Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Gift Idea at 30% Off!!!

I went to OC Nail Art yesterday to place an order. It donned on me that with Christmas coming up, there are going to be a lot of people in search of the perfect stocking stuffer. Last year my gift giving idea was to personalize... well, anything... for that special someone with embroidery from Artic Fox Designs. I had my Bible cover embroidered and it was AMAZING... you can check it out HERE.

This year my gift idea is (you'll never guess) REUSABLE NAIL ART KITS! Now before I go plugging this WONDERFUL product, I just want to say that Konad, the maker of these awesome kits, does not pay me. The retailer OC Nail Art does not pay me either, but for now there is a 30% discount to anyone and everyone who uses the discount code "MENTAL" at checkout, so really YOU ALL are getting paid for my blog post today.... hahahahahahahha! Right now might be a great time to pick up a nail art kit or two for a special someone.

Ok, now the plug... just cuz I love them! Note: the prices that follow get even better with that 30% discount!!! For those who are just starting with nail art and want to start slow, my recommendation is the "S" kit. I started with this kit and fell in love with the ease of application. This starter kit comes with everything you need and at less than $20, it is super affordable.... especially since all the kits are reusable nail art that you DON'T throw away. You will use this over and over choosing different colors, if you like, each time because you can also use regular nail polish. Here's my post on the different types of products that you can use with the Konad Nail Art system: Special Nail Polish vs. Regular. I say, buy the "S" kit and one special polish to bump your purchase over the $20 mark and take advantage of OC Nail Art's free shipping with purchases over $20!

Another great value, and the kit I wish I WOULD have started with is the "C" kit. It comes with a couple different special nail polishes and my favorite nail art designs. I ended up buying these designs after the fact, but after buying them, I realized quickly that I wish I would have started there. This kit is another one that contains everything you need and qualifies for free shipping.... we ALL love that! This one is under $30.

Now.... if you want something a little more significant than a stocking stuffer for someone who LOVES the nail art and throws away A LOT of money every year on the typical "use once" nail art decals and stickers, I recommend the "G" kit. It is just under $100, qualifies for the free shipping and comes with A TON of images and special polishes (including my favorite staples, black and white). Whoever receives this kit will not have to spend another penny on nail art designs.

Ok, so the above kits are MY recommendations. There are many more kits to choose from at OC Nail Art. In fact, my dream kit is on sale RIGHT NOW!!! It's the BIG DOG and contains EVERYTHING. For someone like me who is addicted to nail art or for an actual salon professional, the Professional Salon Kit is DEFINITELY the way to go.

Oh! One last comment/recommendation. You can search individual image discs HERE! The reason that is such a good option is because this system isn't just great for nail art... it's also a handy craft tool as well. It's that embellishment that can turn a $1.00 glass bowl into a 1 minute gift. I will be posting this Christmas gift I just made using my Konad nail art kit. SO CUTE... stay tuned.

Welp, that's pretty much it for this year's gift idea. If you guys DO give it a try, or get one for that special someone... let me know what you think! :)

Girls Day

Wow.. those girls days are something else. It's so incredibly healthy to stop and spend the day with your besties. It's even better when you stop to see a totally awesome movie... uh... like New Moon!!!! Yep, I saw New Moon today and it was WAY better than Twilight. The special effects were incredible and I think some of the cast has taken acting lessons. I say some because Edward is STILL looking like he's sick or in pain for EVERY kissing scene! COME ON!!!! And why the dramatic pause for EVERY line??? Just spit it out already! Ok, so your leaving... bu-bye! I'd rather look at the newly transformed Jacob anyway! And it doesn't take him three days to say his lines. Actually, because everyone's performances were so much better with this film, it made the poor guy playing Edward look even worse. I probably just ticked off the entire nation of teenage girls and I'm preparing for my house to get egged, but I'm only saying this so that the guy who plays Edward can fix it for the next movie. PULEEZE fix it. But other than that little critique, this movie was EXCELLENT and I can't wait to own it on DVD... I might even have to go see it again in the theater. Anyone want to take a girls day? Guys are welcome, but only if you dress appropriately (i.e. dress, heels and wig)! See you there!

Monday, November 23, 2009

"I Became a Millionaire with Home Tech"

This stuff is gold! I did a little cleaning yesterday and ALL my glass surfaces cleaned easily with one swipe of a slightly moist rag. Actually, I would have to say that the rag was mostly dry, but those are semantics that us millionaires don't have time to quibble over. All my mirrors wiped clean, my glass top kitchen table and even my black porcelain sink wiped clean in seconds.... yah, it was a little cleaning! Why? Because 4 months ago I treated all my mirror and glass surfaces with this Home Tech Acrylic Polish. It's an invisible barrier so when you get smudges and smears, they wipe away easily with a mostly dry cloth. Even those greasy hand prints that are always so tough to clean off windows, wipes away easily with no streaks. It really is amazing! I swear these people should pay me for this! Mostly because I'm NOT a millionaire (which you all probably already guessed since I'm doing my own cleaning), but I could be. With all the cleaning time this stuff is saving me, I could be out buying lottery tickets because I'm not slaving with my cleaning cloth. And one of those lottery tickets could be worth $10 million and then I would win and say, "I became a millionaire with Home Tech!" But why would I say that if they aren't paying me? They should totally pay me!

HAHAHAHAHA! Ok, that's all for today's rant. All joking aside, this stuff is incredible and weirdly cheap. One bottle cost me 15 bucks and will probably last me three or four years. I love that it saves me SOOOO much cleaning time and keeps everything looking pretty. I especially love not having to kill my back and shoulders with trying to clean my bathroom mirror... this stuff takes off even the toothpaste flingins like magic. You know what I'm talking about... that crusted toothpaste/water droplets that usually take FOREVER to clean off the bathroom mirror. And if you own ANY glass top tables... Home Tech is a must!<-- You will thank me for that!

Home Tech gets a HUGE HIGH FIVE! In fact, I don't ever want to be without it!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Work In Progress

It has been a GREAT Sunday... lots of crafting and Gypsy design! Well, this one isn't quite finished, but I wanted to get it up so that everyone can see the cut file. This one is titled "Dream Card". As always, my Gypsy cut files can be found at the top of the right margin of my blog.

That's all for tonight. Have a great Monday gang!

***Cartridges used: Hannah Montana Font, Gypsy Wanderings, Storybook and Wild Card

Cookie Box

Ok, so here's the Christmas Cookie box I just finished... now I just need to bake the cookies. Hmmmmmm... my sister LOVES to bake Christmas cookies. I wonder if she'd be willing to work out a trade???? I'll spend the 15 minutes cutting the boxes and she can spend the hours in the kitchen baking cookies to fill them! Sound like an even trade?

It's SOOOO an even trade! I'm saving her from a possible paper cut! Really, now that I think about it... I could be saving her life. Yah, lets go with that! hahahahaha!

Hope you guys like it. I'm also ordering some holiday parchment paper from my favorite online baking resource, Fancy Flours, to line these little gems with. Someone asked me to share, so I thought I'd share it with all you guys too! I once made a birthday cake with a Queen of Hearts theme and ordered a ton of their sugar playing card suits to embellish the sides of the cake. It turned out FABULOUS and the service was excellent! Check them out for YOUR holiday baking, and don't forget to download the Cookie Box cut file located at the top-right of this blog.

***Cartridges used: George, Storybook

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Not All Pinks Are Created Equal

So it hit me yesterday that I never showed everyone what my Thanks a Latte card looks like, so at 12:30 this morning I loaded my paper, cut the gypsy cut file and 10 minutes later ended up with this beauty....

Only this beauty doesn't look as good in the photograph!!! What the heck!?! This pink looks coral in this pic. It's actually a pretty rose color and compliments the carmel cardstock beautifully in real life. I threw this through the Cuttlebug with my dots embossing folder. Please note, this cut file was created PRE-layers option on the Gypsy. The heart was added "after the fact" as a layer... there's also a flower and a swirl that I interchange depending on my mood. Those cute little additions are not in this original cut file but can be easily added. Here's how:

1.) After saving the original cut file, open it and find a heart or flower that you would like to add to the cup.
2.) Add the item you choose to the mat and place it where you would like it to appear on the cup.
3.) Once positioned, and while it's still highlighted blue on the screen, tap the group button (square and circle in a box icon) once and the remaining cup with frame image once (the cup with frame is already welded, so it is actually one piece already allowing the entire image to highlight with one tap of the stylus).
4.) Tap the group button again to group the heart/flower to the rest of the image and tap the "Advanced" tab located in the top right corner of the screen.
5.) Tap the weld button (icon located above the eye icon appearing as a star/circle/square in a box).
6.) Now tap the view icon (the eye) and confirm that the heart/flower turns red on the screen indicating that the Cricut will be cutting the image. Any image in grey is where the images overlapped and were welded. Those areas SHOULD NOT be cut by the Cricut.

I hope these instructions help. There is a little learning curve, but once you get it.... it's pretty easy. Now if I could just figure out my camera... at least how to keep my pinks pink! hahahahaha!

*** Cartridges Used: Gypsy Wanderings, Don Juan, Christmas Cheer

Friday, November 20, 2009

Layered Congrats

Well gang... a new Gypsy cut file has been added to the list (TOP of the right margin). I made this for a friend of the family whose accomplishments are deserving of just this caliber of handmade sentiment! I hope all of you like it as well!

I did two different styles. The first style is the first layer of the cut file and it's the round card. It's a full card from the Wild Card Cricut cartridge. I then welded the shadow for the word "Congrats" from the Gypsy Wanderings Cricut cartridge to the window of the card. The separate word "Congrats" is already sized and ready to just stick in place.

The second style (and second layer) is not a folding card. I attempted the folding card, but after all the glue and stickles were applied, the front of the card ended up being too heavy and the joint tore. So I removed the back half and left it since it can just easily be completed and then glued to a 3 x 4 or a 4 x 5.5 card. Simple but gorgeous! And I gotta say... I'm LOVIN those layers.
***Cartridges Used: Gypsy Wanderings, Wild Card

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Do It Anyway

I'm reminded, this evening, of the importance of "DO IT ANYWAY".

I've had a few weeks now where I'm skipping workouts and not completing my planning and journals and the feeling of fatigue is catching up with me. It starts with skipping workouts, and then I forget my vitamins which perpetuates the "not wanting to work out". Then I find myself not drinking all my water and feeling even more tired from dehydration. It becomes a vicious cycle quickly that ends in bouts of insomnia... can anyone relate? I've always told others in the past that sometimes you have to fake it till you feel it. But does "fake it till you feel it" really work? Because we really DON'T feel it sometimes.... do we?

According to Hebrews 12:11-13, that's EXACTLY what God tells us to do. "For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Therefore, lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed."

So, what I'm getting here is not that we should "fake it" really... it's more like the fatigue (in my case) is a decision and the "fake it" IS the discipline. So if my hands are drooping and my knees are weak, I'm to perk up and get my feet back on the path. It sounds to me like the discipline lies in the "DO IT ANYWAY". What do you think?

Monday, November 16, 2009

GREAT Vegan Burger Recipe

My mother-in-law brought this recipe home after attending a 2 week McDougall Program in California learning how to live a vegan lifestyle (she also gave me the New McDougall Cookbook that is STILL my favorite cookbook after all these years!). I have made different variations of it over the years, but made the original recipe for dinner last night and I thought I would share. This recipe is VERY simple to prepare and is by far the best vegan "burger" I've ever had. PS. If you are a reader of my blog, you know that I AM NOT a vegan (I'm not even a vegetarian), but because I share in a lot of the foods, and certainly lifestyle choices, I'm surrounded by those that ARE vegan. Recipes like this that can be prepared quickly but taste like I slaved for hours are always called upon to impress my vegan guests. I hope you all enjoy the McDougall Zucchini Burger.

ZUCCHINI BURGERS
  • 2 cups zucchini finely grated (I use my mandolin and julienne them)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. McKay's beef style seasoning
Place zucchini and seasoning into a large bowl and let stand 15 minutes. The salt in the beef seasoning will draw out the zucchini's natural juice which will be needed to form the "loaf".
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
Grate, chop or grind above ingredients and add to zucchini.

  • 1/4 cup active dry yeast
  • 1 cup vital gluten
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
Combine yeast, gluten, oats and garlic, then add to onion, walnut and zucchini mixture. Knead well with hands for approximately 5 minutes. Kneading for the extended amount of time creates a "meaty" dough. Anyone who makes pastries can tell you the best way to kill a pastry is to over knead. For this recipe though, that tough, meaty texture is exactly what you're looking for. Note: some zucchini yield more juice than others. If your "meat" dough is too dry and does not resemble a precooked meatloaf, add water a tablespoon at a time until the dough is the right consistency. Once kneaded, set aside to rest for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Form patties (I use the Tupperware burger press), place on lightly oiled flat pan and bake for 15 minutes on each side until golden brown.

I hope you all enjoy these great "burgers", I also thought I'd include a link to more great McDougall Recipes for those who don't have the cookbook. Here's the really great blog I found! If you get a chance to try this recipe, please come back and tell us all how yours turned out! ;)

Priceless

Yay! BLOG ANNIVERSARY!!! SO, it has been one year since I started blogging. It is AMAZING going back through this past year's posts. Big hugs and thank you's to everyone who has read my blog and everyone who has left a comment. Thank you to other bloggers who have connected with me through my blog... I've SOOOO enjoyed reading your stuff!!! I've met some incredible people because of this blog and am grateful for the wonderful friendships I've gotten.

From topics on relationships to exercise, this blog has been a wonderful outlet to share what I love, the issues that move me and the issues that get me heated. I'm hoping that the real me shines through in these blog posts and that this really does provide an outlet for everyone who reads it... even if it only gets you to think... or to smile... or to shake your fist. I've really enjoyed blogging this past year. I don't see myself stopping any time soon, so here's to the upcoming year!

Thanks again to all my readers and everyone who shares their two cents.... to me, it's priceless!

And speaking of priceless, the picture attached to this blog post is the inspiration for a project that I'm getting ready to start and the inspiration for the title of this post. The pictured creation was created by Donna Mundinger. You can find her blog here or you can check out her Priceless project featured on Bitten By the Bug. Both of these links will take you to some incredible craft projects.... one of my new obsessions! Be sure to click on the pic to enlarge and see Donna's beautiful work! :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Not So Mello Yellow

The refreshing, crisp taste of yellow nails? Whoops... yuck! I don't think that was the lead-in I was looking for, but you see the EXTREME contrast right?!? Excuse my pitiful attempt to catch your eye, but come on.... the can IS yellow. ;)

Any yellow nail sufferers out there? What the heck causes this? If you are a smoker, there really isn't a puzzle there. Nicotine causes nails to turn yellow... real or fake. But what about the non smokers with fake nails who are experiencing nail yellowing? Surprisingly enough, it could be as simple as the products that you use to get ready each morning. Typically anything containing UV protection chemicals will cause your nails to yellow. Don't rule out products containing dyes or other staining agents. Luckily, there may be a quick and easy remedy. Here's a helpful list to get those nails sparkling and white. See, now THAT is crisp and refreshing! HAHAHAHA (I knew I could get that to work! LOL)!
  1. Check to see which products you use (typically moisturizers and creams) that contains sun block.
  2. Wash your hands after "putting your face on" each morning.
  3. Use a nail buffer periodically throughout the day. This will not only clean the nail surface, but will stimulate growth and add a sparkling shine. A couple short, quick strokes is all you need.
  4. Use a yellow eliminating topcoat for manicures.
Non-smokers who have yellowing natural nails only need to look at their diet and general nail care. A healthy diet with plenty of water helps to keep nails looking their best. But if you're looking for a whitening remedy in a pinch, try these:

1.) Soak nails in 2 Tbsp of FRESH lemon juice in a small bowl of water for 15 minutes.
-or-
2.) Soak nails in denture cleaning (whitening) solution and gently brushing with a nail scrub brush.
3.) Use yellow eliminating polish. I use Yellow No More by Nail Aid (can also be used on acrylic nails as well).

I hope this list has answered some questions and makes short work of whitening those digits!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

High Five and Peachy Keen!


I SO love high fives, and this one is a GREAT one! The adorable little snowman face is compliments of a Peachy Keen stamp set called Winter Faces Assortment. I just placed a HUGE order because until November 15th, shipping is free for all orders over $50 and there's a 10% discount using code FALLFUN10 for all of November. I can honestly say.... that cute little snowman face MAKES this card!!!

A couple of things that I want to note about Peachy Keen stamps... they are surprisingly "clingy" and the stamped image is SUPER CRISP! Also, I received my order in four days with a personal "thank you" note hand-written by the owner. I think this company may just be getting close to a high six!

Jump on this one folks... they are just great stamps and be sure to click on the pic to enlarge so that you can see how nicely that little face really did turn out!

Sweet As Pie

Cherry pie anyone? Well... not the real thing, but this is as close as a girl can get without consuming the calories!!!!

I finally got a chance to sit down and give my poor nails some TLC and felt like a little manicure and a little nail art would be just the trick to make em sparkle. These cherries came from the fauxnad (or fake Konad) GCOCL plate # B02. It turned out super cute. I used Konad Special polish colors red and green for this. Today's post is short and sweet.... sweet as pie! :) I hope you all enjoy.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

My Kind of Art

Welp, today was girl's day! I was so lucky to spend the afternoon with great friends at one of my favorite venues... a rubber stamp fair! And while this post is REALLY about the AMAZING gem that is pictured here, I do want to mention how sad I was to see the fair was about 1/8 of what it has been in past years. Gone were the ENORMOUS door prizes, in their place were coupons that were given to the lucky winners. Replacing the shoulder to shoulder vendor booths were widely spread vendor tables that didn't even fill the convention center. In past years we could barely make it through the thick crowd and today was a leisurely meander through slim pickins. I was sad to see that this event that I always looked so forward to had diminished so drastically in our struggling economy. The brighter side of this sad, sad tale is the fact that I didn't have to scratch anyone's eyes out or pull anyone's hair to get my hands on the amazing artwork that you see here.

Featured here is the HILARIOUS artwork of Emerson Quillin. You can find these stamps at American Art Stamp. The bulk of the money I spent at the fair today was spent with this vendor for this artist's work. I purchased 5 stamps from this artist and HAD A BLAST creating with them this afternoon. I will be sure to take pics of the others and get them up as soon as I can. But this one is by far my favorite!!!! Check em out... they are my HIGH FIVE for this weekend! :)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Spicy Chicken Pad Tai

I am a lover of Pad Tai noodles. Anyone looking to replace egg or wheat noddles, THIS is the alternative. Pad Tai noodles are rice noodles and even easier to prepare than the egg or wheat noodles and don't contain gluten, so they are so good and good for you. I am also a lover of the spicy. Anyone looking to open up those sinus cavities, again, this is your one stop shop! Here is the meat version of my Farmer's Market Delight! :) Enjoy!!!!

Spicy Chicken Pad Tai

One large handful of Pad Tai Noodles (I buy the fresh noodles from my local asian market. If using boxed noodles, prepare per the box directions). One large handful of fresh noodles will fill a steam pot/skillet.
  • 3 tablespoons of water
  • 1 tablespoon Nama Shoyu
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic-chili sauce ***
  • 4 green onions diced (including the greens)
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 1 small zucchini chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery chopped on the diagonal
  • 1 large, fully cooked, left over chicken breast chopped
In a hot skillet or wok, add water, Nama Shoyu, garlic-chili sauce and fresh Pad Tai noodles. Turning noodles constantly with tongs, cook noodles until limp and slightly translucent (about 3 minutes). Place noodles in a bowl and set aside. Return the skillet to high heat. Once the skillet is hot, add all remaining ingredients to flash-heat. I do not cook the vegetables, only warm them quickly before adding them into the bowl with the noodles and combining. All in all, this meal shouldn't take you more than 15 minutes start to finish. I make this dish when I'm feeling a cold coming on. I get all the enzymes and nutrients from the raw vegetables (flash heated veggies are still considered raw as long as they never reach over 115 degrees destroying the enzymes) and the garlic-chili sauce opens up my sinuses to help me breathe. Chicken being the ultimate comfort food doesn't hurt this dish one bit either. I hope everyone enjoys this one and be sure to read my note below.

*** Garlic-chili sauce is SUPER spicy. Some are spicier than others. Be very careful before adding to your dish. I use 1/2 teaspoon of the Tai version and it makes my dish hot... but then again, I love it hot. Be sure to adjust the measured amount to your own tastes. A little goes a LONG way with this one. You can also find Vietnamese, Chinese, and Japanese versions of this great sauce. They all have their own unique flavor and heat/spice intensity.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

How to Upload Gypsy Cut Files To Your Gypsy

Well... Today was the big day for the Provo Craft Gypsy! Provo Craft FINALLY provided the Cricut Design Studio compatibility and now we also have the added benefit of sharing Gypsy cut files... but it was at a price. I will get to that in a later post. In honor of this occasion though, I will be adding my Gypsy cut files to my blog for everyone to use. You will find my cut files in the top right corner of my blog marked *NEW (at the top of the side bar). The instructions on how to download at the bottom of this post. I hope you all enjoy them... they've been a long time coming. The featured pic here is the "welded Snow" file. It turned out BEAUTIFUL!

DOWNLOAD INSTRUCTIONS

For those of you who already own the Gypsy, here are the instructions. There is no conversion needed because these files are only .gypsy files. To save them:
1.) Connect your gypsy to your computer, turn it on and open Gypsy Sync on your computer.

2.) Once the Gypsy Sync Program has searched for an update and found none, it will open up a file window. Click on the + next to "Gypsy" and then click on "designs". A list of files that are currently saved on your Gypsy should appear. Minimize the Gypsy Sync screen.

3.) From the side bar on this blog, click on the file you would like to download. MediaFire will open. Click download and then save.

4.) From that drop-down menu, find Gypsy Sync and highlight it as the location to save the file.

5.) Once the file is saved, maximize the Gypsy Sync Screen and see your new file saved in the list. In order to see the new file on the list in your Gypsy, you may have to power your Gypsy down and then turn it on again to see the new file added.
6.) If you do not see the file in the list, click on the "Upload Files to Gypsy" button located on the bottom lower-left of the Gypsy Sync screen on your computer. Choose the file you would like to upload from the list by clicking it once to begin the upload.


GOOD LUCK everyone and I hope you enjoy these cut files.
**Cartridges Used: Don Juan, Christmas Noel
UPDATE: As of September 2010, Gyspy Sync was replaced with Cricut Sync. For UPDATED upload instructions click HERE. Also, all of my cut files are now found in the right margin of this blog titled "FREE Gypsy Cut Files".

