A Gluten-Free Week!?

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Hello, lovely people!

Last week, I had a blog post describing the effects of gluten on the human body, and I vowed to eat one gluten-free meal everyday for a week! Here are the results of that experiment!

At first, it was a bit of a challenge to find things in my house that didn’t have gluten in them, but after looking through ingredient labels and scrolling through different websites, I was able to find meals that fit the requirements. A lot of them were meals I already ate but had to take the side of bread I usually accompany the meal with out of the equation. My go-to meal was brown rice with beef mixed in with a spoonful of Nutella to satisfy my sweet tooth (who knew Nutella didn’t have gluten in it!).

Overall, It think this is a great experiment for people to try! I probably won’t be continuing this on a regular basis like I have for the passed week, but I will definitely be more conscious of how much gluten I take in from now on (I’m following my New Year’s to do list)!

Also, I didn’t really see any results concerning my body weight from the lack of gluten I ate, but I wouldn’t expect to because of how short of a time frame I tried it and how little gluten was taken out of my diet.

Did you take this challenge with me? Did you get any results? Let me know in the comments!

Monthly Favorites: January 

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Hello, lovely people!

With the month being over, it’s time for my January Favorites! Let’s get into it!

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1. Scandal

This show has recently taken over my life, and I love every second of it. For years, I told myself I wouldn’t watch it because it didn’t seem like something I would enjoy, but I finally gave in and am grateful for it(be on the look out for a tv show review coming up)! Olivia Pope is an extraordinary woman and is the perfect leading role for this show! It’s just well done in every way!

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2. Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara

A while ago, I posted a review to this mascara (here) where I talked about how much I loved it, and I still do! It’s the mascara I reach for every morning because of how great it makes my lashes look! I’ve been wanting to try Maybelline’s new Lash Sensational but I’m trying to wait until this one runs out haha!

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3. Vineyard Vines Baseball Hat

Recently, I placed an order on Vineyard Vines website for a baseball hat, and I am so happy with that decision. I’m usually not one to wear hats unless I’m going to an actual baseball game, but I had seen them all over Pinterest and had to get one for myself. It’s perfect for bad hair days and times when you just want to make any outfit look casual.

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4. Confessions of a Sociopath by M.E. Thomas

After a very long time of wanting to read this book, I finally found it at my library and checked it out ASAP. This book is written by a woman who is a sociopath, and she explains what life is like and discusses the world’s distorted view of people like her. It’s a great read and has held my interest since I opened it!

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5. Revlon Photoready Prime and Anti-Shine

As a girl with oily skin, my number one makeup priority is to keep my skin matte, so it doesn’t turn into an oil slick! This primer is perfect for just that! I’ve never really used Revlon products before, but after the success I’ve had with this primer, I’ll definitely be using more!

What are your favorites for January? Do we have any in common? Are there any products you think I should try during February? Let me know in the comments!

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My Podcast Favorites!

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Hello, lovely people!

Beginning in the spring of 2015, I discovered the beauty of podcasts. I had never really heard of or listened to them before then, but on a 10 hour road trip, they were my saving grace! Since then, I’ve been scanning through iTunes to find new podcasts that I thought I would like and have come across great ones that I’d like to share with you! Disclaimer: When I listen to podcasts, I look for humor, so if you’re looking for serious podcasts about politics and world hunger, this probably isn’t the list for you 😀

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1. Spontaneanation with Paul F. Tompkins

This was one of the first podcasts I listened to, and it still entertains me with every episode. The podcast features comedian Paul F. Tompkins as the host and a new special guest every week that he has a freeform interview with. He then is given a location from the guest that Paul and other comedians set a continuous improv story in. This show is absolutely hilarious, and I recommend it to anyone looking for a good laugh.

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2. I Seem Fun: The Diary of Jen Kirkman

Jen Kirkman is a comedian who I first saw on her Netflix special: I’m Going to Die Alone and I Feel Fine. Soon after, I found out that she had a podcast, and had to listen! The podcast truly is a diary of her life that she records every week and is always a joy to listen to.

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3. Guys We F*cked

This one of the newer podcasts I’ve begun listening to that features Corinne Fisher and Krystyna Hutchinson as they discuss sex, relationships, and much more in their anti-slut shaming podcast. I honestly think this podcast is a great idea that is greatly executed and needed in today’s world! This is definitely something that many people need to listen to.

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4. Denzel Washington is the Greatest Actor of All Time Period

Last, but not least, Kevin Avery and W. Kamau Bell together have created a podcast where they review every movie starring Denzel Washington and discuss why they think he is the greatest actor of all time (period). This podcast always makes me laugh but also discusses serious topics, like racial issues, that are great to hear others’ opinions on.

All of these podcasts are ones that I think everyone should listen to for a good laugh and to put you in a better mood!

Have you ever listened to these podcasts before? Did you like them? Do you have any recommendations for me to listen to? Let me know in the comments below!

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DIY Makeup Brush Cleaner!

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Hello, lovely people!

Cleanliness is very important to me and maintaining that includes consistently cleaning my makeup brushes. On a daily basis, I use my Elf Cosmetics Daily Brush Cleaner, but I like to make sure my brushes get a deep cleanse every once and a while. I’m not going to lie, I don’t do it as much as I should, but I try to every 2 weeks. When I began this routine, I didn’t want to go out and buy some expensive brush cleaner, so I began scrolling through the internet in search of the perfect DIY; and I found one! I personalized it a tad and have used it ever since, so I thought I should share it with you all!

Materials Needed:

1/2 cup (118 mL) of olive oil

1/2 cup (118 mL) of liquid dish soap

Remember, use as much product as you need for the amount of brushes you have.

That’s all you need! Two “ingredients” and you’ll have clean, soft brushes fat your fingertips!

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In a bowl, I mixed together the olive oil and dish soap, then laid out all of my brushes next to them. I like to do this next to my sink, so I can rinse them out right after I swirl them in the soap mixture.

Also, keep a dry towel near by that you can place the brushes on after they’ve been rinsed!

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After I have everything laid out properly, I begin! I take the first brush, swirl it around in the bowl until I think I’ve got a good amount of product off of it, then rinse my brushes under warm water to get the soap and olive oil off. The soap ensures that the brushes are getting cleansed, and the olive oil softens them.

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I’m not going to lie, it is kind of satisfying to watch the old makeup that has been in your brushes wash down the drain while your brushes turn from brown to white!

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My brushes usually take a couple hours to dry, but I usually wash them on a night when I know I won’t be applying makeup the next day, so I can let them dry overnight.

And that’s about it for this DIY. It’s outrageously simple!

Do you plan on trying this out? How’d this DIY work for you? Are there any deep cleansing brush cleaners you like to use? Let me know in the comments below!

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Top 5 Winter Nail Polishes!

 

Hello, lovely people!

A few months ago, I posted my Top 5 Nail Polishes for Summer and Fall, and after such a great response, I decided to share my favorites for winter! In no particular order, here we go 🙂

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1. Sally Hanson 146 Sand Storm

You can never go wrong with a  nice nude nail polish color, and this one by Sally Hanson is definitely a love of mine. The formula is nice and opaque with only one coat (although I always do two to help the polish last longer) and dries incredibly quickly (especially when I use my DIY Dry Nails Fast trick!).

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2. Maybelline Color Show 215 Wine and Forever

Maroon and Burghandy colored nail polishes are a must have for this time of year, and this polish from Maybelline’s Color Show* is perfection. It has a very deep, rich color that makes it seem like it changes colors when it’s in darker and brighter lighting. The formulation of the product is great with an easy to use brush to get the best results.

*This color is also featured in my Top 5 Nail Colors for Fall post, but I loved it so much for this time of year that I has to include it in this winter post too 🙂

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3. Sally Hanson 316 Expresso

I couldn’t get through this post without a pink-colored nail polish, and this mauve from Sally Hanson has surely been a color I’ve been reaching to. Like the nude polish, the formula and opacity is great and dries quickly. It’s the perfect colors for those who want to wear a pink nail polish in the winter months without it being too “in you face.”

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4. OPI Unfor-GRETA-bly Blue

Deep blues are so fitting for this time of year! OPI’s Unfor-GRETA-bly Blue is dark, royal blue color that has a hint of sparkle to it, guaranteed to make any manicure shine in the snow!

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5. Essie Repstyle

A nice, gold-colored nail polish is hard to find, but this color from Essie is just that. Like the OPI polish, it has a subtle shine to it that enhances its color without making it look cheap and childlike. It’s unlike many other colors out there and is sure to be a gorgeous color on all skin tones!

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The Power of… Gluten??

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Hello, lovely people!

Earlier today, I was listening to a podcast by one of my favorite comedians, and she was talking about the fact that she gained 6-7 pounds by straying from her usual gluten-free diet! Now, if you don’t know this already, I love bread. I love bread in all of its shapes and forms and have for as long as I could remember. I always knew it was full of carbs, but I never realized the effect it can have on the body.

For those of you who don’t know, gluten is a compound protein that makes up about 80% of food products like wheat, barley, and rye (which, like sugar, are in just about everything haha). Gluten can have many negative health effects, especially in those with celiac disease (an autoimmune disease that causes the immune system to attack gliadin, a gluten protein). One of which is bloating of the intestine, making you seem larger than “you are,” as well as causing the consumer to gain weight if it’s not expelled through some type of physical exercise.

None of this is being said to alarm you or convince you that you have a gluten problem. This is for me. Even though I don’t have celiac disease, one of my new year’s resolutions was to be more conscious of what’s going into my body and a lot of that is gluten.

As a result, starting today, I’m going to cut gluten out of my diet for one meal a day this week. I know that it’s going to be difficult to resist the things I want to eat during that one meal, but there are so many great products on the market without gluten that this could be my chance to try something new!

Have you ever gone without gluten before? Do you know of any gluten-free recipes I should try? Are you going to join me in my attempt at a healthier lifestyle? Let me know in the comments below!

Review: Maybelline Better Skin Foundation 

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Hello, lovely people!

Not too long ago, Maybelline New York released a new line of makeup that they titled SuperStay Better Skin. When I heard its claims, I couldn’t just sit back and wonder if they were true, so I went to my local drugstore to buy and test it out! I’ve been using the foundation for one to two months now, so I felt I’ve had enough time to form an opinion on the product.

Maybelline claims that their Better Skin foundation is a long-wearing product that improves your skin every second you’re wearing it. It’s supposed to give you medium to full coverage while improving your skin in three weeks by reducing the appearance of spots, dullness, and uneven skin.

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I’d have to say that many of these claims are correct! I have oily, acne-prone skin, and this product helped control my face’s oils (even though it’s not marketed as being oil controlling, just oil-free) while still giving my skin a natural look. In addition, the product evened out my skin tone with its medium to full coverage application while somewhat ‘hiding’ the acne present on my skin. I’m sure my new habits of drinking more water and eating healthier improved my skin greatly, but this foundation definitely didn’t hurt!

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The bottom line is I love this foundation, and it’s the first thing I reach to for my everyday makeup routine (you can tell by the bottle being almost empty haha)! I highly recommend this to anyone who is in the market for a new foundation that will only cost them about $10-$12 for a full fluid ounce of product!

Have you tried this foundation before? What was your experience with it like? Are there any products you think I should try? Let me know in the comments!

5 Ways to Style a Vest!

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Hello, lovely people!

In my December favorites (which you can read here), I commented on my love affair with quilted puffer vests (I own 7!). I’ve been wearing them for quite some time now, and always find the best inspiration for new outfits from Pinterest (follow me)! What better way to kick off the middle of winter than showing you all some of favorite outfits featuring vests!

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1. This photo features an adorable buffalo-check vest that offers a nice amount of casualty  to the outfit, while still looking put together. It’s perfectly simple for fall and winter, especially with its cool tones. Plus, who doesn’t love a girl supporting her favorite baseball team!

