Sunday, December 31, 2017

DIY Beauty: Try My Cocoa Anti-Aging Mask to Clear and Renew Your Complexion

Your kitchen is loaded with beauty ingredients such as cocoa powder.

I love experimenting with ingredients in my kitchen for beauty purposes, especially when they sometimes can outperform their commercial counterparts. My cocoa anti-aging mask recipe that I have for you today is truly a winning one for its complexion benefits to clear and renew aging skin.

For one, cocoa is full of antioxidants that help the body internally as well as externally due to its flavonoids for protecting the complexion from free radical damage and aiding the skin's density.  

Another ingredient in this recipe is honey.  With its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, it can heal and calm  while also holding in the skin’s natural moisture being a humectant as well.

Sour cream is also what you’ll notice that I put in here for its lactic acid, a natural alpha hydroxy acid, for doing its part in gentle exfoliating and stimulating new cells to emerge.  You also can substitute with plain yoghurt, if you care to.

I also turned to oatmeal because it also has wonderful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.

Finally, I used a bit of a ripe avocado for its rich storehouse of fatty acids, antioxidants and minerals.

I hope the next time that you’re in the mood to indulge your complexion that you’ll try this mask because it erases dullness and brings out a remarkable glow.

DIY Cocoa Anti-Aging Beauty Mask

1/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder (the darker the powder the better)
1/4 cup of honey
2 tablespoons of sour cream or plain yoghurt
2 teaspoons of finely ground oatmeal
1 tablespoon of mashed avocado

You will need to take out your food processor or blender to grind the raw oatmeal into a fine powder.

Once done, measure the rest of the ingredients into a bowl or container along with the oats and mix together.  

Apply to your clean face and relax in private.  You will want to be alone because your family will mock your face.

Give the mask about 15 minutes before rinsing with lukewarm water.

Close the pores with tepid water, then dry.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

DIY Remedies to Get Rid of Ugly, Painful Cold Sores

Now this beauty doesn't need to hide.

At some stage in your life, you probably will come down with a cold sore.  Unlike a canker sore, this is a fever blister caused by the active herpes simplex virus 1 that appears outside of the mouth unlike the canker sore, which painfully appears inside the mouth with grayish or white sore wrapped in red inflammation.

The strange thing about the herpes simplex virus is that it can stay dormant inside the body for a long time before surfacing or it can be triggered in several different ways. 

An outbreak can occur due to internal causes.  For starters, take stress.  When you’re under a lot of stress, your body works against you, releasing chemicals like cortisol that can cause an outbreak.  

Missing sleep because of that stressful situation or trying to take on more than your body can handle also does the same thing in confusing your hormones and brain chemicals to react against you.

Something as harmless as staying in the sun too long can cause a cold sore to emerge.
The reason for this is because the sun’s rays can weaken your immune system.  

Of course, you can always blame your period.  Menstruation causes hormone chaos that can lead to cold sore outbreaks.  

Food allergies are another.  When your body reacts and spurs histamine into action, which causes wild disruption in your system, this can also account for cold sores.

If you happen to get one, then you know how painful and unsightly a cold sore can be.  Therefore, you need a plan of action to heal promptly. Here are several DIY remedies that can help with the pain and speeding up drying the cold sore.

What you might want to try is ice on the cold sore.  The extreme cold of the ice will do the trick to slow to down the herpes virus since it causes the skin’s metabolic rate to plummet. 

Another DIY trick is using a wet black or herbal tea bag.  The tannic acid can help slow down the reproduction cycle of the  herpes simplex virus.

Plain yoghurt can be useful to rescue your ailing mouth.  Apply a little of the yoghurt with a cotton ball to the sore will help alleviate some of the pain due to its probiotics.  At the same time, it is a good idea to eat about a cup a day.  It can help internally since it has lysine that can curb the effects of the arginine, the amino acid culprit behind the outbreak.

