1.31.2019

Skincare for Mature Skin: I found a Secret Weapon with this Natural Overnight Resurfacing Peel Cream (I don't Like It. I Love it)

In December, I turned fifty. I think that means my skin is officially called mature now.

Lifestyle/Travel  Blogger Leigh Hines in Raleigh, NC.
Photo by Turnkey Photography in Raleigh 


Skincare companies try to sell us daily on the perfect skincare regimen as most of us attempt to chase that fountain of youth. The beauty industry is a multi-billion dollar industry with very little safety regulations.  Some of it harms us. Some of it does nothing for us. And, unfortunately, a lot of good skincare results has to do with our genes.

My mom is 83. She is a prime example of someone doing very little in terms of skincare and people are shocked when they learn her age. She was not a sunbather and we all know that is a good thing when it comes to aging. She drinks very little alcohol (only when she is with my children for any length of time) and buys very inexpensive drugstore skincare products. I hope I look as good at 83.



I, on the other hand, have always been a cosmetic and skincare junkie. At the age of 13, a Lancome gift set was on my Christmas list.  I take two baths a day and always use a facial cleanser. I never ever go to bed with make-up on my face and in my fifty years on this earth, I do not think there has been one day that I never washed my face. I even use my cleanser on days I apply no make-up.

I have also learned that if I am not hydrated enough then my skin looks terrible and it emphasizes lines and wrinkles.

I have tried product after product. I have even stopped using products regularly because I would wonder if the product was too pricey and then I would buy a cheaper product.  Sometimes, I truly benefitted from the cheaper product and sometimes, not. I do not want to do botox. It's not on my radar.

Natural product that keeps skin glowing


What may work well for me may not have the same results on you, but I have a list of four products that I love and now buy regularly. One is a new product I bought in December for myself. I gifted one to my sister-in-law, too. I've not talked to her yet to ask how she feels about Beautycounter's Overnight Resurfacing Peel, but I am a fan.

I use this resurfacing peel three to four times a week. After using it, you need to follow up with a moisturizer for the best benefit. It's not a peel that you take off. It seeps into your skin and I found that it helps with my skin's texture. I can certainly tell a difference on the mornings that I have used it the night before.  Again, it's not for daily use, but I do it several times a week.

Beautycounter Product


I love this skincare product. If you do not want to commit to a larger bottle, there is an overnight resurfacing peel travel size bottle at a more affordable price-point to get you started.  This is the size of the bottle I have currently and the size I bought my sister-in-law.

The other favorite products I love by Beautycounter and praise are the three facial oils.
The best for mature skin is the No. 2 Plumping Facial Oil, but I  love the No. 1 Brightening Oil. I tend to use these facial oils more as my daily and nightly moisturizer than I do actual moisturizers. The brightening oil is the product I prefer most. I've been using another Beautycounter serum in place of the brightening oil for about three months now because frankly, it was new and cheaper, but I plan to switch back to the original brightening oil.  I really miss it. It works better for me.  I also always keep the peppermint lip balm in stock.

Thanks to those who responded on my Instagram account who wanted to hear more about my skincare routine. If you have questions, you can contact me at any time.

This overnight resurfacing peel is a new beauty item that keeps skin glowing. Perfect for mature skin.


Disclosure: My time for writing this post is made possible by Flooring by Design, Durham, North  Carolina's local business for carpet cleaning. Thank you to my sponsors for keeping me at my desk writing.

I purchase Beautycounter at a consultant price point, which is at a discount over retail pricing. If you use my referral link to buy, I would earn commission. 

