29 Sep 2011

My Fitness Diary (6)

Today I did something absolutely groundbreaking....



Yup, I went for a run. For those who can't afford a gym membership or other expensive fitness classes, all you need to do is strap on your shoes and run around the block a few times. Of course, it's much more enjoyable when you have some nice scenery around you, and some good music on your mp3 player.

Speaking of, I totally recommend the Sennheiser CX 300 II available on Amazon if you're looking for good running earphones, they have amazingly crisp sound quality, different earbud sizes for a snug fit that won't fall out, and they don't hurt your ears while wearing them. They also cut out background sounds so you can really tune out any cars or traffic noise and just focus on the music. I've owned them for over a year and still going strong.

Today I did just that - I listened to Tool Aenima on my mp3 player and ran along the river that flows near where I live. It was the perfect weather - not too hot, and the trees offered some shade as well. I remembered the first time I ever went for a jog before I started a regular exercise routine, I could only last a few minutes without having to walk. I was so out of breath, panting, had a stitch in my side, and just felt miserable and wanted to give up. Today I noticed what a big improvement I've made in this time, and how much further I could go.

I'm not an expert runner, I'm more the jump-around-like-a-maniac plyometrics kinda gal. I love HIIT training (High Intensity Interval Training) where you do a period of high intensity work-out, followed by a short rest period to get your heartbeat down again. Then you're back with incredible high intensity for a few minutes and then again a rest phase. HIIT training is great for me because you burn a high amount of calories in a relatively short period of time; it's the "get 'er done" way of exercising. Short, incredibly tough, but effective.

You can do HIIT with running as well, which is what I tried to do today. I did bursts of fast running until I was so out of breath, then a period of walking. Sometimes I mixed it up by doing some running jumps and lunges in between. I must have looked a bit odd, thank god for a deserted pathway along the river! It helps to have somewhat spongy ground underneath you like running in a park on mulch or grass, but if you're in a city and you're running on concrete, make sure to buy a really good pair of running shoes to cushion the impact. Buying a good pair of runners is essential for any exercise routine, I can't believe what a difference it has made! I used to have horrible shin splints, today I didn't notice any. I posted about the shoes I purchased here.

Now that the weather is turning a bit cooler with fall approaching, I will try to run at least once a week to mix it up with my other DVD work-outs. It's a great way to get some fresh air and to keep the work-outs interesting! Speaking of DVDs, I recently added Beachbody's Turbofire to the mix, but I'm not entirely convinced on it yet. The music is a tad irritating and I feel the workouts don't have an adequate stretch period before and after - I'll have to try it a bit more before I can form an opinion.

Are you an avid runner? What is some your favorite music to run to?

In Bravo & Israeli newspaper

I'm really not on the ball for publishing where I appeared in the press, so here's a whole slew of them!

In March 2011 my channel was mentioned in BRAVO, a famous German teen trend and celebrity magazine, as one of the Top 10 Youtube beauty channels.



In September 2011 I was featured in an Israeli newspaper (without my knowledge) in an article on Youtube beauty videos. If you can read Hebrew, here is the article (link). Thanks Avital for the translation:

Our best friend: MissChievous

Julia, a normal looking Swiss gal, is an avid pop culture fan who is fast to recreate, at home conditions and with great precision, looks from video clips, movies and magazine productions. With eloquence and captivating attitude Julia doesn't miss any good make up look and she will teach you how to apply make up to look like Katy Perry and Blake Lively did on their last photo shoot.

The atmosphere: fun pop funk and the inspiration sources include Kim Kardashian and Emma Watson on their last premiere. Highly recommended: with all due respect to the Kardashian sisters, this video, where Julia speaks in German (and stumbles upon the products' names), demonstrates the fun vibe of her channel.


LOL what a funny write up! :)





Then today I was featured on OrangeCounty.com also in article about Halloween tutorials. You can check out the full article here (link). My Spider Queen and recent Tinkerbell tutorial are mentioned - yay!




If you want to see where else I have been interviewed or mentioned in the past, click here.

28 Sep 2011

Tinkerbell Makeup


I wanted to start my Halloween makeup tutorial series with something simple, so here is my Tinkerbell inspired look. I went for a myriad of green shadows on the eyes, some glitter to imitate pixie dust, and cute multi-toned pink lips. This is actually a very simple look to recreate and could also be used for other costumes, maybe Poison Ivy or another forest fairy of some sort.

