Sunday, January 30, 2011

Picture That: Winner

Hi all,
I wanted to thank the few of you who entered into the giveaway contest.  Using, I'd like to congratulate Meri for winning the giveaway!
Meri, please send me an email with your shipping information (i.e. address) at your earliest convenience.

Everyone else, thank you for following!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Lengthen Your Lashes

Over the past few weeks I've been using Tarte's multiplEYE natural lash enhancer.  It is formulated without parabens, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate, and synthetic dyes and fragrances.

I'd wanted to try Revitalash or Latisse, but I couldn't really justify getting it.  I was scared of the reviews that claimed that using these products changed the color of your eye so who knows what else they could have done?  When Tarte came out with this product, I decided to give it a try.

My eyelashes are short and straight, but I definitely noticed growth after using this product.  It's a little pricey, at $65 for a tube that'll last about two months.

You definitely have to follow the directions exactly, so that means using it every day on clean eyelids, which was probably my downfall.  It also stings a little bit after application, but nothing terribly unpleasant.

So will I buy it again?  Probably not.  It did work for me, but it was hard for me to remember to put it on and failing to put it on clean eyelids meant that it wouldn't work.  However, if you know you're going to be diligent about it, it's definitely worth trying out.

Finally, I'd just like to remind all readers to enter into my giveaway!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Picture That: Giveaway

I am really excited to offer to my lovely readers my first ever sponsored giveaway!

This giveaway is hosted by CSN, which is comprised of over 200 online stores, where you can find everything from eco-friendly modern furniture to cookware.

Many of their websites have a "Go Green" link right at the top, letting shoppers know what items they're offering that are environmentally friendly.

I will be giving away one 16x16 piece of stretched wall art by Inhabit, which creates art from recycled polyester and comes ready to hang.  A lot of Inhabit's artwork is inspired by nature, with modern and artistic renditions of trees, bamboo, and grass.  I've chosen a modern interpretation of a coral reef in a gorgeous plum for one lucky follower.

To enter for a chance to win, become a follower (if you aren't already!) and let me know one way you're cutting down on your environmental impact this year.  This giveaway is limited to US residences only and the winner will be announced next week.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Getting Organized: Revisited

I thought that I had gotten organized before, when my brother pointed out that he couldn't tell the difference.

Granted, he is a boy and not accustomed to keeping all his eyeliner pencils in order, but I knew it was time to move on to a bigger organizer.

I ordered this Lipper International Bamboo Adjustable Drawer Organizer from Amazon and love it!  It can be used for office supplies too, but I think that it's perfect for my makeup.  It comes with some dividers built in, but 8 smaller dividers so you can customize the space for your personal needs.

Best of all, it's made out of bamboo, which is a quick growing grass - a renewable resource (when harvested responsibly)!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Freezing Hair

I've gone through three years of college without owning a hair dryer.  My roommates have always had them but I hated drying my hair because it was so time consuming and it gets just so hot - not to mention hair dryers consume a ton of energy.

I was at Target a few months ago looking for a lamp, and ended up with a hair dryer.  I hadn't planned on buying it, but I saw the "Eco" mode setting on this hair dryer, which promised to use less energy than a regular dryer and I was intrigued.  It has three add ons - a diffuser, a concentrator, and a beachwaver (shown in the above picture).

I have to say that I think all the different attachments will work better for someone who doesn't have naturally stick-straight hair.  I'm Asian, and my hair air dries straight - I can't even curl my hair without it becoming straight within a few hours, so most of the attachments left me with hair that virtually looked the same as if I had just dried it by hand.  I was, however, pleasantly surprised by the beachwaver, which left my hair tousled for the whole night.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Smells Like Back to School

I know I'm back at school when I come into my room smelling like geraniums.  I hate the idea of air fresheners in general (throwing away so much packaging, replacing so frequently, so many chemicals), but Mrs. Meyer's makes a great air freshener that smells delicious.

Best of all, all their products are biodegradable, 100% vegan, and don't contain ammonia, chloride, parabens, formaldehyde, or petroleum distillates.

Their products work (I also use their all-purpose cleaner in Basil to clean my kitchen) and smell delicious.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Second Skin

I previously blogged about my new Kindle, which I got as a Christmas gift.  Almost immediately upon receipt, I started looking for ways to protect it.  I knew that I wanted a skin to protect it from scratches, so when I found GelaSkins' charity:water collaboration, I knew I hit gold.

GelaSkins creates skins (stickers, essentially) cut to fit your electronics.  They offer products for cell phones, laptops, mp3 players, and gaming systems.  Their products use 3M adhesives, so you know they're quality.  The skins are super thin, though kind of annoying to put on (as with most similar products).  I had to reposition mine a few times, and it still sticks, though I'm wary of repositioning it any more.  Mine fits my Kindle perfectly and doesn't get in the way of any of the buttons.

charity:water is a non-profit organization that focuses on bringing clean water to developing nations.  Almost 1 billion people in the world lack access to clean, safe drinking water.  Unsafe water and lack of sanitations cause 80% of diseases, and 90% of the deaths that occur due to this are to children under 5 years old, who are especially vulnerable to these illnesses.  There are a million reasons that water is one of the biggest environmental disasters of our lifetime, some of which are explained further on their website.  (A documentary I recommend on this topic is FLOW: For Love of Water.)

All donations to charity:water go to water projects, while their operating costs are covered by private donors, which means that you know a donation will make a real difference.  All net proceeds from a charity:water GelaSkin go to operational costs.

I chose the water doodle skin, which was customized and cut for my Kindle, but there are lots of other great designs here.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Skin Quenching

I have extremely dry skin.  When I go from Washington, DC back home, I can feel the drop in humidity in my face.  Couple that with the harsh winter dryness, and my skin feels like a desert.  When I was in DC, my skincare regime was working fine.  But when I came home, I felt like I was battling my face.  Normal moisturizers didn't work, and my skin was flaking.  I tried my regular moisturizer three times a day, four times a day, five times a day (which wasn't even practical).  I tried using heavier, petroleum-based creams, which worked a little better but felt heavy and gross on my face.

Enter Caudalié.  Caudalié is a French based skincare company that works only with natural ingredients.  Founded in 1993 after a couple discovered that the grape seeds from their vineyard contained tons of vitamins that skin needs.  Caudalié does not use any parabens, phenoxyethanol (a preservative that can cause damage to the nervous central system), ingredients of animal origin (hurray for you vegans!), mineral oils or colorings, or sodium laureth sulfate (a foaming ingredient that contains carcinogens).  Also important to me is that they don't test on animals.

My mother had a tube of the Pulpe Vitaminée 1st Wrinkle Cream which I tried and instantly fell in love with.  I don't have any wrinkles but this lotion acts as a preventative.  Wrinkles aren't a major concern of mine, but this lotion wakes my face up and makes it feel smooth.  Best of all?  I use it once a day and my skin is smooth and moisturized for the rest of the day.  I am absolutely AMAZED by this product and can't wait to try more of this brand's offerings.  The one downside?  It's expensive for a small bottle - $58.  However, in defense of this, it works and you need a tiny tiny amount to get through the entire day.  Relative to the $18 drugstore lotion I use currently (x5 a day!), this is practically a bargain.

I'd gladly spend this much on this lotion again (though I think I want to try some of the other lotions first).  It quenches my notoriously hard to please skin more than any other lotion I've ever tried.  It's not greasy or heavy.  And it's one-and-done.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Food for Thought

I don't plan on talking politics in my blog (I'll leave that to the other DC student blogs, thanks) but earlier today, President Obama signed the Food Safety Modernization Act, making it law.

Originally introduced in the Senate as S. 510 in March 2009, it was finally passed by the Senate in November 2010.  Amendments were presented and this act emerged in the House as H.R. 2751. People didn't expect it to go anywhere from there with the turnover of the House to Republicans and this act being put on the back burner.  Surprisingly, H.R. 2751 was passed in the House in June of 2009 and then passed in the Senate on December 19, 2010 (73 for, 25 against) - right before the turnover.

This legislation affects the FDA only, which regulates all foods except for meat and poultry, which is regulated by the Department of Agriculture.  This marks the first time that food regulation in the US has enjoyed major change since 1938.  It also marks the first time that the US has set food safety standards for imported foods.

Monday, January 3, 2011

No Need for Plain White T's

Kicking off the new year with a major DIY project!  I made my t-shirt quilt two summers ago (before I had this blog!) so there are no photos of that time, but I'll try to document the best I can.

I have tons and tons of t-shirts, and I hate throwing them away.  In my first quilting foray ever, I ambitiously decided to make this.  The hardest part was cutting up my t-shirts... some of which I've had since elementary school!  I took 20 shirts that I'd had from high school and even further back - from homecoming, powderpuff, and lots of track shirts.  It was a pretty lengthy project, but definitely doable.

My t-shirt quilt is a bit unique since I also wanted to incorporate the backs of shirts.  I had some really great ones like our senior class shirt which had a great "You know you're in the class of '07 when..." which almost doubled the time my quilt took.  A lot of t-shirt quilts I've seen just has a plain solid back.  Also, I border-ed my shirts, which also took a while, and instead of using a straight border (butted border in quilterspeak), I used a diagonal border (mitered border in quilterspeak), which I had to figure out how to do.

Before you start your quilt, you should decide:

  1. how many shirts you want to use
  2. the type of borders and how thick they will be
  3. whether you want to use the back of shirts also
This is a pretty lengthy project, but as long as you are patient and can sew in a straight line, you can do it.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Kristel and me on New Year's Eve

Hope all of you had a great New Years Eve/Day!  I can't believe it's 2011 already...

I've never been much of a New Years Resolution type of girl, but here are my goals for 2011
  • Read more books.
  • Travel.
  • Work out more frequently... which means buying an unlimited gym class pass.  (Yay yoga!)
  • Take more pictures.
  • Buy fewer items.  I have so much stuff that it's hard to believe that I really need anything else.  This will probably be my hardest resolution!
Hope you had a great New Year's celebration!