FASHION

FASHION
FASHION

BEAUTY

BEAUTY
BEAUTY

FOOD

FOOD
FOOD

NARS MATTE VELVET LIP PENCIL IN CRUELLA & NARS SATIN LIP PENCIL IN RIKUGIEN



I have forever been a fan of NARS Orgasm Blush and raved about in too many posts. However I did not own any lip product from NARS. So when Sephora presented me a set of two NARS Lip pencils for my Birthday,I was quite intrigued. I am a lipstick junkie, but my expectation from lipsticks are really pretty high, Social Media has been raving about the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencils for some time now and it seemed like a great opportunity to finally try it.

The gift set had NARS Velvet Matte Lipstick In Cruella. I am always a red lip girl. So this seemed right up my alley. The hint of a touch of orange in the red hit the home run, when I first uncovered it. Sephora describes it as Scarlet Red, which I feel is a great descrption. It is matte but not too drying or chalky. Some matte formulas have a habit of somehow dragging on the lips but this was not this case with this product. It was long wearing when I tried it for a day around town. I hate it when matte formulas start flaking off. The color pay off is great. My only problem with the product is that it doesn't come in a twist up tube, and has to be sharpened by a sharpener. I have a problem with my lipstick bleeding, if I dont use a lipliner. Blame my dry skin on it. So I used the lip pencil with a lip liner to prevent bleeding.


From reds, it was time for nudes. NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Rikugien was the second one from the Birthday gift set from Sephora. The packaging is similar to that of the Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil. The product appears shimmery in the tube, and trust me, I was a bit turned off at first sight. However when I used it, the shimmer wasn't that evident on my lips. The formula was creamy  and seemed comfortable enough. The color was a dusty rose on my warm complexion. A lesser pigmented version of MAC Creme Cup for a comparison.


As much as I was impressed with the color pay off and formula of the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencils, I was a bit let down by the Nars Satin Lip Pencils. I am surely picking up the full size of my NARS Velvet Lip Pencil in Cruella. Both the lip pencils are priced at $25 .


Disclaimer : I received samples of the Lip Pencils, but the opinions are those of my own. 
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LOU MALANTI'S PIZZERIA : CHICAGO STYLE PIZZA



We had recently been to Chicago for some work. But you cant keep foodies away from what they do best. So we made a list of places we wanted to eat out and stuck to the list, despite our heavy business schedule. Maybe the lunches were a bit late or the dinners early, but we were surely not complaining.

Our first introduction to Chicago style Pizza was at Burt's Place in Chicago. We had seen it in an episode of Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations. It was a such a fun experience then. Its a pity that its closed now. Read all about it by clicking Here.

This time around we decided to go old school. Whats more authentic than Lou Malnati's Pizzeria. Lou Malnati's is one of the most iconic restaurants of Chicago, for its sheer culinary history. Lou Malnati opened his first pizzzeria in Lincolnwood in 1971 with his wife Jean. Till date its a family run business, with the culinary baton now being wielded by Lou's sons and his wife.


I opted for an oatmeal stout called THE POET. I am a writer, and I was drinking a beer called The POET. Maybe that's a bad joke.

Coming back to the PIZZA ! Chicago style Pizza or deep dish pizza is pretty different from your regular medium crust pizza or thin crust New York style pizza. Lou Manlati's deep dish pizza is known for its corn meal crust which makes the edges extra crispy. In Chicago style Pizza , the cheese goes in first, then your meat and lastly your tomatoes.

We opted for The Malnati Chicago Classic . Its made with sausage, cheese and chunky tomatoes. If you're used to a smooth tomato sauce on your pizza, then this might surprise you. The tomato ices are chunky and juicy. And you cannot miss the crunchy crust. we opted for a medium, but n hind thought, we should have opted for a small. I could only go through 1 1/2 slices. My daughter nibbled through just about 1/4 slice. Daddy had to finish most.







I loved the ambience. It was more like an old school speak easy rather than a fancy fine dinning new age joint. The history could not be missed. The dark wood furniture and booths and the warm yellow lights, added just the right touch. The service was impeccable. We didn't have a reservation, but didn;t have to wait long. And our server was so warm, I still remember her smile.


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CHICKEN KORMA


Chicken Korma is one of those Indian dishes which are so soul satisfying. If you are looking for a light meal, then probably this isn't your best bet. It is creamy, luscious , flavorful and utterly decadent. From a home cook's point of view, I would like to describe Korma as a flavorful curry, cooked in a yogurt sauce and then finished off with a paste made of cashews. You can substitute cashews with almonds or walnuts, but I personally prefer Cashews.  Its a classic North Indian dish which has a great fan following.

The idea is to slow- cook the protein, so that the yogurt does not curdle. I have made this Korma with one whole chicken, which was skinless, and cut into medium sized pieces. meat on the bone is always a better bet if you are making a Curry with it. If you must use boneless meat, then make sure you use skinless thighs. Boneless Chicken Breasts don't fare that well, in being infused with the layers of flavors of this Korma. You can make this Korma with any protien of your choice. According to the protein, the cooking time vary. For instance goat or beef will take slightly longer to cook, rather than chicken.

There are often disagreements over the spice level in Kormas. The Curry Houses in United Kingdom often serve up a very mild Korma. But in India, Kormas are cooked with a higher spice level. This curry tastes good whether in high or low heat levels. so adjust according to your comfort level. Personally I like my curries hot, so I had amped up the heat level. The Curry gets its color from the red chili powder and the cashew nut paste used in it. Kormas dont require the Chicken to be marinated earlier, so if you have half an hour in your hands, you can make it any week night.

