Tuesday, July 15, 2014

One Less (Hair) Problem: Ian McCabe Studio

It's amazing how much can happen in 5 months. Are blogs even "cool" anymore?? I've taken to watching reruns of Full House on Nick at Nite these days, so I don't think I can be trusted to know. Oh, and I turned 30, so...I'm dying. I mean, not really (although I guess, aren't we all dying all the time just a little bit? I've gotten very existential in my old age). I guess what I'm trying to say is, "Hi. How are you?" 

So within those 5 months, I started watching shows that remind me of my childhood at the very time I undeniably became an adult, and my longtime hair colorist opened his own namesake salon. Goals: Some people have them, other people are lazy. 

The Ian McCabe Studio is, without question, the answer to all your hair problems. And in the words of Ariana Grande, that just means one less problem.
 [The Ian McCabe Studio carries pretty much every Oribe product known to humanity...]

Ian is a master colorist, which basically means he can do anything you can dream up. He's made a name for himself for his balayage expertise and color correction, but I' a big fan of his work on redheads.
 [...including these purse sized sprays. I bought the Anti-Humidity one, obvs]

The entire team at Ian McCabe Studio is incredibly talented. I go to Ian for my color, but I also see Isabelle for my cuts. She's a master at taking off everything she needs to without making me feel like I just got scalped. When I just need a blowout, Kevin is incredible! He's so sweet and can work a round brush like it's his job. I guess that's because it is. Neven is also world-class for cuts, and Jess and Allie are highly sought-over colorists--you know, just in case you're in the neighborhood for a new stylist.
The salon carries two of my favorite product lines: Oribe and Davines. I mean, no joke the selection of Oribe is unreal. What's more, they use the line at the shampoo bowl. DYING!
 [These Davines products are amazing for keeping your color rich, even if it's not chemically treated]
And, I'm sorry, but this shampoo station--that's woven wallpaper!! It's badass. And to answer your question, no, they don't know who that woman is, or if it's even a real image, but shit it looks coold, amirite?!
 [The chic stations at Ian McCabe Studio]
This is Matt, the salon manager, and the reason I know Ian at all (isn't he adorable?!)! Matt and I used to work together. When he spotted what he referred to as my "regrowth," which up to that point I had so gauchely referred to as my ROOTS, he mentioned his boyfriend Ian to me and convinced me I had to see him. Three years later and I won't let anyone else touch my hair. Remember...one less problem.
[Menu of services--I get a single process color, face frame highlights, and a gloss,
but I pretty much trust Ian to do whatever he feels like]
Between the amazing talent and the gorgeous space, I really don't know why you wouldn't want to make an appointment here. Unless you're the dickhead Ariana is singing about...OMG are you!?!?

Want my color?? Or at least, something equally amazing? Check out Ian's salon:

Ian McCabe Studio
1101 23rd Street NW
Washington, DC 20037

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Keep Warm, Look Cool Even in a Clusterflake!

What a total clusterflake* out there, amirite?? Here we are, on the eve of Valentine's Day, and yet it feels like the eve of an Ice Age...like the eve of Santa's butthole...like the OPPOSITE of Summer's Eve! If you don't know what I'm talking about, then you obviously live in Sochi, Russia and not in nearly ALL of the continental US. This is perhaps the only time I will congratulate someone living in the former Soviet Union because TERRIBLE. Regardless, you're probably finding it near impossible to keep warm in the real life version of Elsa's spell, which is exactly why I've rounded up a few of my "stay warm but look cute" must-have accessories!

*Let's please get this trending! Make sure you tag me at @CupcakesOhMG.

1. Cozy sweater in a bright color (SheInside, $28)
2. Closed toe wedge lace-ups (Kate Spade, $229)
3. Glittery red polish (Essie, $8.50)
4. Beanie with pom pom (C. Wonder, $30)
5. Neutral printed cashmere scarf (Calypso St. Barth, $275)
6. Chunky, arty ring (Oscar de La Renta, $136)
7. Fitted down coat with hood (Express, $112)
8. Warm, waterproof boots (Ugg, $325)
9. Furry cashmere mittens (Club Monaco, $39)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Easy Sweet Potato Hash Browns

Hey! Yeah, hi. Here I am. Over here...with the easiest, most delicious recipe for sweet potato hash browns...? Ya see me? Yeah. Hey.
I know a lot of people like to make roasted sweet potatoes for breakfast. The fancier of this ilk will even go so far as to make a "hash" of sorts. But I think we can all agree that hash browns are the penultimate use of tubers at breakfast. I don't know why it only recently occurred to me to shred sweet potatoes, but better late than never, right you guys?
AHHH!!! What is tha--oh. Oh god. That's my hand! Anyway, the secret to getting the perfect, crispy hash browns is to get out as much of the moisture as you can, so...that's what I'm doing here.
And then all you have to do is toss them in a pan with a little bacon fat and fry them up until they soften and brown.

The only thing harder than making these sweet potato hash browns is trying to relate to an episode of Girls as a 29-year-old.*

*I realize suggesting there is only one thing harder than making these is in direct opposition to the theme of this post, but it was late and my brain only works when it isn't looking at words, but, like, you get it???!

Sweet Potato Hash Browns
Makes about 4 servings
  • 2 large sweet potatoes (whatever that means to you)
  • 1 tbsp fat of your choice (I used bacon, but coconut oil, olive oil, or butter would all be fine)
  • salt to taste
1. Peel sweet potato and then grate on a box grater. I used the side that looked like it would make normal sized cheese shreds. 
2. Line a plate with a couple sheets of paper towels. Dump the shredded sweet potato on the paper towels. Using another couple sheets of paper towels, press firmly on the sweet potato, trying to absorb as much moisture as possible. (I did this two times)
3. Add fat to a skillet over medium heat. Once melted, add shredded sweet potato in a thin, even layer. Cook until crispy and browned on both sides--about 4 minutes or so depending on your stove.
4. Remove hash browns from pan and set on another paper towel lined plate. While hash browns are still hot, sprinkle generously with salt to taste. Serve hot with additional breakfast foods.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Winter Skin Care: From Scary to Baby (Spice)

If you live near [insert any land mass on planet Earth here], chances are it’s been unusually cold, even for your [cold/warm/mild/unpredictable] climate, so it’s no surprise your face and body skin is dry, scaly, and all around pretty effing creepy right now. Mine had gotten so bad earlier this month that I knew I needed to step up my game, lest I wanted to look like the victim of a chemical peel gone terribly wrong all winter. After trying several skincare regimes, this is the one I’ve been swearing by the past couple of weeks, and I’m delighted to tell you: I look amazing.

1. Fresh Sugar Face Polish, $58
2. GlamGlow Super Mud, $69
3. Bliss Fabulips lip scrub, $18
4. La Mer lip balm, $50
5. CeraVe PM face lotion, $10
6. Caudalie Cru Eye Cream, $99
7. Korres Body Butter Vanilla Guava, $29
8. Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black, $55

I’d been vaguely familiar with the Fresh line of products for a while, but had never tried them until a Sephora sales associate explained that this was the best facial exfoliant because not only did it remove dead skin gently and effectively, it also nourishes and hydrates skin making it feel moisturized and even radiant. None of this is lip service—the product actually works this way! It says you can use it 3-4 times a week…I love it so much, I’ve probably been using it more like 5-6.

Following my face polish, I will sometimes use my Glam Glow (in the white jar) to spot treat. This formula is designed to clean out pores, making it a great overnight spot treatment. So yes, literally, dot this junk on any blemish you have or feel rising up from the depth of your face holes and leave it on overnight (it will NOT rub off on your sheets). When you rinse it off in the morning, your spots will be visibly improved.

I know the idea of exfoliating your lips seems a little excessive, but this is a complete must have for me this winter. I’ve talked about Bliss’ fabulips lip scrub before and it’s even more true this season. Top with a luxurious lip balm to seal in the moisture!

Once my skin is bright and smooth, I top it with a rich, non-greasy facial moisturizer. Since I do this routine at night, I love my CeraVe PM face lotion (though admittedly, I also use it in the AM…YOU CAN’T HOLD ME BACK, LOTION!!). It’s incredibly moisturizing and is formulated to last throughout the night as your skin does most of its restoring.

I’m still on a journey to find the most effective eye cream, which is why the photo above is of a sample, but I needed to make sure this shit worked before shelling out my cold hard cash! Looks like I’m about to be out $100 though, because this Caudalie Cru Eye Cream is rocking my world! I dot on a little under my eye, around the outer corner, and up to my brow bone, morning and night, and while I don’t know exactly what it’s doing, I do notice some of the fine lines creeping up have minimized in the past couple weeks.

