Thursday, July 29, 2010

Back from my Summer Holiday!

We just got back yesterday from a 10-day trip to Orlando, Florida.  The kids loved Disney World - we got a 4-day pass and went to the Magic Kingdom (twice), the Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. We stayed at the Waldorf-Astoria - it was beautiful - we felt so pampered. The pool was gorgeous - we went swimming nearly every day.
On our non-Disney days, we drove to Daytona Beach and St. Augustine. I fell in love with St. Augustine - it's a city rich with history and filled with beautiful Spanish architecture.
I didn't spend too much time shopping - we went to 2 outlets (spent 4 hours there in total) - Target (I love shopping there, wish I had more time to look around and try clothes out) - and I popped in to Forever21 while we were waiting for a place at the Cheesecake Factory. I already showed my outlet items here. Here's the rest of my vacation purchases:
Faux-leather jacket from F21 (on sale for $20 - it fits perfectly - can't wait to wear it when the weather gets cooler)

Coach Poppy wristlet (got suckered in by the pink!)
Necklaces from F21 - have already worn 2 of them - and love them to bits!
Pendants from F21 and Target. The silver ones are actually a 2-part necklace - but I'm going to try separate them - and wear only the key pendant. The Target pendant is rose-gold plated silver. I love how delicate it is.

Okay - now that I'm done blogging - I better get back to unpacking!

Friday, July 23, 2010

My Birthday presents

I'm a July baby - and when hubby asked me what I wanted for my birthday this year, I told him: an "outlet day" during our summer vacation. Well - I'm back from my day - and I got some fun stuff (and great deals!)
My first stop was the Kate Spade store - I've always loved the simple and preppy Kate Spade style. I picked up a small white leather bag ($99) and cheerful toiletry bag ($22.50).
Next I went to the fabled CCO - until recently, I'd always walk by it - now I know it has a treasure trove of MAC products!

I got two 2009 holiday sets (I had almost bought them when they were full price at the MAC stores...I had such a hard time resisting!) and a set of lipglasses. The pink box ($25.25) is the "Put a spell on you" set with pink mini-bag, babysparks dazzleglass, Dervish lip pencil and Dream lipstick. The maroon box ($34.75) is the "Do the trick" brush set and has brushes: 168SE, 187SE, 209SE, 219SE and 252SE. The Little Darlings coral lipglass set ($15.50) has 5 colours: Underage, Wonderstruck, Budding, Ola Mango and Pink Grapefruit.
My last stop was JCrew. I loved these studded belts ($23.60 each) so I got two. The Whisper V-neck cardigan ($14.98) is really lightweight - the perfect summer cover up. I also got this white ruffle tank ($24.50) - I probably didn't need it - but JCrew do ruffles so well - so I thought it would be worth it.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Pre-Holiday Shopping: Dresses and belts

We'll soon be leaving for our 10-day summer holiday. The weather is going to be seriously hot, and I wanted to take a break from my usual "jeans with a pretty top" look. I'm always attracted to summer dresses, but most of them show more skin than I want to. Luckily the current trends are in my favour - and I've found lots of lightweight cotton leggings and shrugs to pair with dresses to cover me up! I've also been inspired by blogger Veronika to wear belts with my dresses - they make the whole outfit look more pulled together.

Here are some of my recent purchases:
H&M Dress, H&M Belt, Garage Leggings, Payless sandals
-I wasn't to sure about this dress - it's a little bit flouncy - but the material is so lightweight - and it was on sale!

Garage Dress, Garage Belt, H&M Leggings, Old Navy Shrug, Payless Sandals
-I loved this dress as soon as I tried it on - the pattern is quintessentially summer. I've already worn it out in the heat - and it kept me cool all day. 
Old Navy Dress, Garage Belt, Garage Leggings, Payless Sandals
-I love the ruffles along the neckline. I have to play with where I belt it - this also looks nice belted near the hips.
H&M Dress, H&M Belt, Garage Jeggings, Payless Sandals, Old Navy Shrug (brown), Suzy Shier Shrug (cream).
-I can't decide which shrug to wear with this outfit - cream or me choose!

