Elle's Easy Thai Quinoa

Elle's Easy Thai Quinoa 

1/2 cup quinoa, cook according to directions
1/3 cup julienned carrots
1/3 cup shelled edamame
1/3 cup chopped green onions
Optional: chicken, chopped (I use Trader Joe’s Just Chicken)

2 Tbsp sweet chili sauce
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp canned coconut milk
1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp peanut butter
1 garlic clove
1 Tbsp reallime juice
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 cup chopped peanuts
1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro

Combine sauce ingredients together in a bowl.
Add in chicken, carrots, edamame and green onions, stirring to combine. Taste and season with a little salt and pepper if needed. Top with peanuts and cilantro.

Use Up Back-Up Stash (B.U.S.) for Make-Up

I realized that I was using a bit of everything and not using up anything.  I decided to start this Use Up Back-up Stash (B.U.S.) for 2 reasons:

1) to make me organize/inventory what I have
2) to make me aware of how much I have

This is not a no-buy as I can buy whatever I want but, it has to go into the Back-Up Stash.  I have to use something up before I can bring something out of the B.U.S.

These products do NOT include what is in my regular stash and current rotation and I have kept out a lot!  That means I have to use up at least 1 item in order to pull out an equivalent item from the B.U.S.

B.U.S. Inventory for Make-Up Products as of July 2014 (with 4 pictures/videos to hold me accountable!)

NYX Stay Matte But Not Flat Powder Foundation
Milani Cream to Powder Make-U Warm Beige
Neutrogena Healthy Skin in Nude
Bourjois Healthy Mix in Light Beige
Revlon Colorstay Combination Oily Skin 250 Fresh Beige
Revlon Age Defying 30 Spice Beige
Revlon Age Defying 20 Soft Beige
E.L.F. Foundation in Porcelain
E.L.F. Foundation in Porcelain
NYX Invincible in Porcelain
Cover Girl + Olay 225 
Rimmel Lasting Finish 100 Ivory
Rimmel Lasting Finish 200 Soft Beige
CoverGirl Smoothers Buff Beige
CoverGirl Smoothers Creamy Beige
CoverGirl 3-in-1 Buff Beige
Palladio Wet & Dry Foundation Cypress Beige
Hard Candy Glow All The Way Glamazon Bronze

Bronzers, Powders & Highlighters
E.L.F. Bronzer St Lucia
E.L.F. Bronzer Turks & Caicos
E.L.F. Bronzer Warm
Wet N Wild Starlight Bronzer
Rimmel Bronzer Sunlight
Physician's Formula Youth Wear Powder Beige
Jordana Forever Flawless Powder Creamy Beige
Milani Multitasking Powder Tan
Wet N Wild Reserve Your Cabana

Face Primers & Concealers
2 x Monistat Chafing Powder Gel
E.L.F. Mineral Face Primer
Garnier Anti Dark Circle Concealer
E.L.F. Corrector in Yellow
2 x NYC Coverstick in Light
Maybelline Age Rewind in Fair
NYC Concealer in Light
Maybelline FitMe Concealer
Essence Cream Concealer

Mascara Brows & Liners
25 Eyeliner Pencils
4 Liquid Eyeliners
3 Eye Primers
8 Mascaras
4 Gel Eyeliners
5 Eyebrow Pencils
2 x Milani Brow Powders
2 Jordana Eye Shadows
NYX Blush in Taupe
Maybelline Shadow in Linen
Maybelline Shadow in Champagne Fizz
2 x Wet N Wild Shadows in Nutty
Wet N Wild Egyptian Sands Eyeshadow
Wet N Wild Cool As A Cucumber Eyeshadow
Jordana Eye Pencil in Eternal White
NYX Eye Pencil in Milk
2 x E.L.F. Under Eye Primer
Maybelline Eyeshadow Primer
Essence I♥Stage Eyeshadow Primer
Jordana Eyeshadow Primer

Use Up Back-Up Stash (B.U.S.) for Face & Hair Products

I realized that I was using a bit of everything and not using up much of anything.  I decided to start this Use Up Back-up Stash (B.U.S.) for 2 reasons:

1) to make me organize/inventory what I have
2) to make me aware of how much I have

This is not a no-buy as I can buy whatever I want but, it has to go into the Back-Up Stash.  I have to use something up before I can bring something out of the B.U.S.

