pepper-steak

It’s surprising that I have yet to share this recipe on the blog. We make this meal at least 3 times a month, if not more, because it’s The Beard’s favorite meal to eat and to prepare. Based on our work schedules he has the opportunity to make dinner least twice a week. I know that when he’s in charge Pepper Steak will make its way onto our table. I’m not complaining because it’s delicious and a good recipe to have when you need a quick dinner. It takes no time at all and can literally be made with everything you likely have on hand. Serve it on rice, or rice noodles(my favorite) and you have a complete meal.

You’ll need:

  • 12oz round beef cut into thin strips
  • 3tbsp and 4 tsp of low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice wine
  • 5 tsp vegetable oil
  • 3 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 medium onion cut into strips
  • 2 bell peppers cut into thin strips
  • crushed red pepper flakes
  • pepper to taste

In a bowl combine 4 tsp soy sauce, 1 tsp corn starch and 1 tbsp rice wine. Slice the meat into thin slices, almost as if you’re making meat for fajitas. Place into the bowl and set aside to marinade. Heat a wok or pan on high with 3 tsp vegetable oil and add your meat. Cook for a few minutes, turing the pieces over until they are browned. Remove the meat and add in your veggies with the remaining oil. While the peppers and onions cook down, combine the remaining soy sauce and cornstarch into a bowl. Once the peppers and onions have soften, add the meat back in with the soy sauce mixture. Let cook for a few minutes allowing the sauce to thicken.

When serving, sprinkle with pepper and crushed red pepper flakes to taste. Maybe even a little cilantro because that’s our favorite way to top it off.

Within the past week I saw an increase in the amount of visitors to our site and our Facebook page. It started off as a sweet push from my husband to remind everyone that we are here and what I do with my downtime (aside from a full time job, wife, momma) and keeping this blog afloat. I felt full of love that he, one who never gets on Facebook, wanted to help us out. This little side blog of mine is starting to flourish and become more than I ever expected. It started off as a whim to cure my boredom and start a hobby that could be uniquely mine.  I always enjoyed writing, secretly, and finally found a passion that I never knew existed. From what began as a random assortment of thoughts, pictures and my daily life turned into this well oiled machine that found its groove and kept on moving.

Overtime I wanted more for this little blog. I found my favorite daily reads from blogs and wanted ours to be just as special. But when you’re competing against a group of people all doing the same-ish thing with the same type of goal in mind, you don’t really stand out. As unique as I felt we were/are, it wasn’t enough. I wasn’t about to sell myself out and start advertising on our site and going by means of desperateness…this was never a money making venture in the beginning nor is it now. I just wanted people to read and relate to the content we put out. Along the way I found Julia who has not only become my blog-business partner but a great friend. We bonded over the same issues and issues that plagued our blogs and had the same passions of wanting to be unique and stand out. She’s been a huge supporter of my content and part of my success – without her weekly How She’d Wear It posts I don’t think I would have some of the viewers that I do. It’s crazy how when you are searching to stand out above the rest you can find someone that struggles just as much and you bond over it and then become each others cheerleaders.

Now to present day: my husband supporting the blog on his Facebook and our readership growing in the matter of a few days. It hit me – why not do a giveaway. As Julia put it, who doesn’t love free shit? This kind of goes back to the not being desperate idea but I felt that we were well on our way to something special. The more people understand my vision, my life and our content, the more they could relate and hopefully stick around for daily and weekly reads. So a giveaway was born and I took to Facebook to get it started. I was going for 100 Facebook Page Likes before we would start our giveaway. An added incentive to help grow our readership but make people happy in the process.

The response was overwhelming. In my mind I imagined it would take a few weeks to reach 100. In just 3 short days the goal was achieved. 3 days! We went from 58 likes to 100 in 3 days. I am overwhelmed with so many emotions – happiness, joy and love. 100 Likes may not seem like a large number but for me it’s a huge milestone. So this giveaway is well worth it!

