Thursday, July 30, 2015

My Target Bikinis

Doesn't it seem like summer is just flying by?  Personally, I am more of a fall/winter girl myself, but I can't help but love the summer weather, and the lake time that comes with it!  Being from Minnesota, I do have kind of a plethora of beaches to choose from, and even though I spent a lot more time on the lake when I was in high school, I still enjoy it now and then.  So, since I've already shown you what's in my beach bag this year, it seemed natural to show you the bikinis I've been wearing, as well!

All of my bathing suits are - and pretty much have been - from Target.  Granted, I was a swimmer back when I was in school, so I had some fancier one piece swimsuits (in my mind, there's a difference!), but for the most part, I've liked to keep things fairly basic over the years.  The first one I wanted to talk about I actually picked up last year, but I have seen it this year, as well.  It's a Tiffany blue bikini from Xhilaration that has a bandeau top with a floral, almost doily-like laser cut overlay.  I'm going to take a guess that if you've been following me for a while, you've seen this bikini.  It was with me last summer, came with on our cruise back in January, and is still with me now!

So, since I loved this bikini so much, I'm sure it won't come as a surprise that I kind of stuck with the same theme in choosing a couple more bikinis this year.  The next one I wanted to show you is also from Xhilaration, and is this beautiful, light rose color.  It's more of a typical bikini, but it does cross in the back, which I think is a cool detail, and has a gorgeous rose laser-cut overlay.  I've really been drawn to this laser-cut overlay stuff!  Now, to be perfectly honest, this isn't amazing for my skin tone (pale as a ghost), but I'm pretty sure I'd gotten this right after seeing the new Cinderella movie, and finding out about the new Beauty and the Beast movie...and this reminds me of Beauty and the Beast a lot.  So, even if it doesn't technically work for me, I still feel like a princess when I wear it!

Finally, I have another bandeau halter bikini, this time from Mossimo with that same laser cut overlay!  Hey, if it works, you work it hard, right?  This one, like the first Tiffany blue one, does have a removable halter strap, but I like to just keep the straps on at all times.  Sure, it may look nice to go strapless, but in this realm, I'm more about function, and I don't want to worry about it falling down.  The overlay on this one is a bit more simple than the other bathing suits, in that it just has a little cut out detail along the edge in a pretty, almost understated chevron print that makes it look a little more jungle-like.  Definitely the dressiest of the three, if you can call a bikini dressy!

So, those are my swimsuits!  I'd love to hear about yours, though, so make sure to let me know where you like to pick yours up, what details you love in a bathing suit, or even just what you like to do at the beach, lakeside, poolside, wherever you can find water!  I love hearing from you guys!  Also, if you haven't already, make sure to follow this blog so you don't miss a single post!  I try to post something new every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, so there's something new going up all the time.  Until next time, though, I hope you all are having an amazing day!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Laura Mercier Crème Brûlée Soufflé Body Crème

I feel like I've talked about how much I've wanted this product for the longest time!  In fact, I have proof that I have wanted this body cream for at least two years when I put up a post about My [then] Current Beauty/Fashion Wishlist.  That was the first appearance of this product on my blog, then it made a second appearance when my best friend got the Sugar Scrub as a gift for me.  So, this purchase has been a long time coming.

If I am to be completely honest, every time I use this body creme, I think about tossing out all my other body creams and lotions - which I won't do, of course - but that gives you an idea about how much I love this.  Really, though, if I didn't have all those other lotions, I would probably solely use this, even though it does cost $60 which seems a bit extreme for a body creme.  Nonetheless, the Laura Mercier bath and body line really is worth it.  I wouldn't be surprised if this and the sugar scrub ended up being my sole body products somewhere down the line.

First off, the scent is incredible.  Unless you're new to this blog, and just me in general, you probably know how much I adore all things bakery scented, particularly crème brûlée.  So, if you're not into bakery scents, maybe this isn't for you, but the scent is nice and light.  The formulation is very luxurious, as well.  When they say soufflé body crème, they mean it.  It's very light and goes on your skin so incredibly softly, I don't know that I can even describe it correctly.  It's just absolutely amazing, and leaves your skin feeling super soft, too.  I always pair it with the Laura Mercier Crème Brûlée Sugar Scrub, and the two combined = heaven.  Not kidding.

