All About That Taco Life

This recipe came from Mrs. Happy Homemaker and is one of my absolute favorites. It is so yummy and makes a lot so it perfect for meal prepping for the week. There is some spice to it, so be aware of that if you do not like spicy foods.

I chose to use chicken and I halved the recipe because I did not need 4 pounds of meat for one week of lunches. I also did not use the onion.

Step one is to season the chicken well with salt and pepper.

Step 2 is to heat the oil on the stove and sear all sides of your meat.

Next, put the chicken into the slow cooker and add in the rest of the seasonings, hot sauce, and chile peppers.

Let the meat cook for 8 hours on low heat. Once it is finished, move to a separate bowl and shred it using 2 forks.

If you prefer to not have all the juice you can just dump it, however since I was keeping it in the fridge I wanted to make sure that it didn’t get dry.

Put it in your taco shell, add all of your favorite toppings, and Enjoy!

Full Recipe and Directions

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds of beef, pork, or chicken
  • Salt and Pepper to season meat
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 (7 oz) diced green chile peppers, undrained
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 (5 oz) bottle hot pepper sauce
  • 1/4 cup water

Directions

  1. Trim the meat of any excess fat, and season well with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place the meat in the hot skillet, and sear it quickly on all sides.
  2. Transfer the meat to a slow cooker and top it with the chopped onion. Season with chopped green chiles, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and hot pepper sauce.
  3. Cover, and cook on low for 8 hours or until meat is tender and falling apart, checking to make sure there is always at least a small amount of liquid in the bottom of the cooker (add more liquid if needed).
  4. Transfer the meat to a bowl and shred it using 2 forks.

Check out more of Mrs. Happy Homemaker’s recipes and let us know what you think. Until next time lovelies!

Beauty Hacks

Most girls like to get glammed up every once and a while if not, every day.  While this can be fun, there are some tips that you can use to help protect your skin as well as help your makeup stay on all day/night.

1. Use a Primer

This is a simple and key step if you want your makeup to last all day. There is primer made for your entire face as well as for your eyes. Applying this before your usual makeup, and it will stay on a lot better throughout the day.

I always struggle with getting eye shadow to show up as pigmented as it looks in the pallet. If you spray your eye shadow brush with setting spray, or even just water, before putting the eye shadow on, it will help it to pick up more of the pigment.

2. Clean Your Brushes

Foundation and concealer brushes should be cleaned at least once a week. This helps prevent product from building up in them. For other brushes, such as ones used for eye makeup, they should be cleaned every other week.

They sell cleaning solution made specifically for makeup brushes at stores such as Walgreens. They also make special boards that allow you to clean them. I made my own board using a plastic cutting board and hot glue. It was very cheap to make and is very effective. I’ll post a picture of it below.

3. Don’t Keep Makeup for too Long

Makeup doesn’t always have the longest shelf life and keeping it for longer than recommended could cause irritation to your skin.

Below is a chart that I found from belletag.com that tells you how long you should really keep your makeup for.

4. Wear Sunscreen

Wearing sunscreen now is better than having skin cancer later. It is an extra step in the morning, but if you know you are going to be outside, put some on, even if you just put it on your face. I like Neutrogena’s sunscreen the best, as it doesn’t make my skin feel oily and I can still apply makeup over the top. There are also some foundations that have SPF in them.

5. Remove Your Makeup

Do not go to sleep without taking your makeup off. It can clog up your pores and cause you to break out. It only takes a couple of minutes to grab a makeup wipe and clean off your face.

These are just a few things you can do to keep your skin healthy and make sure your makeup is looking fresh all day long. Until next time lovelies.

Pineapple Chicken Bowls

I found this recipe from The Culinary Compass and meal prepped it for my lunches this past week. It was so good, I’m going to share it with all of you.

The first step is to add the chicken, reserved pineapple juice, 2 tbsp. soy sauce, and ginger into a gallon size bag.

Mix it together and let it sit in the bag for 30 minutes.

In a skillet melt 1 tbsp coconut oil.

Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 1-2 minutes.

Add the pepper and onion and cook until tender (about 7 minutes). *I was only meal prepping for 3 days worth so I used half a pepper instead of a whole one.*

Add in the pineapple and cook another 2-3 minutes before removing from the skillet.

Add in 1 tbsp coconut oil to the skillet and let it melt.

Add in the chicken and cook until no longer pink, roughly 9 minutes.

Add in 2 tbsp soy sauce, as well as lime juice. Stir the veggie mixture back into the chicken and let simmer 2-3 minutes.

Serve it hot, or pack it into lunches like I did. I made brown rice to go along with it, but you could use white rice, or cauliflower rice if you are doing keto.

Full Recipe and Instructions

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs chicken breast, cut into 1″ pieces
  • pineapple juice, reserved from pineapple chunks
  • 4 tbsp low sodium soy sauce, divided
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, divided
  • 1/2 tsp garlic
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 20 oz can pineapple chunks
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Optional: brown rice, to serve

Instructions

  1. In a gallon bag, add chicken, reserved pineapple juice, 2 tbsp of soy sauce, and ginger. Mix together and set aside for at least 30 minutes.
  2. In a skillet, melt 1 tbsp of coconut oil. Add garlic and red pepper flakes, cook for 1-2 minutes. Add in green pepper and red onion. Cook until tender, about 7-8 minutes. Add pineapple chunks, cook an additional 2-3 minutes and remove from skillet.
  3. Add in remaining 1 tbsp of coconut oil, add chicken and cook until no longer pink 8-10 minutes. Add remaining 2 tbsp of soy sauce and lime juice. Mix and add veggie mixture back in. Let simmer 2-3 minutes.
  4. Serve over brown rice. Serve warm or save for later!

If you try it out let us know in the comments below. Check out some more of The Culinary Compass recipes here. Until next time lovelies.

ABS-olutely Stimulating

Everyone dreams about having a six pack, but reality is that most people don’t. I wish it was as easy as laughing so hard that the six pack would just form, but unfortunately it is not. Here are some ab workouts that I like to do (and that will hopefully lead to that six pack I’ve been dreaming of).

Reverse Crunches

Reverse crunches are crunches…in reverse. Rather than bringing your head up to your knees you bring your knees back towards your head. If you are a beginner, crossing your legs will make this exercise less straining. I typically do 3 sets of 25.

Russian Twists

Most of you have probably heard of these as they are a fairly common ab workout. You bend your knees and raise your feet slightly off the ground, and twist back and forth. You could also use an exercise ball to work your ab muscles even more. I typically do 3 sets of 40.

Penguins

The name of this exercise says it all. You bend your knees back and tap the sides of each feet with your hands, and it really does feel like you are waddling like a penguin would. If you put your feet so that they are touching, it works your abs better. I will do 3 sets of 100 (50 each side).

Crunches

Most people already know how to do these. The picture shows it pretty well. I do 4 sets of 25.

Side Crunches

When first introduced to these in high school, my best friend said she felt like a ‘fish out of water’ while doing these. The main goal is to get your legs and shoulder off the ground as illustrated in the above picture. I do 2 sets of 25 on each side.

Leg Raises

These are my least favorite exercise. It is pretty simple and there is not much to explain. You lay flat on your back and lift your legs slightly into the air and hold it there. I usually try to hold it for 1 minute, but I usually take a rest at 30 seconds.

Hopefully these exercises will help you get those abs of steel. What are some of your favorite ab workouts? Let me know in the comments below. Until next time lovelies!

Succulent Secrets

Houseplants and succulents can be a great addition to any living space. The extra pop of color can really brighten up a space, but did you know that there are also health benefits to having them around? Some of these benefits are listed below as well as tips on taking care of your beautiful plants.

1. Increase Productivity

Indoor plants just tend to make you feel more relaxed and concentrated. Having them around throughout your home, apartment, or dorm room, just seems to put you in an overall better mood, thus increasing your productivity as well!

2. You Can Put Them Anywhere

Succulents and cacti can pretty much be put anywhere and be able to survive with minimal care needed. As long as they are able to get a small amount of sunlight and you water them once every couple of weeks, you should be good to go while giving the space a pop of color. I am able to keep them alive in my tiny dorm room which probably means they will survive literally anywhere.

3. Help Create Clean Air

By having small plants or succulents around they are in a way filtering the carbon monoxide that you are breathing out and returning you with the wonderful gift of oxygen. Basically, they can help you survive which is pretty important.

Tips For Taking Care of Them

Succulents and cacti in specific are so simple to take care of. You definitely do not need a green thumb in order for them to strive. I water my cacti about once every couple of weeks and my other succulents about once every week. You could also simply put an ice cube in every few weeks and they will stay hydrated that way as well.

The nice things about these types of plants is that they can easily grow inside. As long as they are in front of a window and get some sunlight throughout the day, they will be fine.

