Good Stuff: Sephora Custom Makeover Gift

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So, here’s a neat thing.  The Sephora Beauty Studio Custom Makeover Gift.  I first learned of this sweet gift card when I received it for Christmas from my brother’s very classically stylish girlfriend.  As a result, she is also currently winning in my book for giving the sickest gifts!

This gift card to Sephora advises you to “Take Your Look To The Next Level” when you redeem your gift card for the selected dollar amount of products from Sephora (dope), AND receive a 45 or 90 minute custom makeover with an expert make-up artist in-store.  Over-the-top coolness!

Here’s why this idea is brilliant: it is the gift of a really special, luxe experience that the recipient may not otherwise feel comfy indulging in (right? It seems extra splurgy).  Or maybe that’s just me.

Immediately, I thought of how useful this will be for weddings.  At those special nuptials, you want to look gorgeous.  Maybe you rent a dress.  You’d probably like to get your makeup done.  This gift card takes care of that for you.  All you have left to do is book it.

And with Sephora locations just about everywhere these days, I’m confident about using it when I attend my friend Laura’s wedding in Joshua Tree this year.  There are 2 locations in near-by Palm Desert!

Bonus: Adding to the cuteness of this small, but epic package-a compact mirror allowing me to see myself much closer up than I ever wanted to. Yikes. You have been warned hehe.

 

Patterned Tights.

You’ve held out to the final second, bared those legs a few weeks longer, but it’s officially time for tight season—yay or nay?  I love the polished look that throwing on a pair of tights under a structured dress gives, but why aren’t they just easier to get on? I sorta hate how they bunch up around your ankles and knees and require all that adjusting.  That’s like 3 minutes of my morning that I don’t really have.

I have been very inspired by people around me and the amazing ways to wear patterned tights this winter as pictured below.  Tights have also come a long way from just being available in solid colors. They now come in many prints and colors so you can have fun with tights and add that extra pop of color to your outfit. Tights are great to wear with boots or flats (or those awesome taupe sandals below) paired with a great dress or skirt.  Some will tell you they look great with shorts, too.  I’m still skeptical.

via Pinterest

via Pinterest

To be totally honest, I die for the picture on the top right.  The white tights with the taupe shoe! Girl looks like a princess and totally full of grace and you can’t even see past her lower thigh.  That has got to be saying something.

I was also struck by the floral patterns I’ve been seeing.  I actually own a pair of bright-as-fuck floral tights that were gifted to me.  I generally play it safe where tights are concerned, so I turned to these pictures for inspiration and decided to try my own daring (but work-appropriate) looks with my patterned tights yesterday.

My attempts at patterned tight success.

My attempts at patterned tight success.

Please excuse the first picture that I took hiding in a closet a work.  The second picture is something I would love to wear, but haven’t made it out of the house in yet.  I have taken the individual components and hung them on my husband’s suit rack so they are very visible to me.  I think it is so feminine and pretty with the sheer white top and mini-skirt (but very business-y, as well), but the tights and red lipstick add that totally necessary pop!  Can’t wait to do printed tights outfit #2 one day this winter.

How’d I do with my foray into the world of floral tights?  Do we like?

Rain Boots.

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Today is one of, oh, say 5 days this year that it will rain in Los Angeles.  I mean, I’m no meteorologist, but that’s certainly how it feels most of the time.

But today it is RAINING.  So much so that wearing my rain boots from J. Crew (sorry-too old to be available) feels only slightly like overkill.  They don’t get much wear, but the green herringbone and buckles are so great, don’t ya think?

So, listen to this guy and watch out for puddles because it is “gonna rain in California”, folks!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBJ0gftS6HQ&feature=youtu.be&app=desktop

Enjoy dancing in your own puddles today!

California, You Sure Are Crazy…

But that is why I love you so!

I took off work this last Friday to go with my wonderful mother down to Palm Springs to Two Bunch Palms Resort & Spa.

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It was such a great time! I love myself a good mother-daughter weekend.  We got to do so much talking about my dad and my husband and all of the great people in our lives.  We spent the weekend feeling very grateful for what we have and even those we’ve lost.

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^^Me and my mother at Essence^^

It is actually interesting-my mom, who as you can pretty plainly see is going through chemo treatments for breast cancer at the moment (though she looks spectacular!) says that, in some ways, she feels better than she has since my dad was first diagnosed with cancer back in 2011.  She feels like her cancer diagnosis has been a kick in the butt from the universe telling her to get happy and start enjoying her life because you never know when it is going to end.  She feels she will eventually go to join my father wherever it is that one goes when they leave us, but she knows this isn’t her time, so she better get to enjoying what’s left of her very blessed life.  Her enthusiasm for life is part of what brought us to Two Bunch this last weekend.  Sucking the marrow out of life is going to Palm Springs to sun in late November!

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I made my mom take my modeling shots to show off this amaze-balls swimming suit that I adore. How hot is it?!

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Chai face mask by the pool before my massage. Mom says I look like Jim Carrey from The Mask

While at Two Bunch, we took full advantage of the amazing amenities.  I always feel so pampered when I get to hang with mom.  Woman knows how to do it up right.  We had a fabulous dinner one night at Essence, the restaurant at the resort and headed out into Palm Springs proper to eat at Trio the next night.  We love Trio.  Great food and a fun crowd.  I forgot to take pictures, but I did link to it, so check it out if you are headed down there.

