How to ACTUALLY Have Flawless Skin

Today’s post is a clap back (is that what kids really do these days?  Do they really clap in people’s faces?  Seems rude but I’ll try anything once) to Serafina’s latest post full of shade.  It took me MONTHS to whittle this down to less than 25,000 words so you’re welcome I guess.

 

But first, let me tell you why there is so much contention between my frenemy and me when it comes to skin care.

 

It all started with a “camping” trip.

 

You see, Serafina and I decided to go on a clothing optional camping trip, and she invited some men I didn’t know.  Naturally, I thought this was going to be a giant orgy, and, excitedly, packed accordingly.  This meant that I didn’t bring a bra and I also wore Brittney Spears-style glitter eye shadow the whole time.  Serafina was appalled at the fact it took me so long to “ready myself for nature” but really, you never know what kind of sexy adventures happen in the woods so I would NEVER be caught dead without a modest application of foundation and rosy cheeks.

 

To my shock and disappointment, no one wanted to have an orgy, but rather “grill out” and “tell campfire stories” and “fight off raccoons.”  So there I was, holding back tears so as not to smudge my ice blue eyeshadow.

 

It would be 20 years until we would speak again, and while my Brittney makeup is long dried up, I still have really overly complicated skin care and I definitely fucking wear makeup while camping and Serafina judges loudly.  NOT EVERYONE CAN HAVE NATURALLY GLASS SKIN, OK?!

 

This is just my face routine, that doesn’t include makeup.  My face routine is mostly in the style of K-Beauty, while my body is all French, baby.

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Shit I forgot the shea butter

 

1. Cleansing

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I have no idea what’s in Softymo, but it’s speedy.

I remove my eye makeup first, and then use an oil cleanser to remove the rest of my makeup, or if I didn’t wear makeup, my SPF lotion.  I use the most gentle cleanser I can find after that.  Cetaphil is my jam on a regular basis (please sponsor me ilu).

 

2. Toner

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The beardy old guy makes it official.

Toner is life.  So much so, I do seven layers.  I’m not kidding.  Do you hear that, Serafina? I actually fucking stand in the bathroom and do SEVEN FUCKING LAYERS OF TONER.  I’m sure she’s screaming at her computer screen right now.  Your pain feeds me.

 

3. Boosters

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TJ Maxx feeds my addiction 

This is the step to which Serafina was referring in my IG posts.  And just FYI, yes, the dog gets one too.

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Beauty standards are unreasonable to keep up with in my family, but even the dog has to do her part.

4. Moisturizers

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I no longer use MyChelle because it causes extreme breakouts on my skin but I didn’t know that until after I wrote all this.  I no longer recommend.

Do you think you’ve already done enough to give moisture to your skin?  No, you haven’t.   It doesn’t matter if your skin is already soft and smooth. Add more.  And if there’s daylight, make sure it has SPF.

 

See it’s not so bad.  All this would easily fit inside a small/medium suitcase, making travel spontaneous and whimsical.

 

And just to prove how well this routine works, here’s a before and after picture:

 

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Left: my first year postpartum where I didn’t care about my looks.  Right: dead and sullen eyes, but hot af and vain as hell.  

CLAP CLAP CLAP

 

-Mary Ellen

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Buttercup Burritos

Today I want to emotionally open up to all of our millions of readers.  Sometimes it’s hard to bear your soul to those closest to you, which is why I only share my private thoughts on Twitter, as well as subtweet all of my dirty laundry with every relationship in my life, real and fictional.   

 

Lately I’ve been having an existential crisis.  It’s basically consumed me, to the point I hardly even drink anymore (don’t worry, I’m drinking now, like I do when I write all my posts).  At least half of it is Serafina’s fault, because she puts together extremely elaborate lasagnas AND EVEN BOILS THE NOODLES??!! and she even has a boyfriend.  She has basically kept this blog alive single-handedly and pays both of our bills, as well as this guy we met online three years ago named Ayden. Also, I know for a fact she has six pack abs and reads to blind parrots in her spare time. Her personal Instagram has been featured in 70 different lifestyle magazines, 37 made the cover.  Like, how does one even fucking keep up with that shit? What do I have to show for myself? I still listen to CDs on a Sony Walkman.

 

Have I already peaked?  Have all my culinary masterpieces already been made?  Is this all there is? I don’t even get a gold watch?

