International Coffee Day – Let’s all Celebrate!

International Coffee Day

Did you know that International Coffee Day was a day created to celebrate the journey of coffee from the farm to the local shops around us? It is really about honoring the men and women who grow the coffee beans all over the world and their hard work to get us that perfect cup of coffee each day. Like most people, I love me a good cup of coffee in the morning and I wouldn’t be able to enjoy it without them. So please take a second and look at the International Coffee Day website to see a little more about their efforts and how they celebrate.

I am celebrating with an Almond Milk Caramel Latte: two shots of espresso, a couple pumps of caramel syrup, and a cup of steamed vanilla almond milk. Yuummmmm

Here’s how I make it:

Perfect Latte IngredientsI am using a fancy espresso machine, because where I work, they value coffee and give us the benefit of using this daily, but you can use a stovetop espresso maker like this one which comes in a 1 cup, 3 cup or a 6 cup version. This is the version that I use at home. For my first and usually only cup of coffee in the morning, I use 2 shots of espresso freshly ground and brewed, but you can use 1 if you like. It is all up to you and how much caffeine you want to consume.

I then steam a cup of milk, using the same fancy espresso machine, but this one is the one I use at home and absolutely love! It cleans up really well, works quickly and you have the option to make steamed hot or cold frothed milk (just in case you want iced coffee instead of hot). It is well worth the month and will last you forever. If you don’t want to buy a milk frother/steamer and only want to froth, buy this. It is a quick handheld milk frother and will do the job perfectly if you want a cheaper option.

I put two pumps of caramel syrup, (you can get the pump that goes with the syrup here) my two shots of espresso, and my steamed milk. You can top with a sprinkle of cinnamon and then you must take a moment to enjoy! It is a great morning pick me up.

Here’s to coffee!

Advertisements

Enjoying the City of Brotherly Love with my City Boy, Thomas

Thomas, my lovely boyfriend, was born in Miami, but grew up for the most part in the burbs of Philadelphia. This month we finally took a trip together to go see the city that shaped him. I already gave you a look into all the food we ate, well I shouldn’t say ALL, the really good stuff that everyone is familiar with. If you missed that post go check it out! Well today I am going to show you a little of our adventures!

Midwest Betty and her City BoySo a little back story, Thomas and I have been living in a long distance relationship since April, so traveling has been mostly him back and forth from Miami to Atlanta and back again. But this time, he actually flew to Atlanta to ‘pick me up at the airport’ to fly to Philly. Well actually, his connection flight just so happened to be the flight I was getting on in Atlanta to go to Philly, so it worked out! I was even able to talk to the flight attendant to get us seats together, DOUBLE WIN!

Plane RidesOur first day while we were in Philly we had two things on our checklist 1. Meet up with Thomas’ really good friend Mugg 2. Go see Thomas’ Mother. Check. Check. It is always good linking up with family and friends and friends who are pretty much family. It always seems like with the right people, time never passed since you last spoke. We toured his friend’s new fixer upper and had me mesmerized wanting to buy a home asap and turn it into exactly what I want! Soon enough we will be in the same city planting some roots.

Now I told you Thomas is a bodybuilder, right? Well he is and you know what that means! Workouts everyday, no matter what. On our second day we had so much planned, but it all had to start with a great shoulder and calf workout at the local LA Fitness. It is great to have an LA Fitness membership because most of the time when traveling we are able to get into a gym with out multi club pass. If we were at a smaller gym, we wouldn’t have that luxury, and for his line of work, bodybuilding, a gym is necessary no matter where or what kind of trip we are on. Post workout, we fueled up at the convenience store named Wawa. If you are from the area, or anywhere close, you know what I am talking about. They have everything you could think of in a gas station/convenience store and then some. I got a specialty caramel coffee drink, and we both got two veggie and egg breakfast burritos.

I said we had a lot planned for this day, and I meant a LOT! After we were done at the gym, Wawa, and got cleaned up we set out to be tourists! I lucked out and had my very own tour guide, so I go the local look into Philadelphia. First stop on our touristy tour was the Comcast Building downtown Philadelphia where Thomas’ cousin works. She was able to give us a great tour of the building and we even treated us to lunch in one of their extravagant kitchens. When I tell you buffet on steroids, I mean it! I had sushi, with a salad and a dessert of jelly bellies.

