Monday, July 30, 2018

DIY: Cute Mason Jar Planters

Hey cupcakes! As some of you may know from my studio apartment tour, I currently have a mason jar pantry. Because of this, I have been collecting so many mason jars from yard sales, thrift stores, etc. As I can't have all of them in my pantry, I recently decided to use a couple jars to plant the succulents I have. It is such an easy DIY, so I wanted to share it with you all today! :)

What You Need
-Mason jar of whatever size (wide mouth are usually best for planters)
-Some type of plant or succulent
-Extra potting soil
-Spray paint (or acrylic paint, but spray paint works/looks better)

What to Do:
1. Wash your mason jar and let dry.
2. Find an area where you can spray paint. If need be, cover the ground with a tarp/newspaper.
3. Spray paint the outside of the mason jar! You can even use multiple colors if you want :)
4. Let the jar dry completely.
5. Use the sandpaper to "distress" the spray paint. I usually focus on the letters on the jar, and then a couple of areas around that.
6. Transplant your succulent to the jar (this is where the wide mouth comes in handy). Use plenty of extra soil to make sure the plant sticks above the top of the jar.
7. Display as super cute room decor! :D

You all planting your succulents ;)

What do you use mason jars for? Comment below and don't forget to follow The Chic Cupcake to never miss a post!

Jenna the Mason Jar Hoarder

Friday, July 27, 2018

Recipe: Barley & Chickpea Veggie Bowl

Hey cupcakes! Having my own apartment this summer meant that I finally got to prepare meals for myself... And I have enjoyed cooking so much! :) I made this meal a couple of weeks ago, and it was soooo tasty - I just had to share it with you all!

What You Need
-1 can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans
-1/2 cup pearled barley (this lasts me three meals, so adjust accordingly!)
-2 cloves of garlic, minced/diced

What To Do:
1. The barley will take the longest, so get that started first! To cook it, you will need a 1:3 ratio of barley to water... So put 1 1/2 cup of water into a pot, mix in the 1/2 cup barley (yup - make sure you put it in right away!), and put on high heat.
2. When it is boiling, turn down the heat. Cover the pot, and let simmer for about 40 minutes.
3. In the meantime, you can cut up your broccoli if you haven't already.
4. Put the garlic and broccoli into a frying pan, and pour in water until the broccoli is about 1/3 covered.
5. Heat on high or until the broccoli has been steamed/sauteed to your likely. Don't forget to add salt and pepper!
6. Drain the chickpeas and pour into the broccoli mixture. Heat on low/medium heat until the barley is finished.
7. To serve, scoop barley into a bowl and add the veggie mixture. Enjoy! :)

What is your current favorite dinner to make? Comment below and don't forget to follow The Chic Cupcake to never miss another post!

Jenna the Chef
(okay maybe I shouldn't get carried away haha...)

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Top 5 Summer Beauty Essentials

Hey cupcakes! I feel like I haven't written a beauty post in such a long time... But I guess that makes sense, as I don't really experiment with new beauty products very often. Now that I am trying to live a lower waste lifestyle, my beauty routine has been pretty consistent. I wanted to write a post today sharing my top 5 products that I could not live without during the summer months - let's get started! :)

1. Tom's of Maine Deodorant - After learning that deodorants have aluminum in them (which is just bad for you and super gross), I switched over to this natural brand. Because it is hot in the summer, deodorant is a must. This brand keeps me smelling great all day, and it isn't full of bad ingredients.

2. Biore Charcoal Self Heating Mask - When I sweat, I tend to break out... So it is super important for me to clarify my pores every week or so during the summer! This mask does a great job of making my skin feel super great :)

3. Coconut Oil - The sun likes to dry my skin in the summer, so I have been using coconut oil as a lotion to keep my skin smooth and hydrated. I would definitely recommend this natural alternative to lotion! 

4. Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Shampoo - I don't know if this happens to any of you, but my hair seems to produce more oil in the summer... To counter this, my favorite shampoo is this one. It does a great job of cleansing all the excess oil off without drying out my scalp.

5. Burt's Bees All Weather Lip Balm - While it is important to use sunscreen in the summer, it is also very important to protect your lips too! I have always loved Burt's Bees lip balms, and this one is super great because it has SPF in it. 

What are the beauty products you couldn't live without in the summer? Comment below and don't forget to follow The Chic Cupcake to never miss a post!


Monday, July 23, 2018

My Experience: Jersey Boys

Hey cupcakes! A couple of months ago, I was fortunate enough to see the touring Broadway production of Jersey Boys with my family. :) In case anyone is looking for a show to go see, these are my thoughts on this production! 

The plot of the musical is to tell the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons....

Now going into the show, I didn't know barely anything about Frankie or his different climates (hahaha), but I still thought it was amazing! I feel like this group was way before my time, but I was still a huge fan of their music - I even listen to it to this day! :)

The show features their hits like "Sherry" and "Big Girls Don't Cry" and my personal fav "Oh, What a Night".

When they aren't singing, the plot takes you on the story of how the group formed and all the drama that happened in their personal lives (plus lots of comedic scenes haha). Even with absolutely no knowledge of the band's history, I could follow the plot of the musical easily, which was nice. I think there is a personal note to Broadway musicals that are about actual people instead of made up stories, because it makes the characters much more real and relatable.

In my experience seeing a couple of Broadway shows, the touring casts can be hit or miss, but the people who were performing in the show I saw were all SO amazing! The cast was also relatively small (only four girls played all the female characters!), so I give them so much credit for how much singing and dancing was required.

Overall, I thought this show was super fun to see, and it is honestly one of my favorite Broadway shows that I have seen. :) If you ever have a chance to see it, I would definitely recommend!

What is your favorite Broadway show? Comment below and don't forget to follow The Chic Cupcake to never miss a post!

Jenna the Musical Enthusiast

Friday, July 20, 2018

Style: The Cutest Summer Rompers!

Hey cupcakes, happy Friday! :) I think one of the cutest summer fashion trends is rompers. Even though my body type never looks good in them (haha dang), I still love to see all of the cute ways people style them. One-pieces are quick and easy to style, so today I wanted to share my five favorite summer rompers with you all!

1. Pastel Blue Floral Romper (Rue21, $18) - I am a huge fan of pastels in the summer, so I think this romper is super cute! The floral design and ruffled edges make this a trendy romper perfect for any day out.

2. Leaf Print Romper (Charlotte Russe, $23) - If you are going on any kind of vacation to the tropics, this romper would be such a cute thing to wear on the beach! :)

3. Casual Romper (Walmart, $12) - Surprisingly, I have seen some pretty cute rompers at Walmart! This one is definitely for a more casual day (or even a cozy day at home), but for the price you definitely can't beat it! 

4. Pastel Romper (Wetseal, $24) - This romper could definitely be worn to any formal occasion (I'm thinking of pairing it with a cute cardigan for a summer wedding!). I personally love the lace detailing and how the bottoms look like a skirt. :)

5. Lemon Romper (Amiclubwear, $14) - I am a huge fan of lemon and sunflower prints in the summer (something about the yellow makes me happy!), so I think this romper is adorable. 

What are your favorite rompers for the summer? Comment below and don't forget to follow The Chic Cupcake to never miss a post! 

Jenna <3

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Shopping in the Bulk Bin Section 101

Hey cupcakes! After vowing to live a lower-waste lifestyle, I have switched from going to grocery stores like Walmart to stores like Whole Foods. This switch has enabled me to avoid plastic packaging, as I am able to buy grains, granola, oats, snacks, etc. from the bulk bins. Using bulk bins has been AMAZING, so I wanted to write a post today sharing my tips and trick on how you can also shop in the bulk section. Let's get started!

Before Going to the Store
First, you will need to find a store that actually has bulk bins. If you don't have a Whole Foods in your area, do a Google Maps search of "bulk food" and some might pop up. Fresh Thyme Farmer's Market in the Midwest has a bulk section, as well as many natural/organic local stores. If you aren't sure if a store sells in bulk, don't hesitate to call!

To prepare yourself before you go shopping, I suggest checking out the store's ad for the week to see what is on sale. There is a myth that bulk bin shopping is more expensive, but I have found that it is actually cheaper!! It is so much better to buy what you need instead of over-purchasing and letting food sit in your pantry (and eventually go bad). However, it is still awesome to save even more money by buying what is on sale :)

Before shopping I also recommend finding bags to bring with you. Most bulk sections have plastic bags (just like in the produce section), but if you are trying to live lower-waste bringing your own bags is so worth it! I purchased the ones you can find in this post (and I love them because they don't add any weight to the scale): 10 Easy Ways to Reduce Your Plastic Consumption. Some stores even sell things like oils and honey, so you can also bring your own mason/glass jars with you too!

At the Store
Bulk bin shopping is an easy 5 step process:

1. If you brought any bag or glass jar that has actual weight, go to customer service for them to tare the container for you. This will ensure that you don't actually pay for the weight of the bag/jar! If your bags don't weigh anything, then skip this step :)
2. Find the bin(s) with the food you want to purchase!
3. Pour or scoop however much you want into the bag you brought from home.
4. Write the PLU/bin number on a twist tie and tie it to your bag. (OR write it into your phone to even save the twist tie; however, this will slow down check out)
5. Check out - the cashier will use the number on the twist tie (and the scale) to charge you the correct price.

Some of my favorite bulk bin items include: pearled barley, quick oats, unsweetened banana chips (taste just like potato chips!), and chocolate covered pretzels :)

After the Store
As many of you will know from my studio apartment tour, I have a bunch of mason jars that I use to store my bulk food. You can find so many different glass storage containers, and I LOVE the way it looks. :)
When you get home from the store, move everything from the bags into some type of storage that is airtight. Ta-da, you just successfully shopped in the bulk section! :D I have been amazed at what quality ingredients I am able to find in bulk, so I really suggest trying it out!

Do you shop in the bulk section? Comment below and don't forget to follow The Chic Cupcake to never miss a post!

Sustainable Jenna

Monday, July 16, 2018

My Unpopular Opinions

Hey cupcakes! I haven't really done any "fun"/random posts recently, so I thought I would today! I have seen Unpopular Opinion posts floating around Bloglovin' for awhile now, and it seemed like a interesting thing to write about for The Chic Cupcake.... Without further to do, here are some of my very own "unpopular" opinions! :)

1. The Harry Potter book series isn't very good - Now before you unfollow me or faint from disbelief, I think they are just fine.... But not like super duper amazing like basically everyone thinks.

Image result for harry potter gif

At the time I read Harry Potter growing up, I also was reading my favorite book series of all time: Septimus Heap (read my Favorite (and Least Favorite) Books of all Time to hear more about it!). So, maybe I just didn't like them because I found another great series....

2. Sephora is a waste of money - I know, I know, I'm a blogger who writes about beauty sometimes... But I still think that the prices at Sephora are way to high. I'm more of a drugstore makeup girl because you can definitely find products that are the same quality as the more expensive brands.

3. Watching TV for too long is boring - I physically don't see how people can binge watch shows on Netflix, Hulu, etc. I don't have a TV or any type of TV subscription, and I'm going to keep it that way for awhile. Sure it's fun to watch a episode of The Bachelorette from time to time, but I don't understand how people can sit and watch full seasons of shows... I get so bored of staring at a screen (which I do at work everyday haha so I try to limit myself when I'm home).

4. Cake is not a good dessert - People seem to really like cake, but I am basically indifferent to it. I defs have a sweet tooth, but I'd rather have some other sugar!

