As much as Wisco Girl is growing, we sat back the other day and realized it has become more of a life hacks, tips, tricks, and other health topics. Our specific journeys and struggles has not been documented throughout this whole process. So we had the idea of creating our own separate blogs in addition to the existing two ones. THIS DOES NOT MEAN WISCO GIRL IS DISAPPEARING. We are having a bit of a hard time finding time to meet and schedule content postings because we all have very busy lives. So, in the menu at the top of the screen, there is a tab labeled ‘Behind the Scenes’ and there you will find our newly created individual blogs that we will share experiences and struggles. Feel free to check them out! 🙂
Living in an apartment can sometimes be nice! But when you have roommates, significant others, or even children, it can get very squishy and your once spacious living situation can become smaller and smaller. Here are a few ways to find the space that you need in a smaller living area.
- Command Strip EVERYTHING!
Now while I don’t command strip everything, I do live by command strips especially when you aren’t allowed to put holes in your walls. But this is a good way to remove items from your floor and open up your hallways. I like to put hooks for coats or shelves for knick knacks or plates and bowls if your apartment doesn’t have cupboards. I also found that hanging pictures are a lot easier than finding counter space for the thousands of picture frames with the thousands of pictures of family and friends (thanks Mom!). By keeping everything off the floor, there is more room for you and your roomies!
2. Bookshelf What you Can’t Command Strip
What I can’t command strip to the walls, I buy a bookshelf or a shelving unit for. I am going to let you in on a personal secret…. I love snow globes! I actually have a collection of over 35 snow globes. And while they are very beautiful, they take up a lot of space. I bought a bookshelf just for them because I didn’t have enough counter or dresser space to show them off. I also have a bookshelf for all of my books and movies that I have gotten over the years. There are cheap shelving units at Walmart that also work great in the bathroom for towels, hand towels, toilet paper storage, or for those chemicals you can’t keep under the sink because of little ones. Again, the more you can vertically store in your apartment the less you will have to horizontally store.
3. Totes on Totes on Totes
Now if you have to have storage, like me, I like to use totes. Totes are easy to stack, easy to access, and can fit many different items in one bin. I have a LOT of clothes, and my dresser (or two dressers and closet *sigh*) doesn’t fit all of my shirts, pants, sweaters, dresses, undergarments, tank tops, tshirts, long sleeve shirts, work clothes… okay you get the idea. So I keep what I am not wearing in totes. Usually I swap out winter clothes and summer clothes, but living in Wisconsin you keep a few sweatshirts and sweatpants out in the summer time as well.
This also works really well with children’s toys. Instead of a large toy box, find some fun colored totes that easily stack. You can have fun with the kids to color or decorate the outside of the tote to make it their own fun toy box. I luckily have an outdoor storage space connected to my apartment, but many people I know use their garage to store their totes. If you don’t have a garage, find some space in the back of the closet.
Arms are what I struggle with the most. I always find it hard to come up with workouts to do. Below are some arm exercises that are fairly simple, and can help you gain a little bit of extra muscle.
Front Dumbbell Raises
For this exercise start with the dumbbells in down in front of you. Raise one hand up in front of you and then lower it back down, and repeat with the other hand. Do 3 sets of 20 on each arm to start.
Tricep Overhead Press
You can use either a dumbbell or a weighted exercise ball for this one. Start with your weight lifted above your head and your arms completely stretched upward. Then bend your arms back behind your neck. Do 3 sets of 15 to start.
Dumbbell Squat and Press
Grab 2 dumbbells for this exercise and start with them raised to your shoulders, squat down keeping the dumbbells in the same position, then when you stand up raise the dumbbells up above your head. Start with 3 sets of 20.
Standing Hammer Curl
For this grab two dumbbells. Simply curl your arms up in the motion as shown in the above picture. Do 3 sets of 30.
Dumbbell Step Up
These are very simple. As shown in the “Get Leggy with it” blog post, it is the same step ups except this time you have weights in your hands. Do 3 sets of 30.
Hopefully these will help you build up that arm muscle you have been working on. Until next time lovelies.
Spend all this time getting in shape for summer, making sure you are beach ready! The first day of summer arrives and you are ready to go…. until you look at your hair. It’s the same color and style as last year.
Finding that perfect color or highlights to flaunt under the sun is a bit harder than you think. Do you keep going with the sane trend you do every year or is it time to change it up? Or how do you wear your hair? Go for the beach wave look or pull it up into a messy bun?
Well with a little internet surfing, below are some of the trends and styles found. Hopefully it helps give you ideas!
