Archive | January, 2011

Pizza and Make-up.. doesn’t get much better than this!

30 Jan

Today, on a whim, we decided to pack up and head to Longview to see the in-laws, eat at Pizza King, and shop at Target. We had some gift certificates saved up to go to Pizza King, and for once, Chris was off of work!! If you have never had pizza king, well you have never lived. πŸ™‚ It is FABULOUS pizza, and it is probably one of the oldest family-owned pizza places in Longview–Since 1965. I don’t know what they do, or how they make it so yummy, but it is definitely worth a try if you are ever in the area. AND the submarine sandwiches are sinfully delish too. I have tried to make one like it at home, and it just doesn’t taste the same. Ahh well, it gives me a reason to visit the area… well, besides the fact that my in-laws live there!

Chris’ mom Lola (pronounced Lula) went to eat with us. We stopped by East Mountain and picked her up and took her to Pizza King with us. She also went to Target with us, and in true Grandma Lola style, she spoiled the girls rotten. She bought them each a new princess dress and a bouncy ball. MK got a Princess Dora dress. Here is a picture of her, still wearing it after we got home.

Addison picked out a Little Mermaid dress. She LOVES dress-up clothes. She is such a girly-girl. She got mad at me the other day when I went into the “make-up” store and didn’t get her anything. I usually let her have some chapstick and some light eyeshadow, and she thinks she is getting really dolled up. πŸ™‚ However, she came by her girly-girl ways and love of make-up honestly. It runs in the family. (Nice segue, huh??) All I can say is that when these girls get to be teenagers, Chris is in trouble. I have a feeling there will be 3 women living in this house who love to buy make-up.
Now, take a look at this NARS blush/bronzer duo. Isn’t it beautiful?? It is priced at $37-39! If it is a product you would wear everyday, I say buy it. I love NARS.
However, if you don’t want to spend that much money, there is a great alternative that I found.. for $3.00!! Seriously people. This is AMAZING. Such a good deal, such a steal! It is the ELF brand blush/bronzer duo. Check out the picture. The colors are very very similar. Similar enough for me to save my $32 dollars and spend it on something else! The case and everything looks the same, including the large mirror in the compact.

Here is what I bought at Target. I bought the Sonia Kashuk pressed powder for $8.97. I used it today while I was in Longview, and so far, I give it two thumbs up! It actually came in a shade that matches my skin. This is RARE people. Most make-up lines do not make products for porcelain skin. They think everyone is “Light”. Uh..not so. Almost everything I buy in the powder/foundation area has a weird yellow/orange undertone to it. It looks light enough in the package, but then I get it home, and I look like a fake tanner. Ridiculous. But THIS product matches me perfectly. One time I was sent away from the Clinic counter because the make-up girls simply did not have a shade of foundation to match my skin..and that was including all types of foundation: powder, liquid, cream. I am just too pale. (And no, I do not plan on tanning. That is just skin cancer waiting to happen. Plus, I don’t want to look like a saddle bag when I am 40.)
I bought the blush/bronzer duo, the Sonia Kashuk powder, vanity Q-Tips, and some Valentine’s baking sprinkles. I know these are not a make-up product, but I am really excited that it only cost $2.50 for the whole package! I am going to be playing with those! πŸ™‚
Anyway, I bought 2 of the ELF studio brushes, one blush brush that I will use for contouring, and one eyeshadow shader brush. These are also $3.00 each. The M.A.C. make-up brushes, which I love, are about $20+ each, so I figured I would give these a try. I did NOT like the white handled ELF brushes because the handles were too easy to detach from the brush part. These seemed sturdier, and the bristles seemed soft and felt really nice. (Yes, I opened the packages in store. Devilish.. :))

I thought I had some fun finds and great product dupes. πŸ˜‰ It was a good day, but I am glad to be back home and ready to soak in a hot bathtub with my Senorita Margarita bubble-bath, now that the kids are in bed!
It’ll be fun playing in the make-up tomorrow morning, as always!

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Mood Boosters!

26 Jan
It’s a known fact that I LOVE make-up. And I mean L.O.V.E., LOVE. πŸ˜‰ I have always liked anything that has to do with beautifying; makeup, hair, nails, etc. Which is why I became a Cosmetologist (Which is a hairdresser, for those of you who don’t know that. Believe it or not, I have been asked that question several times.).
So, I have tried TONS of different make-up. I can tell you what works, and what doesn’t. There are definite finds and definite duds.

I came across the Physician’s Formula Glow & Mood Boosting make-up the other day at Wal-Mart. It definitely peaked my interest! I didn’t buy it the first time I saw it though, because I knew that I could get a better price on it if I found a coupon, which I did! It turns out that I had some CVS Extra Bucks to spend and when I went into the store, both of these items had a Manufacturer’s Coupon of $3.00 off attached to them! This has already boosted my mood, I can tell you that much!

