The Key Ingredient is Coming to an End!

Just like the saying goes, “all good things must come to an end” and the end has arrived for this little blog I’ve written.

I started writing The Key Ingredient four years ago when baking cakes was a huge hobby for me and my last name was Key, so it just made sense. The incredibly clever name idea came from my best friend Chelsea and it has served me well.

I haven’t made a wedding cake in a few years and my last name is no longer Key so I think it’s time for a change.

But don’t worry. This doesn’t mean I’m finished blogging.


Will you follow me to my new site? I would be honored to have you there.

The new blog name is Tennessee Pretty because I LOVE the south and I LOVE pretty things. I also love feeling pretty and most of all I LOVE helping other women feel pretty.

Tennessee Pretty

Also, it’s worth mentioning that all of the posts I have written on The Key Ingredient are now on Tennessee Pretty.

So join us! You won’t want to miss this.

Check it out!




Detox Check-in – Day 14

So we’re officially two weeks in with one more week to go! I’ve gotta say, I feel great. I’m down 9 pounds, my skin is clear (which makes my makeup look so much better!) and I have a lot more energy! It also feels so good to know I have the discipline to say “no” when something delicious is passed my way. Yesterday was Mother’s Day and there were so many amazing desserts (including my favorite, strawberry cake) and I had the strength to pass it up.

Something else that has been really exciting is to hear from friends that they’re wanting to try a detox too! Trust me, if  you’re thinking about it but think you can’t do it, you can. If I can do it, you can do it. It seems impossible in the days leading up to it but if you plan and prepare meals, it only takes a day or two to really adjust.

Have you ever thought about doing a cleanse?



My favorite products for hair and face.

I am the girl who has to travel with a separate bag only for hair/skin/makeup supplies. There are so many things that I use on a daily basis. So today for makeup tip monday, I thought I’d take you through my hair and skincare routine and show you a few of the products that I love.

1. Pacifica Sea Foam face wash. It smells absolutely incredible and does a great job at removing my makeup (even eye makeup!).

pacifica2. Artistry Essentials Balancing Lotion. My friend Myra sells this stuff and she let me try out the entire Artistry Essentials Balancing System and I loved it. The moisturizer is so great and really lightweight. My skin feels hydrated without feeling oily and that can be a tough balance sometimes. You can visit Myra’s online store by clicking here.

artistry moisturizer

3. Acure Night Cream. Every night I apply this after I wash my face. It’s packed full of great ingredients and it’s working hard while I sleep. I wake up with great skin. You can get it at Whole Foods.

Acure NIght Cream

4. Blondme Shampoo and Conditioner. My best friend and hair stylist introduced me to this and it is by far my favorite shampoo and conditioner I’ve ever had. The shampoo refreshes the cool tones of my blonde and keeps it looking like the day I left the salon. The conditioner makes my hair look so healthy! Plus they smell amazing.

blondeme shampooAnd then of course I have several styling products that I use for my hair but that’s another blog post altogether.

What are some of your favorite hair and skincare products?

Happy Monday!



Faux-tatoes? How ’bout NO-tatoes!

It’s day 10 of the “purification” and I’m so thrilled because that means we’re halfway there and tomorrow we get to eat meat again! Not going to lie, these past four days have been really tough. I feel like I never want to see another vegetable again and Tim officially hates quinoa now. My teeth were even hurting from all of the raw vegetables. It was really uncomfortable so I asked my doctor about it and he said that they’re more sensitive because of the detox.

On Tuesday, I hit a low point on this detox journey. I was sick, tired and sick and tired of vegetables. Nothing sounded remotely appetizing. But I knew I couldn’t cheat. I just couldn’t. SO. I decided to whip up some steamed veggies and some ‘faux-tatoes’. You know the recipe. Steamed cauliflower, salt and garlic blended together. I’ve had them before and they were great. Only this time, I may have added too much garlic. And by too much garlic I mean I could still taste garlic after I brushed four times. There was so much garlic that after Tim took a bite he said “it kind of burns my tongue!”. It was a major fail. So we filled up on carrots and broccoli and I swear to you my entire dream that night was about pizza.

Yesterday I started a new workout regimen. I haven’t been working out at all lately and I really need to get into shape. It felt great! I did a workout from Dr. Josh Axe’s Burstfit DVDs.

