Stella May I know you favorite lip to wear these days?

5:07 PM Unknown 0 Comments

Of course you may. This combination was kind of unexpected. Both of the products don't really work for me no matter what I tried, but when I combined them I finally got them to work! Today's At First Blush is all about the lip I have been wearing lately. 
First is this NYX Liquid Suede cream lipstick in Tea & Cookies. This was my first foray into the matte lipstick trend and I just could not make it work. It's a light, moussy texture but every time I tried to apply it, it would be super patchy and crumbly. And when I try to apply more to fill the patch it would just lift product off elsewhere. To make it not crumble I needed to remove most of the product by scrapping it along the tube and...
to combat that patchiness problem I line my lips with the Hourglass Panoramic Long Wear Lip Liner in Canvas. This was my least favorite liner I have since this one is so dry, but I kept it since I like the color and there is a lip brush on the other end. 
& it's a nice lip brush! But because the liner has that drier texture, it works well combined with the matte lipstick. 
And the colors are pretty close! The lipstick is on the left and liner is on the right. So far this combination does come off a little whenever I eat or drink, but it does it kind of nicely. It also wear for 5 hours. (I don't seem to need to ever wear it for longer.) Oh and it passes the kiss test! 
And lastly my night lip product has been the Nuxe Reve de Miel lip balm. I know miel means honey, but it's more lemony than honey to me. It's a thick balm that is still there in the morning. (That's the factor that I judge it by.) 

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Stella May I know how easy it is to make banana pudding?

1:40 PM Unknown 0 Comments

Of course you may. I don't know much about Magnolia Bakery, the only thing is how amazing the cupcakes are as mentioned in Sex in the City. So when their banana pudding started making waves even bigger than the cupcakes you know I had to try it. This recipe has been posted everywhere online, so today's Tutorial Tuesday post will not be so detailed. Plus this recipe is super simple.
What you'll need: vanilla wafers (I'm using mini here), heavy whipping cream, cold water, pudding mix (the smaller size), sweetened condensed milk, and ripe bananas. \
First thing is to make the pudding. Mix together the water, sweetened condensed milk and pudding mix. Then cover and chill until set (about 4 hours).
 After the pudding has set, whip up the cream to stiff peaks. Then just fold in the pudding with the whipped cream until one color.
Chop up the bananas and open the bag of vanilla wafers and all that's left is to assemble everything! This is when you can get super creative and layer everything in a trifle bowl.
But I don't have a fancy dish here (yet!), so I just mixed everything in a bowl. Me and Mister just ate it out of the big bowl and it was delicious! Which is also how Magnolia Bakery serves it. The pudding bit is light and just sweet enough and I like how I can control how much bananas to add. You can also customize it with chocolate pudding or graham crackers or add in chocolate chips or peanut butter! This is a simple recipe that just requires a lot of waiting. You can have the pudding right after to assemble. If you do, the wafers will be crunchy. However if you prefer the cake like texture, then cover the pudding and wait another 4 hours. (Be warned though after 8 hours the wafers will kind of dissolve.) Also if you don't have a mixer it is a lot of mixing. I went brand name for the pudding mix as that is such a major player for the recipe, but store brand for the rest as it didn't matter as much. All in all this should be a simple, inexpensive, and impressive dessert!

Magnolia Bakery's Banana Pudding
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1½ c cold water
1 3.4 oz instant vanilla pudding mix (Jell-O Brand)
3 c heavy whipping cream
1 12 oz. bag/box vanilla wafers
4 c sliced ripe bananas (about 3 large bananas)

1. Mix together condensed milk, water and pudding mix. Cover and chill for 4 hours. 2. Whip heavy cream to stiff peaks and fold in with pudding until uniform color. 3. Assemble pudding, bananas, and wafers. 4. Enjoy immediately for crunchy banana pudding or wait 4 hours (covered in the fridge) for a cake-like banana pudding.

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SMI Oswald Yawn

2:56 PM Unknown 0 Comments

 Oswald's big yawn. (Doesn't it kinda look a little majestic?)
Oswald licks his lips.
 & back to napping.

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Stella May I know what happens when you combine a mighty watermelon with a cool cucumber? Mouse Melon.

9:30 AM Unknown 0 Comments

You get a cucamelon! The scientific name is the Melothria scabra. It's a grape watermelon that tastes like a limey cucumber. Doesn't that kinda intrigue you? You already know how I like to try new fruits so when this popped up I just had to share.
How do you eat it? Some just eat it right off the vine! They grow like cucumbers and a lot of the recipes that use a cucamelon use it just like a cucumber. Pickled, salads. 
AKA: mouse melon, Mexican sour gherkin, Mexican miniature watermelon, Mexican sour cucumber and pepquino

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Stella May I know about Gaston?

1:39 PM Unknown 0 Comments

So Tropical Storm Gaston is going to be a hurricane today. (That means its winds have reached 74 mph.) Stay safe!

Meanwhile all I can think about...
No one's slick as Gaston
No one's quick as Gaston
No one's neck's as incredibly thick as Gaston's
For there's no man in town half as manly
Perfect, a pure paragon!
You can ask any Tom, dick or Stanley
And they'll tell you whose team they prefer to be on

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Stella May I know what is inside August's Play! by Sephora box?

12:00 PM Unknown 0 Comments

Of course you may! This month's Play by Sephora box came late, so I'm sorry if you were waiting on my little reveal. For today's At First Blush post, I'm sharing what's inside August's Sephora beauty box.
As with previous month's, the box is the same stripy cardboard material and inside there is a cute little bag, the sheet with some description of each product, and a 50 extra Beauty Insider points with any in store purchase. This month's bag is a reflection of the month's theme: The Eye Openers.
What's inside: 

  • MAKE UP FOR EVER Artist Shadow in i-544 0.02 oz.
  • CLEAN Reserve Warm Cotton small vial 0.05 fl. oz. 
  • Algenist Eye Renewal Balm 0.23 fl. oz. 
  • Urban Decay Perversion Mascara 0.1 fl. oz.
  • Lancôme Énergie de Vie The Smoothing & Glow Boosting Liquid Moisturizer 0.16 fl. oz. 
  • Sephora Collection Contour Eye Pencil 12 hr Wear Waterproof in Love Affair 0.017 oz. 

This month's box has more makeup than the previous three boxes I got. The mascara isn't a new launch so I would think those that wanted to try it already have. I like to think the Play by Sephora box is about introducing me to new products/brands, but we have been seeing a lot of older products that we may have already tried.
I still have not tried the mascaras from the other boxes yet, so I don't want to open this one.
The Sephora eyeliner is on the left and the MUFE eyeshadow is on the right. The shimmery plum eyeliner complements nicely with the iridescent purple eyeshadow. The eyeliner is very waterproof! It took me a good minute to wash this swatch off my hand. The eyeshadow also has beautiful formula. It's feels very creamy but also applies like powder.
The two skin care items are the Lancome liquid lotion and the Algenist eye cream.
The liquid lotion is new to me. I haven't tried this type of product before so I am intrigued. It reminds me of the Asian essences but it's a little thicker. It's thinner than gel moisturizers though.
 The eye cream is a pretty generous sample. Look how filled to the top it is! At 0.23 fl.oz., the sample is about half the size of a standard size eye cream (at 0.5 fl. oz.).

All in all it's a nice box, but it seems a little light. I feel like there should be more products. A note about the fragrance: it smells like very strong laundry detergent. I know scent is very personal but I just want to say this perfume was very off putting for me (&Mr.) so I probably won't be wearing it again. I have read that some boxes got the Clean Reserve Blonde Rose scent, so maybe some of you got instead! There is also a different eyeliner and a different eye cream version of the Play box out there.

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Stella May I know how you make spring rolls?

11:00 AM Unknown 0 Comments

Of course you may. Last morning I woke up just craving for a spring roll. &what's weird is that I haven't had a spring roll in years! This recipe is all about prepping and what I like most is that I can make a few ahead of time and have it as a midnight snack.
We made some classic shrimp ones here. So first things first you will need: shrimp, rice noodles (or vermicelli) and rice paper.
Basil and mint. Crucial (even if you don't like herbs, this is basically what flavors the roll, besides the sauce.)
Prepare the noodles as directed, then drain and set aside. You might have to rinse it or it might start sticking together. &of course some lettuce.
For the shrimp, I peeled and deveined it. Then poached it for a couple a minutes, just until pink and opaque. Then I halved it. If I halved it beforehand it'll curl while cooking.
Onto the sauce. Traditionally served with a peanut butter sauce so that's what I attempted to make. First some peanut butter. This is the natural kind (you know where you have to stir beforehand), so there's less sugar and thus makes the whole thing less sweet. Keep that in mind if you use the no-stir kind.
Basically a dump and mix of other sauces to make this peanut sauce. Just remember its two parts peanut butter to one park hoison sauce. Then add in a splash of sesame oil, squirt of sriracha, one clove of minced garlic (not pictured, I don't know how I missed that) and a splash of soy sauce. Stir to combine. Then slowly add in water to thin out the sauce and it will slowly lighten too. (I don't have exact measurements as I just tasted as I went along. The measurements change every time I make it.)
Now that everything is prepped all you have to do it assemble! Starting with rice paper. Dip the paper into warm water. Go slowly so you don't crack it. (The water doesn't have to be warm, it just speeds it up a little.) Lay the paper down onto a plate. I wouldn't suggest a wooden cutting board as the water will be absorbed by the wood making it much harder to pick up later. Plate will do just fine.
Then lay down your shrimp. I put the pink side on the bottom so you can see it after you wrap it. Then lettuce, noodles, mint and basil.
Carefully fold and wrap. As you wrap the rice paper will stick to itself.
Fold in the sides like a burrito.
And just roll it up! Ta-da!
Just a little sauce on the plate and stack up two rolls and your done! If you are making this ahead of time make sure to cover them. They will start to dry out!

No recipe as this is a follow along type tutorial. &once you got all your ingredients, you just stick them into the roll!

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Stella May I know about the Cotton Candy Grapes?

1:19 PM Unknown 0 Comments

Of course you may! These grapes are not just ordinary grapes. They are so sweet and taste like cotton candy. Which is a little weird to think about, but they do!
They are from Grapery and are only available for August 10 to September 20. By the time I found out about them last year they were already gone for the season.
I called so many stores near us and most of them have already sold out for the season! So check your local store before heading there. Also on the Grapery website it doesn't indicate which store carry this specific Cotton Candy Grape variety, it's just if they carry any of the Grapery grapes. (They also come in this pink bag so I was able to spot them from across the store! )
 Here's me trying them for the first time. (I'm distracted by the Olympics here.)
 First bite..
And they really do taste like cotton candy!
(Which is one of my all time favorite fair snacks.)
Mister thought the also taste like cotton candy, but the candy taste diminished with each subsequent grape. He said they were still super sweet though!
If you get a chance to try them I would! Cotton Candy grapes are only available for a little while, so why not. We may be picking up some more (that is if I can) soon.

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