Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Roaming Around the tri-state Area

I may be the worst blogger/traveler in the world as I rarely ever take photos of the places I go.  It's easy to get caught up in what I'm doing and pass the little moments by.  This weekend I made a point of bringing my camera around and try not to miss the little things on the street or stopping and looking at the views around me.

While showing a friend around this weekend, I went around some of my favorite places in New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Here are moments from the weekend:

New York, New York
Washington Square, Union Square, Brooklyn Bridge

New Hope, Pennsylvania

Just an average day in New Hope

These are all places I grew up spending many hours just wandering and exploring, yet this is one of the first time I've taken pictures.   Sometimes it takes somebody who's not as familiar to point out that these are special places with moments worthy of being captured (thanks, Natalie!)  I like to think of it as a good exercise for my impending travels back to Europe!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Review: L'oreal Color Riche Extraordinaire Liquid Lipsticks

Ever since the YSL Glossy Stains made their appearance a couple year ago, it seems like every brand on the market is trying out their version of a hybrid gloss-stain-liquid lipstick.  L'oreal came out with a closer dupe to the YSL Glossy Stains with their Caresse Lip Stains earlier, but it seems that they now have a glossier, lip gloss version of them.

Spoiler alert: if you want an intensely pigmented, moisturizing, and long lasting gloss that feels cushiony for hours, the L'oreal Color Riche Extraordinaire Liquid Lipsticks are for you.

Keep reading for some swatches and thoughts!

Monday, June 16, 2014

A Baking Conundrum - Cinnamon Sticky Buns for Father's Day

There are few things more wonderful than the smell of butter mixed into dough, slowing baking in the oven until something golden brown and delicious becomes the final product.

On another note, today was Father's Day.

On a related note, among my dad's favorite foods are desserts.  More specifically, he loves all kinds of baked goods, especially anything with raisins.  

Now since I love baking, especially when the aforementioned magic of butter and dough take place, it leaves me in a difficult spot when I can't really tolerate wheat flour...or excess amounts of butter.  And sticky buns definitely use a lot of butter.

My solution?  Bake for a crowd that can tolerate my recipes so that I get all my baking urges out of the way.  There's something about kneading dough and the scent of cinnamon and sugar and butter mixing together to create a tantalizing aroma and just an overall comforting atmosphere. satisfy my need to bake and the need for some willing eaters, I tackled a sticky bun recipe for Father's Day.

Sticky buns aren't my own creation by any means, but after finding some recipes to reference, I set off on my own cinnamon and butter filled journey.

To see what I did, keep reading!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Voluntarily Putting Oil On My Face? Josie Maran's Argan Infinity Lip and Cheek Oil: A Review

A few months ago, a new lip and cheek product popped onto the Sephora website that I was immediately drawn to.  It is the Josie Maran Argan Infinity Lip and Cheek Creamy Oil ($18).

The fact that it said oil in the title was enough to have me running to my nearest Sephora to check it out.  When I swatched it, it had this amazing creamy texture that feels almost cushiony once applied.  If you've ever tried gel cheek statins, such as the Josie Maran Cheek Gelees, it almost reminds me of those products except a little more creamy.  I like that you can also use it on the lips, making it a great product to travel with.

I wanted to get a bright pink cream blush since all my current cream products are neutral pinky browns or corals, so Endless Guava was the shade that stood out to me.  It's a beautiful mid-tone pink that fills a nice gap in my current collection.

For an in depth review, keep reading!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Summer Clothes Update and a FOTD

I'm not one to buy new clothes very often - usually just one or two things here and there, but I really only go out with the intention of buying multiple things a few time a year.  Now that summer is here, it was time to update my closet with some essential I've been meaning to get.

Wandering through my usual stores - Forever 21, H&M, J. Crew - I found some good gems.  I also hit up Old Navy and Uniqlo and found more great items.  I really only bought bottoms - shorts, skirts, and dresses because I'm fairly satisfied with the tops in my collection

I didn't take a photo of everything as I haven't found the best lighting to take photos of it....but these things are so simple that I didn't take pictures of it all.

For the ones that did make it into the photo....

For all of who comment on my neutral clothing, here's some orange and purple for you ;)

For more of my picks and a recent FOTD, keep reading!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Reading List

I can't remember the last time I actually was able to start and finish a book for leisure.  For the past three year, all my free time for reading has been occupied by studying, or reading for class, or simply being too brain-dead to read any more. This has actually been the first summer since I entered college where I have had time to sit down and read.....and sitting down and reading has been exactly what I'm doing.  In the past month I have finished not just one but FOUR books, and I have a plans to finish many more on my reading list.

These are just a few books that have been on my radar lately, and I still plan on reading many more!

P.S. I Love You is my favorite rom-com movie, and I've actually read the book once before.  It is slightly different from the movie, but I still enjoy it for a relaxing read, especially when I'm on the beach!

The Alchemist is a book that I've been meaning to read for awhile now.  I borrowed it from a friend who told me it had changed her entire outlook on life, and I can that I thought about this book long after I read it.  It taught me that fate does not completely control us, and how to trust your heart.  Coelho also has a magical way of writing, and the entire book is beautiful to me.

I haven't actually read The Fault in Our Stars yet, but this is on my list for sure! I had to buy it just to be sure I had it when I travel.

I am a big fan of Elizabeth Gilbert (and fun fact, she actually lives a few miles away from my home town!), and I love her witty style of writing.  After reading Eat, Pray, Love a few years ago when I was going through a rough spot in my life, and it was completely inspirational and influential to me.  Committed, a book about Gilbert's commentaries on marriage and her own experience with it was a fascinating and informative read.  It provoked more of my own thoughts on marriage, as well.

I had the wonderful chance of attending a talk and meeting Amy Tan in March, and bought her new book, The Valley of Amazement, to read this summer.  It is a massive book, but I was unable to put it down as it told an enthralling tale of Chinese courtesan life, family, and love.

Finally, the most recent book I've read is Kitchen Confidential by the famous chef, Anthony Bourdain.  I know nothing about being a chef, but I can tell that after reading this, I have no desire to be one.  However, Bourdain's anecdotes are humorous and awe-inspiring.

These are the books that I currently have, but among the long list of books on my list include:
  • The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera
  • The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini
  • The Dinner, Herman Koch
  • The Lover, Marguerite Duras
  •  Death in Venice, Thomas Mann
  • I am Malala, Malala Yousafzai
  • Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov 
  • The Big Fat Surprise, Nina Teicholz
    ...and many many more, some of which are purely for academic interests and are probably only interesting to me...
Any books that I'm missing?  Have you read any of thee books?  Let me know!