Monday, January 31, 2011

30 Day Yoga Challenge

Today is Monday, and working is really hard after you worked most of the weekend.Saturday we went to help one of our friends with their movings. they were moving to another city about 2 hour drive from ours. so we had kind of a mini trip too. so by the time we got home and went to bed it was after midnight so technically Saturday was gone without me noticing. Sunday was more fun though we went to our friends house for lunch ( big fun) and for afternoon we went somewhere else for birthday party. so basically we were not home that much this past weekend. and now I am so tired I couldn't go out of the house, so will be working from home and hit the gym afternoon. talking of gym, there is something that I want to talk about. This clip is really describe  my mood on Friday afternoon and Monday morning, funny!

A few weeks ago I decided to start a "30 Yoga challenge". the inspiration came from a dear blogger that I  am following for more than a year now. she started hers in mid January and I think she is at her last 10 days now. 
The challenge is to take 30 yoga sessions in 30 days. Since I am not going to a yoga studio, based on my gym's program ,I probably have to do 2 ( even 3) sessions in some days so I could finish my challenge in time. I already kind of set my schedule and high-lighted the classes that I should take and some others for backups. I try to keep my own workout routine and add the yoga classes; we'll see how I could manage that with my time and energy. I don't know if you tried yoga before or not but it could be very challenging. I know it won't be easy since I follow Amber's challenge and read about her experiences but my goal is to finish this challenge ( I am sure 100% I won't quite since I am no quitter). I am very looking forward to start at Feb.12th and finish successfully my challenge in 30 days.
Here is my current workout schedule so the rest of the yoga sessions would be added to these: 
Monday: 1h of step class
Tuesday: 1 h of cycling and 1h20 min of Yoga class
Wednesday: 1 h of Aero-latin class
Friday: 1h of Aero-latin and 1h20 min of Yoga class
Saturday: 1h30 min Yoga and 1h of meditation class
Sunday: 1h20 min Yoga
This has been my program for a couple of months now; before, there were days that I did some cardio and weight exercise at the gym by myself but personally I enjoy the group workouts more. I decided to add some weight exercises to my routine cause the point is not only to get rid of the body fat but also to build stronger muscles (since I want to keep my routine I will talk to a trainer to give me a quick 30 minutes routine that I could do everyday).
So who else wants to hit yoga mats with me for 30 days!?!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

God bless who invented spaghetti...

We arrived at home around 8 last night, tired and exhausted. we had to make dinner and something for our lunch today. by looking at time it was clear that we didn't have that much of time and I preferred to sit on the couch and relax little bit before we go to bed. so we went for our fastest cooking routine which is very simple spaghetti with meat and tomato sauce. 
My hubby were mostly in charge of cooking last night, sliced the onion, garlic, and green bell pepper. cooked the onion and garlic for a few minutes then add the beef and spices. after a few minutes added the tomato sauce and pepper. in the mean time the spaghetti was cooking in the boiling water. after the ready spaghetti was mixed with sauce and voilĂ . we had our dinner ready and the whole thing took about 30 minutes. 
Oh God bless who invented spaghetti because  it is my delicious fast food. after we sat and enjoyed our meal with a few episodes of "Big Bang Theory" which I love. 

So what is your fast meal?!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

That's the way I like it, aha aha ( pizza time)

I am a big fan of pizza, it is one of my favorite foods, it is easy and honestly it does not have any specific rules of cooking, just have fun with it.  the way I like it, is with lots and lots of cheese. I know, cheese is not an healthy things to eat a lot, or maybe for people that are watching their weights. but I do love cheese and I don't really count calories or anything ( which is a bad thing) .

Ingredients ( you could adjust it with your own taste) :
Mushroom 1/2 cup
Green bell pepper 2/3 cup
Beef salami: 1/2 cup
Black olive: 2 tablespoon
Mozzarella shredded cheese: as much as you like
Green onion sliced: 1

I bought the bread for grocery store and it came with its own tomato sauce. so first I heat the oven to 350F . then I put the bread on a pizza pan and put it in the oven for 3-4 minutes.
Of course at this point all the ingredients are cut to small pieces. then I  put the sauce and spread it all over the bread, just leave a thin layer on the outer line of the bread white ( if you don't ,like me, the part of the sauce that is not covered with anything will get burned). so spread a thin layer of cheese on the top of the sauce and put the rest of your toppings ( the thin layer of cheese acts like a glue and attach the toppings to the tomato sauce) .

