Baptism Cake

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This cake is super yummy and I sampled waaaayyyy too much of it.  I used a butter fudge mix for the cake, raspberry filling, and vanilla buttercream icing.  The drop flowers are royal icing, I made them in advance, then refrigerated them until I was ready to put them on the cake.  V even got in on the action with this one.  I sat her on the counter to help me with the mixer and she went to town cracking eggs!  It was way cute and most of it made it into the mixing bowl 🙂

two cookie sheets of drop flowers

lots of yummy raspberry filling

For some reason there's an echo-y voice in my head yelling, "Chocolate layers...ASSEMMMBBLLLLLE!"

going easy on the icing

Moments like this make me wish I'll be having a slice.

Were You There?

A favorite of mine for its raw truth.

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?
Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?
Were you there when God raised Him from the tomb?
Oh… Sometimes it causes me to tremble,
tremble,
tremble.
Were you there when God raised Him from the tomb?

FOTD

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It’s been awhile.  Anyone who follows me on Twitter knows that my camera and I aren’t on speaking terms.  I absolutely adore my camera but hate the way it’s capturing the light in FOTD shots.  We’re hashing things out slowly, but I’m getting bored with my posts lately so I decided to push my perfectionism aside and give you this:

It’s a bit dark, but whatever.  We’re getting there.  You’ll also notice some dryness on my bottom lip.  Yeah.  Another reason I haven’t done many beauty posts lately is that my lips won’t rehydrate.  How they lost their moisture? I don’t know.  Why they won’t repair?  I really don’t know.

Originally, this look was supposed to use Revlon’s Matte Smoked Peach lipstick.  But with the dryness in my lips and my “eh” over the shade, I swapped it out for something brighter and better.  I’m going to repeat the cheek and lip duo tomorrow, but change the eye up.  You may end up with (are you ready?) two FOTDs in a row.  What?? I know, I know.

Products Used

Face:  Sonia Kashuk Oil Mattifier; Laura Geller Real Deal Concealer in Medium; Revlon ColorStay 310 Warm Golden; Sonia Kashuk Translucent Medium Pressed Powder

Cheeks:  theBalm Bahama Mama bronzer; Milani Luminoso blush

Eyes:  theBalm Shady Lady shades Courtney, Shana, and Lani; Milani Liquif’eye in Brown; Maybelline Lash Stiletto mascara; Sonia Kashuk Arch Alert palette, e.l.f. Brow Gel

Lips:  Sonia Kashuk Satin Luxe Lip Color in Sunkissed (you need this shade)

Smoked Peach in all its lackluster non-glory has turned me off of trying more orange.  Thankfully, Sunkissed is a lovely bright shade that fills the hole in my spring makeup heart. Unless, of course, someone has a stellar suggestion for an orange shade to try 😉

Stir Fry Vegetables with Brown Rice

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Who doesn’t love a good stir fry??  Well, other than Mr. M. But more on that later.  I’m always up for some soy sauce and broccoli over rice and finally found the perfect combination of fresh ingredients.  Finally.  As in, I stir fry once a week for three weeks, then take a break for a couple and start again.

We invited a friend of ours over for dinner at the beginning of Lent.  I knew he was doing the Daniel Fast so I wanted to cook something accordingly.  I went to daniel-fast.com and was happy to find a few main course dishes. I actually made cauliflower curry stew that night, but the moment I saw ginger listed in the stir fry I knew I had to try it too.  The original recipe calls for a lot of vegetables.  I highly recommend using a wok.  It worked out alright in my frying pan, but things got a bit messy!  Everything but the water chestnuts and peas were included, though the greens and beans can be left out if you want to keep it easy.

Garlic, ginger, and green onions sauteeing...the most mouth-watering aroma!

Ginger and I are long-time friends.  We go way back to the day I decided natural living is for me.  I’m going to dedicate a post to that day because it transformed my entire way of thinking and lead me to a much healthier life.  Now that my friend ginger has made it into cooking…whoa.  Such an incredibly fresh flavor!

But the surprising pièce de résistance?  Almonds!!  We, like ginger, are good buddies.  And again, my little friend took cooking to a whole new level.  The final texture is perfection!

Serve it over brown rice.  Or brown Texmati, still my rice of choice.  Make it for dinner tonight, it will change your life!*

Judges’ Ruling:

Mr. M:  I just don’t like stir fry.
Little V:  Can I have peanut butter jelly bread?
Baby D:  pppppfffffffbbllllpppppp

Boo to them.

*Okay, so it won’t change your life.  Make it anyway.

Cauliflower Curry Stew

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I have now cooked this twice.  It’s been amazing both times.  Seriously yummy stuff.  I love that this dish doesn’t require a meat but is still filling.  It has limited ingredients, is nutrition rich, and beans and rice together are a complete protein.

I found the original recipe on the Goodhouskeeping website and won’t repeat it here because I didn’t change much.  The first time I tried it, I followed the recipe exactly.  Earlier this week, I didn’t have Greek yogurt or prepared chickpeas, so I substituted sour cream and cannellini beans accordingly.  Next time, I’ll do the sour cream again but use chickpeas.

Time to start chopping.

Mmmmm...cuurrrryyyyyyy...

So good!

Judges’ Ruling:

Mr. M:  “You can star this one and the fettuccine chicken one again.”
Little V:  [Too busy scarfing it down to comment.]
Baby D:  [insert lots of giggles and clapping while filling his diaper the next day]

Blue Green?

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but you can find
this post and many more on my new site:  IamAlisonM.com

Since posting the looks as laid out in Eye on Pure Color, I’ve made it my mission to try out more combinations for a blue green shadow look.  I’ve specifically used shade 10 from the palette in hopes of making it less scary.  Remember, people, I’m still getting used to color.  It’s been about a year now since I started integrating more than brown and purple into my collection and I’ve made it pretty far.  Blues, pastels, teals…they are the hardest.  But I think the following will show that I’m bound and determined to conquer them!

The first face I put together was “safe.”  I used a cream shadow to deepen shade 10.  I know…I’m such a cheater!  If that’s not bad enough, I used a cool brown in my crease and under my lower lashes to really push it to the neutral edge.  But I wanted to ease my way into it to gain some confidence.

Eyes:  Maybelline Color Tattoo in Audacious Asphalt (base), shade 10 (lid); Sonia Kashuk Prepping for the Party shade 5 (crease, lower lash line); inner corner and highlight..ummm??

Cheeks:  Sonia Kashuk Illuminating Bronzer; theBalm Frat Boy

Lips:  Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Demure

Looking back (this was a few days ago and I’ve tried numerous looks since) I look at this picture and think, “Awww, so cute thinking that was adventurous!”  Because….

BAM!

What?!  Yeah, that just happened.  And now I’m patting myself on the back.

This time (like a smart little girl) I stuck to the Eye on Pure Color palette.  The shades really are meant to go together and any combination would work.

Face:  Laura Geller Real Deal Concealer in Medium; Sonia Kashuk Oil Mattifier, Luminous Foundation in Buff, and Bare Minimum Pressed Powder in Translucent Medium

Eyes:  UDPP; NYX Shadow Base in white; Eye on Pure Color from left to right: shade 7, 10, and 11 on lid, 11 on lower lashline, and 3 on browbone; Sonia Kashuk Arch Alert on brows; Maybelline Colossal mascara; and Pixi Eye Bright liner on waterline

Cheeks:  Sonia Kashuk Illuminating Bronzer, Beautifying Blush in Lilly (such a great go-to shade…go buy it.  The bronzer too.)

Lips:  Sonia Kashuk (Notice a trend?  The woman is brilliant.) Lip Crayon in Blossomy Nude and Lip Gloss in Whisper (just a tiny bit)

This is my ultimate Ocean Breeze look.  It’s spring-y.  It’s summer-y.  It’s bright!

Revlon ColorStay Foundation for Combo/Oily Skin

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but you can find
this post and many more on my new site:  IamAlisonM.com

There’s been a lot of hype over this line for a long time now.  I went through a “full-coverage” phase a couple months ago and chose this as my foundation.  While I don’t have anything new to say that isn’t already said in other reviews, I did want to give my two cents on my biggest problem: 

…Shade Matching

I’ve purchased three shades of the Combo/Oily formula unsure of which suits me best.

Here are 300 Golden Beige, 310 Warm Golden, and 330 Natural Tan:

300 Golden Beige / 310 Warm Golden / 330 Natural Tan

Click for more swatches and to continue reading.