December 31, 2013

Beauty Blog: December "Hits & Misses"

Hey Guys! I can't believe that it is time to already be posting my "Hits & Misses" for the month of December! Where has the time gone?? I feel like once we celebrate Thanksgiving the whole month following is a complete whirlwind. I hope that you all had an amazing Christmas spent with all your loved ones. My family had a great Christmas in Georgia and we all wound up sick due to the crazy weather we have had recently. One day you could wear shorts and the next it was freezing cold. Things have settled down some and I am on the mend so I decided to go ahead and do my beauty blog post for the month. Most of the products with the exception of three have been in my make up collection for a long time; they had just been tucked away in my drawers and I gravitated back to them this month. The three that are newer I have had over a month so I felt like I could give a good review on those since two of them were favorites! I didn't really use a ton of products this month because I was pretty much a homebody for the month of December. School was out for break so the kids were home and I had already done most of my Christmas shopping online so I didn't leave the house like I typically do....which was a nice break! Without rambling any further here are my "Hits & Misses" for December.
"Event Entry" Pocket Eye Palette by Sephora ($11.00) - This is a limited edition palette that I picked up while shopping during the holidays. It caught my eye because it was a very chic glitzy package with neutral shades. This palette is very versatile and can be used for day and night time looks. For the most part I only used 4 out of the 8 shades; the browns and blacks. I like that this palette has matte, satin and shimmer shades. Being honest, the pigmentation isn't as great as I had expected but I didn't have a problem with them creasing or fading. I have never used any eyeshadows from Sephora but overall I was impressed with this palette and it's a good neutral one to keep in my collection. * I did not see this in my Sephora store last week but it's still available online *
Bare Minerals High Shine Eye Color in "Rose Gold" ($11.00) - This is a new product that I bought in early November when they were on sale at our local PX (Military store on base) for 75%! They had a basket full of these little gems and I couldn't resist myself since they were so cheap. I picked up four shades and "Rose Gold" has been my favorite and I have used it a ton this month! I love metallic, high shine shadows so this one is right up my alley. There is nothing matte about this shade and it says it provides "mega watt" color and it lives up to it's name. This line of shadows are actually loose pigments in a vial that has it's own sponge applicator. It can be very messy if you are not careful so you have to use caution when applying it to your lid. I would suggest tapping the wand of the lid several times before applying it so you do not have a ton of fall out beneath your eyes. I could see how a person would hate this their very first try so take my advice and you will love these. They do not crease, they are highly pigmented and the shade stays glued to your lid until you remove it with your cleanser/remover. These can be found at your local Sephora or Ulta and online.
Airbrushing Bronzing Veil (Deluxe Edition) Bronze Booster by Physician's Formula ($14.00) I have mentioned this in prior blog posts but this is one of my favorite bronzers. I had been using the PF Bronze Boosting Balls but I pulled this one out earlier this month and have continued using it. This bronzer is in pressed powder form so it's a bit easy to use than the Booster balls and less messy. I love this bronzer because it's the right amount of bronzer without looking fake, dirty, orange or muddy. It gives a nice, healthy glow to your skin without leaving glitter all over it. This powder is also finely milled so it blends out great with your kubuki brush. I also use this to contour my cheeks as well as light contouring around my temples and jawline. I have tried numerous drugstore bronzers and Physician's Formula is the best in my opinion. I use the shade Light to Medium but they do carry it in Medium to Dark.
Studio High Definition Powder by e.l.f in "Sheer" ($6.00) - This is something I have had for a year or more but I just started using it again this month. First, you must understand the concept of a "HD" powder because it can come off as a gimmick. A lot of models and subjects in front of a camera started using this powder because it helped create a "soft focus" on their face -- meaning it helped diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on film. However, the powder has made itself known in the world of "normal" makeup users because it truly does give a nice "soft focus" effect. This is basically a very white, finely milled powder that you brush over your makeup or can be used by itself. In my opinion it does help mask some of my forehead wrinkles and laugh lines. I was skeptical at first because it's stark white and I didn't know how that would look but it really does go on translucent/sheer. Be careful when applying this because it is a loose powder and it tends to be messy -- if you are wearing a dark colored top I would definitely drape something over it before applying this. This is said to be a dupe for the Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder which is $34! This powder is very soft and it doesn't cake up on your face; it can also help matte out your foundation if that is something you typically lean towards.
Maybelline ColorSensational lipstick in "Red Revival" ($7.99) - With it being the holidays I would naturally grab my red lipstick and this is the one I wore the most. I think this is my favorite red that I own and I own quiet a few! This shade is a true red, it doesn't turn pink once applied and worn. I don't have a problem with this feathering or drying out my lips. This shade seems to provide the right amount of moisture without being sheer like many nourishing lipsticks. It's bold but sophisticated and it definitely helps whiten your smile. I wish the staying power was a tad longer because I do have to reapply this once or twice throughout the day. Overall, I am highly impressed with this shade because red lipsticks are very hard to find since most turn orange or pink on you. I think this is a must have red for anyone, even if it's the only red you own. I would suggest using a liner with this because as we all know dark shades do tend to run; I don't have a problem but I also wear a liner with all my lipsticks.
*** Accessory Alert *** Sideways Cross knuckle ring by Kohl's -  The sideways cross has made it's way into fashion & jewelry and you see it about anywhere you go these days. I had been wanting a small knuckle or pinky ring for a while and I found this cute cross ring at Kohl's. It's pure sterling silver and I believe it cost around $22 on sale. It fits nicely as a knuckle ring or could be used as a pinky ring. I like this trend because it gives just an extra something to that bare hand that doesn't typically have jewelry on it. It's very small so some may never notice it but those that do are always commenting on how dainty or cute it is. This style and type of ring can be found anywhere now so I may have to buy myself a few different ones since I have enjoyed wearing this one.
Garnier Fructis Volume Extend Instant Bodifier Dry Shampoo ($4.69) - First off, in the defense of the dry shampoo this is for Fine or Flat hair and my hair is anything but that. However, I just didn't feel like that did a thing for my hair other than make it smell pretty. The smell is wonderful but I use a dry shampoo for various reasons and it didn't work for any of them. I use a dry shampoo for the obvious reasons like in between hair washes because it helps with any oil you may have lingering around your roots and gives it a nice clean smell. I also like using dry shampoos right after I wash my hair and I am wanting to add texture to it before styling it. Dry Shampoo is great for adding texture to clean, dry hair because as we all know day old hair styles better than clean hair. I know some get completely grossed out if they don't wash their hair on a daily basis but when you have very dry hair you are doing more harm than good. But, to each his own. I just didn't care for this even though in the beginning I loved it. Maybe I was more in love with the smell than the actual product because it does smell heavenly.
Milani Infinite Liquid Eyeliner in "Unlimited" ($7.49) - I picked this liquid liner up when it was on sale at CVS and I must say that it completely SUCKS!!! I am not sure if I got a bad package or if this is how the Milani formula is for their liquid liners but it's terrible. It's thick, chunky and gooey. It was a mess to apply and I couldn't get a straight or even line with it. It claims to have 24+ hour wear, waterproof  and color intensity. It was a very nice shade of dark brown and when I tried to remove it I had to rub pretty hard to get it off. I prefer my liquid liners to be a bit more watery and this just didn't cut it. I did go online and read some reviews after I purchased mine to see what people said and surprisingly it had pretty good reviews. Most people commented that it was great for those with oily eyelids. I just can't get past the formula so I will definitely never purchase their liquid liners again.
Well, that wraps up my monthly "Hits & Misses" for the month of December. I hope this gave you some good insight on the products that are available in the makeup world! As always, thanks for taking the time to read this and be sure to check out my YouTube channel for the vlog version of this entry. Please let me know if you have anything you would like a review on or if you tried any of the products above. I will be starting a new series called "A Must or Bust" next week and this will feature only one beauty product (for now) and I will give you my opinion on it, basically telling you if I think it's something worth purchasing or walking away from! I am so excited to do this because I've got my eyes on some really great things that I can't wait to share with y'all! Until then I hope you have a very Happy & Safe New Year!



