Thursday, December 26, 2013

Leaving cookies out for Santa....

Christmas time = Christmas cookies.  Nothing gets me in the mood for baking like the holiday season does. It fills the house up with a tantalizing scent of butter and sugar, and as we all know, food brings the family together. 

Even while trying to eat clean, I took a liiitle break and took a few more liberties than normal.  Those that know me well know I almost never use butter, sugar, or flour in my baking.  This week I used all three.  What a shocker, right?  In addition to the traditional shortbread cookies that are oh so classic for Christmas, I decided to feed my addiction of peanut butter by making peanut butter cookies. 

I messed around with a few different recipes, and am extremely happy with how they came out.  They were dad AND brother approved.  It's a pretty basic peanut butter cookie recipe and absolutely loved it.  

I tried snapping some pictures while baking and afterwards, but the lighting was pretty dismal wherever I went.  I did my best though..

A warm plate of cookies for Santa!

Click after the jump to see what I did!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

December Empties

The end of December (and the end of the year) has completely snuck up on me with the craziness of finals and the holidays.  I haven't even had much time to browse around my favorite blogs...yet somehow I've managed to do some serious online shopping.  While another fashion post is in the midst, today I bring to you a satisfying post to write.  

Empties.  I always love writing and reading these because it's a fantastic way to show what products I have liked to actually completely finish using, as well as proof that I am actually using the products I own!  With as much makeup as all us beauty junkies have, using up products is a testament to a good stash rotation ;)

Since I took these photos about a week ago, I had a batch of products that were *almost* done, but I added them in anyway because I didn't want to hold on to them for much longer.

Missing from this picture: another bottle of my Clinique Acne Solutions Toner!  I use this stuff up every few months.

For my skincare and body products, I am actually surprised I managed to use up to bottles of body lotion within 4 months of my previous empties post.  I love the Pacifica body butters, and will definitely be purchasing them again in the future!  I also finally used up the Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil, that I wish I still had since it  is still the most effective product for taking off all my makeup with one step.  I'm lazy to order online, especially since more beauty brands are coming out with cleansing oils, but I may be tempted to order this again if I don't find an adequate replacement!  The Suave Everlasting Sunshine Body Wash was pretty good if nothing too special for me.  I loved the fresh floral smell of this the most, but it didn't linger or moisturize my skin to well.  Lastly, I am so so so happy I finished the tiny sample of the Kenzo Flower Perfume.  I know some people love this, but I could not stomach this smell at all.  It's a powdery floral scent, but it is WAY too powdery for me to the point that it was nauseating.  I barely even used this before it actually spilled in one of my bags....making my entire bag smell like this.  Not. Good. :(

I finished up a good amount of makeup products, and as you'll see below, there will be even more in just a few weeks! (days at this point..)  I have 3 lip balms to cross off the list, starting with the Revive side of the Blistex lipbalm duo.  I did not like this nearly as much as the Restore side (which I used up awhile back) since I did not feel that it was nearly as moisturizing, but it isn't the worst balm I've ever tried.  I also used up the Jack Black Grapefruit SPF25 lip balm.  I completely fell into the hype of this and understood why everyone is singing its praises.  I absolutely love this, and will be buying this again when I go through some of my other balms!  And finally, after losing it and then refinding it again this year, I was finally able to finish the Neutrogena Naturals Lip balm.  I don't hear many people talking about this balm, but actually found that it was insanely moisturizing for me.  I used it more at night since it doesn't have SPF, so I will also be buying this in addition to the Jack Black lip balms.

The two little samples on the right side are the now discontinued Smashbox Tinted Moisturizer and the Tarte Recreate Silicone Free Primer.  The tinted moisturizer wasn't anything too was sheer and light, but didn't have any effects that I noticed.  Similarly, while the Tarte primer kept my makeup kept my makeup lasting a littttle bit longer, I didn't find that it did much to help my pores.  I'm glad these are finally out of the way, though!

