Sunday, February 7, 2016

A Pop of Florals


Outfit Details:
 


I recently received this black floral print top c/o SheInside, and I already know it's going to be one of my favorite pieces this Spring. I really love the fun floral print because it is very bright and cheerful and makes a statement. This was also a great find for me because it is very similar to another favorite top of mine that was ruined in the wash a few years back. I have to say that when I saw this top online, I didn't realize that it was cropped and cinched at the waist. Luckily, this piece works with my wardrobe because I love wearing high-waisted jeans and skirts. Once the weather starts to warm up a bit, I think it will also look really pretty paired with a high-waisted full skirt and kitten heels. 

Speaking of Spring, if you can't already tell from the fact that I'm wearing peep toe clogs despite the chilly weather, I'm anxious to trade in my coats and boots for dresses and cute sandals.  We've been getting quite a bit of sunshine these past few days, so I'm optimistic that warmer weather is just around the corner. Fingers crossed!

As always, thank you for stopping by. I also want to apologize for having such a crazy posting schedule these days. This year is off to a busy start for me, and it has been hard to figure out my blogging schedule. That being said, I have so many fun ideas for growing this blog in the new year once I do figure out how to manage my time. 

xoxo,

Helen

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Lentil, Vegetable and Sausage Soup


Soup has become one of my favorite foods to eat this winter because it makes for a very comforting meal and keeps you warm in the cold weather. I've made this lentil, vegetable and sausage soup recipe often in the past few months because it's filling, delicious and very easy to make. The mixture of vegetables make this a very healthy recipe, and the kale and mushrooms add a more interesting texture. I must admit, though, that I decided to incorporate vegetables into this delicious recipe as a way for me to sneak vegetables back into my daily diet. My plan is obviously working because I'm a fan of this soup and have significantly increased my intake of vegetables. This soup is yummy by itself, but I usually like to top it off with grated parmesan cheese and a bit of Sriracha sauce to add an extra kick to it. I hope you enjoy this recipe! 


Lentil, Mushroom and Sausage Soup
Makes 5-7 servings

Ingredients:
1/4 Cup of Oil
1lb Lentils
4 Celery Sticks (Chopped)
1/2 Onion (Chopped)
4 Carrots (Chopped)
3 Cups of Kale
3 Cups of Crimini Mushrooms
9 Cups of Water
2 Tbsp of Chicken Buillon
1 lb of Precooked Sausage

1. In a large pot, add oil, onion, celery, carrots and mushrooms. Stir ingredients until they are soft and the onion is slightly browned.

2.  Add the water, lentils, kale, chicken buillon and sausage to the pot. Bring the water to boil, and then let the mixture simmer for about 30 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Stir the mixture frequently to avoid any ingredients sticking to the bottom of the pot.

See, I was not lying when I said this recipe was easy! Just as a note, the mushrooms make this soup hearty enough so that you can easily substitute the vegetable broth and leave out the sausage if you're vegan or vegetarian. This recipe also keeps well in the fridge for about a week, which is great if you have a busy schedule like me and can't cook every day of the week. However, if eating lentil soup for a week straight is not your thing, you can store part of it away in the freezer.  

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If you haven't already noticed, my blogging schedule has been all over the place these past few weeks. Remember when I said that one of my priorities was to practice self-care in the new year? Well, that meant prioritizing sleep over blogging this week. I can't make any promises yet, but I'm hoping my schedule will be less hectic in the next few weeks so that I can get back to my regular blogging schedule. As always, thanks for stopping by!

xoxo,

Helen

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Winter Coat

All photos by me

Outfit Details:
Black Gloves
Black Coat (Similar here and here)
Navy Sweater (Similar)
Brown Riding Boots (Similar here, here and here)


I took these outfit photos when it snowed in Portland a few weeks back. It rains so much here that I hardly ever get to change out of my rain jacket, so I quickly jumped at the opportunity to don this military style coat. My favorite part of this jacket is the shiny gold buttons in the front and back, because they make this piece look very elegant. Another thing that I love about this coat is the way it flares out at the waist, which gives the piece more feminine shape in my opinion. Since my outfit was pretty dark, I decided to wear my brown riding boots to break things up and add a subtle pop of color.

Since I was absent from the blog last week,  I missed out on blogging about my blogiversary and birthday. I can't believe that I've managed to keep this blog running after starting it two years ago on my 25th birthday. I started this project when I was in a very weird space in my life, and it's been so wonderful to have a creative outlet and have the opportunity to be part of a supportive community. I'm looking forward to another year of connecting with my fellow bloggers and readers, and continuing to grow my little corner of the Internet.

As always, thanks for reading!

xoxo,

Helen

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Weekly Links

(Photo from my Instagram)

I missed posting earlier this week, so I thought I'd pop in to say a quick hello. It's been a pretty busy week with school and my birthday (which was on Tuesday), so I decided to give myself a break from the blogosphere. As much as I love this space, it was nice to step away from it for a while and come back to it feeling refreshed. Since there was no outfit, recipe or DIY post this week, I thought it would be nice to share with you a few links that I found interesting this week...

I love this recipe for peanut butter energy bites from Sugar & Cloth. These delicious and healthy treats make a great snack! I had a few today and they kept me full through a 4-hour class. 

This DIY glitter tumbler reminds me of the cups my mom would buy me as a kid. 

I'm in love with Ban.Do's new fitness gear! Can you think of anything that would motivate you to work out more than this yoga mat that reads "After this we're getting pizza"?

February is just around the corner, so here is a budget-friendly Valentine's Day gift idea!

