12 Ways to Use Coconut Oil

Hello everybody!

One of my sisters introduced me to coconut oil a few years back and then I went crazy with it. I’m convinced you can pretty much use it for everything. I use it the way the dad uses Windex on My Big Fat Greek Wedding. “Oh, you have a zit? Put some coconut oil on it!” or “You have a rash on your leg? Have you tried coconut oil?” Yes, it is awesome. Here are 12 of my favorite ways to use coconut oil. Comment down below if you have a favorite that isn’t listed.

  1. Face Primer – Take a small amount of coconut oil in your hands and rub it together to melt it. Gently pat it into your face and let it set for a couple minutes. Now apply your foundation. Your face will look smoother and healthier in a matter of minutes!
  2. Highlighter – Use very small amount to highlight the high points of your face. Across the cheek bones, down the nose, cupids bow. It looks natural and lovely.
  3. Lip Balm/Lip Gloss- This works better as a lip gloss than a lip balm. Decant it into a small container and you can throw it into your purse and take it on the go.
  4. Makeup Remover – Use coconut oil to remove even the toughest water-proof makeup. Massage it into your skin to breakdown the makeup then remove using cotton rounds or a warm damp washcloth.
  5. Body Moisturizer – You can literally use this to moisturize your whole body. Face, hands, arms, legs- it works on everything!
  6. Facial Massage Oil – I love using coconut oil for face massages. It prevents any tugging or pulling on the skin and it has great anti-bacterial properties. (As a side note, facial massage is a great way to detoxify the skin and it also helps fight the signs of aging.)
  7. Eyelash Enhancer – I discovered this tip by chance. Once upon a time I accidentally cut off my eyelashes on one eye with my eyelash curler. (Oops!) They were growing back pretty sparse and I was really sad. Then I started using coconut oil for my face massages and it was getting in my eyelashes. After a few weeks I noticed my lashes were longer and thicker on both eyes, not just the one I lopped off the lashes on. Then I was super happy. The end.
  8. Cuticle Oil –  Have dry cuticles? No more! Massage coconut oil into your cuticles after a manicure for quick relief.
  9. Brush Cleaner – I did a post on using coconut oil to clean your makeup brushes. Find that here: How I Clean My Makeup Brushes
  10. Sugar Scrub – Mix half a cup of melted coconut oil with half a cup of sugar. You can also add some essential oils if you’d like. Use this in the shower to exfoliate as well as condition your skin. You can also make this in a smaller batch and use it as a lip scrub.
  11. Leave in Conditioner/Frizz Tamer – Use coconut oil to smooth your locks and help them shine. Rub a small amount through the mid-lengths and ends of your hair. Avoid going too close to the roots. You don’t want it to look like you have greasy hair!
  12. Acne Treatment –  Having breakouts can make you feel very self-conscious. I went through all of my teenage years with barely a pimple. Now that I’m in my 20’s, it’s like zit city over here. When I’m having bad breakouts, I skip the regular moisturizer and use coconut oil. I think it may have something to do with the anti-bacterial properties but it helps to clear it up quite a bit.

And those are a few awesome ways to use coconut oil! As always have a great week. I’ll talk to you soon!

Lizzie

DIY Fruit Rollups

Happy Thursday!

I know I said I’d have this post up a couple days ago and didn’t so I apologize. As a fair warning, make sure you set aside about 5 hours to make these. You can get other stuff done while it’s in the oven but it does need a certain amount of babysitting.

I read quite a few recipes when trying to decide what kind to make and stuck pretty closely to the Food Network version. I wanted to use honey instead of sugar but I was running pretty low and didn’t have enough. I’ll use honey in the next batch and see how they come out. You can leave out the sweetener altogether if you want to be extra healthy.

Talk to you soon!

