What To Cook For Dinner When You’re Broke


Let me set the scene:

You come off a weekend of overspending and are faced with the harsh reality that now this week’s finances are gonna be tight. Or, if you’re like me and every other freelancer out there, you didn’t land as many gigs as you thought that you would this month, and now you’re in a jam.

Whatever the case may be, you have now found yourself broke, alone, and afraid to continue this adulting shit (so  over it.) And still, even while we are our least emotionally-stable selves, we gotta eat, and eating we shall do.

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Lemon Rosemary Chicken With Balsamic Veggie Pasta

You guys.. I’m officially knees deep in an “obsessed with pasta” phase again. Not to be confused with my also current “obsessed with coconut” phase, but my new obsessed with pasta again phase has started thriving ever since we made this bowl a couple of weeks ago.

And boy… do I need to talk to you about this bowl today.

This big bowl of noods, balsamic veggies, and a lemon-rosemary pan seared chicken that is going to blow your ever living mind. It comes together fairly quickly + keeps well in the fridge to ensure leftovers, making it the perfect weeknight meal.

Convenient, quick, and just downright freaking delicious. What else could you ask for in a big ol’ bowl of fall comfort food?

Now, for full disclosure – I do not eat regular pasta anymore. The noods shown here are the ones that went to my boyfriend, as I’ve recently had to switch to a low-carb variety, but that still doesn’t diminish my love for all things pasta in any way, shape, or form. I just have to be a bit more selective with the brands that I use, or else it will not be pretty. And why intentionally cause an un-pretty tummy situation after creating a very pretty dinner situation?

However, the best part about this recipe (or any pasta recipe for that matter) is that it’s totally adaptable and customizable since each ingredient is cooked separately. If you’re like me and need to have two different types of pastas boiling on the stove whenever you’re cooking dinner for multiple people, you’ll still be able to enjoy the other parts of this dish without compromising any of its flavor.

Low-carb pasta for like ya’ll. My stomach is a much happier place now.

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Let me set the scene.

It’s 1AM, you wake up to pee, and you decide to go grab some water on your way back to bed. You walk into the kitchen and bam. You’re greeted with a reminder about the amazing pasta that you have leftover from dinner.

You fight off the urge as long as you can, it’s 1AM after all, but you give in and find yourself twirling spaghetti on a fork in front of the fridge. Casual.

Orrrrr how about this little scenario —

It’s Sunday. 2:00 in the afternoon and you’re just now wiping the crust out of your eyes. You turn over to your phone (obviously) and see 14 text messages from your friends all asking the same hard-hitting question: “what the fuck happened last night?

You’re terribly hungover and decide that basic human functionality will not be apart of your day’s agenda, let alone finding the strength to cook a meal. Solution? Seamless, take-out, allll of the chips, and the mini twix bar that you found in your couch cushions. Today was a fucking wash, but you enjoyed yourself and feel okay.

Fast forward to the next day, and your eyes are met with an inflated version of yourself staring back in the mirror. All those carbs, man. All those damn freaking carbs.

The problem? Water retention. Lymphatic Drainage. Temporary weight gain. And we’ve ALL been there.

I tend to carry most of my bloat in my face. I’ve been this way my entire life, and for my entire life, I’ve absolutely hated it. I know that when I eat pizza dinner, the next day I’m going to have to deal with feeling like a human marshmallow, but somethings in life are just worth the discomfort, naw-what-I’m-sayin-sayin. (however now I make GG pizzas every day to get my pizza fix and rarely have to worry about the dreaded bloat anymore!)

ANYWAY – we surely all know my love for a contoured face runs madly (MADLY!) through my veins. I’m obsessed with face products, but especially ones that focus on anti-aging, tightening, lifting, contouring, filler-in-a-bottle type of shizz. It most definitely stems back to my lifelong struggle with water retention in my face, and for that, I feel I’ve earned an imaginary degree in educating others on ways I’ve been able to reduce the issue.

Seriously, I want to be lifted, tightened, and toned every. single. day, so I’m confident that I’ve tried almost every single product on the market.


I’ve been using this coffee mask for quite some time, and I’m just now realizing that I’ve never shared this magical elixir with you. It was brought to my attention a couple of weeks ago when I posted a photo on my Instagram Story about a Clarins mask I was using. This mask claims to de-puff, revitalize, and renew — like most of these types of masks claim to do. After using it for over a year, I can say for 100% certainty that it does work!! What doesn’t work about this product? It’s $60 price tag, and the fact that I was running out of product very quickly. The instructions advise you to use a thick layer of the stuff, and at $60 a 75ml jar, using a think layer of cream every time you’re applying it (every other day for me!) will leave you with an empty container quicker than you can order another one. ((tip: I ALWAYS order mine through ebates because then I get some $$ back for it and that makes me a v happy girl. NOT SPONSORED BTW, just adore that fucking service man.))

