Thursday, November 17, 2016

New Beauty Favorites!

I've got some new favorites to share with you today.  I love, love, love to paint my fingernails and my girls' nails when they let me and one of my favorite products to use is Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Top Coat.  Seriously, I can do my nails and go to bed and never wake up with those dreaded sheet marks!  And on top of that, it really gives a beautiful shine to any manicure.  It is a definite must-have!!
bottle of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Top Coat

My next item is Got 2 B Glued Styling Spiking Glue.  Now, I don't spike my hair but I do need some serious help in the volume department and this product works as advertised.  I straighten my hair then put a dab on my fingers and rub them together, then I lift at the crown and back-comb with the glue using my fingers.  I look like a porcupine until I smooth everything down but it gives my crown a hold that I can't get with other pomades or gels.  Be careful not to use too much or you run the risk of looking greasy and crunchy or just plain old yucky so start small and experiment.  
Tube of Got 2 B Glued
My third favorite product for you today is Rimmel Stay Glossy 3D Lip Gloss.  I have like 5 of these babies, two of just one color.  My favorite go to shade is "All Day Seduction" which goes with pretty much everything.  The thing I love about these glosses is that they stay on for a couple of hours which for a gloss is par for the course but they look fine even as they are wearing off.  You don't get that dreaded ring-around-the-lips look like you do with some lipsticks.  They wear off naturally but I find that I still have to physically remove it after a couple of hours.  I would not consider them opaque but semi-sheer.  They come in a wide variety of colors and they're pretty darn cheap, too!  
Let me know if you try any of these favorites and look for more in the future!

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My Fabulous Weight Watchers Journey

Awhile back I mentioned the word "diet" and how I had decided to jump on that wonderful bandwagon again.  Well it's been nine months and I'm happy to report that I'm 25 pounds lighter than I was last Valentine's Day.  WooHoo!  Now let me tell you, it's not been all roses and butterflies.  I've had times where I'd lose a couple pounds and then gain back two or three or I'd go three weeks and the scale wouldn't budge but overall I have to say I'm thrilled with my results.  I met my goal and now I want to set a new goal to lose ten more pounds.
You may recall that I used Weight Watchers to kick-start my weight loss journey.  I used it previously and had success so I decided to take that route again and yes, it was the correct route for me because it has helped me tremendously.  My favorite part about Weight Watchers is the app I downloaded on my phone.  Unfortunately because I live under a rock I had not had a smart phone the first time I used WW so all my tracking was done by hand.  As in writing it in the journal they sold online.  Lucky for me my mom and sister were also doing WW but they were going to real meetings and they could purchase items there which is how I got my tracker, points calculator and points books.  Now a couple of years later, and me coming into the current century I finally have a smartphone and have taken advantage of their wonderful app.  It is so much easier to track my points online!!  My favorite part is the scanner.  When you're at the grocery store and you're grabbing for a box of cereal or tub of ice cream you can scan the bar code and it will tell you how many points that item has per serving.  Such a lifesaver!  I also love being able to key in my own recipes and calculating points.  The recipe is saved so that it's there the next time I need to track it.  The best part about the app is that it is very user friendly which is the key to using it and to keep using it.
belly with jeans too big
Have you struggled to lose weight? Have you tried a program you thought you'd love only to find yourself giving up because of it being too hard to keep up with?  If you are serious about wanting to lose weight but still want to be able to eat foods you love please look into Weight Watchers.  For me, it's the least restrictive plan that I know I can actually live with. And more importantly live with while seeing results!
New signature photo Clarissa_zpsbvf3pcj7.jpg

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Time To Get Fit!

I recently got the idea that it may be time to think about dieting, again.  I've done it before, really only once and had success. But because of my love affair with food and sitting on the couch, I gained back what I had lost and a little more.  Only five pounds more but that put me at the highest weight I've ever been outside of being pregnant.  Yikes!  Grrr, dieting.  I hate that word.  I don't want to become one of those yo-yo dieters bouncing back and forth between skinny and fat or take my body down that road.  I've heard that people who yo-yo diet end up gaining more in the long run.  Anyway, my breaking point was this past Valentine's Day.  Nothing special provoked me to start a new weight loss journey that day, I had finally just had enough of feeling like a stuffed sausage.
 Click here to go to the Weight Watcher's website.

That Valentine's night while everyone else was in bed I decided to check out what this new Beyond the Scale thing is from Weight Watchers.  I had used W.W. in the past to lose 20 pounds (that was that one time when I dieted) and I didn't think it was too hard so after doing a little online scooping I took the plunge and signed up. Fast forward now three weeks.  I'm down 9 pounds (woo-hoo!) and feeling so much better already.  I set a goal to lose 25 pounds which I feel is very realistic and attainable.  I can't wait to share this journey with you!  That doesn't mean I'll stop posting yummy recipes, I may throw some healthy ones in though. 
New signature photo Clarissa_zpsbvf3pcj7.jpg

Monday, April 20, 2015

Love What You Do and Do What You Love!

It's time for me to climb up onto my rooftop to yell about how much I love my job!  That's actually a lie.  I mean, calling what I do a job.  So let's start from the beginning.  It's time for me to climb up onto my rooftop to yell about how much I love sharing Thirty-One Gifts with everyone!  Yes, that's more like it.  I love this company!  I constantly repeat this statement and probably sound like a broken record but I can't help it.  I have nothing bad to say about a company who respects and cares about their Consultants the way Thirty-One does.


   
I have been with Thirty-One for 3 1/2 years and have received a ton of free stuff in that time, plus they periodically offer opportunities for Consultants to purchase discounted kits or take advantage of reduced priced pre-sales.  Thirty-One is always looking out for their Consultant's best interests and they want to help get product into our hands so that we can in turn get that product into our Customer's hands.  The products we receive are usually ones that will be on special in the coming months which helps keep costs for supplies down.  I've never worked for a direct sales company who's done so much to help their front line seller's succeed.



I love working my business.  I enjoy doing in home party demonstrations.  The product is something I'm so passionate about it all comes very naturally to me.  Do I have parties falling into my lap?  No but I have had that happen, I'm constantly brainstorming for ways to expand my business and customer base.  And what's really cool is that there is a ton of training and information provided to us to help us out when we find ourselves in a rut. I'm so glad I took the plunge and signed up when I did. How many people can say the love what they do, and really mean it?
New signature photo Clarissa_zpsbvf3pcj7.jpg

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Crazy Cats


I've got the craziest cats.  The other morning I woke up and went into my bathroom as I normally do. While I was in there I heard a thumping sound on the other side of the wall (the laundry room).  As I walked through the house trying to locate the source of the thumping I saw something laying in the middle of the kitchen floor.  I flipped on the light and it was a ... potato.


They tried, unsuccessfully, to get into the oranges the night before so my hubby put those in the fridge but left the bag of potatoes on the laundry room floor and I busted two cats at the bag.  Not only did they chew through the plastic but they chewed and scratched at the potatoes, too.


And apparently they played kickball with some.  A couple days later when I was cleaning behind the bird cage stand I felt something weird.  Yep, it was a potato.


New signature photo Clarissa_zpsbvf3pcj7.jpg

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake


 I have a confession to make.  This is not the first cookie cake I've ever made.  I made one right before this one and here that one is...


 All 50 million pieces of it.  Maybe not 50 million but when it crumbled that's what it seemed like.  This whole cookie cake thing started with my youngest daughter, Jensen.  She decided that instead of taking cupcakes to school for her birthday, that she never eats anyways, she wanted to take a cookie cake.  I don't know about you but I am a firm believer that homemade always tastes better when it comes to cookies and cakes so I happily offered to make her one.  Something tells me she was a little skeptical when she asked what we were going to do if it didn't turn out right so I hopped on Pinterest to do my research.  Keep in mind that she requested this cookie cake on a Monday and needed it by Wednesday, today which didn't leave me with much time to taste test different recipes.


 I found a recipe on allrecipes.com, and gave it a go last evening.  The plan?  Make 2 cakes and whichever one looked the best would go to school with Jensen.  At first I thought the cookie was a little too sweet and maybe I should've cut the sugar down but judging from my hubby and the kids they thought it was perfect but did request that I lessen the amount of chocolate chips (I know, it sounds crazy but really, 2 cups is a lot of chocolate chips especially when you mix in some mini m&m's).


