Makeup Looks · My Favorite Recipes

My No-Nonsense Homemade Garlic Mashed Potatoes Recipe.

Hello, friends! Happy Wednesday to you all! I can’t believe that every day is bringing us closer and closer to September! How the heck did summertime pass so quickly? Personally, fall is my favorite season, so I’m getting really excited. I can’t wait to start decorating for fall.

Today’s blog post is all about my mashed potato recipe. I’m sure it’s nothing new or too unique, but Bobby and I really enjoyed it when I made it the other day.

Ingredients Needed.

  • Four medium red potatoes. (You can, of course, use whatever type of potatoes you prefer, but red potatoes are my absolute favorite. And of course you can use more or less potatoes, depending on how much you want. This ended up making six servings!)
  • Earth Balance Vegan Butter. (You don’t need to use vegan butter, but Bobby and I love how the Earth Balance tastes.)
  • Silk Unsweetened Almond Milk. (AGAIN, you don’t have to use almond milk, but it’s just what we end up buying instead of other types of milk.)
  • Garlic Powder.
  • Kernel Seasoning’s Garlic Parmesan Popcorn Seasoning.

Okay, friends! Here we go. When I cook, I tend to freestyle it. I taste it and then decide if it needs more of this or more of that. SO, this “recipe” isn’t going to be very exact.

Steps.

  1. Wash your potatoes!
  2. Cut up your potatoes into evenly sliced pieces. I cut mine up pretty fine because I like my mashed potatoes to be very smooth, but if you like your mashed potatoes a little chunkier, I would cut them into slightly bigger pieces.
  3. Put a pot of water on the stove to boil.
  4. After the water has begun to boil, you can plop your potatoes into the water. I cooked them for about twenty minutes, which made them VERY tender.
  5. Once the potatoes are cooked, I put them into my mixer.
  6. At this point, I began to put in some almond milk. I poured some in, turned on the mixer, and repeated until it was the consistency I wanted. I would say it ended up being around half a cup.
  7. After the almond milk, I put in about two tablespoons of vegan butter.
  8. I mixed it all together so it was nice and creamy.
  9. My last step for all of this was to put in some of the garlic powder and then the garlic parmesan seasoning. I alternated between the two until I got it tasting juuust right!

I served it with a protein and a vegetable and it made for the perfect meal! It’s nothing revolutionary, but I thought I would share it with all of you, my dear internet friends!

Thank you so much for reading, friends!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

Advertisements
Eco-friendly

I Made the Switch to Reusable K-Cups!

Hello, my friends! I hope that you are having a wonderful, caffeinated Wednesday! Or if you are less  caffeine addicted than I am, I hope that you are having a wonderful Wednesday all the same!

I drink coffee every single day, one or two cups per day. Last summer I was able to ween myself off of drinking coffee, but here we are… there are certainly worse vices…

A vice related to my coffee drinking, but not a result of the actual act of coffee drinking… was using k-cups that WEREN’T REUSABLE. I had even tried to use a reusable k-cup! I bought one and everything, but it did not work! For whatever reason, it wasn’t compatible with my Keurig. And as guilty as I feel saying this… I just didn’t try to make it work or even buy a new one… until now.

Today is day one of using my reusable k-cup and I am NOT going back. I will say that it is a little bit more labor intensive, as you have to clean it out, but that’s really not a problem for me.

On the Midwest Mattie blog we are all about saving money AND saving the Earth. Making coffee at home is already better for your pocketbook and for the Earth, but if you are using a Keurig, I couldn’t recommend purchasing a reusable K-cup enough.

I’m trying to make changes in my lifestyle that are doable, and sustainable. It doesn’t do much good for us if we try to make too big of a change at once, and then ultimately give up because it was too much, too fast. And I understand the allure of going big or going home, but I think that going at a pace that works for us and will continue to work for us is the best way to go about change. And being HONEST with ourselves. Only we can know 100% if we are doing our best to be sustainable. People have different factors in their lives that may change their ability to make an assorted amount of change in their own lives.

Thinking about things that we do EVERY SINGLE DAY that we can change is important. Despite my best efforts, there are days when I get a coffee from a coffee shop and it’s in a plastic cup. And I always feel guilty when I do that, but it is not an every day thing. We will all make mistakes. We cannot be in complete control of our lives and our surroundings 100% of the time. We just can’t.  We have to do our honest best.

Thank you so much for reading, friends!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

Travels

Spending the Fourth in Frankfort.

Hello, friends! Happy Friday! I write this post, sunburnt as can be. I had such a wonderful Fourth of July yesterday, but definitely could have used some more sunscreen. Luckily, I had a sun hat on so that I didn’t get burnt on my face at all. Bobby’s family and I spent the day in Frankfort, Michigan. We sat on the beach, we wandered downtown, and we enjoyed the fireworks. Such a wonderful day!

Below is a picture I took whilst on our way to Frankfort. I love barns and always watch out for them while on a road trip. And hey, red, white, and blue! And that fence is so endearing to me. Absolutely loved it!

IMG_3407.JPG

This cutie pie yellow shirt is actually Bobby’s cousin, Jaden’s, but she let him wear it because it was starting to get a little chilly out! And how cute is it? I love it!

IMG_3409.JPG

I’m such a sucker for all things Michigan, cabin decor, or beach decor. The little shops in downtown Frankfort were really speaking my language. I have such a soft spot for knick knacks, but I am proud to say I bought zero knick knacks! Go me!

IMG_3411.JPG

How beautiful are lighthouses? As it got later, we were able to see it shining out on the water. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to capture any really good photos of it at nighttime, but that’s okay. I still had the experience. As great as photos are, it’s even more important to enjoy ourselves in the moment. 🙂

IMG_3416

Nothing much to say about this photo, other than I love looking at signs for businesses. I don’t know much about graphic designs, or such things, but I know a cute sign and lettering when I see one!

IMG_3428

How beautiful is this place? Truly so blessed to live in the Midwest, and even more blessed to live in Michigan!

IMG_3422

As the we furthered into the night, we began to get apprehensive that there would be a thunderstorm, but luckily for us, theses intense skies produced no rain, thunder, or lightning!

IMG_3424

Ah, the feeling of cold sand in your toes… or in this case, scalding hot sand that makes you wish you hadn’t left your sandals by your beach towel. When nighttime rolled around, the sand definitely cooled down, and felt MUCH better.

IMG_3420

Again, how adorable are downtowns and their signs? I adore them endlessly.

IMG_3426

How I wish I could’ve captured a photo where the lighthouse was in focus, but try as I might, the grass wanted to be the star of this photo. Oh, well!

IMG_3418

And the fireworks! It was so fun being able to watch the fireworks from our beach towels.

DSC_0311

DSC_0316.JPG

DSC_0305

DSC_0306.JPG

DSC_0317

This post is quite short, but I like the idea of being able to capture my day in photos, as opposed to always capturing them with words. In addition to my blog being a place filled with my thoughts, my outfits, and my home decor, I would like it to be a sort of photo diary as well. A great way to capture memories.

I hope that you had a wonderful fourth as well!

Thank you so much for reading!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

Musings

Simply Summertime: Five Simple Living Activities for Summer.

Hello, friends! A very happy Monday to you all! Today I wanted to write a post that is slightly reminiscent to this one, but different enough that I thought it was worthwhile to share. I felt compelled to write this in order to provide some inspiration for summer activities that are simple and don’t include spending unnecessary amounts of money.

  1. Admiring the flowers. I suppose that this one could work for spring as well, but I’m from Michigan, and you never know when these beauties will finally make an appearance. Appreciating flowers can happen all sorts of ways. You can find flowers in their natural habitat, or you can go to a grocery store to admire all of the beautiful pots of flowers they have. And maybe buy one or two… Or, see if anyone you know has a garden and would be willing to donate to your flower fund! I especially like the thought of that because then you have a patch of flowers that represent so many wonderful people that are close to you! My mom has a beautiful variety of flowers that come from many loved ones’ gardens.
  2. A picnic lunch. I absolutely adore picnics. I think they’re a lovely way to feel as though you’re eating out for much smaller of a cost! You may even be able to make a picnic lunch using food you already have in your kitchen. It’s a wonderful thing to do, especially when all you have are bits and pieces. A couple odd carrots, a handful of berries, and a chunk of cheese could be the base to an absolutely lovely picnic. And if the weather isn’t being kind, it’s also fun to have an indoor picnic! It’s the perfect rainy day activity. Rainy day picnics with a board game are such a wonderful way to pass the day!
  3. A scenic bike ride. Owning a bike is so wonderful because it can be put to practical use, when you have somewhere you need to be, or a leisurely purpose, when one has nowhere they have to be, but they just want to be out and about. You can look and see what sort of trails your town has, and take advantage of them. Some towns may not have such trails, but you could still bike all the same! You could maybe even sneak in an errand or two, especially if you have a nice little basket attached to your bike. Maybe a quick trip to the farmer’s market or to return some books to the library.
  4. An air-conditioned read. Speaking of libraries… I think that libraries, of course, are wonderful year-round, but there’s something about summertime library visits that are all the more magical. Maybe it causes me to reminisce of my summer breaks as a child, or maybe it’s because the air-conditioning in the library is such a wonderful refuge from the heat outside. Either way, this is one of my favorite activities to do in the summer. And once you have gotten your fill, you can continue your read under a nice and shady tree. How lovely!
  5. Wandering the Farmer’s Market. And speaking of farmer’s markets… I love a good farmer’s market. It’s so heartwarming to see so many hardworking individuals with so many wonderful things to sell. Maybe switch out getting your green beans from Meijer one weekend to buy a package of them from your local farmers. Or skip baking a loaf of banana bread to buy one from a local baker. I love making my own food, but I also love supporting local people as well. Bigger companies won’t care if you do or don’t buy one single loaf of bread, but for small businesses and local farmers, it will mean much, much more. I think it goes without saying that you shouldn’t spend yourself broke at farmer’s markets, but I definitely would suggest going and supporting your neighbors!

