Fake Rich: Headphones

Headphones are like sunglasses and umbrellas – I don’t spend a ton of money on them because I either break them or lose them. As much as I would love a shiny new pair of Beats headphones, the price tag is way too high for my liking. My friend Miranda turned me onto these LeMe headphones. They are super cute, very comfortable, cancel noise, and have a long battery life. Bonus: they double as earmuffs in the chilly New York winters.

 

LeMe

Rose Quartz Crystal Candle Holder

When I was a little kid, I would spend my summers blowing my allowance at the crystal store down at the beach. Decades later, I still find myself drawn to crystals. Some people believe that crystals have special energetic powers. Rose Quartz, for instance, is known as the Love Stone because it aids with unconditional love and healing. Whether or not you believe in their powers, we can all agree that crystals are gorgeous and they certainly can’t hurt.

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Faux Leather Backpack

I searched for a long time for the perfect millennial pink backpack. I wanted to be able to carry all of the crap that I need to make it through the day, but also be able ride my bike if I needed to. I can’t even tell you how many compliments I get on this backpack. It has a section that fits my 11″ MacBook Air perfectly and several other useful pockets. It is beautiful quality (especially for the price) and has cute gold zippers. At only $35, I’m seriously considering buying the grey version too…

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How to Brew Kombucha at Home

Probiotics are one of the best things you can add to your diet. The benefits are too numerous to list. I tried taking probiotic pills, but never trusted that they were doing their job. Heat greatly affects the integrity of probiotics, so it’s game over if that pill bottle spends any time on a hot shipping truck. I decided to take matters into my own hands by brewing my own Kombucha. If you are lucky enough to have a friend that also brews his or her own, you can steal a Scoby (aka Culture) and some starter Kombucha from them. I’m not so fortunate, so I purchased a Kombucha Brewing Kit from Amazon. It paid for itself after 12 bottles. I also picked up some really chic flip top bottles (bonus: I also use these for homemade almond milk, lemonade, iced tea, etc).

Instructions:

  1. In a small pot, bring 4 cups of filtered water to a boil.
  2. Remove from heat and add 3 tablespoons of loose leaf tea (black, green, oolong, etc) in whatever strainer or reusable tea bag you have (you can also substitute 8 or 9 tea bags).
  3. Let tea steep for 5-6 minutes and remove tea strainer/bags.
  4. Stir 1 cup granulated sugar into your tea until dissolved.
  5. Pour your sweet tea into you 1 gallon brewing jar.
  6. Add 8 cups of cold filtered water (leave about 3-4 inches at the top)
  7. Make sure that the temperature of the tea mixture is between 68 and 88℉ (you don’t want it to be too hot or it will harm your scoby).
  8. Add your scoby and 1 cup of plain kombucha from your last brew (or that comes with your scoby)
  9. Stir once and then cover with cotton cloth and seal with a rubber band.
  10. Place your brew jar in a warm place, out of direct sunlight, with plenty of airflow, and that is out of the way.
  11. Wait and do not move it for 7-9 days.
  12. After 7-9 days have passed, do a taste test to see if the kombucha has reached a flavor that you like. If it is too sweet, put the cloth back on and let brew a few days longer (testing every day until it reaches desired sweetness level). Note – the ideal pH range for finished Kombucha is 2.5 – 3.5, so you can use pH strips to verify.
  13. Bottle the Kombucha, doing a second fermentation if desired – I use my Grapefruit Kombucha Recipe.
  14. With clean hands, remove the culture from the jar along with 1 cup of the liquid and clean the 1 gallon brewing jar with hot water and vinegar (no antibacterial soap) and rinse well. Store the scoby and 1 cup of reserved liquid in the 1 gallon jug and seal with cotton cloth and rubber band to be used for your next batch.
  15. Repeat.

Fake Rich: Pink Accent Chairs

I found these darling chairs on Amazon and at under $135 for a set of 2, this was a deal that I couldn’t pass up. I got the pink, but they also come in green and grey. Because my apartment is too tiny for a dining table, I gave one to a friend and kept the other as “the chair” (ie where all of my stuff gets thrown after a busy day). And another friend got the pair and an inexpensive table (also from Amazon) to use in her kitchen eating nook (pic below).

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Apple Crumble Recipe

One ex boyfriend of mine was British and his favorite dessert was Apple Crumble (also sometimes called Apple Crisp in the US). The first time I cooked for him, I wanted to wow him by making it. He said it was the best Apple Crumble he had ever had (and he was NOT the kind of guy that would just say that to be nice). The boyfriend didn’t last, but this recipe was a keeper.

Ingredients:

Crumble:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (plus more for buttering the pan)

Apple Mixture:

  • 3 1/2 pounds granny smith apples (about 8 apples), peeled, cored, cut into 8 wedges, then each wedge cut in half crosswise
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350℉.
  2. Butter a 13×9 inch baking dish.
  3. Combine the flour, 1 cup of the brown sugar, oats, pecans, and kosher salt in a medium bowl. Add the melted butter and stir with a fork until all of the crumbs are evenly moist. Set aside.
  4. Add the apples to the buttered baking dish and toss with the 1/2 cup of brown sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice. Spread the apples in an even layer.
  5. Top the apple mixture with your crumble.
  6. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the apples are tender and the crumble topping is golden brown.
  7. Can be served warm or cold. The Brit loved it served with heavy cream and I love it with vanilla ice cream.

