Essie Gel Nail Polish REVIEW

Blog #51:

I have been wanting to try gel polish for a while now.  I was not sure if it was worth it.  But of course, I had to try it to find out.  I decided to try the Essie brand which I found on sale for $12.94 at my local Target.  The combo goes for almost $20.  The combo comes with the nail polish (step 1) and the top coat (step 2).  The instructions say to use 2 coats of polish and one top coat.  I ended up using 3-4 coats on each nail as the color I purchased is very light.  It is called “fairy tailor.”  It is advertised to last up to 14 days.  For me it lasted about 7 days before the polish started to “pop” off and crack.   I wonder if it would have lasted it longer if I was not cooking and doing dishes with hot water daily.

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The pros:

  • left a nice shine
  • thin layers of polish compared to the thick coats of polish at the nail shop
  • did not chip
  • quick drying
  • removes like regular polish

Cons:

  • polish smells very strong compared to regular polish; the smell stayed on my nails for a few hours after it was dry
  • did not last close to 14 days

Day !

It is not recommended to use a base coat with this gel polish.  Therefore, I am not sure if using gel frequently over time can yellow the nails.  I really liked the thinness of the polish like I mentioned but I honestly did not enjoy the smell.  It was super strong and I had to spray my room after as the smell lingered.  I am still debating whether or not I will purchase more colors in the future.

Let me know if there are better brands out there that work well and don’t smell as bad as this one!

Enjoy!

❤ Azilde

Homemade Caesar Dressing

Blog #48:

I made homemade chicken kabobs last week and realized I did not have caesar dressing on hand.  It is not a kabob without caesar dressing!  I figured I’d share with you my homemade caesar dressing just in case you ever run!

You will need:

  • 1 cup of mayonnaise
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 cup of shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp of mustard
  • 1 tsp of Worcestershire sauce
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp of pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder or 1 clove of garlic, grated

Lastly, mix together and spread on your kabob sub, wrap, use as a dip or use the dressing for your salad!!

These are usually items I have in my fridge and pantry.  Don’t be afraid to substitute with things you may not have! For example, I used garlic powder since I ran out of garlic.

Enjoy!

❤ Azilde

30 Minute Garlic & Herb Salmon Dinner

 

Blog #47:

Salmon is one of my favorite fish to eat. It has so much flavor and you can make so many meals with it! And of course it is super nutritious!

This week I made a garlic and herb salmon. It was super easy since all I had to do was marinate the fish for about an hour.  Sometimes I will leave it overnight so I can have it ready to make right away.   I used a garlic herb marinade from whole foods. It’s so delicious. I use it with fish, chicken and beef!

You will need:

  • 1 1/2 of salmon
  • A cup of garlic herb marinade
  • 1/2 a butternut squash, cubed (about 4 cups); Whole foods sells it cut up 🙂
  • 3 cups of Spinach
  • 4 tbs of olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon or lime
  • 1 tbs of chopped cilantro (optional)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

On a sheet pan, add the squash and drizzle with about 2tbs of olive oil. Sprinkle some salt and pepper and toss together to mix.  On the same sheet pan add the marinated salmon.  Put in the oven on HI Broil for about 17 minutes.

img_9349While that is in the oven, toss the spinach with some salt, pepper, the rest of the olive oil and 1/2 lemon or lime, juiced.

This meal takes less than 30 minutes to make.  Best of all it’s healthy and cooked in one pan!

Serve the salmon with the squash, some spinach salad and top with cilantro! This has become a favorite in my home. I am making it again this week!!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

❤ Azilde

Homemade Chicken Kabob Subs

Blog #46:

Chicken Kabob subs are amazing, aren’t they? Chicken kabob anything is delicious to me. My husband asked me to make it for one of our meals this week. Immediately i said sure, as it was simple as ever to make!

You will need:

    1 1/2 lbs of chicken breast, cut into cubes
    Greek dressing or citrus splash dressing (I used Newman’s brand)
    1/4 tsp Salt
    1/4 tsp Pepper
    1/2 tsp Oregano, ground
    1/2 tsp Onion powder
    1/2 tsp Garlic powder
    1 clove of garlic, smashed (optional)
    1 cup of thinly sliced iceberg lettuce
    1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
    2 tbs of fresh cilantro, chopped
    1/4 cup of onion, thinly sliced or chopped
    1 cup of feta cheese
    4 sub rolls
    1 cup of caesar dressing

Serves 4

I did not have greek dressing on hand, therefore, I used the citrus splash dressing as a marinade for the chicken. I marinated the chicken for a few hours and then added the seasonings and garlic when I was ready to cook; as the dressing alone did not seem enough. If the chicken was marinated with greek dressing I probably would not have had to add the extra seasonings, FYI. The dressing did give it some tenderness, which was a plus!

I cooked the chicken and then toasted the bun in the oven for a few minutes on broil.  Then it is time to assemble!

Spread some of the caesar dressing on both sides of the bun and generously add some chicken.  Mix the lettuce, tomato, cilantro and onion and add to the sub.  Lastly, top with feta. You got yourself a homemade chicken kabob sub!  My husband said it tasted better than buying!!  Let me know what you think!

Enjoy!

❤ Azilde

How to Choose a Planner

Blog #45:

Happy New Year!  It has been quite the year for me. A new baby, busier and new goals! The best way to stay on track is keeping organized by writing things down.

A planner!! Over the years I have kept planners and journals to keep me on track.  I use the Cozi app which works wonders for my family and I.  I don’t have to carry around my planner but rather just pull out my phone and add doctor appointments, for example and not take the appointment cards home! The best part is that the calendar is shared with my husband.  We both can add to the calendar with the kids activities, etc.  Both my husband, our kids and I have a colored bullet on the calendar.  we can easily track who has what each day.  Best of all it’s FREE!

