Monday, February 24, 2014

The Honest Truth - Hair

Here goes, my hair is graying.  If you look really close to this photo, you can see strands of silver in my bangs.  I know there are longer strands in the back.  My mom is in denial of the whole thing.  I told her that one day, I may have grayer hair than her.  I haven't done anything with my hair yet.  I'm not sure if I want to dye it or just leave it how it is.

My hair is the longest that it has ever been.  I have great hair stylists who know how to make thick hair manageable.  I wish I had seen them a long time ago.  Some stylists don't know what to do for the type of hair that I have.  It's so nice to be able to wear my hair down and not in a pony tail or halfway up.  Not all hair was meant for layers even though it looks good.

Often people ask me what shampoo I use.  I actually have a routine.  That sounds really high maintenance, but it's not really.

Around the weekends, I use Bumble and Bumble's Tonic Shampoo, then the next time I use Bumble and Bumble's Gentle Shampoo and Pert Plus.  When I had really dry hair, I used Bumble and Bumble's  Creme de Coco Shampoo and Conditioner.  Currently, I've been using Living Proof's Restore Mask Treatment.  The mask treatment makes my hair really smooth and manageable.

My grandma went to beauty school, so she taught me a lot about how to take care of your hair.  Always  comb your wet hair and never use a hair brush on wet hair.  She wasn't a big fan of blow dryers.  When I shampoo my hair, I just let my hair air dry and the only time that I get my hair blown out is at the salon.  Every once in a while, rinse your hair out with vinegar and water.  The vinegar helps get rid of the buildup from oil and shampoo residue.  Don't worry, the smell will go away, just rinse with water after you pour vinegar on your hair.  Like I said before, I've never colored my hair.  Try not to over treat your hair.  Healthy hair is the happiest.

You may wonder about the price of the products that I use, they're so worth it.  An 8 ounce bottle of shampoo and conditioner last a really long time.  You can always mix up your routine with shampoo that you can buy at the local drugstore, like Pert Plus.

Favorites - Makeup

Update: Bobbi Brown is having a Friends and Family Event! You get 20% off during February 24-28.  If you don't have an Ebates account, sign up and you can get 5.0% back on your purchase.

I'm no fashion or makeup blogger, but I thought I would share with you some of my favorites.

Since I live about an hour and a half from the largest mall, I tend to go to Walgreens and pick up things try.

I went to Las Vegas on vacation in September and my goal was to buy some Bobbi Brown products.  I had saw her on QVC but I was afraid that a shade was wrong.  I didn't want to be wearing a mask.  We've all seen those girls.

I really like this foundation.  I need something for basic coverage. It's not heavy at all.  I try to put moisturizer underneath it and it really helps it to go on smoothly.
Bobbi Brown Moisture Rich Foundation SPF 15
My eyes tend to be oily, so by the time the afternoon rolls around I don't have any eyeliner on.The Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Black Ink is amazing! It goes on with a brush and it stays on.  I even bought my cousin this for her Christmas present.

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner
 In the winter, my face gets dry.  I have to use more moisturizer then I have to at any other time of the year.  The Extra Face Oil is great.  You can put it underneath or over your makeup without it messing up your makeup.  It also smells refreshing!
 Bobbi Brown Extra Face Oil

Eye shadow hardly stays on either. These two shadows are my favorite.
 Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream ShadowThe Long-Wear Cream Shadow stays on pretty much no matter what! Jennifer, the Bobbi Brown Makeup Artist at Nordstrom's said that it would stay on until the next day and it did!  I have it in Dark Violet and Cool Lilac.  With brown eyes, the dark violet and light lilac really goes with my eyes.

Avon Quad Eye Shadow
I also enjoy Avon's True Color Eyeshadow in Purple Haze. The quad compact comes in shades of a light lilac to a dark gray. It does flatter brown eyes.

I didn't buy any yet but the High Shimmer Lip Gloss is great too!  It's shimmery, but the glitter is coated, so it's not grainy and dry like other shiny types of lip gloss.

Bobbi Brown High Shimmer Lip Gloss

I do have the Lip Gloss in Nougat which is a nude color, but not foundation nude.  I like it because it a little glossy with a teeny-tiny bit of color unlike plain lip gloss.

