Welcome Kathleen!

Hello fellow bloggers!

Have you guys noticed all the new posts and fresh topics being posted on Candid Beauties lately?

We sure have! And it’s all thanks to our newest member, Kathleen!

I just wanted to take a moment to welcome her on board and to thank her for everything she brings to our blog.

Welcome mat

Welcome Kathleen!

Things have been kind of crazy lately, so I thought I’d reach out to our dear friend Kathleen, who was more than happy to help us. As you can see, she is a great fit and an even greater blogger, so you guys can expect more awesomeness coming your way!

Carine

Spicy Paleo Drumsticks

This has become one of my favourite weekday dinner recipes because it’s really easy and delicious! All I do is rub the chicken with my ingredients, pop it in the oven and then I usually cook my veggies or make lunches while I wait.

Please note that I am not strong on following recipes, so I make things differently every time. I research recipes to get inspired and then add in extra ingredients or omit others. You can use whichever combination or all of the ingredients mentioned below – it’s all about preference.

Spicy Paleo Drumsticks
Serves 6
(or in our case, it serves the three of us 3 times two days!)

Ingredients
12 chicken or turkey drumsticks
2 tsp olive or coconut oil
2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
– Preheat your oven to 400oF
– Lightly grease a baking dish with oil and place your drumsticks in the dish
– Mix all of the dry ingredients in a bowl and rub on drumsticks
– Put in the oven for 40 minutes, flipping half-way through

And there you have it – delicious drumsticks that are crispy on the outside, moist on the inside and with a nice kick!

Enjoy!

C.

Valentine’s Day!

Valentine's Day Hearts

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

Last night, my boyfriend and I celebrated our 4th Valentine’s Day together by going to Sobeys and picking up some nice portions of beef tenderloin. We came home and made ourselves a nice, healthy dinner with a bit of red wine and some candles and that was about it!

I’ve always been a fan of Valentine’s Day because of what it represents, but I don’t really care for spending a bunch of money on gifts. We’re young and just starting out in our lives so we don’t have the money to splurge on things that aren’t necessities. Don’t get me wrong – I think it’s totally sweet to give/receive roses and chocolates – I just personally don’t feel that it’s necessary. Maybe when we have more money we’ll indulge, but this year we both decided we’d skip on all that stuff and make a nice romantic dinner at home. It was perfect.

Our Valentine’s Day Dinner

For dinner, we made ourselves some steak with mushrooms, broccoli and sweet potato fries (oh and chipotle mayo to dip them in… YUM).

The star of our dinner was definitely the steak. We just seasoned the steak with some of Club House’s Montreal Steak Spice and then cooked the steak in a pan. We cooked it for a few minutes on each side (I can’t even tell you how long we cooked it because I was really into my glass of Cupcake Red Velvet wine…). We like our steak rare, and it was cooked to perfection – a big thanks to my wonderful boyfriend on that one!

I steamed some broccoli and pan-fried some mushrooms with garlic, salt and pepper. We also made some delicious sweet potato fries. Now, we can these quite often but had never mastered the art of crispiness, until last night of course.

I also “cheated” a little and veered from our paleo diet. Instead of making my own mayo, I just used Hellmann’s light mayonnaise and added chipotle mango seasoning. So worth it.

Here is where I learned how to make my sweet potato fries crispy. Thank you, Tessa!

We had a lovely, inexpensive evening and it was all that I could ask for. I hope you all had great evenings, regardless of how you spent it!

Love always,

C.

Paleo Challenge

Hey everyone!

Some of you might have heard of the “Paleo Diet” or the “Caveman Diet” before, but I feel like it’s been popping up everywhere lately.

My boyfriend and I decided that we were going to take clean eating to the next level and start a new paleo lifestyle.

This “diet” is not so much a diet as a new way of life. It has made such a difference in our lives, that I can’t foresee us ever going back. I will admit that it does take a lot of planning and preparing ahead of time, but we’ve integrated it into our routine and it’s become easy for us to stay healthy.

Benefits of Eating Paleo

We’ve been eating paleo for almost 7 weeks now and here’s what we’ve noticed so far:

Weight Loss
So far I’ve lost 8 lbs. And that includes the last 2 weeks in which I haven’t gone to the gym ONCE… I’m bad I know. I got really sick last week with a bug that affected everyone in my office and was out of commission for a few days. I kind of fell off the paleo and work out wagon, but I am not discouraged. I’m back to eating right and I’m planning on going back to the gym next week and that’s okay. A big part of this lifestyle is learning not to stress about things like this.

No More Bloating/Inflammation
I no longer feel bloated – ever. Not even during “that time of the month”. I swear to it!! I’ve never felt better. My stomach “pooch” has reduced in size and I no longer feel crampy or get an upset stomach. I believe this is due to the removal of gluten from my diet.

More Energy
I feel more energized and don’t need coffee to make it through the work day anymore! (I still drink one cup of coffee a day, 5 times a week, but that’s just because I think it’s nice and warm in the winter J)

Improved Mood
Okay, so I am not an overly grumpy person or anything, but I used to feel stressed and exhausted nearly all the time. But I feel as though I’ve become a very joyous person! A few people have noticed and made comments about how much more I was smiling and seemed happier. I even came home singing a few times… at the end of a full work day… it’s crazy the difference I’ve seen in myself! It’s like all of a sudden, it would take a LOT to upset me. It’s a very good feeling. Who wants to be grumpy anyway?

What My Typical Paleo Days Look Like:

I do allow myself 2-3 “fun meals”, which I tend to reserve for special occasions or even for the weekend. For example, I’ll either allow myself a restaurant meal if we go out to celebrate something, or on weekends I’ll allow myself either some chocolate, ice cream/frozen yogurt, sushi, alcoholic drinks and occasionally even some pizza! How bad can this lifestyle be, right? We’ve reserved our “fun meals” for weekends because it makes our weekends more exciting when we are looking forward to our indulgence. But be careful not to over indulge or else you won’t see the same results – though I think it’s important and I definitely encourage treating yourself once in a while.

This is what I eat in a typical paleo day.

Breakfast
2 hard-boiled eggs
Fruit (usually ½ cup blueberries)
1 cup coffee, black
8oz of water

Snack
1 fruit (pear, apple, plum, banana, etc.)
8oz of water

Lunch
1 serving (about 4oz) of protein (chicken, salmon or beef)
2 cups vegetables
16oz of water

Snack
1 oz of nuts (my favourites are: almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts, pistachios)
1 cup of green tea, black

Dinner
6-8oz of protein (chicken, salmon or beef)
2 cups vegetables (I usually do 1 cup orange and 1 cup green! I like carrots or sweet potatoes with broccoli or asparagus… but there are so many vegetables that are good for you and delicious!)
16oz of water

Dessert
Mango (this is the only fruit I buy frozen… I take out a cup and let it thaw. They are delicious and cold and this snack really curbs my sweet cravings)
8oz of water

OR

1 square dark chocolate (70%)
8oz of water

I find that I am never starving and never “stuffed”. I’m always satisfied and if I’m hungry, I eat! I don’t regulate it by time or count calories or worry about it. I know what I can eat and I eat it whenever. I have however made a point not to eat after 8pm, which I find has helped me sleep better. No more tossing and turning or waking up 5 times a night!

Do Some Research

I did a LOT of research before and during this whole change. I wanted to know WHAT exactly the paleo diet entailed, understand WHY I was doing what I was doing, HOW it was going to benefit me, etc. Also, I got a lot of negative comments about my new eating habits, mostly from people who saw this as another fad diet and who don’t understand it, or even care to understand it. If any of you experience this, I would say to just ignore them! I honestly have never felt this good and I would recommend it to anyone who is looking to be genuinely healthy.

I also researched how to make a lot of things from scratch such as soups, sauces, dressings, etc. I’m a big fan of food and I wouldn’t be able to eat like a caveman if I didn’t add flavour to my food. We like to throw spices on all our food and we look up recipes when we feel as though we need something new. It’s important to switch things up – variety is key or else you’ll get bored so quickly!

WARNING: First week crash!

I have to admit that the first week was BRUTAL.

During the first week of eating paleo, I went into withdrawal. Yeah, I said it – WITHDRAWAL (from sugar, gluten, dairy, etc.) I felt dizzy, nauseous, weak, exhausted… you name it, I felt it. It was truly awful. I thought I was maybe not getting enough of something, so I did a lot of research and found out that this was normal. Apparently this crash only happens to about 30% of people who go gluten-free, but I’ve heard that a lot of people who go paleo feel this to some extent. I was unlucky and got hit hard. But I decided to stick to it and I made it through. I definitely feel as though it was worth it!

A book worth reading: Wheat Belly by William David, MD

This book has helped me understand what gluten does to your body and I feel like it has motivated me to start this whole lifestyle change. I definitely recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about it.

Wheat Belly by William David, MD. (Click here to see the Wheat Belly blog)

To anyone interested in learning more about the paleo diet, here are some links that helped me get started:

Paleo Diet by Dr. Loren Cordain (Found of Paleo Movement)
Paleo Diet Lifestyle
Paleo Plan (Recipes)

Good luck and please don’t hesitate to contact me if you want to discuss this further!

Love,

C.

Recipe – Healthy Peanut Sauce

I made this recipe last night and oh. my. YUM. I just had to share it with you guys.

As usual, I looked up a few different recipes to get some inspiration for dinner and then I just winged it, so please keep in mind that all of the measurements are estimates. I never follow a recipe exactly and I probably have never made two dishes the exact same… that’s probably part of the reason why I’m so terrible at baking! Haha

This recipe is really simple – all you need is one pot to make this sauce. You can vary the amount of water to get your desired consistency. I made mine a little thicker, just because, but I think I will add a bit more water next time. I also used a real lemon for the juice, but you can use the store-bought kind too. They both work the same, I just prefer the natural way.

