Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Lemonade Beer Cocktail

This weekend when I was at Saratoga (see all the fun here), I was chatting with some other bloggers when I got the dreaded "what do you blog about?" question. Dreaded because I don't necessarily fit in ONE category.  I really should figure out some unique, one-line blurb I can use to describe my blog.  I awkwardly tried to give percentages saying "it's like, 60% beauty and the rest is like, life and fashion and stuff."  

Then I cued Elizabeth, asking her to help me describe my blog and she chimed in adding, "yah, and she makes all these awesome looking cocktails!"  

While I love making cocktails, I didn't realize it was every something someone would associate my blog with. I loved it, clearly. If I can be known as the beauty-loving coffee addict who makes great cocktails, I'd say I did pretty good.

Either way, long story short, I feel like it has been too long since I shared a cocktail recipe with you, so here I am to deliver.

This has been the summer of shandies.  A shandy, if you don't know, is when beer is mixed with carbonated beverage or juice, like ginger ale or lemonade.  This year, particularly, has been all about the Lemon Shandies.  

Now, I hate to be stuck up about my alcoholic drinks, but as a rule of thumb, homemade is almost always superior to any pre-mixed nonsense. And, the same goes with the shandies.  While I've tried my fair share of bottled and canned lemon shandies the past 2 summers, I've never really been into them.  However, this homemade shandy, kicked up a notch with a little vodka, has stolen my heart. I've dubbed it Lemonade Beer and it is sure to be a crowd pleaser. 

1.5 ounces of simple syrup
The juice of one lemon
1.5 ounces of vodka
a light pilsner beer

Combine the simple syrup (a simple syrup is simply a mixture of equal parts water and sugar, dissolved. If you want a little less sweet, like myself, try 2 parts water to 1 part sugar) with the fresh squeezed lemon juice and vodka.  Pour over ice and shake well. Pour into glass and top off with beer. 

There you have it. It's like a lemon shandy with a kick. 

Have you tried any shandies? What did you think?

Have you ever had a beer cocktail?


Monday, August 18, 2014

A day at Saratoga Racetrack (and Get Ready with Me!)

Last summer I was introduced to America's Best Racingwhen they invited me to Monmouth Park Racetrack in New Jersey.  I had such a blast with the ambassadors that day (there's a group of ABR ambassadors whose sole job is to get young people excited about the sport of horse racing), that when they invited Michael and I to Saratoga this summer, I knew I had to make the trip.

Saratoga Racetrack, located in Saratoga Springs, NY, is dubbed at the most beautiful racetrack in the country and it didn't disappoint.  It was also teaming with people, which always makes the experience more fun.

Besides finally getting to visit Saratoga, the second best thing about the trip was that I finally got to meet the lovely Elizabeth from Undeniably, Me.  We've been blog friends for over a year and it was so exciting to become "real life" friends!

I did my best to give Elizabeth the little information I know about making bets.  Luckily, betting is not that hard - not nearly as intimidating as it looks.

We sidled up the betting window and placed our first bet.

America's Best Racing had a great little tent set up for us with lunch and drink from Buffalo Trace Bourbon.  Having a step mom from Kentucky, I know enough to know if you're going to drink bourbon, it better be from the Bluegrass State.  They mixed up some traditional mint juleps as well as a bourbon lemonade for us. I tried both, you know, for research and comparison reasons.

After bourbon refreshments we we lucky enough to get to visit the paddock, where you get a chance to see the horses before they race.  My super professional horse racing technique was to look for the "most frisky" horse (which didn't turn out to necessarily be the best algorithm.) I did, however, end up viewing the horses right next to Bobby Flay and took some creeper-status pictures of him, since he's probably the most famous person I've ever been near.

Picture credit on the left to America's Best Racing
Fox Sports was also on location for the races and gave us "celebrity" status as they followed us around to get some clips of us all enjoying our day.  I believe it aired later that day, I didn't get a chance to tun in...I guess I missed my 15 seconds of fame.

We headed back to bet a bit more and enjoy the final races.

We had another fun day at the races and can't wait for the Breeder's Cup at the end of October!  
Thanks again to America's Best Racing for inviting us up for the day. 
I also filmed a "Get Ready With Me" video for this day, if you're interested:

Have you ever been to a horse racing event?


Friday, August 15, 2014

Winged Cat Eye 4 Different Ways

 Happy Friday, friends!  Today, as the title so clearly states, I'm sharing four different ways you can rock the oh-so-loved winged cat eyeliner look.  For reference, I'm using Wet n Wild's Mega Liner Liquid Liner to create these looks (unless otherwise noted).  It's my favorite liner for these looks because I think it's so easy to use.  Let's take a look!

The most modest is our sweet little kitten eye.  Using your bottom lash line as a guide create a small flick.  From the half-way point on your top lash line, draw a line to connect this point to the top of the flick. Fill in the small space you've created and BAM! Done-zo.

Perhaps everyone's favorite cat, this is like the domestic cat of cat eyes.   As same with The Kitten Eye, use your bottom lash as a guide and create a flick, this time you want it about double the length as in The Kitten.  Take your liner to about 3/4 across your top lash line (as in 1/4 away from you eye's inner corner) and from that point draw a line up to meet your flick.  Fill it all in. You go Glen Coco, you rock that classic cat eye.

Feeling a little more daring?  This Dramatic Cat Eye is like the lion of cat eyes, king of the jungle.  Like with the other two, you'll be creating a flick, but you'll want it slightly more horizontal in comparison.  Next take your liner all the way to the very inner corner of your top lash line and draw a line to connect that with the flick.  Fill it all in. Rawr, gurl, you look fierce!

Want something a little different. The reversed cat eye is just like a regular cat eye, only a little upside-down.  Create two flicks on your bottom lash line: on the outer corner flick slightly upward and on the inner corner flick slightly downward.  I suggest a pencil or gel liner for the next step, you'll want to line your entire bottom lash line as well as take it into the water line.  Finally, using the liquid again, slightly widen the outer half of the line. And, there you have it. Get on wit yo' bad self.

Which of these four cat eyes are you most likely to rock?

Image Map
(click anywhere on the ladies to check out their blogs!)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

6 Reasons My Dog is Actually a Cat

These are my two dogs.  Zoe is the big girl, she's a dog. Austin is the little guy, and he's actually a cat.  Let me tell you why....

1. First things, first... he's the size of a cat.  Actually, compared to many cats, he's smaller. That's 8 lbs. of adorable right there.

2. Going for a walk on a leash?   "Please,  I'll just lay here motionless." 

3. When I get home from work, he's not happy to see me... he just wants me to give him dinner.  "Feed me, human."

4. He sits on the window sill and watches birds.

5. When you wake up, he's there - usually with his head on your pillow and feet on your face.

6. If you're doing something, he wants to sit on it.  His favorites include books and laptops.

So, what do you think? Do I have a cat, or a dog?


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Do This, Not This: 10 Common Everyday Makeup Mistakes

 photo DoThisNotThis_zps12fdb9cd.jpg

Well hey there my friends.  Today I have a some basic makeup dos and don'ts for you.  I was inspired to do a back to school makeup look, but seeing as I'm not exactly a student anymore (wahh! bring back the keg stands and frat parties - LOLZ jk, I never went to a frat party or did a keg stand) I wanted to spice it up a little.

For the past two years I've worked in high school and middle school.  This experience of seeing the makeup girls wear now paired with the makeup I used to apply, has made some very common makeup mistakes obvious to me. So, what I have for you today is the top 10 makeup mistakes I see. 

While this was inspired by back-to-school, I've seen all of these mistakes made by grown, professional women.  So, even if you're not a student anymore, you just might benefit from giving this a quick peek.  

I've created a quick, simple video showing you each mistake and how to fix it - I've also included an all text version below for my friends who prefer to read.

Not exfoliating and moisturizing your skin prior to makeup application.  Trying to apply your makeup to dirty or dry skin is just going to end badly, trust me. Makeup sticks to dry patches and applying to dirty skin can leave to uneven application and even breakouts in the long run.

Fix it: Take the few extra minutes it takes to quickly exfoliate your skin with exfoliating pads like these, or just using a exfoliating cleanser (my favorite is Yes to Blueberries Softening Exfoliator). Then, follow up with a daytime moisturizer.

Not blending your foundation.  This is BY FAR the most common foundation mistake I see.  It's easy to apply foundation properly to the parts of our face we naturally see in the mirror and forget about blending.

Fix it: You want to take your foundation all the way back to your ears, up into your hairline, down your jaw and onto your neck to avoid any makeup lines. Using damp beauty blender is the best method for this as it is designed to replicate real skin and helps the foundation blend seamlessly while also preventing you from applying too much makeup.

Caking on concealer. Sometimes, less it more. It's true if you're going for a full coverage makeup look, taking a thick amount of concealer in a big triangle shape can be great, but for everyday looks it's just going to make you look cakey and won't help brighten the face.

Fix it: Take a liquid concealer and look into a mirror dead on. Then tilt your head slightly down while still looking into the mirror, you'll see that your darkest under eye areas will become more prevalent. Just apply concealer here, this is the only place your really need it.

Neglecting eyebrows: Poor eyebrows, always so neglected. A well done eyebrow can make a face pop, so don't leave them out. On the flip-side, of course, don't over do it either.

Fix it: Using a pencil (or powder & angled brush) in a shade one shade lighter than your natural eyebrow, fill in the gaps in your brows.  I'm planning to do a whole post all about my eyebrow routine, so stay tuned for a more thorough eyebrow post.

Applying a light, shimmery shade all over the lid.  Don't get my wrong, I love a champagne colored shadow, but applying it all over gives your eye shape zero dimension.

Fix it: A light shimmery color is great to apply on the inner 1/3 of your eye, but try packing on a matte brown on the outer 2/3 and softly blending it into your crease.  This gives your eyes shape and opens it up.

ALL THE BLACK EYELINER! This is such a common mistake and I used to make it myself all the time.  Something in our mind tells us loading on the black liner makes our eyes look better, but in reality it just looks too harsh and actually makes your eyes look smaller.

Fix it: Now, I'm not saying to put away your black liner -that would be a tragedy- let's just not put it everywhere.  Try using a white or nude liner on your water line (that's the bottom lash line).  This opens your eyes up. Then take black into your tight line (inside of your upper lash line) and on your lid along the lash line.  If you want to get more dramatic here, then go for a thicker line.

Too much mascara. Have you ever seen the woman who applied so much mascara she basically only had 3 lashes left? Not sexy.

Fix it: When applying your mascara, softly wiggle the brush back and forth in order to coat each lash and prevent them from sticking all together. When any clumping begins, you've got enough on, stop while you're ahead.

Going to heavy with the blush. I totally understand this mistake, because blush is usually my favorite step. It just makes my skin look so alive! But, there are benefits in controlling your excitement.

Fix it: Blush, in general, shouldn't go too close to your nose nor should it go too far below your nose - bringing blush too low can make your face look droopy.  Taking blush on your brush, give a big smile and find the applies of your cheeks.  Apply the blush here and then sweep it backward towards the top half of your ear. 

Over-powdering your face: This is a common mistake for ladies with oily skin because they want to make sure to control shine all day. The problem is over-powdering can make your skin look dry and too matte.

Fix it: Be more purposeful with your powder application.  Sweep it only where you need it most (where you get oily, such as your t-zone). If you worry about makeup smudging off during the day, try finishing with a makeup setting spray (such as Urban Decay's De-slick) which will prevent this without making you look dry.

Applying too light of a lip color: There is nothing wrong with light lips, but they aren't always the best choice. I assume many girls think light lips are a more "safe" choice than a bright color, but they run the risk of washing you out.

Fix it: Don't be scared of color. Pick a lip color that's good for your skin color (check out my Choosing the Right Lipstick Color post for help) and try patting it on your lips and rubbing it in with your finger.  This gives your lips a tint of color without over-doing it and brightens up your face instead of washing you out.

There you have it, the top 10 Makeup Mistakes I see and how to fix 'em! I hope this post was helpful.

Leave me a comment telling me a beauty mistake you used to make!

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