Friday, July 31, 2015

Friday Favorites

TGIF!  It was a particularly long week at work, so I'm very glad it's Friday and the weekend is here. Here are my favorites for the week:

1.  Crabtree & Evelyn Ultra-Moisturising Hand Therapy
I go through tubes of this stuff, especially in the summer when my hands get drier than normal from the A/C and the heat. My favorite scent is lavender, but there are so many other good ones. You can find the lavender one here.

2.  Eos Lip Balm
This is another product I go through a lot. My favorite scent is the Strawberry Sorbet.  You can find it and some other flavors here.  You can also find the 5 pack at Costco from time to time.

3.  Starbucks Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher
This refresher is perfect for summer; it contains blackberries and hibiscus.  They also add whole berries to it too, which makes it look really pretty. :) 

And now that treat receipt is back, you can get one drink in the morning and one drink in the afternoon (if you bring in your morning receipt after 2 pm, you can get any Grande iced drink for $2.50).

4.  Trader Joe's Peanut Butter & Jelly Greek Yogurt
Let me start off by saying that in my world, peanut butter is it's own food group.  I love the stuff and eat it any chance I get (I add to to my shakes, pancakes, apples, toast, bagels, etc).  I also happen to LOVE Greek yogurt, so I had to try this when I saw it at Trader Joe's last week.  And you know what?  It tastes just like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but in yogurt form.  I don't know how they do it. :)

Have a great weekend!  Thanks for stopping by.


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

My First "What's Up Wednesday!"

Last week, I linked up to do a Home Tour and I enjoyed seeing what everyone posted, so this week, I am linking up with Shay, Mel, and Sheaffer for "What's Up Wednesday," which consists of answering the following questions, plus the bonus question, "What will you miss most about summer?"

1. What We're Eating This Week
In the summer because it's so hot in California, I find myself eating a lot of salads. I like to make a caprese salad with fresh buffalo mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, Persian cucumbers, fresh basil, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.

I will also be making a frittata, which I love because it's so easy.  It's basically similar to an omelet but you can throw in a bunch of veggies, cheese, a little bit of milk or cream, and call it a day.  I also like to add roasted potatoes to it.  I bake mine in the oven and then enjoy it for lunch or dinner with a side salad.

I will also probably go to Sharky's this week (very convenient after the gym when I'm too tired to cook), because they have an amazing quinoa salad that I love.  I swear I eat there at least once a week.  Their food is so good!

2.  What I'm Reminiscing About 
The San Francisco trip I took with my parents last September!  We had the best time.  It's my favorite city in California.  Here are some snaps from our trip.

Pier 39

On the ferry to Alcatraz with mom

Alcatraz (aka "The Rock")

Union Square (prime shopping area!)

3.  What I'm Loving
My Nespresso DeLonghi Lattissima machine.  I look forward to using it every morning.  Yes, it is pricy, but one of the best kitchen purchases I have made.  I love using it to make iced lattes in the summer.

4.  What We've Been Up To
Some highlights have included two weddings (see posts here and here), a short trip up north to the Bay Area, and seeing Andrea Bocelli in concert at the Hollywood Bowl.

5.  What I'm Dreading
Getting more humid summer days.  It has been unusually humid this summer in California, so much so that we had rain and thunderstorms last weekend.  But we do need the rain because of the drought, so I guess I'm not really dreading this.  I just don't enjoy driving in the rain, I suppose. 

6.  What I'm Working On
Trying to get back in the gym consistently and go at least 5 times per week.  Here's me there last week, decked out in my pink accessories.

7.  What I'm Excited About
Summer ending and Fall coming...that means everything pumpkin, pumpkin spice, etc.  I can't wait to visit Trader Joe's for all their pumpkin goodies.  Here are some items I picked up last year.

8.  What I'm Watching/Reading
I just finished binge watching Scandal.  My beloved show Revenge ended last season after a good run and I needed something just as soapy and mindless, and this answered the call.  I watched all 4 seasons on Netflix in 1.5 months.  So good.  But I'm forever #TeamJake.  Season 5 starts Thursday, September 24th on ABC.

