Good ol’ Standby

January 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

I absolutely adore having my fingernails painted. It’s something I’ve enjoyed since my early teens and must say I have gotten quite good at it. Because of my affinity for painted finger tips, I’m pretty hard to please when it comes to getting a manicure and therefore prefer to paint them myself (but I’m still human and totally enjoy pampering myself every once in awhile with a mani/pedi). When I don’t have big plans coming up or a special outfit to wear I like to choose a color that works for almost everything in my closet and that color is “You don’t know Jacques” by OPI (pictured on the left). This color takes me through any season and is a welcome accessory to any outfit. While out purchasing a new bottle of my favorite must-have, I recently found an awesome substitute that is long lasting and easy on my wallet, score! “Steel Grey” by Rimmel London (pictured on the right), this color does the trick and I was able to find it a my local drugstore. What’s your go-to color?

J-E-T-S

January 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

Today is the big day my husband has been waiting for all week. Will the Jets pull out a big win today against the Steelers? As I have previously mentioned, my husband is a HUGE Jets fan. The AFC Championship game is happening today and will the Black and Yellow be defeated by Mark Sanchez (hottie) and his boys. My husband has been filling my brain with Jets trivia (because we all know a girl like me really needs to know this stuff) so I too can become a loyal fan and not just a supportive wife. Latest trivia divulged upon my brain is that Mark Sanchez in only the 2nd rookie quarterback to play in a  conference championship game his first two years in the league after Ben Roethlisberger. Now don’t you feel better about supporting the Jets now that you know that?

Anyways, for my husband, I hope Mark Sanchez is ready for a fight, Ladainian Tomlinson has his head in the game and makes some strong plays out of the backfield and Santanio Holmes can lift Gang Green to victory over his former team. Since football knowledge isn’t my strong suit, I did what I  do best and made cookies in honor of the game today. J-E-T-S, Jests, Jets, Jets. Win big today and defeat the Black and Yellow. Fingers crossed, onto the Superbowl.

Struck Gold

January 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

When you find something good, don’t keep it a secret. These are words I live by; and to be true to my word I must let everyone know about the AH-MA-ZING workout I had this morning. When the weekend finally rolls around the last thing I want to do is get up early on Saturday and go to the gym. Since I have a day job and teach group exercise classes at night, I am pretty tired by the end of the week. I like to get in one good workout on either Saturday or Sunday and I usually do this at home or outside.

Last night I stopped by the store to pick up a few things and as I was walking past the fitness section I saw workout DVDs by Jillian Michaels. Now I know Jillian is not everyones cup of tea but I decided for $9 I would get one of her workouts and give it a try (get it here). This DVD consists of 7 circuits that require no gym equipment, just your body weight. I burned just over 800 calories following this workout (here is the heart rate monitor I wear)*.

Jillian Michaels has an array of workout DVDs and exercise equipment available. It’s always nice to have options and variety when it comes to working out so if you are looking to change things up a bit, give this a try.

* Calorie burn will vary for everyone. I followed the DVD as instructed by pushing myself to do as many repetitions as possible for each exercise; performing them faster than Jillian. Only increase your intensity if you can do so without sacrificing good form. Proper form will create good results no matter how fast you go.

Pretty in Pink

January 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

Today was one of the first days in quite some time, the sun came out and gave us Northwesterners a glimpse of Spring. As I was sitting at my desk, it got me thinking that I need to get some sunshine on my lily-white skin. There is nothing better than having a soft sun-kissed glow after spending an afternoon outside. Fresh air and sunshine are great for the skin and during this time of year we sometimes have to stop by the cosmetic counter and make a purchase in order to get that little pick me up. Who better to consult on getting that beautiful sun-kissed glow than Bobbi Brown. Thank goodness for her creative genius, because Bobbi has recently come out with two new face palettes. They provide all the makeup you need to create a beautiful, everyday look in a convenient, trendy little compact (click here to check them out).

These palettes include: four eye shadows (base color, lid/contour color and liner shade), two lip colors, a gloss and blush. These palettes will take you from meek and lifeless to a blushing beauty in five minutes flat. Best of all, you can toss it in your handbag and touch up throughout the day.

PS – You may want to leave this page open for your man to find 🙂

Birds of a Feather

January 17, 2011 § 1 Comment

Feather Necklace

Even though every magazine currently on the news stand is advertising spring looks I am standing my ground and not jumping ahead of the season. I’ve embraced looks that fit in with the rainy Northwest weather we’ve been having. I’m wearing a lot of cardigans and long sleeve tops with statement necklaces to give them a more glamorous and elegant feel. One of my favorite ways to add embellishment to any top is a Feather Collar (here and here are  the looks that started my obsession). Since a full Feather Collar is a little much for an everyday look, I decided to put my craft skills to the test and make my own Feather Necklace. The best part is it cost me less than $15!

To make this feather necklace I used: a piece of black felt, 3 inch black ribbon, one package of black feathers, one Hackle pad of ombre feathers, medium jewel beads (amount will vary depending on design and shape), glue gun and jewel bond glue.

I started by using a bib necklace and traced its form to create the base design for my necklace (here are directions to create a bib necklace and get a similar pattern). I then created a layout with the beads and used jewel bond glue to adhere them onto the strip of felt. This is the trim for my necklace.

After gluing the beads, I cut another piece of felt similar to the first one. I took the ombre Hackle pad and separated the feathers. Since these feathers were longer I glued them onto the felt first and then used the black feathers to fill in spaces that were bare.

Once all the glue had dried, I bonded 12 inches of ribbon on each end of the felt with the beads (this is how the necklace is secured when wearing it). This piece was then glued on top of the feathers covering the edges of the feathers and any glue.

Here is my finished product. I think it turned out pretty well if I do say so myself.

Comfort Food

January 15, 2011 § Leave a comment

If there is one thing my husband says I don’t make enough of its Meatloaf. Everyone has that one meal that makes them happy, content and think of home; this is Dan’s. That being said, my husband is very easy to please. He will try anything once and he’s a huge fan of anything that doesn’t take hours to prepare. I can even get a standing ovation from him when I make nachos or breakfast for dinner! He’s a real trooper and I love cooking for him because he is so easy to please.

Over the years I’ve looked at and tried dozens of different Meatloaf recipes. I have a friend who likes to put a few hard boiled eggs in the middle of her meatloaf (I recommend trying this at least once, it was really good), my mother only makes meatloaf with a ketchup topping and some I’ve tried call for a variety of different meat combinations. I’ve come up with a combination of a few different recipes that I call my own.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of lean ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 cup quick cook oatmeal or bread crumbs
  • 1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
  • Splash of Milk
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Grill seasoning to taste
  • Salsa and barbecue sauce for topping (mix 1/2 a cup of each of these together in a small bowl for topping)

Start by dicing the green pepper, jalapeno and onion. Combine ground turkey, diced vegetables, oatmeal, Worcestershire sauce, grill seasoning, salt and pepper, milk and slightly beaten egg into a large mixing bowl. Mix ingredients together with hands as not to overwork the meat. Place mixture in a greased loaf pan (I like to line my pan with parchment paper as well). Spread barbecue/salsa mixture on top and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Wishing on Chocolate

January 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

Flourless Chocolate Cake

One of my dearest friends recently celebrated a birthday. The festivities were kept low key and intimate with a dinner at her home organized and partially prepared by her wonderful husband. I was given a special request from the birthday girl to make this amazing Flourless Chocolate Cake. I have made this cake once before at a dinner party I threw. Not only is it rich and decadent it is also Gluten Free (double score for a chocoholic like myself). With this recipe calling for only five ingredients, I am sure it will make everyone’s “go-to” list.

The evening spent celebrating Amy was wonderful; lot’s of good food, great conversation and most importantly, laughter. May this year bring her good health, happiness and any wish she desires. Happy Birthday Amy!

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