September 30, 2013

Fall Beauty Blog: September Favorites!

It's the end of September so I have been going through my monthly beauty purchases and picked out quiet a few items that I wanted to highlight! Usually I end up with some "misses" for the month but it seems that I don't have any for the month of September! I love it when that happens because it makes me feel good that I didn't waste a lot of money on crappy purchases. So, let's get started because I have a lot to share with you -- I have make-up, nail, body and hair care products to discuss! I will admit that it looks like I went on a freaking spending spree this month but some of this stuff is from months prior that I finally got around to using. I also picked up a lot of this while it was on BOGO sales at CVS! I did buy a few more items than I typically do in a month because I was getting my seasonal colors for this Fall and Winter.

** All prices are from Walmart unless I have mentioned another store**

I have been super impressed with all of the products from the Organix line so I wanted to try their body wash since I already use their shampoo and conditioner. The new trend that is going on in the beauty world is Moroccan Argon Oil because of it's healthy benefits for your hair and skin. I purchased the Organix Hydrating Moroccan Argon Oil body wash ($6.97) and I have been pleased with it. I love the scent and it lingers all day long without being overbearing. It's a very clean feminine smell that doesn't clash with my perfume like some body washes tend to do. This also doesn't leave your skin feeling like you have a layer of soap still on your body after you get out of the bath/shower. It leaves my skin feeling soft and moisturized.  It's also Sulfate free which is great for those with sensitive skin. Also just a PSA about sulfates -- Sulfate Free shampoos and conditioners are best because they do not dry your hair out and leaves your hair less frizzy. It also leaves your hair healthier and shinier because it lacks the harsh chemicals that are in most shampoos. I believe that all of the Organix line is Sulfate free.

I am all about a can of Dry Shampoo because my hair is very dry so I can not wash it but every other day (sometimes every 2 days) unless I want some serious breakage going on. It's crazy because I do not color my hair so you would think it wouldn't be so dry but I do use a hairdryer and a set of hot rollers after washing my hair. I have always liked Suave's Dry Shampoo but I decided to try a new one after a YouTube guru raved about Dove Invigorating Dry Shampoo Refresh + Care ($3.94). Holy cow this stuff is wonderful! It doesn't leave a powdery residue like some dry shampoo's do and it seriously smells like you just washed your hair after you have sprayed it on. I am not knocking the Suave line but I have been pretty happy with Dove. It does help absorb oil between washes and it helps add volume to weighted down day old hair. This is also perfect for those of you who go to the gym and need to run errands afterwards without hitting the shower. Keep a can of this in your gym bag or car for those times when you need to go out in public afterwards but don't have the time to shower! It's definitely a great pick-me-up for your hair!

When I don't have time to hot roll my hair and I am sick of wearing it in a ponytail I am in love with the sock bun. However, I have not had much luck with finding the right sock to make the bun! I have searched Pinterest over and over looking for the perfect sock bun and I just end up with a big mess. It either comes apart or my sock shows through the bun so I finally decided to purchase the Conair Bun Maker ($3.49) and it's so worth the $4.00! I actually bought Vic the Conair version and I found the same exact ring made by Conair (minus the hairpins and elastic tie that comes with the boxed kit) at my local Dollar Tree! They both are from Conair and work the same. I love it!!! I purchased the dark brown color because I am a brunette but they do make them in blonde and black too. Once you make the bun you don't see the ring and you can secure it with bobby pins and it literally stays all day long until you take it out -- I don't even have to use hairspray. Vic uses hers for colorguard and they are running all over the place and she loves hers too. We both have pretty long hair so it's simple to use but I can't speak for shorter hair lengths. I don't like the super tight bun so I was a bit skeptical at first but I have learned how to make more of a loose, messy bun with this so I am happy with my purchase.

