4 Must Try Hair Products

4 Must Try Hair Products

It wasn’t until recently that I started trying to take better care of my hair. For years I straightened my hair daily which left me with severe split ends and dried out hair. It’s only been a couple of years since I stopped using my straightener to torture my hair and begin blow drying it out with a round bristle brush to achieve the straight look I desired. Even still I wasn’t taking any measures to protect my hair against all the heat damage I was putting it through. I started trying several different products to try to keep my healthy as possible while still being able to style my hair as I had been. Today I will be sharing with you 4 must try hair products that I have tested and added to my hair routine.

The Southern Magnolia is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

4 Must Try Hair Products

The first product I will be discussing today is a budget friendly heat protectant. I tried the Tresemme Heat Tamer and instantly became a fan. I have tried other heat protectant products in the past such as the CHI Heat protectant serum and was disappointed that it left a greasy residue on the ends of my hair. This product leaves no residue and is supposed to protect up to 450 degrees F. Since using this product, I do feel as though I do not see as much damage from blow drying my hair as I used to. Between the very affordable price and overall performance of this heat protectant, I highly recommend adding this to your hair routine if you are looking for ways to improve your hair health and are not already using a heat protectant.

4 Must Try Hair Products

Another item I added to my hair routine in an effort to improve the health of my hair was a Wet Brush. Our hair tends to be most vulnerable when its wet. I am guilty of brushing and pulling at tangles which usually leads to breaking or pulling out several strands of hair. This is where the Wet Brush comes in handy. It makes getting tangles out super easy and painless. It has super flexible soft bristles that ensure it doesn’t break or pull out your hair when brushing through tangled hair. It can be used on both wet and dry hair. While some brushes can break the bank, this one cost less than ten dollars.

4 Must Try Hair Products

The next product I will be sharing is It’s A 10’s Miracle Deep Conditioner with Keratin. I am a huge fan of It’s a 10’s products and this one does not disappoint. I only use this one a couple of times a week and use a different conditioner on the other days. This conditioner adds shine back to your hair and helps to detangle you hair as well. It also works to strengthen your hair and prevent against split ends. While some of It’s a 10’s products can be on the pricier side, this deep conditioner is less than fifteen dollars and a small bottle goes a long ways.

4 Must Try Hair Products

The last product that I have added into my hair routine is a volumizer. I tend to have thicker and heavier hair so the longer it gets the heavier it is and tends to fall flat at the root. I had tried multiple products with little result until I tried Kenra’s Root Lifting Spray. This product was a total game changer for me. It gave me the volume I needed without leaving a greasy residue behind that I had experienced with other products. It’s a foam that you spray onto your roots and massage in to your scalp. It is also very reasonably priced and really lasts a long time.

4 Must Try Hair Products

I would love to hear what hair products you swear by and what products you use to take care of your hair.

 

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5 Easy Ways to Make Some Quick Cash

5 Easy Ways to Make Some Quick CashAll of the Christmas shopping in December probably left many of us with empty bank accounts or hefty credit card bills. Some people have probably had a chance to replenish those bank accounts or pay down the credit card bill the past two months but for those who haven’t, this post is for you. Today I will be discussing 5 easy ways to make some quick cash and help replenish those bank accounts and pay down those looming credit cards bills and put a little extra cash in your pocket.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive compensation if you click on the links in this post.

Sell Unused Clothing Items: One of the first ways I will be discussing is selling stuff you already have around your house. When I started putting away all the Christmas gifts I received this year I realize how much stuff I have sitting in my closet or house that is not being used. In order to keep from accumulating more clutter, I try to get rid of some of these items to make room for my new items. I typically receive lots of clothing as gifts for Christmas so I try looking through my closet and removing items I no longer wear to clear more space for the new clothing. I shared several tips for cleaning out your closet in this post here. I go over how to decide which clothes to trash, donate, or sell. There are lots of sites that you can sell gently used clothing on. One of those that I am familiar with and currently use is Poshmark. You can also sell clothing, as well as, tons of other items on Ebay. Ebay listing is super easy and hassle free.

