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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Baggu Bags Review

I have an obsession with tote bags. I can't help it. However, ever since this bag came into my life I haven't needed another one. This bag is versatile, and can be worn many different ways. What bag am I talking about you ask? None other than the Baggu Duck bag!

From Baggu:

A perfect everyday tote in durable recycled cotton canvas duck. Two handles and 40" adjustable strap, to carry in hand or over shoulder. 
16" high, 10" wide, 5.5" deep. Matte silver hardware, durable taped seams, and a round inner pocket. 100% 16 oz. recycled cotton canvas.

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I have used this bag on numerous trips I have been on. I don't have to worry about it getting smashed, or ripped when I am carrying it. I love that it has an inner pocket that I can keep my cell phone, lipstick, or something small in! Even better, this folds up neatly in a small square for storage! This bag can be worn several different ways. It can be worn cross body, using the shorter handles, or by folding in the edges, and carrying it using the short handles. This bag can be wiped clean, and is large enough to use as a gym bag, or just to cart your stuff to and from work. I know that when I travel, I carry a lot with me. Tablet, chargers, purse, snacks, among other things. I can fit all of those things and more in this bag. The color I chose was navy with white polka dots. I have a J Crew magic wallet that is almost the same print, so I usually use those two together. I ordered mine from Birchbox, but the Baggu website has many more colors and styles to chose from! I am definitely going to be ordering another Duck bag in the near future!
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Another Baggu product that I love is the reusable shopping tote. These are light, but durable! They fold up neatly into a square and fit back into the little pouch for storage. I used this when I went to Philadelphia to the King of Prussia Mall. I didn't want to be carrying different sized bags, so I stuck this in my purse. When I bought something, I could just stick it in the Baggu and only had to worry about one bag. The handles are long enough that I could carry it over my shoulder and have my hands free. (Is there anything worse than having to hold bags while going through racks of clothes?)These little bags hold a lot of weight, and you don't have to worry about them ripping or tearing if they have a lot of items in them.

Both of these bags would be great for going to and from the farmer's market in the summer! They are machine washable, and are durable to hold a lot of fruits and vegetables! 

Have you ever tried a Baggu bag? Do you love them as much as I do? I'd love to hear your thoughts! Leave me a comment, and let me know!



Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Chicken Enchilada Recipe

Today, I'm linking up with Andrea for her Recipe Club! In the summer, I love to try out new recipes, and cook. I'm so looking forward to doing that! Only 4 and a half school days left until I can do just that! I wanted to share with you this recipe that I made for Cinco de Mayo. I love, love, love Mexican food, and love cooking for this holiday! This recipe is simple, low in calories, and delicious! Use whatever brands, and add ins you like, but here is what I used!

Ingredients: (Sorry for no picture!)

2 cans Enchilada sauce (I used hot and medium)
Shredded chicken
1 can green chilies
Shredded cheese
Tortilla wraps (I used whole wheat sandwich wraps cut in half)

First, I cooked my chicken in a skillet with lots of water to almost steam cook it. I flavored my chicken by adding taco seasoning, cumin, cilantro, salt and pepper to both sides. Once it was cooked through, I let it cool then shredded it. In a sauce pan, I mixed the two cans of enchilada sauce to get it heated through.

To assemble the enchiladas, I put a small spoonful of the sauce over the wraps. Then I added the chicken, some green chilies, and some cheese. I folded them over, and put them seam side down in a 9x13 baking dish. *Make sure you spread some enchilada sauce on the bottom of the dish to prevent the enchiladas from sticking!!* Continue this process until you don't have any room left in your dish, or run out of ingredients! (I told you this was simple!)

Once all of the enchiladas are in the baking dish, pour the remaining sauce over the top. Then sprinkle some cheese on top! Place the dish in a 350* oven uncovered, and bake for 20 minutes or until everything is heated through. (Everyone's ovens cook differently, so adjust your cook time accordingly.)

I served mine with some plain Greek yogurt, and guacamole on top. My sides were Knorrs taco rice and black beans. I am not going to lie, my mouth was watering as I was typing this out!  ;)

If you make these, please send me a picture! I love to see your creations! Leave me a comment, and let me know how you liked them!






Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Memorial Day Weekend Recap

Three day weekends are just the best. Any chance I get to eat good food, hang out with my family, and not have to go to work are big pluses! This weekend, I did just that!

Friday, I indulged in my own version of Happy Hour. A Dunkin Donuts iced coffee, and Sabra hummus was on the "menu" for me. For dinner that night, it was family pizza night, and my mom made 4 different kinds. I was starving and did not get any pictures, but she made bbq chicken, vegetable, sausage and peppers, and pepperoni. Trust me when I say it was delicious!

Saturday was the perfect Pennsylvania day. There was not a cloud in the sky, so I took advantage of that and worked on my tan. I was craving some buffalo chicken dip, so I made a skinny version! You could not tell it was a lightened up version at all! I will be posting a recipe soon!

Later that evening, it was time for the annual pictures by the rhododendron bushes. I have been doing this for as long as I can remember. My mom was the photographer, and we had some hits, and misses with the photos, so I think there will be a round two with a change of outfits!

Sunday was all about relaxation again. I worked on my tan, and helped my parent's get out our lawn furniture. Then my great grandpa took us out to dinner. We went to a restaurant we haven't been to in a while, and we were reminded of how good the food was there! I got a Cajun turkey sandwich on jalapeno wheat bread, and it was absolutely delicious! It had brown sugar bacon and cheddar cheese on it as well. You can't go wrong with anything that involves bacon and cheese. Am I right?!
I have better pictures, but waiting for a separate post!

Monday, my aunt hosted the Memorial Day picnic. The traditional fare was served, hot dogs, baked beans, cheesy potatoes, the usual. Every last bite was delectable! It was a good thing I went two miles on the treadmill that morning!! Check my Instagram for photos from Monday! We visited my grandparents, and I came home and got a few things ready for the week ahead. The only thing between me and Summer is 5 1/2 work days! Two this week, and three and a half next week. So, so pumped for that!



That was my long weekend in a nutshell! How was yours? Anything memorable happen? I'd love to read about them! Leave me a comment and let me know!


Monday, May 25, 2015

Favorite Hair Products

Confession time! My attitude is based on how good my hair looks on a particular day. If my hair is looking great than I feel like I can take on the world, if not than I am depressed. Today, I am joining Andrea and Erika's Favorite Things party and showing you my favorite hair products!!

On a workday, I shower the night before. I save a TON of time that way! When I do shower and wash my hair, I use Pantene Volumizing shampoo and conditioner. After my shower, I apply Redken Pillow Proof, and Argan Magic hair oil, Both of these products speed up my blow dry time, and make my hair soft and protected.

In the mornings, I apply Suave Refresh and Revive dry shampoo. If I ever meet the person who invented dry shampoo, they are getting a big ol' hug! This absorbs oil, makes my hair smell great, and gives my hair some texture.

Once my style is complete, I use Suave aerosol hairspray. That's it!

A few extras:

I have a whole section dedicated to hair products on my blog. You can check them out here!

I just recently started using this shampoo once a week and it removes all of my product buildup!

Some of my favorite tools are ones made by Helen of Troy, or Hot Tools.

What are some of your favorite hair products? I'd love to read about them! Leave me a comment and let me know!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo Review

*I was sent this product to review because I'm a BzzAgent. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Imagine having that head of hair you've always wanted. Instead of going to the salon, you can just step right out of your shower. The key to this beautiful head of hair is your shampoo. I know what you're thinking. "I already love my shampoo." "It cleans my hair." Does it?



I received a sample of the Neutrogena Anti-Residue shampoo to test out, and I can tell you, shampoo makes a difference. Sure your hair gets clean with your shampoo. With the Anti-Residue shampoo, your hair gets squeaky clean. Clean hair makes your products work better!!!

