Face Off (Part 2): Kiehl’s vs Drunk Elephant

In my last post I left off by telling you I decided to try out Drunk Elephant and Kiehl’s face oils. Now, I want to say (again) I wasn’t planning on writing a post about this I just wanted to find ONE face oil that would keep my skin hydrated and brighten it up.

I started that journey with Drunk Elephant’s Marula oil. It claimed to help with fine lines, uneven skin tone, and dry skin. I thought great! I got the 0.5ml size and it lasted me for I think a good 3 months-you don’t need a lot. It was pricey, but if it did something I could have justified the price. For my skin it did nothing…

Which is why I decided to give Kiehl’s a try. This wasn’t my first time trying Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery. I had actually tried out some sample sizes of this oil during my trip to Maui in January. I loved it during that time, but I couldn’t tell if it was the humid conditions in Maui that left my skin glowing or the oil.

I’ve been using Kiehl’s for a couple of weeks. I don’t think that is nearly enough time to be able to tell if something is working for your skin, but this Midnight Recovery Oil has changed my mind on that.

When I wake up my skin just looks better-more hydrated and even. If I go to bed with some redness it will usually be gone by morning. I have had a few zits that I have gone to bed with and woken up to find them completely gone or at least reduced.

I’m also loving the smell. It’s a nice herbal scent. It is pretty strong, but it tends to go away pretty quickly. I think I like because the Tarte Maracuja oil that I used to use smelled like frying oil. I didn’t mind it because at the time it made a difference in my skin, but now having something that smells less like french fries and more like plants has me feeling all kinds of happy.

I never understood why people get upset when someone says they don’t like something you like in the beauty and skin care world. We all have different types of skin and we all have different wants and needs for our skin care. Of course we won’t all like the same thing! Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery just worked better at the things I wanted to achieve with my skin care.

That’s why it’s so important to do your own research, read reviews, look at the ingredients in the product because at the end of the day your skin might be way different from your favorite beauty gurus or your besties.

With all that being said let me know what skin care products you’ve been using and loving!

See you lovelies Thursday!

Face Oil Face Off Part 1

I had no intention of writing one post, much less two, about this, but I just couldn’t believe how much of a difference a skin oil could make when it was the right one for your skin, but before I get into that I wanted to share about my skin journey.

Let me start by saying I had pretty good skin as a kid through high school and even college. I had combination skin, but don’t remember ever having any major moments of skin issues or waking up with gnarly zits.

My skin started having breakouts here and there as an adult in my early 20s especially around that time of month. Again no big deal, I would get a pimple now and again, but this is around the time I wanted to put more into my skin care.

I started doing a lot of homemade skin masks and I’m not sure if this made my skin worse or better, but I felt like the more I did the angrier my pimple/zit would get. I decided I needed to keep things simple since my skin seemed to do better with that and narrowed down my skin care regimen.

I chose a Neem and Shea face lotion to help me tackle any dark spots left by acne and since neem is known to be good for acne prone skin I figured it would be a good pick. I also read a lot of reviews and did research on the the ingredients in the product before deciding to give it a go.

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I actually still use this as my morning moisturizer and it still does a great job, but it does smell pretty herbaly.

I was using Tarte’s Maracuja oil at bedtime and that would help calm the inflammation. I actually used it up until a few months ago, I think. I loved the product, but I think after using it for so many years it wasn’t doing anything for my skin anymore.

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I did some research on different brands and some were pricier than others with all sorts of claims to do all sorts of wonderful things for your skin. I read reviews and figured out what I was looking for in a skin oil.

I was torn between Sunday Riley’s Luna, Drunk Elephant’s Marula, and Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery.

I ended up deciding to try out the Drunk Elephant’s Marula oil and Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery and that is where I will leave you for today.

Catch up with me on Monday to find out which face oil won the face off for me!

See you then!

