Saturday, September 16, 2017

Summer Recap

Hello blogger world! I have been MIA for quite some time...since January, actually. I miss blogging! I have been MIA due to work commitments that have kept me very busy and also traveling more than usual. While that may sound exciting to some, traveling for work after a while can be a bit tedious. It ends up being the same hotel, the same food, and the same schedule. Plus the time difference and jet-lag don't help either.

I thought for my first post back in a long time, I would recap my summer. Here are some tidbits of what I did.


Traveled for work but got to spend a few extra days back east sight seeing.

Visited Universal Studios Hollywood because I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan. It did not disappoint-- you walk through a replica of a part of Hogwarts to get to one of the main rides. And the butter beer (I recommend the frozen one) is quite good.


Played L.A. tourist even though I am from here and finally went to Laduree in Beverly Hills for macaroons.

Traveled to Las Vegas for a trip down high school lane. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I saw the Backstreet Boys in concert. I may have been singing along to every song and reminiscing about my teenage years.

Visited the Hollywood Bowl with friends to see a live orchestra performance of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (with the movie playing on a gigantic screen). The Hollywood Bowl is always a treat in the summer because you can picnic outside prior to the show.


Traveled to Las Vegas yet again with good friends and saw the Michael Jackson One show by Cirque du Soleil. It. was. amazing. Go see it.

Traveled to Palm Springs to stay at the JW Marriott Resort. The grounds are AMAZING! And they have flamingos on the property! Is that not insane? They are such beautiful creatures.

Celebrated my birthday with family by having Brazilian food at a yummy new restaurant. And there was cake...lots of cake.




I wrapped up summer in Las Vegas (no more Vegas for a while!) and saw the Jennifer Lopez show. Let me just say, that woman is in shape. She ran around stage, danced, and sang without missing a beat. And she looks amazing for her age.




Friday, January 13, 2017

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! I am SO looking forward to the long weekend. It has been raining non-stop here in southern California (which we need), but I'm looking forward to some sunshine. As always, I'm linking up with Shay for my Friday Favorites.

1. In my quest to eat healthier (see related post here), I have been trying different salads from Trader Joe's for lunch daily. I had this Sriracha tuna salad yesterday and it was amazing! I love spicy foods, and most foods I come across that are labeled as "hot" or "spicy" rarely are to me, but this one does not disappoint.

2. I am in the middle of researching kitchen remodeling (I will be putting in granite counters and a backslash), so I have been in the middle of Pinterest-pinning mania. I came across the cutest idea for the kitchen-- a little coffee bar! How perfect is this?  I also fell in love with the three jars pictured, so I broke down and ordered them. What can I say...although they are pricey they are too pretty. You can find them here (they come in three sizes).

Photo credit:  farahmerhi_ 

3. For those of you who live in L.A., DineLA starts today through the 27th. It's a great opportunity to try fabulous restaurants for lunch and dinner at a reduced price (lunch prices are $15-$25 per person; dinner prices are $29-$95 per person). Some of my favorites that I'd recommend are: The Little Door, Red O, Rock Sugar, Osteria Mama, Bouchon, and Pizzeria Mozza. For a complete list of participating restaurants, go here.

4. And speaking of restaurants, I had brunch at Le Petit Paris, which is located in downtown and is featured as part of DineLA. I love all things French (I studied abroad in Marseille for 6 months my senior year of undergrad), so I was super excited to try a French brunch place. It did not disappoint. If you are there, you must try  the truffle omelette and the French toast (pictured below).  YUM!

5. And finally, Nashville is back...but this time on the CMT channel. I am so glad CMT decided to pick up the show. Although the story line is sometimes a bit too soapy for my taste, I LOVE the music.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Workin’ It Wednesdays Series

Today, I am linking up with Shay for her new monthly "Workin' It Wednesdays" series.

Today's topic: New Year's Goals. This is so timely for me, as I sat down last night and wrote my goals for the year in my Erin Condren planner. Here are my goals for the year:

1. Become more fitness minded. In the past year, my fitness routine has slacked off a bit due to a hectic schedule and more work travel. I started this goal on Monday and I am using the My Fitness Pal app to keep myself accountable. I love that it tracks calories and exercise, and it even "talks" to my Fitbit app and logs the number of steps I complete each day as exercise. My goal is to exercise five days a week. I find that when I have a regular exercise schedule, I sleep better, feel better, and have more energy. If you use the app too and are on a health journey like me, feel free to add me as a friend! I find it motivating. My user name is jmaboud. :)

2. And on a related note, my second goal is to eat better. This again ties in to feeling better. When I eat less processed food and junk food, I find that I feel better and sleep better. " If I don't find it in nature, I won't eat it" will be my mantra for eating in 2017 (at least 80% of the time). ;) I love any and all salads, so lately I've been having a salad with some kind of lean protein for lunch.

3. Sleep more! I am really bad at getting the recommended 8 hours of sleep per day. I will be using my Fitbit app to help me track my sleep.

4. Stick to my budget! I found an app I love that I am using for this. It's called Pennies. You simply set your budget and then track your purchases. It also breaks down how much money you have left to spend daily, monthly, etc.

5. Read more. My goal is to read at least one book per month. I started Book 2 of the Neapolitan Novels, The Story of a New Name, last night.


Have a great day!


Monday, January 9, 2017

2017 Golden Globes Fashion

I love awards season, and even more so when I've seen the majority of the films and TV shows that year. This year, I was rooting for The People vs OJ Simpson and Stranger Things. And given that La La Land won so big, I'm planning on seeing it this weekend before the Oscars.

Here are my favorite gowns from last night's ceremony. Who were your favorites? Was anyone robbed? Did you love Meryl's speech? And what was up with all the man beards? Comment below...I'd love to hear!

Happy Monday!

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