Pop this in the oven, for about 8-10 minutes let it cook at 350 F and then turn the top of the oven on and leave it for about 4-5 minutes or till the time that you feel the toppings are 80% cooked. the take out from the oven and cover the top generously with cheese. and pop it back to the oven ( cook when only the top is on) .  cook till the cheese are melted. take out and sprinkle the top with green onion, let the pizza cool down and then cut and serve it when it is little cooler , enjoy!

Comments: if you use part skim mozzarella instead of the normal ones, you need less time in the oven or they will burn,so be careful with that. it will be even more delicious with home-made bread and sauce, so that 's what we are going to do next time. I really like my pizza cheese to stretch out when I am taking a slice ( just like in TV!) so that's why cheese and lots of cheese is important to me. you can add any kind of topping: meat, all vegetarian, shrimps. once, I had pizza with pineapple as topping, so be adventurous.

So hope you liked it; how do you like your pizza?

Healthy cuticles & nails

Hello , here I am again with another beauty related post. today I am going to talk about nails :) there are some important points related to nails like cuticles.

What are the cuticles: cuticles are the dead skin at the start of the nail. they connect the skin to the nail. they are dead skin yes but they are there to protect the new grown nail ( which is under the cuticles) . so we should not push them back or cut them at all, because there won't be anything there to protect the new nails and that will lead to nail damage or infection. 

So "NO PUSH" , "NO CUT".
If you have done your nails with a professional people, you know they put a cream on the cuticles and soak them in warm water to soften them and then they push them back (  # 1 shown in below) and then cut them ( #2 shown below). I do my nails in a salon almost every 2 months. so why people like me push and cut their cuticles, even though we know it is bad !?!
1- sorry don't know the exact name( think cuticle pusher!) , one side is for pushing back cuticles and other side for cleaning under and sides of nails;2-cuticle nipper by Revlon; 3- Sally Hansen Nourishing cuticle remover cream; 4-cuticle remover cream bought at place I get my nails done;5- cuticle oil
The problem with cuticles is that, they get dry very fast and when they are dry, they get on my nerves and makes my nails looks unhealthy; not good at all. so I have no choice to cut them :( 
BUT what I started doing last year was I moisturize them heavily and frequently. at first I started with heavy moisturizer and oils ( the ones that are specifically for cuticles), but now I use body butter or any  kind of good hand cream.
1-Body butter by body shop;2- lemony flutter cuticle butter ( little goes a long way);3-cuticle oil
So over the time they started to get better and now it's been about 1 month and a half that I got my nails done but they still look quite good and I think I could go longer without getting a manicure. 
Something as simple as a baby oil also works quite well. put them on your cuticles ( right after you washed your hands and it is still wet, baby oil locks the moisture in your skin) and message them. 
I hope this was helpful, so how do you treat your cuticles?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Ooh weekend , I miss you already...

Weekend is gone and it is Monday morning, not my favorite day of the week, but what  you can do !
This week is crazy cold here, most of the days are -30 C and even colder. the crazy cold started from Saturday, but we managed to go out that day. it was very sunny and we went to do a few hours of cross country ski outside, which was great and we enjoyed it a lot.
So by going outside I kind of missed my Saturday yoga and meditation classes. however Sunday I went to my yoga class and decided to go downtown and do little bit of shopping ( or at least window shopping). I think I haven't been to stores ine ages ( honestly more than 2 months). but it was freezing and I couldn't walk more than few minutes outside, so I headed back home. at least I learned there is something that could keep me from shopping ;)
Currently I am reading "American wife" but it is a big book written in small prints, so it took me longer than I was expecting, I did not read any of it in the weekend. Sunday evening we went out for sushi in downtown, oh and we had green tea and red bean ice-cream for dessert which I never tried before and surprisingly they were delicious. 
oh and this song went to my head all yesterday which was making me crazy! funny thing is that, I have no idea what they are singing, but it is a really fun song and its tune is catchy. I emailed one of my friends this morning ( she was the one introduced the song to me in a first place and she is Spanish ) and asked her about the name of the song, which I did not remember :)

I made a quick crispy vegetable ( recipe here) for our lunch today last night and went to bed early. I always do little bit of breathing exercise before I go to sleep and at that moment it hit me  "wow weekend went so fast", at least I 'm glad we enjoyed it!  
So how did you spend your weekend?
Love and wish you all a nice week,

Nice tip for beautiful lashes

Today, I am going to talk about ( actually it is more like writing than talking but anyway) something beauty related that I everyone can benefit, since all of us have lashes!
I do use eyelash curler all the time, even the times that I don't put on mascara. for me makes a huge difference and it kind of open my eyes further.

So here is what I do, before curling my lashes, I heat up the curler with my hair blow dryer ( hold it in front of dryer for 6-10 sec). and then I curl my lashes and apply mascara; as simple as that ! you won't believe that my lashes would stayed curled from morning till I remove my make up at nights. it has the same concept of curling your hair with something heated so the curls last longer.

After applying curler
Sorry about my tired eyes, it was late at night !oh this is before applying any mascara.
I heard some people apply their curler after they applied their mascara. personally I am not comfortable with that, because mascara kind of dry the lashes and curling them in that position, make them break or fall off easier. 
Hope the tip was helpful,  so do you usually curl your lashes or like some people are terrified of eyelash-curler !

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I wish everything was as simple as my "Simple Cake"

This cake is from my mom's recipe's book and it is named just " simple cake". because it is a very simple, simple cake ; not as easy baking but as not having any special ingredients and just being a base cake.
I made this cake so many times and form time to time I do my own special thing to it; like in place of milk I add apple juice with cinnamon spice turning it to an apple cake or added orange juice or coconut milk. really you could do your own thing to it.

Eggs: 4
Sugar: 1 3/4 cup
Milk: 1/2 cup
Butter ( at room temperature) : 3/4 cup
Orange zest: 2 teaspoon
Walnuts (toasted and crushed): 1/2 cup
Raisins ( coated with flour): 1/2 cup
Baking powder: 2 tea spoon
Flour: 2 1/2 cup
Coco powder: 1 table spoon

First step like always heat up the oven to 350F and grease your pan ( or cover it with waxed cooking sheets). in a mixer, mix the eggs with sugar for about 3-5 minutes or till they get light-yellowish color. slowly add the milk and butter. mix for a few seconds, then stop the mixer. add the raisins, walnuts, mix with a spatula. add the flour and baking powder. mix again. now pout half of your batter in the pan. mix the rest of the batter with coco and pour the brown batter on the top of the whit ones. smooth the surface. now you could add something on the top ( definitely something in light color, to contrast with coco) like shredded coconut or sliced almonds. bake the cake for 40-50 minutes or till the stick comes out clean. when it is done, take it out form the oven and let it cool down on a rack. then slice it as you wish and enjoy!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Olive Cheese Bread appetizer

I made this appetizer in the past weekend, the recipe is from very talented and lovely Juliet. this is an Italian appetizer and it is perfect for kind of big parties. as absolutely simple and easy as it is, it is so yummy and flavorful and it will be hit at your party, believe me!
The taste of olive is quite strong in it, so if you're not a big fan of olive, you might want to skip this. so let's get down to cooking , shall we!

Black Olive: 1 cup
Green Olive: 1 cup
Green Onions: 4
Garlic: 1-2
Cream cheese: 1/2 cup
Mayonnaise: 1/2 cup
Butter: 1/2 cup ( I used garlic butter for half of it )
Baguette bread: 1 loaf
Salami sliced and cut to small pieces : 3/4 cup ( this was my own addition, you could skip it)

Slice the olives, green onion and garlic. mix butter, Mayo, cheese together and then add the rest of materials to them. mix well.

cut the bread along its lengths. and spread the mix on its surface.

put in the oven and cook for 20 minutes. after it is ready, take it out cut to rather small slices and serve them when they are hot.

Comments: As I told in the ingredients I added some salami, you could also add sliced mushroom. instead of cram cheese you could other types likMonterey Jack Cheese, part-skim mozzarella or mild cheddar. 
Thanks to Juliet for sharing the recipe, it was quite delicious. 

So hope you try this one and enjoy as well. special thanks to Juliet, I learned so much from you dear :)


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ravioli Lasagna

The recipe is from a magazine that I've been reading for a few years now, Chatelaine. It is nice,monthly magazine that have different interesting sections like: Style, fashion and beauty, Home and decor, Health, Life, book club and travel.

I did my own modifications to it. I will post the original recipe and write my owns in another color. so you could choose what you try based on your own taste.
so let's get down to the cooking.

Ingredients ( for 8 serving):
Extra Virgin Olive oil: 1 tsp
Onion ( medium size): 1, diced
Garlic cloves: 2, minced
Italian sausage: 500 gr ; I used 200 gr hashed beef
Chili powder : 1tsp
Crushed tomato: 1 big can
Dried oregano leaves: 1 tsp
35% cooking cream: 1/4 cup
Milk: 1/4 cup
Mushrooms (sliced): 1cup
Fresh Ravioli: 700 g ( preferably get the ones with spinach and cheese)
Mozzarella cheese, grated : 1 cup
Green bell pepper: 1, sliced

Preheat the oven to 350F. heat a large pot over medium. add oil, then onion and garlic. cook for few minutes till they get soft. add the meat ( or sausage). fry them little bit or till they are not pinkish anymore. add chili powder, stirring often for about 5 minutes. add tomatoes and oregano and sliced bell pepper.stir in cream and mil until well combined.

add mushrooms and raviolis to the pot. mix till all of them are coated with the sauce. 
In a cooking pan, pour the ravioli and press down to even out and cover it with sauce. then sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.

Bake in the center of the oven, uncovered, until ravioli are cooked and cheese melted, about 20 min. when it is ready , take out form the oven and let it cool down for about 15 minutes.

In the magazine, at the end the calories and other stuff are mentioned. I don't count calories but in case you are; here they are :546 calories, 24 g protein, 48 g carbs, 30 g fat, 4 g fiber, 771 mg soium and it is an excellent source of iron.  

We ate it about an hour after it was out of the oven and let me tell you this: it was super yummmmmy and delicious.I did not actually expected to be this good. so I highly recommend this one, enjoy.  Till next time!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Clarisonic poor man's version

Hello my lovely readers,
Today I would like to talk about the most intresting subject in beauty world :skin care,  and what I have been doing recently ( for a couple of months now).
Everyone has different skin type, so please note that what I experienced may be completely different from yours. As I told before I have combination skin, from time to time, I suffer from acne mostly around my chin and cheeks. and the rest of the time that my skin is clear of acne I am recovering form the spots and redness that they left me. 
I learned that there are so many factors affecting my skin, some of them can be controlled and honestly some of the are out of my power like: stress, hormones, eating, weather. so basically anything can effect the appearance of the skin. 
So other than controlling what I eat, I  just try to keep my skin ( mainly my pores) clear. I wash my face with cleanser 2 times a day, one in the morning and one in night after removing my make up.
I think I heard about this cleansing tool last year. it is called Clarisonic. It is basically a face brush that removes dead skin, oil, and dirt form pores with sonic frequency of more than 300 movements per second and leaves your skin fresh and clean. I never tried it, though heard a lot of positive comments on it. I will get it one day but now I think it is a little pricey for me (around 150$ or even higher).  maybe one day...

So here is my own version of Clarisonic. it is face brush of course without the fancy sonic frequency.
I put my cleanser on it and then start to wash my face with it. it is soft but I don't press too hard , just lay it there on my skin and very gently massaging on my face . my whole face wash will take less than a minute, so I'm not standing there messaging and messaging! after that I wash and remove the cleanser with water. my skin feels so clean and vibrate. The difference is somehow like washing your teeth with tooth brush or your fingers! I could imagine how the real Clarisonic would feel like, but in a mean time I will use my own version.

It is true that it is important to have a clean skin, but is more important not to clean too much  and suck the healthy oil form your skin. too much cleaning leave the skin irritated, red and dry and totally unhealthy looking.
that's how it looks in the packaging, it comes with a white headband
I got the brush form our drugstore (Pharmaprix). I know Sephora , Sheseido also carries something like that.but I'm sure if you look around in your drugstore, you would find it, if you are willing to try the brush.
So what is your skin cleansing routine?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Crispy Green Vegetable Cake or "ku ku Sabzi"

This is a traditional Persian food, which I really like because it is very simple to make and no matter how it is served  ( warm or cold) it is delicious . It can be served with rice or any other side dish or the way I really like it , in a sandwich.
It is vegetarian food but if you like you can also add cooked chicken or turkey breasts; still quite tasty. little bit of talk on the side that, I buy my fruits and vegetables from one store all the time, and here they are all packed already, so I did not know how much exactly I use in the recipe ( always like one bag of spinach,  leek, one bag of parsley and so on) which is not exactly a good way to tell someone else. so this week when I went to get some vegetables I notice how much exactly  is in one package and these are the exact quantities I use all the time.
So let's get down to the cooking.

Ingredients (  for 6-8 people

Parsley : 300 gr
Coriander: 300 gr
Leek ( only the green side; if you don't have you could also use green onion) : 3
Spinach: 1 bag which was 230 gr
Eggs: 4
Toasted walnuts roughly chopped: 1/2 cup
Salt and pepper: adjust it with your taste :)

Clean  ( for parsley and coriander separate the leaves and for leek separate the green part) and wash the vegetables, set aside for while so they get dry. put the vegetables in food processor and mix till they are the size as shown in the picture. you can transfer them to a clean bowl and mix the eggs, salt and pepper and walnuts. mix well till they all get uniform. in a frying pan , pour extra virgin olive oil (or any cooking oil) ,let it heat up for few seconds ( on medium heat ); then spread your green paste on it so it covers all the pan. with a back of a spoon go through the top surface so you get the same thickness all over.

Cook one side for about  10 -15minutes, then turn it over and let it get crispy for another 10-15 minutes.
If you like me, then it is not easy to turn over all at once. I slice in 4 section and then turn them one at a time. I cook mine in a small pan, because I like it little bit thick, with these amounts you could go for bigger pans. 

For a final comment; I know some people add some sour taste to it like barberry ( shown down there), but I prefer it without ; your choice.

Hope you try this and enjoy!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Books, books and more books ...

I have to admit, I am addicted to reading. it is my absolute pleasure as long as I remember. but I stopped for a while I think right after when I started going to university since I taught I don't have a lot of time. but it's been a few years that I am back on it. when I am reading a good book ,it is like I dissolve into it and I kind of become unaware of my surrounding ( not always a good thing though).

So talking about the latest books I read: I started to read the "Hunger Games" series by "Suzanne Collins". the first like 20-30 page of the first book is slow, but after that is was really hard to put the book down; wanted to know what will come next.
but that's not all, it gets even better when going further to the series which consists of 3 books:
1- Hunger games
2- Catching fire
The book is targeted for young adults, it is a violent novel so maybe  not good for people in early teens though. definitely recommend it to anyone who loves reading exciting, addictive novels with a touch of romance.
My next book will be "American Wife" by Curtis Sittenfeld, since I got it with the "Hunger Games" books.

So what have you read lately that you liked?

Monday, January 10, 2011

SUPERjuice for women

I don't know if your mother was like mine during your childhood but she always wanning me about how women are easily get infection down their lady parts and telling me not to sit on the floor and on and on ...! Back then the first thing came to my mid was always that "why my brother can play and sit where ever he wants by I should always be careful :(". 
I know it is true though, we are very delicate, so better to prevent any damage. 
One of the most common infection women get is "Urinary Tract Infection" or UTI. It happens basically when bacteria cling to the opening of urethra and multiplies ( though this could happen to anyone, women are more at risk than men).
So what I read several years ago about UTI; "it is proven that drinking as little as 1/4 cup ( around 50 ml ) of cranberry juice can reduce the the incidence of UTI in women". pretty amazing huh!? 

