Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Chewy Chocolate Chip and Toffee Cookies

It has been far too long since I've posted something substantial, and I apologize. I'm terrible at keeping up with resolutions, but this is one I need to try to keep up with! Maybe I'll try to come up with a weekly post schedule at the beginning of each month, so at the very least, I'll have four solid posts a month. Hmm... I think that might be a good solution...

Nevertheless, I'm here with a delicious recipe to share! On Superbowl Sunday I was craving something sweet, and I decided it had been far too long since I had baked cookies, so I went to work. I came up with this yummy chewy chocolate chip and toffee cookie recipe and thought it was worth sharing :)

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 12 tbsp butter (half melted/softened)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 palm full of toffee bits
Other: baking sheets, two spoons, electric mixer/spatula
Oven temperature: 325 degrees
Cook Time: ~12 mins
  1. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in one bowl. Set aside.
  2. In another bowl, add brown sugar, white sugar, vanilla extract, egg, and egg yolk. Mix together and add melted/softened butter. 
  3. Once the ingredients have been mixed so that there are no large chunks, slowly add the dry ingredients from the other bowl. 
  4. Mix (I mix with an electric mixer) until batter does not have large chunks in it. 
  5. Add chocolate chips. 
  6. Add toffee bits. 
  7. Enjoy licking spatula/mixer heads.
  8. With two spoons, scoops 1.5-2in chunks onto a cookie sheet. I evenly spaced 9 cookies per sheet so they have enough space, as they do melt and get pretty big. 
  9. Place cookies in pre-heated oven for 10 mins; keeping an eye on them for another two minutes. Cookies should look soft in the center (but not wet) and slightly brown (but not obviously)
  10. Take out cookies and let sit for 5-10 mins. 
This is by far my favorite recipe and I hope you all think it's just as awesome! Enjoy!

Oh, also. I thought this was too cute not to include. :)

found here


Monday, December 31, 2012

Catrice Nail Polish

I recently stumbled upon the Catrice nail polish brand on Oooh, Shinies! (thank you for contributing to my nail polish obsession) and I absolutely love the two colors swatched on the blog. Definitely check out the site, because the swatches are amazing.

  • Steel My Heart: (left) On their website, this color looks like black and purple with hints of blue. 
  • Steel My Soul: (right) On their website, it looks like grey with a purple tinge and gold glitter. 

       
These colors are amazing, and I have never seen anything like them! The unique thing about these colors is that when they dry, they have a brushed metal look to them (think outdoor BBQ grill) but with a clear top coat, they look normal. So cool. I like Steel My Soul better than the other, mostly because I really love the way the gold looks in the grey. Plus, I love nudes and more natural looking colors than dark or bright (currently wearing Deborah Lippmann Modern Love). 

The problem is, they're only available in Europe, and I have no way of getting them all the way in California :(

So, if anyone lives or knows someone who lives in Europe and wants to ship these to me, or has some way of getting these, please let me know! I'd of course pay for them and the cost of shipping them over.  I have no way of getting these (that I know of, if you know another way then leave a comment!) and it breaks my heart. 

Seriously, if someone can make these happen or tell me how I can, I'll be forever grateful. 

Also, looking for nail polish storage; any recommendations/how do you store yours?


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Finals Week!

Hey all!

It's almost finals week here in my world, and life is hell! I know I've been through this time and time again for the last three and a half years, but this quarter's finals week really does seem to be the absolute worst! I guess it's because it's my last one! So exciting.

So here's a piece of advice I wanted to share with you all, to help you get through hell week. I won't lie, I'm terrible at following my own advice, but the rare times I do, things always work out.

As I was complaining to my cousin about all the things I have to do this week and next, as well as all the mayhem taking place in my everyday life, he told me to simply quite stressing about anything and everything not related to school. He told me ditch the relationship and the family demands, and to just focus solely on school and getting through this last week. Good advice I say!

Because honestly, this really is the last big thing I need to worry about and get through. Once I'm done with this, I'm done with school! Unless of course I do grad school, but that's a whole different conversation. Family will still love me, and my relationship will still be there; my main concern is to chug through finals week and finish strong!

