Happy Thanksgiving from the Pretty Domestic!

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PS ~ Your guests aren’t the only ones that should be having fun while you are cooking and entertaining tomorrow. Treat yourself to this Champagne Cranberry Bog Cocktail to sip on while making magic in your kitchen.

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces champagne
  • 1 ounce cranberry juice
  • whole cranberries, for garnish

Directions. Combine champagne and cranberry juice in a champagne flute. Drop in a few whole cranberries, and garnish with a whole cranberry. Tchin! Tchin!

Champagne Bog

Until Then,

~ L.

The Pretty Domestic

Have Products, Will Share

If you have been following the news, you know that Lululemon has recently taken a PR hit, actually two in the last several months. First, see-through yoga pants, then a company spokesman says that the yoga pants are not for all body types. And I paraphrase, especially those whose thighs rub together. WHAT?!

athleta_sitewide_223x32 Now, I know that there are a lot of runners, gym goers, Tango dancers (you know who you are) and yoga practicing Dolls on Pretty Domestic, who think that their “gear” is as important as their workout routine. Well never fear, there is an alternative to Lululemon ~ Athleta. Not to say we won’t ever spend our money with them again, but our feelings are hurt right now.

I happened upon Athleta one afternoon, and have to say was thoroughly impressed. The workout attire is functional and fly. (Yep, I said fly. I’m ol’ school.) The running/yoga pants can easily transition to a casual trip to the mall or the movies. I particularly like the Fusion Pant, with the flared bottom and back pocket. They also carry two of my favorite clothing items, sweaters and sweater dresses with thumb holes. So cute! (Note: The pictures do these no justice.)

yoga pantssweater dress

Athleta also carries all of the accoutrements for your workout experience ~ everything from Sparkly Soul Sparkly Wide Headbands, to Smartwool Reversible Training Headbands, to UGG Classic Ear Warmers with Speaker Technology.

headband2headband1

ugg

Finally, check out the Chi Blog for interesting healthy lifestyle articles.

Like I said, we may decide to give “Lulu” a try again in the future, but right now it’s good to know that a Doll has options.

Until Then,

~ L.

The Pretty Domestic

A Break from Our Normal Programming …

This week I’m taking a break from our normal Champagne Sundays programming, to give you an update on this week’s Pretty Healthy Clean Eating post.

I so am excited to share that guest blogger, Nicole Nichelson’s, tips on clean eating really struck a chord with Pretty Domestic Dolls, as well as some of our gentlemen followers.(Thanks guys!) A few of you commented privately that you really loved the information shared, but how hard it sometimes is to make a lifestyle change; particularly when it comes to well entrenched eating habits.

For many us, this change involves taking an assessment of what is in our kitchen cabinets and seeing what’s available to jump start our journey. We may also need to make a trip to our local grocer to pick up a few items.

I found this shopping list to share with you that can provide some guidance as you venture out to begin your clean eating journey. I hope that you find it helpful! I think Nicole is also going to provide us with a few more recipes in upcoming weeks!

Clean Eating Shopping List

PS ~ Today’s Champagne Sunday’s cocktails was the Bloody Mary! Leave me a message if you want the recipe.

Until Then,

~ L.

The Pretty Domestic

Pretty Healthy … Clean Eating 101.

Almost everybody I know recognizes the need to adopt a healthier lifestyle. No matter the reason ~ weight loss, tone up, maintain, brighten the complexion, post-operative necessity, heck just to feel better. Whatever the reason, the experts will say begin by eating healthier.

Lately, much of what I’ve read or watched about healthy eating it is frequently accompanied by the term, “clean eating.” Is this another trend? I think not. But, what is clean eating?

A dear friend, Nicole Nichelson, owner of Nik’s Nak Events and Stationery, a boutique custom event and stationery design firm that specializes in home entertaining, has recently turned her passion for cooking and entertaining into promoting a healthy lifestyle and preparing clean meals.

I recently sat down with Nicole and asked her to share her expertise around clean eating with Pretty Domestic.

Nicole Nichelson

PD: I know that your “day job” involves running a successful event planning business, Nik’s Nak Events and Stationery, that said, how did you get involved in clean eating?

NN: For the past few years, I have been transitioning my event planning business of 10 years into a home entertaining/lifestyle venture. With this change, came opportunities where I found myself sharing and teaching tips that I have developed over the years to those interested in pulling off the perfect home party. While sharing those tips, people noticed my love of cooking, and I eventually started sharing my recipes for how I eat and cook for my family.

PD: What exactly is clean eating?

NN: The way I eat and cook is called “clean eating.” Many of you may have heard that term, but aren’t quite sure what it is. Well, clean eating is simply eating your food in its natural state. Eating REAL, WHOLE, NATURAL foods and avoiding our processed friends that are so convenient to grab, eat and feed to our families.

PD: What are the benefits of clean eating?

NN: This is what I’ll say. Eating and cooking clean is not necessarily dieting. It should be approached as a lifestyle that is sure to create a healthier you. I describe how I eat as if I have every disease on the planet, and I’m combating them holistically and eating natural foods. Call me weird but, I absolutely love learning about the benefits of various vegetables and how they combat illnesses.  So, while I may not be ill, I don’t want to be; so, I eat accordingly and flood my body with all things “good.”

PD: What tips would you give about shopping for clean eating menu items?

NN: If you feel that you want to take the leap into this lifestyle, I suggest reading and trying Dr. Oz’s 30 day Clean Detox. This plan asks you to avoid processed sugar, coffee, soda, alcohol (I know! I know!),  gluten, wheat, dairy, eggs, corn oil, creamed vegetables, peanuts, soy, pork and beef for 30 days. I still do not eat much on this list but, I have added eggs and limited amounts of dairy, wheat, pork, beef, and yes, the occasional cocktail back into my diet.

When shopping clean and visiting my neighborhood Giant, I find that I now only shop down five sections of my grocery store – fresh produce, meats, seafood, rice (for my brown rice and grains and beans) and organics (for my gluten free pasta products). I still stick to the same formula, but will explore more sections when I frequent my beloved Trader Joe’s, Mom’s or Whole Foods.

PD: Can you share a “starter” recipe for us “clean eating” newbies?

NN: Here is one of my favorite, and easy, clean meals that you can try to jumpstart your journey:

Oven Roasted Shrimp and Broccoli

Ingredients

1 pound of jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 pounds of fresh broccoli crowns, cut into pieces

¼ cup sweet red pepper, julienned

¼ cup yellow onion, halved and sliced

3 tbsp olive oil

Pink Himalayan Sea Salt, low to moderate sprinkling

Freshly ground pepper, liberal sprinkling

Trader Joe’s 21 Spice salute, moderate to liberal sprinkling

Directions. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss all ingredients in a large mixing bowl being sure they are coated with the olive oil and seasonings. Arrange on a large cooking sheet and place in the oven for about 7-10 minutes. Be sure to keep an eye on it, and once your shrimp becomes pink and opaque pull your tray out of the oven.  You do not want to overcook your shrimp where they will be chewy and tough. Serve hot over a bed of fresh spinach or a fist size portion of brown rice.

Portion control tip: Many of us don’t know how much we should actually eat. Follow these tips when practicing proper portion size while working to maintain a healthy body weight. Your protein should be the size of your palm, your starches should be the size of your fist, and your veggies can be at least the size of 2 fists. You should eat at least 5-6 small meals (3 main w/protein, veggies, etc. and 2-3 snacks) a day to insure you have the proper caloric and nutritional intake to your body.

I hope you find this information helpful and will strive for a healthier you!

PD: Thanks Nicole! Hopefully, I’ll be able to convince you to share some more clean eating recipes with Pretty Domestic in the future.

More Clean Eating Tips:

Eat five to six times a day. Three meals and two to three small snacks.

Drink at least two liters of water a day. Preferably from a reusable canteen, not plastic

Get label savvy. Clean foods contain just one or two ingredients.

Avoid processed and refined foods. This includes white flour, sugar, bread and pasta.

Know thy enemies. Steer clear of anything high in saturated and trans fats, anything fried or anything high in sugar.

Shop with a conscience. Consume humanely raised and local meats.

Choose organic whenever possible. If your budget limits you, make meat, eggs, dairy and the Dirty Dozen your organic priorities.

