Tuesday, March 29, 2011

February & March faves

I have really been in a shopping mood lately... so here are things I've acquired during the past 2 months (man, I can't believe March is nearly over!)

I took advantage of one of the awesome deals Zoya has been having lately. This one was for International Women's Day, where they offered their entire Intimate Collection for $25. These are truly some beautiful shades. I love it! I'm splitting it with a friend, don't know how we will split these shades up! :P

I'm currently wearing my favorite - Caitlin. It is kind of a charcoal blue color, that in some lighting actually looks more gray than blue.
Here is the entire collection: (from L to R, top to bottom)
Dannii, Gemma, Jules, Marley, Caitlin & Dove. So pretty!!!!
New Trident gum! this flavor is excellent and lasts for about 2 hours, not bad (even though I think it's advertised as lasting 8 hours.. who's jaw can last that long chewing, mine gets so tired!)
New beer! Magic Hat #9, "not quite pale ale."
Awesome summer beer, has apricot in it, very refreshing and perfect for the beach.
Yay! this is an awesome lip product by Urban Decay. It is the 24/7 glide-on lip pencil. I got the shade Midnight Cowboy, which is kind of a nude brownish pink. I just color in my whole lips and put lip balm on over it. This lasts pretty much all day even with eating and drinking. Really amazing.
Goody Spin Pins! I saw that they made mini ones so I had to get them. My hair is finally growing out but I definitely do not have enough to use the normal sized Goody pins in. These work perfectly and create the cutest little bun :) I also have learned that my bun will stay better (like all day) if I haven't washed my hair that morning.
Bath bombs at Whole Foods Market were on sale, so I decided to try a few since Lush is kind of a far drive from me. I picked up a eucalyptus + rosemary + mint, lavendar + chamomile, and Grapfruit + orange. I've only used the vanilla and chamomile one. It created a nice bath, my only complaint is that it took forever to dissolve.

These are awesome and perfect for summer. The new Covergirl Natureluxe tinted lip "gloss" balms were something that I have been meaning to try, so I got the hibiscus shade - very nice & pink :) and super moisturizing. I also wanted to try their new lipsticks via the recommendation from A, so I ventured out of my coral lip shades to get Spellbound, which is a bright fuschia color. Warning though, these lipsticks stain your lips very very badly. My lips were bright pink for an entire day afterwards!
I had to get something from the Sephora Hello Kitty collection, and settled with these cute nail stickers ($5). I haven't used them yet but I am really excited to!!! Tee-hee! :P
Love these shoes! Got these Guess wedge sandals at DSW for $40 (price originally $100). I will definitely be sporting these all summer. They give me about 4 1/2 inches of height and are very comfortable to walk in.


Sunday, March 27, 2011

making lunches again!

I have mostly been packing sandwiches for lunch.. yea, I have gotten pretty lazy about packing my lunches.. but I am going to try to start it up again! I'm getting really tired of sandwiches.. although I have to say that mine are pretty tasty, hehe.

I've been meaning to try quinoa for the longest time, and that is what I made for lunch this past week. I have to say that I am definitely a quinoa lover now, and can't wait to try other ways of eating it! The great thing about quinoa is that I can see how versatile it can be and it can be eaten hot or cold (perfect for packing lunches with), and is satisfyingly filling as well.
Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups quinoa (4 1/2 cups water to boil it), edamame, red onion, red pepper, carrots, jalapeno, sesame seeds, sesame oil, soy sauce, lime or lemon juice or rice wine vinegar

Basically, you soak the quinoa (and rinse thoroughly) for a good 5 minutes before boiling it. Boil for about 10-15 minutes until the grains become translucent. While it's boiling you can chop the veggies anyway you like. I used frozen shelled edamame so I just blanched them in some hot water, but all the rest of the veggies I left raw. The raw veggies I let it sit in the lemon juice until the quinoa was done, just to marinate those flavors together. When the quinoa is finished, stir in the seasonings (salt & pepper), soy sauce and sesame oil to your liking and mix in all the veggies as well. You can serve it right away with some avocado slices or what i did was refrigerate it portioned out to take to school for lunch for the rest of the week. This amount of quinoa made enough for 3 lunches.

I also made mini key lime pies!! In honor of π (pi) day (3/14) and St. Patrick's Day (lime = green!), I decided to make these delicious tiny desserts.
I looked at a lot of different recipes before deciding to go with the key lime recipe from Joe's Stone Crab Restaurant. One pie = 12 mini pies. For the crust, I had some leftover shredded coconut (about 1/4 cup) so I added that into the food processor with the graham crackers and OH MY GOODNESS it was the most delicious pie crust ever! The coconut added a nice texture to the crust nd it went perfectly with the key lime flavors. Because it was already sweetened, I didn't add any additional sugar into the crust. I made the pies in these disposable foil muffin pans i found at my grocery store and after refrigerating the pies popped out perfectly (forgot to take a photo of that though..).

