Cloudy, With a Chance of Wine

Funny stories. Crafts we’ll never do. Recipes I’ll never make.

10 beauty secrets every woman should know

When I first redesigned my blog, I decided I wanted to start incorporating a few beauty tips and tricks here and there so I could help moms like myself find ways to make themselves feel like they are more than just a mom and wife.

But I’ve become addicted.

Really addicted.

In fact, I recently had to upgrade our internet package because I’m spending so much time streaming YouTube tutorials once my daughter is tucked into her crib at night.

Shhhhh. I haven’t told my husband.

Anyway, to ensure all of this time and money isn’t going to waste, I’ve put together an awesome list of 10 beauty secrets every woman should know.

Take a look and let me know if you have anything to add!

10 beauty secrets every woman should know

1. HOW TO DRY YOUR NAILS QUICKLY AFTER APPLYING POLISH

Did you know that dipping your freshly painted nails in ice water can help them dry faster? It’s true! But that’s not the only trick of the trade. Be sure to check out these 5 simple ways to dry nail polish faster over on Prevention before your next polish change!

2. HOW TO ELIMINATE RAZOR BUMPS

Is there anything more annoying than those red, ugly bumps that crop up on your legs and bikini area in the summer? I don’t think so. Thankfully, I haven’t had this problem since my old college roommate filled me in on her secret: Vitamin E. You can buy it in oil or lotion form from most drug stores, and it works wonders. Trust me!

3. HOW TO FIX BROKEN OR OLD MAKE-UP

Ugh. Have you ever noticed that, whenever you’re in a hurry, you ALWAYS drop your favorite make-up product on the floor so that it shatters into a million pieces? I did that with a brand new container of blush last week and I almost cried. Okay, okay. I did cry. Anyway, thanks to this step-by-step tutorial on how to fix broken and old make-up over on The Beauty Department, I will never have to stress about that again!

4. HOW TO GET RID OF DARK CIRCLES UNDER YOUR EYES

Up until last week, I thought there were only 2 ways to reduce the appearance of dark circles under your eyes: more sleep and more concealer. But thanks to these awesome tricks from Beauty High, I’ve learned that diet, sleep position, and make-up application and removal all make a difference. Also? I’ve finally found an excuse to lie down and close my eyes for 15 minutes each day. Pretty awesome, right?!

5. HOW TO COVER BLEMISHES

Did you know that Visine can help cover an unwanted pimple? It’s true! I learned this trick when I read these  tips for hiding and concealing pimples and acne by A Model’s Secrets, and I’ve already gone to the drug store to buy a bottle so I’m prepared for my next break-out!

6. HOW TO APPLY THE PERFECT EYELINER

So, I’m developing a bit of a crush on Wayne Goss from gossmakeupartist over here. I could sit and watch his make-up tutorials on YouTube for hours, and his tip for applying the perfect eyeliner with an eyelash curler has changed my life! It took me a while to get the hang of it, but it’s pretty genius. Check it out!

7. HOW TO GET FULLER LIPS WITHOUT BOTOX

I have really small lips, but I’m terrified to get botox. Actually, that’s not true. I’m just terrified to ask my husband to foot the bill for it. Anyway, thanks to YouQueen, I don’t need to worry about that yet because, as it turns out, cinnamon, peppermint, and cayenne pepper as just as effective. Who knew?!

8. HOW TO REMOVE NAIL POLISH IF YOU’RE OUT OF REMOVER

I discovered this one by accident, but it’s pretty awesome. All you need to do is apply new polish over the old polish and wipe it all away with a cotton ball. I’m not kidding.

9. HOW TO GET A CLOSER SHAVE

You know how Homer Simpson’s 5 o’clock shadow pops up about 3 minutes after he shaves his face in the morning? Well, that’s what it’s like with my legs. But after reading how to get smooth, silky legs over on SHEKNOWS, I finally know that if I shave in the OPPOSITE DIRECTION that my hair grows, I don’t get the 5 o’clock shadow until lunchtime. Which is a huge improvement for me!

