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Pin Me ~ Week Twelve ~ from my Product Shopping Board ~ How To Glow With The Best of Them

26 Apr

Raise your hand if you love beauty products?

Aside from shoes and pretty dresses, I don’t think there is anything more gurly than beauty products. And I love them all from nail polish to lipstick, from blush to sparkly creams.

blog mist 4That’s why when I came across the Must Buys From Target pin from my Product Shopping board, I just had to hop over to Elizabeth Dehn’s Beauty Bets blog and find out what goodies she loved.

I think what initially sold me was the J.R. Watkins Body Cream. Here’s what she said, “I could brag about how great this is or I could just tell you that IT SMELLS LIKE COOKIES. I keep it on my desk, apply it to my hands and let that yummy cookie scent gets me through the afternoon slump.”

As I was in need of some hand cream for my desk, love the smell of cookies and could use something to get me through the afternoon slump, I thought this was the product for me.

At lunchtime, I headed to my nearest Target store in search of cookies cream. Turns out they were out of the cream but they did have the body oil. And, as I was in need of some totally awesome and sweet smelling after shower body oil, I thought this sounded like a win!

They didn’t have the Grapefruit Oil Mist that was mentioned in the post but, OH MY, they had something better.

Coconut Milk & Honey.blog mist 3

or

Lait de coco et miel. (In case you want to spiff it up).

When intially applied, you smell better than cookies. You smell heavenly.

The spray bottle makes it super easy to put on and yes, you glow, just like the darlings that walk the red carpet.

The smell eventually fades (which is good because I wouldn’t want it to interfere with my LOVELY perfume).

Your skin is soft. Oh so soft.

And you feel oh so very gurly.

Happy Thang: By the time this post goes out tonight, I will be relaxing under the stars with my Sweetheart who always smells sweet.

Well….unless he’s working in the yard…then, it’s sweaty sweet.

Oh, who am I kidding. It’s just sweaty.

Maybe they make a men’s line?

 

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Pin Me ~ Week Eleven ~ from my Perhaps I Might Read Board ~ Hemingway’s Girl

26 Apr

Oh nuts!

You know what happens when you don’t keep up with your blogging? You lose track of dates. And, until you go back and start looking at a calendar, you won’t realize that you think you’re being so good catching up on your blogging only to figure out that you skipped an entire week! Hemingway's Girl

Doh!

So this is Week Eleven’s blog post, but in reality, it should have been Week Eight. I suppose I should shift all my blogs a week, but then I’d never catch up.

At any rate, I scored me a copy of Hemingway’s Girl by Erika Robuck. I had been thinking about possibly reading this book (thus, why it was on my “Perhaps I Might Read” board), but it was Book Addict Katie’s review that pushed me to get it.

Book Addict Katie is funny, intelligent and works in a bookstore so you know she’s got double secret, back door access, to book knowledge that the rest of us can only hope to glean from those so wisely in the know of all things books. She has a blog and you can also follow her on Twitter. She is a Dog Mom to Marshall. And for those of us that are cat owners servants, she has cats (Patches & Rory). And yes, they try to kill her, too.*

Happy Thang: It’s the weekend.

*Note: if you are not a cat servant, this might need some explaining. Those of us that are, try most days to please our kitty kitties. Otherwise, they will make us pay. And it only takes one time for you to receive “that look”** to make you shape up and do their bidding.

**That look is the one they give you as a warning. It says, do what I demand, or else…

And that’s why we all sleep with one eye open.

Week Three ~ from my Recipes Board ~ Homemade Pumpkin Eggnog Donuts

22 Jan

plate full of donutsI’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this on my blog. If you follow me on Twitter, then you already know I love all things pumpkin. So it is no surprise when I found a recipe for eggnog baked donuts, that my variety would be of the pumpkin kind.

God bless my Sweetheart for buying up the pumpkin eggnog before it disappeared. I’m down to my last pint. It will be sad when it’s all gone, but that’s ok, I will just have to find other pumpkin goodies to occupy me until next Christmas.

So, it’s week three of my Pin Me ~ 52 Weeks of Actually Doing Something with my Pinterest Pins. I couldn’t resist making baked donuts. They turned out so good, that I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to go back to Dunkin’ Donuts again!*

My hat is off to Robin at Knead to Cook. Her donut recipe is divine! (Which according to her post is an adaptation from Ina Garten). I had a few little comments to add (you’ll see them in red below).

