Supergoop! Defense Refresh Setting Mist SPF 50 Review

Supergoop! Defense Refresh Setting Mist SPF 50 Review

I am getting older.  I just turned 40 this year and while I was OK with this milestone I am trying to preserve the skin and health I do have as I get older, older and older (I hope anyways!).   Living in Seattle we actually do get a decent amount of good weather and we have been especially lucky to be experiencing an amazing summer this year.  With this beautiful weather comes the need for sun protection which is why I was very pleasantly surprised to discover the Supergoop! Defense Refresh Setting Mist SPF 50 which I wanted to review for those interested.

I found this product on Sephora and it retails for $28.  The details on Sephora describe this product as:
“An innovative three-in-one mist that sets makeup, helps control oil and shine, and refreshes your defense against photoaging UV rays with an uplifting scent of rosemary and mint.”  I was skeptical of a product so high in SPF that came with a claim that it was a makeup setting spray.  Well, I was right about that.  I found that this product when used as a makeup setting spray turned my makeup from fresh to splotchy in about an hour.  I also found this product not to control oil.  So, makeup setting spray this is not.

However, I did find an two very useful ways to use this product.  First, it is great to use when I am out in the sun, not wearing makeup.  This mist was a refreshing way to reapply sunscreen to my face and worked much better than having to rub lotion on my face and I found the scent to be very relaxing.  The second way I like to use this is on my décolleté.  Again, the mist is so easy to apply it is a perfect way to protect this part of your body as well.

So as an overall recommendation I would give this three stars because it does offer broad spectrum SPF 50 coverage and I have found a couple of very useful ways to utilize this product.  However I had to cut down  the stars since  doesn’t work as a makeup setting spray and I do think this product is quite pricey at $28.  If you have tried this product out, let me know what you think!

J-Lo’s BodyLab Green Smoothie featured in InStyle

J-Lo’s BodyLab Green Smoothie featured in InStyle

I am a little obsessed with Jennifer Lopez.  It is amazing how she has managed to actually age backwards.  Looking at pictures of her from ten years ago, I can’t believe how much better she looks as the years have gone on.  So, while I was perusing the July 2015 issue of InStyle magazine and came across her recipe for a green smoothie I knew that I had to try it.

The smoothie features her BodyLab Vanilla Whey Protein Complex which I unfortunately did not have on hand so I opted for my Trader Joe’s Whey Protein in vanilla.  I am guessing they are pretty similar, so I moved forward with the recipe.  The smoothie includes rice milk, spinach, banana, chia seeds, sunflower butter and protein powder.  This was a convenient recipe for me since I usually have all these ingredients on hand.  Not having too many ingredients was very helpful.

Now for the taste, it was surprisingly good.  I honestly wasn’t sure how the sunflower butter would marry with the rest of the ingredients but the banana and sunflower butter take over most of the flavor and the spinach adds a freshness without being to overpowering.  I may even actually pick up a container of the BodyLab protein powder when I am done with my current protein powder to see how the BodyLab version compares to the Trader Joe’s variety.

I would definitely recommend trying the recipe for this shake.  Not only is it delicious, but if this is one of the items J-Lo is eating I am going to give it a try as well.

J-Lo’s BodyLab Green Smoothie (1 serving)
Ingredients
1 cup rice milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
1 handful spinach
1 frozen banana, sliced
2 T. chia seeds
2 heaping teaspoons sunflower butter
1 dry scoop BodyLab Vanilla Tasty Shake Complete Whey Protein Complex (I used Trader Joe’s Vanilla Whey Protein)

Instructions
Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.  Serve.

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Maple Pork Tenderloin (the other white meat)

Maple Pork Tenderloin (the other white meat)

You know a marketing campaign is good, when years after it has run its course, you still recall their slogan. I love pork and I think calling it the “other” white meat sells itself short sometimes. My new favorite cut, is pork tenderloin. It is succulent, delicious and is the perfect canvas to absorb all sorts of flavors. The fact that it is relatively lean doesn’t hurt either – especially this time of year.

The recipe I made last night was inspired by one of my favorite wing recipes, Maple Wings. If you have never tried this recipe, you definitely should – they are sensational and everyone always raves about them. I can’t tell you the number of times I have given out that recipe. The combination of soy sauce, teriyaki and maple syrup is spectacular and really brings out the natural flavors in the pork. I love to serve this dish with my Ginger Rice and a cool cucumber salad. Sooooo good!

Maple Pork Tenderloin

Ingredients
1 pork tenderloin (approximately 1.5-2 pounds)
2/3 c. pure maple syrup
1/4 c. soy sauce
1/3 c. teriyaki sauce (preferably Yoshida’s)
1 T. finely minced garlic
1 t. pepper
1/4 t. crushed red pepper

Directions
Put pork tenderloin in a ziploc bag. In a separate bowl, mix all the remaining ingredients and pour into the ziploc bag. Marinate for as long as you can – overnight, if possible.

Remove pork from the plastic bag and grill or bake in a 400 degree oven until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees.

While the pork is cooking, boil the remaining marinade in the bag for atleast 10 minutes.

When the pork is finished, slice and serve with the marinade as a sauce.

Now, wasn’t that easy!

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with Yogurt Dressing

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with Yogurt Dressing

There is a Mediterranean restaurant that my husband and I absolutely love going to called, Mediterranean Kitchen. The food is so flavorful (think super garlicky and lemony) and although it isn’t the place to go if you are on a first date (unless you are into that sort of thing) it is definitely the place to go if you want something crazy garlicky good.

I love Mediterranean food which is why I am so excited to share my recipe for a Greek Quinoa Salad that I created.   I am always looking for new ways to incorporate these fresh flavors into my cooking so when I found a recipe for a greek salad with yogurt dressing I knew it would be a winner.

The dressing itself is delicious and not only is great as a dressing but also is amazing utilized as a sauce as well.  I did create this recipe to be a little more garlicky, a lot more lemony and a touch lighter (in calories) by adding both olive oil and chicken stock then traditional dressings/sauces.   I used Greek yogurt for its added protein punch and added quinoa and garbanzo beans to make this salad super filling.Continue reading…    

Orange Scented White Chocolate Toffee

Orange Scented White Chocolate Toffee

I have been cooking a ton lately, but everything has been so healthy I was craving something that was decadent and blog worthy. Even though I have been trying to cook healthier I can not and will not ever give up sugary, decadent delights such as this Orange Scented White Chocolate Toffee.

The base is the same that I use for my original toffee which is butter, sugar, almonds and vanilla, however in this case I use orange extract in place of the vanilla extract.  The orange extract I use is Nielsen-Massey’s Orange Extract, which you can find on Amazon here.  I find this extract lends the toffee a mild orange flavor without tasting artificial.

There are still many delicious healthy recipes to be posted, but as with everything in life there needs to be some balance and this Orange Scented White Chocolate Toffee brings balance into my life – well this and Proseco. :-)Continue reading…    

Summer Gazpacho Pasta Salad

Summer Gazpacho Pasta Salad

I love going to Farmer’s Markets. I always come home with an abundance of veggies and while I have the best of intentions to you use them all, often times I fall short. Those days are over now with this recipe for Summer Gazpacho Pasta Salad.

In my quest to use up the inordinate amount of fresh veggies I had on hand, I decided to make Gazpacho. Now I love Gazpacho, but unfortunately I am the lone one in my home with this love. My husband doesn’t care for it much and I won’t even attempt to try and feed this to my boys…until now… You see, I had this huge bowl of yummy Gazpacho in my fridge and decided to use it as a pasta sauce on some thin spaghetti last night. Add a bunch of parmesan, fresh basil, salt, pepper and you have a healthy, delicious meal that will definitely satisfy. What else could one ask for?Continue reading…    

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies with Cornstarch

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies with Cornstarch

I adore chocolate chip cookies, so when I saw the recipe for Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies with Cornstarch I knew I had to give them a try .

I have made countless batches always searching for the next best recipe.  I am sure I will try other recipes on occasion, however this is hands down a new classic for me.  I got this recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction website.  Click here to see her recipe as well as her absolutely stunning pictures.  

There are several differences in this recipe compared to others I have tried – the three being that you use melted butter instead of softened (which means NO mixer needed!!!!), one egg and a yolk as opposed to two eggs that most recipes call for and 1 1/2 tsp. of cornstarch.  I was a bit skeptical at first, however these have come out heavenly again and again.   The recipe calls for 1 cup of chocolate chips.  I like to mix this up with part dark chocolate, part milk chocolate and part cacao nibs (to sneak in a little added health benefits.)

These cookies are chewy, soft and incredibly delicious.  They remind me of a Mrs. Fields cookie, but without the $2 price tag.  I hope you try these out and let me know what you think.  

CHEWY CHOCOLATE CHUNK COOKIES (uses cornstarch) – adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction
INGREDIENTS
2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 and 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup  light brown sugar, loosely packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips, chocolate chunks, cacao nibs and/or some M&M’s

DIRECTIONS
Toss together the flour, baking soda, cornstarch and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.  

In a medium size bowl, whisk the melted butter, brown sugar, and white sugar together until no brown sugar lumps remain. Whisk in the egg, then the egg yolk. Finally, whisk in the vanilla. 

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together with a large spoon or rubber spatula. The dough will be very soft. Fold in the chocolate chips. They may not stick to the dough because of the melted butter, but do your best to have them evenly dispersed among the dough. Cover the dough and chill for 2 hours, or up to 3 days. Chilling is mandatory.

Take the dough out of the refrigerator and allow to slightly soften at room temperature for 10 minutes.Preheat the oven to 325F degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.Roll the dough into balls, about 1-2 tablespoons each. Bake the cookies for 11-12 minutes. The cookies will look very soft and underbaked. They will continue to bake on the cookie sheet. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

Here is a shot of the inside…

Yummy Chocolate Chip Cookie
Yummy Chocolate Chip Cookie

Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara Review

Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara Review

I have a confession…I am not the best at doing eye makeup, which is why Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara has become my beauty BFF.  When I refer to doing bad at eye makeup, I want to clarify that I am referring to eye shadow, so I rely heavily on my lashes.

Since I rely so heavily on my lashes to bring my makeup look together, I am a complete freak about making sure whatever mascara I use doesn’t bleed and create raccoon eyes.    I have tried all brands, formulas (waterproof and regular), and colors.  Enter Clinique’s Bottom Lash Mascara, $10 at Sephora.  This is a formula that doesn’t budge – I have never used a formula for my bottom lashes that worked so incredibly well.  The mascara gently sculpts your lower lashes, lengthens them and even though your lashes will be stretched to maximize their effect, the color doesn’t flake onto your lower eyelid.

A couple of things to note – this is a tiny tube.  When I first received it I was shocked at how tiny it was.  Also, the brush is teeny, tiny, itty bitty.  It is great to work those lower lashes, but it is so tiny I was surprised when I saw it so I thought I would mention that as well.

In a nutshell, I freaking love this stuff!  It is not often that I buy 2 tubes of an item to make sure that if they do discontinue this item, I have backups – however I did just that with this product.  Those amazing Pinterest pins featuring breathtaking eyeshadow looks are not something I have been able to master yet, but that will come (I hope.)

In the meantime, I am getting older and I need all the help I can get, so I am LOVING this mascara and definitely recommend trying it.

Here is an image of the magical mascara:
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Here are some celebrities with amazing bottom lashes (I don’t know if they used this mascara, but this just reaffirms how much impact great lower eyelashes add to an overall look):

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Triple Decker Rice Krispy Treat Cereal Recipe

Triple Decker Rice Krispy Treat Cereal Recipe

The 4th of July is coming up and I am trying to be especially festive so I came up with this version for a red, white and blue dessert with these Triple Decker Rice Krispy Treats.

The recipe is simple.  Butter, marshmallows, rice krispy cereal and food coloring.   Just make a batch for each color and voila – you will have a yummy and festive treat!

I hope you try these and have a fun, happy and safe 4th of July!

Triple Decker Rice Krispy Treat Recipe
Ingredients
60 large marshmallows (this was about 1 1/2 packages for me)
9 cups Rice Krispy cereal
4 1/2 T. butter
red food coloring
blue food coloring

Directions
1. Line an 8×8 square with parchment paper and spray lightly with non-stick spray.

2. In a medium saucepan melt 1 1/2 T. butter over low heat. Add 20 marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat and add red food coloring until you get the desired red.  

3. Add cereal and stir until well coated.

4. Using buttered spatula or wax paper evenly press mixture into the pan. Cool. 

5. Repeat steps 2-4 once without food coloring for the white layer and then again with blue food coloring.
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Creamy Coleslaw Recipe

Creamy Coleslaw Recipe

Coleslaw.   My first recollection of this heavy and sometimes goopy salad was from Kentucky Fried Chicken.  I remember waiting for my Extra Crispy Kernel Sanders Chicken while watching my parents order sides of coleslaw along with the mashed potatoes and gravy.  I loved KFC (actually I still do when I am nursing a hangover) but I never understood the allure of their coleslaw, or any coleslaw for that matter – until now.

I developed a love of coleslaw while enjoying it fresh, crisp and when accompanied within a sandwich.  In particular in a hamburger or a pulled pork sandwich.  Something about the crisp, cold coleslaw served with the warm, luscious meat creates a flarvorful masterpiece.

I have adapted the recipe below from Bobby Flay’s recipe that can be found on the Food Network.  This is the best one I have ever tried and I hope you agree.

Perfect Creamy Coleslaw
adapted from Bobby Flay
Ingredients

1 head green cabbage, finely shredded
2 large carrots, finely shredded
3/4 cup best-quality mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons grated onion
2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon dry mustard
2 teaspoons celery salt
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Variations
For a southwest version, I add juice of 1 fresh lime and 1 1/2 tsp. chipotle powder to the mixture

Directions
Combine the shredded cabbage and carrots in a large bowl. Whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, onion, sugar, vinegar, mustard, celery salt, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl, and then add to the cabbage mixture. Mix well to combine and taste for seasoning; add more salt, pepper, or sugar if desired.

One of my favorite ways to enjoy Perfect Creamy Coleslaw, on a burger…

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