Thursday, January 26, 2012

Fun Faux Finishes

In the spirit of why I started this blog - to share some good stuff - I have to share something that may not be in my blog's best interest. Pinterest. If you have not discovered it yet it is time to join the party. Loads of fun for everyone and every interest. It is also so addictive you will probably never return to this blog again. You will also find entire days and nights spent sitting in front of your laptop while chaos, famine and mountains of laundry grow all around you. I apologize to members of your immediate family that will soon become victims of this latest time suck on your attention and ability to care about them and their needs. They thought Words With Friends was bad....nothing and I mean nothing compares to Pinterest. I think I'll get ahead of the curve and start a treatment center for Pinfiends to come to for rest and recovery. I think we are going to need alot of these. So check it out with the warning that it is a gateway to lots of lost time well spent...

I have become obsessed with decorating my house...I blame it on Pinterest and Donna Decorates Dallas on HGTV...check your listings and set your tv to record this wonderful show. She and her daughters do amazing decorating transformations in real homes in the Dallas area every show. So much fun and no matter what your personal style is - you will learn something that will work for your home. My new fav thing to do now is pause the tv and take a pic so I can remember something she has done or an idea I want to try. If I ever win the lottery I know who is coming to my house!! I made a trip to her store during Christmas break and was thrilled to meet her daughter Ashley who runs the store and helps with the decorating end too. She was AMAZING and excited to start working on season 2. I can't wait!!

I finally did a faux finish in my dining room this weekend and was thrilled with the results. I used Annie Sloan Soft Wax, paintable wallpaper and a little oil rubbed bronze metallic paint. I'll be posting pics to my NEW facebook page for the blog - I KNOW! Fancy!! I got this fab idea from my friend Madonna who also started a really fun blog for old people. I haven't read it yet cause I'm not old. Heard it was really funny though. It's called -anyway, she has a fb page for it so of course I had to have one too! I am also excited cause I can upload pics to fb but not sure how to do it here. Sad but true. I'll post pics there and plug my blog at the same time :)) And yes, I've read her blog cause I'm OLDENOUGHTOKNOWBETTER and YOUNGENOUGHTODOITANYWAY. So check my page out on fb - - just give me a day or two to work out a few kinks.

Here are some of my fav products that I have been using to faux finish my face :)
1. Cannot tell you how important moisturizers are to older, soon to be older and never wants to get older skin. I've got so many people hooked on Pond's Dry Skin Cream. Wonderman loves it and his rosacea has never looked better. I also love Olay Regenerest UV Cream SPF 30 for daytime. And I finally got hooked on my little brush cleaner by Olay. I have friends that love the Clarisonic one but I can't make myself spend the extra for that one. Olay's really has made a difference.

2. Thanks to a sample gift from Sephora I am crazy about Laura Mercier products now. LOVE THESE - tinted moisturizer spf20 Illuminating in bare radiance. I just mix a dot with my Revlon Age Dyfing creme makeup and you get a soft glow without too much shine or glitter. And we ALL need a little glow. I also love her eye base product in Wheat. It really keeps my shadow on all day. And her mascara is fantastic. Sorry Stiletto - you are still the best priced mascara!! And my new fav lipstick ever is Brown Sugar. Perfect for everyone.

3. Maybelline has a new eyebrow pencil out and it is fantastic. It is called Master Shape and I love the dark brown. Remember they frame your eyes and make such a difference. As we age we lose them and they also fade in color. Give them a little faux finish and erase years from your face.

4. And the best faux finish for your face is your smile. Keep one on and you will look 10 years younger. As long as you are not smiling with a mouth of dull dingy teeth. EEEWWW. Crest makes great whitestrips that really get the job done. My fav way now though is their AMAZING toothpaste. I haven't needed the strips in months. Crest Complete with extra white & Scope Outlast is the best toothpaste and whitener ever.

