Korean Beef Bowls

September 16, 2018

I’m always looking for new and easy ways to keep the meals that we make at dinnertime interesting. This is one of the newer meals we’ve been enjoying at our house, first inspired by this recipe from Damn Delicious and then tweaked slightly and adapted by me. That said, the recipe is so easy that once you make it the first time you won’t really need a recipe the next time. It’s simple, easy, and was extremely family-friendly. I was worried that the girls wouldn’t like the different taste but they both were happy to eat this meal – a total mom win!

A few other suggestions for adapting this Korean-inspired beef bowl would be to swap out ground turkey or ground chicken for the beef, or using another base like quinoa or faro in place of the brown rice. Like I said, it’s adaptable and works well any matter of ways! Add this one to your weekly rotation – I promise you won’t regret it!

Korean Beef Bowls
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4 servings
Easy, family-friendly meal that even picky eaters (like my toddler!) will love.
  • ⅓ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. lean (at least 80%) ground beef
  • Hot cooked brown rice and steamed broccoli for serving
  1. In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil and ginger until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add in the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, about 5 to 7 minutes or until onions are translucent and garlic is fragrant. Add in ground beef and cook, stirring frequently, until meat is browned. Drain; return mixture to skillet. Pour soy sauce mixture over meat and cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes more or until heated through.
  3. Spoon rice and broccoli into bowls. Top with the meat mixture and serve immediately.



The BEST Bralettes Around

September 6, 2018

Let’s talk about bralettes! I find that when I mention that word, I get one of two reactions:

1. I LOVE bralettes and don’t ever want to wear a real bra again.
2. What the heck is a bralette?

So, I’m obviously in the first camp! As a pretty flat-chested gal, I much prefer the comfort, look and fit of a bralette over a regular bra. They usually have lace straps and soft bands and look incredibly cute under tanks or casual dresses when a strap peeks out here or there. I’m the first person to say that I do NOT like regular bra straps showing, but I feel entirely different about bralettes.

My friends and followers over on Espresso and Cream Beauty responded to my request for suggestions on where to buy new bralettes and the overwhelming response was Aerie! I hadn’t purchased anything from there before, but I love the brand’s body-positive messaging and the fact that they don’t re-touch photos or promote unrealistic body ideals. Big wins in my book!

So, I bought a bunch of bralettes and loved nearly all of them, but there are my favorite. As a note, I found them all to fit true to size and purchased a small in the styles pictured above.

1. Aerie Wonder Lace Crop 
I like that this isn’t a racerback so it’s great for more traditional shirts and tops. It’s SUPER cute on and I love that the band extends a bit further down than a typical band.

2. Aerie Lace Padded Bralette 
This is my favorite of the bunch! It’s incredibly comfortable but looks special and dressy. I purchased it in two different colors.

3. Aerie Boho Racerback Bralette
A fantastic basic for wearing under tops and tanks. Soft, comfortable and ultra easy to wear.

So that’s that! Now go get yourself a few for fall – they are perfect for wearing under sweaters!



The Best Classic Black Blazer + Romper

August 27, 2018

Cornerstone Blazer from Anthropologie // Velma Slip On Mules from Target //
A New Day Women’s Crepe Romper (sold out at Target) 

Let’s talk mom style! Finding clothing that both fits you body and lifestyle as a mom without feeling frumpy or like you’re in a constant rotation of workout gear is tough, isn’t it? I found after I became a mom that I needed to edit my closet and invest in some new clothing that was a bit more appropriate for this stage in life. Another factor? I work at home and no longer report to an office. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to get dressed up to “go to work” in my office or the coffee shop. Most of the days I’m working at home I try to wear casual professional clothes to help boost my productivity. There are still days where I wear yoga pants to the “office” but I do still get dressed and ready most work days, though not nearly as dressy as I did when I worked in a real office environment.

Church also offers a fun occasion to get dressed up, along with a few Beautycounter events throughout the year. Outside of those occasions, my attire is pretty casual and comfortable. I’m hoping to continue to share a few favorite new pieces and outfits in the weeks and months to come. Because while I may not be a fashionista by any means, I do feel like I’m getting a good handle on my personal style and dressing for both casual work life and mom life.

This romper has been worn so so many times this spring and summer. I found it at Target (A New Day brand) for around $25 and it’s the best money I spent all summer. I wish I had a link to share with you, but I couldn’t find it on their site any longer. Perhaps scouring the sale racks at your local Target would be a way to track one down? Because it’s completely worth the effort! The casual slip-on mules are one of Joe’s least favorite items in my wardrobe, but they are super casual/comfortable with a pointy toe that makes them look a tad bit dressier.

And the blazer! I went far too long before adding in a classic black blazer into my closet. I had one a long time ago that I absolutely loved and wore into the ground, and after it was time to retire that blazer I never found another one that I loved. Since I have broad shoulders, I was looking for something that wasn’t super structured and softer/more casual than a traditional suit blazer. This one is a keeper. I look forward to wearing it and would wear it every day if I could. It’s part of the reason I’m so excited for fall weather! 😉


Family, Fashion

What I wish I had known about acne when I was younger…

August 23, 2018

Acne. Goodness, is there a person on the planet who hasn’t struggled with acne at one point in their life, if not more? I remember going to dermatologists growing up in search of something that would help with my acne and breakouts. I never had horrible skin as a teen, but as I got into college I struggled with terrible terrible acne – the type that crippled me with insecurity and sent me into a tailspin searching for any and every product that would remedy my issues. I tried the harshest of harsh products, thinking that instead of “less is more” I would take the “more is more” approach to treating my acne.

Well, spoiler alert, because more really isn’t more. Harsh products really aren’t the solution. Stripping the skin with harmful ingredients might work for a time but won’t be the long-term solution to acne if you’re really looking for a solution that sticks.

My days of dealing with acne are behind me, healed by embracing a gentler approach to skincare and working to fix some of the underlying hormonal imbalances that were connected to my breakouts. During the times that I was struggling with acne the worst I was also at my heaviest weight, severely under-eating and over-exercising and wreaking havoc on my hormones. And we know the correlation between hormones and acne!

But what about those who are eating the right things and doing all they can but still struggle with pesky, humiliating breakouts and/or oily skin?

For the last three years that I’ve been working with Beautycounter, when clients and readers have asked me for my recommendations for this type of skin, I’ve only had a few products in my arsenal that I could recommend: namely the Balancing Charcoal Mask, Charcoal Cleansing Bar, Balancing Face Oil, etc. These products are great, don’t get me wrong, but they are individual products rather than a cohesive line geared toward targeting and treating breakouts and the root imbalances in the skin.

Today, that all changes! Beautycounter launched our newest line targeted specifically for those with oily and/or acne-prone skin. It’s our lowest price-point skincare lined, designed with five steps to treat AND prevent acne and keep oily skin under control without stripping the skin of the moisture it needs. You can see all the steps below!

For someone like me, who doesn’t have oily skin but is still prone to the occasional breakout, I’ve been working in the Clear Pore Cleanser, Instant Matte Toner and the SOS Spot Treatment (as needed on breakouts) into my current skincare routine. And I kid you not, my husband, who is NOT a product junkie or prone to want to use much skincare got mad at me when I gave away the cleanser because he loves it so much. That’s really saying something!

As you know, if you ever have questions about finding a skincare routine that’s right for you – made without harmful ingredients and targeted to treat whatever issues your skin may have – you can email me ANY time for a personalized skincare consultation. I love connecting and working with you all and it brings me so much JOY to work with readers to help people feel great about their skin without sacrificing their health and safety.

Desk Lunch // Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad

August 19, 2018

If you’re signed up to receive my weekly meal-planning and behind-the-scenes newsletter, then chances are you’ve already heard that I’m on a mission to make Joe’s lunches a little healthier, with more variety and interest each week. I realized that I had been phoning in her lunches for a long time now that life has been busy with littles, and when I don’t prepare lunches in advance, he really doesn’t get the most well-rounded lunches. So each Sunday, I prep and assemble five lunches for Joe’s week to keep things easy for me but healthy, tasty and well-rounded for him.

I’m hoping to share a few more “desk lunch” ideas as we approach the back-to-school season. Some of these ideas will probably transfer into school lunch ideas, while others may be catered toward more adult tastes. My kiddos don’t love pesto all that much, so if I were making this for the girls I would keep most of the ingredients in the recipe but swap the pesto for olive oil and grated Parmesan cheese. The rest of the ingredients in this dish my kiddos love!

This recipe also gets my stamp of approval because it can be made in advance for the entire week, doesn’t require heating in the microwave and is well-rounded and flavorful. I will serve this meal with a side of carrot sticks for Joe as well as a piece of fruit or a Lara Bar for mid-afternoon hunger on those long days that he’s going to HS football practice after work this fall!

Desk Lunch // Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad
Serves: 5 servings
  • 1 lb. (16 oz.) corkscrew pasta, cooked according to package directions, then drained and rinsed in cold water
  • 2 cooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped (I used a rotisserie chicken and chopped it up)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 8 oz. fresh mini mozzarella balls
  • ½ cup pitted and halved kalamata olives
  • 1 jar (8 oz.) pesto
  1. In a large bowl, combine the pasta, chicken breasts, halved cherry tomatoes, mozzarella balls, olives and pesto. Stir until well-combined. Spoon into lunch containers and refrigerate until ready to eat.
  2. Note: It's best to slightly under-cook the pasta to prevent it from becoming too soft as it sits in the refrigerator.