Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Greek Style Orzo Salad

I thought I'd finally share this easy yet tasty recipe that I've been making for years. I had something very similar at a restaurant several years back and decided to make my own version. For some reason we normally have this dish with pizza. It's pretty quick to make and instead of filling up on pizza, I guess I wanted something light but also filling to pair with it. Greek Style Orzo Salad was born. {This is one of Hubby's favorite dishes!}
Keep in mind I don't measure a lot when cooking. I mostly eye-ball everything so these measurements aren't exact. Just make to your own taste.

1/2 box of Orzo pasta {approx}
1/2 English Cucumber, chopped
1/2 Lemon
Splash of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Splash of Balsamic Vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 cup Feta Cheese, chopped
1/2 cup Kalamata or Black Olives, chopped {I use whatever I have on hand}
{you could also add halved Grape Tomatoes in this as well, which I have done}

Boil pasta as usual. In the meantime, cut up the olives, feta, and cucumber. Add to bowl. After draining{I also like to rinse}the pasta, add to the bowl and then salt, pepper and add the lemon, balsamic and olive oil. Sometimes I find I have to use more or less lemon depending on how much juice but usually 1/2 will do. I played around with this recipe until I found how much of everything I liked for taste.
This pairs great with grilled fish or chicken as well! Enjoy!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

L'Oreal Penthouse Pink

Nail of the Day ~ L'Oreal Penthouse Pink

This is my second time trying this new formula from L'Oreal. I have to say I really like it. Again, the color selection is amazing! They truly do stand apart from other brands. I don't think this color is Limited Edition, but it was in a separate display with new colors. I'm such a sucker for pale pink polishes. I own too many to count. That doesn't keep my from buying more, trying to find the "perfect" one.

This one's a winner in my book. It sort of reminds me of Pink Friday by OPI. {last seen here} I think this one is more pale though. I did have to use three coats to get rid of some streaks and did the same with the other one by L'Oreal. Could be because they are both pale shades. Nothing too bad though.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Review: Benefit High Beam

Hi everyone! For this week's review, I've teamed up with my friend Stacie from Makeup Obsessed Mom. We wanted to review the same product but bring our own opinions to all of you. This is a great way to see how a product works or doesn't work for different skin tones, etc., and to follow someone that you may or may not have already known about. :)

This post is also a GIVEAWAY for a full size HIGH BEAM!  Rules: Leave a comment on both posts, follow both blogs, it's just that easy!  We will use randomizer to pick a winner on August 8th, 2012.

Benefit High Beam
Price $26.00
Size .45 oz {full size}
       .13 oz {trial size}
From Benefit: Benefit High Beam is a luminescent complexion enhancer. It's an ethereal pink liquid highlighter that creates a radiantly dewy complexion. For an angelic sheen, this pink shimmering lotion adds a soft, natural afterglow.
Claims: It's a "supermodel in a bottle" and perfectly alluring on all skin tones.

I have the trial size. You can find this size in many of Benefit's gift sets where you can try out several products for a lower price. I have to admit that I've had this product for a while but it's not something I reach for. I do like highlighters but I gravitate towards the powder variety.

High Beam is a pink-toned liquid with a slight sheen. In some lights I even found it to have a blue duo chrome effect.

Here it is swatched on my arm. On the left, straight out of the bottle. You can see the consistency and the high sheen. Next to it I've blended it out. {it was hard to get a good picture of it blended}

I used it on the top of my cheekbones as a highlight there. You could also use it on the cupid's bow {above the upper lip}, even placed in the center of the bottom lip to make lips appear fuller. While I think the pink tone is nice and would work for most skin tones, I find the shimmers in it to be too much for me. It doesn't look very natural on me. Like I mentioned, I think it's due to the slight blue tones that come out in the sunlight. I could use this product in different ways and like it, just not as a traditional high light on my cheeks. Final Verdict: not for my cheek bones - too much shimmer.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Review: Origins VitaZing & GinZing

Origins products can be found at Sephora, some department stores and free-standing Origins stores. Their products are plant-based, mostly organic and all natural. They are formulated without: parabens, phthalates, propylene glycol, mineral oil, paba, petrolatum, paraffin, dea, synthetic fragrance, animal ingredients.

Origins VitaZing SPF15 - Energy boosting moisturizer with Mangosteen
Price - $35
Size - 1.7 fl oz
From the box - This energizing, multi-tasking moisturizer gives skin instant vitality & vibrance with the zing of vitamin-rich Mangosteen Energy Complex. Magically transforms, protects and perfects to create even, flawless skin. SPF 15, oil free.

After rubbing into the skin, it takes on a tint. In my opinion, this should be labeled as a Tinted Moisturizer. I have to carefully rub in to my hairline and around my ears and eyebrows or there will be a visible color difference.
The above photo is with the VitaZing rubbed in. You can see it leaves a nice sheen and slightly masks imperfections. However, if you look closely at my wrist area and the edge of my hand, you can see a slight orange/darker tint. I'll show how much tint I'm talking about in the photo below after I've wiped it off with a tissue.
Do you see what I mean about the tint and how it should be labeled? The first time I wore this I was amazed at the coverage it gave. Sure, I still needed some concealer but no foundation. Actually, I don't think I could wear foundation over this moisturizer. It would be too much coverage and throw off the color match of the foundation to my natural skintone. Both a plus and minus in my opinion.
Pro's  - moisturizes really well for my combination skin
           - no funky smell
           - non-irritating
           - nice size for the money
           - no need for additional foundation {on me}
Con's - too much color for a moisturizer {mis-labeled}
           - need to blend really well around hairline, eyebrows and ears
           - can't wear a foundation or too much bronzer when using this product

Origins GinZing - Refreshing eye cream to brighten and depuff
Price - $29.50
Size - .5 oz
From the box - Late night? Long flight? Look tired? Nature's clinically-proven wake-up cream visibly diminishes dark circles, bags and puffiness around eyes. Panax Ginseng and Magnolia Extract energizes and revitalize to instantly make tired eyes look alive.

For the price, you get a lot of product for the money compared to other eye creams. There really isn't a fragrance or any irritants. This is something I deal with when trying most other eye creams. If you've watched any of my YouTube videos, you'll know I don't love eye creams and think most are a waste of money. I usually tell others to just make sure you are moisturizing. You can just use what you're already using on your face. No need to buy something special that usually has broken promises.

With that being said, I do like this eye cream by Origins. It moisturizes nicely and leaves a nice sheen/glow to the under eye area. Now keep in mind, I don't have bags {thankfully}. I do have some darkness though and I think this helps to mask it. A little goes a long way with this, so if you don't glop it on, it should last you a long while. I've not even touched the actual container. Just been using what's on the lid.
Pro's  - good value
           - no irritants
           - brightens
           - moisturizes
Con's - none {yay}

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Paint Brush Tip

As some of you may already know, I'm in the middle of a painting project for our dining room. I've never loved the color but tried to decorate around it. Thanks to Pinterest, that's come to a stop. I found a paint color I fell in love with and just decided to go for it. {although I can't actually find the exact color in stores, boo} I thought I'd pass along this painting tip I've used forever. Can't remember where or who told me about this though.

Don't think I'm crazy, but this tip involves wrapping up your paint brushes and putting them in the refrigerator for the next days use. Yes, you read that right.

1. Find a plastic bag from any store
2. Put your wet paint roller or brush in it
3. Wrap it up so that paint will not touch any surface
4 Be sure to keep the shape of brushes and foam brushes {don't wrap too tight}

After they're all wrapped up, place them in the fridge! When you go to finish painting the next day {or next day after that} they'll be ready to go and you didn't have to mess with washing brushes and rollers.

This tip has saved us so much time over the years. In most cases you wait a day for the second coat or touch ups. This way you're brushes are ready for you and you didn't waste a ton of time washing. Hope this helps you next time you paint!

Friday, July 13, 2012

How-To: organize tanks, cami's & t-shirts

I've been asked before how I fold/store my t-shirts, tanks and cami's. I guess this comes from being a pretty organized person. I may have mentioned in my Closet Tour video that I keep these items in a dresser. Let me go ahead right now and admit that I'm sort of a t-shirt hoarder. I've tried to be better about this over the years and not buy as many. Still, my drawer is over-flowing and I have a problem. {I seriously cannot buy one more without tossing something.}  Now my obsession is solid color t-shirts. My style and brand of choice is Target. Old Navy used to make my favorite but not in a few years. The great thing about the Target {Mossimo} tee is that they come in tons of colors and they are $8! I do find that they often get tiny holes in them but at that price, I'm not complaining much. I've even got my Hubby wearing the men's version and he loves them and is even more picky about tees than I am.

As far as the tanks and cami's. I don't get much wear out of them anymore but I consider them staples and therefore don't toss them out. They come in handy for working out and wearing under sweaters in the winter.

Tanks and Cami drawer {cami's on the left, tanks on the right}

folded in half length wise, then half again...

...folded in half again

tees ~ folded each arm in, then half and half again {color coordinated by whites, neutrals, graphics, brights}
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