A Family, Beauty, Health and Lifestyle Blog
Did you know that February is Bake for Family Fun Month? What better way to spend time with family members than to bake or cook together?
Below I have two very special recipes to help you and your loved ones celebrate! The Red Velvet Cupcakes are perfect for Valentine’s Day, and the Three Kings Cake recipe is my favorite pick for Mardi Gras.
Both of these recipes are perfect for National Bake for Family Fun Month. With cold days keeping most indoors, these are two festive treats that families can bake together. Both of these recipes are made with Country Crock, a buttery spread that is the go-to ingredient for baking and made with real, simple ingredients, including delicious oils, purified water and a pinch of salt.
1 box (16.5 oz.) yellow cake mix
Water as specified on cake mix box
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 large eggs
1 cup Country Crock® Spread, divided
1 Tbsp. red food coloring
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 box (16 oz.) confectioners sugar (about 3-1/2 cups)
Preheat oven to 350°. Line 24 muffin cups with paper cupcake liners; set aside.
Beat cake mix, water, cocoa powder, eggs, 1/2 cup Country Crock® Spread and food coloring in large bowl with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Evenly spoon batter into prepared pans.
Bake 18 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool on wire rack 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pans and cool completely.
Beat cream cheese, remaining 1/2 cup Spread and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer until smooth. Beat in confectioners sugar on low speed until blended. Beat on high speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Spread on cooled cupcakes.
1 envelope dry active yeast
1/4 cup water (about 125°)
2/3 cup Country Crock® Spread, divided
1/3 cup milk
3 whole eggs, divided
4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/4 cup PLUS 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar, divided
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 Tbsp. grated orange peel
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1 egg yolk
Dried fruit and candied cherries for decoration
Combine yeast with warm water in medium bowl and set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes. Whisk in 1/3 cup Country Crock® Spread, milk and 2 whole eggs; set aside.
Combine 3 cups flour, 1/4 cup granulated sugar and salt in large bowl. Stir orange peel into yeast mixture then stir into flour mixture until dough forms.
Knead on floured surface until dough is smooth, but slightly sticky, about 10 minutes. Transfer dough to large lightly greased bowl. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, combine remaining 1/3 cup Spread with confectioners sugar in medium bowl until creamy. Stir in remaining 1 cup flour and egg yolk until smooth. Cover and chill until ready to use.
Knead dough on floured surface a few times. Roll dough into log, then form large circle on greased baking sheet. Brush ends with water to seal. Cover with plastic wrap sprayed with no-stick cooking spray and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.
Arrange rack in lower third of oven. Preheat oven to 350°. Beat remaining whole egg with 1 tablespoon water. Brush dough with egg wash. Form strips with chilled confectioners sugar dough and arrange along with dried fruit and candied cherries into dough to decorate, then sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon granulated sugar. Bake 35 minutes or until bread is golden brown.
Remove to wire rack to cool.
Tip: It is customary to hide a plastic baby doll in the dough before baking. The baby symbolizes luck and prosperity to whoever finds it in his or her slice. Just remember to tell your guests that there is a toy inside the bread!
Disclaimer: I received Country Crock coupons to facilitate this post. Any opinions are my own.
Love it or hate it, but the big V-Day is almost here! Whether you’re preparing for a hot date with someone special or kickin’ it with your woes, your beauty game should always be on point. Show your locks some love & pamper your skin this Valentine’s Day with these beauty buys from Ariana Grande, got2b, Schwarzkopf ULTIME & ColorProof Evolved Color Care.
FRANKIE by Ariana Grande
FRANKIE by Ariana Grande is a celebration of the loving and lively relationship between the celebrity duo, Ariana and Frankie Grande. This limited edition scent embodies their unique and authentic personas with a fresh take on fruity and musky notes for a truly irresistible pairing. This sexy and energetic fragrance opens with a burst of sparkling fruits, while powerful wild orchid and blonde woods ignite a powerful energy that invites you in. The seductive dry down of creamy musks and warm woods leaves you with an irresistible trail that keeps them wanting more.