Easier said than done however. It's incredibly difficult to block things out when they're really eating away at you. It took me forever to finally start my paper because I was too concerned about other things, and I'm really kicking myself for it now. Fortunately, I've mastered the art of proper procrastination, so all is well.

So I say screw all other things in your life at the moment, and focus on what matters most. For me right now, its school, everything is taking a backseat.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

SKYFALL

This weekend I watched the new James Bond movie, Skyfall, and boy is it good. Seriously, if you haven't seen it yet, you should definitely check it out soon! There's a great old school vs new school duality throughout the film in honor of 50 years of James Bond. The gorgeous classic Aston Martin DB5 makes an appearance and the opening credits are to die for. Adele's voice, as always, awes audiences and really brings back that classy James Bond feel. I strongly recommend checking out this movie, it really represents the 007 series at its best!


Before watching the movie, I heard about the OPI Skyfall Collection, but didn't give it much thought. After watching the movie though, I thought I'd check out the colors, and I fell in love. The colors are gorgeous! But since I think $8 a bottle for nail polish is quite ridiculous, I headed over to my favorite, Amazon.com to see if I could get the entire collection of 12 bottles for a decent price - and of course since Amazon never lets me down, I found a good deal!

I couldn't help myself, I had to buy the collection. I'm beyond excited and can't wait for my package to arrive! Guess I'll have to ditch a couple of my Julep to make up for the price of the collection - oh well. 

Swatches hopefully to come soon!


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

sidenote: Julep!

Hey guys, just got an email today from the always amazing Julep team about a "Build a Box" special they have going on! Sounded pretty awesome so I thought I'd share with you all!

You get to pick one accessory, two Julep nail polishes, and a Julep product for a total of $29.99. I'd say that's a pretty good deal, considering the nail polishes alone are $14 each, and the Julep products offered originally retail at $14 and $24 dollars!

I'm thinking I'm going to get the box with the infinity scarf, nail polishes in Trina and Heather, and either the Quick Dry Drops of the American Beauty Volumizing Mascara (although I'm not sure if the mascara is supposed to be brown or black). I've heard good things about the drops, so I might just have to check them out.

If you aren't already a Julep Maven, you definitely need to be! Not only do you get a nice little present in the mail each month, you also get special Maven pricing on all their nail polishes and products! Another cool thing - you can try out your very first box for only a penny! No joke. Just visit Julep's website and pick your intro style/take the style quiz and use the promo "COLOR2012". I used the penny promo code when I first started Julep, because I was a bit skeptical about whether I really wanted to spend so much on nail polish. Trust me though, it's totally worth it! You basically get to try your first box out for free, and after you realize how great the nail polishes and products are, you'll find out for yourself that $19.99/month is totally worth it for these polishes.

Check it outttt :)

Also, check out my other posts related to Julep! You'll see a few of the boxes I've received! If you're interested in seeing even more of the colors, follow me on Instagram @priyabubbs !




Saturday, November 10, 2012

Exciting!

Hey all! I know it seems I've forgotten about you, but fret not, I haven't! Life has just been crazy, crazy busy and maintaining a blog has been the last thing on my mind (got to set my priorities straight! HW > blogging).

Nevertheless, I'm back with some exciting news and updates!

+ School will be over in about a month! Oh my goodness, I will no longer be a student! I can't wrap my heard around that. I don't think I know how to be anything else but a student sometimes. I'm really excited though, I'll hopefully be all done come mid December, and I'll get a mental break from the world of higher education. 

   The things is though, I love being a student. Call me a nerd, but I totally do. I love learning new things, challenging myself in ways I never thought I would, and discussing the thoughts of some of the greatest minds. I. Love. It. I'm going to miss it :( Actually, I plan to take some classes either through open university or through some online system like Coursera (which is awesome btw) to keep myself busy and continually learning. Should be fun :)

+ Work has been busy busy. Who knew the end of the year would be such a busy time? I thought projects were ending... but I guess not. It's also been really fun doing different things to bring in some company culture! We had an awesome Halloween party (pictures to come) and I've been on a mission to bring some excitement to the workplace for some time now, and it's working! So exciting. 

