Best Ever, Quick and Easy Queso Recipe

Thursday is trivia night, and we always have a tough time deciding whether we want to be lazy/not cook dinner and eat at the bar (typical unhealthy, fried bar food) or figure out something to eat at home before we go out (yay saving money!) Tonight we chose the latter – going with frozen chicken burritos from Costco…BUT I also really wanted queso, which we did not have. We did, however have 1/2 a Costco-sized bag of shredded Mexican-blend cheese (because of course we did,) sooooo I decided to attempt to make my own queso.

The entire process was so spur of the moment/speedy, that I only took Snapchat pictures before realizing how delicious/blog-worthy the queso would be!

It was seriously so easy.

Ingredients:

2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp flour

1 cup milk

1.5 cups shredded cheese

salt, chili powder to taste

Directions

  1. Melt the butter over medium heat.
  2. Add in the flour, constantly whisking for 1 minute.
  3. Slowly pour in the milk, and whisk for about 6-7 minutes or until the liquid has thickened. You’ll know when it gets to that point, it gets surprisingly thick. Well, it was surprising to me.
  4. Whisk in the cheese! Keep whisking for 1 or 2 minutes, and then add your seasonings! We also added a dash of paprika and a dash of garlic salt.
  5. Eat it! It’ll probably be best warm/right off the stove, but I can’t imagine it would be too terrible re-heated either.

That’s it. It’s really that simple. Had I known I could have a big ol’ bowl of queso in under 10 minutes, I totally would have been making this sooner.

I love cheese.

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Meet Barb!

Barbecue.

Barbra Streisand.

Barbarian.

Ba-Ba-Ba-Ba-Barbra Ann.

Or Barbie if you wish, but I think I reject that. She’s not a Barbie. There are so many better options; Barbecue and Barbra Streisand being personal favorites.

If you follow me on basically ANY form of social media (Snapchat followers got the brunt of it this past weekend,) you’ve probably learned by now that we rescued a 1 year old kitty named Barb (yes, we’re keeping her name) from the shelter on Saturday and we couldn’t be more excited! We’ve both already determined that while we’d be significantly more tired, a baby would probably be easier than introducing a cat to a new house. She flip flops between being incredibly mischievous and “omg wait I’ve actually suddenly decided that thing is terrifying,” but I suppose that’s to be expected.

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Trying to get into our bedroom. She’s been successful twice when we didn’t close the door quite fast enough.
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Felted catnip wine bottles are her current toy-of-choice.

Barb was 4 months pregnant when she was found outside and brought to the shelter on Halloween of 2015, so obviously we’re making up for her not so great start to life by spoiling the crap out of her! 🙂 So many toys, nose boops, probably too many treats, and as many pets as she can handle.

She’s scared of the TV (but slowly coming around with help from catnip and treats,) is really interested in going basically anywhere we don’t want her to go (our bedroom and the basement,) and pretty much flat out refuses to wear her super cute “Jedi in Training” collar, which she manages to chew off within 1 minute of us putting it on, without fail. She’s not a biter, and basically only takes her claws out to play with toys or knead a rug….though she did stick 3 claws directly into my underboob on Sunday. Joe said I made a very unique sound when it happened. It hurt.

Joe's been calling her a "pointer kitty" - she likes sitting with one paw up in the air.
Joe’s been calling her a “pointer kitty” – she likes sitting with one paw up in the air.

Anyway, she’s also recently discovered she can jump up onto the credenza (with some vintage German bar-ware, and a precariously stacked set of Uncle Goose blocks,) and that if she reaches her paw in just right, she can touch Poppy. Apparently Poppy’s spikes aren’t particularly threatening. We got a spray bottle at Target last night to try to avoid such mishaps.

I'm obsessed with this picture.
I’m obsessed with this picture.

When we aren’t home, she has full run of the spare room…we feel bad sectioning her off for now, but she gets lots of lovin’ when we’re around, and she has everything she needs – including a window looking right out at a bird feeder. Pretty good (temporary) set-up, I’d say.

We gave her free, unsupervised roam of the house for 10 minutes (Joe was going to trivia, I was coming home from Bent 9) and of course she decides to just chill in front of the TV she's scared of. Sigh.
We gave her free, unsupervised roam of the house for 10 minutes (Joe was going to trivia, I was coming home from Bent 9) and of course she decides to just chill in front of the TV she’s scared of. Sigh.

Since I began writing this post (Monday afternoon) she’s gotten more and more comfortable with everything…the TV isn’t quite as scary anymore, and her feline tendencies are revealing themselves – poor BB-8 on a stick has already seen better days. We’ll probably fully kitty-proof the rest of our house by this weekend (see ya in a while, fancy German barware) – I think she’s begun going a little stir-crazy in the spare room/needs more space!

I had an early morning. She was making all sorts of noises.
I had an early morning. She was making all sorts of noises.

So…that’s Barb! Joe and I are both totally in love with her – crazy antics and all. I also think it should be mentioned that I’ve had Barbra Streisand by Duck Sauce stuck in my head since Saturday.

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Bonus "me after 5 seconds in the kitty room" photo. Pure joy.
Bonus “me after 5 seconds in the kitty room” photo. Pure joy.

Review: OZ Naturals Ocean Mineral Cleanser

Disclaimer:  OZ Naturals sent me this product, with no compensation other than the product to test and review. The following post consists of my honest thoughts & opinions!

oz naturals face cleanser

I’m usually not too picky about face wash – we buy whatever is cheap at Target, and as long as it keeps my face clean and acne-free, I’m a happy camper! Face wash is one of the only things in our shower that Joe and I currently share…we’re working our ways through particularly feminine and masculine smelling bottles of body wash right now. There are too many bottles of things in our shower. Mostly my fault (I need 3 shampoo options, right?)

oz naturals face cleanser

Anyway, last week OZ Naturals sent me their Ocean Mineral face cleanser to review, and I’m already loving it! My face doesn’t feel like it’s crying out for moisturizer after I shower, and the smell kind of reminds me of being at the spa…which let’s be real, is exactly how I’d like to wake up in the morning. I also really appreciate that the cleanser is all natural and not tested on animals, which I know is important to a lot of people!

oz naturals cleanser

The ingredients in the cleanser are all restorative and natural: Rose Hip Oil is a natural acne and eczema treatment, with anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties that help decrease environmental damage and soothe the skin. Aloe Vera has anti-bacterial properties, which help to heal, soothe, and moisturize. MSM is a skin softener that is derived from healthy super food vegetables, and CocoBetaine is a solution derived from Coconut Oil that improves the foamy-ness of the cleanser, making it feel smoother on your skin.

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Pros:

Vegan and not tested on animals.

All natural ingredients that you can Google to read about their benefits to your skin! (That’s what I did.)

Makes your shower smell like a spa!

Cons:

It comes out of the bottle way too fast, I feel like I’m wasting a lot whenever I use it 🙁

I typically prefer a cleanser with an exfoliant – I feel like I’m getting my face cleaner than using just a foam, even when I know that’s not the case.

Info from OZ Naturals:

The CRUELTY FREE formula does not contain alcohol, parabens or sulfates, and is safe for all skin types. This face cleanser an extremely effective… you’ll want to add it to your natural skin care regimen.

MADE IN THE USA, in a state of the art FDA registered facility, OZ Naturals formulates the most effective anti aging skin care products on the market. This natural face cleanser will provide your skin a more vibrant appearance upon 1st use, we guarantee you’ll get results!

Our POWERFUL INGREDIENTS include rosehip oil, rich ocean minerals & vitamin e. This formula was developed to specifically be gentle on sensitive skin yet highly potent and effective at dissolving nasty particles that clog your pores.

Sooo, yeah, face wash! There are lots of things you probably shouldn’t rub all over your face, but this definitely isn’t one of them 😉

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Happy Monday!

Hey hey, it’s Monday again, which means I have Flex 2.0 and the Bachelor to look forward to after work! Not that work isn’t exciting…in fact my office was #21 in the list of the “Top Most Popular Offices of 2015” so it’s actually pretty great 😉 (though I’d prefer Pepsi products in the fridge….but that’s beside the point.)

Alright, let’s do this.

  1. There will be a whole post dedicated to this in the coming days, buuuut…we were successful in our mission to find a kitty! Her name is Barb, and she came from a shelter about 40 minutes away. She’s an adorable little booger and we love her already.
  2. I think the promo is ending soon, but in case you didn’t know, the Shutterfly app currently has all 4×4 and 4×6 photos for free. Unlimited prints. For free. No promo code, nothin. I don’t think you can get the same deal on their website, so quick! Download the app and order photos to your heart’s content. You do have to pay shipping, but I think that’s a fair trade.
  3. Early Thursday morning while I was getting ready for work, I noticed a mysterious man creepin’ on our neighbor’s back porch  (she’s a 90something year old woman.) I immediately got weirded out/feel uneasy because I knowwww he’s not supposed to be there, text Joe a picture of said man, and carried on getting ready…but made extra sure the doors were locked and blinds were closed before leaving (because I’m a paranoid person. I also checked my trunk for stowaways and/or potential murderers.) So then as I was pulling out of the driveway, another neighbor flagged me down, asking if we were expecting company, referencing the man that I then learned was hanging around the side and front of our house before I saw him next door. Ew ew ew. Anyway, he told me he called the cops and gave them a pretty clear description of the man before I continued on to work which was super great to hear, but I had super bad anxiety for the rest of the day 🙁  Anyway, I hadn’t met that neighbor before this lovely encounter, but am SO grateful he let me know what was going on. I’ll be writing him/his family a little thank you note (and a bottle of wine? They look like wine people) with mine and Joe’s numbers inside, just in case! Get to know your neighbors, people!
  4. Whew, that was long-winded. Let’s get back to happy things, like my Bachelor bracket! I’m not doing too terribly, though I’m becoming less and less convinced that Jennifer will win…oh well – maybe I’ll do better next time 🙂 I’ve made a few edits to the bracket for next season and included directions on the page – it’s a little less cute, but still pretty fantastic.
  5. I finally have a sharp razor again! Maybe that’s weird to post here, but I don’t really care. It’s super exciting. For a while I had the handle but just one old blade, and then I bought a pack of blades, but they were the wrong blades, and finally last night we got the handle to go with the previously wrong blades! We get distracted when we go shopping, even with a list, so it took a while. My legs (and probably Joe) are silently rejoicing, I’m sure.

New Family Member Alert!

No, I don’t get to park in the “expectant mothers” spot that’s super close to the door at work, nor do I get to put my small collection of baby clothes to use (4.5 more years, people.) However Joe and I are journeying to one or two shelters tomorrow to try and find a kitty cat to add to our household! We’ve gotten all of the “cat basics” – including some very perfectly awesome Star Wars cat toys. I’m pretty sure Joe is more excited about the BB-8 on a stick than the actual cat (just kidding, but BB-8 is prettyyyy cute.)

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Petco wins the toy game. We also got a cute Yoda collar.

Now don’t get me wrong, we still love Poppy the hedgehog and Agnes the frog, but we’re ready for an animal that will be just a bit more responsive/affectionate throughout our day to day lives…and before you say “just get a dog already!”, it would be selfish of us to add a dog to our little familia right now – we work a lot and go out quite often, not to mention traveling/going to the other side of the state pretty frequently (where a dog would not be welcomed.) Not about that doggie daycare/boarding life right now. Sorry, not sorry.

And surprisingly, there are a lot of those. Sorry us getting a cat doesn't align with your personal views? Idk.
My sincerest apologies that us getting a cat doesn’t align with your personal views/preferences? Idk.*eyeroll.* 

Anyway, moving on. We’re going to be super picky, and if we don’t find “the perfect cat” tomorrow, we’ll just go to another shelter next weekend and continue til we find our new bff…but let’s be real: I just love animals, and get on particularly well with stray cats.

stray cats
meow meow meow.

Hooray for new adventures!

Do any of you have any cat-owning tips we may not have thought of/known off-hand? I/we would love to hear them! 🙂

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Finally! My Everyday Makeup.

Okay, I’m pretty sure I’ve been saying I’ll write a post about my “every day” makeup for a solid 4+ months now, but today’s the day – it’s actually happening! Now, I know I’ve given this disclaimer before, but I’m not a makeup pro by anyyyy stretch of the imagination… but thanks to a bit of pre-wedding coaching, I feel like I’ve got a pretty good handle on what I’m doing, and I think it looks alright most days.

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There are plenty of days where all I do is fill in my eyebrows and maybe put on a bit of blush, but this is what my face looks like whenever I want to look presentable in public (work or going out with Joe/friends, primarily.) Nothing crazy, nothing sparkly, and pretty dang natural, but it works for me, and maybe if you get just as overwhelmed walking into a Sephora as I do, this will work for you too! 

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It’s really not a particularly complicated process, and that’s a lot coming from me.

  1. Caffeinated Eye Cream. I can thank Birchbox for this one. It smells like that fake popcorn smell. I have sleepy eyes in the morning, and this definitely helps.
  2. Garnier SkinActive Moisturizer. I got this recently from Crowdtap, and am loving it so far. Hooray for SPF! I skip this step sometimes if my face is feeling particularly oily, or if I know I’m getting photographed – SPF makes your face shiny in photos 🙂 
  3. NARS Foundation – [color] I know I’m supposed to use some fancy application tool to put this on, but I just pour a small dab onto my fingertips and put it on that way. I tried a (knockoff) beauty blender once and felt like I was wasting a lot of my foundation as it got sucked into the sponge. 
  4. Urban Decay Naked Concealer – The circles under my eyes are, and always have been out of control. This helps. It also helps with the reddish areas around the sides of my nose, and sometimes my chin if I’m feeling particularly ‘red’.
  5. NYX Eyebrow Pomade in Blonde. I could probably be making much better use of this stuff, but I do what feels right, and it seems to work out okay. I need to clean this brush/spoolie (?) more often than I do. 
  6. Mascara. I’m not picky about mascara at all, so when I recently ran out, Joe suggested I get the Star Wars branded kind from Covergirl…so I did! 
  7. Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soliel bronzer in Milk Chocolate. This stuff actually smells like chocolate and it’s amazing. I just put this on lightly down my temples, and a little below my cheek bones…and along my jawline if I’m feeling fancy. It kind of makes a 3 (I read that somewhere once. It works – I think!)
  8. Too Faced Love Flush blush in Baby Love. I just put this on my cheekbones and call it a day.
  9. Lips? This step varies. Lately I’ve been forgetting to put anything on my lips at all (like in the selfie I posted up there ^) but when I remember, I’m either wearing the lip color I got for my wedding: Tarte LipSurgence in Energy (not pictured) or any random lip color I can find that I’ve gotten from Birchbox. 

Hah. Me saying 9 steps isn’t complicated. Who am I? Really though I can shower, dry my hair, get dressed, and put makeup on in 20 minutes or less (probably/definitely less now that my hair is shorter, I haven’t had to test it yet) in the AM assuming nothing goes tragically wrong, like accidentally brushing my cheek with my mascara brush. It’s pretty great, and allows me stay low maintenance which I greatly appreciate! 🙂  

Do you have any go-to beauty products you wear daily? What about makeup remover? I’ve been using wipes from Trader Joe’s lately that Santa so kindly left in my stocking 😉

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Happy Monday!

I feel like I’ve been saying this every week lately, but HOW is it already Monday again? Even though it means a day of not getting paid, I’m super grateful for this day off, which so far has consisted of an extended brunch with some of my coworkers! I gotta say, that’s one of my favorite parts of Kalamazoo: that basically everyone is a transplant, and therefore everyone is always looking for more friends. It’s pretty great.

  1. Going off of that, I’m going over to one of Joe’s coworkers houses for the Bachelor tonight! I’m surprisingly not doing too terribly on my bracket, but (mini spoiler alert:) I’m glad I changed my mind from having LB win! Despite the fact that it’s freezing cold and has basically been snowing since we got home last night, I’m looking forward to tonight!
  2. I finally remembered to find a yoga mat to bring back to Kzoo – one that I got in a subscription box last year and has yet to be used – and it will get christened at Boatyard Brewing Co. tomorrow for their Beer Week/Yoga event! I’m excited, even if I wasn’t able to convince Joe to participate in the yoga part of the evening with me 😛
  3. Somehow 10 years have passed since High School Musical first aired (whaaaa!? That makes me feel so old) , and Disney Channel is airing a reunion special on Wednesday night at 8pm…and I’m so excited to watch! Thank goodness the Disney Channel app on Apple TV has a live option.
  4. We knocked a few things off our 2016 bucket list over the weekend (well, this 2016 bucket list doesn’t actually exist, but a few things we wanted to accomplish were accomplished): Going to the NAIAS in Detroit (like we do every year), seeing my friend Rachel and her fiancé’s new house, going to Whiskey Six (a new restaurant which was delish) and I had been craving food from Atwater in the Park for a few months now, and we went there for a super late dinner Friday night when we got in. So I’m a happy camper…with a very full belly.
  5. Joe and I checked with our landlady, and we’re allowed to get a cat! We both love animals, and while Poppy is a great lil hedgie, she’s not a ‘cuddle on the couch’ kind of pet, and a dog just wouldn’t be a good choice for us right now, SO we’ve been looking at kitties in the area to rescue. If all goes according to plan (aka we find a cat that is very snuggly) we’ll probably be getting a kitty cat this weekend and I’m super excited! …and also figuring out logistics of what should be cleaned up/organized before that happens 😛

Also, one more PSA because I’m really not sure what I’m doing: when I switched from my .wordpress.com blog to a self-hosted one, I lost all of my followers – so just check to make sure that you’re subscribed if you thought you were before but haven’t been getting updates!

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It’s Haircut Time!

In the one episode of Amazing Race that I’ve ever seen, a couple was given the option to shave their heads to skip a challenge and win some large amount of money (I remember it being $250,000, Joe remembers $10,000.) ….and the wife flat out refused to do it. What?! I’ve never been that ‘attached’ to my hair and would have done that without a second of hesitation, but I guess I’m not like everyone else 😛

I decided in my sophomore or junior year of high school (so, going on 10 years) to get my hair chopped off, and while I’ve gone through the “grow it out a bit, chop it off again” cycle a few times since then, I stopped getting it cut a little over a year ago in preparation for wedding hair, and now it’s the longest I’ve let it grow…well, until this afternoon.

RIP Ponytail.
RIP Ponytail.

I was going to try to make it til Spring with long hair…and don’t get me wrong, I loved how easy it was to just throw it up into a semi-cute bun for work/going out in public if I didn’t feel like dealing with it. Buuuut after dreaming about my hair stylist a couple of times and tossing around the idea of just taking scissors to my ponytail, I finally got my hair cut today – and let me tell ya, I’m quite the happy camper.

What a difference a couple of hours makes, eh? (Being out of bed for more than 3 minutes helps too.) I feel like me again! #haircut #shorthair

I feel like me again! And mayyyybe (probably) once it gets a little warmer, I’ll be a little blonder again too! But now I have to re-learn how to deal with short hair, despite having just learned how to use the glorious bun donut 😛 I think I’ll survive.

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Bibbidi Bobbidi Birthday!

A few days ago I learned that Joe’s mom and sister are taking our niece to Disney World for her birthday, which of course resulted in me bombarding them with info, info, and more info. I’m so excited for them, and wish I was able to take a couple days off of work to tag along! I may or may not have basically planned their entire trip in 30 minutes. I really would make an excellent Disney Vacation Planner, just sayin’.

Anyway! As soon as the big details were determined (hotel, which parks which days, etc.) Joe and I decided we would gift our pink loving, princess loving niece a princess-y experience at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique! What better way to remember your first trip to Disney World, right? 🙂

Unfortunately there were no available spots at Magic Kingdom for they day they’ll be in that park, but I’ll be calling errrrrrr’day to see if anyone has cancelled…avoiding the 3 hour detour that comes with traveling to and from Disney Springs.) Sigh.

Of course I also had to make a special certificate/invitation type thing to send in preparation for their trip, and I’m quite happy with how it turned out, so I’m sharing it with all of you in case you want one for the princess in your life…and if you need help changing out information – I could probably have that arranged 😉

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Invitation - with information blocked out:)
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Invitation – with information blocked out:)

Eep! I’m seriously so excited for them. I can’t wait to be able to bring our children for the first time – it’ll be so great. But in the meantime, Joe and I will just have to keep going on our own…no complaints there!

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Happy Monday!

So I originally wrote this from the WordPress app on my phone and posted it – but despite it getting a handful of likes, it isn’t showing up ANYWHERE. If anyone can help me figure out why that would be, I’d greatly appreciate it.

Anyway, on to our regularly scheduled programming.

January is seriously flying by – especially now that I have (and am enjoying) a full time job! Working full-time does leave less time for Pinterest-y dinners and crafting though…but I guess a paycheck is an acceptable compromise! 🙂 Plus, hey, that’s what weekends are for, right?

see ya later, hair!
see ya later, hair!
so gross. I hate winter.
so gross. I hate winter.
friends at my desk! soon to be joined by an adorable Rafiki.
friends at my desk! soon to be joined by an adorable Rafiki.

Despite it being a Monday and being bombarded with cold, icy, snowy weather – there’s still a lot to be happy about!

  1. Joe cleaned the snow off my car this morning (because he had to move it to get his out – or just because he’s a great hubster) and it was still slightly warm when I left for work an hour later! Doesn’t get much better than that.
  2. I’m getting my hair cut on Saturday! I thought I’d be able to last til Spring before getting it chopped off, but no such luck. The ability to put my hair up in a top knot or into a quick braid has been swell, but I’m over it.
  3. It’s Auto Show time! Well, almost. Joe and I are going on Sunday, and I’m looking forward to that almost as much as my haircut! Being back on the East side of the state also means Pure Barre, so it’ll just be a great weekend all around 🙂
  4. Since neither of us can really take time off this year thanks to new jobs and such, we’re trying to figure out a few weekend trips for this spring/summer…and things seem to be at least partially falling in to place! Might not be heading to Iceland or Cambodia quite yet, but hey – it’s something!
  5. I remembered to bring my workout clothes with me in to work today (rather than leaving them in my cold car.) I forgot to do that last week, and changing for Flex at the end of the day was just tooooo cold. So hooray for not freezing my tuckus off even more than I already am!

Again, sorry if some of you are seeing this twice. Sometimes technology gets the best of me 🙂

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