Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Kemp's Frozen Yogurt

When the Olympics are on, this is my life schedule: wake up, work, come home, watch Olympics late into the night. While other people are showing off how fit they are, I'm being a couch potato. Since I need my snacks, at least with this brand, I can feel a little better about my dairy choice. This frozen yogurt is AMAZING! I bought mine at Target. It has great flavor, texture, and there are several varieties. Bring on the probiotics and go USA! 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Garden and Gun

If you've never opened the pages of this magazine, you're missing out on life. I got my first subscription to Garden and Gun through a Groupon. Literally, one of the best magazines out there, hands down. The text, amazing, photography, incredible, and ideas, easy to implement. What's more, they have a great website chocked full of all things southern. I've just finished two more master's classes. You better believe that as soon as I get home from work, I'm cuddling up on the couch and reading my latest edition from cover to cover. AND, a final side note, you can order magazine subscriptions MUCH cheaper off the website of the said magazine. I think two years of this one is going for $15.00. Happy reading!  

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Top Knot

To be honest, the top knot is one reason I'm growing my hair out all over again. It looks so chic in the heat, with scarves, and on a rainy day. I LOVE this quick video tutorial on how to make different types of buns! I tried the second version today and got some great compliments on it. How sweet! Of course, I'm big on dry shampoo to make your bun look its best. It's great for adding volume to your hair so it can be easily styled. Some days, the quicker your hair is done, the better. Learn these three methods so you can switch it up a bit! 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Note on Jewelry

The rule used to be match your jewelry. Now, it is just the opposite. The more mixed up you can be, the better. On any given day, I'm wearing a black watch, red bracelet, brown bracelet, gold ring, and silver earrings. When your jewelry is overly matched, it can look a little overdone. I recommend not buying matching bracelet, earring, and necklace combinations. These put your style into a rut, and you don't look to other combinations that exist in your collection. On another note, jewelry storage is such a pain. I saw this pin on pinterest and loved it! I need a drawer with tiny cups for all of my gems. How cute! Thanks Martha, don't you always know just what we need?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Diet Canada Dry

If you haven't ever tried this drink, which I doubt has happened, please please please give it a try. It is good for you! I drink only the diet kind, which is what I'm here to plug today. It helps my heartburn as well as cuts down on my caffeine intake. Here's a popular punch recipe from long ago. We use this a lot entertaining, and people ask for the recipe quite often. I'm as hooked on Diet Canada Dry as I am on Diet Peach Tea. I never get tired of either, and I'm considering stock in both companies. Branch out!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Dollar Tree Finds

I love a good deal, and I love the Dollar Tree. They have recently stepped it up, at least where I'm from. These five items keep me coming back for more. I highly recommend them. Just compare these prices to ones at your store, you'll see what I mean. My top five is as follows:
1. Latex gloves for cleaning house. They hold up very well.
2. Pillar candles for ambiance. Just as good as any other pillar candle and more for my money!
3. Bobby pins and hair ties for all my updo needs.
4. Lingerie delicate wash white mesh bags for delicate laundry.
5. Dryer sheets. They have name brands, too!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Candle Wicks

You can read here about CANDLE HOARDER if you haven't already.

Everyone probably already knows this, like, "Duh, Faith!" I am lazy about trimming the wicks of my candles to 1/4" thick. I've recently been attempting to be more disciplined about it and it's paying off. If you don't do it already, please start. This is more of a reminder for my own need than anything else. Candles, I never get enough of you. Ah! I want more and more every moment! I come home and boom, within seconds my home is aflame in all its glory. That is, after I've trimmed down my candle wicks to their appropriate lengths. Discipline, the master of all things.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Catalogues, Katalogs, and Catalogs

Catalogs are not what they used to be. Tiny pictures, big prices, and terrible photography are no more. These days, it's all about the visual. Just observe these pictures. What do you see? Great color, bright photography, and fashion abounding. These come to your house for free! Come on, people! We cannot afford to let the free gems get by us! They're great for wrapping paper, too! Opening one of these is the gateway to styling for the upcoming season. You don't have to buy anything, you can just "look for fun," as I catch myself doing quite often. Most websites have a catalog request button at the bottom of the page. Free fashion magazines, get 'em, hot off the press. How fun is a weeknight full of these cozied up on the couch with some hot tea? Ahhh! Happy Friday!!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

More Method Means Mere Money

I first blogged about Method on May 1st, 2012. To update, I started using my first Method laundry detergent bottle back in April and am just now done with it. I'd say that was money well spent! I also talked on Method a few weeks after I first posted on laundry detergent, if you haven't read those two highlighted links above. As of my most recent Target visit Monday evening, I'm currently using this body wash. It smells divine! So far, I am yet to have one complaint about this brand. I try one product at a time, when I need one, of course. Then, I get to share my findings with you! Fun for all, I say. Smell, great. Quality, great. Effectiveness, great. Price, great. Method, your methods keep me coming back for more!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Back to Basics

A favorite and well worn flat of mine.

