This mani has been lasting me a while and I’m kind of proud of it even though it looks pretty rough. I chose a faint lilac from Essie and a creamy lavender from Adesse. No topcoat yet I’m going on the second week with only a few chips.
The book I’m modeling on top of is Eat a Peach, by David Chang. It’s a really interesting, colloquially written memoir that is fascinating for fans of Momofuku, the various Netflix series he’s in or just for fans of Chang himself. See my full review on Goodreads here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3228153296?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1
Both Daphne and I are in love with this 6-pack of bath bombs! I got them from Amazon and they are literally da bomb. I’ve already ordered MANY boxes/sets of bath bombs/fizzies with surprise toys inside and while the element of surprise is exhilarating, my luck has been terrible and I keep getting repeats within the same package. Two unicorns, two whales, two penguins…enough already! Give me some variety! These aren’t cheap at all! So this particular set already had each toy showing in the packaging, which is great for people who want to see the goods! No repeats this way! The size of the bath bomb is large, the scent was nice and fruity and the coloring was STRONG. Just look at the hue of the water! No staining in the tub either afterwards! It did get quite slippery because of the essential oils. Here is the link I used:
Hahaha, this was such a random beauty product I bought in a bundle via Mercari back in February. You break apart the “spoon” like tool to mix the “yolk” part with the “white” to create this hydrating sleep mask. The scent was so nice and beautiful! This lasted me a week and half and while it did feel a bit thick upon application, you woke up with supple, smooth skin! Plus, it gets points for being super adorable.
Is this not the most perfect buttered brown toast you’ve ever seen? It’s French brioche toast that I browned on the skillet with a pat of butter and then topped it with my new obsession–clotted cream and an artisan blueberry champagne jam. Heaven!
I whipped my own cream with a pinch of sugar and it frothed beautifully when I put in fresh cut strawberries. Yummy dessert!
I baked drumsticks with a nice rub/glaze of: hoisin sauce, honey, cajun seasoning, black pepper, crushed mint, garlic salt, paprika. The broccoli was tossed in a similar spice mix albeit with drizzled garlic infused olive oil and parsley. The potatoes got a little more honey and olive oil. Yum.
I got sent a box of Lola ulta thin condoms for review and I loved the look of them! I was only aware of Lola’s feminine care products like tampons, wipes so was pleasantly surprised to see them come out with condoms. The little box was discreet, cute and totally can be mistaken for a box of mints or paper clips placed on your nightstand, ha! So yes, they were ultra thin but the verdict was that they are a bit too tight.
Amazon makes my wishes come true! I searched for tons of wax sealing kits and settled on this set with a hefty brass stamp. I am obsessed! I bought another set with pre-cut hexagonal wax pieces so that I could mix colors and go all out on this new hobby of mine!
Here is everything in action! I’m melting 2 differently colored wax pieces in the tiny spoon heated by a tealight candle. This is really going to amp up my stationery game!
April weather got me like…wuh? I’ve been enjoying our solarium a lot more and trying to catch some much-needed sun in there admist all the torrential rainstorms, freezing temperatures, snow or fierce winds!
This is a pretty accurate Hogwarts House test I took last week via Facebook. I self identify as Slytherin but usually get placed in Gryffindor. I do believe I’m way more Ravenclaw than Hufflepuff though…
I filled up all the plastic eggs we had with fruit snacks and cheddar penguin crackers (off brand Goldfish) and hid them all over the house on Easter. Daphne found 85% of them the first day! Then over the next two days, found the rest. My hubby ended up finding the very last one in her toy watering can almost a week later though. Ha!
Quarantine times has probably got a lot of going stir crazy but I want to explain my nerves and feelings because they’re not quite like those of my friends, family or coworkers.
Things I’m tired of hearing:
-If she’s hungry she’ll eat (a big NOPE! So my 2-yr old has sworn off food and hubby and I have tried the gamut of tricks. Pediatrician is worried, we had an appointment with a nutritionist. So she’s fallen completely off the growth chart but the issue isn’t physical. It’s 100% behavorial and it’s driving all 3 of us nuts. Meal times are WAR TIMES in our household)
-The apple doesn’t fall from the tree. She’s tiny because you’re tiny. There’s no other reason (wow, okay, completely disregard my husband’s very normal height and weight and taller genes from his family. Explain why literally every single child I know who has two short parents have crazily exceeded their height and weight?! No, Daphne is not tiny because I’m tiny. I’m tiny because I didn’t eat real food until the age of 12 and starved myself and didn’t sleep. Sounds familiar but it might have been a physical ailment for me because I just didn’t like the taste of anything edible until turning 12. It was like something finally clicked. Unfortunately, I missed my growth spurt and only ever grew horizontally after that. I always have to explain that genetically speaking, my future height was projected at a healthy 5’4″ by multiple doctors that my parents visited when I was a child)
-I’m so bored while quarantined or I don’t know what to do with all the free time I have now that I’m stuck at home (okay, I will trade with that person’s life in a heartbeat no matter where they are living because all I want everyday is to have a few moments of free time. Being under quarantine has drained away my energy, my sanity, my freaking time and my life force. The closure of daycare centers and the essential nature of my work has caused all hell to break loose in my household. Both my husband and I are expected to care for our crazily difficult toddler while working full time jobs at home and maintain whatever routine and health and wellness we have left. She doesn’t eat, which I have already stated but she also skips naps and goes to bed late everyday, giving us no moment of rest. She is a full time job and even with our eyes on her, she manages to get various scrapes, cuts, bruises, bumps from EVERYWHERE. Her screams and tirades fill the house and I don’t remember the last time I was able to go to the bathroom without her following me. It might have been in 2018 when she didn’t walk yet. However, even with all these difficulties, I’m not one of the people complaining about social distancing. I’ll do whatever it takes so that more people don’t have to die from this pandemic. Turn your boredom to hobbies or even online browsing and shopping. I just want a minute to look at my goddamn phone!)
Meh. This brand has fun packaging and creative scents but the quality is not great. It smelled great in the pack but disappeared in the water without coloring it or anything. I had to layer in my higher end bubbles and bath wafers.
There was absolutely no fizz in this fizz bar. I dropped it in the bath and it just sat at the bottom of the tub quietly dissolving with no scent. The brand advertises that it’s women-owned and that’s positive and all…but step it up on the efficacy and quality! The ingredients are so lackluster and light!
In contrast, these bath wafers were much better. They also didn’t fizzle like crazy but the scent was oooh la la yummy! It was a mix of sweet with delicate floral, very much like a beautiful French dessert that’s too pretty to eat! Loved using this!
And how fun is this bath cupcake fizz? The fizz was great and colored the entire tub purple! Unfortunately, the top “frosting” part broke apart from the rest of the bath bomb and did not quite fizzle as much as just sat all mushy in the tub until you dispersed it yourself.
Ah yaaaaas! Do you like wine but have trouble finishing a bottle? Lol, me! So wine hits me harder than a shot of vodka, believe it or not. I found this brand with their clever ads on Facebook/Instagram and had to try a sampler! This is the white wines set and I’ve tried the first bottle. How can you not like ridiculously cute little skinny bottles? I mixed it with a sparkling elderflower soda and it was tres chic!
So before all this quarantine craziness, we went to get our noodle fix. Still, the prices are high for such a small portion (I need to order 2 things to be full) but I do recognize the quality and freshness of the ingredients. It really is a tiny amount and the wait time was so massively long.
And I couldn’t NOT add a pic of my darling sporting her spring jacket. I would totes wear this in a larger size ;).
A simple mani! Essie’s Ladylike with Sally Hansen’s white topped with gold glitter from VS. Not pictured here but I’m currently reading Commonwealth by Ann Patchett and it is entertaining! We’re not talking deep literature here but the story and characters are so fascinating. After State of Wonder, I really am quite a fan of this author.
I bought 20 of these bad boys off Mercari last week so that Daphne will never want for a fun bubble bath experience! Bubbles were good but the scent was too light. Can’t wait to try out such flavors like Margarita, Bahama Mama, Lemon Drop, PIna Colada, etc.
These dessert bath bombs came from Amazon and they are so fun to use! Look at this doughnut with “sprinkles!” It turned the water a nice baby blue. Scent was just a generic powdery lavender/soapy kind of scent; not actually like the treat itself.
Had high hopes for this one but it came broken out of the packaging :(. It also had the same toy inside as another one we used from the same box. C’mon! Throw in something different over here!
Went to one of my favorite bakeries in Pittsburgh–The Pink Box in Squirrel Hill. Got 2 Japanese cheesecakes (in which they put way too much whipped cream and not enough of the actual cheesecake…) and a slice of triple layer strawberry. Both were yum.
This ginormous smoothie from Tropical Smoothie Cafe was literally half the size of my child. Cray.
Man, what a crazy two months it has been so far this year! I watched about 30 minutes of the State of the Union last night and just eye rolled the whole entire time. God, what a delusional monster we have in charge of our nation and an entire group of people who prop him up. On the fashion side, check out all those chic white suits the Democratic women were wearing!
