Friday, May 30, 2014

Friday Favorites 5/30/14

Today's Friday Favorites post is going to be outdoors themed, because my legs are still tired and my sunburn stings from my 11 mile hike yesterday.

  1. Danskin Now Women's Striped Performance Racerback Tank with Wicking, $6 at Wal-Mart (Pictured above)
    This tank is a steal.  It's showing online as $5, but I picked mine up a few days ago for $6.  Either way, it is a super-lightweight semi-fitted workout tank for mere pocket change.  I did not have high hopes because it seemed too good to be true, but it kept me cool all day yesterday and you can't beat the price.  (Note:  they do run large.  I bought a small, and I typically wear a med/large in workout tops.)
  2. Picaridin Bug Spray (Repel Tick Defense)
    I used to be all, "Gimme that 40% DEET!  Only the strongest will do!  I don't care if DEET melts plastic and poisons your pets, I HATE misquito bites!"  Then, I needed to buy some more bug spray for my hike yesterday, and since I have a healthy fear of ticks and Lyme disease, I picked up Repel's Tick Defense spray.  I was surprised to see that it had no DEET, so I did what any logical person would do, I Googled the active ingredient right there while standing in the aisle at Wal-Mart.  One of the first lines I read, "Picaridin is a repellent for mosquitos and other insects which is similar in effectiveness to DEET, but more pleasant to use and much less likely to cause skin irritation (source)."  Having recently partially dissolved the side of a water bottle with DEET, this sounded great to me.  The verdict:  It doesn't stink, none of my clothing was harmed (and I sprayed it all over), and I didn't have ANY ticks after my 5 hour hike through various grasses and trees probably swarming with ticks.
  3. Neutrogena Beach Defense Sunscreen
    This stuff smells amazing.  Like a smell you'd want to smell like even if you weren't putting on sunscreen.  Plus, it works (the sunburn I have is from where I neglected to apply sunscreen...).  I have both the lotion and the spray-on kind.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Friday Favorites 5/9/2014

Time for another installment of Friday favorites!
  1. C25K Free Running App by Zen Labs
    If you are not a runner (or, I guess, even if you are, but I cannot vouch for you), but you want to start, this app wonderful.  It will guide you through running workouts 3x per week for 8 weeks, and by the end you should be able to run a 5K race.  To start, I turn on some music (you can do this through the app), and then listen for the instructions--the app will tell you when to start running and when to start walking, and includes warm-up and cool-down time.  The only downside is it appears it's only available in the Itunes App Store, and that you have to take your phone with you when you run & wear headphones (but I already listen to music when I work out, so it's not a big deal for me).

    C25K App Main Screen

  2. Revlon Tourmaline/Ionic/Ceramic Hairdryer
    If you follow me on Instagram, then you might have seen that I recently got a new hairdryer.  For curlies, our hair is all so different and a tip that works for one person may not work for another, but for my fine-textured, but full head of curls, this dryer is amazing.  It dries my hair faster, keeps it looking shinier, and there is virtually no frizz to speak of.  All of that means that I can dry my hair almost completely (around 95%), whereas I used to only be able to dry it to about 60% before it would puff & the curls would lose shape.  It comes with a diffuser attachment, which is the only way I use it.

    Just look at those curls!

    This is a snip of my order history on Amazon so you'll know exactly what I bought.

  3. Harney & Sons Teas
    Mmmm.  I love a good cup of black tea.  I first tried these teas at a coffee shop called Bluestem Bistro, which is in the town I went to college in.  They have great flavors, and my favorites are Vanilla Black, Paris (a fruity black), and English Breakfast.  They also come in these gorgeous tins that make you feel like you are taking tea with Queen Elizabeth.

    These are the tea sachet tins, aren't they beautiful?

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Recipe: Grapefruit Blood Orange Jam

I honestly had no intention of sharing this recipe with you guys.  I love everything grapefruit, but I truly thought that the rest of the world wasn't as thrilled about this bitter citrus.  Maybe they aren't, but this jam has been taste-tested by quite a wide demographic and given hearty approval by all who've tasted it.

Here's the breakdown of people who've given the "thumbs up":

  • 10 month old baby
  • 7 yr. old boy
  • a variety of our adult friends
  • Handsome
  • Handsome's brother (who I would consider a foodie, and isn't afraid to tell me when I've made something nasty)
  • ME :)

I guess shouldn't hide this treasure in jars of glass!

The back story:

I cannot resist a bag a Blood Oranges when I see them at the grocery store.  If you've never seen/experienced them, they are similar to Navel oranges, but slightly smaller, sweeter, and usually have a mottled flesh that ranges anywhere from a light pinky-orange to blood red (hence the name).  So, apparently the grocer had blood oranges and also had grapefruits on sale at the same time.  The end.  (No one ever accused me of being good at telling stories guys, okay?)

My bonus jar -- it was gone very quickly.

Grapefruit Blood Orange Jam

By Molly Blue
makes 3 pints + a bonus jar (process in pints or 1/2 pints)


4 Grapefruit
8-10 Blood Oranges
a small amount of orange juice or lemon juice

4 c. white sugar
4 T. powdered pectin


  1. Supreme the citrus fruit over a large measuring cup to collect the juices, drop in the fruit pieces as you cut them out, and squeeze the leftover membrane to get all the juice you can.  You need 5 cups of fruit + juice, if you have more than that, then pour off the excess and drink it (yum!), if you have less than that, add orange juice or lemon juice to reach 5 cups.
  2. Combine fruit + juice and pectin in a large non-reactive pot (make sure there are no pectin clumps), and mash the fruit pieces a bit with a potato masher or spoon.
  3. Bring juice to a hard boil that cannot be stirred down.
  4. Add sugar all at once, return to a boil and boil hard, stirring constantly, for one minute.
  5. Ladle hot jam into jars, leaving 1/4" headspace.  Wipe rim & center (simmered & softened) lids on jar.  Screw on bands.
  6. Place jars in cannner, making sure they are covered by 2" of water.  Bring canner to a boil and process for 10 minutes at sea level (I am above sea level, so I process for 15 minutes).  Turn off heat (and move the pot if you can do it safely) and cool 5 minutes in the water bath.  Remove to a folded towel and cool.  Refrigerate any unsealed jars after 24 hours of cooling.

Disclaimer:  If you have not canned before, see before making this recipe.  I am not responsible if you do something crazy like not following government approved safe canning methods.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Friday Favorites 5/2/14

I'm starting a new series here on GTMB, similar to posts you've most likely seen on other blogs, I'll be sharing some things I enjoy in (hopefully) weekly "Friday Favorites" posts.  I'm also planning on bringing back the "Farmer's Market" series as soon as the market picks up here in the Midwest, probably a few more weeks.

(The following are NOT affiliate links, nor was I paid or compensated in any way for these reviews, I just LOVE this stuff!)

  1. Mason Jar Drinking Lids
    The best thing about using these lids for your drinks is that if you are drinking coffee or hot tea in them, you can easily unscrew the metal band and reheat your drink if it cools.  All of my other travel mugs cannot go in the microwave (as an aside, I used to have a microwaveable mug, but it did a terrible job of keeping my drinks warm).  The other great part about them is that if you are a canner or use jars for storage, you already have the rest of the items needed (and if you don't have a mason jar, ask your friend who's a canner if they have any extra jars and bands, I've never had a problem finding free extra jars if I just ask around).
    My personal favorite (because I love championing small businesses) are Cuppow Jar Drinking Lids.  I've had mine for about a year and I LOVE using them.  I have a regular mouth clear lid and a (mysteriously disappeared) wide mouth orange lid.  They are BPA/BPS-free and a rigid, sturdy and thick plastic.  You can buy them online for around $9 each (free shipping, hooray!).

    Cuppow Regular Mouth, Soaking in the rays
    Cuppow Wide Mouth, Perfect with some hot tea!

    Recently, Ball (one of the largest producer of mason jars) came out with their Sip & Straw lids, which are very similar to the Cuppow lids, except they have a large circular opening and come with a straw.  They come in a 4-Pack, which I found at my local grocer for less than the price listed online (I think around $6), so they end up being the cheaper option.

    Handsome calls this my "sippy cup," whatevs.

  2. Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Top Coat
    I am already on my 3rd bottle of this stuff, because it's so amazing.  Your nails will be dry to the touch in 30 seconds after applying this top coat--NO KIDDING!  I use it every time I paint my nails, because it dries quickly and also is super glossy.  I typically get a week's wear using this top coat, along with a good base coat and 2-ish coats of nail polish.  So, if you're looking for a salon-quality finish, long wear AND quick-dry, this stuff is the  I get this magic potion at my local big box store for about $5 a bottle.

    My at-home pedis last 3-4 weeks!
    (I usually repaint b/c of regrowth, not polish chipping)
  3. Mark Driscoll's "Jesus Loves His Church" Sermon Series
    I am working on my second time through this series.  I have found it very convicting and full of great illustrations, and I cannot stop talking about it to my IRL friends (have ya'll gone and listened yet???).  I have the Mars Hill app on my phone, which makes it very easy to turn on a sermon while I clean my house (truly the only way I get housework done).  As the website explains it, "To know Jesus is to know his church. And to love Jesus is to love his church. This is why, as Christians, we must wrestle with what it means to be the church, not just with our ideas of it. In this sermon series, Pastor Mark spends 11 weeks exploring what the church is, why it exists, and what it means for us."  Just. Go. Listen.