29 March, 2015

Laura Mercier Indiscretion Illuminator

Laura Mercier Illuminator

(Sound the angels)...This product is simply stunning.  I was having lunch with a friend, and we were looking at some of our favorite makeup bloggers.  I came across a photo of this illuminator and immediately had to have it.  Yes, I'm a junkie.  That's why I'm here.  We finished up our tacos and ran over to Sephora, but we were disappointed to find that it wasn't on shelves.  I asked where I could buy it and was informed that it was only available online.  So naturally, I went to Sephora's website, added it to my cart, debated for a few seconds, and purchased.

The Laura Mercier Face Illuminator in Indiscretion is limited edition and runs for $42.00.  I truly wouldn't be surprised if it was already unavailable (I've already seen it on ebay for auction), but I have a feeling it will make a comeback.  This powder is slightly similar to LM's other limited edition Illuminator in Spellbound, but this one is a bit less pinky.

The Illuminator truly leaves you looking angelic.  It's not only gorgeous in the pan, but the finely-milled shimmer translates perfectly onto the skin.  It is slightly more shimmery than other holy grail highlighters such as Mac's MSF in Soft and Gentle and The Balm's Mary Loumanizer, but it's perfect for a light dusting over the cheeks and cheekbones.

I recommend this for more of a finishing powder rather than a top-of-the-cheekbones illuminator.  This does have a slight golden/peachy finish, so it is absolutely beautiful for a summer "I've just come back from holiday" glow.  Use a large fluffy brush, dust it over the cheekbone area, and you look like you've had your 2 gallons of water, veggies, and a perfect tan.  This is also gorgeous on the collarbone, shoulders, and anywhere you want to look like a lit-from-within angel.

Laura Mercier Illuminator

Laura Mercier Indiscretion

I recently did my sister's makeup for her senior pictures, and I used this all over the cheeks for an extremely light bronzed look -- The peachy undertones built up perfectly and made her skin look amazing.  We weren't the only ones who thought this, because we received tons of compliments on the skin -- I attribute them to this product.

Overall, the Laura Mercier Face Illuminator in Indiscretion is beautiful and definitely worth it if you can get your hands on it.  If you're highlight-obsessed like myself, you won't regret picking it up.  If you're not highlight obsessed, you probably have something that does the trick and don't need to run out and scout this out on the web!

Laura Mercier Indiscretion Illuminator

Glowy Makeup


22 March, 2015

Oreo Cookie Bars With M&Ms

If you didn't jump for joy when Birthday Cake Oreos were on the shelf at your local grocery store, this isn't the recipe for you.  If you did, you'll love this.
My sister was making these mouth-watering, moist (I hate that word, but they're moist) Birthday Cake Oreo Bars with M&Ms.  I couldn't resist snapping some photos and sharing the recipe.  These are perfect to bake for someone on their birthday, or to just use some Oreos that you have laying around the pantry.

These have a similar texture to a blondie, but the crushed Oreos give them a soft and thick texture, while the M&M shell adds the perfect crunch!

Oreo Cookie Bars

To make these, you'll only need a few ingredients:
1 stick of butter
1 egg
1 cup of brown sugar
1 cup of flour
1 tbsp vanilla
1/2 cup M&Ms
About 20 Oreos

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F
Prep an 8X8 baking pan with some non-stick spray and parchment paper or foil
Melt your butter, and then add your egg, vanilla, and brown sugar
Add your flour and mix away
Crumble your oreos and combine them with your batter
Place your mixture in a pan, smooth out with a spatula, and throw all of your M&Ms on top
Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes
Let these cool for at least 30 minutes (I recommend an hour if you can), slice, and you're done!

Oreo Cookie Bars M&Ms

Oreo Cookie Bars

Oreo Cookie Bars

Oreo Cookie Bars


Nutella Cocoa Krispie Treats

You can never go wrong with an old fashioned, home-made Rice Krispie treat.  They bring me back to my childhood, and the smell of melted butter and marshmellows is unbeatable.  But Nutella and chocolate are also unbeatable, so I thought, why not combine them all?  Swap out your classic Rice Krispies ceareal for Cocoa Krispies and throw in some Nutella.  Plus, they are almost too easy to make, and the only tricky part is getting all of the melted marshmellows off of your fingers from eating the mixture as you go along.  By the way, don't mind my off-brand Nutella in this post: I ran to Target a few weeks ago and grabbed the Market Pantry without paying attention (but shh, it tastes the same).

Cocoa Krispie TreatsIngredients:
4 1/2 tablespoons of butter
1 1/2 bags of mini marshmellows
6 cups of Cocoa Krispies
1 teaspoon of Vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons of Nutella

Melt your butter in a large pot
Add your marshmellows and stir quickly
Once melted, add your vanilla and nutella -- Make sure you're combining quickly!
Add your Cocoa Krispies
Place your mixture into a greased 9X13 baking pan and let cool for about an hour
Cut up your treats, and you're done!  It's that simple.