I hope that a cold sore will not happen to you, but it is always best to be prepared!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Rouge Bunny Rouge Silk Aether Long-Lasting Duo Cream Eye Shadows Review + Swatches

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Gossamer Wing is on the left with Birdwing Beauteous on the right.

For the most part, I love pressed powder eyeshadow for two reasons.  They seem to hold up better than creams that can dry out sooner and also because of palettes and all the shades that you can find together.  Nonetheless, I also buy my share of cream eyeshadow despite having a shorter shelf life because of how much I love their unbeatable silky texture that clings to the lids instead of the pigment accidentally falling into my eyes.

Luxury beauty brand, Rouge Bunny Rouge, has their Silk Aether Long-Lasting Duo Cream Eye Shadow ($45.00), which currently is available in two shades.   The duo in Gossamer Wing has pale beige champagne color with a delicate sheen on one end with a cool brown with a finely refined gray metallic sparkle at the other.  This is the one for a fresh, but classy natural look with more satin finish to the radiance it gives the eyes.  

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Here I swatched both shadows for you with Gossamer Wing on the left and Birdwing Beauteous on the right.

The other shadow in this line is Birdwing Beauteous. This has a side that is champagne touched with apricot color with more of a prominent sheen that is lovely with how it lights up the eyes.  The other end is a silvery blue-black color that smolders with mystery.  I like this one for doing a sexy, night time look. 

These shadows have a fluffier cream consistency and feature a doe-foot applicator that spread and blend the product ideally, giving you enough time to work before setting.  They also wear for as long as you need without creasing.  

Each of these shades  is unique and will dress up your lids in style.  If you ask me, the hard part will be deciding between the two Silk Aether Long-Lasting Duo Cream Eye Shadow colors to try first.  What are your thoughts on these Rouge Bunny Rouge cream shadows?  Have you tried them yet?  Check them out!


Thursday, December 28, 2017

Some Helpful Dieting Tactics After Too Much Holiday Feasting

A few changes to your menu and meal preparation can be all it takes lighten up.

The holidays always lead us into more delicious temptation than usual.  Despite how hard we might try, this is prime time for overindulging, which can result in the pounds creeping up on us.  In order to protect yourself the next time you step on your scale, I have some simple ways to lighten your calorie intake without much effort.

For example, salads are wonderful and packed with nutrition.  The only problem is the dressings that we put on.  A tablespoon of ordinary French dressing is about 73 calories.  A creamy typical Ranch dressing is about 145 calories.  Of course, you always have the option of using a low-calorie or a fat-free version, but it comes with a price of substituting sugar, starch and salt in place of the fat, which is far from ideal since your mind could misinterpret it as the go-ahead to eat more.  However, you have other choices.

A suggestion is to dry your salad greens thoroughly after washing them before adding any dressing. 

Taking out your salad spinner will give you a workout at the same time while preventing pouring dressing over still wet greens to dilute the salad. A weaker tasting dressing may only increase the likelihood of you using more to pile on extra calories.

Soup is your friend, especially if you make it at home like chicken or beef soup.  You just don’t want to eat it first day.  Refrigerate the soup for a day and then skim off the fat before reheating.  What you’ll be doing is better for your health and shape.

If you love meats like beef, the best thing to do is keep your portion size about three-ounces.  You might compare this amount to the size of a typical bar of soap.  What I find helpful is cutting meats into cube size pieces and then pulling out my meat hammer to flatten them into thinner slices before marinading.  When you stretch the meat, it fools the brain into thinking that you’re eating more.  The beating process allows the marinade to absorb deeper through the fibers of the meat for the best flavor.  It also speeds up cooking.

Tell me what special calorie saving tips that you would like to share.  

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

How To Best Safeguard Your Mascara From Bacteria

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This post can help keep your eyes safer.

Mascara is essential for making more of our lashes.  If you want to keep your eyes safe from a bacterial infection, it is always a good idea to take the proper precautions.

