Live from the Gulf Coast of Florida: It's Friday Night

I have been neglecting my blogging for the past ... basically 3 months because I moved states and got a new job. Forgive me for totally forgetting all about this blog, but moving has to be one of the most stressful experiences. You have to find a place to live in the new area, schedule the movers, cancel your current services and start up new ones (which I still haven't done yet really i.e. I have no cable still) pack all of your belongings and haul everything to where you are going. It's exhausting.

Then there's that little problem of being in a new area. I moved to sunny Florida, which I can't complain about. I mean, a Midwesterner always appreciates the ocean. We are the farthest from the coasts, so I feel like the ocean will always be a big deal to us. It is to me and I live abut 12 minutes from it right now. The area is pretty, there's usually some sort of festivities going on, and let's be real, there's always the beach. It's the meeting new people and fitting in thing that's the problem.

I had never had a problem before. While living in Alabama I made a nice group of friends, granted our work schedules were so weird we could barely hang out, but that's not the point. Maybe the South and Midwest have similar values of making people feel welcome, and since I'm in lower Florida they just don't have the same mentality. Whatever the case is, the culture here has been a little more difficult to grasp than I first imagined.

So, after trying to get the hang of the coastal lifestyle, I'm going to continue with my blog in the same manner as before. But now I have Florida adventures that I can share. For example, there's an alligator that lives in the retention pond at my apartment complex. People tell me this is normal. I don't feel like it is, but I can't argue with native Floridians.

Oh yea, and did I mention it's Friday night and I'm home alone blogging? You can just tell me how cool I am, I can take it. I actually just finished watch an old movie, His Girl Friday, and had some banana pudding flavored ice cream from Publix, so maybe it wasn't such a bad night overall.

I feel like this was a journal entry. Should I have started it with "Dear Diary?"


Happy Fourth of July

It’s Fourth of July week, and I think it’s time to start thinking about our great nation. Summer is typically decked out in red, white and blue banners, patriotic parades, “Old Glory” waving proudly all over town and the All-American backyard barbeque.

Personally, I even have a tank top to wear for this Fourth that reads “Running the world since 1776.” (The back says “Merica” in case you were wondering.)

June and July celebrate Memorial Day and Independence Day respectfully, but have you asked yourself recently if we show any resemblance to the country we once were?

I still love this country, hence the tank top, but, let’s put it this way, I know we can be better.

When you think American Dream do you think people from all backgrounds and upbringings making a new and better life for themselves? Because that’s what it’s supposed to be. Hard work and sweat and tears to improve your life and your family's.

The International Finance Corporation and the World Bank ranked 183 countries in 11 areas.  The U.S. ranked 4th in ease of doing business, 4th in getting credit, 5th in protecting investors and 7th in enforcing contracts. Those were our highest rankings, too. Our lowest ranking was 72nd in paying taxes.

Being 4th doesn’t sound terrible, but we are supposed to be No. 1. We can be No. 1, therefore we should strive for that again.

According to an article in a CNN series on American Exceptionalism the U.S. could try to emulate Germany in attempts to improve our standing.
The article talks about how German business students will graduate knowing multiple languages, having traveled to different countries, knowing more about global business than many of our business students.

The writer of the editorial, Todd Leopold, has a point here. We can learn from other countries, and we should. Others learn from us, try to emulate what we do right, and they succeed because of it. We are still great, but we might need some inspiration on how to get through this current slump.

I love wearing red, white and blue, and I love carrying our flag in parades, I also have more respect for the military than the typical person probably does. But, if we can do better, then we best get at it, because the American Dream is how we succeeded. And if all it takes is for everyone collectively to work harder and to change the course we’re headed down, then we need to start down that new path now before we are passed by more countries.
For the Fourth, just remember the principles America was founded on and what generations before went through to get what we have today, and think about if we are working anywhere near that hard. I bet you’ll find most of us aren’t.

Happy Fourth of July and God bless America.


I'm moving

Remember that time I had a blog and I used it all the time. Yea, I remember those times too. Here's the deal, I'm actually moving further South (as if I wasn't already in the Deep South.) But this time I'm going to be in sunny Florida. Figuring the moving out, logistics, packing, everything, has just been really difficult alone, so that's why I haven't been posting anything new. But once I am settled in my new coastal habitat, I'll be back up and running. Promise.