The Eau de Parfum comes in one size: 1.7oz/50ml for SRP $49.00; available only for a VERY LIMITED TIME exclusively online at select US prestige retailers including: ULTA.com, Macys.com, LordandTaylor.com, and in stores at Stage and Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada.
got2b 2sexy voluptuous volume hairspray
Pump up the volume to achieve and maintain big, show-stopping, sexy hair with göt2b 2sexy voluptuous volume hairspray. Naturally derived rice starch gives locks instant and long-lasting body, texture, and volume. The new Studio Sized can (12 oz.) and high performance BODY 10 boosting complex will bring your hair to new heights and hold for the ultimate 2sexy look. AMP’D 4 PLAY! SO SPRAY AWAY!
$5.99; mass drug & food retailers
Schwarzkopf styliste ULTIME Crystal Shine & Hold Transparent Polishing Pomade
Experience a strong and flexible hold without flaking and stiffness with this and workable formula that offers control and luster. Synergistic micro-emulsion provides moldable styling control and high shine.
Schwarzkopf essence ULTIME Diamond Color & Radiance Shine Boost Tonic
Specifically developed for highlighted and color treated hair. The Schwarzkopf essence ULTÎME Diamond Color & Radiance Shine Boost Tonic provides dazzling color, luminosity and protection, and seals in hair color for anti-fading. Special UV filters offer protection from the sun allowing color treated hair to hold its luster longer.
ColorProof Evolved Color Care CrazySmooth™ Anti-Frizz Treatment Masque
De-frizz, moisturize, repair and transform frazzled tresses into omg-crazy-smooth-soft-sleek-gorgeousness. Breakthrough ingredient blend including soybean lipids, seaweed and shea butter dramatically condition, restore integrity and add much needed elasticity and tensile strength for healthier, more youthful hair. In just one use, hair instantly looks up to 10 years younger.
$48; Sold exclusively in salons and spas nationwide
Disclaimer: I received samples of these products. Any opinions are my own.
Although by this time we have all discovered a scent by now, why not switch it up for this Valentine's Day? Luckily, FragranceNet.com makes it easy to find a new scent or look with thousands of genuine brand name hair tools, makeup and fragrances for less!
Whether you are shopping for yourself or for a loved one check out these SCENTsational gifts from top beauty e-retailer FragranceNet.com. Not to mention, they're 30% off all orders on all orders and free shipping before February 9th!
Here are some great scents to help you stay confident all night—and if you need a refresh, try out the FragranceNet.com Travel Perfume Atomizer ($6.99), perfect for a quick spritz on while your date is looking away!
Available at FragranceNet.com Lovely By Sarah Jessica Parker
Introduced in the year 2005, by Sarah Jessica Parker, Lovely has a sent precious oils, lavender, orchid, amber, apple martini, paper, whites and musk. It is recommended for anytime wear. ($32.99, $23.09 with 30% off coupon)
Available at FragranceNet.com Rose the One By Dolce & Gabbana
Explore your sophisticated side with just a whiff of Rose the One by Dolce & Gabbana. This lovely scent mixes
Madonna lily, pink grapefruit, blackcurrant, lily of the valley, sandalwood, litchi, peony, ambrette seed, musk, vanilla, mandarin, rose and fresh fragrance that will add joy to your day. ($46.99, $32.89 with 30% off coupon)
Available at FragranceNet.com Vera Wang Lovestruck By Vera Wang
An alluring perfume you will want to reach for when you are in the mood for a romantic scent. This sweet fragrance for women makes an exuberant first impression with notes of juicy guavas and fresh angelica flowers. Notes of precious woods and warm musk then emerge to leave you feeling beautiful all night. ($32.99, $23.09 with 30% off coupon)
Available at FragranceNet.com Eternity by Calvin Klein
Embrace classic elegance and sophistication with Eternity by Calvin Klein. In this wonderful fragrance for men, greens blend perfectly with crisp jasmine, sage, basil and rosewood to create an ideal mix. Eternity is refreshing and crisp, the ideal complement to all your daytime activities. This classic, unforgettable scent allows you to add an old-world feeling to your day. ($30.99, $21.69 with 30% off coupon)
Available at FragranceNet.com Noir by Tom Ford
This boldly unique fragrance for men was launched by world famous design house Tom Ford in 2012. Warm and spicy yet woody and aquatic, Noir for men is a casual, sporty fragrance that he will want to wear every day. Designed for the active, modern gladiator, this fragrance opens with top notes of bergamot, verbena, caraway, pink pepper, and violet for a go-everywhere scent that captivates and invigorates.($83.99, $58.79 with 30% off coupon)
Available at FragranceNet.com Spicebomb by Viktor & Rolf
A casual but distinctive daytime scent Spicebomb, Romance cologne for men is a spicy, moderate fragrance that balances its tobacco notes with woodsy undertones. Romance has a rich, appealing construction that combines dominant notes of warm and sexy grapefruit and bergamot with sweet spices, woods, and saffron. ($59.99, $41.99 with 30% off coupon)
Disclaimer: I will be sent product in exchange for this post. Any opinions are my own.