COMCAST HQ

When you first walk into the Comcast building, there is a huge LED screen that has people ‘walking on walls’ and dancing around and then there are different art exhibits on the steel framing within the glass structure. It is a very cool site to be at and all the people walking in and out of the building make you feel like you are at the center of something great. We went up to the 43rd floor where they have these well known glass stairs cascading down by their huge windows. What a view! Even with the crappy weather, you had a great sight line through Philadelphia.

Glass Stairs at Comcast HQ

But the fun and touristy stuff didn’t stop there! We had to go experience the iconic ‘Rocky Steps’ which is actually the steps in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, but no one really knows that. Now you know!

It was great, there was a guy who was taking pictures of everyone in front of the Rocky Statue, so we were able to get a few great shots. Thomas said my guard is to low, but I would bet a few bucks on me! I am scrappy! Of course we couldn’t be at the steps without recreating the iconic photo of Rocky on the steps with his hands in the air. Thankfully the rain stayed away long enough for us to get some great photos in.

IMG_4584Of course our next stop had to be the Philadelphia Love statue, and what better way to remember the statue with some love in front of it. xoxo I must say that I was a little let down, I had thought that this statue was going to be huge, but essentially it is no larger than maybe 5ft x 5ft a top of a silver frame. Even though the size was smaller than expected, it is pretty cool because it has history. It has been with Philadelphia since 1976 and built by Robert Indiana. If you want to learn more about it check out their website or go check it out in Love Park in Downtown Philadelphia.

Here is a great shot of Thomas in the middle of Love park rocking his custom Miami Cities shirt, made by me! Thomas in Love Park.jpg

After a full day of touristy stuff, we were able to get back to his childhood home, spend some time with family, shop for some odds and ends, and then eat through Philly. If you want to see what we ate while essentially eating our weight in Philly’s goodies, check out my recent blog post – ‘Eating our way through Philadelphia’s Favorites‘.

Our second full day of Philadelphia wasn’t as packed as the first, but it was still a lot of fun. We started in the gym, that goes without saying, this time we had a hamstring workout that included core, and cardio. After that it was time to see one of our great friends and do a little shopping! We checked out the Limerick outlets. It was more to catch up with our friend, but of course I did a little shopping. I moved to Atlanta in March and am expecting my first winter in years, so I needed to buy some fall attire. Then we ended the night with close friends and family with an amazing spread by Thomas’ mother and friends. Nothing like a great Family Dinner.

Have you ever had ‘raw greens’? I am not sure if that is the correct name, but it is raw greens, raw garlic, some seasonings and vinegar/oil. It is a topping or a side for meals. Thomas’ mother makes it and it is supposed to be extremely healthy. It is spicy because of all the raw garlic, but the benefits outweigh the spiciness. Garlic can reduce blood pressure, lower bad cholesterol, and has a bunch of other great benefits.

Saturday Track Workout

Since Thomas’ cousin showed us an amazing time on our first day in Philly, we thought we would show her to a great workout on the track with us first thing Saturday! We had an intense workout at the track of the high school Thomas graduated from. It is always fun to be able to walk the same steps he did back in the day when he was a younger man. We did a cardio/body weight circuit workout that involved the track and the stairs. We had smiles at the end of it but we put in a lot of work throughout the workout.

The last day was a slower day. We spent the day enjoying family, catching up with a cousin Thomas hasn’t seen in years and old high school friends that came to link up before we flew out. I must say it was a great trip, even though the weather wasn’t the best, I know we will be able to make it up here soon and see even more of the city.

7527005184_IMG_0064Sunday came to soon, and not only did we have to make our good byes to the city and family, but we also had to say our goodbyes to each other. Thomas was on his way back to Miami and I was on my way back to Atlanta. We shall see each other soon. IMG_4667

Goodbye Philly, thanks for treating us so well!

Take a Bite out of Unnatural Toothpaste – Or just use all natural Bite toothpaste bits, either way!

BITEA few weeks back I fell upon this advertisement on Instagram for an all natural alternative to toothpaste that came in small ‘toothpaste bits’ as they called it, and didn’t come in a tube. So of course I continued to watch and saw that they are not only an all natural company, but trying to limit their carbon footprint and working on cutting down the overall plastic waste for their consumers, so clearly now I am intrigued! I clicked on the ad that brought me to their website and I ordered right away.

BITE.jpg

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosure below.

