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

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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

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

Crafting · Eco-friendly

Sewing Stories: Reusable “Cotton” Pads.

Hello, friends! I hope that you are having a wonderful Monday so far! I had a lovely weekend, which was, of course, too short. A wonderful, simple, little weekend. Going to lunch with my friend Tenley at Ponder, wandering around an estate sale, and SEWING!

I’ve seen so many different DIY’s for making these little “cotton” pads, but I thought I’d share my experience. In everything I do, I’m quite utilitarian. Food? Tasty, but not pretty. Home decor: Useful first, cuteness last. (I know, shocking!) And sewing… As long as the stitches keep things together, I’m fine. Pretty stitching is not my top priority.

I find these pads to be pretty darn cute, but that’s mostly likely because I find everything small to be adorable. I’m sure that someone who is better at sewing could make these even cuter, but I think that all in all, they turned out pretty well! They did what they were supposed to do — remove makeup!

Materials Needed:

  • I used terry cloth. If you have any old towels that are getting a little dingy, you could use those as well.
  • circle stencil. This can be all sorts of things, get creative! I used a small glass, but you could choose so many different things. A cookie cutter, an old jar, or even the bottom of a shampoo bottle! Whatever you choose, make sure that it’s just a bit bigger than your desired size, because you’ll lose a little material from cutting and sewing.
  • Some paper, for said stenciling. I recommend reusing some recycled paper for this step! I used the paper that came attached to the fabric.
  • Pins, for two different steps. Very important!
  • Sewing needle, or a sewing machine. (I sewed this by hand. A sewing machine is on the top of my want list, though…)
  • Thread. I used a thread that was close to the color of my cloth, but it could also be cute if you chose a contrasting color!

Okay, friends! Here we go!

Step One. I used my stencil to make a circle on the piece of paper. I suppose some people may be able to free-hand this, but I wasn’t taking any chances! Once you’ve traced it, cut it out!

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Step Two. After you cut out the stencil, pin it to the fabric. I also pinned the fabric to itself so that it wouldn’t shift at all, as shown in the below picture.

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Step Three. I cut out the circles two at a time. You could do more or less, depending on how thick your fabric is.

Step Four. Depending on how thick you want these to be, you can do varying layers of fabric. I chose to do three.

Step Five. I sewed all three of the pieces together! There are so many ways that you could go about this, but I just sewed all the way around the little circle, nothing fancy. If you want to speed up the process, you could definitely use a sewing machine.

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Step Six. Remove any loose strands and snip any excess fabric.

Step Seven. Remove your makeup! Yay!

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Thank you so much for reading, my friends! I had such a fun time with these. They were SUPER easy to do. And they worked like a charm, too!

Happy crafting!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

A Journey into Self-Love

Healthy Living Through a Child’s Eyes.

Hello, friends! It is Friday! HOORAY! Some weeks just seem to take the longest of times, and for whatever reason, this week has felt that way. This is a post that has kind of been forming in my mind for awhile. I’ve realized that many people, myself included, do not spend as much time outside as we used to. The busy lives we live can make it somewhat difficult to do this. I began to think of this in relation to how we handle exercise. Two different events helped me come across a little epiphany.

Number one: an Easter round of Eenie Einie Over. A game which NOBODY seems to know about. Anyone outside of my family ever play it? I’ve looked it up online and it seems like more people call it Annie-Annie Over.  Anywho. It’s been a game that my cousins, brother, and I have always played when we get together. We played a round on Easter for the first time in years and years. We used to play this game for hours and I don’t remember getting half as winded as I was during Easter. As adults we don’t often do physical activity just for the fun of it. Our activity is calculated into calories, sets, and reps. Or our activity is planned within an inch of its lifeat 10:00, we’ll take a hike, but I have to be back at 1:00 so I can do this and this and this. Which may be a slight exaggeration, but honestly, it’s pretty true to life.

Playing Eenie Einie Over made me realize a couple of things.

The first being how out of shape I am. YIKES.

The second being that I miss playing outside like I used to. It’s fun to be outside and to exercise. To make the conscious decision to allow ourselves to channel our inner-child and be silly and explore the world around us.

We often view exercise as a punishment for not looking the way that we want to, instead of it being fun and allowing us to be thankful for all our body can do. Everyone has different abilities, so what we’re thankful for WILL differ person to person.

I know that many people will disagree with me on this, but I don’t think the gym is the best place or way to become fit. I think that it can be utilized in a way that makes it quite beneficial, but I also think there are many other ways to get exercise.

Number two: On Wednesday, Bobby really wanted to play basketball, so we bought a basketball and went to the park. Something so simple, but we were able to get moving and have fun. Working out doesn’t have to be rigid. For me, I don’t ever want it to be. I know that there are some instances where it may need to be, but I just want to suggest that we start thinking like children again. When not busy, run outside and explore your surroundings. Revel in the world around you and what you’re able to do. Healthy living is so much more than what our bodies can or cannot do, it’s also about what’s going on inside.

Spending time outside allows us to care for ourselves physically and mentally. Walk trails, smell flowers, play a game or two.

Summer is (finally) coming and I’m so ready to take advantage of the beautiful weather. I get giddy when I think of all the hiking trips, camping adventures, and canoe rides I have in the future. Being able to exercise like a child, really allows us to regain a relationship with our mind, our bodies, and the world around us.

As a child, I loved being outside. I still do, but often I feel as though I need to plan out my time outside, but I don’t! And neither do you! Walk out your front door and ask your inner-child what they want to do.  Our hearts long to feel what they once did, we just have to listen to them. Sometimes when I get outside, I  just can’t help it — I want to skip, I want to twirl. Obviously, this is not always a possible thing, but listen to yourself! Really listen!

We have such an innate connection to the outdoors, we just can’t help it! I think that by listening to ourselves, we’re able to strengthen our relationships. If on a hike with yourself, you’ll be able to strengthen your relationship with your body, by giving it exercise. You’re able to strengthen your relationship with the Earth, by surrounding itself with its beauty. You’re able to strengthen your relationship with your heart. Listen to what it tells you. Oftentimes, we don’t let our heart speak with us, because it feels things that we may not want to focus on. Feelings aren’t always practical, which can be hard for us.

Spending time with others in nature is a great bonding experience as well. One that I don’t think you’d quite get if going to the gym. Have you ever tried having a conversation with someone while both being on the treadmill? Nearly impossible, haha! Being surrounded by beauty allows us to be more vulnerable with not only ourself, but others.

In conclusion: listen to the heart you had as a child. Allow them to explore the world, to learn, and to make relationships with others. It’s all too easy to ignore them, as the business of adult life grows louder and louder. Listen to your body, too. What does it need? Listen to yourself and be conscious of the splendor the world provides us. Sometimes, feeling small in the world is what we need. Not unimportant in the world, but just small. Our worries aren’t always life or death. A childlike perspective is sometimes all that we need.

I hope that you are having a great day! And a great weekend to boot!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae