Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Beauty Products I can't live without

I'm a product junkie. You put it in some glossy mag, or post it on one of my favorite blogs and I just have to try it. Although, typically I fall out of lust rather quickly with whatever said item is. But there are my tried and true items, the ones I just always go back to. These are my lucky 7 all time favs.

1. Nars Kabuki Brush - This one is no longer in production. I've had mine for more years than I'd like to admit but it's the absolute best for contouring blush or bronzer. They make a very similar one that you can buy here

2. Rosebud Salve - THE BEST lip balm. I keep one in my bag daily, there is also another in my nightstand drawer. Can't live without it.

3. Skin Milk Body Wash - Light and refreshingly scented. This body wash is so gentle on my sensitive skin. It's really great for anyone with a skin condition such as eczema.

4. Bio Silk Silk Therapy - I've been using this stuff for years. If I ever forget to apply, or run out, I notice a big difference in the texture of my locks.

5. L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara - This mascara has been in my arsenal for a good 8 or 9 years now. I may have originally purchased it at the time because Sephora isn't exactly on the average college girls budget. But even as my budget grew, and I've tried virtually every hot item mascara out there,  no matter what, within a week I'm back to this one. It's just THAT good.

6. Cococare Coconut Oil - This one I've recently discovered and am so addicted. I put it on before bed and I wake up so smooth. Its great for dry winter skin.

7. Pro Tools Curling wand - There are so many curling wands out there, but I purchased this one as beginner level but after years of using it (I even used it to style my hair for my wedding) I have no intention of upgrading. It's leaves me with the most perfect bouncy curls that last for at least 2 days. And you really can't beat the price!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Snow Boot

 I've been long obsessed with these winter/snow boots. Years later I've finally gotten myself a pair to get me through the winter here in NYC. Regardless of snow, these boots are a must for the colder months. I went with shearling lined Bean Boots. I love how classic they are. Plus the customer service at LL Bean is just unbeatable. I had originally purchased a size down from my regular size as the web site suggests, and at first I thought they fit perfect but after wearing them for a whole day I felt I could go even smaller. When I called to ask if it was possible to exchange after I had worn them once, they had absolutely no problem with that at all. Pretty awesome!

 {my classic Bean Boots}

1. Sperry for J.Crew
2. LL Bean Waxed Canvas Hunting Boots
3. LL Bean Plaid Wool Bean Boots
4. LL Bean Shearling Lined Bean Boots
5. Marc Jacobs For Native Jimmy Boots
6. Sorel Caribou Boots

Monday, January 28, 2013

My weekend looked like...

{started with mimosas at home}

 {winter essentials}

{checking out the menu a Kickshaw}


{some of THE BEST french toast I've had}


{still love seeing his wedding band}

{finishing up our afternoon at Sweet Afton}

{Oatmeal Martini, one among many interesting cocktail blends at Sweet Afton}

My sister came for a visit this weekend. We brunched and lunched locally in Astoria on Saturday. It was still bitter cold but we made the best of it.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Happy Friday!


I pretty much plan on dressing like these little darlings all weekend. It's been frigid these past few days in NY. Hope everyone stays warm!! Happy weekend!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Closet re-vamp

{My closet before was a complete disaster!}

{This Bookshelf really helped maximize the space.}

{I placed my handbags in my regular rotation front and center for easy access. The shelf dividers really help to keep them nice and neat. On the second shelf I showcased a little eye candy with the shoes I dubbed my "Cinderella Shoes" because my Husband Proposed with them. I also de-cluttered my jewelry and subbed my old jewelry boxes for these stack-able lucite ones. Now I can see all my jewels in one place. }
{I already had these shoe racks, all I did was re position them to the far left corner. Leaving lots of extra floor space.}

{The boot stands I used really saved the floor space of the closet tremendously.}

{This shoe cubby holds all my ballet flats nicely.}

{All my jeans are stacked somewhat neatly on the shelf.}

By NY Standards I have a pretty big closet. By girl standards is any closet really big enough? Probably not. But I realized I wasn't utilizing the space I had to it's fullest potential. A few little updates really helped me whip this closet into shape. Here are some items I purchased to complete the re-vamp.

Shelf Dividers
Shoe organizer
Boot Stands
Jewelry Trays

Monday, January 21, 2013

Monday Musings....

 Flat Iron NYC.

 Broadway stop in Astoria during the nor'easter after Sandy this year.

 Just your average commute to work on the subway.

 How some of us grocery shop in the city.
{all photos by me via my instagram}

             This Saturday the Hubs and I got up super early (and by super early I mean the still dark out kind of early). We headed off to Jersey to attend a memorial service with his family. While the circumstances weren't the best, it was still great to see his family, I LOVE his family. Something funny happened during the after service brunch. A distant relative, said to John "you live in New York City? Ugh I hate NY" I cant lie, I might have been just a teeny bit offended. I could not be more in love with NY if I tried! So during the ride home that night we rode the whole way with the music off and just chatted about life and our future here in NY.  No Barking dog, no phone calls, no texts, no pinterest and instagram, just him and I, and our voices.  I loved every second of it. We got to talking about where we would like to "settle" down. I really hate the term "settle down" makes it seem like your giving up one thing for another, and I really hate to think of it that way. But the truth is, that's kind of exactly what you are doing right?  Giving up something for another.
          We've been talking about this for some time now, as we both feel for us the best investment we can make right now is in property. But the one question that seems to always leave us going back and forth is, where? In the beginning we were pretty set on the idea that we would buy a house. One with 3 bedrooms, a generous yard, a kitchen and dining room. You know the kind, white picket fence, all that fun stuff. Living in the city (Manhattan, Brooklyn, and now Astoria) has left me longing for more space. For a big closet, for a room I can call an office/craft/blogging room. It has had me longing for a space to decorate, and renovate. A place to have weekend visitors, and parties, and most importantly children. But as I sit here and type out all these pretty little dreams about a house, and all that comes along with that, there is also the other part of me that cant imagine the idea of leaving this city. This gorgeous, incredibly unique city. Filled with all the things my husband and I love so much. We just cant imagine not being able to hop on the subway and head downtown to visit some of our favorite restaurants and parks (Who needs a backyard when your surrounded by amazing city parks!) We also cant imagine not being able to share all these things we love with our future children on a regular basis.
           The thought of having to drive everywhere gives me more anxiety than I will ever admit. We are walkers. Even if grocery shopping means I need to bring my old lady cart (see photo above and don't laugh you have no idea how easy shopping is with that cart!) We did however recently buy a car for weekend visits to our families, and quick weekend trips, and it has enhanced our lives tremendously, but driving to do everyday things, I just cant see myself doing. It makes me so happy to know I'm not on my own. My husband feels exactly the same. I'm not so sure we wont change our minds again, but I am sure that we need to do what's perfect for us. No matter what anyone else thinks or says. Small spaces can be the happiest spaces. And even happier when your in the greatest city in the world! Leonardo Da Vinci said "Small rooms or dwellings discipline the mind, large ones weaken it"? I like that....

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

To Read...

I love love love to read. And I'll happily read many different genres, because to me getting sucked into a truly great book, I think, is one of the minds greatest treats! Lately though, I haven't really come across any books that peak my interest. With some thought and Internet searching I put together a little reading list for myself that I think should get me through the winter nicely. The last book I read was Devil in the White City (if your a history buff, you will LOVE this book), It was a book that was certainly unlike any book I'd normally just pick out but, was highly recommended to me by my boss. So I gave it a whirl and was hooked! This list above includes some that are out of my comfort zone, but I'm hoping to be pleasantly surprised!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Weekend Dreams

Photo Taken at the Dream Hotel. 
Photo/Typography: Monique Bellavia

Here's to this weekend and all weekends being wonderfully dreamy. Happy Friday!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Marble Almond Coconut Bark

My instagram buddie Katie posted her recipe for peppermint bark and it instantly inspired me to create a version using three of my favorite things; chocolate, almonds, and coconut. I will warn you, this little treat is pretty sweet, but absolutely indulgent.

Recipe adapted from Katie's instagram pic

12oz semi sweet chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli)
1lb white chocolate chips
2 tsp coconut extract (I used pure extract but it's tough to find so imitation will work too)
1 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup coconut chips (I purchased these at Trader Joes, but regular plain old toasted coconut will work too)

Line a 9x13 pan with foil.
In a double boiler melt all semi sweet chocolate but leave 3/4cup on the side. When it's smooth remove from heat add the 3/4cup of chips and sir till melted. Add chopped almonds mix well, then add 1 tsp coconut extract.
Spread into the pan nice and evenly. Let the chocolate sit out at room temperature until it's almost hardened. (I waited about 15 min) Repeat with white chocolate, adding 1 tsp extract. Keep mixing then spread on top of semi-sweet chocolate with a spatula. The white chocolate wont spread over too nicely but that's ok, that will create the marble effect. Keep spreading/mixing till it's smooth enough on top. Sprinkle coconut chips on top, and lightly press into the chocolate mixture. Let it sit till it's fully hardened. (I let mine sit over night). Enjoy!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Weekend Bits

Here's a quick letter I wrote this weekend:

Dear Myglamourogy,
   We had a really great run, and as much I hate to part it seems I've outgrown you. I hope you can understand my change of heart. For now I'll be over at please feel free to visit, as I'll miss you dearly.

All my love,
Monique Bellavia (née Lopez)

On to the weekend...

 My new winter shades came in the mail. So very excited about these Warby Parker Mable sunnies! You can buy them here

 I Scored this fantastic bag at Zara's huge sale! So obsessed with it!


And I did spend quite a bit of time with this little guy. I can never get enough of him!

Hope your weekend was great!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Lazy weekend...


We don't have much going on this weekend and I am thakful for that. It seems lately we are booked every weekend. We'll be hanging around locally and might even make some time for a movie. Sounds like the perfect lazy weekend! Happy Friday!!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Perfectly Matched

I've been wanting to post about this little DIY I did for our wedding favors for some time now, but haven't gotten around to it till now. I don't have any real step by step photos, so these will have to do.
       My Husband and I met on Quite common these days, I know, but I wanted our wedding to have just a tiny showcase of our beginning courtship, so I thought; matches! Right?!? But it couldn't be just any plain old matchbook, it needed to be a special keepsake. So I knew it was going to be a glass bottle and somehow I wanted to be able to strike the match ON the bottle.
      I originally came across a DIY for glass etching involving this etching paste. Easy peasy right? Not so much. Turns out not ALL glass can be etched using the paste. I forgot exactly why (I did the research back in July), but the fact is, the adorable little bottles I had purchased were not getting etched no matter how hard I tried. Still intent on etching something on the bottom of my bottles I called a few glass companies to see how much they'd charge per glass bottle to be etched. I was quoted $10 a bottle??? Yea right! But when the man explained to me how they needed to be sand blasted, well now I knew I had a DIY on my hands. A little more research and it led me to this at home sand blasting kit and voila. I did the steps as followed over the course of a few weeks, little by little and I was able to sand blast 200 bottles and fill with matches for our wedding favors. This project isn't too hard. If you have a lot of bottles (like my 200) it can be quite taxing, but all in all, it was pretty simple.

  1. Find a bottle you want to work with. I purchased 200 of these and I really liked the size. Perfect to keep on a coffee table next to candles.
  2. Purchase a pre-made stencil or make one yourself by free hand cutting sticky vinyl or using the Shiloutte Cameo      cutter to cut into sticky vinyl (I used the cameo method because I needed 200 hearts).
  3. Stick your stencil to the bottle. I chose to stick mine on the bottom because I was also going to add a little tag, but the side of the bottle could be cute too!
  4. Tape up all (or most) of the exposed bottle with painters tape. I taped mine about half way because I knew my hand would cover up the rest of the bottle while sand blasting. My wonderful husband helped me tape up the 200 bottles. It was a LOT of work for that many.
  5. Put together your little sand blast kit. I purchased mine here. You really have to use this little "inflate a booth" or the sand will fly everywhere. During my research I read some people just use a cardboard box with holes cut in the sides for your arms to reach in.

BEFORE YOU DO THE NEXT STEP MAKE SURE YOU HAVE LONG SLEEVES ON AND GLOVES. Unless of course you enjoy tiny particles of sand pelting your skin.

      6.   Blast your glass bottle on the stenciled part for about 60 seconds.
      7.   Peel the tape and stencil off the bottle, rinse off with warm water. A match should strike on your etched design quite easily (you have to use the strike anywhere version of the matches, the other ones wont work. These are the ones I used).

I made a little label saying "John and Monique, a perfect match" with our wedding date and directions for how to use the little bottle. This with a scented candle would make a really cute Valentines gift!