Friday, April 17, 2015

DIY Turmeric Face Mask {Guest Post}

Why spend tons of money on a facial mask when you can make your own?  And it's all natural!  This guest post by Tianna features a 'green' face mask.  Tianna blogs at Storybook Apothecary.  Be sure to visit her site for more beauty tips.

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Special thanks to Tameka for letting me guest post on her blog today!
As a green beauty enthusiast, I love DIY beauty recipes. Sure, luxury green beauty is gorgeous with it's high end packaging and complicated product formulas, but sometimes, our skin just needs a few simple ingredients to get our glow back.
With the beginning of spring here, I'm sure I'm not the only one dealing with less-than-radiant skin. If, like me, you're looking to put the glow back into your skin, then you'll want to try this simple beauty DIY face mask recipe!


DIY Glow Face Mask Recipe ♥

  • 1 Tablespoon | Manuka Honey | Manuka honey is, like regular honey, a humectant which means it helps attract moisture to the skin. If you are experiencing dullness, it's likely that your skin is somewhat dry. Honey helps to attract more moisture to your skin which results in better hydration. Manuka honey, in particular, comes from New Zealand and has strong antibacterial and brightening properties. This will help brighten your complexion, heal and/or prevent breakouts, and gently exfoliate your skin.
  • 1 Teaspoon | Turmeric | Turmeric is one of my favorite herbs EVER. It's wonderful to drink as a tea as it helps lower your risk for diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, but as a beauty ingredient, turmeric is brilliant for brightening up skin, fighting aging, and healing acne. It can help improve dark circles, acne scars, pigmentation, wrinkles and fine lines, balance out dry and/or oily skin, and even out skin tone. It's the primary ingredient in this mask because it's exceptional at helping give your skin a glow!
  • 1/2 Teaspoon | (ground) Cinnamon | Cinnamon is brilliant on acne and works great at exfoliating dry skin. It's also fantastic for plumping skin because it helps stimulate blood flow to the skin.
  • Water (as needed)

Directions: Mix all ingredients in a small bowl until it forms a paste. Add water to get your desired consistency. I went more for a watery consistency because I like how it feels more like a scrub when applied. Leave on 5 minutes, then rinse with lukewarm water. A warming sensation may occur during use, but you should be fine as long as you do not have sensitive skin. Keep away from eye area.

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Notes: If you have sensitive skin, leave the ground cinnamon out of this recipe and use only turmeric and regular honey with a little water. Alternatively, if your skin is more on the sensitive side, you can also use equal parts milk or yogurt with the turmeric and it will be gentle, but the dairy will still help exfoliate skin. The more liquid you use, the more watery consistency while the less water you use, the more of a sticky honey paste consistency so it's up to you what you prefer.

  Author Bio: Hello! My name is Tianna. I live in sunny Southern California USA. I am the owner and founder of Storybook Apothecary, a lifestyle blog with an emphasis on green beauty, fashion, fitness and everything in between! I blog all things beauty, fashion, and lifestyle with a unique sense of Italian Irish sassy sarcasm, laid back Cali girl style, and an innate (nearing on obsessive) love for pretty things, film and TV, and books about futuristic dystopian societies.

  Connect with Me: BlogFacebookTwitterInstagramPinterestGoogle+ Tumblr

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I can only recommend what I like and use personally, but if you're unsure whether or not using these ingredients is right for you and your skin, please consult your primary care physician and/or dermatologist.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

One Pot Pasta Meal

I was searching for an easy pasta dish one day when I came across a great recipe.  This dish is so easy to make and takes very little prep and cook time.  And the ingredients are easy to come by, and you probably have most of them at home already.

This recipe for One Pot Vegetable Macaroni and Cheese is from Framed Cooks.  The main ingredients are macaroni, cheese, broccoli and tomatoes.  The only prep required is to chop the broccoli and tomatoes, and to grate the cheese.  

I decided to double the recipe to ensure that there would be plenty and so that I could have leftovers.  The recipe requires that all ingredients be added to a large skillet at once.  You then have to stir everything together to combine.  I recommend whisking the flour and milk together first before adding to the rest of the ingredients.  I used almond milk so it wasn't as creamy as the original recipe.

I cooked the pasta for about 15 minutes, but I kept it covered the entire time.  Be careful not to have the temperature too high.  You don't want it to cook too fast, leaving the pasta undercooked.  You will need to season generously with salt and pepper.

The pasta was served alongside a MorningStar Farms Roasted Garlic and Quinoa Burger.  These patties are filled with the quinoa, lentils and carrots.  Yum.  They were a perfect match for the vegetable mac and cheese.

courtesy of

 I've made this dish two times already.  The second time I added more broccoli and cheese so that the cheese flavor would come through more.  But I realized that the water from the tomatoes may water down the flavor of the cheese.  So the next time, I might use fewer tomatoes.  All in all, it was a tasty and easy meal to produce.

Do you have a great one pot go-to meal ?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Who's Wearing What Wednesdays #24

Welcome to Week 24 of the Who's Wearing What Wednesdays linky party!!  If you're new to the party, welcome.  If not, welcome back!!   Our party is really growing fast.  Be sure to share this party with others, so that we can watch it grow even more!

Spring is in the air and the flowers are blooming!

This is a beautiful and very feminine look for this mom to be (I couldn't find her name anywhere on her blog, so if you know it please provide it to me).  She looks so beautiful in this lovely lavender dress.  I like the mesh panel at the bottom.  She adds a floral print blazer with a nice cut and style to it.  Her yellow pumps help bring out the color in the blazer.  She is absolutely glowing.   See more at her blog, Willfully Elegant.  

Please say hello to my Co-host for April, Iris aka Moumous!  I just love her fashion sense.  She always looks so classy.  Be sure to visit her blog, La Moumous and show her some love.  

Our most viewed look from last week's link up is...
Alice from Happiness At Midlife 
I love the blue floral dress with the yellow polka dot cardigan. 
Congrats on being featured.
Be sure to grab the Featured Button!!

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Now it's your time to share your style post for the week!!

Rules for the Party
  • You can share what you're wearing by linking up one post to the party.  Please link to your post, and not your blog.
  • You can share any post of your outfits from the week prior.
  • Share the Party Button in your post or on your blog.
  • Be sure to visit at least one other post and leave a comment.  Let's make sure we're doing this.  It only benefits everyone!
  • It is not required, but it would be appreciated if you can tweet about the party.
And don't forget to grab the button and share!

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*****Fashion bloggers wanted*****
Interested in hosting with me?  Sign up here.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Feel The Music #49

This song was very popular, maybe because the artist was very popular as well.  He was one of the great R&B singers of the 90s.  He has always been a great songwriter and producer.  Not everyone was fond of his vocals, as he was considered a beggar and whiner.  But he had some of the greatest R&B songs.

This song was on the New Jack City movie soundtrack.  And the artist even made a cameo appearance in the movie during the wedding scene.  He was known for his slow jams and this was one of his best.  This week's song is "(There You Go) Tellin' Me No Again" by Keith Sweat  


Monday, April 13, 2015

How to Keep Track of Homeschooling Your Toddler {Guest Post}

I am happy to have to have the chance to work with April again.  April is the author of April Noelle, a very insightful and inspirational blog.  Today, she provides a guest post that will help with homeschooling your little ones.  She shares a fabulous resource that would have been very helpful when my godson was a toddler.  Be sure to stop by April's blog for more wonderful posts.  

Track Toddler Homeschooling Calendar

Three and a half years ago, I became a stay at home mother. This life changing move not only rocked my world but it changed how I thought about school and raising your children. 

Starting when my children were newborns, I started singing nursery rhymes. Any and all of them. I remember how I seemed to be more attracted to the educational ones... The ABC Song and songs involving numbers. Not particularly because I was working to raise genius children, although I so totally wanted to, but more so, those were songs I could sing those songs without thought. 

Now, my now three year old was a late talker, not really speaking until after she turned two. She spoke a few words here and there, a lot of the standards like mom, dad, juice, etc. Yet, her comprehension was incredibly. She could see and say most of the letters of the alphabet, even though she couldn't say Minnie. 

