Cinco de Mayo: Taco Stew

We’ve been in a little bit of a rut lately, where we are absolutely sick of eating chicken every night and then we end up unnecessarily spending money on Chinese food or Chick Fil A every night.  We made a trip to Costco, and were like “LET’S COOK DINNER!”  I told my lovely BF that I had a great recipe for a hearty stew.  A taco stew.  He was little skeptical of it, but he ended up LOVING IT!  I personally like to crush some tortilla chips into it and he likes to serve it over rice.  Plain, it is a Paleo dish!
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Mexican taco stew

½ lb lean ground beef or turkey

1 medium onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 tbsp of gluten free taco seasoning

2 cups low sodium chicken broth

1 large zucchini or summer squash, cut into cubes

1-2 cups of salsa

Brown meat in a large pot over medium-high heat. Drain, remove, and set aside. In the same pot, sauté onion and garlic until onion is translucent. Add meat back to pot and sprinkle mixture with taco seasoning to blend. Add remaining ingredients and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, 15-20 minutes. Make this the night before and reheat it the next day.

WIW: Tourist Season

Oh DC, with your majestic monuments and your fragrant Cherry Blossoms, singing the siren song of tourists.  YUP. It’s tourist season and it’s starting to get a little cray up in the district.  As a seasoned townie, I like to dress little smarter when I have to tote my out-of-town friends.

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Dress casually and wear comfy shoes.  If you are just going to be walking around a short perimeter, I would go with some comfy sandals like Rainbows (DONT wear Jack Rogers, learned the hard way a few years ago). If you are walking from Smithsonian Metro to the Tidal Basin to see the Cherry Blossoms, you may need something more like sneakers and compression socks (no, but really).

If you are just meeting up with some people and plan on having a meal later, I would definitely recommend packing light and putting it all in a cross-body bag (NOT A FANNY PACK). Once again, another lesson learned when I packed up a full and heavy Longchamp and my shoulders were DYING by the time we were done.  And of course, sunnies.  Not just for the sun, but for my judging eyes towards some of these ridiculous tourists.

Lilly for Target Haul

It was the moment that almost broke a nation.  It was a sale that almost destroyed families and friendships. The internet literally broke.  Yes, I am talking about Lilly Pulitzer for Target. I stayed up until 4am to try to shop online.  I ended up with something I didn’t really love.  I woke up at 6 to wait in line. Craziness I tell ya!

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I woke up pretty late to get in line actually. I was probably the 20th person in line and was afraid I would not get anything.  The store I go to is not exactly in a primo Lilly neighborhood, thank goodness.  Everyone was very polite and there was plenty of stuff left for me.  I managed to get some great stuff, even though I didn’t get my holy grail product.

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I got…. 1 maxi dress (wearing it right now, so comfortable), 2 shift dresses, a weekender bag, a hair turban thing, a scarf/sarong/magic piece of fabric, two nail files, and a thing of hair ties.

I think that’s pretty successful for a bunch of crazy women looking for some deeply discounted colorful prints.

Make Up Monday 4/27

As much as I want to stop buying make up, I can NEVER stay away from a Sephora sale! It’s an absolute sickness, but since Sephora only goes on sale TWICE A YEAR, I cannot pass up on some great deals! Gotta keep that VIB Rouge status, ya know. DSC00722

 

Bite Luminous Creme Lipstick Duo–Cannot get enough of Bite! I absolutely must grab a lipstick if I see a color that I don’t have.

Bumble and Bumble Pret a Powder–Have heard so many good things about this powder. It’s technically a dry shampoo style extender, but I really want it more for volume.

Benefit Real Tempting Threesome–I LOVE the They’re Real Mascara and Eyeliner, so I HAD to get this little box with a little sample of the remover. I’m a sucker of’ sho’

Tarte Tarteist Clay Paint Liner— Can never resist a new eyeliner style

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Liquid Recovery–I got this to clear up some dry patches on my skin.  When I had gotten a facial last month, the aesthetician recommended I get serum to balance my skin pH because I have both dry and oily patches. I gave this ONE TRY and it did an amazing job. My skin feels like it did right after my facial.

Bare Minerals All Over Face Powder–for my sister, who gets this to even out her skin tone after she applies foundation.

Beauty Blender with Benefit Kit (no longer available)–ALWAYS get beauty blenders when they are on sale.  I like to stock up on them.

Anastasia Brow Powder Duo–for my sister, who needs serious eyebrow help

Anastasia Brow Wiz–we actually had an Anastasia artist help us out with shaping and recommendations the day we went in.

Sephora Solid Brush Cleanser–I wanted a solid brush cleaner because I LOVE the solid beauty blender cleanser and wanted something similar for my actual brushes.

Sephora Kiss Me Balm in Soda Pop–Emily Noel from Beauty Broadcast has been RAVING about this on her YouTube channel, so obviously I had to get it.  It’s an extra-moisturizing dome balm (way more moisturizing than EOS) and it has a tint.  The Soda Pop is bomb.com because it has a great color and smells like Dr. Pepper!

Not Pictured:

Anastasia Brush #20–Also a recommendation from Omari, the Anastasia Beverly Hills artist who helped us out with my sister’s bangin’ brows

Jack Black Face Buff Energizing Scrub–because my boyfriend is more high maintenance than I am.

