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Recipe: Crispy Smashed Potatoes with Avocado Garlic Aioli

Crispy smashed potatoes and Honest Chops sausages

Pretending to be snowed in is as good excuse as any to try something new, yes? I used to make a big shopping list for a new recipe but call it laziness, now I’m working in reverse and trying to make something with whatever’s in my kitchen (also a good excuse not to have to go outside when you realize you’re two steps away from being a creature in hibernation).

I had a whole sack of red potatoes I wanted to try making a new side dish with and thought about smashed potatoes since my cousin mentioned she was craving some the other day. This is a great one to try because A) it’s pretty, but more importantly B) the avocado garlic aioli has so much flavor. Making this isn’t hard at all but takes a little bit of patience because the potatoes take a while to soften. I made it to compliment some 9th Degree sausages I got from Honest Chops which I already had in my freezer too (that’s one of their prepped meats, which makes it so easy to just throw on the grill since it’s already seasoned). PS, you can make these potatoes vegan if your substitute the mayo with a vegan variety.

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Ingredients:
FOR THE POTATOES:
18 small red potatoes (this was about how many came in a sack)
Extra virgin olive oil
Fine grain sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Ground red cayenne pepper
Garlic powder or garlic sea salt, for sprinkling on top
Few stems of parsley or cilantro to garnish

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Almond butter & Coffee toast

Snap from my trip to Costa Rica

I have a whole post almost ready to go about everything I did in Costa Rica, in case any of you are planning to go (which, also, you SHOULD). And now with this impending snowstorm of record proportions due to hit NY, the pura vida nostalgia is for REAL.

Chocolate covered espresso beans


One of my favorite snacks from there were these little chocolate covered espresso beans I tried first at the Doka Estate. As you can might be able to tell from the blog alone, give me coffee flavored everything. I took one bite of these and stocked up on them to give to everyone back home too.

Almond Butter x Chocolate coffee attempt 1


I even started incorporating them on random days at breakfast. I topped whole grain, whole wheat bread with almond butter, a drizzle of honey, and thought that would be my healthy-ish breakfast. But I eyed my packet of Britt chocolate, and added it to my toast. On the second go, I even put a little finely-grounded coffee (the same Irving Farm Roasters one from the previous post).

Attempt two with powdered coffee


I may be an addict, but I’m not apologizing.
#PURAVIDA

x
Shy
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My new daily grind: Coffee tasting with Chemex’s pour over

Guys, I’m not sure what I was drinking before, but I’m with the coffee snobs on this one: drip coffee tastes way better.

Chemex pour over

I probably wouldn’t have fully appreciated it had my friend Russell (hi Russell!) got me this hourglass contraption from Chemex for my birthday. I was super intimidated to try it but after a quick lesson I realized we are just spoiled senseless by coffee machines. Here’s a quick Instagram video I did:

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Philosophy teams up with singer Natasha Bedingfield for a hopeful initiative

Last night, Philosophy hosted a concert with British singer Natasha Bedingfield to bring light to their new Hope & Grace Initiative — going forward, the brand will be donating 1 percent of all their product sales (whether it’s at Sephora, Ulta, or QVC) to support community-based mental health efforts. To just give you an idea, they are the #1 selling skincare brand on QVC, and they’re hoping to donate at least $10,000,000 in less than five years.

Natasha Bedingfield performing her new song Hope last night


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When they came up with the idea of restoring hope in women who are dealing with mental health issues — studies show 1 in every 4 women are struggling with a mental health issues, but more than 40 percent never seek treatment because of the stigma attached to itJill Scalamandre (COTY’s Chief Marketing Officer) told the crowd that whenever she’s feeling down she would turn on Bedingfield’s music. Her songs like ‘Pocket Full of Sunshine’ and ‘Unwritten,’ she explained always brought her up. When the brand started thinking of partnering wish someone who could bring awareness to their initiative, they thought Natasha would be the best fit. They reached out to her and within 6 days, she was on board. Within another week, the song “Hope” was written. Twenty percent of the profits from the single, which Bedingfield debuted last night, will be donated to the Hope & Grace Initiative.

To kick off the launch, the brand presented their first $20,000 check to Connect, and organization that helps women suffering with domestic violence. Talk about a feel-good evening.

Renewed Hope in a Jar


To round it out, Philosophy has also launched their evolved best-selling Hope in a Jar with Renewed Hope in a Jar, a more lightweight, all-day moisturizer with hyaluronic acid, and alpha-hydroxy acids (glycolic, mandelic, and citric) to improve pore visibility and fine lines. In one week, 100% of users reported an improvement in skin texture, and after 4, 79% saw a reduction in pore size. I love this newer version — the original was a tad too heavy for me but I used this one for the first time last night before I went to bed and this morning my skin feels so smooth and soft today (we call it a #WinterWin). Going to keep using it to see if it keeps improving!


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Shy
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New restaurant opening: Henri on Fifth in Park Slope

Grilled cheese and Pac-Man. Need I say more?

Henri on Fifth in Park Slope, Brooklyn

I was invited recently to check out a preview of Henri on Fifth, a new restaurant in Park Slope that mixes an eclectic cuisine drawing on the owner Binh Douglas and his wife’s heritage (he’s part Vietamese, Native American, African American and she’s part French and German) with a comfortable atmosphere and a bottomless supply of board games. The place is named after their newborn (cue the ‘awwwwws’). To be honest, what reeled me in was when they told me there’d be a “fun selection of retro board games to play” because I’m really 12 and How fun?! I braved the cold to take a 20 minute subway ride down to BK after work, but was pleasantly surprised to find that the food was even more astounding.

List of available games. I requested they add Taboo to the line up because then it'd be OVER.


