The Before & After Shots You’ve Been Waiting For…



I had a weird Monday. The first half flew, but (I think because I didn’t get out for lunch) my afternoon semi dragged on. Then I was nearly attacked by a wasp, so, you know. What about you?

After work I was this close to bailing on my much needed workout, but I did the right thing and got my butt in that car and drove straight to the gym! :D

30 minutes treadmill alternating between 6.5 and 7.0 = 3.25 miles

20 minutes step mill alternating between level 9 & 10 = 2.25 miles.

Aaaand it’s official. I hate that dang step mill!! We’re on an indefinite break until further notice. There was a guy on the one next to me, who was at least 75, and he was just hauling. I, on the other hand, was dying. It’s good, I guess. But omg I am so moving on! Please tell me I’m not the only one who’s ever broken up with a piece of gym equipment?! :oops:

In other news, per my menu posting for the week, tonight’s menu featured Thai Peanut Stir Fry for dinner!!!


I used my no-fail stir fry technique combined with the sauce that helped me win $500, which I watered down with ~1/3 cup water, and whipped up a tasty, light-yet-filling dinner in no time flat. :) 

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In the mix:

  • Extra firm tofu
  • Chicken breast
  • Zucchini
  • Bok Choy
  • Pea pods
  • Broccoli

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All stir fried in batches, with a teaspoon of peanut oil (the MOST tasty of oils,) then combined and tossed with da sawce!


Oh, and served over some chewy brown rice made with chicken broth. :)


Can we talk about how much I love bok choy? I picked it up on a whim and it totally made the dish. I always like it in restaurant stir fries but never think to put it in my own. Totally easy to use too – just clean it like you do celery, cut off the very top part of the leafy green section and stir fry! Great texture!


Topped with green onion and chopped peanuts, this was a FAAABULOUS 10 minute dinner. And that sauce can’t be beat. Peanutty but not too thick since I watered it down. Just the right amount of zip and spice!


In other news, I decided to launch the next giveaway as part of the Month of Holiday Giveaways tomorrow, so tonight, as promised, I’m posting the before and after shots showing the magical properties of The Teaze!!!

I told you several weeks ago about The Teaze Brush – how it’s basically the greatest thing to happen to thin, limp, style-phobic hair since the invention of aqua net. Well, here’s how’s it works…


1. I start with hair that’s been prepped with Pantene Pro-V Triple Action Mousse for Fine Hair and blown dry with a round brush. Unfortunately I have to wash my hair everyday, or it looks wretchedly stringy, otherwise dirty hair would work even better. 


2. Take a 1/2 inch – 1 inch section at the crown of your head and tease lightly. Teasing with The Teaze is different than teasing with a regular teasing comb – you want to fluff not comb down hard. Continue until you get all the way to the bottom third of your hair.





3. NOW turn to your regular teasing comb and smooth out the fluff.



Aaaaand, there we go. :)



4. Now we shallack. I’ve used plenty of expensive hair sprays, but nothing holds better then plain ol’ Suave Maximum Control Hair Spray. I am telling you, my hair would not move in a hurricane. If you’re into that. :)


Happy, fluffy hair!






I know, I know, it doesn’t look THAT much different than the after but keep in mind:

1. I don’t like my hair TOO high. You saw from how fluffy my hair was that I definitely COULD get it much higher.

2. My hair before teasing would be flat in 3 minutes. My Teazed hair stays poofy all day!

So there you go! Possibly more than you ever wanted to know about my hair, but if it helps even one flat-haired woman – it was worth it! :D

Whelp, somehow I’ve found myself with a million things to do tonight, so I’ve got to jet. See ya’ tomorrow with my next holiday giveaway! Goodnight!

ps all new House Hunters International this week on HGTV!

pps remember that contest my cousin entered to win an all-expenses paid dream wedding?! HE WON! Wheee! The happy couple will be getting hitched this February – all fo’ free. Niiiice. Thanks so much for voting for him! :D

ppps if you feel like giving away one more vote – there is less than two weeks left in the Breakstone Blogger Challenge! My Dip, Turkey & Whoopie Pies would sure appreciate your vote!

Ok, that is all. ;)


What beauty/health item do you swear by?

