Fiction Friday: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

to all the boys I've loved before
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TGIF followers!

Thank you for tuning in for Fiction Friday. Eventually you’ll notice that I have an obsession for romance and book series. You know those people who say ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’? Well, I do. If it looks interesting I’ll buy it and I’m usually never wrong with my decision making (on books.)

Last month I read a lot. Like a lot, a lot. I haven’t started a new book in two weeks because I’ve been working a lot. How many times can I type A LOT in one paragraph? Which, if you haven’t noticed has taken a toll here. I haven’t written much. Nor have I written much on my own website.

Moving on…

This review is on To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before and it’s sequel P.S I Still Love You. Technically, it’s not a review. I don’t know how to review a book or movie without spoiling it all for you. These are pretty much going to be book suggestions for my readers.

I found this series to be super cute. It’s a drama filled tale of young love. Lara Jean is shy and naive when it comes to boys so when all her love letters get sent out, she panics and I’m sure has a mini heart attack. I know I would!

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them…all at once?

Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

Amazon | Simon & Schuster

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P.S I Still Love You

Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.

She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.

When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?

Amazon | Simon & Schuster

Be sure to come back next week for my analysis on Jenny Han’s Burn For Burn Trilogy.

Classic French Bread

I have always loved bread. As a kid I would eat plain bread and butter as a snack because it was just that good, but when I grew up and when to pastry school, I discovered something so much better: real bread. Im talking fresh baked, 4 ingredients bread. Not that artificial, chemical laden crap they sell in stores.bread4bread3

Making bread from scratch can seem like a daunting task, but rest assured, it’s really not! If you’ve never made bread at home before, try it! It is so easy, all it takes is a little bit of patience, but man is it worth it. This recipe is adapted from the great Julia Child, so you know it’s good!bread1 bread2

Classic French Bread

3 1/3 cups bread flour (you can use all purpose, but bread flour is the way to go!)
2 1/4 teaspoon (1 packet) instant active dry yeast
2 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups warm water (110-120 degrees)

In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the flour, yeast and salt. Attach the paddle and, on low speed, add the water. Mix until a tacky dough forms, then switch to the dough hook attachment. Mix the dough on medium speed (to kneed it) until a window forms, about 5 minutes. You may need to add more flour if the dough is too sticky (I ended up adding a little over 1/4 cup extra); you want the dough to be smooth and slightly sticky.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and let rest for a couple of minutes while you wash and dry the mixing bowl. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a clean towel and let the dough rise at room temp until it has doubled in size, 2-3 hours.

Using a bowl scraper or spatula, scrape the dough away from the sides of the bowl to deflate it. Cover and let rest again until doubled in size, about 1 1/2-2 hours.

When dough is ready,  preheat oven to 400 degrees and place a hotel pan or baking dish on the lower rack of the oven and a baking stone on the middle rack.

Turn the dough onto a floured surface and cut into desired amount of pieces, I made two larger loaves. Shape loaves as desired and place, seam side down, onto floured parchment paper. Let dough rest until not quite doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

Slash the top of the dough with a knife so the gases produced while baking can escape. Place the bread on the baking stone with the parchment paper. Add water to the hotel pan to create steam (the steam is what makes the top of the bread crunchy). Half way through baking, remove the parchment paper from under the bread.

Bake until the internal temperature of the bread is 180-190 degrees. Serve with soup or just eat an entire loaf like I did!bread5

NYX Store Review

As some of you may know, NYX Cosmetics opened up their first ever store in Arcadia, California on Friday (October 2nd).

NYX California Store Openings My boyfriend teased me, asking why I was so excited when I could buy NYX products at Target, Ulta, CVS, etc. In the back of my mind, I questioned myself as well, but I’m here to assure you that dropping into the NYX store is totally worth it! 

NYX Store Opening

Cute booths like this one were set up around the Westfield Santa Anita Mall where NYX girls handed out flyers for the store and offered free lipstick applications. At around 3 p.m. on Saturday, the store had a small line and an employee guarded the door.

NYX Bakes Eyeshadows, NYX Eyeshadows NYX Butt Naked Eyeshadow Palettes NYX Butt Naked Eyeshadow Palettes, NYX BlushesNYX Face Primers, NYX store opening  NYX Mascaras, NYX Eyeliners, NYX Store Openings NYX Butter Gloss, NYX Lip Stick  NYX Rocker Chic Palette, New NYX palette NYX Buttedr Gloss, NYX Copenhagen

The best thing about the NYX store is that the majority of products have samples that you can swatch in store. There were also tons of employees ready to answer any questions and help you find the perfect product. In addition, they have every NYX product (of course).

 NYX Makeup Haul NYX Haul, NYX Free Gift

This three-tier mini traincase with lock and key was also free with any $75 purchase. The case sells at $35 regularly.

There were appearances from SSSSamanthaa, MakeupShaylaIamAmyPham and Pomeranian JiffPom.

If you missed this grand opening, don’t worry. The NYX Del Amo Fashion Center location’s grand opening is Friday (October 9th) in Torrance, California. Find all of the details here– it’s a Facebook event list with complete details: opening, meet & greets, and prize options. Hint, Desi Perkins and ChrisspyMakeup will be there on Saturday! Eek!!!

Here’s my mini NYX Haul if you’re interested in seeing what I got. Everything totaled to $100, which isn’t bad considering I purchased 11 items!

NYX avant pop palette NYX avant pop palette

NYX Avant Pop Palette- Noveau Chic $17

NYX rocker chic palette NYX rocker chic palette

NYX Rocker Chic Palette- Tainted Love $18 

I bought this palette for two reasons. I love the studded case and the light blue-white eyeshadow in the bottom left corner is SO pretty. It’s like a matte milky blue color.

NYX Liquid Suede Lipgloss NYX Liquid Suede Lipgloss

NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick $7

Of course I had to increase my liquid lipstick collection because I love the brush applicator, pigmented colors and formula. The bluish gray, Stone Fox, is a very popular Liquid Suede Lipstick, but I opted out because I know I won’t wear it.

NYX Liquid Suede Lipgloss Soft-Spoken

Instead I chose Soft-Spoken (above) and Vintage (below). Soft-spoken is actually lighter than it looks in the picture. I can best describe it as a warm brown with a very slight orange tint. Vintage is darker, but not as dark as the NYX Soft Lip Cream Copenhagen. It’s a warm purple/maroon berry color. These are both great lipstick stables that can easily work for day or night looks.

NYX Liquid Suede Lipgloss Vintage

NYX Liquid Crystal Liner

NYX Crystal Liner $4.50  

(Right) Crystal Gold and (Left) Crystal Silk. I loved both of these gold sparkly liners, the right is more of a bright yellow gold while the left is more metallic with a slight silver hint.

NYX Frostbite Eyeshadow NYX Frostbite Eyeshadow NYX Prismatic Eyeshadow in Frostbite $6

I love the packaging on this shadow, how cute is that silver bow? “Frostbite” is the perfect name for this shadow- it’s a translucent whitish silver base with tiny light blue sparkles. I bought this to put in the corner of my eyes with the baby blue toned shadow (Rocker Chic palette) on my lids.

NYX Baked Blush Journey NYX Baked Blush Journey

NYX Baked Blush in Journey $7

This is a nice color to use as a highlighter, it’s very sheer and sparkly. So far, my biggest peeve with this product is that it doesn’t transfer onto my makeup brush well. I will try another brush to see if that’s the problem.

NYX Extra Creamy Lipstick 629 NYX Extra Creamy Lipstick 629 NYX Extra Creamy Lipstick 629 NYX Extra Creamy Lipstick 629

NYX Round Lipstick in Power (629) $4

This is one color I can honestly say I don’t have at home, so it was a good investment. It’s a beautiful lavender purple tone that doesn’t have too much shine.

NYX Pore Filler Makeup Primer

NYX Pore Filler $14

I was unsure whether I should buy this, until a sales associate had me try it. It’s smooth and soft texture is sure to fill unwanted lines/pores. Definitely recommend.

NYX Finishing Powder

NYX Finishing Powder in Translucent $10

When I tried this product in the store, it seems to reduce shine and not give off any color. At home, I felt like it made me look ghostly. So be sure to apply it with a light hand or steer clear.

