Friday, September 30, 2011

Some hits & misses!

So the thrill of the shopping trip is over, the buzz *slight regret*  has worn off.  By the way, that small type thing isn't mine.  I stole it from one of my favourite blogs, this free bird, written by the hilarious, gorgeous and funky free bird Carrie.  Check her out!  

Okay so shopping trip, that's over, yada yada.  As always, some things were great and some...meh, not so much.  Here in no particular order are some of my hits and misses.  

Brushlab ceramic  brush

I believe mine is the 2 1/2 inch one.  Love this brush, I do feel like it's kinder to my hair than my old metallic one.  Doesn't get tangled, slides thru easier.  Love it.  If you round brush you should own this brush.  Hit. 

Redken Blown Away hair serum

Not so blown away by this.  I expected it to be more like a lotion than a serum for some reason, which kind of threw me off.  This really didn't seem to do anything for my hair.  Which is upsetting considering I bought two of these for the nieces, but hopefully they'll enjoy these more than I did.  Happily I only bought the travel size.  Miss.

Stila Living the Life in Laguna palette

Well here's another one I also bought for the nieces...annnndd another miss.  Not good.  I've heard mixed reviews on these palettes but had to try them & again maybe the girls will like them better than I do.  The cute quote & mirror and little instructional panel are nice touches.  Unfortunately the eyeshadows & blush don't have great color pay off, or staying power for that matter.  Shadows are also a little too shimmery for this girl.  Sadly...miss.

Hawaiian Tropic Lip Balm

What can I say, this is just a little lip balm.  But it smells (and tastes??) like Hawaii.  Nuff said.  Huge hit.  Wish I would have bought 800 of them! 

Hard Candy Sheer Envy Skin Perfecting Primer

Can you see how it's sliding off my hand here?  Not a good sign.  I realize that is a generous dollop but this product feels a little too greasy on my skin.  It is a silicone based primer, so if you don't like won't like this.  I didn't really feel like this did anything to 'perfect' my skin.  That, plus the greasy feel makes it a miss.  

ELF cream eyeliner

What a great surprize this little liner was.  It glides on well, stays put and no transfer.  There  is a bit of fading throughout the day, but no more than other liners.  This performs like a high end cream liner in my opinion, and for only $3.  Love, love, love..wear it daily.  Hit.  

NYX powder blush in Peach

No Tracy (not me..Beauty Reflections Tracy) this is not a blush you need to own.  This blush just does not show up on my skin, which you can see here. 

It's not just that though, this is chalky. 

In fairness I have heard great things about 'Angel' and would likely try that next time I'm Stateside, or I'll just go for their cream blushes.  Didn't work for me at all.  Miss.  

Sonia Kashuk powder brush

This brush totally reminds me of Sigma's F05 brush and performs pretty much the same way.  I use it to apply highlighter to the tops of my cheekbones, down my nose, above my eyes, etc.  Works great, soft, doesn't shed, easy to clean.  Hit.

Maybelline Lash Discovery Mini Brush mascara

Well it did say mini..and they meant it.  This does a great job of seperating your lashes and getting those hard to reach little lashes on the corners.  It really reminds me of Clinique's bottom lash mascara.  That said, this would be better for a touch up mascara as opposed to a full task mascara.  It took too long for this impatient girl and didn't give me enough volume, obviously.  Bit of a miss.  

Victoria Secret Lost in Fantasy body spray

Thought I'd end this on a positive note.  This is a beautiful soft, tropical smelling fragrance.  Great one for every day and non offensive for the office.  Hit.

So let me know your thoughts.  Have you tried any of these?  Do you agree or disagree with my hits & misses list?  

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Our first recipe attempt - Thai Coconut Curry Shrimp!

We made the Thai Coconut Curry Shrimp from Skinnytaste for dinner is what their dish looked liked, just as a reminder.

Half way thru the cooking process here is ours...

We did any chopping ahead of time so that we had everything ready to go.  There actually wasn't too much prep for this dish.  We had to chop a few green onions, garlic and cilantro..that was it.  I also made some brown & white rice mixture in the rice cooker and didn't start cooking until that was done.

This dish takes only about 7-10 minutes total to cook and really couldn't have been easier.  Want to see the finished product?

So I should have plated ours in a bowl just to give you the full effect, but I thought it came pretty close...and maybe it even looked a little better if I do say so myself.  So the verdict?

We loved this!  Super easy and so tasty.  We used frozen tail on shrimp, just make sure to rinse those under some cool water first to seperate them.   I also added a little water to thin out the coconut milk, which made it a little runnier than I would like.  I won't do that next time.

Mr. J's thoughts:   Really good, fresh, tasty, loved the cilantro, missing some heat & suggested adding a few chili flakes next time, also thought it would be good with shrimp & scallops

My thoughts: Really good, so easy to make, could easily substitute chicken for the shrimp if you wished, needed a little salt and the chili flakes would be a good addition

Overall: Big thumbs up, will definitely make again!  Click on the name of the dish for the recipe and let me know if you try it.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

So here's the skinny...

Ever have one of those moments where you read something on someone's blog and you think, 'it's like she read my mind'.  I had one of those moments this week.  April over at posted about a website full of 'skinny' recipes.  I had just been tossing & turning the night before reading this, thinking I need to really get serious about losing some weight, eating healthier, moving more.

It's not just about joining another diet program...I've done that, Lord knows I've done that.  It's about me doing something for me, finding what works, being more aware of what I'm eating, making a plan to be more active...just making a change.  I started looking thru old Weight Watcher stuff, wanting to apply some of their points plan into my menus.  I took a bit of break to jump on and read some blogs when I came across April's post about a recipe website called Skinny Taste.  And it was like she was calling my name.  This website has some Weight Watcher recipes, with old & new points values already calculated.  So here's the plan.  We're going to try a few of the recipes this week and then take some photos & do some reviews of the recipes along the way, you know like a Julia & Julia kind of thing.  A very amateur version of that anyway. 

So here are the recipes from this site that I plan to try for this week: 

I don't plan on doing rice with the Santa Fe chicken, I'll be making this into more of an enchilada.  

Let's hope our results taste as good as these photos look.  It will be interesting to see how close we can re-create them.  Interesting might be code for stressful, I'll let you know that as well.  

Anyway I know this isn't a beauty post so for those of you who only come here for that, I apologize but I do have some beauty posts coming including a hits & misses from my recent shopping haul.  

So wish me luck, we're off to the grocery store list in hand!

Monday, September 12, 2011

My first Ulta shopping trip!

When I thought about my first trip to Ulta I imagined it so much differently.  I pictured spending hours leisurely wandering up and down the aisles, drooling over all the little Ulta exclusives and scoring some hard to find items.

It was that.  First, I made a strategic planning error in leaving this as our last stop of the day.  And when I say 'our' I mean me and Mr. J...which brings me to my second error.  Mr. J had just spent hours patiently reading his new magazines in the food court of the mall, only to be rewarded by a trip to Ulta.  Also it was about 100 degrees out so and there was no great places to wait so Mr. J found a bench and I went inside to spend a frenzied 20 minutes.  And here's what I grabbed.

I didn't realize that Ulta was like a combination of a drugstore & Sephora, with a ton of hair products in between.  Turns out this is the only Ulta for Spokane and area so I was more than disappointed to find most of the great gift sets I wanted were sold out.  The Lorac one hurt the most!

Anyway the Pro lab brush is one I saw on a few youtube videos so I was excited to get it.  I have used it a few times already and I do love it, the ceramic works well to keep the frizz down in my hair.  Also that Rusk leave in conditioner was on sale and it's been a long time since I've seen it.  It also works well to smooth my hair so I grabbed one.  I also got the Redken blown away travel size heat protectant gel.  Those will make great stocking stuffers, they smell amazing and hopefully work great too.  Haven't tried mine yet.

I was excited to find the new OPI Touring America kits, which debut their new fall colors.  In my frantic'ness I got two for the nieces and none for me.  NONE FOR ME.  The NYX blush is my first one if you can believe.  I wanted another color (Angel) which they didn't have so I settled of Peach.  It is pretty but it's fairly light and doesn't show up that well on my skin.  I wish I would have grabbed one of their cream blushes instead.  The Anastasia travel size eyebrow brush was a great find.  I paid $18 for this little brush but it's well worth it to me.  I got my original one in an Anastasia brow kit years ago and I love it, it's my go to brush every day.  Mine is starting to show it's wear & tear so I wanted to replace it - such an exciting find!

Again, these Stila kits are for the nieces.  These are things I can get here but I haven't seen the Living the Life in Laguna one at my Sephora and I loved the colors in it.  I also managed to remember to get one of these for myself.  These are also cheaper in the States than they are here so totally justifiable.

The lip glazes are for the I'm a good aunt.  But on a happy note I'm almost done my Christmas shopping for those girls.

Finally I had no idea that Ulta carried their own line of body wash, lotions, etc.  They had a bogo sale on  for these so I couldn't resist.  I wish I had smell-a-blog right now because I'm telling you that these smell amazing.  If you like that vanilla/coconut/buttercream frosting scent you will love the smell of this lotion. The body wash is one for the satsuma/citrus scent fans - fabulous smelling.