I might have used these on New Year’s Day, but shortly afterwards, I bought and used my first holiday cracker! Found these fun snowman ones at Marshall’s and they still cost too much after clearance :(. These ones are from a brand that Popsugar introduced me to–Meri Meri. Daphne loved these but were a bit young for the toys that came out. Oh, well, more fun for mom!
My friend Michelle always make this dish for her annual holiday party that has become famous by now, and this is my own version of it. I also fried up radishes, herbs, pancetta and added it to olive oil drizzled grape tomatoes to make it a meal.
Butter-toasted potato bread seared on a non-stick pan and NOT a toaster
Dollops of fig jam
Bath time has become routine and necessary fancy affairs for my toddler. I kid you not, she gets a special bath item(s) at EVERY bath. Not including the cost of hot water, her baths averages to $4 – $8 PER bath! I mean, I enjoy them too but she’s totally going to grow up saying “Oh, you didn’t get a bath bomb or bath oils or bubble bath at every bath? Strange.” Guilty as charged for 150% indulging her but there are definitely worse things to indulge a kid in ;).
This bath bomb from 2 Sisters spa via Amazon was especially cool. You put it early on in the bath next to the running tap so that it activates all the bubbles. It turned this gorgeous cornflower blue from the pink and blue colors at the end that reminded me of my wedding color. Smelled great, looked great, felt great.
This pre-Christmas mani was done with a mini OPI nail kit from my MIL and some fun nail decals. I’m modeling on top of the book that I finished out 2019 with called The Unconsoled by Kazuro Ishiguro. Oy vey was this a crazily frustrating book! The point was to make you frustrated, anxious and stressed out as much as the protagonist but yeesh…it did too good of a job. The writing was great and I am convinced that the nondescript central European city that the story took place in was Budapest. Many clues pointed to it–repeated mentions of Old Towne, food that was vaguely Hungarian and some side characters with Hungarian accents.
My newest mani also consists of these butterfly nail decals and coral and gray Essence polish. I’m modeling the new ring I got from Simple Statement Jewelry. I only did the one box to try out new styles of jewelry and my favorite item turned out to be this ring (that I miraculously fit!).
Had to feature my Mimiboo as she had a crazy end to 2019. We went on a big 12-day trip all across PA, Finger Lakes, Hershey, White Mountains, NH and had to put her in a kitty hotel for the whole time. Then we took her to my parent’s house for 6 days during the Christmas break and now we’re going to leave her for another 3 days to head to Sandusky. Poor thing is a trooper!
This was taken on the warmest day ever in December with my dad’s new iPhone 10 at Legacy Village.
Look at our unconventional Christmas tree! My mom is so creative at decorating, lol! And look at that healthy pile of presents!
Our mall had some craft booths and this one caught our eye. Hubby ended up buying me a pair for Christmas. These are origami crane earrings dipped in resin!
2019 wasn’t my favorite year but many good things did happen! 2020 is off to a whirlwind start and my immediate wish is that we don’t go to war! To peace!
Homemade chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and raspberries! Not great-looking by a long shot but it was a fun treat to eat just between hubby and me!
The famed Hummingbird cake from Giant Eagle I bought for the surprise birthday party! It had a cream cheese frosting with pineapple, walnuts, toasted coconut and dusted with a delicate sprinkle of cinnamon. This was a big hit!
I steamed these blue shell Maryland crabs from our seafood market in the Strip and mmmmm, this brought me so much nostalgia from when my parents used to buy live ones and steam them. Yuuuuummmm! I did a good job with the steaming and making my own sauce. Looking forward to when I buy these the next time!
Influenster sent me the new bareMinerals bounce & blur blush and palette. The texture really is bouncy! The eyeshadow shade at the end was like jelly! It’s still powder but has absolutely no fallout and high pigmentation. I’ve never used bareMinerals eyeshadow and blush before and now I see why they are popular! The packaging is also sleek and stunning buuuut attracted to fingerprints, unfortunately.
My Pangur Ban is growing up and becoming less social these days. She used to mingle with our guests like they were her friends but nowadays, she will wander aimlessly outside until everyone leaves…
Yep, that’s right. It’s yet another birthday cake! We celebrated Daphne’s 2nd birthday on the day of on Long Island with my husband’s parents. It’s their tradition to get a little ice cream cake on birthdays. It still doesn’t quite compare to a Dairy Queen ice cream cake, but this one was cute in its own way. Perhaps due to the candle being lit and not being allowed to touch it, Daphne showed no interest in her own cake and refused even a bite!
Chinese shrimp chips! They are magical and colorful! Before pic.
After pic! Sticks to your tongue! Fluffy and crunchy! This was another one of my childhood nostalgia treats!
Gorgeous flowers from Frick and Highland park!
Cabin in the woods themed escape room success! Date night on Long Island!
Biddyboo in her birthday qipao fabulousness.
Baby’s first ocean trip! She was scared of the water at first but then was hooked at touching the waves and didn’t want to leave.
That’s a happy Daphne!
We also went to the Sunken Forest on Fire Island! We took a ferry ride and had a BLAST. Look at that nicely maintained boardwalk!
Fire Island also had its own beach and we briefly checked it out. Clean and not too crowded!
Four giant bucks not 20ft from us! Majestic and felt amazing.
I had luck with the whole chunky glitter at the bottom with an opaque color look so I thought I’d try this out again. I used a K-Beauty nail polish Pokemon edition (Oddish) and a H&M mermaid blush glitter top coat on the bottom half of my nails.
I’m modeling on top of the current book that is taking me quite some time to read but is well worth it–Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides. I first heard of this book from the Seth Rogen/Barbara Streisand comedy Road Trip, and have since seen or heard allusions of it here and there. If you also thought this book would be about a charming (perhaps haunted) English village called Middlesex…you would be dead wrong! It’s about the life and times of a Greek hermaphrodite and her/his generational saga. Glad I picked it up at the library book sale; it really is interesting and educational.
I tested Christian Siriano’s new fragrance In Bloom recently and it is marvelous! I would best describe it as a tidy, sweet floral scent. It’s definitely feminine and while ephemeral, is still pleasant to reapply often. It sits well close to the skin because it’s not sharp or overwhelming. It’s no unique Jo Malone signature, but it’s a comfortable and young summer/spring fragrance!
I also just tried Aveeno’s new oat mask with pumpkin seed extract and enjoyed using it. I applied with a brush and it was thick, creamy and layered very well. It smelled like leftover cereal and had Pangur Ban sniffing me like no other. Not revolutionary but a nice, relaxing mask at night!
I call this picture “Ladies in Yellow.” Totally accidental that my sister, my mom and I are all wearing sunny shades while touring the lovely Frick grounds.
I hosted a bomb dinner party last week and cooked:
-seared Kielbasa with sweet organic green beans from my mom’s garden! Topped with some sesame seeds and Asian seasoning.
-sauteed edamame with sliced garlic, sea salt and olive oil. This was my personal favorite.
-mango curry with onion, sweet corn and chives over tri-colored rotini
-Not Pictured: blood orange Forte iced tea sweetened with Teavana’s rock sugar
Our microwave broke, leading to many meals of fancy salami bites, mozzarella balls, tomato, chives all heavily drizzled in olive oil and spices!
I attended the a wedding in the heart of downtown Chicago and checked off another “first.” First time attending a wedding in an art museum! The ceremony was held in the sleek and well-air conditioned modern art wing of the Art Institute. The reception was upstairs with a gorgeous view of the city and very clean hardwood floors.
The night of the wedding, we stayed at the Blackstone hotel, quite a swanky upper-crust Marriott line. Service was very meh, but at least I got to see the floor where they host weddings.
We also attended the after wedding dim sum brunch in Chinatown! I got to show off one of these outfits I never thought I’d pull off before that day!
My sis and I toured Pittsburgh’s Trundle Manor, by appointment only. What a hodgepodge of grotesqueness and oddities! I was hoping the place was an actual manor, but alas, it’s just a cramped old house with taxidermy, lol.
Blackstone corner room with a view!
Lovely cake that had a passionfruit creme layer. Yum.
Crossing off a bucket list item: seeing Hamilton!!! Every bit as wonderful as it is/was hyped. We splurged to get relatively okay seats. Over $200 though…how do people see more than one show a year? Yikes!
You might not be able to tell in this picture but it was the hottest day in the hottest city of the year. It was TORTURE walking outside. We had to duck into air conditioned stores on the way to the theater multiple times.
Hubby’s meager soft shell crab salad from Sunda.
My way superior Cantonese style noodles with seared pork belly, shrimp, chinese sausage, Chinese vegetables.
What a bourgie hotpot looks like in a trendy Chicago restaurant ;). Delicious, but it was for two people.
Enjoy this picture of Daphne with her ride at the Car and Carriage museum.
I’m loving my fresh summer mani! I’m rocking Peachside Babe from Essie and this deliciously creamy baby blue from Adesse. Two coats each achieve this opaque look!
