Saturday, October 25, 2014

HOME: Upstairs Loft

Well, it's official guys.  The hubs and I have officially been together for a year! We may no longer be considered newlyweds but I do take some comfort in the fact that as I sit here typing this with a mud mask on my face and hubby napping in the next room, he has never witnessed any of my "maintenance". All waxing, masking (I invented that word), and plucking is done either when he's at work/the gym or sleeping. Gotta keep the mystery alive, ya know?

One of the first things that sold us on our house was the loft/bonus room upstairs-even when it was still under construction! Even when it's rainy and cloudy (which never happens in Washington) this room gets so much natural light from all the windows. 

Because we haven't yet done any painting in the main rooms, I'm bringing in color from our furniture and decor. While downstairs is all brown/black/gray with pops of red, the loft is my rainbow room. This is where I'm incorporating souvenirs and pictures from our travels.

We do have a TV on the wall opposite the couch (I'm planning on doing a feature wall there-hopefully more to come soon!), this is primarily my reading room so I want this to be where my imagination runs wild!

I picked this end table up on clearance at Target. It doesn't look like they have it anymore but here is a similar one.

I love these custom state prints I got from As You Wish of places we're from and have been. I'm planning on ordering California and Washington soon!

Ever the willing model, Tino had to join in once he saw me snapping pictures!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

BEAUTY: October Favorite

So I only have one favorite this month. I know, I know, what's wrong with me? (Side note: I'm currently waiting for the 500 point gift options  at Sephora to improve.)

I actually bought this a couple of months ago but wanted to give it some time before I posted about it.

Thanks to some lovely genetics, I have been looking for an under-eye cream to combat my dark circles FOREVER. I have found a few decent ones (Clinique's Even Better Dark Circle Corrector and Lancome's Visionnaire come to mind) but because the cause of my problem is genetics, rather than lack of sleep, nothing made a huge improvement.

So I did some research. I checked out Sephora's website and sorted their results by "top rated". I was slightly skeptical when this came up, simply because there is nothing about dark circles in its name! But per its description, it "immediately lifts while it firms, reduces under eye puffiness, and minimizes dark circles." And that it does!

After just a few weeks even the hubs commented my skin looked lighter (I think he was also relieved it no longer looks like he gave his wife two black eyes). And even though my eyes weren't really puffy or wrinkled, I have noticed increased firmness.

The only negative I would say is that this stuff stings if you get it in your eye! That being said, I'm the clumsiest/least patient person alive so it's possible that may just be my problem.

Also, how cute is this packaging?

But considering the results, I'm willing to endure 30 seconds of minor pain. I recommend this product to anyone with those pesky genetic dark circles! 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

ETC: My Christmas List

Growing up, every year my grandparents would have my brother and me make a Christmas list of all the gifts we wanted. I would spend hours researching gift ideas to send to them. My grandparents loved to spoil us so it was pretty much a given I would get at least some of the things on my list-I didn’t want to waste a present!

Since we’ve gotten older, my grandma pretty much just cuts us a check so we can get whatever we want. But now I have a husband! I pride myself on being an incredibly easy person to shop for-subtlety is not my middle name. The hubs on the other hand…let’s just say every time his birthday/Christmas rolls around—I hate him just a liiittle bit. Last week I did have a *light bulb* moment and now have a plan for this Christmas!

In the name of making things easy for the hubs, here is what is on my wish list this year.

What’s on your Christmas list this year?

Monday, October 13, 2014

FOOD: Secret Sauce Tacos and Lemon Rice

Most weekdays, I run home for lunch to let the pup out. My usual M.O. is to speed down I5 so I can make it home in 10 minutes, take Tino outside for a potty break, and turn on The Chew while I eat. It's a great way to break up the day!

Over the last couple years, I've been able to perfect my chicken taco recipe (coming soon!) but have done nothing with any other types of meat. Last week when this recipe was featured on the show, I knew I had to try it. And boy is it a winner. I have made it twice in the last week! This recipe definitely tastes like it's been passed down from generations and I know I will pass it down myself. 

For the Tacos:

  • 1 1/2 pounds Top Sirloin, chopped small
  • 1 tablespoon Vegetable oil
  • small onion (1/2 cup chopped onion)
  • fresh Garlic Cloves minced
  • 2 1/2 tablespoonsChili Powder
  • 1 cup Water
  • 2 tablespoons Tomato Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Garlic Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Flour
  • Flour tortillas
  • Cheese, avocado, or any other desired topping

  • Preheat large skillet over medium heat and add Vegetable Oil. When hot, add Meat, Onion and Garlic. Sauté until Onion is transparent. Add Chili Powder and cook for 1 minute. Add water and bring to a boil. Next, add Tomato Sauce, Salt, Pepper and granulated Garlic and stir to combine. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add Flour to thicken Sauce, cook on low heat for 10 minutes or until Sauce is lightly thickened. Let cool covered on stovetop when done.
  • Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Place tortillas on baking sheet and stick in oven for five minutes or until tortillas begin to turn golden and bubble. Top with steak and toppings.
Adapted from Christine Wong-Muniz's recipe featured on The Chew.