Now for the good stuff that everyone’s been waiting for. The free stuff! The one thing that stood out to me was hair product. Half of this blogging duo deals with hair on a daily basis and it only seemed right to pull from his work life. I could pull from mine but then you all would be left with school desks and chairs – not as exciting. It’s been mentioned in our Must Haves post previously and quite possibly my products of the summer…

giveaway

Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Oil Shampoo + Conditioner

We’re talking full size product, no travel sizes here

 

To enter:

  • select one or all of the options in the handy widget below. I would hope if you choose “leave a comment” you leave something other than “hey girl” but I’ll take it! Do all or one of the options below – but obviously the more you do the better chance you have a winning
  • the giveaway period will close on Thursday September 11th at 11:59pm PST for all my west coast people. Then I will wake up bright and early (with the baby) on Friday September 12th and announce the winner on our Facebook page and here on the blog as well
  • this giveaway is open to all readers and viewers – minus my husband. He’s the hair product supplier and doesn’t really need to win this giveaway

If you are lucky enough to win you’ll be contacted by me personally and will have one week from the day contact to email your shipping address to [email protected] If you don’t contact me within the week (7 calendar days to be exact) then I will have to move on to the next lucky winner.

Easy enough?

Good luck and may the odds be forever in your favor…or your hairs favor!

This week marks my official first full week back at work after Ava’s arrival. Along with returning to work I was greeted with a promotion (!!!!) which I haven’t secretly withheld on purpose but rather the opposite. I’m not one to brag and I’m pretty humble about these situations. But my Friday Favorite’s this week revolve around the grown-up desk accessories because yes…I now have an office! This is big, grown-up stuff right here. Right now it’s a collection of Ava’s pictures, random cups and piles of papers that I’m still trying to sort through. I want pretty things in my new fancy space. When I think of fancy office pieces I instantly think of Kate Spade. You may not know that the brand extends beyond clothing, handbags and shoes, to include finer things like dinnerware, home décor and yes even office space accessories. It’s all of the girly things you can dream of without over indulging in pink, glitter and fluff. This is my version of back-to-school shopping and I can’t get enough. Now if only I could create a “new office” registry to finish up my new space.

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In the haze of mix and match prints there doesn’t seem to be hope for matching and coordinating prints these days. Is it too much to ask for an occassional coordinate print set?  Don’t get me wrong, I love a great contrast with prints such as stripes and florals. But it all can be too much at times. Matching prints is a great take on the traditional twin set without looking like your grandmother straight out of the 80′s. It became a huge fashion faux pas in the past but this trend is currently on the rise. The look mimics a dress, a romper or even a jumpsuit. A full body outfit of one pattern or texture is a bold yet powerful move. It’s the perfect date night, happy hour or even business casual look.

This trend dominated the Spring/Summer 2014 Ready-To-Wear looks in the Mara Hoffmann, J.Crew and Michael Kors shows. It was also famously worn by Miranda Kerr when she showcased the Escada Hyacinthprinted cardigan and pencil skirt. I mean, if Miranda Kerr can pull it off then we can too, right? You don’t have to pay high end designer prices like Miranda because affordable matching coordinates are a click away. Nordstrom, TOPSHOP and ASOS are just a few of the places you can find a great variety of matching prints. Are you daring enough to pull of this trend?

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from left to right

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It’s finally Friday and I for one couldn’t be happier. I’m ready to unwind and not think about work for at least two days.  Let’s just get into the fun portion of this post…

Favorite New Blog/Tumblr

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“WE WOULDN’T LET HIM DRINK WHISKEY”

This tumblr is genius! Of all the times kids cry it really is over silly things. Another one of my favorites is “we wouldn’t let him drown in this pond” as the kid is crying with a pond in the background…because you know that kid tried to take off running towards that beautiful pond because he probably thought it was a toy store. Check this out even if you don’t have kids because you will get a good laugh or two.

