Luscious Travels: The Pacific Northwest

 

If you want to experience true BEAUTY, please take a trip to the Pacific Northwest. All that I can say is that this part of the country is so luscious. I know I can be rather frivolous with this word, but for real, I have not experienced this type of natural beauty in my life.

Seattle is a fantastic city that has so many beautiful views. Being able to see Mount Rainier peak through the clouds and the city skyline was unreal. I was so thrilled to see special bike lanes, compost trashcans, and juice bars everywhere. I spent a few days in Seattle, getting to know my best friends new city. We ate tacos and lumpia and the best dankest molten chocolate cake I’ve ever had. The city is so dog-friendly, my heart was pretty much melting the whole time. Also, I never fully realized how much of a marine town Seattle is. Seriously, where have I been? I watched The Real World: Seattle. All clues point to nautical vibes. After we celebrated the Summer Solstice, we took a few days and road-tripped down the 101 West towards the Pacific Ocean! A California girl at heart, I COULD NOT wait to be reunited with the West Coast. We took a few stops along the way and I must say, none of my pictures do these sites any justice. We were so fortunate to have some magical days with that good sun.  You’ll just have to experience it for yourself to completely understand! I felt rejuvenated about life after my trip. This is what beautiful scenery and fresh air can do for your soul. I can’t wait to go back!


IMG_3499(Hello Seattle!)

IMG_3310(Golden Gardens, Puget Sound)

IMG_3583(Lake Crescent, Olympic National Park)

IMG_1891(Lake Crescent, Olympic National Park)

IMG_1902(Ruby Beach, Olympic National Park)

IMG_3655(Kale Salad, Grilled Steelhead Trout & Bok Choy, Kentucky Gentleman & Ginger Ale. We had cheese & salmon candy for apps and did Sephora Collection face maques in our tent.)

IMG_1960 (1)(Is this like a Crocs ad or what?)

IMG_1941(Kalaloch Campground; Pacific Coast Sunset)

IMG_2000(Sol Duc Falls, sustaining beauty in sustainable beauty)

IMG_3742(You better believe I waited in a long line of tourists to buy a souvenir cup)

IMG_3755(Found a secret Filipino food restaurant. I love you, Seattle)

Honey Moon Judy

 

Four years ago, this blog was started by my friends Adam, Noel, and I. We shared our interests and opinions on things like trips to Key West, hot World Cup athletes, and cute cat videos. We came on pretty strong, but as life would have it, the Luscious momentum waned. I’ve been longing for a Luscious revival and as the Universe would have it, the three Judy’s are back together again! Our momentum is waxing, baby! Cosmic! With a big trip to Key West this year and the World Cup 2014 bringing NU HOTTIES, I am so pleased to see Luscious Judy come full circle.

To complete the Luscious Judy trifecta, I would like to welcome Adam back to the blog!! Not only does this B provide me with beauty products, conspiracy theories, and pictures of sexy babes, he is my astrological advisor. Ruled by Jupiter, this full-blown Sagittarius is honest, generous, and always keeping’ it posi. (He made it official by getting an astro tat last fall.) Since I am prone to only caring about Tauro happenings these days. Adam is always here to remind me that Virgos are drama queens and Pisces’ aren’t actually that bad. With this month’s Full Moon in Sagittarius, who better than to hit us with that astro-realness than this truth-speaker?

HONEY MOON JUDY

I think tattifying my SAG life, with an upward arrow pointing toward one star under my left arm, really solidified my true archer – focused, direct and without waiver. From that point last fall while traveling in Milan, I made a deal with myself to look forward and stay in motion. I started asking bigger questions to myself about my relationships, my work, and – for real – the cosmos!

As tonight marks the Full (Honey) Moon, I look back on the past six months and honestly have felt the cosmos like no other time. Without going into every luscious detail, I will say between Mercury going into retrograde earlier this year and then the two Full Moons of April, I have felt the cosmic effects. The ASTROTWINS say that Mercury Retrograde allows us to renew and review. From work to home, all avenues have been reviewed, renewed and reworked testing my ability to navigate the rockiest of waters. Today I can say the cosmos have helped me ride the waves of uncertainty and stay strong and true to my archy ways.

