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Five for Friday! (…on a Saturday)

A friend sent me this yesterday and there’s basically nothing that describes my life better.

Sorry this is coming at you a little late this week. I have had obligations every single day and then yesterday (Friday), my mom and step-dad had to put down our family dog back home and it was ROUGH. I needed to just take a minute, press pause on my obligations and to-do list, order a pizza and watch a movie with my kids. And I did exactly that and it was just what my brain needed. Here’s what caught my eye this week:

Beauty :: Not sure if I’ve mentioned it here, but I have been changing over all of my skincare to Dermalogica. For many years now, I have mix and matched my skincare products to whatever I heard was good through influencers or was highly rated on Sephora’s website. My skin has become extra dry since having Maddie and Olivia and is showing signs of aging, so I decided it was time to create a regimen using one skincare line. The thing about sticking to one brand is that the products are made to work well together and you’re more likely to get the results you are after. I’ve gradually purchased Dermalogica products over the last few months and the last thing I need to add to my collection is a mask. I would like to try this mask soon and see if it gives my face the extra boost it needs to survive the winter months.

Food :: I’ve been in a food rut lately always falling back on the same basics. I grabbed a jar of artichoke hearts the other day at Sam’s and I think I’m going to get creative with them this weekend. I’m thinking something sorta like this recipe for Creamy Artichoke Chicken. Maybe I’ll throw in some spinach to do a spin off of spinach artichoke dip. If you have some good fall recipes to share, please send them my way! I need out of this rut.

Fashion :: Have you ever gone into the Loft store and touched anything from the Lou & Grey collection? Holy guacamole. Everything is so soft and cozy. It’s taking a lot of strength not to buy these jogger style pants, but $69.50 is a little steep for comfy pants, so I am going to keep my eyes open for a sale. Maybe Black Friday?!

Home :: A few months ago, I had the brilliant idea that I would wash my throw pillows from my couch. They were dirty from coffee spills and kids throwing them on the floor. Side note: Am I the only mother who feels like they pick up the same pillows up off the floor approximately 63 times per day? DRIVES ME INSANE. Anyway, back to the washing…I threw them in the washer on a cold delicate cycle hoping that they would come out okay…WRONG. The colors bled and it ruined them, so I’ve been on the hunt for new ones for a while, but I just can’t bring myself to spend a week’s worth of grocery money on throw pillows. So my splotchy pillows remain featured on my couch. These patterned covers with tassels from amazon caught my eye, so if I can find some inexpensive pillows to fill them, maybe I’ll go that route. Or I’ll just hit up my local HomeGoods because I’m sure they have a million options.

Random/Miscellaneous :: I have been wanting to add a floating shelf to my bathroom to get some of my toiletries off the countertop. We don’t have a lot of counter space and it gets very cluttered. I am thinking this might be just what I need. And $13.99 sounds just right!

I hope everyone has a great weekend gearing up for Thanksgiving!

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Sausage + Veggie Frittata

A sub par photo for a not so sub par dish.

If you’re not eating squash with your eggs yet, then I’m not really sure what you’re doing with your life. Whether you’re meal prepping for the week or need something to take to a potluck, this frittata never fails! It’s packed with veggies and protein and there’s really no better way to start your day. If you prefer a vegetarian dish, you can easily leave out the sausage and add extra veggies instead. The cheese is also optional and feel free to use a plant based milk instead of heavy cream. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 lb breakfast sausage

1 medium onion, chopped

1 yellow squash, sliced

1 zucchini, sliced

1 large tomato chopped

10 eggs

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream or milk of your choice

2 tsp dried basil

1 cup of shredded cheese (I prefer either mozzarella or cheddar)

Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 casserole dish.

2) Brown the sausage and onion in a large skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through.

3) Add zucchini, squash and a pinch of salt & pepper and sauté until they become crisp tender.

4) Pour sausage & veggie mixture into prepared dish and spread evenly. Layer chopped tomato on top.

5) In a separate bowl, crack the eggs and add the heavy cream, basil, salt and pepper. Mix with a fork until well combined.

6) Pour egg mixture evenly over sausage, veggies and tomatoes. Top with your choice of grated cheese.

7) Bake 30-40 min until frittata is bubbly around the edges and the center is set.

Beauty, Portfolio, Uncategorized

Makeup Monday: Jessica

Let me tell y’all about my best friend. This is Jessica and we have been friends since kindergarten. 25 years of friendship and she still puts up with me. Bless her. She settles my crazy like no one else and I’m extremely thankful for our relationship. She recently quit her job in oil and gas to pursue her dream of becoming a realtor in Austin. Her bravery to step out on her own and make a positive change for herself is so inspiring! I am super proud of her.

Jessica flew to Charleston last weekend to visit me for my birthday, so of course I had to glam her up for our night out downtown. When we were about to get started, I was thinking I was going to do some smokey neutral eye with a pop of gold on her when she said, “You know, I feel super fierce with red smokey eye.” And just like that, she busted me straight out of my neutral comfort zone and I thought, “GAME ON, SISTER,” but inside I was slightly terrified. Red eyeshadow just seems scary! But we did it and in the end she inspired me so much that I ended up doing a similar look on myself immediately afterward. The Jaclyn Hill palette from Morphe is the real show stopper in this look, specifically the shade, Cranapple.

Products Used:

Foundation: Tarte Rainforest of the Sea in Fair-Light Neutral
Concealer: Too Faced Born This Way in Snow
Powder: Cover FX Perfect Setting Powder
Bronzer: Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer in Light
Contour: Tarte Clay Play Eye & Cheek Palette Vol. 1
Blush: Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush in Risque
Highlighter: Anastasia Beverley Hills Illuminator in Starlight
Brows: Anastasia Dip Brow
Eyes: Jaclyn Hill Palette (Transition: Silk Creme, Crease: Hunts, Lid & Lower Lashline: Cranapple, Outer Corner: Chip & Jacz, Inner Corner: Enlight) & Colourpop Supershock Shadow in Lala tapped just on the center of the lid
Eyeliner: Ardency Inn Modster in Black
Lashes: Ardel Demi Whispies
Lips: Milani Color Statement Lipstick in Teddy Bare

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Five for Friday! (And thoughts about turning 30)

This is 30. Nothing glamorous or grand. Blurry iPhone pic and all.

Yesterday was my big 3-0. It feels very surreal because 30 has always been an age I put a lot of weight on. As a kid, I always thought that when I turned 30, I would be so put together, accomplished, debt-free, and I would know what I wanted to be when I grew up. In fact, I thought I would already be succeeding in my “dream job,” whatever that was.

And here I am, a stay at home mom, sometimes feeling as though I am surviving one day at a time, and no where near what I thought I would be at the age of 30. But here’s the thing I’ve realized…I had these ideas about where I would be and should be by now, but those ideas completely skipped over all the steps in between. When I was in middle school imagining the mythical age of 30, I didn’t know that I would go to college, marry someone in the military, move overseas, travel to places i had only seen in the movies, go to beauty school, have twin girls, move to Charleston and the list goes on. All I considered was the destination, never the journey.

The weird thing is, life is nothing like middle school Holly imagined it would be, but I’m the most content that I’ve ever been. I look around and things are pretty dang good. Of course there’s always room for improvement and I’m always striving to be better and do better, but I feel extremely fortunate for all that surrounds me.

Cheers to the next 30!

Now, Five for Friday, shall we? Also, I totally cheated and gave you lots of bonus links today…

Beauty :: If you are not already a Sephora Insider member, you definitely need to get on that! It’s free and with every purchase you earn points that can be redeemed for various products at any time. Just go to Sephora’s website to sign up. Right now they are holding their Holiday Insider Event. Rouge members have already had their discount days, but if you’re a VIB or Beauty Insider (depends on how much $ you spend at Sephora in a calendar year), your discount days are coming up! It’s a great time of year to stock up on your favorites, plus buy gifts for the holidays.

VIB Members: 20% off 11/9-11/12 with code: VIBBONUS

Insider Members: 15% off 11/16-11/19 with code: BIBONUS

Here’s a few of my favorite Sephora finds:

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Foundation
Cover FX Perfect Setting Powder
Bite Agave Lip Mask
Bumble and Bumble Save the Day Daytime Protective Repair Fluid
IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream
Tarte Tarteist Lash Paint Mascara

They also have such great gift sets from some of my favorite brands. These are a few caught my eye:

BeautyBlender
Tatcha
First Aid Beauty
Bite Beauty

Food :: I’ve been feeling crummy because I have eaten WAY too much sugar since Halloween. Now that our week of fun is over, I’m back to cutting out sugar and excessive carbs. These Swedish Meatballs look amazing! I think I’ll serve them over garlicky zoodles.

Fashion ::¬†I’m on the hunt for a holiday party dress. One of my favorite places to look for dresses on a budget is Lulu’s. This one is calling my name.

