Archive for September 2015

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Oz Naturals Review: Tinted Sunscreen

Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Happy Tuesday! 
Today's post is a review of the OZ Naturals Tinted Sunscreen. I was kindly sent this to test out. OZ Naturals is a Leading Natural Skin Care Line. They have a wide variety of skin care products from cleansers to fantastic serums. In last months IPSY glam, it came with the OZ Naturals Amino Herbal Hydration Mask and I was very impressed with that mask. I highly recommend checking it out, here. So pretty much, they have some fantastic skin care products. However, I will be honest, when it comes to sunscreens, I am the worst at remembering to apply it. I do use a moisturizer that has SPF 15, and I did even buy a Clinique Sunscreen that has an SPF 50. Although the Clinique sunscreen is great, I always forget to put it on, and it is a bit thick. So I always add it to a moisturizer and mix it to try and thin it out. As you can tell by now that sunscreens are not my top priority, even though it should be. I rely on the products that I am already using, such as foundation or moisturizer to give me the sunscreen, even though they do not contain a high SPF content. When I received the OZ Naturals Tinted Sunscreen, at first, I thought it was a tinted moisturizer but it is not. It is just a sunscreen with a tint.



Price: 
This product retails for $21.99 on Amazon, here. You can also purchase this from the OZ Naturals website, and it will direct you to the Amazin Shop. This product is not drugstore priced affordable. It is priced with some department store sunscreens, such as Clinique Sunscreen that is priced at $21.50 at Sephora and Macy's. The Clinique has an SPF 50; you get 50 ml, and it is not tinted. The OZ Naturals has SPF 30, you get 60 ml and it is tinted.

Claims: 
1. Instantly Blends Into Skin
2.  Provides A Rich Youthful Glow
3.  Nourishes the skin
4.  Protects the skin from the aging effects of cumulative daily UV exposure.


Consistency: 
It is medium thickness and blends into the skin easily and does leave any tacky feel. It does leave the skin moisturized.

Formula: 
Sometimes, "us" consumers get mislead to what a certain product can really do. I did some research on sunscreens and I am big believer that when you are shopping, you should shop for ingredients instead of brand, title, and any claims to how a certain product will perform.

Here are a few important ingredients to look for:
1. Broad Spectrum: Always looks for a sunscreen that contins a broad-spectrum protection against both ultraviolet A and B rays.
2. Zinc oxide: Is one type of ingredient to look for in a sunscreen product label, because according to LiveStrong.com, Zic Oxide shields you from both UVA and UVB rays. Which helps prevent against sun damage and signs of premature aging. Also, Zinc oxide is a physical sunscreen.

 Here are the first three ingredients in the OZ Naturals Sunscreen: 

1. Deionized Water (Aqua): Since this is the first ingredient on the list, the content is very high.

2. Steryl Alcohol: This is an organic compound that is derived from fatty acids. This ingredient is used as a thickening agent in moisturizers. This ingredient usually comes from stearic acid deposits in shea nuts and coconut oil. Since this the second ingredient on the list, the amount is high.

3. Glycerin: This ingredient is considered to be a great natural alcohol and water attractor, which helps to create a youthful and glowy looking skin. Glycerin is a nontoxic product and helps to give moisture to the skin by restoring the water content. This ingredient is beneficial to the skin and since it is the third on the list, there is a large amount of it.


My Experience: 

I apply this in the morning after I cleanse. Since this is a moisturizing sunscreen, I use in the place of my moisturizer. Although it is intended to be a tinted sunscreen, I did not see much of a difference in terms of coverage. It absorbs fast into the skin and does not leave any visible tint as I thought it would. I have an olive undertone to my skin,  so maybe someone with a lighter/pale skin color might see a tint to their skin than I did. But honestly, I still do not feel that the tint it is truly pigmented. Additionally, the formula absorbs into the skin quickly and it feels pretty comfortable. It does not leave a residue feel or tackiness on the skin. There are many sunscreens that have a thick, tacky feel or a residue/greasy feel if there are moisturizing properties in the formula. It provides a broad spectrum and contains SPF 30, which is much better than 15. Overall, the sunscreen is good and is suitable for sensitive skin, so it should not break you out. Downside: Price. Although it is not crazy expensive, it is priced with similar well known brands, like Clinique. The Clinique sunscreen offers an SPF 50 which is much higher. But at the same time, OZ Naturals is a natural and cruelty-free brand, so that is what separates them.

I highly recommend checking this product out, if you are looking for a moisturizing sunscreen, and you are interested in a more natural cruelty free brand.

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Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day! 


Middle Eastern Dessert: Kunafa With Cream

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Middle Eastern Dessert Kunafa With Cream
Happy Tuesday! 

Today's post is a recipe of one of my favorite Middle Eastern Dessert: Kunafa with Cream. This dessert looks complex, but I promise, if you follow the instructions, you will be able to create this delicious and decadent dessert that is well known within the middle eastern culture. I grew up eating this dessert, and it truly is a treat to spoil yourself with. Now, I am sure you are probably wondering what is Kunafa? Well, it is butter shredded fillo dough that has cream or sweet cheese in the middle, with a sugar syrup on top and garnished with crushed pistachios. YUM, right?! 

There are three steps: 

1. Making the Sugar Syrup
2. Making the Cream Filling 
3. Shredding the Fillo Dough 

Let us begin...

Middle Eastern Dessert Kunafa With Cream

Sugar Syrup

- 1 Cup sugar 
- 1 Cup water 
-  Half teaspoon of lemon 
- Teaspoon Blossom Water (optional)

Instructions: 
Mix all the ingredients in a saucepan and on medium heat, cook until the syrup begins boiling. Cook for another 4 minutes, and  the mixture will have a thick syrup consistency.  Let it cool, and set aside to use later over the Kunafa. 


Cream Filling 

- 3 cups of Milk 
- 3 Tablespoons of Corn Starch 
- 3 Tablespoons of Sugar 
- 2 Tablespoon of Blossom Water or Rose water 

Instructions: 
In a medium saucepan mix the milk, sugar, and cornstarch together. Then on medium to high heat stir until the mixture thickens. This may take 4-6 minutes. When the cream is thick, turn off the heat and add the blossom water and mix well. Pour the cream into a plate and set aside. 




Shredded Fillo Dough (Pastry dough)

- 1 box/ pound of Kataifi, Which is Shredded Fillo Dough, (you can purchase this online if you can not find it at a store)
- 250 Grams of melted butter 
- Teaspoon of blossom water 

Instructions: 
In a food processor pulse the dough until shredded and then add the melted butter. Pulse a couple of times, until the butter is mixed well with the dough. If you do not have a processor, you can do this step by hand and just break the strings apart. 







Preheat the oven 350 F

Assembling

In a round pie pan, spread a colored orange food dye at the bottom and coat the sides as well. This is an optional step, but it does give a really nice color.


Instructions: 

- Add half the Kunafa shredded dough evenly and press it down well.
- Then add all of the cream filling over it and spread it evenly.
- Then add the remaining Kunafa shredded dough over the cream, covering it entirely and press it down gently.



Baking Instructions: 

Place it in the oven for about 40 minutes. When the kunafa is golden brown from the bottom, place it on the lowest rack in the oven and broil on low, so that the top will form a golden color.

When you take it out of the oven, let it cool for ten minutes. Then flip it over on a tray, the orange color will facing on top. Pour the cooled sugar syrup over the Kunafa. Garnish with the chopped pistachios.

Cut a slice and enjoy with tea or coffee. I promise that this is a dessert that everyone should try once because it is amazing. From all the desserts I have shared on this blog, this Kunafa recipe is one I highly recommend you give it a try because it is worth it.







 Please let me know in the comments below if you have tried Kunafa with cream before? If you have not, are you interested in trying it out? Let me know!  

Thank you and have a wonderful day! 

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Post Workout Snack: Protein Drink and Almond Toffee Crunch Nutrition Bar

Sunday, September 20, 2015
Happy Sunday! 

Today's post is a quick post workout snack. I love to run 20- 30 miles a week, that is my #FeelGooder moment. When I am stressed or just really want to take some time for myself, running is my go-to. If I can not run, I will head out to the great outdoors to a trail or along a creek and just walk and soak in lifes natural beauties. Since I love to run, I have to consume good snacks pre and post run to fuel myself properly so that I can be able to perform my best on my run. Today's post run snack is a Delicious Banana protein drink with a Perfectly Simple nutrition bar in Almond Toffee Crunch. YUM! I also love to take the Perfectly Simple nutrition bar in my purse or as a dessert because it contains 10g of protein and is very filling. The Toffee Crunch nutrition bar is a great choice to replace as dessert because it is sweet but balanced, and the roasted almonds give a perfect crunch. Very delicious! 

Here is a COUPON to use on your next purchase on any of the Zone Perfect Perfectly Simple nutrition bar:


Banana Protein Drink: 

1. Three ripe bananas
2. Half cup of ice
3. Half teaspoon of Cinnamon 
4. 2 Tablespoons of Vanilla Natural Protein Powder
5. Cup of Almond Milk, Milk, or Coconut Milk 

That is it!
A simple and great post workout Banana Protein drink! I would love to know what your #Feelgooder moment is. Also, what is your favorite post workout snack? Let me know in the comments below. 

HAPPY EATING







Zone Perfect Perfectly Simple Nutrition Bar


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Vegan Grain Salad Taco

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Happy Thursday! 

Today's recipe is a Vegan Grain Salad Taco. What I like about today's food post is that it is not complicated, really filling and healthy for you. I used the Suddenly Grain Salad box in Harvest Grain, which contains brown rice, wild and red rice, quinoa, cranberries, almonds and a vinaigrette. You can pick this Suddenly Grain Salad at you local grocery store. Check HERE for store locations on where to get the Suddenly Grain Salads.  Also, two other boxes that you can choose from if you want to create this taco but in a different salad:

1.  Tuscan Salad
2.  Southwest Salad

What's so great about the Suddenly Salad Boxes is how affordable, delicious and easy to make.  They are perfect served cold or hot and are great for meal preps. If serving for dinner, I suggest adding sliced chicken,  shrimp, or even roasted veggies if you want to take this meal to the next level.

I am so happy to let you know that I have a COUPON for you guys to use on this product and so that you can be able to create my Vegan Taco or any meal using the Suddenly Grain Salad. 







- Read the instructions provided on your Suddenly Grain Box. 
-  When the rice has cooked, add black beans, corn, diced tomatoes, pepper, and vinaigrette and the mix thoroughly. 
- Taste the Garin Salad and if you want to, add other dried herbs if you and seasonings of your choice. 
- Heat the Taco Shells 
- Then begin assembling your taco. First, Add lettuce then add the Grain Salad on top. 
- Squeeze some lime over tacos. Add the sauce and sprinkle some chopped cilantro over the tacos. 


1: Mayo Sriracha Sauce: Tablespoon of mayo and a teaspoon of sriracha, and a drop of soy sauce. Mix and drizzle over the tacos. 
2: Vegan Sauce: Tablespoon Olive Oil, mustard, pepper, and garlic powder. Drizzle over the tacos. 







That is it! I would love to know how you would prep a meal using the Suddenly Grain Salad. Would you make this Vegan Grain Salad Taco or a Shrimp Salad? Let me know in the comments below. 

Print this Coupon so you can save on your Suddenly Grain Salad Box 



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Eggplant Wrapped Mozzarella Sticks

Tuesday, September 15, 2015
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BackYourSnack #CollectiveBias
Happy Tuesday!

Today's post is how to make Eggplant Wrapped Mozzarella Sticks. I love creating and finding new snack hacks. Also, you can create your own snack hack with #FarmRich frozen Products and one fresh produce from Walmart. Yes, that easy. But here is the cool part, #FarmRich launched a special recipe contest and starting this week, you can go and vote at Walmart for your favorite hack and there will a lucky grand prize winner.  Also, check here for the list of stores where you can find the upcoming demos and vote for the semi-finalists on 9/19 and 9/20, and the finalists on 10/9 and 10/11. Exciting, right! This now brings us to my snack hack that I came up with using the Farm Rich Frozen Mozzarella Sticks.

 My favorite party snack is mozzarella sticks; they are crispy on the outside and cheesy goodness on the inside. I love dipping them into marinara sauce because it is sweet and acidic and really helps cut through the rich mozzarella flavor. Since I love mozzarella sticks so much, I thought how can I take this simple well-loved snack to the next level? And that is where I came up with the idea of wrapping them in a semi-fried eggplant with a simple tomato sauce recipe spread. Let me just say, I was so ecstatic and amazed at how delicious and quick these were to make, yet tasted gourmet.


Here is what you will need:

1. Two Tomatoes Diced
2. Half an Eggplant
3. Seasonings: Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder Dried herbs
4. Olive Oil
5. Farm Rich Mozzarella Sticks


Instructions: 


Farm Rich Mozzarella Sticks

- Preheat the oven to 450 f but I suggest reading the instructions on the box for different cooking methods.
- Place the frozen mozzarella sticks on a baking pan and cook them for 8-10 minutes.

Tomato Sauce Recipe:
- In a small saucepan, add three tablespoons of olive oil and diced tomatoes. Cook on medium/low heat until for a couple of minutes until softened. You can also add chopped onions while the tomatoes are cooking, but this is optional. Add your choice of seasoning and the sauce is done.

Pan Fried Egg Plant Recipe:
- Slice your eggplant vertically and you want them to be medium in thickness.
- On a medium size pan, place your eggplants and drizzle oilve oil and coating both side. Add dried herbs and seasonings and cook them on medium heat until softened.

Assembling:

1. Slice your eggplant in half and spread tomato sauce and place a mozzarella stick one end and wrap them. Put a toothpick in the middle to secure it and you are done. Do this for the rest and serve as a snack, an appetizer for dinner or for a party. You will be so shocked at how amazing these are. The Farm Rich mozzarella sticks are perfect; they taste like they are homemade and love that. Check out






Now, I wan to know how you would use  #FarmRich products to creat a unique snack hack? Let me know in the comments below. 

Check out Farm Rich Contest page:  http://cbi.as/j57l and check out the contest rules http://cbi.as/l0uy