Posted in Glorious Food, Recipes

Hey Carrot Top

carrot-ginger-apple-juice

There is something about carrots. It’s a vegetable yet it sweetens almost any juice, especially if you are using carrot with a lot of green leafs that tend to have a slightly bitter taste. Though today I am doing a totally autumn coloured carrot juice recipe with apples and beetroots as well.

There is just something about root vegetables that makes one feels the abundant
nutrients from the earth…

 

Prep time: 15 mins Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 25 mins
Serves: 2 glasses

Ingredients

Golden Beetroot 1
Fuji Apple 1
Carrot 3
Lemon 1
Ginger 1 small stalk. Depends on your taste buds 😛

 

Instructions

1. Clean and scrub beetroot, apple, carrot and ginger
2. Peel lemon (save the peel for lemon syrup), section and remove seeds
3. Feed through juicer and enjoy!

 

 

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Posted in Review

Innisfree No Sebum Mineral Powder- Review

When I bought the cushion foundation from Innisfree, I thought I might as well try their mineral powder.

The powder come in a light, pastel green case. It is light weight and I can see the appeal if you want to carry it with you. Its website indicates that it has minty fragrance but you really have to put it up close to your nose to smell that.

The powder itself look snow-white. However, it just kind of disappear once you start to really dab it into your skin. I would try to pick up just a little bit at a time though, as I find that too much of this powder can settle into the fine lines if you are not careful.

Innisfree-No-Sebum-Mineral-Powder-Loose

As to its claim of no sebum, it really does help control oil in hot weather. I like that it doesn’t feel like you are wearing makeup. The only gripe I have with this product is it’s applicator sponge. The applicator sponge has to fit the size of the case, which unfortunately means that you can only insert 2 fingers under the little belt the back. I find this difficult to control and the applicator keeps falling off of my finger. I think what I would do in future, is to just pinch and fold the sponge between my fingers instead of employing the belt.

Innisfree-Mineral-Powder-Puff
Very small powder puff
Posted in Review

Aveda Invati System- Review

Aveda sent a letter during my birth month, enticing me with a birthday gift (if I made a purchase) as well as a generous discount. I was about to run out shampoo so I thought why not.

Invati is one of their newer range of hair care. Apparently it means invigorate in Sanskrit. According to the lady in the store, this is their line specifically for adding volume to hair as it helps prevent hair loss. This line includes 3 steps

  1. Exfoliating Shampoo
  2. Thickening Conditioner
  3. Scalp Revitalizer

 

The base of all 3 have similar components. They are all built upon Ayuveric herbs such as ginseng and tumeric. Their scent was that of lavender, rosemary and germanium and plenty of other flower and plant essences.

I’ve used up all the shampoo when I started this blog so I was only able to squeeze out a little bit for the picture below. I still have plenty of conditioner left.

Aveda-Invat-Shampoo-Conditioner
Left: Invati Shampoo Right: Invati Conditioner

All 3 products have the very distinct herbal smell to it. The fragrance is pleasant. Once your hair is dried, it doesn’t leave a overpowering smell to your hair, which I like.

Now onto the actual usage experience:

The Shampoo: Like many of shampoo with emphasis on being more natural, this shampoo does not lather very well. You therefore have to use quite a lot of it or be content to just use it on the scalp alone, which is what I did. It does make your scalp feels refreshed, probably a result of the wintergreen salicylic acid. I do not really use a lot of hair products so I can’t really tell if it really removes built up or not.

The Conditioner: I find that my hair is very tangled after using the shampoo, so I was hoping hte conditioner could help detangle. This is not the case. This conditioner, while does feed some nourishment into the hair, does nothing to help detangle my hair, which means that I have to really use my fingers in the shower to smooth out the strand.

The Scalp Revitalizer: The bottle says to use this twice a day, with 16 sprays on the scalp each time. When one reads the ingredients, one realizes that the first ingredient is denatured alcohol. I am not sure I like the idea of spraying so uch alcohol on my scalp. What is Aveda doing? I thought the brand story is all about being as natural as possible. So instead, I only used the revitalizer in between shampoo day. It does make the scalp feel fresher, though I suspect this is the tingling effect from the alcohol. It also does make the hair feel more volumious, but it also gave my hair an unusal texture I can’t quite describe, an in-between feel of greasy and dry.

 

Verdict: For the amount of money this system cost, it did not feel quite revolutionary or Wow in any way. I like the way it smells, but that’s about it. 

