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Macaron Cafe Review

Bonjour bébés!

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YES. I took this pic myself!!

Today I bring you a post all about one of my most favorite confections – the macaron!

Macarons are my favorite for a multitude of reasons:

  1. They are French
  2. They are undeniably sweet
  3. They come in pastel colors
  4. Blair Waldof eats them

So when the kind folks at Macaron Cafe offered to send me a box, I felt I would be doing human-kind (aka my blog readers) a disservice by NOT accepting their generous offer. And so I did. And man, am I glad!

The macarons were sent 2-day delivery, so they arrived very fresh and aromatic. The packaging is beyond adorable and is also very sleek.

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I was sent the Small Luxury Gift Box which includes 6 macarons for $18. When you order on the website you can choose from about 24 flavors. I do not know the exact flavors I was sent, but I enjoyed each one immensely.

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They were the kind of macarons my Parisian dreams are made of. A crisp exterior, pillowy soft on the inside and filled with a sweet, delectable cream. Ohhhh I could srsly eat these puppies morning noon and night you guys.

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Also, there is something about a macaron that is just SO lady-like and delicate. I feel like these would make the perfect gift for a girly-girl, a Gossip Girl fan or anyone you want to feel special. Chocolates are like soooooooo been-there-done-that but macarons??! Macarons my friends, are the new chocolate.

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These make me want to light my candles, throw on “French Kiss” and wear a beret while taking a bubble bath and sipping champagne.

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I would recommend Macaron Cafe to absolutely anyone. Be it your GF, wife, husband, gunkle or Canadian pen pal (yes, they ship to Canada!).

Home

I used to have this pillow case as a kid that had a kindof patchwork pattern and it was super worn and faded. On one of the squares it said, “Little boats must stay near shore”. I remember taking that pillow case with me to acting camp in the 6th grade and sobbbbbing into it with rampant homesickness. I clutched that pillow when I got in trouble for one thing, or another – likely throwing my sister’s pog collection across the room… And now, 20 + years later – I do not have the pillow. Hahahhhah I bet you thought I’d say I’ve kept it all these years. But no, I grew up and said goodbye to the pillow, along with my Cabbage Patch doll Kara which I am now sick about.

But the fact remains true, I have always liked and sort-of needed to be near my home. My family, my house, that feeling I get when I am at home, is like none other. I am by no means a “little boat”, but staying near shore has always rang true for me. And last weekend, I  had the best time with all the feels.

This weekend in particular was especially amazing because my sister Amy came home too, which also means she brought her and her fiance’s dog Ellie!

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I CANNOT tell you how obsessed I am with this pup. She be wild and she be crazy but she is also the sweetest little thing everrrr and I want to dog-nap her.

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On Saturday morning I woke up in my usual at-home outfit. I ALWAYS forget to bring pajamas home so I end up in a pair of Nan’s pj pants and whatever random shirt I pilfer from the dresser in my room. Case in point:

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But like, this wallpaper is THE BEST no?

Then my dad and I went to Starbucks and he drove me by their new house!

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Then I sat around and had coffee with the parentals and then got myself ready for the day.

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We went to Wal-Mart to procure my our father’s day gift for Pops and then we went to David’s Bridal and Target.

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Pink Car at Wal-Mart

It was determined that my recently purchased gray dress at The Rack was the wrong undertone so I had to suck it up and buy one of the grossly overpriced dresses that I will only wear once. But you know what – I am pumped for my sister’s wedding so really, I could care less!

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After getting the dress, Amy and I snuck off to Kennewick’s finest establishment, aptly named The Office.

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We met the whole motley crew for dinner at Ice Harbor Brewery where I consumed a giant lamb gyro and fries like nobody’s biz-NASS. Then Amy, Megan, Ben and I ended up at….you guessed it…THE PAGE!

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That night, we played Heads Up in the front room where Amy I CLEANED UP! Then I PTFO like a little kid after a long, sweaty day at the carnival.

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The next day we had a little family bbq with my aunt and uncle and grandparents. I wore Adidas slides and determined that I need a pair.

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Watching them interact with little Ellie is damn near the sweetest thing that could ever happen. As I gathered up my stuff to leave for the weekend, I srsly contemplated bringing a couple of my fave BSC books. Because this, my friends is a mere quarter of my extensive collection:

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Oh, and a big ol’ Happy Father’s Day to Gary D. Or Gare-Bear. Or Vin Diesel.

Oh, Gare

LOVE YOU

After we ate, I drove back to Portland in my mom’s car so that we can be a 2-car household and not leave one another stranded when the other person takes the car. Whoop whoop!

Such a great weekend. I love my home.

Forever 31

HAHAHAHAHhahahaaaaa

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Already laughing at my own joke per usual :)

But really, how great would Forever 31 be? A place where Anthropologie and Ross meet, fall in love, and produce a place where Sam Smith’s angelic voice fills the air. And the racks are stocked with tasteful and age-appropriate cheap sh*t that falls apart after 3 wears. Where a pair of cute shorts you know will only last one summer, but that DO NOT show the bottom of your ass-cheeks, will only set you back $9.80! Where is this place, my friends? WHERE.

So what, if I want a borderline slutty tank that I can wear to book club and drink red wine in (because in your thirties you drink red wine)? And don’t go sayin’ that us 31-year-olds shouldn’t HAVE to shop at F21 anymore because our mid-level jobs are providing us with the means to shop exclusively at Nordy’s. Honey. I don’t care if I make 200 GR a year, I will STILL crave that $24.90 maxi dress.

So until this obvious gap in the market is remedied, I will continue to spend time hunting the racks of my local F21 in hot pursuit of the few items that work for my sassy, 31-year-old self. And here’s what I found.

Embroidered Peasant Shirt

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Contrast Button-Down

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Textured Striped Skirt

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I also found a flowy blush pink racerback tank top that is the perfect color. But I couldn’t find the picture online because there are 21897437 tank tops and aint nobody got time for that.

The Weekend & a Haul

Ello Poppets!

Why I am talking in pirate, I do not know.

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I do however, know how to rock Kelly Kapowski hair, as evidenced above.

So last weekend I bought some sh*t and per usual, I thought I’d share!

Let me also congratulate the Huz on taking the CFA no.3 – it is no easy feat these GD tests and I for one, am glad it’s over! Saturday night we popped a little champs and I gussied up REAL NICE.

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I decided to put on falsies because I’m so fancy (you already know).

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The next day we wandered around Mississippi and HOW have I not been on that street before!? I wore polka dot shorts and my new shoes from target!

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And thennnn I went shopping. For BEAUTY PRODUCTS.

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I decided to finally try the Fake Bake Flawless after much deliberation. I determined that for the price ($26) and the fact that it’s a high-end product, I ought to give ‘er a go.

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I went into Mac with the intention of being a good girl and just looking. A new collection came out so I just felt like swatchin’ up my arm. And then I realized I need more Fixed+ and the girl convinced me I needed Warm Soul. So I broke down.

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This color doesn’t look like much but it is beeeautiful on the cheeks and I can’t wait to smother this all over when I have a bit of tan happening.

And lastly, I went to Ulta. Where I decided it was ludacris I didn’t own the Real Techniques Sculpting Brush. And thennnn they were Buy One Get One 50% Off, so I also got a little shading brush.

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And maybe the most exciting thing ever happened, but first a little background. My little sister Amy is getting married in September and I am bridesmaid. They have instructed us to get long, gray dresses and I thought I had found one from a gal at my work but it turns out that my mom cannot alter it so I was on the hunt again. I reallllly didn’t want to go the David’s Bridal route but was pretty sure that was my only option. Well folks, I found this little number hanging in the sale section at The Rack for $109 – my size – AND Monique Lhullier!

PLEASE NOTE: To anyone that thinks I walk this earth sporting a full face of makeup everyday, I encourage you to take a long gander at my mug below. Evidence, people. I do not.

