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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Non-recipe: pesto kale chips


If you were to ask me what two grocery items I always have to have in my kitchen, I would probably immediately answer, "kale and pesto sauce." I eat kale every day and I would eat pesto sauce with a spoon. Maybe I have. But that's not the point. The point is that I combined two of my favorite foods and it was awesome.

I made my own pesto sauce first- olive oil, basil, pine nuts, sea salt, and as you can see, tons of garlic.

After rinsing and drying the kale, I tossed it in the pesto sauce till the pieces were completely coated. I had to be careful not to drown the kale in the pesto, because I definitely had the urge to add multiple heaping spoonfuls to the mix. I baked the kale at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes and they were perfectly crispy and delicious. Just look at all that garlic! If you make these, I recommend brushing your teeth after eating.


What's your favorite way to eat kale? 
Monday, March 28, 2016

Music Monday #11




The ninth track may be almost 10 minutes long, but it's been a favorite of mine for years. If you listen to Blood Orange, you may recognize the voice!
I may start posting Music Mondays once a month or bi-weekly. What do you think? 
Sunday, March 27, 2016

Warby Parker Try On

I started wearing glasses when I was 7 years old because it was then that I found out that I'm blind in my left eye. I could wear a monocle, but I just don't think I could rock it, so that's why I stick with glasses. I've had my current frames for 3 years (has it really been that long??) and it is definitely time for a change.

I decided to finally check out Warby Parker. If you live in the United States and Puerto Rico you can choose 5 pairs to try at home for free for 5 days. This appealed to me because:
  • I wouldn't really be rushed like I usually am at the optometrist 
  • There wouldn't be an optometrist staring at me while I looked at myself in the mirror from every angle 
  • I could try on glasses in natural light and not in harsh fluorescent lighting
  • I can try them out with different hairstyles and makeup looks
  • I didn't have to leave my house (hey, I'm being honest)
  • If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know how fond I am of free things
Once the 5 days is up, I have to send the glasses back. If I decide to purchase any of them, I just have to include my prescription and pupillary distance when I place my order. 

Left side, from top to bottom:
Right side, from top to bottom:
I'm definitely not feelin' Nash. I think I just ordered those because I was curious. My two favorites right now are Ripley and Laurel. 

On second thought, I could totally rock a monocle.

Which frames do you like the best? Have you ever tried Warby Parker? 
Friday, March 25, 2016

The 3 ladies who inspire my closet


There are three people who I consider to be my style icons or style inspiration, whatever you'd like to call it. I guess I would describe my daily style as a mixture of all three, though I definitely emulate the first person on my list the most!

It was a coincidence that all my style icons have names that start with an "S", I swear I didn't do that on purpose.




Sherri DuPree-Bemis of Eisley and Perma
I've featured Eisley and Perma on a few of my Music Monday posts. Not only are Eisley and Perma some of my absolute favorite bands, but Sherri is my main style icon. I've gone onto Steal Her Style and bought many of the same things Sherri owns because she just always looks so dang cute! And no one rocks space buns like her. 

A photo posted by Stacy King (@sucremusic) on


Stacy King of Sucre, formerly of Eisley 
I've also featured Sucre on a few Music Monday posts! Stacy is Sherri's sister and has a simple, contemporary style. And would you just look at that gorgeous hair? 

A photo posted by Sarah Vickers (@sarahkjp) on


Sarah Vickers
You're probably familiar with Sarah. Her blog, Classy Girls Wear Pearls, has over 27,000 followers on Bloglovin' alone. For classic New England style, I look to her and when I'm shopping at the local L.L. Bean outlet I think, "what would Sarah wear?" 


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I mostly shop at:



Who inspires your style? 
Thursday, March 24, 2016

Battle of the liquid lipsticks


A while ago I purchased three NYX Liquid Suede lipsticks-- in colors Cherry Skies, Tea & Cookies, and Kitten Heels. Kitten Heels, a bright red shade, is by far my favorite of the three. Recently I bought the liquid lipstick from Anastasia Beverly Hills in the shade American Doll, which I swatched in this post. I didn't realize at the time of purchase that Kitten Heels and American Doll are essentially the same color. So let's compare!

Left: American Doll from Anastasia Beverly Hills. Right: Kitten Heels from NYX.
It may be hard to tell from the photo, but American Doll is very, very slightly more pink than Kitten Heels. It is hardly noticeable. While these products are very similar in color, they differ in price. The Anastasia Beverly Hills liquid lipstick is $20 while the NYX Liquid Suede lipstick is $7.

Left: American Doll from Anastasia Beverly Hills. Right: Kitten Heels from NYX.
Ignore my goosebumps, but as you can see, when I tried to wash the swatches off American Doll stayed on much better than Kitten Heels. Let's see how well they last through the day without reapplying.

Wearing American Doll from Anastasia Beverly Hills
DAY ONE: I decided to do my first test with the Anastasia Beverly hills. This was the first time I ever put it on.
  • My first impression was very good, it went on easily and felt light and velvety smooth, and there was no patchiness in color.
  • 2 hours later and after sipping iced coffee through a straw and eating a piece of avocado toast, it had worn off a bit around the interior of my lips, as I expected it would.
  • By the end of the day my lips felt a little dry and the color looked a little patchy. Considering that I ate 3 meals and drank a lot today, it stayed on pretty well.
Wearing Kitten Heels by NYX
DAY TWO: I've used the NYX before, but I paid more attention to it this time.
  • It was slightly more difficult to apply and I noticed it didn't dry as quickly as the Anastasia. No patchiness in color.
  • After eating breakfast and lunch and it had faded a lot around the interior of my upper lip. 
  • After eating 3 meals, it had faded quite a bit. It looked like I had very sloppy lip liner on. It felt a little clumpy on my lips, too. My lips didn't feel as dry as when I wore the Anastasia. 
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I'll be honest, I was rooting for the NYX liquid lipstick to be the winner because it's less expensive, but I prefer the Anastastia Beverly Hills liquid lipstick. It lasted longer and proved to be more waterproof, and didn't get clumpy like the NYX did. If I had reapplied, I probably only would have had to do so once, while I probably would have had to reapply the NYX liquid lipstick twice. Really, they are both great products for the prices and they come in great colors. 

What are your favorite liquid lipsticks?
Wednesday, March 23, 2016

10 tips to improve your mood




Let the light in!
I feel so much better when I open all the blinds and curtains in my house. Natural light instantly makes me feel happier and more productive. 

▲ Get some fresh air!
Open the windows in your house, take a walk around the neighborhood, or go to a park. I felt weird at first about going to parks by myself, sitting on a bench, and staring at the ground but it makes me feel so much better. You could also bring your dog with you, I'm sure they'd be happy to join you. Which brings me to my next suggestion...

▲ Hang out with a furry friend!
There have been studies showing that being around animals is good for your mental and psychical health. If you don't have a pet, hang out with a friend's (and hanging out with a friend can make you feel better, too). 

▲ Listen to music!
Happy music or relaxing music, not sad music. No Adele, no early Bright Eyes albums. Spotify has tons of great mood playlists. Play one, even if you don't know any of the songs. You'll feel better and discover new music in the process. 

▲ Rinse it off!
Take a bath or even a shower. I don't take baths too often, but when I do they're awesome. Bath bombs, music, candles, incense...the works.

▲ Stretch it out!
Do some stretches, sit up, squats, go for a jog, whatever. Exercise even just a little bit.

▲ Write it down!
Whatever you're feeling, write it down. If you're upset with someone write a letter to them, but don't necessarily send it. Just writing or typing it out always makes me feel better. 

Get off the internet!
Well, at least get off Facebook. I hate Facebook, but I have to have it for work. Browsing Facebook when I'm already in a bad mood just makes it worse. There's actually been lots of studies about how Facebook makes us feel sad. I guess another thing I could do is clean out my friends list and get rid of everyone who posts things that make me sad/angry. But for an easy, quicker solution, just stay away. 

Put on some tea!
I don't need to explain the benefits of tea, I'm sure you already know. But my favorite kinds of tea to drink when I'm feeling down are peppermint, of course, and honey-lavender from Yogi. Yum.

▲ Get colorful!
Sit down and just paint. Don't necessarily intend to create a masterpiece, just do whatever you want and what comes naturally. I usually just paint swirls, lines, whatever. Adult coloring books are also a great way to take your mind off things! I'm currently working on the Indie Rock Coloring Book


How do you make yourself feel better when you've had a bad day?
Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Spring Wish List

Apparently this winter in Maine was a mild one. That's what everyone keeps saying. I, however, was freezing and miserable the whole time. Keep in mind, I spent the past 8ish years in Florida. For the past week it was sunny and somewhat warm, but then yesterday it snowed. I'm just over it right now. I am dying for warmer weather, blooming daffodils (my favorite flower), and pretty pastel everything.

