Thursday, October 26, 2017

Thirsty Thursday: Bourbon Slush (Sequiota Bike Shop)

Hey--remember those crazy kids who used to own an ice cream shop as a "side business" because they thought it'd be "easy"?  What a hoot!

Oh wait...that was us.

So, if you recall, a few years ago we sold our business to some friends (veteran restauranteurs). I can't recall if we ever did an update, but they have truly transformed that location. It's now the Sequiota Bike Shop--they have a great menu of sandwiches, a full-on outdoor dining area and bar, just a really fun space.  They even do bike rentals. 
Our formerly awkward parking lot is now a lovely covered seating area (perfect for those drizzly-but-still-warm days)...
And for every other day, there's an outdoor bar in the back, plenty of seating, oh, and they even added a fire pit for those slightly cooler days.
The interior of the building was reorganized and the indoor seating was removed to give them some much needed additional space inside for workers, where they crank out some of the tastiest sandwiches in town.  No fryers to mess with, so they serve up sides like chips, housemade soup, and potato salad instead.  It's a really smart use of a small space (about 600 sq feet).
Jamis Roast Beef sandwich.

The Hubs & I like to stop by periodically to have a drink (great local beer selection) and share a sandwich (our personal favorite is the Finnegan's Reuben). 
Soooo good.

It's always a little bittersweet because we have so many stressful memories tied to that business and location, but I'm honestly very happy for our friends.  They've done more with it than we ever could have.

Anyway, enough gushing.  Bring on the booze!
Sweet tea bourbon slush.

So, Bike Shop has a rotating menu of slush cocktails, made with Four Roses Bourbon.  As much as I love my beer, it's hard to not get a slush when I go.
Watermelon mint slush.

Simple, cold, refreshing. And I do not have the recipe, so I cannot replicate it here.  So I guess you're just going to have to go try one for yourself.
Granted, we are in Missouri.  Where it can be 70 one day and 40 the next.  But I still think Bike Shop is a great destination for this time of year.  Because if it's 70, you get a slush. If it's 40, then you grab a chair by the fire and ask for a spiked cocoa,coffee, or chai instead.
They also frequently have live music, so if you don't have a kiddo (or are lucky enough to have one old enough to leave at home, or better yet, be your DD), it's a great place to kick back in the evenings.  It's like your own back yard...but better.


Friday, October 20, 2017

Working Mom's Beauty Regimen

There are moms out there, even working moms, who always look gorgeous and put together, like the gosh-darn #GIRLBOSSES that they are. I know some women find joy in testing out beautiful hairstyles they found on Pinterest,  shopping for new makeup,  getting a blowout, or sitting at their vanity in the morning getting ready to face the day.

I am not one of them.  My joy comes from a) sleep, b) time with my kid/husband, c) cooking breakfast on weekends, and d) realizing that by putting my potted plants right by the kitchen sink, I can use the sink sprayer to water them and not let them die (like their predecessors).
(I really have no idea why this didn't occur to me sooner.)

It's not that I don't take pride in my appearance, it's just that my only real style goal has been to never end up on What Not to Wear.  With the bar set that low (and the show having been cancelled), it's pretty easy to exceed expectations. 

I CAN, in a pinch, look like a stylish, professional lady who's got her shizz together.
But face it--Work Picture Day is just like School Picture Day.  It's the nicest you're ever going to look that year.  In order to achieve the look seen above, I had to bring the necklace to work in my purse (lest the kid rip it from my throat before I left the house), bring a flat iron and makeup to the office, and primp right before photo time.  And take off my glasses (just like a superhero).  

Suffice to say--most days, I don't look like that, whether at the office or at home.  My office is pretty casual.  I'm a geologist, and emergencies come up. You never know when you might have to run out to a site.
(Work style, 32 weeks preggo)

So while I am by no means a "Style Influencer" who would ever be sought out by marketing teams to push their products, I am a normal, average, run of the mill working mom...who happens to have her own blog and can therefore share whatever the heck I like.   So here it is, folks--my own personal "Working Mom's Beauty Regimen".

Essential Tools-Hair
Hairbrush, comb, hair ties, bobby pins, large hair clip, scrunchy*
*I can't sleep with my hair down. It is posessed & will strangle me in my sleep.  This also comes in handy for The Mom Bun.

Dry Shampoo, Hairspray (for serious updo's only) & elastic headband (for my one fancy go-to updo): 

Things I Own But Never Use:
Flat Iron (this now lives at work for emergency/last minute meetings), Hair Dryer, Curling Iron, Hot Rollers, Wet Hair Curlers, Mousse, Hair Smoothing Serum

Look...yes, I'm a woman, and I own these things because society and Cosmo has said we're all supposed to have them.  But I haven't used a friggin' blow dryer in at least 3 years. I have too much hair, it takes too long, and that's an extra 10-15 minutes I could be sleeping.  My hair dryer doesn't even live in MY bathroom--it's in my husband's.  (Yes, we have separate bathrooms.  Marriage Tip: Have separate bathrooms. It's awesome.)

This also affords me the opportunity to revel in some slightly smug self-satisfaction every time I see one of those "hair repair" ads:
TV: Do you suffer from dry, brittle, style damaged hair?
ME: Nope. *changes channel*

Essential Tools: Face
That's it. Seriously.  (I would include links but my research seems to indicate most of these products are so old they've been discontinued. Soooo....yeah. But I'd wager a guess I spent less than $40 total on everything shown here.)

  • Almost-empty blush 
  • An eyeshadow trio, only one color used  (because ain't nobody got time for contouring)
  • Roll-on concealer (Momma's got dark circles)
  • "Cream" style eyeliner  -  I don't stick pencils that have to be sharpened anywhere near my eye.
  • Blue-black mascara - I read in an article called something like "Hangover Beauty Routine" that blue-black mascara makes your eyes look more open, or the whites to look brighter... something, I forget. "Hangover", "sleep-deprived mom"...basically the same thing.
  • Moisturizer w/SPF.  Because it's probably cheaper than getting Botox later. I'm not diligent about using this, but I'm trying to get better. 
  • (Not shown) lip balm - these live in my purse, and don't seem to get used until my lips are already cracked & bleeding (hydrate much?  Nope.)

Things I Own But Never Use:
Foundation, bronzer (I have olive skin, I have no idea why I bought this), more eyeshadow (reserved for when I need to do Halloween costumes or stage makeup).
My mad "black eye" skillz.

Pro Tip: Don't want your kids to get into your makeup and ruin hundreds of dollars worth of product by drawing on the walls & themselves? Don't buy it, then it's not in your house. BOOM.  Problem solved.

So, a typical week for me involves some combination of the following 3 options.

Option 1:
Wake up, lay there for 5 more minutes.  Realize I need to shower before the kid wakes up.  Head to the bathroom: shampoo, conditioner, face scrub, shave (if warranted), body wash (optional and time-dependent).

Pro tip: to save time in the shower, just forget to shave one leg. Or forego shaving altogether. After all, it's fall y'all.

Post shower:  comb wet hair, then pull up into a French twist with big hair clip, or braid (yes, I go to work with wet hair). My Pinterest Style board is full of links for "how to style wet hair", but I rarely take the time to do anything beyond these two options. 
(One morning I threw it up in the clip and ended up with this cool twist. I have never been able to replicate it.)

No hair product. Brush teeth, get dressed, then moisturizer (if I remember), deodorant, and apply makeup until tired or distracted (about 10 seconds).

Option 2:
If hair is not oily and was braided the day before, it might have a nice wave in it, so no shower.  Leave it down, or re-braid it. Wash face (just a washcloth--I own a fancy microscrubber but consistently forget to use it) & such. Full makeup is more likely because there's no noise from the shower to wake the kid up early--but you just never know.
(I'm letting my hair grow out so I can donate it. Ergo it is long and rather shapeless at the moment.)

Option 3:
Mom-Bun!  Then brush teeth, deodorant, makeup (full makeup more likely to make up for the fact that I'm unshowered and disgusting).

Bedtime Beauty Regimen:  Non-existent. I might wash my face, I might not. To be honest, I wear so little makeup that I've already rubbed most of it off my face by bedtime.  Hair goes up in a scrunchy so it doesn't murder me in my sleep.  

And that's it.  I haven't dyed/highlighted my hair in about 15 years, I get a pedicure about 2-3 times a year (I own polish, but I like the pampering, and am too lazy to do it myself). I don't get manicures because I find nail polish distracting (yes, I know that's weird).  I haven't gotten a haircut in over a year (for the reasons mentioned above).  I have noticed a lot more gray coming in, so MAYBE after my hair donation I'll finally bite the bullet and get some highlights to cover the gray. But maybe not, because the idea of maintaining it makes me tired. 

Part of me feels a little sad about my routine, that it's become pretty hum-drum. I used to play around with my hairstyles & makeup a little more.  But I also used to get more sleep and didn't have to spend half an hour every morning getting a tiny human to eat breakfast and then whisking him off to a day care that's in the opposite direction from my work.
And ultimately, I know this is just a season.  Someday I will have more free time in the morning, and a kid who doesn't wake up at random times overnight.  This is just where I am now.  Maybe 5 years from now I'll be a Style Influencer Mom telling you about my favorite beauty creams and avocado hair wraps.  
But not today. 

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Breakfast Oatmeal Bars

This has become one of my go-to staples for breakfast. I can make a 9x13 pan of baked oatmeal bars over the weekend, cut & wrap them in wax paper, and have ready to grab-n-go breakfasts for almost the whole week.

They're also really easy to change up.  The base of the recipe is solid, so you can use raisins & pecans one time, the next time add dried cherries & chocolate's the limit.

INGREDIENTS: (makes approx 10-12 bars)
2 cups rolled oats
1/3 cup brown sugar
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 cup milk
2 eggs
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla

Add-in ideas:
- shredded coconut
- chopped nuts
- raisins or other dried fruit
- candied ginger
- chocolate chips
- flaxseed
- chia seeds

Heat oven to 350F, and then lightly grease a 9 x 13 pan.

Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, and then add in the wet ingredients.  Stir until well combined, and then cover and place in the fridge for about 20 minutes (VERY IMPORTANT STEP--don't skip this.  Otherwise your oats will be crunchy and not chewy & moist.)

Then transfer the mixture into the greased baking dish, and bake under golden brown and the edges are pulling away from the pan (about 30 minutes).  Let cool completely and then cut into bars, wrap in wax paper or cling wrap, and store in the fridge.