Things I’m Loving! Beauty on a Budget

Happy Sunday! Did anyone in Pittsburgh see the giant duck? I didn’t think it was possible to get so much enjoyment out of a giant duck but I did!

Photo

Any ways, here are some things I’m loving! I have majorly overhauled my beauty routine to include much more reasonable products, here’s what I’ve found:

Hard Candy Nobody’s Perfect Concealer Palette. I really like the variety of colors perfect for tanned and untanned skin (sometimes I feel like I need multiple concealers to match my ever changing skin color).

NYC Sunny Bronzer…I’m finding this to be a great dupe for Benefit Hoola Bronzer, which I love. However, I’ll take $2.99 over $20-something any day!

ELF High Definition Powder. This stuff is amazing for $6. Perfect for setting make-up!

Freeman Masks for $3.99 each I feel like they all do an amazing job it clearing and minimizing pores and eliminating blackheads, my skin feels super soft and looks flawless.
 

Wet N WIld Heather Silk Blush. I got this for $2.99 at CVS ( I feel like it may be cheaper in a big box store) but it’s a beautiful color and very pigmented!

 And I not so cheap thing I’ve recently fell in love with:
These products are amazing!
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Baked Parmesan Tomatoes

A quick recipe for a cookout, dinner or any get together. This recipe is so simple. Whether you are a pro in the kitchen or struggle to turn the oven on, I guarantee you can make  these!

4 servings

Active Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 tomatoes, halved horizontally
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

Note: if you are in a pinch and don’t have fresh oregano or fresh Parmesan cheese, oregano seasoning or the cheese from a jar will work.

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat oven to 450° F.
  2. Place tomatoes cut-side up on a baking sheet. Top with Parmesan, oregano, salt and pepper. Drizzle with oil and bake until the tomatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

Enjoy!

Health and Fitness Fridays: Fat Burning Foods

 

The saying usually goes you are what you eat. However, some foods may just turn you into a fat burning machine. While eating fat burning foods is not a substitute for a healthy diet and regular exercise, there are plenty of foods available that can help to speed up your metabolism – which means you’ll burn more calories throughout the day. Here are some fat burning foods you may want to consider picking up next time you step foot inside of a grocery store.

  • Avocados. Avocados normally get a bad rep as being a fatty food. However, avocados are great for helping you to lose weight because of their healthy fats. Avocados are packed with mono-unsaturated fats, vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and micro-nutrients, which can lead to a healthier you.
  • Apples. Apples can do more than just keep the doctor away. According to a study at the University of Pennsylvania, individuals who consumed an apple before lunch consume fewer calories during lunch than those who opt for other, often less healthy, snacks. The antioxidant components of apples can also help to speed up your metabolism.
  • Beans. Beans are a super-food when it comes to the fat burning department. Beans contain the perfect balance of ingredients to help fight fat. The fiber, iron, carbohydrates and protein found in beans can help break down fats.
  • Vegetables. Eating your vegetables is more important than ever if you are looking to lose weight. This is largely because your body burns calories trying to break vegetables down. Vegetables are often high in fiber, which can be difficult for your body to breakdown.
  • Oatmeal. Oatmeal is a super strong fat burner. Oatmeal can be eaten alone or added to a protein shake. Why is oatmeal so great? The carbohydrates found in oatmeal are released overtime. As a result, you won’t experience insulin spikes throughout the day that can have a negative effect on the fat burning properties found within simple carbohydrates.

Cake Batter Fudge

Warning: You must have a major sweet tooth to enjoy this fudge, it’s insanely sweet!

 

Ingredients
  • 2 cups + 2 Tbsp Betty Crocker Supermoist white or yellow cake mix (or any brand white or yellow cake mix)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles
Instructions
  1. Spray 8×8 baking pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. Mix together cake mix + powdered sugar in a large bowl. Add milk + butter (do not stir them in) and microwave for 2 minutes. Once done, immediately begin mixing everything together. The batter will be very thick. Fold in white chocolate + sprinkles. Stir gently. You do not want the sprinkles to leak their color too much!
  3. Spoon into prepared baking pan, making sure it is level and smooth at the top. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Cut into squares and enjoy
 Yields 36 pieces.

Avoiding Weekend Weight Gain!

Happy Hump Day!

I don’t like to wish the week away, but this week I am more than ready for the weekend!

If you are anything like a majority of individuals, chances are you weekends are a lot more fun-filled than your weekdays. No school and/or no work makes weekends very enjoyable. As a result of letting loose on the weekends, you may find yourself indulging in treats that you would normally skip out on. Here are some tips for enjoying yourself on the weekends without having to worry about your pants feeling too snug come Monday morning.

  • Try the one drink a day rule. Why? Alcohol is packed full of empty calories, plus alcohol increases your appetite. Not only will you be consuming calories, but you’ll be left feeling hungry and more likely to snack on unhealthy bar foods. Consider drinking a diet pop with a mixer.
  • Check out the menus ahead of time. Know what you are going to order before you meet up with your friends for dinner. This can help to decrease your chances of splurging on the most unhealthy items on the menu.
  • Eat healthy throughout the day when you know you are going to be going out for drinks with friends later. Be sure to include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet as well as whole grains and lean proteins.
  • Never starve yourself in order to prepare for a night out. This will mess with your metabolism and cause you to eat more later.
  • Offer to be the DD every once in awhile. A perfect excuse not to drink.
  • Have a healthy snack before heading out to the bar. This can help prevent you from snacking on peanuts or appetizers.
  • Make time for a workout session on the weekend. If you normally take weekends off from exercising, consider adding a weekend session in when your weekend plans include bar hopping with friends.

What’s your favorite alcoholic beverage?

My recent favorite is 3 Olives Cake Vodka with Sprite. I also love Peppermint Schnapps and hot chocolate…but feel it’s a little too Christmas-y to drink now!

 

Quick Meal! Cheesy, Crockpot Ravioli

Delicious and Easy!
Ingredients
  • cooking spray
  • large jar of pasta sauce (about 50 oz.)
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes (14.5 oz.)
  • 1 can of condensed cheddar cheese soup
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1 bag frozen cheese ravioli (25 oz.)
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
Instructions
  1. Spray slow cooker with cooking spray.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine pasta sauce, tomatoes, cheese soup, and garlic. Mix well.
  3. Spoon ⅓ of the sauce into the slow cooker, top with ⅓ of ravioli. Sprinkle with ⅓ cup of cheeses over ravioli. Repeat twice.
  4. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours.
  5. Serve warm.

*Recipe from barnsandnoodles.com

Things I’m Loving

Happy Monday! What better way to start out a Monday than by sharing things I’m loving!

Tazo Chocolate Chai Latte

Tazo Chocolate Chai Tea Latte. Mix this with milk and it’s the same exact product you get when you order a Chocolate Chai Tea Latter at Starbucks for 1/3 the cost, I’m loving it!
Cover Girl Smoochies. I only have two but I want them all. A hint of color and very moisturizing.
African Black Soap. I got a sample in a Klutch Club Box, I think, and have finally gotten around to using it and I’m loving it. It’s minty, refreshing and seriously makes my skin feel so soft!
This book came from my Popsugar Must-Have box and I seriously cannot wait to start making all the things in it..such great ideas!
Marc Jacobs DOT. Smells SO good and the roller bar is perfect for travel or your purse!
What are you currently loving?