winter

Winter Vegetable Beef Stew

Okay, I know I say this on pretty much every post, but this really is one of the easiest recipes ever. Just dump a few ingredients in a crock pot and let it cook. Dinner is served. The best part about this recipe is that you can turn on the crock pot before work in the morning and it will be ready as soon as you get home. (more…)

Hot Toddy

For those of you whose lips have never graced the mug of a hot toddy, it’s basically just an adult version of tea and honey. But don’t be fooled, you don’t have to be coming down with a cold to enjoy a piping hot cup of heaven.

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A traditional hot toddy is made with whiskey, hot water and honey, but I like to spice it up by switching out the water for chamomile tea and adding in a few spices and lemon. This drink is the perfect way to kickstart your holiday season; you can make one cup for yourself or a huge batch for that dreaded holiday potluck you can’t seem to get out of.

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Hot Toddy

  • 1 tea bag (black or chamomile)
  • hot water
  • lemon slice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 shot whiskey

Start by steeping the tea bag in a mug with hot water for a few minutes.

Squeeze in the lemon slice, add the whole cloves and stir in the honey using the cinnamon stick.

Add your shot of whiskey and enjoy!img_8498

For a Large Batch

  • 6 tea bags
  • 6 cups boiling water
  • 1 lemon, juiced and pealed
  • 5 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 8 ounces whiskey

In a small pot, steep the tea bags in the boiling water for 5 minutes. Discard the tea bags.

In the bowl of a slow cooker, add in the whiskey, honey, cinnamon sticks, cloves, lemon juice and peels. Mix to combine. Turn the slow cooker onto high and heat until hot.

Add the tea to the slow cooker and turn down to warm.

Four Hair Trends for the Fall and Winter

It’s fall and to us Cali girls that may not mean a change in weather or wardrobe, but a change in hair. As I got my luscious locks touched up last week, I asked my hair stylist, Sara (@Sara_Does_Hair), what trends she’s seen recently and here’s what she said…

Instead of going darker, go warmer. These four tones are ultra popular right now.

1.) Copper 

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2.) Violet Hues- aubergine, eggplant, burgundy 

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3.) Red 

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And quite possibly the biggest trend?

4.) Rose Gold 

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While some of the colors may be difficult to maintain, especially the rose gold, it’s possible. Buy a colored shampoo or have your stylist add a bit of rose gold dye to your shampoo to protect color between appointments. If it’s any encouragement, rose gold hair is one of the easier pastel tones to sustain, Sara said.

So, now we know what colors are “in” and how to make em’ last, but how do we keep that fresh-from-the-salon look? If you’re going for a…

Sleek and Sultry Style 

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“For a sleeker look I couldn’t live without Enjoy Hair and Skin Oil.”

Often when Sara does my hair, this is the only product she uses. It combats my “crazy lady” frizz without feeling greasy.

High-Volume Sass

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“If it’s more of a textured look I love to blow dry in a bit of Texture Cream into the roots and spray Curl Enhancing Spray into the ends.”

Which of these trends is your fav? I’d love to know!

Until next week, XO- Ashley

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

Australia Makeup Haul and Review

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As an avid WordPress blogger and reader, I’ve noticed SO many bloggers from Australia. I gawk over their fashion like Tiger Mist and Rise of Dawn clothing, but I was pretty clueless on their makeup. So today a talented, young guest writer all the way in Australia is taking over to show us Los Angeles locals the ropes! XO- Ashley (@ashleysita)

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Hi guys, it’s Amy here all the way from Australia!
Just aspiring to do great things in life, and writing this blog for you is definitely one of them! Hope you all enjoy my review about some Australian makeup products!

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Chi Chi Fabulous and Flawless Foundation 3.5 Vanilla $29.95
For fair to light skin with pink undertones
What a great way to start off my review! This foundation is amazing! This is a light liquid foundation that has medium coverage but also is fairly buildable. I have heard that it is a pretty good duplicate for MAC Studio Fix ($49). So if you feel like saving some extra dollars and still want to look a million dollars then this foundation is to die for! This foundation comes in 16 different shades too!!

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Chi Chi Rose Wall of Shimmer $19.95
Soft rosy glow
The pigmentation is fairly good and gives a fresh feel to your makeup look, leaving your cheeks glowing for the whole day! I find that a little bit goes a long way with this product as it seems to get more noticeable as the day goes on.

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Chi Chi 3 in 1 Eye Concealer in Light $16.95
For light skin tones 
Conceals dark circles under eyes fairly well, also works kind of like a highlight under that area to brighten up your eyes!

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BASES and TAUPES Glamorous Eyeshadow Palettes $22.95
I was lucky enough to get a set of two palettes for $30 from Target and an added 30% off, what a bargain!! Both palettes also available on the Chi Chi website (click photo for link) for $30!

