Saturday, October 31, 2009

"Trick or Treeeat"


Trick:
"Guess Who?"


The Magic of Intent.
I had been looking for this movie still for most of the night when Habitually Chic's post came through with it displayed.
I audibly gasped!


Treat:
"The Big Heist" ~ Track 11.


The Magic of Mancini.
Own it and love it.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Happy Halloween!

A girl's got to accessorize!
(from Avanti Cards)


I'm flying away on my broom for the weekend so I wanted to leave you with a little treat for your Halloween party.

Milky Way Martini
1 1/2 oz. Starbucks Cream Liqueur
1 oz. Three Olives Chocolate Vodka
1/2 oz. cream


Combine all ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker.
Shake until well blended, then strain into a chilled martini glass.

A special trick I do for a Halloween cocktail is to give it a ghoulish garnish. This is from a 'Martha' inspired idea.

Mix light corn syrup and red coloring (I used cake decorating gel coloring) and apply a thin line to the outside of the glass. Place the glass on newspaper or a paper towel to catch any drips. The red coloring stains so protect your surfaces. Depending how much mixture you add to the glass it will drip down the sides and set in place. If it runs down too far before setting it can make the glass messy to hold or if it's a humid day it may not set well. If this happens add a little cocoa powder to the corn syrup to make it more viscous. I thought of this before a party when I was having trouble with it setting on the glasses and it worked well. One note ~ the coloring will stain your guests lips pink which could be fun for a party but you might want to leave a sipping section on the glass without any 'blood.'

If 'blood' isn't your thing, green goo and slime would also be fun.

Your guests will give you an A+ for the night.
That's an A positive!!

Eat, Drink, and be Scary!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Beautastic Give-Away WINNERS!


Thank you to everyone who entered the give-away.
I've got great news and a big surprise for those who entered but first a big congratulations to
Random Number Generator
1 31 15

"All Things Southern and Preppy!
"

Now for the great news and big surprise...
everyone entered is a winner!

SkinWest.com wants you to feel oh-so-beautiful too so they have graciously offered to send you a box of products of your own! And when I say a box I mean a box!

Email me at pinkmartinisandpearls@gmail.com and I will send you the email address of SkinWest.com and who to send your mailing information to. The product samples will come directly from SkinWest.com. Don't forget to mention that Pink Martini sent 'ya so you get special treatment and more samples than usual! If you have a certain line you'd like to try or specific products like cleaners, eye treatments, sunscreen, serums, etc., make sure you let them know and they will do their best to fill your request upon availabilities.

I hope you enjoyed your surprise today and welcome to my new followers too!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The "Beautastic Give-Away" Ends Tonight!



The "Beautastic Give-Away" ends tonight
so I thought I'd review a couple of the products from SkinWest.com that I've had a chance to try that I really love.

One is the Hydrating SPF 30 Sunscreen by Pevonia.


It is completely non-greasy and has a matte finish yet it's still hydrating. I love the light scent which reminds me of the plumerias at the Mauna Kea Resort on the Big Island.
*sigh*

Another product I use daily is Glytone Hand Cream.


It has an SPF of 15 and 6.2% Glycolic acid for exfoliating. It tingles slightly when I first apply it which I like because I feel it's doing something. I rub the back of my hands together as the last thing before going out the door. It has really helped to fade any freckling due to sun damage.

And to answer one follower's question asking if the incredible hunky guy will be delivering the give-away to the winner... alas but no. Sorry! ;)

but...

I will have an incredible announcement on Wednesday morning for all who entered the give-away so check back then!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Bravo Mad Men!


Finally!

The pay off I've been waiting for all season!
Don Drapper in tears and coming clean to Bets.
Roger remaining faithful to his wife.
Joan hitting her husband over the head with the vase and the hope of him shipping off to Vietnam.
Where Is Love from Oliver!
(which is playing on my sidebar today)

"And who are you supposed to be?"

It's almost too much to ask for in one night!

I'm worried Pam Ewing is going to wake up.

"Where Is Love" ~ Oliver!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Week Ahead...

As the shadows go long before the Angels game tonight I had the chance to snap this pic of the 112 samples of my
Beautastic Give-Away
sponsored by SkinWest.com that ends on Tuesday!

Have a great week ahead and ...

Have a nice day.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Ladybugs and Sunflower Cookies


My wonderful niece3 asked me about some ideas for cookies for her friend's daughter's B-day who is turning 2. At 2, the kidlettes would be happy with a popsicle split in half but we know the party is really for adults anyway so let's bring some fun cookies to show off!

I thought about rainbows, smiley faces, ladybugs and sunflowers. Since I was making more fall cookies last night to send to college boy1 and had the colors ready to go I decided to see what I could come up with since I had not made ladybugs before and only made sunflowers once many moons ago.

Here is what I came up with...



I am naming this ladybug 'Tammy Faye.'
A little too much mascara (icing too thin so it spread)
but she does have a perfect pout!


Dots or hearts on the wings?
Hmmm.



I am naming this lady bug "Tyra" because she smiles with her eyes.
I think Tyra coined the term "smize."


Or we could always get the Raid and start all over.
Note: I would NEVER oft a real ladybug!



I didn't have a small, round, smooth cutter for the ladybugs so I used a votive candle holder and then used a very small crinkle biscuit cutter for the head. The body and head fit perfectly together because I cut the head from the left over scraps of the body positioning the head cutter a little into where I had cut the body from. Therefore, the head cookie had a curve to it.
Does that make sense? Good. :)

Put a little water on the two pieces of the cookie edges and bake them touching and you have one cookie at the end of 12 minutes. Ta-Da!!

The sunflowers are cut from using a bar glass (I guess I need some plain edged cutters).
The petals are made using a standard leaf tip.
I pulled the leaves from the center and added chocolate chips on their sides.

They needed a little more color and sparkle so I added some green leaves and edible glitter.
When I made sunflowers before I used a nonpareil candy.

They look like large chocolate chips with little white round candy sprinkles (nonpareils) on their tops. Do you remember seeing these in the concessions counter at the movies?
Does the name Snow Caps ring a bell?
It is a prettier effect because it gives the center more interest than plain chips.

For the little kidlettes I would go smaller in size and decorate with butter cream icing because it would be just a little softer to bite into. I think the combo of the ladybugs and sunflowers would be very cute or even a whole tray of just ladybugs!

Here's my recipe for butter cream icing.
Big secret... It's from the C&H sugar box and it's terrrrific!

1 lb. box powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. salt (optional)
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup butter (2/3 stick)

Beat together but hold back a little of the milk until you see if the icing is the consistency you want. If the icing is too stiff add more milk.

If you're not used to piping with butter cream icing it does tend to soften from the heat of your hands from gripping the pastry bag so I would make it more stiff than what you would use for icing a cake. You can also get lumps blocking the tip if the butter and sugar aren't thoroughly mixed. If you work with royal icing these two problems will never occur. Royal icing is much easier to work with in my opinion. Just a little icing comparison there. :)

And talk about heat making your icing melt...


Don't forget to enter my
"Beautastic Give-Away"
that is going on until Tuesday.

We all want to sparkle for the holidays and edible glitter won't do it for us .... or will it?
Hmmm. Could be fun finding out! ;)

Have a wonderful weekend BFs!

"Wild Kids" ~ David Benoit

Thursday, October 22, 2009

"Beautastic Give-Away!"



Knowing how I love to try out new skin products, SkinWest.com has given me oodles of samples to share with you! 112 in fact so I'm having a Beautastic Give-Away!

This is your chance to try samples from high-end lines that you might or might not be familiar with. Perhaps you've have seen them in your dermatologist's office or in magazines and wondered why they are thought of so highly. Here's your chance to find out! Being a cosmeceuticals junkie I've tried many and loved them. I am going to put 112 samples in a fun see-through tote with hot pink patent trim (love, love, love) and send them your way! You'll be exfoliated, hydrated and glowing come spring!
Check out all the lines on the skinwest.com website.



Here are the lovely products and the quantities in the give-away:
Babor Cleansing (3 - 1 oz.)
La Roche-Posay Biomedic Conditioning Lotion Exfoliante (3 - 1 oz.)
Murad Sleep Reform Serum (3)
SkinMedica Hydrating Complex (7)
SkinMedica TNS Night Eye Repair (5)
Skin Medica Dermal Repair Cream (6)
Pevonia Botanica Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser (2)
Pevonia Botanica Mattifying Oily Skin Cream (4)
Pevonia Botanica Enzyme Peeling Cream (1)
Pevonia Botanica Hydrating Sunscreen SPF 30 (2) ~ new fav!
Eminence Organic Skin Care Herbal Eye Contour Cream (3)
Eminence Organic Skin Care Wild Plum Eye Cream (3)
Eminence Organic Skin Creme Sweet Red Rose Cleanser (3)
Kinerase Extreme Lift Eye (8)
Kinerase Daily Defense Cream SPF 30 (7)
Kinerase Lotion (9)
Kinerase Brightening Face Serum (6)
Kinerase Concentrated Spot Treatment (6)
Kinerase Under Eye Rescue (6)


Sorry, this is not one of the samples but I felt like you might need to refocus your eyes about now. And we continue...

Bioelements (25)
LightPlex
Extremely Emollient Body Creme
Equalizer
Moisture Positive Cleanser
Comfortably Clean Showering Gel
Ultrarich Cremetherapy Mask
Restorative Clay Mask
Measured Micrograins Scrub
Gel Therapy Mask
Make-up Dissolver for Eyes, oil free
Pumice Peel Microdermabrasion
Moisture x 10
Oxygenation Treatment Creme
Kerafole Deep Exfoliating Mask
Oxygen Cocktail
Sensitive Skin Cleanser
Absolute Moisture
Beyond Hydration
Crucial Moisture
Urban Detox Serum
Sleepwear Overnight Topical Calcium
Recovery Serum
Quick Refiner
Stress Solution
Decongestant Cleanser

If you are a follower, new or prior, and leave a comment you'll be entered!
How simple is that?

This Beautastic Give-Away ends Tuesday, Oct. 27th at midnight pacific time
while most of us are getting our beauty sleep. :)



Small print: I feel I should add a disclaimer. Pink Martinis and Pearls is not responsible for any skin irritations that could be associated with using any skin care products but if it turns out your skin becomes radiant and glorious from the use of any of these products, then heck I'm taking full credit and request you let all of us know what you loved! Have fun! :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pink Ribbon Wednesday!


With all the pretty pink ribbons this month I thought I'd add my own to the collection.


Pink and green bubbles. So cheerful and effervescent.
Cheers! hic!

Wisps of pink clouds or tufts of cotton candy?
They look as light as air.


Bubbles that sparkle oh so pretty!

Tres elegante!
Wired moire taffeta grosgrain.

Horizontal striped grosgrain.
Turning preppy ribbon on it's side.


Not pink but... "Hello Gorgeous!"
Wonderful any day of the week.

All ribbon from May Arts.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My Pumpkin Patch

When I got up to the cashier she said automatically, "Did you find everything you needed?" I said deadpan, "No, I couldn't find the pumpkins. You didn't have any in the store." She stopped what she was doing and just looked at me like I was the most dimwitted person she had ever met. If I could have kept a straight face she would have had a great story at the end of her shift.

"You Look Beautiful, No, No Really."


My sorority sister once told me of a guy who was hitting on her and uttered the titled phrase in a thick foreign accent in one complete sentence and breath. Insincerity was never so charming. It became a catch phrase between us.

I've found some products that sincerely can have an impact on beauty.
Yes, yes, really!

Origins A Perfect World Facial Cleanser - antioxidant with white tea



I came across this line as I was looking for Dr. Andrew Weil's line. The cleanser is concentrated so it will last a long time. It smells great and does not dry out my skin in the least. I have now replaced my long time favorite Philosophy's Purity and will never go back.

and speaking of Dr. Weil ~

I also bought this:
Plantidote Mega- Mushroom Eye Makeup Remover Pads



LOVE them! Non-oily and soothing with no irritation for me. Takes off mascara, everything. One pad per eye and one extra between both eyes just to make sure.

Dr. Weil Skin Care Collection


  • Cleanser - haven't tried it yet but the reviews are great.
  • Face Serum - LOVE, love, love
  • Face Cream - good for me at night but I also see a difference on the back of my hands since I also use it there.
Thank you Mizz for sending me StriVectin Neck Cream to try out.



Non-greasy, great texture and virtually no smell. Note to younger women ~ use sunscreen on your D├ęcolletage! Freckles may look cute when you're younger but you know what they say..."a tan is just another word for sun damage."

I also love Dr. Denese's products.



The Advanced Facial Firming Pads are the best to exfoliate every morning and night. All of her products that I have tried, and there have been many, I find effective and great. She sells them through her own website and through QVC.

Just thought I'd share my finds today since I love reading what other people have to say about their favorite products.

Have a beautiful day! :)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Decorated Cookies: Part III


Icing & Decorating.



This is the fun part!



Part I
Part II

Get your mixer bowl and whisk ready and we're off!

Royal Icing:
1 lb. Powdered Sugar (does not need to be sifted)
3 Tbl. Meringue Powder
6 Tbl. Hot Water (from tap is fine)

Make sure your bowl and whisk attachment is grease free.
Why grease free? Grease and egg whites don't mix and the whites will not rise. Give both a pre-wash if they've been sitting unused in your kitchen for awhile.

With a whisk attachment beat all the ingredients on high until fluffy.
Do not under beat. I mix for at least 8 minutes.
Put the icing immediately in a container with a tight lid to prevent it from drying out.

If I know what colors I am mixing I will divide the icing into small containers with lids or fold a wrung out paper towel to cover. The very small Glad disposables are good so you can have a lot of them ready to go and they are inexpensive. The best part is if you get tired of seeing icing and don't feel like washing at the end of your creativity you can throw them away. I do this with disposable piping bags. Get a bunch and make your life easier.

All the icing except on the Indian corn and the green leaves and stems on the pumpkin were prepared the following way:

"Count to 10 For The Perfect Consistency"



To get the nice smooth icing you see on the cookies it needs to be thinned. Too thin and it runs down the sides of the cookies and will not coat it well. Too thick and it will just sit there and not be smooth.
Here's how to get the perfect consistency -
Count To "10".

Add water a teaspoon at a time for small amounts. Mix it well into the icing. Now pull up a dollop of icing on your spoon or spatula and let it drop back down into the bowl. Count to 10. If the dollop seems to melt and disappears back into the icing by the count of 10 it will be the perfect consistency. If you can still see remnants of the dollop add a touch more water. If if melts back in too quickly then you need to add more regular icing to give it more body.

Colors:
I only use gel colors.
Powders never mix in well and pastes take time to work in. I think every company has gone over to gels now anyway. Add colors by dipping in a tooth pick into the color. Do not re-use the tooth pick. The color jars will last indefinitely if they are not contaminated with the icing. The color intensity will be higher for royal icing compared to adding color for cake icing. This is due to the absence of a grease base. I feel like Alton Brown. :)
* It is also easier to mix the colors if you have thinned out the icing first.

These are my favorite tools.
Craft brushes and a baby spoon.



You can see this in the spider web cookie photo below how I like to use the end of the brush. I used this to swirl the leave colors together too. It blends better than a tooth pick because it is slightly thicker.

I use the back of the baby spoon like a spatula.
I find spreading the icing with a small spatula or knife is still too large for some of the small curves I get into and the baby spoon is just the right feel. You'll find what feels right to you. :)

These cookies were a quickie job since we are getting ready to leave to see son2 for Parent's Weekend or I would have embellished a few of them differently if I had the time.

Here are some ideas of what you can do and the specific decorating things I did for each of the cookie designs.

Candy Corn -



Ice the yellow and white areas first and let set.
If you do all colors at once touching the border of the adjacent color, the colors will bleed. Colored sugar is fun to use for a different texture. If you are doing this do one color at a time, sprinkle with corresponding color and let dry. Turn cookie over and tap off excess sugar and go on to your next color.

Fall Leaves -

To make the color swirls I begin by putting the icing on in color blocks.



I then take the end of the craft brush and swirl it around.



My first ones are never as good as the ones I do last. The above leaf is one of my first. Because I only do this once a year I forget what I did to perfect my technique the year prior.

This is one my my last leaves. Much better.



Stick with the brighter colors.
Buttercup yellow, rust, orange, burnt orange, red.
Browns and greens don't work well when swirling colors together.



If you look at the photo of the finished large group of cookies you can see I tried using brown in a cookie on the upper right corner and it just didn't fit it with the prettier colored ones.

Bats -
These are my absolute favorite!



I have made trays and baskets of just bats for parties and friends and they all...well... just go batty over them!! Each one has their own personality with their little googly eyes. The icing for the eyes is also thinned.

Wait til the base of the bat has set a bit. Pipe two small white dots. They will bubble up. You can do a whole cookie sheet of bat white dots and come back and add the black dots on top of the white and the black will still melt into the white. Don't add the white before the base sets up or you will have flat eyes. Because I was rushing here and could not wait, mine came out flat. Raise ones are much cuter.

Also, to save time when I know I'm going to be making lots of bats in the future, I make extra eyes on waxed paper, wait until they are thoroughly dried and peel them off and store them to drop on to the 'wet' bats during another baking time. The dried royal icing eyes release easier from waxed paper compared to parchment so I recommend using waxed paper.

* Sometimes I am very lazy and do not want to use a bag for such a small amount of icing for the dots so I will use a #3 round tip like a thimble and push the icing through with my finger that i wrapped with a small piece of plastic wrap.

I am always looking for the easiest way when I am decorating.
If I do use a bag with a tip I insert a toothpick in the end of the tip to keep it from running and drying out and stand it up in a drinking glass that is tall.


Indian Corn -



I drew this Indian Corn template and every year I try different colors and tips. This year I used a regular leaf tip for the husks and a #5 or #6 round to make the kernels and randomly added accent colors of purple/orange and purple/red.
I like the purple and orange combo the best.

Spider Web -



My original pattern is from Martha many, many years ago. After making a spiral in thinned black, pull in and out from the center to the outer points of the web and back again from the point to the center. Alternate coming in and out. If I have left over regular black icing I will add a spider to the web but the web needs to be dry or the spider will melt into the web and look like a squished insect. Personally, this is how I prefer all bugs to be just not sweet ones on cookies. :)

See how I used the back of the brush to drag through the icing?



By dragging all the lines out from the center to the outer points will make it look more like a spider web than mine. The pic below also shows when you wait too long to draw your lines through. You can see where the icing did not come back together and the cookie shows through!
Tsk, tsk! "Baker's Piece!!" :)



Pumpkin -



The vines are made with a #3 round tip and #352 for the small leaves. Sometimes I will drag the brush end in the pumpkin while it is setting to look like the ribs in a pumpkin. Give it a try.
It adds a little more dimension to it.

Whew! I hope you have enjoyed Parts I, II and III and that you will try making these for yourself. If you any questions, please leave a comment or send me an email.
I would to see your pics of what you have created too!

Also, a big thank you to many of you who left comments on my anniversary and honeymoon posts last week. It was very thoughtful of you and I appreciated your well wishes of congratulations. Thank you again for your kindnesses and sharing the memory with me!

Have a great weekend, BFs!

xoxo

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