Saturday, November 27, 2010

Homemade Facial Mask

I thought my days of oily, acne prone skin would leave me when I reached my 20s. I was wrong. I'm in my early 30s (eeks!) and I'm STILL battling craptastic skin issues. I've tried every product out there and they only make my skin break out more. I have been doing a lot of research on what would be best for my skin and have found a combination of things that I think will work. You'll need:

1 ripe strawberry
Strawberries contain natural salicylic acid to help remove dead cells, clean pores, and calm acne. They are high in antioxidants to help repair skin damage. And packed with vitamin C which will improve texture and help fight cancer cells.

Oatmeal is great for cleansing and exfoliating. It also has anti-inflammatory properties.

1 teaspoon honey
Honey has natural anti-microbial and antioxidant properties to help protect from skin damage. It's a natural moisturizer which will help keep wrinkles away. Honey absorbs impurities from the skin which will help with acne.
1 teaspoon plain yogurt
Yogurt has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties which will help with acne. Also contains lactic acid which helps reduce wrinkles, soften, and hydrate skin.

1 teaspoon cornstarch

Helps absorb oil and leaves skin silky and matte.

Mash the strawberry up and then mix in the honey and yogurt. Stir in the cornstarch and then use the oatmeal to thicken it up. Slather it on (don't forget the neck and d├ęcolletage!) and take a relaxing bath or cover your pillow and relax. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes and then rinse with warm water.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Barley Risotto with Butternut Squash

This was so delicious - and healthy! The pearl barley provides 50% more protein than standard rice. It also has 3 grams of dietary fiber per serving (long-grain brown rice only provides 1.75). The butternut squash is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, potassium, and fiber. We enjoyed this as a side dish with turkey breast the first night. The next night we added mushrooms, spinach, and shredded chicken to the leftovers for a one-dish meal.

Barley Risotto with Butternut Squash
From: Country Living Magazine

2 1/2 cups peeled, chopped butternut squash
2  tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
         salt and ground black pepper
5 cups low-sodium chicken or veggie broth
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
2 small garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups pearled barley
3/4 cup dry white wine (I used a Sauvignon blanc)
1  teaspoon fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
         zest of 1 lemon
3/4  cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (we didn't use cheese and it was still delish!)

1. HEAT oven to 400F. Toss squash with 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on a baking pan and roast until tender, about 25 minutes, turning once halfway through. Set aside.

2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring broth to a gentle boil: then reduce heat to low. In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add onion, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Add barley and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Add wine and stir constantly until absorbed for about 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup broth, 1 teaspoon thyme, and lemon zest; stir frequently until liquid is absorbed.

3. Repeat with remaining broth, adding 1/2 cup at a time, until barley is tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cheese. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Gently fold in the squash and garnish with thyme.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!


(Lizelia Augusta Jenkins Moorer)

Let us give thanks to God above,
Thanks for expressions of His love,
Seen in the book of nature, grand
Taught by His love on every hand.

Let us be thankful in our hearts,
Thankful for all the truth imparts,
For the religion of our Lord,
All that is taught us in His word.

Let us be thankful for a land,
That will for such religion stand;
One that protects it by the law,
One that before it stands in awe.

Thankful for all things let us be,
Though there be woes and misery;
Lessons they bring us for our good-
Later 'twill all be understood.

Thankful for peace o'er land and sea,
Thankful for signs of liberty,
Thankful for homes, for life and health,
Pleasure and plenty, fame and wealth.

Thankful for friends and loved ones, too,
Thankful for all things, good and true,
Thankful for harvest in the fall,
Thankful to Him who gave it all.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Random Things I'm Lovin' This Week

It's been a week full of doctor appointments, procedures, and hospitals. Ugh. I was starting to feel a little down and overwhelmed today so I decided to indulge in some things I love!

1. Lavender. If I could be anything I'd be a farmer and grow fields of herbs and spices.

2. Wedgwood Vase in Black Basalt. LOVE.

 3. Le Creuset. Enamelled cast iron cookware in my favorite color. Someday these beauties will be mine! Someday....

4. Jason's pumpkin cheesecake. One more day and this will be melting in my mouth. Yum. Can't. Wait.

5. Peppermint Mocha Ice Cream. I'm so addicted to this flavor. I dream about Starbucks Iced Peppermint White Mocha drinks on a regular basis. I have issues.

6. Gorgeous fall/winter wreath. I need to get crafty this week and make my own.

image via Lula Boutique
7. Jadite..and milk glass. We went to the thrift stores last week and the only jadite we found was a set of canisters for...wait for it...$1000!!!

8. Mr. Bean. I dunno why but this picture just cracks me up!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Training for a 1/2! Whoot!

I'm so excited! My dear friend Heather called last week and said she was going to be running the Disney Princess 1/2 marathon in February and that I was going to be running it too! =)  I've been wanting to train for a real race for quite awhile but just haven't been healthy enough to put in the time and effort. I'm nervous and excited. I hope I can finish. I'd like to finish with a good time but I'll be pretty happy if I can just cross the finish line.

I think I'm more excited about the fact that while she's here we are going to see the new Harry Potter park at Universal!!!! Yeah....I'm a dork. I'm a Harry Potter fan. I can't hide it. You can take one look at me and know I'm a nerd. =)

I really need to figure out a training schedule that works for me. I also get an upset stomach when I run so I need to figure that out too. 

Oh! And I figured out something pretty awesome today. I've been running this same loop around our apartment complex that I thought was 1 mile. In my mid distance runs (say 4-6 miles or so) I've been REALLY discouraged with my times and pace. I couldn't figure out for the life of me why my times were just so dang slow. I went to map my run tonight and found out my 1 mile loop is actually 1.2 miles. Not a big difference at first.  BUT when you realize that a (previously thought) 5 mile run is actually 6 miles...whoo hoo!!!! My times aren't so shabby now. =)

I kept losing track of how many miles I was counting in my head today. I decided I either did a really bad 3 or a really great 4. We'll say it was a great 4 miles. Haha. I really want NEED one of these babies. Right now Walmart has them for $138. I'm trying to explain to Jay how essential it is that I have one for training. Wish me luck! =)