I'm an engineer, I'm a mom. I'm an engineered mama.
Author: Engineered Mama
I'm an engineer. I'm a mom. I find myself discussing everything from motherhood and housework to image registration MATLAB algorithms at work... yeah... all of that in one day makes for an interesting (to me anyways) life. I finally decided to write it all down and share my biased insight on all things mom, all things wife, and all things engineer. So, you could say I'm an engineered mom.
"Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."
This is one of those recipes that I was hesitant to try, but it will now be a staple in our house. Its simple ingredients are usually in our fridge and they’re easy enough to put together quickly. I adapted this recipe that I came across from eatwell 101. Check out the original recipe here!
2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut horizontally
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 cup spinach, rinsed
4 oz shredded Mozzarella cheese (or more if you love cheese as much as we do!)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Add olive oil, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper into a Ziplok bag. Seal the bag and shake until mixed. Add the chicken breasts, seal, and massage so the chicken breasts are covered in the marinade, set aside for 10-15 minutes while you prep the remaining ingredients. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400ºF.
Rinse the spinach and place in a microwave safe bowl. Wilt the spinach by microwaving the damp spinach until spinach is a dark color and wilted, set aside.
Arrange chicken breasts drained from the marinade in a baking dish. Spread the softened cream cheese over the chicken breasts and lay spinach on top of the cream cheese. Finally, sprinkle mozzarella over the top.
Bake the chicken for 20-30 minutes. The chicken spinach is done when cooked through to an internal temperature of 165˚F (75°C).
I serve this chicken with quinoa or rice. Make this on a busy weeknight-I hope you enjoy it!
These makeup dupes were inspired (ok, ok… flat out stolen…) by Tati‘s FULL FACE OF DUPES | Drugstore vs. Highend YouTube video. In her video, Tati completes a full face of drugstore makeup on one side and matches it flawlessly with high end makeup on the other side. When I watched the video I was shocked at how closely she was able to match the high end side and I loved the look, so naturally, I had to try it myself.
So, for this post I’ll be reviewing all of the dupe products I tried from Tati’s video and a few other drugstore brand suggestions Tati makes in various other video tutorials. I won’t be comparing them to high end makeup, but reviewing them in general. I have to hand it to Tati on this one, some of my new favorite products are in this list and… most of them are at a price point of around $5.99… what?! Yes… $5.99. I didn’t add the price of most of these items because they fluctuate so much between drugstores and Amazon. Before I purchase anything I usually compare the prices (and availability) between Meijer (I have one close by), Target, Ulta, and Amazon. So… here we go!
Alright, we’ll start off with a primer. I love Smashbox primer, but it’s SO EXPENSIVE. It seriously works miracles, but I’ve never broken down and bought a tube because I don’t wear full coverage foundation enough to shell out the extra cash for a tube. NYX Studio Perfect Primer is very similar to Smashbox, but at a much more wallet-friendly price point. I was pretty pleased with the formula and I’m happy to use it instead of the pricier option.
Yes, I know, I know… I had a Wet n Wild nail polish in EVERY color of the rainbow as a kid and I used a different color on every finger, too, but Wet n Wild really has come a long way since then. This foundation is $4.68 on Amazon. Bam! Ok, really, though… my new favorite foundation. This formula goes on great with a Beauty Blender or brush and looks great all day. I do tend to get a little oily toward the end of the day, but it holds up well especially for the price. There are a variety of shade ranges (I think I might have chosen a shade a little too light for me, but for the price I can afford to get a few darker shades for the summer as well) and I think anyone can find a good match. I’m curious to see how L’Oreal Infallible 24 HR holds up compared to this formula. The L’Oreal is 3X the price of this one, so for a daily foundation, this is a great option.
I’m on the fence on this one. The coverage is great, but I was pretty dewy at the end of the day. It’s cheap, it covers well, it blends well, it sets well with a setting powder, and it looks pretty natural. For the price I would probably buy this one again as well. The only downside with this one is that it contains coconut, which might break a lot of people out. I’ll have to see if it breaks me out after wearing it all day today. It does have SPF 15, which is also a little added bonus. The other problem I have with this is the “cushion” container. I feel like there is hardly any product in there. For the same price (actually less…) I can get a whole bottle of the Photofocus. Yes, it is a little different coverage and a bit of a different look and I get that, but I neither love nor hate this one.
