In my previous post, we talked about how my friend, Jay, is a contestant on the current season of Food Network Star. We are now heading into week 4, and Jay is still going strong!
For the premiere episode entitled, “Food Star Festival,” Jolie Pearl Oyster Bar hosted everyone with signature drink specials and a bloody mary bar while broadcasting the episode throughout the restaurant. Downtown Baton Rouge also set up the episode on the big screen in North Boulevard Town Square, just outside Jolie Pearl.
If you live in Baton Rouge, or are planning on traveling to Baton Rouge soon, Jolie Pearl is a great place to try. Nestled in downtown Baton Rouge on the North Boulevard Town Square, the restaurant boasts oysters galore done whatever way you like — from Pacific, Gulf, or Atlantic raw oysters to Brie and Bacon Baked Oysters, the signature mollusk shines on the menu.
Not a fan of oysters? They have some delicious sandwiches too! I had the turkey, bacon, and brie sandwich and it was divine!
Jolie Pearl has a lovely ambiance with both indoor and outdoor seating. The restaurant is split into two sides, each including tables and a bar. And there’s a television live feed to the kitchen so you can watch the chef prepare the oysters on the grill! I thought that was a nice touch. Its a great restaurant for happy hour, date night, or dinner with friends, and it’s extremely affordable! Thank you to Jolie Pearl and Downtown Baton Rouge for hosting the Food Network Premiere party!
On this season of Food Network Star, Jay continues to excel in every challenge thrown at him, so keep watching and rooting every Sunday night at 9/8 central on the Food Network! If you haven’t been watching and need to be caught up, here’s the episode recaps of what you missed —
Episode 1: Food Star Festival
Contestants were required to perform in an introductory video where each would serve a signature dish. Jay made grilled shrimp over a savory corn maque choux, and nailed it. The judges adored his sincerity and loved his dish!
Episode 2: Savory Baking
Contestants were tasked with creating a gourmet dish out of leftovers in just 30 minutes, where Jay excelled in creating a salmon barbecue hash. The next challenge was to create a savory dish inspired by dessert. Jay created the “Pillow of Decadence,” little savory beignets made of a buttery biscuits stuffed with an Italian sausage meatball. While both dishes were hits with the judges, Jay’s presentation was less than their favorite. But, Jay was safe from elimination and sailed into the next week!
Episode 3: Trendy Dinner
The first challenge was to create a dish that would kill on social media! (You know how we all photograph our food…you do it too, don’t lie.) The Judges chose the top performers and winner of the challenge based on the photos of each dish. Jay did great in preparing a perfectly cooked steak over a purple potato with a chimichurri sauce. (I wanted that bite!) The big challenge was a boys v. girls trendy dinner, where contestants had to create dishes based on what’s trending in culinary experiences — great flavor with new textures like raw, slimy, burnt, incendiary, and stinky. Jay had the slimy dish and only 45 minutes to create his dish. He chose to create his “momma’s momma’s gumbo” with pickled okra. Jay admitted it wasn’t his best gumbo due to time constraints, but his presentation was flawless! Jay was safe again, and is cruising into week 4!
Keep watching, keep rooting, and tweeting with the hashtag #GeauxJay!
For my recent trip abroad, I challenged myself to see if I could pack for nearly two weeks in one carry-on and one personal item (aka my huge beach bag purse). I’ve never tried anything like this before for such an extended period of time. I have successfully done a week here or a 9 days there, but never 12 full days. Ultimately, I packed 27 pieces (not including socks, pajamas, unmentionables, and jewelry), and I was able to get 13+ outfits out of those 27 pieces. I believe the key is packing neutral, versatile, and comfortable pieces and adding in color with accessories.
The method to packing here is to lay each piece both within the suitcase and outside of it, leaving a little hanging over the edge. Alternate each of the four sides with each piece, creating a “+” with all your clothes. Then, when you are done, begin folding one garment at a time to the center. This will create an envelope-style packing method and prevent wrinkles. You’ll get more in this way!
