My Little Life

Musings, Observations, Shameless Plugs, and Recipes from a reluctant Southerner.

Plants and Plugs April 21, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 5:23 pm

Hello again dearies.

I’ve been a busy bee outside this week.  I’ve worn myself out again big time, but I do love being outside these days, which is strange.

I planted herbs.

The folks set out tomatoes.

I made a new friend in the process. She’s a sweetheart.

I also ordered some Columbine which I am excited about. (I wrote this a few days ago. . .it’s here, and it’s sickly. . .but the herbs  are flourishing.)

Anyhoo, I felt like writing about another one of my passions – cosmetics and cosmetic type things. I’ve discovered some awesome stuff.

First Up: Schwarzkopf Zero Frizz

I don’t have really frizzy hair, but I do have a little damage near the ends from body waves and colorings. Because of that, it doesn’t lay completely flat, and I lose some of the length that I have worked oh so hard to get. This stuff is amazing. Plus, it’s like five bucks. So, I decided to give it a whirl. When I got it home I squirted a bit on my hand to see what the texture was like. My first thought was “ick”. It’s like super thick hair gel.  I figured it would make my hair look all greasy and clumpy, and that’s a negative. I tried it after I washed my hair, and before I dried it. When I was working it in it felt a little thick and gloppy, and I was totally unimpressed. Then, I worked it in some more. . .  It totally proved me wrong.  I started drying my hair and brushing it with a paddle brush, and wow. Sleek, soft, not a bit greasy, and it made my hair lay perfectly and look longer, which is a way positive. So, unless your hair is stick straight and totally healthy, you have to have some of this stuff. Go get it. Mama said.

(Update: I cut about two inches off of my hair; maybe more. Yes, I did it myself, and it’s not too horrendous.  Now that I’ve cut off some of the semi-damaged part, I’m anxious to see if I still need this stuff.)

Next up to bat: Revlon Face Illuminator

I’ve always loved that glowy, dewy make-up look. I’ve never tried it before because a) I didn’t know what product to use, and b) I was afraid it would make my skin look greasy instead of glowy and dewy. Then I saw an ad for this stuff, and thought I would try it. I. Love. It. I’ve used it twice. The first time I put a little foundation on first, because the illuminator has no coverage, and I need a little coverage. Then I used the handy dandy brush attachment to apply the illuminator on top. Very nice, it didn’t feel greasy, and more importantly didn’t look greasy. It looks like you have a healthy ethereal glow.

By the way, this is the foundation I use:


I have to do a mini-plug for this stuff. It’s called Neutrogena Skin Clearing Foundation, and it’s perfect. I don’t think I will ever use another foundation. It covers wonderfully with just a little product use, and the best part is that it has salicylic acid in it, so it works with your skin to keep it clear instead of clogging it up and breaking you out. So, Neutrogena, if you’re reading this (yeah, right), please don’t stop making this foundation!

Anyway, back to the face illuminator.

The second time I used it, I mixed it with my foundation, and this is the method I recommend. The one thing about my foundation is that it is SUPER matte, so the illuminator really lightens it up and makes it go on very smoothly. Of course, it tones down the coverage of the foundation, but, I put concealer on underneath on trouble spots, and you couldn’t tell.

One thing about it, you have to be careful squeezing the tube. A good bit comes out, and a little dab of this stuff will do ya! A pea sized drop is plenty.

I also think this stuff would look really pretty on collarbones/shoulders when you’re wearing a sundress or tank top. Oh, and I got the pinkish tone like in the pic above. I really love it.

Lastly: MAC Pro Longwear Lipcolour

Lipstick is kind of my least favorite cosmetic. Don’t get me wrong, I still love it, but I am more eye makeup centered in my cosmetic obsessions. More about that on a later date. I have several kinds of lipsticks in various colors of red, pink, and nude. But none of them have just been “THE lipstick”. I am in love with this one kind of Lancome gloss, but as far as actual lipstick, meh.

I went on a search for a good one that lasts a long time, and since I haven’t found that in any brand I’ve tried, I went MAC’s website to check the situation there, and I found this stuff. I figured I’d like it enough to wear, but didn’t know I’d LOVE it. I got this pinky-nude color called “for keeps” for summer, and it’s nice. It’s about a shade or two darker than my actual lip color.

When they say “longwear”, they mean business too. This lipstick withstood a wet washcloth with witch hazel on it.

The trick to it is all in the application. Use the color end, and blot if needed. Then, and this is important, let it dry for about 30 seconds to a minute. You’ll know its dry when your lips feel tacky when you press them together. Then use the gloss end; it makes it look shiny and finished and takes away the tacky feel of the lip color.

It ran $21, but, it’s totally worth it, because it’s a wonderful product for one, and you only have to put it on once.

So now I’ve completely “girled out”… I love makeup, I can’t help it. 😉

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Easter and Food April 15, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 12:42 am

Hello guys and gals! Ok, mostly gals…

It’s been a while. I’ve been EXHAUSTED. Easter really ran me down, and it infuriates me that I can’t be active for only two days without being in bed for a week to pay for it. Oh well, it could be worse . . . that seems to be my motto.

Even though it kicked my butt, Easter was wonderful. There was tons of food, family, and fun.  I love holidays with my family. I think it’s because I have pretty much the most drama free family in the world. No fighting, no back-biting, no insults (not real ones anyway); just laughing, and lots of it. It was also a chance for my camera to stretch her lenses, which I always love.

Easter also killed my diet. I am only down five pounds now. This would be why. . .

Speaking of food, I made potato salad, and a kick ass yet to be named dessert. I’ve been calling them “Filo Orgasms”. . .but I’m still up for suggestions. My buddy Cheyenne asked for my potato salad recipe, so I’m just gonna do both. Mitchell family fun fact, potato salad will always be referred to as “pot salad” in my family because of my grandmother. Take that with however much salt you need.

Anyhoo, potato salad:

***MAKE THIS A DAY AHEAD OF TIME***

-Peel and cut up about five pounds of the Idaho Potatoes in the bag. I like to cut mine up in about ¾ inch cubes, or cubish-es.

-While the taters are in a big pot boiling (with a good bit of salt in the water), cut up about half of a big red onion. If you’ve only got white or yellow that’s ok, but in my culinary opinion, in fresh foods,  like salady type dishes, and red ones is the only way to go. If your onion is small, use all of it. Cut it up small. You want that onion all the way through, and not super crunchy.

-Because I don’t have an assistant, (yet, muahaha) I try to save time on chopping. Instead of chopping up pickles, I buy a small bottle of dill relish, and a small bottle of sweet relish. I use about half of that small bottle of dill relish, and about ¼ bottle of sweet. I’d say the bottles are around 8oz.

-Dump the pickles and onions in a big bowl. Add about 5 or so good dashes of plain Tobasco,  then add some black pepper, and salt. Add more Tobasco if you want more of a bite. We had several kiddos coming so I had to keep it mild. Stir all of this up and set aside.

-Time to check the taters. Get one out, and poke it with a fork. If the fork goes through fairly easily then they’re done. You still want a little resistance though. If they’re too soft you’re going to have mashed potato salad, and that’s gross.

-If the potatoes are done, drain them WELL and put them in the bowl with the pickles and onions and stuff. Give all of this a rough stir to start getting your onion well incorporated.

-To all of this add about two tablespoons of mustard. I don’t measure.

-This next part is tricky, because I eyeball it. You can certainly use all mayo, but I use half mayo, half fat free ranch like I always do. The ranch has that perfect balance of herbs, and cutting down on the mayo makes it taste lighter and overall healthier. If I had to guess, I’d say that I use about ¼ cup of each, ranch and mayo. I like mine thick and just barely coated with the mayo mixture. Try adding about that much, and if it’s still too dry add a little more of one of the other or a little of both. Or, if you like your potato salads a little mustardier, then add some more mustard. I like mine more mayo-ish.

-Stir it all up and you’re done.

-Wait, no, this totally optional, but I love it. When I get the potato salad in the container I’m carrying it in, whether it be the bowl I made it in, or something else, (I usually take it in one of those aluminum throw away baking pans)I give the top a good dusting of Paprika. It looks nice and finished, and the flavor of the Paprika brings the potatoes back to earth if you know what I mean.

Voila. Tater salad.  *See bottom left corner of above pic. Ok, left center.*

And now, the Filo Orgasm (Filorgasm?):

I came up with this recipe all by myself, and I’m super proud of it. I’m simmering more variations on this in the crockpot of my mind.

-Start off by dampening your countertop a little (trust me) and putting down a couple pieces of wax paper slicky side up.

-Melt a stick of butter. Brush the inside of a MINI muffin pan with some of the butter

-Take your filo dough out and put it on a plate with a wet paper towel over it. If you don’t keep it moist it will be like working with antique onion paper book pages, which is impossible.

-Put down two pieces of the filo, and brush it completely with butter. Put two more pieces on top of that and brush it completely with butter as well.

-With the biggest sharpest knife you have, slice the stacked up buttered filo into eighths. (One cut down the middle lengthwise, and four across.

-Take the sections you’ve just cut, and press them down into the cups, take the edges and roll and tuck and pinch until none of them are touching. Fill up the pan.

-Bake at whatever temp the package says for 10 minutes. They’ll come out looking like this:

Put them in a pan like this, or on a plate and when they’re cool cover them up.

After you’ve baked however many filo cups you need, you can start on the cream cheese filling.

-Take two eight ounce tubs of WHIPPED cream cheese, and stir in ¾ cup of confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar), and a couple or three dashes of vanilla extract. Mix it well, and stick it in the fridge. That’s all there is to that. That much fills about 30-35 filo cups.

When that’s safe in the fridge, it’s time to make the topping.

-Take a bag of whatever frozen berry you like. . .I used this mixture of smoothie ready strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, and blackberry medly. It was very yummy and blended up into this pretty purpley red color. You can use whichever one, or mixture suits your fancy.

-In your blender, magic bullet, food processer or whatever you have, blend it all up very well.

-Take a large wire strainer (think big tea strainer) and over a small sauce pan, pour your berry blend through the strainer. When it’s all in there, take a tablespoon and stir in the strainer to push all the juices into the saucepan. Don’t skip the straining process. You’ll have all manner of seeds and peelings and other unsavories in there and it will ruin the creamy crunchiness.

-Put the berry sauce on the stove on really low heat.

-While it’s sitting there on low heat, take about a quarter to half cup of hot water in a coffee mug or baking dish or whatever you have that’s small and pour in a packet of Knox unflavored gelatin, stir it up good and take about two tablespoons of the goo it just produced and stir it into the berry sauce.

-Turn the heat up and bring to a boil, and let it boil for about five minutes.

-Take it off the eye, and let it cool. Now, I have these neat condiment squeezy bottles for just such a sauce occasion, but putting it in a small bowl, or cup with a lid, or anything you can shake up occasionally will be fine.

-When you’re about to leave for where ever you’re going, or ready to eat them yourself, fill up the cups with the cream cheese filling, and drizzle on the sauce.

My Dad said they were delicious, and he’s not too forthcoming with compliments so there ya go.

So, enough about food.

Actually, that’s all I have to say for now. I have another beauty related blog in the works. . .I just need to decide which products I want to plug.