Now, I understand that not everyone loves crème brûlée as much as I do, but if the other bath and body products from this line are as good as this, I would highly recommend taking a look at them.  I know they're expensive, so I definitely wouldn't rush into a purchase just because I said they were amazing (heck, I've been looking at this for years).  But, they also have scents like Almond Coconut, Fresh Fig, and a Crème de Pistache that I've heard a lot of good things about.  Might be worth a look!

As always, if you've tried this product before, let me know what you thought of it!  Or, if you've tried any of the other scents, let me know that, too!  Oftentimes, I get so fixated on a particular product, I'll miss other amazing things, so make sure to tell me about anything else I should try.  Also, make sure to come back on Thursday for a new post, and follow this blog so that you know exactly when I post.  I'll talk to you again, soon!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Our Hydroponics Garden Update

You know, when I posted about our MiracleGro Aerogarden, I expected it would grow up, but I have to admit, I didn't expect it to play as big a role in our lives as it has.  First of all, let me point out that all of the plants pictured below are actually from the original Aerogarden.  Yes, you've seen all of them before.  Isn't it crazy how much they've grown???  Second, I'm sure you can tell they are no longer in the Aerogarden.  Allow me to explain.  After months of begging Joe for the little hydroponics garden, he went a little crazy with the hydroponics.

He decided that we needed a bigger hydroponics garden, so he found a tent lined with a reflective mylar surface to keep any light from escaping, and a big LED light that is shown later in this post.  Now, we've been getting a lot of crap about this, so I'm just going to say it now: no, we are not growing anything illegal in our garden.  Yes, a lot of this equipment is used for such purposes, but we don't experiment with that kind of thing!

Also, for anyone reading this post that may be a bit confused as to what hydroponics gardening even is, allow me to explain: essentially, this garden lives off of water and some nutrients we add every couple of weeks.  There's no dirt involved, so it's not messy or anything, and everything seems to be growing really quickly!  We've already been able to use our herbs pretty much non-stop, and have even given a lot of it away to friends and family members.  Our pride and joy, however, is our spaghetti squash, which you can see pictured below.  He was planted after my initial Aerogarden post, and has just been going crazy!

Honestly, we have put so much into this garden, from researching grow tents, to chatting with the guy that makes our LED lamp, figuring out ventilation, and even putting the lamp on a timer so that we can really just let it do its thing, I'm not even really sure what all to put into this post.  So, if you have any questions, feel free to ask away!  I'd be happy to answer anything I can!

In closing, though, I'd like to share with you a little time lapse we created one night.  I know the purple color is a bit odd, but it helps the plants grow faster.  This footage was taken over the span of about ten hours, and it's crazy to see how much the plants grow and move in just that amount of time!  Keep in mind, there is no wind.  Anyway, I hope you've enjoyed this post, and if you have any questions or suggestions for us about hydroponics gardening, let us know!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Vogue Knitting Dolman Pullover

So, I know you guys like it when I show you what sweaters I've been knitting, and I have to admit, I enjoy sharing them, too!  So, I'm warning you now: we may have gone a little overboard on the pictures.  Oh, well.  I really wanted you to get a good look at this sweater, though, because tomorrow I'm actually going to give you non-knitters a chance to have one of these for your own!  I'll be selling two of these same sweaters: one pink and one dark purple on my Etsy store, so make sure to follow my Instagram account!  I'll let you know when they go live there!

Now, let's talk about this sweater: the more I wear it, the more I love it.  Personally, I've been really into Dolman sweaters recently - I just think they're incredibly comfortable, but a lot of them aren't exactly suited for summer.  However, this Dolman Pullover by Vogue Knitting is perfect for just about any kind of weather.  I actually followed the instructions pretty much exactly this time as far as needles and such go, only switching out the yarn I used.  This yarn is from Yarn Bee and it is their Baby Bee Sweet Delight Pomp in Naked - quite the mouthful, huh?

While I think it is the perfect, casual, day at the beach style top that keeps you warm but not too warm, I also think that it can easily transition into fall and winter looks as well, depending on how you dress it.  I can so see myself pairing this with a pair of leggings and booties for a fun fall look, or even with a scarf, skinny jeans, and boots for winter.  Obviously we don't need to think about winter quite yet, but I admit my mind has wandered a bit to the beginning of October when things calm down in my little tourist town (not to mention Joe and I will be celebrating our first wedding anniversary then, too!).

Preparing to sneak up on some seagulls.

Now, I want to keep talking about this sweater, but I do feel that I need to explain these next couple photos, especially since I don't know that this side of me really comes through on any of my social media, but it's probably something you should know - I really like animals, and I can't say I'm particularly afraid of them as long as they have two to four legs - this may be evident from my Instagram feed.  However, I also often get the urge to chase after birds, particularly if they're in a flock.  I'm not sure why, I never try and catch them or anything.  I just like chasing them.  Which, is what my dear husband captured, and I just thought it was too funny not to share.

The chase!

Okay, back to the sweater.  Since I know some of you knit, I did want to talk a little bit about the process itself.  This claims to be an intermediate project, and while there are a lot of increases and decreases that can get kind of confusing, most of this is in a simple stockinette stitch, making it pretty quick and painless to work up.  I didn't really think any of it was particularly difficult until it came to the edging.  The border really confused me for a while, particularly the second row (if you make it yourself, you'll see what I mean!).  But, as long as you just take it stitch by stitch, you should be fine, and once you get the hang of it, it's not too bad.


Finally, I'm not sure if you're curious or not, but as for the rest of my outfit, my shorts are from J. Crew and I absolutely love them, and my sandals are from Target.  I like to keep things pretty simple in the summer, especially since we don't have the best air conditioning system in the world.  My summer uniform is typically shorts or a skirt matched with a fun top.

I really hope you guys have enjoyed this post, especially since I had a ton of fun writing it.  Make sure to follow me on Instagram if you are interested in those other sweaters!  They've both been hand knit by me, so if you do get your hands on one of them, we'll essentially be twinsies!  Or, if you make one yourself, let me know by uploading a picture of you wearing it, and tag me!  I always love seeing your creations!  Last but not least, make sure to follow this blog and come back on Saturday for another post.  I've been doing well sticking to this Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday schedule, but I'll need your encouragement to keep going.  Talk to you soon!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Marc Jacobs #instamarc Contour Powder

I've never actually been one to use a highlighter before, but I love Marc Jacobs makeup, so when I saw this contour palette, I thought I'd give it a try!  I can't really say I know for sure why, particularly since I have two other bronzers that could probably use some attention, but that doesn't detract from my love of this compact.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume that if you're reading this blog, then you probably already know how fair-skinned I am.  Honestly, I hear people talk about how hard it is to find the right foundation shade, and I've never had a problem.  I just get the lightest shade, and it almost always works.  So, it should not be surprising that I picked the lightest of the #instamarc compacts, Mirage Filter, which has a light gold highlight and light bronze contour.  There's also the Dream Filter (soft pink/medium bronze) and Hi Fi Filter (warm peach/deep bronze), but the Mirage Filter works perfectly for me.

The powders are incredibly soft and velvety to the touch, and I really like using an angled blush brush to apply it.  I do find that I have to be careful to make absolutely certain that any excess bronzer has been tapped off my brush before I go to do any contouring, though, because it does have a tendency to get a little too dark for me sometimes, and like a good makeup product, stays where it's placed.

