Monday, February 28, 2011

Quick and easy dinner

There are times that we have friends over but I really don't want to spend time in the kitchen. this is one the things that I cook during those times. something as main dish that you I could pop it in the oven and as side dish something that I could prepare in advance and heat up if necessary. 
This time I made chicken legs, here are the ingredients to marinate the chicken and also for side dish and salad:

Chicken legs with bones or without (as you wish): based on number of people and their appetite
Onions sliced: 2 for around 8 chicken legs
Garlic sliced : 2
Clubhouse chicken spice (the one that I used called Montreal chicken seasoning): plenty to cover the chickens; If you don't have that use paprika or any other spice you want
For side dish I wanted to have a vegetables like broccoli and potatoes; you could go with something fun like mashed sweet potato or small baked potato.
Butter  for mashed potato
Since I didn't make any sauce to go with chicken, I decided to make a salad with sauce.
Cabbage : 1/4 ( the whole would make a lot of salad);shredded
Carrots : 3-4  ;shredded
Raisins: 1/2 cup
Mayonnaise sauce: 1-2 tablespoon

Chicken: In a baking dish, put sliced onions, garlic and chickens. cover them with the spices and sprinkle little EV olive oil on top, then mix them very well together ( preferably with your hand) so all the chickens are covered with onions and spices. cover the dish and leave it in the fridge for about 1-2 hour.
Potatoes:Bake the sweet potatoes in boiling water till they are completely done; mashed them with butter and little bit of salt and leave them aside.

If you are not in the mood for mashed potatoes of any kind, you could go with baked potato. wash them and leave them on the baking pan ( with their skin) and sprinkle them with salt, pepper, olive oil and dried dill (or fresh if you have), and leave aside so you could pop them in the oven with chickens.

Broccoli: boil the water in a sauce pan and put your broccoli in them; cook for 1-1.5 minutes; not more than that. resine them and put them in cold water to stop them from cooking.

So depending on when you want to have dinner, an hour before, heat up your oven to 350F and when it is ready pop your chickens in the oven (cover the pan with aluminium sheet) , they take about 40-45 minutes. and 20 minutes later put the potatoes in. When the chickens are cooked, take the aluminium cover and let the chickens' top get little crispy. Serve the chickens with vegetables and salads.
This kind of fast dinners dose not have specific recipe; you could have fun with with endless options as spices, side-dish, salads and main course.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Products I won'n repurchase series- E4: Biotherm Age Fitness Yeux Power2

I have to say I am not a big fan of Biotherm products, I tried a lot of them and each one came with disappointment and maybe if it wasn't an expensive line I was not bother that much. But when you pay about 50$ for a 15 ml eye-cream you kind of expect something more from the 20$ ones. I got this eye-cream few months ago but started to use it around January since I had other stuff to finish. 
On Biotherm website there is a little description for it :
"Age Fitness Yeux Power 2 with pure olive leaf concentrate + pure olive extracts.
Specifically developed to target the first signs of aging around the eyes, the area of the face where they appear the earliest. 
Immediately smoothes the skin and helps relieve signs of fatigue. Day after day, fine lines are visibly reduced and your complexion regains its sparkle."
First of all the product suppose to be moisturizing, which is not that much and I personally used it more often since I did not felt its moisture effect ( so I ran out of it so fast). But sometimes it is not necessary to put more, just one pump would be enough but because it dose not feel good, I put more and that would be waste of products; and this is quite surprising for me because they claim to have olive extracts ( it seems to me it is tiny bit there)
My 2nd complain is about their claim "fine lines are visibly reduced ". I am at my late 20s and I certainly have "fine" lines under my eyes and I did not see any change on them due to use of this cream. 
So to express my opinion in a more condense way: beautifully packed, very expensive and very ineffective. anyone could get easily something else in much better price and get better results. 
Wish you all a very nice weekend :)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Painted veil

