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!