Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Best Friend in the Kitchen!

Maybe everyone already has this product, but I just discovered it, and now can't live without it!! This was given to me for my birthday by Megan (who babysits for me and knows my kitchen well!). She told me it was her favorite kitchen gadget and didn't know how anyone could get along without it. I AGREE!!!
The Williams Sonoma Vegetable Chopper. It comes with two different trays that easily pop in and out and give you the option of slicing, or dicing in different sizes. Once you slice or dice your food, it is trapped in a plastic compartment that also acts as a measuring cup!! Close the device, turn it parallel, and there are markings letting you know how much food you collected. How cool is that?! (They think of everything!) Second in importance to ease of use is cleanup. It is so easy to clean! A little comb (see above) attaches to the product and helps you clean out any food that water won't. Then throw it in the dishwasher.
We had taco salad for dinner the other night and decided to use it on our tomatoes. Perfectly diced, gorgeous tomatoes!!!! And so fast and easy! Can't wait to use it on onions! I DO NOT like dicing onions!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Favorite Footwear

Here is my list of favorite footwear (in no particular order):

1. UGGS: It's been said that they are the ugliest shoes on the planet but they are by far the most comfortable. Here is my story. Back in early 2003, they were practically unheard of. I had seen them in the Neiman Marcus catalog and thought nothing of them until I saw a pair returned to the store (we weren't even carrying them in the store at this point). I tried them on and thought they were comfortable but they were too ugly for me :o). Several months later, Neimans was liquidating their inventory of Uggs and I found a pair at the Last Call store for $17.00 after my discount. (They look like the ones next to the baby pink UGGS below). So, I bought them and am a HUGE fan of UGGS. Shortly thereafter, Oprah listed them as one of her Favorite Things and there was a HUGE run on UGGS and they couldn't be found anywhere except on Ebay for $500+. I don 't care how ugly or out of fashion they are, I will always have a pair. Five years later, my UGGS are pretty trashed so I think it's time for a new pair. I also bought a pink pair for Brooke when I worked at Neimans. Isn't she cute!!

2. PINK flip flops: The patterns are always fun and trendy and I LOVE the Pink line.

3. Manolo Blahniks: These are a Splurge! Splurge!! Splurge!!! They start at $550 and go into the thousands. When I worked at Neimans, a lot of the associates wore them and said they were the most comfortable shoes ever. I thought that was hard to believe until I owned a pair myself (pictured below left). I got a STEAL on these. They were $550. and after all my discounts, I paid around $100. I am sure they will be my last pair :-( I found all the rumors to be true. They are the most comfortable shoes. It's really hard to explain unless you try a pair. Manolo Blahnik is an actual person and his shoes are handmade. When he was younger, he used to make shoes out of tin foil for his pets. What a great start!

4. Fit Flops: Several months ago, my friend Melanie called me and said we had to buy these calf building shoes. I had seen the calf building sneakers that are several hundred dollars. I bought a pair of Fit Flops ($50) in silver and wear them all the time. I do think they work. They make my legs feel like they have been messaged. It's similar to the feeling my legs feel after swimming laps. I wear them around the house and out. VERY comfortable summer shoes. They also come in a lot of fun colors. There were one of Oprah's summer picks. (they run big. I am a true size 7 and I bought these in a 6 and they fit perfectly)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

What's in Laura's Beauty Box

Here is what I would never be without. I consider myself an expert in the make up testing department. When I worked at Neiman Marcus, I was bombarded with makeup samples and feel like I've tried it all (Chanel, Laura Mercier, Trish McEvoy, Bobbi Brown, Dior,NARS, etc. . . ). Here is what I absolutely would not be without!

Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Eyeliner: hands down the best eyeliner out there. It's the only eyeliner I have ever tried that stays on all day long. When I go to wash my makeup off at night, it still looks like I just applied it. I am a fan of basic black eyeliner but I have this one in Black Mauve (pictured above). It's black with a hint of purplish-brown which is great for fall since purple is the "it" color.
NARS Bronzer: great way to add a little bit of color. I wear it in Laguna
NARS Sabrina Lip Balm: wonderful lip conditioner that contains vitamin E and SPF 20. I also love the color. It looks great with the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in the color Sex Machine.

MAC Lip Liner: love their colors. I've always worn Spice and Whirl
MAC Eye Shadows: they have a huge selection. I have 40+ of their eye shadows but I wear these three on a daily basis: Pen'N Pink, Sushi Flower, and Blackberry
MAC Shadow Paint: best beauty secret ever. My eye shadows used to "cake" in my crease. I tried several primers to fix this problem. (NARS primer is a great one, by the way) but nothing totally solved the problem until I discovered this little tube of magic paint. I put it on before I put on eye shadow and it doesn't crease. I use it in "Untitled."
MAC Brushes: I am a big fan of brushes and MAC makes a lot of good ones. Their brush cleaner is good too.

Kiehls Supremely Gentle Eye Make-Up Remover: Before I left Neimans, I stocked up on this since I got 1/2 off. It completely removes all eye make up and it amazes me how it completely takes off all the mascara and leaves you with soft lashes. This is the only product I've found that totally removes mascara.
CHANEL Lip Gloss: new found favorite. I love it in Bonbon (which is also Jessica Simpson's fav) and I wear it with MAC Whirl lip liner. I love the applicator brush.
Dior Show Mascara: hands down the BEST mascara out there. The wand is out of this world. I've tried almost every brand of mascara and this one is the best. My second favorite is Clinique High Impact.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Peanut Butter

Along the lines of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, please meet my favorite peanut butter. Better'n Peanut Butter. The proof is in the numbers. Let me tell you about the health benefits of eating Better'n Peanut versus Skippy (my old favorite).

In 2 TBS

FAT: BNPB 2 grams, Skippy 16 grams!
SAT FAT: BNPB 0 grams, Skippy 3 grams
SODIUM: BNPB 95 MG, Skippy 150 mg
CALORIES: BNPB 100, Skippy 190

No guilt peanut butter. And I actually love the taste of it. Now, for you peanut butter lovers, don't expect a "total" peanut butter substitution as far as taste. It tastes different than peanut butter and is actually sweeter. I've eaten it for almost two years now and honestly prefer it to real peanut butter. And hey, who needs the extra yuckiness above? Give it a try!