I've really been enjoying this compact, which is probably why my two other bronzers have been so neglected.  But, if you've tried this compact, I'd love to know what you think, as well, so let me know in the comment section what your opinion is, and tell me if there are any other bronzers/highlighters I should try.  Like I said, I'm fairly new in the highlighting world, so anything you can suggest would be appreciated!  As always, make sure to follow this blog if you haven't already, and stop back on Thursday for a new post!  I've really been enjoying writing for this blog lately, and I sincerely hope you enjoy reading it!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Rhubarb Mojito Recipe

I think it was last summer that Emily, whom most of you know from my vlogs, and I discovered the Rhubarb Mojito recipe from Not Without Salt, so I'm not sure why it took me so long to share that this recipe is in existence with you guys.  There is always so much rhubarb readily available to us around here, and it's definitely one of nature's candies - I love it!  So, a rhubarb mojito seems like a natural decision.  I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as I have!

Rhubarb Mojito
  • 1 oz. white rum
  • 2 oz. rhubarb syrup (see below)
  • 5 (or so) mint leaves
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • lime zest
  • nutmeg
In the bottom of a glass, add a bit of nutmeg, lime zest, mint leaves, and the lime juice.  Using a muddler or the end of a wooden spoon, muddle the ingredients.  You want to really bruise and break up the mint leaves.  Add the rum and syrup, give a light stir, then top with ice.  Garnish with mint and a thin slice of rhubarb.

Rhubarb Syrup
  • 8 oz. chopped rhubarb (2-3 small stalks)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 vanilla bean (optional)
Combine all the ingredients in a small pot.  Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.  Simmer for 5-7 minutes.  Let cool completely.  Strain the ingredients.  Reserve the rhubarb to top yogurt, ice cream, or oatmeal.  The syrup will keep covered in the fridge for two weeks.

Let me know what you think of this recipe, and make sure to stop over at Not Without Salt to let Ashley know how amazing her cocktail recipe is!  She has some amazing recipes, and a beautiful blog!  Make sure to drink responsibly, and don't drink if you're underage!

*All photos are my own

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Nars Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base

Up until recently, I've really only tried two eye primers: the Urban Decay Primer Potion and Too Faced Shadow Insurance.  So, when it was time to get a replacement, I decided to step out of my comfort zone a bit, and try something new.  I decided to try the Nars Smudge-Proof Eyeshadow Base.  Now, I do have a couple critiques, but overall, I really do love this product.

To begin with, it does what it's supposed to as an eye primer, and keeps my eyeshadows where I've put them all day without creasing, smearing, or, as the name implies, smudging.  Really, that's the most important part to me, along with the fact that it's very easy to apply.  I do also love the packaging of this primer as compared to the others I've used.  It's very sleek, has a kind of minimalistic feel to it, and just looks somewhat elegant.

However, this is where I do need to do a bit of critiquing.  I truly think that this product should be packaged completely in black with white writing, just like most of the other makeup products, because it has a tendency to get dirty very quickly.  Now, I have noticed that most of their skincare items are packaged this way too, but the focus with skincare is to keep your skin clean, not add color.  So, I imagine the white packaging on their skincare items isn't quite as irritating.  Though, I've never tried their skincare, so I can't make any guarantees.  If you have, please let me know in the comment section!

Another aspect that I think could be better is the doe foot applicator.  Personally, I like using it - it rations out the product quite nicely, looks very sophisticated, but the issue I have is that there is no way I'll be able to use all the product that's in the container.  It's the exact same problem just about any product with a doe foot applicator has, and I suppose at that point, you just need to decide what's more important.  As I said, I actually quite like it (I have a bit of a heavy hand otherwise...), but it is an issue I wanted to point out to you guys just in case you are thinking about purchasing it.

As I said earlier, I really like this eye primer.  Really, the only issue I have with it is the white packaging gets dirty so quickly.  I can't say that this is my one and only eye primer forever and ever, though, so if you have any ideas as to other eye primers I should try out, please let me know in the comment section below!  I always love hearing your ideas!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Sally Hansen Salon Effects // Lace Fabric

It is actually with a heavy heart that I write this post, which probably tells you right there what I thought of these stickers.  Now, don't get me wrong.  I love the plain old Sally Hansen stickers.  In fact, one of my favorite and most memorable manicures used the leopard print stickers and red polish that I wore when we went to pick up Cricket (you can actually glimpse it in a super old video here - and see baby Cricket!).  So, I'm in no way trying to say anything negative about Sally Hansen nail stickers in general.  However, these were not amazing.

