May Favorites

I know, this post is soooo late (SO Sorry! Arg!), but after debating between posting May and June Favorites together or separate, I decided it would be better to just keep them separate. Otherwise, we’d be here all day… Let’s get started!

Beauty
TangleTeezerI had several beauty favorites this month, but I couldn’t narrow it down any more, because all of these products are fantastic in their own way! First of all is the amazing Tangle Teezer. I have never used a brush that untangled my hair so effortlessly and painlessly! I use it both on wet and dry hair and it works through my hair without breaking or pulling on the strands. I’ve noticed fewer split ends and it’s great to blow out your hair because it’s less hassle than trying to work both a handled brush and blower dryer…at least I find it easier. I’ve never been graceful blow drying my hair with a brush… I highly recommend getting the Tangle Teezer, no matter what length of hair you have! I found my first Tangler Teezer at Target when they carried it briefly, but I’ve not been able to find it there since the one time, so now I get mine online.

Eva NYC Up All Night Volumizing SprayWhile we’re in the hair department, if you have fine hair like I do, I highly recommend the Eva NYC Up All Night Volumizing Spray. I got a sample of it in an Ipsy Bag and I was addicted! I ordered a full sized bottle from here. The spray is light enough to not weigh your hair down, but gives it texture and thickness at the same time. You can apply it as often or as little as you need throughout the day or even on your non-wash days to freshen up and give your mane a boost. It also helps extend your style longer throughout the day. I spray it on damp hair before I dry and style my hair and then on dry hair when it’s looking a little flat or tired. Plus, it smells amazing!

Garnier Ultra-Lift Miracle Sleeping CreamWith getting ready to turn 30 this year, I’ve been reminded more that I need to take care of my skin. I usually moisturize at night, but I hadn’t really paid attention to my eyes. I’d just use a little concealer in the mornings to hide any dark circles, but I’d yet to find anything to minimize the tired bags under my eyes. I started doing a little reading and research on eye care and discovered Garnier’s Ultra-Lift Miracle Sleeping Eye Cream. It comes in a little tube that looks like it would be gone in a week, but it lasts forever! All you need is one little dot under each eye, TAP it in gently – don’t rub it under your eye! – and you’re set for the evening. When I wake up in the morning, I look more rested and the tired bags have been disappearing over time. I rarely wear concealer under my eyes now, since the dark circles are gone. While I’ve learned most anti-aging skin products cause me to break out instead of helping my skin look refreshed, this little eye cream does the trick!

Simple Micellar WaterSpeaking of skin care, I’ve been using Simple’s Cleansing Micellar Water in my routine lately. I first discovered micellar water after hearing several of my favorite beauty vloggers rave about it. I had used toners in my routine, but my skin would always get dried out and get super oily after a few days because the toner would strip too much natural oil from my skin. Micellar water is not quite a toner, but offers many of the same benefits without over drying my skin. Simple Eye Makeup RemoverIt also removes all my makeup, so for days when I’m in a hurry or have stayed up too late to do my whole night routine, I can still go to bed with a clean face. I also use Simple’s Kind To Eyes Eye Makeup Remover, which is a godsend for stubborn waterproof makeup or mascara! It takes off EVERYTHING, so my lashes are completely clean, helping them both stay healthier and making it easier to apply mascara the next day! Plus, it doesn’t irritate sensitive eyes or contact wearers. If you want to find out more about how micellar waters work, check out this post by POPSUGAR.

Maybelline Lash Sensational MascaraI need to post my review of mascaras soon, but after a few months of trying out different formulas and brushes that promise curl, length, volume, and all around amazing-ness, Maybelline won out for me with their Lash Sensational Mascara formula. I absolutely LOVE this mascara. I wasn’t expecting to find a mascara this great in the drugstore, but that’s just the icing on the cake! I tend to have naturally straight, kind of stubby looking lashes, that don’t tend to stay curled. I tried this mascara, not really hoping for much, but as soon as I’d done one eye, I could see a difference immediately! Even when I don’t wear a smokey eye or line my eyes, you can actually see my lashes now! My lashes stay curled and look longer, they don’t look clumpy, and it stays on all day. So if you’re like me and have been struggling to find a mascara that works, give this one a go!

Entertainment & Technology
As I mentioned in my monthly recap, audiobooks have been the best way for me to tackle my reading list this year! I’m working towards blocking out time in my day to sit down and read an actually hard/soft cover, paper pages BOOk, but for now, it’s just not possible. I still want to get through my list, though and I love hearing stories throughout the day. So, I’ve taken up my audiobook addiction again. But if you buy audiobooks, it can really make a huge dent in your budget, because most audiobooks cost more than the paperback version. Enter Overdrive. Overdrive is a free app that allows you to connect with your local library system and borrow audiobooks, right through your iPod! No need to go to the library, browse, and listen to CDs anymore. Now, sometimes, it may be difficult to find an audio version of the title you’re looking for, but most best sellers are available. So, all you need is a library card and the app! I’ve been able to listen to books while driving, doing stuff around the house, walking Pepper, working out, etc. It’s the perfect solution for frugal multi-tasking bookworms. 🙂

I’ve found three great shows that I’ve been watching on Netflix and Hulu this month. If you’re like me and love food, check out The Pioneer Woman. It’s like stepping into her blog and almost like a mini-retreat to see her home on the ranch, while she’s cooking up delicious meals. This show makes me want to cook and just eat! But with that in mind, I don’t recommend watching this show while working out. I made that mistake and my workout was torture!