 

A few things I do to make cooking easier

I wrote a post a little while ago about what I do to make my life a little simpler and I thought it would be fun to share one that is specific to cooking. Leave it to me to bring food into anything and errything 😀 sorrynotsorry.

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The days I am off and hubby works I try to cook an actual meal. I try to plan these meals out at the beginning of the week so I know what and when I need to get things. For example, I may grab cauliflower to go with our salmon on Friday, but I wouldn’t get the salmon till later in the week.

Hubs and I try to knock out our big grocery shopping in one day usually at the beginning of the week. Mind you, there’s only two of us so this isn’t too difficult. We grab our fruits, veggies, and proteins that have a good shelf life to keep us stocked for the week. We’ve actually become really good at this. At the beginning of the week our fridge is full and packed and by the end it’s pretty empty.

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It’s a carrot hotdog!!

I prep as many ingredients as I can earlier in the week. I think I talked about this a long time ago…I don’t cook things up and put them in ready to go containers. I will cut up my veggies I need for the week (that won’t go soggy or bad) or marinade my chicken that I will be using in the next couple of days to make things simpler.

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I try to utilize my cooking appliances. Again, keep in mind I am cooking for two people and have never really had to cook for a crowd so this might be easier for me than some of you. If I am planning on using the oven to roast veggies I will try to make my protein on the stove or vice versa. If I am making a one pan chicken and veggies then I don’t think about this, but if I’m not this is a way I can make sure things get done together and nothing is sitting around getting cold.

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When I am cooking I clean up as I go. This prevent cross contamination (YAAY!). It also means by the time dinner is cooked I am done with a majority of the clean up and I can sit down and enjoy it (double YAAY)!

 

One Pan Chicken and Veggies

I love a good easy, dinner during the week but who doesn’t? I’m not going to give you a recipe or go through a step by step with you because there are a MILLION recipes out there for one pan chicken and veggies, trust me!

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I will tell you that I used a chicken thigh because it is a more forgiving part of the chicken. If you overcook it a little, it won’t tell your dinner guests 🙂 I did take the skin off, but leave the bone in.

I used veggies that would be okay with hanging out in the oven a little while longer like potatoes, carrots, and red onion. I added in broccoli because I don’t mind my broccoli a little charred and it is supposed to be a one pan meal, right??

This meal is even better because you can use whatever marinade/seasoning you want. If you’re craving Indian you can do curry powder. Mexican Monday? Taco seasoning maybe?! I think you get the gist.

I found a balsamic vinegar marinade on Pinterest and ran with it because it had some ingredients that I needed to use up and it sounded delicious!

This turned out very well! I love roasted veggies and the chicken thigh was juicy and flavorful.

What’s your favorite spin on the one pan chicken and veggies? I’m always looking for cooking inspo so let’s talk in the comments!

 

 

A few things I do to make life easier

In my 28 years of being alive I have learned a few things to keep my life running as smoothly as possible. By the end of this you may think I’m crazy, but I promise my house is not intensely organized as this may make it sound, but it keeps it organized enough that we know where everything is and it looks nice and neat 😉

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1. I clean throughout the week. I can’t concentrate if things are a mess and so I try to keep up with the tidying as much as possible. For example I will do a quick sweep and vacuum, tidy up our vanity, wipe down the kitchen counter…small things that make a difference. Also this way you’re not stuck with a major cleaning job at the end of the week…that would drive me crazy!

2. I never throw clothes on the floor. Seriously, I have never done this unless I am creating piles to give away, throw away, sell, and keep. Even as a kid I’ve thrown dirty clothes in the hamper and clean clothes wherever they go. I think side note to this is that I do try to put things back where they belong at least by the end of the day.

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3. I get things together the night before. This could be for anything an interview, work, travel. For example let’s use work. I will prep my snack and lunch, fill up my water bottle, and get my scrubs out so I have to do as little thinking in the morning as possible.

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These are just a few of the things I do to keep myself sane, but they go a very long way!

