Alice Cooks: Peanut Butter Brownies

recipe, Alice Cooks, dessert, brownies

I want to make these again.  Immediately.  Ha ha!  Peanut butter and chocolate is so good together.  I made these the same night that I made turkey chili (I posted the recipe earlier this week here).  Baking when it's cold is the best way to get the house to be just a little bit warmer and smelling something yummy in the oven seems to help, too.


What I Wore This Week [11.28.14]

Instead of doing random OOTD posts I decided to do a collective weekly outfits post on Friday for the next few weeks.  Right now I'm planning on just doing it for the month of December (and this last Friday in November, obviously).  This series isn't meant to be showcasing high fashion by any means.  I'm just a regular woman wearing clothes in New England as the days get shorter and the weather gets grosser.  :) Enjoy!!

Outfit No. 1


New Boots And Bedding

I have a tiny haul post for you today.  Steve and I went to the mall last week and I got two pairs of boots.  When we got home we found that the bedding we had ordered had been delivered.  It was kind of like early Christmas here!  Ha ha!

First, the boots.


Last Minute Holiday Cleaning Strategies

I will not be hosting Thanksgiving at my house tomorrow but I am no stranger to that feeling of dread that hits you in the final stretch before a holiday.  That overwhelming feeling of panic that strikes exactly at the time that you need to be calm and pulled together.  Even though you have known for weeks that people are going to be gathered around the table in your home because you invited them to be there, somehow it's not real until the very last minute.  And then in the midst of running around and preparing for the holiday you stop, look around and realize that your house is a freakin' nightmare.

last minute, holiday, guests, clean, organize

Stop freaking out.  Go make yourself a cup of coffee (save the wine for a little later) and read my tips for getting your house into some kind of presentable state fit for company.


Tasty Tuesday [What I Ate - 11.25.14]


omelet, toast, coffee

I've been making omelets lately.  This one was not my most beautiful but I've gotten pretty good at the tri-fold.  Ha ha!  I just mixed up the eggs with salt, pepper and some thyme in a bowl.  Then poured that into the pan with some olive oil.  Inside I put shredded cheddar cheese and chopped up green onions. I also had a piece of toast with butter and apricot jam...and of course my obligatory cup of black coffee.


Turkey Chili Recipe

chili, turkey, beans, dinner, one pot meal

Last week I told you how I used dry beans for the first time.  If you missed that post, you can find it here: (Preparing Dry Beans)  With those, plus some ground turkey that I had in my freezer, I decided to make a giant pot of chili.


Sally Hansen Nail Rehab - Review

I am very rough on my hands and because of that, my nails are not usually in the greatest condition.  I paint them frequently because I have found that they split and peel the least when they are protected by nail polish.  I will concede that no nail polish may be better than chipped polish, not because of how it looks but because where the nail pokes through the chips are weak spots and I've found it's where the most damage happens.

nail care, beauty, nails, manicure, dry nails, damaged nails

With the drier weather here in New England and the onset of an increase in anti-germ hand washing I've noticed that my nails are almost always in a state of peeling and breaking.  It's not cool.  I worked really hard to stop biting my nails when I as younger and, now that I don't do that anymore, I want to have strong, beautiful nails all of the time.

nail care, dry nails, damaged nails, manicure

Sally Hansen has always been my go-to brand for nail care and I've tried tons of their products.  I bought this one a couple of weeks ago and so far I really like it.  It is a nail strengthener that you can either use by itself or as a base coat under another nail color.  It fills in any imperfections in your nails, like ridges or parts that have peeled off.  It is sheer but does have a slightly peachy-pink tint to it so it gives your nails an even color, which I think is nice.

nail care, dry nails, damaged nails, manicure

The brush is thin and super short but it's the same length as the brush in most nail polishes so it isn't weird to use.  The bottle says to apply 1-2 coats and I would say it definitely needs 2 coats if it is being used alone.  I did try it under another color and I liked it a lot.  My nails looked smooth and the color seemed extra glossy on top because all of the messed up parts of my nails were definitely filled in.  Maybe if your nails aren't too damaged you'd only need one coat if you were using it as a base coat but I used two because I have big chunks of nail peeled off on a few of my nails.  I know that sounds gross but I use my hands a lot and it can't be avoided.  :)

damaged nails, manicure, dry nails, Sally Hansen Nail Rehab

My pointer finger on my right hand is the one that looks the worst at the moment.  I've had two coats of the Nail Rehab Strengthener on for four days so it's begun to wear away a little bit at the very tips of my nails but it's holding up pretty well, I think.  This nail peeled way down the nail, and although it is growing out, it's still pretty noticeable.  This Nail Rehab isn't magic but it definitely has made a big difference.  I will also say that my nails do feel stronger with this on.  When the top few layers peel off, the tip of the nail is super thin and bends and breaks easily.  I know that my nail would've snapped by now without this.

