Friday, December 30, 2011

the braids are out!

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A's mini braids are finally out! They lasted us 7 weeks! With a different product I think they could have lasted at least 2 or more months with great hold. The Queen Helene just didn't hold up to well for hold on her hair texture. It took me maybe 2 hours to take all the braids out which isn't so bad considering she had a little over 200 braids. For some reason the take down is always faster than putting them in... anywho, on to the pictures!

This is her hair right after I took all the braids out before washing it or anything. If you look closely you can see she still has some big curls left from the curlformers!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

natural hair and working out

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Hey yall! I just wanted to share a quick video with yall today. As a natural myself, sometimes I don't want to work out because I don't want to ruin a hairstyle that I've tried to make last but that's totally not an excuse! Ladies, we can still get it in! Want proof? Here ya go! =)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

hair carnival: holiday hair styles

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A's first Christmas she was only 7 months old but she was still rockin a mean lil twa with a side swoop =)
chunkalicious lol

Christmas 08 we started the pig tail trend. After going through all of our pictures, I think pig tails was always our go to style.

notice she was also starting to slim down. =)

I am a complete loser and can't find any pics from Christmas of 09. That was also my son's first Christmas, I have no clue how I misplaced those photos but I'm sure A was rockin' pig tails. lol

Once again, last year she rocked pigtails. Hey... at least I spiced them up a little!

This year A has mini braids in. For our Christmas card she wore them down with a headband.

I think we're going to use the curlformers on her mini braids for Christmas day. =)

Do you have a Holiday Hair Style post you'd like to link up?

Monday, December 19, 2011

meal plan monday: holiday treat

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I know, I know, I've been majorly slacking! I can't even use the holidays as an excuse because that'd  be stretching the truth very far. =) Because Christmas is this weekend I wanted to share this very tasty Japanese cheesecake with strawberry topping. I actually made this for Thanksgiving but it'd be perfect for Christmas too. This cheesecake is SO good, it's light and cloud like in your mouth.

MMMMmmmm right after cooling. I could have eaten this whole cake, it's even great without the topping!

Japanese Cheesecake
10.5 oz of cream cheese
this equals to a generous 3 tbsp of UNSALTED butter
3 yolks
1 tbsp + 1 tsp sugar
slightly less than 1 tbsp cornstarch
2/3 cup of milk
3 egg whites
1/4 cup of sugar + 1 tsp
Use a 7 in. cake pan with a fixed bottom.
Place parchment paper in the cake pan and make notches in the sides so it lays flat
Preheat the oven to 350°.  Put the egg whites into the freezer so it just begins to freeze around the edges.  Sift the cornstarch.
Wrap the cream cheese in clear wrap and microwave until it becomes soft to the touch.  You do not want to heat it up.  (I did this in about 15 second intervals.)
In a large bowl, melt the butter over a double boiler *place a heat safe bowl on top of a pot of boiling water*.  Add the cream cheese and whisk well to combine.
In another bowl, combine the egg yolks and 1 tbsp + 1 tsp of sugar.  Mix in the cornstarch.
Heat the milk so it comes to a boil.  Add it to the egg yolks and whisk until it thickens in a double boiler over boiling water.  Add this mixture to the cream cheese and combine well.
Add a small amount of the 1/4 c + 1 tsp of sugar to the egg whites and mix on medium low speed for about 2 minutes.  Gradually add the remaining sugar to the egg whites and beat on medium until a soft meringue forms.
Add ¼ of the meringue to the cream cheese mixture and combine.  Add the remaining meringue to the cream cheese mixture and fold to combine.  Fill the cake pan and smooth the top.
Put the cake pan in a roasting pan and add boiling water so it comes up 1-1.5 cm up the cake pan.  Bake for 15 minutes and then lower the temperature to 320° and continue to bake for 25 minutes until the top turns slightly golden.  Turn off the oven and leave the cake pan for another 40 minutes to an hour.  (I left mine for 40 minutes.)
Note: The cake will continue to bake with the heat off so do not over bake.  Depending on the oven, the cake may not turn golden but should avoid cooking much longer than the suggested time.
Take the cake out of the roasting dish and place on a wire rack to cool completely.  Refrigerate and chill completely before taking it out of the pan.  It is best served the second day.

Whew, that was hard work. That entire recipe was done in grams and Celsius. I tried to go through and make sure all the oven temps were changed over to Fahrenheit. Please pay attention the the yellow highlighted sugars... don't mix that up as I almost did. =)

*recipe from green cilantro*

As far as the strawberry topping goes, i just used a basic recipe i found on all recipes. It was sweet but not overly sweet. I definitely could have used a little less topping but hey... I hate to waste! 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

winners of the winter wonderland giveaway!

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the winners have been announced. the order selected are the order of the prizes. please email me with selections if you are a headband winner. *remember, first name gets first choice*

Monday, December 5, 2011

a review: clash of designs

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a few months back i had the pleasure of working with Tracey from Clash of Designs on her header and in return she sent me some AMAZING earrings. the quality of the materials she used and the design are excellent. i love big earrings but unfortunately my ears don't love them. i need light weight earrings because i don't want my poor earlobes to be hanging to my knee caps. =) don't let the length of these babies fool you, they are sooooooo lightweight and comfortable. in fact, i put them on A and they wasn't dragging down her lil ear lobes either. 

her shipping was fast and they came packaged in a cute little white box with stuffing to keep them safe. if there's anybody you know who would love some specially made hand crafted jewelry this holiday season, visit Tracey from Clash of Designs, you won't be disappointed!

**i was not paid or endorsed to write this review. all opinions stated are my own. =)**

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

winter wonderland giveaway event: it's here it's here!

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it's here, it's here, the giveaway event is here! this event was created and hosted by the fabulous Brooke from untrained hair mom, so please, stop by her page and show her some love and thanks and enter her awesome giveaways!

up first we have 2 beaded headbands by the very creative and very lovely Boutique De Bandeaux. we will have 2 winners for these. you have 5 great options to choose from! (each winner can pick only 1)

next we have 2 rosette headbands created by yours truly. we will have 2 winners for these as well. the first name picked will get first choice. 

3rd up we have 2 FULL SIZED Queen Helene hair products. we have the curl shaping creme and the curl smoothing oil. there will be 1 winner for both products.

4th up we have not 1 but 2 sets of hair bows made by me. each set has 6 bows. they are all on bobby pins so they can be attached to headbands as well. there will be 2 winners, 1 winner for each set.
set 1

set 2

wordless wednesday: the pet ladybug

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

winter wonderland sponsor spotlight: Boutique de Bandeaux

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i'm happy to introduce Boutique de Bandeaux as one of my fabulous sponsors for the winter wonderland event! if you haven't checked out her work, do it asap! she creates the most beautiful headbands i have ever seen. i actually don't know what's better, her beautiful headbands or the beautiful models with incredible hair modeling them! stop by her twitter @BDBandeaux or go to her etsy: Boutique De Bandeaux and check out her beautiful creations and be sure to come back on the 1st to see what she's giving away!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

happy thanksgiving!

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happy thanksgiving yall! 
hahahah @ her please stop taking my picture smile. =)

turkey clip inspired by Tiffany over at diva locks

hope you have good full bellies and lots of good fellowship today!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

meal plan monday: chicken pot pie

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*sigh* i promise this was supposed to go up yesterday. but i forgot.. i'm still a little bit overwhelmed by the move we made. anywho, a good recipe is better late than never!

chicken pot pie

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup butter (or shortening) *cubed*
1/2 cup ICE cold water

1. put 1/2 cup water in the freezer before you prep the dough.
2. put flour and salt in a mixing bowl and mix with a pastry blender. add in the cubed butter and mix until the butter is broken up. 
3. slowly add in the ice cold water until it forms.
4. separate into 2 dough balls, wrap with saran wrap and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

pot pie mixture:
-2 cups chicken stock (i just use 1 chicken bouillon cube in 2 cups of water)
-1 cup milk (i use almond)
-1 tbsp butter
-1 onion finely chopped (i used about a medium one)
-4 garlic cloves, minced
-2 cups frozen mixed veggies
-2 cups diced chicken
-1/4 + 3 tbsp all purpose flour
-thyme, oregano, parsley, basil, salt, pepper to taste *i added a little paprika and lemon pepper in mine*

1. put chicken stock and milk in a saucepan and warm.
2. add butter in a deep pan and put in garlic and onions, stir and cook until onions are translucent. add in chicken and season with some salt and pepper and whatever other seasoning of choice and cook until chicken is done.
3. sprinkle the flour over the chicken and stir around, add in the stock and milk mixture and stir until the flour is dissolved. add in the mixed veggies and the rest of the seasonings.
4. roll out your bottom crust and place it in a round baking dish. add pot pie mixture inside. roll out 2nd ball of dough for the top, place on top, crimp the edges and slice a few slits in the top.
4. bake at 375 for 30 minutes, let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Monday, November 21, 2011

the return of mini braids!

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so i knew i wanted to do mini braids on A again because they are just too awesome not to. i actually started these mini braids last sunday. i got all put the top of her head done and then we had to start packing for our move to a new place so the top part of her hair stayed in some of the braids from this style but i pulled them into a half up side pony. i finally got around to finishing them up today and boy do we both love them. she can wear her hair down without getting knots everywhere. i can't wait for the day until she can stop rubbing her head on everything, but until then, the mini braids will work. =) we will be leaving these braids in for at least a month, maybe even til new years!

Friday, November 11, 2011

inspired style: braids into a side pony

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a few weeks back i seen this beautiful style done on Anisa from Braid with Me. i loved it and i wanted to do it asap on A but since halloween was coming and she was Olive Oyl, braids wouldn't have worked. i decided that i'd do it this week but i probably should have allocated more time. next time i'll make smaller braids for sure.  but either way, i still like it a lot!

she's been a little under the weather this week so she wasn't feeling picture time.

Monday, November 7, 2011

mini braids

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i love me some mini braids. they are versatile and they last a long time. the last time A had mini braids, they lasted 5 weeks and 4 days! her growth was amazing! i never thought they'd look right on me or they wouldn't hold up in my hair. last tuesday i knew i had to do something with my hair. it's getting to the point where it's too long for me to just wrap it and night and go in the mornings, it's a matted mess in the crown of my head. i loved the first twist style that i did and i REALLY loved the 2nd twist style i did, but i NEED to be able to wash my hair during the week. i have the itchiest scalp EVER and walking around with flakes everywhere is NOT cute. lol i was in the bathroom attempting another twist style and it was an epic fail. my hair is too thin and too short and i was getting frustrated fast. i grabbed a small section of hair in the front of my head and braided it and guess what? it stayed! i decided that i'd have my whole head braided before time to pick up A from school. i sat on the couch and watched couples retreat and got to braiding. 

i LOVE the. i've had them for a week now and i've washed my hair twice and they are still holding up great! another great thing, in the mornings all i have to do is get up and go. no prepping my hair, getting knots out, no nothing!

i had crazy shrinkage each time after i've washed them but it's not really bothering me. i'm just enjoying letting my hair and scalp have a rest!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

the best meal ever... seriously!

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Have you ever had a meal that was so delicious that you just wanted to fix a plate for everyone you know and share it with them? I had just that meal last night. I’ve been in a funk lately and we’ve been eating out more than our usual and that’s not cool! I also felt bad for snapping on my poor ol husband so I decided I’d make a special dinner last night to surprise him. He loooooves lasagna but I never let him fix it because he goes crazy and buys like $70 worth of cheese… umm NO THANK YOU! Lol I’ve never made a lasagna before and was a lil timid but I set out to finding some good recipes. Eventually I settled on one, but of course, I couldn’t follow the recipe exact but still, it came out soooooooooooooo good!

Seriously the best lasagna EVER.