 The makeup products I finished this time around were a long time coming.  I definitely enjoyed the Maybelline Fit Me Concealer, which seemed never-ending (in a good way!).  It was great for concealing my dark circles, and even acted double duty to help conceal my blemishes.  Again, I have some other concealers to go through, but I will consider buying this in the future.  The Covergirl Lash Exact Waterproof mascara is a good everyay, defining mascara, but I personally like a little bit of drama to my lashes.  It was good for days that I just needed to throw on mascara since it never clumped, but I still prefer my Maybelline Falsies.  Next, I finished up a mini size of the Stila All-Over Luminizer in Kitten.  It was great for traveling and adding a beautiful glow to my skin, since I prefer liquid highlighters to powder highlighters.  I bought this in a trio with the Bronze and Rose Gold shade awhile back, and look forward to using those as well!  In a valiant effort to use up my eyeliners, I finally (finally!) used up the L'oreal Extra Intense Liquid Eye Pencil in Black.  Now, this was never-ending.  It was a great eyeliner in terms of its intensity and creaminess, but it just seemed like I had this forever. I actually prefer the Milani Liquid Eyeliner Pencil since it is even darker than the L'oreal version.  Lastly, I am just about done with the Milani Radiant Bronzer. I'm not even sure if they sell this anymore, but this was a great bronzer for its matte, but not flat finish and a bronzey glow that warmed up my face well.

Finally, here are some products that are just about finished, but aren't quite there yet.  I imagine that by the end of the month (yikes...4 days!), they will be done.

Starting from the left, I have the Revlon Colorstay Foundation in Warm Golden..which I have had for an embarrassingly long time.  Let's just say that although I love this foundation to death, I'm glad I'm finally finishing this bottle.  Next, the Clinique Take the Day Off Balm has lasted me just about a year, doing its faithful duty of shedding off all my makeup at the end of the day.  Although the Shu Uemura oil was more effective, the fact that the Clinique one was a balm made it much more convenient for all the traveling I did this past year. Since its also easier to acquire, I'm more likely to repurchase this. Now I have a lipstick (?!?!) and even a blush (?!?!...cream, but still).  The Maybelline Moisture Extreme Nude Blush lipstick has been long discontinued, and I was so devastated that I stopped using it for about a year.  Now that I think I have enough dupes (not exact, but close..), I had the heart to pull this out again.  I'm just about near the end of it, and although I'm sad to see it go, I'm glad to clear out this lipstick and use my newer ones.  And the unicorn of all makeup empties.  How often do I use up blushes?  Never.  But since I use pretty much the same cream blush everyday under my powder blushes, they go a lot quicker.  This Topshop Cream Blush in Nutmeg was the perfect everyday soft pink cream blush.  It was pigmented, glided on well, and lasted for a decently long time.  I know this shade doesn't exist anymore, but I will be checking out their other shades whenever I get the chance!

I'm certainly happy with the amount of makeup products I finished, but hopefully I will have even more next time to clear out some of my older products!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Review and Swatches: A Few of My Favorite Things - this Too Faced Palette for Holiday 2013 is one of them

The holiday offerings from Too Faced always draw me in with their gorgeous packaging, shade selection, and the simple fact that they are always palettes, and I love palettes.  They are a total weakness of mine, and I should know by now that I will always be suckered in, despite how many palettes I already have.

This time I absolutely could not resist.  With the perfect balance of neutrals (because a girl can never have too many neutrals) and some color to spice up my look.  What I like most about the shade selection is that the colors aren’t too bright.  While they will most certainly add something to my look, all of these shades are still in my comfort zone.  That, none of these are BAM out there shades, but are subtle attempts to be “fun” for people like me.

This has already been pretty extensively reviewed, so I’ll try to keep it short.

Look after the jump to see a detailed review and lots of swatches!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Hauling All the Way to the Holidays

Its that time of year again....the time of year that my bank account starts to suffer and weep because of all the beauty deals floating around, namely, the Sephora deals.  It's the only time of year they offer a 20% off discount, causing mass hysteria and panic to buy the most coveted limited edition palettes before they sell out.  In recent years, they've limited the sale to VIB members only, but if you're a beauty crazed addict like me, spending $350 is no big deal.  Plus, I justify it by spending about half that money on skincare, which is absolutely essential and more important than any cosmetic product.

