Thursday, January 29, 2015

Pinterest tested energy balls

Gosh, I've been making these for a long time.

A big box of Oatmeal doesn't stand much of a chance at my house. This requires three cups after all. Once you make these, a batch of oatmeal cookies for your brother in law and have a few cold mornings of it, the big canister you thought was going to last a while is looking pitifully empty.

Some things you should know:
  • There are recipes everywhere (like here), but you really do not need a recipe
  • You just throw together whatever you have
  • Sometimes I add sunflower seeds, sometimes I use almond butter and not peanut butter, I see someone used Nutella here.  There are just no rules
  • I store mine in the freezer and it makes them more chewy
  • If you spray your measuring cup with spray oil, it makes honey and peanut butter a lot easier to get out
  • Same thing with your hands. Spray your hands before you roll these into balls
  • If the balls arn't forming easily or staying together, just add a little more glue, a/k/a peanut butter

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Ipsy vs. Birchbox

I've been thinking about it for some time, mulling it over, and tossing it back and forth and finally decided that it was time to cancel both Birchbox and Ipsy subscriptions. 
January was my last one of each and I find it more of the same.
Its been lackluster (to say the least) for many months, and I wasn't excited about any of it, and I find both Walmart subscription boxes and Target boxes are much more exciting to me right now.

Monday, January 26, 2015

chicken tortillini soup

Everyone at work is so impressed that I make my own chicken soup. Like put the chicken in the water with veggies and make stock, then pick the chicken off the bone kind of chicken soup. Real home made chicken soup.


No one believes me that it is so easy.
I don't even measure. I literally throw everything in.
I cover with water. 
It cooks on low all Saturday morning while I do the laundry, sweep, read, or lay on the couch.
After a few hours, basically when I feel like returning to it because it has no set time it needs to cook, drain, reserving the broth, pick off the chicken, add fresh veggies (because the carrots and celery have turned to mush), and return to a boil. I sometimes throw in a chicken cube.
Throw in some cheese tortellini for three minutes... yes. literally... three minutes....  and viola!
Homemade Chicken soup for the week.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Mascara reviews


First, the facts as I know them:
  • I have too many mascaras
  • I can not find one to fall in deep forever love with
  • Its a problem, (maybe I am too picky?)
  • I get too many mascaras in the various monthly beauty sample boxes I get (this one, this one, and these)

Second, my very favorite mascara is not even in this photo, (or in this house for that matter)  This one from Physician's Formula. But I have a mental note to go get more.

My other favorites:
  • Another drug store brand: Loreal Voluminous. Looks soft and natural but still gives volume. It comes off easy with regular eye makeup remover, and I always get compliments when I wear it.
  • Another favorite: Estee Lauder. Again. I get compliments and it comes off completely without a lot of tugging and scrubbing.
A few comments about others:
  • Tarte's Lights Camera Lashes is excellent. Seriously. I like it. Except it is almost impossible to take off.  If I wear it on Tuesday, I still see some under my eyes on Friday morning.
  • Same thing with Big Fatty by Urban Decay. It.   will.   not.   come.  off.
  • It Cosmetics Tight Line There is no easy way to say it. It just hurts my eyelashes. The tiny hard little wand hurts to use.
  • Maybelline Colossal does nothing for me. In fact, I threw it away after a few wearings.
Know of any mascaras I need to try?  Please let me know!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

2015 goals in action. A house project

As I am working through the Lara Casey Powersheets,  some goals I knew almost immediately. One of my 2015 goals will be more attention to my house. 

To me, it means an overarching theme and is going to present itself in different ways through out this year,  like a yard sale, a garage door repair and, first, this buffet.

After an unwanted and unforeseen divorce, and a year and a half of limping along feeling pitiful walking through a large eat in kitchen area that was completely empty, and having no convenient place for mail, the phone, Christmas china storage and cookbooks,  I finally said one morning... I cant live like this anymore, and I started looking.

I knew almost immediately I wanted a buffet and not a china cabinet, which is what sat in that space for the last seven years. (is it a good sign that I have no desire to recreate the past?) And I did not want an antique for the same reason. I briefly considered console type tables, but it was a relatively brief thought (I love Paula Deen's furniture line, and for a while, this one was the forerunner). 

and I knew I needed something tall, because, first and foremost, I am really tall and want to be surrounded by my kind and second. Really? who would put the phone plug and outlet so high on a wall? (The same person who painted the bathroom cabinets green  forcing me to paint them brown?) and the lamp is a place holder while the real lamp is being searched out. The final touch will be a large mirror that I already own to go above it.

I was actually at Olinde's before Christmas with my oldest friend looking for a small kitchen table (that I still have not found, I am hunting with limited funds) when I saw this tall, glass doored beauty from across the crowded showroom. It was love at first sighting.

I, of course, did not buy it. I feel I have to shop around and look at practically every buffet in the city before I commit to such a large purchase.  Then I, of course, I asked for (and received) an additional discount when I did buy it.

