Easy Weeknight Dinner: Oven Baked Hash

I don’t know about you, but I’m super into easy, but delicious weeknight meals. If you have time to wait for dinner to be ready while you clean, shower, or work out, I have the perfect recipe for you. What I call “hash” is definitely one of our go-tos featuring pretty much any leftover veggies or meats that can be baked.

You can easily get in your protein, carb and veggie into one easy meal. Just chop, arrange, and add seasonings (salt/pepper, Italian seasoning blend, garlic, cayenne pepper, etc.) to your mix. Then pop that bad boy in the oven at 445 for 40 min or until a fork can easily go through a potato/brussel sprout and voila! Dinner is served…in a bowl.

Below are some of my favs to bake into hash:

  • Brussel sprouts
  • Potatoes
  • Onions
  • Chorizo (or Soy Chorizo from TJs is bomb.com)
  • Chicken apple sausage
  • Green apples
  • Cherry tomatoes

 

ClaudettesCorner

11 Beauty Product Must-Haves Without Breaking the Bank

I’m all about finding good deals and beauty products are no exception. Here are my favorite budget beauty products that I’ve tested and trialed and absolutely LOVE!

  1. Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate. For matte lipstick lovers, this is the BEST. It seriously stays on all day, it’s hydrating, smells good AND it’s only $4.99 at Target or Walgreens. My go-to color is 104.
  2. Nailtiques Formula. My mom heard about this through a friend so we tried it out together. My nails have always been a little weak and brittle, but after using this for a couple weeks, they were not only growing like crazy, but also growing out strong! Now, I only need to use it every few times I paint my nails.
  3. Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish. Obsessed. I am an avid nail painter as all of my past roommates know, and I have to peel off everything and repaint anytime there’s a chip. While this isn’t as good as getting a real gel manicure, it lasts way longer than normal polish…about a week on fingers (without any chips) and up to a month on toes. Get it from Target since it’s $3-4 cheaper than other stores.
  4. Rosehip Oil. This is seriously a miracle product. I was searching for something to get rid of my melasma on my forehead and have tried both crop serum and lavender oil to no avail. I came across this formula and after about 3 months of using it fairly regularly, not only is my melasma almost gone, but I also have totally noticed that any small wrinkles I had are gone. Just a few drops a day does wonders for your skin and also makes it smell oh-so-good.
  5. Loreal Future-e Day Lotion with SPF 15. I’ve been using this for years because it doesn’t make me feel oily like a lot of other moisturizers I’ve tried. I apply this after the rosehip oil every morning. I only wish it came in SPF 30!
  6. St. Ives Blackhead Clearing Green Tea Scrub. I love this scrub because it totally keeps blackheads at bay but also keeps my face really soft and smooth. Get it at Target for less than $4.
  7. Benefit Gimme BROW. For someone who just wants a little extra brow definition, this stuff is great and easy to use.
  8. Shikai Color Reflect Platinum Shampoo. Perfect for anyone with blonde hair or blonde highlights that wants to keep that blonde nice and bright. Your stylist has probably used purple shampoo on you before and this is a cheap way to do it at home a couple times a week! Don’t worry, it’s not going to turn your brown hair blonde…it’ll just focus on the blonde parts.
  9. Shea Butter and Coconut Oil Hair Mask. For $4.99 at Trader Joes, this stuff is seriously amazing. My hair was instantly silkier and I ended up stocking up on more tubes because we all know that sometimes our favorite products may go out of stock for months at a time.
  10. Explore Naturals Deodorant. After trying out multiple different natural deodorants, this one is my favorite thus far. It leaves no smell, goes on smoothly.
  11. Loreal Ever Pure Shampoo/Conditioner. I looked for a good sulfate and paraben free shampoo and conditioner for awhile and tried out many different shampoos and conditioners. I have pretty fine hair and all of those I tried tended to leave my hair very flat, while this one leaves the volume but doesn’t come with the toxic ingredients.

What are your favorite beauty products? Comment below!

ClaudettesCorner

15 Budget Red Wines Under $15

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Between the sugar hangover and the bloated belly, I can’t bring myself to drink sweet whites or really any white wines for that matter. Since my Chardonnay days ended towards the end of college, I’ve become more of a dry-full-bodied-red-wine-with-an-oaky-base kind of gal. So if you like sweet Pinots, this post isn’t for you.

