Tomato Bacon & Bean Soup

Now that the weather is cooling down (and acting like it needs psychotropic drugs…) I decided to make myself a nice hearty soup to fill my belly and warm me up.  I found a delicious looking, recipe on curbly.com that I used as my inspiration (you can find the original version here) and decided to add my own twist on things.  I don’t know about you guys, but add bacon to just about anything and I’m sold.

So, if you’re like me and you want to try a new way to make bacon…erm, I mean soup…check out my recipe below!

–       28 oz. can crushed tomatoes in thick puree

–       32 oz. low sodium chicken broth

–       2 cloves garlic

–       1 large shallot (you can use an onion, but I’m allergic)

–       1 large zucchini

–       1 can white beans

–       1 can kidney beans

–       6 strips bacon

–       S&P to taste

To prep everything, before you start you should drain and rinse both cans of beans, cut up the shallots and zucchini into uniform pieces and mince the garlic.

I decided I wanted a one-pot meal, as to keep me from having to clean anything extra so I decided to cook the bacon right in my pot before adding anything else.  Brown it until it’s nice and crispy.

I like my soup chunky so I cut my shallots and zucchini pieces pretty big, add them and the minced garlic to the bacon in the pot.  Sweat the shallots (that means cook them till they are clear) and add in the can of crushed tomatoes.  Now turn up the heat!

At this point things should be smelling pretty good in your kitchen…

Cook this down for about 2 minutes, stirring every 20 seconds or so.  Now add your rinsed beans and chicken broth to the mix, lower the heat to a slow simmer and add salt and pepper to taste.

Pop a top on the pot (say that 5 times fast!!) and let it do it’s thing for 30 to 45 mins and it should be ready to devour. OM NOM NOM!!!!!!!!

Let me know if you try this out! Enjoy!

Julia 🙂

Fall Outfits

Just a couple of outfits I put together for the fall season to keep warm and stay fashionable.

Oktoberfest…mmmm bier

Fall is a season filled with fun and wholesome things to do.  There’s apple picking, pumpkin picking, corn mazes and haunted houses just to name a few.  So far this year I haven’t done ANY of those thing so when I got the chance to do something fun and fall related last weekend I jumped at the chance.

This past Saturday me and a few friends headed an hour and a half upstate to Oktoberfest at Bear Mountain.  Not only is this a fun fall activity, but it involves one of my favorite pastimes – drinking beer!  And drink beer we did…a lot!  My right arm is actually sore from lifting my liter-sized glass again and again.  But hey, at least I got some kind of workout in, right?

Aside from the beer there we all kinds of other German treats.  There were  yummy sausages, pretzels and potato pancakes…mmmm.  People were dressed in lederhosen and there was a band playing festive music and there was even a traditional dance done by a group of kids.  To top it all off the fun atmosphere, the weather and the scenery were perfect.  The foliage was in full swing up in the mountains and the colors were outrageous.  Bright oranges and yellows and reds, it was just beautiful.

It was a wonderful day and a good time was definitely had by all.

Fall Makeup Essentials

Just as fashion changes with the seasons, so should our makeup.  Here is a list of products that I find essential this fall.
A good foundation: During the summer months, I tend to go for a more sheer coverage. Between my tan complexion and the hot weather I find a B.B. Cream a to better option, but as my tan fades and the temperature drops I return to my handy foundation to keep me looking flawless.  I am loving all of the new light reflecting foundations to really brighten my skin and keep me glowing (albeit, pale) throughout the seasons.
Highlighting Concealer: As I mentioned above there are all kinds of new light reflecting products on the market now, and in my opinion their best used to combat dark under eye circles.  A highlighting concealer, like this Stilla version,  gives you a well rested look by brightening up your eyes – super helpful on those dark cold mornings when you just can’t scrape yourself out of bed.
*I also really like Maybelline’s DreamLumi Touch Highlighting Concealer
Eyeshadow Palette with Muted Pops of Color: Summer was all about those bright colors but now that Fall has rolled around it’s about those rich, saturated but more muted colors (if that makes sence…). The American Dream Pallete by Nars is just that (thought any similar pallete will do), It comes with a nice assortment of shimmery lights, deep glittery darks and matte brown thrown in for good measure.
 -Colored Liquid Liner: Liquid liner is an all year essential for me, but during the Fall I love to punch it up with a few different colors to really add some drama to my look (just yesterday I wore a brown smokey eye with an army green liquid liner).  My color faves during this season – aside from my all time favorite black of course, are – Navy, Green, Brown and Burgundy.
-Dark Nail Polish: This summer I was all about bright teals and crazy neons, but I must say I missed a good dark red nail (it’s what I’m wearing right now).  I’m loving every dark shade – black, blue, green, purple, grey, you name it and I can’t wait to paint it on my digits.  I also find a great way to add some interest is to add a metallic color too (think 3 black nails and 2 gold).
-Saturated Lips: Whether you prefer lipstick, stain, or gloss a brightly colored lip is the way to go.  I especially the colors in the new line of Super-Saturated lip colors by Urban Decay, though I can’t attest to how well these work since I haven’t tried them, the idea behind this product is what I am going for – highly pigmented colors for you kisser.
-Red Toned Blush: Although I’m sure to use my light pinks and corals throughout the year, during the colder months I like to add in a more red toned or berry colored blush into rotation.  My theory – there is nothing like a just-pinched look on a creamy complexion.  If you are darker – don’t be afraid to go with a more burgundy looking blush, as long as you remember to be light handed and blend well.  If your light like me the same principles apply, but go for a berry red with a hint of pink.
Fall Makeup Essentials
P.S – This post is what I did instead of working out…lame I know…I’m putting on my sneakers right now – I swear!!