Ingredients:
1/4 c natural peanut butter
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp reduced sodium soya sauce
3 tbsp skim milk
1 tbsp lemon juice
chili powder

To make the sauce:
Turn your element on to medium-low.
Add your peanut butter and let it melt, stirring frequently to ensure it doesn’t burn or stick.
Add water, which will instantly make it more liquid.
Stir until the sauce has an even consistency.
While stirring, add your soya sauce, milk and lemon juice. (Here’s where I taste it to determine whether I need more of something. Last night, I found it was very delicious and peanut-y so I left it as it).
Add a dash of chili powder, stir once more and then pour over your dinner!

Makes enough sauce for about 2-3 servings.

I poured the sauce over some chicken, bean sprouts, mushrooms, carrots and celery, mixed all of that up and then served it on a bed of brown rice. I think it would be delicious for Pad Thai or in any kind of stir-fry, with shrimp or tofu. Delicious!

Enjoy,

C
xoxo

Product Review – Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse Airbrush Finish

Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse

Hi lovelies!

A few weeks ago, I ran out of my favourite MAC foundation. Financially, I was going through a tough time, so I decided it would be best to sacrifice splurging on beauty products… I was a little nervous about doing this because I have oily skin and am prone to break outs – but like I said, I was pretty broke. I went to Shoppers and I almost grabbed a foundation by Revlon that my friend had recommended (Photo Finish I think it was?). I had initially picked it up (it was about $20), but then I saw that the Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse Airbrush Finish was on sale! So I put the other one back and grabbed this one instead.

Initial thoughts
The Maybelline foundation goes on so smoothly and has a very nice texture/feel to it. The coverage is great and I can really see what they mean by the “airbrush finish”. It also blended really well with my skin-tone (I picked it up in Nude – Light 4). It’s also oil-free and fragrance-free, which I look for, especially in my foundation products.

I’ve been using this foundation for a few weeks now and I don’t mind it, but I find it a little greasy – like it doesn’t completely blend or something. I use a blotting powder and not pressed powder, so maybe that’s got something to do with it. I also use a sponge to apply my foundation… could also play a part in this, I’m not sure! Maybe the heat of fingers might help it blend a bit better. I will try it with pressed powder to set it and see how that works.

All in all, I don’t mind it because the blotting powder does make it less greasy but it’s not one that I would go out and recommend to everyone. Next time, I might actually try that Revlon one my friend suggested! I’ll keep you guys posted 🙂

Summary
Product name:
 Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousses Airbrush Finish
Price paid: $12.69
Pros: smooth finish, good coverage, inexpensive
Cons: stays greasy
Overall review: A little greasy. Not terrible, not my favourite, but it was on sale so no loss!

Product Review – MAC’s Studio Fix Foundation (with SPF 15)

Today I’m doing a product review on one product that is essential to my beauty routine: my foundation.

I’ve been using this MAC foundation (in NC25) for almost a year now and that’s probably the longest I’ve stuck to any one brand of foundation.

I had a classmate in University who worked at MAC and her makeup always looked flawless. Of course, she was an absolute beauty to begin with, but I couldn’t help but be awed at how flawless her skin and makeup always looked. One day I got up the nerve to ask her what she used and she told me that she used the Studio Fix line from MAC and that she loved it. So when my foundation ran out, I went to the nearest MAC store and bought this foundation and I haven’t used anything else since. At first I thought it was a little expensive, but it really isn’t that much in comparison with some other makeup brands.

Also, with this stuff, a little goes a long way. I’m finishing up my second bottle, but I use this stuff every day. I use it in combination with their pressed blot powder, with helps if you have shiny/oily areas. It goes on feeling light and covers blemishes and dark areas well. I’ve never had an issue with it making me break out, either – always a bonus!

The negative only thing I would say about this product is that it is a little expensive, but that’s it. This stuff is just great – it lasts all day and I never have to re-apply. Definitely get a pump bottle if you get this foundation, though, because it’s hard to get the rest of the liquid out when you’re down to your last drops. I love this product and I will, and have, recommended it to others!

Summary
Product name:
 MAC’s Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15
Price paid: $32
Pros: great coverage, long-lasting
Cons: price
Overall review: I love this stuff, but I will only buy it when I can afford to spend a little extra

Anti-Negativity

Hi everyone,

Last month was dubbed the “anti-bullying” month, during which I have heard some terrible and some happier stories on the topic of bullying/cyber-bullying. I think it’s an important topic to discuss and also important for people to be aware of what is happening out there, so I want to share my thoughts on negativity and anti-bullying with you all.

A few weeks ago, I was browsing YouTube for Halloween makeup tutorials when I stumbled upon a video by Rachel Whitehurst (icallitambrosia) called FUCK NEGATIVITY: advice for life. In her video, Rachel talks about how saddened she is by the fact that one of her top rated videos was of her judging and hating on other girls for the things that they wear. The video itself was made a year ago and it is not one she is proud of, as she claims in her video. She talks about how this hate was fueled by her own insecurities and jealousy, and admits that it is not who she wants to be nor is it the type of negative attitude she wants to encourage. She has since removed the hateful video. I have a lot of respect for someone who, like Rachel, can admit that they aren’t perfect and that they’ve made a mistake.