Last weekend we watched "The Painted Veil" movie with our friends. the movie is plotted around 1920s (I think); and it is story of two person who have absolutely nothing in common. Walter ( played by Edward Norton)  who is a smart, shy and rather unsocial person falls in love with Kitty ( Naomi Watts) who is a social girl, loves going out, playing piano and basically loves being the center of attention.  even they have nothing in common they got married ( for reasons you 'll find out if you watch the movie) and because of Walter's work they move to China and then things happens ( which I can not tell you if you want to watch) and they move to the cholera struck region where Walter is busy with his works and Kitty only have one English speaker neighbor ( which is very hard for someone like her).
This movie is absolutely beautiful. it shows how the couple begins to see each other for what they really are and the coldness between them replaced by love after their marriage. It is a progression story of both of them toward a point that they meet each other. it shows that people are complex and they hurt one another but what is important is the healing after. 
The place and the surroundings in this movie is amazing and also the acting. it really transfers you to that time. It is romantic movie but not those cheesy ones so probably if you are into romantic movies you will enjoy it regardless of your gender preferences. It made me cry ( and I have to tell you I cry in sad moments as well as happy ones; so you never know) 
Have you seen this movie or any other non-cheesy romantic movies lately ?!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Recent Book read: American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld

I finally finished this book, oh it seems like forever. it was about 580 pages of fine prints, and I liked it :) 
On the fist page of the book it is written:
      "American Wife is a work of fiction loosely inspired by the life of an American first lady. Her husband, his parents, and certain prominent members of his administration are recognizable. all other characters in the novel are products of the author's imagination, as are the incidents concerning them." 
I had no idea what so ever that the book is actually inspired of a real first lady but when I started to read and the story well progressed it was very clear to me that the first lady in the book (Alice) is very close to Laura Bush. and now that I finished the book; at the end ; in conversation with author section, she claimed that the her book idea came form Laura Bush's life. 
The story starts form the childhood of Alice till around 61. for most of the book Alice is shown as an "perfect wife"; who has unquestioned loyalty to a husband with values very different from hers. at same time the book shows a mixed image of US president; quite chilling though! 
In my opinion, the fist chapters of the book were stronger, it seems that after they moved to white house the author wasn't very focused; she described  the characters and emotions in more details at first three sections but not the same in the last part.  also there is too many flashbacks at last section where I really wanted the story to go forward. 
One of the most interesting points of the book was that Alice ( before meeting his husband) was free thinker and then she transfered to an obedient wife and then when they got famous to very likable first lady. there were parts in the book that Alice seems selfless to me which I did not like at all.

When I was reading the book so many questions went through my mind like: if you become a political wife and disagree with your husband's politics are you thus responsible for his actions as a leader if you believe they are morally corrupt ? Could you close your eyes to things that you think are wrong because you love your husband and don't want to ruin your marriage by discussing those points?!or could you  have married a man with such different in a first place?
It was one the most absorbing  and thought-provoking books I have read in a while. during my read I taught about the characters and kind of thinking how I would react or behave in those conditions; the fact that we shouldn't judge anyone before knowing and understanding their story was also shown beautifully in this book. 
So here is my take on my recent read which I highly recommend, have you read any interesting book recently? 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Clinique Review: Even Better makeup &Moisture sheer tint

Here is another review for 2 Clinique products. let's start with the foundation:
1-Clinique even better makeup SPF15
I got this products last spring from a Clinique counter; I asked the sales lady for something that could give me medium coverage but still light in texture so I could wear it daily even in the summer. and she recommended this product to let's start with positive points:
It gives medium to full coverage and feels light; does not look greasy or cakey ( good for hot summer weather) . on the package it does not say "oil-free" but on its online description it is expressed as so.  It is reasonably priced for a non-drugstore brand product. 

Even though she tested different colors on my skin,the foundation makes my face look pink, so when i went back to the store I noticed that lighting there is quite yellow so that's why I did not notice then. during that time I was using the 3-step Clinique face routine for acne and I experienced very bad breakouts on my skin, so I stopped using the foundation. I start using it last month but my skin is fine so now the only problem I have with it is the color. It is claimed that through continuous wear  there is a noticeable difference in your skin tone; which I did not experienced. 

Would I repurchase it ? No because I think there are so many others that I would like to try. 
Would I recommend this? Yes, but be careful with the color :)

2-Clinique moisture sheer tint SPF15
This is a tinted moisturizer which is basically an oil-free cream-gel moisturizer with light beige color (perfect for summer time). I think they come in 2 colors ( very limited color range) ; the other one is more for fair skin tones. It is a very light moisturizer, so I don't think it would be good for dry skins; even if you have dry spots due to acne or anything else it emphasize them so avoid those areas. for oily skin it gives a matte finish which turns to shinny as day progress.It is just a tint so it only even outs the skin, without coverage. Still the color is not perfect for me because it has little pink undertone.

