February 14, 2015

Valentine's Tapas & Love Birds Nests

The day of love is here, and if you're like most people who want to avoid the last-minute scramblers at the mall and on the busy streets, this home baked dessert just might be your ticket out of the chaos and home to where...well, the heart is.❤️

What you'll need: 
1. Oven (pre set to 400 degrees)
2. 2 boxes of pie crust (gluten-free or regular) I chose regular.
3. Your favorite organic jelly, jam or preserves
4. 2-3 baking sheets
5. 2-3 cooling racks 
6. 1 small bowl
7. Shredded coconut (sweetened)
8. Cooking Sprinkles
9. Coconut oil spray 
10. Spatula 
11. Heart shaped cookie cutters

Step 1. 
Start with laying out your pie crust. 
You'll want to layer one roll out onto the cookie sheet. See below. 

Step 2. 
Choose the filling of your choice. I selected two: Trader Joe's Organic Raspberry and Super Fruit spread. 

Step 3. 
Grab your spatula and spread a dollop of your chosen spread into the center of your bottom pie crust and spread out to the edges. Don't over do the amount of spread as this will help avoid spillover.

Step 4.
Once you've finished layering your spread, place the second pie crust on top and sandwhich the spread. 

Step 5.
Select your ideal size cookie cutter. Once you select the size of your choice, start cutting your heart shaped tapas. 

Step 6. 
Pull away any remaining scraps and put into a small bowl. (We will use the scraps to creat another treat.) In the mean time place your tapas on a cookie sheet in proportioned rows. 

Step 7. 
Pinch the perimeter of each tapa with a fork.

This will help keep your filling from spilling out and avoid the two layers from separating during baking. 

Step 8. 
Once you have your tapas ready, remove any access overspill. If you desire, spray coconut oil on top of tapas and add some sprinkles.

Place tapas into the oven, and bake 15-20 minutes or until golden. 
Note: oven temperatures and baking time may vary. 

Step 9. 
While your tapas are baking, go back to your leftover scraps and add some shredded coconut on top. I used Trader Joe's Sweetened Coconut

Step 10. 
Mix the leftover scraps and coconut together with clean hands until the coconut is worked in fully. This will create your Love Birds Nests. A little concoction I came up with myself. ;) 

Next, roll out mini balls and place onto cookie sheet #2 and push down once with a fork. Spray coconut oil on top to help the nests bake, faster. 

Step 11. 
Place into oven and bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden. 

While the Nests are baking, pull out your tapas and place on cooling racks. 

Step 12. 
Next, pull out your Nests and place those on cooling racks. 

Once the temperature of your desserts has cooled to your desired level, Enjoy! Happy Valentine's Day!


February 2, 2015

ISSE - big hair don't care

Here we go! It was day one of the International Spa & Salon Expo (ISSE) in Long Beach, California. With so much to see and very little time, my first stop was Pravana.
Known for their incredibly bright, highly pigmented Chromasilk Vivids; a demi-permanent hair color with shades that make a statement. See swatches below. The best part about Pravana is that their products are paraben-free and there's no animal testing. 

This next item of theirs is by far my favorite. It's the Nevo Intensive Therapy Leave-In Treatment. The first time I ever used this product was about five years ago when I decided to go from dark brown to a multi-faceted, I'm a Bond girl, blonde. Brace yourself. Throwback in 3.....2.....1!

Cute, right? For a minute, I thought I was doing well with the hair gods and goddesses, but I wasn't managing the styling as well as I should, and heat with bleach was a bad combination. Much like the idea of frolicking in poison ivy would be. Nothing good can come of it.

Succumbing to the mercy of my fried strands, I inquired further and purchased this eighth wonder of the world. 

What it does:  Detangles, hydrates, equalizes hair porosity, protects hair during thermal styling, repairs split ends, gives shine, eliminates static electricity, soothes skin, lessens effects of chlorine and defrizzes. 

Key Ingredients: Jojoba, algae, sunflower and theobroma grandiflorum seed butter.

Bonus touches:
Vegan. Paraben-free. Sulfate-free. Phthalates-free. Salt-free and Gluten-free.

Of all things good in this world, my hair was starting to feel alive, again. A few mist into towel dried hair and combed through was the equivalent to tiny bandaids tightly squeezing positive vibes and starfish kisses into each strand of my over processed, snapping an inch from the root, sweet, baby hair. 

Thank you, Pravana. You saved my strands from a pixie cut. And the good Lord knows he did not create my cheek bones for one of those cuts. 

Next up, L'anza. Known for using botanical and other natural products, the company focuses on healing. And by healing, I truly mean, healing. From curly hair, parched hair, I don't need much but give me something anyways, hair. You name it, they've got it. 

My favorites? Healing Moisture shampoo and the keratin healing oil hair treatment. 

Note: You only want to use keratin products if your hair is slightly or fully damaged and needs some help coming back to life. If this describes your hairdo, apply a dime size amount to fine or thin hair, more if your hair is thicker, and finger comb through wet or dry hair. 

As far as booth attention goes, I couldn't keep my eyes off their stunning hair models. Lovely.

Continuing on to a few more laps around the long beach convention center, I mingled through the crowds, watched stylist chat about angled cuts and swooned over
the half a million (don't quote me) display Big Sexy Hair propped up. Can we say uh-maze-zeen?! The photo really doesn't do it justice. The booth was gorgeous and I couldn't stop staring. I felt like I was walking the red carpet. 

After coming to, and adding a few eye drops, I walked a few steps further to meet the incredibly sweet, talented and intelligent beauty master mind of Dinair Air Brush makeup. Ms. Dina herself, who graciously posed with her two adorable models.  
This line of makeup can be used to cover tattoos, skin conditions, used as a base foundation, head to toe exotic looks and more. Check out their site for classes and more information on where to purchase. 

Then, out of the hairspray fog, I spotted this high-standing Mohawk and his ├╝ber-friendly owner, who did I mention was um, friendly? 
His appeal intrigued other onlookers as well to step up and check out Dream Catchers hair extensions. After listening and watching a demo, I was astonished to see what these extensions could do. Self proclaimed as "The world's best hair extensions,"
I have to say, I was impressed. There's no glue, just a rubber clamp, making applying, regrowth placement and removal of these extensions a simple alternative to bonded or bead extensions. Check them out at www.Dreamcatchersstyle.com.

Another type of hair extensions I was digging, was Invisi-tab. Created by celebrity stylist Ron King, these 1 1/2 inch, 100 percent all European virgin hair extensions are sandwiched between your own hair for an almost undetectable extension you have to witness for yourself. I'm highly considering testing these babies out myself some day soon.
To learn more or to become certified, check out www.invisitab.com.

Before I left for the day, I ran into my new favorite hair care line, Bioken Enfanti. I was so thrilled, I screamed and jumped up and down like high school girls do when they run into their friends at a party.  My joy spread to the rep for Bioken, who  was so impressed I knew so much about their line. 

Bioken Enfanti focuses on the source of beautiful hair, maintaining a healthy scalp. Through extensive research, Bioken uses all natural and therapeutic ingredients to create their hair care line. Focusing on thinning, noticeable hair loss, or someone who just wants good looking hair and a healthy scalp, Bioken Enfanti can help. 

Due to my own personal lifestyle of daily gym workouts and a naturally oily scalp, I found Bioken Enfanti a few months ago and decided to try it. The words antibacterial stood out and I was really curious to see what this shampoo and conditioner duo would achieve. Within days I noticed a less oily scalp, and an overall healthy a great smelling head of hair, even on those in between shampoo days. 

I purchased the shampoo/conditioner set for all hair types but they have exclusive sets for curly, color treated and dry. You can visit Bioken at www.biokenusa.com.

I have to say, for my very first hair show of this caliber, I was incredibly pleased. 

Produced by the Professional Beauty Association (PBA), the 2015 International Salon and Spa Expo Long Beach (ISSE) reached record attendance; welcoming over 43 thousand beauty professionals from around the world.  

Known as the launch pad for new beauty products and services, this year's event featured more than 379 exhibiting companies promoting 420 beauty brands. Thank you for inviting me PBA. I had a blast and cannot wait until next year!