 1 pound Ground Beef
  1 pound Hot Breakfast Sausage (jimmy dean)
  4 cloves Garlic, Minced
  2 cans (14.5 Ounce) Whole Tomatoes
  2 cans (6 Ounce) Tomato Paste
  2 Tablespoons Dried Parsley
  2 Tablespoons Dried Basil
  1 teaspoon Salt (for meat mix)
  3 cups Lowfat Cottage Cheese
  2 whole Beaten Eggs
  1/2 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese
  2 Tablespoons Dried Parsley
  1 teaspoon Salt (for egg/cheese mix)
  2 cups Italian blend cheese
  1 package (10 Ounce) oven ready Lasagna Noodles

Preparation Instructions

-In a large skillet or saucepan, combine ground beef, sausage, and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat until browned. Drain about half of the fat. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 tablespoons parsley, basil and salt. After adding the tomatoes, the sauce mixture should simmer for 45 minutes while you are working on the other steps.

-In a medium bowl, mix cottage cheese, beaten eggs, grated Parmesan, 2 more tablespoons parsley, and 1 more teaspoon salt. Stir together well. Set aside.

To assemble:
Arrange 4 lasagna noodles in the bottom of a baking pan, overlapping if necessary. Spoon half the cottage cheese mixture over the noodles. Spread evenly. Cover cottage cheese with a layer of mozzarella cheese. Spoon a little less than half the meat/sauce mixture over the top.

Repeat, ending with meat/sauce mixture. Sprinkle top generously with extra Parmesan.
Bake in 350-degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes, or until top is hot and bubbly. (you can also freeze this)

adapted from the pioneer woman

I also served this meal with garlic parmesan pull apart bread.

Garlic parm pull apart bread
Yields 1 loaf
2 teaspoons active dry yeast 
1 1/3 cups barely warm water 

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
2 teaspoons salt 
3 1/2 cups all purpose (or bread) flour 
1/4 cup butter, melted 
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes 
2 cloves garlic, minced 
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the yeast and water. Let sit 5 minutes until yeast is foamy. Mix in the olive oil, salt, and flour. If you have a stand mixer, attach the dough hook and knead the dough for 5-6 minutes, or until elastic. If you are doing this by hand, knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until dough is elastic, 7-10 minutes. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Allow to rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until dough is doubled in size.
In a small bowl, combine melted butter, parsley flakes, and minced garlic. Set aside.
Punch down the dough. Tear off small pieces of dough (roughly the size of the bowl of a medium spoon), coat in the butter mixture, and place in the bottom of a bundt pan. Repeat this process until you have one layer of dough balls. Sprinkle on 1/3 of the Parmesan cheese. Continue layering the dough balls and cheese until you have 3 layers. Cover the pan with a clean towel and allow to sit until dough has doubled in size, 20-30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until bread is golden brown. 

*note, I do not have a bundt pan but this recipe still works. I did find during a google search that you can just use a round cake pan and put a tin can or a ramekin in the center. Also, next time I probably won’t add cheese to the top until it’s almost completely done. The cheese was a little too hard for my liking, but still good none the less.*

For veggies I added a simple side salad which consisted of spinach leaves, romaine lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, scallions, almonds and topped with sun dried tomato vinaigrette.

This meal was sooooooo dang good. So good in fact that nobody spoke during dinner, not even my kids which is rare! Also so good that the hubs called his friend to ask if he wanted some for lunch today! If you’ve had a fight with your spouse/significant other, fix this. If you want your significant other to pop the question, fix this. If you want your spouse to take you on a romantic vacation, fix this. If you want your friends and family to think you are a super genius master chef, fix this. If all else fails, fix this! Just… go fix this! Lol. It was super easy to fix, I was able to have everything prepped and ready to bake in an hour. After we picked the hubs up from worked I popped it in the oven for 30 minutes and we were ready to eat. 

looks delicious right? it was!

it wasn't overly expensive to make either, i spent a total of $30 for everything. i have enough noodles left to make another one. i also had to buy eggs and yeast. i have 10 eggs left and a whole jar of yeast left so that makes me happy. this made enough for all of us to have a nice sized serving, enough for lunch for my husband and his friend AND enough for dinner tonight. it is very filling!

we are also sharing this post over at a big bowl of soul!
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