Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Kosher Taste By Amy Stopnicki Cookbook Review + Giveaway

This is the newest addition to my cookbook collection. The author, Amy Stopnicki is a mother of 4 with an event business so she certainly knows what it's like to be busy. Putting great dishes out on the table for family and guests can be a struggle and with her book she provides many ideas of recipes that are easier in preparation but can still wow with some presentation. 

Would you like to win this giveaway, read until the end of the post where instructions on how to enter will be.

How it looks: This hardcover book is not light at 300 pages long. That is a whole lot of recipes and I think that's the reason there isn't an image for every single dish. 3/4 of the book included a full page image for each recipe. I am picky about pictures because I like to see what something looks like before cooking it up. That is definitely a preference thing.

Whats Inside: You know how I feel about the fish category that often gets slightly left out of cookbooks. That is not the case here! There is a dish for everyone from interesting sides to meats, soups, salads and deserts. If you are looking for a cookbook with weekday meals, shabbos dishes and fancy deserts all in one place then this is going to be a great book for you. 

Extras: At the start of the book is a whole section of excellent cooking and serving tips to get organized and learn to prepare in advance. There is also a 3 week weekday menu plan utilizing recipes straight from the book. 

What I love: How clearly the recipes were written out and in excellent large print with a full page for every recipe. 

What I don't love: The only thing that actually bothers me is the recipes with no images included but I can only imagine how hard it is to write a cookbook especially of this size! In all other ways this cookbook is a 

My favorite recipe from the book: I have so many favorites from the Fish skewers to the Maple Glazed Turkey breast recipe and the elephant garlic soup but of them all the one I really appreciate is the Sweet Ginger Beef Stir Fry which is very much my kind of comfort food. 

Do you own this cookbook? What do you think of it if you do? If you do not, are you hoping to add it to your collection? 

This cookbook was provided to me for review purposes, all opinions are my own honest ones! 

Here are the pretty simple rules for the giveaway which will take place on instagram: 

My instagram handle is gigi_katz

1. Follow me on instagram
2. Go to the picture from this post which will go up at the same time as this blog post does and double tap to "like" the picture.
3. Tag 3 of your instagram friends in the comments by selecting the @ symbol and picking 3 individuals.

If you do not have instagram, please feel free to write that in the comments under this post and I will enter you automatically.

I will choose 1 winner randomly using a randomizer to keep things fair in 1 week from today on Wednesday October 5th and announce it here on the blog, on twitter and on instagram. The book will be mailed to you by the publisher. Good luck! 

Let me know in the comments form! I love hearing from readers!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Wet N Wild Megalast Lip Colors in Red Velvet & Pinkerbell

Every beauty gal seems to be talking about those liquid lipsticks that are all the rage at the moment. For good reason, a great one will need no touch ups throughout the day. I have several to talk about in the very near future as well, but that will be for another day. Today lets have a look at something different. Something a bit more affordable. Very affordable in fact at just $1.99. And you don't have to wait for them to arrive in your mail, they are available in many local drugstores in the U.S. 

I've owned these Wet N Wild Megalast lipsticks long before I even knew I would be a makeup artist and beauty blogger. And I always go back to them for a good matte lip that's comfortable to wear while lasting nicely throughout the day.

Although they go on quite smooth and aren't difficult to wear, they do suck all of the moisture out of your lips. So it's the kind of thing I will wear every other day to avoid overly chapped lips. Applying lip balm before and after wearing one of these certainly works wonders too. Just a little tidbit to keep in mind. 

These come in 26 different shades ranging from purples, to nudes, light pinks, bright red etc. so there really is something for everyone. And each one is packed with color. This means one coat and you are out the door. And because they are matte in finish, the color lasts about 5 hours, leaving behind a nice tint once worn off. They don't set onto the lips like a liquid lipstick would so they will leave a kiss mark on a loved ones cheek as well as a lip color rim on the side of your coffee mug. Even after eating, drinking, or blotting the lips they are still pretty full color on the lips though. 

The packaging is a bit cheap but that is to be expected for this sort of pricetag. The black twist up tube is decently made though. I like the clear lid to see which color is which in a hurry. And the stickered bottoms proudly proclaiming those cute names are a small but wonderful detail in my opinion. These two specific shades- pinkerbell, a pretty mauvey pink and red velvet, a teeth- whitening bright red are the ones I tend to wear most from my collection of these. 

