Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Easy Family Dinner - Garlic Chicken Penne!

Hola amigos!

So I've been neglecting my blog a little since the summertime due to back-to-school/travels/etc., but I realized I've got a few posts started back then that I wanted to finish up now -- this is one of those posts!

Every once in a while, when the parents are out or when I'm living alone, I'm tasked with making myself or the whole fam dinner for the night and for some reason, on one particular evening, I was just really craving pasta.. So, I found a recipe, made a trip to the grocery store, and voila! Garlic Chicken Penne!

You may notice it's more than half eaten - we were too hungry to wait for before pics haha

You can find the original recipe here, or keep reading this post for the how-to!

Here's what you need:
- 1 lb Boneless Chicken Skinless Chicken Breast
- 1/2 lb Asparagus Spears
- 1/2 cup Chopped Onions
- 1 tub Philadelphia Reduced Fat Italian Cheese & Herb Cooking Cream
- 2 cups Whole Wheat Penne Pasta
- 1 cup Cherry Tomatoes
- 2 tbsp Shredded Parmesan (or to taste)

The How-to:
1. First, you'll wanna prep your ingredients, which means: cutting the chicken into bite-size pieces, chopping the asparagus into small couple-inch spears, chopping the onions, and halving the cherry tomatoes
2. Then, get some water to boil for the pasta, and while you're waiting for the penne to cook, cook the chicken, asparagus, and onions in a large nonstick skillet on medium heat.
3. Once the chicken is ready, add in the pasta and the cooking cream (I couldn't find the Italian Cheese & Herb one tbh, so I used a different, Italian Garlic one instead and it tasted delish. So pick whichever you like best or is stocked at your grocery store!)
4. Lastly, after the cream is melted and stirred in nicely, add in the tomatoes for just long enough to get them to soften a bit the way tomatoes do.
5. Sprinkle with parmesan to taste and serve!

In total, the meal took 25-30 mins to make, and it tasted pretty amazing! It's a pretty heavy-feeling dish, so we ended up with some leftovers - I'd say it's enough to serve 6 comfortably. I also served it with a side of homemade garlic bread; you could also add a nice glass of white wine if that's your style, plus some good Italian accordian/violin music, and you'll have that full Italian meal feel!

So yeah, that's that! Hope y'all enjoyed the post and the recipe -- if you do decide to make it for yourself, let me know what you think or if you've got your own personal variations! I'd love to know! :)

Cheers y'all! xo


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Colour of the Week - PINK!

Hey hey hey,

Today I felt like doing a few reviews, so I thought I would grab a few products near at hand and just go for it. But then I figured, that`s kinda boring, why not make it themed? So, without further ado, I bring you the colour of the week: Pink!

The idea here is that this week, I'll review some pink items that I own, then next week, I'll pick another colour and do the same! Exciting, innit? (no? Only me? :p )

Well anyway, here're the first four products picked completely randomly (literally I just reached into my purse and pulled 'em out - great planning bud, what a pro!)

Here's the low-down:

1. Clinique Superbalm Moisturizing Gloss in Grapefruit:
Specs: $19 at Sephora, 0.5oz
Quickie: 5/5 Super Moisturizing, Sheer, Love It!
Starting with the Clinique Moisturizing Gloss, well, I just love this product!! The one in the picture is actually a sample size, but I use this stuff most days 'cause it's super moisturizing, sheer, longlasting, and the colour is the perfect light pink with a bit of twinkle that mostly just looks like my natural lipcolour has been enhanced. Overall, it's just lovely, and even though I'm still working through my sample version (0.24oz), I know this will be a definite buy when I run out!

2. Clinique LongLast Glosswear in Tenderheart :
Specs: $19 at Sephora, 0.2oz
Quickie: 3.5/5 Love the shade, longlasting, but sticky
Now this stuff on the other hand just plain annoys me. On the one side, I absolutely LOVE the colour; it's non-shimmer and I just feel like it's a really good match for my lips/skin and adds instant class to any combo. But then the major downside that really kills it for me is the stickiness! I hate that from application to wear, it doesn't spread well across my lips, makes em stick together a bit, and generally feels a bit yucky. Apparently some people like the stickiness, but I really can't deal with it for long periods at a time, so for me, this turns out to be a last resort gloss instead of the staple that I thought it could be.

3. Revlon Colorburst Lipbutter in Creamsicle:
Specs: ~$10 at local drugstore (ex, Shoppers Drug Mart)
Quickie: 4.5/5 Great colour, light pink/neutral, a little bit drying 
This is actually the newest lip product in my collection and I'm really loving it! The colour is a sort of pale, neutral pink, and it's fairly longlasting and really pretty. I do, however, find that this shade is somehow less moisturizing than other lipbutters I own (like Candy Apple, one of my faves) and actually dries out my lips a little. But I get around that by applying some extra balm before Creamsicle so it's not a big deal in the end. Overall, I'm quite happy with this one :D

4. The Body Shop Vitamin E Hand & Nail Treatment:
Specs: $16 at The Body Shop, 75mL
Quickie: 3.5/5 Super moisturizing, unpleasant smell, not repurchasing
Lastly, I've got The Body Shop's Vitamin E hand and nail treatment, which claims to be "essential care for soft hands and stronger nails". But, to be honest, it's not my favourite hand lotion. It IS very moisturizing, and makes my hands feel smooth and cool. But on the other hand, it's got a bit of a funky smell which prevents me from using it anywhere outside of my room at home. I think it's meant to just have no fragrance, but I don't like what they ended up with :/ Basically, you're not gonna wanna take it out with you for daily wear because it's just a lil bit stanky, this one.

But yeah, that's it for now; I'll see you tomorrow for Day 2 of PINK week, but until then, let me know if you've tried any of these products and what you think! Did I get em right or am I a little loco? I wanna know :)

cya! xo


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sephora Meteor Shower Eyeshadow Trio


So I recently purchased one of Sephora's Microsmooth Eyeshadow trios in 08 Meteor Shower (blue/gold/brown pictured below) and was dying to try it out! So yesterday, when I was out and about doing some shopping, I decided to smack it on and give it a test run. Here's the product and what I came up with:

The pic on the left is courtesy of the Sephora website, and both on the right are finished product, just in a bit different lighting :)

And then here's a couple zoomed out-pics so you can see what the whole thing looks like. #shameless-selfies lol

So as you can see, what I did was just apply a neutral base followed by the dark brown colour in the crease and outer lid, the teal colour in the middle of the lid, and the gold in the inner corner of the eyes and a little bit in that first third of the eyelid. Lined the top again with the dark brown colour and lined the bottom outer half with the dark brown, and inner half with the gold. Then just blended it all a little, applied my Make Up Forever mascara (might review in a short while if I have anything specific to say) and voila! The colour on my lips is Clinique's Pink Spice lipstick and face is the Too Faced "Natural Face" palette to complete the look.

Overall, I was really happy with it all, and in particular, I REALLY liked the gold colour. The idea with the blue though was to have it in the centre of the eye to draw the attention there and bring out my brown eyes a bit. Although I do think it did that, I would have preferred if the blue was a little more pigmented as I had to apply a few layers to get the colour in the pictures. In the future, I'm thinking I might sub in my Surfin' USA Sephora shadow featured a few posts back (link here) instead. The dark brown was also alright but I would have preferred something a little more bold. However, once it was all on, it did stay like this all day through my walkin' and shoppin' and haircuttin' adventures so I am really happy with it all put together - plus the colours almost perfectly match my shirt which I thought was a really cool coincidence ;p

Basically, I like the trio, I'll continue to wear this look on the occasional summer day out in the sun, but sub in another blue for the one in the trio to make it more bold. And it will be cool. And yeahhh. That's pretty much that! Let me know what you think about the Meteor Shower trio or anything else related, and I will catch y'all on the flip side!

Bye for now! xo


Friday, June 7, 2013

Pineapple-Blueberry Kale Smoothie - A Surprise Hit!

Today feels like a pretty big day for me as I have officially lost 10lbs since I started changing up my lifestyle a month ago, and I feel stronger every time I go to the gym and I have so much more energy from the foods I'm eating and the activities I'm doing, and goddamn, I am starting to look FINE (k well not completely, but it's all about how you feel that's important right guys? Right. xD )

So anyways, a major part of switching to a healthier lifestyle and losing some lbs. in the process is trying new things - like a LOT of new things for me. But never in a thousand years did I think I'd end up drinking some kind of creamy green concoction and actually LOVING it! Today I thought I'd share this healthy yumminess with you as I go try on my one-size-smaller dresses that now fit once more! (Summer bod, here I come!) Here's the healthy super drink that surprised me in all the good ways:

(And here's the original link where I found it: http://www.fitsugar.com/Flat-Belly-Smoothie-28343926. btw I love this fitsugar for all kinds of fitspiration; such a great site!)

In the original source, it shows a purple smoothie which I just don't understand unless if you can buy purple kale or something? Mine just took that light green color. But whatever, tastes awesome!

So here's the low-down:
You take,
3 oz (about 0.375 cups) of Vanilla Greek Yoghurt
1 tblspoon almond butter
1/2 cup blueberries (frozen is best but sometimes I'm too lazy and it honestly makes no difference)
1/2 cup pineapple (again, frozen is suggested)
1 cup kale (you won't even taste it, take it from a girl who normally really dislikes the taste of this veggie)
3/4 cup water (or ice or however much it takes to get the consistency you like)

Then just blend all the above together and VOILA! And I know what you're thinking: you're looking at that pic up there and thinking "ummmm, no thank you, I'll pass..." but SERIOUSLY try this thing, you won't regret it! It tastes SO much better than it looks; it's a kinda sweety sour taste from the pineapple with a bit of almondy-ness. And the health benefits are incredible: protein and calcium from the yogurt, healthy fibers from the kale, belly fat-fighting blueberry and pineapple, and more protein n healthy fats from the almond. PLUS, if that's not enough for ya, the whole thing is under 300 calories! Perfect for a quick breakfast or pre-/post-workout shake!

