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Posted in Beauty, Blog, Food, Life, Lifestyle

In the Kitchen: Spaghetti with Clams

Mmm carbs =)!  My boyfriend and I have been dabbling with cooking dinner together lately, and I thought I’d blog some of the dishes we’ve been making.

A couple weeks ago, I was having a serious craving for spaghetti and clams, and as I had the day off, I decided to stop by the market to pick up all the ingredients and have it ready for us to cook when he got home from work.

The Ingredients We Used

  • 1 lb of spaghetti
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 shallots
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 2 and 1/2 lb of clams
  • 1/2 cup white cooking wine
  • 2 tbsps unsalted butter
  • Parsley

The Boiling, Chopping, Stirring, and Cooking Process

Photo Jun 08, 5 50 31 PM (1)

First, we filled a large pot with water and placed the 1 lb of spaghetti in the pot to cook.  We added a couple pinchs of salt for flavoring.  You can eyeball the amount of water and salt, exact measurements are not needed.

Periodically check on your spaghetti.  Everyone has different preferences for how hard or soft they want their spaghetti to be, so simply turn off the stove when the spaghetti is to your liking.

In a separate pan, we heated 1/2 a cup of extra virgin olive oil.  To that we added the shallots and garlic. After a few minutes, we added the clams, 2 tablespoons of butter, and sprinkled some chopped parsley on top.    As I am not a seafood expert, I didn’t bother to pay attention to the type of clams I was buying.  I went up to the seafood counter, saw only one type of clams available, and asked for 2 and 1/2 lbs, and they worked out just fine.  For the parsley, you can add however much you like.  Again, exact measurements are not needed.  For the butter, I bought sticks of butter, which were hard from being refrigerated, so we just microwaved it for about 30 seconds or so to melt it a bit and make it easier to mix with the wine sauce.

Once all the clams opened, we poured the pan with all the goodies into the pot and mixed everything together to make the final concoction.

The Final Dish

Voilaaaa!

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Like our hedgehog salt and pepper shakers? =)

Hope this inspires you to get in the kitchen if you’ve been thinking about doing some cooking.  We had a great time making and it was pretty easy to do.  Let me know in the comments down below if you’ve ever made spaghetti and clams!

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Thanks for reading!

Posted in Beauty, Blog, Fashion, Lifestyle, Makeup

Wedding Bells: What I Wore

A little under two weeks ago, my sister got married, and I thought I’d share some pictures with you – the dress I wore, the shoes, the hair, all that good stuff…

We started the day off at the bride’s family’s house for a traditional house ceremony.  We had a floral archway in the front yard where we took turns posing for pictures with the bride.  My boyfriend and I blew up two life-size (well, life-size compared to me 😉 ) bride and groom balloons to flank either side of the archway.  That’s me in the green dress standing on the lawn!

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My sister and I went to the hair salon bright and early that morning at 7 AM to have our hair done.  My hairdresser couldn’t help but comment every 10 minutes how much hair I had.  It took 36 bobby pins to whip all my hair into this bun.  I had a Mia Thermopolis moment at the hair salon when he was struggling to wrap a hair elastic around my massive head of hair and the elastic just snapped.

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After the house ceremony, we all loaded into our cars and drove to our local church for the wedding ceremony.

The bride and groom rode in style:

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Here’s a closeup of the dress I wore as maid of honor.  If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that this dress was part of an ASOS haul I did back in March .  In that haul, I was actually debating returning this dress for a number of reasons, but after trying it on one more time, I ended up deciding to keep the dress.

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A quick peek inside the church…

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Last but not least: the reception.  The reception was a rustic themed, outdoor reception in a gazebo surrounded by water.

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Photo Jun 16, 2 00 37 PM

That’s the wedding in a nutshell!  Hope you enjoyed this post!

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Thanks for reading!

Posted in Beauty, Blog, Fashion, Makeup, Reviews

Review: Valentino Rockstud Pumps in Poudre Patent

I have been lusting over the Valentino Rockstud Pumps, which I believe debuted in 2013, for at least a year now.  It’s hard to ignore the appeal of the Rockstud pumps when they have made their way into every fashion blog and video, and have graced the feet of more than one celebrity.  I finally took the plunge and bought my very own pair to wear to my sister’s wedding, and here’s what happened…

Valentino IV

Valentino Rockstud Pumps in Poudre Patent, Size 4

You have no idea how desperately I wanted to love these shoes.  After watching countless videos and reading blog posts of fashion gurus who owned and swore by the comfort of these pumps, I was so convinced these would be the only pumps I would ever need.

Firstly, for my size 4 foot, 4 inch heels can be hit or miss depending on how they are designed.  For some 4 inch heels, I can walk as comfortably in them as I can in flats.  On the other hand, some 4 inch heels, for whatever reason feel extremely high and unstable although they are the same heel height.  These Valentinos, unfortunately, belong to the latter group.  My foot felt so arched in these pumps, I knew I wouldn’t be able to wear them casually.  For the price tag, I couldn’t justify keeping a pair of shoes that I wouldn’t be able to wear often.

Valentino V

Secondly, my feet were far too skinny for these pumps.  As you can see from the picture above, the strap running along the top of the foot hovers about a quarter to a half inch above my foot.  When I was researching these pumps before purchasing them, the straps hugged the model’s foot snugly in all the pictures I came across, and looked much much better.  When I tried walking around the house in them, my foot kept moving around in the shoe because the straps were not holding them in place.

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Here is a closeup of the heel so that you can see how much the strap protrudes at the back.  I would consider the length of the strap to be a pro.  Often times, I find that because I have to tighten the straps on my shoes so much, the end of the strap protrudes out far too much at the back of the heel.  The length of the straps on the Valentinos were just the right length.

Have you tried/do you own the Valentino Rockstud pumps?  What was your experience? Let me know in the comments down below!

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Thanks for reading!

Posted in Beauty, Blog, Fashion, Makeup, Reviews

Maybelline Eye Studio Master Precise Liquid Eyeliner vs. Kat Von D Tattoo Liner (+ 400 Followers!)

I’ve been holding out on writing a comparative review of the Maybelline Eye Studio Master Precise Liquid Eyeliner vs. the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner until I had a chance to really use the Maybelline liner.

I love wearing winged liner, but I never carve out enough time in my day-to-day morning routine to do it. And as fancy events are few and far between in my life, it took a while before I could test out winged liner using the Maybelline liner to do a review.

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The pigmentation of this eyeliner gets an A rating from me.  It’s a smooth, jet black color that seems comparable to the Kat Von D liner.

Kat Von D Liner
Courtesy of Sephora

The flexibility of the brush tip is where the two liners differ.  Although the brush tip of the two liners are a very similar pencil point shape, they differ substantially in softness and flexibility.  The brush tip of the Maybelline liner is rather stiff, which makes the application not as easy as the Kat Von D liner.

Because the flexibility of the Maybelline liner is less than that off the Kat Von D liner, the ease of doing winged liner with the Mabylline liner is also less than with the Kat Von D liner.  Personally, when I do winged liner, I want the brush tip to bend as I flick the liner up and out at the end.  Since the tip doesn’t bend in the direction of the wing, the application at the very end of the tail isn’t totally smooth and I find that I have to go over the tail a couple times before I can achieve the jet black color that I would like.

The flexibility of the brush tip is the only true drawback of the Maybelline liner in my opinion.  Although it is not a deal breaker, I do prefer the Kat Von D liner for this reason.

Hope you found this review helpful if you’re considering the Maybelline liquid liner!

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Thanks for reading!

And thank you to my new 100 followers!  Back in December I reached my 300 followers mark, and have now reached my 400 followers mark.  Thank you to my 300 followers for sticking around and a big welcome to my 100 new followers!

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Posted in Beauty, Blog, Journal, Life, Lifestyle, Music

Currently Loving >> Music, Food, and…Games?

Headphones

> MUSIC

I have to start this blog post off talking about the topic I am most excited to share with you this month, which is the music I’m currently loving.  I AM OBSESSED with my new discovery: The Tenors (formerly known as The Canadian Tenors).

The Tenors
Courtesy of CBC

The Tenors are a Canadian trio consisting of two contemporary pop singers and one classically trained opera singer.  On paper, it sounds like an odd musical concoction, but believe me when I say a part of me dies of happiness every time I hear them sing.  I only wish I had discovered them 9 years ago when they first began.

> FOOD

Ok, some of you may ask, “where have you been?” when I tell you my new food discovery, and that is the deliciousness that is the fried dumpling.  I’ve bought frozen dumplings from the superemarket and fried them at home before, but have never seen fried dumplings on a Chinese restuarant menu.  Recently I discovered that fried dumplings are in fact on practically every Chinese restaurant menu, but under names like peking revioli, gyoza, and potstickers.

Peking Ravioli
Courtesy of NPR

There are differences between each dish, but as I am not a fried dumpling expert, I won’t attempt to differentiate between them.  (Feel free to let me know in the comments if you know what the differences are!)  All I can say is that if they’re fried, and they look and taste like a dumpling, then they’re going on my plate, yum!

> GAMES

This is a new one for me.  I’m not a gaming fan in the least, but I have a boyfriend who is, so often times we’ll try to find a game that we can enjoy together.  He watches Gilmore girls with me, and I play games with him – it’s a pretty symbiotic relationship.  We’ve found a number of good ones, but the most recent one is a game called “Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes.”

