Fall ends up being a strange time for my skin. It starts to dry out more, and acne tends to creep up because of it. This means I have to mix up my skincare routine to keep up with these changes in my skin. Here are a few products that I love to use this time of year.
Whenever I need cooked, shredded chicken for a recipe, I almost always forget to take the chicken breasts out of the freezer. For example: I was going to share my homemade chicken noodle soup recipe on the blog next (don't worry, it'll be up next week). However, I need to have cooked, shredded chicken. And of course... All the uncooked chicken I have is frozen. So, I thought I'd share how easy it is to cook frozen chicken in a pressure cooker!
Just because you're busy doesn't mean you have to give up doing your makeup! I'm sharing my go-to, 9-step makeup process that I can do in 15 minutes or less. It's just the right amount in the right places to make you look a little more bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (even if you don't feel like it).
This post has affiliate links. This means, I get commission for purchases or clicks made through links in this post.
- If you're like me, than you're almost always in a sleep-deprived state. To help hide that, I need my Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Concealer in the Brightener shade. This stuff is the bomb dot com (does anyone actually say that anymore...?). The salmon undertone cancels out the blueish color of my dark circles, and makes me look like I got to sleep another hour or two. I put a little bit under my eyes by my tear ducts and, using my ring finger, I blend it out to cover the majority of the dark pigments.
- Next, I use the Maybelline Fit Me Concealer. I place this under my eyes, cover up any redness around my nose, and any acne I have. This is a really good concealer for the price, and it lasts all day for me. As with the other concealer, I use my ring finger to blend this out (it's the finger with the softest touch ;) )
- I set the concealers and hide any excess oiliness I have by using Rimmel London's Stay Matte Pressed Powder in Translucent on a big fluffy brush.
- Then, I'll put on blush. This varies depending on my mood, skin tone, and the season. Typically, I'll use Wet 'n' Wild Color Icon Blush in Pearlescent Pink, Nars Blush in Orgasm, or Rodial Blush in South Beach. These are all great blush options if you're pretty fair like me.
- Once I finish with my face, I'll curl my lashes and put on mascara. Since I have very straight, stubborn lashes, I'll put on a coat of Maybelline's Volumn' Express The Rocket Waterproof Mascara in Very Black first. This has been my ride-or-die mascara for years. 10 out of 10, would recommend.
- After that dries, I'll put a coat of a washable mascara on next. Recently, I've been using L'Oreal Paris's Voluminous Mascara in Carbon Black. I like it. But... since it's a wetter mascara formula, I do find myself getting it on my eye lid almost every time I apply it. So, I'm not sure if I'll repurchase it.
- Next, it's time for brows. This can go one of two ways. If I want to take a couple minutes, I'll use an eyebrow pencil. My favorite one is the Micro Pencil by Nyx. If I'm in a rush, I'll use a tinted eyebrow gel like Benefit's Gimme Brow. Both are great options, but you get a more polished look with the pencil.
- If I feel like taking a few extra minutes, I'll use an kohl eye pencil to line my upper and lower water lines, and some matte eyeshadows on my eye lids. But in all honesty, if I'm really, truly busy and need to get out the door, I'm definitely skipping this step.
- After I'm done with makeup for my face and eyes, I'll put on some lip color. This is one of my favorite ways to dress up a normally minimalist look. Recently, I've been loving Wet 'n' Wild's Liquid Catsuit matte lipstick in Rebel Rose topped with a light-colored lipgloss.
One thing that sold me on my Instant Pot was the ability to easily make yogurt at home. It's super simple, and only take two products (milk and a starter yogurt). The process takes a whole day, but you really only need a couple hours to prep the milk before incubating it for 8-10 additional hours. Now, I can make a gallon of yogurt just how I like it for less than $2! So, in this post I'll walk you through picking the right Instant Pot to make yogurt, and how to make it.
Getting the Right Instant Pot
The pressure cooker I have is the 7-in-1 Instant Pot in the 6 quart size (yes, that's an affiliate link. Don't be scared. It just means I get commission if you buy something after clicking that link :) ). This is the lowest-priced Instant Pot version you can get that has the yogurt feature. They do have one that is less expensive, the 6-in-1 version, but it does not have the yogurt making feature.
Safety Note: There is definitely a learning curve to cooking in an electronic pressure cooker, and you need tofollow the instructions to ensure you use it correctly. I mean it is a pressure cooker... Improper use could lead to an explosion. Now don't get me wrong, these are very safe when used correctly, and it has a lot of mechanisms to make it safe. BUT! Please, please, please, if you buy one, follow the manufacturer's instructions!