+ I've got a few ideas for upcoming posts! I promise they're coming soon! Here's a sneak peak at what I've been brainstorming :
  • LUSH Junkie post = I realized I have too many little black pots laying around. Pictures, reviews, favorites, least favorites - ALL to come!
  • Perfume Collection = I'm slightly obsessed with fragrances, so why not share the obsession?
  • a37 update = I'm in love with this camera and it deserves a post in which I express my love for it.
  • What's in my bag = Who doesn't love these?
  • Skincare Routine = I think I finally found something that works.
  • Birchbox Favorites = Why not?
  • Fall Nail Polish = I have way too much nail polish.

I'm excited to get back into the blogging world! As school comes closer to an end, I'm sure you'll be seeing more posts. For now I can probably only commit to maybe one post a week, but I promise to make it good :)

Also, let me know if there's something you want to see posted on here!

And for your enjoyment, Buddy would like to make an appearance :




Monday, August 27, 2012

Twitter!

I know I've been really bad about posting on here lately, but I plan to once finals come and go! In the meantime, follow me on twitter for all other updates, pictures, & exciting-ness :)

@priyabubbs

Saturday, August 18, 2012

July Favorite

As always, I'm late when it comes to posting my monthly favorites - but better late than never right? Although it's a short list, the products are amazing and I hope you enjoy :)

Origins Sunscreen
I've been using this sunscreen for quite some time now, and I've really grown to love it. I used to hate wearing sunscreen because of my oily skin, and nothing ever seemed to sit well on me. I'd be shiny and greasy looking at the end of the day - hell, I looked shiny the minute I applied it! I finally gave up and stopped wearing sunscreen (bad idea). Sunscreens important, and I realized after maybe a good year or so, that I wasn't doing myself any favors by avoiding sunscreen, and that I needed to start wearing it daily! I went on a hunt for a good non-greasy sunscreen and came across Origins A Perfect World SPF 35 Sunscreen with White Tea ($28.50). It's a very thin consistency, goes on smoothly, and feels incredibly soft on your skin. I don't look nearly as oily as I used to, and my skin feels better - softer, smoother, and more "glow-y." The only thing that breaks my heart is the price, but considering I hardly even use half a dime size for my whole face and that it doesn't make me greasy, I'd probably buy it again. I've been using the same tube for quite some time now, and I've skill got plenty!

GLOSS Moderne High Gloss Masque
I received a sample of this hair "masque" in my July Birchbox (bless your heart Birchbox) and I could not be more happier! I think this is probably one of my favorite items I've received from Birchbox second only to the yummy perfume in my June Favorites. A 4oz size of this sucker goes for $39, and judging by how little I've used of my sample, that $39 will go a long way. My sample size was about the size of your typical eye cream... 0.5oz. I've already used it maybe five times, and I still have enough for two more uses. It makes me hair feel so smooth and soft, and also gives a nice coconuty smell.

Yeah, I've only got two things for last month. They were the only things that really stuck out to me, and that I thought were worth sharing. Hopefully next month will be more exciting :)



Sunday, August 5, 2012

Been MIA.

Sorry for being so absent from the site lately! I owe you all a ton of updates. It's just been really hard to blog, go to school, work, do the home/family thing and find time to sleep. There's been a lot going on, but I'm definitely going to try and blog more this month. Any requests?!

I'll be back tonight with my July favorites! :D

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sucker for a Good Deal

I enjoy shopping, I can't help it. More than anything else though, I love a good deal. Many times, I'm more excited about the deal I got, than I am about the things I bought! Recently, I've been finding deals like crazy!  I can't stop telling people about it (silly I know), so I thought I'd share :)

First of all, a word of advice. I recommend avoiding regular price items as much as you can. Sure, somethings like cosmetics and skincare products just don't tend to go on sale, but when it comes to clothing, it always goes on sale. I never buy anything regular price anymore, and if I do, I make sure I have a coupon that a knocks off 40%!

