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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

I'd like to wish a Happy Easter to all of my wonderful readers! May your day be filled with love, family, and the promise of good things to come!

"Then came the Morning, night turned into day. The stone was rolled away, and Morning had come!" (I love that hymn.)

Have a great day!
~Mandii

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Bracket Update

We've entered the Elite 8! How are your NCAA Brackets looking? Did any of you pick Florida Gulf Coast to go as far as they did? Be honest!  :)  I certainly didn't, and I'm sure they were a ruin of many a bracket. This has been a great tournament so far. There has been some close games, buzzer beaters, a Cinderella, and some excellent matchups. No other sporting event is a great as March Madness in my opinion. How about those Dukies?! I'm loving it! Here were my picks, and if you went off of mine, I'm sorry! Hopefully your brackets look better!

Elite 8Louisville
Duke
Gonzaga
Ohio State
Kansas
Florida
Syracuse
Miami
Final Four
Louisville
Ohio State
Kansas
Miami
Final 2
Louisville
Miami
National Champion: Louisville

So tell me, is your National Champion still in the running? Did your Elite 8 look different than mine? Leave me a comment and let me know! May the best team win!


Friday, March 29, 2013

H54F!

Today, I'm linking up with Lauren from From My Grey Desk Blog. Have you read her blog? If you haven't, you definitely should! She has a weekly feature called "High Five For Friday" where she points out 5 great things that happened to her for the week. I think it is a great idea, so I'm linking up with her.

1. Do you recognize this fella? It's Bobby Deen! You can find out how I met him here!

2. Duke advanced to the Sweet 16, which means I can pull out this baby!

3. Only a few more days until I can have something like this delicious Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Pie!

4. I made this Chicken Divan for the first time. It was yummy!

5. I've been loving these podcasts from Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany GA. They are the church behind Facing the Giants and Fireproof!

How was your week? As always you can comment and let me know! Thanks again to Lauren for letting me link up with her!







Thursday, March 28, 2013

Sticky Buns Recipe

*If you're a health nut, do not read this post. Insane amount of calories below. You've been warned.*  ;)

I thought I would give you a great sweet breakfast treat today. I first found this recipe online. I don't even remember how I stumbled upon it, but I'm so glad I did. These are absolutely delicious. Good for you...not so much. They are simple, and require few ingredients. So if you love ooey gooey, delicious sticky buns, keep on reading!

Sticky Buns Recipe:

3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/8 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 tube homestyle refridgerator biscuits

In a sauce pan mix brown sugar, honey, and butter. Melt. Place mixture in 8 inch round pan. Sprinkle pecans on top of mixture. Place biscuits around the pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 13-17 minutes. Invert onto a large platter.



Tips~
I grease my baking dish with cooking spray before I place my mixture in the pan. Also, make sure you flip this onto a pan that is bigger than a baking dish. I used a round cookie sheet to flip mine on.

Wouldn't this be great on Easter morning? If you make these, please leave me a comment and let me know what you thought of them!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Bobby Deen Recipes

Here are the recipes as promised! If you forget why I'm posting them, check this post. All of these recipes came from Bobby's book called From Mama's Table to Mine. I had the chance to try the Black eyed Pea Salad, and the Sweet and Savory meatballs. Both were very delicious. I put my comments using an asterisk. (*)

Black-eyed Pea Salad

2 cans black eyed peas, rinsed and drained
1 large red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 large yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
4 ounces low fat pepper Jack cheese, cut into pea sized cubes
1/2 cup coarsley chopped scallions (white and green parts only)
1/4 cup coarsley chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons coarsley chopped oregano
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a bowl, mix orange juice, red wine vinegar, oil, oregano, and pepper. Mix with whisk. Then add the black eyed peas, bell peppers, pepper Jack, scallions, parsley.  Mix all together to combine. Let sit for an hour for the flavors to combine. Enjoy!

*This is a great alternative to a green salad. I could see this being served with hamburgers that were grilled, or even some chicken. This is also better served room temperature.

Sweet and Savory Meatballs

1 pound 95% lean ground beef
1/2 cup fat free ricotta cheese (or low fat)
1/2 cup raisins, coarsley chopped
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3/4 coarsley chopped parsley

In a medium bowl combine the beef, ricotta, raisins, salt, and pepper and mix gently. Roll into 40 1 inch meatballs. Spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and place over medium heat. Add the meatballs in batches and brown on all sides, 7 to 8 minutes total. Set the meatballs aside on a plate.

Add the onions to the skillet and cook, stirring, until browned 2-3 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and vinegar and bring to a gentle boil. Return the meatballs to the pan and cook, stirring carefully to coat with sauce, for 5 mintues until cooked through. Serve the meatballs in small bowls topped with a generous amout of the sauce and a sprinkling of the parsley.

