Beside cooking, my other passion in life since I was a little girl is fashion/beauty. Really this was a first love. When I was a little girl I would sketch outfits, designed my wedding dress and bought my first wedding mag at 10. I would sit for hours as a teen playing with make up. I have worked as a make up artist, gave classes on homemade facial and how use make a bunch of outfits out of only a few pieces. But then babies came along and instead of focusing on me, I had fun dressing these adorable girls. It is funny how life circles around. My girls are women now and dress themselves :-P When you are young it is all about you, then you have babies and it is all about them. Then it comes back to you. Well really a combination of them and you, as it should be. The best of both worlds!
Also turning 50 my beauty needs have changed. What worked before, does not now. Plus have you been to pinterest or youtube? There are so many fun tutorials, new products, a better way to do things. So I have been playing. Something worked, some did not. I am fine tuning my beauty routine. I am also taking the time out each day to really take care of my skin and do my make up. I use to be the first one ready, now my family waits for me! Here are some products and ideas that I am really loving right now. What is your favorite beauty tip or product?
Henna, gray hair, ugg. I started off going to a hair dresser to get my hair dyed but could not afford it over time. Then I started dying at home but I did not like it (& it set my allergies off). So I decided to try henna and I have to say I love it. First off henna heals your hair. So over time, I am getting glossier, smoother hair. I find the color is subtle and looks more natural. The down side is washing the stuff out. Look up some tutorials on the subject first. I was not prepared for how it dries and you have to scrub and scrub to get the stuff out of your hair. Do not henna on the same day you have something important happening. It really takes a day before you feel like you do not have little brown flecks coming off your scalp. But after that you will have soft, healthy, gorgeous hair. I should say I am about 50% grey. I do not know how the henna would work if you had a lot more grey but read up on it. Lastly it is a really frugal choice. I spend $8.00 and can do 4/5 root touch ups with one jar. This is the henna I use.
Foundation brush. This is my favorite new tool, well ... new to me. A foundation brush. I watched video where they took a lemon and put foundation on it. They did it with their finger, a sponge and a foundation brush. The brush gave the best coverage. And it is soo true. With aging skin, I find it is best to do light layers of foundation. The brush gives such control. I can put it heavier in spots where I need it and feather it out where I do not. Plus it waste less make-up. I put my makeup on a little mirror and then use the brush. It picks it all up. I got an ELF foundation brush at Target for $1.00, so we are not talking about a lot of money.
Eye make up remover. Coconut oil makes a great remover.
Eye cream. For eye cream I use Young Living oil, 1 drop of frankincense oil, 1 drop of lavender oil and 3 drops of marula oil that I mix up each day. I put the drops in the palm of my hand. Just be VERYYY careful to not get any in your eye. It has really helped with fine lines, puffiness and blueness.
DIYmake up setting spray. I make my own and added a bit of lavender oil. I like how it kind of melts the make-up all together and makes it look more natural.
Covering grey roots, Lastly I LOVE WOW root coverage. Because lets face it, if you have grey hair at all, roots are an issue. This is a powder. Think high pigment eyeshadow. It is easy to put on, stays a few days. I like it too because it is not a flat color, so it matches my hair and highlights better. I would also say I have had it for a month and have barely used any, so I think it will last a while. I got mine on ebay. Check out the video's on how the product works.
I mentioned on FB I was making drunken beans for dinner and someone asked what that was. I realized I had not written a recipe for it, which is stupid because I make these a lot! This recipe is another case of me trying to create a bean dish my hubby would like. He HATES beans. I figured if I worked some pork fat in there, that would help ;-) The twist, so to speak, is to boil the beer down to a thick/bacony sauce. It is an easy step and takes those beans to another level. David loves these and I find the more her eats them, the more he is open to eating beans. Since beans are so healthy, full of fiber and cheap, I am thrilled!
Makes 4 cups
4 cups (or two 15 oz cans) cooked pinto beans
3 slices of raw bacon, cut into small pieces
1 tsp. oil, I like raw coconut
½ large onion, chopped in small pieces
1 cup beer, I use whatever my homebrew hubby has on-hand but rich ale is good.
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp. ground pepper
1 TBL. salt
Heat a soup pot on high. Add oil and bacon. When bacon starts to release it’s fat (about a minute or two) add onions and turn heat down to med/high. Cook until bacon is crisp and onion have caramelized. If it starts to burn turn heat down more. Then add beer and garlic. You want to cook the beer down until it has thicken BUT before it evaporates. Add beans, pepper and salt. Simmer 10 minutes on low. If the beans seem too dry (not enough sauce) add a small bit of water. Although these beans do not have a lot of sauce. You can enjoy them as is or refry them!
Well David and I did a crazy thing. We put our 33 cubic foot refrigerator in our living room. I know, what?? We have this odd corner of our living room, that you cannot see unless you go around the corner and nobody ever does. It is right next to the pantry. The fridge was taking up half the pantry and making the room dark. So we thought what the heck, lets give it a try. Yes I have to walk through 2 rooms to get to the fridge. It is not the most convent place but we are trying it. If it does not work, we can just move it again. It certainly opens up my baking pantry. Now the room bright and sunny. Gosh, I am lucky to be indulgent and have a whole room dedicated to baking! Here are some glimpse of what is happening (please ignore the old, gross linoleum. NO, we still have not ripped it up yet and there is hard wood under there too). I am still tweaking the room but sometimes you just have to think out of the box and put your refrigerator in your living room ;-)
I was lucky to be gifted with two antique meat grinders. We will see if I have to muscles to actually use them. My favorite part is the handles. Maybe I can upcycle them!
It is nice to have this table. It does not take up much room but can be opened when I need to work. the lace curtains hiding my vitamix, mini food processor, vacuum sealer and grain grinder.
Grain and flour storage!!
I call this my typography corner. I want the pantry to feel a bit like an old pharmacy!
My Russian mixer-cover. It says cake. And you can see I use bottles a lot. Storage, lets in light and is free. Love reuse!!
I realize I have not done a Things I Love post in a long time, so here we go. If there is anything you have been loving lately, please share!
Emma Block I am a HUGE Emma fan. Her work just makes me happy. Emma's shop
I started using marula oil on my skin and hair. I am LOVING it. My hair is thick and shinny, lines on my face are softening. It is extremely high in antioxidants, vitamin C and E. I buy it here and is reasonably priced. Also Bittersweet Soap makes an amazing Marula face and body cream image above from
What can I say about this honey, except that I am beyond addict. I am not even that big of a honey fan but this stuff ... well think of a floral honey that has been caramelized. That is the best way I can explain the taste. Unlike anything I have had before. My favorite way to eat it, besides off the spoon? Drizzled over fresh pineapple or plain cheesecake. Heaven!
Some movies I have been loving but I will say these are for adults. There is no sex scene (one does have a scene in a strip bar but you do not see anything). Like I said not family movies.Also all on netflix instant watch My fav is Barefoot. Also Not Another Happy Ending and Elsa & Fred
Wren and Devlin's new song is I Fall For You from Lorne Balfe from the movie Not Another Happy Ending move. I just cannot stop listing to this song!!!
This was such a huge family fav I had to share it. A fun way to switch up that cornbeef. Amounts are general, all depending on what you like. You can leave off the cabbage slaw but I really like that cold crunch with the rich pizza. I served with extra horseradish and sauerkraut on the side. All you need it some Dark Chocolate Stout 60 second mousse and you have a perfect Friday night meal!
Luck of the Irish Pizza
1 pizza crust, can be gluten or grain free too
1 TBL Dijon mustard
2 tsp horseradish
1 TBL oil, I like avocado oil
Thinly sliced cornbeef, a generous cup or so
Grated cheese, a mix of swiss and gruyere is lovely
Pre-heat oven 400◦F and roll out your pizza crust. Mix together mustard, horseradish and oil. Adjust amounts to your liking and brush the entire top of the crust with the mustard mixture. Sprinkle some sauerkraut over the pizza, Top with cornbeef and then cheese over the meat. Bake 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. While the pizza is baking, make slaw and serve with cooked pizza.
3 cups finely sliced cabbage
2 green onions, sliced
½ cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1 TBL. oil, like olive or avocado
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of ½ lemon
1 garlic clove, finely minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix dressing together, taste and adjust to your liking. Add cabbage and green onion to dressings. Toss and serve with pizza. I like to pile it on top of mine.
Do you know that feeling "if I trust you, will you hurt me"? I was burnt bad a long time ago and have trouble letting others into my heart. But I am trying to be brave and risk being hurt. I do not want to miss out having someone add to my life!!
"Saying no leads to confidence and confidence opens up the world and that is a liberator!"
Gosh it has been a year since I started dealing with my blood sugar/pre-diabetic stuff. A year ago I was feeling overwhelmed, depressed, panicked, sick (even though I pretended I wasn't) and thought it might be the end of me writing about food. I was having HUGE sugar/carb withdrawals, wondering what I could eat and having a pity-party. But boy what a difference a year can make!
I now am walking 3+ miles 1-2 times a week (when I started I struggled with ½ mile).
I continue to let an incident a year ago (almost crashed the car w/ my daughters in it), be my wake up call. When I do not want to do something, I remind myself what will happen if I go backwards.
