Monday, June 19, 2017

Shirley's Thai Noodle Salad


This cold pasta dish is so amazing, it's great for a hot day when you still want the comfort of pasta.  It can be a side dish or you can add some grilled chicken (or protein of choice) and call it a meal. 


 
Dressing:   ½ c. canola oil
                  ¼ c. sesame oil
                  1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
Heat mixture over medium heat for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and leave at room temp. for 2 hours.
 
After 2 hours…
 
Cook 1 lb of spaghetti (angel hair), drain and rinse.
Reheat oil and strain pepper flakes out.
 
Add to oil:  5 Tbs. soy sauce
                  6 Tbs. honey
Toss with noodles.  Refrigerate for at least 4 hours
 
Before serving…
 
Add:  ½ c. chopped green onions
         ½ c. cilantro (optional)
         2 Tbs. sesame seeds lightly toasted
 
Top with ¾ c. chopped peanuts right before serving

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Even More of my Favorite Things

Murad Age Reform, I may have mentioned this stuff before, but it's really THAT GOOD. It is the only exfoliating face wash that I use anymore (and I've used a few).  It's gentle but sloughs off dead skin, it has jojoba beads which are biodegradable instead of micro-beads that damage our ecosystems, it doesn't smell weird, and you can use it all over your body if you want. I don't use it more than 3 times a week, it can be a little drying if you use it too often.

Dr. Woods Tea Tree Facial Cleanser I normally use Clinique's mild liquid face soap, but when my skin feels extra oily or it's near a
breakout cycle, this works like a champion. My face feels clean without feeling tight like a lot of cleansers can make it feel, it smells really nice (if you like tea tree oil and I do), and it's 100% vegan if that is something that is important to you.  I originally found this product at my local vitamin herb store if you want to do a sniff test prior to purchase.

Beekman Goat Milk Soap if I haven't mentioned it before, I have sensitive skin... so sensitive I can't use most body washes/bar soaps/etc without getting snake-skin shedding-dry skin that itches like crazy... so my mom found this soap and had me try it,
and let me tell you, it's a life changer.  It smells WONDERFUL, it's gentle, and 1 bar of soap lasts close to 2 months UNCOVERED in the shower. Miracle soap? I wouldn't count it out. My favorite scent is the Honey Orange Blossom Bar, but I've tried the grapefruit one (delicious), and the apricot honey tea (also fabulous) as well.

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream My sister bought this for me
for Christmas, it was a time where my skin was dry and flaky and nothing I did seemed to help calm it down... until the night I tried this. My skin wasn't 100% better over night, but it was at least 80% better which was such an incredible improvement, that I couldn't stop touching my face the whole next day.

Mimosa Blossom Dream Cream I love how this stuff feels and smells, it's very orange - citrusy, it is a little heavy, but I use it before bed for a super drenching moisturizer when my skin feels especially abused (either from the weather, not drinking enough water, exfoliating, etc.) It can be used all over your body too, so when my elbows get patchy or my legs are feeling scaly, this is my go-to salve.

IT Cosmetics Superhero Elastic Stretch Mascara, want the look of falsies without the hassle of glue and proper placement? Try this.  I use it with a little Benefit "They're Real!" Tinted Eyelash Primer and they make my lashes appear to go on for days.

Tarte TBT Lip Paint, this lip color really is a #ThrowbackThursday kind of color, it takes me back to the 90s in a good way, it's modern enough for this decade, but the nostalgia can't be beat.

Vicco Tumeric Skin Cream, this stuff is MAGIC. Clears up pimples over night, de-itches mosquito bites... calms (mild) sunburns (haven't had a major one since I started using it).  It ships from India though, so make sure you give it plenty of lead time before you need it, because it will take a couple weeks to arrive.

dewalt ratcheting screwdriver  (not a beauty product, I know, but it will make your life so much easier)

Poshmark think of this as an online consignment store, I've always had a good experience with them, but I've heard mixed reviews.  All I know is that I've scored some designer items at a fraction of the retail price, it's worth a look.

Leggings, especially LulaRoe, these are sold at in-home boutique pop up parties or through facebook/online parties.

Ebates if you're going to shop online, you might well get paid to do it, it's not a lot of $$, but getting rewarded for something you're already doing seems like a no-brainer.

Essential Oil Diffuser + some of my favorite oil scents, I typically purchase them at our local vitamin and herb store, but they can be found at places like Amazon, Target, TJ Maxx (not real sure of the quality here), I just like to be able to do a sniff test before I make a purchase. I have found this website to be helpful when looking for a specific oil for a specific task.
  • Citronella (some citronella at night sometimes prevents mosquitoes that bite!)
  • Grapefruit (it's a mellow smell that leaves a room smelling clean and fresh)
  • Jasmine (reminds me of warm summer night... without having to leave windows open)
  • Lavender (soothing and helps me sleep when feeling restless, I like to mix this with the jasmine)
  • Lemon (much like the grapefruit, it leaves the room smelling fresh... and like you just dusted all your wood furniture)
  • Lemongrass (this is supposed to help relieve stress, I just happen to like the scent, it makes me nostalgic for froot loops)
  • Peppermint (this makes a room smell minty fresh and cool, it also helps when your sinuses are are blocked up... I've even put a drop on my finger then rubbed it in my ear when I've felt plugged up, it burns a little, then everything is clear as a bell again... I'm not a doctor nor do I have any medical experience, so if this doesn't work for you, I'm really not the person to come after)
  • Sage (don't have a smudge stick to burn out all the bad juju? never fear, this stuff smells wonderful and makes even the darkest moods feel a little lighter)
  • Spearmint (this one is a much mellower version of the peppermint and it's slightly sweeter.  I like to mix it with the sweet orange oil for an extra yummy scent)
  • Sweet Orange (this is one of my FAVORITE scents, it's bright and summery, and if your joints are stiff, it seems like rubbing it on your sore sports is really helpful)
  • Tea Tree (I have strong feelings for this stuff, it's magical, it is a soothing scent when you aren't feeling good, it's good for your hair/scalp, it keeps lice and other bugs away, it's good for small/shallow cuts, it's a good oil to keep in your stash.)
Talley Farms Veggie Box People must think I'm a spokesperson for this veggie box.  I post across my social media accounts about them fairly regularly, but who can blame me? I get LOCAL farm fresh veggies (that are mostly organic) at a reasonable price and that are far superior than anything I'd find in a grocery store and it's so much more convenient than traveling to a farmers market in hopes of finding something I might like.  I've been exposed to new vegetables that I haven't tried before, and I've discovered that farm fresh produce is so much tastier than anything from the store, now I don't mind eating my greens.

U-Pick Blueberries this is a local blueberry farm a few miles from where I live.  Until I visited this place for the first time I didn't even know that I liked, no LOVE, blueberries.  They're the perfect combination of sweet and tart, and I like to just eat them by the handful.  These blueberries truly are nature's candy.

Kenneth Volk, this winery/tasting room isn't far from our house and it's a place we love to visit whenever we get a chance.  All the wine is delicious and the staff is very friendly.  They have a wide variety of red and white varieties to choose from, La Rosa Loca, a rosé, is my absolute favorite.  It's perfect for any occasion.

Amazon Prime + Smile Amazon I have no idea why I waited so long to join Amazon prime, along with free 2 day shipping, Prime Music and Video, and other special prime perks I was really missing out. Smile Amazon is really cool thing, you get to pick your charity of choice and Amazon donates a (small) percentage of your qualified purchases to that cause.  Right now I'm supporting Planned Parenthood, but I've donated to our local humane societies in the past. If you're going to shop anyway, you might as well help out good causes while you're at it.

Washington Post To say that the news cycles this year have been turbulent, especially when it comes to our government, would be an understatement.  The Washington Post has been breaking/covering some really important topics lately and with my Amazon Prime membership I was able to get a subscription to the Post at a steal of a price.  For new subscribers with prime accounts you can get your first SIX MONTHS for free and it's only $4 a month after that. I've been finding that I want to be more informed of the world that is going on around me, and I want to make sure that I have the knowledge to back up my opinions, starting to read newspapers (even in digital format) again is a way for me to get there. #knowledgeispower

Podcasts, you can find these in the App Store or whatever pod-catcher you might use.
  • My Favorite Murder: a humorous take on true crime.
  • Rachel Maddow
  • Anderson Cooper 360
  • S Town: this is a 7 part series on the life of a man in Shit Town, Alabama.  
  • You Must Remember This: this is about the forgotten stories of Hollywood's first century, there are a lot of great stories here and some that I'll admit to skipping, but you'll learn things about old Hollywood that you maybe only wondered about before. My favorite series were the episodes about Charles Manson, Howard Hughes, and the Hollywood Canteen.

Monday, January 2, 2017

It's a Brand New Year

I'm not one to make resolutions.  They're hard to keep and it's disappointing to let yourself down, but this year I want to make some changes.

I want to write more, and I say that every year, but maybe I'll do it this time around.  I don't necessarily mean to blog more, but I want to keep my journal at least somewhat up to date.  I'm trying to do the bullet journal, but it's really more "bullet-ish" because there are a lot of features of an actual b.journal that don't really work for me, others that do, and I have some ideas of my own that I've been incorporating.

I want to learn to listen more.  Not just be a sounding board for the people in my life but someone who is present and pays attention.  This might mean that I need to learn to unplug myself from my smart devices and take a break from all the distractions.  I'm someone who always has to be doing something with her hands, whether its checking my apps, or doodling, or picking at my clothing, and I'd like to stop the fidgeting and start being more focused.  Also I'd like to be more informed about the world around me.  When I watch the news or read articles online I want to really absorb them so that when they are brought up in normal conversations I can feel like I have an educated opinion and not just be talking out of my ass.

I want to get back to the person who used to read all the time.  I don't need to catch up on the same Big Bang Theory I've watched 16 times in the past year.  If it's something I've already seen, instead of becoming one with the couch and TV, I want to pick up a book and lose myself in a new world.

I want to motivate myself into learning how to cook meals that are more than just fatty comfort foods. I'd like to learn how to cook things that are more healthy (but taste good, and don't take all night to prepare) so that I don't feel guilty when I stuff my face at the end of a long day.  I started a subscription to Talley Farms harvest boxes today, so hopefully this will get me going in the right direction.

I want to get back to my photography hobby.  I want more than just an iPhone camera in my hands, and I need to get myself out in nature more and get some photos to hang on my walls, and make our house more of a home.  I have all these visions of what I want, but I need to make them happen.

I want to exercise more, but its so freaking hard to get started. I have all the tools I need at home, and yet.... I make 10000000000 excuses as to why my butt is not on the elliptical, why the weights are not in my hands, and why the yoga mat has never been unrolled.  I need to cut the BS with myself and do it.

If you have any good book recommendations, recipes, want to go on a weeknight photo adventure (which might have to wait until it starts staying light in the evenings), want to go for a walk with me and my awesome dog, or just offer up some of your own resolutions/ideas/goals... hit me up in the comments section, or however you'd normally contact me.

Happy New Year!