Revlon Colorstay Whipped Crème™ Makeup – Could This Be Your HG Foundation?
Revlon Colorstay Whipped™ Crème Makeup is one of the line’s mainstays and one of Revlon’s few foundations not reformulated in recent years. That’s a good thing because this a great medium-full coverage cream foundation without sunscreen for those with normal, combination, slightly dry to slightly oily skin.
Price: Varies by store. Walmart offers most colors for around $11 for an 0.8 fluid oz. jar. Some shades cost a little more and are only sold only with shipping fees upwards of $5. ULTA and many drugstores (CVS, Walgreens etc.) sell this foundation for $15, but these vendors frequently offer Buy One, Get One 50% Off deals on Revlon products (which translates to 25% off or $11.25 each when you purchase two or more).
Revlon Colorstay Whipped Crème Makeup Photo from Revlon.com
Color Range:Revlon markets 12 shades from the very light “Ivory” which has a neutral yellow undertone to deepish “Caramel” which has a more warm reddish undertones. However, most major retailers – ULTA, CVS, Walmart to name a few – carry only 8 of the 12 shades in stores. And different retailers tend to stock different colors. That’s either good news or a giant hassle based on your color needs and shade availability in your area. The good news is that drugstores and large discount retailers like Walmart have return policies almost as lenient as Sephora’s (generally allowing you to return opened/used products within 90 days of purchase with a valid receipt), so you can usually exchange it, provided you can find a suitable color match. The color range is mostly neutral. The deeper colors are not all that dark, or at least they don’t appear to be online. Unfortunately, most retailer don’t carry the darkest shades in store which is disappointing because shipping can be expensive due to the heavy glass jar packaging (more on that below). I’ve actually purchased 4 different shades and find my skin varies from 200 to 250 depending on the season, and shade 150 works very well as cream highlight.
The thick and creamy texture of Revlon Colorstay Whipped Crème Makeup (Shade 150)
Application: This foundation is (as you might expect) thick and creamy. Revlon describes this as a “bouncy, whipped” formula with a “mousse-like texture that feels like silk on your skin.” I wouldn’t expect an airy whipped cream texture because it’s definitely thicker than that. And it’s heavier and creamier than the mousse that you use in your hair. But it does feel silky, with enough “play time” to allow you to blend it in without steaks.
Because this foundation is packaged in a jar, you’ll need to use clean hands every time you apply this foundation and/or be sure to use a clean brush or sponge each time you dip into the jar. Otherwise you risk contaminating the product and creating a breeding ground for bacteria or other contaminants that could ruin the foundation (or worse) cause acne, breakouts or other skin reactions. So, be careful.
Left-Right Kat Von D Lock-It Foundation (Medium 54); Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Foundation (Light-Medium Sand); Milani Conceal+Perfect (03); Becca Ultimate Coverage (Noisette); Revlon Colorstay Whipped Crème Makeup (250)
Texture + Finish: Revlon claims this foundation has a “mousse-like texture feels like silk,” on your skin and the time release formula balances skin for a flawless look. Revlon also promises that their Colorstay Whipped™ Crème is capable of self-adjusting to your skin’s needs, magically balancing out any dry or oily patches for a perfectly flawless look. Yeah, no foundation is capable of doing that. This one looks good on your skin as long as you’ve taken the time to prep your skin first. Despite Revlon claims Whipped™ Crème “never looks cakey,” if you pile on too many layers, it can look slightly cakey. Even then it can be sheered out with a damp sponge and a spritz of moisturizing setting spray.
Wear: Continuing with Revlon’s amazing claims for this product, they promise an astonishing 24-hour wear-time for this foundation. First of all, barring some major disaster or unforeseen event, nobody should be wearing their makeup for 24-hours straight. That said, this stuff will not last for 24 hours anyway. It breaks on me (at least) after about 10 hours, even with a great primer and periodic touch-ups. But that isn’t a deal-breaker. The best makeups require touch-ups because the skin on our faces is always producing oil; shedding skin cells. We sweat; talk on the phone and smudge makeup off. Whatever. Life happens. With realistic expectations, this foundation wears as long as some of the most expensive products with similar formulations. All matte, liquid foundations (e.g. Chanel Perfection Lumière Velvet SPF 15) will always last the longest and perform the best in high humidity, but those foundations also have the greatest likelihood of emphasizing wrinkles, fine lines, etc.
Skin Beneficial Ingredients: This product does contain several emollient and skin-beneficial ingredients. Among them – Glycerin (skin replinisher), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Hyaluronic Acid (emollient), Silk protein (may have antioxidant properties). The Vitamin E and Silk protein’s antioxidant properties will lose efficacy after a few weeks of regular usage due to product’s packaging. The sodium hyaluronate may eventually lose efficacy as well. The emollients will not be affected unless the product becomes contaminated as described above.
Revlon chose to house this foundation in a (very) heavy glass jar. Jar packaging is not my favorite due to sanitary concerns and because jar packaging means repeatedly exposing product ingredients to air, thereby decreasing effectiveness of fragile ingredients like antioxidants, etc. But I don’t usually rely on foundation for antioxidant or skin treating ingredients. Typically I applies those things as part of of my skin care regimen prior to applying my makeup. The heavy glass jar means you won’t want to carry this in your purse. So using it for touch-ups is out. And the absence of sunscreen means you’ll want to apply a broad spectrum sunscreen (preferably one that includes some antioxidants and skin-identical ingredients like ceramides, niacinamide, etc.) of at least SPF30 before applying this foundation.
Summary: This is a great bargain for your beauty dollars and all-around wise purchase if you have normal, combo, or slightly dry to slightly oily skin and you’re looking for a medium to almost full coverage foundation with an attractive skin-like finish. This one comes in a wide array (for drugstore foundations) of neutral shades, but most retailers do not carry the full range of color option. The absence of sunscreen means this foundation won’t interfere with any selfies or photography you may encounter, but it means you’ll need to pair this with a broad spectrum SPF of at least 30 if you plan on using this as your everyday foundation.
Wisdom for the Day:
“Who is wise? And who knows the meaning of anything? A person’s wisdom brightens the expression; it changes the hardness of someone’s face.” ~Ecclesiastes 8:1 (Common English Bible)
Read more here.
+++More Info on Jar Packaging: The fact that it’s packaged in a jar means the beneficial ingredients won’t remain stable once it is opened. All plant extracts, vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients break down in the presence of air, so once a jar is opened and lets the air in, these important ingredients begin to deteriorate. Jars also are unsanitary because you’re dipping your fingers into them with each use, adding bacteria, which further deteriorate the beneficial ingredients (Sources: Free Radical Biology and Medicine, September 2007, pages 818–829; Ageing Research Reviews, December 2007, pages 271–288; Dermatologic Therapy, September-October 2007, pages 314–321; International Journal of Pharmaceutics, June 12, 2005, pages 197–203; Pharmaceutical Development and Technology, January 2002, pages 1–32; International Society for Horticultural Science, www.actahort.org/members/showpdf?booknrarnr=778_5; and Beautypackaging.com, and www.beautypackaging.com/articles/2007/03/airless-packaging.php).
Clinique Superbalm™ Moisturizing Lip Gloss in Raspberry – Simply the Best!
Matte lips are a big trend these days. Practically every makeup line from low to high end offer liquid lipsticks, lip paints, lip tars and stains. As with most makeup trends, the look is incredibly flattering on some and not so pretty on others. Trends are by definition cyclical – going in and out of style – and I suspect the matter lip trend to be no different.
Something that never goes out of style is plump, moisturized healthy-looking lips. And that’s exactly what you’ll get from Superbalm™ – an all-time favorite lip gloss from Clinique. Here’s my review:
Price: $17 for a o.5 oz. tube.
Color Range: A total of five shades are available. Four are available from Clinique counters and at Clinique.com and a Fifth is available exclusively at Sephora stores and Sephora.com.
Lilac – a light purpley pink with more blue undertones
Grapefruit – a very light neutral pink that doesn’t lean too orange or too blue (my all-time fav topper for nude lipstick)
Raspberry – a brighter cherry red/pink with blue undertones
Currant – a slightly deeper mauvey purple that still leans toward pinky tones, especially when applied on bare lips
Clinique Superbalm™ Moisturizing Gloss in Currant. Photo from CLNIQUE.com
The Sephora-exclusive shade, Black Honey, is probably the most popular. Black Honey is a deeper wine-like shade that is perfect for fall and neutral enough to compliment a variety of skin tones.
