Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Valentia Night Revive Retinol Serum

It's no secret I often work with Valentia, I love their all natural& organic skincare products and I've been using them for years now.  I was excited to try out their Night Revive Retinol Serum because the benefits of using retinol on the skin are endless.  

Retinol is a powerful anti-aging form of vitamin A that helps in cell turnover, collagen boost, unclogging pores, & reducing wrinkles and fine lines.  Even though I'm 26, creating a strong skincare routine, that includes anti-aging products, is important to me.  A lot of retinol products, the more powerful ones, are prescription only- so when I realized that Valentia had a serum with retinol, I was so ready for it!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Recipe Wednesday: Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti

Last weekend was a super cold one in D.C., so I thought it was best to make some insanely yummy comfort food before watching football.  I was searching Pinterest for some new things to try, and I came across this recipe by Gimme Some Oven, that I used as a guide. 

This recipe was insanely easy to put together, I made the chicken while the pasta was boiling, & it took all of 10 minutes to whip up the Alfredo sauce.  The end result was amazing, a nice & cheesy crisp on top after baking, and super cheesey and alfredo-y on the inside. 

+ Box of Ziti 
+ 2 chicken breasts 
+ Salt / pepper / garlic powder / onion powder / chili powder 
+ 3 cups low fat milk 
+ 2 cups chicken stock 
+ Olive oil 
+ Shredded mozzarella cheese (pick up a light package to save some cals!)
+ Minced garlic
+ Mushrooms & green onions 
+ 5 tablespoons of flour 
+ Parmesan cheese

If you don't have the Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning Salute, YOU NEED IT.
I started by setting the oven to 350, getting the pasta water boiling, and pan cooking my chicken breasts.  I used two, coated them in the spices above and cooked them through.  It took about 12 minutes total.  I made sure to add enough olive oil to prevent the chicken from drying out.

After the chicken was cooked I placed it in a bowl and used the same pan to sautee the mushrooms and green onions.  I added some more olive oil to the pan, and added in a ton of minced garlic.  Once I had a nice garlic smell I added in the veggies.  I didn't cook them for too long, since I knew they'd cook a bit more once I put the ziti in the oven to bake.

When the veggies were done I put them in the same bowl as the chicken, and made the Alfredo sauce.  I added in the low-fat milk and chicken stock.  Once that warmed up on a medium heat I added in some salt, pepper, garlic, & onion powder, and whisked in the flour.  Keep whisking until you notice the sauce start to thicken, and then add in as much Parm as you please.  It took maybe about 6 minutes for the sauce to thicken up.

By the time the sauce was done the ziti was cooked and drained.  I put the ziti, chicken, and veggies into my super cute brand new pink serving dish, and then poured the Alfredo sauce on top.  I made sure to coat everything and just stirred it all up a few times.  Now comes the exciting part, I put a entire bag of shredded mozzarella cheese on top.  I always buy the part-skim kind so it doesn't seem so bad calorie wise, don't know if that's 100% accurate or not, but whatever. 


I baked the ziti for about 15 minutes, until the cheese was melted and the sides looked a tad crispy.  The finished product was AMAZING. Like, seriously, the best ever.  Rob & I didn't eat much of it Saturday night (we're big cocktail hour appetizer folk), so we saved it for Sunday.  

The face of a pup who just wants some Baked Ziti in his life.

On Sunday I had a bunch of friends over for late afternoon mimosas & football.  I drizzled the ziti with olive oil & popped it in the oven for about 15 minutes.  It was gone within 10 minutes, so I'm thinking everyone enjoyed it!  

What everyones Sunday's should look like, obviously.
This recipe was super easy, and a great winter meal.  Comfort food at its finest, but with some lighter ingredients!

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Monday, January 9, 2017

Shop My Closet on Poshmark!

Happy Monday!

This weekend I did a major closet clean out and organization.  I had done the kitchen & living room last weekend, so I decided to tackle the master bedroom & my beauty room (aka guest bathroom) this Saturday during our big 1 inch snowstorm. 

I was able to get through the entire project in about 5 hours, and finished with tons of items to sell on Poshmark.  If you aren't familiar with Poshmark, it's an online shopping marketplace of people selling their clothing, accessories, and shoes they no longer want. 

I've never purchased or sold on Poshmark until this weekend, but the community seems awesome & I've really enjoyed the ease of listing my items, and the ease of browsing other listings! 

Please, please, please check out my closet, here, and see if you like anything I have up for sale!  I have some great, never worn, shoes and clothes.  I'll be adding more through the week, right now I have 37 listings, I have about 15-20 pieces left to list.  Most of the clothing is size L, and from Loft, Express, & Anthropologie. & I have a range of shoes from Sam Edelman, to Ted Baker & Pour La Victorie, sizes 9.5- 10.  

I-ner Sleeveless Shirt, Sz L, $8 

Tunic from Anthropologie, Sz 8, $15 

Pour La Victorie Heels, Size 9.5, $95 

Michael Kors Ariel Suede Platform Heels, Size 10, $50

BCBGMAXAZRIA Gaby Sweater, Sz M, $30

 Shipping is always $5.95, and if you want to bundle items, I will gladly do that for you!

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Thursday, January 5, 2017

Thursday's Fab Five

Ah, after so many awesome Christmas presents I don't know where to start in terms of what I've been loving the past two weeks!!  Check out some new favorites, and one or two oldie favorites, that I've been using daily, after the jump!

Thursday's Fab Five

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

2017 Vision & Goals

Happy New Year, beauties! 

I hope each and every one of you had an awesome & relaxing holiday season.  I know the holidays are always a busy time.  For me personally between all of the holiday events and wrapping up teaching before the winter break, it felt like forever before I could stop, relax, and enjoy being home in New Jersey with my friends & family.


Unfortunately, per usual, blogging takes a back seat when it comes to all of those other things going on in my life.  Not because I don't care, but seeing that Love. Life. Beauty. isn't my full time job, sometimes my direction just gets lost.  This is something I really want to work on in this new year, I want blogging to be more than just my side hobby.  I'm really good with time management in my personal and teaching life, but in my blogging life, I'm terrible at it!! Ugh, it's so embarrassing & drives me crazy.  I guess because I'm responsible for the 3rd grade mathematical success of 48 kids I just naturally devote all my time to that part of my life, but I also need to recognize how much this blogging part of my life also makes me happy and fulfilled. 

via | via


I made a Pinterest 2017 Vision Board (check it out!) to help keep me on track this year for all my goals: personal and professional.  I've been adding new pins each day that resonate with me and where I'm headed in 2017.  I even have a phone alarm set daily to remind me to give it a glance, even if I look at it for under a minute, I can keep these quotes and "happy pictures" fresh in my mind.  I'm hoping I can continue to add more pins through the year, and track how it's helped me be more focused and directed on my personal goals & visions. 


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