Quick and Healthy Blueberry Kale Smoothie

Today I wanted to share a delicious, quick and healthy smoothie recipe! I love any smoothie that includes kale, especially when you can’t taste it! You won’t even notice that it’s in this Blueberry Kale Smoothie, but your body will notice the benefits! I hope you enjoy this quick and yummy smoothie!

Quick and Healthy Blueberry Kale Smoothie

INGREDIENTS
1 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 peach
1/2 apple
1/2 cup pineapple (thawed if using frozen)
1/2 cup frozen kale
3/4 cup almond milk
3/4 cup coconut milk

DIRECTIONS
1. Add all ingredients to the blender. Start with your lowest setting (my blender has 3 settings) and blend until a nice cyclone begins to form. Move up to your middle setting and then highest setting.
2. Blend for 2-3 minutes until smooth.
3. If your smoothie stops cycloning, stop blending, let the smoothie “burp,” and begin again with the lowest setting.

*SnapTip:
Dice the remaining half of a peach and half of an apple and store in a Ziploc bag in the freezer for future smoothies! The flavors are mild enough to compliment other smoothies, without overpowering. Plus, the apple will add fiber to your next smoothie!

My 2015 Bucket List

Well, it’s the end of February and I’m just now posting my 2015 bucket list. This may be a little late, but better late than never right? Top of the list? Publish 2016 bucket list sooner! Either way, I didn’t want this to be a “resolutions” list. This is more or less a place for me to keep track of things I aim to do, and what I accomplish. So, in no particular order, I give you my 2015 Bucket List:

– take more ski/snowboard trips

– learn to cook something completely new to me

– paint our kitchen cabinets with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

– travel to the West Coast

– read significantly more books than last year (I’m ahead of the game on this one, having read 4 already in 2015)

– go to the movies more (I went twice already!)

– try a new concept for date night: check out a new and different restaurant each week

– learn to cook fish properly (when is it done?!)

– take my yoga practice to the next level

– bring Roxy on one hike per week as soon as the weather is warmer!

– add shelving and decor to finally complete our “grown up living room”

– finally figure out if shopping at BJ’s is worth it for 2 people (ready the spreadsheets!)

– sponsor more blogs this year and possibly spring for a professionally done blog design

– learn a new techie nerd skill at work

– nail down a hair care, makeup, beauty and nail regimen… change it monthly

– run some sort of organized race thingy (this one is looking good)

– try to drink way more water- track using Water Your Body and aim for that 128 oz (one gallon) goal

– eat better, tastier, more satisfying breakfasts

– spend more time crafting

– spend less time on my phone/gadgets

Well, here’s to a very good year!!!

Get Younger Looking and Clearer Skin

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“I want my skin to look as old and blemished as possible,” said no woman ever! I am right there with every woman, if you have a product that can clear up my skin and provide anti-aging benefits, I am game to try it out! Especially since hormonal changes have been wreaking havoc on my skin recently. Ackk! This is where InstaNatural’s Anti-Aging Skin Clearing Serum comes in! I collaborated with InstaNatural to review this serum, and it’s one of my favorites.

Here is a description of the serum from the InstaNatural site:

InstaNatural’s Anti-Aging Skin Clearing Serum is a comprehensive solution for those who want to reverse the signs of aging while treating acne and hyperpigmentation. This potent formula includes many key active ingredients to treat and soothe blemished and irritated skin. Sulfur penetrates the skin deeply for maximum results, allowing retinol and salicylic acid to unclog pores while niacinamide removes redness and inflammation. Simultaneously, Vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid restore health to damaged skin by repairing sun damage and micro scarring, all while delivering a youthful, radiant glow.

InstaNatural also sent over their Moroccan Rose Water Ultimate Facial Toner to compliment the serum. I will be reviewing both, so keep scrolling for my thoughts!

