Friday, May 28, 2010

Fun Friday Finds


Yes, I am doing a selfish plug for the photography business! But Doxzen Pet Photos just got a new face lift - be sure to check it out when you have time. It has been fun going through the branding experience - but I will have to admit all my creative energy has been focused on that. Now I am looking forward to not having to worry about it and enjoy what Luxecetera has put together for me!


NO, not me! [did you fall out of your chair???!!] But I am going to be an Auntie again at the end of June - my sister is having a boy. Everyone is very excited including my niece...well at least she is right now. ;) Photo tip: I just realized that if I tell me niece NOT to smile and be grumpy she gets all giggly and I get great expressions like the one above. I think we can now put the constipated look behind us. LOL!

Don't forget about the two giveaways happening on the blog right now. Here and here. To all my US based friends, have a wonderful long weekend!

And also don't forget to always have a camera handy, from my backyard...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Maintenance v1.5 | new regimen

In a few months I will be completing my first year in my forties! While I have enjoyed all of it I have noticed some REAL physical changes. Yes, it's true the extra weight lingers, my energy at times seems to be sapped, my hair is changing colors...but most of all I have noticed drastic changes in my skin. In particular my face. So in keeping with the spirit of this blog I want to share what I am doing now, the product that I have been testing out for the last two months and what has stayed constant in my daily regimen.

If you don't remember or you are new to the blog be sure to check out my maintenance post v1.0. The tips and schedule remain the same. What has changed are the products I am using - as I mentioned in that post I have dry skin, it's even dryer now and I am showing some age spots. I also mentioned last time that I was going to cut back on facials to save money. Because of the product I am using I can now cut back to once a quarter. Keep in mind that could all change if I start traveling again - traveling is very hard on my skin [or anyone's] and always needs extra care.

In making all of these changes I had to find an esthetician that would analyze my skin at my quarterly visits and make necessary changes to my regimen, based on my skin and the time of year.

This is where Midori comes in! Midori has been my lash extension gal for about three years. I knew that she was also an esthetician but until she opened up her new shop I didn't have a chance to check out her services. Midori has done a wonderful job really looking at my skin, taking into consideration my lifestyle and the changes I want to make. If you are in the Portland area I would definitely give Midori a ring!

The new products I am using are from G.M. Collin, specifically the Bio Organique line. If you are not in the Portland area you can go onto their site and see if anyone is using their products in your area. Also be sure to check out their Organic Statement. Remember that organic skin care is not for everyone - because of the purity of the product your skin could have a bad reaction to the ingredients. I have sensitive skin so I was pleasantly surprised that I didn't have a reaction.

Night-time & morning regimen:
  • I first wash my face with the Cleansing Milk. This cleanser is very thorough and calming. If I have daytime makeup on my eyes I don't need to use eye make up remover. But when I use liner I have to. 
  • After washing I spray the Revitalizing Mist all over my face and neck. This is the first toner that I have used EVER that does not dry out my skin.
  • Then I apply the Treating Serum all over - I love this extra hydration before I put on my cream. It is also helping with my aging spots.
  • After the serum it's time to moisturize some more with the Nourishing Cream. Just need a pea size amount.
  • And then never forget Eye Countour Cream - I apply small amounts to the upper and lower eyelid.
I rarely miss a night - even if we are getting in late. Drag yourself into that bathroom and wash! Night is when your skin is repairing so get a goods night's sleep for healthy skin. For my lips I put on some Burts Bees or Nivea lip balm and then I take a baby toothbrush (you know the ones that you get for babies) and actually brush my lips. This takes off any dry skin and then I reapply the lip balm. Done in less than five minutes. Once you have a professional determine what type of skin you have there are some great over the counter products you can buy. Some of my favorites are: Cetaphil (great cleanser), Philosophy (I sometimes use the Purity cleanser) and Neutragena (love their sunblock line and moisturizer).

I am also still using the Clarsonic facial brush about once or twice a week. I have to be careful not to over exfoliate because of my dry skin.
And because you have read this entire blog post... Midori has graciously given me FIVE sample sets of Bio Organique to giveaway! This is how the contest is going to work:
  • Leave a comment or a question for Midori on this blog - that is one entry
  • Become a friend of Midori's on Facebook
We will announce winners on Tuesday, June 1st! Good Luck!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Pioneer Woman | French Puffs

If you think I am cooking my way through Pioneer Woman recipes, I am. Not intentionally though and believe me the scale is not liking it either! These puffs are in her breakfast section but I made them for dessert the other night. They are decadent and definitely not to be eaten on a regular basis. I am thankful that they freeze well!

Be sure to use some kind of cooking spray for the muffin pan. I tried using the butter wrapper, which works well for cake pans, but not small areas. You need these babies to come out clean.

While the puffs are baking get the sugar mixture ready and the butter out and ready to melt.

My constant companion in the kitchen - the other two get bored and don't stick around. They miss out on the secret treats! ;)

Dip and submerge in the butter and roll around in the sugar mixture...

And then gain about 50 pounds...these are hard to describe - Kirk thought they were a cross between strudel and cake. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Inspired | Natalie Kucken

Came across this photographer via sfgirlbybay blog. So inspiring and have this on my list of things to try with the camera. Our bedroom would be the perfect place to experiment!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Pioneer Woman's | Prune Cake

I like prunes. I remember as a little girl my grandparents had a prune tree in the backyard - my grandmother always warned me 'don't eat too many of those prunes!' [Of course I never listened and I will spare you details.] This is memory that came to mind when I came across Pioneer Woman's recipe for Prune Cake. Not the details part, just remembering my grandparents and the house... Isn't it wonderful how a recipe can bring back a memory from childhood?

As her blog title suggests...Make this CAKE today.

Here are the dried prunes after they have been boiled...

And then you have to mash them up - I know not very pleasing to look at right now, it gets better.

This is the batter without the prunes...

This is the batter with...

While the cake is baking I readied the ingredients for the icing - you want to start cooking it 5 minutes before the cake is done. NOTE: Do not start off with a small saucepan like the one pictured below. USE a pot! There is baking soda in this icing so when it starts to go - it will over flow a small pot and you will be cleaning hardened corn syrup off your stove top for the REST of your life!

Finished prune cake! Now I would love to know if there is a secret to getting your cake to bake flat? Mine always rise in the middle so all the icing went to the sides. Not a big deal - it was still delicious! Kirk loved it until I told him it had prunes in it.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Fun Find | Ticings (tm)

You know that feeling you get when you are blog surfing...the one where you actually shout out loud: "that is so cool!" Well I had one this morning. Check out Ticings - these are edible designs that are sent to you. All you need to do is bake the cake or cupcake and apply the Ticing!

But you know what really caught me eye? Can you take a wild guess?