So go discover the world of Pinterest if ya haven't already, check out OLDENOUGHTOKNOWBETTER, on fb, Donna on HGTV and keep coming back here for more Good Stuff.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Girls Gone Wild

Have you been watching TV lately??? Is it just me - or have you noticed that we the female population seem to be spiralling out of control. And it seems to start fairly early...We have the Toddlers in Tiaras, Pregnant Teenagers, Those I'm 16 and deserve the World Party Brats, Bridezillas, All of the Housewives, Bachelor's choice contestants and don't forget the Moms of the those Toddlers or any female with the last name Kardashian(or as I like to call them KarCASHin)...Joe Francis must be in shock - these women make his original Girls Gone Wild seem boring and tame. I think he is in jail anyway.

I was glued to my TV last night for the start of the latest Bachelor season of train wreck/guilty pleasure TV. I understand that Fairy Tale TV Love has a 99.9% failure rate. What I don't understand is first of all - Where do these women come from? What is their real life like when they get booted off this show after they have shown their CRAZY to God and everybody!! Are the nutjobs truly this crazy or are they "acting"? And if they are just playing crazy what is the end game of that? When and why would any girl want to be the crazy crying bathroom chick? AND she is a BLOGGER!! Fantastic. Of course, we all knew something was a little off from the get go with this chick. Carrie Bradshaw copy cat? I'm sure by the end of the season we will find out that she thinks she IS Carrie Bradshaw.

I'm not sure how many seasons of these shows I've watched but I'm just waiting for the Celebrity Bachelor Show...We've got celebrities dancing, working with the Donald, swapping spouses, in rehab and starring in their own this is my life shows. Why not Celebrity Bachelor?? Bachelorette? Every week we'd get to watch Jake, Ryan, Ryan, Bradley or Derek date crazy women looking for love. Kind of like a tv version of reading the tabloids. Can you imagine the line of people trying out for a chance to find true love with Jennifer( neither have a ring on it)Chelsea, ScarJo, Cameron or the previously mentioned boys?? I'd even be okay with just Celebrities Dating Celebrities...lots of them are single and worried about where have all the Good Parts gone...

I think the reality is people are crazy. Some are crazy enough to get on TV and share that with God and everybody. Some are crazy just to sit home glued to their tv watching and wondering why people are so crazy. Which one are you? Got to go watch my shows....

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy Soup Day from the Christmas House...

Happy New Year...some of us have reached the age where the years are flying by so fast it really will be Christmas again before we know it. I had a big case of that this Christmas. By the time I wrapped my mind around the fact that it was here again it was gone. So yes, I'm ringing in a new year and squeezing a few last days out of Christmas inside my house. I know most can't wait to get it all down and put away. I'm never in a hurry to do that until the morning I start. I'm still trying to figure out a way to just keep it all up all year. So far there are a few snags in my plan. Like Halloween. I go all crazy on the decorations for that too. I'm thinking I need a couple of houses. One could be the Christmas House. We will live there from November 25th. til January 2. Then we will move to the Not Christmas/Halloween House and stay there until October 1st when we will move to the Scary House. We can just stay put til time to move to Christmas House. Wonderman is beyond thrilled with my plan. I don't really see the problem with it beyond the fact that it will take gobs of money.

Today is New Years Day and I always look forward to a day of just hanging out and reflecting on the year gone by and the exciting one ahead. And soup. So happy we had a week of beautiful weather with a little cold snap overnight. Soup is just a little bit better when it is chilly outside. I know we are all supposed to be thinking about working out and hitting the gym to work off all the Christmas goodies we've been enjoying but you have to have your greens and peas today for luck and wealth. I like to make ours into a soup. It's fairly healthy - just a little bacon juice to add flavor...I thought I'd write it down and pass it on before I forget what I did. Kind of like my tequila soup - promised that recipe a few blogs back. Been so long not sure what I threw into the pot (blaming it on the tequila) cause that is usually how I make soup. Just dump whatever is available into chicken stock/broth and it is usually delicious. I also made a really great beef stew last week from a Rachel Ray recipe and I'll pass it on too. Might as well post several favorites - we are all going to become gym rats soon so lets feast and store some energy for these future workouts.