Now it did take a while for the product to get to my door, but they did leave a disclaimer on their website to warn you that this would happen. They are a small company, and their demand has taken a turn for greatness, which in turn makes the production a little slower than they expected. But let me tell you, it is worth the wait! The customer service team is also very nice, which helps out the cause as well. Nothing worse than having a delayed ship date because a product is back ordered AND the customer service team is terrible! That’s a recipe for disaster.

When the product finally came to the house, I was pleasantly surprised. It is a small glass bottle, that you can re-use with the refills they send out in the monthly subscription. When you order you either choose this bottle or the subscription plan, I have inquired and waiting for a response, to see if you can only but the re-fills, since I bought the single bottle initially to try and not the 6 month plan. The cute little bottle was full of tiny ‘toothpaste bits’ a little smaller than the size of a sixlet, some may remember the small choclately candy you ate as a child.

7589871984_IMG_0104As you see pictured here, I ordered the Mint Charcoal version. They also have just Mint.

Now by no way am I an expert on the following, but I did some googling and was happy with what I found. The ingredients are pretty awesome too. Xylitol and Erythritol, which are natural sweeteners that can be found in some fruits and vegetables is combined with Dicalcium phosphate, which is used to make it into a tablet form, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, which I read is a foaming agent so I believe this is what helps the tablets foam (see pictures below), Kaolin, which is a natural clay mineral, (baking soda) which has been used forever to help clean and whiten teeth naturally, Organic mint flavor, Magnesium Stearate  and Silicon dioxide, which helps to clean the teeth. So in all the ingredients may look scary, but they are all natural ingredients that work together to make sure you have a clean and healthy mouth!

Per the Bite FAQ sheet the ingredients are listed below for both types:

Mint : Xylitol · Erythritol · Dicalcium phosphate · Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate · Kaolin · Sodium Bicarbonate · Organic Mint Flavor · Magnesium Stearate (Vegan) · Silicon Dioxide
Mint Charcoal :   Xylitol · Erythritol · Dicalcium phosphate · Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate · Kaolin · Charcoal  · Sodium Bicarbonate · Organic Mint Flavor · Magnesium Stearate (Vegan) · Silicon Dioxide
Now back to testing the product!
I popped in a ‘bit’ and chewed, and trust me at first I was kind of weirded out, it was softer than I expected, kind of gritty, crumbled right away, and to myself I thought ‘there is no way that this will act like a toothpaste’. I put my toothbrush under the water so it was wet as instructed by the website and also habit for brushing teeth and just started to brush. Low and behold it foamed! It foamed a lot, and it tasted slightly sweet and minty. I did my normal minute and a half/two minutes and spit it out, rinsed, and was happy. I actually loved using it.
I now use the product daily, but I am sad that their website currently says they are sold out. Hopefully they will get back to selling it QUICK or I will have to go back to regular toothpaste, and I don’t know how I will cope. (EDIT: They are back to selling again, run now to get their products while they last)
Since you can’t buy this product today, let’s chat real quick about other ways you can do your part to help save the environment! Here are a four things you can do or buy TODAY, to start you on a path of making more conscious efforts to lessen your impact on the environment and begin to take out the unnatural chemicals from your teeth cleaning regimen:
  1. Bamboo Charcoal Toothbrush – Charcoal is all the rave right now because it is a natural teeth whitener, but pared with this biodegradable bamboo toothbrush, it makes for an excellent option for a environmentally friendly toothbrush. The plastic ones, unfortunately like the one I am using today, is not biodegradable and will probably sit in a landfill somewhere for the rest of my life and my future kids life. Note to self, buy a bamboo toothbrush TODAY! This bamboo toothbrush on the other hand will breakdown over time in the landfill along with the packaging it comes in, can’t say the same about the Amazon shipping package, but baby steps!
  2. Charcoal powder – Now this I have and LOVE and my boyfriend, Thomas, loves it! I use it about 2-3 times a week. It is all natural activated charcoal that you can use in the bathroom as a teeth whitener (after brushing your teeth, dip your toothbrush in a little jar of this charcoal, brush your teeth like you would normally, and let it sit on there for a minute or two, rinse and see the immediate difference). But don’t limit yourself just to the bathroom, you can use it in the kitchen too! I have seen charcoal cocktails, lemonades, ice creams and many more. The sky is the limit.
  3. Natural mouthwash – This is a mouthwash you can feel proud about using. It is made with organic herbs, CoQ10, Olive Leaf, & Folic Acid that help with fighting off bad breath, it is alcohol free to save you from the normal burn of mouth wash, and has no artificial sweeteners or preservatives. Try it out! But try to buy a large quantity, and store them in cute glass containers in your bathroom, help cut down on plastic waste AND give a little extra design touch in your bathroom. 
  4. Glass Cup – Swap out those disposable paper cups for a reusable bamboo/glass cup for your bathroom. Most of the time when a paper cup is lined with a waterproof coating, they cannot be recycled. So you may think you are helping the environment by recycling the paper cups, but they may not actually get recycled! Something to think about.

