Monday, November 23, 2015

My First Thanksgiving

Tips and Tricks


Guys. This will be my first year making thanksgiving dinner for my boyfriend and his dad. We've been joking that it's wife test #1. I tend to get pretty obsessive with entertaining others being perfect, so this is ranking pretty important for me. As such, I've done a bit of research on turkey-cookin' that I thought I would share!

When I first told multiple people, including my dad, that I was making dinner for the first time, they all said, "brine the turkey!" If multiple people say to do it, do it. Brining the turkey is basically marinating it, and infusing favors into the meat. I found this recipe that I'm using on Pinterest (obviously). Basically, I'm going to whip up this citrus herb marinade on Wednesday, and brine my turkey in it over night. On Thursday, I'll take it out of the brine, pat it dry, and add stuff some of the oranges, lemons, and herbs inside the turkey to further infuse those flavors. Here's the recipe I'm using:

Apple Cider & Citrus Turkey Brine with Herbs

You may have noticed that I said I was stuffing the turkey with lemons and oranges instead of stuffing. I found an article on common thanksgiving mistakes (I told you, obsessive) and stuffing the turkey with stuffing was one of them. By stuffing the turkey, you now have to cook the turkey longer, essentially drying out the turkey, in order to not have selmonella bread pudding. Yum! So, I'll be baking my stuffing separately. I'm using my grandma's stuffing recipe!

Here are some other tips from the article above:
Dry the turkey before roasting, inside and out.
Use a real thermometer.
Let the turkey rest for 15 minutes before carving.
The turkey takes FOUR DAYS to thaw, at least.

Did you forget that last one? Fret not. Buzzfeed has everything: How to Thaw a Turkey

Good luck to all you first timers! I'd love to hear the recipes you'll be using or what you're making!! Leave them in the comments below!

Monday, October 19, 2015

ColourPop Haul #2

Fall Collection


I love fall. I think we covered this in our last post, but it's ok. It's finally cooling down here in Ohio, and leaves are falling, and I'm just too happy for life. Then there's all the wonderful fall makeup. Vampy lips, smokey eyes, pale skin. It's all my favorite.
This post is long awaited. Long, long awaited. In my last ColourPop order, I bought 2 matte lippie stix, 4 eye shadows, and a highlighter. As I mentioned in the last haul, I'm just really impressed with the quality of these products when they're so affordable. The major drawback (to me) is that they're online only. I wish they were sold in stores, so I could swatch and see what I like. Luckily, I haven't disliked anything yet!

 Swatches

All swatches are one good swipe on an unprimed arm. 

Swatches in action

Below, I'm using I Spy on the center of the lid, and some of the red is Central Perk. I did blend in some of the red from the Coastal Scent's Revealed 2 palette in the darker parts. I Spy, in my opinion, applies better using your finger tip. It has a very creamy texture, but it's not a cream. Does that make sense? I love the colors here and think they're perfect for fall. If you follow my IG, you might have seen that I'm slightly obsessed with red shadows. I literally swatch every single one I see in stores. While Central Perk isn't super pigmented, I really like it as a transition for some of my more pigmented, darker reds, like the one in the Revealed 2 palette.

The lip color below is Nevermind. It's really a nice dark plum-y red. I dabbed a bit of the highlighter, Stole the Show, in the center of my lips to give it a bit more dimension! This is one of those that is the reason I wish ColourPop was sold in stores. While I really like the color, it's just so dark and I'm struggling to find a time to wear it. In all honesty, I could wear it with any neutral eye look, I'm just scared of the intensity. This is wayyy darker than my typical vamp shades, and I've just recently gotten into the purple lippies! This one is a burgundy-purple. Really pretty, but really dark.


Ignoring my ears (we went to a Renaissance Festival), I smoked out Plaid on my eyes and dabbed the highlighter, Stole the Show, in the center of my lids, and I have Grunge on my lips. Literally the perfect lip color for fall. I think I've worn Grunge every time I've worn lipstick in the past month. I can't get enough of it.
I'm really liking Plaid for an all-over smoky look. It's a good change from the typical black smoky eye. The color is what I think of when I think of traditional green plaid, and I love it!
Stole the Show has more glitter in it that Lunch Money does. If you're unaware, Lunch Money is the highlighter I bought in my last haul, which is a shimmery champagne. This one is white. Like, white, white. And glittery. Not sure how I feel about it as an actual highlighter, but I will certainly use it to dab on the middle of my lids or lips!

