Dude Dinners:Meatsauce and Noodles

Dude dinners:

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For movie night, I paired Red’s  spaghetti meatsauce with a sprinkle of cheese and some red wine. Say it with me now… Mmm yummy!  🙂 

Happy Autumn and welcome to Dude Dinners this evening. This concoction is a simple spaghetti and meat sauce Red threw together one evening.   The entire week was spent avoiding the grocery store and inevitably wound up ordering out twice that week,so we were down to no like, no food. 🙂 Fear Not! The Red Lion himself is here. He’s got a fiery sense of charisma about him, I always say. Adds to the flavor of the food. 

To quote chef August Gustave (from the hit pixar film Ratatouille) “Anyone can cook!”).  And yet,  I am surprised at how many unmarried 30 something year old men seem to not be able to actually accomplish such an easy feat. Meaning unable to produce and edible meal. Well then,  this is for you. You dudes out there need to realize that a man who can make a woman a delicious meal that’s relaistic and not over complicated is more than likely a keeper.

The ingredients:

1 box of angel hair pasta

1 large jar of chunky vegetable marinara sauce

garlic( fresh or minced in a jar)

ground meat ( we had ground sirloin ) (ground turkey is yummy too)

Salt, pepper, butter, onions and whatever else you might have and just feel like throwing in.

Let’s begin!

Step 1: Bring your water to a boil ( follow instructions on the box) then add your pasta. Srain pasta and set aside. Also set aside a cup of your pasta water.

Step two: Add your ground meat to your fry pan and cook on medium heat until all the meat is begining to brown nicely. Don’t drain the meat at all. Add your minced garlic, salt and pepper and continue to cook a min or so more.

Step 3: add a big cooking spoons worth of pasta water, stir. Cook for a another minute or so.

Step 4:  Add your jar of whatever kind of marinara sauce you have, (in this case Red used chunky vegetable marinara), to the meat in the pan

Sidenote: Adding pasta h20 to your sauce does something really cool that a professional chef could explain better than I. however Red says “It makes it Pasta-y and moist, like when you get it in a restaurant.” It’s really good, give a try and you be the judge.

Well that’s it. Let’s start the winter off on a yummy note eh? 

Coming soon: Keep an eye out for some good random rants here soon, we are back in Jersey! #spaghettilife 😉 

Thanks,

Cassandra 

 

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Welcome back!

 

Greetings and Salutations good folk !

Welcome back to ” A cup of Noodle Soup” , life’s journey with a 30 – something year old. I’m returned from a glamorous writing hiatus. More specifically I’m returned from an entire year of extreme writers block combined with a malfunctioning computer. Nevertheless, I intend to re-peak interests and continue to explore life’s bounty of awesome-ness and sometimes not so awesome-ness…through fantastic food, yoga, booze, dude-stuff, random rants, adult-lazing and more!

My handsome fiance, Red will also be returning with even more bearded mountain man mayhem on the grill and in the kitchen. There will be an exciting new section vaguely named “Sandwiches and such“. It will be a loose and often giggly, sometimes buzzed chronicling of the Red Roar himself doing what he does… make magic happen.:-)

Something else thats cool, I will be using more of my own pics and videos . I’ve downloaded tons of useful apps and widget things to assist me in this endeavor. I only mention it because I’m not very tech savy and often am just slightly behind on the new flavorful words inducted into the urban dictionary. Most electronic devices find my very presence offensive and literally function of their own accord.    🙂 So basically … yay me! I’m tip toeing my way into the 21st century.

The List of life’s best little joys to try and discover can be short or it can be long. The choice to make it so, IS OUR OWN. I hope you’re looking forward to it because I know I am.

Make love, food or anything else… Not war.

See you soon ❤ Cassandra

New articles coming October 1st 2016, here’s a sneak peek:

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How I plan to join a bird watching club!

 

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Easter Bluebird- NY state bird

 

At 31 years old, a free spirit and a lover of all things associated with strange  geriatric behavior, I have decided I want to join a bird watching club. Often on a beautifully sunlit morning I will be unnecessarily excited, coffee in hand and noticing all the wonderful little birdies out my window. I have been doing a little bit of traveling on the east coast this year and was fortunate enough to experience some of the strangest and prettiest birds ever,  my interest ever more peaked. Sometimes I am convinced they are singing specifically to me.

Scarlet Tanager

Scarlet Tanager

I decided they obviously love me and in my quest to become a bird whisperer, what hobby would better suited to tack onto my already fabulously long list of fun oddities 30 year olds generally don’t do, than bird watching… Plus I figured I’ll get to re-vamp the very unattractive khaki outfits and fisher men like hats that bird watchers of yester-year seem to wear. I have decided I am going to create my own unique outfit “collection” for the eclectic bird watcher of my generation. I’ll also add a much-needed happy hour ( which will include flasks) and do away with the plain old black binoculars and design some sparkly glitterized ones that really get your bird watching juices flowing. Those juices I refer to can include whiskey, vodka, juice and/or beer as long as it’s carried in an interesting container of some sort.

How I’ll get started !!!

According to www.birdwatching.com “Bird watching is your lifetime ticket to the theater of nature.” How very intriguing, right? It’s also called , throughout the bird circuit, “wildlife observation” which always makes me feel less creepy about it. 🙂 I decided it best if I research the ins and outs of it a bit more, learn from more formidable bird watching experts and really get in the know about the beautiful winged creatures of the sky. 🙂

So here are some tips I found online during my research that may or may not apply but here we go anyways.

In North America alone there are over 800 different species of birds so I plan on getting a cute little book or journal to detail all my danube deltafindings and I plan to add a section to my journal titled ” Birdies that look like someone I know”. I’ll also be on the hunt for my very own book of birds, which is also known as a “field guide”.  This will help to identify specific species and I imagine has information on their habits, migrating cycles and so forth.

I’ll learn how they relate to nature scientifically and environmentally, their names and most exciting their individual bird songs! Because apparently all birdies have a little song of their own.

Hats, Hats, Hats, Hats everybody!- So since a hat of some kind is required, to shield and protect your eyes from the sun or other creepy bird watchers you don’t want staring at you, I am going to find a bad-ass fedora to decorate with feather and beads. Who says you have to be a plain Jane when watching birds?

I’m going to need a “birding vest” of some kind. Made from that atrocious khaki material I hear. It’s useful for all kinds of things like holding your binoculars, note pad or field guide even. I plan to have all of those things plus some insect repellent. Mine will be fully equipped to hold all my necessities like un-scented lip balm and SPF for my face. And although I didn’t find it written anywhere that a bag of any kind was required, I feel a nice satchel, perhaps made out of leather, will probably be a great addition to the vest that definitely will not fit all my bird watching essentials and will add to the fun of my personal bird watching.

pink  binoculars

I found these on pinterest, they have inspired me to create a similar pair.

Must have your own Binoculars! – So you can’t share your binoculars…although sharing is caring folks. However I read several birding blogs and articles that seemed rather explicit and stern about this detail. Several people explained it like it was the sin to top all bird watching sins. I kid you not. Apparently if you have a pair of binoculars and your friend does not and you let them use it, you may miss the bird you’re looking for. Oh no!!! Not that! Shouldn’t the reason we don’t share binoculars be so we don’t spread pink eye or some other infectious eye disease amongst each other? Anyhow, I’m going to try to get a used pair (which I’ll sanitize) from somewhere and jazz them up with some rhinestones and stuff. It will be great and very pretty.

QAB’s ( Questions About Birding) 🙂

Where can I see some pretty birds?

You can watch birds anywhere ( obviously) like your backyard, if you live in a place where there are more species than just pigeons.  Any national park or nature habitat will do. But I imagine that once I am apart of an actual bird watching club there will be organized trips of some kind so I won’t have to come up with places on my own to sit around drinking and looking for birds. Until then one of the places I am hoping to start is the Botanical Gardens. I love going to see the thousands of wonderful flowers in the spring but I figured there are probably so many birds hanging out there that I never noticed too. We shall see.

What type of people bird watch?

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I found that it is a loved hobby among people of all ages but on television it always seems to be portrayed as the favored past-time of introverted older folks who are retired or widowed or something. As to who is actually out there I have no idea….I do plan on bringing some personality, va-va-voom and hopefully an actual person to do it with.

Is it expensive?

