Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday Favorites!

1. DIYs

I was a busy lady last weekend. You may have seen this if you follow my Twitter. *hint, do it.*



2. The Group

I took them to a job fair yesterday, where they got free things. This happened to the PINK dog on the way back...

3. Pumpkin. Spice. Lattes

I'm really ready for fall. It's my favorite time of year.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What's Cookin' Wednesday

Spinach Ricotta Stuffed Shells

Like I said, I swear we don't eat noodles every day. To be quite honest, I was going to post the Aloo Gobi (an Indian dish) I made the day after this, but... that took a little more effort. Also, boyfriend just loves Italian. I would totally just stuff it with a bunch of cheese, but I guess you gotta add a veggie in there. Plus, the spinach gives a bit of protein to the dish.
This is a meal that you can just toss all the things together and walk away. Super easy for a busy week night. At first, the stuffing of the shell can be a bit tedious, but once you get the hang of it, it goes quickly.
 

Ingredients:
25 jumbo shells
1 c. mozzarella cheese

15 oz. Ricotta
1/4 c. parmesan cheese
1 egg
12 oz. bag of spinach, thawed
1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 c. mozzarella cheese
Salt & Pepper to taste

Sauce:
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. onion powder


How to:
Preheat the oven to 350°.
Bring water in a large sauce pan to a boil, and toss in the noodles. Cook until al dente and set aside. While those are boiling, start on the stuffing! In a bowl, combine the ricotta, parmesan cheese, egg, Italian seasoning, and mozzarella. Squeeze all the extra water out of the spinach and mix that into the cheese. After you've done this, if you choose, you can make the sauce by simply combining all the ingredients in a medium saucepan. If you don't want to do that, you can simply use your favorite red sauce. Spread about a 1/2 cup of this on the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan.
Once the noodles are done, drain them and rinse. Put a generous amount of stuffing in each shell, placing each in the 9x13. When they've all been stuffed, pour the rest of your sauce on top of the noodles. Spread the remaining cup of cheese on top and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Pop that in the oven for 30 minutes.
Serve immediately and enjoy!


Are there any recipes your curious about? Comment below!
As always, let me know if you try this and how it turns out! (:

1D Autographed Makeup Giveaway!


Good afternoon, ladies!

I've got something special for you this afternoon! (:
The makeup line by One Direction, for those of you who have been waiting, is finally launching in Macy's! So far, I've read great reviews on the line. There are three different kits, which you can see in detail here: http://bit.ly/1DMakeupLooksCollection. Personally, I love red lips and a smokey eye, so the Midnight Memories kit looks wonderful. You can follow all the buzz on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MakeupbyOneDirection! While looking at a couple reviews of the collections, I ran across this article by Fashion Frugality. She says that the shadows apply and blend nicely and that she really enjoyed the lipgloss. If you aren't a teen, and 1D is your guilty pleasure, rest assured! She says these collections aren't just for the young!

US Release Dates:
Macy's - August 11th
Stage Stores - August 25th
Dillards - August 25th
Beauty Brands - August 25th
Lord and Taylor - August 25th
Midnight Memories Kit
This week, I'm doing a giveaway for a One Direction makeup set!!! Wooooo, free makeup! More of a plus for you if you like 1D!
If you win, you get *drumroll please*:
One of the collections
A look book
Autographed limited edition collectable keepsake tin with removable sleeve
Doodle stencils

So, what are you waiting for!?
Click Here to Enter!

When you enter, you will be asked to give your email, like the FB page, and post to Twitter. 
For extra entries, you can refer your friends, pin it on pinterest, or like the twitter page! They're giving away up to 50 sets, so don't miss your chance!!!

#makeupby1D
#thelookscollection
#markwins


This giveaway is possible thanks to Brandbacker!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Liebster Award!

Liebster Awards!

Well, good evening!
I was nominated for the Liebster Award by Beauty on a Beer Budget! You know that I'm-new-and-nobody-reads-the-random-things-I-put-up feel? Yeah, I think this is to let ya know that that isn't always true. (;

So the rules are:
1. Post 11 Random Facts about Yourself
2. Answer the 11 questions that the person who nominated you will post
3. Nominate 11 blogs with under 200 followers, let them know you're nominating them, and post your 11 questions for them!



