Recipe: Minestrone Soup

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Soup in the summer? I love it. A light broth-based soup is good any time of year. However the last week in Portland hasn't felt like spring or summer at all. The cold front and rain brought upon a craving for some soup. Today I'm sharing one of my favorite recipes for an Italian classic, minestrone soup. Hope you guys enjoy!


Ingredients:
1/2 cup bacon (chopped)
1 lb spicy italian sausage (without casings)
1 small bunch dinosaur kale (coarsely chopped)
1 bulb fennel (chopped)
1 large carrot (chopped)
5 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 yellow onion (chopped)
1 14 oz can white kidney beans (rinsed & drained)
1 14 oz can garbanzo beans (rinsed & drained)
8 cups of chicken broth
2 plum tomatoes
3 sprigs fresh rosemary (leaves removed from stem & chopped)
5 sprigs fresh thyme (leaves removed from stem & chopped)
grated parmigiano reggiano 
1 lb bag of pasta (I used fussili, but I would recommend shells)


Recipe

1. Heat a large pot of boiling water on high with lid on. When it comes to a boil, salt generously and add dry pasta. Reduce heat, and simmer uncovered until pasta is al dente. Drain and reserve.
2. Meanwhile, heat large, heavy-bottomed pot (I used a large cast iron pot) over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook until all the fat is rendered and the bacon is crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Discard all but 2 Tbs bacon fat. 
3. Place pan and remaining bacon fat back on the heat and add sausage. Break the sausage into small pieces, I like to use a potato masher for this. Cook until golden brown and remove with a slotted spoon and reserve. 
4. Add chopped onion, carrot, fennel, kale, and garlic to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender (about 10 minutes), stirring occasionally. 
5. Stir in beans and chicken broth. Grate tomatoes and add to soup with rosemary and thyme. 
6. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 10-15 minutes stirring occasionally. 
7. Serve hot over cooked pasta with grated parmigiano on top!

Note: For leftovers, I like to store the cooked pasta and soup separately so that my pasta doesn't get soggy!


Enjoy!

Love, 
Claire

Beauty Haul # 2

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

I did a little shopping! In the following video I share a few of the new bits that I've picked up over the last couple of months. I'm so excited about all the new purchases, especially my new Nars blushes! Let me know in the comments of either this blogpost or the video itself if you are interested in any reviews or tutorials featuring any of the products that I mention. 

Don't forget to click on the video below!


Hope you enjoyed!

Love, 
Claire

NOTD: The New Black - Peach

Monday, May 27, 2013

When one nail gets damaged, they all have to go. I can't tolerate having nails that are different lengths, maybe it's the years of architecture school, but it puts me off completely (only slightly melodramatic). Thus, the nails get the chop; which I really don't mind come warmer weather. Once I say goodbye to the claws, there are a few colors in particular that I love to wear on shorter nails; nudes being one of them. Today I bring you a peach-nude polish that went on opaque in just one coat! This polish from The New Black's Cream Puff Collection, has already become one of my favorites.


Unfortunately lacking an individual name, I must refer to this cutie, as the "peach" from a set that I picked up at Sephora.com, The Cream Puff Collection. The polishes are tiny, as you can see by the awkward giant-hand photos, but they pack a lot of punch in those mini bottles. Ordering online, I was at first disappointed with the size (that's what she said), 0.125 oz, thinking that the handle and brush would be too small for clean application and that I would finish the bottle off in three manicures. Not the case at all. After applying my base coat, the polish went on so easily, I had no problems with the brush, and it settled itself out to an even surface very quickly. 


I love this shade for summer and I think it will look even better once I get more of a tan. I'm also looking forward to trying out the rest of the colors in the collection! All the colors in the set are perfect for spring/summer and I personally like to where pastels all year. Definitely keep an eye out for a follow up post on the rest of the collection! Let me know if you have even tried a nail polish from The New Black.

Hope you enjoyed!
Love,
Claire

My Week in Instagram # 9

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Food and face masks. I've been having lots of fun exploring new restaurants and giving my skin a treat a few nights out of the week. I've absolutely fallen in love with sheet masks and am getting more and more interested in Asian skincare in general (i.e. Skin 79, Missha, and Liole). Let me know in the comments below if you have tried any Asian beauty products and what your favorites are!


