Wednesday, January 18, 2012

End Piracy. Not Liberty

If you are interested in keeping the internet a place for free speech, business, and innovation, please take the time to e-sign this VERY short petition. 


You would like the government to regulate and control the nothing. 

Click HERE to help stop SOPA and PIPA legislation from being pushed through.
Two bills before Congress, known as the Protect IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House, would censor the Web and impose harmful regulations on American business. Millions of Internet users and entrepreneurs already oppose SOPA and PIPA.
The Senate will begin voting on January 24th. Please let them know how you feel. Sign this petition urging Congress to vote NO on PIPA and SOPA before it is too late.
Fighting online piracy is important. The most effective way to shut down pirate websites is through targeted legislation that cuts off their funding. There’s no need to make American social networks, blogs and search engines censor the Internet or undermine the existing laws that have enabled the Web to thrive, creating millions of U.S. jobs.
Too much is at stake – please vote NO on PIPA and SOPA.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday night at South 35th

My family really does rock!  :) Hope everyone has a safe and fun weekend.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Marble & Mason Jar Makeup Solution

OK, so the name doesn't exactly roll of one's tongue, but this has been the best addition to my makeup arsenal in quite some time.

I have sensitive skin. I break out like a maniac if I:
change face wash brands
fail to use a fresh towel to dry my face off after washing at night
get too much sun
use 95% of the makeup brands available at a drugstore

Since I have no plans on not wearing makeup anytime soon I am careful about what I use and take care to make sure that the products I use last as long as possible.

In come the mason jars. I love them. For cakes, presents, and even.......make up brush holders that double as makeup brush cleaners. Again with the awkward name, I know.

I like the look of a mason jar in the bathroom on my vanity to hold my makeup brushes in. It gave the vanity a shabby chic feel, and was cheap :). I placed flat glass stones from the Dollar Tree in the bottom to keep the brushes in place as well as to make them more raised so that I could grab the shorter ones with more ease.

I also found that these stones, or marbles, work wonders in helping to clean the brushes.

Here is what you will need:
  • mason jar or some other jar with a tight fitting lid
  • marbles or other small filler
  • baby wash
  • warm water
Step 1:
Grab your clean mason jar with some marbles/decorative stones in bottom.

Step 2:
Add a squirt of baby wash (same ingredients as many more expensive brush cleaners and gentle on your face and brushes!) and slowly add warm water.

Step 3:
Insert brushes and secure lid. Gently shake to agitate soap with marbles. This will help to loosen the dirt and get your brushes super clean. Repeat a few times.

Step 4:
Pour out soapy water and rinse thoroughly with clean warm water. Gently squeeze excess water from brushes and lay on a clean cloth to dry.
Your brushes will be cleaner than ever with minimal mess and clean up! I do this weekly when I deep clean the bathroom. A few shakes in-between tasks and by the time I am done, so are the brushes.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Caboodle Give-Away!

There are very few things that make me miss junior high. The akward hairstyles, leggings as pants (although this is now back in style...weird), and need I mention hyper-color?

 But there were a few things from the early 1990's that were pretty awesome.


Kristy from Kristy's Place is currently hosting a give-away for a new Caboodle.

Yes, you did hear that correctly. A caboodle. Like what I kept my makeup in in middle school and decorated with Lisa Frank stickers caboodle.

Caboodle is turning 25, and they have revamped their product design to offer a more grown up style of accespry organizer. The model offered by Kristy is:

"The Le Sophistique. It has every bag that you will ever need. Six bags to be exact. A clear zippered carryall, large upright bag, rectangular brush bag with protector flap, tubular bag, clear half moon bag, and Specs case. It also comes with 4 makeup brushes. I wasn't so keen on the quality of the makeup brushes included, but that's just fine as the bags in the Le Sophistique more than make up for them. There are small bags that easily slip into your purse. Bags great for carrying makeup and toiletries for overnight stays or small trips, and of course bigger bags to pack and organize for larger trips. The Le Sophistique stood out the most to me not just because of all options but because although made of durable material it's not a hard box, the Le Sophistique bags can be easily packed up wont take up a lot of space in your suitcase or other bags."

Make sure to visit her website for a chance to win! 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Rainbow Cake in a Jar

Even though Miss C is uber grown up and mature now, she loves anything "in a jar".  Pies. Cookies. Cakes. You name it. She has excellent taste.

For her birthday this year I though that I would try something a little different. Rainbow cake in a jar. WHOOHOO. I know some of your minds just exploded. Rainbows and cakes and mason jars. Together. Wow.

"How can average everyday out of the box cooks make this?," you might ask.
 Don't let on, but it is really easy.


REALLY messy.....especially if you are impatient and like to "taste test" the batter as I do to ensure my family received only the finest tastes.

Here is what you'll need:

  • Box of white (your best choice) or yellow cake mix
  • Can of frosting, or your own. I prefer a homemade cream cheese frosting, click for recipe.
  • 6 mason jars size 12 oz washed and dried
  • package of food coloring
  • cake pan 
  • water
  • hand mixer
  • 4 separate smaller bowls
  • small ice cream scoop or tablespoon 
  • cooking spray
Preheat your oven to 350. While the oven pre-heats make your cake mix according to the directions on the back of the box. (In my picture you may see milk, I always substitute milk for water in cake mixes, I think it gives them a fluffier and richer texture)
  Spray the inside of each mason jar well with non-stick cooking spray 
Separate the cake mix into each of the four bowls equally. Add food coloring. A lot. The more you add the more vibrant the color, and saturation is the key here. I used some cheap-o stuff from the Dollar Tree, and I ended up using the entire bottle of each color to get the tint I wanted.
Using your ice cream scoop or tablespoon carefully scoop the mixes into your jars. It work best to start with the darker color and work your way up to the lightest. Doing one color at a time in each jar, washing your spoon or scoop as you go from one to the next, is the easiest way to keep the colors from running together and ensuring you have the same amount in each jar.
Grab your cake pan and fill it with around 1/2 an inch or so of water. Add mason jars and place in over. Bake for 25-45 minutes. Mine took 45, but ovens vary so just keep an eye on them.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Take a spatula or butter knife and carefully take off the rounded tops of the cakes if you are a perfectionist. If not, just go ahead and slop from frosting in there. I usually fall into the latter category, but since this is for Miss C, I was careful.

You can put the lids on these and store in the fridge, or just eat them as soon as you are done frosting them like a normal person.

Cream Cheese Frosting

I am a firm believer in the power of a good frosting. While you can doctor up a cake mix in a box, there is not much that can be done with prepackaged frosting.

Luckily, frosting is so easy to make.

Our favorite kind of frosting is one that is not too sweet, with a creamy texture that adheres well to the cakes. Mr. J and Miss C. both are not huge fans of super sweet frosting, so I have experimented with a lot of ingredients, and found this cream cheese frosting recipe seems to impress just about everyone with or without a sweet tooth.

  • 8 oz. package of softened cream cheese
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 c. powdered sugar 
  • 1 softened stick of butter (1/2 c.)
  1. Place softened butter and cream cheese in a bowl. Note that this recipe calls for softened. This does not mean melted. I have found that leaving them out for 15 minutes on the counter top brings them to about the right temperature. You can try to microwave them for 15 seconds or so, but be careful. Melted butter and cream cheese will NOT give you a thick and fluffy frosting, rather you will end up with something that is more like a rick glaze.  

2. Add vanilla. Slowly mix in powdered sugar

 3. Use immediately or over and store in refrigerator until ready to use.

My little girl is 12

Those of you who know Miss C. may think that she is turning 17 today, but in truth she has turned 12. Yes, she is funny, musically talented, a great writer, and can talk longer than anyone I know, but above all of this she is a great daughter. Happy Birthday C!!!!!!!