Wednesday, February 18, 2015

refresh voxbox!

I recently received a Voxbox from Influenster!
This is a program I signed up for where I receive products for free for testing purposes, then review.  I really enjoyed getting this box- a lot of products I will actually use, and so far, I really like all of them!

I'll start out with the chips.  Beanitos are made from all beans and baked, not fried.  The texture is a little different than potato chips- not quite as crispy, but the flavor was good and they were not greasy at all.  They were actually pretty filling too, which was a nice change from empty calories from chips!

The facial cream from L'Occitane is nice- the retail price for a 1.7 oz container is about $28 bucks, which is a little expensive- I liked it, but didn't notice much of a difference than my Oil of Olay other than the smell (and I happen to like the Olay smell...).  It felt good going on, and didn't leave any film which is nice!

I think my favorite thing out of the box is the Covergirl Ultrasmooth foundation!  I am not a foundation girl... only for fancy occasions do I bust out full coverage stuff- I am more of a tinted moisturizer fan.  This though, I liked.  After a full days wear, it got a little greasy, but the coverage was great.  It came with this goofy little silicone applicator that I kind of laughed at at first, but I actually really like it!  It helps smooth, and because it doesn't absorb any of the makeup, I used very little and got really good coverage.  I was impressed, and will be finding more excuses to wear a touch more makeup!  Well done, Covergirl!

The dental hygiene stuff was great- I am not a good flosser- I just get annoyed with the process, so the DenTek flossers and Listerine pocket packs were great!  I can throw them in my purse, and everything is the right size... great for date nights, or impromptu meetings with friends!

Thanks, Influenster for the great testing supplies!  Love finding new brands and products I wouldn't have necessarily tried myself!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Miracle mani

I recently received a promotion from Sally Hansen- the miracle mani no-uv light gel manicure nail polish. I am hard on my nails- if I get a few days without chips, I am pretty pleased!
Sally Hansen advertises it can last up to 2 weeks, but I only got a week, but honestly, that week the polish held up pretty well! 2 chips and visible nail growth which rarely happens for me.

The polish goes on easily and 2 coats was enough coverage. The topcoat feels thick, but after a few minutes on the back porch with the pup in ther sun, and my nails were hard!
The best part is removal is easy- my least favorite part of an actual gel manicure. Came off like regular nail polish.

Overall, I really recommend this! Next step is to try the topcoat with other polishes and see how it works

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

{the most wonderful bread EVER}

i have been in a battle lately.  i want to feel like a real woman, and in my strange mind, a real woman is one who can make bread from scratch.  the past few weeks, i have lost.  between unrisen (read DENSE) bread and pizza, my poor husband ate some pretty rough dinners.

in my hate for yeast, i started adding 'easy' to my bread searches.

glory be, i found one!  and i will continue to make this bread weekly.  #1- it is cheap. it literally has 4 ingredients. #2- it is easy. mix and let sit for 12-18 hours (so the only downside is it requires a bit of planning, but the upside is it requires little skill baking typically requires). #3- it looks super impressive when you're done, and tastes great too!!!!

ok. so here's your instructions.

mix 6 cups of flour, 1/2 teaspoon of yeast, 2 1/2 teaspoons of salt and 2 2/3 cups of cool water (hallelujah i don't have to figure out what temperature makes yeast happy!).  just mix everything together and cover it with plastic wrap and leave it on your counter for 12-18 hours.  after it's sat a good long time, use flour and cover your hands and a surface and kneed it a bit, working it into a ball.  let that sit on a floured towel *not terrycloth (unless you want a massive mess) and cover with another towel for 1 1/2 hours. in the last 30 minutes, put a cast iron pot (make sure your lid is oven safe) in a cold oven and preheat to 425.  when the oven is preheated, take your pot out, dump your dough in, being careful of flour flying everywhere, and bake at 425 for 40-50 minutes.  uncover and bake another 5-15 minutes, depending how brown you like your bread.  take the bread out of the pot and let it cool on a wire rack, and enjoy your amazingly delicious, homemade bread that caused no stress!

Monday, June 24, 2013

{a dinner with the banta's}

We are attempting to eat a little more vegetarian around our house. Trying to be slightly more healthy. One of my best friends, Malorie, convinced me to try quinoa. I was a bit skeptical, but she told me she loved it, so I got some, and Ian bravely tried it with me. We love it! We consistently eat this, so I figured I would share the recipe I came up with.

Take the quinoa and follow the directions to cook it. While it is cooking, cook some shrimp (we had Key West shrimp in honor of our honeymoon tonight), cut up some cilantro, and half an avocado.  When the quinoa is almost done, add those ingredients, as well as a clove of garlic finely chopped, some salt and pepper to taste, and some chili powder (or anything spicy you may like). Finish it off with some lime juice and some mango salsa (mangos, onion, garlic, jalapeƱos, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper) and some tortilla chips to add some crunch. It's for real delicious and super healthy!