After much planning, I've managed to stock up on skincare and scare some of the holiday offerings at Sephora.  Among the most popular items this year were the Hourglass Ambient Light Palette, Laura Mercier Artist's Palette, and the NARS One Night Stand Blush Palette.

I bought the Hourglass Ambient Light Palette when it first came out, and I'm glad I did because it ended up selling out almost immediately once the VIB sale started.  But for the actual VIB sale, here's what I ordered:

I had originally wanted the Laura Mercier Artist's Palette, but wasn't able to catch it in time, but I think I may like the Too Faced A Few of My Favorite Things Palette better.  Stay tuned for a review coming up very soon!

 Read after the jump to see some more products I've been acquiring lately...

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Hang in There!

Once again, I'm sorry for disappearing for so long!  School and work has the habit of getting in the way.

Please stay tuned for some good stuff!
More specifically, bear with me as I prepare to torture you with what I've acquired from the Sephora VIB Sale, as well as some other products I've picked up (and have been loving) recently.

For the mean time, here are some random things that I have been up to:
Exploring downtown DC on a perfect fall day
The sunset over Georgetown - I love coming down here to collect my thoughts!
Just a few street signs I stumble upon in DC...

Exploring the Dupont Circle farmers market means finding amazing empanadas!

As for music, I have been ABSOLUTELY obsessed with Ellie Goulding.  I mean, I've always liked her, but for some reason I can't stop listening to her recently.
Have you seen the video for the Bassnectar remix of Lights? I can't stop staring.....

 Stay tuned, and thank you for being so patient!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

October Shop Your Stash

Even though this Shop Your Stash is being posted when my favorites should be posted, I figured this would still be a good time to show you some of the things I've been using, even if they don't make my favorites list for the month. A lot of these products are part of my transition to fall makeup, meaning berry tones, muted roses.

 Want to see more?  Click after the jump for swatches!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Updates and changes...A whole lot of random!

While I'm on a short break from school,I thought I'd take the time to catch up on some recent beauty, food, and life updates. My life has been a whirlwind of school and work, and while I love it, it's incredibly draining and challenging. Must of the week my schedule is packed from 7am to 8pm, and by the time the weekend arrives, all I can think about doing is sleeping.

I've made a couple small changes to this blog, mostly just some formatting and adding a new header and footer.  They're some small changes, but I like the extra details they add.  Let me know what you think of them!  

If you've been following my Instagram, you would still see any food pictures that I have, but my cooking experiments have also been drastically reduced. Although it's been ages since I've made anything noteworthy, here are still a few updates of what I've been up to recently....

Some baked pumpkin spice oatmeal:

It was ridiculously simple, following this recipe from  It was a great breakfast/snack/dessert, and I loved pairing it with some peanut butter, as well!  I may try this with quinoa in the future just to mix things up a bit.

Going home for a weekend now seems like much more of a luxury than it did before.  I can relax, use my parent's (large!) kitchen, watch TV, and forget about school for just a little bit.  However, I think I might like the FOOD the best of all! There's nothing like having a fully stocked pantry and refrigerator to play around in.  Trying to figure out what to do with a gigantic head of cauliflower, I decided to try out some cauliflower crust pizza, with homemade tomato sauce (my first ever!) and sausage, mushrooms, spinach, and mozzerella cheese on top.

It was pretty successful, except I don't think I let the crust bake enough, and the sauce could have used another 20 minutes of simmering to become thicker.  However, it tasted JUST like a real pizza, only without all the carbs!  The only downside was that this took my a better part of the afternoon to prepare the sauce and the cauliflower.  It turns out that wringing moisture out from pulverized cauliflower takes a lot longer than I thought...

Read after the jump to see more pictures and other happenings in my life

Friday, October 4, 2013

Long Time No Talk and some September Favorites

That moment when life starts up again and it seems that I have no time to sit down and relax..I've become so busy that I've even had to hold off on reading blogs, which I used to do every spare moment I had!  My cooking and experimenting has also diminished down to the easiest thing that I can cook.  I'm finally taking a break from studying and working to update you all on some of my favorite products of the month.

