Monday, September 22, 2014

New Regular Feature-the Monthly Tutorial/FOTM

One of the best things about making YouTube videos has been the friends that I've been able to make that I would have never met in real life. I've made quite a few truly good friends through YouTube, and one of them is Lisa, also known to the world as LisaSz09. We were chatting on the phone the other day and we were moaning about how YouTube has changed over the years. One of the things we both miss are regular tutorials from our favorite YTers.

Now, I'm not even going to attempt to suggest that I have any talent for making tutorials, but I do get a lot of requests for videos on how I wear my everyday makeup.  I tend to gravitate toward the same products for a few weeks, so, with Lisa's blessing, I've decided to do a monthly tutorial of the look I've worn the most during that month.  Hopefully, it's a regular feature that you will enjoy, and that with practice I will get better at making for you!



Don't forget to click on the pictures below for full product descriptions and links to where you can actually buy them!  If you do choose to use those links to buy the products, I make a small commission, which then allows me to buy more makeup to talk about in videos and on the blog!  Thank you!


Thursday, September 18, 2014

September Haul

As a beauty blogger, I find myself picking up makeup odds and ends that I may wear in videos, but that don't necessarily make "the cut" into the monthly favorites.  I've realized that these end up being used frequently, but don't get a lot of attention.  So I thought I would add a new monthly feature that showcases all the little things that don't get the attention that they usually deserve.  I thought I'd throw in a few accessories as well, since they're often limited edition and you may want to grab them before they're gone!

Scroll through the pictures below to see what goodies I've snapped up for September!

What did you get this month?





If you want to get more explanation about each product and what I think of them so far, please watch the video below:


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The PMD-My At Home Experience with Microdermabrasion


I've been using the PMD Personal Microdermabrasion System for a full two months now, and I can honestly say that it really does work.  I'd seen quite a few YouTubers review it over the last year or so, and I was quite skeptical that a device you can use at home would actually work, so when the company contacted me and asked if I wanted to give it a go, I jumped at the chance.

For those of you that are not familiar with the claims, the PMD claims to reduce the appearance of:
  • fine lines
  • wrinkles
  • age spots
  • hyperpigmentation
  • blemishes
  • pores
  • uneven skin tone & texture
It does say that it takes at least 6 to 10 weeks before results are noticeable, and then it should improve from there.

Well, 8 weeks into this experiment, I can confirm that my acne scars are almost completely gone, my skin texture is as smooth as a baby's bottom, and when I do break out, it's rare and doesn't last very long.  I can't confirm the claims about fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots, as I don't have any in the areas where I use the PMD.

Here are the pros:
  • It's super easy to use.  Plug it in and go!
  • It works-at least on blemishes and old acne marks.
  • It makes your skin care products work better-dead skin has been removed and your serums and moisturizers will absorb better.
  • It's a heck of a lot cheaper than anything you can do at the doctor's office.
  • There's no down time-your face isn't going to suffer the kind of damage it will after a professional microdermabrasion treatment.  Just slap on some moisturizer and go to bed.
  • It can be used on the face AND body-great for the backs of hands and d├ęcolletage area.
There are a few cons:
  • While cheaper than the doctor, it's still priced out between $134-$179, depending on where you find it.
  • The little discs only last 3-4 treatments and then they need to be replaced. However, the refill packs, which will last about 2-3 months, are only $15.
  • You can't use it around your eyes, which is where my fine lines are.
  • It doesn't work particularly well on the nose.
  • They say you can't use retinols, AHA's, or other acids, but after a month of using it, I started using retinol again and have not seen any adverse effects.  Try it at your own risk.
If you want to see it in action and see my before/after photos, click on the video above!

Where to buy it:

  • Personal Microderm website-Use the code MSGOLDGIRL for 25% off (this makes it come out to be the least expensive option).  Code never expires.
If you've tried this yourself, please let me know how it's turned out for you and how long you've been using it!


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

White Girl Enchiladas

This recipe was featured in my Wednesday Weekly Vlog #11.  It was scribbled (without exact amounts or specific cooking times) on a piece of scrap paper that was given to me by a fellow parent volunteer years ago and my son's then elementary school.  It has been a family favorite for years, and this is my attempt and putting it into written form.  There are no hard and fast rules with this one-you can add (or not use) anything you'd like.

Ingredients:
Flour tortillas
8 oz. block of cream cheese (I used fat-free)
¼ cup to ½ cup Miracle Whip (it needs the tangy flavor of Miracle Whip-not mayonnaise)
¼ cup to ½ cup of your favorite salsa (I change it up, this week used a green chili style)
2 cup bag of shredded Mexican blend cheese
¼ cup of milk
Shredded chicken (I use 2 large cans of canned, white meat organic chicken)
Optional add-ins: green chilis, chopped onions, black beans, corn, etc.

Directions:
1. Melt cream cheese, salsa, Miracle Whip, milk and a good handful or so of the shredded cheese in a medium saucepan over medium heat.

2. In a large bowl, combine shredded chicken, two large handfuls of shredded cheese, any add-ins that you'd like to add, and about a ladle-ful of the sauce (just enough to get the meat to stick together).  Reserve the rest of the sauce.

3. Heat the flour tortillas in a stack in the microwave for about 30 seconds.

4. Lightly spray a 13x9 inch baking pan with non-spray cooking spray and spread a small amount of the reserved sauce on the bottom of the pan.

5. Put about two tablespoons of the chicken mixture on a tortilla, roll it up, and place it seam side down in the baking pan.  Continue doing so until the pan is filled and the mixture is used up.  Should use about 10 tortillas.