Anyways, I'm sure it is clear that I absolutely love these lipsticks. I will continue to purchase them in all different shades. I tend to wear them on a weekday when I'm out and about and don't have time to touch up. For special occasions and evening events I will stick with my liquid lipsticks. 

Have you given any of these Wet N Wild Megalast Lip colors a try? What did you think of them if you have? If you haven't do you want to? Please recommend me your favorite lipsticks of the moment too!

Let me know in the comments form, along with any other opinions you may have, I love hearing from readers!

Thanks so much for stopping in! 

Stay updated:

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XX. Gigi.

Monday, September 26, 2016

My Strawberry Nutella & Mango Cookie Butter French Toast Roll Ups Recipe (Video)

I warned you about the jars of cookie butter sitting in my cabinet. Before they suddenly became available for sale in stores around here both my mom and mother in law happened to have returned from Israel bearing gifts of Biscoff cookie butter jars. First we had a couple of spoonfuls straight from the jar as everyone must do once and then we started dreaming up ideas of baked goods spread with cookie butter. One weekend I whipped up snickerdoodle cookies with a cookie butter frosting to sandwich between, another fun one was my cookie butter cinnamon buns, the list goes on. Of them all, these were my favorite. I'm lucky I got to have some what with my diet and all, I always treat myself to a little something on the weekend.

 Feel free to substitute butter with margarine, nutella with it's non dairy cousin and the heavy cream with almond milk if  you'd like to keep things Parve. This was a Sunday morning brunch for us so I didn't mind it being dairy. Also, this weeks video takes you through this recipe step by step, so watch it here if you'd like or read until the end of the post because you know it will be inserted as always!

Strawberry Nutella &Mango Cookie Butter French Toast Roll Ups


4-8 Slices of White Sandwich Bread
1/2 Cup Chopped Fresh Strawberries
1/2 Cup Chopped Fresh Mango
Biscoff Cookie/ Biscuit Butter (1 teaspoon per roll up)
Nutella Chocolate Hazelnut Spread  (1 teaspoon per roll up)
3 Tablespoons Butter

2 Eggs
1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
1/4 Cup Sugar
1/4 Teaspoon Salt

1 Tablespoon Confectioners sugar and some nutella to drizzle


1. Start by slicing the crusts off of the sandwich bread very carefully so as to keep things even and preserve as much of the bread as possible. Discard of the crusts or feed them to the birds. Flatten the crustless pieces down by pressing down starting at the center and moving your fingers outwards.

2. Spread each piece of bread with spread of choice. About 1 teaspoon will do the trick. Spread the nutella or cookie butter especially thin and all the way to the edges so that they aren't too bulky, roll up easily and seal up well. Then drop down about 2 tablespoons of chopped strawberries onto pieces of bread spread with chocolate hazelnut nutella and the same for the chopped mango on the cookie butter spread pieces of bread. Tightly roll them up length wise, sealing them tightly and laying them on a platter seam down while preparing the next steps.

3. Prepare the custard. This is the mixture you will dip your rolled bread into. In a medium bowl or dish combine the eggs, heavy cream, sugar and salt. Whisk it with a fork until it is very well combined.

4. Carefully dip the roll ups into the custard allowing the piece to really sink in and soak it up. Then lay out onto a plate to drip off while heating the pan.

5. Heat a non stick saute pan over low heat and add the butter. Allow it to melt down to a thicker frothy consistency without quite melting into a liquid form yet. Then, add 4 roll ups to the pan at a time and allow to cook on each side for about 2 minutes or until golden brown. Then remove the roll ups to a paper towel lined plate for a few minutes.

6. Garnish with nutella chocolate hazelnut by drizzling it over the strawberry nutella versions and roll the mango cookie/biscuit butter ones through powdered sugar/confectioners sugar. Serve warm or at room temperature.

I really hope you will give Strawberry Nutella & Mango Cookie Butter French Toast Roll Ups recipe  a try! Don't forget to leave me a comment below letting me know what it was like if you do! Criticisms and advice are welcome too! And feel free to tag me on Instagram or post your photo on my facebook page as well. 

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Thursday, September 22, 2016

My Top Gear for Working Out at Home

I've always been more of a work out at home at my own pace kind of girl. I did do the whole gym membership thing for a little while and while it was enjoyable and different, I ended up back in my comfort zone- at home. I often get asked about how I do it and what I use. Today I want to share some of my favorite work out from home items.

1) DVD Workouts- About a year after my oldest son was born I began getting antsy about getting back into shape and this was not long after Chalene Johnson released her Turbo Fire series. I ordered myself a set and I fell in love with it. Of all the workout instructors I've ever seen, she is the one I feel I connected with most. Her personality is so catchy and she really knows how to motivate! I did really well with that program but all things do get boring after a time so it's important to switch it up. I do sometimes go back to it for a good HIT workout when I'm in the mood for it.

2) Biking- I've been talking about getting a bike for years. We finally built some shelves in our shed and made some room for bikes. This summer I finally purchased my first adult sized bike. If you follow me on snapchat and instagram then you have heard all about it. I love getting my helmet on and going for nice ride after a long day! I am finally beginning to see definition in areas of my body I've never seen before.

3)  Jumping rope- This may seem like a strange one but when I don't have time to fit in a workout on some nights, my only choice is something quick and simple to get my heart rate going and help me stick to my routine. I've seen my father do this for years and I recently got one of my own. It's not as great as his real rope one with the red weighted handles but it does have a counter to keep track of the jumps!

4) Treadmill- Running is another quick way to burn calories and fat and get in shape fast. I love getting on my treadmill and running for a good 40 minutes while listening to some good tunes or just catching up with some of my favorite youtube families through their daily vlogs. The model I have is the Horizon Fitness T101 and it has a built in fan, water bottle space and ledge for my phone or iPad. It certainly does the trick. 

5) Yoga Mat- This is what I use when I'm doing my core, muscle and toning workouts. I even partake in some yoga from youtube and books I take out from the library on occasion. The floor I do my workouts on is wooden and so a mat is very necessary to keep things smooth, slip free and comfortable. 

These are some of the workout gear items I currently use for my home workouts. I am always looking for new ideas to step up my game and change things up. 

What are your favorite workout at home items? Do you prefer working out at home or at the gym/ with a class?

Let me know in the comments form, I would love to get your input!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Morphe Brushes 35U Multi Color Shimmer Eye Shadow Palette

If you watch any youtube at all then you have heard of the Morphe brushes brand. After seeing how buttery and pigmented their eye shadows were and somehow missing my chance at the Jaclyn Hill favorites palette, I decided to make an order. Not just for an eyeshadow palette though, I picked out some brushes as well. I have been using them constantly ever since. As for the palette, here are my thoughts:

The packaging is a bit bulky because of how many shadows are inside as well as the pan size. It's a bit junky looking as well. But it's totally understandable with it's price tag of just $19.99.

The shadows have alot of fallout and must be used with a primer or cream shadow to keep from moving around throughout the day. Even as you dip a brush into the pan, they kick up a whole lot of dust, creating quite the mess.

The colors themselves are vibrant and pigmented and beautiful. They blend well and go on nicely but can be a bit dusty and lose vibrancy throughout the day. It was really a hit or miss with many of the shades though. The deep forest green, burgundy and copper ones as well as that white highlight shade in the last row on the bottom, all the way to the right are some of my favorites this palette has to offer. 

In this specific palette all of the colors are shimmery or metallic which is what I tend to vear towards when picking shadows but I need to get my hands of one of their mixed palettes at some point so I will have some matte shades to utilize for my looks.

I also wish they had names or numbers as someone who uses my eye shadows in tutorials and has a hard time describing colors. If you want to see this palette in action, I've used it a bunch of times in tutorials on my youtube channel, so go check that out here if you are curious about that.

I ended up giving this specific to one of my sisters who is just starting to play with eye shadow colors and textures more and will most certainly enjoy it more then me at the moment. I will be ordering other palettes of theirs in the future though as there are some that are meant to be top quality apparently!

Have you given any Morphe Brushes products a try? What did you think of them if you have?  If you haven't do you want to?

Let me know in the comments form, along with any other opinions you may have, I love hearing from readers!

Thanks so much for stopping by! 

Stay updated:

Don't forget to follow me with Bloglovin' 

You can also follow me with:

Google Friend Connect (left side bar)/Email/InstagramFacebook/TwitterPinterest / YouTube
XX. Gigi.
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