Tag Archives: coffee

It begins…

4 Dec

Coffee of the Day (COTD): French Pressed Triple Chocolate with frothed Amaretto Creamer, dusted with Cocoa Powder. My mug of choice is a pink polka- dotted mug that says “HERS”:

Happy Monday Sassinitas!
You may notice a new section to the right of of here. It’s entitled “Coffee Talk”. Anyone who knows me knows I have a not-so-secret obsession with coffee. I like to make different flavors in different ways, enjoyed in different cups. It has also become a routine for me to make a fab cup of coffee, grab my iPad and start writing. I don’t need it to stay awake or jump start my writing process. It has just come to the point where coffee and writing go hand in hand. Like now.

Starting today, I will be posting the occasional piece in the “Coffee Talk” section where I may talk about anything and everything. It might be an inspirational quote, it might be a description of my day, it may be a pretty picture I took or found, it could also be just me ranting or raving about anything and everything or nothing at all. You just don’t know!

So I encourage you to look out for my “Coffee Talk” posts. There is only one catch…

…the posts will be password protected!

So if you want to see what I post – just in this section – you are going to have to request the password from me! Trust me, there will be nothing sketchy posted. It may be serious, it may often be funny. It may have to deal with a personal frustration, or it may have to do with a success story. It could be anything, but I’m sure you’ll be entertained!

So what are you waiting for? Shoot me an email or “Contact Sassy” so you can get the password to keep up with my rants and rambles!

Let’s have some fun!!!

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Items In Your Pantry That Are Must Haves For Your Skin…

29 Jun

imageI know it can be an inconvenience to try and make skin and bath items yourself. Drug stores, organic body retail stores and high end department stores are all trying to get your business with up and coming anti aging products and ingredients. Some people insist they are the golden ticket. The magic potion that will stop time. It may be true, but it’s hard to say. I am definitely not the type of person who brags, but I don’t look my age at all. No one knows, and I don’t tell them. What I do tell them is all the fancy advertising and product testimonials can make some very expensive skin care lines seem inviting, but I’ve tried to stick with basic grocery store items and recipes to wash, exfoliate, pamper and moisturize my skin. And from what I’m told? I’m not doing too damn bad!

Being a skincare “mix master” does take time. You need to do a few things first:

  • Know your skin. Is your skin dry, oily, combination? Are your pores large? Do you have fine lines? If so, where? Is your skin tone uneven? Is your skin sensitive–especially to harsh chemicals, dyes and fragrances? What are you using on your skin now? Does it work? You should have an answer for ALL of these things. If you don’t? Look & touch then read & learn.
  • Know what natural ingredients do for your skin? Most people don’t know many of the benefits from certain items in each aisle of the market. Oh, and trust me when I say you can go down aisles and get just about everything you would need to make a simple, easy, inexpensive but targeted skin care routine. Just a little research is all you need to start.
  • Practice. Not every recipe has what you need. And some recipes have too much. The more you know your skin, the easier it will be to take a basic combination and tweak it just a bit to do exactly what you want it to do.

No matter what you are looking to do, there are a few things that you can purchase to keep on hand for when you want to make a skin care routine that will give you smooth, clean, soft, glowing skin. Head to toe. So if you are planning on making a skin care regimen that will give your skin what it needs and leaving out what it doesn’t–and still not feel guilty about a huge price tag–make sure you have these things to start:

  1. Raw honey: Look it up–you will see that honey has been healing cuts and wounds before we were all born. You gotta love those bees! An amazing fact about honey too is that it never spoils. It may get old, thick & concentrated but it will always be good. When wrinkles occur, it happens because the skin is dry (with minor, almost invisible cracks). Honey heals the cracks naturally with its natural healing properties. It is also a great ingredient in facial and body cleansers. It removes dirt and makeup gently and locks in natural moisture. Raw is the best because it is in its most natural form. Raw local honey is the freshest. Check small local markets or produce stands for the best.
  2. Coffee (instant and used grounds): Everyone knows that people turn to coffee for a wake-you-up fix when you need a boost. We can thank the caffeine in coffee’s oils for that. Well, that caffeine can also be useful to give your face a boost in the morning as well. Mix in a bit of instant into your regular cleanser or as an added ingredient to your homemade face wash to stimulate your cells, encourage blood circulation and wake up your skin. If you have used coffee grounds from your morning pot left over (no flavors!), let them dry out on a paper towel and grind them down a bit finer to add to your regular body wash. This awakening scent will help exfoliate you from head to toe while the caffeine gets the blood pumping. A fab waker upper!
  3. Vitamin E Capsules: This oily little vitamin is great for so many things, but at the same time it needs to be used with care. Some people can have allergies to the other chemicals in Vitamin E, so it’s better to use a few drops as an additive in your regular products to give you extra moisture from the oil and block free radicals. Combining it with vitamin C can help that as will a fight sun damage. Vitamin E is also a must have for homemade lip balms, lip scrubs, and body creams.
  4. Unsweetened Lemonade Packets: An odd one, huh? Well it is. But the benefits are worth it. Sometime coating your finger in Vitamin E and dipping it into unsweetened lemonade will lighten up dark circles (go easy on the lemonade around the eyes, though.) Adding to you grand mixture of coconut oil, Shea butter, a bit of honey and a capsule or two of vitamin e will give you your all-over body moisture moisturizing & healing properties with a fresh scent.
  5. Granulated Sugar: Ah, another it’s that might be better on your face than in your beverages! The coarseness of the sugar works as a great exfoliator from head to toe. It’s a must have for lip scrubs mad with a bit of oil, and a bit of Shea butter. Honey is a plus too. In the shower, add a packet of coffee shop sugar to a squirt of your favorite body wash to tone your skin and regenerate cells. Does white sugar seem too harsh? Not a problem–use a light brown sugar instead! You will find it a great asset to use regular sugar to keep skin smooth and fresh.
  6. Coconut Oil: Oh the oil that is changing the glamour industry. Coconut is an oil that melts as soon as I gets above body temperature. So keeping it in the fridge for long time use or in the bathroom when quickly needed is a must. Believe me when I say it is a blessing to all who want to look younger longer. Coconut oil can be used with a drop of peppermint oil to smooth & moisturize feet. It can be used straight out of the jar to remove eye makeup. It can be mixed with a little honey and some instant coffee pellets for a cleansing wake me up. And when whipped up with a little bit of honey, some Shea butter and a bit of citrus (see below) the fresh summer scent will freshen your body. In the fall/winter, replace the lemonade with cinnamon, cloves, a drop of orange extract or just a bit of pumpkin spice. Yummy!
  7. Heavy Cream: Not a common item, but I love it! This is one of my must haves for any face cleanser receive. The extra natural fat in heavy cream replenishes moisture to your skin naturally without chemicals, clogging pores, and added artificial ingredients. The sky is the limit on this. Blend with anything I’ve mentioned before. I like to was my face with heavy cream, honey, a touch of coffee, and a bit of extra fine oatmeal. Gentle, non abrasive and cleans my face gently leaving it soft and its out of my pantry.
  8. There are so many other ingredients out there that are perfect to help your skin. Check into other things like bananas & peaches (I use organic baby food–convenient and already processed!), coconut water, rose water, yogurt, cocoa powder, cinnamon, lemon juice–the options are endless. Just be a smart facial mixologist–read a lot, test everything, tweak the recipes when needed, and if its not right and doesn’t make your face feel and look the way you want…. no big deal. You’ll create your own 5 star “product”‘soon enough!!

S.O.S. — I’ve “Hit Pan”!!!!

19 Apr

Running outIn the dark world of us makeup addicts, we often use a secret phrase: “I’ve hit pan.” This is a secret code us color junkies use to tell others that we have run out of a product we love. Usually us makeup lovers know when we are getting low on a fave and pick up a backup for a smooth transition when we run out. Of course, certain products we won’t stress too much about because, since makeup addicts are always trying new things, we may have already found a new love with a different brand of a former mainstay. But every glamour guru will have a few select items that are always–ALWAYS–around. And when we see the bottom, we tend to panic a bit. But we are professionals. We will fix it. And fast.

