Ok, so where did April go! I feel like we just had April Fool's day and my husband was tricking me by pretending he had to miss Easter due to a last minute business trip (well played I must say, he totally had me going), and now tomorrow is Cinqo De Mayo!! I guess it's true that time flies when you're having fun... or in my case having fun and being ridiculously busy;). Anyway without further ado here are some of the things I've been loving over the past month. I hope you enjoy :).
Favorite Sweet Treat
Anzac Cookies- April 25th marked the 100th year since the Anzac landings at Gallipoli (the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War). This is considered one of Australia’s most important national occasions. Just in case you were wondering ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.
Apparently the wives of soldiers abroad at that time made and sent biscuits made from ingredients that did not spoil easily and that kept well during naval transportation. Thus the birth of the Anzac biscuit.
This month Jamie Oliver shared this recipe for Anzac Biscuits on his Food Channel. I gave it a go and was not disappointed. It’s super simple with simple ingredients and the kids loved them. Win, win, win in my books :).
Favorite Beauty Product
Essence Lipsticks- Essence is a German based company that offers fun quality cosmetics at excellent prices. I love this brand! Specifically their lip products. At the moment I have been loving their lipsticks.
The Sheer Shiny line of lipsticks are just that, they have a sheer color to them as well as a shine; the packaging matches the lipstick color so it’s easy to see exactly what you’re getting. What I really love about these ones is their scent! It has a candy like fragrance to it that I just can’t get enough of :).
The other Essence line I have been wearing a lot this month is the Longlasting lipstick. It has sleek black packaging with a ring of the actual lip color around the center. Sadly the sweet fragrance of the Sheer Shiny lipsticks is not present in this product but they are creamy with a matte finish that is quite long lasting.
For my favorite I just couldn’t pick one as I have regularly worn four of five of these lipsticks this month. My favorite Sheer Shiny colors have been: “Look at Me” and “Cutie Mac Cute”, and my favorite Longlasting lipsticks have been “Nude Love” and “On the Catwalk”. The best part is that for 2.99 you can really try them all!
Favorite Dinner Recipe
Stir fry- I love Stir fry but I have often struggled to find a good stir fry sauce. I’ve tried all kinds of store-bought brands and a number of make-at-home ones that involve 10 ingredients I don’t have.
Enter ‘Best Stir Fry Sauce’! I found this recipe on Pinterest. I am usually quite skeptical of those who claim their recipe is ‘the best’, but decided to have a look. After checking it out I was pleasantly surprised to find that the ingredients are things I have on hand or are easy to get a hold of.
So I gave it a try, and WOW! I love it! It has just enough flavor to satisfy my hubby and I, as well as the kids. My stir fry includes bok choy, mushrooms, and snap peas. Sometimes I add shrimp or chicken but with a vegetarian in the house I will often go meatless. Combine with the 'best' stir fry sauce and served over rice and you have a simple go-to dinner recipe that is always delicious. The best part for me is that everyone at our table enjoys it :). The photo below is the one from Pinterest. Link to the recipe here: Best Stir Fry Sauce. Enjoy!
Favorite Online Personality
Tanya Burr- Tanya is a British Blogger, Vlogger and YouTuber I have been following for a while now. She’s a make-up artist and posts videos about everything from baking to going out for tea. I subscribed to Tanya’s YouTube channel after watching the first video I came across while searching for an eyeliner tutorial a few years ago. She is just the sweetest person as well as a great make-up artist. I love her upbeat positive attitude and the genuine and helpful way she comes across to her followers. She now has a book out as well as a lip gloss and nail polish line. What keeps me coming back is her make-up tutorial videos and monthly favorites. I find them helpful and informative and it just feels like you’re sitting down with a friend when you watch her videos. You can check her out here: Tanya Burr
Simply Being- I know, it's another relaxing type app but I really am always looking for ways to help me stop, even if it is for 5 minutes, and take a deep breath. What can I say, I'm a work in progress.
Anyway, here’s how it works: First they recommend you turn your iPhone or iPad to Airplane Mode so you aren’t interrupted (I also highly recommend this as there is nothing worse than being completely relaxed and then rudely shocked back into reality by a phone call or text coming in. I’m just sayin).
Anyway, and then it’s pretty simple. You choose a meditation time length from the top bar and a background sound or music from the second bar. At the bottom you have the option to continue the background sounds for various time periods. The appearance is different from iPhone to iPad, which I find a bit odd, but in either case the app is simple to navigate and operate.
When you play or start the app a voice talks you through some relaxation and body awareness exercises. It is super relaxing and helpful for clearing and centering the mind. I don't get as much opportunity to use this app as much as I would like but when I do I find it very helpful.
Butterfly Ring- In March our family went away for a couple of days. While away we visited a place called Butterfly Gardens. It was an amazing place and if you ever get the chance you should definitely check it out. Anyway, in the gift shop on the way out they had some jewelry there that was made from the wings of a butterfly (All the butterflies used have lived a full life). I have long loved and been fascinated by butterflies, and their amazing colors and patterns are magical to me. I had my eye on one ring but in the end left without making a purchase.
Well, on Easter morning I was very surprised to find that the “Easter Bunny” had in fact got that ring for me! It has the wing of a Blue Morpho butterfly in it, one of my favorites and I have worn it every single day since I got it. Butterflies, to me, are beautiful almost mystical creatures and I love the idea that their beauty can carry on long after it’s gone. (I’m sure I’m over analyzing this as I tend to do.) Also it happens to be a really cool piece of jewelry. That Easter Bunny, isn’t he just the best?! Xo.
Thanks so much for letting me share my favorites from the past month with you. Please let me know what you have been loving this month in the comments below.
Just one more way we can find magic in the everyday ;)