Archive | July, 2011

bff: dynamite beauty essentials

29 Jul

Happy FRIDAY! For this edition of BFF: Best Friends Friday we thought it’d be a nice idea to show y’all our beauty essentials. We have honestly been using the same products together for years and will probably continue to do so until we’re eighty. This used 😦 to make restocking simple as when we’d run out of mascara and bronzer weekly monthly we could run the errands together.

dynamite duo

Most of our favorite products come from two places: Target and Sephora.

First up from Target: Our Colossal Volume Mascara! Eighty coats and you’re ready to hit the town! This stuff gives you some pretty amazing lashes without getting all clumpy- and it’s super cheap.

maybe it's maybelline

Second necessity: BRONZER. We’re from Jersey, didn’t you know? We have gone through bronzer phases (from wearing way too much to just the right amount, from expensive to cheap) but no matter which phase we’re in- it’s always included in our make-up lineup.

A word of caution: careful with the bronzer, because you could end up looking like this..

it happens to the best of us

Third on our list: Bare Minerals Matte Powder. This stuff is amazing, and it covers EVER-Y-THING.

you are worth the lofty price tag

And as if the combo of bare minerals and bronzer wasn’t enough, we both add in our most favorite blush of all time: Nars Orgasm. Such a pretty shade.


Once we get our faces glowing with all this goodness, we always brush our teeth with this toothpaste. Crest Vivid White provides THE BEST whitening.

like a ghost

gotta glow!

And to wipe off all our glow and revert to our incredibly dull selves, these face wipes are THE BEST. We have both been obsessed with them for awhile now, as we are usually too tired at night to imagine the thought of using water from the sink and combining it with soap. (The horror!)

so fresh and so clean clean

So there ya have it! These are not the only products we use, but they are the products that we obsess over together. Next week’s installment of BFF will be a special one…vlog, anyone!? 😉

puppies and pasta

28 Jul

Hey y’all! Thanks so much for your comments on my post about quitting the calorie counting : my goal that I have already put into motion! It’s going to be HARD. This is my third day without counting and although I feel okay, I now find myself thinking in rigid terms like: breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner. Although I start to eat each when I feel hungry, it still seems like some sort of “plan”, but I guess it’s a START. (And at least I’m free of the counting!)

Last night Danny, my brother (who is in town visiting) and I went to visit my cousin Scott and his wife Joanne. Danny and I lived with Scott and Joanne for about eight months before moving into our current home (okay, so Danny lived with them and I totally moved in and crashed the place) so it was REALLY exciting to go and see them + their PUPS!

I think I have posted about Cruiser before- he is the first second love of my life, a giant French Mastiff.

the only boy who looks better with wrinkles

Last night he was PUMPED to see Danny, and probably even more excited to see me, his favorite former roommate. (I gave WAY too many treats…sorry Joanne.)

higher than jordan!

And I got to see their pup Mickey, who is equally as cute yet for some reason he makes me so nervous that it looks as if I have to pee. Whoops!

one day we'll be friends

P.S. Did you notice my first week early birthday present from Danny?

bling bling sistah

Anyway- since my bro is here I wanted to prove to him that I actually do cook (only so he can run home and tell my mom that I’m almost HALF as good as her, which is really a compliment still..) I decided to dabble with some shrimp and make Christina’s recipe: The Christina Orzo Shrimp and Feta Bake. The only change I made?

try this, now!

Out with the orzo and in with the Orecchiette, because it sounds way more like MY last name instead.

fresh veggies and white wine sauce

I also added a ridiculous amount of extra pasta and feta cheese: got some boys to feed here!


I’m about to pop it in the oven in another ten minutes so it’s done as soon as D$ gets home- serious girlfriend points, gotta butter him up before my birthday! If this is not one of the best recipes I’ve tried out in awhile, I will be shocked. It already smells SO GOOD.

Oh P.S. Follow me and Courtie on twitter! 😀

what I ate on Wednesday

27 Jul

Gotta love Wednesday, because the week is half way over you get to read about what the beautiful people of the blog world eat thanks to, Jenn! And yep, still going strong with what I actually ate ON Wednesday.