Hope you enjoyed my Instagram photos!

Love,
Claire

I've Joined Facebook!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

I've finally joined Facebook. I realized that it's time to join the rest of world and get on the bandwagon of ex-boyfriend stalking and hoping the popular girl in high school got fat (she didn't). 


Regardless, come like my page on Facebook! I'll be posting every time I do a new blogpost or post a new video. If you are like most people, and you check your Facebook daily, you can like the page and get updates when I upload!


Hope you guys enjoy! Thanks for liking my page!

Love,
Claire

Tutorial: Easy Every Day Eye

Thursday, May 23, 2013

I have absolutely fallen in love with the Tarina Tarantino eye shadow formulation. I am obsessed to say the least. When Sephora for some reason decided to stop carrying the line and everything went on clearance, I did some stocking up. Because the items became hard to get a hold of, I resisted featuring them until now. Now, they are available on the Tarina Tarantino website! Today's look features one of my favorites of the Jewel Shadow Palettes, Dreamy. 


I've created an easy everyday eye with a pink lip and pink cheeks. I hope you guys enjoy and be sure to watch the video to see how I did the look!


Love, 
Claire

Review: Julep Quick Dry Polish Drops

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Julep Quick Dry Polish Drops are one of my secrets to a great at-home manicure. I love to do my nails at night, relaxing while watching TV or a movie. However, it takes hours for nail polish to fully dry. So even after perfect application, if I hop into bed at a reasonable hour, I'm almost guaranteed a mushed up manicure. Well, here come into play the quick-dry products. Not only do I like to use a fast-drying top coat, but there are a multitude of sprays and drops that quicken the drying process; just like today's Julep Quick Dry Polish Drops. 


After painting on my top coat ("final polish application" as the bottle says) I wait a minute, then apply one drop of Julep's Quick Dry Polish Drops on each nail. The drops are oily, so not only are they drying your nail polish, but they are hydrating your cuticles at the same time. If you are some one like me, who enjoys to paint their nails every couple days (i.e constantly using nail polish remover), your cuticles could always use a little more hydration. 


I like to use this product only at night before I go to bed because of the oily residue, which doesn't bother me at all while I'm sleeping. Another plus, the herbal scent is almost adds a hint of aromatherapy to my bi-weekly manicure. Definitely check out the Julep Quick Dry Polish Drops if you take your at-home nail care seriously.


Let me know what your favorite tricks are for that perfect at-home manicure.

Love,
Claire

Restaurant: Yank Sing

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Dim Sum. I honestly can't get enough of it. I'm always craving it. My parents are sweet enough to always take me almost every time I'm visiting them in San Francisco. Last time I was there we decided to go to one of our old favorites Yank Sing. And as you can tell from the picture below, we weren't the only ones with this idea on a Sunday afternoon.


Yank Sing is no where near your average, or even authentic dim sun restaurant. However it is delicious if you are willing to pay the high price tag. I'm always a fan of steamed dumplings; shrimp, pork, mushroom, you name it. But at Yank Sing I will also get some of their more modern and Western dishes, like the cabbage salad below. So good!


Yank Sing is definitely a great place to bring some one who has never been to dim sum. Unfortunately it won't be as easy to find the chicken feet and pork spare ribs that are typically standard fare. Here I recommend the har gao (shrimp dumplings), the steamed mushroom dumplings, and the cabbage salad. Almost everything is a hit except for the sea bass, I really don't think it's worth it (yes, sea bass at dim sum, welcome to Yank Sing). 


Pictured above is the cabbage salad, walnut shrimp (far left) and assortment of seafood based steamed dumplings (all delicious). I will definitely be back to Yank Sing, but only with my parents. When I'm with friends we typically find that hole-in-the-wall that serves tasty treats for under $3 a plate.

Love, 
Claire

Top 5: The Classic Red Nail

Monday, May 13, 2013

Spring and Summer nails typically means baby pinks, mints, corals, and neons. However, more recently I have been finding myself gravitating towards the ever classic, red manicure. Like the red lip and the little black dress, the red nail will never go out of style. Last month I did a Nail of the Day featuring one of my favorite Sally Hansen nail polishes, Cherry Red, which inspired me to dig through my collection and find all the red polishes that I love so dearly; thus bringing you, my Top 5 favorite classic red nail polishes.


