Ooh, you clicked on ‘About Me’ because you want to know more about who I am! I’m flattered, thank you. Now I suppose I’ll have to divulge a little more about myself than I have on the front page. Hmmmm about me…
The basics are that I’m a California girl living in Idaho with my 5 year old daughter Joelle (note to self: return every year and update age), my partner Jorge and my dog Rover. I work an office job by day and just recently started craving a creative outlet to quell the wandering eye of job dissatisfaction. I enjoy my day job for the most part; my colleagues are great, the organization is supportive and the financial benefits are stable which is what keeps me showing up at 9am every morning. But discovering a few significant Beauty Blogs, YouTube Channels and Pinterest Boards really kick-started my desire to be a part of it all, hence the Beauty and Food idea was formed.
Why Beauty and Food?
To me, the connection between beauty and food is a clear one. At the end of the day it all comes down to feeling good, both inside and out. What you put in and on your body can make such a difference to how you feel, physically and emotionally. Also, makeup and cooking are both hugely creative processes which you can dedicate time to improving your skills. You can try something elaborate or simple, familiar or totally out of your comfort zone, and personal preference is what really counts. You don’t have to look or cook a certain way to please others all the time (sometimes you do but that’s all part of the challenge). Then there’s the pretty colors, textures and the satisfaction of the finished result. Plus there is shopping involved, which is very important to me!
My love of beauty
Ever since I can remember I loved beauty. Skincare, makeup, body products, anything that looked pretty, smelled inviting and promised the world. My mom is the same and likely inspired my obsession for cosmetics, along with my younger sister who is equally smitten. All three of us have bulging collections although my mom and sister both have penchant for perfumes which I don’t share*. My mom did a beauty therapy course when I was a little girl and although she didn’t pursue a career in beauty I think her interest and knowledge had a profound effect on me.
I am also a very ‘girly girl’. I adore anything that is aesthetically pleasing to my eye. This might be a good time to mention that my favorite color is pink, did you guess? Anything pastel, miniature, a beautiful bottle or compact; I have to have it. I loved reading magazines as a teenager and have amassed a large collection of beauty books over the years which only fuels the yearning to own more gorgeous things. It doesn’t help that I’m a total sucker for advertising too, even to this day, which makes those perfect, cleverly lit bottles even harder to resist.
A beauty anecdote
I have told this story a thousand times, so if you know me personally, you can skip this part. When I was 19 I attended a week long makeup and etiquette course designed to qualify graduates to work on department store makeup counters. I have never been as sick in all my life as I was that week. It was full blown influenza. I couldn’t eat, talk or walk more than a few steps at a time. I even called a doctor to come to my house and begged him to give me antibiotics (which he refused to do). Even so, I forced myself to go to that damn course all week dressed in a black business suit, stockings and heels along with a face full of makeup and hair styled. I did makeup on my classmates and models surrounded by hand sanitizer and tissues, turning away to cough every few seconds and apologizing profusely in a harsh whisper. Yet after every application the tutor would lavish praise on me as though I had painted a masterpiece. I’ll never forget how she marveled at my work. She was a very tall, loud, intimidating woman who wore her hair scraped back into a tight bun and each day sported perfectly applied red lipstick. I was terrified of her. At the end of the course she asked me back to complete a full makeup course (which I couldn’t afford at the time) and was genuinely disappointed when I decided after a month to take a full time job away from the cosmetics counters. Nobody taught me how to apply makeup the way I was doing it; I just picked it up from magazines and from practicing on myself. Perhaps it’s a little conceited to say this, but I think that I had (and maybe still have) a natural talent for makeup. I wonder if it’s my calling, and if it is, if I’ll ever get the chance to make a go of it like I started to back then.
Just like with my love of all things beauty, I developed a passion for food early on in life, and it’s not hard to believe but it also came from my mum. My mum is an extraordinary woman who stared her work life as a Home Economics Teacher and has followed her goals all the way to becoming a trainer and consultant for the international curriculum program known as the International Baccalaureate. While her busy schedule and status as a full time working mum when my sister and I were growing up meant that we dined on pretty standard fare each night, she also has some ‘mad skillz’ in the kitchen when she has time to cook for pleasure. These skills were thankfully passed along to both my sister and I, and when the three of us get together, magic happens.
I actually have far more adventurous tastes than my mum and sister, which I believe comes from the Austrian heritage in my family. I love pickled things, raw things, seafood and cuisines from all over the world. I’m also the type of person who will try anything once, and with an open mind. One of my frustrations is that people sometimes don’t share my daring palate and I can feel restricted in the kitchen. Cue the entry of Jorge and Joelle who are both up for anything (I hit the jackpot with a child who’s mostly a non-fussy eater – pickled garlic anyone?) and my dad who is just as creative and bold as me when it comes to food. Since I have become an adult my dad, who separated from my mom when I was 9, has become one of my biggest food inspirations. I appreciate that he introduced me to more mature tastes like Oysters Kilpatrick and the way he keeps traditional German dishes alive. He also taught me one very important lesson – good food takes time, and if dinner is served late, it doesn’t matter as long as it’s delicious. A meal at his place is always all about the food!
As well as cooking and eating I also have a thing for looking at food. I only buy cookbooks which have a picture for each recipe and I can’t help but throw a food magazine in the cart when I am doing the grocery shopping. I get inspired when I see what the dish looks like, words on a page just don’t have the same impact for me. That said, I have no trouble picking a meal from the menu at a restaurant and do suffer from the typical Libran trait of indecision on many an occasion. Speaking of restaurants, it was a few years ago now that I was introduced to degustation menus and discovered what paradise truly was. I haven’t been to one in ages (at the time of writing this) but hopefully I can rectify that soon.
I find that food can be a really social subject; everyone has some involvement with food, whether it be cooking and eating simple meals to being a fully-fledged foodie. I feel the same way about beauty; I want to talk and share my experiences with cosmetics but too often I see that glazed eye look come over someone when they have no idea what I am talking about (BB cream? I’ve never heard of it, next subject!). I wanted to create a place where I can share all the things I love about both beauty and food, without boring everyone around me to tears. I’ll probably be sharing a lot with just myself for now, but hey, you’re here and you’ve read this far, that has to be a good sign. You know more about me than when you first got here, so that makes us friends. Please leave me some comments, share on Facebook or Twitter and subscribe if you like what you see. I don’t want to be talking to myself for too long; you know what they say about madness, so join me!
See you again soon, Niki