Friday, May 31, 2013

BBQ Pulled Pork Pizza


There are times I wish I had a stand mixer. Making homemade pizza dough is one of those times. If you've ever made pizza dough from scratch, you know that it has to be properly kneaded. Many a pizza dough of mine has not risen due to poor working of the dough.

Sometimes I buy the Pillsbury pizza dough (you know, the one in a can?), but other times I just flat-out refuse to pay $4 a can of pizza dough. Why pay that much when I can make one for pennies? Plus, homemade dough lacks the sodium and preservatives you find in the Pillsbury variety. Yes, please!

Thankfully, the dough released its magic glutens last night. I'm always relieved when I check the dough after an hour to see it has risen. Throw in some barbecue sauce,  leftover pulled pork, mozzarella cheese, and a sprinkle of cilantro, and you have a happy hubby when he walks through the door.

Sure, you buy a pre-made pizza crust or have a pizza delivered.  But I truly believe working with yeast is a good skill to have under your belt. You never know when you are gonna need to make bread. Or in this case, pizza dough.

Ingredients:

Basic Pizza Crust (From Cooking Light)
2 tbsp barbecue sauce
2 cups Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped

Directions:

1. Prepare pizza crust according to directions.
2. Preheat oven to 500┬║ (I use a pizza stone, so I let the pizza stone heat for 30 minutes before use).
3. Roll the pizza dough into a 12" circle. Spread barbecue sauce onto dough. Spread pulled pork on top of the barbecue sauce. Top the pulled pork with the mozzarella.
4. Bake pizza in the oven 5-7 minutes, or until cheese is melted and brown.
5. Remove from oven, sprinkle with cilantro, and let sit 5 minutes before slicing. Slice into 8 pieces, and serve immediately.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork


Look back over my blog, I can't believe I'd never posted this recipe. This is one of my go-to recipes, I make it often. Pulled pork is delicious, and so easy on the budget. I usually pick up a 4-lb roast at the store, and freeze half of it. A 2-lb roast will make 2 good-size sandwiches for the hubby and 1 for me (that's 1 dinner). That leaves enough leftover for pulled pork hash or pulled pork pizza the next night. 4 meals out of 1-$8 roast. You can't knock that! The hubby hates leftovers, but doesn't seem to mind when I turn them into something completely different. I, in turn, get the feeling that I beat the system.

I've made this for numerous people in our family, including very picky eaters. Everybody scarfs it right up. There's something very universal about barbecue. Or maybe just very American. Whatever the case, this is being turned into pulled pork pizza tonight. Yummy! Bonus: a 20 minute arm workout kneading the homemade pizza dough :)

Ingredients:

1- 2lb pork shoulder
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup beer (you can substitute chicken broth or water)
1 cup BBQ sauce (we like Sweet Baby Ray's)
1 tbsp mustard
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tbsp soy sauce

Directions:

1. Combine pork shoulder, onion, and beer in a slow cooker. Cover, and cook on low 6-7 hours (or until very tender).
2. Remove pork from slow cooker. Using a strainer, drain excess liquid from meat. Place pork back in slow cooker. Shred meat using 2 forks.
3. Combine BBQ sauce through soy sauce in a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Add to pork mixture in the slow cooker. Stir to coat meat. Place lid back on meat, turn heat to "Warm", and let sit 30 minutes.
4. Serve on hamburger buns, garnish with cilantro.

*Recipe adapted from All You*

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Focus On: Co Washing



I've had a flirtation with co washing for about a year now. I say flirtation because I'm not exclusive with the co washing. I still use shampoo on occasion, especially if I'm going to straighten my hair.

Co washing is the process of using only conditioner when you wash your hair, no shampoo. Almost all women look at me like I'm insane when I tell them I co wash. Here some reasons why I can co wash, and get away with it:

1. My hair is not oily (ever).

2. My hair is coarse, dry, damaged, frizzy, etc.

3. My hair is naturally curly.

Co washing is definitely a commitment. It is the belief that your hair will become healthier, and your curls will have better definition the longer you don't use shampoo. Can this be true, you ask? My hair is healthier. My hair is softer. My curls do have better shape. My hair is not frizzy and fuzzy with oddly-shaped waves when I let it air-dry now.

You might be thinking "But my hair will be dirty if I don't shampoo!". I don't buy into this. I really work my scalp with just water before I use conditioner, for a good minute or two. Really stimulate the scalp. I leave the conditioner on for a couple of minutes while I finish up, and then really work my scalp again while I'm rinsing it out. I never feel like I have dirty hair. My hair never looks greasy or oily. My curls have a great shape, and they are soft. So soft. I never thought I would be able to have hair that soft without a crapload copious amount of leave-in conditioner and a good blow-out. Now I scrunch in some shine serum, spritz all over with some salt-spray, and let my hair air-dry. Most days I leave it as is. If I'm going out for the evening, I use my 1/2" curling iron to touch up any curls that are badly formed.

I'm loving it. I've been fighting my natural texture for years, and while straightening is fun once in awhile, man alive does it do a number on your hair! Blowdrying it straight can take 30 minutes, and then running a straightening iron through it can take another 15-20 minutes. Imagine the heat damage. And I had been followed that routine since I was 16. You can see why my hair is dry, damaged, frizzy, fuzzy, etc. Obviously, I'm saving a ton of time too. And that's more time I can spend baking...er, blogging.

My conditioner of choice at the moment is Aussie's 3 Minute Miracle. That could be because that's just what I'm using right now, but I really do think it's making my hair even softer. It's also extremely affordable.

And so my curly-haired friends, if you are flirting with the idea of co washing, or researching co washing, or in general just have hair the same texture as a horse (I do! Beauticians have told me that!), I recommend giving this a shot. You just might find what you've been looking for 30 years. Well, 30 years in my case :)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Homemade Double Decker Tacos


I love Taco Bell. Don't ask me why, I don't know. There's something about cheap, unhealthy Tex-Mex that's like a siren call to me. It was love at first bite when I had my first Bean Burrito many, many years ago. Unfortunately, my adult mind knows how unhealthy their food is, so I'm stuck trying to re-create healthier options at home.

I actually got this recipe from Cooking Light. Yep, that's right. Cooking Light. The hubby said he would never guess any double decker taco recipe would come from Cooking Light. So I showed him the recipe, which you can find here. Their recipe is lightened up from the fast food version with lean ground beef, fat-free refried beans, reduced-fat sour cream, and some restraint with the cheese. I found this delightful, and didn't even miss the calories. The hubby didn't even know I used fat-free beans and reduced-fat sour cream. If I wasn't watching my diet I would have served this with spanish rice, however I ended up serving this with a romaine lettuce and tomato salad with an avocado lime cilantro dressing. Still yummy :)

Cooking Light's version offers its own taco seasoning, however I had some of my own homemade taco seasoning so I used that instead.

Ingredients (serves 4):

1(lb) 93% lean ground beef
1 tbsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1 cup water
1/2 cup fat-free refried beans
4 (6 in) flour tortillas
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
4 hard taco shells
1/2 cup thinly sliced lettuce
1/2 cup salsa
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream

Directions:

1. Preheat broiler.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground beef to pan, stir to crumble. Cook until browned.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together chili powder through onion powder. Add spice mixture to the beef, along with 1 cup of water. Cook until water is reduced, and the sauce is thick (1-2 minutes).
4. Spread refried beans onto flour tortilla. Top with 2 tbsp of cheese. Place on a baking sheet, and put under broiler. Broil 1-2 minutes, or until cheese melts. Carefully wrap flour tortilla around a hard taco shell, pressing gently on the sides until the cheese sticks to the shell. Repeat with other tortillas. Fill taco shell with beef mixture, lettuce, salsa, and sour cream.
5. Enjoy your homemade and healthier Taco Bell :)

I hope every had a fun-filled Memorial Day Weekend!

