Sunday, June 30, 2013

Cookie Cup Cheesecake Bites with Sprinkles

On Friday, I got the urge to bake. I didn't know what I wanted to make, but I was going to make something. I turned to one of my most trusted sources for inspiration. Pinterest. I thought I'd look at food for awhile, but instead I picked the first thing I saw. I do that at times, picking the first thing I see.

Sophomore year of high school, I went dress shopping with a friend of mine for winter formal. Her mother, my friend, and I arrived at our first store at 10:30 am. I walked in the store, and saw the most gorgeous dress. My heart leapt wildly in my chest as I took the dress off to the dressing room. I slipped it over my head, and... perfection. I immediately bought it. It was 10:50 am. My friend proceeded to try on what seemed like 5000 dresses. She didn't find her dress until 5:00 pm that day. Which means we were shopping all that time. And after she found her dress? She announced it was time to find shoes. I still hate shopping with people to this day.

The point is, my picker is not broken. I'm pretty definitive about what I want, and that's what I want. I don't need to look at recipes for 5 hours to know what I want to make. I'm perfectly satisfied making the first thing I see. With good reason! These are delish. I found it hard to retain self-control. I only made half a recipe, but I still need to get these out, out, OUT of the house. I think I'm going to drop off the rest at the mother-in-law's later today :)

Ingredients (makes 12 cookie cups):

Cookie Crust-
3/4 stick of butter, softened
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 large egg, room temp
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Cheesecake Filling-
1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup sprinkles


1. Preheat oven to 350º. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with muffin liners. Set aside.
2. To make cookie cups, cream butter and sugars in a large bowl. Don't cream too much, you don't want the cookie cups to rise too much! Add the egg and vanilla to the bowl, mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour through salt. Add flour mixture to the butter mixture. Mix until combined. Dough will be thick. Fold in chocolate chips.
3. Press about 1.5 tbsp of dough into bottom of muffin tin. Bake in oven for 10 minutes, then remove. Cookie part will not be done, but it will be going back in the oven.
4. To make the cheesecake filling, mix cream cheese through vanilla extract together in a large bowl. Mix until smooth. Fold in the sprinkles gently, being careful not to over-stir (sprinkles will bleed their color).
5. Pour 1 tbsp of cheesecake filling onto the cookie cups, spreading it to make sure it covers the cookie.
6. Bake cookies in the oven for an additional 15-18 minutes. Check cookies often to make sure they don't brown on the top (cover with foil if cookies begin to brown). Cookies are done when tin can be shaken, and cream cheese doesn't jiggle in the middle.
7. Remove from oven, let cool in tin 5 minutes. Remove to a baking rack, and let cool completely. Cookies can sit out for 24 hours, after which they should be covered and refrigerated.

*Recipe adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction*

Friday, June 28, 2013

25 Things You May Not Know About Me- Take 2!

1. I'm a speedy reader. I read Catching Fire in 7 hours.

Image source: Wikipedia
2. I watch at least 2 hours a day of Friends. Well, I might not be completely watching it, but it's on in the background for at least 2 hours a day.
3. I didn't eat eggs until I was 16, or clam chowder till I was 20.
4. I've got a girl-crush on Jennifer Lawrence.
5. I'm addicted to online shopping. And Pinterest.
6. Sephora is my favorite store to shop in, with Victoria's Secret and American Eagle coming in close second and third.

Image source:
7. Gone with the Wind is my favorite book and movie.
8. I wish I could have hedgehogs as pets.

Image source:

9. I hate the Patriots.
10. I love the Steelers.
11. My dream job would involve working with dogs in some manner.
12. At one point, I had braces, glasses, and a perm. All at the same time. Yikes.
13. I love living in the country, even though I never thought I would growing up.
14. I don't wear my engagement ring all the time, because I'm scared to death I'm going to lose it.

15. I carry at least 2-3 lip balms with me at all times.
16. I don't feel supportive of Paula Deen. The n-word tops my list of words you don't say, along with the r-word and the f-word (and I don't mean the f-word that rhymes with luck).
17. HBO and Showtime shows drive me crazy. Why do they only do 10 episode seasons once a year? True Blood, Homeland, Dexter, and Game of Thrones all make me want scream when they wrap up a season.
18. I think Game of Thrones is the best show on TV right now.

Image source: Fansided

19. I think Homeland is a close second.
20. I secretly wish I could pull off bright red hair.

Image source: Tumblr
21. My favorite color is purple, and has been since high school.
22. I wear yoga pants 90% of the time.
23. I've bought 872 songs on i-Tunes.
24. Sleeping is one of my favorite things to do, but it's also one of the hardest things for me to do.
25. I like to make up dance routines in my house when no one is home.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Brown Ale Chicken Tacos with Cabbage-Apple Slaw

This is one tasty dish! I made these tacos for the first time a couple of months ago, and I immediately regretted not taking a picture for my blog. This has been on my list to make for the last two weeks, but kept getting pushed. Forgot to defrost the chicken one day. Was out of bacon the next. Oops, I forgot to buy an apple. Last night, however, I found myself in the kitchen with all the components. Score!

I typically like my tacos packed with as much flavor as possible. This equates to stuffing my tortilla with as many ingredients as I can cram in there. When I stumbled on this recipe,  I first thought, "What? Only two things in a taco? No cheese? What's that about?". I'm glad I went against my initial dismissal of the recipe. For a taco with only two filling items, it's got tons of flavor. A little bitter, from the brown ale. Sweet from the apple in the cabbage slaw. Salty from the bacon in the slaw. Chewy from the chicken, and crunchy from the slaw.

The hubby is always up for something adventurous from the culinary world, so he loved the tacos. If you have a pickier mate, well, this might be one for you to skip :)


1 lb chicken breasts, cooked, chopped
2 cups thinly sliced cabbage
1 cup green apple, julienned
4 pieces bacon, chopped
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 (12 oz) bottle good quality brown ale (I used Costco's, surprisingly tasty)
3/4 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp sugar
4 soft taco size flour tortillas, warmed


1. In a large bowl, combine cabbage and apple.
2. In a large skillet, cook bacon until crispy and fat is rendered. Remove bacon from pan with a slotted spoon. Drain on a paper towel, then add bacon bits to cabbage and apple.
3. Reserve 1 tbsp bacon grease to a medium bowl. Discard the remainder of the bacon fat. Add cider vinegar through dijon mustard. Whisk to combine. Drizzle dressing over cabbage mixture. Toss well. Set slaw aside.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together beer, flour, and sugar until smooth. Heat in the skillet, until boiling. Turn temperature down to a simmer, and reduce sauce until it's halved and thickened. Add chicken to the pan, toss to coat.
5. Spoon chicken mixture into center of a warm tortilla. Top with cabbage slaw, and serve immediately.

*Recipe adapted from Cooking Light*

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tuesday Tidings

Time: 9:07 am

Weather outside: 73º and sunny, with a high of 91º. Humidity- 83% right now, at 9 am. Translation- it's going to be disgusting out at the height of the day.

On my desk: Numerous US Weekly's, World War Z, and Deadlocked. I'm behind on my reading, but I'm currently trying to catch up. I finished that cheerleading book, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay last week!

On my nightstand: Right now? Nothing, except an empty bottle of water. But tonight? You might find World War Z there, I'm a couple of chapters in. 

On my DVR: Game of Thrones! Holy cow, the hubby and I just watched "The Red Wedding" last night, and let me tell you, I think I'm still processing it. I'm walking around in shock. I can't believe it. The hubby and I are watching the season finale tonight, what else are they going to throw at us this season???

In my ears: The Today show.

In my garden: Currently waiting on basil and cilantro!

In the oven: Nothing yet, but I've got all the fixings to retry making cheesecake. It will happen this week.

In my tummy: Kashi's Go Lean Cinnamon Crisp cereal with banana slices and almond milk. My favorite breakfast. I've tried other breakfasts, but I find I actually miss this breakfast. It's just not worth skipping for me :)

In my future: Working out. Laundry. I'm behind on couponing by about a month, really need to that. Possibly baking. Making something yummy for dinner. Reading World War Z. My life is hard, huh? LOL.

On tap for dinner: Beer Braised Chicken Taco with Cabbage Apple Slaw. So good. 

Latest obsession: Homemade Samoas!

On my mind: I need to get some chicken defrosting. I need to set out some butter and eggs to come to room temperature. The dogs want to go for a walk. I really need to start the laundry. The house needs to be vacuumed. All these things can wait because this cup of coffee is so damn good!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Polish Round-Up: Early Summer 2013

Deals on nail polish are abundant this time of year, and I love every second of it. I'm buying nail polish like it's going out of style right now. There are so many pretty colors out right now, I'm kind of plodding my way through testing them all out. I've found a couple of great-for-me shades, and a few "Wow, I will never buy this again!" shades. Oh, and one nail polish shade I will probably be buying until the end of time. Or they stop making it. I think we know which one of those will come first ;)

The color I've hated the most? Maybelline Color Show in Urban Turquoise.

