[Lifestyle] Why I Choose To Wear Makeup

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When I was a pre-teen through my teenage years I was all about wearing makeup for special occasions like a school dance or party. In the earliest of days, makeup was a whole lot of glitter and those metallic lipsticks that were popular in the 90’s and seem to be making a bit of a comeback now. As I grew older I did my makeup on occasion and it was usually dark, moody and included purple liquid eyeliner that I had picked up one time at Sephora. Then something happened and I just stopped wearing makeup unless it was for a holiday party or an event. Add in two kids and my focus on myself has been lacking so makeup was on the bottom of my list.

Over the past year it has been a goal of mine to put more time and effort into myself. While I still struggle with this I have started to focus on doing things for myself that make me feel more confident, motivated, and just plain good. For me that has been purchasing new clothes that fit and fit my style and also focusing more on skincare and makeup. 

For me, makeup is something that makes me feel put together and makes me feel more confident. I don’t wear makeup to be someone else or to alter the way I look but rather to enhance the way I look and because it is fun. I love the way it feels to spend 5-10 minutes on myself. I like the way I look when I wear a little mascara and concealer and yes I am concealing the dark circles under my eyes not because I don’t want you to see the results of a sleepless night but because it is something I use to help me feel more awake and put together. 

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Makeup helps to make me feel more powerful and more compose. And when I feel these two things I also feel more productive. When I get dressed and spend a few minutes on myself I find that I get much more done in the day and my day is usually a bit better. Feeling good about how I look on the outside and doing it for myself makes me feel better about life and I come to realize how truly important it is for me. 

How do you feel when you spend a few minutes on yourself in the morning? Does it change how your day goes? I could easily stay in yoga pants with crazy hair all day and some days I do but when I really want to feel motivated, put together and ready to take on the world I take 5-10 minutes to really put myself together even if that means just putting on a clean pair of jeans, a t-shirt and swiping on some mascara. 

[Natural Skincare] Luxe de Mer Hot and Cold Clay Mask

luxe de mer

Luxe de Mer is a natural and organic skincare line who’s tagline is “skincare with no secrets”. I was drawn to their beautiful packaging, dedication to chemical free skincare and a curiosity to how well they really work. I tried a few of their cleansers, a toner, a facial oil and my absolute favorite their Hot and Cold Clay Mask

It wasn’t until a few months ago that I really got into using face masks but now I am obsessed and try to do at least one per week. Lately I just keep reaching for the Luxe de Mer Hot and Cold Clay Mask

The clay for this mask is so finely milled and mixed that it takes just a few drops of water to make a beautiful mask. This mask helps to minimize pores, brighten your skin and has anti-aging properties. I love the way my skin feels after I remove the mask, smooth and refreshed. 

Sadly my face won’t be enjoying this mask for a while because I just finished my bottle. I plan to purchase a new one soon but I’m trying to use up a few products right now and will have to wait until I finish up a few other face masks. 

What are you favorite face masks? How often do you take time to use one? 

Disclaimer: Luxe de Mer sent me a few samples of their products to try. I was not obligated to post and I received no compensation for this post. 

[Recipe] Game Day Snacks: Sweet & Salt Snack Mixes


I might not love football but I do love snacking and I can appreciate the food aspect of football. I mean who doesn’t love a reason to gather with friends and enjoy sometime together all while eating delicious food? I know I’m game. 

The thing about any gathering whether it be game day or simply a gathering of friends is not to stress about making everything perfect. Focus on making a few really great things, buying a few really great things and just having fun. I have learned the hard way when it comes to stressing over parties. 

2015_12_07_bluediamond-1A simple food addition to any gathering is some really great nuts. They are fun and easy to snack on, you don’t have to do any work and they taste great. Now if you’re looking to do something a little more impressive than try out one of these snack mixes. We have your traditional savory blend and then a fun sweet, salt and a bit spicy blend. 


