January 30, 2015

What I Ate Today (& this week)

I am so interested in what people eat, it's kind of bizarre.  I nanny for three little girls and each day when I pick up two from school I always ask "What did you eat for lunch today?" I just love food. I love eating it, cooking it, watching shows on it, does that make me a foodie? Anyway, today I thought I'd share with you what I might eat on any given day.

Before diving right in, I wanted to say my style of "meal planning" is a little different,  here's how and why. Each Sunday I choose one thing to have each day for lunch and one thing to have each night for dinner, the same thing each day (or roughly the same thing, excluding the weekend) Why eat the same thing every day?  Living and alone and cooking for one lends itself very easily to being wasteful with food, something I can't stand! It's just throwing money away.  Most recipes are for anywhere from 4-8 servings and cooking dinner each night with leftovers in those amounts can cause my refrigerator to get out of control quick.  I also find that having some sort of consistency makes it easier for me to make healthy decisions and not be as tempted to snack on leftovers all night.  And lastly, most nights I work until 5:45/6, then head straight to the gym and wont be back home until 7.  I then have to shower and might not be able to begin cooking until 7:30, having precooked most of my meal in advance makes it much less stressful to pull together dinner when I get home later.

I know this style of "meal planning"/prep isn't going to work out for everyone, but it works really well for me and this is what I ate this week...

I usually don't switch it up too much during the week with breakfast, it's usually two packages of Quaker Instant Oatmeal Lower Sugar in the Maple & Brown Sugar variety. I know this could be healthier if I made the oatmeal myself, but this comes down to the convenience factor. I also always have a 1 liter bottle of water and aim to drink 3 a day. The flavored water is something new I picked up from Publix and it's really good!

I usually get hungry mid-morning and this week I decided on grapes, apples, a Mini Babybel cheese and my trusty bottle of water.

For lunches this week I made wraps and if you like spicy food and live near a Publix, you need to try the Boar's Head Chipotle Chicken Breast from the deli, it's so good! I used a cheddar and jalapeno wrap with garlic hummus spread, lettuce, red onion, chicken breast and light sharp white cheddar cheese.  I added a side of carrots and Publix brand chili lime hummus and started my second liter of water for the day.

After I pick the girls up from school we have a little snack and this week to satisfy more so my sweet tooth than hunger, because man these things are small, I choose Fiber One's new mint chocolate chip brownie bars.  Again, not the healthiest or most filling, but it was good!

This week for dinners, I made crock pot shredded buffalo chicken, from this recipe.  For dinner I like to make something that I can eat a few different ways just in case I get bored of it by mid-week, I usually don't, but just in case. Tonight I topped some whole wheat pasta with the chicken and it was so good!  Earlier in the week I had this chicken over brown rice with a side of green beans and I also made a grilled buffalo chicken sandwich with whole wheat bread and cheddar cheese the following night, both were delicious!

I hope you liked this peek into my meals of the day, let me know what some of your favorite healthy meals are!

January 28, 2015

Nighttime Skincare Routine

As I've gotten older, I've become much more interested in skincare and taking care of my skin.  And, after much trial and error, I have come to realize my skin is pretty laid back and doesn't require much work. I do have pretty dry skin, but it's easily managed if I'm consistent with a basic routine using gentle hydrating products.  I by no means have perfect skin, and there are areas I still want to improve upon, evening my skin tone being number one, but here are the products I have been using lately that have been leading my skin in the healthy looking direction I want it in.

I start out by swiping a cotton pad with Sephora's Triple Action Cleansing Water on it over my entire face.  And while a woman who worked at Sephora told me this is all she uses to cleanse her face, I use this as more of a makeup remover before my cleanser.  I do this each night regardless of if I wore makeup that day, just to remove and excess dirt and oil if nothing else. It does leave my skin feeling slightly sticky, but it doesn't burn my eyes and is easily washed away with the next step.

Next, I wash my face with Olay's Foaming Face Wash, the sensitive formula. I have been using this for over a year now and my skin loves it. This wash is soap free, which I'm not entirely sure what that means (aside from the obvious), but it leaves my skin feeling super clean and not dry or uncomfortably tight. I use this with my exfoliating face sponge each night that I do not do the following step.

2-3 times a week I follow up cleaning my skin with the Freeman Charcoal & Black Sugar Facial Polish.  I don't get floored easily by products and this one has managed to amaze me. Seriously, if you need a good face scrub I highly recommend checking this one out.  I've used numerous face masks from Freeman and was never impressed, but still grabbed this scrub to try because they're just so cheap (I got mine at Ulta for $3.99).  You can use this product as a scrub or as a mask/scrub where you apply a thin layer for 5-7 minutes and then wash off as you would any other scrub.  Immediately after using this product my face felt softer than it ever has, I was blown away at how smooth my skin felt.  I tried this as both a normal scrub and mask/scrub and didn't notice any difference in the two applications.