So, a few things started to get low–or worse–disappear this week in my makeup drawer. A couple I tried “alternatives” to, maybe to test the competition or save a buck or two. But the fact is that they are items I will be loyal to till someone says they aren’t around anymore. (*Gasp*–don’t even want to think about that!). Here is what I have/had to restock in my makeup drawer recently:

Lancome**Lancôme CILS Booster XL**: I never thought I needed a mascara primer…until I used a mascara primer! This was the first one I bought after a makeover day at a local department store. I bought it immediately. I used it only when I wanted really *POW!* lashes like for a night out or a dinner date. I started running low, plus it started to get some age on it, so I grabbed an inexpensive drugstore brand to see if I could save a few dollars with the same results. Yeah….no. The drugstore brand did nothing really–not like Lancôme’s did. It probably is the most expensive on the market, but you do get what you pay for. My lashes are longer, thicker, bolder when I use Booster XL. And it puts a nice barrier of Vitamin E between my lashes and mascara, keeping them healthy and preventing lash dry-out. Heading out tomorrow for a new tube! Macys.com, $25

Maybeline**Maybelline Fit Me® Shine-Free Foundation**: The weather here at home is (finally!) changing. Temperatures are changing and my j*o*b is throwing me a little stress. Let’s add a few hormone issues I’d prefer not to speak of, and the result is a skin texture and tone that is hard to work with. My winter moisture-packed foundation is too heavy; my powder mineral foundation is too light. So I dug out what I had put off to the side and found my Fit Me® foundation from last year. After using it just once this year, I knew it was now my go-to foundation for the season. After a week, I noticed my ‘swivel’ was tapped. I was at the end! Next day on my way to work, I made sure I stopped at my local drugstore to get another. My face looks smooth, natural, and the foundation controls oil, fading and streaking all day. I don’t have a lot of free time for makeup touch ups during the day–I want to do what I can to make sure my look stays put all day. This Maybelline foundation helps to make sure that happens! CVS, $8.99

Rimmel**Rimmel London’s Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Liner in Sparkling Black**: I did a whole eyeliner comparison last year–drugstores vs. department stores, waterproof vs. long wear, liquid vs. pencils. I think when it was all said and done, my go-to brand ended up being Rimmel’s Scandaleyes. The color variety was huge, the stay power was great, nothing smudged or ran ALL DAY, and oh–the price was EPIC. Even though I tend to always use black on my waterline with color underneath, I had began using the sparkling black because the hint of glitter softened the heavy black and gave it a nice glimmer. I ended up buying another one so I had two: one for home and a backup in the purse. Well, I switched them out when home’s got low and now sharpening is getting difficult again. So it’s time for a new full one–that kind, that brand, that color. Walmart, $3.97

image**Perfectly Posh’s The Daily Grind Body Coffee Scrub**: Okay, I have to be honest here. This is not the first time I have “hit pan” with this product. In fact? I think I’m probably on my 6th container of this little beauty. It doesn’t hurt that I’m a coffee fanatic. Then to find a natural bath product that does what I want with the feeling of bathing in an espresso is even better! The Daily Grind energizes skin and gets your blood pumping with a cup of coffee before you get out of the shower. It’s packed with the cleansing and rejuvenating properties of coffee, as well as clearing, anti-cellulite and energizing traits. This scrub cleanses as well as removes the dead skin cells keeping your skin soft, fresh and glowing. Oh, and did I mention it smells damn good? I don’t even want to think of this gem not ever being in my bathroom. I shudder at the thought. PerfectlyPosh.com or an Independent Represenative, $24