*May contain affiliate links.

Thanks for reading!
:) Alice


Everyone Has Skin

exfoliating cleanser, www.alicemanfrida.com

This post will have two parts.  The first is a quick, mini review of the BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator from Vasanti.  The second is going to be me being a teacher and explaining how to be nice to others.  Stick with me.  It's important.


Preparing Dry Beans: Quick Soak

Today I used dry beans for the first time.  I usually buy cans of beans but I had bought these a while ago to try it and just never had because it seemed like it would be difficult.  As it turns out, it's just time consuming.  The bag I had gave directions for soaking them overnight and also for doing a quick version on the stove.  I did the quick version.  Duh.


Ham Fried Rice

Healthy, Cooking, Food, Supper, Easy, Weeknight Dinner, Alice Cooks, Alice Manfrida

Last week we ate a LOT of ham.  My mom and her husband had brought us a gigantic hunk of frozen meat a few weeks ago.  Steve cooked it in the oven in a baking dish with a little water in it.  I think he just sort of did it until the meat thermometer said it was done.  I'm not sure because I wasn't home when he did it.  Then came the eating part.  We literally ate this thing every day for either lunch or dinner, and sometimes both, for the whole week.  That's how big it was!

We have been trying to make some bigger meals recently.  The idea is that some days we take a long time to cook and other days it's easy.  The ham was a pretty good experiment.  We ate it just as ham, we put it in an egg scramble to have breakfast for dinner, and I also made fried rice with it.


Holy Grail Products Tag

makeup, beauty, Alice Manfrida

For this tag I actually made a video because I was tagged by Fiercely Demure on YouTube.  Since the camera that I have to make videos on is a seriously old dinosaur, I thought I'd also do this as a blog post so that I could put up some clear pictures of the things I'm talking about.  Basically this is just a list of beauty products that I can't** live without.  I talked about some of these products in my Everyday Makeup Routine post that I wrote a couple of months ago.  The repeats are clearly things I love and use all of the time. :)


My Sister Made Me Breakfast!

I won the breakfast prize on Saturday because I had a sleepover the night before at my sister's.  She made us eggs and veggies.  Mostly, I was really helpful annoying and took pictures of her while she cooked.  I did help a little because it was quicker to have two pans going at the same time.  I also put the food on the plates.  I'm so great. ;)


Casual Wednesday: A Skin Rant

I don't know about you but sometimes I feel like I'm in a never-ending battle with my face.  This 30-ish year old skin is just so annoying.  If I had to decide on a part of my face that I'm actually self-conscious about I don't really think it would be blemishes.  I kind of don't care.  I mean, I cover them up for plenty of occasions but I also go makeup free and let everyone see them, because whatever, my face hurts and I just don't care.


Tasty Tuesday: What I Ate Today 11.4.14

Today I just couldn't deal with cooking very much or even assembling any meals.  Luckily, I had made muffins over the weekend and Dunkin Donuts exists.  Ha ha!  I did cook dinner but other than that, this was a very lazy Tasty Tuesday.  :)


breakfast, Tasty Tuesday, What I Ate Today


Weekend Recap: Missing The Cat

We were away this weekend to visit Steve's family.  This was the first time that we've left Stella home alone overnight and I wasn't sure what we'd find when we got home.  I left her plenty of food, which she didn't even finish, and I put an extra water bowl out.  She also left us a nice mess on the floor next to the litter box.  I sort of assumed that she'd do that, whether because we weren't going to be around to clean the box or just out of spite for being abandoned.



One Of My Better Costume Ideas

Last night I passed out candy to trick-or-treaters up in Salem.  Salem, MA is pretty much Halloween Town, USA so it's always way more fun do be up there than anywhere else.  Seeing what everyone dresses up as is my favorite part of this holiday.  I've noticed that there have been a lot of Wednesday Addams costumes around the internet in the last week or two and I have always loved that character.  As a kid, I usually dressed up as a witch every year but once in a while I'd do something else.  One year I decided at the last minute to wear normal clothes.  I went door-to-door in my neighborhood with my dad and my sister where everyone asked what I was.  I replied with a straight face,  "I'm a homicidal maniac.  They look like everyone else. "  I loved Wednesday Addams so much that I didn't dress in black with the braids but I became her and stole her Halloween costume idea and delivered her line to the slightly concerned faces of my neighbors.  Ha ha ha!

On a non-Halloween note, this is an old TED talk from 2006 but it's about blogging so I thought I'd share for those of you who are also bloggers. :)