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  1. I wish you could do my hair every morning. I just end up with a huge rats nest.

  2. Meg 12.06.2010

    Your hair is adorable, I absolutely LOVE it :D
    Suave products are amazing for the price, I think. I also love a lot of products by Nature’s Gate!
    That’s SO awesome about your cousin – congrats to him!

    xox Meg

  3. Lauren 12.06.2010

    Haha, girl I JUST posted about me facing my fears and trying that dang step machine. I run 30 miles a week, 5 miles a day, and I like to think I have pretty good endurance, but this thing was HARD! I hear ya!

  4. erica 12.06.2010

    loooooove your hair!!!

    i love my clarisonic. can’t live without it!

  5. I swear by moisturizer with SPF! I’m fair skinned so I need to protect myself. Also, John Freida’s shine spray works WONDERS. My friends use it all the time and are always so amazed at the results!

  6. tim 12.06.2010

    Wow! That’s pretty awesome, I’ll link my friend Lynn to it, her hair is pretty flat too. You look great!

  7. Cassie 12.06.2010

    I’m so glad your cousin won, I vote for him!! That’s amazing!

    My must-have beauty item is Alba hand/body lotion… my skin and New Jersey weather do NOT get along… Alba is natural and paraben free, smells like a summer day, and brings oh so needed relief.

    Must-have health items are:
    All Boiron products!! Take ’em when you feel the FIRST sign of
    ickiness and presto! Gone!! Homeopathic goodness.

  8. A.J. 12.06.2010

    I tried a step machine for the first time when traveling about three weeks ago. The hotel gym had one, and it was the only machine available. I almost died after 10 minutes.

    I’m still trying to get the hang of the teaze brush. You are right that it really is different from using a regular tease brush. Why, why, why does my hair have to be so FLAT?

    Let’s see, beauty/health item I swear by. I use Mary Kay Medium Coverage Foundation. It’s the only type I’ve found that really matches my skin, looks natural AND provides adequate coverage of redness/occasional acne flairs. I tried the mineral stuff that’s so popular now, but I need more coverage. Also, I have very sensitive skin that often is aggravated by makeup, lotions, etc., so I have to use really gentle products.

  9. I love the serious look on your face in the hair pics! :) I swear by my straightener and certain products. :)

    • Iowa Girl Eats 12.06.2010

      Hahaha, I know, I was like ummm…how do I do this?! Plus I was concentrating very hard – that’s a hard angle to shoot!

  10. Rachel 12.06.2010

    If you’re giving away one of those brushes, I NEED it!!! My hair’s just like yours–Falls flat in about 5 minutes. However, I’ve recently discovered Aveda’s ControlForce hairspray–It holds my hair in place & doesn’t make it “crunchy.”

  11. I LOVE that brush! A coworker told me about it roughly a year ago and I can’t imagine my hair routine without it! I bought it at the salon for $8’ish, but if you have a local Sally Beauty Supply, it’s about $5. :)

  12. I LOVE Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum. LOVE IT. Luckily, my cousin is Paul Mitchell trained hair stylist, and gets a killer discount!

  13. Allison @ livingoneday 12.06.2010

    Woohoo! I’ve been waiting! I’ll def be getting this! All for teased hair. I can’t live without bed head hair shine in the tall hot pink spray can! It makes it look like someone is perpetually standing over me with a spotlight!

  14. anna 12.06.2010

    I loooove my Aveda volumizing spray. You should check it out. It’s a little bit pricey but it will last forever and it seriously plumps your hair!

    I balance it out by using the cheap Dove hair spray, which I also adore.

  15. kate 12.06.2010

    I use no hair products at all..but I spend plenty of time straighten my curly fro!

  16. Jenn 12.06.2010

    Could not live without my Almay oil free eye makeup remover pads. They are the! I once drove to Target at 1am because I ran out.

  17. Love my Aveda Smooth Infusion Glossing Straightener, it keeps my hair smooth and sleek all day! This post is so cute too, love the step by step pics plus it looks like you’ve found a great product that works really well for you!

  18. Amanda 12.06.2010

    I totally was thinking of getting one of those brushes when you mentioned it a few weeks ago, now I’m DEFINITELY going to…..I get that triangle-head look going when my volume goes limp on top and my layers sag. Thanks for this post.