Cocoa Rice Krispie Treats

Marshmellows and Nutella

Cocoa Rice Krispie Treats

Rice Krispie Treats Nutella

I can't even begin to describe how delicious these are -- The nutella makes them even more gooey, and the chocolate hazlenut with marshmellow is too good.  I don't think I'll ever revert back to regular Rice Krispee treats, but next time I have a go at this, I'll mix nutella and some peanut butter with regular Rice Krispies cereal and see how they turn out.  How could they not be good?

These make a ton of squares, so you can indulge and still have some for your friends...and even leftovers too.  Treat yourself with a good glass of red wine, too!

Cocoa Krispie Treats


20 March, 2015

Chicken Enchiladas

I'm a Texan.  I love a good Tex-Mex meal full of meat, cheese, and tortilla.  I decided to tackle some chicken enchiladas the other night, and little to say, I was not disappointed.  I actually, for once, felt like I made a meal that tasted as if it came from a Mexican restaurant.  We were all impressed.  Plus, anyone who knows me personally knows that I am crazy lactose-intolerant -- But this was well worth it.  I don't like you, lactose!  But cheese, I love you still.

This recipe should feed 5-7 people, but if you're like my family and me, it will feed closer to 4-5.  We're slightly voracious.

To make these you'll need:
1 pack of tortillas (we used flour)
1 can of enchilada sauce
1 lb chicken thighs
1/2 onion
1 can green chiles
1/2 cup shredded cheese
Green onion to garnish

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F
Cook up your chicken (we boiled ours) -- Tip: if you're lazy, just buy a rotisserie chicken.
Heat some olive oil up in a pan.  While the oil is heating, shred your chicken.
Pour some of the enchilada sauce into the pan with the chicken and let them heat for a few minutes
Dice your onion + Add onion and green chiles to the mixture

Chicken Enchiladas Recipe
Chicken Enchiladas Recipe

Coat your tortillas with enchilada sauce on both sides
Spoon your chicken mixture into the tortillas, roll up, and place folded side-down in the pan
Once your pan is filled, add your cheese on top
Bake for about 20 minutes
Remove from oven, add green onion, and enjoy!

Chicken Enchiladas

These are amazing.  I can put down some food, and I ate 1 + a small half and was done.  And maybe a little rice and beans too...


18 March, 2015

Nars All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation Review

When I saw that this product launched, I had just recently purchased Nars Sheer Glow in a new shade.  I opted for Stromboli in the Sheer Glow and found that it was a good match, but I might need to wait for the warmer months to roll around to help give my tan a boost.

Nars Luminous Foundation Punjab

Nars Foundation Punjab

I decided to pick up the new(ish) All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation in the shade Punjab, which is my usual go-to Nars shade.  This shade is for light-medium skin with golden/peachy undertones, similar to a Mac NC25-30.
Nars Foundation Punjab Medium1

The foundation claims to offer full, natural coverage and 16-hour wear.  This foundation is a very thin texture and almost feels similar to Mac's Face and Body upon touching your skin.  The pigmentation of this foundation is amazing -- One drop should cover the majority of your face.  Literally, one tiny drop.  I found that 1.5 drops was better for me to really cover my entire face.

Nars Luminous Foundation Punjab
Nars Luminous Foundation Punjab

If you have any spots, scars, or funky things you want to cover up, you'll want to go in with a concealer on top.  

I applied my makeup around 7:30AM and it lasted pretty well until 6:00PM.  It did look a bit greasy at the end of the day, but I only powdered my concealer that day and did not set the whole face.  I recommend setting your entire face if you are on the combo/oily side.  Might have to try the Nars powder foundation next...heard it is the bomb a la Chloe Morello.

Nars Luminous Foundation Punjab
6:00PM in natural sunlight


17 March, 2015

Penne Pasta with Italian Sausage and Artichokes

I am always craving a carb-loaded, delicious meal.  I'm a lover of all Italian food, and I don't think anyone can go wrong with pasta.  Recently, I have been watching Laura Vitale's cooking videos on YouTube, and I've been inspired to get my butt in the kitchen and make something other than my lazy go-to of scrambled eggs.

I decided to tackle her recipe for pasta with Italian sausage and artichokes, and easy to say, I was not disappointed, and neither were my eating companions.  So much so that I may have helped myself to thirds.  If you are a pasta and meat lover, this is the meal for you.  Plus, you get a dose of greens with the artichokes!  I found that the mixture was a little watery at first, but if you increase the heat to let the sausage and artichokes cook down, you'll be fine!

Ingredients (I doubled this recipe to make a ridiculous amount of pasta):
1 lb Italian sausage
1 can of artichokes
1 box of penne pasta
2 tbsp butter
3 cloves of garlic
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp parsley
1/2 cup parmesian cheese

To make:

  1. Remove casings from your Italian sausage
  2. Add olive oil to a hot skillet, and add your sausage
  3. Cook the sausage until brown, and add your artichokes
  4. Cook the artichokes + sausage for about 6 minutes
  5. Boil your water and add pasta
  6. Add garlic to your sausage mixture, reduce heat, and cook for about a minute
  7. Add butter, parsley, and a bit of the water from the pasta
  8. Add pasta, combine, and enjoy!

pasta with sausage

pasta with sausage

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