Colorado Cocktail Taste Test

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Last night after a girly day of shopping, grilled cheese, crafts, and pizza (we are the classiest of girls) we had an impromptu Colorado cocktail taste test hosted by dad (of ‘Dad’s Corner‘ fame). He’s been practicing his bar tending skills over the past few months, so when my sister saw 5280’s poll for the official Colorado state cocktail, she knew he would be game to try at least one. Of course, Dad can’t say no to a challenge so he concocted our own in-home, four person contest between all three. Like I mentioned, I wasn’t expecting to end my night this way, which means that I did not have my regular camera to take lovely pictures! We did our best though. We had a sample size of each drink and picked our own winner/s. Check out our thoughts on all three drinks below! Spoiler alert: YUM.

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Kevin Burke’s “The 4th Pin”bitters, Three Pins Alpine Herbal Liqueur, Whiskey, orange peel.

Dad: offered the most traditional western drink…like when Colorado was an old cow town.

Mom: liked the complex herbal flavors

KT: definitely strong but was pretty good. I liked that I could taste the bitters towards the bottom.

Bepcity: really nice layering of flavors. I don’t always do well with strong drinks, but I really enjoyed this one.

20140209-115852.jpgAlexandra Parks’ “Central Slope Sour”: Lemon juice, honey, Three Pins Herbal Liqueur, Breckenridge Bourbon, Avery IPA

Dad: Becky and her man hands squeezed too much lemon…but still really good.

Mom: really liked the honey and lemon! Would be great on a hot summer day.

KT: liked it best because of the tart lemon juice! It was definitely sour! But again, the herbal liquor added something unique.

Bepcity: loved it! I just felt happy drinking this. The perfect, summery glass of lemonade with a kick.

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Sean Kenyon’s “The Centennial Smash”: Palisade peach, mint, Colorado honey, bourbon, Three Pins Alpine Herb Liqueur

Dad: I think I added too much bourbon…this one needs a second chance.

Mom: thought this would be my favorite, but it was my least…wonder if it would be better when palisade peaches are in season to get more fresh peach taste.

KT: I agree with mom. Felt very summery.

Bepcity: I liked the subtle peach and mint flavor, but agree we should give it another shot.

THE VERDICT

All great contenders for a Colorado cocktail! The girls all agreed that the Central Slope Sour was our favorite while Dad picked The 4th Pin as his favorite. We all expected to like the Centennial Smash best, but it was everyone’s least favorite – possibly due to our own lack of in season peaches. I think we will definitely be trying it again this summer! All three used Leopold & Bros Three Pins Alpine Herbal Liqueur, which is really cool stuff. Highly recommend you take a look at 5280’s post, which has videos of each bartender making their entry. Even if you’re not in Colorado, it was fun to have a little tasting party of these tasty drinks that will get you pumped for summer! I love you, Colorado!

Mad Men Stole My Life

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Paul and I have been talking about hopping on the Mad Men train for a very long time. We held off for so long because we knew it would be worthy of our full attention (like Breaking Bad!). Man, does AMC have the best shows, or what? I’m so excited and nervous for the new season of Breaking Bad. Unfortunately, we don’t have AMC, so Twitter will be a nightmare on Sunday nights before we get to watch it.

Eek, I’m starting to babble because it’s been an eternity since my last post and I’ve missed writing! I was very aware that I was neglecting my blog and it made me feel terrible because I always look forward to writing my posts and responding to your comments. I didn’t want to write an excuse post, but it has gotten a little out of hand. Sometimes when I have an overwhelming number of posts and photos waiting to be turned into a blog, I just freeze. I guess I initially got distracted by birthdays, traveling, and completing my final project for summer semester (just finished! Phew!). But then, Mad Men came along. And yes, it’s true. It has taken over my life. I finally realized that I was having so much trouble getting back on track because the time I usually devoted to blogging has now been taken over by Mad Men. I usually write before bed, but now we stay up and watch too many episodes in a row before bed. Obviously, I love it and hate how short the seasons are. Betty is so beautiful and I had to find out if there were any blogger tips on the lipsticks she uses. Of course, they use MAC and I now have to resist walking into a store and buying a whole new makeup kit.

Anyway, as a new fan, I never knew about the Estée Lauder Mad Men collections. I wasn’t as enamored with the one that they sell currently, but I saw this classy, gold blush compact from last year and immediately had to have it. I’ve never cared much about makeup brands or their limited edition collections, but this was too pretty to resist. I seriously lucked out and found this one in an Ebay auction for much less than all the “buy it now” prices. I woke up at 7am to make sure I got it too. I was apparently the only person in the world wacko enough to do so because I didn’t have any competition. I’m pretty sure that proves once and for all that Mad Men has truly taken over my life.

The first step is acknowledging the problem, right? I’m confident that I will now be able to regroup and find a new blogging schedule. Because, let’s get real, I’m not cutting back on the Mad Men addiction any time soon. ; )

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All Used Up

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Lately, I’ve been in a constant state of trying to get rid of stuff. We live in a really small place. Really small. Which could be part of why I’m always wanting to downsize. The place isn’t super cramped or anything, I just don’t like having stuff that I don’t need/like. I still have a ways to go in downsizing my beauty stash. I find reading these posts to be really helpful and creating my own is nice for keeping track of what I like and what I don’t. I’ll probably have enough stuff for a new post soon! I took these photos quite a while ago when some of them still had product left. They are all empty now, so I thought it was time to finally post! Here’s what I’ve used up and what I thought about everything.

The Great stuff: Neutrogena Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup – I’ve only owned a few liquid foundations in my life, but this one seemed pretty nice! I’ll prob try again someday. Maybelline Dream Fresh BB – I really liked this! Was great for winter, so I’ll probably get it again then. Origins VitaZing – also great! Similar to the Maybelline BB, but much more expensive. Will stick to the Maybelline. Philosophy Hope in a Tube – I actually noticed a difference in the morning when I used this, so I did purchase another Philosophy kit, which included a larger tube of this.

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The Good: Kiehl’s Creme de Corps: This was a gift that I savored for almost a year! I love it and really want to get more! Great scent and consistency. FAB Ultra Repair Cream: I was excited about this because I thought it would be good for my sensitive skin. It was really nice, but since I was alternating it with the Kiehl’s…it just didn’t compare! L’Occitane Hand Cream: Have been using these for years and will continue! Olay Sensitive Skin Foaming Face Wash: This was fine and it was cheap. It somehow got filled with water in the shower though and was kind of useless. I used it to clean brushes for a while, but eventually tossed it.

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The OK: ion Deep Daily Conditioning for Color: I wouldn’t mind having a full bottle of this! It has a similar almondy scent to Creme de Corps, which I’m addicted to. Garnier and L’Oreal conditioners (came with boxed hair color): Not much to say about these. Conditioners that come with hair color always seem to feel nice! LUSH Buffy: Such a nice treat for a pamper night. A little rough on the skin and might be bad for your drain, but makes your skin feel awesome right out of the shower.

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Would I buy these again?: Revlon Brow Fantasy: Probably not, but it’s wonderful for travel. Great Lash Clear: Yes. L’Oreal Lineur Intense: Yes. Sugar Lip Balm: No. Enjoyed the freebie though! Maybelline Color Tattoo in Too Cool: No! Not a fan, but I used it under my brow anyway. L’Oreal Power Volume Mascara: No, it dried out in a really weird way…Revlon ColorStay Liquid Eye Pen: Probably not, but I would like to try another brand. L’Oreal Liquid Pencil Eyeliner: Maybe, don’t have much of an opinion. It’s soft and very pigmented, so I guess it’s good!

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The Bad: LUSH Breath of Fresh Air: No! Refreshing, but didn’t enjoy using it and let it expire. Benefit Posy Tint: No, too scented and makes my skin look irritated. Hard Candy Glamoflage: No, too heavy and has a weird scent. Revlon Balm Stain in Charm: No. Bad color for me and don’t like wearing the product in general. NYX Cream Blush: I thought this was breaking me out so I tossed it. ELF 6-Eyeshadow Palette: No. I got this on sale and thought it would be nice for travel, but the colors didn’t show : ( Coty Airspun Face Power: Too scented and a pain to use.

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Seche Vite Clear Coat: No, great stuff, but I hear it’s not great for your nails. Bobbi Brown Eye Cream: Probably not, but I really liked the sample for travel! LUSH Sweet Lips: No. Tastes good, but I never used it and it dried out. Clinque Take the Day Off: Maybe, but I’ll try others first. Olay Age Defying Night Cream: Yes/maybe, I like it, but will try other first because I didn’t like the scent. Psssst! Dry Shampoo: Yes. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo: Not sure, I was excited to try the sample, not sure if it’s worth all the hype though. Aveeno Detoxifying Scrub: No.

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Bye bye stuff! That was a lot…I didn’t realize how much I like L’Oreal stuff until now! What are your must-haves?

Boston – Food Truck Throwdown!

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I had been looking forward to the Boston vs NYC Food Truck Throwdown all week. I love food trucks all the time, but especially when there are a whole bunch in one spot! Sidenote: I also really love food courts. I can totally relate to the Gilmore Girls episode where Rory and Lorelai introduce Emily to the food court with a sampling of every type of cuisine available. I’ve also always wanted to compile my own food court smorgasbord. I am quite indecisive though, so it’s kind of odd that I enjoy the variety so much.

I thought the trucks might be serving smaller, sample sized portions, but everyone seemed to have their regular menu. I went in with the intention of trying NYC food since I see a lot of the Boston trucks around all the time. That didn’t happen, but I’m really happy with what we tried! Paul was standing in line at an NYC truck while I scoped out other menus again. I kept passing Penny Packer’s and couldn’t deny the amazing smell hovering over their area. I had never seen their truck before, they had a fairly short line, and their specialty, the Porchetta sandwich, was only $5 so I hopped in and grabbed one. They were cranking those sandwiches out – they got it down! Paul was still in line and said he just read on a forum that the Porchetta is a must-try and the place he was waiting on had only ok reviews. So in less than 5 minutes he had a Porchetta in his hands too.  This sandwich was AMAZING! Delicious, juicy, flavorful pork with a layer of crispy skin, plus a fruity relish (with whole cherries!) and a toasty, but soft bun. Whew, that mouthful. It was like, the perfect sandwich. I can’t believe it was only $5 because I was stuffed. Now, I had imagined that I would sample lots of stuff at the event, but I was so full! We decided to leave and come back for dinner, but that didn’t happen either. Oops! Even though we didn’t take full advantage of all the trucks, I think we made a good decision. I don’t know who won/what awards were voted on, but as we were leaving Penny Packer’s I heard one of the judges on stage say it was the best Porchetta he had ever had. Score!

Update: They won best Boston AND best overall!! I knew we picked well. Nuchas was the NYC truck that I wanted to try because I love empanadas – wish we had because they won best NYC! Shucks.

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Donut Sandwich!

20130405-171809.jpgToday was an exciting day. I have to admit that I’m always a sucker for fast food novelty releases (love this blog). I promise, I really don’t eat that much fast food, but I definitely have fun making special trips whenever something ‘so-weird-it’s-good’ comes out. I’ve actually been meaning to make one post about all the funny things I’ve tried lately! I still will, but this one deserves a dedicated post. I’ve heard about the donuts-as-buns fad, but hadn’t tried anything. I found out from my brother, who is always my partner in novelty food crime, that Dunkin’ Donuts released a glazed donut breakfast sandwich in Massachusetts. I think the fact that DD has not been announcing which locations have them or really how long they will be around made it more exciting. Paul found the one place that has it in the Boston area, and luckily it was not too far away. Although it’s kind of in a random location if you ask me! All the more mysterious.

Anyway, we got our hands on them and dug in. Well, Paul dug in…I took pictures from every angle and then dug in. I was immediately surprised by how soft, warm, and pillowy the donut was. And then I was even more surprised by how tasty I thought it was! I’m not even a big breakfast sandwich eater, so I wasn’t expecting to love it. I was more expecting to feel a little sick halfway through, but it’s actually not a very heavy sandwich. I read one review that said it’s lighter than eating a bagel sandwich, which I now totally get. I feel a little bad for posting this, since it’s such a limited release…but I figured some of you might be interested in seeing what it looks like! I would like to try making it myself at some point. Let me know if you’ve tried making something like this or if you’ve tried donut buns (lol) at a place near you!20130405-171824.jpg

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Friday Favorite – Lip Stuff!

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I remember the day that I discovered YouTube makeup tutorials…It was a few Halloweens back and I was just looking for some inspiration. I had no idea that these things existed and I was super impressed and instantly addicted. As I was watching one Halloween video after another I slowly discovered that these aren’t just limited to crazy, scary, cool looks, but people have entire blogs and YouTube pages dedicated to everyday looks and products. I love having fun with makeup, but I am by no means an expert! I check out beauty blogs to see what kind of stuff is out there, but I don’t have a huge collection of things myself. I’ve been trying to use up stuff and clean out what I do have for what feels like an eternity! I think I would prefer to have a very small collection of things I really like, but I also don’t want to just throw stuff out! Sigh. I’ve seen a few makeup collection videos online, which always makes me feel better about myself. Holy cow, I would go crazy if I had an entire dresser full of just makeup!?

ANYWAY, I never imaged I would ever take photos of lip product swatches and post them to the internet. However, I tried this combination of lip stick and lip gloss today and felt it was worthy of sharing. I really like these two colors on their own and never thought to use them together. Come to think of it, I never really think about combining different shades together. I’m usually more matchy-matchy. But not no more, folks! I think this is cool because I’m sure I could easily go out and buy a more pinky-orange color, but now I can just use what I have. I’ll definitely be trying out other combinations! How do you guys feel about makeup collections? Do you like to have lots of options or just your favorites? Thanks for reading this uncharacteristically long post about lipgloss! Scroll down for more makeup musings, color details and pics.

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Top is both colors layered. Middle is Revlon Colorburst Glittering Garnet and bottom is Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Siren. If I remember correctly, I got the lip gloss in some kind of holiday display, so I don’t know if you can still get it? I think the sparkle is really nice with the flat orange shade. By the way, I’ve had this orange lipstick ever since I saw it in a magazine a couple of years ago and had to have it. It was like my first kind of ‘out there’ makeup item and probably what got me into lip colors in the first place. I think I had two lipsticks before that. And I’m pretty sure both were purchased specifically for high school dances…

DSC_2194Eek, something else I never thought I would post to the internet! Fun fact: I have had this scar type thing on my top lip ever since I fell off my bike and onto my face in 3rd grade. It wasn’t pretty. But the lipstick is! ; )

DSC_2196It sure has been a while since I’ve shown my face on this blog! Hey guys!

SensationNail Gel Manicure Demo + Review

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I never really imagined I would be doing beauty/tutorial posts, but here I am writing a review/demo for the SensatioNail gel manicure kit! I definitely love trying out beauty products and usually read at least a couple of reviews before I purchase most any type of product whether it’s drugstore or not. I have heard lots of rave reviews about gel manicures, but I actually enjoy doing my own nails and rarely go to the salon. This made me a little curious about all the at-home systems that have been popping up everywhere. Wasn’t sure if I wanted to shell out the money for one though! So, when my mom got this kit for Christmas I was pretty hopeful that she would let me give it a whirl! She loved using it and was very willing to share the miracle of gel nails with us girls. I figured other people might be curious about these systems before investing too, so I took pictures of each step. I learned a few tricks along the way that I think might be helpful to know before diving in to your first procedure. I’ve also included some of my final thoughts on the kit after the demo photos.

Have any of your tried gel nails at home or at the salon? What do you think? Is it worth the price?

DSC_1365File and buff your nails before applying the gel cleanser with a lint free wipe (provided).

DSC_1367Apply the gel primer and let it dry. I expected the primer to be dry to the touch immediately, but it remained a little sticky. To be safe, I let it sit for a few minutes before I moved on to the gel base coat. (I think it just stays sticky though!)

DSC_1368Apply a thin layer of the base coat and then get ready to try the lamp! The light stays on for 60 seconds total, but beeps after 30 seconds. The base coat only needs to cure for 30 seconds. I found it worked best to place your four fingers in for the first 30 and then switch to your thumb (below).

DSC_1370When the lamp beeps the first time, place your thumb underneath. Doing it one hand at a time like this keeps you from “wasting” lamp time. It will work a little differently in the next lamp step.

DSC_1375Now it’s time for color! I used pink chiffon. They really stress that each layer should be thin. It seems to me that if your coats get too thick, tiny air bubbles will form. Look out for them while you’re painting. If you see them just keep going over it with a mostly dry brush. The dry brush will help ‘pull’ the bubbles and smooth the layer.

DSC_1378Don’t forget to paint the tips of your nails to help seal everything in! (This actually applies to each painting step) You should try to avoid painting your skin. I painted the nail and then used the remaining polish on the tip rather than re-dipping. If you do get some on your skin you will just feel it tighten a little under the lamp. It might feel like there’s something stuck under your nail for a day or so, but should peel off or wash off soon.

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Place your four fingers under the lamp for 60 seconds per hand. Then place both thumbs in for a third round. So, after this is when you’re probably going to need to use the bathroom…at least that’s how it went for me! I made the mistake of thinking that once I cured the polish I was pretty much set. Apply and cure the gel top coat before you run to the bathroom! The polish shouldn’t chip or smudge, but it’s tacky and every little hair or piece of lint will stick to them. Luckily, if you do get any fuzz on your nails (that you can’t just pick off), a dryish brush will help sweep them off just like the air bubbles. You could either try another thin coat of color to help pull them off or start the top coat and keep brushing until all the fuzz is gone. DSC_1381

And here it is! Fuzz free – phew! After you cure the top coat, you need to wipe them with the gel cleanser again. If you don’t do this, your nails will feel a bit tacky and continue to attract lint. Once that step is done, your nails should be hard as a rock!

DSC_1448Here they are a couple of days later. Still lookin’ good!

DSC_1455The reason that I didn’t put the top coat on right away was because I wanted to try some gold tips. I thought it would be best to let the polish sit for a while, add the gold and then do the top coat. I was wrong about that! To do these tips I tried a metallic sharpie trick that my mom told me about. I LOVED the way it came out, but it doesn’t last. I even put the gel top coat on and cured them. I left one nail top coat free overnight to see what happened and it basically just wiped off like a dry erase marker. The top coat helps it stay longer, but it still rubs off, just more slowly. I’d say on it’s own, it will last you a few hours before it smudges. With a top coat, you might get one full day.

SO what do I think?? I think it is worth the money (and time), but I still don’t know if I would buy one for myself. It really is a perfect gift idea! It is a great value when you compare it to going to the salon and it would be awesome to do before a vacation where you don’t want to have to do touch ups. Your nails will look beautifully shiny even just with the cured top coat. My mom bought the colors that she thinks are tricky to apply/don’t last with regular polish – red, black, white, and this light pink. I haven’t tried removing it yet, but my mom said it does take a toll on your nails because some spots might need to be scraped off with a tool. We both agree that the kit is perfect for applying these tricky colors, but it’s a good idea to give your nails a rest and use your fun, regular colors in-between! If you like to change your nail color every few days, this thing isn’t for you! : )