Favorite Cat Inspiration

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Favorite Home Office Inspiration

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Favorite New Song

Paramore – I’m Still Into You

Happy Friday! Make sure to share or comment on YOUR favorite thing of the week.

springcleaning

We live in a very modest one bedroom/one bathroom apartment. Tipping the scales at just 783 square feet, we have had to adjust with most of the “basics” and to get creative. We don’t have too much storage so we rely on our generous parents to help store some of the holiday decorations and out of season items. When it comes to Spring Cleaning we are both excited because it means time to clean and time to purge.  The Beard is an avid cleaner and honestly enjoys a day off where he can clean our apartment. He can give Martha a run for her money!

Now that spring is upon us, we decided to tackle the chore of cleaning and reorganizing our little space. For all of the Spring Cleaning checklists that are out there, I didn’t find much that helped in the way of small spaces. Sure we can all afford to clean our windows, door hardware, oven and defrost the freezer. But what about those of us that need to reorganize our closet and move winter clothes out and summer clothes in? What do we do when there isn’t closet space and clothes need to come out? Or what about that extra bedding we need to switch out since the cold months have passed?

I decided it was the perfect time to get to thinking and come up with my own checklist. Of course there are the yearly routine things to do but then what about the extras? Take a look at some of the ideas I came up with.

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By far the easiest room in the apartment (it’s also the smallest).  This part of your living space should be the quickest to mark off your list.

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The dreaded bedroom! This room is one I avoid because it needs non stop attention. While it may not be the most time consuming (the kitchen is in my opinion) it is very detailed. If you’re like us, you have to change out your cold weather bedding for your warm weather bedding. Then it’s time to tackle washing all the bed linens and things, which can take a few hours. After that it’s time to start on the dressers and closets. It really is key to take everything out of your drawers so you get a chance to refold, reorganize and pitch the things you don’t want.

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My biggest problem – space saving! I don’t move too many clothes to storage but there are more dresses/skirts and lightweight tops that I pull out to be in my direct line of sight. Those extra pieces? I use SPACEBAGS! Seriously, this stuff is genius and the best product for small apartment dwellers like myself. We have extra bedding, winter coats, and heavier winter items stored in these bags under our bed. It tends to only take up half of the under bed space, and we’re left with more space if needed. My second trick – a hope chest in my closet. We got lucky in that our closets were deep enough to fit my hope chest. This guy houses extra bags, pillows, hats, odds and ends and other things that I want to access quicker than opening a SPACEBAG. At the end of the day, what I don’t wear, I donate. There is no use holding on to a sweater that I didn’t wear all summer only to take up more space and then not wear it again next winter.

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I wish I could leave the kitchen for The Beard. Actually, I don’t think he would mind it. The Kitchen consumes most of your time and stress because there is so much! And think about all the times when you cook, and that mysterious spill occurs and you have no idea where the drips led too. It’s probably a good idea to find out and clean up the mess, even if it is months later. This is another area of the house where we need just a bit more space. Going through our cabinets, cleaning and reorganizing allowed us to reconfigure our stuff and make better use of the space we had.

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Finally, the living room! If you’re anything luck us, you spend a lot of time in this room. Not only is it the place where we watch tv, but it’s a make shift office, library, dining room, and sometimes bedroom when we have our littlest friends over for a slumber party. This is the part of the apartment that gathers the most “crap” and needs to be tended too every week. Even with the constant upkeep, it needs a little extra love at the beginning of the spring. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to pull out your couch, vacuum behind it and find out what your cat has been hiding since Christmas. Be smart about how you use and maximize your space. Bins and baskets are a great way to hide the stuff you don’t use everyday but like to have handy (especially video games and dvd’s). Extra magazines lying around? Donate them or recycle them.

I hope this simple guide helps those of you that suffer with small space/square footage issues. Or even for those people that just need a little help in how to clean your space this spring. You never know what you’ll find when you’re cleaning out drawers and old purses…

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The-Makeup-Lady

Spring has sprung and bare leg weather is upon us. If you’re like me and you’re legs haven’t seen the light of day in ages and you’re afraid those pasty stems will blind small children, then fear not! I have a super simple self-tanning process that will get you spring/summer ready in no time. It’s so simple, that there are only 3 steps and it’s practically foolproof.

