11.07.2017

all about dat beauty: october 2017 favourites

Some say that best thing to do when you're feeling down is to pamper yourself -- at least that’s what my therapist and all these websites suggested I do (yes, websites, ha ha I knooooow, but when you’re in a pretty bad rut you look for advice anywhere). I clearly took those suggestions, since the things I’ve been obsessed with this month are all about beauty and makin’ me feel pretty -- and myself -- again. So that's this month's theme, if you will. 
THE FACE 
It Cosmetics CC+ Cream: Everyone’s been talking about this foundation for ages, and I’ve been looking for a foundation for ages. Why it took me so long to actually try it is still unknown to me, but I’m SO HAPPY that this foundation and I found a way to each other! First of all, it smells like fucking LEMONS which should be enough reason to try it, tbh, and the coverage is a perfect buildable medium without feeling heavy at all. The title on the bottle remains true: it feels like my skin but better. 
Fresh Beauty Vitamin Nectar face mask: I’m OBSESSED with Fresh Beauty’s face masks, but they are so goddamn expensive.. That’s why Christmas at Sephora is my jam -- when all the Christmas gift sets come out and you get the best bang for your buck! I’ve been a fan of Fresh Beauty for many years, and so since then I’ve tried a ton of their face masks, which have done serious wonders to my problematic skin. Fresh released their Vitamin Nectar Mask not too long ago, and I was able to try out a sample size. It smells delightfully citrusy (is it obvious I love citrus scents) and woke my skin up! I've been looooooooooving it especially after a long day (which I've had far too many this month), and it does exactly what it's intended for: brightening! I look much more awake afterwards. Here's some ways you can try Fresh's face masks without breaking the wallet: x, x, x 
THE NAILS 
...and the nail colour of the month goes to... drummroooooollll pleeaaaaseeeeeeee..... Nails Inc's Bond Street Passage
This colour was so simple but chic at the same time and I was (and still am) just obsessed. Every time I debated painting a different colour I would always gravitate back to this one. It also doesn't help that I fucking love Nails Inc. I have a lot of nail polish (like A LOOOOOOOOOTTTTTTTT) and I've tried a ton of brands, but quite honestly, Nails Inc. might be my all-time favourite. Everything from the bottle design, brush, FORMULA (OMG THIS FORMULA OMG), colours... I just love it all. I love you, Nails Inc. I love you. You make my nails physically feel strong and mentally like a classy lady that can take on the world, and that's what I needed this month. I love you. Forrealz. I've missed growing out and doing my nails! 
 THE SCENT 
I'm not a perfume wearer. I've never been, but over the summer my aunt gifted me a scent that I do love, ChloĆ©'s classic Eau de Parfum. I had it sitting on my dresser for months, but decided to give it a spritz one day when I was wearing a new sweater that had a bit of a this-is-too-new smell to it. Ever since then, I've been kind of hooked. Can we also appreciate this bottle?! Oh my god. I'm such a sucker for packaging, but seriously, look at it. A BEAUTY! And a yummy scent, too. Will this now start an obsession in perfume? I hope not. (But I already have my eye on some Jo Malone London scents...) 
THE BLING 
I have a shopping problem. That’s quite evident. But like I’ve said, October has been hard. I was feeling terribly... drained. It sounds very strange to start off a section about earrings to talk about my emotions, but I think spending time with one of my best friends, Jon, and shopping at new places and buying things that reminded me of things I used to love is what drove me this month to buy the things that I did, including these gorgeous earrings! I picked them up from a local shop from a local brand, and I just think they are so pretty. They will always remind me of the afternoons spent with Jon, now! 
THE MUSIC 
Ah, yes.. finally the section that isn't about beauty! Music helps you through some funks, too. These days I'm not listening to too much Korean music as much as I used to, but I remain to be constantly addicted to Epik High. With stunningly profound and melancholy lyrics, I've been listening to them for almost ten years and they have rarely disappointed me. At the very end of this month they released, WE'VE MADE SOMETHING WONDERFUL. It's very mellow -- even for Epik High -- but god. It's really something. "Bleed" is one of my favourites, but their all-English track "Here Come the Regrets" featuring Lee Hi (the Korean Adele, if you will), and "Home is Far Away" has been playing on repeat these last few days. If you haven't heard of Epik High before, I encourage you to check them out, especially if you want something a bit solemn to listen to: HOME IS FAR AWAY, HERE COME THE REGRETS And I can't forget about their old classics, ONE, LOVE LOVE LOVE

