Hello, hello friendly faces! Happy Monday (I think? 😯 ) to ya!
Truth be told, I’m having a hard time remembering what day it is… I do know that today is my last day in beautiful Hawaii, and that I’ll be bumming’ around the island all day before catching the red eye flight back home tonight. Pray for me — going 36+ hours without sleep won’t make for a pretty picture.
The past week went by way too fast. In fact, this whole year is going by way too fast. Is it seriously almost the middle of March? Apparently… which means that this post is long overdue. But I couldn’t let a month go by without sharing my monthly favourites, and I figure it’s better late than never. So let’s take a look back at what I was loving in February… and I’ll talk to you guys when I’m back home in Edmonton!
February was ALL about the dried fruit…
Dates. Apricots. Raisins. Figs… I don’t discriminate. My only requirement is that my dried fruit is unsweetened (why add sugar to something that’s already sweet?) and free of preservatives (potassium sorbate / sulfur dioxide). Some favourite brands include Earthbound Farm and Peeled.
And to top those suckers off? I’ve re-fallen in love with Artisana coconut butter…
Coconut butter is different from coconut oil in that it contains the coconut flesh in addition to the oil, giving it a slightly more creamy and buttery texture. You can use it anywhere you’d use almond or peanut butter — my favourites are on oats or toast (with honey)…
… and even in smoothies, which just so happen to be another February
Despite the freezing cold temps that blessed us for the majority of February, I’ve been averaging around 2 smoothies a day — I guess I’m just a glutton for punishment. But it’s hard to say no with killer combos like:
Oatmeal Cookie Dough Smoothie, and…
Thick and Creamy Chocolate Smoothie
And if smoothies are still a little too cold for you, then how about
Flourless Double Chocolate Chip Muffins
Almond Butter and Pretzel Truffles
Yep… I’d say I did a lot better on the recipe front than I did in January…
February was good to me on the beauty front. I got lucky on a shopping trip I took at the beginning of the month and picked up a handful of new-to-me products that I went on to fall in love with. First up? MAC’s Cleanse Off Oil…
It’s an oil-based makeup remover formulated with oils of olive fruit, evening primrose, and jojoba seed. You massage it onto dry skin to loosen your makeup, and it’ll emulsify into a lotion-type liquid as soon as you add water to wash it off. It’s easy to take take off, doesn’t have a residue, and leaves your skin feeling super soft. I was a little worried that it would cause me to break out, being an oil and all, but I’ve been using it all month with no problem. It’s also amazing at getting every last bit of makeup off — even waterproof mascara.
Speaking of mascara, I went back to an old favourite — Maybelline’s Colossal Volum’…
No clumps; great volume and length. It’s like a high-end mascara at a fraction of the cost… which is a welcome blessing considering this next favourite is kind of pricey…
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light. You know how certain lighting just makes your skin look so good? This is basically that in compact form. It’s a finishing powder that you sweep across your face when you’re done with the rest of your makeup, and it’s hard to describe, but it gives your skin the most beautiful radiant glow without looking shimmery or fake. It’ll even out your complexion and minimize pores/lines without feeling heavy or cakey… So.much.love.
And to round things out, a product that’s been helping me look a little less Caspery…
Benefit’s Hoola Bronzer. I have to be really careful with bronzers… I have really fair, cool skin, so a lot of them end up making me look like I have a dirty face. Not this one. It gives my skin a nice warm glow without looking muddy or orange. I’m also a big fan of the fact that it’s matte because I don’t have to worry about it adding shimmer to parts of my face that shouldn’t be shimmery #winning
If you’re a fan of books like The Hunger Games and Divergent, then you really need to read Red Rising…
The war begins…
Darrow is a Helldiver, one of a thousand men and women who live in the vast caves beneath the surface of Mars. Generations of Helldivers have spent their lives toiling to mine the precious elements that will allow the planet to be terraformed. Just knowing that one day people will be able to walk the surface of the planet is enough to justify their sacrifice. The Earth is dying, and Darrow and his people are the only hope humanity has left.
Until the day Darrow learns that it is all a lie. Mars is habitable – and indeed has been inhabited for generations by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. The Golds regard Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought.
With the help of a mysterious group of rebels, Darrow disguises himself as a Gold and infiltrates their command school, intent on taking down his oppressors from the inside.
But the command school is a battlefield. And Darrow isn’t the only student with an agenda…
This book. Oh gawl. What am I going to do while I wait for the second one to come out?!? I picked it up out of the blue, not knowing what to expect, and it blew.me.away — I can honestly say that I prefer it to The Hunger Games. For starters, I adore Darrow (the main character). He’s a sweet, good-natured guy, who gets thrown into a bad situation that forces him to do horrible things for an ultimately good cause. He has a plethora of flaws, but that only makes him more endearing and easy to fall in love with. Brilliant yet very much human. Love.
And the plot… You’ve got your dystopian world, tyrannical government, and group of underground rebels, but Brown manages to add something new to a classic formula and brings life to a genre that was starting to feel a little tired. He explores the darkest depths of human nature by placing his characters in situations that require them to be brutal, violent, and vengeful if they hope to survive. But there is kindness and hope — hope that the blood spilled today will lead to the peace of tomorrow.
While labeled as YA, I found Red Rising to be darker and more complex than other dystopian novels. I could probably go on and on about how much I adore this book, but you should really just pick it up and experience it for yourself.
I blinked and February was over…
- Kicked off the month with a recap of the trip I took to Disneyland at the end of January.
- Talked about how I curb my cravings — by honouring them so they don’t build up.
- Took part in National Eating Disorder Awareness Week by…
- … bringing attention to the signs and symptoms that people might not know about.
- … highlighting some great things about recovery.
- … and hosting a Thinking Out Loud linkup that focused on recovery and body image — which turned out to be the biggest one to date.
- Made some good stuff in the kitchen!
Disclaimer: none of the products mentioned above are sponsored — they’re simply ones that I use regularly and love. This post does, however, contain some affiliate links.
What’s your favourite dried fruit and nut butter combo? Almond butter and dates.
What was the last book you finished reading?
What’s your favourite way to take off makeup?
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Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli
Ok, so how about I was THISCLOSE to buying Red Rising the other day…even made a special trip to the bookstore for it, BAAAA-ut, then I checked the price…and ended up walking out with a $3 bargain book instead! Ha! And well, now that I know it’s the first in a series, I think I might hold out for a while…I have the worst memory girl…seeing Divergent over the weekend was proof to that! I couldn’t believe how much I’d forgotten…and it’s only been THREE months! 😯
Question: When you add coconut butter to your smoothies, does it actually blend in smoothly or does it end up forming little frozen bits? I’ve added it to the TOP of a smoothie, but never tried mixing it in!
Amanda @ .running with spoons.
Ooo I didn’t manage to catch Divergent this weekend — it was all sold out! And I usually soften up the coconut butter a bit before I add it, and I haven’t had any problems with little chunks being left behind 🙂 A lot of that might depend on the blender too, though…
That maybelline mascara is my everyday mascara…and let me just say that it is absolutely amazing. I always get asked if I’m wearing fake eyelashes.. definitely worth not buying the “expensive” stuff when this is just as good! 🙂
Alright, you’ve convinced me…I must purchase the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder. It has been on my list for a while but I just wasn’t sure if I “needed” it. I do, obviously. (:
And you were definitely on your game in the food department during February– so many lovely recipes!
GiGi Eats Celebrities
Ah! Bum! I just bought a new bronzer after doing lots and lots of research but NOT stumbling upon your favorite. I have fair skin too and hate when it looks like I rolled my face in a big pile of horse poop. LOL!!! But I am still going to go look into your bronzer even though I just got one! 🙂 Or… I am just going to bake up one of your delicious recipes.
Man, I really need to make those flourless double chocolate chip muffins. Everytime I see or hear about them, I find myself drooling.. okay maybe not drooling, but well you know what I mean 🙂 LOL
Enjoy your last day in Hawaii & have a safe flight home <3
I did it! I finally finished A Feast for Crows!! Hooray, let’s celebrate with booty shaking, earth quaking, and jazz hand making. Or another book because half the fun of finishing is starting another. 🙂 I will say, I found Cersei’s plot line shocking. I didn’t expect the book to close with her in that particular predicament. Or Brienne for that matter. Wow, just wow.