None of the shades contains shimmer. Some previously available colors did offer shimmer but have since been discontinued. So if you’ve been afraid that gloss will make you sparkle like a glittery 70’s disco-ball, don’t worry. This one won’t.
Application: Superbalm glosses have a plastic slant-tip applicator which has a tiny hole through which the product dispenses when you squeeze the tube. That applicator is actually part of the tube. It’s actually more sanitary than the removable doe-foot wand applicators commonly used on many recently-launched lip products. When you remove a wand/applicator from a liquid cosmetic product and apply the product directly to the skin, you expose the applicator to bacteria and other contaminants in the air and on your skin. Those contaminants are then introduced to the product when put the wand/applicator back into the product. An external applicator (especially a hard plastic one) may be cleaned to remove dirt and contaminants. But an internal applicator, especially one made of spongy material, cannot. We spend so much time cleaning our makeup sponges and brushes, but I for one never consider the fact that I constantly reuse doe-foot applicators that I cannot clean. Something to consider.
Superbalm™ Has an Easy-to-Use, Easy-to-Clean Applicator
Coverage: Each shade is sheer without shimmer, providing a tint of color and big-impact shine. Superbalm™ is designed to be worn alone or layered over color lip products. Because the colors are so sheer, you can literally layer any shade, with the possible exception of Black Honey, over any lip color. Even Black Honey won’t dramatically alter your basic lip color but will darken and warm it slightly while adding shine and moisture. Grapefruit is probably the easiest shade to pair with other lip products. Because it’s a nearly clear pink, it’s unlikely to alter the shade of a lipstick when layered over top. But because it’s so light, Grapefruit provides no meaningful coverage on its own. It will highlight your lips own natural beauty and make them look fuller and more attractive naturally.
Clinique Superbalm™ Moisturizing Lip Gloss in Shade Grapefruit
Texture + Finish: This is big glassy shine, so expect some tackiness after application. I find the texture very similar to NYX’s Butter Glosses but more sheer and far more moisturizing. Some Sephora reviewers describe Superbalm™ as sticky but I don’t find the level of stickiness to be problematic and certainly no stickier than other more expensive glosses on the market. The glass-like shine lasts at least 30 – 60 minutes depending on your activities, whether you eat, drink etc. after application. The color remains about 30 minutes after the shine has dissipated depending on the shade (with deeper shades like Black Honey and Raspberry sticking around longer).
Wear: The glass-like shine lasts 15 – 60 minutes depending on your activities, whether you eat, drink etc. after application. The color hangs around another 30 minutes+ after the shine has dissipated. The moisture remains at least another hour which is fantastic, for anyone with chronically dry lips, those living in a dry climate, or anyone who gets chapped lips during colder winter months. So basically everyone can enjoy this product at some time or another!
Skin Beneficial Ingredients: Clinique includes several proven moisturizers like petroleum, wax, soybean oil, linoleic acid and squalene. Also included are several antioxidants – retinal palmitate (Vitamin A derivative), Vitamins E and C. This gloss is also fragrance-free.
Full list of ingredients available at here.
Summary: This is a terrific lip gloss suitable for all skin types and anyone looking for a hint of color along with big shine and a healthy dose of moisture. These glosses look great on their own but work very well with just about any type of lip product (the possible exception being liquid lip stains that specifically instruct you to avoid glosses that contain any oils). Otherwise, these glosses will play nicely with just about any lipstick in your collection! At $16 each, Superbalm™ glosses qualify as wise beauty buys!
Additional Comments and Notes: If you already love this gloss and live within driving distance of an outlet mall that has a Cosmetics Company (Estée Luader Outlet) Store, I encourage you to head on over to said mall and stock up because Cosmetics Company routinely sells these glosses for just $11-12 each. And the deals don’t stop there! You can save on all kinds of Lauder-owned brands of fragrances, skin care, hair care, and makeup (M.A.C., Clinique, Smashbox, Bumble & bumble, and more!). Click here to locate a Cosmetics Company Store near you. Wisdom for the Day:
“O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will tell about your praise.” ~Psalm 51:15 (God’s Word Translation)
Read more here.
Moisture Surge CC Cream Product Photo from Clinique.com
I first purchased this a couple years ago during a particularly dry phase for my skin (due to heavy Retin-A usage). At the time I was big into layering BB/CCs over high SPF sunscreens and wanted the most emollient products available. I purchased this one based on positive reviews, describing it as extremely moisturizing, offering greater coverage than most of other available options. Broad spectrum sun protection is present through the following actives: Titanium Dioxide 5.2% (UVA/UVB), Zinc Oxide 3.2% (UVA), Octinoxate 7.5% (UVB), and Octisalate 5% (UVB).
After a few tries, I found that the product applied unevenly on my skin. I couldn’t achieve the flattering finish I’d expected. It never absorbed to dried down but seemed to shift throughout the day. I decided it just didn’t work for me at that time and gave it to my mother (a Clinique devotee). I recently decided to give this CC Cream another try and my own thoughts and review follow based on most recent testing of the product. I’ll preface my opinions by saying my mother still adores it!
First Swatch – Arm
Left Side = Concealer Only, No Foundation Right Side = Concealer + Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream Hydrating Colour Corrector SPF30 (note difference in pores)
Price: $38.50 for 1.4 fluid oz. Color Range: 6 shades available, ranging from “Very Light” to “Deep” (for reference, I were shade “Light Medium”). I would add that the mineral sunscreens in this product may look a bit ashy on darker skin tones. Mineral sunscreens actives can also look a bit shiny and reflect camera flash exaggerating skin imperfections so keep that in mind if you’re expecting to be photographed. Coverage:Clinique states this product provides “Sheer to Moderate” coverage. I think “moderate” coverage is more accurate. It would be difficult to get this down to sheer coverage without it looking very patchy and streaky. And trying to build up multiple layers is likely to feel heavy and look very unnatural. Several Sephora reviewers of this product state this product has been reformulated, that the original offered smoother, fuller coverage. Texture+Finish: The texture is thick but expected that given the touted moisturizing properties. The thicker texture makes blending tough. If you skin is sensitive in addition to dry, that’s going to be a problem for you. I found that I had to rub more than bounce my makeup sponge in order to blend this in. All that rubbing kicked up some flakiness in my skin and resulted in more redness after application that before. Not a good result for a foundation-type product! But my biggest complaint is the finish. I found that it tended to exaggerate my pores. I never really think about having a problem with my pores, at least not until I tried this stuff again. Made me think, “man, my pores are huge! I better start using that Retin-A again. But if I do that, I can’t really wear this stuff anyway…” You see the dilemma.
Arm swatch blended. Despite nearly flawless skin on my inner arm, product still settled into pores and fine lines.
Wear: I did have to touch up about midway through the day. But with all that’s not a huge problem for me. I usually touch up with a mineral powder sunscreen because it reassures me that I’m getting additional sun protection in areas where my foundation already tends to break up – around my nose and chin, a little across my forehead. This product did oxidize a bit on my skin, turning a bit darker later in the day. However, I’m reluctant to blame that entirely on the CC Cream as I was piling on several layers of emollients underneath. The pore issue cannot be attributed to other products as I tested this product with a pore-minimizer primer underneath and even without any other products underneath (when going out after dark) – same pore magnifying result. Skin Beneficial Ingredients: Primarily the broad spectrum sunscreens along with squalane, a couple of lecithins, and a tiny bit of sodium hyaluronate (moisturizers); as well as linoleum acid; Vitamins E and C (antioxidants). Summary: Between the difficult application, relatively high price point and less-than-flattering final result, I’d say this is a pass. There are wiser purchases for your BB/CC/Tinted Moisturizer dollars. I will say my mother loves it and still uses this product. But as I mentioned my mom is totally devoted to Clinique. Mom has very sensitive skin and sometimes “forgets” to remove her makeup at night. So she tends to favor makeup that won’t irritate her skin even if she sleeps in it. While I never support sleeping in your makeup, you cannot argue Clinique’s status as a leader hypoallergenic makeup and skin care products.
