Parties + Entertaining · Food + Fitness

Week 9 Meal Plan

Weekly Meal Plan 9

  1. Crispy Parmesan Garlic Chicken with Zucchini via The Recipe Critic
  2. Moo Shu Chicken Tacos via Gimme Some Oven
  3. Italian Baked Chicken & Pastina via Food Network
  4. Slow Cooker Turkey Meatballs via Skinnytaste
  5. BBQ Chicken Flatbread Pizza via Creme de la Crumb


Week 9_V2

Week 9 Grocery List (viewable in iBooks)

Week 9 Grocery List


8-10 Chicken Breasts
1 Pack of Ground Turkey Breast

2 zucchini
1 red onion
1 sweet onion
14 garlic cloves
1 (14-ounce) bag of coleslaw
8-ounces shiitake mushrooms
green onions
fresh basil

grated parmesan
shredded mexican blend cheese
shredded mozzarella

hoisin sauce
rice vinegar
oyster sauce
soy sauce
sesame oil
vegetable oil
garlic powder
chili powder
bay leaf

Spaghetti Noodles
Pastina Pasta (or any small pasta – I used Orzo)
1 large store-bought flat bread pizza crust
small tortillas (or lettuce cups or quinoa)
Italian Bread Crumbs

BBQ Sauce of your choice
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
2 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice

3 eggs


Be Kind. Be Happy but whatever you do….don’t be hungry.


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Style + Beauty

HIGH Performance, LOW Toxin: Makeup


Makeup Header 1I’m an undercover tomboy. My best friend would actually beg to differ on the “undercover” part. Or she’d take credit where credit is due and realize she caused the conversion back in our 20s. So, now that you have the background, hopefully it is less annoying to read these words: I love doing my makeup. (said no tomboy EVER, and yet here I am!)

Here’s why: my face feels so good with my makeup on. It is also sun-protected and reaping benefits of products made with essential oils and other goodies like jojoba oil and vitamin E. Trust me, this was not always the case. Doing my makeup felt like a chore and I could feel it on my skin…all day long. Sorry Bare Minerals, you were a major culprit in my weighted-face feeling and breakouts. Inspired by my aesthetician, who has a super high bar for all things natural & high performing, I decided to revamp my makeup drawer one product at a time (it is expensive to shift makeup!!). After much investigation and trial (and error) the winners are…

Julie Hewett and BeautyCounter! Here is what these brands have in common: they are high performing products that are made mindfully and without toxins. Let’s face it, I love to wander aimlessly through Whole Foods, but there’s nothing sexy about getting your makeup from the natural grocery store. I would be all about it if I’d had luck with the products! But I find them to be low toxin products that are also low- to moderate-performers. Meh. No thanks. Julie Hewett is a makeup artist first known for her work on the movie Pearl Harbor (she has the classic Hollywood lip on lock!). Obviously her makeup has to perform, but mineral makeup that you can actually smell (a hint) of the cedarwood essential oil and every lipstick formulated with organic camellia oil gives this brand a ‘beyond expectation’ mark. BeautyCounter makes it so easy to know exactly what you are getting in every product with their ingredient list highlighted right below the instructions on their website. Not a chemist in your other life? Their line is frequently listed as “Top Scoring Products” on EWG’s Skin Deep database. (I’ll hit you with more info on this amazing tool in the skin care edition post!)

So here is my honest opinion: you can’t really go wrong between these two brands. I have my favorite products between the two, which I’ll share here.


I live in California so I’ll sneak in a tip from my upcoming skincare post: after cleansing & toning I start my makeup party with a face sunblock (ain’t nobody trying to look older faster!). Then comes my absolute favorite products from each line:

FacemakeupCollageTint Skin Hydrating Foundation from BeautyCounter (I use Sand). I put it on like a face lotion. Next comes Julie Hewett’s Ora Mineral Foundation (my color is 1.5). Here are my favorite brushes to use: one for all over & one to use the powder as a concealer. Julie Hewett’s foundation has high grade zinc oxide that doubles up my SPF layer…all while keeping things very light-feeling on my face. What I love about both of these products is that they are light-weight secret weapons that pack a major punch.