Subscription Saturday: April

While I no longer have a subscription service, I still get some pretty fun goodies from Influenster! A month or so ago, I got a mascara from Yves Saint Laurent, and it was a real treat! The formula is nice and smooth.  I have been looking for a mascara that is light enough not to weight down my lashes since it is really hard for them to hold a curl.  I’m gonna give this one a few more goes before I have a true opinion.

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I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes

Ear Bud Make Over

You all have been there. You reach into your push to grab your ear buds and you end up pulling out a jumbled birds nest of god-knows-what. I would spend more time than necessary untangling it.  Its rubbery texture doesn’t help it at all. I think it actually makes it worse.

A few years ago, I saw a pin to wrap it in embroidery floss to keep it from tangling.  Time consuming for sure, but it is worth a try, right?

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I was cleaning out my craft drawer and saw that I had some white embroidery floss left over from another project.  I mean, I didn’t want to use a bright color anyways, definitely didn’t want to draw any attention to the fact that I had to dummy-proof my earbuds.

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So I tied a knot and got to work.  I used to make a lot of friendship bracelets as a kid.  The kind of knot and design the pin showed was what I used to call the “Spinning spiral.” Basically to take one string and tie it all the way around.  The anatomy of the knot puts the string at a slant, so when you tie it again, it actually shifts over to the right until it wraps all the way around again–hence the “spiral.”

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Since there is a little tail, I make sure to wrap the knot all the way around the tail so it doesn’t stick out and I don’t have to do any trimming.

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It’s a little tedious at first because you have to gold the tail in place and make sure it doesn’t fray.

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After a while, it kinda all comes into place and you have a nice design. The only hard part is making sure everything is even. Maybe it’s my OCD

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NO MESS NO FUSS! My boyfriend was a little skeptical when I told him I was doing this. But guess who is fussing over his ear buds while I block out his swears at them!

WIW: Spring Time

It’s finally Spring! While the weather is a little bit more crisp than I would like, I have been getting in the Spring mood with some florals (how ground-breaking).  My favorite go-to look has been a floral blouse with a neutral sweater and some skinny pants–pastel if possible.  Spring

I wore this outfit for Easter Brunch and it was perfect for the weather that day!  My five year-old cousin came up to me that day and said, “Did you get married? You look like you got married.” I’ll take that as a compliment!

Gymstagram Wrap Up

I finally did it! I worked out 100 days in a row! Ok so confession time: I initially started out wanted to go to the gym 100 days in a row.  After some weather issues and some business travel plans, I realized that is not 100% realistic.  What this challenge taught me is that there is always a way to work out even if you don’t have the proper equipment.

I also wanted to point out that my goal was not weight loss, but it was about developing good habits and developing a good routine.  While weight loss and fitting better into my dress pants was a plus, that was not my ultimate goal.  The worst part of the challenge was my mom asking me how much weight I’ve lost every day. Realistically, if I had lost any weight at all during the challenge, the most weight I could have lost and kept off is about 5 lbs.  She was expecting a 20lb weight loss.  That is, in no way, realistic.

Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 9.44.24 AMHere are some lessons I learned:

1) Someone is always working harder than you with more hardships than you: when I went to go workout in the middle of the snow storm, plenty of other people were at the gym.  I see much older people huffing it away on a treadmill, and I see people on the beginning of their weight loss journey putting in more work than I ever did.

2) Pick out your jam: Taylor Swift’s “Welcome to New York” was the ultimate jolt in my work out routine.  Just the beat and the song itself put me in a better mood to work out and go fast.  I burn my first 100 calories with Tay.

3) There is always a way to work out: Learning from my Crossfit days, crunches, push-ups, and squats will never do you wrong when you don’t have heavy machinery around.  I also love that my favorite workout videos are now on YouTube. Cassey Ho’s Blogilates is basically the best!

4) Accountability is the best motivator:  I always thought I could self-motivate, but that really only gets me half way there.  I felt the need to work out everyday because I know someone somewhere out there was keeping tabs and was ready to call me out publicly if I skipped a day. Like my sister.

I hope this inspires you to have your own 100-day challenge.  It doesn’t have to be exercising, but if it’s a good habit you want to develop, GO FOR IT!

 

Make Up Monday: 4/20

QUESTION: Is 4/20 still a thing? Like do people still celebrate that or have we evolved as a human race and moved passed that? JUST WONDERING OUT LOUD.

My makeup treat for this week is the ELF Studio Mineral Face Primer in Brightening Lavender. I have always loved their face primers and was a little happy to see that it comes in varieties.  Very Smashbox-like! It is definitely a silicon-based primer, so if you don’t like that consistency, it may not be the primer for you. As far as brightening, I don’t really see a difference between this primer and other primers is brightening ability.

 

Book of the Month: April

Oh hay, I’m suddenly reading books again, but with good reason!  During my trip to Mississippi, I had to stay in some rando’s guest house because it was Ole Miss’ Spring Game and there were no hotel rooms available. OF COURSE THAT WOULD HAPPEN WHEN I AM IN TOWN FOR A MEETING.  Anyways, the person whose guest house I stayed in is Tom Franklin, who is apparently a VERY good author.  His guest house was a little love-shack feeling, but it was a museum of all of this great works of literature. Total nerd bomb.

The plot of the book is very To-Kill-A-Mockingbird-esque but set in Mississippi. I absolutely loved it! It was an excellent read on the plane ride home from Oxford (by way of Memphis).  I really cannot wait to read his other books!