Watermelon Mimosa

Watermelon Mimosa

I like watermelons and I like mimosas, so why not combine the two? OK, I’ll stop pretending I thought this one up on my own. I actually found it on Pinterest (shocker!) and the post is much cooler and has better photos than mine, so I’m not going to provide the link :) Who makes watermelon mimosas on a dark and rainy Texas afternoon? –> This girl.

Ingredients: 

1 small watermelon, cubed
juice of 2 small limes
1 bottle dry, sparkling wine or champagne (chilled)

How to: 
1) Dice your watermelon and add the pieces to a blender.
2) Puree until smooth, then run through a fine-mesh strainer to de-chunk.
3) Add watermelon puree to a carafe and squeeze in the lime juice.
4) Top with champagne and give a quick stir.
5) Serve in a pretty glass. Add a chunk of watermelon to the rim if you wish.

Dang Good

Beef Rendang

WhBeef Rendang Veggiesat’s Cooking:
Beef Rendang

Recipe Source:
Global Table Adventure

Ingredients 

3 stalks lemongrass, chopped
2 inches of thumb-thick ginger, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic
1 onion, quartered
3-6 dried Japonese Chili peppers (makes it medium heat)
6-8 Tbsp coconut oil
1 1/2 lbs beef, cubed (I used a sirloin steak)
1 small, 5.5 oz can coconut milk
5.5 oz water
2 Tbsp sugar, preferably palm sugar (coconut sugar)
1/4 cup homemade Kerisik (toasted coconut paste)

PasteKerisik IngredientsShredded Coconut
Grinding KerisikMethod

1) Dice lemongrass, ginger, garlic, onion, and Japanese Chili peppers and blend into a fine paste using a blender or food processor.
2) Heat the coconut oil in a large wok and add the paste you just blended. Fry 2-3 minutes / until fragrant.
3) Add the beef, coconut milk, water and sugar. Simmer for 1 hour. Meanwhile, make homemade kerisik
4)
 Add kerisik to the wok and cook a few minutes longer. Serve with sticky or jasmine rice.

Eating Beef RendangReview

I don’t think my kitchen has been this messy in a while. After I finished making Beef Rendang, the sink was piled high with pots, pans and utensils, and my stove top was covered in sticky coconut shreds. But it was probably worth it. Although the beef didn’t get as dry as I had hoped it would become toward the end, it resulted in a flavorful mush. The ginger and peppers added a slight kick, but I found coconut to be the standout ingredient. I’m used to adding seasoning to everything to please Adam’s salt-crazed taste buds, and this time around was no different. We topped our Rendang with soy sauce (obviously not the low-sodium kind) and it was quite tasty. Soy sauce makes everything better though, doesn’t it? Even the worst sushi if you drown it enough.

The main takeaway from this cooking experience is that I need a food processor in my life. Sometimes a blender just doesn’t cut it (pun not planned but fully intended). Especially when grinding coconut into a paste (I attempted this with a spice grinder — didn’t work very well, pain to clean). Leave your food processor recommendations in the comments!

Malaysia Flag

✔ Malaysia

Capital: Kuala Lumpur

Boundaries: Thailand, Indonesia and Brunei

Spring Beauty Haul: Extras

Spring Beauty Haul: Extras

Dr Jart BB It’s time for another beauty haul! Some of these products I have had for a while and forgot to include in my recent Wal-Mart Beauty post, others are new. The one I am really in love with and will be purchasing again is Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm. I believe this stuff only comes in one shade, but that’s pretty much the only downside. It blends extremely well, hydrates like a cream, covers like a light foundation and even includes SPF 45. On weekdays, I start with this and build with the Estée Lauder Double Wear Light foundation mentioned in my Winter Beauty post. On the weekends, I just use it alone with blush to let my skin breathe. It is super silky and practically the only BB / tinted moisturizer I have tried that works without leaving my skin too oily or too dry. Oh, and it comes in a convenient pump bottle that is well made with a hard plastic exterior. I definitely recommend you try this if your skin tone is light to medium.

From left to right:
1. Kat Von D. Tattoo Liner in Trooper / Ink Black ($18)
2. Loreal Colour Riche Eyeliner in Violet ($8.95)
3. Tarte Airbrush Finish Bamboo Foundation Brush ($32)
4. Amazing Cosmetics Amazing Concealer in Light Beige ($42)
5. Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm ($39)
6. Burt’s Bees Sensitive Daily Moisturizing Cream with Cotton Extract ($15)
7. Nudes Eyeshadows by H&M (N/A)

My YouTube Subscriptions

YouTube

I have been watching a lot of YouTube channels lately. I’m really into the daily channels as well as beauty product reviews / tutorials (can’t you tell from my past few posts? :) music, and some other randoms for good measure — have you seen the cuteness that is Maru?

