Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Most Wearable Lipstick Colors

To celebrate National Lipstick Day I am bringing you my updated ride or die lipstick colors. Many of the same colors made the list as last year, but I do have some fun updates. I split up my pick into: the only colors you'll ever need, glosses that I love and fun pops of color.

Details on my jewels here.

This grouping of lipsticks and the lip liner are all my MAC. Honestly I LOVE their lipsticks. They are super easy to wear, look amazing when you combine them with the lip liner or wear two of the three at the same time. These three really are my ride or die lip color.

1. MAC Soar: a pinkish brown lip liner that looks good with everything. I've also worn this lip liner with a lot of the glosses that I mention below. 2. MAC Snob: a light pink that is more on the girly side. 3. MAC Pink Plaid: I just realized this is discontinued. Sad face. 4. MAC Brave: I should have listed this one first. It is my all time favorite. Described as a pink-beige it looks good on everyone. 70% of the time this is the lipstick I am in. 

I am not a big gloss personal because they are normally so sticky. However, I will personally guarantee that these are not sticky. Remember glosses aren't going to have a lot of staying power. Layering a lip liner underneath will help, but you are likely going to have to reapply a lot. 

1. Laneige Glowy Balm: the perfect product for moisture and a tiny tint of color. 2. EVER Smooth Peptide Therapy: this product keeps selling out and for good reason. A bit of color, but more importantly you will fix chapped lips with Smooth. It is clinically proven to increase the appearance of lip volume and decrease fine lines. 3. EVER Rose Nude: a slight tingle and great over all of the MAC lipsticks. 4. EVER Cameo Nude: a slight tingle, one of the most unique colors I wear. It is the perfect gloss in the fall. 5. EVER Sunset Nude: a slight tingle nude metallic.

Bring on the color. If you are looking for a long wear lipstick remember that a liquid lipstick or matte is going to wear a lot longer. 

1. YSL 3 Rose Ink: A buildable lip stain. 2. EVER Pink Sapphire: long wearing deep pink. 3. Dollup Beauty Love: bright matte red. 4. Becca Flame: orangey red, super comfortable to wear. 5. EVER Glam: long wearing mauve nude. 6. MAC D is for Danger: matte deep berry red. 

What lipstick colors or brands am I missing out on? Come hang out in my Insider's Group and share your favorites. It is girl code to dish the details. 

Friday, July 24, 2020

Hidden Gem in Eastern Iowa

This post is sponsored by Travel Iowa. All opinions are my own. 

The need to scratch my travel itch is strong. I keep thinking about all the places I would love to hop on a plane and go visit, but then I think of all the places in Iowa I have yet to visit. I admit this a little sheepishly but until last week I had NEVER been to a state park. I know, I know.

After a two-hour Zoom training call on Friday afternoon, I said "today is the day" and I jumped in my car. I drove the 15 minutes to the Cedar Rock State Park and started on my adventure. Cedar Rock is located in Eastern Iowa, south of Hwy 20 between Independence and Quasqueton. I had driven past the park's entrance dozen of times, but had never turned in.

Cedar Rock provides over 300 acres of native grasslands, but is more famously known for being the location of one of the most complete designs of Frank Lloyd Wright's, an American architect and interior designer. The home was built for Llowell and Agnes Walter in 1950 and it is so cool. So, if you are looking for a state park to explore on a rainy day, Cedar Rock is for you!

I was in complete awe walking through the home and listening to the Walters' story. Wright picked out all the furnishings, vases, plates, every detail, and it is all still in the home today. The home is open for tours from May through October. RSVPing for the tour is recommended as limited people can be in the home at once in order to uphold social distancing guidelines. Normally, more than 10,000 people from across the U.S. and world visit the park and home each year. 

Living, entertaining and dining area in the Frank Lloyd Wright House

The park also provides two walking trails. I road on the tractor wagon down to the home and then hiked the 3/4-mile trail back to the visitor center. The trail is perfect for someone like me that isn't a huge hiker. Throughout the park and on the trails, you'll find stops with QR codes that tell you about your surroundings, and you can pick up a BINGO card at the visitor center. 

The park is full of native wildflowers and planted garden.

Before you visit any state parks, I highly encourage signing up for the Iowa State Park Passport. When you sign up, you get access to the Iowa State Park app which will allow you to track the parks you visit this, and enter to win the Grand Prize of a two-night stay at Honey Creek Resort. The app also has a bunch of information on the parks in Iowa, when they are open and COVID precautions they are taking. If you need help planning a day trip, the Travel Iowa plan a trip tool is awesome. You enter you starting city and ending city and it'll give you stopping points all along the way. 

I can't wait to go back to Cedar Rock. They have multiple Monarch butterfly release days, music in the park events and participate in the Iowa State Parks First Day Hike. 

Sunday, July 19, 2020

The Best Zucchini Blueberry Bread

I remember when I was a young girl we were invited over to our neighbors house for chocolate cake. Once we arrived she shared with my mom that she had used zucchini in the cake. Say what?! I came for chocolate cake, not some veggie cake.

To my surprise the cake was amazing. It tasted just like tradition chocolate cake, but was SO moist. That's when I learned that zucchini takes on the flavor of whatever it is paired with, and is a great way to add moisture to your baked goods.

This particular recipe is one my MIL shared with me. If you have a ton of zucchini it is a good one because it uses two cups of grated zucchini. The small zucchinis you find in the grocery store typically only generate about a cup or a little less once grated, so grab a BIG one from your farmer's market or pick up a few small ones at the grocery store.

I also love that these recipe calls for the use of mini loaf pans. If you don't have these available I would split the recipe between two regular loaf pans.

3 eggs
1 cup canola oil
3 teaspoons of vanilla
2 1/4 white sugar
2 cups shredded zucchini
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 pint fresh blueberries or 1.5 cups frozen

Step 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease four mini loaf pans, or two regular loaf pans.

Step 2. Grate zucchini with box grater. Squeeze out additional liquid.

Step 3. In large bowl, lightly beat together three eggs, oil, vanilla and sugar. Fold in zucchini.

Step 4. In separate bowl mix flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.

Step 5. Beat dry ingredient mixture into wet ingredient mixture.

Step 6. Gently fold in blueberries.

Step 7. Bake 50-60 minutes, or until knife inserted in center of loaf comes out clean. Cool for 20 minutes in pan, and then remove from pan and finish cooling on wire rack.

Try not to eat an entire mini loaf in one sitting, but remember if you do you just got a 1/4 cup of veggies in, lol. Next up on my list is to try this Zucchini Chocolate Chip Bread from Dessert for Two.

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