Product Review: SkinXL

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Let's talk about lips, shall we? I have to preface, I am not a beauty blogger. I don't totally know what I'm talking about when it comes to makeup, but the bottom line, if I like it I will wear it. For example, I've been using the same NARS foundation for like a bazillion years. I love it, I wear it.

The one thing I used to never wear? Anything on my lips. Ask almost anyone and they will tell you I am a blue label chap-stick, jack black lip gloss girl or aquaphor at night. I am also super self-conscious of what is on my teeth or my face therefore lipstick never really appealed to me.

Then I tired my best friends Kylie Lip Kit and my life changed. I LOVE it. Oh man do I love it. I love it so much, I bought a bunch to review so I could share it with you. If you missed that review, find it here.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive 10% if you make a purchase using this link.
SkinXL is a lip plumping volumizer. I know what you're thinking, Oh man, my lips are going to burn! Let me settle your nerves when I say that is not the case! This isn't like that stuff we used to use when we were in 6th grade.

I've been using this for the last 2 weeks. Yes, it does have a little tingle. But honestly after the third day, I didn't even notice. It made my lips nice and pink. Did they make them bigger? Honestly? I don't know. Adam said they looked bigger! So, I guess that's all that matters right?

Would I use this again? Sure! It's a nice glossy finish and if it did make my lips bigger, more power to me! I like the smell, it's fruity. And, I love that it's a clear gloss, it really helps a girl overcome her chap-stick addiction.

Have you used a volumizer? What are your thoughts? Would you be willing to try? Tell me everything. Do you have a specific one you like?

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Recipe: Paleo* Lasagna

Monday, August 29, 2016

It's a fact, my grandma (& mama) makes the best lasagna. You can try to dispute this fact, but I would suggest trying my grandmothers lasagna before you do. It's flavorful, delicious and reminds me of Christmas (we eat it every Christmas Eve). There's nothing trendy about this lasagna, nothing crazy, it's just down-right delicious in every way.

When Adam and I first started dating, I made this for him and his first reaction was (1) are we having 17 people for dinner and (2) wow. Yes, this makes a huge pan of lasagna, but who cares, lasagna for everyone! I'm pretty sure this dish made him really love me, so girls, grab your men and make them this dish!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive 10% if you make a purchase using this link.

I bet you are all wondering about the * in the title. Well, the reason it is *Paleo is because we used Parmigiano Reggiano. Technically, it is not paleo. It is made with raw milk — using the same traditional methods and aged at least 24 months for intense, complex flavors.

I've been chatting with my paleo-guru Callie about how to incorporate raw milk/cheese in to our diet because at the moment, Adam and I are totally dairy free. We take calcium supplements but I was concerned that we weren't getting the benefits that come from a certain amount of (clean) dairy. Callie told me to try "raw" Parm.

We tried the parm on our lasagna and guys... it did not hurt my stomach. This is huge. The main reason I started paleo was to make my stomach feel better. This cheese did not hurt it. HUGE! We probably will save the cheese for special occasions but it's nice to know there is an option.

So, the moral of this story is --> if you have a sensitivity to dairy, this is your cheese! Raw milk/cheese can be super helpful for a healthy gut too, so this would be another good way to incorporate it. I have been seeing more and more hardcore paleo-ists (is that a word) incorporating raw dairy into their diet for all the good benefits it brings.

For those of you who are strict, strict paleo leave the cheese out. It's still bomb. I could eat the mix with a spoon it's so good. Now if only they invented paleo french bread to wipe up all the sauce.

For this recipe I used Cappello's Paleo Lasagna Noodles and boy oh boy are they the most delicious things ever! PS Click below to get your own box of Cappellos!

Recipe is black. Paleo changes are red.