Simple**Simple Facial Wipes**: I will forever stand firm on something a friend told me years ago. I’m not sure if it’s true, but it was enough to scare the mascara off my eyes. “If you fall asleep with your makeup on, your face will age an extra six days.” Okay, ummm, NO! I’m fighting against time now and my age lying is getting pathetic even for me (although no one usually questions it.) I did a little reach on my own and did find articles that say not washing your face before bed WILL age your appearance. The good news? No one is sure how much. The bad news? Six days was the LOWEST number! Eeek! So, since then I try to remember to take off my face for the day with a nice gentle cleanser then treat it with a good serum. But, I will admit, I get tired, get upstairs in bed, then realize I forgot my bedtime facial. So, let’s just say I’m a bit lazy. If I’m in bed?…I’m in bed. I have phones, remotes, food, reading material and ice packs on a rough day. So, I figured if I can make sure I have a “stash” of goodies for lazy evenings, I can include skin care too. I have a little bag with skin care necessities: hand cream, cotton balls, mini eye makeup remover, trial sized night cream and eye cream, and my Simple Cleansing Wipes. They do the trick when I need to get the “crud” off and prepare myself for a night of cell rejuvenating. The formula doesn’t bother my sensitive skin, it gets off the toughest makeup, eye color, eyeliners and mascaras. They aren’t abrasive, they do the trick, they are easy to keep where I need them and they aren’t expensive. I have gone through two packs of Simple Wipes and a pack of a different brand. I went right back to Simple’s. They just did the trick–no fuss, no muss. And no more waiting…I need a new pack tomorrow! Walmart, $4.49

So that, my makeup beauties, is what it means to “hit pan”. I’ll be anxious to see if I find any other products this year that I will fall in love with, worthy enough to create chaos if I “hit pan”. I’ve tried a few new products recently: a new face wash, a perfume, new body cream, long wear mascara. Will any of them make themselves worthy to enter the “hit pan” elites? I don’t know yet, but I’ve got a lot of time ahead, a bunch of products to trial, and a whole lotta time to see what other items big named cosmetic companies come up with.. Let’s see if anything else in my makeup drawer becomes worthy to enter my “I hit pan” club soon!

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Not Fashion, Not Beauty, BUT NECESSARY!!

1 Dec

While in my car today, driving home from my day of fun which others may call “work”, I had a brilliant idea for a blogpost. It may not sound like a big deal, but any thought process after a long day IS a big deal. I was thinking about the things that I need, I have, I love… that don’t really fall under any of the major categories–clothing, fashion, shoes, bags, accessories, makeup, skin care, or beauty products in general. But certain items are a must have for me. Some are things that still shows my style, my love of glam, and my glitter-ific personality. Some may be to help my day go smoother, some help me start calmer. They may not be things that apply to you but you’d be surprised how even a simple thing can let the world know you are casual and outgoing….and all while still being exceptional. An anomaly. A rockstar. A sassy, fierce individual who’s going above & beyond. Of course, glamour ombré lipstick and glitter gel eyeliner will cause heads to turn but how about a few other things to make them look and wonder. Or things that just make your day a little brighter, a little easier, a little more tolerable. Maybe things like:

1. A stunning cell phone case
2. A fragrant candle
3. A pen & pencil you like
4. A perfect manicure
5. A GOOD cup of coffee
6. A great cup to put it in
7. A cool key chain
8. A messy hair-day headband
9. A chic iPad cover
10. An old-school notebook

So, as you think about these random things that you may have never thought about before, I’ll share with you my selections for these somewhat common items that this Sassinista chose to embellish on:

1. Apple iPhone Zebra Shell on silicone case/black & hot pink
Jazzy style, cool design, hot colors. Definitely a case that says, “diva”! Since the major part of my day is on the phone, I am going to want to get some motivation, even if it’s just from the case!
(accessorygeeks.com, $12.99)

2. Better Homes & Garden jar candle in Candied Caramel Pecan
A nice, sweet scented candle that just gives the room a homey feel as you go about your day–at home or at work!
(Walmart, prices vary by store)

3. Pentel Icy Automatic Pencils & Pentel Energel Pearl Deluxe Retractable Gel Pen
They are pink, they are sleek, and they write damn good. Plus pink makes me smile.
(Walmart, prices vary by store)

4. To give yourself a perfect, easy, at home manicure, you need three things:
* A sticky base coat
* A long-lasting nail color
* A long-wearing, fast drying top coat
If you use these three products, you should only need a mani once a week. I suggest getting Orly Bonder Base Coat, OPI Nail Lacquer, and INM Out The Door Top Coat.
(Sally Beauty, prices vary & check for sales)

5. Dunkin Donuts Chocolate Glazed Donut Ground Coffee
If you perk or press your first cup of the day, this is a great flavor to have. Mix in different creamer flavors for some tasty creations.
(Most grocery markets, about $7.99)

6. “That Metal Show” oversized coffee mug
I get that this might not be for everyone, but this cup is my fave! I’m reminded of my love for heavy metal that this great show brings me. Mix in my morning cup of energy, and I can conquer the day!
(shop.VH1.com, $13.95)

7. High Heeled Shoe w/red bottom (Louboutin-looking)
With my love of shoes never a thought away, it only seemed appropriate I put one on my keys. It’s very noticeable & a great conversation piece. Plus it keeps my husband from taking my keys!
(amazon.com, many varieties to choose from)

8. Charming Charlie’s Epic Headbands
I loooooooove Charming Charlie! Such unique pieces when it come to accessories. I really love their headbands since the variety gives me many options to look at and try. Since looking sassy is how I roll, they give me so many choices for just that!
(charmingcharlie.com or a store near you, many sales going on now)

9. INSTEN 360-degree Swivel Leather Case For Apple iPad 2/3/4 (leopard design)
My life is my iPad. It’s my writing savior, it’s my note taker, it’s my main communicator. So, if I’m going to entrust it with my information, it needs to be protected. And this cover is perfect. The good news?… It’s chic, stylish and protects. The bad news?… It was a lot more expensive when I got it! You peeps are getting a great deal!
(walmart.com, $7.99)

10. Pierre Belvedere Letter Size Snap Portfolio in Fuchsia
Yes, people, there is a these here with black and white designs or hot pink and glitter accessories. This is no exception. As I writer, ideas come to at any time, any place, any situation. Don’t think I haven’t been in a one-size-does-not-fit-all doctor sheet writing notes about the epic manicure the nurse just did. Because times like this can happen anywhere, a great portfolio is good to have with me. Plus it holds papers, business cards and necessary writing instruments to keep my writing flowing smooth. The ipad is nice, but the written word is true and dominant to me. I like it.
(amazon.com, $25.50)

So, not every day has to be spent at luxury clothing store, a consignment shop, or at the makeup display of any and every cosmetic counter to look and feel great. Sometimes overlooked things for the busy, business professional female can still make you smile and give off that aura of, “Yeah, I rock!” And they make you smile when you see them or use them yourself. Take your sass-itude to a whole new level without breaking the bank… and add a little pizzazz in the process!

Sassy thingsSassy itemsSassy items

Fashionista Must-Haves …. (that aren’t fashions)

13 Dec

SlingbacksBeing a fashionista isn’t easy. It can be fun, but it can also be very consuming. There is so much involved in the who, what, wears of the industry that it can almost feel like a full time job. Watching runway shows, collecting photos of new lines, hunting down hot sales, keeping track of who is in and who is out… there really is a lot of pressure involved. I know my husband–along with most men–are rolling their eyes right now, but you honestly don’t understand. Before you judge, you should walk a week in a fashionista’s shoes—and yes, by that I mean 5 inch Giuseppe Zanotti Striped Sling Back Pumps. So there.

In addition to having to carry a statement purse that holds all our stuff, the perfect combination of goodies in our makeup bag, the right shoes that match the right outfit at the right height for the right appearance, along with an array of other accessories that we might need while out, we also need things—at home and away—that keeps our chaotic lives running smooth. There are a few items which may seem simple to most but are life-saving must-haves to us self-proclaimed fashionistas. If the fun and frenzied road of glamour and fashion sounds appealing to you, on a personal or professional level, here are a few things that I have found are necessities to keeping yourself calm, cool, and collected. And they don’t require a prescription. Here is my list:

Large coffee pressLarge French Coffee Press: Between writing, mall hopping, and sale shopping, it is a given that I will need coffee at any given moment. Sometimes it is while I am on the couch writing my latest blog entry, sometimes it is as I’m flying out the door to hit a clearance sale at a local consignment shop. I think the easiest way to make coffee fast AND good is with a French press. It allows me to make a lot or a little, it is as fast, and I can select or mix up any flavor(s) I like. Scoop in your coffee, cover with boiling water, press it, done. Add my creamer flavor of choice (of course I have about five to select from at any given time, including International Delight’s Cold Stone Creamery Sweet Cream and Coffee-Mate’s Pecan Praline and off I go. Have coffee, must travel. Wait…cancel that. Have travels, must coffee. That’s better.
Sassy’s Pick: Mr. Coffee’s 8-cup Coffee Press; Bed Bath & Beyond, $9.99

SmallCoffeePressSmall French Coffee Press: Yeah, I know, you’re saying… “You just told me to buy a big one, why do I need a small one?” Oh, you silly thing! Now there are going to be the days when you need to take your coffee to the next level. You need to enjoy a tall frothy cup of goodness that will put you in a diva state a mind. That’s where the small press comes in to play. While your large press is brewing your favorite brand of beans, warm up your favorite flavor of creamer (about 1/3 cup) for about 30 seconds in the small press in your microwave. (Make sure your press is plastic.) Then raise and lower the press several times to “froth” the creamer. Fill your travel mug with half coffee, half creamer foam, sprinkle on some cinnamon, and you have yourself a tasty little latte to go. Even if you are staying in for the day, make one in your favorite mug and enjoy while you work. With the holiday season upon us, I like to use eggnog instead of creamer with a dusting of nutmeg. Yum….so tasty seasonal!
Sassy’s Pick: Bodum Brazil 3-Cup French Press Coffee Maker; Bed Bath & Beyond, $19.99

CellPhoneCaseA Smart Phone Like DUH!… this should be a given, right? Well from a person who does not like change, I can say it’s not. Up until a year ago, I had no smart phone. I had a pink cell phone that rang when I had a call, and hung up when I flipped it closed. That’s was it. And I was fine with that. I didn’t need to check my email once an hour. I didn’t have to change my Facebook status three times a day. I didn’t even know what Twitter was. Yeah, well, let me tell you: you want to become a fashionista who has goals set in stars? Then you need to be PLUGGED IN! In less than a year, I had an iPhone that included my three email addresses, my Facebook account to follow my favorite brands (such as Marshalls, Guess and L’Oreal) as well as my Facebook fan page, my Twitter account set up to notify me if any of my fave Tweeps (like @dkny and @TJMaxx) mention me in a Tweet, an Instagram account to take photos of my fashion finds, my blog editor, plus several other apps that keep me organized (phone contacts, datebook, grocery shopping list, Dunkin Donuts locator). Before I couldn’t think about what I would do with a Smart Phone. Now I honestly can’t think of what I’d do without mine. I sometimes forget that it is actually still a phone when it rings. I think maybe I have “talked” on it three times this week. That’s all.
Sassy’s Pick: Pink Girly Glitter Bow iPhone Case (hey, bling it up!); zazzle.com, $39.95

Velvet HangersVelvet Hangers: Okay, I know, this seems really random. But the fact is, whether you are a fashionista or just protective of your clothes, you really should invest a little money to make sure they stay neat and in their place. I have a lot of v-neck and scoop-neck tops, and they do not like to stay on plastic hangers. They end up falling off, getting on the dusty floor in my closet, or even forgotten behind a bunch of shoes. Velvet hangers are FAB to keep everything where they belong. Not only that, but I also love getting them in various colors to help me sort out different pieces: short sleeves on pink hangers, long sleeves on black hangers, lightweight sweaters on white hangers, cardigans on blue hangers, etc. They are not expensive, especially if you find them in a discount or home store. Trust me…. they will become your best closet friend!
Sassy’s Pick: Diva Velvet Hangers, pack of 10; TJ Maxx, $8.99

Okay, so being a fashionista goes beyond the clothes, the shoes and the bags. It goes beyond the bracelets and the earrings and the necklaces. It’s attitude. It’s commitment. And it also includes things that make your life easier. Even if fashion and glamour isn’t your thing, organization needs to happen no matter what you focus on during the course of your day. These few things that I find to be a necessity in my collection, you may end up falling in love with as well. But share with me…. what are your daily must haves that you can’t see yourself surviving without each day? Maybe your laptop, a tablet, your favorite gum? Share with me! Maybe it will be one of Sassy’s “must haves” too!