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Showing posts from 2013

Favorite Chili Recipe

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It seems like there are a gazillion ways to make chili and each one varies in taste, texture, etc.  About 2 years ago, I set out to find my "go-to" chili recipe and after trying numerous ones, I landed on this one and haven't deviated since.  This recipe, by Jeanne Allen, comes from the "Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook" (great slow cooker recipe book, by the way :-).  It reminds me of Wendy's (the fast food chain restaurant) chili....full of flavor and meat, the right amount of beans....not too thick or thin and just the right amount of spice.

The next time you're in the mood for chili, give this recipe a try...it may just become your ideal chili recipe!

Trail Chili
# of Servings:  6 large bowls

Ingredients:
2 lbs ground beef (ground turkey also tastes great)
1 large onion, diced
28-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 - 8-oz. cans tomato puree (or 14 oz. can of diced tomatoes, undrained)
1 or 2, 16-oz. cans kidney beans, undrained (yes, undrained....not a t…

BareMinerals Convertible Eyeshadow Palette - Review and Swatches

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When bareMinerals introduced this palette a few months ago, I was ecstatic!   Previously, the bareMinerals READY shadow palettes were only available in groups of 2, 4 or 8 shadows.  While I have enjoyed several of these palettes, I always found myself wishing I could customize these palettes and add the colors that I wanted in a palette.  Furthermore, I also felt that a palette with 12 shadows was much more likely to find it's way into my travel bag because, let's face it, a girl likes to have options when she travels! 
Even though I wasn't sure I loved all of the colors in this palette, I decided to purchase it, hoping that bareMinerals would eventually offer individual READY shadows that I could add to this palette.  Now, after "test-driving" it for over a month, I wanted to share my thoughts on the palette and show you swatches of the colors.
The case for the palette is plastic and looks like this.... (please pardon my dust :-) The center section of this pal…

Clean With Me Monday Challenge - Pre-Christmas Purge

*Fill at least one box/bag with toys, clothes or household items and donate them.

*Approximate time ~ 15-30 minutes

*Tips:  Think about the gifts you and/or your children may be receiving for Christmas (toys, clothes, etc.) and focus on getting rid of the excess before Christmas day arrives.  Make this a quick purge....don't spend too much time going through every item in your closet and in your kids' toy box.  Instead aim for those items you know right away that it's time to get rid of.  If you have family members that are particularly resistant to letting go of their things, remind them these toys/clothes are going to children/families that may not have very much and will really appreciate receiving these things.  Encourage them to join in and help you pick out a few things to donate.

Personal Notes:  As you may have noticed, I've given myself a few weeks off from cleaning projects.  When my mother-in-law was here, she remarked several times about how clean the house …

Clean With Me Monday Challenge - Preparation For Guests

Whether you have overnight guests coming to stay with you or you are just preparing for guests to come for a party or holiday celebration, make sure your home is in tip-top shape by adding a few or all of these items to your cleaning list:

*Clean Microwave and Toaster Oven, inside and out ~ 10 minutes
*Clean out refrigerator, removing old/expired food and wiping down shelves as necessary (we've got to make room for the turkey and all those side dishes!) ~ 10 minutes
*Thoroughly wipe down counters, backsplash and top of stove ~ 5-10 minutes 
*Dust off chandelier/light fixture over table ~ 5-10 minutes
*If you haven't already done so, wash windows/patio doors in the dining room, kitchen and guest room (if you have an overnight guest staying) ~ 10 minutes/window (if only washing inside)
*Sweep off front porch and wipe off front door ~ 10 minutes
*Put clean sheets/bedding on your guest bed (if applicable) ~ 10 minutes

*Tips:  Don't spend too much time on any one task!  Hopefu…

Browse My Stash - bareMinerals Eyeshadows - Browns

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Welcome back for Part 3 of my bareMinerals eyeshadow collection!

Today, you get to browse my stash of  bareMinerals Eyeshadows - Browns
Favorite, Most Worn Colors: Coffee Bean, Drama, Queen Tiffany, Snazzy, Tiger's Eye, Twig, Wearable Pecan Medium, You Can Never Be Too Rich Brown (see * color swatches below)

Individual Swatches 

(In Alphabetical Order) bareMinerals Eyeshadow - Camp
Description:  Medium shimmery brown with slight peach undertones
bareMinerals Eyecolor - Cleopatra
Description:  Warm sparkly cinnamon
bareMinerals Liner Shadow - Coffee Bean*
Description:  Matte dark espresso brown How I wear it: Wet or dry, this is my favorite eye liner shade when I don't want to wear black.  It's dark enough to provide definition but doesn't look as harsh as black. bareMinerals Eyecolor - Cognac Diamond
Description:  Medium warm brown with copper sparkle
bareMinerals Liner Shadow - Downtown
Description:  Shimmery medium taupe
bareMinerals Glimmer - Drama*
Description:  Cool-toned shimme…

Pumpkin Spice Cookies

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A few weeks ago, I was checking out the seasonal baking display at Walmart and I saw this....
Being that I LOVE pumpkin desserts, I decided this must come home with me!  I thought originally that I might whip up some pumpkin cupcakes with this mix.  But then I got a hankerin' for cookies so I decided to make pumpkin cookies instead.

Of course, I then remembered that I'd also purchased some Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese (Philadelphia makes this Limited Edition in the fall) so I decided to make Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese frosting for the top of the cookies.  But then I got to thinking how nice it would be to have a little "crunch" on the top of these soft cookies....so I added some Pumpkin Spice to coarse sugar and rolled the cookies in this mixture before baking.  The result?  To quote my husband, "They're cookies to die for!"

So, the next time you're at Walmart, pick up a box of Pumpkin Cake Mix and whip up a batch of these cookies.  If you can't f…

Makeup Look of the Week - Dramatic Emerald Smoky Eye

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While a colorful, smoky eye isn't exactly appropriate for everyday, sometimes I just get in the mood for something dramatic and go "hog-wild" with color :-).  One of the palettes I love to use when I'm in these moods is the SmokedPalette by Urban Decay.
Dramatic Emerald Smoky Eye This makeup combo, inspired by MakeupbyTiffanyD, would be great for a Christmas party and look especially stunning on those with brown eyes!
Products Used: Urban Decay's Smoked Palette Eyeshadows - Kinky, Freestyle, Blackout, Barlust and Loaded
Maybelline Color Tattoo 24 hr Eyeshadow - 50 Edgy Emerald bareMinerals Eyeshadow -Queen Phyllis
How to get this look:
*Apply primer all over lid up to brow brone
*Optional: Apply a green-based cream shadow such as Maybelline's Color Tattoo Eyeshadow in Edgy Emerald all over the lid up to the crease
*Apply Kinky shadow as brow highlight
*Apply Freestyle shadow in the crease and blend
*Press Loaded shadow all over the lid, on top of the green-base…