Brussels Sprouts Dip

Time for a food post! Truth be told, I haven't been doing much cooking lately... I've been a bit busier than normal with the handful of events I've attended recently, as well as with my trip to New York. So, I figured now is as good a time as any to share this delicious dip I made a little while back. It was to die for and I'll probably make it again tomorrow because the memory of it (plus Andrew's photos) is already making my mouth water.

I originally found the recipe for this dip online which, of course, I can't locate now... Luckily, I revamped it as I went along and my scribblings have been hanging on our fridge ever since!

Before you even introduce any of the creamy/cheesy ingredients into the mix, the Brussels sprouts are totally worth eating. Often times we'll eat them just like that, with shallots and garlic alone, as a side.

16 oz Brussels sprouts, quartered
2 shallots, thinly chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 oz sour cream
6 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup shredded Gruyère
1 cup shredded mozzarella
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper

1. Over medium heat, cook shallots and garlic in a cast iron skillet for 1-2 minutes.
2. Add Brussels sprouts, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and cook till bright green - up to 7 minutes if you like your greens a lightly charred (like me).
3. Combine sour cream and cheeses in a mixing bowl, add additional salt and pepper to taste, and stir. Add Brussels sprouts and shallots to the bowl and mix.
4. Scoop dip back into the skillet and bake at 375° for 15 minutes or until browned on top - you can also stick it in your broiler for an additional minute or two.
5. Serve with tortilla chips!

It was so deliciously creamy and you know I'm all about creamy-cheesy goodness. I promise we eat more veggies than just Brussels sprouts. We just love them so much!


ModCloth's Elegance for All Recap

It's hard to believe it has already been a week since ModCloth held their Elegance for All Pop-Up Shop in NYC! Last Friday's event was a tremendous success to say the least. The day began with a great presentation by ModCloth's team.

The blogger/press portion of the day ended with a conversation. It was great to have the opportunity to connect with the brand and really discuss what inspires us, what we're looking for, what issues we have, and so on... Six o'clock came before we knew it and it was time for the pop-up shop to open. The line to get in wrapped around the building and the non-stop buzz once inside were clear indicators of just how excited the fat community can get when included!

It was fantastic to finally have a hands-on experience with all of the new items ModCloth will be carrying. Part of the reason I'm so hesitant with online shopping is simply because fit is always an issue, though ModCloth knows what they're doing and have completely revamped basically everything in their plus size range. To read more about the whole thing, be sure to read about it on ModCloth's blog!

ModCloth was also kind enough to provide an outfit for the event. I wore their Frills That Thrill Dress, Pretty Possibilities Wedges and Know Every Triangle Necklace (which is sadly out of stock at the moment), my own Kate Spade earrings, Leslie Danzis bracelet and R+J clutch.

ETA: Erin of ZeroStyleBlog.com took this photo where I actually smiled!


The Makeup Show Chicago

Last Sunday and Monday I had the pleasure of attending The Makeup Show Chicago. If you don't know what that is, it's an exclusive pro-only makeup show and expo that offers seminars by industry professionals, keynotes by amazing industry leaders and lots of amazing savings by top makeup and skincare vendors.

Thanks to Patrice of Afrobella (you should know who she is, duh!), I was able to get in. She delivered a keynote along with Luvvie from Awesomely Luvvie and Nils from Beautylish about social media in beauty, and was able to extend the invitation to her readers. To say I had an amazing time is an understatement. I learned so much in such a short period of time and felt so lucky to be in attendance.

I was able to meet Reggie Wells, Eve Pearl, Maurice Stein, James Vincent, and Merrell Hollis! Amidst all of my excitement, I managed to only take photos of people and not with people, but that's ok. You guys believe me, right?

Merrell Hollis was a joy to be around. He was so fun and informative, and his keynote was fantastic. The room had over 20 people waiting half an hour before it even started. The model transformed before our eyes while he explained his process and shared tidbits from the Wendy Williams show.

I quietly snuck into the tail end of Phuong Tran of NARS' seminar where she created a beautiful smokey eye look. She totally sold me on The Multiple.

