Clinique vs Garnier | Style

I am going to start a new series of blog posts where I compare two products, a drugstore brand vs the more expensive, department store brand.  I want to know if you get a better product if you spend more, or if it is even worth it at all.  The first two I am going to compare are these guys.

First up Clinique Moisture Surge face gel.  I have been loyal to this product for quite some time.  It is a gel, so it feels great on your face, and doesn’t make your face feel heavy with a lotion like feel.  This will cost you $34.00.

Next up is a drugstore brand…

Garnier Moisture Rescue.  Also a gel.  You can get this for $5.99.

So here is how the story went down.  I was completely out of my Clinique, and wasn’t going to get a change to get by a Clinique counter.  So off to Target I went to pick up a moisturizer.  I happened to see the Garnier, and that it was a gel, so I went with it.  Here are the comparisons.

  • Price: winner, Garnier
  • Scent: winner, Garnier
  • Condition of skin/locks in moisture: winner, tie
  • Way it feels on face after application: winner, Clinique (but not by much)

So the overall winner in this comparison would be the Garnier Moisture rescue.  I love it and am so glad I have found it.  Saves me some money and it really is very close to the Clinique.  If you haven’t tried a gel you should.  You can also dab a bit over your makeup to freshen up a bit.

I will be doing these comparisons as I get through the products.  For some, it takes a while, such as the one I am comparing for you now.  Next comparison will be Loreal Youth Code, vs Lancome Genifique.  Is anyone currently using either one of these products?

Shortbread and Nutella Cookies | Recipes

I love to bake, but don’t do it that often.  If I did, I would have trouble fitting into my clothes.  I had a bit of a sweet tooth today and thought I would make these easy and delicious cookies.  Plus Kevin was coming home, so I thought he would enjoy these!  I have made these cookies many times, and I can’t remember where the recipe is from.  It is one of those I just remember how to make.  I always have the ingredients on hand, so it is a go to cookie.  It is also kid approved by my nieces and nephews.

Now a note on the main attraction, Nutella.  If you know me you know I love Nutella.  No, you don’t understand, I LOVE it.  We always have it in on hand, and I will admit that I will grab a spoonful for dessert with a glass of milk.  So what if it is a large spoonful?

This is all you need…

You also will need the star of the show which deserves a solo picture…

First cream the softened butter and sugar together.

Now, add the flour, salt, and vanilla.  The dough will be very dry and crumbly.  I just get in there with my hands and mix it together.  Shape it into a ball.

And wrap it in plastic wrap.  Shape it or roll it into a log shape.  I kinda shape and roll until I get the log.  Just work with it.

Put it into the fridge for at least 30 minutes.  When you are ready to bake, slice the dough into thin pieces.

Place on a cookie sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 12 minutes.  The edges will start to turn golden.

Let cool and spread Nutella between two cookies.  I am pretty heavy-handed with the Nutella.

These cookies are delicious plain as well.  Kevin has also put peanut butter between them.  My sister and I think this shortbread would be great as a pie crust, especially for a cheesecake.  Give these a try and let me know what you think!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Nutella

Cream butter and sugar.  Add the flour, salt, and vanilla.  Use your hands to continue to mix it and shape it into a ball.  Wrap in plastic wrap and shape into a log.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  Slice the dough pretty thin, 1/4 inch.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 12 minutes.  The edges will become golden.  Cool, and spread Nutella between 2 cookies.

 

Pink or Blue? | DIY

Well, Kevin helped me with this DIY project…

Baby Hill will be here in March!

We are very excited and thrilled about the next few months.  I am officially 12 weeks pregnant, and I want to tell you all about it!  This will be a long one…

How we I found out.