I admit that I am pretty cheap when it comes to certain products because I can not stand buying something expensive when I can get the same exact thing for less money but I have found that I can not skimp when it comes to my contact solution....I have tried and failed! I have bought the cheap Equate brand and even the Re-Nu and Multipurpose solution from Bausch + Lomb and both make me want to scratch my eyeballs out. I don't know if they don't clean my contacts well or if my eyes are just that sensitive but I have been forced to buy the expensive stuff and I am not happy about it but I can say it does make a world of difference! If you have contact woes like me you should try Bausch + Lomb BioTrue Multipurpose Solution ($10.99, 10 ounces) because it's seriously been my lifesaver lately. I take my contacts out every single night and let them soak in this solution and I rarely have problems these days. Before I switched to this solution I was having major issues with my contacts getting dirty or maybe they were never really cleaned from their nightly soaking in the cheaper stuff. Who knows....all I do know is that I can't be cheap when it comes to my eyes and even though it pains me to shell out $11 for contact solution it is a necessary evil. Blah.

As some of you know I got a nasty staph infection on my right pointer finger a while back from a hangnail. I ended up having a 3 day stay in the hospital and having my fingernail surgically removed all because I had a nail biting habit since birth. Well, that experience been a life changing one and I haven't put my nails in my mouth since so I have been exploring the world of nail care the past two months. Even though I don't have a pointer nail to paint on my right hand at the moment I have 9 perfectly pretty ones to paint now so I am enjoying it. First I had to get my nails in shape because they were, well, pretty damn ugly from me biting them. I decided to try the Sally Hansen Hard as Nails "Hard as Wraps with Acrylic Gel + Nylon" ($5.99) in the clear coat to help strengthen my nails as I let them grow out. I have been amazed at the difference this makes with my nails! You apply two coats as your main coat or top coat and in my opinion it definitely strengthens them. I have been using it now for about a month and I am halfway done with my bottle and I will repurchase this again when it's gone. I use this mainly as a top coat because I try to keep my nails painted; when I don't have polish on my nails I tend to pick at them more.

I have been in love with the nail polish "I'm Ba-roque" by Spoiled ($1.99) -- it's made by Wet n Wild but it has it's own display just in the nail polish section of your local drugstore/Walmart. I love this color because it's taupe but has a bit of a shimmer and I have found it goes with about anything I am wearing (yes, I like to match). It's a pretty color with just one coat or you can add a second for more intensity. As I mentioned in one of my other blog posts I have a couple of Essie products and I will NEVER pay $8 for a nail polish again (at least from the Essie line) because I think for their quality it's a rip-off. You are basically paying for the name and their colors; which I will admit they have some pretty cute colors but I can't stand spending that much on something that doesn't work as well as the $1.99 polish that I am happy with. I know some people think Wet n Wild is pretty cheap but they do have some great quality products that are hidden gems if you just try them. Their nail polish line is really good and worth trying. ** Disclaimer: These are not my nails **

I am a mascara junkie and I'm always on the prowl for a great mascara and I thought I had found the perfect one until recently. I was pretty happy with my Physician's Formula FakeOut mascara because the formula suited my sensitive eyes but it did not come in waterproof and that can be a problem in the Deep South! It's hot here and you do sweat and that leads to runny mascara raccoon eyes and I can't take it. I am a HUGE fan of Physicians Formula but this girl has to have some waterproof mascara and they don't have it in the formula I like. I decided to try L'Oreal Voluminous False Lashes ($8.99) on a whim since I had CVS bucks to spare and at first I was on the fence about this mascara. I really liked it because it was waterproof and it didn't irritate my eyes but started to dislike it after a few days because it felt like it was clumping up on my lashes. I always remove my eye make-up with Almay's eye remover pads and follow up with my towelettes so I thought I was getting all the goop off my lashes -- well, I wasn't!! It hit me after about 4 days that my lashes were still covered in the mascara and my eye remover wasn't getting it off completely so it was just sticking to old mascara. After I figured all of this out and purchased a new eye remover I am IN LOVE with this mascara. It does make your lashes noticeably fuller and longer; giving a false lash effect but without looking fake. L'Oreal also makes a "Voluminous False Fiber Lashes" formula that is in the same type of packaging so be careful when you are picking it up at the store. I decided against the fiber mascara because I do have sensitive eyes and I figured that would be asking for trouble -- I don't need to risk any small fibers getting between my contact and eyeball. So, the BIGGEST thing with this product is making sure your lashes are completely clean before applying it or you will end up tossing it!

Of course I am now going to talk about my latest eye make-up remover purchase since I basically said you needed it for the L'Oreal mascara above. I went ahead and bought the L'Oreal Clean Artiste Waterproof and Long Wearing eye make-up remover ($5.99) since I was using their waterproof mascara. I must say that I was impressed with how well it took off my eye make-up including the waterproof mascara and waterproof eyeliner that I wear daily. You don't have to use a lot either; just a small amount on a cotton ball and your make-up comes right off without a bunch of tugging and rubbing. The formula is a tad on the oily side but it is for sensitive eyes and I made the mistake of getting it in my eye earlier today and it didn't burn or leave build up on my contact so that was a bonus. I have found that if I take my eye make-up off first using this product and follow up with my Equate towelettes it removes any oily residue that may be left behind from the eye remover. I can honestly say that this is one of the BEST removers I have ever used and sadly I will probably never use the Almay wipes again (I'll send them to you Mom).

Oh, Wet n Wild, you always come out with some of the best products for next to nothing! The next few items I am going to talk about are all from Wet n Wild and I use them on a daily basis. I don't understand why this brand doesn't get more recognition because they have quality products that are worth purchasing. For my pencil eyeliners I use the Physician's formula brand but I wanted to try WnW's H20 Proof Liquid Liner in Ultra Black ($3.99) after hearing several people rave about it on YouTube. Well, it's worth the praise because it is awesome and affordable. It stays on all day long without smudging or rubbing and doesn't irritate my eyes.I have even had a few crying spells while wearing this and it doesn't budge!! I like liquid eyeliners because I can get a very neat, thin and precise line unlike I do when using the pencil liners. With the type of brush/wand that comes with this eyeliner you can make a very fine line or lay it sideways for a thicker line. It dries pretty fast so you don't have to worry about blinking and getting that annoying transfer line that you do with some liquid liners. I will give you fair warning that this stuff is like taking a Sharpie marker to your eye and it WILL NOT COME OFF without a good remover -- water will not even get this stuff off. The L'Oreal remover does take it off but nothing else has so if you do purchase this liner make sure you have a great eye make-up remover to go with it.

I was so impressed with the liquid eyeliner from WnW that I decided to go back and pick up two newer shades that I saw at Walmart. These are not from the H20 line as that line only carries your basic shades of black and brown. I picked up two colorful liners from their Mega Liner line; Plum and Turquoise ($2.93 each) and I figured they would be fun to try this Fall. Plum is a great color for dark brown and hazel eyes so I was familiar with that shade but I was just taking a chance on the Turquoise. I have tried both shades and I love them! I used the fine point end of the brush and applied a very thin line above my lashes just to give a tiny pop of color and it looked great. They aren't waterproof but I didn't notice any smearing or smudging after I had worn it all day. It also dries quick so you don't have to worry about messing it up as soon as you apply it. They do carry this color in blue and a shimmery black that I may go back and get eventually. I think the shimmer black would be very pretty on but I am still on the fence with the blue!

I have been on the lookout for a good but affordable eyeshadow primer and I picked up a tube of "Take on the Day Eyeshadow Primer" by Fergie's WnW Center Stage Collection ($3.74). Our CVS had a BOGO on the entire Wet n Wild line so that is why I picked up so many products from their line this month. I had been using the primer from Elf and it just wasn't cutting it for me as I felt like all of my eyeshadow was gone by late afternoon. I could tell a huge difference in the formula when I opened the tube from Fergie's line. It was actually a little tacky unlike the primer from Elf so it made sense it should work better. A little dab on each eyelid is all you need and you should be set for the rest of the day! When I wasn't using a primer or when I was using the Elf primer I literally could use a makeup towelette and the only thing coming off from my eye area was mascara because all of my eyeshadow was pretty much gone -- not when using this primer; I actually see product on the cotton ball and towelette so it must be working. I have read and seen YouTube gurus compare this stuff to Urban Decays primer -- I have never used the UD primer but they swear it's a dupe! This is something that I will continue to repurchase because it works great and it's cheap!

I have been purchasing some new shades for Fall and I ran across a pretty trio from Wet n Wild; Silent Treatment ($2.97). I don't know if shades are considered "precious" but this shade is to me because it's so girly but classy. The trio has the eyelid, crease and brow color coordinated for you and they are shades that you could wear with about anything. The lid color is a mauve/taupe color, the crease is a dark shimmery bark color and the brow is a muted pastel pink. It's a gorgeous set and I have been using it a lot lately by itself and with another product I will discuss in a second. They say that these shades are dupes for: Eyelid is dupe for MAC's Shale, Crease is a dupe for Urban Decay's Darkhorse. These are pretty pigmented shades, they are smooth and blend well. This has also been discussed highly on YouTube as a product to watch out for and it is popular because I have noticed it sells out fairly quickly at the drugstores and our local Walmart was already out of it by this weekend and it was fully stocked earlier in the week!

While shopping for new eyeshadows I decided to pick up a few colors from Maybelline's Color Tattoo line by Eye Studio ($6.99 each) while they were on BOGO. I purchased Bad to the Bronze, Tough as Taupe and Pomegranate Punk in the 24 hour Cream Gel Shadow. They do make the Color Tattoo in 24 Hour Pure Pigments so double check before you purchase them. I did purchase a pure pigment but I have not used it yet so I can't give a review on it until next month! I went through a phase a couple of years ago where I only wore gel/cream shadows and I liked them but I felt like they creased and looked cakey by the end of the day. I guess they have improved their formula because these shades are highly pigmented and they last all day without creasing or caking up on your eyelid. They don't rub/smear off either which is unusual for these type of shadows. The only downfall about this product is the best way to apply it is with your fingertips. I tried the cheap old school applicators but in the end I just used my fingers because it went on better that way. You can also use these as a base coat and apply a powder shadow over it for a more intense look so it's very versatile. I like using the Tough of Taupe shade with the mauve lid shade from the WnW Silent Treatment trio together; they compliment each other well. I have read reviews that say these little pots dry out pretty quick but I have not ran across that yet but I figured I would warn you in case you run into it.

Milani stole my heart with their Luminoso blush shade so it was only natural I would go back to them when picking out a darker blush shade for Fall. I picked up Milani's Berry Amore Baked Powder Blush ($6.97) and as usual I am impressed with the quality of their products! It amazes me how highly pigmented their colors are and the overall quality of the Milani line is in general. It is one of the pricier drugstore items but totally worth it in my opinion. They have some of the most gorgeous colors to choose from and they are department store quality. You can't beat it for the money. This shade is muted berry shade with hints of gold shimmer. It is so pretty on and it blends well giving your cheeks just a nice warm rosey glow to them. Their blushes are highly pigmented so you don't need a lot on your brush or you will end up looking like a clown so be light with your hand when applying.

I have had a really hard time lately when it comes to foundations! I do not know if it's the time of year or if I am going through hormonal issues but I can't seem to find a foundation that suits me. I think I have found the *perfect* one and weeks later I end up disliking it. I have dry skin so I tend to like the "dewey" formulas that are lightweight and less drying. I have tried several and recently purchased a new one because my other two "favorites" make me look ashy and dried out by the end of the day. I have tried L'Oreal True Match Lumi which I really liked because it was a light weight formula but I felt like it made my pores look huge and then I was in love with the Revlon Colorstay Whipped because of the full coverage it gave but I felt like it was really cakey after a while. I still stand behind those two foundations because they are GREAT but just not for my crazy skin at the moment. I decided to go back to my trusty line and pick up Physician's Formula Youthful Wear Cosmeceutical Youth-Boosting Foundation + Brush in Fair ($14.95). This foundation claims to be 12 hour wear and has SPF 15 in it. It claims you will look "10 years younger instantly" .... I can't tell that but the lady they used as an example on the box sure does! Figuring out how to use this product best was a challenge for me because I couldn't figure out how to apply it first. I tried putting a small amount on the back of my hand and using the brush to apply it but I felt like I was wasting a lot of the product that way and not getting the coverage I wanted. I eventually just applied the foundation directly to my face from the tube and blended it out. Sidenote: Always read the instructions on the box and it will tell you how to apply it, lol -- it said to apply it directly to your face! I have been using this product for a week and so far so good. I like it, it blends well, covers well and lasts all day long without rubbing off. I feel like it gives me a more natural finish than most foundations I have tried so maybe I have finally found the right product for me.

Since I am aging and sadly I have larger pores and fine lines I try to mask those as best I can without the help of Botox (which I would do if I could afford it) so I have been using Elf's High Definition Powder ($6.00) to help set my foundation and concealer. It's a translucent white powder that is supposed to help mask fine lines for everyday wear or high-definition camera technology (you know, for all those selfies we take)! It does help set my concealer under my eyes without settling into my fine lines and it does seem to blur out my imperfections (wrinkles) on my forehead. I have read mixed reviews on this product and most say they have to reapply it several hours later but they also had oily skin; I have dry skin and have no issues. I will say that put a towel around your neck or do not put your shirt on before applying this because it does have fall out when applying it with your brush. It's white so it does show up on anything that's dark and you don't want to risk ruining that days outfit. It does come with a "poof" but I prefer to use my large complexion brush by Elf's studio line.

Most of my summer was spent indoors and not out by our pool so my face is a nice shade of pale! I am always weary of bronzers because you can end up looking like an Oompa Loompa if you're not careful. Bronzers actually terrify me because I never know what shade I need or what color is going to make me look muddy/dirty so I steer clear of them unless I am contouring but I am at a point where this face needs some color. I look so washed out and pale so I did some research online and read reviews of different drugstore bronzers and came to the conclusion that I would try Physician's Formula Glow-Boosting Sun Stones in Light to Medium ($12.97). This product says it has a "Mistake Proof Formula" and so far that has been true, It doesn't leave me orange and it doesn't streak. I use a large face brush and swirl it around the stones and tap off the excess before applying it around my face. It gives my face a nice glow without looking fake and you can use this for contouring too with just a heavier hand when applying to your cheekbones and temples. Some people complain that this is "too shimmery" but I honestly do not have a problem with it. I think my only complaint would be is the little sun stones are a pain because it's easy for them to come out of the packaging. You have to be very careful when swirling your brush over them or you will have them all over the place!

My last product is a new fragrance I am trying for Fall! I have been wearing "Juicy" by Juicy Couture for the past two years and I was ready to switch it up a bit when I was down to the last few pumps in my bottle. I honestly can't stand shopping for new fragrances because I end up getting overwhelmed, scents start mixing together and I walk away with a huge headache and smelling like a hooker. I also don't have enough space on my body to try them all out because we all know that just because it smells great in the bottle doesn't mean it's going to smell  that way on your body. Everyone has their own chemistry and all scents react differently once you put them on. I guess that is why I don't understand why people don't apply the perfume on their wrist or forearm before buying it because it totally takes on a different scent once it's applied to your body. Also, what smells good on your best friend may smell horrible on you so you have to test them out first. Anyway....sorry, I will get off my soapbox; that is coming from my days working in a cosmetic department. I decided I would try Michael Kors Parfum ($50.00, 1 ounce) this time around. I liked the scent because it has hints of tuberose, freesia, gardenia and white lily. I love all of those floral scents and it's light but still heavy enough to be a Fall/Winter scent. I have read that it has a musk undertone to it but I don't smell that and I typically steer clear of woodsy/musky scents. I do think it lasts all day and a little goes a very long way -- you can apply too much if you're not careful. It's a very classic scent in my opinion and can be worn day or evening. I don't know if I will ever love anything more than I do my Juicy but this is giving it a good run for it's money!

Well, there you have it! My monthly beauty blog! I hope this gives you some insight to some great products out there to try for Fall and Winter! Let me know if you have tried any of these and your reviews -- also, if you have any product suggestion or questions!


September 25, 2013

What's Cooking?

 What's Cooking?!? I have a lot on the burner both literally and figuratively! As many of you have noticed I have been preparing new recipes like a crazy woman lately. I know half of you don't give a rats ass about what I feed my family but it gives me something GOOD to share with my friends and family instead of the typical "unhappy" news of what's going on with Brody's health. Recently I decided to share my foodie posts on my social media outlets because I want to discuss happy things and possibly inspire others to try new and creative choices for dinner. I mean, seriously, who doesn't love food?? And most importantly....great food makes people happy! I don't do it to "toot my own horn" or brag about my cooking abilities; I honestly have been so inspired by the recipes I've found on Pinterest and that I want to share them! Cooking for me is also very therapeutic. I can get into my kitchen and forget all of my worries and just throw myself into a recipe that I know my family will enjoy eating. It makes me happy to make something for them that they are going to love eating! With this new cooking kick I have been on we have had some pretty amazing meals the past 2 weeks and they have been relatively inexpensive! I have also learned a lot more about how important flavors are to certain dishes and what compliments my main/side dishes. It has been a really fun experience that has been highly beneficial to my family because they've had full bellies for a couple of weeks now. I must say that I haven't grown bored with the whole cooking thing so this may actually last  a while! I also need all the therapy I can get these days so why not spend it in my kitchen being production?!

As far as Brody and his health is concerned everything is the same. He has good days and bad days. It's become pretty clear that participating in recess at school really runs him down to a point that isn't healthy. On the days where we have allowed him to stay for recess he has came home and has literally crashed and burned for that evening. On those particular days he lays around on the couch and usually winds up getting sick. He doesn't tolerate the heat well at all and looks like he is seconds away from a heat stroke when he's done with recess. When he is home we have to keep him on his pump so he's pretty much confined to the living room so when he's allowed to play he's at mach speed. The other day he asked me if I was picking him up early from school (so he misses recess) and I had told him I was and then he uttered words that ; "Mommy, why do I have to be different?". Oh my God how I wanted to stop the car and just hug him! Through this entire process I have never wanted him to feel "different" and for him to even say that broke me. How do I answer that? Once the weather cools off we will try letting him participate in recess again but until then he can either stay at school and participate in a music class with a younger class or I can pick him up. It's not the most ideal situation but it is what it is and we have to do what is best and the healthiest for him. We do have an appointment with the Neurologist in early October to discuss Mitochondrial Disease and what direction we will go in with that diagnosis. Until then we are just taking it one day at a time and trying to roll with the punches.

Victoria is busy as always with school and band; she has something to do every day of the school week except Wednesday (the Deep South shuts down on Wednesday evenings for Church). It's kind of weird that she is driving now but it does make things so much easier when it comes to practices after school and errands she needs to run. I must say it's also nice that she has her license and comes in handy when I need her to run to the store for me! Right now she is more than happy to go but I am sure the "newness" of that will quickly wear off but until it does I will take advantage of it. It's that time of year again for the Homecoming dance and as of right now she doesn't have a date but I am sure that will change! She has a dress already picked out so I am planning on ordering it this weekend. It's one of the cheapest dresses she has chosen so I can't complain! Vic has also been on a cupcake baking binge and it's paid off because one of her old classmates wants her to bake 50 cupcakes for her baby shower. Yes, I said a baby shower, don't ask. Anyhoo, it's extra money for Victoria and she gets to do something she enjoys so what more can you ask for. We have also talked to Vic about getting a part-time job so she can earn extra spending cash for those little things she wants here and there. She doesn't have a lot of time but she does have some hours she could put in on the weekends; especially with the holidays coming up she should be able to make some good money. I also think this will help with her communication skills and learning responsibility outside of her chores at home (which is just the dishwasher and cleaning up after dinner -- pretty easy if you ask me!). It's hard to believe she is in her Junior year of High School....where has time gone???

We have a new family member!! We adopted another Russian Blue from our local humane society. He's a 6 month old spit fire named "Church". We didn't name him but he has been called that for months so we decided to stick with it. He is such a sweet little guy who is full of energy! We decided to get another cat after our other Russian Blue, Caesar, acted like he wanted a playmate. We have a neighborhood cat that we feed on the front porch and whenever it would come up Caesar would go nuts. He would purr, chirp, roll over and basically beg for the other cat to pay attention to him. He does the same thing with our dogs -- he just wants a friend. Mike is totally not a cat person but he does love the Russian Blue breed so when I found one we could adopt he agreed. Of course I was happy because I would have a farm full of animals if I could so I wasted no time in getting down to the shelter to claim him! Caesar was a little standoffish at first but he's coming around. As much as he would hate for us to "think" he likes Church, he does. They play all the time and follow each other around the house. They sleep together and eat together; it's pretty cute to watch. I have nicknamed them Big Bit and Little Bit. The Russian Blue breed is such a joy because they are like little dogs. They love their owners and are always trying to please you. They are also very attentive to your emotions and react accordingly. If you are sad or need cheering up they are snuggled up beside of you and if you are joking around they are sure to be clowning around with you. I think I like this breed the best because they are a lot like dogs because unlike most cats, they "need" you and aren't as independent as most cats.  The craziest thing is that Mike hated cats when we first got together and now he baby talks them and they are constantly following him around the house and sleeping on his side of the bed!

As for me, I am just taking it day by day. I have a lot of people ask me "How are you doing?" and honestly I have good days and bad days. I can't really say that my depression or anxiety is any worse; it's just worry, frustration and exhaustion. Maybe that is part of depression and anxiety but I do worry a lot about Brody and that keeps me physically and mentally exhausted. I keep asking myself was there something I did that could have possibly triggered his illness. I worry that he will never get off his feeding pump and eat like a normal human being. I get angry that he can't eat without getting sick and it makes me furious he has limitations when it comes to normal things a 5 year old should be doing (like recess without issues) but it's all out of my hands. I have to learn to "let go and let God" but that is hard when you are a control freak! I am trying very hard to not let his illness dictate my life but when you go to sleep and wake up every morning to the sound of his feeding machine running it's a constant reminder that our life is anything but "normal". I have thrown myself back into volunteering with the Alzheimer's Outreach program while Brody is in school and that is truly a blessing. It gives me an outlet and allows me to do something fun and positive. Like I have already blogged, I have been back in the kitchen and that has been entirely too much fun! I look forward to prepping dinner because I get alone (for the most part) time while being able to be creative and productive. That's a win/win if you ask me! Mike and I still try to do a date night each week so that is always a welcome break but we still desperately need a vacation together sans the kids! I'm really trying to focus on the good things in my life because I do have a lot of blessings. And as much as I can't believe it; Brody's illness has been a blessing. It has taught me a lot about myself and has shown me how strong our family really is.

Well, I think I have yapped's time to start dinner :)


September 17, 2013

Smack Ya Momma Salmon!

I have been back in the kitchen and found an amazing recipe that I *had* to share because it was seriously the best piece of fish I have ever eaten! I am not a big fish person so it had to be good to make me even consider cooking it again much less share the recipe on my blog. I have never cooked Salmon before so I was really going into this thinking it was going to be a huge disaster! I had NO idea what I was doing or how it would turn out but in the end I had very happy campers in the Beemer house and I was shocked at how good salmon tasted when it's been cooked right! I snagged this recipe from Pinterest (recipe link here) so you can pin it on your boards if you have an addiction to the site like I do; this recipe was originally on which is another favorite of mine!

Salmon Fillets
(I used 3 small/medium sized fillets and had plenty of marinade)
Lemon Pepper
Garlic Powder
Salt (I use Kosher salt for cooking)
1/3 cup of Soy Sauce
1/3 cup of Brown Sugar
1/3 Cup of Water
1/4 cup of Vegetable Oil
1. Season salmon fillets with lemon pepper, garlic powder and salt (to taste). I gently rubbed both sides of the fillets with this mixture, pressing into salmon.
2. In a small bowl, stir together soy sauce, brown sugar, water and vegetable oil until the sugar is dissolved. Place fish in a resealable plastic bag with the soy sauce mixture and refrigerate for at least 2 hours(mine stayed in the fridge for 4 hours; the longer the better, IMO). 

3. Preheat your grill for medium/high heat.

** We use a cast iron grill inside on our stove top so I just placed aluminium foil on top of the grate and put a thin layer of olive oil on top of it so the fish would not stick. If you do not have an inside cast iron stove top grill I will HIGHLY suggest purchasing one! They are so easy to use and convenient for simple recipes such as this. I purchased mine at Walmart for $40; it has a grill and griddle side. You can order the Lodge cast iron grill here. **

4. Lightly oil grill grate. Place salmon on the preheated grill, and discard any leftover marinade. Cook salmon for 6-8 minutes per side, or until the fish flakes off.

I served the salmon fillets with Uncle Ben's Long Grain & Wild Rice and Parmesan Roasted Asparagus....all I can say is WOW! It was so delicious. The only complaint I had from my family is that I didn't make enough for seconds! If you are fish lover and in particular love salmon then I would try this recipe out! I also would try this if you are like me and sit on the fence with recipes for Salmon and Tilapia because this one by far has been my favorite, hands down! Enjoy!!