Thursday, May 15, 2014

Photoshop Beauty?

Photoshop beauty is a topic I'm sure we've heard about many times. The idea that no one looks as pretty as the girls on the magazines covers, including those girls. This is because programs like Photoshop make it so easy to change your eye size, skin smoothness, and even your makeup. 

While my title icon is a dramatic edit of my original face, below is a more subtle, yet still just as fake, example.


Exhibit A (Pre-Edit)
Naked-faced me-my zits, freckles, premature wrinkles (thanks to high school tanning), and
round cheecks
Exhibit B:
Look, I'm pretty?
Yes, the slimmed face, make-up, teeth-whitening, and skin smoothing is all from an app. (It's Perfect 365 if you're wondering). 

Just playing around with this app made me realize how easy it is to make yourself appeal to society's idea of beautiful. But you know what? Screw them! Those cover girls aren't even as flawless as they look on the magazines! Play with make-up if you want, or don't. Cut your hair, rock your zits do whatever you want! Because no matter what, you're beautiful. 

And remember, according to the big guy above: 
You are fearfully and wonderfully made

Love and Blessings, 

Annmarie Faye

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Chocolate QUINOA Cake!

Yes, you read that right. A cake made with quinoa. Not quinoa flour, but cooked quinoa.

And it actually tasted good. Even my picky husband agreed!

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this super food, quinoa is a grain that is packed with protein. There are a myriad of health benefits in this food, some of which are explained here. I try to get quinoa into as many meals as I can, but this is my first quinoa dessert!

I used the cake recipe from this site. The link will have the specific measurements. I ate mine without frosting (it was SO rich, which is saying something from me!), and Brad used some canned frosting we had lying around.

1. Cook 3/4 cup of quinoa in 1 1/2 cups of boiling water. Turn it down to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes or so.
This is what the quinoa should look like once it's completely cooked. 
 2. Add milk, eggs, and vanilla extract to blender and blend for 10 seconds or so.
I used almond milk, but any milk you have on hand will do. 
This is my homemade vanilla extract! Mmmm I love real food :)
This is what it looks like after it's blended. 
3. Add cooked and cooled (or warm if you're impatient like me) quinoa and a melted butter/coconut oil mixture and blend until smooth.

Coconut oil is another super food that has many health benefits as listed here. It's also very easy to employ in your diet, as it can be used in place of oils or butter in cooking. I used a mix of butter and coconut oil in mine, but just butter will work too.
This is what coconut oil looks like out of the container, but it melts very easily. 
This is the mixture. I melted the butter in the microwave, and just put the coconut oil in
afterwards. It melted with a little stirring. 
I'm very bummed I didn't take a picture of the mixture when it was done. It is a dark yellowish color. I have to admit, I was getting a little unsure as to whether this was really a good idea for a cake or not.

4. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Baking powder, baking soda, cocoa, sugar (or another sweetener) and salt
5. Add the wet ingredients from the blender and mix.

6. Put the batter into a parchment-lined pan.
See, that batter does turn out normal-looking!
7. Bake for half an hour at 350 and voila!
Mmmmm cake :)

I was so impressed with this cake! It was moist, chocolaty, smooth and delicious! While I was unable to bled the quinoa 100% smooth, there were only very smart parts where I could tell the texture was a little different. There was no odd taste or anything though. The man had no idea I cooked up one of my weird health foods until I told him there was quinoa in it! I will be making it more often to indulge my sweet tooth while pumping by body full of vitamins, nutrients and protein.

Love and Blessings,

Annmarie Faye

P.S. This is also GLUTEN FREE for all of my readers avoiding gluten, Boo yah!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Shout Out to the Mother's In College

Last year on Mother's Day, I wrote a tribute to my mother entitled Things My Mother Has Taught Me. This year, I didn't want to be redundant and rave about Jan again (not that she doesn't deserve it, because I did rave about her on other social media and on FaceTime today). I want to instead write a shout out to all the mothers who are currently in college. 

College is hard yo. It is a struggle to balance "real life" with "school life". The seemingly endless studying, papers, online discussion boards, service learning hours (if you're a social worker), and interning are overwhelming. And I'm saying that as someone who is very blessed to be mainly focusing on school at this time. 

I cannot IMAGINE doing all of the above, and more, while also raising a child (or a few). I cannot fathom timing out my studying in between my little chubby cheeked baby's naps. Or finding daycare for the random class scheduling that college seems to entail. Or trying to do all of that, while also financially supporting your family.  

I especially admire those non-traditional students who are coming back to college as someone who many be out of their twenties by a few years. College is hard no matter what age you are, but coming back to a room of late-teen/early twenty-somethings must be scary. As well as having to take care of a family. You've got a ton on your plates, and I commend you and appreciate sharing the classroom with you. 

So here's to you, college mamas! I know you know this, but furthering your education will benefit your children and family in a plethora of ways. And I look up to you. 

Very glad that this is my only baby right now! Even she makes it hard to study sometimes
when she insists on being on my lap no matter what. ;)
Love and Blessings,