Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Yayy a makeup post!

 I wanted to do a makeup blog, and this is a look I've done a few times since I got the Tarte Jewelry Box a few months ago.  It is a pretty good value, even if some of the eye shadows aren't as pigmented as I'd like.  I got it because I have very few matte shadows, and this came with 16 of them.  Here is the final look:

The products I used are:
  • Make up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Foundation in 115
  • MAC Mineralize Skin Finish Natural in Light
  • MAC Blush in Darkly My Dear
  • Stila Illuminating Finishing Powder in Rose Gold
  • MAC Mineralize Blush in The Soft Meow
  • Lancome Effacernes Waterproof in Porcelaine I
  • Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder
  • Too Faced Shadow Insurance
  • Tarte The Jewelry Box (shades used are circled)
  • MAC Eyeshadow in Vanilla (not pictured)
  • MAC Pearlglide Intense Eyeliner in Black Swan
  • Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner in Ransom
  • MAC False Lashes Mascara
  • MAC Studio Fix Lash Mascara
  • Too Faced Lash Injection Pinpoint Mascara
  • Brushes as shown - two are from crown brush and the other is the Sigma SS 224 (not sure what number it is in their new system).  I also used the Smashbox Smudger Brush #33, which is not pictured.
  • MAC Lipliner in Dervish
  • MAC Viva Glam VI Lipstick
  • BUXOM Lip Polish in Zena
Nothing too complicated as far as application techniques.  I applied the matte taupe-y shadow to my lid with the big shader brush.  Then I used the purple sparkly shade in my crease and outer V with the Sigma SS 224.  I used the same shade on my lower lash line with my smudge brush.  Both of these shadows require a bit of layering, which is okay - if you used a colored base (cream shadow, NYX jumbo pencil, etc.) you'd get a better color payoff right away.   MAC Vanilla as my highlight color and blended in to the purple.  Then I added a fairly thin line of the Black Swan liner to my top lash line.  I used the Urban Decay Ransom liner on my water line.  For mascara, I did one coat of False Lashes mascara followed by one coat of Studio Fix lash.  On my lower lashes, I used the Too Faced Pinpoint.

For lips, I just lined my lips with Dervish (If you want more staying power for your lipstick, fill in your lips with your liner first).  Then one coat of Viva Glam VI, blot, then another coat.  I added the Buxom Zena on top to lighten it up just a touch.

I hope you guys like this look, and if you have the Tarte Jewelry box let me know if you try it out! Thoughts and comments are always appreciated :)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Cookie Yumminess!

I came across this blog - Kevin and Amanda - a couple days ago after xsparkage tweeted her perfect, creamy Fettuccine Alfredo recipe. Looks amazing.  What caught my eye, however, was her newest entry (at least, as of right now!) for Mascarpone Oreo Snowflake Cookies.  They are SO good, and really easy to make!  Pop over to her *amazing* blog for the recipe, but here is a pic of my cookies for you to drool over :) I'm definitely bookmarking this recipe for the future, and I think they would be super excellent with crushed up Thin Mints/Grasshoppers instead of the Oreos!

Crock Pot Success!

I asked for (and got) a crockpot for Christmas! This is the one I got - its a 4-qt model, which is perfect for me, and I'd estimate you can feed up to four comfortably with this model.  Its also red, which I love!  So far I've made two meals in it, and both have been super delicious.  The first one is from the  Crock-Pot Slow Cooker Bible, which I would highly recommend! One thing I noticed after browsing through several slow cooker cookbooks is they all have tons of soup recipes -which is fine if you want to eat a lot of soup, which I don't. 
Of course, now that I've said that, I'm going to tell you about the first recipe I made - Thai-Style Chicken and Pumpkin Soup. The recipe I used is identical, except for one thing - mine didn't call for water, and I didn't use any.  I don't think it needed it, as I quite liked the consistency.  The ingredient list is a little daunting, for sure, but I think most people who cook regularly probably have the majority of things on hand. This is a great dish for the winter, very hearty and filling.  I shared this recipe with my mom and dad and they had it the other day and loved it as well!
Other than not adding the water, I have a couple other serving suggestions:
  • If you like things spicy, add a little red curry paste.  I added it at the end, but I'm sure you could throw it in with everything else.  I used probably 1/2 tsp because I was worried it would be too hot, but next time I'll use at least 1 tsp. 
  • Drizzle a tiny bit of sesame oil over the top.  I'm talking like...5 drops.  Makes a huge difference and just makes everything extra delicious.  

The next recipe I made was courtesy of my friend Faith.  She is a vegetarian, but her hubby and kids aren't, so this is a super easy recipe that she can make for them and she doesn't even have to touch the chicken.  Perfect!  In direct contrast to the other recipe, this one only has 5 ingredients. 
You will need:
  • 4-5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used a 1.25 lb package of chicken breast tenderloins that I'd had in the freezer for forever)
  • 1-15 oz. jar of salsa (I found a Pineapple Peach Chipotle salsa at my Super Walmart - YUM)
  • 1-15 oz. can of whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1-15.5 oz. can of black beans, drained
  • 1-8oz. package of cream cheese (I used the low-fat neufchatel cheese with good results)
Directions: Place chicken in crock-pot.  Add beans, corn, and salsa.  Cook for 4-5 hours on high.  Add cream cheese, and let sit for about 1/2 hour.  Mix well and enjoy!
Here are some notes and other ideas for this recipe:
  • My jar of salsa happened to be 26 oz.  Since the recipe called for a 15 oz jar, I figured I'd use about 2 cups because that's 16 oz, right? Well it ended up being practically the whole jar.  I was confused about this, but it was too late to do anything.  I haven't made it with the 15 oz jar so I don't have anything to compare it to, but I thought it was just fine this way.  
  • I added a little bit of Dinosaur Barbecue's Cajun Foreplay seasoning, cuz I'm like that :-p
  • I wasn't sure how to serve this, and I had a little extra rice from the day before (probably about 1/2 cup, not a whole lot).  I just mixed them together and it was great.  
  • My mom and I were talking, and she suggested that this would be a great filling for enchiladas.  I couldn't agree more.  Just roll some up in corn or flour tortillas, place in a pan, add some enchilada sauce and cheddar cheese over the top and bake until it melts.  
  • I also think a great way to serve this would be as a dip.  Before you add the cream cheese, take out the chicken and shred it, and add it back to the pot.  Add the cream cheese and once it's melted, serve with tortilla chips! You would probably want to use the bigger jar of salsa if you were going to serve it like this - and maybe even more than that.  
Hope you guys enjoyed these recipe ideas, sorry I don't really have any pics for you - the only ones I took were on my phone and I don't know if that would make them more or less appealing!  Let me know if you try either of these recipes, and what you thought!

First post! And Nails of the Day

I figured I'd keep my first post pretty simple with a nails of the day post.  I paint my nails about every other day, more frequently if I'm working.  Other than that, I don't do a lot as far as maintenance.  I use hand cream at night and whenever else I need it and/or think about it.  My favorites are  Neutrogena Norwegian Formula hand cream ( currently has a coupon for $1 off - final price is $3.49 for 2 oz.) and Kiehls Ultimate Strength Hand Salve ($20 for 5 oz.).

I have a love affair with deep, dark, and/or opaque nail polishes.  Visible nail line annoys the heck out of me.  That said, today's "nail of the day" is Zoya Ibiza.  It is a beautiful deep indigo blue with shimmer.  The shimmer isn't very prominent, especially inside (F for me for taking nail pics inside - but its really cold, and it gets dark at like 4:30).  Indoors it looks very dark, but you can see how the blue flashes in the pictures.  Loveeee. I almost got away with one coat today, but I always do two out of habit, and I think it usually looks better.  I used Orly Bonder for my base coat, and Lippmann Collection Addicted to Speed for my top coat.