Saturday, December 31, 2011

Pecan Bundt Cake to start the New Year

For Christmas I tried baking a spice cake and it just did not work out.

I followed the directions exactly on the box, but apparently it didn't matter. Though I managed to make some amazing cream cheese frosting to put on top, I couldn't save the cake.

I threw the whole thing away.

I think baking is something that takes practice and experimenting to see what works. I don't like the clean up that comes with baking and I lack self-control in the sweet department.

So I don't bake.

I decided I had to redeem myself because I made the spice cake for my mom's birthday and I was so bummed that I wasn't able to make her something she could enjoy.

A couple of years ago my mom bought me a Christmas tree bundt cake pan. Not sure why. Maybe it was a hint?

She's subtle like that.

I had some pecans in the pantry and brown sugar left over from a casserole I made recently so I wanted to use things I already had.

I also know that bundt cakes are the hardest to make, so the ENTIRE time I was making this my OCD kicked in. I must have checked on it in the oven a dozen times.

But you know what?!

It turned out PERFECT.

I couldn't believe it was something that I made.

I took it over to my mom's right away and she loved it.

My very picky step-dad also had some and liked it too!

Here's the recipe~

1 package of yellow cake mix (Duncan Hines preferably)
1 package of Jell-O Vanilla Instant Pudding (either the regular 3.4 oz box or the sugar free 1 oz box- I used the sugar free one)
4 eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup oil
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
1 tablespoon (you can use more if need be)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350.

Spray tube pan with cooking spray and sprinkle pan with 1 tablespoon sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.

Put first 6 ingredients in large bowl and blend well. You can use a mixer for 3 minutes instead.

Add brown sugar and nuts and mix again.

Pour in pan and bake about an hour or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Mine was done at 54 minutes.

Cool cake in pan for 15 minutes (not on top of the stove).

Loosen cake from sides and place on a wire rack to cool completely before sprinkling (or dousing) with powdered sugar to serve.

Oh and just incase you were wondering why I posted a picture of my dog in this blog.

There isn't one.

He's just awesome.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Starbuck's Fix

I haven't been to Starbuck's in MONTHS.

That is completely unbelievable. I use to go everyday, sometimes twice, for 11 years. I am almost positive that what I must have spent is close to what I still owe in college tuition as of today.

This year I skipped out on the limited holiday drinks, the pastries and the repetitive holiday music.

I have been brewing my own coffee for about a year and half, but only in the last six months have I started to feel like it's a chore to get to Starbuck's.

I love the fresh coffee smell throughout the house, the instant gratification and the comfort of being in my pajamas in the mornings.

One of my Christmas presents this year was a coffee grinder so I can buy fresh beans!

I am not sure how much money I am saving by making everything at home since I buy lots of coffee, half & half and other creamers, but I think it's definitely a time saver.

I have been craving a cinnamon dolce latte so I went to get the grande size with 2.5 pumps of syrup (instead of 4) and easy whip cream.

Can you believe I still thought it was too sweet?? I don't put any sweetener in my coffee, just a splash of a flavored creamer with my half & half once in a while.

I do kind of miss seeing how they would spell my name on their cups and I was always so impressed when it was right very occasionally.

Today was actually the most creative way I have ever seen my name spelled..

And totally un-related to coffee- I picked up my fashionista mom to go to church Christmas morning and we were in matching colors and jackets..

I hope you all enjoyed your holidays! I am still in 'holiday mode' which means I am still eating as if it's Christmas everyday, but just until New Year's Eve and then I'll be starting a diet along with 29 million other people.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

'Tis the Season to be Nice

Or so at least I thought...

I never see grocery stores as crowded as I see them right before Christmastime.

Pretty sure that is one word.

I am surprised that my car and myself came home unscathed.

As I was driving, an SUV in front of me didn't turn left for several minutes- she had at least 10 chances to make a I waited, semi-patiently, thinking there must be a hesitant car in front of her I couldn't see.

Nope, she was just preoccupied with something.

Then as I was parking some lady hit my car with her ring walking by.

I didn't say anything. And what do you say in that situation? "Excuse me, do you mind not flailing your arms when walking by parked cars so that you don't do damage to the vehicles around you?"

Halfway through my shopping a lady ran right into my stomach with a shopping cart, almost spilling the coffee sample I just got. I looked at her and she said she's sorry and that she didn't see me.

At least she admitted it.

Then I was looking at some decorations when some lady walked right in front of me as I was touching things on the shelf and announced to her husband that she came back for these, practically knocking me over.

She did not acknowledge my presence.

Lastly, I lost count how many people actually ran into me at the store without apologizing. What is going on here?!

You would think that this is the one time of year people would actually be a little more watchful, courteous and friendly. Maybe go out of your way for someone?

I feel like in general many people have been getting less courteous, but it just seems so much more heightened around the holidays. It's like at airports when you see people who only travel on must be the those same people going to the store once a year.

I didn't say anything in any of those situations. Mostly because I was just shocked at what was happening, but also because it's not worth my energy.

Hopefully there are people out there who have resolutions in the new year to be a little bit more courteous..

Friday, December 2, 2011

Baby Fever

I was the neighborhood babysitter in high school, a nanny in college and a house manager for a couple of homes with kids in Los Angeles.

Obviously I loved being around kids and I found it effortless- for the most part.

Many of my friends have children, but not until recently did I start feeling this overwhelming desire to bring my child into this world.

In the past couple of years a handful of my friends had them and a few are pregnant right now. That's eight women in 24 months!

As an only child and taking care of children with siblings, it has made me realize how much I would prefer not having an only child.

Of course there are many advantages to being the only, but as I get older it would have been nice to have someone around that I share a bond with that time nor distance could ever change.

So how do I know if this is baby fever or just my environment?

I knew when..

Every child I see, I wonder what characteristics mine will have.

I started bookmarking websites of baby furniture (last year).

At stores, I slightly route myself to go by the baby aisles.

I think about how happy my family would be if I were to announce a pregnancy.

I think about names ALL THE TIME.

I can't get myself to get rid of clothes that are too big because I don't want to spend money on maternity clothes.

I think about how my dog Dexter loves children more then other dogs and how happy he would be with someone else to focus on in the house. Is that crazy?? Maybe, but that dog makes me so happy.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Irish Cream Overboard

Everyone has their drink of choice.

Mine is really simple.

Almost too simple.

Vodka and soda.


For any occasion.

And it doesn't matter what kind of vodka it is.

Who am I?

During my late teen years (you know you started early too) it was all about the white russians, midori sours and pretty much anything with pineapple or a blended drink.

Those fun fruity blended drinks are now reserved for holidays only.

The last few weeks I've been craving some irish cream.

Yep, I didn't know I could actually crave a drink.

I decided to forego the Black Friday madness (really who am I??) in favor of having some irish cream in my coffee this morning.


a few on the rocks this afternoon.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Trader Joe's Spicy Jalapeno Chicken Sausage

I'm pretty comfortable shopping at Trader Joe's for the same things every week.

It's easy, I don't have to make a list and I know where everything is. I can be in and out in 20 minutes for a week's worth of food.

I had some more time last week and decided to wander around.

This is very dangerous for me since my eyes seem to wander at every little item that contains sky high amounts of sugar and fat aka the chocolate aisle.

And then crazy things happen. These random little sweet things end up in my cart.

I always buy chicken breast, ground turkey and chicken sausage. I stick to familiar flavors and brands, but my dinner menu needed some spice - literally.

I picked up a new flavor of the spicy jalapeno chicken sausage and I have to say that it was absolutely amazing. I had it grilled, which I think is probably the best way to do it since I think it brings out the flavor.

They are only 3.99 for 5 links and they are minimally processed.

They don't contain gluten or MSG and are only a hundred calories each, so you can eat more than one. Or two.

These are now going to become a weekly staple.

...Until next time I have some extra time to wander.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Pumpkin Problem

There are two groups of people around this time of year.

People who love anything and everything pumpkin and people who just don't understand..

Every single year I have quite the pumpkin addiction.

I want everything pumpkin.

From oatmeal, smoothies, lattes, to pies, cookies, breads and cream cheese - did I miss anything?

I have something pumpkin pretty much every day. A little overboard perhaps?

Here's my favorite pumpkin smoothie recipe ~

1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 frozen banana (I don't always have it)
1/4 cup of rolled oats (eliminate this option if you want it low-carb)
I scoop of vanilla protein powder
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg (you can use pumpkin pie spice instead)
2 or 3 handfuls of ice cubes

The trick for extra creaminess is making sure you blend it for about a minute and start with 2 handfuls of ice cubes and add more if you'd like. Protein powders that have xantham gum also make it more creamy.

Marc by Marc Jacobs 'Bianca Pouchette' Crossbody Bag

That is quite the lengthy title for a little bag, but nonetheless, a great bag it is.

Cross-body bags have been around for many years, but I didn't start getting into them until a couple of years ago.

I have always favored totes and hobo style bags that fit on the shoulder.

As my style (slowly) evolved, I now really love these bags.

They come in so many styles, colors, and fabrics that is so hard to choose just one! And it's great that you can be hands-free with them for any occasion.

As some of you may have noticed, I am very much into neutrals and STILL cannot move away from this. I love the way that color looks...just not on me.

I think this bag can be taken from day to night and this grey isn't as strong as a black bag would be. The strap is adjustable, it comes in several colors and retails for $328. It is available at Nordstrom and

Did you know that Zappos now carries more high-end brands and shipping is free on purchases and returns? They also have great customer service just incase you are reluctant to shop online.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Donna Karan Cashmere Mist Body Lotion

Donna Karan's deodorant, which I posted on my blog, has been getting rave reviews for years and I hadn't realized there's a lotion in the same scent as well.

I've read some reviews that people have been using this for decades and won't use anything else!

It's always difficult for me to find a lotion that is perfect and something I wouldn't mind putting on every single day.

I honestly think this one is the best I have ever tried. It feels amazing, never sticky, and a little goes a long way.

It also smells great, not too over powering, and the moisture lasts all day.

I wear perfume very sparingly, if ever, and I feel like the cost is (a bit) justified since perfume is always pricey.

This retails at Sephora, Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus- 6.7 oz. for $42, 32 oz. for $98.

Monday, November 14, 2011

30 Is The New 20

Or at least I am going to keep telling myself that.

I had a milestone birthday this year and it was hard.

Very hard.

Am I a little wiser? Probably not.

Am I a little stronger? Maybe.

Am I more comfortable in my skin? Yes.

Most of my twenties felt like I was still trying to find my ground. From the things I believed in, to the things I wore, ate and did - I just didn't quite know exactly where I stood and what I stood for. The influence of teachers, friends, parents, and relationships are quite strong and can leave quite the impression on how you move through the world. I know that I've made countless mistakes, learned from my relationships and friendships, and was terrified of failure.

While I recognize that I have been pretty comfortable with who I was for most of my life; whether it was countless hours of acting classes, performing in front of others at a young age, or learning to be confident from my mother; there was just this new heightened feeling, my sense of self, that happened this past year that I've never experienced. It's how you feel about yourself, what you need in your life and accepting of all the things (mind & body) that make you- you.

I can tell you what I believe in spiritually and politically.

I can tell you how I feel about marriage and marriage equality.

I can tell you that the people in my life right now are here because I love them all.

I can tell you that even though I have disliked some of my career choices, they've made me realize how grateful I am to have experienced them and the friendships I've made along the way.

I can tell you that having a dog has made me a more compassionate person.

I can tell you that I have made poor decisions and won't make them again.

I can tell you that friends are more important as you get older.

I can tell you that sometimes I am too set in my ways- like when I get up in the morning I need a glass of water first, then 2 cups of coffee..wait 30 minutes and then have breakfast.

I can tell you that even though I love my routine, I thrive on challenges and new experiences.

I can tell you that living in a city with cultural diversity, good weather and good food is very important.

I can tell you that I am willing to help anyone at anytime.

I can tell you that I should have studied journalism or communications in college.

I can tell you that I want children. Soon.

I can tell you that I am looking forward to next year.

I can tell you that three of my favorite things are dessert, sparkly dresses and Paris.

I can tell you that if you want something in life you need passion and hard work.

I can tell you that taking pictures is important - you never know when that might be the last time you are with that person or in that place.

I can tell you that life can be hard, but a good attitude and good people around will help.

And lastly I can tell you that I have never been one to celebrate my birthday.

I can't even recall the last time there was a party in my honor because I was one year older.

And I don't like gifts, even though I like giving them very much.

And there's no pity party of one here. I promise.

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life...don't let the noise of others opinions drown out your own inner voice, and most importantly - have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow truly know what you want to become." - Steve Jobs

Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale Going on Now

Why is it that most of the things I like never go on sale?

Do they somehow know I will eventually cave if I want it bad enough and pay full price?!

Whatever the reason, all of the items I have bookmarked on my laptop DID NOT go on sale.

Not. a. single. one.

So I will keep on watching them...

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I am a Shark

Did you know that if a shark stops moving they die?

I feel like when I stay stagnant, a part of me dies. I want to keep moving, learning, growing and existing in a way that leads to a fulfilled life.

Those sharks, aside from being terrifying, have the right idea.

But why is it that the things I love to do the most can't actually be a profession?

Well, maybe some of the things can be, but realistically making a career out of my favorite things do is very very challenging.

I like to talk, write, eat, shop, look for bargains on everything, travel and help others in any way that I can.

I got it!

I belong on the travel channel hosting some kind of show so I can reach as many people as I can and visit as many places as I can, while I eat more than my body will know what do to with.

Why did it take so long for me to discover all these things things about myself?!?

Do we have to actually go through several occupations and life experiences before it really hits us? Is it age? Maybe, but some people just know.

I have friends who are successful lawyers, doctors, teachers, producers and entrepreneurs who all started on their career paths during college or right after. They just knew what their calling was and went for it. Of course there's some people I know who thought they knew, but changed their minds after some years.

I really should have went to school for journalism. I didn't really start tapping into my 'talents' so-to-speak until last year while going through a transition.

So what am I going to do about it now?

Do all the things I love.

One day it will generate income and the hard work will pay off.

Move forward, be focused, be a SHARK.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Wallet Waster

Between moving, two weddings, family in town and feeling under the weather, it has been really hard to write the last couple of months. Things are finally slowing down and I hope to get back to writing. I am actually thinking about doing video posts in the future!

I absolutely love wallets. All kinds of them. I love them almost as much as I love handbags. I must own 20.


I've become somewhat of a 'wallet collector' unbenounced to me. I swear I didn't know how bad it was until I moved a couple months ago. Actually there are A LOT things I need to get rid of, but for now I am focusing on getting rid of those wallets that might get some better use in other purses.

I use my Tory Burch Vintage Rose Gold Metallic Wristlet ALL THE TIME. I like to take it out and put my phone and car key in there when I don't want to lug my handbag around. It looks even more vintage than it should because I can't seem to switch it up to anything else. Plus I love rose gold.

They still have them available at select department stores and, but only in silver and gold.

I know I shouldn't be looking for more, but I REALLY like this black patent one shown above.

You can also use it as a clutch, though I don't think a phone would fit in there..

This one retails for $195.

Waaay more then I would actually have in there.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Processed Foods and Luna Minis

I really love Zone Bars, specifically the chocolate mint flavor.

It's the only bar that doesn't taste like a "bar" if you know what I mean and almost like a treat for me. I've tried hundreds...okay dozens of brands and flavors and I haven't found anything that has a decent balance of calories, protein, carbs and fats like my Zone Bar.

But the major problem with my favorite bar is that it is highly chemically processed and now I can't eat them as much as I would like to.

I have been more conscious recently of the foods I have been eating and trying to eliminate processed foods (almost) completely. This has proven to be quite the challenge for me.

When I first started paying attention to food labels back in 2002 after taking a nutrition class in college, I started cutting down on foods with high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils. If you start looking at the foods in your pantry more you'll notice that almost everything has those two ingredients in there. That is why it is so hard to eliminate everything.

Unfortunately there are just some foods that I cannot quit, but overall I am doing better and have really been filling up my fridge with veggies and foods that need to be cooked within 3 days.

So with that said, my pantry is almost empty! Aside from protein powders, some spices, sauces and Luna Minis (more on that in a minute), that is all I have in there. Even my beloved peanut butter has to be refrigerated.

I was at Trader Joe's yesterday and wanted to raid the snack aisle like I've never eaten! But instead of going down the aisle like I normally do and feel sad, I decided not to even go down that road. It helped a little, but I still felt sad.

Why is it that the foods you know you shouldn't be eating you crave even more when you can't have them?!?

And honestly it's not really actual food I am missing, it's desserts. I love cookies, cakes, ice cream, chocolate by the ton, and milk shakes. Luckily I have never been one to indulge in fried foods or pasta, just the occasional pizza, but I sure make up for it in sweets!

I just want to make it clear that I am not eliminating processed foods to lose weight. I am doing it to feel better and treat my body well. There are so many weight loss plans that include frozen meals and I am shocked that so many people buy into these meals thinking they are going to be healthy if they eat pre-packaged foods. They may lose weight since they are taking in less calories and monitoring their food intake, but they are not healthy by any means.

I do believe in moderation and not depriving yourself. If I could just eat fruit, vegetables, fish and lean meats all the day long that would be fantastic, but a total fantasy.

I remember my mom telling me that when she moved to the US she was sick all the time. She went from eating all of her meals made from scratch to eating packaged foods since it was easy and very new to her. She suffered from headaches, stomach-aches, nausea and some weight gain. As she became more familiar with the stores and products (she couldn't read English), she started cooking again and started feeling better.

Well, I can't seem to give up protein bars completely since they are great on the run and great as a quick snack to hold you over, so I have started eating Luna Minis instead. They are 70% organic and I can pronounce almost all of the ingredients.

As for the Zone Bar, I think I can pronounce like 3 out of the 25 things listed. I really like the Luna Minis since they contain a lot less sugar than the regular size and are half the calories; not to mention pretty cute looking. The regular size is great for an actual meal replacement, but the sugar content is too high for me.

Here's a great article I found that breaks down what you shouldn't be eating. It looks like a lot and it is. This article does not in any way portray my way of eating, but I included it because it's good to use as a general guideline.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tiered RacerBack Maxi Dress @ Express

I really like this dress and I really like grey.

It looks effortless and simple, but you can dress it up with heels or wear some flat sandals.

It retails for $69.90, but there's always coupons available. I believe there is one for $15 off every $30 you spend right now.

Do you have a LBD?

Most of us have a little black dress that is our 'go to' dress for almost any occasion.

It fits us like a glove, it feels great and you look amazing in it.

This one is at White House Black Market for $168. It is really flattering and pretty and the reviews are great.

I don't need a new LBD, but I wish I did!

My Lessons in Practicality

I think some people were born practical. For instance, my mother. She only knows how to be practical and anything else doesn't make sense. If she can re-use it, she will; if she can re-sell it, she will; if she can give it away, she will. She is as generous as she is practical, but not cheap.

I do remember that it bothered me when I was a child since none of my friends mother's were quite like mine.

As I've learned more about her childhood, I have come to understand her ways a little bit more, not to say that I don't get annoyed here and there.

I'm wondering if my mother's super practical ways made me unpractical?

Many of you who know me, know that I am not generally practical; which is not to be confused with being frivolous; that I am not.

I have had my fair share of indulgences that weren't necessary, but when are indulges necessary??

So is there a correlation between practicality and happiness?

I suppose if you are simplifying your life and not wasting energy on negative things or wasting time by going to places you don't need to, then you have more time for yourself and others, which in turn makes you happy.

So here's my list of the changes & realizations I've made thus far-

1. I bring my own bags to the grocery store. It reduces plastic clutter and makes me feel like I am helping the environment just a little bit.

2. I spend a lot more time with my dog. He brightens the gloomiest days somehow.

3. I don't go to the movies. It's highway robbery! Well not really, but have you seen the outrageous prices..and don't even talk to me about 3D! A family of 5 can spend around $100 bucks for movies and snacks. But if that's something you really enjoy, then okay. If not, it's cheaper to buy the movie, get it on demand, at a Red Box or Netflix.

4. I have cut out processed foods in my diet by 70%. I don't know how I got to that percentage, it just sounds right. Most of the foods I buy are refrigerated and only last a few days. My pantry is the most boring and sad pantry in the world, I swear. There's protein powder (5 different kinds), almond butter, peanut butter, marinara sauce, hot sauce, unsweetened cocoa powder, chai powder and Vitamin C packets. Once in a while you can find some oatmeal and nutella! I know, I'm a wild one.

5. I started shopping in my own closet since 25% of the time I wear the same things week to week. Luckily my style is simple and classic so everything I've purchased the last several years is still in stores. I went to the mall today and looked inside a few stores I use to frequent and only found one item I liked. It's a long cotton skirt for a hundred bucks, but looked like it should have been $30 at the most so I didn't get it. I am fine if I go shopping maybe once every couple months. Okay if we're being honest, I shouldn't be shopping for at least five years. I did a lot of damage living in LA.

6. I don't go to Starbucks. That's sort of a half truth, but I brew my own coffee every night and put in the fridge before bed and then add ice for iced coffee during Summer and Spring. In the Winter and Fall I make my own in the morning as well. Starbuck's is great when I travel, when friends want to go, when I am super lazy, and when I am out of ground coffee. And recently when our super fancy Starbuck's Brewer just decided to stop working, Starbuck's it was for over a week. ThoughI am having fun making my own and buying all sorts of flavors and brands.

7. I've cut out eating at restaurants by 75%. It is better for my waistline and better for my wallet. On average we were eating out 4-5 times a week. I do miss it sometimes since it's nice to just pick something of a menu with whatever suits your mood, but cooking at home is saving even more money since you don't have to drive either!

8. I don't go the store for one or two items. I start making a list for whatever store I need things in and then go when my list is long enough or have really run out of things. We also go to Costco every 3 months and stick to our list almost always...except for the wine last time..and the golf balls.

9. I buy all of my books on sale on and never pay for shipping. I also just buy magazines when I travel. If I buy them just to have them around the house, I will maybe look at 10 pages and never pick it up again.

10. I don't buy things for the house that absolutely cannot be used. It is very easy to buy things to fill a large house since you can't really see the clutter. I use to buy candles like they were going out of stock and appliances that I actually thought I would use. Now I just buy a couple of candles at a time instead of keeping stock as if I were running a mini-shop. And as for appliances, who actually uses their waffle-maker, bread-maker, and panini-maker? They all sound really fun and worth the cost if you actually use it.

11. I turn off the AC downstairs when I go upstairs to sleep since it has its own control and vice versa when I am downstairs.

12. I don't buy more than one really nice handbag a year. I won't say how much I use to buy, but there is no reason to have more than 4-5 at a time. It is just not necessary since as soon as you get a new one you are highly unlikely to go back to an older one. You need a clutch for evenings, a cross-body for either travel or errands, a tote, a hobo and some kind of satchel. Most of my bags are similar in style and size so they are extremely versatile for any kind of occasion. Though I still LOVE to look.

13. I will exchange a beauty item at Sephora or Nordstrom if I didn't like it or find that I'm not using it as much as I thought. That's money just sitting there that can be applied toward a product I need and like!

14. I always ask for a discount for almost anything. If it's my birthday month, holidays, something that was hanging in the sale section that wasn't, if it's damaged in any way. And 90% of the time I get the discount. (Many items are marked up by 300% so it doesn't hurt to ask).

15. I will buy two of the same item if I know I absolutely love it. It will save me time in the long run so I don't have to go out looking again if I lose it or it wears out.

16. I am not really into any technology so I never spend money on it. If I get them as gifts I will re-gift them. My smartphone is plenty of technology for me.

17. I buy shoes that I can wear with multiple things, not just one or two outfits.

18. I split meals since I rarely eat leftovers. Portion sizes are the size of my head these days, so a couple of appetizers is usually a better size and less money. Or one meal if you are going to The Cheesecake Factory or Claim Jumper.

19. Since I like to shop for fresh fish, I will get the one that is on sale. And it's the same for Boars Head meats at the deli. They usually have some kind of turkey on sale.

20. I alternate between high-end shampoo and low-end shampoo.

And some pricey things that I just cannot give up?

Face Cleansers & Exfoliators
Eye Cream
Face Cream
Body Lotion
Lip Gloss
Protein Powder
Organic Almond Butter
Chia Seeds

Hope this list helps some of you in some way. If not, then you learned a lot about me!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Shiseido Sun Protection Eye Cream SPF 32

There are many contributing factors that lead to aging and unfortunately one of the first places you see it is around your eyes.

I started using eye creams around the age of 20, but I don't know if it did anything considering that was the time in my life I would bake in the sun for hours..sometimes with sunscreen and sometimes without.

UVA/UVA rays are the leading cause for wrinkles, discoloration, sagging, etc. While I realize that lifestyle plays into aging as well, the sun plays a much bigger role than we think.

I don't always use SPF in my daily lotion, but if it's not in there, then it is in my foundation. So I always have some sort of protection. I have been using the same eye cream during the day and night, but find that it is a bit heavy for daytime, so I thought I would try this instead. The reviews are wonderful and it's made specifically for the eye area.

Here's the description-

A rich eye-area cream that minimizes the appearance of wrinkles and enhances skin's radiance while providing exceptional protection against UVA/UVB rays. Protects the delicate eye area from UVA/UVB rays to prevent signs of premature aging. Minimizes the appearance of UV-induced fine lines and wrinkles and promotes resilient-looking skin. Concentrated cream texture defends against dryness. Contains rose apple leaf extract, an antioxidant that prevents the production of free radicals. Formulated with Light Diffusing Powder to give a brighter look to eye area skin.

Sounds great right?? I would take this with a grain of salt, but applying SPF will prevent damage in the future.

Had I known that my years of laying out on the beach and pool would catch up to me, I DEFINITELY would have done things a bit differently. And I do mean a bit since being tan when I was younger was more important than listening to your mother.

A little goes a long way in this little tube that retails for $32.50. You can find it at Nordstrom or Sephora.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

To My Readers

I really want to express my appreciation to everyone that has read and continues to read my blog.
I think I would probably write it if no one ever read it, but it's truly nice to hear that people actually enjoy it.
My favorite emails are from people who get inspired to try something new or get motivated in some area of their life.

This makes me very happy.

For the rest of the year I'd like to focus on getting my blog out there a little bit more, so if you like it and want to tell your friends, family, and co-workers I would LOVE it. And if you are reading this and haven't joined...well I like new readers and if you don't want to..that's okay too.

SnAcK TiMe

I love to eat. All the time. I have breakfast for dinner and chocolate for breakfast. Not all the time. But I eat whatever, whenever.

I have never been a picky eater, mostly because I had to eat what was placed in front of me for 18 years...not a bad thing, but not necessarily good either because I haven't met a food I don't like and it's just very difficult for me to say no even when I'm not hungry.

The most important thing I have learned about eating is to exercise portion control. It really allows you to satisfy your sweet or salt cravings in small amounts and that way you don't over eat when you have meals. I know that when I get super hungry (I am mean), I go to the fridge about 1o times. That is not a good thing for me or my waistline.

I try really hard not to keep many processed foods in the house, but sometimes if I don't keep some then I end up going overboard on ice cream or cookies when I am out and about. So it's good to keep a little I think.

Here's a little list of the foods I eat in between meals:

Nuts- Almonds are my favorite and I usually make my own trailmix with dried cherries and semi-sweet chocolate chips

String Cheese- Try to make it organic if you can

Carrots, Celery, or Peppers

Yogurt- It's almost always low-fat or no fat plain greek, but it can get boring so sometimes I add fruit (frozen mango chunks or berries are great) or sometimes organic cocoa powder

Turkey Slices


Pumpkin Seeds

Hard Boiled Eggs

Luna Bars

Zone Bars- These are my backup as I really love the Chocolate Mint flavor, but these have to much stuff I can't pronounce

Barbara's Bakery Cinnamon Puffins Cereal- I try not to eat much cereal because of the additives, but this one is not too bad if I need something crunchy and sweet, you can get this at Trader Joe's or Whole Foods

Mini Whole Wheat Crackers- I get these at Trader Joe's

Popcorn- I get the white cheddar from Trader Joe' is SO good

Almond or Peanut Butter- I like to spread it on crackers or have it with veggies

Hummus- Trader Joe's has a great spicy flavor

Smoothies with Protein, Flaxeeds or Chia Seeds, Almond Milk or Coconut Milk and Fruit; I sometimes have this as a meal replacement and add a little bit more ingredients to like yogurt or extra fruit.

I am always looking to add to my list and I try to keep it low sugar and high protein as much as possible so please let me know if you guys have any other ideas!

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale July 15...and my Favorite Deodorant

Has it really been a month since I've posted!?!

Time seems to be going so quickly these days and I have had a very busy month. Thankfully things are slowing down so I can get back to what is truly important like shopping and blogging.

In all seriousness, I miss it when I don't do it.

It is no secret that Nordstrom is my go-to store for anything and everything under the sun. I even like their cafe on the 3rd floor for lunch and many times plan my shopping trips around eating.

This is normal right???

This is by far my favorite month. Not because I get to celebrate my birthday, but because the sales at Nordstrom this time of year are out of control. I tend to stock up on lotion, deodorant, gloss, etc in the cosmetics department. Unfortunately, most shoes I like never go on sale so I don't waste my time there and I love to look at the handbags, but I find that my favorite brands don't go on sale either and I'm not one to branch out in the accessory area. They say looking can lead to buying, but not if you know what you need and make a LIST and stick to it.

Today I went to stock up on deodorant. Who the heck buys deodorant at Nordstrom?? For the longest time I had no idea that you could until I tried Donna Karan Cashmere Mist about a year ago. I don't remember who told me about it, but I think they have it strategically placed by the registers sometimes and I may have gotten hooked that way.
It is fantastic, smells great, and reasonably priced. They are $12 each ($18 at Sephora), but they have a trio for $32 during the sale. And did you know that if you are a cardholder you can shop a few days before so you have priority?
Bulk items actually run out quickly since they tend to bulk items that are in in high demand. Feel free to read reviews online about the deodorant, it gets 5 out of 5 stars!

Today I was taken behind a pretty white curtain in the cosmetic department. It's a bit strange I'll admit, but you have to accompanied by an associate and have to be a cardholder.

Did that make my feel special? Not reeaalllly, but a little bit.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

JCrew Sawyer Hobo

This beautiful textured leather hobo comes in amber
military green and this blush pink
and black shown above.
It retails for $298 and is on sale for $229 online. Their might
be some available in store,
but I would call
ahead just to make sure they have it in the color you want.
It has a strap so that you
can wear it on
your shoulder or cross-body. It is a very functional and classic
bag for everyday use.

Trader Joe's Peanut Butter Cream Cheese

I use to say that there is more wine and chocolate running through my veins than anything else.

Well these days I am drinking A LOT less and maybe eating a bit less chocolate. I have been on the cheese train for a couple of years now and can't seem to get off.

I love it on almost everything. I spread it on a tortilla for an egg burrito, I have it shredded on tacos, I eat quesadilla's like the world is going to end and I love provolone by the slice.

There isn't a day that goes by where I don't have at least one serving, okay usually two.

Lately I have been REALLY trying to calm down. I think it's getting out of hand, especially since I am trying to eliminate my dairy intake to once or twice a week and eventually just once a month. It hasn't happened yet, mostly because I keep buying it...

I'm going to stop now, but first I wanted to tell you about Trader Joe's Peanut Butter Cream Cheese. Two of my favorite things in one! This is really going to be difficult as it is VERY GOOD.

Have it with fruit, an english muffin, or by the spoonful. It has a thick consistency, not like whipped cream cheese, and a little goes a long way. I still have some in my fridge, though I imagine it will be gone by tomorrow..

Banana & Butter Breakfast

I am always searching for new healthy combinations for any time of day, but I also don't believe in eating certain foods for breakfast or dinner, I just eat what I feel like eating. I eat every 3 hours, 4 if I have no choice, but it's not always easy coming up with a variety of foods so I am really trying to find some new things.

For breakfast today I found a nice combination of protein, fat and carbs. It's light, filling and tastes good too! Well you have to like cottage cheese...and I know not everyone does so maybe try substituting plain greek yogurt.

In a bowl I put half a cup of low fat cottage cheese, cut up a very small banana, sprinkled some cinnamon and put a tablespoon of organic creamy peanut butter on top. If you need it to be a bigger meal, I suggest doubling up on everything as mine was pretty small. I don't really eat bananas often, maybe once a month, but sometimes I crave them. I usually stick to blueberries, strawberries, mangoes, or peaches.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Rose Gold Accessories

I am really loving anything rose gold right now. It's pretty, feminine and seems a little vintage.

I think it stands out a bit more since it isn't your typical gold or silver and it accents a tan nicely too! Most designers are also doing a rose gold collection now because of the high interest.

I have always liked Michael Kors watches since they look good on my small wrists.

This watch retails for $180, but is on sale for $107!

The bracelet is from Banana Republic and retails for $35.

These actually look nice together on the same wrist, but you shouldn't wear anything else or it will seem like a bit much.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Lotus Biscoff Spread

Have you ever heard of Biscoff Cookies???

I first heard of Biscoff when I was traveling to Europe years ago and they were being served on the plane as a snack.

I was weary of cookies being served on a plane thinking there is no way they would give out two-hundred free cookies if they were really really good right?!

Well they are FANTASTIC so I asked for a couple more packs...I was hungry.

Because of the high popularity of their cookies, the company started making a spread.

This is very similar to peanut butter, but with a hint of more sweetness. It is wonderful on bread, waffles, a dip for fruit, or with ice cream.

This cookie spread has all natural ingredients, doesn't have preservatives or artificial colors. It's also vegan and nut-free.

These cookies now have a cult following after being served on several flights, which have probably increased sales in general.
"Light, fantastically crisp, just-sweet-enough and tasting of caramel and warm spices, they're like everything you've ever wanted in gingerbread or graham crackers." Francis Lam