Monday, December 30, 2013

December IPSY Glam Bag Review

I always love makeup and beauty bags during holiday seasons. December's bag was no different! Come see!

English Laundry Signature scents
The only thing I don't like about these is that they leaked in transit and the whole bag smelled like it. A little bit of perfume isn't bad...but a half a bottle leaked? Yeah, thats stinky. Either way, seperated from the bag, they smell light, and fantastic. 

JCat - the BIG Lip Pencil
In the last few month's I've gotten an insane amount of lip crayons, pencils, and deep red lipsticks. I was bummed at first to see another lip pencil in my bag, until I tried it out and realized it wasn't a deep red, but a lighter, prettier red! I was so excited to wear it and it has been my holiday go-to look since!

POP Eyeshadow Palette
I adore these colors and was so excited to see them in a palette. These are the colors I aim for with my daily makeup for work and errands, so I was really excited to try out this palette this month!

Be a Bombshell Blush
While I usually don't wear blush, I've been wearing this for holiday parties, and I love it! I can't wait to try it out for date nights soon!

Starrily Bzzz Bzzz nail polish
I love this color combo. I ended up layering it with some gold underneath to create a fun look and got compliments for days about my mani. I just love this color combo!

If you love the products you see above and want to also sign up to get some goodies, check out this link and do it! You'll love it!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Jane's Outrageous Chocolate Cookies

I have a co-worker who makes the BEST desserts in the world. She's also probably the skinniest person I know, which makes her dessert making quite ironic. She always knows which recipes are best for cookies, cakes and brownies, and when she brings some into work it gets chaotic because everyone knows, she makes the best. When I asked for her cookie recipe, I wasn't entirely sure she'd hand it over, but sure enough she did! Here it is folks, the best chocolate cookies in the world!

What you'll need:
8 oz semi sweet chocolate - chopped
4 tbs unsalted butter
2/3 cups all purpose flour, spooned and leveled
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 package semi sweet chocolate chunks

How to do it:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a microwave safe bowl, mix chopped chocolate and butter, 20 seconds at a time, stirring in between until almost melted. In a seperate bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt.
2. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, brown sugar and vanilla on high speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed and mix in melted chocolate. Then, add flour mixture. Finally add in the chocolate chunks.
3. Drop quarter sized amounts of dough onto baking sheets. Bake, until cookies are shiny and crackly (about 12 minutes, flipping halfway though), transfer to cooling racks to cool seperately. 

This will make about 17 cookies...and you'll only share about three of them.
Serve and enjoy!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Broiled Grapefruit

I had originally seen this as a pin on Pinterest, but it had no link to it. Bummed, I took to the internet to find out how to make these...after all, I had been given a few for the holidays and we need to use them up before they go bad. Come to find out, broiled grapefruit is very popular in the south, and very easy to make.
Here's how.

Cut your grapefruit in half (I did fourths because I was sharing with a toddler). Cover each half in 1 teaspoon of brown sugar. Place in the oven on broil and cook for 3-6 minutes.
Let cool, serve, and enjoy!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Crockpot Roasted Almonds

Nothing is better than a super-easy crockpot recipe! When everything else is hectic (or when holiday baking takes over your oven!), this recipe is great, plus its tasty! 

What you'll need:
3 cups almonds
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 c water

How to do it:
In a crockpot, mix everything except for the water. Cook on low for 3 hours, stirring every 20 minutes. At the start of hour 4 add the water, stir well and cook for one more hour.
Remove from crockpot, lay out on a baking sheet and let cool. Break up any clumps or clusters that may form and enjoy!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Cheater Christmas Cookies

So, here's the backstory. In the process of planning for a cookie exchange for a Christmas party, I realized that I had put all my eggs in one basket that a stellar cookie recipe from a co-worker would make it to my home in time. Frantic, I whipped up this recipe.

Here's what you need:
2 rolls pillsbury sugar cookie dough
2-4 drops red food coloring
LOTS of sprinkles

How to do it:
Add food coloring and cookie dough to a bowl and mix well. Once mixed, lay out cookies on a cookie sheet and preheat the oven. Now, cover your cookies in as many sprinkles as possible!
Let cool on a cooling rack, serve and enjoy your cheater cookies! 
(No one has to know they're not homemade!)

Monday, December 23, 2013

Roasted Pecans

This year, for the holidays, I wanted to test out some new recipes! One of the recipes was roasted pecans, and I was excited to see how they would turn out.
The person I look to for food critique liked it (my husband) so that means I have to share it with you!

What you'll need:
1 cup nuts
1/2 cup maple syrup
5 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

How to do it:
Roast at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven, stir, flip and return to oven for 15 more minutes.
Remove from baking sheet and let cool, then, enjoy!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Doritos Dinamita Chile Limon Crockpot Chicken

Wow! What a mouthful this recipe is.
With a popular as the Doritos Crockpot Chicken recipes are, I picked up a few new flavors of Doritos to try out the recipes. This one is not going to disappoint you, to say the least! 

We found Doritos Dinamita Chile Limon at NPS. I hadn't seen them at any of our local grocery stores, but my husband said that his work friends buy them at the Asian specialty stores or the Mexican grocery stores. I bought a 4oz bag, we really didn't need more than that. 

What you'll need:
2-3 chicken breasts (frozen)
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 brick of cream cheese
1 handful of crushed Doritos
a "squirt" of lime juice (optional)

How to do it:
Mix all the ingredients in the crockpot, and cook on low for 6-8 hours (or high for 3-4 hours).
Stir occasionally, mixing in more Doritos as desired.
Once finished, place a layer of Doritos in the bottom of the bowl. Add mixture, then top with more crushed Doritos. Serve while still warm and enjoy!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Ice Cream

This last weekend we went to Leatherbys to celebrate my cousins 18th birthday. If you're unfamiliar with this place, it is the best ice cream parlor yet. The portions are HUGE, making it a fun place to take families and kiddos alike. Bubba and I ordered a banana split for the family to split, and little dude LOVED it.

Such focus! Such will to get to the ice cream!

Sweet, sweet success!

The time it takes from the ice cream to the mouth is just too long!

Mmm-mmm good!

We've just thankful for wet wipes and that babies are washable. I love being able to have moments like these to share with my little dude. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

December Birchbox Review

I love getting my Birchbox every month. There is something so wonderful about getting a box, full of girly, makeup and beauty supplies each month that really just tickles my fancy. Not to mention how speedy their shipping is! I love always getting it earlier than I expect it to!

Atelier Cologne
Most fragrances I've gotten in boxes are really strong and almost over powering, making it vital to use a small amount. I absolutely love this scent, because it is so soft, almost like baby powder and is far from overpowering. I really like this scent and will be wearing it to work this week, no doubt!

Popcorn Pop Chocolate
This is one of the best, strangest things I have yet to taste. You read the label, thinking its going to taste like chocolate covered popcorn. Some people love it (that'd be me), some people don't (that'd be Bubba). You open the package to see a chocolate, seemingly harmless, in a little perfect oval shape. Take a bite and suddenly, popcorn flavored pop rocks are going off in your mouth while the chocolate dissolves!
While it throws you off, its delicious, really.

Hair spray
I am always in need of a good hair spray, and this one did not disappoint. While it has quite the strong scent, it holds every little hair in place, goes on smooth and stays put for hours! Another product I will be using for work, when the last thing I need is messy fly-aways!

Lait-Creme Concentre
Let's start off by saying this. The instructions on the back say that it was tested under strict supervision of a dermatologist. Maybe I'm the only one who was afraid by that, but I was worried about what I was testing out. Then, when you opened it, it reminded me of a medication you get from a doctors office, you had to pierce it open. That being said, I tested out this cream on my hands and LOVE it. The weather here has been so cold and dry, and harsh and I love how smooth and soft my hands feel now! Trust me, I will be using this questionable cream much more in the future.

Laqa&Co Lil' Lip Crayon
I really liked this crayon, as you can tell by my photo on Instagram. Other reds were just way too red, while this one maintained the color and was still subtle enough for me to wear it and not feel like a Russian hooker. I love it and cannot wait to wear it during Christmas parties!

Want to start recieving products like these for yourself? Click on the link and start getting boxes sent to your door - taking care of yourself is a great New Years resolution!

Friday, December 13, 2013

3 Ingredient Peppermint Fudge

This is a tale of me tackling one of my greatest dessert achievements to date.
But first, the prologue.
One night, as a kid, I was given the task of making fudge from a kids cookbook as a treat for family home evening. I showed my mom the recipe, she approved, and I got to work in the kitchen.
Hours later, we sat down to eat and discovered I somehow (heaven knows how, we've all checked and double checked) made ice cream instead of fudge. And whats worse, it was disgusting.
So I've steered clear of fudge until now.

Then, on a lazy Saturday morning, I was scrolling through my facebook feed when a shared post from a friend was there, staring at me, screaming at me to try this recipe.
It's the Pioneer Woman's recipe. You just don't say no to a Ree Drummond recipe.
It even says so in the bible. 

So, I took to the kitchen and tried this fudge out...and boy is it good!

What you'll need:
3 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 candy cane - crushed

How to do it:
1. On the stove top, add condensed milk and chocolate chips. On low heat, begin to mix, and stir until it is well blended. (This should take about 10 minutes or so).
2. In an 8 x 8 baking dish, line with foil and spray foil with cooking spray. Once fudge is mixed well with no lumps and is smooth, pour into baking dish. Top with crushed peppermint.
3. Let cool in the refrigerator for up to 2 hours, then remove from baking dish and cut into squares.
Serve and enjoy!

Monday, December 9, 2013

November Birchbox Man Review

A few months ago we got Bubba subscription to Birchbox Man. I originally suggested it because I was the only one ever getting any fun mail, while he got all the bills. I also knew that he didn't really try new products or items from his usual, body wash, shampoo and deodorant. Each month he enjoys it more and more, watches the previews, gets involved in the comments/message boards, and gets excited to test new products. Here's this month's haul with Bubba's review of it:

Proraso: Shaving Cream - $10
This felt like I was using a barbershop cream, and I liked it. It felt more like a lotion than a cream.

Proraso: Aftershave - $16
I've never used aftershave before, so using this product was a neat experience. It did burn, but kept my skin moisturized. It was great that it matched the shaving cream, it was similar like a lotion and felt great!

Real Men Go 24*7 Body Wash - $16
The body wash had a nice citrus smell to it. It lathered up great in the loofah and I felt great after using it. A little bit goes a long way, which makes the bottle I got last quite some time. 

American Crew- Alternator - $15
Alternator is a fancy word for hairspray. Sprayed my hair with it, it stuck, even with water in my hair, it stayed put. I'm a fan of this product!

Benjo's Two Tone Laces - $11
When I looked online I saw that they had two colors available for these - orange and blue. I'm very glad I got the blue. 

Jonathan Alder Boot Socks - $16
These socks are cozy, and if you don't believe me, Dani had stolen them and worn them long before I could get a chance to. She liked them that much! 

I really like my Birchbox Man subscription. I get lots of great products each month, and get to try out things I never would have thought of. The brands are always high end brands and I like being able to try them out. 
If you'd like to subscribe, check it out here.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Turkey and Wild Rice Soup

This week we had the terrible dilemma of Thanksgiving leftovers.
Not only did we have leftovers from one Thanksgiving, but two! And on top of that, family and friends brought food by earlier that week since I had my surgery. Needless to say, we were leftover'd out!

I wanted to make something that didn't taste like Thanksgiving, but took care of my leftovers at the same time, and this sure did the trick well.

What You'll Need:
Turkey meat (white is best)
2 stalks celery
2 medium carrots
2 cans cream of chicken soup ( & 2 cans water)
1 cup milk
Wild Rice (1-2 cups)
Pepper to taste

How to do it:

1. In a large pot, start with your wild rice, cream of chicken soup, water and milk. Cook on medium to high heat
2. Begin to prepare your veggies, dice the celery, cut the carrots, (add onions as desired) and lastly, add your turkey meat. Stir in veggies and continue to cook on medium to high heat.
3. Add some pepper to taste and cover soup, stirring occasionally. It'll take about 15 minutes for the rice to be soft and prepared. 
4. Serve with some leftover Thanksgiving rolls and enjoy! 

Monday, December 2, 2013

A Post-Op Update

Hey guys!

If you follow me on other social networks, it is no news that I am alive and well. On Instagram, I've been posting photos since the day of surgery, and on Twitter I've been sharing quips of my life since the procedure. I'm hoping to get to blogging this week, but folks, I'm not promising anything.

I did want to post an update and write about the experience! It was unlike anything I've ever experienced - but in a good way!

The day of surgery went so incredibly well. I knew all the anesthesiologists and the resident working with my surgeon was so meticulous and educated that all my fears were calmed. They talked me and my dad, who accompanied me there, through the procedure, let me know what to expect and talked to me about everything I'd need to know.

The hardest part was convincing them that I would not need a narcotic pain medication post-op.
I know, I know, they need to write one to everybody to cover their bases. I know, most people just take the meds and walk away. We had to convince the doctors that I wanted a low-count of Tramadol, and that I'd take tylenol otherwise. They tried to convince me that I would want stronger pain meds and with the holiday, I should just take them, but after the surgery, I didn't need them. Yay!

The bra they put you in after surgery is totally hideous. The nurses assured me that no one would be able to see it under my clothes and that they've gotten better over the years. Guys, even my 82 year old grandma wouldn't wear this ugly thing. But luckily, I only had to wear it for 48 hours and then I was able to wear my own sports bras. Luckily, I still had some (and a nursing bra that didn't fit) and was able to just wear those, which was SO MUCH MORE FLATTERING!

We had a small scare during and after the surgery. Some of the tissue wasn't appearing to "take", meaning that the blood flow wasn't returning to the area after the sutured everything back up. The doctors were able to use a nitro paste to open up blood flow the the area, which meant that in turn, everything was fine...however, all that blood flow has made the area incredibly bruised. It looks gnarly, not going to lie.

Sooo, some numbers for those of you who want to see results (I will post photos when the swelling is all the way down).
Pre Op size: 36 H
Post Op size: 36 C
Lbs lost: 3 (650+ grams total)

The only downside to this whole thing was a massive stomach flu that hit yesterday. Try tossing cookies with stitches in your chest. It sucks.
Otherwise, I am lying low (well, as low as I can, I suck at being a patient), healing and trying to catch up to everything I've been doing. Hopefully I'll be back to posting nail art, DIY's and recipes soon!

Hope you're all doing well!