November 25, 2010


Glitter and Syrah will not be updated for the next three weeks

I have finals coming up and I need to study like it's my job!!!

wish me luck y'all :)

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Happy Thanksgiving!

here I am, proud of my very first turkey!
Thanksgiving 2009, Nevis
I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving today whether you're celebrating solo, with friends, or with your family! Thanksgiving has always been a really big deal in my family, we go all out to make sure everything's perfect. For the past two years I've been living outside of the states and haven't been able to venture home for the big feast so I've been bringing Thanksgiving to the Caribbean. I like to keep the menu classic, that's just my preference; why fix it if it ain't broke, right? I'm not a fan of any new recipes that may come along. Try those any other day of the year is my motto! Keep my Thanksgiving table classic, just like it's been every single year for as long as I can remember. Unfortunately, because I am not in the United States I don't get today off, so I'll be celebrating Thanksgiving on Saturday with a few of my very dear friends. Here's my menu, the same menu we've had in my household for almost three decades now. Roasted turkey (family recipe - it's a secret - it's PERFECT), mashed potatoes, dressing, biscuits, corn, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, gravy (mushroom and turkey), and rice. For dessert we always have pecan pie, pumpkin pie, and then some other random favorite. The only thing I think I might not get to make this year is the pumpkin pie only because I haven't come across pumpkin or canned pumpkin lately. I'll post pictures soon.

Count your blessings, you have more than you know!

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November 23, 2010

Homemade Beauty

I absolutely love doing face masks! It's such a simple beauty ritual that we so often neglect. Whether it's because we think we don't have time or we don't have a mask at home, most of us skip out on the instant happiness booster that is the face mask. I'm going to share a few of my favorite recipes for masks and maybe you'll try one and make it a ritual of your own.

Sweet as Honey (adopted from Rezvan's recipe)
2 tablespoons honey (I prefer organic, clover honey)
1 tablespoon raw sugar
1 squeeze of juicy lemon (is that like a teaspoon?)
1 teaspoon olive oil

mix the ingredients together, wash your face with warm water to open up your pores, apply the mask in a circular scrubbing motion avoiding the eyes, relax for 10 minutes, scrub your face again and then rinse off with warm water

your face is going to feel ridiculously soft - it's incredible
do this mask once or twice a week; daily applications could irritate skin

honey has natural antimicrobial properties
the sugar is used as an exfoliant
the ascorbic acid (vitamin C) in the lemon juice yields numerous benefits to the skin and your body. In this case it acts as a lightener (you seem to glow just a bit), an astringent, and an exfoliant
olive oil is a perfect hypoallergenic moisturizer that has been the beauty secret of women in the Mediterranean for centuries

The Nevis Mask (adopted from Nidhi's recipe)
2 tablespoons gram flour
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 heaping tablespoon yogurt

wash your face with warm water, apply, relax
rinse off once the mask has fully dried and make sure not to move your face, i.e. talk/laugh because apparently you'll get wrinkles (I'm not sure if this is a myth or a fact but I'm not taking any chances!)

gram flour or "besan" as it's known in India has been used in skin treatments for centuries; it cleanses and exfoliates
turmeric helps reduce the appearance of scars, sun damage, and hair growth - it also leaves your skin with a healthy glow due to it's rich golden pigment
yogurt calms and cools your skin and the lactic acid helps balance the pH of your skin as well as helping your skin retain the needed amount of water to stay supple and healthy

I call this the Nevis mask because back when I lived in Nevis, my roommate Nidhi and I would do this mask all the time and we loved it! I mostly used it because it visibly reduced the appearance of the sun spots I had acquired.

Cucumber (family ritual)
this is the easiest mask, all it takes is one ingredient: a cucumber
you can either peel the cucumber and lay the peels on your skin flesh-side-down 
or you can simply rub the cucumber all over your face, including around your eyes and on your eyelids

your skin will feel instantly tighter and more smooth; great for acne prone skin as well
cucumber juice is a natural astringent so it could be used as a mild toner 

you can apply this mask daily

I hope you found these ideas helpful! Try them, I promise you'll fall in love with at least one.


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November 22, 2010

Candied Walnuts

So I've had a package of walnuts sitting on the kitchen counter for about a week and half now. In Saint Lucia time, that's a century! The heat and humidity here make it impossible for any foods to stay fresh if left out. I had originally purchased the walnuts to make a banana nut loaf but with my busy schedule and our lack of running water at the moment, that never happened. To save my walnuts from mortality I decided to try a new recipe: candied walnuts! I found this super easy recipe from and only tweaked it a tiny bit.
here's how mine turned out!
*store in an air-tight container to insure 'crispness' 

Behnaz's take on Mary Ann's candied walnuts:
1 cup walnuts (I want to try pecans and almonds next time)
1/2 cup sugar
1 pinch cinnamon
1 pinch salt
1 pinch nutmeg

place nuts in a nonstick pan
mix sugar, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg in bowl
add mixture to nuts
turn burner on to medium heat
stir constantly so as to not burn sugar and/or nuts
this entire process takes about 5 minutes

to cool, I very lightly coated a piece of foil (placed on cookie sheet) with vegetable oil, spread candied nuts onto foil, and popped it in the fridge for about an hour

Candied nuts would make a lovely gift, an ice cream topping, sprinkled over a spinach salad, or as a snack on their own.

Have a gorgeous day and let me know if you tried the candied nuts!

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November 21, 2010

It Even Smells Cozy

What is it about the holiday season that really captivates me? It's mostly a feeling that I get, something that feels like a scene from a Norman Rockwell. Truthfully, my life is nothing like a Norman Rockwell but I am always on the pursuit of 'perfection'! I love going home to my parents' house and sitting by the fireplace for hours at a time, feeling the warmth of the crackling fire almost burn the skin on my face. It's therapeutic. The smells of holiday desserts with all their cinnamon, hazelnut, and nutmeg is just intoxicating. Who doesn't love curling up with a good book or a familiar film, wrapped up in a cozy blanket with the perfect drink? I know I do!

Another aspect of the holidays is parties! Lots and lots of parties! It's always polite and much appreciated when you show up with a gift for the host or hostess. I find it necessary, actually, to not show up empty-handed to anyone's home. Of course, there is no better gift than that of friendship, a sincere smile, or a loving hug but those should be present all year long! Here are a few gift ideas that any host(ess) would love and which evoke those same warm cozy feelings that we all crave during this magical season:

"The manner of giving is worth more than the gift"
Pierre Corneille


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November 20, 2010

The Best Is Yet To Come

Welcome to Glitter and Syrah! On the eve of a new year and the start of a new adventure, I've decided to start my first blog. This will be a constant in the ever-changing landscape that is my life. I have an affinity for all things classically beautiful and quintessentially rich and I want to tell you all about it! 'Glitter and Syrah' will be my medium for sharing all of my favorite things and exciting stories. Let's do this!

boos! (translation from Farsi: kiss!)

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