It was Saturday July 23rd.  Kevin was out-of-town, and I was enjoying my Saturday with Mona. I was a few days late, only 2.   I had plans to go have dinner at my in-laws, on Sunday and knew I would be having a glass of wine while there.  I was feeling great, no nausea, but knew pregnancy could be an option.  Well, I didn’t want to have a drink if pregnant, so I was going to rule it out.  Or so I thought.  I took a test, and proceeded to get ready to run errands.  I wasn’t even watching the time, but looked down and it said yes!  I freaked for a second.  I came downstairs and (I can’t believe I’m about to admit to this) and googled “what does it mean if my pregnancy test says yes”  or something like that.  Now, really what I was trying to learn was is there a chance of a false positive.  The answer…no.  I didn’t take another test that day.  I was happy.  I ran errands, I told no one. Kevin had to be the first to know, and I wasn’t telling him this over the phone.  I kept this to myself and it was hard.  Sunday morning I took 2 more tests.  I went to my in-laws and carried around a glass of wine.  They would have known if I didn’t drink.  Kevin called and said he was home.  I left to head home shortly after.  I was nervous.

How I told Kevin

So Kevin was home from his weekend of baseball.  He was showered and relaxed with a drink in hand.  We chatted for a minute and I told him I wanted to show him the shoes I bought while he was away.  Nothing new to him, I like shoes, I buy shoes.  So I went upstairs and brought down one of my shoe boxes.  I handed it to him and he opened it.  This is what he saw.

The pictures are from our cell phones, sorry they are small.  Kevin stopped breathing.  He said, “Are you pregnant?”  I said yes and started crying.  He hugged me, we both had happy tears and talked about it the rest of the night.  We decided when and how we would tell family and friends.

Telling loved ones.

We made plans to visit my hometown so I could share the news.  However, I couldn’t wait to tell Kelly.  Tuesday after we found out we Skyped with her and told her.  She of course hoped for twins.

We had Kevin’s parents over for dinner.  We did the same “Want to see Kara’s new shoes” bit.  They cried.  This will be their 8th grandchild.

We told my parents when we went to visit.  During dinner I asked my Mom and Step Father what they were doing towards the end of March. I did the same thing for my Dad and Lee Anne.

We told Vanessa and Ryan while at dinner.  We were waiting at P.F.Chang’s, and everyone had a drink.  However mine was just grapefruit juice.  (This is a trick I used a few times).  Vanessa wanted me to taste her wine, and I had to blow her off.  Se thought I was rude…not really, but it was strange to her that I didn’t sip.  We were talking, Ryan and Kevin were in a conversation as were V and I.  Our conversation was actually about babies and life in general and she said, ” Well, I guess you’re not pregnant,” as she looked towards my drink.  I smiled and said, well……Kevin confirmed it to them, and we hugged and laughed and talked about it all night.  And then we went to see Harry Potter.

This is funny.  Amanda, oh Amanda.  The 3 of us were at V’s house.  I knew I would do the same shoe story with her.  I asked Vanessa if she would take a picture of some new shoes for my blog.  She was in on it.  I went to my car to grab the shoes and put them right in front of Amanda, knowing she would open it.  She did and squealed and slammed the lid back on the box.  We laughed and it was the best.  You would have thought there was a snake in the box.

I told Allison, who is also pregnant during lunch with her family.  I asked her what she was drinking, because I couldn’t have caffeine either.

I have been feeling great.  No morning sickness, but I eat all the time.  I will get a bit queasy at times, but as soon as I eat I’m good. I can’t choose not to button my pants.  I have been sporting the belly band.  I may not continue to speak of weight gain, but as of my last appointment I had only gained 1 pound.  It feels like more.  I am still exercising, but I can’t do Pilates because soon, I cannot lay flat on my back.  My exercise of choice is walking.  We decided we want to know the gender, and we will be having our anatomy scan towards the end of October.  I sleep pretty good, I get up to pee at least once, and my mind is already training me to wake up when I am on my back or belly because I wake up a lot to change positions.  I haven’t really had cravings, but Kevin may tell you different.  I will see something on TV and get it at the store next visit.  Kevin thinks it’s funny when we go to the store, we buy a lot, and random stuff.  We have had 3 appointments, the first to confirm, the second to hear the heartbeat and have an ultrasound.  This was at 7 weeks,

At our last appointment we heard the heartbeat again, which I knew was cool, but it is so amazing when it actually happens to you.  Our next visit will be September 29th.

We are truly blessed and thankful for this amazing miracle.