PS. Wish me luck. I'll need it, if only for the 8 hour drive. I am a sleepy person by nature.


Chicken Tamale Pie and Corn Salad with Cilantro-Lime Dressing

Dinner tonight, seriously the most delicious things I've... on Twitpic

Tamale Pie

The Tamale Pie I made was absolutely delicious. I'm not joking, it is one of the best recipes I've ever tried. It isn't authentic in any fashion, but it has a similar taste from real tamales. real tamales are super difficult to make. My family is Mexican and they'd always buy them because they are just so hard to do. I found this to be a nice substitute still. The real tamales my fam would buy actually use pork though, so you could always substitute pork for the chicken.

The only thing that's annoying is that shredding the chicken takes longer than I would like. It gets irritating, but is well worth the finished product. The only thing I changed with the recipe was that I used the Mexican Queso Quesadilla shredded cheese with a pinch of Philadelphia Cream cheese. Honestly, this is the most delicious cheese ever, but I think this tamale pie needs a little heavier flavor of cheese, because the kind I used got a little lost. So next time I think I'll use the Queso Quesadilla with the Mexican Four-cheese or just straight up cheddar.

Watch out, my pie dish wasn't deep enough or possibly was just a little too small all around and when I poured the enchilada sauce over the top a lot of it ran off the sides, so be careful. You might have to use a little less of the cornbread batter, or just not pour all the enchilada sauce, or just put the pie plate over something in case spillage happens.

The original recipe comes from the blog Pinch of Yum:
  • 1/3 cup fat free milk
  • 1/4 cup egg substitute
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon taco seasoning, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 (14 3/4 ounce) can cream-style corn
  • 1 (8.5 ounce) box corn muffin mix (such as Jiffy)
  • 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
  • 1 (10 ounce) can red enchilada sauce – I recommend going with an authentic Mexican brand
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup shredded white cheese
  • 1 cup Mexican cheese blend shredded cheese
  • cilantro and crumbled Cotija cheese for topping
  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Combine the first 7 ingredients (milk through green chiles), using just 1/2 tablespoon of the taco seasoning, in a large bowl, stirring just until moist. Pour mixture into a round pie plate (mine was glass) coated with cooking spray.
  3. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes. While corn is baking, toss the chicken in the remaining 1 tablespoon taco seasoning. When corn is done – it will be just barely set and golden brown – pierce entire surface liberally with a fork. Pour enchilada sauce over top. Top with chicken; sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes. Cut into 8 pieces; top each serving with cilantro and Cotija cheese.

Dinner tonight, seriously the most delicious things I've... on Twitpic

Corn Salad with Queso Fresco

This would be such a good and healthy cold side dish to bring to a pot luck or to make to go along with any Mexican or Tex-Mex style dish. Super easy and super delish. Also, if you make the whole recipe for the Cilantro-Lime dressing, you have extra to put over salad.

I originally got this recipe from Our Best Bites.

4 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
8 ounces queso fresco or cotija cheese
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped (and seeded if desired)
1/2 recipe (about 6 ounces) Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette
1 large avocado, pitted, peeled, and cubed
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Optional: For an easy one-dish meal, add leftover rotisserie chicken

Bring about 1 inch of water to a boil in a large stock pot. When the water boils, add the corn and cook for 2-3 minutes. Drain and rinse and then add to a large bowl. Toss together the corn, red bell pepper, red onion, jalapeno pepper, and crumbled cheese. Toss with Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette. Chill until ready to serve. Right before serving, gently toss in the avocado and season with salt and pepper. Serves 10-12.

Dinner tonight, seriously the most delicious things I've... on Twitpic


I also made flan to go along with this meal. Unfortunately, I am only one person so I couldn't finish it, but it turned out well. It was just flan from a box like you would get Jello, and I found it in the Hispanic section of Walmart - that's where I shop for groceries. I picked it up because I had a ton of milk I needed to use before it went bad.


Start Wearing Purple

My pretty purple pansy inspired eye makeup for spring - on Twitpic

For Spring I decided to make this pretty dramatic, but still really wearable look inspired by purple pansies.

The entire face can be any concealer or anything you feel comfortable with. I use bronzer basically all the time, but especially in the Spring and Summer because that healthy, outdoorsy glow is kind of what you aspire to when the weather gets hot. So I used my bronzer by sweeping it with an angled brush toward my temples.

