Sephora Pore Clarifying Mask

I am going through a major face mask obsession at the moment. I must own one of every mask Sephora carries!
Going through them one by one, I am finding a lot that I love, and a few that I would not purchase again. I will keep you updated on my face mask journey, starting with the Sephora Pore Clarifying Mask.

I was actually really looking forward to trying out Sephora's Pore Clarifying Mask. Others that I have tried have been absolutely lovely, so I thought this would fit right in. I was immediately attracted to it because it comes in individual packs, easy for travel! (This one made it's way all the way our to Maui with me!!) That's about where the positives stop.  As a young teen, I remember having this Nivea face cleanser/mask (Came in a blue plastic pot? remember?). It had this strange silky texture and burned my face when I used it. The Sephora Pore Clarifying Mask instantly pulled me into a memory of being 14 and absolutely hating the way it felt on my face. Even worse was the smell. It had the exact same burning, unpleasant smell! I expected something lovely and thick, perhaps even a little muddy in texture. (I find that Sephora's brand has some fantastic products!) This was a 100% no for me. It didn't really clear my pores either. I have normal skin, mostly, but everyone could use a good pore-clearing every once in a while. The Sephora Pore Clarifying Mask was definitely not a win, and I wouldn't purchase it again.
Two thumbs down.
Available at Sephora - $6/packet of two masks.

The Anatomy Of Sangria

Pistachio Crusted Salmon

I may have a mild obsession with this dish. I cook it all too often.  It's something that goes well with so many different sides, that I thought I would just post the salmon, and let you do whatever side your heart desires!

I like to use either Sockeye, or Atlantic salmon.  My simple rule of thumb with salmon is- always fresh! Just look at how gorgeous and buttery that piece of salmon looks.

Out of ideas for sides? I often make a side of roasted kale or asparagus (olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper). The salmon also goes very well with a simple risotto, or roasted potatoes. I also usually serve it with a Creamy Dill Sauce, which you can find here. 

Fresh Sockeye or Atlantic Salmon (2 portions)
3/4 cup pistachios (shelled)
1.5 tbsp melted butter
1 tbsp olive oil/coconut oil
Salt (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)
Green onion (optional)

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees Celcius.  

I find it easiest to get the pistachio crust made before I start to cook, as the salmon cooks fast, and you don't want it to overcook while you are making the crust. Having said that, let it stay warm, so the butter doesn't harden. It will be harder to spread if it does.

Melt 1.5 tbsp of butter in the microwave (or stove!). Put your pistachios and butter together in the food processor and pulse  until the pistachio pieces are small, but not too fine. (You want the pistachios to still have some texture to them) 

Preheat your oven-safe pan on the stove on med-high heat. Add the oil. It is very important to have the oil and pan nice and hot before putting the salmon in, as this will give the outside a nice crispness and colour to it, without overcooking the inside. Before you put the salmon in the pan, salt and pepper the top of it. Once the pan is good and hot, place both pieces of salmon in the oil, salt + pepper side down. 

This is the part where I find a lot of people go wrong. Don't try to wiggle your spatula underneath the fish. It will just stick to the pan and fall apart. When the fish is ready, it will stop sticking to the pan. Let the salmon cook for a minute or so- enough to get a nice brown colour on the bottom. Carefully flip the salmon over, and quickly put the pistachio mixture on top. (At this point, we are going to finish the salmon in the oven, so it shouldn't sit too long after being flipped, or it will overcook.)

Once you have crusted the salmon, place it on a middle rack in the oven. This part is a matter of preference. I like my salmon cooked medium, other people like theirs well done. I would say leave it in the oven for 4 minutes, and it will be perfect.
This will vary depending on the thickness/size of your salmon, and how well you want your salmon done. Salmon cooks (and overcooks) very quickly so keep a close eye on it, and don't let it overcook. Best it be underdone and thrown back in the oven, than overdone and dry. 

Remove from the oven, garnish with green onions, and serve with your favourite side!

Piña Colada... With Spinach??

I'm a huge piña colada person, but the amount of sugar and generally bad stuff in a piña colada is absurd! Here is our WAY healthier but just as delicious version! 

2 cups of spinach (yes! Trust me!)

1-1.5 cups vanilla coconut milk (can be found with the dairy/almond milk in your grocery store's refrigerated section. I like to use So Delicious)

3/4 cup frozen pineapple (doesn't have to be frozen but it makes it more of a cold smoothie if it is!)

... Blend!

Tastes just like a piña colada doesn't it?

Tarte Fresh Eyes Maracuja Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover Wipes

I have been on a mission to try and find some sort of makeup remover/cleanser wipe that doesn't leaves face feeling sticky or with raccoon eyes that won't come off. This has been a two year hunt and only just ended successfully with the discovery of the Tarte Fresh Eyes Maracuja Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover Wipes. 

I was a little hesitant as I always try to avoid products with oil in them (I have a fear of getting grease-face!!) but thought I would give it a shot. Not only did it smell INCREDIBLE but it got rid of all the makeup and daily dirt, and left my face softer than a baby's you-know-what! No residue, no oily feeling, no sticky feeling. Just soft! 

You get 30 of these wipes for $14
At Sephora. Worth it? YES.  

Thai Basil Martini

This is a fun twist on a Martini! We had something similar at a restaurant last week, I went home and made my own with a few tweaks! Here it is...

Thai Basil Martini
1oz tequila
.5 oz triple sec
1.5oz fresh pineapple juice (I always go for "not from concentrate", as it tastes better)
1 basil leaf chopped up

Mix all the liquid ingredients together in a martini shaker (ice included) and shake!, strain into a chilled Martini Glass and garnish with a full basil leaf! Enjoy
(hint: if it isn't sweet enough for you, add a touch of either agave or simple syrup)


Hot Broke Messes

'31-year-old Nancy Trejos was supposed to be an expert on handling her money - after all, she's the personal finance columnist for one of the nation's leading newspapers, The Washington Post. But a few months ago, she found herself in her own dire financial straits. Faced with a mountain of bills, debt, and no way to pay her rent, she was forced to call her parents to ask them for a loan. That night was a wake-up call - she vowed to get herself out of debt and into financial solvency.

In Hot Broke Messes, Trejos takes readers along with her on her journey. She meets with a financial planner and a therapist to deal with all the issues young people face today - from credit card debt and student loans, to impulse buying and emotional spending, to the cost of having a social life, to buying a house with someone during a potentially impermanent relationship and more. Trejos learns what causes these problems in herself, how she can fix them, and how she can pass that advice on to other young people going through the same experiences.

Even better, she shows readers how they can address these problems without completely giving up their lives - no "give up your latte a day" type advice here! Trejos' personal and unique voice, along with her experiences that everyone can relate to, will lead readers to relatively painless financial security. '

Find it @ your local Chapters store, or on Amazon!