Here’s what I packed in my carry-on (with corresponding links where available):
Black leather motorcycle jacket (Belk not sure on brand, close match here)
Khaki fitted casual jacket (GAP)
4 pairs of socks:
Cream knee socks (Daily Look)
3 pairs of regular socks
Truth be told, I actually packed just enough, but not quite the right pieces for the weather changes. I never wore the skirt or the Versona black dress. Granted, I could have worn the black dress, but I picked up this blue number from Zara in Paris. I also picked up the purple wrap sweater/jacket on a side street in Montmartre. That purple wrap sweater came in handy as it was very cold for most of the trip. However, at the end of the trip, it became very hot, and we purchased some t-shirts from Zara to get us through the heat.
So, here are all the outfits I was able to put together. Forgive some of the photos as we were running ourselves ragged for 10 days straight seeing wineries, meeting with winemakers, touring caves, etc.
Day 1 (Paris): Linen tunic over long sleeve white tee, black leggings, black boots, motorcycle jacket, plaid blanket scarf
Night 1: Black Turtleneck under BCBG tunic dress, black boots, black leggings
Day 2 (Paris): Black turtleneck, jeans, black boots, motorcycle jacket, camel scarf
Day 3 (Paris): Black/White stripe tunic over white bra top tank, black leggings, brown boots, motorcycle jacket, plaid blanket scarf
Night 3: Same as above, but add purple sweater wrap and changed scarf to camel scarf + earrings
Day 4 (Paris to Reims): Black long sleeve tee, khaki cords, black boots, purple wrap, black/red/tan scarf
Day 5 (Conference in Champagne): strappy black dress, black leggings, cream knee socks, oatmeal cardigan, brown boots + necklace
Day 6 (Conference in Champagne): jeans, Breton shirt, casual khaki jacket, black booties
Day 7 (Conference Touring in Champagne): jeans, cream blouse over V-neck white tank, motorcycle jacket, black booties, gingham headband
Day 8 (Conference Touring in Champagne): BCBG tunic dress over long sleeved black tee, black leggings, cream knee socks, black boots, purple wrap, plaid blanket scarf
Day 9 (Conference Touring in Champagne): red turtleneck, khaki cords, black boots, red/black/tan scarf
Day 10 (Conference Touring in Champagne & back to Paris): linen tunic over white bra top tank, black leggings, black boots, red/black/tan scarf
Day 11 (Pre Zara) (Paris): jeans, grey long sleeve tee, black boots, motorcycle jacket
Day 11 (Post Zara) (Paris): Zara striped tee, jeans, black booties
Night 11: Zara dress, black booties
Truth be told, I could’ve done a lot better. I should’ve eliminated the black skirt and LBD from Versona, and added in a few more casual t-shirts. Also, hindsight being 20/20, I really really wish I had packed a pair of flats in addition to the boots and booties. Overall, I think I did pretty well considering the challenge. Have you ever packed for a long vacation in a single carry-on? If so, how did you do it?
I hope this gives you some, if any, insight for packing on your next long vacation! It was nice to only have two bags to handle when on the Metro, trains, and in the airport — not to mention the lack of worry with a checked bag making it to the destination!
In tandem with yesterday’s post on my TSA Approved Liquids Bag, I wanted to also give you what’s in my makeup bag for France. This bag is a little cheap one from Wal Mart that I purchased for about $5. I just wanted to use a small-mid sized bag and one that I don’t mind losing if it gets too beat up. This bag is roughly 9 inches long by 6.5 inches tall. It’s small enough to fit into carry on luggage, and large enough to give me two weeks worth of makeup options. Granted, I probably packed more makeup than I really need, but a girl needs options, am I right? 🙂
So, let’s get started! I tried to narrow things down (as much as possible) to use products that can pull double duty and give me as many options as my mood allows. I took out all liquids (foundations, concealers, and glosses) to place in my TSA Approved Liquids bag.
Since there’s no rhyme or reason to my composite photo, I’m going to go through these by category. If you have any questions about a particular product, let me know in the comments!
Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder in Transparent — This is a staple in my collection. It sets foundation and concealer flawlessly without getting cakey. It does come in skin-tone shades, but I definitely prefer the transparent one. Available at any drug store $4.99.
NYX Powder Blush in “Mauve” — I love this blush so much! It’s my favorite every day matte blush. It’s super natural and gives a nice light glow. Plus, it’s super super cheap at $5 (available at Ulta, CVS, Target).