A long time ago I remember B saying something about doing things now that you will thank yourself for later. I am a VERY strong advocate of this! It might be unpleasant or annoying in the moment, but I know I always thank my past self for having the insight to know myself enough to take care of things.

What do you guys do that you thank yourselves for later? Leave it in the comments!

 

 

 

Snacks I’ve been loving

The snacks I love change a lot, not because I stop loving something but because I find something else or my cravings change.

During the summer I love fresh fruits and cold, crisp veggies while fall and winter I prefer warmer more comforting things like hot cocoa or a small bowl of soup.

Recently my snacks have been leaning more towards the sweet side since my cravings have been more on the sweet side.

I’ve been eating fruits like grapes, berries, and these yummy figs. I love the crunch of the seeds that are inside and the beautiful mild sweet flavor.

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Dark chocolate almonds help satiate my sweet tooth and keep me full a little longer with a little protein punch.

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This last item is more of a dessert snack (whatever that means). I found these wafer cookies at Eataly and they were on sale. I got a vanilla and hazelnut flavor-LOVE both. They are light not overly sweet.

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Are you a snacker? What’s your favorite thing to munch on?

Cooking with Jess ;)

Okay peeps it’s not that serious! I’m not making a cooking video or proclaiming myself a recipe blogger. Lord knows I am not that and let’s face it I am awful at creating recipes since my measurements involve eyeballing, pinches, and to your tastes a lot of the time.

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I do like to cook, but sometimes I forget! It’s a problem, I know.

I have picked it back up recently and have been making things other than breakfast burritos and cheese quesadillas (don’t get me wrong, I still make those).

For dinner one night I made an Indian spiced salmon and some roasted brussels sprouts. Honestly, I decided to make this because salmon and brussels sprouts were on sale and I had all the seasoning I needed at home.

Actually, my recipe decisions this week were all based on items that were on sale 🙂

Back to the salmon and brussels sprouts:

I would start with getting the brussels in the oven since they will take longer to prep and cook. The fish takes no time at all once it’s in the pan and very little prep time.

Preheat oven to 425-450. Grease a baking sheet. Chop up your brussels to bite size pieces.

Drizzle some EVOO, salt, pep, chili powder and any other seasoning you would like and mix together.

I take off my rings and do it with my hands because I feel like it coats the pieces better, but that might just be something I made up in my head.

Throw it in the oven for 30ish minutes until it is done to your preferred crispiness.

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You can either make your own curry spice blend (literally hundreds of recipes on they interwebs)

OR

You can buy a pre-made version.

If you’re not a curry person you can use cajun seasoning, taco seasoning, whatever fun spice blend you want.

Once you’ve decided and are ready to cook up your fish sprinkle on salt (unless your seasoning has salt) and seasoning and gently pat/rub it in. While I was seasoning my fish I had some chopped garlic and jalapeño sautéing up.

If you skip the garlic and jalapeño part just make sure your pan is well greased and hot before adding your fish. This will get the skin crispy and blacken the meat of the salmon when you flip.

Once the salmon is in the pan keep an eye on it. When the fish gets flaky, you are done cooking. Resist the urge to keep it on heat because you don’t want overcooked, dry salmon. THAT is actually the worst. Trust me, I know!

This fish ended up being perfectly spiced, crispy, flaky and juicy. The brussels sprouts were a little burnt (but that’s how I like it), and added a nice textural contrast to the fish.

This is something you can whip up on a week night especially if you have your brussels sprouts chopped up and ready to go.

This is how a “recipe” plays through my head when I am cooking. I figure out what flavors I am craving and play with seasonings to get what I want.

I hope you are have a light and breezy Monday and have yummy dinners to look forward to at the end of your day!

Fashion Favorites

I don’t know if it’s getting older or just getting more comfortable in my own skin, but the way I look at clothing has really changed.

I feel like I could never find clothes that fit me properly or anything “in style” did absolutely nothing for my body. If it actually looked good it was uncomfortable, I would wear it once, tug and pull on it all night and never wear it again.