Ingredients:

Baking spray
Donut pans (I used mini size)
2 cup of all-purpose flour
1 cup of sugar
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 heaping teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
1 1/4 cup of eggnog
2 tablespoons of butter, melted (always use unsalted so you can control your sodium)
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

Topping:

8 tablespoons of butter, melted on the stove over low heat source
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
**I used 4 tablespoons and 1/4 cup of sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and still had some left over.

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Spray your donut pans and set aside.

In you a large mixing bowl add the flour, sugar, powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.  Sift the dry ingredients once.

In a separate smaller bowl, blend the egg, eggnog, butter and vanilla.  Whisk to combine.  Then add to the dry ingredients. Whisk until incorporated.  Then fill each donut well about 1/2 or a tiny bit more with the batter. I used my one tablespoon measuring spoon and this filled them perfectly. Bake.  For regular sized donut pans, bake for 17-19 minutes.  For mini donuts, bake for about 9-11 minutes.  When a toothpick inserted comes out clean, the donuts are ready.

Remove and let cool for 4 minutes.  Mix the topping ingredients in a shallow bowl and set aside.

Then dip one side in the melted butter and then dip into the cinnamon and sugar topping mixture.   Place on a platter and watch them disappear.

So I bought my mini-donut pan at Marshall’s for $9.99. This just might be the best pan I own. My thighs won’t think so, but my taste buds certainly do.

batterYou’ll notice in the recipe that it says to melt 2 tablespoons of butter. I thought I had done this in the microwave. It wasn’t a complete puddle, but it seemed soft enough that it would all go flat. It did not. So I ended up with little clumps of butter in my batter. This had me worried that the donut would come out bumpy or extra buttery or just weird. I’m pleased to say that none of those things happened. However, I would still recommend melting your butter to save yourself this kind of stress in the morning (especially if it happens before you’ve had your morning coffee).

The first batch needed a little help getting out of the pan because I hadn’t sprayed it too heavily. This resulted in me banging the pan against my hand to get the last hold out which then cool donutspromptly fell on the floor. (Notice my pan holds 12 donuts, not eleven).  The next two batches I sprayed the heck out of that pan and every one came out with ease.

Every oven is different but I found that mine were baked to perfection at 9 minutes. So I’d say set your timer for 9 and check on ’em. Your little darlings might need the full 11 minutes, but best to be safe than sorry.

I liked the donuts plain and with the cinnamon/sugar/butter topping. My Sweetheart preferred them with the topping. Good chance if your guy likes donuts, he’ll prefer it that way, too.

I wrapped them in plastic wrap (and by I, I mean, my Sweetheart did as after I popped four of them in my mouth — had to test two with and two without cinnamon/sugar/butter goodness — I left the house to meet a friend for lunch) and the next day (meaning this morning) they were still moist and delicious. Ha! Take that Dunkin’ Donuts.**

Thought you might enjoy a few other pics of the process.

half-full batter, remember tablespoon measuring spoon works well for this

half-full batter, remember tablespoon measuring spoon works well for this

here they are fresh from the oven

without cinnamon/sugar/butter topping

without cinnamon/sugar/butter topping

with cinnamon/sugar/butter topping

*You and I both know that I’ll be craving a donut and will be too lazy to make them, even though it’s totally easy. So the answer is no, I will most certainly, be going back to Dunkin’ Donuts.

**The truth of the matter is, I’ve never turned away a Dunkin’ Donuts donut, even if it wasn’t wrapped in plastic wrap and was a little dry the next day. I don’t know that I’ve ever met a donut I didn’t like. Scratch that. I have. Not fond of those jelly filled ones. But I make a practice of not ordering that kind and problem solved.

The Downsized Bag Lady…Sort Of

27 Jul

For years I have hauled around more than I needed to, at one point, I had an entire change of clothes. Why? Not sure. Guess I figured if I ever spilled coffee down the front of me, I could change in a flash.

A few months ago I decided to downsize.

No longer would I carry a big ass purse, a jumbo day planner, and a tote bag the size of Texas. No from now on I was going to be a single, small purse toting gurl. If it couldn’t fit in my purse, I probably didn’t need to carry it around with me. I moved to a smaller calendar (free, courtesy of Benefit cosmetics with a purchase I made in January). I purchased a tiny, pencil-case sized cosmetic bag that only held my lipstick and blush. I even reduced the size of my pen, carrying one half the size of a regular size pen (again, free, thanks to my man purchasing an entire packet of Pilot pens).

I had reduced my baggage and it felt good. 

And then, today, as I struggled to get from my car to my office, I noticed I had once again become a bag lady. 

Oh, I was still carrying a small purse, but it was now overflowing to the point where I couldn’t zip it shut. And instead of a big ole Texas sized tote, I was carrying a re-usable shopping bag from Whole Foods.

 Once I finally made it to my desk, I decided to see what was so important that I felt the need to lug another 10 lbs with me.

 Here is what was in my Whole Foods bag:

–a sweatshirt (it’s 85 degrees today, I did not need a sweatshirt. Then I remembered I took it with me the other day to see Harry Potter. I put it in the bag to bring into the house, but I never took it out)

 –tennis shoes (ok, this was actually a good thing. I brought them with me so I would take a lunch time walk. Only problem is I went to lunch today and no, I didn’t walk there)

 –my netbook (ok, this too was necessary as I brought it to do more novel editing and boy did I ever! Blog post coming up tomorrow on what I noticed about my writing)

 –the brown paper Whole Foods bag from yesterday’s lunch trip

 –another re-usable shopping bag from a trip to Turks and Caicos (why am I carrying a re-usable bag full of re-usable bags?)

 –the Uncommon Goods catalog (so I thought I might look at this on a 5 minute break today, but alas today was super busy so I never took that sunshine/reading break)

 –a two page print out on the details of the upcoming Enter the Haggis tour in Ireland which I got the other night at the concert. You know, I think that was supposed to get unloaded into the house, too)

–a Ghirardelli dark chocolate square (I am pleased to report, that will not be traveling home with me. Whew! Got rid of one thing)

–the July/August and September issues of Writer’s Digest magazine (oh, yeah, I definitely remember putting them in this bag at the beach house)

–the latest book from Gail Carriger “Heartless” (see aforementioned statement about magazines)

–a 25% off shopping pass good for this weekend at CVS (ut-oh…we know what happened last time I had some “free” money at CVS)

–and one Allegra (gosh darn it! I needed that sucker yesterday! You know you’re officially carrying too much when you bring something you need and then forget that you brought it)

So out of all that stuff, the only two things I actually needed to bring in with me were the tennis shoes, which as you now know, didn’t get used so maybe I should have left them in the car and walked out to get them if I had the opportunity to put them on.

And the Ghirardelli. Cause, come on, who doesn’t need to have a little piece of chocolate? And good chocolate like that is worth its weight in gold.

Happy Moment of the Day: My co-worker bringing in a six-pack of Diet Coke to share.

Itsy Bitsy Spider — It Must Be a Gurl Thang

26 Jul

I love most creatures big and small.

Having said that, I am not a fan of the reptile, rodent or bug families. And pretty close to the top of the list of creepy crawly things I don’t want to encounter is spiders. 

Now, having said that, I don’t mind the daddy long leg. When I was young, my dad taught me to pick them up by one leg, which makes all their other legs just sort of relax, so you can move them to another spot. 

HOWEVER, small, furry, spiders terrify me. So it was no surprise the other night when one was crawling along the top of my wall/ceiling, that I was a bit…how shall we say….COMPLETELY, TOTALLY, INSANELY FREAKED OUT! Yes, I think that about sums it up nicely.

I happened to be on the phone at that time with my man who was out-of-town. There are many wonderful reasons for having a man and one of those happens to be the removal of the arachnid. We had been talking for about 45 minutes and during that time, the black spider was facing the opposite direction. When I said to my man, “I wonder how I am going to kill the spider?”

The darn thing turned around to face me.

I lie to you not.

So now I was dealing with a spider that could apparently hear and understand English.

I gulped.

He just stared.

I say he. It could have been a she. But it definitely carried itself like it was male.

We had a stare off before I told my man I really need to go and take care of it before it leapt onto the bed and took care of me.

So, me being me, I didn’t want to spray it with bug spray which would float down and get on the bedspread. I wanted something that would take care of the eight-legged-one and also smell good. Ah-ha! Pledge.

It seemed like such a logical choice at the time. Rid myself of the stalker and have a pleasant lemon scent.

So it took me another five minutes to gather my courage, enter the bedroom, Pledge in one hand and a large wad of paper towels to clean up the mess in the other. I put on a flip-flop just in case I needed to finish the deed with a final stomp.

I made my way towards the wall. He turned again to look at me. Great, now I would have to look him in the eye as I did the deed.

I shivered.

He moved in place.

I shook the can and hoped his horizontal jump wasn’t five feet.

I sprayed. He dropped. I looked on the floor for the body.

No body. No legs. Nada. Nothing. Zip.

Crap! This meant he probably fell on the top of window sill. I turned off the ceiling fan so I could stand on the bed. Legs wobbling, I stretched up to see if he was there. He was not. I sat back down on the bed. That could only mean one thing. He was in the curtains.

I gathered my courage and gingerly pulled each of the curtains from the wall and shook them. He didn’t reveal himself. Could that mean he was actually behind the blinds on the window? I didn’t want to startle him so I s—l—o—w—l—-y pulled up the mini blinds to no avail.

I was truly puzzled. Where had he gone? I spun around looking all over the ceiling to see if he was trying to make a sneaky escape. He was not.

Great.

Now I had a pissed off spider that could understand English and knew what I looked like. I couldn’t really fall asleep that night. I sat up most of the night brushing at tingling sensations that weren’t really there waiting for him to unleash his wrath on me.

The next day, I recounted the story to a male co-worker who laughed and said that Pledge was like honey to spiders.

Wonderful.

Now instead of an angry spider, I had one that was going to come to me for more sweet experiences. I was going to be like that lady in Florida who fed the alligator and then, one day when she didn’t, he busted down her door.

I can just see it now. There he will be, having grown to six-foot tall by twelve feet wide, due to my generous feeding of Pledge…waiting for me. I’ll walk in. The door will slam shut. I’ll turn around and his once beady little eyes will be the size of grapefruits. He’ll twitch three or four of his legs before he says…

“Hi, Honey. I’m home.”

Happy Moment of the Day: “A woman is like a tea bag – you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water”.
— Eleanor Roosevelt

I used $3.50 CVS dollars to buy $55.29 worth of stuff

21 Jul

I had $3.50 in CVS dollars just burning a hole in my wallet. It’s a thousand degrees here today so I thought I should go shopping.

I initially had plans of buying two Diet Cokes and maybe a peppermint patty. I think $3.50 in CVS bucks would cover that.

Then, I remembered that I needed replacement blades for my razor. Sure it was going to cost more than $3.50, but it would be like getting one blade for free.  

So off I went in a very air-conditioned car to CVS. I spied the Diet Cokes upon walking in, but not wanting them to be warm, I figured I would save that for when I was ready to check out.

The razor blades are at the end of Aisle One. However, at the beginning and continuing into the middle of Aisle One is make-up! Lots and lots of make-up. Being the gurly gurl that I am, I couldn’t possibly pass by without at least taking a look.

As I passed by the large display of Essie nail polishes, I remembered that Giada recently tweeted the color she wears on her show. A quick search through the pale pinks and I had Giada’s “Adore-a-ball” color in my basket.

Next up was Maybelline which reminded me that I just ran out of their Falsies Volume Express mascara. Well, I couldn’t risk not having long lush lashes in the morning so into the basket it went. Of course, they were having a buy one, get one 50% off sale, so I couldn’t possibly leave without trying to figure out something else I might get.

Up walks a fellow redhead and CVS worker who asked if I needed any help. I said I was just looking, but moments later had to get her opinion on Maybelline’s lip stain. She said they were quite a popular item (as was evidence from the small selection left to choose from). She has a preference for Revlon’s lip stain, but said they are all about the same. Oh, and a woman who bought a Maybelline lip stain yesterday, came back in and bought three more colors today. Well, that’s it! I’m sold! My 50% off item would be the lip stain in “Blushing”. Fellow redhead also recommended that, if I liked the feel of lipstick (and oh how I do) then adding a little lip balm over the lip stain would give me that feel. Was this turning into the best CVS trip ever or what, I thought!

I continued down the aisle checking out the Revlon stain. They were not having a sale, so I was assured my Maybelline purchase was, in fact, a very, very good one.

Oh no! I remembered that I didn’t scan my card at the little red box when I walked in. Midway through Aisle One, I hooked a left and walked up Aisle Two. Hair products!

Shield your eyes I said to myself. You just bought a bunch of new product not two weeks ago. But the hazel nut shampoo called out to me. “Another day, my friend. Another day, you will be mine. Today I came for replacement razor blades. And, um, some mascara and lip stain.”

I scanned my card and a long line of coupons spilled out. Most weren’t of interest with the exception of the $10 off $50 or more purchase. Surely, I didn’t have $50 in my little basket. A quick estimate and I was only at a little less than $20. I put it in my purse to use another day.

Another left hook and I was back at the beginning on Aisle One. No problem. Just need to head to the end and get the replacement razor blades. But wait! There was the L’oreal section. Didn’t I need foundation? Yes, I think I do.

A fan of the Feel Naturale brand, I was madly scanning for the gray playing card sized case. But alas there was none. Then upon closer investigation, I see they have changed their packaging to a mod silver with a new application roller. Hmmmm…Into the basket it goes.  (On a side note, I opened it up and used the handy-dandy roller when I got back to the office and I gotta say, I like it!).

Then something happened. I went left mid-way down the aisle.

Suddenly, I found myself in the card section. Did I need cards? Maybe. Perhaps some anniversary cards? Birthday cards? Didn’t find anything that made me giggle so I moved on down the middle of the store.

Tissues? No. Pens? No. Padded envelopes? No. I was staring into space trying to remember why I came to CVS when a nice lady asked me if everything was ok. I told her yes, I had some lovely new cosmetics in my basket, but couldn’t remember why it was that I came. She suggested I make a list next time. Good idea. Except I was nearly sure it was only one thing I needed thus a list was not necessary. We parted ways and I roamed the middle aisle some more trying to think of what I was forgetting.

Ah, it hit me then. Nail polish remover. I was going to need some of that if I wanted to remove my current color (Re-fresh Mint by China Glaze) in favor of Giada’s polish.

Back to Aisle One. Another hook left. Down to the end of the aisle where I picked up a big bottle of remover and walked right past the replacement razor blades.

To the front I skipped, beauty products in tow. While standing in line, I looked over and saw the gift cards. Oh that’s right! I needed a gift card for a friend’s upcoming b-day. Into the basket it goes. I’m next. The guy scans my glorious beauty finds, I hand him a $2.00 off coupon I found in my wallet. And a 25% off my entire order. Forgot I had that one. Then I see the total. What? How can that be? Surely not. $65 worth of loot?!

Well, I did get that gift card at the end so really I didn’t spend all that much on make-up. And then it I remembered. Coupon for $10 off $50 or more. Bonus! It’s been a great day at CVS.

I smile confidently to the young man behind the counter.

“Did you find everything you needed?” he asks.

“Oh, yes! And more.”

“Good. Glad to hear that.”

“I actually just came in for one thing,” I confess. “But I found so many other interesting things.”

He nods. “What was the thing you came here for?”

“Mascara.”

And then I happily walked out swinging my bag of beauty goodness.

(Note: It is now four hours later and I am writing my blog. It wasn’t until I sat down to write the blog that I realized I don’t have my replacement razor blades).

Unplugging

21 Jun

Last Friday, Dave Zinczenko (Editor-in-Chief of Men’s Health & Women’s Health and author of Eat This, Not That! series) tweeted this:

“WHAT WINNERS KNOW: The 1st rule of work/life balance: Sometimes you get more power when you completely unplug.”

Oh the timing of that tweet was spot on. It had been a particularly stressful week and I was just at that point. You know the one, where you either want to climb to the top of the mountain and scream or just dig a hole, crawl in it and hope to come out next spring.

The sea lions at Pier 39 in San Francisco unplug daily.

Fortunately, I did neither.

The weather was in the low 80’s with a cool breeze and I went to the beach all day on Saturday. There is nothing like a beautiful beach day to revive you. When all you have to do is remember to put on sun tan lotion and then the rest of the day’s decisions are no more trying than should I read my book or roll over and take a nap. Then you take a dip in the water, reapply the lotion and repeat aforementioned dilemmas.

And if that wasn’t enough to relax me, you know what I did on Sunday? I floated on a raft all day in my pool. That’s right. No house work. No yard work. No paying bills. Just complete relaxation on a $5.00 blow up raft. There was of course, applying of the sun tan lotion (I’m a pale redhead so that occurs often with me in the sun). But I am happy to report I went from ghost white to ecru this weekend.

The big bonus of Sunday’s day of recharging was the cute pool boy who brought me margaritas, snake bites and a bowl full of cherries.

Now what gal couldn’t unplug after a weekend like that?