In addition to the cozi app, I enjoy having a nice journal to write down my to do list and plan for the month ahead. I have also kept a separate calendar to write down my bills and check them off as I pay them. And then I have a planner just for PTO.  It is a lot of different things. For 2020, I decided to just purchase a planner that had a monthly and weekly calendar. Nice planners are pretty expensive and can go for $30 dollars. There is also the expense of getting all the extras, such as stickers and extra pages.

This past weekend I went shopping at Michael’s.  I happened to scan all the aisles to look for the new year clearance and sales. The 2019-2020 planners were 30% off. I decided on the 18 month planner. They were dated July 2019-December 2020. Worked for me! I have the whole year to use! The planner came with stickers, two pocket folders, a plastic storage compartment, a note section, monthly and weekly planner with the name of the month on each tab. With the 30% off I purchased the planner for $14.99!

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You are wondering what in the world can I do with the 2019 section. Well, my friends, I will use it as a notes section! I am always jotting down craft ideas and things to do. It will not go to waste!

I will still keep my PTO planner until the end of this year but for my personal planner I will just have one. I will use the monthly section to write down my bills and the weekly one for everything else.  I get more detailed on my day to do things I have to do vs my cozi app is to keep track of appointments, sports and school events.  I sure hope I gave you some ideas on what planner you should get.  If you are looking for something simple and cheap, try Marshalls, TjMaxx or the Dollar store. I usually go to Marshalls since they have really cute planners. This year I went for a different route but every year is different!

FYI, I plan to blog more often again.  It’s been an extra, few months of being more occupied than usual!

Happy New Year!

❤ Azilde

25 Christmas Gift Ideas on a Budget

Blog #44:

Christmas is right around the corner and this year I am way behind on my shopping!  With a new baby in the house things have been a bit busier for sure.  By December 1st I would have had everything done by now.

I will start my Christmas shopping this week!  A week before the holiday.  I know, I know! But it seems many people do this, I noticed.  I plan to just go in store and shop this time around, since I don’t have much time.  I like to make a list of everyone on my list and next to each name what to buy.  That way when I am out I will have a better idea on what I am looking for and not splurge.  I make a budget and stick to it.   This will be my first time Christmas shopping in store in quite a few years but I am a bit excited to do so.  I honestly enjoy online shopping.  It is amazing!

Here is a list of gift ideas on a budget.  It is important to look for sales.  There are always sales on many things.

Ideas for adults and kids:

  1. Mug with a necklace or earrings (any jewelry);
  2. Mug with hot cocoa or coffee packet with candy cane;
  3. Robe;
  4. Slippers and a book;
  5. PJs and a book;
  6. $10 gift card to coffee shop and water bottle or travel mug;
  7. water bottle and sports headband (sporty gift);
  8. nail polish with a pair of cozy socks;
  9. sweater or top with matching nail polish;
  10. kids purse (I wouldn’t get an adult a purse unless you really know their style);
  11. board games;
  12. hair products with hair elastics and hair brush or clips:
  13. hair straighter;
  14. decorative pillows (ex. Disney Frozen or Boston Celtics);
  15. Beanie and gift card;
  16. Gloves and gift card;
  17. baby rattler/teether and outfit;
  18. football, basketball, soccerball (you get the drill);
  19. tea set (kids or adults!);’
  20. Gatorade towel (for the athlete);
  21. Wreck this journal with colored pencils;
  22. blanket;
  23. Planner for the new year;
  24. Foam seat Cushion (for any desk worker or elder);
  25. Homemade marinate with recipe card

Check out the Christmas gift idea blogs and videos below:

Christmas Gift Ideas

Christmas Goodie Gifts

https://youtu.be/yM0czqgPaEc

https://pin.it/lphr3yojjfovbm

https://pin.it/ckjqp2j24xqllx

I hope I have given you some ideas!

Enjoy your holiday!

❤ Azilde

 

Cuban Sliders

Blog #43:

Wow! It has been a month since I last posted!  Today my youngest is 1 month old!  Which is why I have not posted.  There has been many sleepless nights for sure!  I have some upcoming blogs on the baby and things I have learned along the way.  Stay tuned!

Anyway, I had been dying to make some sandwich sliders and finally made them!  This was an easy meal to make and went straight into the oven.  I did not want to use pork or ham and ended using what I had in my fridge.  I’d say a bit healthier!

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You will need:

  • 12 bun Hawaiian rolls
  • deli turkey
  •  leftover chicken, shredded
  • American cheese slices
  • mustard
  • pickled jalapeños
  • 1 tsb of oregano
  • 1 piece of garlic, smashed
  • the juice of 1 lemon or lime
  • 1 tbs of fresh cilantro
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 1 tsb of cumin

Prepare:

Heat your oven to 350 degrees.  In a sauce pan heat up the butter, oregano, cumin, cilantro and lemon or lime.  You want to split the mixture into 3 bowls.  First mixture goes into the shredded chicken.  Put aside.  In a 9×13 oven dish add the 2nd mixture of melted butter mixture.  Enough to spread at the bottom of the dish.  Then slice all 12 rolls together, horizontal and put in the dish.  On the bottom pieces of buns layer the turkey slices, shredded chicken, cheese slices and jalapeños.  Then spread the mustard on the inner top rolls.  Add the top half of the rolls and spread the last mixture on the rolls.

Cover with foil for about 25 min and uncovered for 5 minutes or until toasted.

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The slides have a tangy, sweet and spicy taste all at once.  Delicious!  Feel free to add as much or as little of all the ingredients.  I just eye balled everything!

This is a great appetizer for those football nights!!

Enjoy!

❤ Azilde