Monday, December 29, 2014

Goals for 2015

New Year, New Goals!

A new year is the perfect excuse to set new goals. And actually stick to them. I know for most, we fade out of that mindset, but there's just something that seems like a challenge at the beginning of the year. You've got 6 months till it's summer. I'm not huge on shorts or bathing suits, but it'd be nice to don some cute high-waisted skirts or shorts this summer!
I would love to start a little support group for anyone else that would like to fulfill their goals! I've said this before, but if you'd like to be little friends on the myfitnesspal app, add me! toriiix30

My goals for 2015:

Cut out something different each month
(January: refined sugar)
Drink more water & green tea
Work out at least 4 days a week
Eat cleaner
Take fun workout classes
Blog more
Spend more time with people I love
Save, save, save $$ for my California trip in the winter!


I would love to know what everyone's goals are! Share in the comments! (:

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Cookie Week Pt. 2

Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies, Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies, & Candy Cane Kiss Dip


Is anyone else around here extremely last minute? I've been meaning to post this baby (since yesterday), and I've just been hammered with stuff! Working 10s, last minute plans with friends, and getting ready to leave for the holiday. So, It appears "Cookie Week" is a two week business. Don't mind me and my slack! So, these are my final cookies. Not to fret, I'll be posting a Peppermint Dip and Cranberry Brie pastry, as well. (Hopefully tomorrow. If not, I am BEHIND!) So, my fellow procrastinators, let's get to it.

Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies

These chocolate mint chip cookies are another that I make yearly. They're my brother's favorite, and , therefore, I feel obligated to make them! Plus they're delicious, and mint is just a Christmas flavor. Of course I need to make them. 

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2/3 c. sugar
2/3 c. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
2/3 c. cocoa powder
2 c. flour, sifted
1 bag mint morsels of your choosing

How To:

In a large bowl, whisk together butter and vanilla. Using your hand mixer, beat in the eggs, sugar, brown sugar, and baking soda. Carefully mix in the cocoa, until the mixture is combined well. Slowly add in the flour, adding about a half a cup at each addition. Mix well! Now fold in the mint morsels. I used Nestle's dark chocolate and mint chips with a some broken up Andes mints. Stick this in the fridge for at least an hour. When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325˚. Using a tablespoon, plop balls of dough on a greased (or wax paper-lined) cookie sheet. Bake these for 10-11 minutes. Let them sit on the baking sheet for a minute or two, then transfer to a cooling rack!

Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies

Anyone that knows me, also knows I will eat spoonfuls of peanut butter straight out of the jar. I'm pretty sure peanut butter is my first true love. So, of course, the perfect peanut butter cookie is needed.

 Ingredients:

1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. peanut butter
1 1/4 c. flour, sifted
Extra sugar, for rolling

How To:

In a large mixing bowl, start by whisking the butter and vanilla together. Using a hand mixer, beat in the egg, sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, and peanut butter. Slowly beat in the flour. As always, I do about a 1/2 cup at a time. Beat this until it's mixed well. Eat the dough, because it's amazing. Pop this dough in the fridge, too. Also for about an hour or so. Preheat the oven to 350˚.  Use a spoon to scoop the dough out. Roll them into balls between your hands and roll in sugar. Place your little dough balls at least 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Bake these for 9-10 minutes. Let them sit for a minute or two, then transfer to a baking sheet. They're going to seem like they might need to be in there a little longer, but I promise, they don't. They're going to be chewy and delicious and heaven.

Candy Cane Kiss Dip

When you're entertaining on Christmas eve, it's definitely necessary to have more than just cookies. I'm sure, by now, they've all had their fair share of eating dough and an excessive amount of cookies. So, this dip is perfect. It also happens to be ridiculously easy. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

40 Candy Cane Hershey Kisses
1 (7 oz.) jar of marshmallow cream
4 oz. cream cheese

How To:

Using a double broiler, melt down the kisses. If you don't have a double broiler, boil water in a medium-sized pot. Place your kisses in a metal bowl, and set the bowl over the boiling water. Stir the kisses as they melt down. Once melted, beat in the cream cheese and marshmallow fluff. BAM!! You're done. Place this in the fridge until it's serving time. Serve it up with some chocolate graham crackers, or whatever else you can find!

Have a wonderful Christmas!!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas Cookie Week! Pt. 1

Chocolate Chip Cookie & "Sugar" Cookies


Ya know how there's just some memories that you just remember? Like, it's really vivid and you can just remember everything about it? One of those for me is when I was in cooking class in middle school. We were making chocolate chip cookies, and we were at the point of adding the chips in. One of the girls I was working with says, "we need to fold the chips in. Do you know how to fold them in?" She was like Hermione in Charms class. "It's Levi-O-sa, not Levios-A." I honestly had no idea what she was talking about, but promptly responded, "yes, I know what folding is," and I went about using common sense and folding the the chips.
It's not an important memory. It's just something I can recall so vividly. From then on, though, I loved baking. For Christmas this year, I have a hefty list of cookies and treats I intend on making. In fact, I have 5 or 6 doughs in the freezer now, waiting for me to bake and blog! The week before Christmas is when it all goes down in the kitchen! So, I'm going to share these recipes with you this week! (Probably some next week, too.)

Chocolate Chip Cookies



Let me begin by saying, not one woman in my family is capable of baking chocolate chip cookies without them turning out flat as a pancake, except me. So, every year, I'm obligated to make them. I'm also not into using all the bowls in my kitchen to bake. Enjoy only using one bowl!

Ingredients:

3/4 c. (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp. vanilla
1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
3/4 c. light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
2 1/4 c. flour
16 oz. bag chocolate chips

How To:

In a non-metallic mixing bowl, melt the butter down. (If you only have metallic bowl, sorry! You'll be using 2 bowls.) Whisk in the vanilla. Did you know that melted butter and vanilla form a chemical bond perfect for baking? I always start with those two together. Now, whisk in the egg and extra yolk. Whisk in the sugars, baking soda, and cornstarch, mixing after each addition until smooth. Now start whisking in the flour. I usually do 1/2 a cup at a time. Once this is smooth, mix in your chocolate chips. Pop this in the fridge, covered, for at least an hour. You can stick it in the freezer, too, if you don't intend on making it the same day.
Preheat oven to 325˚F. Using a tablespoon, start scooping your dough out. Roll it into a bowl in your hands, and place on a greased baking sheet. Pop these in the oven for 11-12 minutes. Allow them to cool for a few minutes on the pan, then transfer to a cooling rack. Done!

"Sugar" Cookies



I'm calling these "sugar" cookies, because the almond definitely stands out! They definitely aren't your typical sugar cookie, but they are delicious!

Ingredients:

1 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 c. sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
3 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

How To:

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until it's fluffy. Add in the egg, vanilla, almond, and baking powder, combining well.  Slowly add in the flour. Again, I do about a 1/2 cup at a time. Beat well, until there's no lumps in the dough. Now pop the dough in the fridge for at least an hour. You can put it in the freezer if you aren't making them the same day, just make sure to pull them out and let them thaw a bit..
Preheat the oven to 350˚. Roll your dough out on a floured surface. Use your little cookie cutters, and place the cut out dough on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-12 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rake and cool completely before frosting. I used colored sugar on mine. For that, just sprinkle the sugar on before baking!

What's your favorite Christmas cookie!? (:

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Foxbrim's Natural Refresh Toner


Toner!


I think we've covered several times, that I'm pretty lazy. Literally, I time my morning routine that way I can sleep in at much as humanly possible. I've got my makeup down to 20 minutes. That's after I sit on my bed and mentally prepare myself to get ready for a good 5 minutes. This is a reason I love toners. My face gets a bit oily over night, and I can't stand the feeling of it, but I'm just too lazy to fully wash my face. Although I know toner isn't a good substitute, it works and it's quick. So, leave me to my unhealthy ways. It doesn't have the most wonderful smell in the world, but it's witch hazel. You can't expect it to smell like roses!
Even better about Foxbrim's toner? It's in a spray bottle. Spray that baby on your face, wipe it down, and done! You're free to now carry on with your typical routine. Don't get me wrong, it has a ton of other benefits. For one, it's 100% Natural and Alcohol Free. It also has some great ingredients.

Witch Hazel: Fights acne, reduces puffy eyes, reduces the appearance of varicose (inflamed) veins, heals bruises, tightens pores, locks in moisture, treats sunburn.
Aloe: Acts as a moisturizer, fights aging, lessens the visibility of stretch marks, lightens skin, tightens skin.
MSM: Softens skin, smoothes skin, hydrates, oxygen to skin is increased, reduces inflammation and swelling.
Vitamin C: Anti-aging, protect skin cells from UV, promote collagen production, boosts the efficacy of sunscreen.

Ready to try it out? You can check it out here!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Friday Favorites

TGIF!

1. Kate Spade

Boyfriend gave me an early Christmas present, and she sure is pretty! I'm in love with it!
I didn't realize how awful this picture was until I went to put it on here! :O

2.  Sofritas!

Guys. I have been waiting for sofritas to hit Ohio since my trip to San Francisco this past summer. The wait is finally over!

3. Boyfriend's Birthday!

A quote comes to mind... "It comes in pints!? I'm getting one." Name that movie, and you win life. (:

4. Christmas Tree!!

I love decorating for Christmas. I'm not sure there's anything that makes me as happy as decorating a tree and putting my little village up.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

KISS Instawave Review


Automatic, Tangle-free Curler

So, here's the lowdown on my hair. It's pretty damn long, but it's also really fine and really stubbornly straight. You might remember that I recently went to a wedding. I used crazy, mega cement hairspray, and guess what? It was mostly straight in an hour. I must tell you, that's not at all ideal.

I was recently given the chance to try out the KISS Instawave. Maybe you've seen it around. Maybe you've been like, "huh, that's pretty nifty looking. I wonder if it works." Well, how bout we take a little sneaky peak. Here is the "how-to" directly from Kiss.


I get it, I get it. You're still skeptical. Of course you are, it's directly from the company.  So, here's my "tutorial," if that's what you want to call it. 

A video posted by toriiix30 (@toriiix30) on

Now is when the real questions start. Did it really work? Is it actually tangle-free? What are the heat settings? Does it curl in both directions?
Did it really work? Yes, it did work. It worked and my stubborn hair held a curl all day. Ya know the wand curlers? Well, I literally burn my little hands up using those. This is basically a wand curler that curls itself. Does that make sense?  Is it actually tangle-free? As with anything, this takes practice! Brush your hair before using it. I have a bad habit of not brushing my hair, ever, except right after I get out of the shower. It also takes a minute to figure out that one angle definitely works better than another. Hold that puppy straight up and down, otherwise it isn't going to work. So basically, follow the instructions. What are the heat settings? The curler gets unto 420° on the high setting. Is that scary to anyone other than me? All I can think of is that viral video of the girl burning her hair off. Obviously, that didn't happen. Keep it on there for 5-10 seconds. I'd say 30 seconds max. Does it curl in both directions? Yes! For me, that was something else that took me a minute. Like, I had to think about what way to push the button to get the curl I want, but eventually, I got it down. I always use a combination of directions, because that makes it look more natural.
Final question, Is it worth it? To be quite honest, for someone like me, yes. I'm clumsy, I have stubborn hair, and I'm not the most hair savvy. I can assure you that all of these things were taken care of while I used this curler. I was actually proud of the bouncy curls! Nobody needs to know that you didn't work for those! I think it also cut down on the amount of time. As stated, I have some long hair. It takes a while to curl, and I'm impatient.

Now enjoy these freeze-frames of all the wonderful faces I make while doing my hair.