Bases- a complete collection of base shades.
Taupes- A collection of taupes and mochas with a few cool pastel undertones.
I looovveeee all the colours in both of these and cannot wait to get my hands on another one of their palettes. They’re so pigmented and they are extremely long-wearing and don’t crease very much at all!
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Chi Chi Salon Formula Nail Polish Mini in ‘Just Chillaxin’ $5.00
Soft pinkish grey 
For this Chi Chi nail polish I had to do three coats to get the desired colour and for it to not be transparent, but it was so worth it! This is one of the really “in” colours this winter, especially with clothing, but the colour looks just as good on my nails!

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Chi Chi Salon Formula Nail Polish Mini in ‘He So Fly’ $5.00
Cobalt Blue 
Bright blue with a slightly matte finish, great colour for the extra pop!
AMAZING! This is with two coats and a clear top coat, but you could easily just do one coat and it would still look really vibrant. I find the Chi Chi nail polishes to be very long lasting, they don’t usually chip easily!
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Australis Fresh and Flawless Foundation $13.95
The colour I use for this foundation is Natural Beige and it’s an absolutely amazing foundation. Medium to full coverage with a matte, shine-free finish. Also has SPF15 and vitamin E to moisturize the skin. This is definitely one of my favourite foundations I own and for such a cheap price too!
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POUT ABOUT IT DUCHESS LIPSTICK Sportsgirl $9.95
This lipstick is my ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE lipstick of all time! The nude with the light pink touch glides on like butter and is long-wearing, not to mention seriously gorgeous for all occasions! Definitely a 10/10 for this nude!!!!

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Australis Velourlips Matte Cream in MIL-A-NO $9.95
I must admit I was a tiny bit disappointed with this product, only because I was totally in love with it when I swatched it on my hand, and then once I put it on my lips it looked really similar to the colour of my foundation. This colour would possibly look a lot better on someone with more tanned skin. But the pigmentation is absolutely amazing and I fell in love with a few of the other colours I swatched.

I definitely recommend Velourlips if you’re after a matte lip cream and at such an affordable price too! I discovered that if you want to use this colour it is better to only have a little bit on the brush rather than a lot (making it look less like foundation) and to make even more of a matte finish, dust some translucent setting powder over the top!!

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E.L.F Studio Bronzer- Golden Bronzer $8.00 ($3 U.S.)
This golden bronzer has a bit of a shimmer in it and looks absolutely amazing used individually or blended all together. The pigmentation is impressive and is great for brightening up your cheeks in winter (it’s very cold all the way down here in Melbourne), or to add that extra glowing touch to your cheeks during summer! I personally am very happy with the outcome of this product and even though it is not an Australian brand I am super happy with the quality for the price!

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Face Of Australia Translucent Loose Powder

This Face Of Australia Translucent Loose Powder is only $11.95 for 30g! Yes, you read that right! This translucent powder can be used to set your foundation or used with a primer to create an even base. I use mine to set my foundation, and am sooo impressed with the results! It absorbs up the excess oil my face usually gets about halfway through the day and eliminates any shine I would normally have! Because of its translucency it doesn’t add what feels to be like another shade darker to your foundation already, and is very lightweight!

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Chi Chi Viva La Diva in ‘Lady Bump’ $18.95

This lipstick is just to die for! I honestly am so in love with it, but I am so scared to wear it out as it is such a bold colour! ‘Lady Bump’ is a kind of cross between a deep plum/purple and it glides on really easy with a creamy matte finish, and is a reasonable price. This lipstick is also an amazing dupe for MAC’s Rebel lipstick, which is $36!

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Australis AC ON TOUR Contouring and Highlighting Kit $16.95

I was super excited about this contouring kit because of all the hype it got on the internet about it! Firstly it’s only $16.95!!!!! Secondly, a lot of people were saying it’s a pretty great dupe for the Anastasia Beverly Hills contouring and highlighting kit!

I was also quite nervous because I’d read some bad reviews on it as well.. But for the cheap price I thought I’d buy it and give it a try! The first time I tried it was a major fail, not realizing how pigmented the colours were I put a normal amount on my brush… needless to say I looked like someone had flung mud at my face! I was slightly disappointed at the three contouring shades, but was very impressed with the highlighting shades, especially the middle banana shade!

After discovering a little goes a long way with this product, the second time I tried it I put much less on my brush and it definitely was a lot better! I think I definitely just need to sharpen up my contouring skills and I will be 100% happy with this kit!

Before I go, here is a little bit about me:
My name is Amy Dinicolantonio and I live in Melbourne, Australia!
I am 16 years old and I love fashion and makeup! I recently made my first item of clothing freehand (the top in the photo below) and plan on making many more items, maybe even one day I’ll start my own collection! I read, draw and design in my spare time and love to go on fun adventures. I aspire to do great things in life and travel the world!

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