There were some victories this month as I found a routine that really worked for me, but that also means that my experimenting has decreased. I've already had a few mornings where I've been rushing and had to grab my "standby" products that I know work well together. That being said, I was still able to find some new favorites in my stash.  Although I did have a "Shop Your Stash" planned, I failed big time at using a lot of the products, meaning that I'm going to repeat whatever I didn't use for October. Hopefully I will have the time to post those products as well as some new products that I will be using!

Without further ado...

I don't have too many favorites, but they definitely were well-loved this month!  Some of these are recurring favorites, or some favorite standby, emergency products, but I needed (and wanted) to use these items more than usual!

The first is MAC Fleur Power.  This has to be my all-time HG blush.  It was one of the first blushes I ever purchased from MAC, and despite using it fairly often, I still have not hit pan on it.  It's a beautiful, intensely pigmented pink-coral blush that automatically brightens up my face.  I've used it almost everyday this month, mainly because it seems to go with everything I wear.  If you don't have this yet, I highly recommend checking it out!

The Kiko Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadow in 05 Rosy Brown is a repeat favorite of mine since I featured it over the summer, but I got a lot of use out of it this month for those days that I needed to throw on some quick eyeshadow.  It glides on so easily and gives me the perfect neutral smokey eye.  I also love that it's in a stick form so I don't even need any brushes to apply it!  

I have officially fallen in love with the Stila Smudgestick Eye Liners, especially the shade Lionfish, a great chocolate-bronze shade with some subtle shimmer.  It lasts exceptionally well on my oily skin that seems to eat most eyeliners.  The shade is also that perfect bronze shade that is dark enough to subtly define, while light enough to look natural.

The Neutrogena Naturals Lip Balm has been a standout for me.  I bought this awhile ago and lost it before I was able to use it a lot.  I found it in the bottomless pit tin one of my purses recently and have used it daily ever since.  It's moisturizing enough to use at night and has the perfect creamy, but not too greasy consistency.

Now that the weather is starting to get a little cooler, it's time to bring out my hand cremes again!  I recently purchased the L'occitane Cherry Blossom Hand Creme, and I finally see what all the buzz over these hand cremes is all about.  It's light and it absorbs quickly, but it still gives me hydration.  The smell of this is also absolutely divine.   It's not too cloying but it lingers enough so that I will get slight whiffs of this.  It's perfect for fall, but I sense that it may be a little too light once winter comes around, but I certainly will be enjoying this.

Lipsticks were a big product this month, mostly because it's so much easier to grab a lipstick in the morning to look put together rather than creating an elaborate eye look.  I recently rediscovered the Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Blushing Mauve, and it is the perfect fall transition color.  It has slight hints of both pink and berry, and it makes me look put together without having to use a bright lip color.

The Revlon Colorburst Lip Stick in Rosy Nude was definitely my most used lip color this month.  It's a great MLBB lipstick to just thrown on in the morning, but it does a great job of brightening my face.  The formula is also great as I can build it up or just leave it sheer.  

I have been getting into matte lip colors again, leading me to pull out the Wet n' Wild Mega Stay Lipstick in 912C.  This too is a MLBB, but I think the matte finish of this makes it a little different.  I love pairing this with some heavy winged liner since for some reason it reminds me of a 60's Brigitte Bardot look.  The formula on these lipsticks also can't be beat - they're opaque and long-lasting without being drying.

The next product is the Milani HD Lip Color in Ignition - Although I think this is discontinued now (sorry!), this was the perfect lip color to brighten up my face.  I loved using especially when I couldn't find a lip balm in my bag, but still wanted something moisturizing.  This is a great glossy, sheer lipstick that did not dry out my lips!

Even though fall has descended upon us, my residual tan means that my skin is not light enough for my fall/winter highlighters yet so I am still wearing many of my bronzy peachy highlighters, including yes, my beloved MAC Refined MSF. However, this month, I've been reaching for Benefit Sunbeam much more because its liquid consistency gives me a more natural and dewy glow, while just adding that slight bit of moisture that I need now that is a little cooler.  I love that it isn't the typical pearly highlighter - it has a bronze/peach tint to it that gives me a beautiful golden glow.