Lizzie


 

Blueberry Banana Fruit Rollups

  • 3 c. fresh blueberries
  • 2 ripe bananas, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 c. – 3/4 c. sugar (optional)
  • 2 T. lemon juice

Preheat oven to 200° F. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Transfer mixture to a saucepan over medium heat and heat until mixture starts to bubble. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30-45 minutes until mixture becomes thickened. Make sure to stir constantly as mixture will become quite thick and can burn easily. Spread mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 3-4 hours or until no longer sticky to the touch. Let cool then cut into strips using kitchen shears. Wrap in pieces of plastic wrap to keep fresh.

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Easter Egg Hunt 2016!

Hello all you lovely people!

I’m generally in charge of the egg hunts for our family. I try to do something a little bit different every year so that there’s some type of surprise element. Typically I do 2 different egg hunts; one for the older kids and one for the younger kids but I thought I would just do a combined one for everyone this year.

This year we’re doing a BURIED TREASURE HUNT! I’m going to dig an actual hole and bury the eggs with treats in them but if you don’t want to dig a hole in your yard you can just choose a spot for your “treasure chest” and hide the eggs there. I’m using plastic totes to bury the eggs so hopefully they’ll stay clean. I think I’ll also put the totes into garbage bags for good measure.

Firstly a good treasure hunt needs a treasure map. So draw a map of the area the kids will be searching marking the spot where the treasure is going to be hidden. Next cut your map into as many pieces as you like. I’m going to do 10. Place the pieces of the map into plastic eggs. These will be the eggs you hide.

Send the kids out looking for the eggs. After they find them, have them put the map together. Then they can go look for their treasure!

Now… that’ll be great for a few kids but if you have a lot of kids who are doing the egg hunt, 10 eggs will be found in no time. So I’m actually dividing the kids into 3 teams. You’ll need a map and a “treasure chest” for each team. I’m also making it a race with a prize for the team that finishes first.

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We have the green/blue team, the yellow/orange team, and the purple/pink team.

 


Now for egg fillers! I try to get a mixture of semi-healthy treats as well as candy.

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This year’s treats include:

 

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Separate all your treats into their own little bags to keep them fresh and to make filling your eggs easier.

Some other stuff that went into the treasure chests:

  • Mini Play Doh (These also fit in the bigger plastic eggs.)
  • Bubble Gum Tape
  • Peeps (Because they’re a classic.)
  • Frisbees
  • Punching Balloons
  • Chalk
  • Bunny Bubble Bath Jars
  • Nail Stickers
  • Face Masks

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I made Bunny Bubble Bath Jars by pouring pink bubble bath into jars. Then I hot glued ears on and added bows. I also included nail stickers and face masks for the older girls doing the hunt.

I made Bunny Bubble Bath Jars by pouring pink bubble bath into jars. Then I hot glued ears on and added bows.
I also included nail stickers and face masks for the older girls doing the hunt.

And that is how you do a buried treasure egg hunt! Have a very blessed Easter!

Lizzie

3 Quick and Easy Hairstyles

Hello!

I’ve had a horrible time trying to write this post today! It’s snowing and raining plus the wind is blowing like mad therefore the electricity refuses to stay on. I also attempted to shower in the dark this morning… that was fun.

I had a special request from one of my very lovely aunts to do some hair tutorials. I’m not an expert by any means but I do have a lot of fun messing with hair! These 3 hairstyles all start the same way so you can do as much as you like depending on how much time you have to get ready. They work really well on second day hair so yay for that!

Thank you to my wonderful sister for being my model again! I’ve been dealing with a sinus infection and feeling really gross so I really didn’t want to be in any pictures. Anyhow… let’s get started!

 

1. The Braided Half-up ‘Do.

This just starts out with a normal French braid.

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Start by sectioning off a small piece of hair above your forehead.

 
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Next divide the hair into three equal sections and begin braiding.

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Incorporate small sections of hair into braid from both sides of your head. Continue braiding in this fashion until you reach the crown of your head. Then finish off the braid by doing a traditional three-strand braid. Use a small elastic to fasten the end. Add a bit of hairspray to tame any fly-aways and hairstyle number one is done!

 
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2. The Braided Bun

You can take hairstyle number one a bit further by turning it into a bun.

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Gather remaining hair into a ponytail right below your finished braid.