On a more tragic note, I also recently heard about Amanda Todd’s suicide. Amanda was a 15 year-old girl who was bullied, cyber-bullied and blackmailed, and her story ended with suicide, which she committed on October 10th, 2012. There is a lot of negativity surrounding this story, some even saying that they are glad she is dead and that she “deserved it”.

I’m sorry – what???

I read her story and was moved to tears. I don’t care what someone does – NO ONE deserves to be bullied or harassed. I don’t care what they did in their past… it is absolutely disgusting how disrespectful some people treat others. It really upset me and got me thinking about how negative everyone is. Every day, I see people being nasty to each other, disrespectful or just plain ignorant.

(More on Amanda Todd’s story here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_of_Amanda_Todd)

It is very disconcerting to me that so many people are walking out there, just being rude and constantly judging others. Our society has come to the point where giving someone a compliment will merit you a weird look. People saying they are glad someone committed suicide. I can’t even process this. Nastiness and cattiness are just plain expected. A lot of this is linked back to technology. Through social media, some people have the effrontery to say things to their peers that I never imagined anyone saying. It sickens me even thinking about it. Cyber-bullying is a real thing and I think everyone out there should be aware of its dangers and educate themselves, their friends, their children and their families about the lasting consequences of posting things on the Internet as well as the bullies that are out there.

Bullies are pathetic people. They are weak, insecure and cruel. I know it is easier said than done, especially during teen years. Some people just don’t like who they are and take it out on others. It’s important to not let mean people get to you or affect your self-esteem. These people want to see you fail, or cry, or hurt. Don’t let them win. Put on your bravest face and let their insults fly. Don’t retaliate. Just don’t let someone like that get you down. High school ends and then most people realize how silly it was to let others affect them so much, and some even realize how mean they were to their peers. People grow up. Some don’t change. Don’t worry about everyone else. Just focus on being yourself, on being a good and happy person and on your future. That’s all that will matter in the end.

I know that many of us have long ago given up on living in a “perfect world”, but maybe that’s part of the problem. If you can’t beat them, join them, right? Well, not in this case. It’s essential for everyone to do their part. No, you’re probably not going to change the world, but you can certainly make a difference and you will feel better about yourself, too. I, for one, will be making an even greater effort from now on. I am challenging myself (and you too!) to do the following, every day:

1)      Smile at a stranger;
2)      Compliment 3 people;
3)      Compliment yourself;
4)      Do one good deed.

If you don’t do these things every day already, you will see that it will just start to come naturally. People will be grateful, will return the smile or the compliment, and you will feel much happier. Just… be kind.

I saw this quote on Pinterest a few days ago, and it really stuck with me. It goes something like:

“Live in such a way that if anyone should talk badly of you, no one would believe it”.

So inspirational! That is exactly how I want to live my life and if everyone were to act like this, I think the world would see a great improvement.

This post was inspired by this video: FUCK NEGATIVITY: advice for life and the suicide of Amanda Todd.

Getting Healthy #3

Third step to a healthier me was drinking more water.

This is very easy to do. I just had to change my habits a little and taaadaaaa!! I’m drinking more water.

#3 – Drinking Water
Water. It’s essential to life. Almost everyone needs to drink more water.

I noticed that I will drink more water if it’s in a cup or a mug, rather than in a bottle. This seemed very lazy, because the fact that I had to untwist a tiny cap somehow stopped me from drinking water… silly, right!? But it’s true! If I pour myself a cup of water, I will down it so fast. So that’s what I started doing at the office.

I have the equivalent of about 1-2 glasses of water at the gym in the morning. Then at work, I’ve made a habit of getting myself a cup of water each time I grab a cup of coffee, which is only once a day now. I fill another one at lunch time and another in the afternoon. It helps that I will also take my vitamins, usually with my breakfast and that helps me drink more water as well. That’s about 4-5 glasses of water. Then when I get home, I pour myself a tall glass of water (equivalent of another 2 glasses of water) to go with dinner and for before bed. I also leave the cup on my nightstand and if there is any left, I will usually down it first thing in the morning.

Although 8 glasses of water a day may sound like a lot, it really isn’t. What I found is that replacing other drinks with water will help you achieve that goal while eliminating sugary drinks and additional calories. I only drink black coffee, skim milk and water. I don’t drink fruit juices or fruit concoctions or soda anymore. If you like fruity drinks, make yourself a smoothie! Beware of buying them, though – I always prefer to make my own so I know what’s going in it. Throw in some fresh or frozen fruit, a bit of Greek yogurt or skim milk and blend. Much better than a store-bought mystery smoothie filled with needless calories and sugar!

Water is so important for your body. It helps make you feel fuller, helps you digest and cleanse, helps your skin… it does wonders for you! It will also help prevent your lips from chapping, your skin from itching, and of course against dehydration. (Every time I have a headache, I drink more water rather than take anything for it, because it’s usually due to dehydration. I haven’t suffered from any headaches since drinking more water!)

I think everyone should drink more water! It’s  delicious and refreshing 🙂

 

How many glasses of water do you drink a day?

 

Love,

C.

Getting Healthy #2

The second step to getting healthier was to begin exercising more regularly. Last year, I went on a trip to Hawaii and that served as my biggest motivation to get myself in shape. I exercised and went on a meal plan and managed to lose 10 lbs before the trip. I was content with that, but unfortunately I gained half of it back only a few weeks after returning home. I have managed to keep off 6 lbs though!

This time, I’m aiming to lose the weight gradually, perhaps a little more slowly, but hopefully permanently.

#2 – Exercising Regularly
This part, for me was even harder than quitting smoking. I’m not even kidding…

To try and find time to squeeze in a workout at least 3 times a week was NOT an easy task. Between a full-time job, 2 evening classes, homework, house cleaning, cooking and a social life… who has time to exercise?! Well, I will find the time!!

I worked out steadily during the summer, but once this semester started, I didn’t have any energy left in me to wake up at 5:45 every morning. But lately, my boyfriend and I have been making it to the gym about twice a week. It’s not ideal, but it’s better than nothing.

Our goal is to make it 4-5 times a week, every week. No excuses. I know that once I graduate in April, I will have so much more free time… can’t wait!!

Exercise is so important. I personally prefer to work out in the morning, because after work I’m usually way too exhausted. By the time I get home, I’ve spent about an hour on the bus unwinding and I am completely demotivated. But if I go in the morning, I get to start off my day in the best way! It energizes me and keeps me alert throughout the day and I’ve noticed that I’m generally a much happier person when I make it to the gym in the morning.

Exercising has also helped me to sleep better. By the time my head hits the pillow at night, I am out cold until 5:45 the next morning. I’ve also noticed that I’ve been having a lot less nightmares since going to the gym again (I’d been having way too many unpleasant dreams lately). It just feels great and though it takes a while to get into a routine, it is SO worth it.

Exercising has so many benefits and even if you don’t like the gym, you should make an effort to take the dog for more walks, go for a jog, do an at-home workout – any little change helps! Any exercise contributes to a healthier lifestyle.

My goal is to lose another 4 lbs. and to strengthen my core, tone all over and increase my endurance. I’ve already noticed a difference in my endurance and I can last a lot longer on the treadmill, but I usually don’t stay on too long because I do speed intervals, which helps burn a lot more calories.

To me, one of the most important things to remember is to not stress about it. Missed the gym one day? Oh well, make it up the next day. But do! Don’t just postpone it. Just don’t stress about it too much. You’ll be happier and healthier.

If you guys want to share some of your workout routines or transformations, I’d love to hear about them! Support and motivation are great factors in success.

Love,

C.

Getting Healthy #1

Hello lovelies!

In my most recent years, I’ve become more and more interested in healthy living and exercise. I look at my parents’ generation and what they eat and all of the disease and I know that there is no way to escape these things – especially since there will always be something else.

BUT, I tell myself that I can definitely prolong my life by being as healthy as I can, and taking care of myself, both body and mind.

#1 – Quitting Smoking
My first task was clearly to quit smoking. Mission accomplished!

I never smoked as much as the regular smoker, but I started making excuses for myself and had myself convinced I wasn’t even a smoker. That’s when I knew I had to stop. I would have maybe 1 cigarette a day, on the drive home after work. I loved the feeling of having my windows down, blasting the music and having a cigarette. I would smoke a few cigarettes when out with friends on weekends. I could make a pack last weeks, but I still didn’t like the fact that I was a regular smoker, and lying to myself about it.

My main motivation was my check-up with my doctor. I was ashamed that I would have to admit to her that I had been smoking, so I was determined to quit before then. Also, my dad is a smoker and when I was a little girl, I would beg him to stop because he was “stinky”. I thought, hey, I don’t want to be stinky! I would often smell it on my fingers, or feel the grittiness on my teeth and that was the farthest thing from pleasant. Lastly, being a university student with a mortgage, I told myself that I absolutely could not afford this habit. Time to kick it.

So I quit smoking, just like that. I was lucky because it was easy for me, but I know it’s that that easy for everyone, especially those who have had the habit for much longer. I had only been smoking on and off for about 2 years, but decided to quit before it was too late.

Since quitting (about 5 months ago), I have had about 4-5 cigarettes in total, during social outings with friends, but I am starting to not even crave it in those situations anymore. The first few weeks were the toughest, but it gets easier! I don’t think about it now and I tell myself not to stress about it. That’s important too. The more you stress about it, the more you crave it because you’re constantly thinking about not smoking… I told myself that if I had one, it was okay. It was okay, as long as I didn’t make it a habit.

