Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Bar Louie Gives Back To Local Firefighters

Who doesn't like hunky firefighters and great food? Bar Louie in Stone Oak is celebrating their one year anniversary by giving back and donating all net sales May 1-4th to Fire Station 46 in Stone Oak.

Bar Louie Gives Back 

Station 46 is planning on using the funds to help provide a more visually attractive fire station for public education demos and training for students in the community.

Photo Credit: 

Firefighters aren't the only thing on the menu. Bar Louie will have ‘Go Big’ specials including their famous signature martinis for $2, domestic drafts for $3 and specialty burgers for $5, offered Thursday thru Sunday from 11 a.m. until close. 

Photo Credit: Bar Louie Facebook Page 
In addition to the specials, Bar Louie has events planned to put the FUN in fundraising with these events:

Thursday: Firefighter Date Auction 7:30-9:30pm. Proceeds from the auction will also benefit Fire Station 46. 

Friday: Firefighter appearances for 4 to 7pm. 

Sunday: "Zumba for Firefighters" class on the Bar Louie patio 2-3pm. The class is led by Mario Gomex of the Dale Fitness Family Fun Studio. The class will be suitable for everyone from beginners to experts. Firefighters will attend and participate in the class.

Bar Louie Stone Oak is located at 22610 US Highway 281 N. in the Villages of Stone Oak Shopping Center. Come out and join the fun while giving back to the community.  

Photo Credit: 
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Friday, April 25, 2014

Urban Taco Social Kick Off

Disclaimer: I was given a free drink and entree by Urban Taco. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

Last week I had the opportunity to join Samantha from Green Eggs and Sam and other fellow San Antonio bloggers for the Urban Taco Thirsty Thursday Social Kick Off.

Urban Taco was founded in 2007 with a menu inspired by Mexico City street food culture. Located in the Quarry, Urban Taco is an easy location for dates, girls night or lunch with co-workers. 

We started off by munching on thin and flavorful chips paired with margaritas.

Urban Taco Chips

I ordered the frozen urban rita, which is only a dollar during social hour, and Samantha sipped the red hibiscus rita. Both were delicious and refreshing. 

Frozen Urban Rita and the Hibiscus Rita

Waiting for our food, Samantha and I munched on the warm chips and salsa trio. We chose jalapeño avocado, black bean roasted corn pico and jalapeno zucchini as our three salsas to enjoy with their warm thick and flavorful chips. All of them were amazing but my favorite was the creamy, tangy jalapeño avocado salsa.

Salsa Trio

Listening to the live patio music and chatting, it wasn't long before our food arrived. The manager suggested the any three taco combo with two sides. I choose ahi tuna, shrimp al pastor and pollo con mole with poblano green rice and mango-jicama slaw. The tacos are small but I still had to take one home for later. 

Three Taco Combo

Samantha ordered the de veggie quesadillas. Her quesadillas had grilled artichoke, cherry tomatoes, spinach, pico and cheese on the inside AND outside. What a fun little twist on a classic dish. 

Samantha Displaying her De Veggie Quesadillas

I will defiantly be back to Urban Taco. They are currently planning a Cinco De Mayo bash! Check out the event here. In the meantime visit their Facebook and Twitter

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easter Chick Cadbury Egg Cupcakes

Wondering what to do with all those leftover Cadbury Eggs from Easter? Why not make made these amazing Cadbury Egg Cupcakes. The beauty of these cupcakes is you can use regular size eggs for normal size cupcakes or mini eggs for mini cupcakes. 

Two big and two mini chick cupcakes (one cut in half)

The key to either size is FREEZING the eggs first so they don't bust and make a big mess. Trust me, it isn't fun to clean up after that mess. 

For the Cupcakes: 
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 package Jell-O instant pudding in Chocolate Fudge (3.9 oz)
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 24 Cadbury Eggs 

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2) Mix all the cake ingredients together. I don't bother with mixing the dry and wet ingredients separately, just toss it all in the bowl and mix.

Mixed ingredients  
3) Fill cupcake liners 1/4-1/3 full and place a Cadbury Egg (thick side first) down inside the batter. 

Eggs in the cupcake mix 

4) Top eggs with another 1/2-1 teaspoon of batter. Do not over fill.
5) Bake for 18-20 minutes. Do not over cook or the eggs will melt and burst. You can test to see if the cupcake is done by inserting a toothpick on the side of the cupcake, instead of in the middle 

My icing is hit or miss so for these cupcakes I bought icing. If you feel like Betty Crocker and want to make your own, go for it! 

For the Chicks: 
1) Spread yellow icing on the top of the cupcake pretty think and smooth the top. I used Pilsbury Funfetti Yellow Vanilla icing. 
2) Turn cupcake upside down and press into a shallow bowl of yellow sugar 
3) Place two mini chocolate chips in for the eyes. 
4) Using a very thin tip, pipe orange icing for the beak and little feet. 
5) With the leftover yellow icing pipe wings on the sides. 
6) Enjoy! 

Easter Chick Cadbury Egg Cupcakes

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Monday, April 14, 2014

My IOMA Skin Care Experience

Disclosure: I received dessert, champagne and product samples from IOMA Paris. No other compensation was received. All opinions are mine. 

From egg yolk facials to coconut oil hair masks, Pinterest is full of beauty regimens. However, nothing beats advice from a real beauty expert and a little pampering never hurt anyone either.

Recently, I had the pleasure of joining Pam at Over 50, Feeling 40 to learn about a new skin care line called IOMA. IOMA is based in Paris and only available at six Saks Fifth Avenue stores in the the US. Lucky, one of these Saks stores is at North Star Mall, which has a hidden spa room. Who knew? More on that later. 

IOMA was created by Jean Michel Karam PhD, a micro mechanical engineer who developed micro electro mechanical sensors (MEMS). MEMS were used on the Curiosity robot used to explore and find moisture on Mars. What does the Curiosity robot and IOMA skin care have in common? Both share the cutting edge MEMS micro-technology.

Meet the Sphere. IOMA's complimentary skin care evaluation tool. 

IOMA Sphere: Skin care evaluation tool

The Sphere might look like something from outer space but in reality it is a high-end computer that scans your skin with multiple light sources and measures the condition of your skin.

Shout out to Tori at The sTORIbook for taking photos during my skin care evaluation 

Once your skin is evaluated, the Sphere prints out your personal skin care analysis. This analysis gives insight on your skins level of hydration, UV damage, redness, bacterial activity, fine lines and wrinkles. 

My personal skin care diagnostic summary sheet

IOMA believes each women is unique. Therefore each skin care analysis is personalized. Based on this analysis IOMA can recommend a skin care regimen from their number 1 to 7 face product lines. Each line focuses on a different skin care issue such as dryness, bacteria, redness, dark spots etc.

IOMA skin care face products

Kathy Moses, regional manager for IOMA Paris, explained my skin care regimen needed to include a lot of hydration. Not so Fun Fact: If you are a side sleeper like me, the side of your face you sleep on the most will be less moisturized than the other. Kathy gave me moisture cream samples from the IOMA number 1 and 2 beauty pro lines. Let me tell you my skin soaks up the moisturizer like it has never seen lotion before and leaves my skin soft, smooth and not oily. 

Just when I thought IOMA's skin care formulas couldn't get anymore personalized Kathy told us about Bespoke Youth Rituals. Bespoke is two formulas, a day and a night cream base that contains 18 active ingredients that have been carefully selected for their remarkable effectiveness. Based on the Sphere's recommendations IOMA's skin care professional will add 8 high performance serums to the bases to produce a personalized skin care formulation created right before your eyes.    

Kathy explaining the IOMA Bespoke Youth Ritual

Another great product we got to learn about was IOMA Youth Booster. Remember the MEMS technolgy I mentioned in earlier in the post? Youth Booster is the first skincare with embedded MEMS technology built right into the cap. The MEMS cap, unique to IOMA, allows you to measure the moisture level of your skin at home every day, up to 300 tests. Based on the needs of your skin indicated by the sensor, Youth Booster is applied day and/or night to moisturize skin, detox cells, regenerate and protect skin.  

IOMA's Youth Booster with MEMS Technology

IOMA also has a line of body products that purify your skin, cocoon yourself and slim your figure. WOW!

IOMA Body Products  

The average price point for IOMA's products is $165. IOMA Products range from $60 up to $500 and last about 4-5 months. Pam informed me that unlike some skin care lines, IOMA bottles are designed in airless bottles to get every last drop. No more taking the cap off and beating the bottle to get the rest of the product out.  

Once you are a IOMA skin care client you can return to the Sphere to get an updated skin evaluation and a complimentary spa facial in their spa room. That's right, there is a spa room hidden behind closed doors in Saks with all the luxuries of a a real spa, ah bliss.

While the other girls were getting their skin care evaluations Pam told me she had an IOMA party for her 60th birthday. Private parties at IOMA are just another perk of being a customer. You and your friends can receive complimentary skin evaluations and mini-facials while snacking, chatting and sipping champagne. How fun!    

Come see the IOMA difference for yourself! Appointments are recommended but not required, call Patty at 210-343-9337 or Kathy at 903-830-1231 to schedule your skin care evaluation or private party.

Follow IOMA at on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram

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Monday, April 7, 2014

Oil Pulling

Pinterest has a ton of pins on how to live life with less chemicals and replace them with natural remedies. One of these remedies is oil pulling. Oil pulling is the act of swishing coconut or sesame oil in your mouth for oral health.

Oil pullers have reported:
  • Whiter teeth 
  • Strengthening of teeth and gums 
  • Cavity prevention 
  • Gingivitis prevention 
  • Bad breath prevention  

I oil pulled for the first time last night and it wasn't as easy as I thought. I used two teaspoons of Trader Joe's Organic Virgin Coconut Oil. 

The smell reminded me of my college days drinking Malibu Coconut Rum. Classy. I soon got over the smell but the texture was far worse. This brand of coconut oil is especially thick. I did not like that. However, after a few swishes the oil thinned out and was much more pleasant.

Most articles recommend swishing for 10-15 minutes. At first I thought that was impossible but watching Modern Family while pulling helped pass the time. Love that show!  

I read people have given up brushing completely and only oil pull. I don't think I will ever get to that point. Especially, since I wanted to brush the all of the oil off my teeth after pulling. I could see a mixture of brushing and oil pulling in my future if I can get over my texture issues.

I love the minty taste of toothpaste so I am going to also try adding a drop of peppermint oil to the coconut.

Ill keep you posted with my results.

In the meantime, read about oil pulling here:
Food Matters

Wellness Mama

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Vanilla Extract: Update 8 Months Later

Eight months ago I posted about making my own vanilla extract. Read that post here.

Result: I will never buy vanilla extract again!

With just two ingredients, vodka and vanilla beans, this extract is so easy to make. I dropped one more bean in at the 4 month mark but left everything else the same.


Vanilla Extract on August 2nd 


Vanilla Extract on April 2nd 

I will continue to add more vodka and vanilla as needed to keep a supply of extract in my kitchen. I haven't been able to taste a difference between my homemade version and the store bought stuff. I've found Amazon has the cheapest and best quality beans for purchase.

I encourage every one to make their own extracts!

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PS: I am by no means the best photographer but can you tell I have gotten so much better since August.