  • 1 large can peeled or diced (I prefer diced) tomatoes + 1 (8oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • oregano (dried flakes)
  • 1 1/2-2 pounds ground beef
  • garlic powder
  • parsley flakes
  • salt and pepper
  • Lasagna: 
  • 9 lasagna noodles - 9 Cappellos Paleo lasagna noodles
  • 1 can grated parmesan cheese - grated block of Parmigiana Reggiano
  • 2 packages mozzarella cheese (2-3cups each-pkg) - leave out for paleo

  • How to Make:
    1. Brown ground beef. 
    2. Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon oregano. 
    3. Simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
    4. Add tomato paste and 1 (tomato paste) can of water, 1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 Tablespoon dried parsley, 1 teaspoon pepper (taste for more salt).
    5. Simmer another 45-60 minutes. 
    6. Cook noodles and assemble (Noodles, sauce, mozzarella, Parmesan, repeat).
    7. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes until bubbly. Watch so it doesn't get too brown.
    Life changing and diet changing :)
     Look how delicious it looks! 
    It's coming together!
    Get that baby in the oven! 
    Fully cooked and ready to eat! 

     Here's another plug to follow me on snapchat -- KGrace01 -  you would get to see the making of the lasagna, step by step! 

    Happy Monday everyone! I hope you are all feeling super refreshed from the weekend and ready to conquer a new week! It's almost labor day! Hooray! 

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    Thursday Things.

    Thursday, August 25, 2016

    Happy Thursday peeps! We are so close to the weekend, I can almost smell the cocktails! Lately, it seems like weekends are passing by in the blink of an eye, but then weeks are so slow. I blame it on the fact that the sun is coming up later and setting earlier. I don't know why, but its changing my mood.

    I was telling Adam last night how cool it would be, if, in the winter, when it's freezing , the sun was actually out longer and then vice versa in the summer. Wouldn't that make life more bearable? How do I achieve this?

    While I'm contemplating temperature change and winter, let's chat about some things.

    These stock photos from Helene are giving me everything I need. Beautiful, free pictures? Sold. The picture above is from her. She is such a rockstar. Find her here -->

    You've all heard of Gawker right? About a year ago it was known as a gossipy website with a actual journalistic vibe to it. It wrote about celebrities but in a way that really drew me in. Now, Gawker is gone. Gawker is gone because Hulk Hogan had an affair with his best friends wife and Gawker wrote about it. Hulk Hogan won a $140 MILLION DOLLAR lawsuit against Gawker, forcing its hand and it's demise. "And so Gawker's demise turns out to be the ultimate Gawker story. It shows how things work." 

    Did you know that Tuesday was cheap flight day? I know, I'm two days late, sors. BUT! I was watching GMA (it's my morning guilty pleasure) and Amy said that after labor days, flights drop like crazy. Save that money people, let's plan some trips.

    Lola is ten weeks old and barely knows her name but she is so cute and fluffy that I don't really care. Remember when I gave you guys puppy tips? Now, I need your tips. Please help. We're drowning over here in new puppy rules. Henry just keeps staring at us like "I told you people so" send. tips. please.

    We all know Helen Mirren is queen, but have you see the interview with her and some dude from 1975. Turns out shes been the queen for quite a while. "I would hope that the performance, the play, and the living relationship between all the people on stage and all the people in the audience overcome such boring questions."  BOOM

    Do my Denver friends remember my awesome deal with Oil & Vinegar? Don't forget to get your gift card! It's free money! Share with your friends!

    Have you guys seen Britney Spears' new video? Holy hot. It appears to be sponsored by Orange Theory and Eros. But oh well. Welcome back Brit Brit.

    Alright now that we have gotten caught up, let's look at pictures from the last few days.

     I sent this to Coti last week and we could not stop laughing. I mean. 
     This is the view from our hike this weekend. Gorgeous does not even cover it. 
     My little man Henry + a plug to follow me on snapchat! @Kgrace01
    My little lady Lola. 

    Happy Thursday everyone! I hope you have a wonderful day! We've almost made it. 

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    July Recap: A family reunion & a surprise birthday.

    Thursday, August 18, 2016

    I've said it once and I'll say it again, July flew by. Even with 5 weeks, I found myself wishing it could be longer. We had so many awesome things happen in July and its time for a little recap. Plus, we're getting close to fall. I can feel the crisp air in the mornings so remembering those warm winter nights is just what I need right now.