1.30.2019

A Detox Soup for Cold Winter Days: Cabbage and Tomatoes Fat-Burning Soup

This is an older soup recipe that I published on the blog in 2014, but I felt it was time for a reboot, especially after coming off travels where I dined out many days in a row. I had delicious food recently while in Roanoke, Virginia, but I did not stick to the lower-carb diet that I've been committed to lately. I

I plan to make my version of this fat-burning soup as soon as I buy some cabbage and tomatoes at the store.  It will be perfect for lunches at home this week, especially since we are in a frigid temperature deep freeze in North Carolina. This cabbage soup recipe has been around a long time for weight loss, but I think it's just divine as a soup, and if you want a really good meal then add ground beef to it.  It's still low-carb and delicious.  

I've yet to find the time to give you an update on 20-pound weight loss journey and how I did it. I promise it is coming soon, but I need to have uninterrupted time to write.  Time has been a precious commodity lately. 

Fat Burning Soup with Cabbage and Tomatoes; Winter Detox Soup

This cabbage and tomato based soup is good because it's packed with so many wonderful veggies. Cabbage is such a low-cost item in the produce section as well. You can use fresh tomatoes or canned tomatoes. Of course, in the winter months, canned tomatoes will be more cost-effective. 


Fat Burning Soup with Cabbage and Tomatoes; Winter Detox Soup


This soup is part of a rigid medical diet that you can follow for weight loss or you can just enjoy the soup like I do, but it does give your body a good detox.  The first time I ever made the soup, it banished water retention and I lost four pounds. That's great for coming off several days of eating restaurant food, but I do not think the seven-day diet is healthy. It was designed as a quick weight loss plan for overweight heart patients before surgery.   




Fat-Burning Soup with Shitake Mushrooms

I will more than likely make this soup in my Instant Pot this time.  I will also use bone broth, red pepper flakes and perhaps even toss in red cabbage. You can make this soup your own. Carrots could work, too, but they are a little higher in carbs so I think it depends on your purpose in making the soup. Right now, I just want to keep warm and get lots of vegetables.



Green Onions in Fat-Burning Soup


Basic Fat-Burning Soup with Cabbage and Tomatoes. 
(my version)

6 large green onions
2 large cans of tomatoes
1 large head of cabbage, chopped
1 bunch of celery
shitake mushrooms for flavoring
1 hot pepper
2 cloves of chopped garlic
1/4 inch of Kombu seaweed
Vegetable Broth or Bone Broth. I used organic
Spices for flavoring: Your choice. I used a red pepper sauce, thyme, oregano, etc. 

Saute veggies in olive oil. Add tomatoes. Cover with a combination of broth and water.  Boil for ten minutes. Season it with items of your choice.  


Quick and Easy Fat Burning Soup with Cabbage and Tomatoes


Disclosures: This post contains an Amazon affiliate link for the very Instant Pot I own and use. My writing and time to share this recipe were made possible by PowerTech Electrical Services, your go-to guys for emergency electrical work in Durham, N.C. Thank you!

1.25.2019

Score Super Bowl Points with this BBQ Chicken Sliders and Peach Salsa Recipe

I like easy recipes. I want an ingredient list so short that I can remember what goes in it when I forget to take a list to the grocery store. If I can throw things into a crockpot, forget about it for a good portion of the day, and the results are still good, then I might just do a happy dance.  I now have an Instant Pot so I can cook things more quickly or use the Instant Pot as a slow cooker as well.


For this post, I'm sharing a recipe that I first made from my Papa Spud's produce delivery a few years ago when fresh peaches were in abundance. Of course,  as the Super Bowl rolls around, peaches are out of season for most of us.

fresh  north carolina peaches, perfect for a BBQ pulled chicken slider salsa



Here in North Carolina, that farm-fresh peach window is about six weeks in late summer. Luckily for us, we have canned peaches to help us year-round and be used to make this peach salsa to pair with BBQ Chicken Sliders  I would also rinse the canned peaches, so they are no so sugary if stored in light syrup.

This easy and quick recipe for pulled chicken and peach salsa recipe is perfect for a busy weeknight or if you are hosting a party for a crowd like the SuperBowl or a college tailgate.  My kids eat BBQ chicken, and they like hamburger buns so even if they don't eat the peach salsa, they have something to eat.