Resist the urge to pump your mascara wand in and out of the tube to load it.  Doing this forces air into the mascara that can bring bacteria with it to speed up the already short three-month shelf life of this eye product.  Habitually pumping mascara also dries it out sooner.

Instead of pumping, try twisting the wand as you’re taking it out.  This technique will do what you need, keep your eyes healthier and the mascara more sanitary. 

Though it may not have dried up or changed in its scent, the formula becomes a breeding ground of bacteria that needs replacing over time.  After three months, the longer that you keep using that mascara only increases your risk of developing an ugly, painful eye infection.  So be safe and just toss to stay beautiful!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

How to Freshen Up Your Suede Coat or Jacket in Between a Professional Cleaning

This post can help better maintain your suede jacket or coat.

One of my favorite jackets in college was this heavy suede with a plush fur collar that tied instead of buttoned.  It was so heavy that I named it the “tank” because it protected me through the worst weather.  Despite how frigid the temperatures could be, I felt cozy while waiting for my bus after classes.

My only complaint about the “tank” was how expensive the professional cleaning became each season I retired it. Still, it always came back to its beauty but that cleaning bill did quickly add up in time.  Nonetheless, it was worth it to someone like me that couldn’t hold up in the cold.

If you own a suede jacket and notice a small spot, take a clean, but soft, rubber art gum eraser to it and gently rub.  This helped me remove some small spots in between going to the dry cleaner.

Once I did drop my pen and got some ink on my jacket.  What I did was spray the spot lightly with some hair spray.  Test the hair spray inside the jacket or coat in an inconspicious spot first before trying this directly on the spot.  This way you will know if the material is up to it or not.  After the treated spot dried, I rubbed it with the eraser, which helped. 

Perhaps, you haven’t worn your jacket or suede coat for a while and notice it collected some dust and lint from just hanging.  Save a pair of old pantyhose and then crunch them up in your hand to make a ball to rub over the jacket or coat.  Believe it or not, the pantyhose act like a magnet to draw off the dust and lint.

These #suede #cleaning tips that I’m sharing with you can help keep your jacket or coat better maintained and beautiful longer. 

Sunday, December 24, 2017

How to Save Your Candles From Excessive Dripping So They Last Longer

This tip will help keep your candles in better shape.

You might be dining by candlelight over the holidays.  As beautiful as they are to grace your table, the only drawback is how messy those candles can become after a short time.  However, I have a tip to help solve the problem.

Start the night before by soaking your candles in a flat pan that can hold enough water to cover them (about two cups).  What you need to do is add two tablespoons of ordinary table salt and keep the candles soaking until the next night.  Resist the urge to take them out of the treated water too soon because the salt solution process needs an entire day for it to penetrate the wax that causes it to develop a protective coating.

Make sure to thoroughly dry the candles first before attempting to light them.  If you try this little household solution, you will be shocked at how much longer and more neatly the candles will burn!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Recipe: My Special Sugar Cookies Are Always a Holiday Hit

One taste will convince you that these are special sugar cookies that stand out from the norm.

Just in case that you’re still baking holiday cookies, I wanted to share another favorite of mine.  My Special Sugar Cookies recipe is a buttery delight that is rolled and cut into shapes and finished with a light sprinkling of colored sugar, sprinkles or jimmies (whichever term that you prefer) to decorate. 

Depending on how thick you roll out the dough, you can change the texture of the cookie.  The thinner the dough, the crisper the cookie that you’ll make. Thicker dough will produce a softer texture of this cookie.

Feel free to recruit your little helpers when you make these cookies.  Kids love picking out the cookie cutter shapes and assisting with decorating these, probably as much as they enjoy eating them!

My Special Sugar Cookies

This recipe makes a lot more than what's shown.

1-1/2 cups of sugar
1 cup of butter, softened
1/4 cup of milk
1 large egg
1-1/2 teaspoons of vanilla                
3 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder, leveled                 
1/4 teaspoon of salt
colored sugar, sprinkles or jimmies

Use your electric mixer to cream the softened butter with the sugar thoroughly until light and fluffy.

