Tryin’ to Be Like Taylor Swift for $40

You know me – scouring the web for celebrities wearing affordable clothing, then buying that clothing, then creating a PicStitch to see who looks better in it, then being sad because I rarely look better than them, but then being happy again that I’m wearing something a celebrity wore, but then realizing that’s kind of a weird thing to care about, but then telling myself to hush because I can care about whatever I want, then telling myself I’m sorry for being so harsh on myself, and then sharing it with you guys on my blog.

Yeah, sounds about right.

Patterned Blazer

Taylor Swift is a huge fan of economical clothing choices. Case in point: this adorable matching blazer/shorts set that she snagged from the British online store MissGuided. Shorts in my size were out of stock, but I was able to buy the Renna print blazer for a cool $40! Free shipping and it fits adorably. She’s rarely what I would call my style icon, but this blazer is incredible and feels expensive and chic. Well done, Miss Swift. Well done.

Taylor Swift Blazer Tswiftblazer

Dinner Delivered to Your Door? Yup, I Tried Blue Apron!

Have you heard of Blue Apron yet? Well, I hadn’t either, until my friend Kacie sent me a free week to try it out. Basically, Blue Apron is a company that delivers fresh meats, veggies, and other ingredients right to your doorstep, along with a recipe to make a healthy, unique dish. Pretty cool concept, right? So I tried out my first Blue Apron meal last night, and here are my thoughts…!

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(1) First of all, the meal was delicious.

Inside the box were three meals that I had chosen online to have delivered (plus a giant ice pack to keep the meats cold). I chose to make the Crispy Fish Tacos with English Pea Guacamole & Pea Tip Salad. Mouthful, right? Literally.

Crispy Fish Tacos

(2) I learned some new stuff

One cool aspect of Blue Apron is that you’re exposed to new meats, veggies, and cooking techniques that you may not have otherwise used in the kitchen. Although I was a tad annoyed at first that I had to Google a bunch of things from the directions, (what is a pith? How do you matchstick a beet?) in retrospect, I think it’s kinda cool that I tried out a few new ingredients and learned some cooking terms from this experience.

(3) This is a great option for a family of two

If it’s just you and hubs, or maybe older parents with a little empty nest syndrome goin’ on, Blue Apron is an ideal option for you. The portion sizes aren’t huge, and it’s fun to try out unique dishes together, so I wouldn’t recommend it for a big family. Although, there are family options for 4, I’m not sure if I would enjoy the experience as much if I had kiddos running around or complaining about the funky ingredients in some of the dishes.

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(4) The online community is awesome

Take your tablet into the kitchen with you while you cook, and research a little online before you make the dish. There’s tons of community forums with comments about the recipes, pictures, videos, techniques, and professional tips to help you cook the dish correctly. I had fun reading reviews and how other people altered the recipe or served it in a unique way. Plus, the step-by-step pictures helped immensely!

(5) The cost isn’t that bad

The subscription for Blue Apron costs $59/week, which includes 3 meals for two (it ends up being around 10 bucks per person per meal). At first glance, that may seem like a lot, but when you really break it down, it makes sense. All of the meals are healthy and under 700 calories, you take out the stress of having to plan meals and grocery shop, and it can truly be a fun bonding experience with your significant other to expose you to new, fresh foods! If you have this in your budget, I definitely recommend a subscription.

Blue Apron has earned 5 peppermints from me. I will definitely be a repeat customer. :)

5 out of 5

Midnight Lace Romper

Rompers are playful, fun, and stylish, I practically live in them during the summer! You can dress them up or casual them down, and after seeing Jennifer Lopez stun in a sheer bodysuit to an awards show, I knew I had to try the style out for myself.

Cynthia Rowley just gets women’s bodies. She is such a great designer, everything I wear/rent from her turns out fabulous on my figure! Snag this comfortable yet cute midnight blue jumper for a cool 50 bucks and you’ll offer such a unique twist to the LBD for a night out. :)

Lace RomperWe made for some lovely ladies at Lisa’s bachelorette party, dontcha think?? What types of styles will YOU be wearing this wedding season??