If you see key limes at your grocery store, you MUST make these (and yes, it does make a difference to use key limes as opposed to normal limes)! The hardest thing about making these pies is to squeeze the juice from those tiny limes (which made me decide that I need to invest in a lime juicer), but everything is pretty much smooth sailing from there -- you just beat the egg yolk, lime juice and sweetened condensed milke together and bake! Oh and I guess if you don't have a food processor to make the graham cracker crumbs that would take longer for you. Man, I'm craving some more now...

Currently wearing Rage by Orly. SO SPARKLY! perfect for summer! This polish is so pigmented, one layer is enough. How crazy is that?


Friday, March 11, 2011

Caffeine caffeine caffeine!

Here is some stuff I've been drinking lately...

I got a stovetop espresso maker from IKEA, it's the 3-cup Radig and it cost $14.99. I don't own a coffee maker and I wanted to start making drinks at home to save money from starbucks. Since I usually get a Misto w/ 2% milk at Starbucks, which is like a cafe con leche.. I decided to go with an espresso maker. This stovetop one is really easy to use and works fine on my electric stove; it just takes a while to brew the expresson, about 10-15 minutes. The key is to leave it on medium-low heat because if you get impatient and turn the heat up too high, you'll get some grounds in your espresso and no one likes that!
Pilon espresso is what I am currently drinking - it is cuban espresso and very finely ground (which is a must for stovetop espresso makers! This espresso is really rich and I absolutely love it. Another type of cuban espresso that is good is by Cafe Bustelo (they serve that at my school). I just brew the espresso which usually fills half of my mug, and then I fill the rest with 2% milk. I store it in the freezer for maximum freshness!
I got some instant coffee as well, for those mornings that I don't have 15 minutes to spend brewing espresso.. I had a coupon (got it for $4.50) for these Starbucks Via ones so that is what I got! This actually tastes pretty good, you can barely tell that it is instant coffee.

I am also trying to cut back on my coffee intake (don't want to become dependent on it) so if it's later at night and I am losing focus, I turn to tea. Usually I drink green tea that my mom got from China, but I found this Blueberry Black Tea ($3.99 per bag) at the IKEA food store so I've been drinking that. This tea really has a wonderful blueberry flavor to it and I like to add pomegranate juice to it. It is great hot or iced. It's a loose tea so I usually brew a pot of it and the leftovers I stick in the fridge so I have iced tea for school the next day.
And.. for those nights when I need to sleep but am too stressed, this is what I drink. Kava tea is made from the kava plant, which has properties to slow your body down and relax you without compromising mental function. Alone, it tastes pretty nasty (like muddy water), but in this tea they added cinnamon, sarsaparilla, ginger, cardamom, stevia leaf and carob pod so it tastes really good. I don't add any honey or sugar to it and it tastes awesome.

Here are some new snacks I stumbled upon at the grocery store:
2 flavors of Nature Valley Granola Bars I never knew existed! I love these both SO much, they are so addicting. The chocolate is great when you have a sweet craving and the almond has a marzipan taste to it. YUM.
...Can you tell that I really love almonds? I saw this new ice cream flavor by Haagen Dazs, and just had to try it. This ice cream is really really really delicious - it is amaretto flavored ice cream with pieces of crunchy & chewy almond brittle in it. Truly heavenly. I enjoy it alone or in between 2 waffles (Ice cream waffle sandwiches are the BEST!).


Friday, March 4, 2011

Randoms from February

These are a collection of random things from the past month or so that I haven't gotten a chance to share with you all.. most are self explanatory, so enjoy the photos!

mm.. swedish meatballs at the IKEA cafe. deceptively filling.

New dish at Pei Wei Asian Diner - Korean BBQ beef with brown rice. I really enjoyed the salad they put on top; from what I can remember, it had julienned peppers and green apple, cilantro and scallions. The sauce on the meat was more on the sweet and tangy side.
Apparently this dish is limited time only so if you want to try it, go soon!

New Fro yo in my neighboorhood. Finally.

Tried this beer for the first time, and I have to say that I really enjoy it - for those Blue Moon lovers out there, this is for you! Really hits the spot after a tough day.

Temper Tantra


This is the bikini I got during this past semi-annual Victoria's Secret sale.
Ready for summer!