So that is it.  It was honestly a little disappointing just given how rushed I was and how many things they were sold out of.  *thank you Mr. J for being so patient-cause I can just hear him now saying, I didn't want you to rush*   I also wanted the Laura Gellar Balance & Brighten but they didn't have my shade, Benefit's Finding Mr. Bright kit..and so on.

Anyway it just means I will have to experience Ulta again, which isn't a bad thing right?

So that's it for my numerous haul posts.  Hopefully you enjoyed them.  I will be giving you my thoughts on some of things I got in the next few weeks & months, so far there have been a few disappointments but all in all not bad.  Also, I am over the buyers remorse I always get when I spend crazy amounts of money shopping in the States.  I always have that moment of panic when I want to return everything I bought and just scurry back home.  The boy already talked me down from that ledge, so it's all good now.

Did you get anything exciting recently?  Or anything where you experienced buyers remorse, because that might be even more fun to hear about.  Kidding *not really*.

Talk to you soon!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Today's the day!

Tonight Mr. J and I are off to watch my friend Michelle get married.  She's had a long, and sometimes difficult road, that she's travelled to get here.  I'm so truly happy for her and her husband to be.

Michelle and I have history.  The kind of history where you can lose touch for months at a time and then pick up again as if you've just seen each other.  The kind where we have stories to tell and secrets we keep.  The kind where you can say a few words to each other and you just know what it means.  The kind where you've spent so many years together, that you've seen each other thru life's ups and some of life's hardest moments.  The kind of history that is treasured.

So today we celebrate, a truly special moment in life.  I wish her much love...


Saturday, September 3, 2011

Stateside Product Haul!

So I'm back with my product haul from our recent trip to the States.  Looking thru the pictures and going thru my stuff I realize that there isn't as much 'makeup' necessarily and just more overall product.  Truly I think I just have so much more than I need and so I really haven't felt the need to buy much more makeup.  Not that I NEEDed anything Lord knows, but you get what I mean.  Anyway, on with the photos!

Well so it turns out that a few trips to Walmart, Target, drugstores eventually adds up.  See why I needed the crates?

I went a little nuts with concealers on this trip.  There are a few here that I have been wanting to try but couldn't get my hands on...hello Glamoflauge you are finally mine!  Also we have very limited ELF products here so I grabbed a few things from Target that I hadn't tried, like the makeup wipes, highlighter/concealer, cream eye liner.  I'll do a seperate ELF post because I had also placed an order shortly before our holidays. *didn't she just say she wasn't buying as much makeup lately*  There are other things here I can certainly get in Canada but the prices are just so much better in the States, that Almay mascara was $3.99 on sale!

I'm drawn like a moth to a flame by anything 'travel size' and Tarjay has the most amazing travel section ever.  Mr. J & I spent about 1/2 hr just holding things up and going 'look at this'.  Hence the little Shout wipes, Tide pen, Qtip containers, extra shower poufs, etc.  The Wet n Wild trio is Silent Treatment, which I've been wanting forever but couldn't find here.  And,'s okay but the shadows have a bit more shimmer than I was expecting, so I doubt I'll use it much.  

The Yes to line is a bit harder to find here, I've only used the Yes to Carrots and I really liked their daily moisturizer.  That Yes to Blueberry eye roller is fairly new and is meant to lighten and brighten your under eye area.  I've tested it a bit already and so far I haven't really noticed anything but it does feel soothing and cooling when I put it on.  That makeup brush is a Sonia Kashuk small powder brush from Target. It reminds me of the Sigma F05 that I love and is very similar.  If you don't have it, it's a great brush for applying highlighter or even blush and is definitely one I'd recommend.  

I had read about those new Softsoap bar soaps on another blog and I spotted them when I was there, so just couldn't leave them behind.  I love both the coconut & pomegranate scents and am so happy to have them.  Also Emilynoel 83 raves about that Tresemme hair spray.  I saw it for $3.99 on sale, for that huge can so I just had to grab it.  

See again..this is why we needed the crates.  Oh and I forgot to mention the Victoria Secret scents.  I got one Love Spell, which I know some people think is a young girl sweet scent but I don't care..I have loved it for years and still wear it from time to time.  Also I picked up the Lost in Fantasy spray & body wash.  This is a new one for me, it's a Brazilian orchid & kiwi scent and is delicious smelling, love!

Okay so one last little haul from Ulta left and then I'm done with my 'see what I bought' posts. I have that one almost ready to go so I'll post it in the next few days.  Hopefully these are more interesting than they are obnoxious.

And I wonder why I came home exhausted?

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