Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Don't Skip on the Veggies!

After a 2 week vacation, last night was the return of the Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

His guest was First Lady Michelle Obama who was promoting her new book "American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America".  I applaud Madame President for her wanting to beat childhood obesity with her campaign Let's Move!.  Also, I appreciate her desire in educating children (and other people) about eating healthy food.

Last night's episode definitely foreshadowed today's cooking show that inspired me to get off my couch and cook a healthy dish.  I was watching "30 Minute Meals with Rachael Ray" (love her!) and she put together a dish that was inspired by a trip with her husband to Italy.  This dish has all vegetables that you can find in your garden or local supermarket and was meatless.  Now, in my household, meat is everything!  When you have a growing 3 year old, you need to feed them anything and everything.  I wanted to give this dish a shot because it has my daughter's favorite ingredient (pasta) and my favorite as well (peppers and zucchini).  I love cooking with vegetables and try my best to incorporate as much colored vegetables in my dishes without my daughter tossing it to the side.

So, here's the outcome of my dish.  I followed the recipe step-by-step but substituted fettuccine with linguine (it was the only long pasta that my local Asian supermarket had).  Side note: I live in an Asian influenced town so there are a ton of Asian-owned businesses.  Anyway, what makes this dish special to me is that I walked to my Asian supermarket to purchase all my produce.  It was a great excuse to leave my house, walk 15 minutes to buy food, and come home to cook a delicious meal.

If you're feeling "green", then click the link above to re-create Rachael Ray's dish.  I promise you won't be disappointed.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Makeup that Beats the Summer Heat

Memorial Day Weekend is the official "let's work on my tan for any beach/pool day" and "I need to dust off my grill, replace my gas tank, and find out what marinade/dry rub Bobby Flay is using on that meat/chicken/fish dish."  But, how can I look fabulous without my makeup running down my face once I step outside my house?

This makeup routine is something I put together after watching many makeup videos and figuring out what works for me.  This may not be the best makeup advise, but this look lasted a whole day of hosting a BBQ for my husband's 27th birthday today.  Unfortunately I did not take any before and after pictures, but I will leave a picture of the products I used plus pictures of how the BBQ went.

From L to R: Sonia Kashuk Radiant Tinted Moisturizer w/ SPF 15 (honey), Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm, Covergirl Lastblast Volume Blasting Mascara, Maybelline Dream Matte Pressed Powder (beige), benefit CORALista, Neutrogena Healthy Skin Brightening Eye Perfector w/ SPF 25 (light), Maybelline Eyestudio Color Tattoo 24HR Cream Gel Shadow (audacious asphalt), Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil (zero), Sephora Collection Long-Lasting Eye Liner (black)

My makeup routine is as follows:

FACE:  I decided to apply tinted moisturizer rather than use liquid foundation or bb cream.  All my foundations (and bb cream) have SPF protection, but I wanted light coverage to hide acne scars and redness in my T-zone.  With concealer, I created a V shape from the inner corner of my eyes to the outer corner so that my eyes will look bright and well rested throughout the day.  I dusted powder all over my face and applied a peachy coral blush on the apples of my cheeks.

EYES:  Instead of applying eye primer and creating a smokey or neutral eye look, I decided to use a creme shadow in hopes that it'll last all day.  Along my lash line, I applied a matte black liner (using a pencil) and then applied a thin line of liquid eyeliner.  Lately, I have found this combination to be long lasting.  If I wear pencil or liquid by itself, either the pencil will smudge under the outer corners of my eyes or my winged tip will have smeared off.  Lastly, I applied 2 coats of mascara on my upper and lower lashes.

LIPS:  I wanted my lips to have no color.  I knew that if I applied lipstick or gloss before leaving the house, I'd forget to re-apply later in the day.  So lip balm it is!

Overall, the day turned out to be great!  Even my husband told me that my makeup looked good even after all the hours spent outside.  That's the best compliment I could ever have.

Ross Dock Park in Fort Lee, NJ

Birthday boy pumping up some jams!

Feast of burgers, dogs, sausages, grilled peppers, Filipino lumpia (or eggrolls), potato salad, gazpacho, watermelon, and a ton of drinks

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Good night Tuesday!