 

Oh wait.  *record screeches to a halt*

 

Now… before I share this recipe with you, I just want you all to know how much you mean to me.  I mean, I’m sharing LITERAL SECRET RECIPES. I was planning on only passing these down to my daughter, but then I had a son, because it’s what my husband wanted.  We stay in our gender lanes in this family.

 

Sorry, I didn’t mean to get all political and shit.  That’s not what this is about. This is about:

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I feel like the chocolate chips are a little pushy but whatever.

What to eat for lunch when you forgot to eat lunch but now you’re hangry and you have like 3 minutes to make something you can eat while following your child around and throw play doh balls all over the place.

 

I call it: Buttercup burritos.

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Don’t worry, I know this recipe is complicated but that’s why I took 500 pictures.

You take a whole wheat tortilla, because remember, we want to nourish our bodies in addition to our minds, and you lightly warm it.  Spread your nut butter of choice on it. Mine is almond. Sprinkle with a modest amount of chocolate chips. I used an allergy friendly one, not because I have allergies, but because I’m better than most people.

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Shit.  This looks more like a crepe.  But I already committed to the burrito theme and I really don’t want to have to go back and edit this…

Roll your burrito.

Roll your play doh.

 

Eat and try not to choke on it while running around.

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If I were to make this again, I would add melted butter and omit the almond butter and the chocolate chips.

 

“Buttercups are actually quite filling.” – The Foundations

 

Mary Ellen

 

Smoothie Recipe For the Days You Just Can’t

Hello, dear Eggpiers (that’s our fandom name now, just FYI).  Serafina is busy binge watching Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman so I pulled myself away from my own binging to post in her stead this week.  It was really hard.  I was actually still watching stuff, and I finally decided I better do it now.  If there’s a lot of typos and nonsense sentences, it’s because the show I’m watching is more important than writing this (I’m just watching Kpop videos right now and trying to dance).   I do not read what I’ve written that’s not what real artists do.

 

Now that warm weather is here, I really hate turning on the oven, the stove, or my husband because I will burst into literal flames from getting overheated.  Breakfast smoothies are always a nice way to start your day.  But what if you haven’t gone to the store in a while?  What if you have no greens or fruit or whatever the hell people put in those things to make them healthy and a complete “meal?”  Well, I’ve got you covered.

 

You do need to have this stuff on hand, but they won’t go bad in thirty minutes in your humid as hell house.  It tastes fine.  Remember this is just to get out the door and on with your life.

 

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I used the chocolate meal powder, but I hate it, it tastes weird.  Just get vanilla and put cocoa powder in it instead and then it’ll actually taste like real fucking chocolate.

 

Mary Ellen’s I Can’t Breakfast Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp maca powder
  • 1 scoop meal replacement powder (see pic above)
  • 1 TBSP almond butter

 

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I was impressed with this blind banana shot so you have to look at it.  Look at my photography skillz!

 

Directions:

Blend all this shit together until smooth.

 

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It’s about time I used a different placemat I guess.  But this one is my favorite.

 

Alright guys I need to go focus on these dances or I’ll never be able to challenge one of these boy bands to a dance off. I read somewhere that dancing is 75% confidence, 20% cute outfits, and 5% abs.

 

Maybe I have the abs and confidence mixed up.

 

Mary Ellen

 

 

Building Walls from Your Neighbors

You guys, I’ve really turned over a new leaf with the coming of spring.  I eat an entirely CLEAN diet now, and I must say, I really do feel like I’m better than all of you.  Clean eating really does change your life.  For instance, as I write this post, I’m basking in the natural sunlight of my bay window while munching on veggie straws and drinking elderflower and rose lemonade.  An entirely plant based snack.

 

Today I’d like to talk about how to build more barriers from your neighbors’ prying eyes. Really, the title should be natural barriers, since I’m doing everything natural now.

 

I have giant windows on the front of my house and while it’s great for natural light, I also feel like I live in a fishbowl.  Do you know how awkward it is to make eye contact with your neighbors when they walk by?  I have to smile and wave even though I’m busy vacuuming the house naked.  Sure, I’ve become accustomed to being watched in all my waking hours, and I don’t want to lose all that kinkiness, so that’s why I’m going about this in a complicated way instead of just shutting the blinds.

