Follow Friday: Four Beautiful Women

Hello, friends, and Happy Friday!

This morning, a certain lovely Instagrammer posted her first “Friday Follow” and used the hastags “womensupportingwomen” and “liftthemup.”  (She shared this adorable account, and I immediately followed.  That hair!!)  These hashtags have been on my mind a lot lately, and I love the idea of supporting other women by sharing some of my favorite Instagram accounts!  I’ve also been wanting to share some of my favorite YouTube beauties on my blog, so today seemed like the perfect opportunity to do both.

Here are four women who make the world a more beautiful place:

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Top Left: I’ve posted about the Beauty Professor’s blog before, but she also hosts one of my favorite YouTube channels!  Rachel is also a communications professor, beauty blogger for Neiman Marcus, and mum to an adorable dog named Jethro.  Talk about inspirational!  Her videos include makeup tutorials, daily looks with her latest skin care routine, and her monthly favorite products.  Rachel excels at describing products, including fragrances, so her monthly favorite videos are not to be missed!  Here’s her latest video:

Top right: CoffeeBreakWithDani is one of my favorite YouTube beauties partly because she is so dang cute.  Her smile and positive attitude are infectious, and she posts a new video every day, even though she’s also mom to an adorable toddler, several dogs, and one more kiddo on the way!  Dani is also a native San Diegan, although she now lives in Texas.  Her videos vary from shopping hauls, first impressions and product reviews, top products in a variety of categories, tutorials, dupe products, etc., and she organizes them into playlists for ease of access (gorgeous, funny, and organized?  Of course I love her).  Plus she posts a video every Saturday showcasing another YouTuber who she admires–how awesome is that?!  Dani also features lots of drugstore and less expensive products for gorgeous makeup looks that won’t break the bank.  You can find the most recent videos on her channel, but I wanted to post this Valentine’s Day video because it speaks volumes about the kind of (amazing) person Dani is:

Bottom left: Lisa Eldridge is not only a gifted makeup artist, but she was recently named the new Global Creative Director of Lancôme Makeup!  I can’t think of anyone better suited for the task.  In addition to her stunning celebrity makeup looks, which are often featured on her Instagram account, Lisa is a collector of vintage makeup and is always on the lookout for the newest formulations, packaging, and technology (like these intriguing new products from Korea).  Lisa’s Youtube channel ranges from tips and tricks, tutorials showcasing her most popular looks (with some fabulous guests), her favorite products, and tutorials on herself featuring vintage Hollywood looks, including Audrey Hepburn.  (Spoiler: she even wears a tiara!)  Lisa’s videos are helpful, relatable, and whimsical—rare qualities in one who has experienced so much success. She embodies class and I admire her more every day.  Here’s her most recent video; I love model Danni’s reaction at the end!:

Bottom right: finally, I’m sharing one of my most recent YouTube subscriptions, the darling Karima McKimmie of Shameless Fripperies.  She films extremely professional (and helpful) tutorials and makeup looks, with links to even more beautiful photos on her blog.  And I am not afraid to admit that I love the way she talks!  Kimmie is from Australia, and I cannot get enough of the way she says “shimmer.”  My hybrid California-Wisconsin accent is just not cutting it.  ;)  Here’s her latest video that has me wanting the By Terry Densiliss blush even more than I did before (if that’s possible):

These four women are beautiful inside and out, and I’m so happy to share their Instagram and YouTube accounts with you!  I love watching their videos in the morning while I get ready; what better way to start the day?  Please leave me a comment if there are some other channels I need to add to my subscription list.  <3

Thank you so much for stopping by!

xoxo,
Jenn

Eat All the Things (vol. 1)

Hello, friends!

As I mentioned before, I’m not sure exactly where this blog is headed now that I’m on the entrepreneur/Girl Boss path that no longer requires Lady Lawyer suits or working in an office.  (I’m also not sure where my wardrobe/style are headed but that’s a story for another day.)  I thought I’d mix things up with a review of one of my new favorite local restaurants, Farmer’s Bottega.

