Thursday, January 8, 2015

JSQ in the Kitchen: Southwestern Black Bean Salad



In keeping with my Resolution to cook more, I whipped up one of my favorite recipes last night and can I please just tell you...Skinnytaste.com NEVER LETS ME DOWN. Every recipe is amazing, and Gina (who I just fangirl over constantly on this blog and on Pinterest) lists the Weight Watchers points and calories for every meal.

While this Southwestern Black Bean Salad recipe is totally more of a Summertime hit, if you're craving protein-rich beans, sweet corn, or avocados (which is every day of the year for me) this salad is super easy to whip up on a weeknight. And if you're cooking for one like I am, it also stores well in the fridge for a few days so you can nibble on it all week. Personally, I use 1 cup of it (4 Weight Watchers PointsPlus) as a salsa (I double the amount of tomato in the recipe to achieve this effect) that I pair with Original Flavor Pop Chips for a touch of saltiness (and only 3 more PointsPlus). This is quite honestly my favorite snack, and today I even brought it for lunch!

NOW, Skinnytaste is even a cookbook. I obviously own a copy that I bought the day it became available at Barnes & Noble, and even gave a copy to my mom for Christmas. If I really wanted to learn to cook, I could just cook my way through the Skinnytaste cookbook a la Julie & Julia...Totally kidding, but actually 62% serious. Bon Appetit! 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Hello, 2015! Hello 30!


I can not believe 2015 is upon us. Not only that, but this is a very big year for me because at the very end of it, I'm turning 30! I can't tell yet if I'll have any anxiety about that, but it could go either way at the moment!

While I haven't been stressing about the numbers too much, I have been taking some big strides at the tail end of 2014 to achieve some much needed work/life balance, spend more quality time with friends, and yes...I even started dating. Let me tell you, it's been an adventure, and one I definitely don't post much about on here (because I don't post much at all these days...I promise I'm trying to change that) but I may be getting a little more...personal on this blog in 2015. I think of those of you who have stuck with me through about 2.5 years of infrequent updates as family and friends by now. You're in the inner circle.

So with that, I give you my list of 30 things I'd like to do this year, before turning 30. And I raise a glass to toast each of you, with the hope that you all accomplish all you're meant to this year. Cheers!

1  Keep an up-to-date calendar/planner (past March...)
2  Keep my desktop/workspace clean (spot clean every day before leaving work)
3  Take an improv comedy class
4  Set up drinks/dinner with a new female friend
5  Blog at least twice a week
6  Wear makeup everyday (bonus points if I put it on at home and not at my desk)
7  Go kayaking at Riverside or Brooklyn Bridge Park
8  Go skiing at least twice this season
9  Pay off my credit card
10  Take a design/art workshop or class
11  Buy a sketchbook and start to doodle again
12  Learn to make simple things I haven't tried i.e. whipped cream, poached eggs, roast chicken
13  Find a general practitioner that I like, and have a full check-up (I'm embarrassed to say I haven't been to a GP in 3+ years)
14  Buy a new mattress
15  Stick to my diet (I do Weight Watchers, and I always nail it perfectly for 2 months, and then fizzle for a month, and so on...this year I'm going for consistency!)
16  Read at least 20 books
17  Aim to go on at least one date each week
18  Get weekly manicures and DON'T chew fingernails
19  Cut way back on the booze and the occasional cigarette (very important!!)
20  Don't just remove makeup, focus on using my Clinique Sonic System brush for a deeper clean daily
21  Cook for myself at least two days each week
22  Make my bed everyday (this is so sad...I'm going to be 30, it's time)
23  Never visit someone's apartment empty-handed (hostess gifts are in your future, friends!)
24  Make a point to send thank you notes, birthday cards, other meaningful communications
25  Never go a full week without doing yoga
26  Try at least one new recipe every 2 weeks, to broaden cooking/eating horizons
27  Moisturize hands/face/skin daily
28  Drink water (i.e. no more than 2 Diet Cokes per day, how will I ever do this?)
29  Go on a relaxing vacation (preferably out of the country)
30  Feel good, stay positive, be happy