 

I decided to hang my herb garden in individual pots in front of my kitchen window, so the neighbors will have to work harder to see boob.  I used different pots for each one and rope hangers so I can get that boho chic look.  Remember, if you do it right, the hippie look will be 1000% more expensive than the bullshit country cottage kitchen.

 

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It took a while to find so many different pots, and they basically took up my entire table with dirt for like a week while I decided what to do with them.

I did an herb garden, but I guess you could do flowers.  These get full sunlight for part of the day.  These also came with attached dishes so I don’t get dirt water everywhere.

 

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I made these by hand.  Just kidding, I bought them on Amazon.  If I could buy my soul on Amazon I would, but unfortunately there is no Prime option with it.

Get hangers for the pots.  I used these, because I want to look like I am all natural and shit.

 

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Here’s an artsy shot with shadows and stuff.  It’s also part of the process. 

Get someone to hang them for you.  I guess you could hang them yourselves, but I don’t know why?

 

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Before: full boob view
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After: better lighting and also an obscured boob view

 

Cheers to a room with a boob view,

 

Mary Ellen

Cinnamon Rolls

Remember how I said I was worried my boyfriend was going gluten free? Well don’t worry, I decided to disregard his dietary restrictions and make these cinnamon rolls. And now he’s no longer interested in being GF. Don’t look at me like that, I’m a good person. It’s not like he has Celiac’s or anything (probably).

Anyway, my new goal in life is to stop eating vegetables and eat only sugar. My biggest hurdle so far is the horrific GI distress that ensues after eating all the pastries and then I turn back to my horrible, disgusting salad eating habit. I know, I know. I’m working on it. I’m kidding of course about the all-sugar diet. This weekend I ate a strict diet of Chipotle and frozen food from Costco. I’m the picture of health.

Anyway, to work on my #healthfoodgoals I used half whole wheat flour here. All whole wheat is too much, but you can get away with half without worrying that you accidentally had some fiber with your breakfast.

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You’re going to wonder if that is enough butter and sugar on top of the dough. There’s never really enough, but this amount is good enough

Ingredients

3/4 cup flour

¾ whole wheat flour

2 tsp sugar

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

2/3 c unsweetened almond milk (or, like, regular milk)

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

6 tbsp melted butter, divided

½ cup brown sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

For the glaze

About 2 tbsp each: melted butter, brown sugar, and unsweetened almond milk

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You don’t have to pull out a ruler to cut your cinnamon rolls unless you are really unable to tolerate the inevitable height disparity

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375°

Spray a muffin pan with oil

Combine the flour, white sugar, baking soda and powder, and salt in a large bowl.

In a smaller bowl, mix the almond milk, vinegar, and 4 tbsp butter.

Add the milk mixture to the flower mixture

Roll out with a lot of flour on the counter (seriously, use a shitload of flour or you’ll cry when your dough is stuck to the counter).

Mix the melted butter with the brown sugar and the cinnamon and then smear all over the dough.

Roll it up, then cut into 8 or 9 even pieces. Place each piece in a muffin slot. Honestly, this would probably work with just a regular cookie sheet, but give them a little room to expand.

Bake for about 15 minutes

Make glaze by melting together more butter, brown sugar, and almond milk. Glaze cinnamon rolls.

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The glaze is mostly clear, but it’s still necessary. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not contributing.

Try not to eat too many salads in between your cinnamon rolls

-Serafina

Meal prepping like you have your life together

My dear readers, last night, as I finished a paper several hours ahead of schedule, I was feeling incredibly impressed with myself. After contemplating what I would be able to do for the rest of the evening, it dawned on me that the next day was my day to post and I had nothing prepared. You see, Mary Ellen and I have shown you all that we are “with it” ladies of the go-go 90’s, and you know we wouldn’t misrepresent ourselves. We have published volumes on time management and avoiding the perils of procrastination. And yet, there I was with nothing for you fine readers.

PSYCHE! I have an obscene amount of posts that I prepared at various times when I was avoiding writing papers, just in case there was ever a day when I wrote my papers over my blog posts. While I’m deeply ashamed and remorseful that day finally came, I am grateful for my past self who had her priorities in line. I promise I’ll get my shit together soon and take more pictures of gummy bears to inspire your healthy eating habits!