BlushBronzermakeup CollageOk, here is where you can’t go wrong: bronzers & blushes. I happen to use Julie Hewett for both but have gotten my paws on the BeautyCounter counterparts and they are fantastic: Julie Hewett Ora Aphrodite Bronzer and Bud of Rose blush and BeautyCounter Color Contour Matte Bronzer & Color Sweep Blush Duo.

We never get paid for our opinions at M+M but we love to pass on a good deal: use promo code BOGO50 for 50% off Bud of Rose blush when you buy an Ora Aphrodite bronzer! Also get signed up with Julie Hewett announcements to find out when they bring back their Breathless palette (one of my best purchases of all): 4 blushes & 16 eyeshadows! BeautyCounter also has seasonal palettes, just not as many shadows & blushes in theirs. So that takes us to…

Eyesmakeup CollageEYES
Julie Hewett’s shadows really don’t “move” on your face. We all know that icky eyelid crease that forms with many shadows…not hers. I haven’t

100percent Blackberry
100% Pure Blackberry Mascara

worn BeautyCounter’s enough to testify, but I love that they come as Color Shade Eye Duo (two for one, eh!). I have an eyeliner of each: Color Outline Eye Pencil in Violet (subtle but fun!) and Julie’s Smudge Brown Eye Pencil. Both great, both do what you want: line without running. But here is what neither have to offer: mascara (technically BeautyCounter does but I am NOT a fan at all). The best performer (and I’ve tried a number of colors): 100% Pure Natural Mascara. I love their fruit pigmented lengthening formulation in Blackberry (again subtle but fun with green eyes).


Oh ladies, here is where we have fun! Both brands are very different but both have great options for the all natural look or high drama mama. I have so many favorites (and I used to NEVER wear anything on my lips!). For BeautyCounter, it’s all about their Lip Sheers for me. Twig is an Allure award winner & is pretty much the perfect summertime sheen. I use Petal as my daily lip during fall-winter-spring, and those of you who can rock a good red will love Scarlet.

Lip Sheers

JH LipsJulie Hewett is really known for her lips. And, woman to woman I have to tell you, you just need to have a tube of JH lipstick. I can’t do red (she has the most amazing array of reds!) but my wow-factor favorite is her Scarlett, a bold fuschia. I’m also the owner of Jacqueline, both Camellia balm sticks (Ruby and nude), and Posie Cheekie (for lips & cheeks). I happen to know two other M+M contributors who owe it to all of us to find their favorite Julie Hewett red (Jenelle, Emily…make it happen).

It turns out it’s pretty fun to be a girl and a tomboy – and there is a place for both! There is also a place for both mom & woman…and if you are wondering what to ask for this Mother’s Day – maybe ask your loves to treat you to something new! And then tell me all about it!





I am an addict ….or something like that.

It’s true….I am an addict. I am addicted to….all the things. In all seriousness…I am a product of addicts. I come from a long line of alcoholics, drug addicts, etc. My Grandparents on both sides, Uncles, Aunts, parents & siblings. It would have been difficult to avoid. So, not only do I have an addictive personality but addiction is in my DNA. However, my “struggle” with addiction is a little different then what you might expect. I am well aware of the normal prospects of addiction…alcohol….drugs…prescriptions pills and such. Been there done that. I am even aware of the less susceptible addictions….social media…money…gambling, etc. I am cognizant of the risks associated with all of these. These (thank God) aren’t my problem(s). Where I can’t seem to find balance….is in….well….all other areas of my life. I am all in. All the time. 100%. There is no in between. I live in black and white. I’m in or I’m out. I love or I hate. It’s intense. Exhausting. All consuming. It’s my form of addiction I guess? Perhaps addiction isn’t the right word. Or the right terminology. I have no concept of balance. Maybe balance is the word I am looking for. Let’s go with that….I have no concept of balance….but what does that even mean? If one were to have balance? I’m serious.
My problem is that I can’t casually or recreationally pursue anything. There is a little bit of peace that comes with being able to admit this….or recognize it. Friendships….relationships….employment….all of it….I AM ALL IN. It may take me a while to figure it out or to commit but once I’m there…that’s it. I’m in. There is no turning back. I love fiercely. If working….I am a workaholic. If shopping….I am a shopaholic. When I started my journey as a Stay at Home Mom, there was no down time…I went from 0 to 60 in 2.3 seconds. You know my heartfelt post about #selflove last week? Well, I did it. I went to the local athletic club. I joined and I have been to the gym 5 out of the past 6 days. I am so sore I am currently trustfalling on to the toilet. I have sent an email to ownership on how they can improve their childcare and have already mapped out my classes for the next 30 days. I have committed to the gym in such a way that I now feel guilty for spending money on the membership or spending time away from my kids….or husband. Or another example is Revel Strategies….I started to pick up some consulting work (to keep my resume somewhat relevant) and I have full blown started my own business. Same goes for religion….I am either a full blown bible thumper or a full blown sinner. As most of you know….I like to keep a clean house. I’m not just talking “picked up” clean either. I’m talking bleach and q-tip clean. My friend Joe lovingly coined it as obsessive compulsive….neurotic….cray cray….call it what you will but I lack balance. I could name several more examples to prove my point but if you don’t get it by now….well you just don’t get it. The simplest way I can put it is I AM ALL IN…ALL THE TIME. It’s a good thing I don’t do drugs or I’d be shooting heroin on the regular.
In 6 days…..I am fully addicted to the gym. I crave it. I feel good you guys. I like it and I hear you….it’s ONLY 6 days….but in those 6 days….I have neglected housework….my marriage….my goals because I have directed my “neuroticness” towards something new….it’s like a new “high”….if you will. On Saturday….during nap time….a time where Andrew and I would usually tackle a house project….lay on the couch and take a nap together or catch up on our favorite TV show….I rushed off to the gym to get in a work out. This was/is usually a time we look forward to all week. We don’t do anything special but we’re together….and that’s enough. Insert guilt here. Andrew was of course supportive and proud of me for my newfound commitment to the gym but I felt like I should have taken that opportunity to be with him. I felt guilty for choosing the gym. There is that word again. Guilt. Was I wrong for taking the opportunity to do something for myself? No, of course not. Right? But how often do Andrew and I get to have a few hours just to ourselves? Not often. Not often enough. So am/was I being selfish? I still don’t know the answer to this. On one hand no….and on the other yes. In planning out my week….I decided I couldn’t go to the gym on Wednesday AND Thursday because it wouldn’t be fair to put the kids in childcare two days in a row. Right? Wrong? I seriously don’t know. Is there even an answer? I talked about wanting to prioritize my marriage….to a man I adore….and yet I was choosing to go to the gym rather than spend time with him. What a hypocrite?!?! If it’s not the gym…it’s cooking….or blogging….or consulting….or totschooling. I enjoy all of these things and none of things are “bad” for me but it’s how I approach them. I am so intense….in everything I do. I used to reference this as a strength in the professional world…and it was a strength. You were lucky to have me on your team….you would never find someone more dedicated, loyal and committed but in my personal life, this trait has evolved in to what I am starting to think may be a detriment….to my mental health. In a world where we want to do it all….with good intentions… do you find balance in your life?
With love,
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P.S. Candice made me change my picture because she felt like I was seducing her.
Food + Fitness · Parties + Entertaining

Week 8 Meal Plan

Weekly Meal Plan 8

  1. Garlic Lime Chicken Tenders & Quinoa via Eat Well 101 & MY FAVORITE BROCCOLI EVER via A Beautiful Plate
  2. Taco Tuesday (Ideas here & here but I don’t think anyone needs to tell you how to make your tacos…mmmmkay)
  3. Un-stuffed Cabbage Bowl via Skinnytaste
  4. Greek Turkey Burgers via Skinnytaste & Lemon Cous Cous via The Weart Chef
  5. Asian Inspired Flat Iron Steak via Savory Sweet Life & Sesame Noodles via Gimme Some Oven + Sliced Cucumber

Week 8_V2

Week 8 Grocery List (viewable in iBooks)

Week 8 Grocery List



Taco Meat of your choice
2-4 chicken breasts (enough for 1 recipe – I will use 1 Costco pack for this week)
2 packs of ground turkey of your choice
1 lb ground beef (I used turkey instead)
2 flat iron steaks

