Sunday, August 18, 2013

Current Beauty Faves - 8/18/13

Yup, that's right!  I'm still alive.  I know you were beginning to wonder if I'd fallen off the face of the earth but never fear, I'm back ;)

I felt like jumping on today just to mention a few of my "current faves."  I won't waste your time with any excuses for my absence and instead I'll just get right into it!  

Hard Candy So Baked Bronzer in "Tiki"

After years of haphazardly fluffing bronzer all over my entire face, I've finally gotten into the practice of highlighting and contouring.  Before I was just trying to look tan and I'm fairly sure I just looked like I had a dirty face. 

Anyway, I love this Hard Candy product NOT for bronzing but for the highlighting.  It's around $9.00 at Wal-Mart (I'm not sure if you can get it anywhere else) and it lasts forever.  This powder is a beautiful golden/tan concoction that simply makes me *glow* (well, I think so anyway!).   I've tried other highlighters such as ELF's  "Gotta Glow" (which is supposed to be a dupe for NARS Albatross), but it doesn't come close to matching the beautiful sheen I get from Tiki.  I typically use this in conjunction with Bare Minerals ready bronzer in "The Deep End" with MAC's powder blush in Springsheen on my cheeks.  

And for anyone looking for a highlighting/contouring guide, here is a great (exaggerated) visual from Kevyn Aucoin:

Image Source

I know in my 2012 beauty favorites I mentioned some of my favorite Sigma brushes and I have to say my obsession with Sigma has only grown.  I have no idea if painters are picky about what brushes they use but for me, makeup brushes have made all the difference in makeup application and the final product. Given how much of a difference they make and how well these brushes hold up, I feel like they are worth the price and are MUCH more affordable than comparable high end makeup brushes. 

My current favorites from Sigma are the F10 and F86.

When I first received the F10 I wasn't sure if I was going to like it.  I am picky about the width of my blush brushes and was concerned this was going to be too dense and narrow.  I'm happy to report that after continued use it does loosen up and provides the perfect fanned shape for applying blush to my cheeks.  

I purchased the F86 with the hope that it would be perfect for applying the setting powder for my under eye concealer and sure enough, I'm in love again!  I feel like it's hard to strike out with any of the Sigma Kabuki brushes.  They are incredibly soft and apply makeup like a dream.  After I apply my trusty MAC Studio Finish Concealer, I dip my F86 in Bare Minerals Well-Rested, tap off the excess, and dab from the inner corner to the outer corner.  It sets my concealer perfectly and applies just the right amount of setting powder.  

I am so obsessed with these brushes that I just purchased two more for back ups :)  

Getting back to makeup products, lately I've been reaching for my Wet N Wild eye palette in "Comfort Zone."  

This is a beautiful and AFFORDABLE eye shadow palette that can be used for multiple looks.  Lately I've been keeping it simple and using the top left three.  I've been using a mix of the eyelid and browbone color all over the lid and a mix of the eyelid and crease color on the outer v.  It offers great pigmentation and when paired with eyelid primer can last all day.  I believe I purchased this for around $5 at Wal-Mart. 

The last item I'll mention today is E.L.F. Mineral Lipstick in the shade "Rosy Raisin."  

I purchased this lipstick shade online and was so pleasantly surprised with the color.  I've been looking for a "my lips but better" color for a long time and this is the best neutral I've found.  It's a beautiful, warm pinky-nude.  It doesn't wash my lips out (I hate that!) and it looks incredibly natural.  My only complaint is the severe angle of the lipstick.  It feels a bit unnatural when I apply it. I don't know if this is a fluke or if they are all like this but it bothers me just a bit.  

I hope you enjoyed this round up of current faves!  I have a lot more in mind I've been meaning to post about.  Let me know if you've made any new discoveries lately.  


