Wednesday, July 4, 2012

DIY Surf Spray

I'm interrupting the flow of food posts, to bring you a far more rare kind of post, but just as fun. DIY! I usually get DIY inspired in the fall and winter months, but this summer DIY project totally rekindled my love for all things DIY. I was so DIY inspired that I had to draw a pretty chalk sketch to go with my creation. 

Once upon a time on a beach trip in some year I don't remember, I recall thinking that I loved the way my hair got wavy after some combination of ocean water, sand, and too much sun that surely burned my freckled skin. 

Years passed, and post college (when I stopped cutting my hair way shorter than I ever should have cut it) I discovered surf spray. Herbal Essence used to make it. It was in a blue bottle and you had to shake it before every use. I stocked up on two bottles every time I ran out. I remember when my Walmart stopped selling it. I panicked and then discovered Herbal Essence had a section of their website that told you what stores sold the products you wanted. I found it at Walgreens! I stocked up and then they discontinued it. I tried other products, but nothing was ever the same. My hair hasn't seen beach waves since. Until today!

I pinned this DIY recipe for surf spray long ago, not having super high hopes. I got a hair cut Tuesday and then saw this adorable hair style on Pinterest. I knew I could do it with my hair as is, but couldn't help think of how much cuter it would be with beach waves. Then I began to long for beach waves. Which then lead me to add Epsom salt and hair gel to my shopping list. 

I doubled my recipe and altered it a bit from the Pinterest one. What I'm posting are the products and amounts I used. If you don't plan on using it as often as I do, you might want to do less like the Pinterest one did. Also, you'll notice I slightly decreased the amount of hair gel (she says four squirts for the smaller batch, but in the comments when someone asks how much each squirt was she says tablespoons) and added the Surf Hair stuff. I LOVE this stuff. It's my go to product. I like it better than any gel or hairspray. When I curl my hair, I run Surf Hair through it and it holds way better than any hairspray AND with a soft bouncy hold. It also helps keep my bangs in place. Knowing how great that product was, I wanted to add it to my concoction.


  • 6 teaspoons Epsom salt ($2.98 for a HUGE bag at Walmart)
  • 7 tablespoons water-based hair gel (one that smells good!)
  • 1 tablespoon Garnier Fructis Surf Hair Texture Paste (optional)
  • 8 ounces of water


You can add all the ingredients to the bottle you want to use and shake, but I feel like I have more shaking power and control with a Mason jar and also less spills. I added all ingredients to the jar. I added slightly warm water to help the mixing process. Shake shake shake. If you use Surf Hair, it doesn't like to mix quite as well. I had to whisk it in and break it up, then shake more. I used a funnel to fill my bottle. 

Look! Perfect, messy beachy wavy curls! I am certain I'll have to make another batch of this next week. Use it on damp hair for best results. You can also spray it on your roots for some lift and use it for touch ups on dry hair. Be sure to shake before each use.

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Crockpot Buffalo Chicken

I know I'm a posting maniac in the last two days, BUT I know most of you have the day off today for the holiday! So either you're cooking and ideas are helpful or your relaxing and have some spare time. What better to do in your spare time than catch up on blog reading and meal plan? Thus you need reading material, ideas, and inspiration. Also... I'm trying to get to my 100th post! On the post I'll announce changes to the blog and other fun things. This is the 95th in case you were wondering. :) 

This recipe has quickly become one of my favorites. You know I don't repeat recipes often. I usually wait at least 3 months to cycle things back around, unless I absolutely LOVE them. Well this one has been repeated! It's so stinking easy and soooo good if you like spicy things. Three ingredients! AND you don't have to thaw anything. 


  • 3 lb bag of frozen chicken breasts
  • 1 bottle of buffalo sauce (I usually use Frank's but I got this Texas Pete one for free from an RA and loved it just as much)
  • 1 packet of dry ranch mix


Add chicken to a large crock pot. Sprinkle with ranch seasoning. Pour over hot sauce. Cook on low for 6 - 7 hours. Remove chicken from crock pot, leaving sauce in. Shred chicken with a fork and add back to crock pot. Cook on low for 30 minutes to an hour. 

That's it! I like to serve mine on some nice rolls or buns. I used onion rolls this time and they were YUMMY! I made a batch of healthy ranch dressing using 1 packet of dry ranch, 1 cup of non fat Greek yogurt, and 1/2 cup of skim milk (1/3 a cup is 2 points and I used much less than that) to spread on the buns. I topped each sandwich with julienned celery, matchstick carrots, and some reduced calorie blue cheese crumbles. 

This makes 8 good sized servings at 4 points per serving, not including bread or toppings. 

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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Summer Holiday Foods

Tomorrow is July 4th! I always say I'm not patriotic. Don't hear me wrong. I'm VERY happy and thankful for my country and freedom, my dad's a vet! I'm not anti-patriotism at all. I just don't consider myself patriotic. But somehow... I subconsciously wore red and/or blue yesterday and today! And all I can think about is BBQ and watermelon. 

If you're like me and only have the one day off in the middle of the week, you might not have made any big plans. Therefore you might not feel BBQing a whole lot of meat (and your grill might be broken like mine). Or maybe you want to eat a healthier holiday meal! I made this meal a couple of weeks ago and when I ate it, it made me think of summer holidays. It was so good and so fresh. So if you haven't planned what you'll eat tomorrow yet (or if you just need some meal planning inspiration for any summer day), be inspired! 

Easy! Thaw some frozen tilapia fillets. Spray each fillet with a little olive oil cooking spray. Salt and pepper each side, heavy on the freshly cracked black pepper. Slice a lime or two into rounds and bake with the fish. Squeeze a couple lime halves over the fillets. Bake at 375 for 14-17 minutes. Serve with lime wedges, garnish with some fresh cilantro. An average sized tilapia fillet (4 oz) is 3 points cooked. Lime, seasonings, herbs, and lightly sprayed olive oil cooking spray are all zero. Healthy and so yummy.

So easy. So fancy. So yummy. This would be EVEN better with grilled corn. I roasted mine in the oven since the grill is broken. Butter is not healthy, but corn is! One medium ear of corn is 2 points. And you only need a little pad of compound butter per ear of corn, which I estimate to be about a half of a tablespoon. 1/2 tablespoon of butter is 1 point. So a whole ear is 3, not bad for this treat!

Compound butters can be anything! They are so fun to make and slicing into your compound butter will make you feel like a real chef. Let some butter sit at room temperature. I did less than a 1/2 stick because it was just for me and my leftovers. You can do a whole stick and it keeps for a long time. It can also be frozen. I mixed finely chopped cilantro and scallion, softened butter, a little cracked black pepper, and some lime zest. Place your mixed butter blob onto some plastic wrap. Wrap it up and shape it into a little log. Chill until hardened or until you're ready to use.

And then this! My very first quinoa experience. I loved it! This was a perfect first dish to try quinoa in. I used her recipe exactly except I used a normal quinoa, not tricolor, I added a chopped avocado, and I used roasted corn instead of raw. Quinoa is a super food! It's really good for you and actually a grain.

If you're gonna use paper plates, use happy festive ones! Even if you won't just be staying cool at home and have a holiday gathering to go to, I promise your friends and family won't hate you if you come with any of these dishes in hand. Happy 4th! Eat some watermelon and watch some fireworks.

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Meal Planning 101: Week 13

I'll keep it short and sweet! Meal plan and weekend recap because I know you love it when I force my life on you in the midst of food posts. 

Babies! I got to hang out with my best friend (and fellow bridesmaid) and her baby this weekend! Alice is the sweetest baby ever and I couldn't take enough pictures of her. She does this adorable thing where she hides her face when she eats. Just like a little Southern lady, always trying to look proper.

Finally bought a Roo Cup! 25 cent refills here I come. Why don't they make a Diet Coke Icee?! 

I've been a bridesmaid a whole lot. This rehearsal dinner was some of the best rehearsal dinner food I've ever had! No food pictures, but we were pretty. (My fellow bridesmaids said I looked like Belle! As in Beauty and the Beast, best compliment ever. She's totally my favorite Disney Princess.)

I love my friends! Was so happy to be part of Molly's big day.

AND I decided I want to become a person who has painted nails often. They were painted for the weddings, and I just loved it, like I always do. So I stocked up on some fun colors at a Payless BOGO sale. I peeled off all the weekend one while antsy yesterday at a meeting, but then painted them last night! I like this commitment.

Now the food. Still eating veggies with every meal! They are never ending but I'm totally not complaining.


Leftover Edamame Rice and Veggie Stirfry with Rotisserie Chicken (from Walmart - I cheated! Was a tiring weekend and didn't want to cook.)


Baked Chicken and Dumplings Casserole and Stewed Squash




Slim Potato Casserole and Grilled Ham, Cheese, Chip and Pickle Sandwiches




Chili Con Queso Pasta Bake and Nanny's Salad (My best friends' grandmother's salad. Iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, mayo - I use fat free, and Italian dressing all tossed together. Simple but I love it!)



For lunch and breakfast this week, I'm obsessed with jars. I got some wide mouth pint mason jars and they are perfect for the popular Overnight Oats cold oatmeal concoctions for breakfast and jar side salads for lunch.

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