Posted in Review

Innisfree Cushion Foundation Ampoule Cover- Review

With the popularity of Korean TV dramas sweeping through Asia, the beautiful actresses and their flawless skin became a big selling points for many Korean beauty products. I’ve resisted the hype for as long as I could but became curious when a new product called Cushion foundation came on the market.

Cushion foundation is liquid foundation in a compact form. Inside the cushion compact, you will find a sponge soaked with foundation, and you use another applicator sponge to press on it to pick up a small amount of foundation. I think this helps to pick up just a little bit of foundation at a time so the makeup does not look too cake-y and you can slowly layer it on.

It took me awhile navigating on the Innisfree’s website to figure out how to order. It turns out that you have to order the case (which does not include the cushion foundation), the filling (the cushion foundation) and the applicator sponge separately. I think this is kind of fun for someone who likes to have a case that they can keep refilling, a nod to being environmentally friendly. I ordered the Ampoule Cover cushion, and when I was checking out, I was told that I got one free cushion refill, so I chose the Waterfit to try for next time.

Innisfree-Cushion-Compact-Case
There are many designs to choose from, which actually makes it bad for me coz I am very indecisive ><

Next came the actual cushion foundation. I was surprised to see that it was packed in foil. I suppose this makes sense in that everything has to be sealed to ensure quality of product.

Innisfree-Water-Fit-Cushion-SPF34-PA++
Innisfree Cushion foundation come sealed in foiled pack. It’s nice to see that they actually have English at the back : P
Innisfree-Cushion-Foundation-Refill
Innisfree Cushion Foundation Refill
Innisfree-Cushion-Compact-Refill-Inside
The Big Reveal

 

[Aside:When I was reading up about cushion foundation, I found out that the principle was based on these stamps used in Asia. Then my memory raced back to long long time ago, where every office desk is adorned with a case of red ink. The ink is infused in a cloth- like material and you use a stamp to pick up the pigment and transfer that onto papers. Almost everyone has a stamp with his/her name on it. Instead of signature, it is customary to use your name stamp for official documents and occasional your fingerprint.

There is a certain artistry involved in carving of the names and the material used for the stamp. The stamps can be made from wood, marble, jade, glass, or any number of material you want. It can be as simple as a piece of wood or as elaborate to have intricate pattern carved into it. For the very traditional parents, they would consult a fortune teller when a baby is born. Based on the birth date, time, and then decide the right material on which to carve its namesake stamp. I was also surprised that there are a small numbers of YouTube videos (such as this one) that discuss how to properly use the stamps and the ink so that the pattern of the stamps turn out beautifully.]

Nostalgia aside, how does this cushion foundation fare in my book? Well, I like that it’s lightweight and allow a bit of customization for yourself. The foundation itself is fragrance free which is always great in my book. The foundation I tried on is Ampoule Cover Cushion. I have to say, I was very surprised at the coverage. The cushion feels cool to the touch when applied on my face. I unfortunately did not get the right colour for my skin tone  (the pitfall of buying cosmetic online 😜) so I had to use it very sparingly and really dab it in. The result looks made- up but actually feel sheer to my face. That part is probably my own fault for not getting the right shade.

Innisfree-Ampoule-Cover-Cushion-Foundation
Amount of foundation being picked up with one dab from the cushion foundation. I find that this amount is enough to cover the entire face

 

Would I try this again? I think I will. I want to see what it looks like when I have the right shade.

What is your favourite cushion foundation? Do you frequently buy foundation online or always in store? What do you do to avoid buying the wrong shade? Share your experience below : )

Posted in Glorious Food, Recipes

Kale Pancetta Salad

kale-pancetta- salad

Prep Time: 30 min
Servings: 6

 

Ingredients

  • 6 cups (1.5L) pre- chopped, pre- washed baby kale
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) raw, organic walnuts
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) peanut oil
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) Pecorino cheese
  • 100 mg of pancetta, thinly sliced and torn into pieces
  • 1 tbsp (17ml) plum sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste

 
1. Toss all and enjoy!

 

 

