Sunday, December 12, 2010

Beauty Review: Birchbox

I first read about Birchbox in one of my favorite magazines but soon forgot about it until recently. I decided to take the plunge and sign up for its services. If you don't know about Birchbox, you might be living under a rock (jk). It's the newest trend in beauty. Every month they send you 4 or more deluxe sized samples of various beauty products that they try out for themselves before including it in their boxes. The beauty products range from makeup to skincare to haircare. The products they send are considered luxury brands and the sample sizes are DELUX which means they are in bottles and tubes-- not in pouches. The co-founders met at Harvard Business School and they are all bona fide beauty junkies--- just like me and just like some of you!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wednespiration: Glaminar

As part of my birthday and Christmas present, my hubby did a crazy thing and he bought me a ticket for Kandee Johnson's Glaminar. He knows how much I love makeup and I'm always trying out new stuff or going to Sephora to play with makeup. I was very thankful for the opportunity to attend. I was there for the GLAM Day which is for the whole day (9- 6pm) with an hour break for lunch.

I woke up pretty early to drive out to LA from OC. I was a bit nervous because I didn't know anyone but surprisingly there were many people who were there by themselves. Everyone was friendly and I was able to meet some really sweet girls!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

More Sample Sales

Look at what I got in my inbox this morning:

I love her handbags. Retail value of her handbags are anywhere from $300-$600. You can score some of her bags for $150-350 at her sample sales. I first became a fan of Rebecca Minkoff when I saw her bags on some of blogs I read. My first RM bag was a Morning After Mini Bag (MAM) in Peacock (a teal color) with her signature gold-toned hardware. I love how her bags are roomy because I tend to carry everything and anything. I also have 3 other handbags from RM (a 3 zip MAC- Morning After Clutch- in eggshell, Morning After Hobo in Chocolate Brown, and Elisha in Black.) As you can see, I have plenty of her bags but not as many as some girls I read about online. I think I would like to add 1 or 2 more to my collection but I'm in no hurry.

I definitely encourage you to go to a sample sale to purchase her bags-- great deals! The leather on most of her bags are high quality. I'm not sure if it's as great as her previous collections since she is much more popular so I think she gets her bags made in China vs. America.

I love purchasing the bags at the sample sales because I can actually touch the bags and feel the leather. During past sample sales, the designer made bags specifically for the sale. How cool is that! She is also usually there the first day of the sale.

When: Fri. Dec 3- Sat Dec. 4 (10- 8pm), Sun. Dec. 5 (11-5pm)
Where: 8211 W. 3rd Street, Los Angeles, Ca 90048

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Hi everyone~~!

Tis the season for sample sales... Here are a couple that I'm looking forward to...
Ella Moss/Splendid Sample Sale.
When: Friday Nov. 19 & Sat. Nov 20th 9am-4pm
Where: Cooper Building, LA- 11th floor

I love their makeup!


Will you be going? It's a great time to stock up on favorites as well as get some gifts for the holidays!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Super Saturday

I know it's been quite a while since I've last posted. It has been extremely busy. I will try to be better about posting beauty related posts as well as food reviews.

I just found out something so FABULOUS! I LOVE Hello Kitty! When MAC did a collaboration with Sanrio, I bought many items from that collection (like makeup train case and small mirror). Small Gifts (Sanrio) is having a 50th year party/carnival this weekend until November 21st at the Barker Hanger in Santa Monica. If you are in California, you MUST go! It is pretty crowded but if you love all things Hello Kitty, you will not regret it. I will do a full review of the event in a couple of days but I wanted to devote this post to something that put a sparkle in my eyes....

Sephora is doing a collaboration with Sanrio and there will be Hello Kitty makeup, nailpolishes, mirrors, perfumes... etc... look at how CUTE everything is. The promo pictures had the hand mirror but it was all silver. The one in the case had crystals or rhinestones all over it. Squeal!!

Anyway, it is supposed to launch in January of 2011. If you would like more information, you can sign up on Sephora here to get notified when it launches. Are you as excited as I am?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tip Tuesday: Long Wear Foundation

Sorry for the lack of posts-- I am SWAMPED. I hope to be more consistent with posting in the next few weeks. It's been difficult to fit blogging into my schedule with work. Thank you for your understanding.

Anyway, I am always in search of foundation that not only feels good on my skin (so I don't feel like I have a pound of make up on) but also evens out my skin tone. I also happen to have more oily skin so by the end of the day, my face is extremely shiny and usually I don't have time to blot so I walk around all day looking like an oil slick.

