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10 Busy Mom Make-Up Favorites

1.Aveda Uruku Color Gloss Verbena / 2. Almay intense i-color eyeshadow kit smoky-i for greens / 3. Burts Bees Tinted Lip Balm Red Dahlia / 4. Bareminerals Warmth All-Over Face Color  / 5. Bareminerals Original Foundation SPF 15 Light  / 6. Clinique Airbrush Concealer / 7. Neutrogena Volume Mascara Black  / 8. Colorganics Lip Tint Earth / 9. Josie Maran Magic Marker Argan Liquid Eye Liner Black / 10. Burts Bees Lip Shimmer Plum

This past Saturday night was one of the rare occasions that I get to wear a dress, hire a babysitter and spend some adult time with the husband. Chloe’s preschool was hosting a fundraising gala, and since we were required to buy two tickets it was the perfect excuse.

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Chocolate Covered Oreos + Label and Packaging Idea

For other procrastinators like myself, I thought I’d share this quick and tasty treat I made earlier this week. A search for “chocolate covered oreos” provided several good recipes and instructions (1, 2, 3), but basically I just melted a package of chocolate chips in the microwave. The cool thing about these cookies is that you don’t actually have to bake in order to have pretty handmade treats to give friends and neighbors. For packaging and display, I found tall glass canning jars at our local New Seasons, covered the lids with fabric and attached a label, which you can download here. For more packaging inspiration, marthastewart.com has a nice slideshow on 13 beautiful ways to package cookies, my favorites being the cookie gift sleeve, and the cellophane-wrapped cookies.

Download your own free “Fudge Dipped Oreos, Made with Love” Labels here.


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Easy & Elegant with Puff Pastry

potato medley puff pastry

I made a super fast and yummy vegetarian lunch today using just two packaged products from the freezer – Trader Joe’s Potato Medley and a sheet of puff pastry. I am a big fan of puff pastry. It simply makes everything seemingly more fancy and “gourmet.”

This is all I used:

potato medley puff pastry

Here’s how: First pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees and set out a sheet of puff pastry to defrost for 10 minutes (follow the directions for specific brands). Cut the sheet into quarters and then cut another square shape in the center of each quarter, about 1 inch from the edges, which allows the sides to rise up better while baking. Once cut, transfer the pastry to a baking sheet covered with parchment.

Meanwhile, heat the potato medley in a skillet, about 6-8 minutes, and then spoon the “filling” into the center of the pastry squares. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes.

Once the pastry looks golden, remove it from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. This keeps the pastry crispy. As a finishing touch, drizzle a little olive oil, top with feta, and add sprinkle of sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Voila! My husband loved it.

Variations: Basically, anything can be used to top puff pastry. Fruit, mixed vegetables, pizza toppings… anything that tastes good and bakes well. My favorite summer mix is to use fresh cherry tomatoes from the garden, cut in half, combined with sliced black olives and a little dill or italian seasoning. This I drizzle with olive oil before baking and then with feta or crumbled goat cheese and a splash of balsamic vinegar. The reddish orange and black makes a dramatic presentation and the flavors really complement each other.

Another variation I’ve tried is topping the pastry with cut apple slices fried in butter and cinnamon. Normally I would have added brown sugar to the mix, too, but it was a birthday treat for a co-worker who was diabetic. Delicious and sugar-free!

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