11 Random Facts About Me!

  1. I've watched all three The Lord of the Rings movies so many times I can almost quote them word for word.
  2. I have an obsession with lipstick. Especially red lipstick.
  3. I had wanted to be a veterinarian since I was about 5, mainly because animals don't talk as much as humans. Then I switched to Psychology and the Social Services when I couldn't get past chemistry. (Makes sense, right?)
  4. Boyfriend and I have been together for about 2 1/2 years.
  5. I'm a California native, and I (and boyfriend) fully intend on moving there.
  6. I am obsessed with pin up and that time period.
  7. I find the human psyche overly-interesting. I could spend hours trying to analyze why someone does something or prefers something.
  8. If my cat wasn't really mean to other cats, I'd be a cat lady. But I love her too much to make her angry.
  9. Boyfriend and I went to Loved to Death (from the show Oddities) while we were in San Francisco, and he's promised me a lobotomy set when I get my Master's. I'm really excited about that...
  10. I have a slight case of anxiety and social anxiety. So, like, I do something really awkward and then brood over it for weeks after. I think I'm getting better with it?
  11. I get bored with my hair color pretty easy, and I do all my coloring on my own.

11 Questions to Answer


1. Why did you start blogging?
I use blogging as a creative output. Also, while helping my boyfriend transition to being a vegetarian, I was like, "I bet others would like to know some recipes to help them transition, too." So, here we are.
2. What is your favorite thing to do to relax?
During my down times, I will either be reading a book or playing video games (typically Skyrim or LOTRO).
3. What's your favorite thing to cook?
I just asked boyfriend, and he said Mexican. This is a true statement.
4. What is a pet peeve of yours?
CHEWING. The sound of chewing makes me cringe. It's called misophonia...
5. What's your favorite beauty product?
Urban Decay's Naked Basics palette. I use it nearly every day.
6. Who would you consider your style icon?
Everyone says I dress like Jessica Day (up there ^) from The New Girl. So, let's go with Zooey Deschanel.
7. What's your favorite splurge item?
I'm gonna say cheese. Maybe you're talking about makeup, but the answer is cheese. :P
8. What superhero power would you like to have?
Flying. I have some grand road rage.
9. What's your favorite movie?
Collectively, The Lord of the Rings.
10. Name a guilty pleasure!
Um, ice cream. Any flavor, any time.
11. Pick an animal that best describes your personality!
Boyfriend says a tiger, because I like to have control of situations, and I'm very blunt.

I'm Nominating...

My Questions for You!
  1. Why did you start blogging?
  2. What is something you live by?
  3. What is your favorite lip color?
  4. Where would you like to visit?
  5. What is your favorite cocktail?
  6. Favorite coffee shop?
  7. Who is your favorite author?
  8. What is your dream job?
  9. What is your go-to outfit?
  10. What is one of your guilty pleasures?
  11. How did you think of your blog name?
Thanks to Beauty on a Beer Budget for my award!! Definitely check her blog out, as well as all the other nominees!!

Motivation Monday

I hate running. Hate. It. As a busty lady, it just doesn't work for me. No thank you, it hurts. Literally, the last time I ran on the treadmill, both straps on my sports bra came undone. Well, isn't that just so helpful!? But I suck it up, and I do HIIT on the treadmill.
HIIT stands for high intensity interval training, and it's supposed to burn more calories for longer. I like the sound of that. So, the goal is to get your heart rate way up, then normal, then way up, etc. My personal favorite for this on the treadmill is to lunge for a 1.5 minutes, walk 1 minute, run 1.5 minutes, walk 1 minute, and repeat. Slowly, I'm building my endurance, and my lunge/run time will increase.
Literally, the only way I get through 25 minutes of that is my music. I haven't really touched on the type of music I listen to, but let me assure you, it helps. A lot of it is hardcore, with the occasional upbeat pop song.