But if you DO want some motivation and inspiration while you’re working out or just need a reminder that there are awesome and happy people in the world, watch Behind the Mask on Hulu. This show is about sports mascots and what all is involved in being a mascot. It follows four mascots from high school to pro teams and you get to know the person behind the mask. Outside their masks, most of the mascots are facing up hill challenges, whether that’s being the unpopular kid in school or reaching a plateau in their career. Yet, all of them are some of the most positive, hopeful, encouraging, and kind spirited people! It’s so encouraging to watch this show and see what they’re dealing with in their personal life, but that they find such joy in cheering other people up and getting others excited for their team! Watch it, it will make your day!

The last show that we’ve been loving as of late is Parks & Recreation. I don’t where we’ve been and why we haven’t been watching this show before now, but it’s just as funny if not sometimes more funny than The Office. I adore Leslie Knope and she’s just deepened my girl crush on Amy Poehler. My husband has now ranked Chris Pratt as one of his all-time favorite actors this year and Jonathan’s now incorporating Tom Haverford-isms into his daily vernacular.  All of the characters are lovable and there’s not one episode where my hubby and I don’t just crack up over something! Even though we didn’t watch this show when it was airing, I like that we can binge watch it on Netflix and not have to wait an entire week for the next episode. If you need a heavy dose of humor, want to add some flavor to your vocabulary, or want to feel like taking on the world, this show is for you. 🙂

Food
HelloFreshWe did some fun cooking this month and discovered a few new favorite dishes! I got an intro offer with my Martha Stewart Living magazine for HelloFresh. HelloFresh is a meal subscription service that sends you all of the fresh ingredients and recipes for three meals a week, for two people. HelloFreshOur first box arrived with all of the ingredients completely chilled and refrigerated. We tried the Goat Cheese-Stuffed Chicken Roulades with Kale and Couscous Salad, Burst Tomato and Squash Fusili, and our favorite, Mustard Pork Chops with Green Beans and Crispy Potato Cakes! Everything was so delicious! We enjoyed trying new recipes and flavors, plus, I love that HelloFresh sends you just the right amount of ingredients for each dish so there are not a lot of leftovers, but the dishes are so filling.

And now we have the recipes to make our favorite dishes again! I love that the scheduling is flexible, even when you sign up for a subscription, you’re not locked in to receiving every dish, every week. You can skip a few weeks if you want to or need to, and you can also pick your preferred day to receive deliveries that works with your schedule. If you would like to try HelloFresh and get $40 off your first box, use the code: XVXVWR. Even if you’re a picky eater like me, I promise you’ll find something you like! 🙂

What are your favorite recipes? Have you found a holy grail beauty product that’s made your routine easier? What TV shows do you live to binge watch?
Tell me in the comments below!

Advertisements
Gallery

Fresh Tomato Bruschetta

#TBT

In honor of food and summer and Throwback Thursday, I felt like sharing a yummy recipe from my old blog! Yes, I once upon a time wrote a blog that mostly consisted of recipes. *I was in a crazy cooking phase as a brand new newlywed in a tiny apartment kitchen… Ah, those were the days!

But aside from the nostalgia, this is a pretty delicious recipe if I do say so myself! It goes great with a fresh salad, grilled veggies, grilled chicken, or a plate of pasta (for my fellow carb lovers)!

Hope you enjoy and hope you all are having a lovely summer!
What’s your favorite summer dish?

The Red Shoe Chef

We were both surprised at delicious this tasted tonight! Neither of us are crazy about fresh tomatoes usually, but we both devoured this dish!

Tomato Bruschetta

-about 12-15 grape tomatoes

-1 garlic clove

-parmesan cheese

-olive oil

-black pepper

-Italian seasoning

-fresh basil

-Pepperidge Farms frozen garlic bread

Dice the tomatoes, chop garlic, and basil. Blend together in a bowl with olive oil. Add parmesan, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Make sure it’s all blended well and chill in the fridge for at least 15-30 minutes. It can be chilled longer if necessary. Bake bread according to the directions. (My husband has me beat on baking this bread, he gets it perfect every time!) Once the bread is toasted and ready, spread the chilled bruschetta over the top and enjoy!

View original post

March Makeover – Week 1 Progress Recap!

