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A legitimately good tasting green smoothie.

Ok- so I got a NutriBullet for Christmas. It’s amazing. I’ve been using it at least once or twice per day and experimenting with all sorts of fruits and veggies, making my own recipes. I tried to follow recipes online, but to be honest they were less than impressive. I found that experimenting on my own and creating my own unique recipes worked out best for me.

I really loved the berry-based smoothies, but my favorite so far has got to be the green smoothie I was able to perfect. I figured I’d share since New Year’s is right around the corner and some of you may be vowing to eat healthier – smoothies is one way to get the nutrients you’ve been lacking!

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Here’s what you need:

  • Spinach (frozen or fresh)
  • Kale (frozen or fresh)
  • 1/2 banana – sliced (frozen or thawed)
  • frozen mangoes
  • strawberry yogurt – about 2.5 tablespoons (feel free to use Vanilla, I bought strawberry by mistake and it is actually amazing in this smoothie!)
  • 1/3 Red Delicious apple sliced
  • Water for good measure (I have heard Coconut Water works great as well)

In the NutriBullet LARGE container, add spinach and kale. The frozen mangoes, banana slices, and apple slices are next. Add in the tablespoons of yogurt along with a bit of water. Secure the blade bottom and begin to blend your smoothie. NOTE: you may need to add more water.

I like to blend it for about 30 seconds to ensure it has a good consistency and it’s not too icy. TIP: You can use as much spinach and kale as you want, just be sure to add in comparable fruits to get that fruity, delicious taste.

Another tip: you don’t HAVE to use a NutriBullet. This can be made on any blender. Double or triple the recipe if needed when you are using a bigger blender!

I hope you all enjoy! Happy New Year and happy dietingūüôā

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My Favorite Christmas Drink.

Obviously my favorite drink in general is wine…preferably red. BUT I have decided to venture out, broaden my horizons, and try something new. In my taste tests and mixology experiments at home with my boyfriend and I, we have come across the perfect Christmas Eve/Christmas Day cocktail to have with friends and family.

The White Russian. It’s simple, classy, creamy, and sweet. Here’s what you need:

  • 1 part Vodka (your choice, I used Tito’s)
  • 1 part Kahlua
  • 1 part milk (I used 2 percent)
  • ice cubes
  • cinnamon

Add ice cubes to a glass, pour Kahlua and Vodka over the ice. Add the milk, and give it a good stir. Then, I like to sprinkle some cinnamon on top for garnish and a little extra flavor. Add more Kahlua as you see fit-if you like it on the sweet side.

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This is the PERFECT drink to sit by the fire, around the Christmas tree, and just relax- and it is SO simple to make!

*Note: the recipe did call for light cream, but milk works just as well and it cuts the calories!ūüôā

Get the recipe here.

Photo cred: googleimages.

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Chicken Taco Bowls.

I’m a huge fan of using my CrockPot– less I have to do after a long, stressful day of work. ¬†I also REALLY love Mexican food. One of my favorite recipe’s is one that I found while aimlessly scrolling through my google search for cheap slow-cooker recipes. I basically follow the recipe pretty precisely, but I add my own twist to it. You can get the original recipe¬†here.

This is perfect for family dinners, just you (you’ll have a ton of leftovers), to bring to a party, or for you and your beau on a quiet night in. It’s also inexpensive, under $15 for all ingredients.

You’ll need:

  • 1.5 lb chicken breast
  • 1 jar salsa (16 oz) – I use medium, but feel free to spice it up with some hot salsa
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 can black beans (DRAINED)
  • 1 Tbsp Chili powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp Cumin
  • 1/2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (original recipe calls for less, I like it spicy)
  • 1 tsp wet crushed red pepper (this is my own twist- caution: spicy)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups dry rice (white or brown works the same)
  • shredded cheese (I use mozzarella, use whatever you please)
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Place chicken breasts on bottom of slow cooker. Add all ingredients on top EXCEPT FOR rice, cheese, and cilantro. Add 1/4 cup water to the top of the mixture for good texture. Give everything a good stir (make sure chicken remains underneath all other ingredients in the slow cooker).
  2. Secure lid and cook on low for 8 hours.
  3. Near end of cooking time (or when cooking is done and your slow-cooked is switched to “warm”), cook 2 cups rice according to the package directions. (Bring the rice and 3 cups of water to a boil in a medium pot with a lid in place, as soon as it reaches a boil, reduced the heat to low and let simmer for 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving)
  4. After 8 hours of cooking, carefully remove the lid of the slow cooker. Stir with a fork to shred the chicken (it should be super tender and will shred easily). Build the taco bowls by placing rice on the bottom, then the taco chicken mix, shredded cheese and fresh cilantro. I also add a little bit of Franks RedHot because I like them extra spicy. It is an optional add-in!

TWIST!¬†– You can make BURRITOS out of these too! I buy wheat wraps or just regular tortillas to use for this. I put the rice in first, chicken taco mix next, cheese, cilantro, and extra hot sauce, lettuce, tomato, sour cream, and guacamole. They are DELICIOUS. I hope you enjoy both the bowls and the burritos! Please let me know how they come out if your test out this recipe!ūüôā

P.S. This recipe goes GREAT with a traditional Margarita with a salted rim. My favorite Margarita recipe to follow!

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My favorite beauty products.

I’m a girl, in turn I love make-up. It’s amazing what a little touch of powder and mascara can do, even on the worst of days. It took me a long time to find the products that I really love, so I figured I’d share. As much as I do love make-up, I want to emphasize that I don’t wear a lot and it takes me under 10 minutes to complete my entire make-up regimen each morning. So, these are good for quick application as well!

Primer: e.l.f Poreless Face Primer $6 

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Why I love it: This is the cheapest primer I have come across and it works amazingly. Completely erases pores and goes on smoothly. In fact, it makes it 50% easier to apply foundation in comparison to not wearing any primer. The only complaint I have is that I run out rather quickly- it lasts about a month or so. Get it here.

Mineral Powder Foundation- bareMinerals MATTE Foundation $28

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Why I love it: it minimizes my pores and the matte takes away the shine and KEEPS it away throughout the day. It’s lightweight and when wearing alone, it doesn’t even feel like you have makeup on! In the summer I usually wear this alone, but on pimply days or when I am going out I usually wear a light layer over my foundation to make my skin look even. Get it¬†here.

Liquid Foundation: Youngblood Liquid Mineral Foundation $49

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Why I love it: this foundation is an actual GODSEND. It gives you full and complete coverage and literally lasts all day long. Yes, it is pricey but it is totally worth it. Remember- a little goes a long way. I usually apply it with a flat-top kabuki brush. Get the foundation here. Quick tip: buying it off Amazon will save you a few bucks!

Bronzer: MAC Bronzing Powder $26

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Why I love it: Not too expensive, and it looks great over foundation. A little goes a long way- use a big brush to apply this. I currently use “Refined Golden” and I like it because it has a little bit of shimmer to light up your cheekbones. For those looking for more of a matte finish, there is that option at Nordstrom. Get it¬†here.

Eyeshadow: Urban Decay Naked 2 $54

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Why I love it: this is pricey, but it lasts literally forever. I’ve had mine for over a year and it’s still going strong- most likely because I only use a little bit. This is great for daytime (work, school, errands) and it’s also a great nightime pallette when you’re looking for something a little more dramatic. Get it¬†here.

Eyeliner: L’Oreal Intense Felt Tip Liquid Liner $8.99

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Why I love it: It is CHEAP, and it lasts over 6 months with everyday use. You can chose the thickness of the line and it makes a great cat eye when you’re feeling a little crazy. Get it¬†here. This can also be found at the drugstores.

Mascara: Maybelline Rocket Volume Express $7.99

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Why I love this: cheap, lasts a long time, and it makes my eyelashes look KILLER. I have long, thick eyelashes to begin with but even those who struggle in that department, this is a lifesaver. Get it here. This can also be found at the drugstores.

Photo credit: google.com

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DIY Rustic Winter Decor.

This is a very simple and easy tutorial for those who are ballin’ on a budget and want to make your little apartment (or big house!) a wintery wonderland. Frist step- put on Christmas music and pour yourself a glass of wine or eggnog. Then you’re ready to start.

Personally, I’m not very crafty and have a hard time when it comes to decorating and being creative and quite honestly I just don’t have the patience or time for it. Thank god for my mom, and Pinterest of course.

If you’re like me and don’t have an eye for art or craftyness, start by visiting Etsy.com¬†and looking for some rustic wall decor (I prefer mason jars). I got mine from¬†TeddysRoom. She has the cutest selection of rustic decor for all seasons and what I love about the mounted mason jars that I bought from her shop is that I can decorate them for every season of the year. If you ARE crafty and feel as if you can make these yourself, go for it! Etsy can get a little expensive and shipping is out of control. The only reason I don’t make them myself is because they would come out looking like a 5 year old attempted it.

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(this is exactly what I ordered) Photocred

Once you have your mounted mason jars, it’s time to put the winter decor inside. I used REAL holly, winter berry, and greens from my parent’s yard. I just like the idea of using real decor and it looks super authentic (obviously). Also, it’s free and artificial greens and flowers can get pricey. If you don’t have access to this, you can buy some artificial holly and winter berry online. Get it¬†here.

Now, hang them on the wall. I chose to hang mine over an antique table with other xmas/winter decorations on it and I also hung lights to really get into the spirit. Don’t be afraid to make it your own and personalize it- add different plants and decorations!

Happy decorating.

P.S.- the main picture is a closeup of the mason jars! Below is the entire display.

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Surviving Thanksgiving.

Ahh Thanksgiving. Nothing like a turkey dinner and football to kick start the¬†holidays. I mean really I’ve been seeing Christmas decorations and commercials since before Halloween- pipe down. It always seems as if everyone forgets that Thanksgiving actually exists until you wake up and realize you don’t have work that day. One scratches their head and remembers they have a turkey to put in the oven before the 25+ family members show up in 4 hours. Joy.

I’ve always felt bad for Thanksgiving, all anyone cares about in November is Black Friday (barf). I’m one of the ones who really loves Thanksgiving- mostly because the only thing I can think about is my mom’s signature Portuguese stuffing once November 1st rolls around.

I know Thanksgiving can be stressful for some; seeing family you don’t particularly¬†want to see, eating more than big foot can fit in his stomach, and having to explain your life story 15 times in 1 day. I get it. I’ve compiled a list of a few things that may help you get through your Turkey day this year, no matter who you’re spending it with. I hope it helps you as much as it has helped me in the past!

Go out the night beforehand. BUT- don’t drink yourself into oblivion. I’ve gone out drinking the night before Thanksgiving for the past 6 years since my freshman year of college. What is better than eating a home cooked turkey dinner to cure your hangover? Comfort food = your hangover’s best friend. If you’re the one cooking the Thanksgiving meal PLEASE NOTE: prepare turkey AHEAD OF TIME. Last year I cooked for my boyfriend an our friend in NC, and thought it would be a great idea to de-gut a raw turkey while being disgustingly hungover. Bad idea. Don’t do that.

Wear your fat pants. Or don’t, it depends what kind of contest you are trying to enter yourself into with the scale later on that night.¬†No matter what kind of “diet” you’re on, you can afford to let loose for one day. No one should have to sit there in the tightest jeans they own, uncomfortable, because those tight pants didn’t stop you from eating half of your own body weight anyway. Quit the calorie counting and obsessing over whether this slice of pie is going to break the scale- because chances are it probably will. Luckily Thanksgiving is only one day and there’s always tomorrow to get back on track.

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Steer clear of saying things you’ll regret. Anytime you feel like you’re having diarrhea of the mouth, stuff it with more mashed potatoes. You don’t want to be the point of gossip at the next holiday party because you “criticized” a great aunt. We all know you’d rather be anywhere but near those types of relatives, but there’s really just no escaping it on Thanksgiving. Sit pretty and keep the wine flowing. Which brings me to my next tip…

Drink as much wine as you need.¬†Luckily for you, most guests will be drinking as well (depending on what type of family you have). To ease the discomfort you may be feeling when faced with distant relatives, snatch a bottle and hold it hostage. You may be judged if you’re not sneaky about it, so be mindful of who’s over your shoulder. And remember, wine goes good with everything- even pie.

Be vague, very vague. Being in my early 20’s, my family can’t get enough of what I’m currently doing with my life. The answer is…NONE OF YOUR DAMN BUSINESS. As much as I know how much you’d like to get on top of the dining room table and make a PSA stating this to all, you can’t…for obvious reasons. So we’re forced to defend our current life situation, whatever that may be, while still attempting to make it seem like we aren’t complete failures. No need to get into specifics here, just a few minor details here and there to keep them satisfied.

Happy Turkey Day!!!!!

Photo cred- google.com

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When to drink wine.

…basically everyday. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, what have you. Kidding but…in a perfect world this would be the case. There’s nothing I love more than coming home to my cozy apartment and kitty after a long day, and cuddling up with a glass of wine and my homework for the night. In fact, I’m enjoying a glass as I type. Cabernet Sauvignon- delish.

Ok, before you assume that I’m a raging alcoholic let me state that I don’t drink wine EVERY night…just a fair amount of them. Plus they say wine is good for your health (ha).¬†What can I say? The only thing more relaxing is realizing I don’t have to wake up at the ass-crack of dawn on a Saturday morning¬†to work my filler job that I’ve been at since I was 15. My liver may play but a small price.

All you wine lovers out there, I’d like to share with you my absolute favorite wine currently on the market: Alamos Malbec.

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Full, rich, smooth, creamy…heaven in a glass. I discovered this gem while living in North Carolina, after spending about 45 minutes to an hour in Total Wine and More. For those who don’t know what that is…it’s quite possibly the largest wine/beer store to ever exist and it’s also known as my future heaven. This wine is not only nostalgic and plain amazing, but it’s also budget friendly. About $10 for a 750 mL- not too shabby considering my post-grad entry level salary.

I’ve compiled a list of immediate needs for wine..in case y’all were wondering when it’s appropriate to have a glass- or five. This list will grow in subsequent posts.

When/Where it’s appropriate to drink wine (including qualifying life events):

  • holiday parties
  • work events (mostly to get through them)
  • to escape from social awkwardness
  • after a bad day
  • Wednesdays
  • in the presence of less-than-interesting humans
  • with your cat
  • in the shower
  • anytime really
  • Fridays
  • everyday
  • when you’re 23 and have no idea what you’re doing
  • because you can

Happy Monday, and Cheers!

 

What is life?

Not sure yet. Does anyone know? I’m unsure if we are¬†ever REALLY able to figure that out.image

Until then, doing what I can to figure out my place in this new world I’ve entered called “adulthood”. Stay tuned for posts about my cat, work, grad school, boyfriend, alcohol, and the occasional restaurant review. Cheers!