Yep-my grandma had this on her vanity, too. This is hands down the best loose powder I’ve ever used. You can bake with it (no, not bake as in bread… bake your makeup…), use it as a finishing powder, and it’s buildable and works great with bronzers and blush. I don’t think I’ll give any of my other loose powders a second chance after this one. You get a ton of product in the container and it’s so affordable.
I wanted to love this one. The packaging is great, it’s relatively inexpensive, and bronzers are always fun to work with. This particular formula has some pretty large chunks of glitter. Yeah… not always the look you want. On me it looked a little patchy, but that might have been operator error-for some reason I used a fairly densely packed and smaller brush than normal, so I’ll give this one another try and probably only use it when I want to feel more… tropical.
I find this bronzer much easier to work with than the Bronze Booster. It has a finer powder formula and blends much more easily. I will give you a word of caution-if you’re fair-skinned and purchase the shade “light” it is basically a pressed powder… bummer. Make sure you purchase the “bronzer” shade if you want an actual bronzer. Yes… I found out the hard way.
I love this blush! $2.99? Yes, please! I hate trying to figure out what blush color to choose. In Tati’s video she used Pearlescent Pink and I was like, “Yes!!!! That’s it!”. Although this is called pink, it does have hints of coral, which usually works well with any color combinations. I’m glad I added this one to my collection.
This blush isn’t in this video, but Tati uses it frequently in her tutorials. This blush is my absolute favorite. The color is soft (Romantic Rose), it’s matte, and it has such pretty packaging. You can’t go wrong with this one!
Now, I’m not a huge fan of highlighters to begin with because they just enhance every large pore on my face and make my skin look oily, but Wet n Wild hit a home run on this one. The shade in Tati’s video is Precious Petals. It’s such a soft, subtle shade and the shimmer is very fine. Highly recommend this one!
Since I loved the single highlighting powder so much, I figured I needed more options, right? Luckily Wet n Wild makes an entire palette. I’m torn on this one-I love the shades and there is a variety that will go with any makeup look, but several of these have fairly chunky glitter in them. I’m not 12… I can no longer dump glitter on myself and not be judged. Overall, though this still isn’t too terrible for the price to give you a few more options.
St. Patrick’s Day is coming, so it’s time for a great corned beef recipe. This one is so easy it’s insane. Seriously. It is full of flavor, you have all of the sides in the same slow cooker (potatoes, carrots, onion, and cabbage), and it’s a must have for St. Patrick’s Day. I adapted my recipe from a recipe from foodiecrush.com. Check out the original here! There is even an Instant Pot option included at foodiecrush.com. I tend to fill my Crock Pot to the brim, so I’m not even attempting the Instant Pot option, but if you’re cooking a smaller amount, it might be worth a shot!
3carrotspeeled and cut into 3-inch pieces
1yellow onionpeeled and quartered
1corned beef brisketabout 3 pounds, plus pickling spice packet or 1 tablespoon pickling spice
16 oz beef broth
6sprigs fresh thyme
1/2head Savoy cabbagecut into 1 1/2-inch wedges
3-4tablespoonsprepared horseradish to taste
In a 5-to-6-quart slow cooker, place the carrots, onion and potatoes. Place corned beef, fat side up, on top of the vegetables and sprinkle with pickling spice. Pour the beef broth over the vegetables and brisket. Sprinkle with the sprigs of fresh thyme. Cover and cook on high until corned beef is tender, 5-6 hours, or 10-12 hours on low.
Arrange cabbage over corned beef, cover, and continue cooking until cabbage is tender, 45 min to 1 hour (or 1 1/2 to 2 hours on low). Thinly slice the corned beef against the grain and serve with the vegetables and cooking liquid with the horseradish sauce.
Corned beef is something I only tend to cook in March since that’s when it’s available in most stores, so I always forget what cut is the best to use in the slow cooker. The Point Cut tends to be fattier, more full of flavor, and juicier to cook while the Flat Cut is a leaner cut of beef. Head on over to foodiecrush.com For a better description of how to choose the best cut for your taste and how to prepare the corned beef before cooking in the slow cooker or Instant Pot.
*Sigh* I hate to go here, but there is a clear winner when it comes to eyeshadow palettes in my makeup arsenal. I know… you guys probably think you already have it figured out. Well, after trying and TRYING to love a certain cult favorite eyeshadow palette, I just can’t do it. Urban Decay, you are not for me. Could it be the particular palettes I happen to have? Maybe. I took a chance on Tarte and it paid off. Big time.
