Monday, November 28, 2011

Current happy things

Happy Monday!

Well, kind of. Let's face it, Mondays are rarely happy. It's just an initial hurdle to prepare you for the rest of the week.

Anyway, there are two things I am very excited about, and they are sure to make my Tuesday a bit more wonderful. Three things, actually.

1.) It might snow tomorrow. And I NEED some snow to accompany my christmas decorating.
2.) Heeled booties I finally gave into.
3.) What I affectionately call my old lady hat.

Here, I will model #2 and #3 for you, with my fabulous Macbook photo booth.


Ah, yes. The booties. I hated these things passionately for so very long, and I stayed true to my beloved riding boots. However, there's something about these that feels kind of badass. Bonus? They're comfy.


The old woman hat! I love this thing. It was an early Christmas present, and it's super warm and pretty classy. I plan on keeping it forever, so that one day it can be a real old woman hat, and be just as delightful.

So there, two of my new favorite outfit-makers. Now, to bake cupcakes.

Good night!
-H


Saturday, November 26, 2011

3 a.m. trickery and a treat

Hello! And congratulations to everyone on surviving another Thanksgiving. Personally, I have just now awoken from my turkey coma.

Black Friday was quite an event. My mother and I left at 3 a.m., had some Denny's and hit the shops. The crowds were insane, but there's something about Black Friday I like...

It's kind of like this: As a little kid, when you went to bed and people were still over at your house, it just felt wrong, didn't it? Like there was a party going on and you were missing it? That's why I enjoy Black Friday. I like have something to do at the entirely taboo hour of 4 a.m., especially if it involves deals.

Favorite Black Friday purchase:



















Arden B., 25% off. New Year's dress!
I'm going to a 1920's-themed party for New Years, so I figured the feathers work well. Now I just have to find some killer shoes and accessories and I'm good to go. Now, I expected a better sale on the Holy Grail of shopping days, but it was still worth it. We found other wonderful things, but they included flashlights and pillows, and I'm fairly certain you have seen a flashlight before.

Well, since Thanksgiving is dying down, I am heading straight into finals' territory. So here is a snack I rely on heavily for a quick, protein-packed, delicious study break. In fact, it's going to fuel my night of paper writing.

Peanut butter & banana power smoothie


-1/2 banana
-1/2 cup milk
-5 ice cubes
-2 tablespoons peanut butter

Toss in blender. Blend. Enjoy!

Happy Saturday, everyone!
-H

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A surefire way to scare your family, friends, significant other, pet, etc., and make your skin glow in one fell swoop.

So, I tried this today. And it did both of the above very, very well.

It's cold out. Once that happens, and maybe it's just me, but my skin goes on the fritz. It hates everything, literally: sun, cold, wind, almost every cleanser/moisturizer known to mankind. So finding things that work has been a LONG process. I finally realized that most DIY beauty products work best, so if you'd like, give this mask a shot.

It's an oatmeal honey mask. Really easy to do, and it's good for when your face feels like there's layers of residue piled on it. Actually, there was nothing on it, but it just felt like it needed some de-gunking. (Which is a hideous word.)

Oatmeal is wonderful. It's just as great for skin as it is for your stomach, and it helps anything from itchy skin to eczema to acne. So anyway, here is the recipe:

1/3 cup uncooked, plain oats
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp honey

Toss the oats in a grinder, combine the three and you're good to go! But a warning...this stuff is great, but it looks awful and is incredibly messy. I had it on while doing the dishes, and someone asked if I had "the plague." So I don't recommend answering the door with this on. It's scary.

Leave it on for about 15 minutes, and rinse it off with warm-hot water. Otherwise it'll take forever.

Oh! And don't do what I did.

I showered BEFORE I did this, and then I got oats stuck in my hair. It's pretty hard not to. So just be prepared for that.

Now I'm off to cook things to actually eat for tomorrow's Thanksgiving feast!

Happy Turkey Day Eve,

-H

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Superfood Tuesday: Rise and Shine

I like being healthy, so this is something I'm going to try every week.

My midweeks are pretty busy, but I try to get a workout in whenever I can. So I got one in this morning, (nothing crazy, just some light cardio, strength, abs, etc.) but the granola bar I had for breakfast just didn't cut it post-workout. So the food I chose for the very first Superfood Tuesday is: eggs!


I like to have them scrambled in a whole-wheat tortilla, but that's just me. Ok so...some debunking. It seems to be common knowledge that eggs will increase your cholesterol. That's not really the case. According to mayoclinic.com, all the cholesterol in eggs is contained in the yoke (about 213 mg of cholesterol.) You want to keep your intake below 300 mg daily, so try to eat low-cholesterol foods the rest of the day.

BUT...without the yolk, there is zero cholesterol in egg whites. So that's a good alternative. However, there is no research that eggs truly increase cholesterol.

Why it's a superfood:

-Eggs are good for the eyes. They contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which help reduce the risk of cataracts.

-They contain 6 grams of protein and the right kind of fat, which keeps you full AND makes your hair shiny and skin soft. So really, it's the best way to start the day.

-Eggs are the only food that naturally contain Vitamin D, which becomes especially important in the dull, dark, dreary winter months.

-Another way they add to a good hair day: Eggs contain sulphur, which helps promote hair and nail growth.

I don't know about you, but eggs and bacon is my favorite breakfast because it's packed with protein, keeping you fuller all day and ultimately keeping your calorie count low. *Note: If you want to go the bacon route, buy natural Canadian bacon. It has nearly no fat and is carcinogen free, unlike most bacon. But bacon IS delicious, so a little is fine!


Anyway, that's the superfood for today! Delicious and nutritious, and not nearly as scary as the rep they've gotten over the years.

In other news, I head home today! Bring on Thanksgiving and pumpkin pie.

-H

Sunday, November 20, 2011

My Thankful List

I go back up north for Thanksgiving break on Tuesday, and I'm thrilled. You never realize how wonderful it is having family (and home cooked meals!) around until you go away to school and live off of soup and cereal, and the occasional Big Mac.

So in the spirit of giving and appreciation, here are the top five little things I'm grateful for (because obviously, family and friends are a given.)

5. 8Tracks.com

I love this website. I'm in the middle of a 10-page research paper, and the playlists here are spectacular. Literally, whatever mood I am in, this place has the music to go along with it. Currently I'm a fan of all the Christmas playlists popping up, but you really can find almost anything there. My next goal is to create a playlist of my own to contribute.

4.  Green tea

I have it every single morning. As long as I slept more than five hours. If I hardly got a REM cycle in, I go right for the coffee. But this is typically how I start my day. No sugar, no honey, just plain tea. And it's awesome. My favorite is green tea pomegranate, but any will do. Plus it gives me something warm to carry on my way to class at 8 a.m.





3. Burt's Bees pomegranate sugar scrub

At the onset of the winter months, my skin gets really dry. I just discovered this a couple weeks ago, and it's fantastic. It smells delicious, and the oils and sugar are super moisturizing. I make my own scrub similar to this one with olive oil and brown sugar (and it works just as well,) but this was definitely worth trying.

2. Fuzzy socks

I am always cold. Always. And fuzzy socks are often the perfect remedy. Unfortunately, most of them are at home, so the one pair I have here isn't cutting it. And I can almost always count on an additional pair in my stocking (MY FAVORITE STOCKING STUFFER!) The softest ones I found are at Bed, Bath and Beyond, but I have yet to go out and buy them. Top of my to-do list.

1. My Toms

I bought these in September, and I can honestly say I have never put anything so wonderful on my feet. They look flat, but they've got great arch support and they fit perfectly. If I have to wear heels, I carry them along. They save my feet every single time. Plus they say "Carpe Diem" all over them, which is a nice reminder when I stare at my feet. Oh, and with every purchase the company donates a pair to a shoeless child somewhere, so that made me feel pretty philanthropic.





So there you have it, the little things I look forward to every day. Now, I have a paper to get to. But I hope everyone has a cozy, warm, delicious Thanksgiving, filled with family and pecan pies.

Happy feasting!
-H

Saturday, November 19, 2011

My new favorite way to get the jitters

From the time I was very young, I was a Starbucks snob. My mom worked there, my aunt worked there, I dated a barista...Starbucks was my lifeblood. I never gave anyone else a shot. But with finals right around the corner, my boyfriend's sister cued me in to something incredible-Dunkin' Donuts coffee.

Yes. I was a Dunkin' Donuts coffee virgin.

Let me tell you, that stuff is delicious. And no one ever told me before?! So I'm sitting here studying my life away at the library, and this medium hazelnut coffee is the only beacon of hope I've got. Definitely giving my Starbucks obsession a run for its money. Absolutely wonderful. The same can't be said for my research paper.


Charlotte and I have some work to do.

And clearly, I should have shelled out for the large coffee tonight.
Oh well.

Happy Saturday!

-H

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Raspberry Poke Cake

I know, I know. Tis' the season for pumpkin pie and green bean casserole. But this recipe is just plain fabulous. I have made it several times for springtime get-togethers, but I think the red Jell-o makes it festive, no? This recipe comes from Betty Crocker, so they deserve the credit!

Here's what you need:
White cake mix (I'm not at the from-scratch level quite yet.)
Water, vegetable oil and egg whites, as called for on package
1 box (4 serving size) raspberry Jell-o mix (or any flavor you want)
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup cold water
1 8-oz. container Cool Whip, thawed
Fresh raspberries, if desired. Or, since it's not raspberry season, thawed frozen raspberries work well, too.

What to do:
-Heat oven to 350 degrees
-Make and bake the cake in a 13x9 inch pan as directed on the box. Cool completely for an hour.
-Pierce cooled cake every half-inch or so with a fork. In a bowl, stir Jell-o with boiling water until smooth. Add cold water. Pour over cake. Run life around side of pan to loosen; cool for two hours. Frost with cool whip, add raspberries to garnish. Store refrigerated.

As you can see, this recipe needs plenty of cooling, so plan accordingly. But it's delicious, refreshing and makes a great cake for the holiday season. Enjoy!

Happy Birthday, blog!

And so it begins.

Hello! Welcome to my blog, and my very first posting. In my daily life, I'm a generally stressed out student trying to run a campus newspaper, stay in shape, see my friends and kiss my boyfriend daily. And now I'm finally committing to a blog.

Normally, I can't even commit to a plant. But hey, this is a lot less likely to die when I leave for winter break.

I enjoy writing, baking, running and all things pretty. And with the onset of the holiday season, I figure this is the perfect time to get started and share all my yummy, merry, glittery treats with you!

Be on the lookout for a delicious raspberry poke cake recipe later :)

-H
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