From what I discovered this hobby will mostly cost you just your time and dedication. The binoculars, even the most basic ones, are really quite expensive so I decided to include the cost of those and any adult beverage and snacks in the event all that waiting around for birds stirs up my appetite. I don’t see how a Ziploc of gummy bears, licorice or wheat thins would hurt any.

Can you make noise?

I am almost positive during your bird observing adventures you are supposed to remain fairly quiet. Now, as a pretty chatty, smiley and over all super giggly kind of person I am slightly worried that I might fail on this front. I am one of those people who gets the giggles at my own jokes and who can find humor and happiness in practically anything. The point of the silence is so that you don’t scare away the birds but I think that if I am going to be observing them in their natural state I might as well be in mine. Besides I intend to arrive to my bird watching adventures with a solid amount of bird jokes as to share with the group. No one will be silent. 🙂

I am so excited to get started and if and when this turns out not to be boring and full of surprise and adventure I will write more about it and share what I have learned.

Ok that’s it.

❤ Cassandra

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pinterest is a Poopy Pickle!

With so many social media sites and social platforms in our society and culture today, there isn’t a single thing you can’t google or find on the internet to aid in your DIY ( Do It Yourself) projects. It doesn’t always turn out the way you hope however. Let me tell you about my most recent baking adventure gone all the way wrong.

My girlfriend, the sweetheart that she is, wanted to do something nice for this guy she was seeing. It was her first time watching his dog and house sitting while he was away on a business trip. So as you can imagine, it was kind of a big deal, as she was hoping the relationship was taking a turn onto the girlfriend/boyfriend road. Long story longer…. she went to the wonder that is Pinterest to find a few fabulous recipes so she could leave a cute little plate of baked goods when she left for him to find upon his return. Cute right?

Behold, she came across what seemed to be a great recipe for Nutella and peanut butter filled croissants. Who wouldn’t love that left in their kitchen by a hot woman? Well this recipe involved but 3 ingredients ( red flag!) which included a can of Pillsbury dough ( 2nd red flag!) and surprised us both.

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Nutella and croissant dough…just add peanut butter.

 

 

Well, let me just tell you, it was the worst Pinterest recipe I have ever encountered. Generally recipes on Pinterest are run through some semblance of trial and error by whoever posted it. I suppose this woman was too busy or whatever to be kind enough to actually try out her horrid recipe before sharing it with the world.

Our triangles looked nothing like these.

Our triangles looked nothing like these.

As I unrolled the blob of biscuit dough and attempted to roll it out into small triangles it became more and more non-pliable. After a  solid 30 mins we finally got the dough flat enough to be able to spread the Nutella and peanut butter. It was however almost impossible to then roll them into the cute little croissants they were suppose to be. Ours looked nothing like the pretty photo.

 

 

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Our little croissants looked nothing like once we rolled them up. But I suppose this is the correct way to do it.

But with a little dilligence, elbow grease and lots of strange faces at our impending failure we finally did it. The recipe instructed us to bake them at 350 degrees F for 8-12 minutes. We followed those shitty instructions and 8-12 minutes later we had shitty little peanut butter and Nutella filled croissants. Yay!

Of course they were not usable at all…slightly burnt and incredible ugly in appearance we had no other choice but to toss them to the trash. Lesson of the day: Pinterest can be a Poopy pickle!

Good luck next time!

❤ Cassandra

The 5 worst gifts you can give your girlfriend!

gift boxesAfter a long investment of love, time and energy into a relationship you deem serious, one would expect at some point the gifts will be on par with the status level of said relationship. Now what does that mean? It means, gentlemen, that if you’ve managed to stick with the same wonderful woman sexually, emotionally and mentally there are occasions where buying her a “girly basket” filled with lotions and shampoo from bath and body works just does not work. Now as women, it often feels as though we are innately aware of the business of gift giving for our partners and it’s importance sometimes more so than men.

We start off more in love, generally, and planning a future with you months into the relationship and thus are more thoughtful  and caring about our gift giving. We will remember that you always wanted that watch with the leather band just like your dads from childhood. We will remember that you need  a new 9 iron to complete that set of your favorite golf clubs.