They are the Salon Effects Fabric Nail Stickers, and the one I picked up was one of their lace manicures in Thread Lightly.  Now, you guys know my fondness for lace, so it's probably not surprising that I was drawn to these stickers, plus they look like they could be so pretty.  Really, if I hadn't tried them myself, seeing them in the photo above would likely still draw me to them.  However, it really was how they functioned that I didn't like.  They're incredibly stiff for nail stickers, which I did expect from stickers made from real fabric.  However, I did not anticipate that they would have difficulty bending enough to completely adhere to my nails.  They don't really do well when wet, they're just plain old uncomfortable, and don't last nearly as long as their nail polish stickers.

Ugh, I truly dislike throwing a product under the bus like this, but I want to be honest with you guys.  There just wasn't much I liked about them.  In fact, I'd say the only positive thing I can think of is that let's just be honest: they do look really pretty.  So, if you're willing to take the plunge and try these out for yourself, I do still want to give you a bit of advice: Do not put top coat over the entire nail.  Now, I wouldn't dream of doing this with the velvet or wool stickers, but the lace was so scratchy, I had to try something.  That was a mistake.

It really just got chunkier than it was, and even more uncomfortable, and I actually had to take them off halfway through the day.  But, maybe I'm just being a baby.  As I keep saying, they do look nice.  I love the way they look, but because of how they felt on the nail, I just can't see myself trying these again unless they completely revamp their texture.  They are limited edition, so if you are still thinking of trying them out for yourself, which I would advocate (who knows?  Maybe I'm just being a baby about this), they won't be around forever.  My personal thoughts though is this may be one of those collections to skip.

If you've tried these, I would love to know, and please tell me your honest opinion!  Maybe I'm just using them incorrectly or something - if there's a way to make them work, I'd love to know!  As I've said several times, I do think they're absolutely beautiful.  Bleh.  I just feel awful after writing this.  I don't know that I've ever negatively reviewed a product before, and it just makes me sad.  Hopefully I haven't scared you off, though, and you'll come back next Thursday for a much happier post!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

How to Make Hard Candy

If you've followed my vlog channel at all, you may have noticed that Joe and I made a lot of hard candy last month.  I don't think that it's actually that we have that much of a sweet tooth (we actually gave a lot of it to friends), but we just wanted to know how to do it.  That tends to be a recurring theme in our household, doesn't it? ;)  Anyway, we've gotten to the point that I think we're consistent enough to share our recipe with you, and I think you may be surprised not only to know how easy it really is, but that you probably have the ingredients in your kitchen right now.

You'll need:
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp Cream of Tartar
  • Flavoring of your choice (I used LorAnn's Oils in Lime, but our favorite is just using some vanilla extract!)
  • Food coloring (optional)
  • Powdered sugar
Over medium heat, combine the sugar, water, and cream of tartar, and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.  We don't want any granules just floating around.

Once the sugar has been completely dissolved, turn the heat to high, and do not stir anymore.  Just watch the temperature.  You'll notice that there is not actually a thermometer in the photo below.  That's because we have an infrared thermometer that we've gotten used to, but whatever you use, make sure you're watching it.  At 260°F, you'll want to add in food coloring if using it, and at 310°F, take the pot off the burner.  It should be ready, but just to make sure, drop a bit of the mixture into a glass of cold water.  If it forms a hard little ball, it's ready.  If not, it needs to cook a bit longer.

Once the mixture stops boiling, you can add in your flavoring.  Like I said, I'm using the LorAnn Oils Flavoring, and you use an entire dram of that, but if using extract, just make sure the mixture doesn't get watered down too much.  Honestly, if we didn't have these little flavor oils, I imagine we would use exclusively extracts like vanilla and almond, as well as boiled down espresso shots for our flavorings.  That's just what suits our tastes!