Of course, no winter skin care regimen is complete without taking care of the rest of your gross, scaly body. This season, I’m obsessed with Korres Body Butter in Guava Vanilla, a rich, elegant vanilla scent. I love body butters, but find that more often than not, they’re too greasy for my taste. Plus, they often come in a tub, and that’s just a pain in the ass when your hands are covered in grease. This body butter is super rich, but not the slightest bit greasy—it absorbs into the skin immediately; plus, it comes in a tube, making the lotioning process much less frustrating.

I know we’re talking primarily about a nighttime skin care routine, but I just thought you had to know about the new Elizabeth and James fragrance line. I have both Nirvana White and Black, but if you only want to splurge for one, I’d recommend the Black. It’s more sensual and spicy, which makes it perfect for the winter time. Ya know, when you’re not shaving your legs and your lips are dry and crusty. It’s the perfect formula for seduction.

What else are y'all using to keep the scales away this winter season?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Reading is Stupid and Books Are Dumb: And Other Words of Wisdom That Come From My Mouth

I hate reading blog posts that don't have visuals embedded in them to break up the text, because let's face it: I read at a second grade level. That's not to say my literacy stops there, it's just to say, that's where I prefer to keep my reading challenge: right above flipbooks, but just below the reading comprehension required to read the facts on the back of a cereal box. If I've described you, then you're about to be set up for a world of disappointment today. Leave immediately and go directly here. You're welcome.

The last time I read a book, temperatures were in the 90's. I dunno. Maybe that's not all that long ago to some of you, but it seems like a lot of you are constantly obsessing over some new book. Meanwhile, I'm like, "how do people even know when books come out? Is there a YouTube channel of book commercials I can watch?" I'm not bringing this up because I'm particularly proud of it; but I'm not necessarily ashamed of it either. It's simply a fact. It just kind of IS, like 4G or those little paper cups that you pump ketchup into--I don't really give it much thought. 

But just because I'm not a voracious reader, I wouldn't let that stop me from churning out a book of my own! (I'd let the fact that a.) I don't know how to construct a book in the first place and b.) I don't have a book deal anyway stop me.) That said, I think the best part of any book I could possibly pen would have to be its titles. So, until Random House calls me, I'll leave you with merely the makeup of the chapter names of my memoir.

Prologue: Confessions of a Drag Queen in a Woman's Body
Chapter 1. I Think the One Thing We Can All Agree On is That Carpet is Terrible!
Chapter 2. 8 Reasons Why Everyone Should Own Silk Track Pants
Chapter 3. "Don't Let Anyone With Bad Eyebrows Tell You Shit About Life" And Other Truisms
Chapter 4. GOLDDDD!!!
Chapter 5: The Art of the Selfie
Chapter 6: Fat Days, Ugly Face Days, and Other Things that Can Ruin an Otherwise Perfectly Fine Day
Chapter 7: The Most Disgusting Thing You Will Ever See is a Man Applying Chapstick
Chapter 8: Looks Aren't Everything -- They're the Only Thing
Chapter 9: Why Don't Guys Want to Get Manicures?
Chapter 10: Pinterest is Trying to Kill You: A Self-Defense Manual
Chapter 11: How to Master DIPE-ing (the Documented Incident of Public Eating)

I've just checked with Kyle and he tells me that 11 chapters are more than enough for my unpublished book, but I want you to know that there's more where all this came from. But I'll wait to share until my second book comes out.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

"Paleo No She Didn't": Chicken Zoodle Soup

I know it seems like I'm becoming more of a vlogger, but that's only because I'm becoming more of a vlogger. But I think you guys are up for it. Here's the second episode of Paleo No She Didn't! (In case you haven't already, you can subscribe to my on YouTube here.)

