Sugarlaws: Living Sweetly.

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Holiday Beauty

December 19th, 2013 · No Comments

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I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I *love* this time of the year. 

I love picking out presents for our friends and families, feeling the excitement of the new year about to start, and — obviously — getting glammed up for night after night of fabulous holiday parties!

But as we started dressing up more frequently a few weeks ago, I started to realize: my make-up routine was in a rut.  More than a rut — my makeup routine has pretty much been the same, every single day, for like TWO YEARS (basically a streamlined version of the products I wrote about in this post).  Sure, sometimes I experiment with a lipstick or a new blush, but pretty much, I’ve been doing the exact same thing every morning for the last, oh, 700 days or so.

So obviously it was time to brainstorm some new beauty looks!  I like to keep my makeup pretty minimal, so I wanted something that wouldn’t look too dramatic — just pretty, glowing, and easy to recreate time after time.

First, I started with smooth and moisturized skin — which isn’t easy at this time of the year!  I apply Simple Skincare Replenishing Rich Moisturizer at night, and Simple Skincare Protecting Light Moisturizer in the morning before I put on my makeup.  During the summer, I can sometimes get away with moisturizing once a day, but during the winter, twice is an absolute must.  (And sun protection is crucial, even during the winter, so make sure to use at least SPF 15!) Then I used concealer under my eyes and a light layer of Cle de Peau foundation, to create a smooth, even and radiant base. 

Since I usually do a brown smokey eye, I picked a look that was a lot more subtle and natural — the eyeshadow here is white and pale pink (from Mark.’s Tenth Anniversary Compact), and it’s crazy how much brighter and more refreshed the effect is!  I also used a black liner from Urban Decay to give a little bit of definition around my eyes, and then smudged it with white liner (COVERGIRL Flamed Out Shadow Pencil) to tone it down a little. 

For the cheeks, I usually combine blush and bronzer, but since I haven’t been getting spray tans since I found out I was pregnant, I thought I’d play up my pale skin in this look!  I used soft pink blush from Mark. and Estée Lauder Illuminating Powder Gelée to get glowing cheeks with just a hint of pink. 

Last, I blended three lipsticks and glosses to create this neutral, glossy lip!  I started with a base of Estée Lauder Pure Color lipstick in Spiked Toffee, and then blended Aerin lip gloss in Festive.  Then I added just a hint of Estée Lauder Pure Color lip gloss in Frivolous Pink to finish it off!

What do you think?  Now that I’m out of my beauty rut, what other holiday looks should I try out?

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Tags: beauty · This post was created in connection with my appointment as an Ambassador in the Simple® Skincare Program. · Visit www.facebook.com/SimpleSkincare to share your story on sensitive skin. For more tips and deals from Simple, join the Simple VIP community at https://www.simpleskincare.com/simplevip/

holiday de-stressing

December 11th, 2013 · 5 Comments

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Let’s face it: this month is a stressful time.  As much as we all love the holidays, there’s a lot of pressure involved in the five weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.  Traveling, entertaining houseguests, attending and throwing parties, finding the perfect gifts, making plans for New Year’s Eve and so many more things that we all love doing, but that create hectic, crazy weeks and packed weekends!

But at the same time, it’s so important to take a few peaceful moments over the holiday season and take stock of the year.  So I thought I’d share a picture from a place that I (surprisingly) find very comforting: my home office.  This was one of the last rooms to come together in our house, and I knew I’d be spending a lot of time in here, so I wanted to make it as cozy and comforting as I could.  And for me, that meant lots of bright bold colors, a cozy place to curl up with coffee or tea, and, of course, a comfy place for the dogs to hang out when I’m working from home. 

And in case you’re feeling a little frazzled lately, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite ways to de-stress, especially during the craziest month of the year!