*These are a great appetizer! They have a sweet taste because of the raisins, but you wouldn't know raisins were in there unless you were told.

Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

1 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped scallions (white and green parts)
1/4 cup low fat sour cream
1/2 teaspoon House seasoning
1 1/2 poundss white mushrooms (about 36) stems removed
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and position a rack in the upper third of the oven.
In a medium bowl, combing the spinach, feta, scallions, sour cream, and House seasoning and stir well. Fill the mushroom caps with the mixture and top with the Parmesan. Place mushrooms on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 15-20 mintues, until the topping is golden.

*I can see this filling being placed in lasagna noodles and topped with an alfredo sauce as well!

If you make any of these dishes, please leave me a comment and let me know how you liked them!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Teacher OOTD

I'm going in to substitute teach today and I thought it would be nice to give you an outfit of the day "teacher style!" The students are only there for a half day, and I have some errands to run afterwards, so I wanted to be professional yet comfortable for the rest of the day. Perk of being a sub, I get to leave when the kiddos do!  :)

My pants are a jean like material without being jeans. They are from New York and Company. I chose this royal blue, gray, and black top from Lane Bryant because it isn't bulky and still makes me look put together. My blue tank is also from Lane Bryant, and I love the lace detail at the very bottom. (Plus, who doesn't love a Duke blue outfit, especially when they advance to the Sweet 16?)

As a teacher, it is always important to wear a watch, and mine came from my favorite jewelry store in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina called Bijuju. My replica "Pandora" bracelet came from a NYC street corner. The earrings were a gift from my parents from The Bradford Exchange. My shoes are not pictured, because I don't think you can get them any more. They are just a basic black bootie with a firm square heel.

When I'm teaching I love to wear a long lasting lipstick, so of course I chose my Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm stain in Smitten. This look will take me from teaching to errands while looking professional yet casual.


What do you wear on your "dressy casual" days? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Southern Charm Exists Y'all...

in the form of Bobby Deen. I had the pleasure of meeting him Saturday at a Giant Eagle that was near me. He talked for a while, and then he did a cooking demonstration! Let's take a step back shall we?

My mom and I love to watch cooking shows, Paula Deen in particular. She sometimes has either Jamie or Bobby on helping her cook. Let's face it, Southern charm is hard to resist. So we kind of developed crushes on Bobby.


Black Eyed Pea salad
So my dad was reading in the newspaper and saw that Bobby was going to be 30 minutes from us. This was a great time to surprise my mom! I ordered our free tickets and kept it a secret. Mom came in from being outside and we told her to get ready we were going for a ride to see Bobby. She thought we were lying.    ;)
Sweet and Savory Meatballs
So we got there, picked up our tickets, and headed to the demo area. A little after 3 Bobby comes out and just randomly starts talking to the audience. (Meanwhile, my dad got to shake his hand. According to him, he has a firm grip. So there you have it.) The Giant Eagle people had to take him back to get his microphone on. He comes back out and he talked for about 45 minutes before he started cooking. Not a problem with me, I could listen to that accent all day, but I digress. So he finally started cooking and he made 3 simple recipes, a black eyed pea salad, sweet and savory meatballs, and stuffed mushrooms. The first 2 things were delicious! I didn't get a chance to try the mushrooms.


It's a little blurry but y'all, it's Bobby Deen!
Then it was time for the autographs and pictures. Can I just tell you he was in no hurry to leave that store. He interacted with everyone and acutally took time with people. (Mind you, there was about 75-100 people there) My mom and I gave him a jar of our canned pepper relish that we make. She got the cornbread recipe of his mama's signed and I just got a personalized picture signed. (As a side note, my name sounds great with a Southern accent!) We got our pictures and then we left. It honestly was a great way to spend 2.5 hours of my Saturday.

I will do a separate post on the recipes he shared with us!



P.S. Bobby, if you're reading this, my mom and I hope you enjoy the pepper relish! If you want to come can with us you are more than welcome!

P.P.S. Us Yankee folk would say "Bobby." His mother however would say it like this "Baaabbbyyy." The difference between the North and the South y'all! ;)

Saturday, March 23, 2013

My go to Makeup Products

I'm not a huge experimenter (is that a word?) with makeup. I'm not drawn to foundations as I would be a lip color or an eyeshadow palette. Once I get "in love" with a product like a foundation, I stick with it. Here are my go to makeup products and the reasons why I like them. Are your favorites different than mine?

Face Primer: Bare Minerals Prime Time- I love this primer! It is silky, helps my foundation stay in place, and controls the oil slick that is my face. A little goes a long way with this primer.