Soon after the flavoring is added, you'll want to pour your candy mixture into pre-greased candy molds or onto a pre-greased cookie pan.  Personally, we prefer using the molds, just because it makes the candies look more like candy instead of something from Breaking Bad.  Let it cool until it has completely hardened, then just break apart the candies in the molds, or use a knife to make shattered pieces if using a cookie pan.

Finally, toss your candies with a bit of powdered sugar.  This is actually a very important step, because it keeps your candies from getting stuck together.  We've tried skipping it before, and I just wouldn't recommend it.  

So, that's all there is to making hard candy!  Doesn't it seem like it would be a bit more difficult?  It does take a bit of practice to get the temperatures perfect, but with ingredients like sugar and water, it's not an expensive project if you mess up, either!  Clean up is much easier than you'd think, too.  Just soak your utensils in water, and the sugar gets completely dissolved.

As always, if you try making these yourself, please send me pictures and let me know what you thought!  I'd love to know how it worked for you, and what flavors you've tried.  This is really a place where you can get creative, and I'm sure we'll be experimenting more with how to make our own flavorings and syrups.  If you're interested in more posts like this, please let me know by commenting down below what kinds of posts you'd like to see!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Toni & Guy Leave In Conditioner

Relatively recently, I started using the Toni & Guy Leave in Conditioner, and decided that I loved it enough that it deserved its own blogpost.  This is the first thing I put into my hair once I leave the shower, and it has made a huge difference in how soft (and I have a feeling, shiny) my hair is.

I used to use the It's a 10 Miracle Leave-In Product, and still love that, too, but after a couple containers, got sick of it and wanted to try something new.  They work very similarly in that in addition to being a leave-in conditioner, they do several other things that leave your hair feeling really quite nice.  As I said, it helps to detangle my hair, helps give it shine and moisturizes it, and maybe I'm imagining things, but I think it gives my hair a nice little bounce, as well.

It does have a rather strong, sweet floral scent that I actually really like, but I can also see where it may be off-putting to some, so if you are interested in trying it out yourself, make sure to do a little sniff test before purchasing.

I did also find that though the directions suggest using a walnut size amount, I only need about half that amount, and I've got fairly long hair.  So, as with all products, start with less, then add more if needed.  Another bit of information about this product that I do think is important to mention is that it does have parabens in it, so if you are sensitive to this, then you may want to skip it.

I really do love it, though, and it has been working wonderfully with my hair.  Even just the application feels quite luxurious to me!  You know how some products seem to be able to do that thing where it feels like you're in a spa?  Yeah, that's what this feels like to me.

Have you tried this product?  What did you think?  What leave-in conditioners do you use?  Let me know in the comment section below, and make sure to follow this blog and come back Saturday for a new post!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Chanel Vitalumière Aqua Foundation

I've thought about trying the Chanel Vitalumière Aqua Foundation for such a long time, but there were a couple things that stopped me.  1) The price.  Honestly, this retails for $47, so it shouldn't have affected me as much as it did when the last foundation I used was also in the $40 range (Laura Mercier Silk Creme).  Still slightly ridiculous, I know, but I had kind of set a precedence for myself. 

2) The counter.  Maybe this will surprise you, maybe it won't, but the makeup counter is an incredibly scary place for me.  I get really anxious when I have to speak to someone new just in general, even if I know I will likely never see that person again.  Thankfully, when I did finally go pick this up, the fellow that helped me was really, very nice.

Let's be honest, though.  You're not here to read about my social anxieties.  You're curious as to what I thought about this particular foundation.  In short: I love it.  This is a lighter coverage foundation that still feels like a foundation, and not a BB or CC cream.  This is perfect for my dry skin, because while I don't really have many blemishes to cover up, I do still want a bit of correction, and this works really well for that.  I really wouldn't recommend it to someone that does suffer from acne, though, as it doesn't seem to cover that as much.