This is quite effective and at the same time simple. I never had UTI but I knew someone that actually suffered from it a lot and it is because in some women local immune are less effective than others. I recommended the super juice to her but I don't know she  actually took it seriously or not. I 've been doing it for about few years now, just one glass of cranberry juice every night. 
When I decided to post this I started to look around if there are any other health benefits coming from cranberry juice and here are some:
Antioxidants, Ear Nose and throat problem, Dental Health, protection against hearth diseases,  which are most of them are related to its ability to inhibit the growth of bacteria. 
Well it turns out to be quite a juice or I rather call it SUPERjuice.

Tip: just a tiny note that better to get the ones that are sugar free or indicate "no sugar added" on them. I prefer to get my sugars from those cakes and chocolates ;)

So don't forget your SUPERjuice ladies,

Friday, January 7, 2011

Under eye concealers

One of my lovely readers (Ghazaleh) asked me about  under eye concealer, so this is for you dear and of course anyone  interested:

I do have under eye circles but they are not very dark, but when I am tired they go kind of more hallow. I went home and looked at my makeup drawer and separated all my concealers, so here they are. the first thing that comes in my mind is " what is wrong with me" and 2nd one is I have to use these stuff more.
1-Boi-ing- An industrial-strength concealer by Benefit; 2- Select Moisturecover by MAC;3-L'real True match;4-Forget it concealer by Biotherm;5-Radiant Glow by No7;6-Gentle cover concealer stick by physicians formula
Correcting and concealing this area is very easy and at the same time tricky, because you could end up with a natural look or a complete disaster. it is sort of like photoshopping your face.
In general  yellow or peachy tone concealers are good for dark circles under eye and get them in one shade lighter that your foundation ( sometimes 2 shade lighter for very dark circles).
Before applying your concealer ( or in general your makeup) you need to moisturize the under eye area ( and your face) this will help the concealer to blend well and prevent any "caking" effect.
There are 2 types of concealer, the ones that reflect the light which are good for areas that have shadows like under eyes or the area between your cheeks and nose.
The 2nd group are the opaque ones that are good for covering blemishes or redness in the face area.

How to conceal under eye:
If you look to the mirror your face slightly down you will see the exact position of under eye circle. now look straight to the mirror and apply the cream in areas that have shadow. the shape of under eye circle is different from person to person but in general you could start from your inner corner  and come down stopping before completing the half circle.
That's how I apply it; looks like this before blending of course ;)
To blend use a concealer brush or your fingers, slightly dab it on the area ( do not rub at all) and blend it with your face so there won't be any visible lines of concealer.
Concealer brush, but the best is to use your fingers 
The issue some people have with under eye area is that they kind of go hallow as well. so to fix that it is better to use silicone based concealer that contour the eye area and fills the fine lines as they conceals .
Tip: if your concealer does not have silicon in it you could set it with a powder like "PowderFlage by Benefit".
PowderFlage by Benefit
For the rest of the face after you applied your foundation take a small brush and put concealer on the areas that are red or you have scares or blemishes and blend it with your fingers. be careful with the shade you go or you will end up with big areas of discoloration which is much worse than redness.

Thoughts on my concealers:
My favorite would be Boi-ing by benefit, it covers and blends very well, it comes in 3 shades I have the medium one. but sometimes I don't have that much of dark circles but I want little bit of highlight under my eye; in those times I use "No7 radiant Glow"; it has medium coverage but very nice as illuminator.
I also liked the l'oreal true match but find the color that is best for you. it is a good one. I don't care that much for the rest shown in first picture.
If you live in a place that you have different cosmetic brands counters, go there and ask them about their concealers, definitely  try different brands and different colors before buying.

My everyday use:
I use Garnier Anti-Dark circle eye roller which is kind of 2-in-1 product every day. it is moisturizer with a little hint of color that  I think suits most skin types. I will talk about it in more details in a review post, soon.

