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Currently Loving: Incense

By  October 21, 2014

Modern Metal Incense Holder

As the year has gone on and life doesn’t seem to be slowing down, I’ve been making an active effort to relax and reflect more often. Our lives should be a balance of work and play and when that gets out of whack it can affect our relationships and health. One of the ways I like to unwind most is through meditation – I’ve become consumed with singing bowls and exploring the inner workings of spirituality. I’ve learned that for a perfect meditative experience your environment needs to be distraction-free and for me, aromatic. That’s why this month I’m loving incense.

Not only do I enjoy how these plant-based sticks fill a room with a sweet aroma, but also how many contain essential oils that deliver a calming effect or can aid concentration when lit. Plus, there are various ways to burn them, which means so many cool holders that can be integrated into your room’s decor. Below are some of my favorite ways…

Stick incense with a modern holder

There are plenty of holder styles for your stick incense (which is my preferred way to burn them), but this modern take on the holder by Blakebrough+king is one of my favorites. It’s sleek, minimalistic and modern. Plus, their kit comes with its own Japanese cedar incense, so if that’s a scent you enjoy and you’re not into more traditional holders, it’s a win-win all around!

Covered Incense Holder

Incense cone in covered dish

You can burn incense cones or cylinders on a flat dish or other heat resistant surface, but this ball-like covered holder from KeramikosCraft allows the smoke and aroma to enter the room through little holes in the top. It will disguise your incense nicely – the holder looks more like a jewelry box than one with little brown cones burning within. This is the perfect way to burn incense if you have a pet or little kid around who might otherwise try to play with the sticks.

Smudge Stick

Smudge sticks

Similar to incense, these are made from plants – they’re just bound together. Smudge sticks are a quick way to get a blast of aroma in your room without needing cones or a holder. You light the end, wave it around your room, and enjoy. These are nice because they don’t burn down as quickly as some incense sticks and can be hung on your wall for a cool earthy accent.

Photos: KeramikosCraft / Blakebrough+King / Free People
MP Headshot 2 finalMichelle Phan is a young digital pioneer, who trail-blazed her way in the world of fashion; beauty on YouTube. With a growing global community of over 6 million, Michelle’s videos have been viewed more than 1 billion times, making her one of the most watched talents in the digital space. She is an award-winning content creator who produces, directs, stars in and edits all of her own work, and has released over 800 videos since 2007. Her unprecedented, signature video style clean, artful, and expertly edited, with clear, easy-to-follow titles and voiceover instruction helped solidify her position as the #1 Beauty Guru and the 3rd most subscribed female on YouTube.

Editor’s Pick: Basil Hayden's Bourbon

By  October 20, 2014

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Discover your next obsession with our Editor’s Pick series, must-have products for your home, wardrobe, makeup bag, and office curated by Glam editors.

I present to you the most delicious fall cocktail you will have this season. Though fairly new to me, Basil Hayden’s bourbon is anything but; it’s been around since the days of George Washington!

So put down the vodka ladies, there’s a new (old) spirit in town and it pairs perfectly with sweater weather. Also, pretty much every fruit, syrup and in this case-herb-mixes well with this bourbon. Lght the fireplace, snuggle up and enjoy this — I promise you won’t miss your gin and tonic one little bit. – Michelle Kushner

Sage and Basil Cocktail
by Erika Ordonez and Eric Holloway
Basil Hayden’s Bourbon
Lemon Juice
Morris Kitchen Spiced Apple Syrup
Muddled Sage
Himalayan Pink Salt
Cold-pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil

-Basil Hayden’s, $36

Editor’s Pick: Millefiori Milano Lovely Fragrance Diffuser

By  October 09, 2014

Discover your next obsession with our Editor’s Pick series, must-have products for your home, wardrobe, makeup bag, and office curated by Glam editors.IMG_8077

Being a New Yorker has its perks (convenience! kickass restaurants! drugstores on every corner! adorable coffee shops that aren’t Starbucks!) and its drawbacks (gross subway cars, dangerous taxi drivers and undesirable extreme temperatures, to name a few), but there’s truly nothing worse than when a casual stroll down the street turns smelly. When this happens, I tend to walk faster and search frantically for a store or building into which I might be able to escape the stink—sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But because this bothers me so much, my own apartment always smells good: it’s a combination of a flowery garden and clean laundry, thanks to my Millefiori Milano fragrance diffuser.

Not only is the little glass bottle a pretty addition to my apartment décor, the delicious scent really fills up the room. Since I found this variety of diffuser in Florida several months ago, I’ve gone through two and still relish in the scent every time I walk through the door. I might venture to say that I’m interested in trying out other scents and products from Millefiori Milano, but I tend to be a creature of habit, so I’m probably just going to continue to order these…in bulk. –Lauren Kaplan

Millefiori Milano Lovely Fragrance Diffuser in Oxygen, $24

Fall for These 4 Autumn Pasta Recipes

By  October 08, 2014

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As the weather cools down, we’re turning to meals that warm us up. There’s something comforting about a hot bowl of pasta on a crisp autumn evening, and so as we turn the corner into fall, it’s no wonder we’re in the mood for satisfying pasta dishes. This season, we’ll be making all our perfect pasta with the help of Anthony’s Pot-Sized™ Pasta, which has taken traditional favorites like spaghetti and linguine and cut them in half. That means no more breaking your pasta, so no fuss whatsoever—just a full pound of pasta conveniently packaged in a length that’s just right for the pot.

Here are four easy, delicious dishes using Pot-Sized™ Pasta that’ll add free time to your evening, and keep you happy all season long.

With angel hair pasta: Parmesan Broccoli and Angel Hair Skillet

With linguine: Creamy Herb Linguine Skillet

With thin spaghetti: Chicken Enchilada Skillet Pasta

With spaghetti: Cheesy Rotisserie Chicken Skillet Spaghetti

2 Cocktails to Toast the Return of American Horror Story

By  October 08, 2014

The freaks come out at night starting today, as American Horror Story makes a triumphant return to TV. This season, viewers will step behind the curtain at one of the country’s last freak shows in 1950′s Florida. With the spooky spirit in place this month, a viewing party for the season premiere is only appropriate with a couple of custom cocktails for the occasion. Blend up one of these brews, and see what goes bump in the night.

 

Potion de Muerto by Christian Sanders of Evelyn Drinkery

Potion-de-Muerto---Bar-(2)

2 oz. Hornitos Black Barrel Tequila
¾ oz. orange juice
¾ oz.  lemon juice
¾ oz.chipotle agave *
2 dashes orange bitters
½ oz. beet juice
*Substitute agave nectar for chipotle agave if unavailable.

Serve in a tall glass over crushed ice with a beet juice float – the beet juice will slowly float down the glass through the crushed ice, making it look like blood dropping down. Garnish with an orange slice.

The Freak Show

The-Freak-Show

2 oz. SVEDKA Vodka
2 lime wedges
4 oz. ginger beer

Squeeze lime wedges into a Collins glass and fill with ice. Pour in SVEDKA Vodka and top with cold ginger beer. Garnish with lime wedges

7 Cocktails to Celebrate National Vodka Day

By  October 03, 2014

To think that vodka was once considered tasteless seems unfathomable, as its popularity has resurged exponentially. Thanks to its versatility, almost anything can become a vodka flavor. With National Vodka Day on October 4, we’re serving up a few spirited concoctions to share in the revelry with friends and family. Cheers!

Pinnacle Dessert Table

Pinnacle-Dessert-Table

1 oz. Pinnacle Pumpkin Pie Vodka
1 oz. DeKuyper Creme De Cocoa Dark Liqueur
1 oz. Half and Half

Combine ingredients in a mug. Garnish with whipped cream

Go FIGure

Go-FIGure

2 oz. Loft & Bear artisanal vodka
*1 1/2 oz. fig puree
Rosemary sprig

Add the vodka and puree into a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake and strain into a tumbler with a large ice cube. Garnish with rosemary.

*For the fig puree:5-6 figs
4 oz. coconut water
1 1/2 oz. meyer lemon juice

Add all ingredients to blender and pulse until thoroughly combined.

Ruby Red Dragon from Tao

PommyGarden

2 oz. Belvedere Grapefruit
1 oz. Yuzu Citrus
Dash of Pomegranate

Combine the ingredients in a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake and strain into a martini glass before garnishing with a Yuzu peel.

The Bees Knees

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2 oz. Purity Vodka
½ oz. fresh-squeezed lime juice
½ oz. honey syrup

Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice, shake hard.  Strain into a martini glass or over fresh ice in a rocks or highball glass. Garnish with a honey dipper.

Ginger Dog

ginger-dog

1.5 oz. Vodka
1.5 oz. P&M Ginger
1 oz. Fresh grapefruit juice

Shake all ingredients with ice. Moisten the rim of a Collins glass with grapefruit juice and roll in coarse salt. Pour over fresh ice and garnish with a fresh grapefruit slice.

Bloody Mary

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1 ½ oz. SVEDKA Vodka
3 oz. tomato juice

½ oz. fresh lemon juice

Dash Worcestershire sauce

Dash hot sauce

Pinch of salt

 

Build in mixing glass filled with ice, and “roll” from one cup to another until cold and mixed. Pour into a tall glass and garnish with cherry tomatoes and grated black pepper.

 

IZZE Peachy-Tini

izze-peachy-tini

5 oz. IZZE Sparkling Peach
3 oz. vodka
½ oz. triple sec
garnish: fresh mint

Stir well, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with fresh mint.

Easy Living: Do’s and Don’ts When Buying a Couch

By  October 02, 2014

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Welcome to Easy Living, my new lifestyle column all about the things that make nesting fun and will make your home both unique and beautiful. Here I’m going to cover the things that new homeowners don’t think about initially, moving tips, awesome products, good luck items for your home, finding the best rugs and furniture and mattresses, trends in kitchen, bedroom and bathroom décor, cool home products like candles and bed sheets and towels and cookware, tips on hosting the best cocktail party and setting a perfect table, and where to find the coolest products and most awesome deals to beautify your home!

I’m writing this from a broken couch. The first couch I’ve ever bought. The only couch I’ve ever bought. It’s been an excellent piece of furniture for a decade now, but the end was inevitable. This good thing is about to come to an end. It’s almost time to go couch shopping, and I’ve learned some valuable lessons from this old broken couch upon which I sit. The next time I go to buy living room seating, here’s what I’ll consider. Check out my do’s and don’ts!

Do think about durability. Yes, a white couch is elegant and beautiful and looks amazing in photos. Ask yourself – do you live a white couch lifestyle? If you’re prone to eating pasta in your living room and drinking red wine and/or coffee – maybe reconsider. If you’ve got pets, you definitely have you consider your fabric choice carefully. Cats love piercing through leather furniture with their claws and certain dogs love chewing on fabric furniture.

Do anticipate repairs. The first couch I ever bought was a plush recliner, and I got it at a generic furniture store where brands were not a question. It was basically a question of sitting on the couch, realizing it reclined, leaning back and then saying “yessss, I’ll take it.” Not smart. Reclining couches are great at the beginning but finding replacement parts can be difficult years down the road. Also, not every furniture repair person is willing to undertake fixing reclining furniture. Know your brand before making that purchase.

Do go to a store and sit on it. There are so many amazing furniture deals to be found online nowadays, and there are detailed customer reviews to guide you through the shopping process. But there’s so much to be said for sitting on your soon-to-be couch before paying for that big ticket item. If you see a sweet online deal, look to see if the manufacturer has items for sale at a nearby store, so you can give it a test drive before getting the e-discount.

Don’t shop based on looks alone. Sure, mid-century modern might be your aesthetic. Or minimalism might be super trendy at the moment. You may be tempted to go with a couch that will pull your interior decorating vision together. But first, consider form and function. You still need to be able to sit comfortably on this thing, and nobody likes a super stylish couch that feels like you’re sitting on rocks.

Do your research on the brand you’re buying.  Here’s what I learned the hard way – so many furniture manufacturers are tiny companies that don’t have staying power. You might buy a couch at a standard furniture store with a ton of TV ads, and years down the road when you try to find out what kind of couch you got or where to get replacement parts, you’ll discover that the company shut down years ago and there’s online complaints about their business. Don’t be like me! Ask smart questions when making the investment on a couch. Like, “who makes this brand? Where are they based? What kind of materials did they use? How long is the warrantee good for and who upholds that in the long term?” Things like that.

I’m taking my own advice and going couch shopping soon! What are your couch shopping do’s and don’ts? Any couch recommendations?

Contributing Editor, Patrice Grell Yursik is the creator of Afrobella.com, one of the first blogs to celebrate the beauty of natural hair and ladies of all skin tones and sizes. Affectionately called the Godmother of Brown Beauty Blogging, Patrice takes her readers inside unique beauty, fashion and cultural experiences.

Throwback Thursday: Do You Remember These Childhood Favorites?

By  September 29, 2014

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The times have changed—and our favorite childhood characters along with it. Oh, how we sometimes yearn for the past. You’ll smile over our list of fantastical personalities from back in the day, as well as the makeovers they’ve gotten since our childhood.

Princess Peach
We grew up saving Princess Peach from Bowser in Super Mario Brothers. Back then, she was limited to a pink ball gown, but in the contemporary sport-themed video games Nintendo has come out with, Miss Peach gets to rock a jersey and shorts!

Toucan Sam
Froot Loops —and therefore Toucan Sam—was a staple in our childhood. This yummy cereal is still a favorite, and we still smile when we see Sam’s kisser on that recognizable box at the supermarket.

Troll Dolls
These silly things weren’t exactly the most aesthetically pleasing toys on the market in the ’90s—but we adored them anyway. After becoming the main characters in the animated series Trollz from 2005 to 2005, they got a modern update with trendier detailing.

Rice Krispies Treats
Rice Krispies Treats were a sticky and sweet, after lunch or dinner treat in our adolescence, and we loved the characters Snap! Crackle! and Pop!, too.

Michelle Williams’ Brooklyn Townhouse Is For Sale

By  September 29, 2014

MichelleWilliamsBK2

Michelle Williams is looking for greener pastures, most likely in Los Angeles, but she’s leaving a quite spectacular one behind in Brooklyn. The actress’ ivy-laced Boerum Hill townhouse is what city dreams are made of, and is now for sale. From a spacious living room to the rustic kitchen, the home is light and bright, complete with authentic lived-in wood floorboards. While you might not be able to keep all of her simple and modern décor, the space itself is enough to go crazy for this Brooklyn gem—as long as you have a cool $7.5 million to spare.

MichelleWilliamsBK3MichelleWilliamsDKimage

Entertaining Made Easy: Smart Tips for the Savvy Hostess

By  September 25, 2014

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Whether it’s a birthday celebration or a holiday get-together, at some point, every Glam girl is sure to find herself hosting a party of some sort. Nailing down the theme, menu, and guest list are the essentials, and after that, it’s just about ensuring things go as smoothly as possible. To make the whole process easier on yourself, here are four tips you may not have thought of during your party planning.

Consider a buffet
Expert entertainers know that featuring food in a buffet style makes for a sure crowd-pleaser, not to mention it’s an easier setup for the hostess. Simply allow guests to grab a plate and serve themselves at their leisure. Arrange the buffet table using different types of dishes, bowls, and baskets to create an eye-catching display.

Swap paper for cloth napkins
Environmentally conscious, economically friendly, and pretty to look at, cloth napkins are a great choice for a dinner party. If you’re serving food in a buffet style, provide a decorated hamper next to the trash with a sign directing guests to toss in their used napkins. At the end of the night, you’ll have less trash to clean up and a mere load of laundry to do instead.

Invest in an entertaining-friendly dishwasher
Hosting friends and family is the fun part. The post-party cleanup, though? Not so much. Make the recovery part as effortless as the entertaining by investing in a dishwasher you trust to take on even the most challenging of dirty plates, pots, and pans. You want a speedy, strong washer with a roomy stainless-steel tub—like a top-grade Electrolux Stainless Steel Dishwasher with IQ-Touch Controls(TM) (EI24ID5OQS) which provides a professional-level clean in just 30 minutes so that dishes are ready before the next course is even served. It has both luxury soft-grip racks and a third-level rack, so hostesses no longer have to worry about dishes flipping or being overcrowded.

Collect those cleaning supplies
First, move any decorative carpets or special furniture that you don’t want dramatically soiled out of the party zone. Then have an assortment of cleaning supplies ready for the sorts of spills that are bound to happen anyway. Having stain removers, tile scrubs, and wood polish ready and available during the party will keep any mess from catching you off guard.