Sell Old Phones, Ipad, or Computers: If you are anything like me, you hang onto your old phone after you upgrade just in case something happens to your new phone and you need a back-up. You know how many times I have actually had to use my back up phone- zero. I’m not saying that I wont ever need a back up phone but I haven’t needed one thus far. Gazelle is a company that will actually buy your old devices from you. They make the process super easy for you too. You go to their website and simply answer a few questions regarding your device and its condition and then they will quote you a price and you can choose to accept it or not. That price is conditional though, as they will inspect your device upon receiving to make sure it matches the condition you stated that it was. Shipping is free and they will even send you a box to ship it in if you would like. You can choose to receive your payment in one of three different ways; by check, paypal, or by amazon giftcard. I sold my last iPhone to gazelle and got a better price from them than other options I had looked into. I also received my money very fast.

Sell your phones and electronics for cash with Gazelle Trade-In

5 Easy Ways to Make Some Quick Cash

Open an Etsy store: If you are into crafting or making handmade things, then opening up an Etsy store could turn out to be quite profitable. I opened up my Etsy shop, Immeasurably More2, back in 2015 as a creative outlet after leaving my nursing job to travel the country with my husband and his fishing career. I also have a Shopify website but it is more costly to start and run than an Etsy shop. Opening up a shop on Etsy is actually free and each listing that you add to your shop cost only $0.20 for a four month span before you will need to renew it for another $0.20. Etsy does take a small 3.5% commission off each sale which is minimal considering the listing price of an item. Etsy is a huge community and the shoppers come to Etsy to find and buy handmade. Selling your handmade projects on Etsy is a great way to do something you enjoy and make money for doing it.

Take Surveys for Money: Taking surveys for money is definitely not a get rich quick scheme but can definitely earn you an extra $100 or so a month. I will typically spend a few minutes a day completing surveys while I’m watching television at night or waiting at a doctor’s office and just trying to kill sometime. There are tons of surveys that pay cash or with prizes for spending a few minutes to complete surveys on a variety of different topics. I will be sharing a few of the survey websites that I have personally used and had some success with.

    • Inbox Dollars– Inbox Dollars makes it easy and quick to earn some extra cash. They provide lots of survey opportunities and reward you even if you don’t qualify for a survey. They also have opportunities for you to earn cash for watching videos. They offer a very user friendly app that makes it easy to take surveys from your phone
    • Swagbucks – This is probably my favorite survey website. They offer tons of survey opportunities each day  along with tons of other ways to earn points towards rewards, such as watching videos, using their search for web searches, daily polls, and tons more. After building up points you can redeem them for cash or tons of other prizes. I have cashed out my points through Swagbucks before and they make the process super easy and fast. There is a mobile app available so that you can earn points directly from your phone.
    • Vindale– Vindale is another great survey website with lots of survey opportunities. I receive an email everytime a survey opportunity is available and it gives me the length of the survey, topic of the survey, and the dollar amount that the particular survey is worth so you can decide which you want to take. It is easy to quickly accumulate cash with minimal time spent filling out surveys. Most surveys take around 10-15 minutes to complete.
    • American Consumer Opinion– American Consumer Opinion is very user friendly. Once you create an account they will email you with screening questions to see if you qualify for different surveys. You earn points for filling out the screening questions as well as any surveys you may complete. You can then redeem your points for cash. After reaching 1,000 points or $10, you can cash out. While I don’t receive as many survey opportunities with American Consumer Opinion as I do with some of the other survey websites it is easy to earn enough points to reach the 1,000 point cash out mark.

5 Easy Ways to Make Some Quick Cash

  • Mysurvey– Mysurvey was one of the first survey websites I started using. They offer tons of surveys throughout the day. I receive an email every time a survey is available for me. You can find how many points each survey is worth along with how long it will take on the website prior to taking the survey. You can redeem your points for cash or tons of other items such as gift cards to all sorts of stores and restaurants.

 

Use Grocery Apps to receive rebates on grocery items: I discussed different grocery apps that you can use to earn cash back on your purchases in this post. In addition to ShopKick, Ibotta, Checkout51, and SavingStar that I mentioned in a previous post, I have started using MobiSave as well. It is a very user friendly app that you can simply save the offers you plan to use prior to your shopping trip then photograph your receipt to redeem cash that will be directly sent to your paypal account. It offers lots of brand name offers as well as several any brand items. Using these apps helps to put money back in my pocket when I’m buying products that I have to buy anyways.

Use code adstnkw when signing up for Ibotta to receive a $10 welcome bonus.

I hope you found my 5 easy ways to make some quick cash post helpful and that it helps to put a little extra money in your pocket. Let me know if you have other ways that you use to come up with some quick cash.