So hope this was useful and let me know about your tips and comments :)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Date- Walnut cake

I was going through the book called " Williams-Sonoma CAKE" by Fran Gage and was looking at this recipe. the cake seems quite dense and due to its ingredients  it is quite filling too. so decided to make it for our trip to the cottage. looking at the page, I noticed I don't have all the materials so I made my own modifications to it, having no idea how it would turn out. but it was quite good actually and there is place to modify it like adding more date or if you like 1 tsp of coco powder.
This is a lovely book which I highly recommend to any cake lover like me!
Pitted dates, roughly chopped:  1 cup
Walnuts, lightly toasted and chopped : 3/4 cup
Coconut shreds: 1 cup
Flour: 2 cup
Salt: just a pinch
Baking powder : 2 tsp
Cinnamon: 1 tsp
Eggs : 4
Sugar: 1/2 cup
Milk: 1/2 cup
Melted butter cooled to  room temperature : 1/2 cup

First turn your oven on to 375 F, oil up an loaf pan ( or any other shape pan). In bowl mix the dates, coconut shreds, walnuts, salts,  flour and baking powder and set aside; in another bowl  mix the eggs with sugars till they get to a  light yellow-ish color. add the milk and melted butter to the eggs mix slowly  for few seconds till you get a soft mixture. then add the rest of ingredients in the other bowl to the eggs batter. mix them all using a large spatula.
Put the batter in your pan and bake in the oven for about 45-50 minutes. check before taking out that your stick comes out clean from the center of the cake ( you know how).
Take it out and let it cool down on a wire rack. after it is completely cool take form the pan and cut it as you wish.
This cake is quite easy, delicious and rich; perfect for winter times.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Products I won't repurchase series- E3: NARS Sheer Matte Foundation

I was in a hunt for a new and good foundation. Being a  fan of NARS cosmetics I decided to try one of theirs; with research my choice was narrowed to Nars Sheer Glow.

Just a quick note that I have combination skin which I guess is the most common type, little oily on the T-zone and normal in the rest of the my face. 
I went to the NARS counter and the lady who worked there recommended me the Matte one and convinced me since I have combination skin, specially in the summer time, the sheer glow one will look too glow-ii and kind of oily and shinny so I would be better off with the Matte one. 
She tested on part of my face and it was ok, so I got it. 

Let me just describe the foundation in just one word: Garbage. it is so dry that I can not blend it, where ever I put, it dry like a stain and if I try too hard to blend it it starts to shred and comes off. and the worse part of it it does not have pump !so you have to figure out a system to take out the amount you need and not waste the product.
It was a really big disappointment to me since I paid about 55 $ for it. the bad part was that I throw out the packaging so I could n't return it either. 
So now what I do with it, I mix it with other foundation; since it has a nice yellow undertone to it, I use it as color corrector to my other foundations that lacks the undertone color. 
There are some good points to it which are ,having a nice color, being oil free and medium coverage. it  probably will work well with very oily skins which I don't have. 

In the final note I wanted to add that don't expect your foundation to cover everything or don't try that because you will end up with face covered with layers and layers of foundation. use it to get an even colored skin and then cover any blemishes or small spots with concealer. blend your foundation well to prevent any lines on the areas that you didn't put foundation.
So here is my take on this foundation, till next time :)

Monday, January 3, 2011

New year is here....

Hi my lovely readers,
Happy new year to all of you, may this year bring  more and new prosperity, love and happiness in your life.
I was  on vacation from Dec. 22 and just came back today. we went to a cottage close by to our city for a couple of days which was very very relaxing.
Here is me walking in the snow, enjoying the white and cold outdoors :)
Then we came back home and the next day we went to Toronto and stayed with our friends for couple of days. we also visited Niagara falls and Toronto city itself.

View of the Fall from top ( just half of it)
just a beautiful tree in Falls' Casino area
It turned out to be a great vacation, which I needed so bad. I read some good books, finished about 4 magazines;which I am subscribed and did not have time to read since November; did some shopping which is always fun.
Our friend had a party for new year where I met amazing new people. she made her signature cheeses cake, which I got her recipe and made my first cheese cake last year ( here is the link to her recipe)

I wish you all the best in 2011 and till the next post bye :)