Old Navy Dress, Stitches Leggings, Aldo Bag, Payless Sandals.
-This outfit is a little boring - but I had to buy this black dress - it is made of the softest and lightest material - it feels AMAZING on. Also pictured - my Chanel-inspired Aldo bag. Quilted bags have been everywhere this year - and I've tried to resist, as I hope someday to get a Chanel Flap bag (maybe for some future wedding anniversary - I'll love it more than jewelry LOL!). But this bag just *wanted* to go on holiday with me because: 1) It's blush coloured - since it's a neutral, it will co-ordinate with many outfits 2) It's from Aldo - I've always found their bags to be very light to carry, and resistant to wear and tear 3) I can wear it as a shoulder bag and cross-body - so it works for day and night 4) Even if I do get my Chanel someday - I'd probably baby it - and wouldn't use it on holiday. So I justified it to myself quite well, don't you think?
Stitches Maxi Dress, Garage Belt.
-I like this Maxi dress because it has cap sleeves rather than spaghetti straps - so I don't need to wear a shrug with it. I wish it wasn't so voluminous around the waist, but it is comfy - and was only $20!
Garage Shirt, Belt and Jeggings. Payless Sandals.
- Although this is obviously not a dress - I had to have this shirt - it is so well-made and fits perfectly.

It was hard not to go too crazy shopping - because of the summer sales - but I had to limit myself - especially because I want to fit some shopping into our holiday LOL! I tried to get versatile items that I'd get lots of use out of. I also picked up some cute items for my kids - my daughter got lots of pretty dresses, and I got my son and hubby matching polo shirts in many colours - so we'll have a mini-me situation going on :-)

Do you end up buying a lot of clothes before going on holiday or do you shop your closet?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

What's for Dinner?

Last week I made Southern Fried Chicken with Yogurt Dip for dinner. I saw this being prepared on the UK food network (back when we lived in London). Hubby and I thought it looked really yummy and easy to make - and it is! Recipe can be found here.
 Tonight we had Korean-Style Tilapia Fish Cakes for dinner (we don't eat fried food every night LOL!) I subscribe to Aeriskitchen on YouTube, and she uploaded this recipe recently. It only uses a few ingredients - but is sooo good. I highly recommend trying it. It helps if you own a food processor - I don't - and mincing fish in the blender is not easy!

I'm always looking for easy and yummy recipes. If you have any favourites - please link to them in the comments section :-)

Friday, July 9, 2010

My current make up routine

I love watching "Beauty Gurus" on YouTube - especially when they feature tutorials on everyday make-up looks. Click on the links below to see 2 videos that I've recently enjoyed watching:



These videos inspired me to share my own make-up routine. I like to stick to natural colours - so that the focus is on my features. My ideal make-up look is: glowy skin, blushed cheeks, shimmery lids, thick lashes and glossy lips. Here's what I do:

1) Apply moisturiser and eye cream. Pat face and lids with blotting paper to even out skin.

2) Use Benefit Playstick as an eyeshadow base. Put a stripe of Benefit's Eye Bright under each eye. Use a fluffy brush to apply concealer, and blend together.
3) Use Bare Escentuals Handy Buki brush to apply Everyday Minerals base all over face - making sure to set the eye concealer. Reapply base and buff over any facial blemishes. I find concealers never work for my spots - either they make me breakout more (MAC) or they make the area look discoloured and stand out (mineral concealers).
 4) EYE SHADOW: Apply Lancome neutral shade all over lid. Use the darker stripes of the Sephora Shimmer brick to apply a wash of colour. Use liner brush to apply highlight shade in inner V. Use the spoolie brush to comb through brows.
 5) LASHES: Pat ELF gel eyeliner across lashline. Curl lashes with Revlon curler (will buy the Shu Uemera curler someday!) and apply Full n Soft mascara.
6) CHEEKS: Use Coastal Scents kabuki brush to apply ELF bronzer under cheekbones (with the remaining powder lightly applied all over the face to add warmth). Apply CG Ageless Blush in Lush berry using MAC 129. Use the MAC 187 with the Sephora Shimmer Brick to highlight cheekbones.
7) Apply Gilded pencil on cupids bow, brow bone and bridge of nose. Mist Evian over face to set make up and add a glow.
 8) LIPS: Line lips and fill in with MAC spice lipliner, apply Dior lipgloss. Other combos - apply MAC's Angel and Benefit I'm with the band Gloss or Revlon Soft Rose lipstick with Bronzeberry Wet n Wild Gloss.