Everything in this haul if from their fall collection, and I'm in love. No complaints about anything, and I'm seriously contemplating ordering another Grunge so I don't run out anytime soon!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Ipsy Bag Review

September 2015


So, I recently switched from Birchbox to Ipsy. It had nothing to do with me being unhappy with the service. I was just starting to get some duplicates, and I wasn't really enjoying what I was receiving anymore! I definitely could have changed up my beauty profile, but the allure of getting something new was too much. So, I switched to Ipsy. I noticed they had more of the popular high-end brands, like Tarte, Too Faced, etc, which I liked. So, here we are...


This month, I got the Nyx shadow trio, argan oil, hand cream, brow gel, and a matte lip pencil!

Shadow Trio

ipsy x Nyx Shadow Trio: The black is matte, while the cream and brown shades are shimmery. Swatching this with my finger to my arm, I was certainly not impressed. The shades were not pigmented whatsoever. However, once I was using my brushes, some primer, and my lid, they showed up quite a bit better. Still not ridiculously pigmented, but it's definitely a nice little palette for fall.

Matte Lip Crayon

 tre'StiQue Matte Lip Crayon: Below, I have on the matte lip pencil and, obviously, the shadow. The lip color didn't really work for my skin tone. In person, it's a bit more peach, and I'm just not a fan. It didn't help that I had chapped up lips. Real cute!

Argan Oil

Octavio Molina Hair Argan Oil: I love argan oil. I'm that girl that takes a good hour doing her makeup, then typically doesn't even brush her hair. To be fair, doing makeup is almost therapeutic for me. I'm too lazy, and basically over it by the time I get to my hair. However, I have really long hair that I don't like cutting. Argan oil definitely helps my fried, crispy ends! This one doesn't smell nearly as good as some of my other ones, but it performs just as well!

Tinted Brow Gel

Elizabeth Mott Queen of the Fill Tinted Brow Gel: I really wasn't expecting to like this much, and I think I'm still up in the air about it. It only comes in two colors, either a blonde or brown. The blonde is a good color to tone down my slightly-darker-than-they-should-be brows, so that's a plus. I'm just used to my Dip Brow, so maybe I'm just biased. Anyone with black brows won't be able to use this, though, as it doesn't come in black!

Ultra Repair Cream

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream: If you're looking for something that smells pleasant, keep on looking. It's not that this stinks, but it sort of smells like baby cream. Like, baby butt cream, ya know what I'm talking about? But, I mean, if you're in need of some intense moisture and you don't mind the smell, go for it! It's extremely moisturizing. It took a while for it to absorb fully into the skin, but eventually it did. It wasn't too oily while it was absorbing, so that's a plus!

Sorry this is pretty short and lacking more photos!
What did you guys get in your bags or Birchboxes!? Let me know in the comments below!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

ColourPop Haul #1

*Heart Eyes Emoji*


Have you ever bought something thinking, "this is going to look awful on me," but you just had to know? I can't tell you how many times I've done that. Especially when something is only online, and I can't swatch it. This also makes me just ridiculously nervous. Which is why I just now got around to trying out ColourPop products. 
Where have I been?!
If you haven't heard of them, let me give you a little run down. The site, ColourPop, offers a variety of products from liquid lipsticks, normal lipsticks and lip pencils to eye shadows, blushes, and highlights. All for under $8. No, that's not a typo. So, we're calling this "Haul #1" because I just got done ordering 7 more items from their fall line. Stay tuned for that.

Swatches


So, let's talk about these shadows for a minute. These are only $5, and they're quite pigmented and really good quality for that price! Envy comes out as a gray with purple glitter. I'll most likely be using these over black. Already have, and it looks wonderful! If you look at the photo two down, you can see how Envy looks in the pot.  I'll certainly be using Chipper as either an inner corner highlight or lid color. And, basically, Effect will pair really nice with Chipper, so that's exciting! Yay, coordination!
All the swatches are one good circle around the pot.
That highlighter. Guys, it is so buttery and creamy and just so soft. Like, so soft. It certainly has a more champaign tone. In the order I just did, I'm getting what looks like a pure white one. For the summer, this champaign highlight was perfect with my skin tone, but it's time to get pale! 


