You can find the recipe here.
A while back, I shared a recipe for a summer pasta sauce that was simple to make and vibrant with the addition of fresh lemon zest. And while it’s delicious, especially since citrus is in season, it’s not a recipe I tend to use in the colder winter months. Instead, I crave something rich and buttery that can accompany anything from fresh fish or red meats to winter squashes and parsnips. As it turns out, a simple onion and butter based recipe will do the trick. The richness of the butter and the sweetness of the onions create a robust base for a sauce that can handle the complex flavors of other ingredients. I’ve been using a 14oz can of diced tomatoes for this recipe and I adjust the amount of butter in relation to what the sauce will accompany. My favorite use for this recipe is in a ratatouille, since the butter effortlessly gathers and distributes the aroma and flavor of the herbs to create a full-bodied, heart warming dish.
You can find the recipe here.
There is something about lipstick that made me, as a young girl, feel more like a woman. Maybe it was the consistency, the bolder pigmentation, or the application process that gave me a stronger sense of maturity. I remember the countless times I asked my mom to apply lipstick on me as a child. I remember the carefree, can-do attitude I would instantly acquire with a layer of color on my lips. To this day, we both share the same belief that red lips can pull any outfit together and brighten your face.
As I grew older, I quickly learned that navigating the beauty aisles to find the perfect lipstick could be costly. I found that most drugstore brands didn’t provide enough moisture, pigmentation, or longevity. As for the expensive, high-end brands, I struggled to rationalize paying twenty dollars or more on a tiny tube of dyed wax and chemicals. Once again I was caught in the dilemma of sacrificing quality over quantity in the beauty industry. I started to miss the freedom I had felt as a child when wearing my mother’s lipstick. The effortlessness I had associated with the product was lost. There was no one to help me put it on and there was no one to tell me if the color suited my complexion.
Happily, Burt’s Bees released a new line of affordable, all natural lipsticks. Ranging from pale lilacs and dusty roses to bright corals and deep reds, the modern colors offer something for everyone. The formula is pleasantly moisturizing but not greasy, containing vitamin E and raspberry seed oil to offer comparable hydration to a lip balm. The recycled packaging is quite sturdy for a plastic case and the square shape and honey-comb design stand out nicely amongst the monotonous black circular tubes of other brands. Best of all, I love how buildable the color is. I can create a sheer wash of color to create a stain or layer it on for a bolder look. This means that I can wear lipstick again with the same tenacity as I did when I was younger. I can layer on as much as I like and not worry about it wearing out unevenly or worse needing a special occasion to wear my fancy, expensive lipstick.
I'm currently loving these three shades:
by Claire Star
Living in a city like Seattle is great. There are plays and movies to go to, pretty storefront windows to look at, and fun restaurants to try. But it’s also really expensive. Looking to explore our cities without exceeding our tiny student budgets, Nicole and I challenged ourselves to come up with ten new-to-us things to do in our cities. Here’s my list:
See how many samples you can try at the Pike Place Market. One of the best parts of my favorite place in Seattle? So many great food stalls offer free samples. How else could you decide what to eat? See how many you can try in an afternoon, being sure to stop by Beecher’s Cheese, Ellenos Yogurt, and Chukkar Cherry. The fruit stands also offer slices of whatever’s in season. I’ve you’ve worked up an appetite, try Michou, an Italian deli. Their sandwiches are incredible and very reasonably priced. I like to get a half of a crispy chicken for $3.20. If you’d like coffee, try Storyville Coffee, across from the flying fish sellers. They have great views of the market and waterfront from above.
See a movie at the Crest. It’s a bit of a drive up north, but definitely worth it to see a movie on the big screen for just $4. Check the listings to see which movies are stopping by the theater (just before being turned into dvd). It’s a great way to see new movies without paying full price and something my friends and family do with me all the time.
Walk through Volunteer Park on Capitol Hill. This is one of my favorite public parks in Seattle because I love how quiet and sprawling it is. Home to the Asian Art Museum and Volunteer Park Conservatory, there’s lots to do. Or, you can just sit on the hilly slope looking out across the reservoir to the Seattle skyline. Perhaps you’ll get lucky with your people watching and catch a face-painted skipping jester emerge from the trees like I once did (true story, I swear)!
Visit a museum. I’d long known about free admission to museums onThird Thursday’s but only recently realized that the Seattle Art Museum is run on suggested donations. Special exhibits are full price, but you can see the regular collection with a donation of a few dollars. The Frye Museum is free every day.
Visit the discounted sections at the two best (and independent) bookstores in Seattle: Elliott Bay Book Company and the University of Washington’s bookstore. Their staff are incredibly knowledgeable and offer great recommendations, plus they both have a wide selection of brand new discounted paperbacks and hardcovers. You’ll never need to buy anything from Amazon again. While you’re at the U Bookstore, also be sure to check out their supplies department in the basement. I’m obsessed. A new pen is a very affordable pick me up, even cheaper than a cup of coffee. Or wine.
Try a new coffee shop. There are so many great ones in Seattle and while I’ve tried a lot of them, there are still dozens to explore. So, if I’m in a new area, I like to branch out. A couple favorites include Herkimer (various locations), Seattle Coffee Works (also in Ballard!)
Have a picnic. There are so many pretty places to hang out and eat a crusty baguette with friends. Try the Fremont Canal, Green Lake, Golden Gardens, Alki Beach, or Magnuson Park.
Explore a new neighborhood. I often end up in the same place time after time (just ask Nicole: when I visit her in NYC, somehow we end up in the same street in Nolita no matter where we start out). So, to mix it up a little, I’ll take a bus to a neighborhood I rarely go to and get off at an interesting looking area and start walking around. Or, if you know an area well, take someone who has never been there before and show them around. Seeing one of your favorite places through someone else’s eyes can lead to new discoveries and make you love it even more.
P.S. We've got more travel guides right this way. :)
// Photos via my Instagram.
Tags: by Claire, Seattle, Travel, Travel Guide, Left Coast Other Left Seattle Guide
by Claire Star & Nicole Jordan
Have you ever celebrated Galentine’s day? It was started by Amy Poehler’s character Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation. On February 13th, Leslie rounds up all of her friends (away from guys and significant others) to gather around a table for a celebration of the power of friendship and the strength of women. The fictional holiday has gained popularity over the past few years, not only due to Leslie’s likability, but because there are never enough ways to let your friends know you love them.
For me, Valentine’s day has always been about celebrating the people I care about: usually focusing on family and friends. With that idea in mind, here are a few fun cards Nicole and I found if you want to send a note to a great friend. - Claire
I 100% support the idea of sending my friends adorable cards in the mail for holidays and birthdays. However, I’m notoriously bad at mailing things within a reasonable time frame... So as an alternative, I plan on calling Claire to partake in our favorite tradition of aimless walks filled with great conversations and coffee. Since we live on separate coasts we frequently try to talk on the phone while doing the same activities we would do if we are hanging out in person. It makes it feel like we are side by side and not a few thousand miles away from each other. - Nicole
How will you be celebrating Galentine’s day with your loved ones?
by Claire Star
It’s still freezing cold here in Seattle--and my dry hands can prove it!--so I’m trying to think (far) ahead to warmer, happier times. In a couple months, the days will be longer and the cherry blossoms will be in full bloom. I’ll be able to push my thick wool socks to the back of my drawer and replace beat up boots with prettier ankle-bearing shoes. While I could turn to my trusty flats and, let’s be honest, Danskos, what about mixing it up a little and trying some cool clogs like these? Or am I’m out of my mind? Thoughts? In my dreams, I’d look as cool as the last woman while biking to work in my clogs!
A few fun pairs: wedge, braided, and classic.
If you’re looking for a pair, Swedish Hasbeens, Sven, No. 6, Sandgrens, and Lotta from Stockholm have a ton of options.
// Photos by Tokyobanhbao, Blushing Ambition, Swedish Hasbeens, and Superior Clogs
Tags: by Claire, Spring, Style
Have you ever stumbled upon something so great that you just have to tell the whole world? Well that just happened today when I discovered Radiooooo.com. This website has curated music from around the world from 1900 until the present day. You can select a country, decade, and whether you would like the music to be slow, fast, or weird. The design and concept of the website is a creative and fun way to discover different genres of music or revisit old favorites. Personally, my favorite aspect of this site is the guilty pleasure island button (the upside down rainbow with the microphone) that provides an endless stream of everything from the classics to one hit wonders.
Along the same lines, Every Noise at Once has curated a playlist for every genre imaginable.
How do you discover new music? What have you been listening to lately? Through Radiooooo.com, I discovered the 1945 Australian Jazz Band, George Trevare and His Orchestra.
// Photo via 45 Cat.
Tags: Art, by Nicole, Culture, Life, Listen, Music
by Claire Star
I've always liked rock climbing and greatly admire those who manage to push through the fear of heights to scale cliffs and mountains all over the world. This documentary, presented by REI, shows the beautiful story of a man named Frank who goes climbing every day. It makes me want to find a tall tree to climb this afternoon.
Claire Star &