DIY Lip Scrub

DIY lip scrub

I’ve been wanting to do a homemade beauty treatment for some time now, but I was a little weirded out by putting food on my face or in my hair. This lip scrub is perfect because what better place is there to put food if it’s not going in your mouth? Lips are the next best thing!

I am a chapstick FAH-reak and I have a tube in every pocket, purse, or drawer, but this winter has still taken a toll on my lips. I’ve been craving a good scrub, but couldn’t handle spending the money on something I knew I could make at home for pennies.

All you need are three simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry:

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1/4 tsp olive oil
1 tsp brown sugar (you can also use white)
1/2 tsp honey

I only made a small amount for myself (the above will last me 4-5 scrubs), but you can adjust the recipe accordingly if you need to.

Put all the ingredients together and stir with a toothpick until blended.

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Rub a pea-sized amount onto lips and scrub lightly. Wipe off with a wet cloth or, since it’s totally edible and delicious, lick your lips! Guess which one I chose?

I couldn’t believe how soft my lips felt after using this! It was hours before I felt like I needed to pull out my trusty lip balm, and even then my lips still felt so smooth. I’m definitely a believer and can’t wait to eat…I mean try…more make-at-home beauty treatments!

Making Monday Mornings Better, One Muffin at a Time

Sundays are the shortest days of the week, right? I’m pretty sure this has been proven somewhere. Monday through Friday are never short at all, and Saturday always feels like there is so much weekend left. Then Sunday rolls around and everything you procrastinated doing is all up in your face, but all your face wants to do is stay in bed and binge-watch House of Cards.

I did manage to get a few things done today, one of which was baking these muffins so that we have something to grab and go during the week.

I didn’t follow her recipe exactly, which can sometimes be a disaster for me, but it worked out well this time. I was out of brown sugar, so I had to use “regular” white sugar, but I lessened the amount a bit. Instead of flaxseed, I used chia seeds (cut the amount in half if you do this).

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I added some raspberries, which made them all cute and colorful.

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And instead of adding the crumb topping, I sprinkled a little bit of cinnamon sugar on the top of each muffin. Because I’m lazy. Basically, I made an almost entirely different muffin than the one in the recipe, but I’m pretty pleased with the result.

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Eating one gave me just enough fuel to finish cleaning out my closet and putting together a bag of clothes to take to the consignment store. I’m pretty psyched because while “shopping” in my closet today, I found a dress that, with just a few minor alterations, can be worn to at least one of the four weddings we have this year. A second dress still had the tags on it and, miraculously, I had saved the receipt back in November when I bought it, so I will be returning that this week to get a little extra cash for some new spring things!

And just like that, Sunday was over. But at least I get to look forward to this little guy tomorrow morning.

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Things & Stuff | Weekly Favorites

So I guess these Friday Favorites are becoming a thing? Maybe I will run out of them soon, but right now I still get overly excited about numerous things each week, only to promptly forget about them once a new Monday rolls around. Like that QuizUp app I couldn’t stop talking about (or playing)? I got overwhelmed with all of the requests once I asked (forced.) everyone else to install it and challenge me. I don’t think I’ve opened the app since the third day I’ve had it. This is my life.

Here we go:

(1) This dialect map quiz that Dan found somewhere. So far I don’t know of anyone that it’s been wrong about. The results for most of my local friends have been Boston, Worcester, or Providence. I got Springfield, which I attribute mainly to the fact that I refer to a foot-long sandwich as a “grinder” and not a “sub”. Maybe “tag sale” has something to do with it too? So funny the difference that 100 miles makes. Also, has anyone ever heard of ANY of those other names for a sunshower? I think they made them all up.

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(2) I’ve only gotten halfway through this list of the 100 Funniest Things in the History of the Internet, but my god. Some of these are not safe for work, mostly because you will look pretty ridiculous trying not to laugh out loud. Number 3? Hysterical. I’ve seen the videos for #18, 40, and 41 before, but I just rewatched them all and I freaking love the internet.

(3) One of my absolute favorite restaurants is opening about a mile away from my apartment! I’ve loved the baked brie at British Beer Company for years, and it’s just about the only place you can order a Fruli. Which you should. Because it’s delicious.

(4) I am SO ready for Spring. I just bought this jacket at Target and I think I’m going to wear it in place of, well, everything, for the next 3 months. I just love it so much. So much that I even took a bathroom mirror selfie this morning.

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Yeah.

BUT. Then I realized that it doesn’t have side pockets for me to put my hands, phone, etc. into and this might just be a deal breaker.

What things are you loving this week?

Feed Me, I’m Irish

Are you wearing your green today?

We’re heading out to dinner tonight so that Dan can have a traditional Irish corned beef and cabbage meal for St. Paddy’s Day. While Dan does have red hair, he’s not Irish at all, and neither one of us is Catholic, but we will take any excuse to celebrate when it comes to food. We’re heading to one of our favorite places for dinner – Supino’s – and I will most definitely be getting their baked macaroni and cheese. I’m saving my green for dessert.

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I somewhat loosely based my dessert off of this recipe that I found through…where else? Pinterest, of course. I wanted something quick, green, and minty, and this sounded like just the thing.

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Somewhere along the line, my green food coloring went missing, so I had to improvise with blue and yellow.

First, I crushed the Oreos in my food processor and ended up with a crumbly cookie mess that looked like this:

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Then I spooned a little into the bottom of each dish.

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Next, I made the chocolate pudding and added mint extract and food coloring to the vanilla.

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Then I layered the pudding on top of the cookie crumbles. The only thing left was to add a (what’s another word for “dollop” because I don’t want to use that one?) of whipped cream and sprinkled a few mini chocolate chips on top.

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Looks good enough to eat, right? Good, I’m glad you agree. Because I’ve already had a few.

Happy St. Paddy’s Day! How did you celebrate?

Things & Stuff | Weekly Favorites

Seriously? A week went by already? What the…?

This week I’m linking up with Lauren Elizabeth to share a new list of things that I’m loving!

(1) You know how I’m obsessed with making lists? We have a list for everything – movies we want to see, places we want to vacation to, and restaurants we want to try. Ok, so the movie list is mostly Dan’s, but the food list is obviously my favorite. This week we tried a new restaurant that just opened across the street from our apartment – Marco’s. It was delicious! A little on the expensive side compared to what we were expecting for something that was advertised as a pizza and crepe place, but their menu is a bit more upscale than that. I had the gnocchi pesto and Dan went with spaghetti and meatballs. We split a nutella, banana, and strawberry crepe for dessert and I’m still having dreams about it at night. Definitely will be going back there.

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(2) I’m not really “loving” this, I’m just loving how absurd it is. I mean, we all know these things are photoshopped by now, right? But if you’re gonna do it, at least make me believe it! This girl looks like she swallowed a geometry text book and has angles and polygons and tangents (oh my!) popping out all over the place. I mean…no one noticed this? What I AM loving are some of the tweets at the bottom of that article – “Target Photoshop fail looks like it was done in Paint…by a 5-year-old”. Ha!

(3) What a fun idea! It’s like a Birchbox, but made specifically for you! I love getting mail, so I definitely want to participate with this, although it appears I missed the sign up for March. Bummer. I will be looking for the June sign up, and in the meantime, it looks like I need to start Instagramming more to make sure I qualify since my last pic was 2 weeks ago…

(4) This.

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It hasn’t been here all week, but it’s slowly bringing itself around again and staying past 6pm. When it finally does come back, I’m going to tie it to a chair and shackle its ankles so that it can NEVER.leave.again!

What was your favorite part of this week?

Things & Stuff | Weekly Favorites

Here is a quick little list of things I’m losing my mind over this week:

This freaking app. A while back, I must have read about QuizUp somewhere and joined a mailing list for it because this week I received an email telling me the Android version of the trivia app was ready for download. There’s nothing for me to write after that last sentence because nothing has happened in my life since. Constant trivia games (they’re quick, 7-question quizzes on every topic you could imagine), challenging friends, and checking to see how many more wins I need to get The Legionary achievement bonus.

Speaking of apps, I’ve seen this one talked about a few times on Facebook this week and I’m pretty intrigued. The technology is explained a little better here. My Goodreads “to-read” shelf has over 130 books on it, and that’s only because I cleaned it out last weekend, so anything to help me read EVERY BOOK EVER is worth a shot. So crazy how you actually kind of get used to that last one the more you stare at it. Science, man.

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Have you ever gotten really excited about…vinegar? It’s not something I ever would have expected to be fanatical about, but I’m so psyched that we’re heading out to New England Olive Oil Company today for a tasting. Ok, and to buy a bunch of things. You’ve probably seen their balsamic vinegars and olive oils in some of my food pictures because I use them all the time. I first discovered this place a couple of years ago and I usually grab a few bottles each time I’m there. I would definitely recommend the Aged Fig Balsamic and the White Peach Balsamic. I’ve also tried one of their olive oils and we’re heading out there today because they’ve added a line of specialty sauces and pestos. Yum!

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Finally, I am obsessed with the LHCalligraphy Instagram feed. Yes, they look amazing, but click on one of the videos and watch her create something. She makes it look so easy! I think I’ve finally watched every one. It’s my new Netflix.

What things are you excited about this week?

Spring Bucket List

I swear the temperature in my apartment rose seven degrees just from designing this. I’d like to think some snow melted, too.

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The second March was on my calendar, I decided it was Spring enough. I can’t wait any longer for sunshine, green grass, and just that whole feeling of newness. What’s funny is that even though I am not a fan of birds and flowery smells, when given the choice of these versus snow and cold, suddenly I can’t wait for all that chirping outside my window. Until it actually starts. Grass is always greener, or something like that…

Speaking of grass, this bucket list is full of all the things I want to experience from now until Summer, when I’m sure a new (and much longer) bucket list will be made. Ever since last winter when I did my Holiday Bucket List, I’ve been a little obsessed. It’s just such a fun way to make sure I really enjoy everything the season has to offer. Plus, I really like lists. So, there’s that.

What’s on your list for Spring? Did I miss anything?

Kitchen Adventures | Part II

I’ve been at it again.

I feel like I only ever cook in binges. I’ll get really tired of going out to eat or having frozen meals, so I’ll put together this huuuuge list of foods I want to make at home, and then I will spend days preparing all of them and refusing to eat out. Then I get sick of being in the kitchen, washing dishes, and throwing away ingredients that go bad before I can use them all, and then the cycle starts all over again.

This weekend’s menu included a blueberry breakfast cake, another recipe that was given to me by Dan’s sister. You can see from the list of ingredients there that it calls for 2 scoops of a cake batter flavored protein powder. I could only find this in huge canisters, and since I knew I wouldn’t really be using much of it after making this, I decided not to spend a small fortune on one. I was hoping to find it in a single-serve packet, but that didn’t happen, so I ended up with a Muscle Milk shake.

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To make up for it, I decided I would just eliminate the water from the recipe, decrease the amount of egg whites, and add a bit of flour. You know, because I’m an expert and can just change recipes like that. (SPOILER ALERT: I am NOT an expert.)

I still had high-ish hopes when putting it into the oven.

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This is what Dan’s sister’s cake looked like:

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And this is mine:

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Fail. I ate a little bit of it, and while it doesn’t taste bad at all, it has the consistency of a mushy baked oatmeal rather than a cake. I feel too badly about the starving kids in Africa to tell you what I did with the finished product.

I redeemed myself a little on the next attempt, however.

This one comes from one of my absolute favorite bloggers and was mainly an attempt to put our brand new food processor to the test. Falafel is something I’ve been wanting to make for a long time, but I don’t think I realized just how many spices were involved. It makes me feel like 5% more of an adult now that I have cumin in my pantry.

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I’m a little bit giddy over our food processor now that I’ve used it. Although it’s a bit loud, it whips things up in a matter of seconds.

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Again, I had more of a liquidy consistency than I wanted, so I had trouble rolling the falafel into balls to be baked. I ended up with more of a patty shape, especially after they flattened out a little while baking.

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I couldn’t possibly have made these without the feta dip that goes along with it, because cheese.

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I left out the cayenne pepper and the garnish because I’m not really into spicy things. I’m mostly into cheese. Ok, fine, I’m only into cheese. I could put this little cloud of whipped deliciousness on everything.

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These were great for a little afternoon snack, but I also plan to throw them into a wrap with some lettuce, the feta dip, and diced tomatoes.

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What do you think? Would you try any of these recipes? Are there others that you’ve been wanting to make? I suspect my next food-related post will have more to do with restaurants than home-cooked meals, but leave me some ideas for my next binge!

Kitchen Adventures | Part I

I really feel the need to preface this post by letting you know that I am not a food blogger and have no idea how to take photos of things and make them look appetizing. That will become obvious in a matter of sentences.

This past week an amazing thing occurred: I reached my threshold for the number of meals eaten at a restaurant or take-out place, no matter how delicious. There was the macaroni and cheese that should be winning awards, a celebration at TGIFriday’s that involved multiple appetizers and desserts, and last night there was the visit to a new burger place nearby. While all were delicious, my stomach is wondering if I even remember how to cook at home anymore.

So I had to show it what’s up.

Last night I made a batch of chia seed pudding. I am late to the game with these chia seeds. It’s all everyone has been talking about lately, adding them to oatmeal, smoothies, even sprinkled over pasta. It’s shocking to no one that I jumped on board once the word “pudding” got involved.

With only four ingredients to mix, this is probably the easiest thing I’ve ever made.

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I followed this recipe and mixed everything together in a medium sized bowl.

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Then I stuck it in the fridge overnight and taste-tested it before breakfast. The consistency was not quite as thick as a pudding, but not completely liquidy either. I think I used the wrong coconut milk and was meant to use the one in a can, but it did thicken up a little more during the day.

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It certainly doesn’t photograph well, and it does look a bit like a bowl of sesame seeds in milk, but I promise you it tastes amazing. If you have a sweet tooth (and if you don’t, I’m highly suspicious of you), you won’t be disappointed. You can taste the coconut and the cinnamon, but the texture of it is more like a tapioca pudding.

Definitely very pleased with that one.

The next recipe came from Dan’s sister, who works in nutrition and personal training, and has been sending me some awesome new foods to try.

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These were also super easy. I’m not that into meat and although I will eat ground beef, I prefer not to, so instead I used this beefless ground beef from Trader Joe’s.

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It’s already cooked, so all I had to do was mix it with taco seasoning and stick it in the microwave for a minute. I’m not lying when I say it tastes JUST like taco meat.

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After that, we mixed in some spaghetti squash and tomatoes, and scooped it into our taco shells.

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Then we added our toppings.

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And then we enjoyed eight of these little guys.

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Perhaps we still need to work on the portion control (DAN.) but it was hard to stop when they tasted so good!

What new recipes have you tried lately? I have a couple of others to try this weekend, so stay tuned for part II!

Pinterest Nailed It & Failed It

Today was perhaps the nicest day outside so far this year. So I spent it inside doing Pinterest projects.

Before you sign me up for Pinners Anonymous, I have to say that it’s not really due to my Pinterest addiction (which I’m not denying exists), but more because I can’t get out of my own way today.

Went to the library to get new books – came home and haven’t picked them up.
Wanted to get outside to take some photographs of the sunshine – have only left the apartment once and I didn’t bring my camera.
Planned to make a list of meal ideas for the week and then shop for ingredients – just had apples and caramel for dinner.

That’s pretty much how my day has gone. I have this whole list of things that sounded fun at the time, along with another list of chores and errands to get done, but I just don’t have the energy to do either. I don’t know if it’s winter that has me down, or the fact that we just found out our cat has a urinary disease that calls for a very expensive and likely permanent new diet, or maybe I’m just getting old and lazy. Whatever it is, thank goodness for Pinterest because it’s all I have accomplished today.

I found a pin a few days ago that suggested an interesting way to remove scratches from leather and thought I would try it out on our bar stools. The stools are probably close to 10 years old now, and the cats have destroyed them by jumping on and off them, or hanging off the sides of them.

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These stools have more punctures and holes than scratches, so I didn’t have high hopes.

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According to this pin, the trick is to add a little bit of…

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I’ve actually read that this can harm leather and cause stains over time, so definitely do your research before you try it, but because these stools are old and one step away from the dumpster (am I 7? because saying stools and dumpster in the same sentence makes me giggle), I figured anything was worth a shot.

And I was not impressed at all.

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They’re a bit shinier, but still look almost the same as the before shots above.

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Like I said, I didn’t expect much to begin with, especially since these go way beyond minor scratches, but aside from the fact that I can now fry vegetables on the back of my jeans when I stand up from these chairs, we’re calling this a FAIL.

But thanks for pretending that I would choose vegetables if given the option to fry anything.

Next up was this cute dry erase frame. These are all over Pinterest if you search for them, but I used these two as my inspiration.

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I wasn’t really feeling the bow, but I liked the idea of lined paper for a to-do list. I pulled out some of my craft supplies and found that I already had a black frame, the perfect piece of lined paper, and some cute stickers to match.

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I’m pretty pleased with how this came out. The letters are a little crooked, but I’m going to go ahead and say NAILED IT!

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Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go take care of something on this list…

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