Thank you so much for reading, my lovely friends. I hope that your day has been wonderful so far, and that you’re able to take a minute or two today for yourself. A small thing or two that makes you happy!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

Musings

Returning to my Bookworm Roots.

Hello, friends! Happy Wednesday! This week has been a pretty good one. I’ve been minimizing my screen time considerably, which makes me feel so refreshed! I mentioned in my last blog how I have been sewing quite a bit, but I’ve also been reading!

When I was younger, I spent most of my time reading. I read a couple of books per week, devouring them whole. I think around middle school is when I began to read less and less. And that continued into high school and college. I would read for my classes, but seldom did I read anything for pleasure. Nor did I enjoy reading most of the books I was assigned. I fell out of love with my dear friend, books.

Only recently have I begun to read for fun again.

I was always one of those people who read multiple books at a time, and it turns out, I still am! I’m reading four books currently. I’m thinking I want to start a section on my blog where I discuss the books I’m reading, so look out for that!

I’ve begun to carry around a book with me wherever I go, so that I can read instead of being on my phone. During my lunch break, I’ll try to read instead of scrolling. I’ll still look at my phone, but I’ll break up my screen time with some book time! Or last night, when I was at the laundromat, I brought a book along to read while I waited for my clothes to dry. I find I have an easier time reading when I’m not at home, probably because I’m not focused on all the things I could be doing instead. So a bit of a tip, if you can’t concentrate on your book, go elsewhere! I favor coffee shops, parks, and believe it or not, the library.

I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with being on our phones, but what I dislike is how automatic it is for me to grab my phone when I’m bored or when I have a free second. I want to break myself of that habit. I think it’s okay to be on our phones, but I think we need to work on being more intentional with our screen time. I think when it gets to be a problem is when we think that being on our phone is our only option when we have leisure time. Sometimes what we need is some mindless scrolling, but we certainly do not need it all the time.

Nowadays I have the worst attention span, I will watch tv AND be on my phone at the same time and STILL be bored. I find that I need several layers of stimuli. Which is such a bad habit to get into, because you end up not being totally focused on either activity I’m old enough where I can remember a time where I didn’t need to be entertained as much as I do now. I am trying to get back to that.

I also enjoy reading because it feels much more intentional. You’re making an active choice to NOT be on your phone.Which, if you’re anything like me, is your default. Bored? Go on your phone. Lonely? Go on your phone. Uncomfortable in a social situation? Go on your phone. Whatever I do, I like to make sure that I’m being intentional in it. I will say that pretending to make a phone call is probably better than a book to remove oneself from an uncomfortable situation…

Another thing I’ve rediscovered is how wonderful it is to read myself to sleep. I did it all the time as a kid, but now I spend my time before bed on my phone. I am all too aware that I shouldn’t do that, but I do it anyway. I’ve been trying to read more before bed, and it helps me get to sleep so much quicker. If I’m on my phone, I can stay up for HOURS, even when I’m past exhaustion. Reading allows me to listen to my body’s signals, and to pick up on when its time for bed.

As with anything, this process is taking time. Before I had a phone, reading was the thing I did without thinking, but now, things are different. I’m working on trying to get better with my choice of free-time activities. I’m not trying to villainize people who use their phone instead of read, not at all. I think there are definitely times where we need some mindless activities. I just wanted to share this blog to inspire others to revisit what we loved in our younger days. Perhaps it’s time to make a visit. 🙂

XOXO,

Mattie Mae