5 Beauty Items You DON’T Need

meesh me make upI will admit, I am a sucker for a beauty product. I love make up, and have so much of it that I forget what items I actually have.  I am a “beauty insider” at Sephora, and get my make up done professionally often.  One side effect of that is that I have bought tons of items I don’t actually need.  According to a recent article posted to Yahoo Shine there are an arsenal of beauty products we shouldn’t be spending our money on. Here are some items I was shocked to find that I don’t actually need.

1) Primer

If you have had your make up done professionally you can tell the difference.  When I would apply make up at home the shadow never looked as dark, or lasted as long, as it did when I got it done professionally.  Then I was turned onto primer.  I was told that this product would keep my make up on my face longer, keep it from smudging, and reduce the amount of eye shadow I needed to use.  While primer does it’s job, it’s a necessary addition to your make up collection.  If you have foundation and/or concealer you can create the same effect.  Foundation and concealer both keep make up on your face, and created a bolder look.

2) Lip Balm

Excuse me? I don’t need lip balm? That’s just absurd. Not according to beauty expert Dr. Sejal K. Shah. All you need is moisturizer. Well most women don’t use lip balm just for moisture, but color as well. If you’re not looking for color or tint, you can forego the balm and use your moisturizer.

3) Lip Liner

According to the experts lip liner actually dries out your lips, and your lips look plumpest when moisturized. However, this is only true for younger girls.  As you age lipstick begins to feather out.  If you’re not wearing a bold color you can get away without lip liner, but always use lip liner when applying red lipstick. You’ll end up looking like a clown without it.

Other Products the Experts Say You Don’t Need Include:

1) Scrubs: Apparently scrubs can do more harm than good, drying out your skin.

2) Toner: Not necessary unless you have very oily skin, and even then it’s not mandatory.

3) Face Blotting Sheets: Expensive and unnecessary according to experts. Try using a mask with tea tree oil instead.

Hope you’ve found this blog useful. Write us with your feedback!

Advertisements

Best Places for Holiday Magic in LA

disneyland christmas castleAnyone who knows me knows that I am obsessed with Christmas.  While many of my friends complain about  the early holiday decor, I revel in it.  I love the bright lights, wreaths, and garland. I love baking, and the smell of candles burning in the house. It warms my heart and lightens my soul. It comes as no shock then that I make sure to visit locations where the holiday cheer is high.

In Los Angeles there are plenty of places that put up special decor during the holidays. With plenty of shopping malls near by, there is no shortage of places to see Santa Clause.  The Beverly Center is famous for their “Hunky Santa.”  What women wouldn’t want a hot guy who gives gifts? Visit hunky Santa at the Beverly Center, sit on his lap, and get your picture taken.  Don’t worry guys, there’s something for you as well.  The Candy Cane girls perform acrobatic stunts when Santa makes his grand entrance. Want to view pics or learn more? Visit here to see what Hunky Santa is all about. The newly renovated Glendale Galleria has a Santa station right outside the Macy’s, and walk across the street to the Americana to visit Santa’s workshop.

If you’re looking for family friendly holiday cheer this season, you will want to make sure to visit the following merry destinations:

Disneyland holidays1) Disneyland

No one does Christmas magic like Disney.  At Disneyland they pull out all the stops making sure you see Christmas decor everywhere you go. Sleeping Beauty’s castle is covered in twinkling lights, giving it a look as if Tinkerbell herself sprinkled pixie dust all over it. Above the pavement on Mainstreet USA hang Christmas wreaths with hundreds of lights.  Mainstreet is also the location of the falling snow during the fireworks show.  The Haunted Mansion is transformed into a Nightmare before Christmas.  This year the movie celebrated it’s 25th anniversary, so even more changes have been made to the experience.  New to Disneyland this holiday season is the “Jingle Cruise.” The Jungle Cruise ride has a special holiday theme this year.  Over at CA Adventure the new Car’s Land has been decorated for the holidays.  Instead of wreaths, tires are decorated and hang above the main street. Enjoy special holiday treats at any number of bakeries located at the park. Also new this year to CA Adventure is the holiday World of Color show. Expect to see Ana and her sister Elsa from Disney’s newest animated feature “Frozen”. Can’t pay the price of admission? You can still enjoy Disney magic by visiting the Downtown Disney District.  The streets are decorated for the holidays, and you can ice skate with your little ones at the pixie themed skating rink.  Admission is free, and parking is free for 3 hours.

the grove christmas2) The Americana/Grove

Looking for things to do during the weekend? You can shop, dine, catch a movie, and see Santa at the Americana and the Grove.  The Grove was a Rick J. Caruso project. A little known fact is that one of the original Disney Imagineers worked on the design.  The Grove opened in 2002, and The Americana followed.  Both destinations set up huge Christmas trees, lights, and Santa’s workshop.  At The Grove it actually “snows” once a night.  There are a variety of restaurants and shops to choose from at both locations.  You can get your shopping done, have a cup of cocoa, and enjoy the lights. Right next to The Grove is the famous Farmer’s Market.  Enjoy fresh produce, and home cooked meals hometown and ethnic. Across from the Americana is the newly renovated Glendale Galleria with even more shopping and dining options.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA3) Universal Studios/City Walk

If you don’t feel like making the drive out to Anaheim, Universal Studios is close by and cheaper.  Visit Grinchmas, Universal’s Grinch themed holiday area where it “snows” in Los Angeles.  Fans of the holiday movie will love this area.  Universal has recreated the set of the hit movie staring Jim Carey.  You can visit all of your favorite characters from the Dr. Suess book.  Located next to the theme park is Universal City Walk.  You can shop, dine, see a movie, play in an arcade, or dance the night away at a nightclub. Universal City Walk offers something for everyone. To purchase your theme park tickets or to learn more about the holiday festivities at Universal Studios Hollywood visit their website here.

Take some time to enjoy the holidays this year.

-Love Meesh

Squid Ink Pasta

Food & Nostalgia 

 

squid ink pastaA relationship with a grandparent is very unique. They’re allowed to impart life lessons, without having to carry all of the burden or responsibilities of a parent, unless of course you were raised by your grandparent.  Both of my parents worked full time during my younger years, so my grandmother took on full parental responsibilities. As a result we have a very close relationship. I spent many summers living with her, sharing a room, and stories. She was my roommate, my best friend, my inspiration, my mom, and my grandma. She was stern with me growing up, but I am who I am today for fear of ever disappointing her.  Parents, want to know how you can get your kids to refrain from drugs and alcohol? Guilt! My grandmother has friends EVERYWHERE!! I never behaved badly, for fear of her ever finding out, and tarnishing how she thought of me.  While kids picked on me at school for being over weight, my grandmother always made me feel special, to her I was always #1.  She is a great cook, and it is because of her that I love to cook so much. Every time I cook, I think of her and our summers together.

My boyfriend often speaks of his grandfather, who sadly passed away a few years ago.  While his grandfather was a tough Italian man, my boyfriend’s fondest memories of him were made in the kitchen.  He loved his Italian cooking, and advice about food.  To take my boyfriend back to that special time, I prepared a dish his grandfather was known for, squid ink pasta.  While he used a squid ink sauce, I used fresh squid ink pasta.  The squid ink gives the pasta it’s dark color and unique shine.  This dish is simple to make, because most of the work has already been done for you.  I found the squid ink pasta at my local Italian market, Marios in Glendale, CA.  Many Italian markets carry specialty pastas with unique flavors.  The squid ink gives the pasta a seafood flavor, so you do not need to add much to the dish.  I added good quality olive oil, graded parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, and capers.  I topped the dish with fresh parmiginao-reggiano and plated with prossciutto.  I surprised him when he got home, and he was taken back immediately to times with his grandfather.

Ingredients:

Parmigiano-reginao

Graded parmesan

Jarred capers

Squid ink pasta

Red Pepper Flakes

Olive Oil

Instructions:

Boil water. Add salt, and a drizzle of olive oil to boiling water.  Add pasta, and cook for 8 minutes or until pasta is aldente (has a bite to it)

Drain pasta. Add back to pot. Add olive oil, red pepper flakes, graded parmesan, and mix.

Add pasta to dish. Top with capers, and graded parmigiano.

Enjoy!

Food means many different things to different people, but for most it’s comforting.  Food can work as a time machine, taking you back to a time with loved ones.  I hope you enjoy this dish with your loved ones.

What’s For Dinner? Simple & Fresh Flavors

Flavors From Your Past

Italian SandwichGrowing up in Glendale, California there was no shortage of Persian and Armenian markets.  It was convenient for me to get everything I needed to make the Persian dishes I grew up on.  For my boyfriend it’s been a little harder to find that taste of home.  He grew up on the East Coast with an Italian deli always in close proximity.  He went to college in Boston, where he could grab his Italian favorites.  Living in L.A. was an adjustment, but with the opening of Jersey Mike’s and Rita’s Italian Ice he felt a little more at home.

Anyone who cooks dinner multiple nights a week will tell you that it’s easy to run out of ideas.  Coming up with a new menu plan for the week can become challenging after a while.  I look for inspiration every where.  If we go out to dinner, and enjoy a meal I will attempt to recreate it at home.  While attempting to plan this week’s meals I looked for inspiration from my boyfriend’s time in Boston.  Many times he spoke of this amazing sandwich he loved from the East End of Boston.  The sandwich sounded simple, and easy enough to make.  To make this sandwich more than ordinary it would take fresh ingredients.  Fortunately I know of an Italian Deli in Glendale.  Mario’s offers many Italian imports, serving everything from fresh bread to gnocchi and homemade marinara.  I was able to pick up everything I needed, plus some extra pastas for just $20.

Follow the simple instructions below to make a light and easy meal.  This sandwich travels well too, making it the perfect meal for a lunch in the park or office.

031What you’ll need:

Fresh French Bread
Fresh Mozzarella
Organic Basil
Organic Tomato
Prosciutto sliced
Olive Oil
Garlic Salt
Pepper
Balsamic Vinegar

Preparation:032

Make sure to rinse all your produce and pat try with a paper or clean hand towel
Slice tomato into thin slices
Cut bread loaf in half
Slice Mozzarella
Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar over your tomato slices, mozzarella slices, basil, and the inside of the bread slices.
Sprinkle pepper over the mozzarella and tomato.
Sprinkle garlic salt over the tomatoes.
Stack your sandwich any way you like, piling up your ingredients.
Slice and serve! It’s that easy.

Enjoy 🙂

For more simple recipes visit the Feed Me portion of the Meeshme.com website.

Happy Dining XOXO

Pork Chops & Pasta? It Happened

pork chops and pasta

What’s for Dinner?

Sometimes you have to force someone to take a chance, even if it’s just to experiment with food.  We can get so set in our ways when it comes to what we eat.  Visiting the same restaurants, ordering the same dishes, cooking the same meal night after night.  We grow up on certain types of food depending on our cultural backgrounds, then grow up and find other types of foods intimidating.  While the foods you grew up on were amazing, you’ll miss out on some great meals If you never try new things.

My boyfriend’s sister was kind enough to send us a giant package of meat from Omaha steaks for his birthday.  Among the amazing steaks were a few pork chops.  I knew my boyfriend would love them, despite his hate of pork. My mission would be to cook the pork chops in a way where he couldn’t deny their amazing flavor.

I chose to apply my fail-safe marinade to the pork chops, and fix a side of pasta to go with them.  The recipe for these bomb.com pork chops is below.

Ingredients:

Pork Chops (Amount depends on who you’re cooking for. My boyfriend was able to eat 3 in one meal)

Pasta (I used regular spaghetti noodles, you can use any type of noodle you prefer)

Marinade:

Balsamic Vinegar

2 tablespoon Oregano

1 tablespoon Red Pepper Flakes

1 tablespoon Pepper

1 tablespoon Garlic Salt

Olive Oil

Pre-Cooking Instructions:

The night before I coated the pork chops in olive oil.  Take a tablespoon of olive oil and rub it into the meat.

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl: garlic salt, oregano, red pepper flakes, and pepper.

Sprinkle the mixture over the pork chops and pat down compacting the dry ingredients.

put the pork chops into a plastic Ziplock bag, and add the balsamic vinegar.

Put into the refrigerator, and let sit over night.

Cooking Instructions:

Heat your oven to 200 F

Add a teaspoon of olive oil to a sauce pan, and add your pork chops

Place the pork chops into the oven without a lid.

Let cook for 10 minutes then flip the pork chops, and let them cook for another 10 minutes

Take the pan out of the oven and put it on the stove top over high heat.

Cook the pork chops on either side for 1 to five minutes depending how brown you want the outside.

Take a piece of aluminum foil and loosely tent the pan letting the pork sit for 10 minutes

This will save the pork juices, preventing drying.

pork chops in pan

Pasta:

Boil Water

Add salt and teaspoon of olive oil

Add pasta when water comes to a boil

Cook aldente and drain

Remove pork chops from the cooking pan

Do not clean the pan.

Place pan over medium heat, and add pasta.

Add a splash of balsamic vinegar and tablespoon of olive oil

Mix the pasta with the drippings from the pork chops

Cook for five minutes or until mixed.

Plate with pork chops and serve!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this recipe.  Come visit us here at Meeshme.com again soon!

Halloween: Create Your Own Look

evil queen costumeI love Halloween, because it gives me a reason to be creative.  Sure you can buy a costume in a bag at any local Halloween shop, but the results are always the same.  A baggy, ill-fitting, too short costume is not the way to go.  After a few disastrous Halloweens during my early 20s I decided to start adding my own personal touch to costumes.  If you can’t sew like me, you can create an easy costume using items in your closet.  With the right dress all you really need are some Halloween accessories, which won’t cost you much at all. In need of costume accessories? I found mine here.

Each year I put together two costumes, a different costume for each of the nights I go out.  This year the theme was good vs. evil.  For my first look, I decided on the evil queen.  I drew my inspiration from the hit TV series Once Upon a Time.  In the show Regina plays an evil queen with killer style.  With each episode I watched I grew ever more jealous that I couldn’t wear her outfits in my day to day life, but on Halloween we can be as glamorous and sexy as we want to be.

To recreate Regina’s look I went for a black laced halter corset found here. Next, I searched for a skirt that would be fun and sexy, but still fit in with the theme.  I knew I could do better than a typical tutu, and found this high-low fairy tale skirt in black online here.  The crown would be the most important part of the costume, without it people would have trouble figuring out what I was supposed to be. I found this amazing crown at Amazon.com here.  The crown is definitely my favorite part of this costume. Wish I could wear it every day lol!

cinderella costumeEvery little girl dreams of being a Disney Princess.  Cinderella was one of my favorite movies as a little girl, and still is to this day, so for my second look I chose to recreate Cinderella’s iconic look.  My boyfriend had purchased the crown for me from Disneyland several months back, and Halloween gave me an opportunity to wear it out in public without seeming like a lunatic.  To recreate the rest of the look I started with this white corset from Frederick’s of Hollywood.  Although Cinderella’s dress is often depicted as blue, it always looked white, and glittery to me.  The shine in this corset was perfect.  I paired it with a white maxi skirt I had in my closet purchased at Foreign Exchange for less than $40.  To complete the look I’ll be wearing full length white gloves, and a black choker similar to the one found here.

No matter what your fairy tale dreams are you can make them come true on Halloween.  You don’t have to look unshapely in a costume from a bag just because you can’t sew.  Putting together a costume isn’t as hard as you might think, and the results are always better.

Wishing you and yours a very Happy Halloween!

-Meeshme

5 Ways to Get Fresher Brighter Skin

spa day

Many women think that a tan is the key to glowing skin, spending time under the damaging rays of the sun or tanning bed, but the truth is tanning isn’t the key to glowing skin.  The average person has 1.6 trillion skin cells, and of this skin cells 30,000 to 40,000 of those cells shed each hour.  That’s a lot of dead skin you’re carrying around.  Dead and dry skin causes ashy dull looking skin, but there are quick and simple things you can do to keep your skin looking fresh, bright, and glowing.

Here are five things you can start doing to improve the look of your skin:

Dry-Skin-Brushing1) Dry Brushing

It’s called dry brushing for a reason, yet many people use their dry brush in the shower.  Getting your dry brush wet will cause molding, and using this brush in the shower is not effective.  It is harder to shed dead skin cells when they are wet.  Instead, use your dry brush before getting into the shower.  Start at the feet moving upward.  The idea is that you’re moving toxins towards your digestive system for removal.  Continue to brush in a circular motion over your entire body.  The process shouldn’t take longer than 5 to 10 minutes, you don’t want to damage the healthy skin.  Once completed, get in the shower and rinse the dead skin off. You can find dry brushes at many local stores including pharmacies, Target stores, or Walmart.

mango-body-scrub_l2) Body Srubs

There are hundreds if not thousands of “scrubs” for you to choose from.  The idea of a shower scrub is that it will exfoliate your skin, and in some cases help get rid of toxins.  To me the most important factor in choosing a body scrub is the scent.  While the sent doesn’t add to the exfoliation process, the benefit is in its relaxation powers.  A good smelling body scrub can fill your shower with calming scents, helping you wash away those toxic worries.  My favorite body scrubs are found at the Body Shop.  Check them out here.

unicorngirl_shower_light3) Hot & Cold

Switching the water from hot to cold periodically throughout your shower will help shock the skin, bringing life back to dead skin.  Hot water is typically not great for the skin, and can even age your skin faster.  However, most of us can’t stand an entire shower of cold water.  Hot water relaxes us, and a hot shower can be therapeutic.  Enjoy your hot shower, but when it comes to washing your face switch to cold water.  It will help with circulation, and brighten your skin.

4) Good Lotion

spray lotion For some of us the “lotioning” process is a pain in the a$$.  I have so many bottles of lotion, I can’t count them.  Yet I only get to putting lotion on my legs when I look down and their ashy white.  Hydrating your skin is very important, so making time for lotion is key to getting glowing skin.  Choose a lotion that provides the benefits you seek.  Choose a scent you enjoy, so that the process is enjoyable for you.  If you’re like me and hate lathering up, there are spray lotions available at your local pharmacy.

h20 body gloss4) Body Gloss

I have mentioned this product in a previous blog post, but the H20 Plus Hydrating Body Gloss is a great product.  If you’re looking for skin that shines, this product is a must.  The gloss is easy to apply! Just a few spritzes of the body gloss and you’re legs will look hydrated and shiny.  Say goodbye to white ashy legs and elbows.  To purchase this product or to get more information visit the product page here.  At just $15 it’s a steal.

From Option to Priority

priority

If you have ever felt like you were just “an option” you know how amazing it feels to become someone’s priority.  It is the difference between feeling liked and being loved.  When you are afraid of being without someone, sometimes it’s easier to settle for being an option instead of waiting to become a priority.  You feel like if you fight hard enough you’ll outlast or beat out the other “options”. More often than not this isn’t the case, and why would you want it to be? If someone is truly in love with you, they will commit and be faithful to you. They won’t even consider other options.  It’s only when someone isn’t ready to commit that they consider other options.

Why do people engage in relationships with people unwilling or not ready to commit?  While there are “plenty of fish in the sea” dating is often intimidating.  People work longer hours these days, and social networking kills any sense of mystery revealing too much and ruining chances of relationship development.  It’s hard for many people to make time for dating, let alone find someone they are compatible with.  While the “search” often takes work, wasting your time with someone who isn’t ready to commit, or not capable of it, is pointless and tragic.  When you consider that we only have one life, and that life passes by in the blink of an eye, why would you want to spend it with someone who doesn’t value you enough to be committed to you?

I was once caught in the trap of committing to someone who was unwilling to make me a priority. After so many years I learned from him how to make people options, never making any man a priority.  It wasn’t until I found love that I was able to learn to commit again, and to make someone a priority.  Once upon a time I fought hard for commitment only to fail.  Now I wake up each morning as a priority. It takes time to find the one, but it’s always worth the wait.

D23: Wouldn’t You Think My Collection’s Complete?

Little Mermaid Collection

Ariel said it best when she said, “I’ve got gadgets and gizmos a-plenty!” Ever since my boyfriend discovered my love for Disney every gift has been Disney related. As a result I have acquired quite a collection of Disney artwork, figurines, and dolls. One look at my childhood bedroom, and I think you’ll agree that my collection is complete. That was until we heard that D23 was coming to town once again.