Would I repurchase it ? No because honestly I tried better tinted moisturizers.
Would I recommend this? No, unless you have perfect and oily skin with pink undertones.which I think you could get away with a nice and light moisturizer ( with SPF) and light face powder; still this is not necessary.


These 2 products kind of go into the "miss category" from Clinique.  Hope this was helpful :)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Coffee Cake Muffins

Coffee-and-cake is one of my simple pleasures. I personally love to have my tea or coffee with something special ( like cake or a good biscuit or even slice of chocolate) and if there is nothing to have it with, there is no reason  for to drink a coffee or tea either. Few days ago I came across a post in MSN that gathered 9 different recipes for coffee cake ( courtesy of Martha Stewart). I am planning to make them all soon and see which I like the best. because you know I can't get enough of cakes :). Almost all the cakes here have 2 steps of making, one for the topping and one for the cake itself.
So let's start with baking the first one called "Coffee Cake Muffins". 


Streusel Topping: 
Brown sugar:  1 cup
All-purpose flour : 1 cup
Salt: 1/2 teaspoon
Ground cinnamon: 1/2 teaspoon
Chilled unsalted butter ( cut in small cubes): 1/2 cup

Unsalted butter : 1/2 cup
All-purpose flour : 1 3/4 cup
Baking Powder: 2 teaspoons
Baking Soda: 1 teaspoons
Sour Cream: 1 cup
Sugar : 1 cup
Vanilla extract: 1 teaspoon
Eggs: 2 large

Prepare streusel topping:
In a medium bowl, mix together brown sugar, flour, salt and cinnamon. then mix the butter ( cut to small pieces) to the rest of materials until mixture resembles large coarse crumbs;put them in fridge until ready to use. 
Prepare the muffin:
First preheat the oven to 350F. in a small bowl mix the flour, baking powder and baking soda and set aside. using an electric mixer ( on medium speed) beat together butter, sour cream, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. add the eggs one by one until well combined. then put the mixer at low and add the flour to the rest. 
I used baking sheets for muffins; if you don't want to use them , grease the pans before loading them. add half of the batter to the muffin pan, top it with a layer of streusel mixture, then put the remaining batter and top it with streusel again. 

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean. after they become ready coll them on wire rack for couple of minutes. these muffins are so moist and favorable,I really liked its texture. Hope you try them and enjoy with your tea or coffee.


Friday, February 18, 2011

Review: LUSH Cosmetic Warrior Mask

I don't know if you are familiar with Lush products or not, I know I wasn't few years ago. It is a company that makes bath and beauty products made by hand with organic, fresh ingredients like soaps, bath bombs, bubble bars, shampoo and conditioner, face products and lots more. All of its products are 100% cruelty-free, vegetarian and some vegan products. I am not vegetarian or vegan though but it is nice to use products that not have so many chemicals in them and are made of natural stuff. I am sure you all remember your mothers or grandmothers used eggs, olive oil or garlic for conditioning their hair, or honey face masks and lots of other food-i cosmetics stuff.
The name is written in French "Guerrier De La Beauté

I tried diffrent products from them, some I repurchased some I did not. in this post I would like to talk to you about one of my favorite products from them called "Cosmetic Warrior".
This product is a face mask; on the package is written:
"Antiseptic fresh garlic and tea tree essential oil reinforced by deep cleansing kaolin and fresh grapes, aided by softening honey and free range eggs."
Because the mask contains fresh ingredients it should be kept on the fridge and also you could keep it for 20 days starting  form the day it was made ( it is written on the back of the jar)
I used it 3 times a week, after cleansing my face, I put one layer of the mask all over my face (in a scrubbing motions), wait for about 10 minutes and then I wash my face with warm water.
Afterwards my skin feels so soft and clean, and my pores looks noticeably smaller; which is a surprise for me, I still don't know which ingredients is responsible for minimizing my pores.
This is hands down the best face mask I tried,since I started using this product I did not have any breakouts which is quite odd for my acne prone skin. I think it is because ingredients like tea tree,garlic.. are antiseptic treatments known to help keep bacteria under control. 
Just to let you know it has a pasty,grayish texture and it does not smell nice ( but for me the smell was bearable), so if you are not sure about smell, go to lush and ask for a sample of the mask.
I used 2 jars so far, so probably I will stop for a month to see how my skin looks afterwards and then I'll get another jar. If you have a lush store near by I highly recommend  to give this a try ( or get a sample).Hope this quick review was helpful.
Have you ever tried any of Lush products, what is your favorite ?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Foundation series: Revlon Photo Ready

Revlon is one of my favorite drugstore brand. I tried a lot of their stuff and I really like the quality and also the prices. however this is was one of the first foundations that I tried from Revlon, and I can say in one word that I am very impressed. 
I've got these around August 2010, I think; I used them almost everyday. for my skin type they provide medium coverage, they covers the red spots perfectly and even out my skin tone. so let's look them in more detail.
Positive points:
1- Medium and smooth coverage
2-It has a nice sheen to it, which makes your skin glowing ( however this could be negative point for some people, but I like its effect on my skin)
3- It is long lasting on my skin.
4-It does not cake up.
5- It is oil-free and has SPF20.
6-Even though it has sunscreen in it, it photographs very nicely.
Negative points:
1-It does not have a wide color range. as you can see I have 2 , because my skin is somewhere in between. so based on my current skin color ( summer or winter time) I mix 04 Nude and 05 Natural beige on back of my hand and then apply it to my face.
2-It dries very fast, so you need to apply it section by section. for example, I start from my cheek (center of my face), put dots of foundation in my cheek area, blend it and then put dots on my chins and blend and so on.
So  as my overall impression,  I really like this foundation, it worked for me. Am I going to buy it again, yes;but no time soon because I have a load of things to finish and try.
So hope this was helpful, again I really enjoy hearing about your recommendations and what worked for you.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

For Canadians:A Gift with purchase from Estée Lauder at Holt Renfrew

Here is the gift offer I got by mail, I never tried anything serious from them ( I consider eye-shadow, lip gloss and mascara less serious compared to face creams !). so I am not sure yet, maybe I 'll get Estée Lauder double-wear foundation, since I wanted to try it for so long.  we'll see. 
The minimum purchase is 60$ before tax and the gift includes: 

• Re-Nutriv Ultimate Lift Age-Correcting Creme 15ml
• Re-Nutriv Hydrating Creme Cleanser 50ml
• Exclusive Pure Color Compact-a lavish selection for lips and eyes (8 coordinating eyeshadows: Sugar Biscuit, Polished Platinum, Sepia Sand, Iridescent Violet, Peacock Blue, Amazing Grey, Newport Blue and Intense Violet; plus 3 lipsticks: Pink Parfait, Rubellite and Hot Kiss)
• Pure Color Long Lasting Lipstick (full-size; in Rose Tea)
• Sumptuous Bold VolumeTM Lifting Mascara (10-day supply; in black)
• Ultimate Fashion Tote

Exclusively at Holt Renfrew, from February 11 - 20, 2011

Enjoy this brilliant new collection with any $60 Estée Lauder purchase*
(Retail value: over $170) 

Design your own casserole

Last week I picked up the special issue of food network magazine. this issue called  Italian Issue, which is full of Italian recipes. I loved it, I just sit and go over and over the magazine. it is full of recipes and nice pictures and also my favorite Italian chef Mario, I don't know if you had watched his shows or not ( particularly when he is on Iron chef), but I really enjoy watching his work, he has such a unique and special point of view in cooking and those orange clogs he wears, so cute.

It has a nice section called "Mix &Match; Match Baked Pasta" where they explained the basics of casserole but you get to design and make your own because you have endless options here. So  after reading and looking at the pictures ( they look sooo delicious and they turned out to be tasty too ) last week I decided to make a casserole from this magazine. I will post the way I made my own but you could add or modify based on your taste and basically design your own casserole, so let's get down to cooking, shall we!
Step 1:
Pasta 400-500 g
Step 2: Sauce
Garlic: 4 cloves
Olive oil : 2 tablespoon (for cooking garlic)
Plum Tomato can : around 800 ml (you could use fresh plum tomato or if not available any other tomato sauce you have)
Water : 1 cup
Fresh basil springs: 3-4 ( or 1 teaspoon of dry basil leaves)
Salt, red pepper for sauce seasoning
Step3: Mix-ins
Ground beef cooked  200 g ( you could use Italian sausage,meatballs or chopped pepperoni, shredded chicken or no meat at all, your choice)
Zucchini, sliced and saute: 1 cup
Mushrooms, sliced and saute: 1 cup
you could add any kind of vegetables or mix-ins like :  hard-boiled eggs, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, eggplants, fennel, spinach, escarole, black or green olives ;of course everything chopped ( for me those were the ones that I had at that time)
Step4: Flavor the sauce
For herb sauce: chopped basil and parsley: 1 cup
For creamy sauce: fresh ricotta : 1 cup
For meat sauce: Pancetta ,diced and chopped 1/2 cup
Step5: Cheese
In the recipe it said 3 cups of melting cheese and 1 cup of granting cheese. I think it is a little bit too much cheese so I reduced the cheese amount.
Mozzarella ; melting cheese: 1 cup ( if you have fresh ones , that would be even better)
Parmesan; granting cheese: 2 tablespoon

First step is to pick your pasta, preheat the oven to 400 Fand bring a pot of salted water to boil and cook your choice of pasta, 2-3 minutes less than the usual well cooked time because it will cook with the sauce and rest of ingredients too ( you could use the proposed timing on the package for complete cook)
Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat and add sliced garlic and pinch of red pepper; cook until the garlic is golden ( be careful it take few seconds). Add the crushed tomato can to the skillet and add about 1 cup of water to the skillet. Add the basil leaves and cook ( uncovered) until the sauce is thickened ( about 10-15 minutes). If you used fresh basil leaves take them out of the sauce and add a pinch of salt.   
While the sauce is thickening, you could prepare your mix-ins ( all together around 3 cups). I cooked the beef for a few minutes on a pan and set aside; added the mushrooms and zucchini to it and tossed for a few seconds  do not overcook the vegetables).
stir one of the flavoring ingredients to the sauce.and then add the materials from step 3 to the sauce. 

Toss the cooked pasta with the sauce and half of the cheese. Spread in an oiled baking pan. And sprinkle the remaining cheese over the pasta to cover the surface. Bake uncovered, until cheese melted and goldened (about 10-15 minutes). When it is ready take it out from the oven and let it cool down for sufficient amount of time. 

Hope you enjoy! till next time.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Let's talk foundation :)

I am a girl who wears foundation or tinted moisturizer everyday. I have been wearing for a long long time and during these times I gained experience on foundation from hearing form other people, reading magazines and doing little research by myself. I am not an expert person what so ever, I am just someone who like to  experience different stuff :)

So first start with some general info:
  • It is important to prepare the skin before foundation like with a light moisturizer or primer.   
  • There are different forms of foundation, like liquid, mouse, spray, powder. I personally prefer liquid ones but on my best skin days only powder foundations would work too ( great for those hot summer days). 
  • Foundation can cause breakouts, yes that is true specially if you have an oily skin and use oil-based ones. but even if it is oil-free, your skin might react to some other materials inside the foundation.
  • The experience is not the same for everyone, yes true. if something worked for me it does not mean it works for you and vice versa, since we all have different skin texture and different expectations. 
  • Each foundation has different coverage some are light; then you have medium or heavy coverage. depending on what you expect from a foundation. 
  • Foundation is not there to cover all the acne, blemishes and scares. the purpose of it is to even out the skin tone, for further coverage no one should put layer and layer of foundation because it would look too cakey, fake and absolutely not attractive. 
  • The foundation should be well blended on the skin, for that you could use a makeup brush or sponge.  It is better to lightly damp the brush or sponge with water. this will also help the foundation to look more natural.
  • If you have very oily skin, after you well blended you could powder the T-zone area to take away any shine. 
  • Start form the section you think you need the most coverage ( for most people is the cheek or chin area) and from there spread the product to rest of the face and jaw line to achieve an even skin tone. 
I think the most important points are:

  • To get oil-free foundation ( water based),unless you have extremely dry skin.
  • Right texture and color for your skin,
  • Try it before you buy ( or try to get it in small samples and use it for several times before getting the full size product),
  • If the sample option is not possible check your return policy, cause if you tried at store lighting maybe it would be different color outside, so maybe you could return it or change it to another color. 

I heard from so many people that if you want to invest in make up, get a nice foundation. it is very true if you don't have flawless skin ( like me) maybe putting a blush or highlight on top of that is not a good idea and if you have great skin well good for you, take good care of it :)
Here is my current foundation stack ( still some of them are missing in the picture).

So in this series I will talk about my own experiences from different foundations ( Revlon, Rimmel, Clinique,...),and as always I really love to hear your recommendations.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Good Listener Poem

When I ask you to listen to me
and you start giving me advice,
you have not done what I asked.
When I ask you to listen to me
and you begin to tell me why
I shouldn't feel that way,
you are trampling on my feelings.
When I ask you to listen to me
and you feel you have to do something
to solve my problem,
you have failed me,
strange as that may seem.
Listen! All I ask is that you listen.
Don't talk or do - just hear me.
Advice is cheap; 20 cents will get
you both Dear Abby and Billy Graham
in the same newspaper.
And I can do for myself; I am not helpless.
Maybe discouraged and faltering,
but not helpless.
When you do something for me that I can
and need to do for myself,
you contribute to my fear and
But when you accept as a simple fact
that I feel what I feel,
no matter how irrational,
then I can stop trying to convince
you and get about this business
of understanding what's behind
this irrational feeling.
And when that's clear, the answers are
obvious and I don't need advice.
Irrational feelings make sense when
we understand what's behind them.
Perhaps that's why prayer works, sometimes,
for some people - because God is mute,
and he doesn't give advice or try
to fix things.
God just listens and lets you work
it out for yourself.
So please listen, and just hear me.
And if you want to talk, wait a minute
for your turn - and I will listen to you
Aurthur: Unknown
I read this poem when I was doing a workshop few years ago;and loved it.  I personally believe in that often it is very important for us to feel heard; we feel better when we feel listened to and even better when we feel understood. sometimes people aren't looking for solutions, they just want to get the problem out of their system by telling it to someone without the feeling of being judged. true listening is considered as a skill; it is very important to listen to people non-judgmentally, even in the body language and facial expressions. it is just listening but it is one of the most fascinating things. 
So what do you think, do you consider yourself as a good listener or do you know someone who is?!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Best sunscreen ; In my opinion ;)

I 've been wearing sunscreen every day, since I was in high school, . the reason was that I have a very very tiny spot on my cheeks ( which is not visible looking with eyes)  and since I visited a dermatologist on regular basis when I was a teenager;he said to me it is because of the sun and he recommended to wear sunscreen everyday.
since then, I tested and used so many brands on this category and probably I don't remember all of them. I use SPF15 for everyday use and in summers when we go to the beach I go for higher SPF. 
But I think the use of sunscreen is a must for every body even in cloudy days; it protects the skin from damaging UV rays which could lead to premature skin aging, skin cancer or any other skin problems. 

As I said I used so many brands like Vichy, La Roche Posay, Avene, Biotherm, Neutrogena , Avenoo and other bunch which I don't remember.
So after using and testing I finally found my favorite ones, I've been using this for about 2 years now ( I think ) and I am at my 4th or 5th bottle.

Clean & Clear - Finishes Pore Perfecting Moisturizer SPF 15
One of the most important thing to keep in mind when you buy moisturizer or sunscreen is to be oil-free because no one wants to add any more to the skin or clogs the pores with them.  so here are my reasons for loving this product: 
1- It is moisturizer and sunscreen in one, which prevents adding layers of products.
2- It is oil-free; great because of the reasons I mentioned above.
3- It is such a light and fast absorbing product, so for days I just want to apply powder on top ( like powder foundation or blush) I don't have to wait for it to absorbs.
Final comments:
One thing that I did not quite understand from this products is its " pore perfecting" effect. it does not reduce the pores or their size in any way ( it is not "pore minimizing" in my opinion). I think it is called pore perfecting because it is oil-free so it does not clog on  pores and make them bigger, so some how it is pore perfecting ?!
I know there are so many possibilities of other brands out there or more expensive ones, but I think when I get what I want from this product ; why should I bother to get something else in much higher price.
So here is my opinions and thoughts on my own sunscreen, what about you ; do you wear sunscreen all the time or you just ignore it from time to time!?

Wish you all a great day 


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Butterfly Effect

Saturday night we watched the movie " Butterfly Effect"  which is a psychological thriller. the movie is based on the theory of so-called Butterfly effect, which says "a small change may lead to much larger changes elsewhere". the movie has very small scenes of violence but not much.  in order to get the whole story it requires full attention. I liked the movie and it made me think about my own life. anything happened in the past ( small or big ) can change the our life pathway completely, something as small as a smile.
After we finished watching, we started to tell what was our own butterfly effect and where would be today if something else had happened. one of our friends said, it is like our life is a circle and we are at the center, we have so many  pathways to choose to get to the other side, but the slightest shift can change the whole route. 