Let’s get to talking about meal prep. Now, I’ve read a lot about meal prep on other blogs. All the internet bitches are super into it (I’m using “bitches” in a gender-neutral sense here, so it’s not a hate crime). They say all this shit about how it’s “cheaper” and “healthier” than whatever the alternative is, but it’s really just a way to justify buying tons of glass containers off Amazon. Well, it’s time I joined them. And since we’re being thoughtful about our meals for the rest of the week, we want to make sure we are nourishing our minds, bodies, souls, and also being stewards to the planet. Let’s make a frozen pizza!

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Make sure you pick up some bulk Lactaid while you’re stocking up on pizza, you’re going to need it.

So you can see here that I have purchased this frozen cheese pizza from Costco. I used to buy the organic frozen pizzas from Costco, but since becoming an impoverished professional student, I switched to the normal, more economical convenience foods. The good news is that what this pizza lacks in fanciness and flavor, it makes up in calorie density!

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In order to ensure that this sumptuous feast will feed me for days of school and work, I have purchased some completely unnecessary glass containers and placed pizza in each container. I’m sure this would not have worked if I used the tupperware I already owned.

I know what you’re thinking: what the fuck was that first picture with the green rice and chickpeas? Well, it was a legitimately good meal that took fucking forever to cook, so I don’t plan on making it again anytime soon. But it was really good so I’ll link it for you out of the kindness of my heart. Read that recipe and then go stock up on frozen pizza.

In health and wellness,

-Serafina

 

Upcycled Wine Cork Garden Markers

OMFG you guys, the vernal equinox has already passed, St. Patrick got drunk and puked on the sidewalk outside my house, and the Easter bunny’s cousin Igor is coming soon! All of this means that it’s TIME TO START GARDENING AGAIN!!! I’m legitimately excited about this and not just shouting because Igor scares me when he breaks in to my house to “exchange” my iPad for a basket of chocolate bunnies.

I live in an area where you can’t start planting the exciting stuff until mid-May, but they already started selling flowers at the garden store, so I’m not waiting any longer. I planted some seeds this weekend, and because I’m all about instant gratification I also planted flowers which will freeze and die almost immediately.

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I have already established that I am the best at planning a garden (protip: plant 3’ tall flower bushes between your step stones, that way you might work up enough of an appetite to want to eat another fucking zucchini).

There are about 4 or 5 million posts about DIY garden markers and MINE IS THE BEST. By saving wine corks and then reusing them, you have an excuse to buy more wine and you look like you’re being environmentally friendly.

 

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I tried to hide the cheapest looking corks so you’d all think I only drink fancy wine.

You will need:

Some wine corks

Paint

Skewers

Maybe a hammer and a nail

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I was so proud of this action shot that I didn’t bother to repeat it with the color I actually ended up using

Instructions

  1. Drink all the wine.
  2. See if you can jam one of your skewers into your cork without stabbing yourself in the hand. If you can’t, grab a thick nail and a hammer. Maybe also grab some padded gloves if you’re not confident about your aim. Nail the nail into a cork and then remove it and insert the skewer into the hole. Repeat with the rest of your skewers.
  3. You can try labeling them without painting first, but it doesn’t look very pretty, so I recommend painting the corks at this point. I took pictures of myself painting them black, but then I repainted them with silver because they were too hard to read with light lettering on a dark background. Go with light paint.
  4. Grab some sharpies or more paint to actually write the labels. I also drew a couple of fucking adorable plant illustrations on the corks because I’m amazing.
  5. Mark your plants as you plant them. Once the plants have been in the ground for  a few weeks, your labels will be obscured, so this whole process will have rendered useless!

Happy Gardening!

Serafina

Healthy Irish Breakfast Smoothie for Cold/Flu

In case you didn’t notice, no one posted last week.  That’s because I chose to ignore Serafina’s last post and decided she had another week scheduled and this was actually my scheduled week.  So in reality, I’m not late.  That’s how that works.

 

I’ve been battling a baby cold since last week (I got it from my baby), so I’m hopped up on cold meds.  It just doesn’t make my pristine body feel great, you know?  I had originally planned for a “real” recipe this week (just kidding, you should know better), but I opted for this miracle smoothie instead, in case anyone out there is also battling ailments, and wants to take a natural approach to their health.  Some people wonder why I don’t cook anymore and come up with more edible recipes, and usually I just tell my husband to shut up and if he wants something edible he can go out and buy it himself.  This is an example of proper marital communication.

