Friday, February 21, 2014

Flat Iron - "Iron Off"

Meet Jen!

She is a beautiful, ___ year old, environmental science teacher!  She just recently decided that she wanted to start wearing makeup (see the next blog post for her "before and after" -- I gave her a makeup lesson).  She also decided that it was about time to purchase a flat iron.

In January, during a shopping trip to the Christmas Tree Shop, she found a flat iron for $15.00.  Our friend Liza swears by her CHI flat iron and we all know those can cost upwards of $100.  Jen was concerned that her $15 flat iron would not be as good, and Liza was curious to see if the results would be better or worse than the CHI.  So it was decided... a flat iron- iron-off!!

Here we go... the CHI flat iron and the compare to CHI No Name Iron... (I forgot to get pic of actual iron, but did the paperwork, although it looks exactly like CHI).

Jen's hair was freshly washed and air dried.  We split her hair down the middle and then sprayed each side with heat protectant and went on our way.  Liza used her CHI while I used Jen's No Name.  

We forgot to specify how were were going to do each side, I did mine with a little bend and Liza did hers stick straight.  But all in all, we decided that you could not tell the difference.  

                                               Don't mind the horrible lighting in background!

What do you think??

Why did we do this?  Well, we wanted to show people that you do not necessarily have to spend big money on hair appliances to get a good hair style.  I will say though, that this is Liza's second CHI.  Her first one lasted her over 9 years!  She definitely got bang for her buck!  We do not yet know how long Jen's No Name will last for so we cannot compare the two variables but that is something to keep in mind too!  Let's just say it only lasted a year though... if you spent $15 ever year for 9 years on a flat iron that is $135 right there... is it worth buying the CHI? Up to you.

Now I am not saying ALL less expensive/no name products are just as good as "high end" ones, because I know from personal experience... I bought a more expensive blow dryer then the last two I currently have, and it makes a world of difference; so much better!  However, Liza owns a little purple conair and I have used it to give her a blow out before and MAN is it powerful!  It is also a matter of what works for you. You may have some super coarse hair and need a more expensive hair tool.

So, in conclusion... take a shot, try it out!  Save the box because if you don't like it MOST places will let you return it (make sure to ask), and it is always good to save money where you can.

What kind of flat iron do you currently own, and how do you like it??


Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentines Day Makeup Tutorial

Happy Valentines Day!! Here is a fun makeup look for you to try to wear out with your sweetie or maybe your girl friends!! Enjoy! <3

1. Foundation
2. Concealer
3. Apply purple shadow all over your lids (just the lids).  Here I am using TIGI colors.
**also use the same color shadow with a thin liner brush and apply to lower lash line to give a slight smokey look**
4. Apply black shadow in the out corners of your eyes 
(follow this shape < and >).  Drag the black into your crease a bit but do not bring all the way to the inner corner of your eyes.
5. Add copper shadow to inner corner of eyes.
6. Blend, blend, blend
7. Choose an ivory/white and brush under your brow bone to highlight
7a. I forgot to post photo of shaping brows, but SHAPE YOUR BROWS, fill them it, makes the world of difference!!
8. Line your eyes with liquid liner (I'm using Kat Von D liquid liner).
9. Curl your lashes (My favorite lash curler is by E.L.F. and is only $1 at Target)
10. Apply mascara (Physicians Formula) and then false lashes (Shany Lashes)
11. Contour/highlight/blush and lip gloss
12. Do your hair, put on a cute outfit, sprits your favorite perfume and enjoy your night out!! 


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

**Balsamic Glazed Cauliflower “Wings”

Good morning!  I wanted to share this recipe that I attempted yesterday.  While it came out nothing like wings, it was still super tasty and I will definitely be making it again!! 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

For the sauce:

1/4 c balsamic vinegar
2 tbs soy sauce (I used liquid aminos)
1/4 c honey (can also use agave or maple syrup)
1 garlic clove, crushed (I used two because I love garlic)
1 tsp finely minced fresh rosemary (or dried-- does the job)
1/4 tsp salt
a few grinds of black pepper

Whisk all ingredients together and set aside.

Now onto the cauliflower!

You need one large head of cauliflower cut into florets (just be cautious of the sizing... too big and they will take longer to cook, too small and they will cook too quickly and get mushy).