And I'm currently reading Something Other Than God by Jennifer Fulwiler.  I really like it so far.  Great read.

9.  What I'm Listening To
Christmas music (just kidding)...though I can't wait till the holiday season starts!  At work, I usually listen to the IHeartRadio app to local pop stations like KIIS FM, or Pandora.  If it sounds catchy and has a good beat, I usually like it.

10.  What I'm Wearing
These slouchy pants that I picked up on sale from Banana Republic.  SO comfy, AND you can dress them up or down.  I bought another pair in dark blue yesterday.

11.  What I'm Doing This Weekend
Going to an early workout class with my coworker, going to dinner in Hollywood with friends, visiting my parent, and getting a much needed mani-pedi.  I've been sporting Essie's Angel Food all summer (you can find it here).  It's the perfect shade of pink.


12.  What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month
My birthday!  August is my birthday month.  It's always nice being pampered for a day.  Here are some goodies from last year...a few of my favorite things (flowers, cupcakes, and most importantly, yummy cold brew coffee from Peet's.

13.  What Else is New
This is my new favorite popcorn.  I found it once at Home Goods and have never seen it there again. :(  It's amazing, especially if you like the taste of truffle oil.  The only other place I have found it is on the Live Love Pop website, but shipping is so pricy!

14.  What I Will Miss Most About Summer
The long days and it being light out when I leave makes it so much more motivating to go to the gym!  How pretty is this pink sky?  I snapped this a few weeks ago.

Thanks for stopping by!  I can't wait to read all the other posts for today.


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Brew Review

It's no secret that I love coffee. I'm not a morning person, but knowing that I will have coffee waiting for me makes waking up a little more bearable. How fitting is this sign I found last week? I should hang it up in my kitchen.

In honor of my love of coffee, I am starting a weekly series called "Brew Review." I enjoying trying different brands of coffee, especially cold brew, which lately is everywhere (Starbucks jumped on the cold brew bandwagon recently, as did Peet's Coffee).

What is cold brew? It's basically soaking ground coffee in cold water for a certain number of hours and then straining it, thus producing a coffee extract that can then be mixed with equal parts milk (my preference) or water, and then adding ice cubes. If you brew the same coffee hot or cold, the results are quite different: coffee that is cold brewed is less acidic and smoother tasting, and pretty darn good.

So, without further ado, the first brew to be reviewed is:  Blue Bottle Coffee's New Orleans Iced Coffee.

This is one of my favorite cold brews. I was first introduced to it 4 years ago on a visit to San Francisco (they are a NorCal based company) and was immediately hooked on it. The drink has chicory in it, which gives it a unique (but yummy) flavor.

Since Blue Bottle didn't have any stores in SoCal up until recently, I used to purchase the New Orleans Iced Kit online and make the concoction myself at home, which was just as tasty.

Recently, I also discovered that Blue Bottle Coffee has started selling their New Orleans Iced Coffee in specialty stores such as Whole Foods. It comes in a cute milk carton that reminds me of grade school.

Finally, for all you SoCal people, you can visit a Blue Bottle Coffee cafe at one of these locations:

Abbot Kinney
1103 Abbot Kinney Blvd
Venice, CA 90291

Arts District
582 Mateo St.
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Beverly Grove
8301 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90048

Try the New Orleans iced will thank me later.


Monday, July 27, 2015

Weekend Recap

The word of the weekend was...organizing! I don't know about you, but I finding cleaning and organizing very therapeutic. On this week's agenda: pantry organization! Lately, my pantry had been looking like a bit of a mess, so I finally bought these jars to organize all my baking essentials. I love that you can label them with chalk and reuse them later on for new items. I was a bit hesitant about ordering glass, but I think it's best since plastic sometimes tends to hold the scent of whatever was sitting in there for a while.

I also recently purchased this cookbook holder after looking high and low for one at retail stores.  I found a really pretty one at Pottery Barn that was made with cast aluminum, but it was so pricy ($59!) and heavy that I opted to go with this one instead. I will be testing it this weekend when baking.

Other weekend tidbits included a surprise birthday party for my best friend's dad at a fabulous Middle Eastern restaurant. Here we are attempting to all fit in the picture to take a selfie x 4 (I'm on the far right).