Sweet & Spicy Wasabi Snack Mix


  • 1 cup corn flakes
  • 3 cups wheat Chex
  • 1 cup pretzels
  • 1-6oz container of Blue Diamond Wasabi & Soy Almonds
  • 2 tablespoons buttery spread 
  • 1/2 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

Preheat oven to 250F. In a large bowl combine the corn flakes, chex, pretzels and almonds. Melt the buttery spread and then add the vegan Worcestershire sauce, seasoned salt and maple syrup. Toss the buttery spread mixture with the cereal and nuts to coat evenly. Spread out on to a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to full cool before enjoying or storing in airtight containers.


Smokehouse Snack Mix


  • 3 cups wheat Chex
  • 2 cups pretzels
  • 1-6oz container of Blue Diamond Smokehouse Almonds
  • 3 tablespoons buttery spread 
  • 1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Preheat oven to 250F. In a large bowl combine the corn flakes, chex, pretzels and almonds. Melt the buttery spread and then add the vegan Worcestershire sauce, seasoned salt and spices. Toss the buttery spread mixture with the cereal and nuts to coat evenly. Spread out on to a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to full cool before enjoying or storing in airtight containers.

I have to say my favorite of the two is the smokehouse because I’m just simple like that but my hubby is all over the wasabi mix. I think in that mix the cornflakes really makes it. With any of these mixes you can really sub in any of your favorite items such as bagel chips, other styles of pretzels, other cereals, crackers or even popcorn. The only thing that I think is essential is the buttery spread mix and the nuts. 

What do you like to serve up on game day or at a gathering with friends? I like to do snack mixes like these and then hummus and fresh veggies, olives and one or two cooked snacks such as vegan buffalo wings, artichoke and spinach dip or flatbreads. 

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds. Ditch the chips and grab some Game Changing Flavors this football season! Enter for a chance to win the Ultimate Football Party Prize Pack, get great savings and ideas for delicious snack hacks at GameChangingFlavors.com

Postpartum Running

I haven’t always been a runner and I actually didn’t even really start running until about 7 months before getting pregnant with my daughter who is now almost 3.5 years old. I had always been interested in running and went through phases where I would try it out for a few weeks but I had never really committed to running until April 2011. I honestly think it was all of those years of gym class fit tests and never once being able to run the 12 minute mile that deterred me from running.


Anyways, I started running in 2011 and then I got pregnant with Edith and at that time  I was actually training for my first half marathon but with the onset of first trimester sickness, running took a backseat while I tried to make it through those first few weeks. Finally around 18 weeks pregnant I was starting to feel better but by this point running was the last thing on my to do list, especially since it was the dead of winter in Vermont. So, I turned to other workouts to keep me active during my pregnancy.

Right before Edith was born I was feeling great and was convinced that because I had stayed active that I would end up having an easy time postpartum and that I would be one of those women who started back to running at 6 weeks postpartum. Well after Edith was born the first 6 weeks came and went and I was no where near healed and I was feeling crushed.

Around 12 weeks postpartum I started to feel healed and ready to run. I got back to running a bit but with the snow and the ice it wasn’t as easy as I had hoped. To top it all off my husband took a job offer across the country and we had three weeks to find a place to live, pack up our house and move to Oregon…oh and did I mention we had a 5 month old and it was Christmas time? So again running took a backseat, especially when we found ourselves staying with my parents for a few weeks in rural Vermont where the snow was 3 feet high. Anyways that was right around the time that I decided to commit myself to a new race. This helped me have a goal, a training plan and a reason to run.

hippie chick 2013

Once we moved to Oregon I started training for my first postpartum race, a quarter marathon (6.55 miles). Thankfully Oregon winters are super mild so running was easy. It was also a fantastic way to explore a new city and connect with other women (more on that below). I ran my first race at 9 months postpartum and ran up until once again I found myself pregnant with baby number 2 and the worst morning sickness ever. I ran for the first few weeks of my pregnancy but the morning sickness was so terrible that I spent most of my first trimester days in bed with Edith reading books and I just never started running back up during my pregnancy.

Lands End - BOB - Family RUn

When Alder was born my expectations were low when it came to the time frame of getting back to running. However this time things were a little bit easier and around 8 weeks I slowly started to run, but nothing super consistent. At 5 months postpartum, I am once again back to running and I am training for the same race that I ran after having Edith. I don’t know what it is but a race really helps to keep me motivated and ready to run.

Update….I started writing this almost a year ago so let me fill in the blanks and then I’ll explain where I am at now.

Shortly after I started writing this blog post in March 2015 I found myself having a lot of knee pain. I ended up going to physical therapy for most of April and May. By the end of May I was feeling stronger and actually got back to running. While I didn’t end up doing the race I had planned on I was hoping to do a 10k in September but I found myself with yet another injury. 


In June I ran into Edith’s Learning Tower and broke my toe. I was in incredible pain for about two weeks and it took a total of around eight weeks before I could walk without pain. So again I took a break from running and I didn’t end up running my 10k. 

Now it’s December 2015 and I have gone for a total of 2 runs. It’s not because I don’t love running but rather I am just not making time for it these days. With the sun rise and set so much earlier if I want to run I have to force myself to take the double BOB out during the day with both kids. Right now that idea just sound terrible so I have been focusing on other forms of fitness. 

I am spending a lot of time outside with my kids going on nature walks, family hikes and at home I am fitting in 10-15 minute workouts when I can and I am getting back to doing my PT exercises to build up the strength I have lost. I also just purchased a new yoga class pass so back to yoga I go. 

So what about running? It will be there when I am ready to pick it back up. I love running and I’ll return to it soon but right now I am focusing on other forms of exercise and trying to help my body get stronger so that when I do return to running I can do it with less of a chance of injury. 

Holiday Gift Guide 2015 | PDX Edition

2015 PDX Gift Guide

When it comes to holiday shopping we are pretty minimalist with our gift giving. We like to focus on gifting things that are of high quality, locally purchased and fit one of our categories: wear, want, read, create plus stockings (you can read more about that here). We have recently started doing a bit of holiday shopping and here are a few things that I have picked up from various shops around Portland. A few items for us an a few gifts to give to family and friends.2015 Portland Gift Guide

1. Fermenting Weight ($10) from Portland Homestead Supply.  If you are around Neil or I long enough we are bound to bring up Portland Homestead Supply. It is one our favorite shops in Portland and is filled with all sorts of things for DIYing at home from making soaps, lip balm, and candles to fermenting and preserving. Plus if you have little ones there are a few cute goats and chickens out back that you can visit; a weekly occurrence for our family. As for this item Neil actually purchased it for himself. This fermenting weight is perfect for anyone who is looking to get into fermenting. Pair it with a nice wide mouth jar, a lid and air lock and you have the perfect gift. 

2. Molly Muriel Lip Balm ($4), find at the Molly Muriel store front in Milwaukie, OR or at various shops around Portland. This lip balm is fantastic and it is made locally here in Portland. It would make the perfect stocking stuffer for anyone on your list. Molly Muriel also has a variety of other skincare products and some pretty amazing smelling candles. 

3. Folding Ruler ($10) found at Schoolhouse ElectricSo I’ll be honest this is the most exiting item you can find at Schoolhouse Electric but I still love it and think it makes a really great gift. Schoolhouse Electric is a beautiful shop and is filled with something for everyone. You won’t have a hard time finding something there. Personally I wish I just lived there. 

4. Portland Bridge Magnets ($10) from April BlackWe came across April Black at the Portland Night Market and just fell in love with her art work. We ended up picking up two sets of magnets and some cards to gift this Christmas. I’m wishing we had picked up a few things for ourselves as well but alas we didn’t so I’ll have to make an order sometime soon to get a few of her beautiful prints. 

5. I love Books Pin ($3-5) found at TildeI can’t remember who this pin is by but it was one of the things I picked up on a recent Tilde trip. Tilde is another one of my favorite shops in Portland. It is filled with beautiful locally made jewelry, beautiful candles, skincare, greeting cards, bags including Matt & Nat for my fellow vegans and so much more. We love to pick up gifts here. 

6. Soy Wax Candle ($15) from Wooly Beast Designs. I have known about Wooly Beast Designs for awhile because the owner was in a family meetup group I had a few years ago but it wasn’t until the Portland Night Market that I actually smelled any of her candles. Neil and I fell in love with The Bearded Man sent and we have been burning it for the last week. I am disappointed that I didn’t get in a Black Friday order to get a few more candles but I am still planning to pick up a few for friends and for myself. 

7. Seely Mint Patties ($8) found at Whole Foods. The Seely mint farm is located along the Columbia River on the way to Astoria. The Seely’s us mint oil they distill from their 450-acre mint farm to make these delicious patties. The patties are also gluten free and vegan so they would be perfect for most anyone on your holiday list.  I think they would make a perfect stocking stuffer.

As you can see there of great shops and products here in Portland. What are some of your favorite local Portland shops and/or products? Any local products that I should add to my gift giving list?

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored in anyway. I purchased all of the items with my own money with the exception of the box of Seely mints that was sent to me to sample. 

Two Healthy Recipes For Your Thanksgiving Leftovers

Two Healthy Recipes For Your Thanksgiving Leftovers | Running With Tongs
I don’t know about you but when it comes to Thanksgiving I’m all about the mashed potatoes and gravy, Field Roast, rolls and the pie, oh the pie! While I go ahead and make a batch of roasted veggies or a salad and I have the best intentions to eat them I often find they end up in food storage containers in my fridge.

Two Healthy Recipes For Your Thanksgiving Leftovers | Running With Tongs

This year that might happen again but I will be prepared for the day after Thanksgiving with these delicious and healthy recipes. These recipes are honestly perfect for any time not just post Thanksgiving and the salad would actually make a great holiday side dish.

Now I used leftover roasted cauliflower and butternut squash but sweet potato, brussels sprouts, parsnips, rutabaga, basically any roasted veggie would be a perfect substitution.

Two Healthy Recipes For Your Thanksgiving Leftovers | Running With Tongs

Roasted Veggies and Dried Cherry Salad

This is a super simple salad that features roasted squash and cauliflower. Feel free to sub your favorite roasted veggies such as parsnips, brussels sprouts and/or sweet potato.

You’ll Need:

Roasted Butternut Squash (delicata would be great as well)
Roasted Cauliflower
Dried Cherries
Hemp seeds, crushed hazelnuts or almond flakes
organicgirl PEPPERGREENS
Olive Oil & Balsamic Vinegar or Lemon

This is a super easy salad to assemble especially with leftover roasted veggies. Simply toss your roasted veggies, dried cherries and hemp seeds together and drizzle with olive oil and vinegar or lemon; alternatively one of the organicgirl Salad Love dressings would be a great addition.  

Two Healthy Recipes For Your Thanksgiving Leftovers | Running With Tongs

Roasted Butternut Squash, Cream Cheese & organicgirl PEPPERGREENS Tartine

Give me most anything on toast and I am a happy girl. This is a super easy breakfast, lunch or snack and can easily use up your leftover roasted squash from Thanksgiving. Feeling a bit more ambitious? You can stick the roasted squash and cream cheese in a food processor to make a creamy spread and then top with your greens, a drizzle of lemon or lemon agave dressing and a pinch of chili flakes. 

You’ll Need:

A Slice of Your Favorite Bread, toasted
Roasted Butternut Squash
organicgirl PEPPERGREENS or sweetpea
Cream Cheese of your choice – I went with a non-dairy spread
Chili Flakes
Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice or organicgirl Salad Love lemon agave
Two Healthy Recipes For Your Thanksgiving Leftovers | Running With TongsSimply spread the cream cheese on your toast, top it with as much or as little roasted squash as you’d like and then add a handful of greens, a sprinkle of chili flakes and drizzle of lemon or dressing. Easy and so delicious. 

Two Healthy Recipes For Your Thanksgiving Leftovers | Running With Tongs

What are your favorite ways to use up your Thanksgiving leftovers? 

Disclosure: This post was created in collaboration with organicgirl. I am thrilled to be working on a three part series with organicgirl because frankly I have been obsessed with organicgirl for years.