Let me know if you try it!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

{life after wedding}

we are home!!!!! and settling into our home as husband and wife, and it's pretty great. i recommend marriage :)

our wedding was perfect- thank you to so many friends and family who helped pull it off!  it was everything ian and i could have wanted and more.  we are so blessed by the many friends and family who joined us to celebrate!  to say we are thankful is to put it lightly.

our honeymoon was so much fun.  prior to the wedding, i was much more concerned about the weather on our big day (not that i would have been upset if it rained- we had plans for rainboots and umbrellas!), but a few days before leaving while packing for the honeymoon, i checked key west's weather. RAIIIIIIN. we promptly packed rain jackets. which turned out to be a good thing.

let me preface this by saying key west has the best weather of any of the tropics. it has never gotten below 40 degrees (they cancelled school when this happened), and has never gotten into triple digits. it also only rains 30-40 days of the year, and those are usually sprinkles.  well, we got a rare view of 3 full days of rain in key west. tropical storm andrea hit while we were there!  we didn't let it stop us.  we still explored the hemingway house, the southernmost point, and picked out all the places we'd eat all week while it was raining. we got to see the butterfly conservatory, feed sharks and stingrays at the aquarium, and even went to the beach in the rain.  it was perfect, really!

the last few days, the sun came out and typical key west showed us her side.  our favorite part of the trip was an ecotour with the man who ran our bed and breakfast we stayed at.  we went out to a private island (until the boy scouts showed up...), found awesome seashells, snorkeled a bit, and found dolphins that swam right up to our boat and hung out for about 30 minutes! one of the coolest things i've ever experienced- they wanted to see us and check us out... crazy! sadly, i had dropped my camera in a wave, so we didn't get any really close-up pictures of the dolphins (the onces you see are from our boat captain), but it was an experience i will never forget!

they got even closer than this! literally touched our boat

one of the neatest parts of our vacation!

our loot

now life is starting to feel normal... i'm back to working a few hours a week doing home health, we're organizing our new home (praise the Lord i married an organizer!), and life is good!

hope you enjoy a few pictures we didn't post on facebook :)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


life is so full of changes right now. it is fun and exciting :)

our count down is 11 days right now.  in true kellie and ian form, we started comparing our wedding countdown in relation to an NBA game.  we started the countdown at 48 days til the wedding, and sectioned it out into quarters. we're a weird couple, but it works. all of a sudden, we're in the final quarter. all major details are done (we think and hope!), and now we just get to get excited!

we also moved most of our stuff into our new town home.  that was an adventure in itself.  i am not an organized person. it is one of the many traits of ians that i hope to adopt. i also brought most of the furniture and appliance-type things, so my move from my little one bedroom place was a little daunting. luckily, we had lots of help from friends and family, and got everything from my house, and the big things from ian's house over in 1 trip!
the adventure came when i realized there was no water on in the house, although the water company assured us it was on. it wasn't. until today.  i felt like i was camping in my house, which was ok for day one and two, but by day 3 and 4, i was done.  crisis averted, the people at the water company felt bad for poor little me and sent someone over to turn the switch today.
now comes the fun of organizing everything.

tomorrow is also my last day of work for the year! i am so looking forward to just sleeping in. i have big plans on thursday to spend my day in bed catching up on tv shows i've missed and sleeping in as late as i want!

t-minus 11 days. 11 days until i marry my best friend.  11 days until i get to share this big house with a roommate.  11 days until i live with a boy!!!! so thankful for this season and all it taught me :)  thankful for the man God blessed me with

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


please let me start off this post with a statement that i am not against plastic surgery or changing one's look.  i know people go through changes for all sorts of reasons.  this post is simply about my eye-opening experience yesterday, and prayers for girls/women everywhere.

my eyes were opened yesterday to why plastic surgery can be addicting for some women.  i went to the dentist for a cleaning yesterday.  a simple cleaning, with questions of possible whitening for my upcoming wedding.  i left and cried the hardest i have cried in months.  a cry that came from the inside, one of feeling inadequate and not good enough.

it seems silly, looking back with a good night's rest, and some chats with my mama, some friends, and ian.  it seems silly. but i know it's also not silly at all.

i left the dentist, after simply wanting to know if i could use white strips, feeling like i had the worst smile on the face of the earth.  my teeth were literally 'picked apart', and i was told i needed everything from i need professional whitening, to veneers (nothing against them- i know lots of people need them for more permanent whitening solutions or they inherited 'great' teeth, just that my teeth structure is perfectly fine), to replacement caps on my molars, to gap reduction and a periodontal appointment.  i left feeling about 2 feet tall.

this made me feel even smaller, because prior to going, i had put a little extra makeup on, i had my new fun glasses on, and a cute outfit.  i felt good.  i left feeling like none of it mattered.

i realized how blessed i am.  i have been told all my life i am beautiful.  my parents told me, my mom was never self-conscious about her beauty, and therefore, passed it along to me, my friends always built me up, and i'm marrying a man who thinks i look beautiful when i'm not wearing makeup, or trying particularly hard.
i realized not everyone is as blessed as that, and that made me sad.

like i said, i can see how plastic surgery is addicting, because people start pointing out things that aren't 'perfect', and giving you solutions to look 'perfect'.  without even meaning to, they can break you down to a point of desperation and pain, but give you solutions to 'fix' what is 'wrong' with you.

today i'm thankful that i know God created me the way he wants me.  i may not be perfect by the world's standards.  i may be too short, too small in some areas, too big in others, my body is not perfect, my skin is not perfect, i have my flaws, but i know GOD MADE MY FLAWS.  if we were all 'perfect', we wouldn't have the things God made us to have to be unique.

i want reality to be like the dove commercials where women are celebrated for being different and unique.

please know, if you read this, you are beautiful.  you may think you have your flaws, but honestly, we are our toughest critic.  most people don't notice the tiny gap, or the off-centered whatever.  they see you.  they see the person God made you to be.
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