These products do NOT include what is in my regular stash and current rotation and I have kept out a lot!  That means I have to use up at least 1 item in order to pull out an equivalent item from the B.U.S.

B.U.S. Inventory for Face & Hair Products as of July 2014 (with 2 videos to hold me accountable!)

Shower Body Products
2 x Caress Passionate Spell Body Wash
Bliss Blood Orange Body Wash
Philosophy Hazelnut Espesso Body Wash
Bliss Blood Orange Sugar Scrub
Trader Joe's Lavender Salt Scrub
Yardley Oatmeal & Almond Soap

Hair Shower Products
Vatika Olive Hair Oil
Suave Almond & Shea Butter Shampoo and Infusion Conditioner
2 x Shimmering Lights Brunette & Red Shampoo 16 oz
Suave Almond & Shea Butter Condition
Loreal Triple Resist Shampoo
Loreal Triple Resist Conditioner 1.7 fl oz
Giovannie Brazilian Keratin & Argan Oil shampoo
Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Conditioner
Coconut Oil Deep Repair Masque
Hair Chemist Macadamia Oil Deep Repair Masque
Garnier Fructis Triple Nurtition 3 minute Conditioner

After Shower Hair Products
Paul Mitchell Leave In Conditioner 33.8 oz
5 x Paul Mitchell Freeze & Shine Super Spray 33.5 oz
Perfect Purity Extra Hold Volumizing Mousse
April Hair Mousse
Motions Foaming Wrap Lotion
Tresemme #4 Mousse
2 x Loreal Boost It High Life Creation Spray
2 x Loreal Boost It Blow Out Heatspray
Garnier Fructis Style Putty
Beyond The Zone Wax It Up
Garnier Fructis Marvelous Oil Deep Nourish
Not Your Mother's Clean Freak Dry Shampoo

Face Products
2 x ROC Retinol Deep Wrinkle Night Cream
Roc  MAX Resurfacing Facial Cleanser
ROC Daily Resurfacing Disks Cleansing Pads
2 x Aloe Vera & Vitamin E Baby Oil
2 x Loreal Go 360 Clean Deep Cleanser
St Ives Apricot Scrub
Garnier Smoothing Cream Cleanser
Olay Regenerist Night Resurfacing Elixer
Olay Regenerist Micro Sculpting Serum
Loreal Youth Code Texture Perfector

St Ives Skin Renewing Collagen Body Lotion
St Ives Coconut Milk & Orchid Extract Moisturizing Spray
Vaseline Cocoa Radiant Lotion
Bliss Blood Orange Body Butter Moisture Cream
St Ives Timelss Skin Collagen Moisturizer
Neutrogena Make Up Cleanser
CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizer
YES to Carrots Moisturizer
YES to Cucumbers soothing Moisturizer
YES to Cucumbers Soothing Eye Gel
Eucerin Q10 Anti Wrinkle Cream
2 x Trader Joe's Moisturizing Cream

July Ipsy Bag

This month’s Ipsy Bag came in an adorable pink faux leather bag with scalloped edges.

I got a Pur-Lisse Sunscreen.  I prefer my spray sunscreens so will be giving this to a friend.

Faith Aeromatherapy Citrus Ginger Body Lotion this smells really nice (although the ginger sort of smells like a household cleaning product lol!)

A Bare Minerals 5-in-1 Cream Eyeshadow this is an interesting product that I was interested to try.  It goes on very nicely 

Pop Beauty Sunkissed Bronzer I love bronzers so am very excited about this product!  I immediately tried this on and it is very pigmented and with a big fluffy brush makes a beautiful bronze color.  I think I will really enjoy this product.

Tints & Sass Lip & Cheek Stain - I have never tried a stain product so was super happy to get this.  I tried it on my lips and my cheeks.  It stained very nicely but, personally I would still layer blush or lipstick over top.  I won't use it on my lips as it is quite drying but, I will use it up on my cheeks.  Still, fun to try something new.

Overall, I was super happy with what I got and thought it was more than worth the $10.  It is always fun to try new products and this definitely gets me doing that :-)


Grieving is such a difficult uncomfortable emotion.  We just want it done!  Unfortunately, there is no quick way through it but, it does help to understand what to expect and some coping mechanisms.

