Kitchen Tips Everyone Should Know

Written by Nicole Garrity on . Posted in DIY, Food, How To, Life, Uncategorized

I love figuring out new tricks and tips to make everyday chores or activities easier. In the kitchen sometimes there are way too many things going on at once and you just need a few little tricks to help speed up the process… or maybe you just need to know how to easily determine the freshness of some of your foods! Either way, I am going to share with you some of the little tricks I have figured out throughout the years that help me and hopefully will help you too! Xoxo

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Egg Freshness Test

To easily determine how fresh your eggs are, all you need to test is if they float or not! Eggshells are porous and allow air to slowly in over time. As more air enters the egg, it gets lighter and lighter, which explains why it will eventually float. Eggs that stay at the bottom of a water are the freshest!

The easy way to store your freeze pops

In the freezer place the freeze pops standing up through the shelf bars. Keeping the freezes laying down makes cutting the tops off messy if sometimes the freeze isn’t melted all the day. Having them stand up leaves room at the top for a clean cut when you are ready to eat them!

Reheat sauce the easy way

If you want to easily freeze/reheat sauce there is a smart and easy way to do so. Poor the sauce into ice cub trays and freeze them. When you making a small pasta dinner and want to heat up some of the sauce, take a few of the frozen cubes and zap them in the microwave for instant sauce! (I love using this trick to make a quick pasta dinner if I’m having a busy day)

Reheat pasta is a doughnut shape

To reheat pasta quickly, leave a small circle empty in the middle of your plate so the pasta will cook more evenly. It works much more effectively than stirring the pasta several times. (Then add a ice cub of your frozen sauce and you’ve got a meal!)

Store ice cream in a zip-lock bag

A plastic freezer bag keeps the cold air from making the ice cream rock hard. Try to push out as much air as you can before putting it back in the freezer. You won’t have to run your spoon under warm water to melt the ice cream anymore!

Make yogurt freeze pops

It is so easy to turn your favorite yogurt into a cool treat. Take popsicle sticks and poke them through the top of the yogurt, but don’t push them to the bottom of the yogurt. Refreshing and healthy!

Keep lettuce fresh longer

Drape a dry paper towel over the top of a bowl of salad, and then cover it with plastic wrap to keep the lettuce fresh for a while week. Wonder how it works? The dry paper towel absorbs moisture from the lettuce, which is one of the main reasons why it wilts and turns soggy so fast. It is also important to get the lettuce as dry as possible before storing in the first place.

Chill wine without ice cubes

Frozen grapes placed into a glass of wine with keeping it chilled without watering it down. They are always delicious to eat once you finish your wine. (I use this trick about 3 times a week… or 4)

12 Ways to Look More Awake Without Makeup

Written by Nicole Garrity on . Posted in DIY, How To, Life, Uncategorized

There are some mornings where I do not have the patience to sit down and do my makeup perfectly, so I’ve come across different ways to naturally make myself look more awake without makeup. Put down the contouring brush, you won’t need that after you read these quick and easy tricks. From simple tasks of choosing the right color to wear, or just night time routines to do, you’ll be thankful that you read this blog. xoxo