We begin with OCC, NSFW. A brand that we mostly hear about their lip tars, but their nail polishes should not be overlooked. The formulation is great. After two coats, the polish reached full opacity and leveled out completely. Second featured is the already famous, Cherry Red, always a great drugstore option without skipping out on great quality.


Unfortunately, the third nail polish I have featured here, Deborah Lippman's It's Raining Men is at a much higher price point than the rest, $17!!! But as per usual, Deborah doesn't disappoint with a great formulation and classic color. Fourth, I bring you Essie's Head Mistress. This is the darkest of the colors I have in this small gathering. It is less of a cherry red and more of a blood red, maybe even a little classier than the rest, dare I say? Unfortunately Essie polishes don't last long on my hands, but I don't mind since I reapply nail polish every few days anyhow. Finally, last but not least, OPI Big Apple Red. You can't tell from the photos, but I'm almost done with this miniature bottle and am ever so eager to buy this in full size. However, as you can see I'm in no need of red nail polish (these are my favorites, so yes there are more in the collection), so my purchase will have to be put on hold.
After careful consideration and research, I have come to conclusion that the real question at hand is not which polish is better but... is there really such a thing as too much red nail polish?

Let me know what your favorite red nail polish is in the comments below!

Love,
Claire

Empties: April 2013

Sunday, May 12, 2013

More products that I have gone through over the last month. The stand out ones that I will actually miss now that they are gone is the Covergirl Clump Crusher Mascara and the Laura Mercier Creme Brûlée Hand Creme. Too opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of cost, but both amazing products. Make sure to watch the video below to see all the mini reviews I do on the products listed below. I love these empties posts/videos, both doing them myself and watching other vloggers/bloggers. Hope you guys enjoyed!


Products Mentioned:

365 Cotton Rounds*
Lush Bubblebeard*
Lush Party Popper*

Travel/Sample Sizes


* = I would repurchase


Love,
Claire

Review: Pai Rosehip Bioregenrate

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Oils. I love them. From cooking to skincare, I'm so happy oils are in my life. Not only are they packed full of nutrients, thus consuming them helps your skin from the inside out; but using them as topical treatments can treat all sorts of skin concerns and skin types. Remember, just because you have oily skin, it doesn't mean you should stay clear of facial oils and cleansers. You may actually be producing excess sebum because your skin is dehydrated and overcompensating.


Today, I bring you you Pai Rosehip Bioregnerate, a facial oil that I use as a nightly treatment. Rosehip is an ingredient that is hydrating and moisturizing, and this product claims to contain the highest concentration of rosehip oil on the market! Alongside the rosehip oil, the high levels of "Trans-Retinoic Acid"* when applied to the skin's surface converts to Vitamin A, the skin's natural way of repairing and healing itself. Not only are you hydrating, you are helping to fade sun damage and acne scarring. The only downfall with this product is the smell. But that only comes with the fact that Pai products are completely natural and certified organic, formulated without perfumes and unnecessary ingredients. I'm a huge fan of the brand as a whole, and this product is one of the best facial treatments that I've tried.
Over the last month of using it, I can truly say this is one of my favorite products!

Hope you enjoyed!
Love, 
Claire 

Favorites: April 2013

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Another month, another favorites video. During April I started to self tan more regularly, put more effort into moisturizing my hair, and of course, continue to paint my nails. Make sure to check the video out to see more in depth reviews and comments on the products.


Products Mentioned:

Julep Facial For Hands Glycolic Hand Scrub


Hope you guys enjoyed!

Love,
Claire

My Week in Instagram #8

Monday, May 6, 2013

Another group of photos from what I've been up to lately. This group is comprised of a weekend in bend, another weekend trip to california, and more food, surprised?


snugglemuffin | shotski in Bend | kayak art | Deschutes Brewery in Bend
Vitacoco I love you | por que no | homemade banana bread | pahnah's BBQ
homemade carrot cake | essence mint polish | migration brewing | clawfoot tub
essie DJ play that song | le soleil restaurant | bunk sandwiches | froyo
cascade brewing | timbers game | lardo | breakfast

Hope you guys enjoyed!

Claire
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