I really recommend this movie, believe me it would make you think about your own life ;)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Clinique Review: High Impact Mascara

This is one of my favorite mascaras ever. I used other types from Clinique but this one is the best. It does have a simple wand ( nothing special at all) but there is something in there because my lashes look long and full and well separated. first I got this at one of their gift with purchase stuff  few years ago and loved it so much I repurchased again . I got  in another gift set and though it comes in small tubes ( in the Clinique gift bag), I used it for a long time. it is little pricey for mascara ( in my opinion) but little goes a long way. It does not flake and leave residue under my eye through a day.
I personally think that some of the drugstore mascaras ( like Cover Girl, Revlon, Maybelline,..) have good quality  and it is not necessary to buy those expensive ones ( like Dior, YSL,Channel...) . so this Clinique one  goes to higher brands mascaras for me ( maybe for you it's not). 
as a final comment I could say :this is one of my favorite products from Clinique. and I would repurchase but no time soon cause I already have one and still going strong.
What is your favorite mascara or have you ever been disappointed by one?!

Mania :)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

In the Giving Tree story, are we the tree or the boy?!?

Have you read the story of "Giving Tree"?! it is one of the most simple and touching stories I ever read. It is a children book but reading it you realize how deep it is and how different one can look at the story.The tree character shows someone that is always a giver and he is happy when there is something he can offer. on the other side there is the boy which is always a taker ( although we don't know how he is with others but for sure with the tree he is a taker). Throughout our life we met people that belonged to one of these 2 groups or somewhere in between. The boy can be seen as selfish or very reasonable and the tree can be seen as someone who sacrifice himself for the sake of others or someone that is selfless. 
I was reading the story ( probably for the 100th times) few days ago and I was thinking that the happiness of the tree and the boy was very dependence of someone or something else; tree was happy when the boy was around and needed something ( actually the only time the tree was sad was when he didn't have anything to give to the boy) or the boy was happy when he had money, house, boat. ....
When our happiness depends on someone or something else, there is a huge possibility that it is won't be stable.It is just much better to be happy without any reason and I found  that few months ago, simple reason like being healthy, be able to spend time with your loved ones and just enjoying their company, just by relaxing on the couch beside your significant other or the most simplest things; basically being happy because there is no reason not to be. and that's how I want to be :)
If you had not read the book, here is a short and old video with the voice of Shel Silverstein himself.
The story makes me sad and I hate the boy ( kind of ) but honestly how many of us behave or seen like the boy in real life?!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Clinique Bonus Time at The Bay ( from Feb. 9th to Feb. 27th)

A few days a go I got this in my mail box. It is a special bonus that is offered at Clinique counters at "The Bay" here in Canada. They offer gift with purchase of 26 $ and more. 
It is done 2 times a year ( I'm not sure though maybe more, but now I remember 2 times). one in February and one in summer times. There are other stores like "Holt Renfrew", Ogilvy and Sears. But there purchase limit is higher ( around 35$) and  honestly the gift is better. Usually if I want to get something for my self or for someone else as a gift I shop when they have gift offers cause by that  I can test some of their products and see If I want to get them next time. and getting gift always feels good specially when it comes in those nice make up bags ;)

With their bonus announcements comes a little and nice catalogue where they describes some of their best selling or new products. To be honest, Clinique is a hit and miss brand for me. some of their products I LOVE and repurchase but some of them were really a waste of money for me. 

I looked at the products and first of all the catalogue itself is very beautiful, fresh and gives the feeling of summer:)  there are 2 products that caught my attentions and here they are:
-Clinique Redness solution: Make up SPF15 with Probiotic Technology and redness vanishes instantly. In 4 weeks you'll see noticeably less redness even after you take it off ( all written from catalogue). 
-Clinique even better skin tone correcting moisturizer SPF20 ( this one will come in the gift bag, so I can try the small package and see if it works on me I would go get the big one)
So now, I have just one product on my wish list, not sure to get it though, we'll see. 

On the subject of Clinique products, I decided to write about the products that I loved or hated form Clinique, so far. I already wrote a review on their acne skin (link here). but there are still some others that I used, or maybe there are some that you used and could  tell me your opinions on them. so I will start a Clinique series.
Have you tried something from this line and what did you think of it?! I always love to hear your comments.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Happy Groundhog day ( yesterday !!!)

