September Favs

I love beauty products and will try anything at least once as long as it has  good reviews. Good reviews are always my weakness. If you get enough people to like it, than that means I am trying it! There has been plenty of times where I’ve tried things that just weren’t meant for me, but in contrary, I have also discovered a lot of great products with this system I have going for myself. Everyone has their own preferences, so I say “try” purposefully because just because it worked for you, doesn’t mean it will necessarily work for the next person. We all have different skin types and certain shades of make up look better depending on skin tone. In my opinion, it doesn’t hurt to try. I like to know that I can eliminate certain products from my wish-lists!

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For the month of 
September, I have picked my 
top 7 beauty products! 

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I have faithfully used these 7 products for months now and plan on keeping them until of course I discover my next favorite.  I give these products nothing less than 4.5 stars out of a 5 star scale. I wouldn’t call them perfection but pretty damn close.

The Natasha Denona Eyeshadow Star Palette is a palette with 18 shades. With this palette   , it easily creates gorgeous eye looks. It includes four Crystal Eyeshadows, nine Creamy Mattes, three Metallic, and two Duo-Chromes with silky-soft textures. These shadows are long-lasting and extremely buildable and blendable. The palette is on the pricey side, BUT, the pigmentation of each shade is to die for.

Natasha Deanna’s Sculpt and Glow is the perfect touch for any makeup look. It is a six-piece, highlighting and contouring palette to sweep on subtle contours. The highlighting and contouring creams are formulated with properties that support anti-aging, are high in antioxidants, and contain sunflower seed and jojoba to hydrate skin. Designed to subtly contour and highlight facial features without making them appear too sharp or subtle, this palette leaves your complexion with a natural looking glow.

blur palette

The Kat Von D Lock It Foundation is my daily go to lately. It has a nice finish and blends quickly. It is high-pigmented, provides full-coverage with a matte finish. Did I mention that it lasts 24-hours. With my experience with it, I usually touch up one time throughout the day because I tend to get oily in my T zone. In addition, for those who are interested in the ingredients, this foundation has ZERO: paragons, sulfates, and phthalates.

My Lash Boost that I purchased a few months ago has been heaven sent. It is a nightly eyelash conditioning serum that improves the appearance of lash volume and length within weeks. To anyone trying to grow out their lashes, this baby is amazing. My bottom lashes were basically nonexistent. Three weeks after using this product, I actually could see my bottom lashes. (be sure to check back to see my results from this lash serum). cover

Fiori by Vince Camuto is one of my daily wears lately. I fell in love with bottle first. Thank god it smelled great. This fragrance is a summer scent. Fiori, means “Flowers” in Italian and because it’s a fresh, light and feminine scent, it’s name is perfect. It smells like it sounds. It has top notes of luscious pink grapefruit and ripened white nectarine which provides a beautiful, purifying backdrop for base notes of rich sandalwood and creamy blonde cedar wood.

Face masks mean everything to me. Recently, I purchased Sand & Sky and this will be added to my skin regiment. It is an Australian botanical infused pink clay mask that that instantly detoxes, tightens pores, invigorates dull complexions and instantly boost radiance. The instructions say to use 2-3 times a week if you have oily to combination skin, or 1-2 times weekly if you have dry or sensitive skin. 

Becca’s collaboration palette with Chrissy Teigen has become my everyday wear. If you are trying to achieve a great summer glow, this palette is for you! Although summer is almost over, I will probably still use it into part of the fall, until I start craving my plum like colors. This palette help you create that effortless, natural, authentic beauty look. It is a highlighter, blush, and bronzer, all in one! One stop shop 🙂

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If you're interested in trying out any of these amazing products, just click on any of the links below 🙂

 Becca x Chrissy Teigen Glow Face Palette

 Kat Von D Lock It Foundation 

Sand & Sky Brilliant Skin Purifying Pink Clay Mask 

 Rodan + Fields Enhancements Lash Boost

 Natasha Denona Star Palette

 Natasha Denona Sculpt & Glow

Fiori by Vince Camuto

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Giveaway

contest image 2It’s finally giveaway time! 1 lucky winner will be getting:

  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow Kit
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern  Renaissance Palette
  • Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector
  • Sephora Eyeshadow brush set
  • Choker Set
  • Boscia Luminizing Mask
  • Pink Coconut Hand Cream

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Giveaway Rules:

✔️Like this photo on instagram✔️Tag a friend ✔️Follow @livingchiclyaverage on instagram ✔️Follow this website using your email (upper right hand corner)

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Giveaway has closed!

Congratulations to the beautiful @samanzaar ! You won the giveaway!! Please message me to claim your amazing goodies. 

 

 

Grits Sunny Side Up


Grits!? what is that? Being born and raised in Massachusetts, grits isn’t exactly a common thing, which lead me to thinking of where it came from. It turns out that grits origins came from American Indian corn preparation. Additionally, t
hree-quarters of grits sold in the U.S. are predominantly from the South, stretching from Texas to Virginia. Grits is such a staple in southern culture, the state of Georgia declared grits as its official prepared food in 2002 and a similar bill was passed in South Carolina. Who would have thought how important grits could be.

pot of grits

My first encounter with grits was ironically when I moved to Georgia. Fast forward 10 years later, I married a Georgian and was reintroduced to this iconic staple meal. Boston isn’t really the go to place for grits, so of course it would have had to reenter my life through my southern connections. Per request from time to time, my husband will request a bowl of buttery grits! How can I deny the creamy bowl of deliciousness. If you’re interested in this twist of grits, continue reading. 

Ingredients

1 cup water

½ cup heavy cream

½ cup half n half

1 cup of 5-minute grits

2½ Tablespoons butter

Salt

Pepper 

1 Egg

Instructions

Add water in a pot and let it come to a boil. When it starts boiling, slowly add the 1 cup of grits while stirring steadily. When grits thickens, add the heavy cream, half n half and butter to the pot and keep stirring. You can now throw in your pinch of salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 5-7 minute, whisking frequently. While your grits are cooking on low heat, crack an egg into a heated pan with oil of your choice. Let the egg cook in the oiled pan for about 4 minutes. You will know the egg is ready when the yolk thickens. When your 5-7 minutes are up for your grits, remove from heat and top it off with your sunny side egg!

FYI: Grits thicken fast so serve immediately. If grits are too thick, stir in a little bit of water or milk before serving. If you encounter the opposite issue and your grits are too thin aka “watery”, just let them cook a little longer which will allow it to thicken.  

I kept this version simple, but some fun variations I’ve done that I will share at some point would be adding cheddar cheese for cheesy grits! Of course topping with shrimp instead of an egg. Adding green onions and bacon. You could even use chicken or beef broth instead of water to add a savory component. Your options are endless. 

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Sausage Fettuccine

dishWhile pasta is culturally associated with Italy, it is said that the idea came from ancient Asian noodles. A common belief is that it was brought to Italy from China by Marco Polo during the 13th century.

Regardless of where it came from, pasta is one of my favorite foods to indulge in. Let us not forget that with me being nit-picky about the foods I am eating based on my new fitness journey; pasta isn’t exactly the go-to anymore. Some of my favorites would have to be lasagna, stuffed ravioli and Fettuccine Alfredo.

I made a Sausage Fettuccine with a tomato based sauce and of course for all my health guru’s, instead of using whole wheat fettuccine like I did, you can substitute with zucchini pasta or another veggie pasta of your choice. Give it a try. It’s a yummy dish!

