Saturday, October 25, 2014

New at the Grocery Store: Limited Edition Seasonal Goodies

While I'm grocery shopping, I'm always on the lookout for new snacks and foods to try. I realize if you despise grocery shopping and make it your mission to get in and out of the store as soon as possible, there is no way you are going to slowly browse each aisle looking for new foods. So I thought it might be helpful for me to share the new things I've tried and a quick review so you'll know whether to add it to your list the next time you are making a mad dash to the grocery store. 

At this time of year, there always seems to be an inordinate amount of new items in special edition fall flavors and this year is no exception. Just look at all of these pumpkin and apple flavored items....
Thomas English Muffins - Limited Edition Flavors:
*Pumpkin Spice - Absolutely delicious, especially when toasted with melted butter and cinnamon and sugar. Yum!
*Apple Pie - These are ok....for me it wasn't a strong enough flavor.

Thomas Bagels - Pumpkin Spice
*Really like these, especially when toasted and smothered with homemade pumpkin spice cream cheese! Just blend regular cream cheese with some brown sugar and pumpkin spice powder...yum!

Noosa Finest Yoghurt - Pumpkin
*Tastes almost like pumpkin cheesecake....who doesn't love that?! I guess you could just eat this with a spoon but this brand of yogurt is pretty rich so I like to use it like a dip. What goes better with Pumpkin yogurt than cinnamon Scooby graham crackers!

Brach's Apple Pie Candy Corn
*I really didn't care for these at all! I thought they might be comparable to the "Caramel Apple" flavor which they've had in the past. Unfortunately, "Apple Pie" didn't measure up.

Milky Way - Caramel Apple
*Think of a traditional Milky Way bar and then add just a hint of crisp apple flavor....delicious! These have also been a hit with my piano students :-)

Dreyer's Pumpkin Patch Ice Cream
*Pretty good but a little on the tangy side....if that makes sense. I think this one is missing a little of the "spice" that I like with my pumpkin flavored get more of just straight up pumpkin taste here.

Trident Pumpkin Spice Gum
*Yes, you are reading that correctly....GUM! I thought this would be horrible but instead I found it absolutely wonderful! There is just a hint of pumpkin and then you taste cinnamon, a little clove and maybe a little vanilla.  It's so hard to describe so you'll just have to try it ;-) I'm going to be stocking up on this limited edition flavor!

Hopefully that was helpful and gave you some ideas of what to shop for or to skip on your next grocery shopping trip.

Happy shopping :-)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Palette of the Week: Lorac PRO Palette 2 ~ Makeup Looks

Part 2 - Makeup Looks

Here are a few of the makeup looks I created, using the Lorac PRO Palette 2.  If you don't have this palette, you can easily recreate these looks using similar colors you may already have in your makeup collection.  Or, get inspired with these application techniques and create your own unique look with completely different colors!

Look #1:  Silver Smoke

Buff ~ Brow Highlight
Lt. Brown ~ Transition Crease Color  
Cool Gray ~ Inner 1/3 of Lid
Silver ~ Center of Lid  *Note:  To increase color vibrancy, first apply Maybelline 24Hr Tattoo Shadow in Silver Strike as a base in the center of the lid; then apply Silver eyeshadow over it.
Charcoal ~ Outer 1/3 of Lid
Black ~ Darken the Outer "V"
Rose ~ Using finger, layer over Silver in the Center of Lid
*Finish with NYC liquid black liner along top lashes; L'Oreal Black Kohl liner along inner rim and lower lash line

Look #2:  Jade with Envy

Buff ~ Brow Highlight  
Lt. Brown ~ Transition Crease Color
Jade ~ All Over Lid but avoid the inner corner *Note:  To increase color vibrancy, first apply Urban Decay 24/7 liner in Mildew all over the lid; then apply Jade eyeshadow over it.
Black ~ Darken the Outer "V"
Beige and Snow ~ Dip brush in both and lightly apply to inner corner for highlight
*Finish with your favorite black gel liner along top lashes; Mally black liner along inner rim and Urban Decay 24/7 Stash liner along lower lash line

Look #3:  Everyday Rose Gold + optional pop of Navy Blue
**Favorite Combination** 

Buff ~ Brow Highlight 
Lt. Brown ~ Transition Crease Color 
Rose ~ Inner 2/3 of Lid but avoid the inner corner *Note:  To increase color vibrancy, first apply Maybelline 24Hr Tattoo Shadow in Barely Branded; then layer Rose over it.
Mocha ~ Outer 1/3 of lid  
Cocoa ~ Darken the Outer "V"
Cocoa, Mocha and Rose ~ Blend along lower lashline from outer corner inward using darkest shade in the outer corner
*Optional: Navy ~ Instead of the colors above, line the lower lash line with a navy eyeliner and then top with Navy shadow
*Finish with L'Oreal Intense Liquid Liner in Earthen Rock Brown along the upper lash line or NYC Liquid Liner in Black if adding Navy along lower lash line.

