2.25.2015

His & Hers Birchbox [February 2015]


My February Birchbox was pretty good and so was Steve's box from Birchbox Men.  I've listed out the products below with pictures but if you're interested in a little more information about Birchbox in general as well as about what came this month then check out the video I posted on my YouTube channel: Birchbox - February 2015 - His & Hers


Birchbox - February 2015


Left to Right:
Supergoop! Daily Correct SPF 35 CC Cream in Light/Medium
Davines MINU Hair Serum
Davines MINU Shampoo
Juice Beauty GREEN APPLE Cleansing Gel
Eyeko London Skinny Liquid Eyeliner in Black
Juicy Courture Hollywood Royal fragrance


Birchbox Men - February 2015


Top Row:
Grooming Lounge The Best Shampoo
Quirky Wrapster earbud cord wrap
Ernest Supplies Protective Matte Moisturizer

Bottom Row:
Quirky Carabandits
Quirky Cordies
Heroes & Aristocrats by Royal Apothic Ultra-Shave Cream Gel

25 Questions Tag

Michele from Let Me Cross Over did this tag last week and she tagged everyone.  I'm part of everyone so I'm doing it.  Her answers to the questions are here.  I think these things are fun because it lets you share random things about yourself that maybe you wouldn't otherwise have a reason to talk about.  Plus they are like all of those ridiculous chain letter emails from the 90s and that makes me laugh.  I've been in a total funk for the past few weeks so a tag post might be what I need to get me out of it.  :)

The Questions:

1. Do you have any pets?
Yes.  I have a cat named Stella.  She's black and white and for some reason in her head she is permanently stuck in kitten mode even though she's almost 7 years old.

2. What are three things that are close to you?
Stella (she's sleeping in my desk chair so I'm sitting on a stool...)
6 bottles of nail polish because I just painted my nails a bunch of colors
my phone

3. What's the weather like right now?
SUNNY!!!!!!!!!  I literally cannot express my joy at the fact that it is sunny right now!  Some of the ice seems to be melting off the roof and I've been keeping my face at the windows to try to soak up some vitamin D while I can. #winterofhell

4. Do you drive?  If so have you crashed?
I do drive and I have crashed.  Once a crazy guy smashed into me and then yelled at me and the police officer.  It was totally his fault so he got a ticket but I had to go to physical therapy for weeks.

5. What time did you wake up this morning?
I woke up at 8:00 because I had a repairman coming to fix my stove and I didn't want to be in my pajamas when he arrived.  Normally I get up at 8:45 though so I've had a lot of coffee today. :)

6. When was the last time you showered?
This morning.

7. What was the last movie you saw?
I watched National Treasure last week.  Nicholas Cage cracks me up!

8. What does your last text message say?
The last one that I sent says: "I'm glad I still have my old gross college towel. Haha"

9. What's your ringtone?
I keep my phone on silent 99.9% of the time so I don't even know.  I'm sure it's just whatever default the phone has on it.  I refuse to be a slave to notifications.

10. Have you ever been to a different country?
Yup.  I went to Canada a lot of times as a kid to visit my great-grandpa and I went to Ireland when I graduated from college.

11. Do you like sushi?
No.  I love sushi.

12. Where do you buy your groceries?
I order them online and get them delivered from Peapod.  I also buy produce a lot from a little store in my neighborhood.

13. Have you ever taken medicine to help you fall asleep faster?
No.  I almost never take any kind of medicine for anything.

14. How many siblings do you have?
One.

15. Do you have a desktop computer or a laptop?
I have a laptop which I have named Lenore.

16. How old will you be turning on your next birthday?
While I feel that I am absolutely old enough to not answer this question, I think getting older is the best so I will answer.  I will be 32 in a few months.
(The reason I think getting older is awesome, and why I think you should too, is that the alternative is being dead.  That may sound harsh but it is true.  Be happy with yourself, stop complaining about this thing that nobody can control and be grateful you've been able to spend another year on Earth.)

17. Do you wear contacts or glasses?
Nope.

18. Do you color your hair?
Also, nope.

19. What is something you are planning to do today?
I'm going to make baked potatoes later because I can use my oven again!

20. When was the last time you cried?
Oh, who knows?  I cry all the time.  Most of the time it's because of some slightly sad part in a book or a movie.

21. What is your perfect pizza topping?
I think sausage, onion and mushroom pizza is the best.

22. Which do you prefer: hamburgers or cheeseburgers?
Cheeeeeeeeeseburgers!

23. Have you ever had an all-nighter?
I've spent entire nights writing papers for school.  I also used to have a job that sometimes I had to work overnights at.  Now the only time I would stay up all night is if I was packing last minute to go on a vacation that required me to take an early flight out because I procrastinate stuff like that.  Ok, I procrastinate pretty much everything.  Ha ha!