I’m very proud of myself and I just want to recognized all of those who have either quit smoking, or are trying to quit. It’s not easy, but you can do it!

If you guys want help, support or advice, don’t hesitate to message me.

Good luck!

Love,

C.

 

Where Have We Been!?

I just wanted to update everyone and let you know why we haven’t been updating the blog lately.

Things have been a little hectic these past few weeks.

K and A are getting all ready to move in together soon (stay tuned for posts about the move). We’ve been hitting up Home Depot, painting, purchasing furniture… well, at least they have. I’m just around for the moral support!

I’ve also been swamped with assignments and midterms, and that’s never fun, but I’m really excited about the fact that I have 6 months left until K and I finally graduate from university! Yay 🙂

On top of that, I’ve been having some major computer issues, but our tech guy fixed everything right up for me today – so a great big thanks to him!

On a sadder note, it is with great sorrow that I announce the death of my boyfriend’s beloved grandmother, who passed away Sunday evening after dinner. Though we are deeply saddened by this event, we are happy to know that she has joined her husband in a better place and is no longer suffering. It’s never easy in situations like these, but having family and friends around for support makes the world of a difference.

So with all that, we haven’t really had the time to post much.

We’re still around and you can definitely expect more posts from us shortly.

Love,

C.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

I hope you all had a wonderful long weekend. I had an insanely busy weekend and couldn’t get around to my laptop, so I know I’m late with this post. Please forgive me!

We closed up the cottage last weekend and this weekend we got ready for the fall season.

Weekend Recap
Friday: I went out to Boston Pizza with some friends to celebrate my birthday. I love seeing my friends – we’re all so busy with work and school, but it’s always so nice to make time to see each other.

Saturday: My boyfriend and I attended my aunt’s wedding, which was just so beautiful and of course made me cry (I’m an emotional wreck when it comes to these sappy things).

Sunday: My boyfriend and I spent 8 HOURS cleaning the house… well, more like re-organizing, re-arranging and tidying but WOW did it ever feel good! I feel like the house looks and feels more like a home now.

Monday: I did a bit more cleaning in the morning and then headed over to my boyfriend’s parents’ house for Thanksgiving dinner, which was amazing, as always. Turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and gravy, asparagus, carrots, broccoli and cheese sauce, stuffing, wine… ooh it hurts just to think about how much we ate! After dinner, we watched The Hangover (Part II) and I unintentionally took a little nap, grandpa-style – haha! We also celebrated my boyfriend’s mother’s birthday, which is the day right after mine.

All in all, it was a busy weekend, but it was a great one!

Yesterday, I put some thought into this holiday and realized how truly lucky I am. I know that I sometimes take things and people for granted, but it’s important acknowledge how grateful I am, and to let those people know. I am thankful for my family and friends, my boyfriend, my job, my home, and my general situation as well as many, many more things that I have been blessed with.

 

What are some of the things you are thankful for?

 

Love,

C.

My New TOMS Botas

Hi everyone!

My boyfriend bought me these (TOMS Brown Fleece Women’s Botas) for my birthday and I must say, I am impressed! I didn’t ask for anything specific for my birthday this year, but he remembered me mentioning (months ago!!) that I wanted a pair of TOMS and he picked these out himself. They are SO adorable and I’m so excited about them, that I’m wearing them at work today since it’s Casual Friday. I never want to take them off. Seriously… so comfortable and soft.

I’ve wanted a pair for a while now, ever since I was looking for a pair of casual shoes that were neither flats nor sneakers… and there you have it!

I also considered buying myself knock-offs, but I heard about TOMS One for One program and I knew that was the only way to go.

TOMS One for One Program
With every pair purchased, TOMS will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need. One for One.

That definitely makes them worth their price.

Anyways, I just wanted to share these quickly with you guys!
Love,

C.

Happy Birthday to Me!

Happy Birthday to meeeee!!!

Today is my birthday! Can you tell!?

I just wanted to say THANK YOU to all of my friends, family and coworkers who have made this day so special. I feel so blessed to have such wonderful people in my life.

I had a pretty rough morning – slept through my alarm and then broke out into some kind of allergic reaction (ouch!). Also, when I finally made it to work, my computer was rebooting itself over and over and over… I’m surprised it didn’t explode. But everyone is fine now. I think the universe wanted me to take a break from work this morning, heehee.

The rest of the day has been great and I’m very excited for tonight. I was taken out to lunch by my papa and later I’m being taken out to Baton Rouge for dinner. I can’t wait! I’ve never been, but I hear they have amazing ribs… Mmm. PLUS, my sister-in-law baked me a rainbow cake! How freakin’ sweet, right!? Ahh, I’m so spoiled.

All that to say that I feel very special and I can’t wait for the rest of the day/week. So thank you to everyone who made this day so special. And of course a great big thank you to my 2 candid beauties, my best friends K. and A. I love you both!
Love,

C.

Review – Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm

Hi everyone,

I’ve been using Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm for about a year now and I have to say that this lip balm is the best I’ve ever used.

First of all, I’ve never really been a fan of lip gloss because I find it way too sticky and having to reapply is just too much work for me! Also, my lips on on the thin side and I’ve never been able to pull off wearing lipstick, either. I would love to be able to rock some hot pink lips or a sexy red pout, but I just don’t think I can do it! So I stick to a more natural look for my lips.

Most lip balms actually have ingredients that will dry out your lips faster, which some people say is a company’s way of getting you to buy more of their products. The key is to stay away from ingredients such as camphor, or anything with alcohol (usually ending in “ol”) such as phenol and menthol.

If you visit the Burt’s Bees website, you get a sense of how socially / environmentally responsible they are, which is nice really to see, not to mention rare these days. They have a whole section on their commitment which I found really interesting!

Burt’s Bees Lip Balm
I personally love this lip balm because it’s natural. The company strives for 100% natural products, and although not ALL of them are natural, most of them are. This balm contains peppermint oil, which gives your lips a nice tingle. It’s not sticky like some other balms and it makes your lips feel smooth. Plus, I just love that it’s in a tin. I didn’t pay that much for it, either. I think they’re around $5 and they last a long time. I lost my first one and immediately had to buy a second! I don’t use it daily, which I don’t really recommend, but I definitely use it more in the fall/winter.

Tip: If you feel like you need to use lip balm daily because of dry, flaky lips, you might be dehydrated or using a balm with an alcohol ingredient. Try drinking at least 6 glasses of water a day and switching to either a natural lip balm, or petroleum jelly.

Natural is the way to go!

Summary
Product name:
Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm Tin
Price paid: $5
Pros: natural, inexpensive, effective
Cons: there are none in my opinion!
Overall review: Love this product. A must!

Love,

C.

 

Do you know what’s in your lip balm?

We’re Working Out!

Hi everyone!

Monday began a new month and I thought it would be the perfect timing to get back into my workout routine. For the past 2 years, I have been exercising regularly, but as a new semester begun, I saw my good habits fade away – and fast. I know that my life will ALWAYS be busy and I will always have an excuse, but I believe that being healthy is a big part of being happy. It’s important to make that time and the longer you maintain certain habits, the easier they will become – good OR bad!

Last week, my boyfriend stumbled upon a workout plan from Men’s Health so we decided it was time to get back into our gym routine.

Our Goal – Long-Term
Our goal is ultimately to be healthy. We plan on working out 4-5 times per week and to keep it up for as long as possible.

Our Goal – Short-Term
For me, a trip down south is usually a good motivation. We’re planning to go to the Dominican Republic in February 2013, so I’m aiming to look and feel good about myself for that point. I’m looking to lose about a few pounds and tone my body.

For my boyfriend, I think he is also using the trip as his motivation. He is mostly looking to build his muscle mass and increase his strength and endurance.

First Week
Yesterday we woke up at 5.45am and headed off to the gym, then off to work. This morning, we did it again. I am so proud of us! Tomorrow we decided would be our “rest day” and we start again Thursday. I love the idea of the rest day in the middle of the week because it helps you look forward to it and motivates you to keep going.

The Perks of Morning Workouts
I am such a fan of morning workouts. There are so many benefits to it, too. While I know that it’s not for everyone, I definitely recommend it for those who can. For my boyfriend and I, it fits in with our busy schedules. We both work Monday to Friday, and I take evening classes, so it’s difficult for us to find that spare time. Often, I’ll be really exhausted after work and want nothing more than to go snuggle up in my bed. Working out in the morning gives me that alternative while also making me feel better about myself, and more positive in general. I feel more awake and productive at work, plus it speeds up my metabolism to burn extra calories throughout the day. That, combined with healthier eating habits (which I’ll discuss in a separate post) make for a great health boost!

I love working out. I always feel like I haven’t worked out hard enough unless I’m sore the next day.

What are some of your workout routines? We’d love to know!

Love,

C.

Product Review – Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream


You might have heard about this “BB” cream that seems to be trending right now. No one I know had actually tried it yet, so I did a bit of research and looked for online reviews. Since the feedback seemed to be pretty positive, I decided to give in to my curiosity and give it a try!

I went out to the nearest drugstore and decided to purchase the most inexpensive BB cream I could find. I found Maybelline’s Dream Fresh BB cream for about $12, which is perfect for my first trial. I didn’t want to spend too much in case I found this to be unnecessary to my routine.

What is BB cream?
BB stands for “Beauty Balm”, or “Blemish Balm” and it seems to be advertised as a multipurpose cream. It’s almost like a tinted moisturizer, with added benefits. For example, Maybelline claims that this cream will help enhance the look of skin with 8 benefits in 1:

1. With SPF 30 helps prevent sunburn.
2. Helps blur the look of imperfections.
3. Creates a natural looking glow.
4. Skin looks visibly smoother.
5. Compliments skin-tone.
6. Hydrates all day.
7. Feels fresh.
8. Oil free.

My experience with BB cream
My skin is naturally oily and I tend to break out most around the chin and temple areas.  After having used this product for less than 1 week I can say that I actually like this BB cream. The first day, I do remember thinking that the smell was not the most enticing, but I don’t notice it anymore. I picked the shade Light/Medium and I was surprised at how perfect a match the cream was to my skin-tone.

I’ve read that a lot of people felt that this made their skin appear oily, but I haven’t had that problem. It feel light on my skin and gives it a nice glow. I use it after my Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisturizer and I find that I don’t have to use foundation afterwards since it provides sufficient coverage. I do use a bit of concealer to conceal any breakouts, but that’s it. I finish with a blotting powder and I’m all done! I love how much of a difference it makes, and how quickly the effect is apparent. It lasts all day and I never have to reapply.  I’m thinking of replacing foundation altogether and using BB cream instead. I’d like to try a “higher end” brand to see the difference, and if it’s worth the splurge.

Summary
Product name:
Maybelline Dream Fresh BB cream
Price paid: $12
Pros: price, good coverage, feels light, non-oily, instant glow
Cons: smell
Overall review: Good product, non-oily, good quality/price

DIY Organic Face Exfoliant

I’m a strong believer that it’s important to monitor what you put in and on your body. I like the idea of natural products, cutting out chemicals and keeping it simple. However, I’m not going to run out and start spending all of my money on the over-priced newest trending “organic” products.

There’s been a lot of hype about organic products lately, and all I have to say is that research is important. Do. Your. Research. There are many companies out there that have found a loophole, changed some wording on their labels and the products they are selling now are really no different nor better than the non-organic version. I have found that in most cases, anyway, though some organic or natural products definitely have added benefits. That’s why I make an effort to buy more produce, eat clean (avoid anything packaged like granola bars and such), and find a creative use for what’s in my kitchen.

This is by far the easiest recipe I’ve used, consisting of only 2 ingredients. I do this about once or twice a week. I have oily skin and I find that if I exfoliate too much, my skin actually increases its oil production and I just end up looking greasier. Not good.

So like I said, I do this about once a week, usually at night so that I can leave my skin be and not put anything on it after I’ve exfoliated and moisturized.

This leaves my skin feeling smooth and soft every time!

What you will need:
1 tbsp refined sugar
1/4 lemon (cut a lemon in 4 and grab a quarter!)
1 cotton face pad (I like the big round ones for this)

Substitutions:
You can always switch up the sugar for raw sugar or even brown sugar, if you prefer. I personally use whatever is at my disposal. You can also use lemon juice, but I have tried it, and personally don’t find it to be as effective as the real deal.

How-To:
1. Wash your face with hot water and soap. (Right now I’m loving the emu neem soap from Earth to Body). Don’t dry your face!

2. Squeeze the lemon onto your face pad and then rub the rest of the lemon onto your face, neck and chest areas.

3. Add the sugar to your face pad.

4. Rub the pad in circular motions all around your face, jawline, neck and any other areas you might want to exfoliate. This should take about 2 minutes.

5. Rinse with warm water, pat skin dry with a clean towel.

Voila! So fresh and so cleaaaaan!

Carine’s Quick and Easy Salmon Recipe

I do my best to eat healthy, but sometimes I find it difficult to take the time to cook something healthy, especially when cooking for one.

Nowadays, it seems that everyone is always rushing off somewhere and that’s why fast food is so tempting. And I’m definitely guilty of succumbing to the convenience of fast food, but since the semester started, I’ve been determined not to let my good eating habits fall by the wayside.

This salmon recipe took me about 25 minutes from prep to serving time. It’s unbelievably easy, healthy, AND I had time to get other things organized while it was in the oven.

Carine’s Quick and Easy Salmon Recipe

Preparation Time: 2 mins.
Cook Time: 18-22 mins.
Total Time: approximately 25 mins.

I based the recipe on one portion to make it easier to multiply if you choose to make additional fillets.
I cheated a little bit by using Clubhouse Salmon Spice, but you can always substitute the store-bought spice for any other spices you like.
All of my measurements are approximate and can be modified to suit your preferences.


Ingredients:
1 Salmon Fillet, raw
1/2 tsp Clubhouse Salmon Spice
1/2 tsp butter, softened
1 tbsp lime juice
chili powder
salt
pepper

Preparation:
1. Preheat oven at 350°F.
2. Place your salmon in aluminum foil.
3. Add your lime juice, then add your salmon spice, chili powder, and a bit of salt and pepper, ensuring to cover both sides of the fillet.
Finally, sit the butter on top of the fillet
Put in the oven and cook for approximately 18-22 mins.

I usually steam or boil some carrots and asparagus to serve on the side, but you can use whichever vegetables you like.

Based on 1 serving.

Welcome!

Welcome to Candid Beauties!

Our blog is still under construction, but we are going to be including a little something for everyone.

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Happy exploring, beauties!