It's a pretty color in concept, and I will think it would look good on people with a medium to darker complexion. Or tan people. I'm neither of these things. This color just ended up look kind of green on my pale complexion. It also seemed to bring out the blue in my veins which in turned made my feet look dead. I was not fond of the look, and it only lasted one day.

Colors I've disliked, but left them on for awhile? Sally Hansen's Complete Salon Manicure in So Much Fawn and Choco Latte.

The pink looked too dusty on my pale, bony fingers. The nude color is more of a khaki, but not a good khaki. I thought it just looked dirty. Also, I don't know why I continue to buy Complete Salon Manicure, they have the worst brush in the history of brushes. I hate them. Still, I continue to buy them. Sigh. Brush-hatred is so easily forgotten when you are standing in the store contemplating polish colors.

Colors I've been impressed with? Covergirl Outlast in Bronze Beauty, Reliable Red, Eternal Oceans.

I continue to be impressed with Covergirl's Outlast nail polish. I love the brush, it is the easiest to use in my collection. The polish formulas are smooth, and so pigmented that most of the time I only have to do one coat. The bronze is more of a gold glitter, but the glitter is subtle and even my 30-year old ass can pull it off. The red is much more hot pink than red, but it works well even with my light complexion. It's so summery, too. Purple's are usually a difficult polish to work with, I find most formulas tend to be clumpy. Not the case with Covergirl's, although you do need to use two coats with this one.

My favorite shade out of all the colors I've tried this summer (so far)? Covergirl Outlast in Smokey Taupe.

Holy cow, this shade has been a revelation for me! It's the perfect shade of taupe that's got a little tint of pink to it. It's perfect for my complexion. It's everything I wanted Sally Hansen's Commander in Chic to be, and wasn't. This color may not look like much in the bottle, but it's amazing on. I really hope they keep making this, because nail polish is not one of those things you can stock-up on and hoard forever. The formula goes awry with time. In any case, this is my new go-to nail color. Love, love, love it!

Next up for testing? Sally Hansen's Complete Salon Manicure in Resurrection and Maybelline Color Show in Sandstorm.

We'll see. I'm expecting to like the nude Maybelline and not expecting to like the blue Sally Hansen. But you never know!

Hope everyone is having a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Homemade Girl Scout Samoa Cookies

The hubby sure knows how to pick em'. I told him I was thinking about baking something today, and asked him what he wanted me to make. I rolled my eyes as I got the standard response out of him, "I don't care." So I opened up my Pinterest board for baking and told him to pick one. It came down to homemade butterfingers or these Samoa cookies. I had all the materials to make the Samoas, so the Samoas it was. The easy part was over (choosing).

If you are into making cookies in 20 minutes, cooking for 10, and being done, this recipe is not for you. These are very intricate cookies. There are a lot of components, they are a lot of work, and they make a huge mess. All of this is completely forgotten as soon as you take the first bite. Sooooo worth it.

FYI, I popped mine in the freezer for 30 minutes after they were done to help the chocolate set. After that, they were perfect!

Good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favor. Sorry, I just finished the Hunger Games trilogy :)

Ingredients (makes about 3 dozen):

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp milk
3 cups shredded coconut, unsweetened
12 oz caramel candy
3 tbsp milk
1/4 tsp salt
8 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350º. Lightly spray 2 cookie sheets with cooking spray. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add flour, salt, and baking power. Mix well. Add vanilla extract and milk, mixing until dough has come together, but is not too sticky. Add a little extra flour if you need it.
3. Spread a little flour on your baking space. Roll the dough out to 1/4". Use a 1 & 1/2 " cookie cutter to make rounds. Use a knife to make smaller circles in the middle of the circles (I used a large piping attachment). Repeat process until dough is used up. Place cookies about 1" apart on cookie sheets.
4. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. Cool on cookie sheet 5 minutes, transfer to a cooling rack. Cool completely before next step.
5. Turn oven down to 300º.
6. Spread coconut evenly on a cookie sheet. Bake in oven 5-10 minutes, or until toasted golden. Set aside.
7. Combine caramels, milk, and salt in a bowl placed over a pan of boiling water (a double broiler). Whisk until the mixture is smooth. Fold in the coconut.
8. Spread the coconut caramel mixture onto the cookies (2-3 tsp per cookie). Place cookies back on the cookie sheet for the caramel mixture to set. Reheat the caramel mixture for 10-15 seconds in the microwave if the caramel gets too hard to work with.
9. Heat chocolate chips in the double broiler situation, whisking until smooth. Dip the bottoms of the cookies in the melted chocolate, placing on parchment paper when dipped. Transfer the remaining melted chocolate to a piping bag when all the cookies have been dipped. Drizzle the cookies with the remaining melted chocolate. Let cookies set until chocolate has hardened.
10. Store in an airtight container.

