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I sit here this morning with a decaf latte and wrapped in my fuzzy blanket…the perfect accoutrements for a rainy 46-degree day.  We are in full-on April Showers-mode, right?  I actually like that capricious nature of Spring, though:  it’s sunny and in the 70s/80s one day, but grey & windy with a slight chill in the air the next.  The tough transition out of winter (it’s like Old Man Winter does not want to let go!) exudes a renewed feeling, a metamorphosis…all the fresh green leaves & baby birds — this is really my favorite time of year.

1.  Nespresso:  Speaking of that latte I’m nursing, I wouldn’t have been able to make one for myself so easily without our neat little espresso machine.  For our new home, we sought out a high-end espresso maker but at the same time, were so used to the ease, convenience, & individual serving of a pod-system device.  I had ruled out the popular Keurig K-cup brewing system (as one of my designer friends perfectly describes it, “their coffee tastes like plastic”) but my husband didn’t think he’d have the patience so early in the morning to put in the steps involved with a traditional espresso maker.  So, we did our research, and landed somewhere in the middle:  the Nespresso Citiz Espresso Maker from Williams Sonoma.  It won out because according to the reviews, user comments, & blogs he read, it’s considered the best of the “pod” devices.  Nespresso somehow managed to maintain the integrity & quality of the espresso grounds within their single-use capsules.  We threw in the milk frother, too — here’s the exact model we chose.  Now, I press a single button to make lattes & espressos right at home…I adore this little touch of something ‘gourmet’ in the mornings!Nespresso espresso machine from Williams Sonoma

2.  Orphan Black:  Now that we’re past last night’s epic “Purple Wedding” on Game of Thrones, allow me to recommend a new show for you to watch this week:  Orphan Black on the BBC America network.  Seriously, now that The Walking Dead is done until next year, this is the second best show (behind GOT) you’ll find on airing television at the current moment.  They’re marathoning all the episodes of season 1 throughout this week, so set your DVR’s to binge-watch them all before the season 2 premiere this weekend!  Orphan Black returns April 19th at 9/8c.  It’s a little bit sci-fi/detective-thriller with a touch of romance & comedy.  Plus, it’s refreshing as a female-led show and the lead actress –Tatiana Maslany– is so talented it’ll blow your mind.  The writing is exceptional (you NEVER know who to trust!) and the series moves fast throughout the plot with lots of twists & turns.  Trust me, you’ll be hooked just three minutes into the pilot episode!

New show to watch:  Orphan Black on BBC America

Photo courtesy of BBC America

3.  The best concealer money can buy:  As a daily user of concealer, I use it in several ways:  to brighten under-eyes, to conceal redness from a breakout, and to camouflage dark purple spots/scars from previous breakouts.  I get frustrated many MANY times with various concealers on the market that I’ve tried…the liquid ones are easily spreadable for under-eyes, but they aren’t concentrated enough to cover a singular spot.  The solids, however, tend to look caked-on when covering spots and also leave creases in my under-eyes…bah! –I just can’t win!  I finally read enough positive reviews on the Cle’ de Peau Beaute’ Concealer that I caved in and purchased a tube from my favorite sales guy at Nordstrom.  First off, I can’t believe I spent this much money ($70) on basically a lipstick-sized tube of concealer BUT this one by Cle’ de Peau is what make-up artists refer to as a “holy grail” product.  It truly is the best concealer I’ve ever used…it works great for every need, is a solid but never cakes, and covers like magic.  I wouldn’t recommend springing for it if other well-reviewed concealers, such as those from MAC & Laura Mercier, are working for you.  However, it’s nice to know the solution’s out there because although expensive, it is the most effective & long-lasting concealer on the market.Cle de Peau Beaute Concealer the best concealer money can buy

 4.  New fave side dish:  Although I’m currently transitioning into eating meat again, my last six years as a pescetarian still dominate my dinner choices.  I’m pretty great at preparing fish (or so my husband says), a choice most people find fickle & too delicate for regular rotation.  I had to learn to cook it out of necessity according to my dietary preferences, so now I’m proud to count seafood as something I’m good at, in addition to egg dishes & pastas.  We’re having fresh Gulf shrimp from Central Market for dinner tonight, in fact.  I’ll be pan sauteing them with an organic coconut spread I’ve found that’s a great butter substitute…the faint coconut essence tastes great on toast & other breakfast pastries and works well with tropical warm-water seafood, especially shrimp.  Anyway, one of my favorite side dishes to serve with seafood is this couscous from Whole Foods.  The Garlic & Olive Oil kind is easier to find, but the best-tasting variety is their Lemon & Herb.  The lemon flavor is an obvious go-to choice for rounding out all my seafood entrees, ya know?  This organic easy-prep couscous paired with fish & a veggie side makes a great meal that my husband loves, too.  Lemon herb couscous from Whole Foods5.  May Flowers! (in April):  Fresh-cut from the florist or growing wild on the side of the highway, I love all the floral bounty of Springtime.  Here’s a couple recent snapshots I’ve captured of flowers that just…make me happy.  Love those Texas bluebonnets!  I try to take a pic in them every year…  🙂pic in the Texas bluebonnets

fresh cut flowers