I also finally saw the movie Ant Man. I've been a Paul Rudd fan since Clueless, but to be honest, I wasn't really expecting much from the movie.  I mean, Ant Man, really?  I'd never heard of this super hero and the movie looked a little bit boring.  Well, let me tell you, it was so good!  It was awesomely entertaining and Paul Rudd provided just the right mix of hero and goofball.  Go see it!  You will be happily surprised.

Annnnnnd, one last thing since it's too good to not share.  I purchased these slouchy pants over the weekend from Banana Republic and they are SO comfy!  So much so that I ordered another pair in a different color this morning, and when doing so, I noticed that Banana Republic has an online sale today where you get 40% off your entire purchase with code COOL.  Certain colors are already on sale too, so you save double. :)

Happy Monday!


Friday, July 24, 2015

Friday Favorites

Here are my four favorites for the week...which I think I'll make a weekly series called "Friday Favorites."  In honor of the wedding I attended recently, these favorites are all about hair and makeup.

1. Sephora
Did you know that if you are a VIB Rouge member (meaning you spend a minimum of $1,000 per year), you can get a free, full face make over? In fact, you can get a free, full face make over anytime you want. How amazing is that?  You simply have to book at appointment through their site or at the store.  I used it for the wedding recently and the artist who did my makeup informed me that all of Sephora's artists have a minimum number of years of experience required, so you will never get someone new doing makeup for the first time.

2. Ulta
I recently discovered Ulta (I had never set foot in one before earlier this year, since I usually go to Sephora). One thing they have that Sephora doesn't is a hair salon. I've tried their blowout service and loved it! Here's me last weekend getting a blowout before the wedding.

3. Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation
I've heard people swear by this brand, since it's specially formulated to look amazing in pictures (one of my friends used it for her wedding exclusively-- she researched what the best makeup brands for weddings were, and this one was at the top of the list). I tried the liquid foundation this past weekend and loved it. I will be buying it after my Chanel foundation runs out. I used color 125 (sand).  You can find it here.

I would also recommend pairing this with their HD Microfinish Powder, which is amazing.  It just sets everything and makes your face and the finish of the makeup look better.  I always have an extra one on hand in case I run out.

4. Laura Mercier Concealer
I have really dark undereye circles (it's genetic), so I'm always looking for the next best product to cover them up. I recently tried Laura Mercier's Secret Concealer (#3) and it made my dark circles vanish. So awesome. You can find it here.

What are your favorite foundations and concealers? I'd love to hear what you use, so please comment below!  I've also used the following in the past on a regular basis:

Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Ultra-Light Skin Perfecting Makeup (currently using)
bareMinerals Original Foundation
Clinique Superpowder Double Face Makeup

Lancome Maquicomplet Corrector
Lancome Effacernes Waterproof Undereye Concealer

Happy Friday!  TGIF!


Thursday, July 23, 2015

It's Back!

Starting today, Starbucks is bringing back their Mocha Coconut Frappucchino drink. I've never tried this one (I've been sticking to the S'mores Frappuccino on the rare occasion that I do get one, since these are so high in sugar), so I may need to grab one before summer is over.  Enjoy!


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Outdoor Summer Wedding

I blogged about another wedding weekend recently, and this past weekend, it was wedding number two out of three for me for the year. I always love going to weddings, especially to see all the pin-worthy decor and beautiful flowers.

This wedding was beautiful and held outdoors at Hummingbird Nest Ranch (my first outdoor wedding!). The twinkling lights under the tent reminded me so much of the wedding from the movie Father of the Bride, which I have love since I was a little girl.  Remember this scene from the movie?  Love!

Love the twinkling lights.  So pretty at night. 


The centerpieces had fresh fruit at the base.  Very creative. 

My favorite part: the wedding favors.  I was a bridesmaid in a wedding last year for one of my best friends and she too did cacti as the wedding favor for each guest.  Our bouquets also had mini-cacti in them which tied everything together.  I think this is a great idea, because you can plant these, watch them grow, and then always remember the weddings these came from.  I plan to put this one in the same pot as the one from the wedding last year.

Have a fabulous day!

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