Month: December 2015

Thanks, 2015!

Seriously, it’s been a great year.  I have so many things I’m super thankful for this year, but I can’t believe tomorrow is 2016.  Time flies!  Here are some of my favorite moments and memories from this year:

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[1] Making the best of Boston’s insane snow by taking a coffee break with my co-worker turned bestie. [2] The opening of a local grocery store basically changed my life. [3] A visit from family all the way from Italy! [4] Watch Hill, Rhode Island.  I made it to the Ocean State near every weekend last summer! [5] Personal growth, and there has been a lot of it. [6] A Newport trip to close out the summer! [7] Pokémon Worlds right here in my own city! [8] Fall foliage photography before hiking Blue Hills. [9] Christmas with the family– all the cousins together with Nonna!

Obviously, this is just the tip of the iceberg.  Now, resolutions.  You might remember I made some last year and I’m proud to report I made good on each and every one of these.  I’m not making resolutions this time, though.  Sure, I have certain goals and intentions in mind, but I’ve no need for resolutions.

I’ve done things I never thought possible this year, whether it’s going to the gym regularly thanks to the influence of aforementioned bestie, or starting a YouTube channel.  Not to wax philosophical here, but my advice to you in the New Year is this: don’t wait for a new year, or a new week, or even a new day to start doing something you want to do.  Do it now.  Just do it!  I’m so looking forward to what 2016 brings.

Let’s give it hell, guys!

sempre,

nikkisee

Post-Christmas Sephora Trip

Hello, hello!  I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas or whatever holiday you spent for the winter season.  Since I was such a good girl this year, Santa brought me some cold, hard cash.  I promptly took to Sephora to spend some of it.  Here’s what I got:

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We’re going clockwise from the 12-spot, which is actually the order I picked these things up!

[1] Tartelette In Bloom | I’ve been searching Sephora for the palette for weeks!  Turns out, all I needed to do was ask.  I never did pick up the original Tartelette palette, though the thought had crossed my mind.  When I saw this baby, however, I knew I needed it.  Tartelette offers all matte shades and this one has a nicer mix– even I need a little shimmer to complete my shadow.  I love the range of colors here and they’re all extremely wearable!

[2] Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Lolita 2 | I’ve been eyeing this formulation for a long, long time.  I’ve had Vampira in my hand before, but never quite made it to checkout.  I covet Lolita, the most popular shade that is always, always sold out in stores.  Lolita 2 is a beautiful shade– a slightly spicy, rusty pink that I think is exactly what suits me.  There are a bunch of other shades I’m interested in, but it all starts here with Lolita 2!  If I find its predecessor, I’ll pick that up too.

[3] BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone | I’ve always thought that my damaged skin can’t handle a lot of highlight, but hey, the flaws are there and people are going to see them.  I’m embracing the world of highlight and contour and treating myself to this little compact of stardust.  After looking at it many times in stores, I knew I would eventually.  I went for the poured instead of the pressed and thought the Moonstone shade was my best match.

[4] Too Faced Soleil Matte Bronzer in Milk Chocolate | I figured if I’m getting a gorgeous new highlight, I needed a new bronzer to go with it.  I’ve had my eyes on Milk Chocolate for a while, delighted that there’s not a hint of glitter to be found.  Matte bronzer is my best friend!  I was tempted to go with the Chocolate, but I’m a pale, pale girl in the winter, so I’m sticking to the Milk Chocolate until I get some actual sun.

So now that I’ve shared my post-Christmas Sephora haul, tell me: what did you get for Christmas?!

MasterChef Junior: Taste it, Make it

Last week’s MasterChef Junior featured a classic Gordon Ramsay challenge– taste it, make it– with a twist!  First off, the kids were blindfolded so they couldn’t use their sight to gather any details about the dish they were to consumer.  Secondly, I don’t think we’ve ever seen our junior take on this challenge!  I was especially surprised by the results.

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We’re seen adults get the protein wrong with use of their eyes, so these kids seriously impressed me along with our judges– Gordon, Graham, and Christina.  The top tier was Kaitlyn, Kya, Ian, and Corey.  Kaitlyn and Kya win and end up team captains for the upcoming elimination challenge.

Kya, as the overall winner gets the choice of first pick of teammate, or pick of ingredient box: New England v. New Mexico.  Kya picks her ingredients and chooses New England– great choice, Kya!  Kaitlyn’s Blue Team includes great first pick Addison, Zac, Kamilly, JJ, and Amaya.  Kya’s Red Team is Avery, New Englander Sam, Corey, Jesse, and Ian.

In 90 minutes, the teams of young home cooks must prepare 31 dishes for VIP grandmas!  Red’s clam bake faces Blue’s pork loin and the grandmas vote to see which team goes straight through to the top 10… Blue!

While the Red Team faces some eliminations, Gordon says that two teammates did not deserve to be in the bottom– Sam and Avery.  They head up to the balcony leaving Kya, Corey, Jesse, and Ian.  Kya was team captain, so you can see why she bears responsibility, but she obviously isn’t going home.  Jesse and Ian are, and I must say, these were the right choices, as hard as it was to see Kya’s team go down.

Different episode, huh?  I can’t wait to see the kids create something of their own next time around!

Top Chef: Hot Hot Heat

Sorry this is late, guys!  The right-before-the-holidays hustle and bustle gets you, am I right?!  Just as it’s getting cool over here on the East Coast, we check in with Top Chef: California in Palm Springs where the chefs experience some extreme heat!

The Quickfire challenge takes place in the desert.  After a jeep tour to the San Andreas Fault, the chefs are faced with super weird solar ovens and solar stoves to harness the sun and cook for Padma Lakshmi and guest judge José Andrés.  The chefs draw knives to determine who will cook on the solar stoves– let’s call them giant silver satellite dishes– and who will use the solar ovens– weird tubes you have to orient toward to sun.  The ovens look a lot more intimidating, and Giselle freaking shatters hers by putting liquid in it!  Others have more success, like Isaac who makes cornbread in his.  Wesley redeems himself from last week and wins the Quickfire and immunity!

The stoves become the blue team and the ovens become the orange team.  These two teams of seven are to create a progressive four course meal… to be served on the golf course!

Here’s what they make:

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Blue down left in course order; Orange down right in course order

Tom seems amped to play golf.  Padma, Blais, and guest judge José all show off remarkable lacks of golf skills.  I know of a couple of kids they can take lessons from!

The fact that they’re serving from refreshment carts in extreme heat and significant wind presents complications.  Phillip makes his second odd choice of the day (the first was serving Padma an oyster on a desert rock in the Quickfire) by plating underneath his serving table.  Padma, José, and John Besh all lose it with laughter at this, the “weirdest experience” of Padma’s life.

The Blue team is declared the winner, with Jeremy closing in on his second win!  On the Orange team, it’s Grayson who’s asked to pack her knives.

…but who didn’t see that coming?  Thoughts?!