After all we are women, generally born more fabulous, gifted and more knowledgable about almost everything. 🙂 But some of you fools in love are 3 and 4 and 5 years in and you still can’t comprehend that a pair of mittens or a coffee mug for your anniversary gift will result in a possible silent cry session by your girlfriend. You know what I am talking about ladies, where your disappointment is so shocking to you that you start laughing nervously all the while gritting your teeth in an attempt to hold back tears as not to seem ungrateful in front of your man. You love him but you can’t understand how he could have been silly enough to think that when you said “I don’t need anything for Valentines day” what you were actually saying in your head was “Of course he knows me well enough to get me something super special.” Sad but so true gentlemen.

My mister, the fabulous Red is a fabulous gift giver. Mainly because he utilizes the effect of surprise. All year at random times he will give me little things I have seen or something I might really need but didn’t buy myself. He makes sure that no matter what I say about not wanting anything on silly holidays (like Valentines day) that I feel special anyways. Big or small anytime he gives me a gift he makes sure it’s something I am over joyed with. Always. Simply said, he pays attention. He never forgets those tiny things that will make me absolutely over joyed. Now I am not sure if he is writing things down or something but I tell you, he gets it right all the time. He also often will get me the types of gifts that I will have forever and have to take care of, making them that much more special.

So here is a simple compilation of gifts gone wrong and ones not to get your girlfriend on any occasion if you love her and foresee a future.

1. Slippers for Valentines day.– Now this may sound like a perfect gift for such an occasion, especially if you are celebrating it away in a cozy cabin alone and there is a fabulous hot tub there and champagne and gorgeous plush robes, in which they are quite appropriate if they are nice slippers. However if you say, take your lady out to a mediocre  sub-standard Mexican restaurant and then give her a pair of those 5$ foot softening socks/slippers that are then not wrapped and expect some kind of joy or any joy at all for that matter, don’t hold your breath. ( This happened to me with an ex-boyfriend many years ago and I had to pretend to be excited about the slippers all throughout dinner) Just don’t it.

2. Don’t buy jewelry unless it is real! – Gentlemen if your mama didn’t teach you this or if she did and you just weren’t paying attention then you are hearing it here and now. Do not buy your girlfriend/wife/partner jewelry of any kind for a special occasion that is made of 50 % gold and 50% nickel, ,aluminum or brass. No tennis bracelets or necklaces that will turn their skin green in 3 weeks. It’s not a snobby thing, it has much more to do with caring about someone and overall tact. Unless you’re in the 7th grade, you can no longer purchase jewelry for women that came from a vending machine or some such other place. Just don’t do it. Save your ducats and get her that something special from Zales or wherever that you know she will truly appreciate and can wear for years to come. And if jewelry isn’t your forte than leave it use your brain to actually think about whatever will make your woman all teary eyed.

3. Candy and flowers. – Candy and flowers a  wonderful gift and always always are appreciated….if your sick in the hospital. Or if your in a new relationship, or better yet if you have been together for many years and your hubby brings them home just to make you smile. However there are many occasions where these just will not do. Say, for Christmas. Yes I have seen this. Candy and flowers are a great addition to a special occasion but they can get old if you give them no matter the occasion.

4. No re-gifting! – You can not under any circumstances give your current girlfriend or lover something you already  own, was already a gift for someone else or something another woman left at your apt. that weekend you had a few too many beers. I have actually experienced this one too. I once saw, a long time ago, the new girlfriend of an ex-boyfriend of mine wearing a custom piece of jewelry that I had left at his apt during our break-up. I didn’t want to go back and get it so I just chalked it up to a break up and counted my losses. How tacky is that though. Just get her something new.

5. Clothing made from odd material. Lingerie and clothing are some of the hardest gifts to shop for your lady. It’s a steamy pot of hot water to get into if you don’t know her well enough to know what to get or if you’re a terrible gift giver. For example: Do not under any circumstances give clothing made from velvet, velour, polyester blends of varying kinds, anything super flammable like those cheap-y pj’s you get at those stores in the mall that are always “Going out of business!” and must “Sell everything!”.  Don’t get her a cashmere sweater in the middle of summer or an under garments made from that strange lace that itches every time you breathe. Just think, if you wouldn’t put it on your skin why the hell would we?

Alright-y folks, that’s it Do everything you need to do gentlemen to help you in your quest to remind your lady she is always on your mind and no matter what it is, big or small she will love it I am sure.

 

 

By the way my views on this topic are not a reflection of greed or snobbery but I feel strongly that if there is indeed gift giving or you actually care about someone then your gifts should reflect this. No matter what kind of gift, it should have thought put into it and given in true love.

Ok that’s it…go forth and be merry!

❤ Cassandra

Whats going on with online dating?

Online-Dating-Sites

I believe in love and the hurdles you have to jump through to be open to actually let love in. I know and understand that for many people there are many important things in life that become a main priority well before a long-lasting love life and/or dating. College, work and sometimes kids often require our entire attention and many years of self-less dedication before we can make room for yet another person to give ourself to.

There are also so many circumstances in which people find themselves without their original mate, whether from a sudden death or divorce, there are always reasons that people of all types from all walks of life and at different ages find themselves ready to look for love in a very specific way. And, often simply going out to a bar or lounge will not give forth the wanted results in regards to finding decent datable people.

Enter the internet dating scene. What exactly is going on there? It seems to be quite different from I remember and altered in super specific ways these days. I truly believe it is definitely not for everyone but certainly perfect for others.

I have friends who always seem to either attract or date the “wrong guy” and other friends who seem to only hook up with the “crazies” and the “stalkers”, and bars and clubs aren’t always going to be where you find your soul mate. Sometimes they can be though, I did! I was a renegade and pretended I didn’t have a light for my cigarette and then schwooped in and got Red’s attention. Long story short, now we are engaged.. hehe  but I will tell you guys the story of Red and I one day soon. It’s awesome. 🙂

Anyhow, what are the options for my generation and those responsible singles who are perhaps older or more religious or who farm for a living? Where can they go to search for love? Well here it is, I’ve reviewed some date sites, based mostly on the commercials I have seen about them. Here are just a few of the great dating websites out there on a spectrum that is fairly broad. It shall be fun nevertheless. Probably.

farmer

1. FARMERSONLY.com is a fabulous dating site for animal lovers and rural daters. They boast of local farmers, cowboys and country gals in your area. Fun! So…based on the commercial their primary demographic are extremely lonely 50 somethings who have spent so much of their 50 something years isolated from any populated area that cowboy boots and overalls are the foundation of their wardrobes. How exciting…to be able to go to a dating website and troll through potential life mates who love to till soil much as you.

jesus fish pi

2. Feeling like there are just way too many heathens out there on the dating scene? Been seeing the devil horns on women’s heads for no reason at your local watering hole? Fear not! Thou shalt find love on CHRISTIANMINGLE.com. A fabulous dating platform for those of you who are looking for others who make their religion and their holiness a priority in your life instead of going out and philandering and living in o-riginal sin. All the people in the commercial are married and young-ish and actually seem happy. I don’t believe they are actors so that’s a good thing. Enjoy! However this site doesn’t seem to be for the faint of heart. You better have the where-with-all and your copy of your holy scripture to get you through the process. Good luck!

Bamboo

3. ASIANMEET.com The commercial for this site explicitly says your dates will actually be living on the continent of Asia. They tell of a fairy love story between you ( in America) and your Asian beauty “just waiting” for you to find her. That among several other aspects of this site’s commercial lead me to honestly believe that this is something akin to mail order brides. But in their defense they never say that’s what it actually is. However, to each their own as they say. Or whatever the saying is. I also am 80 % sure this site is for men only, as there seem to be no Asian men in the commercial to actually date just women. Not fully sure though. Looking for the perfect trans-continental “dating” experience” of an Asian nature? Go H.A.M. !

black person cartoon

4. BLACKPEOPLEMEET.com  So as someone who is in a bi-racial relationship my first response to this commercial was “Well can everyone sign up, no matter their own race so that they can date a black person?” But I soon realized after seeing this commercial like 50 times one night when I couldn’t sleep, that it’s just a site where there is  a concentration of successful black professionals who are not under arrest nor wanted by the law, looking for an equally dedicated human to love. So I was happy about that.  However the commercial honestly suggest that the people who would be interested in this dating website have been strolling through life, perhaps at the library or the supermarket and literally have been so busy and soooo productive that they have been literally walking right by your potential life partners. I didn’t make this up. It’s in the commercial. Anyhow, have fun with this one as I believe all people are welcome on this site so long as you are looking for an awesome black person to meet. Also everyone in the commercial, unlike the others, is super attractive and in great shape. 🙂

Well if there was such a thing, that wraps up today’s edition of ” What is going on in internet dating?” hehehe

Some love quotes to inspire you to find some love of your own

“The course of true love never did run smooth” – William Shakespeare

“Letting love prosper is hardest for those who love the hardest.” – Some guy on the subway at 3 am coming home from a party many years ago in NYC.

Cassandra

 

 

A bunch of cool crap to do with Lavender Essential Oil!

lavender aromatherapy

As apparently the most widely used essential oil in the world and my favorite scent in the whole universe since my early 20’s, I figured I’d share some of the fabulously beneficial properties of lavender essential oil and some of the great ways to transform yourself inside and out in your in the mood. Almost every single product I use is has this oil and aroma in it. Plus, there are some crazy awesome medicinal and over all physical benefits and fun tidbits that I knew nothing about until recently. Here we go!

lavender 2Walk Like an Egyptian!

This wonderful oil was used over 2,500 years ago for religious purposes by one of my favorite peoples, the ancient Egyptians, during the mummification process (seriously) and as a perfume. So Cleopatra and all her chicks were probably not only rocking fierce eye liner but they smelled really nice too.

Useful in all kinds of situations!

Lavender essential oil reduces stress and anxiety greatly. People are always reaching for a smoke (me) when their under duress or going through extreme agitation. Grab your lavender oil instead folks!

You can put a few droplets into a spray bottle filled with water and spray on sheets, pillows and towels or in your bath water before bed to relax. ( this actually works)

-Get into a mean altercation with your neighbor and come out wounded with a burnt arm? Well fear not because lavender essential oil helps heal burns and wounds. So don’t use butter  or ice or whatever your grandmother told you to use that time you burnt your neck with the curling iron.

It also soothes eczema and psoriasis. Which is always good I suppose if you have eczema or psoriasis, which I hear are fairly unpleasant diseases.

It alleviates headaches, which is probably most applicable to New Yorkers or any other persons living in or around an over crowded metropolis with lots of noise and strange beggars on many a corner.

 

lavender field

Medicinal Miracles!

Lavender essential oil slows aging significantly ( gasp) due to powerful anti-oxidants.

So powerful are the effects of this oil, it actually helps your body produce 3 of it’s most powerful anti-oxidants (within 22 hours of use). Why is that important? Well…the very obvious reason, to fight all those fanatical free-radicals ( they cause cancer and stuff) we as intelligent humans ingest from toxins and chemicals in our processed foods and pollutants we have put into the air. Which are abundant and running rampant.

Lavender essential oil balances blood sugar (who knew). And with so many people in the country on the verge of diabetes and/or coronary blockage, you should share this fun fact with a friend. Your welcome.

There is actually a very long list of the internal benefits, in regards to people suffering specifically with diabetes, and how it works. The list of information on this particular topic, clinical trials and scientific application for diabetes sufferers is indeed so long I would suggest googling it or ask your primary care physician…when’s the last time you saw him. (wink wink)

Other uses!

-You can repel insects. And if they are smart and do bite you, you can apply it to bug bites.

-You can freshen laundry or the stale air in your home.

-Apply to chap lips. ( I actually put it in a bottle of really good olive oil and use it as a body moisturizer and

-It stops bleeding. (not if you have been in a bad accident or anything where you are gushing a lot blood or anything, you call emergency services in that event. Do not yell to someone to grab your lavender essential oil in the event of heavy bleeding. 🙂 )

-It’s anti-microbial and super soothing and has rapid healing properties when mixed with coconut oil or aloe. 10 drops per ounce of aloe or coconut oil will heal your horrid sun burn you just got at the beach when you pretended you were sick to your boss on the phone this morning. You’re welcome.

-Helps with motion sickness and nausea.

lavender tips

 

 

 

 

Oh yeah, I found this on pinterest, so it’s pretty awesome. I am addicted to perfecting my lash game at all times..so I will be trying this tip ( to the left) and I’ll let you know how it goes..

 

Hope this was informative in some way…. tune in next time.

Cassandra