The other thing I like about this foundation is that although it does tend to be on the runnier side, it's not purely liquid like the YSL Touche Eclat that I've also used in the past.  It also dries like a powder would, which makes it feel nice and light on the skin.  I really do like the finish it gives me.  Finally, I think I've mentioned this before, but I really don't have much trouble finding the right foundation shade for me.  I am so incredibly fair that all I need to do is pick the lightest yellow-based shade in the range.  In this case, that shade is Beige.  I love it.  It's perfect, and as long as I don't have a tan, I will definitely continue using it!

I'm honestly so glad that I decided to finally try this foundation out.  I'd been using the Laura Mercier Silk Creme for such a long time, which I think was a bit heavier than my skin in particular needed.  So, if you have drier skin like I do, I would recommend giving this foundation a shot!

I'd also love to know what foundations you guys have been trying and loving, though!  Please leave me a comment letting me know what your favorites are so I can keep my eyes peeled!  Also, make sure to follow this blog so that you know when they next post goes live on this blog.  I'll talk to you again soon!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Healthy Bomb Pops

Is there anything better than a good bomb pop to celebrate Independence Day and just summer in general?  I think not.  However, as I'm running my first 5K in years today (my dad is a runner, and thus I've run several throughout my life - nabd), I thought it might be good to opt for something a little healthier this 4th of July.  So, I'm making some bomb pops with a healthy twist!  It's a frozen smoothie the whole way through!  The red is strawberry, white is banana, and blue is blueberries.  I really like them, and I hope you do, too!

  • 1 cup strawberries (about 8 medium strawberries)
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup blueberries

I like to stick with the typical bomb pop appearance, which means I want the red at the very tip.  So, I'm going to blend my strawberries, and pour them into the popsicle mold about a third full.  Then, before I start in on the banana, I'm going to let it freeze a little so the colors don't mix together.  This is very important to get that nice, crisp line.

Once the first layer is frozen, blend the banana.  Sometimes the banana can be a bit difficult and try to settle at the bottom, but just add a bit of water, and it should be fine.  Once again, fill the mold another third full, so the mold is 2/3 of the way full, and freeze.

Finally, add the blueberries the exact same way that you've added the other fruit, and make sure everything is well frozen before eating.  There you go!  I nice, healthy, patriotic treat that you don't have to worry about indulging in!  I hope you guys have enjoyed this little recipe as much as I have, and if you try this yourself, please let me know what you thought, and send me pictures of your creations!  I'd love to see them!  Happy Independence Day, and I'll talk to you next Tuesday!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Independence Day Manicure

I think it was about a year and a half ago or so, I tried the Impress Press On Manicures, but then just sort of forgot about them.  However, I recently rediscovered them once I saw that they'd added a gel shine to some of them, and included some little rhinestone stickers.  I've already gotten so many comments about them, and they're really a nice stress-free sort of manicure.

Then, when I found a nice, plain French manicure set with little star stickers, I knew I had to wear them for the 4th of July.  I just think they're a nice way to get into the spirit of the holiday without being too in-your face.  Plus, some of you may know that I've been toying with different aspects of minimalism, and trying to maintain a capsule wardrobe.  I've noticed that it's been a little more difficult to celebrate holidays while maintaining this lifestyle, but by incorporating festive accessories (like the red, white, and blue scarf in the photos) and some fun nails, I still feel like I'm getting in the spirit of things.

I'm honestly really happy with these nails, and although my first review of them was a little more on the 'meh' side, the gel shine ones have really been working well for me, and they just seem to work a little better than before in general.  I do have to say that the stickers don't last an entire week like the nails do, but that could easily just be my lifestyle, as well.  I can't say that I'm particularly careful with my hands...

Anyway, I hope you guys have enjoyed this little peek as to what nails I'll be wearing to celebrate the 4th of July, and if you'll be sporting a fun manicure, please send me pictures!  I'm not amazing at nail art, and it's been ages since I've even done a nail post on this blog, but I love looking at it.  I hope you guys are having an incredible day and that you'll have an amazing Independence Day if you live in the United States.

Also, make sure to stop back on the 4th of July for a fun new post on this blog!  I'm really excited to share a patriotic snack with you that's actually quite healthy, as well.  Make sure to follow this blog so you don't miss it, and I'll talk to you later!