Little Friday + Products I'm Obsessed With

I'm not a hair and makeup expert by any stretch of the imagination, and I'm just as likely to buy product from the $1 bin as I am more expensive, name brand products.  I am brand loyal to certain things - I have to use Neutrogena and Almay foundation, for example, or I break out like a teenager.  But, for eye shadow, nail polish, etc. I'm usually up for trying new things.  I am learning as I get older though that when possible, it's often worth it to spend more for a higher quality product that lasts longer.  Anyway, I thought I would share some products I've been using daily.  

When I was in Florida, my friend GAVE me this Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette because she wasn't using it.  To say it made my day would be an understatement!  I am a lucky girl.  It has been fun experimenting with new colors, and I have to say the quality of this eye shadow impressed me...the colors are much richer than the cheaper stuff I have, and it lasts way longer.  This one palette has replaced all of  the dollar store/Walgreens type eyeshadows that my makeup bag is overflowing with.  I am sold.  



I've heard lots of people talk about OPI Cajun Shrimp, and I wanted to try it - BUT, every time I looked for it I could never find it.  My Kroger store has a random display of OPI polish and one day I happened to see it, so I snatched it up.  It nearly killed my cheap little heart to spend $8 on a bottle of nail polish, but I knew from previous experience that OPI is good stuff, and I wasn't disappointed.  This is my new favorite polish and I've been wearing it out ever since.


This stuff!  I can't say enough about it.  I want a good tan but I don't want the skin cancer to go along with it.  This Banana Boat Self tanner is about $6 at Wal-Mart, and it's the BEST self tanning lotion I have ever come across.  It doesn't streak and the color looks completely natural.  I put it on before I go to bed at night and wake up in the morning shockingly tan.


I've mentioned before that I only wash my hair about twice a week, and this stuff is the reason why.  I have super thick hair, and drying it is a job.  This stuff is a lifesaver.  Usually when I wash my hair, I wear it down for 2 days, using the dry shampoo to spruce it up on the 2nd day.  The 3rd day I will pull it back or up and liven it up with this again.  It's maybe $2 and I don't think I could live without it at this point.


And - for whatever reason I have a water bottle obsession, I suppose because I'm always looking for ways that I can convince myself to drink more water...I think I have found it!  I've seen some other health and fitness bloggers post about Bubba Mugs...when my mom and I were at Kohl's on Sunday they had a bunch of them on an end cap so I picked one up.  I am obsessed with this thing!  It is huge and insulated.  I fill it with ice before work at about 6:30 am, and then just fill it with water throughout the day.  There is still a tiny bit of ice left when I leave work in the afternoon and this cup keeps my water super cold - something about the water being icy cold helps me stay on top of drinking it so much more!  Also the cup doesn't sweat which I like...if there is a water ring on my desk it's basically a guarantee that I'm going to set an important paper right in it.




Today I am co-hosting Little Friday with The Grits Blog!  Go check it out and make some new friends!
Ash (Follow Here!) // Samantha (Follow Here!) //  Laura (Follow Here!)

Rules are there are no rules! 

Please link-up to whatever you like! 

All that we ask is, if you wish, please follow us via the links above and that you link back to this blog - so that other's can join in and mingle! 

Happy Little Friday Everyone!

The Grits Blog

High Class Camping...and School Shopping

This weekend we had a fun backyard camp-out.  We used to do this all the time when the older boys were little and it's always been a hit.  In fact...I don't think our tent has actually been set up anywhere but in our yard.  Anyway, my three-year-old has two cousins that are almost the same age as him, so I thought it would be fun to invite them over for a camp-out in the yard.  It was an absolute blast!


I was a little worried about how to entertain three little ones, but I shouldn't have worried...they were easily entertained with each other...I guess that's the thing about having multiple little kids instead of just one!  Nonetheless, I was armed with the slip n' slide, sprinkler, glow sticks, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, snap pops (the little things that make noise when you throw them down), and in case I got really desperate, I bought paint and paintbrushes to paint rocks.  Oh, and enough hot dogs, hamburgers, and marshmallows to feed an army.  I had a crazy idea that I wanted to make tie-dyed shirts but then decided that was a little..uh, ambitious.


I think they were the most excited about the glow sticks, they were a big hit!  We also had lots of teenagers in and out on Friday and Saturday (as we pretty much always do).  I think at one point we had 9 kids here total.  Craziness but happy craziness.  Before the little kids got there, my stepsons dug their sleeping bags from when they were little out of their closets so that the little kids could use them which I thought was very sweet.


When I was talking to my friend about this little camp-out, I mentioned not having an air mattress and she basically said I'm a crazy person if I think sleeping on the ground is going to be fun.  My husband ended up having to work all weekend, so I was planning to be the one sleeping in the tent with the little kids.  Friday was nuts and I didn't have time to stop at Wal-Mart or anywhere that would have an air mattress...so when I stopped at Kroger to pick up a few things on my way home, I bought a pool float on clearance for $2 to use as a makeshift air mattress.  I got a lot of shit about it from the boys in my house (what's so funny about sleeping on a pool float?) but it worked just fine, thank you very much.  I can't say it was the best night's sleep I've ever had, but I was pretty comfortable, and I'm proud to say that we all made it in the tent all night long.  The three little boys slept soundly all night.  Success.


