Monday, October 29, 2012

Berlin There Done That

I've fallen in love with OPI's Berlin There Done That from the Germany Collection!
What do you think? Should I take up hand modeling? LOL!

If you've previously loved OPI's You Don't Know Jacques, another amazing neutral shade, then you will definitely love Berlin There Done That.
Left: You Don't Know Jacques. Right: Berlin There Done That

It is  more of a milky gray with less of a brown undertone than Jacques, and it will truly go with everything in your Fall/Winter wardrobe. Sometimes OPI can be hit or miss when it comes to the opacity of their shades. It really bugs me when you have to apply 3 really thick coats to achieve anything resembling the color of the bottle. Not so with Berlin! Two coats is all it takes to get a beautiful, non-streaky coverage!
Try it, you'll see!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Yummy Fall Food

Some friends of mine were kind enough to allow me to use their washer and dryer to do my laundry, so to repay them for their kindness I brought over some yummy Fall food while the laundry was going. Both recipes are super quick and easy and that's my kind of cooking! For dinner we had Taco Soup, a recipe that I've adapted from an old Kraft Foods magazine, and it's been a favorite for years. And for dessert I made another adaptation on an old favorite, Banana Bread (except my new version is named Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Banana Bread!).
Since I put the Banana Bread in the oven first, I'll start with that recipe.
My sister Susie gave me this recipe a long time ago and it is yummyummyummalicious!

 But I have been trying to find ways to make old favorite recipes a little bit healthier so I made a few tweaks to her recipe. And then I fattened it up again with the chocolate chips! Ah well!
I substituted regular flour for whole wheat flour and applesauce for the oil. I used 3 full smashed, very ripe bananas, 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, and then at the end added about 1/3 cup of chocolate chips. I don't like nuts in sweet foods so I left those out. But I followed all of the steps of the above recipe exactly and it came out very nicely!
This pic was taken before I decided to use the whole wheat flour and the bananas shown are not the actual bananas that were used as those were completely brown and unsightly!

All coming together!

Mmm, chocolate chips make everything better!

And then THIS happened, DOH! That fork jumped out of the bowl and FLEW to the ground! I definitely didn't drop it...

All ready to go!
I am not a very neat baker...

Let me pause this story to mention that most of the time, when I am baking/cooking, I like to have a little jazz on in the background. Somehow it makes me feel more productive in the kitchen, and I can also imagine that I speak fluent French and Italian. I don't know how jazz gives me those magical powers, but it DOES!
As I was putting the bread into the oven this song came on! Perfecto!
 After a quick tidy up of the counter, I assembled everything needed for the Taco Soup. I don't really have a printed recipe for this so here is the doubled recipe:
2 lbs. ground beef (i used lean beef)
1 can Mexicorn
2 small cans sliced black olives (i only ended up using one due can opener issues...)
2 cans diced tomatoes (i used organic)
1 packet taco seasoning
1 can black beans
1 tsp minced garlic
one large handfull chopped cilantro
You can really adapt this however you like using whatever you enjoy or whatever you have on hand.
All you do is brown the meat, pour in the taco seasoning with a little water, add the garlic, and then dump all the cans in together. Stir and simmer!

I began to question my choice of a recipe that included so many canned items when I realized that I was in possession of the WORST CAN OPENER EVER! GRRR! I may as well have cut the cans open with a knife...Anyways...

Makes me hungry!

The soup tastes great by itself but these are the toppings I like to add to each individual bowl.

Right about that time, I had a little peek at the bread, it was almost ready!

There is nothing like the smell of a sweet baked bread in the Fall!

And just as everything was ready, this song came on and put the icing on the cake!

 It's always nice to share a meal with friends, and even better when you have leftovers! After several days in the fridge, the soup turns more into a chili as all the liquid gets absorbed into the ingredients and it makes a great base for a hearty salad. I warmed up a big scoop of the soup/chili and then added it to a big bowl of lettuce, threw a couple cherry tomatoes on top, drizzled a little bit of Light Ranch dressing and chowed down. It was sooo good!
From my kitchen to yours, Happy Fall!