Now for the eyes. I used my Urban Decay primer (as always) all over my lid and up to my brow bone. Then I used an eyeshadow brush to put Branzen's Karma (a violety type of purple) all over my lids. I then put Brazen's Paradox (this is hard to explain, it's a blue-ish purple) in the crease. I tried to blend it so it didn't look so severe. I put Brazen's Millennium ( an off-white that shimmers pink) on my brow bone and in the inner corner of my eye. I didn't use eyeliner, I didn't want this to be a club look or anything. Finish off the eyes with mascara on the top lashes, and you're good.

I just used clear lip gloss for my lips. Ta da!

My pretty purple pansy inspired eye makeup for spring - on Twitpic

Song Inspiration
Start Wearing Purple - Gogol Bordello


I'm a Jayhawk

My friend Maggie, and a ton of the people I knew in high school, went to kU. I've blogged about the rivalry between my alma mater Mizzou and kU a few times, and I can't articulate how much it pains me that kU is in the championship game of the NCAA tournament tonight. Yes, for the most part, I grew up in Kansas. I lived very close to the border of Kansas and Missouri, but about half of my high school attended the University of Kansas anyway and only around 13 attended the University of Missouri. But, because I still love and respect my friends despite their poor college affiliations, I created this make up look for tonight's game on Maggie's request.

Funny story too. When we were in elementary school, our choir teacher thought that it was a great idea to teach my grade the kU fight song called "I'm a Jayhawk." To this day I still remember every word of it. Especially the line, "Got a bill that's big enough to twist the tiger's tail." Rude. Also, jaykawks aren't real, but if they were they would probably only be about the size of a turkey and would probably be good for punting. Enough said about their stupid mascot.

I want to make it clear I am NOT cheering for kU, but I made ... on Twitpic

First off, I used my handy-dandy Urban Decay primer all over my eye lid, up to my brow bone, inner corner and even some under my eye. I then put Brazen's Cat Call all over my lids. to the crease - easy peasy. It's a red shadow, so if you have a favorite red, go with that. I like the orangey reds because they don't make you look like you're going out for Halloween as the devil and are surprisingly wearable for everyday outings. Then I took my gold shadow (Brazen's Pharaoh) and put that on the inner corner of my eye and then on my brow bone as a highlighter. I used my navy blue eye liner cream pencil which is Revlon's ColorStay Eyeliner in Navy, for the top lid (see picture for thickness.) I also put it on the inside of my lower eye. I then used Maybelline's EyeStudio Color Explosion Luminizing Eyeshadow in Blue Blowout. I used the brighter light blue shade and wet an angled eyeshadow brush and then applied it under my eye as shown in the picture. I did this until I was satisfied with the brightness of the color and the thickness of the line. Put some mascara on your upper and lower lashes and then you're done!

For the rest of your face you can essentially do whatever you want. I do recommend using Maybelline's Baby Lips in Cherry Me over your lips though. It's a lip balm with SPF 20, it makes your lips super duper soft, and this color is red, which goes with your eyes and kU's colors. I mean, it's a sporting event here, no need to go with intense lip gloss. This gives you color and protects your lips as you scream your heart out.

I want to make it clear I am NOT cheering for kU, but I made ... on Twitpic

Song Inspiration

I'm a Jayhawk - kU Fight Song


I had to take a little blog break

After my extensive blogging about the Hunger Games I had to take a little mental rest this week, so I haven't been blogging like I should. I promise I'll start up again. But, while I gather my thoughts again, here's a little pic of something I did today -

Guess what I did today... Fed giraffes - on Twitpic

I fed a giraffe! With my hand! It took the hay with its tongue! So, excited and if you're ever in Montgomery, Alabama, I recommend hitting the zoo. It might be a little small, but it's really a good time and they have some cool animals. But, hello, I fed a giraffe today.


What to do when your friend gets dumped

You know those awkward social situations where you just really have no idea what to do? I run into these all the time. But, I figured I'd share the knowledge I've acquired about what to do when things like this happen.

The first instance is when a really good friend of yours gets dumped. Now, for guys, I don't really know what to tell you. Basically, I've heard that you listen to them, try to comfort them and then take them out for drinks. You can probably give them things too. I'd say a bottle of whisky or a 6 pack of beer. This is more of a solution for when a good girl friend gets dumped. Or I mean, if she does the dumping and is really sad, that would be an occasion to try and help too.
  1. Be careful not to give too much advice or to be too judgmental. Let's say they get back together and you spent hours bashing the guy or girl. That'd be awkward right? Just listen and then be positive in a general sort of way.
  2. Try to go and do things that will take their mind off of it. That could mean going to a bar, a movie, the mall or just to lunch. It doesn't have to be fancy or anything.
  3. I recently had a friend that this happened to and she doesn't live anywhere near me so I sent her a little "feel better" package. This included cookies, some tinted chap stick, nail polish, a nail file, foot soak and a little note. Simple, and it totally made her day even though I am no where near her.
  4. Come to think of it, even if you are in the same vicinity, making a little care package is a nice little idea. It shows that you are thinking of them and that you care. It'll make them still feel cared about and taken care of.
I really hope this helps, because I know situations like this can be really awkward to try and handle. You want to be there for your friend but you don't know what to do exactly. Well, maybe now you know a little better.


District 9 Sponsor

District 9 Sponsor

Let me explain why I only made a District 9 outfit. I identify with District 9 because I believe, if Panem was real, I would totally be from District 9. It's the grain district, and since I'm from Kansas, I feel like that fits. Therefore, I am loyal to District 9 even though they are really never mentioned in the books, that's OK. Also, isn't this District 9 shirt wicked? I kind of want it a lot.

Giles short cut out dress
£1,099 - farfetch.com

Christian louboutin shoes

L K Bennett metallic clutch
£195 - johnlewis.com

Vivienne Westwood clear jewelry
$430 - viviennewestwood.co.uk

Kate Spade hardware jewelry
$78 - katespade.com

Safe and Sound

My girl on fire make up look...that I actually wore to work t... on Twitpic

I created a special make up look for the premier of The Hunger Games, and the pictures just don't do it justice. Probably because I can never get the lighting right, but if you saw me in person, when I close my eyes, it does look like fire. It's actually wearable though. I know this because I wore it to work. I like to be able to wear, even outrageous colors, out in public. So it's noticeable but I'm not going to scare people away.

So, here's how I did it. I started off with my regular face routine. That's personal preference what concealer and stuff works for you and what you're comfortable working with. I then brused my bronzer with an angled brush toward my temples. The end for the face.

The eyes are the focus anyway. I put my Urban Decay primer over both lids, and put a little under my eye. Then I used a shadow brush to put a red pigment loose powder shadow all over my lids, yes ALL over my lids. I used Brazen's Cat Call personally. I think the Brazen color Fleet Street would also work well. I used a slightly smaller brush to brush an orange pigment loose powder in my crease. Actually, I put it in my crease and all the way around toward the inner corner of my eye. Think of this as building a rainbow of three different eyeshadow colors. So follow the curve of your red lid color all the way around. I used Brazen's Perfect 10, but Brazen's Frisky would be perfect. I then put Brazen's Pharaoh, a gold pigment loose powder on my brow bone and all the way from the brow bone to the inner corner of my eye - following the outside of the orange pigment. I also put it in a thin line under my eye. To finish off I put a very thin line of black eyeliner and finished off with black mascara.

I know the pictures suck, but in person this really does look good and is just striking enough. All of the shadows I used have sparkles in them and the gold is shiny and metallic. Perfect for the look of fire.

For my lips I put Revlon's Super Lustrous Matte lipstick in Really Red.

You're done! I sprayed my Urban Decay Dew Me finishing spray and was off to work. I can't stress enough that this does look cool. I also have China Glaze's Capitol Colours in Stone Cold on my fingers. It's a matte greyish black.

Did I mention if you want to get Brazen cosmetics you should click on the banner off to the right? Because you should totally do that.

Song Inspiration
Safe and Sound - Taylor Swift feat. The Civil Wars

My girl on fire make up look...that I actually wore to work t... on Twitpic

One more, ps. I suck at taking pictures - on Twitpic


The Girl on Fire

The Girl on Fire

Kelsi Dagger leather shoes
$48 - piperlime.gap.com

Stella dot jewelry
$49 - stelladot.com

Lancôme lip makeup
$30 - lancome-usa.com

Hunger Games: Potato Soup with Soda Bread

I told you this whole week was going to be Hunger Games, so I made a whole meal that I feel like reflects the series relatively well.

I was originally going to make this meal during St. Patrick's Day week, but I decided to wait since I already had enough food to last a whole week. And when I thought about it, this meal is kind of rustic and reminds me of something you'd find in District 12. It seemed fitting to me, I mean, most of the districts are poor, and they made do with what they have. It isn't a fancy meal, or an expensive one, but it produces a lot of food. Also, just think of buying that big loaf of soda bread from the Mellark's bakery. It turns out a little crusty on the outside but really soft on the inside - delicious. And most of the ingredients in the soup are vegetables I would imagine you could get in the Hob if you swapped the rabbits you just killed for them.

First, the soup originally comes from MyRecipes.com. I added 1 can of vegetable stock to replace one of the cans of chicken stock and my soup turned out to be a brown color as opposed to the typical white colored potato soup, but I felt like that made it more rustic looking. And I would imagine in Panem vegetable stock would be easier to come by.

Now look at this neat potato soup I made yesterday that looks... on Twitpic

District 12 Potato Soup

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 leeks, sliced
  • 3 large baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 2 cans chicken broth
  • 1 can vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Optional Toppings: shredded Cheddar cheese, crumbled cooked bacon, chopped fresh chives
  • Preparation
    1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat; stir in onion and leek. Cover and cook 20 minutes. Stir in potato; cover and cook 15 minutes. Stir in broth, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until potato is tender. Remove from heat, and cool slightly.
    2. Process soup in batches in a blender until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides; return to saucepan, and cook over medium heat until thoroughly heated. Serve with desired toppings.

  • Just finished baking this huge piece of soda bread. It looks ... on Twitpic

    Now, for the soda bread. It is so delicious I can't even explain to you. It has this kind of sweet taste, and I'm thoroughly planning on dunking it into the soup. I can see Peeta now baking up something like this. The recipe originally came from AllRecipes.com.

    Mellark's Bakery Soda Bread


    • 4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 4 tablespoons white sugar
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup margarine, softened
    • 1 cup buttermilk
    • 1 egg
    • 1/4 cup butter, melted
    • 1/4 cup buttermilk


    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a large baking sheet.
    2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and margarine. Stir in 1 cup of buttermilk and egg. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly. Form dough into a round and place on prepared baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine melted butter with 1/4 cup buttermilk; brush loaf with this mixture. Use a sharp knife to cut an 'X' into the top of the loaf.
    3. Bake in preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, about 30 to 50 minutes. You may continue to brush the loaf with the butter mixture while it bakes.

    You could finish the entire meal off with sugar cookies from the Mellark bakery. Of course they say "The Hunger Games," "Team Katniss" and "Team Peeta." If you're from District 12 you have to show support for your tributes. They aren't decorated so that they look rustic, too. The recipe is the same one I used for the St. Paddy's cookies. Except I added a teaspoon of almond extract into these.

    • And I told you I was going to make Hunger Games cookies, they... on Twitpic

    • Does this all make me a huge dork? Yes, I believe it does.


Happy Hunger Games Week

I have to be careful on here because I've read all three books, I don't want to start giving things away. I just want to discuss for a minute the immense popularity of this series. It is starting to overcome Twilight (thank God) and it's bordering on Harry Potter proportions. But why has this trilogy gained such a massive following?

Part of it has to do with the enormous hype for the movie that comes out Friday. Seriously though. They have gone ALL OUT for this. China Glaze has a nail polish series representing the different Districts of Panem for one.

That made no sense for people that are unfamiliar with the plot line... OK, I'm going to summarize quickly while trying to not give anything away. Fair warning. Panem is what North America is called in the future. Instead of state, the country is divided into 12 districts that are just referred to by numbers. Each of those districts has their own special part to play for the country. One produces lumber, one grain, another livestock, etc, until we get to District 12 which produces coal. This is the district Katniss Everdeen, the heroine of the story comes from. So the Capitol (technically District 1, they're the ones that run EVERYTHING) has these games called the Hunger Games that has every district contribute a male and female between the ages of 12 and 18 to compete in a fight to the death. Basically. I guess I'll stop there. See, I didn't give anything away.

So, the nail polish colors represent every district of Panem. I personally own three of them (Harvest Moon-9, Stone Cold-2 and Riveting-5.) It's genius marketing. It plays to the die hard fans that have read the books and to those that are just pumped from the insanely intense previews. Observe:

Do you get chills? I get chills. Jennifer Lawrence is Katniss and she was nominated for an Academy Award for her role in Winter's Bone. And although this seems like just another series let's think about the concept for a second. Everyone wants to go to Hogwarts. Even when Voldemort and the Deatheaters are going Nazi on the whole wizarding world, I'd still totally want to go there. I'm sure tons of girls out there want an Edward Cullen to come along and be old-timey and chivalrous (I read the books, I know, I know, and now I see the error of my ways. There's so much wrong with Twilight I could make another post, but I'm not going to give it the satisfaction.) But would you really want to live in Panem knowing that between the ages of 12 and 18 you might be chosen to be killed in front of the entire country? Their technology is incredibly advanced, and they are able to treat so many ailments and injuries. They even have the ability to custom make animals and to mutate them. But all of this is really only available to the Capitol, everyone else is super poor. It seems like the other districts have actually gone back in time almost.

What does this say about this futuristic look at our country? Or even the world in general? It's grim for a young adult book. There's a lot of carnage and bloodshed, political themes and a struggle between what is right and survival. Read the other three, it doesn't get easier throughout them. So, if we don't want to be in that world or that situation, why do we love it so much? It's possibly because we'd want to be strong enough to potentially die for our sister in the same situation. We want to love someone so much we would do anything to keep them alive. Or because it's a cynical look at the world. The heroes are trying to overcome what was thrown at them. They are stuck in a no-win situation, and they have flaws. It makes things more interesting and relatable.

There's a Tumblr completely dedicated to the fashion of the Capitol. Because they control everything they are the only ones that have really nice things and they live in excess. While other districts are suffering and dieing they are having strange beautification procedures done on themselves. And when I say strange, I mean strange. Sometimes they have their skin died a different color. The Capitol Couture, as it's called, is dead serious too. They have contests to get fans excited, they have advice on Capitol couture, what to wear and such based off of the characters. And it really does almost make you want to live there, as disgusting as that is, and when you read or see it, you will know exactly how terrible that is.

But there are Facebook groups representing every district. You can go on Thecapitol.pn and get registered as a citizen of Panem. Have you noticed how the website and Tumblr both have .pn in their web addresses? Get it? PaNem? I think that's neat. See, they made it really realistic.

Do you know why the country is called Panem? It's from the latin phrase "panem et circensis" which means "bread and circuses." The world Panem is all about giving those living in the Captiol everything they want, and then a show (circus.) It's like in ancient Rome. To keep the people from revolting all you needed to give them was food and a good gladiatorial match to the death. In this same way the Capitol is trying to keep the people from revolting. Although, the Hunger Games are really to show the Capitol's dominance over the other districts.

Anyway, may the odds be ever in your favor.

I'll be back with more Hunger Games blogs this week.


St. Paddy's Makeup

My St. Paddy's Day make up look that I'm wearing to... on Twitpic

I wore my St. Patrick's Day makeup to work today because I will not be going anywhere tomorrow night because I'll be at work all night. Yay! That's besides the point. I made this awesome St. Paddy's look, and I have never been happier about a green eye color. It is absolutely gorgeous.

Here we go. First of all, always put primer over your lids. I am using Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Original. It made my eyeshadow stay on ALL day even when I was laying out and it was like 80 degrees. Seriously, it didn't melt off my face. So just use a bit on your finger and put it all over your lids. Then, I used Brazen's Charmed green shadow all over my lid from my lash line to my crease. That's pretty enough, but then I put Brazen's Get Lucky along my crease. To finish it off I used Brazen's Pharaoh, this beautiful gold shadow, on the inner corner of my eyes and then I swiped it from the inner corner up toward my brow. It's really really super pretty. I put my black gel liner just on the top lid in a moderately thick line. See the bottom picture.

I used bronzer swiped toward my temples over my foundation and Brazen Hi-Def powder.

Then I put an orangey chapstick on my lips. I used Covergirl's NatureLuxe Gloss Balm in Anemone. Then I put Brazen's Kiss Me, I'm Irish gloss over that. It's a shiny and incredibly glittery gloss that looks clear from a distance but when you look closer you can see little green flecks of flitter on your lips. It's very pretty. It sounds odd, but the whole thing works really well.

Over all of that I sprayed my new finishing spray from Urban Decay called Dew Me. I like a dewey, youthful finish, so this is perfect and worked really well. I went outside and laid out today and was super sweaty and shiny and my makeup looked just as nice as it did when I put it on. I was shocked.