Then you will take 1/2 cup of milk of choice (I used almond milk) and 1/2 cup flour (I used arrowroot flour) and whisk the two together in a large bowl.

Coat the cauliflower generously with the mixture.
Place on greased baking sheet evenly, in one layer.  
Cook 15-20 minutes.  

                                                                                                        (Dont mind the ugly pizza stone underneath)

When done cooking, remove from oven and coat cauliflower with sauce mixture (I tossed them together in the bowl, but you can pour it over, or whatever your preference is).  Place back in the oven for 5 more minutes and they are done!


                            XOXO- B

**This recipe was found on the blog Cupcakes to Kale Chips.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Paleo Challenge Results

Okay so it is the end of the 30 day Paleo Challenge... I drank my water, I did my workouts, I ate proteins, fruits, veggies and so on.  Guess what!  I lost two pounds in the first two weeks, however, I had migraines, it messed with my mood, and by the end of the month I actually put on weight!

This challenge has taught me that everybody's body is different and takes to different foods in different ways. I tried hard to eat red meat, and I could not do it.  I ate tuna fish from the can, could not do it.  And I am actually up 4 pounds.  Now I know, I was not eating so terribly on my own without this challenge.  As long as I eat clean, and limit sweets, and keep working out, I think I will be okay.

For those of you who have seen results, that is great and I am happy that it worked for you but unfortunately I do not believe I will be following a strict paleo menu.


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Want to hear a secret??

I am sharing with you one of my favorite beauty secrets!

Back in high school I would faithfully get acrylic nails done for two reasons... A. they looked nice B. the nail polish stayed on for at least three weeks if not longer.

In college I was concerned about the damage done to my nail so I started getting gel nails done (supposedly healthier than acrylics).

Then a few years ago gel polish came out.  A nail polish that lasted at least two weeks but you have to get it done in a salon (but I worked in the salon and had access to it).  Gel polish was nice but it required many many steps to apply and quite the process to remove, and it does hurt some peoples nails... so now what??

Ladies lets admit it!  There is just something about having your nails done that make you look classier and feel more beautiful!  I know I am not the only one out there who thinks that.

And if you do not have the money to faithfully get your nails done, then you are out of luck!   And we can easily pick up a bottle of nail polish and do it ourselves, however, how many of you are like me though and hate to paint your nails because they just end up chipping a day or two later?  How about paying for a manicure? NO WAY!  It just does not seem to last.

Well... I found the secret to great lasting nail polish!! 

A lot of beauty products make claims that they do not follow through on, so initially when I discovered this, I was skeptical but I tried it anyway.  I am IN LOVE!! <3   No lie, this stuff is fantastic.

You do not need a base coat.  You use the color of your choice and then the top coat, that is it!  I am obsessed with this color pictured but I am eager to venture out and try others.  The smell is not too bad and it dries quicker than regular nail polish.  

I decided to do my nails and documents how the polish held up... mind you these photos are after washing my hands many many times, showering, cooking, cleaning, laundry, going to the gym and so on.  So check it out! 

As you can see on day six, I am just now starting  to get chips in my polish.  I could easily go back and fill in the chips and add more top coat but if I decide not to, I can easily take polish remover and take it completely off (and once I remove it, my nails feel perfectly normal, no damage, no soft nails).  But seriously... SIX DAYS.

This company offers a huge selection of colors and they are continuing to add more colors as the seasons change.

If you are interested in purchasing some, I am more than happy to get it for you, let me know.  You can also look at but you will not find this in stores.

I hope you enjoyed this review of a new product and try it out.  If you do, or have, comment on my blog and let me know your thoughts!


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Dandruff- What a mess!

You asked for it... you got it! 

This post is on dandruff... you can google and research the causes of dandruff until you are blue in the face, however, trying to find one specific cause of dandruff...  so... good luck!  But whatever the cause may be, it can be messy, embarrassing, and just plain unsightly.  

Since I am turning into a label freak, and trying to stay away from harmful chemicals, I decided to take the time and find the best natural ways to take care of dandruff.  These are things you can try at home, and are natural ingredients, but if you find nothing helps, you may need to see a doctor.

1. Yogurt.  Wash your hair and then put the yogurt on your scalp only and leave on for 10-15 minutes then wash out.

2.  Tea tree oil.  Tea tree is amazing!  You can use it for so many things (acne, body odor, anti-viral, cleaning, just to name a few).  You want to get a shampoo that has at least 5% tea tree in it, or you can buy a small jar of tea tree oil and put on on your scalp before shampooing.  You can also add tea tree oil to your current shampoo.

3.  Olive oil/Coconut oil. You can use either one of these as an overnight treatment.  Apply to your scalp only and sleep with it (just make sure you wrap your head in a towel or do something to protect your pillow.

4.  Baking soda.  Use this in place of your shampoo for two weeks.  Leave on for one minute and then wash it out.  Your skin should start producing oils again, moisturizing your scalp and relieving the dandruff. -- oh and while you are at it, use it as an exfoliate for your face.

5.  Apple cider vinegar.  Mix one part vinegar with one part water and pour onto hair and scalp after you shampoo your hair.  Leave on for 10-15 minutes and rinse with water.  It will smell, there is no other way around it, but once you dry your hair, the smell should subside.  Try doing this once or twice a week.

6.  Egg.  Take two eggs, beat together and then apply to scalp, leaving it on for about an hour.  Not only will this help with the dandruff but it will condition as well! 

I am sure there are plenty more, but I think this is a good start.  Let me know if you have any known natural tricks that work, and if you try any of these, please feel free to share! 

Have a great night! 


Friday, January 17, 2014

Paleo Challenge Day 14

So this past weekend, I did go off the challenge... no judgments... it was a birthday celebration and everyone brought such AMAZING food! Between cheesecake, canoli's, turkey chili, stir fry, delicious breakfasts-- french toast bake and bagel sandwiches how could I not!

So I lost a pound and gained a pound but then I started strict again as of Monday.

I haven't posted because it has been the typical eggs for breakfast, tuna every day for lunch mixed with avocado, raisins and nuts, and then a healthy chicken dinner with veggies.

I def need some new stuff though.

My workouts this week have been lacking though... it did consist of lifting my adorable nephew though!

Everybody say awwwwww!

Okay, but yesterday I tried a combat class at the Fit Club.

"Take kickboxing to the heavy bag!  Put on your boxing gloves and execute combinations of punches and kicks.  Add in some key conditioning to release your body and feel exhilarated.  YES! YOU CAN DO IT!" 

It started out with warming up using jump-ropes (I haven't used one of those since gym glass with Mrs. Capen), pushups and toe touches... multiple reps of each.  Then I put on boxing gloves for the first time in my life.  First off, let me say, these girls are awesome! Next, this whole workout made me practically throw up!  My lungs are also not conditioned, so it burnnnnnneddd like crazy!

This gym is gonna kick my butt but it is just what I need!! Cannot wait to go back again! Check out Jess on fb and her club!

Here are two of my latest's meals ...


Friday, January 10, 2014

Paleo Day 6 WEIGH IN

Weigh in ... after 1 week of Paleo I lost... drum roll please..........

 1lb! tada!! 

Not as much as I was hoping for, however, I know it is just a matter of time.  

This weekend I am going away so I cannot guarantee I will follow it 100%.  But I'll let you know how it goes! 


Paleo Challenge Day 4 & 5

So yesterday I wanted to eat everything in sight! Ya know what I did?  I ate more veggies! And MORE veggies!  And kept going until I was full.

I did 10 push-ups for my "tiny workout" and I did "man" ones (on my toes).  It was hard but I did it! :)

Also, I skipped the video workout because I was teaching at Curves, Body Basics classes for an hour.  I worked my arms and my core.

Breakfast:  2 pieces turkey bacon, 2 eggs in a veggie scramble
Lunch:  Grilled chicken over broccoli and sauteed broccoli slaw.
Dinner:  Shrimp Saute w/onions, peppers, green beans, tomatoes, broccoli slaw and avocado.
Snack: Dark Chocolate, Apple w/sunflower butter

Today I had the ladies over for tea/coffee and snacks.  We try to do it once a month and alternate homes.  I wanted to serve them food but was nervous with me doing paleo.  Well it worked out well, I made a breakfast quiche (no crust) with sauteed onions and peppers in it (no cheese either), hard boiled eggs, turkey bacon and fruit.

For lunch I had chicken salad and tried to make lettuce wraps, however, the romaine was just too small for that. Fail.  But it still tasted yummy.

Dinner was a romaine/arugula salad with leftover sauteed vege's from the night before.

Snack: Banana, Dark Chocolate, Butternut Squash Fries

Plenty of water all day of course.  However, workout got skipped due to my lower back pain.  But this is it in case you want to do it.                                     XOXO- B

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Day 3 Paleo Challenge & two YUMMY finds!

Day three was a bit more difficult for me because I had to run a lot of errands and did not have a ton of time to be home to do the workouts... and it was day three of my migraine... :(  

My meals consisted:
Breakfast: 2 eggs with spinach and turkey bacon.
Lunch: 5oz can of tuna mixed with avocado, 1/2 apple, pecans, and raisins.
Dinner: 4 oz baked chicken with 1/2 avocado.
Snacks: Dried Apricots and Granola bar (see below)

I did miss my workouts but will make up for it.  

However, I do want to share some exciting finds while I was out and about.

First off is these barefruit organic bake-dried apricots! There are two servings of ORGANIC apricots, no sugar added and nothing else added.  I ended up having these as a snack when I was out and about and feeling hungry.  Non-GMO.  200 calories for the whole pouch.  I liked them because they were chewy but tough if that makes sense.  It also gave me the feeling like I was eating gummy bears but in a healthier way.  I believe it cost $2.49 for these. 

Next is this gojiberry granola bar by Two Moms in the RAW.  I had seen this around but was never sure if I wanted to try it.  I ended up buying it because the store I bought it from was having a store-wide 25% off. Looks like bird seed doesn't it?  Well, it tastes yummy.  It kind of just tastes like seeds and cinnamon. Everything in it is organic, and real.  Gluten free and paleo approved!  I bought these for $6.99.

  • Organic Agave
  • Certified Gluten-free Organic Oat Groats*
  • Organic Sunflower Seeds
  • Organic Buckwheat
  • Organic Pumpkin Seeds
  • Organic Gojiberries
  • Organic Millet
  • Organic Apples
  • Organic Sesame Seeds
  • Organic Flax Seeds
  • Organic Pecans
  • Organic Almonds
  • Organic Cinnamon and Sea Salt

  • XOXO-B
  • Tuesday, January 7, 2014

    Paleo Day 2

    Day two was pretty good for me!  Breakfast was great! I did my 10 push-ups... it has been a while but I was able to do them!  Been drinking lots of water.  Had my favorite snack of a green apple with sunflower butter (this was my fav even before the "challenge")... had a late lunch and dinner because I woke up late today.

    Breakfast: 2 eggs, 1/2 avocado, 2 slices turkey bacon
    Snack: Green apple w/sunflower butter
    Lunch: Grilled chicken salad with 1/2 avocado mixed in and 2 tbsp mayo.  Sprinkled with S&P and a few raisins, pecans and some apple chunks! Served with arugula and a sprinkle of lemon juice!  YUM!!
    Dinner: It was suppose to be salmon with honey lime dressing served over spinach, however, since I was not hungry come dinner time I waited and then just had a few snacks when I was hungry.  First I had two hard boiled eggs, then an apple with sunflower butter.

    The hardest parts of day 2... my migraine is still with me!  Not fun!  That is why I woke up late and then I had to take another nap to try and sleep it off. Not sure what is triggering it, but I hope it goes away soon!

    Now, I use to take yoga all the time at the gym, it has been a while but I was really looking forward to trying these workouts that were suggested... yoga one wasn't too bad, challenging but nothing I could not handle and relaxing at the same time!  But the butt lift.... holy moleeeeeeee was it painful and it made me sweat!  Not to mention, she makes you end with planks! Speaking of... I was thinking about starting the plank challenge...?  We will see!

    Here they are if you want to try them out!

    XOXO- B

    Sunday, January 5, 2014

    Day 1 - Paleo Challenge

    This week is going to be a "soft start"... I plan to follow it as much as I possibly can, however, I am being taken away next weekend for my 30th Birthday so I am guessing I will steer off just a bit.  But then as soon as I get back, it is back to the grind!! 