Hopefully this gave you some more ideas of how to use the Lorac PRO Palette 2!  If you don't own this palette yet and want to see a full review and swatches, click on the link below.  Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Palette of the Week: Lorac PRO Palette 2 ~ Review and Swatches

Part 1 - Review and Swatches

Several months ago, Lorac released the second edition of the Lorac PRO Palette.  I absolutely loved the first edition so I was excited to get my hands on this baby.  As with the first palette, it contains 8 matte shadows and 8 shimmer shadows.  And, with the exception of the matte black shade, there are no other shadow colors repeated from the first Lorac Pro Palette.

The palette has a matte gray rubberized cardboard cover....

 Inside is a nice sized mirror and 16 shadows....

Where to Buy:  Ulta,, Lorac Cosmetics

Cost:  $42 (includes a mini Lorac Behind the Scenes Eye Primer)

Favorite Colors:  Buff, Lt. Brown, Cool Gray, Rosè, Cocoa

What's To Love:
*Buttery soft texture
*Highly pigmented colors
*Great color variety
*Super slim packaging, which makes it super travel friendly

What's Not To Love:
 *Because the shadows are so soft, there can be some fallout when applying - just be sure to tap off the excess before applying to your eyes.

Summary:  Exceptional quality at a great price!  At first glance, I thought it might be hard for me to pull off some of the jewel tones and cooler toned shadows.  However, because of the great taupe blending shade and the large variety of matte colors, I found I was able to make very wearable looks with all of the shadows, making this a very versatile palette!

*Note:  These were photographed in natural daylight and swatched over primer
Matte buttery yellow-based cream
Favorite Use:  Perfect brow-bone highlight for those with yellow undertones in your skin
Matte warm taupe
Favorite Use:  Perfect crease blending shade
Matte medium gray with slight purple undertones
Favorite Use:  Blended in the crease and outer "V"
Matte peachy pink
Matte vibrant grape
Matte vibrant navy blue
Matte dark gray with slightly bluish undertones
Matte off-black (not super "jet-black")
Shimmery white
Shimmery champagne with slight pink undertones
Shimmery rose gold
Favorite Use:  All over the lid and paired with Cool Gray or Cocoa in the outer "V"
Shimmery medium warm brown...when light reflects on it you can see hints of pink shimmer
Shimmery gray with slight purple undertones
True shimmery silver
Shimmery deep forest green with slight olive undertones
Shimmery dark reddish brown
Favorite Uses:  Blended in the outer "V" or smudged along the lower lashline

Now it's time for the fun part....three makeup looks I created using this palette!  Check back tomorrow for Part 2 in this series!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

It's Been Over a Month....Where Have I Been?

When Facebook sent me a message saying that it had been over a month since I'd posted anything on my page, I was shocked to realize that much time had passed!  So I thought I'd jump start my blogging with a brief little update on what's been going on in my world over the last month....

I think one word could encapsulate most of my busyness these last several weeks...."Piano"! 

As many of you know, I've started teaching piano again.  After a break for summer, lessons resumed and I've been a bit shocked at the continued growth of my student base.  A few days ago I added my 14th piano student!  Little did I know that 18 months ago when sweet Abby from church asked me to give her piano lessons that I would wind up with 14 students!  Because it had been more than 15 years since I'd taught piano, I was a little unsure of my teaching abilities.  But since I'd closed my jewelry business a few months prior, I was trying to determine what direction God was leading me and this seemed like an "open door".  One student led to another and another and now I've got my hands full with 14 students, ranging in age from 6 to retirement age.  So it would appear that I'm on the path where God wants me to be right now :-).

In addition to adjusting to my new teaching schedule, I was honored to be asked to play "background music" at the Village Retirement Center for 3 events they hosted.  Because I'm used to playing primarily for church, I had a lot of work to do to learn enough music to fill each of the time slots.  After weeks of preparation and hours and hours of practice, I had 45 songs ready for the events, including everything from Glen Miller's "Moonlight Serenade", selections from the Phantom of the Opera, Billy Joel's "Just the Way You Are",  to classical pieces like "Sonata in C Major" and "Clair de Lune" (my all-time favorite :-).

Now, lest you think it was all work and no "play", in the midst of all of this craziness, a dear friend that I've known since 4th grade came for a visit.  Although it was just for 4 days, we still worked in lots of fun like time at the beach, pedicures, shopping and of course lots of talking :-).

Even though I've been absent from the blogging world for over a month, I've still been testing new products, trying new recipes and tackling some DIY projects that I can't wait to share with you all! 

Tune in tomorrow for the long awaited and requested Lorac Pro 2 Palette of the Week review, swatches and makeup looks!