Ladies in Navy

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Night at the Salon

This morning as I blow-dried my hair, I realized that it was the last possible day I could live with it without a trim. The ends were stringy, dry, split, and no matter what I did to them (flat-iron, serum, conditioner, drenching them in a torrential rainstorm), they didn't look ANY better. So thank goodness I had my Urbaca Salon appointment for a hair cut this evening. I first headed to Urbaca two weekends ago for a facial from Shelly Okamura (shared my experience here), and couldn't wait to return for more of the spa-level treatment I experienced during my first visit.

Tonight I had my hair cut and beautifully styled by Caitlyn on the team. She was absolutely awesome to talk to - we seriously talked weddings, boyfriends, and travel the entire time - and the two hours I spent at Urbaca flew by like they were minutes. I usually make smalltalk with my hair stylist but on this trip I really felt like the conversation that flowed was pretty organic and engaging. Ben actually texted me many times asking if I was dead and I was so preoccupied and didn't respond that he was driven to examine traffic reports for accidents. (Sorry Ben, just great conversation!)

After giving me a much needed trim (here's a before), Caitlyn smoothed my fly-aways with an awesome product and then set in on my make-up. She's the awesome make-up artist that assists on wedding make-up and it's no wonder. She not only applied flattering make-up that didn't overwhelm my face, but she taught me how to do it myself. I don't know how many times I've attempted a smoky eye and ended up looking like the victim of a fight. She showed me each step with a mirror, made me look fabulous (if I do say so myself) and then personally wrote down a list of products I should buy and use. I am absolutely going to follow her tips for the future and for my wedding as the make-up she gave me didn't look or feel too heavy on my face.

Obviously, once I left my dreamy hair and make-up experience, I went home and forced pajama-ed Ben to take photos of me (again, sorry Ben!) and then forced my unhappy and napping cat to join in on the fun. Excuse the yellow-ish lighting in our apartment. But the moral of this story is that Urbaca Salon is honest-to-goodness the best salon experience I've had in Portland (and I am racking up the experiences from NW salons and SW salons). I am even switching my current hair salon for Urbaca and keeping them in mind for any make-up and facial services that I ever need done. Their services run about $40+ for a hair cut and $55+ for makeup and you can find more info on their website. 

*My Urbaca appointments were complimentary but I wasn't obligated to review or recommend their services. I'm seriously just crazy about this salon!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

On the Menu: Butter Mochi

My Hawaiian upbringing introduced me into a wealth of unhealthy desserts that are unique in consistency and insanely delicious. After I made this dish for a sushi party the other night, I figured I'd share its delicious weirdness with you. I have a butter and mochi (think chewy Japanese treats) baked good that's really easy to make and only makes a marginal amount of oven + apartment smoke due to dripping butter. Enjoy! Recipe follows.

You'll need:

1/2 c. butter
1 pound (1 package) mochiko flour
2 1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp baking powder
3 cups milk
5 eggs beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup flaked coconut

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Melt 1/2 cup of butter in the microwave and then set aside to cool slightly. 

Combine mochiko, sugar and baking powder well. In a separate bowl, combine butter, milk, eggs, vanilla, and flaked coconut. Stir combine dry and wet ingredients. Mix well. 

Pour ingredients into a 13x9" pan and bake for 60 minutes (or until golden brown on the top). Be warned: the butter in this dish will overflow in your oven. Consider placing a pan underneath your baking dish to catch any drips.

Monday, October 20, 2014

In a Downpour

Top: c/o Chicwish; Velvet pants: Gap; Boots: c/o Lulu*s

I find that it always starts to rain the second I leave work. At 5:30 on the dot, a sprinkle starts, often catching me unawares without rain gear, or proper walk-home shoes. This afternoon, after a day of sorta-muggy weather and off-and-on showers, the most torrential rainstorm started up at 5:30 p.m. as I stepped outside of my office onto the immediately flooded streets. Before I'd covered one city block, my shoes were soaked through and I was squelching in wet Adidas. By the time I hit the crosswalk to head onto the waterfront, my umbrella was hardly holding up and my legs were dripping with rain water. Let's not even discuss the state of my purse (well let's, it's wet). But as I started to walk home, in the late Monday afternoon, I realized that everyone was smiling. In the middle of giant drops of rain, soaked through to the skin, bicyclists and pedestrians under wilting umbrellas were grinning... big. People were huddled under bridges laughing with passers-by, ducks were swimming in the puddles formed on the sidewalks by the downpour, dogs were splashing through puddles with their sopping jogger parents. Only in Portland.

I am so happy to have Monday capped by a crazy rainstorm. It was a very very busy weekend for me and I needed a bit of rain to clear away the noisiness and busy last few days. On Friday night, Ben and I relaxed and watched movies, but Saturday we got up early to head to the pumpkin patch and stock up on pumpkins. Mid-day Saturday I headed out to buy things for a sushi party with friends and spent the afternoon baking Japanese desserts in the smoke-filled living room (bubbling-over-butter, an oven's worst nightmare). That night we enjoyed plates of delicious sushi, sake pairings, and some buttery desserts (a la my smoky oven) and came home late to tumble into bed after a few episodes of Gilmore Girls and Deadwood. Sunday we ate a yummy breakfast and then headed out to shop for a baby shower gift for Jane (hooray! Baby Graybeal arrives so soon!). Mid-day to the early evening I celebrated with a lovely crew of PDX bloggers and Jane's family, taking the photos for the shower. Then Jane and I (and her husband, dog, and Mom) headed to the rhododendron garden to take some golden-hour maternity photos. It was a beautiful afternoon full of celebrating the future-mom and I was so thrilled to get the opportunity to take her maternity photos. Can't wait until she shares them! But, phew. Busy weekends always make me feel less prepared for the week and in need of another weekend.

All in all, I was so happy to have the rainstorm this afternoon. It seemed to set the tone for the rest of the Monday - relax with wine. Not sure if that was just my brain requesting that or the actual rainstorm, but it seems better to blame the rain. Hope you all had as wonderful a weekend and as relaxing a Monday night!

If you're digging my velvet skinnies (seriously my favorite pants for Fall/Winter), check out these three options at Shopbop below!