Archives for the month of: May, 2012

I believe makeup should enhance features not mask them, and one essential product that can make it or break it is eye liner. After experimenting with varies eye liners and putting them through the daily trials and tribulations, I have found an eye liner that is far better than a high-end one, hope this inspires you to try something new.

The two eye liners I experimented with are polar opposites – one is high-end and the other is low-end (drugstore).

Contenders:

High-end: Urban Decay, 24/7 Glide-On pencil in zero (black)

Low-end: Milani, Liquif’Eye metallic pencil in 05 Brown

Pros:

 Milani – super creamy, easy to glide on, long lasting, very pigmented and affordable (less than $10 at CVS, drugstore chain).

Urban Decay – creamy and easy to glide on.

Cons:

Milani – the eye liner is very creamy which is good and bad. Good because it makes it easy to glide on, but it is bad because at times it makes it difficult to correct mistakes (aka crooked lines, yes, it happens).

Urban Decay – to my surprise this was not as long lasting or pigmented as the Milani, and it cost about twice as much.

Test one:

On my left hand create a single layer line, let it set for about a minute, and with my pointer finger rub back and forth five times. The Milani eye liner survives the test much better than the Urban Decay pencil, as shown here:

After the rubbing test:

Test two:

After test one has been completed I let about 30 minutes pass by then I wash my hands with soap. Once again, the Milani eye liner is clearly the winner:

Finale:

After using the eye liners for several months and running them through varies tests, I give the wining title to the Milani Liquif’Eye liner pencil!

~~CAT~~

Granola bars, which make a quick and easy snack or in my case breakfast on the run, were one of my weekly grocery expenses. But not anymore, now I make my own which are much healthier and budget friendly.

Here I will share my recipe which was inspired by the Barefoot Contessa (Food Network star Ina Garten). Keep in mind that you can personalize this recipe and make it your own, which is what I did.

Ingredients:

2 ½ cups of rolled oats

1 cup sliced almonds

1 cup sunflower seeds

1 cup chopped dried apricots

1 cup dried cranberries

1 cup wheat germ

1 cup flax seeds

1 cup honey

½ cup brown sugar

3 tablespoons butter or margarine

¼ teaspoon salt

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Other things you will need:

Parchment paper

Baking dish

Large mixing bowl

Large spoon or spatula

Knife

Measuring cup

Measuring spoon

Timer (most ovens or microwaves have one)

Oven glove

Small saucepan

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 10 x 15 baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl add rolled oats, almonds and sunflower seeds and mix with a large spoon or spatula. Once all three ingredients are well combined toss on to lined baking dish and bake for 10 – 12 minutes, stir occasionally.
  3. Once ingredients are lightly browned, take baking dish out of the oven and transfer on to your large mixing bowl, stir in wheat germ and flax seeds, combined well. (Set aside baking dish lined with parchment paper will be needed later.  See step six).
  4. Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees (immediately after completing step three).
  5. In a small saucepan add butter (or margarine), brown sugar, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, and honey and bring to boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a few minutes, until it starts to bubble, then pour over the toasted oats and almond mixture in large bowl (step three ingredients). Add the dried apricots and cranberries and mix well.
  6. Pour mixture into the previously lined baking dish.
  7. Lightly press the mixture and spread out evenly into the baking dish (you can use your fingers, spatula or another sheet of parchment paper, but remember the mix will be warm, be careful) and bake for 30-35 minutes, until light golden brown.
  8. Cool for about 2 to 3 hours before cutting into bars.

After cutting the granola into bars (or squares) they can be wrapped with saran wrap (plastic wrap) and stored for future consumption.

Hope you enjoy this recipe; remember to personalize it by adding your favorite dried fruits, seeds or nuts.

 ~~~CAT~~~

Additional information: all ingredients were bought from bulk (non-packaged items sold separately at most grocery stores), which were less than $5 (honey not included). Also, this recipe makes about 14 good size bars, feel free to reduce the ingredients or increase depending on the size of your family or needs.

ImageWhenever I take a trip to the grocery store, I am inclined to buying a natural fruit juice like Odwalla or Naked. While these fruit and veggie juices are delicious and nutritious they can also be a bit pricey for those of us on a budget. As an alternative I have opted to making my own fruit and veggie juices.

When I first began making my own juices, I would stick to simple juices such as carrot juice, apple juice, pineapple juice etc. With time, I’ve learned to mix and match fruits and veggies to not only make tasty juices, but to also make them as delicious and nutritious as possible.

I’d like to share one of my favorite juice recipes with you, all in hopes of inspiring you to give juicing a try. This recipe requires that you own a juicer, but if you do not own one, I suggest you chop all the ingredients into smaller pieces and mix them in the blender.

Tangy-licious

Ingredients: (yields about 16 oz.)

  1. 4 carrots
  2. 3 large stalk celery
  3. 4 oranges
  4. ¼ of a pineapple cut into spears
  5. 1 small lime
  6. Tajin or cayenne pepper (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Wash fruit and veggies
  2. Peel skin off the oranges
  3. Cut the celery stalks in half
  4. Cut the top off the carrots (do not peel the carrots)
  5. Peel lime
  6. One by one, insert fruits and veggies into juicer (no particular order)
  7. Stir juice thoroughly and pourImage

**To add zing to the juice, I like to top my juice with a pinch of Tajin (a chili powder) or some cayenne pepper. It makes the juice that much more delish **

Good source of: Beta-carotene, Vitamin A, B-Complex, D, E, K, iron, calcium, magnesium and manganese.

Good for: Anti-aging, cleansing, colds and flu, digestion and cancer prevention

Let me know what you think, Enjoy!

**Cristy**

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