Tuesday, April 29, 2014

DIY Ombre Hair Tips [VIDEO]

A lot of people have been talking about my ombre hair recently! I've actually had it done for a while now (since before spring break) but I guess people are only now really noticing! I did a talk-through of the video including how I got rid of my bright red hair so that I could get the ombre look.

This is the biggest tip I can give you to avoid getting that harsh line between your lighter and darker color. It'll transition easier when you tease the hair.

I'm someone who likes controlled chaos and this is kind of the approach I took with my hair. You don't want our ombre to all start on the same level. For me, my ombre goes higher up the closer it is to my face and lower as it gets back behind my head. This will, again, minimize that harsh line.

If you really want a gradient effect, I would suggest leaving it on the tips of your hair for 10 minutes, then apply it higher, wait a little longer, and apply it higher again. This way your hair is developing at different rates. Instead of a two-tone look, you'll get a gradient!

I left the bleach on my ends for a total of 35 minutes. If I could go back in time and re-do it, I would probably have left it on for maybe about 45 or 50 minutes. I have Asian hair that doesn't take dyes and bleaches very easily, so my hair would've needed more time to get it to a real blonde. Just know your hair type and be really careful not to over-do it and kill your hair.

If you watch the video I show that I have a few "raccoon" stripes near the top of my hair. This is because I (stupidly) touched the tops of my hair with gloves that had bleach on them. Don't do that. Learn from my mistakes. 

If you have any more questions, watch the video! If you still have questions, feel free to ask and hopefully I can help!

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Monday, April 21, 2014

The Yard in Phoenix, AZ

A couple Fridays ago, I drove up into Phoenix from Tucson to go on yet another AZ Blogger Date! We went to The Yard, which was a really great, fun place! It was actually the perfect place for a group Blate--If you need a fun, quirky place to eat and play games with friends The Yard is where you need to go! Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of the corn hole game or ping pong tables. But this place is seriously the s#!%.

This burger was heaven. So, so delish. It was kind of like....a really classy Big Mac.....haha.
These mussels!? GET THEM. It's so worth it. I wasn't a big fan of these bread pieces that it came with, but the garlic mussels were AH-mazing.
This isn't even my food. It's Brianna's...but it looked so cute! Grilled Cheese Sliders!

WHY YOU NEED TO GO // The food is amazing, there are GAMES...and there's a little "photobooth" set up where you can take pictures and they'll send them to you! It takes a while for you to receive it in your email, but it's still exciting once you do! They have a HUGE covered patio in the back, with comfy lounge seating so it's perfect for big groups.

THE FOOD // The food was so incredible. Jon and I never usually order seafood outside of Japanese restaurants in Arizona, but I'm so glad we did! They were so good, it was pretty much a competition between me and Jon to make sure we ate the mussels before the other person at them all. My burger was great as well! It was very similar to a Big Mac from McDonalds, only obviously 10X BETTER. It was structured the same and had some sort of sauce in it that was so delish.

I wish I had gotten pictures of the environment there, but I was just so excited about meeting all the girls that I didn't really get any location pics! So, instead you can have this pic of all the blogger girls, courtesy of "the Jahn." (Jon...the bf.)

Where's your go-to place for group outings?
Let me know in the comments! :) 

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Make Up For Nerds: Fandom Cosmetics Review

FTC Disclaimer: All products were sent to me for review, however all opinions are 100% my own. This post does not contain affiliate links.

 When I first heard about Fandom Cosmetics, I was immediately sold. Make up inspired by all of my favorite fandoms? One of my biggest guilty pleasures in life is geeking out on all my favorite fandoms, including Harry Potter, Once Upon a Time, Doctor Who etc. So how could I resist the combination of two of my lifetime favorites -- nerdy fandoms and make up! This company sells nail polishes and loose eye-shadows (among other things) inspired by everything from Disney and Sailor Moon to Doctor Who and Sherlock.

Each full-sized bottle runs about $9, but you can also get mini sizes for $4.50!

Annie, one of the founders of the company, was kind enough to send me three nail polishes to review here for you guys. Here's what I got (from L-R):

  • "Depths of Despair": From their Anne of Green Gables collection. An opaque black base, filled with holographic purple and burnt rose dust.
  • "Off With Her Head!": From their Alice in Wonderland collection. A glitter bomb filled with spades, clubs, diamonds, hearts and white matte glitter.
  • "Fruit Loops": From their Big Bang Theory collection. A glitter bomb filled with metallic donut-shaped glitter, holographic silver dots, holographic silver dust, and blue and green peacock glitter.

I didn't get a photo of me wearing "Fruit Loops." However, out of all of them, "Off With Her Head!" was my favorite!

