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Monday, November 24, 2008

lash-tastic

Warning to boys, this is about make-up so it likely have you yawing by the second sentence.

I'm searching for the perfect mascara. I'm not sure I will ever find it. Here are my findings so far. Please leave a comment if you use a brand you really like.

My rating system:
1= don't waste your time
10= buy stock in it

Bad Gal Lash: The brush on this is HUGE. I got kinda excited about that, but it turns out that, for me, a big brush is bad because when I get close to the base of my lashes, it gets on my eyelid. So I spent half my time removing unwanted smudges. On a scale of 1-10, I want so bad to give it a good score, but the brush brings it down to a 4.

Prescriptives "false lash" mascara: This stuff works ok, but it's expensive and does not live up to the "false lash" name. It gets really good reviews online, but I just didn't get what all the wow is about. I give it a 5 out of 10.

Laura Mercer: This is also expensive, but so far it is the best I've tried. The brush is really the key to why I like it. The bristles are close together so it goes on really well and gives good even coverage. The only problem is, it does not have staying power. By the end of the day it is wearing off. I give it 6.5 out of 10.

Maybelline Volume Express Turbo Boost: This could be the worst stuff I have ever used. I had to put on coat after coat and by then it looked awful. The mascara itself is "thin" and the bristles on the brush are not close enough together to apply evenly. This gets a 1 out of 10.

Smashbox Bionic Mascara: I had high hopes for it. I mean anything with the word Bionic in the name should be tops, right? Not. The mascara itself is good if you like waterproof. However, I don't groove on that. I didn't know that when I bought it. So being waterproof, it's really hard to get off. The other thing is, the tube it comes in. When you pull the brush out, the mascara is really caked on there. So either the opening to the tube needs to be smaller or the brush needs to be thicker. What's interesting is, I put the brush from my old Laura Mercer mascara in this tube (it has a bigger brush) and it comes out with just the right amount of mascara on it and works great! So clearly they have to work on the brush. Again, the only problem is that it is waterproof. I even use eye makeup remover and sometimes that won't get it off either. I'm giving this a 4 out of 10 since the only way I can use it is to use another products brush.

Almay One Coat Thickening Mascara: I used this for years. I loved it and it worked pretty good for $8. I started looking at other mascara because it has problems with staying power. It also flakes a little bit with age. When you get a brand new tube of it, the flaking isn't much of a problem, but I guess it dries out pretty fast in the tube. I give this one a 5.5 out of 10.

That's what I got so far. I'm not sure what I will try next.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Sunday, November 16, 2008

It's just around the corner...

Thanksgiving.

I love the smell of Thanksgiving. Whenever someone asks me what my favorite smell is, Thanksgiving Day is the answer...the whole house just smells sooooo good. My favorite thing to eat on Thanksgiving....not as easy to pick. One thing I never used to like was cranberry sauce, but I think that's because I didn't really grow up having it. However, I was pleased to discover that I do actually like it! Dried cranberries in the stuffing is really good. I know it sounds kinda iffy, but if you have never tired it, you should. Maybe reserve a few cups of stuffing and add 2 tablespoons of cranberries that have been boiled in chicken or turkey stock for a few minutes to the stuffing and give it a taste. You might find you really like it. And a smear of cranberry sauce on your turkey sandwich the next day is delish. But these two options are not original at all. "Cranberry people" do this stuff every year. So if you want to try cranberries, here is a cake. It will turn you into a cranberry person for sure!

Cranberry Cake

Cake:
1 18.25 oz. white cake mix
1 1/4 cups cranberry juice
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 egg whites
6 tablespoons cranberry sauce

Glaze:
1/2 cup cranberry sauce
1 tablespoon white cranberry juice

Icing:
5 tablespoons heavy cream
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch Bundt pan with butter or shortening and set aside.

Combine cake mix, juice, oil, and egg whites in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes.

Remove 1 cup of batter and transfer to a small bowl. Stir in cranberry sauce until well combined.

Pour half of white cake batter into prepared Bundt pan. Top with cranberry cake batter. Pour over the remaining half of white cake batter. Bake in preheated oven for 38 to 40 minutes, or until tester comes out clean. Remove and cool for 15 minutes and turn Bundt pan over onto a serving plate and gently lift pan to remove cake.

Glaze:
Combine all glaze ingredients in a small saucepan and heat through over medium heat until syrupy.

Icing:
Mix all icing ingredients in a small bowl with a whisk until a smooth thick consistency.

Drizzle icing and glaze over top and down sides of cake.


Easy Cranberry Sauce

2 cups cranberries
Juice of 1 orange
1/4 cup Port or Cherry Brandy
1/2 cup sugar, or more if needed
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon cornstarch

In a small saucepan combine cranberries, orange juice and zest, port or cherry brandy, sugar and cinnamon. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmering and cook until cranberries are tender, stirring occasionally. In a small cup make a *slurry with cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water. Whisk cornstarch mixture into cranberry sauce and cook, whisking, until sauce thickens. Taste and add more sugar (a tablespoon at a time) if sauce is too tart.


*slurry
A thin paste of water and cornstarch or flour, which is stirred into hot preparations (such as soups, stews and sauces) as a thickener. After the slurry is added, the mixture should be stirred and cooked for several minutes in order for the cornstarch or flour to lose its raw taste.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Twelve Days of.....Something

I was thinking of doing a 12 days of something starting December 1st. These were my ideas:

12 unusual holiday cookie recipes
12 unusual holiday songs
12 unusual holiday web sites
12 unusual holiday photos (not mine)

I wasn't able to come up with 12 different unusual things....else it was have just been, well....12 unusual holiday things.

So since it is you all who have to read this hooey everyday, I thought I'd ask what you want. Any of those 12 things tickle your holiday fancy? Or do you have ideas of another 8 unusual things I can find to post about? Or does this 12 unusual things idea just blow and you'd rather not read it to start with?

Monday, November 10, 2008

New favorite song. Ignore all the Sandra Bullock photos and listen to the song. It's the only one I could find with the recorded version of the song.



Just Between You And Me
By April Wine
Circa 1981

Time and time again I see
A love that seemed strong, was not meant to be
Broken hearts dont always mend
Left too unsure to try love again

Just between you and me
Baby I know our love will be
Just between you and me
Always I know our love will be
Just between you and me

Lovers often seem to say
Hearts can be blind to love gone astray
Always its the same old song
Someones been hurt by a love thats gone wrong

Just between you and me
Baby I know our love will be
Just between you and me
Always I know our love will be
Just between you,
Just between you and me

Words are sometimes hard to find
The silence can be so unkind
You always help me find my way
The love that we share grows stronger each day

Just between you and me
Baby I know our love will be
Just between you and me
Always I know our love will be
Seulement entre toi et moi
Means that our love will always be
Just between you and me
Baby I know our love will be
Just between you,
Just between you and me

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Voting Dream

Maybe nightmare would be a better thing to call it.

I had a dream last night that I got up early to go vote. I walked to the poling place in my neighborhood but I didn't exactly know where the house/street was. Despite that, I got there in time to be one of the first people in a booth. Once in the booth things started going badly. There was this newfangled machine that you had to feed your voting card into. You had to slide one side and open the other side and grab this thing in the middle all at the same time...while feeding your voting slip in. So I wasn't able to get it down. And then I was holding things up because I seemed to be the only one who could not use the newfangled thing. Then, the volunteer guy who is there to help people started making fun of me! So I just said forget it and told the guy to stick it where the sun don't shine and exited the booth without voting. I get outside and I suddenly have on these.....socks....I think....I'm not really sure what to call them....but these socks on that were really tight and I was having trouble walking in them. So I sit down on the grass and I'm struggling to get them off and I start to cry from all the misfortune. I get the darn socks off and I look at my phone and it's 6:30am and Greg is still home getting ready for work....he leaves at 7am for work. So I figure I will hurry home and tell him all this crap. Well....didn't happen. I got lost on the way home since I wasn't exactly sure where I was. Remember, I am like....10 minutes from my house...but this is the way dreams go. Ok, so come upon a swamp. Seriously. Yeah, that was a pain in the ass to get across. Then I didn't know which fork in the road to take. Course I took the wrong one and ended up in some spooky forest. Now it's getting foggy and kinda dark. Great. I get my phone out to call Greg to come rescue me. Of course, no service in the forest. *rolls eyes* I did finally find a bait shop on a lake to ask for help to get back to the main road....except the guy who made fun of me at the poling place was there drinking with all his creepy friends...ugh. So then I was trying to be all incognito so he would not notice me....

It was quite a trying election day.

Hope yours is nothing like my dream.