Instant Pot: Shan Chicken Biryani

Hi Friends,

I am going to start “vlogging” and trying my hand at recording a recipe (don’t hold your breath though). To that point, I made this recipe this weekend:

So delicious and so easy. Thanks to the Instant Pot, probably took 30 -40 minutes to prepare and cook everything.

As you know, I am known for deviating from recipes, and I only deviated from this recipe by taking Garlic Paste (purchased from the grocery store in the herb section) put it in the Magic Bullet, along with 2 jalapenos, 8-10 mint leaves, and a 2 tablespoon chunk of ginger (along with a little bit of water), and pureed the crap out of it. I don’t have time to chop things finely – nor am I that talented. Besides this small deviation, I  followed the recipe like the video (only issue – I apparently failed to put my pressure cooker on “sealing” mode so after 8 minutes of cooking  I was done!

I would recommend making sure your instant pot is sealed, because I seemed to have gotten lucky with respect to my chicken being cooked all the way through, and I very easily could have made biryani with the chicken being under cooked.

I also recommend preparing all of the ingredients before hand (chopping, cubing the chicken, soaking the rice &  making the above mentioned garlic-ginger-jalapeno paste), since if I didn’t have my amazing husband supervising and mixing, something would have BURNED.

My thoughts on the recipe:

It was yummy. Wasn’t the BEST biryani I’ve had, but definitely tasted great and enjoyed eating it at work the next day and am looking forward to eating it at home (this is a good sign  – since when I don’t take it to work or look forward to eating it at home, then it ends up in the trash …)

Curious to know your thoughts! Feel free to share in the comments.

 

 

 

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Thrifty Couple Alert

I’m a young associate and my husband is a resident. For some reason, my husband and I live like we are both college students with AN INCREDIBLY LIMITED BUDGET. We really do not have to live this way, but we do it (subconsciously I think) to pay off my student loans ASAP. This thriftiness has lead to a TON of funny stories of schemes we try to run with coupons, Ebates, repairs and making things last.

I know one day we will have a lot, or at least not have student loans and will have the OPTION to do a lot without feeling guilty, and I hope we can remember these “simple days” of a washing machine that only emits SCORCHING hot water on all the water temperature modes. In an effort obtain “warm” water, I throw a ton of ice cubes into the washing machine. The quality of the wash has ruined a few of my clothes since it seems to leave a HEAVY lint/calcium deposit lines on my clothes (which actually causes me a TON of rage), but today the BEST THING happened.

Back story: My sweet, sweet, sweet husband’s had to purchase new underwear due to the fact that scorching hot water has been doing a number on the elastic band on his underwear.

Present Day:  Today I got a text from my husband, his underwear has apparently been falling under his scrubs. LOLOL.

I honestly have a lot of work to do today, but it is moments like these were I am so happy to share my life with him, through the ups & the downs, and I love that we are always laughing, even if its at our own expense.  In an effort to never forgot the heavy heart-ed laughter I am feeling, while completely alone in my office, I decided to share this with you <3.

 

 

Chicken Tikka Masala

My love for cooking fluctuates. I  always love to cook, BUT sometimes my hatred for cleaning trumps my love for it.  I’ve been trying to get smart about the process – but it’s hard. Luckily, I have a supportive husband, who usually doesn’t mind cleaning up ( I love you Jho).  So this weekend I decided to make the following the recipe I found off of YouTube:

 

I basically followed her recipe except for a few deviations:

  1. I used a 1.7lb of chicken breast, which I cut into pieces and marinated overnight.
  2. Instead of using tomato sauce, I used Trader Joe’s diced tomatoes with chili’s (no salt added I think).  I cooked it down and added a splash of water – no more than like 1/4 of a cup of water. After it had cooked down a bit, I cook the mixture and put it in my Magic Bullet, to make it a smooth consistency (did this in two batches).
  3. Cook it for 2-5 mins and then added chicken, and then the cream.
  4. I added less than a cup of cream, and  for the marinated I added about 1/2 a cup of yogurt too (enough to where everything was coated nicely – I did this because i had a personal serving size of plain yogurt and I wanted to save half of it to make a yogurt sauce to  eat on the side called raita).
  5. Also, read the way this girl makes the recipe in the description, because in the video, I’m not sure it says she adds additional garam masala when she makes the sauce but in the description, it mentions the addition of  the additional teaspoon of garam masala!

I  honestly took the WORST food pictures — but my husband and I LOVED it ❤ and we are SOOO  excited to eat the rest for dinner :).

 

 

Is Your Mother Wise?

At a SUPER young age, I was taught, told or understood the value of telling my mom important details of my life. I guess, I truly believe she has my best interest, and there is no one one in the world who will love me, sacrifice their needs over mine, or genuinely pray for my happiness more than my mom.

I was talking to my friend Summar last night about how I am one of those kids who is an over sharer, and I told her, I guess it stemmed from my mom telling me this story of one of her sisters. One of my mom’s sisters has just had a tougher time than my mom, and my mom attributes it to her not being candid with my grandparents. My mom says, she could have been spared from tough moments that happened in her life had she just been candid with her parents and asked for advice.  My mom really holds my grandfather in high-esteem, and she trusted his judgment and truly believed the advice he would give would only be to help his child and that he would consider all of the facts (my grandfather was a small town attorney- so, I too believe that his advice would have been well reasoned).

After talking to my friend Summar,  I can definitely think of people in my life (and even my own mom) who sometimes had a biased view on things.  I listen to my mom and share a lot with her, but for some reason, I believe I have the ability to weed out the dumb stuff she says. For example, I have gained a few pounds after getting married, my sweet mother has told me on multiple occasions that this is a biological thing and it happens to women after they get married. LOLOLOLOL. Sorry, its so ridiculous that  I have to laugh. I am fairly sure she is being serious. I know that I’ve packed on a few pounds because I have been making HORRIBLE decisions food wise. I’m not mad or sad about it – my body is a product and reflection of my decisions.

Enough about my body & back to my mom. Okay, so then it occurred to me, I really wanted to write a piece on how I weigh my mom’s advice and how I decide to use it or ignore it.

  1.  Every decision I make is my own. Even if my mother provides guidance on something that I have solicited guidance on – I make sure to understand that I have to OWN the decision I make. If she provides me dumb advice and I take it, then it’s on me – it’s not on her. For example, before I got married I really wanted to buy this really beautiful diamond necklace it was 3 ctws and so beautiful. I consulted with my mother, who agreed it was a good idea, but LUCKILY when I went to place the order for it, they didn’t have it readily available and the next few days when I pondered the purchase – I realized it was a dumb idea. I do not need diamonds now, I needed to pay off my student loans.
  2.  When your parents provide unsolicited guidance, question the motive behind it. My mom wasn’t into my brother moving to NYC, but, nonetheless, he did. Her reason for holding him back was based off of her own fear of being lonely without him and she wasn’t really thinking about him, she was thinking about herself. Parents are human, and sometimes, you need to remember that like all humans, they will have their best interest in mind, and might not understand how your actions are serving YOUR best interest. Weighing the two interests is something you need to do on your own.
  3. When you parents try to meddle. Say “No”. I trust that my mom would never meddle. She provides me guidance, and, has never taken my personal battle with someone as her own personal battle. I used to really dislike it, especially when I would get into scuffles with siblings, cousins or a specific uncle, but, now as a young woman, I really value her decision not to do so. You know the saying, “Too many chefs in the kitchen, spoil the broth” I think problem solving is similar. It is okay to ask people to reflect on the issue with you and to hear different thoughts on it, but at the end of the day,  the issue you have with someone is between you and them and you do not need to drag in a third person, or have a third person speak for you, unless you are paying them and they are your attorney.
  4. Reflect on your parents lives. Do you view your parents as successful? Do you see them holding good and positive relationships in their lives? Are your parents happy? I have a feeling if they are happy  and if they are happy in their marriage & with their other relationships (friends and family) and are, in your opinion, living a good life – then you should trust their judgment for tough things and really give their opinion some extra weight when they tell you to not do things/ do things. They have done something right to maintain happy relationships with those they love, & the advice they give you will come from past experiences that obviously lead to a past positive result.

I am sure you know bad advice when you see it, but the above are just a few things to consider next time your mom, or anyone that is important to you, provides you guidance. I hope it is helpful and allows you to obtain some perspective.

Peace, love and happiness.

Practice Points: 7 Legal Phrases I Wish I Knew When I First Started.

  1. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this Agreement,…” this is the ultimate trump clause. By adding this provision, if later or earlier in the document you say something to the contrary, it is automatically trumped by the contradictory statement that comes after this phrase!
  2. The [Enter Party’s Name] understand, acknowledges and agrees to ….” I use this phrase when I want to convey that the opposing party is fully aware of what is going on – and they cannot find a way to back out if they do not like the term later when the deal is signed, sealed and delivered.
  3. [Enter Party’s Name] shall not unreasonably withhold, condition or delay such [consent/approval]…” This clause is great, when you understand that the other party’s consent/approval is important, but want to make sure that they do not delay, condition or unreasonably withhold such consent or approval.
  4. Except as provided in [name document]….” or “Subject to the terms and conditions in [insert document name]…“= I use this phrase when I want to limit my client’s liability in regards to knowing something they should know, or to exclude items contained in another document. I often use this phrase when I am limiting the Lender’s right to go after my client for environmental stuff, or when I want to limit Seller’s liability for knowing environmental conditions on their property. For example, “Except as provided in that certain Phase I, dated April 1, 2016, issued by Environmental Guys, Inc., to the best of Seller’s knowledge, Seller is unaware of any hazardous environmental conditions contained on the property.
  5. including, but not limited to, the following…” = I use this phrase when I am making a list of items that I expressly want to  include, but I also don’t want to cut my client’s rights off to other items not named.
  6. “…which consent shall be held in [enter party’s name] sole and absolute discretion…” = this is a great phrase to use when you want your client to obtain the right to consent or deny something the other party is requesting without having a valid reason.
  7. To the best of [enter party’s name] knowledge,” when you are making reps and warranties to the other side you always want to sneak this in front of what ever sort of rep/warranty you are giving the other side.

When I first started, the above clauses seemed so FOREIGN and “deal” specific, but then as I turned more and more contracts and agreements, I realized they aren’t deal specific and are usually needed in each and every agreement in some form or fashion.  Just by knowing these few phrases, you will have a jump start on making your initial edits, and make who ever hired you incredibly happy to know that he/she hired someone who knows SOMETHING, as opposed to nothing.

Can you think of any other phrases that you come across everyday that are missing in my little list? If so, please feel free to share them below in the comments section.

 

 

PRACTICE POINTS: Tips & Tricks on Being a Young Transactional Associate

My first job out of law school was at a midsize law firm – and when I say  midsize I mean a small law firm- there were only 20 lawyers. I KNEW NOTHING when I started. My internships did very little in regards to training me on how to be a transactional lawyer– so all of my training was ON THE JOB TRAINING. You can only imagine how long every task took – and how I always thought I was JUST ABOUT TO BE LET GO with every single mistake I made (and, oh god, I made so many).  Each time I “fell”, I felt so dumb – but, luckily, I knew I had to get back up and take another crack at it. I remember I use to have this list taped to my desk of “MISTAKES TO NEVER MAKE AGAIN“.  I wish I could teach a “PRACTICING LAW FOR NEW LAWYERS 101”  class at local law schools or teach a college course on just being a legal intern / paralegal. Seeing as colleges probably don’t want to hire me  for the 101 course (just yet), I thought I would share a few tips and tricks on starting your career at a law firm.

  1. ALWAYS DOUBLE CHECK ALL ENTITY NAMES. I had to learn this by being shamed.  An incredibly kind (sarcasm) lender’s counsel taught me that THE SLIGHTEST COMMA AND AND PERIOD contained in an entities name had to mimic what the business entity website said for the entity. (You can double check this by Google-ing: “Business entity search  [name the state the entity is formed in/incorporated in]” click on the state’s certain website for searching for such entity and type in the entity’s name. Look at how the entity’s name appears, does it say “Walmart, LLC”,  “Walmart LLC” or “Walmart, L.L.C.” THOSE ARE THREE DIFFERENT WAYS TO PRESENT THE ENTITY’S name. Be sure you are using the version stated on the Secretary of State’s website.)
  2. ADDING AND SUBTRACTING  DATES. This website needs to be your best friend: Calendar Counter . When you first start out at any  law firm as a transactional attorney, they usually have you calendar dates and summarize a deal in a table  format. I remember when I first started, I ACTUALLY COUNTED 60 days on my little calendar by hand, until an older associate told me about the website referenced above.
  3. WHOM TO CARBON COPY (CC): When you are responding to an email – you  respond to everyone on the chain who is CC-ed. Don’t add personal assistants, unless someone in your office confirms otherwise, and just double check if you’re unsure, but do not do it unless you are sure.
  4. ANTICIPATE QUESTIONS YOUR PARTNER OR SENIOR ASSOCIATE MAY ASK. This will make your life easier, but pretend you are the partner or senior associate, and ask yourself, what you would like to know in regards to the deal, and make sure to know that information, because more often then not, they will want to know. Always know when diligence expires and when closing  must happen and when MONEY IS NONREFUNDABLE (AKA: HARD).
  5. DOUBLE CHECK ALL TIME SCHEDULES & NUMBERS. The dumbest mistake you can make is getting the Purchase Price wrong, or the deposit wrong, when it is blatantly written out in the Letter of Intent (“LOI”) for a deal. After you’re done drafting, literally print out the LOI and cross of everything that you have added, make sure you have a valid reason for not adding the other stuff in the LOI that you did not cross off.
  6. HOW TO HANDLE COMMENTS TO YOUR WORK. When a certain shareholder/partner provides comments to your work, implement each comment and cross it off or highlight their comment so you know that you have incorporated it into the document. Also, next time you do a similar project for this certain shareholder/partner make sure those stylistic comments (even if you do not agree with them) are incorporated into the document.
  7. CREATE A SMALL CTRL+F LIST. If you need to delete a defined term, or delete a clause, etc. create a list of items to search for in the document so you know you have adequately removed it after you are done drafting it.
  8. SUMMARIZE THE DEAL. I know work at a large firm, but at the smaller firm I never summarized the deal. My emails always said “Attached please find the revised clean and redlined copy of the ___________”. At this firm, a shareholder mentioned that clients really liked deal summaries, so its something that I have incorporated into my practice. For example, you do not need to LAY OUT EVERY DETAIL, just picture deal points. “As I understand the deal, the Purchase Price is _____, you have ___ days to conduct due diligence and closing will occur ____ days after the expiration of the due diligence period. If you fail to terminate then your deposit, in the amount of $_____ goes hard, and you have to deposit an additional $______.”  For purchase and sale contracts you don’t need to do this as much since there is an LOI for lease agreements I realized summaries are great to make sure the client understands the deal.
  9. CHARTS. At my last firm, I use to draft “Negotiation Charts”. Basically a table where, I lay out the Section, the revision made by the opposing party and another column for my client’s position. This was a great way to quickly go through all of the changes made by the opposing party and to make sure all the changes are adequately addressed and not left out on our call. During the call, after we discuss each issue, I quickly jotted the client’s position so I knew exactly what change to make. Similarly, after implementing each change, I would place a little check by the section number to make sure I had addressed the issue.
  10. DRAFT EMAILS. I do this a lot more at  my current job then my old job, but I often type up draft emails I would send to the client for the partner/shareholder to review prior to sending it off to the client. I do this at this firm a lot, because I don’t know the client’s yet, and I don’t know what I have the authority to say and what I do not have the authority to say —so, I found that draft emails are great to confirm these issues. A while ago, I emailed a client and told him  that he needed to deposit his earnest money, since if he did not the Seller could terminate the contract. I later got an email from the shareholder saying I shouldn’t EVER TELL THE CLIENT that they are in breach of the contract, since it’s alarming, and I should be gentler about it. Had I simply sent him a draft email, I would have saved myself from his stern email – but my bad —you live and learn. So, I definitely WON’T be drafting an email like that again.
  11. CONFIRM THE FORM OR ASK FOR THE FORM. When you are told to draft a particular item, and the shareholder/partner/senior associate do not provide you with a form, either grab a quick form off of your system and say, “would it be okay to work off of the attached?” or “Do you have a particular form you would like me to use?”. This is key! Sometimes certain clients have certain forms & other times certain shareholders have certain forms – so MAKE SURE TO CONFIRM PRIOR TO GETTING STARTED.
  12. KNOW THE FACTS/DEAL. At orientation at my new law firm, the leading lawyer said something which I wish I were told when I started my career “As a young lawyer, shareholders/partners/senior associates do not expect you to know the law, however, they do expect you to know the deal. Your job as a young attorney is to know the deal in and out, and as you progress in your career you will learn the law.”

Like all jobs, the practice of law has its ups and downs. Some days you are flying high and the client and your partner love you. Other days, when you receive a draft of your work back, you wonder if you can even read correctly(?). Just remember, it’s the PRACTICE OF LAW: mistakes are bound to happen, just fix it, get back up and make a mental note to NEVER MAKE THE MISTAKE AGAIN.

Peace, Love & Happiness.

 

 

PRACTICE POINTS is a series on my blog all about being a young associate at a law firm. I am navigating the seas of law firm culture, etiquette & work product. Join me as I share a few personal stories, so you can know the things I wish I had  known when I was you!

Being Thankful

Memorial Day Weekend. The Memorial day holiday is about a few hours away & I cannot wait for the long weekend to start. Thinking about the long weekend and how I will be lucky enough to spend it with my husband, made me think about how lucky I am! Here is the thing, I feel like I am thankful for so many people and things in my life, who God willing, will always be staples in my life.

Why be thankful for the “Basics”? I was fortunate enough to have this “thankful” attitude as a little girl, since my mom and dad would ALWAYS tell me to be thankful for the things I had, when I would be whining about wanting a Game Boy, new clothes, or something random like Pokemon cards.  My parents would say, “Don’t look at what you don’t have, but look at what you do have – and don’t compare your  needs to those above you, but compare your needs to those below you.” I think my best friend Summar can testify, but I never felt like I was missing out on anything, I never asked for TOO much, and for the most part I had the things I wanted (I didn’t want or ask for too much, so getting most things off the list was easy). I had friends who grew up super privileged, but I never thought about the stuff they had vs what I had – I just felt happy for them and wanted to probably admire their items (I still kind of do this – I  have close friends show me hauls of things, and I love watching YouTube hauls – especially the luxury ones).  That being said, there were still times I wanted better things  or something super special (like I drove a really annoying car in undergrad, and when my friends  had sexier cars – trust me I wanted a sexier a car – but I mean I would forget my little grievances after like 10 minutes of whining and complaining about it).

When did I become thankful for being “thankful”? Every time I face a tough situation or a few tough days, I do this thing where I take out my hardly used paper agenda, and I write 5 things I am thankful for. My list usually starts off like so (sample from Feb. 21, 2017):

  1. my Nespresso
  2. my Nespresso pods
  3. A friend who is an immigration lawyer, who was helping another friend out
  4. Thankful for certain shareholders in my firm who did a great job explaining  the deal in great detail (if you’re a young lawyer you know how nice it is to have all of the facts laid out on the front end then getting it piece by piece).
  5. my husband

I do this for a few days, and like MAGIC, everything in my life just gets better. I stop focusing on lame situations and people, and suddenly, I feel upbeat and positive again. Once, I am at a 100%, or even 80%, I usually get lazy and stop making the lists, but just by making a little gratitude list, I feel like the universe rewards me and makes everything rosy again!

Have you ever tried gratitude lists? Have you ever tried making a gratitude list? What were your thoughts? I know my list above seems silly, but being appreciative makes the world and others around you want to do even more for you! At least, I notice that is how I respond. When someone expects me to do something nice for them – I’m not that into it, but when someone is grateful and appreciative, with no expectation, it almost motivates me to continuously do more for them (I have a feeling the universe works similarly).

I would love to hear about the things you list and also the things you do to stay positive 🙂 feel free to share below or link your page below 🙂

 

 

 

Poof. You are an Adult: Dealing with Unpleasant People

Everyone is kind and pleasant. Right? When you grow up and think about becoming an adult, you get this false sense that everyone around you will act kindly, be pleasant, and put in their fair share of effort. As you enter the work force, most people are like this – they are helpful, kind and pleasant. However, every now and then you may encounter a thorn in your dozen roses.

Just like a thorn on a rose – you don’t throw the rose away, you just deal with it. Dealing with this unpleasant person is tough. Trust me I get it. Dealing with the issue is even tougher. It’s tough because you don’t want to seem like one of those people that is constantly complaining, or seem too sensitive, and as a woman, I have this incessant need to be liked by everyone (do people like to be disliked??), but I have learned a few things that will hopefully help you:

  1. Sometimes it is in your head. Sometimes you may think someone is acting a certain way towards you, because you are projecting your own insecurities on this person. You’re fine. The preson is fine. The thorn is actually a budding flower.
  2. Who CARES? Who cares if this person does not like you? Who cares? Let it go, and just understand that you do not like everyone and everyone will not like you. I do not like President Trump, and, frankly I am sure if he saw a picture of me, he would not like me either, but who cares – sometimes you just have to say this a million times to yourself. The “WHO CARES”  mantra should be amplified when this thorn of a person does not impact your ability to move up the ladder (i.e. if you are a doctor and a particular nurse is annoying or you’re a manager and one of your technicians isn’t that pleasant or upbeat).
  3. Tough Conversations. Sometimes it is a good idea to have tough conversations. These conversations should not be a hostile thing, and you should go into them with a positive attitude and with you knowing your faults prior to the conversation so you can hear and acknowledge the other persons issues and not be caught off guard or feel SUPER defensive when they are brought up. You should also have a plan or a rough idea of things this person and you can do to make the experience better for one another and to alleviate any potential issue that could arise in the future.
  4. Quarantine. This goes along with the “Who Cares?” point, but sometimes the best method of this is coming to terms with it, acknowledging it, and then telling yourself to limit your interaction with this individual. For example, no need for small talk -pleasantries like “Hi”& “Hello” are sufficient. Smile and head on over to your desk. After a few weeks of this, you’ll be numb to this person and their energy and it won’t bog you down!
  5. Make a Friend. Make an office friend. Seriously. Did you know that making one good friend in the office makes your experience at work 50% better. REPEAT: 50% BETTER. You can even confide about that annoyingly rude co-worker with your work friend – and one day you’ll be thankful for the the annoyingly rude co-worker that provides all of the laughs between you and your work best friend!
  6. The six (6) – Twelve (12) Month Rule. Although, I’ve been fortunate enough to never come close to encountering this rule, I imagine, if this person is your boss/supervisor, you can’t necessarily use the “Who Cares” method or the quarantine method, however you can stick it out for 6 – 12 months, reassess the situation and then jump ship. Just remember to always be kind & professional, because this person will be apart of your resume and does have the ability to say something unkind about you and this persons words can impact your future. Prior to jumping ship, obviously line up another job – but this time when you’re selecting your job, assess the environment and the people a little more carefully. LOL
  7. Kind. Kind. Kind. I get it. You’re sick of me saying “Kind” but ALWAYS REMEMBER TO NOT LET THIS PERSON CONTROL YOUR DAY, YOUR EMOTIONS OR YOUR THOUGHTS. You are such a wonderful person, and just because someone isn’t acting to the degree or standard of kindness that you would like them to, doesn’t give YOU THE RIGHT TO BE RUDE or to act like them. You should not let it impact your identity and who YOU are. You are above the situation and them, so act accordingly.
  8. REMEMBER. Use these unpleasant experiences to shape and monitor the way you act and react. When you are in a position of authority and one day you have a young associate or medical student, remember what it was like to be in their shoes, reflect on it and act accordingly – treat them like you would have wanted to be treated.

I hope my tips and tricks are helpful. The work place is a much better place to be when everyone is professional, plays nice, is friends and laughs. It makes waking up in the morning a little easier and makes the day go by faster. Good luck with everything friends!

Peace, Love & Laughter 🙂

JOIN ME ON MY SERIES CALLED “POOF: YOU ARE AN ADULT!”  and feel free to suggest other topics to address! I loved writing the above, even though it’s a little lengthier than what most people would prefer!

Poof. You Are an Adult: Embracing Minimalism

Hi Friends,

So during the months of October and November of 2016, I had the BIGGEST burden on my shoulders: I was packing my Atlanta life up and moving to Kansas City. As you know, moves are NEVER as simple or easy, but this move was a little trickier since I was moving from my very own 1 bedroom 1 bath condo to a 2 bedroom 2 bath condo.