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  1. Be active in the morning. From an early morning walk with your dog, or simply getting up earlier to do household tasks, getting moving in the morning wakes you up. I love doing a quick 15 minute workout routine before my morning shower, you feel way better throughout your day once your body is wide awake. It gets your blood pumping, giving you a rosy, healthy, awake-looking glow.
  2. Wear color clothing- but it has to be the right color. We all love black as our go-to color, but it can cast dark shadows on your face and make you look more tired. Instead, choose colors that are going to make you look more awake. Choose colors that flatter your skin tone and give you a healthy flush. Here’s a cheat sheet: if you’re cool-toned choose jewel tones (ex. blues, pinks, purples, magenta, reds, or whites) If you are warm- toned, choose earth tones. (ex. yellows, oranges, browns, army or deep greens, or ivory)
  3. Use ice-cold water. Old school trick, but still very effective. Splashing cold water on your face wakes you up instantly. You could also turn the shower very cold right before you get out and wake your entire body up, only if you’re brave enough to.
  4. Grab earrings. Wearing the right pair of statement earrings can help take unwanted attention away from your tired eyes. Small dangle earrings with a soft gem like mint, emerald, or amethyst will reflect your skin tones and make you look more awake.
  5. Drink as much water as you can. Keeping a large bottle of water at your desk to sip on throughout the day hydrates your skin and brain. Basically, you’ll not only feel awake and hydrated but also look like it! (Find plain water boring, add some lemon slices or other delicious fruits to spice it up!)
  6. Put down the cell phone at night. Laying in the dark looking at your phone all night results in squinting, which results in bags under your eyes in the morning. Put your phone away and get your beauty rest.
  7. Remember the 20/20/20 rule throughout the day. If you’re unfamiliar with the 20/20/20 rule, its pretty simple. Take 20 seconds to look at something 20 feet away every 20 minutes. Doctors say it reduces strain and redness in the eyes.
  8. Eat fruit. Citrus fruits are pack with vitamin D and pick you up when you’re feeling sleepy. Grapefruits, oranges and lemons are the best! Sometimes just smelling citrus fruits can trick the brain into waking up your senses too.
  9. Wear dark sunglasses. Best way to hide those big puffy eyes? Big sunglasses! Not only are they fashionable, but they also help your eyes from squinting, tearing or swelling as a result of the bright sun outside.
  10. Get an allergy test. If you often wake up with puffy, tired, watery eyes then allergies may be the problem. Getting tested can reveal an allergy to something seasonal like pollen, which can make eyes perpetually tired-looking.
  11. Do some DIY acupressure. Putting pressure around your hands, feet and abdomen are said to wake you up and give you an energy boost. Now I am not advising you go crazy and pinch your entire body, but sometimes just a little pinch or two can perk you up. (Another little trick, if you squeeze and rub your palm in between your pointer finger and thumb, it sometimes can kill headaches.)
  12. Use eye drops, but sparingly. Over the counter eye drops shouldn’t be used on a daily basis, unless proscribed by a doctor. But on the days you are zoning in and out, a few drops in each eye can help wake you up and reduce puffiness and redness in the eyes.

My Favorite Autumn Treat: Apple Pie Cupcakes

Written by Nicole Garrity on . Posted in DIY, Food, How To, Uncategorized

 

One thing I love about the autumn season is all of the delicious foods you get to eat! Fall is the best time to cook with my favorite fruit… freshly picked apples! I love making homemade apple cider or apple crisps paired with vanilla ice cream. One recipe I stumbled upon adds a new twist to an old recipe that everyone loves, but instead of plain apple pie, its apple pie cupcakes! Seriously try them out, they are amazing. Happy baking readers, xoxo.

 


Apple Pie Cupcakes 

Ingredients: For cake 

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp backing powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups grated apples (2 granny smith, 2 gala)

Instructions: For cake 

  1. preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin pans with cupcake liners
  2. in medium bowl combine dry ingredients; flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon
  3. in large bowl combine eggs, vegetable oil, sour cream and vanilla and whisk together
  4. gradually add the dry ingredients to wet ingredients and whisk until combined
  5. fold grated apples into cake mixture
  6. fill cupcake lines 2/3 full with batter
  7. bake for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean
  8. let cupcakes cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove to wire racks to finish cooling

Ingredients: For apple pie filling 

  • 3 apples, finely chopped (2 granny smith, 1 gala)
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Instructions: For apple pie filling

  1. place chopped apples, butter, brown sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon in medium size pan and cook over medium heat for about 18-20 minutes, until apples are tender. Stir occasionally.
  2. allow mixture to cool
  3. use an apple corer to remove the center of the cupcakes and fill with apple pie filling

8 Foods To Make Your Hair Grow Faster

Written by Nicole Garrity on . Posted in DIY, How To, Life, Uncategorized

I have to say, one thing I love about being a girl is being able to have long hair that I can play and mess with. Being able to style my hair in so many different ways is fun and you can always make new styles up as you go! My friends always ask me how I keep my hair long, even when I get it cut regularly… and the honest answer, it’s the food I eat! Forget taking Biotin every day, or squeezing lemon in your hair, just try some of these food and you’ll get that long hair you’ve been dreaming of! (To note: not only will you get beautiful hair from eating these certain foods, but you will also become healthier and leaner due to the how healthy each one is! Talk about a double wammy)8 foods that make your hair grow faster. Wonder if it really works?


Salmon- Now this is one food that I do not eat, but I have heard that salmon is a great food that helps make hair grow. Fish is loaded with Vitamin D and protein, but it also contains omega-3 fatty acids that promote hair growth by keeping your scalp healthy. Instead of taking fish oil pills, why not treat yourself to a nice salmon every once in a while.

Yellow Peppers- Yellow bell peppers have nearly five and half more Vitamin C than oranges. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that strengthens your hair shaft and hair follicles, and also prevents breakage. Nothing is more delicious to me than stuffed peppers, and they are so healthy for you too! It is like you’re getting not only a healthy meal but also an intake of nutrients for your hair all in one!

Oysters- If you don’t have enough Zinc in your body, you can suffer from hair loss and poor scalp conditions. Whats an easy and yummy way to get your dose of Zinc? How about some oysters!

Eggs- Hard boiled eggs or just cooking up the yolk is a great way to help with hair growth. Stay away from eating too many egg whites though, because it can actually block the absorption of biotin into your body. (My little healthy trick is to use the egg yolk and a little water for some scramble eggs in the morning.)

Sunflower Seeds- There is nothing like sitting outside, enjoying the sunshine and eating sunflower seeds. Just a few seeds can supply you with a load of Vitamin E that enhances blood flow to the scalp and promotes faster hair growth.

Sweet Potatoes (minus the honey butter of course)– Baked sweet potato in the oven is so delicious and filling. Sweet potatoes contain Vitamin A that not only promotes a healthy scalp but promotes hair growth too.

Avocados- Avocados are an age old beauty secret. Aside from being delicious to eat, you can also use them as a shampoo remedy. Mix a little avocado with sour cream and apply to your hair and scalp for about 10 minutes before washing it off. The avocado helps to keep your scalp smooth while the sour cream exfoliates dead skin and cleans up the buildup on your scalp. Seriously… it works!

Almonds- Almonds have a high biotin content and make your hair grow super fast and thick. I love keeping a little container of them on my desk to snack on throughout the day. If you eat a small amount each day, within a month you will see results!

Get A Work-Ready Look In 10 Minutes Or Less

Written by Nicole Garrity on . Posted in DIY, How To, Life, Uncategorized

I am not a morning person and sometimes I find it really difficult to actually get myself ready for work each morning. Due to my failed attempts at waking up earlier to get ready, I have got myself down to a 10 minute routine that gets me out of the house in a snap! From both makeup and hair, I’m work ready in 10 minutes or less!!! Follow my tips to help you get out of the house in no time! Xoxo

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HAIR: 

2 minutes: If I wake up with a serious case of bedhead, I brush out my ends to remove any obvious tangles. Then, to make up for the lack of actual shampoo, I apply dry shampoo to my roots. (TRESemme Dry Shampoo is my personal favorite)

2 minutes: Step away from the hot tools, there isn’t enough time for that.  If I’m looking for a quick and easy look, a braid or sock bun is a good and professional look I can get away with. My other trick is to shower at night and put my hair in either a low bun or braids. In the morning, I take down my hair to get natural beach waves. Any type of hairspray will help to hold the look all day.


 

MAKEUP:

1 minute: Wake up your complexion with a good old-fashion splash of cold water. As long as I thoroughly cleansed the night before, I can get away with just a rinse in the morning. Clean & Clear face moisturizer is something I like to apply after to keep my face nice and hydrated. (You can either exclude the moisturizer, or use your own product you prefer)

1 minute: While your chosen complexion is sinking in, I take a moment to apply mascara. (Here’s my little secret… Combine two different mascaras to thicken and elongate your lashes. Maybelline Colossal Volume and Maybelline Great Lash are my two favorite to combine.)

1 minute: Despite my love for pencil eyeliner, I always find that liquid works better and stays on longer. With one solid line, you will have hours or dark, bold eyeliner. (Revlon Color Stay works amazingly, and will last all day long)

2 minutes: I am not big on foundation, but sometimes office lighting can be unforgiving, so I do apply it under my eyes to get rid of the bags. If I feel like putting in a little more effort, I highlight my T-zone (Above the eyebrows and down the nose) to highlight my face. Rub on a small amount of bronzer to help highlight your T-zone.

1 minute: Take a final minute to make your finishing touches. A dab of blush on the cheeks, a dusting of finishing powder or bronzer, your signature perfume- and you’re off to work!


 

TOTAL TIME: 10 minutes

25 Free Ideas For Summer Fun!

Written by Nicole Garrity on . Posted in DIY, Life, Uncategorized

Do you and your friends want some fun and enjoyable things to do this summer? Well, I am going to share with you 25 great (and free) ideas to try this summer to get you outside enjoying the beautiful weather! (Numbers 5, 13, and 15 are my personal favorites!!!) xoxoxo

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  1. Go on a hike
  2. Pick a random neighborhood and set off to explore
  3. Find a free concert
  4. Seek out a food market with lots of free samples
  5. Try geocaching (if you’re unfamiliar, Google it! It is a lot of fun!)
  6. Plan a game night
  7. Spend a night at the museum
  8. Make it a beach day
  9. Go roller skating
  10. Build a Slip ‘N Slide
  11. Volunteer together
  12. Have a movie marathon
  13. Get dressed up and go to expensive open houses
  14. Go camping in your own back yard
  15. Play a messy game of Twister (put the matching paint color on each circle, make sure it is washable paint!)
  16. Find a movie screening in the park
  17. Go to a local basketball court and shoot some hoops (maybe play a game or H-O-R-S-E?)
  18. Download a karaoke app
  19. Host an at-home poker night
  20. Test drive your dream car
  21. Go on a free brewery tour
  22. Go to a trivia night at a bar
  23. Play truth or dare
  24. Get together and share old embarrassing photos
  25. Have an old-school video game showdown (Nintendo 64 anyone?)

10 Beauty Hacks You Need To Know

Written by Nicole Garrity on . Posted in DIY, How To, Life, Uncategorized

As women, we all have our tricks when it comes to daily beauty routines.  Some may be odd while others are very commonly known.  We can all agree on one thing though, there is always room for new tricks to make ourselves look better!  Here are my Top 10 beauty secrets that you will want to try immediately!!  Maybe you already know some of them, and the others you can just add to your list! xoxo

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1. Hand Sanitizer can be used to combat a shiny face. It smooths like a primer and provides a protective coat locking in moisture which creates the shine on your face. Use it along your hair line and forehead.

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2. Chapstick on your nose keeps it from drying out! It moisturizes the skin right around your nose and provides instant relief. You can also rub some inside your nose when it’s dry, sore or just uncomfortable.  Just make sure you use a separate stick for your nose and lips!

chapstick

3. Dab a bit of Greek Yogurt on a pimple and let it dry (takes about 20 minutes) before rinsing off with warm water to reduce inflammation and redness quickly.  The lactic acid helps unclog pores and breakdown dead skin cells,  the probiotics help to balance bacteria and the fat helps to moisturize.  Tasty and useful!

greek yogurt

4.  Have a burn from a hair iron? Use raw honey instead of ice. A thick layer will instantly cut the sting while also providing antibacterial protection to keep the skin hydrated.

honey

5.   Add 2 crushed aspirin to your favorite shampoo to turn it into a dandruff-blasting product.  The salicylic acid from the pills break down dead skin cells and product buildup.

aspirin

       6.  To exfoliate dry feet add 2 tablespoons of brown sugar to 1/2 cups of coconut oilMix and then apply this to the feet in a circular                   motion. No one likes dry feet!

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7.  Use cool cucumbers under or over the eyelids to decrease puffiness and inflammation. Tea bags work well also!

cucumber                  tea bags

8.  A toothbrush is one of the best tools!  Use it to exfoliate your lips by making small, circular motions.  A clean toothbrush can also be                  one of the best tools for de-clumping mascara.

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9.  Want a longer lasting blowout?  Squeeze a small amount of fresh lemon juice on a cotton ball and dab at the root area to absorb any                     excess oils while leaving your hair with a delightful scent. Yum!

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    10.  Swish coconut oil in your clean mouth first thing in the morning for around 20 minutes for super white teeth and to rid teeth of cavities!

coconut oil

5 Date Night Hair Styles

Written by Nicole Garrity on . Posted in DIY, How To, Life, Uncategorized

Everyone knows how stressful it is to get ready for a date. What to wear? What makeup? What kind of perfume? What do I do with my hair?

I am here to take the stress out of date night hair styling! Here are 5 of my favorite easy to-do looks for going on a date!! xoxo

 

  1. Add a braid! Turn an ordinary half-up half-down look into something more by making the pony or strands pulled together into a braid or fishtail. You can even make a high pony-tale into a braided high pony!  The possibilities are endless…..half-up-half-down-fishtal
  2. Make a bow! Take two strands of hair from each side of your head and pull it together into a low or high bun. Take another strand of hair and cut the bun in half to make it look like a bow. Stick the additional strand into your pony holder behind the bow. What a different look! (works better with thinner hair) 26-Bow
  3. Easy to do beach waves! Want to make natural looking beach waves without using a curling iron? After you shower, put either hairspray or gel (specifically a kind used to add curls) in your hair. Put your hair into a low loose bun while you finish getting ready. Right before you go out, take your hair out of the bun and add some more spray to keep the waves nice and tight. beach-waves-hair-45
  4. Rock the straight look! Pin straight hair is always a classic style. Straighten your hair with a flat iron to keep it straight all night long. (I recommend using heat spray before you use the iron to keep your hair healthy looking and feeling)tumblr_n3u9eekDCF1rfwfq9o1_1280
  5. Sock buns are fun! Pull your hair into a sock bun for an easy to do style that looks elegant and classy. You can either cut a sock or buy a kit from any local hair salon. (This style is tricky for people with thick hair, but not impossible to master!)f0ba60057e21a43d134e81b5d9079e29

Best Summer Foods For Weight Loss!

Written by Nicole Garrity on . Posted in DIY, Food, Life, Uncategorized

I recently found out that you can easily lose weight during the summer by adding a few certain foods to your meals. Who knew it was that easy?! Try replacing your normal side dishes with these three options and you will see a difference in a matter of a week! They are not only simple and delicious, but they actually help keep you healthy and full! You will be showing off your bikini ready body is no time! xoxo

 

Chilled Soups:

Chilled soups like gazpacho, cucumber-dill or other soups that contain lots of chunky vegetables are a great way to drop pounds. Low-calorie, broth-based soups at the beginning of your meal fill you up so you eat less of your high-calorie dinner. It makes for a great meal replacement or mid-day snack!

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Watermelon: 

Who doesn’t love crisp and juicy watermelon when it’s hot outside? Half of watermelon comes from water, so it not only satisfies your thirst but also fills up your stomach! Remove any bread or greasy foods from your table and serve the watermelon instead! (fruit salad is also a good low-calorie summer snack to try)

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Grilled Veggies:

A plate full of grilled veggies is a must-have during the summer. You can add grilled veggies like onions, bell peppers, zucchini, carrots, asparagus and so many more to your dinner plate for that not only a filling treat! Mix the veggies in a salad, in a pita wrap, or even with some chicken for a light weight and healthy meal.

Grilled_veggies

How To Contour Your Face!

Written by Nicole Garrity on . Posted in DIY, How To, Life, Uncategorized

Want to look flawless not only in a picture but also in person?  Learn these tricks to contouring your face and you won’t need to filter your pictures anymore! Contouring basically brightens and highlights your face in all the right places and give your face an even and flawless look. Once you notice the difference, it will be hard to not want to contour your face before you leave the house everyday! Follow these simple and easy steps and you will instantly fall in love with contouring! xoxo

 

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • foundation one to two shades darker than your skin tone (don’t go too dark, remember it all has to blend together)
  • foundation one shade lighter than your skin tone
  • highlighting concealer
  • blush (liquid or powder)
  • setting powder
  • beauty sponge
  • flat top brush
  • duo fiber blending brush

STEPS: 

  • Using the flat top brush and the foundation one skin tone lighter, add highlights to: (DON’T BLEND YET)
  1. center of forehead
  2. brow bone
  3. bridge of nose
  4. center upper lip (under your nose)
  5. center of chin
  6. create and upsides down triangle under the eyes extending it down to the center of your mouth
  • Using the flat top brush and the foundation one shade darker, add highlights to: (ONCE AGAIN DON’T BLEND)
  1. forehead/along the hairline
  2. temples
  3. hallows of cheeks- located right below your cheekbones
  4. jawline and under chin
  5. sides of neck
  6. sides of nose and eye crease

(TIP: you can use cream or powders to contour or highlight, creams are easier to blend and tend to look more natural)

  • MOST IMPORTANT STEP: BLEND!!
  1. using a wet beauty blender or duo fiber blending brush, blend all the contour and highlighter together until there is no more distinction between the two colors.
  2. lastly, apply a light dusting of blush on cheek bones.
  3. set all the highlight with loose powder using a small bristle brush

(TIP: avoid using bronzer to contour, it will create a “shadow”) 

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