Chicken Zoodle Soup
Makes about 8 servings
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large clove of garlic, minced
  • 3-4 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 lb. chicken (dark meat), chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 quarts chicken stock
  • handful of parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 zucchini, spiralized or peeled into "zoodles"
  • salt and pepper to taste
1. Add olive oil to a large pot and turn heat to medium. Add onions and a pinch of salt and sweat for a couple minutes.
2. Add garlic to onion and cook for another minute.
3. Add carrots and celery to onion and garlic. Cook for about 2 minutes.
4. Pour chicken stock over vegetables and bring heat to medium high. Add bay leaves. Cook until veggies soften and are fork tender.
5. Add chicken to soup and cook for about 10 minutes. Taste broth and adjust seasoning to taste.
6. Combine zoodles into soup and allow to cook for another couple minutes.
7. Just before serving, remove bay leaves and add parsley. Serve piping hot!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Paleo No She Didn't! Featuring Ginger(not)bread and Paleo Hot Chocolate

Over the summer, I got the harebrained idea to start a Paleo cooking web series, and because YouTube is free to anyone with an internet connection and a dream, I finally got my life together enough to put the first episode together for you.

I'm proud to present "Paleo No She Didn't!" A show about how I bastardize what it means to eat paleo. This week, I'm kicking things off with two holiday favorites: Gingerbread and Hot Chocolate! I hope you like it!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Paleo Cheez-Its--JK, Just "Cheezey" Kale Chips

How many months ago were kale chips? Like, would you say...3 months? Maybe 6 months? Were kale chips SO 14 months ago? Look, I don't know. I can't keep up with these hippie food trends (yes I can) so excuse me if I'm approximately a year and a half behind the kale chip movement.
The truth is, kale chips are kind of the worst, #amirite? I tried making them once before and they were a soggy mess. Spoiler alert: I used oil which seems completely unnecessary now after trying this recipe.
 Also, kale chips are never really capable of satisfying that CHIP craving anyway, so in the end it's like, "UGH, why am I eating grass right now?"
But enough about disgusting vegetables--let's talk about these Cheezey Kale chips. I first tried something like these a few months ago when I was traipsing through Whole Foods with an empty stomach and a fresh paycheck in my bank account, so obviously I bought a $7 bag of 3 ounces of cheezey kale chips. They were AMAZING. I ate all two servings in one sitting.
Anyway, after shelling out probably $147 for these things over the past few months, I finally got brave enough to try making them myself, and guess what! They were almost as good. But still a pretty good substitute for when you want something that tastes like a Cheez-It but isn't, and doesn't run the price of a small goat in a third world country.

"Cheezey" Kale Chips
Makes about 4 servings
  • 2 bunches of kale
  • 1.5 cups raw unsalted cashews
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, stem and seeds removed and roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 Tbsp coconut aminos
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 lemon, peeled and de-seeded as much as possible
  • salt to taste
1. Soak cashews in water for at least an hour before starting.
2. Preheat your oven to it's lowest setting, about 180 or 200 degrees F. 
3. Drain cashews and set aside. Tear kale leaves off stems and into large chunks (they'll shrink as they bake).
4. Add cashews, bell pepper, garlic, coconut aminos, olive oil, nutritional yeast, lemon, and salt to a food processor. Puree until everything is really smooth. It will be thick.
5. In a large bowl, combine kale leaves with cheezey cashew paste--you'll have to use your fingers to "paint" the chips with the paste, so prepare to get messy, but get it evenly on the chips. This is the good stuff!
6. Lay kale chips flat on a baking sheet in one layer (don't pile them on top of each other). Bake in the oven for an hour, then flip them over. Bake until they're completely dry (about another hour).
7. Store in an airtight container!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Holiday Gift Guide: Dudes

I don't think I'm alone when I say OUR diet starts tomorrow, amirite ladies?! I'd also bet I'm not alone when I say that buying for the fellas in your life is generally one of the harder demographics to cross off your holiday gift list. To ease some of the pain of that particular shopping experience, I've curated a list of dude-friendly gift ideas with nary a tchochke in sight! And because Black Friday is just barely a notch higher on the "I want to shoot myself in the face" meter than a visit to the DMV the day your drivers license expires, here are all the links where you can buy these things without changing out of your stretchy pants. G'head, have that third helping of leftovers.

1. FitBit, $99.99 - (Read in the voice of Stefon) This thing does EVERYTHING: tracks your sleeping patterns, counts the calories you burn in a day, JUDGMENTALLY SMACKS THAT BAGEL OUT OF YOUR HAND AND CALLS YOU FAT! You'll have your own Littlest Loser moment--you know, it's like that thing when it's the Biggest Loser, but everyone's a midget, and "Lil" Jillian Michaels pops out from behind a tree one day, yells at you for not moving fast enough, prods you about your back story, makes you cry, and then forces you to do 100 burpees or throw up--whichever comes first!