Foundation: Mary Kay Mineral Foundation in Beige 1- I have not used liquid foundation in years. This mineral foundation reduces my oil, and has great coverage. Another bonus, it doesn't make me break out.

Eyeshadow Primer: The Balm Put a Lid On It, Urban Decay Primer Potion, ELF eyeshadow primer- I couldn't choose just one! I do like all of these. I have oily, hooded lids, and while my eyeshadow still creases, these help it stay put a little while longer.

L-R Walking on Eggshells and Silent Treatment
Eyeshadow Palette: Naked 2 palette, Wet N Wild eyeshadow trios- The Naked 2 is just beautiful neutral shades that go on smoothly, are wearable for everyday, or can go for a dramatic smokey eye. Wet N Wild has the best quality eyeshadow for a drugstore brand. With a primer, they last all day, and are highly pigmented. *My favorites are Silent Treatment, Walking on Eggshells, and Knock on Wood.*

Eyeshadow Base: Maybelline Color Tattoo in Barely Branded- I love putting this over my primer as a base for eyeshadow. This helps my shadow last even longer. Barely Branded is a great neutral that can go with any color you choose!

Eyeliner: Urban Decay 24/7 liner- I like how long this liner stays on! It definitely lasts a good 8-10 hours on me!




Mascara: Covergirl LashBlast- This mascara lengthens my eyelashes and is very buildable. It doesn't clump or flake on me.

Lipstick: My lipstick choices change with my mood. You can see a few of my favorites here.

Are your go to products different than mine? What are your go to makeup products? Have you tried any of these products? Do you love them, or hate them? Leave me a comment and let me know!!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Favorite Spring Nail Polishes

I don't know about you, but I'm over winter. I was outside with my dogs the other day, and it was cold, and still snowing. I'm ready for Spring. What better way to prepare for Spring than with some beautiful nail polish? Here are my favorites.
L-R Clambake Coral, Shay, Charlotte, Strawberry Margarita, I Need A Refresh-Mint, Insta-This
  • Color Club "Clambake Coral"- This is a beautiful pastel coral color. It is the epitome of warmer weather. Opaque in 2 coats.

  • Wet N Wild Megalast in "I Need A Refresh-Mint"- The perfect mint green polish. Every time I put this on my nails, I cannot stop looking at them! The formula goes on streaky with 1 coat, but opaque in 2.

  • Color Club "Insta-This"- I got a sample of this in my Birchbox, and it is a beautiful cornflower blue. It just reminds you of Spring skies. This is also opaque in 2 coats.

  • Julep in "Charlotte"- This color is a beautiful purple. It's not too bright, not too pastel. Opaque in 2 coats.

  • Zoya "Shay"- This might be my favorite nail polish. I absolutely love this color. It is slightly metallic, with hints of pink. This is a slightly thicker polish which takes longer to dry, but this is opaque in 2 coats.

  • OPI "Aphrodite's Pink Nightie"- This subtle soft pink color is a classic color. It is sheer, and after 2 coats there still might be some visible nail line. You must also be careful when you apply this polish as it can get streaky.

  • OPI "Strawberry Margarita"- Okay, so this polish may scream Summer, but I love it anyway. I love to put this polish on my toes.
I'll let you in on a secret...my favorite top coat is the $.99 Wet N Wild top coat. It lasts longer on me than Seche Vite, or OPI. Plus, it's cheap. I like that.

What are your favorite Spring polishes? What is one go-to color that I am missing from my collection? Leave me a comment and let me know.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

March Madness Tips and Picks!

*Sorry this post was late today, I was finishing my picks on one of my 4 brackets.*

Today's the day. A basketball lover's Christmas morning. Only this lasts until April 8. I'm a happy camper. I'm not one of those people who, if their team loses, they quit watching. I'm a basketball fan, and I appreciate a good game.

Center Court "D" at Cameron Indoor Stadium
So, have you made your bracket picks? Believe me, it's tough. Sometimes it is honestly the luck of the draw. Anything can happen. Like the year UNC was favored and George Mason beat them. (Amazing moment for this Duke fan!) 

Here are my tips to filling out your brackets.

  • Basketball is a game of matchups. Can your point guard match up with the opposition's point guard, etc.
  • Expect the upset, it's bound to happen.
  • Don't pick based on uniform color, mascots, etc. *Especially if you want to win an office pool*
  • A 16 seed has never upset a 1 seed. Never, as in never ever.
I will give you my Elite 8 through National Championship picks. Note, if you're using this for an office pool, I apologize in advance. I am not Joe Lunardi, and am just making my picks on what I *think* I know. On with the picks!

