Thursday, June 29, 2017

Wal-Mart Summer Beauty Boxes

Both of my seasonal Wal-Mart Beauty Boxes arrived earlier this week!  Is it silly that I'm most excited about a sponge?  (Maybe a little bit lol!)  Though to be fair, I do use a lot of masks so anything that makes them easier (and less messy) to remove is golden in my book!

The contents of my "Trendsetter" box

  • Schwarzkopf Got 2b Ultra Glued Invincible Styling Gel
  • imPress Press-On Manicure
  • Ecotools Mask Remover Sponges
  • Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes
  • Pantene Dream Care Shampoo and Conditioner
  • Real Techniques Brush Cleansing Gel (sample packet)

My "Classic" box was full of daily necessities as always.  The dry shampoo was inexplicably missing it's cap upon arrival...

The contents:

  • Banana Boat Dry Balance Sunscreen
  • Dove Volume & Fullness Dry Shampoo
  • Ponds Original Fresh Towelettes
  • Pantene Dream Care Shampoo and Conditioner
  • ROC Multi Correxion 5 in 1 Chest, Neck, and Face Cream
  • Burt's Bees Skin Nourishment Night Cream (sample packet)
As always these are a super steal at $5 each!  If you haven't signed up for yours yet you can do so here.

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.)