Friday, July 29, 2016

Shout Color Catchers: Save Time and Water!

My wonderful friend, Debbie, introduced me to Shout Color Catchers a little over a year ago.  With six children, these became a life-saver for her in helping her stay on top of laundry.  How is that possible?  The color catchers allow you to mix a bunch of different colors in one load....yes, I said MIX colors!  As a result, you can do fewer full loads, saving time, water and money!

I'll admit I was very skeptical that these would work. I said a little prayer and tossed in a color catcher along with my white capris, my husbands red polo shirt and many other colored items.  Just take a look at the assorted colors that I washed together and the color catcher showing the excess dye that it absorbed...

And here is a recent color catcher after the wash cycle was completed....


Yep, without the color catcher that pink would have been all over my white pants!  I'm telling you, these WORK!  Just toss 1-2 in the machine then add your soap, scent booster, etc. and let the color catchers do their magic (see back of the box for full instructions).

A few tips to ensure success:
*Always use cold water to wash those mixed color loads
*Don't allow the wash to sit and soak in the water before starting the cycle.  The color catcher has to be moving through the wash to catch the dye before it soaks into the fabric.  If the wash is sitting still, it doesn't allow this to happen.  How would I know?  I learned the hard way, of course!  If you have an item that needs to be soaked, do that before tossing into the machine.

You can find these in the laundry section of the store, usually with the other Shout stain removing products.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Food Fridays: Dogs and Cheese

Ok, let's be honest...there are few comfort foods more popular than hot dogs and good ol' mac 'n' cheese.  For years, both of these foods were typically chock-full of preservatives and artificial ingredients so these foods were never on anyone's "healthy foods" list.  I always felt like eating these were a "guilty pleasure", until now!

A few months ago, I stumbled onto these Oscar Mayer Angus Beef Franks and was immediately intrigued when I read all of the things that are NOT in these dogs.
Plus, they come in two separate packs of 4 (between me, my husband and the dog, that's enough for one meal ;-) so we aren't pressured to eat all 8 dogs once the package is opened.

I pondered what would go well with hot dogs and a craving for good ol' mac 'n' cheese hit.  The box of Annie's Macaroni and Cheese caught my eye so after a careful study of the ingredients list, I thought it'd be worth a try.
Folks, I'm telling you, these are both delicioso!! My husband and I enjoy this meal now almost every week and he's affectionately named it "Dogs and Cheese".  It's the perfect dinner on those nights when I get home at 6:30, have been playing piano and teaching all day and am ravished with hunger.  That's when I need a dinner like this that can be on the table in 10-12 minutes and fills our tummies with yummy goodness.

Of course, you can always add a salad or some other vegetable on the side.  And, if you are trying to cut some calories, skip the buns on the hotdogs.  You might be surprised how satisfying it can be!

All in all, I think this is a great meal for adults and kids alike....the four-legged kind included :-)

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Browse My Stash: Concealers


Normally when I do a blog in the "Browse My Stash" series, it pertains to items from one brand.  However, when I saw the plethora of concealers I have accumulated (holy cow!)...
...I thought I should do a "stash blog" to give you an idea of which one might work best for your particular area of concern, skin type, etc.  So here we go...

Grouped by brand, here are all of the concealers, color correcters and brighteners I've tried (at least in the past 2-3 years) and a brief snapshot of each one.  Stay tuned to the end for swatches and to find out which ones are my favorites!
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bareMinerals BareSkin Complete Coverage Serum Concealer - Light
Formula:  Liquid/Serum
Coverage:  Medium
Packaging Notes:  Doe-foot applicator
Best Uses:  Undereye concealing.  Be sure to set with a lightweight powder (e.l.f. HD loose powder is my favorite) 

bareMinerals Well-Rested Eye Brightener SPF 20 Broad Spectrum
Formula:  Loose Powder
Coverage:  None....just adds a brightening effect 
Best Uses:  Under the eye as a setting powder over cream concealers.
Cons:  Can emphasize fine lines....use a very light hand when applying!

bareMinerals Multi-tasking Minerals SPF 20 - Bisque and Summer Bisque
Formula:   Loose Powder
Coverage:  Light to Medium
Best Uses: Covering redness dark spots and blemishes; best paired with powder foundations. Can also use to set under eye cream concealers but for me it emphasized my fine lines too much.
 
bareMinerals  Correcting Concealer SPF 20 - Light 2
Formula:  Cream
Coverage:  Light to Medium
Packaging Notes:  Compact with mirror
Best Uses:   Covering blemishes and dark spots

IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Full Coverage Anti-Aging Waterproof Concealer - Light
Formula:  Liquid
Coverage:  Full
Packaging Notes:  Squeeze Tub
Best Uses:  Covering blemishes, redness and dark spots.  Can also work under the eye but use only the tiniest bit and set it with powder or it will crease!

IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer - Neutral Medium
Formula:  Liquid
Coverage:  Medium to Full (seems to be different than the aforementioned one in the squeeze tube)

Packaging Notes:  Doe-foot applicator (comes in a dual-ended tube with Hello Light)
Best Uses:   Covering blemishes, redness and dark spots.  Can also work under the eye but use only the tiniest bit and set it or it will crease!

