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Friday, May 30, 2014

225 hot off the press party

Each month (or at least most months), the Baton Rouge staple 225 hosts their magazine launch party at a local restaurant.

In the past, I've only gone when I've had an article in the featured magazine (including one cover story, thank you very much). But, when my option for this particular Thursday became Crossfit or the party at Caliente, I chose Mexican food and margaritas. (If given a choice, always choose Mexican food and margaritas.)

For the record, Caliente's blue margaritas taste dangerously like delicious adult snoballs. I'm pretty sure a full-sized version would quickly lead to regrettable decisions.

We were handed the beautiful concoctions almost immediately after we walked through the door. My kind of party.

Caliente has both an indoor and outdoor dining area. Tonight, the patio was largely where the party was taking place, complete with a make your own taco line!

An exciting concept, but it lost its luster with the first bite. I attribute the disappointment to my mediocre taco-building skills and distaste for soft corn tortillas. (They're just weird, right? Corn tortillas should be fried ...)

We ordered an appetizer sampler and enjoyed the libations, the people-watching and, of course, each other's company.

Apologies for the shoddy photos. All I had on me was my out-of-date iPhone.

What's that in the background? Why, it's a living statue!

Yes, they had two: Elvis and a painter. To be honest, I don't understand the draw of these ... or why I'm drawn to them. They're just fascinating. I don't think I even saw him blink.

Someone's enjoying her snoball margarita!

Red lips for the Red Stick.

Our appetizer plate came, featuring southwest egg rolls, jalapeno poppers, chicken quesadilla and chicken nachos.

For me, the true measure of a Mexican restaurant is in their quesadillas, and Caliente, my friends, is a top contender. (Coyote Blues being the clear winner. Sorry, guys.)

Their jalapeno poppers were easily the best I've ever had. However, the nachos and egg rolls left something to be desired.

I basically checked her out all night, because that Lilly Pulitzer print is stunning. (No longer available, but I'm in love with this simple shift dress from the brand.) Michael Kors bag

I got the top from Carolina Moon, the crossbody from Steve Madden (a similar one here), and the dress from Modcloth. It's out of stock now, but here are a few (1, 2, 3) similar dresses.

(Drawbacks of having a stranger take your photo: they never get the shoes. Y'all. This is the most important part. I wish I had been wearing these beauties.)

Overall, it was a lovely evening. I think the biggest drawback was that the atmosphere didn't lend itself to mingling as much as some of their other party venues.

So, we ended up getting fro-yo and watching Clueless.

We didn't really wanna mingle, anyway.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

currently coveting: skin care

Do you ever wish you could forgo paying bills just to get that really light moisturizer, or that awesome body scrub?

Yeah. Me, too.

These are the top five skin care products I'm craving this week:

1. Clairsonic Mia Skin Cleansing System

Duh. Who doesn't want this? Can't you just imagine all of the dirt in your pores screaming and running when it sees the beautiful spinning brush of doom headed it's way?

It removes 30x the age-expediting nastiness that hand-washing does. I just imagine feeling so ... clean. Like after a trip to the dentist ... but for your face.

Plus it comes in teal, my faves.

2. Body Shop Ximenia & Salt Scrub

I got my first Brazilian a few weeks ago (TMI? ... that's a story in itself ... or, a whole 'nother ball of wax ... haha). My beautiful, wonderful, kind esthetician told me I needed to exfoliate, a scrub being one of the options. I'm pretty sure that's an acceptable excuse to get this. She's basically a doctor.

What's better: it's made from Fair Trade products, meaning The Body Shop sources it ethically, paying the women who produce the ingredients a fair wage, and even pays them a premium to invest in community projects.

3. Sephora Favorites Summer Crushes Collection
Basically, this is all you need for summer. The totes adorbs (blegh. I hate abbrevs) travel bag carries 11 essential summer products for your face, hair, body, lips and feels, all from some of Sephora's best-selling brands.

Some of the stuff in there is so beautifully, fancifully girly, I don't even know what it is. Like the divine oil. But I know I need it.

It also has tanning mousse and a mitt, surf spray, vanilla coconut fragrance, a restoring mask, SPF lip balm, sun screen, special shaving stuff, and something from DERMAdoctor called "Shrinking Beauty." I don't know what that is, either. But, I love DERMAdoctor and am a huge fan of anything named "shrinking."

