Monday, November 23, 2015

Screw Perfection in the Kitchen with These Messy Meals

Here's another article I wrote recently for Three Little Sparrows, which includes some of the easiest go-to meals I know!


You’ve probably heard the saying before, “stop comparing your behind-the-scenes to someone else’s highlight reel.”  Well, it rings true in the kitchen, as well. We all chase perfection, and in this digital age, it’s all too easy to crop out a mess, apply a fancy filter, wipe out the dark circles under your eyes, and make your world look picturesque. And sure, it’s pretty; but is it honest?
A quick sweep of Pinterest or Instagram can instantly give a girl dinner envy—among countless other envies!—but the truth is, it’s okay to cook an unattractive meal. Since when did everything coming out of our kitchen need to be healthy, tasty, fast, easy, AND beautiful? That’s a lot to live up to! (Not to mention, no matter how closely I follow someone else’s recipe, mine never seems to turn out looking as cute!)
For example, here’s a photo from some Baked Honey Lime Chicken Taquitos, found on Pinterest.. (Note the avocado in the background – there isn’t even any avocado used in this recipe!) :
Baked Honey Lime Chicken Taquitos
Baked Honey Lime Chicken Taquitos

And here’s my photo of the same recipe:
Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 9.27.21 PM
As you can see, my meal – although it was delicious – just didn’t stack up, aesthetically speaking.
Comparing photos gave me a giggle, but I wasn’t ashamed of that dinner. It was really good! (In fact, it ranks #1 in my house, and I make it often… although it hasn’t gotten any prettier. Try it for yourself.
So did my boyfriend wrinkle his nose at my less-than-picturesque tacquitos and complain about the presentation? Nope!
There is beauty in being honest and real, unabashedly yourself and unapologetic about it. No one is perfect, and this extends into the kitchen.  While there’s a time and a place for exquisitely presented food, let’s be serious – how much time do you spend appreciating the plating of your meal? Unless your interests sway toward the culinary to begin with, my guess is not much! I once asked my boyfriend to stop at the store and grab some parsley, because I needed it for dinner.  He came home with this huge bunch of parsley; I chopped up one leaf, and sprinkled it on our plates as garnish.
“Seriously?” He asked. “That’s all you needed that for?” If you’re ready to throw presentation to the wayside, I have four easy meals for you that taste great, whether or not they look pretty, because screw perfection in the kitchen!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Confused about contouring?

I was talking to a girl at work today (hi, Erica!) and she mentioned she had a blog.  I told her I did, too... and then immediately felt really guilty for somewhat abandoning my blog.

I know I need to get back into the swing of things, so I'll begin by sharing some blogs I've been writing for Three Little Sparrows.

Here's a peek at my most recent work, a newbie's guide to contouring:


Ah, contouring! It’s one of those subtle makeup techniques that looks great on celebs, but can be really intimidating to try yourself for the first time. I still remember the first time I attempted: armed with a bottle of Bare Minerals bronzing powder, I pulled up some YouTube tutorials and applied the powder just the way the girls on my screen did. But when I was finished, I wasn’t sure. Had I used enough powder? I couldn’t tell I had anything on. Was that the point? Had I blended too much? Maybe I wasn’t using the right brushes…
Contour newbie
Contour newbie
Over time, I experimented with different bronzer types and bronzer colors. Bare Minerals made me itch, another brand was too yellow-pigmented…NARS was pretty good, but I wanted one that also had a built-in highlighter…
Most recently, I’ve settled on the cream of the crop, Marc Jacobs. It does the trick, but sometimes I did wonder if I was putting this stuff on right.
Enter one of my besties, Sara Thompson. Sara is a makeup artist (she studied under Mario Dedivanovic, the legend who gave Kim Kardashian her signature sculpted look) and the gal I go to with all my beauty inquiries. She was all too happy to help, and showed up at my door with her makeup bag in tow, for a beginner’s guide to contouring.
Sara Tompson the beauty expert
My girl Sara Thompson, the beauty expert