While Mercury Retrograde approaches once more, I look forward to reviewing the past 6 months and resting for a moment at the place I’ve landed. I think this is a time to reflect on the progress we’ve made and the challenges that lie ahead. This may be daunting for some. However, being true to the past reminds us that we’ve hit rough patches before and made it out alive. Why should the future be any different?

xx, A

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Contrary to what you may see in the sky, the Moon will only be FULL at 12:11am on 6/13/14. Literally, one moment. Just a few days shy of the Summer Solstice, this ‘Honey Moon’ got it’s name from the golden hue that it casts from it’s super southern position in the sky. Rumor has it that the term ‘honeymoon’ is derived from this lunar event, as marriage was often compared to the phases of the Moon, back in the day. A wedding and a Full Moon were believed to go hand in hand, as the brightest time in a relationship. Now ain’t that SPECIAL. Regardless of what you believe, we were so inspired by the HONEY MOON that we collaborated on a playlist here at Luscious Judy. It has a little something for everyone, even the ASTROHIPSTERS. ENJOY !

Album Review: Mariah Carey Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse

First things first, I would like to welcome a founding member of Luscious Judy back to the blog!! When it comes to music and pop culture, Noel is THE GURU. For almost 10 years now, I have relied on him to supply me (and our friend-family) with the hits, before the radio gets ’em, before they’re played out. He knows which celebrity rumors are true/false and that Beyoncé is in fact, a member of the Illuminati. A lover of booty poppin, this B has an affinity for belting out R&B hits in his car (RIP EXPLORER) while also saving room on the mix CD for Reba McIntyre and Rilo Kiley. Eclectic does not even begin to describe his taste in music. WELCOME BACK, BISH. (Find him on twitter, @KettleCooked)

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Album Review: Mariah Carey Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse

We’ve been waiting for Mariah to make her return and give us the soundtrack to life. Me. I Am Mariah is a good album that, like the best albums do,  gets better with repeat listens.  Songs I was on the fence about evolve into favorites.  It’s a more subtle M.C. then we’ve heard lately(subway gowns and all) and truly balances old and new Mariah in a way that should please every Lamb. By not joining forces with today’s hot act, but choosing features that come with a reminiscent feel built in, she comes off confident not desperate. She’s whispering nostalgia while staying relevant. Pretty impressive for a pretty and impressive artist on her 14th studio album. ‘ The Elusive Chanteuse’ has shades of Carole King and samples from Wu-Tang Clan, yet it comes off authentic and effortless. The album is incredibly cohesive given the amount of producers, 12 total, and that is to Carey’s credit behind the scenes and as a performer. Music is Mariah’s science and she is the Einstein of her peers.

Luscious Tracks:

Cry – Emotional, piano led ballad that builds beautifully and let’s Mariah show us her range and control.

Faded – My choice for single. Mariah reflects on a past lover, over a Mike WiLL Made It beat that knocks and sways throughout. The kind of song  that liquor and reminiscing makes perfect. You end up drunk(faded) and singing the shit out of every lyric.  The last minute of the song is my favorite moment on the album.

Make it Look Good –  The kind of song that sounds like summer. I love songs about having a crush and Mariah captures the jubilation. The song has  interpolations of “Let Me Make Love to You” made famous by The O’Jays and featuresStevie Wonder going solo on the harmonica. The best song on the album, just blissful, luscious fun. Should be the biggest hit on the album.

Meteorite – Produced by Q-tip and Mariah. The disco beat lifts off and Mariah takes flight. The kind of song you put on when you’re getting ready to go out.

Money ($*/…) –  Hit-Boy produced slow bumper about the fact that money means nothing if you don’t have your boo.

GradeA

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(www.mariahcarey.com)

Luscious Libations: Leah’s Birthday

My friend Leah is the coolest. She always has the best recipes, hosts great parties, makes shelves out of ladders (pre-Pinterest) and is just ALWAYS keeping it real. Also, I have never seen a polish smudge in her nails. She really knows whats up when it comes to staying cool while taking care of domestic business. (It’s a compliment, Leah!!!) I’ve learned so much from her over the years and pretty much copy her when I can! Her birthday was yesterday and every year, it is a reminder that Summer is ON THE WAY.

 

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I received really nice popsicle molds as a wedding present and had been dying to use them! Since Leah is a popsicle enthusiast, I had the great idea of making booze popsicles for her birthday! Personally, I am a huge fan of adding booze to recipes. (Obviously, I love a jello shot and a cupcake with some Bailey’s.) She had recently gifted me a bottle of Hendricks Gin and couldn’t believe that I hadn’t opened it yet. (I’m a retired party girl, what can I say?) A couple years ago, I was bartending at a Latin Caribbean restaurant and my friend Sergio, who hails from Oaxaca told me about a drink that people would make back home. Gin + Mint + Coconut Water. I am a coconut water JUNKIE and pimp that shit out so hard. I strongly believe in all of its benefits. It has a slight sweetness that makes it great to add to cocktails and it’s extra hydrating as well. When Leah told me that she had never had coconut water before, I was shocked. So naturally, I had to sneak it in the recipe. The recipe also includes grapefruit mint from my front yard, lemon juice, and honey. It’s a Bee’s Knees with a fun twist. They’re très magnifique.

