October 26, 2016

Red Basil | Thai Food

(Chicken Pad Thai)
Ever since my best friend introduced me to Red Basil I have been addicted! I always liked Thai food but that was only because I would pick a dish that was in my comfort zone such as Chicken/Shrimp Pad Thai or Fried Rice. But with curiosity and wanting to try new things I decided to one day order Shrimp Spicy Noodles (sauteed flat noodle with egg and fresh basil in a spicy garlic soy sauce) and of course for this dish I always request that it be very very very mild because I cannot tolerate spicy foods. 
Red Basil is located in Long Island City (3247 Steinway St.) right off of the R train local stop at Steinway. Their $$ eatery has a great atmosphere and excellent customer service. 


(Shrimp Summer Rolls)
I am a huge fan of their Shrimp Summer Rolls with their version of a peanut-soy sauce concoction. I always order this whenever I am having an appetizer since it is light and will not fill you up before your main dish. Also, let's not neglect their Thai Iced Tea! Instead of using condensed milk they use regular milk as a substitute so it is not too high on calories (but who's counting, right?).

(Shrimp Spicy Noodles)
I really do hope that anyone who is in NYC or in the Astoria-Queens area that they try out Red Basil. Their customer service is phenomenal and they are always so welcoming and smiling all the time. 
xoxo -Jess

October 24, 2016

Halo Effect Smokey Eye Tutorial

Hello and welcome back! Today's post is all about makeup and how to achieve this halo eye shadow effect. Hope you enjoy! Products listed below. 
xoxo-Jess

                    


Let me know which lip color you like best! I am in love with these ColourPop lipsticks. They are super affordable and have a ton of different colors. 

Products used:
Eyebrows: NYX Cake Powder
Liquid Eyeliner: Wet N Wild
Concealer: L'Oreal True Match
Blush & Highlighter: Champagne Pop & Amaretto
Makeup Sponge: Beauty Blender 

October 22, 2016

Travel to: Mi Lindo Ecuador | Cuenca

Ecuador Ama la Vida | All You Need is Ecuador

Meet my little Chabelita (right), she is of Ecuadorian heritage born in Cuenca, Ecuador. Wherever you are in Ecuador, you will always find small shops that sell hand made artesanias (crafts). Click here to learn more. 


Summer of 2015, I had the privilege to travel throughout Ecuador for about a month. Being that my parents are from Ecuador I was able to travel with my father and younger sister at ease and not feel so much as a tourist. I had not been to Ecuador in over ten years prior to my recent trip. It was breathtaking just watching the clouds and mountains as soon as you stepped out. My grandparents have a farm in Ecuador which they maintain pretty nicely considering they only live in Ecuador for a couple of months throughout the year. I love going out into the open fields and taking in the magnificent scenery that Ecuador has to offer. 
Cuenca, one of Ecuador's cities, is a World Heritage site. Cuenca is a Spanish-style colonial city with a lot of history. Ecuador's former currency, "Sucre" was replaced by the USD ($) in 2000. 

Let's talk about cuisine...
Since both parents are from Ecuador, I am constantly eating Ecuadorian cuisine. It is no doubt that quimbolitos are my favorite dessert to eat while in Ecuador and to also bring over to the US. Quimbolitos are similar to tamales but is more of a spongy consistency and goes great with a cup of Ecuadorian coffee. (Currently craving these now)

There are a lot of things to do in Ecuador, but if you are in Cuenca then I strongly suggest you visit el Museo Nacional Etnográfico del Banco Central de Cuenca. It is a FREE self-guided museum that has three floors of rich Ecuadorian history. This museum is very well kept and is very informative of both the Incan and Spanish Conquistador history. 

There will be a part 2 and 3 post dedicated to Guayaquil and Baños de Agua Santa. Hope everyone has the privilege to visit Ecuador some day! Till next time.
XOXO -Jess

October 18, 2016

Affordable DIY Costume & Makeup | Dollar Tree


Trick or Treat?

Last year Halloween in NYC consisted of putting together my own costume and going out to my favorite bar, Sweet & Viscous. Last year I decided that I did not want to spend more than $7 on my costume. I put together a simple outfit that consisted of a black romper, statement necklace, DIY Tutu, and black booties. 


 
My makeup was a simple light smokey eye and a berry lipstick with blue undertones to make my teeth look whiter. Products used for my makeup look below:

Eyeshadow palette: NYX  Lipstick: Maybelline
 


Even though Halloween weekend was chilly last year, I decided to brave the cold and go as a ballerina. My outfit consisted of the following:
Statement Necklace: Similar Here
Romper: Similar Here
Shoes: Alfani
Tutu:Made out of Loofah, check out SofiaStyled's Tutorial HERE


October 15, 2016

BOXYCHARM October 2016: Boxy Bazaar

Hello, Charmer! 
This month, Boxycharm had a whole lot of surprises but very few sneak peeks. This month of October we saw sneak peeks of items that we weren't guaranteed. Boxycharm is only $21/month and the monthly boxes usually retail anywhere between $100 - $130 per box. Now let's take a look at the goodies I received this month...  

First up is IBY Beauty Three’s Company Eye Shadow Trio that retails for $19. These three colors are essential for an everyday makeup look and also a staple since there is one shimmery gold color, a matte light brown color and a sheer pearl color. These did not seem patchy when I swatched them and they actually felt really smooth and buttery. The great thing about this trio is that it's also paraben-free! I have a big eye shadow collection so I was not too thrilled about this product but I can always use it as a travel size palette when I travel.




Next up is a product I am not too thrilled about. I have an oily complexion so I tend to stay away from any form of liquid or cream makeup products (except for foundation and concealer). This TEMPTU Shimmer Bronzer retails for $29.50. I am not a bronzer type of girl and this seemed too runny. I will however give this a try and use a stippling brush to apply this product. As you can see in the picture below, they bronzer does not seem too dark for me so that is a plus.



This next product is something I was so excited for since it involves three Luxie brushes! All three brushes combined retail for $36. These brushes are really soft and of great quality. We received the following three brushes:
1. Luxie 229 Tapered Blending Brush
2. Luxie 205 Tapered Blending Brush
3. Luxie 237 Blending Brush

Next we have Briogeo Blow Dry Perfection Heat Protectant Creme that retails for $24 at Sephora. I have not tried this product but I am a big believer in heat protectors, especially since this one claims to protect against heat damage of up to 425°F. Let's hope this makes my hair smell as good as it smells in the bottle while protecting my hair and leaving it extra smooth without a greasy feeling.





Last but certainly not least we have this Starlooks Ultra Matte Lip Paint in the shade "Sultry" which retails for $19. This shade has to be one of my favorites for the fall time. This is definitely smooch proof. This along with the brushes we received has to be my favorite out of all the products. The picture below doesn't do this product any justice since it is a lower res picture but trust me when I say that this is the perfect shade for Fall and Winter. 

In total this box retails for $127.50 and you only pay $21/month! I rate this month's box a 7 out of 10 since I was hoping to receive the OFRA highlighter instead of the Temptu bronzer as well as the eye shadow trio and the heat protectant was out of the ordinary for me. I cannot wait to receive next month's box since sneak peeks have already been surfacing on Boxycharm's snapchat! If you are interested in subscribing to Boxycharm (you can cancel and restart at any month) then click HERE. Boxycharm now also ships to CANADA! Like always if you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me or write them in the comments below.

October 12, 2016

Grab a bite at Dulce Vida Cafe

In the mood for some Latin Cuisine?

Dulce Vida is a Colombian Cafe & Restaurant located on the Upper East Side (UES) in NYC. I would say that their food is a mixture of different Latin cuisines and not just Colombian food. Their food is packed with flavor with a price range of about $11-30 per meal. Dulce Vida also plays music ranging from Salsa, Merengue and other genres. For dinner time they dim the lights and bring out a small candle to the center of the table to add more of a cozy vibe. 

Cazuela de Frijoles*: Red bean casserole with chopped chicharron (Colombian-style bacon) & flank steak, sweet plantains & avocado with a side of white rice. 

*If you would like your dish to be vegetarian ask to remove chicharron & flank steak. 


Feeling a bit thirsty?...
Make sure to order a "Jugo de Mora con leche" (Blackberry juice with milk)

For dessert (not pictured) opt for a Tres Leches cake. 

Check out their menus HERE

October 7, 2016

Petite Friendly Over the Knee Boots




Who says petite girls can't wear Over the Knee Boots? This post is dedicated to all my shorties out there who think that because of their height they cannot rock tall boots. I myself decided to take the plunge and get these beautiful Taupe Suede boots from DSW. Until Columbus day, DSW is having a sale from up to $40 off your purchase with the promo code "FallSavings". I decided to pair these boots with an over sized sweater that hit right at mid-thigh. These boots hit right above my knee, have a 3 1/4 inch block heel, and are stylish and comfortable. I cannot wait to pair these boots with more outfits during the Fall & Winter.


Special thanks to the talented Sandra P for the pictures. Check her out HERE