Walking Winston

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fashion / fashion blogger / inspiration / ootd / outfit / puppy / style / stylish

Ok, HOW IS IT MARCH 15 ALREADY? Didn’t we just celebrate the new year? Seriously, this year is zipping right by. Things are crazy as usual. But I’ve come to accept that that’s kind of the norm if you have three nationalities and family on three different continents (can you tell it’s tax season?). And a job. And a husband. And a wonderful, ENERGETIC little puppy! Though those last ones obviously make all the craziness worth it☺.

While the East Coast seems to be blanketed in snow, we have been having temperatures in the 70s (20-25°C)! Last week we decided to take Winston on a walk, and since the sun was out, we brought the camera along.

Wearing my new uniform – straight-leg, high waist jeans, a delicate blouse, and leather boots. And for the first time on this blog, I actually have links to the items I’m wearing! Also, look at Winnie’s face in the photo above! He’s just the cutest ♡

This blouse is a new favorite.
I’m a massive fan of online shopping (mostly because I don’t like leaving my couch house to go anywhere shopping). I spotted this baby from Tobi a few weeks ago, and I am obsessed!

Also, this is how much I love this blog (despite being terrible about posting regularly). I took my coat off to show you the shirt. And this was not one of those aforementioned 70° days. It was freezing and windy! But Winston needs his daily walk, and isn’t it so cute? The shirt, I mean. Not the walk.

{jeans from H&M, blouse from Tobi, boots from Target (old)}
With my short hair, a red lip and my favorite pea coat, I felt trés francaise in this combo.
P.S. I LOVE having short hair! Makes life soooo much easier☺



I can’t wait to wear the shirt with a flouncy, a-line skirt when the weather warms up. Or with a pair of kickflare jeans and ballet flats. I also got a few other things from Tobi, so I will try to show those to you soon.
Hope you’ve all had a good week. And, tomorrow’s Friday!
xxLena

the dirty gin martini

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cocktail / delicious / DIY / easy / martini / quick / recipe

Are there any Mad Men fans out there?

Back in the day (ahem, like 2 years ago), I was OBSESSED. I devoured Mad Men like there was no tomorrow, and I loved every minute of it. The only downside? Every time I watched an episode, I got this insane desire to drink whiskey mid-day and smoke like a chimney like they do in the show…e.g. not the healthiest of behaviors!

I still love to play an episode here and there, if only to be transported to the (admittedly, fake) 1960s and all of it’s tacky, kitschy greatness. One of my favorite things about the show is it’s meticulous attention to detail. Every book, poster, drink, snack, toy, gadget, etc. is totally authentic to the time, and it’s so interesting to see how these items have become obsolete, modernized, or even back in fashion.

Which brings me to martinis. They’re ‘back’! And here to stay, I hope.

Martinis are…how should I put this…an acquired taste. A lot of martini-lovers have very strong opinions on what makes the ‘perfect’ martini (Gin! Vodka! Olives! Onions! None of the above!), but if you’ve never tried one and you want to ease yourself into the experience, look no further. I’m going to show you exactly how I make my favorite drink: the dirty gin martini.

Now be warned: this drink is NO JOKE. It’s strong, it’s not sweet, and it’s a little bitter. If you’re the type of person who prefers colorful, fruity libations (no judgment – you do you!), you may want to skip this post.

If, however, you’re adventurous and a fan of olives, read on.

First things first, assemble your ingredients.

To make a dirty gin martini, you will need:
2.5 oz. Gin (or vodka if you prefer, but I highly suggest starting with gin)
Dry vermouth
Olive brine
3 Olives + toothpick
Cocktail shaker
Ice cold martini glass (I stick one in the freezer about 30 mins before starting)
Ice

Once you’ve got all your items, measure out your Gin into a shaker, followed by a splash (a splash! not more) of Vermouth. Add as much brine as you like – the more, the ‘dirtier’ (aka better in my opinion). Throw in a small handful of ice, and shake that shaker like there’s no tomorrow.

In order to avoid that whole ‘shaken not stirred’ controversy, my shaking method is actually more of a circular motion, in which I gently swirl the shaker until it’s contents are freezing cold.

Once it’s sufficiently cold, bring your martini glass out of the freezer.
(And please ignore my disgusting, half-chewed thumbnail. I guess I really was in need of a martini!)

Poke three olives onto a toothpick, plop it in, and pour that beautiful mixture into the glass.



And that’s IT!
Just sit back, relax, and sip that delicious cocktail.



Soooo, have a I convinced you to try a martini?
Come on, you can do it!
And if you don’t like it, just give me a call and I’ll be over in minutes to help you out 🙂

xxLena

lately

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lately / latelylena

I always like these ‘lately’ posts because they really force me to slow down and appreciate the little moments. A delicious dessert. An extra warm cuddle from Winston. The magical way the light hits the trail behind our house. Things have been crazy as usual, so it’s been extra nice to take note of these small happenings and remember that, no matter what else is going on in the world, things are and always will be ok.

