. 

Hope to be back again soon.

XX. 
Gigi. 

Makeup Product Review Smashbox Limitless 15 Hour Wear Cream Shadows Gemstone & Fern


I know, I talk about Smashbox alot. Partially because they are the first high end product I ever tried and also because their products do in fact look very lovely in photos which is what they are targeted to do. I can also say that I don't love every single one of their products, in fact there are plenty that I don't like at all. If I had to choose a product from their entire line that is my favorite you can probably already guess what it would be and that is their cream shadows. I feel like I have mentioned them a billion times in my posts but that is only because they are so fantastic! I also need to  mention that I have tried plenty of cream shadows from many other beauty lines and although they work well, they just don't come close to what these are in formulation and color.


The reason I like them so much is because they are ultra pigmented, go on super smoothly and last all day without moving around or creasing a bit! So I've pretty much decided that I will not stop collecting them until I have every single color and I have finally added two more to my collection this month.The three shades I have yet to own are iris, topaz and riches and I will do an update post with  those swatches for you once I do. And if you think I am finally finished raving about these you are absolutely wrong- I will be doing a few video or blog eye makeup tutorials with some of them in the very near future because I literally cannot get enough of them and you will then be able to understand why as well. For the complete review of these cream shadows and to see the other colors I already had with swatches and details click here.


As you can see most of these shadows have tiny glitter particles in them but I think it only really shows up in the lighter shades.

 Most of them have a matte finish to them, in fact there is only two that I've tried so far which are on the slightly shimmery side.

 Something to be aware of with these is that they do set pretty quickly so I always have to get to blending them out hastily. The thing I like most about them is that they are a quick reliable product for throwing on in a rush.

There is one downside to these and that is the sanitary concerns which goes for any product that comes in a pot as you will be dipping your fingers into it which spreads bacteria. So I would reccomend using a brush to put them on for that reason and of course that will help with getting the look more precise like a cream shadow pencil would. 


Gemstone is a light purple shade which is on more of the shimmery side compared to some of the others in this line. It makes for a great natural shade for every day wear.

Fern is the darker olive green shade and I have to say it wasn't often that I would wear green on my lids but this one has totally changed that around. I've been loving wearing this as the base for a green smokey eye for nights out. Check out the tutorial I did for that sort of look here


Left: Gemstone, Right: Fern

*Pr Sample

These products can be purchased at Smashbox.com, Sephora, Ulta and anywhere else Smashbox is sold. 

Have you tried these cream shadows? What did you think of them? Have you tried cream shadows by other companies that impressed you? Answer those questions in the comments form below- I absolutely love hearing from you all!

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P.S. Great giveaway open internationally still going on here at the blog so check it out here and join in if you'd like. It's really simple to do so! 
XX.
Gigi.

Low Calorie Meal Recipe: Whole Wheat Vegetable Quesadillas with Tomato BBQ Dipping Sauce


Week one of my diet was pretty tough. I had to fight some hunger urges that typically come with cutting down on calorie intake and admittedly getting used to exercising every night again wasn't easy either. I had slacked off for a little while and gained 10 lbs in that time but the worst part was that I actually felt weighed down by it, tired, out of breath and totally out of shape of course. So maybe it was the extreme change but by the end of week one I had already taken off 5 lbs. Within the first few days I already felt my energy coming back and I also felt much more awake and even more positive- something about the routine is just so good for me in every way! Leading a healthy lifestyle truly does have so many great benefits in regards to how we feel every day so if your feeling a little down, sleepy or low on energy you may want to try a healthier routine and see if it helps in giving you that little boost. 


I have eaten healthier before but I was never a big fan of whole grain or whole wheat mostly because I just don't really like how it tastes. This time I decided to try and tolerate it so as to speed up the weight loss process and avoid white wheat which just means extra calories and extra carbs. (That could have been another factor in shedding those pounds so speedily.) I started with these whole wheat wraps and I have to say they really weren't all that terrible. The weigh in at the end of last week and the break from my diet routine for the weekend have been a motivation for me in a big way and I have started to...dare I say...enjoy my whole healthier routine! 

It's not often that I post healthy recipes here and I get many requests for them so throughout my whole "healthier journey" of the next few weeks I will try to post some of the low calorie meal ideas we've been enjoying. I will also try my best to include the calorie and carb information according to myfitnesspal.com which is where I log my daily calorie intake. It seems to be pretty accurate as well but feel free to calculate for yourself as well to be sure. Also a question for you all: cooking oils are so high in calorie do any of you have a suggestion for me of what to use as a substitute. Safflower oil is the lowest in calorie I've found thus far but I'd love to get some recommendations! 



260 Calories Per Serving
Serving Size: (2) 6" Wraps
Carbs 34 g 

This calculation was made through myfitnesspal where I log my daily calorie intake.