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2. Although I’m still on the hunt for a vest like this one, the amount of outfits that can be created are endless! It doesn’t seem like it’d make you too hot (regardless of its lack of sleeves haha), but it does show potential to keep you warm! I love the way it’s paired with the striped dress, neutral riding boots, and red pop of color to make the outfit perfect for cool, autumn months.

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3. If there is one thing in this world I appreciate, it’s a person knows how to properly mix prints! Plaid and polka dots are a slippery slope and, if combined incorrectly, could lead to an outfit disaster! This picture shows them paired perfectly, and I’m forever in envy of the beauty of this polka dot vest!

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4. In early spring, this outfit would be perfect! Again, there is a mix a prints, but it’s much more subtle than in the previous picture while being done equally as well. The herringbone vest is a staple in any fall wardrobe and pairs well with so many outfit combinations. I’m in love with the vibrant pink scarf, leopard flats, and peek-a-boo of stripes on the cuffed sleeves!

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5. Even in warmer months, these versatile clothing pieces work perfectly! The skater skirt has always been a favorite of mine and pairing it with a classic gingham print button down and cream colored vest make it even better!

Vests are amazing and look great on everyone during every time of the year! Do you own any vests? What are your favorite ways to style them? Let me know in the comments!

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Quote of the Week~Responsibility

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“Your Attention Please: No one is coming to save you. This life of yours is 100% your responsibility.”

For as long as we remember, the world has told us that someone would save us. Whether it be a superhero, a religious figure, a knight in shining armor, whomever; Someone would be there to pick us up when we were down and magically make everything better for the rest of our lives.

But that’s not the case; and I’m glad it isn’t. Our life is determined by the choices we make and the way we choose to live it. Yes, there are people out there who need help, and by no means am I saying that they shouldn’t be helped because ‘their life is their responsibility,’ but I am also not saying that we should be waiting for someone to help us.

I’m a strong believer in taking the initiative to get shit done. If you want something, go get it because no one is going to get it for you. For a long time, I waited. I waited because I was too goddamn afraid of rejection, of not getting my point across, of failure, of pain, and of loss. But that’s life, and I learned that the hard way. I learned that the world and even the people close to me are not going to help me succeed, they’re not going to make everything alright, and they’re not going to soothe my wounds to help them heal.

That’s my job, and I’ve learned that a sense of responsibility, not only for one’s actions, but for one’s future is a powerful and revolutionary adaptation into one’s life.

Take your life into your own hands and stop waiting for someone else to hand it to you. You are capable and worthy of a magnificent time on Earth, and I truly hope you have one.

~Kay

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Cooking With Kay~Brownies

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Hello, lovely people!

I’m back with another addition to my Cooking With Kay series! Today, instead of doing my usual baking from scratch, I decided to use a Betty Crocker Fudge Brownie box mix.

To make the brownies, I followed the three simple steps on the back of the box which began with preheating the oven and gathering my ingredients.

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On the box, it said to use water for the mix, but I always use milk in its place, for I think it gives the brownies (or whatever dessert I’m making) a better taste. In addition, I let my eggs sit out for a few hours-before I began baking-to get them to room temperature (disclaimer: I have no idea why I’m supposed to do that! My grandmother and my mother have always done it, so I’ve done it too).

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Afterwards, I put all the ingredients into my bowl and stirred.

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Once my oven came to 350 degrees (fahrenheit), I poured my mix into its pan and placed it into the oven for 40 minutes. The brownies ended up being done with 15 minutes still on the timer, so if you’re going to make these, make sure you keep an eye on them. My kitchen began to fill with the delicious scent of brownies, so I knew the time was about up.

When you take them out, place them on a cooling rack or a silicone pad to allow the brownies to cool for about 10-15 minutes before you cut into them. I know it’ll be hard, but the wait will be well worth it!

After the “long” wait is over, cut into your brownies and enjoy!

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These brownies tasted amazing! They were soft, chewy, and melt-in-your-mouth delicious! Betty Crocker definitely knows what she’s doing!

Do you have any recommendations for future ‘Cooking With Kay’ posts? Have you ever used this brownie mix before? Do you know why you should use room temperature eggs when baking? Let me know in the comments!

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