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Hi!

I’m Alexandra. An American girl living in Ireland. I honestly document my adventures in travel, food, beauty, and expat life on a budget.

January 2019 Favourites

January 2019 Favourites

Hi friends!! Happy January! I hope the first month of 2019 has treated you well. If you have set any goals or resolutions for yourself I hope you are absolutely smashing them!

December was amazing and thankfully not very stressful. I know it can be a bit hectic for some but I luckily prepare a lot in October and November so I can relax a bit once December rolls around. The obvious highlight of the month was getting to go home to America and spend the holidays with my mom and dad. Leaving my parents never gets any easier. I may have cried through check-in, security and all the way to the bar by our gate! A couple of airport beers always help take the edge off! Now it’s back to normal and since it is the end of the month y’all know what that means – monthly favourites! 

I didn’t do a December Favorites so this post might be slightly longer as I am going to try and squeeze two months into one post! After Christmas I had new bits to try and time to try them hence a big post for y’all. So, grab a coffee or a wine and tuck in! 

BEAUTY OBSESSIONS:

MAC Prep & Prime and Ulta Color Correcting Concealer

MAC PREP & PRIME FIX – I know, I know. This has been around forever. But here’s a little secret – I don’t actually like MAC that much outside of their blushes. I have wanted to try this for some time though so when I saw the travel size bottle at Ulta I scooped it up. I love to use it for a primer or even to set my makeup. The smell is heavenly and a little bit goes a long way. I will happily invest in a full-size bottle once I run out of this!

ULTA COLOR CORRECTING CONCEALER – My skin has been all sorts of broken out lately so this is a lifesaver. I’ve read about color correcting concealers before but never felt the need for them until recently. I’m sure there are a lot of great ones but I decided to try the Ulta one because I do like their range. I am extremely happy with this and would recommend a green concealer if you are also having any issues with redness!

HEMPZ ULTRA MOISTURIZING HERBAL LIP BALM – When I was a teenager my mom had a tube of this and I would always go into her purse and use it. This was an impulse buy while standing in the queue at Ulta and I definitely didn’t realize how expensive it was ($9!!) but it is so worth it. It locks in moisture and smells good to boot.

NARS CLIMAX MASCARA – A few months ago I placed a Sephora order to be picked up at my parents when we were over for the holidays. And when I say I placed the order, my best friend did it for me and generously let me use her super high up Sephora discount code to get some new bits. Thanks, Lindsay! Anyway, I got a few samples with the order and this mascara was one of them. I am not normally a fan of NARS makeup outside of their blush. Notice a pattern here? This mascara though is SO good. You seriously only need one coat and your lashes look fake. I know I am getting old though because I’m like, does this really need to be called Climax? I looked up how much the full-size tube is and it is €25…a bit pricey but it could be worth it!

GUCCI BLOOM- Let me preface this by saying that I had a gift card that I used to pay for this. I wanted this perfume for some time but I knew I would be getting this gift card at Christmas so I waited to purchase. This was well worth the wait! When I was in my late teens/early 20s I loved the original Juicy Couture perfume and this to me smells like a grown-up version of that. It sticks on your clothes too so I keep getting whiffs of it all day and it perks me right up! Only because I had a voucher I purchased the largest size but they do have smaller bottles and a rollerball if you aren’t ready or don’t want to pay to commit to the 100ml!

Gucci Bloom

RECIPES: I have tried so many new recipes in January! And I can’t fault any of them! My goal for 2016 was to cook more food and while it took until about 2018 for that to become a reality, I am out here doing it y’all! And dare I say, enjoying it!

CHICKEN AND CHORIZO JAMBALAYA – So, so, so easy and so good. I love new recipes that are full of ingredients you already have in your kitchen and this is definitely one of those recipes! This will warm you up during these cold months we have coming.

CREAMY COURGETTE AND BACON PASTA – I was very skeptical of this when I was making it. While I was cooking it, it was looking disgusting. I didn’t even want to serve it for our dinner because I was so nervous! No need for the nerves because this was SO good. The recipe called for 4 courgettes but I only used 2 and it was plenty. I would recommend grating the courgette before to save some time when cooking this. 