Recently, I have been having no issues finding clothes that work well for me. They are comfortable and cute and I am excited to wear them.

I’ve been loving dresses this past summer. It was hot and wearing anything denim, pant-related, or heavy was a no-go. Dresses were great because they were light and easy to pull on, but you still look put together and pretty!

As fall is coming I wanted to find some dresses to transition my way into fall and these next two do exactly that. Both of these fall right in middle of my shin which is a trend I’ve been loving.

This floral black one I got from Old Navy. They had it on sale for 50% off or something and I couldn’t resist. I also ended up getting a solid black version as well. I figure I can pair it with a denim jacket (once I find one) and some mules or white slip-ons and be good to go!

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This wrap dress with the light denim material with the sweet floral-ish design had my heart the minute I found it on the sale rack at Target. It was $13 and I was positive it would not fit me. When I figured out the ties and got it on I was in love. I can’t even tell you how much I love this dress!

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What’s funny is that I can usually never find too many things from Old Navy that fit my petite frame and dresses at Target are pretty much the same way. I find that things are super baggy or tight around my hips/butt and hang loose around my waist/chest so I was incredibly happy to have found my dresses!

This last item is a jacket from Zara and I am completely unsure whether I keep it or return it. A part of me LOVES it and can’t wait for cooler temps to wear it with everything and everywhere. Another part is skeptical and mocking the first part.

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I have nothing like this teddy jacket. It fits big, but it’s snuggly and warm and IT HAS POCKETS. ugh.

 

Changing It Up

Hello my sweet friends!

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I just wanted to chit chat with you guys about some things…

First, I haven’t been feeling the most inspired or excited about blogging *gasp! I remember when I started I was so excited and nervous and it was just a fun, creative outlet. Don’t get me wrong…it still is, but I also feel like I’ve hit a wall.

I want to be consistent in my blogging and if I’ve always let you guys know if anything changes with my usual MWF so this is me letting you know 🙂 I think I need a change so I am going to start posting Mondays and Thursdays.

Secondly, I still LOVE food and I can talk about food to anybody for hours and be perfectly content. Sorry to all my dear friends who listen to me ramble on about the chewiness of a cookie for an hour, but I will probably continue to do that on this blog-lucky you guys 😉

I will also continue to talk about anything else that makes me happy including, but not limited to healthy, exercise, day in the life, beauty, skin care, and fashion (post coming Thursday #plug)!

Third, thank you to those of you who read, like, and comment. It means a lot! Big huge internet hugs

What I Do…

Good morning friends! I wanted to name this post What I Do When I am Broken Down, Exhausted, and Need Some TLC, but I did not because that is one long title and nobody got time for that 😉

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But here is what I do when I am all of those things and feel like a pile of poop.

I let myself linger over coffee. Coffee is one of the first things I do in the morning, but most mornings I am taking it down like someone is going to snatch my cup away. When I’m off from work and I have no where to be I take my sweet time…

After the coffee I workout. At the gym or at home I get my heart rate up and enjoy the endorphins. It’s not always jumping around and squats. When I feel super beat I just stretch myself out and enjoy warming up my muscles.

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I take the time to make myself some yummy, wholesome, nutritious meals. Not that I don’t have nutrient dense meals at work, but I always feel rushed. When I eat at work it’s for energy and sustenance. When I get to cook and eat at home it’s for those things, but enjoyment as well.

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I take the time to clean up my act. I love cleaning up my brows or doing a face mask. Basically, anything that makes me feel like a human again.

This may go into that previous category, but I love doing my nails. There is something soothing about prepping and painting them. I also like that every time I look and see my nails it makes me happy to see the color.

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I also enjoy watching YouTube. I binge on a lot of it throughout the day while I am cooking, working out, doing my nails, etc. I like having some background noise and sometimes I learn a thing or two whether it’s about cooking, beauty, health or just find some inspiration.

What do you guys do when you need a pick me up? Let me know in the comments!