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Sunday, April 6, 2014

healthy snacking



I will admit it- I have a bit of a chip addiction. I was never allowed to have any as a child, so when I hit high school and had a bit more freedom with my allowance, I would buy a bag at the cafeteria almost daily. This irritated my mother to no end and she constantly harps on my weight gain as being a result of my junk food addiction. After giving up chips and such for Lent last year, I've managed to control my urges- I rarely buy potato chips nowadays, only giving in once in a while for Sun Chips, Kettle Chips, or Cheetos.

Of course, when the kale chip fad began a few years ago, I was instantly intrigued, but despite pestering my mom about buying kale, she never remembered and I was never sure where to buy it. Last month, I finally brought it up again thinking my mom would ignore me as usual, but out of the blue, my dad bought a large bunch home from Whole Foods (bless him)


Excuse the phone quality images- my cousin borrowed my camera and my dad took his own back so I couldn't use it anymore, haha. Anyway, I followed the instructions here


Here's what I learned from personal experience:

  • DEFINITELY keep a close eye after putting it in the oven- it can burn very quickly!!!! I followed the times and temperatures listed in the recipe for the first batch but changed it for the second batch as all ovens are different. I constantly moved pieces around as some were crispier than others and it made me nervous since the ones in the middle were still slightly limp. 
  • The most boring part for me was patting it dry, to be honest. 
  • Don't over-salt! I was worried there wouldn't be enough flavouring since I like things with flavour, but the kale itself is already a bit salty so going overboard is no bueno. I used garlic salt on some and truffle salt on others.
  • It wilts and shrinks a HUGE amount, so there isn't really a need to worry about spacing them out on the tray other than to make sure they all bake evenly- silly me by reflex spread them all out for the first batch as if I was making cookies (what was I thinking??)
  • I love how airy light and crunchy they are- just what I needed to combat my chip withdrawal. If there are some that haven't fully been baked, it's fine. I just pretend I'm eating salad and the kale itself is quite good.
Like I was saying about how easily it burns....

I definitely recommend trying it out if you haven't already- it's an excellent healthy substitute for chips- a bunch at Whole Foods costs me $2.99! My mum suggested buying it once a week so it'll be a nice snack and treat for me. It's a bit time-consuming for sure, but I think it's worth the effort :)



EDIT: Since writing the post above, my dad's bought another bunch, so I thought I'd do a bit more experimenting with different flavours. I suspect the large amount I had my first time was two bunches worth- the picture below is exactly one bunch.



I separated that into 4 different batches: one with turmeric, one with all-purpose seasoning, one with lemon zest + lemon juice, and one with the tried & true garlic salt (all with olive oil to mix, of course.)

Official verdict? As expected, the lemon juice batch couldn't really crisp up properly, but I actually liked it- I think if I ever tire of baking them, I'll just do a kale salad with lemon juice and some cheese because the slight tanginess of the lemons really worked well with the kale.

Turmeric wasn't bad but I don't think I'm too fond of turmeric itself, so....eh.

The all-purpose seasoning SMELLED amazing while baking, but the taste itself wasn't too great- though I think I may also have added a bit too much olive oil in this batch so all I got was a bit of seasoning and an overpowering smell of olive oil + wax paper. Gross.

Garlic salt is still my all-time favourite for now! This time I made sure to constantly turn the tray every 5 minutes or so, and I moved pieces around while they were still in the oven. Just like popcorn kernels in a bag of popcorn, there are bound to be bits that don't really end up cooked properly, but what I did this time was pick out all the ones that were already crispy or looked like they would burn soon and left the rest in the oven to bake for a while longer- it worked out quite well (just means a bit more monitoring than usual.)