Image result for cake gif

5. Titanic is a terrible movie - Lol, I bring this up because my boyfriend LOVES Titanic. He has seen the film probably over a hundred times... And I thought it was terrible.

6. Celebrities and their gossip aren't that cool - There are so many people who can name every actor, actresss, singer, etc. as well as all their juicy secrets... But I just don't think celebrities and their "drama" are that interesting. I'd rather focus my time on people I actually know.

7. The newest Star Wars episodes are the best ones - Basically just because of Kylo Ren, but still ;)

Image result for kylo ren gif

What are some of your unpopular opinions? Comment below and don't forget to follow The Chic Cupcake to never miss a post!


Friday, July 13, 2018

DIY: Lemon Door Mat

Hey cupcakes! I was scrolling through Pinterest a few weeks ago, when I saw this adorable lemon door mat.... It would make an apartment look super cute for summer, so I thought there must be a way to DIY something like this. And there is! Today I want to share with you all how you can make your very own lemon door mat. Let's get started!

Image result for lemon door mat diy

What You Need
-White/tan door mat (if you can find a circular one, that would be best!)
-Scissors/something to cut with
-Yellow spray paint
-White spray paint
-Scrap paper or tape

What To Do
1. Cut the door mat into a lemon shape! If you found a circular door mat, just cut it in half. For square/rectangular mats, trace the half circle before cutting to ensure you get the exact shape you want :)
2. Spray paint the whole mat yellow! Depending on the color of your door mat, you might need to spray it with a couple of coats.
3. Let the mat dry.
4. Using either paper or tape, cover up the areas that you want to stay yellow.... This will be around the edge of the "lemon slice" and in the middle for the wedges.

Image result for lemon doormat diy 
5. Spray paint the uncovered areas with white. Again, you may need multiple coats.
6. Let dry completely.
7. Take off the tape and/or paper and enjoy your new summer door mat! :D

What door mat do you use for the summer months? Comment below and don't forget to follow The Chic Cupcake to never miss another post!

Lemony Jenna <3

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Storytime: Attacked by a BIRD?!

Hey cupcakes! The last time I did a storytime post was months ago (wow!), so I figured I owed it to all my loyal readers to share another hilarious story from my life... Unfortunately for me, this one took place quite recently... Let's get started!

Image result for storytime gif
^All of you when reading about my life :P
So, the apartment complex I am staying at has two different parking lots. One is right next to the building (and tends to fill up quickly) while the other is across the street. I had gone to the grocery store the previous night, so by the time I got back, I had to park in the further lot.

The next morning, I had plans to go to church (as it was a Sunday). I got up, made breakfast, got dressed in a cute sundress, braided my hair, and finished getting ready - the typical morning in my life. After grabbing my keys and purse, I headed out the door.

This particular Sunday was gorgeous - I totally didn't mind that I had to walk a bit further to get to the second parking lot. There are two beautiful trees on each side of this lot's driveway, so I was just enjoying nature as I continued to walk to my car.

About halfway to my vehicle, I felt a rush of air pretty dang close to my head. I turned around and saw a bird land on the ground and then turn to swoop at me again.

Image result for blackbird swooping
^Basically my new fear

I started walking a bit faster (because who wants to feel threatened by a bird) and THE BIRD SWOOPED AGAIN AND LANDED ON MY HEAD. Like I felt it CLAW MY SCALP.

Image result for how rude

My first thought: Yell at it (wtf are you Cinderella?! The bird can't understand you!)

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What I actually did: Scream and run the rest of my way to my car - lol.

Overall, the bird didn't do much damage (other than forcing me to redo part of the braid I had done in my hair), but I REFUSE to park in that lot anymore. Honestly, I was more offended than anything that a bird would choose to attack me (cuz I think I look pretty harmless haha) I'm assuming there is a nest in one of those trees, but I ain't risking it... Morale of the story: blackbirds can be very aggresive.

Have you ever been attacked by a bird? Comment below and don't forget to follow The Chic Cupcake to never miss a storytime post! ;)

Jenna (aka Enemy of Birds)

Monday, July 9, 2018

Recipe: Simple & Tasty Overnight Oats

Hey cupcakes! After eating Cheerios for like two weeks straight for breakfast, I realized that I needed to branch out in my morning options... I decided to give overnight oats a try and thought I would share the recipe with you all today :)

Image result for overnight oats

What You Need
-1/2 cup quick oats (I buy mine in the bulk section!)
-1/2 cup + 1/8 cup OR 3/4 cup milk (the first measurement is if you don't like the oats watery while the second will have leftover milk even after soaking overnight)
-Brown sugar
-Fresh fruit
-Mason jar

What To Do
1. Pour in your quick oats to your mason jar.
2. Add a couple small scoops of brown sugar (optional, but super tasty!).
3. Pour in the milk.
4. Place mason jar in the fridge and let soak overnight.
5. In the morning, chop up whatever fruit you would like (I have been using local cherries recently) and mix into your oats.
6. Enjoy! Such a simple breakfast! :)

Overnight oats are great because you can add basically anything you want into them: peanut butter, chocolate, honey, chia seeds, dried fruit, etc. etc.

What do you like in your overnight oats? Comment below and don't forget to follow The Chic Cupcake to never miss a post!

Jenna <3

Friday, July 6, 2018

10 Easy Ways to Reduce Your Plastic Consumption

Hey cupcakes! A couple of weeks ago I posted a review of Beth Terry's book, Plastic Free... After reading this book and No Impact Man by Colin Beavan, I vowed to live a lower waste lifestyle to do my part in helping the planet (and to improve my own quality of living).

Unfortunately, as my internship got more busy I will admit that I have faltered in some of my sustainability efforts. However, failing is all part of the journey, so I was excited to see that it is currently Plastic-Free July. You can register for this challenge and vow to reduce your plastic consumption for the month of July, so I saw this as an opportunity to hold myself accountable to continue switching to a lower-waste lifestyle.

Image result for plastic-free july

Ever since I started this journey, I have actually been SO surprised at how simple getting rid of certain plastics can be. To help any of you all who also want to reduce your plastic usage (as it is bad for both you and the environment), here are ways you can do so:

1. Bring your own mug when you get coffee/tea in the morning - I'm not a coffee drinker, but many people go to Starbucks every single morning. Think about all those plastic straws, cups, and lids that end up in the landfill or oceans (and then never actually decay). Did you know that plastics in the ocean break down into micro plastics that we end up consuming later down the food chain? Yuck. Seems simple enough to bring your own glass/stainless steel mug with you each day.

2. Try to avoid takeout containers - Instead of eating out, eat in! This will save on Styrofoam and plastic clamshells...Or bring a container with you to take out food!

3. Make snacks instead of buying individually wrapped ones - This one has been a struggle for me recently, as my office has three huge drawers full of snacks that are all wrapped in plastic. If you were to bake some cookies over the weekend (or buy snacks from the bulk bins), you can save plastic AND avoid nasty preservatives/additives in food.

4. Order your water without a straw - Surprisingly, I have only had one waiter question me when I have asked for "A water with no straw, please". Easy switch!

Image result for refuse straw

5. Use bar soap instead of body wash - Body wash comes in a plastic bottle just like most body care products, but it is the easiest to switch out for a bar of soap. Places like LUSH even sell soap with no packaging at all!

6. Buy loose vegetables when you can - Why buy broccoli in plastic wrap when you can just buy it with no plastic?

7. Switch to reusable shopping bags AND reusable produce bags - I bought these mesh bags on Amazon for only $13! Instead of using the plastic produce bags/bulk bags at the store, just use these instead (and pop them in the wash after you use them).