Pastels? For spring? Groundbreaking. 


So tell me, what's your favorite item on this list? 
Monday, March 21, 2016

Music Monday #10






Follow me on Spotify for all my Music Monday playlists and more!
Sunday, March 20, 2016

Survey Sunday


I love when blogs host giveaways, though I've never won any, so I wanted to host one for my readers. I've decided the giveaway will be in celebration of this blog reaching 100 followers, e-mail subscriptions and Bloglovin' follows combined. Lately I've been thinking of ideas for a giveaway and although I already have some of the items I plan on including, I want to know what sort of things you'd like to get if you won. What can I say? I'm a planner.

Head on over to the quick, 3 question survey (pssst...it's right here) and let me know what you think! If you're not following this blog yet, be sure to follow me on Bloglovin' and/or enter your email into the subscription widget on the right hand side of the page.

I can't wait to read your answers and start crafting a great giveaway!
Saturday, March 19, 2016

Review: about.me


Think about how many social networks you're on. A lot, right? Though I mostly use Twitter, I can't post all my social links in my Twitter bio so it was always a question of "which link do I showcase??" Up until recently, I showcased my organization's Facebook link. Then I heard that a site I had signed up for a couple years ago, but never really used, got a fancy new redesign.

about.me is a site to showcase your talents and interests. There are 3 different simple layouts to choose from and you can add your name, current title or whatever you're currently doing, description, interests, work, education, and social links. And geez, they have a lot of social links to choose from. I've never even heard of a lot of them, but if you have 'em, add 'em to your site. 


You can also "spotlight" things. I have the "hire me" spotlight, not because necessarily I want people to hire me, but because clicking that link allows people to email me. My only complaint is that they don't offer a simple "email me" button, but whatevs. They have so many other options besides what is pictured above, so this site is great for people in all fields. 

Unlike LinkedIn, this has no friending or messaging which I love. Does anyone else constantly get messages on LinkedIn from realtors (who may not even live anywhere near you) asking if you want to buy a house from them? about.me is great because there's no social networking to it and it can quickly and easily get a message across to people. As someone who runs two blogs, works for a nonprofit, and sells soap, I must say I love this and it makes things so easy. It's a one stop site. I won't have to continue giving people numerous URLs, just this one.

Summation:
free!
★ one URL for all of your URLs
no distracting social aspect 
★ minimalist design 
lots of options for customization (besides the layout, there are only 3 which I like, I wasn't overwhelmed by the choices and didn't spend an hour browsing through layouts)

Highly recommended. 
Thursday, March 17, 2016

Haul: Ulta


This haul was just too big to post on Instagram. It was two separate orders and good gracious, I got so many samples and so much NYX. I'm not mad. 

I would list everything I got, but that would take forever. If you have questions about specifics, ask in the comments!



If you're like me and hate tweezing your brows and frequently forget to get them waxed, having a little trimmer is a lifesaver. I've been using one for years, my last one from Finishing Touch lasted for 6 years but finally died after I dropped it on the floor for the millionth time. Hopefully the Remington lasts just as long.


I've been drooling over the Avant Pop Nouveau Chic palette for a while and can't wait to use it. I also went ahead and got the Highlight & Contour Pro palette that I almost got last month, but got the NYX Strobe of Genius palette instead (which I wrote about previously).


So many samples. I think it's safe to say I am set with Marc Jacobs Daisy for a while...I have even more samples of it stashed away somewhere. Each time I order from Ulta, I always opt for free samples of fragrances. I'll probably never have to buy perfume again.


More samples and a free makeup bag.


Some messy, left-handed lip swatches (minus the Butter Gloss) from left to right:

  • NYX Liquid Suede cream lipstick in Cherry Skies
  • NYX Lip Lingerie liquid lipstick in Satin Ribbon
  • NYX Full Throttle lipstick in Sidekick
  • NYX lip liner crayon in Hot Red
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills liquid lipstick in American Doll

If you're not already signed up for Ulta Rewards, sign up now with my link at get a $10 off coupon!
Monday, March 14, 2016

Music Monday #9





Follow me on Spotify for Music Monday playlists and more.
Saturday, March 12, 2016

Stop & smell the bath bombs

Some days just aren't great.