  • A little over a month ago, I went to GAP while they were having some crazy sale. Things were over 50% off! The best part however, was that there was an additional % off things that were already on sale. Needless to say, my mind was boggled. Let's just say I bought over $350 worth of clothing, for around $100. Mind blown. Furthermore, they were having double rewards points for GAP card holders, meaning I was going to get 10% back in rewards soon! Double win. 
  • Wandering through Target today, made my way to the shoe section. I don't usually tend to find shoes at Target, but I had time to kill so I browsed anyway. I saw these cute Mossimo patent red flats on clearance. I didn't think much of them but since they were almost my size, I tried em on anyway. Not only did they fit, I also noticed that they were only $4.48! Holy cow. Win. 
  • As you might know I absolutely love Crabtree&Evelyn hand lotions, but I hate the price tag. I thought I'd check out the store anyway because I was running low on my purse size hand lotion. Last time we went, I bought a $9.00 lip tint for only $2.50 and instantly became a fan of the store. I was initially about to buy a three pack of 50g (150g total) lotions for $30, but upon reaching the register, noticed that they had a six pack of 25g (150g) lotions for only $7.95). Seriously. Needless to say, I dropped the $30 box and bought the latter! They also gave me size additional samples! LOVE. Win. 
  • During our adventures to SF this weekend, we stopped by Banana Republic because they had a sign outside the store saying 70% sale! Plus, I had a $40 rewards card. I found a flow-y satin tank on sale for $25.99 (regularly $39.95) and decided that I loved it so much that I wanted it in two different colors. When I reached the register, I found out it was customer appreciation weekend or something, and when using my GAP card, I received an additional 25% off. With the sale price, discount, and the rewards card combined, I walked out paying only 52 cents for BOTH shirts! Major win. 
Honestly though, there's no reason to pay regular price for clothing. I avoid it at all costs. Very rarely will you see me buying something for regular price; I only do it if it's something I just HAVE to have, or if it's something that is already at a great low price. I advise you all be wise when shopping, you'll love the thing so much more if you know you got a good deal on it :)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Updates! Work, Birchbox, &Coffee!

Sorry I've been missing lately! I started a new job and things have been crazy. I'm basically working full-time and going to school full-time as well. By the time I get home, get Buddy walked, dinner made, and everything cleaned up, I'm ready to pass out. But, it's fun and I'm learning a ton, so it's okay :)

Work: I got a job as a recruiter at this tech startup, and it's crazy! It's a recruiter/office admin/HR position, so I need to learn to do everything! On my second day, I found out that the person in charge of everything right now, is going on maternity leave in October - so I need to learn everything ASAP! It's fun, challenging, and hectic, but I'm enjoying it.

Did I mention I have a cute little cubicle!? I love it! The picture below is from the first day of work, hence the lack of exciting stuff. But now there are colorful sticky notes everywhere, and in case you weren't aware, I love office supplies, so I've been going crazy with that too. It's so exciting :)


This awesome little clock also has a spot in my cubicle :)


OH! And I received my Birchbox today! I was pleasantly surprised with all of the goodies, so much good stuff! I especially can't wait to use the hair masque!


This weekend...and Philz!: Sahil's taking me to the city this weekend and I'm super excited :) He hasn't told me what he has in store, but I definitely know a trip to Philz is a must! Apparently Phil makes coffee at the 24th/Folsom location, so I'm gonna be heading there in hopes of meeting him, getting yummy coffee, and getting a picture :) It's kind of like a pilgrimage for me! SO EXCITED.


I know the blog hasn't seen too much action lately, but I'll hopefully update regularly again soon! I just had to get all situated at work and whatnot, as well as adjust to the schedule change. Hopefully the SF adventure will result in tons of pictures and exciting things to share :)

More to come soon!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread

Lately I've been trying to better my eating habits. It's rough, but I'm trying to not only eat smaller portions, but also trying to find healthier snacks and less processed foods.