2 lemons
1 lime
2 cucumbers
cherry tomatoes
18 cloves garlic
fresh ginger
2 broccoli crowns
1 medium head cabbage (I just bought a bag of pre-shredded cabbage)
1 white onion
1 red onion
1 zucchini
green onions
1 red bell pepper
carrot sticks
fresh oregano
fresh mint

ground coriander
Hungarian paprika
dried marjoram

sesame seeds
raw, sliced almonds

soy sauce
sesame oil
rice vinegar
white wine vinegar

seasoned whole wheat breadcrumbs
2 slices whole wheat bread (I skipped this)
1 pound (16 oz.) linguine or spaghetti
brown rice

8 ounce can tomato sauce
less sodium beef broth (I used chicken broth)
2 can chicken broth

1 large egg
freshly grated aged pecorino


Happy Earth Day everyone! Be kind!


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Self Love V2

Self Love

**NOTE: Originally, I had planned on this being about motherhood but it took an unexpected turn and ended up being about being a wife. This surprised me and made me feel super vulnerable but I’m just going to go with it. So here goes nothing.**

I want to start this off by saying that I really don’t know where I am going with it. I keep asking myself over and over WHY I feel the urge to express myself via a blog and so far, I have been unable to answer that question. I don’t have an answer. I guess I was looking for an outlet of some sort and if you know me at all….you know I almost always have something to say and its usually something sarcastic or awkward…or inappropriate. While I can’t put my finger on why I decided to start blogging….I like it. So, when Amy….someone I look up to in every way….as a wife…a mother…a friend….an entrepreneur…..ALL THE THINGS….posted about #selflove… got me thinking.

I’ve been staying home full-time now for almost a year and I love it. I do. Sometimes I feel guilty admitting that but I love being a stay at home mom. It is more than I could have ever hoped it would be. I knew I was missing out but I had no idea what I was missing. I have said it before and I will say it again. I do not think children are better off when they are at home with their mom and/or dad and I do not think mom and/or dad are better off if they are at home with their children. In fact, some days I think the exact opposite. When I was working full-time, I was more attentive at home. I was more focused, organized and patient. Surprisingly (or maybe not to you wiser parents), being at home, I have to actually work harder at being present. I believe this to be because I have come to take it for granted and that makes me feel like a real jerk.

I pride myself on being a peaceful parent. This is important to me because I lived many years of my life in complete and total chaos. So, peaceful parenting is my jam. In our home, we don’t yell. We don’t hit. We don’t berate. We communicate. We talk and hug it out. We love in all we do. But if I am being totally honest with you…which is what I am trying to do….being a peaceful parent is EXHAUSTING. I am constantly having to re-center myself….take a deep breath….and pray. SO. MUCH. PRAYER. Lately though, I have been feeling more anxious and impatient….with everyone. My kids. My friends. Even my husband. And I LOVE my husband. Like that annoying, gross love that makes people uncomfortable. There are days I want to shave off his eyebrows but I desperately love that man. He is the best human being I have ever known. Literally, ask anyone who knows him, there is no one better than him.

When we started the “staying home” conversation….it took us almost a year to make the decision. We made lists. We weighed our options. We discussed the pros and the cons. Andrew was always supportive….encouraging…uplifting….and one of the pros/reasons for me was that I wanted to “be a better wife”. I wanted to be more present in my marriage. More affectionate. More attentive to my husband and I thought I would be able to do this better/more if I were at home. However, after a year….I believe I am/was wrong.

I give all of me every second of every day to my children. I am a good mom. If we’re talking about #selflove….I can honestly say that I am a good mom. I mean….don’t get me wrong….I make mistakes and have hard days (give me ALL THE WINE) but I’d probably give myself a B+….maybe even an A- in Momming. I promise I am not saying this to brag or make myself feel better because it is not something that just comes naturally to me. I work very hard at it. You know those memes about whispering “what the f*{$” to yourself all day….that’s me….seriously….all day….

