November 16, 2017

Moroccan-Style Lamb Chops | Cooking for Max


















A couple of weeks ago, Max and I went to a Greek wedding, which was awesome. If you asked Max, his stand-out of the entire thing was probably the lamb appetizers being served... he couldn't get enough! That was exciting for me, because I had been dying to make this recipe from Ina's cookbook, but I knew Max was really unsure about the lamb, until this moment.

I have to preface this by saying, this was hands-down my favorite recipe from the entire book so far. The combination of flavors (like tumeric, mint, lemon, & Greek yogurt) sounded so insane, but was actually incredible. This is a "prep the night before" recipe so definitely keep that in mind, but aside from the prep, cooking the dish was really easy.

You have to make a delicious marinade, and then actually marinade the chops in another Greek yogurt sauce all night, and trust me, it is worth the wait! The lamb chops are prepared grilled, so since we don't have an outside grill, I used our handy George Foreman grill and propped it up so the fat and juices wouldn't drip out.

The recipe also suggest pairing with Ina's pine nut couscous, which I changed to Parmesan couscous because, a) we had all of the ingredients and b) honestly it sounded better. The flavors went together phenomenally! If you make ANY recipe from this serious so far, make it this one. You won't be disappointed!

Max's thoughts on the meal:
"I thoroughly enjoyed the lamb. The flavor was awesome and I think you could combine the lamb with a number of side dishes. The lamb was a nice change of pace for a piece of meat!"

Max's Overall Rating: 8

For the record, I would personally give this a 10. I freaking loved it!



Very similar recipe for lamb chops
 found here
Very similar recipe for parmesan couscous here

November 14, 2017

Becca Apres Ski Glow







From left to right: Rose Quartz Highlighter, Icicle Highlighter, Wild Berry Blush, Bronzed Copper Blush, Opal Highlighter, Bronzed Bondi Bronzer

Wearing Wild Berry Blush, Bronzed Bondi Bronzer, and Icicle Highlighter
The Sephora VIB sale. It gets me every time.
This year I thought, "There is nothing I want or need." Well one second into surfing Sephora.com I indeed found something I wanted, not necessarily needed, but I thought maybe I did.

Enter the Becca Apres Ski Glow palette. If you love makeup, you know Becca Cosmetics is known for their amazing highlighters. They are so creamy and pigmented, but don't look over-the-top in the least. This limited edition palette is not only gorgeous on the outside (I am living for the icicle, snowy package) but it's contents are pretty incredible.

This palette contains three highlighters, two blushes, and a bronzer. I was excited because all three of the highlighters were ones I had never tried (one is brand new shade and another is one that was limited edition in the past that they brought back for this collection), and I had also never tried Becca's blushes or bronzers before.

Let's jump into the powders below:

Rose Quartz (Highlighter)

This highlighter is pinky with warm undertones. It blends so seamlessly on the skin, and is light enough that it won't leave a stripe on your face. This highlight was brought back from a previous limited edition collection.

Icicle (Highlighter)

Brand new and exclusive to this palette, this highlighter is really fun and pretty. It is cool toned, and even a bit silvery-blue in its coloring. This will be perfect for when I get really pale in the next few month.

Winter Berry (Blush)
This blush is also new and exclusive to this palette, and is so, so pretty. It reminds me a lot of my favorite blush, Nars Orgasm, without the gold shimmer. It really does look like that "I just came in from the cold and now my cheeks are flushed," coloring, and it is very flattering.

Blushed Copper (Luminous Blush)
This blush is so different and really pretty. It is a deep copper color with gold specks in, and creates a really fun, glowy flush. This would also be a beautiful highlight on someone with deeper skin tones, but I have also used it as an eyeshadow and really loved the coloring.

Opal (Highlighter)
This is one of Becca's classic highlighters. I love the coloring, it is a pretty gold highlighter with more neutral tones that looks good seriously on everyone. This can look a bit dark on me if my skin is on the paler side, but with a bit of a tan, it's perfect. I also love using this as a light sheen on my eyelids.

Bronzed Bondi (Bronzer)
This is a perfect, warm bronzer for all year round. It's not too warm that you can't contour with it, but it's not so cool that it makes you look sallow. This bronzer adds the perfect amount of warmth to make you look healthy and glowing.

So what are my overall thoughts on this palette? I think it's perfectly versatile for all year round and every color is just so stinking pretty, I know I will be using it until it's gone. This palette retails for $54, but with the Sephora VIB sale you can get 15-20% off until tomorrow (November 15th, 2017)! Also, I've heard several times that this palette is the best bang for your buck and by far the best value out of any limited edition set out there this year, so that is pretty amazing as well. Get it as a gift for the beauty lover out there, or go ahead and get it for yourself. 


November 9, 2017

A Healthy Thanksgiving Side Dish




Last weekend Max and I attended a Friendsgiving at our friend's home. Everyone attending brought a side dish or dessert, and this year I pushed aside my Pumpkin Bars from last year (they were a hit!) to bring something healthy on the side, by request of the hostess.






In all realness, when throwing this together, I thought it would be "okay," but I had several people comment on how much they loved the vegetables! If you are looking to add some seasonal veggies into your Thanksgiving celebration, then definitely give this concoction I dreamed-up a try!








Cinnamon Butternut Squash & Roasted Brussels Sprouts
serves 12

Ingredients:
3 lb Butternut Squash
6 cups Brussels Sprouts
6 tbs Olive Oil
5 tbs Maple Syrup
Salt
1 tsp Cinnamon

    Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease two foil-lined baking sheets each with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  2. Trim ends of Brussels Sprouts and cut them into halves & quarters. In a bowl, combine halved Brussels sprouts, 4 tablespoons of olive oil, salt (to taste), and toss to combine.
  3. In another bowl, combine cubed butternut squash (peeled and seeded), 2 tablespoons of 2 tablespoons of olive oil, maple syrup, and cinnamon, and toss to mix.
  4. Place brussels sprouts in an even single layer on one baking sheet, and place the butternut squash in a single layer on the other baking sheet. Bake both sheets for 20-25 minutes, turning the each pan of veggies once half-way through baking.
  5. Brussels Sprouts should be browned and the butternut squash should be softened.
  6. In a serving bowl, combine roasted Brussels sprouts and roasted butternut squash, mix to combine.
  7. Add an addition tablespoon of maple syrup or additional salt to taste, 
  8. Serve & enjoy warm

     

November 7, 2017

What's Saving My Skin This Season


 Twice a year, every year, my skin has a complete melt-down. It always occurs when the weather changes either from hot to cool (Summer to Fall) or cold to warm (Winter to Spring). My skin seems to always have some kind of massive breakdown around this time, and it is something that I have come to accept and have learned how to effectively treat. My skin has definitely changed over the years from super dry to more normal/combination, but I still find that "moisture, moisture, moisture" is the answer when it comes to treating this breakouts. Here are my go-to's when my skin is freaking out:



Yes To Coconuts Ultra-Hydrating Facial Creme Cleanser
This cleanser fully changed my skin! It really removes impurities while being incredibly gentle and hydrating, which keeps away breakouts and redness. I use this every single day.

Acure Organics Brightening Facial Scrub
I unfortunately suffer from a dark mark left pretty much after any breakout I get. I use this scrub a couple of times a weel to help get rid of those spots, unclog my pores, and keep dry flaky skin off of my face.


First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Instant Oatmeal Mask
This is new to me, but I love it if my face is a bit irritated and I need a quick fix before putting makeup on. I will put this on for 10-15 minutes, rinse it off, and have completely soothed skin before heading out the door.

Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask
This has been one of my favorites for a long time, but I find that whenever my skin is suffering, if I use this before bed, my complexion is clearer, softer, and much happier.



Yes to Coconuts Hydrate and Restore Sheet Mask
This is another amazing quick fix. The serum is very liquidy, but I can feel it working to instantly plump and treat my skin. You can also feel it soothing irritation on your face, which is pretty cool!

Differin Acne Treatment
This used to be prescription only, but it is now available over the counter. I got sent this and hadn't used it since high school but it's a spot treatment that delivers high doses of retinol to get ride of breakouts overnight. 

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