The book I’m reading right now is one I had my eye on for years, actually. The Spice Box Letters by Eve Makis is a bit heavier than I was expecting but it’s better that way. She writes of the Armenian conflict, which I previously knew nothing about. I can’t get past this annoyingly consistent typo of “no one” being spelled like “noone” though. The first time I caught this, I thought it was just a sloppy typo. However, this book spells it this way every.single.time. Like, what? There were other spelling mistakes (not just typos) and for this being a published book (as opposed to ARCs which I’m more forgiving about), it’s just not acceptable. Mistakes aside, I am enjoying the story so far.
Yum, this very Instagrammable drink from Aldis made me feel oh-so fancy! I added some ice cubes and fresh mint leaves for the ultimate summer drink. It’s sweet and floral and reminds of all the sparkling elderflower drinks I had in Vienna. The value is crap though–you get this tinyass bottle for about $3.
Hubs made French toast from scratch topped with this fresh berry mix and real maple syrup. Yum!
Hubs also made this from-scratch quiche with red onion, spinach, bacon and cheddar cheese on top. I mixed us some OJ + pineapple wine +San Pellegrino mineral water. Yum.
Over Memorial Day weekend, I visited my parents and we had an amazing dim sum brunch in downtown Cleveland at our old standby Bao Loong. I took this picture even before all the dishes came but just couldn’t wait to dig in!
I love that soooo many packets of desiccant came in this toddler snack’s packaging, enabling me to complete my makeup brush holder filler. These little balls serve as the perfect material to absorb any moisture from my brushes! This particular gray, clay type isn’t pretty like the transparent ones but it does the same thing!
Just utilizing my iced tea maker with this very tarte raspberry nectar! The color is gorgeous but the drink needed some honey to counter that blast of sour.
I received a voxbox this year! Success! These 3 skincare products from Bio Clarity simplifies a clear skin routine for oily, acne-prone skin!
This past weekend we went to a coworker’s party and someone brought this scrumptious spectacle of a cake! I’m told that it’s a turtle mocha cake from Oakmont Bakery. Wow. Daphne loved this!
As far as I’m concerned, the only good thing Republicans have done so far since 2016 was to get Cleveland to put up this sign and spruce up that area when they hosted the RNC. It was really fun hanging around the lakeside area!
This is the newest park we discovered–Mellon park! It was bigger than I expected and had a walled garden area. Loved it!
Targeted Facebook ads work on me like a charm. Instagram ones too! Although they are one and the same since Facebook bought Instagram so…basically I’m just saying that it’s not really hard to guess what I like. I recently made a purchase at Live Love Polish and impulse-purchased a temperature reactive polish from their Van Gogh collection. The bottle color is what it becomes when it’s cold and the shade on my fingers is what it looks like warmed up. One polish, two gorgeous shades! This did not come by cheap either–$16 for the bottle and another $6 for shipping. The bottle is rather small too for the full size: only 10ml. Worth it though for the effect? Yeah! Also, I dare you to watch their ads and NOT be interested in trying one!
I bought this raspberry lambic beer last week. Yum! It quite reminded me of the New Glarus raspberry tarts I had back in my WI days! The bottles were stoppered with wax. This lambic beer wasn’t quite as snappy and a little more beer-like. Still, with an ice cube, it was pretty refreshing!
I tried a grape vanilla float at Burgatory last week and boy was it overpriced! $6 for a scoop of plain vanilla ice cream on top of this little soda bottle. There are so many places around me I always get excited to eat out at and then immediately regret it after racking up a $40 bill after 1 entree, a drink and a side…Is this merely inflation or capitalism becoming increasingly unsustainable? Then there’s always tax and tip and wow, an average American’s paycheck for a whole day is down the tube after one meal! Just a few years ago, I would never even think of purchasing a drink at a restaurant and it’s a mark of my financial stability that I can every now and then.
Live below your means, people! Then when you’ve finally saved enough, live comfortably! Save, spend frugally, prioritize purchases, reuse, upcycle and you too can live debt-free!
My second alcohol-related pic in the same post! Ironically enough, coming to you from the girl who is allergic to alcohol, hardy har har. To be fair, this pic is from months ago when I mixed some sparkling water into this pineapple fruity tutti dessert wine. Yum but actually too strong for me, alas. I ended up red and uncomfortably warm the whole night after finishing the quantity you see before you. Pangur Ban is adorbs as a model here.
It was good while it lasted! This stunning white blossoms in full bloom view was as ephemeral as it was beautiful. I want to say…2.5 weeks in April? And now the remnants are stuck in the crevices of our hardwood floors, our rugs, underneath our shoes, in the pond and even in our car seats!