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Anyweeeez that was my weekend! Til’ next time, I remain your humble, mascara-obsessed internet friend.

How to: Headband Curls!

I recently had a request for a little tutorial on the curling of hairs. And a’course I am more than happy to oblige.

I curl my hair often and in a variety of different ways. It all depends on what I am doing, i.e – a girl’s night out curls are not going to be the same as office curls or I-want-to-look-like-a-Victoria’s-Secret-model-curls. You get it.

Perhaps this blog post will spark a series of blog posts on different types of curls and the ways I attain them !? A plethora of ways I can teach you all to essentially bend your hair in different directions which is both aesthetically and emotionally pleasing.

Maybe I’ll dive into the depths of curling irons and wands and once and for all determine that the two quite simply, CANNOT be compared. Like Rainbow Chip Frosting and Funfetti – they’re two vastly different things.

A wand tends to produce more mermaidy, swirly curls – like this:

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A curling iron will give you a more classic curl, like this:

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And while the curling of hairs is all well and fine, one hard-pressing (haha get it) fact remains true. You must use heat. And heat, my friends, is no friend to a delicate strand of protein filament.

Enter, headband curls. Like your ex-hippie aunt who still doesn’t wear a bra, the headband method of hair curling is like sooo groovy because it involves NO heat. So here we go, headband curls!

Please bear in mind you have to do this overnight with DRY hair and you WILL look like a Grandma. Don’t expect anyone to think you look good when headband curls are processing because you just won’t, see pictures below as clear and non-negotiable proof.

And since describing this miraculous method in words is very near impossible, I thought it might be easier to just SHOW you. Yes, my friends, I got in front of a camera again.

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Annnnd part 2:

 

Btw, this is the tutorial that showed me the way (ALL HAIL SOUTHERN BELLES):

 

Kayaks, Sore Throats and Jersey Girls

yyyello!

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MAC St.Germain and Oversized Pearls for the WIN

How are all you BBs doing this week?

I’ve been singing in the car waaaay too hard lately. I accidentally took the following selfie when I was trying to capture a funny man in teensy biker shorts the other day:

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Mid Power-Ballad

Also, I had quite the weekend! My bestie Holly and her fiance Matt came into town, I developed a horrendous sore throat and lastly, I found it ridiculously easy (dare I say, scarily) to speak in a New Jersey accent.

It allll started on Friday night where we met up with the Dweedles (Dee and Dumb that is, hehe, jk) at Bamboo Sushi in NW 23rd. It was hilar that Holly suggested this place because we have taken many of our outta town friends there.

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Holly ordered saki which to me is ball sweat, but whatevs. The sushi is always solid and then you have the Salt & Straw option next door!

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The next day I picked up Holly, wet hair and all, from her hotel and we ventured out to the reason for their visit (other than me, amazing me), a kayak demo put on by Next Adventure in Sellwood park.

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Closed-mouth smile!

The day was absolutely GORG and I loved the fact that there was nothing I even remotely wanted to buy! I also learned that SUP stands for Stand Up Paddleboard, go fig, right!? Anyweeez, Matt hooked us up with awesome NRS t-shirts and other swag (such a celeb rn) and then we headed to my friend Aliese’s house for her daughter’s bday!

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It was a princess theme so obvi I died.

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Mini Elsa omgaosiedas9q23j9!*(&@

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More SWAG

The princess costumes of today are sooo legit compared to the ones they had when I was a kid. My mom made the most killer Rainbow Brite costume everrrr but my sister Megan got to wear it. I was always stuck being Mickey in Fantasia, which was basically a hole cut out of a royal blue plastic table cloth #klassy.

Later that night we all met up for pizza and beer (or wine if you’re me and hate beer) at Lucky Labrador in NW.

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I literally inhaled 3 pieces and 2 glasses of wine and felt just GRAND.