Face

Revlon Colorstay foundation in Ivory, Nars Desire blush,

Eyes

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Horseradish, MAC Golder's Green pigment, MAC Humid, Lancome eyeshadows (forgot the names), MAC Plumage, KIKO pencil 411, L'Oreal Volume Million Lashes mascara, BellaPierre Color Stay, cosmetic glitter from ebay,

Lips

Rimmel Indian Pink lipliner, MAC Chatterbox lipstick, reflective pigment from a discontinued brand (Calypso)

Nails

Anny - Green Racing Drag


Click here to watch the video on Youtube!

27 Sep 2011

Sleek Me, Myself & Eye and Au Naturel i-Divine Palettes

I recently was sent two further palettes from Sleek Makeup and I thought I'd show them to you here and give my review of these products.



Au Naturel i-Divine Palette (9 EUR)

The colors range in colors from white, cream, golden, burgundy, browns and black. These are pressed mineral eyeshadows and the pigmentation is quite good when considering the low price for 12 shadows. The size of each individual shadow is about the size of a US nickel coin if that helps at all.

On my recent trip to New York, I took two Sleek palettes as my only eyeshadow assortment and the Au Naturel was one of them - the other being the Oh So Special palette which I wrote about here earlier. These palettes are absolutely ideal for travel because they are extremely thin and compact, yet offer 12 shadows to choose from - which should be plenty for a vacation somewhere.

Generally the shadows are well pigmented, but I noticed some of the frosty shimmery ones don't apply as smoothly as I'd like - nowhere near the texture of a MAC Veluxe Pearl by comparison. They need a firm application with a good brush to apply well, but on the otherhand I love the variety of matte shadows that come in these palettes. I've definitely come to prefer matte eyeshadow over the intense shimmers, and the Sleek palettes always have several mattes in the mix. On the lasting power, generally they don't last on me as long as other more high quality shadows (for example Kryolan), I do have to touch up in the evening if I plan to go out after the day.

Suede Blush Nr. 921 (7 EUR)



This is one of the two blushes I took along to New York and I wore it almost daily. It's a warm toned peach-terracotta shade with a slight tawny undertone and matte finish. It's a very wearable daytime blush that works really well for anyone with fair to medium skin tone. A great blush that goes with nearly everything and every occasion.

Pout Polish in Bare Minimum Nr. 963 (7 EUR)

This is one of those products that I wish would look as pretty on as it does in the pot - sadly it doesn't. These are tinted lip balms that in my opinion just don't have enough pigmentation to really do much of anything. I would love to have a gloss on my lips that resembles this color as it doesn't have any glitter or shimmer in it, but it just barely shows up on me. I really need to apply a lot of product to see the peachy-pink tone, which isn't exactly appetizing.

The taste is another thing I really dislike. At first you put it on and it's like YAY VANILLA ICE CREAM YUM YUM IN MY TUM....2 seconds later it's like you're chewing on bitter plastic. I wish I could be a fan of these but I'm just not.


Me, Myself & Eye Palette (9 EUR)

Sleek Makeup teamed up with PPQ (As a non-Brit I had to Google what that is, apparently it's a London fashion label) to create this limited edition palette in time for London Fashion Week. The shades are definitely on the more colorful side but I could definitely see these working well for fall. My favorite is Primal Green (the very top right shade) which is a khaki golden green shade. The only thing I find a bit confusing here is the color selection - I probably could have done without the pink, red and purple shades which really seem to clash with the other colors and I can't think of any good color combination for those.

All these products can be purchased online at SleekMakeup or at Superdrug pharmacy if you live in the UK.

22 Sep 2011

New York Meet-up pictures




Thanks to all the lovely ladies who came to the New York meet-up, here are the pictures as promised (I posted these on Facebook already but here they are if you missed them.) It was a wonderful get together in Bryant Park were we talked and took pictures, then later went shopping together to Sephora where a few more girls showed up, then had a coffee at Starbucks. I had such a great time meeting everyone, and I was beyond touched at some of the heartfelt and private stories you all shared with me on how my videos have helped you in your life. It was very moving and a huge affirmation for me. I just love meeting my subscribers and I am always amazed to have such dedicated viewers and friends all around the world. :)

If you took any pictures at the event that you'd like to share or publish here, please email them to me: julia.youtube (at) gmail.com

21 Sep 2011

My Spiced Prune Chutney Recipe

I absolutely love prune season - it's one of my favorite fall fruits because they have an intense flavor, are inexpensive, and can be used for so many different things. Jam, cakes and pies are a popular way to use them, but I absolutely love prune chutney! It can be served with aged cheese, chicken, and I especially love it with dark meat roasts or game. It's the perfect mix of sweet, sour and savory. Here's how I make mine.

This recipe makes about 4 medium size preserve glasses of chutney. If you want to make it bulk or to give some away as gifts, double the recipe - I usually do.

