Here’s the thing you need to know about my February:
- (And really you should already know this if you’ve been paying attention around here) I did the Whole Living Challenge–which means all of my free time has been spent chopping vegetables and blending smoothies instead of off having fun, fabulous, wine-fueled adventures that later provide fodder for my All Things Loved posts.
- I put myself on a spending freeze in February (after Christmas and Kate’s birthday it was necessary) which means I was also not off having fun, fabulous, wine-fueled shopping sprees that later provide fodder for my All Things Loved posts.
Keeping those two things in mind, consider this month’s Things Loved post the feel-good, budget-friendly list that may also help you drop a couple of pounds.
1. The Mango-Coconut Water Smoothie
I first tried this smoothie during Week 1 of my Whole Living Challenge (following a grueling strength-training workout) and instantly loved it! The recipe is 2 cups mango chunks, 2 cups coconut water, 2-3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, and a pinch of cayenne powder, well-blended. It was my first time having mango and coconut water, and I was surprised how much I liked them both. Plus, coconut water is loaded with electrolytes and potassium, which makes it a great, all-natural, post-workout drink!
2. My Blender
To make a good smoothie, you’ve got to have a good blender. I always assumed all blenders were created fairly equal…until our we got the Black & Decker Die-Cast Metal Blender. G asked for a new blender for his birthday and his parents got us this one. I realized how amazing it was when I blended my first Green Smoothie with it. My Green Smoothies consist of kale, parsley, banana, and green apple. Surprisingly, the taste is very mild–it’s always been the texture that I’ve had to get past. No matter how long I’d blend them (with our old Hamilton Beach blender) there would always be pieces of kale and parsley that I had to choke down. Well imagine my surprise to discover that the first Green Smoothie I made with our Black & Decker blender had no chunks! No little pieces of food to gag on while drinking! In fact, I now blend smoothies in a fraction of the time that I did with our old blender, and they come out so smoothly it’s almost like drinking juice. I know there are some very impressive super-blenders out there, but for only $40, this little powerhouse of a blender certainly does an incredible job!
3. Combing my hair in the shower.
Yep, you read that right. (This is the budget Things Loved list, remember?)
Hear me out on this one.
One of the things I’ve always disliked about having long hair is combing it. Ugh! It is the BIGGEST PAIN IN MY ASS to comb my long hair following a shower. I hate it so much, and it is the #1 reason why I will–eventually–go back to having short hair. (That, and the shedding.)
The day after Bourbon Street made me its bitch last month, I took a shower (sometime around 3pm, mind you), washed my hair, and then dragged my hungover ass out to the kitchen to semi-socialize with my friends/semi-try not to puke. I was holding my comb in my hand and my ratty mop of hair on my head, considering the two and working up the nerve to introduce them, when my keenly observant friend Beth asked, “Don’t you just hate combing your hair when it’s long?”
“YES!” I replied. “In fact, I was just thinking of offering $1,000.00 to any one of you to do it for me,” I added.
To which my friend Allison (who sports a gorgeous mane of long hair that’s 73% thicker than mine) shrugged and casually mentioned, “I just comb mine in the shower.”
This is what you call: A Life Changing Moment
She went on to explain the extremely simple concept that I’m embarrassed I hadn’t considered sooner–just keep a wide-toothed comb in your shower, comb through your hair after you work the conditioner in, rinse, and you’re good.
I’m telling you, it has changed my life–to the point where I need to find some other ridiculously mundane thing to get ridiculously pissed off about on a daily basis, because frankly no one should be this happy.
4. This tutorial on how to get SJP curls without using heat.
While preparing for last weekend’s Oscar Party (more on that coming soon!) I posted a picture of my Oscar dress on my Facebook page and asked for feedback on what kind of hairstyle I should do. My reader Sabrina recommended this tutorial, and I was intrigued. It was simple, really–just wrap sections of your hair in mini buns before you go to bed, unwrap them in the morning, and enjoy your curls. I wasn’t planning on going curly for the party, but after viewing this tutorial I had to give it a try.
Here’s what my mini buns looked like the morning after I had slept in them:
And here’s how they looked when I took them out that morning:
So fun–and effective!
You’ll have to stayed tuned for my Oscar party post to see how it turned out in the long run, but I will say this for now–it’s a technique I’ll definitely try again. Thanks Sabrina!
This month more than ever I’ve realized how much I love Facebook. For starters, my All Things G&D Facebook page hit 1,000 likes in February–WOOT! But even greater than that, has been the wonderful support I’ve received from a group of readers who also committed to doing the Whole Living Challenge with me this month. We’ve swapped recipes, encouragements, and frustrations. Going through this with them has made this experience an even greater one, and it was so much fun to go through it together. Thank you so much ladies!
And a great big thank you to all of you who have liked my page! (And for those of you who haven’t yet–what are you waiting for? Like away!)