Anyway — coffee mask. *Stay on topic, Mel*

This coffee mask is an absolute dream. I can’t take credit for creating it since I found it on Pinterest about 3 years ago, but I have adapted it into my own form (which is easier btw!), and so that’s what I’ll be sharing with you today.

Yon only need 2 things (optional of 3), which I can almost guarantee you already have in your kitchen. Those two magical things are:

2 tbs Coffee + 1 1/2-2 tbs honey. 


You just mix it all up into a thick paste, slather it on your face for 20 minutes and pray that the FedEx guy doesn’t show up. Easy, right?

Plus, aside from this mask being both extremely cheap + convenient, it actually freaking works, and that’s the best part of all.

Are you a fan of face masks? I’m alwaaays trying new things and experimenting with my face (which I probably shouldn’t do), so make sure you’re following me on Instagram (especially my stories!) to see which I’m trying out next. 😉

pin it for later by hovering over this image:

5 Ingredient Mini Apple Pie Cakes

Apple pies? After the holidays? Really Mel? Really? Does blog strategy and/or posting relevant seasonal content mean anything to you ?????
I’m sorry! I get it! But hear me out.

I wanted nothing more than to post this recipe just in time for the holidays. However, you see, the holidays got so far away from me, that I’m surprised I even showed up to Christmas dinner. November and December seriously flew by so quick over here, so much to that point that I still have all of my Christmas decorations up because I feel like I missed out on quality christmas decoration enjoyment time. Plus, couple that with the fact that I should just change the name of this blog to “Mel and her Muffin Pan” entirely (see below for more recipes!), and you’ll arrive at the creation of these mini apple pie cakes.

The difference here, though, is that this isn’t even really apple pie, so technically it shouldn’t be considered a seasonal dessert. Except for the fact that, ya know, apples are indeed a seasonal fruit and all.
But like, not really? The supermarkets always have them, so why can’t we always eat them in pie form? Why, from January-October, are we only allowed to eat them as they are? I petition that apple pie becomes a fully acceptable dessert to consume all year long.
Haha.. get it? Pie.

Mini Apple Pie Cakes

1 box white cake mix (just the mix!)
2 4oz containers (or 2 cups) of unsweetened applesauce
1 cup water
1 medium sized apple
1 1/2 tbs sugar
1 1/2 tbs cinnamon + 1 teaspoon

Preheat oven to 325 and grease your mini muffin or donut pan. 
In a large bowl, combined dry cake mix, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, applesauce, and water. Mix everything until it’s well combined and batter is smooth. Set aside.
Dice your apple into tiny pieces (slices about 1/2 the size that you’d normally keep them for regular apple pie) and toss them with 1 tbs sugar + 1 tbs cinnamon. Fold only HALF of the sugared apples into the batter and set the rest aside. 

Spoon batter into your pan, then top each one with a couple of remaining apple slices. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until edges are brown and they are no longer wet in the middle. While that’s in the oven, grab a separate dish and combined the remaining cinnamon + sugar to make a topping for the cakes. 
After cakes have cooled completely, give them a few spritz of butter spray (I use the yellow I can’t Believe It’s Not Butter bottle!) and sprinkle on your cinnamon sugar topping!
If you liked this recipe, you’ll LOVE these:

3 Ingredient Mini Chocolate Chip Muffins
3 Ingredient Funfetti Donuts
3 Ingredient Apple Cinnamon Donuts


Remember a couple of weeks ago when we made cinnamon apple donuts? Well, being the obsessive compulsive lunatic that I am, I just HAD to see what else I could come up with while still only using 3 simple ingredients.
My immediate thought? Funfetti. 
Funfetti everything.
Funfetti everything for life.
Funfetti forever and ever and ever.

Like, “it will be the flavor of my wedding cake” type of forever.

That’s some real sick shit.

On a serious note (or rather, a less-ridiculous one, because really, is anything ever serious on this site?) funfetti is my absolute favorite flavor of cake. I mean, who the hell doesn’t love cake with sprinkles that’s usually smothered in vanilla frosting?

Serious killers. Only serial killer type of people dislike funfetti cake.

Please make these.

Please make these tonight.


makes 50 donuts
1 box of funfetti cake mix (or a white/vanilla/yellow mix + sprinkles)
1 5oz container of vanilla yogurt (I used danons light + fit 70 calorie yogurt)
1 cup water
Preheat oven to 325 and grease your mini muffin or donut pan.
In a large bowl, combined dry cake mix, vanilla yogurt and water. Mix everything until it’s well combined and batter is smooth. *if you’re adding additional sprinkles, do this now*
Spoon batter into your pan and bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes. Keep an eye on them!
…and then enjoy some more, because I promise you’ll be making these on a steady basis.
If you liked this recipe, you’ll LOVE these:

3 Ingredient Mini Chocolate Chip Muffins
3 Ingredient Apple Cinnamon Donuts