Ingredients

1kg Prunes (washed, pitted and halved)
4 tart apples (cut into chunks)
200g dried unsugared apricots (coarsely chopped)
100g raisins
1 onion (cut into thin slivers)
1 garlic (mined)
2 tsp. fresh ginger (grated or finely chopped)
120ml apple vinegar
300ml water
150g white sugar
1 hot chili (minced)
dried spices (I like nutmeg, cloves, coriander and cardamom)
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf

1. Saute the slivered onions in a large pot on low heat with a bit of oil until they are glassy, soft and browned. Add the chopped chili and the garlic and stir fry quickly.

2. Add the prunes, apricots, raisins, ginger, vinegar, water, and sugar to the pot and stir. Drop in the bay leaf and cinammon stick and make sure they are covered with the liquids. Add the dried spices (it's up to you how much or how little you choose to add.)



3. Bring the contents of the pot to a rolling boil, then reduce the heat to medium and let simmer for about 30 minutes without the lid, stirring occasionally. The prunes will begin to fall apart and the liquids should begin to thicken. If it's still very watery, continue simmering until the liquid has reduced. Otherwise, if it's too thick, add a bit of water - use your judgment!



4. Add the chopped up apples to the prunes and give it a good stir. Continue simmering for about 15 minutes until the apples have softened, but don't overcook them - you don't want them to turn to mush!




5. Remove the bay leaf and cinnamon stick. You're now ready to start canning! Now, if you've never made preserves before there are different ways how to do it (which I won't go into at length on here so do some research if this is your first time.) This is what I do: The night before I run all the jars and lids that I intend to use through the dishwasher to make sure they are spotlessly clean. Some people opt to boil them in water to sterilize but I've never done this and have never had a problem with my preserves spoiling. Shortly before pouring the preserves into the jar, I boil the lids in a pot of water and then let the water cool down just enough so I can dip my hands into the water to take the lids out.

You will need to pour the preserve into the jars piping hot, do not let it cool down, otherwise you won't get a vacuum seal on the lids. What I do is put some of the chutney into a pouring container, pour it into a glass jar, immediately screw on the lid as tight as I can with the help of a dishtowel, then set it down upside down. Don't fill up a row of jars and then leisurely look for the matching lids - you need to close each jar as quickly as possible. The heat of the preserves is in most cases enough to cause the lids to vacuum seal when cooling down.



This is how much the recipe made when doubled. As you can see the jars are standing on the lids to help with the sealing of the lids. Let them cool down overnight (or at least a few hours until they are completely cooled down), then stand them right side up. The jars should now be vacuum sealed! If any of them haven't, you can either choose to consume them right away, or I think you can boil them in hot water again to seal, but I've never had to do that. Store your chutney in a cool and dry place, and in the refrigerator after opening.

Enjoy your chutney! I can't wait to try out more chutney recipes, right now my grocery store just got in some fresh quinces so I may have to make a quince-date chutney next.

16 Sep 2011

A Foodie visits New York City! Travel Diary

This will most likely be one motherlode of a post, so here's the short version:

I spent a week in New York! I've uploaded four "Postcard" videos so far on my Youtube channel to give you a small impression. Here are the links:

Postcard 1: Arrival at the Hotel & Limo
Postcard 2: Fashion Night Out in Soho
Postcard 3: Ground Zero on 9/11 & Times Square
Postcard 4: Amazing Sushi and Fuerza Bruta show

I also uploaded loads of pictures of my trip on Facebook, click here to check them out.

Now for the longer version...

My boyfriend and I arrived at Newark on September 7 to sweltering heat and humidity and a painfully long security process at the airport. Security was bumped up because of the 10 year anniversary of 9/11, and it took us about 1 1/2 hours until we finally exited Newark. The wait was worth it - we got picked up in a Limo!! Inside cold beers and cokes were waiting for us, a welcome relief.




We sped off to the W Hotel located right in the centre of Manhattan on Lexington Avenue, it was quite posh! We were on a corner room on the 9th floor so we had a really cool view of the skyscrapers around us. We also got some Bliss products in our bathroom and they smelled so lovely, and I've forgotten how nice it is to have a housekeeper clean your room everyday and make your bed.








You can watch the video I filmed about our arrival, the limo, and a room tour of our hotel:



During our time in New York, I had some of the best food ever. New York is a great place that boasts restaurants of every culinary direction that you could possible imagine. From shops specializing in rice pudding to sushi to hamburgers, there's probably nothing you couldn't eat in New York. I threw my diet to the wind and ate to my heart's desire! (Although with all the walking and sightseeing we did, it balanced out.)

Where to start? From scrumptious breakfasts at our hotel...