CHICKEN AND SPINACH CASSEROLE – Okay, so this one is a bit weird. I found the recipe on Pinterest and the site it took me to then had a link to another site to get the full recipe. The two recipes were similar but they were totally not the same! Since I have been feeling a bit more confident in the kitchen, I pick and choose from each recipe and made my own recipe! It was good but it took a while. I like quick meals so this won’t be added into my regular rotation but it could be a good meal to make on the weekend when there’s more time.

SPICED TURKEY BURGERS – This isn’t a new recipe to me but I only realized that I have never shared it on here! I actually got this recipe from my manager at work! She was eating these for lunch one day and they smelled so good I had to get the recipe from her! These are amazing for a quick, delicious, and healthy dinner! I love to serve these with toasted brioche buns with spicy cheese melted on them and a dollop of guacamole! 

WHAT I WATCHED:  YOU – This has to be the most dumb bitch show I have ever watched. But did that stop me from watching all 10 hours of this dumpster fire in like a week? Nope! If I were like 14 and watching this I would be really into the lives these characters lead because I would have had no clue about the cost of living as an adult, let alone living in New York City. It’s amazing, everyone in this show is either a student or works a low-wage job (not knockin’, just how it is on the show) but can somehow afford to live alone in spacious and usually gorgeous apartments. I know I’m really getting caught up in the details here but I can’t help it! Besides my issue with the insane debt these people must be accumulating, this show, from what I could gather is aimed at teenagers. Joe, the main character (SPOILERS) murders all of his girlfriend Beck’s (the most uninteresting girl that has 2 stalkers?? Sure, Jan.) friends because he thinks they’re bad for her and claims to do it because he ‘loves’ her. That is not love and some young teen will definitely watch this and think it is though. And one more thing, there is a character called Peach Salinger who is somehow related to J.D. Salinger. It is the most, but not in a good way. I could probably write a whole post on all my problems with this show. Oh, but a good thing! John Stamos is randomly in a few episodes. I’m not saying don’t watch it, because most people have at this point, but know what you’re getting into. After processing the series, I am tempted to compare it to Twilight. 

NEW SHOP I LOVE: PIPER & SCOOT

I have wanted to shop here for months but I hate paying the shipping for things from the US to come to Europe so I was strategic in purchasing from here. On Black Friday I used a discount code and took advantage of extended holiday returns! Most places only give you 14 days to return items (fair enough) but that can be a tight squeeze when you’re living across the ocean from the store. I purchased a blouse and a dress and I am beyond happy with both purchases. Kylee, the owner does super detailed try-ons on Instagram stories so I felt confident placing an order with them. Her try-ons really helped and I was able to accurately gauge my correct size in both items. I think I’ve discussed before that I don’t care for the shops in Ireland as much as I do at home so I am hoping Piper & Scoot can be a new go-to for me. And they’ll be worth paying the shipping for! This dress is so similar to the one I purchased and I would seriously never take off if I didn’t have to. It is that cute and comfy! This is the blouse I got and can’t recommend enough! 

I’ve been doing some thinking over the last few weeks about the content I want to share this year. If you have any posts you would like to see please let me know! I think I have a few ideas but still need to hash them out just a bit. I am feeling things on here need a bit of change, a new direction! What that is, I am not entirely sure yet! 

 Miss what was on Candid Alexandra this month? No worries, I got yah covered.

Need a break from the cold of January? The Lisbon City Guide will take you on a virtual getaway! I discussed what the blog and my online community mean to me in One Year of Candid Alexandra. One year already? Time is flying! January is the time (really whenever you want is!) to try something new. An Updated Every Day Makeup offers a look into my every day makeup essentials and hopefully exposes a new product or two to you at the same time. I said I wanted to share more of Dublin and I started out with Dining in Dublin: Wolf + Spoon. If you’re looking for somewhere local, affordable and delicious you won’t want to miss Wolf + Spoon.

I love hearing from y’all! If you want to say hello, have an idea for a post you would like to see me do, or want to collaborate, you can contact me here or send me a DM on Instagram. You can also send me a message on Facebook or @ me on Twitter. Don’t forget I am on Bloglovin’ and Pinterest too if you want to follow along there as well!

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*thumbnail image not original to Candid Alexandra. Stock image from Typorama.

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