Cambridgeside Holidays

It’s inevitable– you’re going to be spending some time at the mall this month.  I’m the kind of person who frequents malls, and Cambridgeside Galleria has become my mall.  (Literally, I met my fiancé there!)

I never miss the Cambridgeside Galleria Glamour Swap.  It’s a great chance to get in the holiday spirit and get some gift ideas!

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Of course, the Glamour Swap had me leaving with a gift of my own.  Though I coveted an Urban Decay palette, I opened up this adorable clutch from J. Crew.  I think it’ll look great with black, which most of my wardrobe is, and be great to throw in my big purse for traveling– thus allowing me to only take what I need when I do go out!

Cambridgeside Galleria is not only a great place for Christmas shopping, but it’s the only place you can get pictures with Santa for free!  They assure me it’s for “kids” of all ages.

What gifts are you grabbing this year?  (It’s totally still a gift if you’re getting it for yourself, right?!)

 

MOH Diaries & #Pokemon20

This is my first official installment in my Maid of Honor Diaries series, since my cousin has officially asked me to be her MOH.   (She asked back when I was in Houston about a day after she got engaged, but I don’t blame her for being excited!)

This is my last official installment in my #Pokemon20 Mythical hunt.  I included getting Magearna in here too since the weekend vlog was so short!  We were busy seeing my cousin SLAY as Annie in Annie Jr.  I wish I had a clip of her singing, you guys!  The wouldn’t let us take photos or video… children’s theatre, man.

Too Faced: Grande Hotel Café

Too Faced has put out some beautiful limited edition Christmas sets and they’re just so hard to resist.  They make great gifts for make-up lovers, and the Grande Hotel Café has made a perfect edition to my holiday make-up rotation.

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The Grade Hotel Café opens to reveal three lightly scented palettes: Gingerbread Cookie, Peppermint Mocha, and Eggnog Latte.  Seeing these individually, I could never have decided between them, but you get all three for $49– they even throw in a mini Better Than Sex Mascara!

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I’ve had so much fun creating subtle eyeshadow looks for the season, and I can’t wait to amp it up for holiday parties.

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Each palette includes 6 eyeshadows and one cheek color, which I’ve loved being able to reach for as a finishing touch!

These limited edition holiday sets definitely tug at me when I see them in stores, but I’m so pleased with this purchase!  Which holiday sets have made it to your wish list?

Top Chef: It Looks Easier on Television

Top Chef is back!  This show is a staple on nikkisee.com, and my recaps will be up every Monday!  It’s season 14, and we’re in Charleston, South Carolina.  The first episode, “Something Old, Something New” introduces a concept that I, admittedly, was apprehensive about.  We’ve only got 8 new cheftestants this time and 8 returning Top Chef veterans.  I don’t usually like the idea of returning chefs until you see someone like Katsuji– a chef you really like, and thus are happy to have back.

Our 8 new contestants don’t know who the second group will be.  They face off against each other first.  Their Quickfire is a chicken: use it, make as many dishes as you’d like, and serve it to Tom & Padma any time before time is up.  Only one chef manages to put a dish up before time is called– Italian chef Silvia, who’s pasta impresses.  When time is up, everyone puts up a dish– Silvia puts forth a second and Emily puts up two.  It’s no surprise that Silvia and Emily come out on top, as does my early favorite Jim, who wins the challenge using only chicken innards!  On the bottom, we have Jamie, (who burnt his vegetables,) Annie, (who nearly cried when Tom questioned her use of the term panzanella,) and Gerald, who faces the sudden death elimination against the losing veteran and admits that it looks easier on television.

Graham Elliot joins Padma & Tom to judge the veterans Quickfire, which is to do their take of shrimp and grits.  The most successful are Amanda, Shirley’s bowl of hug, and Brooke’s beautifully runny scotch egg.  Brooke takes the win.  Katsuji, Casey, and John find themselves at the bottom of the pack, but it’s John who has to face elimination against Gerald.

The next day, Gail Simmons meets the chefs at a historic plantation where Gerald and John are to face off in an oyster roast.  John, not wanting to go down this early, whips out his secret ingredient: truffles.  He lighly poaches his oysters in the cream broth of the soup he serves.  Gerald takes a more traditional approach and prepares a Thai-style mignonette.