Bobbi Brown Lip Gloss
I have a confession.  The side pocket of my purse is full of lipstick and gloss.  Yes, I need to clean it out.

You may wonder about mascara.  I tend to get waterproof.  I'm not particular about them.  Right now I'm using Cover Girl Bombshell by LashBlastMascara.  I tend to only use the #1 wand. Yes, I know, I'm no fun.  If I'm feeling like it, I'll do both.

Cover Girl volume mascara

These opinions are solely my own.  I hope this helps you to find what you products that you need!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Sunday Breakfast: Biscuits and Gravy

A few years ago, I set out with the goal of making biscuits.  My grandma would put some flour in a bowl, put a little milk in it and then stir, put the dough on the counter, cut out the biscuits with a jelly glass, put them in the cast iron skillet, bake them, take them out of the oven and then put some butter on top.  I had her write down her recipe. It's basically like 4 cups of self rising flour and 2 cups of milk.  Yes, I've tried it but it was just a gluey mess.

Homemade Biscuits Homemade Bacon Gravy Breakfast
Biscuits and Gravy

I've tried several recipes and this one is adapted from Alton Brown's Southern Biscuit recipe. In mine, I only add 2 teaspoons of baking powder.  I don't care for a heavy baking powder taste. It is actually meant to increase the volume and lightening the texture of baked foods.  You can also use 4 tablespoons of shortening if you don't have 2 tablespoons of butter.  If you don't have buttermilk, you can put 3/4 of a cup of milk and a 1/4 cup of lemon juice to substitute.

The ingredients are:
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons softened butter
2 tablespoons shortening
1 cup cold buttermilk

Set the oven to 450 degrees F.

Stir the dry ingredients, the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
With your hands, mix in the butter and shortening until the butter and shortening are the size of peas.
With a spoon, move the flour around the edge of the bowl, so you have a well in the middle and can see the bottom of the bowl.  Pour the buttermilk in the bowl and stir until the dough is sticky.

Pour the dough on a floured surface.  I have thin plastic cutting boards that I save for rolling my dough out. Lightly knead the flour. I usually turn the dough over and knead a few times until the dough is not crumbly and won't stick to your hands when you touch it. Personally, like mine big, but that means less biscuits.  For 6 biscuits, I leave the dough about 1 1/2 inches thick. You can use a biscuit cutter or a glass jar to cut out the biscuits.

Put the biscuits in an ungreased 12 inch wide cast iron skillet and bake the biscuits for 15-20 minutes until golden.

For a bonus, I'm going to explain the technique of gravy.  Homemade gravy is hard to make.  It's actually perfected over time with practice. I've only made it a few times and Sunday was my best pan of gravy yet.  If you're not familiar with gravy, you can make it with any kind of meat grease.  My grandma always made pork chop gravy.  Not the healthiest thing in the world, but one of the tastiest things in the world.

This is what I used to make gravy enough for two.

6 strips of bacon cut in half, so that's 12 half pieces of bacon
2 cups milk
1/2 cup of flour (this is an estimate, I actually poured it out of the flour sack)
salt and pepper to taste

I used half of the bacon, fried it and then put the bacon of a plate covered with a paper towel.  I then fried the other half of the bacon.  I turned the heat of the gas stove-top on medium-low. I poured probably 1/4 cup of flour into the medium hot grease.  I stirred the flour as it browned with my favorite silicone whisk. As the flour browned, I poured half of the milk into the skillet.  You have to work fast so that the flour doesn't burn.  I whisked and whisked to get the lumps out of the gravy.  I added a little more flour and added more milk.  The gravy got to the right consistency.  I added a few dashes of salt and pepper.

If the gravy hardens after it starts to cool down, add milk after you warm the gravy back up. My grandma would make thick gravy, but I like my gravy thin.

I split a biscuit and poured the gravy over the biscuit and then garnished the biscuit and gravy with crumbled bacon.

If your biscuits or your gravy doesn't work out.  Don't give up! Like pretty much everything in life, it takes work and practice.

