The Self-Tanning Solution

I have two weddings coming up in the next three months.  Due to my fair skin type, I am unable to tan by sitting underneath the sun’s bright rays.  It’s actually a blessing in disguise since skin cancer runs in my family to begin with.  Due to the fact that my sunburn will never turn into a tan, I have to resort to other means of tanning.

The Tan Spray Stall – In preparation for a wedding in the past, I went to a tanning salon with a friend.  Talk about comical.  The spray tan booth is simply intimidating.  I entered the booth completely naked which is always an uncomfortable situation for me even if there isn’t really anyone watching (although I always find myself seeking out the exact location of the hidden camera…I have yet to find one but I know it is somewhere!).  Then a little voice comes out of a speaker telling me which way to face and how to put your arms.  The 16 year old working there who tells me the positions before I go into the room is a pro so she glides right through it and I’m thinking “Where do I put my hands? Which way do I turn my body?”.  I basically know I’m screwed from the start.  The spray session takes about 8 minutes, which included the application of the bronzer.  There was so much liquid covering my body that I had to take paper towels and even the application out.  When I emerged from the room, my friend was laughing.  I looked like a raccoon in the dark.  The whites of my eyes were glowing.  They said not to take a shower until the next morning but I decided to nix that and I took my shower about 4 hours later.  I managed to get a pretty good tan without look too unnatural but I must say I was freaking out the whole time.  I thought I was going to have to scrub myself with a Brillo pad to remove an orange streaky tan.  Luckily, I was able to pull it off but I never want to experience that again.  You can tell I have a nice healthy glow in the pic below.

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St. Tropez Self-Tanner – My love of QVC comes in handy again.  Since I vowed never to go back to the spray tan booth, I decided I would have another go at the self-tanner.  I have tried Tarte’s version before but I don’t think it achieved the tan I was hoping for.  It just so happened that last week, one of the Today’s Special Values was St. Tropez Deluxe Self-Tanning Mousse.  I watched the presentation and saw instant results.  Needless to say it came yesterday and I made my first application this morning.  I made sure to exfoliate in the shower and then apply lotion to the areas I planned on applying the mousse.   I then applied the mousse evenly in a circular motion and saw instant results.  I am going to let it set for at least 8 hours before I take my next shower.  The results are amazing and I can’t wait to apply another round tomorrow to achieve an even darker richer color.  I don’t have any pics now, but I’ll be sure to post the wedding pics as soon as possible.  I can’t wait to go to this wedding in San Antonio with my beau (that’s for you, Karla).  Texas, here I come!

st. tropez

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Pecan Sandras

As any great baker will know, it is always exciting to try a new recipe.  Though they might not turn out correctly the first time or taste the way you thought it would, experimentation is the key to finding those great “go-to” recipes.   Over the holiday, I tried a few new cookie recipes, two of which were from The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook by Cheryl and Griffith Day.  I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed the treats that I made and that the recipes were easy to follow.  I will go as far to suggest that you pick this book up ASAP.  Don’t forget that our favorite QVC host, David Venable, endorses this book on ITKWD as well.  I made some minor adjustments to the size of the cookie but other than that, the recipes were fantastic.  Pecan Sandras are to die for and lucky for you I’m sharing the recipe (FYI Sadie enjoyed these as well).

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Ingredients

2 sticks butter unsalted, 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, 1/2 tsp sea salt, 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg, 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, 2 1/4 cups flour, 1 1/2 cups pecans

Directions

Preheat oven to 350.  Line two cookies sheets with parchment or use a Silpat.

In a stand mixer, beat the butter, vanilla, nutmeg, and salt on medium speed.  If you are using salted butter, simply omit the salt or just add a smaller amount.  You can taste the batter after you add the flour to see if you need to make any adjustment.  Turn the speed to low and add the flour slowly.  Add the pecans and mix until just incorporated.  Do not overmix as the batter will get tough.

Finish mixing by hand to make sure all the bits of flour and butter are combined.  Use a small scoop to form the cookies.  I prefer about a one inch ball.  Place it on the prepared cookie sheet and then flatten the cookie slightly with the palm of your hand.

Bake the cookie for 8 to 10 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through.  The cookies should be lightly golden when done.  Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes.

Once the cookies are cool enough to handle, smother them in confectioners’ sugar.  They are simply delectable and ready for tasting!  Who knows?…they might be perfect for your sweetie on Valentine’s Day!

Top Three Beauty Gadgets

At a recent Chi O gathering at Primrose Manor, Sadie inspired me to create my Top 3 beauty gadgets.  We all have beauty secrets and here are some of mine.

1. Emjoi Micro-Pedi Battery Operated Callus Remover – You can find this great gadget at QVC.com for only a small investment of $30.  It even comes with a replacement pumice stone cartridge.  After acquiring long hours of standing on my feet at the bakery, this certainly has been put to use.  I now have smooth feet and I no longer fear having my beau my feet.emjoi

2.  Hairmax Luxe Hair Growth Laser – This is a large investment but worth it if you have hereditary baldness in your family tree.  I have only had it for a month but I can tell the difference already.  You can check out the testimonials for yourself at QVC.com.  You have to shell out $400 for this product but QVC gives you four months to try it and if you’re not happy with your progress you can return it for a full refund.

hairmax

 

3.  Forever Free Facial Hair Remover – You can find this minor investment at Amazon.com for only $18.  I love this item for shaping eyebrows.  It’s a painless way to rid yourself of that unibrow.  I use the attachment to keep my eyebrows in check by giving them a nice trim to keep the single strands at similar lengths.  A lady never wants to be known for her out of control eyebrows.

forever free