I was sitting around bored, and decided that I wanted to make something. Remembering I had zucchini in the fridge, I searched for a quick zucchini bread recipe. It then occurred to me that I should be healthier and instead look for a whole wheat recipe. Next thing I knew, I came across a website,  100daysofrealfood.com, emphasizing non-processed food. I got excited and next thing I knew I was making whole wheat no sugar zucchini bread!

Instead of making zucchini bread in a loaf pan, I made muffins! I think it's easier to munch on a muffin and a little less of a hassle when baking.

I love that there's no sugar in the recipe! Instead, the directions call for honey - why did I never think of that?! Sure, it's less sweet, but remember, it's bread, not a cupcake. Since I do have a little bit of a sweet tooth though, I drizzled a little bit of honey on the muffins when I'm eating, and wow, it's good.

Hope you all enjoy the recipe!

Notes:

  • Don't worry about proper measurements, I always throw in a little extra. I added extra honey, cinnamon, and I only had 2.5 cups of zucchini instead of 3 and everything turned out just fine. 

Thanks to 100daysofrealfood!

June Favorites

I know it's a week late, but it's okay because there are a lot of fun things on the list this month! Enjoy :)

MAC Tinted Lip Conditioner in Petting Pink
I've been wanting to try out these little lip conditioners for quite some time now and I finally got around to it! I must say, I really like it! I chose the color "Petting Pink" because it's a nice light, subtle shade of pink, which is great for everyday wear. I don't like to wear much color, so this is just perfect. The best thing about this product is that it's incredibly moisturizing! I usually run from any sort of lip color because everything I've tried tends to irritate or dry my lips, but this is just amazing. My lips get the color they need and stay moisturized. ($15)



 Angels On Bare Skin
As you know, I absolutely love LUSH. I switched my entire skincare routine to incorporate their products, and I've been very happy with the results. My skin feels healthier, brighter, clearer and softer. This cleanser is very creamy, not drying at all, and has almonds in it so you get a little bit of a scrub as well. I use it in combination with Fresh Farmacy, and lately I've been loving my skin. Both products are great for all skin types! ($10.95 for 3.5oz)

image from lushusa.com

This has got to be my new favorite hair product. Not only does it smell amazing (like baby powder/baby oil) it does wonderful things for my hair. I hate hairspray that leaves my hair sticky, and this product does not do that at all. I spray it on and my straight hair looks great and fly aways stay away. When my hair is curly, the spray keeps it in place, but the minute I run my fingers through it, my hairs soft and not at al sticky. This is especially perfect if you need hairspray but don't like to wash your hair daily. It's great at keeping your hair in place when you want it to stick (like in a tight bun or a pouf maybe) but also great if you just want something to tame your hair but not make it crispy (like when you want to leave your hair down). Although it is a little pricey I think it's worth it, especially because I don't have to wash my hair everyday. You can also buy it in a mini travel size to try it out before you commit to the larger size. ($14.99)


This is my new favorite mascara. It's super affordable, and does great things for my lashes. My eyelashes are longer and thicker, and they don't clumpy nor do they flake. I reach for this mascara everyday, whether it's to achieve an everyday simple look, or to add more drama. It's incredibly diverse, and that's why I like it. It's pretty reasonably priced considering it gives me the same look that my favorite high-end mascara does for only a third of the cost. ($6.99 at ULTA)


White Ayurvedic Chai and Samurai Chai Mate 
After trying out some fruity tea last month, we headed beach to Teavana to get a new flavor! This awesome chai/chai blend is complicated, spicy, cinnamon infused, and just yummy. It's weird and hard to explain, but its worth trying! It's also very soothing and since there's much caffeine, it's perfect before bedtime. ($16.20 for 4oz)
Also see: Sipping on the Good Stuff

image from teavana.com

Atelier Cologne Vanille Insensée Petite Cologne Absolue
I received this in my Birchbox a couple of months ago, and I LOVE IT. It's smells amazing. I might have already talked about it before, but it's so yummy it's worth talking about again. It's a blend of vanilla and jasmine but it's really complex. You can't pinpoint exactly what you're smelling, but you know it's good. It's sweet and warm but still fresh. ($65 for 30ml)
On a similar note, I love Birchbox. If you haven't already subscribed to them, check out their website and sign up! It's only $10 a month and you get a bunch of samples. It's a great way to try out new products at a really good price. Plus, who doesn't love getting presents in the mail?