Instructions on How to Make Yogurt in Your Instant Pot
What you'll need:
Instant Pot with yogurt setting (I have this one << and yes that is an affiliate link :) )
1 gallon of whole milk
4 tablespoons of yogurt with live and active cultures
To start, pour the entire gallon of milk into your Instant Pot, and put the lid on. You don't have to worry about the release valve, because the lid does not need to be sealed to make yogurt.
Next, press the "Yogurt" button followed by the "Adjust" button. It should say "boil" on the front of your Instant Pot. Leave it alone until it beeps, which takes around 30-60 minutes.
After the Instant Pot completes the boiling process and beeps, check the temperature of your milk. It should be between 180° and 185°F. If it hasn't reached that temperature with the boiling mode, don't worry. Just use the "Saute" mode on your Instant Pot and stir it regularly until it reaches a temperature between 180° and 185°F.
Once you're milk is between 180° and 185°F you need to take it out of your Instant Pot and let it cool down. You need it to be at or below 115°F. If you're not in a rush, you can just take it out, and place it on the counter. If you're like me, and don't want to wait, you can place it in an ice bath. I've seen people put them in deep baking pans full of ice, but I prefer to fill my sink up with cold water and a bunch of ice cubes.
When it's at or below 115°F take it out of the ice bath, dry off the outside of the pot, and place it back into your instant pot.
At this point you need to add your starter yogurt. If this is the first time you're making yogurt in your Instant Pot, you'll have to buy yogurt from the store that contains live and active cultures. I used the Chobani plain, non-fat Greek yogurt. However, once you've made yogurt in your Instant Pot, you can use some of your previous batch as your starter yogurt for the new one.
Measure out 4 tablespoons of your starter yogurt and whisk it into your milk for a minute or two. Then, place the top back onto your Instant Pot (you do not need to seal it), and press the "Yogurt" button so it shows 8:00 on the front. This number is how long it's set to incubate. I personally don't like very tart yogurt, so I leave it at an 8 hour incubation time. However, if you would like more tart yogurt adjust this setting to 10 hours using the "+" button. Then, leave it be until the incubation period is finished.
Voila! You've got yogurt! Now once the incubation period is done, I typically place it in the fridge for a little while to cool. However, you can take it straight from the Instant Pot and use a cheesecloth to strain out the whey (this will make it greek yogurt which is tarter), leave it as is and place it into your storage containers, and/or eat it.
I love making my own yogurt, because I don't like it to be overly tart. Plus, my husband and I can add what we want into ours. I like mine with chunky strawberry compote, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and granola. My husband uses a nut/granola mixture, honey or agave to sweeten it, along with chia seeds. We also add it to smoothies! You can find my all-time favorite smoothie recipe on the blog here. How do you like to eat your homemade yogurt?
Creating a marketing plan can seem very overwhelming. There are so many techniques to consider and data to collect before you can make a truly great marketing plan. However, when you get to the core of your a marketing plan, it can be summed up in three stages - Analyze, Budget, and Convert. By focusing on these parts, it's easier to digest the data and create an impactful plan. Now let's take a closer look at each part.
I strongly believe in using data to drive a marketing plan. This means you should understand who your target market is and where they go. That's the best way you will to get your message out in front of them. Let's be honest, I'm going to choose different places and messages if I'm selling something to me and my husband verses my parents. This is why it pays off to be very deliberate and specific about your target market, and taking the time to understand them.
To help you start analyzing your business and target audience, I made some free printable worksheets. You can download them at the link below!
Download My Free Market Analysis Worksheets
One thing I like to do is create personas. In a nutshell, this means you give a face, name and background to someone who fits in your target audience. Then, you can create a brand, message, website, social media presence, advertising, etc. by taking a step back and looking at your brand through their eyes. Most businesses' target audiences vary, so you should create a persona for each type of person you want to attract. Then, you use that persona to make the best marketing decision for each contact point you have for them.
You also need to analyze the types of places you can advertise, and who uses them. For example, you typically see younger people on Instagram while Facebook skews older. Also, there are different interactions and content layout on each. So, what you create and use for each one should be slightly different. Using the personas you made for the demographics who normally use those sites and your call to action should drive your choices for creative. Then, in the end, you can have a better, more sincere connection to the target audience on those sites.
Now, on a slightly different note, with the ever-changing options to get your message in front of people using the internet, you might not have a lot of data to go off of. However, knowing you have little to no data to use, is also a way to gage risk. Then you can decide if you want to pursue that option with the understanding that there is a potential for a huge payoff or giant loss. So, don't be afraid to do something, just because there's not data for it. Who knows?! You might be the next Zuckerberg.
This section is dependent on the type of business you have and what you're financially willing to put toward marketing. To completely serious and honest here... I will give someone with zero dollars for marketing much different advice than someone who has a million dollars. Some of it will overlap, but at the end of the day you can reach more people, much easier if you have more coin... as with most things in life: cash is king.
Don't feel discouraged if you don't have money to put toward marketing. You're lucky to be in business during the age of the internet! You can put a your own time and energy into creating ads, and still reach people. It will definitely take longer to garner a following and you need to have a greater understanding of content marketing. But! It's not impossible. I don't pay to advertise my website and blog, but somehow you found this article. By (cough, cough) analyzing my market and understanding their online habits through data, I'm able to place my content in places they already were perusing the internet.
Turning lookers into buyers is what makes marketing such a valuable investment. This is the part of a marketing plan I feel like gets lost by those who are less experienced in creating them. After you know who your market is and how you're going to get in front of them, you need to determine how you're going to get them to buy your product. As a business owner, this is something you have to be hyperaware of. Getting likes and comments on your social media is great and all. But! If you don't have a call-to-action that pushes them to the next step in the buying process, then you're not truly marketing.
You need to continuously foster relationships and build trust with current and potential consumers, whether it be online or in person. This is how you'll turn someone who is "just looking" into someone who is a loyal customer. For my website, I use social media to funnel people to site. While on my site, I offer multiple ways for someone to sign up for my newsletter (I'll leave a link for that below :) ). Once someone has signed up for my newsletter, I share helpful tips that relate to recent blog posts and new products, which I link in that newsletter if someone wants more information on the topic. This means my subscribers can stay updated on what I have on my site, and I can build good rapport as a trusted source for marketing, social media, branding, blogging, and planning/organization. So, as my website grows along with my product and service offerings, my newsletter followers will be the first to know.
As you can see, converting a consumer to a customer isn't as scary or sleazy as it sounds. Trust me, if I can do it, you can do it!
Struggling to keep track of your daily schedule? If you're like me, you feel so much better writing your schedule and to-do list down on paper than in your phone or on your computer. Whenever I feel really stressed, the first thing I do is start writing down everything swirling around in my mind. To help me out, I decided to create some simple planner pages to keep my days in order. Now they're available on my website for download.
Click the links below to download these easy-to-use PDF worksheets that print on standard letter-sized paper today!
This is the easiest banana bread recipe I have found. Making banana bread is great way to stop wasting bananas that are super brown and extra ripe. Even if you don't want to eat it right that minute, you can easily bake it, freeze it, and then thaw it when you want to eat later. My favorite part is that if I do have a few very ripe banana, I can pull all the other ingredients out of my pantry and fridge to whip this up.
- 3 very ripe bananas
- 1/3 cup melted butter
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 3/4 cup sugar (1/2 cup if you would like it less sweet, 1 cup if more sweet)
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
- Optional: 1/2 cup chopped nuts (I prefer walnuts)
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- Butter a 4x8-inch loaf pan.
- In a mixing bowl, mash the ripe bananas with a fork until completely smooth. Stir the melted butter into the mashed bananas.
- Mix in the baking soda and salt. Stir in the sugar, beaten egg, and vanilla extract. Mix in the flour.
- Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour at 350°F, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and let cool.
- Then, slice, serve and enjoy!
Original recipe by Simply Recipe
If you don't already know, I hate oranges. But! I love smoothies. After combing Pinterest for recipes, I found out it was really hard to find a smoothie recipe that didn't use orange juice. So after a little experimenting, it came up with this concoction. This is hands down my favorite smoothie, and it's loosely based off my go-to one from Topical Smoothie, the Kiwi Quencher.
What you'll need:
This recipe makes 2 servings
- 1 fresh banana
- 2 ripe kiwis
- 1 cup frozen strawberries
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup regular almond milk
- a blender
First, I peel the banana, scoop out the kiwi insides, and put them in the blender. Next, I add my yogurt and almond milk. Then, I add the frozen strawberries. Finally, I blend them up, poor into a cup, and enjoy! :)
One of my go-to hairstyles is soft curls. I use a 1" curling iron and curl away from my face. It's really easy, and with practice I can curl my hair in 15 to 20 minutes. I love this look so much I did it for my engagement photos, college graduation, and bridal shower. If you want to see how I do it, watch the video below.