What do you guys listen to at the gym? Do you have anything else that gets you through a workout!? I'd love to know! (:

Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday Favorites

1. Boots!

Who else is ready for fall!?

2. Anberlin

My absolute favorite band. <3

3. Office things

I have this weird love of having a cute, organized desk. These were on clearance and adorable!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

What's Cookin' Wednesday

Veggie Pot Pies!


Hellooooo, there! I was working out last week, watching The Food Network (makes perfect sense, right?), and I they were making chicken pot pies. I miss those things... but I don't have to! Feeling inspired, I added it to this week's meal menu. I plan our dinners out weekly, because I'm slightly OCD and I just like to have a plan (and a grocery list).
So, anyway. This is something that turned out to be pretty easy, and you could totally add boiled, chopped chicken if you wanted that. By the way, I end up using only 3/4 a can of corn, because I eat it... I can't help it.

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
3 red potatoes, cubed
3/4 can corn
3/4 can peas
3 Tbsp. butter
4 Tbsp. flour
2 c. milk
2 tsp. celery flakes
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
Salt & pepper to taste
Biscuit dough of choice


How to:
Preheat the oven to 350, and begin boiling the potatoes until tender. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Toss in the carrots and celery, and sauté for about 5 minutes. Set aside the carrots and celery in a bowl. In the same skillet, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour to make a roux, and let that cook for about 5 minutes (don't let it burn!). Slowly add the milk, whisking while you pour. Let that cook until it thickens, whisking occasionally. By this time, your potatoes should be done. Grease 4 or 5 ramekins, and place the potatoes in the bottom of them. Once the roux and milk has thickened, mix in the celery flakes, garlic powder, carrots, celery, corn, and peas. Let this mixture simmer for about 5 minutes. Time to assemble! Spoon the veggie mixture and liquid into the ramekins. Top with biscuit dough, and pop in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the biscuit is golden brown.
Serve warm and enjoy!





I kind of just adore little ramekins.
Who's going to try this and what would you add!? It turned out wonderful. Both boyfriend and his mom loved it. 
I'd love to know if you try it!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Dilemmas for Days...

Etsy vs. Store

So, here's the deal. Boyfriend has asked me to narrow it down to my top 5 favorite engagement rings! This should be great and exciting, and I should just be ecstatic, right? Wrong. I am not capable of asking him to spend $1,500+ on a ring for me. And I'm telling you, all the rings I like are almost double that. That. Is. Nonsense.
Here's my dilemma. I LOVE the rings I find on Etsy. Absolutely love the rings, the price tags, everything. At the same time, I feel like getting a ring off of Etsy is a bad idea.

Reasons:
  1. What if it looks nothing like it is pictured? I know he can return it, but then he has to find a new ring that I would like.
  2. What if the gem falls out!? It's not like I can just go to the store and have them fix it.
  3. I also won't be able to run to the store to get it cleaned. So, after like a year, it's going to be all dingy or something.
Those are my main issues. On the other hand, I don't really like the traditional diamond ring. I've been obsessed with the rose gold/morganite combination. I think it just looks so beautiful and vintage. But, I've only found one store that has this, and I don't really have many to choose from. So basically, I narrowed it down to one. Don't get me wrong, it's absolutely beautiful, I just want more of a selection.
What is your opinion on this? Have you gotten a ring off Etsy?

Motivation Monday

Happy Monday!

Or, if you're like me, "uuunggh, coffee."
Personally for me, I feel like I'm so rushed and busy with work all week, that I make that an excuse. And let's be honest, after a full day of working, going to the gym is the last thing I want to do. If I could, I would get up at 5, go to the gym, and get to work by 8. I don't have that luxury. I wake up at 5 to leave by 6 for work, and I'm there till 3:45. It's a loooooong day. POPSUGAR recently (ish) posted this article for ladies with busy lives.


In short:
  • Have realistic goals. If you have time to work out for an hour, 6 days a week, congrats. I personally would get burnt out and quit altogether. The article says to do a minimum for 150 minutes a week. That's completely doable!
  • Treat the gym as an appointment. This is something I personally struggle with. At the end of the day, I'm typically like, "ehhhh..." Also, my gym partner (boyfriend) sucks. Which brings us to the next point. :P
  • Gym buddies! Telling someone you'll meet them at the gym on given days makes you much more likely to actually go. You don't want to leave someone hanging. Speaking of, let's be friends on myfitnesspal: toriiix30!
  • Take your time. Don't over-excercise in the beginning. Like I said, if I worked out 6 days a week, I know for certain I would quit altogether. This will also help prevent injury. If you're body isn't used to the movements you're making, you most likely won't be making them for long! (i.e. my body wasn't used to running, but I got over-excited and tore a tendon in my ankle, which put me out for a couple weeks. Not ideal.)
  • Just do it. Even if you don't have a lot of time, or you're just starting out, 20-30 minutes of exercise is better than nothing. Go for a walk, ride a bike, but do something!
So, how do you work the gym into your busy schedule? Any tricks up your sleeve!?
Because I could always use more tips. :D

Friday, August 15, 2014

Friday Favorites

1. Wedding Planning

This is what happens when you search for photo booth props!

2. Reese's Pumpkins

Personal. Fat. Girl. Favorite. Plus, this means fall is almost here!

3. New Clothes!

Left: Floral tank from Tilly's, Tom's from Nordstrom rack.
Right: Houndstooth skirt is homemade, t-strap flats from Urban Outfitter's.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Birchbox Review - August 2014

Hooraaaay!! 

Another month of Birchbox is here! They've been doing this really cool thing, where you can choose one of the products that goes in your box (or an entirely different box)! My pick wasn't in the box, but I was late to pick and didn't really care. However, I did get the cream eyeshadow. Now, I'm typically not fond of cream shadows... But this one didn't budge when I did a swatch on my hand, so that makes me a little optimistic.

Let's get down to the box!


Sample size: 1 fl. oz.
Value: $2
I love the smell of this. It smells wonderful. It absorbs into the skin really fast and doesn't leave my hands all greasy. It also makes my hands super soft. I'm on board with this.

Sample size: .17 fl. oz.
Value: $12.34
Here's a little swatch of this. It's a really nice neutral shimmer. It also didn't budge after it dried, which is typically what I have problems with. All in all, I love the color and, if it stays this well, it will be amazing.

Sample size: 1 pack
Value: $3
I'm pretty sure if I used this in the morning, I would be wide awake. The mint in this mask is powerful. I'm not complaining, though. I think it left my whole being feeling refreshed, and my face is nice and smooth.

Neil George Shampoo ($9.00 for 3.38 fl. oz.)
Sample size: 1.69 fl. oz.
Value: $4.50
Although the combo of this and the conditioner did really well at leaving my hair silky, I'm a little disappointed that it has sulfate in it. I've been trying out some sulfate-free shampoos lately. However, this definitely did the job of cleaning my hair.

Neil George Conditioner ($9.00 for 3.38 fl. oz.)
Sample size: 1.69 fl. oz.
Value: $4.50
As I said above, using this with the shampoo left my hair really silky. I made sure not to put any oils or leave-in conditioners in after showering, so I knew the full effects. Even my slightly sad ends don't feel so sad! That's always a good thing.

Total Value: $26.34
Not bad! I always love the sample lotions, because I can keep them on my desk. They're the perfect size. All in all, I'm not mad with this box, but it was not a memorable one for me.


I'd also like to state that I recently got 4 products (Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish™ Hot Cloth Cleanser Starter Kit, Cargo Water Resistant Blush in Los CabosYes To™ Blueberries Cleansing Facial Towelettes, and Supergoop! Fusion Lip Balm SPF 30+ in Acai) for $11.99. Bless your little soul, BirchBox points!
BirchBox has the best customer service that I have experienced so far. Last month, I received a sample that was way darker than my skin tone and, without me saying anything, they sent me an email saying that they were adding 100 points ($10) to my account! Also, my Cargo blush was in crumbles, and they sent me a new one, as well as 100 more points without a fuss!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

What's Cookin' Wednesday

Peanut Quinoa Bowl


I love these. I have an obsession with peanut butter, so any chance I get to eat it, I'll take it. I mean, I'll still just use a spoon and the jar, but... 
Anyway, in my quest to force boyfriend away from noodle dishes, I've been throwing quinoa into meals. It's just a wonderful little thing. If you live in the Columbus area, you've probably been to Northstar Cafe. If you haven't, make a point of going. They use all fresh, organic ingredients, and everything tastes amazing. I fell in love with the Thai Burrito, when my mom and I went there one time. It's served with the most amazing peanut sauce. I just couldn't handle it. I even dipped my chips in it.
The peanut sauce in this recipe is really similar, and it just makes me happy when I eat this. We tried these bowls the first time with half the sauce, and boyfriend was just not having it. It was too bland for him, and he likes flavor. Well, I wasn't opposed to putting more sauce on it, so here's the outcome. Pure heaven.


 (this made me think of peanut butter cream cheese frosting *drool*... until I added tamari.)


Ingredients:

3/4 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups water

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 green onions, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
3/8 cup (6 Tbsp) peanut butter
3 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons water
3 teaspoons tamari (or soy sauce)
1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ginger
Salt & pepper to taste

Chopped peanuts and green onion stalks for garnish

How to:
Bring the water to a boil and add the quinoa. Cover and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. While that's going, heat the olive oil in a skillet and add the onions. Sauté until fragrant. Toss in the red pepper, and sauté for about 3 minutes, or until tender. Set the sautéed veggies aside, and add about a 1/2 cup of water to the pan, and steam the broccoli for about 2-3 minutes. Tender, but still crisp. In a bowl, whisk the peanut butter, lime juice, water, tamari, brown sugar, and ginger. Combine the cooked quinoa, veggies, and peanut butter sauce in a large bowl!
Serve warm with chopped green onion stalks, peanuts, and an extra squeeze of lime juice!

Super yummy! Don't be afraid to add extra veggies!
Let me know if you try it and how it turns out!! (:

Monday, August 11, 2014

Motivation Monday

Meal Prep

I'm absolutely awful at packing my lunch in the morning. Instead, I typically take leftovers from the night before. However, that doesn't always get me all the veggies I want, or fit my diet the way I want it. But I'm lazy as shit... and I don't want to pack stuff.


So, since Sunday is dedicated to various things I don't want to do anyway, I added a quick prep in there. Grapes, strawberries, carrots, hummus tubs, and spinach ready to be made into a salad! The spinach I prepped with sunflower seeds, chia seeds, and nutritional yeast.
No time for laziness!
Also, last week, I actually got into the gym on a Monday... that. is. a. feat.

Let's be friends on myfitnesspal! Username = toriiix30.
Happy Monday! <3

Sunday, August 10, 2014

What's Cookin' Wednesday

Quinoa Chili


Shit... Please excuse my ever present tardiness.
So although it's hot as shit out here in Ohio, I long for cooler weather and the yummy soups and chilis  (and clothes) that go with it. Since we don't eat meat (obviously), I wanted something that made the chili a little hearty. Quinoa. Quinoa is always the answer. It's hearty, it's a great source of protein, and it's easy to make.







Ingredients:
2 cups quinoa, cooked
1 Tbsp. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
1 jalapeño, seeded & diced
2 cans diced tomatoes (I used Hunt's Roasted Red Pepper)
1 can tomato sauce (I used Hunt's Dinner Starters for chili)
1 1/2 Tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. cumin
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
Salt & pepper to taste
2 cans beans (I used black beans and chili beans)
1 can corn
Juice of 1 lime

How to:
Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Sauté the onion, garlic, and jalapeño until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the quinoa, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, seasonings, and 1-2 cups of water. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and let it cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the beans, corn, and lime juice, and let that heat through for a couple of minutes. 
Serve immediately with chopped green onions, greek yogurt, avocado, cheese, etc!

Warning: This makes a ton a chili. It's freezer-friendly, though!
This is when I wish I lived in San Francisco, so I could enjoy this any time!


I'd love to know if you try this and how it turns out!! (: