No more pores!

I have been searching for the perfect products for my face forever. I have experienced many hits and misses, more so misses with a majority of everything I have tried.  I have normal/oily combination skin and have been lucky enough to be blessed with large pores around my nose. However, I think I have found a winner to fix this problem!

“DDF Wrinkle Resist Plus Pore Minimizer” is my new weapon of choice. I noticed an overnight difference when I used this lightweight serum underneath my make-up and also just as every day wear without applying any make-up.

 

Courtesy ddfskincare.com

Not only does this help my skin look amazing, it feels fantastic to apply AND it’s also an anti-aging product. I have heard that it’s never too early to start  using anti-aging products due to the fact that our skin is exposed to so many things our entire life. Skin starts losing it’s elasticity around age 23-24.

The serum is not heavy whatsoever and it leaves your skin feeling refreshed. I have had serums and moisturizers leave my skin feeling weighed down and applying make-up over top of that is just a recipe for disaster.

This product retails at about $85.00 for a 1.7oz bottle (pictured above). Which I know seems steep, but it literally takes me half of a pump of the stuff for my face. I can see this lasting a long time. However, I was also able to find the product on Amazon ranging from $35.00-$85.00.  I’ll post some pictures later to show you the proof of this amazing product!

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Quick, Easy and Nutritious Snack!

I promise I haven’t forgotten about you all!  I have had plenty of time to research and look for new and exciting budget friendly things to incorporate into our lifestyles.

Something super quick, delicious and cheap is my new favorite snack: Frozen Yogurt bites! These are so easy to grab out of your freezer and take while you’re on the go and especially great on a hot day when you don’t want to undo your entire diet and splurge on the high cal ice cream.

All you need is a cup of your favorite yogurt (I prefer Dannon Greek Yogurt), wax paper, cookie sheet, and sliced or diced fruit (optional.)

First, place a sheet of wax paper onto the cookie sheet. Make sure this is WAX paper.  The yogurt will stick to parchment paper and cannot be removed easily.

Second, if you are wanting to do yogurt covered fruit, I found it easier to mix the yogurt and fruit into a bowl. Do this, then scoop out candy sized dallops of a piece of the fruit and yogurt onto the wax paper. 

Once you have filled the cookie sheet, place it into the freezer for about an hour.

Lastly, remove the yogurt bites from the wax paper and place into a freezer friendly ziploc and enjoy!! Make sure when you aren’t enjoying these tasty snacks that they remain in your freezer or they will melt.

Budget Friendly Candles? Yes, they exist!

Growing up, I’ve noticed more and more I am definitely my mother’s daughter. I have become obsessed with candles and all things that make my apartment smell good! We all know that Yankee Candles can run anywhere from $10.00 – $35.00 for one candle. As much as I wish I could afford to splurge on them all, I’ve found a better alternative that not only beats the Yankee Candle prices, but smells just as delicious, if not better!

Ashka Candles have been in business for about 2 years, and are only getting bigger and better!  Not only am I proud to support their business that happens to be located in my local hometown of New Philadelphia, but they are also two women who have taken their dream and made it reality of owning their own successful business.

Photo Courtesy Ashka Candles

I put the candles to the test against the Yankee Candles for burning duration and scent. Ashka candles burnt longer and had a scent that lasted longer and filled up my apartment with the smells of fresh linen and coconut lime.  Their candles range in price of $1.50 for a tart to only $10.00 for a 12oz candle! They have about every scent you can imagine.

Photo Courtesy Ashka Candles

All of the candles are 100% soy which give the candles their longer burn time.  Ashka uses no additives and all of their wicks are zinc free which leaves no soot residue after they are burned.

I recommend these candles to anyone and everyone. Ashka ships anywhere in the US. They fit in my candle obsessed budget and are great for gifts as well!

DIY Show stopping scarves!