 

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Valentine’s Day Low Carb Pancakes

Valentine's Day Low Carb Pancakes

What better way to start out Valentines Day than with a delicious breakfast that is also good for you. Today I will be sharing my low carb pancake recipe. I have always been a fan of pancakes so finding a low carb option that was also delicious was a must. I have been meaning to share this recipe for a while and after stumbling upon the heart shaped cookie cutters the other day, I decided that Valentine’s day would be the perfect time to share it.

The Southern Magnolia is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Valentine's Day Low Carb Pancakes

These pancakes are super easy to make and the addition of the heart shape makes them the perfect treat to surprise you special someone on Valentine’s Day morning. You will only need 5 ingredients to make these pancakes. I found my heart shaped cookie cutters at my local Kroger on sale but they are similar to these.

Valentine's Day Low Carb Pancakes

Begin by adding 2/3 cup of egg whites, 1/4 cup of unsweetened almond milk, 1/8 cup of almond flour, 1/3 cup of powdered peanut butter, and 1/8 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder to a blender. Mix ingredients completely. The batter will appear very watery but will thicken as you cook it. Spray a pan with nonstick spray and pour in the batter. While your pancake is cooking go ahead and turn on the broiler on the oven. Cook the pancake for about 5 minutes, the top will still look uncooked but go ahead and place under the broiler in the oven. Only leave the pancake under the broiler for a couple of minutes as it will cook very fast. Remove from the oven and unless you plan on cutting them into heart shapes they are ready to be eaten.

If you want to make your pancakes into heart shapes like I did in the above pictures simply use your cookie cutters to cut out whatever size hearts you prefer. I topped off my pancakes with Hungry Jack’s Sugar Free Syrup and a few strawberries.

Valentine’s Day Low Carb Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup of egg whites
  • 1/4 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/8 cup of almond flour
  • 1/3 cup of powdered peanut butter
  • 1/8 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • sugar free syrup (optional)

Instructions

  1. Add 2/3 cup of egg whites, 1/4 cup of unsweetened almond milk, 1/8 cup of almond flour, 1/3 cup of powdered peanut butter, and 1/8 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder to a blender.
  2. Mix ingredients completely.
  3. Spray a pan with nonstick spray and pour in the batter.
  4. Turn on the broiler on the oven.
  5. Cook the pancake for about 5 minutes on the stove top, the top will still look uncooked but go ahead and place under the broiler in the oven. Only leave the pancake under the broiler for a couple of minutes as it will cook very fast.
  6. Remove from the oven and unless you plan on cutting them into heart shapes they are ready to be eaten.
http://www.thesouthernmagnolia.com/valentines-day-low-carb-pancakes/

Let me know what breakfast treats you like to enjoy on Valentine’s Day or what your thought are on these Valentine’s Day low carb pancakes if you decide to give them a try.

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Four Kiehls Products You Must Try

Four Kiehls Products You Must Try

If you are unfamiliar with the Kiehl’s brand, I will be sharing four of their products that you must give a try. I only recently started using Kiehl’s products and instantly became obsessed. My husband has been a long time fan of Kiehl’s products and he is incredibly picky about what type of products he will use(They have tons of items specifically for men). While we were shopping in Nashville a couple of months ago, we walked past a Kiehl’s store and he asked me to go in and pick out a few different products. Since I’ve heard him rave about their face wash for several years I figured why not. The challenge was narrowing down what products I wanted to get as they have so many options. After spending quite some time looking at all the different products they had in store, I finally decided on four to give a try. Below I will discuss each of the products I purchased and what my overall thoughts are on them after using them for a couple of months.

Four Kiehls Products You Must Try

I ended up purchasing the Crème De Corps, the Blue Herbal Gel Cleanser, the Rare Earth Pore Refining Tonic, and the Turmeric and Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Masque.

