BEAN SALAD: Quick and Easy Snack

Bean Salad

I wanted to share one of my favorite snacks that is super easy to make and on the healthier side.   I call it, bean salad.  I have been so into it lately.

AND it’s so much better for you than eating cookies and donuts and all of that crap that can be so tempting when it’s sitting around your office.

Once again, it is super simple to make (you can find everything at the grocery store), it’s packed with fiber (hell yea!) and fills you up.  These are all things that win at life.

One batch makes enough to last me the week.  In the morning, I will fill up a little tupperware dish to take to work.  I keep it in the refrigerator there until it’s time for my 2 o’clock snack.  After that, I’m usually good to go until dinner.  Do you guys snack around 2 or is that just me?  If I don’t, I am ravenous when I get home.

Bean Salad Ingredients

Here’s what you need:

◊  1 can of garbanzo beans

◊  1 can of cut green beans

◊  1 can of kidney beans

◊  1 can of corn

◊  ½ cup of champagne dressing (I like Girard’s and get the ‘light’ champagne)

Here’s what you do:

  1.  Pour one can into a colander and rinse the beans under water, then let it strain and put them into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Repeat with all 4 cans.
  3. Once the 4 cans of beans and corn are in the large mixing bowl, add the champagne dressing and stir it up.

First, rinse the beans

Second, put beans and dressing in a large bowl

Balsamic Glaze and Bean Salad

Then, to finish it off, you can add a bit of balsamic vinegar.  When I put the concoction into my tupperware in the mornings,  I drizzle a little bit of balsamic glaze (that I’ve talked about before)  on top and then mix it in.  Then, when hunger strikes at work, I will grab this and I am good to go.

I love this recipe because it’s straight forward and easy, it makes enough to last me through the week, tastes delicious, and fills me up.

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Let me know if you guys have any snacks that keep you going through the day.  I’m always looking for something  healthy, delicious, and easy to make.

♦ Stephanie

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Venice, Italy

For the 3rd leg of our Euro vacay we went to Venice for a few days.  Venice was so perfect at this point in the trip.  It felt, casual.

I felt like I was in some fantasy world in another time.  We would get lost in a maze of Italian architecture and there were canals and gondolas everywhere.  We had the best Italian food, at a local spot, run by an Asian couple, and went to a jazz club where Latin Jazz was the theme of the night.  This is also when my affair with prosecco began (and lasted throughout the rest of the trip).  Venice was amazing.

Venice CollageFirst Day:

I broke my sunglasses on the train, so I was on the hunt for a nice cheap pair for the next leg of the trip.  There were all these ‘street sellers’ on the first canal bridge and I started trying on a few pairs.  Next thing I know,  all of the people that were selling purses and sunglasses, grab all of their supplies in their blankets and start booking it!  The guy we were shopping from grabbed everything out of our hands and we were like, we’ll take that pair for €5,00.  Done deal, for about €10 cheaper than he wanted.  Hah!

We settled into our next B&B.  We had our own personal bathroom this time…score!  This place was more like a mini hotel.  Norman Bates ran this place and he was great.   But seriously, the hotel owner was named Marco and he was the oddest person, but also, super nice.  But definitely odd.  If I go back to Venice I will 100% find Marco and say hi.  I wish I had video of him, the jokes between me and J were nonstop the rest of trip.   Ohhh Marco…

Dinner in Venice

(View from our table.  To the right was the river/canal intersection.  No idea why we didn’t get a picture of that)

But anyway,  after we settled in a bit, we started scoping out trip advisor for restaurants.  We usually tried to find places where the locals go.  We like to avoid the “too touristy” spots.  This restaurant was at a river/canal intersection.  It was one of the best meals we had while in Italy and was owned by a really cute Asian couple.

Cafe Noir

After dinner, it was around 8 or 9 and the streets were pretty quiet.   We took tons of pictures and ended up finding this little lounge bar called Cafe Noir and grabbed a prosecco and well, lounged.   This was my first prosecco of many for the  rest of the trip.

Second Day:

Today was full on time to explore.

Venice Canal

Our main goal (in every place we visited) is always to just roam around and get lost in the city.  Our sub goals were to see the Grand Canal and San Marco Square.  We always have a rough idea of what we’re doing, but don’t get stuck on the details.

So we made our way to both spots and window shopped and explored other little areas on the way.  Did you know it costs €1.50 to use a restroom?  Like, WHAT?!  So usually when it was time to hit the bathroom, we would grab a drink or a bite so we could use the bathroom in the bar/restaurant…1 prosecco please.

Steampunk Masks in Venice

(Steampunk Masks)

Piazza San Marco

(Piazza San Marco)

Then we ended our night at this jazz club that everybody said would be amazing…and it was!  The band was so great.  The theme of the night was Latin, which just cracked me up.  Of course we would be in Italy and listening to Latin Jazz.

After that, we headed back to our place to relax and get ready for our next city.

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Have you been to Venice?  What was your favorite memory there?

♦ Stephanie

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2 Ingredient Lip Scrub

I am all about easy tips and DIY’s.  Once it gets too complicated, I’m done.  Lost interest.  No, I will NOT run to Home Depot, Target AND Michael’s to get all of the supplies to make a floating shelf.  No, thank you.

So this brings me to my 2 ingredient lip scrub.  All you need is oil and sugar.

◊   Oil options:  coconut, olive, jojoba, almond  >>> Pick one

◊   Sugar options:  brown, white (are there others?)

I used brown sugar and extra virgin olive oil.

I prefer brown sugar, because the granules are smaller and finer, so the scrub is less abrasive, which works for my lips.  If you want a stronger exfoliation, go for white sugar.  You can even mix the 2 if you’d like.

The last lip scrub I made was with coconut oil.  It was great, but it gets solid at room temperature and I wanted to try the olive oil to see if I liked the consistency and texture better…and I do.

2 Ingredient Lip Scrub

All you do is add sugar to a bowl, and then pour in enough olive oil until it thickens and sticks together. Then, mash it together with a spoon or fork until it forms a paste.  You can add a drop of vanilla extract to make it smell fantastic.  Not necessary though.

Bam.  Done.  Finito.

I use travel containers to store the scrub in.  You can also use little mason jars to put it in for yourself or for a gift.

Benefits of scrubbing your lips:

We exfoliate our faces and bodies, why not our lips?  Lips need exfoliation too, to remove the dry, dead skin cells on the surface.  This helps to get rid of any nasty flakes on your lips, which then helps your lipsticks and glosses go on smoother and last longer.

The olive oil also helps to moisturize the lips while you’re scrubbing away.

How I scrub my lips:

I just scoop up a little bit with my finger and rub the scrub on my lips for about a minute.  Then, I rinse it off with warm water, pat dry, and add a lip balm, chapstick, or ointment to them.  I really like to do this at night and then put on Aquafor Lip Repair or those EOS balm balls to moisturize my lips.

It’s best to do it 1-2 times per week.

If I’m planning on a lipstick night, I will do the scrub and lip balm before I start doing my makeup, and then will wipe off excess lip balm and put on the lipstick at the end of the makeup process.  That way, your lips will be smooth and ready for application.

2 Ingredient Lip Scrub

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If I’m feeling crazy lazy, I do an on the spot lip scrub.  I always keep a little container with brown sugar in my bathroom drawer, along with my always present container of coconut oil to wash my face.  I will smother my lips in coconut oil and then pick up a bit of brown sugar and do a quick scrub that way.

Do you use a lip scrub?  Any other techniques you like to do to exfoliate?

♦  Stephanie

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Shaving Your Face with Tinkle Razors

Alright ladies. It’s time to get on board with face shaving.

Whaattt???  I know, I know.

I’m not talking, razor to face, like the ones you use to shave your legs and elsewhere.  I’m also not talking about the razors your guy uses on his face.  But I’m talking about these pretty pastel tinkle razors that are sold as brow shapers.

Women get their upper lip waxed and threaded, but no one ever thinks of shaving.

I first saw this on youtube a few years ago and I was intrigued.  I also remember Caroline from The Real Housewives (New Jersey edition) mentioning it once before too.  It seemed a little out there at first, but I’m loving it.

Not only is this a great way to remove hair, but it exfoliates your skin too!

