Book Review: Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight

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So I’ve been reading a lot more since I’m going to start studying again and might as well get used to reading with something fun! Also I’ve had kids that have taken over the house for the past week so the TV hasn’t been an option. It doesn’t help that all my shows are essentially over either. Lol.

I picked up this book while at Target with my nephews. They received gift cards for Target and wanted to use it. Reconstructing Amelia is a title from the Target Book Club and I actually got one of the first edition signed copies. It’s about a lawyer/single mother that loses her daughter to what is initially believed to be suicide. The book is suspenseful as the story unfolds and the mom, Kate, investigates her daughter’s death.

Many have referenced Gone Girl to this book and there are similar themes in terms of suspense and thrill but I wouldn’t say this book was as good as Gone Girl but comes very close. I also like how it deals with real life issues like cyber-bullying and gives the reader a look into how teen suicides could and do happen. It really reveals how vicious teenaged mob mentality can be and what girls have to go through. Even if they seem to be well-adjusted. Good read and I would highly recommend!

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Personal Dialect Quiz

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Some of you may have already seen this and from my birth order post, you should know I LOVE stuff like this. I really considered psychology as a major since I loved reading about personality disorders and what makes a person tick or the way they are, nature vs nurture, etc :) My results from the test were Washington, DC, Arlington, VA and Glendale, CA. It was amazing that it essentially picked out where I grew up minus the Cali location. Try it out here. Enjoy!!!

Macarons

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So I didn’t mention in my previous post that I grabbed some sweets while in NYC. The ones I will talk about here are the macarons I picked up on St. Marks at Macaron Parlour. We just happened to be walking by and decided to pop in. I got the following flavors: 2 pistachio, tiramisu, party time, Earl Grey and candied bacon with maple cream cheese. Pistachio is my favorite, which is why I got two. Wish I hadn’t though since they were just okay. I don’t think anyone does pistachio as well as Ladurée. The tiramisu was good but not mind blowing and the party time was surprisingly good since I didn’t have high expectations. Party time is described as “salted milk chocolate & dulce de leche.” It was good combination but I wouldn’t say they had the two distinct flavors. My second favorite of the bunch was the bacon one. Come on, it has bacon. What’s not to like? And I’m not a huge fan of maple, so that’s saying something! Finally, my favorite – Earl Grey. It’s a milk chocolate infused with Earl Grey tea. It’s the most beautiful blue color – like robin’s egg blue on the outside and when you bite into it, the soft center is more peacock blue. Not only, was it easy on the eyes but it had a vibrant and outspoken Earl Grey tea flavor. I loved it.

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Although I haven’t had a lot of macarons, my favorites so far include:

Vanilla at Paul (they’re huge!)
Pistachio at Ladurée and everything else there
Earl Grey at Macaron Parlour
Green Tea at Macaron Beer

Hope you enjoyed this post!!!

New York, New York Engagement!

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So my good friend John proposed to his girlfriend this past Thursday and planned a surprise engagement party with his and her close friends. The BF and I went up Saturday morning and headed to St. Mark’s place to eat some Oh! Taisho. However, they didn’t open until 5 pm. I always try to have a contingency plan so we hopped on over to JapaDog down the street. I had the Terimayo pork dog. It was delicious! The pork sausage had a good smoky flavor and the right snap to it. The teriyaki mayo was paired nicely with the nori or dried seaweed. Sounds weird but it worked. Next we headed to Pomme Frites and got some frites with sundried tomato, garlic and pomegranate sauce. The sundried tomato sauce was my favorite but the other two were also yummy.

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After we were nice and full, we walked over to the David Zwirner gallery to see the Yayoi Kusama exhibit. The line was freaking ridiculous for the Infinity Mirrored Room – The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away. We were told that people started lining up around 4-5 a.m. and the line was closed off an hour prior to the gallery’s opening. Isn’t that nuts? Well, we got there in the early afternoon so regardless to say, we weren’t going to see that exhibit.

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But we were able to see the Love is Calling infinity room and it was definitely worth the 25 minute wait and the 45 second trip into the room. LOL. The structures were so quirky and I loved the changing colors.  See my Instagram Account for the video!  (Look for the widget on the blog – either on the side or at the bottom.)

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After the 45 seconds of fun – we went to look at Yayoi’s paintings. Her paintings are so whimsical and remind me of a lot of Mexican art in the use of color and painting technique. Like these little figurines I bought in Arizona.

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After the gallery, we went to chill at where my friends were staying. After a few hours of catching up, cavorting around and playing drunken charades, we all headed to Joe’s Shanghai for scallion pancakes and soup dumplings. They’re so yummy and  the meal was pretty cheap.  The round vessels of meaty juice were so umami and rich.  I loved drinking the juice and then using a little of the black vinegar to eat the rest of the tasty morsel of goodness.

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After a beer and good eats, we headed to a bar, Common Ground and played Drunken Jenga. Lol. We all went back to the apartment and chilled some more. Someone went out and bought some pork buns from Baohaus (I have the best friends.) They were tasty but nowhere near the deliciousness of Momofuku’s pork buns. Afterwards, the BF and I took an Uber car to where we were staying.

During all this my feet were killing me. I wore my Frye boots and my foot situation was NOT pretty. I’ll leave it at that and spare you the gory details.

The next morning, we got up and got ready to head back home. Went into Chinatown and got some dim sum at Jing Fong. It was good and this place is pretty consistent. Just hate sitting with strangers but whatever.  I had my favorites shrimp fun (not shown) and this tofu skin wrapped thing with bamboo shoots and pork.  I was a happy girl.