Ok yesterday was groundhog day. it is the 2nd of Feb. each year and is celebrated here in Canada and US. According to folklore, if it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day, it will leave the burrow, signifying that winter-like weather will soon end. If it is sunny, the groundhog will supposedly see its shadow and retreat back into its burrow, and the winter weather will continue for six more weeks.
The Quebec's groundhog is named Fred and lives in the eastern Quebec town of Val-d'Espoir; unfortunately yesterday he saw his shadow, so what is that for us: 6 more weeks of winter and by winter I means loads and loads of snow and cold weather . it is very interesting to know that in other places of Canada their groundhog promised an early spring for them :) 
Yesterday a very major snow storm hit the US Midwest, Ontario and Quebec. The storm was one of the biggest I saw here. I don't know exactly how much it snowed but this morning when we were heading to work some cars were completely buried under the snow. It took us almost 2 hours to get to work ( usually takes 20 min top); so we are officially covered with snow and so desperate for a groundhog to predicts an early spring, but that's not gonna happen this year (in Quebec alt least).  yesterday evening nearly 70 cars hit each other and the accident stretched about 3 km long in one of the highways here in Montreal. so by a good approximation we could say the weather here is crazy now!! Having car accident is bad by it self but in those weather conditions :(
But today it is sunny and every where is white and beautiful. but don't let the sun fool you cause it is freaking cold outside. 
In the subject of groundhog day, there is a movie with this name which is fun and special. it is not those ordinary movies! If you didn't see it yet, maybe you should ;)

Wish all of you a happy and safe winter, till next time.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Best well-rounded Home Workout

If you don't have much time exercising, or not sure if you could stick with your gym and don't waste your membership, or lots and lots of other ifs; then one of the best solutions for you is to do home workouts. I tried this method few years ago and also last summer ( for the days that I missed my gym workouts). the best workout would be the one that includes both cardio and weight training and it does not take more than 30 minutes ( because honestly if it gets longer it would be harder to stick with it)  . 
I tried a few workout DVDs, like "Skinny Bitch Fitness Body", "Billy Blanks workouts", "Budokon Beginning Practice" and others that I don't really remember their names. but one of the best that I tried so far is "Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred". 

30 Day shred is an awesome workout! Jillian is one of the trainers in the show "The biggest loser" and I think she has another show ( I don't know the name). it is said that the workout operates on the principle of muscle confusion to tone and slims the body quickly. It is designed in 3 levels; and each level should be done in 10 days.
What you need is 2 dumbbells, don't get heavy ones, ,start with something low and increase it as the days goes by and your muscles get stronger; . I started by level 1 and for each moves she gives 2 options, one for people that are very fit and of course one that I used :) let me tell you it is a very challenging 30 minutes, and you should not skip any seconds of it, since it is already short. at the beginning days you don't notice anything regarding the weight loss and that is normal since you are developing muscles and reshaping your body but don't get discouraged and continue your workout. If after 10 days you think you need more time, feel free to stay there ( in the 1st level) till you mastered that level.
At the end of the workout you would feel more toned, stronger and more in shape. and I am sure you will be glad you tried it. One of the best things that I got form the workout was that I am able to do push ups now, which I had never done  in my life before :). 
Final comments: 
Choose a place that you could finish the workout with interruption.  If it's too hard, start without weights and it might be very hard for people that did not exercise for a long time.     
So have you tried Jillian's or any other home workouts, and what do you think of them?!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Products I won't repurchase series- E4: Olay Daily Facials

I usually clean my make up at night with those special damp cloth. I used different brands so far; a few weeks ago I went to our drugstore and noticed all the Olay stuff were on sale and these facial wipes was around 4.99$; so I taught to give them a try.

My first impression was that they are not as soft as the others that I used before and I was feeling that I was scrubbing my face with something which definitely was not my purpose at all.  
Other point that I did not liked about these was the fact that they are not very good for removing eye make up due to 2 reasons; 1- not soft enough so not good to use it under eye area, that makes them red and irritated; 2- it is not damp enough so it won't remove normal mascara, imagine that you want to wipe off waterproof mascara!
It is claimed to be for sensitive skin which I can't imagine what would be like the ones for normal skin. I just do a quick wipes with those and then clean my eye makeup with a separate liquid eye make up remover. very disappointed in this product and won't repurchase again. 

If you look for a good damp cloth for make up remover, I recommend  "Make-up Remover Cleansing Towelettes Night Calming" by Neutrogena. the ones that  come in purple, they are very damp and soft, little too damp for people with oily skin ;not me. I liked the cloth very much, however I did cleans my skin after wards with my face cleanser. It smells good, kind of calming smell. 
There are so many other makeup removers in the market, like oil based ones, waterless ones,even the good old baby oil, but for me the wipes are much easier to get and I could get them on sale most of the times. 

So how do you remove your make up?