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March 2015

Aging Beauty


  Beside cooking, my other passion in life since I was a little girl is fashion/beauty. Really this was a first love. When I was a little girl I would sketch outfits, designed my wedding dress and bought my first wedding mag at 10. I would sit for hours as a teen playing with make up. I have worked as a make up artist, gave classes on homemade facial and how use make a bunch of outfits out of only a few pieces. But then babies came along and instead of focusing on me, I had fun dressing these adorable girls. It is funny how life circles around. My girls are women now and dress themselves :-P When you are young it is all about you, then you have babies and it is all about them. Then it comes back to you. Well really a combination of them and you, as it should be. The best of both worlds!

    Also turning 50 my beauty needs have changed. What worked before, does not now. Plus have you been to pinterest or youtube? There are so many fun tutorials, new products, a better way to do things. So I have been playing. Something worked, some did not. I am fine tuning my beauty routine. I am also taking the time out each day to really take care of my skin and do my make up. I use to be the first one ready, now my family waits for me! Here are some products and ideas that I am really loving right now. What is your favorite beauty tip or product?


Henna, gray hair, ugg. I started off going to a hair dresser to get my hair dyed but could not afford it over time. Then I started dying at home but I did not like it (& it set my allergies off). So I decided to try henna and I have to say I love it. First off henna heals your hair. So over time, I am getting glossier, smoother hair. I find the color is subtle and looks more natural. The down side is washing the stuff out. Look up some tutorials on the subject first. I was not prepared for how it dries and you have to scrub and scrub to get the stuff out of your hair. Do not henna on the same day you have something important happening. It really takes a day before you feel like you do not have little brown flecks coming off your scalp. But after that you will have soft, healthy, gorgeous hair. I should say I am about 50% grey. I do not know how the henna would work if you had a lot more grey but read up on it. Lastly it is a really frugal choice. I spend $8.00 and can do 4/5 root touch ups with one jar. This is the henna I use.

Marula oil. I wrote about this oil in my things I love post.



Foundation brush. This is my favorite new tool, well ... new to me. A foundation brush. I watched video where they took a lemon and put foundation on it. They did it with their finger, a sponge and a foundation brush. The brush gave the best coverage. And it is soo true. With aging skin, I find it is best to do light layers of foundation. The brush gives such control. I can put it heavier in spots where I need it and feather it out where I do not. Plus it waste less make-up. I put my makeup on a little mirror and then use the brush. It picks it all up. I got an ELF foundation brush at Target for $1.00, so we are not talking about a lot of money.

Eye make up remover. Coconut oil makes a great remover.

Eye cream. For eye cream I use Young Living oil, 1 drop of frankincense oil, 1 drop of lavender oil and 3 drops of marula oil that I mix up each day. I put the drops in the palm of my hand. Just be VERYYY careful to not get any in your eye. It has really helped with fine lines, puffiness and blueness.

DIY make up setting spray. I make my own and added a bit of lavender oil. I like how it kind of melts the make-up all together and makes it look more natural.

Covering grey roots, Lastly I LOVE WOW root coverage. Because lets face it, if you have grey hair at all, roots are an issue. This is a powder. Think high pigment eyeshadow. It is easy to put on, stays a few days. I like it too because it is not a flat color, so it matches my hair and highlights better. I would also say I have had it for a month and have barely used any, so I think it will last a while. I got mine on ebay. Check out the video's on how the product works.


Drunken Beans

  Drunken Beans Storybook Woods

    I mentioned on FB I was making drunken beans for dinner and someone asked what that was. I realized I had not written a recipe for it, which is stupid because I make these a lot! This recipe is another case of me trying to create a bean dish my hubby would like. He HATES beans. I figured if I worked some pork fat in there, that would help ;-) The twist, so to speak, is to boil the beer down to a thick/bacony sauce. It is an easy step and takes those beans to another level. David loves these and I find the more her eats them, the more he is open to eating beans. Since beans are so healthy, full of fiber and cheap, I am thrilled!