Ingredients

onions

3 chopped garlic cloves

2 tablespoons of parsley 

1 tablespoon of thyme

1 tablespoon of brown sugar

2 cups of tomato sauce 

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 diced medium sized tomato

1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

Fettuccine or pasta of your choice

diced red onion

diced yellow onion

1 beef bouillon cube

 PREPARATION

pasta herbs

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add garlic cloves, diced yellow onion, diced tomato. Let them sauce and begin to soften for about 3 minutes. Add diced sausages and sauté until no longer pink. Add beef bouillon cube, black pepper and brown sugar.

Let simmer for 5-8 minutes. Add 2 cups of tomato sauce, parsley, thyme and crushed red pepper (for heat). Add your pasta of choice into tomato sauce, add 1/2 cup of water and let simmer until sauce thickens and pasta is cooked soft. Remember to stir occasionally, about 15-20 minutes.

Top it off with diced red onion, stir and let simmer for an additional 3-5 minutes and top it off with fresh parsley or basal for a garnish.

Enjoy!

Teriyaki Flank Steak

flank

I‘ve taken a new fitness journey and have decided to consume only brown rice instead of the traditional white rice that I grew up eating. For dinner tonight, I decided to pair my brown rice with some delicious teriyaki flank steak. I don’t eat a lot of redmeat, but I crave it from time to time and today was one of those days. 

Flank steak is a lean, flavorful cut of meat that is usually prepared marinated and cooked over a grill, but it is equally as tasty cooked in a cast iron skillet, or even a basic stainless steal pan. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 pound flank steak
  • Parsley
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Butter
  • Salt
  • Garlic
  • Olive Oil
  • Sesame Oil
  • Ginger

DIRECTIONS

  1. Start of by heating your pan of choice. Add a teaspoon of sesame oil and a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Add a diced clove of garlic to the hot oil and let it brown for about a minute.
  2. After seasoning your steak with salt and pepper (and any additional seasoning you prefer), add your flank steak to the pan and let it sear for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, flip the steak over so it sears for an additional 5 minutes on the other side. 
  3. After the 10 minutes of searing, your flank should be medium rare/medium. If you let it cook any longer, you will risk drying it out. 
  4. Add some butter to the pan and sprinkle in some parsley. After butter melts remove the flank and let it rest for 5-10 minutes.
  5. rice bowsNow Add 4-5 tablespoons soy sauce to the hot pan you had your flank searing in. You will bring the soy sauce to a boil while you stir and scrape the browned bits until they dissolve into the sauce. This stirring and scraping is the key to deglazing all those delicious little caramelized bits of cooked meat infuse the liquid, making it taste fantastic.
  6. Add a 1 inch piece fresh ginger, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 2 tablespoons of water, 2 tablespoons of sake (If you want a thick sauce, you would then also add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch )
  7. On low heat, mix all your ingredients and let it simmer on low heat. When the consistency starts to thicken, you are then ready to drizzle it over your steak. 
  8. You can use it as a marinade or a dipping sauce. 

Enjoy 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dragon Fruit

dragon 2Dragon fruit is native to Central America but is also grown and exported from several Southeast Asian countries, like Thailand. Taken from several cactus species, its luscious stem provides a uniquely delicious fruit. The flavor is slightly sweet, like a blend of kiwi and apple with crunchy texture. If you’ve never seen it before, it of course may seem a little strange.

I first came across this exotic fruit while watching the television show Chopped on the Food Network. While walking through Whole Foods Market, I saw it and of course had to try it. The one thing I like to do before eating anything lately, is checking out the benefits. Why should I be putting this in my body? How will it benefit me? I find doing that makes me turn to fewer junkie, unbeneficial foods. If I can’t find any benefits than I have no business consuming it.