Thursday, October 4, 2012


A very important thing happened in makeup history today.
I have always been a huge Marilyn fan so when I found out that MAC was doing a Marilyn collection, I knew that despite my very meager budget, at least a few of the products would be mine! I vowed to only eat canned tuna fish and cereal if it would allow me to lay hands on this collection!
But by the time I was able to get online and check it out, the entire collection was SOLD OUT! I immediately called my local MAC store and they did have a few pieces left in stock. Let me reiterate that the Marilyn collection came out TODAY and it is selling out faster than you can say hot cakes! I was able to get my hands on three beautiful items, but lets be honest here, it really wouldn't matter if they were the ugliest shades I've ever seen. It's MARILYN MONROE, people!
What's better is that I actually do love the colors I got! 
Now, I really do wish I was a die hard Marilyn collector who would never once touch the items, save them in a shadow box under archival lighting, and later sell them for a million dollars, but I just can't help myself! I've already tried everything on and I shall be wearing it all as often as possible!
And I think that when the products run out I will always keep the packaging as my own personal little collectors items. Think how cool and retro they will look 20 years from now!
And now, without further ado, here are some pics of the little beauties!
How wonderful is this packaging???

Marilyn Monroe Powder Blush

Marilyn Monroe Powder Blush in The Perfect Cheek

Marilyn Monroe Powder Blush in Legendary

Marilyn Monroe Powder Blush in Legendary

Marilyn Monroe in The Perfect Cheek

Marilyn Monroe Powder Blush in Legendary

Marilyn Monroe Powder Blush in The Perfect Cheek

These shades look quite muted on camera and in person, but on fair skin they are actually very pigmented! The Perfect Cheek has a nice plummy undertone and Legendary is a beautiful soft peach.

Marilyn Monroe Dazzleglass in Phiff!

Of the two Dazzleglass shades in this collection this one had a very slightly peachier sheen but it is essentially a clear with high shimmer

Top to Bottom: Marilyn Monroe Dazzleglass in Phiff, Marilyn Monroe Powder Blush in The Perfect Cheek, Marilyn Monroe Powder Blush in Legendary
Photo update the next morning: Using The Perfect Cheek blush and Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Precious with Pfiff! on top

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Face Mask and Lipstick???

I wasn't planning on doing a review today at all. But as I was washing my face this evening I saw some bumps looming, dum dum DUM...and I thought a good purifying mask might be in order. Out came my little unsung hero, the same mask I've been using since I was old enough to put a mask on (which for me was probably around 4!), the one and only Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque!
Masking it up!

Now I have used  many, many face masks in my skincare career, some that were great and some that were awful, some that were cheap but mostly they all seem to cost a fortune, and I still always keep a tube of Mint Julep Masque at the ready. It's smells minty, as you would imagine, feels creamy going on, and leaves your skin feeling tightened, toned, and very soft. The best thing about this little wonder aside from that fact that it really does work, is the price! This gigantic tube only cost $3.79! For that price, you practically owe it to yourself to give this mask a try!

As for the second part of this review, you may notice that my lips in the picture above are rather nicely stained.  This wonderful phenomenon happened quite by accident and was only noticed as I was applying the mask! And just like that, my next beauty discovery was born! ;)
Earlier in the day I had applied one of my forgotten Cover Girl Lip Perfection lipsticks and went about my business. I had some soup, did a little cleaning, some bathroom organizing, face washing, teeth brushing, and mask applying. It was only then that I realized how bright my lips still were! Amazing! This lipstick is not a longwear formula, it's just a regular old lipstick in the amazing shade Tempt (I'm pretty sure I got this in a buy one get one half off sale at Walgreens but it's available almost anywhere), and it is perfect for Fall, which is why I pulled it out today in the first place. But I guess I had never realized the staining power that this particular shade gives! When Tempt is applied in the usual way, it feels smooth and creamy, and as it wears off the stain left behind feels comfortable and not tight or dry like some stains. It's a beautiful cool cherry that's not too pink and not too red and it will now be a go-to shade to keep in my purse! There's something about a red stain that is so much more wearable than a full on lipstick. You don't have to worry about it getting on your teeth or feathering out at the edges. That said, this shade performs great as both a classic creme lipstick and a stain giving it a solid A+ in my book!
Have you ever come across a go-to favorite by accident?
Cover Girl Lip Perfection in Tempt