Scary Mommy WTF

Being a good mom is not easy. You guys….I DON’T EVEN LIKE BABIES! I am not one of those moms who dreamt about motherhood their whole life or believed their sole purpose in life was to be a mother. I was totally fine without having children. In fact….I didn’t really want to be a mom….until I met Andrew. I have made a lot of mistakes in my lifetime….I have done things I am not proud of….I pushed boundaries as far as I could and there were times in my life when I wondered if I was legitimately crazy…..I was lost for many years…crucial years of my life. After self induced heart break….a couple psychotic breakdowns and a near death experience….I moved on a whim (via a Greyhound bus) to a different city in a different state with no money, no car and no job….to “find myself”. At the time, I didn’t know what that even meant. I got a job and made some friends and honestly….I was having the time of my life. I finally felt normal and you know what….I liked myself…which was new for me. Then I met Andrew….at a club….at 2am. It makes me laugh every time…can you imagine Andrew at a club at 2am? Well, it’s true. He was there….dancing up a storm slinging gin & tonics to all the pretty girls. Like any good love story….I had no intentions of falling in love. I can’t really explain it but Andrew is just good. Andrew helped me to see the good in…well…in almost everything. Andrew made me believe in good again. Andrew made me believe in me again. I won’t say Andrew saved me because I saved myself….but Andrew made me believe that I was worthy of even more. For some reason….with Andrew’s amazingness comes my own self doubt. I still sometimes think to myself that I am not good enough for him. He is what movies are made of.

As you have probably gathered….I could not love my husband any more than I do and yet, at the end of the day, after the kids are in bed, the dishes are done and everything is put away….I don’t want to “chat”. I wince even typing that because I know it’s so mean…I know. I don’t want to play a game (we love cribbage), or work on one of the 40,000 house projects we want to do this year….or anything….I don’t want to do anything. I want to be silent. I want to sit in silence…I want to drink wine and stare at Pinterest or watch awful television that I am too ashamed to even list on here. I want NOTHING TO DO WITH ANYONE. You want to know why I don’t text you back??? I DON’T WANT TO TALK TO YOU. There. I said it. However, I do want Andrew to be alone with me. Just having him THERE is enough for me. I want to sit on the couch….next to him….in silence….while staring at our phones.

lay in bed meme

I know that marriage is more than this. This will probably come as a surprise to you (especially after reading about my gross obsession with my husband) but I am not a sappy love story kind of gal. If you have ever received my love….you know it is something fierce but I believe that marriage takes a whole lot more than just love. It takes hard work. You’ve got to put in the work. My parents were divorced TWICE and remarried TO EACH OTHER three times. Let that one sink in for a minute. I have nightmares about failing at marriage. At least once a week, I wake up in the middle of the night and pull Andrew’s arm around me and/or forcefully wake him up to tell him I had a nightmare. That nightmare is our marriage failing. What gives!?

You know….I thought cooking dinner every night and having it ready when he got home was one of the ways I could be a “good wife” or preparing his lunch for him to take to work.  I thought having a clean house, happy & well behaved children and clean laundry was another way for me to be a “good wife” but what I’ve realized is while we like all of these things and he appreciates all of those things….to him….none of those are the reasons he loves me or are reasons HE thinks I am a good wife. He thinks I am the best wife because I make him laugh. I encourage him and push him. I support and respect his goals. I love our children. I listen to what is challenging him and laugh at his jokes….even the bad ones. I love him something fierce….in sickness & in health….in good times & in bad. I love him. Unconditionally. Every. Single Day….and you know what….he literally thinks I am the best….even on my worst days.


So, in honor of Milk & Mascara’s #selflove campaign, I’m looking to you to help me show some love to not only myself but to my marriage. For myself….I think I want to work out so I am going to head over to the local Athletic Club tomorrow to tour their childcare options and see if maybe that is a way I can show myself a little love (even though I feel so guilty spending money on something that will take me away from my kids when my husband has made so many sacrifices to make it possible for me to be at home). I’ve got to make “me time” a priority so that I can keep on being the glittery ball of sunshine my kids and my sweet sweet husband have come to know and love. How do you show yourself the love and how do you prioritize your marriage? I am looking to you to help me find some balance….what are your secrets? Tips?