Will you be attending any of the NYX grand opening? And if so, what products do you have your eye on? I’d love to know!
Until next time, XO- Ashley

I’m always looking for new beauty, food and lifestyle blogs to follow! Connect with me on Instagram (@ashleysita) or Twitter (@ashley_sita)!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

The weather has cooled off quite a bit up here in the emerald city, but it never feels quite like fall to me until I’ve had my first obligatory pumpkin flavored treat. Every year it’s different, sometimes in a PSL, other times it’s a pie, but this year I chose pumpkin cream cheese muffins.muffins4 muffins1

Those little beauties were the perfect way to kick off fall in the Shaver household, even though they didn’t even last a full 24 hours before being completely devoured. This recipe is so quick and easy, there’s really no reason not to make them, so get baking!muffins3 muffins5

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 eggs
2 cups raw cane sugar
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
1 cup oil of choice (I used olive)

8 ounces whipped cream cheese, room temp
1 cup powdered sugar

Cinnamon sugar for topping

Preheat oven to 350 and pray two muffin tins with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, spices, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, pumpkin and oil. Using a spatula, add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until just combined.

Using an ice cream scoop or a 1/4 cup measuring cup, evenly distribute the muffin batter (the muffin tins should be filled 3/4 of the way full).

For the filling, mix together the cream cheese and powdered sugar (by hand or with a mixer) until evenly combined. Transfer filling into a plastic piping bag (or a cloth bag with a round tip) and squeeze about 1-2 tablespoons into the muffin batter.

Sprinkle cinnamon sugar onto the top of each muffin and bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when poked.

Pairs well with coffee and Hocus Pocus.muffins

The Bargain Brand You May Have Overlooked

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On Friday I took a trip to Ulta for hair products and Vegas Nay lashes and, well, you can see what happened. As I was wandering down the aisles, lost in paradise, I spotted a display of “Essence” beauty products. Eyeliners, lipsticks, lip glosses, nail polish, mascaras, shadows– all ranging from $1.50 to $5. WOW!

Are any of you familiar with Essence beauty products? Let me know in the comments below, I need to know if I was the only one in the dark on this one, because I had never heard of it. GASP!

Although I was tempted to take the whole display, I grabbed what you see above and ran out before I spent all my money.

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Ranging from right to left we have these fabulous lipliners ($1.49 each): Soft Berry, Satin Mauve, Wish Me a Rose, In the Nude.

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While browsing the display, I talked to another customer who swore by these eyeliners. She informed me that Essence has more expensive lipliners- “Long Lasting Lipliners”-  but she said these work the best.

I loved the variety of colors, I’ve been using them as an all-over lip color.

The Satin Mauve has a cool tint to it, it’s not very bright or warm, which is perfect for fall. The Wish Me a Rose liner is just the opposite- a bright warm coral that pairs well with a touch of gold eyeshadow.

Porcelain Doll Long Lasting Lipstick $2.99

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Essence has both matte and glossy lipsticks, but I opted for the matte. The Ulta display was so nice because there were testers of each lipstick. The lipstick has a smooth texture and pleasant scent– I consider it a dupe for Rimmel London’s Kate Moss lipsticks which cost $5.49. (Even the packaging looks similar!) You can see the color above the other swatches on my arm. Look at that satiny finish!

XXXL Shine Lipgloss $2.49

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This lip gloss has a nice, light scent and a glossy finish that isn’t too sticky. I like to add this on top of liners or the matte lipstick when I want something different.

Eyebrow Pencil in 02 Brown $1.99

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I love that the Essence eyeliner pencils have different colors: soft blonde, blonde, dark brown and black. I was also excited about the brush end on the top. Unfortunately, the comb is very soft, so I used a separate eyebrow comb to blend the pencil. On the plus side, I like the coverage, color and blendability of the pencil itself!

Easy 2 Use Jumbo Eyeliner Pen $2.99

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I’m not a huge fan of eyeliner pens, but I really liked this “jumbo pen.” As you can see by the black lines I tested on my arm, it’s possible to do a relatively thin line. I tried this liner when I was wearing tons of eyeshadow so the liner came out lighter than I wanted, but I just retouched it with some liquid liner.

All Eyes on Me Mascara $2.99

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Essence has a wide range of mascara, I chose this one because I liked the thinness of the brush. It takes a couple swipes to get great coverage, but for $2.99 it’s great.

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Smokey Eyes Set $3.49

This shadow palette is fun, especially as a travel item. The texture is smooth and easy to apply, but it was heavy on the metallic tones. Over all, I enjoyed this product, but thus far, I’m still reaching for the Wet N’ Wild trio of eyeshadows.