2. Ray Ban Aviators, $153 - For the guy whose future is so bright, he needs shades (ugh, I really hope you don't know anyone who would ever say that) or just the guy who's really good at not losing stuff, get him a pair of the sunglasses that look good on everyone, even your pre-pubescent nephew!

3. Bacon of the Month Club, $99 - $189 - You know what people hate? "of the Month Clubs." You know what people love? Bacon. Jam the two together and you have a pretty decent gift for the guy who would otherwise be getting a 3-D puzzle of the Starship Enterprise. (No, but really, this one sounds pretty good.)

4. Nick Offerman's "Paddle Your Own Canoe", $16.17 - Most men will tell you there are only 3 things you really need to know how to do: grow a mustache, grill meat, and woo women. This book will tell you how to perfect all of them, and by none other than man-of-men Ron Swanson. 

5. At-home IPA Brewing Kit, $44.95 - IPAs are horrible, however, men seem to love them. Why not trick him into staying home and watching more "The Notebook" with you under the guise of brewing his own horrible, horrible beer?? 

6. Bose noise-cancelling ear buds, $299.95 - For the guy who's always on the go (or just can't stand to hear you sing the new Kelly Clarkson holiday song in the shower one more time), surprise him with the ear bud version of the classic Bose noise-cancelling headphones, just don't get mad at him if he slips them on the next time you get on your "RHOBH is the best of all the housewives series" soapbox.

7. Apple TV, $99.99 - Let's face it: guys like technology. Especially when that technology allows them to access all of their television mediums (Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, even your own Apple devices) on your actual TV. 

8. KIEHL'S Ultimate Man Soap, $15 - Boys smell pretty gross, amirite? Get them to WANT to shower with this bar of soap. It's lightly citrus scented but it's the grainy chunks of bran and oatmeal gently/uncomforatbly sloughing off your top dermal layer that will keep them coming back. 

9. Kettlebells, $74.99 (for 35 pounds) - In case you haven't already made you point, crystalize your "I think you should lose weight" message by gifting your favorite man a kettlebell, just make sure you get a least 1 pood. Hehe. That just means 35 pounds. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Simple Roast Chicken

The internet is a wondrous place, full of more information that you could ever need about everything from Nazi hunters to forgotten informercials from the '90s. Needless to say, there are basically a million recipes for roast chicken, some of which are more intimidating than others, and even though my favorite website of all time recently explored the topic in depth, I lack dignity and self-respect, which is why I wanted to share my recipe for roast chicken too!
I'm guessing mine isn't very different from yours, but I do have a tiny variation that I think makes a huge difference: Orange.
Most of the roast chicken recipes I'm acquainted with call for lemon, but I find that the swap for orange keeps the brightness that lemon adds but swaps the sourness for sweetness, which is always better IMO! That, plus a generous dose of salt and a high temperature give this chicken incredible flavor and crispy skin without any butter. #paleo
I served it alongside some mashed sweet potatoes (or you could make this, which has quickly become my all-time most popular recipe thanks to this Buzzfeed shoutout--self promotion FTW!!!).

Simple Roast Chicken
Feeds 4 adults

  • 4-5 lb organic, free-range whole chicken
  • 6-7 springs thyme
  • 1 orange
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • lots of kosher salt and pepper
  • olive oil
1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Pat chicken dry with a paper towel. Drizzle about a tsp or two of olive oil all over chicken (top, bottom, and inside the cavity--you may need to remove the giblets, so do that first). Gently rub olive oil all over chicken.
3. Liberally sprinkle the entire chicken with salt (seriously, use a lot of salt; it's important for getting the right flavor). Make sure you get the cavity too! 
4. Sprinkle pepper everywhere you did with salt. You don't need as much pepper as salt, but don't be shy!
5. Slice the orange in half. Throw orange halves, garlic, and thyme into the cavity.
6. Place chicken on a roasting rack in a roasting pan. I like to put mine in breast-side down to allow the juices from the dark meat to drip to the white meat underneath, but you don't have to do that.
7. Roast chicken for an hour, then turn up oven temperature to 450 degrees F. Cook for another 30-60 minutes, or until thigh meat renders 165 degrees with a meat thermometer.
8. Remove from oven and allow to sit for about 15 minutes before carving.

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