Posted in Cooking for One 1/12, Glorious Food, Recipes

Apple Celery Juice

Apple-celery-juice

I am not a big juicer. Growing up, my parents told me it’s better to eat fruits and vegetables in their natural state. I am used to have a bowl of cut- up guava or papaya in the fridge and I would just nibble one piece or two whenever I open the fridge to reach for something else.
When I first looked into juicing, I realized a lot of waste is created. Nonetheless, I still went and bought an Omega NC 800 (after much research) because there are certain vegetables that I absolutely hate to eat in its natural state- celery being one of them… It doesn’t matter if I eat it raw, stir fry, soup, etc etc, I just couldn’t stomach it… I like the smell of celery, but detested the amount of chewing involved and the stringy fibres. Juicing was one way for me to get the benefits of celery. I try to use the pulp in other recipes so that I am not really creating too much waste.
I also try not to buy pre- packaged juice. If it’s something I can make at home, I won’t buy it. This rule saves me quite a lot of money : P. One thing I do absolutely insist on though, is that when it comes to juicing, I always get organic. I can just mentally picturing any left- over pesticides dissolving into the juice as I feed them through the tube. Anyways, this is pretty simple stuff. I don’t even know if it’s worth me putting up the recipe but here it goes

 

Ingredients:

1 bunch of celery stalks, wash and scrub off the soil
1 apple (I’ve tried with granny smith and golden delicious, the golden delicious variety gives a sweeter taste), cut to size

Instruction:

I feed the celery stalks through first, mix a teaspoon of this into Chubby‘s water, then feed the apples through into the rest. Voila

 

Posted in Thoughts

You Are My Sunshine

I’ve seen the 2 of them together. Two heads of silver framing their line-ridden faces, always accompanying each other. She in a wheelchair and he in a walker, shuffling slowly through the hallway. I never ask their stories. Were they husband and wife before they came to this long term care facility? Were they newly- discovered companions in the sunset of their lives?

There is no couple’s suite in the facility. I wonder what the policy is if a couple request to be put together? Most of the residents require a team of dedicated caretakers to help them get up, get washed and get dressed. Sometimes I could see residents deteriorate week by week when we visit. They would be moved to an intensive care unit and sometimes their rooms become empty and new residents move in.

I knocked on the door and entered. She was on her single bed and he was sleeping in the corner sofa with his walker in front of him. The room was small and tidy. Doctor and I filled up the remaining space. She sat up and smiled, “Come in, come in!”

I positioned Doctor next to her bed as she stroked his fur. She waved at him, “Bob! Bob! Look who is here!”

He opened one eye, then slowly massaged the other eye open. Recognition kicked in and he grinned. I brought Doctor closer to him, sandwiched between the bed, the sofa and the walker. The dog stood still, letting him pat his head and her patting his back. He murmured, “You are so beautiful” to Doctor.

Suddenly the two of them broke into a song in unison:

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine

You make me happy when skies are gray

You never know dear, how much I love you

Please don’t take my sunshine away

I watched them serenading my dog, their voices match each other in harmony. A song that invokes so many sweet memories and sorrow. I couldn’t help but get misted up. It was a very unexpected and beautiful gift.

 

 

Posted in Review

Shu Uemura Ultimate Natural Mascara- Review

After the disaster with Maybelline’s Great Lash, I thought it was time to do further research. I decided to try the Japanese brand Shu Uemura, as recommended by many Vloggers. I figured that an Asian cosmetic company would know the woes we face- short and straight lashes, smaller eyes where lashes constantly touches the lower lids and oilier skin (one of the pros for our delay of wrinkles lol), thus creating the smudge.

This mascara is so understated. It applies very light and the lashes remain soft and natural. It doesn’t really lengthen but it darkens enough to have a visual impact. The curls stays but not as dramatic as Maybelline’s Great Lash. Unfortunately, after 4 hours, I could start to see sign of smudging under one eye. It’s very subtle and I suppose for some people they can use it to play into that sexy smokey eye effect but that’s not for me. I really wish this would be the one but I returned it to Sephora 2 days later.

 

Posted in Review

Burt’s Bee Lipsticks- Review

As the weather warms up, I am feeling a bit bored with the nude. I feel like changing to something more vibrant. I always linger at the Burt’s Bee’s lip product display at Shopper’s Drug Mart and now I get to find out.

I love the packaging. It’s very cute with the little honey combs on the lid. There are many colours on offer and I chose #513 Doused Rose. Despite its use of natural fragrance oils, I find this lipstick smells like some sort of fruity bubble gum. Olfactory- wise, this is not my favourite.

