Monday, January 17, 2011

Jello-Style Strawberry Marzipan

I was soooo excited when I found this candy recipe in Grandma's cookbook! She used to make these once in a while for me when I went to visit. She didn't make them often, but when she did, I loved helping her dip the little berries in red sugar to make them glisten.  Thanks for the berries, Grandma!

3/4 c sweetened condensed milk
1 c shredded coconut
1 c chopped pecans
2 small (3 oz) pkgs strawberry Jello  (measure out 2 T and set aside)
1 pinch salt
slivered almonds
green food coloring

1. Blend milk, coconut, pecans, Jello and salt in a food processor.
2. Cover with cellophane and chill for 1 hour.
3. Remove from refrigerator and shape into strawberries.
4. Roll strawberries in leftover Jello.
6. Shake almonds and a few drops of food coloring in a Ziplock.
7. Place one almond in each strawberry for stem.
Keep refrigerated. Can be frozen.

Click on the recipe card below to print out your very own!

Linked up with:
Fireflies and Jellybeans' Show Off Your Stuff
Featured on:

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Silly Bee's Beauty- The Butcher, The Baker, The Lipstick Maker!

This little kit is so much fun!  I bought my mom, sister and I each a set for Christmas, and we shared and mixed and melted and poured our little hearts out!  It's really easy to use, but it can be messy, so I thought I'd share a few tips that I discovered along the way to get the most out of your lipsticks. 

The Sephora refillable lipstick palette is the perfect solution for broken lipsticks, for used-up lipsticks and for consolidating lipsticks so you don't have to haul a bunch of tubes around. It's also great for mixing lipsticks and glosses to make your own original shades!  Plus, it will save you money!  Did you know there is almost as much lipstick left in the bottom of the tube as on top?  Lipsticks can be expensive, don't throw half of them away!

Back to the kit-- this is what you get: a little silicone bowl, a tiny spoon, a palette and a mini lip brush. Cute, right? The palette has 8 pans and it's really streamlined so it's perfect to slip into even the smallest clutch. 

To make your project easier, grab some hand sanitizer, a bunch of cotton balls and cotton swabs, a few wooden skewers or orange sticks for scooping and mixing, a paper plate to put all your gooey utensils on and paper towels.  If you have any little empty containers like makeup samples, pimiento jars or pill boxes, grab those too, they're great for storing leftover lipstick. 

Now, gather all your lipsticks, lip balms and glosses.  Lip balms are perfect for making sheer lipsticks, so search your purses for stray Burts Bee's and Chapstick tubes.  Don't forget those little tin tubs of balm that you hardly ever use because you don't like to stick your fingers in them.

Before you begin, disinfect your bowl, tools, palette and hands with antibacterial hand sanitizer.  I used cotton balls to sanitize the tools and bowl and cotton swabs for the palette.  Now you're ready to play! 

Fill It Up!

1) Now, this is going to sound weird, but go with me.  First, flip your little silicone bowl inside out-- don't worry, it won't hurt it. Then, place your lipstick bits in the very middle of the bowl which is now popped up on top.  If you don't flip it, most of the stuff ends up on the sides of the bowl and it won't melt down.  So, flip it out so you can get the lipstuff in the very center.  Here's where you can add different colors, balms and glittery glosses if you like. 

2) Gently flip the bowl right-side in.  Make sure all your lipstick is in the very bottom.  Now when it melts it will make a neat little pool and you won't have a mess on the sides.

3) Place it in the microwave and nuke it about 30-40 seconds.  Take it out  and swirl the cup like a fancy wine connoiseur; the liquid should be watery and slide right back down to the bottom-- not coat the sides like thick honey.  If it's not watery enough, place it back in the microwave for about 10-15 more seconds.  Use several short intervals and keep your eye on it so you don't end up burning it (boiling is bad).  Don't walk away!  It's kinda like chocolate-- if you burn it, it will change it's composition and never melt again.  (OK, no more Alton Brown.) 

4) Next, gently pour the liquid into one of the pans.  The bowl will be hot, so grab it by the rim carefully. If the lipstick isn't hot enough, it will coat the inside of the bowl.  It might even form a little icycle as you pour it.  If that happens, let the lipstick cool, scrape down the sides with your itty bitty spoon and start over.  (Don't forget to flip the bowl!) You might even want to scoop out the little mound of lipstick that ended up in your pan.  Chances are it didn't melt down and level off like you want it to.

Clean It Up!

If you have leftover lipstick in your bowl, scoop it out and put it in your empty containers.  I had two little tubs that had sickly perfumey lotion samples in them that I knew I would never use.  So I cleaned them out, put them in the dish washer and voila: free lipstick containers.  Keep these containers with your little bowl and spoon so you can find them next time you're ready to refill your palette.

Make sure you clean your utensils and bowl with hand sanitizer between each lipstick melt as well as when you're done meltin' and fillin'.  Hand sanitizer is best, but rubbing alcohol will work fine, too.

Show It Off!

Check out my beautimous palettes!  The palette on the left is the one from the Sephora kit.  The one on the right is an old Bobbi Brown (BB) palette that I filled with mixed up leftover bits.  I had already used up the lippies in the palette that I liked, so I just scooped out the weird ones, disinfected the palette and filled it up!

In case you're wondering the lipsticks in the Sephora palette are (beginning from the top row, L to R)
1. BB Lip Color in Rum Raisin
2. BB Lip Color in Brownie
3. BB Pot Rouge in Blushed Rose
4. Melissa's Mix Lip Gloss- I made it with clear lip balm from one of those little tin containers and the extra bits of my lipsticks.
5. BB Creamy Lip Color in Heather Buff
6. BB Lip Color in Golden Brown
7. NARS Sheer Lipstick in Vera Cruz
8. Clinique Chubby Stick in Whole Lotta Honey- It had gotten too short to put the cap back on, so I just scooped it out with a skewer.

*Quick Tip--To keep track of your faves, you may want to write the lipstick names on little labels and adhere them to the bottom of the palette, or you can peel off the little sticker on the end of the lipstick tube and use those.

Now, you can certainly smash your lipsticks into your own palettes, but I like melting them because you have more even application with your lip brush.  You can find tutorials on youtube that use the day-of-the-week pill boxes, but those don't have a spot for your applicator, so that's not very convenient.  I've also seen empty palettes that have flimsy plastic liners, don't have spots for a brush or are just too darn huge to carry around.  This kit is the perfect size and high quality.  So, there you go! If you make a palette of your own, I'd love to see a picture.  Get to meltin' and have fun!


If you can't find it at Sephora, hop on over to ($20) or ($18) to purchase the EXACT same kit by Japonesque. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Tea Leaf Reading

It's 2011 and I'm turning over a new leaf.  Not really.  I'm just drinking it. I discovered this delicious tea last month while I was in Neiman's looking for Christmas gifts.  Needless to say, it's a luxury tea (read: not cheap).  Moving on...

Meet Tea Forte, my new favorite indulgence.  I believe Republic of Tea just broke up with me, gasp!  So far, my favorite flavors are Coco Truffle, which is a caffeine-free herbal blend; and Hazelnut Truffle, a super rich black tea.  Holy I-Couldn't-Believe-Tea-Could-Taste-Like-Dessert!  Again, moving on...

The tea bag infusers are actually little hand crafted fabric pyramids with a tiny leaf tag handle.  You just sit them in your cup with hot water and let them steep.  But, don't put them in the microwave-- there's wire in the little handle.  Tea Forte offers infusers for hot tea, iced tea, and cocktails. Lemon Grass Mint Mojitos-- can you imagine? Yuhhh-um!  You can also purchase custom teaware with a little hole in the top specially designed for the little pyramids.  Soooo cute!

Anyhoo, each of the infuser packages had a little leaf tucked into it with a warm fuzzy message on it.  So, in the tradition of The Good Chocolate, I thought I'd share them with you.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Silly Bee's Beauty- Makeup Gift Basket

This year, I gave my mom and sister makeup baskets for Christmas. They were so much fun to make, that I thought I would share this cute gift idea with all my chickadees!

Since I had no idea what makeup colors they might like, I decided to fill their baskets with tools and applicators. There are soooo many types to choose from that I didn't have a hard time filling the baskets at all.

I knew my sister wanted some makeup brushes, so my first stop was the MAC counter at Nordstrom to pick up a set of the brushes my favorite youtube beauty gurus are always raving about: the 217 and 219 eye brushes.

I didn't want to just give them a couple brushes, so I stole an idea from Sephora (and youtube beauty guru, Koren at Enkore Beauty) and made my sister and mom their very own brush holders.  You can find the tutorial here.

Next, I hit and picked out some fun little makeup tools that make awesome stocking stuffers.  Since I bought the brushes, I thought brush shampoo was a must, so I picked Sephora's travel size version. I also ordered a couple of these great liquid dispensers which they use at Sephora with their makeup remover where they have the little tester brushes and cotton balls on the end of the aisles (you know what I'm talking about).  I think it's so cool, because you are less likely to spill your makeup remover or expensive toner and it's cuter than an ugly nail polish remover bottle sitting on your vanity.

Another little Sephora gadget that I love is the cute in-cap sharpener in the photo above that fits onto your eye or lip pencil!  It's so clever because you can toss the cap that comes with your pencil and replace it with the sharpener and it will never get lost!  It has a little cap so you don't end up with shavings all over your makeup case and they are really inexpensive, so you can buy one for each of your pencils.

I've had my eye on the Sephora refillable lipstick palette forever, so I bought a couple of them thinking it would be totally fun to spend an afternoon making our own palettes! (I'll do a special post on that later.

Another little goody I added are these makeup remover cotton swabs.  Made by Bare Escentuals, they are filled with liquid makeup remover and come in a little plastic case that you can toss in your purse for mid-day touch-ups.

In addition to Sephora, I checked out and picked a couple more makeup pressies.  This cute mini tweezer and brow gel set by Ulta grabbed my eye.  I just love miniature stuff!  I also found this folding brow and lash comb tool also by Ulta.  The metal lash comb teeth are really thin so they separate your lashes much better than those crummy plastic ones.

Lastly, I made a trip to Home Goods and found black woven baskets, fun makeup pouches (which I filled with Sephora samples) and a waffle-weave fabric headband which is perfect for holding back your hair while you wash your face. (The cute little maid in the basket is a lint roller which doesn't have anything to do with makeup, but how could I resist?)

So, there it is!  The perfect makeup gift set that you can customize for your girlfriends, moms and sisters no matter what kind of cosmetics they use.