Benefit Bella Bamba Blush — I enjoy this blush as a more dramatic blush. It has a slight shimmer to it, and is a bit more on the coral side. It’s like a watermelon and a cantaloupe had a baby blush. This is the travel size that came in one of the Benefit kits. These are great to pick up and store away for traveling. (Full size $28, available at Sephora and Ulta)
Soap & Glory Glow All Out — A fabulous powder highlight that isn’t super white shimmer. It has a hint of peach, so it looks so natural. ($19.25 on Amazon)
Benefit Hoola Bronzer — This is my all time favorite bronzer. It’s matte and applies so naturally. It’s great for most skin tones, though I wouldn’t recommend it for darker skin tones.
I took this opportunity to make a customized palette using my Makeup Geek Z Palette. If you aren’t familiar with the Makeup Geek empty palettes, you can find them here. They come in three sizes, each holding 9 (small), 28 (large), or 35 (extra large) standard round shadow pans. The back of the palette is magnetic so you can switch your colors in and out as necessary.
I wanted to make sure I had a good mixture of mattes and shimmers with me, so I packed Tarte’s Tartelette matte palette, which I’ve done a full review of here. It’s got a great mirror in it, so that will serve as my on-the-go mirror, if I need it.
So, here’s what I included in my Z Palette:
Top Row (L to R) Peach Smoothie (MakeupGeek), Unexpected (MakeupGeek), Prom Night (MakeupGeek)
I can’t leave home without my Maybelline Color Tattoo cream eye shadows. So, I grabbed Bad to the Bronze, which is my all time favorite. (My quick go-to red lip look pairs Bad to the Bronze, layered with Woodwinked, and two coats of mascara, so this was a must for me.) I also included Creamy Beige because it’s a very neutral matte brown, similar to Wedge, and doubles as an eye shadow primer.
Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal in Brown — I can’t rave about this liner enough. It goes on so smoothly, without pulling on the eyelid, smudges really well for a smokey eye, and stays put all day. And it’s only $3.50 at drug stores. Seriously, it’s the best.
Pacifica Natural Waterproof Eye Pencil in Fringe (brown) — I’ve used this one off and on for a while, it’s more matte than the Rimmel, which has a slight sheen to it, so it’s a good contrast in that way. It’s not anything to write home about, but it’s travel size and it gets the job done. (available at Whole Foods, Ulta, Target.)
Lord & Berry Silk Kohl Kajal Eye Pencil in Black — This is a great semi-matte black liner that smudges well if needed, and stays put all day. Plus, it’s tiny. ($16, available on their website here.)
Xtreme Lashes Glideliner Eye Pencil in Black Pearl — This is my go-to liner for a smokey eye. I smudge it all over my lid before I even begin the smokey eye process. It’s black with a hint of purple in it, and it deepens the color of any shadow you put over it making it more dynamic. Blend quickly though as it sets very fast! (available at the Xtreme Lashes Website for $29)
Brows and Lashes:
More Brows by ModelCo — I haven’t tried this yet, so I thought now was a good a time as any. It’s billed as a natural looking brow gel that fills in sparse areas and holds brows in place. We shall see! ($18, available here.)
Tarte Lights Camera Lashes (travel size) — I had several travel sized mascaras, so I chose the one I thought I would like the best. I haven’t tried this one yet, but I love Tarte’s Lights Camera Flashes (in the gold packaging, my review here), so if this one is anything like that one, I know I will love it.
Yes, I went overboard here. I know. Don’t judge me, I have a lipstick problem. Again, since there’s no rhyme or reason to the composite photo, I’m just going to list them from left to right as best as I can. If you have questions let me know!
Rimmel Show Off Matte in Meteoric Matte — I’ve been raving about this color and this liquid lipstick for a while. (I love the whole range.) But this is a beautiful bold plum-berry that stays put and adds a little drama to any night time look. ($4.99 Available at drug stores)
Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Icy Violet — I love this lipstick for a natural tinted lip. It’s not very violet, but is more on the pink side of purple, so it goes very well with my skin tone when I want a more natural look. (Limited edition, no longer available in store, but is available on Amazon)
Cover Girl Colorlicious Lipstick in Bombshell Pink — This is a super fun bright fuchsia. It’s a fun color for a bold daytime lip. These lipsticks have some serious staying power without drying out your lips. ($6.99-$7.99 Available at drug stores)
NYX Slim Lip Pencil in Hot Red — I use lip liner only when I wear red lipstick. It keeps it from bleeding all day long. (Available $3.50, Ulta, CVS, Target)
Bite Beauty BB for Lips in Tawny — This is just a very high quality balm, in my opinion. It’s reminiscent of the Clinique Almost Lipstick (remember black honey??), and has just a hint of dusty pink color for lips. I wanted to include a balm just to keep my lips hydrated under lipstick. (Available at Sephora, $24)
MAC Modesty — My go-to nude when I do a smoky eye. It looks pink, but my lips are very pink naturally, so what appears to be nude in-store always makes me look like a zombie. So, this has a nice hint of rose to it, which works really well for me. (MAC, $16)
Clinique Chubby Stick Intense in Roomiest Rose — This is a great moisturizing natural to bright rosy pink. Love these for keeping my lips moisturized all day. ($17)
MAC RiRi Woo — retro matte red lipstick that I cannot live without. I’m super upset it’s limited edition, but I’ve been told that the Ruby Woo is a near match. (Ruby Woo, MAC $16)
Fresh Sugar Lip Polish — I had this travel size in my collection, so I thought I would pack it for exfoliation. I have so many issues with my lips drying out that I exfoliate often and make sure to use a good balm or lip mask while I sleep. (full size $22.50, Available at Sephora)
NYX pencil dual sized sharpener
10 spoolis/mascara wands for brows (in case I hate the More Brows Gel) and taming small hair frizzies/baby hairs. (you know which ones I’m talking about!)
So, that’s all my makeup! I’ll have plenty of options to create as many looks as necessary. When I travel, I’m definitely that person that needs options. I’d much rather pack pieces than actual planned outfits, and the same applies with makeup. I never know what each day’s inspiration, occasion, time constraint, or weather will be, so I like to plan those things on the go! But, I managed to fit enough makeup, and I am happy about that! What do you take in your travel makeup bag?
I am leaving for France this week on a two week wine and beauty trip with my friend, Myrna, and her company, Roux Wine Tours. I decided early on that I would only be taking a carry-on and a large tote/purse so I don’t have to heave luggage through the streets of Paris and on trains! In an effort to keep everything compact and simple, I’ve been rummaging through my beauty collection to see what travel sizes I have on-hand and what I really need to purchase.
If you’ve traveled at all in the United States, you are likely aware of the TSA’s ban on liquids over a certain size. The rule is 3-1-1, which means no liquids more than 3 oz., in 1 quart-sized clear bag, for 1 person. The quart-sized bag I’m using today came with my London Fog Carry On, and it has a loop to strap into the case. I was pretty excited to find that included with my luggage, so I didn’t have to purchase one. So, here are a few tips and a peek into what’s in my travel bag and packing for France.
Top Row from Left to Right:
1. Using an old empty Korres moisturizer container (1.35oz) and a beauty spoon, I transferred my Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm into the container for easy transport. I always save the sturdy containers for traveling when I’m finished with a product. Good ones to keep are glass pots and the LUSH fresh facemasks pots! In this situation, I transferred it because the regular Emma Hardie packaging is over the approved limit for size and is quite bulky to travel with. Plus, this is plenty enough product to get me through 2 weeks. (For my review of the Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm, click here).
2. Travel size Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet(0.33oz) as my moisturizer. I love this stuff! It has a great mousse-gel texture and just quenches skin’s thirst using a blend of grape water, grape seed extract, and shea butter extract. (I actually purchased this kit from Sephora, which includes the sorbet, the serum, and the spray.)
3. Regular size (2.2 oz) Women’s Mitchum 48 Hour Protection in Shower Fresh. Because, sweat and body odor. Nobody wants that.
4. Weleda Skin Food (2.5oz), available at Target, as my in-flight skin saver. I have not tried this yet, so I’m really hoping it works. Since this is a long-haul flight and air cabins contain a 80% deficit in the proper humidity for skin, it’s necessary to moisturize in-flight. Because I already have such dry skin, I’m taking Skin Food since it is super thick and nourishing (or is supposed to be!) I’ll certainly update you as to my feelings on this product!
5. Shampoo & Conditioner. First, I bought a set of these cute little polka dot travel containers at Target to put my products in. You can find those here. I’ll let you know if they leak or not. Next, I simply transferred my current shampoo and conditioner into the bottles, and packed them up. Right now, I am using Proganix AntiFade Cherry Blossom shampoo and conditioner. I’ve only been using it a few weeks, and so far I really like it. It is sulfate free color protection, and I like that it claims to protect against UV damage. You can find them at Ulta, Walgreens, and CVS. Here are the links if you want to check them out: shampoo and conditioner.
6. For my in-flight skincare regimen (on flights over 4 hours), I like to use a hydrating facemask to lock in moisture. Obviously, a clay mask would be quite conspicuous, so I opt for one that goes on clear and can be used as a sleeping mask. Because of its size, I chose the Nuxe Masque Crème Fraiche de Beaute for 24 hour rehydration. I got this in my Glossybox, and you can actually purchase it from their website, here. I love this mask so much! It’s one of my favorites for hydration.
7. Of course, I cannot travel without a micellar cleansing water, so I used a smaller bottle to use for some of my Bioderma. I have the 500 mL size at home, so that is not only against the 3-1-1 TSA rules, but also it’s just way too bulky to travel with anyway. I will be restocking on this when I’m in Paris. It’s the only place you can get the travel-sized Bioderma, so that will replace this little dinky bottle for future travel. (If you’re interested on some different micellar waters, have a look here.)
Bottom Row Left to Right:
1. Perfume samples. I didn’t want to pack a large bottle of perfume, and I’m actually running super low on all my favorites at the moment, so I couldn’t decant them into my Travelo. Since I have so many samples on stand-by, I opted for three sample sizes : Oscar de la Renta’s Coralina, Tocca’s Bianca, and Joya’s Composition No.1 mini-rollerball.
2. Navy Pots: Like I mentioned earlier, sometimes it is easier and more convenient on space to decant some of your liquids, creams, and gels into smaller containers. I thought the set I purchase from Target came with a good selection of container sizes, so here we have 2 small pots.
Smaller Pot — coconut oil. I cannot do skincare without coconut oil, so I liquefied about a tablespoon, and put it into the little pot to solidify. I use it for so many things, so if you’re interested in that, I’ve done a full post here.
Larger Pot — my heavier overnight moisturizer, which is currently the Vichy Liftactiv Nuit. I love this moisturizer. It’s not too thick, and it sinks into your skin almost instantly. When I wake up in the morning, it’s completely obvious my skin got a heavy dose of much needed hydration.
3. Toothpaste (0.25oz). I did not get super picky here; I just picked up what was available in the travel section at Walgreens.
4. Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer. This is my favorite concealer. It has great coverage, staying power, and it’s brightening. Oh, and it’s cheap! Another great UK drugstore find. (I’m still searching for an online retailer. I’ll update this post as soon as I get a viable link that will ship to the US.)
5. NYX Butter Gloss in Strawberry Parfait (0.23oz). This color is a great everyday gloss that also goes over most lipsticks well for added shine. The formula is very moisturizing, but because it’s so slippery, consistent reapplication is necessary. You can find NYX at Target, CVS, and Ulta.
6. Garnier Ultra Lift Miracle Sleeping Cream (0.5oz) as my eye cream. I just started using this based on a recommendation from a friend. So far, I like it, but I haven’t been using it long enough to report on the effectiveness. It’s a jelly consistency eye gel for overnight use, and is very cooling on the skin! It contains hyaluronic acid in to boost collagen production, increase moisture, and help to slough off dead skin cells. (available at drugstores)
7. Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Vitamin C Collagen Booster (0.25oz) for my serum. This another product I’ve just recently started using, but so far I like it. And again, I haven’t been using it long enough to report on effectiveness or results. It contains Vitamin C for boosting collagen production, brightening skin tone, and reducing fine lines. (This is another one I’ll get back to you on via an update right here). This product is available at Sephora.
8. Foundation. Right now I’m using the Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation (in No.54). It comes in a TSA approved size, but the packaging was too bulky and took up too much room, so I opted to make room by decanting it into the small pot. (The foundation is available on Amazon, as it is only sold in UK drugstores.)
So, I was able to get 16 products into my 3-1-1 TSA Approved Travel Bag. Here’s the final result.
I hope you found this post helpful or interesting. Check back tomorrow to see what I managed to fit into this makeup bag!! If you have any travel/packing suggestions, please leave them in the comments below!