I have tried a few of InstaNatural’s products containing Hyaluronic Acid before, and I hadn’t heard of the ingredient prior to this. Now I am seeing it advertised on TV and in magazines! I feel like I’m on the cutting edge of the beauty world! It’s a main ingredient in the Age-Defying Skin Clearing Serum, which is also full of other natural and organic ingredients.

The serum is safe and suitable for all skin types – even oily skin. This is great for me since I have an oily T Zone and tend to have some dry patches in this frigid winter weather! I also have some sun spots I have been trying to fade over the last 6 months or so. The combination of serums and potions that I’ve been using recently seem to be working, fingers crossed!

The serum glides on smoothly and absorbs fast without irritating or burning your skin! The scent is pleasant and, as always, InstaNatural products are made in the USA & Cruelty Free. My favorite part is the skin clearing serum ingredients that soothe blemishes and irritated skin, including greats like Retinol, Salicylic, Tea Tree Oil & Niacinamide. The combination of professional strength 20% Vitamin C, and Hyaluronic Acid work well  to renew skin and reduce the signs of aging, including wrinkles, fine lines and hyperpigmentation. I am so excited to keep this product in my skincare routine.

As for the Rose Water Toner, I really really wanted to like it! I am in need of a new toner, and this one boasts all natural rose water without chemicals, preservatives or artificial fragrances. Therein lies the problem for me: I am so hyper sensitive to scents, that I couldn’t put this on my face. I know that most of the female population love roses, and flowers in general, but I most certainly do not. I am a strange kitten in that way, but I wouldn’t let this stop you from trying this toner. It’s a one stop shop: cleanses, tones, moisturizes and replenishes. It will even help with sunburn and can be used on your hair to make it soft and shiny.

From the InstaNatural site:

You cannot make your beauty regime simpler than this. Just add our Rose Water to your daily schedule to get numerous benefits. InstaNatural’s Moroccan Rose Water is 100% pure and natural made from Rosa Damascena petals. There is no artificial fragrance or any added chemicals or preservatives. The rose water acts as a toner to naturally balance the skin’s pH, making it soft, smooth and radiant. Its unique properties soothe and calm skin irritations while cleansing and hydrating the skin naturally. Suitable for all skin types: normal, oily, dry & sensitive

I really wish I wasn’t such a ginormous dork and was able to use this toner, because it seems like the missing link in my beauty routine! I am wondering if adding a few drops of essential oil will help?

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I hope you try these amazing products from InstaNatural and let me know what you think!

**Disclosure- The product featured in this review was provided to me for consideration and Powered by BrandBacker.  This in no way influenced my experience with the product- all opinions are my own, and I was not paid to write this review. If you would like to read more about my Privacy Disclosure click here. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that keep SnapGinger snapping!

your new faves

A Guide to Hairstyles for Different Types of Dresses

We’re on the cusp of Spring (even thought it might not feel like it) and with Spring comes the chance to wear dresses again! Fancy, formal, casual, strapless or halter, there is a dress for everyone! There is also a hairstyle for each dress! You might be a bridesmaid or attending a wedding or a fun party, or even a backyard BBQ. Whether you love a high pony, chic bun or side swept hairdo, the option is yours, so check out my guide to hairstyles for different types of dresses.

STRAPLESS

First up is the strapless dress. This style really lends itself well to hair worn down, or in a half up half down style. I love to blow my hair out nicely, using an argan oil to smooth and a shine spray for shine. The I like to tease the crown of my head with a teasing comb, pull it into a half up and pin, and spray it with a medium hold hairspray to finish.

SLEEVELESS

The cut of a sleeveless dress gives you the opportunity to rock a fantastic statement necklace. Why not compliment your bling with a high pony?! Tease your crown before pulling your hair back, and tying it up with a decorative ponytail holder. Lastly, finish with a a medium hold hairspray. 

HALTER

Halter dresses tend to have a higher neckline, and can be complimented with a chic bun. Whether you’re into a ballerina bun on the top of your head, or a chignon at your neck, you will need plenty of bobby pins! You will also need a strong hold hairspray to keep it all together. Take this opportunity to add a decorative hair pin or flower to enhance your stylish bun!

SHORT SLEEVE

I love myself a good short sleeve or cap sleeve dress. It is such an effortless style and can really be dressed up with fancy pumps or dressed down with flats. Just like the photo above, my favorite hairstyle to wear with a short sleeve dress is a side pony. You can switch this up by doing a less formal side-pin, using bobby pins. I watched an awesome makeup and hair tutorial the other day by YouTube vlogger beautybykristy. She recreated a Carrie Underwood look and her side-pin is totally steal worthy!

ONE SHOULDER

One shoulder dresses, to me, are the most flexible of dresses to work with hair wise. The neckline generally limits you to statement earrings, sans necklace, but your hair options are open! I could see a simple curled hairstyle complimenting this dress, or one of the other styles I’ve already covered: a half up, high pony, chic bun or side-pin. It’s up to you if you want to wear your hair to the opposite side of your shoulder strap, or on the same side. Wearing your hair down makes this dress look a little more accessible to me.

Here are a few of my favorite hair looks from various events! Which one is your favorite?!

Dark & Stormy Chicken Soup

Do you remember Winter Blizzard Juno? (Or “the storm that didn’t happen in NJ”) Well, we were in Colorado on the eve of Juno, and our flight home was cancelled. We were able to re-book and fly into Philadelphia and drove home in some pretty bad snow. We knew we had no fresh food in the house, and we were supposed to be snowed in for 2 more days. I did a mental check of the pantry: chicken broth, chicken thighs in the freezer, full spice rack, olive oil, rice, butter, garlic, all in stock.

We stopped at the local store and walked around in a jet-lagged daze, picking up some random fresh produce, lunch meat, and chips and salsa (there was no need to suffer through the storm without snacks!). Our plan was to make soup to keep us warm and sustained while holed up inside.

The next morning we woke up and looked out the window: we didn’t get any more snow in NJ! Boston and points North/East got hammered by Juno, but it swung out and missed us. But what about the soup we had planned?! Well, we made it. The seemingly random group of ingredients came together really well, and we ended up enjoying a super flavorful and different soup! I decided to share the recipe with you all!

I call it “Dark & Stormy Chicken Soup” not only because of the “storm” we made it during, but because of the awesome seasoning mix that my honey came up with. This mix would be great on grilled chicken or pork in the summer, and can be used to flavor sauces or french fries, it’s really versatile! Double the recipe to leave yourself with extra if you’d like to use it again!

Dark & Stormy Chicken Soup

INGREDIENTS

4 chicken thighs, skin on, bone in
1/2 lb mini potatoes, chopped into 1/2 in. pieces
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large white onion, chopped
1 lb green beans, chopped into 1/2 in. pieces
1 cup white rice
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
48 oz chicken broth

Dark & Stormy Seasoning Mix
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cajun seasoning
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp each salt & pepper

DIRECTIONS

1. Heat olive oil in a medium pan, add garlic. Add onion, green beans and potatoes to pan and saute for 10 minutes on medium heat. Add half of your seasoning mix to the veggies and saute for another 10 minutes on medium heat. Remove pan from heat, set aside.
2. Add butter to the bottom of a stock pot or soup pot. Once melted, add chicken skin side down and season with 1/4 of remaining seasoning mix. Saute for 10-15 minutes on medium heat. Flip, add remaining seasoning mix and saute for another 10-15 minutes on medium heat.
3. Add broth to the pot, along with a bit more salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Let simmer for 5 minutes.
4. Remove chicken from the pot, set aside to cool, add your veggies to the pot. Simmer for 10-15 minutes on medium heat.
5. When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the skin and shred the chicken, removing it from the bone.
6. Add chicken back into soup pot, bring to a boil. 
7. Add rice and simmer for 15-20 minutes until rice is done and all flavors are incorporated.
8. Enjoy!

*SnapTip:
Did you get stuck in a storm and have carrots or corn on hand in your freezer? Add that to the soup instead of green beans, or in addition to! In my opinion, the veggies on this can be swapped around, as long as the seasoning is there!

I hope you enjoy this recipe if you make it! Please let me know if you make any variations, I’m sure we will be making this again and different each time!

your new faves

Brilliant Love Advice from Older Women

I am part of a group of bloggers participating in the #WomensLives campaign, run through BlogHer, and I discovered an interesting story in my research! This lifestyle story titled “The advice that older women have for the young on love, marriage” is so enlightening and contained invaluable advice!

The author made a main point of choosing a spouse: “choose wisely.” This idea is very interesting to me. I am in my 30’s, living with my boyfriend, and surrounded by friends getting engaged or married. I sometimes struggle with the pressure to get engaged and married, and wonder what’s wrong with our relationship that we’re not there yet. This is all pretty silly. We love each other and we’re in a committed relationship. We have fun together, laugh, and make it through tough situations together. Every time I think something that comes our way will “make or break us” it only makes us stronger. We are learning and growing together, and that is truly important to me. And that is a key theme in this article: make sure you’re making the right choice in your spouse.

In our daily lives we’re inundated with social media, making it easy to forget that what we see of others highlights “the best of times.” To me, I want someone who will stand by me through the worst of times, and help me to shine brightly every day in between. I couldn’t agree more that the choices you may make when you’re younger, including that of a spouse, might not be the best for you. Having met my honey at the ripe old age of 29, I still wasn’t 100% sure what I wanted, but I firmly knew what I didn’t want. The stability, companionship, friendship and love that I feel in my relationship makes me realize that I have made the right choice, and that I’m right on track for a happy and healthy marriage. Whenever that day may come.

The article goes on to include advice on choosing the right person for you, and I am loving some of the quotes featured!

“Whether it is an impulsive move, a perceived last-chance leap or a slide into the inevitable, their advice is to stop, look, and listen — to yourself and others.”

“Give it time before you jump in. I could have made a major difference in my life if I had chosen my husband carefully, really gotten to know him before committing to the relationships. Know the person in and out before you get married. You think nowadays that you can get out of it easily, but that’s not always the case.”

“Get to know that person very, very well in all circumstances, the happiness part and the stressful parts. So both people have to be very willing and very open, and often times make concessions, as they get to know each other. So please, take a very serious look. You cannot mold your spouse into something that you want.”

I hope you enjoy this article, and following along with me as I discover even more about #WomensLives.

#womenslives

3 Vacation Inspired Drinks

We recently took a trip to Colorado, and I was so impressed by the bar scene in Breckenridge! They were serving up unique and innovative drinks that weren’t overly complicated or pretentious. I brought back some of my favorite flavors to share with you. I’ve loaded the recipes with tips and tricks, to make you the star of your next cocktail night! Or any night really 😉

From a spicy fruity margarita, to an update to The Best Bloody Mary, to a twist on the classic Moscow Mule, these drinks won’t let you down! Enjoy!

Fiery Pineapple Margarita

INGREDIENTS
1/4 cup Fresh Pineapple
2 oz. Jalapeno Simple Syrup (recipe below)
2 oz. Tequila
1/2 oz. Triple Sec
1 oz. Limeade
Splash of Lemon Juice
Sea Salt for Rim 

DIRECTIONS
1. Dip glass rim in lemon juice, and then in sea salt to rim the glass.
2. In same glass, muddle Fresh Pineapple with Jalapeno Simple Syrup.
3. Add Tequila, Triple Sec and Limeade to glass, add ice, stir and Enjoy!

The Best {Bacon} Bloody Mary

INGREDIENTS
2 oz. Bacon Vodka {buy here or make here}
4 oz. The Best Bloody Mary Mix
Splash of Lemon Juice
Spicy Seasoning for Rim (mix together a pinch ea. of cumin, cayenne, chili powder, sea salt, pepper)
Garnishes (cornichons, celery, pickled hot peppers, slice of crispy bacon, olives)

DIRECTIONS
1. Dip glass rim in lemon juice, and then in spicy seasoning mix to rim the glass.
2. In same glass, add Vodka, ice and The Best Bloody Mary Mix to glass.
3. Stir, garnish with tasty, salty tidbits and Enjoy!

*SnapTip:
Looking for variations on your Bloody? Kick it up a notch by swapping out Bacon Vodka for Regular Vodka and adding in 2 oz. of the Jalapeno Simple Syrup. Want a tranquil Bloody? Swap in Cucumber Infused Vodka {buy here or make here} and garnish with cucumber slices!

Peachy Keen Moscow Mule

INGREDIENTS
2 oz. Peach Vodka
2 oz. Jalapeno Simple Syrup (recipe below)
Splash of soda water
Splash of ginger beer
Lime wedges for garnish

DIRECTIONS
1. Pour all ingredients into a copper mule mug, over ice, stir to combine.
2. Garnish with lime wedges and enjoy!

Jalapeno Simple Syrup

INGREDIENTS
1 cup sugar
1 jalapeno, cut lengthwise
1 cup water

DIRECTIONS
1. Combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Heat until the sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally.
2. Remove from the heat, and add the jalapeno. You can remove some or all of the seeds to reduce the heat of the simple syrup.
3. Let sit in the fridge for 1 hour or overnight.
4. Strain the syrup through a mesh sieve with a coffee filter added, and store in the fridge.

Even if you can’t make it on a vacation, I hope you get a chance to kick back with one of these vacation inspired drinks in hand!

See your Sweetie Clearer – Glasses Giveaway!

Today I’m proud to host a giveaway exclusively for SnapGinger readers! Last month I partnered with SelectSpecs to let you in on my style secret: a great option for discount eyeglasses. Now I’m back with a few more of my favorites from the SelectSpecs site, and a chance for you to win a FREE pair!

Above are the frames I chose! I also linked them below, along with 5 other amazing options from the SelectSpecs site! Click on each image to shop the post!

Which one would you choose if you won?! Better get to the entry form, best of luck to all who enter!

See your Sweetie Clearer – Glasses Giveaway!
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Good Luck and thanks for reading!

Why Pinterest is good for your health

I love love love Pinterest. Who doesn’t really? It is so easy to hop onto Pinterest and plan and outfit, a meal, a party or find out some amazing new tips & tricks for doing, well, anything! But one of my favorite uses for Pinterest, besides dessert recipes, is for finding new fitness tips! There are tons of free workouts, and great ideas for staying on track and getting healthier. I’ve linked up my 17 favorites below, so you can use Pinterest to get healthy and stay healthy!



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Want more of all things Beautiful & Healthy? Follow my board on Pinterest!

Follow Jamie @ SnapGinger’s board Beautiful & Healthy on Pinterest.

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Do you use Pinterest for great diet and exercise tips?

Amazing Desserts for Valentine’s Day

Choosing the perfect dessert is always a fun part of Valentine’s Day. There are so many different cakes you can make that are romantic but also taste amazingly good!

You don’t want to spend too much money on desserts but it’s still enjoyable to look at all the really fancy options out there. A cake with diamonds would be nice, but it might be just a little bit expensive! The Skinted or Minted options are  interesting because even though we’re probably not going to spend thousands on these luxurious desserts there are still plenty of cheaper options that taste just as good.  Also, The aphrodisiac options look like they would taste amazing!

This info-graphic from  Bite Bar describes all the scrumptious cakes that you can enjoy for Valentine’s Day. Which one are you going to choose?

Infographic and introduction graciously provided by Bite Bar.