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Paleo, Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

My husband and I are in the middle of a 30 day Paleo Challenge. Adjusting to not consuming any processed foods (including flour) has been a little of adjustment for us, I LOVE TO BAKE! Of course, within reason...I make cookies every once in a while as a treat! I had no idea how to adjust baking without the use of flour, but luckily I have discovered the magical, wonder of almond meal! I absolutely LOVE this stuff! It makes a great substitute for real flour and adds a nice nutty flavor to everything I have baked. Here is a chocolate chip cookie recipe that I came up with after trying a few others out. We love these cookies and they are pretty filling with the pecans and almond flour in them!
1 1/4 cup almond flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup pecans whole or halves (not chopped yet)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
½ cup coconut oil 
1/4 cup honey
1 cup chocolate chips (I like Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chocolate Chips)

1. Mix almond flour and baking soda together. 
2. Place pecans in a food processor and pulse until you get a very fine flour, but not so much you get pecan butter. 
3. Add pecans to almond flour mixture with a fork and blend well. 
4. In smaller bowl, mix vanilla, egg, coconut oil, and honey. 
5. Combine the wet ingredients and dry ingredients with the chocolate chips. The dough will be really sticky.
6. Using a small spoon (I use a melon baller) spoon dough onto a cookie sheet. The size of the cookie should be about a heaping tablespoon.
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes until tops are toasted brown.
8. VERY IMPORTANT -Let cool 10 minutes before picking up of they will fall apart.

Click here for a printable recipe

The Skinny: 20 @ 174 calories

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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Why I Run

I recently read a little comic by the guy who runs about why he runs long distances and it got me thinking on my run this morning. Why do I run....
 (Me post 5 mile run   ---please don't judge my for my fanny pack....I love my water!)

1. To Lose Weight- I am 13 pounds away from my pre-baby weight and I have found that running burns a ton of calories in the shortest amount of time. I run to lose that 13 pounds --and I will lose it.

2. To Exercise Without Kids- I love my kids, but because that I stay home with them I am around them ALL THE TIME running allows me to run away.  --Run far, far away from my responsibilities of being a mother/wife and have some good alone time.

3. To Create Memories With My Kids- I know, this totally contradicts the statement above, but I cannot always run without my kids. My husband works a strange schedule, so it is very rare when I get to run alone (without waking up at dawn while the family sleeps.) Luckily I purchased this awesome double jogging stroller that I can ACTUALLY run with!
I love this stroller and use (and talk) about it all the time. I load the kids up and I do "running park tours". We run to the first park and I set my timer for 10 minutes for them to play. Then we run to the next par, etc. The little breaks allow me to recover and I can usually get a good 5 mile run in, they get to play, and we have lots of fun going to a ton of parks in a few hours. In the evenings we end our runs with a stop at the frozen yogurt shop in town and everyone enjoys that!

4. Vanity- I run for defined legs, smaller rear, and tighter abs. It is VERY rare that you see someone who is a regular runner and they don't look good. Running works so many muscles in your body that it's almost impossible not to see the side effects. And like I said above, I still have some baby weight to lose!

5. My husband- My husband is a runner and without him I would still be that girl that runs a 15 minute mile. (Really I would be that girl who walks a few blocks and feels winded.) He likes to run, I like to try to run with him, we like to run races together, and it's nice we have in running in common. We constantly ask each other how far we ran, where we ran, how fast we ran and it's a normal topic of conversation we both have. (Secretly I am trying to run faster and father with him, but he is a 15 mile type of guy so I have some ways to go!)

6. Nature- I run to enjoy the beauty of the outside. I live barely outside of city limits and my runs are always scenic. Most of my neighbors have horses, there are acres of forest, acres of fields, deer galore, and bunnies that hop out of my way when I run by. Every once in a while I have to stop and take a picture of something that reminds me how much I love this area we live in.

7. For Myself- The final reason I run is for "ME" time. I can say that 75% of the days I go running I don't want to do it. It's hard. I feel every muscle in my legs working, my chest is tight from breathing hard (or maybe my asthma?), my abs start hurting after a while, and I am usually pretty tired after my first mile. However, the feeling I get when I am finished is AWESOME and keeps me going. Not only do you experience the phenomenon known as runner's high, but you also have the chance to really think while running. It is sort of my therapy to mull over thoughts in my mind, hatch out problems, make plans, or even sometimes it's my time to just have nothing in my mind.

That's my reasons for why I run. I may not be a marathon runner, the fastest runner, or the best looking runner, but then again I am really just running for myself and that is really all that matters.

Do you run? If so, I would love to hear the reasons why you run!

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