Beat in the egg and vanilla.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in another mixing bowl.

Now slowly stir in some of the milk and alternate with the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture.  Keep adding until you combine all the dry ingredients.

What I do is to divide the dough into three balls.  The waiting dough goes under my mixing bowl while I roll out the first ball on a floured surface.

Usually, the thickness I go with is about 3/8-inch.  Add more flour to your table or surface if the dough gives you problems and sticks when you use your rolling pin.  

Shape with favorite cookie cutters, glass or even a clean lid from 40-oz. peanut jar works.  All you have to do is improvise to make use of what you have.

Place your shaped cookies on well-greased cookie sheets before decorating with your colored sugar, sprinkles or jimmies before placing in a 350-degree oven for about 12-15 minutes, depending on how your oven is regulated and the thickness of your cookies.  (Thinner cookies need less time, probably about 7 minutes).  

Be sure to check the edges because you don’t want them to brown.  Make sure to see just a slight golden brown starting to color them from the bottom.  Test with a toothpick to see if anything sticks.

These cookies will be soft when you initially remove them from the oven.  Give them about a minute or two to set in the pan before attempting to remove them.


Friday, December 22, 2017

Recipe: Do Try My Chewy Brown-Sugar Oatmeal Bars

This recipe is easy, delicious and no-fail!

I have been baking up a storm adding to my Christmas cookie reserve.  This morning I just whipped up a batch of delicious bar cookies that I wanted to share with you.  My Chewy Brown-Sugar Oatmeal Bars has a minimum of ingredients and only cinnamon and vanilla, but has somewhat of a nutty taste that is delectable.  

What else I love about this recipe is how easy it is to make.  Basically, it is just assembling and mixing the ingredients.  The hardest part is waiting for the butter to soften enough at room temperature for creaming.

I hope that you will give my recipe a try because it is a great one to have on hand through the holidays.

My Chewy Brown-Sugar Oatmeal Bars

1 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon of baking soda, leveled
½ teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
3/4 cup of butter
1-1/3 cups of brown sugar, firmly packed (light or dark)
2 large eggs
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups of uncooked, old-fashioned oats

Cream the softened butter and sugar with your electric mixer thoroughly.  

Add the vanilla and then the eggs to your mixing bowl and beat until smooth.

Now sift the flour, leveled baking soda, and salt together in another mixing bowl.  Add a little at a time to your creamed mixture and beat in.

Next, introduce the oats and cinnamon to the mixture.  Stir in a little at a time.  You can beat this with your mixer or just incorporate with a large wooden spoon.

Pour the thick batter into a well-greased 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan.

Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on how your oven is regulated.  

Test with a toothpick to see if anything sticks.

Give the bars a few minutes to cool in the pan before scoring and cutting into bars.


Thursday, December 21, 2017

Review: Treets Traditions Bath Tea and Shower Cream

These bath products offer a soothing escape from holiday stress.
After a long day at the computer, I look forward to a leisurely bath with my relaxing salts, fragrant oils, bath gels and creams to cleanse and soothe. Usually, it is hard to get me to budge from my tub too soon once I close that bathroom door and spend time soaking with my collection of body pampering bath products.  

Two new bath products that joined me the other night were from Treets Traditions with their Relaxing Chakra’s Bath Tea and Shower Cream. This company’s formulas have Asian roots centered around ceremonial bathing rituals and contain no SLS, SLES, parabens, silicones, colors or mineral oils.

Their Relaxing Chakra’s Bath Tea in Rose & Ricebran Oil ($12.00) was a new experience for me.   Inside the package, I found three giant, heavenly scented tea bags. 