If you take anything from this today, let it be that a small change from just a 100 people,  can add up to a large impact overall. We all have to start small and build from there, not only our food choices, but the way we purchase items, to how we live our life. Think of the bigger picture, your future family will thank you.

I feel more confident than ever that the power to save the planet rests with the individual consumer.

– Denis Hayes

Disclaimer: This is not a paid advertisement for BITE Toothpaste bits, I just loved it so and thought you may too! Enjoy!

Eating our way through Philadelphia’s favorites

Everyone knows that when you think of Philadelphia, PA food, you think of cheese steaks, but did you know they are equally known for their pretzels and their water ice? Thomas, my boyfriend, was born in Miami but raised in Philadelphia, and if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t have known about the last two, which in my opinion are the best two! So here is a look how Thomas and I ate our way through Philadelphia’s favorites.

So let’s go back to this pretzel thing. Not only are they known for pretzels, but they eat them in the breakfast like bagels or donuts! Instead of bringing a dozen donuts to the office, someone will run to the nearest Pretzel Factory and grab a dozen pretzels. In my opinion, I think it is a little weird, but I am also the one who argues with Thomas that Donuts are a breakfast and not a dessert, so I guess regional ‘breakfasts’ are up to debate.  We ended up going to Philly Pretzel Factory in Abington, Pa and was pleasantly surprised. We walked in and you could smell the fresh pretzels! You can even see them being made to the right of us through a big glass window.

Philly Pretzel Factory - Rivets Shaker
phillypretzelfactory.com

I ordered a rivet shaker with cheese sauce, a cinnamon pretzel twist with a pumpkin spice dipping sauce, and Thomas ordered two Beef Pretzel dogs. I was pleasantly surprised! The rivets were soft and not to salty and paired really well with the cheese sauce. The cinnamon pretzel, although great tasting, wasn’t the softest, but the pumpkin spice frosting dip was good. But ultimately, I think my favorite was the beef pretzel dog with a little yellow mustard on it! Delicious! I was actually craving another one of those the whole rest of the trip.

Now the next place we went to is truly a Philly staple and has broadened it’s reach by moving into Virginia, Ohio, Georgia and even Florida. This has to be, by far, my favorite, and clearly Thomas’ favorite too, Philly eat, Rita’s Italian ice, or as the Philly’s call it Rita’s Water Ice. They have combine an old favorite of Italian ice with amazing flavors and the option of custard to make the most delicious, cold treat for the summer. Unfortunately, it is closed in the winter, so if you hurry now, you may get to it before they close!

Rita's Misto Shake and Mango Water Ice

Thomas and I both got the Cotton Candy Misto Shake, which is the cotton candy Italian ice mixed with vanilla custard, and I also got a small Mango Italian ice to go. I have to say I just looooooove Rita’s. They are consistent with their amazing flavors, they mix just the right amount of vanilla custard with the cotton candy Italian ice to make it a sweet and decadent dessert, especially after the salty pretzels. And my mango Italian ice was just as good a couple days later in the freezer, when I decided to indulge on it. If you are ever on the East coast in the PA/VA area, this place is a must try!

Joe's Steaks + Soda ShopLast and not least, the food that is the most known for Philly, the Philadelphia Cheese Steak. Now we didn’t want to eat just any other cheese steak, so we asked Thomas’ long time friend Mugg to give us the best cheesesteak place, and he said Joe’s Steaks + Soda Shop because they use a great cut of meat, they are consistently good, and worth the little drive from the burbs.

Friday at about 9:30PM our plans had fallen through, and we decided that we would take the 30 minute drive to go out to Joe’s in Fishtown to try them out. Never having a true AUTHENTIC Philly cheesesteak, I was excited! We drove out there down broad town, and enjoyed a little tour of Philly and got there and found easy parking. Now, my situation isn’t going to be the same as everyone else’s but I am particular when it comes to my cheesesteaks, I do NOT do onions. I asked the lady who was taking our order, may I please have the Philly cheesesteak with mushrooms and no onions, and she said yes! we can definitely do that for you, so I was sold. I had ordered the cheesesteak with wiz, because that’s what the locals do, and mushrooms with an old fashioned orange soda and a large order of Old Bay French Fries, Thomas ordered the chicken cheesesteak. We sat down at the cute diner booth and waited for our order to come in. After about 10 minutes, we were given our to go bag and we set on the 30 minutes trek back up to the burbs.

