September 30, 2012

Low Fat Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins

3 eggs
1 can Libby's pumpkin (large)
2 Tbsp baking powder
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp all spice
1 cup sugar
1 - 1 1/2 cup nuts
1 cup cranberries
cinnamon and sugar for the top

1/4 cup batter in greased muffin tin. Top with cinnamon sugar.

Bake 15 minutes @ 375 F.

No nonsense muffins with no butter. The pumpkin puree adds the needed moisture. Very yummy, tried and true. Can be used as batter for pumpkin bread - just pour into a loaf pan instead of muffin tins.

No pictures this time, sorry.

September 26, 2012

Hardcore Sports Fans


















When I say "sports fan", I'm not talking about people who watch individual athletes and admire them for their athletic prowess, I'm talking about those who worship sports team franchises, like the Dodgers, the Bulls, the Steelers... whatever. Have you ever asked a diehard sports fan why they root for a certain team? I have, and some get offended. "What do you mean why??" Talking about sports sparks just as much heated debate as talking about religion or politics. Well, to some diehard fans, their team is their religion. Baseball seasons rolls around, you see tons of emotional updates on Facebook from hardcore fans. The NBA lockout last year provoked so much anger and tears. Football season tickets are past from generations to generations and people live and die for their teams.

But why? Why such strong emotional attachment? Why does one get so depressed when their team loses, so defensive when someone trash talks their team? Why and how does one pick a team to root for in the first place?

Is it your hometown team? Does that automatically make you attached to them? Is it because your dad liked them? Because your friends root for them? Maybe there is money riding on a game? How many sports fans like a certain team based on just their skills or sportsmanship? Probably not a lot. I mean, come on, teams trade players every season, a team this year can be totally different than last year's. Perhaps they like a team because... they like the team. Or maybe you have to make yourself passionate about it to gossip with your other pals about it. I don't know, but the loyalty dumbfounds me.

Maybe it's just me, but I don't get it. Seems so silly to me.

Why is your team... your team?

[Image source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/12/raiders-fans-fight-oco-coliseum-chargers_n_1878356.html]

Thoughts On Quarter Life Crisis


















Don't know what to do with your life? Not sure if you've chosen the right career path? The weight of the future is upon your shoulders? Your friends are getting married left and right and you're unsure of your relationship? Stuck in a rut and in need of a change? They call it "quarter life crisis" because it usually happens to people in their mid-20s - people who just got out of college, or have spent a few years in the "real world". Quarter life crisis is not fun, but when you overcome it, you gain a new found happiness and perspective on life.

A lot of my close friends are in their 20-somethings, and in the past few months, a lot of them have been going through relationship struggles leading to breakups. In pretty much all cases it was the right decision. But why the sudden surge of breakups? I think people at this age start to be more honest with themselves and strive to know themselves better. They figure out what they want in life and in a relationship, and start to not want to settle for less. They realize that things shouldn't just be "okay", they should be, and can be great. At that point they look at their current relationship and decide that they need change.

It's the same thing with work as it is with relationships. When you're stuck in a rut and you dread going to work everyday, something is wrong. Sure, your income might be steady, but is it what you want to do? It's never too late to switch careers if that's what you want to do. Find another job, look into starting your own business. Something. Switch it up and make it work for you. Don't settle or you'll never improve.

I think getting through quarter life crisis is to be really honest with yourself. Figure out what you really want and what you should improve. Know yourself better. Things that you wanted to work before may not actually work, and you must not be afraid to change things. Inertia holds us back a lot, and it also keeps you from being happy. People believe in the things they want to believe in because their subconscious minds tell them so. Just take a step back and reflect upon your relationship and career. Are things really working out for you, or is it time for a change? Your mid 20s to early 30s are your prime years. Take some risks and liberate yourself.

(Totally ripped off the first world problems meme girl for this post. I don't even know who to credit.)

