Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Patriotic Picnic

Written By: Pascale Kanaan 

A year ago last Thursday, we waited anxiously for Chantie to return to her beloved U.S. of A. I had an All-American home-cooked meal waiting for her on the table as we welcomed her to Scottsdale. After leaving our hometown of Orlando (and everything familiar) behind and moving our lives to Lebanon for over two was time for us to come home.  Maurice and I were the first to make the journey back, then our aunt Sandy, then our Chantie. It wasn't exactly easy for her to uproot herself yet again, leave the nest and start over in a new American city. And as if that wasn't tough enough, she literally made the decision within 16 hours, threw what she could fit into a couple suitcases and didn't look back. It would be an understatement to say that she has seen her share of ups and downs this past year, with the stresses of helping us prepare for the wedding and her struggle to find her footing. But now, I can honestly say that I have watched her grow so much over the past year. She was my rock during times of struggle and continues to inspire me everyday with her passion and persistence. So in honor of her "Coming (back) to America" anniversary, I decided to throw her a patriotic picnic in the park across the street from our place.   

We started out this perfect summer afternoon with some spiked Sour Cherry Lemonade and sangria as Mo fired up our handy dandy little red grill. Our spread included Mini Turkey Burgers, Chicago-style Hotdogs with all the proper toppings, Southern Mac & Cheese in ramekins and Lemony Potato Salad

We ended with some homemade organic Red, White & Blueberry Pops, an iconic apple pie and a little sparkler action to satisfy our fireworks fix. 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Mother Knows Best

My mother always told us, “Never leave the house without looking your best.” She would never step foot outside without a fresh coat of lipstick, good hair and a presentable outfit… even if she was just going to the grocery store. While many may find this philosophy to be a bit silly or antiquated… it is by far some of the best advice we have ever received. She taught us that when we look good, we feel good… but also, we attract good things into our lives. She taught us the value of treating every moment as an important one. That we never know when an opportunity could arise…even if we’re just grabbing the mail…and we should always be ready for it. Not that my mom needs much to look great. To this day, she still gets stopped in her tracks when someone hears one of us calling her “Mom”. They always give the same reaction of disbelief and can’t fathom that someone so beautiful and youthful could be a mother of a 27, 24 and 21 year old. 

Today, we celebrate the birthday of the most glamorous, classy and beautiful (inside and out) woman we know…Happy Birthday, Mom! Thanks for teaching us how to put our best foot forward… whether it be in 6-inch heels (Pasky) or in gold-studded oxfords (Chantie).

Speaking of looking your best, take a peek inside our beauty bags to see our makeup must-haves for a quick and easy look.

Pasky's makeup

Pasky's Rosy Glow:

First, I start with a spritz of fresh rose water. You can find this at any Middle Eastern market and in select supermarkets. Then I apply Dermalogica’s Active Moist moisturizer with my hands before I whisk on Urban Decay’s Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup with my blurring brush. Next,  I add some NARS blush in “Gaiety” to the apples of my cheeks, topped with some Bare Minerals Mineral Veil for the ultimate rosy glow effect. Sometimes, I skip out on shadows and go for an nude lid/all-lash look using M.A.C.’s Plush Lash mascara (this brush is great for long lashes, but you may want to try Zoom Lash if you have shorter lashes). But when I’m feeling up for it, I love “Arena” and “Wedge” shadows by M.A.C. for a light and pretty eye. Complete this rosy look with little C.O. Bigalow’s Rose Salve on the lips, just a subtle tint of pink to moisturize your already pretty pout.

Chantie's makeup

Chantie's Signature Cat-eye:

I am all about getting head-to-toe, fully ready in under 30 minutes. Of course, there are exceptions to this mighty rule of mine, like when I have a "which skirt looks better" dilemma or a major bad hair day. But one thing I've gotten down pat is my makeup regimen, which literally takes me 5 minutes (I've timed it). I start by applying MAC's Strobe Creme Hydratant Lumineux for a shimmery base. Then, I paint on the Studio Fix Fluid Foundation. Depending on my current skin shade, I either bronze my whole face with a Medium-Dark Mineralize Skinfinish powder (mostly during Fall/Winter), or I only use it to contour my face (during the summer months). Then I highlight under my eyes, my nose and forehead with MAC's Prep & Prime Highlighter Pen. After I apply Sunbasque blush along my cheekbones, I line my lids with Sephora's black liquid liner and load on some Zoomlash black mascara. I like to line the inside of my eyes with white eyeliner when doing a bold lip, so MAC's Fascinating Eye Kohl takes care of that for me. Finally, I top off the entire look with my favorite orange-red lipstick Lady Danger. Meow.

Friday, July 26, 2013

¡Viva Tequila!

