Thursday, May 30, 2013

summer style guide | beauty essentials

I love summer because it means stripping down to the bare basics for both make-up and clothing! Layers are fun but it's nice to take a break and just let your skin breathe. The items below are beauty products that I'm either currently obsessed with, have newly discovered, or plan to pick up in the very near future. What are your summer beauty essentials? xo.

1. Essence Sun Club Matte Bronzer. I've been using this bronzer for several months now and have been loving it! I actually prefer the one for blondes, even though I'm brunette, because my skin is so fair that I can't rock the darker bronzer.

2. Not Your Mother's Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray. Whew, say that five times fast! I'm obsessed with this spray. It's perfect after a dip in the pool to give you those natural beach babe waves. Plus, the travel size version is perfect for toting around.

3. Maybelline Baby Lips in Pink Punch. This is such a beautiful, sheer pink. A little color and spf go a long way in the summer! Lip color makes me feel "put together" without getting too done up.

4/5. Essie 'Neon Collection' Nail Polish in Disco Fever (4) and Bottle Service (5). I'm so in love with these bright summer polishes I couldn't pick just one. One for my fingers and one for my toes, please.

6. Revlon Lash Potion Mascara. I saw this new product in the Target weekly ad recently and knew I had to try it. I mean that bottle... so pretty! It was love at first swipe. This mascara is fantastic and lengthened my lashes like a dream! It also comes in waterproof--perfect for afternoons at the beach or pool!

7. Neutrogena Fresh Cooling Sunscreen. My current supply of sunscreen is just about used up, so I'm on the market for more. I'm interested in trying out this cooling mist sunscreen because a) I like mists--less mess; and b) cooling? Sign me up!

8. Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream. Though I have only ever tried this one BB cream, I am already almost done with my second tube and am still loving it! This cream provides a touch of sheer color with a good dose of SPF 30. It's a great beauty essential in my book, especially in the summer.

9. Sephora Bali Bon Voyager Soft Traincase in Ikat. This adorable bag just screams summer to me. With weekend trips and vacations around the corner, I need a pretty printed bag to carry all my beauty products!

P.S. Stay tuned for my summer style essentials!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

simple fried rice + general tso's chicken

I haven't been keeping a running tally of the number of fried rice recipes I've tried. And honestly, it doesn't matter because I finally found "the one"!

While on my weekly grocery store trip, I was looking for a new way to eat chicken [a weekly dinner staple for the hubs and I.] A light bulb went off and I shuffled over to the international food aisle and tossed a few Asian sauces into my cart. The one I was most eager to try was the Archer Farms General Tso sauce [only 40 cal for two tbsp!] 

I searched and searched and finally settled on this recipe for fried rice--hey, I had to cook something from scratch since the chicken was going to be so darn easy. This meal was so fun and easy and best of all delicious. I'll definitely be making it again. Bonus: You can make the rice in bulk to have throughout the week! What's your favorite way to eat chicken? xo.

Simple Fried Rice

[4 servings]
Adapted from this recipe
3/4 cup finely chopped onion [I had red onion on had so I just used that]
2 1/2 tbsp oil
1 egg [or more if you like]
2 tbps plus 3 drops low sodium soy sauce, divided
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
4 cups cold cooked rice
4 green onions, chopped [I used dried chives instead]
1 cup frozen broccoli, thawed

1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in wok; add chopped onions and stir-fry until onions turn brown, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from wok.
2. Allow wok to cool slightly. Mix egg with 3 drops of soy sauce. Set aside.
3. Add 1/2 tbsp oil to wok, swirling to coat surfaces. Add egg mixture; working quickly, swirl egg until egg sets against wok. When egg puffs, flip egg and cook other side briefly. Remove from wok and chop into small pieces.
4. Heat 1 tbps oil in wok; add carrots, peas, broccoli, and cooked onion. Stir-fry for 2 minutes.
5. Add rice and green onions, tossing to mix well. Stir-fry for 3 minutes.
6. Add 2 tbsp soy sauce and chopped egg to rice mixture and fold in. Stir-fry for 1 minute. Serve.

For the chicken, simply cook until the center is no longer pink. Cut into pieces and toss on a small skillet with the General Tso's sauce. I added a dash of soy sauce and a significant amount of crushed red pepper flakes for extra flavor. Let the sauce and chicken simmer a few minutes and you're done!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

fort worth foodie review | the woodshed smokehouse

One of my favorite haunts when the Texas temps reach what I call "patio weather" [aka 85 degrees or so] is the Woodshed in Fort Worth. This rustic-cool restaurant headed by Chef Tim Love sits right on the Trinity River with the coolest outdoor/indoor dining concept I've seen. The food is outrageously good, the atmosphere is perfect for a both casual date night and a group of your closest friends. On the weekends you will find live music to kick back and enjoy while sipping on any one of their selections of beer, wine, margaritas or cocktails. I highly recommend this joint if you're looking for a great atmosphere to soak in the beautiful spring weather. xo.

Where: 3201 Riverfront Drive, Fort Worth

Hours: Sun-Thurs, 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. / Fri-Sat, 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.

What to try: Smoked hummus, smoked white fish dip, pulled pork sandwich, brisket stuffed piquillo peppers, burger, and ribs. For the more adventurous, my hubs and friends have testified that smoked red fish, bowl of ramen, and rattlesnake sausage are awesome.
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