Monday, February 19, 2018

Searching for the Perfect Carry On

I have a couple of short trips lined up next month so the hunt is on for a perfect carry on suitcase (I already spent all my money I don't have $25 to check in my luggage!). I hate traveling alone with a shit ton of baggage (physical not emotional haha) that I have to lug around and load in the already cramped, too-high-for-me overhead storage. Although I would typically bring my big ass suitcase on a week-long trip, I plan on purchasing a decent sized carry on case that I can stuff to the brim with cute outfits and Glossier bags full of makeup and skincare. My laptop, notebook, extra clothing, and other essentials will go in my Billabong backpack and I'll hope the old gods and the new favor me enough to have my suitcase checked in at the gate for free.

The AmazonBasics Hardside Spinner Luggage is a steal at $50! The hardcase carry on comes in classic black with a solid outer surface. The case received hundreds of positive reviews on Amazon due to its affordable price and durability. I love how the hot pink Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Spinner stands out among other suitcases. Samsonite is a well-known brand, but recent experience with the cases' handles revealed how flimsy they are. However, the luggage also generated rave reviews because of its sturdiness and perfect size for $90. The Travelpro Maxlite International Carry-On Spinner is the priciest of the bunch at $110, but it comes in a soft fabric, which is my favorite. The suitcase' 4-wheel spinners are convenient for lugging around and the color is pretty without being too bold! I haven't tried any of the Kenneth Cole luggage, but the Kenneth Cole Reaction Out of Bounds 4 Wheel Upright is another bargain piece with a plastic shell. The case received the most positive reviews out of the four with 1,052 comments on how its size reigns supreme.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

A First Time Hello Fresh Experience

In my quest to eat more food at home that doesn't consist of chicken nuggets and french fries (the chick fil a drive thru guy knows me too well), I bought my first week of meals from Hello Fresh. Hello Fresh is a meal kit delivery service that provides pre-measured ingredients in order to cook creative recipes for 2-4 people per week. I've wanted to try out the service since I've grown tired of rotating between fast food and Yoshida sauce chicken. While I love making my own meals, shopping for ingredients can be costly and I always end up throwing out wasted produce and proteins after I neglected them. I want to cook new recipes, but I'm never truly inspired by the dishes I find. That's where Hello Fresh comes in. After I selected the three dinners I wanted to cook for the week, the company sends me a box full of carefully measured ingredients and recipe cards in a large insulated box. The plan I chose feeds 2 people three meals (so I can have leftovers throughout the week!) for $60, which is approximately $10 per serving. Considering how much money I spend at Panera and on Sic Em Delivery, $10 seemed like a steal!

For my first meal, I made the sliced steak tagliata with sweet potatoes, green beans, and tomato vinaigrette. I'm not a huge fan of sweet potatoes or balsamic vinegar in general, but I wanted to be adventurous and I thought I could swap out the potatoes for rice if I hated them! I started by cutting up the sweet potatoes in random pieces and placed them on a baking sheet before drizzling them with olive oil. I sprinkled rosemary, salt, pepper, and garlic on top and roasted them for 20 minutes at 450 degrees, rotating them at the 10 minute mark. While I waited for the potatoes to soften, I covered my two steaks with salt and pepper and cooked them in a pan for 90 seconds per side. When they were medium-medium rare, I placed them in a covered container to rest until I was done cooking the rest of the ingredients. I cut the green beans in half and tossed them into a medium bowl with a splash of water. Adding salt, pepper, and garlic powder to the bowl, I mixed the beans and covered them with plastic wrap before heating them in the microwave for 5 minutes. When they were finished, I added a hint of butter and what the hell they were delicious! Who knew 5 minutes in the microwave (and a shit ton of sodium) would create the most perfect and tender green beans? In order to make the vinaigrette sauce, I halved a bunch of cherry tomatoes and put them in the steak pan with olive oil, salt, pepper, minced garlic, and rosemary to soften for 2 minutes. I added the balsamic vinegar, beef stock, and one teaspoon of sugar to the tomatoes and let it reduce until the sauce thickened. After slicing my steaks and plating the vegetables, I topped the meat with my tomatoe vinaigrette. Within 45 minutes, I had a healthy-ish delicious dinner with another serving for tomorrow! I'll definitely continue my Hello Fresh orders as the food tastes amazing, the recipes are easy to follow, and it saves me money each week!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

5 Things

1. Matching with grandma (after I failed her test lol)

2. This is where I'll live for the rest of the semester

3. Whose frozen yogurt looks better?

4. Friendship FaceTimes!

5. Crying and listening on repeat even though I still haven't seen this movie

Friday, February 16, 2018

My Everyday Makeup

Damn does anyone have any suggestions on how to tame frizz? I am an actual lion. Last year, I insisted on wearing an easy smokey eye every single day...I know, what was I thinking. As my sleep schedule worsened, the amount of makeup I slapped on my face in the daytime has decreased. Three hours of sleep at night no longer equals a smokey eye the next morning. Hell, some days I decide there's not enough time to get ready for class and instead go back to sleep. But that's just some days. My quick mastered routine takes about 25 ish minutes depending on how many blemishes I have and if my brows are looking more like long lost cousins. I spend the majority of time on my base- concealing redness and imperfections while trying to remain as natural as possible. I'm still applying the Makeup Forever Step 1 Skin Equalizer to keep my skin matte throughout the day and topping it off with the Laura Mercier Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer in Ochre, which sadly isn't the perfect shade for me anymore. To cover any spots and red patches, I use the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard (currently on my seventh tube) and set my base with Glossier Wowder in Light/Medium- a new product I'll write about soon! The uneven brows are up next and the Revlon ColorStay Brow Pencil in Dark Brown is my favorite as of late. When they look as similar as possible, I set them with the Maybelline EyeStudio Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Gel in Deep Brown. I love a good bronzer and my holy grail tan is The Body Shop Honey Bronzer in 03, which I apply on my temples, cheeks, and neck. My favorite cheek color is the Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush because it gives a natural flush. I've recently been using the L'oreal Colour Riche Nude Balm in Heavenly Berry- a glossy tint I used to wear in high school. I love how the balm is moisturizing and glossy without any stickiness. It adds a soft pink hue that matches my blush perfectly. My favorite product to apply is mascara and you all know how much I love bold, clumpy lashes. I purchased the Bobbi Brown Eye Opening Mascara in lieu of my favorite Charlotte Tilbury Legendary Lashes because the first tube promises the same big ass lashes with more product for my money. So far, I love the big brush and how black the mascara is. What time is my first class again?
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