I'm so obsessed with Kate's cool minimalist style!

xoxo,

Helen

Friday, January 15, 2016

Mermaid Hair with Irresistible Me

Photos by Ale Veyna

Outfit Details:
Hair Extensions c/o Irresistible Me
Zara Dress
Over-the-Knee Socks 
Patent Loafers

Those of you who have tried to grow out your hair probably know what a lengthy process it can be. After working on growing out my own hair for the past three years, I had pretty much given up on my dream to have mermaid-length hair; I just don't have the dedication or patience to grow it out. Luckily for me, Irresistible Me recently made my long hair dreams come true by offering to send me a set of their Silky Touch Remy Hair Extensions to review.

When it came down to selecting which extensions I wanted to try, I immediately knew that I wanted them to be very long. However, I was a bit hesitant about how these extensions would look because I'm still growing out my balayage highlights and have several shades in my hair. I emailed Blair at Irresistible Me with pictures of my hair, and she was very helpful in helping me out extensions that would best match my hair color. Since I didn't know anything about hair extensions, Blair also advised me to keep in mind that the longer the hair extensions, the longer the weight should be. I ended up ordering the 22-inch Silky Touch Extensions in Chocolate Brown (#2) and 200G, and I absolutely love the way they look. 

What makes these extensions so great is that they are made from real hair and you clip them in, so they're easy to put on and remove. They are also very thick and add a lot of volume to your hair. Because the extensions are made of very thick hair, I found that I had to set my curling iron to a much higher heat setting than usual. The length of the extensions also made it so that it took much longer for me to style my hair. Knowing how much more work it is to style longer hair makes me even happier that mine isn't usually this length. It's so much more fun for me to have extensions and have long hair every once in a while. 


I hope you enjoyed this review! If you want a quick and easy way to achieve the long hair look, I would definitely recommend Irresistible Me extensions. They're so easy to apply and look very natural. These are also great if you simply want to keep the same length and want more volume in your hair. 

I hope you all have a great weekend!

xoxo,

Helen

Monday, January 11, 2016

VIICode O2M Oxygen Eye Mask Review


Photos by Ale Veyna and Me

This past year, I've started to become more aware of the importance of skincare because my skin has become much drier and does not bounce back as easily as it used.  The fact that I moved to a city with a much cooler climate and was not getting enough sleep in the past few months, did very little to improve the condition of my skin. In particular, I noticed a lot of dryness around my under eye area, which is why I was very excited when VII Beauty LLC contacted me and asked me to review their O2M Oxygen Eye Mask. I wore these eye pads for a few nights, and let's just say that they were exactly what I needed to make my skin feel nice and soft again. 


(Close-up photo c/o VII Beauty LLC)

Each box of the the O2M Oxygen Eye Mask comes with 6 individual packets, each with two gel pads. What makes these eye pads so great is they last up to 8 hours, which is much longer than other similar products on the market. They also have a gel-like cooling texture and contain ecological plant oxygen extracts. You can use these eye pads up to 2-3 times a week, but I saw results after just one use.

To apply each pad over my eye, I simply removed the plastic film, placed them under my eyes, and gently pressed each pad so that the gel would adhere to my skin. I was a little afraid of what it would feel like to wear these pads as I was trying to sleep, but they stayed on throughout the night and weren't bothersome to wear. I saw results immediately after the first time I wore them; the dark circles under my eyes were less pronounced and my skin felt very hydrated and soft.


I'm still trying to figure out my complete skincare routine here in Portland, but the VIICode Oxygen Eye Mask was a lifesaver this past month. If you are interested in trying out the VIICode Oxygen Eye Mask for yourself, you can purchase it on Amazon. Make sure to use promo code: L9SK-999M5K-L5M8AS for $5 off your purchase. 

xoxo,

Helen

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by VII Beauty LLC, but all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting my sponsors who help keep this blog up and running. 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

2016 Resolutions


Sharing my resolutions on this blog worked out really well for me in 2015, so I'm doing it again this year. It was really awesome to be able to look back on my resolutions for the year and see what I had accomplished, as well as remind myself as to why I set out to pursue certain goals. Let's hope I can say the same thing for 2016! Here are my goals for the year:

Take care of my mental health and practice self-care. I want to set the intention to make time to take care of myself whenever I'm feeling down or stressed out. I also want to carve out time to just focus on myself, whether it be by taking a bubble bath, practicing yoga or writing in a journal.

Practice better time management. I've always been a go-with-the-flow type of person, but I've realized that I need to start putting things in a calendar if I'm going to be able to deal with everything that is on my plate in 2016. While it's hard to build new habits, I'm going to try my best to stick to this goal.

Make new friends/date. My goal is not necessarily to be in a relationship this year, but to make the effort to put myself out there. If anything, I hope that it will allow me to get to know Portland a bit better than I currently do. While I'm not planning to document my dating adventures on this blog, I figure I'd put the intention out there so that I can hold myself more accountable. 

Take better care of my body. When it comes to this goal, I'll be happy if I simply manage to eat more veggies. Now that I'm getting older, I've realized that I need to be more mindful about the things that I put in my body. I'm looking forward to experimenting with recipes and finding new ways to incorporate vegetables into my daily diet. I also want to get back into an exercise routine, since I haven't been very good about working out since I started grad school. Lastly, I want to make sure I get more sleep in than I have these past few months.

Shop responsibly. While my budget doesn't always allow me to purchase items that are fair-trade or help the environment, I want to make sure that I do so whenever possible. Just like last year, I want to continue to focus on shopping less and spending more money on quality pieces. 

Add variety to this blog. This is one resolution that I failed at last year. While I did publish the occasional recipe and DIY tutorial, most of the content on this blog consisted of personal style posts. I want to make an effort to change that this year and really use this space to its full potential.

Make time to disconnect. I want to spend less time in front of my phone and away from social media, and more time connecting with family and friends.

Thanks for reading through my goals for this year. Is there anything in particular you want to accomplish in 2016?

xoxo,

Helen
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