Peach Salsa with chips makes a great dish for a tailgate or  SuperBowl Party


The peach salsa also works well to serve with chips if you want to skip the BBQ pulled chicken sliders altogether and just serve chips. I like blue chips with it.  Or you can skip the peach salsa and just do BBQ pulled chicken sliders for dinner, a tailgate, or party for a crowd.  Leftover BBQ pulled chicken is great for another night in the week if you are serving a small group.  The sliders also taste great without the salsa, but when combined it's a culinary touchdown.

Pulled BBQ Chicke slides topped with Peach Salsa: The Perfect Tailgate Meal




Pulled BBQ Chicken Sliders

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts (or combo)
1/2 onion, minced
1 cup plus 1/4 Brown Sugar-Based BBQ sauce ( I used a sauce from Trader Joes)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

**If you do not have a brown sugar-based sauce, then add 2 Tbsp brown sugar to the crockpot.

Add onion, BBQ, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and brown sugar (if needed) to crockpot. Make sure salt and sugar are dissolved. Add chicken, and mix to coat thoroughly. Cook on high 3 to 4 hours until you can tear chicken apart with a fork. When the chicken is tender enough to take apart with a fork, transfer chicken to a bowl, add some cooking juices. Continue to pull chicken apart, and mix 1/4 cup of BBQ sauce. Stir until chicken is coated. Add salt or additional seasoning to taste. If you like heat, add a hint of red pepper. Serve on buns or small rolls. Add the following Peach salsa for a Superbowl touchdown.

If you are cooking in this easy pulled bbq chicken in the Instant Pot, you can search many recipes, but most say to pressure cook for 15 minutes, then do a natural-release for ten minutes, and then open the valve. I've not done this in an Instant Pot yet, but I am going to put it on my menu soon.

Peach Salsa

2 peaches, chopped ( I used fresh when in season, but canned peaches work, too)
1 Roma tomato, chopped
1 Tbsp, lime juice
1 jalapeno, seeded, minced
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
2 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
1/4 tsp salt.

Combine chopped peaches, Roma tomato, lime juice, jalapeno, red onion, cilantro, and 1/4 tsp of salt in a bowl. Mix well. Add additional salt or lime juice as needed or to your taste.

Serve pulled chicken on hamburger buns with peach salsa.

Easy Recipe for a  Weeknight. Pulled BBQ Chicken Sandwiches with Peach Salsa. Can be cooked in Slow Cooker or an Instant Pot




Other sides or main dishes that are easy for Tailgating that have been featured by me
     Easy No-Mayo Pasta Salad
     Southern Baked Beans with a Twist
     Potatoes for a Crowd
     Deviled  Eggs from Bill Smith 
     Southern cornbread
     Cackalacky Game Day Dip
     Marinated Asparagus
     Shoe-Peg Corn Salad
     Hines Mac and Cheese 
     Caribbean Bean Salad 
     Creamy Pasta Salad 



Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and is also sponsored by Performance Automatic in Clinton, NC, where the 2019 Jeep Cherokee awaits a test drive.  My thanks to my blog sponsors for keeping me at my desk writing and sharing.


Updated: January 2019


1.16.2019

Raleigh Area: 5 Menu Items You Need to Try at Sassool Restaurant in North Carolina

As we move into 2019, I plan to introduce you to some of my favorite places in the Raleigh area. When a restaurant or tourism destination gets labeled as a favorite of mine then you know that I've been there more than once, and I consistently go back to experience it. 



Many local dishes are served at Sassool Restauant in NC


North Carolina has a Lebanese-Mediterranean restaurant in Raleigh called Sassool. There are three Sassool locations in the Raleigh area, I frequent the Sassool Cary location most often, but this delicious lunch and dinner restaurant has a location in North Raleigh and also inside the Morgan Street Food Hall in downtown Raleigh. Sassool on Morgan Street has a smaller, select menu, a special sampling of its most popular dishes.


