What I’m Digging Right Now – May Favorites

Let’s face it… in our dusty little speck of the world, we’ve had better months this year so far than May. Like all of them. I photographed some of the things for this post in the days leading to Ronnie James’ death, because I knew they were destined for the list, and I couldn’t see motivating myself to do much of anything afterward.

But that’s what these Favorites lists are for, right? It helps to think of life’s pleasurable Little Things, and I’m going to tell you about the ones that stood out in May, as per usual!

Let’s shake things up and start with products this time.

 

1). Yes to Blueberries Age Refresh Face and Neck Oil and Deep Wrinkle Night Cream.

 

Yes to Blueberries Age Refresh Face and Neck Oil and Deep Wrinkle Night Cream

Yes to Blueberries Age Refresh Face and Neck Oil and Deep Wrinkle Night Cream

 

In my quest for Holy-Grail-caliber cruelty-free skin care, I’ve tried many different products. I listed the Acure night cream in a previous Favorites post, noting its strong herbal scent as its only draw-back. While I liked it enough to talk about it as a favorite that month, I didn’t repurchase it, and I’m so glad, because if I did, I wouldn’t have stumbled upon this magnificent night cream by Yes to Blueberries. Inexpensive, cruelty-free Holy Grail night cream, check! This cream is thick, soft and rich with natural, good ingredients. It feels incredible, and I love its mild, sweet scent.

I thought I’d try the facial oil from the same line, and I’ve been loving that, as well. I put three drops on my cleansed face at night, and two more on my neck, and gently work it all in. The oil is potent; it disappears into my skin and pulls an instant glow to my cheeks. After a few minutes, I mist my face and neck with water and layer the night cream on top. Done.

 

2). Tarte Maracuja C-Brighter Eye Treatment.

 

Tarte Maracuja C-Brighter Eye Treatment

Tarte Maracuja C-Brighter Eye Treatment

 

But before the facial oil and night cream, there’s eye cream, and this one by Tarte has also earned Holy Grail status in my book. Unfortunately, it’s high-end and therefore pricey, but none of the drugstore eye creams I tried really did it for me. Tarte’s Maracuja formula brings to mind some of my past favorite eye creams, such as Clinique’s All About Eyes and Benefit’s It’s Potent! eye cream. Tarte managed to create this beautiful, luxurious cream without testing on animals, and I love them for it. Thank you, Tarte! 

 

3). Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Lip Crayon in Redwood Forest.

 

Burt's Bees 100% Natural Lip Crayon in Redwood Forest

Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Lip Crayon in Redwood Forest

 

I’ve actually had this Burt’s Bees lip crayon hanging around on my vanity for a few months now, but I didn’t really start using it until May. It was love at first wear. I LOVE the formula of this product, and its Redwood Forest color perfectly delivers the shade I’ve always been drawn to the most for lips. Redwood Forest is a gorgeous reddish-brown, but its rosier, almost pinkish cast saves it from severity. It’s not long-wearing, but it reapplies well, and it doesn’t dry out my lips.

Here’s what it looks like on… I took this selfie yesterday morning in the bright outdoors hoping to capture the true color of the product. I think I succeeded, though the rest of the picture got kind of washed out from the brightness (there’s no filter or anything like that… the haze is from the blinding sunlight. I was standing in the shade in my backyard).

 

Current favorite lip product: Burt's Bees 100% Natural Lip Crayon in Redwood Forest.

Current favorite lip product: Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Lip Crayon in Redwood Forest.

 

For me, it’s that elusive, perfect your-lips-but-better color. LOVE IT.

 

4). Crystal Essence Mineral Deodorant Roll-On in Lavender and White Tea.

 

Crystal Essence Mineral Deodorant Roll-On in Lavender and White Tea

Crystal Essence Mineral Deodorant Roll-On in Lavender and White Tea

 

I feel the need to share with you the awesomeness of this product, because it was quite a find. Finally, I’m happy with a cruelty-free deodorant! I’d been intimidated by the idea of finding a natural deodorant that could stand up to Body Combat, and here’s this formula by Crystal Essence! It works well, it’s natural, it’s inexpensive, and no animals were harmed in the making of it. I couldn’t ask for more.

 

Now for food!

 

5). Artichokes.

 

Artichokes... the Food of Life.

Artichokes… the Food of Life.

 

We all know how I feel about artichoke season, right? (If you didn’t before, you do now. Welcome to my world of artichoke obsession.) It seems that I post a new artichoke picture every year in some social media account or another (or three), so here’s my 2015 artichoke cover shot! (Oh, it really is the Little Things.) My favorite dip for artichokes is still Veganaise with grapeseed oil, by the way.

 

6). Hass avocados.

 

The best avocados make the best guacamole. Fact of life.

The best avocados make the best guacamole. Fact of life.

 

The month of May well-addressed our love for a good avocado, let me tell you. We ate many, mostly in the form of Callaghan’s ultra-delicious homemade guacamole. Sublime!

 

7). Amy’s Sonoma veggie burger with organic veggies, quinoa and walnuts.

 

Amy’s Sonoma veggie burger with organic veggies, quinoa and walnuts

Amy’s Sonoma veggie burger with organic veggies, quinoa and walnuts

 

This Rolls Royce of pre-packaged, frozen veggie burgers is my favorite vehicle for the above-mentioned guacamole. I discovered it at Sprout’s one day, recoiled at the somewhat ridiculous price-tag, then thought to myself, it’s not more expensive than the free-range/grass-fed/chemical and antibiotic-free meats I’d be purchasing were I an omnivore. The veggie burgers promptly went into the cart, and they’ve been a staple in our freezer ever since. They are TASTETACULAR. Callaghan enjoys them, too, even though he does eat meat!

 

8). Strawberries.

 

Strawberries every day!

Strawberries every day!

 

Strawberries bloomed fully in May, and, as with the artichokes, we didn’t squander their fleeting season. We’re still eating them. They’re still good. Somehow, the ones we get at Target are the best!

 

And lastly, entertainment….

 

9). Mad Max: Fury Road (film)

 

thatasianlookingchick.com-MadMaxFuryRoadposter

 

THIS MOVIE. See my thoughts here, if you haven’t already!

 

 

10). The series finale of Mad Men (T.V. series)

 

Mad Men series finale (2015)

Mad Men series finale (2015)

 

Some people loved it. Some people were disappointed by it. I thought it was groovy and wonderful, and I admit that a little fizz of rapture actually bubbled along the backs of my arms when the episode ended with that Coke commercial. Most people I’ve talked to who were born in the 60’s, like me, also appreciated that moment of unexpected nostalgia. I just loved the way everything got wrapped up for these characters!

What a series.

So, here we are in June… I have a feeling it’s going to go fast, and I’ll be back here with June Favorites before I know it!

What I’m Digging Right Now – May Favorites

May was a long month that brought a slew of healthy challenges. (If there isn’t already a book called The Introvert’s Guide to Surviving a Month of Houseguests, I might write one.) May was also fun, satisfyingly busy, and rife with “little things” that provoked delight. I actually had to decide which ones to feature here! I doubled some up, so the 10-item list below really contains 13 things. Let’s start with…

1). New reading glasses.

 

Animal print reading glasses in the shadows

Animal print reading glasses in the shadows

 

Before we went to California for Memorial Day weekend, I went shopping for a summer hat for Mom and ended up walking out of Steinmart with two hats for her and these reading glasses for myself, because seriously, who am I to pass on a pair of animal print reading glasses?

It’s great knowing my prescription, by the way. This purchase was a no-brainer, and in fact, I was hardly responsible… the display of animal print glasses pulled me toward it, and all I had to do was find the ones marked +1.25.  I actually needed a pair, though (my rickety old ones fall off my face when I look down).

 

2). Snapea Crisps Harvest Snaps.

 

Snapea Crisps! SO GOOD.

Snapea Crisps! SO GOOD.

 

Snapea Crisps are an old favorite of mine I re-discovered when we got back to the States. At some point during the month of May, they became a staple in our kitchen. They’re as satisfying as potato chips, but they’re baked rather than fried (0 trans fats, 0 cholesterol), and they carry nutritional value… one lightly-salted serving gives you 5g protein, 4g fiber, 230 mg potassium, 6% calcium and 8% iron. I always count out an exact serving of 22 pieces, because if I don’t, I’d probably consume the whole bag in one sitting.

Nutritional density notwithstanding, I know it’s unhealthy to snack on crispy, salty little things in front of the T.V. – we are aware, and we do try to keep it to a minimum. But… you know. Some things just go together beautifully. Rock stars and models.  Desert and rain. Snapea Crisps and Mad Men.

 

3). Artichokes and cherries.

 

thatasianlookingchick.com-artichokes

 

thatasianlookingchick.com-cherries

 

It so happens that two of my favorite varieties of edible flora come into season in May!

When I bring home artichokes, I keep it simple, boiling them with a bit of olive oil and salt and eating them with grape-seed oil Veganaise. Prepared in this manner, the artichoke becomes a glorious magic carpet that carries me off into a cloud of gustatory euphoria. Forget food porn. The artichoke is nature’s Demerol. We’re still indulging, as they’re having a long season this year.

As for the cherries, they ripened earlier than usual this year in the California orchards… they’re technically more a June fruit than May. Dad took us cherry-picking when we were there with Callaghan’s father, though, so they made it onto the list. We brought home heaps of lovely Brooks and Rainer cherries. Like the Snapea Crisps, I have to ration them out when I start eating them, because I will OD on them (if you’ve ever OD’d on cherries, you’ll know what I mean when I say it’s not pretty).

 

4). Clif Mojo Dark Almond Cherry Trail Mix bar and Cascadian Farms Organic Peanut Protein Bar.

 

My new favorite energy and protein bars... and a weird fruit that seems to be a mutant kumquat.

My new favorite energy and protein bars… and a weird fruit that seems to be a mutant kumquat.

 

Yet more food!

You know I’m always on the hunt for perfect energy and protein bars, “perfect” meaning simple, delicious and balanced. In May, I discovered the Clif Mojo Dark Almond Cherry Trail Mix bar and the Cascadian Farms Organic Peanut Protein bar, and they are fantabulous both pre- and post-workout. Anytime, in fact.

 

Now, let’s talk skincare products…

5). Olay Total Effects 7 in One Anti-Aging Eye Treatment.

 

Olay Total Effects 7 in One Anti-Aging Eye Treatment

Olay Total Effects 7 in One Anti-Aging Eye Treatment

 

I ran out of eye cream in May, so I thought I’d get one I hadn’t tried yet. I picked up the Olay Total Effects 7 in One Anti-Aging Eye Treatment, and it quickly became a favorite. It appears to have a tint of color, but it doesn’t… it’s slightly brightening, and it actually reminds me a lot of Clinique’s All About Eyes (it’s similar in color, and it has the same light, velvety texture and feel on the skin). I put it on twice a day, in the morning and at night. I’m definitely going to re-purchase it once this one’s finished!

 

6). Garnier Clean Nourishing Cleansing Oil (for dry skin).

 

Garnier Clean Nourishing Cleansing Oil

Garnier Clean Nourishing Cleansing Oil

 

I used to use olive oil on my face at night, so when I came across this new cleansing oil from Garnier last month, I thought I’d try it out. The verdict? Love it. It’s light yet rich with jojoba and macadamia nut oils, it smells nice, and it just feels good when I work it into my skin. Now, that part of my nighttime routine is less about removing my makeup and more about my face getting massage therapy. I rinse the oil off with water and follow it up with my normal nighttime cleanser (I’m currently using one by Simple).

 

7). Victoria’s Secret VS Fantasies fragrances in Sensual Blush and Amber Romance.

 

Victoria’s Secret VS Fantasies fragrances in Sensual Blush and Amber Romance

Victoria’s Secret VS Fantasies fragrances in Sensual Blush and Amber Romance

 

May brought warmer weather that I interpreted as an excuse to get a new fragrance. Walking by a Victoria’s Secret one day, I impulsively went in and tested every scent in their VS Fantasies collection on every available square inch of skin on both my arms until I couldn’t smell anything anymore. In the end, I decided to go with Sensual Blush (I got both the fragrance mist and the ultra-hydrating hand and body cream) and Amber Romance (the eau de toilette). I layer them, and the combination is sensational!

 

8). Chihuly in the Garden

When I realized that artist Dale Chihuly had returned to the Desert Botanical Gardens to show his work again – I’d gone with a friend to see his exhibit there a few years back – I had to seize the opportunity, and it was an excellent circumstance that one of our houseguests was with us at the time. Chihuly in the Garden was quite an unusual treat for a visitor from France! Spring in the desert is magnificent as it is, with all the cactuses in bloom… add the installation of Chihuly’s colorful glass sculptures amongst the desert flora, and you find yourself in a place of sheer alien beauty. It’s like springtime on another planet.

 

thatasianlookingchick.com-Chihuly2014_1

 

thatasianlookingchick.com-Chihuly2014_2

 

thatasianlookingchick.com-Chihuly2014_3

 

thatasianlookingchick.com-Chihuly2014_4

 

 

9). Chef (film)

 

chef-movie-poster-2014

 

We loved, loved, loved this movie! We loved everything about it… the story, the writing, the cast, the humor. It’s a comedy, and it’s incredibly well-done. I’m not in the business of writing film reviews, so all I’ll say about Chef is GO SEE IT!

 

10).  Evernote

 

Evernote-730x730

 

Ooh, online organizational tools!!

Yeah, I know. But what can I say. I had to start using it for work, and now I’m a card-carrying Evernote nerd with a paid subscription for a personal account (in addition to my work account). Two Evernote accounts! Yikes.

I still maintain my beloved Franklin-Covey agenda, though. Paper forever!

That about wraps it up for May. We’re only two days into June and I’ve already noted two things for my June Favorites post, so it looks like another fun month ahead. =)