Usually on not so great days I continue to run around like a headless chicken but yesterday I paused and thought, "screw this, I'm going to take a bath." I don't ever take baths in the middle of the day but I needed it. I needed to take my mind off things and relax.

And relax, I did.

Luxury Lush Pud bath bomb
Relaxation aides:
Today was the first time I used the kale mask and I loved it. A little goes a long way and it made my skin feel so silky-smooth. The rest of the products are tried and true favorites. However, it was the first time I used 2 bath bombs at the same time. I put Luxury Lush Pud in first and it dissolved quickly and turned the water bright. I put Lord of Misrule in when Luxury Lush Pud was done doin' its thing and it dissolved slowly and turned the water more of a berry pink/red color. So pretty, wonderful smelling, and it made my skin so soft. I wish they hadn't been discontinued but at least I can still get my all-time favorite bath bomb, Big Blue.

Remember to #treatyoself, people.



Friday, March 11, 2016

The Right Way to Eat Jackfruit? + Non-Recipe

I haven't eaten meat in 10 or 11 years and although all my meat-eating friends and relatives see that as limiting my food choices, they couldn't be more wrong. Since cutting meat out of my diet, I have been so much more adventurous with food. I never would have tried so many different amazing foods if they weren't recommended by other vegetarians. One of those foods is jackfruit. I started hearing about it from so many people, but I never actually found it in stores. I looked at every grocery store, Asian market, and health food store. Finally, I bought some canned jackfruit from Amazon.

Spencer and I made some BBQ jackfruit as soon as we got it and paired it with baked beans and potato salad. I loved it, while Spencer had mixed feelings (he said he didn't like it, yet he continued to eat it).

The next morning, I woke up with a super stomach ache. I was experiencing sharp pains, bloating, and general discomfort. Spencer started Googling and we found out that many other people experienced digestion issues after eating jackfruit. Great. After some more Googling, we found out there are apparently guidelines to follow before and after consuming jackfruit. Why did no one ever tell me about that? I had so many people raving to me about jackfruit but none of them ever mentioned the set of rules that went along with eating it.

According to this site, jackfruit is heavy and sticky which makes it difficult to digest. To avoid an upset stomach, you're supposed to
  • eat the jackfruit while you're hungry and before you eat anything else
  • avoid oily foods
  • season the jackfruit with mild spices (cumin, pepper, turmeric) or add honey to it
  • never over-eat it
  • never ever drink ice water after eating jackfruit (which I never would have thought of)
Well, I definitely drank lots of ice water after eating my jackfruit because I'm a human and I like to stay hydrated. 

So now that you've read the disclaimer about this delicious food, here's a non-recipe for you. By "non-recipe" I mean that I seldom measure anything while cooking and I always encourage people to "just do whatever" when it comes to cooking. Experiment! Add 7 cloves of garlic! Who cares! You do you.

For chipotle jackfruit tacos, gather your ingredients. Mine happened to be: 
  • canned jackfruit
  • turmeric
  • raspberry chipotle sauce
  • honey
  • olive oil
I added the honey to sweeten up the sauce and to help with digestion. I added the turmeric to help with digestion and because I add turmeric to as much food as I can. It's so, so good for you. 

jackfruit

  • strain/drain the brine from the jackfruit, rinse with water
  • I cut the chunks of jackfruit smaller
  • cooked it in a nonstick pan with a wee bit of olive oil
  • added the chipotle sauce, turmeric, and honey, mixed it up
Boom, done. The whole process took 10 minutes. I put it in a taco shell, added a big 'ol heap of guacamole, some red cabbage, pea shoots, and cilantro. 

jackfruit taco

The only thing I would have done differently was choose a less-spicy sauce. The raspberry chipotle sauce packed more of a punch than I thought it would and by the time I was done eating, I was dying for a glass of water. Since I was determined to avoid a stomach ache, instead of quickly quenching my thirst, I spent 10 minutes making fresh juice. And good news, I didn't get a stomach ache this time!
Monday, March 7, 2016

Music Monday #8

No playlist this week, just this awesome video from my soon-to-be sister-in-law.



Get Born to Be a Stranger on iTunes or listen on Spotify