August IPSY 2014

I have tried beauty subscriptions before. I tried the Luxe Box last year, but I was really unimpressed with it. I was pretty confident that I wouldn’t try another beauty subscription service, until I heard about IPSY. After watching videos of products people were getting, I decided to try it for myself to see if it would change my opinion on beauty subscription services. For this post I’ll be reviewing the August IPSY 2014 bag and give my opinion on the subscription as a whole.

ipsy aug 2014

The theme for this month’s bag was Beauty Schooled. Before I get into the products I just had to take a moment to talk about the bag. Isn’t it adorable?!?! I love the bright polka dots on the white background. It is actually quite sturdy so I’m planning on using it as a pencil case for the upcoming school year.

bag

Jersey Shore Sun Mongongo Lip Conditioner:

I got this lip conditioner in the flavour/scent mandarin green orange ginger. The ginger in the lip conditioner tingles your lips a bit when you put it on, which initially made me nervier because I thought I was having an allergic reaction to it. The lip conditioner is very citrusy but it still leaves my lips soft and smooth. The package also boasts that it is anti-aging, but I haven’t seen any differences. All-in-all it is a nice lip balm.

lip

Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk:

I was a bit unsure about this product when I first saw it. I find some dry shampoos just aren’t that effective, or they leave my scalp itchy from the powder. This dry shampoo didn’t do any of that. It is a very effective dry shampoo that quickly eliminates oil and adds volume without needing a lot of product. I also loved the scent. It’s a very light and sweet scent that isn’t overpowering. It also didn’t dry out my scalp or leave it itchy from the powder. I was very impressed with this product and will probably buy the full size when this runs out.

hair

J. Cat Beauty Flying Solo Eyeshadow:

I got the shade 110-Half Naked in my bag.  The shade is a gold-champagne colour and looks like a darker (more gold) version of Stila’s Kitten eyeshadow. It also has a nice formula that doesn’t crease or have much fallout.The really cool thing about this product is it has a mini mirror and applicator under the product (it flips up). It’s a great eyeshadow to throw in a bag for when you’re on the go. I was quite fond of the product and the beautiful colour.

eye

Urban Decay Perversion Mascara:

This is one product that I was excited and a little bit hesitant about. I’ve never used Urban Decay products before, but I had heard great things about the brand. I was a bit hesitant about trying this mascara because it has a fibre wand rather than a plastic one. I was worried that it would clump my eyelashes together, but luckily it didn’t. I liked that this mascara didn’t leave my eyelashes with that crispy feeling once the product dries. I was very impressed the mascara did not rub or flake off even though it wasn’t a waterproof formula. I was very pleased with this product.

mascara

Dr. Brant No More Pores Pore Refiner:

This was a product that I was interested in trying, but was a bit of a letdown to me. The product itself is almost exactly like Benefit Pore-fessional. It wasn’t too greasy, and seemed to do an okay job minimizing the appearance of my pores. The real downside to this product was the smell. I don’t know what it is, but I really hate it. It does eventually go away, but having that smell on my face for ~15 minutes is not pleasant at all.

primer

Overall I was very impressed with IPSY. They definitely delivered with giving me higher-end products to try. I’ve found a lot of the $10 subscriptions boast higher-end products but end up giving you mostly drugstore products. Thankfully IPSY delivered on their claim. I loved the bag and most of the products I got in this month’s subscription. I’m excited to see what I get in next month’s bag.

Travel Log: Calgary Zoo

I’ve always loved going to the zoo to see the animals. However, some zoos just have animals in little cages, which I am not a fan of. Though the Edmonton Zoo upgrades have really changed the feel of the Zoo, my favourite by far is still the Calgary Zoo. The Calgary Zoo is more spread out, and it has more natural barriers for the animals instead of just using cages. The animals just seem very relaxed and in their own environment over there. Lucky for me, we had a chance to go to the Calgary Zoo a few weeks ago. I’ve included some pictures of the trip below:

zoo 1zoo 2

Though I didn’t get any pictures in it, there is a little greenhouse in the middle of the zoo that has an amazing butterfly area. It’s just so relaxing to watch the butterflies flutter about the flowers there.

The one thing I also love about the Calgary Zoo is its Dinosaur Park. Though these are just models of dinosaurs, I find it so entertaining to walk through the winding path and come face-to-face with a dinosaur in the bushes.

zoo 3

If you are ever in the Calgary area I highly suggest checking out the zoo. It’s a wonderful place to spend a few hours, or your whole day.

Birthday Cupcakes

candle

My birthday was this past week and I decided to take on a task I have never done before. Make my own birthday cupcakes. Now I’ve made cupcakes before, but I usually just cheat and used boxed cake mix. However, this time I decided to make them from scratch. I actually got this recipe from Anna Saccone on YouTube and just changed the decoration to match a birthday rather than 4th of July. You can check out her video here, and I’ve also transcribed the recipe down below:

For the cupcakes you’ll need:

2 3/4 cups plain flour                                  3 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt                                                 3/4 cups butter softened

1 2/3 cups sugar                                        5 egg whites

2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract                              1 1/4 cups milk

38 glacé cherries chopped                         1/2 tsp almond extract

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For the glaze you’ll need:

3 cups icing sugar                                      3-4 tbsp water

2 tbsp golden syrup                                   1/2 tsp almond extract

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ingredients

1) Preheat your oven to 350F.

2) Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

3) In a separate bowl beat the butter on medium speed.

4) Gradually add the sugar (1/4 cup at time) to the butter until all the sugar has been added, then allow to beat for 2 minutes.

5) Beat in the egg whites one at a time and add the vanilla extract.

6) At a low speed alternate adding the flour mixture (1/3 at a time) and the milk (1/2 at a time). Then add the almond extract.

7) Stir in the glacé cherries and spoon batter into the cupcake tin.

batter

8) Bake for 18 -20 minutes, then allow cakes to cool.

9) Beat all the ingredients for the glaze together until smooth, then glaze cooled cupcakes. I wanted the glaze to be coloured rather than white, so I added a little bit of food colouring to the glaze.

finishedThese cupcakes were absolutely delicious! They’re not too sweet and the almond and cherry flavours are just amazing together. This recipe will definitely impress everyone at your next party.

Food, Glorious Food

Recently, I had the chance to go to Taste of Edmonton with my husband and a few friends. I had never been before, but I’m pretty sure this is going to be one of my favourite summer events in the future. Taste of Edmonton is basically a food festival. Restaurants and food trucks from around the city have booths at the event where they have two dishes available to try (using tickets you purchase). It’s awesome because you get to try a lot of different food for a pretty decent price.

ToE

There was so much food to choose from it was hard to figure out where to start. I tried to get pictures of the food we tried, but some didn’t have a chance to get photographed because they were eaten so fast. Some of the highlights of the festival were the bacon bullets from Sabor Divino, mac and cheese with maple bacon from Select (pictured below), stuffed mushrooms from The Cheesecake Cafe (shown below), the fresh lemonade from Lemon Heaven, the eclairs from L’Espresso Organic Cafe and the Canolli from Italian Bakery (shown below).

picstitch

It was so much fun to try new foods and check out places from around the city that we had never been to or heard of. If you love food, I would definitely suggest checking Taste of Edmonton out next year!