Here are some swatches of the products:

Milani HD Lipstick in Ignition, WNW 912C, Revlon Colorburst Rosy Glow, Revlon Blushing Mauve, Stila Lionfish, Kiko 05, Benefit Sun Beam, MAC Fleur Power

I didn't realize how similar all the lipsticks were....oops!

With the change in season changes in my schedule, I can't wait to change up my look and start using berry and red lipsticks again!  I think my phase with colorful eye makeup is over, but I'm ready for vampy lips.

What are some changes that you are making for the fall?  Let me know!  Otherwise, let's hope that this time I'll take out some time to breathe and relax...

Monday, September 2, 2013

Some new things....

Just a quick little post to update you on a couple new things I picked up...
I've been so busy with school and moving into a new apartment that my makeup experimenting and blogging has been put on hold!  

Don't worry though, I have quite a few posts planned which I will soon as I get the mountain of work that I have under control.

I noticed that MAC was having a sale on their empty palettes and pro pans, so I just had to pick up a couple things that have been on my wishlist for forever.

I believe the single pro palette is usually $18, and they have it online right now for $8, so I definitely had to snag that as I'm running out of space in my old palette.

Their pro pans, which are usually $12, are also now $10.
I bought two eyeshadows that have been on my wishlist for FOREVER-
Ricepaper and Greensmoke.
They are definitely shades that almost every MAC lover probably has, but I have just gotten around to them. 

I may actually make another order soon, but my current obsessions with stocking my pantry with weird and unusual foods has taken over my life...

Until later, lovelies!

Friday, August 23, 2013

New (food) Obsession: Cinnamon Toasted Almonds

It is a widely known fact that I am obsessed with almonds and all almond products, so when I started experimenting with toasting almonds, I went into almond heaven.

I toasted almonds in cinnamon and honey and I've already eaten a ton of them, as seen in the almost half empty jar above.  They aren't as sugary and heavy as the candied almonds you might buy, yet they pack some great flavor and sweetness, and it's a super easy recipe to top it all off!  The hardest part by far was waiting for them to cool down before I ate all of them. ;)

 Here's what I used:

2 c. raw almonds
2 T. honey or agave nectar
1 T. olive oil (make sure it's regular, not extra virgin, or just use canola oil, or even coconut oil)
1 T. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 F.  In a large bowl, pour honey, oil, and cinnamon.  Mix well, then add almonds.  Mix until all the almonds are evenly coated, and then pour into either a cooking ceramic/glass dish, or straight onto a flat baking pan.

Bake for 10-12 minutes.  After 6 minutes, toss the almonds to make sure they are evenly toasted.  At this time, I usually add more cinnamon to add on some extra flavor, but if you want your almonds to be more mild tasting, feel free to skip this step!  Let the almonds cool about 20 minutes since they will be soft initially after baking.  Enjoy.  Try not to eat the whole batch.

The perfect breakfast, snack, or topping on salads and yogurts! 

Excuse me while I go grab another handful, and think of new ingredients to toast my almonds in....

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Some More Food to Show Off! Smoothies, Stir-fry, breads, and Spaghetti Squash Galore

 Although I seem to be cooking all the time now, I now need to work on taking actual, aesthetically pleasing pictures before I devour all of it.  This seems to be a serious issue for me, but it just shows my impatience to eat all the time.  For now, you'll have to deal with some hastily snapped pictures, but now my new goal is to improve my food photos!

 Keep reading to follow my food adventures!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

It's Empties Time Again...

It's that time again! 

I've finished another round of products so of course I have to share everything I used up and what I though of them.

Read on to see what I thought of these products!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Shop Your Stash: August Edition and some FOTD

With a new month comes a whole new round of the Shop Your Stash project with new rediscovered products to try!  As I've mentioned before, I like doing this to really go through items in my collection I might have not used in awhile and to find new ways to use them.  After two months of doing this, I can say that it's going well and I'm definitely finding new products in my collection that I've forgotten about.

For those new to my blog, the Shop Your Stash project has a couple guidelines:
  • I pick 20 - 25 face, eye, and lip products that I want to use more often in the month
  • I have to use each product at least two times in the month

Without further ado, here are this month's selections!

