What I Ate: Asian, Mexican, Italian, & Brunch

I’m a month or so into this gluten free thing and I must say it has made a big difference in how I feel. I don’t have celiac but I could tell when I overdid it with the bread because I’d get this crazy stomach ache right after eating. I’ll maybe have something on the weekend that’s bread-ish but doing without so far has been really easy. Here’s a glimpse of a few things I’ve eaten in the past few weeks.

Tater Tot Fiesta: our creation when friends came to visit last Thursday. Tots covered in Mike’s homemade green and red chili, guac, lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese. Everything tastes better on tots.

Omelette Cups: Mike makes breakfast every morning even though he doesn’t eat it himself. He traded off making a scramble for Harper by pouring eggs, tomatoes, broccoli, and spinach into muffin tins and baking them. The bottoms get all crispy and the centers are fluffy, such a cute way to present something so ordinary.

Brown Rice Pasta & Salad: Mike actually threw this together for my lunch the other day because apparently he thinks I’m a lumberjack. He heated cooked pasta in a pan with olive oil, artichokes, olives, and cheese. Easy and delicious.

Green Curry with Tempeh, Zucchini, and Red Peppers Over Rice: Green curry is amazing and so easy to make. Grab a jar of the paste (most supermarkets have it) and heat a teaspoon or two with a can of coconut milk, then toss in veggies or whatever to simmer in the sauce. Green curry has such a rich, somewhat spicy flavor that tastes great with everything. Use it with anything you’d typically stir-fry. If you like Asian food, you’ll love curry.

Veggie Sushi: This was from our Valentine’s date night (which was really just a quick happy hour and we had Everly with us), but it was fun all the same. We crave these rolls that we once ordered so many of the sushi chef dubbed them Michael rolls after my hubs. Avocado, cucumber, jalapeño, and cream cheese. Even our die-hard sushi loving friends go nuts over how good they are.

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Johnson’s Baby: What I’m Using These Days

Part of the fun of being an ambassador for Johnson’s Baby is all the great stuff I get to try. Having two girls under the age of two really has me running so I’m faithful to the products that work best and make life easier. A few I received recently I’m really loving and are worth telling you about.

Little Harper has always had a tough time falling asleep. She sits on our lap and we rock her until she’s sleeping which regularly takes an hour or more at night. Since this eats into Mike’s and my night together, you can imagine how much we really want to speed this process up. We’re slowly starting to get her to doze off in her crib, but until that whole process is up and running we’re happy to find other ways to get her relaxed enough to get to sleep quicker. Since it has been working pretty regularly, I know it isn’t just coincidence that the Soothing Vapor Bath really helps. It’s a liquid you pour into the bath that gives off an aroma that reminds me of that Vicks menthol scent but lighter, and it’s made to calm fussy babies, help stuffy noses, and encourage relaxation. When we use it she leaves the bath more relaxed and falls asleep much quicker than the nights when we don’t use it or if we bathe her in the morning. Nothing instant of course, but noticeable. I’ve used it in my baths too because I just love the scent and it’s so much less expensive than other bath salts I’ve bought that are basically the same thing. I’m already exhausted all the time, so the calming effects are essentially lost on me.

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The other thing we’ve been using all the time is their Shampoo & Conditioner combo made for thin or straight hair. At two years old little Harper is still rocking a short pixie which she pulls it off perfectly. While we wait for more hair to sprout, this shampoo/conditioner really softens and bulks up her hair. I was using a body wash before because I didn’t think it mattered, but this really seems to give her locks a little boost.

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Oh- and I’m still using their original baby shampoo to remove my eye makeup every night (just a dot of it on a damp cotton pad does the trick), as well using it to wash my makeup brushes. I also use it on Frisco and Meatball! It’s a total all-purpose cleanser around here.

Full Disclosure: All products were sent to me to try but no additional compensation was given. Opinions posted are my own and I select what to (or not to) write about.

Everly is 5 Months

Our little Everly. So sweet and perfect.

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Before & After: Just the Basics

Liz, a  bride with an upcoming wedding I got to work with last week has pretty much the ideal face; big eyes, full cheeks, and pouty lips.  I can see why she isn’t a fan of the overly made-up look since she really doesn’t need to wear much day-to-day, so I created a timeless look that she (thankfully) loved using the basics that I reach for over and again in my kit.

What I used:

Face:

Primer: Hourglass no 28
Foundation: Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture Foundation
Concealer: Smashbox High Definition
Setting Spray: Caudalîe Beauty Elixir
Powder: Koh gen Do Maifanshi Face Powder

Eyes:

Primer: Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Makeup Color Base Lavender Pink
Eye Shadow: Urban Decay Naked 2
Liner: NYX Super Skinny Eye Maker
Mascara: NYX Doll Eye
Lashes: Ardell #110
Brows: Anastasia Brow Duo

Cheeks:

Smashbox Blush Rush

Lips:

Liner: Philosophy The Supernaural (discontinued)
Gloss: NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss 104 Sweet Heart

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A few things:

I’m finding that my go-to concealer these days is Smashbox High Definition. It’s creamy and covers everything so well but also blends into the skin with minimal creasing.

I start with the face first, once you get the skin right the color is easy. I spray the Caudalîe Beauty Elixir on the skin as I blend the foundation which helps it to melt into the face leaving the foundation looking invisible.

Koh Gen Do has pretty much the best everything when it comes to primers, foundations, and powder. I buy it, I use it on myself and in my kit, I love it. Seriously, this line is hard to beat. Yes, it’s pricey but it’s worth it because of how it conceals while leaving the skin so natural and almost dewey looking. Their products do what’s promised.

Everyone in the world should own that NYX gloss. It’s the prettiest shimmery nude ever.

Resveratrol For the Skin: Caudalîe Vinexpert Firming Serum

If there’s one thing I’ve always used (and tell others to use too) it’s an antioxidant during the day. They prevent oxidation on the skin from free radicals (things like pollution) that turn apples brown after being peeled and left out. Antioxidants like vitamin c and a few others fight the free radicals and slow the cells from aging, like what happens when you add lemon juice to fruit to prevent it from browning.

I’ve tried quite a few, most of them serums containing C and E but the one I was using wasn’t doing anything anymore so when Vinexpert Firming Serum arrived I was excited to give it a try. Caudalîe is known for its Resveritrol-rich formulations, a natural compound found in grape skins (it’s what makes red wine healthy.) Dr. Oz has touted the stuff as important to the body over and over which has many people aware of its powerful effects. This serum quickly wowed me and gave my skin much needed radiance and life in a matter of weeks. I noticed right away that after using it my face looked as if I was wearing foundation. Its soft focus pigments blur imperfections and give a more toned and healthy appearance right away while over time the Resveratrol firms the skin and protects it from daily stressors.

I don’t know if my skin was just tired of the same ol serum I’d been using and it lost its potency somehow, but this is something I will buy again once mine runs out because I can actually see what a difference it’s making.

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Don’t Buy This Cleanser: Burt’s Bees Soap Bark & Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream

I’m typically a Burt’s Bees fan which is why I grabbed this cleanser recently when I realized I was out of my Sebu bar I’ve been using in the shower. Bad move. It’s one of the worst I’ve ever tried. It’s not listed on the front label but it has some sort of menthol or peppermint in it that’s so strong it burned my eyes without even using it directly on them. Combine that with its lard-like texture that’s hard to break down and does nothing to cleanse the skin and it’s just a total disaster. I wish there was something redeeming about it but I think it’s just a waste of $8.

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