Friday, November 4, 2011

cold and sleeping beauty

It almost seems inevitable that I would take a few days off after MoFo.  I love MoFo, but there is something about "obligatory" blogging that wears me out a bit.  Obviously, I chose the obligation, and there weren't really any rules about blogging every single day, but when there's such a good chance new eyes will find your posts, you don't really want to skip a night.  So anyway, sorry about all that.  I'm back!

Fortunately, some fun and exciting things (as well as self-deprecating moments of wallowing in near existential crisis) have been happening in my absence.  Why don't we pick up where I left off - Wednesday.

Wednesday, if I recall, became quite cold by the lightless hours.  This only helped me appreciate more the lovely present awaiting me on the kitchen table when I returned home from work that night: my brand new, 3rd of the limited run, Audrey coat from Vaute Couture!  I don't know if I ever mentioned that I ordered it (back in August, which got me the coat at a 45% discount), but I have been anxiously awaiting it, especially as October drew to a close and I began to anticipate and experience the bone-chilling winds of November.

This picture actually shows the Hepburn coat (big difference, I know).  The huge difference between the two is probably about 6 inches.  While the Hepburn is more similar to the coat I replaced - a wool pea-coat that stopped just above my knees - the Audrey travels to mid-calf.  This will result in an increase of warmth I probably can't even fully recognize just yet.

I haven't worn my new coat out yet because it's been quite temperate since it arrived (go figure), but it has some serious lining, so I'm sure it will live up to the claims of being wind-proof.  This was one of the deciding factors - I think the coats are gorgeous, and it's almost a rite of passage for the underground diva in me to own a couture coat, but truly, I'm just tired of shivering through a wool coat in a Philadelphia winter.

I was supposed to attend a Dia de los Muertos party Wednesday night and I spent a decent bit of time preparing for it by daydreaming about the sugar skull make-up I wanted to try for it.  Unfortunately, I forgot I was old until after I'd made, eaten, and cleaned up dinner.  By then it was 10pm, it was cold, and I had grown just enough common sense to recognize that it was too late to safely ride the El to West Philly and back.  I think the only reason Mister did not expressly forbid me to go was that he isn't my father.

Because I am a nice person, to use the words of a new boss, I agreed to work the later shift at work last night so another colleague could work early and attend an event after work last night.  As such, there were no fun dinner stories, aside from Mister and I taking turns heating up leftovers.  We ended up sitting at the table together, though, and discussing Occupy Philly, theology, and race relations until almost midnight.  He drank coffee, I drank champagne, and together we put a small dent in the bag of Halloween candy my father gave me on my way to work.

Today, after sleeping past noon and taking our time waking up, Mister and I were happily ensconced in our Day Off Routine of drinking coffee and playing on the internet when there were two short buzzes from the "doorbell."  Ordinarily, we ignore the doorbell since it's right on the street and sometimes hoodlums walking down the street think it's funny to ring a doorbell as they walk past.  Today, though, I yelled to Mister (who was fully dressed already), "Hurry, it's my present!"

Mister jumped up and ran out the door - Philly mailmen don't leave packages and don't wait more than a few seconds before deciding you aren't there even though they know full well you probably have to unlock two locks, run down two flights of stairs to unlock two more locks and run down the small alley to the street...  Regardless, because my former athlete still has it, he returned a few moments later (albeit a bit winded), smiling and holding a perfect white box with my name on it.

I hope I'm not the only woman who buys herself presents.  Maybe I should start following my dad's lead and saying they're from Santa to me.

