05 October 2014

Happy Fall!

I know it's technically been fall for a little while already, but it's really been feeling like it lately, and just last week, the leaves started to change.

I have been decorating inside:

The chocolate eye balls were a big hit in rehearsal.

And nature has been decorating outside:

All that to say, Happy Fall!

03 October 2014

Outfit of the Day

I had fun getting dressed this morning, so I wanted to do an outfit of the day. Sadly, my phone died right as I went to take a picture at the end of work. Therefore, you get the outfit in two parts:

Hat and cowl Ravelry pages here and here.

I'm wearing the hat and cowl I knit, the red dress I got from Lilly (you can see the whole dress in this post), patterned thigh highs from Victoria Secret, and my black boots from Payless. As it's rather cold, I also wore my leather motorcycle vest and cream wrist warmers when I was outside. I felt very much like I was dressed as my alter ego.

27 September 2014

Saturday Shopping

It is slowly becoming habit that when I have an extra long break between shows, or between rehearsal and a show, that I run to a craft store and CVS. There is a Michaels and CVS just down the street from Stoneham Theatre, and a nice big Joann Fabrics and CVS about fifteen minutes away. Last week I picked up yarn for a few projects (at least one of which is a gift). This week I went more to browse, and got a few really fun things on sale at Joanns. I got this yarn on clearance for only $1.97.

You can never have too much 100% Acrylic, Super Bulky yarn, right?
I don't have any specific use in mind for it, but I liked the color, and Super Bulky weight yarn is nice to have on hand because you can whip it up into something really quickly.

I also got these amazing eye lashes to wear for Halloween. Well, probably actually the day before, since I work on the 30th, but not the 31st.

Little Miss Muffet, sat on her tuffet...

I realized when I took a picture, that I probably should have been more choosy when grabbing them off the shelf, as it looks like I may need to trim this pair, but I'm still super excited about them. They're freaking spider webs! You can find them on the Joann's website here. I also got a few other fall themed items, but they were gifts, so I can't tell you about them.

I then went to CVS and was a rockstar at working their coupons/extra bucks. Here's the bottom of my receipt:

That's right, I saved more than I spent! Everything I bought was either on sale or got hit with my 25% off coupon, and then I also had $5 in extra bucks.

Important fuel for the weekend.
All the Arizona teas were on sale 2/$1, which always makes me super happy. I bought some Dickenson's Witch Hazel, because I'm nearly out, and it's what I use as toner every night. It also happened to be on sale, which was awesome. And then lastly, I decided to put the extra bucks towards trying out a new hair product I've had on my wishlist for a while.

Love me some de-constructed style.
I got Garnier Fructis Style De-Constructed Move It Manipulating Gel (what a mouthful!). The description says it "gives you roughed-up looks with texture and body, that are not sticky, stiff, or weighed down. Rough up and texturize yourhair for 24 hour deconstructed style that looks done yet undone. Get touchable control with a subtle, satin finish and ultra strong hold." It got good reviews in something that I read (I want say it was Glamour) and since I'm usually going for a messy, textured look, it seemed like a good product to try. I'll report back later on how I find it. (And I promise I'll get around to doing review of the two Not Your Mother's products I bought a while ago.)

Now I think it's time for a nap and then the second to last performance of Doubt!

22 September 2014

Ion Color Brilliance: Take Two

Spurred on by how much I loved the Ion Color Brilliance Brights in Red this summer, I decided to try out the Magenta. Before I dyed my hair, though, I decided I need to take a bit of length off. So I ran to Supercuts, and got it cut.
Fresh cut hair, but not yet styled.
There are many reasons why I've been digging the Ion Color Brilliance Brights line, not the least of which is the fact that the color is cruelty free (in addition to be ammonia and peroxide free).

When I squirted it out of the tube, I could tell that the Magenta was different in more than just color. Colorwise, it was more purple-y than the Red had been. It also didn't stain random surfaces in the same way as the Red. It also rinsed out SO MUCH EASIER. Of course, this reduced pigmentation resulted in a much subtler color.

Not the best picture, but I was trying to get what it looked like under sunlight. (You can also see my purple scalp.)
 It doesn't have the punch of the Red, but my hair definitely looks dyed in the red/magenta family. It didn't do as good a job of covering the roots vs previously dyed bits to an equal intensity, but that's to be expected.

Indoor shot- this one shows the color a bit better.
I feel like the color looks a bit more red than either of these pictures show. I was a disappointed when I first did it, but it has been growing on me. It's not the crazy color I got before, but it's actually a really lovely color nonetheless. I can't decide if this makes me more or less hopeful to try the fushia or another similarly odd color. On the one hand, if they blend like this, then even if I don't love the color, it doesn't scream. On the other hand, I do want the option of crazy hair. I have another box of the Red already bought, so when this fades, I'll just have to decide it I want to do that again right away, or try the Fushia.

16 September 2014

New Orleans Style Bread Pudding

On Saturday, I bought a day old French baguette as part of my dinner. Sunday, I used some of it to make open-faced grilled cheese slices to go with tomato soup (SO GOOD!) But I still had about half a loaf of bread that was getting more and more stale. So I decided to make some bread pudding. I've never had a bread pudding I really loved, but I couldn't think of anything else to make with stale bread of such a small circumference. I looked up a recipe on Food Network, and decided to go with Emeril's New Orleans Style Bread Pudding. I modified/simplified the recipe a bit to make use of what I had. It turned out to be delicious!

New Orleans Style Bread Pudding
3 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup bourbon
1 1/2 cups milk
4 cups stale bread (cubed)
1 cup rasins

  1. Beat together eggs, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and bourbon. (I used Jim Beam.) Add milk.
  2. Stir in bread and raisins. Let sit for approximately 2 hours in the fridge (stirring once) so that the bread really soaks up the custard.
  3. Grease a large loaf pan and preheat oven to 350F. Pour the bread mix into the pan and bake for 55 minutes or until custard is cooked.
  4. Let cool 5 minutes in pan.
So what did I change? I swapped milk for half and half and reduced the overall liquid content (eggs and milk) by 25%, but I left the spices and sugar as it was for flavor. The reason being, bread puddings I've had in the past were too soggy. By reducing the amount of custard, the finished product had a much more pleasing texture. I also skipped making the Whiskey Sauce, mainly just because I didn't feel like making it. And I don't really miss it. The pudding is quite good by itself. I had some of it shortly after it came out of the oven, and I also had some re-heated tonight. It was of course better right out of the oven, but it wasn't half bad tonight. I have to say, the bourbon flavor really does make the whole dish more palatable.

15 September 2014

Treasures from Grandma's House

I don't think I put this on my blog, but my Great Grandma Settle passed away in July, just after a visit the rest of my family had made to Oregon. She was the last one of her generation on that side of the family. Since then, my Aunts and Grandma have been sorting through the contents of her house, deciding what to keep, what to sell, and what to throw away. As a part of all that, I was sent a box of little things. Aunt Abby had let me know she was sending me something and I received the box last Friday right before work. I definitely got all teary eyed going through it. The best part was, there was a letter enclosed explaining what everything was. I decided to take pictures of everything and blog it, to have a record for myself.

Two books- one is to teach your shorthand, the other is about words. 
 The books are both pretty and something I'm excited to read through.

The brush belonged to Grandma Fisher. The coin purse wasn't on the list, but contained something else that was.
These are both really cool. I haven't decided whether or not to use the brush, or keep it in it's mint condition. I probably will end up using the coin purse at some point as it's just so cute.

Military handkerchief belonged to Grandpa Granville (two or three greats), the smaller handkerchief was embroidered by Great-Great-Grandma Fisher for her mother Abigail Granville. The little rectangles that say Yale are cigar or cigarette silks. They used to come in the boxes, and apparently Grandma Fisher collected and played with them.
These items were some of the things that made me tear up the most. It's so nice to just have old things from your family. Once I get my cork boards up, I think I'm going to hang the cigar silks on them.

This fun Americana/Pin-up apron was Grandma Settle's.
One can never have too many aprons. :)

Thank you note that I sent Grandma and Granddad years ago.
 This was the other thing that made me tear up. Aunt Abby said that Grandma saved every thank you and letter from her great-grandkids. She sent me this particular one of mine.

Turtle from Grandma Fisher's collection.
 Grandma Fisher collected all sorts of little animal figurines. I have a couple with my things in Maui. This little guy came in the box though. He's adorable! And I almost missed him too. He was hiding in the packing peanuts. Thank goodness I double checked the contents before throwing out the box!

Grandma Fisher's costume pearls (blush with a gorgeous clasp) and Grandma Settle's bird brooch. 
 I loved both of these so much that I knew I had to wear at least one of them right away. I decided the pearls went best with what I'd picked out, so I wore them to work. I got one compliment in person, and then a TON of likes when I posted this picture on Instagram/Facebook.

I'll admit it, it's heavily filtered. ;)
The last two things in the box I've already gone and re-purposed.

Grandma Settle's crystal vase/cup.
Mal's Mug which belonged to my great-great-grandfather Malcolm J. Fisher.
I realized that both of these would work excellently as beauty storage. I've been needing to add some storage, but was hesitant to use more tin cans. These are much cuter and I wanted to put them somewhere I'd see them a lot.

So. Much. Stuff. But at least it's organized!
Here you can see the mug and vase in their new home. Did I mention that I can't wait to move and have somewhere better to put my make-up than my dresser?

Enclosed in the box was also a slip from the USPS saying that "The enclosed has been damaged in handling in the U.S. Postal Service." Fortunately, nothing in the box was broken. And based on the explanation of contents, the only thing that seems to be missing as one of Grandma Settle's doilies. I'll be checking with Aunt Abby to make sure nothing else fell out. The post office says they'll try and recover anything that's missing if you tell them what it is, but I have a feeling that's an arduous and somewhat fruitless process. 

14 September 2014

Budget Haul: Amazon and CVS

I mentioned in a post that I'd ordered a bunch of body butter off Amazon. Well, I finally got to pick it up from the post office on Monday. It was a box of awesome.

That's a lot of body butter!
On top is Tree Hut's Shea Body Butter in Coconut Lime. From left to right on the bottom is Village Naturals Aromatherapy Energize Orange and Grapefruit Body Butter, C. Booth Olive Oil Body Butter, and Burt's Bee's Cranberry & Pomegranate Body Butter.

Never forget, I got all this body butter for $35. Ridiculous. I've been using the Tree Hut one so far, since there are three of those, and I've really been liking it. The texture isn't super smooth and the scent isn't quite as delightful as I could have hoped, but it is by no means off-putting. And none of that really matters long once you've put it on. And it certainly does the job of moisturizing! I'll report back once I've tried some more of them.

I also thought I'd share a couple things I got at CVS today. I needed some more face wash, so I got the CVS Oil Free Acne Foaming Scrub Pink Grapefruit, which is the generic brand of Neutrogena's Grapefruit Scrub. I've been wanting to try the Neutrogena one, and CVS usually does a pretty good job at duplicating products. I also got some CVS Exfoliating Apriocot Towelettes. They seem to be similar to the ones from Target that I love, but are more convenient to go get (and they were 50% off because they were the second CVS facial product I bought). I also found these really cool soaps that were on sale for 69 cents each. The brand is Yardley. They're a UK brand and seem kind of awesome. All their soaps are paraben and sodium lauryl sulfate free, as well as not tested on animals. I have a ridiculous stock of soap already, but I couldn't resist the draw of what seemed like really amazing soaps for such a crazy price. So I picked out the Yardely Soap Oatmeal and Almond and the Yardley Naturally Moisturizing Bar Lemon Verbena with Shea Butter.

I also went and found a bunch of fun stuff for sale at Michael's, but most of that is gifts, so I can't tell you about it!