Bachelorette party

Flax Seed Smoothie

It’s time for a smoothie recipe!

I love to find new smoothie recipes in the best place ever: on the side of food packages! There’s always a good recipe on my box of pasta, can of tomatoes, or in this case, on the side of my flax seed package I just bought from Trader Joes. So I keep hearing all this stuff about flax seed, why should I eat it everyday??

Flax Seed Benefits

Tiny flax seeds offer a BIG punch of nutrients and goodness for your body, THAT’S WHY! Flax is a plant source of omega-3 (think fish oil!) which does wonders for your health. A few tablespoons a day helps reduce bone loss, increase digestive health, is a great source of fiber, lowers cholesterol, and flax seed can even help reduce melanoma tumors to prevent skin cancer. Basically, starting sprinkling this stuff in your diet!

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This smoothie was printed on the flax seed box, so you know I’m gonna try it. It was creamy and delicious, but in the words of Reading Rainbow… don’t take MY word for it!

Flax Seed Smoothie

Super Flax Seed Smoothie


1/2 cup lowfat milk
1/2 cup fat free vanilla yogurt
1 cup frozen strawberries
2 medium ripe bananas, chunked
3 tablespoons of milled flax seed
2 tablespoons honey

Blend until creamy. Serve chilled!

Rent the Runway Comes to the Windy City!

One of my favorite companies to date is Rent the Runway! I’ve blogged about my experiences with Rent the Runway before, and I was super excited to be invited to the grand opening of their store in downtown Chicago! Check out my other Rent the Runway look here! :)

Rent the Runway Chicago

While I usually order online (since I have the pro membership, it’s free shipping) it will be great to have the option to physically try on dresses to rent with a just a short drive downtown. They also offer tons of accessories and handbags for you to rent!

Rent the Runway

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To celebrate the premiere, I wore this amazingly unique Moschino key shift dress, and it was a hit! What a lovely way to pay homage to my childhood hobby. :)

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Chicago Rent the Runway

710 N. Wabash Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: 312.288.7570

Mon – Fri: 10am – 8pm
Sat – Sun: 10am – 7pm

Will you visit the new Chicago RTR location?

Baby’s Got Blue Eyes

Have you ever wondered what you would look like with different colored eyes? I love my green eyes, don’t get me wrong, but there’s something about blue that hypnotizes me! I change my shoes, my bags, my outfits, my makeup, why not mah eyeballs?? So since I’m an adult and I get to make my own fun decisions, I decided to snag some Air Optix Colors contact lenses from my eye doctor!

Air Optix in Brilliant Blue

Your doc will give you a a free trial pair to try out, but if you want prescription you can order them online! Granted, they look pretty fake, but if you’re wearing colored contacts, my guess is you’re not tryin’ to go for a “subtle and natural look” anyways. I’m wearing brilliant blue, and although they show up more than someone with brown natural eyes, but the doc assured me that they’re colored enough to overcome even the darkest of eyes. (Even Kim Kardashian tried out the blue eyes and they turned out fierce.) The cost is around $80 a box, which is a 6-month supply. Not the cheapest accessory in the world, but what a fun way to completely switch up your look! :)

Green & blue Eyes

They have tons of different colors, will you choose one for a summer change-up??

aocswatch

My 4 Favorite Oils I Use Daily (& what to do with them!)

The word oil used to make me cringe. Oil is always a bad thing right?? Oily skin, oily hair – no one wants these things. But as I go through this organic health journey I’ve discovered in my late 20s, I’ve learned that oils can do magnificent things for your health, skin, hair, nails, and overall well-being. I’ve introduced a lot of various essential oils into my life the past few months, but here are 3 of my favorites that you can use on a daily basis like I do!

My Favorite Everyday Oils

1) Lavender Oil

Lavender essential oil is one of my absolute favorite scents ever. It has a calming, soothing nature and I use it every single day.

2) Grapeseed Oil

I use grapeseed oil on my face and neck every night before I go to bed. The consistency is so light and non greasy, it leaves your skin feeling smooth and moisturized. It’s odorless and good for sensitive skin since there are no harmful substances in it.

  • Apply to damp hair after washing and conditioning. Leave on for 10 minutes then rinse with cold water to strengthen and moisturize.
  • Rub a few drops directly on your face and neck to reduce signs of aging.
  • To minimize bags under the eyes, rub in circles in a gentle manner.

3) Coconut Oil

I feel it’s so cliché these days to talk about coconut oil! It’s become a household staple for healthy go-getters, and has become a huge part of my daily routine in the kitchen.

4) Cuticle Oil

I never used to use cuticle oil, but I started seeing a new manicurist (her Russian accent makes my life, and they are literally the best manis I’ve ever had) and she demanded that I buy cuticle oil and start using it nightly before I go to bed. “You take care of your body, your hair, your teeth… why so many women forget about their nails??” I have seen a drastic change in my nail beds and overall nail health in the month I’ve been using it, and it’s so inexpensive it’s worth the shot. Buy Oil Nail & Cuticle Treatment for under 6 bucks here!

Stay tuned for posts about how to create your own skincare with essential oils! What oils do you use??

HoneyFund: A Unique Trend for Wedding Gifts!

It’s wedding season, friends! And that means receptions, dancing, partying, and of course, the pre-wedding events like showers! The bridal shower is an interesting tradition: women get together to celebrate the bride, eat, drink, and be merry, and ‘shower’ her with love and gifts to start her new life with her man. But what if the bride and groom to-be already have a home full of wonderful goodies and don’t necessarily need a vacuum, cooking utensils, and three crockpots? Enter: HoneyFund!

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My sister recently donated to a couple’s HoneyFund account and when she shared it with me, I thought it was such a cool, new approach to wedding showers, I had to share the concept on Pepperminting. Basically, it’s a website devoted to couples who would prefer to register for monetary gifts instead of physical ones, but in a cute, classy way!

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This particular couple created a HoneyFund registry for their honeymoon. Family and friends can gift money for various activities, such as massages, shopping, excursions, or accommodations and flight. This allows guests to feel like their gift is still personalized, yet going to a specific cause that is near and dear to them! What a fun approach to the traditional wedding shower, and then, the bride can spend her shower as she wishes. What do you think??

Do you know any brides who would benefit from this unique registry website??

Post-Workout Snack: Goat Cheese Sweet Potato

I’m always looking around for good post-workout snacks because let’s be honest, I’m a complete ravenous monster when I come home from the gym. Similar to my “non recipe” Avocado Toast recipe, I like to post simple, tasty food combinations for your little Pepperminters to try in your own home. So yes, I’m aware this isn’t technically a recipe, but I thought I’d share this favorite snack of mine and hopefully you’ll try it and find the same benefits! :)

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Sweet potatoes are rich in complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, beta-carotene, vitamin C, manganese and potassium. Right, a mouthful. Yes, you can smother them with brown sugar, butter, and marshmallows, but that’s not certainly gonna get you bathing suit ready. After an intense workout, your body’s glycogen level drops, and it’s important to restore it. Sweet potatoes are a great way to gain back this glucose and restore the energy levels in the body to build muscle!

SISTER TIP: Wipe sweet potatoes with a clean towel, then pierce it a few times with a fork so the heat can escape. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet lined with foil, and bake in a 400 degree oven until tender, around 45-50 minutes. I prep the potatoes before I leave for the gym, so as soon as I get home, I pop ’em in, shower and relax, and they’re ready before ya’ know it.

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There are tons of things you can toss with your sweet potato to spice it up a bit, but my favorite topping right now is GOAT CHEESE! Goat cheese is my preferred variation because it’s easier for my tummy to digest (goat’s milk has smaller fat molecules than cow’s milk) and it’s just plain tasty! I can’t get enough of the tangy, creamy taste, I put it on everything. Buy it in a log or a pre-crumbled container and toss it on your sweet potato with a bit of honey. You’ll be in post-workout heaven!

What’s your favorite post-workout snack??