I have been searching high and low for the perfect products to use on my face.
Not only do I break out at the thought of using a liquid concealer, it seems that the more I use a face wash, the more I break out.
I am always extremely cautious about what I put on my face, which is why I've been using Bare Minerals powder foundation for years.
Although I'm extremely happy with the lightness of the powder, I'm not happy with the amount of coverage it provides.
I recently heard about Clinique's Acne Solutions liquid foundation.
It has salicylic acid in it to prevent and help treat breakouts.
I headed to the closest Clinique counter & chatted with the lady for almost two hours about my skin and what I need for it.
I ended up purchasing a whole cleansing system and the foundation that I initially set out for.

The first thing the consultant and I talked about was a makeup remover.
If you don't use anything else as far as facial products, you should at least be using a makeup remover.
This is a gel cleanser which removes makeup instantly.
You get your face wet, squeeze a pea sized amount onto your hands, lather well, rub your face and rinse off.

Once I'm finished removing all of my makeup, it's time to cleanse my skin.
This non-abrasive, fresh cleanser makes my face feel silky smooth.
You use the same routine as above, use a small amount, lather it up, rub it in, and rinse it off.

Onto the clarifying "lotion".
This is my favorite product.
You put some onto a cotton ball & smear it around your face.
It is incredibly light and refreshing.
This is to help exfoliate and remove acne scars and spots.

Then there's the lotion.
This is to help rehydrate your skin after all the rubbing and scrubbing.
The consultant and I did a little experiment where if you properly cleanse and exfoliate your skin, this lotion rubs in wonderfully and your skin feels like you just removed the top 5 layers of skin in order to get to the baby soft skin below.
However, if you don't do the initial cleansing, the lotion sits on top of the skin, feels sticky, and really does nothing in the way of actually rehydrating the cells.

That completes the nightly washing routine I have been doing for a while now.
I honestly have never thought my skin would look so radiant.
It's smoother than ever & feels like a baby's bottom.

Now for the product I went in for, the foundation.
I'm obsessed with it.
Having skin that will so easily break out is hard and makes me extremely leery to try new products, but what can I say? Clinique has truly outdone itself.

If you have skin that is prone to breakouts, I highly recommend going to see your local Clinique consultant. They have counters in Macy's and Elder-Beerman and I'm sure other places that I'm unaware of.
After using these products for quite some time, I have yet to have a breakout from any of the products.
I can't say enough good things about the products.
The absolute best part about Clinique is that when a product is being created, it is tested on 600 people. If just one person has any kind of reaction, the product goes back to the lab and the entire procedure is tested again. This happens until no one has a bad reaction.
If it's something you're interested in, feel free to ask me any questions regarding the products.


Skinny Pizza

I love me some pizza, but my thighs and gut don't love the calories.
While searching for new recipes to try, I came across a cauliflower pizza crust recipe.
I wasn't immediately sold, but being the avid pizza lover that I am, I had to try it.
My mom has told me about making "mashed potatoes" out of cauliflower, and I've made skinny mac & cheese with a cauliflower filler, so how bad could pizza crust be?
Not bad. At all.

Crust Ingredients:
2 cups chopped cauliflower (about 1/2 of a large head)
1 cup mozzarella cheese (I used fat free)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano flakes
1 large egg
1/2 tsp minced garlic

Topping Ingredients:
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese (again, fat free is what I used)
1/2 of a small can of pizza sauce
Your favorite toppings (I went with fresh basil, canned olives, & canned mushrooms)

Heat the oven to 450 degrees.
Take a baking sheet (cookie sheet) flip it upside down & spray the backside with non-stick spray.
It sounds weird, but trust me, you will get a nice crispy crust cooking the pizza on the underside.
Chop the cauliflower in a food processor to make it look like a ground parmesan cheese.
Put it in a bowl, and pop it in the microwave for 8 minutes.
Let it cool until it's just slightly warm.
Don't get turned off if you start to smell cauliflower, it will eventually turn into a real pizza aroma.

Mix the remaining crust ingredients together.
You can mix with a spoon all you want, but until you get your hands in there it won't be mixed enough.

Spread the cauliflower concoction on the backside of the baking sheet into a 9 inch circle.
Make it thin & even throughout.
Pop it in the oven for 15 minutes.
Here is where you will start to smell that famous pizza smell.

Prepare your toppings while the crust is baking.

Remove your crust from the oven, and turn it to broil.
My kitchen lighting is adding to the yellow in this picture, but if you want a more fool-proof white looking crust, only use the egg white.

Start with your sauce, then add all of your toppings.
Pop it back in the oven for 2-4 minutes.
Keep an eye on it because it can go from perfect to crispy black in just seconds when the oven is on broil.

Don't get me wrong, this recipe doesn't taste exactly like real pizza crust, but it's pretty darn close.
It is a little spongey, but if I didn't know what it was made up of, I would never guess cauliflower.
With only 505 calories for the entire pizza, you can eat the whole thing and feel 100% guilt free.

Taste it with your own toppings and tell me what you think!



Whatchu Got In That Drank?

Whenever I have friends over or we're all headed out to a party, the most asked question is "what are we going to drink?"
The question drags on as we wander through the liquor store picking up bottles and then asking each other what we could possibly mix with it.
We usually settle on some sort of flavored vodka with a few 2-liters of pop.
One of my favorites we decided on was vanilla flavored vodka with root beer.
It tasted like a naughty ice cream float.
While I haven't been too adventurous lately with the mixed drinks, here is what J and I have been drinking.

Hubby's drink of choice is usually gin & tonic.
It's an old man's drink, he even got told once before by a waitress at a local pub & grub.
His latest choice of gin is Hendrick's.
If you're looking for something light on calories & enjoy a piney flavor, this could be your drink of choice.
To me, it tastes like Christmas.

My favorite drink as of late is Sangria. I would wash down all of my meals with it if I didn't think it would develop into a problem.
I found Red Guitar Sangria at a local market and thought I'd give it a go.
It definitely has a wine-y taste to it, but its subtle sweetness is to die for.
I can usually stomach a glass or two of regular wine, but I could knock off a whole bottle of this stuff.

The most unique drink in my cupboard right now is a Dominican drink called Mamajuana.
While we were in the Dominican Republic, we purchased a bottle with wood chips and leaves in it.
You take it home, marinate the contents with red wine for a week, then pour out the wine and fill the bottle mostly with rum, a little vanilla and plenty of honey.
Let it sit for a week, then enjoy as shots.
You can use the same wood chips & leaves for several batches.
It tastes mostly like black licorice with a hint of sweetness.
It's not something I would normally order, but I liked the idea of bringing a little bit of the Dominican Republic home with me.


So that's what's in my liquor cabinet. What's in yours?
Do you have a special drink of choice?



A Vintage Reception

My grandparents will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this fall, and my enormous family & I are planning a huge party for them.
They were only 19 when they got married & couldn't afford a lavish wedding.
They wore their best outfits & had only immediate family there to celebrate.
While talking to my grandma recently, she said she wishes she could have the reception she never got, so that's what we're doing.
A huge tent, cake, flowers, dancing, and tons of family & friends.
Back when I was trying on wedding dresses for my own wedding, Grandma fell in love with a vintage inspired dress I tried on, so it gave me an idea for us all to throw a vintage reception.
I have a few ideas for decorations so far, but anything you can add will be amazingly helpful!
Everything will be done in light pink, white, & light gray.

Just the balloons on this one.
They're stuck in the ground with golf tees.
Pretty ingenious.

This last picture, we're only using the table runner idea (the bottom right picture).

What do you think? Do you have any other ideas for a vintage reception?



Minty Nails

While half of the world hopped on the pastels bandwagon, I went the direct opposite way & opted for neons.
Now that I have a closet full of bright, obnoxious colors, I'm sick of it all.
I thought it would be a fad that died quickly, but I didn't realize how quickly I would want it to go away.
I'm headed back towards more classic colors.
Today while browsing the beauty aisle, I noticed a particularly grown up & sophisticated pastel nail polish.
What a way to hop on the pastel bandwagon, but to start with nail polish.
It's inexpensive, temporary, and easy to change.
For the most part I'm not afraid of commitment, but when it comes to being an adult, I want to push it off for as long as possible.
Changing my nail color to something my grandmother would approve of is the easiest way to pull off being an adult without making the full commitment of changing my entire wardrobe.

The nail polish was Sally Hanson Smooth & Perfect in Sea.
It went on watery, but after two coats it ended up looking good (as good as a girl with an unsteady hand can get it to look).
I just happened to come across this brand. I have no idea where else this line is sold, but I'm sure if you google it, you will find it.

Are you into pastels or neons this summer season?



Chesapeake Bay Candle Co

I'm the biggest candle lover ever.
I love the way certain smells can turn a house into a home.
I've always stuck with Yankee Candles because they burn slowly & their aromas fill my house for hours.
But while browsing around a local store, I found Chesapeake Bay candles. I wasn't immediately excited until I smelled some of the fragrances.
I picked up some of my favorites & couldn't wait to tell you about them.
These high-fragrance candles are beyond yummy smelling.
I bought them Sunday afternoon & left all but one in their packaging.
By Monday morning the one I took out of the box had filled my entire family room with a light summery orange smell.

Yes, that says Mahogany & Plum.
I wish I could have seen my face when I read it myself, but the scent is unbelievable.
It's so dark & rich, it's definitely more of a Fall candle. Let's see if I can wait that long to burn it.

Here is some good news. You don't have to travel to my tiny town in order to purchase these little goodies. It turns out, they're sold at Kohls, Bed Bath & Beyond, & little gift shops everywhere.
If you can't get to a store to smell them all, try their website.
It's always a gamble buying a fragrance online, but I haven't smelled a Chesapeake candle I didn't love.

These candles won't break your budget; they're no more expensive than Yankees.
Give them a try, their unique scents will fill your home quickly!



Breakfast Bowl

I realize it's 100 degrees outside in most of the US, so a piping hot meal probably doesn't sound too appetizing unless it's coming off the grill.
But I have a meal for you that you shouldn't wait to try until the weather chills out.
For under 250 calories, you can get a delicious, quick & easy meal.

Heat the oven to 375.
Spray an oven-safe bowl with Pam.
Line the bowl with 3 pieces of ham making sure the entire area is covered.
I cracked 2 eggs inside the ham bowl and added onions & spices.
You could include anything you can think of, but here are some suggestions:
bacon (cook first)
hashbrowns (cook first)
sausage (cook first)
Anything you would normally put in an omelette, would work wonderfully in this.

Cook for 20-30 minutes depending on how runny you want your egg yolks.

Dig in! Your bowl will be gone in minutes & you'll be craving seconds. The good news is that with so few calories, you can afford a second one!

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