Monday, March 19, 2012

Not Makeup... Cats, shopping, and food!

Hi Everyone!

It's been a little while since I've done a non-makeup related post and, while this is a makeup blog, I enjoy sharing other things with you guys every once in awhile! I have a few fun things in mind for this evening's post; none are things that I would want to devote an entire blog post to, but I don't feel as bad if they're all sharing a post!

First off, cats:



Miranda is the fluffy black one, Finn is the pale orange tabby. They are best friends! If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, I'm sure you've seen pictures of them before now, but I just love showing them off :P Proud cat mommy! I had to take Miranda to the vet last week, she had a weird sore near her eye and another near her ear, and had itched a bald patch on her back and another on her tummy! I was so scared... It turns out she has a really severe flea allergy, although we hadn't noticed fleas on either of the other cats. They are all on flea medication now, and she is on two other medications to manage the itching and the bacterial infection from her itching and what-not. She's on the mend, but it was really scary not knowing what was wrong with her!

Second up... SHOES!

I got these at Kohl's. I love Kohl's for shoes. I used to work there, and it definitely helped me out with shopping strategies and how to get things on sale. Everything in there is overpriced if you are paying what it says on the tag, but you can get some good deals if you wait for sales and then stack coupons with the sales, although I do have a Kohl's card; it's harder to get discounts without one, but if you have one, you can frequently get 20%-30% off on top of sale prices. These are a Simply Vera by Vera Wang style, originally $65, when I bought them they were on sale for around $44, I had an additional 20% off, and there was an additional $10 in Kohl's Cash for every $50 you spend. So I ended up paying around $35 out of pocket for them. Not bad! I don't like spending a lot on shoes, but I am hard on my shoes and if I buy them at Target or Payless, they tend to fall apart very quickly. I also have wide feet, and Kohl's shoes tend to fit my feet well!

If you've never used Kohl's Cash, it's the "sale" that always managed to piss off the most customers. A lot of people misunderstood and thought we would just give them $10 cash out of the register for every $50 spent... Um, no. It's basically a gift certificate you can use on anything in the store with no minimum qualifying purchase between the dates specified, and it's usually good for about a week starting when the current sale ends. So you wouldn't want to buy lots of stuff counting on making up the difference in Kohl's cash, but if an item you want is already on sale and you have a coupon and you're going to get Kohl's cash, it's an awesome promotion. The last two times I got Kohl's Cash, I used it towards jeans for $3 (after sale and Kohl's cash) a week later, and a beautiful dress for $7 (after sale and Kohl's Cash).

My new shoes! These are knock-offs of Sam Edelman's "Beatrix" flats (available at Nordstrom). These are Simply Vera by Vera Wang Ballet Flats (available at Kohl's). Check out the crazy spike and rhinestone detail; they are different heights and sizes. These are suuuper comfy, too!

My new shoes! 

Love them! 
I basically only wear flats and heels, so these have been getting a lot of love since I picked them up! Definitely New Favorite Shoe status.

The next thing I wanted to share with you guys is an amazing salad I made last week. Salad is one of my favorite foods; I find it so incredibly satisfying. A good salad, to me, is full of different textures and flavors, and I never feel gross after finishing one. I debated posting this, since a salad "recipe" (especially when it's as non-specific as mine) seems a bit dumb. I usually just throw in non-measured amounts of whatever I have on hand. This combination turned out really great, though, so I thought I'd share it in case you guys are looking for inspiration!



Dressing: 

If you've got a good salad dressing, you can brighten up even the saddest of salads. I rarely buy salad dressing anymore; homemade is so easy and so much tastier. It's also a lot healthier for you!

I never measure; I usually do about 2/3 vinegar to 1/3 oil proportion, with 1/3 of the vinegar being balsamic, 2/3 being red wine vinegar, but feel free to shift these proportions. I tend to like my dressing quite zippy, so I don't have to add much but still get a really strong flavor. More oil, less vinegar will give you a milder dressing; more balsamic, less red wine vinegar will give you a slightly sweeter dressing. Little known fact: lots of inexpensive balsamic vinegar is just colored red wine vinegar with sugar. Add the rest of the spices and ingredients to taste.

Extra virgin olive oil
Red Wine Vinegar
Balsamic Vinegar
1 teaspoon mustard (dijon is great; regular yellow will work just fine as well)
1 minced clove garlic (just smash it and throw it in whole if you don't want as much garlic flavor)
Dash garlic powder (leave out if you don't want a strong garlic flavor)
1/2-1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4-1/2 teaspoon fresh, freeze dried, or dried basil. (Dried basil won't have as strong a flavor; you may want to add more to compensate for this)
Dash red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste

Feel free to adjust the herbs and spices depending on what you like and how big of a batch you're mixing up. I usually do about 8-10 ounces of dressing when I use these general amounts.

Add all your ingredients to a jar, salad dressing cruet, or small tupperware container. Make sure it's something that will seal up tight, then shake it for all you're worth! The mustard will help the vinegar and oil combine. Dried mustard will do this as well.

For the best flavor, let this sit for a few hours at least for the flavors to come together. I never do this, but it's always SO MUCH BETTER the next day than when I use it right after mixing it up. Like... SO much better.

Salad:

Trader Joe's Herb Salad mix (it has assorted baby greens and herbs like parsley and dill) is my favorite base, but you can use whatever you like. Remember, the darker the leaf, the better for you! Any sort of baby greens or spring mix would work well for this dressing.

The following, chopped into bite-size (or smaller) pieces:

Tomatoes (de-seeded; just slice it up in wedges and then scoop out the gooey disgusting part)
Orange bell pepper
Raw broccoli
Red onion (sliced thinly)
Shredded carrot
1/2 avocado, cubed
Shredded Parmesan
Mozzarella

Mix it up and go! This combination was especially satisfying; the garlicky basil vinaigrette with the tomato and mozzarella was amazing. I always add a bit of parmesan to my salads, whether I'm using blue cheese, feta cheese, or mozzarella in them; it adds a lot of flavor, even if you're only using a little bit. Just don't use the kind that comes in a shaker; you want real, cheesy parmesan so it will have some texture and a strong flavor for not a lot of cheese. Salads aren't healthy anymore if you add too much cheese, but I feel like a little bit really adds flavor, texture, and helps make it more satisfying if you're having salad as a meal.

So, that's a little bit of what I've been up to when I'm not writing about makeup!

10 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. So yummy! I just enjoyed another with homemade low fat blue cheese dressing!

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  2. Two things..

    One--- I WANT YOUR KITTY CATS!!! :^) SO CUTE!!

    and

    Two--- Those shoes are adorable, you have great style!

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    1. Thank you, I am wearing the shoes again right now! And about the cats... You can't have them! They're mine! Lol, but they are pretty darn cute :) No arguments there!

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  3. More spiky shoes!!! I love them and definitely understand why they have reached New Favorite Shoe status. Also love the salad recipe...I just ate dinner and it whetted my appetite again!

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    1. I <3 spiky shoes!!! And salad :)

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  4. GREAT salad dressing recipe! I am actually going to cook a few times this week and I'm going to try it (I'll let you know how it went!) LOVE the spiky shoes! YAY SPIKES! Your cats are lovely, I am also a proud cat mother, lol!

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    Replies
    1. Haha, I am definitely a dork for my cats... Let me know how you like the salad dressing! And yes, the spiky shoes are super-awesome, I have been trying NOT to wear them every day, but it is a losing battle...

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  5. Aw, your kitties! I love meeting other cat-obsessed bloggers, haha. And your salad dressing sounds yummy- balsamic vinegar-based dressings are some of my favorites!

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    Replies
    1. I am proudly cat-obsessed... haha! They are just so lovable :)

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