I put a lot of products into my hair. Shampoo, conditioner, argan oil, Pillow Proof, and dry shampoo just to name a few. Heeellllooo product buildup! When I tried the Neutrogena Anti-Residue shampoo, I noticed a difference as soon as I blow dried my hair. It was soft, and clean, even my hair color looked better. I applied my products, and truthfully, I had a great hair day! My curls lasted longer because my hair was clean and not weighed down by gunk. (Yes, that is a technical term!)

I have been using this once a week to rid my hair of the buildup. One of the great aspects of this shampoo is the lather! It suds up so well, and you only need a little bit to clean your hair. I use conditioner after, then apply my products, and style as usual. That's it!

I do love this shampoo, but there is one thing I don't like about it. The smell. It is very medicinal smelling. Unfortunately, the scent kind of lingers a while. Also, if you are looking for a SLS free shampoo, this isn't for you.

Would I recommend this product to you? Absolutely! You only use it once a week. The bottle should last you a while, because you don't need a lot to get a great lather. Plus, your hair just looks better, and we all want a great hair day everyday!

This product retails for $5.99.

Have you tried this product? Have you used an anti-residue shampoo before? I'd love to hear your thoughts! Please leave me a comment, I'd love to interact with you!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Amazon Haul

This post is brought to you by the color pink. ;) These are just three items I bought from Amazon. I have several other items in my wishlist, and am going to be placing another order soon. Oddly (well, maybe not) enough, all of my purchases were pink. To the family members reading this, this is no surprise.

The first item I purchased was an armband for my phone. I downloaded my workout playlist, and want to use my phone for the 5ks I plan on doing this summer. I didn't want to have to worry about holding my phone, or sticking it somewhere where it could get lost. I currently have a Lifeproof style case on, and it will not fit inside the armband. But when I take it out, it will fit perfectly, and I will be able to use my phone without having to worry about dropping it!

My next item was a Baggu reusable bag. This is my third Baggu bag, and I absolutely love them! I am going to purchase another bag but in a different style. I am going to do a separate review on these, so stay tuned!!

My last item, and one that I have already decided that I will be repurchasing, are the Skechers Go Walk 2 SuperSock shoes. Ya'll, this is like walking on a cloud!!  I wore these to school all day and I had no pain at the end of the day. These have memory foam, they conform to your foot, and you don't have to wear socks with them. Another plus is that they are machine washable!! If you see me wearing these often, I'm sorry. They are the most comfortable pair of shoes. If I was going to be walking a lot, I would be wearing these shoes!!

My next order will contain some books, and probably another pair of the Skechers shoes. Haha! I will make sure to let you in on my order when I decide to buy it and I receive it!

Have you ever tried the Skechers Go Walks? Tried any Baggu bags? Leave me a comment, I'd love to hear from you!

Monday, May 18, 2015

May Birchbox

It is time for Makeup Mail Call! This time I am coming at you with my May Birchbox! Birchbox keeps stepping it up with their boxes. They are so beautiful, I don't want to throw them away!! This month, I received some great items! May's box was curated by Emily Schuman from Cupcakes and Cashmere. She did a great job at picking out products this month! Here is what was in my box!

Beauty Protector| Beauty Wash Body Cleanser: I was so happy I received this! Beauty Protector's products smell amazing, and I've always wished I could bathe in it. Now, I can! This is a gel cleanser, and has their signature scent. I cannot wait to use this!

Coastal Scents|Revealed 3 Eyeshadow Quad: This quad is a mix of colors from a matte brown to a gold shimmer. These are only four colors of the new palette.

Harvey Prince| Sea Salt Texturizing Mist: Again, I am so glad I received this! I love anything to do with Harvey Prince, and this is no exception. fHere's how I plan on using this! I envision this being used on second day hair. It already has some natural texture from the day before. Plus your hair has that smell from the day before. This will give my hair life, and make it smell great!

Vasanti Cosmetics| BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator: This is said to mimic the effects of microdermabrasion. I have been having some skin issues lately, so I am going to wait until that clears up, and try this out! I definitely want glowing skin without having to spend the time, and money at a spa!

Yu-Be|Moisturizing Skin Cream: The best part about this cream is you can use it everywhere! From your feet to your lips! This will be great for dry Summer skin!

What did you get in your May box? I'd love to hear about it! Leave me a comment and let me know!




Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Hello and a Survey!

I have a quick couple of questions for you to answer!! You can leave me a comment with your answers!

Questions:

1. What type of device do you read this blog on? Laptop, phone, tablet, or desktop?

2. Would you like to see more "Lifestyle" posts such as cooking, daily life of me, shopping hauls, etc? I'd love to know your thoughts!!

3. When do you usually read Mandii's Muse Blog? Evenings, Weekends, Daytime?

4. Do you follow my social media accounts? Twitter, Facebook Fan Page, Instagram?



I'd love to heard your thoughts on these questions. I want to make this blog something that you want to read!! Leave me a comment with your answers, and this will help me take this blog in the direction it needs to go!!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Tomorrow

I will be back tomorrow with a new post. The weekend got ahead of me and I ran out of time for today's post. Check back in with me tomorrow and be ready for a new post!

-Mandii

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Jane Iredale Just Kissed Lipstick Review

If you are looking for a no fuss, no frills lipstick, this one is or you! I received a sample of the Jane Iredale Just Kissed lipstick in Forever Pink, in my April Birchbox, and fell into deep, deep, love with it. This lipstick applies clear, but almost instantly changes color based on your own natural chemistry.

This lipstick also acts as a stain, and will last almost all day. Plus, when you reapply, the existing stain gets darker. One of the aspects that I love most about this lipstick is the consistency. It applies like a balm, but it is not too soft to instantly slide off of your lips.

I may or may not have taken 15 selfies to get these 3 photos.  ;)
The shade I received is Forever Pink. The best way to describe this color is "I've just eaten a cherry popsicle." This lipstick is great for those lazy Spring/Summer days when you have a few quick errands to run and want to look put together, but don't want a full face of makeup. The color that is on my lips, can be different on you.

I am definitely planning on getting the full size when I place a Birchbox order. Have you tried this lipstick? I'd love to hear your thoughts, leave me a comment and let me know!!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Weekend Recap

Can anyone tell me why the weekends fly by? You come home on Friday, blink, and it is Monday morning. How does that happen? This weekend went really fast because I had a lot of events on Saturday. It was such a fun day, and I am sharing some of it with you!
Friday night after work I treated myself to a Dunkin Donuts iced coffee. They are only $1 at my store and I must admit, I have taken advantage several times. I came home and graded a ton of papers after dinner. The original teacher is coming back Monday, and I wanted to make the transition as smooth as possible for her. 

Saturday morning, I woke up bright and early to get a quick workout in. Then I was off to my cousin's bridal shower in Pittsburgh! She is getting married in September, and she lives in California, so I don't get to see her as often as I'd like. It was SO, SO, SO nice to see her! She looked gorgeous, and her bridesmaids and mom did a great job at setting up the venue. The food was delicious as well! We had lasagna, lemon chicken, salad, green beans, fruit, and of course delicious pastries! We played some games, opened some gifts, and showered the beautiful bride with love!

After the shower, My mom and I had to go to my church's Mother and Daughter's Banquet. The men cooked for us, and the food was also very good! Roast beef, mashed potatoes, corn, green beans, and apple sauce were on the menu! Plus there were salad and rolls as well. Some of the ladies baked cakes, and that was our dessert. 
Once we came home, I changed clothes, and relaxed on the couch. As I usually do, I fell asleep on the couch. Oops! Sunday I honestly just relaxed at home. I organized a few things, cleaned up my bedroom and just was lazy. And it was perfect!



How did you spend your weekend? Leave me a comment and let me know! I'd love to hear from you!
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