Monthly Archives

February 2016

Fashion

Maxi Dress for Beach Wedding

February 29, 2016

IMG_2652Dress: Eliza J // Shoes: Aldo (now 33% off!) // Purse: Louis Vuitton // Sunglasses: Versace 

I just got back from a wedding in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. It was a nice short break from school and Chicago winter. Since the wedding was on the beach at the Hard Rock Hotel, most of us stayed at the resort. It was one of my first vacations where I did not get a chance to explore the town since the resort was all-inclusive with lots of activities and restaurants. However, we went on a boat ride on our second day and got to see a little bit more. Punta Cana is absolutely stunning with beautiful white sand and blue ocean!

Since this was my first beach wedding, I did quite a bit of online research on what to wear. In most cases, the outfit cannot be too casual or overly formal. Beach weddings tend to be casual, but that doesn’t mean shorts and flip flops unless instructed by the bride and groom. Certain fabric will work better, for example satin or silk would look odd or too formal at a day-time beach wedding. Since it’s on the beach with the ocean in the background, I thought a maxi dress would be perfect because it’s romantic and flowy. This Eliza J dress immediately caught my eyes–it came a bit too long so I had it altered before the wedding. I would recommend wearing flat sandals since heels and wedges are hard to walk on and annoying when you get sand all over it.

I’m back in Chicago with two more weeks left of winter quarter. Life is crazy busy right now and I just need to survive the next two weeks! I am looking forward to Spring!

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Beauty, Makeup, Skincare

Beauty Essentials for Tropical Climate

February 25, 2016

Beauty Essentials for Tropical Climate

We are in Punta Cana! Before leaving for our trip, I checked the weather and saw that it’ll be in the mid 80’s with high level of humidity, so this helped me decide what beauty essentials to pack.

The most important step is SPF protection! When it comes to SPF, it’s important to remember the lips! I always pack Fresh Sugar Rose Tinted Lip Treatment. It is hydrating, has SPF 15, and adds a little pop of color. I have sensitive skin and tends to break out when I apply normal sunscreen on my face, so I rely on skincare and makeup with SPF protection. I love the Paula’s Choice Moisturizer with SPF 30. It is shine-free, lightweight, and goes well with makeup. I follow up with the tarte BB Tinted Treatment with SPF 30. This is a powerful multitasker that works as a primer, moisturizer, light foundation, antiaging treatment, and sunscreen. It has light coverage but is buildable. When you’re in hot, tropical weather, less is better! I love that it hides imperfection but still looks natural. An alternative foundation I packed is the Laneige BB Cushion. This has SPF of 50! It is best for dry skin because it sometimes look too dewy on oily skin, but I don’t mind because I usually finish off with a powder. I apply just a little bit of Make Up For Ever Pro Finish Multi-Use Powder to set everything. Maybelline Volum’ Express Colossal Mascara is one of my favorite drugstore mascara because it is waterproof and creates extreme volume without clumping. Throughout the day I often get shiny so I like to carry around blotting papers. One of my favorite is Boscia Black Charcoal Blotting Linens, which is made from 100% natural Abaca Tree fiber to absorb excess oil and reduce shine without disturbing makeup. And lastly, I always pack an exfoliator to get rid of dead surface cells. For this trip, I packed the Glamglow YOUTHCLEANSE Exfoliating Cleanser, which is a daily cleanser that transforms from mud into a foaming lather to gently exfoliate, cleanse, and renew skin.

Let me know what are your beauty essentials for tropical humid weather!