D23 is held at the Anaheim Convention Center every two years. At this year’s Disney Expo we viewed upcoming trailers for movies like “Maleficent” & “Thor: The Dark World“. We saw sneak peaks of movies currently filming like “Cinderella” & “Tomorrowland“, and had access to some limited edition items at the Disney Store. All I can say is that I’m incredibly excited for the new Disney film line up. Actors like Angelina Jolie, Tom Hiddleston, Kristen Bell, and Indina Menzel were in attendance to promote their new films. Yes, Angelina Jolie is incredibly gorgeous in person, and very kind.

Disney Infinity Display

Infinity, the new Disney interactive game was one of the exciting products introduced at the Expo. After playing this game I can attest to it’s one of a kind experience. Your kids will love playing this game, and you can get in on the fun playing as one of your favorite Disney characters. View clips from this exciting new game here or purchase your very own game here.

054At the D23 pop up Disney store we were able to view upcoming product lines. I think you’ll be excited about some of the products hitting stores this fall. The Disney Fairytale Designer Collection features some of your favorite princesses in dresses designed with stunning detail. The unique thing about this collection is that it includes both prince and princess. The collection includes Rapunzel & Flynn Rider, Jazmine & Aladdin, Snow White & Prince Charming, Bell & the Beast, and Ariel & Prince Eric. The dolls are being released one at a time. The time to purchase Snow White & Charming has already passed, but you can purchase Rapunzel & Flynn now. To view future release dates visit the Disney info page here. All doll sets are priced at $129.95. There are only 6,000 of each doll made world round, so supplies are very limited. In addition to the dolls, the Disney Fairytale Designer Collection features journals, tea cups, jewelry, make up, clothing & more. To view the Fairytale Designer Collection page click here.

In addition to the Fairytale Designer Collection, Disney also unveiled their new line of “It’s a Small World” dolls. I know I’m not the only one who growing up wondered why the iconic ride’s dolls were not for sale. The new dolls feature the iconic song sung in each doll’s respective language. View the dolls in action here before they go on sale.  The dolls will be released just in time for this year’s holiday season. Guess what you’re little girl will want for Christmas?

Some items I picked up at D23 included limited edition Little Mermaid artwork, 1 of only 500 Fairytale Designer Collection makeup bag, and one of a kind paintings of Tinkerbell. The next D23 Expo will take place in Anaheim,CA in 2015. Until then don’t forget to visit your local Disney Store or Disneystore.com for the latest one of a kind items. I hope my collection is finally complete, then again there’s always something new I just have to have!

Bye Bye Summer?

bye bye summer

The media is saying good bye to summer with tons of articles, blogs, and TV specials, but I say hold on! It’s still over 85 degrees in many parts of the US.  It’s 88 degrees here in Glendale, and 85 by the beaches.  In fact we typically don’t see a cool down in Los Angeles until closer to Halloween.  Meanwhile department and online stores have cleared out mini skirts and tank tops to make room for wool sweaters and jeans.

Dear Department Store,

We can’t wear wool in California. Just stop it!

While finding summer clothing in September can prove to be challenging, the good news is that many summer items are already on sale.  If you’re in need of items to stay cool in, visit the sale section of your favorite online retailer.  It’s also a great time to buy a swim suit for the rest of this season, or for next season. Can’t find what you’re looking for online? Visit the nearest outlet mall.  Many stores send last season’s items off to the outlet locations, and mark them down sometimes up to 70%.

Don’t know where to start? These online retailers are offering great deals on summer fashions now:

Express: 40% off Clearance

J Crew: Extra 25% off Sale Items

Victoria’s Secret: Swim Suit Sale & Clearance Items

Forever 21: Tons of trendy styles on sale now

Zumiez: 60% off Labor Day Sale

LuLu’s: Plenty of summer dresses under $30

You can save on more than just clothing in September.  There is still plenty of time to have that summer BBQ you never got around to throwing.  Target and Walmart are both offering great deals on patio furniture, and plastic dishware, everything you need to have a great outdoor party with friends.

Target: Up to 50% off Patio Clearance Items

Walmart: Patio Clearance

Don’t be fooled by the media.  There is still plenty of time to enjoy your backyard, take a dip in the pool, and rock a mini dress.  Take advantage of these great deals, and enjoy the heat while you can.