  19. heather 12.06.2010

    i *love* bok choy in anything!
    i adore paul mitchell flexible foam(when you really get down to it, every girl in new jersey needs a little mousse)…but it’s tied with MAC russian red lipglass– aka the love of my life.

    health-wise…you can’t beat sour gummi vitacraves. they taste like spree candy and make you live longer, HELL YEAH!

  20. Kendra! 12.06.2010

    I ordered the teaze brush the SECOND I saw you blog about it a couple weeks ago – and gave you a little crap too – us and our POOR fine hair!! :) … Congrats to your cousin – I voted for him (as I have for your dishes in the BBC every day thus far!) I’m sure he appreciates the help of your rockin’ blog to get the word out! :)

  21. Bok Choy is something I love but never buy too!! I’ll have to pick some up.

    I just swear by my straightener. It’s all that helps.
    Oh and not dying or coloring it. I think that definitely helps keep it healthier

  22. Dream Mom 12.06.2010

    If there was one beauty product, I swear by, it has to be organic, virgin, coconut oil by Now Foods. It’s an amazing anti-wrinkle cream as well as an under makeup moisturizer (and I have oily skin!) but it makes my skin look amazing and incredibly soft. It also makes my make up look fabulous.

    LOVE the Teaser! I want to get one but haven’t had a chance yet. As for teasing, it looks great! I backcomb my hair every day and like some height to it. I do try to restrain myself though although I admit to really, really liking that big, Texas beauty pageant Hair, lol.

  23. jen 12.06.2010

    If I were in the market to make my hair BIGGER, I’d give it a whirl. I have the opposite problem though. Always trying to keep my hair from taking over. ;)

    Congrats to your cousin! That’s amazing!

  24. Nancy 12.06.2010

    I have probably the same exact hair as you. I don’t really know though.

    I HHAAAVE to wash my hair every day as well otherwise it separates and looks like I’m going bald. Ugh. Torture.

    I’ve never tried teasing my hair. But where do you get that tease brush? I want one!

  25. dmcgirl 12.06.2010

    So cute!!!

  26. emily 12.06.2010

    I think your hair looks adorable! I love teasing in general, but you’ve taken my perception of it from 80’s mall hair to sophisticated.

    I am super jealous of your straight, straight hair (even if it does fall flat). I NEED the Elliot-turn-my-life-around cut from Scrubs, but my hair is just too poofy!

  27. i’m 100% pro-Maybelline waterproof mascara. all the time. no ifs, ands, or buts about it!

  28. Maggy 12.07.2010

    I cooked last night with my boyfriend! Usually he cooks and I just hang around the kitchen. I have been checking out your blog so much lately and trying to break out of my shell when it comes to eating.

    I have a trader Joe’s nearby and want to pick up some items you have mentioned on your blog.

    My go to product for beauty is Oil of Olay daily moisture face cream. I’m 27 and People think I’m 21 because of my skin and bone structure. After washing my face I always put this cream on and it isn’t oily or heavy, sinks right in.

  29. Tina 12.07.2010

    My hair is the same way with no volume. So annoying.

    And the step mill always kills me! I use it regularly (when I’m not pregnant) and it never gets easier. I don’t know HOW it does it.

  30. Hope 12.07.2010

    I just found your blog and I have to say that I really like it! You have some great recipes that I can’t wait to try! That stir fry you made looks incredible!

  31. Lily's Health Pad 12.07.2010

    I love your haircut in general. And I LIKE the flat look. My hair turns into a mushroom when its cut short. I TRY to flatten it!

  32. Amy 12.07.2010

    I also have one of those teaze brushes, and extremely fine hair, so I feel ya!

    One of my favorite products that I can’t live without is my It’s A 10 Miracle Leave-In Product. My hair gets very full of static when the weather turns cold, so my hairdresser suggested this last year, and I haven’t been without it since. It’s great for so many things. If I use a good moisturizing shampoo I don’t have to use conditioner, I just spray this in afterward. It’s awesome!

  33. Emily 12.07.2010

    CoverGirl LashBlast Mascara in very black, NOT waterproof.
    I get more compliments on my lashes than anything else. No smudging (even the non-waterproof kind), no flaking, and no clumps. And the best part – it’s $8.

