I just wanted to leave you all a quick note letting you know that I won't be around for the next week. Why, you ask? Well, I guess the title of this post kind of gives it away, but...I'm going to Thailand for interim! Interim is something my school and many others in the Southeast Asia region do on a yearly basis - it's basically a week off of school where everyone disperses to different corners of the globe to do different things, usually service.
This year I'm going to get myself certified in Wilderness First Aid. I know, it seems pretty random and unlike anything I would normally do, but these school trips are meant to push you out of your comfort zone and help you learn new things about yourself, as well as make new connections with others. I'm very excited but also sort of sad because this is my last interim. I just hope it's a good one.
I'm leaving this afternoon and I'll be back home on the 15th, which is next Saturday. I won't have my computer with me, hence the absence in the next week, but I'll have my phone so I may from time to time still be active on Twitter and Instagram. The blog, however, will have to deal with a bit of radio silence until I'm back. Don't worry! The week will pass quickly, and I'll be back before you know it. :)
Have a wonderful week guys!
Saturday, March 8, 2014
Friday, March 7, 2014
Some of you might know this already, but my older brother lives in Taiwan. He comes back about once a month, and every time he comes back, he makes dinner for us since he's a great cook. Well, he came back yesterday morning, and last night he decided to cook us up some steaks for dinner. Since I'm off school at the moment, I decided to help out.
One of the first things we did was cut up the potatoes and throw them in the oven to get them ready to make mash. Unfortunately that didn't work out, so we ended up with just some oven-roasted potatoes, which I'm not complaining about.
I'm pretty terrible when it comes to chopping stuff up, but my brother took a chance on me anyway and assigned me to the onion chopping station. Thankfully I didn't cut myself or ruin the onions, so I'd say the entire experience was very much a success!
We wanted to caramelize them so we threw some olive oil and butter in a pan to heat up for just a second, then we threw the onions in there too and left them to caramelize, stirring and tossing continuously to make sure they didn't burn.
And then it was back to the chopping station, this time with tomatoes. For some reason I felt like they looked really pretty, so I made sure to get my brother to get a snap of me cutting them up!
We tossed them into a bowl full of different types of lettuce and veggies to make a salad, which was also drizzled with olive oil and pepper.
And the main event...the steaks! This was a lot easier than I expected it would be. All we had to do was liberally sprinkle on some salt and pepper and drizzle on olive oil so that it wouldn't stick to the grill. After patting the seasoning in, we threw them on.
After taking them off we added the caramelized onions and some chopped chives over the top.
For me, I'd requested some steak tartare after seeing a really yummy photo my brother posted on his instagram a few weeks ago. I didn't get any photos of this process unfortunately since I was out running errands when my brother started cooking! I can tell you though that he started by hand chopping the steak, and mixing it with chives, onion, garlic, salt and pepper, and olive oil. He also added an egg yolk on top because...why not?
Look how pretty he made it look, too! He was very flattered when I snapchatted a photo of it to a few of my friends and they thought I was at a restaurant. It does look very professional, I must admit.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
One of the things I use every time I paint my nails is a fast drying top coat. I love the Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat ($10), which is unfortunately not pictured above because I'm out. It has a very thick consistency and gives a really high shine finish, and it dries your nails so quickly, I can start doing all the things I'd usually do in ten minutes or less. The top coat I've got pictured here is the Orly In a Snap Top Coat ($13), which I also really like and actually discovered before the Seche Vite, and which is sometimes better because the Seche Vite one tends to get really thick and goopy after a while. I don't think this dries my nails as fast as the Seche Vite, but it's a great alternative that probably lasts longer.
When I'm really busy and need to give my nails an extra push, I'll use something like this Koji Nailist Quick Dry Spray ($17 on Amazon). This is a Japanese brand that I picked up in the basement of Times Square, if I'm not mistaken, and essentially it's very cold compressed air inside a can that sort of freezes your nails and forces them to harden and dry when sprayed on. It doesn't hurt your hands unless you spray too much, so don't worry about that. I find that this really cuts down on drying time and this is always my go-to when I'm in a rush. The only bad thing is that it doesn't last that long, which you sort of expect from an aerosol can.
The other thing I like to use is the OPI Drip Dry ($13), which is an oil you apply to your nails with the dropper inside. You need very little of this and I do find that it helps my nails dry very fast, but the irritating thing is that it makes your hands quite oily because it spreads all over, but I don't really mind because you can just wash it off after. The weird thing about this, however, is that every time I look at the bottle I feel like some of it has just...disappeared, without me using any. It's the strangest thing and I don't know if I'm just imagining it or what, but I felt that I should mention it just in case it's not just me.
If you struggle with messing up your nails as I do, I highly recommend checking these products out!
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Trish McEvoy Even Skin Beta Hydroxy Pads ($65).
These pads come in tubs of 40, and they're meant to be daily exfoliating pads that gently dissolve the dead skin cells on the surface layer of the skin, leaving your complexion radiant and clear. I've been using these for about three months now, and I have to say that it completely delivers. I haven't used a traditional face scrub in months since discovering these pads. Though they are supposedly meant to be used on a daily basis so that it helps your products sink in better, I don't really like to use them that way. I use it every other day and do not use any other products on my skin afterwards, because I feel like it allows the serum that these pads are soaked in to really sink in and take effect.
After using these consistently, I'm really pleased to report back favorable results. I really do find that it helped to fade some of the hyper-pigmentation that I had from my acne, which has always been my biggest problem when it comes to my skin. The spots are honestly barely visible anymore, and I think that these pads had a lot to do with that. After long nights of studying and stressing out, this also helped rejuvenate my skin - it went from dull and sallow to bright and clear, which I was very happy about and also really thankful for! I also didn't experience any sensitivity after using these which I attribute to my skipping a day between uses. I think if I didn't it would be too much for my sensitive skin to take, so if you have a similar skin type, I'd recommend you do the same.
These are pretty expensive, but I find that these actually last longer than you think they will because the pads are so saturated in serum, you can cut them in half and prolong the lifetime of your tub! This is the trick I use, and if I didn't I would probably think that this was a bit too expensive to keep repurchasing, but because that trick makes it last twice as long, I don't mind as much (though of course it still hurts my wallet a little).
Overall, a wonderfully effective exfoliator that I can't recommend enough.
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Zoya Remove+ Nail Polish Remover comes in.
I guess there's not too much to say about this other than it really gets the job done. I've tried a lot of nail polish removers in my time but this is by far my favorite. It's incredibly effective at getting the polish off, and it doesn't have as strong an acetone scent as some of the other really good nail polish removers I've tried in the past. I just like how quickly it gets the polish off, and with minimal effort too.
The other reason I love this so much is the packaging. When I was younger and I went to get my nails done, I remember I was always fascinated by the pump polish remover they had, and at the time it was like a huge dream of mine to get one of my own. It's kind of ridiculous, I know, but hey I was a frivolous kid and I won't apologize for any of it! Anyway, I adore that this comes in that same pump packaging, as it makes it just that much more convenient to use and allows me to waste less product, since with normal bottles I always end up pouring out more than I really need.
Overall, a great option for a polish remover, and not too expensive since the bottles are absolutely massive. It's a steal to get a 32ml bottle for $25, and I couldn't recommend this more!