home inspiration

June 29, 2012

With our upcoming apartment move {2 weeks, people, 2 weeks!} I've been having a lot of fun looking at home decor photos. I can't remember if I've talked about it, but the reason Matthew and I are moving out of our apartment after just a year is because we were renting a privately owned condo and the owners were foreclosed upon. We found out in December after being in our apartment for only 4 months. It was a major disappointment when we remember how hard it was to find our place, and how much we love it and would ideally like to stay here for a couple years. We tried to look on the bright side though, thinking if we found a perfect place we could move out whenever. Unfortunately, said perfect place doesn't exist, or it's ridiculously expensive, and Matthew and I still haven't figured out where we'll be living in 2 weeks. A little stressful, right? But instead of letting it get to me, I'm just looking at pretty pictures of lovely houses & apartments, getting inspired for our next home.
claw tub + chevron curtain
coffee table books
gold coffee press + cute creamer container  
gorgeous gold + peach wallpaper
 blue + white bathroom
floral headboard
cube bookshelves with cubes

Follow along on Pinterest!

Have a great weekend everyone! Are you celebrating the 4th early this weekend, or late next weekend?


makeup essentials

June 28, 2012

I've gotten some emails about my makeup routine so I thought I'd share some of my essentials here. 

1. Lancôme Lipstick in Sweet Embrace {my favorite pink} buy
2. Anastasia Eyebrow Kit in Brunette {to fill in my brows} buy
3. Lancôme Le Crayon Khôl Eyeliner in Black {goes on easily and lasts all day} buy
4. Jane Iredale Powder in Warm Sienna {mineral pressed poweder + SPF} buy
5. Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet #20 {I mix this with my moisurizer} buy
6. Lancôme Lipstick in Cherries Jubilee {my favorite red. sadly discontinued but this is a similar one}
7. Clinique Eyeshadow in Beige Shimmer {A subtle color with soft shimmer. Perfect during the summer} buy
8. Nars Bronzer in Laguna {I've tried other ones and keep going back to this one} buy
9. Clinique Blush Duo in New Clover & Honey Blush {Use the lighter color most of the time, but sometimes a mix of both} buy
10. Lancôme Dolllashes Mascara in Black {new in my rotation but I'm loving it!} buy
11. Elf Liquid Eyeliner in Black {$1 at Target. Enough said.} buy
12. Revlon Eyelash Curler {a daily must since my eyelashes don't have a natural curl} buy

I'm always curious as to what products other people use, so if you have a tried and true favorite feel free to leave it in a comment!

look book: miami spice

June 27, 2012

 Summer is the time to experiment with color. It's usually bright and sunny out so it's easy to dress similarly. {Also bright colors can make you look tanner than you really are} I prefer to anchor more intense/vivid colors with neutrals, like grays and whites, for a little more balance, and also so I don't look like I walked off the Jersey Shore. 
top Gap, jacket vintage/thrifted {similar}, shorts c/o Lulu*s, shoes Michael Kors, watch Michael Korsbag Brahmin


recipe: Stareo Cookies

June 26, 2012

If any of you love Oreos raise your hand! 
I'm assuming a good percentage of you did it, and if so, I'm about to blow your mind with the best.recipe.ever! Stareos are the gourmet Oreo recipe. My Dad begged me to make this dessert for the longest time and I'm so glad I did. They are rich, chocolatey and slightly addictive with its perfectly sweet cream filling. This might be the perfect dessert to make for our upcoming 4th of July holiday. It's just so patriotic! If you, or anyone you know is an Oreo fan, please try this recipe and let me know what you think!

Stareo Cookies from Emily Luchetti's Star Desserts

8 ounces cold sweet butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup coca powder, sifted

1 cup mascarpone
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

To make the chocolate shortbread: Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on low speed for 15 seconds, using the paddle attachment. Add the flour salt and cocoa powder and continue mixing on low speed for 3 to 5 minutes until it comes together. It will look dry just before comes together.

Put the dough on a slightly floured board and roll it out 1/4 inch thick. With a 2 inch star cutter cut out the cookies. Chill for one hour in the freezer.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the cookies so they are not touching on the pan.

Preheat the oven to 250°. Bake the shortbread for about one hour until firm.

To make the filling:
Combine the marscapone sugar and vanilla extract in a small bowl.

To assemble:
Spread about 1 tablespoon of marscapone cream filling on 18 of the cookies. Put the remaining uncoated cookies on top of the cream cookies, making a sandwich.

This was a Matthew approved dessert! And if you're an Oreo milk dunker, the same rules apply. Go for it!


look book: desert reed

June 25, 2012

There’s something so comfy about a pair of leggings and an easy lightweight blouse. I tested out the jegging thing with these purple pants and I have to say I’m a fan. The pockets and zipper add my favorite jean functionality to the legging’s softness. It seems like a perfect match! I added a longer tank underneath my blouse to make sure I was really comfortable.

blouse {similar}, tank Free People, pants c/o Denimocracy {similar}, clutch Heather Belle, cuff c/o Karen London {in rose gold}, watch Michael Kors, necklace J.Crew, sunglasses Urban Outfitters, shoes Old Navy {similar}

Denimocracy is offering one reader a pair of their Anarchy Knit Leggings. I love this purple pair because I think it will transition perfectly into Fall, but there are a ton of great colors to chose from! Leave a comment below with your favorite color and I'll pick the winner next Monday July 2nd! UPDATE: The winner is Holly Dolly! Congrats!