image from birchbox.com

Trader Joe's Speculoos Cookie Butter
My cousin's wife told me about this amazing-ness and oh my wow, it's delicious. Imagine a gingerbread cookie in peanut butter form with some caramel, yum. It also has some other flavors, but I can't pinpoint exactly what they are. It's yummy though, you've got to try it! I put it on wheat toast, but apparently you can put it on pancakes, waffles, and bagels too. From Trader Joe's. ($3.69)


Milk Chocolate Covered Potato Chips
This is another one of my newly found favorites from Trader Joe's! It's salty, sweet, and crunchy! Since it's from Trader Joe's, I don't feel bad about eating them either. Some people are turned off by the combination of salty and sweet, but it's one of my favorites. These chips find the perfect balance, and they're delicious. I also love that they're crunchy and not soggy from the chocolate. ($2.99)


That was a pretty random list, but I hope you enjoyed it! Comments/Questions/Opinions are always appreciated!

Sidenote, I'm super excited for Bi-Rite's Eat Good Food. I ordered the book a couple of weeks ago and have started reading. I already love it. Updates to come!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Crayon Art

I've been wanting to do crayon art for what feels like forever now! Often, I'll see a project online and put it on my mental to do list, but just never get around to it. My friend had made one of these crayon art things before, and I volunteered her to help me whenever I finally got around to making my own. Yesterday, we finally made one! It's incredibly easy to make, and pretty fun too!

I've often seen a 12x12 piece of canvas used, and the crayons glued to the top and dripped down. That's what we had originally done, but then I decided to attach another square to the top (so that my crayons were in the middle) and began to drip them in the other direction. If you look closely at the picture, you can see the joint on the ride side of the crayons. I thought it would be fun to do something a little different. It's completely up to you how you do it, below are just the basic guidelines.


Tools:
  • A box of crayons. (I bought the 6 pack and picked the prettiest colors.)
  • A glue gun. ( I was SO excited because I had wanted one forever and I finally bought one for super cheap).
  • Canvas frame. (3 pack at JoAnn's for only $8.99!)
  • Newspaper.


Step 1. Use your glue gun to glue down the crayons in whatever order you please. 
Step 2. Create a work surface by laying down newspaper, it can get pretty messy as the crayons melt and splatter. I did this on my kitchen floor. 
Step 3. Blow dry! After a few minutes the crayons will start melting down the canvas. You can melt as long as you like, blow in whichever direction you please, and mix colors as you wish. It's really completely up to you!

Enjoy!

4th of July Nails

Although this might be a little late, I thought I'd share anyway (you can celebrate Independence Day all month!). My friend found these super cute 4 of July nails online and I took it upon myself to do her nails. After slightly tweaking the picture we originally found, we came up with what you see below. They turned out pretty well considering it was the first time I'd ever done them and I did them in a hurry.

Colors Used:
  • Kiss Colors - White
  • Essie - Midnight Cami
  • LA Colors - Wired
  • Sally Hansen Insta Dry - Ruby Rocket
  • Julep - America
  • Sally Hansen Hard as Nails - Clear

Tools: 
  • Flat bottom toothpick
  • Tape
  • Scissors

Step 1. Paint four nails red, leave one unpainted. 
Step 2. Paint the unpainted nail blue (I used Midnight Cami, followed by Wired to get the perfect shade of blue).
Step 3. Paint thumb nail with America (I used Ruby Rocket as a base coat, but America is red enough to stand alone).
Step 4. Use the flat end of a toothpick dipped in white polish and gentle make polka dots.
Step 5. Paint a piece of tape white, two coats, and let dry.
Step 6. Cut the tape into strips and place them on your nails, cutting off any excess as necessary.
Step 7. Apply a clear top coat.


Enjoy!