READER TIP! Anthropologie Shoe Sale

Right now Anthropologie is having a 50% off boot sale. The very fun and cute Kate, informed me of the sale this morning. I'm kind of mad she did, because there goes all my self control.

I really want these two pairs:

Stella McCartney for Adidas

We are gaga over Stella McCartney's line for Adidas. It kinda makes us want to start exercising.

I spotted these shoes in the window of a shop while in Hawaii. I'm a sucker for this Mary Jane style of shoe and these shoes were just saying "Hey, I'm cute, styled by Stella McCartney, and I'm atheletic because I'm Adidas". I could not help myself. I looked. I tried. I bought.

The style is called Menari and they are simple and feminine, ideal for low-impact activities or just walking.
Available on adidas.com for $95.00

This cute fushia color is on sale at adidas.com for $71.00

McDonalds Taro Pies-YUM

Taro Pies are back! They made an appearance in 2005 and are now back on Oahu and the Big Island. I had no idea what they tasted like, but had heard that in Hawaii and Asia, the McDonalds have regional flavors of pies.

We spotted a McDonald's drive through and immediately bought a couple for everyone. They had a gentle sweet flavor - and I hate to say it but "kinda like poi", but in a good way! It's not very often that you get something exciting and exotic at McDonald's.


The next day we were in the Kona Walmart which had a McDonald's inside it. I ran right up and ordered 20. Their jaws dropped (they thought I was an insane tourist). They were sorry, but they only had 13. I took them all and did not look back. Hey they were cheap too - 2 for $1.49 and I have no idea when I'm going to get them again, so enjoyed them while we could.

It's A Yummy Life at The Chocolate Loft



I recently moved into a converted loft space in a building that used to be a chocolate factory. After two months of renovations (and believe me, the renovations were NOT extensive, apparently these things take much much more time than I had originally anticipated...but I digress...) the space was finally done. To celebrate, I decided to have professional photos taken.

I called the lovely Jodi at A Yummy Life Photography and now I have pictures of my house that really communicate not only what it looks like, but how it makes me FEEL when I walk in the door. To see more pictures of my place or to book a session, visit http://ayummylife.blogspot.com/.

This Thanksgiving, I am so grateful for the love and support of my friends and family and to have this beautiful roof over my head. Thanks to Jodi for the gorgeous pictures. Thanks to Janaan for her design vision and inspiration and advice and for always being 'the eye' (you totally should have charged me for this!). Thanks to Mom for countless hours of moving and unpacking and scrubbing price tags off of five billion dishes and running downtown to let contractors in and out and unknown numbers of days of dog-sitting. Thanks to Christina for all of her support and being the life of my party. A very very special thanks to Dad, who gave up so many days of his precious time moving my stuff, demolishing what was here before and hauling it to the dump, going to IKEA (I know how much you hate it), hauling unbelievable amounts of blerg and then BUILDING the blerg, and for all of those other dreaded 'Dad' duties. And thanks to Alek for my beautiful Venetian plaster walls, for turning my 'just ignore this column' white columns into rusted iron support beams that now make sense, and for all of those other dreaded 'man friend' duties.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!!

P.S. Jodi also snapped this picture of my blind-as-a-bat dog Lucy. Aww, bless.



How Many Malasadas is Too Many??

Apparently you can never have too many malasadas because the eight of us had no problem polishing off 36. Yes, 36. (If you want to get technical, that's 4.5 malasadas per person.)
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On our last day in Hawaii, rather than spending a few hours on the Big Island and then wasting a few more hours in the Honolulu airport waiting for our red-eye flight home, Mom had the brilliant idea to take the first flight from Kona to Honolulu and to spend the entire day enjoying Hawaiian delicacies, shopping and watching the sun set on Waikiki beach.
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Upon landing we made a beeline for Leonard's Bakery for Malasadas.
A malasada (or malassada) is a Portuguese confection. In 1878, Portuguese laborers from the Azores came to Hawaii to work in the plantations. These immigrants brought their traditional foods with them, including a fried dough pastry called the "malasada." Malasadas are made of egg-sized balls of yeast dough that are deep-fried in oil and coated with granulated sugar. Traditional malasadas contain neither holes nor fillings, but some varieties of malasadas are filled with flavored cream or other fillings.
The malasadas at Leonards are always hot and fresh and come in a variety of flavors. We picked up traditional, custard filled, chocolate filled, pumpkin filled and coconut filled. Let's just say, they were AH-Mazing. If you are in Honolulu do not pass go, do not collect $200, head straight to Leonards.

Leonard's Bakery

933 Kapahulu Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96816

+1-808-737-5591

Puka is Hawaiian for Hole


What? More Eating? That's right. We consumed so many delightful Hawaiian foods that we can't NOT share them with you.

Puka Dogs are hot dogs like you've never had before. The dogs come in a bun-sized loaf of bread that has been toasted from one end and to the other. It is then filled with one of four different Garlic Lemon Secret Sauces and one of seven Tropical Relishes. Everything we have tried is good, and trust us, we have tried just about every combination (P.S. the veggie dog is very good too). We met the owner and each of these delicious sauces and relishes are her own recipes.
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We are also huge fans of the Puka Dog lemonade. Each order is individually made with fresh squeezed lemon juice, ice water and a spoonful of sugar, shaken, not stirred. YUM.
This is a must have if you are ever in Honolulu or Kauai.
ISLAND OF KAUAI
Poipu Shopping Village
2650 Kiahuna Plantation Dr.
KOLOA /HAWAII
96756
+1-808-742-6044
Monday – Sunday 11 AM to 6 PM
ISLAND OF OAHU
Waikiki Town Center
2301 Kuhio Avenue # 2
HONOLULU/ HAWAII 96815
+1-808 924-7887
Monday – Sunday 10 AM to 10 PM

And We're Baaacck!

Hello Lovelies! Sorry to disappear. We've been on a relaxing vacation on the big island of Hawaii ... flying over Mount Kilauea, snorkeling, swimming at the pool and lots o' eating.

We shall have many updates soon!

So yummy you wish it didn't have a hole.....


Nothing Bundt Cakes opened in Utah in April 2008. At Natalie's party last weekend (she had more than Beer and Roses) a friend brought their bite size pieces of cake. They are oh so yummy. And they kind of remind us of a can of Pringles, because once you pop one in your mouth, you can't stop.


We've mentioned these before, when we got a cake for Father's Day, but we felt these cakes are good enough to tell you about again.

"At Nothing Bundt Cakes, we have the perfect gift for any occasion; wedding, shower, or just a gift to say 'thanks'. With 10 flavors to choose from, and our signature cream cheese frosting cascading down the sides of our cakes, we can almost guarantee it won't be around for long! Our handcrafted recipes and inspired decorations celebrate special moments with a delightful charm and wit. So 'gather round' and call today for one of our deliciously moist cakes."



Hello Lover!

Prada Scalloped d'Orsay Pump

I just bought these shoes. I have been drooling over them since the September 2008 Vogue hit the newsstands. Just like I drooled over last year's Prada Vernice Sfumata Mary Janes. And I put the same rule into place as I did with the Mary Janes. If I went to Prada or Barney's and they had my size, it was meant to be. And I went to Barney's in Chicago, but they didn't have the exact right version of the shoes. And I went to Prada in Chicago and they didn't have the exact right size (it was so close though!!).
The problem is that these shoes are just as gorgeous in person as they are on the pages of Vogue. And when I put them on I knew it was meant to be even though TECHNICALLY my rule had been broken. But just like Goldilocks I kept trying to find one that was JUST RIGHT. And after two weeks of searching, Kate at Prada in Chicago is shipping them to me today.
I guess the new rule is that if they exist SOMEWHERE in my size it was meant to be. AAAAAHHHH, hello lover. Yes, you and I were meant to be...

Max on Sale at Walmart

I was at The Walmarts the other day and noticed that their new line called "To the Max" was marked down. Up to 50% off on some pieces.

This line of women’s apparel by designer Max Azria showed up in our local Walmarts a couple of months ago. "To the Max" previously was carried in higher-end retailers such as Macy’s and Nordstrom. The items are cute, but I feared it was a little pricey for the typical Walmarts customer. I may have been right because now it's marked down. I have included the prices featured at Walmart.com but they are sometimes cheaper at the store.



To the Max Womens Ruffled Jersey Wrap Dress - $18.00



To the Max - Ruffled Bishop's Sleeve Cardigan - 10.00

To the Max Belted Cap Sleeved Cardigan - $9.00

To the Max Women's 3/4 Sleeve Double Breasted Trench Coat - $24.00

Ladylike Ruffles

From head to toe... I love the ruffled details.

Shoes

I'm Running to Costco for Beer and Roses



I had a party at my house last Saturday and found myself leaving a voicemail message for someone that said 'Give me a call when you get a chance, I'm just running to Costco for beer and roses'. Seriously, I went to Costco just for beer and roses.




It's probably obvious that Costco is the best place to stock up on large quantities of alcohol. But did you know that Costco is the best place to stock up on large quantities of roses? They are $15.99 for TWO, yes TWO dozen. I take them apart, toss the superfluous greenery, trim off all of the leaves, and arrange them in vases all around the house.