Recipe provided by Once Upon A Plate.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Couponing Haul: 6/16/13

All Laundry Detergent, Colgate Mouthwash, Maybelline Nail Polish, Covergirl Eyeshadow Pencil and Nail Polish, Dentyne Gum. Sorry, you can tell the sun was super bright that day on the one side of my picture!

The hubby was in desperate need of Powerade, so we took advantage of the low(er) price at Kroger.

Hillshire Farm's Smoked Sausage for $0.68 at Kroger! Smoked sausage is nice to have on hand for cookouts, soups, breakfasts, etc. We don't eat a lot of it (not so healthy), so these should last me quite a while.
 I'm back with a couponing update! It's been awhile since the hubby and I have done a couponing haul. We had about a month there where all of our extra dollars (down to the last penny) were being spent on the yard. C'est la vie. Plus, the sales have sucked the last couple of weeks. Now that my stockpile is built up, I'm not going to pay just anything for certain products. I wait until the sale is really good, then I pounce. My stockpile is low on dishwasher soap, fabric softener, canned tomatoes, canned green beans and corn, and canned beans. I keep watching for a sale on any of these items, but to no avail the last couple of weeks. I'll be there, lurking in the shadows, waiting for my prey... Ok, I know I'm a weirdo, so here's the breakdown for the week:


Colgate Mouthwash, $5.79 (Spend $10 on Colgate, Receive $5 in ECB's)
-used (2) $2 off Colgate Mouthwash coupons
Covergirl Nail Polish, $6.29
Covergirl Eyeshadow Pencil, $7.79 (Spend $10 on Covergirl, Receive $3 in ECB's)
-used a $3 off 2 Covergirl products coupon
Maybelline Nail Polish, $4.19
-used (2) $1 off Maybelline Nail Polish coupons, a $2 off Maybelline Cosmetics CVS store coupon, and a $1 off Maybelline Cosmetics CVS store coupon.

*Used a $5 off a $30 purchase CVS store coupon

-Used $14 in ECB's from last week, paid $3.04 out of pocket, and made $8 in ECB's.

Rite Aid

Colgate Mouthwash, $5.99 (Buy 1, Receive $3 in UP's)
-used a $2 off Colgate Mouthwash coupon
Dentyne Gum, 2 for $2 (Buy 2, Receive $1 in UP's)
-used (3) Buy 2, Get $1 off Dentyne Gum coupons

-used $4 in UP's from last week, paid $2.79 out of pocket, and made $6 in UP's.


Hillshire Farms Smoked Sausage, $1.68
-used (3) $1 off Hillshire Farms Smoked Sausage coupons
Powerade, $0.79
All Laundry Detergent, $2.99
-used (3) $1 off All coupons

-Paid $23.81

Total Spent- $29.64 on $103.35 worth of product. Savings of 71%.

A good week, if I do say so myself. Happy Hump Day everyone!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Potato Soup

Potato soup. Pretty simple in context, yet difficult to achieve the desired results. I've loved potato soup since I was in college, and I worked at a sandwich shop where I was introduced to the stuff. That recipe was probably pure cream, butter, and lots of flour. But man, oh man, was it good! These days, the overwhelming feeling of guilt at eating something that indulgent on a regular basis is too much for me. This version of potato soup is a lot healthier, but it never feels like I'm sacrificing flavor. There's bacon in mine, so it's still a little bit indulgent!