Most of the channels I watch are ran by women (you go girls!) and many I learned of through CTFxC, which I’ve been watching since 2009 when I stumbled upon their famous “Surprise Marriage Proposal in Spain” video. I don’t watch a lot of TV, so YouTube (and Candy Crush, admittedly) are sort of my guilty pleasures. I usually watch on my iPad before bedtime to relax. I guess that is what you do when you’re 30 besides sipping Cabernet Sauvignon and browsing symptoms on WebMD to find out what you’re dying of next.

What are you watching these days? Who else should I subscribe to? And, could you ever see yourself vlogging on a regular basis?

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Wal-Mart Beauty

walmart-beauty-products1

It’s been a while since I went crazy in the beauty section of a Wal-Mart. Today’s trip was to a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market (basically a mini Wal-Mart for those who may not be familiar) so I couldn’t really go toooo crazy. Here are the items I picked up. It feels good to get 11 products for around $50. Maybe some of them will become mainstays… We’ll see.

Wal-Mart Beauty

From left to right:
1. Burt’s Bees Sensitive Daily Moisturizing Cream with cotton extract
2. Sally Hansen Advanced Hard as Nails Strengthener
3. Rimmel Soft Kohl Eye Liner Pencil in Pure White
4. Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Pencil in Nude
5. CoverGirl Ink it! By Perfect Point Plus Eye Pencil in Golden Ink
6. Neutrogena Deep Clean Blotting Sheets
7. Physician’s Formula Youthful Wear Dark Circle Corrector + Concealer
8. CoverGirl Lip Perfection Jumbo Gloss Balm in Cotton Candy Twist
9. Rimmel Show Off Lip Lacquer in Aurora
10. CoverGirl Eye Enhancers Shadow in Mink
11. CoverGirl Eye Enhancers Shadow in Champagne

Winter Beauty

snowflakes

Winter BeautyHello, my name is Lauren and I collect beauty products until there is no room left in my makeup bag or my medicine cabinet.

I’ve always been into beauty and skincare. My grandma’s elegantly packaged lipsticks and fragrances intrigued me at a young age, and I loved the smell of her powder compacts and heavy creams. I’m not ashamed to admit that when it comes to the things I put on my face, I’ve got expensive taste. Here’s a peek at some of my beauty buys and tries this winter:

Estée Lauder Double Wear Light Foundation – I’m super picky when it comes to foundation and also super wishy-washy on my feelings toward it. Sometimes I’m covered in blemishes and it’s my best friend, and sometimes I prefer mineral powder or tinted moisturizer, or nothing at all (gasp!) My skin can be really stubborn and extreme (extremely dry or extremely oily depending on the day), and this stuff glides on with ease and works in any weather. It’s got this perfect tackyness to it and the color (mine is Intensity 2.0) blends right in like it was meant for me. It stays put all day (for reals) and it’s affordable at only $37.

Benefit That Gal – I definitely wasn’t the first girl on the primer train, and to this day I have not yet purchased a full-size bottle of the stuff. I’m just too lazy to add another step to my routine and I feel like the right pre-makeup moisturizer does the job just as well. Enter Benefit That Gal. It is a ‘brightening face primer’ in a pinky shade and I received it as a V.I.B. gift from Sephora. When I feel like trying a little harder at life, I dot some on my cheekbones as highlighter. It may not be noticeable, but I tell myself it is. $29

Origins Plantscription 24 Hour Anti-Agers Kit - OK, I admit it. The only reason I bought this line is because I’ve been seeing it in magazines left and right and it has the words ‘plant’ and ‘anti-age’ in it so it must be good for me, right? Maybe. I can’t give a full review since I just started using these products, but I will say that I’m loving the feel of the cleanser and serum. The night cream is OK. The SPF 25 Day Cream makes me greasy. But I could be using too much. It’s a big tub o’ cream. Easy to over do it, ya know? $55 for the set

Dior Addict Lip Glow – I received this lip balm as a gift (thank you, Camise!) and haven’t been able to keep it out of my handbag. It’s soft. It smells good. And it comes in a pretty case. It comes in two shades — sheer pink natural and sheer pink coral. I have the sheer pink natural and it goes on almost colorless. Then it pulls a magic trick on you and turns your lips the perfect shade of not-trying-too-hard pink. And since it isn’t tacky or super colorful, it’s kiss-proof. It’s a little pricey for a lip product, but it lasts a long time and eliminates the need to tote around a lipstick and a gloss. Kudos Dior, kudos. $31

Josie Maran Argan OilJosie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil – I’ve bragged about this oil before, and I’ll do it again and again. By now all my ladies know the benefits of using a face oil. This one is legit. It comes in a regular and small bottle with a cute little dropper (see photo at right), and it only takes a few drops to cure the flakiest winter skin. Sometimes I mix it with lotion, other times I slather it on before bed with no shame. Only when my boyfriend is out of town, though. Wouldn’t want him to think I’m a greaseball. $48

