Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Anastasia Brow Wiz & Benefit Gimme Brow, 2 In 1 Review



Brows. They have never really been my strong point. With a little bit alotta bit of practice, I feel I have now figured out how I like them best. It also took major self control and a whole lot of allowing the hairs to grow in without having them waxed as was my norm, for several long months. I quite minimally tweezed to clean up any stray hairs between my brows and underneath them every few days, but that was all. I highly recommend trying this to gain thickness and shape if you are struggling with your brows as well.


On a whim, I decided to get them cleaned up a bit after 8 months of holding back fairly recently. Of course as fate would have it, alot of those much looked after brow hairs were removed. 8 months of hard work down the drain. I have now sworn off ever getting them done again and face a daily struggle of getting them to look just right. I am currently waiting very patiently for those hairs to finally begin to grow back in. So what am I utilizing to get my brows looking just right?


For a while I stuck strictly to a taupe-brown powder and an angled brush when filling in my brows, and I continue to turn to that technique on a rushed morning as it's hasty. When I have some extra time and really want to get a perfected, defined brow look, Anastasias brow wiz is where I'll turn. The tip of the Anastasia pencil is so tiny which means no unintentionally overdoing it. It also makes it far easier to imitate individual brow hairs, producing a really natural look. It has a waxy texture that keeps the brow color and hairs in place while giving off a very subtle, almost indistinct amount of shading, depending how hard you press it into your brows when applying. 


The color "medium brown" is a perfect match with it's just right ashy tones to fill my dark brown brows and still keep things looking soft. There are 9 different shades to choose from when shopping for these pencils, so there should really be something to suit everyone. An additional positive feature is the brow spooly attachment at the other end of the twist up pencil. It is a tool I rely on every time as it ensures my brows look more even and in place. I'm dreading the day it runs out because it is my favorite brow pencil to date!


Benefit Gimme Brow is another product I've been playing around with and although I like it I am not set on it. Because it is a tinted brow gel, I feel the color needs to be just right and with just 2 shades to choose from- light/medium (the one I chose) or medium/deep, it is hard to get a perfect match. This color is a little bit too light for me and I feel like the darker one would be too dark. Although I can pull this shade off, I do think a slightly darker shade just midway between the two offered would be perfect.


I have very long brow hairs that seem to really like to stand upwards or outwards, moving every which way throughout the day. A brow gel is therefore a must for me on the daily. As soon as I'm finished applying a powder or pencil product I will go over them with something like this to set them in place and keep them from moving around. As for keeping them in place, this certainly does the trick without feeling kind of crusty as some brow gels tend to. Apply too much and it can get uncomfortable though, so wipe off the brush before applying as a very minimal amount does the trick. The tiny little brush is the perfect size for depositing the correct amount of product where necessary as well. The idea is genius and I truly wish the color worked a bit better for me.



Now that I have a brow routine that truly works for me in place, I may record my brow application with some tips and tricks for an upcoming video. If that is something you'd be interested to see, please leave me a comment below letting me know and I'll get on it. 


I've also been exploring other brow products recently now that I feel I sort of understand my brows better. Pomades, pencils, gels, I am testing it all to find the best ones to suit my taste. Get ready to hear more about brows around here! 


Have you given these brow products a try? If you have, what did you think of them? 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 you all!

Thanks so much for stopping in! 

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XX. 
Gigi. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

My Popcorn Crusted Chicken Nuggets with Maple Dijon Dipping Sauce Recipe


Superbowl Sunday is coming. Not that I follow sports, nor does my husband. Shameful?  I think not. We were invited to some parties where everyone cooks one thing to serve and I've also received several texts from some football wife friends requesting superbowl party appetizer recipes! So here's one. It happened completely by accident as do many of the recipes that pop into my head when I'm laying in bed at night. Regardless, they turned out great and it certainly is perfect timing!


I will admit the idea did partially come from ordering the popcorn chicken dish at Abigaels restaurant but the way they serve it is as chicken nuggets with pieces of popped popcorn as a garnish, not as a breading as I've done. The kids will love you for this as will the chicken nugget loving adults I'm pretty sure!

For those of you who would like to cut down on the calories, skip frying the pieces of chicken. Instead, spray a 9X13 pan with cooking spray and once breaded, lay the pieces of chicken out in the pan and bake on 350 for 25 minutes or so. That is the perfect way to cut down on some grease!


Popcorn Crusted Chicken Nuggets with Maple Dijon Dipping Sauce

Ingredients:

Popcorn Chicken:

1 lb. Dark Meat Chicken Cutlets
2 Cups already popped Onion Garlic Popcorn
1 Cup Japanese Panko
3 Eggs
1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil for Frying
Salt and pepper to taste

Maple Dijon Dipping Sauce:

1/3 Cup Maple Syrup
1/3 Cup Dijon Mustard
2 Teaspoons Fresh Squeezed or Bottled Lemon Juice

Method:

1. Place the popcorn into a large ziploc sealed bag. Let the air out and then seal the bag. Use a meat mallet to pound the popcorn into small bits. If you'd like, skip the whole bag and hammer idea and put the popcorn through a food processor, pulsing for 1-2 minutes or until there are small pieces of popcorn left. 

2. Mix the popcorn bits with the panko and a little salt and pepper, and create a breading station by first putting that mixture on one platter or plate and then the 3 eggs (mixed and scrambled) in another. 

3. Cut the chicken cutlets into bite sized pieces to your liking. I actually like to do this with chicken almost directly from the freezer as they are easier to cut into cubes and bread this way, when still frozen (for me). 

4. Heat 1/3 Cup or more of olive oil in a wok/frying pan over low/medium heat.

4. Dip the chicken pieces first into the egg, then into the popcorn mixture, really patting the mixture down  onto the chicken before gently dropping the chicken pieces into the simmering oil in the wok. 

5. Add 5-6 pieces of breaded chicken to the pan at a time, depending how large your pan is, being careful not to overcrowd. Fry each piece for 1-2 minutes per side, making sure they are cooked through before removing them to a paper towel lined plate. 

6. I like to put them into the oven on 350 for 15 minutes while I prepare the sauce to be sure the pieces are cooked through and stay nice and crispy until serving. Just be careful not to leave them in the oven too long, to avoid drying them out.

7. Combine the dijon mustard, maple syrup and lemon juice and use a whisk or large fork to combine and flatten out any lumps. 

8. Serve the chicken nuggets cold or warm with the sauce on the side to dip into. 

I really hope you will give my Popcorn crusted chicken nuggets recipe a try! Don't forget to leave me a comment below letting me know what it was like if you do! And feel free to tag me on Instagram or post your photo on my facebook page as well. 

Thanks so much for stopping in!

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XX. 
Gigi. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Treatment Concealer, Review



It took me until my 26th birthday and the birth of 2 children to notice dark circles under my eyes. They are never all that bad, and really just very slight, but nonetheless they often make an appearance on a morning when sleep has been sparse the night before. I realized how important a good concealer was before, but now I can really understand the daily battle many women go through and the satisfaction of discovering a concealer that is just right.

You are already sick of hearing about my love for the Maybelline Fit Me Concealer but it is what brought about my great curiosity for it's cousin, the Instant Age Rewind Concealer which claims to erase dark circles.


I will admit, it does not outdo any of my go-to concealers. At the same time it is very decent in performance. It is certainly brightening for under the eyes and any other area you would like to highlight but obviously should not be used on blemishes or other sections you'd like to hide. 

The consistency is quite thick in comparison to the Fit Me concealer. For me a thinner product is proffered as it stands less of a chance of creasing under my eyes. Once set with powder this does stay put for about 4 hours on my under eye area and I have a normal skin type, so not the greatest lasting power for me.