24. What is your eye color?
Blue

25. Can you taste the difference between Pepsi and Coke?
Yes.  But soda is bad for you.  That is all.

If you want to do this tag, then TAG!  Let me know if you do either in the comments or on Twitter so that I can see what your answers are!
Thanks for reading!
:) Alice

2.17.2015

Tasty Tuesday: Creamy Tomato Basil Shrimp


This Creamy Tomato Basil Shrimp is a quick weeknight kind of recipe.  I like to keep a giant bag of frozen shrimp (the jumbo ez-peel kind) in the freezer because it thaws so quickly I can just grab the amount I need an hour or so before I need to cook it.  This is good for the days, and there are many, that we completely forget to take something out of the freezer the night before.


Ingredients:
about 20 jumbo shrimp (peeled)
diced tomato (about one large one)
1 Tbsp basil (a little less if it's dried)
2-3 Tbsp neufchatel cheese (or cream cheese)
parmesan cheese
spaghetti/fettuccine
olive oil
balsamic vinegar


First marinate the shrimp in olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  You want to have enough to make sure the shrimp is completely coated and then a little extra because it's all going into the pan for the sauce.


While your water is heating up for the pasta, cook the shrimp, along with all of the marinade, until it's pink.  Take the shrimp out and cover it so it stays warm but make sure you leave as much of the liquid in the pan as possible.


Add the tomatoes and cubed neufchatel cheese and basil to the oil and vinegar.  Stir it occasionally until it's melted.  You can add a little more oil or cheese as needed.  Just eyeball it until it looks yummy.  By the way, neufchatel cheese is basically the same as cream cheese.  It has let fat supposedly, which I do not normally care about, but I can't taste much of a difference.


Once the cheese is melted and the pasta is in the water, put the shrimp back in the pan with the sauce.  Cook it until everything is warm.  Drain the pasta, put it in a bowl and plop the cheesy shrimp sauce on top.  Sprinkle it with parmesan cheese and enjoy!  If you are using fresh basil instead of dry basil then I would throw some more of that on top at the end as well.


2.14.2015

My Actual One True Love

Happy Valentine's Day!!

I'm going to admit something today.  Those who are closest to me already know but I feel like since it's Valentine's Day, I should come clean about this.

I LOVE DORITOS


Like actual love.  Not all Doritos.  Just the red ones.  The Nacho Cheese flavor.  It's the best flavor.  I sort of like some of the other flavors.  But I LOVE RED DORITOS.  Because of this love I almost never buy them.  I have to just dream about them because I know that if they pass through my door, I'm going to eat them.  I'm probably going to eat all of them.  In a day.  Actually, I did pretty well this time.  They lasted a few days and Steve even got to eat a few of them.

I actually have a first memory of my beloved red Doritos.  We were on a field trip around the Blackstone River Valley.  We had spent the day getting on and off of a bus touring textile mills and checking out waterwheels.  Then we stopped for lunch at a park.  Some boy had a little bag of Doritos in his lunch.  I tried one.  It was glorious.  I think I was in 5th grade.


Shortly after that I ate an ENTIRE bag (the big one) of them at a sleepover.  My stomach hurt so badly after that but I didn't care.  I've done that multiple times since then, but not since college.

I am now too old to binge on Doritos.  I feel like if I eat too many I'll die.  I probably won't but come on, they are chips with some kind of cheese-ish flavored powder on them.  They are not health food.  But they taste sooooo good!

I eat healthy ALL the time but once in a while I crave Doritos so much that I can literally taste them in my mouth even if I haven't had them in months.  I usually still don't go out and buy them even when I want to.  But this week I just really really really wanted snacks and we didn't have any (because we usually don't) so I went to the store and bought a million snacks.  One of those snacks was a giant bag of Doritos.  So I'm trying to force myself to ration them out to make the joy last a little longer.  I even poured some in a bowl and then put the bag away and went in another room so that I would over do it.  But I may or may not have eaten some uncountable number of handfuls prior to getting out the bowl.


I hope you all have a Lovely Valentine's Day!
I love you for reading!
:) Alice

2.11.2015

NYX Eyebrow Cake Powder [Review]

Eyebrow Cake Powder, ECP05 Brunette, brows, makeup

I came across the NYX Eyebrow Cake Powder kit the other day while I was at the drugstore and because NYX is one of the affordable brands, I decided to try it.  Well, that and I've been doing my brows from the Urban Decay Naked Palette and the choices in there were a bit too warm toned for me.  It was OK, but I've been on the lookout for something more appropriate for a while.

brows, ECP05 Brunette,NYX, makeup

The kit come with two shades of powder, a wax, an angled brush and a spoolie.

