Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday Jams: The Hoopy Frood Edition!

Happy Friday everyone!

I'm so sorry I missed my Wednesday post, I was just losing my mind this week and I got distracted and spooked watching a scary movie for 365 Days of Horror!  This is the 3rd guest post I've done, and I watched House on Haunted Hill!  Vincent Price sure is dreamy but it's a little disconcerting to watch the movie alone in your basement apartment.  You can read my review of HoHH here, and you can read my other two reviews if you're interested: Suck and Tucker and Dale vs. Evil.

But onto the jams!!!

If you are a hoopy frood then you know where your towel is, and you know that today is Towel Day!  Today is meant to celebrate the life and works of the late author Douglas Adams, who wrote The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and all but one of its sequels.  It's crazy funny sci fi and they also made a movie, starring Martin Freeman, Mos Def, Zooey Deschanel, and Sam Rockwell.  Even if it's not book accurate it's one of my favorite movies, here's the trailer:
I just love this movie!  It's so charming!

Speaking of people I love, this lady is amazing.  And she has a new album out this Tuesday!!  In the meantime you can listen to a stream of the whole amazing record on NPR here!  Or watch the video for the single "All the Rowboats" if you're so inclined:
Eeee I'm so excited!  I really love this album, and I think it's better (or maybe just brighter?) than her last one.

No that is not a word salad and I am not having a stroke, eggplant bacon is the genius invention of IsaChandra Moskowitz, as seen in her cookbook "Appetite for Reduction"!  But if you really wanna try it, she's also posted the recipe here!  My 2 tweaks: I toasted some spices (whole peppercorns, cardamom, coriander, crushed red pepper flakes and chunks of garlic) in a tiny pan and added the soy sauce to that with a little water and let that mixture heat up.  It's like a spicy soy sauce tea, but this adds more flavor without extra fat/calories; I let that cool before adding the liquid smoke and eggplanting it up.  And when I put the eggplant slices back in the oven for the last time, I sprinkled a little paprika on top because paprika is wonderful.  And this was so delicious!  I had an eblt with garlic hummus and OH MAN IT WAS WONDERFUL.  Definitely give this recipe a try, I wasn't even sure I liked eggplant but this made me a believer!

And that's it!  Happy long weekend friends, I hope you have a good one!

Love and cupcakes,
Ms. Meghan

Monday, May 21, 2012

True Confession: I love accent manicures!

Hi everyone!

I was so busy cooking tonight that I almost forget to put up a post.  Good thing I have a backlog of nail polish swatches to show you!!

So let's talk about accent manicures.  Generally speaking, I consider an accent manicure one where the whole hand is the same except for one nail which is usually, but not always, fancier than the rest.  Or it's just painted in a different color.  There's a variation on this where the thumb is the accent nail and it's called "Blackberry Bling".

I've been doing accent manicures since 2007, I started with a black creme and Sally Hansen Glow on my ring finger.  I wish I could find photographic evidence, or maybe I'll just do it and take pictures, either way it looks awesome!  I also liked to do black + a shimmery fuchsia accent.  Nowadays everyone is doing accent manicures.  But I still think they're pretty sweet, so without further adieu, here are 2 recent versions that I was particularly fond of:

Essie + SOPI accent mani
Essie "Armed and Ready" + SOPI "Don't Be Eggnog-ious" accent

Okay so I loved Armed and Ready in the bottle, it's a really interesting cool olive green with copper shimmer.  On the nails?  Less interesting, but it coordinates really well with the SOPI glitter, which is really nice and shiny.  I just wish it wasn't quite so dense. 

China Glaze accent mani
China Glaze Happy Go Lucky with a Pool Party accent.

OH MY GOD I LOVE THIS MANICURE.  It is one of my favorite manicures I've done this year.  Happy Go Lucky is a favorite polish of mine, I've worn it multiple times with no complaints from me, it's a nearly perfect yellow and it's so much fun!  And then there's Pool Party which is this eye searing neon reddish pink and these two colors just work so well together!  I did this manicure in January when I was bummed about winter and some personal drama and it cheered me up a little, which is pretty amazing because I'm kind of a grumpy person.

(Speaking of bright colors from CG, have you seen the summer collection?  TOTALLY SWOONING!)

And those are some of my favorite accent manicures, feel free to share yours in the comments!

love and cupcakes,
Ms. Meghan

Friday, May 18, 2012

Friday Jams: things that make you go YAY!

Happy Friday kids!!

As with previous Fridays, I've come to present things that are not only my jam, but also my jelly and marmalade!!

NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast
You can download this free podcast via iTunes, it downloads in the "Culturtopia" feed.  This is my FAVORITE PODCAST IN THE WORLD.   It is hosted by Linda Holmes, the editrix of Monkey See NPR's excellent pop culture blog.  The regular panel includes Stephen Thomspon, Glen Wheldon, and Trey [with an 'e'] Graham [like the cracker] and they are all wonderful.  They discuss various relevant (and irrelevant) topics and always end each episode with what's making them happy.  The regular crew are a good mix of funny, smart, high/low brow, and even if I'm not always into what they're talking about I always ALWAY enjoy it.  Do yourself a favor and check out this podcast!

Kate or Die!
Kate Leth is my new favoritest comic lady.  Her comics/art are cute and saucy and generally excellent with a side of feminism that is super groovy.  FYI her comics are not always SFW so don't click on the link if you're in the office, JUST IN CASE.
Kate or Die!
See?  Isn't it just the best?

[pink grapefruit] Marmalade:
Pink hair!  A long time ago in a galaxy far, far, away your favorite blogger had pink hair!  And lo, it with the hottest of pinks!  Behold:
pink hair
My friend Georgia just posted about having pink hair for the first time (oooh gurrrl it looks good!) and it makes me miss having pink hair SO BAD.  It's probably my favorite hair color in the entire universe to be honest.  Something about it is just completely perfect in every way.  It's bright, it's pink, it makes me happy, it looks good, what's not to love?!  One day I'll have the kind of job where I can have pink hair and not get looked at twice or reprimanded/fired.  And on that day I will be a happy girl.

So those are the things that are my jam this week, have a great weekend!!

love and cupcakes,
Ms. Meghan

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Funky French manicures, are you my arch-nemesis?

Hello friends!

I'm here today with a confession: I have a love/hate relationship with french manicures.  While I do love the soft, clean look of a classic french manicure, I can't stand 75% of the french manis out there.  It has gone from "my nails but better" to "BIGGER BLINGIER TACKIER PINK AND WHITES OMG."  GROSS.

I really think a funky french can be quite chic if done well, black is the go-to choice for many women but really there's a whole rainbow of colors out there, experiment!!  I wish I could just get the hang of doing a french; I've used guides and even when I freehanded it, I just didn't feel like it looked as neat as I wanted.  So here is a brief history of my french manicures, in all their glory:

FF #1: Going green!
first ever funky french
Zoya Rose with China Glaze Entourage tips.

Rose is a sheer pale pink-y beige shimmer with a green flash.  It's really nice by itself, but I thought that green tips would coordinate really well, and Entourage is a pretty spring green with green shimmer.  I like it a lot and it did look nice with Rose, but can you tell I had never done this before and I free-handed the tips?  Because I totally did.

Still fancy
Essie Vanity Fairest + OPI Your Royal Shine-ness + OPI Servin' Up Sparkle

I actually really love this look.  This was my first time using guides and I thought it came out really well, not perfect but still lovely.  Also it is SO FREAKING SPARKLY.   Vanity Fairest is a good go-to french base, it's not streaky, has a little bit of shimmer and it brightens up your nails overall.  And how can you go wrong with a silver foil and silver holo glitter?  I used 2 coats of Servin' Up Sparkle, and it applied really nicely.

FF #3: Black like my soulless heart
Funky French manicure
Vanity Fairest again + OPI Baby It's Coal Outside + China Glaze Fairy Dust
Again with the Vanity Fairest and the silver holo glitter!  I lovelovelove Fairy Dust, it's so pretty and goes with so many colors.  I really like Baby It's Coal Outside, it's a rich black that has a lot of shimmer and still manages to look black and not dark grey.  Oh man the edges here are super messy looking, even with guides being used.  I like the look and I may try this again but I took it off after a day, it was too messy for my tastes.

So there are my 3 attempts at french manicures.  What do you think of french manis?  Do they make your skin crawl, or are they still chic?  Do you have any tips for a french mani n00b such as myself?  Let me know in the comments!

love and cupcakes,
Ms. Meghan

Monday, May 14, 2012

Chili Lime Pineapple!

Hello my anchos and cascabels!

A quick food post for you, but it's so delicious and simple, maybe it will chase away the Monday blues!  I was going to make some chili lime mango for my lunch tomorrow, but my mangoes aren't ripe enough, so instead I decided to use some of the pineapple in my fridge, and I'm so glad I did.

Chili lime pineapple!
After I made this for my lunch, I made another batch to nibble on.

The construction could not be simpler: chop up some pineapple, squeeze on some lime juice and sprinkle on as much cayenne as you like.  The sweetness of the pineapple pairs nicely with the tart lime and cayenne and I bet it would be pretty good with a little sea salt.  Or you could give whole pineapple rings the same treatment and then grill them for extra deliciousness.

And that's all I've got for today, thanks for reading!!

love and cupcakes,
Ms. Meghan

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Friday jam: is it really spring? Yes it is!

Happy weekend everyone!

I think by now it's technically saturday but WHO CARES IT'S THE WEEKEND.

I just spent a lovely evening with my family and will be spending more time with them tomorrow so let's get on with the jam!

late night snackkiwi and blueberrieswatermeolon carnageorangekiwis and strawberries
I can't wait for local fruit to hit the scene but man if I could afford it I would eat fruit all day erry day forever and ever.  I don't think this kind of deliciousness needs more of an explanation.


"Ice Cream Man" by Tom Waits, because seeing the ice cream trucks out and about are getting this song stuck in my head left and right. 

Google Image searching for "tibetan spaniel puppies" because they are the coolest, fluffiest cutest dudes ever.  Don't believe me?  Check out this dude:
dorje, chillaxing
His name is Dorje and he's just the best.  He's not even a puppy at all but don't you just love his cuteness?!?

That's all I've got today, have a great weekend!!!

love and cupcakes,
Ms. Meghan

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Hot pink lipstick: MUFE vs. Sephora!

Hello friends!

Once upon a time, I was Tumbling as I am wont to do, and I stumbled upon this post on The Makeup Box, comparing Sephora's Love Test creme lipstick to MAC's LE and sold out Quick Sizzle lipstick from the Shop MAC, Cook MAC collection.  The colors popped off the screen and looked so bold and vibrant, I decided to give Love Test a try.

Lo and behold it was a pretty fair color match for MUFE Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick #36, which I happen to own and love a WHOLE HECK OF A LOT.

Sephora Love Test versus MUFE Rouge Artist Intense #36
MUFE on top, Sephora on the bottom.

So Sephora looks denser and more pigmented than MUFE but I think that's just the sheen of the MUFE lipstick.  It also appears warmer in pictures but they are pretty much the same color.  Honestly, I put them on my lips right next to each other and couldn't tell them apart.

Sephora Love Test versus MUFE Rouge Artist Intense #36
MUFE on the left, Sephora on the right.

I honestly like the MUFE better, it's a really top quality lipstick, it's nice and creamy and wears quite well.  I'm still not 100% sure I should even be wearing the Sephora lipstick, as I have had allergic reactions to some of their lip products in the past.  I've had no bad reactions to Love Test so far, but I'm not totally convinced one way or the other.  I will say that Love Test has a noticable bad taste, not as bad as Urban Decay's lipsticks, but if you are sensitive to these sorts of things (and I am) it's worth keeping in mind.

So if you're looking for a Quick Sizzle dupe, apparently Love Test is a pretty close one, and IMO MUFE #36 is a perfect match for Love Test, so either way you're set.  But really, there's no such thing as too many bright pink lipsticks, am I right?!

love and cupcakes,
Ms. Meghan

Monday, May 7, 2012

Potato and Roasted Tomato Soup!

Hello my little crumpets and scones!

I'm going to share a delicious soup recipe with you today that is not only delicious and far superior to the canned iteration but it's also vegan and gluten free!  But truly, you won't miss the cream/butter.  I mean I'm okay with butter and I don't miss it at all in this soup! 

This recipe was definitely inspired by the "Creamy Tomato Soup" recipe from "Veganomicon" by Isa Chandra Moskowitz, and I referenced that recipe for the stock/potato quantities for this recipe.  However I've been making a roasted tomato and pepper pasta sauce for a while, and I thought roasting tomatoes would translate well for soup, and boy did it ever!  Incidentally you could roast the tomato mix for only about 30 minutes and then puree that mixture for an excellent pasta sauce. 
Potato and Roasted Tomato Soup

2 lbs. small tomatoes (cherry or grape) washed, cut in half
4-6 cloves of garlic, smashed
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
2 tbs tomato paste
1 tbs olive oil
½ tsp paprika
¼ tsp of dried thyme & oregano
½ tsp of salt
1 tbs of olive oil
1 medium carrot, 2 ribs of celery and a medium yellow onion diced
½ tsp of salt
6 cups stock/broth
1 lb of white or Yukon gold potatoes peeled and chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 500F.  Mix the tomatoes with the garlic, vinegar, tomato paste, olive oil, paprika, thyme, oregano and salt.  You want all the ingredients to be well-combined and especially for the tomato paste to be completely mixed in with the other ingredients.  It should look like this:
  2. Place the whole mix in a roasting pan (lined with foil if you like easy clean up!) and roast for 50 minutes, making sure to give the pan a shake every 10 minutes or so.  You want the tomatoes to look a little bit roasted and you want the liquid to be about halfway evaporated. It looks like this after roasting:
    Roasted Tomatoes
  3. While the tomatoes are cooling in a large-ish pot sautee the carrot, onion and celery in the olive oil with the salt on medium heat for about 6-7 minutes.  Once they have begun to turn translucent and brown a little add the stock, and the potatoes, as well as the tomato mixture.  Bring it up to boil and turn down to a simmer.
  4. It should take about 30 minutes for the potatoes to be cooked through, and once they are cooked, puree the mixture (carefully!) in a blender or using an immersion blender if you have one.  Once the soup is completely blended, run it through a strainer back into the pot and heat for another 10 minutes and serve.

Potato and Roasted Tomato Soup!

You can garnish it with fresh basil or parsley, pesto or some cheese if you’re not vegan.  This would be great with sandwiches, especially grilled cheese or a garlicky chickpea type sandwich or just some good garlic bread. 

And that's it for today, I hope you all try this soup and love it as much as I do!

Love and cupcakes,
Ms. Meghan

Friday, May 4, 2012

The premiere of Friday Jams!

Happy Friday and May the Fourth be with you!!!

I decided to start a new weekly post on Fridays called Friday Jams!  This gives me a chance to post about things I love, or things that are my jam, jelly and marmalade!!


So this is definitely a slow jam but what a song.  This album and this song have been in my life for 15 years, and this song has been with me for almost every crush I have ever had, which is a powerful thing.  But I honestly think this version of the song is a perfect representation of longing: Ani's performance vocally and instrumentally is a little delicate and reined in, and the slide guitar is a perfect accompaniment to represent the bittersweet tang of un/requited love.  If you like Ani, and you don't have this album, do yourself a favor and check it out.


Meelo is my patronus, funny eyebrows, lumpy head and all.  BE THE LEAF!  Actually The Legend of Korra has been pretty amazing thus far, I'm pretty excited to see where it goes (and to find out who Lin's father is!!!)


I just started reading "Zone One" and it is so so so good.  I don't mind zombie fiction and I do read it, but most of it is just genre fiction.  This is a zombie book that defies its genre, and I would even go so far as to compare it to "World War Z".  Well worth checking out.

And that's all I've got today, have a great weekend everyone!

love and cupcakes,
Ms. Meghan

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Compare and contrast: pink blushes!

Hey everyone!

I recently purchased a couple of products that seemed awfully similar to each other, so I thought I would compare.  I've got another one of these posts coming up with lipstick as well, but I'm pretty stoked on this as one of the products is limited edition and already HTF.

MAC Lovecloud versus Sonia Kashuk Flushed!

MAC Lovecloud versus Sonia Kashuk Flushed

Lovecloud was released as part of the Très Cheek collection pretty recently and sold out fast fast fast at all the counters (at least the ones by me) though I just checked and you can still purchase it online (although it sold out at first). It's a beautiful pale, bright pink. It's matte, a little warm, but it's still very pink and I completely love it. Flushed is a slightly deeper bright pink, with some shimmer, it is definitely closely related to Lovecloud, but it's a little warmer, deeper and doesn't apply as smooth.

MAC Lovecloud versus Sonia Kashuk Flushed

In the pan, they look remarkably similar. But once they are swatched, their differences come out a little bit more. If you can find them, both are worth owning, though the SK is a bit cheaper and much more widely available.

MAC Lovecloud versus Sonia Kashuk Flushed
Flushed on the left, Lovecloud on the right

 So that's Flushed vs. Lovecloud, I hope you liked it! 

love and cupcakes,
Ms. Meghan

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Juicelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Solid Food

(You can read up on day one here!)

I hinted at it on my twitter feed, but I broke cleanse*!  I KNOW.  I feel sort of guilty and then I don't and then I'm indifferent to the whole thing.  Honestly after the bowl of cappellini aglio a olio everything was garlicy and nothing hurt, and ultimately my decision was made after considering the following:
  1. Time: I spent a lot of time washing, peeling, chopping, juicing, AND cleaning.  I would say at least an hour if not more each night.  I'm not a quick person, and I have small hands and minor coordination issues, so you might be faster than me.
  2. Waste/cost: for all the goodness that came out of the juice, this is not a top of the line juicer and a lot of goodness (and waste for sure) was getting thrown out.  And that means a lot of money was getting thrown out.  On the other hand, I don't always use up all my produce so I suppose the difference about balances out.
  3. Physical effects: I had cravings like mad and they never went away.  I never had any blood sugar crashes, but I was cold most of the time, and really unfocused and sleepy all day.  And even yesterday when I upped my juice intake, I felt slightly feverish which is my body's way of telling me that something isn't right. 
I want to try again, and I want to keep juicing, it is really nice, but I think my slightly poor time management skills plus the turn of cold, damp weather combined in such a way that this didn't work out the way I wanted it to.  I think that if I alternate days versus doing it for days at a stretch, I'll have an easier time of it.  We'll see I suppose. 

So have you tried a juice cleanse?  Did you have more success than I?  Do tell in the comments!!

*In case this confused you, straight edge people use the term "breaking edge" when they choose to starting drinking/using drugs.  So breaking cleanse = stopping the cleanse.

My first glitter gradient mani!

Soooo in the wake of not dealing well with the aforementioned juice cleanse, I completely spaced on writing my post for yesterday, so you get 2 posts today, and this one is about the sweet manicure spotted in Monday's post.  So without further very first glitter gradient manicure!

Green and gold glitter gradient!

First, let me wax about Illamasqua Nomad, which is the base for this polish.  It is MAGNIFICENT.   It is a glorious, gorgeous jade green that applies pretty much perfectly.  I had almost no clean up and it barely needed 2 coats.

I used 2 China Glaze polishes for the glitter, "White Cap" which is a sheer gold glass fleck and "Medallion" which is extra small and small gold and medium silver holo glitter in a clear base.  Both polishes are great, though I didn't really need "White Cap", "Medallion" is spectacular all on its own.

To make the gradient, I did a layer of polish on the top third of the nail and let that set for about a minute.  I then applied a thick second layer over that, and working quickly, took a clear polish and ran that over the top and middle third of the nail from the top down.  I used a clear Essie I had lying around, but any clear polish will do as long as it's not a quick drying polish.  I only had to do this all once through.

Green and gold glitter gradient!

I think it came out fairly well for a first time, and if I had more patience it probably would have been even nicer!  I hope you liked this post, I'll be back later with the juice cleanse update!

love and cupcakes,
Ms. Meghan