Janaan taught me that if I trim the stems and change the water each day they will last for at least a week. Janaan also gently but firmly suggested I lay off on buying any more vases, because it was looking a little crazytown in my place. At least with Costco I can keep my vases full without feeling TOO guilty about the spending.


Chicago Eats!! The Aftermath...

We've been trying to take more original pictures for the blog. When we were in Chicago we thought 'let's take pictures of our food!' since we knew that we'd be talking about it. Well, long story short, we were hungry and when our food came we just dove in, and only remembered about the pictures afterwards. But we thought it was still good to show you how much we enjoyed everything. So, instead of the beauty of our Chicago meals, I present to you the aftermath of our Chicago meals. Bon Appetit.

Lou Malnati's Pizza

Table 52 - Hummingbird Cake


Table 52 - Macaroni and Cheese
Table 52 - Pizza


Table 52 - Creamed Corn

Permanent Make-Up

If you are a makeup spaz, like some people (ahem... I won't mention any names) maybe permanent makeup is the right thing for you. We have all tried the eyeliner and love it.

First and foremost we researched and found very reputable aesthetician. This is a must! You don't want to go to just anybody.

And although it's a bit expensive, we think it is worth the money! (Liner & Brows - $500 - $800 depending on where you live. $300-$500 for just eyeliner). You actually look decent in the morning or after swimming and other outdoorsey activities where you might have looked washed out or had black streaks running down your face. You also cut down application time everyday.

Yes, it hurt a little. But, remember the old adage "it hurts to be beautiful."

About.com says:

"Permanent cosmetic makeup is an aesthetic procedure similar to tattooing, designed to benefit anyone who wishes to have a natural enhancement to their appearance without the use of makeup. Some of the other names this process is known by include micropigmentation, dermagraphics, or micropigment implantation. It can be used for eyebrows, eyeliner above and below, eyelashes, lip lines, full lip color, scar camouflage, beauty marks, or as an imitation of hair.

Many people also choose permanent makeup for hiding burns, covering scars following surgery, replacing pigment lost from vitiligo, reconstructing areolas, or redefining weak facial features. Those who are extremely physically active but want to maintain a better appearance can do so with permanent makeup. It is especially beneficial for people who suffer from makeup allergies and can't wear traditional cosmetics.

During cosmetic implantation, tiny individual implants of pigment are deposited into the dermal layer of the skin. There are several methods used today, including the traditional tattoo machines, the pen or rotary machine and the manual or hand method.

Because of the nature of the permanent cosmetics procedure, some patients may experience some discomfort according to their pain tolerance. There are ways of reducing discomfort which you must discuss with the professional who is performing your procedure.

Before undergoing any type of elective procedure, you should feel extremely comfortable with the doctor or aesthetician performing the work. Ask to see examples of previous work and be sure the office is clean and sterile."

NARS: Endorsed by a make-up spaz

While perusing the make-up counter at Barney's in Chicago I thought it would be a great opportunity to find the perfect shade of red lipstick. We started out at the Lipstick Queen counter, but were quickly led over to the NARS counter. And one thing led to another and yada yada yada, I spent like $150. BUT, I have been looking quite colorful, despite the gray weather here, due to the following FABULOUS NARS products:


NARS SAYS: The convenience of a pencil with the application of a lipstick in a jumbo-size crayon design. Instantly coats lips with rich pigment, imparting a velvet matte finish for seamless color. The long lasting yet non-drying formula is enriched with special emollients for a creamy texture, while a combination of unique silicones ensures long-lasting, velvety color for hours.
NATALIE SAYS: OH YEAH!! I've found my red lipstick!! The color is beautiful and lasts a long long long time. It's not too orange-y and not to blue-y and despite being matte and being a lip pencil, is not drying, which is a huge issue for me with my dry skin. It also doesn't leave a wicked of a lip print on your drinking glass. Perfection!!
NARS SAYS:
Made with transparent pigments for a soft and sheer look. Imparts a natural, healthy glow for any skin tone and may be worn alone or layered together for more depth and intensity. Provides a sheer, natural hint of color Made with transparent pigments to avoid heaviness.
NATALIE SAYS: You all know we LOVE Orgasm (bomchickawawa!!). Now you can get this 'nighttime' version, which has a little richer pigment and sparkles. And not Olympic gymnast sparkles, more like disco sparkles. LOVE IT!!



NARS SAYS: With its gently tapered spiral dome head, this brush is perfect for application of powder and color. Its multi-functional design is excellent for defining cheekbones, highlighting the complexion, as well as blending and diffusing color on or around the eye area. The handle of the Yachiyo brush is hand-spun with black wisteria to preserve its unique traditional character.

NATALIE SAYS: OK, so, we where in a whirlwind shopping frenzy and the NARS lady I'm sure could sense I would basically buy anything at this point and she said 'ooh, check out this brush, it's part of the Kabuki collection and it's fabulous for applying blush' and I was like 'ooh, this brush is cool' and she was like 'yeah, you should totally get it' and I was like 'OK' but inside I thought 'this brush LOOKS cool, but how great could it be and I wonder how much it costs but I'm totally not going to ask?'.

Well, I am here to tell you, this brush is FANTASTIC. It was $50 and it was worth every penny. There is something about the shape that lets someone who is completely spastic about make-up application (a.k.a. ME) put on the perfect amount of perfectly shaped blush. I could go on and on and on about this brush...just get one. It's worth it.

Animal Cocktail Rings

These are expensive, but oh so fun.





Red for the Holidays

Loving this color right now. It's so flattering to almost every skin tone.
Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella

Chicago Eats!!

Alright alright. I KNOW. I am SO BEHIND on my posts. Better late than never, right? Right?? Cool. Thank you. Here is a wrap up of all of the tasty tasty tasty food we ate on our trip to Chicago.

Our first stop was Table 52, which was suggested by the Fabulous Miss T and my friend Kim. This Southern Style Restaurant is owned and operated by The Oprah's own chef, Art Smith.

Note: This picture DOES NOT do these biscuits justice....

Since it takes about a month to get in, we called right away and made a reservation for lunch(dinner was booked out even further). We must say, this place did NOT disappoint. The restaurant is very small and very charming. As reported to us by Miss T, when you sit down you are greeted by Chef Smith's Goat Cheese Drop Biscuits, fresh baked in a wood fire oven. They are absolutely delicious. Luckily you can find the recipe on Oprah.com. And if you're Mom and Janaan, you might actually bake these someday. I'm just planning to go to Chicago to eat them again. All of our entrees were delicious and we highly recommend the macaroni and cheese and creamed corn side dishes as well as the hummingbird cake dessert. Oh, my mouth is watering just thinking about that creamed corn...MOVING ON!


You can't go to Chicago without trying a Chicago-style deep dish pizza. A good friend of mine introduced me to Lou Malnati's pizza a few months ago and in my opinion this is the best deep dish pizza in Chicago. We ate at the Lincoln Park location, which is very small and very charming. This pizza is crispy and fresh and absolutely delicious. Mom actually said "I think this is the pizza of my dreams". I recommend ordering a simple sausage or pepperoni pizza, deep dish, with the butter crust and extra tomato sauce. Luckily you can order Lou Malnati's pizza online and eat it anytime (although I'm told by my friend it just isn't the same as getting it fresh out of the oven). Oh, my mouth is watering just thinking about that butter crust....MOVING ON!


On Monday we met up with Janaan's friend (who P.S. works in the most amazing office right on Michigan avenue) for lunch at Bandera, which seemed a heckuva lot like Houston's. And well, turns out it is owned by the same restaurant group as Houston's. Houston's is one of my favorite places to lunch. In addition to Houston's classics like spinach artichoke dip and shredded lime chicken salad with peanut dressing (probably my most favorite salad ever), Bandera has the yummy Macho salad (chicken/avocado/dates/almonds/goat cheese) and yummy yummy yummy corn bread. Man, my mouth is watering just thinking about that corn bread....LET'S MOVE ON SHALL WE?


We made sure to get to the airport early enough to check out a couple more Chicago eats. First stop was for a Chicago Dog. I love love love a Chicago dog and usually get one when I pass through O'Hare. A classic Chicago dog includes: fresh tomato wedges, neon relish, diced onions, kosher dill pickle wedge, celery salts and sport peppers. MAN, I COULD REALLY GO FOR A HOT DOG RIGHT NOW... AND FINALLY...



I was passing through the Midway airport one time and the scent of fresh popcorn was everywhere. I followed my nose to Garrett Popcorn and promptly made myself sick on cheddar cheese and carmel popcorn. Garrett Popcorn is one of The Oprah's favorite things and now they have a new store in the O'Hare airport too. We bought a couple of small bags of cheddar cheese and carmel corn. Then we went to the Admiral's Club and downed them, making a huge delicious mess in the process (we totally cleaned it up). When we found out our flight was delayed 30 minutes we quickly ran down and grabbed a couple more bags to eat on the plane...I mean, to bring home as treats...