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!

Love,
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.

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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!

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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 ;)

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

Love,
Jenna

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!

Love,
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!

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^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.

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^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.

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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! ;)

Love,
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!

Love,
Jenna <3
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