I was intrigued by MAC's new Pro Longwear Foundation and Concealer. I love MAC's Face and Body foundation because it is so buildable and doesn't look caked on. It also doesn't oxodize or change color (turn orange) on me unlike some foundations. I went to my local MAC counter and decided to check out the Pro Longwear Foundation.

What they claim:
A long-wear foundation that gives up to 15 hours of wear in any environmental condition. Lightweight and creamy, applies smoothly to provide sheer to medium coverage. Even in hot and humid conditions, controls oil to keep skin fresh, natural and flawless. Provides everyday SPF protection. (Source)

The makeup artist matched me as NC30 although my regular foundation match is NC25. They say the Pro Longwear runs light. I tried some of it at the store and then got some to try out later on in the week.

You know how it's been horribly hot the past couple of days in LA? Well, usually my face is a puddle of oil, sweat, makeup, and basically a "hot mess." (not the good kind). But with the Pro Longwear foundation, my face had a slight sheen to it by the end of the day. It lasted for over 10 hours with minimal shine!! I set it with a translucent powder in the morning and I was amazed at how well it lasted!!

I will try it out for the rest of this week but so far--- SO GOOD!! If you have not tried this foundation out, I highly recommend it. Go to the MAC counter to get matched and ask for a sample so you can try it out for a few days. This foundation could reach "HG" (holy grail) status if it continues to hold up like it has the past couple of days!

Would you try this foundation out? What is your favorite or HG foundation?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Menu Monday: Pizza Pizza

I'm back to blogging! This past week our school district reorganized (basically figured out the number of students) and realized that they needed to add more classes. SO I was called back to my previous school to teach 3rd grade. It is MUCH more manageable so now I can get back to having a life and also blogging! :)

Anyway a couple of months ago, hubby and I were in the mood for some pizza so we decided to go to this italian market by our house (claro's) to buy all the necessary ingredients. this place has all the stuff you'd ever need... authentic italian EVERYTHING... and a great deli with scrumptious selections of various meats, cheeses...

and of course... tons of desserts-- tiramisu, cookies... everything..

we came home and rolled out the dough... (we bought pre-made dough)

flattened it...

used their special pizza sauce...

spread it all around....

and made three different pizzas... here's pizza #1-- freshly sliced mozzarella cheese and spicy italian sausage...

the second one was with pineapple chunks and honey baked ham

the last one was all veggies---bell peppers, mushrooms, roma tomatoes, 2 layers of cheese, and the honey baked ham...

You will need pizza dough, pizza sauce, cheese, veggies (bell peppers, mushrooms, roma tomatoes), and meats-- like ham or italian sausage.

Have you ever tried making pizza on your own? It's easy and delicious!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Away: Be back shortly

Hi everyone,

I'll be taking a break from blogging for a week or two due to work starting up. (Teaching 6th grade). I have a lot of work to do so I can't focus on this blog. But I hope to get back to blogging next week or the following week. Have a lovely week~!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Fab Finds Friday: Shoes

Can a girl every have too many shoes? I say NO! Look at these adorable shoes from Anthropologie. I love the neutral shoe with a pop of color. The stitching is to die for!

What I love most is the price-- on sale for only $69.95. What a steal!!

Do you love shoes as much as I do? Do you have any fab finds this Friday on adorable shoes?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Tasty Thursday: Boulette's Larder

Whenever we go to the Bay area, we make it a point to stop by the Ferry Building to eat brunch at Boulette's Larder.
  • Boulettes Larder was opened in 2004 by Chef Amaryll Schwertner and business partner, Lori Regis, as a restaurant that also sells its ingredients for use in the home kitchen. Throughout her 30-year career, Chef Schwertner has authored the cuisine in seminal restaurants in the bay area. The daily changing menus at Boulettes Larder reflect her commitment to using conscientiously produced farmstead ingredients and applying her research and curiosity in pursuit of spices and artisan oils, vinegars and grains. (from Boulettes Larder website)

It's a great place to go for breakfast, brunch or lunch. They close the restaurant for private parties in the evenings.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wednespiration: Pros Make it Look Easy

For my birthday present last year, one of my dearest friends, Yuree, got me a makeup session with an Emmy Award winning makeup artist named Linda Rondinella-Osgood. I was beyond thrilled for the opportunity to not only meet her but to have a makeup/hair lesson from her!! You can only imagine my excitement being the makeup junkie that I am!! She is the makeup artist for the soap opera General Hospital and also does makeup for Miss Teen USA, Miss USA, and Miss Universe Pageants. Check out her website-- The Pursuit of the Crown. She's created a palette that includes all you need for beautiful looks whether you are pursuing a crown or just want to look HOT! She also has great tips for a flawless face.

