September 19, 2014

Healthy and Easy Winter Veggie Soup

This week was a bit cooler down South, so I broke out my soup recipes and make two soups.  I love the process of making soup and you can't just help but feel cozy while chopping, mixing and simmering away. 

Yesterday I tried a really easy, really healthy Winter Soup Recipe that I found here.  It couldn't have been easier or just what the doctor ordered.  At a time of year when I especially miss New England, making soup made me feel like it was a crisp Fall day in Connecticut. Here's what you'll need for the soup:

Winter Veggie Soup

-About 6 cups of broth (you may want more if you like a thinner soup. I like a very thick soup!
-One white or yellow onion
-3 cloves of garlic
-1/2 bag of baby carrots (or you can use whole. I just had a bag of baby carrots on hand)
-3 stalks of celery
-1 sweet potato
-2 leeks
-1 head of broccoli
-red lentils (I used half a pound. You can add more)
-salt and pepper
-olive oil

Start by chopping up your onion and garlic and saute it in a tablespoon or two of olive oil. This was an impromptu post, so excuse the quick IPhone pics!

Then chop all your veggies. I didn't even bother chopping the baby carrots and the other veggies were very roughly chopped. You'll end up blending it all in the end, so it doesn't matter all that much. You just don't want the potatoes too big as it will take longer to soften. 

Then throw in the lentils. Let it all cook for a few minutes. 

Next, pour in the broth. I started with 4 cups and added about two more. You may want to watch it and add more as you see fit! This is also a good time to season. Don't wait until the end to season your soup. 

Bring the mixture to a boil, then let it simmer for about 25 minutes. I like to taste it a few times along the way to check for seasoning. 

I totally forgot to take a picture of the next step, but after letting it simmer, place the mixture in a blender (or use an immersion blender) and blend it up! I like a chunky soup, so I didn't blend it until completely smooth. 

And here's the finished product! Look at all those chunks of delicious veggies! I make a couple slices of toast (with butter of course) and eat it with the soup. It is super healthy (minus the butter) and filling too. Enjoy!

September 18, 2014

L&L Beauty Favorites: Under Eye Concealer

I have always been a product lover, so I've used quite a few different products over the years. Since having children I've used more drugstore products than ever, so I feel like I've gotten a good feel of both high and low end options.

So, I decided to start up a series in which I will give my top three products from different categories, giving you high, mid-range, and low priced options. Just for reference, low priced I see as $10 and under, mid range is over $15 and high end is typically over $40.  I also always have new products I want to try, so I'll share a few wish list items in each group too. First up today is under eye concealers! This is certainly one product that as we get older, we need some great options. Between circles, bags, fine and deep set lines, dryness and discoloration, there is a whole lot going on here that needs a bit of magic spackle each morning.

Low/Drugstore: Revlon PhotoReady Concealer ($7)

This is not the first time I've sung the praises of this concealer.  It is by far the only concealer that I've ever used from the drugstore that actually stays in place and has great coverage. Not to mention I have never had a single problem with creasing.  It also is one of the few products I  used until the bitter end before repurchasing another concealer. Usually I get bored mid way through and move on to try something else. I highly highly recommend this option and for $7, you don't have much to lose!

MidRange: MAC's Pro Longwear Concealer ($20)

MAC's Pro Longwear Concealer is a liquid concealer which I was a bit hesitant about. I need good coverage, so I assumed something more liquid would be too thin and sheer. However, I was quite wrong about this gem. It comes in lots of shades (I definitely recommend going to a counter to have them match you) and has terrific coverage. I apply mine with a small brush and tap it into my skin so I don't wipe a lot of the product off. It wears nicely all day and has little to no creasing around the eyes. 

Mid Range: Laura Mercier High Coverage Concealer ($28)

So $28 is hardly cheap, but this magic potion is so thick that one tube will last forever! I cannot tell you how little of this product you actually need to cover those dark circles each morning. The coverage is super high, as the name suggests, and comes in a great range of colors. I used the 1.5 shade and it covers beautifully, doesn't crease and also manages to highlight the area nicely. This is hands down my new favorite choice in the under eye concealer game!

Products to Try: 

High End: Cle de Peau Beaute Concealer ($70)

Ok, let me start by saying that I think $70 for any makeup product is INSANE but I cannot talk about under eye conealers without mentioning Cle de Peau. People swear by this product and say that it is pure magic in a stick form. It will be a long long time before I ever splurge on this baby, but I am truly curious to see what all the rage is about!

So that wraps up under eye concealers! I'd love to hear what you use and what I should put on my must try list!

September 16, 2014

Weekend Happenings...A Day Late

 Hi folks! So yesterday was busy around here and on top of that my body was sorta pissed off at me, so I didn't get a chance to post.  I am in the midst of training for a half marathon and my Sunday 9 mile run just look the life out of me. My body was a bit achy, but more so I was just flat out tired and needed a little nap around 2 pm.

Friday night I went to a wine tasting at our club with some girls. It was a fun time and I got to wear my favorite comfy dress found here. 

I also found a great new wine, via my Mom!, called Castle Rock. Their Pinot Noir is delish!!

Saturday my Zara knockoff scarf from Ali Express came and I love it! It was $15 and is the softest blanket scarf ever! Now I'll need to figure out how to wear this is huge!! Find the scarf here. 

I took the kids to the pool for one last swim of the season after my 9 miler. These seemed like a great idea at the time, but yeah, not so much....ugh.

Finally, this pic is from last week, so don't worry, I don't always have a glass of wine in my hands! But, I wanted to share the cutest pjs I got at Target with my mom. They are black and gray and come with a matching sweatshirt (pictured up top!). I love me some Target pjs! Find them here.

Have a great Tuesday and see you back here tomorrow!