I have spent YEARS trying out different self-tanners and have been satisfied with quite a few. But when things went wrong, I was quick to blame the product rather than my prep process. It’s so important to prep your skin for self-tanning or you will end up looking like an Oompa Loompa.

step-one

This should go without saying, but you would be surprised how many people just throw self-tanner on without exfoliating. Guilty part of one right here! I always notice a difference with the application and how the color develops if I do not exfoliate prior. So hop in the shower and scrub away. This is not only great to do for tanning but just in general. Out with the winter dry patchy skin, and hello to the bright, smooth spring skin. Don’t be afraid to spend a little extra time in the shower to make sure you exfoliate all over and get every little bit of your skin. Don’t scrub too hard! You want to leave your skin intact!

step-two

Next up, moisturize! But DO NOT MOISTURIZE ALL OVER. Pick the small areas that are naturally dry – elbows, knees, ankles, feet, fingers….If you have self-tanned before, these are the areas that tend to look more “orange”.  I know it may be habit to hop out of the shower and moisturize all over. Just this one time, don’t do it. You need the self-tanner to really penetrate your skin and you won’t achieve the best results if you apply lotion all over your body. Again, just the small dry parts will do. Let it absorb completely before moving on to the third and final step.

step-three

Don’t be scared as I know the application of the self-tanner can be intimidating. I like to use a gradual tanner, like Jergens natural Glow (don’t worry, it doesn’t smell like burnt skin anymore!) and build my color as the week progresses. Even if you are using an instant tanner, or tanning wipes, this process is still the same. Start with a small section, such as your lower leg and begin applying the tanner. Work it around well getting to each and every section. Once you finish an area, move on to the next. It’s literally that easy! Just don’t try to do your entire leg, arm or back at once. Small sections at a time.

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– Don’t over apply. There is a point where you can apply to much, even with a gradual color tanning product.

– Wash your hands after each section or wear gloves. This can help from keeping the palms of your hands from turning orange.

– Apply a small dab on the back of your left/right hand, take the other non-lotioned hand facing back of hand to back of hand, and rub around spreading the tanner over the back side of both hands and fingers. This is the easiest way to get your hands tan without using your fingers.

– Re-apply every few days. Most self-tanners should last you a 5-7 days, if not longer.

– After tanning, try to wait at least 24 hours before showering. I always find you want that color to really penetrate and develop to it’s maximum potential before showering and rinsing off the excess.

– Wait before getting dressed. Most products are quick-dry but you can never be too safe. The last thing you want is to stain that new white cotton sundress with self-tanner.

– Apply tanner to your face if you want. I personally don’t only because my face is super sensitive to most products. If you wish to apply the product to your face, work from the outside in. This makes it easier to blend, spread and obtain a more natural look.

– Want to apply the product to your back? Grab a partner, friend or someone close that will follow the steps above and help get the product applied evenly to your back.

– Mists and Mousses are a great product to try is you have mastered the art of self-tanning. If you’re not a pro yet, stick to the lotions. It’s easier to learn and easier to control.

 

Check out some other graet self-tanners below!

HSWI-April

This ‘How She’d Wear It’ floral post is entirely inspired by Coachella and all the floral wearing festival goers. I’m totally fascinated by the concert scene and what outfits people come up with, but especially at Coachella which seems have a culture of its own. That indie, hippie, rocker vibe all rolled into one. But even if you aren’t going to a music festival, you can tap into this modern flower child trend (with or without the flower crown) and channel your inner Kate Bosworth or Alexa Chung.

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1. Madewell The Jean Jacket

2. Report Jessica Black and White D’Orsay Pointed Flats

3. Topshop Ditsy Floral Flippy Dress

This was inspired by Clueless and the tiny floral babydoll dresses of the 90s. You could wear undone doc martens and go grunge or you could step into 2013 with graphic d’orsay flats. It’s casual but cute, and if you’re like me and not daring enough to sport a crop top,  this would be a super comfortable option. What can I say? I like things simple. And I’m shy about my ripped up 8 pack.

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1. Ruche Sweet Perfume Floral Dress

2. Topshop Straw Shorter Brim Fedora

3. Ray-Ban Icons Sunglasses

4. Sperry Women’s Anchor Infinity Scarf

5. Zara Studded Thong Sandals

Is it summer yet? Cause this outfit demands sunshine. So why the scarf? Because it isn’t summer, it’s spring. No need to bare everything just yet. Plus, it makes the outfit less tropical and vacationy. It becomes an outfit instead of something to wear to the beach. What I love about this combination is that it could easily be layered if the weather turned sour. Bring along rainboots and cargo jacket and you’re good to go for anything.

1. Rock ‘n’ Rose Annie Oversized Floral Crown Head Band

2. Rag & Bone Harrow Booties

3. Topshop Floral Crop Vest By Escapology

4. AE Destroyed Festival Shortie

Crop top, cut-offs, boots, and flower crowns make up the exact outfit I imagine seeing at a music festival. I had to show you the outfit of my imagination even if I wouldn’t be ballsy enough to wear it. Vanessa Hudgens would wear something like this and I must say that I would die for those boots. They’re gorgeous. I know I posted a flower crown in here but seriously guys, you can make your own! It’s a lot of fun to make your own, plus you can make whatever you want. Massive blooms or just enough to make it look like you’re a daisy chain pro. BTW there are a gazillion DIY‘s out there for flower crowns.

– Julia of Style and Cheek

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Does anyone else dread Mondays? That question was slightly rhetorical as I feel EVERY dislikes MONDAYS. The weekend is over, your back on the work grind and having to take a peep of the sunny weather through a crack in the work window blinds.

I am constantly brainstorming ideas for the blog and always feeling a need for a change. This new layout has kept me content since March. I’m not bored of it yet and don’t plan on changing it anytime soon. I’m always so hard on myself and strive for perfection in this blog of mine/ours. The look is something that will resonate with any viewer and new reader and I always want something that stands out but that truly speaks to who we are. Sure I could hire some creative to overhaul our page, but I don’t think I’m quite there yet. Besides, I like the self-taught methods of my photoshop skills and creating as I go. It keeps my more hands on which gives me greater satisfaction at the end of the day. There are a few minor things in the works that hopefully you will look forward to. Again, nothing major, but more fun headers for blog posts and more pictures, because who doesn’t love pictures!?!

What does this all mean for you?

Well, I would love feedback. I’m a silent reader myself so it’s hard for me to say “leave comments please!” because I understand the feeling and need to read blogs and never comment. As a young bebie blogger I truly love seeing the stats of this site increase week over week. But there is always just something missing when it comes to what our readers want. Hey, maybe I have just hit the nail on the head and you all don’t need to point anything out, which I highly doubt is true….

So I have made this promise to myself that I will start commenting on other blog posts (not my own) in hopes that in return some of you dear readers will leave comments for me as well. If you love something, let me know. If you would like to see me/us do something, leave a comment below. Or if you absolutely hate something, let us know too because we all know that change can do you good at times. I promise I won’t judge and I will be open to all comments. Give us some love and let us know how we are doing, or what you like.

I’m looking forward to the week ahead and all the great posts we have coming for you to read!

When I made changes to the blog, I never really pointed out the different ways to find, follow and stalk us out. Maybe you’re clever and stalk our page enough and figured out where and what we are up to.

For a little slice of our life we are in many different locations on the fabulous internetz doing many different things

Facebook for daily posts, pictures and updates when we have them.

Pinterest because everyone likes to get Pinterest crazy. Thank you Wedding planning…

Tumblr for all the quirky fun things that I can’t share on the blog all the time.

Twitter for when I have the occasional funny moment.

Instagram  for tons of food and cat pictures and the random pics of me in an adult onesie.

Bloglovin‘ if you want to follow us on a daily basis and because Google reader is going bye-bye.

RSS Feed because I think is still useful and I think I set it up correctly. I think…