Let me tell you that once I put one bag in my tub and ran a hot bath, the scent of roses filled the room. However, once I settled into my bath, I found how silky that fragrant water felt, which was not surprising considering the formula has rose petals and hibiscus as well for their hydrating skin benefits.  Honestly, I lost track of time after a while but was quickly brought back to reality when a member of the family knocked on the door to see what happened to me.

Feeling guilty that I was indulging too long, I reached for the tube of the Shower Cream in Nourishing Spirits ($12.00).  The product has African Marula oil and Kalahari melon oil for pampering the body with its sweet melon scented moisture.  This provided a creamy lather that was a pleasure to wash with.  

Besides softer skin, I loved how the fragrances clung to my body with a mix of roses and melon that didn’t fade after a few minutes.  If you’re hoping to find products to revive your mood, you should try Treets Traditions, particularly Relaxing Chakra Bath Tea in Rose & Ricebran Oil.  


Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Glo Skin Beauty Contour Kit (Fair to Light) Review + Swatches

This is the Fair to Light Contour Kit.

One of my favorite forms of makeup is contouring and highlighting palettes.  With this one product, I can totally change the look of my face through shadows and light by artificially carving out a new bone structure.  The Glo Skin Beauty Contour Kit is an exciting option toward that goal from what I discovered.

This #Contour Kit comes in two shades the fair to light version that I selected and a medium to dark grouping of four mineral powders.  You also get instructions for placement attached inside this $38.00 kit.  The packaging is cardboard with a slip cover and magnetic closure to this slim kit.

The highlight shades are on the left, but didn't photograph well with the contour shades on the right.

Inside the Fair to Light Contour Kit, the both contour shades are matte, but one is slightly darker with more bronze brown to it while the other has more pink to the brown.  As far as the highlight shades go, there are two.  The first one is matte and the other shimmering champagne.

These powders are smooth, easy to blend and don’t streak. They did provide enough pigment to keep my makeup natural and stayed true without fading for hours, which is important to me.  

If you’re searching for a wonderful Contour Kit that can help keep your shadows and highlighting realistic instead over the top, then you should check out this one from Glo Skin Beauty!


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

How to Prevent Splitting Skin and Heal Cracks on the Fingers From Dry Winter Skin

Left untreated extreme dryness can lead to painful cracks and possible infection. 

This is the time of year that our hands are more prone to developing splits and cracks of the skin due to more dryness in the air, which can be extremely painful and a problem to heal if not treated properly.  However, there are several options that you may want to try to remedy the situation.

Before the skin opens enough to bleed, you need heavy lubrication with a greasy moisturizing cream.  At this stage, a thinner hand lotion formula won’t be sufficient enough for your needs.  Look for a moisturizing cream that has emollients and humectants such as petroleum jelly, lanolin and coconut oil, which is harder to wash off as fast as typical hand lotion.  Reapply often.  

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A few simple changes can make all the difference for the health of your hands.
For those difficult spots between the fingers and their tips, you might even want to try a diaper ointment.  It is geared for extra sensitive skin, provides a water barrier and packed with healing power, especially if you look for one with vitamin A, D, and E in the formula.  

Another helpful tip before those rough lines turn into cracks is applying a thin coat of petroleum jelly to the hands before covering them with a pair of gloves upon turning in for the night.  

Once that skin starts to split, crack and bleed, you need to prevent infection with an antibiotic ointment.  My dermatologist recommends Polysporin because it is less likely to cause contact dermatitis having just the Polymixin B Sulfate (antibiotic) and the Bacitracin (to handle the bacteria) over something like Neosporin that has an extra ingredient that your skin could react too.  Apply as directed and always cover with a bandage. Keep lubricating the uncovered areas as well.

If your skin still doesn’t respond, a fungus could be responsible for the problem.  You might want to try using Vicks VapoRub.  With camphor, menthol, eucalyptus oil, cedar leaf oil, nutmeg oil, petrolatum, and proven fungus fighting ingredient of thymol, it could be the solution that ends your misery. 

Something else that you should think about involves the type of soap that you normally wash your hands with.  Try changing strong antibacterial soaps for something milder for washing your hands. A bar that has lotion built in the formula could help reduce irritation.

Washing dishes manually also contributes to increasing the likelihood of drying out our hands.  Though it is clumsy to use rubber gloves, they can help defend the hands from harsh, drying detergents and water better than going without.

Since the air inside your home is extra dry, which increases your chances of this problem, you may want to get a humidifier to put more moisture in the air.  Then again, you can always put some water in a dish by your heating vents to help accomplish the same thing, if price is a factor.

Finally, you might want to increase your vitamin C intake for your overall body’s health.  Being deficient in this vitamin could be another cause of the skin cracking.

Hopefully, the information that I shared will help prevent or bring you relief because suffering is not beautiful!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Why You May Want to Try Curly Hair Products for Help With Dry, Damaged Hair

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You may want to consider trying some curly hair care products for your hair type, too!

As I mentioned, I have some natural curl in my hair.  When it is one length, the weight of my thick hair flattens the curl into more gentle waves than full curls.  The story changes once I get a layered cut.  The more layers, the more curls that spring up.  Despite how I style my hair, I still always turn to curly hair products to tame and boost moisture more often than other varieties.

The reason I keep coming back to curly hair products is because of the extra moisture this type provides my dry hair for more thorough conditioning.  The reason for more intensive lubrication in this formula is due to handling this hair’s unique texture and porosity. 

The degree of curl determines how heavy the emollients in the formula are most likely to be.  For example, the products for tight, small curls have the richest ingredients for moisture such as shea butter, coconut oil, avocado oil, or jojoba oil for keeping the strands healthy and at their best. On the other hand, a lighter form can be in a product such as a spray.  You just need to experiment and find the right formula that won't weigh your hair down.

Curly hair products also have more ingredients for strengthening, which is another reason to love them when the hair is brittle. If you want to rescue suffering, damaged or coarse hair, try some curly hair products like a smoothing creme, conditioner, mousse etc. and see the extra conditioning benefits that you’ll find in addition to styling.   Give it a try and you'll see how much faster that your hair will come back to its former glory!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

How to Give Brows the Most Natural Look When Filling Them in

This is a foolproof method to give your brows the most natural look.

Before I had my brows professionally done, I made more mistakes with them than I care to admit.  However, I also picked up some valuable pointers that changed all that for me that I thought would be helpful for you as well. 

Regardless of the brow product that you prefer, the most important thing that can improve the look of your brows is color choice.  I have found that two shades lighter than the actual color of my dark brown brows always works out the best whether I’m using a pencil, powder, gel or pen. 

On the other hand, if you’re an extremely fair-haired blond, then you need to darken.  Look for a color that is one to two shades darker than your original brow.    

If you’re still not sure deciding on the shade, then it’s always best to keep your brows on the neutral side with a matte taupe brow instead of overdoing it with the wrong product.  Taupe does seem to work well for all.

What else I learned was that once the brow product was applied that following up with a spoolie brush or even a clean, old mascara wand is necessary. Smoothing the brows in the right direction of how they grow helps blend in the product and clean up any excess.  This simple step does wonders to keep the look of the brows more natural. 

If you remember just these two #brow makeup tips, I guarantee that you'll be pleasantly surprised at how much better the outcome will be.

For more tips, check my earlier posts such as creating the best shape of brows for your face, how to fake fuller brows, how to make fewer mistakes when shaping the brows, and how to tame unruly brows.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Recipe: Try My Three-Step Orange Bars With Candy-Like Icing When Making Your Holiday Cookies This Year

These orange bars are a cross between a pastry and candy.

Today, I have a really delicious bar cookie that you might want to try when doing your holiday baking.  My Three-Step Orange Bars recipe is relatively easy that involves just three steps.  This has a buttery pastry-like bottom crust.  The middle is a custard-like filling with walnuts, finely grated orange zest and shredded coconut flakes before finally being topped with a candy-like, orange confectioner’s sugar icing.  The icing is not your typical creamy butter cream, but a thicker one that hardens to give the bar more of a candy-like quality. 