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
Courtesy of Made With Unity

The goal of the game is to diffuse a virtual bomb.  One player is in charge of diffusing the bomb on the computer, while the other player uses the bomb diffusing manual (downloaded onto their phone) to guide the first player.  The first player describes parts of the bomb to the second player (e.g. there are 6 wires, 2 red, 1 white, etc.), and the second player finds the matching section in the manual (e.g. the section on cutting wires) and must determine what directions to give the first player (e.g. which wires the first player should cut).  Neither player can look at each other’s screen.

That’s all my favorites for now!  Hope you enjoyed this post!

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Thanks for reading!

Posted in Beauty, Blog, Fashion, Makeup, Reviews

First Impressions: Stila Magnificent Metals Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadows

I had such high hopes for the Stila Magnificent Metals Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadows.  I’ve always had an infatuation with wet, glittery, sparkly makeup.  As a kid, I watched Disney’s Go Figure and lusted over the glitter Jordan Hinson would put on her cheeks before getting on the ice.  She dazzled, and I so desparately wanted to dazzle just like her.

Fast forward 12 years and here I am, watching my favorite YouTubers rave about Stila’s glitter eyeshadows, watching the dewy, glittery swatches on their hands dazzle just like Jordan’s.  For $24 though, I was hesitant.

Stila Glitter Eyeshadow

While at Sephora replenishing my eyebrow pencil supply, I decided to swatch these eyeshadows that I’d been eyeing (no pun intended) for quite some time.  I left Sephora and continued to monitor the swatch on my hand for longevity, color changes, dryness, etc.

While the original application looked gorgeous, not long after I left Sephora, I noticed that all the glitter and sparkle had gone and I was just left with a solid metallic swatch. The original wet, dewy application had also dried to a matte appearance.

Photo Apr 27, 6 29 59 PM

It’s possible that the application would be different on the eyelid, but based on the swatches on my hand, I’m going to have to pass on this product for now.

Posted in Beauty, Blog, Fashion, Food, Makeup

Bachelorette Party: A Day at the Spa

I’m not a regular spa goer – and by that, I mean I’ve never been to a spa.  But for my sister’s bachelorette party, she requested that we throw a spa party, and as the MOH, the bride-to-be’s wish is my command.  I thought I’d share what random pictures I managed to take before going in for my treatments and also some random tips I learned based on my experience.

We arrived around 11 in the morning and were escorted to a peaceful, quiet, dimly lit relaxation area, and were told to make ourselves comfortable.  I initially thought it was going to be a public resting area, but it seemed to be reserved for us, since we had the place to ourselves for the entire duration.

I’m afraid my cellphone pictures just don’t do the place justice.  It was very atmospheric and full of ambiance.  They offered us complimentary cheese and crackers, a selection of teas, and mimosas.

Photo May 07, 11 08 21 AM

There were plenty of recliners to seat the whole party of 8, and coffee table books to read if you were so inclined.

Photo May 07, 11 08 26 AM

Photo May 07, 11 08 42 AM

I had a shellac and express facial (pretty much the simplest facial package you could choose) for my treatments.  Of course I couldn’t take a picture to show the facial, but she used a number of different products, and massaged the face, neck, and down to the shoulders.  While I had what I assume was a mask on, she proceeded to give me a hand massage, and then placed my hands in two heated mitts to absorb the moisturizer.

For the shellac, I asked for a black french tip:

Photo May 07, 4 52 04 PM

Photo May 07, 4 52 20 PM (1)

Before the wedding I’ll probably go to the salon near my house and redo my nails with white french tips for the ceremony.

Afterward, we went out to eat at a nearby ramen noodle restaurant.

Photo May 07, 3 26 36 PM

Now on to random tips!

  1. If you’re planning a spa party, book 4-6 weeks in advance of the date.  I booked 2 weeks in advance and it was extremely difficult to find an opening.
  2. Bring cash just in case.  Check with your specific spa, but the one we went to accepted all credit cards for the service, but tips had to be in cash.
  3. Even if you’re just getting a facial, be prepared to get a little undressed.  Both my sister’s and my facial technician massaged the face, neck, and shoulders, so they asked that we remove everything but the undergarments so that they wouldn’t get dirty.
  4. Ladies: bring makeup if you prefer not to go barefaced after a facial.  I did originally plan on bringing my makeup, but ended up not bringing a single thing because I couldn’t be bothered, and boy did I wish I did.  While I didn’t mind being barefaced, I had no eyebrows!  The facial had completely wiped off my brow pencil (duh), and without eyebrow pencil, I have two sad half eyebrows, womp womp.
  5. Along the same lines as #4, bring concealer or something to cancel redness if you’d like to redo your makeup after a facial.  My facial technician squeezed some redheads on my nose and I had 4 red marks on my nose afterward.

Hopefully first time spa goers find some of my random tips useful.