Four Kiehl's Products You Must Try

  1. Crème De CorpsI had heard a lot of good things about this body lotion and wanted to give it a try. I have tried several lotions in the past but none that I really think works better than another. However, after trying this lotion I would definitely say that it is far superior to other lotions I have tried in the past. It moisturizes the skin without leaving that greasy feeling that some lotions leave behind. It also does a much better job moisturizing my skin than other products I have used. I noticed a difference after just one use. It left my skin feeling very soft. It is especially good for those people that are sensitive to fragrances because this lotion does not have a strong smell.                                                                             Four Kiehls Products You Must Try
  2. Blue Herbal Gel CleanserI have a face wash that I have used for years and that I have been very pleased with so I was reluctant to give another one a try. After using it, I am definitely glad I gave it a chance. It leaves your face feeling so refreshed. It’s an oil-free cleanser which is a plus. It also contains salicylic acid, which aids in getting rid of blemishes. It also does not dry out my skin as I have experienced with other cleansers. I highly recommend this product if you are in the market for a new face wash.Four Kiehls Products You Must Try
  3. Rare Earth Pore Refining TonicI had personally never tried a toner prior to trying the rare earth pore refining toner so I don’t have much to compare it to. I liked the idea of it helping to control surface oil and that it helps to refine your pores. You need to shake the toner prior to applying as the ingredients tend to separate. Overall I really like the product. It  produces more of a matte look and works well under make-up. I do feel that it helps reduce shine/oil throughout the day as well.Four KIehls Products You Must Try
  4. Turmeric and Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance MasqueThis is by far my favorite Kiehls purchase. I am a huge fan of face masks but this one beats them all. I was drawn to this mask because it contains turmeric, which I have recently added into several of my recipes as you may have read here or here. It also contains cranberry seeds that are excellent exfoliates as well. This mask leaves your skin glowing. The overall appearance of my skin is always improved after this mask. It is easy to apply and remove, and you only need to leave the mask on for 5-10 minutes. Your skin is left feeling so smooth and soft after removing the mask. It also has a very light scent that is pleasant without being overwhelming. I cannot recommend this mask enough.

I would love to hear what your favorite Kiehl’s products are and which you would recommend I try next.

 

 

 

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White Chocolate Hazelnut Candies

White Chocolate Hazelnut Candies

The Southern Magnolia is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

With Valentine’s Day only a couple of weeks a way, it has me craving all things chocolate. My husband recently went on a trip out of town and requested that I make him a few treats to snack on while he was gone. We both have a huge obsession with Justins Nut Butters but my husbands favorite is the hazelnut butter. Searching through the pantry, I still had tons of ingredients left over from all of my Christmas baking and decided to combine the Justins Hazelnut butter with white chocolate to make some candies. The result is a delectable treat that makes it hard to stick to those New Year’s resolutions of eating healthy. Below I will share how I made these white chocolate hazelnut candies.

I previously shared my recipe for almond butter cups here that you may want to check out as well. To make these candies you will need Justins Hazelnut butter, white chocolate morsels, coconut oil, and a candy mold.

White Chocolate Hazelnut Candies

Start by melting 1/2 cup of white chocolate morsels with 1/2 tbsp. of coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl. I typically start by heating the chocolate for 20 seconds at a time and stir before heating for another 20 seconds to avoid overcooking the chocolate. When the chocolate is completely melted, spoon a small amount of the melted white chocolate into the candy molds. Spoon just enough to coat the bottom of the mold. After you finish coating the bottom of the molds with the white chocolate, place the molds in the freezer for about 5 minutes so that the chocolate has time to harden.

White chocolate hazelnut candies

Once the chocolate has hardened, remove the molds from the freezer and prepare to add the filling to our candies. Scoop 3 tbsp. of Justins Hazelnut Butter into a microwave safe bowl with 1/2tbsp of coconut oil. Heat for 20 seconds and stir. Repeat until hazelnut butter is completely melted. Scoop a small amount of the Hazelnut butter into each of the molds, completely covering the white chocolate base layer. Leave about 1/3 of each mold empty so that you can put one more layer of white chocolate on top. Once the hazelnut butter has been added to each mold, place the molds into the freezer for another 5 minutes to harden.

White Chocolate Hazelnut Candies

After the second layer has hardened, remove the candies from the freezer so that we can add the last layer. If you do not have enough melted white chocolate left over to cover each of the candies or if the chocolate has hardened back up simply add more white chocolate morsels and melt the chocolate in the microwave. Spoon enough white chocolate into each of the molds to reach the top of each mold. Once each mold is completely full, place the candies back into the freezer for another 5 minutes or until the white chocolate hazelnut candies have completely hardened.

Once the candies were completely hardened, I was able to easily remove them from the molds by gently pressing on the bottom of each mold. Your white chocolate hazelnut candies are now ready to be enjoyed. I have to warn you that it is hard not to consume all of the candies in one sitting. They are the perfect combination of salty and sweet. Let me know what your thoughts are if you give them a try.

White Chocolate Hazelnut Candies

White Chocolate Hazelnut Candies

 

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Sweet Treats for Valentine’s Day

Sweet Treats for Valentine's Day

I was compensated for this post. This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

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I know there are lots of people who dread Valentine’s Day but I have never been one of those people. I mean, come on, a holiday that encourages the consumption of chocolate and all things sweet, how could you not love that. It seems that the price of chocolate and candy seems to soar around the holidays. If you are not fortunate to have a special someone in your life to buy that expensive chocolate/candy for you this year or if you are responsible for buying the candy for your little ones to give to their friends and classmates , I am here to let you in on a little secret. The Dollar Tree has tons of Valentines chocolate, candy,  and decorations, and you guessed it, for only one dollar a piece. This allows you to stock up on all of your Valentine’s Day needs for a fraction of the cost, leaving you plenty of money to snag a few sweets for yourself.

Sweet Treats for Valentine's Day

Today I will be sharing 3 of my favorite Dollar Tree candies and how I use them to create some delicious treats for whatever Valentine’s Day festivities you may be attending.

Sweet Treats for Valentine's Day

I purchased the Palmer Cookies & Crème Hearts, Peanut Butter Hearts and the Milk Chocolate Luscious Lips. Growing up my Grandmother always stocked us up on Palmer’s brand chocolates around the holidays so I have been a long time fan. The chocolates are absolutely delicious and the Valentine’s Day inspired shapes make them even more fun.

$1 Craft Supplies at Dollar Tree!

I decided to add my chocolates to another one of my favorite desserts, cookies. I used both plain sugar cookies and chocolate peanut butter cup cookies. I simply prepared my cookies per the instruction from the package and after removing them from the oven I promptly placed my chocolates on top of the cookies before they had a chance to cool. This allows the chocolate to melt to the cookie so that it stays attached. I put the peanut butter hearts on top of the chocolate peanut butter cup cookies and the milk chocolate luscious lip chocolates on top of the sugar cookies. Make sure to allow the cookies to fully cool after adding the candies on top so that the candy has time to harden back up.Sweet Treats for Valentine's DaySweet Treats for Valentine's Day

Now if you are planning on distributing these goodies to others instead of eating them all by yourself, Dollar Tree has several different options you could use to package your treats. I purchased the valentines treat bags with twist ties (25 treat bags come in one pack for only $1) but they also have boxes that would work well too.

Sweet Treats for Valentine's Day

What sweet treats will you be fixing for Valentine’s Day?

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Sweet Treats for Valentines Day Sweet Treats for Valentines Day

 

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In a World Where You Can Be Anything Be Kind

In a World Where You Can Be Anything Be Kind

“Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, and most underrated agent of human change.”   -Bob Kerry

(This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links)

If there is one thing this world could use more of it would definitely be kindness. It seems that true genuine kindness is far and few between these days. In a world where hate seems to be so prevalent, kindness is necessary. Being kind is something that I strive to personify in my everyday life. It’s not just being kind to those that are kind to you but I think even more so to those that aren’t. I think showing kindness to those that lack it can have a profound impact. Their lack of kindness says more about them than you, but your reaction to their lack of kindness is very telling of the type of person you are. It’s not always easy but it’s important to make a conscience effort to be kind in whatever situation we are dealt.

In a World Where You Can Be Anything Be Kind

“Be the person that makes others feel special. Be known for your kindness and grace.”

I love a graphic tee as much as the next girl but I love them even more when they contain an inspirational or positive message. Cents of Style’s Inspirational graphic tees are right up my alley. They are filled with positive messages that we could all use as a reminder in our everyday life. You can find the collection here. It was hard to decide on just one (lets be honest, I will probably order several more). For me, the Be Kind graphic tee resonated the most. Coming off a presidential election year that was more charged and filled with more hate than I have ever seen in my lifetime to living in a time where cyber bullying has become rampant I think we could all use a reminder to be kind.

Grab you favorite inspirational graphic tee for 50% and free shipping with code INSPIRE17. Shop them here. Sale ends 1/22/17.