...to amazing burgers at Joy Burger Bar in Harlem. This place is great! It's a small retro diner where you can build your burger to your taste - everything from the size of the patty, to the toppings and sauces. There are a lot of varieties to choose from! I chose one with mango chutney, garlic mayo, and sautéed onions along with the usual toppings, with a side of sweet potato fries. The fries were served with maple syrup, it was a bit too sweet for my taste, but the burger was so good!


My boyfriend went for the larges patty but was a bit more traditional on the toppings, but it was still good nonetheless. The fries were home cut and so yummy!


Since I absolutely love Asian cuisine, we gorged ourselves on Japanese and Thai food. First up was sushi at The Loop restaurant. The calamari was mediocre but everything else was delicious! They make a lot of interesting, non-traditional sushi rolls too, which I had never tried before. They do brisk business with delivery and take-out, but have a small but nice restaurant as well.




One of my favorite restaurants we tried was Yakitori Taisho because it was like stepping into a backstreet in Tokyo. Yakitori is Japanese skewered meat prepared fresh before your eyes, and everything we tried was freaking fantastic! The prices were very affordable, although they don't take reservations so you normally have to wait a bit for a table. We ordered a pitcher of Japanese beer for about $12, our bill at the end for 2 came to about $85 (but we seriously pigged out.)










Another great Japanese restaurant we tried was Sakagura, which serves Izakaya (Japanese tapas.) It wasn't as young and lively as Yakitori Taisho, the crowd was a bit older and more conservative, but the food was really good as well. They had a ton of sake varieties available!




One evening I met up with an old friend of mine who now lives in hipsterville Williamsburg, Brooklyn and he showed us around the area. We hit up Sea Thai restaurant, which was a very club-like atmosphere with a DJ, dim lights, great decor, all set within an industrial designed restaurant. The food was pretty good too, I had green papaya salad as a starter, then crispy duck as a main. Didn't like the cocktails so much, they tasted really sweet and chemical.



Another great place to grab a bit to eat in New York is the legendary Katz's Delicatessen in the Lower East Side. This place has been around since 1888 when it was founded by Russian immigrants, and everyone from Bill Clinton to Snoop Dogg has eaten there. The best thing to eat here is hands down the pastrami sandwiches, which don't come cheap starting at $15.75 a pop. They are actually quite huge, so my boyfriend and I shared the Reuben, which also has Sauerkraut and cheese on it. Definitely worth it though, the pastrami is mouth-watering and falls apart in your mouth.




I could probably go on and on about the amazing food in New York, but believe it or not, we actually did a lot of sight seeing as well!


I went to check out Fashion Night Out in Soho, where all the stores have special events going on in celebration of NY Fashion Week - celebrities at the stores, DJs playing club music, and all the display windows are elaborately decorated.

Watch my video to see what I wore for this special night out, and get an insight into the atmosphere!



Another really special trip was our day on 9/11, it was actually the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks, so the whole city had special memorial services and events going on, as well as anti-war and anti-racism protests.

We started out on the Brooklyn bridge...


...then walked down to Ground Zero where I did a lot of filming to capture the atmosphere and the demonstrations.


It was a moving experience. Here are a few more pictures from that day.



In the evening we went to Times Square where I took this fun picture. There were tons of tourists there of course, but you can't leave NYC without seeing Times Square at night. I also did some shopping at Sephora for the voters giveaway and got some goodies. ;)


Some more pictures from various places.

We had a overpriced drink in Little Italy. What a tourist trap! I wouldn't recommend eating Italian food here, there's probably many better places around the city. The waiter assumed I was a New Yorker and he seemed surprised to see a "local" there. It was just ultra kitch, no real Italian-American flavor left.


Sweating in Central Park! It was so damn hot but what a lovely park in the middle of such a metropolis.




Elmo is my homeboy! Around Broadway area.


The WTC memorial lights made for some spectacular night sky photography...



Nighttime around Lexington Avenue.




Saks on Fifth Avenue:


Flatiron building:


We did a lot of shopping! I have a haul video coming up about that, but in the meanwhile, here I am goofing around at Century 21, a massive department store where you can get designer duds for less. You can get lost in there, there's so many floors!


St. Patrick's Cathedral...the lady in green had awesome hair!

 
We also went to see an amazing show in New York called Fuerza Bruta - it rocked! Best show I've seen since Cirque de Soleil. I filmed a lot, so make sure to watch my video to get an impression. I highly recommend you check it out if you're ever in New York, it's a wonderful collage of sensory, visual and acoustic performance. Loved it!



Overall this trip was a whirlwind of impressions, sights and tastes. I would love to go back someday, even if it's just for the amazing food and shopping! Thank you so much to the nail polish company ANNY that gave me this amazing prize, and to my voters who made this possible. I am eternally grateful.