With so many endless Mexican restaurants in town, most of which are phenomenal, it was tough selecting the perfect spot to celebrate National Tequila Day last Wednesday. But what better place to pay homage to this agave-based beverage than Barrio Queen, where their menu board reads “Soup of the Day: Tequila”.

This laid-back spot is the place to go to get your "Mexican Soul Food" fix. Owned by local legend and modern Mexican master, Silvana Salcido Esparza, Barrio Queen is an artfully casual restaurant with Dia de los Muertos meets industrial/urban flair. Skeletons and skull art, colorful ceramic tiles and leather seating mixed with exposed pipes, metal and ducts adorn the inside; while the sunny sidewalk patio is one of the best spots to sit back and enjoy the action of Old Town Scottsdale.

We started at the bar where Chantale ordered a gorgeous orange and yellow drink called Barrio Punch—with Don Julio Reposado tequila, fresh squeezed lime and orange juice, grenadine—perfect for summer. I ordered an extra sour margarita on the rocks, and our girl Lauren ordered the Paloma, with Tres Agaves Reposado, Mexican Squirt and fresh grapefruit and lime juice.
Then we sat down to dinner and devoured some fresh guac and homemade tortilla chips. I was quite pleased with my massive Arizona Burrito, served enchilada style with pork that melts in your mouth, a tangy green chile sauce, gratinada of quesillo cheese, salsa verde, crema fresca and cilantro. Chantale ordered the Carne Asada, Lauren got the Chiles en Nogada (seasonal) and Maurice got the Mole Enchilada. Even though I was beyond stuffed, I couldn’t resist ordering the Flan with caramelized syrup, pecans and a vanilla Kahlua sauce. This place definitely redefined “soul food” for me.


RAAD Trend Remix: Cami Comeback

This wardrobe basic is ditching its old job as the "booby guard" of sheer blouses and taking on its new role as the seductive girlfriend. My cami comeback came armed with a pair of boyfriend jeans, some neon strappy sandals and a statement lip. I've been on the hunt to find the perfect top to go with my boyfriend jeans because t-shirts where just not cutting it...until this black skimpy thing emerged from thin air (or from the new shipment rack at Nordstroms). I have to say, between the bipolar humid-to-dry-to-humid weather, this outfit really held up well when I took it out for National Tequila Day this past Wednesday...more on that later =)

 Top: Devlin (Nordstrom Savvy) | Jeans: H&M | Shoes: Sam Edelman | Purse: JJ Winters | Earrings: Vintage | Lipstick: MAC Lady Danger

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

RAAD Trend: Camisoles

Cami Comeback
TIBI color block shirt / TIBI tank, $300 / TIBI silk racerback tank / Topshop cropped camisole / Goldie chiffon camisole, $58 / Zara camisole shirt / River Island camisole tank top, $23 / River Island orange camisole, $15

RAADTrend: Camisoles
What it is: Cut cloth in its most simplest form, with itty bitty straps and a geometric body.
Why it's RAAD: It may be simple in the way it is cut, but it's how the top lays on you that makes an uber sexy statement. It totally embodies the "oh, I just threw this on" look that we all love.

Monday, July 22, 2013


When it comes to dinner, my husband would be fine with pasta or pizza every night. So what’s a girl with a sophisticated palate to do when she craves more than just marinara and mozzarella? I can only make my spaghetti and meat sauce so many times! Luckily, while experimenting in my kitchen (which I’m notorious for doing), I stumbled upon a winner in both mine and his cookbooks… a delicious mixed herb and walnut pesto over organic spinach pasta with sautéed red and yellow bell peppers and red onion...the perfect pasta dish for summer that is sure to please all palates! This, my friends, is what I like to call compromise… an essential ingredient when it comes to a successful marriage. 

By the way...this is Pascale, RAADSTYLE's newest contributor and older sister to the talented/ lovely Chantale. I have been out of commission due to my all-consuming recent nuptials… but now I’m here to help kick off this sultry summer, Raad-style. While Chanty continues to translate the latest trends, I will open my humble home to share some domestic stylings of my own.  We will also hit the streets of Scottsdale, discovering the coolest to-dos and finds that this town has to offer. We invite you to follow us… two sisters and our rad approach to life. Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat, though... Although I changed my last name, I will never lose my identity. But just for good measure, I decided to keep "Raad" as my middle name instead ;) 

I got this Green-On-Green Pesto recipe from The Newlywed CookbookThis book is fantastic and full of great tips for newlyweds and single gals alike. Here is the recipe with a few notes and add-ons of my own…

  • ½ cup/50 g pine nuts or walnuts (I used walnuts)
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 3 handfuls fresh basil leaves, arugula/rocket, parsley, mustard leaves or a combination (RAADTIP: this is where having a little windowsill herb garden comes in handy. Who doesn’t prefer the flavor of freshly snipped  herbs?!  I used oregano, basil, mint and some arugula leaves.)
  • ½ cup/60 g freshly grates Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • ½ cup/75 ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for topping
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Pasky's add-ons:
Pulse together the nuts, garlic, greens, and about half of the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese in a food processor until the greens are finely chopped. Pulse in the olive oil to make a smooth paste and continue until the pesto is evenly combined. (If you don’t have a food processor, finely chop the nuts, garlic and greens on your cutting board before stirring together in a bowl with the cheese and olive oil.) Season with salt and pepper. Taste the sauce. You may want to add the remaining cheese, or extra salt or pepper. This is your sauce and it’s worth learning how to make it the way you like it. If you prefer it thinner and plan to use immediately, add one to two tablespoons of warm water. I used fresh lemon juice instead and it turned out amazing! If you aren’t using it immediately, cover surface with additional olive oil and plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. Pesto stores well for about a week in the fridge, but make sure to to top it off with extra virgin olive oil every time you use it so the vibrant green doesn’t discolor.

Mix the pesto into the pasta. Then, sauté some red and yellow bell peppers and red onions and toss the veges into the mix. Serve with  some fresh feta (the vegetarian traditional Greek recipe by 365, also found at Whole Foods, is the most delicious and creamy feta I have ever tasted!) and splash of lime for an extra kick! So good, I almost forgot I was eating another pasta dish!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

RAAD TREND Remix: Buckle Up


I'm so not used to dealing with dust storms and monsoon season here in Arizona, I don't even own an umbrella (how un-Floridian of me). But I was lucky enough to run outside with a 10 minute, rain-free window (hence the lack of photos) to capture some shots of how I remixed the new gladiator trend. Like I mentioned on Monday, gladiators are making a major statement, yet again. Only, this time they're paired with longer hemlines. To really rock this trend, don't leave any space between the sandal and the hemline. Strap these babies on with a long, narrow tube skirt or an a-lined midi dress.

Dress: Juicy Couture | Shoes: Cynthia Vincent | Bag: JJ Winters

Monday, July 15, 2013

RAAD TREND: Fifty Shades of Gladiator

RAAD Trend: Gladiator Sandals
What it is: Caging your legs with lateral, leather strips from the tips of your toes to the bottom of your knees.
Why it's RAAD: Never mind the fact that you'd be living out one of Christian Grey's fashion fantasies, this bondage-meets-bohemian trend looks super fierce with any leg-baring outfit. Yes, gladiators have made a comeback, but this year they're paired with longer hemlines (as seen above) to make an even stronger statement.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

RAAD CITY: Scottsdale Food Truck Caravan

Having to fight 114+ degree weather during an infamous Arizona summer makes going out a challenge... especially for someone who believes "more is more" when it comes to her wardrobe. Good thing I had my partner in crime–a.k.a. older sister, Pascale, and newest contributor to RAADSTYLE (more on that later)–to peruse the Food Truck Caravan Scene last Saturday in Old Town Scottsdale. We were just two misfits... jonesing for some gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches and looking for an excuse to rock this week's Gypsy Cowgirl trend. Check out our RAAD Trend Remix below...
As you can see, I'm a fringe fiend, pairing my gold fringe necklace with my super light and airy fringed poncho–sans camisole. I skipped the cowgirl boots and stuck with jeweled gladiator sandals to go with my red-hot, high-waisted ankle jeans. And I threw on my blue wide-brimmed hat and my fringed leather messenger bag to complete the look. 

Pascale is cowgirl-chic in her bold blue dress and red cross-body. Her multi-strand yellow necklace mimics the lasso-like embellishment of her dress. You can never go wrong with a good pair of cowgirl boots and a loose braid... And some all black shades for a touch of glam. Giddy up y'all.

The food truck caravan is like a little oasis of joy and deliciousness that appears in a mirage-like fashion on the desert streets of Old Town Scottsdale every Saturday night. From the Grilled Cheese Truck, where we scarfed down a Cheesy Mac & Rib (macaroni and cheese with sharp cheddar, BBQ pork, caramelized onions) and a Buffalo Chicken Melt (habanero jack and crumbled bleu cheese, spicy roasted buffalo chicken and celery coleslaw)... to the SuperFarm Food Truck where we scored some artisan ice cream in flavors like Mint Chocolate Chip, Nutella and S'more... who would even notice the 106 degree temps (at night, mind you). The soft country tunes floating from the awesome guitar-strumming dude on the back of his truck paired with the soft glow of string-lit trees and taper candles in wine bottles didn't help when it came time to leave this blissful bubble. But at least we got our food truck fix... until next weekend!! 

Chantale – Hat: Anthropologie | Poncho: H&M | Jeans: Citizens of Humanity | Sandals: Jeffrey Campbell | Sunglasses: Turbine | Bag: JJ Winters

Pascale – Dress: HANii Y | Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs | Sunglasses: Miu Miu | Boots: Tony Lama | Necklace: Francesca's Collection