Here is a picture of the palette-- only $30! It includes everything you need-- 4 different eyeshadows (black, brown, gold/bronze, and white), 2 blushes (light pink, darker pink), and 2 glosses (a clear one and a really pretty reddish brown one.)
(photo source here)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tip Tuesday: Cleanser

Have you ever felt like your face wasn't clean even after you JUST washed it with your cleanser? Well, you won't have that problem with Purity made simple by Philosophy. This cleanser makes my face feel squeaky clean and I feel like there isn't a trace of makeup left. I love how it foams when you add water. It is also very gentle.

What is it: A supersized edition of philosophy's bestselling purity made simple cleanser. This deep-cleaning but gentle 4-in-1 emulsion removes every trace of makeup, dirt, oil, and debris in one step.

Who is it for: Anyone shopping for the cleanest and best skin of his or her life.

Why is it different: philosophy knows that when a cleanser is well formulated, there is no reason for the second step of toning. The deep-cleansing agent in this fragrance-free formula acts as a remover, cleanser, toner, and light hydrator, all in one easy step.

How do I use it: Apply to a dry or slightly damp face. Massage for 30 to 60 seconds. Rinse thoroughly.

I usually purchase the 32 fl oz. bottle every year at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale in July for only $42.50. It comes with a pump. It lasts over a year so when the sale comes each year, I purchase a bottle again. If you happen to miss the sale, you can always purchase it from QVC for $45.50.

This is my HG (Holy Grail) cleanser. I've tried many other cleansers and I always come back to this one.

Have you every tried this cleanser? What is your favorite cleanser?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Menu Monday: Protein Burgers

Mu husband and I love a good burger. We love going to In-N-Out for their protein burgers and decided to make some at home.

Ingredients needed:
1 pound of ground beef
10 mushrooms
1 small onion
sliced cheese (American or your choice)
salt and pepper for taste
1 head of ice burg lettuce
2 roma tomatoes
PAM or cooking spray for pan
  1. Take ground beef, 3-4 mushrooms chopped, a quarter of chopped onion, a couple of dashes of salt, and pepper.
  2. Mix all ingredients together.
  3. Make patties (desired thickness)
  4. Spray stainless steel pan with cooking spray
  5. Cook patties on both sides until brown.
  6. Place slice of cheese on patties and place in oven for 10 additional minutes at 350 degrees
  7. Slice the rest of the onion and mushrooms-- saute in pan with olive oil.

After being put in the oven...

Place pattie in ice burg lettuce, sliced tomato, sauteed mushrooms and onions... and ENJOY!

Do you have a favorite burger recipe? Have you tried a protein burger before? It's a delicious way to enjoy a burger without the added calories from the bun.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Fab Finds Friday: Palettes

Being the makeup junkie that I am, my drawers are overflowing with makeup. Hubby doesn't know why I need so many different shades of brown eyeshadow or pink blush. But that's because he doesn't understand that one brown eyeshadow has shimmer whereas the other one doesn't. One blush is pink with peachy tones while the other one is pink with coral. Thankfully, he doesn't mind as long as I'm not a hoarder.

What do you do with all those little pots of eyeshadow or blush? Put them in palettes of course! Makeup palettes have been around for ages. Many cosmetic companies have their own pre-made palettes with their makeup collections each season but most of the time, they sell their products in individual pots. Some companies (MAC, Trish McEvoy, Stila, Bobbi Brown) sell their products in pans with magnets on the back so that you can put them in their palettes.
(pictured from top to bottom-Z palette, MAC 15 pan eyeshadow palette, Unii Palette)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tasty Thursday: Slater's 50/50

Most people love a good burger. I know I do. We needed our burger fix so hubby, friends and I went to Slater's 50/50 for their scrumptious burgers.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wednespiration: Unique OC

A couple of weekends ago, my friend and I went to Unique OC. It's the first time they had this event in Orange County. It's usually held twice a year in LA. Unique LA is a design show where attendees get to shop from local designers and artists directly. For their spring and winter shows, they have over 300 different vendors. Unique OC had about 60-70 vendors. It was held at The LAB in Costa Mesa.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tip Tuesday: Red Lips

I am always in search of the perfect red lipstick. There's something about the boldness of a red lip that screams sexy. Many women are afraid to put this color on because it is so bright. I used to be frightened of it myself until one day I saw swatches of it and decided to try it. Here are some swatches of some of my favorites. As you can see, I tend to like blue-based reds due to the fact that this makes my teeth look whiter than the orange reds.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Menu Monday: Salsa

We love eating Mexican food-- tacos, burritos, nachos.. You name it, we love it. One of my favorite places is King Taco. We also love to make Mexican food at home. It's not complete without some salsa!

Homemade salsa....

4 tomatoes
1 large white onion
bunches of cilantro
2 jalapeno peppers
lime juice or limes to squeeze out the juice
salt to taste

1. Chop tomatoes, onions, cilantro, jalapeno peppers and place in large bowl.
2. Squeeze 2-3 limes or use 2 tablespoons of lime juice (approximate).
3. Add salt to taste.

Let it sit for a bit before serving. It's simple and easy to make.

Do you have a favorite salsa recipe?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Fab Finds Friday: Accessories

Bright lights, heart pounding music, hustle and bustle of people running around-- no I'm not at a night club. I've made my way back again to Forever21. This time I went to their accessories "room" to look at their rings and found these lovely pieces. I tried to look on the website for them but was unable to find them so it looks like you need to go into the store.
I love taking pictures so this ring was definitely calling my name. I also love the muted gold color and the vintage vibe it gives off. This ring is not adjustable. It was priced at only $3.80 (+tax).
I love how feminine this ring is. It would look lovely with a pair of jeans and cute top or a fab dress. This ring is adjustable so you can wear it on any finger. It is priced at only $4.80 (+tax).

What a bargain! Forever21 has tons of accessories at great prices. The only con is having to look through everything (especially when looking for rings-- all those bowls and ring boxes filled with tons of rings.) Which one is your favorite?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tasty Thursday: Chinatown Summer Nights

This past Saturday evening, a few of us headed over to Chinatown Summer Nights in Los Angeles. For those of you who have never heard of Chinatown Summer Nights, it is a weekly event in the month of August with musicians, KCRW DJ's, restaurants, food trucks, a craft marketplace, shopping, street performers/dancers, martial arts demos, dancing, cooking demos, crafts for kids, local bars, and much more.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wednespiration: 31bits

Do you ever wish you could make a difference in the world? Of course! That was one of the main reasons I became an educator. Although these days, I've lost sight of a lot of the reasons why I went into the profession due to politics and budget cuts. That's a different story for another blog and another time. The budget crisis in California made me think about the difference between a job and a career. I came to the conclusion that a job is just something you do to make money and pay the bills-- a means to an end. Whereas a career is something you have a passion for. Something you love. You can't WAIT to go there. (Raise your hands if that's how you feel about what you're currently doing.)

What got me thinking more about this was when I was sitting at home and watching Oprah. The topic of her show that day was Inside Glamourous Dream Jobs. Her guests included Jenna Lyon (executive creative director of J.Crew), Buddy Valestro (aka TLC's Cake Boss), Jeff Leatham (artistic director of the Four Seasons Hotel in Paris), and many others. Something that each person said that really resonated with me was to do something that you LOVE. If you really love doing something, you're not going to be watching the clock. You don't care what time it is or how hard it is, you'll do it because you love it. You can bet I was inspired!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tip Tuesday: Lashes

Most women want longer lashes. I know I do! The only options seem to be to use lash growth serums or wear false lashes (either that or get some GREAT mascara but mascara can only do so much). For almost a year, I've been using a lash growth serum called RapidLash purchased at Costco. RapidLash is an eyelash renewal serum that does the following:
  • Innovative high-performance formula helps thicken the appearance of and improve the condition of your lashes and brows
  • The appearance of seductive looking brows and lashes in 4-6 weeks
  • Powerful Polypeptides provide effective protection against breakage and naturally supports stronger more voluminous lashes
  • Vital proteins and vitamins help replenish and fortify lashes and brows.

Here are a couple of pictures of my lashes last summer before using the product.
As you can see, the lashes are not as thick or dark.
Here are a couple of pictures of my lashes this summer.
You can really see the length here.

I can see even more of a difference whenever I use mascara. My lashes have definitely gotten longer and more full. You can purchase this on for only $74.99 for two tubes. Each tube lasts for about 4-6 months. You must use it nightly. You apply it like eyeliner on top of your lash line. Do NOT get it into your eyes or else it will sting! You must be patient with it and you will see results after a few months.

Have you tried a lash growth serum before? What are your secrets for longer, fuller lashes?

ps: This is my review of how the product worked for me. I purchased the product on my own and was not paid to review it.
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