    Happy Thursday everyone, let's reminisce.
    • First of July: A little road trip to Omaha to visit family and a chance for me to visit my best B and her new baby, Elle. I am loving the fact that all my best friends are having babies. It's incredible. I spent the morning basking in new baby glow with Elle (B's babe) and Caroline (Lynds' babe). I told you babies are everywhere and I am loving every minute of the baby cuddles.
    • Middle of July: Baby showers, Denver blogger events and we had some great friends in town and we saw ADELE. If you saw my snapchat, you saw the glory that was Adele. (PS, dirty selfish plug -- follow me at kgrace01). I was crying the entire concert. I'm not sure if that was wine induced or the amazingness that is Adele, but it was hands-down the best concert I've ever seen. If you have a chance to see her, GO! 
    • (More) Middle of July: The Englert Family Reunion took place this year in Lake Tahoe. My family has been vacationing in Tahoe since I was a little girl. My parents still go every summer and we try to go whenever we can. This trip was imperative because my entire Englert fam (we missed you Dan and Carolyn!) were there. We even made shirts. My Englert family is so special to me. For living in Michigan they are at every event in Arizona and we get back to MI about once a year, so spending some extra time with them was amazing. 
    • End of July: I threw Adam and surprise 30th Birthday. It was one of the hardest things ever. Do you know how impossible it is to throw a surprise party when you share joint banking accounts? Cue the $100 withdraw at the grocery store and claiming you bought "great steaks" for dinner and hoping he buys it. Man oh man, it was so hard, but seeing his face made it all worth it. All of our family and friends were there. It was so cool to spend the evening with everyone, eating crawfish, drinking beer and celebrating Adam. 
     Mackenna // Courtney
    Top: Free People (Similar here); Jeans: Madewell; Shoes: Madewell
     Oh Adele, I love you. 
     Such a fun weekend! 
    Jumpsuit: Madewell (similar linked here)
     The birthday boy. 
    Adam: Shirt: Ralph Lauren, Shorts: John Varvatos; Shoes: Sperrys
    Me: Romper: Free People (similar linked here) Bracelets: David Yurman
     I love celebrating my friends and their new babies
    Dress: Madewell; Watch: Michele; Bracelets: David Yurman
    That is an epic family reunion. 

    How was your July? Tell me about it!

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    Recipe [Recreated]: Baked Garlic Mushroom Chicken

    Wednesday, August 17, 2016

    Every time I ask Adam what we should do for dinner he says, "a baked chicken dish." I know in his kind heart he thinks he is being helpful, but I don't think he knows how broad of an answer that is.

    Last week when this was his response, he added, "a baked chicken dish and I found the perfect recipe." I don't think I've ever loved him more. The worst part about making dinner is figuring out what to make. I'll make almost anything as long as I don't have to come up with the idea.

    This recipe was so delicious, super easy and very flavorful. I'm going to have to start taking Adam more seriously when he responds with "a baked chicken dish."

    This Recipe [Recreated] is from one of my very favorite cooks and cookbooks, Against All Grain. She makes the most incredible recipes. The original is linked here. I modified a bit, but for the most part, followed her lead.

    The best thing about this recipe is that while it is super flavorful, it's easy on the stomach. Some things I make have a ton of spice (and don't worry this has some) but this one is super delicious without being overly powerful on the tums.

    Are ya'll ready. Let's do this.


  • 2 chicken breasts (pounded thin if super large) 
  • packet of crimini mushrooms, sliced 
  • 15 stalks of asparagus
  • 1 cup chicken broth 
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed 
  • 2 tablespoon coconut oil 
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder 
  • ¼ teaspoon ground dried sage 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • How to Make: 
    1. Preheat oven to 375F. 
    2. In a pan on high heat, add 1 tbsp of coconut oil and sear the chicken breasts for 2 minutes on each side. 
    3. Remove from pan and set aside. 
    4. Add the sliced mushrooms, asparagus and broth then stir and simmer for 1-2 minutes. 
    5. Turn off heat. 
    6. Return the seared chicken thighs to the pan and make sure to distribute the mushrooms and asparagus evenly around the chicken. 
    7. Place the entire pan in the oven. 
    8. To make the garlic mushroom sauce, separate the liquid, garlic and half of the mushrooms from the chicken and place it in a blender. Pulse until it turns into the consistency of gravy. 
    9. Enjoy!
    Is there anything better than asparagus? 

    Happy Wednesday Everyone! I hope you have the best day. We are half-way through. Let's do this.

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    Recipe: Mango Marinated Shrimp Tacos

    Tuesday, August 16, 2016

    If you missed my post yesterday about my adventure to Oil & Vinegar, you should check it out here. It's filled with an amazing opportunity for my Denver friends and is an amazing store you should check out!

    One of the many many flavor combinations I tried was a roasted garlic oil mixed with a mango vinegar. I know what you are thinking. YUM! Great, I was thinking the same thing too. I knew I had to have these two flavors and that they would be perfect on shrimp.

    I was right. Adam told me it was restaurant quality. Score one for me. These were so good and so easy to make. Perfect for a lazy Sunday like we had. My mouth is watering already. Let's get to it.

    I think tacos are made better by a delicious slaw, so of course I had to share my go to slaw recipe with you. I could eat the slaw all by itself, it's that good!

  • 1 bag of cole slaw mix without the dressing 
  • handful of cilanto, chopped
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (maybe a little more based on taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper (guestimate because I just crack pepper in it until it looks like enough) 
  • 1 teaspoon of honey

  • Shrimp: 

  • 40 shrimp, I bought teeny ones for tacos
  • 2 tablespoons mango vinegar (from Oil & Vinegar) 
  • 2 teaspoons roasted garlic oil (from Oil & Vinegar) 
  • salt
  • pepper

  • Toppings: (optional) 

  • Butter lettuce for the tacos
  • thinly sliced jalapenos
  • thinly sliced avocados

  • How to Make: 
    1. Slaw: Mix the lime juice, apple cider vinegar, chili powder, salt, pepper and honey together. Pour over coleslaw. Add cilantro. Taste (try not to eat it all). Add lime juice, salt or pepper if needed. Set aside. 
    2. Shrimp: Ahead of time, mix the oil and vinegar's and pour over shrimp, salt and pepper. Let sit for however long. I let them sit for about 2 hours and stirred whenever I walked by the fridge. When ready to cook, pour a little of the marinade in a saute pan and bring to high heat. The shrimp I bought was already cooked so it didn't need much. (I know, so lazy). 
    3. When hot, toss shrimp in and let cook under desired temperature. 
    4. Make your tacos! Slaw, jalapeno, shrimp, avocado. Whatever order you like, I promise you will love them! 
    5. Enjoy!  
    Please excuse the paper towel. I should have been fancier. 
    Oh that slaw. It's so amazing. 
    I prefer my tacos with the slaw on the bottom. 
    Adam said his tacos looked better, so here's a picture of his :) 

    Happy Tuesday everyone! I hope you have the best week and even better dinners! 
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    Touring Denver: Oil & Vinegar + a surprise for Denver friends!

    Monday, August 15, 2016

    I'm super excited about this post for multiple reasons. 1) I love sharing new places I find in Denver with my readers, especially when that place is so awesome and 2) I have an amazzzzzing deal for all my Denver friends. I'm talking free stuff Denver friends, so keep reading!

    This past weekend I had the pleasure of venturing to Oil & Vinegar to try delicious things, meet great people and offer a giveaway to my Denver friends!

    Oil & Vinegar is every cooks dream. The store features a variety of oils and vinegar's that are on tap, and tons of delicious gourmet food items to pair with those oil & vinegar's. To say I was in cooking heaven would be an understatement. I just wanted to go home and make all the delicious things I learned about.

    When I first walked in the store, I was amazed at how beautiful it was! It is such a cool set up, with a wall lined with oil and vinegar. There are testers all over the room and the manager, Jim was so kind and let me try everything. And, when I say everything, I mean everything, Guys, if you want to try something on the shelf, they'll open it for you! Talk about service.
     Look at all those delicious oils to taste! Guys, blood orange is amazing.
    Wanna try Bruschetta? Lucky for you, you can! 

    My favorite mixture was mango vinegar paired with roasted garlic oil. I marinated shrimp in it last night and am so excited to share the recipe with you tomorrow! They had flavors for everyone. From jalapeno oil to fig vinegar. The best part is mixing combinations. It is such a fun store guys. Get ready family, I already have a gift picked out for each of you.

    Hey Denver people, are you ready for the cool part?

    For the next MONTH, if you go into an Oil & Vinegar store (either Park Meadows or Flatirons) and mention my blog -- just say, I read Kristen's blog, or I read Everyday Grace, you will get to pick a mystery money gift card valued at either $5, $15 or $50! Guys, this is huge.
    The mystery money giftcard! So fun! Go to your nearest store! 

    Free money people. Free money to spend on the most delicious food, oils and vinegar's ever. Go now! this expires on September 15! There is literally nothing to lose, and all the oil and vinegar to gain.

     The how-to. Go have fun!
    Look at all the taps. I am serious, this place is amazing. 

    Alright, now that I have raved and ranted about this place, go check it out! 

    Denver friends, there are two locations you can visit and win! Have fun trying everything and if you're at Park Meadows, say hi to Jim for me! 

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    We bought a dog!

    Friday, August 12, 2016

    Exciting things are happening over here in our household. Last week, we bought a new puppy! We have officially been a household of 4 for a week. I know what you are all thinking, you guys are crazy. While more than not, I tend to agree with you there, we are lovingggg this new little love of ours.

    Since the day we got married (which has been over a year now) people keep asking us when we are going to have babies. Little do they know that when they ask that, it pushed us to buy a dog, only further delaying the real life babies (except I consider my animals my babies, but that's a story for another blog). Don't get me wrong. I love kids. I want kids. But today, this post is about my fur-babies.

    Lola is a soft coated Wheaten Terrier and the sweetest little thing ever. Henry is not totally sold on the idea of having a little sister but they are getting a lot better together. If you all have tips for getting your older pup to love the little one, please send them our way! We need them. In the meantime, I have some puppy tips for you and things I've learned over the past few days.

    1. Buy a crate. Use the crate. Make sure the crate is only as big as your puppy, just enough space for her/him to turn around and lay down. 
    2. Get used to saying "good girl," "go potty" and "no" a lot. I mean a lot. 
    3. I hope you don't like sleeping because puppies don't either. 
    4. Make sure you wear gloves or toughen up your hands. Puppy teeth are sharp! 
    5. Cuddling is a must. 
    6. Nyla bones are great for teething puppies. But be careful, as soon as their teeth are strong enough, take them away so they don't eat them. 
    7. If pee and poop in places its not supposed to be grosses you out, a puppy is probably not for you. Plus I hope you are quick on your toes, it comes fast. 
    8. Puppies are curious. Make sure you close cabinets and doors, especially those that have cleaning supplies, laundry soap and things that could be super harmful to a pup. 
    9. Puppies love walks, I hope you do too. 
    10. Balance love and training. Most puppies are super sensitive, so teach her no but give her love too. 
    11. Pick up pretty much everything you have on the floor, because new puppies love to chew. 
    12. Separate food and water dishes for the new and old dog. (this is a real tip!) 
    13. A fenced yard is always a plus because then they can run around. 
    14. If your new pup is like Lola, get a bowl with a rubber bottom. Her favorite thing to do is spill her water bowl all over the floor and then play in it. 
    15. Henry LOVES Lola's puppy food. Like so much that he will go in her crate to eat her leftovers. Make sure you keep it away from the old pup. Puppy food is usually high in fat.
    16. A little fetch goes a long way. 20 minutes of fetch with Lola and she'll sleep for the next 3 hours. 
     Enough with the tips. Wanna see some pictures?

    Happy Friday everyone! I hope it's full of puppy kisses and cocktails.

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