December 16, 2013

Ferocious Fives

As a parent my most dreaded stage was the "Terrible Two's" because I had always been told that it's one of the worst stages you would go through with your child. It's the stage where they were tiny terrors and were basically unmanageable. Terrible Two's came and went for us and we had NO problems. I considered myself lucky because I flew through Brody's second year on this earth with a sweet child who listened to me and was a pleasure 95% of the time. I thought that if we got through that phase unscathed then we wouldn't have any bumps in the road until his teenage years which was quiet some time away! Little did I know that there would be another stage that would make me question my sanity and desire to be a parent.

I call this stage the "Ferocious Fives". This stage is far worse than the "Teenage Years" because I have already been there and done that with Victoria. This stage I was not prepared for because nobody forewarned me that this would even be a "stage" to worry about. Maybe this is payback because he was so lovely being two?? I am not sure but the one thing I am sure about is that I absolutely LOATHE this stage! I feel like I am already dealing with a teenager some days because he talks back to me like one. I tell him to do something and he responds "never" or "don't tell me what to do". He also deliberately does something that I tell him not to do just to push my buttons. I know my son is not deaf but he sure does a good job of acting like he can't hear me. Sometimes I think he goes out of his way just to irritate the ever living crap out of me -- like he enjoys pushing my buttons!

I know that I can't be the only parent dealing with this because I've seen Facebook status updates of fellow friends that are venting the same issues. I think instead of warning soon-to-be parents about the "Terrible Two's" you should be warned of the "Ferocious Fives"! I've tried handling this stage at every different angle you could imagine. I've spanked him, scolded him, pinched him, grounded him, timed-out him, told Dad to handle him, called Santa on him, ignored him, paid more attention to him, played with him.....I have "him-ed" the crap out of him. None of it works!! I am seriously at my wits end; I do not know what else to do. All I know is that I am praying that this phase miraculously vanishes the day he turns six because I don't think I could take another year of it (at least not back-to-back)!!!

With that being said, we have had some good days mixed in with the crazy ones. He's starting to have a few loose teeth and his bottom front tooth is only days away from popping out! We've really been playing up the Tooth Fairy so that has been fun and he's excited about her visit! We have also had a blast with the Elf this holiday season even though Elf has threatened not to come back on several occasions. He had the most precious Christmas program at school last week and did a great job singing his carols. He's also quiet the charmer and ladies man; he's learned to wink so he is using that to his advantage. His personality is a funny complex one that I love the crap out of most days so I just keep telling myself that this crazy "stage" is almost done and to embrace it while it's here. Easier said than done.

So friends, please pray for me until this "stage" is over because this Momma needs it! I will do the same for those of you that are going through your "stages"....whatever age it is.

December 11, 2013

Beauty Blog: My November "Hits & Misses" with YouTube video

I hope that all of you are enjoying the month of December; it's already flying by and Santa's big day is only 14 days away!!!! How is it that once we hit the month of October the remaining 3 months of the year fly by at super sonic speed?? I feel like it's a complete whirlwind and the year is over in a blink of an eye. I also SWEAR that times goes by faster as you get older and I don't like that one bit. Anyway, enough of my rambling and let me just jump into what you are here for in the first November "Hits and Misses". As I mentioned in my video these are beauty products that I used the most in the month of November and they all have been in my collection for a while so these are tried and true products that I stand behind and enjoy using.


