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 Costco.com 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.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Menu Monday: Onion Rings

One of my all time favorite things to eat with burgers are onion rings. I love the crunchy exterior coupled with the crisp sweetness of the onions. The other day I tried out this recipe:


  • 1 large onion, cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk, or as needed
  • 3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
  • seasoned salt to taste
  • 1 quart oil for frying, or as needed


  1. Heat the oil in a deep-fryer to 365 degrees F (185 degrees C).
  2. Separate the onion slices into rings, and set aside. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. Dip the onion slices into the flour mixture until they are all coated; set aside. Whisk the egg and milk into the flour mixture using a fork. Dip the floured rings into the batter to coat, then place on a wire rack to drain until the batter stops dripping. The wire rack may be placed over a sheet of aluminum foil for easier clean up. Spread the bread crumbs out on a plate or shallow dish. Place rings one at a time into the crumbs, and scoop the crumbs up over the ring to coat. Give it a hard tap as you remove it from the crumbs. The coating should cling very well. Repeat with remaining rings.
  4. Deep fry the rings a few at a time for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove to paper towels to drain. Season with seasoning salt, and serve.
It took about an hour for me to make these because I used a small pan. I also included Panko bread crumbs in addition to the regular dry bread crumbs. The results were better than I expected-- extra crunchy onion rings.

What do you like to eat with a good burger?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Fab Finds Friday: Shoes

Despite being clearly beyond the age of 21, something about Forever 21's style and price point draws me into their brightly lit stores each time I venture into the mall. Not everything in that store tickles my fancy since some of their sizing is clearly for the svelte thighs and flat abs of a 21 year old. But a girl can't say no to their cute (budget friendly) clothes, accessories and SHOES. Since fall is right around the corner, it's time to invest in some cooler weather appropriate shoes. I spied these adorable booties-- that come in cream and brown. I love the button detailing as well as the wisely placed side zip. The heel is a tad bit on the high side (4 inches) but the platform front helps to ease the pain. These are priced at $35.80 (+tax).

I love the buttons on the side!

Looks like Forever 21's booties are a dupe for these cute booties by Ash on Bluefly (sold out now) which were on sale for $143.
Another pair of shoes that caught my eyes were these casual lace up boots with an ingenious side zip! The thought of having to lace it up each time made me put these beauties back on the shelf until I discovered the side zip! Bravo Forever 21! These boots were more up my alley since I spend most of my day standing up and walking. Priced at only $29.80 (+tax), how could anyone pass these up?

Have you found any fabulous finds this Friday? Go check out Forever 21's shoe section if you haven't already! You won't regret it!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Tasty Thursday: The Crosby

My hubby and I love to eat. He is adventurous and loves to try new things while I tend to stick to favorite restaurants or favorite types of food. (One of the reasons for this is the fact that my stomach can be sensitive at times so I have to be careful of what I eat... ) He is always finding great places for us to try!

Last fall, he found this really great restaurant in OC that we've never been to. They had great food! It's called The Crosby. It was kind of hard to find. It's on the main street but there is no visible sign that says its name. It is next to a starbucks on the corner.

Hubby and I eventually found the restaurant after realizing that there is no sign and we had to find the number of the building.

This is the entrance--- where it says 400.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wednespiration: Fall Look

Wednesday Inspiration or Wednespiration as I'll call it, will focus on anything that I've found recently that has inspired me. Hopefully it will inspire you as well!

One of the many things I love about Anthropologie is the way they style their clothing pieces together. I also love how this week's home page shows you a way to transition your summer dresses into fall by layering. What a fantastic way of wearing that summer dress you love into the fall season!

You can also layer a chunky sweater over your favorite summer tank top. Don't forget some killer heels or cute boots and a fabulous satchel to complete the look for fall!
fall lookFashion Trends & Styles - Polyvore

(created on polyvore by me)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tip Tuesday: Skin Care Review

i've been very blessed with good genes which helps me to not look like a woman in her mid 30's. (yes! i admit it, i'm almost middle age!) anyway, in addition to good genes, you must take care of your skin. That means exfoliate, cleanse, moisturize, and wear sunscreen. I've been wearing sunscreen since my teens and really started getting more into skin care in my 20's. when i look at my friends or peers who are the same age as me or near my age, i still look much younger than them and i attribute a lot of it to my skin care routine. i've used all kinds of skin care products-- la mer, shu uemura, clinique, etc... some may call me a beauty junkie and i don't take offense to it because i don't want to look OLD.

often times people say that you get what you pay for. i agree with that to a certain degree but i also think there are GEMS that are half the price of the high end brands which work more effectively than that $200 cream. let me introduce you to the GEM that i found which has really smoothed out my fine forehead wrinkles. you may be surprised because it doesn't sound very glamourous... it's from Avon. yes, you heard me right, AVON.

it's from their Anew Clinical line-- the Advanced Wrinkle Corrector. from their website, here are their claims:
  • The at-home answer to wrinkle-filling injections†. Start rebuilding collagen in just 48 hours°.
  • Skin's 4 structural components weaken and decrease, causing new lines to form and wrinkles to deepen.
  • is designed to help reduce the length, depth and number of visible wrinkles.
  • Rebuilds collagen to help plump out lines and wrinkles.
  • Stimulates elastin for improved elasticity and resilience.
  • Regenerates hydroproteins to minimize creasing.
  • Now...formulated to boost shock-absorbing proteins to help strengthen skin's support layers.
  • Improve fine & deep wrinkles up to 50%*. Immediately plumps out wrinkles and fine lines.** Within 48 hours begins boosting collagen production.*** 1.7 fl. oz. As seen on TV.
after using this for about a year, i have seen a drastic reduction in fine lines on my forehead. i found that it really did plump out lines and wrinkles. my skin feels more hydrated, soft, smooth, and even. the best thing about this is the price. a jar of this product is $32 but sometimes avon has a deal where you can get two for $37 or other wonderful deals. i usually stock up whenever they do this. i love this product! i have a fabulous Avon rep if you need a referral.

have you ever tried anything from avon? what is your holy-grail skin care product or are you still searching?

ps: i purchased the item on my own. i was not paid to do this review. this is my honest opinion on how the product worked for me.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Menu Monday: Green Tea Mochi Cake

since being on vacation from work, i've had more time and energy to try out recipes and cook. one of my favorite blogs for great and user-friendly recipes is Week of Menus. the author is refreshing and all the recipes i've tried are very easy to make and delicious! she has pictures of each step to show you what your dish should look like. she even has a printable recipe so you can print it out and use it in the kitchen instead of using your computer. i love all of her desserts and my hubby is excited when i try new things.
i tried making the green tea mochi cake and was pleased with the results. you first mix all the dry ingredients together

then mix the wet ingredients...
then put the two together...put it in a greased pan... then bake for 90 minutes...
take it out and cool it...
then cut into small squares... it's best to share them because eating all of them will cause your pants to not fit... ::wink::

have you checked out Week of Menus? If you have not, i HIGHLY recommend it. what are some of your favorite recipes?

Sunday, August 8, 2010


i have a personal blog for family and friends and decided to start posting here on random things that inspire me and things that I've learned in the past 3 decades of life. I'm just a gal, who loves her hubby, family, friends, makeup, shopping, and a good bargain! everything on this blog is based on my opinion.. thanks for stopping by and i hope you enjoy!
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