That last one could be the easiest, or the most difficult. And I'm sure this list is only scratching the surface of what I can accomplish this year. But anyway, here we go! Buckle up, it could be a very bumpy ride.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Inside the JSQ Makeup Bag: Fall 2014

So I may have taken myself out for a bit of retail therapy last Friday... and a trip through Sephora led me directly next door to Ted Baker on Fifth Avenue where I found the most to-die-for makeup bag! That, plus a matching pencil case (for my brushes) and two new pairs of fall shoes later, I was ready for the change in seasons! And that brings me to the fact that it's been quite a while since I've given you guys a peek inside the JSQ Makeup Bag. So, without further adieu, here are some of my must-have products, 2014 edition.

1  Too Faced Shadow Insurance is still a staple in my makeup bag and it's served me well since 2011. Try this product and you're guaranteed smudge-proof crease-less eye makeup all day and night long!

2  H&M Lipstick & Lip Gloss is my go-to daytime look. It's pretty and neutral, and with the 2-in-1 factor, it's the perfect for a grab-and-go kind of morning.

3  Make Up For Ever Mat Bronze was a new addition to my bag this summer. I'd never tried Make Up For Ever products before, but they're becoming a new favorite brand. This bronzer is matte and goes on beautifully for a perfect sunkissed glow.

4  Make Up For Ever Duo Mat Powder is the newest product in my arsenal, after I fell in love with the bronzer, I added a powder to match. It's light and perfect for sealing in your look. Loving it so far!

5  Benefit Fake Up Concealer came into my life as a free sample and wound up a staple! It's the perfect under-eye brightener, and I love the silky texture of the moisturizing ring. It goes on like butter and doesn't crease all day.

6  Ted Baker Large Bow Cosmetic Case literally had me at hello. Well, actually this hot pink version was what initially caught my eye, however I opted for the more classic variant and I stand by my choice. The black sateen liner is much less likely to get dirty if any of my makeup products should leak, break or explode (heaven forbid!) I am absolutely in love.

7  Ted Baker Bow Pencil Case I am a sucker for a matching set, so when I saw this pencil case I knew it would be perfect to nest inside my larger makeup case to keep my brushes organized. Tres Magnifique!

8  Clinique Even Better Compact Makeup is the best foundation I've used in quite a while. While I've branched out a bit with the rest of my makeup bag, I'm still very loyal to Clinique when it comes to my skincare regimen, and that includes foundation. This creamy compact makeup buffs on lightly to even out my post-summer freckles, and with my combination skin, it works great on my dry cheeks and semi-oily T-zone. Perfection.

9  Sugar Lip Treatment, Untinted is the best there is. It's part of my morning and evening moisturizing routine and it feels like absolute bliss going on. I absolutely insist you give this product a try. It's a bit pricey (for what's essentially a chap stick) but it's worth every penny when you consider how amazing it makes your lips feel. I can't live without it!

10  Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara It took me quite some time to find the right mascara, and I've looked no further once I tried this brand. While I've got loooong lashes, they are sparse and this mascara bulks up my lashes beautifully with no sign up clumps. I've never heard so many people ask if I was wearing falsies only to have me smile like Mona Lisa and reply "Nope, they're all mine!"

11  Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense is my favorite lipstick on the market right now. When I'm wearing full-on lipstick I want a big pigment pay-off and this product doesn't disappoint. The color options are beautiful, and I've found it has great staying power as an added benefit!

12  Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette is an everyday must. Whether you're going natural or romantic, shimmery or smokey, this palette provides ample options. My favorite daytime combo is Tease over the entire eye with YDK in the center of the lid to add a romantic shimmer and then a bit of Busted in the crease to add definition. It's a great look for fall!

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Bite-Sized Book of Bite-Sized Recipes

I am beyond excited and inspired to share my friend Catherine Murray of Photo Kitchen's latest project, The Bite-Sized Book of Bite-Sized Recipes. You may remember Catherine's stunning photography work from the Cocktail Couture series back in 2011. Now she's putting her love of cooking and food photography to use creating possibly the tiniest, most adorable cookbook ever and she's set up a Kickstarter campaign to fund the project.



"At 1 3/4 inches tall and 1 1/2 inches wide, it might be the smallest cookbook in the world. With 20 photos and recipes of cute, clever, bite-sized dishes, it's perfect for kids, cookbook collectors, foodies, anyone who loves to eat, cook, or entertain, photographers, book lovers, and collectors of tiny things."




If you want a mini-cookbook of your own, donate today! It would make an amazing stocking stuffer, and there's even an option to buy 1 book, and donate 1 to a children's organization. And the Kickstarter ends in just 19 days, so every little bit counts!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Keds x Kate Spade New York

Labor Day has come and gone, but with the warm weather lasting well into October here in New York City, September is definitely still feeling like summertime! Which got me thinking about these adorable Keds x Kate Spade New York that I'd been eyeing these past few months. I am just mad for the patterns, and I'm actually loving the slightly more pointed-toe variety too. But I have to say, my favorite is the cork pair that is totally in line with the Jenna Sais Quois color palette, but it's unfortunately no longer available. Of course! Taylor Swift also has a great fall collection for Keds which I may blog about next week while I'm on a Keds kick! Say what you want about Taylor's music (I happen to love it but it's not for everyone), she has sensational style.

I hope you've all had a lovely summer and are ready for my favorite season. It's right around the corner...hopefully!

1  Keds x Kate Spade New York Cork Shoes (No longer available)
2  Keds x Kate Spade New York Champion
3  Keds x Kate Spade New York Pointer in Floral Pink On Sale!
4  Keds x Kate Spade New York Champion Seaport Dot On Sale!
5  Keds x Kate Spade New York Champion Laceless in Geo Navy Red
6  Keds x Kate Spade New York Champion Jersey in Green Stripe Jersey
7  Keds x Kate Spade New York Pointer Cheetah in Blue
8  Keds x Kate Spade New York Champion Mariner Stripe On Sale!


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Meal Planning 101

A recent obsession of mine is weekly meal planning. I've known people, mostly married couples and young families, who were able to save a ton of money by planning and cooking each breakfast, lunch, and dinner for their week. But as a young professional, a New Yorker, and unfortunately a certified takeout queen, could I ever pull this off? The answer is a resounding yes!

I'm more than 3 weeks in now, and have already saved hundreds of dollars, since I was used to buying breakfast ($5+), lunch ($10+), and dinner ($15+) out every single day. Believe me when I tell you that ANYONE can do this, and the savings alone makes it worthwhile. But there are plenty of additional benefits like added nutritional value (this is amazing for dieters), less urge to snack since you know what and when your next meal is coming, and the satisfaction of both learning new recipes and taking pride in everything you put into your body. I am a meal planning believer!

I've been scouting Etsy for some cute printables that will help me in my meal planning endeavors, and I've displayed a few of my faves below. I may eventually DIY something of my own, but wanted to share for those of you who aren't graphic designers!

This week's meals included:
Sweet Cucumber, Red Onion & Dill Salad (Eat Yourself Skinny)
Clean Egg & Zucchini Muffins (Eat Yourself Skinny)
Spinach Lasagna Rolls (Skinnytaste)
Easy Crust-less Spinach & Feta Pie (Skinnytaste)
Squash-tastic Shepherd's Pie (Hungry Girl)

