Monthly Archives: June 2015

American - Breakfast/Brunch - FOOD - "The Delicious" - Healthy - Homemade

Seasoned chicken breast and kale salad

June 18, 2015

The only reason this was a quick meal was because I was repurposing leftovers from a couple days before, but that’s why it’s so much better to cook for the week!

Kale chicken salad

I just added a little olive oil and garlic salt in the kale and topped it with chicken breasts. The chicken, as I mentioned in the previous post, were seasoned with rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper, and the carmelized mushrooms and onions were made the same day (sautéed with a little soy sauce and lemon). I topped it all with pine nuts and Carrington Farm’s flax and chia blend which conveniently come in these little packets. I’ve been using it in my smoothies and yogurt as well — you can put it on everything and it’s loaded with Omega 3s, protein and fiber. I’ve also been cooking pretty much everything with coconut oil (my eggs, meat, etc). I use Carrington’s brand at home, but also love that I have their packets of it too when I’m on the go.

A good, healthy post-workout/breaking fast/just because meal. How do you prep your leftovers?


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Breakfast/Brunch - FOOD - "The Delicious" - Halaal - Healthy - Recipes

Brunch idea: Rosemary chicken and thyme egg whites

June 17, 2015

When my friend Shazia said she wanted to get together in the morning, I was thinking 11 am. She told me she was thinking more like 2pm, so instead of going out for food, I invited her over to eat brunch at my place. Since it was more closer to lunch than breakfast, I thought finally busting out the black truffle oil to make rosemary chicken would be apropps.

Seasoned chicken


I had two chicken breasts which I sliced and seasoned with rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper, and garlic. While that sat for a bit, I sauteed sliced onions and mushrooms in olive oil with a minced garlic clove, a splash of soy sauce and lemon juice. Once that was ready, I set aside and began cooking the chicken in a mix of olive oil and the truffle oil. I covered it as it cooked (about 6 minutes on each side.

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After the chicken was cooked, I placed it on a dish and topped with the sautéed veggies. Next, I used the same pan to scrambled four egg whites with Italian seasoning, thyme, salt pepper, and a little bit of asiago cheese.

Totally experimental but it turned out really good (and made a pretty plate to serve). Tomorrow, going to show you what I did with the leftovers for an even healthier meal option :).


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Beauty - "The Lovely" - Face

Skin brighteners: Vitamin C face oils

June 13, 2015

It’s not easy testing skin products. Besides it taking time and a million other variables, sometimes you just don’t know what’s making your skin behave (or not). But one thing I have noticed is once I began adding some vitamin C to my skin routine, it unearthed a glow I haven’t seen in a while. Ole Henriksen’s Truth Serum used to be the only one I would turn to but I recently discovered Obagi System Professional-C 20% Vitamin C Serum. It’s now my new favorite serum from the bunch. Just a little morning and night made my skin glow which I noticed in a just a couple of weeks.

Vitamin C oils


To extend the life of the Obagi serum though, I started trying new ones to use in between. Jouer Daily Repair Treatment Oil is a little heavier (probably not best for already oily skin types — I use it sparingly). This one doesn’t have straight L-ascorbic acid (the fancy name for vitamin c), but offers its derivative in the form of rose hip oil that helps against hyper pigmentation and stimulates collagen production. It also has a proprietary retinoid that helps fight against wrinkles.

The last one which practically measures up to Obagi’s to me is DermaDoctor’s Kakadu C serum. This one is also the most expensive one from the three, but it does have a lot of skin benefits with its potent does of antioxidants from the from the kakadu plum. A lot of skin products can say they contain vitamin C but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s stabilized. Vitamin C is actually quite unstable, oxidizing once exposed to air. Studies though show that once it’s mixed with ferulic acid (which this one is), it helps to stabilize the vitamin C so you know you’re really reaping the benefits of the ingredient.

If you’re new to serums and oil and not at the point where you’re ready to shell out $50-$100 bucks on a 1 oz serum (like the ones I just mentioned), I just came across some more affordable options. Oil Essentials is a brand I recently was introduced that has lightweight oils that cost only $10.

Oil Essentials


Their Nourish Seabuckthorn Berry & Borage has vitamin A, C, and E as well as linolenic acid which softens skin. I’ve also been using their Revitalize Omega 3, 6, 9 when my skin is feeling particularly dry. Its evening primrose oil can be used to reduce skin blemishes. They absorbs quickly in the skin and can be layered over easily with makeup without leaving an oily mess. I definitely still rely on my Obagi and DermaDoctor serums, but these are good baby steps if you’re getting used to the idea of adding serums and oils to your routine.

Do any of have a favorite oil or serum? Which ones are you loving right now?


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Beauty - "The Lovely" - Body

Governors Ball with Dove

June 11, 2015

A quick recap about this before this past weekend’s Governors Ball is stale news (which honestly, I’m still reeling over).

Where's Shy?


Concert watching with 50,000 people!

As you might have seen on my Instagram, I went as a guest of Dove who did an amazing job of making my very first music festival as fun and pleasant as can be. So spoiled that I don’t know how I would have done it without their pimped out cabana/manicure oasis directly next to the main stage (this is what they call #firstworldproblems). In full festival-spirit, they had Lulu DK flash tattoos, flower crowns, and even Dove-scented bubbles flying around our cabanas.

Flower crowns and flower bubbles


Flash tattoos from LuluDK which are so legit -- several showers, workout sessions and even a soak later and they're still holding on!


We started off the day with the Dove team telling us about their mandarin and tiare flower-infused Go Fresh Revitalize Body Wash which I already had sitting in my shower at home. I was just eager to see the bands play, and since we were given access to the main stage and VIP entry to the other two stages, it made concert-watching a fun experience. I didn’t realize the tie in with the body wash would come later.

Gov Ball balloon arch


Seventeen — yes, 17 — hours later, we had a day that started with the pouring rain, then sunshine which we basked in while our shoes got muddy in the freshly-wet grass, and ending with all the sweat from dancing for hours to the best music I’ve heard live in a long time. I saw pretty much everyone I hoped to and more, starting with Priory, Rae Sremmurd, to Chromeo, Future, Florence + the Machine, and ending with Odesza, Ratatat, and DRAKE who couldn’t have brought it home any harder with the finale.

Ratatat with a laser show


Drake!


When I got home, I was exhausted and just feeling so disgustingly dirty that I bee-lined for the shower. There wasn’t a moment where I could have appreciated the body wash more, so this tie-in was as natural as it gets. After a festival like this, all you want is to be clean and smelling like flowers and rainbows before a good night’s sleep, so well done, Dove.

Dove Go Fresh Revitalize body wash

Thank you the amazing Dove team for an experience I won’t forget! Hope to do it again very soon :).


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Beauty - "The Lovely" - Hair - Hair Tools

ghd Rose Gold Styler 1″ flat iron

June 9, 2015

I had almost tossed my flat irons because I was always looking for volume, but the ghd Rose Professional Styler is A) too pretty to toss, B) glides so seamlessly thanks to its high gloss plates without making my hair look flat (and it only takes me four minutes to do so). Granted, my hair is still deciding how wavy it wants to be most days, so I tried it on my friend who has much thicker, curly hair. But first, a closer look at the actual iron:

ghd Rose Styler


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It has a one-click feature that heats up in seconds to 365 degrees.

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The styler also comes with a sleek heat-resistant travel roll bag that makes it easy to pack (it also comes with a protective plate guard, not pictured).

Travel case


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Before using the styler


For thicker hair, separate the hair in sections


Use heat protectant before using the flat iron for best results


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Before


After


After


After

On Sahar’s hair it took about 15 minutes to get all her hair straight — it takes less than five on mine!

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You can see where I started here (super fast forward since I figure no one wants to watch a four minute video of me straightening my hair :P)

The great thing about this iron is it’s beveled too so it’s easy to curl your hair or make beachy waves with it too. The limited edition iron costs $225, but check out ghdhair.com for $50 off right now.



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Beauty - "The Lovely" - Nails - Spas and Salons

CND Shellac with Beauty Booked!

June 4, 2015

A friend in HR recently told me that she pays attention to how her employees present themselves at work. “I even notice if they have chipped nail polish — that never looks professional.” I was surprised that something so small doesn’t even get past her, but the message was clear: the details count.

CND Shellac in Romantique from Townhouse Spa

Regular manicures are pampering, but sometimes I get too antsy to sit around and wait the drying time – especially when they don’t always last a week. And if you’ve ever gotten acrylics, you know why they’re the worst. My nails got so brittle and weak the first time, I never went back. We’ve gotten so much further with nail tech, and I’ve certainly tried a good amount. The at-home nail gels (where you use a small UV lamp at home) are prone to shrinking and unless you’re comfortable doing nails yourself, it’s not the simplest system to use. Plus, I’ve found the result doesn’t last as long as salon versions. If I need something that’s heavy duty, but won’t damage my nails, it’s CND® SHELLAC® brand 14+ day nail color all the way. It has given me magazine-ad quality shiny nails for weeks.

The pros : You don’t have to fuss with your nails for about two weeks, it sets to a beautiful shiny finish, it’s easy to remove and won’t damage your nails. But best of all, you’re in-and-out of the salon in 30-40 minutes without worrying about ruining your nails when you rummage through your purse after (or in my case, lugging my suitcase and bags around right after visiting Townhouse Spa in midtown). It’s a quick process too – just a Base Coat, Color Coat, and Top Coat (which all cure under a CND® LED Lamp at the salon in between coats). The formula is also 3-free — no formaldehyde, DBP, or toluene to speak of. As a tip, when you’re at the salon, make sure your technician uses CND® SHELLAC® products throughout every single step of your manicure. Some salons will mix CND® SHELLAC® with other brands and the result won’t be nearly as good.

I had Gabby fix up my nails at Townhouse Spa – she’s so meticulous and adroit at applying polish (I went for CND®’s color in Romantique, a semi-sheer marshmallow-ey color that I thought would look good for the summer and professional at work). With over 90 colors, CND® SHELLAC® brand 14+ day nail color pretty much has the rainbow covered so you don’t feel like you’re missing out on the selection of regular manicures.

Ready to book? Check out the salons that offer CND® SHELLAC® brand 14+ day nail color manicures in an easy, curated selection over at BeautyBooked.com. Just look for the CND® SHELLAC® brand 14+ day nail color Verified Salon flag on the BeautyBooked website or app, select your appointment time and schedule online, 24/7.

Check out my manicure from CND® SHELLAC® brand 14+ day nail color verified salon, Townhouse Spa:

Summer ready-nails

Have any of you gotten Shellac before? What did you think? What colors do you go for?


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