I hope that you’ll be tempted to try my recipe because it is a very good one that always disappears quickly when guests arrive.  

These bars are delectable, but they also are sinfully rich.
My Three-Step Orange Bars

½ cup of butter, softened
1-1/3 cups of sifted flour
3 tablespoons of sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup of brown sugar, packed (light or dark)
3/4 cup of chopped walnuts
3/4 cup of shredded coconut flakes
1 tablespoon of grated orange zest

Candy-Like Icing:

2-1/2 cups of confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup of orange juice
1 teaspoon orange extract or 1 tablespoon of grated orange zest

Preheat your oven to 350-degrees. 

Mix the butter and flour with the 3 tablespoons of sugar into coarse crumbs as you would do for pastry dough.  

After you get that consistency, press into a 13 x 9 x 2-inches baking pan that is well-greased.

Bake this first layer of crust for about 15 minutes before removing from the oven.  Don’t turn it off because you’ll be returning it shortly to bake again once you prepare the custard filling.

To your mixing bowl, beat the eggs until frothy before slowly mixing in the brown sugar.  Continue beating and then incorporate the chopped walnuts and coconut flakes into the mixture.

Pour this custard filling over the baked crust and then return to the oven to continue baking for an additional 25 to 30 minutes, depending on how your oven is regulated.

Use a toothpick, cake tester or slender knife to check if anything sticks for determining if it is finished.

Cool completely before frosting with the icing.  The icing is a thicker one, more candy-like than creamy for these bars that does harden.  


Friday, December 15, 2017

DIY Bath Salts Make Thoughtful Small Gifts for Co-Workers or When Visiting Friends Over the Holidays

You can add a drop of food coloring to dress your homemade gift up.

What I enjoy doing is baking a variety of different cookies to take with me when visiting friends or giving co-workers.  I still like to do that but I also like to bring another tiny gift with me to share with this homemade bath salts recipe that I love for what it does to relieve tired muscles. 

Though you can buy similar bath salts, I like that I can whip this homemade soak up in small batches to keep the essential oil as potent as possible.  It also is very cost effective compared to some commercial products of the same quality.  Another plus of making DIY bath salts is that you can vary the essential oils that you use to suit your needs.  

What I like to do is collect glass candy jars or a more ornate jar that locks for this purpose to present the salts in.  You buy them easily enough at local stores or find beautiful and unique ones at your local flea market for pennies.  

Fill your bath salts in whatever pretty jar that catches your eye.

I have spent a lot of time soaking in my tub benefitting from this recipe and the magic of what its simple ingredients can do when your body feels tense or sore.  Of course, I don’t hope that you need to use this recipe for any ailment, but it is my favorite winter soak.  My family and friends that have tried it agree, if that means anything.

DIY Versatile Bath Salts 

3/4 cup of Epsom salt
1 cup of coarse sea salt
3 tablespoons of baking soda
3 drops of lavender essential oil or rose 

Mix the Epsom salt, coarse sea salt, baking soda and either the lavender essential oil or the rose essential oil. If you desire to make them look more commercial, add a drop of appropriate food coloring. 

Pour the salt mix into a clean jar.

Secure the locked jar in a gift box or just with a ribbon and bow.

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Rouge Bunny Rouge Tinted Lip Balms Review + Swatches

On the left is Specks of Cherise with Sip of Pink on the right.

Winter weather can really do a number on the condition of our lips.  As a result, I am never without lipsticks, lip gloss and lip balms.  These are staples to add color as well as keeping my lips from drying out.  However, I had never tried any lip balms from luxury beauty brand, Rouge Bunny Rouge, until two of their Dazzling Sip Tinted Luxe Balms arrived.

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Here I swatched both lip balms for you with Specks of Cherise (left) and Sip of Pink (right).