Note the appearance of pores around my cheeks (I intentionally left the product clump on my neck to illustrate difficulties I had with blending)
Additional Comments & Notes: Despite the SPF30, if you love this CC Cream, I would recommend you always layer this over a broad spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF30. If you’re unsure about which sunscreen is best for you or just confused by all the sunscreens on the market today, check out this in-depth article breaking down the best high-SPF sunscreens under $15.
Wisdom for the Day:
Those who are wise will shine like the brightness on the horizon. Those who lead many people to righteousness will shine like the stars forever and ever. ~Daniel 12:3 (God’s Word Translation)
Read more here.
So here we are more than a week into our second #Whole30. I won’t presume to speak for Hubs, but I am struggling! When I say struggling, I’m talking about something that goes well beyond the simple “I just want a nap” kind of thing predicted for days 6-7 by the (suddenly difficult to locate) official Whole30 Timeline 2.0. I’m talking about a level of fatigue that I feel down into my bones; that requires giving myself a pep talk just to get out of bed; dragging myself through the day; drinking extra coffee in order to formulate a coherent sentence. I don’t remember being this tired last time, but Hubs assures me I was. I’m taking his word for it, mostly because I’m just too tired to argue the point.
Before I go into all that, some positives. There are a few things actually making this round easier than our first Whole30 in April.
Next, I’m so happy that we invested in a couple of cases (seriously) of different flavors of these yummy La Croix flavored sparkling waters. Yum. O. Now that it’s football season, I can park it in front of the TV with a nice cold glass of fruity, bubbly La Croix and not feel the least bit deprived. We’ll definitely continue drinking these post Whole30!
Lastly, I am still really excited about this Daily Beauty Wisdom green tea + collagen recipe. It’s the only green tea drink I have ever consistently drank in my life. For more on green tea’s health and beauty benefits click here and here. This drink is delicious and has some great beauty benefits that others are starting to notice. Here’s what happened:
I had a long, busy day yesterday, with several errands to run, including a much-needed hair appointment. Of course, I also had to make sure our daughter was fed, changed and happy, and all her needs met. So, I needed 3 cups of coffee (thank you again Nut Pods!) and 2 cups of green tea just to get through the day.
I know, that’s a lot of caffeine. But, like I said. I had a lot to do, and I’ve had like NO energy. Still, I did have one briefly exhilarating moment yesterday when my hair stylist commented on the growth and thickness of my hair. She said she could really see a difference in the overall condition of my hair and that my supplements were starting to make a difference. Wow! Score a big win for the collagen drinks!
Green Tea + Collagen + Vitamin C – Delicious and beautifying with a hint of caffeine to boot!
Genetically, I have extremely fine hair, which has been made fragile by years of frequent coloring (read bleaching). Then in the last 15 months or so, I’ve been pregnant twice (I had a miscarriage just prior to getting pregnant with our almost 11 month-old daughter), so I shed a ton of hair postpartum, leaving me with even thinner hair. For my stylist to say that my hair stronger and longer, was a big deal! But alas, my exhilaration was short-lived.
I soon found myself dragging again and questioning my commitment to this “whole” Whole30 thing. Then last night, after having (finally) gotten baby girl to sleep, Hubs and I collapsed next to one another on the sofa. We debated whether to eat dinner or just go straight to bed as we were both equal parts tired and hungry. Though we agreed “we should probably eat” in order to avoid waking up hangry in the middle of the night, neither of us moved immediately, so I turned to him and whined, “I’m so uncomfortable. Remind me again why we’re doing this.”
Hubs – in his (frustratingly) infinite wisdom and patience asked, “If you need some motivation, why don’t you go back and look at your #NSV Checklist from last time? Or read over those things you said you want to accomplish this time? It’s only 22 more days. We can do it.”
I hate it that he’s always right! But I followed his advice and took a look at my #NSV Checklist from Round 1 and reviewed my goals for #SeptemberWhole30 as listed in my Kickoff Post. Here’s a list of the goals I said I hoped to achieve and a status report as of day 9:
• More energy to play with our daughter – No increases on this front
• Improved attention span – About the same
• Fewer ADHD symptoms – Same
• Fall asleep more easily – YES, I fall right asleep and I sleep deeply. Waking up on the other hand…not so easy, hence the coffee!
• More energy to exercise – Exercise is a struggle, a big one!
• Be outside more – No change
• Create and try new recipes – I have one new recipe for a delicious Whole30-compliant Sausage + Apple Soup, but I’ve been too tired to post it!
• No more under-eye circles – I haven’t noticed a change
• Brighter eyes – I don’t notice any difference
• Clothes fit better – I still can’t fit into some of my pre-pregnancy jeans BUT today I easily fit into a new pair of pants that I ordered in a smaller size so I’d say that’s progress, right?
• Looking younger – No real change there
• Fewer seasonal allergies – Maybe a slight improvement
• Less fatigue – Yeah you know the answer to that one
• Practice mindful eating – Honestly, I think there’s been some improvement here
So in total, for 7 of 14 (50%) of my goals, I’ve seen no change.
For 5 of my 14 goals (roughly 36%) there’s been at least some improvement or progress toward my stated goal.
And in 2 of my pre-Whole30 goals (about 14%) both of which relate to energy, there’s been movement in the opposite direction.
So it looks like we’re in this for the long run, or at least for the whole 30 days. And, I’ll close this post by quoting a verse I shared a few days ago: “Finishing is better than starting. Patience is better than pride.” ~Ecclesiastes 7:8 (New Living Translation) So I guess that will be the Wisdom for the Day. And I’ll just go reread it a few more times just to remind myself that finishing is indeed better than starting. Read more here.
….Kill ALL the Things? No, But I Might Trade Our Shiba Inu for a Pepsi Maxx!
Are You Talking about Me? You MUST Be Talking about Me. I’m the Only Shiba Inu Here!
During our first Whole30, I relied heavily on the official #Whole30 Timeline 2.0 available on the Whole30 website. The timeline served as a sort of roadmap, reassuring me that I was more or less staying on course and that my struggles were normal, especially during the difficult days. This time is no different. The following is an excerpt from the official #Whole30 Timeline 2.0 for days 4-5.
“Days 4-5: Kill ALL the things! Day 4 dawns and you tentatively step out of bed, expecting to feel like you took a strike from Thor’s hammer in the temple. Instead, your head is surprisingly clear. Your limbs all feel functional. This could be a good day! You walk into the kitchen and as you’re greeted by the smiling face of your significant other you are suddenly overcome…with the desire to punch them in the face for smiling this early in the morning. Congratulations! You’ve made it to day 4…It’s probably because your brain is never very happy when you tell it that it CAN’T have something, and take it out of it’s habitual and accustomed comfort zone. An unhappy brain is a stressed brain, an anxious brain, a fearful brain. No to mention your hormones are desperately trying to keep up with your new food choices, your gut is trying to heal, you’ve had a headache for the last three days, and you REALLY MISS YOUR DIET COKE. So yeah, maybe we do know why this is happening now…”
In all honesty, I probably entered this second go-round a tad over-confident, and my recent pre-Whole30 diet hasn’t been as clean as I’ve been telling myself. As I’ve written previously, we’re prepping for our daughter’s first birthday party. And I’ve been using the upcoming celebration as an excuse to test out several new cookie recipes including my pretty Pink Paleo Macaroons and not-yet-published Paleo/Vegan Magic Cookie Bars recipe. Truth is, I probably ate cookies (plural, as in more than one) every single day in August. I’d also resumed the nasty habit of consuming 1-2 diet sodas daily, and boy am I paying for it now! My body is seriously craving sweets and caffeine. I’m suffering from major headaches, brain fog and irritability. Mercifully, this round is MUCH easier thanks to the recent Whole30 approval of Nut Pods Unsweetened Coffee Creamers!
Even Whole30 Mamas Need Caffeine!!!
I’m not homicidal. Thank goodness! But I am seriously lacking (my normal) patience for dealing with our dogs, especially our poor Shiba Inu, CJ. Poor CJ. He such a sweet boy…most of the time. He adores our baby girl. But sometimes that’s the problem. He’s constantly circling around her, especially now that she’s attempting to eat solid foods. He’s always underfoot as he forages around her highchair for her droppings.
Doggies circling like vultures
The little terrier, Brewster, is stealthy, and is the first to pounce on any baby food that hits the first. CJ moves slower and more deliberately, determined to pick up ay small pieces Brewster missed. But CJ gets himself stuck in the most unfortunate positions – like this one (which happened when he was nosing around after crumbs), leaving me to have to help him get “un-stuck.”
And CJ tends to bark repeatedly every time I get the baby down for her afternoon nap. So frustrating! I then find myself barking (shouting) back at him to “shut up, you’ll wake the baby,” which of course wakes her up immediately making me even more frustrated, mostly with myself for having an argument with a dog.
Luckily (for CJ’s sake), the Whole30 folks state that this phase doesn’t last. And, I’m doing my best to remind myself that I made it through these rough patches last time and the rewards are more than worth the discomfort. So, I’ll have another cup of Nut Pods-spiked coffee and look forward to some yummy (leftover) rotisserie chicken stir fry for dinner, one of my favorite recipe discoveries from our first Whole30.
Leftover Rotisserie Chicken Stir Fry with Riced Cauliflower
Beauty Resource for the Day:
Anyone who’s read my posts knows by now I love Tati Westbrook, AKA “GlamLifeGuru.” Love. Her. Her most recent video is the perfect example of why. Unlike many YouTube gurus who tout the most expensive department store makeup products, Tati has created a new video tag titled “Nothing over $10,” the challenge being to create a beautiful full face of makeup look using only products under $10. Watch as she executes the challenge flawlessly and jot down the excellent and inexpensive products she uses:
Wisdom for the Day:
“Finishing is better than starting. Patience is better than pride.” ~Ecclesiastes 7:8 (New Living Translation)
Read more here.
Immediately following completion of our first #Whole30 (May 1, 2016), Hubs and I agreed that we definitely wanted to do another round sometime this year. Not yet confident in our ability to adhere to the program rules over the food-centric Thanksgiving holiday, we decided September was our best bet for a successful Round 2. So off we go on our second Whole30 adventure!
During our first round, I relied heavily on the resources and downloads available at the Whole30 website. One resource I failed to mention during our first go-round was the #Whole30 Non-Scale Victory (#NSV) Checklist – available for download here. The NSV Checklist is a 2-page list of positive results (separate from actual pounds or kg. lost) achieved by Whole30 completers. I encourage you to check it out if you’ve never seen the NSV Checklist. Folks have reported some amazing achievements like “Whiter Teeth;” “Looking Younger;” “Longer, Stronger Nails;” and “Increased Libido.”
As a motivator, I reviewed my NSV Checklist results from our first round. Then, I made list of the #NSV items I hope to achieve this round. Here’s my list of benefits achieved during our April (2016) Whole30:
1. Less dimpled skin
2. Flatter stomach
3. Leaner overall appearance
4. Clothes fit better – this was huge!
As pictured below, I was (finally) able to fit into 2 pair of my pre-pregnancy jeans for the first time in a year!
Woohoo! Back in my fav jeans!!! (excuse the messy bedroom and my unattractive socks)
5. Less bloating
5. Feeling more confident in my appearance
6. Fewer PMS symptoms
7. A more regular monthly cycle
8. Less stomach pain
9. Less gas
10. Reduction in food allergies (symptoms)
11. Improved blood sugar regulation
12. Less stressed
13. Fewer carb cravings
14. Improved body image
15. Improved self-confidence
16. Friends and family came to me seeking food and healthy lifestyle advice or healthy recipes
17. Eating to satiety
18. Listening to my body
19. No longer afraid of dietary fat (this was a BIG paradigm shift for me!)
20. No longer using food as a reward
21. More nutrition in my diet
22. Food no longer had unwanted “side effects” (similar to #11)
23. Energy levels more even
24. I no longer got cranky when I needed to eat
25. I needed less caffeine
26. I became more consistent with exercise
27. I discovered lots of new recipes (see list at bottom of post)
28. Our meal prep was more organized and efficient
29. Our healthy eating habits brought us closer as a family
30. People asked what I was doing differently (esp. how I lost the baby weight)
31. Feeling in control of food (not the other way around)
Wow! That’s a whole lotta benefits. Just typing them out makes me really excited to see what successes we’ll achieve this time. In keeping with Hubs’ recommendation‘ to set goals before undertaking any lifestyle changes, I’ve identified a few more potential results from the NSV Checklist I’d like to see happen this time. Here they are:
• More energy to play with our daughter (this is always my #1 goal as she’s always our #1 priority)
• Improved attention span
• Fewer ADHD symptoms
• Fall asleep more easily
• More energy to exercise – I’m hoping to add a walking regimen to my existing routine of MUTU + 45-60 min yoga/daily
• Be outside more
• Create and try new recipes
• No more under-eye circles
• Brighter eyes
• Clothes fit better – I still can’t fit into several pair of pre-pregnancy jeans.
• Looking younger
• Fewer seasonal allergies
• Less fatigue
• Practice mindful eating
Speaking of mindfulness and improved mental focus, I’m adding a goal not listed on the NSV Checklist. By then end of September, I want to be practicing EmWave for at least 15 minutes each day.
EmWave is a mental training product of the HeartMath company – available as an iPhone app, a stand-alone handheld device, or computer program teaches you to use “Balanced Breathing” to normalize your and balance out your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, thereby improving your focus and attention. If you’re unfamiliar with Emwave, check out their website for more information on the science and research behind this training, the benefits available from just a few minutes of practice each day.
Wisdom for the Day:
“To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are his.” ~Job 13:11 (New International Version)
Read more here.
Beauty Resource for the Day:
Ever wonder why all the beauty bloggers and social media makeup gurus have such huge beautiful eyes? Are they all just genetically gifted? Nope! They use special eye-tricking techniques to make their eyes appear larger. In this video the absolutely stunning Stephanie Lange shares her 8 best tricks for making eyes look bigger. It’s worth the less than 4 minutes of your time just to hear her adorable accent!
A few years ago (August of 2012 to be exact), Allure Magazine published an article online describing the Top 50 Beauty Products You Have to Try before You Die (ominous title, right?). It was and continues to be a very popular article. It continues to resurface periodically on various social media platforms. It recently showed up again on my Facebook feed republished by Allure, so I reread the article to see where I measure up in terms of having tried the 50 products and to see whether I agree with the list.
As a beauty blogger, I’m a little embarrassed to admit I’ve only tried 22 of these so-called 50 “must try” products. There was a time when I would rush right out and immediately buy the remaining 28 products. But, I’ve grown up a little, gotten married and adjusted to our single-income budget. So I’m less likely to run right out and buy the latest or (purportedly) greatest products. I may have become a teensy bit cynical too, after having tried and been disappointed by so many supposedly magical products over the years.
Of the products I’ve tried my opinion is that some are deserving of the hype and some aren’t. I’m listing the products I’ve tried below as well as my impressions of each and whether or not I believe them to be “must try.” Have you seen this article? If you’re a beauty product aficionado (like me), then I’d love to hear your comments on those products you’ve tried and if you concur with Allure Magazine that these are musts for any beauty fan.
1. Chanel N°5 EDT:This was the first, classic fragrance I ever purchased for myself. My mother is a big fragrance fan as well and she taught me from a young age the value of classic, high-end scents. When I was about 12, Mom schooled me on classics like Joy, Shalimar, Diorissimo and Chanel N°5. Diorissimo and Joy were too flowery for my young tastes, and Shalimar was too strong (though I respect everything Guerlain creates).
N°5 became my goal because I’ve been a Marilyn Monroe fan since forever. When I read that Chanel N°5 was her favorite, I decided I HAD to have this fragrance too! With my babysitting money in tow, I trotted down to our local Dillard’s Department Store and purchased a great big atomizer of this without even testing it. I still remember the box and the shiny black lacquered bottle. Alas, the fragrance itself never won me over (again, probably too flowery) so I gave it away. But I’ll always have a sentimental fondness for this one…It was Marilyn’s favorite, after all.
2. L’Oreal Elnett Satin Hairspray: I tried this one about 5 years ago because I’d read an article calling it the best hairspray ever. Honestly, this one didn’t blow me away. The scent is just…wow! It’s just really strong! And frankly, I was then and am still far more impressed with Sebastian’s Shaper Plus (pictured below) and the generic Shaper Plus alternatives now readily available at drugstores and Wal-Mart) which out-perform Elnett without the overpowering smell. If you love this hairspray but (like me) don’t enjoy the fragrance, you’re in luck because L’Oreal has released an unscented version. 3. La Mer Creme De La Mer: I’m sucker for a celebrity endorsement. I once read that Jennifer Lopez slathered her whole body in this uber expensive night cream before she went to sleep each night. And who doesn’t wanna have their own JLo glow? So, I did and purchased a 1 oz. pot of this purported miracle cream. I liked it. It’s an effective moisturizer; although I now know that most of the effective anti-aging ingredients will be rendered ineffective due to the jar packaging. But I cannot justify the price anymore; nor can I ignore the fact that most of the active anti-aging ingredients in this product lose their efficacy due to the jar packaging. For more on that, check out this review from Beautypedia.com.
Fortunately, there are other, more reasonably priced face and body creams available. I personally love these 3 fantastic options from Paula’s Choice, each contain a number of potent anti-agers and each one is thoughtfully packaged in a way that preserves the efficacy of those ingredients.
A Trifecta of Effective PAULA’S CHOICE Anti-Aging Moisturizers
4. NARS Orgasm Blush: I had this one a few years ago as well, and it was also a blind purchase (this time from Sephora’s website). Honestly, I disagree with the reputation this has for being “perfect for every skin tone.” It’s not perfect for mine. I actually like their other brighter pink blushes better on me (my current favs are “Desire” and “Gaity“). I cannot argue with the excellent pigmentation of all NARS’ blush products. They’re fantastically pigmented and one compact will last you a looong time!
5. Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush: These blushesare great! I should qualify that statement. If you enjoy cream, cream-to-powder or gel blushes; if your skin is on the drier, more sensitive side, you’ll probably love this blush! It really is great. The pigmentation is great. There’s an excellent shade range from pale candy pink to bright red, coral and a phenomenal bronze shade that’s terrific and works for a number applications. When I took stock of my makeup inventory for this article, I discovered I currently own 4 Dream Bouncy Blushes (in Pink Frosting, Fresh Pink, Hot Tamale, and Coffee Cake). As with the NARS shades, I tend to favor the lighter pinks, but I adore the bronzer (Coffee Cake) which works well on my skin tone as a cream contour.
7. Crest 3D Professional Whitening Strips: I used these a couple years ago to brighten my smile. They worked okay but the sensitivity I experienced during treatment scared me off trying these strips again.
8. Yves Saint Laurent Touche ÉClat: I sampled this product the day the Gainesville (FL) Sephora opened in 2008. It was suggested to me by the guest makeup artist attending the event as a possible coverup for the purple Botox shiners I was sporting at the time. It did not cover up those bruises, and I’m not convinced this product is a great concealer (it doesn’t cover my bluish underage circles either). However, it is an effective and elegant click-pen highlighter that basically started the trend. These days, I actually prefer Maybelline’s DREAM LUMI® Touch Highlighting Concealer to YSL’s version. It’s worth noting that both YSL cosmetics and Maybelline are owned by the mega-company L’Oreal. Those major cosmetics conglomerates often share researchers, product testing and formulations.
9. Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+: I started using Clinique’s famous 3-step protocol at age 13, after several of my little girlfriends mentioned their mothers had introduced them to the line’s famous protocol. I still remember dragging my mother to nearest Clinique counter and insisting that she buy me the soap (the scent of which was so recognizable that it still conjures up powerful middle school memories), the clarifying lotion and the unmistakable yellow cream. Fast forward 27 years later and there’s still a bottle of Dramatically Different in both my bathroom and my mother’s. It’s not the highest-tech, most sophisticated night cream on the market. But this product has undeniable staying power and its simplistic formulation makes it suitable for virtually all skin types, even the most sensitive. Side note, if you’re looking for an effective and gentle moisturizer that provides proven anti-agers, check out this widely available and reasonably priced lotion from Cerave. It contains 3 different types of ceramides, niacinamide and hyaluronic acid. It melts into the skin quickly and gives my skin an immediately plumped appearance. 10. The Original beautyblender®:This super sponge revolutionized makeup application and spawned an army of knock-offs. Sponging is my preferred way to apply foundation, and this tool outperforms nearly every other sponge on the market, especially for a smooth, fuller coverage foundation finish. I find that it doesn’t work the best around my eyes, and I’ve yet to try the beautyblender micro.minis mostly because I find the idea of paying $18 for 2 such itty bitty sponges. Most days, I only wear a BB cream, so I tend to use this sponge from Real Techniques. But when I have a special occasion or event I’m going all out for, I still swear by the original beauty blender when I need a flawless full-coverage result. 11. Lip Smackers: All hail Bonne Bell Lip Smackers! These waxy flavored chapstick-style treats are a right of passage for tweens around the world. This is (yet) another product that I’ve long since set aside in favor of more grown-up lip balms, but I still have a soft spot for for these soda or candy-scented sticks.
12. Aquaphor’s Advanced Therapy Healing Ointment: Maybe the ultimate beauty multi-tasker, in my opinion this stuff definitely deserves a spot among the 50 must-try products. It’s the ultimate multi-tasker! I have used this as an intensive but gentle moisturizer post-procedure (e.g. post microderm or fractional laser treatments), as a heavy-duty balm for cracked and peeling lips, to keep my brows in place, as a cuticle tamer, and to soothe my feet after a long workday wearing 5″ heels (mercifully I don’t wear those heels very often now). I also used it daily on my pregnant belly to prevent stretch marks. I’m not sure if it was the Aquaphor or genetics, but I am very fortunate to have escaped pregnancy with zero stretch marks. This stuff stuff was also recommended by our pediatrician as a gentle but effective post-bath moisturizer for our daughter’s sensitive skin. Works like a charm!
13. Clarisonic Classic Sonic Skin Cleansing System: I purchased a pink Clarisonic Mia (1st generation) maybe 3 years ago now. I like it and used it consistently for about a year, replacing the cleansing brushes every 2-3 months. I even convinced Hubs to try it (quite a fete since I’d selected a pink one!). He liked it (he likes almost all techy toys) . We both used it for a while, until we tired of purchasing new brush heads for that one (which we had to do even more frequently when we were both using it). About that time, Foreo released their LUNA sonic cleanser.
I quickly succumbed to the LUNA hype and purchased it with my 20% Platinum ULTA coupon. Once I got the Foreo Luna, I put the Clarisonic away; though I still have it. In writing this article, I got the Clarisonic out, recharged it and used it along with the Luna for comparison. I found that the Luna is a bit gentler than the Clarisonic which is important for my sensitive skin. Plus, the charge on the LUNA lasts at least 10 X longer than the Clarisonic. That, along with the cost savings of no longer having to purchase replacement brush heads, seals the deal for me.
14. Dior Diorshow Buildable Volume Mascara:Here is an almost $30 mascara with a big rep for creating huge, separated, clump-free lashes. I purchased it in 2008. It is a good mascara. I enjoyed using it. It was particularly effective since, at the time that I purchased Diorshow I’d been using Latisse for about 6 months. So this mascara produced great volume without much need to lengthen my lashes. I’ve never purchased it again, because I just never felt – based on my experience – that it was worth the price tag.
Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara Mini
Keep in mind that Dior is a subsidiary of LVMH – the giant conglomerate which owns Sephora stores and brand cosmetics, Benefit Cosmetics, MAKEUP FOREVER, Givenchy and Guerlain, Kat Von D makeup and several other beauty brands. I personally think that Benefit’s “They’re Real” mascara is a great dupe for Diorshow. Whereas Diorshow costs $28.50; They’re Real costs only $24. Hey every $4.50 saved is money you can spend on buying (what else?) more makeup! Also, Benefit offers a travel size option for just $12, available at both Sephora and ULTA stores and online shops. If you’ve struggled with (full-size) mascara tubes drying out and turning clumpy, I’d recommend you try a travel-sized version for your next mascara purchase.
15. Guerlain Meteorites Pearls:Another product I (incredibly) was able to convince my mother to buy me, a then 15 year-old. I remember circling the Guerlain counter multiple times and asking the poor sales person to allow me to test this product. My mother finally succumbed to the pressure. If memory serves, this one was part of a birthday present, and I remember being over the moon to receive it and open the elegant packaging. I guess this was my first highlighter which is really its main purpose. It’s nearly impossible to use individual colors for color-correcting.
16. Cnd Shellac: Big fail for me. No idea what happened but this stuff just peeled right off my nails after just 2 days. Worked great on my toes, but like almost all polishes (even those professionally applied) this one tended to peel off my nails. Side note, back in the day (i.e. the 90s) when I wore (sigh) acrylic nails, even falsies lifted and peeled right off my nails. So these days, when I need a long-wearing manicure, I prefer to use the Red Carpet Manicure brand gel polish set. It’s cheaper than a salon mani/pedi, and I can touch it up at home if (when) I need to. 17. OPI Nail Lacquer in Lincoln Park After Dark: I like OPI polishes a whole lot! And this one deserves its legendary status. It’s a lovely deep plum shade that’s neither to warm or too cool. The color is sophisticated and chic. Appropriate for women of all ages, it’s edgy enough to feel youthful but understated enough to work for more mature women.
18. Tigi Bed Head Superstar Queen for a Day Thickening Spray: I have fine hair. So I’m always on the hunt for styling products to make my hair look thicker. I purchased this one from Tigi a few years ago along with several other sprays including Redken’s Guts root thickener spray, and the now legendary Oribe Après Beach Wave and Shine Spray. In all honesty, I prefer Oribe’s version. It’s brilliant and smells amazing! But, it’s quite pricey and only available through Oribe salons or the Oribe website. Bed Head’s Queen for a Day is an effective and more cost-efficient alternative, but it’ll never replace my Après Beach.
19. Tweezerman Slant Tweezer: I’m not ashamed to admit I’m the proud owner of 4 of these terrific tweezers. I keep 2 pair in my bathroom (one on each side of the br, nearest my best makeup mirrors) and the other two are stashed in various handbags. I hate to ever be without one. They really are the best and worth every penny!
Quite simply the best tweezers available!
20. St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse: As mentioned above, I have light (sometimes pale) skin. Always have. I think shimmery bronze skin is beautiful, and I believe that having a tan can hide a multitude of flaws, especially any creaping or dimpling on the legs. I used to frequent tanning beds in search of a browner color, but I now realize the error of my ways (and have to sun spots to remind me) so I stay as far away from those places as possible. This self-tanning mousse is the truly the best I’ve tried. It doesn’t smell awful. It’s thick but still easy to apply. And the consistency is smooth enough to offer a little extra “play time” during application to prevent major speaking or random clumps of brown stain. A close, if not-quite-a-dupe product is Jergen’s Natural Glow Instant Sun Sunless Tanning Mousse (I use Deep Bronze shade). Jergen’s tanner also has no offensive odor. It has an almost identical texture and applies evenly without streaking. Plus, the deep bronze shade is very close to St. Tropez’s Classic Mousse color. But the Jergens option costs just $13 (for 6 oz.); while the St. Tropez version costs $42 (for 6.7 oz.). 21. Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick (Black Cherry): I LOVE Revlon lipsticks. Always have. My earliest makeup memory involved me (at around 4 years old) rooting through my mother’s purse and discovering a bright purple lipstick shade from Revlon. I remember being mesmerized by the color and taking (AKA stealing) it to play with. About 10 years later, I got Black Cherry. I finished that tube and now keep at least 4 other Revlon Super Lustrous shades on hand at all times.
22. Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage:This product is one of the many, many (probably over 50) concealers I’ve purchased to cover my genetically-bestowed under-eye bags. This product contains two shades that can be used separately, combined to create a custom shade or layered for color-correcting purposes. Because the skin around my eyes is always super dry, this one didn’t work very well. Both shades are very pigmented. And this is one concealer Wayne Goss recommends for his “lift the eye” concealer trick (described in the video below). Sadly, for me it creased and settled in my fine lines. But I think it works brilliantly for others without my particular constellation of under-eye “issues.”
Side rant: I once loved LM products and swore my allegiance to her foundations thanks to a couple of her foundations that were perfect matches for my skin. Sadly, both my Laura Mercier HG foundations (the first generation Moisturizing Foundation and the original Silk Creme Foundation) have since been discontinued and/or reformulated. I wish cosmetics companies would listen to their consumers and stop messing with successful products! Thankfully, the LM Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer with Broad Spectrum SPF20, remains unchanged.
Wisdom for the Day:
Commit your path to the Eternal; let Him direct you. Put your confidence in Him, and He will follow through with you. ~Psalm 37:5 (The Voice)
Read more here.
Beauty Resource of the Day:
Do you need a lift around your eyes? I sure do! In this video Wayne Goss describes his quick (and very easy) technique for giving your eyes a nice lift WITHOUT the need for medical interventions:
Delicate Pink Coconut Macaroons – The Perfect Afternoon Delight!
Hubs and I were born and raised in Florida – home to crazy alligators, blood-thirsty mosquitoes, and almost unbearable humidity. Of course, Florida does have a few things going for it (beautiful beaches, rivers and fresh-water springs; world-renown theme parks and attractions; and the best university in the USA – the University of Florida. Go Gators!).
Florida is also home to Publix Grocery Stores. Publix is so wonderful the chain had expanded to other nearby southern states including a few (but not nearly enough) stores in North Carolina where we live now. Growing up, I took Publix for granted. I figured all grocery stores were the same. Now I realize that Publix is unique among grocery chains. And I miss Publix’s wide selection, excellent generics, polite employees, and (I really miss) their phenomenal baked goods.
Hubs and I have chosen an appropriately Florida-centric colors+theme for our daughter’s first birthday party – pink and green alligators in the Swamp. Planning her party has me feeling especially nostalgic about the Publix bakery. I wish we could just walk in and grab one of their amazing birthday cakes (oh my goodness their buttercream frosting is everything!). As it stands, I’ll be baking her cake and the party cupcakes myself (I love to bake but it will be more stressful due to family we’ll be entertaining that week and given the other menu items I’ll also have to prepare). I also regret that I can no longer just run down to nearest local grocer and grab a couple dozen amazing Publix fresh-baked cookies for her party. My favorite Publix baked goods are their cookies, especially their coconut macaroons. These cookies are like a decadent slice of Florida in a super-sweet, extremely moist and huge cookie. Crispy underneath and chewy in the center, packed with intensely satisfying coconut-ty flavor and a kiss of almond, Publix macaroons may, in fact, be my favorite cookie of all time.
A Plate Full of Delicious (If not Very Healthful) Publix Macaroons
I’ve eaten many (many) Publix macaroons over the years. But I haven’t enjoyed one for several years now. Not only because their are so few Publix stores in our area, but because I’m keenly aware that those cookies are on the unhealthier side – full of refined sugars (and possibly even sweetened condensed milk). According to the nutritional and allergen info provided by Publix (here), their macaroons contain a whole laundry list of allergens – dairy, soy, wheat/gluten and tree nuts (as well as egg whites which along with coconut is the foundation of any macaroon recipe).
My recipe also contains egg whites but none of the other unpleasant, allergenic stuff. They’re whipped up pretty quickly. And this recipe makes a lot, nearly twice as many macaroons as most of the recipes I found online (most recipes you’ll find make about 18 cookies) so I was able to make half plain and half with Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips. Most importantly, everyone in our house loves them! My chocoholic mother even said she prefers the macaroons without chocolate chips. I like them both ways and predict your family will as well.
• 4 Cups shredded unsweetened coconut
• 1 cup coconut sugar
• 1/4 cup local honey (preferably raw) or additional ½ cup coconut sugar
• ¼ tsp. Pure Stevia Extract (optional)
• ½ tsp. baking soda
• 2 Tbsp. tapioca starch
• 4 large egg whites, at room temperature
• ¼ tsp. salt
• ¼ tsp. cream of tarter
• 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
• ½ tsp. almond extract (scant, this is strong stuff, so don’t overdo it)
• 1 cup Enjoy Life dark chocolate mini chips (optional but yummy)
• Small and large mixing bowls
• Measuring cups + spoons
• Hand mixer or stand-up mixer
• 2 Large baking sheets
• Parchment paper or 2 sil-pat sheets
• Silicone spatula or “spoonula”
• 1 oz. Cookie scoop
Pretty in Pink Macaroons A Test Run Before the Big Party
1. Preheat oven to 300° Fahrenheit (149° Celsius), and cover 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Then set prepped pans aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together coconut, baking soda, tapioca starch, Stevia (if using) and sugar.
3. Put egg whites and salt into a separate very clean non-reactive bowl (ceramic works well). Be sure to save those healthful yolks for later use.
4. Using a hand mixer or stand-up mixer. Beat egg whites on HIGH setting until foamy. Then add vanilla and almond extracts.
5. Continue beating egg whites on HIGH until they reach soft peaks. Then add food coloring if desired. Beat on HIGH for another minute or 2 longer until egg whites reach firm peaks stage.
6. Using silicone spatula, carefully fold egg whites into coconut mixture. Take your time and fold in slowly (you want to avoid deflating the egg whites).
7. If using chocolate chips, add now using same silicone spatula. Gently stir until well combined.
8. Using a 1 oz. cookie scoop, scoop batter onto prepared cookie sheets about 1” apart.
9. Bake for 25-30 min in preheated (300° F, 149° C) oven.
10. Allow cookies to cool about 10-15 minutes before removing from baking sheets. And allow to (if you’re self-restraint allows). ~Makes about 32 macaroons NOTES: I like to store baked and cooled macaroons in the refrigerator in a Tupperware or other airtight container. They’ll keep that way for about a week, but I anticipate that they’ll be eaten long before the week is up! And, stay tuned for more posts related to our party prep as we get closer to her birthday in October.
Wisdom for the Day:
Go back to your homes, and prepare a feast. Bring out the best food and drink you have, and welcome all to your table, especially those who have nothing. This day is special. It is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve over your past mistakes. Let the Eternal’s own joy be your protection! ~Nehemiah 8:10 (The Voice)
Read more here.
Beauty Resource of the Day:
These days, I am all about anti-aging. Sadly, I had some very aging-advancing habits in my younger, more foolish days including (but not limited to): years of visiting tanning salons, spending hours baking in the bright Florida sun and (worst of all) smoking. Now that I’m 40, those bad behaviors are catching up to me and seem to show on my skin. The following video from very beautiful Angie of Hot & Flashy describes her top 5 recommended habits for anti-aging along with product suggestions to help you easily make those tricky-to-adopt lifestyle changes. Angie is a role model for aging beautifully. Enjoy!
Sometimes you just need something special for dinner. This recipe makes about 8 elegant entrée servings. It’s delicious and impressive, and it just happens to be Whole30-compliant. Much of this recipe may be prepared in advance, making this a convenient option for hosting company. Your guests will never suspect you’re serving a “diet” recipe. But then, Whole30 is not a diet. It’s a lifestyle, allowing you to regularly enjoy healthful and delicious meals like this one!
INGREDIENTS: For the Spinach Cream Stuffing –
• 1 + 1/3 cup raw almonds or raw cashews, soaked at least 3 hours (or overnight) in filtered water
• ¼ cup lemon juice
• 1 tsp. spicy brown mustard (not Dijon, see comment below+)
• 2 tsp. Celtic sea salt, divided
• ¼ tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
• 1 whole pitted date
• 4 Tbsp. Nut Pods Original Unsweetened Coffee Creamer, New Barn or homemade almond milk (I like this recipe from the lovely and very talented Angela of Oh She Glows)
• 1 egg lightly beaten
• 4 – 6 Tbsp. filtered water, added 2 Tbsp. at a time to mixture while processing to form a smooth cream
• 10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and very well drained For Roulades – • 2 lb. extra lean turkey or pork boneless, skinless cutlets
• 1 Tbsp. coconut or avocado oil
• 1 tsp. Celtic sea salt
• Generous sprinkle garlic powder
• Food processor or powerful blender (e.g. Vitamix or Nutribullet)
• Parchment paper
• Meat mallet (pounder)
• Chef’s knife + Cutting board
• 13”X9” baking pan or dish
• Nonstick coconut oil spray
• Toothpicks (optional)
1. Prepare spinach cream as follows:
• Drain soaked nuts. Then place nuts into the canister of food processor with S blade attached or into the canister of powerful blender (I used a NutriBullet blender, but a food processor would work too).
• Add the next lemon juice, mustard, 1 tsp. salt, pepper, date, egg and creamer/milk to the canister.
• Place lid on food processor or blender and begin to process mixture by pulsing on LOW food processor.
• Begin adding water 2 Tbsp. at a time until the mixture comes together; has no visible pieces of nuts or date and is mostly smooth. Use as little water as necessary to be able to blend the mixture.
• When mixture reaches consistency similar to ricotta cheese, scrape the mixture into a small mixing bowl along with well-drained spinach and remaining 1 tsp. Celtic sea salt. Stir well to thoroughly combine.
• Cover with lid and refrigerate mixture. NOTE: Spinach cream may be made up to 3 days in advance. Just keep covered and refrigerated until ready to use.
2. Prepare stuffed roulades as follows:
• Place 1 large piece of parchment paper over a cutting board. Then place 2 cutlets in the center of the paper about 2” apart. Cover cutlets with another piece of parchment paper. Then pound each cutlet with meat mallet until about 1/8” thick. Repeat this process with remaining cutlets. NOTE: You can do this part in advance as well. Simply place pounded cutlets in a large freezer bag and refrigerate up to 24 hours.
3. Coat the inside of 13”X9” baking dish with coconut oil or nonstick coconut oil spray. Then add 1 Tbsp. of oil to baking pan/dish. Set aside.
4. Using clean hands, place one cutlet on a plate. Spread 2 Tbsp. spinach stuffing mixture atop of the cutlet. Then carefully roll up the roulade and if desired secure with toothpicks. Next place rolled and stuffed roulades side-by-side in prepared baking dish. Repeat this process until all roulades have been placed in baking dish. Use any remaining spinach cream to top roulades, spreading an even layer over top each roulade in baking dish. Sprinkle roulades with 1 tsp. seal salt and garlic powder as desired. Then cover baking pan or dish with aluminum foil. NOTE: Rolled and stuffed roulades may be prepared up to 24 hours in advance and kept covered and refrigerated until ready to bake.
5. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375° Fahrenheit (190° Celsius). Bake roulades in preheated oven for about 45 minutes or until the thickest roulade reaches an internal temperate 165° Fahrenheit (74° Celsius).
6. Allow baked roulades to rest about 15 minutes before serving.
Halved #Whole30 Turkey Roulades with Super Simple Sweet Potatoes, Tossed Salad, & Presto Peachy Vinaigrette.
~Makes 7-10 roulades, or about 8 servings.
+When doing #Whole30, it’s very important you get into the habit of checking the ingredient lists of anything you plan to eat or use when cooking. For example, dijon mustard usually contains white wine which is not permitted during #Whole30, so be sure to check the mustard before you purchase. For a complete list of Whole30 program do’s and don’ts as well as answers to just about any questions you may have, I highly recommend you check out the program rules here and other resources available at Whole30.com to educate yourself prior to beginning your own Whole30 journey, whenever you have questions or need some support.
SERVING SUGGESTIONS: This recipe makes a fancier entrée suitable to serve to guests or company. These roulades are especially delicious served with Stupid Easy Cran-Cherry Sauce. The sweet tartness of the sauce provides a lovely counterpoint to the savory spinach stuffing and makes the meal feel even more special.
Beauty Resource for the Day:
I recently posted an article describing my favorite (and not-so-favorite) drugstore sunscreens. In that article (which you can read here), I attempted to demystify the various sunscreen “active” ingredients and discuss which types of formulas are best for different members of the family. The video that follows from the brilliant celebrity makeup artist, Lisa Eldridge, provides an even more in-depth discussion regarding sunscreens and offers a short list of recommended brands and products including those available outside and within the USA. Apparently, other countries have access to a wider variety of broad spectrum sunscreens than we do here in the United States. Bummer! But I’ll let Lisa explain the particulars.
Wisdom for the Day:
“I know the plans that I have for you, declares the LORD. They are plans for peace and not disaster, plans to give you a future filled with hope. Then you will call to me. You will come and pray to me, and I will hear you.” ~Jeremiah 29:11-12 (God’s Word Translation)
Read more here.
Left: My Homemade Veggie Puffs. Right: Dr. Praeger’s Spinach Littles
I have a secret. I’m completely addicted to toddler food. Actually, it’s just 1 particular toddler food.