 

 

 

7 Tips to Get Healthy Long Hair

I get my hair cut maybe once or twice a year, so it is very important for me to take care of it. I also am very lazy when it comes to my hair, but these are 7 things that I use to prevent damage and leave my hair silky with little to no effort.

1. Invisibobble – I stumbled upon these accidentally when they came as a gift with purchase from Sephora. I have to wear my hair back for work, so these have been a god send. I can jump around a full 60 minute barre burn class without my ponytail coming loose. They also come in a bunch of fun colors and look super cute on your wrist (bonus: they don’t cut off your circulation like most other hair ties). They don’t rip out your hair as much as traditional elastics. I will say I still do get a kink in my hair, but less than I normally do.

2. Wet Brush – My hair has been impossible to detangle for as long as I can remember. Getting my hair brushed out at the salon is borderline torture, but now I actually bring my own wet brush and manage to leave the salon chair without crying. I don’t know how this thing does what it does, but it’s a miracle.

3. Pantene Deep Conditioner – This is by far the best hair treatment I have ever used. It leaves my hair incredibly soft and moisturized without weighing it down. It detangles like a dream and the smell is insanely yummy. Whenever someone hugs me even hours after using this, they always comment on how good my hair smells. However, it is annoyingly hard to find, so Pantene – if you are reading this, please make more!

4. Hair Towels – Please stop wrapping your hair into a turban with a regular bath towel. These cause way less damage, help hair dry faster, and don’t hurt your neck with all of the extra weight.

5. Dry Shampoo – I have a million different dry shampoos, but Batiste is my go-to. It is really affordable and freshens up the hair quite nicely. They have a million different scents, but Cherry is the one I usually get. I am blonde and have heard that the regular formula can leave a white cast for brunettes, but luckily they make versions for brown and black hair.

6. Conair Wand – I have stick-straight hair even without blow drying. My hair can usually keep a curl for about 15 minutes before falling flat again, but not with this wand. I can curl my whole head in about 5 minutes and it lasts for 3+ days (thank you dry shampoo). It also causes way less damage than any other curling iron I have used.

7. Silk Pillowcase – To be honest, I bought one of these for their anti-aging benefits (the slip of the silk prevents creasing), but have heard that these are also great for combatting frizz.

Invisibobble  Wet Brush  Turbie Twist  HAIR Pantene Pro-V Daily Moisture Renewal 3MM Deep Conditioner  Batiste  Conair Wand  Silk Pillowcase

Best Sunless Tanners for Fair Skin

I am pale. Like really pale. My friends lovingly call me Casper. This makes it extra hard to find sunless tanners that don’t look ridiculously fake on me. Luckily I have found a few that take me from Ghostlike to Glowing.
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  1. Tarte Brazilliance Plus+ This is my go to sunless tanner. It is super easy to apply and comes with a mitt that leaves you streak free and keeps your hands from turning brown. It also has a tint to it, so you can see if you have missed a spot. It does not leave you super dark, so if that’s what you are looking for, this is not the one for you. It does, however, give you a lovely natural-looking glowy tan.Brazilliance
  2. Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Water – Yes you read that right – water. This was a recent purchase of mine and so far I am really liking it. Comes in light, medium, and dark (I obviously got the light) and each one has its own color-correcting properties.untitled-2
  3. Jergen’s Natural Glow – Buildable so you can gradually build up a tan. This daily body moisturizer gives a natural-looking glow in a week or less. Easy, hassle-free application, and sun-kissed, streak-free results. Available in Fair to Medium and Medium to Tan.Jergens
  4. Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs – Technically this isn’t a sunless tanner, but I love using this for days when I look down and realize how white my legs are and I need a last minute tan. I also use this for blending in spots that I might have missed when applying my other tanners.Sally Hansen

Cauliflower Fried Rice

Ingredients:

  • Vegetable oilIMG_4452
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions, light and green parts separated (you’ll need 2-3 scallions)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 lb bag riced cauliflower (you can find this at Trader Joe’s or make your own in your food processor with half of a 2 lb head cauliflower
  • 2-3 tablespoons liquid aminos divided (soy sauce can be substituted)
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas and carrots
  • 1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
  • 1/8 cup chopped cashews
  • Cooked Shrimp or Chicken (optional)
Instructions:
  1. Heat 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the egg and a pinch of salt and scramble until the egg is cooked. Set aside. Wipe the pan clean.
  2. Add 4 teaspoons of vegetable oil to the pan and set over medium heat.
  3. Add the light scallions, garlic, and ginger and cook, stirring often, until softened but not browned, 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Add the grated cauliflower, 2 tablespoons of the liquid aminos, red pepper flakes, sugar, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often, for about 3 minutes.
  5. Add the peas and carrots and continue cooking until the cauliflower “rice” is tender-crisp and the vegetables are warmed through, a few minutes.
  6. Stir in the rice vinegar, sesame oil, dark green scallions, cashews, and egg.
  7. Stir in the cooked chicken or shrimp if using.
  8. Taste and adjust seasoning (adding the remaining tablespoon of liquid aminos if necessary). Serve hot.