Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Midnight Facial?

Why not? Night owl. Review later!

Blue Apron Review - Week 2

It was a tie between two that were my favorite.  The Southwestern-Style Beef-Stuffed Peppers and Southern-Style Shrimp and Grits were hit!  The Chicken Banh Mi was good, but I live in a place that has an abundance of banh mi and for deals.

Didn't think the banh mi was going to be enough, so added ramen to the meal.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Leilei Cooks: Filipino Comfort Food

I find myself cooking like my Mom when it comes to certain Filipino foods. Remembering a recipe, but ditching the to-the-point measurements. Which can be hard for the Virgo in me looking for exactness.  I just add a dash here and a splash there based on what I like.  Growing up my Mom and my paternal Grandmother made this dish.  This has become my go-to, easy to make item, like an Ilokano comfort food dish.  I now make it using turkey instead of pork and while I love the classic Rufina Patis, I opt for paleo friend Red Boat.  The squash is called upo in most Asian food stores, but I grew up knowing this as the Ilokano word tabungaw.

Here is what you will need:
1 pack of ground meat (I used turkey, but you can use pork, beef or chicken)
1 small upo squash
4 tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic
1 small yellow onion
Fish sauce
Salt & Pepper
Olive oil

Wash produce and set aside.  Mince garlic and dice onion.  Dice the tomatoes.  Split the upo in half lengthwise, then into 1/3s and dice into bite sized pieces.  

In a large pot or pan, heat up 2 tablespoons of olive oil and once that becomes hot, saute the garlic and onion for a few minutes.  Add ground meat and salt & pepper and cook until brown.  You may or may not need to drain some of the fat after cooking, use your own discretion.  Add the upo with the meat and put a lid on, cooking for about 10 minutes or until the squash has softened, stirring frequently.  Once the squash is cooked, lower the heat and add the tomatoes and fish sauce to your liking.  I put in 4-5 dashes.  You can add more salt & pepper for taste if necessary.  Cook for 5 more minutes until the tomatoes have softened.  

Final product!  I eat this over a serving of hot, fresh rice.  The digu (sauce) mixed with the rice is so good! This recipe yields about 6 servings.   

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Beauty Mail: IpsyMe

Eee! What came in the mail today! What could it be? Reveal post soon!

Blue Apron Review - Week 1

Beauty is inside and out and we have all heard what you nourish your body with, is reflected in outer appearance and also in attitude.  I have long struggled with my weight and my eating habits.  I get on one kick and do great, but then revert back to what tastes good to me, which is often times junk food.  Some gal pals of mine talked about Blue Apron during our last brunch and I was interested in trying it out for myself. One of my friends sent me 3 free meals to start off!  For about $9.99 per person/meal, Blue Apron sends you all the ingredients and the recipe to create your meal.  Based on your dietary profile, "We currently create 5 menus to best suit a variety of tastes, such as vegetarian, pescetarian, and people who love meat and fish. We can also accommodate some dietary restrictions such as no shellfish, no red meat, no pork, and no fish." I no longer eat pork and my partner is a pescetarian, so this works out great.  If we do get a meat dish, she can buy a meat substitute or add more veggies.

I have a busy schedule and am tired at the end of the day to even think about cooking a meal.  I go out to eat A LOT and it adds up.  I can justify the expense for food, but it is an expensive habit that needs to be curbed.

Big box!
Inside the box lid are tips including a link to show you how to recycle the packagingl
Introduction letter to what you have this week
Recipe cards for what you will be making.  I think I need to get a binder going for these!
All your ingredients for your meals packed neatly in an insulated box with ice packs.

Week 1 Menu:

Week 1 Menu cooked by us:

I made this for a late, late dinner.  I shouldn't have added all the red pepper flakes!  It was super spicy (for me), but so good!

This was my least favorite out of the 3 because it tasted like it was missing something. Maybe a little more heat?  Should have used some of the red pepper flakes here!

THE FAVORITE!  The chicken was so good and the mixed veggies were perfect, but the BEST part were the candied pistachios!

So far, so good!  I love the fresh ingredients and how easy it is to create a delicious and healthy meal. I will definitely be using Blue Apron on a weekly basis when I can and will feature what I made on the blog.

Do you use Blue Apron?  What have you cooked that you enjoyed and possibly made again?

Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday Hair Day with Sassy Shears!

Love my sistahfren, hairstylist and fellow beauty addict Jess Machado aka Sassy Shears. My hair needed some serious attention. The last time she did my hair was at the end of April! :x  I had 4" of roots.  Eeks!  The best part about our hair session today was that we were in our pajamas! 

And after! Ahhh! Love the feeling of getting my hair done. We kept some blonde peek-a-boos and touched up the all over warm brown, then a little trim to clean it up. 

Stay tuned for Sassy Shears' grand opening! 

Lemming: Memebox All About Brows + Coupon Codes

Nakey face day - my usual at work, no meetings look. Ha!

Note: Affiliate links in this post.

Brows. They're there, but sort of not. I over plucked them my junior year of undergrad and they just haven't been the same since. Sad! :( "Ella, you have no more eybs! Stop plucking!" My friend told me that the first day back at UW.  Too late, the damage had already been done. Over the past few years, I've been using MAC shadow and Brow Shader, Anastasia Brow Powder and have been trying to master the Smartbrow from my First Dermstore Order.  I always go back to filling in with powder since its easier, doesn't require a lot of prep and I think I have it down.  :)

But I am lemming this!  Memebox #57 All About Brows.

Image from Memebox website.

From the website:

Let's face it.  Not everyone is born with a pair of perfect arches!

But, no worries because we'll take your botched brows to rehab with this expert approved All About Brows Box!  Packed with all the K-Style eyebrow essentials, this box will give you everything to recreate the signature Korean look with full, youthful brows!

How did they know?!  So far, I am under my beauty allowance this month!

Check out Memebox for this box and a lot of other collections to covet.


Coupon codes to use!

$5.00 Discount off purchase
Coupon Code: 2008

$10.00 Discount from 7/31/14-9/29/14 for orders above $150
Coupon Code: AFFILIATE-0954-4LX5K-PRDN

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Womp, womp! Product Fail: Maybelline Define-A-Brow Eyebrow Pencil

Hate it when I don't do thorough research on a product, end up liking it, but then disliking it.

Bought this:
Heard good things about it and definitely cheaper than the Anastasia Brow Wiz I have been eyeing.

Filled in this:
Albeit it isn't the right tone for me, but it applied beautifully! 

Then looked at the ingredients:
PARABENS! :( *sigh* Back to the store this goes and I'll probably get the Anastasia instead since it does not contain parabens, sulfates or pthalates. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Beauty Bargains! Eco Tools BOGO 50% Off at Ulta

Stopped by Ulta with 2 intentions.  Check out if they had any Eco Tools Pure Complexion Facial Sponges and Tea Tree Oil Shampoo & Conditioner.  And that is all I left with. Ha!  Surprise, surprise.  

I picked up both the Sensitive Skin and Deep Cleansing sponges because it was Buy One, Get One 50% off and if you have the Coupon Sherpa App you can get an additional $3.50 off your purchase of $10 or more.

Cost of sponge: $5.99
50% off BOGO: -$1.50
$3.50 off $10: -$0.63
Total cost: $3.86

I'll have a separate review on these sponges after I've been able to use them for a bit.  If you're looking for a good deal on konjac sponges, head to Ulta!  I have seen some good reviews and some not good reviews on using these sponges and wanted to try it out for myself.

Price comparisons:
Sephora - Boscia Konjac Cleansing Sponge $15
Julep - Konjac Cleansing Sponge $12
Dr. Sponge - Facial Cleansing Sponge $8.50

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

New Fall Coat? Secure The Buttons With Topcoat!

Don't let your buttons go loose or worse, missing, by securing with a dab of topcoat. I've done this to several coats and no buttons lost! 

Unboxing: September Ipsy Glam Bag - Street Style

I'll admit it, I peeked in my Glam Room to see what I got. Ha! I couldn't help it, when I logged on it was right there!  This month is dedicated to Street Style and from the looks of the Ipsy Stylists, they're rocking a lot of black and plaid.

