Friday, January 30, 2009

Favorite Thing #107 - Intense XXL™ Volume & Length Waterproof Microfiber Mascara by Maybelline

I decided late last year that I would stop spending so much money on beauty products and start using more affordable products. One of the products I cut back on was mascara. I used to use a mascara from Sephora that was costing me about $20 a tube and I knew this was an easy cut back that I could do so I started my new mascara hunt. After trying about three different kinds I was set on Intense XXL™ Volume & Length Waterproof Microfiber Mascara. I initially tried this mascara because I had a coupon. Well I fell in love! It has the dual tube with the basecoat which I wanted and its waterproof which is also important. It doesn't clump, goes on easy, and really defines my lashes. And the best part is that it's about $7.

Still loving and wearing Favorite Thing #7 - Victoria's Secret Very Sexy Underwear. I still prefer the scalloped sleek hiphugger but I have also tried the scalloped brazilian-cut panty which I like as well.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Great Buy - Graphic Tees from Old Navy

Normally I am not a big fan of "graphic tees" but Old Navy has a really great selection at some really great prices. There are 36 different choices and they are all $14.50 each. I am going to order a couple online and cross my fingers they look as good in person. I am getting them mainly to work out in. Something different then my old, worn random T-Shirts I have in my drawer.

Favorite Thing #106 - Victoria Ruffle Shirt from J.Crew

I LOVE this Ruffle Shirt from J.Crew. It's is a creative take on a basic white button down shirt. It's your basic white shirt with a standing pleated ruffle collar and sleeves. It can be worn a bunch of different ways and both for work or play. I've paired it with Favorite Thing #16 (Jackie Cardigan) and it looks so darn cute. I wish I had a picture of me in it to show you but I don't so take my word. It is a little pricey at $89.50 but definitely worth it.

Still loving Favorite Thing #6. Since we are in the thick of winter Burt's Bees is a necessity in my purse, coat, and desk at work. I can't live without it!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

J.Crew Sale - 30% off

One of my favorite stores J.Crew is having a great sale. 30% off all items that are on final sale. Check it out. There are some great deals for example Favorite Thing #96 is on sale for $19.99 and don't forget you get an additional 30% off. There are only two colors available an bright tangerine (not that bright, I own it) and citron yellow (I am debating on whether or not to get that one).

Fun Super Bowl Party Idea

My husband is a HUGE Pittsburgh Steelers fan so when they made it to the Super Bowl this year we decided to have a Super Bowl party. We decided to do a theme party to involve all of our guests and also keep costs down for us. We are hosting an "Ultimate Recipe Showdown Super Bowl Bash" where all of our guests are asked to bring their specialty party dish - dip, casserole, hor'dourve, etc. This party idea is based off the show Ultimate Recipe Showdown on Food Network hosted by Guy Fieri. All of our guests will vote on the best Super Bowl Party dish and the winner will get a prize (which is TBD). I think this is a great way to keep costs down (not that my husband and I are cheap but it can get expensive), there is going to be a variety of all kinds of great football food (we asked everyone to list what they were going to bring in the evite so there weren't too many duplicates and then I know what food staples are missing and I can provide them), and it will be a fun twist for those not really interested in the game. This party idea can be used for any big get together - makes it fun, interactive, and affordable.

Favorite Thing #105 - Laura Mercier's Tinted Moisturizer (Oil Free)

I have been waiting to post this favorite thing because I really wanted to make sure I loved it. Sometimes when I first try a product I love it but then after several months I'm not as big of a fan. Well this is for sure a favorite thing - Laura Mercier's Tinted Moisturizer (Oil Free). I used to wear Bobbi Brown Even Finish Foundation (Oil-Free) and when I went to pick up more at the Bobbi Brown counter in Bloomingdales I wasn't getting waited on after 10 minutes so I decided to go to the Laura Mercier counter where I got 5 star service. The make up artist introduced me to the tinted moisterizer and I decided to give it a try. I like it because it's oil-free and really light weight. And the added bonus is that there is SPF 20 in it as well.

Some of my favorite blogs also love this foundation - Epic Makeup and My Wardrobe Today. In addition to the foundation I also have the foundation primer which I really like. It helps the foundation lay better and helps it last a bit longer through out the day.
The foundation also has a great kit available - Laura Mercier Flawless Face Kit. It's great for travel and you get a few extra bonuses (concealor, etc.) as well. It is only available at Sephora and offered at a great price of $65.

The kit includes -
1.0 oz Foundation Primer (Step 1)
1.0 oz Tinted Moisturizer (Step 2)
Translucent Loose Setting Powder (Step 3 and 4)
0.21 oz Undercover Pot Shade #3
Secret Camouflage Brush
Camouflage Powder Brush
Velour Puff
Egg-shaped Sponge

Still LOVE Favorite Thing #5 - Bubble Bath nail polish. With spring right around the corner this nail polish will be used in my manicures lots and lots. If you don't have a bottle I definitely recommend you get one.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Favorite Thing #104 - Quartet Dinnerware

This favorite thing was one of the items that my husband and I put on our registry at Crate and Barrel two years ago - Quartet Dinnerware. Sorry the picture is so small, I couldn't find a bigger one. I love this simple set. The plates are square (with rounded edges) and white. There are so many different items to choose from in the set. We have a set of 12 of the dinner plate, salad plate, low bowl (great for pasta), bowl, and mug. There are several serving items that go with the set but I have a different metal serving set (stay tuned for another blog post). The only problem I have with this set is that the low bowls which are great for pasta and other items are not so good with cereal. So for cereal with have a couple of plastic colorful bowls that were a gift from my sister-in-law that we use.

Here are some details about the dinnerware from Crate and Barrel's website -

Clean, contemporary dinnerware with clever, multi-use pieces. Sleek squared shapes with rounded corners and flared rims are rendered in durable, glossy porcelain. Cup and mug have squared handles.
  • Durable and chip resistant
  • Dishwasher-, microwave- and oven-safe
  • Baker has a pour spout; baker lid may be used as a platter (see additional photos)
  • Made in Germany
Thanks to reader Britta for noticing the plates in my post about Missy Potatoes and sharing that she has the same ones.

I am still in LOVE with Favorite Thing #4 - Misto. I use this item probably every other day when I am cooking. It's a must have in your kitchen. For all you brides this year definitely put this on your registry! It is available at Bed Bath and Beyond and Crate and Barrel (not called a Misto there).

Monday, January 26, 2009

Favorite Thing #103 - Kleenex Expressions

This is a random favorite thing but I love these tissue boxes from Kleenex. These specific tissues are part of the Kleenex Expressions line and they come in the oval or square shape boxes with all different chic patterns on them. I love them because all the different designs go with the different color combinations I have in each room in my house. I usually find them up at Target.

Favorite Thing #3 - Garlic Peeler from Crate and Barrel still remains one of my favorite things! In fact I love it so much that I gave it as my annual Christmas gift to all of the ladies on my side of the family. This makes a great bridal shower gift and if you are putting together a registry and must have on your list!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Great New Recipe - Nasty Buns

This great recipe came from my sister-in-law's neighbor Trina. This is NOT healthy but it is sooo delicious. Sorry there is no picture of it.

3/4 cups chopped pecans
1/2 cup (1 stick) Butter
1/2 cup maple-flavored or pancake syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 cans (12oz. each) refrigerated flaky buttermilk biscuits
1 pkg (8ox) cream cheese, cut into 20 cubes (it says 20 cubes, but you'll only need 16, b/c there are only 16 biscuits in a can)

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 12 cup fluted tube pan or 10 inch tube pan w/cooking spray. sprinkle pecans evenly on bottom of prepared pan;set aside. melt 2 Tbsp. of the butter in small microwavable bowl. Add syrup;stir until well blended. Drizzle over pecans in pan; set aside.

Melt remaining 6 Tbsp butter; set aside. Mix sugar and cinnamon in shallow dish; set aside. separate dough into 20 biscuits; press each slightly to 1/4 inch thickness. Roll cream cheese cubes in cinnamon sugar mixture until evenly coated on all sides. Place 1 cream cheese cube in center of each biscuit circle; gather up sides of dough to enclose filling. Press edges of dough together to seal; roll into a ball. Dip top of each ball into remaining butter, then into cinnamon sugar.

Arrange half of the balls, cinnamon sugar-sides up, in prepared pan. Repeat with remaining balls to form a second layer. Drizzle with any remaining butter; sprinkle with any remaining cinnamon sugar.

Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown. cool 1 minute in pan, invert onto serving platter. Scrape any remaining pecans left in pan; spoon over buns. Serve warm.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Favorite Thing #102 - Aqua Globes

This favorite thing was a Christmas gift from my grandmother - Aqua Globes. I know what you are thinking - seriously Christina you are posting a "As Seen On TV" item. Well yes I am because I love them. She got me two of them and I have them in the two large plants I have at home. I have already seen a huge difference in the way that they look. They are perky, blooming, and just look really, really great. I wish I would have taken before and after pictures. They are really easy to use (and I am sure everyone has seen a commercial for them), all you do is fill the globe, place it in the soil and it will water the plant itself. Check back every week or so to see if it needs more water. I don't want to sound like an infomercial but you can get a set of four globes for only $14.95.

Do I still like Favorite Thing #2? ABSOLUTELY! I am still in love with my Chi. I actually had to replace it a few months ago (after having it for 5 years). And right now it is the cheapest I have ever seen it on Amazon for $66. My Vera Bradley cover for it actually has a hole in (after having it for 4 years) so I am going to replace it with the Cambridge pattern (on sale and matches my other luggage).

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Thank You to Just Plain Joy

Thank you to one of my favorite bloggers Joy for writing about me on Just Plain Joy as her Tuesday Top Pick. I love her blog because its is all about simple, clutter-free living.

Vera Bradley New Patterns

Vera Bradley has some new patterns out and I really like their Hope Garden pattern.

The pattern is "a cascade of colorful flowers inspires hope and new beginnings. A fresh white canvas hosts hand-painted strokes of leafy green and sky blue amid whimsical blooms of red, pink, orange and golden yellow. A charming stone blue border and a white trellis on coral pink lining finish this natural beauty." This pattern is their new breast cancer color.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Favorite Thing #101 - 80 Pocket Hanging Jewelry Organizer

This favorite thing was a Christmas gift from my hubby - 80 Pocket Hanging Jewelry Organizer. He knows that I am an organizational nut and was in desperate need to find a jewelry organizer. I looked and looked for a jewelry armoire and just couldn't find one that I liked or the ones that I did like were more money than I was willing to spend. But he got me this organizer and it is PERFECT!!! I can see all my jewelry and it makes it wasy when I am deciding what to wear. I find now I am wearing different jewelry since I can see what I have. The organizer fits perfectly in my closet and the best part is that it is VERY affordable. Right now on Amazon it is $9.30!!! I still have my jewelry box that I have all the jewelry I wear daily.

Since I am through 100 favorite things I thought I would revisit past favorite things at the end of each new favorite thing post and let you know if I still love it, use it, etc. Favorite Thing #1 was the marble ring. I do still wear this ring but not nearly as often as I used to. I still love it I just have been lazy when I get ready and haven't pulled this ring out in a while. I do know that several of my readers got this ring (or a version of it) and I hope you guys still love it too!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Need Help from You!!

Hello All - I really need help finding a good eye make up remover. I've tried Sephora's brand and it was too harsh and irritated my eyes. Right now I am using the Too Faced Lash Injection Antidote and its gentle enough on my skin but it really doesn't get all the mascara off. And it's too expensive (I am trying to cut back on my beauty spending). So I need your help, please let me know any of your suggestions. Thanks!!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Great New Recipe - Baked Potato Soup

I know that I have been posting a lot of new recipe's on here but its because I have been trying to make a new recipe every two weeks. This weekend was cold and rainy and the perfect day for soup. I decided to make this Cooking Light recipe that I have had on file for a while. It turned out great. Not to cheesy, great consistency and super easy to make.


  • 4 baking potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds)
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) reduced-fat shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 3/4 cup chopped green onions, divided
  • 6 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled


Preheat oven to 400°.

Pierce potatoes with a fork; bake at 400° for 1 hour or until tender. Cool. Peel potatoes; coarsely mash. Discard skins.

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Place flour in a large Dutch oven; gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly (about 8 minutes). Add mashed potatoes, 3/4 cup cheese, salt, and pepper, stirring until cheese melts. Remove from heat.

Stir in sour cream and 1/2 cup onions. Cook over low heat 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated (do not boil). Sprinkle each serving with cheese, onions, and bacon.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 329 (30% from fat)
Fat: 10.8g (sat 5.9g,mono 3.5g,poly 0.7g)
Protein: 13.6g
Carbohydrate: 44.5g
Fiber: 2.8g
Cholesterol: 38mg
Iron: 1.1mg
Sodium: 587mg
Calcium: 407mg

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Favorite Thing #100 - My Engagement and Wedding Rings

I have been waiting to post this favorite thing for the 100th one. This is my engagement ring that my now husband completely surprised me with on November 11, 2005.

This is part of Ritani's Engless Love Collection. It has an emerald cut diamond in the center with pave diamonds surrounding it and on the band. My wedding band is the exact same as the band around my engagement ring. I know I am biased since it is my ring but I LOVE it.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Great New Recipe - Missy Potatoes

Another great recipe. This one courtsey of my sister-in-law Aimee. These are great potatoes and my husband would eat these everyday if I made them for him.

Missy Potatoes

Bag of Orieda southern style hash browns/thawed (plain)
1 cup - Green onions
1 cup - Shredded Cheddar Cheese
2 tablespoons - Melted Butter
1/4 teaspoon- Pepper
1/2 - 1 teaspoon - Salt
16 oz - Sour Cream
1 can - Cream of Mushroom Soup
Plain Bread Crumbs

Preheat over to 350. Mix all ingredients in a bowl (minus the breadcrumbs). Put in a greased 13x9 glass dish. Bake in oven for 1 hr. or longer if you like it more done. After 30 min add bread crumbs to top.


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Favorite Thing #99 - Nikon D40

Another newest favorite thing has been something that I have wanted for a long time and saved up for - Nikon D40 Camera. Ever since I took photography in high school it has always been a passion of mine. I have always had used self-focus cameras. I really wanted to get a new one and my co-worker Steve suggested the D40. I loved the pictures that he took with his so I put it in my Amazon shopping cart and that's where it stayed for a while till I saved the money for it. I just got it before Thanksgiving. I ended up getting it at Ritz Camera because they were having a great sale. I am sooo happy with it. I love it! It's easy to use and the quality is amazing. It's digital so what's nice is I actually get to see the pictures as I take them unlike before where I would take them and pray they would turn out ok. I haven't figured all the goodies on the camera yet and I am actually going to buy Nikon D40 for Dummies to help me figure it all out. I can't wait

Friday, January 9, 2009

Favorite Thing #40 Update

I have a new favorite scent to go with Favorite Thing #40 - Black Amethyst from Bath and Body Works. I just refilled the wallflower in my living room with this scent and WOW it smells amazing. I am not very good with describing scents so I will let the Bath and Body Works do it for me:
"Master perfumers have seductively layered a sophisticated blend of Italian bergamot and rare camellias with exotic sandalwood and a surprising twist of vetiver in this hypnotic fine fragrance inspired by chic, sensual and confident women."
The wallflowers are now on sale for $5.00 each. There are a lot of great items on sale there but shop soon because the sale ends this Sunday.

Gift Idea Friday - Sephora Brand Scent Sampler

This was a Christmas gift from my husband and it is such a creative idea. Sephora has come out with a creative way to buy perfume. The have the "scent sampler" which includes ten sample of their top-selling women's fragrances and a gift voucher that can be redeemed at any Sephora store for a full-size bottle of any one of the samples in the sampler. They way it works is
  1. Purchase the Fragrance Gift Certificate as a gift or for yourself.
  2. Sample the fragrances and choose a favorite.
  3. Fill in the enclosed voucher.
  4. Bring the voucher in to your local Sephora store and redeem it for the fragrance you've chosen.
The samples include:
  • Aquolina Pink Sugar
  • Bulgari Omnia Crystalline
  • Calvin Klein Euphoria
  • Givenchy Very Irresistible Givenchy Sensual
  • Gwen Stefani L.A.M.B.
  • Lavanila Vanilla Grapefruit
  • Marc Jacobs Daisy
  • Philosophy Amazing Grace
  • Stella McCartney Stella
  • Vera Wang Princess
So far I love all the scents I have tried. It is going to be hard to pick one. This is one of several scent samplers available at Sephora. You must be a Sephora Beauty Insider which is a free service and gives you even more rewards. It's my favorite thing #29.

The other samplers are:

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Great New Recipe - Easy Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

This recipe comes from one of my favorite blogs Kathy Maister's Start Cooking. She makes cooking simple and easy. Everything is step by step and she gets me excited to try new things. Along with the recipe's she also just helps with basic techniques, how to cook certain things, etc. I've always wanted to make homemade chicken noodle soup but just didn't know where to begin till I found this recipe. Normally I would just list the recipe but because she does such a good job of the step by step and how everthing should look I will just send you right there for Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Favorite Thing Sale Alert

Favorite Thing #3 - Garlic Peeler is now on sale at Crate and Barrel. This is by far my favorite kitchen gadget. I love it so much that I gave it my mom, grandmothers, and aunts for Christmas. And now it's on sale for $3.95!!!!

Favorite Thing #98 - Dansko Patent Leather Clogs

This favorite thing is thanks to my sister-in-law Aimee - Dansko Patent Leather Clogs. These shoes are soooo comfortable and are very cute. I've been noticing that my feet are getting in worse shape as I get older and continue to wear shoes that are for looks not comfort so I decided to get these. They are great for work or play and they carry the seal ofAcceptance from the American PodiatricMedical Association. They are a little pricey at around $120 but I hear that they last forever. You can get them on Amazon, Nordstroms or visit the Dansko website to see a local store where they are sold. So far I love these and I will be sure to let you know if that changes.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Favorite Thing #97 - Women's Ironman Watch

I'm back from a nice long break and I hope you had a great new year. With this new year comes lots of new favorite things for me to share. The first one of 2009 is a new favorite thing thanks to my husband. This was one of my Christmas presents - Ironman Watch. I love this watch for several reasons:

1) I didn't want a "girlie" watch - no pinks, purples, etc. This one is perfect because it's a woman's watch so it fits my wrist and it is in neutral colors.

2) Its easy to use and read.

3) It's affordable. Right now it's only $21.06 from Amazon.


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