Friday, January 18, 2013

I'm Gonna Be A Lawyer!!

Well I have wonderful news friends...I got in to Elon Law!! 

It is the first school I heard back from, and its a yes!! Its likely that I wont get in to all 5 of the ones I applied to, but now I know I WILL be an attorney by 2016!!! 

Praise the Lord...He has strengthened, sustained, and comforted me over the last tumultuous year as I have changed careers and decided to follow this dream. Celebrate with me friends! I am beyond excited!!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers

Once again, I am inspired by Pinterest, and my husband's belly rejoices!

I found this blog/photo linked to a pin and was slightly discouraged when there was no actual recipe to follow.  I thought, "Aw MAN!! I really wanted to make these..."  And then, it occurred to me that I have been cooking while intermittently (and often not at all) following recipes for 4 years.  I am not a SLAVE to RECIPES! I AM WOMAN!!...I digress...

I feel like I have a pretty good palate and according to hubby I am "horrible at making bad food." So I gave it a shot using only the picture in my head, from the picture on this blog, as a guide.

**Note: I generally loathe stuffed peppers...but enjoy sauteed peppers in fajitas, philly cheesesteaks, etc, so I figured it can't be TOO bad...and I was so right, they're not bad, these are AMAZING

Here is what I did:

Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers

3 Green Peppers
2 Packages of Roast Beef sandwich meat (I used Aldi's brand that comes in the tiny                tupperware container)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 and 1/2 yellow onions sliced
2 cloves of garlic
3 small cans of mushrooms
1 cup of beef broth
salt, pepper, spices to taste
a little bit of mayo (optional)
About 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
6 slices of mozzarella cheese  (You can sub the shredded for the sliced and use either 2 c                of shredded cheese or 12 slices)

First, I cut the peppers in half from the stem to the bottom, like pictured above.  I pulled out the seeds and the stem.  I sprayed a baking dish with non stick spray and placed the peppers in the pan, open side up.  Place some shredded mozzarella in the bottom of each pepper (or one slice if you're using only slices)

I sliced the onion and chopped the garlic while my olive oil was heating in a LARGE skillet over medium-med/high heat.  Once the oil was hot, I put the onion/garlic in the pan and sauteed it until the onions began to caramelize.  I like deliciously soft onions bursting with savory sweetness so I sauteed mine for about 10-15 minutes.  If you want yours firmer, lessen that time.  Don't let them burn, if they start to, turn the heat down.

I usually use fresh mushrooms, but I cook on a budget, and my favorite discount grocery store, Aldi, was out of fresh mushrooms, so I went with canned.  If you substitute fresh, you could probably go with 2 small tubs from the produce aisle.  I dumped in the mushrooms and sauteed for another few minutes to let the flavors marry.

While this was going on, I took the roast beef out of the packaging an cut it into squares/chunks.  This part doesn't have to be perfect, as long as its in bite-size pieces like a philly cheesesteak.  I put the meat in when it was cut and stirred it in.  I then added a cup of beef broth to the mixture and brought to a boil.  I added salt and pepper and a few dashes of Emril's Essence spice because I had it laying around.  If you don't, you can use steak seasoning or just salt and pepper and add whatever you like.

Once most of the liquid from the beef broth has evaporated, the mixture should look like the filling for a philly cheesesteak.  Spoon some of the mixture into each pepper, filling them to the brim.  Bake the peppers at 375 for about 20-30 minutes until the peppers are soft.

I then took the peppers out, then I spread a little bit of mayo on the tops of each pepper because my hubby likes mayo on his philly cheesesteak, but if you don't it shouldn't affect the flavor.  Top each pepper with a slice of cheese or some shredded cheese and put back into the oven for another 10 minutes (make sure the cheese is melted a bubbly).

I would suggest letting them cool a few minutes before serving...they were pretty inside when we ate them and I burned my mouth a little haha  I served the peppers with biscuits.



Friday, January 11, 2013

Makeup Post!!

So I have been watching a lot of YouTube makeup reviews and tutorials by Emily on Beauty Broadcast and Lauren on Laurenbeautyy.  I recently bought a few products and tried some of the looks on the videos, especially Emily's because she has brown eyes and brown hair like I do.  I tried Lauren's New Years Eve silver eye look (minus the glitter) and LOVED it.  Emily has several eye tutorial videos that I have really enjoyed emulating.

I went to Target this evening and picked up some e.l.f eye products, a Revlon lip gloss, a Rimmel lipstick, and two eye quads: one Maybelline, and one Cover Girl

e.l.f. Liquid Eyeliner: Black and Copper

e.l.f. Cream Eyeliner: Coffee and Plum Purple

e.l.f. eye primer

Revlon Colorburst lip gloss in Rosepearl

Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick in Paradise

 Maybelline Eyestudio quad in Smokey Night 

Cover Girl Eye Enhancers quad in Crystal Waters 

After having tried (almost) all of these products, here is what I think.

The e.l.f. cream eyeliners are great.  I love the texture, and the tiny brush that comes with them keeps things easy because each product has its own brush and I didn't have to buy additional tools to use the product.  As Emily says in her videos, there is a heck of a lot of packaging surrounding a seemingly small amount of actual product.  I have found however, that even though it looks like a very small amount in the jar, it doesn't take much to get the desired effect and it looks like the liner will last for a long time.  At the bargain price of $3 per jar, this liner is a must!

As far as the e.l.f. black liquid liner...I have a confession, until this week, I have never used liquid eyeliner before...*NOTE, do not use it for the first time ever when you are getting ready for work in the morning and are on a time will undoubtedly cause you to have to start your eyes all over twice and be 5 minutes late for work...OTHER than that, I found the brush applicator to be fine enough to make a good line, and the product went on smoothly.  I made some mistakes, but that's because I'm a newbie to liquid eyeliner.  I'll update when I have mastered it.  I haven't tried the copper yet because its rather eccentric and I imagine it will be a special occasion (NYE, Christmas parties, special dates out, etc) staple instead of an option for an everyday look.  Lauren's post for her NYE look featured a sparkly liquid liner, so I plan to use it like that for a look sometime as well.  I have no qualms about buying either of these to try because both were only $1 each!!  If I am going to try out something new, I might as well get a deal on it :)

The e.l.f. eye primer was a bargain as well at $1.  It has a very silky satin texture when it is blended on the lid and I have used it exclusively since I bought it.  It blends in well with my skin tone and has kept my shadow in place and crease-free.  Totally worth the price :)

I bought my first Maybelline Eyestudio quad a little over 3 months ago after seeing a video from Emily's youtube channel.  I didn't get the exact green shades she used, but I absolutely adored the Green with Envy quad I picked up.  I love the sponge applicators.  One end is thicker and the other is tiny.  I use the thick end for lids and the tiny end to add the shadow under my lower lash line.  I am usually a neutral browns/pinks/golds or grayscale eyecolor person, but I have thoroughly enjoyed this quad.  The shadows have all day staying power, are creamy and very pigmented and blend very well.

For the way I wear it, I apply the light green to the lid all over, then add the dark green to the outer corner and crease.  With a brush, I blend the crease area with the copper/gold color.  I add the white high light color to my browbone, and the inner corner of my eye near the tear duct.  I use the tiny end of the sponge tip to put a thin line of light green under my lashes and then a thin line of dark green to the outer corner right under the lashes.  I TOTALLY love this quad.  I have brown hair, brown eyes, and fair skin by the may not work for all eye colors/skin tones, but if you're feeling adventurous pick it up.

Now, because I loved this quad SO much, I wanted to get another color palette in the same formula.  I picked up the Smokey Nights quad with the brownish purple, purple, blue, and gunmetal colors.  I figured they would be good for a night out look, or a daytime look as a crease color.  I was a little disappointed at first.  The colors are not as creamy in texture and have bigger glitter chunks than the Green with Envy quad.  The first time I used the quad, I hated the look and had to start was partly because I royally screwed up my liquid liner, but I wasn't super happy with the shadow look before I went in with liner anyway.
HOWEVER, today, I used the purple in the crease with a light gray on the lid and lined with my new e.l.f. purple plum cream liner, and I'm loving the look :)  This quad has yet to prove its value of $7.94 like the green one has, but I'll keep giving it a chance.

I wanted to try a teal look because I have never had the nerve before, so I picked out the Cover Girl Crystal Waters quad.  The colors were unique and looked very pigmented.  The price was right at under $5, so I added it to the cart.  I used the quad yesterday with the mint green color on the lid, the medium teal on the outer corner, and a blend of the dark blue and teal in the crease.  I enjoyed the look, but the shadows weren't as build-able as I had hoped.  It took quite a lot of the teal to make it pop like I wanted.  Also, as you can see from my love of the Green with Envy quad, I am a sucker for sheen...the Cover Girl quad is almost matte, and I am just not used to that I suppose.  It was a good change up, but it isn't my favorite.  Additionally, I hate to buy a quad with a color I will not use, and the lightest color in this quad is more blue than I thought.  It seemed to be a white highlight in the store, but when I got home I saw that it was a baby blue, and I am not going to highlight my browbone in baby blue...maybe its just me, but that seems a little much :)

The lipstick from Rimmel, Lasting Finish Lipstick in Paradise, is probably my favorite of the products in this post (except maybe the Green with Envy quad...but it's very close)  The color is outstanding for me.  Its like my natural lip color, but just amplified and enriched.  The product glides on easily, smells gorgeous, and has beautiful pigment.  It is pretty long lasting and the color has me beaming...I will certainly try more Rimmel lipsticks in the future.  In addition to it being amazing, it was a DEAL at $3.99!

Per Emily's advice on her video highlighting Revlon lip products, I picked up Revlon's Colorburst lip gloss in Rosepearl.  I enjoy the gloss,  I just put it on and it glides on beautifully, just the right amount of product comes out on the applicator and the color is richly pigmented.  It isn't overly sticky, although I don't mind a sticky gloss as long as it looks good on my lips.  I've been so in love with the Rimmel lipstick that I haven't given the Revlon much of a chance for very long so I can't speak much on the staying power, but it seems like a great gloss, with or without lipstick underneath.  It was $6.49, but the tube is very long and seems like it contains a good amount of product.  I hope it proves worth it's cost :)

Below I have swatched all of the products I purchased


e.l.f. eyeliners

Black (liquid)

Copper (liquid)

Purple Plum (cream)
Coffee (cream)

Same order, e.l.f. liners, with flash

Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick in Paradise

Revlon Colorburst lip gloss in Rosepearl

Maybelline Eyestudio quad in Smokey Nights

swatched in order from left to right the same as it is in the packaging.

The first four are the Cover Girl quad in Crystal Waters.  You may not be able to see the first shade, but its on the far left of the photo.  The colors are swatched in reverse order of how they are in the packaging.
The second four are from the Maybelline Eyestudio quad in Green with Envy.  They are swatched in the same order from left to right as they are in the packaging.