The Start of a New Season

Hello there!

Today was the first day back to school for kids in the New York area, signifying the end to an amazing, but scorching summer.  One of the (few) positive things unemployment has allowed me, was a summer of freedom.  For the first time in almost 15 years I was able to feel like a kid again….a kid with money, an over 21 ID and no parental guidance. It. Was. Awesome.

I was so used to hating the summer from years of being stuck in an office with pale white skin, and commuting through the overbearingly hot trenches of Hell AKA the NYC Subway system; that I’d forgotten how fun it could be to relax on the beach sipping a cold drink – all of course while posting pictures of my daily heaven on Facebook  (and my Instagram) to torture all of my gainfully employed friends. Image

(Like this one…and yes, that IS a boob sculpture we created)

But that’s not really what this post is about.  This post is about the Fall, and more importantly the awesome television shows that start up again in the Fall (Yay!!!).

Now, don’t get me wrong I like other things about the season – delicious seasonal beers (Oktoberfest anyone?), boot wearing, HALLOWEEN, multi-colored leaves and pumpkin flavored coffee just to name a few, but nothing gets me over the depression of it getting dark at 4pm like watching hordes of zombies take over a farm, or corrupt politicians and mobsters in the 1920’s being complete badasses and having blatant disregard for the law.  Who’s with me people?!  So that being said, here is a list of my favorite TV shows that are starting up again.  I can’t wait to start watching them all (hooray for DVR!!)

  1. The Walking Dead – I was watching the season finale of Breaking Bad (the best show on TV in my opinion, oooh Walter White you are one badass motherf*cker!!) and a commercial for The Walking Dead came on.  At first I didn’t realize what it was for, I just saw a group of dirty looking people huddled together…and then I heard it, the telltale moans of the encroaching walkers.  Panic set in.  My pulse quickened, my hands clenched into fists and my body stiffened, then…they showed the zombies and I yelled “Noooo!!!!!!”  Then the The Walking Dead title filled the screen and I quietly (and slightly manically) said “Yesssssssss…” and that pretty much sums up how I feel about this show.  The beginning of the 2nd season was a bit slow for me but the second half was filled with zombie killing action filling me with as much anxiety as it did joy, I’m also pretty stoked for all the new characters being introduced.
  1. Boardwalk Empire – With heavy hitters like Scorsese and Buscemi how can you go wrong?  Throw in a little mafia killing, illegal booze trafficking and nudity and you’ve got yourself another HBO gem – the writing isn’t half bad either!  Some people say this show is too slow, but for me the pace is methodical and makes it easy to be caught off guard by the sharp turns in the plot – I love it.
  1. 30 Rock – Sadly it’s the last season of this hilarious comedy and I’m sure it will be as tear inducingly funny as the last 6.
  1. American Horror Story – What can I say?  I enjoy being scared and slightly freaked out – especially this close to Halloween.  I’m looking forward to the crazy  plot twists and intertwined story lines that American Horror Story is just so damn good at, plus it’s based in the 60’s this go around, so that should be fun.
  1. Dexter – This one is a long time favorite and while I fear they are swimming dangerously close to jumping the shark, I am still quite entertained by Dexter’s murderous obsessions (I’m not as crazy as I sound – I promise).
  1. Modern Family – The comedic scripts combined with the comedic timing and personas of this entire cast will always keep me coming back for more.
  1. Grimm – Ok so this one is a little cheesey, but that’s exactly what I love about it.  I always loved the Grimm Fairy Tales as a kid and I thoroughly enjoy how they’ve modernized the stories (even if it is a bit wacky).
  1. Suburgatory- This show is adorable and I always have a smile on my face at the end of each episode.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and my list of Fall TV faves – let me know what your Fall faves are, and if you think there are any shows that you would have included that I left out.