As the evening comes to an end, I wanted to share a skincare product that I purchased 2 weeks ago at  Sephora.  A friend of mine purchased one of the products from this skincare line and was satisfied with the results.  Her satisfaction struck my curiosity to give this a chance.

Before purchasing this product, my skincare routine consisted of using my Clarisonic, Clean & Clear Advantage Acne Treatment kit and Nivea SOFT Moisturizing Creme.  I switched out my moisturizing creme to C.O. Bigelow All-in-1 Protective Day Lotion SPF 15 because I started to run out of my Nivea creme.

This product is Boscia's Best Set which includes an oil-free daily hydration SPF 15, purifying cleansing gel, recharging night moisture, enlivening amino-AG eye treatment and green tea blotting linens.  When I purchased this at Sephora, I talked to a saleswoman and asked what's the difference between the 2 kits that's sold by Boscia.  I told her that I have oily skin, so she recommended this kit over the Boscia Clear Complexion kit.  Since the night creme was meant to hydrate your skin overnight, I did not want to wake up the next day in a pool of oil.  So, the saleswoman gave me a sample of Boscia's oil-free recharging night moisture to try out.

My daily routine with this product is as follows: every AM and PM, I wash my face with a quarter size of the cleansing gel and apply a pea-size amount of the eye treatment.  In the AM, I use the oil-free daily hydration and in the PM, I apply the night moisture before bed.

I have combination oily skin with redness in my T-zone, acne scars and occasional breakouts on my chin, apples of my cheeks and/or the side of my face.  Since this kit did not come with any ointment to prevent acne, I used my Clean & Clear products when necessary.  My expectations from this kit was to have healthier and smoother skin and to even out my complexion and redness.

Overall, my experience did not meet my expectations.  At the beginning, I used all the products (except the blotting sheets) as directed on the box for 3 days.  My face felt smoother (yay!) but was so oily that I could scramble an egg (boo!).  I knew this would happen but wanted to give the night moisture a chance before switching to the oil-free one.  The eye treatment did nothing for my eyes.  There were some days where I'd wake up with baggy eyes and other days where lines underneath my eyes were visible (even without my glasses).  I have no complaints with the oil-free daily hydration.  After using the kit for a full week, I decided to start using the oil-free night moisture.  This product did the EXACT opposite!  In the morning, I had dry patches in between my eyes and around my nose and mouth.  I don't know if this is due to a ton of sun exposure over the weekend because my face is a little red.  But, I am not happy with the oil-free night moisture.  I switched back to my original routine and am hoping that things will turn out better.

Even though I've been using this product for 2 weeks, I would not recommend this kit to anyone with combination oily skin.  On a 1 to 5 star scale, I'd rate this 3 stars.  Despite the fact that the original night moisture leaves my skin super oily in the morning, I don't mind the excess because my husband is still in bed by the time I'm up.  Like I said earlier, I have no complaints with the daily hydration creme and I bet the blotting linens will do exactly what it's suppose to do.

Let me know if you have used this product and what's your experience with it.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sunday Funday!

With the beautiful sun shining into my bedroom and waking me up, why not start the day off with a traditional breakfast: pancakes!  And just not any ordinary pancakes with syrup, but these are paaaancakes.  You like how I stretched the "pan" part to make it seem supreme?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Meal of the Day: Empanadas!

Happy Friday!  Before the weekend begins, I wanted to try a new recipe and put my baking skills to test.  There's no hand-mixers, frosting or chocolate chips needed here, but my main ingredient is a baker's best friend: dough.

I've been experimenting with dough lately and yeast has not been my friend when I first started.  Thank goodness for the internet because if something didn't go right, I went straight to my Macbook (which I named "Andre") and googled my situation in hopes that someone has blogged about it.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

First Time for Everything

Let's start this first entry as a tribute to one of my favorite daytime programs: The Chew.

Last week's theme was Mother's Day and each host's mother visited the show throughout the week.  The episode that I was watching while sick on the couch was with Michael Symon's mother, Angel.  While paying tribute to his Greek heritage, Michael made his Egg and Lemon soup (or known as avgolemono soup) in honor of his mother's remedy whenever feeling sick or under the weather.  It was an instant hit to my husband and daughter when I re-created this later that night.  So, I share with you my take on this traditional soup.