Wednesday is Bagel Wednesday for me (free bagels in the office!), so needless to say, like pretty much every Wednesday for the past 9 months, my day started with a whole wheat bagel. (…yep, that’s a lot of carbs.)

The bagel had some flax seeds, what I believe are sunflower seeds, and another unknown seed.

Please help! 😉 I’ve already come up short with no resolution from someone..

please is optional

I also started my morning with some apple juice because I saw a child with a juice box on the way to the subway and it looked delicious. Yep, I take drink recommendations from children.

so.. I didn’t pack my lunch. :O I got a salad from Just Salad in a reusable bowl (extra toppings, AND green… but can someone wash it for me? :()

I couldn’t even tell you why I picked what I did, it’s what I hate about creating my own.

Strawberries, blueberries, dried cranberries, radish, cucumber, low-fat aged white cheddar, and almonds with raspberry vinaigrette.

Meh. Why do I choose these things? I can't be trusted on my own..

Two little bears were calling my name when I got back from lunch..

And then the 3pm antsy oops.

Late afternoon snack to fuel me through a sweaty after-work gym sesh:

For dinner, I looked to this lovely book I got many Christmas’s ago from my sister.

I decided on the Mushroom & Goat Cheese Calzone recipe since I still have some whole wheat dough left in the freezer and nothing else was calling out me. (One for dinner, one for lunch tomorrow.)

Portobellos, button mushroom, red onions, garlic, and pepper that were sauteed in olive oil.

Add some herb goat cheese and thyme on top.

Ta-da! This is where I thought.. “Oh god, can I do this?”

I cannnn!!

But I’ll confirm that when I let you know how they turn out.. 🙂

PS, just think… next Wednesday may very well be what WE ate! 😉

kick the habit: confessions of a calorie counter

26 Jul

This morning Gracie (love her style!) posted about “Kick the Habit” (I’ll let you research on your own…the name really says it all!)

An August challenge to give up a negative habit? This really couldn’t have come at a better time, and I am PUMPED to participate. My challenge? I want to quit counting calories for once, and for all.

This is not to say that counting calories is a “bad” habit, but it is to say that counting calories is a bad habit for ME. I’m a closet calorie counter. Courtney knows of my habit because I think I’d notify her if I even changed toothpaste..(nope..still using vivid white Court) and I’ve briefly mentioned it to Danny who didn’t seem to understand.

nope, don't get it..

But counting calories is a process I’ve gone in and out of for…years. I can’t even tell you how long I’ve been tracking. I’m not necessarily obsessed with hitting a certain number, and if I’m hungry and above the limit I wanted to originally stay at, I EAT. There are some prominent reasons that I’d like to give it up, though. And here they are:

1. It’s possible that calorie counting has sometimes made me GAIN weight. This is because there are days when I’m really not hungry but at night I see a couple hundred more calories “allowed” in my future.. so I eat. While I’m not hungry, just because a number says I can. Why stuff my face when my body is clearly satisfied?

2. I’m not getting the nutrients I need. As posted in my last WIAW, I ate lots and lots of sugar. It’s obviously cool to have treats here and there, but I am currently subbing brownies or froyo for actual veggies and grains, just because they fit within my daily limit. This may keep my waistline the same, but it’s not helping my insides.

3. It creates negative feelings about my day. If I go well over the “number” I wanted to stay within, I feel guilty. If I stay under, I am happy. This is also unhealthy for my mind. I don’t need to associate my happiness with food.

4. I’m a fitness fanatic. I need to fuel my body and listen to it. My body needs more than the bodies of those who chill on the couch all day. I want to really LISTEN to it. This includes eating when hungry, and stopping when full. The basic principles of following my appetite.

Whew. I’ve realized that while this post may have made me sound neurotic… I’m really not. I don’t necessarily think about food or calories all day.. I simply tack on the numbers of what I’ve eaten as a guideline. BUT, I don’t think it’s unnecessary. And for the reasons I’ve stated, I want to QUIT.