With the new year and recently becoming engaged, I have found myself putting my budget at the top of my priority list and it being even more strict than before. However, a tight budget doesn’t always mix well with a shopaholic. I have managed to stay under my budget with all of the help from my internet BFF, Pinterest! I’ve been in need for a new scarf for awhile but I haven’t allowed myself to spend the money on the $45.00 scarf I saw at Macy’s.  So, I decided to make my own! For how much you ask? FREE!   Here’s how:

You need:

  • Old tee-shirt
  • scissors
  • glue
  1. Lay the t-shirt flat on the ground. Use your scissors to cut about 1″ rows of fabric all the way to the armpit of the shirt.

(The dog is optional ha. )

2. Pull each strand so it is stretched out and each piece is around the same length.

Photo Courtesy of Ette Studios

  • Gather all of the pieces together. I looped them on the palm of my hand so they were all hanging from my hand at full length. Since I used a shirt that had a seam in it, i put all of the seams together so they were easier to hide.

    Photo Courtesy Ette Studios

    3. Cut an additional piece of fabric from the shirt to use to wrap around the seams to cover them and also add some design to your scarf. Glue the end of the additional fabric down so it doesn’t come loose.

4. You can play around with what you want to add to your scarf, or just leave it plain, but I wanted to add some subtle “bling” to mine.  I had an old necklace from Forever 21 laying around that was perfect.  It was added simply by mixing the chain in with my fabric and braiding it in. I wrapped the additional fabric around the top of the chain where the seams of the shirt were being covered to make sure the chain would be secure.

5.  You’re finished! Best part of these is that they are totally custom and so easy to make! You can dress them up or wear them with your favorite casual outfit as well for a little added flare!

I’d love to see what you all come up with!

Lose weight all day? Sure!

While I was recently browsing through my daily morning Yahoo articles, I came across one that instantly caught my eye. “How to lose weight all day long.” Uh, Hello! Of course I’m going to read that! I was expecting the same old “don’t do this, run a lot, don’t eat this” sort of thing, but I have to say I was more than pleasantly surprised. I read the article about a week ago and I have been following it’s guidelines along with my fellow blogger, Sandi’s tips and 100 workout. So far, only in a week I have lost 2 pounds and I feel so much better already! Amazing? I know. Who knew what a little bit of advice and self-discipline could do !  So let me share these awesome tips with you!

You should try as best you can to keep your body on the same schedule.  Within an hour of waking up and before you eat breakfast, squeeze in 20 minutes of cardio. If  you can do this outside, even better. Research has shown that early morning sunlight can help your body set itself on a healthier sleep and wake schedule.

Photo Courtesy motiveweight.tumblr.com/

Before and after every meal drink 8 ounces of water.  This will help you get filled up faster and help your metabolism speed up.  After your cardio, don’t keep your body’s “feed me” scream hanging on for too long.  Make sure you eat within an hour of waking up and after your cardio.  If you put off eating breakfast for too long, it will make you even more hungry as time ticks by.

Photo Courtesy motiveweight.tumblr.com

I was not a believer in this next one until I finally did it right.  Eat every 3-4 hours.  That hunger scream comes back once you really get into the swing of the cardio in the morning because your metabolism will be faster. Keep the hunger suppressed and have a snack every few hours. I have found that snacking on things with a texture to them psycologically is better to me. Things like carrots, celery and green peppers have been my snack of choice due to the “crunch factor”.

Photo Courtesy motiveweight.tumblr.com

Around 3:30 pm is the time where if you feel you need a boost, now is the time to drink your last cup of joe!Drinking coffee after 4:00 PM disturbs your sleep cycle and can keep you from falling asleep.

From 4:00PM -8:00 PM is the best time to do your strength training. This is because it’s when your body temperature is the highest, so you’re ready for your best performance in the gym yet!

Photo Courtesy Les Mills Body Pump

To make sure you don’t have those late night cravings, eat dinner somewhere between 5:00PM and 7:00PM.

It’s crucial for your body to stay on a regular sleep schedule. Of course, we have later nights than others, but you should try to limit the number of those nights.  Your body feels more refreshed and energized when it’s on a regular sleep schedule.  So around 10:00 each night, stop texting,  turn off Jersey Shore and go to sleep!

Stick to this plan, and I can guarantee you will see results!

Fruit Salsa and Cinnamon Chips!

I am a sucker for anything fruit and anything cinnamon, so naturally when I found this recipe on Pinterest, I nailed both sweet obsessions on the head! I have made this fruit salsa twice for two separate get together’s, and it was a hit at both! I have had seven people ask me for the recipe already! Not only is this fruit salsa absolutely delicious, it’s one of the easiest things I’ve ever made!

You will need:

  • 2 kiwis, peeled and diced
  • 2 Golden Delicious apples – peeled, cored and diced
  • 8 ounces raspberries
  • 1 (16 oz) carton of strawberries, diced
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fruit preserves, any flavor (I prefer strawberry)
  • Stacy’s Cinnamon Sugar Pita Chips

Courtesy The Gunny Sack

  1. Peel, Slice and dice all of your fruit and place into a large mixing bowl.

    Courtesy The Gunny Sack

  2. Add 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 tablespoon of brown sugar.
  3. Mix in 3 tablespoons of fruit preserves.
  4. Stir all ingredients  together until preserves and sugars are thoroughly mixed with fruit.

    Courtesy The Gunny Sack

  5. Chill in refrigerator for at least 15 minutes.
  6. Serve with Stacy’s Cinnamon Sugar Pita Chips

This fruit salsa is guaranteed to be a hit. It’s perfect for get together’s, summer picnics, or something to satisfy your sweet tooth without going overboard on the extremely unhealthy meter!

 

Miracle DIY Mask!

It seems like stress and the holiday season go hand in hand, right?  Who’s skin really enjoys all of the stress and craziness? Not mine! I found an amazing and super easy face mask to help relax my skin and reduce any inflammation and brighten it all at once without any harmful chemicals! What makes this mask even better? It’s DIY and can be done for under $10.00!

  • 2 Tablespoons Honey ($5.00 from Vons)
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon  ($1.49 from Vons)
  • 1 tsp nutmeg       ($3.00 from Vons)
**Note** It’s always a good idea to do a small test of the mixture on a small patch of your skin to make sure you don’t have a reaction.

Mix all ingredients into a small bowl until they form a paste.

Apply to face in a circular motion until applied evenly on entire face. Let the mask sit for a half hour.

Wash the mask off with warm water in a circular motion for exfoliation

Voila! Your skin will feel refreshed, relaxed and bright!

Peanut Butter Heaven!

Do you want to be a hit at the next party that you host? Do you love chocolate and peanut butter together? I found this little slice of heaven while rummaging through Pinterest.  Let me give you the ingredients to be the best host with the best treats! This recipe will definitely be the talk of the night! I recently hosted a holiday party and everyone was talking about “the peanut butter stuff.” So.. Good!!

What you’ll need:

Mix together cream cheese, powdered sugar, peanut butter and brown sugar together in a bowl.  I suggest you mix the ingredients with an electric mixer, such as the popular KitchenAid Mixer. I used a spoon and then realized that a  KitchenAid Mixer will be my next investment .
Once the ingredients are thoroughly mixed together, place onto a sheet of wax paper and pull all 4 corners together.  Mold the mixture into the shape of a ball.
Fold all 4 corners together and twist so it closes the mixture in and will hold its shape or until firm enough to hold its shape.
Remove from the freezer and pour the chocolate chips and peanut butter chips onto seperate piece of wax paper.
Remove dough mixture from wax paper and roll into chocolate chips and peanut butter chips until fully covered.  You may have to press some of the chips into the mixture to get them to stay.
 
Place back in wax paper and into the freezer for an hour or until ready to serve.
Place onto serving dish and serve with graham crackers or whatever you choose.

DIY Teeth whitener!

We all want to have those perfect white teeth.  But who can really see themselves spending $50.00 and up for teeth whiteners that can leave your teeth so sensitive you don’t even want to smile?

Here is a quick, super easy, and cheap DIY teeth whitener that works just as well!

What you need:

  • Toothpaste (use a paste instead of a gel)
  • One teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon water
  • Small mixing bowl

Put a small amount of your toothpaste into the bowl.  Mix in baking soda and water.  Thoroughly mix together and brush your teeth for two minutes.  Repeat once a week until your desired results are reached.  Once your teeth are sparkling, make sure you limit the use to once or twice a month.