So, I'm really not a baker. Every time I tried to make cookies from scratch, they'd end up as biscuits. My baking is pretty much limited to funfetti cake mixes...which is really bad. Clearly. But with proper guidance (a recipe book and a very anal friend), I (along with a team of friends) was able to bake a beautiful cake for one of our best friends for his birthday. I got quite a workout on my right arm from all the mixing.
I was in charge of decorating the cake, and I gotta say, I'm pretty darn proud of it.
The fork is my sword!
Practicing the icing on a plate of leftover zucchini (from our barbecue).
The finished product!
It was a 2-layer vanilla cake with chocolate ganache frosting. We put a layer of the frosting and sliced strawberries on the inside. The little chocolate "trimming" and what not is just melted dark chocolate.
The candles are in the shape of a K.
If my architecture dreams don't come to fruition, I guess I can become a cake decorator, aha! I'll work on the baking, though.
It's been a while since my last Birchbox post, huh? The boxes these past few months haven't really wowed me, but I guess it's perfect timing since this month, Birchbox refreshed their look with a new brand design. For a design junkie like me, it's great. They also put in a few more products probably to celebrate the "new look."
I love the simpler logo on the front.
Love the zig-zag pattern and the card too!
For this month's Birchbox, I received three Davines hair products, which includes their Love Smoothing Shampoo, Conditioner, and Oil Absolute Beautifying Potion. Never heard of the brand before, but I dig the Korres-like labels. The box also had a suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser, which smells deliciously lemony, and I've always liked exfoliating cleansers. I also got a LAQA & Co. Lil' Lip Duo in a hot fuschia pink color (swatch below). And the product I'm most excited about: a mini-sized Color Club Nail Polish in London Calling. I've always heard great things about this brand, so I was really pleasantly surprised when I saw this in the box! It's a slightly yellow-toned pale mint green color, and I think it'll be perfect for summer. Will show you how it looks on my nails when I paint them.
Look, it kinda goes with the box it came in!
I'm most likely going to stop my Birchbox subscription when I move out for college because I don't want to have a giant stock pile of boxes filled with samples that I'll probably never get to using. So this or next month will probably be my last Birchbox! It's been fun. Have you heard of any of the brands from this month's Birchbox?
This is a story about Cecille, the only daughter of a well-to-do family, and her transformation into a femme fatale, having grown tired of her boring life. (Let's see if you recognize any of the products in the photos.)
It was a hot summer's day. The sun shone brightly through the trees, illuminating spots here and there all over the porch, and there sat Cecille. Rocking back and forth on the bench swing, sipping on some ice cold lemonade, she was reading a novel that had just come out, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It seemed that no one was buying it at the bookstore downtown, but something about the face on the deep blue cover drew her in.
"I hope she'll be a fool -- that's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool."
As Cecille read over this line, she began to think about herself. Daisy had spoken this line about her hopes for her infant daughter, and it became apparent to Cecille that she was in a similar situation. She had all these expectations and at the same time, a lack of expectations. She was just going to be married off to some millionaire so that her family connections could grow deeper. Everything was already planned out for her, and she couldn't do anything about it.
Or at least, that was what she'd thought. Cecille put down the book and ran back into her room. She headed toward the dresser, on top of which was a clutter of cosmetic products, perfumes, and jewelry. She saw the necklace that her mother had given her as a child: a pink acorn bejeweled with white crystals on a gold chain. It was a symbol of her innocence, her childhood. She examined it peculiarly -- why had she kept it all these years? It wasn't anything particularly beautiful. Why did she even keep all of these frilly things in the first place?
Quickly she shoved everything into the first drawer. She didn't need them. Why did she have to go by the current standards? Do they even matter? She went down to the kitchen and something caught her eye. On the table was a newspaper with headlines in big bold letters plastered across the front. There was a show on Broadway that night, labeled as scandalous and provocative, but a must-see for the new generation. She glanced over at her father snoozing away on the recliner, having fallen asleep after looking through his business papers. Glasses still on. Mother's traveling somewhere in Europe. Brothers are at the company or on some road trip. This is the perfect time to escape, thought Cecille.
She ran into her mother's room and found a lipstick, with a dagger at the end of the bullet. Perfect. She also found a pair of black leather gloves. She went through all the rooms and gathered her new wardrobe. She found a black suit jacket and pants, her brother's black dress shirt, and brought everything to her room. She took out her sewing kit and took everything in. She worked in a hurried daze, pricking her fingers every now and then, but it didn't matter because now, her transformation was near complete. She slipped into her new outfit and found that it fit like a glove, literally.
It was now night time. The hot summer haze had turned into a breezy twilight. She stared at herself in the mirror. The new her. Was she ready for the night? Was she ready to leave behind this comfy, mundane life? She tied her long flowing hair up into a bun and hid it under a hat. It was time to go. She grabbed the money she had been unconsciously stashing away and shoved it into her pockets. After applying the finishing touch on her lips, she headed downstairs to leave. At the door she looked back at her father, still rapt in his dreams. Sorry, Cecille uttered as she rushed down the porch steps and disappeared into the mystery of the night.
Earlier in the year, I showed you a few pieces of art that I'd been working on for my AP Art concentration. For my concentration, I focused my pieces around the theme of makeup and its effect on the user. Over the sequence of these 12 pieces, the girl and the makeup she uses both go through transformations. The girl, once pretty, curious, but a little insecure in her natural state becomes scarred and can only hide behind a mask -- a mask of makeup. I hope you can see the story as you view the images.
While it's a somewhat negative take on cosmetics, I do still love it, but sometimes one can get lost in the sea of products out there. Beauty is only beauty if you be-YOU-ty. (Barf, I'm sorry)
Okay cheesiness over. Here they are! I think you'll be able to tell that I'm a lot more comfortable with watercolors as opposed to acrylic paint. I ain't for dat acrylic life. Yeah, I'm gonna stick with my watercolors.
Watercolor & Pen
Acrylic & Watercolor
The photographing+uploading do not do some of these justice sadly. Can you tell that last painting is me? I couldn't find a model haha. I felt so accomplished when I finally finished everything. I feel a slight void now that I don't have to rush finishing a piece in two weeks, but well time to paint for leisure!