Remember How Long To Keep Makeup & When You Bought It

I’ve never been able to remember how long to keep beauty products.  I’m even worse at remembering how long I’ve had mine.  Did I buy this last year? Or was it two years ago?  Is mascara okay for  3 months or 6?  Or.. wait, was it one year?

Use permanent markers to label when you bought makeup and when it expires

The US doesn’t have laws requiring cosmetic manufactures to put expiration dates on their products so instead — do it yourself!  My solution is simple: use a permanent market to write on the beauty product when you purchased it and when it expires.  Because many cosmetics come in dark packaging, I keep a silver permanent pen on hand to ensure visibility.

There is a lot of varying information on how long to keep cosmetics.  After comparing and contrasting a number of sources, these are the general guidelines that I use.

  • Mascara: 3 months
  • Eyeliner: 1 year
  • Liquid Foundation: up to 18 months
  • Nail Polish: up to 18 months
  • Powder: 2 years
  • Blush: 2 years
  • Eye Shadow: 2 years
  • Lipstick: 2 years
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Honey Mustard & Pretzel Baked Chicken

Recipe inspiration can come from anywhere.  I recently went to an autumn carnival and couldn’t resist the smells of the freshly baked pretzels.  I love pretzels with mustard, and as I was eating, I realized this combination would translate perfectly into baked chicken recipe.  Here is my take on Honey Mustard & Pretzel Baked Chicken.


  • 4 chicken breasts (boneless and skinless)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/3 cup dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 cup pretzels
  • non-stick cooking spray
  • salt + pepper
  • 1 green onion (diced)


1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2.  In a bowl, combine egg, olive oil, salt, honey, and dijon mustard.  Whisk until combined.

3.  Place pretzels in a food processor.  Blend until finely crushed.  Combine pretzels with bread crumbs and place on a wide, shallow plate.

4.  Cut chicken breasts into strips.  Dip strips in the egg mixture then into pretzel-bread crumb mixture.  Transfer chicken strips to a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.

5.  Bake for 20-25 minutes and flip halfway through.

6.  Remove from the oven and season with salt + pepper.  Top with chopped green onion.

TO NOTE:  You can create an easy dipping sauce by whisking together 2 tablespoons honey, 1/3 cup dijon mustard, and 2 tablespoon of miracle whip.

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Simple Rules For An ESL Classroom

Establishing rules or guidelines for the behavior you expect at school (or at home) is imperative.  Setting clear expectations, lets students know what is okay and what is not. Ideally, you want to establish rules early and reference them often.  

4 Perfect Rules For An ESL Classroom

Having a few rules is ideal; avoid making a long list of things kids should and shouldn’t do.  Also, if you involve your students or children in the process, they are more likely to follow and understand the rules.

I teach the rules as a regular lesson on the first day of class and then go over them everyday for 2 weeks.  I have students work in groups to brainstorm rules they would like to see in their classroom.  Then I introduce my 4 rules: Be Kind, Be Ready, Be On Task, and Be Safe.  After explaining the rationale and meaning, I take the lists of rules that student brainstormed, and then together, using my rules as “categories” we place students’ rules in the correct category.

In an ESL environment, it is important to make sure that students understand the rules despite the language barriers.  I incorporate a worksheet where students practice writing the rules, match the rules with pictures, and translate their understanding of the rule into their native language.  Also, we play charades with the rules to add a bit of fun and make the lesson more active.  Throughout the year, if I see students breaking a rule, I will say, “What rule are you breaking?” and students will respond appropriately in English.

The next step is to establish the consequences for breaking the rules.  This is another area where you can incorporate student input.

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The Best Non-Edible Birthday Favors Your Child Can Bring To School

Children feel proud and excited when they get to share their birthday with their school friends.  Bringing birthday treats into school is nice a tradition that encourages students to share and think of others.  When I was a student, it was all cupcakes and cookies, but with new school food restrictions  and student allergies, it’s time to move to non-edibles.  From a teaching perspective, it’s great if all the favors are the same, can be given out at the end of the day, and aren’t messy.  Without further adieu, here are my top favor ideas broken down into educational, outdoor, and artistic.

The Best Non-Edible Birthday Favors Your Child Can Bring To School


  • book
  • journal
  • stamp & stamp pad
  • wooden puzzle
  • pencil case
  • book mark
  • calculator
  • cards
  • letter magnets

Outdoors / Active

  • jumprope
  • inflatable ball
  • swimming goggles
  • bouncy ball
  • masks
  • socks
  • flower
  • seeds
  • mittens
  • bandana
  • mini squirt gun
  • kazoo
  • bubbles


  • crayons
  • pencils and erasers
  • journal
  • stickers
  • clay / play dough
  • finger puppets
  • beads
  • watercolors
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Cardamom Pear Popsicles

Pears are the perfect late-summer early-fall snack.  This recipe for Cardamom Pear Popsicles is a great hybrid treat celebrating the popsicles of summer and pears of fall. Cardamom’s spicy-sweet taste is a great compliment to pear. Buying cardamom pods and grinding yourself will result in a fresher, stronger flavor, but pre-ground might just be more realistic, huh?


  • 2 cups vanilla almond milk
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 3 soft pears (pureed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom (ground)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (ground)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger (ground)


1.  Peel soft pears.  Cut into 1 inch pieces, and microwave on low heat for 1 minute.

2.  In a small pot, combine all ingredients and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

3.  Transfer all ingredients into a food process or blender and beat until smooth.

4.  Pour into molds and freeze for 2-3 hours.

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Spicy Sriracha Deviled Eggs

Sriracha is the new black.  It’s the current “it” condiment and originated in Thailand. While I was living there, I loving doused things in it; it’s a bit addicting. Sriracha is actually a hot sauce that is a combination of chili peppers, vinegar, garlic, sugar, and salt. This recipe for Spicy Sriracha Deviled Eggs uses the condiment to spice up traditional deviled eggs.  


  • 12 eggs
  • 6-8 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 4 teaspoons sriracha
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 roasted red peppers (diced)
  • 1 green onion (diced)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • salt + pepper to taste


1.  Hard boil eggs then cool, peel, and half them.  Carefully separate the yolk and egg white.

2.  Combine egg yolks, mayonnaise, sriracha, olive oil, and dijon mustard in a bowl.  Season with salt and pepper.  Pipe or spoon mixture into reserved egg white halves.

3.  Top deviled eggs with diced red peppers, green onion, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

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3 Ingredient Chocolate Pretzel M&M Kisses

Bring these 3 Ingredient Chocolate M&M Pretzel Kisses to any gathering and you’ll get rave reviews.  Also, if you’re looking for a cooking project to do with kids these are a great option!  The back-and-forth between the salty and sweet makes it hard to eat just 1… or 2… or 3… or 4…


  • 1 bag of pretzels
  • 1 bag of hershey kisses
  • 1 bag of m&m’s


1.  On a microwave-safe plate, arrange pretzels in a single layer.  Place an unwrapped hershey kiss on top.  Microwave until the kiss is just soft.

2.  Press an M&M into each of the softened hershey kisses.

3.  Place into the refrigerator to cool for 15 minutes.

TO NOTE: You can adapt this recipe and try different hershey kiss and M&M varieties.  How about dark chocolate kisses with almond M&M’s or caramel kisses with peanut butter M&M’s,

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