Friday, November 22, 2013

Best of the Drugstore: CoverGirl

Hi everyone! Yes, I'm finally getting to the Best of the Drugstore! I've had this thought going on for so long but wasn't sure how to put it together. As many of you know, I asked in a past video if this was something you were interested in. Overwhelmingly yes! Next question - by brand or category? Brand won out but I'll also include a few categories like foundation. I know a lot of you are interested in that one!

Keep in mind there are tons of new products hitting the drugstore shelves weekly. And on that note, if you're someone who rarely shops at the drugstore, take another look. It's not the same as years past. Heck, even five years ago for that matter. Some really great, innovative stuff is hidden in there. I personally love shopping in the drugstore. No sales person bugging me and I love to just browse. :)

I started out with CoverGirl not knowing if I was going in alphabetical order or not, lol. As I'm typing this, they are launching new items very soon! Keep your eyes peeled for those.

As I stated in the video, keep in mind that I haven't tried everything from every brand. These are just the things I like and recommend. Let me know what your favorites from the brand are.

{other products shown in the video}







1. Instant Cheekbones Contouring Blush
2. Lash Blast Volumizing Mascara
3. Professional All In One Mascara
4. Lash Perfection Mascara
5. CoverGirl + Olay Concealer Balm
6. Outlast Stay Fabulous 3n1 Foundation
7. CoverGirl and Olay Simply Ageless Corrector/Concealer
8. CoverGirl and Olay Simply Ageless Foundation


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Review/Demo: It Cosmetics Bye Bye Redness


Hi everyone! I recently tried the It Cosmetics Bye Bye Redness after months of being on the fence about it. If you don't already know, I suffer from a lot of redness in my skin and past acne scaring. This product claims to hide all of that plus give added skincare benefits! In the picture below I'm wearing only this and no foundation. I give a demo and more info on where to buy in the video. :)




What I'm wearing:

FACE - It Cosmetics Bye Bye Redness, CoverGirl and Olay Simply Ageless Concealer on a few old acne scars, Rimmel Stay Matte on my nose only, Lorac Velvet Rose blush, L'Oreal True Match powder as a slight contour

EYES - MAC Painterly Paint Pot as a base, Sonia Kashuk Eye On Neutral Shimmer and Matte palettes, MUFE black pencil liner in the waterline, NYX Iced Mocha on the lower lash line, Jordana brown waterproof pencil on the upper lash line, CoverGirl Lash Blast mascara

LIPS - Milani All Natural liner, Sonia Kashuk Sheer Pink Lust lipstick

Top - Kohl's
Necklace - Forever 21


Hashbrown Casserole


Hi everyone! Today I thought I'd share a super easy recipe that will be the hit of any get-together. I first had Hashbrown Casserole years ago when my Mother In Law made it. She gave me the recipe and I've made it so many times since. It's become my go-to for pot luck and company parties. It's always the first to go! This dish is perfect at the holidays as well since it feeds so many. :)

Hashbrown Casserole



Ingredients:

1 large bag (about 2 lbs) Ore-ida Shredded Hashbrowns 
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 pint sour cream
1 stick butter, softened at room temp
1 tsp salt and pepper
1 can cream of chicken soup

Set Aside
1/2 cup crushed Ritz Crackers (about 15 crackers)
2 Tbs butter, melted

Directions:
Total Bake Time: 1 Hour
Preheat oven to 350 F
Thaw the hashbrowns by either leaving out on a counter or overnight in the fridge. (This will make it easier to mix) In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients EXCEPT the melted butter and crackers. Pour into a greased 9x13 baking dish and bake for 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix the crushed crackers and melted butter in a small bowl and set aside. Remove potatoes after the 40 minutes and evenly sprinkle the top with the cracker mixture. Bake another 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

Hashbrown Casserole



Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Review: It Cosmetics Luxe Blurring Micro-Airbrush 7-Piece Brush Collection


Hi everyone! As mentioned before, I have quite a few things I'm testing out and reviewing. Some will be here on the blog, and others will be on my YouTube Channel so be sure to follow both. :)

I saw this brush set recently on QVC and of course was sucked in. That place is the master of making everything look great and a must-need product, right?! For the price, I thought this set was a great value! I also like the idea of the base to hold them. I'll run through each brush and also talk about the packaging, which is pretty impressive. You can purchase this set here on the QVC site.

What you get:
1. Eyeliner & Eyebrow Brush
2. Eyeshadow Crease Brush
3. All Over Eyeshadow Brush
4. Blurring Concealer Brush
5. Flawless Foundation Brush
6. Angled Complexion Brush
7. Airbrush Powder Brush

Also...

  • Gift Box with tag and bow
  • Stand for the brushes
  • Card describing each brush and it's use






My initial thoughts on the packaging were great! This would be a really nice gift. It comes in a heavy duty silver box with a bow and gift card attached. The box was also in a plastic bag, inside another clear box for protection.