Based on my research, the benefits of Dragon Fruit also known, as pitaya are endless. A bite of this wildly nutritious tropical superfood can deliver a wealth of benefits for the human body. They are rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, polyunsaturated (good) fatty acids, and several B vitamins for carbohydrate metabolism, as well as carotene and protein. Calcium is present for strong bones and teeth, iron and phosphorus for healthy blood and tissue formation. Dragon fruits have zero complex carbohydrates, so foods can be more easily broken down in the body, helped by vitamin B1. The seeds of dragon fruits are high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that help lower the risk of cardiovascular disorders. Eating dragon fruit can help the body maintain such normal function as getting rid of  toxic heavy metals. Be sure to scoop out the flesh, or quarter it and peel back the leathery skin eating only the white part with seeds and removing any and all residual pink parts, which are bitter. Also, you must only eat dragon fruit in moderation because it is high in fructose, which may be harmful to your health in excessive amounts. Too much of anything good, is bad!

Reasons you should add this exotic fruit into your life
  • Treats Acne
  • Improves Vision
  • Promotes Skin Health
  • Provides Essential Moisture To Dry Skin
  • Promotes Healthy Hair
  • Lowers Cholesterol
  • Helps With Stomach Ailments
  • Lowers Blood Sugar
  • Improves Cardiovascular Health
  • Cuts Low Hemoglobin Risk
  • Helps In Weight Management
  • Prevents Cancer
  • Prevents Congenital Glaucoma
  • Boosts Immunity
  • Helps Suppress Arthritis Pain
  • Is Good During Pregnancy
  • Prevents Renal Bone Disease
  • Stronger Teeth And Bones
  • Repairs Body Cells
  • Improves Appetite
  • Boosts Brain Function
  • Cures Respiratory Disorder

Beets and Squash Avocado Alfredo

Based on the many horrible foods that we probably shouldn’t be consuming, I have madeFullSizeRender_8 an effort to introduce healthier substitutes for the foods that I do love. One being PASTA! So walking through Wholefoods, I came across beet noodles and squash noodles. I couldn’t make up my mind on which I wanted, so I purchased both. I decided that pasta made from beets and squash would prevent me from eating a bowl full of carbs and would have a positive impact on my health and whoever else would be consuming it. Not to mention, the taste is actually pleasant. Healthy food doesn’t have to be tasteless and boring! Some benefits that I discovered during my exploration for dinner purposes was:

Beets  are high in vitamin C, fiber, and essential minerals like potassium (essential for healthy nerve and muscle function) and manganese (which is good for your bones, liver, kidneys, and pancreas). Beets also contain the B vitamin folate, which helps reduce the risk of birth defects which benefit the women who plan on becoming mothers one day.

Squash helps improve the quality of your sight, skin , strengthens  the immune system, prevents cancer, manages symptoms of diabetes, builds strong bones, protects heart health, prevents inflammatory conditions, treats arthritis, eliminate ulcers, eliminates parasites and infections, increase prostate health, also protects against birth defects, boosts respiratory health, and reduces blood pressure. With all those benefits, why wouldn’t anyone want to consume a bowl of this stuff.

Ingredients

2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 green onion shoots, diced small

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 packaged of beet noodles

1 package of squash noodles

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan

1 avocado

1/2 cup of cream or milk

Directions

Step 1: Start off my cutting up your avocado and placing it into the blender with a pinch ofFullSizeRender_9  salt and pepper. You then would add your cream or milk and blend them together. Depending on if you like a thicker consistency or not, add less or more milk or cream. In 30 seconds, your Avocado Alfredo sauce is ready to use for later.

Step 2: In a large nonstick skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and cook until softened. This will take approximately 5-7 minutes. Add squash noodles and beet noodles to your skillet. Toss to combine everything together. Cook until warmed through. You don’t want to let the noodles cook too long so they don’t get soggy.

Step 3: Stir in the parsley and the Avocado Alfredo sauce you made in step 1. After about 2 minutes, turn the heat off and start plating. Once you are done plating your portion that you will eat and serve, sprinkle some Parmesan on top with any additional extra garnished you would like and give it a taste.

I accompanied my colorful plate of noodles with some baked chicken. This dish would be great with any meat of your choice. I would even suggest salmon filletAND feel free to add any other spices of your preference to satisfy your palette. 

Enjoy!