This post is powered by BrandBacker, but I think you can see it works. (; I wouldn't tell you it did if it didn't.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Make It Monday

Christmas Wreath

What?! Oh, yes, yes, I'm still alive. Alive and kickin'! However, it was time to spend my time with friends and family, and that's exactly what I did. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I know I sure did. Boyfriend's birthday was Black Friday, and, of course, he drug me out into the hoards of people. But we were so accomplished! We finished over half of our Christmas list and got good deals! I guess, in the end, it was doable. I still don't like going out on Black Friday (please remember your manners and humanity!), but at least it was successful. I also got presents all wrapped up! Do you remember my DIY inspiration post? I absolutely love how they're wrapped. The brown paper wrap is actually packing paper from Target. $6 for 800 ft! Steal!!! The twine is from Michael's, and, surprisingly, the paper doilies are from Walmart. They have a few different sizes, and I needed multiple, but they're only $2 for a 10 pack! (:

So, it's make it Monday, and you may have gathered that I like wreaths by now. I had this whole idea planned out with "Do you wanna build a snowman?" lettered out on it, but that's a ton of work. and how on earth do you securely attach that? You don't. That's all. So instead, while bored at work all day, I sketched this little guy up and sent it off to boyfriend. He liked it, so done deal. It was cute and much easier!

What you'll need:

Grapevine wreath (size o' choice)
Christmas bow of choice (just make sure it fits nicely on the wreath)
Spool of litter ribbon
2 sheets of white felt
1 sheet black felt
1 sheet red felt
2 pearl beads sprays
2 frosted cranberry sprays
Hot glue gun and glue
*FYI, I bought everything at Jo-Ann's, in case you don't know where to find something.*

How to:

You can start where ever your little heart desires. I started by making my little snowman. Mainly because I didn't have the other parts of the wreath yet. For his body, I made 3 different size white felt flowers, like the ones in this tutorial. FIY your circles don't have to be perfect. I hotglued his little body pieces together and set him aside. Then, I just cut out 2 rectangles of red felt. The first one, I glued around his neck. The second, I tucked into the first, to make it look like his scarf was tied, then hotglued the end down to his body so it didn't stick out all crazy. Now just cut a top hat shape out of the black felt, glue a little sliver of red felt to the hat, and glue it to his head. Voila! Cute little snowman. I used some pearl beads for his buttons. You can use what ya like, or leave him naked. 
After I got the wreath, bow and sprays, I took apart the sprays. For this, all you have to do is pull the grouped bunches off the main stem, or just cut them off. Before you start putting those one, you might want to put on your bow first. All I did was take the twisty tie that typically comes on the bow, and twisted it around a branch of the wreath to secure it. If yours doesn't come with a twisty tie, take one off your bread or something. (; 
Tuck your spray fragments into your grapevine wreath and arrange them to look neatly disheveled (yes, that is possible). Hot glue the ones down that are feisty. Start wrapping your ribbon around the top fourth of the wreath, overlapping the wraps. Once you run out of ribbon, just hot glue the end down in the back. Final piece! Find a happy home for your little snowman and glue him on!





Friday, November 21, 2014

Hyaluronic Acid Age Delay Serum With Vitamin C + Green Tea


I Love Serums


Serums are the most convenient way to do soooo many things for your skin. Wash your face and slather it on. Personal favorites of mine always include wrinkle or age serums. I promise, you aren't too young to start. So, let's talk about some of the benefits in Morea Natural's Hyaluronic Acid Age Delay Serum with Vitamin C + Green Tea.
Green tea: There's been tons of research on the benefits of green tea for your skin. I mean, let's just think about all the antioxidants that are in green tea. Studies have shown green tea helping to fight skin cancer by reducing sun damage. Because green tea is full of antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory benefits, it's likely to slow down the development of some signs of aging. You're lying if that doesn't sound appealing.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C is the key to production of collagen. Which means natural face lift. Yes, please! Vitamin C is also an antioxidant that helps slow the effects of free-radicals on your skin. These free-radicals can cause dryness, fine lines, and wrinkles. Everything you don't want.
The thing that always draws me to new products is when they plainly state that they're cruelty-free. I think you all know by now that I'm an animal lover, so any product that doesn't test on the little critters is wonderful by me! It's also paraben free (important!), and comes in an airless pump system that keeps your serum's ingredients fresh! Pretty fancy. As I said, my typical routine is to wash my face at night and slather on a serum. When using this one, I only need one pump, and it absorbs into my skin quickly! Afterwards, my skin feels super soft and the appearance is just brighter. If you're into trying out natural skin care, I definitely recommend giving this a try!


I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Friday Favorites


1. Lego: The Hobbit for WiiU

Um, yes. This game makes me the happiest. Boyfriend and I can play this together, and I get to be Bilbo!

2. Stephen Christian

If you don't know who this marvelous man is, get on Google. He has the most lovely voice, and he's the singer of my favorite band, Anberlin.

3. FlavFusion Infuser Water Bottle

Lately, whilst at the workplace, I've been enjoying some lemon in my water! It's a tasty little detox that's super easy to enjoy through the day with this water bottle! I pack a few slices of lemon in with my lunch, and I can drink it all day without drinking pulp or anything else! You cold definitely switch the fruit up (which I totally intend on doing) for strawberries, blueberries, limes, blackberries, etc. I'm definitely loving it!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

What's Cookin' Wednesday!

Roasted Tomato Basil Marinara


Warning: This is delicious, clean, and easy. So, I was reading up on some clean eating. The basis of it is that you don't eat any processed food. That basically means cutting out anything canned, jarred, or bagged. Now, there are exceptions, such as canned vegetables and beans. Just look at the label. If you don't know what something is, it's probably not clean. Now, I make a pretty good marinara with canned crushed tomatoes, but why not kick it up a notch on the health front, right? So, this recipe requires minimal work. And if you've read any of my other recipes, you know I'm all about that. On the week nights, at least. 

Ingredients:

7 cloves garlic, peeled
9 large tomatoes, halved
Handful of basil (I used about 10 leaves)
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
Cooked pasta of choice
(I used whole wheat spaghetti noodles)

How To:

Preheat the oven to 400F. Go about cutting your tomatoes, cutting the basil off the stems, and peeling the garlic. Line a baking sheet with foil and spread the tomatoes out. Lightly drizzle with olive oil, and crack a bit of salt and pepper over the tomatoes. Now spread out the garlic and basil with the tomatoes. Pop this in the oven for about an hour, or until the tomatoes begin to brown. It'll smell marvelous. Once they've roasted, take them out and let them cool a bit. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse. Add a bit more salt and pepper, if you please. 
Pile this on top of your cooked pasta, and savor the healthy deliciousness. I will actually take this over the jarred sauce any day. I probably won't make marinara any other way, now. It was just so tasty and fresh.


Have you guys tried eating clean? What's your favorite recipe?

Monday, November 17, 2014

Make It Monday

Holiday Inspiration

You may have noticed that I went MIA last week. Maybe not, and that's ok! I needed to take a little mental break. I'm (for sure) an introvert, which means personal, alone time is pretty important to me. Life has been lacking that lately, and while that's ok for some, it's a little stressful for me. It was also my last week of training (10 weeks!). I completely take some of the blame for all of my anxiety over the past month. My work schedule was just too much for me to also get in the gym and also do my typical cooking and blogging. So for about a good month, month and a half, I haven't been in the gym. Going to the gym really helps control my anxiety. However, now I get to pick my work schedule, which means I made sure there was room for the gym. Not only do I miss the release of stress, I also need to get in there! It's holiday season, guys!! Ya gotta find a way to balance all that yummy food, right?

So, I'm about to start my Christmas crafting. I wish I could convey via internet how much I love Christmas decor and just the warm feelings that come along with it. Although I haven't made anything to show you guys, I have tons of ideas reeling through my head and tons of inspiration.

 

All the marvelous inspiration!!

So, these things are what you have to look forward to! As for the DIY projects, I'll be taking little elements from each one. I have a total obsession with making presents look adorable. And of course, each year I have to top the previous year. That's just hard, ok? Last year, I made everyone's name out of wire and tied it on top of their present with a ribbon. Doubled as an ornament!

What are your DIY plans for the holiday season!? I love new ideas! Leave 'em below!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Make It Tuesday?

Oatmeal Pumpkin Cream Pies

I must apologize for the late post. Last night, I went to see my favorite band of all time, Anberlin. It's their final tour, and there was just nothing that could keep me from being there. Needless to say, the band played amazingly, as they have every time I've been to a show of theirs. They'll alway hold the largest part of my little musical heart. 

Guys, that man we're standing with? That's the lead singer, Stephen Christian. His voice is pure perfection. Now that you've forgiven me, we can get to the real post. (:
I'm sure we've all got Thanksgiving coming up. Unless you don't celebrate that, which is cool. But then there's the work pot lucks and dinner with friends, and ya know, just the whole holiday get togethers begin. Whenever there's a potluck or any kind of gathering, everyone knows I'm bringing a dessert. That's just what I love making. Although it had nothing to do with any gathering, I recently made these Oatmeal Pumpkin Cream Pies, and can I just tell you, they were delicious


Ingredients:

Cookies:
1/2 c. unsalted butter, melted
1/2 c. sugar
3/4 c. brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 2/3 c. old-fashioned rolled oats
1 c. flour
Pumpkin Filling:
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1/4 c. pumpkin puree
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
2-2.5 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. flour

How To:

In a large bowl, whisk together the butter and sugars. Add the vanilla, egg, baking soda, and cinnamon, and whisk to combine. Mix in the rolled oats. Slowly add in the flour using a wooden spoon to combine well. Cover this and let refrigerate for at least an hour. I let mine sit overnight because I got lazy. After about an hour, or the next day, preheat the oven to 325F. Roll the cookie dough into small balls, about 1-2 inches. Place these in rows on a greased cookie sheet. Pop in the oven for about 10-15 minutes. I like my cookies a little crispier, so this is all judgement. Let the cookies cool for about 2 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. 
While you're making the cookies, or while they're cooling, you can start the filling. Using a hand mixer, or stand mixer, beat the cream cheese, butter, pumpkin puree, and spices together. Slowly begin adding in the powdered sugar, about a 1/2 cup at a time. As this still produces a thin consistency, add in the flour. Fair warning, it's still going to seem a bit thin, or it did to me. However, if you pop the frosting in the fridge for a bit, it's much easier to work with. Once your cookies are cooled completely, you can spread the filling on the bottom of one cookie and sandwich it to another.
Congratulations! You just made delicious cookies!


What's your favorite dessert to take to gatherings!? I'd love to know! (:

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Old Factory Candle Review - CLOSED

Giveaway Time! (:


If there's anything I love, it's walking into a house that smells amazing. Currently, I'm smelling Roasted Chestnut, and it's pure heaven. I love how cozy candles make a home feel. Especially when it's movie night and the only light is candles. Or christmas time! (:
I was given the chance to review one of Old Factory Candle's soy candle sets. Let me tell you, there were so many sets to choose from, it was difficult. There are 12 awesome sets to choose from, and each one comes with 3 different scents. I ended up with the Winter Wonderland Set. Hot Cocoa, Roasted Chestnut, and First Snow! It's absolutely perfect for the upcoming holiday season! It was a tough choice between this one and the Coffee Shop Set, which has Chai Tea, Hazelnut, and Coffee Bean! I promise, these would make some great Christmas gifts. Or, ya know, just light 'em up to get yourself in the spirit while wrapping presents, decorating the tree, and baking!
So far, my Roasted Chestnut has lasted quite some time. It's a subtle smell, but it's wonderful all the same! I'm definitely looking to get a few of the other sets for people for presents. Want to give someone an at home spa day? They have a set perfect for that. Pretty awesome.
They've also allowed me to giveaway a set to a reader! Make sure you enter below! :D The giveaway ends Friday, the 14th, so make sure you get all the entries in! Once my winner is chosen, I'll contact you for some information! Unfortunately, it's only open to US residents!

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway This post was powered by BrandBacker!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Friday Favorites!

1. iPhone 6

Boyfriend and I got new phones! He got the 6 Plus, and it's enormous.

2. The New Hobbit Trailer

Guys. I just couldn't even handle watching this. I had to watch it twice.

3. Cards Against Humanity

Drinks and games with friends!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

What's Cookin' Wednesday!

Stir Fry!


Good evening! I hope everyone's week is going well! Mine is going surprisingly fast, and I'm a-ok with that. But it's mid-week and, while I'm here blogging away, boyfriend is making dinner. I don't know about all of you, but once it hits Wednesday, dinner better be easy. I am in no mood to stand in the kitchen for a good hour or so. If you share my feels, save this recipe for a day you feel like putting a little effort in, and chopping veggies for a good amount of time. If you're looking for something easy, check out this easy tomato basil soup.
However, this is delicious and healthy and packed full of veggies and protein. I'm all about trying new meat substitutes. So, when I found Trader Joe's "Chicken-Less Strips" I was really excited. Tossed these babies in with all the veggies and fooled two meat eaters. Take that!

Ingredients:

3 T olive oil
1/2 a bunch of broccoli, cut into florets
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
1/2 orange pepper, sliced
1/2 red pepper, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 green onions, sliced thinly
1 can water chestnuts
1/4 cup cashews
1 package Trader Joe's Chicken-Less Strips (or chicken)
2 cups quinoa, cooked
Sauce
2 T soy sauce or tamari
3 T teriyaki
1 t. rice vinegar
1 1/2 t. brown sugar

How To:

In a large skillet, or wok, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the garlic and whites of the green onions until fragrant. Toss in the package of Trader Joe's Chicken-Less Strips, and sauté with the onions and garlic for a couple minutes. Add in the carrots and celery, and sauté for another 5-7 minutes. Add in the peppers and broccoli, sauté for about 3 minutes, then cover the pan. Allow this to sit for about 10 minutes. Add in any extra olive oil as needed while sautéing. While you're letting that sit, combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl. I alway recommend tasting sauces as you go. Keep in mind that although the sauce is a bit salty, when it's combined with the other ingredients, it won't taste as salty. Add the water chestnuts, cashews, and sauce to your veggies. Stir to combine well, and allow the mixture to heat through. This also let's the flavors combine. I typically let mine sit for around 10-15 more minutes. Usually, I'm finishing up the quinoa. Put the quinoa in your serving bowls and top with a generous amount of stir fry! 


I'd just like to inform you all that this tasted just like Chinese take-out for me, and it was so good. You know when your Chinese is almost better the next day? Yep, just like that.
What's your favorite healthy take-out!? I'd love to know in the comments below! (:

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Make It Monday

Glitter Pumpkins

Please excuse my not cute porch.
I do apologize for being late, but boyfriend and I were at Best Buy all last night getting new iPhone 6's! And I'm a procrastinator and didn't have my post ready yet. (; but isn't she a beaut!?
So anyway, the first thing boyfriend said when I started making glitter pumpkins this weekend? "Halloween is over." If you're one of these people, it's still fall!!!! I can keep my decor up until thanksgiving! I can't go putting up my Christmas tree yet, can I? Nope, people would give me odd looks. So fall decor it is. Thank you very much. Trust me, as soon as Thanksgiving is over, I will lose my mind over Christmas decor. It's just so beautiful and sparkly. Until then, however, I will keep my fall decor and love it. (:
For a while, I was debating whether I wanted real pumpkins or craft pumpkins. I ended up opting for craft pumpkins for 2 reasons. 1) Michael's had an amazing deal. 2) One less thing I have to do next year! 
So, of course, you can pick whatever patterns your little heart desires, but I've gone with polka dots and stripes!

What you'll need:

Glitter
Craft pumpkins of various sizes
Tape
Paper
Scissors
Glue
Sponge brush
Rubber Bands
Patterns in mind

How to:

*Disclaimer: Do not do this inside, in clothes you like, or want to wear to bed. Because glitter.*
So anyway. I began by cutting out a circle out of a small piece of paper. Then, I just held it up to the pumpkin and, using the sponge brush, painted inside the circle with glue. Over a piece of paper, I shook some glitter onto the glue spot. Shake to remove the excess, and voila! Now cover the rest of your pumpkin in circles. The striped one took a little more. Using the rubber bands, "rope off" the areas you want to make glittery. I made one large stripe, a small stripe (that is blank), and then another large stripe. All together, I used 4 rubber bands. Now, using your sponge brush, paint a generous amount of glue inside the stripes you want to be glittery. Then, sprinkle the glitter on, shaking off the excess. Easy and super cute! Like, ridiculously cute. You could totally do chevron, but I'm way too anal about that. I know I wouldn't be able to make the stripes even, and that would drive me crazy. 

What's your favorite fall DIY!? I'd love to see in the comments below!