10. HOW TO MAKE DRAWN-IN EYEBROWS LOOK NATURAL

When I was shopping for a new eyebrow pencil the other day, one of the gals at Sephora asked if she could show me a little trick. And you know what? She changed my life. After applying a little concealer above and below my brow, being careful to use a shade that was a little lighter than my actual skin tone, she not only helped me achieve the perfect arch, but she also made it look natural!!!

If you have any beauty secrets every woman should know, leave them in the comments below!

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10 Mother’s Day crafts that will melt your heart

Ever since I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, I have been dreaming about the days she will come home from school with little keepsakes she made for me.

Ornaments for the Christmas tree.

Heart-shaped crafts for Valentine’s Day.

Shamrocks and leprechauns for St. Patrick’s Day.

Bunnies and eggs for Easter.

Of course, my daughter isn’t in school yet, and my husband definitely isn’t going to get out the paint, mod podge, construction paper, glitter, and pipe cleaners to help her make something for me for Mother’s Day, but that’s okay.

Because thanks to the internet, I’ve come up with some 10 Mother’s Day crafts that will melt your heart.

And I can’t wait to try them out!

Concept shot to illustrate love and romance

1. If you’re kids are fortunate to have one or more of their grandmother’s in their lives, why not make this year extra special by making one of these hand print aprons by Little Page Turners that can be used for years to come?

2. Grab an ink pad and shrink plastic and make this adorable hand print charm by Plucking Daisies!

3. Break out the cupcake holders and try this Spring cupcake flower craft by Momtastic.

4. Love to read? Then give these bookmarks for mom by Reap ‘Em and Leap a try!

5. Want to make something EXTRA special? Then check out this fabulous mason jar picture frame vase craft by Home Stories A to Z.

6. Looking for something to do with all of those rocks your little one keeps bringing home in his pockets? Then crack open the mod podge and make some of these love rocks by Vintage Office Type.

7. Love getting flowers, but hate that they always die? Then try this Mother’s Day bouquet craft by Balancing Home.

8. Make your friends jealous with this amazing button bracelet by Spoonful!

9. Love accessories? Then check out this adorable Mother’s Day purse card by Sunday Baker.

10. Feel like having a princess party to celebrate your special day? Then get out the construction paper and make some of these awesome crowns by The Chocolate Muffin Tree!

What Mother’s Day crafts do you like to do with your kids?

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My grandma’s delicious mincemeat pie recipe

As you may or may not know, I was raised by Brits, which means we didn’t get to enjoy tasty things like homemade cookies, chocolate fudge, and butter tarts when we were growing up.

Nope.

Dessert in our house was a little different.

We had trifle.

And rice pudding.

And rhubarb crumble.

And for Christmas and Easter, my mum always put my grandma’s mincemeat pie recipe to good use.

Have you ever had a mincemeat pie? It sounds disgusting, doesn’t it? In fact, had I not grown up in our household, I wouldn’t have believed it was a dessert.

But it is.

And if it’s made JUST RIGHT, it can be pretty delicious.

Read on to find out my grandma’s secrets!

Fresh baked mince tarts in vertical format

INGREDIENTS:

-Shortcrust pastry

-8 ounces of plain flour

-1/2 level teaspoon of salt

-2 ounces of margarine

-2 ounces of lard

-Cold water

-1 jar of mincemeat (available at most grocery stores)

-Icing sugar

DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat oven to 425F

2. Sift flour and salt in a bowl and roll in the margarine and lard until you’ve created a breadcrumb consistency

3. Slowly add cold water while using a round-bladed knife to bind the pastry together until you’ve created a dough

4. Knead sparingly

5. Place on a flat, floured surface and use a rolling pin to roll into a thin sheet

6. Cut rounds of pastry that are the same size as your greased tartlet tin* and place on top

7. Cover about 1/3 of the round of pastry with mince meat, add another round of pastry on top, and stick the 2 pieces of pastry together with a little water around the edges

8. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown

9. Carefully remove from tartlet tin and place on cooling rack

10. Dust with icing sugar when cool

*You must use a tin with a shallow base – a muffin tin will not work

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