After washing my face (or exfoliating and drying, depending on the night) I will apply an eye cream. I'll be honest, this step I sometimes skip because I'm just not a fan of this eye cream.  I don't really see that it does anything for my eye area and it burns terribly if I rub my eyes and some of the cream gets in. I'm really just trying to use this up and figure it's better than not using anything at all.  If any of you have a good eye cream recommendation, please let me know! I also am testing out Nourish Organics Renewing Avocado Eye Cream, so I'll keep you posted.

The final step in my routine, and my most favorite step, moisturizer. I love a good moisturizer and this is by far the best I've tried.  After everything, I slather on Clinique's Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief. It's the first gel moisturizer I've ever used and I love it.  It's so hydrating, not at all sticky, and leaves my skin feeling awesome. This moisturizer is a little pricey to me, $38.50, but the tiniest amount goes a long way and this jar will last me a good 6 months.

Lastly, in regards to my skin and what I think is the other key to my skin's change is that I've completely stopped using any acne products as they're just too drying for my already dry skin.  I've never suffered from acne, only the occasional breakout, but in order to try to prevent them I would wash with saylicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide cleansers and then use topical ointments when I would have a breakout.  I think it was all just too harsh and completely unnecessary for my skin. Instead, I've been dabbing a bit of tea tree oil on any spots I may get and so far it's been a much gentler approach that my skin has been thanking me for.

I think skincare is twofold, it comes down to finding products that work with your skin and then being consistent with using them.  Neither one of those are very easy, at least for me. It took a lot of trial and error before discovering this combination of products and as skin tends to do, in a few years I may need to switch things up.  For now I just need to remember to be diligent about using these products each night.

And there you have it, my very simple nighttime skincare routine.  As I mentioned, I still want to find a product to help with my uneven skin tone and begin to incorporate an all over wrinkle cream, so if you have any suggestions please let me know!

January 26, 2015

SAG Awards 2015 Fashion Review

I love awards show season! Last night was the 21st Annual SAG Awards, so naturally today I'm going to share my thoughts on who wore what. Let's jump right in...

1. Jennifer Aniston-  I mean really, how gorgeous is she!? I loved her look, I thought the dress fit her perfectly and that necklace looks great with the plunging neckline, She's perfect.

2. Claire Danes-  I liked this a million times better than what she wore to the Golden Globes.  Normally, I don't know if I'd be drawn to a dress like this, but for some reason I think this military inspired Marc Jacobs is pretty cool and I really like the color on her.

3. Emma Stone-  I love how she's not afraid to take fashion risks, but this one just didn't do it for me. I'm not a fan of the over sized tuxedo jacket look in the first place, so clothing wise that wasn't my favorite look from her, however I think her hair and makeup look incredible. 

4. Julia Roberts-  I really like jumpsuits on the red carpet when done correctly, Emma Stone knocked it out of the ballpark with her stunning number at this year's Golden Globes and the main thing I think Julia missed whereas Emma did not, is in the fit.  Emma's pants were hemmed to perfection and Julia's could have been about 2 inches shorter for a cleaner, more crisp look.  I also don't like the platform of the shoe, it looks too chunky for my taste, but I really think just fixing the hem would make me appreciate the shoes more. 

5. Sophia Vegara-  What I love about this look is how she pulls off such a sexy dress in a classy way.  There isn't too much mid section showing, her boobs aren't spilling out, she just looks very classy.  This dress, if not done right, could go trashy really quickly, and Sophia pulls it off with such elegance.  

6.  Rosamund Pike-  This dress looks like it weighs 87 pounds.  I'm not a fan.

all images via

7.  Camila Alves-  I love this dress! I want to wear this dress. If you can't tell by now, the majority of the time I'm a big fan of simplicity when it comes to hair and jewelry on the red carpet, so I love her hair, but I do think some gorgeous statement earrings would have looked great here. Overall, I love this and she looks beautiful. 

And there you have it, my totally unsolicited opinions about some of the looks from last night's show. What were some of you favorite looks? What did you think about my choices?

January 22, 2015

Review: Rimmel London BB Cream

Today  I have a review on Rimmel London's new BB Cream Radiance 9-in-1 Skin Perfecting Super Makeup with Broad Spectrum SPF 20.  I have mention before how BB Creams are my "every day" makeup of choice, they tend to be lighter than most foundations and while I'm not sold that they necessarily do all that they claim, I do like that they are multi-functional and usually knock-out multiple steps in one product (moisturizer, primer, coverage, etc).

I also have mentioned before that I dry skin and therefore am always drawn to products with words like "radiance" or "luminous", I love a dewy finish.  I was so excited to try this product, as I'm already a fan of Rimmel as a whole, but unfortunately this was a big miss for me.  The consistency is similar to any other BB cream, smooth and lightweight and it has a sunscreen scent, which I actually like, but it made my already dry skin look even drier.  It was a nightmare to blend; I used my beauty blender and my fingers, both of which work great with my Maybelline BB Cream, but it was really really hard to blend this cream in entirely.  I somehow managed to look cakey and it was very obvious and visible I was wearing some kind of makeup, which is the entire opposite of what I am going for especially when wearing a BB cream.  I even used a primer beforehand, which while I doubt so, maybe that had something to do with my application as the product already has a primer built in.

Unfortunately this didn't work for me, but I'm curious to know if any of you have tried this and what your experience was.  Also, I'm looking for a new BB Cream, my Maybelline Dream Pure BB Cream is good, but I'm almost out and just want to switch it up. Let me know if you have any recommendations!

January 19, 2015

January 2015 Ipsy Bag

It's one of my favorite times of the month, Ipsy time! I look forward to getting my bad every month, and while it's never a surprise (I always check my "Glam Room" beforehand online) I still get so excited to receive it. So, what did I get think month? Let's dive right in...

1. Probelle Nail Polish in 'Into the Blue', full size $6.  When I saw this was the color I was getting, I wasn't super excited about it, however once I saw it in person, I like it more.  It's a really nice blue cream that I think I'll especially like in Spring.

2. Phyto-Medic Eyelash Enhancer by Lash Food, deluxe sample. I haven't tried this yet, but the reviews I've read so far are outstanding and at $78 a tube, they better be.  This serum. when applied to the base of your lashes, claims to make them longer, thicker, stronger and healthier in as little as 4-8 weeks.  I'll use the sample and report back if I see any changes!

3.  Pacifica Natural Mineral Coconut Eye Shadow in Ethereal, full size. This reminds my of a slightly less pigmented version of Stila's "Kitten" which is a cult favorite; it swatched nicely and I think it would be good as a brow or inner corner eye highlight.  I can't find this online anywhere, it seems as though you can only buy palettes, but check your local Target as Pacifica products are sold there!

4.  Elizabeth Mott All Over Shadow Brush , full size, $9.99.  This brush is incredibly soft, perhaps the softest I own, and looks like it will be the perfect brush to apply color directly to the lid.

5.  La Fresh Eco-Beauty Good Day Moisturizer, deluxe sample.  I love getting skin care, namely moisturizer as I have dry skin, in my subscription boxes.  I've only tried this once, and it was nice.  A full size is $40, and after one application I wasn't $40 blown away, that's a pricey moisturizer! I'll finish the sample and hopefully have a better feel for the product. I'm looking for a good day moisturizer, so if you have any suggestions please leave them in a comment below!

And that's it, overall I'm pretty happy with January's Ipsy bag, the moisturizer and eye lash enhancer are the products I'm most excited about, but I wasn't disappointed with anything. Bravo again, Ipsy!

Do you subscribe to Ipsy? If so, what did you get in your bag this month?

January 12, 2015

Golden Globes 2015 Fashion Review

Ugh. I can honestly say for me, this was one of the worst awards shows in terms of fashion I've seen in a long time! If the dresses weren't just plain ridiculous, they were ridiculously boring. I truly loved (might be a strong word, liked?) 5 or so looks from last night's show.  Today I'm going to share my thoughts on some of the looks

1. Camila Alves-  Did she just grab a drape panel before walking out of the house and tie it around her? Boring. She's lucky she's so pretty naturally.

2. Chrissy Teigen-  I loved this dress on her, and think she looks stunning.  The hair pulled back into a wavy pony was the perfect touch. Truthfully I love Chrissy in general, if you want some laughs, follow her on Instagram, she's hilarious. 

3. Claire Danes-  Is she a gypsy fortune teller?

4.  Emma Stone-  I absolutely love this strapless jumpsuit! At first the bow train thing confused me and I wasn't quite sure about it, but I think it's pretty cool and definitely awards show appropriate. 

5.  Kate Hudson- High class call girl.

6.  Jennifer Lopez-  While I'm not a fan of her hair, this was my favorite dress of the night. Stunning!

7.  Julianne Moore-  Again, loved this dress. I love how the top is kept simple with a classic cut and fit but in a gorgeous eye catching metallic silver, while the bottom adds some flair with the dark feathers. Her simple hair and jewelry were the perfect finishing touches for a dress that is a stand alone statement.

8.  Katherine Heigl-  She is glowing and looks absolutely beautiful.  This dress fits her like a glove and the navy looks great with her skin tone and hair.

9.  Keira Knightly-  I don't even know what to say about this, she looks like a pilgrim.  With a butterfly bracelet. Worst dress of the night, and it's Chanel.

10. Lana Del Rey- Just, no. 

11.  Maggie Gyllenhall-  This looks like a bad bridesmaids dress, I think it's the drab color that kills this for me. But hey, she can pull off a strapless gown without any trace of armpit fat squeezing out over top, which is more than I can say for myself.

12.  Melissa McCarthy-  I wonder if she's being serious? She's laughing like "Haha! Gotcha! Ok, I'm going to go change now".  Only she never did. This would have been my least favorite look of the night, but she's smiling and having herself a great time, so you do you, Melissa!

13. Tina Fey-  There was a lot of this midi dress thing going on at this year's Golden Globes, where the dresses stopped right above your ankles.  This makes me think of when I would outgrow pants and they'd be high waters, why would you want to look like you've outgrown your dress? Also, I don't understand accentuating the knee area, because that's where the dress is at its poofiest?

all images via

14. Viola Davis-  The dress was okay to me, it wasn't my favorite, but overall, she looked absolutely beautiful! I love her hair like this and I also like how she opted to not wear a necklace which would have competed with the beaded bodice of the dress, but instead chose a large cuff. She looks super classy.

What were your thoughts on the fashion from this year's Golden Globes? Who was your pick for best dressed?

January 9, 2015

What I Read: Attachments

I recently finished Attachments by Rainbow Rowell and I've got to say, it didn't blow me away.  Don't you hate that?  I love reading and really want there to be some sort of connection with the characters and story (isn't that the whole point?), and this one just didn't do it for me.  I'll admit I'm kind of snobby when it comes to books and while I've read a bunch of books that I've enjoyed, I find it takes a lot for me to really fall in love with characters, hi, Harry Potter.

I first heard about this book by reading another blogger's review in which she raved about it and actually said it was perhaps one of the top best books she's ever read.  The story is unique in that every other chapter is written either from the main male character, Lincoln's point of view (boring with a capital B) while the other chapters follow two co-workers, Beth's and Jennifer's emails sent back and forth with one another. All three characters work for the same company and it is Lincoln's job, as Internet security officer, to read all emails that get flagged for suspicious content and sent to him.  Lincoln frequently gets sent Beth's and Jennifer's emails due not to the content within them, but the rate at which they email one another, thus considered wasting company time.  What began as reading their emails as part of his job description developed into him seeking their emails out, he starts falling for one of the women and looks forward to "hearing from her".

In theory the book sounded uniquely written, and it was, however I just felt underwhelmed throughout the book.  The emails between the women were really very funny and by far the most entertaining part of the book.  Both Beth and Jennifer were hilariously sarcastic and smart and had such quick wit, I laughed out loud more than once. Lincoln, however, bored me to tears.  When you aren't reading about him playing video games at his friends house, you're reading about his relationship with his mother who just can't let go and with whom he still lives with; Lincoln just come across as a huge wuss to be quite honest.

Overall the book was just okay, I didn't hate it, but I certainly didn't love it and I therefore wouldn't recommend or not recommend it (what a helpful book review, Courtney!). Attachments seems to get pretty good reviews online, so maybe I'm just in the minority for this one.  If you want an easy read with a few laughs, you may like it!

What have you read lately? What are some books you think I should read next?

January 2, 2015

Pantone 2015 Color of the Year: Marsala

Happy New Year! I know everyone says it, but it's true, I can't believe how fast 2014 flew by! This past New Year's Eve was the best I've had in years.  I've mentioned before how I'm not much on the whole NYE festivities, so this year it was very low key with a handful of friends at a local bar for some darts and then back home and in bed by 1 a.m., just the way I like it.  I was able to wake up feeling great on the first day of this new year! If I made New Year's resolutions, which I don't (they seem so daunting) mine would be to blog more consistently, I got an amazing new camera for Christmas, so I'm excited to learn, grow and develop my photos and blog this year!

Now, for the point of this whole post, Pantone's 2015 pick for color of the year: Marsala.  I have to say, while I do like the color, it wouldn't be my pick for color of the year. I feel like the deep cranberry, burgundy shade is best suited for Fall & Winter, but regardless here are some ways I'm looking to the color for inspiration this year!

Let me know what you think of Pantone's choice for color of the year. Do you like it? How would you add touches of it into your year?

I hope you all have a great weekend & I'll see you back here next week!