09 July 2014

Tony Awards Themed Make-up and Hair

This is extraordinarily tardy, but I did my make-up and hair special for the Tony Awards last month, which also happened to coincide with closing for Secret Garden. I did something I'd done before, which was gold shadow and a black winged eye liner. I also used one of my gold hair accessories to complete the look. Had it not been such a crazy day, I probably would have done a bold lip as well.

07 July 2014

Mud Scrub

A while back I threw a recipe for Mud Scrub into my files to try out later. Now that it's summertime and my legs are out in full view and getting shaved rather frequently, I realized I should be exfoliating them more. I decided to try out this recipe and I am really loving it!

Mud Scrub
1 cup brown sugar
5 Tbsp coffee grounds
~1/4 cup grapeseed oil
1 tsp peppermint extract
1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine the brown sugar and coffee grounds. Slowly mix in the oil. You may not need the full 1/4 cup. I think I only used a couple tablespoons. It also depends on how liquid vs solid you like your scrubs. I made this particular batch fairly solid (if you look at the original blog, she made hers a lot more liquidy). Once the oil-sugar ratio is to your liking, add the peppermint and vanilla. You can of course skip the extracts, but they do add a lovely scent. That is actually one of my favorite things about this scrub- it smells AMAZING!

Part of the reason I decided to make this scrub in particular was because I have some old coffee lying around that I won't ever drink and my brown sugar had turned into rocks, so this was an excellent way to use some of it up. To combat the brown sugar rock problem, I recently got a Brown Sugar Bear and it is the best thing ever! He keeps the sugar nice and soft. You can of course use white sugar rather than brown if you want and the oil can be whatever kind of oil you like to use. I have a big bottle of grapeseed oil that I use in all my DIY beauty products because I like that it doesn't have a strong odor and is relatively inexpensive.

I've been using the mud scrub every couple days for the past few weeks and I'm really loving it. It does a good job exfoliating, smells positively delicious (I swear it helps wake me up because of the coffee smell), and leaves a nice moisturized feeling once I'm out of the shower. It is a bit messy in the shower since the coffee grounds don't dissolve like the sugar does, but it's easy to quickly rinse off the walls before your shower is over. Definitely my favorite DIY scrub to date!

Rhubarb Cake

Summertime means lots of fun fruits and vegetables, including rhubarb! Growing up, we never had to buy rhubarb, because either we or someone we knew had it growing in the back yard. Well, that is no longer the case for me, but I had a hankering so I went to the grocery store and picked some out. I didn't really feel like making pie, so I decided to make my great-grandma's Rhubarb Cake. Mike wasn't thrilled with it (we suspect he doesn't like rhubarb) but I love it. It's sort of like coffee cake with rhubarb throughout. If you like rhubarb, you'll think it's delicious!

Grandma Settle's Rhubarb Cake
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup margarine
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups chopped rhubarb

1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 13x9 pan. Combine flour baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

2. Cream the brown sugar and margarine. Add the egg, buttermilk, and vanilla. Stir until well combined. [I went the easy route and did the 1 tablespoon vinegar + enough milk to make a cup instead of buttermilk because I don't keep buttermilk in the house.]

3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet. Stir in the rhubarb. Spread into pan. Sprinkle the sugar-cinnamon topping over the cake. Bake for 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

4. Cool and enjoy!

All that's missing is a fork!
I could also see walnuts in this being good. My family is not good on nuts, so they may have been in the recipe to begin with and were cut.

06 July 2014

Spring Knitting

I was able to finish up several projects last week that I'd started this spring. I'm very excited to use all of them. The first was this cowl that I've been working on FOREVER. The knitting of it actually didn't take all that terribly long, but it I couldn't motivate myself to do the kitchener stitch to finish it off until recently.

Good view of the lattice stitch. Project page on Ravelry here.
What it looks like on.
The color is a bit washed out in these photos. The blue-green is a bit brighter. The yarn I used is the Herriot yarn from Juniper Moon Farm in Iceplant Green. The pattern is a JMF free pattern that can be found here. Because the Herriot is baby alpaca, the cowl is unbelievable warm and soft. It almost makes the prospect of cold weather exciting, because then I can start wearing it!

The second project that I finished was this fun (and of course slouchy) hat:

Front view. Project page on Ravelry can be found here.

Side view to show off the lace pattern better.
This was something I decided to whip up after I had a ton of trouble trying to start another cowl. The yarn is the Zooey yarn from Juniper Moon Farm in Toasted Coconut. It is a cotton linen blend which makes it nice and cool to wear, as well as quite soft. It's the perfect yarn for a spring-summer hat. I'm actually wearing it right now! I'm glad I made the hat with the Zooey, because the yarn is a bit unusual to work with, so it was nice doing something easy with it before I jumped into the cowl. I got the pattern off Ravelry, but you can get it directly from the blog here. I did add in a few repeats of the lace pattern to make it a bit slouchier, and I'm glad I did because I love the end result.

The final project that I finished last week was something that I didn't have a pattern for but sort of just cobbled together a few different stitches. I wanted a small little clutch purse that would fit my phone and card case, for when I didn't want to carry around my whole backpack, purse, or even wallet. The idea being that I can just throw my phone, credit card, ID, and a chapstick in it and go.

My phone clutch. The project page on Ravelry is here.
Anyways, I couldn't find a pattern that was exactly what I wanted, so I decided to practice a few techniques. I used this Peacock Tail stitch for the detail on the bottom, then I did stockinette for the rest. To make the holes for the ribbon, I did a simple yo, k2tog interspersed amongst the knit stitches. To do the back, I picked up a row of stitches after the Peacock Tail stitch on the wrong side and then knit from there. After that, all that was left to do was seam up the sides. I used my US size 2 DPNs and the Findley Dappled yarn from Juniper Moon Farm in Springtime. (Yes, all these were made with JMF yarn!)

I've started another project since I was a good girl and finished all my works in progress. Maybe I'll blog a sneak peak of it soon!

Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Fourth of July! This has been a crazy week of rehearsal which is why this post is two days late. But better late than never, right? That's the attitude I took towards my festive manicure at least. I finally got the time to do it last night. And here it is!

So the thumb is a dark pearly, green-blue with sparkles over it to be the fireworks. And the rest of the fingers are obviously the flag! Sadly, I had to take a picture of my left hand, which wasn't as clean, because when I put the top coat on my right ring finger, it totally smeared the dots. :(

29 June 2014

Product Review: Neutrogena Naturals Night Cream

One empty jar and one new jar still in it's box!
I've been meaning to post about this product for quite some time and am finally getting around to it now that I'm on my second jar. What product you ask? The Neutrogena Naturals Multi-Vitamin Nourishing Night Cream (wow! that's a mouthful). I use this every single night after I wash my face and I love it!

It took me a while to get around to using night creams, but after realizing I was putting on a daily moisturizer with SPF on my face before going to bed, I decided to re-think that decision. The first one I tried was Neutrogena's Light Night Cream. It was moisturizing and not too heavy, but didn't love it. I also tried out Clinique's Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief, which is technically for all skin types, but not specifically for night time. I found that it was just a bit too moisturizing for me to use all over my face every night. I have been using it in a pinch for the past week because I'd run out of my Neutrogena Naturals and couldn't get to the store, but I like using it best as an eye cream at night, not all over my face.

The Neutrogena Naturals Night Cream is the perfect balance of moisture for me. I have combination skin, so I'm constantly combating oiliness, but I also have to contend with dry skin in places. This night cream does an excellent job of making my face feel deeply moisturized but also feeling like it soaks in completely and doesn't leave an extra layer of greasiness on my face. Like all the Neutrogena Naturals line, there are no harsh chemical sulfates, parabens, petrolatum, dyes, or phthalates. And it is, of course, non-comedogenic (won't clog pores). So, if you have combination skin and have been searching for a night cream, I highly recommend this one.

Favorite Things: Sally Beauty Supply

Sally Beauty Supply is my new favorite store. They have professional grade beauty products, including the Manic Panic that I've been using to dye my hair recently. Today, I swung by to pick up some manicure supplies in preparation for the special Fourth of July manicure I'm going to do and because they were having a huge sale. I got all the following items for only $12.06!

So many fun goodies!
The Sally Girl polish in the skull bottle was only $0.50. I may keep it for myself, but more likely I'll give it as a give to someone. The two Nina Ultra Pro polishes were two for $4.19 so I got Anaconda Liked It in addition to the Super Dry Topcoat which is one of the things I specifically needed. The two Sally Girl Mini Nail Polishes I got seem to be discontinued colors. They were $0.20 each; the one on the left is U Glow Girl and the orange one has no name! The little green device in the back is a Mini Eyelash Curler I got that was only $0.40. I figured it would be great for my make-up bag when traveling.

I was super excited to find the Beautique liners at Sally's because I'd randomly ended up with one of the eyeliners in black from a show and fell in love with it but had no idea where to buy it. They're fairly soft pencils and glide on in a really lovely way. I find it's the pencil I have the best luck with when trying to freehand a winged liner quickly. They were each only $2.19 so I picked up a lip liner in Real Red and two eyeliners in Brown and White. I just couldn't pass up trying the lip liner since I like the eyeliner so much, and the brown and white liners seemed like great colors and very versatile.

Anyways, I was super excited about all my finds and wanted to share! One thing to note about Sally Beauty is that they have a "Beauty Club Card" you can buy ($5 normally but sometimes they do promos and discount it- I only had to pay $2.50 for mine). It's 100% worth getting as it means everything is discounted with your card. You also get a $5 coupon when you sign up and a guarantee that they'll refund your membership fee if you don't save it over the course of the year. It is well worth it- I've probably saved over $10 at this point and I've only been a member for two months.