Relax

My favorite, by far, is to take a warm bubble bath!  In law school, I used to buy vanilla-scented bubble bath foam from CVS by the GALLON — between the freezing cold New York winters and the stress of cramming for exams, bubble baths were a nightly ritual at this time of the year.  I’d put on some music, get the bath all ready, and just zone out for fifteen or twenty minutes — and wind up feeling so incredibly relaxed and recharged.  (And an amazing tip I wish I’d known then?  Right after a warm bath, your pores are wide open and it’s the perfect time to moisturize!  Now I keep my Simple Skincare Replenishing Rich Moisturizer right next to the tub!)

Recharge

My second favorite de-stressing technique is easy and free — going for a walk!  In New York, whenever I needed to gather my thoughts and reflect, I’d grab a pair of flats and do my two-mile commute on foot.  Again, I’d just kind of zone out and watch the passing buildings and people, or else I’d think hard about whatever was bothering me at the time.  Inevitably, forty minutes later, I’d feel a hundred times better and ready to tackle the problem head on!  In Texas, I’m lucky that my real office (not the home one) is within walking distance of our house, and I almost always walk back and forth.  It takes a little more time, but adds huge benefits for my mind and body!  (Of course, be sure to use SPF before long walks outside — I use Simple Skincare Protecting Light Moisturizer with SPF 15!)

Replenish

And my third (you guys knew this was coming): Cooking!  There’s nothing I love more than taking a Saturday or Sunday afternoon and spending it in the kitchen — whipping up a favorite recipe or trying a technique I haven’t quite mastered!  I love the ritual of cooking — the excitement of creating something delicious and beautiful, and all the chopping and measuring and stirring that goes into it.  It’s hard to be stressed about anything when I’m in the kitchen, making something wonderful. 

What are your favorite ways to de-stress — at this time of the year or anytime?

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Tags: This post was created in connection with my appointment as an Ambassador in the Simple® Skincare Program. · Visit www.facebook.com/SimpleSkincare to share your story on sensitive skin. For more tips and deals from Simple, join the Simple VIP community at https://www.simpleskincare.com/simplevip/

pumpkin gingerbread

November 26th, 2013 · 2 Comments

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When it comes to Thanksgiving recipes, I’ve already covered the basics: stuffing, sweet potatoes, green beans, apple pie, and more.  But let’s face it: unless you’re hosting for the first time, you probably have a recipe or two of your own.

But what about the morning before Thanksgiving?  See, I bet you didn’t put much thought into that, did you?  Usually over the holidays you can count on a house full of visiting family, and they need breakfast!  And you need to get started on the turkey, so you know what’s a great idea?  A simple, easy, totally delicious recipe that they can enjoy — perfect for getting everyone into the holiday spirit a little early! 

For this recipe, I tried to focus on an ingredient that was great for your skin and perfectly for the holidays — and I settled on pumpkin!  Pumpkin has tons of Vitamin A, which jump-starts the skin cell renewal process and helps give you youthful, radiant skin.  It’s also a great source of Vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects and repairs your skin (Vitamin E is also found in Simple Skincare Protecting Light Moisturizer, one of my favorites)!  So you’re doing good for your skin as well as your body — think about that when you go for seconds! 

And for more awesome skin-loving recipes, check out Simple Skincare’s Skin-Loving Food and Nutrition Pinterest board!

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Pumpkin Gingerbread

INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
2 eggs
1/3 cup water
1/2 of a 15-ounce can of pumpkin puree
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly grease a 9″ by 5″ loaf pan. 

Mix together sugar, oil and eggs and beat until smooth.  Add water, pumpkin, ginger, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon and beat together until well blended.

Add the flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder to the mixture and blend until evenly distributed.  Pour into the loaf pan and bake until a knife inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, about 1 hour. 

For the icing, mix together powdered sugar, vanilla and milk.  Start with one tablespoon of milk and increase in small increments until the icing is pourable.  Pour onto the gingerbread, cut and serve.

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Tags: breads · Breakfast and Brunch · food · This post was created in connection with my appointment as an Ambassador in the Simple® Skincare Program. · Visit www.facebook.com/SimpleSkincare to share your story on sensitive skin. For more tips and deals from Simple, join the Simple VIP community at https://www.simpleskincare.com/simplevip/