I am all about finding a nice & affordable, yet delicious full-bodied red. People say there’s a huge difference between expensive wine and cheap wine. Maybe if you can afford a $70 bottle of Caymus Collection for a 2 glass Friday night, then there’s a difference. But $30 vs. $15? I beg to differ.

Matt and I started taking notes on every bottle we drink because we always seem to forget which ones were just “eh”, especially if they have a cool label. I included some of our notes below.

Here are my top choices for bargain reds, so you can afford to split a bottle…or even 3 on a good night…without breaking the bank. P.S. Some of these are usually priced higher, but I get them at a lower rate by buying 6 bottles at a time at places like Ralphs.

1. Trader Joes Coastal Merlot – $4.49

I’ve tried the Cab Sav in this collection and I’m not a fan. But WOAH MERLOT. TJs, you win with your new-age $2 buck chuck.

2. Trader Joes Growers Reserve Merlot – $4.99

We note this one as “smooth & dry AF”.

3. Arrow Creek Merlot – $4.99

“Warm & full-bodied”.

4. La Finca Tempranillo – $3.99

Getting out of our cab/merlot comfort zone with this one. “Spicy and unique”.

5. The Original Smoking Loon Cabernet Sauvignon – $8.99

Matt calls this one “slutty”.

6. Bogle Cabernet Sauvignon – $8.99

I haven’t found anyone who doesn’t like this signature cab.

7. Carnivor Cabernet Sauvignon – $9.99

8. 7 Moons Red Blend – $9.99

“Easy drinkin. Medium-bodied, with a smooth after taste.” Table wine for any occasion.

9. Robert Mondavi Merlot – $8.99

“Delicious” – 5/5

10. Josh Cabernet Sauvignon – $11.99

Oh, how I love Josh. He’s a constant in my life and every time he’s around, I’m overcome with delight. Don’t try to find him at a commercial grocery store or he’ll be over $20. Trader Joes sells him at a casual $11.99 and my heart is happy.

11. Robert Hall Cabernet Sauvignon

Hands down favorite. My mouth waters just thinking about it. You can get it for a good deal at Ralphs when it’s on the buy 6 bottles sale.

12. Raymond Merlot – $13.99

Dry, smoky and extremely delicious.

13. Gnarly Head Merlot – $11.99

“Bold, sophisticated, & smooth.”

14. Joel Gott Cabernet Sauvignon – $14.99

Pretty much have realized we like any red wine that has a man’s name in it. I’m not sure how it’s worked out like that, but it has.

15. Rodney Strong Cabernet Sauvignon – $14.99

See?

16. Chateau Ste Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon – $13.99

Classic favorite of ours. “Warm, smooth, no after taste”.

Have a favorite I’m missing? Comment below – I’d love to try it!

 

ClaudettesCorner

 

Name Change List for Newly Married Babes

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I’m going to be real here. The name changing process sucks. It’s long, frustrating and hard to determine what all needs to be changed and when.

To help my fellow newlyweds out, I compiled a list of where to change your name and tips for how to do it in order to make the process as efficient as possible. I’m also a huge fan of lists and wasn’t able to find a good consolidated one when I was changing everything, so I hope this helps someone else out there!

Step 1: Marriage license

Get three to be safe. You’ll want to keep one on file and then will have to send in a couple copies during the name change process.

Step 2: Social Security

First, make an appointment at your local SSN office. Then, fill out the application, print it and bring to the SSN office. You will receive the new copy in 10 business days.

  • Bring all forms of ID and paperwork – old license, marriage license, new social security card, birth certificate, and name change

Step 3: DMV

Schedule an appointment for at least two weeks after your SSN appointment. You’ll need your new SSN card in order to get a new license. FYI, apparently when you get a brand new ID, you go into the system to be called for jury duty. I got my letter about a month after I went to the DMV!

  • Bring all forms of ID and paperwork – old license, marriage license, new social security card, birth certificate, and name change
  • Complete form DL 44

Step 4: Banks

Once you get your new license, you can change your bank information. Bring your ID and marriage certificate to the bank. Now’s the time to switch bank accounts or join with your hubby. We’ll save that convo for a later date.