6. Pour the remainder of the sauce over all of the rolled up tortillas.

7. Sprinkle remaining shredded cheese over the sauce.

8. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees, or until cheese is melted and enchiladas are heated through.

I usually serve 1-2 tortillas per person, with a side of salad and Spanish rice.

Please let me know if you try this and like it!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Test Post

I've been having an unusual amount of technical issues with my blog.  I'm making this a test post to see if email subscribers will receive notification of a new post.  Fingers crossed!!

Thanks,
Marnie

Friday, July 11, 2014

The Bread for All Seasons-Beer Bread

There is something indescribably wonderful about the smell of fresh baked bread.  Unfortunately, traditional slow-rising breads take an incredible amount of time and effort to make at home.  I have found a recipe that I've been using for years that is always a crowd favorite, is the perfect accompaniment for both warm-weather and cold-weather meals, requires only FOUR ingredients, and, wait for it, can go from ingredient stage to in your mouth in about an hour or so.

What is the miracle quick bread?  This, my friends, is BEER BREAD.  I make it in the spring and summer to go along with light meals like salads and grilled chicken, and I make it in the winter as a side for bigger, heartier meals like stews, soups and meatloaf.  Whatever the season, it's super easy to make, and I hope all of you give it a try.

I found this recipe just by Googling, and a quick search this morning confirmed that it still comes up #1 in the search results.  You can see the recipe here, or just keep reading.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups self-rising flour, sifted (if using all-purpose flour, there are additional ingredients)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 (12 oz) can or bottle of beer, any kind that you have on hand
  • ½ cup melted butter (¼ cup will do in a pinch)


If you're using all-purpose flour, you'll also need:
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Slowly pour in the can/bottle of beer.  Try to avoid creating too much foam.
  4. Pour mixture into a greased loaf pan.
  5. Pour the melted butter over the mixture.
  6. Bake for one hour, remove from pan and let cool for at least 15 minutes.
This dough is not the prettiest dough in the world.  It's not a thick, creamy batter like a cake batter.  It's quite lumpy, a bit dry, and you might not be able to incorporate all the dry ingredients into the dough.  It should look like this:


After you get it into the pan and pour the butter all over the top, it looks a bit like butter overkill.  Do not worry-this is what forms the golden, buttery crispy crust:

Finally, after an hour of making your house smell like a bakery, you'll get this:

If you'd like to see me in action, watch my video below:




If you give this a try, please let me know how it turned out!!  




Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Wednesday Weekly Vlog #6


So now that I'm six into what is a permanent series on my YouTube channel, I thought I'd do an accompanying blog post to explain a bit more about my week, since it's hard to cover everything when seven days are squeezed into approximately 15 minutes.

I think it's pretty fun to document little snippets of my life.  I can't take you everywhere-what you didn't see this week were visits to my doctor and my kids' doctors, grocery shopping, etc, but you got to see the highlights.  Here's a bit more info on each day of the week:

Saturday:
What an outfit disaster!!  It wasn't until I watched the footage back in editing that I realized that I was wearing mom jeans.  Those white pants are the perfect example of everything you shouldn't look for in a pair of white pants.  I am so terribly sorry you had to see that.

Sunday:
My husband and I hit the mall to do a little anniversary shopping, and somehow we detoured into Neiman Marcus.  They were having a huge sale, and I had hoped to quickly snag a dress or two for my son's upcoming bar mitzvah weekend.  I tried on two-one didn't fit, and the other made me look...not good.  So neither came home with me.  I ended up ordering a GORGEOUS Kate Spade dress from Nordstrom for the Saturday morning service/luncheon portion of the weekend.  You can see it here.

Monday:
Every year, the Greater San Antonio Association of Builders puts on The Parade of Homes, where a bunch of home builders get together and build what are basically fantasy homes, except that actual people end up buying them.  The homes are decked out by interior designers, then opened up to the public (for a fee), where we can all dream of living in the lap of luxury.  This year, there were only five homes, and my best friend Leigh (who is an AMAZING designer and home stager) came with me to ooh and ahh over the pretty houses.  

Tuesday:
I did absolutely nothing that you would want to see on camera.  Doctor's appointments, laundry, Homeowners Association Board Meeting, etc.  BO-RING!

Wednesday:
Well, this was my busy day.  I lightened my eyebrows (watch the tutorial), managed to get mascara all over myself, and got some editing done.  If you are looking for a very user friendly photo-editing site, you must check out www.picmonkey.com.  There are a lot of free features, but if you want full access to everything, it's a $5/month fee, and well worth it if you're a blogger or YouTuber.  

Thursday:
This was the day I headed over to our club to meet with the head of the catering department to go over details for the party for my son's bar mitzvah.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with the whole concept, the Saturday evening party is pretty much identical to a formal wedding reception.  Think seated dinner, open bar, DJ, dancing, favors, etc. Considering I have no daughters and will never get this much input into planning my boys' weddings, I'm going all out with this one. That afternoon I picked out the menu choices and walked the ballroom with the caterer to get an idea of the layout.  I can't wait to show you how it all comes together!

Friday:
Another low-key day in a week of low-key days...which pretty much describes my summer. I had a great time meeting other San Antonio area bloggers for coffee at one of my favorite places in the city, Local Coffee at The Historic Pearl Brewery.  The weather was hot, muggy, and occasionally rainy, but we persevered and I think I made some new friends.  It was great to exchange ideas and commiserate!

Here are links to some of the things I mentioned in the video:

Pretty Shiny Sparkly-fellow Texan and extraordinary blogger/YouTuber

Thanks for watching!

*Affiliate links have been used.
 

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