    I have my starting weight which I will not reveal yet... I decided not to do my measurements, I am just going to wait and see if I can fit into my old jeans.

    My goal for this challenge- clear up my skin, feel more energetic and healthy, get back down to my "comfortable weight" of 130, tone up, and feel comfortable in my own skin ---> That has been the hardest part leading up to this.  

    Fall/winter of 2012/13 for the first time in my life I was comfortable in my own skin.  I weighed 130lbs, size 6 jeans, I felt thin but not too thin and I was enjoying wearing my clothes. And honestly it was not even about the weight on the scale, it was just how I felt in my skin. Well, since then... I have put on 20+ pounds (can I blame it on marriage?? lol)  and of course I am more self-conscious, my clothes do not fit anymore, I feel even more sluggish and do not want to look at myself in the mirror, nor put on anything even slightly form fitting.

    With that being said,  here is day one... I am being guided by a blog so everything I do will either be exactly like this girl suggests OR I will modify a bit. 

    Drink 8oz of water right away! 

    Tiny workout: Calf raises- 10 with your feet turned out, 10 feet straight, 10 feet turned in. I did this while brushing my teeth as she suggested.  

    Snack: A green apple with two tbsp of sunflower butter.  

    Lunch: Tuna, 5oz pack of tuna mixed with an avocado 

    Dinner: Drink 8oz water with dinner. Grilled chicken- 5 oz of grilled chicken served with (this was suggested) -->spinach and sautéed onions.  I ended up having it on a bed of arugula with some apple pieces, raisins, raw brocc slaw, onions and some pecans.  I drizzled a bit of lemon juice and grape-seed oil for the dressing.   

    Now there is also a workout of the day, however, I have been battling a migraine ALL DAY and have not been able to muster up enough energy to do it. I may try and do it before I go to bed but we will see!  Here is what was suggested...

    Lastly, 32 oz of water before lunch and about 20 oz of water since lunch and still going.  I will drink 16 oz of water right before bed as well.

    Happy Paleo! 

    XOXO- B

    Friday, January 3, 2014

    30 Day Paleo Challenge

    One of my new years or 30th year of life goal was to start eating healthy again and get back in shape.  Well, in doing a large amount of research I decided I am go to do the 30 day Paleo Challenge.  For those of you who do not know, the whole idea behind it is "Eat like a caveman and shed pounds."  

    This is a high-protein, high-fiber eating plan.  I am okay with that.  No processed foods- NONE... I think I can handle that.  The only thing I will have to adjust is substitutions to red meat because I do not really eat it (by not really I mean, maybe once every 6 months or so, maybe less).  I also have to be extremely strict on my water intake... as much as I love water and pretty much drink that and nothing else, I do not drink nearly as much as I should.

    I plan to start on Sunday, so tomorrow is the big shopping trip.  I am also on an extremely tight budget so I am hoping I can get everything I need for week 1 plus food for my husband (he will not want to do this full fledge with me).  My plan it to hit up the sales at Adams Market, Aldi's, Trader Joes and Whole Foods.  

    If any of you have tips or tricks, suggestions, comments, please feel free to let me know.  Have any good recipes to share? I'm in! 

    This will also coincide with my anti-inflammatory diet, so that will be great as well!  This not only helps weight loss but can help with gut issues, digestion, clear up skin, and more.

    I do not know if this will turn into a lifelong lifestyle, but I am looking forward to seeing changes within 30 days and then go from there.

    This is quite personal for me, but I will share my results once I have some to share!

    To a happy and healthy new year! 
    xoxo- B

    Thursday, January 2, 2014


    If I am being completely honest, I was happy to say goodbye to 2013.  
    Without getting into specifics, I am just looking forward to a new year.  

    I am not big on resolutions but I did think of some goals that I would like to obtain now in my 30's. 
    --in no particular order--
    1.  Spend more quality time with my husband.
    2.  Laugh more and cry less.
    3.  Start a health and beauty youtube channel.
    4.  Blog more regularly.
    5.  Grow spiritually.
    6.  Get back in shape and eat healthy again.
    7.  Start volunteering whether it be in the community or for a charity, or something.
    8.  Become organized!! 
    9.  Do more hair/makeup.
    10.  Try new things.

    What are your resolutions or goals?

    XOXO- B

    Lang may yer lum reek!