Caudalie Beauty Elixir – It’s been a while since I bought this product, but it has reclaimed it’s post in my medicine cabinet. I remembered it being really refreshing to spritz on my face, and I was right. But that’s about all it’s good for. It claims to smooth skin, tighten pores, and provide an ‘instant burst of radiance’ but I’m not sure about all that. All I know is that it wakes me up. I spray it on before my day cream or just before bed when I’m too lazy to do anything but remove makeup, spritz and snooze. It smells good. The bottle is pretty. And I feel luxurious using it. Sue me. $18

Nuance Salma Hayek Cucumber & Rosewater Dual Phase Makeup Remover – I’m a big believer in simple soap and water to take the day off, but when you are a girl and you are peer-pressured into drawing all over your eyes with irritating black charcoal contact lens death-wish substances on a regular basis, you’re going to need some makeup remover. I discovered this one at CVS and it just so happens to be made by Salma Hayek. It is made with chamomile and lavender extracts, and I’ve found it to be a really gentle way to remove stubborn waterproof makeup. Just dab on a cotton ball and go at it. Bye-bye raccoon eyes. $8

Rosebud Salve – Pros: You can put this stuff practically anywhere — lips, cuticles, elbows, knees, you name it, it moisturizes it; you can use it to soothe minor burns; it smells like roses; it comes in a cute tin; it costs 6 George Washingtons (that’s dollar bills, kiddos). Cons: The product description on Sephora mentions using it for diaper rash (gross) and you have to apply it with your fingers, which isn’t ideal for sanitation. Just be sure to wash your hands most of the time, and you’ll live. Just don’t use the same pot for your lips and diaper rash. That’s weird. $6

Ole Henriksen Total Truth Eye Creme SPF 15 –  Eyes are one of my problem areas. I’m prone to the baggies, and unfortunately  I’m not getting any younger so I need to prevent the lines, too. This creme is rich and nourishing, and makes my entire eye area feel like tightened after applying it. I also like that it has SPF. I haven’t been using it long enough to see results yet, but the future looks bright (and so does my under-eye area most days I use it) I’ll keep you posted. $45

Clarisonic Acne Daily Clarifying Cleanser – If you do not own a face brush, I highly recommend the Clarisonic Mia. But whether or not you have a brush, you can still reap the benefits from this Clarisonic Cleanser. Formulated with salicylic acid, it gently exfoliates (it has a very slight grittiness to it) and helps you stay clear. After using it, my skin is soft and clean but doesn’t have that super dried out tight feeling like you get with most acne cleansers. Its active ingredients include Nelumbo Nucifera Flower Extract, Vitamin C and Japanese Green Tea. $27

Guccie PremiereGUCCI Première Eau de Parfum - Gucci Premiere. It’s what Blake Lively smells like. And Blake Lively is married to Ryan Reynolds … sold! OK, OK, I’ll tell you the details. Actually, Macy’s does it better: “The fragrance opens with the luxury and exuberance of a vintage champagne. A burst of effervescent bergamot fused with feminine and celebratory orange blossom conveys the heady excitement of the red carpet entrance. At the scent’s core nestle the brilliant white flowers of an intense bouquet, laced with a magnetically sensual modern musk. The timeless allure of the leading lady, the perfect balance of sensuality and power, inspires a collective captured breath. The fragrance’s warm and indulgent foundation rests in a beguiling cocktail of subtly smoky leather and creamy balsamic woods that epitomizes absolute glamour.” $112 for 2.5 oz

Stila Stay All Day 10-in-One HD Illuminating Beauty Balm with Broad Spectrum SPF 30 – Sheesh, the title is a mouthful. I received this product as a sample and immediately went out and purchased the full-size. It’s perfect for weekends when you want to give your normal makeup routine a break, but still maintain a nice glow and light cover over any imperfections. I can’t really pin-point what’s great about this stuff, it just is. It’s easy to apply, it makes you shiny in all the right ways, and it even has sunscreen in it. I have a feeling this bottle is going to go fast. $38

MAC Penultimate Eye LinerBenefit BADgal Lash Mascara – I gave up on fancy mascaras for a while and was using CoverGirl Lashblast, but now I’m experimenting again. I used to be a big fan of Benefit Cosmetics, but then I turned 30 and decided the products were for 17-year-old girls with Mommy’s credit card. This mascara (and the That Gal highlighter above) are the exceptions to the rule. Although it’s still kind of got a teenybopper name (come on, Bad Gal, that’s the best you could do?) it packs a punch with thick bristles, an easy-to-hold applicator (now I sound like a tampon commercial — sorry guys!), and a great formula for dramatic lashes. Give it a whirl. $19

MAC Penultimate Eye Liner – I SUCK at applying liquid eyeliner… I mean, BAD. This skinny pen-looking device makes it nearly fool-proof. You can basically create a cat-eye in one steady stroke. I don’t use it everyday because I have hooded eyes and have problems with smearing even when I use primer, but when I do, it’s great. $20

What are some of your favorite products this season? And what is on your list for spring?!

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