It pairs great with Naans, Pita and steamed Basmati Rice. For this dinner, I had gone the extra mile, and made a batch of Aloo Parathas(Spicy Mashed Potato stuffed Indian flatbread). 


CHICKEN KORMA :

Ingredients:
Onion: 1 large (Ground)
Ginger: 2 inches (Ground)
Garlic : 4 to 5 large cloves (Ground)
Chicken: ! whole chicken. Skinless. Cut into medium sized pieces
Yogurt : 2 tbsp and 1/2 cup
Cashews: 1 handdful
Canola Oil
Corainder Powder : 1 tbsp
Red Chili Powder: 1 tsp
Garam Masala Powder

Whole Garam Masala :
Cinnamon Stick : 1 inch
Green Cardamom: 5 to 6
Cloves : 5 to 6

Procedure:

On a high flame, add canola oil to a heavy bottomed pan . Add in your whole garma masala to make the oil aromatic. Once they sizzle up, add in the onion-ginger-garlic paste and let it caramelize. Watch it , so that it doesn't get burnt.


Once the onion ginger garlic paste is caramelized, add in your dry spices. Mix well.


Add in your chicken, and make sure all the pieces are coated with the spice mixture.


Now comes the interesting part. Take the chicken off the falme. Add in 1/2 cup of plain yogurt. Mix in well . Season with salt. Then put the chicken back on the flame. Reduce the flame to medium or low. Add in about 1/2 cup of warm water and mix well. Cover and cook till the chicken is cooked. You have to baby sit this korma so that it doesnt get burnt.


While the korma is being cooked, its time to make the cashew paste. In a small blender, add in around 20 raw cashews, with 2 tbsps of yogurt and little bit of warm water.



Once the Chicken is cooked, reduce the flame, then add in your cashew cream you just made. Mix it in weel. Add a pinch of garam masala powder. Once you add in the nut paste, you will see the color of your Korma changing to a much pale tone. Cook at low flame for around 5 to 7 minutes to infuse the cashew cream well into the gravy.



Serve warm with Naans, Rotis, Parathas or Steamed Basmati rice.


Enjoy !

Bon Appetit ! 
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THE BLOG GUILD SPRING MEET UP AT THE BRASS ON BALTIMORE





A few weeks back, I had attended the Spring Meet Up of The Blog Guild at The Brass on Baltimore, at KC downtown. It was a lovely Spring evening with my favorite KC Bloggers. If you want to read about my Outfit Details, then click Here

It had been some time since the Fall Happy Hour of The Blog Guild, and everyone was all set to let their hair down. The rooftop overlooking the KC skyline was just the perfect backdrop not only to mingle but for bloggers to take their photos at the golden hour. Complimentary cocktails and a lovely snack platter were laid out for us. And I might have binged on a bit too many chocolate and raspberry desserts.


Drink in hand, it was time to tour the historic building. The Brass on Baltimore was the original home of the Kansas City Club. Established in 1882, the KC Club was one of the premier social clubs, which counted amongst its members names like, Dwight D Eisnehower, Harry S Truman. Stained glass window panels( or I should say walls), 7 storey chandeliers, crown moulding,  literally swept me off my feet. History unfolded itself in front of our eyes, as we toured the historic hallways. No wonder its such a popular wedding destination nowadays.




What Blogger Meetup is complete without some awesome photo-ops with our favorite Bloggers.





Thank you to The Blog Guild and The Brass on Baltimore for such a fun evening.


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EVERYDAY NATURAL MAKEUP : 'SUMMER READY' COLLAB WITH THE CRAFTY RUNNER



Summer is almost here, and everyone is gearing up in their own ways. Your Blogger Buddy has also been busy. I teamed up with a fabulous Kansas City Blogger, Kristen Weigand of The Crafty Runner. She has a Fitness Blog, which you must follow, if you haven't already. We were wrapping up a Blogger Meetup, when Kristen came up with his fabulous idea. She said that she would train me in a new fitness routine , and I could teach her some Make Up Tricks.

That's where SUMMER READY was born.  A collaboration between two local Bloggers and Moms who wanted to gift all other Moms something special. Body Image is huge and so many ladies feel it in a not so right way. They feel they don't have the perfect beach bod, so they shy away from dressing up how they would have wanted to on their beach holiday. What we feel is that no one should dictate what you want to do. Kristen has done an amazing work out Tutorial to get your Arms Summer Ready. Here is the link to her Blog- The Crafty Runner.

 And if you feel you don't know how to go around Make up and labels confuse you, that's where I come in. Kirsten wanted an EVERYDAY NATURAL MAKEUP which she could recreate everyday. So we created  an easy to follow make up routine for her. Its very similar to my Everyday Spring Makeup Tutorial which I had done last year. As it was out first collaboration, the audio of this video took a beating. Our daughters were having a great time at their playdate . Next time I assure you you, we will film in a better acoustic place, so that the audio does not take a beating.







PRODUCTS USED IN THE TUTORIAL : 
Maybelline New York Fit Me! Concealer
MAKE UP FOR EVER Ultra HD Foundation
L'Oreal Paris De-Crease Eye Shadow Base
MAC Fluidline Eye Liner Gel Blacktrack
Maybelline New York The Falsies Volum' Express Washable Mascara, 
Blackest Black,
Wet N Wild Lipstick Just Peachy #903C
Milani Baked Blush Luminoso
Real Techniques MultiTask Brush
Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge
Ultra Fine Thin Tip Bent Eyeliner Brush


If you liked our Collaboration, make sure you like us on social media. Let us know in the comments if there is nay specific video request you might have for either Me or Kristen - THE CRAFTY RUNNER
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