minimalist skincare + beauty haul

Good morning, friends!

Even though the New Year arrives tomorrow at midnight, I’m getting a head start on 2017 by posting the first video of a minimalism series.

From just the title, I feel like this post is a bit of a contradiction in terms of me showing off all these items I bought in hopes of them providing me with more enjoyment as I continue my minimalist lifestyle journey. Haha. Oops. Oh well.

In all seriousness though, today I’m sharing with you the one and only shopping haul I embarked on in 2016, which entailed all things beauty and skincare related. I hope that these products will allow me to pamper, treat, and take care of myself…especially my acne prone skin. I hope that by sharing this, it will inspire and give you some new ideas for your self-care routine.  So yes, while this video itself is far from minimalistic, these are (with the exception of maybe ~5~ items) all the items I own in terms of beauty and hygiene…and for me, personally, that is a gigantic feat.

Let me know what you think! I’m sorry the video was so long, but I hope what I shared with you was helpful and entertaining. What are your beauty and skincare must haves?

Comment any ideas for future vids and posts down below, and have a FANTASTIC New Years! Let’s ring in 2017 with a bang!

“berry good” tossed salad with grilled chicken

Even though it’s not summer yet, I’m going to pretend it is and share with you my favorite salad–well, it was before I went veggie. Eating healthy sometimes sounds very unappealing, but I know for me at least, I tend to eat a lot more healthy if whatever healthy food that’s on my plate looks appealing and colorful. If you’re the same way, this salad is THE. ONE. FOR. YOU.

Just tossing the ingredients together really quick and throwing it on a plate or keeping the mix in the bowl is like having Picasso as your own personal chef. Could you imagine? 😍 So, if you’ve never had this type of salad (I can’t fathom that because I eat it all the time), keep reading for the recipe, try it out, and thank me later.

Ready in 15 minutes! Serves 2.
Ingredients:

+ 1 ½ cup Arugula
+ 1 ½ cup Kale
+ 1 ½ cup Spinach
+ ½ Granny Smith Green Apple; thinly sliced
+ 1/4 lemon cut into wedges
+ ¼ cup raspberries
+ ¼ cup blueberries
+ ¼ cup of blackberries
+ ¼ cup of strawberries (quartered)
+ 1/3 cup of walnuts (glazed or plain)
+ 100g boneless skinless chicken breast halves
+ ¼ tsp. salt
+ ¼ tsp. pepper
+ 1/3 crumbled feta cheese

Directions:

+ Preheat the oven to 390°F
+ Prep chicken breasts: rinse, dry with a paper towel, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on a tray for cooking and spray lightly with cooking oil.
+ Ration out the remaining ingredients (except lemon) and place in a large bowl (bigger than you think you need) and toss.
+ Place chicken in the oven. Cook 4-7 minutes on each side or until a thermometer reads 165°F.
+ Remove chicken from oven and let cool for a few minutes.
+ Cut chicken into bite-size pieces.
+ Toss into salad
+ Serve with lemon wedges**, and ENJOY

***I am not a chef. Or all that creative, let's be real. Didn't McDonald's sell this salad at some point?

digital detox + quitting social media?

WONDER AND THINK

The questions I want to pose for you to think about today are: “Why is getting off of social media such a big deal?” and “Why does it seem even crazier than never being connected in the first place?”

The reason I’m asking these questions is that a lot of people have contacted me concerned over not seeing me pop up on various social media sites when they searched for me. Numerous people thought something bad happened to me, like I was a target for mean comments and bullying.

Is it really so hard to believe I deleted social media (and not all social media might I add) just to disconnect?


Here’s how it started:

About a few weeks ago, while I was bored and neglecting my obligations, I came across this article written about Kristen Stewart’s lack of social media use. And as the whole world knows about my affinity for all things K-Stew, I thought I’d chat about the article and how her statement impacted me.

Basically, it made a ton of sense and woke me up with one of those, “WTF am I doing with my life?” moments. Or, you could call it, “Oh, crap? There’s a world like an actual world that I read about and scan pictures of like right outside my window? And there’s a freaking world out there that I can actually be part of if I just get off my bum and disconnect from social media? That’s freaking insane–completely mental. I want in.”

giphy Kstew

Here’s what she had to say about it:

I’ve never fed into it. I’ve never had a public Twitter, I’ve never had a public Facebook or things where people go on and look at your every move, like Instagram and stuff like that, because it’s just so empty and distracting.

I don’t understand how so many people don’t view it as what it is, which is nothing at all. It’s just nothing, all of it — it doesn’t exist. And so yeah, it’s weird — but it makes sense.”

A.k.a Crazy talk that woke me up, made me act crazy and rash, and

DELETE.

Social. Media.

Now, that might come as a surprise to you if you read reality’s cover article that came out on New Year’s Day, because then you will have seen that I ragged on resolutions, and made a “real” resolution of improving my instagram aesthetic to gain more followers.

About a day after I submitted that contribution to my editor (a few days before the Ball dropped), I deleted Instagram.

And Snapchat, and Twitter, and Pinterest.

Lets not forget about Tumblr. Dropbox. Flickr. Myspace. Imgur. Skype. Oovoo. Netflix. Hulu.

Then I cleared off my RSS feed, deleted anything irrelevant on my YouTube and Google+ accounts, deactivated Facebook before being guilted into keeping it…

So, I reactivated it, narrowed my Friend list on Facebook down to 81 chums from around 300. Unliked everything that I have ever “liked” on Facebook since I got it in 7th grade. Left dozens of groups. Upped the security to private. Logged out. And have hardly used it since.

Then, I tried to delete a Vine account I created a few years ago, but I can’t login, so whatever. I guess it’s there to stay for now.

I didn’t just stop at deleting social media. I figured since I was at it, an entire digital clean-out was in order.

Next up was unsubscribing from all emails, and deleting any unused email accounts, 80% of my phone contacts, over 2,500 photos from my phone, 2.5 years of phone messages, all those voicemails I’ve blatantly ignored.

On my computer, I did the same: I cleared off 50 gigs, deleted anything on the cloud, deleted documents, photos, videos, iTunes, and old music I never ever listen to (aka, Taylor Swift, I’m looking at you).

Then I emptied the trash and didn’t look back. And damn, it felt good.


Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. I’m Ron Swanson trying to get off the grid (sorta).

Or, maybe you think I’m on something and want to be like the trees!

~Fast forward to 5:44~

But no, it’s not either of those. I just want to get stuff done and increase my productivity, as well as not being fearful of what comes up when I google myself.

Have you ever googled yourself?

It’s not pleasant even if the results are far from incriminating (think: photos from middle school, stupid stuff that people tagged you in, and anything cringe-worthy, embarrassing moments that you don’t want a future employer, professor, boyfriend, stalker to see, ever).

To put it simply, it’s unnerving. I mean, it’s been almost three weeks since I made it my mission to clear google, and I’m still editorializing what comes up. If it’s not in my control, I don’t want it on the web. However, this concept is a real pain in the patookus to implement. Thanks a lot v-tidy, YouTubeConverter, twit pic…

I’m still on social media, pals.

So, to further back up my case on me not going off the grid and becoming a hermit, I kept a few social media sites I have use for including: GoodReads, LinkedIn, YouTube, and WordPress (obviously). All of these can be accessed through my blog. (See how nice and streamlined this is, as opposed to having 5+ unrelated accounts? Talk about upkeep!)

Oh, and I have Facebook. However, let me make this clear on Friend Requests: I will not accept your friend request if you’re not extremely relevant to my life (family, family friend, bestie), but that’s not to say I’m not approachable.

To be honest, if you saw me in public, I would give you my number (if you’re not a total stranger that is) to actually, physically talk like human beings so I can get to know you better. Just be warned, I’m not big on texting. It could take 3+ days for me to respond.

You see, I want actual friends, not metaphorical friends whose random clutter shows up on my timeline for me to scroll past. Ya get?

In conclusion…

Cutting back on social media has been fantastic. I don’t think I have to go far in depth over this. So I’ll keep it simple with this: I only have to charge my iPhone 5 once every 3 days. Think about that 😉

kstew2

get your diet organized with this diy clean eating cart

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

As I was washing the dishes after a super yummy dinner last night (wheat spaghetti with kale and mushroom and low-fat basil-pesto alfredo sauce, if you were wondering), I realized how much of a change my eating habits went through (for the better!) after creating a “clean eating” pantry cart a couple months back.

It’s super easy to do, and it’s super cheap. The whole thing can be done for less than $20 (not including groceries). You may be wondering why you need (yes, NEED) a clean eating cart if you have a regular pantry. And the reason is simple. It helps to eliminate unhealthy options especially in a household where everyone has different health goals.

For example, I wanted to eat healthier and try to be a vegetarian (which failed, btw), and my dad was content making little changes, but not changing his eating habits completely…and I couldn’t part with all the tasty snacks in our house either. So, when I redecorated the kitchen, I was determined to figure out a solution that would compliment both me and my dad.

Do you remember that saying, “Out of sight, out of mind”? Well, BOY is it true. If you keep your “clean food” next to your “dirty food,” your kale chips next to potato chips, you’re probably going to grab the potato chips…well, I would. So, I keep my kale chips in my clean pantry and my potato chips (for when I’m craving them and don’t mind feeling ashamed to go grab them) in the other pantry. Most days I forget we even keep junk food in the house.

If you think this sounds like a good idea, and want to know how I did it, keep reading for the DIY.


First things first.

1. You’ll need a storage cart. I bought the Sterlite Ultra 4-Drawer Storage Cart from Target for only $16.99, but you can get whatever one suits your fancy.

What I like about this drawer unit is that it’s clear, which allows me to see what’s in it without even opening the drawer. In my opinion, it’s inspiring to see the healthy food stored in an aesthetically pleasing way. I don’t know about you, but food has to look good for me to want to cook it or eat it.

2. Label the drawers with index cards.

Top Drawer (left side): Sweeteners
Top Drawer (right side): Snacks
2nd Drawer: Nuts and Seeds
3rd Drawer (left side): Condiments, Spreads, Sauces, and Soup
3rd Drawer (right side): Fats and Oils
4th Drawer (left side): Grains, Legumes, and Pasta
4th Drawer (right side): Beans

Here’s a list of ingredients/groceries you may want to keep on hand:
*P.S. I adapted this list off of someone else’s blog (when I find the post, I’ll link it), and also, this is just what I like to eat. There are so many other health foods that you can throw in here, so don’t limit yourself…just make sure it’s healthy. 🙂

  • raw, unprocessed honey
  • maple syrup
  • coconut sugar
  • molasses
  • dates
  • Stevia
  • Skinny Girl popcorn
  • kale, spinach, and other vegetable chips
  • homemade granola bars
  • almonds
  • walnuts
  • pecans
  • peanuts
  • sunflower seeds
  • flax seeds
  • chia seeds
  • hemp seeds
  • hummus
  • pesto
  • sun dried tomatoes
  • pasta or marinara sauce
  • natural jams or preservatives
  • pure peanut butter
  • pure almond butter
  • healthy soup
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • coconut oil
  • almond oil
  • sunflower oil
  • sesame oil
  • brown rice
  • whole wheat pasta
  • quinoa
  • old fashioned oats
  • buckwheat
  • chick peas
  • black beans
  • kidney beans
  • lentils

3. Put the completed index cards on the inside of the drawer facing out.

4. Tape.

5. Stock.

6. ENJOY!

chilly fall day? here’s the perfect recipe to warm you up: 16 bean veggie soup

I thought I’d share with you lovelies a recipe I tried out last week that I fell in love with. And I mean IN LOVE with. If you’re a fan of meal prepping on Sundays for the upcoming week, consider this recipe for next week: 16 Bean Veggie Soup. It’s easy and makes 8-10 servings…the only catch is that you have to have at least a little patience for the beans to soak and soften.

Why This Recipe is SO, SO GOOD

  • It’s vegan–there’s no ham in this recipe
  • It’s all natural
  • I feel fueled for hours after eating it
  • It only takes about 3-4 minutes to nuke it in the microwave when you’re feeling hangry and impatient (I know you know how awful it feels to be staring at the microwave countdown as your tummy growls non-stop).
  • Your body will thank you for eating fiber and your daily dose of veggies
  • Perfect for chilly days


Bean Soak Time: 2-4 hours min (I left mine over night)

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Cook Time: 60-90 Minutes

Difficulty: Medium

Serves: 8-10

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. of 16 Bean Goya Soup Mix
  • 20 mL of Olive Oil
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 2 zucchini, diced
  • 2 sticks of celery, diced
  • 1 large sweet potato, diced
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 5 medium tomatoes, diced (This was the hardest part for me. My tomatoes weren’t diced to Ramsey’s standards and the soup still turned out fine.)
  • 4 cups of vegetable stock
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 bay leaf (optional)
  • 1-2 tbsp. of parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Crushed red pepper to taste (I like mine nice and spicy)
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • 8-10 slices of rye bread, toasted

Prepping Directions:

  • Open bag of Goya Beans and empty into a colander
  • Sort through and check for any tiny stones or debris (I didn’t do this the first time I made this recipe, and needless to say, I chomped down on a rock)
  • Rinse to remove dirt
  • Transfer your beans to a bowl.
  • As beans soak, cut up your veggies.
  • Place enough BOILING water in the pot to cover beans by 2 inches. Let beans soak for about 2 hours until they’ve doubled in size.
    OR
  • Place enough COLD water in the pot to cover beans by 2 inches. Let beans soak for about 4 hours until they’ve doubled in size. If you’re cooking in hot weather, cover and place in fridge to prevent fermentation. You can soak them overnight to save time, and they can be soaked for up to 24 hours.

Cooking Instructions:

  • Heat oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add all vegetables (except for tomatoes) and sweet potato, and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Add beans, tomatoes, stock, and water to pan. Cover and bring to a boil.
  • Reduced heat, cover, and simmer until beans are tender. Depending on how long the beans soaked for, this can take anywhere from an hour to an hour a half.
  • When soup is close to ready, add seasonings, toast bread, and cut up lemon.

Serving instructions:

  • Serve soup with toasted rye bread and a lemon wedge.

Storing Tips:

  • If food prepping, ladle out servings into smaller tupperware containers. If you’re not meal prepping, use 2 larger tupperware containers to store soup. Place one in the fridge for easy pickings, and place the other in the freezer.
  • The soup will remain fresh in the fridge for about a week; otherwise, freeze.
  • Defrost frozen soup by placing tupperware into a sink of hot water, or place in the fridge to defrost there. Do not place plastic tupperware in the microwave (This should be common sense, but ya never know).