My place. You’re probably wondering, “Whats the big deal? You now have another room and bathroom?” Although, the prior statement is true, the sheer size of my Atlanta place came with SO MUCH STORAGE SPACE. For example, I had a full size pantry, a walk-in closet, a linen closet, big bathroom with 6 pull out drawers, and a coat closet. Yup. I was cozy. Yup. I had filled everything up to the brim. Yup. I still used so many of those space bags for my seasonal clothes and linens.

His place. My husband’s place was nice. “Pent House” LOL. I mean it technically is the pent house, but by no means is it a pent house. It is just a regular unit in his building that is on the top floor. The view is great, the kitchen has an awesome large granite block to make preparing food and eating meals awesome and welcoming, we both have nice sized walk-in closets (same size as my old place) and we each have our own bathrooms. That being said, our bathrooms are super small, we don’t have the extra pantry or coat closet, and  both of the bedrooms are smaller. We use one room as the office and the other as our primary bedroom.

What’s the problem again? So the problem was/is that I had SO MUCH CRAP and I was keeping things for the sake of “keeping memories” or keeping clothes that I would “one day wear”.

Minimalism. One day out of know where it seems, along came this idea of cutting things down and minimalism. I probably stumbled across the idea of minimalism  when I Youtubed a de-cluttering my closet video, and then I became enthralled by them and needed to watch more and more. I, by no means, relinquished all of my goods, but I did let go of a SUBSTANTIAL amount of things.  It felt AWESOME.  Here is a list of reasons why I love MINIMALISM and why I hope you will embrace it as well:

  1. Unflattering. I have said this in a million other posts, but love those that love you, and get rid of those items that you do not love and that you do not love. What does this mean – it means, if you KNOW something in your closet is UNFLATTERING, then let it go.  Also, if something has bleach stains or holes in it let it go (super easy trick of initial letting things go).
  2. Commitment Phob Bag. If you are having issues letting go, get a nice brown bag or large plastic bag (even a garbage bag if you can’t find something that fits the bill for the earlier items) and place it in your closet. Go through your clothes that you haven’t worn in the past year or so, and literally put it in this bag, and tell yourself, that if you do not get it out of this bag within 6 months or a 12 months then you know its okay to donate.
  3. Declutter your closet. Declutter your life. When I was in college and later in life, and I always found the act of decluttering to be incredibly symbolic. When I faced tough situations in life (transitional phases), I would always clear out ANY AND ALL old reminders as a way for me to make room for new memories and new reminders. The process of letting it go physically, enabled me to let it go mentally.
  4. Be Selective. Next time you go shopping be INCREDIBLY selective about what you buy. I am SUPER into buying a few quality items (at a cost) that I will wear a 1,000 times, then buying a ton of cheap items that I will wear 3 times. I treat my clothes gently (AKA: cold water wash, hang dry, and only wash when needed). What is the point of having fast fashion & cheap items, when you only wear them a few times and then a month from now you’re like, “This doesn’t fit well”, or “After I washed it the items looks weird”. You’re better off buying something that LOOKS amazing on you, so that you know when you wear it you’ll look and feel your best.
  5. MAKEUP/SKIN CARE/HAIR CARE.  You do not need a million products. You don’t. Use what you have – FINISH IT ALL UP. Seriously – those dumb samples– just finish them – you don’t need to save them for a trip you’ll go on in 3 months and 3 days. If you do need the samples then, you can run out and grab them – but as for now finish your junk up. Also, MAKE UP PALETTES – I get that you want to own the latest palettes, but really think hard about the purchase before doing so. Like so many girls – I have enough palettes to where if any new palettes come – I could some how assemble it based off the palettes I’ve already purchased.  Make up goes bad – don’t do dumb impulse buys. JUST DON’T.
  6. Now that you have let stuff go. Don’t run to the store to fill up this space. Keep it empty. Did you know that the more stuff you have the more stress you feel. Keeping things simple, will allow you to be less stressed (its apparently proven). This is also great on your wallet too! I feel bad that I came to these realizations later in life, since I am pretty sure I could have saved my parents a nice chunk of change, had I come to this realization sooner.
  7. PRACTICE ALL OF THE ABOVE. You know, I don’t have the latest make-up products or the trendiest clothes, but I do have a staple camel colored cashmere vest that I love (and I will be wearing it 5 years from now), I have block heels that are comfortable and cute (I can wear them to work and out to a nice dinner), and I have the cutest quilted black bag (that will never go completely out of style). I am a classic girl (okay – some may say basic). Although, your counter may be, “I don’t want to be like everyone else” my rebuttal to you would be, “Your clothes are apart of your identity, and should not be your identity.”  You are so much more then the cotton, wool, cashmere, leather and polyester draped around your body, you have real thoughts and you can take real action – people should know you for your acts of kindness and generosity, and not the fact that you are sporting a cold-shoulder top this summer or will be showing some side-boob.  (DEUCES).

I have really enjoyed embracing minimalism. It is a lifestyle I am fortunate enough to choose. I know that if my husband and I ever fell on hard times, we would be fine and still look cute with all of our quality items

If you want to know more about minimalism, then feel free to check out the following YouTube videos:

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGItVvYRKE4
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0dTdJTHTIk
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRClCeB_4ZQ

LOVE, PEACE & HAPPINESS,

Maheen

Poof. You Are An Adult. English is Their Second Language.

One of the toughest parts about getting older seems to be having to watch your parents become older. I am fortunate enough to have an incredibly close relationship with my parents and, simultaneously,  I have an incredibly unique relationship with my parents, since I have always considered myself their protector and interpreter of western culture.

My parents moved to this country from India. My dad got a head start by coming here in the late 70’s. Whereas my mom, finally came with my siblings around the late 80’s. Seeing as my dad went to school here and obtained a PhD and Masters, it only makes sense that he has mastered the language and western “culture” more than my mother. He has an accent, but not as strong as my mother, and he can communicate fluently [and apparently effectively, since he has obtained awesome opportunities throughout the years in his career].

My mother, she is a different story. To a certain extent, my mom didn’t need to master the language, she ran an ethnic story in the early 90’s (no language barriers there) and worked in some sort if I.T. testing division in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. She dabbled in day care before and after the I.T. position, but working with little kids did not necessarily require her to “learn” the language or the culture.

So now, my parents are getting older – whats the big deal? So growing up when it was just me and my mom running an errand, I would try to make sure the store clerk was talking to me, so that I could interpret the information over to my mom. I did this with simple things and more complicated things (like car issues or calling manufacturers in regards to warranties on home appliances), but I remember going to college and having this thought, “how will my mom communicate her needs effectively or understand third parties without me?” I gave my mom little or no credit, and I gave myself a LOT of credit. My mom did fine, she didn’t need me [as much as I had lead myself to believe]. I put this thought of her inability to communicate in my own head.

I remember coming home for Christmas break one year and intentionally being quiet at the store so I could witness the interaction. I thought the store clerk could have been kinder, but, I guess from his point of view my mom’s  tone when trying to speak English does not always come off as lovable, since she is more focused on trying to get the right words and conjugation out.

I created my own problem. I, like many of you, LOVE helping my parents! I love them – they are wonderful humans, who continue to do a lot for me and everyone else around them. So as an adult I see myself trying to revert to my old ways of simply doing things for them, but at the same time this is not as sustainable since I live in a different time zone, married and a young lawyer at a large firm [who by the way is studying for the Missouri Bar].

For example, the other day my mom wanted  me to send her the address of a salon near her, so I got off a call with my husband, while at Target running errands, Googled the salon and sent her the address. See the issue with this is that this is something she could have easily done, but I have reinforced her to believe that she cannot. So this morning, she told me the salon was closed [she said it in a way where it was closed forever]- I said why don’t you Google it again and try to give them another call. She hesitated, but with a little subtle encouragement she did it! She called them – made an appointment, now knows they are closed on Mondays, and even rescheduled her appointment after a second call!

This whole article was initially geared towards writing  about aging parents , but it ended up turning into an article about my mother– Happy Mother’s Day -I guess! I am amazed by how awesome she is, and I am learning to understand that our mother-daughter relationship needs to evolve and is evolving. We are both learning new things. I am learning to teach my mother how to catch fish, and she learning to not be afraid of catching the fish [broad -broad overstatement- since she does A LOT without me – but I like giving myself more credit sometimes].

 I am sure many of you struggle with these same scenarios and situations, and I would love to hear about how you handle things. Feel free to comment below – interested in your thoughts.

Poof. You are an Adult. Don’t Be Scared

Hi Friends,

I recently posted the following video:

Initially I was a little nervous about it  – thoughts like “What are you doing?”  and “You’re an attorney not a vlogger”  crossed my mind, along with other thoughts of colleagues stumbling upon it or random acquaintances tuning in-  but then I thought, I have always put myself out there, and this was NO exception. I have always wanted to do YouTube, but my own fears of what others would think seemed to ALWAYS hold me back. Just like this space, I have no idea if it will be dedicated to one aspect of my life, or will grow into something where I can experiment with my hobbies and interests.  We shall see. I hope that you will join me a long for the ride, and I hope that you will try something of your comfort zone soon too :).

Bye!

Poof: You Are An Adult. Ending a Friendship

When you are a little girl you dream of the day you are a fabulous adult. Working in one of those big buildings, where you have an awesome office, the cutest wardrobe, the perfect hair and skin, the ability to eat everything yummy and never gain a pound, the perfect home (in the perfect shade of blush pink), and perfect relationships.

As you grow up you learn that you cannot have it all. You learn to pick a career, be serious, socialize and love only those people that matter, and above all you learn that every action truly does have a consequence.

One of the toughest parts about this entrance into adulthood is leaving people “behind”. I really struggle with this issue, but I realize more and more that you cannot take everyone with you on your journey, and although you want to share something because of the sheer length of time you have been in each others lives or maybe there are certain aspects of this person you really appreciate, there are other subjective negative aspects that severely outweigh the length of time and pleasant traits of this person. If this person lived near, it would make sense to connect every now and then and to make the effort to maintain the relationship, but if the person is far away, and every time you meet in real life the negatives seem overshadow the positives, you need to walk away.

What does walking away mean? I have learned that the hardest and easiest thing to do in life is to come up with black and white rules and stick with them. It’s hard, because your mind wants to analytically poke holes and give you subjective outs and create grey. It’s the easy thing to do, because if you just simply allow it to be black and white then you are free of trying to interpret the grey. To highlight using this method, you simply tell yourself: I am done with this person, I will not contact them, respond to their contact, and I will un-follow them on social media. By simply coming up with these incredibly tough rules and sticking with them you no longer have to constantly second guess yourself or your actions towards this specific person. You take a position & you stick with it.

What happens next? By taking a position and staying strong, you will soon realize that you are free of this person and the burdens they brought into your life. Freedom from any negativity, only means that more positivity can replace it if you are open to it! Take the time that you would have spent talking to  that individual and invest it in yourself, your family, your community, your other close friends or your work. Use one bad “relationship”, whether it be a friendship or serious relationship to catapult you to the next level, and as hard as this may sound never look back. If you find yourself even wanting to take a glance backwards, just remember that things were not always that rosy, and you do not need this person.

 

JOIN ME ON MY SERIES CALLED “POOF: YOU ARE AN ADULT!”  and feel free to suggest other topics to address! I loved writing the above, even though it’s a little lengthier than what most people would prefer!

 

HI FRIENDS!

It has honestly been a minute since I last posted! I have a few important updates: I moved to Kansas City and I GOT MARRIED. Wild right?

I surprisingly really love Kansas City. I mean I will always be an ATLien, but Kansas City is one of those cities that is a hidden gem for the following reasons:

  1. It takes less than 30 minutes to get anywhere around town (more like 15-20 minutes – but saying thirty minutes since I had to drive across town to go to a girlfriend’s house and it took about 30 minutes).
  2. The rent prices are cheaper- ATL was about $300-$400 more for rent. Annual savings of about $4,800.00. Now who doesn’t like that??
  3. The food is yummy! The food in Atlanta is better simply because there are so many options, but for the limited options that are here, I would say KC isn’t doing that bad of a job.
  4. My husband is here 🙂

On that note, how did you meet your husband: I met the love of my life through a friend during the fall of 2015!  Something just clicked — I seemed to just enjoy talking to this guy for hours on end (and the whole time we were talking it felt like 15-20 mins, but then I’d look at the clock at it would read 1:00am). UMM WHERE DID THE TIME GO??? If you know me, I go to bed SUPER early, so this was different :).

The layers. I feel like getting to know him was like peeling an onion, so many layers, but each layer so awesome as the next. I couldn’t wait to tell friends and family members about him! He was awesome. Our families got involved and they took it from there.

It was EASY. Years from now when I tell my kids the story of how I met their father in more detail of course, I will tell them that being with him was EASY. I didn’t have to talk him into anything, change him, or wish I was different or he was different – I took him as he was and he did the same. I will tell them -we didn’t fight and each conversation and interaction was a loving one (granted we get into scuffles every now and but I can’t think of any “real” fights – THANK GOD).

Being married & what my relationship is like: It is great! I told my husband the other day, part of the problem of being so head over heels is that I cannot wait to come home to him and working big law means working big hours- LOL- I kid -my hours are not as bad as I thought they were going to be and this week especially as been awesome (hence the post).  Luckily, I married someone who supports me and my dreams, so he never complains or says anything about my hours. Rather, he encourages me take on more, wake up earlier and works by my side :).

Okay, I am writing all of this and he doesn’t even check my blog – since I put a DO NOT CHECK THIS SITE prohibition on him months ago, but if he does ever stop by I think he will be happy to see that I am happy to be his.

XOXO.

Health: My Favorite Morning Drink!

Hi Friends,

A fun fact about me is that I love sipping on things more than chewing things! I’m not sure why, but I love a yummy drink: carbonated, fresh juice, teas & coffees (I really don’t discriminate).

Lately, one of my favorite morning drinks has been 100% Bolthouse Farms Pomegranate Juice and chia seeds! (I’ve been purchasing Bolthouse over Pom Wonderful due to the price point. I’m sure if the POM Wonderful price point were better – I’d use either/or.)

I bought the Chia Seeds from amazon for $11  – you can find them anywhere though. At night (preferred method) or in the morning (least preferred method) I take a tablespoon or two of the chia seeds ad them let them soak in the pomegranate juice. By the time I wake up or am done getting ready for the morning –I have an awesome health drink ready for me!

The benefits of pomegranate juice are never ending, but here are some of my favorite benefits of drinking it:

  • may help stop plaque from building up in blood vessel
  • loaded with antioxidants (antioxidants are known to help prevent and repair DNA damage that can lead to cancer)
  • A 2005 study on 45 patients with coronary heart disease demonstrated that a daily drink of 238ml (8.4oz) of pomegranate juice administered over three months resulted in improved blood flow to the heart and a lower risk of heart attack
  • I’m anemic and the iron content is high in pomegranate juice!

I’m also really loving chia seeds – I’m sure you’ve read a million articles dedicated to these inflatable black seeds that turn all jelly-like, but once again here are my favorite reasons for loving chia seeds:

  • one tablespoon of chia seeds have more calcium than a glass of milk, more omega-3s than salmon, and more antioxidants than blueberries
  • high in fiber
  • may help prevent cardiovascular, neurological and autoimmune diseases

I hope you’re inspired to try the combination tomorrow morning, because it’s something I’ll definitely be enjoying!

Stay healthy! 

DIY MONDAY: Quick fix for MASCARA!

OH NO: Your mascara – it’s clumping – it’s dry- and YES this is the only bottle you have on hand. What will you do? YOU WILL NOT FREAK OUT or use this clumpy-product. What you will do is fix it.

I have two favorite ways to fix it. One con with both quick fixes is that the mascara tends to sweat a little more than usual (atleast for me) and with the coconut oil I seem to get a softer lash – but I end up seeing tiny particles of the product sprinkled around my check (sometimes).

CONTACT SOLUTION / EYE DROPS:

Warning DO NOT USE:  hydrogen peroxide care systems, such as CLEAR CARE® Cleaning & Disinfecting Solution, or any sort of generic brand. IT WILL STING YOUR EYE AND CAUSE OTHER ISSUES (frankly, all I know is something horrible will happen: so DO NOT do it!!)

But you can use your regular run of the mill contact solution.

Add in a drop or two of the solution into the tube then mix it and move the wand around in it  and you should get a consistency of mascara that is not clumpy. Instead of contact solution you could also use eye drops to do the trick as well.

COCONUT OIL:

I secretly love the coconut oil method. As stated above I get softer lashes and the product in my mind seems “richer” and just better. Obviously, only put a little bit of coconut oil in the tube and then just swoosh it around.  Adding a little bit of coconut oil will allow you to probably use your tube of mascara for another 4-6 days. If you’re wondering how you can use this tip in the winter when coconut oil is in a thicker form: simply take a small glob of it in your hands and it should melt relatively quickly and just funnel it in to your tube!

Do you have any quick fixes? I’d love to hear them! 

Dior Diorshow Maximizer Lash Plumping Serum

Hi Friends,

Does anyone feel like their mascara is just not that good for their eyelashes, or is leading to fall out? I’ve had this thought and sometimes when I’m washing my face/removing my eye makeup I’ll notice a lash or two – and i’ll reminisce about the days I had gorgeous full lashes!  So a few weeks ago when I went to Sephora to purchase my new favorite eye liner — they’ll be a separate post on this— and I I apparently had like over 200, or even 300, Sephora points. I asked the teller what the gifts were and actually decided to trade in my points to try out this primer (it was 100 points). I am soooo happy I did, because I actually like it a lot, and will be purchasing the full size version once my sample size comes to an end.

Some of my own personal reasons for like it are:

  • I don’t have to worry about my mascara sweating (huge PLUS for the bottom lash mascara situation)
  • It does add added volume and length
  • It is  an incredibly easy and basic step
  • The price point is not terrible for its apparent benefits

On the online review for the product via Sephora, I noticed that some people saw improvements to their actual eye lashes due to the serum and not just in conjunction with the mascara (that is how I interpreted the results) I haven’t been using it for 8 weeks, probably more like 4? But I will have to update you all on how I feel in another month or so.

Have you tried this product? What did you think/what do you think? I would love to hear more about your thoughts and other primers you have tried.

Cheeky Bronze By MAC!

I recently self sponsored a little mini haul of cosmetics for myself, since my best friend Summar (check out her blog: https://summarbliss.wordpress.com ) had a 20% of coupon at Belk’s and COSMETICS WERE INCLUDED. Naturally, I had to splurge and indulge myself in cult favorites and restock on items that were dwindling and/or backups – because make up is expensive and sometimes having to pick up an item at the very last minute is not a real possibility. I’ll go through each product individually with a separate post, so I can really spend time discussing what I think about it.

Why my opinion matters: I’ve often wonder why my opinion matters in the realm of beauty, and my opinion matters because I am an unbiased consumer. I have high standards and I expect companies to meet that standard. When I was a little girl, I tried the L’oreal Kids 2 for 1 Shampoo – I remember not liking it and noticing fall out ( I had to have been 12 or 13). So dialed the 1-800 number on the back of the bottle and told L’oreal  my thoughts on the product and they felt for my 12/13 year old soul and refunded the purchase price. Companies want to see you happy, and I want to use my beauty blog posts as a vehicle to provide them an objective opinion from an intelligent, beauty obsessed Indian girl!

Why I purchased it: I purchased this product, since I was looking for a bronzer. I had originally purchased the Too Faced Sweet Heart Bronzer (through the ULTA promotion where they were priced at $15 each). I purchased “Peach Beach” and “Something about Berry.” The packaging was soooooooo cute, and the reviews were great, but unfortunately, for my south east Asian,  Indian girl glow, the bronzer just looked ashy and weird and powdery. Since I didn’t love the product, I took it back to ULTA. I did love the Too Faced Sweetheart Bronzer because: “Something about Berry” was cute, but the color tones looked incredibly 80’s and clowny; & “Peach Beach” was hardly noticeable. If I were a white girl, perhaps the product would have been great, but alas I’m an exotic, golden tone Indian girl, and it just didn’t work.

Like I stated earlier, I went to the mall with Summar, and she told me about the MAC Bronzer’s  – so I tried them and OMG – I LOVE CHEEKY BRONZE. It just worked. It embellished my skin tone and added this glow. I received compliments from her and another girlfriend of mine the next week (this specific girlfriend prefers a  more natural look).  Confession: I have been loving the brozner so much that I’ve been wearing it to work everyday for a week and half.

I think if you’re in the market for a bronzer and you’re south east Asian or have a more  olive undertone this is a color you should try. A good primer will help make the bronzer last through out the day, and the consistency is something I really appreciate about the product.

HELP -TOO FACED PALETTE ISSUES: WHICH ONE?

Hey Beauty Gurus, Beauty Bloggers and Addicts,

I have a feeling I want to purchase one of the Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palettes, but I am so confused  by which one to purchase?

Do any of you have a favorite? I tried the first one and LOVED IT, but here is the thing the Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar has an amazing color selection as well. I do not want to purchase both, since my life as a lawyer is not TOO exciting, and I feel like the colors are very similar so it would be like buying the same thing twice, but they are different enough for me to warrant a request by you to determine which one I should purchase!

Please help!

The Georgia Bar Is Under My Belt

(I WROTE THIS POST THE DAY AFTER I TOOK THE JULY 2014 GA BAR. I didn’t want to jinx myself – so I decided I’d post it, if I passed  – and THANKFULLY I did. I hope the advice is relevant and you can learn from my mistakes. Also, hard work is a great way to get over hard luck – I PROMISE)

Hey Friends,

I took the Georgia Bar this past Tuesday and Monday. I thought I would blog about my experience so you could learn from my mistakes and, also, learn things that I did right!

First, PLEASE fill out your character and fitness forms during the first week of November. Do it during the weekend. Just do it. You will save $400 by turning in the required materials prior the early registration date. $400. Not $4, but $400.

Second, once you know for sure you are taking the Georgia bar, GET A HOTEL ROOM. (click on this link to get one that is walking distance to the testing site).

Third, pay for your bar class. You will definitely need a bar class, just pay for it already. Try get the most bang for you buck by trying to get all of those deals they offer.

Fourth, study. So here is the thing with the bar, you literally get 2 months to study for it At the beginning you feel like you have a world’s amount of time — but here is the thing — you don’t.  70 days left will soon dwindle down to 3, 2, & 1. I’m not saying to spend 8-6 hours studying. I’m saying, go to the library with our outline book, and make flashcards for half of the outline everyday, or a third of the outline!  When you go to the library, do not bring your laptop or your cell phone. Just your book, get it down. NO DISTRACTIONS. Study with a friend — sit near a friend — just don’t spend your whole day talking to them, bring ear plugs.  Have a plan.

Fifth, remember to read sample essays on the GA Bar website! Writing the essays is very formulaic. “The issue is ______. The law in GA is_______. Analysis.”

Sixth, just relax, and enjoy your evening and meals. I ate out A LOT during bar prep, primarily because it allowed me to be social and meet up with friends. Try and be healthy about it (I wasn’t — and it shows LOL). Work out with friends or after bar prep.

I wish I had more advice for you, but the bar is just about studying, learning the law. Don’t buy a THOUSAND things to help you study or read a thousand of blog posts about passing the bar: you’re just wasting time with more stuff, and you’re probably  going to feel incredibly overwhelmed. These bar classes are thousands of dollars, I promise they contain all of the material you will need to help you pass the bar.

Don’t make me BLUSH: Tarte Pin up Girl Amazonian Clay 12-hour Blush Palette

tarte palette

Hey Friends,

For my Birthday (which was a while ago) a friend purchased this beautiful Tarte Pin Up Girl Amazonian Clay 12-hour Blush Palette. I do not own too many palettes, just a few eye palettes, so this was an awesome addition to my collection! Prior to the addition of the Tarte Palette I owned: Bobbi Brown “Spice,” BareMinerals “ French Kiss” & a Stila “Coral” pH Blush. I definitely did not own an overwhelming amount, but I had some good options for an everyday look & an evening look.

Screen Shot 2015-02-03 at 7.33.49 PM

One aspect of blush that I never considered could be displaced, was the fact that the blush I would wear at 8:30am was gone by 12pm (with or without primer)! I never considered it a problem; it was just a fact of life.

Screen Shot 2015-02-03 at 7.37.11 PM

So now getting back to this Tarte palette, as I said, a friend got it for me for my birthday, naturally when she gave it to me, I HAD to swipe it on- even if it meant wearing an intense pink blush while hiking–which was exactly the case here. I took my blush brush and swiped the color I wanted and began dabbing it on my cheeks.

WELL FOR STARTERS, ummm.. I guess I have a heavy hand, but this little dab ended up being a lot – so  a very light hand is needed to get the optimal amount (SCORE)!

Second, the color payoff was amazing! I love the way it looked on my skin tone, making this palette an incredibly South East Asian friendly!

Third, so as I said before, I literally wore blush on a hike, hours later we had a photo session and the BLUSH was still on and still looking good!

I love makeup and I obviously love blush. I think it is a very rare occasion that I apply makeup without using blush, like very, VERY, very, rare occasion. Ever since I was gifted this palette, I honestly can’t remember where I placed the other blushes – so that is very telling about how much I love this palette. I hope you can get your hands on one and I hope you can try it out. I realize that it may be sold out now, but hey Amazon –Ebay could lead you to this awesome palette.

Peace & Love

Favorite Matte Lipstick: Sephora Collection- Color Lip Last

Hey Friends,

I’m probably sure I have posted about this earlier, but I seriously have a favorite matte lipstick brand, and it is something I’m sure your eyes have glossed over while you made your routine Sephora trip: Sephora Brand- Color Lip Last Collection (http://www.sephora.com/color-lip-last-P313004?skuId=1389147). My obsession started when I purchased the Pure Red and then continued with my next purchase of a color whose name I cannot remember, and then with my latest purchase of Burgundy Spirit (which, by the way, was sold out for 5 weeks!!!!!!!!!!!!).

The reason I love these colors and this collection is because the colors go on vibrant, and literally stay on all day. I mean 9am – 3pm at least. I also like them because they do not run, and they don’t end up on my teeth like other products.

I’ve tried other matte brands like Revlon/Covergirl, and my main issue is that when it dries it flakes, and when it flakes I, literally, go CRAZY: I end up trying to apply more and it flakes more -it is just a vicious cycle, and I’m never happy an hour after I’ve applied the product. On the other hand, this Sephora product by no way feels nourishing (but can with a dab of Carmex), but  it does apply well and it does not flake!!

The price point is another reason I continuously go back and purchase this item as well. Unlike the ridiculous price points of its competitors (not naming names but $24 -$30…. I do not THINK SO), the Sephora Color Lip Last is only $13 per stick. Making it affordable to indulge in a whole array of colors, and not just settle for one color.

Have you tried this product? If so, what did you think?

Designated Driver: My DD RANT

Hello Subscribers & Randoms,

It has been a HOT minute since I have been blogging, but I promise I’m back and will try to post more regularly, specifically on the weekends.

Unfortunately, I’m blogging for all the wrong reasons today, because today I’m going to just  RANT.

As most of you know, I’m Muslim and I choose not to consume alcohol or do drugs. Being the sober one out of a group of many means I always usually drive. I use to never think about it too much, since the perks of driving are great.  My friends and I get to arrive together, and I get the benefit of  leaving when I desire.  This does not mean everyone leaves when I want to, but I never have to worry about flagging down a taxi or waiting for someone to give me a ride, when all I want to do was go home and sleep!

When I initially got to law school I did not mind being the DD, but I unfortunately had this friend & another “friend’ who would always assume I would pick them up or drop them off, and it got UNDER MY SKIN. I would always ask or suggest  it to be polite, but she always seemed to accept my offer, and she never seemed to realize how inconvenient it was for me – or other things like gas I was consuming with countless trips to get her/drop her off (them off). The irony is when I stopped being DD, we stopped hanging out as much, I mean she made other friends as well, but the two did occur around the same time — we may have drifted because I was no longer her DD. I would hate to think our friendship for that period of time was based on me being a DD,  but it was a part of it.

She was also friends with another girl, who was just as inconsiderate as her. When we would be out late at night I would offer, but each time she would accept. I guess I offered each time, because I thought she was a girl and it was unsafe for her to ride in a taxi alone – so I too felt like it was warranted, but at the end I realized that they would never think about me, to the extent I thought about them, and frankly it’s annoying.

Do people ever realize that when I’m driving them around it is a liability? I could get into a wreck- damage my car, while they just got the benefit or burden of sympathizing with me for a few minutes. Did they ever think about my commute which was extended, due to their inconsiderateness – or that now I was going to be arriving back at home even later than anticipated? Hello – DRUNK DRIVERS.

I am sure they did not. Simple minds, cannot conjure deep thoughts.

Venting about it is not mature, but I am sure knowing you are not alone, is comforting. It is something that often comforts me when things go wrong, and knowing that I am not the only person who has to deal with tough situations. After being removed from the situation for about 2 years, current me  would tell former me to ask them to meet me at my place or express my concerns. Ask that I drive their cars instead. I would also request they Uber back home – it is relatively safe and they can text me when they arrive home.

I would tell my former self, no one will care about you like your parents or you. People will do what is easy for them – because it is self serving, and it’s okay to be SELFISH, because at the end of the day someone is going to be selfish, and I would rather it be me if it will protect me from potential bodily injury.

What do you think? Have you been in this situation?

Peace & Love.

Oil Cleansing Method: I am a believer.

I have been loving my skin lately. I have written many posts on products I have been using on my facial skin, since I have been seeing great results.

For some reason, these past few months, I have become intimidated by the idea of looking old, and getting wrinkles. I am only 25, but the fear is REAL. I sincerely want to look young forever, or at least help my skin slow down the process. Some people look great with age (#krisjenner), but, unfortunately, I am not trying to get Botox (yet) nor am I trying to get plastic surgery (since I have this theory that when you age on top of plastic surgery, you just end up looking really odd).

Okay, done bantering. So what is this OIL CLEANSING METHOD I speak of? How can you make it apart of your skincare routine?  Here is a quick YouTube video on it:

My routine is incredibly similar, except I use organic coconut oil. I usually wash my face with warm water prior to using the oil mixture (60% coconut oil mixed with 40% castor oil –I have oily skin). I will dry my face thoroughly, since water and oil don’t mix, and after drying it I will rub in the oil all over my face!  

Short on time: I will use a wash cloth and use the method shown in CloudyApples’ video! 

Time to indulge: If I have 10 to 15 minutes to spare, then before starting the process, I will put water to boil in a kettle, then I’ll do the steps listed above, in regards to massaging the oils in my face. After the water boils I will put it in a plastic container, and steam my face! 

I steam my face just like the girl in the above video. I do not do it for 15 minutes, because I do not have the patience to sit for that long – more like 5 minutes -10 minutes! Also, I do not partake in the lemon -cotton ball situation, but I may try it in the future (I’ll let you know if I do, and my thoughts on it). 

After steaming my face, I simply rinse my face with cold water to close up the pores & then pat my face dry!  Remember, after doing all of these steps you may have a little excess oil on your face – don’t worry you are fine! 

One great side affect I noticed through trying out this method was that my skin was less oily the day after I did the method. Usually around 3:00 pm my skin is super greasy and could use an oil blotting sheet, but the day after using this cleanse, I notice my skin is more balanced – it’s obviously not dry, but it is definitely producing less oil than it normally does! 

Have you tried the Oil Cleansing Method?  Do you love it as much as I do? 

 

Ru San’s: 1529 Piedmont Ave NE Atlanta, GA 30324

Back in 2010 a dear friend of mine took me to Ru San’s in Charlotte. She claimed it was a “hole in the wall” sushi place & that it was awesome.  We went – I loved it. Fast forward a year later, I moved to Atlanta and saw 3 Ru San’s (Piedmont, Edgewood & Buckhead)  — so yeah not really a “hole in the wall” sushi place, but it’s still great, affordable, sushi! 

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I went a few weeks ago, but never uploaded the pictures. I wish I had taken a few more pictures of the sushi plates we ordered and a picture of the miso soup, but unfortunately when the food came out, my mind went off track and went into “stuff your face mode” — which is a hard mode to exit. Luckily for you, I did take two pictures -so enjoy! 

Some quick tips: the Piedmont location is on the 2nd floor of the plaza, it’s pretty casual – but if you wanted to get dressed up you would not look to out of place. They have other dishes like ramen, udon & rice dishes. I have only ordered sushi & miso soup – so I can only comment on what I thought about those items (I obviously love them).  The venue can accommodate large parties and you don’t need a reservation! 

Have you been to Ru San’s? What did you think?

Summer is ending – but you still need SUNSCREEN!

I am sure you already know this – but you “like” have to wear sunscreen every single freaking day. “Like” seriously. Have you seen this video:

So, by now, you’re about to run out to your nearest CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, etc. to go buy some, but which one should you buy?!?

I have tried a few sunscreens over the past few years: Oil of Olay, Neutrogena & Suntegrity.

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I didn’t like wearing Oil of Olay, since I felt like it made my skin extremely oily. I did like Neutrogena, specifically the Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen & Triple Age Repair Moisturizer Broad Spectrum. I LOVED Suntegrity.Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 4.38.32 PM

I liked Suntegrity over Neutrogena, because I felt like the formula was thicker and effective. I liked the Neutrogena formula because it was thin, but unfortunately, upon further contemplation -perhaps the Neutrogena Triple Age Repair was TOO thin. I like the Triple Age Repair, and even felt like it  helped with my complexion, but I wanted the consistency to be thicker. I think both products are great, I use both often, but when the sun is blazing, I find myself turning to Suntegrity.

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One thing I love about Suntegrity & Neutrogena: it did NOT make my face oily.

One aspect of Suntegrity I do not like is the PRICE. Paying $24 -$36 for sunscreen is a lot. Unfortunately, I feel like they can up charge, due to the lack of competition in the all natural, vegan, UV chemical-free, and mineral sunscreen category. Even though I paid a premium, I’m only half way through my bottle, and have had the same bottle for one year (a little goes a long way).  If you’re in the market for a new sunscreen, I suggest you check out the Neutrogena ones listed (since you can return them if you it doesn’t work out)! Not sure what the return policy is for Suntegrity, but I am serious when I say I strongly recommend this product. I just told a close friend a week ago about it via text — hence I had the idea to write a post on sunscreen!  

To find out more about Suntegrity, or the product I purchased click here!

What sunscreens have you been using? Do you have any recommendations?!

Stressed Out? EMBRACE IT!

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My pretty little kitty is relaxing away, while the world around her is stressing out!

 I am sorry I have been so slack about writing, but my parents are moving to Stuttgart, Germany for a year! Although I am incredibly excited about their future adventures, there is a ton of chores and donations that need to be made prior to them leaving. I have been furiously packing, cleaning, and donating for the past few days.

On to more important things – a few days ago I read an AWESOME article in my Oprah Magazine (July 2014 issue).  The article was about stress & how to combat it and reframe it Navy SEAL style!   I thought I would share/summarize the four points in the article, since we can all learn a few things about combating stress.

  1. Prepare for Battle. Think about all of the possible outcomes of your stressful situation and how you would deal with them. For example, do you have a meeting with your boss tomorrow? What is the worse thing your boss could say? What could your boss say to make you feel uncomfortable? Prepare by coming up with a response, or telling yourself to stay silent and not make up excuses.
  2. Talk Yourself Up. Positive self talk is INCREDIBLY important. So you did not land the promotion – you’re still amazing – duh. You’re beautiful, confident, smart, hardworking and are really good at analyzing The Bachelorette (LOL). Make yourself laugh, and think about how you’re contributing positively to the world – (I see you recycling)!
  3. Embrace the Suck. THIS IS MY FAVORITE POINT.  I’m going to quote the article because it could not have been said in a better way: “‘When the weather is foul and nothing is going right, that’s when I think, Now we’re getting someplace!’ . . .the . . . suckiest moments are when most people give up; the resilient ones spot a golden opportunity to surpass their competitors . . .  ‘it’s one thing to be an excellent athlete when the conditions are perfect,’ . . . ‘But when the circumstances aren’t so favorable, those who have stronger wills are more likely to rise to victory.”
  4. Take a Deep Breath.  Breathe in four counts. Breathe out four counts.  It will calm you down, and allow you to open up to more intuitive thoughts! I love taking deep breaths. I learned that deep breathing can even help minimize pain –ladies remember to breathe when you’re getting all waxed up, or doing a difficult workout set at the gym.  Deep breathing works well when you can tell you’re feeling emotional too — and trust me I know this from first hand experience.

I hope you’re able to take away something from my small post & I hope next time you’re stressed out you tell yourself, “Bring it on!”

Talk to you later!

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay

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Have you guys heard of the Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay? Well, if you have not don’t feel weird about it, because up until the beginning of June 2014, I had no idea what it was either!

How I found out about it: One of my favorite YouTube personalities GeekChic01, “Irene Sarah,” had vlogged about her current skincare routine, and in the vlog she talk about a mask that “pulsates.” I was immediately intrigued and took to the internet to do research on it, and also looked at many of the over 1400+ Amazon five star reviews.

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What did I learn from my research:

  • The Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay is made from 100% Bentonite Clay.
  • Bentonite Clay when mixed with liquid develops a mild electrical charge  that aids the clay in attracting impurities in the skin tissues and keeping them attach to the clay, and not get reabsorbed by the skin.
  • Depending on your skin type bentonite clay may dry your skin out, so remember to apply a moisturizer
    • or you could mix the bentonite clay with milk, instead of water or organic apple cider vinegar.
  • Many people claim the best results with Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (I ONLY use the mask with Organic Apple Cider Vinegar).
  • Mix the product in glass or plastic, do NOT USE METAL (it apparently de-charges the clay)
  • Amazon Review link: click HERE

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How to apply the clay mask:

  1. Start with mixing equal portions of the clay with the mixing substance, if you want a thicker mask, then simply add more of the powder. (put it on your face, neck, back, upper arms – go crazy girl)
  2. Place the mask on your face, focusing on covering problem areas with a little more of the clay mixture (1/4 of an inch thick).
  3. Leave it on your face for at least 25 mins — 40 mins PERFECT –1 hour (amazing – and now take it off!)
  4. While it’s on your face, do not talk or move your face to much. The clay will begin to harden in about 3-5 minutes.
  5. Once you’re ready to remove it, do not head to the sink instead grab a grocery bag and try and peel a little bit of the mask that comes off easily and effortlessly– do not TUG on your face.
  6. To remove the clay that did not come off effortless: grab a wash cloth, place it under warm to mildly hot water (DO NOT USE A TEMPERATURE THAT WILL BURN YOUR FACE OR SOMETHING THAT IS HOT, just something that is a little bit more than warm).
    1. Wet the cloth
    2. Place the cloth over your face
    3. Leave it on your face for 30 seconds, now gently swipe your face.
    4. Do these steps 3 or 4 times, and you’ll be good to go!
  7. Splash some cold water on your face after fully removing the clay mask
  8.  Now moisturize your face

Side Notes:

  • This mask is a clay mask, so it is thick & will clog your sink if you do not dispose of it accordingly. That is why I recommend placing as much of the mud mask in the grocery bag, so you can simply throw it away.
  • If you mixed the clay in a bowl, then just wait till the mud dries in the bowl and then scrap it out in the trash, instead of cleaning it while it’s wet!
  • My skin did NOT pulsate (I was a tad excited about this part — unfortunately it did not happen to me, although it did happen to my neighbor)!

My experience: I have had an incredibly positive experience with the clay. I’ve gotten one of my roommates to try it, and I feel like she loves it as much as I do!  It is incredibly affordable and allows you to relax for a bit.  I, personally, loved doing the mask while I was studying for the bar. I would quickly put the mask on, and then begin studying — it almost made studying for the bar a tad tolerable!  It has helped reduce the size on my pores and it did loosen my white/blackheads (I actually don’t have that many blackheads anymore -yay).

I did the mask yesterday and I noticed that a few of my whiteheads had surfaced – I quickly decided to skip the cold water portion of my steps and saturated my nose with mildly hot water, and then applied a pore strip.  I waited ten minutes and then GENTLY removed the pore strip!  The only things on my nose pore strip were a few whiteheads – no blackheads!

Should you purchase it: YES. As stated, it’s so AFFORDABLE  ($7-$12). If organic apple cider vinegar is to harsh for your sensitive skin, just use water or a mixture of the apple cider vinegar and water. Also, if you initially break out, don’t worry – this might be happening because your skin is purging itself of the impurities.

If you’re worried: Obviously consult a doctor immediately. I am not a doctor, nor do I claim to be. I am beauty junkie and recent law school graduate – so my advice is limited to my personal results, reviews I have read, and results on friends that have also tried the product with me.

Bye!

Beauty Blender

 

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I have been wanting a Beauty Blender for a while. So a year ago, I decided I would buy the $1 knockoff from China — and I was NOT amused. I thought to myself, “Thank God I didn’t buy the real beauty blender. If this knock off is any indication of the real thing, then I just saved myself $25!”

After further review and investigation via YouTube, I discovered that there are REAL differences between the knockoffs and the real deal.

Many months after discovering there was a real difference between my China Blender via Amazon and the real one, I decided to splurge on the real one via Amazon (I ordered the one with two Beauty Blenders, because it ended up being around $10 a piece, as opposed to $15 per blender).

I noticed the difference between my knockoff and the real Beauty Blender almost INSTANTANEOUSLY. Although they may look like twins from the outside, the knockoff isn’t as sponge-y,definitely tougher, and does not expand with water, while the real Beauty Blender has all three of those qualities! Also, the knockoff doesn’t mold as easily to your face or feel soft on your face, compared to the real Beauty Blender.

Instead of writing a long review I’ll change the format into a question-answer type situation:

  1. Do you like it: YES.
  2. Was it worth the money: YES. I would prefer that it be cheaper, but there are many more pros than cons. For example, you can’t wash a traditional makeup brush everyday — not realistic, due to the fact that I may need to reapply something — and then I wouldn’t be able to, due to a wet brush. You can wash the Beauty Blender effortlessly, while not impeding your ability to use it post wash.
  3. Washing it easy: Yes. Just use the cleanser you use to wash your face or body.
  4. What can you use it for: I use it for my MAC Long Wear foundation & concealer, along with my Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer.
  5. Would you buy it again: YES. As stated I really like the ability to clean it — it’s a selling point that should be touted more. There is so much GUNK on our makeup brushes that we just choose to ignore due to our immediate need to apply makeup!
  6. Any suggestions: I wish I had something cute to dry or store my Beauty Blender in/on. I use the packaging it came with it to dry and store it (I got this idea from the videos posted by Beauty Blender, which recommends using their packaging as a way to dry and store your Beauty Blender).

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Do you use the Beauty Blender? Have you used a knockoff that was actually comparable to the Beauty Blender? Do you want to splurge on the real one?

Let me know!

Fettuccine Alfredo (with Chicken and Broccoli)

A week or two ago, I really wanted to make something hearty and creamy, and this was one of the first dishes to cross my mind. I thought I would attempt to make it from scratch. I prepared myself mentally to labor over the stove, until I actually started making it and realized how SIMPLE it was to make.  All I can say is: WHY DID I EVER BUY THE STUFF IN THE JAR?

I followed Entertaining With Beth’s Recipe, but I did not add peas and I added chicken and broccoli. I loved the way the chicken turned out and I really enjoyed the broccoli with it as well.

This recipe is INCREDIBLY easy, and can be prepared in 15 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Chicken breasts (cut into cubes)
  • ½ tbsp of garlic powder
  • ½ tbsp of onion powder
  • ½ lb (230 g) Fettuccini pasta
  • 4 tbsp (60 g) butter
  • 1 ½ cups (350 ml) of heavy cream
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp (2.5 ml) salt
  • Freshly cracked pepper to taste
  • 1 cup (90 g) Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 1/3 cup of broccoli florets
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) of freshly chopped flat leaf parsley

Method:

  • cook fettuccine according to package
  • cut the chicken into cubes
  • now sprinkle onion powder and garlic powder, with a dash of salt & pepper over the chicken
  • once the chicken is cooked, take the chicken cubes out and place them on a plate (you should have a nice amount of better left in the pan)
  • on medium heat, in the pan, which has the remaining butter, place the heavy cream in it and let it simmer, until it’s bubbly and thickened
  • once you see in the bubbles, add the parmesan cheese and mix it well.
  • now add little pieces of fresh broccoli  and let it cook until a pretty green
  • add chicken and give it a nice stir!
  • now add the fettuccine
  • top it all off with a little bit of fresh parsley

 

Best Steak Marinade Ever

Hey Friends,

As most of you know, I LOVE TO COOK. I should have gone to culinary school, as opposed to law school, because I JUST LOVE IT SO MUCH. I was talking to my best friend the other day (she is in medical school)  and we spoke of dream careers, as opposed to the ones we are in right now, and hers was MAKE UP ARTIST (“MUA”)  (and boy, oh boy, is she fierce with her brushes), and mine was a mix between Food Network/ Cooking Channel Program host and some sort of part time MUA/hairstylist  (I didn’t word it this way, but I’m sure my best friend caught on).

I’ve decided to start a series on my blog where I talk about dinners I’m making while studying for the GA Bar.  I can’t post as regularly as I would like, but I will try to post once a week!

One of my favorite recipes by far is a marinade from: Sally Cooks.

This is a great marinade for any 4th of July weekend BBQ’s you may have planned. I promise – you will love this marinade  – and you will make it again and again and again.

I’ve now made this marinade twice and the portions listed work well for 2 lbs of flank steak!

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons ginger paste
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon coffee grounds

Sally just whisked all of this together, while on the other hand, I just threw all of the ingredients in the magic bullet. I loved putting in the magic bullet because I got a finer grain as far as a marinade goes and I smothered the meat in this marinade for approximately 24-26 hours.

A few little side notes:

I had the 2 lb flank steak cut into two 1 lb pieces, prior to putting it in the marinade.  Then I grilled it on each side for about 4 -5 minutes (medium cooked steak).

After removing the beautiful pieces of flank steak from the grill, I transferred them to a cutting board and placed a piece of aluminum foil over the meat (just place it on top) and let the meat REST for 10 minutes. You want to let the cooked meat rest, so that the flavors of the marinade settle in the meat– if you cut the meat to early, you’ll notice that all of the great flavor will just spew out of the meat.

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After 10 minutes, cut the meat against the grain! Look at the meat –see those fine little lines, you want to cut slices that are perpendicular to those little lines! Voila – you’re cutting it against the grain!

I served it with the Akhtar family’s favorite potatoes and coleslaw, corn on the cob, & (not shown-and I cheated a little bit) a Trader Joe’s frozen Mac n’ Cheese. Lets face it- a BBQ is only as good as its sides – so make your favorite sides!

ONE MORE LITTLE NOTE:

I would TOTALLY make an extra pound of meat, so that you can enjoy a skirt steak salad, or a nice sandwich (like I did).

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I hope you have a wonderful and safe Fourth of July! What are you planning on grilling — I would LOVE to know (and maybe I’ll add it to my Fourth of July menu).

Bye!

Gardein: Seven Grain Crispy Tenders (Meatless)

I was at Publix a week or two ago and came across these meatless chicken tenders. I’m a sucker for tenders, nuggets and wings, but for some odd reason, if I’m going to prepare frozen tenders myself, I would rather them be meatless, because I, frankly, great freaked out by the chicken used by the manufacturer (how old is this frozen product? was the chicken used all hormoned up? the list goes on and on).

Anyways, I sincerely enjoyed these vegetarian friendly tenders, and would definitely purchase them again! Two tenders amounts to 100 calories (I just had 5 for lunch– 250 calorie lunch for the WIN!)

I hope you check them out!

Quick Fix For Dark Circles, Bags and/or Under Eye Discoloration

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I wear Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer in SX08

Hey Ladies,

This is my little personal letter to you. I was trying to avoid GA Bar studying today, so I naturally hopped on Facebook. As I scrolled through my newsfeed, which consists of many Indian girls, I noticed that so many of them have such bad bags / dark circles (FYI, I am definitely one of those girls with extremely dark circles, even when I sleep for 10 hours – it’s genetic, hyper pigmentation around that area – I know).  What was a tad confusing, was the fact, these girls wear make up, they just did not want to highlight and brighten their under eyes (which to me is like straightening half of your hair and leaving the other half curly/wavy/nappy). I don’t know why they wouldn’t want to conceal their dark circles, but I’ve basically told myself that the reason they’re not taking care of the problem is:

(1) They don’t know they have the problem; and/or

(2) They don’t know how to solve the problem.

How to assess whether you have this problem: get a mirror & look at your face. Is the skin directly under your eye darker than your cheeks? If yes, then you need to focus on concealing the under eye  area when you’re doing you’re makeup.

Don’t fret. I am here for you girl! First off, you need real concealer. The liquid  or cream stuff will work.  The powder concealers are not going to solve your problem (example: using Bare Minerals or Bare Essentials loose powder in a concentrated way, will not help conceal your bags). I would suggest Kevin Aucoin’s Sensual Skin Enhancer or  MAC Pro Longwear concealers.  These two are both THICK concealers that should do the trick.

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As stated, I have dark circles under my eyes, I like the MAC Pro Longwear for daytime and I like the Kevin Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer for nighttime, going out, date night, dinner with friends, any evening event  or event where I want to step it up and look my best.

Kevin Aucoin’s Sensual Skin Enhancer is relatively expensive ($48 @ Bloomingdales) , BUT it will last you a long time. To set the concealer (which is a MUST) I use Ben Nye’s Banana Powder (feel free to use any translucent powder you own).

Just remember, you have beautiful eyes — so show them off girl.

Any questions? I’d love to answer them!  Also, what’s your favorite concealer? Confused about how to apply concealer just YouTube it!

XOXO

Olay Total Effects Night Firming Treatment (Currently Loving This!)

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I wish my blog were popular enough for me to get endorsements or free stuff, because I have seriously been spending way to much of my law school graduation gift funds on beauty products. Not only do I buy these products, but then I end up doing reviews for all my friends, family, and fellow WordPress bloggers – so yeah, it would be nice if I could spend my funds in other areas, but alas, I am a beauty connoisseur. #junkie.

In the middle of May I purchased Olay Total Effects Night Firming Cream, and I must say, I absolutely LOVE IT. I love the way it smells, and I love the current condition of my skin. I am 25 so my skin aging or having fine lines is not a real concern yet, but having an even skin tone and clearing up imperfections (dark spots & acne scars) and just giving me soft, pretty looking skin, is something I really love.

After wearing the night treatment for a month, I woke up this morning washed my face and looked in the mirror and said “Why do I wear so much foundation? This is looking good.” LOL.  I then proceeded out of my bathroom and made some coffee and started my Kaplan Bar Review videos. I wanted to wait till I finished my Bar Review videos to blog about the product, but I seriously can’t contain myself with how happy I am with the results!

Things I love about it:

  1. The results. Duh. I would say about one week in I noticed that this was actually working, and now 4 weeks in I’m clearly head over heels.
  2. The immediate soft feel of the lotion. Enough said.
  3. The smell. I love the light smell. I know that some people hate it when their night creams smell good, but I love it! I feel all fresh and clean.

Con:

I feel like I should give you a con, because I just gave you the pros, but it’s a little difficult and I’m seriously going to give you really pathetic cons, that are extremely DE MINIMIS:

  1. Sometimes I’ll wake up and get the urge to put more on since I will feel like my skin has consumed all the product (so maybe what I’m implying is I want it to be thicker?)
  2. I’ll apply a thicker application under my eyes, and instead of being absorbed I’ll get white residue under my eye.
  3. The price point is actually annoying. I hate pay $17.49 for the product.

The only true con is the price, but it is still considerably cheaper than other night creams, so I am going to keep the complaining to a minimum. If you’re interested in trying the product out here is a link: http://www.target.com/p/olay-total-effects-anti-aging-night-firming-treatment-1-7-oz/-/A-10910238

Tell me what you think about! I am curious to know what night creams you guys use, and what night creams worked or did not work for you.

Keep me posted. Xoxo

Cosmetics Haul!

A week a go a friend texted me about helping her purchase a starter’s kit of makeup! I quickly replied with “YES, WHEN DO YOU WANT TO GO?!”

Long story short her starter kit had the basics (I wish I had taken a picture of it):

  • BareMinerals starter collection: foundation, concealer, mineral veil, brightener and brushes!
  • Mac Lipstick (nothing bright, or dark – also not nude, but a light subtle berry shade)
  • Maybelline Falsies Mascara
  • Revlon Eyebrow Pencil with setting gel
  • Revlon liquid liner

ITEMS I PURCHASED:

As you know I recently graduated (see last post), I have been dying to try a few beauty products like the Kevin Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer & a liquid foundation (I’ve never really tried one before).

I have to say — I loved the Kevin Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer in x08. Although the little jar is expensive ($48), everyone on social media has a legitimate point: a little goes a long way. After barley dabbing my brush into the pot, I had enough product to cover my under eyes, nose, forehead, & chin.  As I learn to play with it, I will post more pictures of the product, and even maybe a guide on how to use it for first timers.

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(I used Kevin Aucoin’s Sensual Skin Enhancer under my eyes, on the bridge of my nose, cupid’s bow and chin.  I blended it with a Beauty Blender dupe, which I purchased from Amazon. I have on Mac Pro Long Wear foundation, along with a brown powder for contouring, Blush & Lipstick from BareMinerals and my eye look was created using the BALM)

One other point, I really like the coverage it provides. It’s an full coverage concealer, unlike my MAC prolong concealers (I purchased this as well in NC 42), which are build-able. At the same time, the product is also light. It’s something you’ll have to try out to fully understand.

As far as liquid foundation goes, I decided to go with Mac’s liquid foundation. It is such a trusted brand and a personal favorite — I had to. I did contemplate getting the BareMinerals Liquid Foundation, but I opted not to after reading reviews on it via Sephora.

I purchased some other staples:

  • Rimmel’s Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal ( it initially bleeds easily, so I would set it with a black eyes shadow. I used this technique in the picture above on me and the girl in the middle — this picture was taken 2 hours into the night!)
  • Neutrogena Pore Refining Toner
  • Acne Wash Target Brand (It’s a dupe for Neutrogena’s Pink Grapefruit Foaming Scrub)
  • Olay Total Effects 7 in one Anti Aging Night Firming Treatment
  • False Lashes from Eylure

Okay friends, I’m off! TTYL!

Law School Graduation

Hey Friends,

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I just graduated law school this past MONDAY! I cannot believe it. Wow. Although, academically, these were the toughest three years, personally they were the most influential. I came in as a girl, and I’m leaving a woman. I learned about fake friends, people who will do anything to get ahead, people who will be there for you when they have a million things going on, hard work/working SMART, having fun, cherishing the people that keep you sane, and protecting your health.

At times, I was incredibly skeptical about my education, but  I feel lucky to have gotten a Juris Doctor, since it affects the way I interact with the world, and allows me the ability to hone in on a multitude of conclusions that could occur.

If I had to go through law school again what would I do differently?

  • I finished law school on a strong note, so I wish from the get go, I made my own outlines or used others in conjunction with my notes, since that was something I failed to do as a 1L and relied heavily on commercial outlines and tabbing supplements.
  • I wish I wrote down most class discussions and case briefs that we discussed in class, as opposed to hopping on G-chat, and thinking that “I’ve read the case, so I know it.” I am human and I only have the ability to remember so much, without a trigger.
  • Developing a strong relationship with a professor in a field you like is something you should do very early on. By developing a relationship, you work harder to prove yourself, and they can also attempt to help you with your job search in the field.
  • Networked during my first year of law school. Networking is a such a vague term, so I will break it down for you in another post.
  • I wish I ran everyday, even for 5 minutes &  I wish I ate a light lunch. Eating a light lunch will enable you to be more productive during the day and not feel so sleepy.
  • I wish there was a way to avoid being addicted to coffee. My name is Maheen and I am addicted to coffee.
  • Respect and make time for my parents a  little bit more. I love them so much, and without them attending law school would not have been possible. They’re constantly love me, motivating me, and providing me with my lifestyle. I wish I sent them a few more thank you cards, a few more gifts, and a gave them a few extra minutes on the phone.
  • As far as my friends and special ones, I wish that I could keep a lid on my mouth when I was stressed. I often overreacted and said things that I regret. I love them to pieces and it would really break my heart if they thought I sincerely meant those rude things. I am an idiot sometimes, so working on managing my stress is something that I will actively work on as far as life goes.
  • (I’ll add to this list as I think of more things)

I hope you can learn from my mistakes. I have this little mantra that goes: if I can do it, so can you! I know that you can succeed in ANYTHING you do! Just work hard, I promise.

Union Station Hotel in Nashville, Autograph Collection

Have you been to the  Union Station Hotel in Nashville? I recently got to check it out and, needless to say,  I loved it. Although, I did find the space awkward for a wedding, I did love the space  and all of the unique and detailed moldings around the hotel.

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 I love the candles on the mantle 

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 I assume the table is where the bride, bridegroom & special guests will be seated (parents or maid of honor/bridesmaid/groomsmen). 

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The issue I have with a wedding in the beautiful venue is the lack of control on the ingress/egress of people. Hotel patrons can come in, check in & dine at the Hotel’s restaurant while your ceremony is occurring. Something about that seems unnatural, out of place, and incredibly impersonal to me. Hypothetically (and realistically), random strangers could be checking into their room as the couple ties the knot. Any how, great space — maybe just not the appropriate wedding venue.

Halal Drinks (Mocktails) & Law School Prom!

Hey Friends!

I might have said this in a former post, but I do not drink alcohol! Not drinking alcohol, and maintaining a social life sometimes seems counterintuitive, and sometimes it is awesome. For example, I remember almost every moment out: the good, the bad, the boring, & the ugly.  I am also able to leave whenever I want.  Seeing as I live in ATL, I literally have to drive everywhere, so not having to share a cab with friends, or waiting around for Uber is a plus!

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(Featured drink from Noche: Virgin Margarita)

 Some of my favorite Halal Drink options / Mocktails when I’m out are: Diet Coke, Virgin Margarita, Virgin Shirley Temple, Virgin Mojito (read the ingredients — if it’s a mix pass — but if they’re putting in fresh mint and lemon in your drink, with cane sugar— definitely don’t pass), Sparkling water w/cranberry juice or Spirit with Grapefruit juice.  Although, I almost always get a Diet Coke (hello — I’m counting calories people), it’s always fun to try something different.

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I had law school prom (aka: Barrister’s Ball) a few weeks ago, here is a picture of the event! I’m the girl to the left. I bought my dress from ZARA during their Winter Sale. The dress was a size too big, but I took to my local tailor, who did a great job tightening it up. The belt I’m wearing in the middle is from Forever 21. I bought it in the fall of 2010 for $10-$15? I love the belt, it seriously helps jazz up any outfit! You can’t see this, but I’m wearing, NineWest, black peeps toe pumps! Here are some of the outfits the other girls wore! I hope this helps you gauge what to wear to your prom!

Fontaine’s: 1026 1/2 North Highland Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30306

I love Fontaine’s!  Every time I’ve gone, I’ve gotten consistently great service, and trust me I can really, really, really appreciate that! I’m not sure if you know this, but Fontaine’s has weekday happy hour specials– so being in law school, I have the perk of checking them out. Last year I enjoyed an awesome seafood spread of crab legs, shrimp, & oysters!  I loved it!

This year I headed back with some girlfriends. We had an awesome time: talking and munching away. Our server was great (I wish I could give her a shoutout — but I don’t know her name- she was incredibly attentive, even though we just ordered waters and gorged on the happy hour deals).

Here is what we ordered:

ImageCrab Dip

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Crab Legs! 

ImageShrimp Boil! I love getting them & I love making them! They’re an incredibly easy appetizer to make for a dinner party/luncheon/girls night. All you need to do is boil a tablespoon of Old Bay seasoning (per pound of shrimp) , half of lemon and other seasonings you like with a pot full of water. After the water is done boiling add your skin on shrimp! Once the water re-boils remove the shrimp from the pot on to a platter and now you have boiled-peel and eat shrimp!

ImageCalamari– duh! 

Have you been to Fontaine’s? Do you love it? Tell me what you think people!

False Lashes!

1016325_10102087877648377_609022437_nCan you tell which one of us is wearing fake lashes?

I love fake lashes/ falsies/ false lashes. They instantly take your face from cute and pretty to GLAM.  There is a reason why all of the celebs use it….it’s because it’s like wearing a pushup bra, it gives your face that extra oomph.

Another reason I like fake lashes is because I don’t need to wear MASCARA. I love mascara as much as the next girl, but unfortunately,  I hate the whole “taking off mascara” part, and I feel like my lashes are slowly thinning out.

Long story short: fake lashes are great, but living in Atlanta, I can’t just go to the MAC counter to always get them put  on me for a couple of reasons:

  1. It literally would be an hour situation (I do not have the time or patience drive to Lenox, get them put on and then drive back — um, hello, Atlanta’s traffic is ratchet!)
  2. It gets expensive. It’s a $12-$15 purchase every single time I get MAC to put them on (also, I should add in another $20 cost, due to me purchasing other MAC goodies every time I go!)