Cheesesteaks and Old Bay Fries from Joe's
joessteaks.com

 

We got home and started to grub, and immediately I was saddened. Not only did they forget to leave off onions, they were everywhere and they had been melding with all the other flavors of the cheesesteak, that even after I picked them all off, the lingering taste was still there. It was not the Philly cheesesteak experience I was hoping for. Even thought they left the onions on there, I know that it had the makings of being an amazing sandwich, so I can’t write them off completely! The bread was soft and warm, the cheese wiz had melted into the meat and bread, and you can tell the cut of meat, like Mugg had suggested, was a great choice. There wasn’t any gristle, and cooked perfectly. So all in all the experience was ok, if I lived there I would give them another chance, but next time I go there I will try someone else out.

Post Onion Eviction Shot

Although I gained two pounds, and indulged a little to much, our vacation was a great experience trying out the Philly favorites. If you visit Philly, please check these places out!

Quick Breakfast to the Rescue – Quick Egg ‘Muffins’

Picture this: you overslept, have to take the dogs out, two handsome Frenchies in my case, the boyfriend is hogging the bathroom sink, your shirt you wanted to wear is in the washer and you are starving.  There isn’t anytime to blend a shake or make an omelette so you go into the fridge and find your saving grace! This is the situation where egg muffin cups come to the rescue EVERY time! Without Fail. I like to put 2-3 ‘muffins’ in a small zip lock bag, or reusable small container, so that if I am ever in this situation I can grab a pack, pop it in the microwave for a minutes and go. Here is the printable recipe –  Quick Egg Muffins_The Modern Day Betty.

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosure below.

IMG_0937

 

So what will you need?

  • 4 16 oz Egg white cartons (you can use egg beaters, but in our household we prefer the whites only)
  • 2 packages Turkey bacon
  • 1 Pint Mushrooms, sliced
  • Pinch of Salt and Pepper
  • 1/4 cup shredded low fat cheddar cheese (more if you are feeling glutinous)

*Add other veggies/meats to switch up the flavor profile (broccoli, onions, peppers, zucchini, sweet potato or sausage/tofu)

Spray two muffin pans with coconut spray, my favorite muffin pan is this one – with it being silicone it makes clean up a breeze, but if you like the metal version this one works great! Then take a piece of the turkey bacon and line the muffin tin, flat side on the top, to make a ring for the egg mixture.

Cut up the remaining slices of bacon and distribute them evenly between each muffin tin, and by evenly I mean eyeball and throw them in there! The more the merrier. Follow with the sliced mushrooms and the cheese, in the same fashion. Sprinkle the s&p.

IMG_0933

*Here is where you can add the other toppings. I prefer to have texture with my veggies, so I do not cook them prior to throwing them in the muffin tin, but if you want less texture, saute them in a little coconut oil then cool and put them in the muffin tin. Sweet potatoes should be cooked ahead! No one wants crunchy sweet potatoes.

Top with the egg whites. I shake and pour straight from the container. This is supposed to be easy isn’t it? Sometimes I use the full 4, and sometimes I use three and change, but it all depends on how much stuff you put in the muffin tins prior to pouring in the egg whites.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-40 mins, until the eggs rise, and the middle is completely set. You can add a little more cheese after you take them out, but make sure you let them cool before putting them in their container to go in the fridge.

IMG_0935

Nutritional Facts: Per 1 Egg ‘Muffin’ Calories:91 Fat:4 Carbs:1 Protein:11

 

++I use Isolator Fitness 16 oz containers for breakfast. They are durable, last a long time, and are perfect size for breakfasts and snacks. Check out the 28 oz and 38 oz for lunches and dinners.

Quick Egg Muffins_The Modern Day Betty <- Here is the printable PDF version of the recipe.

Quick Egg Muffins

 

*If you purchase something through one of the links I may earn a small commission, but no worries, it doesn’t cost you a thing. If you would like more info on this, please visit my disclosure here.

Fasted Cardio Pick Me Up Post Workout Shake

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosure below.