Customizable PDF from AtomicaPress - $6.00

Handmade Item from askingfortrouble - $8.62

Instant Download from SweetPaperTrail - $3.00

Instant Download from LauraDraytonCreative - $10.00

Instant Download from TinyStripes - $5.00



Friday, April 4, 2014

The Joy is in the Journal

You guys, I seriously love journaling. I have since I was a kid, when I would keep these elaborate notebooks filled with my pre-teen thoughts and Cosmogirl magazine cutouts. And then, of course, there was the early high school LiveJournal era. Oh, to be young again! Now I can't say that I've got tons of time to devote to channeling my innermost thoughts...but I do make time to use this nifty Q&A a Day 5-Year Journal that I picked up at Anthropologie last year. In fact, it's the last thing I do every day before I go to bed, and I highly appreciate the prompt so I never have to dig deep about what to write about!

Here are some other journals I'm loving, all of which can be found at Urban Outfitters. They would make wonderful gifts for friends, family, or yourself. Hope you like! Do you keep a journal, or have one of these? I want to hear about it!

Our Q&A a Day  |  The same journal I have, but for couples!

What Did I Eat Today?  |  Perfect for dieters, or foodies, or both!

Dream Journal  |  I am very into dreams, and drawing. Love this one!

Every Day  |  A 5-Year memory book for the freeform writing lover!

Travel Listography  |  Great for the traveler, and the lover of list-making!

Living Well One Line a Day  |  Great for tracking healthy lifestyle choices!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Spring Has Sprung at Anthro...

...And it's also sprung in New York City as well. Yesterday I walked from my office to the Whole Foods at Columbus Circle with only a light jacket, and it felt perfect. I even lingered to snap a few Instagrams. What is this feeling!? But back to the point of this post, I am just as smitten with these beautiful, frothy spring pieces from Anthropologie. Especially the long peach blossom number at the bottom, which is reminding me of something Betty Draper in seasons 1-3ish. How about you guys? Are you experiencing Spring's better-late-than-never arrival in your necks of the woods? I hope so!

Flora Vignette Dress

Silk Tableau Shift

Galen Dress
Embroidered Bleuet Midi Top

Peach Blossom Maxi Dress


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Artist Inspiration: Mary Blair

Did you see the beautiful article on Disney muralist and concept artist Mary Blair on The Huffington Post earlier this week? Her modern illustration style was a huge inspiration to me growing up, and her interesting take on shapes and colors was so quintessentially 50's and 60's that I credit her with being a large part of what I love so much about that period in art and design. Enjoy some of her paintings from the article below!




All images via The Huffington Post article

Mary Blair herself

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Let's Go Skiing!

I have to say, the Winter Olympics in Sochi have given me the itch to ski. Luckily, it just so happens that my annual trip to the mountains is only a couple of weeks from now! Though, I must confess you won't be seeing my in the Olympics any time soon...I happen to prefer cruising along at a leisurely pace, enjoying the sights and sounds and smells. This year, we'll be traveling back to Sugarbush Resort, which was an ideal place to get away from the city for a long weekend.

And with skiing on the brain, my friend Cate shared with me these gorgeous vintage ski-themed posters from the book The Art of Skiing: Vintage Posters from the Golden Age of Winter Sport on the blog Brain Pickings, which I am absolutely obsessing over! I'll be sad when the Olympic flame goes out later this week, but at least I've got my own semi-athletic pursuits on the horizon. Hah! Enjoy!






All Poster Images via Brain Pickings / The Art of Skiing



Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Jamie Wlodinguer: TypeFoundry Prints

I'm loving these prints from the Etsy shop TypeFoundry. They were created by the talented artist and graphic designer Jamie Wlodinguer (who also happens to be one of my inspiring colleagues at BrightLine)! She is building out two different collections, both shown below. The first, her Type Foundry collection is inspired by typography and signage she's spotted on the streets, brought to life digitally. And the second, farther below, is the Half Full collection which focuses on simple shapes and colors and showcase hand-drawn illustrations digitally rendered. Both are incredible and available for sale now. I can't wait to see more from her!

Found Type: West Espresso

Found Type: Midtown Lumber

Teepee Village
Glass Mountain