Home :: Several months ago I was in the market for new curtains. A friend of mine surprised me when she said that JCPenny has a great selection of curtains. I ended up finding these and they were perfect for brightening up my bedroom.

Random/Miscellaneous :: We are tossing around the idea of cancelling our DirectTV when our contract ends in January and getting a Amazon Fire Stick or appleTV to cut down on our bill. Do you have either? We are total newbies and have no idea which direction to go. AppleTV seems so much more expensive, but why? What is the difference? Help us out!

Recipes, Uncategorized

Creamy Chicken Soup

Things have been a little quiet over here for the past week on butter+blush. My family has had such a fun week with Halloween, my girls’ 3rd birthday, a friend visiting, a big grilling party at our house, a night out to celebrate my 30th coming up and then Monday night, I started feeling sick. Womp, womp. Too much fun and too many late nights and my body said NOPE. I guess this is what being 30 is like. So here I am nursing myself back to health with hot tea and *ding, ding, ding* this chicken soup!

This is one of my favorite soups ever. It’s creamy, hearty and full of flavor, but it’s a little on the indulgent side for my current lifestyle. I decided to use that recipe as a spring board to create a soup that doesn’t pack the high carb and fat content and I’m really pleased with how this turned out. If you find yourself feeling like junk, then I highly recommend whipping this up. Or even if you don’t feel like junk and you want something full of veggies and flavor, then that’s a good reason too. If you’re dairy-free, I think substituting a milk alternative would be just fine, but you could also leave the dairy out all together and adjust the seasoning a bit so it’s not too salty.

Ingredients:

2 TBS avocado oil
2 TBS butter
3 carrots, chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped
1/2 large onion, chopped
3 cups cooked chicken*
1 1/2 TBS chicken powder
32 oz chicken broth
1.5 TBS Herbs de Provence
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 bay leaves
1 TBS parsley
1.5 cups whole milk, half and half or heavy whipping cream

1) Heat the butter and oil over medium high heat. Add the veggies and cook, stirring often, until crisp tender.

2) Add the rest of the ingredients, crank the heat up to high and bring to a boil.

3) Reduce heat to low and simmer 20 min.

4) Taste and adjust seasoning and add salt if necessary.

5) Cozy up and enjoy!

*You could use rotisserie chicken or leftover baked, grilled or boiled chicken. Chopped or shredded is fine.

Recipes, Uncategorized

Easiest Ever 4 Ingredient Taco Chili (Keto Friendly)

Can you tell that I am full force into fall mode? It’s true. When the weather dips below 80, I’m gone and never look back. So here is another chili recipe not even 3 weeks after the last chili recipe. It’s just who I am.

Last night we were in a huge hurry to get to church for our small group meetings. I defrosted some ground beef the day before and needed to do something with it for dinner. I had VERY minimal ingredients available (my fridge is looking SAD) and only about 20 min to cook.

Here’s what I came up with.

Ingredients:

2 lbs lean ground beef

1 large onion, chopped

4-5 Tbs Pioneer Woman’s Taco Seasoning (I make a large batch and keep it in an airtight container)

1 can (14.5 oz) tomato sauce

*optional toppings: additional chopped onion, shredded cheese, sour cream, guacamole or fresh avocado, salsa

1) Brown ground beef and onion in a splash of oil on medium-high.

2) Sprinkle taco seasoning over the top and stir to combine.

3) Add can of tomato sauce. Stir occasionally while bringing to a simmer.

4) Turn the heat down and simmer on low for 5-10 min.

5) Serve hot with your choice of toppings. Enjoy!

*If you aren’t low carb, you could always add a can of beans (black, pinto or kidney would all work) and/or serve over rice.*

Beauty, Uncategorized

Makeup Monday: Favorite Affordable Cruelty Free Products

I was going to title this “Favorite Cruelty Free Drug Store Products”, but not all of these can be found at your local CVS or Walgreens. Next to each item I have noted where I have seen each item sold and, if you click on the product, the link will send you where you can order it online.

I used to have this crazy idea that makeup had to be high end to be good quality. I don’t know where I came up with that (probably social media), but I was so wrong. I have tried $60 foundations that have flopped, while my most used foundation in my collection is under $13 (read more about it below)! Price really does not always dictate quality and I am here to tell you all the deets about my favorite affordable makeup products.