8. Use mason/glass jars instead of plastic Tupperware - Plastics leach into food, which doesn't sound too appealing to me... Plus, glass jars make a fridge look so organized!

9. Find alternatives for Ziploc bags - Use mason jars, reusable cloth Ziploc bags, etc. instead of using a bunch of Ziplocs every day. The best part about this is that you get to save a bunch of money by not buying them! :)

10. NEVER USE A PLASTIC WATER BOTTLE AGAIN - Did you know that bottled water is LESS regulated than tap water? I'd rather drink tap water in a reusable bottle thank you very much.

Image result for refuse plastic bottles

What do you do to reduce your plastic consumption? Comment below and don't forget to follow The Chic Cupcake to never miss another post!

If you are interested in also trying to live lower-waste, check out my post Living a Lower-Waste Lifestyle 101 :)

Sustainable Jenna <3

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

My Studio Apartment Tour!

Hey cupcakes! I hope everyone has a wonderful 4th of July today! Since it is a holiday, I wanted to write a quick (and fun) post today.... An apartment tour! I cleaned it a few days ago before I came home to celebrate with family, which gave me the perfect opportunity to snap a couple of pictures. So, let's jump right into it!

Entry/Kitchen - When you walk into my studio, the kitchen is right to the left. I was lucky enough to find some summer housing at a local university near my internship, so the apartment was fully furnish (and reminds me a lot of a dorm lol). I think my favorite feature of my kitchen is my mason jar pantry where I store all my bulk bin purchases :)

Table Area - My boyfriend brought me some flowers when he visited to spruce up my apartment, and I think they look so cute on my table! I also love eating by my window, because I can soak up some sunshine and look at nature while I eat. 

Wardrobe - Because this apartment came with module dorm furniture, I have a bunch of space for my clothes :) I also keep my hamper and drying rack in this area.

Bed - (Aka the best part of my apartment haha) I love to sit on my bed whenever I blog, watch YouTube, etc. There is also a bunch of storage space under my bed, which is where I store all the cardboard boxes I used to move in (and will need to move out).

Bathroom - There isn't really anything special about my bathroom... There is a super tiny shower behind the door as well as the toilet.

Well there you have it; a tour of my apartment! :) I have really enjoyed living on my own this summer, and I can't wait until I have my first official apartment in the next couple of years or so! Have a wonderful 4th of July (and don't forget to follow The Chic Cupcake to never miss a post)!

Jenna <3

Monday, July 2, 2018

How to Style: Patriotic Accessories

Hey cupcakes! The fourth of July is almost here.... Which means it is time to bust out your red, white, and blue! :) I don't really own a whole lot of red or white clothing, so I absolutely love finding cute "America"-themed accessories to wear on this day of family fun. In case some of you are also looking for some great products before Wednesday, here are my favs!

1. Lady Liberty Pin (Etsy, $7) - As you all know from previous posts, I am a big fan of enamel pins to wear on my denim jackets. This one is especially cute (and perfect for the 4th!), and it isn't as obnoxiously red/white/blue like other accessories that can be found during this holiday.

2. Blue Star Sunglasses (Hot Topic, $11) - Let's just say these sunglasses are amazing haha. I have always wanted a pair of heart ones, but now I think I need to get some stars instead....

3. America Fanny Pack (Forever 21, $13) - Fanny packs are trendy right now (not entirely sure why...), so a flag fanny pack is perfect for the 4th :P $13 is a great price for this, and it would be perfect to store your essentials for a day at the beach! 

4. Flag Flip Flops (Old Navy, $4) - My fave flip flops always come from Old Navy, and it is great that they are so affordable! 

5. American Flag Headband (Amazon, $5) - This hair accessory will allow you to maintain your hair while showing your spirit! Perfect for a windy day at the beach or an evening BBQ. :)

What are your favorite patriotic accessories for the 4th of July? Comment below and don't forget to follow The Chic Cupcake to never miss a post! :D

Patriotic Jenna <3
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