February 10th, 2013

I stood in the kitchen chopping olives and folding little blankets of ham and salami into miniature sandwiches. Our wicker picnic basket sat gaping at my feet, slowly being laden with wine, plump strawberries, heart shaped candies, and of course the muffuletta sammies. Outside the kitchen window, the world was bedding down in a rosy glow as the sun began its descent. I had been planning this little date night as a sort of pre-valentines-day adventure and a way to try out my new-found mini muffuletta recipe for Fat Tuesday. The February weather was being exceptionally kind to us and the cold gloom from earlier in the day had long since faded.

Mike and I made it down the street to the beach with an hour to spare before sunset. The sand was practically deserted; the stretch of shoreline was ours. We popped open our favorite bottle from Weins (well worth the run-in with the police that it caused!) and tucked in to our little snacks.

 

Hourglass & Bloom

Hourglass & Bloom

Hourglass & Bloom

Hourglass & Bloom

Hourglass & Bloom

Hourglass & Bloom

Hourglass & Bloom

Hourglass & Bloom

 

 

Muffulettas are a traditional New Orleans sandwich, and I figured they’d be the perfect way to celebrate the upcoming Mardi Gras. The rich salami, silky provolone, and smoky ham are offset by the tang of olive salad, held together by a sturdy bun. So, so good. For a deliciously simple recipe, click here!

 

 

MINI MUFFULETTA SANDWICHES

MINI MUFFULETTA SANDWICHES

MINI MUFFULETTA SANDWICHES

MINI MUFFULETTA SANDWICHES

MINI MUFFULETTA SANDWICHES

 

Hourglass & Bloom

 

The sun crept slowly toward its melting point on the horizon, the serenity and beauty of the moment so much more than any words I could write here. Shadowy sailboats eclipsed the crimson sunset, drifting towards the harbor. The sand rippled beneath gentle gusts of sea air. And as Adele crooned Make You Feel My Love from the radio at our side, my best friend and guardian of my heart asked me to spend the rest of my life with him.

I am absolutely beyond a shadow of a doubt the luckiest woman in the world.

 

 

Hourglass & Bloom

Hourglass & Bloom

Hourglass & Bloom

Hourglass & Bloom

Hourglass & Bloom

Hourglass & Bloom

Hourglass & Bloom

 

Hourglass & Bloom

 

Three Things.

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Currently reading: The Night Circus. So, so good. Only half way through. Don’t tell me what happens.

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Butter + Radish + Salt = Delicious Goodness. Try it on a toasty little open-face sandwich. It’ll change your life.

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One of my favorites…the original conversation hearts. Photo taken minutes before it officially became the best day of my life.

The Oil Cleansing Method

Dewy and glowing skin, free of imperfections, blackheads, pimples, and grime: every woman’s ever-elusive goal. Our quest is expensive, frustrating, and often riddled with failure.

Don’t worry, it’s all over now. Take a deep breath and relax. Today…we’re cleansing with oil.

Oil?!” you say, baffled. “Well that’s sort of counter-intuitive!

I get where you’re coming from, I do. Earlier this week I had the same reaction. But after much persuasion from a friend of mine, I gave it a try.

 

OIL CLEANSING METHOD , Hourglass And Bloom

 

Hear me out: our skin already oozes a bit of oil for protection and lubrication, but the oil that we produce gets clogged and dirty throughout the day. So we trudge home, feeling a bit icky and slick, and strip down our face with chemicals and fragrances and crap. Our poor skin is left feeling dry, desperately trying to repair its self. It’ll go into overdrive trying to replace the oils that are lost, and this often creates even more clogged pores and stress. But oil isn’t the culprit here. It’s not some mean monster to be reckoned with; our body produces it naturally, and it’s the key to beautiful, glowing skin.

 

So, on to the basics…you want to replace the dirty oil on your face with clean, good quality oil.

 

For oily skin use: 30% Castor Oil to 70% Sunflower or Grapeseed Oil

For balanced skin use: 20% Castor Oil to 80% Sunflower or Grapeseed Oil

For dry skin use: 10% Castor Oil to 90% Sunflower or Grapeseed Oil

 

OIL CLEANSING METHOD , Hourglass And Bloom

OIL CLEANSING METHOD , Hourglass And Bloom

 

Castor oil has potent anti-inflammatory and extractive properties, and is healing and cleansing. Sunflower and Grapeseed oils are thinner, but no less nurturing; they provide essential fatty acids which are necessary for cell membrane health, among other things.

So, get your personal oil cocktail ready. You don’t need to take off your makeup (that’s another incredible bonus – the oils will remove makeup too, even the most stubborn waterproof mascara!).

Begin massaging a good amount of oil into your skin in circular motions using your fingers. Keep going for a minute or two.

 

OIL CLEANSING METHOD , Hourglass And Bloom

 

Next, douse a washcloth in piping hot water, as hot as you can take it. Wring it out (carefully), and lay it over your face. The steam will open the pores and aid in releasing any impurities. Leave the cloth over your face until it’s no longer hot.

 

OIL CLEANSING METHOD , Hourglass And Bloom

 

Gently wipe the excess oil from your face with the damp cloth. Don’t rub too hard – remember that you’ve replaced the bad oils with these good ones and you want them to continue to nourish the skin.

 

OIL CLEANSING METHOD , Hourglass And Bloom

OIL CLEANSING METHOD , Hourglass And Bloom

 

You can repeat the steam once more, if you feel so inclined. I like to…just because it’s relaxing and I can pretend I’m at some fancy spa. After you’re all finished, you’ll be amazed at how vibrant your skin already looks, and ohhhh man does it feel like butter! If you don’t feel quite comfortable replacing your usual skincare routine with the oil cleansing method, just start by using it a few times a week as a bit of pampering!

For more information on the Oil Cleansing Method, visit this sliiiiiightly new-agey but very informative site.

Happy cleansing!

xo

 

THE OIL CLEANSING METHOD

BACON : A Cookie’s Story

Roses are red.

Bacon is red.

Poems are hard.

Bacon.

There was a time, about a week ago, when I decided I should eat much cleaner for the sake of bikinis and non-stretchy-jeans.  That was last week. This is now. And today we’re wearing leggings and eating bacon.

 

BACON CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES // Hourglass & Bloom

 

When I think of the ultimate chocolate chip cookie, I think of a warm kitchen; I think of basting myself in the smell of saccharine buttery goodness as I watch the timer tick away. I think of breaking into that first cookie, gooey chocolate stringing out between the two halves, a wisp of steam escaping. The crust is just golden, the center chewy, the chocolate chunks are perfectly melted, and little crystals of salt burst on my palette. The only thing that could possibly usurp this cookie’s place in my heart would be the addition of…bacon.

So….start by rifling through your stack of cookbooks and procuring your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. If you haven’t quite given your heart away to one yet, I suggest this one.

 

BACON CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES // Hourglass & Bloom

BACON CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES // Hourglass & Bloom

 

As you’re blending and mixing and conjuring up your cookie dough, have some bacon sizzling nearby. Cook it longer than you normally might, you want it in that pan until it is crisssssspy. No, not burnt. Crispy.

Once the bacon has cooled, give it a chop and a crumble and sprinkle it into the cookie dough like the magical fairy dust that it is.

 

BACON CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES // Hourglass & Bloom

IMG_5194

BACON CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES // Hourglass & Bloom

 

Stir it all up, make a few dough balls, place them on a cookie sheet, and pop the sheet in the oven. Ignore your stomach growling and howling for the next fifteen or so minutes…it won’t be long…just a few more minutes…and out come golden delicious lip-smacking biscuits of glory! Big chunks of semi-sweet chocolate, savory crunches of salty fatty bacon, and warm buttery chewy cookie! I can’t even…..I can’t go on…

 

BACON CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES // Hourglass & Bloom

IMG_5215

BACON CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES // Hourglass & Bloom

BACON CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES // Hourglass & Bloom

Yeahhhhhhhhhhh………………….you’re welcome.

***These cookies may be stored uncovered on the counter for up to two days, after which you should place in an air-tight container and store in the refrigerator***