Wednesday, March 20, 2013

spring cleaning: when to toss your makeup

It's here! Today is finally the first day of spring. Of course, we have some snow on the ground, so it's not really looking like spring yet. But, the sun is out and the snow is melting away. So, it's a start anyway.

With spring comes spring cleaning, and I've been doing a lot of thinking about spring cleaning. Note that I actually haven't done any spring cleaning. Just thinking. Eventually I'll get around to it. I do kind of enjoy cleaning out stuff. There's something really satisfying about purging and getting rid of a whole bunch of clothes that you never wear, or clearing out all the junk that's piled up under the sink in the bathroom (I totally toss things under the sink just so that I can close the cabinet doors and pretend that there isn't a disastrous mess). One thing I definitely need to clean out is my makeup case. I always wonder how long makeup products last and when they should get tossed. And then I never remember to look it up, and then my makeup continues to sit in my makeup case, and then I continue to wonder when I should get rid of my makeup...anyway. So, here's a handy-dandy list of when to toss out your makeup (in case you were wondering, too!)

Powder: up to 3 years
All other formulas: 6 to 12 months

All foundations are water-based (except for powder foundations), so it's an ideal spot for bacteria. An unopened bottle of foundation can last a couple of years, but once opened, foundation should be replaced every 6 to 12 months. Foundation should be stored in a cool, dry environment (i.e., not the bathroom. I definitely keep all my makeup in the bathroom. Oops!) If the ingredients have separated, or there is a change in the color or consistency, or if it smells funky, then it's time for some new foundation! 

Powders and sticks: up to 2 years
Liquids: 1 year

You'll know it's time to toss your concealer when there is a change in the color. Just like powder foundations, powder concealers can last a long time. Liquids should replaced after one year. 

Face Powder
2 years

Powders last a while, but some may contain some water from botanical extracts. Water means the potential for bacterial growth, so be sure to store makeup in a dry environment. Ingredients like oat extract, aloe, and chamomile may contain small amounts of water.

Powder: 2 years
Cream: 1 year

Again, powder blush can last up to two years, just like face powder. However, cream blush should be replaced after a year. In order to make your blush last, store it in a dark, dry place and clean your blush brush (try saying that ten times) regularly. Moisture and oils from lotions and foundations can stick to the bristles on the brush, which promotes bacterial growth. So, after applying your moisturizer/foundation, wait for a few minutes before putting on your blush. You can also use a blotting sheet to get rid of any excess oil. Once you've applied your blush, wipe the brush with a dry towel to remove any residue, moisture or oil.

Eye Shadow
3 months

Though eye shadow is generally a powder formula, they should be replaced more frequently since they're in contact with the eyes. If the color of your shadow changes or if there's an odd smell, it's time for some new eye shadow. 

Mascara & Liquid/Pencil Liner
2 to 3 months

Liquid-based mascara tubes are the perfect spot for bacteria to grow. Since mascara is applied to the eye area, you really don't want to mess around. Itchy eyes, sties, and conjunctivitis are no fun. Once mascara has gone bad, it emits a gasoline-like smell. And, of course if you develop any itchiness, sties, or any symptoms of conjunctivitis, throw out your eye makeup.

Both liquid and pencil liners should be replaced about every three months because -- you guessed it -- they're used in the sensitive eye area. Pencil liners might last a little longer if you sharpen them regularly. A white film at the tip of the pencil is a definite sign that it's time for some new liner.

Lip Gloss and Lipstick
1 year

Lip gloss and lipstick last a while because they don't contain water -- which means less bacteria growth. Look for changes in texture with your glosses and lipsticks. If your lipstick has hardened, it's no good anymore. If your lip gloss has globs in it, then it's time to toss it.

Nail Polish

Nail polish can last seemingly forever. However, the formula will eventually dry up. If you shake your nail polish bottle and the polish remains separated, then it's time to say goodbye.

And, while we're on the topic, here's a quick list of skincare products and their expiration dates:

Primers, eye firmers and other silicone-based products
12 months 

Cream cleansers, masks, moisturizers and eye creams
4 to 6 months

Gel cleansers, masks, acne treatments and eye gels 
6 months

Water based toners (you can keep in the refrigerator to extend the shelf life)
4 to 6 months

Cream or gel scrubs and shower gels 
4 months 

Serums and boosters
4 to 6 months

Generally, sunscreens have an expiration date of two years, but it's recommended to replace sunscreen every year

So, in conclusion, store all your makeup in a cool, dry, dark environment (like in a box in your closet) and keep all tools and brushes clean. In order to keep track of when to toss makeup and other products, you can get those little round stickers (like these), stick 'em to the bottom of your makeup/skin care product and write the date that you opened them. Or, even better, write the date that they should be tossed.

Now, I've got move my makeup out of the bathroom and clean some stuff out! And just think, if you have to toss some stuff, then that definitely means that you can buy some new items. Right? Oh yes.

Sources: Allure, Fitness Magazine, Parade, Tips on Home and Style, and Parenting

Monday, March 18, 2013

thai chicken quinoa bowl

So, March is absolutely flying by. Like a peregrine falcon. Exactly like that. Spring starts this week! Like, this Wednesday! Holy macaroni. And we're supposed to get snow tomorrow. Of course. You know you live in New England when spring arrives and it snows. Real spring here probably won't start until, like, May. Sigh. I'm so ready for some nice spring-like weather! The cold and gray skies are driving me crrrazzyyy. I'm actually missing living in Savannah right now. I never thought I would miss Georgia -- I was constantly complaining about the heat. But now that I've had to deal with a New England winter after a year of not having to deal with a New England winter, I'm kind of preferring a Savannah winter right now. And a Savannah spring would be nice. But I like New England autumns. And it would be nice to have snow in December and January. But then the snow can stop and it can get warmer. Do we have a deal, Mother Nature? Because that would be awesome.

Until the weather actually turns springlike, I can pretend it's spring and eat springlike things. Like this thai chicken quinoa bowl. Oh my goodness, I could eat this everyday. With fresh taste of sugar snap peas and cilantro and the utterly delicious sweet chili thai sauce, it feels like it's practically spring. I am addicted to the thai sauce that goes into this. It's also perfect for sauteing and stir-frying. I sauteed brussels sprouts in this sauce and it was deeeeelicious. Multi purpose! This dish is so easy to throw together and it's super healthy too! Win-win! Don't eat meat? You could definitely swap the chicken for tofu or chickpeas, or even forgo the chicken completely. Oooh, some sprouts or shoots would also be really good in this! Or even some red pepper. The possibilities are endless!

thai chicken quinoa bowl 
gluten free, soy free, peanut free
adapted from How Sweet It Is
yields about 2-3 large servings, or 4 small servings

// ingredients
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 chicken breasts, cooked and cut into strips (or shredded)
2/3 cup chopped carrots
2/3 cup sweet snap peas
3/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro

for the sauce
4 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons coconut milk
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons sunflower seed butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
juice of 1 lime
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

// directions
 Prepare quinoa according to directions. Use 2 cups of liquid for every cup of quinoa. I actually like to use water over vegetable or chicken stock so the other flavors can really shine through, but if you like your quinoa cooked with vegetable stock, go for it!

While the quinoa is cooking, whisk all the ingredients for the sauce together in a bowl. I like to use a micro planer to mince the garlic -- so much easier! You can just grate the garlic straight into the bowl; no knife skills required! Also, heating up the sunflower seed butter in the microwave for a little bit also makes it a little easier to whisk into the sauce.

Once the quinoa is done cooking, stir in sauce, chicken, snap peas and carrots (I had cooked the chicken in a large saute pan, so I just transferred the quinoa to the saute pan to stir everything together. You'll just need a bowl/pan that's large enough to mix everything together in). Taste to see if any additional seasoning is needed. If so, just add some salt and pepper. Toss in half of the cilantro, stir, then serve in a large bowl. Add some more cilantro on top and enjoy!

>> print recipe

Saturday, March 16, 2013

happy weekend

Happy weekend, everyone! I don't usually post on weekends, but it's pretty much been forever since I last wrote here. Sorry about the long absence! It's been pretty busy around here, between job searching and figuring out life. Also, my brother and his girlfriend came home for a surprise visit this week, which was awesome. I think that's the most surprised I've ever been in my entire life. I could not form a cohesive sentence when I found them standing in the living room. It's going to be hard to ever top that surprise! It was fantastic to see them and a much needed break from all this life-figuring-out stuff (I'm still not sure I'm ready for this real world thing. Or ready to be a real adult, for that matter. Nope, nope, nope.)

Anyhow. That's what's been going on here lately! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, March 4, 2013

pros and cons of going freelance


Okay, so this is another lazy post, but I really wanted to share this post from The Austin Eavesdropper. This is an awesome article on the pros and cons of going freelance -- something I've always wondered about. It's always super helpful to get some perspective from someone who's actually doing it. The article is about writing freelance, but it's definitely applicable to anything freelance. Go read it here!

monday monday monday


Happy Monday, everyone! Can you believe it's March already? Seriously, where did February go? I feel like I say this at the beginning of every month. We're getting closer to spring -- thank goodness!

Sorry for the lack of posts. I promise a real post will be coming soon!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

wedding dresses: short & sweet

I am so into short wedding dresses right now. It may just be because I am desperate for some warmer weather, and looking at short wedding dresses makes me feel like it's springtime. Well, sort of. Ugh, so ready for spring. But, anyway. Short dresses are fun, flirty, sassy and sweet -- all at the same time. They're just the ticket for a chic city affair, city hall nuptials, a casual backyard bash, a rustic farm fete...I could go on. Plus, a short wedding dress lets you show off some really cute shoes, too. Score.

 from left to right
1. How cute and classic is this Pinwheel Tea Dress by BHLDN? You could swing dance all night long! $1400

2. This technically isn't a wedding dress, but I feel that this Parisienne Dress from Piperlime is just perfect for a casual springtime wedding celebration. $99

3. I just love the details on this fit and flare Dolce Vita Dress from BHLDN. The Swiss-dotted tulle overlay, key-hole back, and belt make this dress just oh so pretty. $300

4. Wear this classic Jenny Woo dress at a fun and quirky barnyard wedding. Perfection. $1200 or less

5. Another beautiful dress from BHLDN! (I'm obsessed.) This Sequin Sash Dress has a beautiful sequined underslip -- just the right amount of sparkle! $350

6. Again, this dress isn't technically a wedding dress. But who says you have to buy an actual wedding dress? I say, bend the rules! This sleeveless brocade dress is just perfect for city hall or a chic city soiree. $207

7. Oh my gosh, I am so in love with this Agata Swing Dress. It's flirty, vintage-y, bohemian-y, and so chic all at the same time. Perfect for a casual backyard bash or a fashion-forward museum affair. $420

(And, if you love this dress, H+M has a similar dress for just $29.95. Why not?)

8. This sweetheart neckline dress from Jill Stuart is adorable and perfect for spring. I love the bow on the side; it's sweet, but not too girly. It's somewhat modern which keeps this dress from being overly cutesy. Love. $248

9. This fringed Nicole Miller dress is the epitome of chic and sassy. Kick off your heels and dance the night away in this little white dress! Price not available.

Not sure about wearing a short dress? These are also perfect for a reception dress if you love outfit changes. Thinking about an all-white bridal party? Well, these dresses also make super cute bridesmaids' dresses!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

gluten free vegan raspberry coconut oat macaroons

I started watching a few episodes of the new show Something Borrowed, Something New on TLC, and I have to say, I'm a little disappointed with the re-worked wedding dresses. I really like the idea behind the show and was super excited to see the old wedding dresses updated and revamped. Ever since reading Meg Cabot's Queen of Babble series a couple of years ago, I've been obsessed with the idea of reworking old wedding dresses. I think it would be so much fun and so cool to do! I just wish I knew how to sew. That would help.

Anyhow. I don't know if my expectations are just way too super high -- I mean, I really know nothing about restoring and working on wedding dresses -- but I haven't been all that taken with Kelly's re-worked and re-imagined wedding dresses. They're pretty, but they just sort fall a little short for me. I think one of the problems is that some of the dresses just don't have enough structure, and they end up looking a little nightgown-ish. I'll still watch it though -- I'm holding out hope that one of these reworked wedding dresses will be ah-mazing and blow the new one out of the water!

Okay. These macaroons. Well, I guess they're not really macaroons, technically, since there are no eggs in them. But they kind of are. They're sort of like oatmeal cookies, but soft. And spherical. With coconut and raspberries. And they're super delicious. I just love the combination of coconut and raspberry -- it's so tropical and spring-y, which is just what we need right now. Sigh.

Let me tell you, I went through a lot of trial and error and recipes before I got to these macaroons. After making these, I swore I would never make macaroons again. But, now I kind of want to make them again.

And I really kind of want to attempt traditional macaroons again. With Easter coming up, I'm feeling all macaroon-y.

Initially, I used frozen raspberries with making these macaroons. Did. Not. Work. I highly recommend using fresh raspberries if you can. The results are oh so much better. No matter how much I rinsed and dried off the thawed raspberries, they continually just turned to mush in the dough, creating a weird purple-y macaroon that didn't look at all appetizing. And that spread out all over the baking sheet. No good.

Use fresh raspberries.

I know they're expensive, but they'll make an amazing macaroon. Trust me.

raspberry coconut oat macaroons
gluten free, vegan
adapted from Healthy Food for Living

// ingredients
1 cup of coconut butter
1 cup of shredded unsweetened coconut
1 cup of gluten free old-fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 ounces fresh raspberries

Preheat oven to 300 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the coconut butter and all of the ingredients, minus the raspberries, in a bowl. Once the ingredients are well combined, gently fold in the raspberries. Mash the raspberries slightly while folding them into the "dough," but don't fully mush them in. Using a small spoon (I used a melon baller, which worked great!, scoop out the dough onto the parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until the bottoms of the macaroons are slightly browned and toasted looking. The macaroons will be really soft, but don't worry! Take them out of the oven and let them sit for about 30 minutes -- they'll firm up. Placing the macaroons in the refrigerator will also help firm them up.

While you're enjoying your macaroons, close your eyes pretend that you're sitting in a lovely park and that it's sunny and 70 degrees. Ah, perfection.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...