Overall succulents are a very easy thing to take care of, but you can get lots of benefits out of them. They can add a nice pop of color, along with some health benefits, at little cost or time commitment from you.

What are some of your favorite houseplants? Until next time lovelies.

Video

Drop Those Fizzy Bombs!

Bath bombs can be fun for all ages. As much as I like going to the store and picking the perfect one, it can also be fun to make the perfect one at home! Here is a how to video so you can have a DIY spa day.

Recipe

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 3/4 cup corn starch
  • 1/4 cup Epsom salt
  • 1 cup citric acid
  • Food coloring-as much as you need to get the perfect color
  • Essential oil scent of your choice
  • Spray bottle
  • Molds

Stir all of the dry ingredients together. Combine the food coloring with a little bit of water in a spray bottle and spritz it into the dry mixture. Make sure to do this gradually, because if you add to much the mixture will start to fizz resulting in the bath bomb not fizzing in the water. Next add a few drops of essential oil and mix everything together until the color is consistent throughout. Place the mixture into whatever mold you decided on and let them dry overnight.

Original Recipe from Maria’s Self Blog

Music Credit: Snow Music Studio

Facial Fun

Face Masks are a great way to de-stress and relax. You can put one on right before bed or before you take a bubble bath. There are so many different face masks on the market from sheet masks to clay masks, and now they even have roll-on face masks. There are also many different scents and formulas that each have their own benefits.

Lavender

Lavender is known to be relaxing. I will typically use lavender scented face masks before bed, as it will help me relax and allow me to fall asleep faster. These are also a great option for when you are feeling stressed throughout the day, I tend to do a lot of these during finals week.

Oatmeal Based

Oatmeal based facemasks moisturize your skin. It is said that the oatmeal hydrates your skin and gives you a natural looking glow. It also helps to get the dirt out of your pores, making it a good option for you if you have acne.

Charcoal

Charcoal face masks have become more popular in recent years. Like the oatmeal based masks, they clean out your pores and help to treat blackheads and acne.

Sheet Mask vs. Clay Mask

Sheet masks are a really easy, convenient way to do a face mask. You simply take it out of the package, put it on your face for 10 minutes, and remove. With these, you do not have to get your hands dirty rubbing the clay ones over your face.

I personally prefer clay masks. I feel like compared to the sheet masks, they make my skin softer and it feels more “natural”. They are more inconvenient in that you have to get your hands dirty to put it on, and then go and rinse it off your face when you are done. There are benefits and cons to both, so choose whichever works for you or switch back and forth between them.

Personal Favorite

I just recently discovered my new favorite face mask of all time and it is the Olay Mask Clay Sticks. These take easy face masks to the next level by letting you roll it on while getting the effect of a regular clay mask without the messy part. They have a few different options depending on what you are using the mask for. I have tried the Glow Boost one so far and it gives my skin a natural glow while making it feel extra soft as well.

4 Ingredient Energy Balls

Sometimes finding healthy, tasty snacks can be a struggle. I know for me I hate having to spend a lot of time making something, which usually leads to me just going for a bag of chips. Recently I found a new favorite snack and it only has 4 ingredients and can be made super quick. Below are the easy steps on how to make these energy balls.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup oats
  • 2/3 cup peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions

Makes about 12-14 balls

The first step is to add all of the ingredients into the bowl.

Next, stir with a spatula until all of the ingredients are mixed together well.

After all ingredients are mixed together, place the bowl into the fridge for about 20 minutes. This will allow the mixture to stiffen a bit, allowing you to roll them into balls.=

Finally, remove the mixture from the fridge and roll into about 1 1/2 inch balls. I used a cookie scoop to make sure they were all the same size, but you can just estimate or use a regular spoon to ensure they are the same size. Store them in a container, and keep them in the fridge, that is if you don’t eat them all at once!

If you try out this recipe let me know what you think in the comments below. You could try all different combinations as well! Until next time lovelies.

Bye Bye Soda

Quitting any bad habit or addiction is never easy. It takes major dedication to give something like alcohol, smoking, or in my case soda, up. I used to drink 2-3 cans of soda every day. This was not healthy at all. It became routine for me to drink soda when I had an early class, was studying late at night, or just needed a little pick me up during the day.

I hit a point where I was not only gaining weight from drinking so much sugary soda, but I could not sleep at night because of the caffeine. I knew I had to make a change or my health would start to deteriorate. I knew I would not be able to just stop drinking it all together at once, so made a game plan.

The first thing I did was start limiting myself to one can of soda a day, and I would not drink it at 4 PM. This helped me fall asleep quicker, and stay asleep. After a couple of weeks of one soda a day, I changed my plan again so that I would only drink one can a day on the weekends. After about a month and a half of this, I stopped drinking soda all together. Overall it was about a two-month process to rid my soda habit, but it was so worth it.

Giving soda up had some major effects on my body at the beginning. My body was so used to getting soda every day that when I gave it up, my body cleaned itself out. I was sick for a week, and I thought about just drinking a soda to make it stop, but I held strong and after that initial week I started feeling so much better.

I had so much energy just from drinking water right when I woke up rather than a can of soda. The thing I missed most about soda was the fizzy texture of it, so I found some healthier alternatives, that had the same feel as soda, as well as some that would give me the extra energy boost that I needed.

Ice Drinks: These drinks have the same texture as soda does, which is why I like them so much. Another plus is that you can usually get them for $1 a bottle. There are also a ton of different flavor options.

Drink Flavoring: There are many different water flavor options that are easy to stick in your purse and simply add it to the water very conveniently. You could go with a powder option or a container of liquid flavoring. I recently found energy options of these, and they taste great and give me that extra boost of energy.

You can quit your bad habit too, you just need to be motivated and willing to take the steps necessary. Let me know what habit you were able to get over and give us a follow. Until next time lovelies.

Cuticle Care

adult-beauty-brush-973405.jpg

If you are anything like me you love to have your nails done.  You may paint them yourself or you may be someone who goes to the nail salon every three weeks to get gels or acrylics.  Whichever you may do, it is important to take care of your nails as the acrylics, and even just polish can be harmful to them.  Here a couple of tips to help keep your nails in tip-top shape.

Fake Nails

I’m speaking from experience on this one.  If you decide to get acrylic nails when it’s time to take them off go back to the salon and have them do it for you. They may charge a small fee, usually around $10, but it is way easier than trying to get them off yourself.  I have searched every corner of Pinterest looking for “easy ways to get acrylics off”, and they never seem to work.  I usually end up ripping part of my real nail off along with the acrylic and have started just paying the place I got them done to do it for me.  It saves me a lot of time and pain.

If you are someone who likes to get acrylics on pretty frequently, it is easiest to get them filled when they start growing out, rather than having them take them off and start over.  A lot of salons will also charge you less when you are getting them filled along with a color change since they do not need to go through as long of a process.

Natural Nails

More recently I have just been using nail polish on my nails.  This is not as bad for your nails as the fake ones are, but there are some steps you can take to protect your nails when using polish.

The first suggestion is to always use a base coat under your actual nail polish.  This will put an extra layer of protection on your nail, so it is less likely to become damaged.  Another important thing is when you do take your nail polish off, do not apply more for a few days, 3-5 usually, to allow time for your nails to regain some of their strength.  If you have nail polish on constantly, it can cause your nails to get a yellowish tint to them, and nobody wants that!

Some people hate having super long nails and when they cut them they get them as short as they possibly can.  Although long nails can be annoying, you shouldn’t cut them super short as it will make it easier to get a painful ingrown nail.  When cutting your toenails make sure to cute them straight across and do not curve it, if you curve them it will be more likely for an ingrown nail, or tears on your nails.

Nail Care Tips

  1. DO NOT CUT YOUR CUTICLES.  This can break them down permanently, which leads to overall unhealthy nails.  Instead, if they are getting too far up on your fingers for your liking, soak them in warm water for a couple minutes and then push them back using a rounded, wooden rod.  You can find these at Walgreens.
  2. If you do file your nails after trimming them, it is best to use a glass file rather than a metal one.  The glass ones stay cleaner, which means for healthier nails.  When filing your nails keep filing in one direction rather than going back and forth to prevent your nails from tearing.
  3. Taking nail vitamins can make them both stronger and longer.  I typically take the vitamins that are for hair, skin, and nails, and I did see a difference.  I usually use the ones pictured below, however, there are many different brands out there.  They are usually priced around $15 for these specific ones, but I have seen the gummy version for cheaper.  If you shop around there are plenty of different options.
    hair skin nails.jpg

4. Using hand lotion or moisturizer every day will help improve nail health.  It specifically helps the cuticles, and with healthy cuticles, you will have overall healthy nails.

I hope these tips will help you guys out as well.  Be sure to give us a follow to keep up with our future health and beauty tips.  Until next time lovelies!