For years now, I’ve been loving these Dr. Praeger’s Spinach and Broccoli Littles. Love. Love. LOVE. Them. I’ll drive way out of my way to find these “little” veggie+potato treats, and cheerfully pay more than $5 per 10 oz. box (I usually purchase 4 to 5 boxes at a time since they’re hard to find in my area) to feed my habit.
My love affair with Dr. Praeger’s products began several years ago. After several years of “healthy” vegan eating, I developed a severe allergic reaction to the soy-based meat substitutes I was eating on a regular. So when I first spotted these non-GMO, soy-free alternatives at Whole Foods, I grabbed them up and was quickly hooked. When I was pregnant and craving these tasty little buggers, I even sent Hubs up to the nearest Whole Foods (over an hour each direction) to score a few boxes for me! I have such a wonderful husband!
I love them because they’re green and filled with non-GMO green veggies and potatoes. They’re certified gluten-free (and in fact, contain no grains whatsoever). There’s nothing funky or nasty in them (save for some canola oil which admittedly is not the best, but at least it’s not hydrogenated or full of trans fats); no grains or gluten (they’re certified gluten-free); and no dairy or soy. They’ve got some protein in there too, thanks to the inclusion of egg whites. And they just taste great! They’re fun to eat and just make me feel good. But since I’m an adult (not the target market), I tend to eat a bunch of them (when I have them). So, keeping my “Littles” supply stocked can be rather expensive.
Recently Hubs and I were stocking up, and I was overcome with a bit of buyer’s remorse. As I emerged from the store’s freezer holding 5 boxes of assorted Dr. P.’s Littles, I made the following off-hand remark. “These things are ridiculously expensive. I bet I could make them, or something very similar.” Since Hubs manages the grocery budget, he was immediately excited by my comment. I, on the other hand, was immediately regretful I’d said something so foolish, thinking “I could never make anything as delicious as my beloved Dr. P’s.” I reluctantly agreed to try to create a recipe similar too my beloveds but insisted we purchase the 5 boxes I was holding “you know, just so I have something to compare my own recipe to.” Gotta love that rationalization there.
Hub agreed, and I began searching the all-knowing Internet for some sort of “Dr. Praeger’s Littles” dupe recipe. I quickly found several recipes posted on various Pinterest boards, all of which claimed to be dupes. Sadly, each one of those recipes included cheese, lots of cheese, sometimes 2 types of cheese in a single recipe. Ugh! Since dairy is a deal-breaker for me, I decided to wing it, and try to create something yummy using the same ingredients listed on the box (but subbing extra virgin avocado oil for the aforementioned canola. And I used tapioca powder instead of arrowroot because that’s all I had, but either would work well).
I’m excited about the following recipe for a few reasons. First, I’m excited because these little puffs taste really good, and because I envision them saving us some grocery money. I really enjoy eating them, and (even more importantly), my daughter likes to eat them too. Woohoo! Score one for Mommy! I’m also excited to share a recipe that features spinach, which is #8 on HealthGrove’s list of the top 30 foods for beautiful skin and hair. For those of you who are unaware, I’ve been posting a series of #Whole30-compliant and #paleo-correct recipes based on that HealthGrove list. Spinach is a favorite in our house. It’s literally our daughter’s favorite food which makes me very happy because spinach is such an amazing food. These mild leafy greens are an excellent source of folate, Folate, Magnesium, Potassium and many awesome antioxidant and beautifying vitamins (including: Vitamins A, B2, C, E, and K). You can read all about Popeye’s power source here. If you’re interested in reading the whole list of 30 best foods for beauty, you can find the full list here. And if you’ve missed any of the previous recipes in this series, be sure to check out the list and links at the bottom of this post.
• ½ sweet onion diced + ¼ cup chicken or vegetable broth (optional)
• 14 oz. bag frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and well-drained
• 1•½ cup liquid egg whites (roughly the whites from 12 large eggs)
• 3 cups cooked finely diced or shredded potatoes, divided
• 1 Tbsp. sea salt
• 20 cranks of crushed black pepper
• ¼ – ½ tsp. garlic powder or 1-2 whole, peeled garlic cloves (according to taste; I recommend using ¼ tsp. if using onion)
• 1•½ cup potato flakes (For this and all my #Whole30 recipes, I recommend these flakes from Bob’s Red Mill because those are the only potato flakes I’ve found that are 100% dehydrated potatoes without dextrose or any unapproved additives)
• 2 Tbsp. tapioca starch
• 4 Tbsp. chia seeds
• Nonstick coconut oil spray
• 2 Tbsp. extra virgin avocado or olive oil HARDWARE:
• Powerful blender or food processor (I used our Vitamix, and it worked really well)
• Measuring cups + spoons
• 2 Baking pans (I used 2 mini muffin tins) coated with nonstick coconut oil
• 1 Large mixing bowl
• 2 Microwave-safe bowls (medium and small)
• 1 oz. cookie scoop
1. If including onion in your veggie tots, cut onion into slices. Then transfer onion to a small microwave-safe bowl along with ¼ cup broth. Cover bowl with a paper towel and microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes. Remove bowl from microwave and set aside.
2. Place 3 cups diced or shredded potatoes into a larger microwave-safe bowl. Cover with paper towel and microwave on HIGH for 5 minutes. Remove bowl from microwave and set aside.
3. Pour the following ingredients into the canister of a powerful blender or food processor with ‘S’ blade attached: cooked onion mixture; drained spinach or greens; shredded, 2 cups diced (or shredded) potatoes; sea salt; black pepper; and garlic (if using). Place lid on food processor or blender. Then process/blend on LOW setting about 30 seconds or until mixture is liquified and thoroughly combined. Pour mixture into a very large mixing bowl.
4. In a separate bowl, sift together potato flakes, tapioca starch; and chia seeds. Then add this mixture to the spinach mixture, along with remaining 1 cup diced or shredded potatoes. Stir well to thoroughly combine. Cover bowl with aluminum foil and refrigerate batter for 30 minutes (up to overnight).
5. When ready bake, preheat oven to 400° Fahrenheit (204° Celsius). And spray 2 large mini muffin tins with nonstick coconut oil spray. Then drizzle 1 Tbsp. avocado oil over each of the pans. If using regular cookie sheets, cover sheet with parchment paper. Then lightly coat paper with nonstick spray and drizzle 1 Tbsp. oil over each pan. Set pans aside.
6. Using a 1 oz. cookie scoop, scoop batter into/onto prepared muffin tins or baking sheets. Sprinkle puffs lightly with more sea salt if desired.
7. Bake at 400° Fahrenheit (204° Celsius) for 35 minutes (mini-muffin tins) – 45 minutes (for puffs on cookie sheets). SERVING SUGGESTIONS & NOTES:
While these little treats are technically #Whole30-compliant, they’re potato-heavy (i.e. high carbs). It’s best to think of these puffs as a starchy side dish, not a high-protein entrée. I recommend enjoying these treats in moderation and serving alongside a nice lean meat and toss salad. This recipe makes a ton, but these little puffs freeze well. If you do plan to freeze and reheat later, bake for just 30-35 minutes. Then allow cooked puffs to cool thoroughly before transferring to a large freezer bag. To reheat, remove puffs from freezer and allow to sit on counter until puffs reach room temperature. Then preheat oven to 400° F (204° C) and oil a baking sheet. Then place desired number of puffs of prepared baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for about 10 minutes.
3 Little Veggie Puffs Just Begging to be Eaten!
Wisdom for the Day:
“But God chose what the world considers nonsense to put wise people to shame. God chose what the world considers weak to put what is strong to shame. God chose what the world considers ordinary and what it despises—what it considers to be nothing—in order to destroy what it considers to be something.” ~I Corinthians 1:27-28 (God’s Word Translation) Read more here.
Beauty Resource of the Day:
You ever notice how all the YouTube beauty gurus are always raving the latest and greatest product roll-outs? It’s pretty rare to encounter a beauty review or tutorial video that really praises those products that have been around for years. So when I encounter a YouTuber who embraces oldy but goodies, I get excited and want to share it. Check out this full talk-thru tutorial as Emily Noel discusses (and demos) her favorite all-time drugstore products. Take notes because the products she recommends are excellent and bound to save you some money!