Friday, July 27, 2018

Friday Favorites: Perfume Edition

For this week's Friday Favorites, I thought I would mix things up a bit and share my favorite scents! I did a similar post on my favorite scents almost two years ago, and it's interesting to see how tastes in scents change over time. Only one perfume that I mentioned in my past post is still in my collection (which means it's a good one, right?).

Here are the scents that are currently on my dresser.

1.  First up is the one perfume that I'm still a fan of from a few years ago:  Alien by Mugler.  This is the one perfume I wear where I always get asked what I'm wearing.  I find it's more of a summer scent and smells best when paired with the body lotion, which has some shimmer in it.  I don't know how to describe this scent other than that it's unique and I never get sick of it.

2.  The newest scent in my collection is by Diptyque and is called Philosykos.  For those unfamiliar with the brand, it's a French luxury perfumer that was founded in 1961.  They are also known for their candles.  While this brand is more on the pricey side, I find their scents are unique and their bottles look like beautiful works of art (the backside of each bottle has a painting).  Philosykos is a wonderful scent for summer and smells fresh and fruity.  I always pair my perfumes with their matching body lotions, so I was disappointed to learn this scent did not have a body lotion.  I ended up finding one (by accident, mind you) when I was staying at a Kimpton hotel in San Francisco.  Their kadota fig body lotion by Atelier Bloem smells EXACTLY like the scent, so I ended up purchasing it online (unfortunately, it's also rather pricey).

3.  The next perfume I love is also by Diptyque and is called Eau Duelle.  I received this as a gift for Christmas and it's definitely a winter scent.  The best way to describe this is that it's sweet with a spicy kick (it has notes of bourbon in it).  I pair this with my Flower Bomb body lotion and find that it works well because it's quite a similar scent.

4.  If you want a true summer scent, this next one is for you:  Tom Ford's Soleil Blanc.  This smells like summer vacation in a bottle.  It has hints of coconut but doesn't make you feel like you're doused in Hawaiian Tropic sunscreen.  It's a sophisticated scent that's perfect for summer.  The body oil that comes with it is super runny, though, so you have to be careful when applying it from the bottle.  This again is on the pricier side, but if you're just using it in the summer, it should last year more than one summer.

5.  And finally, I jumped on the Jo Malone bandwagon! Although I feel they are more known for their candles, I have found their colognes are just as good (they are a unisex brand).  I had heard about this British brand years ago but had never tried it until I got a sample from Nordstrom.  I've tried several of their scents since then, and the Basil and Neroli is by far my favorite.  It reminds me of a Spring day:  fresh and clean.  I also bought the matching body cream which is thick yet absorbent.

That rounds up my favorite current scents. Please comment below and share if you have any favorite scents. I'd love to hear what you wear. :) Thanks for stopping by!


Monday, July 23, 2018

Brew Review: Nespresso Hawaii Kona Special Reserve & Nespresso On Ice

Good morning coffee lovers! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. Today I will be reviewing three limited edition coffees from Nespresso.

I have had my Nespresso coffee maker for about two years now and I am still happy with it. I especially like that Nespresso releases limited edition coffees throughout the year. This summer, just like last year, they released two limited edition flavors meant to be consumed iced, as well as their Hawaii Kona special reserve.  While the iced coffee capsules are available to order online, the Hawaii Kona special reserve is only available at a Nespresso boutique, which I found a little disappointing.  There aren't too many boutiques in the L.A. area and driving in L.A. traffic is never fun.  Nonetheless, I trekked over to the closest boutique this past weekend and picked up both the iced coffee capsules and the Hawaii Kona special reserve.

First up is the Hawaii Kona special reserve.  Now let me preface this by saying, I have no issue paying a little more for good coffee. But I couldn't believe the price on this.  When the cashier rang me up, I thought he had made a mistake and overcharged me.  Capsules come in sleeves of 10 and are normally around $8-$10 per sleeve.  The Kona special reserve was double!  It is $2 per capsule so the sleeve came to $20.  Yikes.  In terms of taste, it's very rich (it reminded me a bit of Turkish coffee), but I wasn't blown away by it. For the price, I was expecting rainbows and unicorns to appear. Verdict:  Pass.

Next up is the first of the two iced coffees:

Ispirazione Shakerato:  This was my favorite of the three flavors I purchased.  You make it over ice, shake it, and serve it.  I added a little bit of raw brown sugar and cream to mine, and it was prefect.  It didn't taste watered down and had a strong coffee flavor, which I love.  Verdict:  Purchase!

The second iced coffee was also good, but wasn't as strong (it's a lot more subtle).  It's the Ispirazione Salentina and Nespresso recommends having it with almond milk.  I'm allergic to almonds so that was a no-go for me.  I had it with coconut milk instead and added a little bit of raw brown sugar.  For those who don't like a strong coffee flavor, this one is for you.  I, however, wasn't blown away by it.  Verdict:  Pass.

That concludes my review for the week. Next week, I will be reviewing Trader Joe's 100% Arabica Coffee Cold Brew Coffee Bags, so come back for that. :)

Have a great day!


Friday, July 20, 2018

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! Here are my favorites for the week:

1. I've heard a lot of Jo Malone but had never purchased any of their items (they are know for their unisex colognes and candles in particular). I received a sample of one of their fragrances in the mail and loved it so much that I purchased this cologne (it smells super fresh) and the matching body cream.

2. I have dark under-eye circles no matter how much sleep I get or how much water I drink (thank you genetics), so I try my best to cover them up with a really good concealer. My go-to is usually this one, but I recently discovered this one that not only conceals, but also brightens. I find that a lot of times with certain concealers, they do conceal, but then leaves a dark shadow also.  With this one, you can tell a difference because it also brightens.  Win win! :) I also like to wear it on days when I have no foundation on to brighten up the under-eye area.

3. As you already know, Home Goods is one of my favorite stores. I picked up this enormous candle by DW Home last week that should last me through the rest of the summer. It smells like a day at the beach (the scent is blue marine).

4.  My new Erin Condren planner arrived!  I didn't order one at the beginning of the year so come June, I decided to order one for July 2018 to December 2019.  This time I went for the rose gold binding.  Isn't it pretty?  You can customize the cover to add your name (I blocked out my last name in the picture for privacy reasons) or anything else you want (e.g. a quote, a date, etc.). For those who love all things organized like I do, her planners are a must!  She also offers a lot of accessories that can help you with planning different things.

Have a great weekend!


Friday, July 13, 2018

Friday Favorites - Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Edition

Today's Friday favorites features my picks from the Nordstrom Anniversary sale, which is open for early access to cardholders from July 12th to the 19th.  After that, it will open to the general public on July 20th until August 5th.  Here are my favorite items from the sale that I picked up:

1. This adorable Free People top.

2. This GloPro set. I have heard such good things about it and am excited to try it. I'll do a review of what I think once I've used it for a while.

3. My favorite shampoo and conditioner is also on sale. This is second year it's been on sale so I always stock up on it.

4. This cute top that can be worn to work or casually. I love the length and pattern.

5.  And because I love lounging around in sweats and a comfy top around the house, I ordered these bottoms and this top.

Have a great weekend!


Friday, June 8, 2018

Friday Favorites

Man, it has been a minute! I find that when life gets busy, the blog is the first thing that suffers. Sad right? I'm back with my favorites for the week.

1. You know all the hype around the cronut when it first debuted? It's warranted. I was a skeptic until I tried one recently, and it was a raspberry flavored, which I normally hate. But this was delicious! More cronuts please! Those in the Los Angeles area can visit Dominique Ansel's bakery here which sells cronuts (among other delicious treats).

2. I was flying Delta a few months ago and the snacks they give out are from Nature Box.  My snack came with a coupon for a promotion, so I used it to try some Nature Box products.  Of the ones that came, my favorites were the Chocolate Nom Noms and the Sourdough Cheddar Pretzels.

3. JW Marriot Dessert Springs.  I miss this resort, the views, and their buffet brunch by the pool.  It's the perfect place to visit if you just want to chill and vege by the pool.

4.  This adorable dress I bought for an upcoming wedding.  Cute no?

Have a great weekend!


Friday, May 11, 2018

Friday Favorites

I am back! Mainly because my account was hacked (insert angry face here) and it took a while for google to recover it. In the meantime, I couldn't log into my blog to post. But on a brighter note, HAPPY FRIDAY! This week has been brutal so I'm looking forward to relaxing this weekend. Here are my favorites for the week:

1. After seeing so much hype about the BBG online, I decided to take the plunge and try it (it costs around $20/month to use the Sweat app). I'm fairly fit so I wasn't too worried, but HOLY MOLY, that program is no joke! It's only about 30 minutes per day but the exercises work you hard! What I like is that it takes all the thinking out of it and you just follow the plan. Here's what my workout week will look like next week (LISS refers to low interval training, i.e. cardio).

2. Although I'm not a huge fan of seafood (I mainly like shrimp but am now allergic to it), I've decided I should start trying to incorporate more fish into my diet. I bought wild Alaskan salmon last week and made it in the oven with a marinade of fresh garlic, lemon, a little bit of olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika, and red pepper flakes. It was delicious!

3. Rainbow cake. Enough said.

4.  This dress.  How pretty would this be for a summer wedding or bridal shower?  LOVE.

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

What's Up Wednesday

How is April coming to an end? It feels like the month flew by. Since it's the last Wednesday of the month, I am linking up with Shay for "What's Up Wednesday," which consists of answering the following questions.

1. What I'm Eating This Week
I made a HUGE (and I mean HUGE) pot of healthy turkey chili in my crock pot because I was craving it. I ended up doubling the recipe because I figured I could have it daily for dinner the whole week (I'm a creature of habit and don't mind eating the same thing daily as long as I enjoy it), so the crock pot ended up spilling over at hour four. #cookingfail Although it took forever to clean up, it was still worth it. I make this recipe with lean ground turkey and then top it with low fat cheese, green onions, and fresh cilantro. Yum!


2. What I'm Reminiscing About
My San Diego trip last month. It was lovely.

3. What I'm Loving
Have those of you in the LA/OC area heard of Mini Monster? It's a boba/coffee place that I tried recently. What drew me were the cute light bulb shaped bottles that you can purchase at the store to drink your coffee in (and then take home and keep). Cute, no? And they're under $3.


4. What I've Been Up To
Spring cleaning and organizing! I organize my closet twice a year and just did so recently. I wrote a whole post on this which you can read here.

5. What I'm Dreading
The really hot weather that will come with summer (I'm talking 100 degree F plus stuff). It's only April and last week it was 95 degrees F. Too hot too soon!

6. What I'm Working On
After being sick with the flu for three weeks+, I am working on getting back to working out. The first time I went back after my sickness-fueled hiatus, I seriously felt like I had been hit by a truck. How is it we get so out of shape so fast? Not cool.

7. What I'm Excited About
My new pink coffee socks.  So me, right?  It's actually boba but no one can tell the difference. ;) You can find them here.

8. What I'm Watching/Reading
I am planning to start watching Dancing With the Stars next Monday (an all-new athlete version will start). I'm also planning on finishing the last two seasons of Scandal. I know, I am WAY behind since the finale just aired a few weeks ago, but I've been avoiding spoilers.

9. What I'm Listening To
I pretty much listen to KIIS FM in my car on the way to and from work. It's upbeat music that puts me in a good mood.

10. What I'm Wearing
I just got this cardigan over the weekend in my favorite color (yay!), so of course I had to wear it to work today. :)

11. What I'm Doing This Weekend
I am having dinner with one of my former coworkers-turned-good-friend. I can't wait to see her and catch up!

12. What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month
Visiting Santa Barbara! It's one of my favorite cities in California after San Francisco.

13. What Else is New
I bought the Magic Bullet Nutribullet and it has been life changing!  No more needing to wash a huge blender when I'm making one small shake in the morning before work when I don't have time to clean up.


Have a great day!


Friday, April 13, 2018

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! The weather in southern California has been crazy lately-- it was mid 80s on Monday and today it's windy and cold. Boo. I can't wait for more consistent Spring weather. Anyways, here are my favorites for the week:

1. My new Magic Bullet NutriBullet. I already have a big Ninja blender, but it's too much cleanup and mess during the week when I just want to make a small smoothie before running out the door to work. The magic bullet blends so quickly and there's so much less to clean up-- you blend directly into the cup you will be drinking from, so all you have to clean are the blades.

One of my favorite smoothies to make consists of:
  • 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 cup of frozen pineapple
  • half a banana
  • 1/2 cup of Trader Joe's Orange Peach Mango juice

2. And speaking of Trader Joe's, I already love their Soyaki sauce for things such as stir-fry veggies, chicken, etc. They now have Island Soyaki, which is a slightly sweeter version of the original that can be used as a marinade for meat, poultry, fish, tofu, etc. 

3. The Shopbop sale that is currently going on is pretty good (up to 25% off on select styles).  I picked up these sandals for summer because I think they look cute AND are probably super comfy.

4. I finally finished my closet organization for Spring (I purge my closet twice a year) and it feels so good to have everything organized again. I did a post on this yesterday which you can read here.

5. I believe the Sephora VIB Rouge sale starts today. I will be buying this hair product to try because I have heard nothing but rave reviews about it. Every single person I know who uses it swears by it. Although I don't color my hair, I have heard it is good for ALL hair types because of its amazing repair properties. I will do a post reviewing this product after it comes and I have used it a few times. If you have used this product, let me know in the comments below if you like it.

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

How We Wednesday: Spring Cleaning/Organizing

Hello friends!

This is my first 'How We Wednesday' post (linking up with Shay) and this topic spoke right to me because I am the queen of organization and all things clean.  Today's topic is, 'How we Spring clean/organize.' A few things to know about me: I LOVE to purge/clean/'s very therapeutic for me. If I'm stressed, you can find me cleaning or organizing. If my house/work space is not organized, I get distracted and can't focus till it's organized.

Here are my tips for Spring cleaning/organizing:

1. Clean your closet at LEAST once per year. I actually do this about twice a year, once in the Spring and once in December. I either donate what I don't wear or sell it on Poshmark. One trick I use in between the periods of cleaning is to turn my hangers for pieces I have worn. When it comes time to clean/purge, I can easily tell which pieces I am no longer wearing, and then I can donate them.

2.  Install custom shelves, baskets, drawers, etc in places where you store things.  This makes a HUGE difference.  Before I remodeled my closet, it had no shelves and just basic rods.  I bought the Martha Stewart closet organizers from Home Depot and my dad created and installed the space for me.  My closet is so much more organized now and can fit so much more.

3. When buying a new pair of shoes, I force myself to get rid of (i.e. donate) an existing pair. I have limited space for my shoes, so this ensures I always have room. I actually did a HUGE shoe purge this past weekend and am happy to report my closet looks much more organized now.

4. Buy clear bins, containers, and/or dividers. I do this for my closet, drawers, and pantry to help with organization. For my closet, I store delicate items in there (silk tops, etc); for drawers, the organizer compartments store socks and small articles of clothing; for the pantry, I use the containers to store loose items such as gum, mints, sugar packets, etc. The only exception for this is my Christmas ornaments:  I store them in a red and green bin because that's easily identifiable.  I store those on shelves in the garage, which is another tip:  add storage shelves in the garage on top, instead of the floor.  That will save you space.

5. Tackle one room/area a day. Don't try to do everything in one will become overwhelmed and give up. I tend to tackle the hardest/messiest area first...because then I feel accomplished when it's done.

6. Build shelves in spaces where it makes sense. My downstairs coat closet was such a mess before I put shelves in (wrapping paper was piled up, and it was like Tetris to remove something without something else falling). I had my dad install shelves for me and it has made a huge difference (and has allowed me to store more items).

7. Start a community yard sale! My community does this and it encourages everyone to organize/purge/etc. And you can donate the proceeds to charity. :)

8. Hire someone to deep clean your house at least once a year. I'm fine with cleaning my house weekly, but do I really want to deep scrub the tub and dust the walls? No thank you.

9.  And finally, have a system for organizing important papers.  I don't let mail pile up-- I sort through it immediately in my home office and file it away (I have two file cabinets for storage).  I also don't let magazines pile up and only keep the last few copies on my coffee table. I figure if I don't read them in a timely fashion, I should recycle them.

That's all I have. Looking forward to reading everyone's tips! :)


Friday, April 6, 2018

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! I am back. I was hit with the flu pretty hard for two weeks and still don't feel 100%, but I am slowly recovering. Here are my favorites for the week:

1. Saks Fifth Avenue is having their Friends & Family Sale which means 25% off selected clothing and accessories. I ordered these sandals for summer and this structured bag.

2. I bought an Apple Watch a few weeks ago and love it! It only comes with one rubber band, so I was on the hunt for a band that was a bit more formal. I came across this shop on Instagram and ordered a Louis Vuitton watch strap (to match my purse!). What's great about this shop is that he hand-makes custom watch straps using old, authentic LV bags.

3. I am a huge fan of girl scout cookies, especially the thin mints. This candy bar tastes JUST like that and even better.

4.  And finally, for those who live in the L.A. area, Dominique Ansel (the guy who invented the cronut) has opened a bakery at the Grove.  His pastries are not only delicious, but look like beautiful works of art.  Case in point:  this chestnut rose cassis mont blanc that I tired last week.

Have a great weekend!

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