Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Goodie Bag from Pharma Plus

Last week, Pharmaplus was having a 50% off special offer on cosmetics in the entire store...and when you spend more than $10 on face products, you are entered to win a gift basket at the end of the day!  So it was a good thing I needed some face powder anyway :)   As for the draw...well, it shouldn't come as a suprise that our ticket was not drawn for the gift basket (sigh)... but I was given a little goodie bag full of samples and a free Revlon blush! :)

Marcelle Revival Cream

L'oreal Paris foundation sample - 'Blurs pores and smoothes lines' - 'Air whipped formula blends seamlessly'

Hypoallergenic Herbacin Chamomile cream sample

NeoStrata Anti-Wrinkle Lip Enhancer (sample attached to back) - probably won't use this one

NeoStrata Exfoliating lotion sample

Revlon Crazy Shine Nail Buffer sample - '400% shinier than bare nails'

New sample fragrance from Nina Ricci Paris - L'AIR 

My favourite! Revlon 'A Floral Affair' Sheer Powder blush

Colour: 475 - Honey Bunch

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Mobile uploads - Christmas in Eaton Centre

Took a few pics of the christmas decoration at Eaton Centre ... there was a lot but only managed to take a few photos since I didn't have any space on my phone!

My favourite! Swarovski crystal tree :)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Chicken Soup... from the Soul

I've always been scared of making chicken soup from scratch cos I thought it takes ages to make and just seems complicated - but I was wrong!   I did some searching online, got a few pointers from my mum and decided to make my very own soup for the first time.... surprisingly, it turned out great on my first try!
There was one thing I was right about though: it does take a LONG time until it's ready to eat, but it's worth it in the end!  Here's what you'll need for my chicken soup:

  • One whole chicken
  • Carrots (peeled and diced)
  • Sweet potatoes (Peeled and diced)
  • One large white onion (chopped)
  • Seasoning (you can use your own seasoning mix/poultry seasoning - I just used Salt and Cinnamon)
  • Noodles (egg noodles, or regular spaghettini pasta)

1.  Rinse chicken under water, and place in large soup pot (which I did not have, so I used two regular 

2. Fill pot with water to cover most, if not all, of the chicken (just over 3 L of water)... add 2 tbsps of salt. (Since I used two regular pots, I placed half a chicken in each and 1 tbsp of salt in each). 

3. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for around 2 to 4 hours (I usually don't bother timing   
    after 2 hours - just make sure chicken is tender and falling off the bone)

4. Remove chicken from broth and set aside to cool. 

5. Pour carrots and onion into the broth and bring back to a boil.  Add seasoning and simmer for about an hour.

6. While soup is simmering, pull apart the cooled chicken meat into strips/pieces (remember to remove the skin too!)

7.  Add the sweet potatoes, noodles and chicken meat back into the soup and boil for around 15-20 minutes until the pasta and potatoes are tender. 

8.  Remember to taste the broth to see if it needs more seasoning (which it usually shouldn't because you added enough salt at the beginning... but it's up to you!

9. Serve, and enjoy! 

P.S.  Unfortunately,  I didn't take pictures during the process... these pics of the left over soup were taken the next day (we had 3 tupperwares full!).  I will be sure to take pictures of each step next time I make this soup and will update this post when I do, so remember to check back if you'd like to see that! :)

Featured on Bloggers! :)

I just wanted to do a quick post to write about 'Bloggers.com' ... I came back from an outing tonight, and discovered my inbox was full as I have been featured on the Editor's Picks page today along with two other top bloggers! So,  I'm really pleased with that and I just wanted to get the word out about the Bloggers community... if you want to discover new blogs, have a blog and just getting started, or want to encourage more traffic on your page, I highly recommend you sign up for Bloggers - great community, and great blogs!

P.S. More posts to come soon, and I will be recording the "Another Day in Paradise" piano piece... so stay tuned! 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Chocolate Pots

This recipe was adapted from Nigella's Choco-Hoto-Pots... I had to substitute a few ingredients from her original recipe since I didn't have a few things.  It still turned out to be delicious, but not exactly the same texture.   If using the original ingredients, your choco-hoto-pots should be cracked on the top (like a brownie), and soft and gooey in the centre.  My chocolate pots are more of a cake like/brownie texture on the outside, and very moist in the middle.

- 3/4 cup sugar (I used brown)
- 1 stick/1/2 cup of butter (I used low-fat margarine)
- 3/4 cup of dark chocolate chips
- 3 table spoons of flour (I used sifted whole wheat flour)
- 2 eggs

1. Preheat oven to 200C/400F
2.  Grease 4 ramequins
3.  Combine chocolate and butter in a "bain marie" (or melt them together in the microwave).
4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar.  Then add in 3 tablespoons of flour
5. Combine with cool chocolate mixture and stir.
6.  Divide into four ramquins.
7. Bake on tray in oven for around 15-20 minutes, until the top looks cracked.


P.S.  I baked the left over batter in the next couple of days after it had been in the fridge.  The mixture was thicker since I had stored it in the fridge and when I baked it, the centre was melted - which is exactly how it should be!  

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I'll be home for Christmas....

I love Christmas!! It's my favourite time of the year, and so the Christmas decorations are already up!  Although we don't have a tree because we'll be flying home to be with our family in December, we still have a few festive decorations and lights up.. hope you like them :)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Fitness for Food...Zumba-Yogathon!

Today we went to the first annual Fitness for Food Zumba-Yogathon event organized by the Food and Clothing Bank which raises money/collects canned items or clothing donations.  It was held in the music hall at Hart House, and it was soo much fun!!  The only downside was waking up early on a Sunday morning, but it was worth it :D  

First of all we signed in, dropped off our donations, entered our names to be drawn for prizes later on, and collected our yoga mats.   We started our day with an ice-breaker activity - talking to people and writing down something which was inspiring about them; then the fun part came... Zumba!!  It was such a fun workout, although sometimes you had to watch out for someone slapping or kicking you since we were so close to each other :S   

We then had a break, and some light lunch was provided: butternut squash soup which was delicious; assortment of cheeses; grapes and oranges; a healthy high fibre granola bar; raisin muffin; and juices!   I completely forgot to take pictures of the food, but everyone was crowding around the buffet table so there wouldn't have been an opportunity to do that anyway!  

After everyone was done eating, we came back to the event room and they drew winners for various prizes... my name was drawn for a free cyclefit membership but since I was a student (and we get free membership anyway) my name was put back and I didn't win any other prizes...hmph! :P  But I'm used to it by now... I never win anything anyway haha   We then moved onto yoga!  I had done a class a long time ago, but I didn't remember stretching as much as we did... some moves were a little difficult to hold, but overall it was very relaxing.  I'm definitely going to try and sign up for some more yoga classes soon :)  

To end the day, they offered free 5-minute massages.... a perfect way to end the event!