I think having a month of quitting rather than thinking I need to quit for life will allow me to chill out about it. Hopefully by the 31st of August I will see that NO, I did not gain ninety pounds and YES, I feel great and free.

imma tell you one time

Sorry, just wanted to lighten the mood around here.


Expect lots of progress updates. I have nothing to hide.

what sunday night dreams are made of

24 Jul


red velvet, cake batter, peanut butter


every topping under the sun

It’s true; I finally made it to 16 Handles after the gym last week, and it was everything I ever hoped and dreamed for. I went a little out of control and I’ll admit it.

bff: flashback friday

22 Jul

This week’s edition of BFF: Best Friends Friday will be a very special blast to the past!! 😉 Catch up on what BFF is in our first two posts here and here.

So we’ve said that we’re both from South Jersey, but how exactly did we meet you ask? In high school! At an 11th Grade sleepover to be exact. We went to a gigantic high school so it was likely not to know everyone in your grade. It was a destined friendship when Jamie said, “it’s flu season!” referring to germs (while whipping out some anti-bacterial) and Courtney couldn’t agree more.

first annual christmas card

We sat together at our 12th grade lunch table and began hanging out more and more through out our senior year. We always have fun and make sure to never take ourselves too seriously, which is how we’ve lasted so long as friends.

she was always a weight lifter

We didn’t always take pictures of our food, but we did always take pictures at the lunch table. That’s a start, right? (Although I wish we had some photos of those giant trays of tots the lunch ladies would leave out for us…)

….we liked to play with our food back then, too.

Our school was lucky enough to have a Senior Trip at none other than Disney World and we had a BLAST. While Jamie hates roller coasters, we still got to enjoy the little things in Disney Life, like Moose Juice, dancing, going to the pool, and eating churros.

future food bloggers of america

just working on our fitness

Before heading to separate colleges, we had a ton of fun going to prom, lots of beach trips, graduation parties, and sleep overs together making it a senior year and summer to never forget!

dc dynamites

Who knew how many years later, miles apart, we’d still be going strong and starting this adventure together! 🙂

foreshadowing cupcake dynamite

(And with better hair…too.)

Random secret Jamie edit: Looking at these pictures and stalking our past made me realize that some of the best times I’ve ever really had were with Courtney! I cannot WAIT to see my best friend in.. LESS than two weeks to take on the city of Virginia Beach. 🙂

half day

21 Jul

Yesterday I was lucky enough to take a mid-week half day (ghfjagjdf.. WOO!) because my mom was coming to visit.

We started off with my apartment for a veggie drop off (more from my dad’s garden.. Including Jersey tomatoes this time!! yesss) and to show her my rooftop.

We then headed to BLT bar & grill for lunch. I picked it because it was pretty close to where my mom wanted to go after and they had a mushroom pappardelle and panini on their restaurant week lunch menu.


Unfortunately, the menu didn’t match up, even though I was disappointed, I didn’t fret because the panini was still on the regular menu and there was a veggie pasta on the restaurant week menu.


I picked the restaurant week menu, because I really wanted the chopped salad with my meal. Just ONE thing to eat? How absurd.. 😉


Tons of hidden veggies!!

My main meal was the veggie pasta. 20110721-011918.jpg

It was nothin too too special, but still good nonetheless!!


mah view minus the motha


mom's view, teehee

Last up, dessert!


Basil Panna Cotta with raspberry

mmm, gotta love having dessert during the middle of the day! After walking around the Ground Zero area to see the progress, we decided to take the ferry to 34th Street. I was excited because of the awesome experience Danny and I had, not to mention the amazing pictures.

Well, there’s our one picture. There was NO top deck on this ferry! What a jip. My mom said she still enjoyed it! We had a long walk back to my mom’s bus, including some views of this guy. The later bus times were sold out, so we were a bit rushed, but still fun to walk around all day and have her here!


My legs were a little tired from all the walking, but my roommate and I did a short run and some how (might have been my influence… ;)) ended it at Red Mango. By the time we got back, my masterpiece was mostly eaten and melty, so I’ll leave you with this piece of advice.