So, I started helping her learn other letters and numbers, colors and shapes, with the help of Preschool Prep. By two and a half, she had mastered all of these concepts. So then I started asking myself, "Now what?" 

During this time, I had another little girl, who's language is flourishing, repeating almost everything we said from about eight months old and now has the expansive vocabulary of over 30 words. She's only 17 months. I didn't even think it was a lot of words until the doctor was startled by my response. 

What's exciting about it all is their willingness and desire to learn. But what do I do? I also realize that they are only 16 months and 3 years old. I want to keep going, but I don't want to be overbearing. 

 Then, I came across this blog. I can't remember the name. I accidentally closed the window before I grabbed it. (Please let me know if you recognize this info.)

 She provided a great chart of how much time you should focus on each subject and it totaled only an hour a day. I realized I could do that. Just an hour?

 I created a chart to track what we covered each day, so I could determine what worked, what they liked (and what they didn't).

 I added a little science to the chart so that I can remember to actually do it once in a while. :) 

 I hope you enjoy.

Toddler Homeschooling Calendar

Friday, April 10, 2015

Oh Brother...and Brother!

Today is National Siblings Day!  

God gave me two brothers, no sisters.  And made me the middle child.   It has been hard competing with the first born and the baby.  My brothers and I have always been close.  But we do have conflicts just like any other siblings.  We have had our fair share of fights, and did our fair share of pranks as well.

Once when we were kids, they decided to pull one of their pranks on me.  My mom had gone to work that day and hadn't combed my hair as usual.  So there was no ponytail, just my hair loose on my head.  My brothers decided to use one of their toy cars (the one where you push it back, and then it rolls forward on its own) to conduct their prank.

They asked me to come into their room. When I did, they proceeded to place the car in my hair!!  The wheels got all tangled around my hair.  They thought it was so funny.  But they knew that they had better free me before our mom got home.  Siblings, you just gotta love them.

What is one of your fondest memories with your siblings?

Thursday, April 9, 2015

My Garden Dictates What I Cook {Guest Post}

I am so happy to welcome Jennifer to my blog.  She is providing a healthy recipe in this guest post.  Please be sure to visit Jennifer's blog Nanna's Wisdom, and see more of her tasty creations.  You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.  You can find her information at the end of the post.  Enjoy! 

My garden dictates to me

Being an avid veggie gardener I never plan what we have for dinner.  Our garden dictates what we eat and what I cook. I have not brought vegetables for so long now, what a saving! We are not vegetarians but will often eat only vegetables because we can! At present we are going from summer to autumn so we don't have the choice that we did a month or two back. We have eggplant, tomatoes, leeks, zucchini, chilli, capsicum, beetroot, radish and many herbs. This is what I have to cook with today!

Now you have seen what I have got let me show you what I am cooking for lunch today!  

Eggplant, leek & zucchini soup ( with a hint of chilli)

  • 1 litre of vegetable stock
  • 1 medium eggplant (aubergine) skin removed & diced
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 1 small onion sliced
  • 1 chilli sliced ( you may use more or less)
  • 1 medium zucchini sliced into julienne
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • salt & pepper
  1. Heat a little oil in a heavy base pan and seal and slightly brown all vegetables except zucchini.
  2. Put vegetable stock into a large saucepan and gently heat.
  3. Add the vegetables except zucchini
  4. Bring to the boil then simmer for 1/2 hour or until eggplant tender but not fallen apart.
  5. Lay zucchini on top of soup and let it steam for 5-8 minutes.
  6. Remove the zucchini and set aside.
  7. Serve soup and top with zucchini & thinly sliced chilli or tomato ( if using tomato scrap out seed and thing slice the flesh.
I always some colour to the top as it is an ugly coloured soup but boy is it tasty!nannas-wisdomnannas-wisdom
This is what I use to julienne  my zucchini. Maybe you would like to see some of my other recipes that I have made using the vegetables from my garden. Beetroot Cake Pumpkin Fruit cake I hope you have enjoyed my recipes.


The eggplant I used in this recipe is the one one the right.

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