IT Cosmetics Hello Light Brightener - Light Radiance
Formula:  Liquid
Coverage:  None...just adds a highlighted effect
Packaging Notes:  Doe-foot applicator (comes in a dual-ended tube with Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer)
Best Uses:  Highlighting the high points of the face; adding brightness to inner corner of the eye

Origins Plantscription Anti-aging Concealer - 03 Medium
Formula:  Liquid
Coverage:  Medium
Packaging Notes:  Doe-foot applicator
Best Uses:  Under eye concealing; recommend setting with a powder

L.A. Girl PRO Conceal HD High Definition Concealer - Natural (GC972) and Creamy Beige (GC973)
Formula:  Liquid
Coverage:  Light to Medium
Packaging Notes:  Squeeze Tube with Brush Applicator - HATE this dispensing method as it always spurts out...not good when applying near the eyes!
Best Uses:  Under eye concealing or highlighting the face

Boo-Boo Cover-Up Concealer (not sure of the shade as it came in my ipsy bag)
Formula:  Liquid 
Coverage:  Medium to Full
Packaging Notes:  Squeeze Tube
Best Uses:  Covering blemishes and dark spots

MAC PRO Longwear Concealer - NW20 and NW25
Formula:  Liquid
Coverage:  Medium to Full
Packaging Notes:  Pump - Always love pumps on foundations but for concealers, it dispenses WAY too much product!
Best Uses:  Under eye or eyelid concealing, blemishes, redness and dark spots

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser - Neutralizer
Formula:  Liquid
Coverage:  Medium (even though it's meant to be a "corrector" I feel like it gives coverage too)
Packaging Notes:  Twist Up with Sponge Applicator
Best Uses:  Color correcting under the eye or patches of redness

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser - Brightener
Formula:  Liquid
Packaging Notes:  Twist Up with Sponge Applicator
Best Uses:  Color correcting under the eye before applying concealer

Maybelline Master Conceal Camouflaging Concealer - 30 Light/Medium
Formula:  Liquid
Coverage:  Light to Medium
Packaging Notes:  Squeeze Tube
Best Uses:  Blemishes and redness

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer - 10 Light
Formula:  Liquid
Coverage:  Medium
Packaging Notes:  Doe-foot applicator
Best Uses:  Under eye concealing, blemishes, dark spots and redness

Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting Concealer - Radiant
Formula:  Liquid
Packaging Notes:  Twist Up with Brush Applicator
Best Uses: Brightening under eye area before or after concealing
 
NYX HD Photogenic Concealer - CW05 Medium
Formula:  Liquid
Coverage:  Medium to Full
Packaging Notes:  Doe-foot applicator
Best Uses:  Under eye concealing, blemishes, redness, dark spots 

NYX Conceal, Correct, Contour - 3CP02 Medium
Formula:  Cream
Coverage:  Medium
Packaging Notes:  6-pan Palette
Best Uses:  Color correcting and concealing blemishes, redness and dark spots

NYX Dark Circle Concealer - DCC03 Medium
Formula:  Cream
Packaging Notes:  Round Pot with screw-on lid
Best Uses:  Color correcting under the eye before concealer

NYX Color Correcting Concealer - 3CP04
Formula:  Cream
Packaging Notes:  6-pan Palette
Best Uses:  Color correcting dark circles under the eye and redness on the face

Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer - Light (Warm) and Med-Light (Neutral)
Formula:  Liquid
Coverage:  Medium to Full
Packaging Notes:  Doe-foot applicator
Best Uses:  Under eye concealing, blemishes and redness

Now for the swatches......
(Click to enlarge)
...and FAVORITES...
#1 - Urban Decay Naked Skin - great coverage to tackle any concealing concern and doesn't crease if lightly set with powder
#2 - bareMinerals bareSkin Serum Concealer - great coverage; provides a little moisture to the under eye area and is pretty crease resistant if set with a powder
#3 - MAC PRO Longwear Concealer - super lightweight look and feel but gives great coverage to tackle any concealing concern and does not budge once it sets!
#4 - Maybelline Fit Me Concealer - very inexpensive, gives good, medium coverage and stays pretty well if set with a powder.  This is my favorite to throw in my purse for touch-ups throughout the day.
#5 - IT Cosmetics Hello Light Brightener - does not look heavy or cakey when applied over foundation; has no shimmer or glitter particles.
#6 - NYX Color Correcting Concealer Palette - love having one palette with all of the color correcting shades; lightweight formula that doesn't look cakey under concealer.

And now, I think it's time for me to do a bit of de-cluttering, starting with my concealer stash!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Quick Tip Tuesday: Natural Peanut Butter Oil

Problem:
The oil on top of the peanut butter in a newly opened jar of natural peanut butter is hard to incorporate into the peanut butter without making a mess.

Solution:
Store unopened peanut butter upside down in your cupboard for at least a day before opening.  All of the oil will then be on the bottom of the peanut butter, making it easier to mix in without making a mess.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Food Fridays: Tostitos Cantina Chipotle Thins

NEW Tostitos Cantina Chipotle Thins

Taste:
Chips are super thin and crispy and the flavoring is smoky sweet with a serious kick (medium heat level) of spice.

Overall Review (Love, Like or Loathe)
LOVE!!  These are absolutely delicious and so addicting!! I think this might be about the tenth bag I've purchased since they were introduced to the market. Another great thing is there is no Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) in them, which is something that I try to avoid like the plague :-)  Even though the bag pictures a jar of salsa for dipping, I find these are way too thin to hold up to any chunky salsa or dip, unless it's something like Queso....YUM!  If you're a flavored tortilla chip lover, I highly recommend checking these out!

Where to buy?
*Winco, Super Walmart, Walmart Neighborhood Market