Showing posts from 2012

Sharalee's Version of Cranberry Bliss Bars

A wonderful friend, Debbie, introduced me to these scrumptious bars at Starbucks.  They were SO delectable that I decided to embark on an experiment to re-create them with a quick and easy recipe.  Here's what I came up with....and, if the empty platter at my last party is any indication, they were a complete hit! :-)  Try them and let me know what you think!

Cake Ingredients: 1 - Spice Cake Mix 1/2 cup butter, melted 2 eggs 1/2 cup dried cranberries 1/4 cup vanilla chips Frosting Ingredients: 1 - can Betty Crocker Cream Cheese Frosting 2 - tsp. fresh lemon juice 1/4 cup dried cranberries 1/4 cup vanilla chips 1 tsp vegetable oil
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix cake mix, butter & eggs in a large bowl with a spoon.  Fold in cranberries & vanilla chips.  Spread evenly in the bottom of a greased*, 13x9 inch or 7 x 11 inch pan.  Bake for 12 - 15 minutes or until center is done but not dry!  Do not over bake!!!
After cake has cooled, mix lemon juice into frosting and spread abou…

Caramel Dream Bars

About 2 years ago, I purchased a recipe book called "Cornerstone Cooks in Casper".  It's a compilation of tried and true recipes that my cousin's church put together and I have to say they have some GREAT cooks in their church!  The first recipe that my cousin said I HAD to try was for Caramel Dream Bars.  I decided to make them for a party the first time and they were a HUGE hit!  Since then, I've made them on numerous occasions and am always asked for the recipe.  

So, if you want a delectable, chewy, caramel, chocolate treat with a little bit of crunch, these bars are meant for you!

Caramel Dream Bars
64 caramels, unwrapped**
1/2 c. plus 2 T. heavy whipping cream
2 c. all purpose flour
1 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
2 c. oats
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 c. butter, melted
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 c. chopped walnuts or pecans (Walnuts are my favorite in this recipe)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Microwave caramels and cream until melted, stirring a…

Good News.....Bad News

Whenever someone tells me, "I have good news and I have bad news.  Which do you want first?", most often I say I want the bad news first so.....

The Bad News:  Designs by Sharalee will be closing up shop as of December 31, 2012. 

I've wrestled with this decision for months....thinking about closing a business that I've poured blood, sweat and tears into for the past 6 years made me sad.  However, when all of the factors (i.e., economy, competition, supply costs, etc.) seemed to point in that direction, I knew it was time.  While I don't know what is in store for me in the future, I do believe that "when God closes a door, He always opens a window". 

Now the GOODNews:  You will have several shopping opportunities before the end of the year, both in-home parties and online, to stock up on jewelry one last time.  Plus, I've saved some of the best stones and components for last and will be producing tons of new designs before the year's end.  And, as …

Falling for Pumpkin, brisk days; football games; the color of the leaves as they change; pumpkin flavored desserts....these are a few of the things that I love about fall.  Here in southern California, the weather isn't exactly "fall-like" (110 degrees last week!).  However, while shopping in Target the other day, I noticed several new pumpkin flavored foods and beverages and that made it seem a little more like "fall".

So, I thought it'd be fun to share a couple of pumpkin flavored things, two new items and two long-standing favorites that I am loving this season.

1)  Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino -  This is a long-standing favorite for me.  I actually prefer this cold blended version versus the hot version.  The cold seems to bring out more of the pumpkin flavor and has a little sweeter taste than the hot one does.

2) Fresh & Easy's Pumpkin Pecan Pancake Mix - It makes the most delicious pancakes I've ever had!  Try it with a few …

White Chocolate Peanut a Jar!

I was shopping the peanut butter aisle at Target a few weeks ago and my eyes were drawn to this jar that read "White Chocolate Wonderful".  After reading the list of all natural ingredients and ensuring that it wasn't a gazillion calories, I added that jar to my cart and couldn't wait to get home to try it.  I dipped my favorite all natural graham crackers (review coming on those soon too!) in the white chocolate peanut butter and it was truly scrumptious!  Not too sweet, just a hint of the white chocolate and super creamy texture.  I also tried it on toast and then started thinking of ways to incorporate it in place of regular peanut butter in several recipes to make cookies and fudge....YUM!!  It comes in 10 different flavors including "Cinnamon Raisin", "The Bee's Knees", "Mighty Maple" & "The Heat is On" (which has fiery spices mixed in with peanut butter).  As you can see from the picture....
...I returned to the …

Ridiculous Deals on Supplements

Recently I found out about a wonderful company that provides amazing discounts on vitamins and supplements as well as all kinds of natural skin care products (Burt's Bees, Desert Essence, etc).  The company is Vitacost and they carry almost every major brand you'll find at your local Sprouts or health food store but at the most ridiculously low prices!  They have fast and free shipping for orders over $49 and, if you click on the link below, you'll receive $10 off your first order!  
Happy shopping!
Vitacost - $10 off coupon

New Designs!

Click below to view some of my latest off the design table :-)

In case you are unable to view the slide show above, here are the the pictures of what's new....

Tired of Tarnish?

Most people do not enjoy the task of polishing their jewelry.....myself included!  So, I thought I'd share a couple of tips I've learned along the way, including some great new products that I've added to my store that will help prevent tarnish in the first place.
One of the most important things to consider is how you store your jewelry.  Most people love to have their jewelry out on display, hanging on a super cute jewelry "tree" on their dresser.  This is fine for your jewelry that has antiqued metal or for something that is mostly made up of beads, pearls or some other type of gemstone.  However, this will wreak havoc on your bright metal pieces, especially sterling silver.  Things like hairspray, perfume, humidity all contribute to the tarnishing of silver.....definitely eliminating the ledge in the bathroom as a viable jewelry storage space as well :-)  So what are you to do?
First, remove any tarnish that's built up on your pieces.  Then I recommend p…

Bare Escentuals' Liners Contain Hidden Tools

I made an exciting discovery this morning and had to share it with you all.  Bare Escentuals (yes, this is the proper spelling :-) retractable eyeliners and lipliners have helpful "tools" hidden in the ends of the pencils.  Both contain a small sharpener, which you might think is silly since they are retractable.  However, one complaint people have had with retractable liners is the inability to maintain a sharp point for precise application.  Bare Escentuals solved that problem by smartly including this little sharpener.  They also hid a sponge-tip smudger in the eyeliner as well so you can easily blend out your eyeliner for a softer look.  Brilliant!
Here's a look at how they work:
 We start with the typical looking liners.....
The top of the eyeliner has a band of color representing the color of the eyeliner.  This is the removable part of the pencil.  Grasp the color band and gently wiggle free from longer part of the pencil.
You now have the sharpener rea…

New "grownup" snacking crackers....

As a self-proclaimed "Snack Queen", I'm always on the lookout for new foods to munch on.  This past week, I was browsing the cracker aisle and happened upon several new flavors of Wheat Thins.  Since I already enjoy the original flavor of wheat thins, I was immediately intrigued when I saw all these new flavors...Zesty Salsa, Tomato Basil, Ranch, BBQ, Spicy Buffalo.....after reading the ingredients to make sure there was no MSG, I hurried home with my Zesty Salsa and Spicy Buffalo crackers. 

I have to say I'm very impressed!  Zesty Salsa has more of a "green salsa" flavor with just a little spice.  My favorite of the two, Spicy Buffalo, reminds me of buffalo chicken wings (minus the chicken :-) with that tinge of tang and then the spicy kick at the end.  Delicious!  They have a little more spice than the Zesty Salsa but are still in the "medium" range of spiciness.  So far, I've enjoyed them just plain, right out of the box.  But I think they&…

Urban Decay Smoked Palette - Review

If you haven't guessed by now, I love makeup :-)  Most people view putting on makeup as a chore but I enjoy the process of combining various colors and experimenting with new products.  So when I found out that Urban Decay was releasing a brand new eye shadow palette last week, I couldn't wait to try it out! For those of you new to the makeup world, Urban Decay is most famous for the "Naked" palette, released a couple of years ago. They followed that palette with the "Naked 2" palette which wasn't received with quite the accolades of the first palette but is still one of my favorites.

Now they have introduced Smoked, which has 10 beautiful shadows to create the perfect smoky eye.  And, all of the colors are different than the ones in either of the "Naked" palettes, with the exception of "Blackout" (which is also in the Naked 2 palette, but this time in it's new formulation...more on that later).  The new "Smoked" pal…

New Jewelry Designs...

Here are some brand new designs just added to my shop today....
 Aren't daisies just the friendliest flower? :-)
 Bright copper...the look of rose gold at a fraction of the cost!
 Check out these and more amazing designs in my shop!

Whoa! Those are some bright lips!

We've all been there......standing in a store, staring at all these beautiful, bright shades of lipstick.  You're wishing you could wear those colors....wondering if you could be brave enough to do becomes almost a dare to yourself to try it....suddenly you are through the check out and rushing home to try on your new bold lipstick purchase.  It looks great on and you can't wait to wear it to work the next day.  You awake, feeling invincible, don your bold lipcolor and spend the day receiving compliments on your lips.  However, the following day, you aren't feeling as confident....a few days/weeks later, that lipstick is in the back of your drawer or bottom of your makeup bag and you chide yourself for wasting money on that lipstick!

Well, not too long ago, I was reorganizing my lip products and pulled out those seldom used shades.  Some were ones I'd purchased, others were ones that came as "free gifts with purchase".

Two of my favorites are NYX…