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In the end, the judges choose John’s dish over Gerald’s, getting John through to the true elimination challenge.  Having lost the sudden death Quickfire, Gerald is headed to Last Chance Kitchen.

I’m so excited for a new season and lots more food!  Who are you cheering for?

 

Friday Favorites: PvZ Heroes

I have a confession: there’s another game aside from Pokémon Moon that I’ve been playing on the regular.  It’s all Matt’s fault– he’s always got a game or two he’s playing on his phone.  I’m not much for mobile gaming– I prefer to browse instagram and pick up my 3DS when I want to play a game.  When I spotted Plants vs. Zombies, I knew I was going to have to download it.

Remember Plants vs. Zombies?  I used to love this game– protecting my house with Pea Shooters and Snow Peas as Zombies tried to invade my yard or roof.  Heroes is a new twist.  It’s a comic book themed card game where you can play as either plants or zombies.

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Meet the Green Shadow– she’s not your average pea shooter.  She’s just one of the heroes you can build a deck around.  Open virtual booster packs with the points you accumulate as you progress to add more plants (and zombies) and tricks to your decks.

The essence of the game is the same– five rows of plants vs. five rows of zombies.  It’s the hero you’re defending this time, and the hero on the other side you’re defeating.  The game gets harder and harder as your progress.  I’ve made it through 50 levels or so on the plant side, but I think Matt’s played 5 times that…

It’s been a great game to play on the train and has completely reaffirmed my love for PvZ.  What have you been playing lately?!

What I Read: November Edition

Last month was another great reading month, save for the time Pokémon Sun & Moon brought reading to a screeching halt.  I managed to read 5 books before the game came out, though!

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The Graces | I picked this book because the cover was gorgeous and the book jacket intrigued me.  I was a little disappointed with the writing style and the story felt… hmm, a bit younger than I expected?  It was kind of teen party heavy, but the heavy dose of witchcraft kept me in it and a slight twist and the end keeps me interested enough to read a sequel, which I believe there will be.

Rebel of the Sands | I somehow found a signed copy of this one in my local B&N.  This is an immersive story and the world only gets more and more interesting.  It starts a little Western mixed with Arabian, but once the magical history of the world comes into play, things get much more interesting!  This is the first of a trilogy and ends mid-rebellion, so I’m in it for the next one.

Aerie | The sequel to my beloved Magonia.  I actually saw this cover and picked the book up before I read Magonia– bringing this home was my catalyst to start Magonia, and as you can see, I read them very near to each other.  While not quite as amazing as the first, Aerie brought me back to Aza’s life and world.  It was emotional and beautiful, and brought an end to the tale in the sky.

The Magicians | My coworker was telling me about the TV series based on this book series and I remembered I’d had this in my to-read pile forever.  I devoured it.  It’s an interesting twist on a Narnia-type world.  The pacing was very, very strange but the end was extremely satisfying!   All-in-all I enjoyed the book and jumped into the sequel.

The Magician King | Here’s where the series got a little grittier, as promised.  More oriented in the world of Fillory and the world of The Magicians, I read this one even faster.  Learning about Julia was the most interesting thing in this book.  The end of this one was not as satisfying, and thus I jumped into the third and final book in the trilogy… which I’m still working on!

What did you read in November?

November’s End

November’s end is the ultimate I-can’t-believe-the-month-is-over.  Maybe you’re already embroiled in the holiday season and happy to see December, but December means the year is coming to a close.  November’s always been a favorite of mine, and I have a major reason to love this particular November…

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[1] We went to a wedding in Tennessee in October, but I didn’t get my hands on these photos until this month. [2] Matt made these little pumpkin rolls twice.  I hope he realizes he’ll be making them a lot more. [3] I taught myself to weave!  It went okay.  Here’s the first thing I made. [4] Matt sent me these flowers on the day he proposed.  I had no idea they weren’t the end of it. [5] Yes, this is the reason I am sad to see this month go! [6] POKEMON SUN & MOON [7] Celebrating Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday [8] Driving up north and seeing the first signs of snow. [9] And the Christmas tree is up for our first Christmas together!

So, there’s lots of good stuff to come.  Are you looking forward to the holiday season?