I make mine with homemade chicken broth, which helps control not only the sodium of the soup, but the amount of preservatives in it. I also use just a little flour, fat free milk, and a judicious amount of half-n-half. You know, in place of the cream. I like to use my immersion hand blender to puree the soup just a tad, because I like some chunks of veggies (especially potatoes) in my potato soup. Some people like to puree theirs all the way, and that's fine too. Either way, this is a hearty, tasty, and satisfying soup. And it's not too heavy to make in the summer. Because I'm one of those weirdos that still likes hot soup when it's 90º out :)


6 slices of bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and diced
3 stalks of celery, diced
6 whole potatoes, peeled and diced
8 cups chicken broth
3 tbsp flour
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt (more to taste)
black pepper to taste
pinch of cayenne
1/2 cup half-n-half
1 tbsp parsley, minced


1. In a large stockpot, cook bacon over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon. Reserve 1 tbsp bacon fat in the bottom of the pan.
2. Add onion, carrots, and celery to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes, or until tender. Add potatoes to the pan, cook for another 5 minutes.
3. Add chicken broth to the pot. Bring it to a boil, then lower heat and simmer until potatoes are starting to get tender (about 10 minutes). Whisk together flour and milk, pour into the soup and let cook for another 5 minutes.
4. Take an immersion blender to the soup. Blend until the soup is smoother, but there are still chunks of potato left. Stir in the half-n-half, parsley, and bacon. Remove from heat, and serve immediately.

*Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman*

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Random Thoughts: 6/12/13

1. Grass!

Our lawn is coming along quite nicely! We've still got a few "bald" spots, but overall it's looking like an actual lawn. We've been having afternoon thunderstorms all week, so we've had free watering service. Free water is always the best. The side lawn is starting to look pretty seamless with the existing lawn. You can still see the line of demarcation on the front lawn, but the front lawn is about 2 weeks behind the side lawn. I'm loving the look of the grass along with the white porch. The house is starting to look like it's not straight out of construction. I really can't wait until we pour concrete for the front step and a pathway, and then eventually, landscaping. Baby steps though, as this stuff is all expensive.

2. Dog Central

We're watching the mother-in-law's dog while she vacations in Florida this week. We've had him since Monday, and its all been... eventful. I discovered on Monday (after having the dog for a couple of hours) that he was covered in fleas! I was not ok with having fleas in my house for a week, so I went straight to the vet to get a pill that killed all the fleas in 24 hours. It appears the problem has been eradicated. I checked the dog several times yesterday, and didn't find a single flea. I vacuumed the whole house from top to bottom yesterday, and washed everything Barney (the pup) had touched. I found lots of dead fleas, but I haven't seen a single live one. I'm crossing my fingers we don't have to bomb the house. Barney, on the other hand, has gone on a hunger strike and likes to sleep most of the day under our bed. I'm hoping he comes around after he settles in.

My pups are dealing with a little bit of jealousy and neediness at having an extra dog in the house. Gizmo is bringing me toys a hundred times a day, and I've even caught him guarding the water bowl. Apparently, he doesn't want to share his water. Haloti likes to sit around, and stare at me with puppy dog eyes all day. I'm hoping they too will calm down after a couple of days.

3. Life is Short

In sad news, the hubby's uncle passed away yesterday. About 2 months ago, he was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer, and shortly after had a series of strokes that left him unable to walk, talk, or eat. We've known for the last 2 weeks that he wasn't going to make it much longer. It's just unthinkable, and so sad, that this man went from perfectly healthy 3 months ago to passing away. It definitely gives you a moments pause to think about just how short life is, and how it can end so suddenly. It really highlights the necessity of seeing the doctor on a regular basis, always getting your yearly physical (or however often is recommended for you), and trying to live a healthy lifestyle. It's all just so horribly sad.

Well, I apologize for leaving this blog entry on a somber note. However, life is a series of ups and downs, and the downs are just as equally important as the ups.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Spanish Orzo

Mexican food and orzo are not two words that usually go together. After this experiment of mine, I'm wondering why not.

I had decided to make tostadas for dinner, and I was going to make homemade Spanish rice to go with them. Once I had all my ingredients assembled and measured out, I grabbed my bag o' rice. Much to my dismay, there was maybe a half cup of rice in the bag. I hoofed it out to my stockpile, only to find that the varieties of rice I had on hand were Thai sticky rice, brown rice, and boil-in-a-bag rice. Nothing acceptable for Spanish rice (well, the brown would have worked but the hubby would have stayed far away). As I stared at my pantry, dumbfounded, I saw a bag of orzo out of the corner of my eye. Out of other options, I thought "Why the hell not?".