Because it is so thick in consistency, it has pretty fantastic coverage but it is only available in 6 different shades. There is also the not so sanitary application matter where the ( very useful) sponge tip applicator attached is touching the face on a daily basis without ever getting cleaned, therefore transferring bacteria! 


I had given this specific concealer a try when it was first brought to the shelves of the drugstore and I remember not being all that impressed. Trying it again a few years later after hearing how much people love it has not changed my opinion of it much unfortunately.


As you can see in these images, this concealer looks beautiful and almost flawless, brightening and even glowy when first applied. It really does apply as described instantly erasing fine lines, puffiness and dark circles. I have tried every method in my trick book to keep it from creasing and moving around after a few hours and it just hasn't worked out for me. That said, I definitely recommend giving it a try to see if it will work on your undereye area as many people love it and we all do have different skin types and preferences. At somewhere between $6.99-$8.99 in most drugstores, you cannot go wrong!


Have you given this concealer a try? If you have, what did you think of it? 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 in! 

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XX. 
Gigi. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

My Homemade Graham Cracker Frappe Recipe


I'm all about those drinks lately. This is a cold one though and the refreshing sort for those mornings when you need a little pick me up. I am quite fond of graham crackers and will often eat them with milk like one would cereal. I know, quite the confession right there. Getting coffee at the local shop can be steep in price and calories, not to put this in that low calorie bracket or anything. Watch this weeks short video to see how easy this drink is to prepare at home or read until the end of the post where it will be inserted as always!


What you will need:
1 Cup (Creme Brulee) Coffee
1 Cup Milk
1 Sleeve Cinnamon Graham Crackers (4-6 individual pieces)
10-12 Scoops Chocolate Ice Cream
Whipped Cream and some graham cracker crumbs, for garnish

This recipe yields about 3 1/2 cups.

   
If you liked this video please let me know by giving it a "thumbs up", you can also subscribe to my YouTube Channel here. 
I really hope you will give my Homemade Graham Cracker Frappe recipe a try! Don't forget to leave me a comment below letting me know what it was like if you do! And feel free to tag me on Instagram or post your photo on my facebook page as well. 

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Stay updated:

Don't forget to follow me with Bloglovin' 

You can also follow me with:
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XX. 
Gigi. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

My Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate with Marshmallow Fluff Recipe


Each winter we are hit with at least one snowstorm that requires an hour of shoveling plus, so I always like to have a cup of something hot waiting when we come in from the cold.  I have offered up my share of hot chocolate recipes here over the years. From Orange Cinnamon Hot Chocolate to Mocha White Chocolate and Mint Cookies and Cream Hot Chocolate to name just a few! When we were hit with 2 feet of snow this past weekend I knew I would have to be really creative with my hot drink choice. Although I have never really been a huge fan of peanut butter, my boys really like it and so it was the star of the show here. I will admit, it tasted really great with just a hint of that peanut taste. If you really like peanut butter, feel free to add another tablespoon. 




Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate with Marshmallow Fluff

Ingredients: 

3 Cups Sweetened Vanilla Almond Milk or Regular Milk
8 Squares (about 8 Ounces) Baking Chocolate (Dark Chocolate) 
1 Tablespoon Peanut Butter 
Marshmallow Fluff and Extra Peanut Butter for Garnish

Method:

1. Heat milk in a medium saucepan or pot over low-medium heat. 

2. Once milk is simmering slightly, break up the chocolate and add it to the pot. Add the peanut butter as well, and stir constantly until it all melts down and combines.

3. Using a knife with some peanut butter on it, smear some onto the sides of the inside of the glass for presentation sake, while the hot chocolate cools slightly . Then pour the hot chocolate into the glass and top with a dollop or two of marshmallow fluff. Add a straw and serve. 

I really hope you will give my Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate recipe a try! Don't forget to leave me a comment below letting me know what it was like if you do! And feel free to tag me on Instagram or post your photo on my facebook page as well. 

Stay updated:

Don't forget to follow me with Bloglovin' 

You can also follow me with:
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XX. 
Gigi. 
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