Tinkle Razor for Shaving Your Face

The term I’ve been hearing salons use for this technique is dermaplaning, which sounds like it’s pretty much the same thing.

Dermaplaning is just a very simple physical or mechanical method of exfoliation, which helps to remove dead skin cells and give your face a brighter complexion,” Dr. Hale told me. “And since it removes some vellus hairs [the baby-fine hairs on your face], it can make the skin feel smoother.” (via)

Now, I am pretty fortunate to have blond hairs on my face, so I don’t really notice the hair too much.  But it’s still there and that sneaky sun of ours likes to put it on blast on those bright summer days.

After shaving, your makeup goes on smoother and the sunlight won’t be catching any peach fuzz.  And the fact that it is removing your dead skin cells is great for your face to look better and brighter, AND to absorb your quality face products even more.  It kind of reminds me of the PMD >>> I will have a post about this amazing tool and all of it’s benefits soon!

How to do it…

I first heard about this from a Michelle Money youtube video.  That girl has some great beauty tips.  And she’s a total babe.  Here’s her little video tutorial to show you the technique.  She cracks me up…

To sum it up:

◊  Put the tool at a 45 degree angle

◊  Pull your skin taut and do short strokes in the direction of hair growth

◊  AND I would wash my face before and after

She does this weekly, but I usually try to get to it quarterly.  It’s weird, but I find it kind of fun.

facial razors

BIG SIDENOTE:   I would be very, extremely, ridiculously careful if you do use these razors for your brows.  I actually would not recommend that at all!  It sounds funny since that’s what these tools say they are made for, but it is too easy to slip up.  So definitely don’t use them near your brows if you’ve had a glass of wine or 2.  I almost had a very serious misstep that would have resulted in a half brow…And that would not be cute.

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So give it a shot and let me know how it goes.  I get my tinkle razors on Amazon.  Have you tried using facial razors?

♦ Stephanie

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Face Masks

Loving face masks right now.  I have always underestimated the importance of face masks and am now seeing the light.

I’ve just always been a fickle face masker.

I would buy a new one, use it once and then be minorly impressed by the results.  Then, I’d forget about it for a few months before I’d find it under my sink again.  I would try it out again, feel pretty meh about it and back in the cabinet it goes until it’s expired.

I’ve finally realized the importance of being consistent with it and using the correct masks at the right times.

So that would be my face mask tip…use consistently.  Maybe that’s old news to you guys, but for some reason that has always been lost on me  lol!

It makes such a HUGE difference when I face mask weekly.

So let’s get into it, shall we?

It can be a bit overwhelming when you go into the skincare section and see a million different options.  That’s why I like to pick out those sample sized face masks you can buy at Walgreens & CVS.   You can get 3-5 uses out of each little packet and they only cost a buck or 2 (they are almost always on sale).  It’s a great way to try out different types of face masks and find out what works for you.

Anti Aging Face Mask

These are also amazing to travel with.  The packaging is so slim that you can fit these things anywhere in your carry on or purse.  It’s like a face mask on the go.

The Anti-Aging Mask with almond is my favorite.  It hydrates the crap out of your skin and feels and smells soooo goooood.  Whenever I travel, I like to bring that one with me to use after I land (since airplanes dry out my skin).  This one gives my skin that supple feeling that you get after a facial.  Super hydrating.  And gets my skin vacay ready.

Brightening Sheet Mask

I recently tried the brightening sheet mask and loved the results.  It’s supposed to help with any hyperpigmentation from scarring or otherwise.  Not only did I notice results, but it felt pretty therapeutic to use.  When you’re done, you can leave the leftover serum on  your face to treat your skin while you sleep.

These sample sized masks are a great way to try a lot of different types of face masks without committing to a whole bottle.

I even came across this great article about “multi-masking”…ie using different types of face masks on different parts of your face.  This way if you have combination skin you can cater to each area.  You can use a moisturizing mask on the dry areas and detoxifying mask on breakout zones.

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What face masks do you like to use?  I’ve been dying to try those GlamGlow’s from Sephora but haven’t gotten around to it.  If you’ve tried those, are they worth it?

♦ Stephanie

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