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Monday, September 22, 2014

BB + CC Cream Review: The Body Shop, Clinique, Garnier | Beauty

I haven't touched foundation since my mid-teens when I'd practically empty a tube in less than three weeks (oh, times.) It was extremely unnecessary for so many reasons. I learned I was more concerned with being nice to my skin (letting it breathe) than covering it up (since I haven't ever had major issues with my skin.) I laid off the foundation and only relied on concealer until I learned about the loveliness of BB (Blemish Balm) creams which is the ideal product for anyone that just wants a lightweight cover for a lil' smoothing out. I still only wear it sporadically and in phases, not having found a "wow" one yet. These are three products I've been using lately:

The Body Shop All-in-One BB Cream is super light on the skin with pretty thin coverage which is nice for a natural and fresh look. I got this in the winter and just couldn't work with it. I have dry skin and an awesome face routine that keeps my skin perfectly balanced, however, this BB cream worked against everything and dehydrated my skin so much I thought about just throwing it away after a few uses. I ended up trying it out again in the summer (when my skin isn't as needy) and liking it better. What's so special about this one is that the actual cream comes out white and then adapts to your skin color as you rub it in.

Prior to my travels this summer I came across the Garnier Ambre Solaire BB Cream Sun Protection SPF 30. My impression was that this was a BB cream with high sun protection rather than sun protection with blemish balm qualities. It sounded good for when away on sunny vacations and beautifying your skin while protecting it. Unfortunately, it comes off oily and greasy on the face, not much different from regular sunscreen. I would not use this on a general basis since it's thicker and heavier. Combining a smudge of this with my daily moisturzier made it much more suitable for casual use, but I'd say this product is strictly meant for lazy pool days.

Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream is my first venture into the CC cream world. I was a tad unsure about CC creams at first - somehow I saw them more as foundations, only to learn they are actually lighter than BB creams. In this particular case I'd say the consistency is comparable to a BB cream. I'm a fan of the entire Clinique Moisture Surge range and this product didn't disappoint in that department (in other words, recommended for dry skin.) It keeps your skin hydrated while being airy and blending in nicely. The funny thing is, this product has the same SPF as the Garnier (above) without coming off as oily whatsoever. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

My September Playlist | Music


Bloodsport - Saul Sweet Remix
Dark - Luke Sital Singh
Bumper Cars - Alex & Sierra
I Can't Keep Up - Tourist ft. Will Heard
Siren - April Nhem

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Raspberry + Lime Freeze with Granola | Breakfast Idea

I woke up one morning knowing I was going to have raspberry and lime blended up in some shape or form for breakfast. But it wasn't as a smoothie or a juice. I wanted something... light and super refreshing. Something a little out of the ordinary that likely won't even qualify as breakfast (well, in comes the granola.)

Keeping it simple I just blended up 1/2 a cup of frozen raspberries, squeezed 1/2 a lime (just enough to contribute an undertone of zingy lime without fighting with an empty stomach) and added 1/2 cup of milk and 3 tablespoons of frozen coconut yogurt to slate out the flavors. (Servings: 1)

It all came together as a nice little raspberry and lime freeze. Add crunchy granola in layers, top off with fresh raspberries and coconut flakes, and enjoy immediately! (Not going to lie, ate it so quickly I gave myself a mild brain freeze.)

Monday, September 15, 2014

8 Ways to Find Inspiration (Again) | Tips

1. Take a different road.
Switch things up and "do" something out of normality; whether that be checking out a different genre of blogs, listen to new music, taking left instead of right, or exploring a foreign part of town. Imagine watching a comedy flick, you laugh most the first time around but the more you've seen the same thing, the less it'll evoke a laugh out of you, and that's how I find that inspiration works: we need a fresh trigger.

2. Lighten your mood.
Usually inspiration blocks occur during a time of pressure or below-average on the joy scale; in other words, the inspiration sky is already cloudy and trying to force it to clear and reveal stars and fireworks will only increase cloudiness, you know? Instead, give yourself a breather and lighten that sky by lightening your mood. Do something that relaxes you, take your mind off stressful things and declutter your brain. Light the candles, make the tea, and put on your favorite feel-good movie.

3. Make a list.
Or a mood board, or a speech, or a song, or a video (you get the gist) of the things that you love. And keep it for future reference. Anything and everything that makes you feel good: places, people, interests and passions, quotes and phrases, photographs, songs, movies, memories, dreams, and favorite-anything.

4. Document.
While we're on that list, mood board, or song; jot down any interesting thoughts or ideas that crosses your mind. See something beautiful? Take a picture of it. See something strange? Well, take a picture of it. Can't take a picture of it? Write it down and describe it. Had an interesting dream? Write it down. Someone said something note-worthy? Note it. Create a storage of thought-evoking content.

5. Do what you love and what makes you happy.
Especially something you haven't done in a while. As much as I love and enjoy reading I tend to get stuck in these phases where I'm just too unfocused and scatter-brained to even think about picking up a book. However, every single time I rebel and succeed getting into it again (by getting a book and reading the first couple of chapters) my inspiration bounces off the walls from the love of it (if it wasn't a sucky book, that is. Just kidding.)

6. Start something.
Nudge your creative vein by venturing into a project of creativity, something that'll take at least more than a day to complete - let it be the mood board (above), re-organizing the closet or pantry or just all the cabinets, cooking a set number of new recipes for the week or month, trying out a few DIY ideas, go on coffee-tasting sprees and fill a notebook with comments and ratings, paint (even if you don't paint) or create a large piece of artwork, or even set out to complete all your Christmas presents early (giving yourself time to really make an effort, and get creative.)

7. Borrow inspiration.
We might not be inspired at the moment, but someone else is... or was, and shared it. While "inspiration is everywhere" is absolutely true, an intensely uninspired person probably won't find the strange looking plant off the side of the road inspiring even if it would've been otherwise. So go somewhere with definite (using that term loosely) inspiration - Pinterest (getting it out of the way, but seriously), a gallery/museum/art exhibit, the library or bookstore, interior decorating stores, busy spots with eclectic people, or just your good ol' favorite blogs and websites.

8. Brainstorm with someone.
Stimulate the brain. Come up with fun and interesting questions or topics to discuss with a friend or the guy or gal behind the cash register (if there isn't a queue.) Talking to someone else and getting a piece of their mind gives you new perspectives, opinions, thoughts, and ideas.

Friday, September 12, 2014

My Kitchen Dreaming | Interior Inspiration

While kitchens are likely the only room I enjoy having especially light and airy,
I've never been a cheerleader of the blinding white-on-white ambience. I adore how small (or significant)
pops of color have the power to instantly ignite life and personality into a plain space.

source, ph: jessica glynn

As fun as it is to daydream about flawless kitchens with deserted and clutter-less everything,
a kitchen is ultimately a place of living and I love seeing the "living" in it - as in jars with 
pasta/muesli/tea, spices to one side, and a fruit bowl on the other. I love it neat but homey.

Since my heart beats more for decor I definitely prefer sleek bases to serve as naked canvases.
And as much as I'm loving how sophisticated a darker wooden floor looks in a light room,
I'm really most caught up on the seemingly snowing weather outside the window of this kitchen.
Is it too early to admit I can't wait for snow?!

I can't stop admiring how right this is - just the perfect combination of cozy and stylish,
with so much warmth. Obsessing over the tiles and the barstools!
Not to mention my legit lifelong dream of having a breakfast bar (or kitchen island) in my house.

I'm all over the stainless steel refrigerators (it's a breakfast bar/kitchen island thing)
but man would I ditch them all day, everyday for this! I mean, come on.
How freaking neat is this? (And how badass is the tourist dog next to it on the wall.)

by terry lightfoot contracting, kelly deck design

And finally the kitchen that unavoidably felt most "me" in the bunch.
Something jumped out and said, "Hey, you can love other kitchens as much as you like,
but this is essentially you." There's just something about the soft and subtleness, a calmness.
A couple pops of color, dark wooden floors, and the pink fridge and I'm moving in this very instant.

Which one were your favorite?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Mango + Mint + Passion Fruit + Green Tea Juice | Recipe

As summer's slowly fading I got the last box of frozen mango out of the freezer with the one goal of making some kind of mango + mint juice - I thought it sounded like a good end-of-summer drink. Instead of making a plain juice I decided to make a hybrid of juice and iced tea, and add passion fruit + lemon for a little zing. It turned out to be a deliciously refreshing drink with yummy undertones of late-summer freshness (servings: 2 slim glasses.)


Make iced green tea at least a couple hours prior.

Make a larger-than-regular cup of green tea (I chose a citrus and mint flavored. Optional: add 2-3 teaspoons of honey or preferable sweetener), let it soak and chill in the fridge for a few hours.

Start by adding into blender:

☻ Half a cup (about 110 grams) of frozen mango
☻ Cut 1 passion fruit in half and scoop out flesh
☻ 20-25 pieces of fresh mint leaves
☻ 2/3 of the iced green tea
☻ Squeeze 1/3 of a lemon (optional: a little more)

Blend thoroughly to get all of the passion fruit seeds

Depending on how thin you want the juice, add more of the tea (I used all) and blend
Top off with a couple of ice cubes if desired
Garnish with mint leaves and a lemon slice

And sip!

Monday, September 8, 2014

7 Ways to Know When to Cut Ties with a Friend | Tips

"It's just how they are" is a mantra I don't think should ever be used in a friendship to justify a friend treating you poorly.

You've known them for years, they're always there for you, you rely on them, you have fun... but they make you feel bad just as much. A person that would drop everything to be there for you, but on a daily basis treats you like a doormat. How do you make sense of it? How do you understand they're no longer a good friend despite being a friend? These are 8 ways to know when it's time to cut ties with a friend:

1. They put you down. Uncalled for critique, snide remarks, catty jokes. Even if you know this stems from an insecurity of theirs, it's not how it works in a friendship. The people you choose to be a part of your life and support system are people that lift you and make you feel good. Not for what they do, but simply for what they are. A friend that makes you feel bad is a bad friend.

2. They take you for granted. No matter how rude, condescending or unfriendly they behave towards you, they still expect you to be there for them as a friend. It never crosses their minds that you, too, have a limit and one day you won't be taking all of it anymore.

3. They're not happy for you. Aced that exam? Landed that job? Got something you've dreamt of? They're rarely ever happy about good things happening for you, more like the other way around. If it's really bad you can't recall them ever giving you a general compliment or encouraging words.

4. They make you feel like less. You feel lower or weaker in their presence. This fantastic quote sums it all up: "The moment you feel like you have to prove your worth to someone is the moment to absolutely and utterly walk away."

5. Not being around them is better. Friends are supposed to be people we feel good having in our lives. It's a person you want to be around and choose to spend time and energy with. They're not a person you'd rather not be around and reluctantly make time for.

6. You’re holding on for reasons other than the friendship. Say they're a childhood friend, they're a co-worker or classmate or neighbor, or they don’t have many other friends, etc - these things can easily awaken feelings of guilt or sympathy for potentially hurting them by breaking up the friendship. Holding on like this never lasts, it eventually completely wears you down.

7. You've confronted them without result. While confronting a friend is hard it's the only way to upfront highlight the situation to them and give them an honest chance to change things around. Most people acting like assholes have an entirely different perspective on their behavior and why they're doing it. Hopefully the friend will make an effort to understand the situation, but then there are those that don't.

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