Inverted French Braids
This hairstyle keeps all hair off your face so if you plan on doing any physical activity, this is one to keep in mind. It is a little tricky to remind yourself to pull the sections UNDER instead of OVER like a normal french braid calls for, but after a few times, this hairstyle can be finished within five minutes. The best thing about this hairstyle is that it can be in pigtails or a ponytail. Tutorial: Inverted French Braid Pigtails
Messy Top Knot
While I’ve never done a top knot (my curly mane would not allow it), I do see a lot of variations of them during the summer months. They look effortless and trendy but yet casual. It is a good one to try out for a beach day or a day spent on the water. Tutorial: Perfectly Messy Top Knot
Messy French Twist
Time to do the twist! This is probably the best hairstyle to do if you are in a hurry or just want to throw your hair up to get it off your shoulers. Again, I have never done this one (curse you thick cury mane!) but I have a ton of friends and family who do. Tutorial: Messy French Twist
As summer approaches, everyone starts thinking about adding a pop of color to their hair to give them the perfect summer look. There are a few major trends that are picking up speed that you may want to keep in mind.
I feel like this trend will ever disappear completely. There are different tones that people use but there is always the addition of some blonde element to hair this time of year.
The name sounds weird but basically the only thing you are really dying is the ends of your hair. A good example of this one is Taylor Swift who sported this hairstyle at her 2019 billboard music awards performance.
Even though many go blonde, red coloring is on the rise. I have seen a lot of people with different shades of red. From dark to a rose gold hue for highlights or a complete dye job.
More color trends: 5 Biggest Summer Hair Color Trends
Is there a go to style you save for summer? Or do you prefer to try something new? Love to hear from you! Until next time my lovelies!
It’s that one thing that people look at when you back is turned. Not your hairstyle, or shoulders, or outfit. But your booty! We’re all aware of it too. Ladies, when we go shopping the only reason we buy jeans or shorts is because they make our butt look good. Deny it all you want but it is the truth! Men, not really sure what your thought process is when you buy jeans. However, in a swimsuit it is a different story. While jeans give you a little lift, swimsuits do not help you whatsoever. THANKFULLY, there are exercises that workout those muscles and give you that fine booty.
Wide Squats are like a regular squat except your legs are spread farther apart, and more at your sides rather than in front of you. Do 3 sets of 20.
For bridges, start out with your back flat on the ground and your knees bent up. Lift your back and butt into the air while keeping your arms, neck, head, and feet flat on the ground. You could also keep only your heels on the ground and I tend to feel more if I do this. Do 3 sets of 25
The name and image describe this exercise pretty well. Start down on all fours, and do a kickback motion with your leg. Do 3 sets of 25.
Side Leg Extensions
These start out in the same position as the donkey kicks, but instead of kicking in a backwards motion, raise your leg out to the side as seen in the picture. Do 3 sets of 25.
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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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!
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.
The feeling in your legs the day after a leg workout is the worst and also the best feeling. It is nearly impossible to walk, however you also know that you put a good workout in the day before. Below are some of our favorite (not) leg workouts.
These bring back memories of middle school volleyball. It was either 1 minute wall sits or running laps. When doing a wall sit properly your legs should be at a 90 degree angle, and you don’t want to have your hands or arms resting on your legs. Holding this position for 20 seconds is a good goal to start out with.
The above picture illustrates lateral lunges very well. Simple bend one leg while stretching the other in an outwards position. She is holding weights, which is an optional step. Do 3 sets of 25 on each leg.
Lateral Leg Raises
Lateral leg raises are fairly simple but you can get good results from them. Lay on your side and while keeping one leg on the ground, raise the other up as illustrated in the picture above. 3 sets of 25 on each leg is a good starting place.
Most gyms have equipment for doing this exercise, but if you are doing it at home you could use a stepping stool as well. Step up onto your surface with one leg, and then switch and do the same with the other. Do 30 with each leg, and repeat at least 2 times, but 3 sets will show better results.
There are many different forms of squats. If you do not have actual equipment (or just aren’t strong enough to do squats with weights like us), you can do the without any equipment. Start standing straight up and bend down until your legs are at a 90 degree angle. Keep your hands out in front of you for the best results. Do 3 sets of 25.
Doing 3 sets of 25 is a good amount especially if you are just starting up. As you move along in your fitness journey you can add more reps to each set. I would suggest going up in increments of 5.
Let us know some of your favorite leg workouts below. Until next time lovelies!
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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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 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.
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.
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).
Most people already know how to do these. The picture shows it pretty well. I do 4 sets of 25.
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.
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!