I have mixed thoughts on the brushes themselves. For me, this set is more for someone just starting out in makeup or one that doesn't already own a lot of brushes. The stand is heavy and nice. The brushes however, are very lightweight and feel a little cheap. The hair is extremely soft, which is nice. Although for the larger two brushes, it's too soft and I think product placement might be messy. The smaller brushes are great but I probably wouldn't use them for eyes like they are intended. For my eyes {and I have larger lid space} they are just too big. The Foundation Brush is nice and probably my favorite, but the size is a tad small for it's use.

Because the brush handles are a type of metal finish, they are all scratched where they sit in the stand. Some might not notice this or care but I wanted to point it out incase you are giving this as a gift. You can see it next to the name in the photo below.


Overall, the packaging is very nice and would make a great gift for the $59.50 price tag. Just keep in mind who you are giving the brushes to as they may not be up to par for some.

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

I woke up recently feeling like I might be coming down with something. What's my first thought? Make Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup of course. ;) My Husband is always down for soup so I knew it would be more than ok with him. I'm more into cooking this time of year. Even if you're not, this is super easy!

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup



Ingredients

6 1/2 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons chopped, fresh basil {or 1/2 teaspoon dried}
2 teaspoons chopped, fresh oregano {or 1/2 teaspoon dried}
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 10-12 oz bag of frozen mixed veggies {carrots, green beans, corn, peas is what I used}
3 stalks of celery, chopped
2 cups pasta {I used GF Rotini}
1-2 chicken breast(s), cooked, shredded or cubed {depending on how much chicken you like}

Directions

In a large saucepan or dutch oven, combine chicken broth, onion, basil, oregano, salt, pepper,  all vegetables and bring to a boil. Stir in uncooked noodles. Return to boiling, reduce heat. Cover, simmer for 8 minutes or until noodles are tender and vegetables are crisp-tender. Stir in cooked chicken and heat through.

Notes: 
  • I used 2 chicken breasts. It's a lot of chicken but we like that. If it seems like too much for you from the pictures, only use one. I boiled them on the stove with a little salt and pepper then shredded. 
  • Once this sets overnight {if you have leftovers} you may need to add a little more broth depending how much liquid you like.
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Classic Apple Crisp

Classic Apple Crisp

Classic Apple Crisp

I've made versions of Fruit Crisp many times over the years, with Apple Crisp being one of my favorites. This is by far the best one I've made to date. I give most of the credit to the apples. Not sure what I've used in the past, but from now on I'm using Honey Crisp. I think they gave the right amount of tart and sweet to the dish. It was seriously amazing!

Of course you can adapt this recipe to other fruits as well. I've also used fresh peaches and blueberry and it was amazing!

Ingredients
3 pounds Honey Crisp Apples
2 tablespoons orange juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

For the topping
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup old fashioned oatmeal
1 stick cold unsalted butter, diced

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter or spray a 9 by 14 by 2-inch baking dish.

Peel, core, and cut the apples into medium thick slices. In a large bowl, combine the apples with the juice, granulated sugar, and spices. Pour into the dish.

To make the topping, combine the flour, sugars, salt, oatmeal, and cold butter in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the mixture is crumbly. Place mixture evenly over apples.


Bake for 1 hour or until the top is brown and the apples are bubbly. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream of course. 
**If the fruit isn't giving enough juice or the topping looks too dry, I'll add 1/2 cup of water to the top and bake an additional 30 minutes. 

Monday, November 04, 2013

Healthier Pumpkin Pie

Hi all! I came across this recipe for Healthy Pumpkin Pie recently and had to try it. I love Pumpkin Pie! This one intrigued me because it cut out some traditional ingredients. I'm always looking for a healthy alternative to old favorites. I liked the idea of using Coconut Creamer instead of heavy cream or milk. That really saved on the fat and calories. {the original recipe called for coconut milk but I knew coconut creamer would work just as good} I admit, I hadn't made a pie in years. So I went for it, crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.

Healthier Pumpkin Pie



It made the entire house smell SO good! It took all I had not to cut into it as soon as it came out of the oven. But no, we all know pie takes forever to cool. So what was the next best thing? Yep, I had a piece for breakfast the next morning. ;) Not much better than cold Pumpkin Pie if you ask me. It was wonderful!

One tip - let it cool completely before putting it in the fridge. The very bottom was slightly warm when mine went in. I think this contributed to the crust slightly sticking, but nothing too bad. So lets get to the important part, how to make this yummy thing!

Ingredients

Crust
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs,  9 crackers
3 Tbsp. sugar
3 Tbsp. coconut oil {you can also use vegetable oil}

Filling
1 15 oz can pure pumpkin
3/4 cup coconut creamer, original {you can also use coconut milk}
2 large eggs
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp.  ginger
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
whipped cream, optional

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a medium bowl, stir graham cracker crumbs, sugar and oil until evenly mixed. {mixture will be dry} Press in bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake until golden brown and crisp, 12-15 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

In a large bowl, whisk pumpkin, coconut creamer, eggs, brown sugar, salt and spices. Pour into crust and smooth the top. Bake until edges are set, but not the center, and crust is brown, 45-60 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
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