Friday, June 28, 2013

Salt and Straw Portland OR

Alberta street is the place to be if you want to sit and watch hipsters be "cool".  I do remember a time when Alberta street wasn't like that, oh the memories…

Ok so on with the review. After having dinner at a local food cart (which I'll also review), I decided to take a nice stroll. As I as continued to walk, happy smiling faces licking ice cream cones were everywhere, and then it hit me. I want ice cream!

Salt and Straw is a local spot boasting unusual flavor combos.The first thing I noticed was the line trailing out the door. I wasn't phased, I needed that ice cream, so I joined. The line moved quickly and I had a delish cone in my hand in no time. 

I had the almond brittle with salted ganache. OMG! One of the tastiest flavors I've had in a long time. Love love loved it. 

I can't wait to go back. My only complaint is that the little paper menu was confusing to read. The new flavors with beer immediately stick out while the others (beer free) are in the back. I was a little confused and ordered the first flavor without alcohol in it, which ended up being AMAZING. Once inside, the menu on the wall makes a lot more sense. 

Customer service is excellent. Price is what I expected $4.75. Oh, and did I say that ice cream was amazing? Yes, it was. 

  • Salt and Straw gets a 9 out of 10 in my book. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

What Inspires you?

I sat down with a henna cone, bare skin, and no idea what to apply. I looked around and ended up drawing inspiration from a piece of lace, a tile from Morocco, and Stevie Wonder (playing on the radio). 

Can you see each of my influences in this design? 

Polish used is Dream On by Sinful Colors. This color dries matte, not sure why. 

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Stumplings Food Cart Portland OR

I'm a gigantic fan of Asian street food. Dumplings, bao, tea, and whatever else they can steam I'm game for it. Stumplings food cart is located in a small pod with three other carts in the Alberta Arts district in NE Portland. I originally found them on Facebook. 

Stump comes from "stumptown" one of Portland's many nicknames, and lings because well…they serve dumplings. 

This review is just after my most recent visit (it was my third). I keep coming back because I love the food, and the service is good. There is another local dumpling business called Steamers, the food is mediocre and their customer service sucks big time. But this review isn't about Steamers so let's proceed. 

I ordered 9 dumplings (6 spicy chicken, and 3 spinach), one coconut custard bao, creamy peanut sauce, and a Thai iced tea. I once tried a tandoori chicken bao they made but they didn't have it this time (it was super salty anyway). It took less than 10 minutes for fresh hot food. Whoo hoo! 

First thing I noticed as I bit into a chicken dumpling. Filled with juice, not something that happened the first two times I ate there. It was really hot juice. Not a big deal, they are steamed so…

The spinach dumplings were meh, no hot juice in those. I probably won't have the spinach again. Nothing wrong with them per se, just not right for my taste buds. Everything else was perfect. Bao steamed to perfection, and Thai tea on point. The chicken dumplings were not over cooked, steamed just right, and very tasty. Unlike steamers who seems to over cook their dumplings to rubber, but again this review isn't about sucky Steamers. 

I decided to sit and eat at the shared outdoor dining area. Well…out of the four  food carts in the pod, someone needs to pitch in and clean daily. Food on the tables, flies because there's food on the tables, dead leaves around (it's summer, sweep already), storage for art (not what that area is for), and storage for a late 90's model big screen tv (really? Come on). I won't sit and eat again. 

The Stumplings food cart is really clean and professional looking, that's a bonus. So my recommendations…please serve edemame instead of cabbage as a green, warn about the hot juice in freshly steamed dumplings, talk to your neighbor carts about keeping the dining area clean for customers, and please keep up the good work. I'll be back! 

Prices are very reasonable. Total came to $10.75 for my very filling tasty meal. This visit gets an 8, and one bonus point for having compostable containers. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

OOTD Formal Hijabi Edition **Two post Tuesday**

Soooo, they're really trying to cram those weddings in before Ramadhan starts next month. Last minute wedding invitation means throwing something together quick. 

Kaftans/Caftans are really popular in hijabi formal fashion these days. My collection is slowly building because they're also kind of spendy {$100-$400 each} depending on fabric quality and embellishments. The cool thing is they're practically free size and maxi length, and so they're perfect for plus size and tall women. Kaftans are super feminine and flowey so they look great on just about anyone. 

Tonight's ensemble is a kaftan I purchased last year as a last minute Eid dress (I ended up wearing a black abaya instead). It's chiffon with heavy beadwork and covered in jewel tone prints. I can wear just about any color scarf with this dress, so I decided to go with a warm mandarin orange pashmina. 

For accessories I went with a silver/crystal statement ring, that also matched my sandals. Ring is from a local boutique, sandals are from Payless. Most of my formal or fancy shoes come from Payless, I just don't see the point in paying loads for formal shoes I'll only wear once or twice. 

My makeup was simple, I went heavy on the kohl liner and did a very neutral lip. 

Here's to wedding fun tonight! Lots of business cards on hand since I almost always end up meeting my next bridal henna client at a wedding. Hope you enjoyed my very first fashion post. 

Kaftan $125
Orange Pashmina $25
Ring $12
Shoes $19.99

Dramatic Arabic Eyes on Hooded Eyelids

Ok so I'm still very new to this style of make up but I have to say by far it is the easiest to learn for me, and it looks great on me. 

For years I've struggled with eye makeup not realizing that because I have hooded lids I had another set of rules to play by. Maybe not so much rules, but different techniques I must use. 

If you're like me with hooded lids you can spend lots of time making your lids look fab, only to open your eyes completely and have all that wonderful makeup disappear. I love Arabic style make up because I don't have that problem when I wear it. I love how versatile it can be, with just a color change, or switching between hard and soft lines. In these two looks I used black with a hard line and the blue with a softer line. The blue is my favorite of the two. 

Here's to hooded eye makeup success!

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Henna Party Floral Design

I know how much you love tutorials. Here's another video with a design perfect for henna parties. This design looks really cute embellished with glitter and rhinestones (after the henna paste has been removed).

As always, thanks for watching. If you haven't done so please subscribe to my youtube channel. If I reach 14,000 subscribers by the end of July I'll host a massive giveaway.

All content copyright 2013 Free Hand Mehndi
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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Tigard Festival of Balloons

It seems like the festival season never ends around here. Saturday night I ventured out to cook park for the Festival of Balloons. Hot air balloons are massive and range from your traditional light bulb shape to funky purple people eaters with claws. 

They were doing what's called a glow. The balloons were all grounded and were lit up with flame inside. The glow was absolutely beautiful. It's surprising how quickly those balloons can come down. 

The above picture shows my entry ticket and groovy ladybug initiation stamp. They had an awesome fundraiser charging $1 for rides up and down the steep hill (from parking lot to the venue), on the back of bouncy golf carts. 

What festival would be complete without rides, games, and entertainment for the kiddies? The ducky game was the cutest and the haunted mansion was not so scary, but really fun to laugh at. 

Festivals are a blast. Next weekend June 29th I'm headed to World Beat festival in Salem OR. See you there! 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Fabulous Florals getting a jump start on holiday henna

Before releasing ebooks I like to make sure all of the designs can be replicated using henna. Believe it or not, not everything looks good in henna. To prevent my pattern books from being filled with impossible designs I do a little test run.

Today I started testing out patterns for "Fabulous Florals". An ebook full of floral hand designs and motifs. This ebook is set to release just in time for the Eid ul fitr holiday in early August. 

The floral patterns look great with beautiful Eid attire and are beginner to intermediate in difficulty, allowing easy application for artists of all levels. 

Oh and that fab orange is "Courtney Orange" by Sinful Colors. About 90% of my polish collection is sinful colors. I can only describe this color as tangerine satin. Sinful Colors is super affordable and available at drugstores {1.99}.

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Friday, June 21, 2013

Mandalas sacred symbols in henna

Mandala is Sanskrit for circle, and has a sacred and deeply spiritual meaning for many. This henna season one can find mandalas just about anywhere from palms, tops of the feet, even on shoulder blades.
It is said that mandalas have a calming property, allowing the mind to focus and filter out the stress of the day. Even if this isn't a part of your belief system, you can't help but get lost in the intricate patterns that complete a mandala. 

After being sick all week and on the road to recovery I decided to henna myself. The mandala was a natural choice and allowed me to filter out the icky that was making its way out, and focusing on an upcoming exciting weekend. 

Thank you for stopping by. Health and wellness in your future.  Peace and blessings be upon you. 

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