Elite 8
Louisville
Duke
Gonzaga
Ohio State
Kansas
Florida
Syracuse
Miami

Final Four
Louisville
Ohio State
Kansas
Miami

Final 2
Louisville
Miami

National Champion: Louisville

It pained me to take Louisville over Duke. It really did. I have 4 brackets. Duke wins it all on my "dream" bracket. I will tell you how I did with my picks so far on Monday. Best of luck to everyone, and may the best team win!


Leave me a comment and let me know what your picks are! Who is going to win it all? If you think I'm wrong (which I might be!) tell me! I've entered several bracket wagers this year but this one from CBS is very popular!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Soundtrack to Your Life Tag

I was going to do a great Spring post today, but the weather is cold, and blustry. So in my mind, it's still winter. Does anyone remember this tag? I think it was popular back my sophomore year in college so around 2008. The idea of this tag is to put your ipod on shuffle and write down each song that comes on for each category. Let's see how accurate mine is!

Opening Credits: Make You Feel My Love ~ Adele
First Day at School: Colors of the Wind ~ Vanessa Williams
Falling in Love: One Song ~ J. Mark McVey
Breaking Up: Look At Me, I'm Sandra Dee ~ Stockard Channing
Prom: God Bless the Broken Road ~ Rascal Flatts
Mental Breakdown: All Out of Love ~ Keith Harkin
Flashbacks: Orange Colored Sky ~ Natalie Cole
Getting Back Together: You're the One I Love: ~ The Carpenters
Wedding Scene: Only Hope ~ Mandy Moore
Final Battle: Someone to Watch Over Me ~ Chris Botti
Death Scene:  Hopelessly Devoted to You ~ Olivia Newton John
Funeral Song: Jesus Take the Wheel ~ Carrie Underwood
End Credits: Bushel and a Peck ~ Doris Day
Finale: Plan on Forever ~ The Wedding Planner Soundtrack

Try this with your ipod. See how accurate it is. If you do this, let  me know what your Soundtrack was!

P.S. Was anyone surprised that there wasn't any Celtic Thunder or Bon Jovi on my soundtrack? I was!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Peanut Butter Pie

In honor of Easter coming soon, I thought I'd give you a simple peanut butter pie recipe. It's not overly rich, but has the perfect blend of peanut butter and chocolate. It's become my go to dessert. Plus, who doesn't love a peanut butter/chocolate combination? :)

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Pie

CRUST:

Cooking Spray
1 package chocolate chip muffin mix
4 tablespoons butter softened
1/3 cup peanuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously coat a 9 inch pie plate with cooking spray. Combine muffin mix, butter, and peanuts in mixing bowl. Blend with fork, just until crumbly. Press evenly onto bottom of pie plate and up sides. Bake 13-16 minutes until set. Cool

FILLING:

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3 oz of cream cheese (note this is not a whole package!)
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons of milk
2 cups frozen whipped topping.

Beat peanut butter, cream cheese, and sugar with electric mixer on medium high until smooth. Beat in milk. Gently fold in whipped topping. Spoon into cooled crust. Drizzle warm hot hudge topping on top and chill 3-4 hours.Store covered in the fridge.

See that wasn't too hard was it? Once you try it, you will never go back to another peanut butter pie. The chocolate chip crust, makes this pie so unique. If you try this over Easter, or this weekend, PLEASE leave me a comment and let me know how it turned out! I'd love to hear how delicious you thought it was.  Enjoy!!

Monday, March 18, 2013

St. Patty's Day OOTD and Makeup

The reason I didn't post anything on Saturday is because we surprised my Grandpa with a party for his 90th birthday! Several of my cousins flew in and all of his kids were there. My aunt and my mom cooked the food and we had a grand time. Getting together with family is always fun. I especially loved seeing my cousins that I haven't seen in a while.

Here was my outfit of the day for the party!

My top is from Apt 9 from Khols. Best part, it was $8.00! I love the silver mini sequins on the collar and cuffs. I paired it with my favorite dark wash T3 pants from Lane Bryant. I wore a nude colored tank underneath my shirt. For jewelry, I wore my rose gold Merona watch from Target, and earrings designed and made by my cousin!

My makeup was simple. I used my Willa moisturizer, all over my face. I used Prime Time makeup primer from Bare Minerals. Then, I used my Mary Kay mineral foundation in the color Beige. For blush, I used my ELF all over color stick in Pink Lemonade on the apples of my cheeks and to set it, I used the Physicians Formula Happy Booster blush.

My eye makeup came from the Naked 2 palette. I used Urban Decay primer potion all over my lids. After that, came a light coating of Maybelline Color Tattoo in Barely Branded. I used Verve on my lids, and Pistol in my crease, and Bootycall as a highlight. I deepened the outer V with Blackout. I finished my look with 2 coats of Covergirl Lashblast Volume. I lined my lower lids with a green color from an undisclosed palette that I can't find the name to. Add a coat of mascara and we were good to go!

My lipstick was Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Honey.
 
There was my completed look! What was your St. Patrick's Day outfit? Did you wear green? Leave me a comment and let me know!


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Irish Quotes

Top O' the Mornin' to ya! ;) In honor of St. Patricks Day being today, I decided to give you some Irish quotes that I really like. The credit to these quotes goes to @IrishQuote on Twitter.

"Gra Go Deo." Translated it means, Love Forever.

"God bless you, now and always, with the gift of Irish cheer. God give to you a happy heart and keep you throughout the year." Irish Blessing.

"May your day be touched by a bit of Irish luck, brightened by a song in your heart, and warmed by the smiles of the people you love."

"May a rainbow run beside you in a sky that's always blue. And may happiness fill your heart each day your whole life through." Irish Blessing

"May your dreams come true, your prayers be answered, your friends be abundant, and as wonderful as you." Irish Blessing

"May the Good Lord smile upon you with graciousness today, and may He send His angel to bring good luck your way." Irish Blessing

Happy St. Patrick's Day to you all! Erin go bragh!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Cake Pops!

My Grandpa is turning 90 on St. Patrick's Day. That's a big deal. So when you have a St. Patty's Day Birthday, you need Cake Pops. I got the Bake Pop cake pop maker for Christmas last year. This was the first time I used it.  The recipe for making cake pops with the maker is a little different. (If you want a full recipe for this let me know. The instruction booklet that came with the maker is very helpful.)

You need:
1 box cake mix
1 coordinating flavor of pudding
Add 1 extra egg

Make the cake mix according to package directions, only instead of adding water, you add milk and use half as much, you also add 1 extra egg, and add a package of a coordinating pudding mix.

Plain cake pops
For example, I used a chocolate cake and used a chocolate pudding. This creates a denser cake and makes the cake pop not fall apart as easily. I spooned the batter into the wells, and put the top on, secured it with the clips, and put it in the oven. My oven runs extra hot, so I cooked my pops on 325 degrees for 15 minutes. Some of the batter came through the top and I just popped it off with a spatula.

*You MUST use a cooking spray that has flour in it!!

I washed the cake pop pan in between batches. It made around 43 pops. I dipped the ends of lollipop sticks in melted chocolate, stuck it halfway in the pop and put it in the freezer. Once they came out, I dipped the pops in melted chocolate, and sprinkled them with yellow sugar. To set them, I put them back in the freezer to harden.


To make the presentation super fun and festive, I bought a "el cheapo" (read:cheap) plastic urn from Pat Catans. Then I bought some styrofoam and pushed the cake pops inside. Voila, gold at the end of the rainbow!



*I'm not going to do a post tomorrow, because I have an early day in the city. I'll have a new post for you tomorrow!* I'll fill you in!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Essentials

You know you have that one go to piece of clothing that when you put it on, all is well with the world. It could be a favorite pair of jeans, a cute shirt, your favorite pair of shoes. I'm going to give you a few essential items that I feel every woman should own to step their wardrobe up a notch.

  • Pearls-A classic. Pearls can be dressed up or down. Throw them on with jeans and a cute tuxedo shirt and you instantly looked polished. Wear them with a LBD (little black dress) and you are ready for an evening at the Theater.

  • A good fitting pair of Jeans-The right jeans can make all the difference. I'm a curvy girl, so I have been on the search and destroy for my perfect jean. I've found them. (My favorites are the T3 jeans from Lane Bryant!) If you have a great fitting pair of jeans, you can dress them up with a tuxedo shirt, or make them casual with a light cotton t-shirt.

    
    These are 3 of my essentials!
  • Leopard Print Scarf-I just bought one of these. And I don't know where it's been all my life. You can pair it with khakis, and a jean jacket, or I love it with jeans and a red blazer. In the summer, wear it with khaki shorts and cute wedges. Don't forget to pair your leopard with a classic red lip! Rawr!

  • Classic black heels-A little lift makes all the difference. Heels take an outfit from "drab to fab." They make your legs look longer and leaner, and make you look professional.  
These are just a few of my go to pieces. What are your must haves? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

March Birchbox

My March Birchbox arrived! If you don't know about Birchbox, it is a $10 a month subscription service where you get 4-5 deluxe beauty samples. I look forward to mine every month, and while some boxes are better than others I do enjoy it. Here is what I got in my March box!

Nick Chavez Color-Saver Sulfate Free Shampoo. I have never tried a color saving shampoo, but I think it would be really useful when I highlight my hair for summer.


MAKE eyeshadow in Burnt Umber
MAKE Eyeshadow in Burnt Umber. This is a deep dark brown color that will be perfect for deepening the outer V, and smoking out my liner on my bottom lash line.

MAKE Face Primer Broad Spectrum SPF 30. I am excited to try this because I have bever tried a primer with an SPF before.

Whish Shave Crave Shaving Cream in the blueberry scent. I'm also excited to try this, it is not your traditional foam shaving cream.


Madewell emery board
Madewell for Birchbox emery board. The floral pattern is so pretty, and who doesn't need an extra nail file for their purse?

If you've never heard of Birchbox go ahead and click on the link!

If you get a Birchbox every month, tell me what your favorite sample is that you have ever received from them!




Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Scones

Another recipe post today! I just had to share these!
 I'm an bacon and eggs girl for breakfast. Even toast gets old sometimes. However, these scones are absolutely delicious, and perfect for breakfast! My mom found the recipe in a Taste of Home magazine that we get. She made them one time before, and we were hooked! They use some unconventional ingredients. Vanilla yougurt and cinnamon chips, something you might not have on hand. I also really like this recipe because there aren't any eggs in it. Which in this weekends case was perfect, as we were completely out! (This was remedied by a quick trip to the grocery store!) Here's the recipe!





Cinnamon-Sugar Scones
 
Mix 3 Cups Biscuit Mix and 1/4 cup sugar.
Whisk together 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt, 1/3 cup 2% milk, and 1 TBSP vanilla extract.
Stir into dry ingredients, just until moistened.
Stir in 1 cup cinnamon chips OR semisweet chocolate chips.
On a lightly floured surface, knead dough gently 10 times. Pat into a 9 in circle. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Cut into 8 wedfges; place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden.
*All ovens vary so make sure to watch them the first time and adjust temp as needed.*

*Also, don't go to the store and buy the cinnamon-sugar! People, make your own. That way you can control the flavor the way you like it.



If you really want to jazz these up, drizzle some icing on lightly. With the icing, these just took a big step forward!

If you make these, leave me a comment and let me know what you thought of them!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Personalized DIY Scarf

I had first found this scarf on Pinterest, and immediately thought, "I can do that!" So with some careful planning, and the right tools, I did. I knew I wanted to make a scarf with my favorite Celtic Thunder lyrics on it. I got the lyrics in the right order so now it was time for materials. I went to Wal-Mart and scored this plain green scarf for $5. A quick trip to Michael's for a Tulip broadtip fabric marker, and I was good to go. I think this whole project cost me less than $10. Score!

The whole completed scarf
First, I washed the scarf. That way I had a clean surface to begin with. Then I set up my ironing board. I used a yardstick and drew a straight line across the scarf with chalk. I shook my marker well and began writing. *I chose to write in cursive, because I think I write neater that way but you can choose*

When I reached the end of the line, I waited a a minute or two, and then drew another line with chalk evenly spaced from the first line. Continued writing, and repeated the same process until I was done. I let the scarf dry completely dry for the next 36 hours.


Close up of the lyrics
To make the marker permanent, I flipped the scarf over and ironed it on low heat to set the ink into the fabric. *I have not washed this yet, so I can't attest to the staying power of the ink*

Tips:
Wash your scarf first
Place something underneath the scarf while writing so the ink doesn't bleed through
Make sure your lines are straight
Iron the scarf wrong side up to set the ink
 
If you try this, send me picture, or leave me a comment letting me know how it turned out!
 
P.S. Can you imagine giving this to a bride with either A.) her vows written on it or B.) A beautiful love poem? Amazing!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Perfect Night In

A rare Sunday post from me today!

Last night was the perfect night in. My grandparents came out and we had my mom's homemade pepperoni rolls. They are the most delicious things I have ever had in my life. Then, I watched the Bon Jovi live stream from Cleveland before the Duke game. The Duke game came on.

It was funny because I got into a routine that during the commercials of the Duke game, I would unmute the live Bon Jovi stream until the game came back on. Whatever I was doing, it worked because we won at UNC. It's a big deal. Does anybody else do that or is it just me? Let me know.

So basically if you want to write a mathmatical problem for this, it would be: Duke+Bon Jovi+Family+Food=A happy Mandii  And that's a math problem I can relate to!!

What is your perfect night? What would it involve? Leave me a comment and let me know!

P.S. I'm sorry to all the UNC fans out there. I've visited your campus, and it's lovely. I just don't care for your basketball team. ;)

Saturday, March 9, 2013

A quick treat to satisfy a craving...

I'm not Catholic and yet I still give up something for Lent. This year, I gave up drinking pop, sweets*, and not having bread 3 days a week. So far, I am doing good. My waistline is thanking me as well! Sometimes my sweet tooth gets a craving. I am going to share a quick and simple recipe that satisfies my craving and is still within the "rules." 

Here's what you need:

  • Graham crackers
  • Nutella
  • Marshmallow Fluff
  • 2 knives
Break the graham cracker into two sections. Spread one graham cracker with the marshmallow fluff. Spread the other graham cracker with Nutella. Put the two together, and you have a wonderful homemade s'more to enjoy!

Try it and and let me know what you think!

*By sweets I mean, cookies, pie, cake, ice cream.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Upcoming Events!

Hi Everyone! I just wanted to share that I have some great posts coming up. I have a St. Patty's Day OOTD, some recipes to share with you all, CD reviews, movie reviews, hauls, and monthly Birchboxes! I'm really excited to share these posts with you all!

One aspect that I am really excited about is maybe starting my own March Madness Pool. I would do it through the blog, and on a "create your own pool site," (that I need to look into further!) It would happen weekly, and I would just go over the exciting games, my thoughts, and I would say who is in the lead and such. Here's where I need YOU though! I need you to comment and subscribe so I know who everyone will be playing against! I mean it's no fun to play against yourself.  ;) Don't forget to share this blog with your friends, so we can have a nice group of people to play against! If we can't make it happen this year, I'm determined to do it next year!

Start thinking of your bracket, and I will go into more details about this later. Conference tournaments are coming up, scout out your teams!

Don't forget, I need to hear from YOU to start this bracket pool!!

I also want to thank my readers for reading this blog. It is a work in progress, and I'm tweaking things everyday to make this a blog you want to read. Do you have any comments, suggestions, or anything you want me to blog about? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Stick around for tomorrow's post, I have delicious recipe for you! It's quick, simple, and something everyone will love!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

What's in my Purse?

I got a new purse after Christmas during one of the after Christmas sales at Marshalls. It is by the brand MMS and is a Royal Blue in color. I have an organizer in it that I got from Walgreens a year or two ago. I know the norm at the moment is to carry a small bag, but I like to carry a big bag filled with the essentials. Although, I do like a wristlet every now and again. Here are the items that's in my purse!

  • Wallet and checkbook (JC Penney a VERY long time ago!)
  • Wet Ones wipes (great for shopping cart handles!)
  • Folding hair brush with mirror
  • Lipstick
  • Keys
  • Hairspray and hair tie
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Asprin
  • Atomizer  (Nordstrom)
  • Phone
  • Paper and Pen (Paradise Pen Company)
  • Oil blotting sheets (ELF)
  • Hand lotion
  • Sunglasses (case from Thirty One)
  • Bandaids
I like having my essentials with me and then sizing down if need be. What's in your purse? Is it organized?


*Photos only show a a few things in my purse.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Favorite Hair Products

I'm the type of person that if my hair isn't done, I feel worthless. Silly, I know. So to try and save my hair and keep it healthy longer, I've tried to wash my hair every other day. Its been a learning curve, and lots of dry shampoo and sock buns, but I'm sticking to it. Here is a list of my go to hair products.

  • Argan Magic Intensive Hair Oil- I absolutely love this hair oil. It makes my hair soft and manageable. It speeds up my blow drying time, and protects my hair from the heat styling products. *I put this on freshly washed hair from my ears down concentrating it on the ends.*

  • Suave Professionals Heat Protective Spray- If I am using my hot rollers, I will use this in addition to the Argan Magic. I use this just as additional protection to heat styling. I like using this with my hot rollers because it doesn't "gunk up" the flocking on my rollers. *I spray this on wet hair after using the Argan Magic, blow dry, and use my heat products.*

  • Redken Spray Starch- This I use on dry hair. It is a nice alternative to spraying on hairspray before you curl. It's not too sticky but definitely holds your curl. I will use this when I know I need my curls to stay. I definitely don't use this every day. *After I dry my hair I will section it off and spray this on each individual section that I am going to curl with a curling iron.*

  • Redken Forceful 23 Hairspray- This is a great hairspray. I don't like my hair to be crunchy or stiff when I'm done, and this holds my style without making it stiff. *Spray this when you are all done with you hair for perfect hold!*

  • Suave Professionals Dry Shampoo-Remember when I said I was trying to go every other day with washing my hair? This has been essential to my second day hair. Without it, my scalp would be like an Exxon Valdez oil spill. There doesn't seem to be to much white powder residue. *It is important that you section off your hair and spray between the sections. Then using the warmth of your hands rub it in. This removes any powder and adds volume to your hair.*

These are just a few of my tricks for my hair. What works for me, may not work for you. You just have to give it some trial and error. Are there any go to products that you have and love? Leave me a comment and let me know!  To many happy hair days!



Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Senior Night

I might have mentioned that I'm a Duke fan a time or two.

I always get a little depressed on Duke’s Senior Night. I remember the Senior Nights of JJ Redick, Lee Melchionni (remember when he kissed the center court D? I was in tears!)  Jon Scheyer, Brian Zoubek, and Miles Plumlee. Before the game when they go through the team and receive hugs, I’m alright. Then they get to Coach K. I’m gone. I know how I feel when I witness Senior Night, but I can’t imagine how he feels. I know he’s trying to keep it together.

Mason Plumlee, Ryan Kelly, and Seth Curry, have their turn at Senior Night in Cameron tonight. I don’t know them, (I’ve met Mason) but when you watch them for 4 years and go through ups and downs with them, you get attached.

Mason and I: meeting number 2
Mason will always have a special place in my heart. I was at my first Duke game, standing on the court getting my picture taken. I looked up, and there he was with a crowd around him. He was the first Duke player I got my picture taken with and my first autograph. Luckily, I’ve met him a second time got another picture, and autograph. He just exudes niceness.  Not to mention he is an absolute beast on the court!




 
 
Ryan and Seth, I’ve never met you, but have watched you fellas play religiously throughout your years at Duke. Thank you for the incredible memories you have given me. Thank you for being classy players and good role models.


Seth Curry's Mom!
Please know, that while I may be sad tonight knowing that your career at Duke is winding down, (thank goodness for tournament time!) I will always be grateful for the memories you have given me whether at Cameron or on my couch in front of my TV.

 I expect great things from all of you! #dukebasketballneverstops

Monday, March 4, 2013

Celtic Thunder on PBS

Ryan Kelly
If you live in the U.S. and want to experience Celtic Thunder for yourself, check your local PBS station. They are airing Mythology, and you can pledge to get tickets to the concert in your area, and the DVD and CDs of the show! If you're lucky, the lads might be in your area promoting the show! I know my local PBS station is airing it all week this week. If you don't have PBS but still want to watch the show, you can order it here at Celtic Thunder and pick up a copy. I can tell the lads are all so excited about it, and I know I am!

I just wanted to give you a heads up so you can check it out for yourselves!

Erin go bragh~Ireland Forever!

*Let it be known that I am a proud US citizen, I just happen to be a huge fan of Celtic Thunder!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

We Won!

If you remember the previous post, I was talking about how Duke needs to win against Miami. Well, THEY DID! Thanks for your support! Ryan Kelly had 36 points on his return to game action! Keep in mind that he hasn't played since Jan 8, and just started practicing this week! So with him in the lineup we are 16-0. Not to shabby.  ;)

Duke vs. Miami


As you may or may not know, I am a Duke fan. I feel like a part of the team. My stomach is in knots from the first tip until the clock reaches 0. I've met the players, been to Cameron, scream at my TV/players like they can hear me, have the Duke gear. Well today they play Miami. Last time they played them, it didn't go so well. We got routed pretty bad. Plus, we lost on Thursday to Virginia.  I'm hoping for better results today. So, can you help me support my team? Send us postitive thoughts, wear royal blue, play hoops in your backyard and make the winning shot for Duke. Anything.    :)

I hope to report good news to you after the game! Remember no post tomorrow (unless something strikes me)!  Have a great weekend!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Let's talk about...

Court storming. I had originally planned on doing another post today but I feel like I should address this. I was in high school and college once. I've been to basketball games, and I've always sat on the opposite side then the students. Why you ask? I didn't want to be a part of the "court storming movement." Maybe it is my worry-wort side coming out, but I can just see so many bad things happening from storming the court. I'm a party pooper, I know.

Duke has been a part of 3 court stormings this year. Last night, it happened again. So make that 4. Coach K has finally came out and said that there needs to be protection for the visiting team. You know what, I agree. When students rush the court, they come from all areas. Where are the players? Still on the court finishing the game. It's a safety issue folks. What if Mason Plumlee rolls an ankle because he stepped on a fan that was on the court, while he was trying to get back to the bench, to go into the locker room? You are probably saying "well Mandii, you're a Duke fan, of course you'd say that." What if I say this? What if the star player from Virginia, NC State, Maryland or Miami rolls their ankle on THEIR OWN FAN? How would you feel about that now? You know what Mr. or Miss I rushed the court, YOU just hurt your team if your player gets hurt. Another minor detail that happens when the court is rushed, are that teams don't shake hands, and that bothers me. Sportsmanship folks.

I leave you with this, you hear stories on Black Friday about people getting trampled with serious injuries at Wal-Mart, the same thing can happen at your own college stadium. Virginia, you beat the #3 team in the country-good for you. I have pretty good hearing, and I heard that this win could potentially get you into the NCAA tournament. The next court storming I expect from you is when you win the National Championship. Have fun with that.

I agree with Barry Sanders dad who told a young Barry who celebrated exuberantly after a Pop Warner touchdown, "act like you've been here before," and you know what? He did. So fans, take that into consideration will you? Thanks.
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