The arcade games are found inside two tables you can play at (no coins needed)

And the menu was just what the winter blues calls for: buttery nut squash soup, sliders with caramelized shallots and sherry thyme, pretzel bread with muenster and sauerkraut, truffle fries, banh mini tacos, several types of succulent grilled cheeses, and probably my favorite unexpected treat, deviled eggs filled with seasoned siracha cream and a little BBQ chip that gives it the perfect balance of taste and texture.

Grilled cheese bite


Deviled egg


Butter nutty squash soup


Pretzel bread with sauerkraut and muenster

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CLEAR’s new Active Damage Resist line is legit. Win it here & try yourself!

If you feel like your hair is fried, you’re not alone. Damage caused by styling products is a problem for 80 percent of women. Blow drying, flat ironing, or – in my case – being a wee bit curling iron crazed helps with a style for day, but the cumulative damage is staggering. I’ve been so relentless with my hair but I’ve always tried to keep a regimen to prevent it from showing. When I was introduced to CLEAR Scalp & Hair’s latest and greatest — their Active Damage Resist Ultra Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner, which claims to reverse visible damage by 100 percent – I had to give it a try.

Clear Scalp & Hair Active Damage Resist Shampoo and Conditioner


The duo is infused with Omega 3-6-9 complex, which helps rebuild fiber damaged by heat and chemicals from root to tip. My hair felt smoother from the first shot; by the second my hair was glowing. Usually my fear with products that claim to de-frizz is that my strands fall flat, but my hair still found volume after blow drying and brushing through it. Take a look – this is after curling my hair and not using any other styling products except CLEAR’s shampoo and conditioner:

Before on the right, and after using Clear's Active Damage Resist line

Good light and good shine


Took all these pictures with my iPhone -- no filter except the sun :)


:)

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Giveaway: Win $50 Walgreens gift card (recreate these gorgeous Neutrogena looks!)

Anyone tune into the People’s Choice Awards this week? There was plenty of beauty inspiration on the red carpet and I have the inside scoop to two in particular: Gabrielle Union and Bella Thorne, both Neutrogena brand ambassadors who had their makeup done by Amy Oresman and Fiona Stiles.

Bella Thorne’s Look: Modern and Powerful

Bella Thorne's 2015 PCA look

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10 things I’m taking on this flight!

I’m way too excited about my tropical vacation today! I have to leave for the airport in like 15 minutes, so let’s see how fast I can tell you about my in-flight essentials :) .

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1) BluePrint Orange Grapefruit Lemon juice – Packed with all kinds of antioxidants and vitamin C to help support healthy cells and keep skin happy. I already drank two of their drinks this morning (their Carrot Lemon, and Kale Apple Lemon) which just gives me a little boost of nutrients. All their drinks are 100% juice and help to keep skin hydrated especially during these colder months.

2) Snacks (Belvita Soft Baked Breakfast Biscuits and Clif bars) - I always need snacks on a plane and I’m trying to go a healthier route with snacks that have fiber and protein like these two!

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Giveaway: Essence of Beauty bath & body sets (15 winners!)

So excited for another giveaway and this is the first time this many BATF readers could potentially win — 15 to be exact :) .

Forbidden Orchard and Vanilla Whisper


Just in time for the cooler weather, CVS’ exclusive line Essence of Beauty has launched two gorgeous new scents: Forbidden Orchard (which has notes of red apple, nectarine and fig) and Vanilla Whisper (with notes of Tahitian vanilla and peach) seen above.

Fifteen winners will each get one set of all 4 products (body mists, and body/hand creams pictured here by entering one of two ways (do either to enter, both to increase your chances):
- Like BATF’s Facebook page and comment on this giveaway post
- Follow me on Twitter (@BeautyNDFeast) and tweet “Hey @BeautyNDFeast, I want to win a set of #EssenceOfBeauty products! http://ow.ly/FQUDz #giveaway”

Make sure you leave a comment below to let me know how you entered. Winners will be picked and notified by Dec 17th. Good luck! *Winners must have a US mailing address!

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Shy
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Holiday beauty with Tagspire (PS you can now shop my photos!)

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Hey guys! Just wanted to let you know about a cool new feature I’m going to be implementing in my blog that makes it easier for you to find the products I photograph. It’s from a new social shopping site, called Tagspire (think of it like shoppable Pinterest). My very first example below with some suggestions for holiday beauty and accessorizing :) .

I love all that is bold and sparkly for the holidays, so that’s why I put together a bunch of my favorites that describe both:
*MAC’s Ruby Woo is a must — the perfect red.
*I tend to wear my chunkier, gold watch like this Marc By Marc Jacobs one around this time of year because it compliments more lush fabrics.
*This new Hermes ear cuff is something I just got from Baublebar (on sale too)! Like little trinkets for your ear.
*Cargo’s Cannes blush is the perfect I-just-got-back-from-vacation peach that I’ve been using more and more lately. It compliments medium skin tones so well.
*Use with Tom Ford’s Shade & Illuminate contour cream for the perfect sculpted face.
*Erickson Beamon Rocks cocktail ring is a nice splash of turquoise to the darker outfits I’ve been wearing lately.
*Finally I recently been introduced to the amazing world of Burberry Beauty by way of Mary Wiles (their celebrity makeup artist). It’s not just a label, these products are some of my new favorites. People always notice when I wear their Bold Lash mascara in Ebony. It elongates lashes with a silk and super dark finish (no tarantula lashes here). And finally, their new My Burberry perfume is a rich mix of patchouli, freesia, roses and bergamot that you can actually monogram to personalize for a beautiful gift (I pictured the small one here, but you can get the full sizes inscribed).

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