So yeah, I'm clearly in love with this stuff so I hope you like it too. Either way though, let me know what you think if you do try it out! Also, let me know if yours is actually purple; that whole thing still perplexes me :p

Till later! xo


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Pretty in Polka - Mexx Outfit of the Day

Hola senoritas!

Recently the sun's been coming out more often, it's getting warmer and brighter outside, and that just makes me happy! So out with the dark, cold clothes and in with the bright, fun, cute summery ones! Take a look:

So yeah, today I'm wearing everything Mexx (except for my shoes purchased somewhere in Serbia last summer) with these white pants I literally just bought yesterday and a loose polka shirt that's tucked in at the back so it doesn't look too big for me (thanks mum for letting me raid your closet! xo). Although it's a complete coincidence that my whole outfit is Mexx, I'm honestly not even surprised because I LOVE that store! They've got the perfect classy clothing you can wear for work or anywhere else when you wanna dress things up a little. Needless to say, their pieces play a significant role in my wardrobe ;P

As for hair and accessories, you'll notice I'm keeping it light today for work, but I've got my basic Mexx purse which I lug around everywhere, a couple of Sephora ribbon hair elastics (I'm always donning the hair elastics on my wrist or in my hair lol), and a simple messy (by nature, not choice haha) side braid. Nothing fancy! Though, now that I think of it, I totally could've used my blue/gold Aldo earrings or a nice necklace with this outfit...oh well! Onto makeup!

Sorry for the weirdness in these pics, they were taken early in the morning with different lighting because whatever :p

So I did something a little different with my eyes today too, as opposed to my regular neutral look, wearing just two light brown neutral base colours for lid and crease paired with new (for me) Sephora blues: #17 Sweet Dreams in the inner corner of the eyes, and the #14 Surfin' USA for both upper and lower lash lines. And then rounded off with Make Up Forever's Smoky Extravagant Mascara - it's my first time using this mascara as opposed to my Clinique High Impact Waterproof Mascara, but so far I'm liking it! Everything else is the same as usual, keeping it light for summer ^.^

Aaaaannnnnd yeah, that's pretty well that! Hope you're enjoying your day, and if you have any suggestions on how to wear blue eyeshadows, let me know! I'm dying to try out different looks with my new ones!

Till later!


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Amazing Almond Butter Rice Cakes!

During this last semester of uni, I accomplished quite a bit through exams, courses, clubs, etc. etc. But one thing that was always lacking was a good diet. With all the stress and hassle around me, it was easiest to just ignore all those recipes I've learned over the years and opt for some fast food goodness instead. Well, this summer, I've decided no more!

Over the past few weeks, I've been doing some research about the right kinds of foods I should be eating to fuel my busy lifestyle, ones that will both satisfy my hunger and provide nutritional goodness to make me happy and buzzing all day (and it doesn't hurt if they're on the low-cal side either, am I right? ;) ) That being said, I thought I'd make a post about one of my new favourite snack/breakfast/thingies: these almond butter rice cakes!

I first came across these somewhere on Pinterest or FitSugar or something like that. The original source is  http://deliciouslyorganized.blogspot.ca/2011/11/vegan-gluten-free-afternoon-snack.html, where I got the pic from too.

So here's the good stuff, what it is n how to make it. It's SUPER easy. First get yourself some:
- Plain rice cake(s)
- Almond butter
- Banana
- Cinnamon or chocolate flakes (if desired)

For one cake, I take one tablespoon of almond butter and smear it on the rice cake, slice up half a banana, and voila! To add another flavour, you can also sprinkle some cinnamon or chocolate flakes or the like on top, but I personally prefer it without.

And apart from being so quick to prepare (literally takes me 3 mins then I'm munchin'), it's also SUPER yummy, vegan, gluten-free, low-calorie (less than 200 in one cake), and filled with mega protein, potassium, and fibres -- seriously, how can you NOT love it?

Anyways, I've been popping one of these as a post-workout/evening snack or pairing it with some greek yoghurt and blueberries for breakfast, and it's just great! So, have a taste, and let me know what you think!




Hello oh great Internet!

Or, at least, hello future me who will inevitably be judging every little word and scoffing at how crazy I must have been back when...Yes, I know, you're SO much better and SO much more mature now, great, can we move on now? Awesome.

So recently there's been a lot of random cool stuff happening in my life, including some lifestyle changes, trying lots of new things, and generally working to be a well-rounded, cooler kind of person. And while this is all great, I realized that it leaves me with lots of stuff swirling around my brain taking up space and thoughts that I know I'll need later but don't need now. Needless to say, my Type A personality needs a place to organize and store these thoughts and ideas so that I don't go crazy, and what better place than a blog?

So I guess if anyone does somehow stumble onto this page, you should know that there is little method to this madness. I post things that I'm thinking about, doing, trying, whatever at the moment and which I think I might want to access later on down the road. OOO DOCUMENTING STUFF COOL.

Right. Lol. So that's that.

Peace out!