Happy Booster Glow & Mood Boosting Powder claims:
($13.95)

  • Evens out skin tone.
  • Pink heart gives the cheeks a pop of color.
  • Infused with Happy Boost blend, featuring Happy Skin and Euphoryl, natural plant extracts which have been shown to promote a feeling of happiness by mimicking the effect of Endorphins and helping protect the skin from environmental stress.
  • The sweet scent of Violet provides a feeling of joy each time you apply.

Happy Booster Glow & Mood Boosting Blush claims:
($11.95)

  • Ultra-soft and bendable blushing powder features a fresh and vibrant mix of blushing tones infused with a pop of color to create a healthy glow.
  • Multi-reflective pearls provide a soft iridescence to highlight contour and add radiance to cheeks.
  • Infused with Happy Boost blend, featuring Happy Skin and Euphoryl, natural plant extracts which have been shown to promote a feeling of happiness by mimicking the effect of Endorphins and helping protect the skin from environmental stress.
  • The sweet scent of Violet provides a feeling of joy each time you apply.

Overall, I can say that I really like these products! They both smell amazing, and the packaging is too cute. It is perfect to put in your purse for quick touch-ups. The compacts both have brushes that go along with them, and a mirror attached. (I hate make-up with no mirrors! Mirrors are a must when you are putting them in your “To-Go” make-up bag, because you won’t always be around a place with a mirror.)

The blush is a pretty rose color and looks nice when you put it on. I also like the powder, just ofr a pretty highlight. So, I am happy with the performance of these products.

Now, did this product boost my mood?? Well, I have to say, YES! However, I am always happy when i am putting on make-up. I don’t necessarily think it is from the scent, although the scent is a nice plus. So, I can’t technically vouch for the fact that it is the scent that is making me happy…but this product does! πŸ™‚ I mean, who can resist the little hearts?? Adorable. And right in time for Valentine’s. If I were buying my own Valentine gift, these would be perfect.

Would I buy this again?? YES.

Now, onto the nail polishes! Aren’t these colors awesome?? πŸ™‚ Bright colors boost my mood too. I just had to post a pic, cause I love them. Maybe I will wear a different color on each finger, since I can’t decide which one to pick! (Okay, maybe not. Just kidding.) I am really, really loving the dark purple color. It’s called Starry Night.
These are $3.00 from http://www.qnail.com/ which is a good price for nail polish.

Colors from left to right; Erin Island, Green Apple, Sunshine Orange, Starry Night, Lemon Spritz, Lucy Diamond, Lavender Bouquet, News of the Beloved, and Purple Passion.

They sent Purple Passion as a free gift with this little sticker on top. Too cute. I love free stuff. πŸ™‚ And it’s cool that they took into account that I picked quite a few purples..and chose a cool purple shade as my free gift.
I can’t wait to try these out. They are much cheaper than going and getting a Manicure and Pedicure done at a nail salon. Just do it yourself every now and then. (Don’t get me wrong, manicures and pedicures have their place in my life for sure, but I can’t go get one every few weeks. So having your own polish is a nice alternative when you are low on dough.)

Anyway, just thought I would post a couple of the things that I am loving right now. I could add more.. but I will resist… for now.
Now, go make yourself up! That’s a mood booster in itself.
Ciao!
** After trying these polishes, I found out that they chip easily. I love the colors though, so I don’t mind applying this more than once. Just be sure to use a good base coat and top coat!

Applique!

24 Jan

Have you ever wanted to learn how to make your own cute onesies for gifts?? There is no sense in paying $25 for a cute appliqued onesie that you can make yourself! Plus, you can usually buy a pack of onesies, which leaves you with extras for the next lucky little bambino.

SUPPLIES:
Applique pattern*
Fusible web
Fabric
Onesie
Thread
Buttons, bows, or other embellishments
Iron/ironing board
Sewing machine
Sewing pins
Scissors
Sewing needle
Embroidery thread
* You can draw your own applique pattern on a piece of computer paper. You can do anything: a heart, a star, an elephant, a flower… just whatever floats your boat. If you don’t want to do this, then you can always find them online at http://www.etsy.com. Type “applique pattern” in the Etsy search engine. OR, you can sometimes find free ones by typing it into Google. You can also search for children’s coloring pages online, find one you like, print, and cut!
If you are new to applique, you may want to start with a pattern with as many straight edges as possible. You can applique on a burp cloth too. It is much easier than appliqueing on a onesie, because you do not have to worry about sewing two layers together on accident.

Step 1: Iron the fabric onto the fusible web. Place the wrong side of the fabric to the shiny side of the fusible web. (You can get fusible web at HL for about $1.99/yd. You will only need about a 1/8-1/4 of a yard, depending on the width of your applique pattern.)

Just for times sake, I do this step first. You can always cut out your pattern, cut out your fusible web in the shape of the pattern, and then cut out your fabric in the shape of your pattern, and then iron the two together. I find that this is less wasteful with material, but more time consuming.

(Be careful! Do not let the fusible web touch the iron directly. Only iron on the fabric, otherwise you will have a very sticky iron in need of cleaning.)

Step 2: Cut out your applique pattern and trace it on the back of your fusible web/material piece. Remember that when you cut out your applique, you are going to flip it over and pin it to the material, so it will be a mirror image of whatever you trace. Pay attention to the direction you want your applique to face.
Step 3: Sew anything on you applique that needs to be on there, for example, I need to sew my elephant ear and heart on. (I am working with an elephant pattern. I traced the elephant’s ears separately so that I could make it more of a 3D effect. So I cut out two blue elephant ears backed with fusible web, placed the right sides of the material together, and sewed around the edges leaving enough of an opening to turn my material inside out. Then I cut my applique of the elephant vertically where I can insert the ear. I placed the right sides of the material together, with the ear sandwiched in between and sewed the elephant back together. Check out the final picture to see what I am talking about if this is too confusing.)
You can always just sew the elephant ear on directly to the pattern without making it 3D. I just thought it was a nice effect.


Next I stitched on the heart. I am just using a straight stitch since this is a very small applique piece. You can always use an applique stitch if you prefer, but I find this unnecessary on such a small piece.
(Applique Stitch)


Step 4: Hand sew your embellishments on. In this case, I sewed on a button for the elephant’s eye.

Step 5: Here is my final applique piece with everything stitched on. Now you need to pin it on your onesie. Only pin it through the top layer. Remember you still have to be able to open the onesie and put it on the baby, so don’t pin or stitch through both layers.

Step 6: Find your applique stitch. Place your onesie on your sewing machine. (Again, make sure you are only going to sew through one layer, not two.) Stitch around the perimeter of your applique.

Step 7: Stand back and admire your work and think about the beautiful baby who will get to wear this masterpiece. πŸ™‚

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

17 Jan

So here are the cookies that everyone asks for. I cannot take credit for this recipe, it was given to me by a friend, who found the recipe off of the internet somewhere. I have no idea where, but I can vouch for the fact that these are the best cookies ever! As a matter of fact, Chris bought a television from one of his friends and the price was $X, plus these cookies! So, I finally made good on my end of the deal. Chris paid the money for the television, and I baked the cookies for the television. Seems like a fair trade to me anyway! So, if anyone else wants to trade electronics for cookies, let’s do it! πŸ™‚

Here is what you will need:

You can start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees.
Then mix together your sugar, brown sugar, egg, and butter.

Then add your flour, baking soda, and salt and mix. This will be a thick mixture. I would say the texture is about like play-doh.

Now chop up your macadamia nuts and add this to your mixture.


Fold in your white chocolate chips. You don’t want to mix this in the mixer because you want your chocolate chips to stay intact.. at least I do!


Take a scoop and place your cookies on your cookie sheet. I line mine with parchment paper for easy clean-up. This also is a large scoop so that I can get a decent sized cookie out of it. I don’t like playing around with rinky-dink cookies.

Bake for 9-11 minutes. I bake mine for 9. They will look undercooked, but this is the way they are supposed to be! The texture is perfect if you will trust me. This was a little trick my friend taught me, and I live by this rule when baking cookies.

Now, I prefer the semi-sweet chocolate chips to the white chocolate ones. If you are like me, just omit the macadamia nuts and add the semi-sweet chips instead. This is a basic cookie dough recipe, so feel free to mix it up, change it, and make it your own!

If you want a printable version of this recipe, click the link below.

http://static.keyingredient.com/keyRecipe.swf<!–

Black Bean Dip

15 Jan
I made this black bean dip late the other night after pilfering through my cabinets trying to find a snack. I decided that it was definitely blog worthy after eating it! (Which is why there is only this sad corner picture. I had already gobbled up a lot of this dip, and it did not make for a pretty picture!)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 can (14-oz) Seasoned black beans, drained
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped onion
  • 1/4 C. sour cream
  • 8 slices of jarred jalapenos, diced
  • 3 Tbsp. salsa
  • 1 C. grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • Tony Chachere’s seasoning, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put your black beans in your baking dish and partially mash with a fork, leaving some whole. Add all of the other ingredients, stirring to combine. Bake for 20 minutes until hot and bubbly. Serve with tortilla chips!

*Optional: You can add cilantro or green onions for a garnish on this. I had neither of those things, but if I had had them, they would have gone in!