Now on to the colour. The colour is pretty sheer and requires a few passes to get close to the colour in the tube. It is creamy and moisturizing and therefore does come off a bit after eating and drinking. Your lips do retain some colour. In fact, I think it looks more natural after some colour had come off. I don’t mind it not being long lasting as long as it doesn’t dry out my lips. I wore this lipstick alone without a lip balm base and my lips stayed very comfortable and moist.

burt's-bee-lipstick-doused-rose
Colour of lipstick after 3 swipes

While I like this lipstick in general, I cannot get past the smell. I will probably keep searching for another formula. So close!

Posted in Just for Fun

The Bromance of Chubby and Doctor

I adopted Chubby first. At 16 years old with established habits, he was a surprisingly easy cat to care for. He submitted to the twice daily insulin injections and skin pricks for blood glucose reading. I quickly found out that he was very trusting and would allow us to do almost anything to him, such as holding him up high and pretending to drop him. Daily, he lets me rub his belly. Not many cats will tolerate this type of indignity.

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2 months after he came home, we decided to add a dog to the family. Doctor is a very mellow dog. At the animal shelter, he walked up to us and immediately flopped down to show his belly. He uses this strategy whenever he does something wrong or to get out of training.

Since both pets are so mellow, we thought there would be no problem of them getting along. Chubby stayed in the vet clinic for a few days, navigating his way under a few dogs with no visible stress, before he came to me. He is the sort of cat who would rub his face on every visitor. Doctor loves attention and wants to be friends with everyone. We were practically envisioning this…

However, it was not meant to be. The first time they met, Doctor was so happy he ran towards Chubby with his big tail wagging at full power, only to be met by a hiss. If dogs and cats don’t speak the same language, do dogs know the meaning of a hiss? If he didn’t, he certainly knew the swipe of the paws across his face. Immediately he fell down to his belly and played dead as Chubby ran the other direction to his bed upstairs.

For the longest time, the cat stayed upstairs while the dog stayed downstairs. They were perfectly happy in their territories and both seemed to forget there was another non- human creature in the household.

Slowly, it emerges that my cat is a two- faced devil. He is perfectly nice to humans. He purrs readily and will answer anyone with a cute little meow. In the morning he waits for me to wake up and as soon as I look at him he starts to purr. However, when he is hungry, he will yowl for hours until he is fed. Once we hosted a friend’s cat and he stole food from the guest and ambushed the poor thing in the litter box, bullying the guest- cat to hide under the bed for days.

One day, Chubby must have been so hungry he came downstairs searching for food. He walked up to the dog’s bowl big enough for him to sleep in, and started munching on Doctor’s kibbles. In between bites, he would let out a hiss or two to make sure the dog knew his place. Doctor stood there, watching his food disappear into the cat’s mouth, when he could have easily flick the cat away with his little finger.

To retaliate, Doctor would wait till Chubby is sleeping and eat his cat food, though more often than not, the cat bowl is usually empty and he has to settle for rooting through the litter box. For the longest time I thought Chubby had become constipated again, until one day Doctor happily breathed into our faces.

From time to time, we let them sleep on the bed, but never at the same time. The bed is too high for the old cat. The dog can be easily deterred by a door. Then one day, with a lapse of judgement, Doctor jumped onto the bed only to find Chubby already there, occupying the precious real estate next to the human pillows. You could practically hear him say, “Uh-oh.” The cat looked at him with disdain but was too lazy to do anything about it. Chubby had, by this time, figured out the dog was putty in his presence. Doctor, however, decided that he wasn’t gonna back down and proceeded to make himself comfortable. He would not face the cat however, and would only sleep with his butt towards the cat.

Then one day, their butts touched…we suspect this was because Doctor’s thick fur prevented them from feeling each other…

Week by week, Doctor inches closer to the head of the bed. Sometimes he does this when the cat is sleeping. Sometimes he does it on our orders. “What are you going to do about it? The humans want me here.” He’d move closer, pretending that the cat was not staring at him with daggers in his eyes.

#bffshareeverything #doctorthedog #chubbychew #myfavouritethings #petofinstagram #catsanddogs #bigdog

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Until one day…

#bff #adorableanimals #squeeze #kuvasz #giantdog #giantwhitedog #justbecause #furbabies #bromance #cutestcat

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The cat throws the occasional hiss. I imagine the movement from the 90lb dog is like earthquake to him. He does the occasional swipes but never fully make contact with the dog. Sometimes, to test their boundaries, we discretely placed their body part on top of the other, like so…

Funny that in 3 years it never occurred to us to give them treats as an encouragement. Then a friend suggested to give them treats in each other’s presence, and eventually we got to this…

A post shared by We 3 Mammals (@we3mammals) on

Theirs is a bromance (tolerance?) that slowly grow through repetition and probably united in mutual annoyance at their humans… And that is just fine by me lol…

Posted in Review

Pixi Natural Brow Duo- Review

I must say it was Pixi’s display in Shopper’s Drug Mart that caught my eyes. Its pale green packaging looked soothing and invoked a feel good sense that comes with many of the brands focusing on the market of natural or organic beauty products. While I do prefer to use products with readable ingredient lists, one can’t help but wonder if we are all just willing participants of the clever marketing?

Anyways, personal musing aside, this brow duo is okay enough to keep but I doubt I’d buy it again. Here are my thoughts:

I like its simplistic design with the pencil on one side and brow gel on the other. There is no strong fragrance which I always like. The transparent tube allows you to see the colour (more on that later) and you will be able to know when it’s running low. Honestly though, brow products don’t really get used up that fast… or is it just me? 🤔

So here is the close up of the pencil

pixi-natural-brow-duo

I was intrigued by the choice of this elongated triangular shape and I quickly found out that I do not like it. It was not easy to control how your strokes would turn out and it could easily made your brow look too thick. Not one for fine-tuning. I had to experiment holding the pencil in different positions and still needing Q- tips to clean up.

The colour goes on smoothly and blends naturally with my brow so it’s a shame about the design.

Now onto the brow gel

pixi-natural-eyebrow-duo

The brow gel is basically a mini- mascara for the eye brow. From the outside the colour of the gel appear to be the same as the pencil, but when you apply it it was actually almost transparent.

pixi-natural-eyebrow-duo
Colour of Pixi Brow Duo side by side

The problem is that the brow gel gave my brow an unrealistic, shiny plastick-y feel once it dried. While the brush did help to smooth out the hair and make the brow look neater, I felt that I could easily do without the gel.

So there you have it. I am keeping this for its pencil’s natural colour, but I am sure there will be other products which are easier to apply.

 

Posted in Review

Maybelline Great Lash (Waterproof)- Review

When it comes to mascara, I don’t ask it to have specific function like curling, lengthening or volumizing. I don’t care about any newly improved bristles. I don’t need any specific brand with mission statement to save the earth, use recycled package, or be chemical free.

My one and only criteria- Smudge free

I have long been puzzled by my ability to get racoon eyes despite using waterproof mascara. It doesn’t matter if I teared up or not. Most mascara cannot wait to leave my eyelashes and darken my lower lids.

It turns out the culprit is sebum (plus or minus any moisturizer or foundation I might have).

I’ve tried lash extension. While this eliminated the need to apply mascara, it was pretty expensive and I felt my eyelids had to work extra hard to stay open 😅. The lash glue did not play well with any oil- based skin product, which meant I couldn’t use some home-made essential oil products.

I’ve left my lashes alone for the past year or so. Last week I decided that enough is enough- I want to feel girly damn it! So I googled best smudge free mascara but alas, Google thinks smudge-free= waterproof and I was taken to a few pages on waterproof mascaras, some of which also swore that they were smudge proof. So I ventured out and bought Maybelline’s Great Lash Waterproof formula.

maybelline-new-york-great-lash-waterproof

The reviews I read lauded how this mascara had been around for a long time. Despite its cheap looking design, I figured that if it had longevity it must have been a good product to stick around amidst the newer, fancier sounding formulas.

I applied this mascara last night and was immediately impressed with how light the formula felt. It was also very build-able, making my lashes longer. I was further impressed that my lashes stayed curled after 10 minutes- Yes my lashes usually go straight after 10 minutes of eyelash curler and mascara application. I felt like a million bucks when I left for a party.

All fair tales do come to an end… when midnight struck and I saw myself in the mirror, my old nemeses had shown their ugly faces. I didn’t want to believe it but there they were, two unmistakable dark rings under my eyes. I wiped them off and headed back to the party. The lashes still stayed curled and long though.

It’s such a shame. I liked the way my lashes look with this. Back to the drawing board. I hope the drugstore will be able to give me a refund.

I still think this is a good mascara for people who don’t have oily skin around their eyes. For me, however, the search continues…