Tuesday, June 20, 2017

June Allure Beauty Box

This month's box is themed "Glow Getters" and contains the following summer-worthy products:
 
  • Deco Miami Nail Lacquer in "Feeling Fuego"
  • John Frieda Frizz Ease Keraflex Hairspray
  • Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat Blur Primer
  • Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Anti-Wrinkle Booster Serum
  • St. Tropez Self Tan Express Bronzing Face Sheet Mask
  • Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask
I'm very happy with the samples in this box although I'm most excited about the YSL Primer and Tata Harper Mask! The only item I won't use is the bronzing sheet mask, and that's only because I'm not quite dumb (or brave) enough to try self-tanner on my face when I haven't even mastered using it on my legs yet LOL!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Rhubarb Pudding Cake

An abundance of rhubarb in my and one of my good friends backyards meant it was time to get baking.  (It's good to have friends with gardens - she gave me a lot of rhubarb!)  First on my baking list is the super easy Rhubarb Pudding Cake.  With an ooey gooey not-to-sweet center and a crispy sugary crust, this recipe is sure to be a hit with kids and grown ups alike!

Here we have about 2 cups of chopped rhubarb spread across the bottom of a 9" square pan.


Next you'll spread the prepared batter evenly over the top of the fruit and follow that with a healthy (ok, not "healthy" per se...) sprinkling of sugar and cornstarch.



Now for the part that made me do a double-take the first time I saw this recipe:  Pour boiling water over the top.

"Did I read that correctly?"   Yes you did.  Yes it's very soupy looking.  Yes it will be ok.


Bake at 375 for 45 minutes and you'll have this golden brown dessert that is both gooey and crispy.  It's best served hot straight out of the oven with some sweetened whipped cream, but isn't too shabby eaten cold straight out of the pan the next day either.  Not that I would know that personally. *cough*


Rhubarb Pudding Cake
2c rhubarb, chopped
1 3/4c sugar, divided
3T salted butter, melted and cooled
1t baking powder
1/2c milk
1t vanilla extract
1c all-purpose flour
1T cornstarch
2/3c boiling water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit. 

Spread chopped rhubarb over the bottom of a 9" baking pan.

In a bowl, mix together 3/4c sugar, butter, baking powder, vanilla, milk, and flour.  Spread batter evenly over rhubarb.

Combine remaining 1c sugar and cornstarch and dprinkle over the batter.  Pour boiling water over the top.

Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Target Beauty Box - June

Hello Sunshine!

Target's June Beauty Box is all about products that will keep you looking summer ready all month long!



  • John Frieda Beach Blonde Sea Salt Spray
  • Masque Bar Soothing Sheet Mask
  • NYX Gotcha Covered Concealer in "Medium"
  • Aussie 3-Minute Miracle Mask Treatment
  • Hawaiian Tropic Island Sport Sunscreen
  • Schick Hydro Silk Women's Razor
  • Sinful Colors Nail Polish in "Island Coral"
Every single thing in this box is something I will use almost immediately - the NYX Concealer is definitely too dark for me to use as a concealer, but I think I will try a drop or two mixed with moisturizer and see if that works for some sheer coverage.  Other than that, every thing else is spot on!

Time to go get a pedicure with my new coral polish! :D

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Antique Cookbook - White House Cookbook


I first spotted the White House Cook Book a few years back at my favorite antique store.  Unfortunately it was priced outside of my budget, and in the years since I’d only come across copies that were either in terrible condition or priced unreasonably considering the condition.  Then just a couple of weeks ago I found a 1913 edition with the binding mostly intact, for the absolute steal of $17!  I was so excited to start paging through it that I nearly made myself car sick (people who can read in the car amaze me) and I was forced to wait until I arrived home.

Old timey recipes can be endlessly entertaining and occasionally even slightly horrifying.  The White House Cookbook, first published in 1887, has more than just a few gems.   Codfish Balls make an appearance alongside other delights such as Spiced Beef Tongue, Squirrel and Green Turtle Soups (with the option for egg balls for the latter), and Calf’s Head three ways (baked, boiled, or as a “cheese”.)



Fortunately, for every recipe most of couldn’t even imagine preparing yet alone eating, there are dozens of others that pertain to the modern day palate and cook (even if a few tweaks or experimental go-arounds need to made here and there.)  Take for instance that many recipes call for a “teacupful” of rice or raisins, a “coffeecupful” of molasses, or the amount of butter “half the size of an egg”.  How big was the standard teacup back then?  (I would guess ½ a cup with a coffee cup being closer to 1 whole cup.)  And measuring butter by the size of an egg?  That’s tricky because eggs now days are much larger than what chickens produced a century ago.

Antiques cook books also make one appreciate the modern day conveniences most of us take for granted.  When is the last time you appreciated not having to milk a cow to make butter?  Or not having to make a brine to preserve said butter?   Or that you didn’t have to collect warm rain water to make vinegar?  (That last one was a shock to me.  I had no idea!)

There are so many recipes in here that I haven’t the slightest idea which I’ll attempt to a make first.  Between musing about egg sizes and where I could find “brimstone the size of a bean” to make strawberry syrup, I’m just enjoying reading the book!

Friday, June 9, 2017

What I'm Reading: Back in the Day Bakery Made with Love


"Cheryl and Griffith Day, authors of the New York Times bestselling Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook, are back with more recipes to make with love. Who needs store-bought when baking things at home is so gratifying? In this follow-up to their smash-hit first book, the Days share ways to lovingly craft not only desserts, but also breakfast pastries, breads, pizza, and condiments."
I own and love their first cookbook, (reviewed here ), so when their follow-up caught my eye at Barnes & Noble the other day I didn't hesitate to purchase it!  Back in the Day Bakery Made with Love is every bit as wonderful as it's predecessor and contains more than just the dessert recipes you'd expect.
There are savory dinner and side dishes like Beans and Corn Bread Cobbler, Tomato Pie, and Devilish Eggs.  There are both sweet and savory marmalades along with homemade syrups and butters, and also D.I.Y projects such as party hats and cake toppers.  But don't worry, there are plenty of the traditional recipes you'd expect from a bakery like breads, cakes, and brownies too!
I think the first recipe on my to-do list from this book will be the Honey White Bread because seriously, does anything smell better than fresh baked bread? Ok, maybe brownies - those smell amazing too!
 
(Honey White Bread is pictured below alongside Sweet Potato Pot Pie, Chocolate Honey Fudge, and the Sweet 16 Cake Topper.)




Monday, May 22, 2017

Allure and Birchbox - May

Both of these Beauty Boxes showed up in my mailbox on the same day last week.  I am so far behind on things I want to post about (new cookbook, a major antique cookbook score, and recipes) that I decided to combine both boxes into one post and shorten it up a bit!


  • Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense SPF 30
  • Skinfix Foaming Clay Cleanser
  • This Works Stress Check Breath In Fragrance
  • Luxie Beauty Rose Gold Tapered Blending Eye Brush 205
  • Doucce Eyeshadow Mono in "Jody"
  • Kneipp Lavender Body Oil
I'm most excited about the Drunk Elephant sunscreen in this box.  I've been having an issue with facial sunscreen and eye irritation lately.  Even when I'm careful to keep it away from my eyes they will start to burn and water whenever I use SPF on my face. Not sure what's going there, but needless to say, I'm on the search for a new one because I am way too fair to go without sunscreen in the summer!


  • Davines MINU Shampoo and Conditioner
  • Living Proof Perfect Hair Day In-Shower Styler
  • The Beauty Crop Fabulous Flocking Lashes Mascara
  • Tocca Giulietta Eau de Parfum
  • Vita Liberata Fabulous Self Tanning Gradual Lotion
Am I the only one who thinks it's fun that the Fabulous Flocking Mascara has a flock of flamingos on the package?! I'm going to assume "No"! :) And despite the fact that I have a laundry list of self-tanning fiascos under my belt, I'm still cautiously optimistic that I'll find one that doesn't turn me orange.  I will report back on my success or failure of the Vita Liberata in a future post!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Love It, Like It, or Lose It v.11

Time for another over due round of LLL!  I found a new love (that I wish was a bit less expensive), a couple of likes, and one product that I'd like to hurl back at the manufacturer on behalf of my youngest daughter.

Murad Hydro Dynamic Ultimate Moisture - "A luxurious, yet lightweight cream that provides 24-hour hydration to restore suppleness and visibly reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles"

Thoughts:  I really, really like this moisturizer!  Hydrating enough for my dry skin without being heavy and no breakouts.  No visible reduction in my forehead lines but I don't think those qualify as "fine" at this point.

MAC Zoom Lash - "A mascara with a three-sided fiber brush that instantly volumizes and separates lashes."

Thoughts:  I was underwhelmed by this mascara.  Decent volume but not very lengthening.  A bit smudgy also.

Drybar Prep Rally - "A lightweight pre-styling spray formulated with biotin, vitamin B, and UV blockers to detangle, protect hair against heat, and refresh styles."

Thoughts:  Strongly scented and not in a nice "I wish they made this in a perfume" kind of way.  Lightly detangling.  Love the UV and heat protection.

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence - " helps improve the appearance of the five dimensions of beautiful, crystal clear skin—reducing spots and the appearance of wrinkles, improving skin texture and firmness and elevating radiance."

Thoughts:  I've been hearing good things about this product for ages but the price has always kept me away and sent me in search of dupes instead.  Once I got my hands on a sample though I eagerly tried it. Holy buckets this stuff is amazing!  Makes my skin feel so hydrated and honestly seems to improve the results of my other skincare.

Eucerin Eczema Relief - "Helps protect and relieve dry skin irritation and itching due to eczema."

Thoughts:  How this made it out of the lab I will never know.  This caused my daughter's dry itchy skin to to burn and turn bright red.  She looked and felt so much worse.  Definitely do not recommend for sensitive eczema prone skin.