New Year's Day Health & Wealth Soup
5 slices of bacon
andouille sausage
1 bag of frozen turnip greens or mustard greens - for wealth in the new year
1 bag of frozen black eyed peas - for luck, good fortune and health in new year
1 carton of vegetable stock
1 carton of chicken stock
1 can of Rotel
salt, pepper, garlic, cumin to taste

Brown bacon in soup pot. Remove bacon and all but about 1-2 tablespoons of drippings. Eat bacon. Chop up andouille sausage and add to drippings - brown on ends. Add all remaining ingredients and bring to a boil for about 3-5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Enjoy :) tastes better if all items are purchased in advance. That way you can wake up - put the soup on - and enjoy in your jammies while watching football/chick flicks. Remember to share with any friends that stop by.

Here is the Beef Stew Recipe - Thanks Rachel Ray!!

2 bulbs garlic

EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for drizzling

Salt and pepper

1/4 to 1/3 pound bacon (not too smoky in flavor), cut into lardons (fat matchsticks)

1 stick butter, divided

2 1/2 to 3 pounds beef chuck, cut into 2-inch cubes

Flour, for dredging plus 2 tablespoons

3 carrots, sliced in 2-inch chunks on an angle

2 apples, such as Honeycrisp, peeled and chopped

2 to 3 ribs celery, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

2 fresh bay leaves

2 to 2 1/2 cups cloudy organic apple cider

2 cans beef consommé

Herb bouquet, a few sprigs each of thyme, parsley and sage tied together with kitchen string

2 1/2 pounds (about 5 potatoes) russet potatoes, peeled and cubed

2 to 3 large parsnips, peeled and cubed

1 1/2 cups sharp white cheddar, shredded

1 cup whole milk

Freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 cup chives, finely chopped


Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut ends of garlic bulbs to expose cloves. Drizzle with EVOO, season with salt and pepper, wrap in foil and roast to tender, 40-45 minutes. Remove garlic and reduce heat to 350°F. This part does take preplanning but it is so good!! Roasted garlic is much sweeter and you can use this in other recipes. It is also fantastic smeared on bread with olive oil...

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of EVOO and bacon. Brown and crisp bacon then remove and reserve. Pour off some of the fat out of the pan and add a couple of tablespoons butter. OMG - bacon juice and BUTTER!!

Pat meat dry and season liberally with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour and add to hot pot in batches. Cook to crispy and deep brown. Add more butter as needed, 2 tablespoons at a time. Reserve browned meat with the bacon.

Add carrot, apple, celery, onion, bay, salt and pepper to the pot and partially cover. Cook to soften vegetables for a few minutes then sprinkle with 2 tablespoons flour. Stir a minute then add cider, consommé, the roasted garlic cloves and stir to combine. Add reserved beef, bacon and herb bouquet to pan, bring to a boil then cover and transfer to oven *. Braise meat for 2 hours, until very tender and the sauce has thickened. Let stand 20 minutes while you cook potatoes.

Boil potatoes and parsnips in salted water until tender. Drain and return to hot pot; mash with 2 tablespoons butter, cheese and milk. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg; stir in chives.

Serve stew in shallow bowls with potatoes alongside. Got to admit this one is more complicated than the one I made up but it is worth the effort. *I also added some red wine to the meat after I brought it all to a boil. During the making of this stew we had a game plan change that involved a movie and dinner out - no worries, we just put it in the fridge and had a great dinner ready the next night. It just got better everytime we reheated it over the next week. Just add more beef stock as needed to keep it going. We actually never even bothered with the potatoes either. Just soup in a bowl = yum! I do want to try the potatoes soon.

All this talk about food is making me hungry - time for more soup! Check back in a day or two for a delicious breakfast casserole that is super easy and really good.
Hate to run but - the soup is on!!!