Over the holidays I purchased Naked Smoky, Naked Heat, and Naked 3. My typical daily look consisted of primarily matte shades from the Urban Decay Naked 2 Basics palette. They are very pigmented, complemented my skin tone, and were great for a daily look. I’ve always wanted to branch out and try bolder colors and since Urban Decay Naked palettes seem to be everywhere, I assumed this was a great place to start. UD Naked Smoky was the first palette I purchased during the holiday season. I was so excited to open the palette, was pumped to find a small tutorial insert in the package, and quickly went to work after ripping the package apart. Unfortunately I had to send the palette back after realizing one of the shades was misspelled (read about the epic fail here). After going through the tutorial, I quickly decided the smoky eye is not for me. For some reason, no matter what brushes I use it looks like I grabbed charcoal and smeared it all over my eyes. Could be my fair skin, could be my eye shape, I could just be an epic fail at eyeshadow application, who knows… all I know is it doesn’t work for me.
Next, I purchased the UD Naked Heat palette. Well, just like I couldn’t rock the smoky colors, the “heat” colors made me look like I had pink eye or a serious lack of sleep. Not exactly attractive.
Enter UD Naked 3. Ok… this one got a little better, but there were still more cool tones in this palette. There are some pink and purple toned shades, but they’re on the cooler side. The entire reason I love my Naked 2 Basics palette is that it is full of warm colors that compliment my fair skin so well. Urban Decay Naked 3 = Fail #3.
Right about the time I purchased the Naked Heat palette I decided to take a chance on another palette. This was really more of a “collection” than a palette. I kept seeing ads from Sephora and Ulta for Tarte’s Pineapple of My Eye Collector’s Set.
Well, I felt like I couldn’t justify a giant set like this. It didn’t all fit in the container (organizational me couldn’t deal…), I don’t need green eyeshadow (I’m not a 5-year-old playing with Barbie makeup, guys…), and… it’s expensive. Of course the interwebs had to read my mind and suggest a different collector’s set that DID fit in the packaging, still had an adorable little pineapple (stand tall, wear a crown, people) and sequined packaging, and it was, wait for it… ON SALE! Done and done.
What I love about the Sweet Escape Collector’s Set is… everything. Literally everything. I decided on this set because of the awesome packaging and now have found my favorite liquid eyeliner, blush, and SEVERAL eye makeup looks that I never would’ve attempted before.
I’m typically a matte eyeshadow type of girl, but this set has changed my mind. The shimmer shades are so pigmented and so full coverage that very little goes such a long way and looks great on. The blush colors are awesome-a great pink and a more rose option, and a bronzer and highlighter to complete the look. I’m now completely in love with the liquid eyeliner (I don’t do liquid eyeliner… I have to do my makeup with midgets yelling for me in the background, people). I ordered this set directly from Tarte when they had a 25% off sale during the holidays. Since ordering this set Tarte has mailed 20% off coupons. I will definitely be purchasing another Tarte shadow palette using their coupons.
So, for pigmentation, value, ease of use, and packaging… Tarte wins. Sorry Urban Decay, but I’m just not that impressed. I purchased an entire set of all of these shades of shadow, blushes, bronzers, mascara, eyeliner, and lip color for less than the price of an Urban Decay palette. Maybe I’ve just purchased the gimicky palettes and will feel differently with a full palette from the Naked line. For now, I’m not forking over the $54 to find out.
Alright, ladies… before you get your panties in a bunch, hear me out on this one. Women deserve equal rights, equal pay, and equal opportunity based on qualifications. SOLELY on qualifications, not their gender.
Girls, here’s where you’re being sold short. Do I deserve for a man to open a door for me? Absolutely. Do I deserve for my husband to be the provider and protector of me and our family? Absolutely. Does that make me weak or a lesser individual? Nope. If you feel that it does, maybe you need to do a little soul searching. Men opening doors for women and being chivalrous displays that women deserve to be taken care of, not because we’re fragile or can’t stand up for ourselves, but because we should be valued. If that makes you feel less, your value problem may be with yourself, not with those around you. I’ll happily tell all of the courteous men in my life to let the door slam in your face since you can take care of it yourself.
