Fashion Friday – Lip Collection and Swatches

I started this little project for myself, to see what I own and what each one looks like, but I thought I’d share it for Fashion Friday. I divided them by the main color I felt they all were, Natural, Red, Pink or Purple, even though most of them don’t look that way on. If you want more information about any of these products or additional swatches, please leave me a comment.

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Naturals group. The picture below is of the swatches, top to bottom in the same order, with each name. All of my orange toned lip products are in this group.

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Sorbet is the most sheer I own, while it is bright orange in the package. Honeycrisp is the most skin tone colored lipstick I own.

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The Reds group. I wore the farthest left gloss at my wedding because it was the only thing I could find that wouldn’t transfer.

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Chic Red obviously looks red in the package, but is somewhat pinkish on. Some of these should be in the naturals group.

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The Pinks group. It’s small but a lot of the products in other categories should be in this one.

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Some of the previous ones wouldn’t wash off.

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The Purples group. A lot of these are technically pink, but I consider them to have purple undertones when I wear them. More of a magenta I guess.

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I was most disappointed by the last three. I’m in the market for a purple lipstick and these are far more pink than I wanted. Thalia is the lipstick I wear when I want a very light purple tone.

I hope you enjoyed a tour of my collection. I mainly did this because I’m a little addicted to buying lipstick and a lot of them end up the same color. I hoped I’d see what I already have so I wouldn’t buy more of the same. If you have recommendations for a good purple lipstick or even a more coral/orange one, please let me know.

27 lip products isn’t too bad, right? Do I have a problem?

Thrifty Thursday – It Isn’t Always About Saving

An important part of saving money for groceries is making sure your family is well fed. You don’t need frills and fancy dinners as long as it’s nutritious. But where’s the fun in that?

When you’re saving money on your groceries, be sure to use your savings now and then to pick up a little something extra. Whether it’s a new kind of snack or a special ingredient, splurge a little to make your food extra special. It’s a bonus if you pick up a new kind of staple food to stretch over a longer period of time.

This week I picked up a container of arborio rice. I’ve always wanted to try a risotto, but the rice for it was always more expensive than I liked. I’ve been trying the app Ibotta, which gives you some money back on certain purchases, and there was one for a brand of rice. So I decided to go for it. It’s something coupons are good for as well. Don’t let the coupon be the reason you buy something, but let it be an excuse for you to try something new.

I also picked up my first pomegranate. I’ve eaten pomegranate before, but I’ve never opened one myself. For $2.50, I had a new experience and gained a new favorite fruit. Plus, there was a ton in it for the price.

Here are some other deals I found this week:

  • English muffins: Buy 1 Get 2 Free deal, always amazing to stock up on.
  • White flour: $2.50 for 5 lbs, stocking up for holiday baking!
  • Arborio rice: $0.10 off, but earned $1.25 from the app; normally $7.99, down to $6.64
  • Coffee: My favorite brand was $4.99 down from $5.99. I should stock up with more than one bag when coffee is on sale for $2.99, running low makes you spend more money.
  • Extra fiber pasta: $1, down from $1.50
  • Orange juice: $2.99 down from $3.29
  • Butter: I was disappointed last week with the price increase I noticed, so I grabbed another package of butter since it was on sale for $3 this week.
  • Shredded cheese: I needed some cheddar this week, so I grabbed it and mozzarella for $2 each. I could find a better deal.
  • Frozen blueberries: $2.99 down from $3.29. Since I use these every weekday morning, I’m going to keep buying frozen fruit when it’s on sale.
  • Baby spinach: $2.50 down from $2.99. I could find a much better deal but as it doesn’t store well you’re really at the mercy of the store.
  • Pomegranate: $2.50 down from $2.99. I’ll be continuing to buy these as long as they’re on sale and in season.
  • Butternut squash: $0.57 per pound down from $0.99. I paid $1.63.
  • Turkey sausage: $2.99 down from $4.49. I’m fortunate that some brand of this always seems to be on a decent sale.

Full price items, because sometimes you just have to:

  • Jelly: I bought raspberry by accident last week so we just had to buy strawberry instead. But now we have extra?
  • Granola bars: Still trying to find a cost-effective easy recipe that doesn’t involve peanut butter.
  • Lactose free milk
  • Regular milk
  • Sour cream
  • Green bell pepper
  • Mushrooms

All in all though, we saved almost $20 from buying on sale.

What I Read Wednesday – Esther by Rebecca Kanner


This book will be released on November 3, 2015. I received a copy through NetGalley.

Continuing my series of books about historical/biblical women with Bathsheba and Delilah, here is Esther. She was written as the young Jewish girl who won the heart of a king and ended up saving her people, but here, she is much more than that.

Stolen from her bed one night among hundreds of other young girls to become the king’s concubines, Esther quickly learns how to survive. She hides her religion and who she truly is. She makes unlikely friends with one of the king’s guards, a maidservant and a eunuch, who all want to see her succeed.

Esther prepares to meet the king and convince him she is worthy of being his queen. She charms him with her beauty and her behavior, and she is made queen that same night. But there is a lot of danger that comes with the title. She doesn’t know who she can trust beyond her three friends, and despite the guards watching her every second, several attempts are made on her life.

When Esther learns of a plot to kill all of the Jews, she knows she needs to actively risk her life in order to save her people. She must speak out of line with the king, and reveal her secret. Esther quickly learns that she was chosen for the task specifically, it is her life’s purpose.

This book is rich with intrigue. Even if you know the ultimate ending, you grow to love the characters and hope that things turn out well for them. Like the other books, it gives a voice to characters behind the scenes.

Tasty Tuesday – Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese

I never want to peel and chop another butternut squash. I won’t do it.

This bowl of squash took me an hour to produce. I was getting mad, I was yelling at the thing, and was so done before I even started chopping. My peeler just wouldn’t grab onto half of it, and it somehow kept popping the blade out of the holes and flinging it at me. Real safe. My knives wouldn’t peel it either, they kept slipping and hitting the cutting board. I’m sure my neighbors enjoyed listening to me get angry.

But once it was all safely cut up, it cooked up pretty nicely. I cooked it with some garlic until it was browning and tender and then added chicken stock and mashed it up.

Once the sauce reduced a bit, I mixed in noodles, cheese and milk until it had a nice, gooey texture.

All in all, it wasn’t terrible, but I’m still not sold on butternut squash. Something about it is just too sweet for my taste, I can’t get behind it. What is your favorite way to eat butternut squash? I have some left over that I threw in my freezer and I wouldn’t want it to go to waste. What should I try that will make me like the taste?

Menu Monday – October 26

Last week of October! I’m kind of glad because it’s not my favorite month. I love the weather and the season, but I’m not a fan of Halloween. I know, I’m lame. I didn’t celebrate it as a kid much, and didn’t even dress up until I was in high school and working my first job. Halloween is our niece’s birthday though so we’ll at least have a birthday party to go to.

Also a reason I don’t like it is because scary costumes honestly kind of freak me out. When I was really young, a guy in a grim reaper costume jumped at me in a store. You won’t catch me going to a haunted house anytime soon.

Anyway, the menu!

  • Cheesy Sausage and Rice – Hallelujah! I made this last night with black beans, and my husband actually liked it! He claims he hates beans and definitely wasn’t happy when he saw them. But he went back for seconds anyway.
  • Butternut Macaroni and Cheese – Third time trying butternut squash. I really want to like it because everyone else does, I just have a mental block against it. Maybe disguising it with cheese is the answer.
  • Creamy Ground Turkey Casserole – Easy and delicious, can’t go wrong with that.
  • Teriyaki Chicken and Broccoli – Teriyaki is always a good choice.
  • Mushroom Florentine Pasta – Trying a new kind of pasta, hopefully this will be filling enough for dinner.

Dinner ingredients were around $22 for the week.

Thrifty Thursday – The Beginning of Baking Season

I love the holiday season and the baking that comes with it, but it really adds to my grocery bills. Extra flour, sugar, butter, eggs, plus special items like pumpkin, condensed milk, spices, it all adds up. Not to mention if you’re making the special Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.

It’s definitely a good idea to start stocking up for the season as early as possible. Watch for sales now on things you will need, and grab them up.

I made an apple pie over the weekend to use some of the apples we picked and to fulfill my baking school homework. I made pie crust from scratch, not for the first time, but this method was a bit more frustrating. My bottom crust stuck to the counter and I wasn’t able to roll it over my rolling pin and lay it neatly into the pie tin. My pie filling also didn’t turn out very gooey, but that would probably require cooking it beforehand, and I’m lazy. It was tasty anyway, and I didn’t forget to add butter this time.

I needed butter to make the pie, and I haven’t bought any in a while. I was shocked to find that my normal butter, regularly $2.69, had jumped up to $3.29. Instead, I grabbed some imported butter, like the baking school suggested, on sale for $2.50. Unfortunately it was the equivalent of a little less than two sticks, so I really lost money on that one. But it made my pie crust taste delicious. I’ll either have to bite the bullet and pay extra for my normal butter, or check out Trader Joe’s and see what kinds of deals they have.

Here are some deals I found this week:

  • Toilet paper – trying a different brand that was on sale for $4.99
  • Bread – $2.50
  • Pie tins – 3 for $2.50
  • English muffins – Buy 1 Get 1 sale again
  • Spices – Store brand spices were on sale Buy 1 Get 1 and I hoped to add to my collection with some curry powder or something. But all they had on the sale were ones I already have. So I picked up some garlic powder that I needed and got garlic salt for free, as some recipes call for that instead.
  • Greek yogurt – My favorite brand (Chobani) was on sale for $0.79 each, but I had to buy 12. So I did. It’s a nice healthy snack and I’ll be stocked up for quite a while.
  • Shredded cheese – On sale for $1.77; I wish I could buy blocks to shred myself but the cost just doesn’t seem worth it.
  • Imported butter – $2.50; I may or may not buy this again as I like the quality but the normal price is too high for less than two sticks’ worth.
  • Frozen berries – $2.99
  • Mushrooms – On sale for $1.50 down from $1.59, what savings.
  • Baby spinach – On sale for $1.88
  • 5 lbs of potatoes – $2.50, they’re nearly all gone already after making french fries over the weekend and roasting some with sausage.
  • Turkey sausage – On sale for $2.99

What I Read Wednesday – The Best Food Writing 2015

Best Food Writing 2015

This book was released on October 20, 2015. I received a copy through NetGalley.

I’ve been reading a lot about food and nutrition and cooking in the past couple of years, but I’ve never looked at food essays like this. This is a lovely collection of food writing from chefs, critics and other people in the food industry. It’s definitely a book to take your time over, really digest one essay before going on to the next.

I learned all about new advances in food technology, like people striving to find a vegetarian replacement for beef that feels like beef, or making eggs that taste and work like eggs out of other foods. It’s no secret that there are problems with the current beef industry, most of all its contribution to climate change, but the future looks bright for alternative choices.

You’re also transported to other places, like a butcher in Peru, or one of the top rated restaurants in New York City. While you’re reading the essays, you get to peek into other people’s lives and see how they relate to food and cooking. One of my favorites was the story about how one of the best wine gurus in the world doesn’t drink but wants to change how people look at wine.

If you enjoy learning and thinking about food, this is definitely a book you should pick up.