L'Oreal 24 Hour Infallible Shadow in Amber Rush ($6.97) - I have several of these shadows by L'Oreal and this by far is the one I use the most. It's a very pretty shade that reminds me of Rose Gold and Copper. It lasts all day long without creasing or fading and is highly pigmented. I also like the fact that there is little, if any, fall out when using this. This does have sheen to it so if you tend to like matte shades then you may want to skip this one all together. However, if you do like sheen and have green or hazel eyes this really helps brighten those and gives them more depth.

Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso ($6.97) - I have discussed this shade in older blog posts but it's a shade that is a HG (Holy Grail) item in my make-up collection. This is the prettiest shade of pink/coral mixed with gold. Even though it appears there is shimmer in this blush it doesn't transfer that way once applied; it gives more of a glow rather than a shimmer effect. This would be beautiful on all skin tones and I wear it year round. It is highly pigmented so use a light hand when applying. Luminoso also blends well and is buildable. This is said to be a dupe of Nars' Orgasm.

Stila Eyeshadow in Kitten ($18.00) - This is a color that I wear EVERY SINGLE DAY when I am wearing making. It's a beautiful and classic champagne (almost nude) color that is great as an all over lid color as well as a highlighter for your brown bone. I use this alone when I am barely wearing make-up just for a "awake" look and then I use it as a base color when I am applying a full face. This is shimmery, highly pigmented and lasts all day. There tends to be some fall out with this so just be careful when applying.

Scandaleyes by Rimmel in Nude ($3.97) - This is a waterproof kohl liner that I use as a dupe for Tarte's Inner Rim Brightener. I apply this to my lower inner rim to give my eyes a brightening effect. This leaves me looking awake and wide eyed. You can also apply this to the inner corner of your eyes to help brighten them up! This is a super soft liner so it glides on easy and stays for the better part of the day. I do notice that it fades by the time I remove my make-up but my eyes tend to water more than most. I would highly recommend this to Momma's who lack sleep and wake up with tired looking eyes because this is an easy trick that really does work!

 L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Mascara ($7.00) - I wear the waterproof formula in Black. This mascara is AMAZING and the brush is what makes the difference. It's a very large full brush with defined bristles so you can get right into each lash at your roots and swipe upwards to coat your lashes. Two coats of this wonderful mascara and you have the most beautiful lashes that appear full and ginormous. I am highly impressed with all of the mascaras that L'Oreal has to offer because they are all great and none of them bother my super sensitive eyes. They are also great for contact lense wearers. The waterproof formulas do take some work when your removing them so if you can get away with wearing the non-waterproof formula then I would go with that instead....however, my eyes water a ton so I have to stick with waterproof mascaras.

Kabuki Face Brush by E.L.F. ($6.00) - This is a dense brush that is a must have in your collection because it's a miracle worker as far as blending is concerned. I never fully understand the real need for a Kabuki brush because I was always under the impression it was to be used strictly for mineral make-up. However, when used as a blender it gives you a flawless finish. It blends everything out beautifully and you don't have to worry about seeing where your contract and blush starts/stops. Just use in a circular motion to buff/blend and I promise you that you'll be asking yourself why you had never purchased one of these sooner!!

Moroccan Argan Penetrating Oil by Organix ($6.72) - This is a deep penetrating oil that works wonders if you have dry, damaged or brittle hair. Not only does this stuff smell so freaking good it really does leave your hair super soft and healthy looking. This is a very lightweight oil so you don't have to worry about it weighing your locks down or giving your hair an "oily" appearance. I would suggest that you don't use this near your roots because it did make that section of my hair appear oily but when I tried this a second time I made sure to only apply it mid-section down to the tips and it was much better. It made my dull ends appear healthier and less brittle. Just apply a small amount because a little goes a long way!

The Bun Maker by Conair ($4.97) - Even mentioning this product cracks me up because it's silly but it works wonders and is a lifesaver for me. I could never get into the Pinterest Sockbun craze because it never worked out for me so when I saw this at Wal-Mart I had to have it. I honestly use this several times a week when I am in a hurry or have a dirty hair day. It's fast, easy and actually makes your hair look cute without having to worry about your sock showing through your bun! The only thing you need out of this kit is the netted ring so if you can find one of those get that instead so you can save a couple of bucks. This is pretty much self explanatory so I won't bother talking about it any longer :)

Cognac Metal Cuff from Payless ($9.00) - This type of cuff is really trending right now and I picked this up at Payless a while back. When I wear this I am constantly being asked where I bought it and who made it. It resembles a Hermes cuff but I could only own one of those in my dreams!! I have enjoyed wearing this and it goes with about it anything. I didn't see this available on the Payless website so I guess it's only sold in stores. If you run across it I would recommend picking one up because it's a great accessory that adds a little perk to your outfit!


Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes ($4.97) - I picked these towelettes up after I ran out of mine. I had heard excellent things about these and was excited to try them even though I was unhappy about the price. These are around the same price as the Equate ones I buy but there are only 25 in the package whereas 40 in Equate brand. Anyway, I tried these and was so disappointed. I hated the smell of the wipes and I felt like it didn't remove even half of my make-up. I will never purchase these again and I didn't even continue using them after several days of giving this a chance.

Youthful Wear Foundation by Physicians Formula ($14.95) - I am a huge fan of PF but this product was a total waste of money. The formula in this foundation is entirely too pasty and thick. It comes with it's own foundation brush but that did nothing but smear it all over my face. I couldn't get this stuff to blend in or buff out. It was just horrible. It reminded me of Brody's diaper cream and nobody wants that on their face! This was a total bummer and I wish I had my $15 bucks back!! Total miss!!!!

I hope that this has been helpful and Please check out my YouTube video here!

December 3, 2013

Tastey Tuesday Recipe: Sweet Potato Casserole

When I think of Sweet Potato Casserole I usually think of Thanksgiving and the fact that I dislike sweet potatoes. I have never been a fan of sweet potatoes and I am not sure why; I guess maybe because of the color and their appearance after they are mashed always grossed me out. Needless to say I don't make a lot of sweet potato recipes but my family loves them and asked that I make a casserole to go with our traditional Thanksgiving meal. Having never made a sweet potato casserole I went on the hunt for a good recipe that had a lot of great reviews and ran across this one on; it had 5 stars with over a 1,000 great reviews raving about it. To my surprise this was AMAZING and I can honestly say that I actually enjoyed eating it so I wanted to share it with y'all because I will definitely be making this again before Thanksgiving rolls around next year! The only thing I added to  this recipe was my Paula Deen seasoning mix that I make at home and a bag of small marshmallow's! I enjoyed the pecans on my casserole but my family didn't so next time I will probably omit those but still use the brown sugar mixture along with my marshmallow topping because it was fantastic! I hope that you try and enjoy this recipe; I also think this is a great recipe for "newbies" who, like me, are on the fence about the whole sweet potato idea!


4 cups sweet potato, cubed
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Topping Ingredients

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1.Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Put sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan with water to cover. Cook over medium high heat until tender; drain and mash.
2.In a large bowl, mix together the sweet potatoes, white sugar, eggs, salt, butter, milk and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. Transfer to a 9x13 inch baking dish.
3.In medium bowl, mix the brown sugar and flour. Cut in the butter until the mixture is coarse. Stir in the pecans. Sprinkle the mixture over the sweet potato mixture.
4.Bake in the preheated oven 30 minutes, or until the topping is lightly brown.




November 26, 2013

Tastey Tuesday Recipe: Homemade Potato Soup

I know that I have already done my weekly entry of a "Tastey Tuesday" recipe but I wanted to do another one today because we are closing in on Thanksgiving which means lots of family time and a long weekend for many. This recipe is perfect for this cold weather we are having and this soup is a great comfort food that the whole family can enjoy! I found this recipe on Pinterest and with a few modifications I made it my own. Potato soup can tend to be bland if you're not careful but I think I found the perfect extra ingredients that made it yummy!!! It's definitely rich and very filling so a little goes a long way. I also like the fact you can whip this stuff up and then add it to your crockpot and let it sit all day on warm or low until you're ready for dinner!

Homemade Potato Soup
  • 3 lbs of red potatoes
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 8 cups half-and-half
  • 1 (16 ounce) package Velveeta cheese, melted
  • white pepper
  • garlic powder 
  • 1 packet of Goya ham flavored concentrate
  • celery salt
  • cayenne pepper
  • salt                                                 
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1/2 lb bacon, fried crisp
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup fresh chives, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

    1. Dice unpeeled red potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes.
    2. Place in large saucepan; cover with water and bring to a boil.
    3. Let boil for 10 minutes or until 3/4 cooked.
    4. In a separate pan, combine melted margarine and flour, mixing until smooth.
    5. Place over low heat and gradually add half-and-half, stirring constantly.
    6. Continue to stir until smooth and liquid begins to thicken.
    7. Add melted Velveeta.
    8. Stir well.
    9. Drain potatoes and add to cream mixture.
    10. Stir in salt, celery salt, Goya seasoning, cayenne pepper, white pepper, garlic powder and hot pepper sauce.
    11. Cover and cook over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    12. Place soup into individual serving bowls and top with crumbled bacon, shredded cheese, chives and parsley.
    ** Helpful Hint: You can make this and transfer to a crockpot after step 11. Be sure to set your crockpot on Warm or Low so it doesn't burn. I think the longer that it cooks the better it tastes!!


      Tastey Tuesday: Great Grandma Carriker's Peanut Butter Cookies

      Today I am sharing a recipe that has been in my family forever! I make these every year during the holidays for my Dad because they are his favorite cookies. They are quick, easy and delish! I also like the fact that it makes a ton of cookies without spending a whole day in the kitchen so they're perfect for school and work parties. I don't know what it is about using recipes that have been in your family for ages but I find that I enjoy eating those more than those found on the Internet. It also takes me back to my childhood and brings up memories of spending time with my great-grandparents and grandparents. Family recipes are always made with love and that makes them special!

      Great Grandma Carriker's Peanut Butter Cookies
      1/2 cup of Shortening
      1/2 cup of Peanut Butter
      3/4 cup of Brown Sugar
      1 egg
      1/4 tsp. of Baking Soda
      1 tsp. of Vanilla
      1 1/4 cups of Flour
      Mix all ingredients in order given. Roll batter into balls, using 1 teaspoon of dough for each cookie. Press flat with fork. Bake on a greased pan at 325 degrees until lightly browned (10-12 minutes). Makes approximately 3 dozen cookies.
      Helpful Hint: Dip your fork in water before pressing down on your cookie and it will help prevent sticking.
      I hope that you enjoy this recipe and use it during the holidays because I am positive your family will love them!!! I hope that all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving surrounded by your loved ones! See you next Tuesday :)

      November 22, 2013

      Beauty Blog: Drugstore Foundation Review!

      I just wrapped up a YouTube video that highlighted four popular drugstore foundations and I gave my review on them! I find that these are very helpful when I watch them because finding the right drugstore foundation seems nearly impossible at times. I also have a habit of getting bored with wearing the same beauty products so I tend to try out new things (especially foundations) when something new hits the market! So here is a recap of my video...

      Revlon Color Stay Whipped ($12.00)

      Pros: Medium - Full coverage, Matte Finish, Long Wearing, Blendable, Doesn't magnify pores, fine lines and wrinkles

      Cons: Bulky Packaging, Doesn't contain SPF

      Tips: Apply with fingertips and blend out with beauty blender


       Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse ($8.00)

      Pros: Lightweight, Medium Coverage, Ultra Hydrating, Dewey Finish, Long Wearing

      Cons: Doesn't contain SPF, Limited Color Choices, Sponge applicator

      Tips: For a more matte finish apply powder to set

      Revlon PhotoReady ($14.00)

      Pros: Contains SPF, Matte Finish, Pump Application, Buildable, Medium-Full coverage, Airbrushed finish (flawless)

      Cons: Drying, Limited Color Choices

      Tips: MOISTURIZER!!!! This formula is very drying so using a moisturizer helps and also helps for a smoother application.

      Loreal True Match Lumi ($12.00)

      Pros: Hydrating, Dewey/Luminous Finish, Pump Application, Buildable, Contains SPF, Lightweight

      Cons: Transfers easy, Can be greasy, Not long wearing

      Tips: Use this as a highlighter instead of a foundation!

      Please be sure to check out my YouTube channel and subscribe! I hope this video has been helpful and I should have another beauty blog post coming up next week with my "November Hits & Misses"!

      November 19, 2013

      Tastey Tuesday Recipe: Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

      This week I am doing a dessert recipe as my blog post because we are fastly approaching the holiday season and these scrumptious cookies are great for class/work parties, gifts and just to have around the house for personal enjoyment! I love these cookies because they are so easy to make and they combine just the right amount of sweet & salty! I promise once you make these once you will be asked for the recipe because they are a hit with everyone :) This makes 40 cookies so you have more than enough to share with family and friends.
      1 3/4 cup of flour
      1/2 tsp of salt
      1 tsp of baking soda
      1/2 cup of butter (softened)
      1/2 cup of white sugar
      1/2 cup of creamy peanut butter
      1/2 cup of packed brown sugar
      1 egg (beaten)
      1 tsp of vanilla extract
      1 tbs of milk
      40 Reece's Peanut Butter Cups
      40 mini cupcake liners


      1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda; set aside.
      2. Cream together the butter, sugar, peanut butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg, vanilla and milk. Add the flour mixture; mix well. Shape into 40 balls and place each into a lined mini muffin pan.
      3. Bake at 375 degrees for about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately press a mini peanut butter cup into each ball. Cool and carefully remove from pan.

      Hint/Tip: I have also used Hershey kisses instead of Reece's cups with this recipe and they are just as good! You can get creative with it and make it your own!

      November 14, 2013

      Blog on my Vlog: My favorite products from "Wet n Wild"!

      I posted a video on my YouTube channel earlier today so I wanted to do a follow-up blog on the products I discussed. As I mentioned in my vlog, Wet n Wild has so many amazing products out there that are often overlooked because ladies think it's a cheap brand. Yes, their packaging could use a ton of work but it's what is on the inside that counts!! I can move past the cheap plastic exterior as long as I am getting a high quality product in return. I have found some wonderful hidden gems in several of their lines so without rambling here is a recap from today's video.

      This Color Icon pallet in "Comfort Zone" is my favorite out of all the ones that they offer. It is a nice neutral palette that works well for day and night. You are given 8 highly pigmented shades with sheen that are blendable and buildable. This palette is easy to use for beginners as it has all the colors labeled for you to tell you where to apply them. The "definer" colors (bottom row) can be omitted for daytime wear as they are very dark and highly pigmented. These are "powdery" so you will have to be careful when using these and make sure you tap your shadow brush before applying to your lid to decrease the amount of under eye fallout.

      The "Color Icon" trios are wonderful hidden gems that his line has to offer because it comes in various complimentary shades. They have playful, fun, vibrant trios and also offer ones that are more subtle, light and neutral for those wanting a more fresh, natural face. I own both types and love them! They are so pigmented and in my opinion the pigmentation quality is up there with brands such as Urban Decay and Stila. I am highly impressed with them and for the money you can't help but purchase them all! My favorite is "Silent Treatment" (left), "Sweet As Candy" and "I'm Getting Sunburned"(right).
      The "Color Icon" blushes are just as pigmented as the shadows and they give NARS and Milani a run for their money with dupes. The two shades I love the most are "Berry Shimmer" which is a very pretty and vibrant pink. Don't let the word shimmer scare you because it doesn't leave sparkle on your face; it's more of a natural glow. This shade is very complimentary to tan and darker skin tones. The shade that is said to be a dupe for NARS's shade of "Orgasm" and Milani's "Luminoso" is named "Pearlescent Pink". Wet n Wild has outdone themselves with this shade because it's the most light, coral pink. It looks fabulous on any skin tone and could be worn year round. A little of both blushes goes a long way because they are so highly pigmented that you can tend to apply too much if you are not careful. Make sure you apply these with a light hand and tap your brush before applying.

      I have never been a huge fan of matte lipsticks because almost all of them are too drying and they leave my lips looking horrible. However, after trying the Wet n Wild "Mega Last" lipsticks I have found that I really like them as they do not dry out my lips. These are creamy and I feel like they do nourish my lips while wearing the color; they state they last 4 hours and I would agree with that because I do have to reapply at least once while wearing these lipsticks. I have not had an issue with bleeding but I do wear the lighter shades in "Bare-it-All" and "Wine Room" using a nude lip liner from Milani with them. As far as matte lipsticks go I have liked these the best and I have tried brands such as Loreal, Maybelline and Revlon. I think with matte shades it's really more of a personal preference so these may not work for everyone but as cheap as they are it's worth trying at least the nude shade of "Bare-it-All" because it's a nice pink nude that looks natural.

      WnW offers the "MegaShield" lipstick line and these are more sheer and contain SPF 15. They also have nourishing aspects and you will get moderate coverage out of these. I like this line because they are lightweight, available in fun shades and protect my lips from harmful rays. I would probably use these more in the Spring and Summer because they are more sheer and lightweight but you could pair them over top of a matte shade to create your own personal look/shade. I have not had a problem with these feathering and I do like their shade in "Salsa Lessons" that is a vibrant coral orange shade that is perfect for Spring/Summer! The other shade I mentioned in my video was "Wine Room" and it's a pretty berry shade; not as dark as some would think since it contains the word "wine". The only thing I hate about these lipsticks are the packaging; it's horrendous. You can't roll the product all the way down so you tend to knick the end of the lipstick when you put the lid on so make sure your careful if you do end up purchasing these to try! Other than that, I can't say a bad word about them because they are high quality and I like them better than the Maybelline "Whispers" line!

      I honestly do not know how much more I can RAVE about their "H20 Proof" liquid eyeliner...I know y'all are getting tired of hearing about it but it's just that dang good!!!!! The stuff is amazing and hands down beats most (if not all) the drugstore liquid liners that are available. I have tried several and this by far is my favorite. I like that it stays all day, it's waterproof, it doesn't transfer and it doesn't bother my super sensitive eyes. I couldn't ask for a better liquid eyeliner! It's easy to use since it has the felt tip end and the product does not dry up quickly like you can get with some of the liquid liners. For beginners I would suggest the felt tip end because you have better control than you do with the bristle liners. This product is smudge proof so once it's on there is nothing taking it off but a very good waterproof makeup remover! Soap and water will not cut makeup towelettes do not even remove it. As I mentioned before I do use the Loreal Clean Artist Eye remover in their waterproof formula and that takes it off nicely. I do wear the color "Ultra Black" and I also own the "Black-Brown"; they do offer 2 other shades in this formula but I have not tried them.

      They have added a celebrity "Makeup Adviser" to their line and that's Fergie which I think is a great fit for this company. She's hip, popular among younger women and she has so many looks that are amazing. I have tried two products from their "Fergie Center Stage" line and I am quiet impressed. These items are a tad more pricier than the other products they carry; is that possible??!? I absolutely adore two products from this line and one is the eye primer called "Take on the Day Primer - For my Primas". This primer gives a nice matte base for your eyeshadow that prevents creasing and makes your shadows more vibrant. It is a nice nude shade that blends in quickly and doesn't dry white like some primers tend to do. Fergie's primer helps your shadows last all day long and I have never had an issue with creasing when I use this with any of the shadows I have in my collection. I am a firm believer in this product and I prefer it over the Urban Decay primer. I do not have an issue with oily lids but I did a little research online, read reviews and it seems that people with oily lids could still use this primer without a problem and it worked well! The other product that Fergie has nailed is the "To Reflect Shimmer Pallet" and I purchased the Rose Champagne glow pallet. It's a beautiful mosaic of rose, gold and champagne colors that are used to highlight your face. It's just the right amount of shimmer that leaves a nice and natural healthy glow to your face without making you look ridiculous. Highlighting is easy to do if you are using the right product, the right way. They do carry this in 3 shades for various skin tones and state they can be used wet or dry. I prefer mine dry so I can't say how this product works when applied wet. I have the MAC highlighter and I prefer the Fergie so I think that speaks volumes.
      Lastly, I want to briefly discuss their "Mega Last Salon Nail Color" line with the Manicurve Pro Brush. This polish hands down beats Essie in my opinion! Yes, they don't have a ton of shades to offer like Essie but their quality is outstanding and the brush makes painting your nails a breeze! I never thought the shape of a brush would make a difference but now I know that it does! The curve helps achieve that salon perfection in just a swipe or two and with some of their colors you only need to apply one coat! Their site says this stuff lasts 5 days without chipping but I've worn it up to 7 days with a top coat. I own several of these beauties but my favorite is "Wet Cement" which is a nice taupe shade for Fall/Winter and then for summer I love "Heatwave" because it's a nice bright coral shade. Several of my friends have tried these and are extremely happy with them and I think you would be too! I do not own the shade that is shown but I wanted to give you an example of what the product packing looked like! They do have various shades ranging from Pale Neutrals to dark colors like Ox Blood so I am sure you will be able to find one that fits your style!
      I believe this wraps up my overview of my favorite Wet n Wild products that I currently own and I hope you will try a few of these for yourself! I honestly think if you can get the vision of the 1980's version of Wet n Wild out of your head you will be pretty pleased with some of their current products because they have really stepped it up and give pricier brands a run for their money. Another good thing about this brand is that CVS and Walgreens are always offering great deals on them and usually these go on sale for BOGO 1/2 off at least once a month! You can't beat that especially when most of their products are less than $5.00 each!
      Please be sure to check out my accompanying video below if you missed it! I would love for you to subscribe to my YouTube channel and be sure to leave a comment if you want to see something discussed in the future!


      November 13, 2013

      Mouth Watering Wednesday Recipe: Clam sauce with Bacon & Linguine!

      I am forever a day late on this post! I honestly try to get these recipes up on Tuesdays but it never fails...I miss it by a day or so! This week has been insane (no different than any other week) but I've managed to cook every night this week! This recipe is one of my favorites but it may not be for everyone because it involves clams! I love clams and if you cook them right they are wonderful! I ran across this recipe on Pinterest and it's so delicious, easy and cheap to make! I buy fresh clams at Publix and they are usually less than 30 cents a piece so when you pair that with pasta and a few cheap ingredients you have a meal that serves 3-4 people for less than $20! That's a pretty darn good deal if you ask me...and it's seafood which in my opinion always seems more decedent than your piece of chicken or pork!
      • 6-8 pieces of thick cut applewood-smoked bacon, chopped
      • 1 box of linguine
      • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
      • ½ large onion or 1 small onion, chopped
      • 2 – 3 shallots, chopped
      • Kosher salt
      • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
      • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
      • 10 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
      • 1 cup clam juice {Bar Harbor brand is the best!}
      • ½ cup dry white wine -- I use Sutter Home Sauvignon Blanc
      • 2 pounds fresh live clams, scrubbed and soaked in salted water for at least 30 minutes
      • ½ stick of Butter (I use salted)
      • Juice of ½ a large lemon or 1 whole small lemon
      • ¼ cup fresh chopped parsley
      1. Cook bacon in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove and drain on paper towel-lined surface.
      2. Meanwhile, cook linguine until al dente (as directed on package). Drain, reserving ½ cup cooking liquid, and return pasta to the pot; add the cooking liquid back into the pot and give it a toss. Set aside.
      3. Add oil to bacon fat. Add onion and shallots to the skillet and saut̩ for 3 or 4 minutes, until soft. Add a generous pinch of salt along with the oregano and red pepper. Add garlic, and cook for another minute. Add clam sauce and white wine and let it reduce just slightly Рabout 2 or 3 minutes. Add clams, cover, and cook just until they open, shaking the pan a couple of times, for about 5 minutes.
      4. Remove from heat and stir in butter, lemon juice, and parsley. Taste and add more salt if needed. (You can also add more red pepper flakes for extra heat.) Serve and enjoy!
      You can serve this alone with bread or add a green vegetable as a side dish. I usually cook garlic spinach with it because I felt like it complimented the Clam linguine. I hope your family enjoys this recipe as much as we have! Remember that you can add, take away and substitute some of these items if you can't find them or don't care for them. You could definitely switch out the type of bacon you like and shallots aren't needed but add a nice touch. Whatever you do...DO NOT skimp on the Bar Harbor clam juice!!
      For my friends that follow me on Facebook and Instagram please let me know if there is anything you see in my posts that you would like for me to highlight on a blog post! Until next week....take care!
      ** I apologize for my picture quality on this post! I had copied them from my IG page **


      November 10, 2013

      Beauty Blog Post: October Hits!

      Hey Guys! I can't believe that October is already over and we are moving into the second week of November! This year has flown by!!! It's crazy that I will be decorating for Christmas in a few short weeks. With that being said, I just posted my "October Hits" video on YouTube and that means it's time to do  the corresponding blog entry. Some of the products featured in this months video are repeats of products that I spoke about in my "September Hits" blog post so I won't bore you with the details about those; if you need a recap just read last months blog post or check out the video. I will list them at the bottom of this post just as a reference. So, let's just get started....

       I think that I have found the perfect moisturizer (for me) and I couldn't be happier. I am currently using the Loreal Ideal Moisture Day Lotion with SPF 25 ($6.49) and it's amazing. I have dry skin so I was happy to see that they carried it in a variety of formulas and one being for dry skin. This claims to have 48 hour hydration and I can honestly say that my skin feels hydrated all day long when I use this under my foundation. It's oil free and is infused with Vitamin E antioxidant. It's very light weight and absorbs quickly so you can just apply your foundation right over top of it without waiting forever for it to absorb. I also use this at night after removing all of my make-up instead of using a heavy cream moisturizer. I get enough hydration from this so I am pleased. I also love the scent because it's "girly" without being too overwhelming. They have an entire line and it's called their "Ideal" line that comes with cleansers, towelettes and moisturizers with 3 formulas; All skin types, dry skin and sensitive skin. I would highly recommend this if you are currently looking for a lightweight moisturizer for Fall/Winter.

      Well, once again, I have had to change foundations. I find one that I love and then my skin just acts crazy. None of them have ever broke me out but my skin tends to dry out easy which leaves my foundation looking like a hot mess. I was browsing the aisles at CVS since I had a few CVS bucks to spare and I ran across the Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse ($8.99). The thing that first caught my eye was I noticed it said "ultra hydrating" on the package. That's definitely what I was looking for but I was skeptical because I have never been a huge Maybelline foundation fan. I decided to buy it because I had the CVS bucks and  I wasn't going to be out any money if it didn't work. I got it home and opened it and I was in shock; it looked like one oily mess. It was shiny in the packing and looked/felt oily when I glided my finger across the compact. However, once I applied it I was shocked because it didn't look that way on my face and it blended nicely without magnifying my pores. This is more of a medium coverage even though it states it's medium-full coverage but I am okay with it. This does give a dewey effect so if you tend to have oily skin then I would steer clear of this foundation because you will be disappointed.

      Recently many of you YouTube guru's have been chatting about colored mascaras and I have been eyeing them but afraid to purchase them because let's face it....they scream 1980's. While I was at Target I hit their clearance bins and I noticed they had several limited edition colors from Maybelline. They were marked down to less than $3 and originally they were $6 so I figured why not pick up a few of the colors. I have had so much fun with these and I've been pleasantly surprised with them. The one I have used the most in October was the "I See Blue" which is basically an electric blue mascara. I was VERY skeptical at first because I didn't want to look like a complete idiot but every single time I wear it someone compliments me on my mascara. They can never quiet pin point what it is about my eye make-up that is different (in a good way) and it's the blue mascara. I wear this when I have something blue on because I have this thing about matching; call me weird. It gives just a hint of color to your lashes without screaming your stuck in the 80's! I usually apply one coat of my normal black mascara first and then put a coat or two of this on top of it. It isn't waterproof but I have not had an issue with it and it doesn't irritate my super sensitive eyes. So, if  you are in the market for a fun mascara to wear on the weekend try the Great Lash Maybelline LE colored mascaras! They came out in August so I am not sure if all stores carry them as Target was already clearancing them out last month.