With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, Rimmel London, Sally Hansen and NYC New York Color have the perfect new products to give you a subtle and sexy “nude” look!
The new Expert Last Matte Lip Lacquer in Noho Matte Nude and the Rimmel London NEW! Lasting Finish by Kate Moss Nudes collection will add a subtle glow to your lips while the Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure (new formula infused with Keratin Complex) in Camelflage or Au Nature-Al, will add the perfect “nude" hue to your nails!
NYC New York Color Expert Last Matte Lip Color: ($3.99)
With a comfort of a gloss and a color impact of a matte lipstick, the NYC NEW YORK COLOR Expert last matte lip lacquer offers you the most glamorous look ever.
- With High Impact, explosive color, a velvet smooth, non-sticky finish and full coverage, this gloss has it all.
- Available shades: Bowery Matte Berry, Riverdale Matte Red, Noho Matte Nude (shown)
FOOD FOR YOUR NAILS: SALLY HANSEN COMPLETE SALON MANICURE IS NOW INFUSED WITH NEW KERATIN COMPLEX ($7.99)
YOUR FAVORITE NAIL POLISH TAKES STRENGTHENING TO ANOTHER LEVEL! SALLY HANSEN LAUNCHES NEW AND IMPROVED COMPLETE SALON MANICURE FORMULA INSPIRED BY HAIR-CARE TECHNOLOGY.
Sally Hansen continues to lead in nail innovation! Complete Salon Manicure, loved by millions of women worldwide, is now even better. Drawing from technological advances in the hair-care arena, the newly revamped formula now incorporates a keratin complex to help reinforce nail strength to resist breaking and chipping for up to 64% stronger nails and up to 10 days of chip- resistant wear. It’s everything you need to achieve a professional nail look at home.
Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure boasts 7 benefits in one bottle, plus a flawless-finish brush for easy application and a salon-quality finish. The chip-resistant polish still features all of the elements you know and love: base coat, strengthener now featuring a keratin complex, growth treatment, salon color in runway-ready shades, top coat, and gel shine finish.
Disclaimer: I am receiving product in return for this post. Any opinions are my own.
FOR THE HAIR OBSESSED
Get ready to be Amazed with this Powerful Repair and Styling Miracle!
It Hair Care's NEW 12-in-One Amazing Leave In Treatment addresses 12 common hair care concerns in one convenient package. This powerful multi tasking spray stops frizz, repairs damaged, brittle hair and restores moisture, resulting in beautiful, silky tresses.
This exclusive formula is specifically designed to protect hair from hot tools and heat styling abuse!
My daughters and I are definitely obsessed over It Hair Care's 12-In-One Amazing Leave In Treatment! I always spray it in my hair after I wash and condition it as usual. When my hair is still damp after towel-drying, I flip my hair upside down, and spray 12-In-One all over my hair and then I comb it through.
It is definitely amazing to only need one product! I usually use more than one. I no longer need to use a separate leave-in serum, hair detangler, shine enhancer or a heat-protection spray. 12-in-One Amazing Leave In leaves my hair silky, shiny, soft and gorgeous, and smelling heavenly, too.
My daughter, Myelie, used 12-in-One Amazing Leave In Treatment on her hair last weekend before winter formal, and her hair turned out beautifully! Myelie's hair had lots of bounce, shine and zero-frizz! (See the photo below.) Isn't it lovely?
Enter to win! One winner will receive a 10.2oz bottle of 12-In-One Amazing Leave In Treatment. (ARV:$14.99)
How? It's easy! Just enter to win using the GiveawayTools form below. Good luck!
12-in-One Amazing Leave In Treatment is currently available in Rite Aid, Bed, Bath & Beyond, and on Amazon.
