Monday Meal Prep

 

Hi there! I have another easy recipe/meal prep idea for this week!

Mandarin Orange Chicken with brown rice and green beans. 

This literally took me 30 mins to throw all this together and I ended up with five portions. This is great for either lunch or dinner, which ever you prefer. I decided with this meal because I already had all of this in my pantry/fridge, so I didn’t even need to hit the grocery store.

Here’s what I used:

  • Trader Joe’s Mandarin Orange Chicken (frozen package)
  • Brown Rice (Ready to boil)
  • Trader Joe’s French Cut Green Beans (frozen)

Directions:

  1. Cook the chicken according to the package – about 20 mins in the oven
  2. Cook the brown rice – bring 4 cups of water to a boil (for 2 bags) and simmer for about 10 mins
  3. Saute the green beans to your liking – I also added some salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder

That’s it! 3 easy steps!

Monday Meal Prep

One of my new year’s “resolutions” was to start meal prepping. I find I make healthier food decisions when things are made and ready to go. Having a full fridge is crucial  when trying to be mindful with your eating. There’s less temptation and better yet, REASON, to not grab the not-so-healthy foods.

With that being said, I threw together this easy chicken/pasta dish for a quick option for either lunch or dinner this week. Here’s how it went down…

Roasted Red Pepper Chicken Pasta

Ingredients

  • Bow tie pasta
  • Chicken Breasts (I used 2)
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • String Beans (I used fresh french cut)
  • Roasted Red Peppers
  • Roasted Red Pepper Italian dressing

Directions

  1. Bake the chicken at 350 degrees for 25-30 mins
  2. Saute the string beans with olive oil and add in whatever seasonings you like – I used salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. Also add some cherry tomatoes (I’m not a HUGE fan, so I didn’t use a heck of a whole lot), but of course you can have as much as you want
  3. Boil some water and throw that pasta in there
  4. Once the chicken is done, cut that up and throw it in with the green beans and tomatoes
  5. After the pasta is done and drained, you can also add that in the same pot as the green beans
  6. Mix it all up and then divide into containers – I ended up with 4

Notes

  • Let the pasta cool off before putting it into the fridge
  • When you grab the portion for the day, throw some roasted peppers on there and some dressing
  • Can be eaten hot or cold

Easy right? Such a simple dish to prepare ahead of time and will still be delicious the day of. Have a great week!

BeautyCounter Favs

As I continue to get older (I’m looking at you 3-0), I’ve become more aware of what I’m actually putting on my face. Long gone are the days where I can slap on a cheap moisturizer and call it day. Now you can find me at the sink for what feels like an hour and partake in a multiple-step process morning and night. Night routines are the worst, amiright?

A little backstory on my skin… I’ve always struggled with acne. Some years worse than others. And unfortunately for me, I’m in a bit of a rough patch right now. Quite literally. I have dry, acne-prone skin. So when I get can get my pimps under control, that’s when the dryness flares up.  But, instead of getting mad and frustrated like I usually do, I’m trying a new approach. I’m being more intentional of the products I’m using and truly giving them a shot. Instead of trying loads of new products (all at the same time) like I have done in the past, I’m using what I have, seeing the difference and slowly introducing new products. And while my skin is nowhere near great and how I want it to be, I do see some improvements and I’m hopeful.

With that being said, I have started using more BeautyCounter products in my routine. If you don’t know, BeautyCounter is a skincare/cosmetic line that sells safe and cleaner products for your skin. They use natural ingredients, are cruelty-free, and ethically sourced. Now I know that the brand can get a bad rep because just like any other multi-level marketing company, you’re going to get a bad taste in your mouth. However, I do not use a sales rep and I don’t sell it. Meaning, any Joe Schmo can go on the website and order. You don’t need to go through a sales agent or anything like that. And if you do happen to love the products, you can actually join with a membership (I have not done this…yet) and for like $29 a YEAR, you can get some good discounts and free shipping. Which, I think is a total no-brainer because shipping costs suck. Most of the products have great reviews and are extremely helpful. Of course, everybody’s skin is different, so you really just have to try for yourself and go from there. But based on other reviews and similar skin types, I decided to try some products that I think would help my skin. I’ve been using these products for months, so I truly can give my opinion on them. And again, I don’t “sell” BeautyCounter and this post is not sponsored in any shape or form.

Here’s a list of my current favorites!

Nourishing Cream Cleanser – Like I said, I have dry skin so I tend to lean towards cream cleansers for daily use. I actually love this one too! It’s not harsh at all, def cleans the skin, and I don’t feel like my skin is being stripped every time I use it. I use this in the morning and night.

Countermatch Adaptive Moisture Lotion – This is a nice lightweight moisturizer that doesn’t clog my pores. I’ll be honest, I don’t know if I’m head over heels with this product, but I will continue to use it. I use it in my morning routine.

Toner Pads – For years I didn’t use toner. Like, what’s the point right? WRONG. I stopped using these toner pads for a while and totally noticed a difference. I know this might seem like a pointless step in your nightly routine, but it definitely is not. Swipe one of these suckers across your face and you’ll see the excess makeup that your cleaner just didn’t get.

Lotus Glow Cleansing Stick – In addition to the nourishing cream cleanser, this is a great alternative cleanser. I keep this one in my shower and use it sparely. I have no true negatives about this product, but I’m not jumping out of my seat either.

Overnight Resurfacing Peel – If you take away anything from this post, take this…. get this product! This is like the holy grail of BeautyCounter. So many rave reviews and hardly any negatives. After washing your face, take 1-2 pumps of this and massage into your face. Take note, it might sting a little bit. It’s supposed to! I mean, you won’t wake up with a new face but you’ll def notice a difference. I use this about twice a week.

Charcoal Facial Mask – This is my second favorite!! In all honesty, I don’t do masks a heck of a whole lot, but this one is on my face on a weekly basis. Charcoal is known to take out all the icky stuff out of your face and I feel like this product does just that. This is a great addition to your nightly routine about twice a week as well.

There ya have it! Those are just a few products that I’ve been using and liking lately. All in all, I will continue to use BeautyCounter for sure.

Friday Feels

Hey! We made it through another week friends! For me, this week dragged a tiny bit, but I think that the darker nights and colder mornings are just getting to me. I’m craving that warmer weather, and hell, I’m not even a summer person.

I figured in light of me re-starting this blog, I would introduce some new series. Posts where it would become a weekly regular. And of course we’re going to start with Friday, because…FRIDAY. So with that being said, I’d like to add “Friday Feels” to that list. Basically jotting down quick snip-its from the week and sharing what I’m feeling. There could be five things, there could be twenty (highly unlikely, but you know what I mean).

Let’s get started, shall we?

Restarting “Sara’s Savory Style”

Quick backstory here: I originally started this blog about six years ago, with a notion that I was going to become this big-wig blogger and document all the things and be this influencer that could quit her day job. Um, Sara. WAKE THE F* UP. To give myself some credit, I was young(ish) and blogs were the cool thing then. For a while I was pretty good, but ultimately it just started to fizzle out. I felt myself becoming inauthentic and it just wasn’t fun. Fast forward to today, where I’ve been living in a new state for almost 3 years and I work full-time from home. But it wasn’t until recently that I was having dinner with my boyfriend, and we stumbled upon the topic of hobbies. You see, he’s a total video-gamer and I am not. Not one bit. The best I can do is kick your ass in Mario Kart, and then I’m calling it a night. But David on the other hand is a complete pro. Has the whole duel desktop setup and special chair kind of pro. So on top of him doing his video game thing, he also works a hell of a whole lot (CAD engineering) and goes to school. Which, when I see it in writing…damn, my guy is a go-getter. But for me, I like to do things, but I wouldn’t say I have a “passion”. Yeah I like to cook, read, and write, but where can I throw them all in one pot and stir them all together? Enter, this blog. So here we are! Revamping Sara’s Savory Style and giving it a good-all college try. Is that the expression? Lord knows I never finished college.

LIIFT4 (Beachbody Program)

Have ya’ll ever heard of Beachbody? I’m sure your first reaction is “of course! It’s that scam where people can become a coach and you get that nasty shake stuff”. And I’m here to tell you… you are not wrong. Is it complete bullshit that anyone can call themselves a “coach”? Yes. Is it annoying to see girls on Instagram posting their workouts every day and saying “if I have the time, so do you!” Yes KAREN, it is annoying. But… you can make Shakeology taste pretty darn good. Truth? I drink it. I add some almond milk, throw in a banana, and blend that shit up. I do not use water because I’m no monster. And I do not “shake it” because I have taste buds. If you make it like my little concoction, it ain’t half bad. It’s definitely on the healthier side as far as “protein shakes” but it can be annoying when you have to physically make it everyday. #firstworldproblems So, I’ve since cancelled it but have a supply for another two months to finish. Damn subscriptions.

With all that being said, I do love their workout programs. I’ve done a few of them and I’m currently doing the LIIFT 4 one. At first I was a little skeptical of how I’d like it. But just call me Arnold Schwarzenegger because turns out I love weightlifting. This program blends weight training (using dumbbells) with HIT cardio and it’s a total sweat session. So if you’re looking to skip the gym and try at-home workouts, I would recommend Beachbody On Demand. You can simply pay for just the workouts (not to mention, it’s one flat fee for TONS upon TONS of programs). In true transparency, it’s about $100 bucks for year. In comparison, Orangetheory is over a $100 a month.

Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Pasta (Recipe Fail) 

Sounds delicious right? It’s easy cause it’s in the crockpot, right? WRONG. It wasn’t until the step where I had to add the pasta, where things went wrong. So so wrong. It became thick, chunky, and heavy. Am I subconsciously describing myself? LOL. But yes, it was okay and you could eat it but it certainly didn’t come out the way I intended. I was picturing say, spaghetti with your basic tomato sauce, but switch it for a creamy buffalo sauce. Tasty right? I’m going to attempt it again, without cooking the noodles in the crockpot. Here’s my plan: make the chicken/sauce combo in the crockpot, cook the noodles (using macaroni instead of fettuccine) separate, and then combine the two. If it turns out the way I envision, I’ll share the recipe fo sho.

No set plans for this weekend for me. Tonight will consist of me eating gluten-free pizza (hey Udi’s) and watching Life After Lockup. If you know what show that is, then you’re my person! Let’s be friends. David mentioned making chili on Saturday night, which I won’t lie, is a major highlight for me. But in my defense, who doesn’t love chili?!

Hope you enjoyed this first edition of Friday Feels, which turns out, wasn’t quite as short as I intended. Oops. Anyway, have a lovely weekend and I hope you continue to check back in and see what other shenanigans I get into.

 

 

 

Book Review (Round 1)

I would say that I’ve always enjoyed reading, but it wasn’t until my twenties where I could really dive into a book and get lost. I figured since I read quite a bit, it would be fun to give a quick review of each. Of course everybody’s interests and likes differ, but I always find it helpful if someone recommends a book or not. So let’s get started with this round!

1. Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

I honestly wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into with this book! This suspenseful thriller had me ROOTING for the murderer. The plot of the novel is a pretty basic concept; is the perfect couple, Jack and Grace Angel really perfect? Not quite. I won’t spoil it or give anything away, but just know… you will feel all the emotions with this one. Sadness, frustration, anger, eagerness, disgust towards the two main characters in this book. Each chapter is either “present” tense or “past” but I had no issues following the narrative. This was a fairly quick read too. Highly recommend!

 

2. Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

This novel is about a 15 year old girl, Ellie Mack, who disappears out of nowhere. Ten years later, Laurel, Ellie’s mother, continues to have hope and not think the worst. One day Laurel meets a charming man, Lloyd and they hit it off right away. Soon after she meets his 9 year old daughter, Poppy, who is the splitting image of Ellie. Questions start to arise and you’ll be hooked from there. This was a little slow for me in the beginning, but after a couple of chapters, I couldn’t put it down.

 

3. The Secret Mother by Shalini Boland

I honestly don’t know how I found this book, but I’m glad I did. This was a rather quick read, but that’s because I couldn’t put it down! One night, Tessa comes home and finds a little boy in her kitchen. However, she doesn’t have any children (anymore). I don’t want to reveal more because it’s just that good. It’s an intense thriller with a twist that you won’t see coming and will make you have trust issues.

I’ve already started a new book which I’m really excited about, so another round will come back in no-time!

XO,

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts might just be my favorite veggie. Throwing these suckers in the oven is so easy and quick. They make a great addition to any meal. I like them on the burnt side, that way they have an extra crunch.

You can jazz these up in some ways too! Toss them in buffalo sauce for a spicy kick, dash some balsamic for a nice change of pace, or drizzle some honey for some sweetness.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Cut sprouts in halves or quarters – up to you!
  3. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper – you can use any seasoning you want (I like to add onion powder)
  4. Throw in the oven for about 25 mins or until your liking

Enjoy!!

XO,

Drunk Elephant Review – Is it really worth the price?

After reading numerous reviews about Drunk Elephant, I decided to take the plunge and order a set of the Littles. The Littles package includes a travel bag filled with travel-sizes of their best and most popular products. This is a great way to test out the products and see what works for you before investing in the bigger sizes. Drunk Elephant roots themselves on tackling the “Suspicious 6” skin issues (essential oils, fragrance/dyes, silicone, sodium lauryl sulfate, drying alcohols and chemical screens) and caters to all skin types. Drunk Elephant consists of cruelty-free and natural products, which means it comes with a hefty price-tag. So again, this was a great way to learn about the products and see if it’s really worth it.

Below are a list of the products and my quick thoughts about each.

Beste No 9 Jelly Cleanser – I really enjoyed using this! It wasn’t harsh or drying at all. The suggested use is to only use this at night (no need for a morning wash). I wouldn’t use this to take off my makeup, but definitely afterwards. Usually I use a makeup cleansing wipe first, then I would go ahead and use this stuff.

C-Firma Day Serum – They suggest to use this in the morning, on clean and dry face, neck, chest, and back of hands. To be honest, I’m not exactly sure if this made any difference or not. Just seemed like another step in their process.

B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum – Just like the day serum, you can basically slap this stuff wherever needs hydration. You can easily mix this with another other lotion or oil. When I did use this alone, I noticed how hydrating it actually was.

T.L.C Framboos Glycolic Night Serum – After washing your face at night, they recommend mixing this with the Marula Oil for maximum effectiveness. I did experience some tingling (which is common) but that quickly resided. Similar to the C-Firma serum, I’m not sure if this product made any difference.

Shaba Complex Eye Serum – I’ll be honest, I don’t use eye creams. Don’t judge me! I’ve bought and tried them, but I just haven’t found one that really worked. Luckily I don’t suffer from major bags or dark circles (yet) so I still have time to be on the lookout. This eye serum felt nice around my eyes, but again, no difference.

Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense SPF 30 – Typically I like to find a day cream/moisturizer that has spf in it so I most likely would not this. I did mix this with the C-Firma a few times and it was refreshing.

Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil – I used 2-3 drops of this at night and my skin really absorbed the oil. I’m not sure if it’s worth the price tag itself, but in a kit like this, it was probably the most used product.

Lala Retro Whipped Cream – This is a thick cream. But if you have dry skin, like myself, your skin will thank you. I used this product mostly at night, but a few times in the morning. My skin felt so nourished after using this stuff. I would definitely buy this product again.

Overall, I don’t think I’d stick to this regimen. These products range well over $50 to $100 bucks, and I personally just can’t justify spending that much for okayish products. But everybody’s skin reacts differently, so what works for me might not work for you. And vice versa! That’s the beauty of finding a skincare regimen, everyone’s is different.

XO,