Sorry for the late post, but today was bananas… Holy wow! One week down. This week was quick and full, but mostly full! It’s been amazing to see the progress this week. I’m really liking the idea of tackling the huge task of decluttering and organizing my house in bite size daily tasks. I’ve been posting a daily picture of my progress throughout the week on my Instagram. Feel free to follow me if you want to see daily updates. I’m using the hashtag #MarchMakeover15PO on all my posts, if you want to find them quickly. Here’s how this week went:

150301-MM-Day1-SpendingFreeze

3/1: Create a Spending Freeze plan for ourselves and define essentials // Purge magazines and catalogs
We discussed our spending needs for this month and wrote down what spending was allowed and what was necessary. It’s been a little bit of a challenge to remember that we’re not spending extra money this month since I like to shop here and there, but it’s also been nice in a way, because I don’t have to worry that we might be spending too much money. I’ve also been staying too busy to go shopping!
Purging my magazines was an eye opening day for me. I didn’t realize that I’ve had 357 magazines stacked around my house for the last few years… I paired down my stacks to only reference magazines (I’m a graphic designer and kept the design magazines that had good articles, inspiration, and tutorials) and the ones I’d like to read from the last six months. But, I threw away 188 POUNDS of magazines and catalogs!

150301-MM-Day1

3/2: Organize pantry and begin brainstorming meals // Purge pantry
I was pleasantly surprised that we threw away less expired food than I thought we would. We’ve actually been eating up what we buy pretty well without having too much left over to expire. But at least now everything is organized, we can find what we’re looking for easily and we know what we have on hand for meals.

150302-MM-Day2

3/3: Begin meal planning based on food in stock // Purge fridge
This task was similar to the pantry. We hardly threw out any food thankfully! It was nice to take the time to deep clean our fridge and put everything back in a more organized way. I didn’t break down a meal plan for the whole month, but just for this week. I know that I will need to make a grocery trip next week, so I’m going to finish the meal planning after our groceries are restocked.

150303-MM-Day3

150304-MM-Day4b3/4: Eat “out” at home by creating a favorite restaurant style meal at home // Purge freezer
Just like the pantry and fridge, our freezer was in great shape too! Yay! We ate “out” at home this week and I recreated a delicious pizza that we had while visiting family last year in Denver. When we were in Denver, we found this nice pizzeria that makes coal-fire pizzas. It was a gorgeous day with beautiful weather and every time I make this pizza, I remember going to Colorado and enjoying the relaxing weather! I don’t remember the name of the pizza we ordered from Marco’s Coal-Fire Pizzeria, but I call it Pesto Pizza… Here’s my recipe:

Pesto Pizza
1 can of Pilsbury pizza dough
1/4 cup of pre-made pesto sauce (depending on how much you like pesto, you really just need enough to cover the crust)
1 cup of shredded mozzarella (or fresh mozzarella works too)
3-4 cloves of garlic
1 tsp of Italian seasoning
Crushed black pepper to taste
2 Tbsp of Pine nuts (I used slivered almonds, since I didn’t have pine nuts)
1/2-1 cup of grilled chicken strips or cubes (I used pre-cooked frozen grilled chicken)
8-10 Roma or cherry tomatoes
Parmesan cheese

Spray pizza pan with cooking spray and roll out dough. Follow the cooking instructions on the can of dough.
While dough is pre-cooking, peel garlic cloves and chop them into thin slices.
Cut tomatoes into halves.
Once dough is pre-cooked, spread pesto sauce onto crust.
Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over sauce.
Add Italian seasoning, pepper, and chopped garlic over cheese.
Add chicken and finish cooking until the crust is slightly browned and the chicken is fully cooked.
When the pizza is done cooking, add fresh tomato slices and parmesan cheese to taste before serving.
Slice, serve, and enjoy! 🙂

150304-MM-Day4a

3/5: Purge dresser drawers
This project took a lot longer than I planned. Our drawers were so stuffed that we couldn’t close them easily, plus I would have to fish out socks that had fallen back behind the bottom drawers… But I went through everything and threw out a lot of stuff that was too old, falling apart, or too small and now everything fits in the dresser! We can close the drawers all the way and they’re not so full that stuff will fall down into the back and get lost. It feel so nice to open the drawer and see everything all folded and neat!

150305-MM-Day5

3/6: Organize home office // Purge crafting/office supplies
Realistically, I knew that organizing the home office was not going to be completed in one day. I’ve been working on our home office for the last two months, but it IS coming along and with the remaining office related tasks on this month’s makeover project, the office should be fully organized and functional by the end of this whole project! I was able to go through all of our office supplies and crafting supplies and get those wrangled into an orderly fashion. Plus, I discovered that I have somehow  ended up with three staplers… 🙂

150306-MM-Day6

3/7: Week 1 Progress Recap // Purge makeup
Ok! This one was rough. Today was just too busy and I just felt like I was running out of time all day to get this one done, so I didn’t do as well on this one that I thought I would. But, even though I had to keep stopping and starting on this project all day, I finished going through all my makeup and threw out a lot of old and expired makeup and got my makeup drawer organized. Let’s just say, I don’t need to buy foundation or eyeshadow for a while!
And now you’re reading this update! 🙂

150307-MM-Day7a

"You have HOW MUCH makeup, mom?"

“You have HOW MUCH makeup, mom?”

Here’s to Week 2 and to continued momentum!
How was your week? Do you have any spring cleaning or organizing tips or tricks?