Okay so yay! I get to have chicken tomorrow!! I can’t tell you how good it feels to know I got through the toughest part without cheating. It’s all down hill from here!



Detox Update: The Roadtrip

When I think about road trips, I think about three things:

1. Mixed CDs

2. Junk food and Starbucks

3. Twizzlers or Red Vines (yes they get their own number)

So when Tim and I left for a trip last Friday, I was a little nervous because it was only day 4 of our detox. Numbers 2 and 3 were completely out of the question.

Going into it, I thought the biggest challenge would be going to a wedding where there would be so much delicious food. But the real challenge was actually the drive to Ohio. Stopping to eat on the way to Ohio is basically the only way to get through the six hour trip. Without having that to break it up, we had to improvise. So we played 20 questions and snacked on carrots. Then we sang ‘Let it Go’ because they play it on the radio in Kentucky. And we didn’t stop at the Starbucks where we always stop (that was REALLY sad). But we did make it there in record time. So there’s that.

Before we hit the road, I ate a smoothie and half a sweet potato with raw butter and a dash of cinnamon. Tim ate asparagus and quinoa. Then we packed a cooler with carrots, broccoli, grapes, watermelon, oranges and apples.

Fruits and veggies for the road.

Saturday morning, we had a smoothie. Then I whipped up some of the stir fry and quinoa I mentioned before and we ate that before we left for the wedding. At the wedding, we had some raw fruits and vegetables and then when we got home we were starving so we each had quinoa and half an avocado. Sunday morning, we made a smoothie and hit the road with our cooler packed with more fruits and veggies.

We did it! And we’re both feeling great!

Also, here is my favorite photo from the weekend. Don’t I have the most handsome husband!?




Make your foundation last.

A few weeks ago I was getting so frustrated with my makeup. It seemed like no matter what I’d do, it would slide off for some reason. I had just switched moisturizers and figured that was probably the culprit but I did not want to waste the new one I bought! Usually I’m in a rush in the morning when it’s time to put my makeup on and I soon learned that it was just what I needed to keep my makeup in it’s place. So today ladies, my tip is simple.

Wait for at least 10 minutes after you apply your moisturizer before you apply your next step. For me, the next step is CC cream. Some people may skip that and go straight for the foundation. But whatever you do, give your face at least 10 minutes to soak up the moisturizer. When we put our makeup on and our moisturizer hasn’t set, we’re basically just blending it all together and our faces become a mess of way too much tinted moisturizer.

I know it’s hard to find an extra 10 minutes in your morning between the coffee and Good Morning America and the bloglovin’ feed but trust me. It’s worth setting that alarm an extra 10 minutes early.

Happy Monday Pretty Girls!



Detox Day 4 Check In

Okay so it’s day 4 of this detox and it really seems like the worst is behind me! Which is amazing! I woke up yesterday feeling awesome and I didn’t have a headache! I think I’ve been having headaches because of the coffee withdrawals but I think I’m finally getting over that. I should really think about not doing coffee again after this. Okay yea right.

Last night I made a delicious dinner! It was stir fried vegetables and quinoa. So simple. I chopped up an onion, some sweet peppers, carrots and broccoli and put it in a pan with coconut oil. I let them cook just a few minutes so I didn’t lose the beautiful color and then I finished it wish a splash of balsamic vinegar. Then I served it on top of some quinoa that I cooked in vegetable stock instead of water. Tim was skeptical of the balsamic but once he tasted it he loved it.

Okay look how delicious! So many colors!


We’re heading to Ohio this evening for my cousin’s wedding. It’s going to be a challenge on the road, but we can handle it. We’ll be packing up our Blendtec so we can have delicious smoothies all weekend. I’ll let you know how it goes!



