Thursday, March 31, 2016

Pin to Present: Sriracha Teriyaki Meatballs

I love these link ups from Anne.  I don't use Pinterest as much as I used to, but after Owen raved this recipe in her Five on Friday a few weeks back, I knew I had to pin it.  The following weekend, we made these Sriracha Teriyaki Meatball Bowls, and they were so good!  I loved the spice of the sauce (we might have added a bit more sriracha than the recipe suggested), and the flavor of the teriyaki.  This recipe made so many that I happily ate them with brown rice (Uncle Ben's 90 second microwave bags of brown rice are so good!) all week.
Besides as a dinner in a bowl, these would also make a fantastic appetizer if you rolled them a little smaller and stuck toothpicks in them.  I know what I'll be making for our next party!

Check out my other Pin to Pinterest posts: summer outfit inspiration and copycat orange chicken

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Empties: Re-buy or Recycle

One of my New Year's Resolutions this year was to wear makeup everyday, and until last Wednesday, I had accomplished that.  Unfortunately, I'm not allowed to wear any makeup over the next couple of weeks as my eye heals, but I'm going to jump right back on it as soon as I can.  I have seen a few of these "empties" posts and videos from my favorite bloggers in the past, and now that I'm going through enough makeup, I wanted to share which products I'll be buying again or which ones I'll be looking for new alternatives to.
e.l.f Eyelid Primer: This primer works great and really sets a great base before I apply eyeshadow.  Especially for the price, I swear by this stuff.  Re-buy.

Maybelline Dream Pure BB: I don't wear foundation, like, ever, but when I'm going for a more full-face look, this is what I use.  I love how easy this cream is to apply, and it doesn't feel heavy at all.  I was surprised how far a little tube has gone, and I've only bought it two times in the last year.  Re-buy.

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser: If I don't have time for anything else in the morning, I make sure that this stuff and mascara make it on my face.  This concealer sets so quickly and covers amazingly.  Re-buy.

Maybelline Dream Lumi and Maybelline Fit Me concealers: I thought Dream Lumi was great until I bought Fit Me for the first time, now I will never go back to Dream Lumi.  The formula is good, but the blending power of Fit Me is unmatched. Dream Lumi: Recycle; Fit Me: Re-buy.

Maybelline Waterproof Mega Plush: I used to solely wear waterproof mascara, and this was my go-to.  The formula isn't too thick, compared to other waterproofs.  However, the regular formula (non-waterproof) is too thin for me, so I use this or this.  Re-buy.

Covergirl Instant Cheekbones in Sophisticated Sable: I love the perfect combination of blush and bronzer.  (I'm lazy in the morning and go for the fewest products as possible when getting ready.)  I only use the middle color, so I initially thought this product was a bit of a waste.  Instead, I've tried purchasing a couple different colors of Maybelline's Dream Wonder powder, but no color is the same, so I'll be going back to using my one color in the Covergirl palette.  Re-buy.

Urban Decay All Nighter setting spray: I received this spray as a sample when I made a Sephora order.  All-nighter was too oily, so I purchased Urban Decay De-slick and am happily using that one. Recycle.

Neutrogena Make-up Remover Towelettes: I've used these for years and swear by them.  They take off makeup (including waterproof mascara) with such ease, and don't leave your skin feeling dry.  Re-buy.

Neutrogena Oil-Free Pink Grapefruit Foaming Scrub: Here's another product I've used for years, but now with the outlaw on microbeads, I wonder what will happen to the formula.  If it stays even remotely similar, I'll be happy.  Re-buy.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Scrub: Since I made this in the fall, I've used this every couple of days throughout the winter to get rid of dead cells and keep my skin hydrated.  Now that it's springtime, I'm looking for a new scrub to make - any scent or ingredient suggestions?  Re-make.
There you have it!  What products are loving (or hating) recently?

Monday, March 28, 2016

Easter Weekending

I hope everyone had a happy Easter!  We had a nice, relaxing weekend after my surgery, which was perfect because it has not stopped raining in Charleston since Friday.  I've been lucky to have the best nurse (Mike) who has stayed on top of everything, driven me to all my appointments, and even bought me tons of ice cream.  (He says all surgeries deserve endless ice cream, and who am I to object?)
As for my retina detachment surgery itself, everything went well, but recovery has just been a bit slower than anticipated.  The surgeon fixed all the holes in my eye and inserted a gas bubble to help everything heal.  My depth perception has been severely affected, and all I can see is light and dark out of that eye, so my other eye has to strain like crazy to compensate.  I've been getting tired really easily and sleeping a lot throughout the day.  Over the next week, the gas bubble will reside, but luckily, in the meantime, I have these two to keep me company while I listen to way too much SVU and Food Network.
Don't worry, I have made it out of the house all of twice.  On Thursday night, I went with Erika (who also gave me those beautiful orange tulips) to the Charleston Blog Society pre-opening party at Arhaus.  This place was amazing, and I cannot wait to go back when I can actually see more of their interior design work.
We also went to Easter Sunday Service yesterday morning at St. Matthew's.  We had never been there before, but I can definitely see us going back.  Easter was just the two of us, but we did have a nice dinner yesterday, cooking one of our absolute favorites, lasagna rolls.  They were so good!
Linking up with Biana for Weekending!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Why I'm Giving Up Half Marathons

Since I wrote my Glass Slipper race recap a couple of weeks ago and officially announced my half marathon retirement, I've received a few comments and texts asking why I'm stopping.  I decided that since this is something that's been a part of my life for more than 15 years, I wanted to share it with y'all.

When I was in middle school, cross country was the only fall sport that didn't cut people.  Fresh into a new school with way more kids than my neighborhood elementary school, I decided to try out, wanting to make new friends and try something different.  Honestly, I really loved it.  I wasn't that good at it, but I could run the full 2 miles without stopping, and little 11 year-old me was proud of that.  #ilookthesameat11and27
About half-way into my 7th grade season, I started having unbearable knee pain.  My parents took me to my pediatrician who sent me to the best sports doctor in the area.  He took a look at my knees and because of some inflammation, told me that I had Osgood-Slautter Disease, otherwise known as "growing pains."  There wasn't anything he could do about it besides wait for my body to catch up with itself, meaning that I would continue to have this pain while running.  Unfortunately, I had to give up running after middle school as I knew my knees could never take the added distance needed for high school cross country.

Flash forward to senior year of high school when I was swimming long distances (500 free, 200 IM, and the mile) on two swim teams.  Swimming was fantastic for my knees, but I started having a new pain: in my feet.  Once again, it was back to the pediatrician, and this time to a podiatrist.  I was given a plantar fasciitis diagnosis.  I have super flat feet, meaning I'm predisposed to this type of foot pain.  In one of my very first appointments, I vividly remember the doctor asking if I had ever had any knee pain, because this would be a very first sign.  I thought back to middle school and asked if it all could be connected.  The doctor said that it definitely was, and that my Osgood Slatter diagnosis was most likely incorrect.  I went through a ton of physical therapy, learned a million stretches, and my whole body started to feel so much better.

It really stunk to learn four years later that I could have participated in cross country through high school if my original doctor had just thought to look down to my feet, and honestly, I'm still a little bitter.  When I got to college a few months later, more emphasis was put on strength and flexibility while playing college golf, so I didn't do a lot of cardio and didn't have time to in my spare time.  #yesihadpurplehair
It wasn't until my senior year of college when my parents, Mike, and I took a trip to Florida and stopped for a few days in Walt Disney World that I would once again catch the running bug.  On our way into the Magic Kingdom one morning, we had parked at the transportation hub and were waiting for the monorail.  We could not figure out why there were so many people crowded there with signs, but soon we saw the line of runners coming through the entrance.  I had never heard of runDisney before, but I already wanted to do it.  Getting to run through the theme parks?! That sounds awesome.
So, the next year, I signed up for that same race I had watched.  I ran throughout the year, and with only minor aches and pains, I did it.  Now, four years later, I've run four half marathons: 2012 Walt Disney World, 2013 Tinker Bell, 2013 Wine & Dine, and 2015 Princess.
I think that not running literally once from the ages of 13 to 22 definitely hurt my chances at being a half marathoner for life.  Even with fantastic orthotics and all the stretching in the world, my knees still have days when they ache and I get nervous on every half marathon start line that my plantar fasciitis will flare up during the race.  That's why I'm sticking to 10ks.  I don't get the residual pain after running a 10k, and it's so much less stressful.  I love that 6 mile distance, and even better, it's something Mike and I can do together.

So, that's my story.  I'd love to hear from any of you who have had similar knee or foot issues and how you still live a healthy lifestyle!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

What I Wore + Wedding Wednesday

Last Wednesday, I shared my outfit inspiration for the Boston wedding Mike and I attended last weekend.  One of our Connecticut roommates got married, and we had such a blast.  It was so great to see everyone, the bride was stunning, and the groom was totally beaming with pride.

I tried my best to find the exact dress I wore because I just love the back, but this was the closest I could find.  I have to admit, I want this one, too - who doesn't like a little extra sparkle?!
earrings ||| cuff ||| necklace (All 3 were from my most recent Rocksbox - use code megdtaylorxoxo to get a free month of their designer jewelry service.)
Because it obviously couldn't be the beautiful 60 degree weather it had been the previous week in Massachusetts, I paired my dress with a kelly green and turquoise shawl.  I'd link to you it, but I imagine I bought it years ago off a street vendor in New York City - haha!
The ceremony took place at a beautiful little Lutheran church, just south of Boston, and the reception was down the road at The Tirrell Room.
How beautiful was the view and sunset outside The Tirrell Room?
Our whole group of friends were seated together, and right next to the dance floor.  We're pretty sure they did that on purpose, because after the cake was cut and the first dances were done, you know we were the first ones up there.  I wish I had saved my snapchat photo of the cake.  It was delicious: coconut frosting with a raspberry layer in the middle.
Thanks so much to Lindsey, Andrew, and their families for having us this weekend!  We were so happy to be able to celebrate this amazing day with all of you!

Linking up with Macy and Nikki for Wedding Wednesday!

Monday, March 21, 2016


Did everyone have a good St Patrick’s Day? We enjoyed some green beer with friends and our share of car bombs.   Mike has this thing where he needs to do a car bomb the start of every half of a UConn tournament game. He started it in 2011 when the first game fell on St. Paddy’s, and it worked twice with championship titles in 2011 and 2014!
Speaking of the tournament, how’s your bracket doing? Between work, friends, and local bars, I filled out 5 brackets. None of them are looking so good, but then again, whose is with all these awesome upsets?? Oh, and both of our teams: Holy Cross Crusaders and UConn Huskies are both out, so not the best year for us.

Mike and I are hopefully flying back this morning from Boston. Not only did we have an awesome time at our friends' wedding, we also had a chance to spend time with my cousins, whose kids we hadn't seen since they were this small.  Now look at them in the photo below!! I’ll be recapping all of the wedding on Wednesday! As I write this on Sunday night, it looks like the city of Boston could get up to 10 inches overnight, so we’ll hope this spring storm isn’t as crazy as the meteorologists are predicting and we can get home tomorrow. Honestly, all I care about is that we are back in Charleston by Wednesday.
On Wednesday, I have to have eye surgery.   Early in February, when I was driving at night, I noticed that every time I turned my head, a lightning bolt went through my vision. When we were in Disney later that month, I noticed that the flashes started happening every time I blinked at night, and now I’m constantly seeing bright and dark lines and shadows, regardless of the time of day.
Unfortunately, I won’t be able to work for a week (can’t stare too intently at anything for too long), can’t do anything physical for at least 2 weeks (bye bye Bridge Run registration, kickball season (with one of my favorite teams ever), and spring golf), and can’t fly for 6 weeks. On the bright side, at least it’ll be fixed.  So, I apologize in advance for my potential lack of communication over the next week. I’ll try my hardest to still keep up with blog posting and reading!
We have been cooking up a storm recently.  My latest Blogging for Books read The Tabasco Cookbook by Paul McIlhenny and Barbara Hunter is seriously my new favorite go-to recipe guide.  Growing up, I actually didn't like spice at all and didn't even try Tabasco until I was in college.  Now, the spicier the better, and I loved the piquancy scale where (if using the amount of Tabasco in the recipe), you could see if a recipe was one to four Tabasco bottles hot.  I expected recipes like a Bloody Mary, gumbo, and wings made with this famous pepper sauce, but I was so surprised at the number of unique things you can cook with the iconic condiment.  I've now tried a few recipes from the book including Honey Glazed Carrots and Spicy Spinach Quichettes with my favorite being the Scallops in Double Pepper Sauce.  What I loved most was that each recipe didn't have too many ingredients, and they were mostly all things with which I was familiar (nothing too weird).  Next up will definitely be one of the desserts, either Hot Bananas with Rum and Chocolate or the Spicy Pumpkin Tart this fall.  I highly recommend this book for spice lovers, and even if you're not so much into spicy food, you should definitely consider getting this book and cutting back on the Tabasco because the flavors these recipes pack are fantastic!

Well, this post has already become way too long so I need to do another one of these soon. There’s so much going on in our lives, and I feel like I have just not had enough time to write it all down. I hope everyone has a great week!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Spring in Charleston

Spring will officially start this Sunday, but it's felt like springtime here in Charleston for a couple of months.  I mean, it's actually been more like summer for the last week or so with every day in the mid-80s, but it looks as though the next few days we'll be experiencing more spring-like temperatures in the 60s and 70s.  A few weeks back, I went to an #InstaMeetUpCHS with Erika, organized and hosted by Mark and Jonathan.  We started the tour in College of Charleston's Cistern Yard, learning about the history of the area and snapping photos at spots like Wasbee Range, Grace Church, and Mount Zion AME throughout Harleston Village.

I hope everyone has a happy weekend and a fantastic start to spring!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Turquoise & Black: Early Spring Wedding Wear

A couple of weeks ago when I returned and rated my second Rocksbox (use code megdtaylorxoxo for a free month!), I asked for a set of jewelry pieces to wear to an upcoming wedding.  I told my stylist that I had no idea what to wear, so I hoped she would give me some shopping inspiration.  Well, Elena did a fantastic job and paired together a few turquoise pieces for me.  Then, after seeing Kerri's post last week, I knew exactly what I'd wear - black!  The pop of color will be the ideal fit, and now I just need to choose the perfect black dress.  I put together a few ideas below, and I'd love to hear your favorite!
necklace ||| earrings ||| cuff (exact - out of stock and similar) ||| wedges

Linking up with Macy and Nikki for Wedding Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Blogging with Furry Friends

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.  All opinions are mine alone. #IAMScat #CollectiveBias
Today on the blog is a little behind the scenes post all about my girls.  I've talked about my cats, Roxy and Shadow, far too many times around here, and today will be no different.  They make my life as a blogger... fun? exciting? difficult? ...let's just say there's never a dull moment when they're around.  Yes, we're lucky that they love us so much and aren't your typical standoffish cats, but boy, when they know I need to do a DIY project or take photos, they are right in the middle of it.  Shadow thinks she's a model and Roxy (but everyone calls her Ruxin - The League, anyone?!) just wants ALL THE PETS.  
Luckily for them, I finally have a DIY that actually is for them!  Ruxin and Shadow enjoy an indoor Proactive Health formula of IAMS™ dry cat food, so I was really excited to see that IAMS™  has now come out with treats to supplement their regular food.  IAMS™ functional treats target specific dietary needs for your cat - Hairball Care, Digestive Health, and Oral Care.
For being my number 1 and 2 blog cheerleaders, I decided to make them a little toy for their IAMS™ treats.  These cat toy treat holders were so easy to make, and with the IAMS™ treats inside, you know both cats were working hard to get their prize.

All you need to make them is: empty toilet tissue rolls, scissors, felt, tacky glue, and IAMS™ Proactive Health cat treats.
1. Cut one-inch holes on both sides and at opposite ends of empty tissue rolls (a total of 4 cuts per roll).
2. Fold up both ends of the roll until they close.
3. Cut a strip of felt to fit along the middle, unfolded section of the tissue roll and glue it to the roll.
3. Wait for the glue to dry and stuff 10 treats into the tube.  IAMS™ serving suggestion is 10 treats per cat per day to see desired results.
So, like I said, blogging can be tough with these cats (Example A: the top photo and Example B: below).  I couldn't even take a photo of the treats before Miss Nosy came over to start sniffing (and eating) the IAMS™ cat treats.  I love that she loves them, but come on, girl!
If you're looking to get some IAMS™ Proactive Health cat treats for your own favorite assistant - you can find them in the pet section of your local Walmart store.
Finally, it was time for their fun.  Both cats enjoyed getting their paws in there and going to town on the tubes to get their treats.  I would say this one is a success, for sure, and next time I need to keep them away from the my DIY or photo session, I know exactly how to keep them distracted.

Do you have a healthy and happy cat?  IAMS™ wants to hear all about it!  Visit their social hub to share your story!

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