What type of make up look do you like? Have any great tips you'd like to share? I'd love read about it in the comments!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Free Make Up!

This past weekend my local drugstore "Shoppers Drug Mart" had a points redemption event. If you used $75 worth of points, you'd get an extra $25. Since this was like "free money" I decided to treat myself to some make-up. Here's what I bought:
1) Revlon Colourburst Lipstick in Soft Rose - I've had this item on my wishlist ever since I read that it is similar to Chanel's Coco Rouge in Mademoiselle and Dolce Vita gloss by NARS. I love the quilted packaging and smooth application of this product. It's a bit more colourful than my usual comfort zone - but with a gold gloss over it, I think I'll enjoy wearing it.

 2) Benefit Gilded pencil - Gilded has been discontinued - but this store had some leftover stock on display. Since it is an HG item for me, I purchased a back up - yay! I love using this pencil to highlight my cheekbones, cupid's bow, nose bridge and brow bone. (They also had some leftover Mr Frosty pencils as well - but I prefer Eye Bright, so I didn't pick it up)

3) Benefit Lipgloss in I'm With The Band - the name sounds familiar - but I can't remember where I've heard/read about it. I was immediately drawn to this peach/pink shade with gold reflects. It looks AMAZING on - and has great lasting power. Loving it so far!

4) Benefit Big Beautiful Eyes kit - I was drawn in by the first 2 eyeshadow shades - both are shimmery neutrals with pinky tones.They swatched beautifully on my hand - but I was horribly disappointed when I got home and tried it on my eyes. The shades appeared chalky - definitely not suitable for NC35 skin like mine! They also didn't have much lasting power. I went to the store to return it - and picked up the next 4 items in exchange for it! I was so happy - I hate keeping make-up that I will not use.

5) CoverGirl Simply Ageless Sculpting Blush in Lush Berry - I love this item. I first heard about it on this Youtube video by Meganheartsmakeup - she compares it to MAC's Blushcreme in Ladyblush. (On a sidenote - I really like Megan's channel - yes, she's only 14(!!!), but she has some of the most usable hair and make-up tips on youtube - especially if you like wearing natural-looking make-up). I've used this already and love it. It applies easily, looks very natural and lasts a long time. Unlike some cream blushes, it works perfectly on its own - no need to set it with powder blush. I'm really tempted to try the concealer from this range - as it incorporates Olay's eye cream (which I love).

L'Oreal Extra Volume Collagen Waterproof Mascara - I picked this up for our Summer holiday. Our destination will be very humid, so I want to make sure my mascara is smudge-proof. I've tried the regular version - and liked how smoothly it applied - but it didn't do anything special to my lashes. I'm hoping that this extra-volume formulation will be more dramatic.

 Soap & Glory Girligo Body Moisturizing Mist -  With all the summer heat, I don't feel like using my body butter after I shower - it's too heavy. This fragrant mist lightly moisturizes and highlights - it makes my skin so soft! I've been wanting to try the Soap & Glory range for a while - since it was founded by the creator of Bliss - but is so much more affordable.

Soap & Glory Flake Away Body Scrub_ When I got to the counter with my purchases, the lovely assistant doing my exchange told me that I should pick up one more item - and I'd get a $10 food gift card (so basically - I was getting one item for free). I chose this scrub because it looks soooo good and smells lovely. However, I have a St Ives Apricot Scrub I want to finish before I open this product - so it may be a while before I review it.

So that is all my free make-up - basically $110 worth of products, and I only had to pay the taxes...what a great result for using the drugstore point card!



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