(I adapted my stir fry recipe from the book 1 Degree of Change: A Guide to the 21-Day Purification Program by Georgia Nab, DC, ACN)


I Can’t Have Coffee for 21 Days

Hey ya’ll,

First things first, please bear with me this next week as my blog schedule is out of whack because I’ve been working on something really cool and there’s a big announcement coming up soon for the key ingredient! (No, I’m not pregnant)

Second, I am currently in my second day of a 21 day detox and I think it would be fun to share this journey with you. Simply put, I will be eating only fruits and vegetables for the first ten days (Only 8 more days to go!) and most of those have to be raw. Oh and I have to eat twice as many vegetables as fruits. Then on the 11th day, I can add one serving of meat a day. The purpose of this detox is to rid my body of everyday toxins that have accumulated since I have been eating so many processed foods. It’s actually called a purification according to the plan I’m following and I love that it’s called that. My main motivation is to feel better, and, I’m sure I’ll also lose a few pounds which would be awesome because my clothes are getting tighter. Wah wah. Then, another goal I have for this detox is to reset my habits and retrain myself to eat better. Since the wedding, I haven’t really been putting alot of thought into preparing healthy lunches or making good healthy choices when we eat at a restaurant. I’d like to say that I prepare a healthy meal every night for my husband but I don’t. But I am gaining some knowledge of food and some healthy recipes that I will be sharing along the way.

The most important thing to note throughout all of this is that I am not allowed to have coffee during these 21 days. Take away my bread and my sugar and I’m fine. But my coffee? That takes this challenge to a whole new level. But, I’m ready for the challenge.

Each day of this detox I am supposed to write in a journal, what I ate, how I’m feeling and if there are any physical effects.

Today, I will say that I am feeling ALOT better than I was yesterday. I had a terrible headache all day and absolutely no energy. I’m sure this is a result of no coffee but I am allowed to have green tea. So I found a delicious organic mint green tea and it will do for now :).

Here’s what I ate yesterday to just kind of give you an idea:

Breakfast: Berry Smoothie: 1.5 C of frozen organic berries, half a banana, handful of spinach and protein powder by standard process (the company who invented this particular detox)

Snack: 1 C raw sliced sweet potatoes

Lunch: Sauteed sweet potato and 1/2 C quinoa (obviously I wasn’t very creative)

Snack: Kale chips (homemade, just baked with a little olive oil and salt and pepper)

Dinner: Lentil Soup

Snack: Watermelon

Oh and I had 3 cups of mint green tea (no honey) and pretended it was coffee with half and half.

Lucky for me, my husband is joining me on this adventure and it’s like a dream for him because raw vegetables are basically his coffee.

A huge challenge for me is finding vegetables that I actually like to eat raw. So far, I really only like carrots, cucumber, sweet potato and spinach. I like alot of other things cooked but I need more ideas for delicious raw veggies. What are some of your favorites?

Wish me luck!


Cute Accessory Alert: Bullet Earrings

I’ve always prided myself on my shootin’ skills. Daddy and Pappy taught me when I was really young and I got (gave myself) the nickname “Di-Annie Oakley” clever right?

Anyway. A few months ago, I saw the cutest bullet earrings on etsy and I knew I had to have them. But then I forgot I had to have them until Tim and I went to the beach last month. We were perusing the shops in Rosemary Beach where I found these and couldn’t leave without them!

photo 2

Lets talk about my facial hair. Okay let’s not but I’ve already started drafting a post titled “Chin Hairs, Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People”. Be on the lookout for that.

Whatever, the earrings are really cute right?! Love them. Good old Smith and Wesson Federals.

photo 1(Thanks for the photos Vicky Reddish!)

What are some of your favorite accessories you’ve found lately?





Makeup Tip Monday – CC Cream

Happy Monday gals! I don’t know about ya’ll but this weekend absolutely flew by! It was packed with things to do but they were all wonderful! Saturday I went to a makeup class at the MAC store. It was really fun and informative and I learned a lot! Then yesterday was Easter of course and it was a great day celebrating with family. The Easter bunny left Tim an Easter basket that he somehow missed even though the Easter bunny put the basket right next to Tim’s iPad because that’s the first thing he goes to in the morning. How you overlook a bright colorful basket is beyond me. I knew I should have put it on top of his iPad. Anyway. I told him about it as we were walking out the door for church in case he wanted to throw some jellybeans in his pocket for the road.


One of the products I learned about in the class on Saturday was CC (color correcting) cream. I struggle everyday with redness on my face so I listened closely when they were talking about a product that neutralizes it. It comes in four shades so there are other ways it can correct your color but redness is my issue so I chose the ‘Neutralize’ shade. I picked some up after the class and used it all weekend and I can honestly tell a big difference. I put it on after my moisturizer and before my foundation. I love it!

Screen Shot 2014-04-21 at 7.49.19 AM

Have you tried CC cream?