"Santa" sent me an early Christmas gift (because I'm a really good girl) - a shipment of e.l.f. cosmetics:

  • a palette of 100 shades of eyeshadow
  • 12 cosmetic brushes
  • eyelid primer (just in case these colors don't have the pigment or staying power to match MAC)
  • "porcelain" foundation
  • a 4-shade "shimmer" palette
  • two eyeliner pencils and a pen (Mister said I should save money and just use a Sharpie - he doesn't realize it costs less than a Sharpie)
  • make-up remover wipes (we'll see how they stand up to my Neutrogena wipes)
That was all the provocation I needed to finally get in the shower and start my day - I couldn't wait to paint my face up with all that PETA-approved, cruelty-free makeup.

this is kinda what Heaven looks like to me

I hardly knew where to begin.  Look at all those gorgeous colors!  I watched a couple online makeup tutorials for color inspiration and got to work.  I started with some black, mainly to test the intensity of pigment I was working with and I was absolutely astonished at how dark it went on with only a little dab on my new brush.  Oh, that's another thing - I have been working with the same 3-4 shapes of MAC brushes for the last 10 years (and also, all the make-up I got today costed the same as one blush brush from MAC).  It amazed me what a difference some of these new brushes made.

In the end, I was feeling like a pretty, pretty princess, so I went with a violet-fuschia shade with carbon black in the crease and some silvery-white highlighting just beneath the eyebrows.  I had a bit more trouble than I anticipated filling in my eyebrows, which made me wish I had gone ahead and included the brow pencil in my order.  There's always next time.

You can believe there will be a "next time."  Probably a lot of them.  I'll be honest - I was not expecting the quality I've seen so far.  Do me a favor - head back up to that first shot of all the items I got.  You back?   Good - now, all that stuff?  It was $36.  Last time I went to MAC I spent a little more than twice that amount and came away with 2 eyeshadows, blush, lipstick and liner.  If I had replaced my blush brush like I needed to, I would have taken that total over $100, which is actually all too standard for me.

Totally worth it.  I can barely wait to wake up tomorrow and do it all over again.

You may be thinking, "Um, yeah, so this is great, but what about the food?"  Patience, dearies - here we go!

After discovering that it was quite cold and windy outside during our trip to Whole Foods, I couldn't think of a better way to warm our innards than with a big pot of slow-simmer stew.  Good thing the last item left of the menu was Vegetable Lentil Stew from Vegan on the Cheap!

It was every bit as savory as I remembered it and it went well with the rustic, sour Pain de Campagne from Whole Foods I served alongside. 

Wednesday night's dinner was fun and special, but this nonsense has gone on long enough, so you'll have to wait until tomorrow for that.  Let's look at what's coming up this week!

1. Pasta E Fagioli from Veganomicon, AKA My Favorite Pasta e Fagioli recipe so far.

2. Savoury Shepherd's Pie from How It All Vegan, AKA Mister's Favorite Winter Dinner.  It has been far too long since I've made this and Mister was mourning that there are no good vegan imitations of Pub Food when we were looking at a menu at an Irish Pub/Restaurant the other day.  Eventually, this will result in me trying to make a vegan version of Bangers and Mash, because that is what he truly wanted, but when I told him I put this on the menu, he was pretty darn excited.

3. Pasta Con Broccoli from Appetite for Reduction, because apparently I want to use all my cookbooks in this week's menu.  Also, because broccoli is awesome.

4. Moroccan Chickpeas and Zucchini, also from Appetite for Reduction.

5. Mediterranean Bowl from the Construct Your Own Bowl chapter of Appetite for Reduction.  As we know, I love bowls, so it was only a matter of time before I decided to try one of these.  Since they're so simple (not really a structured recipe), I have skipped these and the Sammiches/Wraps section, but we're gonna give it a go (and now you have Lady Marmalade stuck in your head.  You're welcome.).

6. Tanya's Asian Delight from The Garden of Vegan.  I feel sorry for this cookbook.  I never use it.  It looks brand new.  I just can't get into a lot of the recipes these two crazy Canadians come up with in it (really, WHY would you put diced pickles - AKA relish - in Sloppy Joes?  WHY???).  One thing that I find completely charming in that "not gonna serve it to anyone I want to impress" kind of way is how quirky and down-homey the names of most of their recipes are.  

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to YouTube - magical videos of makeup applications and Evanescence/P!nk are calling me.

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