Bloggers Like Me
Jan 072013
 

Ahhhhh! It’s Mani Monday. I am sooo glad to be back. I was sick all of last week, and that’s just no way to live. I don’t know what’s up with these super cold and flu bugs that are flying around, but I think they should be outlawed.

Anywho, on with the first post of 2013! I was really in the mood for something kind of understated this week. Sometimes out glittering myself every week gets a bit tiring. So I went with my favorite neutral Zoya Avery.  But, you know I can never leave it just neutral, so I did a little plastic wrap stamping as an accent. I used my metallic polishes from Essie. I love the combo of Penny Talk and Nothing Else Metals.

Plastic wrap stamping is something I recently found out about; and I think I’m hooked! How could I not love a technique that’s as simple as scrunching up some plastic wrap and painting some polish on it? Then it’s just a stamp across the nail and voila! Some people say it’s looks like tie dying, but I think it looks like marble. Whatever you think it’s a fast easy way to spiff up your nails.

I’m joining in another MANICure Monday. This week’s host is LA Lynn’s. Make sure to stop by and look at all the other fantastic manicures!

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Dec 312012
 

It’s New Year’s Eve! Do you have any fancy plans? Please, do tell! I have no plans,and will probably be in bed before midnight. The hubby isn’t feeling well. :(

But it is New Year’s Eve, so I decided to do a fun glittery party manicure. The best part is it’s super easy, and dries fast too. So if you’re getting ready and don’t have much time, you can do this on your way out the door with no fear of smudges. I started with a base of Essie Penny Talk. It’s a really beautiful rose gold/copper metallic. It’s opaque in one coat, and dries almost instantly. I think it’s considered a “chrome” finish, but it’s not mirrored. the finish is flat and semi matte. You can think of it as more of a brushed metallic. I decided to top it off with a coat of OPI The Living Daylights. I thought the copper, teal, champagne, and silver glitter would really pop against Penny Talk. The way the tonal glitter shows up against the base really gives the whole look dimension.  I have to say I’m pretty pleased with this combination. I think it would add a nice bit of glitz to a simple chic outfit.

I hope you all have a wonderful time tonight. Be safe and ring in the New Year with style!

 

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Dec 282012
 

Hey! Hey! it’s Friday! How was your Christmas? Our was pretty swell. The little dude got what seemed like a million things. He’s pretty well stocked for the time being The best part was that my husband was off work for 5 whole days. And he actually didn’t work ! (OK for the most part he didn’t work.) It was really nice to spend some uninterrupted family time together.  I got pretty spoiled this year too. I know there’s this idea that most ladies want expensive jewelry or cars or something for Christmas, but I’m really not that girl. I’m not one to brag, but I got my own custom made Louise Belcher hat. I know that absolutely EVERYONE in the world watches Bob’s Burgers, so I don’t have to explain what that is. But just in case we have visitor’s from far out nowhere on the blog today, I will add a little something here to catch everyone up.

This is Louise. That is her hat. She is my spirit animal. I now own a hat exactly like hers. Unfortunately I am NOT an 8 year old girl so I cannot get away with wearing my hat all day every day. But rest assured it was worn all Christmas day, and will be worn again. Probably just in my house, but you never know. I’m a wild child!

I know you’re jealous, and I would say don’t be, but who are we kidding? You totally SHOULD be!

So as you can see, we had a great holiday. But honestly I was a little disappointed to see so many people complaining about what they didn’t get. I heard so many stories about kids throwing fits over what their parents didn’t buy. It makes me sad.  I know this may be an un- popular opinion, but Christmas isn’t about getting. It has everything to do with GIVING. At least for us it does. God loved us and he GAVE  His only son. When Christmas comes, I get excited for the chance to give. I like giving my time, and my concern. I like to give kindness. I know we should do that everyday, and I really try to live my life that way. But Christmas is a special time for me, because we give joyfully and abundantly. It truly is a time when we are supposed to mirror the heart of God. We love because He first loved us. And so, we give because He gave to us. If all we are prepared to do is take, what kind of example can we be to those who are looking for the love of our Father? Just some food for thought. As we prepare to enter a new year, I would like to challenge us all to look into our hearts and find new ways to be a blessing to those around us. Let’s look for opportunities to reach out beyond our own wants or needs, to meet the needs of others. If we start by healing another’s wounds, we may find that our own hurting hearts will become healed in the process.

Stay blessed everyone! And have a great weekend.

 

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Today’s post is late, I know. Tomorrow is Christmas and I’ve been in a relaxed mood. The hubs is off from work for the next few days and we’re just getting ready to celebrate! I had a heck of a time trying to think of something to do with my nails this week. I was going to do something red, gold, or green; but nothing was to my liking. So I went back to my colored tips. For some reason, I just seem really into them right now This time I used my favorite, Essie Shine Of The Times (discontinued) and Zoya Wednesday. Wednesday was a Christmas gift from my mom, so that makes it an automatic Christmas color. I don’t think you’ll be able to see what an amazing polish Shine is in these pictures. It was part of the luxe effects collection. It’s an iridescent flake glitter and it just gives any other polish a fairy/ mermaid like feel.

Anyway, on with the show!

Essie Shine Of The Times Zoya Wednesday

You can see the flakes best over Wednesday on the accent nail

I am so happy to be celebrating Christmas. It’s my favorite holiday of the year! I hope you are all enjoying your family and friends. And I hope we each take some quiet time, away from all the events and presents, to reflect on the gift God has given us all this Christmas. So much love He poured out on mankind in the form of a baby, that would someday become our Savior. We are truly blessed.

Merry Christmas everyone!

 

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Dec 212012
 

Christmas is in 4 days! Can you believe it? Being a mom has made me really get into the spirit of creating traditions and special moments for my son. This year he’s almost 2 years old, so he’s starting to understand what’s going on.

I thought it would be fun to  make a stocking for each member of our family. We went to the fabric store and each picked out a fabric that caught our eye. The Bean even picked his own fabric. It’s very seasonally appropriate, too! I decided to do this kind of spur of the moment ( like most of my big ideas), so I just thought I’d wing it. Sometimes that pays off, and sometimes, not so much. Fortunately, this time, it did!

This is a really simple project. You’ll only need a few things, and it takes almost no time. We made all three stocking in less than an hour. I used Liquid Stitch, so there’s no sewing. Other than that you’ll need about 1/2 yard of fabric per stocking, scissors, a pattern, and ribbon for trim. A word about the pattern; you can freehand it onto tracing paper or some other paper, or you can find one online and print it out.

Supplies you’ll need to get started.

 

Step 1: Fold your fabric in half and pin down your pattern. This way you can cut both sides at once and avoid any difference in the two pieces.

Step 2: Cut around your pattern and you’ll end up with the 2 sides of your stocking.

Step 3: Cut 2 pieces of ribbon to the size of the top edge of your stocking. When gluing your ribbon, be sure to secure the edges and the middle to avoid the trim coming up once the stocking is finished. Place the ribbon so that it matches up with the top edge of the stocking pieces.

Step 4: Once you’ve secured your trim, take one side of the stocking and run a thin line of glue around the perimeter of the stocking about a 1/4″ from the edge, Try to make sure you leave the same amount of space all the way around. This will create your seam, so you want it to be as smooth as possible to avoid puckering.

Step 5: Carefully place the second piece on top of the first so that the right sides are against each other. Press gently all the way around to help seal them together. Let the glue dry for 3 to 4 hours before turning the stocking right side out. You can also take this opportunity to trim any overhanging ribbon from the sides of your stocking. This will help the whole thing lie more flat once it’s turned inside out.

Once the glue has dried. turn the stocking right side out, and Voila! Finished Christmas stockings for the whole family.

 

As you can see, this is a quick and easy craft for the whole family. If your kids are older, and can handle scissors, they can make their own!

Of course, I have a few tips to make things easier, since I did this with very little planning. Start out by pre -washing your fabric, and ironing it if need be. This will help when the time comes to glue your stocking together, because you won’t be fighting so hard to line things up. You may also choose to iron your seams flat before you turn your stocking right side out again. Just remember that if you use the Liquid Stitch, you won’t be able to iron your fabric  until the glue has had 24 hours to dry. Other than that, be creative. Add jewels, or monograms, or glitter  to yours.  I want to see some of your original creations!

I hope you all have a great weekend with friends and family. If you have last minute preparations for Christmas, don’t let yourself stress out too much. Remember to take a little time for yourself and enjoy the season.  God Bless!

 

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Dec 192012
 

White Chocolate Coconut Key Lime Cheesecake

Full Disclosure : This post has been sitting in my drafts folder for over a month. I made this cheesecake for my husband’s birthday in October. It’s not even a “traditional” Christmas flavor. But it is delicious, and totally worth the small amount of effort, if you are looking for a special dessert to take to a Christmas dinner or some other holiday festivity. It will require some planning; because like all cheesecakes it needs to set overnight before it is ready to serve.  I’m also going to apologize for the lack of detailed photos to accompany this recipe. I was really concentrated on getting it to turn out well and only a little on getting pics. Hence there is no picture of it sliced. By the time we got to the eating part, I wanted to enjoy it more than I wanted to snap away at it. ;)

And if you are one of those people that thinks (like I did) that cheesecake is really complicated and time consuming, don’t worry. It is remarkable how easily this all comes together. It really isn’t any harder than baking any other cake from scratch.  And here’s a pro tip- don’t be obsessive like me and buy key limes without having a citrus juicer or reamer. Your hands will cramp up half way through and you’ll have to battle through like I did, and that will put a damper on future cheesecake baking. Be fair to the cheesecakes, people. Get yourself a juicer!

 

What you’ll need

For the crust:

1 1/2 packages  Biscoff cookies

6 oz macadamia nuts, finely chopped

6-8 Tbsp melted butter

For the filling:

5 – 8 oz. packages of cream cheese (room temperature)

5- large eggs

1- can sweetened condensed milk

2 -3.5 oz Lindt Excellence White Coconut Bars

1/4 cup granulated white sugar

Approximately 1/4 milk

juice from 1 lb. key limes

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Tools of the trade:

1- 9 or 10 inch spring-form pan sealed on the bottom with aluminum foil.

 

OK ! Let’s get started. Throw your Biscoff biscuits into a ziploc bag. Use any heavy instrument you have (rolling pin, hammer, mallet. etc.) to bash them to smithereens. You want really tiny crumbs, without very many larger pieces. You can use this as an opportunity to take out any frustrations you may have during the holiday season. :) Next you’ll want to chop your macadamia nuts. I used a blender and it worked really well. You can also chop them by hand, or use a food processor. Just make sure that they are fairly finely chopped. Giant chunks of macadamia nut make it harder for the crust to hold together. Melt all 8 Tbsp. of butter in the microwave ( or on the stove top if you don’t have a microwave). Use approximately 2 Tbsp. of the butter to grease your spring-form pan generously. Add the remaining butter to cookie crumbs and add in your macadamia nuts. Toss it all together until everything is well coated with butter.

Press the cookie crumb mixture into the bottom of your pan and press firmly. Your crust should come up the sides of the pan about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch. Try to spread the crust as evenly as possible. Don’t obsess over it, just make your best effort. Set the pan aside.

Now it’s time to get to the good stuff. Open up your white chocolate bars. Each bar contains 8 squares of chocolate. You’ll need 12 squares ( or 1 1/2 bars)  plus about 2 Tbsp. milk melted together.

I melted the chocolate in the microwave. White chocolate has a tendency to melt a little unevenly so the splash of milk helps to smooth everything out. Once your chocolate is melted add the can of condensed milk, and the lime juice and mix well. Don’t worry if it looks a little curdled when you start mixing. The citrus juice and the milk react, but once it’s well mixed the whole thing will be smooth and delicious looking. DON’T EAT IT YET!

In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and white chocolate mixture with a hand mixer. Mix until well incorporated. Remember to start off on low and increase to medium speed to avoid splattering your kitchen in cheesecake batter! Once your batter is well mixed add the eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed. Do not over mix. You only want to mix until the eggs are fully incorporated, then stop.

Pour the filling into the pan with the crust. Melt the remaining 4 squares of white chocolate with about 1 Tbsp. of milk. Once it is melted pour the melted chocolate on top of the cheesecake filling in a circular motion. drag a toothpick or bamboo skewer across the surface of the cheese cake to make a swirl pattern. Place the pan in a cold oven.

Turn the oven to 400 degrees and bake at that temperature for 15 minutes. Remember DO NOT pre-heat the oven. After 15 minute have elapsed reduce the heat to 300, and bake for 90 minutes.  The outer edge of the cheesecake will be fully set, while the center will still have a slight jiggle. Turn off the oven and open the door. Let the cheesecake rest in the cooling oven for another hour.

Transfer the cooled cheesecake to the refrigerator for 8-12 hours before serving. Once refrigerated, remove the outer ring of the spring-form pan, and slice. Enjoy!

 

If you try this recipe, please let me know. I would love to hear how it works out for you!

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Happy Monday guys! It’s the start of a new week, and another chance to make this whole crazy life thing happen. Christmas is only a week away. This week’s manicure is inspired by visions of sugar plums. When you were a kid did you wonder what the heck sugar plums were? I did. I Google’d images of sugar plums and it seems like they are candies shaped like plums and then dipped in sugar. They are very pretty, but they don’t look very much like something I’d actually want to eat.

When I saw the promo images for Zoya’s Ornate holiday collection, I was definitely intrigued by Aurora. I wanted to wait until bloggers started doing swatches to see if  it was as amazing as the pictures. Well I wasn’t disappointed because all I could think was “Ahhh! Sugarplums.” Honestly! hTe Zoya website even describes it as a medium sugarplum purple with holographic micro diamond glitter. I mean holographic micro diamond glitter. That doesn’t sound like anything I could pass up, even if I tried.

Aurora- Isn’t she a beauty? look at all that sparkle!

This polish is a beauty all on its own, but I wanted to try using it in an ombre. I tried a few different colors, but finally settled on Essie Nice is Nice to use as the base. Then I thought I would add a little bit of a different texture with a larger less saturated glitter. I used Essie Luxe Effects  A Cut Above. I think the pretty rose gold hex glitter adds a touch of warmth and a more subtle sparkle to the look.

Aurora, A Cut Above, Nice is Nice

I started off with two coats of Nice is Nice, which is a fairly sheer cream. Then I added one coat of A cut Above to about 3/4 of the length of my nail. Then I dipped the edge of a cosmetic sponge into a little bit of Aurora and dabbed it onto the top half of the nail. I did a second sponging of Aurora to the last quarter of the nail, and then one last go just at the tip. I think it is interesting to note that with each coat of Aurora, less of the purple base was deposited, and more of the micro glitter was left behind. You may not be able to tell in the photos, but the very tips of my nails look like they are coated in little bits of holographic diamond dust.

As you can see I did one nail all in Aurora, because it’s just such a gorgeous polish. Just take a look at this close up of the sparkle!

I really like this combo. I think it’s pretty and feminine. And it also speaks to an element of the holidays that isn’t really overdone.

I’m going over to Mimi’s blog to link up with the MANICure Monday ladies. Why don’t you come too? It’s a fun group to be a part of. Who doesn’t love a party every week. And you don’t even have to get dressed up. Only your nails do!

 

Have a wonderful safe week everybody. I’ll see you back here on Wednesday with a Merry Mouthful.

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There won’t be any Christmas fun today guys. After the tragedy that has taken place in Connecticut, I don’t feel much like talking about treats or crafts. I am saddened by the loss of life today. I’m sad for the parents without children today. I am sad for the children that lost parents too. And as much as you may not agree, I am sorry for the young man who walked into that school and did this horrific thing.

Something is wrong within our world, our country, and our communities. We have to start looking for the cause of these incidents. Something is sapping our empathy as a human race. We are divided and contentious. I, for one, want to see a change. I hope you will join me in praying for all of those affected by this act of violence.  I hope we will all be looking for opportunities to reach out to each other, to help carry each other’s burdens.  I pray that God will restore peace in our hearts and in our lives, and that no other children will have to experience a day like today.

Thank you for stopping by today. Be blessed and be a blessing.

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Dec 122012
 

OK!  Truth time number two for the week. I’m not much into baking or making “treats”. I’m not that person who spends hours baking fifteen different kinds of cookies to give to friends and neighbors. If I bake for someone it means I REALLY like them or care about them. So when it comes time to do these posts every week I’m looking for things that are easy but seem impressive. That’s how I came upon this recipe. It’s just popcorn with some stuff chopped up, topped off with caramel and marshmallows. It’s like crispy treats, only with popcorn, get it?

Side note: did you know that trying to chop pretzel sticks is absolutely nerve wrecking?. Those things just start pinging all over your kitchen. So I suggest that you just make sure you have really clean hands and snap those puppies yourself.

Also, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t add my own special touches. So when I took the caramel off the stove to add the cream I also added about two tablespoons of butter. I added the butter because I decided to put these in cupcake papers, and I wanted to be sure they would release. Plus who doesn’t like creamy, buttery caramel? I also added about half a cup of white chocolate chips to make them even richer! Sometimes I just don’t know how to stop myself people. I need a support group.

Alright, on with the pics!

All the usual suspects. Popcorn, pretzels, almonds. Oh My!

Chop your add ins.

Toss together the popcorn, the pretzels, and the almonds so they become good friends.

Take 2 cups of sugar, 1/2 cup of water, and 1/4 tsp. of salt and boil them until it all becomes caramel. Don’t stir, it won’t help! When everything is golden brown and bubbly remove it from the heat and add in 2/3 cup of cream, butter ( if you choose), 2 cups of mini marshmallows, and 1/2 cup of white chocolate chips (you know for kids). Mix it all together until everything is melted and your dreams come true.

Is this the surface of another planet? No. It’s a close up of all that caramel marshmallow sticky yummy goodness. It’s heavenly. See what I did there?

Drench all your popcorny stuff in your caramely stuff. make sure everything is evenly coated.

Scoop your popcorn mixture into paper lined muffin tins, or press it into a 9×13 buttered pan. If you go the pan route make sure you press everything in firmly so you can cut it into bars once it sets.

Before you worry that my family is about to go into sugar shock, you should know I am making these for my husbands co workers. All in all you can make  about 2 1/2 dozen of these little babies. I tested one out (just to make sure they aren’t poisoned ;) ) . If you make these things, whoever receives them will be your BFF.

Now  off to the kitchen!

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Ok guys I’m going to level with you. Last week was one of those weeks when nothing turns out quite the way you think it will. It was just super long. I must have tried 4 or 5 different ideas for this week’s mani and none of them turned out. So finally I thought let’s just do something … anything wintery. So that’s what this is. I used Essie Mint Candy Apple  and Finger Paints Papier Mache. I did some dots to make it look like snow and some sequins, rhinestones and a snowflake or two to finish it off.  We’re going to call this one a win just for getting it done. :)   I promise next week I’ll be more inspired!

 

 

Don’t forget to hop on over and link up with the MANICure Monday party. This week hosted by Lynn.

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