Thursday, August 28, 2014

DIY: Toner


I made this toner months ago, but I wanted to make sure that it worked well before I did a post on it. Then I made more, and more, and finally realized that I never did the blog post. Whoops. Here it is now! So that counts for something, correct?

I didn't really know what purpose toner served until I was in my early twenties, was working at McDonald's, and had the oiliest skin known to man. It was gross. There was a guy that I worked with who would dump straight witch hazel on a washcloth, then rub it all over his head and neck once he clocked out every day. Yep, we took drastic measures. 

Eventually I quit the fast food business, but the oil never really quit my face (how rude). I get a little oily around my hair line, and have gone through several different face washes, toners, you name it to help get rid of the oil. I actually bought a pretty expensive, rosewater scented toner back in February, and it  was so strong, it dried my skin out to the point where it burned. Not good. I didn't want to spend that much money on something else, so I tried my hand at making my own. 

IMG_8118

Get
1 part apple cider vinegar
2 parts water
4-5 drops of tea tree oil

Mix everything in a bottle, and apply with a cotton ball. That is it! This is hands-down the best toner I have ever used. It leaves my face feeling clean, and the acidity from the ACV makes my skin all tingly and I just love it. Of course you can alter the amount of vinegar to your own personal needs, and I am sure that a different essential oil would work fine too. I have a small obsession with melaleuca oil, aka tea tree oil. It helps to reduce the amount of oils the body produces naturally, it helps dry out pimples, and most recently I discovered that if you put a little bit of it on a mosquito bite, it gives instant relief to the itching. There are loads of other uses for it too, and I also really love the scent. 

The best part about this toner? It is all-natural and super, super cheap! It has also helped so much with my skin, that I no longer have the need to use it twice per day, I use it only once and it lasts pretty long. Can't beat that! 

I still have a few products that I would really like to try making myself, but I now have a completely all-natural face cleansing routine that I will have to do a post on soon. Maybe in the next couple of weeks? I have a couple things that I am working on that I have sitting in draft now, so stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Eats: Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Every time I bake bread in this pan, it forms a crack on the top that looks eerily similar to the one on Amelia Pond's wall from Doctor Who. Seriously, what the hell.

Anyway, I have made chocolate chip + nutella banana bread many, many times, but I was out of nutella the other week. I thought about just leaving it out, but after doing a bit of research I figured out that the amount of flour and sugar needed to be changed.I had also used frozen bananas for the very first time, which I had always been a bit leery about. It came out well, so I figured I would go ahead and do a post.

IMG_7882

Get
3 bananas (if frozen, let sit on the counter for 30-45 minutes until thawed)
2 cups AP flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tablespoon almond milk
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon + cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350, and grease a 9x5 inch baking pan. Mix all dry goods together (except cinnamon) in a bowl. Stir bananas, chocolate, eggs, almond milk, and cinnamon in another bowl. Beat butter and sugar in a third bowl until light and fluffy. Stir banana mixture into butter mixture, then stir in dry mixture until it is blended. Stir in chips last, then pour into the pan.

Bake until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in loaf, 50-70 minutes.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

You Go Down Smooth

IMG_7924

Casual going-out outfit! Like how I picked all neutrals that don't match, it is my favorite thing to do. I chose this outfit because we were biking to downtown Ferndale to have a few beers with friends on this day, and biking in a skirt can be a little tricky, but the stretchy fabric worked here. Also, say 'hello' to my curly-ish hair. I have been too lazy to blow-dry it every night, so I have been letting it air-dry, then curling bits of it in the morning with a curling iron. Sometimes it is cute, other times it comes uncurled and it just looks strange. People at work are constantly asking me: "Sara, did you do something to your hair?" and I respond with: "Yeah, I brushed it". 

I can't believe that August is almost over! It is my favorite month of summer, but I am really looking forward to fall. We had a very cool summer here in the Midwest, and I actually enjoyed summer for once! However, summer decided to show up these past few days and it has been in the mid-90's and gross. I swear, I am the only one who would take shoveling my car out of the snow every day instead of sweating my balls off. However, to each their own. I am over here impatiently waiting for pumpkin spice everything to hit stores, for the leaves to change, to harvest my garden, you name it! I am hoping to get a few more things done before the haunting season officially starts, I want to paint our living room, go to IKEA, go to DIY fest in Ferndale, go to my cousin Jeremy's wedding, get a cute, fall haircut, go thrifting for more fall clothes, make jellies, jams, pickles, tomato sauces, and salsas to and jar them up, and the list goes on. I am just so motivated this time of year, I really love September. 