THE BOOK 
I admit I haven’t done a ton of reading this month, but I’ve recently been fascinated in The Do Book series. I heard about it on EsteĆ© LaLonde’s video on some seriously gorgeous stationery shops in London. My favourite of the three that I’ve been following, Papersmiths, talked about how The Do Books were their top bestsellers. They’re essentially little books that have been adapted from lectures on different subjects to encourage productivity and practicality. I’ve been reading up on them quite a bit and so once I’m finished reading (I decided on Do Improvise) (Do Breathe is the mail for me now), I’m thinking of doing a separate post on them. 
Woo. That was a lot. 
If you got through all that, that's really quite kind of you, and I hope you found it even slightly interesting and/or useful. Now, did all of these things help? Was the pampering and the sad music and the encouraging books -- did they help? Was I able to cure a sad and stressed and very drained heart? I think so, yeah. Maybe not completely and fully, but I think these were the first few steps to get going. So I'm trying, and this month has been all about that: trying and caring. SO YEAH. That was October. 

10.18.2017

it was all yellow: september 2017 favourites


I really like September. It's not hot anymore but it's also not quite cold yet, and so you get to enjoy the last few days of summer while feeling the charms of autumn in crisp yellow leaves. It's also back to school time! These are some things that made my month better:

THE BOOK
I had an urge to read something emotional and sad, so I picked up Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close after looking through one of my many TO READ lists. It follows nine-year-old Oskar, who finds a key he believes was left behind by his father who was killed in 9/11. The search takes him across New York City, meeting character after character. It made me cry a lot and want to kiss everyone I loved.

THE SWEATER 
If you've seen me at all in the last few weeks, there's a hell of a good chance I was wearing my yellow sweater. I saw it on a rack at Zara, fell in love with it, went straight to the cash register, and now it's been attached to me ever since.

scarf - urban outfitters / grey cardigan - zara / jeans - garage / shoes - haribou / scarf - indigo 

Honestly, I'd wear this sweater every day if I could. Going to fancy dinner? WEAR THE SWEATER! Going for a walk? WEAR THE SWEATER! Gonna study all day and the cafe has shitty heating? WEAR THE SWEATER! It goes with everything and you can literally wear it anywhere. It's also insanely soft with a super cute turtleneck (that doesn't choke you). ALSO! It comes in black and white. I'm tempted to get it in the rest of the colours, but I'll stick with yellow for now. Get it here and match with me!

THE NAILS 
I used to paint my nails a colour called watermelon by Essie every week in tenth grade. There was no other colour other than watermelon in my heart! But that was tenth grade, and gradually I found solace in pastels and nudes and beiges. Maybe too much solace, though, because I was painting the same three colour every time! A friend convinced me to do a RED which I haven't done in years, but for the whole month Essie's plumberry didn't leave my fingers. It's kind of close to Watermelon.. but still different.. right?

THE TUNES
This month has been all about the mellow tunes for me, and I re-got into City and Colour's Bring Me Your Life. It's super old, I know, but still super good, in my eyes -- or ears -- at least. Forgive Me was and is my favourite track. It's short, only spanning 2:08, but it's warm and sad and honest and apologetic, and listening to it so much reminded me of the sad reality that sometimes love just isn't enough.

THE FACE 
I haven't been wearing a lot of makeup this month (just a very basic routine), but I've been so into Glossier's Milk Jelly Cleanser. I'm the laziest person in the WORLD for removing makeup, so I keep on trying to to find ways to make it faster and less uncomfortable and like I'm physically removing my entire face. I experimented with wipes for a while (you know, those ones where the commercials say that , but those stung my eyes, and then I was using another cleanser, but it wasn't the greatest... Anyway, this cleanser is a cult favourite -- everyone talks about it. I watched video after video to see the makeup removal quality is, and HOLY! It's so fucking good! And so not expensive! (I got the Phase 1 Set which I think is quite worth it if you wanted to try other products too (comes with their Priming Moisturizer (just okay) and Balm Dot Com (pretty good)).

picture this: it's been a 12 hour day. School, studying, work. You feel rough and everyone can tell by the way your eyeliner has smudged and the way your foundation's built up in little patches (that dry skin struggle is so real). Pump some cleanser into your fingers, rub it all over your face, rinse off, and then your face is feelin' fresh, soft, and clean right before bed. (This has been my life all month.) Admittedly I use it more as a makeup remover than a cleanser, but nonetheless, it's now my new go-to makeup remover. And for my super sensitive skin, not one single breakout!