Consume healthy fats. Try to have essential fatty acids, or EFAs, every day.

Learn about portion sizes. Work towards eating within them.

Reduce your carbon footprint. Eat produce that is seasonal and local. It is less taxing on your wallet and our environment.

Slow down and savor. Never rush through a meal. Food tastes best when savored. Enjoy every bite!

Take it to go. Pack a cooler for work or outings so you always have clean eats on the go.

Make it a family affair. Food is a social glue that should be shared with loved ones

Source: Clean Eating Magazine

About Nicole: Nicole Nichelson is the owner of Nik’s Nak Events and Stationery, a boutique custom event and stationery design firm that specializes in home entertaining. Her passion for cooking and entertaining has helped her make an easy transition into promoting her healthy lifestyle of preparing clean meals. She now assists and prepares clean meals for many of her friends and family members. Nicole is a native Baltimorean, who is a graduate of the Institute of Notre Dame and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Morgan State University. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and resides in Owings Mills, Maryland with her husband, Kai and their beautiful daughter, Devin

Until Then,

~ L.

The Pretty Domestic

50 Shades of Red

The change in seasons from warm to cold weather, and preparations for the holidays always find me putting away my NARS Orgasm Gloss and reaching for one of a dozen shades of red lipstick I own. There’s nothing like a sleek ponytail (or bun for those that know me), a black turtleneck, a pair of Jackie O style sunglasses and the perfect red lipstick, as you venture out to face the world on a crisp winter morning.

The operative word here is “perfect.” I suppose perfect is relative to your taste, but for me the perfect shade of red can’t have too much of an orange or fuchsia undertone. I prefer a deep, what I call “true red,” with cool undertones.

I have too many tubes that I’ve worn only once or twice, but a Doll needs to commit. So over the next year, I commit to a red a month. Yes, I have that many! Each month I will select a red lipstick, gloss or stain in my stash and wear it for a month, sharing with you my likes and dislikes. Yep, I know it’s subjective, but you get the point. It is my hope that by next year this time I can finally choose a fav. If not, I will have had fun trying.

First up, and between now and December 18th, it’s me and Rouge Coco Shine “Dialogue,”  with Framboise Precision Lip Definer, and Levres Scintillantes Glossimer 04, all compliments of Chanel.

I purchased this trio at Neiman Marcus for my wedding; but because I went with a heavier eye, I opted for a nude lip.

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At first blush it has a little too much pink undertone for me, but I filled in my whole lip with the precision lip definer, before applying the Dialogue, and it doesn’t look too bad. I may add a touch of the Glossimer later, we’ll see ~ 29 days to experiment.

Although I prefer a matte look, this has a little shine, but not too much; and it definitely keeps your lips moist. So far, not too bad.

You should know that the lipsticks, glosses and stains I will be sharing will be a mixture of high and low. And yes, I know that I am only committing to 12 shades, not 50 for my more literal Dolls, but a girl has to go with what she has. That said, welcome to 50 Shades of Red!

By the way, tell me, what’s your favorite shade of red?

Until Then,

~ L.

The Pretty Domestic

You Are Cordially Invited to Champagne Sundays … Sort Of …

Sometimes a Doll just needs a harvest drink! The weather is damp, cold, and the taste of a warm coffee drink on Sunday evening is the perfect way to unwind from a busy weekend. But, in the interest of full disclosure, the arrival of a beautiful new French Press, “Coffee Drinks,” by Michael Turbak, and a tin of freshly ground Sant’Eustachio on my door step this week, are the real reasons for the break from a traditional champagne cocktail recipe. (Thank you so much Dina S. Truly a fabulous gift!)

Champagne Sundays

That said, today you are cordially invited to “French Connection” Sunday. I selected this drink for two reasons. The first is obvious, the recipe just sounds so rich and decadent. Secondly, I love the movie, “The French Connection,” so a drink by this name absolutely appealed to me.

French Connection

Prep time ~ 3 minutes. Total time ~ 3 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz Cognac
  • 1 oz amaretto
  • Black coffee
  • whipped cream
  • Shaved almonds for garnish

Preparation:

  • Pour the Cognac and amaretto into an Irish coffee glass.
  • Fill with hot coffee. (Made in your French Press, of course.)
  • Top with whipped cream
  • Garnish with shaved almonds.

Sip, relax and enjoy!

A little history of the French Press …

The cafetiere is known by many different names. In the UK it’s usually called a cafetiere, which is shortened from the French ‘cafetiere a piston’. In the US it’s commonly referred to as a french press. Other names include: coffee press, press pot and coffee plunger.

Being called both a cafetiere and a french press you would assume that this coffee maker’s origins are in France. However, both the French and the Italians lay claim to its invention. What is believed to be first patent for a cafetiere was filed by two Frenchmen, Mayer and Delforge, in 1852.

La Cafetiere and Bodum are two of the biggest manufacturers in the cafetiere market. The two companies actually used to work together but the relationship has soured more recently and various court cases have ensued.

Bondanini’s Chambord cafetiere was manufactured in what was originally a French clarinet factory call Martin S.A. This factory was owned by Mr. Louis-James de Viel Castel, who also owned La Cafetiere (then called Household Articles). Spurred on by the success of the Chambord model in France, Viel Castel decided to market the coffee maker in the UK, but under the brand La Cafetiere and renamed the ‘Classic’.

In the early 1970s, Bodum began working with Martin S.A. to distribute the Chambord model in Denmark. During this time the relationship between Viel Castel, La Cafetiere and Bodum was very amicable. However this all began to change when Martin S.A. was brought out by Bodum in 1991.

When Viel Castel sold Martin S.A. to Bodum he also sold the rights to the Chambord coffee maker. But as a condition of sale, Viel Castel wanted to retain the right to continue to sell the Classic cafetiere under the La Cafetiere brand. However, there is a disagreement as to the exact terms of the sale. Bodum claims that Viel Castel is limited to only selling the Classic cafetiere in the UK. However, Viel Castel claims that he can sell the coffee maker everywhere, but France.

The argument came to a head in 2008 when La Cafetiere started selling the Classic cafetiere in USA. Bodum tried to sue La Cafetiere for trade dress infringement. However, the judge ruled that as the Classic and Chambord were not exactly alike and as the wording on the condition of sale document was ambiguous, that La Cafetiere could continue to sell the Classic in America. Similar cases have been tried in other countries and so far all have ruled in favor of La Cafetiere.

Source: Galla Coffee

So much drama! Anywho, why not treat yourself to a new French Press just in time for the holidays. Next time you feel like a harvest drink to get you warm and cozy, select a new coffee cocktail from your favorite cookbook and get to brewing.

Until then,

~ L.

The Pretty Domestic

Pretty New | Mischo Beauty Luxury Nail Lacquer

This Doll loves a new beauty product. I am sure they have support groups for people like me. “Hi, I am … and I am a self-confessed beauty product junkie.” So, imagine my delight when I was invited to the launch of a luxury nail lacquer line, Mischo Beauty!

Mischo Beauty Nail Lacquer is the beauty brainchild of Kitiya Mischo King. Ms. King is chemist turned licensed Cosmetologist, turned Manicurist, turned Esthetician, turned Makeup Artist, who successfully combined her background in science and beauty into an entrepreneurial endeavor.

Mischo

Now, if you are anything like me you have tried every polish line under the drying lamp; so what’s different about Mischo Beauty Nail Lacquer you ask? Well, it’s 5-FREE. 5-FREE means its free of the five toxins still found in most nail polish formulas ~ formaldehyde, DBP, toluene, formaldehyde resin, and camphor. Who knew nail polish could reduce the carbon footprint.

The launch was held at Toka Salon in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., and debuted the “Fashion Week” Collection of Mischo Nail Lacquer. Guests networked, noshed on Mischo inspired cupcakes from Kakewalk Cupcakes, and sipped on the cutest bottles of bubbly from Vogaltalia.

Cupcakes

Guests also sat for complimentary manicures, which they loved, using polishes from the new collection, aptly named The Tents, Empire State of Mind, Front Row, Invite Only, and #NYFW.

Mischo3

Guests

Manis

I have two bottles of the Fashion Week Collection on the way to my doorstep; and am beyond excited to have some new, and environmentally safe options to try just in time for the holidays. Again, any reason to try a new product!

Until Then,

~ L.

The Pretty Domestic