Keep reading to see more details and swatches of all of the products!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Product Favorites: July

Being in a cold climate for the better part of the year had me totally unprepared for this summer.  When it hit 90 and above, I was seriously pulling out all the stops to make sure my makeup lasted throughout the day.

However, one benefit of having such hot weather is that I also want to wear colorful makeup to match the gorgeous weather.  

Keep reading to see my favorite products of the month!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Some Recent Food Love

If any of you follow me on Instagram at steph_peng, then you would see all my food posts.  And there are a lot of them.

First up is this green smoothie I made last week or so.  I don't remember the exact proportions I used, but the ingredients were  almond milk, spinach, mango, banana, half a cucumber, and hemp seeds with a sprinkle of cinnamon over the top.  It's wonderfully delicious and refreshing that satisfies my sweet cravings without being too sweet!

Keep reading to see a whole explosion of food posts!

More new pretties to love....

Does is always seem like when your life gets busy, everything happens at once, and nothing seems to be evenly spread out?  That's what happened recently - for the better part of this summer I've been feeling like nothing much has been happening, and recently, I've been so busy I haven't even been able to properly sit down and relax until today.

This haul is long overdue as I bought some of these things over a month ago, but..better late than never, right?

I was a bad girl and went shopping. again. As much as I tell myself that I don't need more makeup, I always fall for just one more lipstick..or eyeliner.  Since my lipstick collection is now pretty complete, I went into Sephora to fill any holes I had in my eyeliner collection..and walked out with this:

I've wanted to try the Stila eyeliners since they came out, and I just had to have this set.  I have never seen the Kat von D eyeliner, but once I swatched it, I was in complete love.  I've never really been interested in eyeliner, but something about that day just had me thinking I need more eyeliners.  No, I really don't.

Read on to see some swatches and more products I couldn't resist!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Food, food, food, and more food! And a BRIGHT FOTD! (for me, at least)

I seem to go in phases of cooking and not cooking, but a low stock of food in my fridge has had me back in the kitchen.  I know everyone says this, but there's something therapeutic about cooking and mixing ingredients together until you get that perfect flavor. I apologize for the blurry pictures, but I was trying to snap these quickly before they were devoured..

A quinoa, black bean, corn, and pepper salad with basil
Sauteed chicken with greed pepper and jalapenos

Keep reading to see how it all turned out, and how I pushed my comfort zone with some green shadow!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Another collection of FOTD's

I seem to be failing at putting up my faces of the day, but here they are from the past week!

Click for the products used and tons more looks!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Shop Your Stash Project: July

I have to say, I'm really liking my Shop Your Stash Project idea.  It's encouraging me to not only use products that I either haven't used in awhile or products that haven't been used much at all, but it's also pushing me to be more experimental and creative with my makeup rather than just blindly reaching or the Naked palette or my other neutral shadows.

As a refresher, here's what the whole "Shop Your Stash Project" is all about:
  • I pick 20 - 25 face, eye, and lip products that I want to use more often in the month
  • I have to use each product at least two times in the month
That's it.  Pretty simple.  If you want to see  the products I chose for June, check it out here!  There were some products that made it into my everyday rotation and that I absolutely LOVE (holler at the ELF Giddy Gold Highlighter and the Vincent Longo Lip and Cheek Gel Stain), and there were products that I really had make an effort to integrate into my routine, such as the Alverde Liquid Eyeliner, and MAC Orange Tempura lipgloss.  But all in all, I was happy about the "new" things I had to use from day to day.

This month, I have a whole new bunch of products to use, 22 items, to be exact.

Here they are in all their glory:

Keep reading to see exactly what these products are and swatches!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Faces of the Day: A Compilation of Looks

Once again, I have fallen behind on my postings.  I like keeping a collection of the looks I do just to see how my tastes change, the products I use, and for inspiration.

Without any babbling this time, here are the most recent faces I've done recently:

Keep reading to see breakdowns and more looks!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Product Favorites: June

I promise that eventually, I'll get these up on time and at the end of the actual month, but for now, my busy little life (aka applying for jobs) is pushing back the monthly posts that I want to do!