  34. Bok choy is so good! But I’ve never bought it. I should change that! :)

    And i love clinique make up! nothing else compares!!

  35. Mimi 12.07.2010

    Ok, this is going to sound like the most random thing in the world, but I read this post last night and then had a dream about fixing my hair this way, except it didn’t work. Wow, I just entered “weirdo” territory.

    • Iowa Girl Eats 12.08.2010

      HAHAHAHA omg don’t even worry about it. I had a dream that grasshoppers were pouring out of my coffee table the other night, so….

  36. I hate hate hate the stepmill. Even more than actual stairs, of which I am also not a fan. It kind of pisses me off the way that other exercise is NOT helpful with the stepmill. You have to train for the stepmill ON the stepmill, and it hurts, so No Thanks :)

  37. Also, your hair is adorable – mine is flat, but I keep it long, which makes it worse. Even teazing is gone after about an hour!

  38. Emily 12.07.2010

    Um, I’m completely distracted by the fact you were attacked by a wasp. In December. In Iowa. I’m going to have to google how long the buggers can live indoors…ick.

  39. Machelle 12.07.2010

    Maybelline Great Lash mascara. Tweezers. Vaseline Intensive Care Lotion (unscented) for my face ( I know that’s weird but it works for me!) & plain ole Olive Oil for my body. I’m tellin ya Olive Oil is magic in a bottle for dry skin!

  40. Melissa 12.07.2010

    Thank you so much for the hair tip, I have flat hair and just kinda gave up :) I keep voting I hope you win!!

  41. Tasha 12.07.2010

    If I could get my hair to look like that everyday I might just go back to the short look again. My hair tends to be so straight and flat. The Teaze seems like a great product :) I’ve also voted for you, definitely hope you win!

  42. Teresa 12.07.2010

    I have the exact opposite problem — I can’t get my hair to stay straight. My hair is about your same length, and it’s wavy and wants to poof up in the back. But that’s the nice thing about short hair — I just roll with it.

    My go-to beauty product is Cover Girl’s Volume Lash mascara. I used to have the worst problem with raccoon eyes until I discovered this gem. I buy the regular formula because the waterproof formula always runs on me (strange, I know).

    • Teresa 12.07.2010

      By the way, I found a wasp in my kitchen last night. They live up in my attack. I also have Asian lady beetles and houseflies that live in my 100-year-old house all winter long. Another joy of living in an old house :)

  43. Allie 12.07.2010

    The step mill IS hard! Your hair looks great, I really like suave products :)

  44. Carrie 12.07.2010

    After seeing the brush on here a couple weeks ago, I quickly ordered one for my mom on Amazon. The lady told me they had mysteriously sold out of them! She was able to locate one for me – but I think after you had posted it we all made a dash to buy one! For the price, it was an easy purchase! Can’t wait to give it to her for Christmas. The Teaze brush works (obviously being a nice daughter, I had to try it out first).

  45. Christie 12.07.2010

    I have the same hair type as you. I use Garnier Fructius root booster spray and gel and a teasing comb to get some fluff on top. Three other things I use religiously are Oil of Olay face moisturizer with SPF, suave body lotion, and Oil of Olay soap.

    I can’t nail down a favorite shampoo though… What kind do you use?

    • Iowa Girl Eats 12.08.2010

      I totally go back and forth – right now I’m using Tressemme Volumizing. I like it!

  46. Sarah 12.07.2010

    I broke up with the treadmill long ago b/c I can’t stay on it! Reasons why I run outside!

  47. kristin 12.08.2010

    voted :)

  48. Stephanie 12.08.2010

    I totally need this hair teaser! My hair is super fine and limp and I need all the help I can get in the volume department!!

  49. Brie 12.09.2010

    So, my coworker just walked by and told me my hair looks “gorgeous” today. I thanked her and then realized I should have shared my/our secret: the Teaze brush. I just bought one yesterday and tested it out this morning! Apparently, I’ll be using that sucker every single day :)

    Thanks for the great tip!

  50. Amy 12.10.2010

    I just ordered the Teaze brush today. My hair is also very fine so I’m super excited to give this a shot! I’ll let you know how it goes. :) Thanks for the tip!!

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