Listen to this while you cook: Weezer’s Pork and Beans

Press Broken or Loose Eyeshadow

13 Jan
As you all know, I am a bit of a makeup girl, and one of my pet peeves is having an eyeshadow break! (Especially this one, it’s called Red Pink from NYX.) However, there IS a way to save your eyeshadow! I mean, you spent the money on it, and it would be a shame to waste it.
Here is a quick tutorial on how to do it.
First thing you need to do is to break your eyeshadow up even more into a powder. (You can do this in the same container that it came in if you want. I just transferred mine to a pan so that I can fit it into my UNII palette.) Oh..and BTW, it would be helpful if you stuck a clean paper towel underneath it to catch the fallout, but I forgot this step. Oh well!)

I used a toothpick to grind the powder down. You can use a sterile bobby pin, or anything that is sterilized and clean to get the job done. (Remember, this IS going on your eyes, so sterilize!)


Now, take a medicine dropper and fill it with rubbing alcohol. Add the rubbing alcohol a little at a time until you get a “goopy” consistency, maybe a little thicker than a cake batter consistency.

Like this. Be patient. This does take a little bit of stirring. Make sure you scrape around the edges to get all of the eyeshadow incorporated.


Now, take the pan and pick it up off of the counter a tiny bit. Now drop it. Yes, that’s right, drop it! Keep doing this just to even out the mixture.
Then let it sit for about 30-45 minutes, depending on how much alcohol you put in it.


When the eyeshadow has set, and you can touch the top of it without your finger getting wet, then it is ready to press.
Take a clean paper towel and gently press the powder down. There should not be a lot of wet eyeshadow on your paper towel if you let it dry long enough.

And here you go, just let this dry overnight!
You can also press loose eyeshadow this way. I had a couple of Loreal Hip High Intensity Pigments that I wanted to press. I wasn’t crazy about the consistency of these eyeshadows. I thought they were way too chunky. They are much, much better now that they are pressed!

Maple Hot Chocolate

10 Jan
Happy Monday! πŸ™‚
I have decided to start the year off with a new blog dedicated to sharing recipes and craft/sewing projects with you all..and of course, the occasional pictures of my cutie-pie babies. Ok, so more than just an occasional picture, as you can see. πŸ™‚
Yesterday, it snowed in Texas! I cannot help getting my camera out and taking the kids out to play. It’s not every day….or even every year that we see snow. This was MK’s first snow day. She loved watching it from the window yesterday as it was falling. So of course, when I asked the girls if they wanted to go play outside, it was instant hyperactivity and a flurry of jackets, gloves, and thermals.
The first thing Addison wanted to do was to make snow angels, just like on Max and Ruby, her favorite Nick Jr. show.
MK on the other hand, was not as thrilled as she thought she would be with the snow.

Ahh, much better now that MK is not in the snow anymore. As long as she was in the chair, letting me hold her, or sitting in the wagon, she was happy.
Cutie little Eskimo babies. πŸ™‚


The only way that I could convince Addison to come back inside was to promise her a warm bath with lots of play time, and some hot chocolate. So, we came back in and I gave baths, put the girls in their favorite footie pajamas, and filled sippy cups with “warm chocolate.”
I decided not to make the traditional hot chocolate, but instead to make some maple hot chocolate….and it was definitely worth sharing. Throw out those powder packs of hot chocolate and get in the kitchen for a few minutes. You can thank me later.
(And yes, lately I have an obsession with Maple… I think I need counseling.)

Maple Hot Chocolate
INGREDIENTS:
1/3 c. sugar
1 Tbsp. baking cocoa
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 C. hot water
1 Tbsp. butter (not margarine..that’s a dirty word around here.)
4 C. milk
1 tsp. maple flavoring
1 tsp. vanilla extract
DIRECTIONS:
In a large saucepan, combine sugar, cocoa, and salt. Stir in the hot water and butter. Bring to a boil. Add the milk, maple flavoring, and vanilla. Heat through, stirring often so that your milk does not scald.
Ladle into mugs and top with whipped cream.
Don’t know how to make your own whipped cream?? It’s easy! Just take 1 c. of heavy whipping cream and 1/4 c. of sugar (or more if you like), and whip it… whip it good. πŸ™‚ (What?? Couldn’t resist.) I just throw it in my Kitchen Aid stand mixer and turn it on while I go on about my business, and after a few minutes, TA-DA! I have whipped cream! And I didn’t even break a sweat.
You can also jazz this up and make a maple mocha by adding some espresso…if you are really feeling frisky. Normally, I would have done this, but I am going to take a nap while my kids do! Yay for me. πŸ™‚ No sense in ruining a good nap with some caffeine.
Enjoy!
Need a song for inspiration? Listen to this one.. my friend Amber’s fabulous idea: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xbt30UnzRWw