If you have any questions about them, please feel free to let me know!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Favorite Color

Whether you call it pink, fuchsia or magenta, I have to say that it's my favorite color.  This particular color makes me happy.  I didn't realize that it was my color until someone stopped me one day on my way to the car afterwork and wondered where my signature color was.  I was wearing a new navy shirt that day.  I happen to love navy too but didn't realize that I was known for my favorite color.  Yes, dark colors tend to not be so happy. 

Christmas Tree,Fuchsia, Blue, Shiny, Lights, Christmas

I actually have two Christmas trees.  One tree is more traditional with gold and burgundy ornaments, but my tree in the den is more fun and modern.  I have pinks, purples, blues and greens on this tree.  I couldn't find the right kind of tree skirt, so I got about 3 yards of sparkly fuchsia rayon fabric.  I just draped it around the bottom of the Christmas tree.  My cat Timmy loves to lay under the tree.

What's better than flowers?  I could have fresh flowers around all of the time, but I usually put together bouquets of silk flowers.  I also put flowers everywhere outside that I can.  I love putting them in the old window sill on the wall outside.  I even put viola's in my garden.  The bright viola's were a great addition to my green garden.

If Jessi knew what a lovely color this is, she would be requesting it for everything.  She does have a pink collar.

Kate Spade couldn't be more correct.

I loved putting together a cobalt pleated skirt with a white 3/4 length button down shirt with a bright t-shirt underneath.

What's better than shades, new lipstick and my favorite t-shirt?

Have a happy week,

Friday, February 14, 2014

All Things Red and Pink

I love Valentine's Day.  I'm always single, but I love the day! I think it's because it's a day filled with red, pink and purple.  Oh, and shiny things!  Flowers are often seen too.  All of these things are my favorite.

I found these Threshold red silk peonies at Target.  I'm a sucker for peonies, especially red ones.  They are big and vibrant.  The vase was made by a family friend.  I love how it looks like marble.  Right now I have it on my dining room table next to a bowl of orange silk poppies. Yes, they don't exactly go together, but who doesn't love flowers?

These roses came from my flower garden in the summer.  Aren't they gorgeous?  They smell so beautiful.  Everybody wonders how I have these roses.  Here's a little secret, my stepdad had the soil tested and added amendments that were right for roses.  Trust me, even I have tried to plant roses that don't even bloom.

This is Jessi as a 4 month old puppy.  I love this picture because it shows her fiesty and playful side.  I had the ribbon tied into a bow around her neck but she undid the bow. I guess I'll get some valentine's for her outside dog friends.

Last year I made heart valentine cookies for my co-workers.  I always spoiled them by bringing them yummy treats.

 Isn't that the truth?  Both are wonderful. :)

I picked up these cute vintage valentine's cards at an antique store.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them yet but they're a keepsake.

I hope that you and yours have a fun and wonderful Valentine's Day.

Thursday, February 13, 2014


I think of myself as a professional baker but amateur cook.  I think I'm afraid the meat won't be done or it takes to long to cook a roasting hen. Patience is also needed. Sometimes I don't exactly have patience.

I'm on Food52 to find recipes that real home cooks have used.  No one wants to cook something that doesn't turn out or have outlandish ingredients.

Here are the recipes that I've made. I've submitted everything from chicken dressing to my Blue River Stew.   

Blue River Stew Short Ribs Recipe Food52 Community Pick
Blue River Stew

The Blue River Stew was actually in a contest with foods made with short ribs.  You see, they have contests that are due on Thursdays. The community picks which recipes that they like and home cooks actually try the recipes to see if they taste as good as they sound.  I'm pretty proud to have one of my recipes as a community pick.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


I'm Chrissy.  I've blogged before but it's been years.  Often, people have suggested that I pick it up again.  I don't really have the time to be a food blogger.  Yes, I love to cook, but by the time that I'm finished cooking, I'm give out.  I don't have fabulous natural light, thanks to a 1960's ranch house.
House Snow Home
My house last Saturday

I also love to garden, photograph anything and everything and pick up after my 15 month old puppy Jessi and 4 year old cat Remy.  I also have 3 outside dogs, Talulah, Buddy and Daisy.
Jessi Beagle Border Collie Dog Dogs Puppy Pet

Cat Remy Christmas Pet

Doberman Dobie Dog Dogs Pet

Dog Dogs Pet

Well, that's a little bit about me.