{What I love}CONCEPT // Again, just the idea of make up and polished based around a fandom has me sold! I was looking at their website, and they do a fantastic job and really capturing each fandom! I keep eyeing all their Once Upon a Time and Harry Potter collections!

 STAY POWER //  Being that these polishes are very glittery, they have MAJOR stay power. I wore them without a base coat underneath and I had THE hardest time getting it off when I finally wanted to switch colors. If you're looking for chip-resistant polishes, check these out. For those of you who like switching polish colors often, I would suggest wearing a clear coat underneath to make it easier to come off (you can kind of peel it off this way)

{What I wish}
SHINE //  The only thing I was wanting out of these polishes was more shine. Their gritty texture means that even the shiniest of top-coats fall through the micro-crevices between the glitter, meaning it takes a lot of top coats to build up the type of shine I like. Even with two top coats on, I could still feel the grit. However, because these polishes are so beautiful, it doesn't bother me much. I can deal with it. :)

APPLICATION // As with many confetti-filled polishes, application of the "Off With Her Head!" polish took some time and strategy. I don't think there's anything you can do with that though.

What are some of your favorite fandoms?
Leave me a comment below! Or if you have any questions about these, I'd be happy to answer!

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Born Pretty Store Jewelry

FTC disclosure: All jewelry was sent to me by Born Pretty Store, however all opinions are my 100% my own. This post does not contain any affiliate links
If you're looking for a place to get some decent, cheap jewelry Born Pretty Store's accessory section is a great place to start. Right now if you go to their jewelry and accessories website and use the exclusive code VAST10, you can get 10% off your entire order.

Born Pretty Store's website isn't the most glamorous. It can also be a bit overwhelming because they sell so many different things! I've seen different sites like these before, and usually I always end up looking at their accessories because they're the easiest to manage.

I was able to choose three pieces to be sent to me. I have to say, I wasn't expecting a lot (for jewelry at under $5 a piece, can you really expect that much?) but I'm pretty happy with what I received!

This necklace is my favorite out of the three I got! It's perfect to wear to work/internships.

Very cheap and affordable! Everything in their accessories section is around $5 USD and some pieces are as cheap as 99 cents. Shipping is free worldwide as well, so this is the perfect place to get really cheap jewelry.

The quality is actually pretty good for low-end jewelry. I would say to expect Forever21-grade quality. Definitely better than the very cheap quality accessories of Charlotte Russe, but you shouldn't expect it to last forever either. I was definitely impressed though! Everything feels very sturdy and not like it's going to fall apart any time soon.

Being that their store is so big, they have a variety of options. There are girly, romantic pieces and edgy, unique pieces as well. I'm probably going to look for some statement necklaces to add to my collection!

They do free international shipping, which is always nice! However, I think they're based in China, so shipping takes a while. My order took about two weeks and a half weeks to get in. It's a bit of a wait, but I'm still very happy with my order! 

What's your favorite kind of jewelry?
Let me know in the comments below!   

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Saturday, April 12, 2014

How to Stay Organized: Planner Organization Tips

Between school, work, interning, running a blog, two YouTube channels and an online magazine (not to mention my social life), I have to stay really organized in order on top of things. My planner is my number one tool in staying organized. If I ever leave it at home, I feel completely lost!

{Write down EVERYTHING}
I write down my schedule for every. single. day. That includes what time I have class, work, or my internship. Even though I've memorized my schedule, having a visual reminder preps my mind. Plus, having to write down my schedule every week, and cross things out every day force me to make using my planner a habit.

{Visual Organization....How I Use a Highlighter}
Most people I know use highlighters to make important things stand out. I actually use them to cross things out. It's something I picked up at work. I would get pages and pages of different documents, named only with long number series. After crossing out hundreds of documents, finding the one or two documents I didn't cross out in a sea of black was difficult. When I cross things out with a highlighter, not only can I still see what it is I crossed out, but I can immediately see what hasn't been crossed out.

{Sticky Notes}
I always stick a decent amount of sticky notes to the inside cover of my planner. That way I have them on hand at all times. For tasks that I need to do but have no definite deadline, I tend to write them on sticky notes so that I can move them if I end up procrastinating them to the next week.

{Small Goals}
Sometimes thinking about the million and one things I have to do really stresses me out. Instead of writing things like "Do homework by Monday" I'll write "Work on homework for at least one hour." It's a smaller goal that makes me less hesitant to do it.

How do you stay organized?
Let me know in the comments below! Also, I have a special announcement today! Follow me on twitter to figure it out!!

Friday, April 11, 2014

RECIPE: Simple Chicken Adobo

Chicken Adobo (pronounced ah-doe-boe) is a really easy Filipino dish to create! It's basically just a Filipino stew. This meal is pretty quick to make as well...usually around 30 minutes! To be honest, this is what I make when I have no idea what to cook or am too lazy to even think about cooking.

-About a dozen chicken wings
-1 cup shoyu (soy sauce)
-1 cup vinegar
-1 1/2 to 2 cups of water
-3 to 5 Bay leaves
-A few shakes of whole peppercorn
-1 to 2 large cloves of fresh garlic (crushed)
-Cooking oil

1. Heat the bottom of a large pot with oil
2. Brown garlic and chicken at bottom of pot on medium-high heat
3. Once chicken is fully browned, add water, vinegar, shoyu, bay leaves and peppercorn.
4. Bring to a boil
5. Let simmer on medium heat for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until cooked
6. Serve with rice!

Have you guys ever made Chicken Adobo? Would you ever try this dish?
Let me know in the comments below!

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Ghini's French Caffe & Bistro in Tucson, AZ

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RATING: 4.5/5!
If you're ever in Tucson, Ariz. and are near the Prince and Campbell crossroads, I would highly suggest going to Ghini's Caffe. I've heard great things about this place and have had a mental note to try it out in the back of my mind for nearly a year now. This past week, I finally went in for breakfast before work with Jon and we loved it so much we went back the next morning!

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La Baguette Bakery, attached to Ghini's Caffe
It's a cute, quaint place with high quality foods at a pretty good price. It's also connected to the La Baguette Bakery right next door which sells all sorts of bread, pastries and more!

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Of course I had to get a pic of the macarons!
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I really wanted that Eclair, but I was so full and satisfied after brunch!
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Cute little display on the caffe side.
Our server was really helpful! She helped us out on both mornings that she came in. She was able to suggest popular meals that we might like, let us in on the best times to come in (before noon, she said!), and was just very warm and friendly.

Their menu has all sorts of variety, but I just couldn't pass up on a crepe at a french caffe. I was not disappointed! I got the same crepe (the Buttered Apple Rum and Chocolate crepe) both days while Jon switched up his order. He had a garlic chicken dish one morning and a strawberry crepe the next.

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Crepe heaven.
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Crepes come with your choice of a side of hash browns, sliced oranges or sliced hot house tomatoes. We chose hash browns.

The crepe was AMAZING. I could literally eat it without any of the filling and be happy. In fact, I picked out some of the filling and ate parts of it just with the syrup and whipped cream. The filling was very sweet. Not enough to ruin my meal, but still pretty sweet. Hence, why I picked out some of the filling. That and the crepe was so perfectly warm, buttery and egg-y. It was the perfect thickness as well--nothing too thin. I could eat it with just the whipped cream it was so good.

Speaking of....I am someone who strongly dislikes whipped cream. Theirs? DELIGHTFUL. Obviously homemade and sweet. It didn't have that strange artificial flavoring that I hate about whipped cream. We also got a side of corn beef hash (bacon on the first day) to balance out the meal with something savory.

I didn't get a picture of it, but the first day Jon ordered the Garlic Chicken and Eggs. I love anything garlic and with slather garlic on whatever I can. I hate a bite of his food and it was a bit salty, but still good. Not perfect, but again, nothing that ruined the meal. We finished every last bite on both days! Overall a great place, that I'll be coming back to regularly.

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Have you ever been to a french caffe? What type of dish would you suggest?
Comment below! 

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Slickables Ice Cream in Tempe, AZ

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A MUST every time I'm on Mill in Tempe!
I LOVE sweets (and my dentist LOVES me). Actually, that's an understatement. I love sweets so much, my teeth suffers and my mom once banned me from sweets for the entire time I went home once...This was maybe about a year or two ago? Heh. #ImAnAdult

Pretty much every time I make the drive to the Phoenix area to visit my sister, I also end up at Slickables. Out of all the sweets, ice cream and cookies are my ABSOLUTE FAVORITES. Not chocolate. Not cake. Not candy.

You can get an ice cream sandwich here for $2. Just pick two cookies (they can be the same or different), then pick an ice cream. Easy as that! I've never been an ice cream sandwich fan in the past, because most come with a soft cake-like outside. I prefer the crunchy cookies!

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How can you pass up ice cream between red velvet cookies?!
Two red velvet cookies with mint chocolate chip ice cream is my favorite combo here. I've also tried vanilla between red velvet and mint cookies or M&M cookies. At $2 for the perfect serving size, how could I possibly resist!?

What are your favorite places to get sweet treats? Let me know in the comment section below!