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Now twist the hair and wrap around the braid. The braid should be sticking up the middle. Pin the bun into place using bobby pins. Then take the braid and wrap it around the bun. Tuck the end of the braid under the bun and secure it in place using more bobby pins. Use hair spray to finish the look.

 
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3. Dressed-up Ponytail 

This is even easier than the second hairstyle!

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After you finish hairstyle number one, pull all your hair (including your braid) into a high ponytail. Then take the braid out and brush through your hair. Give it a spray of hairspray and you’re done!

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And those are 3 of my quick and easy hairstyles! They only take a few minutes to do so they’re great when you’re in a hurry but still want to look semi put together.

Stay beautiful!

Lizzie

February 2016 Giveaway Winner!

Just a quick post to announce the winner of the Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara! *DRUM ROLL* And the winner is… Denise Lee! Thank you to everyone who entered. Stay tuned for more giveaways in the future.

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5 Favorites of February + GIVEAWAY

Happy Monday!

As you can see from the title, today’s post is going to be some favorites from this month. I love reading about other people’s favorites. It gives you a good look at what really works for people and the different ways they use them. This way you can find new products you want to try without much risk of them being awful. These are a few of the things I’ve been loving this month. Read all the way to the end to find out how to enter the giveaway!

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This moisturizer from Clinique has had a cult following for years. I used it all the time when I was younger and then kinda forgot about it. I started using it again after I saw an ad for it and remembered how much I love it.  It has kind of a gel-like texture and it absorbs into the skin really quickly. It always makes your skin look so much better. You can also mix it into your foundation to make it more of a tinted moisturizer.

Clinique Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator

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This stuff is sooo yummy. It makes your skin really soft and smooth. I’ve been having a lot of problems with dry skin this past month and this seems to be helping quite a bit. It absorbs into the skin pretty quickly and doesn’t leave you feeling all greasy like some body butters. This particular scent is actually pretty calming so it’s really nice to apply at night.

The Body Shop Shea Body Butter

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This is one of those products that is probably a little bit unnecessary to your skin care routine but nice all the same. Like I said, I have a problem with super dry skin so I prefer to use this in the morning instead of washing my face. I just put a little on a cotton round and wipe down my entire face. I also like to use it after I cleanse my face at night to get rid of any residual makeup. It’s really gentle on the skin and not drying at all.

Simple Cleansing Micellar Water

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I love, love, love the peach color from this trio! The color is really buildable so you can go from natural to night out. It has a nice shimmer that’s not like, “BAM! glitter on your face!” I use the highlighter quite a bit as well. The only color I’m not really that sold on is the bronze shade. It’s very, very shimmery for a bronzer. It says on the description that you can contour with it but… I wouldn’t use it for that purpose. I have used it to warm up the face a little but I still wasn’t sold on it. I’ll probably give it another go after the summer arrives and I’m not quite so pale.

Model Co Highlighting Trio

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As you can see, I used this product to death. All the writing is rubbed off except for a black smudge. It’s the Maybelline’s Lash Sensational Mascara. This mascara gives you the most voluminous long lashes! If you don’t like clumpy lashes, this mascara isn’t for you. You can build this to some chunky, clumpy lashes if you want! I prefer waterproof versions of mascara just because my eyes water so much. Apply a coat of this in the morning and it lasts all day long! It’s also super cheap.

Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara

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GIVEAWAY TIME! I have a Lash Sensational Mascara to give away to one of you guys. To enter into the drawing, all you have to do is leave a comment down below telling me what one of your favorite products is this month. The drawing will take place next Monday.

Thanks for reading! Stay beautiful!

Lizzie

Ipsy Glam Bag February 2016

Hello, everybody!

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend. As promised last week, here is the Ipsy unboxing!

For those of you who don’t know, Ipsy is a makeup subscription service. You fill out a simple questionnaire about things like skin type, hair color, etc. Then they’ll send you a bag of products every month that’s tailored to your specific wants and needs. It’s only $10 a month and you get 5 products to try and a new makeup bag. Generally they send a good variety of deluxe sample size as well as full size products. You can review the products you receive to earn points that you can redeem for free products. Go here to subscribe!

Alright! Let’s get into it!

 

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This month’s makeup bag has a pixelated image of an envelope with a heart on it. Pixelated images are fairly trendy right now and with the heart it was really appropriate for February. The bags are usually more on the small side so that can be a bummer for some people.

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This was my favorite item I received in this bag. I’ve been seeing this advertised and was planning on buying it. For all those people with dry skin, this is a magical product. I’ve used it a couple times and I can tell you that it makes your foundation look amazing!

Oil as a primer isn’t a new concept. I’ve used coconut oil in the same way for a long time. And stars like Marilyn Monroe would use things like petroleum jelly under her foundation to give her that youthful healthy glow.

The full sized product is $42/1 oz, so it is on the pricey side. But if you want to splurge, I feel like this is worth it!

Find it here Smashbow Photo Finish Primer Oil

 
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Next out of the bag was a duo fiber brush by Luxie. It has a pink handle and a rose gold ferrule. It’s very soft and dense. It seems like it’s good quality. The bristles are synthetic and coated in an antibacterial solution… I’m not entirely sure how the solution stays on through the washing process but it sounds interesting.

This isn’t terribly expensive coming in at $12. Find it here Luxie Beauty Definer Brush

 
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I’d never heard of the brand Perfectly Posh before I pulled this out of the bag. It’s a peppermint grapefruit facial scrub. An interesting scent combo but it smells incredible! I wouldn’t use it everyday because the grit in it is quite heavy so it could leave your skin a bit stripped. However, it’s good to use scrubs like these every few days to deep clean as well as exfoliate your skin.

Full sized product $21. Find it here Perfectly Posh BFF Best Face Forever

 
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This eyeliner doesn’t look like much. It’s a very small sample size and kind of disappointing looking when you first pull it out of the bag. Buuuuut it looks so nice in your waterline! It brightens the eyes without looking over dramatic. I wore this to an event the other night and it was still there when I got home so I would say the wear time is pretty good.

The full size product is $20 and you can find it here Paula Dorf Eyeliner in Baby Eyes Enhancer

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The final product in the bag was this Chella lipstick. I thought from the packaging that this was going to be a bright cherry red color but it swatches a lot more like a berry tone. It’s creamy and very pigmented. I also wore this the other night and it looked really lovely. It didn’t feather and it seemed to wear off nicely and not go all blotchy.

Full sized product $18. Find it here Chella Lipstick in Passionate Pink

 

I hope you enjoyed this post. I’ll talk to you next week!

Stay beautiful!

Lizzie

Pancakes with Blueberry Syrup and Streusel Topping

Happy National Pancake Week!

I had originally intended on doing an Ipsy unboxing today but decided to move it to next week in lieu of celebrating pancakes. Because who doesn’t love a good pancake?! This is not a healthy recipe by any means. It’s full of fat, carbs, and sugary goodness. This recipe will make about 6-8 pancakes depending on how big you make them.

If anyone else has a good pancake recipe, please share it in the comments down below so everyone can try it. Let the pancake feasting begin!

Lizzie


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Pecan Streusel

  • 1/4 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. almond flour
  • 2 T. butter, melted
  • 3/4 c. pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 350* F. In a small bowl combine all ingredients and mix until well combined. Place in a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Spread the mixture evenly. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool then break into pieces.


 

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Blueberry Syrup

  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1/3 to 1/2 c. water
  • 1 1/2 c. blueberries
  • Juice of 1 lemon

In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water. Heat on a medium heat until mixture starts to bubble. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Add blueberries and lemon juice and simmer for 5 minutes. Reduce heat and gently simmer for 10-15 more minutes until syrup thickens slightly. Keep warm.


 

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Pancakes

  • 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c. almond flour
  • 1 T. brown sugar
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 2 T. butter, melted

Combine flour, almond flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside. Stir together milk, vanilla, butter, and egg. Then combine the wet and dry ingredients. It’s alright if there are a few lumps, you don’t want to over mix it!

Heat your skillet to a medium heat and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Spoon some pancake batter onto the pan. When bubbles rise to the surface of the pancake, give it a flip and cook until browned.

Serve your pancakes warm with butter, blueberry syrup, streusel, and whipped cream. Enjoy!

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How I Wash My Makeup Brushes

Hello beauties!

Cleaning your makeup brushes is a thing that sometimes gets overlooked. When I was first getting into makeup, I had no idea where to start when it came to cleaning them. So I hope some of you find this helpful.

Why should you wash your makeup brushes? Aside from the obvious makeup build up. Your brushes pick up oil and bacteria from your face as well as dead skin cells. If you keep using the same dirty brush, you’re likely to get eye infections and breakouts. Working with a clean brush will also help you apply your makeup better.

How often should you wash your makeup brushes? This depends on how often you’re using them. But as a general rule, spot clean them once or twice a week and deep clean them once a month. (Need a good spot cleaner? Try one of these: Pro Hygiene Makeup Brush Cleaner, Mary Kay Brush Cleaner)

What do you use to wash your brushes? There are a variety brush cleaners on the market. Some people just use hand soap, shampoo, or dish soap. I like to use a mixture of baby shampoo and coconut oil or a mixture of dish soap and coconut oil. The coconut oil helps to condition your brushes as well as break down the makeup.


 

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To make brush cleaner mix 4 parts baby shampoo OR dish detergent to 1 part coconut oil. Store in a squeeze bottle so it’s easier to use.


Now that we know why and what let’s learn how. Here are a couple of things to remember before we start:

  • DON’T use super hot water. This could melt the glue in the ferrule that’s holding the bristles together.
  • DON’T dry your brush with the bristles in the air. Again water and such will leak down the ferrule and loosen the bristles.
  • DO make sure to rinse your brushes thoroughly. You don’t want to be rubbing leftover shampoo or dish detergent into your face.

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Begin by dampening your brush with warm water. Next place a small amount of brush cleaner into the palm of your hand. Work the cleaner into the brush using circular motions. Follow up by rinsing the brush thoroughly. You may need to repeat these steps if the brush is very dirty.

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Gently squeeze the bristles to remove excess water. Then towel dry the brush using circular motions. Place it down flat to finish drying on a clean towel. I leave mine overnight to make sure they’re completely dry.

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As a final step, take a paper towel spritzed with some rubbing alcohol and wipe down the handles of the brushes.

Aaaaaaand you’re done! Your brushes are an investment. Take good care of them and they’ll last for many, many years. I hope you all have a very happy Monday!

Stay beautiful!

Lizzie

Red Maca Root Smoothie Recipe

Good morning, beauties!

Let’s take a minute to talk about Maca Root. Maca Root has gained a lot of popularity over the last few years and it’s easy to see why. It’s absolutely loaded with health benefits. Everything from assisting with regulating hormone imbalance, reducing stress and anxiety, helping your complexion, preventing hair loss, reducing or preventing osteoporosis, etc. (If you want to know more about the benefits of Maca Root Powder you can read about it here: https://www.themacateam.com/maca-benefits)

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Wow! That all sounds awesome! Let’s all eat Maca Root, right? Well… to be perfectly honest, it isn’t my favorite flavor. It’s a bit like malt but not nearly as tasty. It took some getting used to. But I found by adding Maca into these smoothies it makes it pretty pleasant to consume. You can switch up the fruit to what you like and what’s in season. Sometimes I add sweetener if the fruit is very sour. I hope you enjoy!

Stay beautiful!

Lizzie


Red Maca Root Smoothie
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Ingredients:

  • 1 c. frozen fruit (today I used a combination of bananas and raspberries)
  • 1 c. fresh fruit (today I used strawberries)
  • 2 c. almond milk
  • 1-3 t. Red Maca powder
  • 1-2 T. honey or agave syrup, optional
  • 1/2 t. cinnamon, optional

Place everything into a blender and blend until smooth.

 

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