Foundation ::

Physicians Formula Healthy Foundation ~$11-13 (Walmart, Ulta, Target)
Hands down, this is the best drug store foundation that I have ever tried and I have tried several. I have combination skin that leans more to the dry end most of the time so I like this foundation because it’s hydrating, but it doesn’t slide off your skin. It comes in 16 shades and the finish is dewy without being sticky. I often choose this foundation over high end products because it’s just that good. I wear shade LN3. *Hint, a lot of places often run Buy One, Get One 50% off savings on Physicians Formula, so keep an eye out for a sweet deal!*

Bronzer ::

Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer $14.99 (Walmart, Ulta, Target)
This bronzing powder lives up to its name. It’s smooth and buttery on the skin and blends like a dream! The undertone is perfect because it’s not too orange or red, so it’s flattering on so many skin tones. There are 4 different shades to suit various skin tones. I wear the shade Light.

Blush ::

e.l.f. Cosmetics Powder Blush Palette $6 (Target, Ulta)
For the price, you cannot beat these blush palettes. There are two versions – one for lighter skin tones and one for darker skin tones (pictured above) – and they come with 4 shades in each. If I had one complaint, it is that they are a little bit dusty when you pick up the product on the brush making it a little messy in the compact. It doesn’t particularly bother me because they blend like a dream.

Milani Color Harmony Blush in Coral Beams $12.99 (Walgreens, Target, Walmart, Ulta)
This blush is a stunner. I typically don’t choose a blush with shimmer, but this warm toned shade is an exception because it goes on so smoothly and gives the prettiest glow. This product is a triple threat because I can skip bronzer and highlighter on quick makeup day because this one does it all. It is also a fantastic dupe for MAC Margin.

Lipstick ::

NYX Soft Matte Lip Creme $6.49 (Target, Ulta)
The name says it all…they’re soft, they’re matte and they have a creamy consistency. I love these lip cremes because they aren’t too drying, they’re long lasting and they come in a million different shades. It is a matte formula, but they don’t make my lips look cracked and scaly like a lot of mattes do. I love the shade Montreal.

Milani Color Statement Lipstick$5.99 (Walgreens, Target, Walmart, Ulta)
These lipsticks just feel good on the lips. They’re easy to wear and so comfortable. I personally love the shades Teddy Bare and Pretty Natural. Blend them together and you get a fantastic dupe for MAC Twig, which was one of my favorite shades before switching over to cruelty free products.

Gloss ::

NYX Butter Gloss $4.99 (Target, Ulta)
NYX coming in hot with another killer product. These glosses are soft, not sticky and don’t wear off giving that weird line on the inner rim of your lips. I know some of you know what I’m talking about! They also come in a ton of shades, so there’s something for everyone. My favorite color is Tiramisu.

Eyeliner ::

e.l.f. Cosmetics Lock On Liner & Brow Cream $4.00 (Target, Ulta)
This eyeliner comes in a little pot and is applied with a brush. I prefer this method for doing winged liner because I feel like I have more control with a brush rather than a pen style liquid eyeliner. I love the espresso shade for those with lighter skin tones because black can sometimes look a bit harsh.

Mascara ::

Essence 18 hr Volume $4.99 (Ulta)
This mascara packs a punch. It gives great volume and length and at under $5, you can’t beat it. My only complaint is that it’s a little heavy duty and can be difficult to remove.

Jordana Best Lash Extreme Volume Mascara $3.49 (Walgreens)
This brand is a new discovery for me. I decided to give my lashes a break from the Essence mascara mentioned above and really fell in love with this one. It gives my lashes a lot of oomf and doesn’t crumble or transfer.

Pixi by Petra Lower Lash Mascara $11 (Target)
To some of you, it may seem pretty extra to have a special mascara dedicated to your lower lashes, but I don’t care because this teeny tiny brush grabs every single lash and it never transfers onto the skin throughout the day. I love it and I never use anything else on my lower lash line anymore.

Lashes ::

Ardell $3.49-$6.49 (Walgreens, Target, Ulta)
I like Ardell lashes because they have a style for everyone. They have very subtle lashes, like the style Beauties, and they have big, voluminous styles in their Double Up collection. My personal favorites are the Demi 120 lashes because I like the tapered end to create a cat eye look. Next time I need a new pair, I’m going to grab some of the faux mink lashes because they look so lightweight and comfortable.

Setting Spray ::

Morphe Continuous Setting Mist $15 (Ulta)
This is the only setting spray I’ve ever used that comes in an aerosol can. It’s pretty genius because the product comes out in such a fine, even mist. I’ve tried other products, but I keep coming back to this one.

What are some of your favorite cruelty free products? I am always looking for new things to try out!