1.23.2015

Whole Wheat Banana Nut Muffins


A few weeks ago my sisters came over for a sleep over and we decided to make homemade Banana Nut Muffins for a late Saturday morning breakfast. I found this recipe here and made a few minor changes for my girls. I hope you enjoy! 

Muffins:
- 1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
- 1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
- 2/3 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
- 2 Tsp. Baking Powder
- 1/4 Tsp. Ground Cinnamon
- 1/4 Tsp. Salt
- 1 Cup Mashed Ripe Banana (I used about 2 1/2)
- 3/4 Cup Almond Milk
- 3 1/2 Tlb. Canola Oil
- 1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 Large Egg
- 1/4 Cup Chopped Walnuts

Streusel:
- 6 Tbl. Oats
- 5 Tbl. All-Purpose Flour
- 2 Tbl. Brown Sugar
- 2 Tbl. Softened Butter
- 1/4 Tsp. Ground Cinnamon


1. Preheat oven to 375°. Spray muffin pan with non-stick spray and set aside.
2. To prepare the muffins, mix the all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour until fully combined. Then mix in the next 4 ingredients (through salt) until fully combined and set aside.
3. Combine banana and next 4 ingredients (through egg) in a bowl; stir well. Add to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened; fold in walnuts.
4. Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups. To prepare streusel, combine oats and remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Blend with a pastry blender or a fork until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle streusel over batter.
5. Bake at 375° for 22 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Then enjoy with a hot cup of coffee!


I hope your week has been blessed and I hope your weekend is even better! Thanks for stopping by. Coming back next week for a new hair tutorial!

Linking up with LaurenLaurenAmanda, and Jennie. Go stop by these sweet ladies spaces!

1.20.2015

Boots with the Fur

Dress (Target) | Vest (J.Crew Factory) | Boots (Vince Camputo) | Clutch (Target) | Earrings (J.Crew) | Watch (Marc by Marc Jacobs) | Sunnies (Target) | Lips (Cover Girl)

This dress has been on rewind since I bought it. Target wins again. The fabric is perfect for this season and I've pretty much worn it everywhere. One of my favorite looks is with this full fur vest and OTK boots out for a night on the town. Warm and simple. P.S. This dress is now under $20.00; how can you pass that up?!

Thank you for stopping by today; I hope y'all have a fantastic Tuesday!

Linking up with MegStyle ElixirTrend SpinRandom Wednesday, and The Pleated Poppy.

1.16.2015

Penne with Asparagus, Spinach and Bacon

Our weather has consisted of cold and wet the last few weeks. I loved it while I was off for the holidays but now that I'm back to work, it makes it so much harder to go into the office. As a reward for getting to the office, I decided to make a hot and healthy pasta for dinner. I found this recipe here and made a few minor modifications. I hope you enjoy!

Ingredients 
- 8 oz. penne pasta
- 3 slices of pepper bacon, cubed
- 1/2 cup diced sweet onion
- 2 1/2 cups asparagus; sliced in 1 inch pieces
- 1 1/4 cups fat-free, low sodium chicken broth
- 4 cups organic spinach 
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 4 tbl. goat cheese
- salt, pepper, red peper flakes (all to taste)

Directions
1. Cook pasta according to the package. 

2. Cook bacon over medium heat until crispy. Remove from pan then crumble unto pieces. Then add diced onion to skillet and continue to cook over medium heat until tender.

3. Add asparagus and broth to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer for 5-8 minutes or until asparagus becomes tender. Add drained pasta, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, goat cheese, peeper, salt and red pepper flakes. Toss well until all the cheese is melted and combined with the pasta.

4. Serve with remaining cheese and bacon crumbles.
I hope you enjoy this healthy dinner! Thanks for stopping by!

1.14.2015

Winter Essentials: The Outerwear

Winter Essentials: Outerwear

1. 2. | 3. | 4. | 5. | 6.

Winter is in full force here and all my coats are now out and in constant rotation. So in the spirt of frigid air, I thought I would share a few of my favorite outerwear looks this season. I love this blush trench and the gold zipper detail on the white coat is just beautiful. Everyone needs a good black and honey leather jacket and I love these fun cuts. Capes have pretty much stole my heart this season and the open face long cardigan is such a classic.

What are your top outerwear picks this season?

Happy Wednesday! Thanks for stopping by!

1.13.2015

Let's Compare: DIY Make Brush Cleaner vs Store Bought

A few weeks ago I stumbled upon a stat from a past survey, conducted by Allure Magazine, that astounded me. Results from their survey showed that 45% of women never clean their make-up brushes. My first thought was, what the what?!? Harmful bacteria loves to grow on make-up brushes, most of which touch your eyes, lips, and face. Our faces have enough to combat each day; you don’t want to introduce bacteria first thing each morning, right?

While I’m not on a perfect cleaning schedule, I do clean my brushes at least twice a month. I’ve been using the beauty blender cleanser recently and just love it. It does a wonderful job cleansing thoroughly and doesn’t leave any residue behind. But after reading that stat, I became curious if the simple ingredients most have at home would work just as good. If it was easy to make and required no extra purchases, maybe ladies would find it easier to clean their brushes regularly. I took to Pinterest and settled on the simple, all natural cleaner recipe below. I tested both the store bought and homemade cleaner and shared some thoughts below.

(Ingredients: 2 Cups Hot Water + 2 Tsp. Distilled Vinegar)

Let me start by saying that I see three benefits in making your own cleaner: cheap, easy to make with household items, all natural and chemical free. With more focus on the latter, I found a simple recipe with no chemicals and decided to test it. I used the same brush for the test and first cleaned with the DIY cleaner. I dipped and swirled it around for a minute and saw almost no residue coming off the brush so I used my hands to work in the cleaner and message the brush before rinsing it. 

Then I moved to the BlenderCleanser Solid. I wet the disk with hot water and swirled the wet brush around before rinsing it. As you can see after I cleaned it with the DIY cleaner, the solid got off much more make-up.

If you went the non-natural route, I'm sure there are DIY cleaners that will clean much better then the version I tried. For me, I'm a BlenderCleanser Solid believer. The price point is fair ($15.95), it's easy to use, cleans very well and leaves no residue on my brushes. 
Few Cleaning Tips: Use very hot water to clean brushes, form brushes to the original shape for drying, don't forget to clean the handles (mine always get so dirty).

What do you use? Do you have a DIY cleaner that works well?

Happy cleaning, ladies!

1.07.2015

Green Shake Three Ways

You can always tell when a new year has started by the amount of gym commercials and healthy eating ads that flood TV. I always love the fresh start we get after the holiday graze and each year I find myself using January as a bit of a detox. 

I know most turn to pure juice diets to detox but I have never been too successful with that approach. I tend to focus on hydration, lean proteins and plenty of vegetables. Part of this is my trusty green shake. 

I shared my recipe a few years ago but I've changed it up a bit since then and thought I would share a few variations to keep it relevant throughout the year. I hope you enjoy!

Green Goddess
This is my go-to shake. It has a Spinach & Kale base with protein and mixed berries to finish it off.

- 3 Cups Organic Baby Spinach
- 1.5 Cups Organic Baby Kale
- 2 Scoops Light Chocolate Protein Energizer Powder (Rainbow Light)
- 3/4 Cup Frozen Mango Fruit Mix (I use HEB brand)
- 3/4 Cup Frozen Blueberries (I use HEB brand)
- Water


1. Add ingredients to a blender.  Note: It seems to work best to do the Spinach, Protein Powder, Kale, and then fruit.  Also, it is good to push the Spinach and Kale down to allow for room.
2. Add water till it hits the top of your ingredients.  Note: I like my shake more liquid and less chunky, which is why I fill it up to the top with water. If you would like it thicker, just add less water.
3. Blend until it is smooth. (about 45 second)
4. Poor into two containers.  I use protein shakers and mason jars.

Green Tropics
This is a great summer blend. It has a Kale base with protein, fresh pineapple mix and chia seeds.

- 4 Cups Organic Baby Kale
- 2 Scoops Light Vanilla Protein Energizer Powder (Rainbow Light)
- 2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds (I soak these in water for 10 minutes before I add them to the blender. -This helps them blend into the smoothy much better. You can also grind them in a coffee grinder)
- 3/4 Cup fresh Pineapple
- 3/4 Cup fresh Mango
- Water or Coconut Milk
- 4 Ice Cubs

Green A&A
This a great fall blend. It has a Spinach base with protein, apple and avocado.

- 3 Cups Organic Baby Spinach
- 1.5 Cups Organic Baby Kale
- 2 Scoops Light Vanilla Protein Energizer Powder (Rainbow Light)
- 1 Diced and Peeled Organic Apple (I use Gala)
- 1/2 Ripe diced Avocado
- Water
- 4 Ice Cubes

TIP: On Sunday bag your shake ingredients minus the protein powder and chia seeds then freeze. This makes it so easy to make them each morning; just add protein, chia seeds and water!

I'd love to hear what other green blends you use! Thank you for stopping by and happy blending!

1.05.2015

Rainy Day Comfort

Jeans (Paige) | Zip-up Sweater (Forever21) | Rain Boots (Joules) | Clutch (Francesca's) | Necklace (Banana Republic) | Earrings (Limited) | Bangles (J.Crew, Sole Society) | Watch (Marc Jacobs) | Sunnies (Ray Ban) | Lips (CG Wild Orchid) 

We have been on a trend of cold, rainy days here in the ATX and I've been loving it. Shocking I know. Everyone else is whining for the sun and I'm sipping on hot tea, soaking up this restoring drizzle. It's also been the perfect weather to break out my new rain boots from Joules. I've had my eye on these for a while and was beyond excited when they showed up at my door. The cut is pretty similar to Hunters but the detail on Joules boots is just beautiful. I love the two tone look of these with gold touches, and the big bow on the back just makes me smitten. It's such a great look that can move past the lazy day errands to work with a cozy dress and tights. If you can't tell, they have become a favorite.

I know this is the first full week back from Christmas vacation for most, and if you're like me, you're struggling! Keep your mind focused on the New Year and a fresh start...this is an exciting time!

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you have a wonderful day!

Linking up with MegStyle ElixirRandom Wednesday, and The Pleated Poppy!
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