Every Saturday I try to get some sort of ‘fasted’ workout in. When I say ‘fasted’ I mean a workout that you do when you have not eaten hours before it, usually first thing in the morning since technically you are at a fasted state since you haven’t eaten since dinner the night before. This is beneficial for people, like myself, who have the goal of weight loss because it aids in fat burning during your workout. With a high calorie burning workout such as cardio, HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) or Cross-Training (like a track based workout with sprints and stairs) on an empty stomach, you are increasing your chances of burning off the excess stored fat in your system and using it as fuel to get you through your workout. I like to get cardio or cross-training in on Saturdays before I eat my meal to take advantage of this fasted state and also kick start the rest of my day so that I have a happy and productive day which will turn into a productive weekend that then turns into a productive week. Get the picture? It is a never ending cycle of setting yourself up for success!

Question for my readers:

Thanks for your info, now let’s get back to this shake. Getting a post workout shake is the best part of fasted cardio! Here is a quick three ingredient (four if you include ice cubes) post workout shake that I live by and incorporate into almost all of my active Saturdays.

1 scoop VMI Protolyte Protein (My favorite flavor in this shake is the Vanilla Cake Batter, but Chocolate Fudge Cookie would work for a ‘mocha’ flavor)

1 shot of prepared espresso – If you don’t have a fancy espresso machine, a stove top espresso maker will work just fine!

1 cup almond milk – preferably the 30 calorie, unsweetened vanilla version (saves on the calories and plus, the protein powder tastes sweet already) – but you can do the sweetened vanilla version to add more sweetness

1 cup of ice cubes

Throw all of the ingredients into a blender and blender for 30 seconds to a minute depending on the power of your blender. You want to blend it completely so that the ice is not chunky and there are bubbles formed in the drink to make it like a frothy coffee drink.

The macros are even amazing: Calories: 131 Protein:26 Fat:3 Carbs:2

Now enjoy! Here you can see me post workout, fighting off my French Bulldog, King; he was dying to take a sip.

*If you purchase something through one of the links I may earn a small commission, but no worries, it doesn’t cost you a thing. If you would like more info on this, please visit my disclosure here.

I tried the Face Mask with 18,342 Reviews

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures below.

I have recently started to live my life in a more natural and ‘green’ way of living. Yes, this is kind of new, last year or so, and no I am not an expert, but I am trying to lessen my overall carbon foot print all while leading a healthier life. So when I started to look at beauty products, I have been seeking out more natural ingredients and one that I have recently fell upon is this Aztec Secret – Indian Healing Clay face mask. You can find it on Amazon for a solid $9.31*. It claims to be the ‘World’s Most Powerful Facial’ with Deep Poor Cleansing! Well today my friends, I am going to try this out!

Indian Healing Clay.jpg

First off, the ingredients come as natural as you can. 1 ingredient – 100% Natural Calcium Bentonite Clay. So originally I didn’t know what that exactly meant or how this was going to equate to the ‘world’s most powerful facial’ so I did a little research. One article I found in the Reader’s Digest shows 9 Reasons why Bentonite Clay should be added to your beauty routine. So it seems like a pretty good miracle worker and has the makings to be pretty powerful as their tag line suggests.

After reading the Reader’s Digest article, I am looking forward to the following three benefits the most:absorb excess oil, purify pores, and gently exfoliate. I have been blessed with pretty decent skin on my face, I can thank my momma for that! But every once in awhile I too break out. It is always good to have a face mask in your bathroom drawer, just in case you are: a. Needing a spa moment at home, or b. Get your face back to normal!

Today is just a test day – so I guess you could say it is a ‘spa moment’ but I will most likely be doing chores while having it on my face, so not very relaxing. But hey, a girl has to do what a girl has to do especially since she is taking a trip to Philly next week; I gotta pack!

So here it goes! First step I am doing, which is a step I always take when doing any kind of face wash is wash my face. It does you no good to put a face mask on your dirty face. While keeping with the theme of natural products, here is my go-to absolutely favorite face wash, Ole Henriksen Face the Truth Gel. It was referred to me by my BFF, Lissa, a few years back and I just love it. It has a great citrus smell, lathers really well, and makes your face clean without drying you out. Trust me, it is the best.

Face The Truth Gel Cleanser

Second step is making the calcium bentonite clay into a face mask. Per the Aztec-secret.com website, you mix equal parts clay and apple cider vinegar (ACV) or water. I have actually seen people use a half water/half ACV mixture instead of just ACV, so for my first time, I think I am going to try that just to be on the safe side. I didn’t want to use a lot, so I measured out 2 Tbsp of each part and mixed it in a small glass bowl. You can buy specific mixing bowls with special brushes to apply the face mask, but I don’t have time for all of that. I am using a small kitchen bowl, and a small kitchen spatula to mix it. I also ended up using the same spatula to apply the mask on my face.

7518638512_IMG_0036.JPG

I have more sensitive skin, so I am only going to try it for 15 minutes. Per the website, people with delicate skin should only leave it on for 5 minutes and people with normal skin 15-20 minutes. I am going to take a gamble and try it for 15 minutes, and just see how it goes. I normally always turn red, which they state a slight redness may appear, so I am not to worried about it. When mixing the clay into the ACV/water mixture it bubbled up, which was kind of cool. I applied it pretty thick and set my timer for 15 minutes.

So all in all I like this product. My skin feels great, slightly smoother, but there wasn’t a drastic change as expected. I could have left it on for more than 15 minutes, next time I’ll try 20-25 minutes. I didn’t feel any burning or tingling feeling, but I could feel it tightening up which is understandable with the drying of the mask.  But the fact that this products is 100% natural, doesn’t have any additives, fragrances, and doesn’t test on animals, that’s what wins me over! There are many different products out there that can give you the results of a nice clay mask, but this has it all! Props to Aztec Secret for offering such a great product, and the Mother Earth for creating it, I guess she deserves props to.

This is not a paid advertisement. Just showing you that natural products can be affordable and have great results! But please remember, my results may not be the same results as yours. If you want to learn more about this product, please see their website at www.aztec-secrets.com. If you would like to read the Reader’s Digest article please see their website.

*If you purchase something through one of the links I may earn a small commission, but no worries, it doesn’t cost you a thing. If you would like more info on this, please visit my disclosure here.

I had a beignet and I LOVED it!

File_005Just because today is the day to look forward with my blog, but also to still look back at my first posts, and let’s be honest this is my favorite! Because who doesn’t want to see me eat a fluffy, powdery square of goodness that is a beignet?? Haha well here is a look back to our trip to New Orleans!

When you go to visit New Orleans you must go to Cafe du Monde on Decatur street in the French Quarter, especially if you are a foodie, like myself. I have only had a beignet one other time in Savannah in a New Orleans themed restaurant on the river, but I was told you haven’t had a beignet unless you have had one at Cafe du Monde. So here  I was in New Orleans with a mission to get this famous beignet.

We got off the airplane and headed straight to the French Quarter. We walked all around the French Quarter trying to find this cafe, stopping in amazing littles shops along the way.  There was a long line wrapped around the cafe, every table was full, except one! It was full of dirty dishes, but that’s ok, we are going to get it. I have to get this beignet. We sat down, the served wiped down the table and we looked at the menu, and then my heart crumbled. CASH ONLY. We had to leave, I forgot my cash in the car. Tomorrow will be the day I get my beignet.

We ended up walking to a sweet little spot named Cafe Fleur-de-lis, got a small table in the front. Thomas is on prep, since we are here for a competition of his, the Cajun Classic Pro Gulf States, so he had to be health conscious to an extent. He ordered an avocado bowl, which was a little small for the price, and a fried green tomato plate with a tasty spicy ranch dipping sauce. I started out with an Italian Mango Cream Mimosa, which I have never had before,  and it was fantastic! It was topped with white chocolate shavings, who doesn’t like white chocolate shavings? My meal was a tasty bowl of shrimp and grits. The service was great, the atmosphere was cute, and the vibe was chill.

But lets fast forward to today! Today was the day that I had to have a beignet. We drove down to the French Quarter and parked right on the river. First stop Cafe du Monde. This time I didn’t even want to fuss with a table, the line was three times as long as the day before, so we went straight to the back and got in the to go line.

You can tell this cafe has been in business since 1862 and open 24 hours a day 7 days a week except for Christmas and an occasional hurricane, as they say on the cafedumonde.com website. They were getting orders faster than you could order them! They had an assembly line of prepared beignets in quantities of 3 with powdered sugar in cute little bags, and cups of coffee, or in my case iced coffee with milk because it was HOT, all ready for customers waiting in line.

I ordered the iced coffee with milk, and an order of 3 beignets. Paid with my cash and walked up the stairs to eat my beignets overlooking the French Quarter. When I say that I took a bite and melted, I melted! It was sooooooo good! It was warm, sweet, crisp yet fluffy, satisfying and worth the wait! Also helped that I had an amazing view and got to experience something with so much history in a fun and energetic city.

Of course I had to take the signature ‘take a bite but try to not get the powdered sugar on your face’ photo! Thanks Thomas, you are great at capturing me at my foodie moments. If you are in New Orleans go check out Cafe du Monde, bring cash, and if you forget go seek out Cafe Fleur-de-lis! Well actually, go to both regardless! xoxo

#TBT We Survived Irma with the help of Homemade EASY Pizza and Frenchies!

What a perfect way to kick off my Blog again with one of my first posts I wrote a year ago when I first decided to try this blog thing out! I guess it just wasn’t in the cards a year ago, but here we are a year older, living in a brand new city with a new job and career path, all while still incorporating Fitness, Food & Life! Well welcome back to The Modern Day Betty!

September 13, 2017 Irma came, Irma destructed, and Irma left. Thankfully, she didn’t do damage to our vehicles or home and we never lost power. Being from Nebraska, I’m used to thunderstorms and tornados, living in west Texas I was used to flooding, but never did I ever think I was going to experience all three at the same time! Welcome to Florida during Hurricane Season!

Of course the news combined with family and friends in other states expressing concern really started to freak me out but Thomas, my boyfriend, a Florida born boy, knew that if we buckled down, prepared our food and water, we would be OK! Well, he was right. So what helped ease my woes during this scary time? Homemade EASY Pizza, Candy of many different sorts, Buffalo Chicken Dip,  and juice. I am an emotional eater and these items really helped me cope, along with the sweetest Frenchie Duo ever! Please meet King and Louie, the most amazing, Hurricane protectors!

Ok, well they really only slept the ENTIRE time, but they were the cutest, most snuggly, little Frenchies. Who could have asked for better snuggle buddies during the storm? I mean next to my awesome boyfriend that is! 😉

So let’s get back to this Homemade EASY Pizza! My mom used to make a version of this sheet pan pizza when I was younger and everyone who tasted it LOVED it. I made a few changes because I couldn’t find the exact pizza crust** she uses, and I chose to use ground turkey over ground beef as a healthier option.

Are you ready for how easy this is? These are three of the main ingredients that keep it easy peasy.

IMG_8321

Ingredients:

  • Canned Pre-made Pizza Crust – Pillsbury Classic Crust
  • 1-2 pounds ground turkey, beef, Italian sausage, or ground ‘beefless’ crumbles
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Italian seasonings
  • 1 tsp salt and pepper
  • 1 Jar pizza sauce – Prego Pizza Sauce
  • Can of mushroom pieces
  • Can of sliced black olives
  • 2 cups of cheese – mozzarella, cheddar, or mix
  • Optional – 6-8 cloves of garlic mixed with 1/4 cup olive oil

Start off with a pound or two of lean ground turkey, lean ground beef, ground Italian sausage, or beefless crumbles. Brown it in a pan with a sprinkle of garlic powder, Italian seasonings, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Optional: In a food processor put a 1/4 cup olive oil, 6-8 cloves of garlic and a pinch of salt and whir tell it becomes a paste.

Spray your cookie sheet with coconut non stick spray and press in your canned pizza crust, making sure you press any holes together and press the dough up the sides of the pan to get your crust. (Here is where the optional garlic paste comes into play) If you choose to, take a pastry brush, my favorite is a silicone one so clean up is a breeze, and brush the garlic paste/oil onto the crust of the pizza. Put the pizza in the oven as directed on the can. This pillsbury canned pizza classic crust says 400 degrees for 8 minutes.

After the crust had time to pre-bake, add your toppings. I start with the jarred pizza sauce, the Prego brand was pretty good, not to sweet or acidic, which some sauces can be. My mom alway adds Contadina Pizza Sauce***, but again, they didn’t have it at my grocery store. I then added the ground turkey, canned sliced black olives and canned mushrooms pieces. You can pretty much customize it however you want!

I personally like to add the cheese last minute so I put the pan back in the oven for 8 additional minutes, and then take it out, add the cheese, and back in the oven for the last 2 minutes.

Homemade EAZY Pizza

Now Enjoy! A little piece of comfort from my childhood to help with the craziness of my first and hopefully last Hurricane!

**Add Water Pizza Crust My Mom Uses

***Contadina Pizza Sauce My Mom Uses