Orders come with personalized notes! There's nothing I love more than personalization. I'm sure they get tons of orders, and to write each person a note is just really cool. 

Liquid Lipsticks

Truth be told, I've been eyeing Anastasia's liquid lipsticks. I just haven't gotten around to buying one yet. These are only $6! Crazy!! They certainly stayed on for longer than 8 hours, and didn't budge. There was a small amount of feathering by the time I took them off, but nothing to get upset about. They are extremely drying, so moisturize those lips before you put them on!

Zipper

This is what I ordered and thought I'd look awful in! But, I feel like it certainly fits my more grungey side, and I love it.

Tulle

The bottle is certainly a bit deceiving. I feel like when it's applied, it's much darker than it looks, but I'm 100% ok with that. It's definitely a red with an almost brown undertone.

If you can't tell, I'm very pleased with the items I got from ColourPop. I'll definitely be getting some more liquid lipsticks sometime soon! 
Leave me some recommendations in the comments below if you have a favorite!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Anastasia Beverly Hills

Shadow Couture Palette Review


Hello, there! It's been a bit since we've spoken! We (the boyfriend and I) had a few personal things going on, and I needed to direct my attention to that. However, I'm certainly back, as I've been buying makeup like a madwoman.
I recently, on my lunch break, picked up this gorgeous palette. Ulta is literally too close for my wallet's safety. I was really close to becoming a platinum member, so clearly, I needed to get something. Right?! Isn't that how that works?
So, I picked up this palette, and I love it. It has some great shades, and a combination of matte and shimmer shades. Some of the shimmers are actually more like glittery, but I'm ok with it. When you spray your brush with a finishing spray, it looks so so pretty!

Swatches

 Here are some swatches of the palette. The shades match up with the palette. These are so pigmented. I do have a primer on my arm, but that's really just because I'm so pale, and I wanted the lighter shades to actually show up. Besides being extremely pigmented, they also have amazing stay power. My shadow didn't crease at all, not one bit. Let's be gross for a minute, I didn't take my eye makeup off before I went to bed, and guess what? I woke up with perfect makeup. The shadows had faded a bit, but they were still clearly there.
Let's be real here, Anastasia never disappoints.


In the picture below, I'm using Morocco and Fudge in the crease, Bellini and Chic on the lid.
I haven't been bold enough to use Azul yet, but I'm really excited to get into it and get out of my comfort zone. Definitely recommend this palette if you're looking for something new with fun colors! For $30, it is certainly worth it.

I'm debating on whether or not I want to start a YouTube channel. Would anyone even care if I did?! I don't think I have much of a "following."
Let me know in the comments below. (:

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

How Do I Get the Most Out of My Workout?

Pre and Post-Workout


Want to hear something pretty cool? This past week, I had a fitness brand out of North Caroline hit me up to write a post about what I do before and after my workout to get the most out of it. As this was something I wanted to cover anyway, I was like, "well, why the hell not?" 
Disclaimer: If you know nothing about me, let's get acquainted. I am not a fitness expert. I am just a girl with anxiety that does a bit of research and really doesn't want to have to resort to medications. Nice to meet you. (:
Let's get back to the topic at hand. The brand? ETB Fit. As I said, they're based out of North Carolina, where they have a store full of high-quality fitness goodies. I've done a bit of perusing on the site, and, from what I'm seeing, they are all about not adding random things to your supplements. They state that all of their ingredients are listed on the packaging. No additives, no fillers, no junk

What you eat is important.

I have a very sedentary job, and all I hear all day is crunching. Chips, crackers, candy, etc. It's scary, guys, and it's a huge motivator. I don't want that. In fact, I hate sitting all day. So, to keep from munching all day, I have my meals and snacks on a schedule. Same time every day.
Now, keep in mind I get up at 4:30am throughout the week. Almost every morning for breakfast, I have a whole wheat tortilla with a small amount of cheese and an egg. It's my simple, go-to breakfast.  Breakfast is around 5:20-30am. I'll also either make an iced coffee or pick one up at Starbucks on my way to work. Sue me, it's the only not clean thing I can't give up. Around 8:30-9am, I'm getting hungry. So, I'll either have a banana or I pack a greek yogurt cup or some veggies and hummus; just something light. 10:30 is my lunch time. 
Now, I typically go to the gym straight from work. By 3pm, I'm changed and on my way to an elliptical. The problem is, I can't workout if I've just eaten, and I can't workout if I'm starving. I'm typically too preoccupied by my full/hungry belly. So, around 1-1:30, I'll have a protein bar. I've been in love with the Promax protein bars lately. No joke, check out my drawer:


They're soooo good. Clearly, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough is my favorite. 7g fat, 37g carbs, and 20g protein. I could probably pick out a better one, but it's so good, ok?

You'll only get out of your workout what you put in.

If you're dreading your workout, chances are, it's not going to be a great workout. Same goes for if you're just tired. Which is where I am on a normal day by 2:30pm. I'm ready to lay in bed. Some days, I'll get lucky, and I'll be really motivated to get to the gym. Those are good days. On not so good days, I help myself out with some pre workout. Now, I'm currently using a "generic" (I guess) brand, because I was worried about how the pre workout would interact with my anxiety. Of course, the first time I used it, I was so worried about my heart rate getting too high that I triggered my own anxiety. However, with a few more uses, I realized I was fine. And it helps so much. Now that I know I won't stroke out after using it, I'm definitely into trying some new kinds. EBT's Uncaged 2.5 might be that next one, because it's fruit punch flavored. Yum. And again, no fillers, artificial colors, or dyes.
It's also a good idea to have some music going that keeps you motivated throughout your workout. I personally prefer hardcore music. Favorites? August Burns Red, blessthefall, We Came as Romans, Underoath. Anything with a pretty fast drum and some cymbal-crashes. It seriously helps when I'm running, and I think I might die. Or fall.
If that's not your jam, load your phone with your favorite dance, hip hop, pop, whatever music. Anything that keeps you going!

Change up that routine.

Basically, your body is going to get used to doing the same routines week after week, and you'll stop seeing results. My week typically goes: arm day, leg day, arm day, leg day. I have different workouts for each of those days to work on different muscle groups. After about a month of doing those routines, it starts to feel easier. That's when I know it's time to change it up.
Look around the gym. Join a group fitness class. Find a new machine you've never tried. Or, for me, one I've been wishing my gym had. If I had taken the time to glance around, I'd have known they did. Now, I can't wait for leg day so I can use it! Either way, changing up your routine keeps you from getting bored in your workouts. 
Set small goals during your workout. I have a polar watch that tracks my calories I'm burning. Every workout is a competition with the last. I want to either do better or get pretty close to that last number.
If all other forms of motivation fail, make an inspiration board. Cut out photos that inspire you, whether it's quotes, pictures, or your ideal body.

How do you guys stay motivated?

Monday, July 27, 2015

Make It Monday: Dinner Edition

Basil Lemon Butter Cheese Ravioli


Sometimes, you need a delicious, not-at-all-clean dinner.
Seriously. Sometimes, you just need comfort... and food. In the form of pasta. Everyone loves pasta. The boyfriend especially. The kid could live on cheese ravioli and not gain a pound. It's really annoying. This is by far his favorite meal. Since I found this recipe, he's requested it several times. I can't blame him, though. I always feel like it's really fancy when I make it! Except, it's really not. It's cheap, easy, and quick. Perfect for a Sunday night dinner!

Ingredients:


1 bag frozen cheese ravioli
1/2 c. butter (I use Land o' Lakes w/ olive oil)
1 shallot, minced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest
2 Tbsp. fresh chopped basil
Parmesan cheese, for garnish
Extra basil, for garnish, optional

How To:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the ravioli until done, approximately 7 minutes. The ravioli will float when done. Toss those in a colander. To keep this a one-pot meal, using the same pot, melt the butter. Sauté the shallot and garlic until tender. Mix in the lemon juice, zest, and basil. Let that simmer for about 5 minutes. Just long enough to let the flavors combine. Return the ravioli to the pot, and toss to combine the ingredients.
Serve it up hot with Parmesan and a little extra basil!




