Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Try it Tuesday: Sugar & Oil Lip Scrub

I don't know if it's because I have big lips or just a tendency to have dry skin, but chapped lips are a huge issue with me. It doesn't matter how much chapstick I wear: within the hour, I have flakey skin.

A makeup artist I worked with recently gave me this little trick, and I'm honestly in love. It's as simple as equal parts oil olive and sugar. I keep the mixture in a small snap-lock container and stored in the fridge.

The sugar exfoliates; the oil moisturizes. The only hard part is wiping off the lip treatment (instead of just licking it off -- oil and sugar has no right to be as delicious as it is!)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Photo Friday: The Lowell Esplanade

Now that we're finally thawing out, I figure I should dust off a second folder of old pictures. These are from October, when I decided to hang out on the Lowell Esplanade.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Olive Garden at Home: Homemade Zuppa Toscana & Garlic Bread

The Olive Garden has a special place in my heart, the heart of my husband, and the heart of my in-laws. Going to the Olive Garden means tomfoolery and cheese chicken and enough laughs to last a year. The food itself is a huge guilty pleasure of mine: yes, it's about as authentically Italian as Taco Bell is authentically Mexican, but damn is it good (sidenote: I also love Taco Bell). But unfortunately, Olive Garden, much like Taco Bell, isn't exactly good for you. Like, not by a longshot is it even remotely good for you. Thankfully, I found a few zuppa toscana recipes and, after a little bit of tweaking on my end (read: tweaking, not twerking), I'm in love:

FOR THE SOUP You will need:
16 ounces chicken broth
1 1/3 cups water
1 pound sausage (I'm partial to Jimmy Dean's Hot Breakfast Sausage, but, really, go with your preference)
3-5 medium-sized russet potatoes
1/4 cup bacon bits
5 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 cups kale, chopped
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Salt and pepper as needed

Fully cook the sausage. While it's sizzling in its pan, cut the potatoes into quarter slices. You want to keep these slices fairly thin. The easiest way to get these shapes is to make two perpendicular cuts lengthwise down the potato before slicing it up.

In the crockpot, mix in: chicken broth, water, sausage, potatoes, bacon bits, and garlic. Set the crockpot to "high" for 4 hours (or "low" for 8 if you want to prepare this before you leave for the day).

After four hours, add the kale and return the lid for 5-8 minutes. If you prefer a slight crunch to your kale (or if you are using a less-crunchy green), set the slow cooker to low when adding the kale. Mix in the whipping cream and enjoy! Sprinkle a little Parmesan cheese for that extra kick.


FOR THE BREAD You will need:
1 Package of Focaccia Breadsticks (Or, if you're so up to it, make it yourself. But don't look to me for that recipe! My Betty Crocker abilities only go so far)
Powdered Garlic

This bread is incredible. It's nothing too special: you should be able to find it at the bakery section of any grocery store. Ten minutes in the oven and you have delicious break-apart bread.

This is so simple, it almost hurts: slice lots of thin butter pieces, cut said slices up, place it on the bread, and sprinkle as much (or as little) garlic and salt as you'd like. My husband and I have an unhealthy (literally unhealthy; be still my arteries...) obsession with garlic butter, so our bread got a nice dusting of garlic and salt. Place them in the oven for however long the bread package requires.

Add in a simple house salad and you've got your Soup, Salad, & Breadsticks meal right here. And you don't have to risk running into us smacking each other over the head with breadsticks and refusing to say, "when," when they grate Parmesan cheese on our meal.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Me? Write a book? Surely you jest!

IT'S HERE. It's here, it's here, it's finally here. After essentially keeping mum about this project since November (only to slowly unravel and let the cat out of the bag in 2014) it is finally here. My essay collection has hit the (e)shelves thanks to the wonderful people at Thought Catalog.

What is this collection of essays about, you may be asking. It's about 100 pages long *badumching*.

No, but, seriously: I'm Just Here for the Free Scrutiny details some of the more absurd, silly, and downright heartbreaking moments in my modeling career. From the time I found myself essentially auditioning for a role in a commercial that was two steps away from being a sex phone operator to my lucrative career as a pseudo-mom and child bride. From the time I bombed my first movie audition to my experiences with the infamous Runway Moms. Be ready to laugh, to cry, to reevaluate your entire stance on life.

Or something.

If you're curious about one of the more serious essays, you can check out the freebie excerpt here. If you're curious about my writing through Thought Catalog in general, you can go here.

Go to the Thought Catalog page for all the various places you can download it. Have a Kindle? Download my book from Amazon! Own an iPad? Get that shit on iTunes! Android user? Google play, bitches! Have a Nook? Well, you can sod off for now. But only for now: I'm Just Here for the Free Scrutiny will be available at the Barnes & Noble website in a few weeks.

In the words of Georges St. Pierre: Buy it. With your money.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Photo Friday: Abandoned R&R

The coolest thing about being barely a 10-minute drive from the tiny, tiny towns of New Hampshire is that you can easily find some really interesting ghost areas. Places that have gone out of business upwards of a decade ago, leaving everything to slowly decompose. (To digress: there's a collapsed farm about a half hour from my house that I'm just itching to photograph.)

This place used to be a convenience store, once upon a time. The problem is, with a tiny town like Candia, "convenience" isn't exactly a high priority. I took these pictures sometime in November, before the majority of America went into the Deep Freeze. I figured it's time to finally wipe the dust off this folder and pick a few to share with you guys:

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