Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas

Today we celebrate the birth of Jesus.  I trust you have a wonderful Christmas and take time to reflect on the true meaning of the season.  Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge Bars

These bars are simple to make using a boxed cake mix.  They are rich and satisfy a sweet tooth!

1 box white cake mix (I used Duncan Hines, 515g)
1 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
10 tbsp. margarine or butter, melted
2 eggs
1 can sweetened condensed milk (300 ml)
1 3/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1.  In a bowl combine cake mix, peanut butter, margarine and eggs.
2.  Set aside 1 1/2 cups of this batter.
3.  Spread remaining batter into an ungreased 9" x 13" pan.  Spread batter partially up sides of pan as well.
4.  For filling, combine condensed milk and chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and melt mixture in microwave for about 1 minute.  Stir until smooth.
5.  Pour filling over crust.
6.  Drop remaining reserved batter mixture on top of filling.
7.  Bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Olay Total Effects 7 in 1 Anti-Aging Moisturizer

I received a sample of the Olay Total Effects 7 in 1 Anti-Aging Moisturizer to review.  I received a 15ml sample size which is a new size that will be available in stores in February 2016. 

The moisturizer easily dispenses from the pump which allows for an easy and clean application.  The product is more of a cream consistency and is lightly fragranced.  

This moisturizer claims to fight seven signs of aging:

  1. Visibly smoothes fine lines and wrinkles
  2. Evens skin tone appearance
  3. Enhances brightness
  4. Minimizes the look of pores
  5. Visibly reduces age spots
  6. Restores firmness
  7. Replenishes moisture

After having used this product for 2 weeks I can honestly say I did not see all of the above results.  I did find that the moisturizer evened out my skin tone.  My skin tone was less red than usual and more uniform.  I also found the moisturizer did replenish moisture and left my skin nicely hydrated.  

As for the other benefits, I did not see any results.  I have very fine lines around my eyes but saw no change.  My skin still seemed to have a dull appearance.  I have large pores in the cheek area close to my nose but didn't find they were minimized with the use of this product.  I didn't notice any change in the firmness of my skin.  I actually don't have age spots yet so I can't really comment on that aspect.

Perhaps with continued use of this product I would see more of the claimed benefits.

I do suffer from oily, acne prone skin.  I'm happy to report that my skin did not get any oilier than usual but I did develop a few pimples while using this product.  Maybe it was too rich for my skin or maybe I was going to get those pimples regardless of what I used.

My final opinion on this product is that it is an excellent moisturizer but not a good anti-aging moisturizer.  I would recommend it as a good every day moisturizer but would skip it for its anti-aging benefits.

I received a free sample size of this product from BzzAgent to facilitate this review.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

We had our first major snow fall of the season over the weekend. It's pretty but I'm not ready for the snow just yet!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara Review

 The Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara is a new product.  It is different in that a multi-layered, volume-fanning brush has been created to capture all of your lashes.  There are 6 different bristle lengths to this brush.  The "inner bristles reach to reveal layers of sensational lashes" while the "outer bristles unfold and comb through lashes for clump-free sensational eyes".  

The tube is a little fatter than other mascaras I own which will take up more space for storage. When I saw the brush of this mascara I was a little apprehensive that it would do a good job.

The brush is smaller and bristles shorter than what I am used to. However, after applying this mascara I am really impressed with the job it did! It got all my lashes and gave amazing length and volume to them. My lashes are even slightly curled and I won't need to use my eye lash curler! 

Upper lashes with mascara on

This formula does not smudge, flake or clump.  It was easy to work with and apply.  Overall, this is a mascara I am pleased to add to my collection and will reach for time and again.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Oatmeal Chocolate Peanut Butter No-bake Candy Bars

A friend posted this recipe on facebook and they looked so good I had to try them!  I've made them a couple times now and they are so easy to whip up and then just set in the fridge to firm up.  

1 cup peanut butter
2/3 cup honey
1/2 cup coconut oil (no substitutes, this is what gives its creamy texture and flavor)
2 cups oats (not instant)
1 1/4 cups mini chocolate chips
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1.  In a medium sized saucepan, melt together peanut butter, honey and coconut oil.
2.  Remove from heat and add oats, chocolate chips and dried cranberries. 
3.  Stir until combined and chocolate chips are melted.
4.  Spread into a 9" x 13" pan. 
5.  Refrigerate until hardened, about an hour.  Store bars in the fridge.
NOTE: I used instant oats in these bars and regular sized semi-sweet chocolate chips and they turned out fine for me.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Monday, October 12, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

Here in Canada we are celebrating Thanksgiving today.  From my family to yours, I wish you a blessed day filled with reminders of all we have to be thankful for.  

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Monday, October 5, 2015

Covergirl LashBlast Fusion Mascara

Covergirl has a number of LashBlast mascaras to enhance your lashes.  Thanks to BzzAgent I was provided with a free sample of the LashBlast Fusion mascara to test.

The mascara comes in your standard tube and the brush is of average length.  The bristles of the brush are soft and rubber like.

Left eye: no mascara; Right eye: mascara

Both eyes with mascara 

I was really impressed with this mascara.  It claims to add up to 10x the volume and length to your lashes and while I wouldn't say I got that much of an increase, it certainly did make a noticeable difference to my lashes.

The mascara was easy to apply, didn't clump and did a great job of separating and coating each lash.  I have tried mascaras that are about five times the price of this mascara and the Covergirl LashBlast Fusion mascara performed just as well!

This mascara washes off easily with soap and water or a makeup removing wipe.  The Covergirl LashBlast Fusion mascara is definitely one of my new go to mascaras.  I would recommend you give it a try today! 

Have you tried any of Covergirl's LashBlast mascaras?  How did you like it? 

Disclosure: I received a free Covergirl LashBlast Fusion mascara from BzzAgent to facilitate this review.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

An onion from my sister's garden that she planted from a seed.  It weighs almost 1.75 pounds!!  It's huge!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Cake Mix Sandwich Cookies

I love making these cake mix cookies!  You can use any kind of cake mix you like but I'm partial to chocolate.  I usually put icing between the cookies but this time decided to try chocolate cream cheese and they tasted great.

1 boxed cake mix (I used a 515g  box of chocolate fudge)
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Chocolate cream cheese (or filling of your choice)

1.  In a mixing bowl, beat cake mix, eggs and vegetable oil together.  Batter will be very stiff.

2.  Roll into 1" balls and place on an ungreased baking sheet.  Flatten tops slightly.

3.  Bake at 350F for 8-10 minutes.

4.  When cookies are cool, spread with chocolate cream cheese and stick cookies together to make a sandwich.

Yield: 19 sandwich cookies

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Monday, August 31, 2015

Batiste Dry Shampoo Review

I received the Batiste Dry Shampoo in the Original formula.  The scent is very light, fresh and clean.  It reminded me of the scent of lemons.  The spray is very powerful and as such can cover a wide section of your hair.

I washed my hair and then flat ironed it.  For the next two days I used this dry shampoo as I wasn't going to be washing my hair.  I tend to get oily patches on the sides of my hair just above my ears.  I sprayed the dry shampoo on and it almost instantly absorbed the oil making my hair look fresh again.  I was really quite impressed how it made my hair look freshly washed again with no oily looking patches.

The instructions say to keep the nozzle about 30cm away from your hair when spraying it on.  You really need to heed that advice otherwise you will end up with white looking hair!  I have dark blonde hair and if I spray too close to my hair it will turn it grey/white in colour.  Not pretty!

I haven't tried any other dry shampoo brands other than Batiste so I can't compare it to other brands.  I really liked this brand and how effective it was at making my hair look refreshed without washing it.  It would be the perfect product to take on a camping trip.  Overall, I will continue to use this product for days I don't wash my hair and will recommend it to others to try.

I received a sample size of this dry shampoo free of charge to test from ChickAdvisor in exchange for my review.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

I made this strawberry cake and frosted it with raspberry flavoured frosting.  Instead of getting out my icing tips and piping bags to decorate it, I decided to use a knife to make this pretty design.  I think I'll try this technique again as it was simple to do!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Chocolate Haystack Cookies

I was craving chocolate so decided to whip up a batch of these cookies.  They are made on the stove top and require no baking.  They go by different names like Stove top cookies, Macaroons etc. but my mom always calls them Chocolate Haystacks.

2 cups white sugar
1/2 milk
1/2 cup margarine (or butter)
1/2 cup cocoa
1 cup coconut
3 cups oatmeal

1.  In a sauce pan combine sugar, milk, margarine and cocoa. Bring to a boil and continue boiling on medium heat for about 10 minutes.
2.  Remove from heat and add coconut and oatmeal. Mix thoroughly.
3.  Drop by spoon full onto waxed paper. (I find a cookie scoop works perfect).
4.  Let cool and enjoy!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Grilled Cheese & Chili Bean Sandwich

I have been making this sandwich for a number of years. I wanted something different than a traditional grilled cheese sandwich and came up with this.  It's quick and easy to make and perfect for a lunch.  It is a little messy to eat but so good!

2 slices of bread, buttered
Cheese, favourite kind
Heinz Chili Style Beans

1.  Place slice of bread buttered side down in a fry pan (medium heat).
2.  Top with slices of cheese.
3.  Add chili beans to cover cheese.
4.  Top with sliced onions.
5.  Place second slice of buttered bread on top.
6.  Pan fry until golden brown on both sides.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Cherry Lime Muffins

Cherries are in season in my local grocery stores and limes were on sale so what better to make than muffins!  I adapted a favourite recipe to make these cherry lime muffins.  They are light in texture and have a nice citrus flavour.  Enjoy!

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable or canola oil
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  • Zest and juice of one lime
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cherries
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. 2. In large bowl whisk eggs and gradually add sugar.
  3. 3. Add oil, vanilla and zest and juice of lime.
  4. 4. In a separate bowl stir together flour, salt and baking soda.
  5. 5. Stir dry ingredients into egg mixture, alternating with the sour cream.
  6. 6. Fold in cherries.
  7. 7. Scoop batter into prepared muffin cups.
  8. 8. Bake for approx. 20 minutes.

Yield: 12 muffins

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Essie Beach Bum Blu Nail Polish

I fell in love with this blue shade from Essie called "Beach Bum Blu".  I typically think of blue shades as colors to wear during the summer.  Beach Bum Blu is a medium blue with lots of shine.  I would say it is very similar to a metallic formula.

This colour covered in just one coat for me.  I did apply a base coat as I read that it can stain your nail bed.  The below picture is my pedicure about one week old so it is holding up very well!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Strawberry Muffins

I love strawberries especially when they are fresh from the garden.  I adapted this recipe to use strawberries.  The result is a great tasting fruity muffin.

1/3 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup chopped strawberries

2 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1.  Cream shortening, sugar and egg.
2.  Combine dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture alternatively with milk.  Stir until just combined.
3.  Mix in strawberries.
4.  Fill paper liners.
5.  Mix topping ingredients of sugar and cinnamon.  Spoon desired amount on top of muffin.
6.  Bake at 325F for 20-25 minutes.

Yield: 9 muffins

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Strawberries! Strawberries!

These strawberries came from my sister's garden.  They were freshly picked today!  They look so yummy!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Vichy Idealia Skin Sleep Review

I have been using the Vichy Idealia Skin Sleep for a week now. This product comes in what looks like a high-end container. It is a dusty rose colour with a silver lid. The top of the lid is a mirror which is kind of neat!

The product itself is a pink colour and is fragranced. The fragrance reminds me of the scent of a green tea perfume. The scent is pleasant but not overpowering. The consistency of this product is a cross between a gel and a cream.

I found that the product does not absorb immediately into the skin and leaves a somewhat sticky residue on the skin. Since I applied this product in the evening before bed, I didn't mind this feeling on my skin. I also applied this product immediately after cleansing my skin which did cause a bit of a tingly sensation.

I have oily, acne prone skin and while my skin felt oilier to the touch with use of this product (mainly in the evening), it didn't cause an increase in breakouts.

After sleeping with this product on my face, in the morning I found that my skin looked refreshed, hydrated and plumper. I have some pitted acne scars and they didn't look as harsh. My skin also felt soft and smooth. Even if I didn't get a good night's rest, my skin looked rested and revived. I would say the results were noticeable but not overly dramatic.

This product is pricey at $52 for 50 ml.  

Overall, I do like this product for the results I saw and would recommend it to others to try.

I received this product free of charge from ChickAdvisor for review purposes.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

My sister is raising chickens this year and the chicks arrived this morning!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Vichy ProEVEN Advanced Daily Dark Spot Corrector

I have been testing the Vichy ProEVEN Advanced Daily Dark Spot Corrector for over a week. I've had a positive experience with this product thus far. The product comes in a tube which is convenient and easy to use. The product is a white opaque lotion that absorbs quickly into the skin and is non-greasy. I have oily and acne prone skin and this product did not increase the oiliness of my skin nor did it cause a break out.

The product is highly fragranced and while I quite liked the scent, others who are sensitive to scent may not appreciate this aspect. I would describe the fragrance as a perfume like smell.

I used this product twice a day in place of my regular moisturizer. It mositurized well and I had no need for an additional moisturizer. I found that this product helped to brighten my skin in a few uses and made my skin feel really soft and smooth. I noticed my make-up went on much easier due to the smoothness of my skin.

My skin tone seems to be evening out as well and it looks more uniform in tone and texture. As for a dark spot corrector I haven't seen any significant improvement in my dark spots. I have multiple acne scars on my face and those scars that have been there for years are not disappearing. I do have some newer acne scars that are a few weeks old and I did notice that one scar has been shrinking in size and getting lighter. Whether that is due to the passage of time or use of this product, I'm not sure.

Overall, I would recommend this product for the improvement in skin tone, texture and brightness but for dark spot lightening I don't see this as being effective yet. Perhaps with more time I will see some improvements.

I received this product free of charge from ChickAdvisor for review purposes.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Rhubarb Buttermilk Coffee Cake

I remember my mom making this coffee cake years ago.  We were recently gifted some rhubarb and I decided to make this cake.  It is just as light and flavourful as I remember!

2 cups diced fresh or frozen rhubarb
1/4 cup plus 2/3 cup sugar; divided
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup buttermilk

1.  Combine rhubarb and 1/4 cup sugar; set aside.
2.  Cream butter and remaining sugar until light and fluffy.
3.  Add eggs, one at a time.  
4.  Stir in vanilla.
5.  Combine flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk.
6.  Fold in rhubarb.
7.  Pour in a greased 9" square pan.
8.  Combine 2 tbsp. brown sugar and 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon; sprinkle over batter.
9.  Bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

Blossoms on our crab apple tree on Sunday.

Flowers on our crab apple tree on Monday.  They practically bloomed overnight!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Blueberry Cream Muffins

I love making and eating muffins.  I can be a bit picky about my muffins.  I like them to rise nicely, be moist and not stick to the paper liner.  These blueberry muffins meet all three of my muffin criteria!

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1½ cups blueberries
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. and spray 12 large muffin cups or line with cupcake papers.
  2. In large bowl whisk eggs and gradually add sugar, continue whisking until pale yellow in colour.
  3. Continue whisking while slowly pouring in oil and then vanilla.
  4. In a separate bowl stir together flour, salt and baking soda.
  5. Stir dry ingredients into egg mixture, alternating with the sour cream.
  6. Gently fold in blueberries.
  7. Scoop batter into prepared muffin cups.
  8. Bake in preheated oven for ~ 20 minutes

Thursday, May 7, 2015

China Glaze Elfin' Around Nail Polish

With the order I placed at Nail Polish Canada, I order China Glaze's Elfin' Around Colour.  I would describe the colour as a combination of red, pink and orange, generally a shimmering coral colour.

I love the formula of this polish.  It covers in just one coat!  I also love the shimmer I get from the polish when it hits the light.  It's a unique colour and I think great for the summer and into the fall.

Overall, I really like this shade and will get lots of use out of it I'm sure.