Saturday afternoon was spent with my friend making soup and moving the cookbooks into their new home on the bottom shelf, which, coincidentally, is a perfect fit. Then, we basically sat around and admired it a while, before she finally said. "This just looks like Bobbie".

I agree.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Lentil and Split Pea Soup


I didn't like this soup.

I shared it with a friend who spend Saturday afternoon helping me stock my new kitchen buffet, and she raved about it.

Me? Its just meh... I can take it or leave it. Its certainly not my favorite and Im not itching to make it again.

But, its got some good things I can say about it, too: a great little package and easy way to make soup, warm and filling on a cold winter day, a good way to get in veggies, and gave me an excuse to make cornbread.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Goal planning for 2015 with Lara Casey Power Sheets

Is it strange to talk about goals in the middle of January? When I feel most people are no longer thinking about it....

Great way to motivate yourself to be #healthy and #fit. Page dedicated to all fit people and dieters of pinterest.I have a system (using Make it happen goal sheets), and it is a system that can't really be rushed. It kind of takes all of January to slowly piece it together. I describe it to my friends as a process of thinking about the big life picture, what you want your life to look like, then slowly narrowing the focus into what your days will be filled with. 

I read a statistic that only 1% of people actually write down their goals for the new year, so I figure I am already way ahead, even if my goals are still in formation in January.

I use a goal setting process by Lara Casey, and it helps that she does it step by step with you on her blog, here, She describes it as preparing prayerfully and intentionally (another reason it takes a while for my goals to develop).

Some (me included) are sharing it on Instagram using #Laracasey or #powersheets. There is a little button the side if you want to follow me on Instagram or search for other's experience with this system.
Be a goal digger.I've been starting the new year with the goal sheets for three years now, and every year my goals get clearer, smaller, more specific, less flighty, less pie in the sky, more concrete. I like it so much, I gifted a set of goal sheets to a friend for Christmas. Its fun to have someone to do it together with, although, it is not really together. Its such an individual thing.

I didn't expect I would have 10 goals, and I was OK with that.  They are still cementing themselves together, but so far I realized they are surprisingly really small goals. And I am OK with that.

So many others have big goals, like writing a book, providing water for a village in Africa, adopting, going to business school and taking head shots to start an acting career....  meanwhile, my goals are more like .... how can I get more sleep every day? How can my surroundings make me feel better?  I realize I am in a different season right now. I have done a lot of big things in the past, now my season is focused on comfort and taking care of myself is at the forefront of my mind. 

I also picked a word for the new year: "moving forward", that is what my focus is on.

Lara Casey Power SheetsIn a nutshell, here are my goals, in general terms:

1. Read more books- goal: 20
2. Healthy eating
3. Find and enjoy daily exercise
4. Professional development
5. More time in Bible and prayer
6. Morning routine. I have very slow mornings, like This.
7. Evening routine
8. Focus on home

I expect I will be sharing more specifics, what each of these goals really look like in my daily life, and how I progress throughout the year. I am giving myself a little more time to sit with the ideas and really figure out what it means to me, and get a little action plan going.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Sephora formula X nail system: Love drug

I love this stuff.

Sephora Formula X nail polish is honestly the longest wearing polish I have ever used.

I bought the system right before Christmas when I had a Sephora coupon (20% off... only comes around once a year. Got to take advantage of it), and I love it.

And it is so shiny! And it was not difficult to get off like I had feared it would be.

I got more compliments. No one could believe it wasn't a gel polish from a salon manicure.

Its officially my favorite.

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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

butternut squash soup

Pinterest is a buzz with recipes for butternut squash soup (here), and frankly, I wish I would have consulted it before starting this one.

This came from more of an intuition of what would work rather than an actual recipe.

It  all started when I found the Butternut frozen organic squash on sale at Wholefoods for $1.89 a bag. I don't really know what to do with it, but I do know enough to know is an excellent price and I should immediately take advantage of this deal.

I've made other blended soup before (asparagus is my favorite), and my plan was to just replace one veggie with another.

It worked.

I browned a chopped onion in butter, added the bag of frozen squash and chicken broth and cooked for about an hour on very low, then mashed it all together (I like it thick) with some salt and pepper.

Pinterest says I should have added an apple and some cumin. Next time, that is happening.

Butternut squash is delicious.

Monday, January 5, 2015

A few things I'm loving right now: December

Despite being a big smoothie fan, I was hesitant to buy a special  machine. (My blender is fine! Is there really a difference?! Just one more appliance! Will I really use it? there are so many to choose from!) But the Nutra Ninja 1000 caught my eye and it was on Christmas sale and its the best purchase I've made in a long time. I never had such a smooth smoothie. I really love it.
Not gonna lie..... I'm not a big fan of Jergens... but I saw this commerical, and then saw it on sale at walmart for $2 a bottle, and could not resist trying it again. It is suprisingly thick and moisturizing, and now I really, really like it. As in, like it so much I'm buying it again.
Beef Jerky has become my go to snack. Its full of protien! I have a bag in the car, a bag in my desk, a bag at home....

Thats it.  I read about these bars, only two ingredients, all fruit and nothing else, and found one at Starbucks. I love them.