Rebuilding by Bruce Fisher http://bit.do/DrvC 
On Death & Dying by Elizabeth Kiebler Ross http://bit.do/Drv5 

Grief Workbooks http://www.therapistaid.com/therapy-worksheets/grief/none

For Knitters and Crocheters

Smiley’s Yarns is a great site for ordering reasonably priced yarn.  I order a lot of my yarn for baby blanket and scarf yarns from them and wanted to share this site with all knitters and spinners out there http://www.smileysyarns.com/ 

Happy 4th To All My Fellow Americans

I immensely grateful to all the soldiers who have served to protect our freedom.  I also want to acknowledge the many children out there who are fighting battles and are also heroes.

Olivia's speech on Leukemia

My 14 year old niece was diagnosed last December with leukemia (she was 13 then).  She is very strong and upbeat and absolutely amazing through all of her grueling treatments.  She has made it her mission to educate people about leukemia.  Below is a speech that she gave to her class at school (30 people)  and then again at a fundraiser (100 people):

I just wanted to thank all of you for your support and all that you have done for me and my family in these past 5 months. It has meant so much to me. All of your support has kept me going and kept me strong.

 I thought I would take this time to fill you in a little bit about my type of leukemia, the treatment I've been receiving, and my experience so far.

Did you know that the body is made up of trillions of living cells? Just one of my cells developed wrong….just one. And it changed my entire life. Imagine playing hockey 4 times a week, doing boxing, plus being in school sports. Now imagine your doctor telling you that you have cancer. Seems unbelievable, right?

As most of you know, in December of 2013, I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. This is the most common type of childhood cancer. Leukemia is caused by immature white blood cells continuously multiplying and overproducing in the bone marrow. When the doctors discovered my leukemia, it had taken over 84% of my bone marrow.

 When I received the news, I couldn't breathe. I thought to myself…this can't be real? Honestly, I half laughed-half cried, because it seemed so unbelievable. Before I even had a chance to think, the doctor told me I would begin chemotherapy in 2 days. Chemotherapy? I had heard of it before, but I had no idea what it was all about, but I knew I would soon find out.

The chemotherapy treatment I'm getting is given in cycles. The cycles are induction, consolidation, interim maintenance, delayed intensification, and maintenance is the final cycle. I know most of you probably have no idea what that means. When I first heard about these cycles it sounded like a foreign language to me too. It will take about two and a half years to complete all these cycles.

During my course of treatment I will be given 10 different kinds of chemotherapy drugs because each drug destroys cells in a different way. Unfortunately many healthy cells are damaged by the chemo which can cause side effects. The side effects I have experienced so far are joint pain, mouth sores, muscle weakness, headaches, nausea, and hair loss. My hair used to be very long and beautiful. I really miss it, but come on, I'm rocking this hairdoo don't you think?

A cycle of chemotherapy includes a rest period to allow the body to build healthy new cells before the next treatment. I can tell you from experience that chemotherapy is not an easy thing to go through. There have been times that chemo has kicked my butt, I'm not going to lie. I've felt pretty weak and tired, sometimes barley able to walk half a block without feeling like I just ran a mile. I've had nausea and a couple of wicked headaches that have landed me in the ER, but I have also have had some good times where I have felt strong, had energy, and have been able to do stuff with my friends.

Never in a million years did I think I would be where I am today. Sometimes when I think about it, my brain still tells me it's a joke. Hearing the words "I have cancer" come out of my mouth doesn't feel right. It doesn't sound right, but  I have come to realize that when  a difficult time is thrown at you,  it is important to stay strong and remain optimistic. When you think about it….I really only have 2 choices. I can either remain optimistic and get through this…. or I can sulk and make the experience harder for myself. So…I have chosen to be optimistic.

 I have realized that cancer can just be a word if I let it be.

Of course there are times that I have been scared, but I know that I will come out of this stronger than I ever have and ever would have been.

 I will not let this experience break me, because I am stronger than Cancer. I will never give up, because I know in my heart that extraordinary things happen to extraordinary people.

Thank you again for all of your support.

You can see her beautiful spirit in her smile

Liv with her hockey team

 She either learned from her "YouTube Aunt" and/or she needs her own YouTube Channel.  Isn't this make-up look stunning?!