Have you ever been to a spa?  What was your experience?  Let me know in the comments down below!

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Thanks for reading!

Posted in Beauty, Blog, Fashion, Lifestyle, Reviews

Empties: Hair, Face, Body, & Lip Products

Let’s talk empties!  I’ve hoarded my empties for several weeks now, and I’ve got a good mixture of hair, face, body, and lip products to share.

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Suave Professionals Moroccan Infusion Conditioner

I love moroccan, macadamian, and argan oil hair products, so this was right up my alley. This conditioner works just as well as other conditioners I’ve used in the past, although in comparison to the conditioner I’m using now (which I will likely review in a future empties post), I find this one to be much more nourishing and my current one to be much more drying.

Dove Dry Shampoo

I’ve raved about Dove Dry Shampoo countless times on my blog, so I’ll keep this one nice and short: it’s the only dry shampoo that has ever worked on my hair, I’ve repurchased it numerous times, but it does have a frangrance.

got2b Guardian Angel Heat Protectant Spray

I never know if heat protectant sprays work, but I’m trying to be good about using it, just in case they do =)  The got2b Guardian Angel one smells amazing and comes out in large sprays, so you can coat a lot of your hair without using too many sprays.

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Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water

I’ve been using and liking the Simple Micellar Cleansing Water, but decided to give the Garnier one a try since it was cheaper.  They both seem effective at removing makeup, but with the Garnier product, you can actually see the oil in water when you shake the bottle, whereas with the Simple product, you cannot.  The Simple micellar water is a uniform liquid throughout.

Simple Light Moisturizer

This has been my go to moisturizer for a long time.  Lately, I’ve been experimenting with Aveeno moisturizers (which I will be reviewing in the future), and I think I will be going back to my Simple moisturizer.  The Simple moisturizer is light so you can’t feel it on your skin, and it has absolutely no fragrance, which I love.

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The Body Shop Body Butter in Strawberry

Oh my, oh my, oh my.  I LOVE THE BODY SHOP BODY BUTTERS!  Not only are they extremely moisturizing, but the moisturization lasts a long time, and it smells incredible. I purchased the strawberry scent and mango scent at the same time, and have hit pan on the mango one (so expect to see that in an empties post this summer!).  I recently added the papaya scent to my collection.  And I’m already eyeing up the blueberry one.  I’m obsessed.

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Used every last bit =)

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EOS Lip Balm & Beauty360 Lip Balm

I currently own so many lip balms, it’s my mission to get through them all.  These are just your typical lip balms, so nothing too exciting to report here.  Although, how cool are these stickers that came with the EOS lip balms in a holiday gift set?  I’ll admit, I had a little too much fun decorating them.

That’s it for this empties post, hope you enjoyed it!

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Thanks for reading!

Posted in Beauty, Blog, Fashion, Makeup

To Tailor or Not to Tailor: ASOS Gray Blue Lace Dress

Not too long ago, I was tailoring-naive.  I would read countless blog posts by fashion bloggers big and small talking about having their clothing tailored, and to be honest, I used to think it was a bit of a waste of money and not worth it.

Lately though, I’ve been dabbling with getting my clothing tailored, and I think I may have been converted.  Five months ago, I posted an ASOS haul featuring this lace dress:

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I loved so many things about this dress – its Self Portrait-like style, the delicate lace, the black trim, the rustic gray blue color…  Despite its many positive attributes, I kept feeling like the dress could be 10x better for my frame if it was above the knee and pinched in a bit at the waist.  So off I went to the tailor.

I was hesitant about taking this dress to the tailor because I wasn’t sure how easy it would be to tailor all that lace.  I talked to my tailor and he said it wouldn’t be a problem at all, that he would definitely be able to do it.  When I picked up the dress and tried it on, I could see that he wasn’t lying.  The dress was beautiful and fit like a glove.

ASOS Lace Dress Tailored IV

Excuse the gap at the top!  The zipper was hard to reach by myself, so I could only pull it up part way.

ASOS Lace Dress Tailored III

My advice if you’re new to tailoring like I am is to tailor items that you wouldn’t easily find “right off the rack,” as they call it.  For example, it is extremely hard for me to find trousers for my petite size and stature, so if I were to find a slightly large pair of trousers, I might buy it and bring it to the tailor for a pinch and a hem.  Tops are not as difficult for me to find, so I probably would not bring something like this to a tailor.  For tops, I would wait to find a better fitting top that fits right off the rack.

This dress was so unique in its design and fabric that I felt justified in bringing it to the tailor.  Even in hindsight, I don’t regret spending the extra money to have this dress tailored because it just feels so pretty on.

Have you ever dabbled in having your garments tailored?  Do you think it’s worth it to have your clothes tailored to fit?  Leave your comments down below!

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Thanks so much for reading!