Whole Wheat Vegetable Quesadillas with Tomato BBQ Dipping Sauce:

Ingredients:

4 Large Portabello Mushrooms Caps, Chopped up Small
1 Medium Sized Shallot, Chopped Up Small
1 Jalapeno Pepper, Seeds Removed & Chopped up Small
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons Safflower Oil
Yossi's Pita 6" Whole Wheat Tortilla Wraps
1/2 Cup Skim Mozzarella Cheese

Tomato BBQ Dipping Sauce:

1/2 Cup Tomato Sauce
1 Tablespoon BBQ Sauce
1 Tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 Tsp. White Vinegar

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Place the chopped vegetables- portabello mushrooms, shallot and  jalapeno pepper in a non stick frying pan and drizzle the oil over top of them. Then sprinkle them with some salt and pepper and cook them over a low flame for about 10 minutes  or until  they are cooked through. Stir them with a spoon every minute or so to avoid burning.  

2. Lay a whole wheat tortilla wrap out on a piece of parchment paper and  then place 3-4 tablespoons of the cooked mushroom mixture over one half of it.  Cover those vegetables with 3 tablespoons of shredded  mozzarella cheese. Fold the empty half over and press it down over the vegetables and mozzarella cheese. Place the prepared quesadilla on a piece of parchment paper and put it in the oven for 20 minutes.

3. The sauce is very simple. In a sauce bowl combine the tomato sauce, BBQ sauce, garlic powder and white vinegar. Stir to bring it all together.

4. Carefully remove the wraps from the oven and serve warm with the tomato BBQ sauce to the side or drizzled around. 

Are you on a diet? Let me know what you are eating in the comments form below as it's always good to get some suggestions! 

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P.S. Great giveaway open internationally still going on here at the blog so check it out here and join in if you'd like. It's really simple to do so! 
XX.
Gigi.

Step By Step Brown Smokey Eye Makeup Look Tutorial


I love a gorgeous smokey eye look for a night out or special occasion! I also really like playing around with the colors too so I'll sometimes go with green, blue, purple or just classic black. In the Spring and Summer time though I love a brown one with bronze undertones. I feel like that just looks so amazing and compliments tanned glowy skin along with a light pink nude gloss and it's not all that difficult to apply either. If you don't already know, I have started uploading videos to my YouTube channel within the topics of my blog- cooking, beauty, fashion and anything else I may be interested in sharing at the moment. I have been uploading every Sunday and hope to continue to do so every week. 


This Sunday's video was an eye makeup tutorial for a brown smokey eye and I threw in some winged eyeliner and false eyelash application as well so it's really a must see! I am still working on getting used to looking at the actual lens while I'm talking instead of the flip out screen as well as being a little less shy but it all comes with time I will assume. So anyways, go check it out here to see how I applied the look step by step and let me know what you think of it.

Don't forget to like, comment and subscribe if you like the video! 

Products Used List :
(Most are Linked to either a website for purchase or a previous review I have done so just click on the words to be rerouted)

E.L.F. Eyeliner Brush




Do you like to rock a smokey eye from time to time or do you go for the more natural looks all of the time? 
Let me know in the comments form below! I'd really love to know!

Also, I am holding an awesome giveaway this week here at the blog for an amazing kitchen organizer called the knife dock! Go enter here- it's really simple and you could just win it!

On a completely different note, I just want to say how horrified I was by the terrible and tragic events that took place in Boston yesterday afternoon! My heart goes out to the victims and their families at this very sad time! May we know of no more pain and suffering! 

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Gigi.

Cool Kitchen Organizer Discovery: The Deluxe KnifeDock Review & Giveaway (Closed)


A little while back I posted a cooking tip of the week discussing which knives were most essential for every kitchen as well as how to care for them properly and I mentioned that storing them in a slotted wooden block or a magnetic rack was a great way to keep them from going dull. So I was obviously thrilled to discover that the people over at knifedock.com had come up with a brilliant idea for storing knives and that is their in drawer knife dock. I was also super excited when they contacted me asking if I would like to try their knife dock and of course I said yes. It arrived about a week later and I was really happy with what I saw. Here are some of the details about the knife dock. Read till the end to join an amazing giveaway which is open internationally!


It is made of Bamboo and it is nice and sturdy.  In fact the deluxe one felt quite heavy to me but not too heavy that it would weigh down my drawer or break it.

It is supposed to be used to store, organize and protect your knives either  in a cabinet, on a counter top or in a drawer which is where I put mine to free up my valuable counter space.

The knives fit vertically between several flexible cork dividers which keeps them safe and easy to identify.


Keeping them in this dock will not only keep them sharp and in one set place it will also keep your hands safe when you are pulling them out.

Two sizes are available: a) Original- 6 X 13 X 2 2/2" High $29.99 b) Deluxe- 13 X 13 X 2 1/2 $48.99
So no matter what size drawer you have there is most likely one to suit it.

This dock is great since I love cooking so much & I have several knives of all sizes for different food types. Unlike those knife blocks which are designed to fit the knives that come with them, this knife dock suits knifes of all sizes.


Overall:

I was honestly super impressed with this dock and I really am happy with the storage space it is saving me. Even with having this deluxe size I was able to store other items beside it in the drawer like my peeler, can opener, corkscrew and food bag clips. Just a side note, it pretty much matches my cabinetry so it doesn't look totally out of place there. I have noticed that my knives have stayed sharp longer as well which saves me time sharpening them. I really don't have anything bad to say about this knife dock as it has saved me time and space in a big way.

The Knife Dock can be purchased at www.knifedock.com, the Container Store and Bed Bath & Beyond.


Now for the Giveaway:
One lucky winner is going to get one of these knife docks.
The rules are fairly simple and joining the giveaway is easy using the rafflecopter widget below.


The mandatory steps include: 

1)"Like" my facebook makeup page 
2) Join as a member with either google friend connect (in the left side bar of the blog)  and bloglovin'
This specific giveaway is open internationally!!  

This giveaway will run for 1 whole week and is open until Monday April 22nd. The winner will be contacted shortly after. 

Once the giveaway closes the rafflecopter widget will randomly choose a winner. Please make sure not to skip any of the steps of entry so that you will qualify! 

Good Luck to you all!


What do you think of this knife dock? Do you think it would be a useful addition to your kitchen organization? What kitchen gadgets have you recently discovered or have you been loving lately? 

Let me know in the comments form below! I love to read what you have to say!

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Have a lovely start to your week!

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XX.
Gigi.

Friday Fashion: Stripes Trend Spotlight



A little while back I did a two part series for Friday Fashion discussing which trends I am most excited for this Spring. If you haven't seen those already I am linking them here: Part 1 and Part 2. One of the trends I mentioned there is stripes. I have always loved stripes and in fact have plenty of striped pieces in my wardrobe- too many even maybe, ok I'll admit I'm kind of stripe crazy! The thing I love about stripes is that they can be super flattering depending which way they go and they also add a fun twist to a simple outfit. Today I've decided to share some striped inspiration with you. Also, I am working on a really fun fashion video with Spring outfit ideas so look forward to that!

How I wore it:


I wore this outfit on one of the days out in Miami over Pesach/Passover.  I really love this navy skirt with white striped detailing and I will be including this outfit as a part of that fashion video and you will be able to get all the info there!

How you can wear it:
Go check out my polyvore here where I created this set to shop these pieces! 

Thanks for stopping in, you are awesome!

Have a fantastic Shabbos and Weekend!

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XX.
Gigi.

Product Review: Smashbox Love Me Paint Pen Eyeliner in Jet Black



Smashbox Love Me Paint Pen Eyeliner, Jet Black $24.00 

Smashbox says that their Paint Pen Eyeliner is just the thing for creating "edgy, epic eye looks"

Liquid liner can be quite tricky, I remember the first time I tried to apply it like it was yesterday and let me tell you it didn't go very well! And it continued to go wrong many times after that as well. But I never gave up and with loads of practice under my belt I can finally achieve the look I like with ease. Liquid liner is now one of my favorites from the eyeliner types. Although it isn't all that easy to apply at first it is worth trying to get it right as it has such a nice look to it. I have used all sorts of liquid liners and I find the pen form to be the easiest to control so if you are new at liquid eyeliner and don't think you'll be very good at it a pen is what I'd advise to start with. 

Here are some more details on my opinion of this item:

{ *Pr Sample } 


Formulation: Not quite as wet as my LORAC line pro one but still slick enough to draw on a nice even line. I really like that it dries to a matte finish though. 

Lasting Power: It lasts for about 8-10 hours on my eyes without creasing or smudging at all which is fantastic and at the same time I can remove it so easily at the end of the day with just a swipe of makeup remover.

Pigmentation & Color Payoff: The pigmentation is just fine for me in comparison to some of my very black eyeliners. I do think it needs to be built up a bit to get it to the color intensity I like, once it's built up it does look lovely. Unfortunately mine seems to be drying out a bit already- just a month later so I need to shake it to get the product to the tip at times.

The Applicator: I really like the applicator on this one. With the actual tip I can create a nice thin line and using the side of the tip I can create a thicker line for a winged liner look. 


Performance & Versatility: I find that it's really easy to use but I do like a thinner eyeliner pen better. 

Color Variety: It comes in just one shade-this black one. I would love to see some more colors or at least a brown one for those that prefer it over black. 

Packaging: The packaging kind of reminds me of those of a crayola magic markers but I love the classy script lettering and hearts which add a really classy touch! And just as a side note how cute is that name?

Price: $24.00 is definitely a little pricey but not terrible either performance wise. 


 Overall: I have been using this eyeliner quite a bit when I want to get a thicker line with ease which some of my thinner eyeliner pens have trouble achieving. I am so impressed with the lasting power and I absolutely adore the packaging. I wonder if the reason mine is already drying out a bit is a flaw with this specific one or that the cap doesn't close tightly enough, I'm not sure but we'll see how much longer it lasts. Also I wish it was offered in other shades specifically brown as some people don't go for the intensity of a black eyeliner.



The swatch- you can see that I really had to go over it a few times to get it to the intensity I was looking for but once it has been built up it's quite nice. 

Have you tried this liquid liner? What did you think of it? What is your favorite eyeliner- let me know in the comments form below- I love to get your recommendations! 

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