Have a great Monday!

photos taken by my talented little brother Anthony

giveaway: dress of choice from PB&J Shop- CLOSED

June 21, 2012

PB&J Shop is offering one reader a dress of choice from their online boutique, no restrictions. They have some great options for easy summer dresses that are cute and casual!

To Enter:
1). Must be a follower of M Loves M
2). Visit PB&J Shop and leave a comment with the dress you'd pick!

For extra entries
3). Blog/tweet for extra entries! (mention @maraferreira and include a link to this post)
4). Become a Facebook fan of M Loves M or follow me on Bloglovin'
5). "Like" PB&J Shop on Facebook 

I'll be picking the winner at random next Thursday, June 28st!
 Good luck!

Update: The winner is Jenni! I'll contact you with more details!

look book: ladies who lunch

June 20, 2012

I wore this outfit to a charity luncheon with my parents, in support of one of my Dad’s former students who is running in the Miss California Pageant. It was fun to go and support the girls, hear about their academic achievements, and see their unique talents performed. I, for one, am not the most confident public speaker, and the thought of being in any sort of pageant or competition kind of terrifies me. I have to give these young women so much respect for being able to do something like this.
dress Anthropologie, belt and shoes J.Crew, sweater c/o Windsor, bracelet gift from parent's, ring my Grandma's, necklace Saressa Designs

I started the first season of Revenge a couple weeks ago and finished it within a week by watching 2-3 episodes a night. To say that show was addictive is a bit of an understatement. I enjoyed it soo much that now I don’t know how I’m going to wait until September for it to start. I’m having some withdrawals, even though it did take a toll on my productivity. Blog stuff, emails, apartment hunting, even laundry, were all put on the back burners. Did any of you watch Revenge? If you like soap opera drama, and sweet love stories, I would definitely recommend it! I still can’t stop thinking about that season finale!!

Have a great Wednesday!

photos taken by my sweet brother Anthony!

recipe: strawberry tarts with ginger-nut crust

June 19, 2012

A few Sundays back I decided to make this dessert to bring over to my parents' house for dinner. I liked that it looked relatively simple, and also that it used one of my favorite ingredients- agave syrup! I love adding agave as a natural sweetener. It has great flavor and it's healthy. Can't beat that! I think this is a great and impressive dessert that won't break the bank, and it won't require you to spend all day in the kitchen. The ginger-nut crust has a slight kick to it, yet it tastes great with the strawberries!

Strawberry Tarts with Ginger-Nut Crust from Bon Appetit Magazine June 2012
makes 12

2 teaspoons coconut oil, melted, plus more for pan
2 cups pecans, walnuts, or almonds
5 tablespoons agave syrup (nectar), divided
2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled, sliced
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

Special Equipment
A 12-cup muffin pan

Lightly brush muffin cups with coconut oil. Set aside. Pulse nuts in a food processor until coarsely ground. Add 3 Tbsp. agave syrup, flour, ginger, salt, and 2 tsp. coconut oil. Process until coarse dough forms. Gather into a ball. Press 1 heaping Tbsp. dough firmly onto bottom and up sides of each muffin cup. Chill for 1 hour.
Preheat over to 350 degrees. Bake crusts until firm and golden around edges, 8-10 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before removing.
DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Let cool completely; store airtight at room temperature.
Place strawberries, lemon juice, and remaining 2 Tbsp. agave syrup in a medium bowl; scrap in vanilla seeds (save bean for another use). Stir well, crushing a few berries to release their juices.
Using a spatula or butter knife, remove tart shells from pan and fill with strawberry mixture. Serve immediately.

If you make this dessert let me know what you think!

look book: ace of lace

June 18, 2012

There’s something so pretty about summer metallics but it’s been hard for me to incorporate them into my wardrobe. They don’t feel very “me,” for some reason, but with the mix of neutrals it’s a little more approachable. I’ve been slowly and subtly testing it out with my accessories, like with these beige and gold flats and my beautiful birthday watch from Matthew. Paired with more dominant colors like minty teal and coral I feel ready for summer!
dress c/o Lulu*s, jacket and bracelet J.Crew, purse c/o Brahmin, shoes Nine West, sunglasses , watch Michael Kors

This weekend was full of lots of driving and family time. Matthew and I went down to San Diego on Saturday to celebrate his mom’s birthday (yay for another June baby!) and it was so nice to catch up. The drive was longer than usual because of the Del Mar fair and graduations, but with a cute puppy in the car it was a lot more enjoyable. Sunday Matthew and I celebrated Father’s Day with my Dad and then went over to a family friend’s house. It was so fun to see friends we haven’t seen in over a year. I wish I could have all my favorite people live in the same city. Or at the very least I wish it was easier, and cheaper, to travel across the country!

Here’s to a new week ahead. Happy Monday!

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