Category: BLOG POSTS

Cle de Peau Intensive Eye Contour Cream Review

I am about to get real, real expensive.  Cle de Peau expensive.  If you aren’t familiar with Cle de Peau this haute couture cosmetics collection was founded in 1982 with the claim to fuse both technology with refined aesthetics. Products in this makeup/skincare line can retail for several hundred dollars, which is why I have always avoided this brand. I simply didn’t believe anything that they could offer would be worth paying that price tag, however I was given a sample of the Cle de Peau Intensive Eye Contour Cream that changed my thinking.

I was at book club and one of my girlfriends received a bag full of Cle de Peau samples from the salesgirl at Neiman Marcus.  I was a lucky recipient of one of these samples which as you can imagine from the title of this post was the Cle de Peau Intensive Eye Contour Cream.  The sample I received was a tiny fraction of an ounce but I fell in love, ok I was hooked – a junkie.  Only an obsession like this would make me spend the offensive $250 on a jar of this cream.
Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 11.42.06 AM So, let’s breakdown what makes this cream so magical (as noted on the Nordstrom website, but all claims listed I completely agree with)…

Key benefits and ingredients of this cream include:

  • Supports the natural vitality of skin to counteract the appearance of wrinkles, lines, puffiness and loss of resilience.
  • Replenishes and maintains moisture levels to protect against dryness and ensure a smooth, supple texture over time.
  • Contains Illuminating Complex, a cocktail of powerful ingredients that creates optimal conditions for skin cells to promote exquisite radiance.
  • Formulated with exclusive Clé de Peau Beauté ingredient Cellular IC Normalizer, which enhances conditions for optimal functioning of the cellular ion channel system.

As mentioned in previous posts I just turned 40 which has made me more conscious than ever about skincare and overall health. After using this cream twice daily for only a week I saw increased firmness, decreased bags under my eyes and the skin under my eyes looked overall more radiant. Another factor I should include is that you only need the tiniest amount of product, seriously just a touch. The cream is so thick and luxurious the tiniest amount is all you need. I anticipate this cream lasting around 6 months which does (sort of) help me rationalize the cost.

Like all expensive department store favorites I will be in search of a dupe for this cream. Not only because it is so expensive but because I love a bargain. I plan on trying the Cerave Eye Repair Cream next.  I am crossing my fingers I like it.

Blueberry Crisp Marshmallows

Recently I took a trip to Chelan, Washington where there was an abundance of fresh blueberries. I purchased ten pounds of berries for $5 – what a deal! Well, yes, it was a deal, but now I am faced with what on earth to do with a gizillion blueberries. There is only so much blueberry muffins, smoothies and syrup a family can take after all…enter my heavenly Blueberry Crisp Marshmallows.

I decided to get creative and make my favorite recipe for homemade marshmallows, but with a twist. Rather than dust them with confectioner’s sugar, I decided to dust them with a topping of graham cracker crumbs and swirl some fresh blueberry sauce in the marshmallows once completed.

The final result was fabulous and a great way to use up a bit of those blueberries. I fused several recipes together – Barefoot Contessa’s recipe for homemade marshmallows along with a Blueberry Sauce from All Recipes.

Blueberry Crisp Marshmallows

Ingredients
1 package unflavored Knox gelatin
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 t. pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs (crushed from about 7 squares)
2 T. unsalted butter, melted
1 T. sugar
3 T. blueberry sauce (recipe below)

Directions
Combine the gelatin and 1/2 cup of cold water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and allow to sit while you make the syrup.

Meanwhile, combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat to high and cook until the syrup reaches 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Remove from the heat.

With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the sugar syrup into the dissolved gelatin. Put the mixer on high speed and whip until the mixture is very thick, about 15 minutes.

While the marshmallow is being whipped, add the crushed graham crackers, sugar and butter together. Set aside. Grease a 8×8 inch square pan with cooking spray or butter and dust the bottom with the graham cracker crumbs. Reserve the remaining crumbs. Like this:


Once the fifteen minutes has passed, your marshmallows will be light and fluffy. They will look like this:

Add the vanilla and mix thoroughly. Carefully fold in the blueberry sauce just until you see a ribbon of blueberry and a light marbling effect. Pour into the baking pan and sprinkle with some of the remaining graham cracker crumb mixture. Let the marshmallows set overnight or for approximately 6-8 hours.

Cut the marshmallows up once they are set and dust the remaining sides with the graham cracker crumb mixture. Enjoy!

Blueberry Sauce

Ingredients

2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/4 cup water
1 cup orange juice
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup cold water
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the blueberries, 1/4 cup of water, orange juice, and sugar. Stir gently, and bring to a boil.

In a cup or small bowl, mix together the cornstarch and 1/4 cup cold water. Gently stir the cornstarch mixture into the blueberries so as not to mash the berries. Simmer gently until thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the almond extract and cinnamon. Thin sauce with water if it is too thick for your liking.


Supergoop! Defense Refresh Setting Mist SPF 50 Review

I am getting older.  I just turned 40 this year and while I was OK with this milestone I am trying to preserve the skin and health I do have as I get older, older and older (I hope anyways!).   Living in Seattle we actually do get a decent amount of good weather and we have been especially lucky to be experiencing an amazing summer this year.  With this beautiful weather comes the need for sun protection which is why I was very pleasantly surprised to discover the Supergoop! Defense Refresh Setting Mist SPF 50 which I wanted to review for those interested.

I found this product on Sephora and it retails for $28.  The details on Sephora describe this product as:
“An innovative three-in-one mist that sets makeup, helps control oil and shine, and refreshes your defense against photoaging UV rays with an uplifting scent of rosemary and mint.”  I was skeptical of a product so high in SPF that came with a claim that it was a makeup setting spray.  Well, I was right about that.  I found that this product when used as a makeup setting spray turned my makeup from fresh to splotchy in about an hour.  I also found this product not to control oil.  So, makeup setting spray this is not.

However, I did find an two very useful ways to use this product.  First, it is great to use when I am out in the sun, not wearing makeup.  This mist was a refreshing way to reapply sunscreen to my face and worked much better than having to rub lotion on my face and I found the scent to be very relaxing.  The second way I like to use this is on my décolleté.  Again, the mist is so easy to apply it is a perfect way to protect this part of your body as well.

So as an overall recommendation I would give this three stars because it does offer broad spectrum SPF 50 coverage and I have found a couple of very useful ways to utilize this product.  However I had to cut down  the stars since  doesn’t work as a makeup setting spray and I do think this product is quite pricey at $28.  If you have tried this product out, let me know what you think!

J-Lo’s BodyLab Green Smoothie featured in InStyle

I am a little obsessed with Jennifer Lopez.  It is amazing how she has managed to actually age backwards.  Looking at pictures of her from ten years ago, I can’t believe how much better she looks as the years have gone on.  So, while I was perusing the July 2015 issue of InStyle magazine and came across her recipe for a green smoothie I knew that I had to try it.

The smoothie features her BodyLab Vanilla Whey Protein Complex which I unfortunately did not have on hand so I opted for my Trader Joe’s Whey Protein in vanilla.  I am guessing they are pretty similar, so I moved forward with the recipe.  The smoothie includes rice milk, spinach, banana, chia seeds, sunflower butter and protein powder.  This was a convenient recipe for me since I usually have all these ingredients on hand.  Not having too many ingredients was very helpful.

Now for the taste, it was surprisingly good.  I honestly wasn’t sure how the sunflower butter would marry with the rest of the ingredients but the banana and sunflower butter take over most of the flavor and the spinach adds a freshness without being to overpowering.  I may even actually pick up a container of the BodyLab protein powder when I am done with my current protein powder to see how the BodyLab version compares to the Trader Joe’s variety.

I would definitely recommend trying the recipe for this shake.  Looking at J-Lo, there are many things she is doing right and I will try one of them to see how it works continuously.  Not only is it delicious, but if this is one of the items J-Lo is eating I am going to give it a try as well.

*For an additional Maca smoothie recipe as well as an extremely knowledgable post about Maca and all the amazing benefits, check out this article on superfoodliving.com. Some of the benefits noted are increased libido and hormone balance (something I could definitely use, especially a few days a month).

J-Lo’s BodyLab Green Smoothie (1 serving)
Ingredients
1 cup rice milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
1 handful spinach
1 frozen banana, sliced
2 T. chia seeds
2 heaping teaspoons sunflower butter
1 dry scoop BodyLab Vanilla Tasty Shake Complete Whey Protein Complex (I used Trader Joe’s Vanilla Whey Protein)

Instructions
Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.  Serve.

Maple Pork Tenderloin (the other white meat)

You know a marketing campaign is good, when years after it has run its course, you still recall their slogan. I love pork and I think calling it the “other” white meat sells itself short sometimes. My new favorite cut, is pork tenderloin. It is succulent, delicious and is the perfect canvas to absorb all sorts of flavors. The fact that it is relatively lean doesn’t hurt either – especially this time of year.

The recipe I made last night was inspired by one of my favorite wing recipes, Maple Wings. If you have never tried this recipe, you definitely should – they are sensational and everyone always raves about them. I can’t tell you the number of times I have given out that recipe. The combination of soy sauce, teriyaki and maple syrup is spectacular and really brings out the natural flavors in the pork. I love to serve this dish with my Ginger Rice and a cool cucumber salad. Sooooo good!

Maple Pork Tenderloin

Ingredients
1 pork tenderloin (approximately 1.5-2 pounds)
2/3 c. pure maple syrup
1/4 c. soy sauce
1/3 c. teriyaki sauce (preferably Yoshida’s)
1 T. finely minced garlic
1 t. pepper
1/4 t. crushed red pepper

Directions
Put pork tenderloin in a ziploc bag. In a separate bowl, mix all the remaining ingredients and pour into the ziploc bag. Marinate for as long as you can – overnight, if possible.

Remove pork from the plastic bag and grill or bake in a 400 degree oven until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees.

While the pork is cooking, boil the remaining marinade in the bag for atleast 10 minutes.

When the pork is finished, slice and serve with the marinade as a sauce.

Now, wasn’t that easy!