Kind words are like honey, sweet to the soul and healthy for the body. Proverbs 16:24

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Turmeric Seasoned Steak

Turmeric Seasoned Steak

I have to give my husband the credit for this recipe. He absolutely loves my turmeric spiced tilapia recipe and requested that I come up with a turmeric seasoning for a steak. We don’t eat a lot of red meat so when we do its a treat. On this particular night I chose to use a flat iron steak but you could use whichever cut you prefer. Below I will explain how I made this turmeric seasoned steak.

Turmeric Seasoned Steak

I like to marinate my steaks for at least 4 hours if not a little longer so that the steak can really soak up all the flavor. So if you are planning to make this recipe make sure you plan ahead to that you can leave enough time for the steak to marinate. To create the seasoning add 1 tbsp. turmeric, 1 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, 1/2 tsp coriander, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tbsp. paprika, 3 tbsp. olive oil, and 1/2 tbsp. of lemon juice to a bowl and thoroughly mix the ingredients. Place the steak in a gallon bag and pour the turmeric mixture over the steak. Make sure the completely cover the steak in the spice mixture. Remove all the air from the Ziploc bag and place the  steak into the fridge for at least four hours.

 

After the steak is done marinating it is time to cook it. We chose to grill our steak but you  can also cook the steak in the oven if you prefer. My husband is excellent on the grill so I let him take over and cook the steaks while I prepared the side of squash and zucchini. We both prefer our steaks more on the medium side instead of well-done and these were cooked just perfect. Overall I’d say that the turmeric seasoned steak was a success as we finished off the entire thing!

Turmeric Seasoned Steak

Turmeric Seasoned Steak

Ingredients

  • 1 flat iron steak
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tbsp. paprika
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Combine 1 tbsp. turmeric, 1 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, 1/2 tsp coriander, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tbsp. paprika, 3 tbsp. olive oil, and 1/2 tbsp. of lemon juice to a bowl and thoroughly mix the ingredients.
  2. Place the steak in a gallon bag and pour the turmeric mixture over the steak.
  3. Make sure the completely cover the steak in the spice mixture.
  4. Remove all the air from the Ziploc bag and place the  steak into the fridge for at least four hours.
  5. After steak is marinated, cook on grill or cook in oven.
http://www.thesouthernmagnolia.com/turmeric-seasoned-steak/

Turmeric Seasoned STeak

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Low Carb Spaghetti

Low Carb Spaghetti

We rarely eat any type of Italian dish in our household. Most Italian dishes tend to be loaded with carbs. They are either comprised of some type of pasta, a creamy sauce or loaded with cheese so we just tend to avoid them. Every once in a while I will get a craving for some type of Italian dish whether that be a pasta type dish or pizza and when this happens I try to create a healthier version for us to enjoy. I’m all about finding ways to recreate my favorite dishes to make them healthy but still tasty. As I was doing my grocery shopping this past week I passed the spaghetti squash and got a sudden craving for spaghetti. I quickly snatched up a medium sized spaghetti squashed and headed over to the ground beef. I grabbed a pound of the leanest ground beef I could find, 96% fat free. Next was to try to find a spaghetti sauce that wasn’t loaded with sodium, fat, and carbs. After about ten minutes of reading the nutrition labels on all of the pasta sauce jars I stumbled upon Patsy’s tomato basil sauce. It was by far the healthiest option on the shelf, lower in fat, carbs, and sodium. With all of the healthy and delicious ingredients needed for my low carb spaghetti in my cart, I headed to the checkout. Below I will share how easy it is to recreate a healthier but still delicious version of the traditional spaghetti.

Begin by cutting the spaghetti squash in half length wise. I always have trouble cutting larger squash, as they tend to be tough, so I will usually pop the squash into the microwave for just a couple of minutes to help soften it up and make it easier to cut. Once you squash is cut in half, drizzle a little olive oil over each half and sprinkle some black pepper as well. Place both halves on a baking sheet and put into a preheated oven at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes (time may vary slightly depending on the sLow Carb Spaghettiize of your squash).

While the spaghetti squash is cooking we will begin cooking the ground beef (you could also use a lean ground turkey as well). Completely cook the ground beef before adding the pasta sauce.

Low Carb Spaghetti Low Carb Spaghetti

Once the ground beef is completely cooked, pour in 1 cup of the pasta sauce and let simmer for a few more minutes.

Low Carb Spaghetti

After the spaghetti squash is completely cooked, remove it from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Once cooled, use a fork to tear the squash into strands or “noodles”. Scoop a little meat and pasta sauce on top of your “noodles” and sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top and you can enjoy your spaghetti without the guilt that comes with all those carbs.

Low Carb Spaghetti

Low Carb Spaghetti

Ingredients

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • pasta sauce
  • 1 lb lean ground beaf
  • black pepper for seasoning
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • parmesan cheese (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Cut the spaghetti squash in half length wise.
  3. Drizzle a little olive oil over each half and sprinkle some black pepper as well.
  4. Place both halves on a baking sheet and put into a preheated oven for about 40 minutes
  5. While the spaghetti squash is cooking, begin cooking the ground beef. Completely cook the ground beef before adding the pasta sauce.
  6. Once the ground beef is completely cooked, pour in 1 cup of the pasta sauce and let simmer for a few more minutes.
  7. Remove the cooked spaghetti squash from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
  8. Once cooled, use a fork to tear the squash into strands or "noodles".
  9. Scoop a little meat and pasta sauce on top of your "noodles" and sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top and enjoy!
http://www.thesouthernmagnolia.com/low-carb-spaghetti/

If you like this low carb spaghetti recipe, make sure to check out my spaghetti squash, turkey and asparagus recipe here. What are some of your favorite ways to cook with spaghetti squash?

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Setting Goals for the New Year

Setting Goals for the New Year

I’ve never been big on New Year’s Resolutions. Mostly because so many people make resolutions at the beginning of the year only to break those resolutions in a few weeks or sometimes months. I am, however, a big proponent of setting goals. I always feel like having a goal to work towards forces me to work harder and gives me the motivation to do so. Knowing what my end goal is helps me to determine what steps I need to take in order to get there. I will be sharing a few of my goals for 2017 as a way to hold me accountable (if its written for all of you to read then I have to follow through, right?).

  1. One of my goals is to grow this blog. I have only been blogging for a few months and not always so consistently (evident by the fact that I’m getting my New Year’s post up on January 9th), so that is definitely one of the things I want to work on in order to help grow my readership. I want to improve upon both my content and photography as I feel that is hugely important when trying to grow a blog. I also need to start focusing on my social media presence (Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest) as it plays such a big role in driving traffic to the blog. Sometimes it seems like there is an endless amount of learning when it comes to blogging. I researched tons of tips on starting a blog prior to writing my first post and still continue to research different aspects of blogging so that I can incorporate it into my blog to try to improve it. While it sounds like a lot of work, I truly do enjoy creating different content to share.
  2. My second goal for 2017 is to unplug more. I feel like today it has almost become the norm to be glued to our cell phones. Between all the different forms of social media to having access to internet at all times, its almost hard not to get sucked in. I know I’m guilty of looking at social media and before I know it I have wasted 15-20 minutes. I also tend to get distracted when I am trying to get things on my to-do list done but instead get caught up on checking emails or something else on my phone. I want to be more intentional about spending that time that I typically waste on social media/internet doing things that don’t involve my phone or computer. I also think its incredibly important to be present in our everyday lives and by spending time with our loved ones instead of having our faces glued to our phones.
  3. Thirdly, I want to try to stress less. About 7 months out of the year, my husband and I spend more time on the road and out of town then we do at home. Between all the traveling and trying to run my handmade jewelry business and now writing a blog, I sometimes get overwhelmed and feel that I don’t have time for everything. I want to try not to get stressed out if I’m not able to get a blog post up as often as I would like, or if I’m not able to get some of the things accomplished for my jewelry business that I would like. At the end of the day, it isn’t that big of a deal and I can always get it accomplished on another day.
  4. Another goal I have for 2017 is being more consistent with my quiet times. I go through phases where I will stick with my quiet time on a daily basis for a while then I let our ever changing schedule throw me off and it takes me a while to get back on track. I want to start making my quiet time a priority and sticking to it. I feel I am a much better wife and over all person when I spend time daily reading the Bible. Do you have any bible studies that you would recommend? I would love to hear your suggestions.
  5. My last goal for 2017 is to grow my jewelry business, Immeasurably More. I launched my jewelry website in June of 2015 and really didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I have continued to research and try to implement everything I have learned into my business but still have more to learn. I want to invest more time and effort into growing my sales as well as my social media channels.

What are some of the goals you have set for yourself for 2017? I think it is neat to look back on my goals throughout the year to see what progress I have made and what I still need to work on.

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