Today’s Obsession: Patagonia and Bobbi Brown

About a week ago I celebrated yet another birthday with family and friends and as usual got completely spoiled. I’m not quite sure how I got so lucky to have so many amazing people in my life but when they come bearing gifts, I’m not going to ask too many questions. All joking aside, my family and friends really do rock. Besides a ton of food, laughter, and love I received two new products (among many others) that I have head-over-heels fallen in love with.

First, I have officially popped my Patagonia cherry and I have to say I really, really like it. Alright- here’s the real story. My husband received his first Patagonia vest this past Christmas. I never really saw him as the vest type of guy but it actually looks really good on him and he actually really loves it. That’s when my natural woman jealous tendencies really started to kick in. I wanted one too. I wasn’t sure if it was the Patagonia brand or the vest I was jealous of. Now I am able to tell you, it was both. For some reason I never really liked vests but I have so many other fleeces/sweaters that it didn’t really make sense to spend a lot of money on something I don’t really need. So, I started to casually browse for Patagonia women’s vests in the coming weeks. To my surprise I found a ton of different styles that I really liked. One thing I knew for sure was that I didn’t want just the typical fleece material. I feel like it is a little too “old” for me and not something you can really wear in a fashionable way on a daily basis. Although, the models on the website made them look pretty damn good but I wasn’t convinced I could pull it off. Not for my first time at least. So it was settled, I either wanted a vest with a fuzzier fleece material or a quilted one. I continued the search for the perfect vest to lose my vest-virginity to (J.Crew has a really nice quilted vest that tempted me). But in the end, my jealous heart went back to Patagonia where I found the vest for me: the Women’s Retro X Vest, in dark walnut.

The material was exactly what I was looking for- a fluffier, fuzzier, and more fun fleece. Not to mention the color is really versatile, it can be worn with almost anything. To me, this is a vest you can wear out in public instead of just while hiking, skiing, or working outside. You can dress it up slightly with a button up Oxford shirt underneath or you can completely dress it down with a hooded sweatshirt. Whichever way you choose, it’s still a cuter and hipper version of the traditional fleece vest. I’m not ashamed to say that I have worn mine approximately four or five times in the last week and a half. The way I look at it is that I won’t be able to wear it much longer once spring finally hits us (fingers crossed). So in this case, the repetition is totally acceptable, right? This vest will typically run you about $180 but don’t settle. I was able to find my vest for about $100 here with free shipping and it was worth every single penny. Well, every single one of my mom’s pennies.

I have also developed a rekindled interest in make-up lately which I completely blame on my sister-in-law. Don’t get me wrong, I have always loved make-up but I usually just run into the cosmetic aisle in Target and grab the cheapest mascara, concealer, or eye-shadow I can find. I have had my bouts with more expensive make-up like Smashbox, Bare Minerals, and Laura Geller. But once I finish the product I am usually pretty reluctant to go out and cough up more cash for a new one. But a few really good Black Friday deals at Ulta got me going again and now I want more, and more, and even more. Lucky for me, I started running out of my Laura Geller bronzer just in time for my birthday. I decided I wanted to try something new since I really don’t have a clue about the full potential of available bronzers out there waiting for me. With this very crucial dilemma on my mind I sought the help of my fashionista sister-in-law. She suggested I try Bobbi Brown. And yes, it’s amazing. I settled for the golden light shade since my skin a pretty fair and I don’t like to look like I am wearing a lot of make-up.

The color is perfect. With just a little dab it gives your cheeks the slightest healthy glow that no one would ever know is make-up. You can also apply the bronzer a little heavier to make it slightly more noticeable but still completely natural. The best part is that it stays on all day and night until I wash my face. Or perhaps the best, best part is that I have also noticed that I don’t get it everywhere once it’s on my face, including the collar of my shirts/coats or on my pillow when I lay down after work or for a cat-nap on the weekends. I also really like to feel of the bronzer itself. It does not feel “cakey” or heavy at all. You can’t even feel it on your face. Harmless beauty is the best beauty. The price is typically $38 which I don’t think is horrible for designer make-up and you can buy it mostly wherever more high-end make-up is sold. My sister-in-law suggested buying it at Nordstrom’s because it’s free shipping. Who doesn’t like their make-up to arrive free right at their front door? But when I was looking I didn’t feel like they had the right color for me so I decided that I would get mine from Bloomingdale’s. It’s the same price and you get free shipping if you are a Loyalist card member which everyone should sign up to be one right now. It’s free and is just a bonus points card, not a credit card. I think I’m going to stick with this one for a while.

Two great products- one happy girl.

Can someone remind me again why it can’t be my birthday every month?

Grilled Chicken Marinade

For some reason, food has been on my mind all day. Maybe it’s my mind’s way of telling me that it is time to post another recipe. Well, lucky for me I tried a new chicken marinade last night and it was probably one of my favorites I have made so far. Perfect timing if I do say so myself. I did that on purpose, right?

Chicken is very easy to cook with and can be prepared many different ways. We probably have it once or twice a week in my house. The problem? It can get very boring. I can’t tell you have many different types of marinades and sauces I have tried with my chicken over the last year. They all seem to blend together in my mind and once again have become boring. Nothing has seemed to really stand out to me yet, but last night I think I found the solution to my problem (well, at least for now). I came across a grilled chicken marinade that I actually haven’t tried yet so I decided to give it a whirl. And I was very pleasantly surprised.

Below is the original recipe for the marinade. I cut it in half because I was only cooking two chicken breasts and it seemed to be just right, so feel free to adjust accordingly.


1 cup of brown sugar

1 cup of vegetable oil

1/2 cup of soy sauce

1/2 cup of vinegar (I used white wine vinegar)

The rest is pretty simple.

-Mix all the above ingredients together and pour over chicken either in a bowl or a ziploc bag.

-Let marinate for 4 hours or overnight if you can (confession, I only had time for it to marinate for about 2.5 hours and it was still delicious but next time I will for sure let it sit overnight).

-Next, grill it. It is too cold to be cooking outside here so I just cooked them in a grill pan on the stove (a wedding shower gift that we didn’t register for that I am actually glad we got-note to future bride-to-be’s). My pieces of chicken were a little thicker so it took about 20-25 minutes but well, well worth it.

I served my chicken with roasted sweet potatoes and asparagus. It made for a delicious meal. Unfortunately, I didn’t think to take my own picture of my creation last night but here is a mouth-watering picture from the blog in which I had originally found this recipe. After that I obviously had to try it, right?

If you try this marinade (which I am strongly encouraging), let me know what you think of it or if you have any other chicken suggestions. The somtimes-bored-cook in me would greatly appreciate it. 🙂

Happy cooking! Enjoy the weekend.