*Recipe adapted from Cooking Light*

Thursday, May 23, 2013

New Music: 5/23/13

Yep! It's time for some new music. Gotta keep on keepin' on.


I am obsessed with Robin Thicke's new song featuring T.I. and Pharrell "Blurred Lines". Obsessed. If you are going to download any song from this playlist, I highly recommend it. It's been on repeat on my iPod during my workouts. I thought I was cool when I found it about a month ago, however it's gone mainstream after being preformed on "The Voice" last week. Oh well, that's how the cookie crumbles. I love it.

I'm still forging ahead on bikini season. I'm a little disappointed that I haven't lost any weight since moving into the house, but I feel so much better. I've toned up a ton. I've completely changed the hubby and I's diet since we moved in. I've been trying to drink lots of water (my goal is 10 glasses a day), and eating very clean. Lots of vegetables. It's making a huge difference. My skin has completely cleared up since we started eating better, and my hair is softer. And like I said before, there has been lots of toning. Overall, I'm pretty happy. My vanity pounds will come off when they come off. I've come to accept this.

I'm off to groove on the elliptical to my new playlist :)

Happy Thursday everyone! One more day until the weekend!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Sweet Chile Thai Dressing


Sometimes I can get a little bored with cooking. I feel like I've tasted everything there is to taste. In my head, I know this is beyond false. There are lots of things I've never tried. I think what's going on is I use the same flavor profiles over and over. Olive oil, garlic, crushed red pepper, basil, etc. I really need to branch out more.

The point is that last night I tried something different. It was (not to brag here) awesome. It was this Thai Crunch Chicken Salad, adapted from a Smells Like Home recipe. I was actually going to blog about it today, but none of the pictures I took last night turned out. They were not appetizing photos. The hubby took the leftovers for lunch today, so I had no second chances either. However, the hubby loved it so much he informed me that he has added this to his list of favorites. High praise from the hubby! So have no fear, I'll be making this salad again and taking much better pictures.

I (unselfishly) offered the hubby the leftovers to take to work for lunch, while I myself woke up today wishing I had those leftovers. Drooling, even. No such luck on leftovers, but if I could have had Scotty beam me over to the hubby's work so I could steal the tupperware... Let's just say the hubby would not have had a lunch today.

This dressing is very versatile. You could use it on a regular salad, to toss vegetables in, as a sauce on meat, or in a stir fry. I used some today for a brown rice lunch bowl. My only advice is that if you are using this as a stir fry sauce, add 1-2 tsp of cornstarch to the dressing before you put it in the pan. It gets a little thin when heated.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup sweet chile sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp brown sugar
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp lime juice

Directions:

1. Combine sweet chile sauce through lime juice in a bowl. Vigorously whisk ingredients together until smooth.
2. Serve!

Recipe adapted from Smells Like Home.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Where The Green Grass Grows

Such a procrastinator am I.

It's been about 5 days now that I've been saying to myself, "I should blog today". Before I know it, it has almost been a week since I posted! How do these things happen?

Time flies when you are having fun. The hubby's cousin and his wife were in town for the weekend, so we spent a good amount of time hanging out with the fam. They came in on Friday afternoon, which means the drinking of cocktails commenced at about 5 o'clock at the hubby's aunt's house. At some point in the evening the hubby and I, the hubby's cousin and his wife, and the hubby's aunt wandered over to our house. We played Rock Band, (we are so cool, aren't we? *eye-roll*) and honestly had a dance party until 3 am.  I haven't stayed up that late in many years (I'm old). The hubby has a flashlight with a strobe function that he turned on, which has resulted in our house being renamed "Club Jarrell".

As you can imagine, the hangover was intense on Saturday. After a morning of subsisting primarily on Pedialyte, the time came to imbibe in cocktails once again. People once again ended up at our house, but we only stayed up until 12 am this time. Needless to say, I'm drying out this week :)

Moving on.

The hubby has been hard at work on the yard the last couple of weeks. We've finally got our first patches of grass coming up! I have never been so excited for grass. Well, at least the kind of grass that you call a lawn :)



In other house news, carpenter bees started eating our porch. Bastards. We discovered their holes yesterday, and now I've got the hubby out painting the porch so they'll leave it alone (they only eat untreated wood).


On the plus side, I'm really liking the look of the porch painted. We were always planning on doing it at some point, that point just came sooner than it was initially prioritized.

To round up this very ramble-ly post, I've got a picture of the exhausted pups after the busy weekend:


You'd think they were the ones drinking on consecutive nights :)

Hope everyone has a fantastic week!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Cheesy Egg White Scramble with Peppers and Spinach


Summer has arrived!

It's going to be our first 90° day of the year! I knew this to be true when the temperature was 77° at 9 am. I took the dogs out about 1 pm (86°) , and Gizmo promptly collapsed in a panting heap after his usual romp around the yard. I love when he pants. So cute. Anyhoo, this sunny weather has given me some extra pep in my step, knowing I need to step-up my workouts to have tank-top ready arms. And half the battle is eating correctly...

I'm always shocked by how much food you can eat when it's healthy! I was looking at this whole scramble, comparable in size to maybe a piece of pizza. Maybe bigger than a piece of pizza. One piece of pizza from Papa John's with "the works" is 330 calories. This whole scramble is 176 calories! I had this for lunch, topped with guacamole, and with a cup of strawberries. Lunch for under 300 calories. With 18 grams of protein, 118% of my daily Vitamin A, and 134% of my daily Vitamin C. I'm feeling pretty satisfied :)

Ingredients:

1 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup peppers, chopped (I used red, yellow, and orange peppers)
1 cup spinach
6 tbsp egg whites
salt and pepper to taste
1 oz part skim mozzarella cheese

Directions:

1. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Add onion and peppers to skillet, saute 3-5 minutes or until tender. Add spinach to pan, and saute just until spinach is wilted, 30 seconds.
3. Turn heat down to medium. Add egg whites to pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Start to scramble egg whites, pushing the edges of the whites towards the center. Continue pushing edges to the center until egg whites are cooked all the way through.
4. Remove from heat and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Let cheese melt, scrape scramble from pan onto a plate, and serve immediately.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Product Review: Dermasilk Flawless Erase Wrinkles and More

I've been trying so many products lately, it's hard to keep them all straight. And find the time to review them! I've found some real winners, and unfortunately today, I have a big-time loser. La-HOO-s-HER. That's my best Ace Ventura impression for you. Ahem. Moving on!

1. Dermasilk Flawless Erase Wrinkles


I wanted to like this product. I really, really wanted to like this product. Instead, I hate it. Thank goodness I only paid $4 for it! When I first bought this, I brought it home from the store thinking it was going to be a moisturizer. Just a good, ol-fashioned, nighttime wrinkle-moisturizer. Not the case, I discovered after reading the box. The box has a couple of ways that you can use the product, however I have deduced that this product is little more than a primer. I've tried it many ways. I tried it (as the box directs) over my liquid foundation. Not matter how lightly I patted this is, it still rubbed my foundation off in spots, and left my with a blotchy, shiny look. I then tried it before my foundation. The makeup went on unevenly post-application, and even worse, looked cake-y and thick in some spots. I spend a lot of days without makeup (after a long workout, for example) so I thought I would try this alone, just on top of my clean, moisturized skin. It did provide a matte look, but it made my skin look parched. Dry skin is not an attractive look. This product also does zilch for reducing redness. My regular primer (Revlon PhotoShop) makes my skin look smooth and even, doesn't dry it out, and reduces the appearance of redness.  And to be honest, I didn't even notice a reduction in the appearance of wrinkles. I don't know what I'm going to do with this, because I'm not going to use the rest of the product. The verdict? Do not waste your money on this. I've rendered this as completely unusable.

2. Physician's Formula Matchmaker pH Powered Lip Gloss


Sheesh, where do companies come up with names of these products? Whatever happened to simple? I might complain about this mouth-full of a name for this lip gloss, but I love it! It reminds me of Smashbox's O-Gloss Intuitive Lip Gloss, which came out 4-5 years ago. It has the same concept, being that it adjusts to everyone's individual perfect color once applied. Technology has come a long way though, because there are a couple of points about this product that make me like this lip gloss sooooo much better. First of all, this product doesn't turn as pink on me. It looks like a blush has enhanced my lips, instead of having florescent pink goop smeared across them. Second, the formula has a hint of shimmer to it, but it's not full-on stripper glitter. The shimmer is flattering. Third, this product has staining capability! I've been putting this on, and long after the gloss has worn off (I still noticed color after 6 hours), I've still got a pretty flush on my lips. This product looks so pretty after its worn down. The verdict? I'm really hoping this is not a limited edition item, because I will be buying more. Granted, I have a lot of lip gloss in my arsenal, but this one goes toward the top of the list. A+ in my book.

3. Revlon ColorStay Liquid Eye Pen


I'm really bad at applying liquid eyeliner. Really, really bad. Having liquid liner in a pen form is pretty much the only way to ensure I can apply it. As far as pen's go, this one is easy to use, very precise, and the durability is comparable to other ColorStay products. I've been obsessed with doing a natural cat-eye lately, or just a teeny-tiny wing. The first 2 weeks I used this, the formula was great. It seems with time that this pen dried up, however. I kept the lid tightly sealed after each use, so I don't think that was the problem. Once the pen dried up, completing a winged look was virtually impossible. The pen did not go on creamy enough, catching on my skin as I drug it across my eye. It began skipping over my eye, leaving weird looking little jumps in the line. I'm not sure if this was an anomaly, or if this happens with all these pens. I would be willing to try this product again to see if I could get a longer shelf life. Before the pen dried up, the look was that good. The verdict? It remains to be seen, as the effect was good enough for me to try this product again, but keep in mind, the pen might just dry up.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Coupon Haul: 5/12/13

Pantene Shampoo, Kashi Go Lean Cereal, Crest Toothpaste, Pantene Conditioner, Venus Razors,  Mentos UP2U Gum, Physician's Formula Eyeliner and Lipgloss, Revlon PhotoReady Primer.
I've been busy, busy, busy. Not with anything particularly important, its just that the hubby had the last 4 days off. We had a very lazy weekend, watched movies, ate indulgently, and drank even more indulgently. To say I'm feeling sluggish today would be an understatement. Ugh.

I did have a very good weekend couponing. I got some expensive product for very little dinero. I don't know if Kroger has changed their coupon policy lately, but I'm noticing e-coupons go through even when I have a manufacturer coupon. It's very strange, it means I got a few things for free! I went with it. I also completely ran out of my primer, I was so lucky to find a good deal on it. Here's my breakdown for the week:

CVS-

Revlon PhotoReady Primer, $13.29 (Buy 1, Get 1 50% Off)
-used (2) $2 off Revlon Face Products manufacturer coupon, a $3 off any $10 Revlon purchase CVS store coupon, and a $3 off any $12 makeup purchase CVS store coupon.
Mentos UP2U gum, $1.57

-used $10 in ECB's from last week, paid $1.50 out of pocket, and received $5 in ECB's from the Magic Coupon Machine.

Rite Aid-

*Physician's Formula Cosmetics- Spend $15, Receive $10 in UP's*

Physician's Formula pH balanced lip gloss, $6.96
Physician's Forumla Felt-Tip Marker eyeliner, $9.95

-used $10 in UP's from last week, paid $6.91 out of pocket, and made $10 in UP's.

Kroger-

Venus Disposable Razors, $5.99
-used a Buy 1, Get 1 Free Venus disposable razors coupon
Pantene Shampoo and Conditioner, $2.59
-used a $3 off 2 Pantene manufacturer coupon, and a $3 off 2 Pantene e-coupon (free!)
Crest Toothpaste, $1.99
-used a $1 off Crest manufacturer coupon, and a $1 off Crest e-coupon (free!)

-paid $5.99

Total Spent- $14.40 on $75.20 worth of product. Savings of 81%.

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Quinoa Taco Salad


My week of "Cooking for 1" continues. I make a big batch of this almost every time I'm alone for a couple of days. It's so good, and good for you! I love how it has all my favorite Mexican flavors, but is way healthier than a taco salad with ground beef. I definitely don't feel guilty devouring this.

I go back and forth on serving this salad over spinach, or romaine. Both are excellent choices. I had some leftover romaine with a creamy avocado dressing on it, which I used for this picture. However, I've got spinach on hand right now so I've been eating this over spinach for most of the week. I actually just finished stuffing my face with yummy taco salad while I'm writing this.

I wish I could get the hubby to eat quinoa, but I'll just have to settle with the notion that I'll look better in my bathing suit this summer. Just kidding hubby! :)

Ingredients:

2 cups chicken broth
1 cup quinoa
1- 14 oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1- 14 oz can of diced tomatoes with green chiles
3 tbsp cilantro, chopped
2 cups spinach or romaine lettuce, chopped (for 1 salad, this recipe makes about 6 servings)
Toppings: Shredded cheddar cheese, reduced fat sour cream, salsa, guacamole, more cilantro

Directions:

1. In a large saucepan, bring chicken broth to a boil. Add quinoa to the pan, cover, lower heat, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the quinoa is tender.
2. Add black beans and tomatoes to the pan. Cook 2-3 minutes, or until mixture is hot. Remove from heat, and stir in cilantro.
3. Place spinach/lettuce on an individual plate. Spoon about 1 cup quinoa mixture over the greens.
4. Add toppings as desired, and serve.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Vegetable Soup with Pasta and Kale


When the hubby's away, I eat stuff like quinoa. Brown rice. Kale. Salsa with almost every meal. This soup. You know, those things you devour eat that your significant other won't touch with a ten-foot pole. I'm one of those people that can eat the same thing for a couple days in a row, so I make big batches of meals and feed on them for the rest of the week. Not only does this mean taking a couple nights off from cooking, it also means a couple of days of not running the dishwasher. Which means liberation from the daily dishwasher emptying. Ah, vacation.

Of course, after a couple of days of being alone, I'm ready for the hubby to come home. So are the dogs.

Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup zucchini, chopped
8 cups chicken broth ( I used homemade, which helps keeps the sodium level of the soup down)
1- 14 oz canned diced tomatoes
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp pepper
2 bay leaves
3 cups kale, chopped
1 cup whole wheat pasta
Parmesan cheese (for topping)

Directions:

1. Heat olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, carrot, and celery. Saute 5 minutes, or until tender. Add zucchini to the pan, cook another 5 minutes.
2. Add chicken broth through bay leaves to the pot. Reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes.
3. Remove bay leaves from pot, and discard. Add kale and pasta to the pot, simmer 9-11 minutes or until pasta is tender.
4. Ladle soup into an individual serving bowl, and top with parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Weekend Wrap-Up: Cinco de Mayo


Cinco de Mayo is one of my most favorite holidays. Mexican food is beloved by me, I look for any excuse to make it, eat it, drink it... Margaritas= amazing! My plan to make chicken enchiladas was derailed last night (by Kroger, those rat finks), but I made Mexican-inspired rice, as well as a Mexican-inspired salad. I will be making enchiladas in the near future however, now that I've got enchiladas on the brain.


The hubby worked quite hard in the yard this weekend. He put in underground pipes to funnel water away from the house. This turned out to be quite a laborious task as he had to rent a trencher, dig trenches for the pipes, and then shovel dirt on top of the trenches. Mission accomplished on the pipes! He was also able to sprinkle grass seed on the side yard, and cover it with straw. We are on our way to having a mud-free yard!


Gizmo watched intently from his watch post, whining every so often because he could see the hubby right in front of him, he just couldn't get to him.


Reunited at last!


I did some small, indulgent couponing deals this week. I picked this up at CVS for a grand total of $3.99. Pretty good for a $30 product! It's going straight to the top of my "testing" pile :)

I got a ton of nail polish at Rite Aid for a total out-of-pocket expense of... $2.74. I really love these Covergirl nail polishes right now. The brush is easy to use, the formulas are easy to use, they have a wide variety of colors, and the polish is pretty chip-resistent. I can't wait to try the glittery taupe I bought!


These Sally Hansens' were also included in my Rite Aid haul. I'm excited to try all the shades.

So, how did Kroger ruin my Cinco de Mayo dinner? Their rotisserie chickens (I was going to shred the meat, and put it in my enchiladas) looked like crap. Total crap. I couldn't bring myself to pay for what looked like tiny, roasted hamsters. I was steamed. I picked up a fresh chicken, and decided to try my hand again at roasting a chicken.

I finally got it right. 4th time. Phew. The hubby said it was by far the best chicken I'd ever cooked. Anyways, by the time the chicken was done roasting, it was too late to go through the whole dog-and-pony show of making enchilada sauce, making the filling, stuffing tortillas, and baking the whole she-bang.

But, at least the chicken was stellar :)


It made for some delicious-smelling homemade chicken broth.


Starting Monday off on the right note. The hubby is out of town all week in Nashville, so Mama is cooking for 1. Started off the day with an egg white scramble with peppers and onions, a smidge of mozzarella cheese, and a smattering of salsa. With strawberries on the side, of course. So good!

I'm off to do some cleaning, laundry, and then make big batches of Quinoa Taco Salad (lunches this week) and Vegetable Soup with Pasta and Kale (dinners this week).

I hope everyone had a fantastic Cinco de Mayo!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Fashion Post: Swimwear 2013

Ah yes, it is time for a fashion post. If you are adverse to my consumerism-lovin' ways (ahem, Dad), you may want to refrain from reading this post. And, since I'm just covering my favorite swimsuit trends this summer for women, this may not be the post for you.

All right, fair warning.

There are so many cute swimsuit trends this season, I don't know what I want to do. I want 5 million suits, but let's face it. Bikini's are expensive! It's so ridiculous that so little fabric costs more than a pair of shoes. Or jeans. Or a dress. I, like most of us on a budget, will probably have to pick one. Balderdash. Here's some of my favorites:

1. Boho prints

Image source: Athleta
I'm a sucker for a cute, boho print. Actually, a few of my other trends are decidedly hippie-ish as well...

2. Fringe

Image source: Obaz
I'm loving fringe tops, also a pretty boho look. My favorites are the bandeau-style tops with fringe. Now, if I only looked Rihanna in a bikini, I'd be set :)

3. Flutter-kini's

Image source: Hush and Wonder
This is a trend that's newish, I haven't seen too many suits like this until this year. I like that it's a really different trend. And I'm loving these boyshort bottoms.

4. Nautical

Image source: Love My Bubbles
Nautical is actually a pretty classic choice, and looks good every year. I love the color-banding around the edges on this suit, though.

5. Bold Colors

Image source: All Things Stylish
Bold colors are in this season. Neons even. I love the back detail on this suit. Not something you see all the time!

6. Basic Black

Image source: Free People

Image source: Shop Style
Ok, ok, basic black is always in style. However, a corset top (via the 1st picture) is in this season, which makes it trendy. And the detail on the 2nd picture from the crocheting makes this suit very un-basic.

7. Cute One-Pieces

Image source: Obaz
So, the hubby would never let me buy a one-piece, but this suit is super cute! I'll just admire this one from afar. I don't think this one looks old-fashioned. Maybe some day.

Umm, this post has made me want to pull up a lawn chair by a pool... with a margarita in hand... sunning myself in a new bikini. Just need to find myself a pool! :)

Happy Thursday friends!