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Healthy Pumpkin Muffins

Sorry, no pix for this one. I made these to take with me to the Halloween party last night and returned empty handed! LOL! I was complimented by a request for the recipe, so I thought I would post it here for EVERYONE!!! :)

They are actually just a spin off of an old favorite of mine..... Banana Cupcakes. What a versatile recipe! Click the link for some serious YUM!

Pumpkin Muffins
  • 2 1/4 Cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 Cup agave nectar or maple syrup
  • 2/3 Cup unsweetened applesauce ****
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 Cups pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 Cup crushed pecans (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients together; set aside. Mix the pumpkin, agave nectar or maple syrup and applesauce together. Beat the eggs into the wet mixture. Add wet mixture to the dry and mix well. Fill lightly oiled muffin wells 3/4 full and bake for 30-35 minutes (mini muffins take about 15-20 minutes; insert toothpick into the center of one and if it comes out clean then the muffins are done). Allow to cool before removing from muffin pan. Batter can also be placed into into a 13 x 9-inch pan and baked for about an hour for an amazing cake.

**** I make my own applesauce with two peeled and cored apples and 2 tablespoons of filtered water blended on high speed in my Vitamix for 30 seconds (using the tamper when necessary). This makes about a cup of applesauce depending on the size of the apples.

This recipe is a new fall favorite and the applesauce makes them super moist! These wonderfully easy cake recipes make me wonder why we EVER switched to boxed cake mixes........ I'm just thinking out loud. I hope you all enjoy! :)

It's All In The Details

I hope that everyone had a happy and safe Halloween! I know that mine was AWESOME!!!! As you can see from the pic.... I go all-out for Halloween. Although this year I went one step further with these SUPER COOL contact lenses. I got them from ColorLens4Less.com and I have to say... these babies get a dozen HIGH FIVES!!! Not only were they affordable (I got them for around $40 with shipping), but they were comfortable, really easy to wear and looked fantastic! I have never worn contacts before so I was nervous wearing them; in fact, I was warned that they would be painful because I have never worn contacts. That was SO NOT TRUE!!!! These contacts were amazing and really made my costume this year. I predict funky contacts every Halloween from here on out! LOL. One thing I want to add, and I think I might have mentioned it before.... the service from ColorLens4Less.com was WONDERFUL. I got my shipment within days of placing the order, and they were sent overseas! Pretty impressive.

One last Halloween tip before I call it a day (cuz I'm still recuperating from my sugar hangover): Be sure to prep your costume days before the Halloween event. It took me over an hour to figure out how to put these contacts in since I had never done it before. It is not advised, but I FINALLY got them in by gently pinching the bottom of the contact. That allowed me to secure the top of the contact to my eyeball, since the top of the contact was now cupped from the pinching of the bottom, and then releasing the bottom to fit into place. I had to be REALLY careful so that I didn't tear the lens. The proper instructions for inserting contact lenses (and the ones I couldn't quite master) can be found here. I DID, however, prep my wig with a cold bath in water and two tablespoons of fabric softener three days ago. After the bath, I wrung out the wig, gently towel dried it, combed it into the style that I wanted and allowed it to air dry until it was completely dry. I placed my wig over a 1 gallon water bottle to dry since I don't own a foam wig head. I did end up with some unruly pieces, but that was from the teasing and hairspraying that took place during dress-up on Halloween night.

Well today begins the "un-fun" of packing all my beloved Halloween decor, make-up and costumes to do it all again next year... YAY! I always pack everything as I left it from this year and go through my rituals again next year, the reason: freshly washed costumes, wigs and decor always smell better! :) That's it for my Halloween tips... be sure to book mark this post so you have it for next year! On to Thanksgiving!!!!
****NOTE**** WOW! You guys REALLY DO read my blog! hahahahaha! The Geisha costume got nixed at the beginning of last week when I had some "wardrobe malfunctions" when I started prepping. Translation: I still need to lose 10 more pounds before I'm wearing that in public!!! hahahahaha! God, please help me make it through Thanksgiving and Christmas!!!!