June 29, 2012

Office Baking

Since college, I've been working in finance for almost 2 years now. I ended up where I am by chance - I had no idea what I wanted to do after school and decided working in a bank would be a safe and stable place to start. After a year, I realized that as much as I enjoy the things I've learnt and the friends I've met at my current job, my passion lies elsewhere. It took me a while to figure out exactly what my next step should be, but I've finally managed to plan it out. Plans are being actioned and changes are yet to come. Exciting!

But until I turn the next exciting page (it'll come soon... I'm working hard on that!), I am fully focused on doing my best at where I am. My day-to-day work may not be my first choice of career, but I do enjoy immersing myself in a fast paced environment where things are ever changing. What I love most about my job is the emphasis on teamwork - everyone works in a team, and it's all about overcoming problems and achieving milestones together. The friends I've made at work are truly what make my days worthwhile.

Now to address the salivating pictures of brownie cupcakes. What could my job possibly have to do with cupcakes you might ask? One of the senior managers at my department is relocating back to the US tomorrow, and as part of our farewell shenanigans (a giant card, a surprise lunch, farewell drinks to name a few), a colleague and I decided to surprise our manager with cupcakes.

I love that people who work in a bank can be so diverse - race, background, personalities, and most importantly, interests. Case in point - my fellow colleague who loves baking just as much as I do. And it's a HE! How cool is that ladies? A boyfriend/hubby who bakes you the best desserts? (unfortunately this good friend of mine is taken... sorry girls)

Back to the cupcakes. Because we literally could not find time for the two of us to meet up and bake the actual product, we agreed on doing what we each do best - he was responsible for the baking, and I would come up with garnishing. Since we had to do the actual "collaboration" at work, I decided to come up with a design that was simple but went with the farewell theme of this whole collab.

Strolling around the candy store, I found these adorable multi-colored gummies in the shape of airlines. Peeeeerfect for the jetsetter manager we know - who's flying off to New York! With a simple blob of cream cheese frosting as adhesive, we placed tiny airplane gummies (and some gummy bears and berry gummies... you can never go wrong with those!) on the freshly made brownie cupcakes. And look how cute they look all laid out together! These were a huge hit - cute AND yummy. Hope this gives you all some ideas next time you want a quick but cute way to decorate your cupcakes/brownies - colorful candies go far!

June 17, 2012

The Weekend

The weekend was filled with dinners, drinks and lots of good food. With my birthday around the corner (next Friday to be exact), my lovely colleagues and friends hosted Friday and Saturday dinners with me. On Friday I enjoyed a meal of sangria, quesadillas and my favorite smokey chicken fajitas with my closest friends from work. I feel very blessed to be have these lovely people at work - they are my best source of support whenever I have a tough day. Saturday followed with a lovely Italian meal and cocktails with my best girlfriends. Blowing out candles 2 nights in a row meant a chance to make my birthday wish twice - I wonder if it makes it come true sooner!

Sunday was Fathers' Day. To avoid the crowd, my family started the day with a lazy brunch at home - eggs, toast, sausages, cornbeef... simple yet perfect. 

This weekend I was also obsessed with Nicki Minaj's song "Starships." The song just makes me feel so energetic and happy. I particularly love Megan Nicole and Lindsey Stirling's cover of the song - how cute are these girls?

June 14, 2012

Ponytail with a Twist

Ever since I saw these H&M ponytail accessories in one of my favorite YouTubers ThePersianBabe's recent haul videos (she always has the best hauls!), I had made a mental note to check them out the next time I hit up the store. This past Saturday after brunch with Janice, we went to H&M for her to pick up a casual t-shirt for her kickboxing class later during the day (legit excuse to shop in our opinion, no?). Since the haul video had been a few weeks back I wasn't keeping my hopes up, but to my surprise the rings were still in stock in the accessories section. Yay!

These ponytail rings are metallic and open up at a clasp (as you can see in the picture below). They have a plain black hair tie attached to the metal ring, so that is what mainly secures the ponytail, while the metallic ring is merely for looks and does not help in keeping the ponytail in shape. To my surprise there were more variations of this simple ring than I expected. There were spiked ones, half opened "C" shaped ponytail rings, and on top of that, various different colors/metals. After going back and forth for a long long time, I finally decided I like the simple ring design the most. However, I could not settle on which color I liked more as they each seemed to add a different flair to the ponytail - gold adds an edgy vibe, silver adds a sophisticated feel, and rose gold adds a sense of romance and girliness. So... I ended up getting all 3 colors: gold, silver and rose gold. Oopsies!

Each ring retails at $39.90 HKD, which is about $5 USD. Not too cheap for an H&M accessory - however these do seem quite unique (at least I haven't seen similar ones around), and for fast fashion chain store standards, they are of pretty good quality.

So far I've worn the gold and silver ones out, both went through an 10+ hour long day in the office. I find that the hair tie that comes with the ring does not do a good enough job of securing my ponytail tightly, especially when I wear my ponytail higher up (which in my opinion looks best with this hair accessory). However this is not much of a problem for me - I just secure my ponytail with my usual trusty hair tie, then go around the ponytail again with the hair tie that comes with the metal ring. After that the metal ring just goes around both hair ties, and  ta da - you've got yourself a nice and secure ponytail.

I like how the width of this ring props up a pony tail and adds shape. See below for how it looks for me - the photo was taken after a long 12 hour day, and you can see that my ponytail is still holding up okay. I did notice after taking a picture that my own separate hair tie is exposed - still looks alright in my opinion.

Overall I'd say this is a great idea but could have been executed better - the hair tie that comes with can be of better quality - that way the ponytail can be secured tighter which overall would make the metal ring look nicer as well. No one wants a droopy, half-sliding-off lookin' hair accessory! But with an extra hair tie to secure, problem solved. These do add a very interesting touch to the traditional plain ponytail. So all in all, I'd say I am happy with these purchases.

[metal ring still going strong after a 12 hour work day (excuse the exposed hair tie!)... work blouse from Urban Outfitters 2 years back]

 Will you be giving these metal ponytail rings a try?

BlushandBrunch on Bloglovin

June 12, 2012

Daily Staples

 [a corner of my vanity. daily makeup staples, makeup brushes and body shop body butter in raspberry]


Earlier this year when I moved back into my newly renovated apartment, I made it a goal to transform my study desk into a vanity, considering I'm done with college (for 2 years soon!) and won't be needing a desk to study anymore. I wanted most things to be stowed away in drawers or boxes to avoid clutter, but also wanted frequently used makeup and accessories to be easily accessible and visible. More to come on my vanity, for this post I'll start with a little container I have been using to display my every day makeup.

I had been on the hunt for cute containers/drawers for organizing my stash, and came across this lovely mirror/glass mosaic cup at the Central Market in Kuala Lumpur back in April. I think it intentionally was marketed as a tea candle holder. Now it holds most of the makeup products I use on a daily basis (except face & cheek products, which I store in the plastic drawers photographed in the first picture).

In the past I had all these items stashed away with other random products in a plastic drawer set, in which I had to fish them out every morning as I was rushing to get out the door. Now that they are nicely fit into this container I find it much easier to grab everything quickly every day. On top of that, they look really cute sitting on my vanity and it makes me happy every time it catches my eye.

From left to right: Lancome Mascara Base, Lancome Artliner, Makeup Forever Smoky Lash Mascara, Urban Decay 24/7 Concealer Pencil, Bobbi Brown Clear Brow Gel, Bobby Brown Corrector, MAC Painterly Paint Pot, Eyebrow tweezers (no brand), Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner Pencil in Zero, Makeup Forever Aqua Liner 

BlushandBrunch on Bloglovin

June 11, 2012

Summer To Do List

[malibu beach, california]

Summer is definitely my favorite season of the year. On top of all the sunshine/beach/poolside bliss, I was born a full on summer baby - my birthday is in late June, the hottest time of the year where I live. I love the laid back relaxed pace summer brings - nothing beats sipping a cold drink beside the pool, with a nice book/magazine in hand! 

Lazy pool days aside, summer also marks mid way through the year. It's the time of year to revisit those resolutions we made in the beginning of the year... or even set some new ones. It's time to be adventurous and try something new; time to cross off those things on your mental to do list that you've been wanting to do for so long, yet never found time to during those busy earlier months of the year.

Here are my few to dos for this summer:

1. Host a girl's brunch party in my new kitchen 
2. Start doing yoga again, and stick to it this time
3. Venture out into nature for a hike and/or picnic
4. Make variations of this blueberry crumb bar
5. More leisure reading. Finish 3 books, at least.

Bring on the sunscreen and straw hats!

June 10, 2012

the weekend

spontaneous shop and brunch date with janice. we had planned to go to flying pan but wagyu lounge caught our eye on the way... and we're glad it did - perfect big breakfast with a big glass of grapefruit juice was a perfect start for the weekend

saturday late night baking. finally put my new oven to use with a classic new york cheesecake (blueberries not photographed). the best part? the extra thick graham cracker crust

new lime green friendship bracelet from H&M. the silver beads with the lime green string looks so refreshing! currently really loving these knot/friendship bracelets with everything.


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