Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thirsty Thursday!!- Light Springtime Wine (Perfect for Daytime Sippin'!)

It's Spring!! About time, right? And when the weather warms up and has promised to be here to stay, I wanna drink light, crisp, white wines. I also tend to find myself in more and more situations when daytime drinking is asked of me in the Spring and Summer (that's not just me, right?)...which brings me to today's topic. I love a daytime drink, I do. I just don't love how I feel when 5:00 actually rolls around. So here's my best friend when it comes to daytime wine drinking-

Vinho Verde. No, the wine is not green. (In the color sense.) It refers to the fact that the wine is very young once bottled and consumed. There is actually a date on the bottle telling you when it was 'born' to ensure that you're getting something fresh and 'green'. 

Vinho Verde is a Portuguese table wine, a blend of several otherwise unfamiliar grapes, that (usually) has a bit of effervescence, so it's perfect on a warm, sunny day. Vinho Verde's are also very low in alcohol, making them easy to enjoy early in the day without the negative side effects. (I will also take a huge risk right now and reveal to you all that I drank this wine when I was pregnant with my daughter, (my second child)...I did so in my third trimester, half a glass worth, on occasion.)

You can find a lot of different Vinho Verdes at most wine stores, and grocery stores are starting to carry a few more options. Here's my best advice- don't spend more than $15 on a bottle of Vinho Verde. It's just not necessary. They are really nice, light, inexpensive wines by nature. 

Some of my easy-to-find favorites are listed below-

Gazela for around $7:

Casal Garcia for around $6:

Aveleda for around $7:

Broadbent for around $9:

All of these can be found at Total Wine & More. 


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Workout Wednesday!!- Tight Arms

I've never had good arms. I used to be really embarrassed and self conscious to wear sleeveless tops.  Even when the rest of me was lean, my arms never would follow suit.  It's just in my genes for me to have kinda large and flabby ones. I used to look at pictures of myself and just wanna run and hide... 

But then again, I had never really targeted my arms in a workout before... Once I turned 30 I realized that this is the only body that I have, and it's in my control to make it the best it can be. So I started working out in a different way, on a regular basis, in addition to watching what I ate. 

If I can't make it to the gym, I do something at home (or hotel, on vacation, anywhere! -because I try very, very hard not to miss a workout). I have a few different home workouts I like- some are my own creation and some are someone else's.  And I do something different every day.  Lately I've been very into all things Tracy Anderson.

Today I'm gonna share with you one of her routines- it's an extremely short arm workout that you can do anywhere, at any time. In fact, I did it this morning while my kids played, (after my run and squats), and I'm on vacation at the moment. It doesn't require weights or any equipment whatsoever. All you need are 8 minutes and your arms.   

And now, for the first time ever in my life, I'm not embarrassed to show you mine. 

Tracy Anderson's Mat Arms Without Weights:

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tip Tuesday!- Blender Cleaning

When you're making something in your blender that's extra thick and/or sticky, sometimes you can get some of it stuck in the bottom cavity of the blender. And your scrubber or sponge just won't fit down there to clean it all. Before you go taking it all apart and forgetting how to put it back together again, try my tip!

Here I have a little chocolate milkshake stuck at the bottom of my blender...and by milkshake, I really mean cocoa powder, frozen bananas, almond butter and almond milk a.k.a. One Hot, Sticky, Mess:

Add a little bit of dish soap...

And a little warm water...

You only need enough to completely cover the blades...

Blend for about 30 seconds...

And rinse. 


Monday, April 14, 2014

Bonus Post- Goodwill Haul!

I shamelessly told you in this past Fashion Friday post that I sometimes shop at Goodwill... (

Well today I had to take my car in to get serviced in an area of town that I don't normally go to, and on the way home, I passed by a Goodwill. My kids were with me, we had time to kill...and they actually love going because they usually get to come home with a new book, movie or toy.  So we headed in. 

Goodwill shopping requires a lot of digging and patience and quite frankly, a lot of luck. A lot of the stores themselves are kinda dirty and you can leave there feeling a little scummy, which I think turns people off. But don't let it! Sometimes there's just nothing there and sometimes you get oh-so-lucky. Today was one of those days. So I thought I'd share because I do think a lot of people turn their noses up to places like Goodwill.  Maybe now you won't. 

Here's what I came home with today:

'Hollister' Denim Jacket with faux fur lining and collar. 

'Ci Sono' red faux leather jacket with faux fur collar. 

Estée Lauder faux leather bag with buckle straps. I love big bags! My Nama used to use Estée Lauder products and she would let me have the gift bags they came in. But never did I ever see one this big and nice! This one is perfect as a weekender or just as another big ole mommy bag. I can never have enough big ole mommy bags. 

(Thanks to the less than stellar lighting and wide mirrors in the Goodwill dressing room...) 'NY&Co' dark denim pin stripe wide leg trouser.   

'Gap' jeans. 

'New Directions' cotton sweater (it was a a tad too big for my liking, and looked as though it had been stretched out by the previous owner so when I got home, I washed it in cold water and didn't stretch or pull at it when I laid it out flat to dry. This seized it up and 'shrunk' it to my size.)

Total spent on the above amounts: $30!

Goodwill tips- 
•Head inside with your own sanitizing/disinfecting wipes (I keep a tub in my car at all times), especially when you're with your kids so you can wipe down your cart, at least. 
•Dress in something easy to get out of and body hugging- a lot of people just go for the furniture, and I look for that too, but I always check the clothes when I'm there. I recommend dressing in a thin tank or camisol as a bottom layer because a lot of times I will just throw on a shirt in the middle of the store to keep from having to go in the tiny dressing rooms. (They place mirrors throughout the store.) I've also been known to do the same with dresses and skirts over my pants.
•Wash EVERYTHING when you come home and before wear.  If the item isn't washable, like a book or furniture piece - use Lysol spray. Wipe down plastic toys or shoes with disinfecting wipes (unless they're leather or suede). And spray the insides with Lysol. But laces can be machine washed. 
•Don't forget to look at the glassware. I break a wine glass a month so I've bought some really nice stemware there before. Same with coffee mugs- if you like the mismatched look, you can often find some really nice, large mugs. 
•Kids clothing is a really good buy at Goodwill. Kids grow up so fast and don't need you to spend a ton of money on them! I've found some designer clothes for my kids that are in really good shape. Even if it's not yet in their size- if you like it, buy it!! Remember- you're washing EVERYTHING when you get home/before wear so what's the worry? 
•Always check under and behind the checkout counter. They keep the really nice stuff and jewelry there. Just ask to try anything on. 
•Jeans are kinda better there. No really! Someone else has already done the hard work and worn them in for you. Now you get to reap the benefits. It can be overwhelming shopping in the jeans section so instead of looking at each inner tag for a size, just flip through them and stop on any that catch your eye because of wash or brand. Then check the size. 
•Don't ignore the bread section. It's just bread that is either coming up on its due date or was an overflow from the grocery store. If you're anything like my family, we can go through a loaf of sandwich bread in no time, so the upcoming best-by date doesn't turn me off one bit. 
•Loosen up and don't judge. People bring their clothes to Goodwill because it doesn't fit anymore, they don't need it, they don't want why not take advantage of that? Would you turn down a bag of awesome things from a friend or neighbor? 


Makeup Monday- A Flawless Face When You're Otherwise Full Of It

...To be caught up on what's new here at Everyday Champagne, check out the first ever 'Fashion Friday':
...'Sometimes Saturdays':
...and 'Same Ole Sundays': 


*I have always been prone to face puffiness. I drink a gallon of water a day, eat very healthily, get 8 hours of sleep a night, and yet I still have mornings where I wake up looking like this: 

Not one angle on that face. And I swear my sight is compromised when I look like this. It makes me frustrated and oh-so-sad, just longing for my lost cheekbones and adult sized eyes that were there the day before...

Most of the time the puff goes away after my coffee and morning workout, but a lot of times I'm stuck with blowfish face. 

Here's how I hide it: 

Start with a clean and moisturized face. (I use Cetaphil Cleanser (or generic brand) and Clean & Clear Dual Action Moisturizer (or generic brand.)

(I think it's fairly obvious here but there will be no retouching in any of these photos and no filters (that's cheating!!) - this way you're able to get the true idea.)

Next, take your favorite liquid foundation, (I prefer liquid formula because I think the coverage is more natural looking than a cream or powder version. Here's my favorite:

(e.l.f Flawless Finish Foundation in 'Porcelain' (I use the 'Sand' color when I have some summer color)))

and, using your fingers, dot a small amount on your lower cheeks, forehead, nose and chin. 
Rub it in with your fingers, avoiding directly under the eyes and tops of cheekbones because we will be using concealer there later. (I prefer using my hands instead of a sponge or brush because I happen to think it does a better job with even coverage and blending.) But using your hands means you need to be sure to rub it in very, very well- like, it may take multiple tries to get it all rubbed in. You want it to look like your skin, not like makeup. 

(You can see I still have under-eye issues because my skin is still bare under there, but my skin tone has now been evened out.)

If you have any blemishes, cover them up with a thick, creamy concealer that matches your foundation and skin tone, or if your foundation is thick enough like mine, just dot more of it on the problem areas and tap gently with your ring finger until it disappears. Repeat with more concealer / foundation if necessary until no more redness is visible. 

Now it's smoke and mirror time. Take a liquid concealer, in one to two shades lighter than your foundation/skin color - my absolute favorite is this one:

(Maybelline DreamLumi Touch Highlighting Concealer in Ivory #320)

and make your face look like this:


I don't do the full face contour / highlight game, I know many of you do, but it's just a bit ridiculous what some people go through to completely transform their face. Although I do appreciate the drama of it all... So when I need a lift, I only do under my eyes (in a triangle shape taken down to the tops of my cheekbones (...or where my cheekbones were yesterday), under my nostrils if there's any redness, and around my lips. 

Blend it in with your fingers, until it becomes one with your skin. Again, make sure to blend this very well so it is absorbed and doesn't appear cakey. Also- please, please use the ring finger only. It's the softest of all of your fingers so it won't pull at the skin on your face and create wrinkles. 

(Where'd my lips go?)

If you have any issues with blue or purple pigment under the eyes (under eye rings/circles), use a bit of a yellow concealer on top (yellow neutralizes the color blue), but only over the discoloration area- not over the full 'triangle area'. This one is my favorite:

(Maybelline Cover Stick Corrector/Concealer in Yellow)

Cover the now concealed eye area with a pressed powder or loose powder either matching the shade of concealer or a translucent one. The pressed powder can be thick and sometimes draw attention to fine lines if you use too much of it, so go light.  You just want to set the concealer so it doesn't run or crease. For pressed powders I like:

(Cover Girl Simply Powder in Classic Ivory #510.)

Next I do my eyebrows. I'm very light and fine haired, therefore my eyebrows are as well. I don't need to draw a full brow, I do have them, I just need to fill them in a bit. 

Here are my favorite brow pencils for blondes:

(The Maybelline Eyebrow Pencil in Blonde (the red one) is the lightest shade and one I've been using for years so it's my go-to, the others (NYX 'taupe'and e.l.f 'light' are still nice for different reasons even though they're a bit too dark for everyday -the brush is handy in the NYX and the attached highlighter pencil is nice in the e.l.f.))

I just lightly dot with the pencil on the places that are a little bare. No lines- just small dots or dashes. 

(Oh, by the way- since you're now as close to my face as you may ever be- I feel I should inform you that the mark on my forehead, (along with the marks on my left cheek), are not blemishes. They're, um...they' marks. Yes. Beauty marks. Moles are for trolls, witches and boys.  Beauty marks are for ladies.)

I also pay more attention to the top of the arc of the brow, as this can make your eyes look larger and more awake. I just barely extend the brow shape up a tad, with the pencil, at the top center of the brow- right at its highest point. But just barely. If you take it too far, you've got a perpetual look of shock and horror on your face. 

And then I blend with my finger to make sure no pencil lines are visible. 

Lightly brush the brow hairs upwards with a eyebrow brush, or a dry and clean toothbrush, to make them appear fuller. You can also just use your fingers for this.

Next I take a very light, flesh colored highlighting pencil, (like the one on the other end of my e.l.f brow pencil, or any type of pencil / crayon concealer works great for this as well:

(NYC in Classic Ivory #960A)

and I lightly trace underneath the brows, not on the hair, but directly underneath,

then blend with my finger. This really makes your brows, and therefore your eyes, pop. 

Next, take a matte bronzer in a shade one to two shades darker than your skin - eyeshadows can actually work for this as well, (just make sure there is no shimmer). I have two that I like. One in a cream form and one in a powder form. 

Here's my favorite powder bronzer for contouring:

(e.l.f Contouring Blush and Bronzer in St. Lucia #31111)

(And this is the cream form- e.l.f All Over Color Stick in Toasted. And it's what I'm using below.)

Apply lightly underneath the cheeks and at the sides of the forehead, at the hair line, avoiding the center of the forehead. 

Now blend it in using a circle motion with your finger tips. (If you used powder bronzer, use a large brush for blending.)

(Hey! I see a cheekbone! Nope. Fooled you.)

The next step is optional and totally dependent on what type of face you want for the day. You can absolutely stop here and proceed to eyes and lips. This would be a perfect base if you were keeping it all very simple or doing a bold lip and a light eye. Or...if you decide you want to play up your eyes more and keep your lips light - add some blush. The rule is pretty simple- keep your face fairly bare if you're doing a strong lip, but a smoky eye and pale lip welcome, and often need, a soft pop of color on the cheeks.

My favorite pink hued blush comes in the e.l.f palate I showed you above. It isn't too bright, and is perfect for my light skin. I tend to look like a doll if I have too much color on my face because my face is round and my eyes are on the smaller side, so I always use a very light shade on my cheeks. And I like this brush for applying it:

(e.l.f Blush Brush.  No I do not work for the e.l.f company.)

Where you apply your blush depends on your face shape. Here's where mine goes:

(Pic taken before blending!)

I apply mine right under my cheek bones. And this, honestly, took years before I got it right. Even with all the 'experts' telling you where you should put your blush, only you know. And you know only after you play and make a lot of mistakes. 

Blend it in using a large powder brush. Here's my current favorite:

(This, I believe is actually Target brand and I've had it for years. But e.l.f makes a good one too. It just needs to be extra, extra large and fluffy.)

I like to squish mine with my fingers a bit to concentrate the bristles so they work harder to blend:

Now you've got a flawless, still natural looking face with some structure and a bit of a glow. Many, many miles away from where we started, I'd say! 

(Before you start calling me a liar, these photos were taken in different lighting due to the slight difference in time of day from when I started to when I ended, so hopefully you still see the point. But I assure you- No retouching and no filters were used!)
Next 'Makeup Monday' will focus on one of the next steps - eyes and lips!