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Then we headed to Halal Guys to get some lamb over rice for the ride home. Omg. I still can’t get over how good it is. The white sauce and red sauce are perfect complements to the juicy lamb, rice and pita bread. I absolutely love it!  Here’s me waiting for the bus home and trying to look happy but actually feeling miserable after waiting forever with my achy feet and cold rain!  But the trip was a short but fun one – I spent it with my awesome friends and couldn’t have asked for more :)

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Pink Velvetine, Moon Shimmer and Dark Brown Wax

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Hello there lovelies. This is a beauty review. I bought three new products that I have tried and love. This is my face with all three products on (with liquid liner and mascara.) Can’t really tell if the highlighter shows up here but it’s pretty.

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First is the Lime Crime Pink Velvetine Lip Stain. I found this brand through Instagram and loved the punchy colors and vegan products. This liquid to matte stain caught my eye and since I’ve been looking for a bright pink lip color I thought this was perfect. It’s got a felt applicator and it’s pretty precise. Since it’s liquid goes on easily and dries to a beautiful matte finish. I can actually kiss my BF with this on without smearing my lipstick on him :o) The only issue is that my lips are actually two different colors. My top lip is a darker shade so it shows up a bit darker. Though I struggle with this issue with most lipsticks so it’s no biggie.

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The second product is the Anatasia Beverly Hills. It’s her new Dipbrow Pomade. It’s supposed to be waterproof and great for oily skin. My skin tends to be on the combo and oily side especially in the summer. Hopefully I can use this at the beach and the pool when summer rolls around! I bought mine in dark brown since I wear the medium brown color in her pencil form. It’s still a little light for my taste (since I have jet-black hair) and I’m so glad I didn’t get the chocolate color which is warmer. I think I’ll keep it until I try on the ebony but it’ll probably be too dark. I like the pomade texture and the way it looks on. It’s easier to use the pomade to get my arches right then a pencil surprisingly and I’ve always been a pencil girl. Oh, a little bit goes a long way so pick up a a minimal amount of the product with your brush. I used a Shu Uemura eyebrow brush.

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Lastly, I saw this product on a couple different blogs and thought I’d give it a try. It’s TopShop’s Crescent Moon Highlighter. I was using MAC’s Mineralize SkinFinish and it’s nice but I wanted less glitter and more of a pearlescent glow. This is a great product – it doesn’t come with a brush or a mirror but the color is really pretty and not glittery. I almost didn’t want to like it because TopShop had made my shit-list a few months ago when they lost my package of fantastic sale items. But this may make up for it. Haha.

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Easy Egg Salad (Lite)

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I love eggs. They’re probably my favorite food. I eat eggs almost everyday but not lately because I’ve been a fatass since my vacation, Thanksgiving etc. Today, I had an intense craving for egg salad but since I’m trying to eat healthy again, I wanted to make a lite version without so much mayo (FAIL btw) and using mostly egg whites.

Here’s the recipe:

2 hard-boiled eggs with yolk
3 hard-boiled egg whites
1 tablespoon of mayo or less
1 teaspoon of garlic infused olive oil (optional – I just wanted some garlic flavor)
1 tablespoon of Maille whole grain Dijon mustard
1 Claussen Hot and Spicy pickle spear, finely chopped (these are the best pickles if you love spicy food like me!)
1/4 of a small red onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon of white pepper

Mix all ingredients.

That’s it. Lol. I literally just take a spoon and mash everything together and chop up the eggs at the same time. I also do it in a Tupperware so there’s less dishes to clean and storage is easy. Remember to add mayo gingerly. I love mayo and used a heavy hand instead of adding little by little. So it was not as healthy as I intended but it was delicious.

20131216-123257.jpgI also added a few drops of habanero Tabasco to my open faced sandwich to make it spicier. Enjoy!

BOOTacular! BOOTastic! BOOTstravaganza!

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So I think I may have a problem. I limited myself to one pair of boots this fall/winter. Then what happened?

20131207-144253.jpgThis happened. Firstly, it started off with the Half Yearly Sale at Nordstrom. I got the Frye boots I have always wanted. Opting for glossy black then the originally intended brown. A couple months pass. Then Nordstrom strikes again! I see in the catalog, some winter boots. So I think to myself, “I don’t have any winter boots that are waterproof and withstand subzero temperatures. I must have these boots!” Found them at Nordstrom Rack for a lot cheaper than the ones in the catalog. Probably last season but it’s red and cute. Who cares?

20131207-144348.jpgA couple weeks later… Nastygal has a sale. Then the platform booties were found and bought. Thought I should add some color to my shoe wardrobe. Next, enter my trip to Arizona. This time it took me a few months to pull the trigger after Tucson. I thought about it and said no to myself on more than one occasion. THEN I found cowboy/girl or western boots on sale. Oy vey. But how cute would they look with leggings and a flannel? Or a floral dress? Lastly, my lace-up booties. I have similar lace-up sandals in black so I thought this neutral color would be a nice change of pace. This is it – I swear.

20131207-144434.jpgMy name is La Femme Ren and I’m a (seasonal) boot addict.

Katniss “Evergreen”

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Here is my weekly selfie on Thursdays. Today’s inspiration came from the 2nd Hunger Games movie “Catching Fire.” (Sometimes, I like to dress in theme.) I watched it last night and thought it was really good. I cried, I laughed, I gasped at the scary parts. Haha. I love that Katniss Everdeen is a heroine that girls can look up to. And Jennifer Lawrence is pretty bad ass. She keeps it real and hasn’t succumb to the typical Hollywood actress body image issue.

Anywho, I love wearing the side braid and wear it often – especially when working out. The shirt dress has gold buttons so I added a rectangular gold locket to complete the look with my leggings and Frye boots. It was actually quite warm in the DC area and I was burning up in my boots today!

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