For the Cilantro Lemon Rice:

This recipe happened completely by accident. I was in the middle of making Chipotle's cilantro lime rice...when I realized I didn't have any limes. Whoops. I did have lemons though and thus concocted this happy accident! It's lighter than my usual Spanish rice and played off nicely with the heaviness of the steak.

  • 1 cup white rice, cooked with vegetables of choice (I used corn and peas)
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
In a food processor, combine lemon juice, cilantro, and oil. Mix into cooked rice and serve.

Friday, October 3, 2014

BEAUTY: September Beauty Favorites

I am $13 away from reaching VIB  status at Sephora. Do you have any idea the amount of self control I am having to practice? Sure $13 isn't a whole lot of money. Except I know it won't just be $13. I'll have to grab Dior's Lip Glow which they finally released again in Coral. And I'm still looking  for a good highlighter for my skin tone and I reallyyy  want to try this kit from Becca. Let sigh. Next paycheck. 

First up this month is MUFE's HD Microfinish Powder. This baby is my secret weapon. I brush it on last in the morning and it instantly softens my entire look.  I firmly believe the#1 rule of makeup is blending and this is a great product to do that with. I recently attended a beach wedding in SoCal in 80 + degree weather. All I did was blot with an oil blotting sheet and brush this baby on and my makeup looked good as new. 

Alterna is a brand I hadn't heard of until I got their CC cream as a sample with a purchase. I used it once and ordered the full size the next day. It makes my hair nice and silky, even in the dry Washington weather. This has become a hair staple for me. 

I have had a love-hate relationship with primers. I understood their benefit. I have used them and instantly seen a difference. Until a few hours later when my face looks super shiny. As I've previously mentioned, I have super dry skin that tends to over produce oil to compensate. As a result, come lunchtime and my face feels really tight and dry...but looks shiny. This primer was a god-send. Unlike most primers out there, part of its function is to provide moisture to the skin. I have definitely noticed a difference in how my skin feels, as well as how long my makeup lasts, with this primer. I will no longer be experimenting with other primers!

Ever since I first heard about it, I have been skeptical of the Beauty Blender. I mean, what's so special about a sponge? Omggg. I now use the large pink one to apply both my primer and liquid foundation and use the mini green ones for my eye primer and under-eye concealer. Yes, they're pricey considering they're little sponges, but they're so, so worth it. 

Happy October!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

HOME: Handmade Fall Wreath

You might recognize this wreath from an an earlier post. I wanted to update it for fall without spending a whole lot of money. So I simply snipped out the spring flowers, repainted the "H" and used a hot glue gun to attach some (fake) fall flowers. Total cost? $8.

BEAUTY: Target Beauty Favorites

My idea of heaven is a Starbucks Frappuccino in hand and a $1,000 Target gift card in my wallet. 

One time I brought the hubs with me on a Target run and it was the worst mistake of my life. 30 minutes and 30 bucks later, I walked out a complete grouch.

Normally I go for the purpose of, like, shampoo. And then I wander and grab. Ooh closet organizer, yes. Ooh cute sweater, yes. Oh yeah, I meant to grab a new picture frame, yes.

In my particular, I always like to browse the beauty aisles. While the typical drugstore brands like Cover Girl and Revlon are carried, I more commonly look at the Target-specific brands such as Sonia Kashuk and Pixi. 

The majority of makeup brushes I own are Sonia Kashuk. For the price, they are great quality. I've never had one shed and they clean nicely. 

This combination brow liner was the first Pixi product I bought. I hadn't used a brow liner before and didn't want to spend a whole lot of money on a product I wasn't sure I'd even use. Now I'm pretty sure it will be the only brow liner that I ever use.

I think one of the themes of this brand is multi-use products. I was so intrigued by their eyeliner, I grabbed one in black, one in olive green, and one in plum. I'm kind of neutral on the liner-it goes on lighter than I like- but I love that there's a built-in smudger and eyeshadow crayon-I usually go over the liner with the crayon. 

Regardless of whatever kind of lip gloss or lipstick I wear,  I always wear this underneath it. It goes on super smooth and is completely moisturizing. And it's $2.99

I LOVE this crayon. One side is a slightly matte cream, designed to go on the inner corner and bottom  of your eye. The other side has more of a shimmer for underneath your brow. Both go on great and I feel like this will last me forever. 

What are your Target faves?