My Gawd Woman, your February was intense. I remember it all when you mention it, but hot damn did you squeeze a lot into a short month. I think you should pat yourself on the back and dust off your shoulder because you are impressive. I also need to make another batch of those pretzel truffles.
Amanda @ .running with spoons.
I definitely didn’t see that ending coming either, but then again… I’ve pretty much given up on knowing what to expect with Martin 🙄 Are you going to move right into A Dance With Dragons? I have to say that I liked that one a lot more than Feast for Crows — had more of my favourite chars in it.
I actually need to take a Martin break. It takes me forever to get through a single book. I’m onto Requiem for a Dream now. Nothing like something a little light hearted…or not.
Elle | ATE
Girl, I’m the same way when it comes to bronzers! My jaw nearly drops to the floor when I see my olive-skinned friends brush that sh*t on like they’re painting a wall. I literally wave my brush near most bronzers and have more than enough to make both cheekbones look defined. I’m currently using one from Lancome that the girl at Sephora introduced me to and I love it. I actually can put a fair amount on my brush and not look dirty, like you said! Yay for fair skin-friendly beauty products!
Alysia @ Slim Sanity
All this post did was make me want to bake! You do that on the regular. Sad you have to leave Hawaii! I wanna go so bad.
Banana chips and cashew butter.
Aimée @Petite Health & Fitness
I need to make a cookie dough smoothie soooo bad….
I actually love dried mulberries. It’s so random, but I discovered them at a health food shop one day and haven’t looked back. They are so sweet, and have a great chewy texture! They’re too tiny to dip into nut butter, but I’m sure they’d be amazing with almond butter (I mean, what isn’t?).
I just finished reading Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life, and it was amazing. She is a fantastic writer, I would really recommend her books.
Oh Coconut butter! Can’t go a day without a spoonful! Have you tried it stuffed in dates? Amazing!
Amanda @ .running with spoons.
I have! I think I’ve come to the conclusion that dates are amazing with pretty much any nut butter.
Gina @ Health, Love, and Chocolate
Welcome back to reality (soon). 😉 I’m glad you enjoyed your little getaway and hope that your guy is feeling better! Now I’m off to slather coconut butter on dark chocolate…thanks for that craving hehe…
It has been getting warmer here and I’ve been all about my smoothie’s, so I can’t wait to try these! Thanks for sharing, girl.
I just finished reading Happier at Home and I’m currently reading Lady Catherine, the Earl and the Real Downton Abbey – it’s so good, but I love historical fiction. I used to think I was a dork but now I just embrace it!
Kaitlyn @ Live Run Coffee
Ooo what a great and packed post! Last book I read was On The Road by Jack Kerouac and I always take my makeup off before bed with Clinque’s eye-makeup remover and Neturogena’s simple face wash. If I don’t, I’ll break out. The worst! That pizza looks divine, too….
[email protected] for the soul
Awesome compilation, Amanda! And I have that colossal mascara that I got from Greg as a stocking stuffer! It’s really good and easy to put on.
Natalie @ lovenataliemarie
You were on fire with recipes in February! 😉
I recently read A Piece of Cake and I liked it a lot. It was a little out of the norm for me, but I was hooked instantly!
Chelsea @ Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen
Almond butter with dates is totally my favourite dried fruit & nut butter combo too. So stinking good!
You seriously hit it out of the park with recipes this month. I want to make them all!
Ugh don’t even ask what the last book I finished reading was… it was way too long ago. I’m currently in the middle of two books and getting nowhere. I need more hours in my day!
Kim @ FITsique
Yay! I am headed on vacation next week and was looking for a good book to read. I will def pick this one up! Thanks for recommending it!
Liz @ Carpe Diem and Run
I cannot wait to try your smoothies! 😀
I can definitely agree. I still think that it is last summer before my life got crazy and I started all of these moves. Clearly we are nearly 9 months later. ha ha.
I’m not obsessed with coconut butter but really trying to find better recipes with it.
Amanda @ .running with spoons.
Call me a sap, but I really enjoyed reading about all your moves and adventures over the past little while. I’m happy to see you happy and getting settled in 🙂