March 28, 2015

New Makeup


I finally had a little opportunity to share a little shopping I did at Sephora and share some little make-up gifts I received for Christmas. These are my new favorite products right now:

1. Becca Highlighter - I really like Benefit's Watt's Up highlighter, but wanted to see what else is out there. You just never know unless you try it. So, I tried the Becca powdered highlighter in Opal and love it. It is a creamy powder and illuminates light and a pretty shimmer that makes you glow. I use it on my nose and cheekbones.

2. Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer I use Olay Complete Daily Defense All Day Moisturizer SPF 15 or 30 every day and it is my favorite moisturizer because it's light and moisturizing.  During the winter my skin is a little drier and I need more moisture. I tried Josie Maran's Argan Oil-infused daily moisturizer with SPF 47, and I love it. It's thick, so you only need a very little to dab on your face and neck and keeps your skin very hydrated especially in the colder months.

3. Dr. Brandt Pores No More  I had a huge sample of this and could not find it anywhere. It must have just got up and walked away because I have searched high and low and cannot find it. I was so happy and relieved to get it as a stocking stuffer for Christmas. I couldn't believe Yanni knew I needed and wanted this. He really knows me and pays attention to everything I say. I lost this 3 months before Christmas. It is a primer that instantly mattifies shine and minimizes pores. I use it on my nose and it instantly removes any sight of pores. It really works.

4. Kat Von D Tattoo Liner   I got this liner in the color Trooper, which is an ink black. The tip of the brush is so fine and easy to use. It has allowed for me to make the most precise cat eye. I also go to the gym and Taekwondo right after work, so it's important that my eyeliner stays put, because I don't have anytime to take off my makeup beforehand, and after an hour of sweating it did not budge at all.

5. Deborah Lippmann Nail Lacquer - As soon as I saw this color, "Good Girl Gone Bad", I knew I had to get it. The nailpolish is resistant to chips and I thought it is a great color for winter and heading into Valentines when I got it in December. It's a beautiful wine color with sparkles.

6. Lancome Color Design Lipstick - I have this in the colors Pale lip and I love that it is moisturizing, creamy, and love the nude color.

7. Anastasia Brow Powder  This is dual brow powder and comes in two colors and I now that I have started using it I don't think I will ever stop using it. It's my favorite brow powder. It goes on very lightly and defines my brows.






March 24, 2015

Cinnamon Baked Donuts


These baked cinnamon sugared donuts are definitely the ultimate breakfast treat. They are lightly crisp on the outside and soft in the inside. I made these for breakfast and also had them as an afternoon snack with tea. 

Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup of sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cups fat-free milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the Cinnamon topping:
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon


Directions (Recipe Adapted from Ina Garten)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray or grease donut pans. I bought these from Target.
  2. Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, melted butter, and vanilla and once mixed stir into the flour mixture until just combined. 
  4. Spoon the batter into the donut pans, filling each one a little more than three-quarters full. Bake for about 15-17 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.

For the topping, melt the 4 tablespoons of butter in a shallow plate or tray. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Dip the donut tops into the butter and then into the cinnamon.


Enjoy!

March 22, 2015

10 Easter Ideas to Make and Bake





We have finally made it to Spring! On the first day of spring we got one last, hopefully last, snowfall here in New England. I have been thinking, dreaming and planning some spring and Easter crafts.

I rounded up a few from my favorite bloggers and a few crafts I did in the past:
  1. These Bird's Nest Easter baskets I made last year are so easy to make. I promise!
  2. Making your own homemade natural dye Easter eggs is easy to do with fruits, teas, and veggies you have, and you don't have to worry about any artificials dyes.
  3. Easter table decor ideas from A Delicate Gift.
  4. Mini bird nests and personalized tags.
  5. Such a sweet Easter dessert table. Love the banner and Easter egg shaped chocolate cake. These are from A Delicate Gift.
  6. Bunny water wrappers, another goody from A Delicate Gift, they are so cute and quickly make water bottles or cups a little more festive. She has a whole bunny themed party printables in her shop.
  7. These peanut butter Easter cookies are fun to make and are soft and chewy.
  8. Spring and pastel colored M&M cookies.
  9. These pom pom bunny cupcake toppers are the cutest. I love the little bow ties. I think I might make a big one for a chocolate cake.
  10. Mini Bunny Bagels are a cute and sweet breakfast treat for Easter morning.

March 17, 2015

Saint Patrick's Day Peanut Butter and Jelly


Happy Saint Patrick's Day! Using the same shamrock cookie cutter I used to make shamrock shaped eggs in toast recently I made some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I found a similar looking cookie cutter here.


  1. Toast two slices of bread and then press the cookie cutter down on one slice.
  2. You will have 1 slice cut with the cookie cutter and another slice left alone.
  3. Spread peanut butter on the full and complete slice
  4. Place the cut slice over the peanut butter slice and pour jelly inside the shamrock shape. I used a peach jam so it looks like a pot of gold.



These make a great Saint Patrick's Day lunch or snack.  Enjoy!



March 13, 2015

Going Green for Natural Personal Care



I have made quite a few changes in my life. A few years ago I made a goal to lose weight for various reasons, the number one reason: my health. I was in my late 20's feeling like I was in 110 year old body. My back hurt and my knees hurt. It wasn't a good way for me to live. I started my weight lost journey around 2012 and since then I have lost 40 pounds.

Another change I made was changing my personal care products to natural ones. My goal was that my daily activities should not impact our environment. Thanks to people like Jessica Alba, the co-founder of the Honest Company, it is getting so easy to make the switch.

I thought I could share just a few of the small changes I made to my personal care and how I made a change to natural and environmentally friendly items.


Toothpaste
There are a number of natural toothpastes available, some of my favorites are: Tom's of Maine and Jack N' Jill. I am currently using Tom's of Maine Whole Care Toothpaste. When I first used it after using regular toothpaste all my life I felt like it wasn't "minty" enough. I didn't feel a strong tingle in my mouth like I usually used to feel and I felt like it wasn't cleaning my teeth enough.

After about a week of using it I felt that feeling. My mind and mouth had gotten so use to the strong and artificial mint flavor of other toothpastes that I didn't know how to react to real mint. So sad.

I love using it now and once in a very blue moon if I am traveling or run out of toothpaste and have no choice but to use "regular" toothpaste my teeth hurt because of the artificial sweeteners and it overpowering taste and chemicals.

This is a good article describing what is found in some toothpastes and recommendations for natural ones.


Deodorant
I have tried quite a few natural deodorants and one of the best I have tried is from Soapwalla on Etsy. Both men and women can use this one. Deodorant is something many of us wear every single day and just thinking about the chemicals I had continued to use and absorb into my skin made me worry. I did lots of research and tried quite a few natural deodorants, and Soapwalla was one of my favorites. It does take a bit of time to get used to. It comes in a jar and it is cream based, that you apply with your fingers. Also, this doesn't keep you from sweating, but it helps absorb moisture and helps you feel fresh.


Hand and Body Soap
Dr. Bronner's bar soaps contain no fragrance and made of organic and natural materials. They are also wrapped in 10% hemp-flax and 90% post consumer recycled paper.


Shampoo and Conditioner 
The Honest company has a lot of great products for babies, children, and moms. It's great to be able to pick up some products and know that they don't contain anything harmful. Sometimes I get tired of reading every ingredient in every item I buy, but I have to because I just can't trust it, but I can when I use any product from The Honest Company.


Toothbrushes
Did you know it takes hundreds and thousands of years for plastic toothbrushes to decompose.

There are a few brands offering organic and biodegradable toothbrushes, like Woo Bamboo Sprouts for children.

The Xlear Spry Bamboo Toothbrush is made from organically grown bamboo, it's recyclable, and biodegradable.


Tooth floss
First, if you use the tooth floss picks, please stop using them now. I know they are convenient, but they are damaging our planet in more ways than you can imagine. First, they have a plastic base which takes years for it to decompose, if ever. These bits of plastic end up in our wastelands and eaten by birds.

Radius tooth floss is made of all natural fibers, silk and coated in candelilla wax. The nylon fibers in regular floss does not break down, but this floss is biodegradable. The plastic container is  #5 recyclable code and the cardboard packaging is 100% recyclable.


Handsanitizer
I am addicted to hand sanitizer and I am constantly washing my hands. After a day of working on my computer and I wash my hands they are filthy, even if I have just been typing all day, it's scary. I love using Cleanwell Natural Hand Sanitizing Wipes. They are alcohol free, kid safe, biodegradable, and made with thyme oil, aloe vera, and other natural and plant-based ingredients. 



Making these changes isn't difficult to do, especially now that you know a few products that you can replace and they are easily accessible too. Many of these products are available online, at Target, and your pharmacy. They might take some adjustments, but overtime you will get used to these new products and overtime they will benefit you and our environment.


March 6, 2015

Shamrock Shaped Egg in Toast for Saint Patrick's Day


Top of the morning to you! I am sure you have seen those cute heart shape eggs in the toast. Inspired by that idea I decided to make shamrock shaped eggs in toast. These shamrocks eggs would be the perfect Saint Patrick's Day morning breakfast. 

And these are so easy to make. I am going to walk you through each step so you can make your very own.


  1. You will need a clover shaped cookie cutter. Butter the inside of the cookie cutter and next, press the cookie cutter on the slice of toast.
  2. Heat the pan on medium heat. Butter the pan a bit and place the toast and cookie cutter in the pan.
  3. Crack the egg inside of the cookie cutter. You can also pour eggs whites.
  4. Cover the pan while the egg sets. I like my egg over easy, so I was able to flip the toast and egg, but you can leave it as is and it will set after a few minutes.


These only took a few moments to make and will be enjoyed by you, your loved ones and your kiddos.

Enjoy!

March 1, 2015

Chocolate Chip Cookies


We got hit with another snowstorm here, and this weather calls for chocolate chip cookies. I love curling up on the couch with a blanket, sipping on milk or hot chocolate indulging in some fresh out of the oven cookies. There is nothing quite like a warm classic chocolate chip cookie. I love a chocolate chip cookie that has a bit of crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside and that is exactly what these are. It only takes a few minutes to combined these ingredients and only about 8-10 minutes in the oven. 

Ingredients

1 stick softened unsalted butter
1 large egg (or 3 tablespoons of egg whites)
1/2 a cup of sugar
1/2 a cup of light brown sugar
1 cup and 1/4 of flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup of milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts (optional)

Directions

Heat oven to 375 degrees F and line cookie sheet with parchment paper.


Beat the butter and sugar together until smooth. Then add the egg and beat until fully incorporated.

Now add the flour, baking powder and salt and stir until combined. 

Next, add the chocolate chips.


I use a tablespoon or a mini ice cream scooper to round the dough onto the lined cookie sheet. These are usually a perfect size.

Bake at 375 F degrees for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.


Once out of the oven transfer each cookie to a wire rack to cool off. Once they are cool enough I enjoy them right away, or you can store them in a tupperware, which keeps them from going stale. Enjoy them within 2-3 days.


Enjoy! And, check out more sweet treats I have baked.