I recently went to CVS and saw this brand called “KISS” they have a string applicator. I used them with and without the string, and lets just say I REALLY LOVE THEM.

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  1. They were incredibly easy to put on with the string
  2. I used Duo’s black eyelash glue
  3. It cost me $4

You can only use the strings once, unless you can figure out how to loop them back into the lashes, but I also decided to finally master fake lashes — I turned to my lovely friend YouTube and found this video:

The video is really long, so just fast forward it to the 6.20 mark!

TIP: After I apply the glue to my lashes I blow on them, and I also sing “Happy Birthday” twice in my head. After I’m done with my singing session, my glue is TACKY! Yay!

RA Sushi: 1080 Peachtree St. Atlanta, GA 30309

Hey Friends,

So a while ago, I got the opportunity to go to RA Sushi with the Atlanta Eater Editor, Sonia Chopra! Sonia was designing a roll for a sushi contest, whose proceeds would then be donated to charity. Prior to this experience, I had never been RA. But after this experience, I will DEFINITELY be going back!  Here are a few pictures of  my experience at RA (my memory is a little hazy– bare with me, and remember, I LOVED IT– SO DEFINITELY CHECK IT OUT!):

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We ordered these insanely spicy Shishito Peppers, which were sautéed in an Asian seasoning. 

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I loved my lunch — I suggest you order the  BARA CHIRASHI BOWL, which consists of tuna, salmon, yellowtail, shrimp, avocado & cucumber with Asian green vegetables, mixed with poki sauce; served over rice

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I honestly cannot remember what Sonia ordered, but it looked pretty! 

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The chef taught us how to make sushi! Apparently the rice has to be incredibly fresh, so every 30mins to an hour they throw out the rice in the rice maker and make new rice for the rolls! 

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Sonia created a roll, and this is the final product in many different forms!Image

This is the form that was presented to the audience! 

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Yum!

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Here is Sonia with the chef! 

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Here I am with the chef! 

This was an incredibly fun experience. Seeing as I love food, I loved being able to discover the intricacies involved in sushi making!  My outfit consists of a striped top I purchased from Forever 21, and black jeans!  The striped top is so versatile, the material doesn’t need to be ironed, and it looks great with loose black linen shorts, or even tucked into a work skirt!

See you later!

Le Peep: 3935-A Pelham Road, Greenville, SC

Le Peep just opened up in Greenville, SC. This is great because Greenville doesn’t have too many great brunch spots. The items on the menu are great, but unfortunately the service staff is horrible. I had read Yelp reviews on it, and they all echoed the theme: bad service. True to form, the service was bad for me and my friends as well.

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I was lucky, my food was neither cold or under seasoned, I enjoyed my meal (sweet crepe and the salmon benedict), but my friends had horrible experiences, their dishes came out cold, or certain components of their orders were left out (like skim milk for tea). All of us did not receive refills unprompted –which i hate! I mean hello, all you need to do is drop off a water jug at our table!

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Here are some specific issues I had:

*when I asked her what the red sauce side was, she proclaimed it was hollandaise sauce — I quickly responded by pointing to the hollandaise sauce and claimed that “this yellow sauce” was hollandaise sauce.

*She did not come back to fill water back up in our jug: we had to flag her down in order to get water refills.

*She just DID NOT know the menu.

*She messed up the checks and put other people items on other peoples checks.

Now critiquing the cooks:

*I really enjoyed the sweet crepe (hence the two stars) —they claimed they were going to give me fresh fruit assortment which consisted of JUST strawberries.

* Dark roast coffee was awesome

*UNFORTUNATELY, two of the south of boarder items came out cold– so we had to send them back.

*the south of the border options were also not made correctly — I am sure they left out the taco seasoning that was suppose to be added to the beans, since the dish tasted bland.

This place looks so promising, unfortunately it failed to deliver. I think the venue should dismiss the waitresses, and rehire the ones that prove they know the menu, specific items on the menu, are not socially awkward & attentive.

Tell me what you think!

Le Petit Marche

Check out this menu: http://lepetitmarche.net/le-petit-marche-menu.pdf

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OMG. How yummy is that menu? Also, high five on it being incredibly affordable as well. I went there with a friend this Sunday, and one of my first thoughts as  I was searching for street parking was “Wow, Kirkwood is such a cute neighborhood.”

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After entering the Le Petit Marche, my next thought was — will they seat me? and the answer is “it depends” (lol – what a law school answer). It depends because if you see an open table it’s your job to grab it, but if you look confused they’ll help you out and tell you where to sit. My friend and I were seated at a square table for four, which meant that 2 random people would soon be joining us — and yup, that is exactly what happened. I wasn’t a fan of sitting with randoms, but, luckily, I was with good company, so I barely noticed them!

There were plenty of people eating alone (so don’t feel weird about coming here alone — they even have a desk  set up for someone who wants to eat alone, look outside and eat a scrumptious brunch).

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My friend enjoyed the Kirkwood. He throughly enjoyed his meal, but I feel like he wanted something more intricate, since his own, homemade, breakfasts often resemble the above!

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I got the French Toast sandwich! I LOVED IT, and seriously ate every last millimeter of it! It was AWESOME. Being Muslim, I really loved the fact that they had chicken sausage, and will sub out any bacon for chicken sausage!

What to wear: I went on Sunday, so I saw people dressed in their Sunday Best (post church crowd), I saw people in athletic gear, and jeans and t-shirts. Wear whatever you want, but please, leave your pj’s at home.

Have you been to Le Petit Marche? If so, what did you think?

Worst Pizza: Romeo’s New York Pizza (1401-A Oxford Rd NE Atlanta, GA 30307)

Wow, do I have a rant for you! Last night, after enjoying a great brunch,  I thought it would be fun to indulge myself with a slice pizza. If you don’t know me very well, just know I love food and I love pizza. Pizza is so yummy. I mean think about it has everything great going on: cheese, bread, toppings all baked into a gewy, crusty, goodness. Unfortunately, Romeo’s New York Pizza was almost as good as warming up a Totino’s Frozen pizza (which is seriously the worst frozen pizza out there).

First I’ll bash the service, prior to bashing the pizza. 

When I walked into the Romeo’s the guy behind the counter was HIGH OR DRUNK, (probably high)  and told me about the LUNCH SPECIALS  (mind you I went at 9 pm!!!!) . Then he slurred a few words together and called the guy behind me in line my LOVER. Next, the other guy behind the counter making or food or assembling it or shall I say taking it out of a freezer and deep frying it (since we ordered mozzarella sticks) was wearing head phones (just plain rude and weird to do on the job).

Now, I’ll bash the Pizza.

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(okay i’m going to type this in call caps to purposefully emphasize the screaming) OKAY THIS IS NOT PIZZA YOU IDIOT. THIS IS A SLICE OF TOTINO’S WITH MUSHROOM AND SPINACH ON TOP, REHEATED WITH 8 SHREDS OF MOZZARELLA CHEESE. ARE YOU F*CKING KIDDING ME?

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Then the crust was burnt (the least of my problems).  I AM SO PISSED that I didn’t go to Slice and Pint. It was right across the street. On another note, the HORRIBLE YELP review are on point with this joint. I know the lunch special is appetizing, but I am serious — wjhy would you waste your calories on this? Why not just drop by Publix and eat a frozen Totino’s or a Tony’s or a Red Baron (it will probably be better and cheaper!).

Restaurant Impossible, if you’re reading this — this HORRIBLE chain needs your help.

Holy Taco: 1314 GLENWOOD AVENUE EAST ATLANTA GA. 30316

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Wow, this is my 2nd post where I say i thought the food was okay. I went for a birthday party a while back — the place was okay. I was happy to be celebrating my friends birthday, enjoying the weather & sitting outside. I did NOT enjoy the people buying and selling drugs across the street. I did enjoy the kindness of the staff and that they brought out plates for us to cut a store bought cookie cake that I brought to the venue! Have you been to Holy Taco? I honestly cannot remember what I ordered, but the birthday boy, LOVES this place, along with my foodie boss from over the summer — I’m apparently the only one that thought it was okay….

Bye!

Ted’s Montana Grill: 201 W Ponce De Leon Ave, Decatur, GA 30030

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I tried Ted’s Bison Cheese Burger. Would I go back? No. Did I like Bison? I’m not sure. The other items on the menu were good, but the wheat bread didn’t pair well with bison, which needs a more sturdier bread. I hated how huge the the patty was. I wish there were two small patties. Also — a burger, fries and soda (plus tip) was around $19 (so it was a pricy meal– i only ate half — threw the other half away).

Try the pot roast. Just don’t try this!

P.S. Opt to just get onion rings and not go 50/50! The onion rings are SOOOOO good!

Hot Dogs: An Easy Dinner or Lunch Idea!

Okay — I love hot dogs! I know I LOVE a lot of things — but that’s because I really do!  Hot dogs are no exception! They’re so good, incredibly easy to make, and easy to jazz up! One day 2 weeks ago a friend and I were searching for easy dinner ideas, since I was getting done with class late, and he had a long day at work. Voila. Ball Park turkey dogs (45 calories each) were in my fridge just starring at me and ready for me to open up and attack. I told my friend to drop by Publix after work and to pick up WHOLE WHEAT buns (120 calories per bun)  and some of Publix’s homemade chili (which is in the Deli section)!  I had some red onions in my fridge and some kettle baked bbq chips in my pantry.  The end result after pooling our goods was pure satisfaction.

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Paired it with some traditional yellow mustard

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He thought he could finish three since the turkey dogs were 45 calories each (guess what — he was full by two!)

Do you love hot dogs? How do you make yours? Living in the south we have the good fortune of being able to grill a meal during any season — so we grilled them. But sometimes, when I’m lazy or busy — I’ll microwave them. Growing up we religiously boiled them!

Comment below on your favorite ways to eat hot dogs!

How to Pack for an Indian Wedding

Here is a basic checklist of things you’ll need for the Indian / Desi / Pakistani wedding you’ll be attending:

  1.  For each event, a different out fit. Even if there are two events in one day- you pack an outfit for each separate event.
  2. Bangles (ask a friend or order some off of Amazon – sizing can be a little weird, so make sure you do it two weeks in advance so you can return them if they do not work out)
  3. Eye Liner
  4. Your favorite eye shadow palette
  5. Foundation
  6. Beauty Blender
  7. Translucent Power
  8. Primer
  9. Setting Spray
  10. False Lashes
  11. Making removing wipes
  12. Facewash
  13. Razor
  14. “Chill Clothes” – stuff to wear when you grab breakfast, are attending dance practice or hanging out with everyone after the event ends.
  15. Curling Rod/ Iron
  16. Blow Dryer
  17. Straightener
  18. De-Frizz Serum ❤
  19. Clutch
  20. Flats to wear when dancing
  21. Perfume
  22. Jewelry
  23. Heels
  24. Back up cell phone battery (pictures you guys)
  25.  Safety Pins
  26. Bobby Pins

If you were to pack all of the above – I think you’d be in good shape!

 

 

Brazilian Blowout!

I recently got a Brazilian blowout (June 28).  I was a little bit skeptical about it, but after about 3 hours at the salon getting the treatment and about 60 hours after my initial hair wash at the salon – I think I MAY BE A BELIEVER. For example:

I woke up with morning at 8:06 am.

Out of the shower around 8:23 am (at least that was when I checked my phone).

Blow dried my hair around 8:36.

At 8:43 I realized I needed to put clothes on and LEAVE Immediately.

8:52 am out of the door.

9:06 am I was at the office with my laptop on.

My hair was about 85% dry when I entered the office. I just looked at myself in the mirror at around 2:15 pm, and I am happy with it! This RARELY happens. I’ve never been one of those girls with awesome hair straight out of the shower or one of those girls that could blow dry it for a few mins and feel awesome but with the hair treatment (as it currently is in my hair) I am totally one of those girls.  Although, I am incredibly happy with the immediate results, I’ll have to wait and see if it is just as effective 2, 4, 6, 8 & 10 weeks from now.

I’ll try to keep you posted on how the result looks at certain future intervals. If the effects on my hair lasts until Labor Day weekend, then I will definitely get it done again, if not then I will have to think a little harder about getting it to done as part of my hair care routine.

XOXO.