An Adventure in food, DIY, and More

Check out Ipsy!

Do you like makeup? Do you like great deals on makeup and beauty products?

 

Well, look no further than Ipsy.

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This excerpt is taken directly from the Ipsy About Us page:

Michelle Phan has inspired countless women around the world through her beauty video tutorials on YouTube. Every day, the question Michelle gets asked the most is: “What are the right products for me?”

With infinite beauty product combinations in the marketplace, choosing the best items for your needs can be a challenge! That was why Michelle created ipsy. Michelle and her team of stylists have selected products they love, for you to try.

Each month, subscribers will receive a beautiful Glam Bag with deluxe samples and full-sized beauty products. Members can watch and play along with the stylists with the same products that they are using. All for only $10 a month.

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Above is a photo of a May 2014 Glam Bag. Everyone’s bags are different, when you sign up you will take a short “quiz” to find out your skin tone, hair type, eye color, etc, that way you get items that fit your complexion and hair type, as well as other awesome products!

The best part? Most of the products are worth more than $10. And $10 is all you pay! You can cancel your subscription at any time, no obligations. It’s totally worth a try.

If you’d like to sign up, follow the link below!

http://www.ipsy.com/r/c53n

Quinoa Chickpea & Avocado Summer Salad

Hey everyone! I know it’s been quite a while since I’ve written anything. A natural disaster hit close to home, and I’ve been helping facilitate donations and assistance for families in need, and have not had any time for anything else for quite a while. BUT, on a happier note, things are starting to get organized enough to where I’m able to have some personal time again, and do the things I need to do. Well, ok, not that blogging is something I NEED to do, but I sure do enjoy it. It’s one of those healthy release things I think. So here I am, and I’d like to share a fantastic recipe I’ve found with you. I made it this week and it is wonderful. We had unseasonably warm temperatures in our area this week (Seattle area, try almost 90 at the beginning of May! Holy smokes!), and it was just what I needed.

I’ve been doing two or so workouts per day right now, trying to earn my pre-baby body back. And of course, you can’t work out and expect results without eating healthy, right? Well, this recipe is totally healthy for you. Quinoa is considered a super food, as is avocado. And chickpeas are just awesome. Yes, you can substitute a different bean if you aren’t a chickpea fan. Red beans work well, as do black. Depends on your preference, ultimately. Lots of healthy fats in this recipe, and good proteins. It’s an excellent lunch or side to go with a small chicken breast or steak for dinner. Use your imagination!

 

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photo courtesy of SkinnyTaste.com(I was in such a hurry to eat mine, I forgot to take a picture!)

Quinoa Chickpea and Avocado Salad
Recipe courtesy:Skinnytaste.com
Servings: 4 • Size: 1 1/4 cups  • Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 6 pts
Calories: 248 • Fat: 7 g • Carb: 41 g • Fiber: 8 g • Protein: 9 g • Sugar: 1 g
Sodium: 403 mg (without salt)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quartered grape tomatoes
  • 15 oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 tbsp red onion, minced
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, minced
  • 1 1/2 limes, juice of
  • kosher salt and fresh pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup diced cucumber
  • 4 oz diced avocado (1 medium hass)

Directions:

Combine all the ingredients except for avocado and cucumber, season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Just before serving, add cucumber and avocado.

Makes 5 cups.

 

As a side note, I highly recommend rinsing your quinoa under cold water for a few minutes before cooking if you don’t already. It removes the bitterness. I also toast my quinoa in a small amount of coconut oil before adding water to the saucepan to cook the quinoa, usually about 2-3 minutes of stirring in the oil before adding water. 🙂

Quick Product Review – Brush.Whiten.Go!

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So I’m a member over at #Influenster, right? 🙂 Well, I qualified for the OpticWhite VoxBox, which has a sample of Colgate’s new brilliant idea, a toothbrush with a built in whitening pen. What a fantastic idea! It’s just one easy product instead of two separate ones, and it WORKS. 🙂 What more can you ask for?

I’m usually pretty skeptical with this kind of thing, but this one actually seems to work. It goes on relatively thick, and it DOES give results within 2 days, just like they advertise. I swam competitively for 16 years, and the chlorine ruined my teeth over time, so having a whitening system that works is fantastic! Very grateful for this!

I definitely recommend trying it if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to get whiter teeth. Oh, and I also recommend joining Influenster. Because it’s cool, and you get to try #complimentaryproducts and let them know what you think of them!

~I received this Colgate OpticWhite Toothbrush+Built-In Whitening Pen free of charge for testing and review purposes.

Combined Classic – Brownie Cookies!

We all love those classics like chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies, and brownies, right? Yep. Don’t deny it, you do. 😉 I won’t deny it, because chocolate is delicious! This combines cookies and brownies all into one delectable little cookie. The kids will love it, the husband will love it, the neighbors will love it, the coworkers will love it…heck, even the dog will love it. But please, don’t give it to the dog. Cocoa can be deadly to dogs. Stick to sugar cookies for the family pooch if you’re going to share. Anyway, back on track.

Did I mention chocolate? And brownies? And cookies? All rolled into one? Yes I certainly did. Revel in that for a moment here. A cookie that’s a brownie. A brownie that’s a cookie. Exactly. No matter how you look at it, it tastes fantastic. It’s also a very simple recipe to piece together too. Just think of how you’d go about making classic chocolate chips, and basically that’s what you do for this recipe with a few differences. Takes an hour or so. 🙂
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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 12 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Add the butter and semi-sweet chocolate chips to a medium saucepan and melt over medium heat, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and allow to rest until cool for 10 – 15 minutes. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside. In the bowl of a mixer, whip together the light-brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs and vanilla on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 1 minute. Using a rubber spatula stir in melted chocolate mixture. Working in 3 separate batches, add 1/3 of the flour mixture and fold just until combined. Chill dough about 45 minutes. Preheating oven to 325 degrees during the last 10 minutes of chilling. Scoop a tablespoon of the dough out and shape into balls. Place onto Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart. Bake in preheated oven 12 – 13 minutes, then remove from oven and allow to cool on baking sheet 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Quick thanks to one of my favorite blog hosts, MidgetMomma, for this one. 🙂 She has fantastic recipes, and the best part, she also shares stuff about FREE stuff, and coupons, and much much more. Frugal living at it’s finest! Check out my blog-shares section on the right of this post for the button that takes you to her site!

Guess What? Mama and Baby Giveaway Time!

Yes, it’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for. I’m hosting my first giveaway! 🙂 Pretty cool, huh? Since I’m a mom, I figured I’d share the love with other mommies out there. Keep reading to hear about the awesome prizes!

The Rafflecopter widget can be found on The Recipe to Life Facebook Giveaway Page. Unfortunately I’m not able to add it on the blog for some reason. Follow the steps to unlock and gain more entries! Open to the US ONLY, I’m not able to ship internationally at this point. I do apologize to my followers that are not within the country. I hope to be able to ship internationally at some point.

First up, we have a PopFish Cloth Diaper plus a microfiber insert! I DID wash these two once, thinking I was going to use them, but never did. Winner of the giveaway gets to choose ONE of the two, there is a royal blue one and a lavender one. The first entry asks you to comment on THIS post and tell me which color you’d like. Inserts not shown in the photo below. Image

The second prize are some adorable socks from “Just One You” by Carters. They’re technically boy print, so I apologize to the mamas that have a girl, but I wanted to offer something besides just a cloth diaper and a book. Oops, did I just spill what’s coming next? 😉

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And lastly, this is my favorite baby book of all time. I touched on it in my blog post The 5 B’s of Bedtime in January; it’s one of my son’s favorite books already too. Goodnight Moon is fantastic because it’s a little different, but sweet. And the images are great. My son, who is almost 5 months now, loves touching the pages and looking at them.

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Well, there you have it. Some fun stuff for you and baby! The contest runs through March 31st and the winner will be notified within 48 hours of closing, via email. At that point, you will need to provide me with your shipping address that is within the United States. I will ship within the week and you will have it within one more week.

Please SHARE SHARE SHARE this giveaway. 🙂

Cheesy Enchilada Chicken – Slow Cooked

This probably sounds weird, but I’m not a fan of store bought tortillas, and I didn’t have a chance to make homemade ones the other day. I was craving enchiladas, so I decided I would try to come up with a random recipe for chicken to serve over rice, and well, needless to say, I shocked myself yet again. I get super concerned about culinary endeavors that I undertake all on my own, I’m not particularly confident when it comes to cooking or baking from scratch and without a recipe. Even the hubby went nuts over this one. It had just the right blend of flavors, and was extremely easy. I used chicken tenders, but you can use chicken breasts as well. If you’re really fancy or whatever, you could always shred the chicken at the end and use it in tacos, or whatever you felt like using it for, really!

Let me stop here though, and mention that this is NOT a low calorie or fat free recipe. I do like to stick to healthy things, but every once in a while it’s just nice to indulge in a home-cooked meal, chock full of fatty goodness. Please…don’t judge me. 😀 It was just too good to resist. I make my homemade broccoli and cheese soup with a Velveeta base as well as regular cheese, and I happened to have extra, so I used the remaining Velveeta to make this one. Again….don’t judge me. Sometimes you just have to. Thursday was just one of those nights. I think even my 5 month old was drooling, although he’s too young to have any yet.

So…it’s simple. Grab your crockpot…and you need the following three items:

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You want the large cans of diced tomatoes and enchilada sauce. I used HALF of a regular box of Velveeta.

1 Large Can Diced Tomatoes with seasonings, such as basil, garlic and oregano. Drained.
1 Large Can of Red Enchilada Sauce (any brand works fine)
1/2 Box of Velveeta Cheese (yes…cringe, I know. I swear I won’t do it again. For at least a while)

Add these ingredients into your crock pot, and turn it on high for an hour until the cheese has melted and the sauce is bubbly. You can skip this step if you are in a hurry, I’m just weird and do things in odd orders. If you skip it, layer your chicken on the bottom first, and then add the two cans of sauce and tomatoes, and then cut your cheese up into chunks and distribute it over the chicken and the sauce. Works the same way in the long run. If you’re adventurous, feel free to add in green chiles, jalapenos, or even black olives!

If you did it my way, after your cheese and sauce has gotten warm and bubbly, gently add your chicken. I used 8 chicken tenders.

8 Boneless/Skinless Chicken Tenders-OR-
4 Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breasts

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After the chicken has been added, reduce heat to either the high 4-6 hour setting, or the low 6-8 hour setting, depending upon when you need your chicken ready.

We served this over white rice, but it would probably be just as good, if not better, over Spanish style rice or Mexican style rice. 🙂  We also topped it with fresh Mexican style shredded cheese, and sour cream. It was delicious! Hubby went back for seconds, and took some to work the next day. 

I wish I could say I had a finished product picture for you all, but…I forgot to take one since it got inhaled so fast. Rain check on that one. Keep your eyes peeled for an upcoming blog on how to make homemade tortillas, it’s coming soon, as well as a crock pot enchilada recipe!

 

Homemade, Healthy Teething Biscuits for Baby!

We all know that teething for infants is no fun, but some of us know that it’s even less fun for the fortunate parents, or should I say unfortunate? (Only temporarily unfortunate, of course, nothing is better than an adorable baby!) A teething baby can be a giant mess all wrapped up in a cute bundle of screaming, gumming goodness. And what do babies like? Food. So, what could be better than a homemade, healthy teething biscuit for your baby to gum and suck on? Not a whole lot. I found this recipe the other day, and couldn’t help but want to share it with everyone because it’s great! I don’t like store bought things very much, especially anything that has preservatives, and these don’t have any of that nasty stuff. Plus, you can make a large batch ahead of time, and freeze them until you need them. You can also refrigerate them for baby to give him or her some cooling relief.

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These are quick and easy to make, and can be done in the convenience of your own kitchen, most likely with items you already have on hand, so no extra trip to the store either. After all, weren’t we just talking about screaming bundles of teething joy? Doesn’t go so well with trips to the store. You can use cookie cutters to cut these into fun shapes for baby, just remember to make sure that the shapes you choose aren’t too long so that baby won’t choke on them by putting them too far into their mouths at one time. Hearts, circles, and squares are good choices for these. 🙂

So why don’t you give them a try, and then come back here and let me know what you think! 🙂 The recipe below calls for infant cereal, such as rice cereal sold by Gerber or Beech Nut. If you aren’t too keen on the nutritional values in these… (which I’m sure not), you can always use milled brown rice if you’d rather. Also, in the case of wheat, for a younger baby, it may be best to just use regular unbleached white flour. Wheat can be an allergen in young babies.

Ingredients
  1. 1 cup infant rice cereal (or milled brown rice)
  2. 1 cup whole wheat flour (or unbleached white flour)
  3. 2 tbsp coconut oil
  4. 1 mashed banana
  5. 2 tsp cinnamon
  6. 4-8 tbsp water
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Mix everything together in a medium sized bowl, starting with 4 tbsp of water and adding more if necessary. Mix well until a dough forms (I used my hands). Roll out on a floured surface until about 1/4″-1/2″ thick. Cut out shapes using cookie cutter or cut into squares. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment and bake for 15 minutes.
  3. Let cool completely. Store in air-tight container. These can also be stored in the freezer.
Notes
  1. **supervise child closely while eating these. They get soggy, but it’s always best to watch just in case.
Recipe taken from sweettreatsandmore.com