When I pulled the lid of the pan, after simmering the orzo for 25 minutes, I felt some self-doubt. It looked way different than rice. However, it ended up being love at first taste. Usually my food surprises don't turn out this delicious! I love, love, love the texture of the orzo. It's got a lovely chew to it. My hubby, who's not a huge Spanish rice fan, loved the orzo too.

This experiment was a beneficial reminder of why I need to think outside the box more. Trying new things is a good thing.


1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup orzo, uncooked
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 2/3 cups chicken broth
3 tbsp cilantro, minced


1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add orzo to the pan. Saute until the orzo is toasted. 
2. Add garlic, salt, and cumin to the pan. Saute 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant.
3. Add tomato sauce and chicken broth to the pan. Bring to a boil, cover orzo, and simmer 20-25 minutes (orzo should be tender and all liquid should have been absorbed).
4. Remove pan from heat. Stir in cilantro, and serve immediately.

*Recipe adapted from Favorite Family Recipes*

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Buffalo Chicken Salad

I love homemade chicken salad. I also lurve buffalo chicken. I thought, why not put the 2 together? Excellent choice.

This salad comes together fast. I used leftover rotisserie chicken, so the salad came together really fast. Another convenient fact is that it's served cold. This came in handy the other night when the hubby had to work late, so I ate early by myself. It was nice to not have to keep something warm in the oven, worrying if it was overcooking and/or drying out. The hubby came home, I toasted some buns (hamburger buns, ahem), and he had dinner.

These were picky-hubby approved. I didn't even tell him that I health-ified this recipe, using Greek yogurt instead of mayo. I'm almost certain that if I had told him before he ate the sandwiches, he would have told me he didn't like them. The hubby is not into calorie counting :)

I used the leftovers of this salad the next day for lunch sandwiches, and it still tasted top-notch. The amount of buffalo sauce I used produced a medium-to-low heat, so you could definitely add more if you want your salad hotter.

Ingredients (makes 4 servings)-

2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
2 celery stalks, diced
1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
2-3 tbsp buffalo sauce


1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until well combined.
2. Serve on sandwiches, over lettuce, or on crackers.

*Recipe adapted from The Novice Chef*

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Product Review: Vichy LiftActiv Retinol HA Eyes

Ok, everyone. This is not your typical drugstore product that I usually review. This is a higher-end product with a higher-end price tag to match. I got this a couple of weeks ago from Ulta when they were having a big sale (I got a huge sampler bag and a Vichy face wash for free with purchase!). I typically don't spend that kind of money on just one product, but I thought I would give it a shot because it was such a good deal.

Just to let you all know, I've tried just about every eye treatment out there. I've been using eye cream religiously since I was 21 (I really, really fear the wrinkles), so I've got a good idea of what makes a good eye cream. For me. My favorite eye treatments are Olay's Age Defying Revitalizing Eye Gel in the morning, and Olay's Total Effects Eye Transforming Cream at night. I've always had good results with Olay, they're a very good brand for the price. The eye gel always de-puffs my eyes in the morning, and the night cream is very moisturizing. As I creep into my 30's more though, I'm discovering I need a little extra help with the fine lines. Help in the way of retinol...

Previously, I'd been using Neutrogena's Rapid Wrinkle Repair Eye Cream. It's so-so. While it didn't do anything bad to me, I didn't really notice much of a difference. Enter this Vichy cream. Holy mackerel! I noticed a difference after a couple of days worth of use, which highly unusual for an anti-aging cream. It usually takes about 2 weeks for me to notice a difference. I got up one morning and stared in the mirror, puzzled, for a little while. What was different? Something looked gooood! That's when I realized it was my eyes. No dark circles. The under-eye area was super-smooth. Little, tiny blue veins diminished. I was baffled. What have I been doing all this time?? Why was I wasting my time (and money) with other products?

It's been about 3 weeks of using the product, and the results are not a fluke. I love that makeup looks so much better under my eyes, not caked in the fine lines. The cream doesn't appear to exacerbate breakouts, and I haven't had to deal with any redness caused by the product. Deeply moisturizing without being greasy. I've found the holy grail.

At $42 per 0.51 ounces, this ain't cheap. At all. However, the tiniest amount is moisturizing enough for both eyes. This little bottle should last months. And, as the hubby pointed out, it is cheaper than Botox :)

I highly, highly recommend.