Women (and men while I’m at it) are being reduced to a gender, which means they MUST be underpaid, undervalued, weak, and subservient, right? Because I’m a woman, I must be held back in a male dominated field, right? Because I’m a woman, I must feel the need to march with a pink sign while wearing genitalia on my head (what I would be marching for… I’m still not sure…), right? Because I’m a woman, I should demand to be paid while I go off and have babies and not contribute anything to my place of employment, right? Because I’m a woman, I deserve the right to kill another human being because they’re an inconvenience in my life, right? Sorry, guys… I know the sarcasm is strong in this one. I am just finding it so hard to sit by and watch “feminists” claim that they deserve rights. What rights are you lacking? Seriously… fill me in. I’m still waiting to hear a legitimate answer to this question. Currently, in America, what rights are you lacking?
Did my gender define my career path? Nope. I work in a male dominated career field because it’s what I love. Should all women choose a male dominated career path to stick it to the man? Nope. Women should do what they love or do what is right for their family and for themselves, not because they’re being shoved toward a male dominated career field solely to fill a “void”. If staying home with their kids is what’s best for them and their family, they should have full support. If working a full-time job is what is best for them and their family, they should have full support.
While we’re on the subject of employment, let’s discuss this pay gap. While I’m sure there are many instances of females earning less than their male counterparts, here are a few contributing factors that are being vastly overlooked. First, many women have children and some time goes by that they are out of the workforce. Now, if a male counterpart has been continually employed while a female with the same credentials has been out of the employment field even a few years, this means the male counterpart will likely earn a higher wage. This is absolutely fair. The female has chosen to take time away from her profession in order to rear her children. This is a life choice the female has made, so there are consequences. If the female wants to maintain the same compensation as her male counterpart arrangements must be made, otherwise, she will not be compensated at a comparable rate. This leads to the next workplace “inequality”… maternity leave.
Women. Have. Babies. Simple fact of life… if men had babies there would be a lot more whining and a lot more pain killers 😉 . Totally kidding, men (*cough cough* not really…). Now, women must leave their place employment for a period of time to deliver their baby and recover. While the mother is away from work, her coworkers must pick up her slack. Yes… her slack. Is she there contributing to her company? No. Simple answer. Should she be compensated? Well, that depends on the company’s stance-as it should be. There are some awesome employers out there that will pay for maternity leave or even offer an extended maternity leave. That’s great for their employees, but for the majority of new moms, very few companies offer full compensation and very little time off after delivery. My solution for this? Make. Plans. Life is full of unexpected twists and turns-male or female. No one owes you ANYTHING. Not a thing. Don’t like maternity leave policies at your place of employment? Search for a new employer, don’t whine for a handout funded by hardworking individuals. Don’t be a charity case.
I’m not naive enough to think that there aren’t women who are being paid less than their male counterparts, are discriminated against for having family responsibilities, or being told they can’t simply because they’re a woman. The world is not perfect and there will always, ALWAYS be bias and there is nothing anyone can do to completely eliminate all bias in the world. What we can do is stand up for what is right, what is fair, and for equality… for EVERYONE, regardless of race, gender, whatever. Equality based on qualifications, not rallying for handouts or special treatment because of gender. Break stereotypes. Be a strong leader in your place of employment. This means leading with dignity, with honor, and leading without any bias. Don’t embrace victimhood, but shatter it. Don’t elicit over-emotional responses and assume you’re being singled out based on your gender. Stand and fight for what is right in a diplomatic matter. Keep killin’ it ladies 🙂
Oh, and for those that completely disagree, that’s what creates healthy, thought-provoking conversation, so keep it classy when you discuss any of these deep topics with others, k? K. *stores soapbox until another day*
If you’re thinking TMI, you may want to move on to another post. I’m writing this post because I figure if this can even help one person, it’s worth the time to put it out there. When I say sweaty palms, I really mean completely drenched. Like, dripping. As a teen, I would play video games with friends, hand off a controller to the next player, then hear, “What did you spill on the controller?”. Story. Of. My. Life. I would submit exams in blue books at school to my teacher or professor only to hear them say “What did you spill on your exam book?”. When I would tell them it was my sweaty hands they would respond with, “Oh, you were that nervous?”. Nope. I wasn’t. My hands have a mind of their own with no rhyme or reason to their sweatiness.
It wasn’t just my hands, my feet also had a puddling mind of their own. I danced throughout school and we typically wore lyrical sandals (we fondly called them Jesus sandals…). For those who have never been part of the dance world, this translates to a tiny piece of leather to cover the ball of your foot to allow you to turn effortlessly, but the rest of the “shoe” consisted of well, nothing-straps and that’s about it. Now, imagine having consistently drenched feet and doing leaps across a hardwood gym floor in these suckers. It ain’t pretty. I fell on my butt more times than I can count.
I know, I know… get to the point, right? Well, the point is I never found something that actually “worked”. I did find things to help me manage the awkward effects of my sweaty hands and feet. First of all, it has a name: hyperhydrosis (basically the scientific name for sweating too much). A lot of people with hyperhydrosis seem to sweat more in the underarm area, but in this case, my hands and feet are the culprits. I’ve had people all my life say “yeah, I get sweaty palms, too”. No, just no. Until your hands literally drip and you have to plan your outfit or shoe choice because you know you’ll either be standing in a puddle or will have sweat marks all over your clothing from your hands dripping, don’t tell me you can sympathize. I have only met a few people that can actually sympathize. My dad (thanks, dad… I know where I get it…), my sister-in-law, a foreign exchange student I met in high school, and I recently found out a friend’s sister has the same problem.
There is a surgery that can be done that severs sweat glands in the underarm area that will eliminate all sweating in the hands. Well, I’ve dealt with this problem all my life, so thousands of dollars of surgery not covered by insurance isn’t a solution for me. I have also been prescribed deodorants that “should” stop the sweating. You guys. Have you ever applied deodorant to the palms of your hand? No? Try it and see how that works out throughout the day for you. Not practical whatsoever. So, what has worked? Not much, but I have found a few products that help some. I have found a lotion as well as wipes that seem to work better than anything else I’ve tried.
These wipes are convenient and they work fairly well. They sometimes gave my hands a somewhat waxy feeling, but other than that they didn’t leave a greasy or oily feel like some other products do. They did slow the sweating, but when you wash your hands a few times the product loses its effects. Overall, these were expensive (around $2 per wipe), but they were great for situations where I really, REALLY wanted my hands to be a little dryer than they normally are. I came across these in a Sephora while in college. I was taking yoga classes (yes… engineers can do yoga, too…) and would just get continually frustrated falling on my face while going into downward dog. At the time these were $48 for a 24-pack, which is pricey, but I was willing to try anything. A wipe in a convenient package? Sold. I was finally able to actually free my mind and not continually fixate on which pose would bring me crashing to the floor next.
I haven’t used this lotion much, since I purchased it in dry winter months, but it has awesome reviews and is much more competitively priced at $24.95 for hand and foot lotion tubes. The tubes are small, but it’s still a great start for a $25 price point. The instructions say to use this product every night before bed and you will see results in around 4 weeks. Ain’t got time for that? That’s when the MED e TATE wipes might be handy.
Well, there you have it. Is it a great list of solutions? No, but I’ve tried everything to no avail. I’ve tried prescriptions, lotions, deodorants on my hands, nothing has worked. These two products at least give me some relief or improvement in a… sweaty… situation. If this helps at least one person who suffers from acute sweat-itis (put that in the Big Book of Boo Boos, Doc McStuffins), then sharing this was worth it.
Salmon is definitely my favorite fish. Partially because all recipes I have happen to be mix some ingredients, cover the salmon, bake, and voila! Delicious salmon dinner. Well, this one is pretty much the same, so it works for me! I typically make a mustard-maple salmon, so I was excited to try a more crusted salmon recipe. This one didn’t disappoint! I found this recipe from Cafe Delites. Check out their original recipe here!
2pounds wild salmon fillet
2/3cupgrated parmesan cheese
1/4cupfinely chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
Lemon wedges, to serve
Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking tray / sheet with a large piece of foil. Place the salmon fillet, skin side down, on the baking sheet; set aside.
Mix together the breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, parsley and garlic in a small bowl. Pour in the melted butter; season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/3 teaspoon pepper (or to taste). Using your hands (it’s easier than using a wooden spoon), mix the ingredients together until the breadcrumbs absorb the butter (about 40 seconds).
Pour the mixture over the salmon, pressing it into the top until the fillet is completely covered. Lightly spray salmon with cooking oil spray for a golden crumb.
Bake uncovered for 12-15 minutes (depending on the thickness of your fillet), until the crust is golden and the salmon is cooked and flakes easily with fork.
Serve with lemon wedges and a squeeze of lemon (optional).
This is a great salmon recipe if you’re looking for something with a little extra crunch. I hope you enjoy it!