      I have been wanting to try a red lipstick forever but I have been afraid to because I always felt intimated by them. I never thought I would be able to pull it off and I would look like a 5 year old playing in her Momma's lipsticks. After spending literally an hour looking at lipsticks in CVS, I came out with the Maybelline Color Sensational color in Red Revival ($7.79). This is a beautiful shade of red that is creamy, bold and moisturizing. It is a blue toned red so it's a bit cooler than your orange based reds. I would definitely use a lip liner with this because I had an issue with a small amount of bleeding. I also had to reapply once during the day but overall I am very happy with this red shade and you can't complain when it makes your teeth a shade lighter which reds do if you didn't know that already :) I am looking forward to using this color throughout fall & winter -- it's a pretty shade for the holidays!

      I think I have found a whitening toothpaste that actually works and doesn't hurt my teeth and gums like most of them have. I tried the Crest 3D White Luxe in Glamorous White ($4.99) last month and it's amazing! It claims that it "removes 90% of surface stains in 5 days" and it honestly works! I noticed a difference and so did my daughter; we both have sensitivity issues and this hasn't been a problem for us. It isn't harsh or abrasive and it leaves your mouth feeling super clean and brighter. I have never been able to use whitening toothpastes until now and I am glad that I finally found one that I can use. I didn't even know they had a sensitive formula in this until I looked online for pricing and it seems they do so if you are afraid this may be too harsh then you can look at purchasing that one but I have had NO issues with this formula and I have super sensitive teeth and gums. I will definitely keep repurchasing this as long as it works and I don't run into any sensitivity issues.
      I have been using the E.L.F. Studio Line Brushes ($3.00) for a while now I can't tell you how impressed I am with them! They are high quality brushes that won't cost you an arm and a leg. I have used the pricier brushes like Sigma and Mac and I can honestly say that these work just as good. They are dense brushes that pack on a lot of color, they don't shed and withstand multiple washings. You can find these at your local Target but for a broader selection visit their online store. Beware: E.L.F. has another line that has white handled brushes that are only $1 -- these are CRAP so do not waste your money on them. They fall apart and are pretty much worthless so spend the extra two bucks and buy the black handled brushes. I really don't know what else to say about these studio line brushes other than I am completely impressed with them and you should go out and purchase yourself all of them, lol.
      I have been eyeing the Tarte Inner Rim Eye Brightener pencil but forking over the $20 for it pains me. I have done research online and came across a dupe for the Tarte pencil and that's the Scandaleyes by Rimmel in nude ($3.97). Holy smokes, this stuff is awesome! You apply it to the inner rim of your bottom lid and you instantly get the effect of being wide awake! Your eyes are brighter and you just look more refreshed -- or like you just had 10 cups of coffee. This eyeliner is a creamy, highly pigmented pencil that is waterproof. It goes on smooth and lasts all day. I have never used an eyeliner that's so creamy and it made me want to go back and buy the other colors that Rimmel offers in the Scandaleyes line. So, if your eyes need a pick-me-up then go out and buy this pencil because it's a quick fix to those tired eyes us Momma's get on a daily basis.

      I bought three colors from the Maybelline Color Tattoo Pure Pigment line ($6.99) and my favorite has been "Improper Copper" by far. I use it several times a week and it's just a beautiful shade of brown with shimmery copper pigments. I was afraid to use these because I have never used loose pigments before and I will be honest and tell you it took me a while to get used to applying them. They are loose pigments so you can have a huge mess on your hands if you're not careful. When you are applying this to your eyeshadow brush be careful to apply just a small amount and tap your brush several times before applying because if not you will have a ton of fallout under your eyes. These are highly pigmented and they go on super smooth, they are also very blendable. It states that it has 24 hour staying power and yes, it stays all day but it seems to fade by the time I remove my make-up. I am not sure I would purchase anymore of the loose pigments because out of the three I bought I was only extremely happy with this shade.

      Other things I mentioned in my video were products I raved about in my September blog post so I won't bore you with that again but I still used them a TON (if not daily) this month too! They are:
       Maybelline Color Tattoo Cream Shadow in "Bad to the Bronze". This color is amazing and lasts all day long without creasing or fading. It does have 24 hour staying power as I have slept in this and it didn't come off until I removed it with a towelette the next morning! This is a shimmery shade so if you are a fan of matte eye shadows you might want to stay away from this color.

       Physician's Formula Bronze Booster in Light/Medium. This has been one of the most natural bronzers I have ever used. It doesn't turn you orange or muddies your skin. It's just the perfect glow giving your skin a sun-kissed look.

       Loreal Clean Artiste Waterproof & Long Wearing Eye Makeup remover. This stuff is the only thing that removes my mascara and liquid eyeliner. It's amazing and doesn't irritate my sensitive eyes. Great to use for those waterproof mascaras that are a PITA to remove!!

       Loreal Voluminous False Lashes Waterproof mascara. OMG! I can't get enough of this stuff! It's awesome and gives me the fullest lashes of any mascara I have ever tried....and I have tried a lot! It's also the only waterproof mascara that I have found that doesn't bother my contacts/sensitive eyes. The only thing I can't stress enough is that you have to buy a good eye makeup remover to get this stuff off because it's stuck like glue on your lashes!

      Wet n Wild H20 Proof Liquid Eyeliner in Ultra Black. I love this eyeliner and it's so easy to use with it's felt tip end. It goes on smoothly without transferring to your upper lid....however, once it's on, it isn't coming off -- it's like a Sharpie marker! Be sure to use a great eye makeup remover with this so you aren't tugging at your eyelids.


      And there you have it; my beauty hits for October! Please be sure to check out my YouTube video and subscribe to my channel for future posts. Click here to watch my YouTube video!