The line of three includes Sip of Pink (raspberry pink tone with some warmth to the shade), Specks of Cherise (deeper, but sheer berry-red on the order of crimson-red cherries) and Pinch of Nude (light beige nude with gold).  Each lip balm retails for $31.00.

These lip balms have a lip treatment, color and anti-aging skin care built into the formula. You may think this sounds pretty much what any lip balm promises.  I was of that opinion at first.  

Yet, this product has an Ecocert-approved active complex for hydration with sunflower oil among its other oils and waxes that does exceptional restoration for hurting lips while delivering flattering color in a lightweight formula. My lips felt smoothed, comforted and quenched for a longer period while staying beautiful without the feel of any heavy, waxiness to them. 

If you’re torn between lipstick to beautify and lip balm for its soothing moisture, then look no more because Rouge Bunny Rouge Tinted Lip Balms solve that problem. Check them out because this lip caring formula makes winter weather bearable again!  


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

How to Avoid Gaining Extra Weight Through the Holidays

With this strategy, you will not fall victim to delicious holiday temptations!

Many of us typically gain a few pounds over the holidays with all the delicious temptations set before us.  However, there are some helpful tricks that can help keep your diet under control without missing out on all the extra special treats set before you.

What I always found to work before visiting during the holidays is to eat ahead with something small that includes some protein like a one cup serving of cottage cheese.  This way if you fill up with a mini meal at home first you are not starving when you arrive at your destination. Doing so makes you more able to resist the platters of delectable hors d’oeuvres and cookies without falling victim to them.  The reason this helps is because protein is what you need to keep your blood sugar levels balanced and cravings under control.  

Of course, you don’t want to appear rude or miss out sampling some of the delights.  Yet, you might want to steer clear of certain types of hors d’oeuvres on crackers or walk away from bowls with pretzels, chips and other salty temptations.  Pretzels and chips are especially bad because who can eat just one chip or pretzel?  The refined carbohydrates they contain have the power to stir up your appetite, which is not what you want.  If a salty snack is what you long for, look for hors d’ouevres served on some fresh vegetable like filled celery sticks, filled mushroom caps, cheese, fruit, etc.

When it comes time to sit down to a meal, you have more freedom to treat yourself without worrying about piling on countless calories.  What I do is zero in on two of my favorites on the table to add to my plate and less of whatever else as well. Guilt of overindulging is reduced without sacrifice in this fashion.

These few dieting tips really do make a difference to keep holiday eating from getting the best of you.  It helps me and hopefully it will do the same for you.   

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

How to Lift Yourself Up When Life Overwhelms to Block Your Happiness and Goals

This beauty listens to her inner voice.

I do not know one person that can honestly admit that their life is perfect.  However, some are just better than others by redirecting stress and channeling it to work for them instead of against.  In doing so, they concentrate on blocking out the stumbling blocks of negativity by focusing that energy in a productive, new direction by listening to their intuition.

Of course, it is not easy to listen to that inner voice that is trying to tell you something.  Most of the time, our minds are so consumed with the current state of our lives that we drown it out to such a low volume that we basically cannot hear or heed its warning.

You may be skeptical of trusting your intuition, but it a built-in tool that can help guide you when you need it to initiate change.  Yet, you’re probably wondering how can you give validity to a mere feeling?  The answer is to start small in trying to develop it.

Anything new can be frightening, but you need to take a step at a time.  For example, ask yourself some questions to practice such as how you help your child, perhaps, be more outgoing or whether to accept a job offer or even just call someone that you haven’t talked to for ages, etc.  Before long, you will get a guiding feeling one way or another with what your gut is trying to tell you.

Though as beneficial as intuition may be, you also need to be logical as well, especially when making important decisions.  Don’t forget facts, but take instinct into consideration as you do.  The more practice that you do using facts in combination with intuition as you develop it can help give you more clarity and insight into viewing past obstacles toward the goals you want.