All day Saturday while the little kids were playing outside, I pulled weeds while keeping an eye on them.  It was LONG overdue.  I completely neglected my flowerbeds all throughout baseball season, and they were more weeds than flowers at this point.  Several wagon loads of weeds later and they look good again.  I have to replace some of the plastic under the mulch because the weeds were so attached to the plastic that I just had to get rid of all of it.  Gross.  It feels good to have that done though.



The little kids all thought that pulling weeds was great fun and loved helping me.  I feel like I'm on to something there.  


My son just kind of had a big weekend overall - Thursday night he stayed with my sister and they took him along on Friday to see Disney Live, then we had the campout, then on Sunday my mom and I took him shopping to get a couple of outfits for preschool.  Yep, preschool.  Hard to say that out loud considering that it feels like he was just born.  We had a great day out together...I think he's all set for preschool now except for shoes...my older boys requested to help him pick out his shoes, so that will be a separate trip.


While we were shopping, I tried some stuff on and ended up getting the dress below to wear to a wedding next weekend.  It feels very short but I like it and think it will be nice and cool for an outdoor August (!) wedding.  In the pic on the right, those shorts are a size 16 which I consider to be a non-scale victory.  It's always felt to me like the cute clothes at Kohl's were too small for me and out of my reach.  It was fun to be able to find some cute stuff in the regular section.  My son was clearly thrilled about trying stuff on.


And another big thing happened this weekend...my oldest stepson got his very own car.


I intentionally don't talk about the older boys much here, because they are teenagers and I want to respect their privacy.  But I'm proud of this kid, and he's so happy with his car that I don't think he would mind me talking about it!  He worked hard to earn this car himself.  When he turned 16 in January we debated buying a cheap car for him, but we decided it would be better to let him drive one of our cars for awhile (we have 3, 2 of which are pretty old) and save up for a car himself.  He did just that, and even sold his dirtbike (his idea and he handled the whole thing himself) to put the money toward a car.  He got a summer job and gets himself up early every day and works hard.  I am beyond proud of him and I hope that he will appreciate the lesson of earning his first car later in life.  

As for food and exercise on this busy weekend...I feel like I did fine with sticking to low carb other than not drinking enough water, but I definitely was lacking in the exercise department.  I slept in on Sunday instead of doing my long run, with the intention of doing it in the evening, and then when we got back from shopping it was getting ready to storm, and...the long run never happened.  Boo.  I have to do better with running this week.

I hope you all have a great week!  Thanks for reading this windy post! 

What To Do With Zucchini



One of my favorite things about summer is the insanely cheap, delicious produce you can get...or grow yourself.  This is the first year ever that we haven't done a huge garden.  We just finally accepted that we are too busy right now.  I have missed it a little bit...but honestly not that much.  It's been one less thing for me to stress about, plus, people have been giving us extras from their gardens right and left.  Even if it weren't for that, there is a farmer's market in just about every town this time of year.

Anyway, when we did do a garden, one of the things we always had an over-abundance of was zucchini.  There are LOTS of different ways you can cook zucchini, but today I want to share with you one of my favorites.

You will need:


Bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, a zucchini, a couple of eggs, and salt and pepper.  The amounts depend on how much zucchini you're using.  This is not an exact recipe in any way.  Yes, I do need to think about getting some grown-up salt and pepper shakers...I used to have some but they got broken by kids :)

You are going to cut up the zucchini into pieces that are easy to handle, then grate it.



It should look like this when you are done, I leave the skin on but you could peel it first if you really wanted to.


Then you are going to add in all the rest of the ingredients from above, until it looks "right" to you to scoop with a spoon into a pan.  It should be wet but not runny.


Again, nothing has to be exact.  If you are worried about the carbs in the bread crumbs you could always leave those out and do more parmesan.  My bread crumbs say 19 carbs for 1/4 cup.  That's about what I used, and this makes a huge batch...carbs in a serving will be minimal.

It should look like this all mixed together.

Heat a pan with olive oil on medium/medium high heat, and scoop the mixture into the pan to make small patties.  It's time to flip them when they get crispy, and they are done when they look crisp on both sides.  The smaller you scoop these into the pan, the better, the thinner they are, the easier it will be for them to get crispy.  


I'm more worried about carbs than anything right now,  so cooking things in oil doesn't bother me, but for those of you who don't want to do that, I tried something else - I cooked several of these on my electric griddle with just cooking spray.  They were still good, but they didn't turn out crispy.  So you could do this either way, just depending on your preference.


If you're interested, I also have a Pinterest board titled "What to do with zucchini" found here.  
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