 Here's the important thing to remember.

  • Keep the dough an inch to 2 inches from  the edge of the pan.  It will spread! 
  • I used a 15 inch pan with a slight lip and some dough came up over the lip but didn't spread over the side.  I just used a knife to cut it off. 
I started this process after 7:00 pm and with only one pizza pan, I was rushing to get the first cookie cake out of the pan and onto 2 cooling racks and this was the result, so please allow it to cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes.  Thankfully the second one turned out great and my daughter gave it a thumbs up.  


Last night I baked my first and second cookie cake and there's really not much to it.   Anyone who can make cookies or bake a pizza can do it.  If you are looking for a thick cookie cake you will not like this recipe.  This cake is exactly like a giant cookie and as thick as one.  Hope you enjoy it!

Ingredients:

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar (could possibly be cut to 1/2 cup)
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed 
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (throw in an extra handful)
1/2 cup mini m&m's

Cream together butter, white sugar and brown sugar.  Add vanilla.  Scrape sides of bowl if using a mixer.  Add eggs, mixing well after each one.  Gradually add baking soda, salt and flour.  Finally, add the chocolate chips and m&m's.  Spoon the mixture onto a greased 15" pizza pan.  Spread mixture evenly on pan leaving 1 - 2 inches clean around edges.  It will spread.  Bake for 18 - 20 minutes at 350 degrees F.  Cookie should be lightly browned.  Allow to cool, then decorate.  Cut and serve.

New signature photo Clarissa_zpsbvf3pcj7.jpg

Friday, January 23, 2015

Peanut Butter Brownies for a Snowy Day


It snowed the other day.  If you are lucky enough to live in an area that experiences four seasons then you know what that means for kids.  "Will we have school?" comes out of every child's mouth.  Remember when you were a kid sitting in school and you saw snowflakes starting to fall?  Remember how you'd get excited when an announcement came over the loud speaker saying you were going to be dismissed early because of the inclement weather?  I do, and I loved those days.  Well the other day was one of those days so I decided to surprise the kiddos and make one of their favorite snacks, Peanut Butter Brownies.  And not just any peanut butter brownie, but one with chocolate chips, too.  


Yes, one of the most addictive, delicious, yummy creations to come out of my oven.  Now I've never, ever made a single batch of these so I'm giving you the recipe based on my preference for doubling it. I found this little gem on allrecipes.com, one of my favorite recipe websites (you'll see it on my sidebar).  The only thing I modified was the sugar because I really don't think you need all that is listed on the original recipe.


Here's everything you need to  make these heavenly brownies.  Technically they're not brown but would they sound as yummy if they were called "tannies"?  And they're not really blondies, either so, we'll just stick with brownies.


Here you're mixing your margarine/butter and peanut butter until well combined.  I used my electric mixer so don't be fooled by the scraper, even though they can be made just as easily by hand.


Next you want to toss in both sugars, the eggs and vanilla.  Then mix again until nice and fluffy.  Be sure to scrape the sides during all the steps.  :)


Add the dry ingredients.


This is what it should look like when you're finished.  But wait, you still need to add the chocolate chips!  I think that's what pushes this recipe over the top!


I don't even measure them.  I just dump until I think it looks like enough.  I stirred them in by hand until they were pretty evenly incorporated into the mixture.  Oh and don't forget to lick the beater, I won't tell.


Spread evenly into a greased 9" x 13" pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 30 - 35 minutes.  I checked mine at 25 minutes and ended up baking them for 33 minutes.  The edges may get much darker but I want the middle to get done so I watch them closely in the last couple of minutes.  Remove from the oven and enjoy.



Did you ever hear the "brownie rule" of waiting to cut your brownies until they are totally cooled?  Yea, well the person who made that up probably didn't like brownies.  I tried a corner right away and later cut this piece.  Perfection!  And the kids were happy, too.  Because nothing beats getting out of school early on a snowy day and coming home to mom's Peanut Butter Brownies.


Ingredients:

1 cup creamy peanut butter
2/3 cup margarine/butter softened
1 cup granulated sugar (you can even knock this down to 3/4 cup and it's fine)
1 cup packed brown sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 - 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

I hope you love these as much as my family does, now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to cut myself another one.  Enjoy!!












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