My shirt is from a concert that I went to earlier this summer with Kyle, and my friend Mariah. Lake Street Dive is an amazing blues-y/jazz-y/dive bar band that I have been obsessed with for a little while now. This was the first song that I heard from them, so take a listen, if you feel so inclined. 



Details
Shirt-Lake Street Dive merch stand
Necklace-Etsy
Earrings-c/o Anjolee 
Sweater-American Eagle Outfitters
Purse & Sunglasses-Urban Outfitters
Skirt-Forever 21
Boots-Target

Monday, August 25, 2014

Little Bits: Pork And Beans

I feel like every time I do a weekend recap post, I am always telling you guys how busy we were. Well guess what?! We had a busy weekend! Yay! We really want to start spending more time with our pets, they really need it. We also had LOADS of errands to run, and chores to do, and we didn't even get to all of it. 

Friday, I somehow convinced Kyle to help me clean the house after work before doing anything. He grumbled, but complied, and even cleaned a bit more while I made us dinner. Having another pet means that our house needs to be cleaned even more than before. I don't think my house can ever smell like anything other than dog at this point, so we burn lots of essential oils, and candles. Mmm, lavender and dog hair, my favorite! 

I *may* have promised Kyle ice cream if he helped clean, so after dinner we took the dogs out for a walk to Treat Dreams in Ferndale. We were going to split whatever Kyle got, but he discovered that they had butter beer ice cream, so he got me a small scoop. It was amazeballs! After scarfing our ice cream, we noticed that Kyle's sister Danielle, and our sister in-law Renee were out at Como's in Ferndale, so we thought we would call them to come outside and see Joseph. He of course was a little overwhelmed by all of the people downtown, but it didn't stop him from jumping all over Danielle and Renee. After, we walked back home and started season one of Supernatural, and of course became hooked. 

image image image image

Saturday we slept in a little late, then headed down to Eastern Market for our usual produce run. I stopped at Whole Foods for a salad, and bought Kyle a giant water bottle, so now we can look like matching yuppie-dorks. We then headed over to Chris and Michelle's apartment to steal some stuff that they were getting rid of, and to con them into going to a few places with us. We went to the Detroit Antique Mall for the first time, and only managed to spend $18! We bought vintage outlet plates for the house. After bumming around a little more, we said goodbye to Chris and Michelle, and headed out to Meijer. I also somehow managed to convince Kyle to go to Costco, and Target. I had coupons for Target and got some cute clothes for really cheap, and was able to replace some stuff that our old dryer destroyed.

We caved and bought Thai food, and stopped at Bigbby for coffee since they finally put one close to us. We did spend a good five minutes trying to convince the people that work there to install a walk-up window, so that people (like us) can order coffee while they are out with their dogs. I don't think it worked, but they all agreed that it would be an awesome idea.

When we got home, our screen was busted out, and we found out that our kitty Barry had escaped. Luckily he had just hid in the backyard, and Kyle found him. The minute I called "Barry Kittens" and shook the treat bag at him, he came out and I basically mauled the little bastard. I love our pups, but I love our kittens just as much! Even if they are over 7 years old, they are still our kittens. We then put all of our crap away, and watched the Doctor Who premiere (I already really like Peter Capaldi), and then binged on more Supernatural.

Sunday, we walked the dogs to get bagels from New York bagel, and then bought the pups some dogels, which they loved. Then, we attacked our list of chores. Kyle helped me clean, again, then headed out to the yard to mow, weed-whip, and re-install our rain barrels. I did laundry, installed our new outlet plates, touched up the paint in a few rooms, painted the back of the front door (I thought was grey, but is actually a grey-brown, whoops), cleaned, and washed my car, then made a giant batch of tuna salad for the week. We ended the night by cooking some salmon over the fire pit, with some veggies from the garden, and a couple of cold PBRs, it was soooo good.

Not a very exciting weekend, but it was pretty good! I hope that the next weekend that Kyle and I have off, we can spend it doing something fun instead of chores/errands. I also manged to get some more posts prepped for the week, so here is to hoping that I get around to finishing them up and posting them.

Happy Monday!

1) Tiny cupcakes from work on Friday.
2) Tony Spark's new sticker.
3) Pork and Beans box from the antique mall! Reminds me of Weezer.
4) ALL of the apples at the Farmers Market. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Eats: Garlic Hummus

IMG_7886

What?! A blog post on a Sunday? What is this even? Well, if all goes as planned (which it wont, but here is to hoping!) I am starting to accumulate a lot of posts in draft, and they need to get posted. So hopefully this means that I might actually get my shit together and post them. Huh, what a concept.

Anywho, I have a few foodie posts in draft so I thought that I would start there. Garlic hummus! I guess the presentation could have been a bit better for this one, no? It tasted good, so I am just going to go with it. I have been alternating between PB&J sandwiches, and hummus and veggies for lunch, so Kyle took it upon himself to bring home a giant bag of garbanzo beans, with the idea of us making our own hummus. Translation: He assumed that I would make hummus from scratch. Eventually I got around to it, and it wasn't hard at all.

Get
Garbanzo beans (I had one pound, dried)
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon  black peppercorns
2 tablespoons cumin
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon salt
Reserve water from garbanzo beans

First place all the beans in a large bowl with water, discard any beans that float. Rinse beans well, then place in a pot with bay leaves, and salt. Cover beans with 2-3 inches of water, and cover pot with lid. Bring to a boil, then let simmer, covered, until softened (about 1-1/2 hours). Add onion, garlic, and peppercorns, and cook another 30 minutes, or until beans mash easily with a fork. Use a slotted spoon to remove herbs, and veggies (I left the garlic in). Drain (reserving water), and let cool.

In a blender, slowly add all the rest of the ingredients. Blend on slow speed, adding the reserve liquid until the desired consistency is achieved.

This came out great, but next time I am going to add more garlic because I tend to like 4 times the amount of garlic that normal people like. I am also going to just use the slow cooker, I think it would be more energy efficient than keeping the burner on for 2 hours.

Tip: I sprinkled a little cayenne pepper on mine, and found it to be pretty amazeballs. I am pretty sure that paprika would also be delicious if spicy things are not your deal.

Anyway, happy Sunday, and happy eats!


Friday, August 22, 2014

Renfest Double-Date

IMG_8042 IMG_8044 IMG_8045

An outfit post, and a life post all in one! This was an awesome day, mostly because we really never get to see our friends Aaron, and Jenny B due to our opposite schedules, but also because it was something spontaneous for once.  I have been planning everything lately, all of our meals, what we buy each week, when we pay what bill and how much, etc. Outings with friends have to be carefully orchestrated because that is where we tend to spend too much money, and life can get pretty boring when you live like that. So it was fun to have one afternoon of freedom before we have to crack down again now that school is starting up for Kyle. 

I tried my best to find a renfest outfit, and I think I did pretty well considering I only had about 20 minutes to pick something out. I have another skirt that looks much cuter with this top, but this skirt just felt more festival to me, even if it kept riding up all weird. My poor flower crown has seen better days though. I made that back in 2010, so it might be time for a new one. I should make a whole costume next year, something simple so that I can teach myself how to use my damn sewing machine. I should say ONE of my sewing machines, I somehow ended up with multiple ones, and only one that works properly as far as I know. Why is my house the place where sewing machines go to die?

IMG_8051 IMG_8049

Kyle and Aaron are loads more photogenic than Kyle and I are. Seriously, can't take these two anywhere! Although we did try to take a bunch of cute, couple pics, most of them ended up blurry. Either it was the beer, or the puppy-nose shaped smear on the lens cap. Or a combination of both. Either way, we managed to snap a few good ones of Aaron and Jenny B, a few strange ones of Kyle and I, and when Kyle tried to take a group-shot selfie, it came out nice and creepy, hahaha. 

IMG_8064 IMG_8069
IMG_8089

I think it is safe to say that dslr cameras are not the best for selfies. 

Aaron also drove us, because he got a new car! He bought a really nice convertible PT cruiser, and named him "Gatz". We drove around in style! I don't think that I have ever really ridden in a convertible before, and it was just so much fun! We felt so fancy. I took the last two photos, as well as a snapchat, and a video for instagram (hey, I really liked the car, lol) before passing out  for the rest of the way home. We had SO much fun, and are trying to put money aside for another trip to the renfest with friends in September. 

IMG_8096
IMG_8097

Guys, I have a busy weekend planned, but  I am hoping to get some more blog posts prepped and ready to go. I haven't forgotten about my Q&A vlog, I have just been super busy, you know, being awesome. Or something. So stay tuned!

Details
Top Earrings,  & Necklace-Forever 21
Cardigan-Urban Outfitters
Boots-Target
Skirt-Thrifted
Belt-Modcloth
Crown-DIY