September 18, 2012

September 2012 myglam (Ipsy) Glam Bag

I really need to update my blog with something else other than beauty samples subscriptions. But for now, you get another overview of September's Glam Bag.

My Glam changed its name to Ipsy. I'm not surprised that they are revamping their website, www.impy.com, and adding more user experience other than just a pure Glam Bag subscription. You can now share your look (video or photos), like products, comments on things etc. In a lot of ways, it reminds me of the early stages of my company, Taaz, and how we tried to define ourselves.

Anyway, enough of rambling. Shall we take a look at the contents of the Glam Bag? We have a London Soho NY smudge brush, a Jane lipgloss, a Carols Daughter Monoi Repairing Split End Sealer, a Mirabella eyeshadow in Semiformal, and (3rd time's the charm!) another Andrea's Choice Circus nail color, this time in Tightrope.


















Here's a close up of Andrea's Choice Circus Tightrope. I suppose it's not a bad color for fall, especially with the matte finish.


























I swatched it and it really reminds of my Zoya Charisma, but I don't own Charisma, so I can't do a comparison.


























Like any true neon, it dries matte. Dry time was pretty fast, and like other polishes in the same collection, it was opaque in 1-2 coats.


























Next up, we have Jane Sparkle Gloss in Sparkle Pink. I'm a little tired of getting lip glosses, especially ones in cool tone, but oh well.



















Then we have Mirabella eye color in Semiformal. It came in a pan and it looks full sized. Very nice neutral shade with just a hint of shimmer. Good for everyday wear.


















































Up next is Carol's Daughter split end sealer. I'm excited about this product. I don't have very damaged hair because I limit my coloring and heat styling to a minimum, but I still want my hair to look nice and healthy. I get my hair trimmed every 4 months... so in between trims I'd like to take care of my hair. Hope this product works.


















































Last but certainly not least is the Soho smudge brush. The bristles are nice and soft and it's great for smudging color at the crease. And who doesn't like a pink brush? (:























And that's all for September's My Glam bag. Birchbox vs My Glam, who won out this month? I think My Glam Ipsy did. Looking forward to October already! I wonder if it's going to be Halloween themed!

September 2012 Birchbox

It finally arrived.

It was so-so.

Let's jump right into it, shall we? This box included a mini Color Club nail polish in Insta-This, a Jouer (yay!) Matte Moisture Tint, a Kate Spade Twirl perfume, a Skin, An Apothecary Soy Body Whip in Poppy, a... twistband..., and some Hollywood Fashion Secrets fashion tape.

The Color Club polish in Insta-This is a royal blue creme that is opaque in 2 coats. I don't know about this color with my skin tone. Last month I got Blue-Ming and it did not like my skin tone at all, it was so bad that I took it off instantly. I'll give Insta-This a try. This shade is perfect for the summer-fall transition, and I don't have a pure royal blue in my stash, so I'll take it.


























Next up is Kate Spade Twirl eau de parfum. I actually like the way it smells on my. Great for a night out.


























Then we have Jouer matte moisture tint SPF 15. I'm pretty excited to try this since people have been raving about Jouer products. The shade is pretty close to my skin tone, so I'll take it. It is nice and scentless, and does dry matte on the skin.












































Then we have a Skin, An Pothecary soy body whip. It smells like... fresh linen / cotton. I'm not too fond of the smell... but the texture is not bad. I'll probably use it to hydrate before bed.


























Then we have... the hair tie. Seriously, I didn't want to feature this, since I've gotten another hair tie from a previous box before, but here it is. In their defense, I've been using the last hair tie I got for my workouts and it does secure the hair pretty nicely... still... a hair tie...


























Okay, the last thing from this box is fashion tape. I guess it will come in handy sooner or later. I don't have having these lying around. At first glance, it looks just like any other sticker... I can't say yet whether it works well or not.
































































And there you have it. September 2012 Birchbox. It's okay. I feel indifferent about it. If you want to sign up and give me some referral love, you may follow this link. (: