Month: June 2014

Pinterest Recipe Triumphs, Third Edition

It’s been a while since I’ve shared some of the great recipes I’ve found through Pinterest, so I thought I’d do a little post today! If you missed my last two Pinterest Recipe Triumphs, you can find them here and here.

Shrimp and Asparagus Stir Fry

Funny story about this recipe. I went to make it and ended up not having any shrimp to use. I’d already made up the sauce and had started cooking the asparagus, so I just made the asparagus on its own and it was AMAZING. I haven’t made this recipe with the shrimp yet, but I’ve made the asparagus twice. It’s my new favorite way to prepare asparagus.

Shrimp and Asparagus Stir Fry

Avocado Basil Pasta

This pasta was so delicious and easy to make! I left out the bacon, which made it a great meatless meal. This could also be a great side dish to replace the typical pasta salad!

avocado basil pasta

Oven Baked Chicken Fajitas

I just made this one this week. I love this recipe because it only requires a cutting board and 9×13!

Chicken Fajitas

Now that we’re settled into our new place I’m excited to get back into the routine of cooking again!

Splurge v. Save: Clothing

I’ve been thinking about whether to splurge or save on clothes a lot more lately since I’ve started my new job. I’ve finally reached that point in my life where I don’t have to buy all of my clothes from Target and Forever 21! It’s been fun to start figuring out my grown up style!

Of course, assigning whether to splurge or save on different categories of clothing items is hard to do, so these are pretty general rules for me.

Coats and Swimsuits: SAVE

These are seasonal pieces that can be very expensive, but they are also great to buy on sale in the off season! I’ve bought some great coats for an awesome price during the spring. It’s also super fun to pull that new coat out when the chilly weather sets in! (I bought that coat for $20!)

coat

Jeans and Pants: SPLURGE

I have a pair of jeans that I bought when I was 15 and I still wear them all the time! Pants can last forever! Plus I pretty much wear the same pairs over and over again, so I don’t mind spending a little more money on a quality pair of pants with a great fit.

Tops: SAVE

Unlike pants, I don’t wear the same top multiple times a week. I like to have a wide variety of tops. Plus, I get tired of my tops frequently and like to buy new ones every couple of seasons. Therefore, I can’t spend $50 every time I buy a top! Tops are also easier to find on sale than pants!

Shoes: SPLURGE and SAVE

It reeeeeeally depends on shoes. I always splurge when it comes to my running shoes. I try to save by buying at the Nike Outlet, but they can still be pricey there! For me, comfort is most important when it comes to shoes, and more expensive doesn’t always mean more comfortable.

tennis shoes

Now I feel like going shopping!!!

Lately 6.24.14.

Brad and I are finally starting to settle into regular, everyday life here in KC.

We took our Libs to her first baseball game a couple of weeks ago! Isn’t she a cutie?

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I officially started my very first big-girl job at Viracor-IBT! My job title is Reagent Scientist II. I wear a lab coat and gloves all day and I have my own little cubicle! My labmates and supervisor are really nice. I think I’m going to like it here.

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My cousin Justine got married this last weekend, so Brad and I made a short roadtrip to Oklahoma! It was so fun to get to hang out with family and friends that I rarely see.

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The beautiful Bride!! You can’t see it, but she had a purple petticoat underneath her dress that you could see when she danced! Adorable!

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We love weddings.

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It was lots of time in the car, but totally worth it.

This weekend Brad and I are going to our first Royals game! Crossing our fingers it doesn’t rain!!!

Splurge v. Save: Beauty Products

I’ve always enjoyed Splurge v. Save blog posts because I find it interesting what people are willing to spend money on. Brad and I have been doing a lot of purchasing lately since we’ve moved, so I thought I’d do a little Splurge v. Save series of my own. I thought I’d begin with beauty products since I think it’s the easiest.

*Note: Of course, everyone’s version of “splurging” and “saving” is different! My definition of splurging could be very different than yours!

In general, I’m a saver. Partly because I have to be and partly because I was raised that way. (My mom is a great bargain shopper. I love calling her to tell her about the great deal I just got.) Beauty products can get expensive. Therefore, I’ve tried to figure out what can be saved on, and what is worth spending the money on.

Shampoo / Conditioner / Soap: SAVE

To be honest, I have pretty good hair. I don’t need anything fancy to make my hair look good, so I buy pretty much whatever is on sale. However, this doesn’t always work for everyone. My mom has very thin hair, so she pays more money for products that will make her hair thicker and stronger. When it comes to soap, $3 soap and $15 soap both get you clean. I’ve bought the off-brand of Dial for years.

Also, I didn’t include things like hairspray and other products to put in your hair because I don’t use them, so I guess I’m “saving” on those too!

body soap save

Face lotion: SPLURGE

When it comes to the lotion I put on my face in the morning and at night before I go to bed, I don’t go for the cheapest bottle of the shelf at CVS. Skimping on lotion always leaves my face feeling greasy but not moisturized.

This may seem very silly, and I do not “keep up with” the Kardashians, but I read that Kim Kardashian said that her number one beauty secret was that she started wearing eye cream at night when she was in middle school. When you think about it, you totally should start wearing eye cream before the wrinkles come, not after!

Currently, I put on a face cream by Estee Lauder in the morning, and at night, I wear Neutrogena face lotion and Estee Lauder eye cream.

Estee Lauder Eye Cream

Make up: SAVE

Make up can get expensive even when you are “saving” because there are so many elements. I buy most of my make up at CVS or Target. I’ve had a lot of luck with the brand E.L.F., which is sold at Target. I LOVE their liquid eyeliner and eye shadow palettes. I also just bought their bronzer and a large brush, which I have been really happy with so far. I used to spend $13 on Neutrogena foundation, but I recently decided to try E.L.F.’s $6 foundation, and although I wouldn’t say they are comparable, I do like the E.L.F. foundation enough to keep buying it.

E.L.F. Liquid Liner

For eyebrow pencil I use a product by Revlon, mostly because the color matches my hair the best. I’m currently using a sample size mascara from Estee Lauder that I really like, but I haven’t decided if I’ll spend the real money on it once it runs out. I usually buy Maybelline mascara.

Straightener: SPLURGE

A straightener is something you only buy once every several years. I’m actually on the market for a new one at the moment because I think I’ve had mine for about 5 years! I’ve really been putting it off for too long because it’s definitely lost some of its heating power. Since this is something I use a lot and lasts a long time, I don’t mind buying a nice one.

There you are! A peak into my spending habits. What do you like to splurge on? Have you found any products that have saved you a ton?

Our new apartment

Today is our second full day in our new apartment and we are really enjoying it so far!

A few things I like about it:

There is a coat closet, a linen closet, and a pantry closet. Storage galore!!! I didn’t have any of these in our last place!

We have a deck! Brad and I love to sit outside and we only had a stoop at our last place. Our new patio furniture is still at my parents’ house but it will be here hopefully soon. I even faces a good direction. There’s plenty of light, but is not in direct sunlight so it won’t be unbearably hot.

Ptl for 2 bathrooms! I was worried 2 bathrooms would mean 2 tiny bathrooms, but that’s actually not the case. They both have a decent amount of counter and cabinet space.

A fireplace! This was definitely not on our list of “needs” but it is a perk. Is it weird that I’m mostly excited to decorate the mantel? Especially for Christmas!

Two words: Mirror. Closets. Either ya love them or ya hate them, but I love them! I’ve always wanted mirror closets and now I have 3! BONUS: Brad and I have our own closets!!

Ceiling fans in the living room and both bedrooms. I had a ceiling fan in my apartment in college and I loved it! All the ceiling fans definitely helped sell this place to us.

Brand new refrigerator. That thing is sparkling right now! I hope I can keep it this clean!

There’s a park right across the street. There’s not much to it, but it has a walking trail!

Of course this place isn’t perfect. There are a few things we’re not so crazy about:

The kitchen comes with a microwave, but it’s really small. We stored our microwave at my parents’, but I might end up bringing it here anyway.

The oven is old and kind of intimidating to figure out how to work it. I mastered the stove last night, but haven’t taken on the oven quite yet.

The showers don’t have any ledges to set stuff on other than around the outside.

The placement of the windows and outlets in the master bedroom are a little awkward, so it’s hard to know the best place to put the bed.

There’s a light fixture in the hallway that looks like it came out of a hotel from the 80’s.

So I can’t really complain. We’re super excited to get settled in and to start making memories here.

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