Farmer’s Bottega is located in the historic Mission Hills neighborhood (just west of our casa in Hillcrest).  According to Wikipedia, Mission Hills “is located on hills just south of the San Diego River valley and north of downtown San Diego, overlooking Old Town, Downtown San Diego, and San Diego Bay.”  What this means for non-San Diegans is that the hillside views are un.be.liev.able.  The neighborhood is filled with local businesses and boutique shops (like this favorite), delicious restaurants, Bungalow and Craftsman homes that will make any porch lover swoon, and a lot of charm.  It has a small-town feel in the heart of San Diego; we love taking afternoon walks and are frequently greeted by friendly residents.  I would love to own a home in this neighborhood someday!

Back to the topic at hand: Farmer’s Bottega.  I am automatically a fan of any restaurant that serves breakfast in the afternoons during the week, so I knew we would be fast friends.  Put simply, my need for hollandaise simply can’t be satisfied on the weekends alone. This charming new eatery offers a plethora of delicious Eggs Benedict variations that more than satisfy my buttery cravings.

On my first visit, Nathan and I popped in for a late lunch and sat on the back patio, which is lined with fragrant flower boxes filled with herbs and tomatoes.  The service and atmosphere were perfect.  I opted for prosecco and was delighted to receive my own mini bottle of (delicious) bubbles.  A local brew for the mister, of course.

Prosecco Mission Hills San Diego Brunch
Locals will recognize some menu items from the sister restaurants, Fig Tree Cafe. Since the Hillcrest location is one of my favorites, I knew we were in for good eats.  And Farmer’s Bottega did not disappoint!  We both tried Eggs Benedict dishes on English muffins: blue crab for me, traditional for Nathan.

Crab Cake Eggs Benedict Mission Hills San Diego brunch

The freshly made crab cakes and cilantro hollandaise were a perfect match, and I could eat a bucket of house potatoes.  You have the option of an English muffin, focaccia, or one of each.  I’m sure the focaccia is divine as well but we are purists, at least when it comes to the bread.  Adding cilantro to the hollandaise, however, is genius.  I can’t wait to try the Short Rib Benedict with chipotle hollandaise; I’ve tried the version at Fig Tree and am drooling just thinking about it.  And the eggs were perfectly poached and farm fresh–nothing kills a breakfast buzz more than over cooked eggs.

I’ve also been to this delightful restaurant for dinner, and am happy to report that I encountered similar levels of deliciousness.  My dear friend had the braised short ribs with grilled polenta and tobacco onions (aka, fancy onion rings).  I wish that I had taken a picture, because it was not only beautiful but so. stinkin. good.  The short ribs were perfectly seasoned and perfectly cooked; unsurprisingly, our waiter said it’s the most popular dish on the menu.  I opted for the oxtail ravioli, which came with cherry tomatoes, caramelized onion, and herbed goat cheese.  The flavors were spot on, and it’s definitely big enough to share.  Sadly, the pictures of these two entrees did not work out.  But we also tried the bruschetta with bleu cheese, parma prosciutto, fresh figs, and aged balsamic, and here it is!

Bruschetta Farmer's Bottega Mission Hills San Diego

As you may have guessed from the picture, bruschetta = good eats.  The prosciutto was tender and flavorful, and the bleu cheese was a welcome change from the standard bruschetta fare of goat cheese or burrata.  Not that I have anything against them, or any other cheese for that matter.  (Wisconsin girl for life.)   But the tangy, pungent cheese pared perfectly with the sweet figs and aged balsamic.  Just writing this makes me hungry; I can’t wait to go back!

At bottom, Farmer’s Bottega is not to be missed.  Whether you’re a native or a tourist, I highly recommend visiting Mission Hills for an afternoon stroll and a delightful meal at Farmer’s Bottega.

xoxo,
Jenn (Blondie, Esq.)

No makeup makeup

Happy Tuesday, friends!

I’d like to start my re-entry into the world of blogging by sharing some of my favorite makeup products with you.  I am by no means an expert; just a girl who loves makeup (it’s a VIB Rouge, MUJI drawer buying, never-enough-foundation, yes I really do need 20 red lipsticks kind of love).  As Rachel Zoe said, “Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.”  I fully embrace this sentiment, and if you follow me Instagram, you know that a bold lip is certainly part of my signature style.  But every now and then I channel my inner mademoiselle and go for a fresh-faced look.  I also happened to get a sassy new haircut last week, which prompted an impromptu head shot, so it seemed like the perfect time to write my first blog post in a minute.  (Or  ~700K minutes.)

blondieesquire headshot san diego portrait photography

I went for this natural look for two reasons.  First, I’ve been lucky to discover not just one but multiple holy grail foundations thanks to some actual beauty experts, including the fantastic Beauty Professor (who I cannot thank enough!!).  Whether you are a die hard makeup lover or a bare faced neophyte, this blog is not to be missed.  Second, I’ve recently discovered a new skin care line that is making me jump up and down for joy on a daily basis.  This one-two punch has me reaching for fewer products and enjoying the simplicity of glowing skin.  I’ll be writing more about each of these reasons in the future, but a quick disclaimer–some of these products are expensive.  In my experience, however, these products are worth every penny and actually deliver the promised results (which is more than I can say for the box of rejected foundations that I accumulated over the years before discovering my favorites…).  And I try to balance my makeup drawer(s) with more affordable (but equally as amazing) products, like these FIVE DOLLAR eyeshadows and lippie stix.  (Sorry not sorry for the emphasis, these babies are that good!)

I’m only writing in detail about one of the products that I used above in order to avoid the longestblogpostever, but I’m happy to answer questions and plan to write more about my other favorite products soon.  :)

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After applying my daily skincare (including SPF 50), I started with one pump of By Terry Terrybly Densiliss primer (which you can purchase herehere, or here).  I’ve tried a ton of primers but didn’t fall in love until By Terry.  (I started my By Terry addiction with this amazing lip balm, but be warned: it is a gateway drug into this drool worthy brand.)  Yes, this primer is expensive.  But I’ve used it almost daily since mid-October and I still have half of the bottle left.  Why is this a non-negotiable part of my routine?  It blurs imperfections, smooths the skin, and helps foundation both apply like a dream and last forever.  I’ve tried it over both physical and chemical sunscreens, and with a variety of foundations, and it has yet to disappoint.  I can’t promise it will work for you, but it’s certainly worth a try.

Here are the rest of the products I used to get this “no makeup” look and where you can find them:

  • Clé de Peau Beauté Cream Foundation in shade I10 (here, here, and here), mixed with Charlotte Tilbury’s Wonder Glow (here).
  • I concealed under my eyes with the Benefit Fake Up in light (here) and used the unbeatable Clé de Peau Beauté concealer in Ivory for spot concealing (here, here, or here).
  • For a natural flush, I wore a dab of By Terry Cellularose Blush Glace in Rose Melba (here) and used Benefit’s High Beam (here) to highlight.
  • I tried to keep it simple on the eyes by using M·A·C’s Pro Longwear Paint Pot in painterly (here) and Charlotte Tilbury’s browlift in Grace K (here), plus my latest and greatest mascara combo: Chanel Beauté des Cils Nourishing Mascara Base (here) + By Terry Mascara Terrybly in Mystic Orchid (here).
  • Finally, I went for a (rare) nude lip with Urban Decay’s Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Color (here) and Naked Ultra Nourishing Lip Gloss (here), both in the shade Lovechild.

And voila, no makeup makeup!  Using only 13 products…. ha!  ;)  As I contemplate the future of this blog, I’d like to continue to share makeup and beauty related posts, as well as composite posts of my outfits from Instagram (perhaps to show how I’ve been remixing my closet during my last few months of no shopping).  If this sounds interesting to you, please let me know in the comments!

Thank you so much for reading, I really appreciate it!

xoxo,
Jenn (Blondie, Esq.)

PS: if you are an online shopper and haven’t joined Ebates, you are missing out!  Click here to sign up and feel free to leave questions in the comments.  In a nutshell: cash back for online shopping.

Sunny San Diego

Hello friends!

I hope you are all enjoying your fall respective weather!  I love layers, and my office is cold, so the recent crisp days in Southern California have been right up my alley.  :)

We took a quick trip to San Diego yesterday for a good friend’s birthday party and saw a bunch of friends we haven’t seen in ages.  So much fun!  And I also reunited with my fantastic hairdresser.  She’s amazing, and I love that she does both cut and color.  After lunch at one of our favorite taco shops, we headed over to the Hotel Del Coronado to take a few pictures.  It was a lovely day, and so nice to be back on the old stomping grounds.

Hope you all had a great weekend, and as always, thank you so much for reading!

xoxo,
Blondie, Esq.

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~ J.Crew Factory tartan pleated mini & draped pocket tank (buy) ~
~ J.Crew Factory colorblock elbow-patch sweater ~ Celine sunglasses ~
~Bronx boots & Coach bag (old) ~

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(couldn’t resist, of course)

Suit Up

I’ve been reaching more for separates than suits lately but here are a few business looks from the past few months.  I do love how easy and professional suits are (very extra helpful for early mornings).  J.Crew remains my favorite store for suits (and J.Crew Factory has been a close second lately!).  I tried a few new brands this year but everything went straight back to the store (issues with quality, fit, or both).  If you’re starting your business dress collection, I recommend subscribing to J.Crew’s email list and stocking up during sales.  And I try to wear a fun color or shoe whenever I’m in a suit, which (hopefully) makes it a bit less stuffy and boring.

Thanks for reading!

xoxo,
Blondie, Esq.

2013.07.12 fri

~ J.Crew charcoal 1035 jacket (buy) and 1035 trousers (buy) in pinstripe Super 120s
~  J.Crew silk sweater ~ J.Crew Factory printed tissue scarf (seen) ~
~ Vince Camuto Kain pumps (buy) ~

2013.07.15 mon

~ J.Crew Factory lightweight wool jacket (buy) and pencil skirt (buy) ~
~ J.Crew Blythe blouse in retro jade (buy) ~ J.Crew Trixie heels in warm ivory ~

2013.07.19 fri

~ J.Crew navy jacket (love this) & pencil skirt in pinstripe Super 120s (buy) ~
~J.Crew Jackie shell (buy) ~ Banana Republic scarf ~
~ J.Crew fleur patterned peep-toe heels in deep atlantic ~

2013.07.29 close up

~ t+j Designs Luxe Turquoise Flower Petal Necklace (on sale!) ~
~ J.Crew cool graphite Serengeti peep toes ~

2013.07.29 mon

~ Banana Republic sweater ~
~  J.Crew charcoal 1035 jacket (buy) & in-box pencil skirt in super 120s ~

2013.08.21 weds

~ J.Crew charcoal 1035 jacket (buy) & Emmaleigh dress in pinstripe super 120s (buy) ~
~ Steven by Steve Madden green Ravesh pump (buy) (one of my favorite pairs) ~
~ Bauble Bar monogram necklace ~2013.09.13 fri
~ Brooks Brothers non-iron shirt (similar) ~
~ J.Crew black jacket & pencil skirt in super 120s ~
~ Chanel earrings ~ J.Crew Factory big dot tights (buy) ~

2013.09.24 tues

~ J.Crew light heather graphite jacket (similar) & pencil skirt (similar) in super 120s  ~
~ Zara navy court shoe (buy) ~ J.Crew Factory printed gathered tank ~
~  J.Crew collection lady four-strand pearl necklace (buy) ~

2013.09.25 weds

~ J.Crew navy jacket & Emmaleigh dress in pinstripe super 120s (buy) ~
~ Banana Republic Mad Men collection geo silk scarf in shamrock ~

Weekends

First, thank you all for the helpful and sweet comments on my last post!  It’s nice to know that I’m not writing in a vacuum.  :)  Thank you so much for your support and for sticking with my lil ole blog despite my months of absence.  Y’all are the best!!!

Second, I’m trying a new method for catching up on outfits for the past few (er, three) months, so here is my first post: weekend looks.  Summer weather in SF is completely random and unpredictable.  For the most part it was cooooooold, but the sun did pay us a few visits here and there.  We did a lot of walking this summer so my weekend looks center around comfortable shoes (an absolute necessity in this city).

Thank you so much for reading!

xoxo,
Blondie, Esq.

2013.06.29 sat

~ J.Crew rugby-striped dress in fresco green (buy) ~ Coach bag (super old) ~
~  J.Crew Factory patent bow ballet flats ~ Marc by Marc Jacobs sunglasses ~
~ t+j Designs silver crystal heart studs (on sale!) ~

2013.07.13 cheers

Aptly named Zoya Sweet nail polish (buy)

2013.07.13 sat

~ J.Crew poplin Bridget dress ~ J.Crew silver Everly mirror metallic pumps (similar) ~
~ t+j Designs earrings (I think?) ~

2013.07.14 sun

~ J.Crew Factory tailored boy blazer in navy seersucker (buy) ~
~ Guess bow peep-toe heels ~ J.Crew ruffled leopard top ~
~ J.Crew ankle toothpick jeans (similar) ~ J.Crew pave heart ring and studs ~

2013.07.21 sun

J.Crew excursion quilted vest (2012 ) (Factory, 2013) ~
~ J.Crew Factory navy gingham shirt (buy) ~ Marc by Marc Jacobs sunglasses ~
~ Gap 1969 camo always skinny skimmer jeans (similar) ~

2013.07.27 sat

~ Old Navy 3/4-sleeve jersey dress ~ J.Crew belt ~ Enzo Angiolini peep-toe heels ~

2013.08.04 sun

~ J.Crew garment-dyed ankle-zip toothpick jean in spearmint (similar) ~
~  J.Crew Factory intarsia Charley bow sweater (similar) ~
~ Cole Haan Air Monica ballet flat ~

2013.08.11 sun

~ J.Crew dream open cardigan with pockets ~ Gap gingham scarf ~
~ Chanel sunglasses ~ Guess Layla headphones (buy) ~
~ American Eagle skinny jean in light vintage destroy (buy) ~

2013.08.24 sat

~ J.Crew Dree dress (similar) ~ Old Navy textured short-zip boots in camel (buy) ~
~ J.Crew classic merino long cardigan in vintage kelly (buy) ~
~ Bauble Bar monogram necklace ~ J.Crew belt ~ Coach bag ~ 

2013.08.25 sun

~ J.Crew Factory mint stripe button-down shirt ~ J.Crew denim short ~
~ Old Navy lightweight surplus jacket in camouflage green (similar) ~
~ Old Navy ankle boots (2011, similar) ~ J.Crew Factory printed tissue scarf ~

2013.09.02 mon

~ Gap navy fitted boyfriend cat print shirt (buy) ~ Coach pave bow ring ~
~ J.Crew bag ~ Celine New Audrey sunglasses ~
2013.09.07 sat
~ J.Crew Factory Anya cap toe ballet flats (similar) ~
~ J.Crew Factory Whittier purse in collegiate green ~
2013.09.08 sun
~ J.Crew navy polka dot Elinor dress ~ J.Crew bag ~
~ Steven by Steve Madden Ravesh pump (buy) ~
2013.09.15 sunJ.Crew infinity cardigan in dark raisin (similar) ~ J.Crew ruffled silk shell ~
~ American Eagle hi-rise skinny jean (similar) ~ J.Crew bag ~

2013.09.21 Sat

~ J.Crew rainy day ballet flats ~

2013.09.22 sun

~ J.Crew Boyfriend military jacket ~ Spun by Subtle Luxury scarf ~ Husband’s tee ~