The daily spread of Lebanese food is great at Sassool. Fresh and Healthy


I adore the restaurant's grape leaves. Sometimes, I just crave the darn things and have to pop in just to pick up grape leaves. I'm obsessed. I introduced my own mother to this restaurant just last week when we were together for lunch. She raved about the lentil soup, but I don't think she likes grape leaves like I do. It really must be an acquired taste. 

When Sassool opened its Morgan Street Food Hall location, they hosted a media night for local foodies to learn more about the restaurant. With two kids on very busy schedules, I rely on Tatiana Amador, my #OutaboutNC contributor and author of Time with Tati to represent me on occasion. I've written about Sassool in the past when owner Simone Saleh shared one of her family recipes with me for All Dolled Up Labneh Dip. 


There are many hot and cold food choices on the Sassool Menu.




Tatiana has tasted lots more than me at Sassool because I told you that I always get the same things so she put together this list of five things you must really try after the media tasting.  She has a great list except she didn't add grape leaves and now I'm adding the lasagna. I tried that last week. Sassool has fabulous tabouli, too. 

The Sassool Meaning/History


The story of Sassool begins in 1976 when the Civil War broke out in Lebanon. The Saleh family uprooted their lives and migrated to the US for what they hoped was a better life. They brought their entrepreneurial spirit and love for their family's recipe to America. Cecilia Saleh, who was nicknamed Sassool as a child by her sons, taught her children her family recipes using simple, fresh ingredients as well as the importance of bringing people together over food. Once in the U.S., the boys missed an authentic pita, and they started a Lebanese bakery together called Neomonde.





Mounir, the third Saleh son, decided to break off from the family business after 34 years and make his own mark in the hospitality industry. Mounir, opened North Carolina's first Sassool, naming it after his mother. His entire immediate family now operate Sassool's three locations. 

Sassool Restuarant Menu Items to Try on Your Visit 

Sassool is known for their wide variety of healthy menu options. Meat lovers, vegans, and gluten-free dieters can easily find something to eat off the Sassool menu. At Sassool Select, located in the Morgan Street Food Hall, all cold items at this restaurant are gluten-free When they opened Sassool Select, it was important for them to have a small menu that accommodates all dieters.
We think these five Sassool items should be on your must sample list. 


cilantro-jalapeno hummus
Photo by @theglassofrose


Cilantro Jalapeno Hummus

Sassool is known for its hummus, but the cilantro jalapeno hummus raises the bar on hummus with a little spice in each bite. Paired with the restaurant's homemade pita bread, you can make a meal. 


Photo by @TimewithTati with OutaboutNC 


Baba Ghannouj

House smoked eggplant that takes over 3 hours to make.  You'll be glad you ordered it. 


lebanese potato salad
Photo by TimewithTati with OutaboutNC 


Lebanese Potato Salad 

A mixture of potatoes, garlic and bell peppers. This is one of the gluten-free sides at Sassool Select.



healthy kale salad
Photo by TimewithTati with OutaboutNC 


Kale Salad 

Even the pickiest of eaters can enjoy this concoction of dried fruit walnuts and kale.



angel kisses-homemade marshmallows dipped in chocolate
Photo by @britmurds 



Angel Kisses

Sassool makes some fabulous baklava, but you'll love the Angel Kisses, too. This dessert features homemade marshmallows dipped in chocolate (some have coconut flakes). 



Lebanese_Meditterean Restaurant in North Carolina that is worth a visit. It's called Sassool and there are three locations in the Triangle Area.


And Many More Items

There are so many items on Sassool's menu that will impress you. 
Overall, you can’t go wrong with whatever you try at Sassool. Ask questions and try something different each time you go or just stick with what you love best. 

Sassool Restaurant is not too far from the Lane Associates and Associates Family Dentistry with an office in West Cary, a January HinesSightBlog blog sponsor.  My sponsors keep at my desk writing. Thank you. 

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