Wednesday, March 12, 2014

mirenesse

The first time I'd heard of Mirenesse products was through an ad on my Facebook sidebar. I typically ignore those, but this one advertised their Instant Lash Transplant Lengthening Kit, and as someone forever on the hunt for good lash products, I was instantly intrigued, but after clicking through the site, nothing specifically caught my attention, so I closed the tab and moved on. However, a few weeks later, while googling their company, I learned of a promo they were doing where you could receive up to 6 trial products for free, save for S+H. No big deal, I thought- that can't be too expensive! Obviously, I'm never one to sit back when FREE PRODUCTS are on the line, so I rushed to the site to see for myself. So many wonderful products- I filled up my cart quite quickly after hemming & hawing for a while....but when it came time to check out, I was shocked to see the price in my cart at $100+. I kept clicking around, absolutely confused, and I realized S+H wasn't one cost, but was charged per item. A bit disillusioned, I ended up choosing 3 products, which came to US $23.97. I realize that it's still technically a deal because one product alone is worth about $30, but still, I felt a bit sad. 


Here are the three things I went with. I was planning on going with a lash product as that's what they seem to be most known for, but I still have tons of mascaras to go through, and I figured I didn't need another one to add to my pile. I went for two eyeliners as I'm running out of my Urban Decay 24/7, and I was hoping to find something better to replace it. 

   
27hr Eye Kohl on the very right. The two other swatches are of the Estée Lauder Pure Color Intense Kajal eyeliner duo, which I've been LOVING. You can see it in my previous post here!

I was really impressed with the 27hr Eye Kohl. I've always wanted to try a blue eyeliner but was always too worried I wouldn't get much use of it- the Urban Decay ones are stunning but I didn't want to pay $24! Most importantly, this really doesn't budge much. The swatch on my hand didn't come off right away despite persistent rubbing under water, and on my waterline, it stays on for most of the day with very minimal smudging, which is a huge problem I have with my Urban Decay liner (which a lot of people don't seem to have trouble with, judging by the raving reviews it has. I don't know. It always smudges on me.) Here's what it looks like on my eyes:


I just love the bright pop of colour it brings. Am definitely happy with this! However, I'm not quite as impressed with the Auto Eye Liner Duet- it swatches dark & creamy, but that doesn't seem to transfer well on my waterline- it goes on faint and a bit waxy, so I have to apply it more than once to really get a good black line. Ehhh. I'll use it up but won't buy it again.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

flare world runway tour 2013 + skincare faves

Ah yes, yet another beauty/fashion post from The Prodigal Blogger. And wouldn't you know it, I'm here to talk about something that happened way back in October of last year! (Typical procrastinator, right?!)

As an avid fan of major fashion weeks: London/Milan/Paris/New York, I've always been quite sad of having to admire said events from afar- while Vancouver has its own fashion week...it's a wonderful event, don't get me wrong, but one that mainly focuses on local designers, not a major designer event with all the drama and glory of ~haute couture~, if yenno what I mean! I was so excited to discover Flare's World Runway Tour, which brings the WORLD'S best fashion & beauty trends to Vancouver/Montreal/Toronto, with the help of Holt Renfrew. Now, everyone knows that I la-la-LOOOOOVE Holt Renfrew, so there was no way I was missing out on this! With tickets in hand, my best friend Angela and I headed off to the Four Seasons hotel...and were we ever blown away.


I'm a bit of a homebody, so this was doubly exciting for me, but the opening reception was absolutely amazing. Servers walking around with trays of cheesecake, macarons, crème brûlée (my fave!), and many more little goodies- and also a table filled with various other desserts! 







Thursday, January 30, 2014

2014 hot chocolate festival!

As there are only two weeks remaining in the hot chocolate festival, I thought it'd be best if I quickly compiled a review of the 8 places I've gone to thus far so that some of you can try out my favourites! (I went to 6 places in 6 days before taking a quick break- talk about an obsession!)

This is the 4th annual Hot Chocolate Festival, though I didn't have the pleasure of knowing about it till last year- and even then, I was only able to try out one place. This year, I decided to throw myself wholeheartedly into the task of trying as many places as I could- placing precedence over Dine Out, even! As many of my friends are aware, hot chocolate/chocolate milk is my favourite drink ever, so this was certainly a task I would enjoy :)


You can see my dedication in the fact that I spent an hour writing out every single location and menu items. I'm really very proud of this list, haha.

On the first day of the festival, my friend Erica had just come from Miku for Dine Out, so I decided to choose somewhere nearby- the famed Bella Gelateria, which offers six choices: "Monkey's Uncle", "Black Magic", "The Evita", "London Foggy", "Red Hot Chilli Pepper", & "Dark & Dangerous". Being somewhat of a salted caramel fiend (and knowing that said salted caramel at Bella is absolutely sublime), I was quick to choose "The Evita", while Erica decided on "Black Magic". For about $7, you get a fairly large cup of hot chocolate, a gelato bar, and a slice of Erin Ireland's lovely banana bread. Now, I'm sure most people are aware of her infamous banana bread- I'd always thought, "Surely it's just hype- how different could it be from normal banana bread?" Boy, was I wrong. It truly was "to die for"- chocolatey & moist but not overwhelmingly sweet- I'm sure I could eat 10 slices, given the chance! As for the hot chocolate itself- it was great, though nothing extremely exciting. We were handed our cups with the gelato bars already submerged, so by the time I could pick mine up, it had already melted.  Luckily, Erica's came after mine, so I was quickly able to snap a picture. By the time I got to the bottom of my cup, most of the salted caramel was just sitting there, adding a nice hit of that salty-sweet taste I love.



Monday, December 30, 2013

revlon perfumerie

I'd only just heard of these new Revlon polishes about a month ago...though I believe they may have been out since late September/early November- it's possible that they were released earlier in the States? My friend actually told me about them, as she'd spotted the Fresh Linen polish, and is well aware that I adore the smell of fresh laundry (something a lot of my friends tease me about, funnily enough....what's not to love?!) From what I know, there are 16 shades in the collection, with three categories: 'Sweets & Spices', 'Freshes', and 'Fruits & Florals.' To my great surprise, I received a lovely package in the mail from Revlon- they really know how to spoil a girl! I hadn't expected one as I'd only just been sent the Revlon x Marchesa nail wraps (which I've yet to try...)


I was sent African tea rose- it's a cooler toned, hot-pink sort of shade, with tiny blue & pink shimmer in it which really is more visible in the bottle than on the nails. I'm not entirely crazy about hot pinks (my favourite is Julep's Avery), and this is definitely more of a summer colour, but I don't totally hate it.



As for the scent itself...I admittedly have a huge love/hate relationship with anything rose scented. At times it can be so overpowering that I believe I loathe it, but sometimes I'm obsessed with slightly toned down versions. This falls in the latter category- I'm unsure how tea roses smell in real life, but this is a soothing, subdued scent- slightly reminiscent of potpourri. I'm curious to see how long it will last....it's already much fainter after I washed the dishes, that's for sure.

[edit: there was still a faint scent that lingered after day 2 & day 3!]





I have my eye on Wintermint, Lavender Soap, Pink Pineapple, & Sunlit Grass. These are so fun, and the scents aren't overwhelming at all- it's a much more pleasant alternative than that horrid chemical smell I'm sure we're all so used to, haha.

I haven't gone out lately due to exams, so I haven't yet seen them in stores (though I know you can find them at Shoppers Drug Mart!), but I'll be keeping my eyes out for them!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

mr benn at christmas

At the age of 22, I am still very much obsessed with cartoons I watched as a child (especially the ones from Europe)- I'm a complete sucker for Babar, Madeline, Tintin, etc. On that note, I absolutely love the small little episode of Mr Benn that was done for Mr Porter.



I really am such a Mr Porter fangirl, to be quite honest. If I had the money (and a boy to shop for), I'm sure I'd spend ages browsing the site (not that I don't already frequent the site quite often already...but let's not get into my delightful methods of procrastination)

Monday, December 2, 2013

outfit appreciation: 'picture perfect'




I've always been a huge fan of Jennifer- she's absolutely hilarious, and she almost always looks amazing and stylish. I adore this lime green mini dress- it fits her like a glove and she pulls it off so well! Very Versace, no?