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Leah’s Birthday Popsicles

Juice of 2 lemons

1/3 cup mint

3 oz Hendrick’s Gin (because who drinks rail liquor anymore)

2 1/2 tablespoons honey (local, of course!)

2 cups nectar of the gods coconut water (no coconut bits, FYI)

Combine all ingredients in a blender and BLE ND THAT SHIT. Pour into popsicle molds. I was only planning to make six but made ten 3oz popsicles. Freeze. ENJOY.

(If only the mint didn’t settle on the bottom. Anybody have tips for that??)

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LEAH!!

Shopping Logic

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LUSCIOUS JUDY SHOPPING LOGIC

My shopping vibe is pretty wacky.  For instance, I just spent $50 at store that I wasn’t very impressed with because I didn’t want to seem like a freeloader when I took a free full-size Luna bar they had in a basket near the dressing room. So when I received a coupon from Sephora telling me that I was eligible for a free birthday gift, my first instinct was to go directly to the store and blow some birthday cash. The closer it got to the expiration date of this coupon, the more I realized that I would rather shop online. I have more control on the Internet, I think. If I shopped in store, I would buy more things that I don’t necessarily need, but absolutely want.

It was about time for a new bottle of MAKE UP FOR EVER Sens’Eyes. This waterproof eye cleanser is a staple in my vanity. A full-size bottle lasts about 5 months and I use  3-4 pumps everyday (which is more than most will need, but I wear a lot of mascara). It is incredibly gentle and does not make my eyelids greasy. Would you believe me if I told you that I used baby oil as makeup remover for YEARS before I discovered this product. OH, THE SHAME.

Another product I needed to re-up on was concealer, I am so loyal to my NARS concealer but was in the mood to try something new. I decided on TARTE Maracuja Creaseless Concealer. These days, I look for products that might be waterproof, full-coverage, with anti-aging ingredients and this concealer fits the bill. After weeks of using this concealer, I can’t say that I’m in love. Since this concealer is full-coverage, it is SO thick. It is almost hard to apply because it is almost like glue. Not sure if it is because I am oily, but this is not creaseless. Actually, it immediately creases after applying and I have had to set this concealer with MAKE UP FOREVER  HD Microfinish Powder to avoid creasing. (It’s good practice to do that anyway!)  Of course, I have too much pride to return a concealer to SEPHORA. For sanitary purposes, returned makeup never gets the oppurtunity for a second chance, like clothes or shoes do. I would feel bad knowing a barely used product was getting thrown away because I was being adventurous. This is some Luscious Judy Shopping Logic. Do you see how I personify beauty products because I’m too lazy to go to the SEPHORA store?

My shopping cart needed two more dollars to qualify for free shipping. I would much rather spend extra money on an object rather than pay for shipping. Great thought process, right? I decided on ORIGINS Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask Pods for just eight bucks! White China Clay is a main ingredient in this pore purifying mask. I have been using this once a week. My skin endures a lot of abuse. Somedays my skin is suffocated by makeup for 13 hours, other days I’m sweating out toxins that dry on my face and clog my pores. This is a great mask that leaves my skin feeling renewed.

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(Matching my mask to my bathroom wall and cardigan.)

 

I love ordering from SEPHORA online because they always offer 3 samples with every order. This was especially great when I shipped my Mom her birthday present (Romance by RALPH LAUREN) because I customized samples that were specific to her needs. This order, I opted for Passiflora by NEST FRAGRANCES. I am such a lover of fresh, floral fragrances and this scent is so feminine and pretty. It makes me want to lay in a bed of water hyacinth. The packaging is pretty fantastic as well. I love all products FRESH and got myself some Black Tea Age-Delay Eye Concentrate.  They had me at age delay. It is never too early to start acting against signs of aging. Antioxidant rich noni fruit juice is a powerful ingredient that moisturizes and visibly firms at the same time. I was going to try a sample of NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer. It was rather heavy for a tinted moisturizer. With that being said, it took longer than normal to dry, therefore making my face feel oily. I love almost every NARS product that I get my paws on and I’m sad this didn’t work out for me. OH, THE JOY OF SAMPLES.