>>> sending you LOTS of love >>>


Lucy Logue by Annie Helen-4352

Food + Fitness · Parties + Entertaining

Week 7 Meal Plan

Weekly Meal Plan 7

  1. Lasagna Soup via Carlsbad Cravings
  2. Taco Tuesday (Ideas here & here but no one should tell you how to make your tacos damn it!)
  3. Coconut Chicken Tenders via Sally’s Baking Addiction & Cauliflower Rice via Iowa Girl Eats
  4. General Tso Chicken via Carlsbad Cravings
  5. Balsamic Chicken Salad with Lemon Quinoa  via Cafe Delites

Week 7_V2

Week 7 Grocery List (viewable in iBooks)

Week 7 Grocery List


Continue reading “Week 7 Meal Plan”


Mom Love Campaign


If you are a mother, the term Mom Guilt is likely a familiar one (at best). At worst, you spend a large amount of your mental time hashing out what you could have done better, different, or maybe what you wish you’d not done at all. The first 4 years of my mothering life were plagued by mom guilt. The last year and a half, no longer living under that heavy rain cloud, has been joyful and liberating! And since it is exactly one month before MOTHER’S DAY, we think this is the perfect time to kick off a little Milk + Mascara Mom Love Campaign!

The background: my son had just turned 4 and my daughter was 1.5. It was early fall & a new preschool year had just started for my oldest. During a parent meeting, we were asked by the amazing teachers to share our areas of parenting strength and challenges. A list immediately formed in my head of my weaknesses (imagine a scroll unfurling & running the length of the room). I suddenly realized that my greatest weakness in parenting was my own self loathing and bullying. I was missing SO MUCH in my children’s lives because my head space was filled with would have, could have, should haves. I made a commitment to myself that evening (and I said it out loud to my fellow parents – an absolute key to my quest!) to combat my chronic mothering put-downs with some very intentional self-love. And I decided this wouldn’t just be a week-long endeavor, but one that I’d keep doing until I changed my narrative.

The challenge: every time a thought enters your mind that is nagging and negative (“I’m such a bad mom”…”I’m the worst mother”…”I shouldn’t have been gone so long”…”Did I really need that workout/massage/alone time?”), STOP mid-thought, acknowledge the tendency you have to criticize yourself, and identify something you are proud of as a mom. It doesn’t matter if it is a large, generalization of your mothering, or a small, fleeting moment that felt like a triumph: whatever makes you feel good about yourself on this maniacal mothering ride! And then repeat.



The result: FREEDOM! Sweet freedom from harsh, unhelpful thoughts! My brain tendencies have changed dramatically and I find myself naturally playing this little mental “put-up” game:

tinyheartI am NOT the crafting, home activities mom (just not my strong suit)…however I am the mom that provides a ton of local, out-in-nature adventures for my kids. Maybe this is you or are you the reverse?

tinyheartI’m not great at pretend play and actively engaging in Legos for long periods of time…but I might be THE BEST mother on the planet when it comes to daily dance parties and belting out tunes unabashedly.

tinyheartMy son will shortly be running circles around my math and science knowledge…but both my 5-year-old and 3-year-old will hit you when you least expect it with a rad (and hysterical) vocabulary word.

tinyheartI swing and miss constantly in “teaching moments” or explaining something in an exciting way…but I talk to my kids like they are big people and I’m a pretty dang funny mom.

tinyheartI don’t love to give my kids a lot of tv time…but when I do I make the MOST of it: instead of wasting it with mom guilt, I crank out a task I’ve really wanted to tackle, I sit in indulgent silence, drink a cup of coffee, I do a quick workout, or I lay on the couch next to them and close my eyes for 30 minutes. When it is over I give myself a little inner fist bump because my mom game is stronger and I did not, in fact, rot my children’s brains.

The examples are endless and so is the breadth of your awesomeness! Please join me for this brain (and heart) reboot! And keep in mind: we have strengths and weaknesses as employees, friends, partners and relatives…how can we expect to be perfect as parents?

I also like to remind myself that the day my kids were born, I too became a newborn mother (initially as a first-time mom and then as a new mom to multiple kids). I have given my children all the space they need to grow at their own pace, so my mothering deserves the same nurturing love.