MAC's Victor Cembellin led an awesome demonstration on taking an artistic approach to makeup application. His model started out with a very Victorian and glittery blank slate. She then became a sad harlequin, and next, donned a galaxy inspired face using layers (and layers) of MAC's acrylic makeup paint and tons of glitter.

Look at how mesmerized we all were! The final look was a patchwork piece I had to skip out on early because I had to run to Eve Pearl's keynote on building a brand.

I did way more than my fair share of shopping, of course. Now, I'm not normally one for hauls because I don't want to be all ~braggy~ but I absolutely have to share all of my new goodies.

I picked up a few brushes from Bdellium Tools, a palette from NARS, gorgeous glitter from Eye Kandy Cosmetics, a combo brow and eye kit from Anastasia Beverly Hills, the ever famous Embryolisse Hydra-Masque and Lait-Crème Concentrè, a concealer palette and travel size trio of brush cleaner and setting sprays from Cinema Secrets (plus free makeup sponges because the powder puffs sold out), Lip Tars from OCC, a bunch of blush and lip gloss from Auraline Beauty, Strobe Liquid from MAC, and a metal mixing palette... I KNOW.

Let me know if you'd like me to review anything. I will gladly blog about it for you!


theBalm's BalmJovi & Meet Matt(e) Nude Palette Review and Swatches

Imagine my surprise when theBalm reached out to me after posting about the fake Nude 'tude palette I purchased on eBay. Turns out Marissa, the CEO herself, read my post. In an effort to track down the jerks behind the counterfeit products out there, I sent them my fake and, in exchange, they sent me two of my most highly coveted palettes. The internet is so cool, you guys!

Almost as cool as these palettes!

As with most new makeup I get, I freak out and convince myself it's way too precious to touch. It took me weeks to finally dip into these bad boys because I am ridiculous.

BalmJovi Rockstar Palette ($39.50) is jam-packed with twelve eyeshadows which are divided into different music genres (heavy metal, classical, and alternative rock), a highlighter, a blush, two lip/cheek colors, and enough puns to last you a lifetime.

Overall the eyeshadows are awesome, pigmented and mostly buttery soft. I did find Metal-ica (first column, first row) and Lead Zeppelin (first column, third row) to be a bit powdery though they swatched beautifully. Moderato (second column, third row) and The Stroke (third column, second row) were both a little dry as well.

Solid Gold luminzer is a gorgeous golden color which will totally hold me over until I get my hands on the Mary Lou-Manizer illuminator, and Don’t You Want Me is the perfect pinky-coral blush (theBalm also sells this individually as Frat Boy).

The lip colors double as cheek color and sheer out nicely. Milly is a muted pink-rose and Vanilly is bright cherry red, both with a nice shiny finish.

Being that this is my only face palette, I have nothing to compare it to really, but that doesn't mean I don't love it! It's nice and compact, has a great variety of colors and textures to paint your face with, and the packaging is absolutely adorable.

Meet Matt(e) Nude ($42) offers nine creamy matte eyeshadows which are named after nine dudes that share the first name Matt, and come in cool and warm tones.

The eyeshadows in this palette are all really amazing. They're super buttery and quite pigmented, though I found Matt Malloy (top right) to be a little on the chalky side. I really enjoy this palette and see myself using it a lot in the future. The pans are HUGE and pack in a lot of product, so they will really last.

I promise the color payoff is great with these products, though some match my skin so closely it's difficult to see the swatches. I suggest, as with all photos on this blog, that you click-through to enlarge.

If you're impatient, you can snag these palettes at flagship Walgreens locations or on theBalm.com. Alternatively, you can sign up for HauteLook and wait till they appear again (you just missed the last theBalm event). Meet Matt(e) Nude and Nude 'tude are usually 50% OFF when offered on HauteLook!

The Walgreens LOOK Boutique minutes from my apartment is an enabler...

I would love to hear what you think of you these palettes if you already have them in your makeup collection. Even if you don't, let me know what you think and if you're planning to pick them up! I'll be posting looks with these soon so be sure to keep an eye out!

ETA: Get the Look with Meet Matt(e) Nude

UPDATE: theBalm is back on HauteLook today (6/20/14) through Monday (6/23/14) 8AM Pacific! Get both of these palettes for 50% off!