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Beauty Bites: Leafy Greens

Problematic skin can be a real bitch. And with the ridiculous number of beauty products on the market, crafting a skincare routine has become a freaking nightmare. The whole thing is overwhelming and expensive.

Naturally, the next step would be to do a tedious and extensive amount of research using my good friend google. The results….

“Cut out dairy!”

“Drink more water!”

“Stop using so many products!”

“Use more products!”

“Try sheet masks!”

“Korean Skincare!”

“Keep makeup wipes by your bed!”

“Makeup wipes cause breakouts!”

Yeah, the results were unrealistic and at times conflicting. I was already running to the ladies room all day long due to the amount of water I was chugging.

Image result for meme drinks glass of water and checks skin

Although the myriad of products were still annoying, the dietary concerns really caught my attention. It makes sense, right? We are what we eat. So, I thought I’d research which foods actually made a difference. If you could really get glowing skin from chomping on spinach, wouldn’t more people be doing it? Are more people doing it and I’m just not noticing? I suddenly feel the need to hop in the car, drive to the nearest Mustard Seed or Whole Foods, and inspect people’s complexions. That’s normal, right?

Anyway, lets talk about leafy, leafy greens and how they can give us all that Instagram glow. Greens contain the following beauty boosters:

  • Vitamin A – reduces the amount of sebum (oils that contribute to breakouts) the skin creates
  • Vitamin C – helps boost the skins natural collagen production
  • Vitamin E – protects against free radicals
  • Folate – helps produce and maintain new cells
  • Beta Carotene – an antioxidant that helps to renew and repair the skin
  • Phytochemicals – anti-aging chlorophyll helps prevent damage caused by free radicals
  • Lutein – an antioxidant that boosts hydration, improves elasticity, and protects against sun damage

Here a few recipes that incorporate dark leafy greens that are simple, healthy, and delicious.

Strawberry Peach Smoothie 2

Strawberry Peach Green Smoothie

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Roasted Carrot & Quinoa Salad

Brushetta Turkey Burgers 2

Brushetta Turkey Burgers

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Turkey Kale Pasta Toss

Enjoy!

xo Ali Taylor

 

 

 

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Currently Craving

Just a few things that I am loving this summer…

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream with SPF 50+

When looking for a foundation or tinted moisturizer for every day, I always pick up one with a high SPF. I know that beauty bloggers will typically talk about how SPF is bad for pictures because it produces a “flashback”, but that doesn’t bother me. I wouldn’t wear this when I know I will be photographed, but that isn’t a daily thing for me. I like when my daily foundation or CC Cream contains SPF because that just means I can skip a step in my makeup routine.

I have been loving this CC Cream lately because it is relatively lightweight for the amount of coverage it provides. It dries down to a powder finish, but never looks cakey on my skin. Plus, it is filled with anti-aging peptides, collagen, vitamins, and antioxidants.

Keep in mind that it is a bit pricey, but I think its worth the money.

cc cream

Olive Green Romper

Rompers are one of my summer wardrobe staples. Just throw one on, add some accessories, and you are good to go. I love my olive green one that I picked up at TJ Maxx last summer. I haven’t seen it since, so I linked a similar one from LuLu’s.

olive romper

Fake Bake Flawless

I discovered this self tanner years ago and it is still my all time favorite. The first thing I look for in a self tanner is the color. No one wants to look like an oompa loompa. Fake Bake has never made me look orange or fake. It provides a natural, buildable tan.

The smell of self tanner is usually enough to make me skip it altogether. That’s why I love this one. It smells fresh with a hint of coconut. The smell doesn’t linger on your skin for a week either.

The next thing I look for is ease of application. If a product is a pain in the ass to use, it will end up in the back of my cabinet collecting dust. The Fake Bake Mitt makes application quick and I absolutely love that this product has a color guard. The color guard shows you immediately where the product has been applied. That means no patches or completely missed spots.

Lastly, this stuff dries super fast. No one wants to awkwardly stand around, avoiding all surfaces for 30 minutes after application. Fake Bake dries in minutes. It really is the best. Oh, and did I mention its affordable, too?

fake bake

The Good Place

The Good Place starts out as a fun, light comedy starring Kristen Bell and Ten Danson. Throughout it’s debut season, The Good Place continues to deliver a fast-paced drama filled storyline packed full of jokes.

It isn’t until its two-part season finale that Kristen Bell’s character reveals the twist. I won’t ruin it for you. However, it sets the viewer up for season two perfectly while leaving us all saying, “What the fork?!”

Season 2 is scheduled to premiere September 28th on NBC.

thegoodplace_s1_showb

MyChelle Dermaceuticals Fruit Fiesta Peel

MyChelle’s Fruit Fiesta peel sounds too good to be true. Just take a look at the product description:

Fruit Fiesta Peel delivers both immediate and long-term rejuvenating benefits. A potent Alpha-Hydroxy Acid (AHA) blend of multi-fruit acids and 7% Lactic Acid plus nourishing vitamins and antioxidants help promote skin’s natural cell renewal process for a radiant, revived complexion.

After reading this, and seeing the product on the clearance shelf, I knew I needed to try it out. After all, it was only a couple of bucks, compared the normal $28 price tag.

Full disclosure: peels have always freaked me out. I have combination acne prone skin and anything outside of my normal routine can have disastrous results. Therefore, I was apprehensive to try this one, but I am so happy that I did.

I always, always, always do a patch test with new products. The skin below your ear reacts much like your face. Apply the product there to make sure it will jive with your skin. I would much rather have redness behind my ear than all over my face. Not cute.

After I patch tested, I applied the peel to my face leaving it on for 1 minute. (the directions call for 1-3 minutes, so I decided to err on the side of caution)

The results: my skin was glowing, radiant, and super soft. It washes away any dry spots, leaving my skin smooth without using a harsh scrub.

I also love that this peel, along with the entire MyChelle line, is free of junk.

Made without GMO, Gluten, Parabens, Petroleum, Phthalates, Silicones, Sulfates, Ureas, Artificial Fragrances, and Artificial Colors. Vegan. Cruelty-free. 

I use this 1-2 times per week, depending on what my skin needs. I have also worked my way up to the 3 minute mark.

fiesta fruit peel

Sunshine Salad

Sunshine salad is bright, colorful, and fresh. It’s filled with some of my favorite salad toppers like craisins, feta, and roasted veggies. Its a great way to use up left over veggies from last night’s dinner. Toss it with a zippy, homemade vinaigrette and you are all set for lunch.

What are you Currently Craving?

Autumn Sweet Potato Salad 2

xo Ali Taylor
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Carrot Quinoa Salad with Spicy Chili Lime Vinaigrette

 

Hello lovelies! I hope everyone is having a beautiful week!

I have to say, as much as I love the warm sunny days we have been having, I welcome the occasional rainy day. You see, the rainy days are perfect for binge watching shows without feeling guilty about wasting a nice day. Lately, we have been re-watching Game Of Thrones in anticipation of the season 7 premiere July 16th. It is insane how much I missed the first time around!

Which shows do you love to re-watch?

Okay, now let’s move on to this gorgeous salad. I love a bright, hearty spring salad. I wanted something substantial and healthy, but needed to go to the store. I decided to make a clean out the fridge salad. First, I tossed some carrots with olive oil, salt, pepper, cumin, garlic, and smoked paprika. Then, baked them in the oven for about 20 minutes.

carrot quinoa salad 3

While the carrots were cooking, I made some quinoa. Make sure to rinse the quinoa well before you cook it. I use a fine mesh sieve and run water through until it runs clear. This will take away any bitterness from the quinoa. I find that the quinoa turns out the best if I cook it plain, without any seasonings. Then, once it is cooked I fluff it with a fork and add seasoning.

carrot quinoa salad

Next, to assemble the salad, I lay down a bed of fresh spinach.

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Then, put the cooked quinoa over the spinach.

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The next layer is the beautifully cooked carrots.

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Finish the salad with a drizzle of Spicy Chili Lime Vinaigrette and some fresh chopped cilantro. Dig in!

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Carrot Quinoa Salad with Spicy Chili Lime Vinaigrette

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 25 minutes
  • Print

A bright and hearty spring salad

Ingredients


1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed

1 cup water

1lb carrots, peeled and sliced into coins on a diagonal

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

salt and pepper to taste

4 cups spinach

1/2 cup fresh cilantro

vinaigrette:

1 lime, juiced

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

2 teaspoons honey

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

10 pickled jalapeno slices, chopped

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Combine the quinoa and water. Bring to a boil, cover, drop the heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Toss the carrots with olive oil to coat and sprinkle with salt, pepper, cumin, smoked paprika, and garlic. Add to a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, flipping hallway through.
  4. Vinaigrette: whisk together the garlic, chili powder, lime juice, honey, and apple cider vinegar. While whisking, slowly stream in the olive oil. Toss in the jalapenos and season with salt and pepper. The easy way: Put all ingredients into a jar with a lid that seals completely. Shake until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. To assemble: Layer the spinach, quinoa, and carrots. Drizzle with dressing and garnish with fresh cilantro.


Enjoy!

xo Ali Taylor

carrot quinoa salad 10

Apple Crumble Muffin Cake

What an exciting day for Cleveland! The Indians have officially earned their place in the World Series!

Now, let’s take a look at the incredible crumble topping on this muffin cake. I adapted the recipe from one that I found from Cooking Light. I doubled the crumble topping, added vanilla, lemon zest and nutmeg. I also substituted coconut oil in place of the canola oil the original recipe called for. Then, I decided to make it into one big cake instead of 12 muffins. I am in love with this one. It is perfect for a coffee date, brunch, or dessert.

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Apple Crumble Muffin Cake

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Time: 45 minutes
  • Print

A lightened up fall favorite perfect for breakfast or an afternoon coffee break.


Ingredients

Crumble

2 tbs butter, melted

2 tbs coconut oil, melted

1 tsp cinnamon

4 tbs old fashioned oats

4 tbs all purpose flour

2 tbs brown sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Cake

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg

1 tsp lemon zest

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp kosher salt

3/4 cup low fat buttermilk *cooking tip below

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 large egg

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 apple, peeled and diced; I used red delicious (about 1 1/4 cups)


Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400.
  2. Mix together the crumble ingredients(butter, coconut oil, cinnamon, oats, four, brown sugar, and vanilla) and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl mix together the dry ingredients: flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon zest, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. In a large mixing bowl combine the wet ingredients: buttermilk, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla.
  5. Add the dry into the wet ingredients in two batches, mixing in between.
  6. Fold the diced apple
  7. Pour the batter into a pie plate that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
  8. Top the batter with the crumble mixture
  9. Bake at 400 for 25 minutes, or until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  10. **Cooking Tip: If you do not have any buttermilk on hand, sqeeze 1 tbs of fresh lemon juice into a liquid measuring cup then pour in milk (any kind) up to the 3/4 cup line. I used this method with unsweetened original almond milk and the recipe turned out fantastic.

apple-crumble-muffin-cake-1

Enjoy!
xo Ali Taylor

Moving…

Sorry for the lack of posts lately! I have been busy packing and moving to Cleveland! I cannot wait to start a new chapter of my life. Everything will be fresh and new, though I am returning to my old neighborhood. I will once again be surrounded by family and friends and could not be more thrilled about that aspect.

So stay turned for more recipes coming soon!

xo Ali Taylor