But, the monthly favorites are finally here, and although there aren't many products this month, these products were really loved this month.

Keep reading to find out why I liked these products so much! 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Smoothies Continue! SOTD

 So I'm happy to report that my life is actually not over and I am making smoothies without a Vitamix.  Sure, I can't blend in ice or anything too crazy, but I'm making everything I need.

Here is the easiest and most basic smoothie possibly known to man while being so delicious at the same time...even though I forgot to take pictures of all the ingredients.

 Ingredients needed (aka ingredients found in almost everyone's fridge):

1/2 banana
1 c. original almond milk
1 1/2 c. spinach
1/4 c. 0% Greek yogurt
1 T. almond butter
1 T. hemp seeds

The result?  Sweet and perfectly creamy. The best possible refreshing smoothie after a trail run in 90 degree heat.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

A Few New Fashion Items to Love

Despite being obsessed with fashion and beauty, most of my shopping consists of makeup items, not fashion items.  When I go shopping I may pick up one or two things, but there are only a few times a year when I actually buy multiple things from multiple stores.  This is one of those times.

I have been really impressed with Forever 21's activewear line recently, and I could not resist these two items.  I loved the strapping on the sports bra, and I have been looking for a new pair of workout pants for the longest time.  I have worn these two already and love how they performed.  I'm also obsessed with this chartreuse green color! I can't remember how much they were but they were both between $12.50 and $15.50.

I then wandered into Cotton On, which I had seen a lot of while I was in Europe, but never actually shopped at.  I was completely surprised by its low prices and basic, but still trendy items (aka totally up my alley).  The two floral shorts were on sale for $10 each, and the skirts were 2 for $15, even though the black skirt alone was $14.50.   

Now about these black pants...these are pants I saw on people all the time in Europe, and not very often on people here.  They're a loose baggy pant that has thinner material than sweatpants (but just as comfy) and have a band by the ankle.  They're on the border of looking like pajamas.  But they're not.  I did curse myself on having huge thighs and ankles because these pants are in XL, while the skirts are size S.  Go figure...

Once I got back to DC, it only seemed fitting that I start everything off with some shopping.  But with a bank account being dangerously low, I had to limit myself.  Enter Buffalo Exchange.  I could easily spend hours in there going through racks of trendy, but second hand items, yet I only managed to leave with two items - the blue button down shirt from Gap, and the cropped pyramid cropped T-shirt from Forever 21.

I also obviously am attracted to neon pink, evidenced by the pink v-neck from GAP, and my new neon pink belt from H&M, which I managed to snag for $1.50 on clearance.  Score!   I blame my neon pink obsession on the fact that I've mostly exhausted my neon coral obsession...

This next item.  Oh my gosh.  I'm in love.  It is a beautiful 3/4 lengths shirt from H&M with the most beautiful embroidered detailing and a scalloped hem.  There are no words to describe this.

I was breathless when I saw this, and for $10, there was no way that this wasn't coming home with me.

Well, who knows how long it'll be before I buy more clothing items.  In the meantime, I'll be occupying myself with new makeup pretties, as usual ;)

Friday, July 5, 2013

Review: Vincent Longo Water Canvas Foundation

I used to never wear foundation, but it seems that this year I have been on quite a foundation kick. Introducing, the Vincent Longo Water Canvas Foundation ($57).

Cost: $57
Availability: and

Keep reading to see my thoughts and how it applies on my face!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A Haul Long Forgotten

Back when I was in Germany, I did some European makeup hauling that somehow never made it onto my blog.  I tried not to spend too much money on makeup, but I couldn't resist picking up a few things, mainly from Kiko and Art Deco.  I've already used and shown quite a few of these products, but never got around to reviewing them.  This month, I will definitely be taking these products out to get reviews up!

Here is all the damage!  I'm happy to say I've been loving ALL of these!

Read on to see more detailed pictures, swatches and more!

Empties Post #2

Do you ever have those days when nothing seems to go right?  You wake up and everything just feels wrong, your plans don't go right, you don't get things done when you want to, and everything seems to go wrong at the same time?  

I think I can safely say that I had the worst start to the week ever.  I moved back to DC all excited to start looking for jobs and doing my own thing, until I left my wallet on a bus.  THANK GOD I found it, but it was the most stressful two hours of waiting for the bus to come back to the same stop. Can you believe that there is no way for the people working at the metro center to communicate with the bus drivers, meaning I had to hope for the best that someone turned in my wallet.  Needless to say, I have a little more hope for humanity when my wallet was indeed, turned in with all my cards and cash intact!

On top of that, my phone somehow completely died yesterday.  Although I had planned to get a new phone soon anyway, I had wanted to keep this phone intact for when I went back abroad since it's unlocked.

This all contributed to my inability to get things done (i.e. my online classes and much needed grocery shopping) and messing up some serious plans.  This morning, I woke up determined to start getting into a normal routine and get things done.  I'm happy to say I got a new phone (and resisted against the iPhone again and got the new Samsung Galaxy S4), got my groceries, and got some job applications....with a little bit of retail therapy to get over the stress of the past few days (but that's for another post!).  

The past couple months I've been working on finishing more products - I have a good amount to show, but I'm near the end of many products right now so my next post will be much more exciting!

 Keep reading to see what I thought of these products and if I would buy them again!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Review - Vincent Longo Lip and Cheek Gel Stain: Keeping It Fresh and Light for Summer!

Once it starts getting really warm around here (aka real summer), I have to start being a little more tactical about my makeup.  I can't just throw on any old product and expect it to last throughout the day, so my most long-wearing and fuss-free makeup comes out to play during this time. 

Although a post is coming up featuring some summer/hot weather essentials, I wanted to dedicate this post to the Vincent Longo Lip and Cheek Gel Stain in My Sunshine.

Keep reading to see my thoughts on it and how I like to wear it!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Catching up FOTD (again) and One Last Smoothie

This past week was a whirlwind of trying to finish my final for my online class and packing to move back to DC.  Just these two have left me with barely enough time to do anything else, but things should be calming down soon.

Now that I'm leaving home, I won't have my VitaMix, so my smoothie making will have to become more simple and basic, but I managed to make one last smoothie:

Keep reading to see my most recent FOTD and what I used for this cleansing smoothie!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

SOTD and some unusual combinations

I know you all want to know what's in this:

I didn't have any bananas around so I modified it a little bit, and the result was a great protein packed post-workout smoothie.

You're probably also wondering what silver looks like over brown, and what teal glitter looks like over pink lipstick.

Read on to see what I managed to do! 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Travel Makeup All-Stars

I hate being in one place in too long.  More specifically, I want to be everywhere.  I love traveling, whether it's a two hour drive to another state or across the world.  But this means that I'm always unpacking and repacking, and I don't think I'm actually ever fully unpacked.  I still haven't unpacked from when I moved out from my college room in December, and I'm beginning to pack to move into an apartment next week!  

However, for my vacations and weekend trips,  I always have a pretty good idea of what makeup I bring with me.  Every trip needs slightly different makeup depending on if I'll be in a city, on a beach, or in the mountains, but I always have some necessities.

Since I was going to Maine this time, I knew I would be spending a lot of time outdoors doing something active (biking all day, everyday!), while strolling through town after going to dinner.  This meant I could pair down all the products I brought to the essentials.  I usually end up bringing a huge makeup bag, so it was refreshing to just bring a little actual travel-size bag this time!

A lot of these products are products you see me using in my everyday FOTD's, and they are my favorites, so of course they would make it into my travel bag!  It's also why you see a massive amount of pan in these..

Keep reading to see why these made the cut >>

Sunday, June 16, 2013

SOTD and no-bake energy bites (aka peanut butter heaven)

I'm now happily in Maine, where I've gone for vacation countless times.  It's the first vacation I ever remember going on, and I used to come here every year until I became too busy in high school.  We started coming here again last year, and I am glad to be back at my favorite vacation spot. 

But, before we came, I had to prep lots of food for healthy snacks for the road trip up an hiking.  I started out with this to get my day started:

Continue reading to see what I used and other food noms..