That's it. See how simple that is? And don't you feel fancy?
Enjoy!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Tarte Energy Noir Palette

True Life: I'm Obsessed with Fall Makeup


Seriously, though, I'm obsessed with fall everything. 
Oxblood, flannels, vampy lips, vampy eyes, porcelain skin, combat boots, black skinny jeans, crunchy leaves, cool breeze... Need I continue? Have I gotten it across that I live for fall?
Tarte's new fall palette is this gorgeous Energy Noir clay palette. Take a deep breath, because I'm about to gush about how perfect it is. Preface: I love Tarte.

Let's get some swatches in here.

Look. At. Those. They're so pretty. Look how well that highlighter goes with the blush! *sigh*


Ok, so let's break this palette down. The top left six shades are all eye shadows. 4 matte shades and 2 shimmer shades. The bottom 2 left rectangles are shadow liners. Obviously, the large one is the blush, and the rectangle under that is the highlight.

Shadows

The shadows are really pretty. In the matte shades, there's a white, a nice grayish shade, a deep brown, and a lilac mauve. All these shades are highly pigmented and really true to color. I think I've used 3 of these shadows in a look already, and they are so easy to blend. If you've used the Tartelette matte palette, these mattes are to par with those. They're wonderful.
The two shimmers are in the center, and I'm in love with them. Charged Up has different hints when you're in different lighting. It looks like a nice gray shimmer, but in the swatch it almost looks like a taupe-y nude. Up to Slate does the same thing. It's a silvery purple shimmer. Both of these are so creamy and so easy to blend into the mattes.
I personally don't feel like they have any more fall out than other shadows.  They just go so well together, and I can't handle it.

Liners

These are also matte, clearly. I actually haven't used them as liners. I've blended that Power Plum into my outer corner, though, and it's wonderful. They do feel a little drier than the shadows, so I think if you wet an angled brush, they'd make a perfect subtle or deeper liner. Definitely something you could build on. 

Blush

This blush is gorgeous. Gorgeous. It's so, so highly pigmented. You only need a tiny bit to get it done. I feel like it has a hint of mauve in it, which is perfect for fall.

Highlighter

I've only recently become a highlighter fan. Like, really recent. Maybe 2 months ago. This one is more on the champagne side, and it just compliments the blush perfectly. I currently have a tan (ugh!), but once I get back to my lighter tone, I think it'll look perfect. As I'm just starting to like highlighting my face, I'm not on board with "strobing." BUT I bet this shade would be great for it this summer, because it's really pigmented, creamy, and just really bright when applied.


Unfiltered photos of me using the palette.
All over the lid and up to the brow bone: Stone Unturned
Transition shade: Misty Mauve
Inner and outer corner: Dark Drive & Power Plum
Center of the lid: Charged Up
Blush on the cheeks.

The palette is currently for sale online, at Ulta, Sephora, and Tarte (obviously). It's supposed to be hitting shelves on the 23rd, this Thursday.
What are you ladies thinking? Anyone going to pick it up?!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Current Routine

Health / Fitness


Health

So, you guys know I've been a vegetarian for like, 4-5 years now. I do my best to stick to that, there are times when I have my moments, and honestly, if I lived near the ocean, I'd probably be a pescatarian. Don't prosecute me! I much prefer the vegetarian life over meat. It just a generally lighter feeling. I don't feel over stuffed or gross after I eat. Recently, I've been doing clean-eating (or ya know, mostly). 
If you don't know what clean eating is, it's simply eating non-processed foods. My grocery cart is typically at least 50% fresh fruits and vegetables. No white bread or white rice. Typically, if you don't know what the ingredients in something are, it's not clean. It's really not that hard. But I love my sweets, let's be honest. So, through the week, I eat as clean as possible, and on the weekends, I'll allow small treats here and there. Not too bad. But let's be real here. I'm not giving up my morning grande caramel soy iced coffee. Nope, I can't do it. 
If you're interested in getting started in clean eating, check out Fit Girl's Guide. I found them while perusing through fitness things on Instagram, and guys. There is no body shaming in this community. Every single person in that community is just ridiculously motivating and positive. It's really great. (:

Fitness

In the last three to four weeks, I've changed up my workout routine. I was following a 12-week guide from Fit Affinity, and while I really liked all the weight-lifting, I wanted to start seeing slimming results faster. I'm impatient, ok? So, now, I've been doing 30 minutes of cardio 4 days a week, as well as 45-ish minutes of abs and arms/legs. This has been really working for me. Within these 3 weeks, I've already noticed my work pants fitting more loosely, which is just so motivating. So, I'm going to keep that motivation and momentum up. Keep in mind that everyone's body is different and finding what works for you is what's important.
Here's a sample of my typical leg day:
  • Cardio. I  typically do 30 minutes on the elliptical with the setting on interval hill. During the lower resistance time, I keep my speed around 6-7mph. During the higher resistance time, I speed up to stay in the 10-11mph range. Seriously gets your heart rate up, and the intervals kick up the amount of calories you're burning.
  • Stretch. I do a few minutes of stretching my legs and arms out after cardio.
  • Abs. I alternate daily between abs and obliques (sides). On the days when I do abs, I'll typically do weighted sit ups (with a 10 lb. plate), leg lifts, and reverse crunches.
  • Legs. If you guys don't know, I love leg day. It's just my favorite thing to work on. Lately, I've been doing pyramid reps of squats. So, 10 times at one weight, add some weight and do 8, add more and do 6, add more and do 4, then back to 6, 8, and 10.  I'll also do hip abductors/adductors, and weighted lunges.
Typically, my workouts last 1-1.25 hours, and I don't find this to be unreasonable.  Each week, I'll typically workout Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, 2 days of arms and 2 days of legs. Abs and cardio happen on every day. Which, can I just say, I loathe abs. I don't even want them, but I do want a smaller waist, so...

I'm surely not claiming to be a health expert (I'm definitely not). These are just the things that seem to be working for me lately!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

DIY Marble Coasters

Fact: I have to start my day with coffee. Otherwise, I nod off at my desk.


Hello, my name is Tori, and I'm addicted to coffee. Iced coffee. It's a very rare occasion that I actually drink hot coffee. Like, it has to be the middle of winter in Ohio, and a cup of Cafe Verona. 
My cubicle has these cute little water rings all over my desk from my iced drinks. So, I thought it was about time I found some coasters for my cube. But not just any coasters, of course. They have to be cute and colorful, and preferably shiny. I've got this current obsession with gold leafing and just whatever you can find me that is shiny and gold.
Enter DIY.

What you need:

Sculpey clay of various colors
Exacto knife
Large jar (or something with a large circle opening)
Baking sheet
Oven (;
Liquid gold leafing
Paint brush
Clear coat of enamel or clear spray paint (optional)

How to:

Break off a few nice chunks of colors that you like. The already rolled one is the scraps of a previously made coaster.

Roll all pieces out.

Wrap the colors together.

Roll the wrapped up colors until it's a smooth cylinder.

Put the ends together, and twist them together again.

Roll that out until smooth again.

Form into a ball.

Roll that thang out, and look at your pretty colors! Decide what side you like better, and place your large circular object in that spot. Now, take your exacto knife, and cut around the edges. I saved the scraps, and rolled them into their own cylinder to use in my next coaster!

Pop your pretty creations into the oven at 275 for about 30 minutes. Once they're completely cooled off, paint the edges of the coasters as you like. I'm personally not a fan of perfection, so the gold is in various thicknesses around the coaster.

At this step, you can certainly add a clear coat of enamel or clear spray paint if you want them glossy. I'm going to do that, but it was torrential downpour on my way home from work, and I didn't feel like running out there. (;


So, here's the finished product! They look great, and I love them. They would make great gifts, too! Plus, if you have kids, kill two birds with one stone. This would be entertaining for them while they help make pretty things!
If you guys make these, I seriously want to see them! Leave pictures or just comment on how it went! (: