Friday, October 28, 2011

If there was a free button I would "Like" it

Choose one: F-R-E-E,, #Free. I can't choose because I like them all. I think its absolutely crazy when people are afraid of free quality things. If you don't like it just give it away for FREE ;~).

I don't have the time or the money to purchase items that I will hate in the end. An alternative to that is to get complimentary items and try them out. Over the years I would sign up for free samples and wait 6-8 weeks for it to come in snail mail. These days it takes 2-6 weeks. I don't know if that was necessay information but I wrote it anyway!! There are many companies that will ship you complimentary items. The larger ones are Wal-Mart and Target. The best thing is to go directly to the site of the brand of your choice and search the site for free samples.

I dont know why but I sign up for everything..seriously..EVERYTHING!! Okay not everything but items that I wouldn't think would be free and that I probably wouldn't use.

Recently, I received a cute little hot pink, purple and cream sateen pouch filled with items from Target. It's been weeks since I received the package and I haven't used anything yet. There were about 7 items in the package. It included Burt's Bees Radiance SPF 15 Day Lotion with royal jelly. I don't know if its for the face, hands or body. It did include a face cream from L'Oreal's youth code line. It's supposed to reduce the signs of stress, fatigue and aging. There was a 3 part package of shampoo, conditioner and a coupon from John Frieda's full repair line. I thought it was interesting to have the coupon attached to the sample. The coupon was made out of the same plastic as the sample packaging and would be easier to locate when you are out shopping. I know, I know..weird things always peak my interest. It also included TRESemme Naturals Lower Sulfates shampoo and Silicon Free conditioner. Its a new line with nourishing moisture, aloe vera and avocado. I guess they really want to promote clean hair because there was more shampoo and conditioner from the Garnier Fructis Pure Clean line. Its a new line with acerola berry antioxidant and it has no silicone, no parabens and no dyes. I am very excited about using the wet cleansing towelettes by Ponds evening soothe made with chamomile & white tea that was added in the pouch.

If that wasn't enough target included coupons with over $22.00 in savings. The coupons are for Maybelline, Aveeno, Herbal Essence, Pantene, Olay, Sonia Kashuk (not familiar), Suave, CoverGirl, Nivea, Neutrogena, Revlon, Sally Hansen, etc. Coupons are fine with me!!

I work as a consultant with many marketing companies and I receive a lot of items after the events. I happened to work at 2 events that promoted hair products. I purposely shot side view photos of the items I received that were associated with the marketing companies I work with to avoid any conflicts of interest. I sometimes give away items but I intend on trying some of the good stuff. I would like to send some to my readers or youtube viewers but that's not free if I have to cover the shipping cost!! I will think of something but in the mean time go to different sites and receive FREE samples of your own. Enjoy..relax..view..subcribe.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Pretty, Pretty & more Pretty @ Polish Bar Brooklyn

I know those who know me are probably wondering what in the world was I doing at a bar and others were thinking why didn't she invite me?? I was at a bar..well a polish pronounced [pol-ish] bar, as in to make glossy. I'm talking about the stuff you paint your nails with NOT [poh-lish], as in Poland. I didn't hassle my friends to come along because it was a private event for people who blog.

The event was held in one of the most represented boroughs in New York. Yes you got it..Brooklyn. It was held at the Polish Bar Brooklyn on Vanderbilt Avenue, one of two locations. It is black owned and has been around for over 5 years. Last night was the first time visiting Polish Bar Brooklyn so I had to check out the website before my visit. One thing that jumped out at me on the website was "Get Pretty, Get Polished, Get Perfect". That's exactly what all those beautiful ladies did last night!!

All the stunning women came in looking gorgeous, chic and shimmery from head to toe as they signed in with one of the model-like hostess. She then gave us the run down as we staggered in at different times. I didn't know where to start because I was overwhelmed with excitement. I started out picking a nail polish to support breast cancer awareness. I decided to get Pink Shatter limted addition by O.P.I. so I had to choose one more color by Zoya. I had never heard of Zoya polish but the colors were rich and lovely and I chose a deep purple. I wasn't able to get the full shattered look because the purple was very dark but the lady who travels from the Bronx to Brooklyn every day did wonders to my finger nails.

It was time to dry my nails. I am very weary about the nail drying process because I am very impatient and almost always mess up my nails. I sat next to two other sociable ladies and started chatting away. The time flew and the polish was definitely all top of the line because it dried in no time with out a smudge.

Next it was picture time. I posed and proudly held up a "Get Pretty" sign while the photographer snapped away. I was steps away from the hand and arm massage area. I love being pampered and it definitely felt like a mini spa day. The lady began to glaze some clear gel on my hands and arms. I'm sure it was some sort of sanitizer but I was too relaxed to read the bottle. I received a wonderful massage with two different lotions from their own line. The scent of the last one was absolute coconut perfection. That wasn't the name of the lotion but that's an idea if I decide to create my own scents.

I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the eyelash station. Shout out to Star who filled my lashes in, took complete care of me and made my eyes twinkle. She was awesome!! She showed me a picture of her beautiful baby. She was way too cute with her kissable cheeks. My final stop was with Rebecca who erased my blemishes, airbushed my face and reduced the shine. Rebecca gave me some much needed tips. She had such a humble and sweet spirit.

Time was winding down and the owner of Polish Bar Brooklyn, Tricia Lee Riley got everyone's attention and made a small speech of thank you's, recognition and the purpose of the event. The polish, the massage, the lashes and the make-up were all compliments of Polish Bar Brooklyn. The only thing they asked was to spread the word and make a donation to breast cancer awareness.

There were bite sized cupcakes, lolly pop cakes, and wine with strawberries. I chose the cupcakes by Goodie Box bake shop and sipped on some fresh water. I was still all smiles although the event was coming to a close. The atmosphere was Grown and Pretty. The decor was magnificent. It was my first visit but it certainly won't be the last. Ladies gather your family and friends and visit this wonderful establishment. Check out their site I plan to take a few friends along with me on my next beauty ride so we can all #GetPretty at the Polish Bar of Brooklyn.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Beauty School ~ Hair 101 ~ Wash & Style $5.22

You probably wouldn't believe me if I told you that I got my hair done for pennies over 5 bucks. Don't believe me..but I DID!!

I moved to Queens, New York over a year ago. I have yet to find a "must-go-to" hair salon since my move. I know it sounds crazy because Queens is huge and connected to other great boroughs where I should be able to find the perfect hair stylist. Well, there are two that I like but not love. One has a spa atmosphere and very clean. Cleanliness is a huge plus. The other one was nice and did a good job but it was on the other side of Queens. I don't even remember the location. I am a dominican wash, set and blow out Queen. Sometimes I need a good blow out since my hair is natural..and NOT naturally straight. The salons that I visited are fairly large. The good thing about going to a salon with multiple hair stylist is that you wont' be there all day. The downside is you get who you get and hope that your favorite person is available. Sometimes my hair would come out perfect and other times I felt like it was a waste of my money.

I love my hair stylist (Minerva) in Suffolk County, Long Island. She styled my hair in my blog profile picture. Minerva probably hopped to 3 or 4 different salons since she has been styling my hair. Every time she moved I moved because she is great at what she does. The only thing is that she didn't move when I moved. It's just not cost effecient to travel all the way out there at this point. If you are in the Brentwood, Long Island, New York area here is her info: 662 Suffolk Avenue, Brentwood, NY.

I have been researching hair salons and trying to find ways to save money. I haven't really figured out the saving part yet but have been using my money for necessary things. Keeping my hair clean, fresh and looking good is a neccesity but I was sure to find a way to cut cost.

I put my frugal cap on an came up with dun dunn dunnnn a Beauty School!! Ok maybe you're not excited about this and maybe you already know about the scools and what they offer. I don't know about you but the Price is Right. I went on Google maps to locate the nearest school. The nearest one wasn't offering services at the time. The other school I found is named "Empire Beauty Schools". Its located at 38-15 Broadway in Astoria, Queens, New York.

As you walk in there is someone sitting at a table taking all request. Ok the first time I went I came in through some random back door. I'm glad to be alive to write this because only I would be the one to go into the wrong entrance and some how wind up in the right place. I already knew what I wanted and what I could afford but ofcourse I needed to look at the menu of options. I chose the Shampoo Style which included a shampoo, conditioner and any style. I was skeptical and worried because you had to sign something borderline saying "at your own risk..if we mess up or you lose your hair we are not responsible". Those weren't the exact words but you get my drift. I started talking to other people waiting who clearly weren't in the talking mood but I didn't care I needed some questions answered. The one lady I sat next to starting getting her hair done at the school a year ago. You would think that would ease my discomfort but it didn't she had dreadlocks. All she was getting was an updo. She wasn't getting heat and hot tools in her hair. I felt better when she told me her youngest daughter was sitting in a chair getting a relaxer in her hair. She showed me a picture of her granddaughter who had her hair washed and styled. The sweat stopped flowing right before my name was called.

The friendly, young lady prepped me, took me over to the sink, measured her shampoo and conditioner and started washing my hair. I told her that my hair tangles which didn't phase her at all and I asked questions about her beauty school education. We conversed through out my first beauty school salon experience. She sprayed in some leave-in detangler and brushed right through my hair. She started out sectioning my hair and blowing it straight from the nape of my neck on up. I was a little afraid of her burning my hair off with the blow dryer because that happened before but she was great. She then preceded to flat iron my hair. She asked if I wanted curls at the end. I told her she can do what she like. My hair came out wonderful and she received a high score and a tip for her work. Please see pictures below and and go on my youtube (kenturahtutu) page to watch my video after my first beauty school visit. Here is the link to the video .

Empire beauty schools have locations up and down the east coast and a little west. Check them out if you want a new hair style, facial, make-up application, manicure or pedicure for a really inexpensive price. It would be great for college students, people on a budget or unemployed. Everything is super cheap. They have special occasion and party girl packages that include an up-do, polish, make-up and tiara. Yes a TIARA!! It would be great to take a little girl so she can feel like a princess or just bring yourself so you can feel like a queen.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Farmer's Market Inspired ~ Tu-Tu's Juicy Chicken Sandwich Delight Recipe

The title certainly doesn't scream adventure but there was some slight on ;~). I decided to explore Queens. My exploration came about because I decided to get back to the basics. The basics is none other than MYSELF. I lived in Queens for over a year now. There were places I haven't discovered that are literally 5 minutes away from where I reside. I can use the word discover if I want to..Columbus used the word. OK I don't want to get side tracked that's the reason I had to get back to the basics in the first place.

I read a lot of articles about NYC and Queens and came across Grow NYC. It provides access to healthy, fresh, local food. Under Grow NYC is Greenmarket Farmers Markets. It provides small family farms the opportunity to sell their locally grown products directly to consumers. I searched for the nearest farmers market. It was on 103rd and Roosevelt Avenue in Corona, Queens. Its only open on Fridays until November 18th between 8AM & 5PM.

I ventured off last Friday to see if the prices were right at my nearby farmers market. The price was right. I didn't stock up on items because it's just me and the products would probably spoil. I thought it was going to be bigger than it was but it was small and intimate. There was a cooking demonstration, nutritional facts handed out and recipes.

I strolled along the side walk to see what all of the hype was about. There were vegetables and fruits that I never tried in my life. I compared prices from one stand to the next. I finally ended up with red peppers, red onions and fresh cilantro. I guess everything I purchased was fresh but that was the first time I picked up fresh cilantro. It was only $1.00!! I was very satisfied with my inexpensive vegetable purchase.

I picked up some groceries from a cheap supermarket nearby and couldn't wait to create a new recipe. Well I'm sure someone cooked this before me but I just want to highlight that I did this with no recipe by my side. The sandwich I cooked was absolutely delicious!! I'm not writing that because I cooked the sandwich. It really was excellent. It was bursting with so many flavors. Please see the recipe below. Check back to see more of my crazy adventures.

Tu-Tu's Juicy Chicken Sandwich Delight
• 2 Chicken Breast (cut to make 4 pieces)
• Bread
• 1 Red Pepper (sliced)
• 1/2  Red Onion
• 4 Strips of Bacon
• Vegetable Oil
• Pan Spay
• 2 Teaspoon butter
• Fresh Cilantro
• Baby Spinach
• Mozzarella Cheese
• Sazon Seasoning
• Salt
• Pepper
• 1/2 Teaspoons Balsamic Vinegarette

Heat oven to 350. Heat pan and add vegetable oil, pan spray & butter. Place sliced red peppers into oven. Season one side of chicken breast with salt, pepper, sazon and a sprinkle of oregano. Place seasoned side in the heated pan. Let it stay for five minutes without touching, season the other size and cover the pan. Flip peppers over in pan. Flip chicken and uncover. Cut up red onions. Cook bacon stripes in microwave. Rinse a few leaves of spinach and cilantro. Move chicken to one side of pan and place onions, peppers and bacon in pan. Heat cilantro in pan and cut some fresh mozarella cheese. Place cheese on chicken and melt. Prepare bread (your choice). Place pepper, then bacon, then spinach, then chicken with cheese, then onions, cilantro and drizzle balsamic vinegarette for added flavor. Enjoy!!

Friday, August 26, 2011

San Juan, Puerto Rico ~ Day 5 ~ DeJa Vu

I'm really late but so much is going on right now. Anyway, my final day on San Juan came in very quick. It was warm. The water was beautiful. The scooters were out. The tours were back on but it was time to check out and board our plane. Can you believe that? As soon as the weather went back to was time to head home. It was bitter sweet. One of my sisters happened to be a block away from me in another hotel. Swing sister that is.. We met right before lunch. It was great. My sister and her family was having fun in the sun. Its so funny that my sister and I live in Queens and we happen to be in Puerto Rico at the same timSe. My travel partner and I had a lunch date at UNO's. The food was great and we had free dessert. How cool is that!!  We made it to the airport on time head ad landed in Miami safe. There were delays from Miami to New York but all went well. It was great to be home in my shower in my bed. God is greatly to be praised.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

San Juan, Puerto Rico ~ Day 4 ~ La Playa

We finally got out of the room after a late start. There was Light!! The first day of Fun in the Sun. We ventured out for food and started walking towards the beach. We felt the water and decided to skip a meal just to experience the sandy beaches of San Juan, Puerto Rico. We rushed back for our swim wear and before we could get back out of the hotel room..we saw the rain coming. Smh. I was determined. By the time we got back to the beach the rain ceased and we got right in water. It was beautiful!! We rested on beach chairs and watched nature all around us. It was very relaxing and breath taking. My travel partner cut those moments short due to his hunger pangs. We walked along the nearest street to the beach looking for good food at a reasonable price. We passed a few restaurants and high end stores like Salvatore Farragamo, Cartier and Gucci. The strip is on Ashford Street. We came across a little cafe that had sandwiches, smoothies, coffee and fruit juices. The name was Picachos aromas de cafe. It was very nice and very clean. My partner chose a ham baguette with a diet Coke and I selected the Chicken Focaccia with Passion Fruit juice. The Chicken Focaccia was excellent. It had lettuce, tomatoes and pesto sauce. I did opt out of the pesto sauce but they put it on anyway. I was so happy that they went against my wishes because I enjoyed the sandwich. The passion fruit juice was great at first but you couldn't taste your sip go down after a while due to the after taste. Ok, ok t wasnt that serious about your sip. I got that line from an old hit sitcom (Martin). Dessert included a stroll across the street to the famous Cold Stone Creamery. It was was an exciting walk back down the strip because the ice cream was so delicious. I got a few looks and stares and one wave. I dont know if the ice cream made me look good or if I made the ice cream look good. Either way it was all good. It was our last full day so I had to make it back to the beach. We relaxed and heard the sound of the water rush in and pull back out. We were out all day with no watch and no cell phone and had no knowledge of the time. We looked at each other and said, "that's vacation.." The highlights of the day faded out and the lowlights of the night flowed in..we capped it with a movie called "Tangled."

P.S. The pics were on another SD card. Having technical difficulties uploading them.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

San Juan, Puerto Rico ~ Day 3 ~ Aromas

What a beautiful wet day it was on day 3. We flip flopped through the streets of Old San Juan. It was beautiful and very historic. I envisioned all of Puerto Rico to look like Old San Juan. The streets were very narrow. It was very commercial but looked like old living quarters turned into shops and boutiques. We hopped in and out of the stores like true tourist. We found shelter in a good old Radio Shack when the rain started to drench us. We perused the place acting like we were customers. We grew hungry and asked one of the salesman what was a great reasonable and authenthic place to have lunch. He said "go out, make a left and then a right and you will see a restaurant called Aromas." We followed directions and almost got side tracked by another suggestion but the rain was way too heavy to start venturing off to the unknown. The restaurant was cozy and contemporary. I will attach a couple photos. The food was great. I had chicarrones de pollo and arroz con guandoles (I may have spelled it wrong). The translation is fried chicken chunks with the bone in and rice with beans. My travel partner had a well seasoned burger with cheese, onions and peppers. Just in case I didn't say it before, the food was great!! The only weird thing is that you had to go outside of the restaurant to use the rest room. Yes, very different!! We walked along the streets and gazed into shop after shop. We saw the Governors residence and walked near the water. Our last stop before we left was an old castle. It was a historic site called Castillo San Cristobal. The rain was heavy and the winds were high but we toured the castle and learned a lot of history. It was fun because of the rain. We tried to make a scary movie while in the dungeon but are extras kept messing up (sort of an inside joke). We took a cab back to our hotel and ventured back out into some crazy rain. I took the hood off of my poncho and just splashed in the rain as people gawked at me like I was crazy. We were a block away from the beach and saw the waves roaring coming way over the sand and closer inland. We decided to make it a movie night. We saw so much water that the choice of movie was Fireproof!!