Fashion

My Love for Dainty Jewelry – February Rocksbox

February 21, 2016

february rocksbox

Last month I wrote about my first shipment from Rocksbox. You can read about the company and how it works here. You can also try it for free with coupon code ditchtheheelsxoxo

I received my second box last week and I love all the pieces because I tend to wear dainty jewelry more often. The first item is a Sophie Harper Pave Dagger Pendant necklace in gold. It has very small cubic zirconia and goes perfectly with many outfits. At first glance, the Gorjana Joplin Bracelet in gold doesn’t look that special, but I love the look when it’s worn. The three strands and the tassel in the end are very beautiful. The House of Harlow 1960 Meteora Stud Set in gold goes with both the necklace and bracelet. I love the complementary pieces in this month’s box!

february rocksbox dainty jewelry

february rocksbox gorjana joplin bracelet

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Lifestyle, Recipes

What I Eat In A Day

February 17, 2016

I’ve been seeing lots of healthy recipe posts so I thought it’d be fun to do a post on what I eat in a day. It has been wonderful being back in school because I have more time to plan and make my own meals. Since I don’t have classes every day and don’t need to be at school all day, I can eat most of my meals at home. I’m not on any type of diet plans, but I am very aware of what I consume and tend to eat healthy. Here’s everything that I ate a couple days ago. I will also share the recipes in case you guys want to try them out!

Breakfast:
Every morning I start out with an oatmeal fruit recipe or a green smoothie. These are substantial enough to hold me over until lunchtime. If I want to have oatmeal, I always soak old-fashioned rolled oats the night before. I tend to make smoothies more often during the spring and summer. I did a post a few months ago with my favorite breakfast smoothies if you want to try some. I also like to make myself a cup of latte.

blueberry oatmealRecipe: Blueberry Muffin Overnight Oats

Lunch:
Half of the time I am at school for club events over lunch hour, which means I’ll be eating pizza, Potbelly, fried chicken, etc. But when I’m home, I like to make myself something quick and simple. Quinoa is super easy because I just need to boil some water and cut up the vegetable. I decided to add mushrooms, spinach, and onions, and then fried an egg on the side. Some other ingredient options are cauliflower, pepper, broccoli–really any vegetable will work!

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mushroom spinach quinoaRecipe: Spinach Mushroom Quinoa

Afternoon Snack:
I don’t snack on chips or candy, but by mid-afternoon I usually need to eat something. Most of the time I eat an orange or apple, or make myself a protein smoothie if I worked out that day. Other times I like to bake some sweet potatoes. I cut up 3-5 large sweet potatoes, but only bake some of them and keep the rest in the refrigerator for the next day or two. I’ve also been drinking matcha tea, which has 137 times more antioxidants than regularly brewed green tea! It also boosts metabolism, burns calories, and provides vitamins, fiber, chlorophyll, selenium, chromium, zinc, and magnesium!

matcha tea baked sweet potatoesRecipes: Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries, Matcha Tea Latte

Dinner:
I like to spend more time preparing dinner and sometimes it could take 2 hour. It is a great time for me to unwind and relax. I usually have the TV or Audible on while I cook. I recently saw a bunch of orange and purple cauliflowers at the grocery store, so I wanted to try them out! I found out the color from an orange cauliflower comes from a genetic mutation that allows the plant to hold more beta carotene. It also contains about 25% more vitamin A than white cauliflower. The taste was very similar to a white cauliflower.

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pork chops with cauliflowerRecipes: Baked Pork ChopOven Roast Cauliflower

Dessert:
I usually skip dessert when I’m at home (but I NEVER skip dessert when I dine out!). However, I have been experimenting with making my own ice cream and frozen yogurt at home, and tonight I decided to make a frozen peach yogurt. This was so delicious and guilt free!

healthy frozen peach yogurtRecipe: Healthy Frozen Peach Yogurt

Fashion

February 2016 Stitch Fix

February 12, 2016

stitch fix february 2016

Happy Friday! I received my 10th fix from Stitch Fix a couple days ago. Yes, the lighting on the pictures above look different because the sun set after I changed out of my first outfit! What a difference that makes, and that’s why it’s so difficult taking pictures during the winter months! Anyways, Stitch Fix is a personal styling service and I receive a box from them every other month. You pay a $20 styling fee, but that is credited back if you keep at least one item. You pay only what you decide to keep. If you decide to keep all the items, you will receive a 25% off the entire purchase. Here is my review of this month’s box and my decisions:

MAK Nadira Pullover Sweater $58
When I first pulled this from the box, I thought “Another black sweater?? I have like 5 of these already.” But I fell in love after I put it on. It’s super soft and very flattering. The knitting is very well done and I love the little holes. I also thought the pricing was very reasonable.
Decision: Keep

Bay to Baubles Jay Tassel Pendant Necklace $34
This is a fun, stunning necklace. I was on the fence about whether to keep it. Although I love it, I didn’t think I’d wear it often. I was worried about the quality and thought it might go bad after a year. I personally would rather spend more money on quality jewelry that will last years and years.
Decision: Return

Market & Spruce Chaimbers Cowl Neck Knit Top $48
The fit was great and it’s an easy piece to style, but it didn’t really stand out to me.
Decision: Return

Papermoon Brianna Aline Skirt $68
Fun color and perfect fit, but I didn’t love it. It also wrinkles easily and I’m not a fan of the slit in the front!
Decision: Return

Market & Spruce Wilco Solid Quilted Vest $68
Super soft and lightweight, but I already have 3 vests at home that I never wear. I also thought the pockets were strange–it’s super uncomfortable when I put my hands in from the top and it looks unnatural. Why would they make the pockets like this?!?!
Decision: Return

I decided to only keep one item from my box. After deducting the styling credit, I had to pay an additional $38. I love the sweater and wore it already! I also went into my online profile and updated the price points on item pieces I want to receive. As mentioned above, I prefer higher quality jewelry, so I increased my price preference for that. I also increased the price preference for dresses and left a note for my stylist to send dresses in my next box since I’m counting down to Spring/Summer!

It was 20 degrees F / -7 degrees C out today so I almost froze going outside for this picture. The struggle is real for fashion bloggers in cold climate!

stitch fix february 2016

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Lifestyle, Recipes

Super Bowl Meatballs

February 7, 2016

super bowl meatballs

A couple days ago I went to a Super Bowl 101 class taught by two classmates who are now ex NFL players. One was even on the roster of the Minnesota Vikings for a season! Go Vikings! I was inspired to make an appetizer for the Super Bowl this year and decided on this delicious meatball recipe! This is a great appetizer to make for a party or potluck. Hope you enjoy!

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The ingredient list is fairly short and simple: lean ground beef, eggs, bread crumbs, minced onion, jellied cranberry sauce, chili sauce, brown sugar and lemon juice.

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In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, eggs, water, bread crumbs, and minced onion. Roll into small meatballs and place on baking sheet. I used an ice cream scooper so these are above-average sized meatballs. I also sprayed the baking sheet with a little bit of olive oil so that they won’t stick to the sheet.

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Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. I baked for 30 minutes since my meatballs are big. You should also turn the meatballs once but I skipped that step. Once these are done, you can eat them as is (which is delicious), but I wanted to add sauce.

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In a large sauce pan, blend together the cranberry sauce, chili sauce, brown sugar, and lemon juice. Then in a slow cooker, add the meatballs and sauce, and simmer for 1 hour.

super bowl meatballs

Ingredients:
(Makes 20 meatballs)

2 lb lean ground beef
2 eggs
4 tablespoons water
1 cup bread crumbs
1/3 cup minced onion
16 ounce jellied cranberry sauce
1.5 cup chili sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Instructions:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, eggs, water, bread crumbs, and minced onion.
  3. Spray baking sheet with olive oil (optional).
  4. Roll mixture into small meatballs and place on baking sheet.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes (depends on size of meatballs), turning once.
  6. To make the sauce, in a large sauce pan blend together the cranberry sauce, chili sauce, brown sugar, and lemon juice.
  7. In a slow cooker, add the meatballs and the sauce, and simmer for 1 hour.

Original recipe from AllRecipes.