Saturday, October 24, 2015

Balsamic Vinegar Spinach Salad

So, I've been keeping something from those of you that haven't ever worked with me before.  Even though I'm not much of a cook, and I mention that every. single. time. I put up a recipe, I actually do make a salad of all things that people have come to expect from me whenever there's a potluck.  I've actually been asked for the recipe several times, and thought I'd finally just put it up here so that it's easy for not only you guys to find, but also for me (I actually have to hunt for this recipe every time I go to make it...).  Without further ado, here it is:


Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces of baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 fresh diced cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper



In a large mixing bowl, toss together all the veggies.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper to make a dressing.


Pour the dressing onto the salad, and mix together thoroughly.  Cover, and put in the refrigerator to let sit overnight or at least five hours to allow the dressing to soak into the veggies.


That's it!  It's such an amazing dish to bring to get togethers, because you can easily make it the night before and just grab it from the fridge on your way out the door.  It's also incredibly flavorful, so it's not your typical green salad!  I hope you guys have enjoyed this recipe, and let me know what you think in the comment section below.

Friday, October 23, 2015

How to Knit | Mittens

Surprise!  Today's post is not going up on any of my scheduled days, but let's be honest: my blog has definitely suffered a little this week.  Anyway, I put up a video on my YouTube channel about How to Knit Mittens, but I thought it might be nice to have some written instructions for people that like to watch my videos to reference, while it's just another pattern for you guys that like to read here!  I hope you guys enjoy it, and make sure to send me pictures if you make these mittens for yourself!


Materials

  • 1 Skein Vanna's Choice Yarn in Cranberry
  • Size 6 needles
  • Yarn needle

Cuff
Cast on 40 sts.
Work 10 rows k1, p1 ribbing.

Mitten
Work 2 1/2" stockinette stitch, ending on a purl row.

Shape Thumb Gusset
Row 1 (RS): k19, kfb, k1, kfb, k to end - 42 sts.
Row 2 (and all WS rows): purl.
Row 3: k19, kfb, k3, kfb, k to end - 44 sts.
Row 5: k19, kfb, k5, kfb, k to end - 46 sts.
Row 7: k19, kfb, k7, kfb, k to end - 48 sts.
Row 9: k19, kfb, k9, kfb, k to end - 50 sts.
Row 11: k19, kfb, k11, kfb, k to end - 52 sts.

Shape Thumb
Row 13: k33, turn.
Row 14: p14, turn.
Working on these 14 sts, work 8 more rows stockinette st.
Next row: (k2tog) 7 times.
Next row: purl.
Next row: (k2tog) 3 times, k1.
Cut yarn and thread tail through remaining stitches.

Mitten Hand
Join yarn on RS to the left of the thumb, k to end.
Next Row: p19, turn, cable cast on 2 sts, turn, purl to end.
Work in Stockinette st until hand above thumb measures 2", ending on a WS row.

Top of Mitten
Row 1: (ssk, k16, k2tog) twice.
Row 2 (and all WS rows): purl.
Row 3: (ssk, k14, k2tog) twice.
Row 5: (ssk, k12, k2tog) twice.
Row 7: (ssk, k10, k2tog) twice.
Row 9: (ssk, k8, k2tog) twice.
Row 11: (ssk, k6, k2tog) twice.
Row 13: (ssk, k4, k2tog) twice.
Row 15: (ssk, k2, k2tog) twice.
Row 17: (ssk, k2tog) twice.
Cut yarn and thread tail through remaining stitches.

Finishing
Weave in loose ends on WS, and seam side of mitten and side of thumb.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Megan's White Russian

Whenever I think of White Russians, it never fails, I always think of: The Dude abides.  I'm pretty sure most of you know what I'm talking about, but if you haven't, may I suggest making yourself a White Russian, whether it's this recipe or a traditional one, sit down, and watch The Big Lebowski.  It's a Coen Brothers movie, so it's a bit odd, but still worth a watch.  Even IMDb gives it an 8.2, and Rotten Tomatoes gives it an 80% rating, with a 94% audience rating.  But, I digress.  This is my version of a White Russian, which is pretty similar to a traditional one, except I like adding an almond flavor to everything.  So, I added a hint of Amaretto. :)


Ingredients:

  • 1.5 ounce Coffee flavored liquor - like Kahlua
  • 3 ounces Vodka
  • 1.5 ounces Amaretto
  • Almond Milk


Directions

There really isn't much to a cocktail in my book.  Obviously, if you spoke to a real bartender, they would probably tell you differently, but I'm a novice and just mix things to the point where I like the way they taste.


Having said that, I mix the liquors together over ice in a typical drinking glass first.  The ice I'm using was actually from a mold my sister-in-law gave me, and I love that it's just one big sphere, because it keeps your drink really cold, but doesn't water it down very quickly.  Plus, I think it looks cool.


Then, I top it off with some almond milk, and stir so everything is well incorporated.  Traditionally, you would use cream, but I find that to be a little too thick for my taste.  When I don't have almond milk, I will use regular milk, but regular milk isn't creamy enough.  Almond milk does the trick, though, and from my experience, can act as a substitute for cream in just about any drink.


I hope you guys have enjoyed this little cocktail recipe!  Oh, and as a bonus, you can try substituting half the vodka with Bailey's - that drink is heaven, but a little further away from your classic White Russian.  As always, let me know what you thought of this recipe, and also let me know if you've seen The Big Lebowski!  What did you think of it?  I'm curious!  Anyway, I'll talk to you again soon, and don't forget to follow this blog so you don't miss a single post!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Maybelline FitMe Foundation

My Chanel Vitalumiere Foundation has started to run low, and while I love that foundation, and fully intend to purchase a replacement when it finally does run out, I thought that this might be an opportunity to try a drugstore foundation, and use the Chanel as more of a backup.  So, I picked up the Maybelline FitMe Dewy+Smooth Foundation in the shade Porcelain.  To start out with, I was actually quite impressed with their range of shades - I was actually torn between two different shades before finally settling on this one, which I think is a good match for my skin.  The other (Ivory) looked a little too pink for me.


Anyway, I decided to try the Dewy+Smooth finish out, because it claims to be for normal to dry skin, and if anything, my skin does tend to be a bit dry.  However, I do wish I would have picked up the Matte+Poreless finish for normal to oily skin instead, solely for the finish.  This one definitely does give you a dewy finish, and it really is a nice dewy finish.  It's just not something I typically go for, and I tend to use a matte powder to make it less shiny.  Obviously, this is my own fault, as it clearly states that it has a dewy finish.  As for it being for normal to dry skin, I'm not sure what they put in this thing, but it honestly feels like there's some moisturizer in this foundation, and the texture of it is phenomenal.


It does seem to hold pretty well to my face throughout the day, too, maybe disappearing a hair or two towards the end of the work day.  But, I'm not much of a party girl, and the rest of the day I'm typically found cuddling on the couch with my husband, watching TV.  So, I'm not really all that concerned about my makeup at that point.  As with most foundations, I think the packaging could be a bit better.  I mean, it looks nice, but being in a glass container, I can already tell it's going to be just about impossible to get all the product out, and I always love my pump dispensers.  I think this one is a good thickness for a pump, as well, so maybe that's something that will be added in at some point.


Overall, I actually do like this foundation, and I don't find the dewy finish to it that annoying, since it's easy enough to fix with powder, and it was my own fault for getting it anyway.  I do love the moisturizing feel it has, and it doesn't seem to oxidize on my skin, which is a big plus.  Let me know if you've tried this foundation, though!  I'd love to know your thoughts, and please let me know if you've tried the Matte+Poreless finish.  I'm so curious about that one, but I'm a little worried that since this one is so moisturizing, the other may be a bit drying...

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Revlon Colorstay ShadowLinks

I've recently started playing with the Revlon Colorstay Shadowlinks, and I've got to say, I am absolutely in love!  Honestly, it's like the beauty girl's version of adult Lego...is that a weird comparison?  Either way, they're awesome.  For those of you that may not be quite as familiar with the concept of these little guys, they're single eyeshadows that have grooves in the sides so that you can link them together and form your own palettes.


The concept itself is phenomenal, and the only thing that I think would make it better would be if the tops and bottoms could link together as well.  Obviously, this would be quite the undertaking, though, what with hinges and such.  Since they are drugstore eyeshadows, and come in at around $3 a pop, some are definitely better than others.


For example, the colors Copper and Taupe are amazingly pigmented, while the Gold takes a lot to make opaque.  The Plum color can come off a little streaky, so it's important to be careful with that one, and the only others I've tried, Oyster and Onyx, seem pretty middle-of-the-road.  So, essentially it's a $3 gamble.  The thing I've noticed with Revlon, though, is that they'll come out with something seemingly gimicky, see if it works, and then improve upon it.  I think this could be a similar kind of product.