Lastly, my MAKE UP FOR EVER birthday gift was less than exciting. Okay, I know what you’re thinking. Who complains about a FREE birthday gift?? Don’t get me wrong, I am always down for a travel-size Smoky Extravagant Mascara. I love that cone-shaped brush. It is great for lengthening and separating lashes. I was excited to finally try Rouge Artist Natural lipstick, I am a MUFE junkie but don’t own any lipstick! The shade of the box looked like a muted red but I was less than impressed to find that it was actually N9, a coppery pink. This lipstick hydrates for up to 8 hours as well as adds shine. This is probably the most boring color ever. This shade is so barely there that it reminds me of something my Mom would have made me wear as a young teen. I have an arsenal of what I like to call ‘work lipsticks’, which are shades that I only wear to work because they are subdued. I wouldn’t even wear this to work. It doesn’t vibe for me or my skin tone or my love of bold, colorful lipsticks. Thanks anyway, MUFE, I’m going to regift you to a friend who will be more appreciative!

I think that you learn a lot about a person when you pick up on their shopping habits. There are those who get in and get out, then there are those who do laps around a store before realizing they want nothing. Online shopping has made it so easy to desire and acquire things that  turn out to be duds. We all have our methods of madness. What are some of your shopping quirks? I can’t be the only one who has them!

New Moon Judy

Happy May 1st!!! I cannot believe we are already five months into this year. The first of May is always significant for me. You see, my  birthday is on April 29th and I always set goals for myself for *my* new year. Since, April 30th is typically a recovery day, my fresh start always begins on May 1st. So far, 2014 has turned out to be fantastic. I got married on 2-8 and think that’s pretty cool, since I just turned 28. In addition, there was a Solar Eclipse / New Moon in Taurus that fell on my birthday. You know I love my numbers and my new age !! I have been looking forward to this cosmic shift and have been excited for some new things to pop off.

I already started my day with a Hot Vinyasa class. My girlfriends and I are doing a yoga challenge which consists of practicing 21 hot yoga classes in 31 days. They say it takes 21 days to form a new habit. I picked up hot yoga when I began my fitness journey last year to prepare for my wedding. I’m not ashamed to say that I was a bride with a serious mission to look damn good in my wedding gown. I set fitness goals for myself and achieved them.  The wedding is over and done with but I am dedicated to staying fit and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. So what if my vanity pushed me to becoming a healthier person, mentally and physically. /endminirant  Also, a yoga challenge is going to be the perfect way to head into the Summer!

New Moon Yoga goal: to do a headstand

My BFF and skin care guru, Lauren came from the Pacific Northwest to visit last week. I’m so thankful that she has the knowledge to tell me how to protect my skin from aging! Everyone needs a skincare personal shopper, PS. I knew that I was a geezer when I got so excited about all of the anti-aging products that she gifted me !

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1. BENEFIT Peek-a-bright eyes Illuminating Kit 

(Not quite anti-aging, but this kit can help me look bright eyed & bushy tailed.)

2. BOSCIA Pore Purifying Black Strips

( Is there anything more satisfying than rippin’ out blackheads?)

3. OLE HENRIKSEN Truth Serum Vitamin C Collagen Booster

(Vitamin C helps to brighten and minimize fine lines.)

4. ALGENIST Triple-Action Micropolish & Peel

(This microderm abrasion peel improves skin texture and tone, keeping the skin smooth)

5. GLOW BY DR. BRANDT Revitalizing Retinol Eye Cream

(They had me  at “diffuses light to soften the look of lines & wrinkles.” Super nourishing!)

6. BENEFIT The POREfessional

(A priming balm that minimizes the appearance of pores AND fine lines. Makes my face feel silky under makeup)

7. OLE HENRIKSEN Ultimate Life Firming Serum

(Tightens the skin as well as locks in hydration)

New Moon Skincare goal: Minimize forehead wrinkles

 

My parents were so kind to gift me a Bath & Body Works basket full of goodies from their Hawaii line. There were years when I got a boujie lotion/body spray set for every freakin’ occasion. I haven’t gotten one in awhile and I was excited to re-up on lotion/body spray/hand sanitizer. Sometimes it’s necessary to smell like a coconut sunset.

New Moon Bodycare goal: Moisturize more!!

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Enjoy the rest of your month!! Lots of fun posts coming up. Don’t forget your SPF and your sunnies in this beautiful weather!!