Like I said, let me know if you knew about this amazing brand and what products are your favorite! Until next week, XO- Ashley


I’m always looking for new beauty, food and lifestyle blogs to follow! Connect with me on Instagram (@ashleysita) or Twitter (@ashley_sita)!

Chicken Enchiladas

Growing up in California, Mexican food is a staple in my diet. I could eat Mexican food everyday and be perfectly happy about it, especially enchiladas. There’s just something about the simplicity of them, but the best part, hands down, is definitely the sauce! Oh the sauce, with its subtle spice and bold flavor, I could spoon feed it to myself…maybe with some guac.enchiladasenchiladas1enchiladas3While perusing pinterest, as one does, and combing through recipe after recipe, I came across one of the best enchilada sauce recipes ever. If you take anything at all away from this post, take the sauce! Take it I say!enchiladas7
enchiladas8 enchiladas5

Chicken Enchiladas

2 tablespoons oil of your choice (I used olive)
2 tablespoons flour of your choice (corn flour is great for a gluten free option)
4 tablespoons hot mexican chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon oregano
2 cups chicken stock

8-10 tortillas of your choice (I used flour in the photos, but I prefer/recommend corn!)
1 batch enchilada sauce (above)
Mexican shredded cheese, about 3 cups
1 (15.5 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles
1 small yellow or white onion, diced
2 tablespoons oil
1.5 pounds chicken, cooked and shredded
Salt and pepper
Fresh cilantro

Start by making your enchilada sauce: heat oil in a sauce pan over medium/high heat. Add the flour and whisk continuously for 1 minute. Add in the remaining seasonings and whisk again for one more minute. Slowly pour in the chicken stock and let simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the sauce thickens slightly. Set aside.

Preheat your oven to 350.

Heat the oil in a sauce pan over medium heat and add the onions. Cook for 2-3 minutes then add the green chiles and salt and pepper. When onions begin to caramelize, add in the shredded chicken and cook 2 more minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Assemble the enchiladas by creating an assembly line: tortillas, enchilada sauce, beans, chicken mixture, cheese. Roll up the tortillas and place in a greased 9×13 baking dish. Top the enchiladas with the remaining sauce and cheese, place in oven and bake for 20 minutes.

Top with fresh cilantro and enjoy!

enchiladas9enchiladas2original recipe here

You Need to Try These False Lashes

They say eyes are the windows to the soul, so that makes eyelashes the curtains that reveal a stunning sight. Right?! Maybe not that dramatic, but they’re important!

Although I loved my eyelash extensions, I wanted to give my real lashes (and wallet) a break.

Luckily, my friend convinced me to try the Vegas Nay eyelashes by Eyelure and now I’m obsessed with them! I have the “Classic Charm” lashes in the pink box and I’ve been wearing them for the past few days to give my eyes that extra pop.
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Classic Charm $5.99

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Easy Elegance $5.99

These two sets of lashes seem to be more suitable for everyday / daytime use. These wispy lashes add length and a bit of fullness to create a wide-eyed look.

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Grand Glamor $7.99

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Shining Star $6.99

These two sets are suitable for a night out, creating a seductive full-lashed look that pairs so well with a nude or bold lip.

So… What’s so great about these lashes? 

1.) The packaging has the eyelashes standing up and not pre-glued to a plastic stand like most lashes. This way you don’t damage the lashes when taking them out of the package.

2.) They are curved into a nice shape that makes them easy to apply.

3.) The instructions on the box give nice tips- cut the lashes so they fit your eye and let the glue sit on lashes 10-15 seconds before applying.

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I had to steal that from Luxy Lash for obvious reasons. It’s too good not to share!

4.) The band is thin and easily covered with eyeliner which makes them look real.

5.) THEY’RE AFFORDABLE and reusable. I usually re-wear my lashes at least once, but with these I’ve worn them five different times with no trouble.

Also Ulta is having a sale right now on these lashes, buy one get one 50%! Hurry while they last, I promise this is a lash purchase you won’t regret!

Have you tried these lashes? Let me know what you think of them!

Until next week, XO- Ashley


I’m always looking for new beauty, food and lifestyle blogs to follow! Connect with me on Instagram (@ashleysita) or Twitter (@ashley_sita)!