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Matching shirts, don’t currr

Then we went to this little bar down the road that served about 40234890723 different kinds of bottled beers in little chalice cups. Very hipster. And Portland. We sat outside and that was when Holly and I decided it was high time we practice our Jersey girl accents. So we did.

We made a rule that you couldn’t talk in a regular accent, it HAD to be Jersey. So everyone was just spittin’ out imaginary stories of “the shore”, deadbeat boyfriends, and classy joints. My stomach hasn’t hurt so hard from lauging before IN MY LIFE.

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Holly as a 18th century british man

It was then, that the dull sore throat I had been complaining about the last 4-ish days decided to rear her ugly head. We moved to Blue Moon, a bar down the road where I regretfully ordered a hot toddy to try and soothe my throat. It LITrally tasted like vom, but somehow I choked down 87% of it and then wisely moved to vodka+sevens. MY LIFE.

Then I dared Holly and Matt to switch shirts and they freaking did .

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The next day I slept in until 11 am and my body was like, “Awesome job Natalie! But I’m still tired.” So I slept more. And more. 5 pm and I was still in my jammies. My throat felt sooo bad, so I went to Zoom Care to make sure I didn’t have strep and thankfully I don’t.

So that’s where we’re at guys. Hit me up for all the Jersey flaves.

Assorted Haul

Hello kittens!

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Today I bring you another haul of a few things I have picked up whilst out and about.

The beauty section at T.J Maxx can be quite treacherous. It’s like everytime I go in there, I feel like I’m swimming in a sea of unknown brands, well-known brands and wondering “why is this Clarins face serum only $19.99?!”. It can be a scary, deep, dark place and navigating around isn’t easy. I find that I can usually tread water fairly well, picking up a random Joico K-Pak conditioner for $7.99 or a bangin’ Essie polish for $3. But other times, I drown. I just do.

My friends, this time I may have plummeted to the ocean floor, with all the muck and bottom-feeders.

Sugar Baby Golden Glamour Instant Self Tan Spray

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When I saw this product, I was immediately attracted to the packaging because yes – I am a basic white girl. Throw a pin-up girl on just about anything and us basics go weak in the knees. It was only $8, so I quickly googled the brand and saw decent reviews and high price tags – SCORE! I brought ‘er home to realize two depressing facts:

1.) It was NOT a sunless tanner, instead a spray-on temporary tan (like Airbrush Legs) which wasn’t the end of the world, I just thought I was buying a self tan.

2.) It doesn’t work. The directions recommend laying a towel down under you to protect your floors and surfaces so I just went outside on our dirty balcony and went to town. It literally came out basically SHEER with a subtle brownish-gray tint.

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DO NOT BUY THIS.

Shiseido Pureness Foaming Cleansing Fluid

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So. I was very hesitant to buy this because there HAS to be a reason a department store brand like Shiseido is at T.J Maxx for $12.99, versus the $30+ this would cost at Nordys. But, I rolled the dice and thought, “Meh, if it’s a little expired I’m sure it’s fine.” And at first I thought it was making me break out. Not like gross cystic whiteheads but those little skin-colored bumps around my hairline. But I persevered and kept using it only to discover that you have to rinse it SUPER well or else it will leave a little film on your skin which is probably what gave me a weird texture.

All in all, it’s fairly good for $12.99 and it also removes makeup.

Justin Bieber Someday Perfume

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Y’all are laughing I KNOW, but I could give two sh*ts because I LOVE this perfume. I get compliments on it allll the time and I never tell people what it is. Muaahahahaaa. “Oh this? It’s just m’Biebs.” Can you imagine?

New  Tanning Mitts

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I recently purchased both the Ulta brand tanning mitt and the St. Tropez one for $1.50 more and guess what?! I like the Ulta brand better. I think normally these are around the same price ($6.50), which is ludicrous that a cheap piece of foam is more than 75 cents AMIRIGHT!?

Bodycology Runaway Heart Sugar Scrub

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Self tanning also denotes the official commencement exfoliation season. I really should exfoliate all year, but dead skin + self tanner mixes together about as well as orange juice and toothpaste. I bought this scrub at Target because it was the cheapest one and guess what? I am in loooove with it! Srsly go to Target right now and get yerself a whiff of this because your might change. I need the body spray NOW.

THIS Makeup Bag

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OF COURSE I BOUGHT THIS, WHAT DO YOU TAKE ME FOR?

A Very Baby Weekend

I keep tryin’ to think of a funny opener, but all I can do RN is hum Destiny’s Child.

Can you keep up? BABY BOY, make me lose my breath!

Sorry.

Last weekend, my sister Meg and mother Nan came to visit me. Megan is about 23 weeks preg and it was HIGH-TIME she make the trip to Portland to look for baby items in a tax-free environment.

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They arrived Friday night and after my jaw dropped to the floor when I saw little Meg’s little belly, I decided it was a good idea to go ahead and have 2 LARGE glasses of vino and 3/4 of a box of Milk Duds. A grilled cheese may have made it in there too, it’s all a blur when I’m around these two.

The next day we woke up and hit NW 23rd because it’s cute and fun. We stopped immediately at Bagel Works where I ordered a plain bagel with plain cream cheese. It was definitely sub-par and not a place I would frequent. Give me a chewy, dense bagel or give me death.

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We shopped around the area and I struck up a wonderful conversation at Blush Beauty Bar with a fellow customer who didn’t think she could pull off a bronzed eyeshadow. She had olive skin and gorgeous flicked liner and I was like, “GIRL LISTEN”. The ladies who worked there were kinda laughing but letsbereal, they probs hated me.

Then another gal couldn’t find a Nars lipstick in the shade Kelly, which is OBVIOUSLY from the Audacious line. When the salesperson didn’t know anything about it, I happily interjected and was all, “Excuse me? Yes, that shade is from the Audacious line, which is AMAAAZING and you should definitely get it.”

Sister Natalie, they should call me. Patron Saint of meekups.

Anyways, we got gas and I ran in for a fountain soda because it’s tradish.

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Then we went to Washington Square and I wore my Tory Burch flats which was a terrible decision. We found some adorable baby clothes for Lil’ Toby Johnson (as we are referring to him) and I was able to sneak away at H&M and procure a tiny quilted sweatshirt with the words “Hello Little One” embroidered in.

Megan also found an amazing diaper bag at Nordstrom and I kindof want it for a normal purse. Is that weird?

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I also coveted the following shoes:

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We tried to go to the Glutton Cheesecake Factory for lunch but it was packed to the brim with hungry, sad-looking mall-goers who were willing to wait the hour + for a sh*tty piece of thawed-out Cheesecake.

Being the smart ladies we are, decided to succumb to Chipotle. For obvious reasons. Chips.

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After that we stopped at the Brideport shopping area where I very nearly purchased this perfume at Anthropologie for $55 because it smells like a fairy princess.

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That night, the Nan and my sis crashed early because one is old and one is pregnant. I met some co-workers for karaoke and performed not one but TWO songs. One of them may or may not have been from Frozen…

The next day we got up and decided to go to Nordstrom Rack. I found a few random Alex and Ani bracelets and Nan ended up buying me one. What a gal!

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Kinda cool and art-deco-ish?

I always get sad after anyone in my family leaves so Sunday night was spent in the bath, Stanley Hudson style.

All in all, a wonderful, baby-tastic weekend.

“Things” I Love

What up tootsie pops!?

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Allow me to point out that I have no mascara on (read: hairless cat) my hair could NOT have been worse. AND homegirl in the background is shooting me just absolute daggers.

Y’all know I can rattle off the makeup/beauty/haircare favorites with the rest of ’em, but what I often fail to mention are the other things I love. And with summer peaking it’s head around the corner, being all “What’s up Nat?!!” I can’t help but just burst out with love for everything. The sky. The trees. The Portlandian riding her bike in suffocatingly tight bell bottoms with a raccoon helmet. I just love it. ALL. So here it goes.

Slushy margaritas

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When was the last time you partook in a SLUSHY marg? Sure, I’ve downed my fair share of the classic on-the-rocks version, but can I get an amen for the icy texture of a good ol’ blended one? PREACH.

No Makeup Days

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Contrary to what people might think, I actually don’t mind how I look without (as my Dad so lovingly refers to it) “warpaint”. And why is everyone suddenly making a big deal out of the power of “no-makeup” days? Why are we all overthinking this?! Just wear makeup when you want, or don’t. Sheesh!

I do however, make a big deal outta people who bite directly into a string cheese. Because that is just weird.

Chips from Chipotle

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They’re heavily salted, limed and dispensed from a bag just for me. Sidenote: I love thefatjewish on IG. #dadbod

 Relaxi Taxis Outside on our Dirty Balcony

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And yes, I am wearing cut-offs. DUH. I looove when it is so stinking nice outside that you can’t NOT do this. The balcony is def not ready for summer, but I LITerally give zero f*#%s.

Quotes that are True

The amount of those quote home decor signs at Marshalls, TJ Maxx and Target is overwhelming. “Always Kiss Me Goodnight”. “Life is better at the Beach”. And my personal favorite, “Sexy Women Have Messy Kitchens”.

To these I say: “Don’t always kiss me goodnight. I don’t feel good”. “Life may be better at the beach, but it also may be better at Chili’s”. And lastly, “Ugly women also have messy kitchens”.

HOWEVER. All that being said, I did find this quote (on a random notebook) to be quite true.

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Go Mare

When I Absolutely KILL IT at Dinner

This doesn’t happen often, and when it does, it is worth being blogged about. Gotta love Ina for providing me with the world’s yummiest panzanella recipe.

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And later that day…

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Whatevs. Booty is organic.

What do YOU love?

My Thoughts on Jamberry

Hello my little toast points!

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Me rn

I was introduced to Jamberry a couple of weeks ago. Of course I had heard the name before, but I never really paid any attention to it. I knew they were nail stickers that supposedly lasted much longer than nail polish. Yada yada yada.

You see, I luurve painting my nails but for whatever reason most polishes chip within ONE GD day on me. So when a couple’a gals from my work told me they were placing an order for these little pups, I decided to jump on the bandwagon. I selected the following pattern, appropriately named “Memory Lane” (they look like a grandma’s couch, afterall) and I absolutely love the floral design.

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It took me a solid two weeks to muster up the strength to actually commit the two hours I knew it would take to figure these out. But I did. And after a few YouTube videos, hooking up my hair dryer and maaaybe a couple of curse words, they’re on.

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The process – I watched the official Jamberry application vid and was got the basic jest. Btw, totally NOT FAIR that these rando women are probs like rolling in the dough from making nail stickers. Makes me want to invent sh*t, HARD.

So. You peel em off, heat em up, stick em on. I happened upon a couple Jamberry superfan-produced vids and learned a couple insider tips and tricks. One lady instructed you to wrap your nail in a plastic baggie immediately after application and hold it in front of the blow dryer for a few seconds. Okee.

What I found to be the most challenging part of these little suckers is the placement and the edging. To be fair, I did NOT do this super meticulously and easily could have spent another hour being super precise, but that just aint me. Once they were on, I trimmed the top and then filed it down to end perfectly aligned with my natural nail. I found this to be difficult and very time consuming.

Other than that, there really isn’t much to it.

The result – They look pretty dec. However, the tops are not completely perfect and I have little flaps (haha) on a few of my nails. So. We will see how long these last. For a first-timer, I am not expecting to get the full 3-week wear out of ’em but hopefully I can last a week?

My opinion – these are fun to do every once in a while OR if you want a fun accent (or party nail, as I call it). I think it would ROCK on my ring fingers. It is pretty time consuming but perhaps I will get faster the more I do it. I still like painting my nails for therapeutic reasons, but I think these Jamberry nails are also kinda fun.

Have YOU tried Jamberry?

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