You can also buy it at Walgreens and Walmart stores!
Disclaimer: I received a sample of this product to review. All opinions are my own.
Winter is no excuse to have dry and flaky skin! Combat the rough winter skin with these staples that will keep you hydrated all year long.
Lavanila Laboratories The Healthy Body Butter Collection packs pure shea and cocoa butters with skin saving essential oils to deliver instantly softer skin. While other Body Butters use synthetic preservatives and chemicals including parabens, silicone & mineral oils that can clog pores, prevent absorption of beneficial ingredients and accumulate in the body, Lavanila packs their natural formula with smart, natural ingredients that that allow for faster absorption of body beneficial vitamins and immediate hydration. I use it right after my shower when my skin is still a bit damp, and it really seals in the moisture. ($19; Lavanila.com)
Korres Moisturising Hand Cream with Almond Oil & Calendula will relieve dry hands with rich yet non-oily botanical extracts. Calendula, combined with almond oil and aloe, helps retain natural moisture of the skin, leaving hands smooth and supple. A blend of natural butters and antioxidants provides additional comfort. Use the 91.9 percent natural formula daily for immediate and long-term relief. This is my new favorite hand cream. I keep it on my nightstand and also in my purse. It smells heavenly! ($14.50; Sephora.com)
Christie Brinkley Authentic Skincare Recapture Day + IR Defense Anti-Aging Cream SPF 30 is formulated with a bio-copper complex that helps correct the most visible signs of aging. It uses three effective technologies to revive, improve and protect your skin while recapturing a youthful appearance. I love this product. It is the best day cream ever! ($69; Kohl’s)
Disclaimer: I received samples of these products to review. All opinions are my own.
Dis you know that Drink Wine Day is on February 18? Sometimes it is hard to know which wines go well with which foods.
Tandoor Chef has developed a wine and beer pairing tool to help you choose the best compliment to their restaurant quality authentic Indian cuisine. Find the perfect companion for your next healthy frozen meal by clicking here.
There are so many delicious possibilities! Have you ever tried Tandoor Chef Authentic Indian Cuisine? If you haven't, you are truly missing out! I love it! I also love that I can grab it at the grocery store in the frozen foods section.
Tandoor Chef uses only the finest Indian spices and flavors to make their authentic Indian food. From your freezer to the dinner table in minutes ... turn any ordinary meal into an Indian food adventure.
My very favorite dishes from Tandoor Chef are the Tandoori Chicken Samosa and the Vegetable Pad Thai. Both are delicious!
The Tandoori Chicken Samosa is succulent chicken, marinated and roasted in the authentic Tandoori style; minced and stuffed into crispy pockets. Doesn't it look good?
The Vegetable Pad Thai consists of tangy and spicy stir-fried rice noodles mixed with select vegetables and tofu. Prepared with spices, tamarind and ground peanuts. It is heavenly!
For more information go to: http://www.tandoorchef.com/
Disclaimer: I received product vouchers to compensate this post. Any opinions are my own.
Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching! Whether you’re planning a fancy night out or a cozy night in, iconic hair care brand Alberto VO5 is here to help you love your look for the most romantic day of the year- without breaking the bank.
Give your locks some love this holiday by using VO5’s Hot Oil Therapy, a once weekly treatment that only takes one minute. The 5-vitamin and protein rich formula, applied to hair before shampooing, helps restore shine, strength and silky softness.
Enter to win! Two (2) winners will be chosen to receive a box of VO5’s Hot Oil Therapy (ARV: $5 ea.)
How? It's easy! Just enter to win using the Giveaway Tools form below. Good luck!
For more information go to: http://www.vo5haircare.com/
Disclaimer: I will be sent samples in exchange for this post. Any opinions are mine.
If you are looking for easy and affordable ways to redecorate your living room, bedroom or even your kid's dorm room,
WallPops has everything you would need! (I would love to decorate my entire home with WallPops if I could.) There are so many great ideas!
With bright colors, bold designs, easy-to-use removable nature of the product and affordable prices, WallPops is the perfect choice for anybody looking to freely incorporate eye-catching designs. There are several styles perfect for baby and decorating a nursery. There are fun designs for kid’s rooms, and posh looks for tweens and teens. WallPops also features a wealth of ideas for sophisticated décor. From contemporary to classic, funky to functional, there are styles to complement any palate.
I was given the chance to review some WallPops and I chose the items below. (Not all of these photos are my own.)
I selected the adorable Gold Confetti Dry Erase Calendar and Message Board Set for my 17 year-old daughter's bedroom. I originally was planning to use it in the kitchen, but she fell in love with it and definitely needed a dry-erase calendar, so I let her have it.
She is already putting it to good use (below) but she needs to change it to February! (I'm sorry about the awful photo....my flash was on.)
I wanted to try out some of WallPops decorative room panels for the living room, so I chose the Sanctuary Room Panels. I thought they looked so stylish! I really haven't decided where to hang them yet, however.
For now, I have placed them on my fireplace hearth, and I think they really do look amazing there! I might leave them. They really help to spruce things up! (These panels are not stickers, so I can easily move them if I change my mind where I want them.)
Third, I chose this adorable Dry Erase Map for my nine year-old son's bedroom, but I have not put it up yet because I am waiting until I paint his room. I do love it though, and I think it will look amazing in his room, just like it is shown in this photo below. (Taken from the WallPops website.)
I love the idea of this map because it is a dry-erase map, and my son can circle places he has been or would like to go one day!
I am very thankful to have been given the opportunity to review a few of WallPops high quality products! I am thrilled with them and I will continue to order from their website, I can't wait to redecorate some more rooms in my house!
For more information or to place an order go to: http://www.wallpops.com/
Disclaimer: I received samples of these products to review. All opinions are my own.
Valentine’s Day is a time for red roses, romantic dinners and spending the evening with the one you love. With love in the air, there is sure to be some lip locking involved – and with the holiday right around the corner, it’s time to treat your lips to a little pampering and rejuvenation with Carmex® Lip Balm. Follow these five tips to have healthy, beautiful lips just in time for the big day, provided by Carmex®Lip Balm and NYC Dermatologist, Neil Sadick, M.D.
1. Exfoliate: Lips tend to become drier faster than other parts of the body, leaving them looking and feeling chapped or flaky. According to Dr. Sadick, the skin on your lips tends to become drier faster than other parts of your body, because the surface skin on your lips is thinner. So, be sure to use a mild exfoliant to slough off any dead skin on the lips and uncover smooth, healthy lips.
2. Moisturize: Apply Carmex® Lip Balm ($1.49) at least two or three times a day to ensure lips are continuously moisturized. It’s important to remember to re-apply after eating or drinking. Available in a variety of forms and flavors, Carmex® Lip Balm contains lanolin, which works with skin’s natural moisture defenses, and petrolatum, which soothes and hydrates dry lips.
3. Protect: Just like the rest of your body, your lips need protection from the sun in order to maintain their overall health and appearance. When heading outdoors, applyCarmex® Lip Balm SPF 15 Click Sticks ($1.49) throughout the day. This lip balm was awarded the Seal of Recommendation from the Skin Cancer Foundation and provides broad spectrum SPF 15 sun protection against UVA and UVB rays.
4. Hydrate: Staying hydrated is a great way to overcome chapping and dryness. Dr. Sadick recommends drinking 6-8 glasses of water daily to get fuller, more hydrated lips. He also cautions that licking one’s lips can be a habit that’s hard to break and may lead to further dehydration. When you have the urge to lick, apply lip balm instead, he offers.
5. If symptoms worsen, consult your physician.
Now, with Carmex® Lip Balm, there’s no excuse not to pucker up and give your Valentine a smooch! I keep mine by my bedside and apply it right before bed each night. I love Carmex! Carmex® Lip Balm may be found at retailers nationwide.
About Carmex®and Carma Laboratories, Inc:
For more than 79 years, Franklin, Wisconsin-based Carma Laboratories, Inc., has manufactured Carmex® brand lip balms. Carma Laboratories, Inc. is a family owned and operated business that was founded in 1937 by Alfred Woelbing, the inventor of Carmex® lip balm. Today, the company continues to produce its original lip care formula in its trademark jars, and has expanded the line to include flavored lip balms, ultra hydrating lip care formulas and soothing skin care products. The carefully crafted lip balm has been #1 pharmacist-recommended for 17 years in a row.
For more information, please visit: www.mycarmex.com.
Disclaimer: I received product samples to review. All opinions are my own.