Friday, May 11, 2012

My Summer Beauty Faves

To say my beauty and makeup routine is basic is probably a huge understatement. I only really know how to do my eye makeup one way, and have yet to experiment with bright lip color, although I love the look on others. But I have found a night little mix of reasonably-priced (and sometimes downright cheap) beauty products that make my morning routine complete. 

What beauty products are you loving lately? 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Breakfast Quinoa with Oats

 Lately you've probably noticed a bit more quinoa popping up on Espresso and Cream, yes? Well, get ready for even more recipes in the months to come! Curtis has kept our house well-stocked with quinoa, and in exchange for the free quinoa, I've been creating recipes that go both on this site and on his company's blog. It's a win-win if you ask me.

My relationship with quinoa took a while to heat up. I first started cooking with this amazing grain (er...seed) when I went vegetarian a little over two years ago. It wasn't the taste or texture that drew me to quinoa, but rather the stellar nutritional profile. Since quinoa is a complete protein (meaning it provides 100% of the essential amino acids), it's ideal for individuals who don't eat a lot of meat.

But over the last six months, quinoa has really started to grow on me and Joe. It's so much easier to prepare than rice and stores forever in the refrigerator. I make a large batch without any seasoning every week or week and a half, which does a lot to encourage my quinoa consumption, since it doesn't require much prep for lunch and dinner.

This past weekend, I made my first foray into eating quinoa at breakfast. Most mornings, okay every morning, I start off the day with a bowl of oats with banana and peanut butter or almond butter. But last weekend, I decided to put a twist on my breakfast stand-by with the addition of quinoa. Cutting my oats with a little cooked quinoa was the perfect breakfast duo. Since quinoa doesn't have the same gooey texture of cooked oats, adding a tablespoon of chia seeds is the real trick to having your mixture taste more like breakfast porridge rather than a bowl of grain, which I prefer.

In other news, Espresso and Cream is going to be getting a long-overdue redesign in the coming weeks. On top of a visual update, I'll also be switching E&C over to self-hosting. Although it won't mean many changes on your end, I wanted to give you a heads-up in case things get a little wonky for a while. Hopefully all goes smoothly and you don't even notice! But, if you have any suggestions on what you would like to see in the new site, feel free to leave a comment below.

Breakfast Quinoa with Oats
Makes 1 Serving 
*1/4 cup cooked quinoa
*1/4 cup uncooked rolled oats
*1/2 cup milk
*2/3 cup water
*1 tablespoon chia seeds
*1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*1 packet Truvia or 1 tablespoon brown sugar
*Dash of vanilla extract
*1 medium banana, sliced 
*1/4 cup chopped pecans

*In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the cooked quinoa, rolled oats, milk, water and chia seeds. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until oats and chia seeds have absorbed most of the moisture and the mixture is thickened. Add in the cinnamon, Truvia or brown sugar and vanilla extract. Cook for 30 seconds more.
*Remove from heat and stir in the banana slices. Spoon into a bowl and top with the chopped pecans.

Happy Cooking!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

30 by 30 Update

Last year, after Joe and I ran our first half marathon, I talked a bit about a crazy idea I had to run 30 races by the time I turned 30. Considering I only started running races last year (at age 23) I've got a lot of races to run in order to meet my goal!

Even if I don't end up hitting the 30 by 30 mark, I'm going to have fun trying. I'm hoping to add a couple more short (5k or 10k) local races to this list throughout the summer and fall. And, if I stay healthy and all goes as planned, my mom and I will be running the Twin Cities Marathon two days after my birthday in October!

I still feel a little hesitant even putting that goal out there for all of you to read, but running a marathon has been a goal of mine for the longest time. Both my parents are marathon runners, and a big part of me wants to carry on the family tradition. Plus, it seems like a great time in life to train, since I don't have any major obligations on my plate.

Here's a look at the other races I have planned:

Orange City Tulip Festival 5k
Orange City, Iowa 
Saturday, May 19th

Dam to Dam 20k
Des Moines, Iowa 
Saturday, June 2nd

Grinnell Games 5k
Grinnell, Iowa
Saturday, June 9th 

Grandma's Half Marathon (with my sister-in-law, Amber)
Duluth, MN
Saturday, June 16th

Twin Cities Marathon
Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota
Sunday, October 7th 

Do any of you have races planned for this summer or fall? Is running a marathon a crazy bad or crazy good idea? Help a girl out!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

No Fat Talk Tuesday: Cara's Story

Today's No Fat Talk Tuesday comes to us from Cara, who blogs over at A (not so) Desperate Hausfrau. Although she was born and raised in the states, Cara is now living in Germany with her husband, Luis, who is a professional athlete. Every time I visit her blog, I'm left with a serious case of wanderlust. When I read Cara's story, I immediately knew it was one that a lot of women would be able to relate to, and best of all, it's incredibly encouraging and uplifting. Thank you, Cara, for being willing to share you story! - Madison

My “No Fat Talk” began last year when I desperately prayed for God to change the way I saw and talked about my body. My body consumed my thoughts and if I wasn’t feeling good about it, my entire mood was affected. 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Perfect Scrambled Eggs

Some of you may have already dismissed this post because of the title alone, and I can't say I really blame you. A recipe for scrambled eggs? Really? Yes. Please let me explain.

Last Christmas my mom made scrambled eggs for brunch. They took forever to cook and we were starving, but since she was so excited about the method I figured I would see her out. Turns out the eggs lived up to the hype and were well worth the wait. It was at that moment that I realized I've been making scrambled eggs all wrong.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Feels Like Summertime

When Friday night rolls around, the last thing Joe and I usually feel like doing is getting dressed up and going out. Usually we end up taking Nutmeg on a walk, putting comfy clothes on and getting a movie from the Redbox. But this Friday night, we made ourselves presentable and went out. And by going out, I mean washing my hair, putting on wedges and going out to Mexican followed by a trip to Costco and ending with a McDonald's ice cream cone.

It's a crazy life we live, I tell you.
{Jeans: J. Crew | Shirt: Zara | Wedges: Kenneth Cole Reaction}

Friday, May 4, 2012

Make Your Own: Taco Box

Happy Friday, all! And happy (almost) Cinco de Mayo!

When it comes to ideas, inspiration and education, The Kitchn is one of my favorite food websites. A while back, I saw this adorable idea for a "New Baby Taco Box". The idea being that you can bring this all-in-one box to parents of a new baby. It was perfect timing, since friends of ours had just had a new baby. What really drew me in was the fact that the taco box would transport ingredients easily and didn't require that the parents eat the meal right that minute. Instead, the ingredients could be assembled any time within the next day or two. Plus, who doesn't love tacos?

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