Denim, everyday you are a breath of fresh air. 

Neutral nails, Essie A Crewed Interest.

A favorite dress, navy and cream stripe. 

Who wants to look great for less? Everyone. The trick to this is having a wardrobe with amazing basics. You can do with less, spend less, and look like a million bucks if you know how to buy your basics.

Consider some my personal favorites shown above. I've got a black and brown print flat, several years old, that I wear all of the time. Denim, denim, and denim, a fabulous wardrobe staple that never goes out of style. You'll definitely need some of that if you don't already have it. Neutral nails, which, are so classic, and I mean forever classic. Finally, a lovely neutral striped dress, that I've worn to pieces. All of these items, even my hands, the oldest of the bunch rounding out at twenty-three, are not new by any means. I've taken good care of these basics and they've served me well through the seasons.

Think about the difference in these items as opposed to say, a lime green top. Note that there's nothing wrong with lime green, as I own a lime green cardigan. The truth is that it's not going to stand the test of time like these visually interesting basics. I love the cardigan, but I can only wear it in spring and summer. You can't wear the same cotton lime green top to the mall that you wear to a cocktail party. However, you can wear that great black cardigan to both. See what I mean? I'm not saying that your whole wardrobe needs to never stray away from the black, blue, and brown. I am saying that you should have ravishing foundation pieces, especially if you're on a tight budget. Then, you can use accessories such as scarves, as in, THE SCARF DAY, or jewelry, or a great shoe to complete the basics. If you added just two solid scarves, and a fabulous pair of black pants to the pictures above, you'd have four outfits in mere seconds. Both scarves go with the dress. Both scarves go with the pant and denim shirt combo. The shoes go with both. Weekend trip? Done. Take a good look at those basics, I cannot say enough good things about them.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Banana Toffee Chocolate Chip Muffins

Hello, all! Thank for your sweet response to the muffins. I'm here to share the recipe. All morning I've been trying to think of an original name for these, but I'm stumped. Sometimes, I get nervous when creating new recipes, but I have to channel my inner Julia Child, "Don't be afraid!" However, I know it is just part of cooking in general! What's the worst that will happen? I would recommend placing these in a regular muffin tin, which I do not currently have on hand. If you need to improvise, use a baking sheet, they'll turn out alright!

4 BLACK bananas. These need to be very ripe. The more ripe, the better the banana flavor. Make sure they are not so ripe that there are black spots on the banana itself, this is mold.
1/3 cup melted butter
1 egg beaten
1 tsp plus extra dash vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
pinch kosher salt
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup mini toffee chips (Heath is best)
mini chocolate chips (You can place half toffee and half chocolate chip, all chocolate chip, whatever combination you want really, you can't mess it up)
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar

1. Heat oven to 350; prepare muffin liners and tin.
2. Mix melted butter and bananas together.
3. Mix sugars, egg, baking soda, salt together in separate small bowl. It will make a paste that looks like carmel sauce.
4. Mix two bowls together.
5. Add flour and mix until just incorporated.
6. Mix in sweets, whatever way you like it.
7. Pour in muffin cups. I use a rounded ice cream scoop so all are the same size.
8. Bake until toothpick comes out clean. Cool on cooling rack. Mine yielded about eighteen muffins.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Rotating the Closet

Isn't this closet a dream? 

I mentioned Friday that it is a great idea to make yourself switch things more often. Today, we're talking closet in general. I'm a rare bird, my favorite chore is laundry. It is a domestic delight in my opinion. I get to take a dirty garment and transform it into a little package, simple. When doing laundry, it's easy to get into the habit of washing, drying, folding, and placing clothes right on top of ones that haven't been worn in ages. It seems so simple to say, put the newly washed clothes on the bottom and wear the stack down, but we don't do it! Do you ever have that moment when you look in the closet and think, "Where has this been?" Guess what, it's been hiding under all that clean laundry. Wear those things that haven't been seen in awhile. If you don't like them, off to Ebay or goodwill they go, now. Don't wait to organize, the longer you do, the more agonizing it will be to get dressed. Clean things go on the bottom, end of story. Have a great week!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Handbag Happening

You've got to make yourself switch your handbag more often. Even if you're switching from an old one to an old one, your look will feel revived. It's also better for your health, too! Lots of times, I don't want to sit down and sort out the Marry Poppins tote. If it's hard to remember to make the switch or it seems to take a little too much effort, try my method: I pick out the handbag I want to switch to before a day of work. I hang it right by the door on my way out. When I return home, I switch the bag before I ever sit down. This makes me work faster, sort what needs to go where, and makes me feel guilty that a handbag is out of place. Done and done, your super quick fashion fix.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Back Again Bobbi Brown

I first posted about CORAL LIPSTICK back in April. I'm currently on my third tube of this lipstick. I carry it around as if it were my own little child. I am never without it, never. The other day at work, I noticed a customer with a beautiful coral color and she also had dark hair like me. We had a great discussion about makeup right there at work. I spilled my love and obsession over this lipstick and she promised to try it. I'm slowly swaying people over to the benefits of one indulged beauty splurge! I can't say enough positive things about this lipstick, in any color, really. Just to remind you, it is Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color SPF 12, in Sweet Nectar. Last week, I went to get another tube. Addict, OCD, obsessed, I'm all those things. The counter I visited was out of my shade and had one unopened tube used for customer application still in the box. Because they could not give me one in stock, I got this same tube for FREE!! All proof that it never hurts to ask. If a beauty product makes you feel your best, then it's worth it in my book. I wear cheaper mascara, and so on in order to afford this more expensive lipstick. It all comes down to where you want to compromise your makeup fund. Part of your overall confidence is having the right tools that make you feel your prettiest. Whatever they may be, use them up and wear them out.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Hook 'Em Cow Tales

Here's me, delirious after a graduate exam. In fact, so delirious that I cannot even realize the Cow Tales box is backwards in this picture. People, I love this candy. I eat it as a reward, shame, shame. It's best when eaten like a sucker, not bitten into. Why, you ask? I don't know. I'm just novel enough to have my own method of candy consumption. Billy bought me this little box of goodness at Fresh Market for $1.99. Good grief, I love that man.

Those Things You Say

Well, I'm out of my hermit hole for a couple of days. I spent the entire rainy Tuesday studying for a mediation exam! Whew! Now, to catch up.

Below is a NOVEL chain of events, plain and simple. People are getting themselves into way too much trouble these days with the things they say. These "things we should not say" might not catch us at that one moment, but they will quickly cross us off the invitation list to whatever social occasions we once frequented. It's when we don't say what we shouldn't say that makes us look our best.

  • When someone asks you if you'd like something, such as, "Faith, would you like a drink? We have Diet Dr. Pepper and Sweet Tea." 
  • Faith's appropriate reply should be: "Yes, please. I will take some tea. Thank you. You don't have to wait on me."  
  • Faith might think, "I hate those two drinks," but she does not say this to her host, it is extremely rude
  • Faith takes what she is offered and is grateful for it.
  • Faith NEVER asks for something else not mentioned. 
  • Faith also NEVER says, "I don't like those, I only like Mountain Dew."
  • Faith then goes to assist with the drink. She does not wait for someone to wait on her. 
  • Faith takes the drink, says, "Thank you," again and continues with the party. 
  • People see Faith as a kind guest. 
  • They are likely to invite Faith back again.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Arizona Diet Peach Tea

Last Saturday, I made a pit stop at Walgreen's with Dr.K. Surprise, surprise, I was dying of thirst. I decided to give this peach tea a try, a combination of two of my favorite things. This 23 oz. can was $.99, what can beat that? I took it to the front, paid, and opened it while still in the store. Wow. This drink is my new obsession. I cannot tell you how good it is! I went straight back to the drinks and bought five more, and one for Dr.K, of course. So far, I've only seen it at Walgreen's and I've done some serious hunting these past forty-eight hours. They can expect more business from me because I cannot live without this. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Dry Cleaning Boycott

Ice Cold Water Needed

Woolite Delicates Care $4.44

100% Silk Shirt that I first experimented with, pattern and dye galore! 

Linen skirt on bottom that I first experimented with

The last bill for my dry cleaning was enough to make me boycott it forever. I go to the cheap places, and the prices there shock me, too. I even steam and freshen garments for a few extra wears, pinching those pennies, of course. No more, I say. I'm over the chemical burned smell, money spent, and sometimes, lost items. Literally, I had an item lost at one place for three years until my mom happened to see it on a shelf one day marked Landerson, not Landers. I vowed to find a way to COMPLETELY end trips to the dry cleaners. First, I went to Pinterest, and looked for pins of home methods. Then, I searched around to all the other usual spots, Martha Stewart, The Laundress, and so on. With my research, I developed a method of how I would handle this daunting and experimental task. I have to admit I was cringing when I thought of the idea of ruining these two items. However, I knew if I didn't try it once, I'd never know. So, I took on the challenge and the result for me was pure success. I'm not guaranteeing that this will work on every dry clean only garment out there, but now, I'm hooked. If my conversion is enough to make you try it, then by all means, do so. One thing I know for sure, I will NEVER darken the doors of a dry cleaner again. 
Here's How:

  • Woolite Delicates Care-Picture 2-I bought this at regular Target, not Super Target, where it is not available, at least where I live. Also, I've never seen it at Wal-Mart. So for now, I'm saying get it at "regular" Target. It's $4.44, less than the cost to dry clean some items depending on where you go. 
  • Two large mixing bowls, containers, whatever you've got
  • Ice cold water, yes, bowls, with water and tons of ice 
  • Hand towels, one per garment
  • Drying rack or clothes hangers close by
  1. The first thing to remember is to work fast. This means you need to prepare a station in which to work before you start the process. Get soap, fill both bowls with ice water, have hand towels, and drying items prepared. 
  2. Add a couple splashes of Woolite into one bowl and mix with hands until slightly bubbly. Start with less, you can always add more. 
  3. Prepare your first garment by turning it inside out. Press it into the bowl and let it soak for a couple of minutes. PLUNGE the garments, especially silk, do not poke it with your fingers, use your palms. Focus more on moving the water than the garment. 
  4. Remove garment and place into other ice water to rinse. PLUNGE carefully. Remove garment and give it an ACCORDION squeeze. Do not wring or twist. 
  5. Place hand towel in between garment and lay flat, if possible to dry. If on a hanger, drape towel over hanger and place garment on top. Try to not allow front or back to touch. 
  6. This whole process for two garments took me less than ten minutes. So far, I've completed five items with no problems whatsoever. At work, someone even remarked how bright and clean my printed shirt (above) looked. Of course, all the affirmation I needed! I will return to this method again and again, this I so vow. Nothing beats homemade methods and less dollars spent. I'd rather have a ritzy steak for dinner than dry cleaned clothes any day!  It's eco-friendly, simple, and rewarding. Take the plunge!    

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Scrub to Smooth

Um...hello? It is so hot outside. This means shaving my legs every day, taking twenty extra minutes at bath time. No more. This Kiehl's body polish is all I need. The last thing I do in the shower is shave my legs. I then use this body scrub ($8.00 at Dillard's in Huntsville, Belk and Saks in Birmingham, or at Kiehls.com, only has giant size for $29 and that could well last you a lifetime) to smooth away dead skin. My legs stay soft longer, as in forty-eight hours instead of twenty-four. Ladies, this is all worth it to me. Of course, I use the cheap body scrubs, and they are great, too. This tube has lasted me since the end of February, why I am just now blogging on it, who knows. I would eat this stuff if I could, it smells DIVINE! I also use it as a face scrub in the summer when guess what else, my bff acne is bad. I cannot say enough good things about it, much less the power of scrubbing your legs after you've shaved, plus lotion on top. It works wonders! 

Fourth and Some

Dr. K!!!
Denim Shirt and Red Pant
Me, Gene Ellen, and Katie Beth!!

We had a GREAT Fourth of July with friends and family. Ah! I love big celebrations! I worked, ate my weight and then some, went swimming, and had some good conversation. Here's to America! 

Soup's On

I have a constant curiosity about canned soup. I want to try these new flavors, but I don't want to open the can to find   utter disgust. Enter Billy, the canned soup tester. This kid will eat anything. He tries a soup, tells me about it, and if we  eat together, I sometimes sneak a taste. I LOVE this Progresso Light Santa Fe Chicken. 160 calories for the whole can. It is divine, and gives homemade a run for its money, especially on those late nights when cooking cannot happen. An excellent purchase, you heard it here first. That is, of course, if you haven't had it already. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

My New Favorite Whole Grain

I like to talk about whole grain! The more I talk about products I love, the more I want to share with you. I'm currently hooked on this bread. If loaf bread can be considered divine, here it is. I pop this in my Hello Kitty toaster and I'm in business. Ohhhhh, so good!