Step 5: Misc

  • Credit Cards – These are pretty easy, at least with Chase & CapitalOne. I was able to change both of mine online!
  • Bills – Now that your bank info has changed, you’ll want to update all of your auto-pay info with your new name.
  • Passport – You’ll need to purchase a new passport Fill out the application and bring passport photo, birth certificate, certified copy of marriage license, and ssn card to a local post office or place that makes passports. They will take everything from you and mail it back in a few weeks.
  • TSA Precheck – Make an in-person appointment, bring your marriage license, and may as well bring copies of your legal docs. It took 6 months for them to change my name after my first phone call.
  • Airline Accounts (Southwest) – This will vary from airline to airline. For Southwest Rapid Rewards, name change requests must be submitted in writing to Rapid Rewards, P.O. Box 36657, Dallas, Texas 75235. Written request must include a letter about your new legal name, member contact info, RR account number, and photocopies of legal docs (old and new photo ID & marriage license). If you already have a flight booked with your old name, email crrrdox@wnco.com – submit copy of old & new ID, copy marriage license, and flight numbers to change.
  • Employee Benefits – Update your name with your company and they will help you change your benefits information.
  • Home – Title company & mortgage company
  • Auto – Car registration & auto insurance
  • Gym Membership
  • Voter Registration

Did I miss any important ones? Let me know!

ClaudettesCorner

Eating Our Way Through Paris in 2 Days

Honeymoon Part 4

Our final stop after the Amalfi Coast, Tuscany, and Western Switzerland was Paris, the city of love…and foodgasms. Leaving miles and miles of walking for last day may have been a little crazy since we were totally pooped after 14 days gallivanting all over Europe, but it was worth every last second bite.

Overall, Paris was surprisingly cheap. At least compared to where we had already been. They even have free water (woahhhhh crazyyyy). After two weeks of purchasing it everywhere, this was pretty exciting.

Okay, back to the trip…after a lot of research, I was torn between which area to stay in. I finally chose St. Germain, which turned out to be an up-and-coming neighborhood in walking distance to pretty much everything. Our 2-CV local tour guide even said we picked quite a cool place.

While in Paris, we basically just bar and appetizer-hopped our way around the city for two days and had a spectacular time doing so.

Foodie Favs

  • Breizh Cafe. The crepes here are so so so good. Salmon and goat cheese is to die for.
  • Eggs & Co. Matt found this place on Yelp and I would venture to say it’s pretty hipster, with the hole-in-the-wall type of look. Yet, it’s decorated tres cute and the food is great. I had the benedict and au plait eggs with bacon, chives, and parmesan plus they give you salad and yummy mini potatoes.
  • Odette. Definitely stopped here because 1. it looked cute and 2. because it rhymes with my name. Turns out they have yummy cream puffs and I don’t even like cream puffs!
  • Les PhilosophesTwo words. Foie gras. I didn’t know what exactly I was eating until I had finished, but holy s*** it was good. Who knew duck liver + jam on toast could be so tasty? We also had the french onion soup, because well, France.
  • Paul. I think this must be a chain since I saw two of them, but they’ve got some great pastries.
  • Escargot. Turns out, not a fan. We ordered half a dozen, tried to thoroughly chew 2 and were unsuccessful. Also had to awkwardly ask the waiter how to get those suckers out of the shell with the clamp. Everyone in the restaurant had a good laugh.

Favorite Hoods & Must Dos

  • Le Marais. A cute historical neighborhood in the 3rd Arrondissement with plenty of shops and food, notably Les Philosophes.
  • Rue de Boci. Another super cute neighborhood with outdoor cafes, live music in the street, and great people watching.
  • 2 CV Tour. Matt’s dad said we HAD to check out this 2-hour night-time tour and he was totally right. Riding around Paris in a lavender-colored, French version of the VW bug with no roof was seriously the coolest thing ever. Our tour guide was a local French woman who was a bit crazy behind the wheel but very entertaining and knowledgeable. Not only did we get to see all of the big features in Paris lit up, but we got a great lay of the land on night one.

We will definitely be back and I can’t wait to continue exploring and EATING!

Cheers Claudette 2