Thursday, September 27, 2012

fancy sugar cookies

I'm extending an olive branch (you like that?) for not having blogged in a few days. Yikes!

Since I can't bake each and every one of you a batch of cookies, how 'bout I share a recipe from Mississippi Magazine's Patty Roper? I'm sure she won't mind.

I had one of these delightful sugar cookies at a recent conference, and they were perfectly sweet and light and adorable. Take one look at the ingredients, and you'll know why.

Patty's Sugar Cookies

2 sticks butter, softened (in a time crunch? Real Simple tells you how to fix that problem, among others)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Fondant Icing  (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream butter and sugar in mixer; add egg and vanilla. Combine flour and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Shape into 3 balls; cover and chill one hour. Remove one ball at a time and roll onto floured surface to about 1/8-1/4 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes. Yield 2 dozen cookies.

Fondant Icing

7/8 cup skim milk
3 tablespoons shortening
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons butter flavoring
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1 (2-pound) bag confectioner's sugar

In a microwave, combine milk, shortening and salt. Add vanilla, butter flavoring, and almond extract. Pour into mixing bowl. With mixer, add sugar. Thin with warm milk. Brush over cookies on a wire rack over wax paper to catch drips.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

wish list wednesday

What am I wishing for this Wednesday?
* Do you die for this leather peplum top like I do?

* I'm getting antsy for some new hair products again. Any suggestions?

* Some new shoes for fall (not even boots this time!). I have always thought these are so cute.

* Is it weird that I kind of want a Snuggie?

* For this fall-ish weather to stick around. It is football season, after all...

What's your wish?

Monday, September 17, 2012

nursery before...

Forgive my absence, darlings! Things have been busy around our neck of the woods. One thing in particular: working in the nursery!

Here's the only "before" picture we took (thanks to Kell's mom who insisted!):

No hiding that belly anymore! And I'm not sure if you can tell what the paint color looks like really, but it's a lovely shade of aqua, Benjamin Moore "Ocean Spray," to be exact. Side note: don't waste your money on anything other than Benjamin Moore paint. It's the best, and that's it.

Also, if you can see, we wrote a little Bible verse on the wall right above where her bed will go before we (read: Kell) painted over it. Got you a close-up of that, too:

If you follow me on Instagram (@mary_straton), you've probably already seen these shots.

What do you think? We love it!

I hope you all had a great weekend.

Monday, September 10, 2012

what makeup do you use?

I’m always fascinated by other people’s routines getting ready. It was one of the most interesting things about living in a sorority house, and it’s compounded by about 1,000 when you are married to a boy. For example, when I get ready in the morning, the t-shirt I slept in becomes the towel on which I wipe my makeup brushes or the eyeliner off my fingers.

Which brings me to my question today: what kind of makeup do you use? I used to use drugstore makeup in high school and college, and then I met Haley who introduced me to Sephora and to blush that cost more than $3. She single-handedly made my cost of living skyrocket, but I’m a believer in quality cosmetics now because of her (and clothes…and home d├ęcor…).

Here’s my routine:

Foundation: Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm
This is the most recent addition to my makeup. I like a little more coverage than just a powder, but I hate a liquid foundation. Oh, and I also have super oily skin, and most foundations look pink on me. This really is perfect for just the little coverage I want, and it’s SPF45! Bonus: it makes my face feel great.

Powder: Sephora Collection Smoothing Translucent Powder
Someone told me one time that I needed to “set” my foundation with a powder. I believed them, and so now I use this. As I just mentioned, my skin is crazy oily, and I put this on at the end of the day to keep the shine off my nose (and forehead and cheeks and chin, etc.) if I need to go back out.

Bronzer: Too Faced Caribbean in a Compact – Sun Bunny
I wear bronzer every day. Every single day. Not sure why; I just got used to it, and in my mind, I’m contouring my face so that I look like Brooklyn Decker. I used to use NARS bronzer, but I got this last time I was in the store, and I’m a big fan! Swirl the colors together with the brush, and it’s a good not-too-dark glow.

Blush: NARS Blush – Orgasm, Deep Throat or Mounia
For my money, there’s no better blush out there. It lasts a long time, so I think it’s totally worth the $28. Most NARS stuff is.

Eye Primer: NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base
At the risk of beating a dead horse, I have oily eyelids, too. This helps keep my eyeshadow from sliding around all over the place and from getting creases at the end of the day. I can totally tell when I forget to use it.

Eye Liner (and brow filler): MAC Eye Pencil – Coffee
Yes, I realize it’s weird that I use the same eyeliner as brow filler, but I don’t care. This is a perfect black-brown, and it’s the only reason I ever go to the mall. I’ve used it for years.

Eye Shadow: MAC Eye Shadow – Shroom, Mulch, Club, Woodwinked, Twinks…
Yet another product I’ve used for years. Again, it lasts forever and is just better than stuff from drugstores. I use Shroom to highlight under my brows and another color on my lids. Just whatever I feel like.

Mascara: CoverGirl Lash Blast Fusion – Very Black
I’m being serious when I say I think I have tried every mascara on the market – expensive, inexpensive, highly recommended, obscure… I’ve spent countless dollars on it, and I always come back to this kind. It goes on great, doesn’t clump, you can build on it, and it’s less than $8. What more could you want?

Lipstick: CoverGirl Outlast Lipstain – 402 Scarlet Pucker
I was really surprised to see the lukewarm reviews on the site for this. I use it every day, and I really love it. It’s very light and goes on just like a magic marker. I have several colors and have always been pleased. Of course, with it being a drugstore product, you run into the chance that you might get a wonky color, but that’s the price you pay for it being inexpensive.

Lip Gloss (when I feel like it): Laura Mercier Lip Glace
For just when you want a little more sass on your lips. Again, expensive, but worth it. It's not sticky and lasts a long time.

I hope you enjoyed the little round-up of my daily face! What products to you use? I’d love to know!!

Have a beautiful week, darlings.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

wish list wednesday

What am I wishing for this Wednesday?
* Clean hair at the wiggle of my nose.

* I love this antique map of my favorite city in the world!

* Some rain so I could wear my new Hunter wellies (yes, I finally got some)!

* Wouldn't you love to have a bunch of these for your next get-together?

* I think I could get used to the idea of caramel apple ice cream.

What's your wish?