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Dulce de Leche Brownies May 6, 2011

Posted by graciegrapes in Food.

For Cinco de mayo I put together this really simple desert… dulce de leche brownies!

Dulce de leche is a thick milk-based caramel like sauce

that can usually be found prepared in the Latin food section of the grocery store.  In high school my friend introduce me to it when she brought in cookies sandwiched with the stuff.  I have yet to recreate those cookies!

But for this recipe I decided to create my dulce de leche with a can of condensed milk.  There are a couple of methods to do this including boiling a can in hot water, cooking the can in a pressure cooker, microwaving, and baking in the oven.  Personally I attempted the oven baking method as I was concerned about exploding cans.

My attempt at dulce de leche

Dulce De Leche Brownie

To learn how to make your own dulce de leche and brownie… Keep Reading!


Cinco De Mayo… wish I could taste it! May 5, 2011

Posted by graciegrapes in Food.
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So unfortunately for this year the boyfriend and I are both feeling under the weather… what I wouldn’t give to breathe through my nose!
Never the less I still put together a simple dinner for cinoc de mayo featuring fish tacos, homemade guacamole, and dulce de leche brownies. While we could taste everything fully, I’m sure it was awesome 😛

I also took the opportunity to try out grilling fish. Let’s just say it was not a total fail, but not a total success either….

Grilled Tilapia for fish tacos

Fish tacos with chipotle cream and guac

To find out how I put it all together… Keep Reading!

Fried Lemon Tilapia April 13, 2011

Posted by graciegrapes in Food.
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My boyfriend came home from the gym with a craving for fish!  Since it’s Lent I happened to have a bag of individually frozen tilapia fillets in the freezer.  On the bag there happened to be a recipe for Fried Tilapia with Lemon.  Unfortunately the recipe called for fresh lemon and parsley, which I did not have.  I made the best of what I had, and whipped up this real simple fried fish with great flavor!

Served with rice and fresh diced tomato

To find out how I made lemon tilapia without a lemon… Keep Reading!

Chicken Parmesan Bundles April 12, 2011

Posted by graciegrapes in Food.
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My boyfriend and I have been soo lazy about cooking lately; we kind of got into the routine of just going out to eat.  BUT the other I finally decided to cook dinner!  I wanted to do something simple, especially since we don’t have much in the fridge right now.  Kraftfoods.com always comes to rescue in those situations and that’s where I found this recipe for chicken parmesan bundles.

I’m hoping that this will break our streak of eating out!

To learn how to make it… Keep Reading!

China Glaze Crackle Glaze: Crushed Candy March 4, 2011

Posted by graciegrapes in Beauty.
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So tomorrow is the first day in a LONG time that I don’t have to get up early!  I’m soo excited about not having to get up to be anywhere for once 🙂

Anyways, I haven’t done my nails in a little bit since I’ve been in the hospital a lot for either clinicals or my externship.  Since I don’t having anything other than school work to do right now I decided to play around with another one of my crackle polishes from China Glaze.

China Glaze Crushed Candy over OPI Funky Dunkey

The other hand...

When I use my first crackle glaze I assume it was like OPI’s Black Shatter in that I would need a clear coat over the base coat before topping it off with the crackle. After reading other people’s reviews of the CG Crackle Glazes I decided to try forgoing the clear coat.  I discovered that you DON’T need a clear coat prior to applying the crackle glazes!!  Unlike OPI Black Shatter  this didn’t “eat through” the base coat at all.

China Glaze: Crackle Glaze February 18, 2011

Posted by graciegrapes in Beauty.

So right now I am supposed to be working on my psych clinical assignments, but my new polishes are just too tempting 😛

Last week I pre-ordered China Glaze’s new collection “Crackle Glaze”.  This collection consists of 6 polishes that create a crackled or shattered effected when placed over a base color.  OPI recently release their Katy Perry collection featuring Black Shatter, which is the same thing.  China Glaze however took this trend a step further by offering colors other than black!

(left to right) Broken Hearted, Lightning Bolt, Black Mesh, Fault Line, Crushed Candy

I picked up all except for the gray color, since it just didn’t appeal to me.  And I got the black to give to my sister since OPI’s Black Shatter is sold out pretty much everywhere and I prefer not to share mine.

To see how these compare to OPI… KEEP READING…

How to use OPI Black Shatter Nailpolish February 2, 2011

Posted by graciegrapes in Beauty.

Katy Perry Collection by OPI

A couple of weeks ago OPI released their Katy Perry Collection which included 5 “colors”; the most interesting of the set is Black Shatter! Black shatter is different in that it is more of a topcoat of sorts, the directions with the nail polish states:

“Apply one coat of Black Shatter over any completely dry Katy shade for an irresistable “shattered” look.”

As the polish dries it separates on the nail creating a broken look over your initial color.  What you get is a customized look without having to go pay for nail art/manicure.  Plus, due to the effect you don’t have to worry about being overly neat or perfect with your application.  However there are some tricks getting the ideal look.

Keep reading for my tips…

Happy New Year! January 2, 2011

Posted by graciegrapes in Uncategorized.
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Happy New Year everyone!

I know I haven’t been posting in a while…. nursing school definitely picked up the pace this fall semester, and I’m not sure if it’s going to be letting up any this coming one :-/   In addition to my normal classes I also got accepted for a perioperative nursing externship! While I am definitely looking forward to this semester it’s going to be a very busy one!

In between school I do still have to maintain a life, and part of my goals for this years will be to save up more money and start getting back in shape.  Part of saving money will mean getting back on track with cooking my own food; definitely the best way to save money!  So I will do my best to post up my adventures with cooking and baking 😀  I am also going to try and calm down with buying make-up and beauty products, but I have managed to build up a nice collection that I need to rediscover; I also have a couple of product reviews that I need to catch up on.

Getting back in shape has been LONG overdo for myself! I tend to have cycles of working out and being lazy, but this past year or so has definitely been the longest lull that I’ve had.  I do have the P90x workout program, but I’m not sure if I’m going to start out with it since I don’t want to burn myself out.  Perhaps I will build up to them after some easy workouts at the gym 🙂

Well, hope everyone had  happy holidays and I am looking forward to the new year!

Gyro Subs September 13, 2010

Posted by graciegrapes in Food.
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Gyros have been a favorite of mine ever since I had my first one on the Atlantic City boardwalk at the age of 5 or 6!  During a shopping trip to BJs I decided to gather up ingredients to make an easy version of a gyro.

Gyro Sub

For directions on how to put this delicious sandwich together… Keep Reading!

Updated Skin Routinue August 28, 2010

Posted by graciegrapes in Beauty.
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Since I first posted my skin routine it has undergone quite a bit of change. Starting in April or May my skin, not just on my face, went out of control!  A 2 week vacation to Las Vegas resulted in improvement, but the moment I got back to Virginia the dry skin and itchiness came back.  Since the eczema had just gotten so out of control I signed up for health insurance and finally saw the dermatologist.  That was 2-3 weeks ago and I have seen a ton of improvement.  My dermatologist really helped to get the eczema on my body under control.

While I was in the waiting room I read an article disputing whether facial moisturizer was necessary or not.  One of the arguments stated that moisturizer, particular over-moisturizing, can cause more dryness as it causes the skin cells to be “lazy”/inactive about natural moisturization.  After some thought I decided to try cutting back on the lotions and creams that I slather on my face.  I was very skeptical at first, but I have noticed my face not being so dry.  Definitely a reduction in flakiness!


  • Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser – If I wore a lot of makeup the day/night before I will wash my face, otherwise I will just rinse with water.
  • Aveeno Skin Brightening Daily Scrub – I use this maybe 2-3 times a week to exfoliate
  • Garnier Nutritioniste Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Cream – I have been using this for a little over a month and I really like it.  It’s kind of odd at first since it’s not like lotions I’ve used before.  I will be writing a review soon, hopefully.
  • Sunscreen before makeup – currently I am using Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Sunblock Lotion SPF 55


  • Pond’s Deep Cleanser & Makeup Remover – I use this by wetting my face with warm water, then massaging the cream all over my face.  This stuff is amazing and gets EVERYTHING off without stinging my eyes.  I rinse with warm water and wipe my face with a warm, damp washcloth to make sure I get all of it off
  • Neutrogena Makeup Removing Wipes – If it’s a late night, and I’m too lazy to wash with Pond’s I will use these wipes
  • Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion – I prefer the new formula, Daily Advanced Ultra Hydrating Lotion, but I ran out and I have the normal one left.  Since I use it as a “pre-moisturizer” it’s fine
  • Clinique Moisture On Line – I picked this up at the CCO on a whim; I think it might be discontinued since I didn’t see it at Sephora or at the Clinique counter.  Dry skin on the face makes my skin wrinkle, so the anti-aging components in this cream work great.  I use it after allowing the Cetaphil lotion to soak in.

Definitely cut back on the number products I was using!