 

Can you still call it a smoothie if you don’t use a blender?  Yes, you fucking can. The health community makes up all sorts of shit, so why can’t we?

 

This recipe was handed down to me by my ancient Irish relatives that were hiding out in Scotland because they were caught running a grifting scam.

 

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I recommend Super Orange but Pink Lemonade is good too.

 

Mary McEllen’s Irish Breakfast Smoothie for the Sick

Ingredients:

  • Guinness
  • Emergen-C
  • Morning

 

Directions:

Add your Emergen-C to your properly poured Guinness (you could also use a different Irish stout, but I don’t know how effective it would be).  Drink it with breakfast, or with your morning coffee.

 

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It’s really fucking hard to take a pouring picture with a giant-ass camera and not many arm muscles.

 

 

You will pretty immediately feel the effects.  You’re welcome.

 

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Don’t make the smoothie come to you, it’s lazy.

 

Pinch me for not wearing green and you’ll get an Irish kisser to the face,

Mary Ellen

Time Management (pt. 2)

If you’re anything like us, you’re always looking for ways to increase not only your professional productivity, but your personal productivity as well.  Serafina has touched upon this topic fairly extensively, but this is really an ongoing, and continuously evolving topic.

 

I’m going to share my greatest secret that is basically foolproof on how to better manage your time and increase your productivity.  There are no lists here, because it’s just one thing.

 

It’s called Skyrim.

 

Yes, I’ve mentioned off-handedly before on the miracle of this product, but I decided there needed to be a specific post about how to use it.

 

It’s quite simple, really.

 

Say you have a huge project due the next day, but you’ve been putting it off.  Skyrim. Got people depending on you to pull through on something big?  Skyrim.  Do your children need attention?  Skyrim, but don’t involve them.

 

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I’m a master at time management, this is what genius looks like.

 

I’ve only played this character for two days but look how far I’ve come.  Level 34, bitches.

 

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Master of the thieves guild, enchanted glass bow.  What are YOU doing with your life?

 

Now, if you excuse me, I need to return some fairly angry phone and text messages.  Totally unrelated.

 

Don’t even fucking think about killing Paarthurnax,

 

Mary Ellen

Broccoli Cheese Frittata

You guys, I have some rough news. You see, Mary Ellen and I have been friends for a long time, and I watched her go through the horrors of not eating gluten for YEARS before she ate some bread and was like “oh fuck yeah, this shit’s the best!” Well, my dearest, darling-est boyfriend is now talking about going GF. It’s literally killing me. You read that right, it isn’t figuratively killing me, it’s very literal. Because gluten is life’s antivenom (I guess the venom part is just normal life. Too dark?)

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I tried to take a pretty picture but didn’t even bother getting all the feather particles off the eggs

Anyway, I try to be supportive every now and then, so I made a quiche without the delicious gluten-y crust. And then I put broccoli in it, which he doesn’t eat anyway. He wasn’t happy. But the good news here is that my chickens are laying eggs more frequently since it’s getting closer to spring, so I had an abundance of eggs. My chickens are such good girls. At least they still eat gluten with me.

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Chickens look weird without arms if you think about it too long. But if they had arms they’d be little t-rex arms since they’re dinosaur birds

Ingredients

8 eggs

1 large or two small heads of broccoli, chopped into small florets

About ½ cup cheese (or if you hate going to the store, 5-6 slices of cheese chopped into small pieces)

½ cup unsweetened almond milk or regular milk

Olive oil

Small amount onion powder

Salt and pepper

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I’m sure you can’t tell which cheese option I went with. Are there really any benefits to shredded cheese? It’s just more work, even if you don’t include the trip to the store

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400

Heat oil and onion powder in cast iron skillet (or another oven safe skillet) and add broccoli. Cover and let steam/simmer for a few minutes until bright green and just a little soft

Beat eggs with milk, add a little pepper and salt, then stir in cheese

Pour egg mixture over broccoli and even out where your massive chunks of sliced cheese went if that is a problem

Cook for about 10-15 minutes, checking frequently. It’s done when the middle is just set

Let it sit for a few minutes before serving.

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It’s such a pretty frittata. My boyfriend wouldn’t even try it.

May you all find something with gluten to eat very soon

Serafina