Lastly, I just thought you all should know that Two Bunch is extra special great because they have a lake and you can feed the ducks, fish, and turtles (or as my husband calls them, swimmies).  That was a ton of fun!

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Meanwhile, Max was up in SF having dinner at The French Laundry and all sorts of other amazing places for Flynn McGarry‘s 17th birthday.  Yes, my husband’s best friend is a 17 year old, but he acts 35.  Still weird? A little.  It is great that we are both getting to have adventures.  Sure, we wish we could share them with each other, but this pictures of swimmies that I texted him will have to do until we are reunited permanently.

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The most important thing I got out of this trip was time with my mom.  We talked, we cried, we crack each other up!  I am such a lucky little green-faced daughter.  Never take your people for granted.

Next up, I tackle some Thanksgiving! I’ll be making the leek bread pudding.  Max, though flying in on Thanksgiving Day, will be handling the green bean casserole, mom is making 2 pies and we are all coming together at my in-laws’ house in Santa Monica this year.  I can’t wait to start hosting my own holidays.  Like. Can. Not. Wait. But with Max not living in LA and all, I think this is the best way for us all to be together this year.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

Happy Thanksgiving from MTMC!

A Chapter In Your Life Called San Francisco

That is the title of a song by a disbanded group called The Lucksmiths. You should really check them out.

It is also the title of this part of my life, which I would never have expected had you asked me even a few months ago.

In March 2013, Max and I took one of our much beloved vacations. This time we went to France to explore Wine Country (and Champagne Country, for me!) because Max had developed a dangerous passion for fine dining and fine wine. A few pictures from our trip below:

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^^In Paris on the Pont Des Art Bridge. Our lock is on there^^

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^^My hubby is a hottie. Midnight photo shoot at the Louvre.^^

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^^We are at Domain Romanee Conti here.  Max cried.  Not kidding.^^

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^^Max proposed on top of a mountain at a 3* Michelin hotel and restaurant called Michele Bras. I was a crying hot mess, but we were flying high.^^

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^^A picture of Max out front of our hotel room the morning after we got engaged. Just wanted you all to see the view we appreciated.^^

The sad part is that while all of this was going on, my family was enduring a tragedy.  My dad had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer the October previous.  I won’t go into it too much in my introductory post, but suffice it to say for now, that the last few years, though punctuated with moments of intense joy, have been intensely painful, as well.  Max wanted so badly for my dad, with whom he was close, to be there at our wedding.  He wanted my dad to walk me down the aisle.  Meanwhile, I knew my dad would be happy if I was happy, so that was really my only goal.  After my father passed away on Christmas day last year and Max stepped up for me and my family so amazingly, I said “Fuck it-I want this man to be part of my family,” and we pushed the wedding up to May 2014.

I was the very first of my friends to get married and had only really been to a few weddings before starting to plan my own.  I think I pulled together the perfect affair.  It was my dream wedding, on my dream day, to my person.  Never had a better day.  In case you’re curious, below are a few pictures from the wedding day.

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^^My beautiful Los Angeles and the stunning Walt Disney Concert Hall, our venue^^

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^^Hubby, Me, Mama Malanga, and Max Malanga (not to be confused with Max Coane, my husband.  I know-weird.)^^

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About a month after we married, Max was presented with an amazing job opportunity that required him moving up to San Francisco immediately.  Now, I never want to look back on my life and feel like I kept someone from having the life he/she deserved.  I already feel that way sometimes.  (My high school boyfriend eschewed Brown University on partial scholarship to follow me to USC with no monetary incentive, which was hard on his family.  He dumped me, anyway.  Max left the music business because he wanted to be a good provider and husband.  He still opines about his life in the music industry, but he won’t admit he is also looking at those days through rose colored glasses in a big, big way.)  So, I told Max to pack a suitcase and go to work at Saison, at the time a 2* Michelin restaurant in SF as a sommelier.  We lived together for 5 years, we get married, and all of a sudden, we are in a long-distance relationship.  You never can tell where life is going to take you.

Why didn’t I just go up there to be with him? I’m sort of a specialized attorney, and since we are just getting to know this thing called the wine industry, we didn’t think it would be wise for me to up and quit my awesome corporate job with awesome corporate benefits to be up in SF unemployed while we explored the possibilities for Max.  So, in the end, I’m in LA with our cat and our apartment, and he is living with roommates in SF.  He’s been promoted to head somm at Saison and in October, Saison received its 3rd Michelin Star.

Amazingly, our relationship has not suffered.  I send him pictures and texts of everything I do or Smudge does.  I want him to feel like he’s still part of our “little family” and that I appreciate his sacrifices.  I think he does feel that.  I’ve been up to SF to visit him a few times, including for his 29th birthday the first week of November.  It is like visiting my new boyfriend!  We have such a great time together.  You’ll see below.

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^^Reunited and it feels so good^^

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^^Max’s 29th birthday weekend at L’Auberge Carmel^^

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^^You should get to know me as the pot-head I am now.  No pretenses. haha^^

So, that’s where we are today.  I leave this weekend for a short trip to Palm Springs with my mom, who is now battling breast cancer (see what I mean about the intense tragedy?  She’ll be ok though.  Prognosis is awesome.)  We are going to get some much needed R&R.  My hair is long and unmanageable at the moment, but perhaps there will be a few nice pictures from our weekend away to show on here.  Next up, we tackle Thanksgiving at my in-laws.

If you were here and read this.  Drop me a note.  Otherwise, I will assume I am and be perfectly content with writing into the black void of the Internet forever.

-MTMC