 

 

 

 

A few things | Wish List

It has been a while since I have done a wish list post.  Trust me, I want things all the time, but I have just decided not to post every little thing.  We have been pretty busy, Kevin’s fall season has started, I have been back to work and still trying to figure out my blog schedule.  We are still dealing with the house stuff, and that is a huge stress.  I can’t even begin to explain.  Pretty much, my biggest wish is to get into our house.  We have the house under contract, but we cannot move in yet because we need to sell out current home.  We are now looking into other options with our townhome.  Has anyone else dealt with real estate lately?  Not fun!!!  Even though I have mentioned this before, it still applies.  I want to move into this house!

I try not to question why this isn’t easy for us, and why we can’t get in there yet, but I know not to question the timing God has for us.  For some reason we are not to move in yet, and I will accept that.

Something else I want is this…

How great is this apothecary cabinet?   Have you ever been to Sleep Poet Antique mall?  It is amazing!  We will go from time to time to walk around when we have some time.  I love this place, love it!  It is huge and you need a lot of time to walk around.  It is on South Blvd.  Anyway, we always find something we want. Once it was a table, some Louis Vuitton luggage, knives (that would be Kevin) salt and pepper shakers, and the list goes on.  We saw this and I just thought of 100 things and places to put this.  It was close to $500.00, so it stayed there.  I still think about it, and would like to find one someday.

The last thing I want is fall weather.  I am beyond ready for cool crisp weather.  I want to wear boots, sweaters, scarves, tights and leggings, and all the fall attire.  Plus my summer color is fading fast and there is no need to show as much skin.  I want to go on walks with a sweatshirt, and slip on my Uggs to take Mona outside because it is chilly.

What is currently on your wish list?  Have you gotten anything new that you love?  Please share!  I have bought a few new beauty products that I will share in a later post!

Have a great Wednesday!

Chicken Spaghetti | Recipes

While trying to decide what to cook for dinner, I thought I had the ingredients for some type of chicken spaghetti.  I quickly did a search for a recipe, and guess what the first one was to pop up?  My friend, Pioneer Woman’s chicken spaghetti.  I looked no further.  I could trust this one.  I didn’t quite have the exact same ingredients, but I will mention my substitutions as we go.  This was easy, and I must apologize as I was lazy with the pictures…I was hungry and a little excited to eat.  I admit it, I get excited about food.  Don’t judge.

Here are the things you need.  I had all of these things so there was no shopping required!

That is a mound of shredded cheese, and 5 chicken breasts I had boiled.  I like the thin breasts, I am super picky about trimming chicken, and you don’t have to do too much to the thin ones.  Also, I know I have mentioned this, but shred your own cheese.  It is so much better than the already shredded stuff.

Oh, not pictured yet is a diced onion.

Keep the water you boiled the chicken in, you will cook the noodles in it.  Break up your noodles into pieces and cook them a bit, they should be firm because they will cook more in the oven.  Wonder why you break the noodles?  I will share the secret in a bit…..ah suspense!

Shred the chicken.  I just get in there with my hands, but you can use 2 forks if you have something against touching your food.

Oh there are the onions.  And the pile of chicken.  This is the part where I neglected the camera and started to get excited assemble.  Drain the noodles and put in a large mixing bowl.  Add the chicken, cheese, onions, soups, seasoning salt and Ro-tel.  (This was a substitution, Ree uses a green pepper.  I had a can of Ro-tel, that’s my story).  I guess just mix everything together.  Oh, Save some cheese for the top!  Add some cayenne pepper if you like a little heat.  We do, so we add.  Now, want to know why you break the noodles?  It makes mixing MUCH easier.  It is difficult to get a good mix if you keep the noodles long.  Dump everything into a baking dish and cover with cheese.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 min.

Naturally I grabbed a big plate full.

It was so good.  Kevin loved it and it was delicious the next day.  I like leftovers, but I know there are plenty of people who don’t.  This makes a lot, so you can freeze half of it for another time if you don’t plan on eating it the next day.

Recipe below, but has anyone else see the movie 127 hours?  Oh man, I had to turn my head during the part where he um, becomes free. But I still knew what was happening and had to lay on the couch because I became light headed.  Good movie though!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Cooked Chicken
  • 3 cups Dry Spaghetti, Broken Into Two Inch Pieces
  • 2 cans Cream Of Mushroom Soup
  • 2 cups Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/4 cup Finely Diced Green Pepper (I used Ro-tel)
  • 1/4 cup Finely Diced Onion
  • 1 jar (4 Ounce) Diced Pimentos, Drained (Didn’t use)
  • 2 cups Reserved Chicken Broth From Pot (I also used chicken broth since it was just chicken breasts)
  • 1 teaspoon Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon (to 1/4 Teaspoon) Cayenne Pepper
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup Additional Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Preparation Instructions

Cook 1 cut up fryer and pick out the meat to make two cups. Cook spaghetti in same chicken broth until al dente. Do not overcook. When spaghetti is cooked, combine with remaining ingredients except additional 1 cup sharp cheddar.

Place mixture in casserole pan and top with remaining sharp cheddar. Cover and freeze up to six months, cover and refrigerate up to two days, or bake immediately: 350 degrees for 45 minutes until bubbly. (If the cheese on top starts to get too cooked, cover with foil).

 

Leather Wrap Bracelet and Giveaway Winner | DIY

This one is just okay so don’t get too excited.  I have wanted a leather wrap bracelet for a while now since seeing them on Pinterest.  (Still haven’t become a victim of Pinterest yet?  Do yourself a favor and go!)  Anyway, I haven’t bought a wrap bracelet yet, but have come close.  They actually have some really cute ones at Target that I pick up every time I’m there.  I went to Michael’s a while back and just picked up these materials.

Not the scissors.

I just looked around and grabbed the leather, and the brass fasteners.  All from the jewelry section.  It took a while to figure out what I wanted to do exactly.  There was a lot of tying and wrapping around my wrist a few times.  Finally I had a game plan.

So I cut the leather into 4 equal parts and tied them around a brass fastener.

Then I took the 2 sections on each side and tied each end of the fastener to it.  Does that make sense?  I swear I will try not to say fastener anymore.

After wrapping it on my wrist it was too long, and too wrappy.  New word, wrappy. So I cut it and adjusted the…um, fasteners.  Sorry.

And the end result….

It’s alright.  I will wear it.  I won’t wear it everyday.  I will wear it to show you that it looks better than the picture.  It makes me mad when I get a blurry picture.  I need a new camera.  Am I off topic?

I think you all should attempt to make a leather wrap bracelet.  I want to see how creative you can get.  I bet you can do a better job than me.

Speaking of off topic, the giveaway winner is……

Kim!  (According to random.org)  Just leave me a comment with your email address, and I will sent it right to you!  Congratulations!  Oh and there will be another giveaway soon!

 

White after Labor Day? | Style

We all know the “rule” don’t wear white after Labor Day right?  Well, who goes by this rule? Seriously, I want to know.  No judgment here just curious.  I admit, I did once upon a time.  I thought I must follow all of the fashion rules so I did.  Do you know the history of why this rule ever came to be?  Lucky for you I do.  And this actually makes a lot of sense.  So forever ago, way before air conditioning and different fabric choices, white was the color of choice because it was lightweight, and a much cooler color than dark colors. So people wore white during the summer months. Now, as fall and winter rolled around, the rain and snow made for a muddy situation that just didn’t look great with white clothes.  That’s pretty much it in a nutshell.

I don’t wear a ton of white during fall and winter, but I do have some ivory pants that I love, and who doesn’t wear a cute white button down?  I also have an ivory cape that I love and an ivory leather pencil skirt would be fab!

I found a few outfits from NY & Co that show that you can and should wear white after Labor Day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you look back at Coco Chanel’s fashion, some of her signature pieces were white suits.

So in summary I will continue to rock white.  One rule though, nothing thin, or too lightweight looking.  It still has to look like you are dressing for the appropriate weather.  So if you see me, please don’t talk about me behind my back.  I wear what I like!  Who’s with me?  Who else is ready for fall?

Don’t forget to enter the iTunes giveaway!  You have til Wednesday!