As I said, the range is still fairly small, with seventeen shades total.  Most of them are fairly neutral shades, with some blues and purples as the exception.  Personally, with it being fall, I'd love to see a nice burgundy, autumn red, or cranberry.  I love those shades in the cooler months, which I'm sure comes as no surprise to any of you, as it's the accent color in my Capsule Wardrobe, and honestly played a big role in my wardrobe last year, as well.  Regardless, I really hope that they expand this line, as I find it not only incredibly fun, but convenient, as well.  If you're going on vacation, you only need to bring the exact shadows you want to wear!


As always, if you guys have tried these shadows, please let me know what you think of them in the comment section!  I always love to know what your opinions are, and if you think there are any other products that I should try out, tell me about those, too!  I love trying new things out, and you guys have the best ideas.  Until next time, I hope you're having an incredible day, and I'll talk to you again, soon!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Turkey Meatloaf Recipe

I was recently craving turkey meatloaf for some reason - not sure why, but I knew that somewhere I had found a really good, relatively healthy version of it.  Well, I looked and looked, and couldn't figure out where it was, so I just used the first recipe I could find.  That was a mistake.  It was really bland, and I didn't like it at all.  Then, I was browsing through some posts on an older blog of mine, and low and behold!  I found my recipe.  So, since I use this blog as kind of a record of food that we really like at our house, I thought I should post it again.


The original recipe was from Real Simple, but I did make a few changes, so I thought I'd share the entire thing with you:

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground turkey
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup basil, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
Directions:

Heat oven to 400°F.  In a bowl, combine turkey, onion, spinach, basil, bread crumbs, mustard, egg white, salt, and pepper.  Mix thoroughly.


Transfer to a greased bread pan.


Bake until cooked, 45-50 minutes.


Serve with catsup or marinara if desired.  Personally, I find this particular recipe so flavorful, I don't think it needs it, but that's just me. :)  Also, the original Real Simple recipe does suggest some buttermilk mashed potatoes to go with it, but I found that this was a good meal on its own.  If you are interested in the potatoes, you can check out the original recipe here.  I hope you guys enjoy this recipe as much as we did, though!  Let me know what you think in the comment section below!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

DIY Three Pearl Necklace

I don't know what it was, but I got this necklace idea stuck in my head recently, and no matter how much I told myself I didn't need another necklace, it kept coming back.  So, I finally caved and made it.  I'm actually surprised how much I love it!  Sure, it's a pretty simple little thing, but I thought it might be fun to show you guys how I made it today.


All you need are some pearls, a length of chain with clasps and jump rings to match, and an eye pin that also matches the color of your chain.


First, slip three pearls onto your eye pin.


Then, make a loop, similar to the other side of the eye pin, and cut excess wire with a wire cutter.


Cut two 11 1/2" lengths of chain, and secure them to the pearl charm via the loop you just made and the eye loop.


Attach the clasp to one end of the chain via a jump ring.


Link several jump rings together to form a chain, then attach this chain to the other side of the necklace.


There you go!  You're all finished with this relatively simple jewelry project.  While I do think this is a fairly simple project, if you are a bit intimidated, I'd love for you to check out the Quick and Easy DIY Floral Necklace I shared a while back.  As the title implies, it is a very easy project, and definitely a good one for those of you that may be new into making your own jewelry.


As always, I'd love to know what you thought of this project, so make sure to let me know in the comment section below!  I always love to see your creations, so please share them with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!  I hope you're having an amazing day, and I'll talk to you again soon!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

New Makeup Bag

Well, after using the same makeup bag for over two years, the time has finally come where I've found it necessary to get a new one.  I found this Textured Faux Leather Makeup Bag at Forever 21, and since my last one - the burgundy one with gold studs on it - was from there, I figured I'd try there again.  To be perfectly honest, I really wanted something like my last one, which is probably what drew me to this one.  It's that faux leather again, roughly the same size and shape, but there are a few differences.


Obviously, this one is white, whereas my other was deep red.  While I actually do love the color of this one, I'm a little worried about it getting dirty quickly.  It seems like that could be an issue, but at $6.90, it's probably not that big of a gamble.  It also has a rose gold zipper, which is a bit more modern.  It doesn't exactly fit with my color scheme, which is an odd thing to say, since I really like mixing golds and silvers for a mixed metal look.  This is just adding another touch of metal.


As of right now, it is a bit stiff, and I've been trying to remember if my other one was when I got it.  Being that I used it for so long, I kind of wonder if it was like a pair of shoes that you've broken in to the point where they're just so comfortable.  If that's the case, I hope this bag gets broken in, soon!  I like a little flexibility to my makeup bags. :)


Honestly, I really do like this bag, and I think it will do nicely.  It's not a fancy designer bag, but I don't think having a ton of designer stuff is necessary.  Since we're on the subject, if I ever do start going overboard with designer stuff, please call me out on it!  Anyway, I've said this many times, I think Forever 21 is where it's at with the makeup bags.  They're cheap, and in my experience, they actually last quite a while, so they're worth it!


To wrap up, I'd love to know what you think of this little bag, but I also would love to know if there are other things at Forever 21 that are staples in your wardrobe, or if there are places you can get deals for your favorite things!  I honestly think I learn more from you guys than I could ever experience myself!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Moscow Mule Cocktail

So, Joe and I have these friends that we don't see nearly enough, but when we do, knowledge is always spread between us.  In fact, this particular recipe was from the same person that got me hooked on London Fog Lattes a while back.  Anyway, we recently saw them again, and I was introduced to the Moscow Mule.  Before I get into the recipe itself, I wanted to tell you a little about why a copper mug was used for this recipe, because it does actually have meaning!  Moscow Mules, for those of you that have not heard of them, are traditionally served in a copper mug, essentially because the creator of the cocktail, John G. Martin, liked the way it looked, and advertised it that way.  Since then, it's just been tradition to serve in a copper mug!  History is fascinating, isn't it? ;)


Ingredients
  • 1/2 ounce of lime juice
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 4 to 6 ounces ginger beer
  • Copper mug
Directions

The cocktail itself is pretty easy.  Just add ice to your mug.



Pour in the vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice.


Stir, and add a couple lime wedges as a garnish.


Easy!  Now, you not only have a wonderfully refreshing beverage with just a bit of bite from the ginger beer, you also know why they're served in a copper mug!  Sure, it's not the most useful bit of trivia, but it's something.


I hope you guys enjoy this recipe, and if you're of age, I'd love it if you did a toast to Joe and I this weekend!  We're actually off enjoying our 1 year anniversary a couple days early!  Can you believe how fast this year's been going?  I can't believe we've already been married a year.  The time just goes by so quickly.  Anyway, I hope you're having an amazing day, and I'll talk to you again, soon!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Revlon Superlustrous Lipstick in Raisin Rage

Ah, fall!  Much as I hate to be cold, I have to say that the fall and winter months is really when I truly feel at home with beauty and fashion.  I just love the oversized, cozy sweaters and leggings for a casual look, while still amping up the dressiness of skirts and dresses with classy boots and tights.  However, one thing that's an absolute must with any fall fashion option is a good berry lip color.


My favorite color this season has been one from the Revlon Superlustrous Lipstick line in Raisin Rage.  I've actually been a big fan of the entire range for a while, opting for Wine With Everything as my go-to color last fall and winter.  However, this year I'm going a little darker, and so far, I'm loving it!


The formulation is really smooth, and while it is definitely a dramatic color, it doesn't feel quite as dramatic, and I find that even for a pansy like me, this is a good, everyday color.  It also lasts quite a while, though I would recommend refreshing it directly after eating or drinking.  The color seems to fade really quickly during those kinds of activities, but otherwise doesn't budge.  I don't actually use a pencil for this one, but I would recommend it, as I do see slight feathering every once in a while.  It's not a big enough deal for me to really bother with it, but would make it even better!


The one thing I haven't really been able to get over is the fact that it reminds me of the California Raisins from the mid-80's.  Granted, I wasn't born until 1988, but apparently they were still cool enough to leave an impression on me!  Every time I look at this lipstick, I think of them, and honestly, it's not a bad thing.  Kind of makes me a little nostalgic.  Speaking of which, if you haven't seen the California Raisins, check out this link for their rendition of Signed, Sealed, Delivered.  I will warn you, though - it's quite clearly from the '80's. :)


Regardless, I absolutely love this lipstick, and have been wearing it pretty much every day this month.  I'd love to know what you've been wearing, though!  What are your favorite lipsticks or lip colors to wear during the fall and winter?  Your input is always invaluable to me, and has honestly helped me so much in my beauty and fashion journey!  Love you always, and I'll talk to you again, soon!