I love this style of bag. Flat with a top zipper. I am still using the pink bag from July in my daily purse. I haven't used the cylindrical bag from August yet.  I thought it would fit my full sized brushes and be used for travel, but they don't fit.  Its kind of an awkward design to be carrying around in my purse.

What I got:

  • Crown Brush Infinity Shadow/Crease Duet Brush
  • NYX Hot Singles Eye Shadow in Rehab
  • Pacifica Natural Water-Proof Eye Pencil in Fringe
  • Briogeo Don't Despair Repair Deep Conditioning Mask
  • Cailyn Air Touch Tinted Lip Gloss in 09 Basic Instinct

Top-Bottom: Pacifica Liner, NYX Eyeshadow, Cailyn Lip Gloss

I swatched the shadow again on my middle finger, that is straight from the pan.

Products I loved: Cailyn Lip Gloss was like a soft, creamy lipstick that went on smooth.  The Crown Brush is great with the dual end.  Although I'm not a fan of storing dual ended brushes upright.  Which side do you choose to store downwards?  Ick. 

Products that were ok: Pacifica Eyeliner - the color is a nice deep brown, but wasn't something that wowed me.  

Products I didn't like: NYX shadow - it just wasn't as pigmented as I thought it was going to be.  I am going to try and layer over a shadow stick to make the color pop.

Haven't tried yet: Briogeo Deep Conditioning Mask.  I will soon!  After I get my hair done.

Overall:  3 full size items and 2 deluxe sample items.  Not bad!  I really do love the bag this month and will be switching out one of my bags in my purse for this one!

Looking at what else was offered this month, I would have liked the Alterna CC Cream or the LeeAnni 3-in-1 Revolution Light. 

What did you get in your September Glam Bag?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Beauty Mail: September Glam Bag

Yay it's here! Two things I heart showed up in my mail, Nordy's catalog & my Glam Bag! Unboxing soon!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Julep Mask Noir

Do you mask weekly?  I have to honestly say that I don't and it shows.  While my skin is relatively clear, I do get clogged pores, blemishes and my complexion has been lacking luster.  These have been attributed to the "lack of" in my life...better diet, exercise and enough rest.  Self-care is important and I try to do when I can on a weekly basis.

I have had Julep's Mask Noir just waiting for me to use and finally got the chance to try it a couple times.  The Beeb has tried it and I am having my Soul Sista try it out too because its fun!

What the website says:

Peel to reveal brighter, softer skin.

What it is:
An antioxidant-rich peel-off black mask that leaves skin smoother, brighter, and deeply hydrated.

What it does:

  • Kaolin clay absorbs excess oil.
  • Hectorite (a derivative of black volcanic ash) lifts away pore-clogging debris and dead skin cells.
  • Julep's exclusive Power Cell Complex blends the benefits of three age-defying, skin-boosting, ultra hydrating ingredients.
    • Rosehip seed oil delivers essential nutrients to soothe and repair.
    • Malvaceae Lipid Extract improves barrier function so skin retains moisture.
    • Green coffee bean oil invigorates skin & promotes cell turnover.
To use:
Apply generously in an even layer to clean, dry skin.  Avoid eyes, eyebrows, hairline, and lips.  Leave on for 15-20 minutes or until completely dry. Gently peel mask from outer edges, chin to forehead.  Rinse off any residue with warm water.  Follow with your favorite skin care routine.  Use 1-2 times per week.

Here is the routine:
Started off by cleansing with my Clarisonic Mia2, then applied the mask.  It is super thick and sticky.  You have to work fast to get it applied.

I let it dry for over 20 minutes.
What was left after I peeled it off.  LOL at the soul patch.
I then followed up with my usual eye cream and moisturizer and mixed in some Fresh Seaberry Moisturizing Oil.

This was after the 2nd time trying the mask. Looking a little greazy, but my skin felt so good!

Cost: $32.00 ($26.50 Maven price)

-Easy to use
-Skin felt so soft after


Would I recommend this to a friend:  No.  For such a small amount, it is an expensive purchase.  There were mixed reviews on the website and most said they would recommend.  I would like to test out some other masks that are similar and revisit if they compare, maybe at a different price point.