PS. Sorry about the pictures, my cell phone is still my picture-taking mechanism.

My St. Paddy's Day make up look that I'm wearing to... on Twitpic

I just realized I should have taken the picture with the lids... on Twitpic

These are some of my Brazen tools. The bottom green is Charmed, to the left is the Kiss Me, I'm Irish gloss, and the top color is Get Lucky.

Dark Chocolate Guinness Cake with Bailey’s Buttercream

Guinness chocolate cake with Emmett's (cheap Bailey&#039... on Twitpic

This was the best homemade cake I have ever made. It's totally from scratch and just super super easy. I think this would be really good all year around, personally, but I know it has the Irish booze in it so it only makes sense that you would make it around St. Patrick's Day.

In the recipe, it calls for Bailey's in the frosting, I totally just used Emmett's. There's no need to splurge on the good stuff. Then again, you will have a lot left over, so get what you like, I guess. Guinness in a cake sounds gross, I know, but trust me, my coworkers were raving about this cake. So delish.

The recipe has you stacking the cake for a layered round cake, but I just kept them seperate and brought one to work and kept one for myself. They are thinner that way too so no one feels too guilty getting seconds.

The original recipe is from the blog Global Table Adventure (they have pictures that go with the recipe):

Dark Chocolate Guinness Cake with Bailey's Buttercream


1 1/2 sticks butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 cup Guinness Extra Stout
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 eggs

For the buttercream:

3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2-4 Tbsp Bailey’s, as needed

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.

2. In a small saucepan, melt butter and whisk together with Guinness, vanilla extract and cocoa. Remove from heat.

3. While the Guinness mixture is cooling, grease and line 2 eight inch cake pans with parchment paper. Next, whisk together the dry ingredients (sugar, flour, baking soda). Pour the Guinness mixture onto the dry ingredients, then whisk in the 2 eggs.

4. When the batter is shiny and smooth, pour evenly into two prepared cake pans. Lick the bowl when no one is looking.

5. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.

6. Meanwhile make the buttercream by whipping together the softened butter and sugar in a standing mixer, then adding in just enough Bailey’s to get it loose and fluffy. The key to white frosting is to whip it a long time – the longer you whip it, the whiter it will become. I whipped this for 5-10 minutes. I just poured some Irish cream in. It's to your own taste, this recipe says 3 Tablespoons should be enough.

7. Once the cakes are done baking, cool completely.

8. Now, assemble the cake. But be very sure it's cool, if you try to ice it when it's warm it will get all crumbly and part of it will stick in the icing and it won't be pretty.


Mini Stout Pies and colcannon

Happy St. Patrick's Day, almost. Today I decided to make mini stout pies to bring to work for dinner and then colcannon as the side dish. Colcannon is just a traditional potato dish with greens and butter basically. It was super easy to make.

The mini pies are delicious, but you have to make sure you have a way to to cute out an 8 inch circle. I mean, most people probably have 8 inch circle cookie cutters but I do not. So, I had to use the lid of a glass which was probably like 4 inches maybe. That caused my pies to be tiny, like appetizer sized. I don't mind that, I actually really like finger foods and tiny pie-like-things. Unfortunately, the recipe calls for just one box of refrigerated pie dough. If you are going to make tiny appetizers, you'll need two boxes instead. I still have a bunch of meat and veggie filling left because I wasn't aware of this. I mean, the filling is good so I'm still probably going to eat it was potatoes or something, but if you are going to have a St. Paddy's Day party these would be adorable additions in the tiny size.

Also, next time I make them, and there probably will be a next time, I would brush part of egg mixture over the little pies to give them a golden color. They were lacking that. It doesn't diminish the taste, but it looks really yummy.

The colcannon is super easy to make, really really easy. It's like mashed potatoes but with more veggies, so it's a little healthier than just mashed potatoes. It's a nice new twist.

Here's the recipe, I originally got this from Pillsbury, but it comes from Inspired Taste:

Made mini stout pies for dinner tonight! on Twitpic

Mini Stout Pies


1 tablespoon olive oil
6 oz lean (at least 80%) ground beef
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup diced onions
1/2 cup diced carrot
1/2 cup Green Giant® frozen sweet peas, thawed
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3/4 cup stout beer
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 box Pillsbury® refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
1 egg
1 tablespoon water


1 In 10-inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add beef; season with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook 3 to 5 minutes until browned, stirring frequently to break up beef. Add onions and carrot; cook 3 to 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in peas, thyme and garlic; cook 1 minute.

2 Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in tomato paste. Add flour; cook and stir 1 minute. Add beer; cook and stir 1 minute or until beer thickens. Stir in Worcestershire sauce and sugar. Season to taste with additional salt. Remove from heat; cool 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat oven to 375°F. Line cookie sheet with foil.

Unroll pie crusts on work surface. Using 4-inch round cookie cutter, cut 8 crust rounds. Or if you are making the appetizer version, as many as you can with two boxes of pie crust (4 crusts in all.)

5 In small bowl, beat egg and water with fork until well blended. Brush small amount of egg mixture around edge of each crust round.

6 Spoon 1 to 2 tablespoons cooled beef mixture onto half of each crust round. Fold untopped crust over beef mixture (pies will be full). Press edges with fork to seal. With knife, cut 3 small slits in tops. Place on cookie sheet.

Bake 18 to 24 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 10 minutes before serving.

If you’re not a fan of beer, substitute with beef-flavored broth - But then you have Guinness leftover to drink, so the beer is totally worth it.
To reduce the fat in the pies, replace the beef with ground chicken or turkey.

Here's the colcannon, originally from Simply Recipes:

Made this calcanon as a side dish - on Twitpic

Colcannon Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes

For a variation, sub out half of the potatoes with parsnips. Can add chives, leeks, or bacon too.


  • 4 russet potatoes (2 to 2 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut into large chunks
  • Salt
  • 5-6 Tbsp unsalted butter (with more butter for serving)
  • 3 lightly packed cups of chopped kale, cabbage, chard, or other leafy green
  • 3 green onions (including the green onion greens), minced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup milk or cream


1 Put the potatoes in a medium pot and cover with cold water by at least an inch. Add 2 tablespoons of salt, and bring to a boil. Boil until the potatoes are fork tender (15 to 20 minutes). Drain in a colander.

2 Return the pot to the stove and set over medium-high heat. Melt the butter in the pot and once it's hot, add the greens. Cook the greens for 3-4 minutes, or until they are wilted and have given off some of their water. Add the green onions and cook 1 minute more.

3 Pour in the milk or cream, mix well, and add the potatoes. Reduce the heat to medium. Use a fork or potato masher and mash the potatoes, mixing them up with the greens. Add salt to taste and serve hot, with a knob of butter in the center.

St. Patrick's Day



St. Patrick's Day cookies! Slainte! on Twitpic

It's the week of St. Patrick's Day, and I have decided to theme all of my posts from today until the 17th about St. Paddy's. If you were unaware, "slainte" is said in Ireland as we say cheers. It literally means health. I love it, my boyfriend is very, very Irish, and is the first person to make me aware of this word and its usage and everything, so I decided to try and be authentic this year. The first recipe I made wasn't authentic but I used authentic phrases! Well....mostly authentic phrases. I made some sugar cookies with the words "slainte," "Graim Thu" (I love you), "Kiss me I'm Irish," "Erin Go Bragh," and "Happy St. Patrick's Day."

I made these sugar cookies earlier this week with the help of my brand new, super cute cookie cutters from Williams Sonoma. They are called Message-in-a-cookie Cutters and although they are kind of difficult to use, I think they are totally worth it. They allow you to make your own phrases to put into the cookies, and they turn out really well. The hard part is getting the little tiles into the cookie cutters provided. I ended up just using the cookie cutters and then pressing the little tiles in by hand because it took so long to slide them in. It didn't actually take long though, so I am still a happy camper.

Here's the sugar cookie recipe I used. The blog Fictional Foods is so fun, and since I'm a complete dork I am totally going to try basically all of them. I am going to make these cookies again for the Hunger Games since that's what she made them for, but I decided, since St. Patrick's Day is sooner than the HG premier, I'd try them out for this first.



  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg


  1. Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy.
  2. Add vanilla extract and egg and mix thoroughly.
  3. Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Add to butter mixture slowly.
  4. Lightly flour a piece of parchment paper and roll the dough out. Dip the cookie cutter in flour to keep it from sticking and cut your cookies, using the leftover dough to roll again.
  5. Press names or messages into cookies.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees until done.
  7. Cool on rack and enjoy!