Drunken Beans3 Storybook Woods


Drunken Beans

Makes 4 cups


4 cups (or two 15 oz cans) cooked pinto beans

3 slices of raw bacon, cut into small pieces

1 tsp. oil, I like raw coconut

½ large onion, chopped in small pieces

1 cup beer, I use whatever my homebrew hubby has on-hand but rich ale is good.

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tsp. ground pepper

1 TBL. salt

Heat a soup pot on high. Add oil and bacon. When bacon starts to release it’s fat (about a minute or two) add onions and turn heat down to med/high. Cook until bacon is crisp and onion have caramelized. If it starts to burn turn heat down more. Then add beer and garlic. You want to cook the beer down until it has thicken BUT before it evaporates. Add beans, pepper and salt. Simmer 10 minutes on low. If the beans seem too dry (not enough sauce) add a small bit of water. Although these beans do not have a lot of sauce. You can enjoy them as is or refry them!

Baking Pantry Up-Date

  Pantry17 storybook woods

    Well David and I did a crazy thing. We put our 33 cubic foot refrigerator in our living room. I know, what?? We have this odd corner of our living room, that you cannot see unless you go around the corner and nobody ever does. It is right next to the pantry. The fridge was taking up half the pantry and making the room dark. So we thought what the heck, lets give it a try. Yes I have to walk through 2 rooms to get to the fridge. It is not the most convent place but we are trying it. If it does not work, we can just move it again. It certainly opens up my baking pantry. Now the room bright and sunny. Gosh, I am lucky to be indulgent and have a whole room dedicated to baking! Here are some glimpse of what is happening (please ignore the old, gross linoleum. NO, we still have not ripped it up yet and there is hard wood under there too). I am still tweaking the room but sometimes you just have to think out of the box and put your refrigerator in your living room ;-)

Pantry10 storybook woods

I was lucky to be gifted with two antique meat grinders. We will see if I have to muscles to actually use them. My favorite part is the handles. Maybe I can upcycle them!


It is nice to have this table. It does not take up much room but can be opened when I need to work. the lace curtains hiding my vitamix, mini food processor, vacuum sealer and grain grinder.

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Grain and flour storage!!


I call this my typography corner. I want the pantry to feel a bit like an old pharmacy!


My Russian mixer-cover. It says cake. And you can see I use bottles a lot. Storage, lets in light and is free. Love reuse!!

Pantry12 storybook woods



Things I Love


I realize I have not done a Things I Love post in a long time, so here we go. If there is anything you have been loving lately, please share!

Emma Block  I am a HUGE Emma fan. Her work just makes me happy. Emma's shop


I started using marula oil on my skin and hair. I am LOVING it. My hair is thick and shinny, lines on my face are softening. It is extremely high in antioxidants, vitamin C and E. I buy it here and is reasonably priced. Also Bittersweet Soap makes an amazing Marula face and body cream            image above from


Trader Joes Turkish Honey

What can I say about this honey, except that I am beyond addict. I am not even that big of a honey fan but this stuff ... well think of a floral honey that has been caramelized. That is the best way I can explain the taste. Unlike anything I have had before. My favorite way to eat it, besides off the spoon? Drizzled over fresh pineapple or plain cheesecake. Heaven!

Not another

Some movies I have been loving but I will say these are for adults. There is no sex scene (one does have a scene in a strip bar but you do not see anything). Like I said not family movies.Also all on netflix instant watch My fav is Barefoot. Also   Not Another Happy Ending and Elsa & Fred

Wren and Devlin's new song is I Fall For You from Lorne Balfe from the movie Not Another Happy Ending move. I just cannot stop listing to this song!!!


DIY Strawberry Milk

I love the whole idea of making my own strawberry milk (and I am not talking milkshake). As someone who drinks raw milk, now I can have strawberry milk!!



Rose tags, to print  These are just so dang pretty and that is enough!!