I am weight lifting 5# dumbbells for 10/15 minutes (when I started I struggles w/ 2 ½# dumbbells for a minute. I have really weak and flabby arms. It is the one part of my body I am focusing on).
David and I go hiking now!
I made myself run. I often have to push in with buff 20yrd guys to get the weights and lift in front of them (really hard to do :-O
I have dropped 2 sizes. (I bought size 14 jeans the other day. I was a 18/20 a year ago) PS. I do not know how much I weigh because I refuse to weigh myself. I guess I do not want to be defined by a number.
I have figured out how to eat without eating things like pasta, rice, bread, etc. (It is not hard. A little weird but not hard once you figure it all out).
But the biggest thing I have now is confidence. I am confident that I can do whatever needs to be done. I can get healthy. I am getting healthy. I feel clearer, lighter and stronger. It is a nice feeling. I mostly spent this past year reading, listening and learning about our health, blood sugar, how to eat, etc. and I think what I learned the most is we are all different. Sorry, wish there was some magic one way pill for all of us but there is not. However I do think there is a few things that are true for all of us.
“just eat less and move more?”. This idea is pretty outdated and NOT true. Yes, most of us should probably eat less (at least less junk) and should move but it is just not that simple. Really!!
Sleep. Getting sleep is just as important as what you eat!
Handing stress. It is not so much having stress, as it is how do you handle your stress?
Veggies. We all need to eat more vegetables, I mean wayyyy more. 60% of my diet is vegetables.
Water. Drink more of it. First thing every morning I have is a glass of water with a TBL of raw cider vinegar and lemon oil. I try to carry a bottle of water with me all day. I find it helps me drink more.
Over-exercise, DON'T! Yes we need to move more but over exercising can shut down your metabolism, especially when you first start out. So take it slow. Take days off so your body can rest. Also work on building muscle. Strength training is very important to your health.
Active lifestyle. This is not the same as a concentrated work out. Look for ways to have to move more, like parking farther away or taking the stairs or standing when working on your computer.
The reason why you need to look first at your sleep and stress is it can mess with your hormones and metabolism. If they is not working right, then you will struggle to get healthy and loose weight. Your body needs to get "back in-line" so to speak to work efficiently. I really did not lose much weight the first 6 months but after that it just sort of started coming off. I think that is because my body was/is healing. Healing takes time. Repair takes time. So remember to look at your sleep/stress, drink more water, eat a lot more veggies and move but do not feel like you have to kill yourself everyday in high energy exercise. Build up slow, do something for a while and then take it up a small notch. I think these are rules we all can live by and can make a huge difference in our lives.
I get a lot of notes asking what program I use?. I do not use a program. My mom has type 2 diabetes and has been able to control it through diet, so I followed her example and then tweaked it for myself. Also I get lots of notes telling me "I love my carbs! I cannot have a meal without bread or potatoes or cereal". I love carbs too and there are some really healthy ones. You do not have to cut out carbs but I do. For me it is simple. I eat high carbs, it turns into sugar in my system, raises my blood sugar too high and my body cannot handle it. I cannot argue with this fact. But I will say this, it sounds like some of you are having some problem and do not feel healthy. I think most of us know in our gut what we need to do and change. I did, I just did not want to do it because lets face it, it is not fun.
But this is what I have learned this past year. There is something stronger than "having fun and my cravings". That is confidence! It takes work to say no to things we love but are bad for us. Just like I have written about in the past that frugality is not a killjoy but a liberator, well the same rule applies to discipline. Saying no leads to confidence and confidence opens up the world and that is a liberator. When you believe you have it in you to do what you need to do, you suddenly own your life. Croissants do not own me now. They are an amazing part of my life (I had one for Valentines day, it was heaven) but I choose when and where to indulge. I guess what I am trying to say is at first you feel like so many things/foods are being taken away from you. You feel helpless and angry, well I did. It takes time to see that yes, you may be loosing something but you are gaining so much more. Something, that as time goes on is much more satisfying. I do not know what this up coming year holds. All I do know is I am sure I will learn even more about my myself, I can say no and will try to grow a bit everyday. I will continue to bloom where I am planted!
A girlfriend was cleaning out her basement and thought I might like this chair. It has great lines and I thought it would be interesting for photos. It is falling apart thought and cannot be sat on. I took it and then thought of ways it could still be used.
Actually Chloe is on the one who came up with the idea of using it as a side table. We needed one and the chair just fit. To make it more stable for cups of tea or a glass of wine, we simply pulled out a pretty metal tray. It works beautifully and it was free. Maybe you have a pretty old chair you can upcycle into a side table?