Enjoy!

{cherry cheesecake on a Saturday afternoon}
{newest addition to our living room: my DIY mudcloth pillow!}
{local friends stopping by to say hello}
 {that winter light!}
 {cooking with Winston is my new favorite after-work activity}
{speaking of my favorite little guy…}
{the perfect gin martini…recipe + tutorial coming sooooon}
{standing up for women’s health together}
{and of course, more snow}

Hope you’re all having a lovely week.

xxLena

spring to do list

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spring / to do

Is declaring a to-do list for the spring season on Feb 27 a bit premature? Probably, but the sun is shining and the sky is blue and all I can think about is SPRING. Fresh, bright, shiny spring. I’m looking so forward to longer days, warmer temps, and, just recently, the option of whether or not to wear a top at all! #freethenipple 

While I doubt I’ll be ditching my tops altogether any time soon, spring is coming, and I can’t wait. Keep reading to see what things I’d like to accomplish or do in spring…

1. Go camping and test out our new sleeping bag.

2. Have a picnic in the park (hopefully a weekly occurrence!).

3. Visit the downtown farmer’s market (ditto, above).

4. Do a proper brewery tour of Fort Collins on bikes.

5. Stick to a budgeted meal plan and use Sundays as ‘prep’ days.

6. Mari Kondo the crap out of our garage.

7. Revive our sad little herb garden. Winter (aka me) was not kind to it. 

8. Drive to New Mexico for an ‘impromptu’ road-trip (which I will plan and organize like crazy, obvs).

9. Try 3 new classes at my gym.

10. Walk through the arboretum on campus to say hi to all the new trees coming back to life.

What are you looking forward to this season? Let me know in the comments!

(img via pinterest)

blush

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color / decor / design / love / style

Hey friends!

I’ve been a bad blogger this week, and I apologize. I have a whole bunch of half-written posts that I just didn’t like enough to publish and subject you all to, so, instead, today is going to be all about pretty images to soothe and inspire you 🙂 Enjoy!

So….I have a new crush…on a color.

Yes, having a crush on a color is a little weird, but I work in website design, ok? I’m a color and font freak (#F2E5E4 – aka Glossier pink – is my current FAVE). In any case, I have been delighted to see my new favorite color popping up all over the fashion world for Spring.

Actually, now that I think about it, my wedding dress was blush! So I guess I’m not a trend FOLLOWER…I’m a trend SETTER! So there. All I know is, I’m in love and if Conrad is not careful, he’s going to end up sleeping in a pink room (but seriously, how GORGEOUS is this?

Keep scrolling for more ways to incorporate blush into your life…



*Swoon*

It’s just sooooooooooooo pretty!
What do you think?

xxLena

friday favorites

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friday / friday favorites / lately / latelylena / weekend

Hello! TGIF!

I hope you’ve all had relatively smooth and successful weeks. I didn’t feel well this Monday, so mine didn’t start off great, but I’m thankfully feeling much better now. This weekend’s weather is supposed to be decent (60F, cloudy), so we’re planning on starting the mountain of work that is organizing our garage. I’m still in the naive frame of mind that this task is going to be ‘fun’, but I prefer that to the underlying feeling of dread I can sense building up, so I’m just going with it. Wish us luck! We will definitely need it.

Now, time for some favorites!

Favorite parenting hacks:
{even if you’re not a parent, these hacks are crazy clever. #100 is my FAVE. Via Buzzfeed}

Favorite spring outfit:

{WHERE ARE YOU SPRING????}

Favorite beginner’s guide:

{the penultimate guide to being an activist, via The Every Girl}

Favorite shoes (that I definitely DO NOT NEED):

{resist, Lena….RESIST! Sneakers from Nike, available here}

Favorite insight:

{ten crazy health trends we’ve fallen for over the years, via Oprah.com}

Favorite inspirational stories:

{six women share their career struggles, via Create & Cultivate}

Favorite weekend baking project:

{get ready for this….raspberry meringue earl grey shortbread tartlets – oh my! – via Oh Sweet Day}

Have a wonderful weekend, friends!
xxLena

my favorite winter skin savers

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beauty / products / sephora / sephora play

Raise your hand if you’re as sick of winter as I am!

Ok, to be fair, I’m not necessarily sick of winter, but I just hate this part of winter. It’s such a tease!

You know, when you get random little glimpses of sun and warmth, and you start to feel optimistic that sunnier days are ahead. You start to fold away some of your bulkiest sweaters, and you even attempt to coax your dead basil back to life…and then, BAM.
It SNOWS.
It FREEZES.
It HAILS.
Or worse, ALL THREE HAPPEN.
I’m so sick of winter, you guys.


My biggest gripe about winter, though, is how I always end up feeling like a scaly crocodile come spring. I grew up mostly on the equator, where the climate is humid and warm all year round. The only weather change is the monsoon season, during which it pours for months on end. Besides the never-ending issue of frizz and feeling like you’re being cooked from the inside out, I’m mostly cool with that.

What I am not so cool with, however, is how difficult regular seasons have been on my skin, especially in Northern Colorado, where the air is bone dry. I’m constantly sporting band-aids on my cracked cuticles, and my skin drinks up every little droplet of moisture it can get. Since many of you are in the same boat at the moment, I thought it might be useful to share some of the products that have been saving my skin this winter.

I recently subscribed to Sephora PLAY, a subscription box that sends you customized, curated product samples to test and play with, all for $10/month. So far, the boxes have been AWESOME. You tell Sephora what kind of skin/hair/beauty/etc. issues you have, or what kind of products you love, and it chooses things that specifically suit your needs so you can try them before committing to the full size.

My skin faves, below, are a mix of products that I’ve loved for years and some newbies that I discovered through Sephora PLAY that have been total lifesavers this season.

(Please note that I am in NO WAY being compensated by Sephora Play for this post, I just really like their service!

From left to right:

1. Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer – This is a new one to me, but I can already tell it is going to be a fan-favorite. I’m not a fan of heavy coverage for daytime looks, so this tinted moisturizer is a great way to cover some of my imperfections while still letting my real skin shine through. Plus, it has SPF 20 so I can reapply it halfway throughout the day to protect from the sun (which is just as damaging in winter as it is in summer, despite summer sun feeling so much hotter).

2. Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré (24-Hour Miracle Cream) – This stuff is incredible. A French pharmacy staple, this lotion is soothing, plumping, fragrance-free, and perfect for all skin types. I use it in the morning after I wash my face, and it absorbs perfectly into my skin without leaving a shiny or oily finish on the skin. It won’t do much in the way of wrinkle prevention/treatment, but if you’re on the market for an excellent daytime moisturizer, this is your guy. And it’s paraben-free!

3. Burt’s Bees Almond & Milk Hand Cream – Oh, guys. This cream is AMAZING. Remember that gross cuticle issue I mentioned above? When I use this cream every night before bed, that problem literally disappears before my eyes. This cream is THICK, luxurious, and not for the faint of heart. I usually only apply it before bed, because it is pretty thick and heavy, but it gets the job done like no other, and it’s a great natural product.

4. Nuxe Rêve De Miel Ultra Nourishing Lip Balm – Another French favorite, this lip balm has something of a cult following, and after using it even once, it’s easy to see why. It’s one of those lip balms you can apply once and you don’t need to reapply it for another 4-5 hours. Seriously! It’s made of up to 75% natural ingredients and has a subtle grapefruit flavor, a nice break from all the cloying vanilla/coconut-ty flavors that are so popular among chapsticks.

5. Caudalie Beauty Elixir – I got this from one of my Sephora PLAY boxes, and I am absolutely going to be re-purchasing it when it’s empty. I know what you’re thinking – why would you ever spend money on a facial spray, right? But this product is magic. First of all, it smells like a relaxing day at the spa (or, at least, what I would imagine that smells like since I work full-time and never spend days at the spa). Second, upon spritzing your face with it, this toning spray provides an instant burst of radiance and even minimizes the appearance of pores. It’s refreshing and moisturizing and brightening, all in one, and the perfect antidote to a dry, dull complexion. Love it.

6. tarte FRXXXTION Stick Exfoliating Cleanser – This is another PLAY item, and, I will admit, I had to look it up before figuring out what the heck it was. So, what is it, exactly? It’s an exfoliating stick cleanser that you apply somewhat like a chapstick, except it goes all over your face and you add water and turn it into a facial scrub. Exfoliating your skin is especially important in winter because your dead skin cells can accumulate and make your skin look dull and dry. It’s vegan-friendly formula draws out surface oil and reduces shine, while purifying pores for the deepest clean possible.You can apparently use it as a mask, an exfoliator, or a cleanser, though I’ve only used it as a scrub so far.

7. Dr. Jart+ Cicapair™ Tiger Grass Cream – Now this little cream is pricey, but if redness is something that affects you in winter, forget about everything above and JUST BUY THIS. The Tiger Grass Cream soothes skin damage caused by dryness, irritation, and inflammation (all lovely winter skin side-effects) and is formulated with resurrection plant, houttuynia cordata, and yarrow to enhance the skin’s viability and make it appear less tired and dull. This is a sample, so I only use it when my under-the-nose redness situation is dire, but it works like a charm and soothes my skin like nothing else.

There you go! All my favorite products this season. If you like this post, let me know and I’ll try to do some more regular beauty posts. I’ve always liked reading about other people’s experiences with new (and old) products, so if you have any winter skin lifesavers, please share those too!

xxLena