I'm a list maker. It's true. I have like 6 different journals with a million random lists in them. I doubt that's normal, but oh well.
In true list maker form, I've always wanted to make a "bucket list". However, the more I think about it, the more I feel like "by the time I'm dead" lists have no real sense of urgency. Unless, of course, you are actively dying, which (fortunately) I'm not. So instead, I've made a list of 30 things I want to do before I turn 30. It's far enough away to include some long term goals, but close enough to feel like I need to get crackin'.
Without further ado, my very own 30 before 30:
1. Take an advanced ballet class
2. Learn to speak Russian (passably, at least)
3. Travel to 10 different countries.
4. Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity
5. Donate a large sum of money to an animal shelter
6. Own a horse.
7. Perform on stage
8. Rock climb
9. Go Sky Diving
10. Own a home.
11. Finish college.
12. Go to a butterfly garden
13. Road trip the East and West coasts of the US
14. Learn how to surf
15. Go topless on the beach.
16. Find a religion that I can believe in.
17. Read the complete works of William Shakespeare.
18. Learn how to sew
19. Bake perfect macarons.
20. Dine at a three star michelin ranked restaurant
Call me crazy, but I am so over heels. Maybe it's just a phase, I don't know, but I am just about ready to throw out all the heels I own and revamp my shoe collection. With so many adorable flats out there, those foot-killers just don't seem all that appealing anymore.
I went to Olive Garden for the first time like, a year ago. I know, I know, even I find it hard to believe. Hell, maybe I went years ago and I just don't remember it, but.. I don't remember. Either way, according to me, it was my first time at Olive Garden, ever. Their food was good, but the stand-outs were undoubtedly their soups. Holy Jesus in Heaven, they have some damn good soup. I ordered the Chicken and Gnocchi soup and it was delicious. Mike ordered the Zuppa Toscana and it was, what I like to call, "the shit". I see why he orders it every single time we go there now.
Well of course, whenever we find a dish that we love, I always have to attempt to recreate it in our very own kitchen. Fortunately, it was super super simple, although not exactly super super healthy. Pretty much every recipe I found online called for a pound of sausage, a half-pound (that's approx. 10 slices!!!) of bacon, and a cup a heavy cream. Yeah, no wonder it's so good, it's got a TON of fat in it!
Obviously that wasn't working for me, sooo, I decided to switch it up a little bit and make it a little heathier less bad for you. I was kind of worried that Mike wouldn't be into it since it wouldn't be exactly the same as the soup at Olive Garden, but (and I shit you not) when he tasted it, he said it was better than the original and the most interesting thing I've ever made. Ever! Eat that, Olive Garden.
Without further ado, my shiny new recipe!
click to enlarge!
In a deep skillet (deep enough for a few cups of liquid), brown your 3 slices of bacon. Yes, I realize that there are four slices in this picture... I made an extra one for me *blush*. Once your bacon is done, set aside to drain on paper towels. Crumble your bacon once it has cooled down. Dispose of half of your bacon fat, but leave the other half in your pan.
In the same skillet, brown your sausage. I used 3/4 of a pound instead of the full pound, and it was still plenty. Depending on the size of your skillet, you may want to cook the sausage in two batches so you don't overcrowd your pan. While it's cooking, mince your garlic, dice your onion, and set aside. Or just be lazy and use a food processor like I did. When your sausage is done, remove from pan and set aside.
In the same skillet (again), saute your onion and garlic until the onion is soft and translucent. You shouldn't need additional oil, thanks to the bacon and sausage that was cooked in the pan previously. While your onions are cooking, peel and chop your potato into 1/2 inch chunks.
Add your chicken broth, water, and potato and bring to a boil. Once the potato is almost cooked through(about 7 minutes, test with fork), add the sausage and your can of butter beans and bring to a simmer until the potatoes are fully cooked. Instead of using 2 large potatoes, I used one small potato and a can of beans for the added health benefits. Plus, beans are grossly under used in our culture, they're so good for you!
When your potatoes are done, add the spinach in batches. Three cups looks like a lot, but spinach cooks down tiny. Also, the original recipe calls for kale, which is just as good for you as spinach, but I'm just not a big fan of kale. If you are, go for the kale. If not, use spinach. Either way, no big deal!
Once your spinach has wilted (see how much it cooked down!), stir in the half and half. The soup will still be nice and slightly creamy, without the crazy caloric bomb from using a full cup of heavy cream. That still blows my mind. Now just add salt and pepper to taste and you're done!
Do you like to recreate restaurant meals in your kitchen?
The day I turned 15, I got a job. I was literally working on the day that it became legal for me to work.
For my 16th birthday, my parents got me a cell phone. I was ecstatic. That was until I was told that I had to pay the bill myself. Then I was not so pleased.
I had a pre-paid cellular plan. If I didn't keep up on the bill or ran out of minutes, my phone would shut off and I couldn't have anymore late night convos with boy-of-the-month (you know you did it too). My parents refused to bail me out, so I would have to wait until my next paycheck.
I was also one of the last people in my graduating class to get a car. While most of my peers got cars for their 16th birthdays, I didn't get one until the summer before my senior year. Now, I know some people in high school have to save up and buy their own cars. Lest you think I'm spoiled, I'm well aware that I'm very fortunate to just have a car given to me, but you know how it is in highschool. If you don't get what everyone else gets at the same time they're getting it, there's something wrong.
However, looking back, I am so glad, SO GLAD, that my parents instilled that sense of patience and financial responsibility in me. The thought of debt stresses me out.
That's not to say that Mike and I have no debt, we do, but it's a very small, very managable amount.
When my old car from high school (yes, I had it for that long!) started giving out, I kept driving it until we saved up a few thousand dollars as a down payment. That's where that patience comes in. When we were ready, we traded in my old car and financed a car that was not only reliable, but one we could afford.
Mike and I have nice things. We've both got fairly new cars, we live in a gorgeous loft apartment, we have very nice furniture, an iPad, a 46" flat screen TV, a state of the art computer. We like nice things, and admittedly, we have expensive tastes. But the thing is, we also have patience and we're very responsible when it comes to our finances. We may want something for months, but until we're good and ready, we do not buy it. Being in debt up to our eye balls in unacceptable.
I'm writing this because I know so. many. people. who are in a lot of debt. And it stresses me out! I've gotten pretty good at just not caring about what other people do, or how they live their lives, but something about seeing other people getting themselves in debt just makes my head want to explode.
I guess because, unless it's debt to better yourself (school, training, etc), there is no reason to buy things that you can't afford. Self-restraint really is not that hard.
It just breaks my heart. Unless you work your ass off, ruined credit generally stays with you for life. Filing for bankruptcy isn't the answer. Dying isn't the answer. Fun fact: when you die, your debt will be repaid with your assets. Any money your family could have gotten as inheritance? Poof, gone! And in the worst cases, if you're married, creditors will go after your surviving spouse. Not a good situation for anyone. Except for the dead person- they got off easy.
Anywho, I'm off my soapbox. I just had to get this off my chest. Too many people are ruining their lives with unmanageable debt and although it may seem fun now, trust, it will come back to bite you in the ass. Yours or your family members'. Be smart people.
Oh, and thanks Dad!
How have you learned to be financially responsible? Does it stress you out when you see other people making bad financial choices?
Now, contouring is not something I do every day. I love how it makes my face look, but it’s a little time consuming for my day-to-day routine and it’s just “too much” for everyday wear, in my opinion. I generally only contour myself if it’s a special occasion and I want to look extra fabulous.
Contouring is all about playing with light and shadows. It takes a light hand and a little practice, but it’s one of those things that makes a really big difference.
Before I get into the nitty gritty, I’ll show you my nifty little diagram, so you know exactly what I mean when I say “apple of your cheek” and what not. I left out jawline, forehead, and temple because, seriously, I think you know what that is.
Cheek bone (yes, it extends up to the top outer edge of your eyebrow)
Inner corner of your eye
Apple of your cheek
Hollow of your cheek (find this by feeling where the bottom of your cheek bone is)
To highlight, use a small brush (a fluffy eyeshadow brush will work) and a powder that’s a few shades lighter than your face, and preferably with a slight shimmer. Remember, shimmer, NOT glitter. Shimmer is more of an all over light frost, whereas glitter is chunky, and you’ll look like you just finished making-out with a disco ball. Not cute.
To contour, use a medium sized blush brush and a powder a few shades darker than your skin color, with no shimmer whatsoever. Notice the difference between the bronzer and the contouring powder. Contour powder should be totally matte and teeter more on the cool to neutral side, whereas bronzer is usually warm and a bit shimmery. Shadows are dark and cool, and that’s what you’re trying to create- more shadows.
Now that you’ve got your tools and you know the structures of your face, this diagram shows you where to highlight and where to contour. I split the screen so it wouldn’t look so cluttered, but please, do both on both sides of your face. Blue means highlight, red means contour.
Highlighting does just what is sounds like- it highlights the areas of your face that you want to stand out more. Highlighting your cheek bones and brow bones give the illusion of a higher and more pronounced cheek bone. Highlighting the inner corner of your eyes opens and brightens your eyes. Darkness likes to hide around the eyes, as most of us know. Make sure you don’t highlight your under eye. While the logic might seem to make sense in the context of getting rid of dark circles, it will make you look like you’re smuggling a family of ferrets under your eyes. Not a good look. Highlighting the bridge of your nose can make a crooked nose seem straighter, and a flatter nose a little more perky. Highlighting right above your Cupid’s bow gives the illusion of a fuller top lip, and who doesn’t like big luscious lips?
Contouring creates shadow, making things seem further away, and in turn, smaller. If you have a fabulous fivehead (that’s right, fivehead, not forehead) like me, you’re going to want to contour that sucker. It just softens the angles of your five forehead and makes it look less, uhm… “pronounced“, if you will. Contouring in a triangular shape down the sides/nostrils of your nose will create the illusion of a smaller/thinner nose. Contouring just a smidge under the center of your bottom lip will give your bottom lip a little more pout. Contouring the hollows of your cheeks will give off the appearance of a thinner face, stronger bone structure, and a more pronounced cheek bone, and contouring your jawline will make it look like you have a stronger jawline and a thinner upper neck.
Lastly, dust a little blush on the apples of your cheeks. For lighter skin tones, use a light pink with tones that match your skin - cool with cool (like the center palette, first column, bottom), warm with warm (center palette, first column, top). For medium skin tones, I generally migrate toward warm peachy pink shades (center palette, #2 and #3 in the top row). For darker skin, I use a bright reds or hot pinks (the palette on the right). They look terrifyingly bright in the palette, but absolutely uh-may-zing on dark skin, I promise.
The left side of this photo is contoured, the right side is not. Notice the color on the cheeks, contoured nose, highlighted inner eye, and poufy lips.
BAM! Cheek bones! See the highlight on the cheek bone and the contour in the hollow, as well as the forehead and jawline.
Thus concludes my face tutorials. What’s next? Let me know what other tutorials you’d like to see.