NYX, brows, makeup, ECP05 Brunette

There were three colors available at the store I was in: Blonde, Brunette and Dark Brown.  I bought the Brunette color, which is the medium choice.  Don't worry if those colors don't work for you.  There are more colors to choose from on the NYX website.

brows, NYX, makeup, ECP05 Brunette

The tools that come in this kit are teeny tiny.  The spoolie is ridiculous.  I mean I guess it's a good thing to have a little one in your makeup bag for touch-ups but I would just use a regular sized one at home.  The angled brush is thick so it's nice for applying the wax.  However, I used my normal angled brush that came in a set from Sephora to apply the powder.

ECP05 Brunette, brows

Here's a super close up of my brows.  I really just fill in a few thin spots to make them a little more even.  I used just a tiny bit of the wax to keep the hairs in place.  It doesn't feel too gunky or anything but it does replace the powdery finish with a shiny sleek one.  I like that because having powdery eyebrows can seem a little weird in my opinion.

NYX Eyebrow Cake Powder, ECP05 Brunette

NYX Eyebrow Cake Powder, ECP05 Brunette

Overall I like this eyebrow kit from NYX.  It's super affordable from the drugstore and I really like the color.

If you do your brows, what products do you use?
Have you tried this one?
Let me know in the comments!
:) Alice

2.10.2015

Tasty Tuesday: Alice Cooks Love Muffins

corn muffins, AliceCooks, love, Valentine's Day, baking

Valentine's Day is fast approaching so I thought I'd try to get with the festive spirit and do some Valentine's themed baking.  I first made Love Muffins a few years ago and I don't know why I haven't made them again until now because it's the easiest baking project ever and they are totally cute.


Ingredients:
1 Box of Corn Muffin Mix
1 Egg
3/4 cup Milk (I used almond milk)
Red Food Coloring
Heart Shaped Cookie Cutter
Toothpick


Directions:

Mix up your ingredients in a bowl and pour it into lightly greased muffin tins.  Bake according to the directions on the box.


Let your muffins cool.


Put some food coloring into a bowl.  Dip the wrong side of the cookie cutter into the food coloring.  Don't use the sharp side that you'd cut dough with because it will be too thin and won't pick up the food coloring that well.


Since muffins aren't totally flat on top you have to kind of rock the cookie cutter around to get a complete heart shape.  You can use a toothpick to touch up the gaps.  Be careful of the food coloring because it will totally stain your fingers, clothes and counter.  Just watch out! (says the woman with pink dyed fingers....)


Like I said, this is a really simple way to make your table a little more lovey at Valentine's Day.  I think that corn muffins are a good choice because their light color allows the food coloring to show up really well.  Plus you can make chili to go with them and the red hearts will match!

love, Valentine's Day, AliceCooks, corn muffins, baking, hearts

If you decide to make these, or any other Valentine's themed food, then tweet me a picture so I can see what you come up with!

Thanks for reading!
:) Alice

2.06.2015

Opposite of Winter [Nails]

The color scheme of the past few weeks in Boston has been white.  Or gray.  We are in the thick of the winter season and I never thought I'd say this but, the pale/grubby monochrome world is sort of bumming me out.  I've been working out my feelings with my manicures.  :)


NYC Quick Dry No. 207 Brownstone



I bought this NYC nail polish a couple of months ago when I went on a nude nail polish shopping spree.  It's obviously not a nude on my skin tone, but I think it's so pretty.  Even though this is a cool toned brown, it is still a neutral that seems to be more at home in warmer weather than white, gray and black are.  I've probably said this before but I think that the quick dry formula from NYC is one of the better quick dry polishes out there.  It's nice and thick with even one coat.  I still do two because I like it to be really piled on.


Revlon No. 571 Posh



I don't know about you but I think that bright green is the opposite of winter.  There is absolutely no green outside right now.  I have some bushes around my house that are actually green but they are completely buried in snow drifts right now so I can't see them!

If you've got snow in your yard how are you dealing with it?
Thanks for reading!  Leave a comment!
:) Alice

2.04.2015

Snowflakes [January 2015]

I took these pictures last week during our first huge snow storm.  The wind plastered so much snow on our windows.  While I was looking out and watching the storm I realized that there were some pretty gigantic snowflakes.  A lot of them were perfect and I was able to get these really cool pictures.  I didn't do any kind of touch up to these super close up pictures.  Snowflakes are just that amazing.  I hope you enjoy! :)