Monday, January 14, 2013

A Three Meal Birthday Celebration!

This past Saturday was Jason's birthday (one more year until a "big" one!!).  We had planned a nice dinner out, but one birthday meal turned into 3!  It's all good.  We don't eat out often and all the meals were thoroughly enjoyed.  It all started with lunch on Saturday.  Sarah was in a volleyball tournament and we had gone to watch one of her games, which wound up starting abut a 1/2 hour late.  This got us to the mall to have Noah's skates sharpened for an afternoon game over the lunch hour.  While we waited for the skates we hit up Thai Express for some shrimp Pad Thai:
Pad Thai has got to be in the top 5 of my favourite meals to eat.  I just love the stuff!  Noah didn't finish all his so guess what I ate for lunch today?  ;)

After a hockey game and some more volleyball....Sarah's school was the only elementary one out of 10 and they placed second in the tourney!!!....Jason and I made our way to Milestone's for a nice, quiet, AKA no kids fighting, meal out.  First up was a much needed peach Bellini:
It was bigger than that, but I realized too late that the flash ruined the first photo.  Can I just say that Bellini's are da bomb??  Milestone's has a small gluten free menu from which I usually order the salad with a salmon fillet.  This time I tried the Mediterranean chicken...
 It was stuffed with goat cheese and served with chickpeas, cherry tomatoes and bok choy.  I was a fan!  And gluten free options meant I ordered some delicious DESSERT!!
Chocolate Ganache Torte with a pecan crust and caramel sauce.  Silky, smooth, decadent....everything you could want in a dessert!  Jason had steak, shrimp, mashed potatoes, mushrooms and his birthday dessert, vanilla bean ice cream with chocolate wafer cookies:

His sparkler went out before I could snap a picture!  LOL  We basically went home and flopped on the couch afterwards!  We were up and at'er early Sunday morning for Noah's soccer practice.  No sleeping in for us!!  Seeing as the kids "missed" dinner, Noah decided that we should all go out for breakfast.  So here we have meal #3!
I munched away on a 3 egg mushroom & Swiss cheese omelette.  I traded most of my potatoes for more grilled tomatoes.....I like those much better!

So there you have our 3 birthday meals!  And just as a side note; my crack is back!
Bye for now!!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Homemade Condensed Milk & Macaroons

I am a magazine junkie.  At any given time I have 3-4 laying around the house for me to read.  One of my favourites is Chatelaine and it was this magazine that I was reading the other night when I came across a recipe for homemade condensed milk.

Say what???  You can make that stuff at home? I was sold.  There's only a handful of ingredients which is a plus for me (I tend to disregard recipes with a long ingredient list) so out came the magic bullet and I got right to it!  This is the skim milk powder I used:
Carnation Instant Skim Milk Powder.  By the way; I *really* wish I could figure out how to rotate photo's in Blogger!!  D'oh!  After literally 5 minutes of getting the goods into the Bullet and 2 minutes of whirling, I had myself a nice cup of rich, sweet, creamy condensed milk!
SUCCESS!!!  But now what to do with it,right?  Never fear, Chatelaine attached some handy little recipes, too!  (These are at the bottom of the recipe in the link above).  I love me some coconut so I picked the macaroons:
So incredibly easy; 1 cup of unsweetened coconut and 1/2 a cup of the sweetened condensed milk.  Stir together, scoop out 2 TBSP, roll into balls and bake 10-12 minutes in a 350*C oven.

These were a big hit.  Fluffy clouds of coconutty goodness.  I never realized how easy it was to make macaroons!  LOL  One of the other ideas for the condensed milk was to mix it with equal amounts of water and freeze it in ice cube trays and use it in iced coffee.  That would be a good summer time treat!

Is condensed milk something you use?  If so, what do you make with it??

Bye for now!!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Beauty Products I Love-Night Edition

**If you missed my Beauty Products I Love-Day Edition post, you can click here to read it!**

So I'm back with my night time products!  This post will be a bit shorter because instead of 8 potions and lotions, there are 4---half of my day time routine!  ;)

It goes with out saying that I floss and brush my teeth before bed every. single. night.  There's no point in using products to beautify myself if my teeth end up rotting out!  That would just be gross.  Eww...

It all starts with a facial cleanser and once again I use an Aveeno Freah Essentials product:

This is a pore purifying facial wash that removes make up, cleanses and leaves my skin feeling soft, not all tight and shiny.  I've also been known to use Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser.
This is a thicker cleanser that (in my opinion) is better to use during the winter months.  It also does a really good job at cleansing and leaving skin soft.  After cleansing comes my night time moisturizer, wrinkle reducer. ;)
Nivea Visage Anti Wrinkle Q10 Plus Night Care is AWESOME!  This is a luxurious cream that doesn't leave my skin feeling greasy or sticky.  A little goes a long way which is great for my wallet!  As well as this, I also use an eye cream:
Say Yes To Carrots moisturizing eye cream is super light and unscented.  Just a dab on each eye is all you need.  And the very last thing I do before i turn out the lamp is slather my lips with chap stick, Burt's Bees, of course!
Props to Burt's Bees in general.  I love all their stuff!!  HAHA!

And so concludes my favourite beauty products, part 1 & 2!  I hope you've enjoyed reading about my routine and what I prefer to use!

Bye for now!!

**Just a reminder that none of these companies have contacted me.  These thoughts and opinions are solely mine...**

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Beauty Products I'm Loving-Morning Edition

As I was standing in the shower this morning, it dawned on me that I'm really enjoying the beauty products I've been using for the past few months. Then I thought that I should share these gems (gems to me, anyways!!) in a blog post!  Today I'll do a "morning edition" products I use every morning.  I'll follow up with a "night edition"...products I use before bed.  Just so you are aware, none of these companies have approached me for product reviews.  This is purely my thoughts and opinions on them!  ;)

Let's get started!  The first thing I do in the shower is wash my hair because I like to let the shampoo sit while I do my face, shave, exfoliate, etc..  This is done every other day or my hair gets too "poofy".  I also alternate between 2 awesome shampoo's!
 Moroccan Oil Clarifying Shampoo
Garnier Fructis Fall Fight

The Moroccan Oil shampoo is super moisturizing and really helps with a my frizz.  However, it does not come cheap and I have to purchase it through a specialty store which is why I alternate it with the Garnier Fructis Fall Fight.  This drug store find is MUCH easier on the wallet, smells wonderful and has truly helped with the amount of hair I lose after each shower.  I noticed a difference within a week of using it.

Next up is my face.  I've always used an exfoliator in the morning and my hands down favourite is Aveeno Fresh Essentials Daily Scrub:

This product is creamy and super gentle.  It is in no way coarse or grainy.  The consistency is more that of a very fine sand.

On to my body.  Once or twice a week, especially in the winter, I like to use a body scrub; mainly on my arms and legs.  My top choice here is The Body Shop's Coconut Body Scrub...

I'm not gonna lie....a BIG plus for me where this product is concerned is that it's coconut and I LOVE me some coconut!!  Plus it makes my skin really soft!  After I exfoliate, I use another coconut scented product; Bath & Body Works Coconut Lime Breeze.
Such a fresh aroma first thing in the morning.  Really gets the senses going!  And it produces really thick, soft suds.  :)

Once I'm out of the shower and done brushing my teeth, I cream up my face with another Aveeno Fresh Essentials, product; Nourishing Moisturizer SPF 30:

I've actually been using this one for a few years.  It's like, airy and has a nice fresh scent.  Bonus that it's 30 SPF to keep my face from getting too much sun!  Next up is moisturizing my body.  Here comes another product with coconut!
Body Butter!  I use this in the winter only because it's pretty thick and rich....too much so for the hot summer months.  But it's perfect for these dry winter days.  This brand of body butter leaves my skin super soft all day long.  And the final step, just before I apply my make up, is to use Garnier Skin Renew.
I was a tad skeptical of this at first because I don't normally like liquid make up, but it sure makes my eyes bright and my complexion even.  And a little goes a long way so I don't feel badly about splurging a little.  ;)

So there we have it.  My top 8 morning beauty products.  I would LOVE to hear your top 2 morning beauty products....let's spread the product love, girls!!  ;)

PS....remember to follow me on Instagram.....kristam19.....

Bye for now!!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Two Feasts!

Happy New Year!!!  I hope that everyone enjoyed a wonderful holiday season packed full of family, fun and good eats!  I know I sure did!  Our Christmas Day meal was enjoyed at my parents place.  Mom always puts on a great feast!

Turkey and ham, of course!  Mom gave me the ham bone and I made a rich, delicious split pea soup with it last week.  Mmmm...I should really post the recipe soon!!
 Sweet potatoes topped with a pecan crumble....
 Cheesy mashed potatoes....
 Crisp green beans....
And stuffing.....with bacon....enough said!  I'm still pretty much gluten free so no stuffing for me, but you bet I stole some of that bacon!!  :)
 Tiramisu.....the BEST dessert ever!!!
Mom also made a plate of Cannoli.  I ate the creamy stuffing out of two shells....yum!

For the past 5 years I have hosted the New Year's Day dinner festivities for my family.  Because I had to work a few days over the holidays, I wanted a stress free meal; something that didn't require a load of time, but still tasted great.  After flipping through many a recipe book I decided to make a pot roast form The Looneyspoons Collection, page 203 to be exact!  Here are the results;
 Top sirloin roast with cabbage wedges...
Potatoes and pearl onions (cooked with cabbage & roast)...
 Steamed asparagus sprinkled with feta cheese...
And buttery buns.  Dessert was a BIG apple pie from Costco.....
 And a Banana chocolate chip bread pudding, also from The Looneyspoons Collection.....
There was plenty of vanilla bean ice cream and real whip cream to go along with the desserts!

Aside from all the great eats that happened over the course of the holiday's, I was fortunate enough to spend lots of quality time with family, long time friends and getting to know some new, exciting friends.  Life is GOOD!  :)

Tell me a highlight from your holiday season!!  Also, now that I am the proud owner of an iphone 5 (!!!), I've hopped on the Instagram bandwagon.  You can follow me at kristam19....

Bye for now!!