4. The Body Shop Aloe Calming Kit
As cool as I pretend to be, I can be a pretty anxious person. So, one of my favorite things to do after a rough day at work or a trip to Wal-Mart (let's be honest: that'll make anyone a basket-case), one of my favorite things to do is relax with a soothing lavendar bath or aloe face mask.

Enter the calming kit, which includes face wash, day cream (to prevent you from letting Wal-Mart get to you), night cream, and a mask (there it is). And, as mentioned above, The Body Shop has fair trade policies with the aloe vera farmers in Guatemala. TBS is able to source completely organic, preservative-free aloe vera gel for its products, so you can completely relax, knowing you're helping the environment and Guatemalan farmers ... and getting in some good aloe time along the way.

5. CLINIQUE Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+
There's just something about CLINIQUE that makes me feel more feminine ... more ... like a woman. Like I'm about to have a soul-bonding moment with Aretha. (OK, so, maybe I already did that.)

I had a sample of this lotion and I absolutely loved it. It feels light, without being too watery, and has a pleasant, but not overwhelming scent. I never want my face to smell overwhelming. It makes me think of people who get the meat sweats ... Lord, don't ever let me get meat sweats.

I digress.

I think I may personally need their moisturizing gel, though, as my skin tends to be a bit oilier, especially during the Louisiana summer. So, dry combination to very dry skin, this one's for you. We oily girls get the gel (that almost sounds counter-intuitive, huh?).

Sunday, May 25, 2014

memorial day weekend

Each Memorial Day weekend, Baton Rouge plays host to the Bayou Country Super Fest (which I affectionately refer to as the Bayou Country Freak Fest). Since my love for country music extends only as far as Patsy Cline and Taylor Swift, my purple cowgirl boots have stayed in the closet this weekend.

Instead, I began celebrating with one of the most grueling and tiresome workouts I've ever done. Say what you want about the Crossfit kool-aid. Believe me, I know. Crossfit is crazy to the outsider. (Heck, it's crazy to me, and I'm an insider.) But, those crazies do this weekend properly.

You see, there are "hero workouts." Yes, the name is scary. And, yes, these workouts are incredibly difficult. But, each workout is named for a United States hero who has given his or her life in service to our country.

I did Murph. (Granted a beginner's version ... which is still pretty damn difficult.) This workout is "in memory of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, 29, of Patchogue, NY, who was killed in Afghanistan June 28th, 2005. This workout was one of Mike's favorites and he'd named it 'Body Armor.' ...  it will be referred to as 'Murph' in honor of the focused warrior and great American who wanted nothing more in life than to serve this great country and the beautiful people who make it what it is."
(Post-workout treat: Naked's coconut water ... a beautiful thing.)

 The rest of the weekend has been a beautiful, restful time of swimming, grooving to Cat Stevens (one of the first vinyls I ever bought ... maybe not the best choice for Memorial Day ...), binge-watching Friends and The Next Generation with the boy, and sipping on Perfectly Peachy Bellinis.

My bikini is, sadly, no longer available. But, Modcloth and ASOS have similar ones!

How are you celebrating Memorial Day?

Monday, May 19, 2014

melancholy is incompatible with bicycling

Every Sunday, the boyfriend and I take to the LSU Lakes for a stress-releasing, adrenaline-pumping, endorphin-producing, proud-smile-creating four mile run. (So, maybe we don't run the whole way ... and maybe I make him walk about half ... That doesn't matter. As far as you're concerned, I'm a running machine, right?)

Sadly, the silly boy broke his foot jumping rope. Yes, the playground activity that 5-year-old girls have mastered.

In his defense, he was doing double-unders, a difficult skill I have yet to acquire.

So, we biked instead!

This is BlueBelle. (And me. BlueBelle is the bike ... I hope you gathered that.) She is one of my favorite things. She goes in the Sound of Music song that was somehow turned into a Christmas song.

I like her a lot more than raindrops on roses.

If you've never been to Baton Rouge, the LSU campus or the LSU Lakes, bless your heart. You don't know what you're missing.

LSU's "stately oaks" are so beautiful and historical, they've made it into the university's alma mater and have helped LSU gain the titles of "Tree Campus USA" and one of the most beautiful college campuses. (I can't remember the official name for the latter.)

You will soon learn that I'm a bit of a ham. Lucky me, the boyfriend doesn't mind being my photographer. Especially because he gets to catch me talking.

Which happens a lot.

Ah well. He gets good ones, too.

Flower crowns also make my favorite things list. Move over, warm woolen mittens.

"Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling."
- James E. Starrs

Do you have a favorite place to bike?
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