*

September was hard, but it was dandy. See you next month for October!


nong to the bu!

I'm kind of obsessed with David Chang.

For those of you who don't know, Chang is the founder of the Momofuku restaurants that are now all over the world, and launched the beloved (but now deceased) food literary magazine, Lucky Peach.

I heard about Chang after the release of the Momofuku cookbook, and after that discovery, discovered Lucky Peach. It wasn't until his appearances on Worth Itthough, that got me really fascinated in Chang. I spent an afternoon watching whatever I could find on Chang when I probably should have been working on anything else, but instead that afternoon led me to an intense craving for something, anything delicious.

Well, what is delicious? These days all I've been eating is fries and grilled cheese and beer. It's good, sure, but I don't know if it's delicious enoughparticularly delicious enough that will satisfy a craving from watching David Chang cook. My problem was, though, that I had promised one of my best friends AKA Jon AKA badboyjonjon AKA THE JON that we'd have pho for our "quick lunch" date. I love pho, and it is certainly delicious, but IT WASN'T THE CRAVING I NEEDED SATISFIED!

So sat I in my hunger, making it all the worse by watching David Chang eat Korean BBQ with Steven and Andrew for probably the twenty-seventh time, and it clicked in my head that Nongbu was a 5 minute drive away.

The Jon has agreed, because he's a good friend and is always down for anything, and we plan on ordering bibimbap or some kimbap or remotely something small, since this was supposed to be a "quick lunch before work," but no.

10.16.2016

cat tries to cook #1: spinach something



I can't cook. Like, barely. I often overcook my instant noodles, am never sure what settings to set as my toaster settings, and once made some very watery cookies. It's something I should probably work on since now that school has started and I have resorted to eating out about 7 days a week. And so the journey to slowly (but hopefully surely?) learn how to cook has begun, and I'm journalling them as cat tries to cook. I've been trying things here and there, attempting to stick to a recipe as much as possible, but I whipped up this quick lunch all by myyyseeeeeelf! (A true miracle, let me say.)

It's not a very complicated dish, nor very flavourful, but it's healthy, kept me full, and had some of my favourite things in it. Also, it took me like 10 minutes, which is always a plus, because one of the things I hate about cooking is spending hours and hours in the kitchen (re: that time I made zucchini pasta and I spent about 1.5 hours cutting them into slices because I didn't have a spiralizer...).

And because I'm really quite sh*tty at coming up with titles and names for things (you don't know how much I struggle every time I write a blog post and stare at the "enter title here" section...), this recipe has no name other than cat tries to cook #1: spinach something.

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg 
  • 2 handfuls of spinach 
  • red onions 
  • a lil bit of olive oil 
  • salt + pepper to taste 
optional: peppers, cherry tomatoes, cayenne peppers to top, or whatever else you'd like! 


Steps:

  • boil the egg to your liking
    (I like mine a little watery on the inside so the yolk can get e v e r y w h e r e) 
  • heat a small pan to medium heat + add the lil bit of olive oil 
  • while waiting for the pan, chop red onions 
  • add spinach to pan. let cook until it's soft. remove. 
  • add everything together into a plate 
  • sprinkle with salt + pepper to your liking 

Maybe I should rename this to "spinach to your liking." 

But in all honesty, that's it! Again, it's not super flavourful or fancy, but hey, it was a meal that I did enjoy. I also have this theory that literally anything with greens and a bit of pepper to top it off with automatically looks better. Which is why I like to add spinach, arugula, spring onions, cilantro... to top everything. Just because it looks a bit fancier. But that's a whole other story. 

Hope you enjoy your spinach something and I'll see you next time! 
Cat 

10.08.2016

when it's okay to give up

Photo by: Miki (@smithular)
How do you know when to give up on someone?

How do you know when to give up on someone who is an old friend but is also someone who is reckless and cruel to themselves or on a parent that you cannot parent or on your partner at school who hasn’t done any work yet for your project, or on a person you want to be with but might not want to be with you. . .  How do you know?

We’re taught to never give up — on our goals, our dreams, our lives. And I agree wholeheartedly that we should never give up on those things. But what about people? What about the friends or family or loved ones in our lives that we care about or perhaps even once cared about? What about them? Do we keep trying with them, too, never to even consider giving up on them?

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