Monday, January 31, 2011

Trading Up

After so many treats over the weekend, I wanted to start out the day on a good, healthy note and went for some of my new favorite oatmeal this morning.

I'm usually a solid Trader Joe's oatmeal fan, but found this can't-pass-it-up-deal at Safeway the other day and need to share because they are GOOD. (and they come in a cute pouch that you measure your water in!) And this is coming from someone who adds brown sugar in each layer of oatmeal eaten in a bowl of old fashioned oatmeal. Hah, I first wrote "used to" but then I realized that would be a total lie. 

5 things

I had an amazingly relaxing, happy weekend and feel like I'm going into this week more balanced and clear. Bring it, Monday.

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Fruity Pebble treats. I'm pretty sure I would have never eaten Rice Krispy treats knowing these existed. O.M.G. Next up, Golden Graham treats (my favorite kid cereal).

Practice Love from Urban Outfitters, small frame from Venice, square place from Crate + Barrel, rings mostly from Froever21.
I treated myself to flowers on Friday. I know, Baby's Breath, right? Makes me want to gag when I see them in arrangements, but on their own they are quite lovely and delicate.

I found 2 of these side-basket things over the weekend and decided to spray paint them white and use them as pseudo book ends on my desk. A much needed update and who doesn't love to be organized! 
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Square business cards. I'm designing mine for my art therapy internship in private practice, and wanted something a little different. Square it is....and I'm sure I'll post it once I reach the final product. I'm thinking grey/natural with yellow (of course).

I absolutely love my smile mug (thank you Marci :) I love starting my mornings with a cup of coffee, and it's much better when enjoyed out of my smile mug.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

feeding the addiction (at least it's not booze)

As you must know by now, I have a little addition called nail polish.

My friend just introduced me to a line called Zoya - a lovely line that is formaldehyde + other toxin free. Whoopie!! She let me borrow one of her colors today when we got manicures, and I loved the glossy look of the polish. I chose her light pinky-nude color (Sari) and I love the lightness of the color.

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And it doesn't make my hands look the paleness they've become.

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Katy did an awesome orchid-like purple (called Audrina) which made us wish it was Spring. Super pretty! They even have matte polish...I can't wait to see how those look.

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On my way home I stopped by Bed, Bath + Beyond since I had to replace my favorite OPI red and I've become a new fan of Essie. I picked a new red, and I'm pretty sure I will never use a different red. Ever again. Cue sigh of happiness :)
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Friday, January 28, 2011


I'm not sure why, but this week has sort of felt like a drag. I had a bunch of school stuff due and had to tell my kid clients that we are ending soon. Cue sad face.
I'm big on taking care of myself and doing things to cheer me up, so I plan on curling my hair this morning, doing a wee bit of retail therapy later, and gymming. I've come across these great photos and quotes which have also restored a bounce in my spirit :)

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I think this one is my new favorite...

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No doubt my big kid play day with one of my most dearest and best friends tomorrow will be heartwarming...

And because attitude makes a big difference...

Have a happy weekend!

Eat your veggies

Last night I had a craving for something light and healthy, so I made shrimp tacos with pineapple salsa. I swear, this pineapple stuff makes tacos so good, I highly recommend it. Also, try white corn tortiallas from La Toritilla Factory.
I also visited my favorite local produce mart yesterday and finally grabbed a few purple potatoes. I've seen them there before but never eaten one, so I figured I could come up with some way for them to go with the tacos. And they are loaded with color, so they have to have some health benefit, right? YES! They contain flavonoids (?) which basically help blood vessels and motor skills. Hooray!

I'm a pretty picky potato eater, so I decided to make my own version of potato crisps (sounds healthier than chips, huh?). After washing and drying the potatoes, thinly slice them and toss with olive oil. Spread them our on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt, and bake at 375 for about 20-30 minutes. I flipped them at that point, and then took them out about 10 or 15 minutes later...whenever they are getting crispy. YUM.

Monday, January 24, 2011

5 things

Getting out of bed in the morning is sometimes my least favorite thing of the day. It's usually the time when I am most cocooned in bed, and I would much prefer to eat breakfast and have coffee in my cozies.
Since I have let stuff pile up on my 'to do' list for the day and I'm feeling a bit exhausted, it's more important for me to recognize things that put a smile on my face.

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A stack of new bangles from Forever21. Cute with another new bracelet, or with just a few by themselves.

I found an art store in Oakland that carries my favorite line of quotable cards, and this one is now on my inspiration board.
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 I am a huge Sharks hockey fan, and my girlfriends got me a teal pair of sweatpants for my birthday a couple years ago (they match this t-shirt). So perfect for nights we watch the game at home, and I love them more because they don't sell them anymore. Score!

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I am one of those people that loves to be organized. Therefore, I absolutely love post-its, especially fun colored ones that are lined. I'm constantly making to-do lists, lists of things I'm doing that day, and of course my 5 things lists.

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 And lastly but most importantly, a call from my best friend. She has an amazing ability to laugh when life puts up a stop sign, and gives some of the best hugs I've ever had.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday Funday

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Today was my friend's birthday, and to celebrate she invited a few of us girls out for a birthday version of Sunday Funday. We started with pedicures....and obviously champagne (Barefoot Bubbly is entirely delightful, by the way).

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Given my nail polish obsession, picking one of their 60+ colors was difficult. Although I would have loved to push my boundaries and gone with something a little more unusual, I stuck to my favorite red....the perfect tone of red because it has a hint of orange to it (I think) so it complements my skin tone. I did love the super dark blue with a hint of sparkles, as well as the coral with shimmer...that will be a definite favorite in the next few weeks!

Our spa time was followed by lunch at Vanessa's Bistro in Walnut Creek...a perfect place to share tapas and more champagne with friends. Their Bloody Mary Martinis are GOOD, too.

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Since I opted not to get my nails done, I instantly went to my bag of polishes when I got home and debated what color to go with for the week. Or the next few days if we're being honest. I settled on my Essie Jazz since it seems not to chip (or it's just not that noticeable) and the color is a really nice neutral that goes with most things and of course, my red toes.

All in all, wonderfully happy Sunday Funday with some cool girls.
Cheers to happy birthdays

Friday, January 21, 2011

Fountain of Youth

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I don't know if it's the weather or heaters, but my skin has been acting like I'm back in high school. I scheduled a mini-facial with a woman in Lafayette I had met a few years ago, and I'm pretty sure I'm hooked for life. She started with a light cleanser, then exfoliated with a pumice scrub, followed that with an enzyme peel, extractions, and finished with a delightful masque that felt so hydrating.

Needless to say, I feel like I'm going into the weekend with more confidence and a bigger smile :)

 Some of the products I stocked up on :

[Let me finish by saying her price for this mini-facial was extremely reasonable, and this is coming from a 'starving student.' Email me if you want her contact information, I'd be happy to share!]

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Trying on shoes

I started subscribing to daily emails from after a good friend of mine forwarded ones that reminded her of me, or that were quotes that inspired her positive daily life.

 I think that as people talk and talk and talk, what can happen is they are realizing their own story, or another perspective they can approach things with. It's a valuable tool to be able to look at things from another person's shoes, so maybe people can try on a different pair of their own shoes if we just listen to them.

 "When you listen generously to people they can hear the truth in themselves, often for the first time "

{Rachel Naomi Remen}

Monday, January 17, 2011

5 things

Yesterday I spent cleaning, rearranging, and reorganizing our guestroom (aka my office :) So today, I'm pretty thankful for having some inspiring, calming, and cozy things to help me when I need to study.

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Inspiration board (though mine is under construction - photos soon!)

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Restoration Hardware luxury plush throw. SO SOFT. Not only do I curl up in my desk chair and couch with this, but it sleeps with me now every night.

I found these notecards in Boulder and started collecting them because I loved their simple design and witty/loving/inspirational quotes. Imagine how stoked I was when I found the designs on canvas at a local shop.

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My desk! I love that it is so simple yet functional for everything I need it for. I traded in my old heavy black desk for this one when I moved, and love that it's brighter and that my bookshelf goes with it now.
(ps the ones from West Elm are beautiful, but Overstock won me over for less $)

As I've said before, I love TJ Maxx. I found these sheets there and instantly became a fan of purple. Seriously, I never really liked the color much, but it must be something about the design or shades of purple, but I loved these sheets as soon as I saw them.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Kiss and makeup

I remember playing dress up with my best friend when I was little, and on our luckiest days her mom let us play with her Clinique makeup.

Now I have my own to play with, and am finding my favorite brands and colors.

A few of my favorites:

1. Bobby Brown Concealer - great for undereye coverage
2. Benefit Girl Meets Pearl - the perfect amount of shimmer
3. Benefit Eyebrow Enhancers - necessary for those of us lacking in the eyebrow area
4. Rimmel Lash Accelerator - a new find and loving it so far. Hoping my lashes do get longer. Fingers crossed
5. Smashbox Blush Rush in Radiance - adds the perfect hint of flush
6. Smashbox Photo Finish Primer - skin feels softer and makeup goes on smooth
7. Bobby Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner - smudges well and seriously lasts all day. Love it with their brush too
8. MAC Bronzer - definitely a necessities
9. Bobby Brown Foundation Stick - perfect for those of us who don't like to feel like we're wearing makeup, and can double as concealer

Rainy day cozies

I've been a fan of oversized sweaters lately. Less Olson twins and more Rachel Bilson. One- they look and feel incredibly comfy and are perfect for an overcast day, and two - I can snag them from my dad's closet. Muahaha

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This week I grabbed a cream colored, simple crew neck sweater he had from Land's End, and am currently loving it it with black Juicy leggings, tall grey socks from H&M, and tan Steve Madden boots.

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I have to point out that I'm a pretty thrifty shopper. Not only are H&M and Forever21 great places for us 'starving student' types, but they have basic items and stuff that works for current trends (and therefor not so expensive to replace with new trends). I got my leggings at TJ Maxx - the place I go to first for anything clothing and home related before other stores. And who doesn't love sales! Thankfully my boots were on sale back when I got them (although they weren't the style I wanted, the need for immediate gratification of tan boots outweighed a continued search. *sigh*)

I have a feeling I'll be wearing this getup more often on these drizzly days. Helloooo cute comfort!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Eye candy

I got my first issue of Food + Wine Magazine....finally. Hooray!

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I flipped through it quickly this morning and it will most likely be the next thing I read at the gym, but so far the pictures are mouth watering. How great to have a magazine with two of my favorite things! My Sunday involves no plans yet, so hopefully I can fit some cooking in for us and friends.

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I get really excited to try new recipes and have only totally butchered one. Nope, two. The first was trying homemade butternut squash about mush. With a little tweaking and using a different approach (and won ton wrappers), I've mastered it - my way - and will share later. The other was the first pasta salad I tried to make. The salt shaker slipped (seriously) and needless to say, it was a tad salty.

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I think this year I am going to try and make more breakfasts (especially for dinner) and desserts (especially those with lemons). YUM!

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Channeling Giada

I love cooking. Love it. And I'm extra happy that this quarter of school I have most nights free so I can try more recipes and perfect my go-tos. Giada is my favorite chef from the Food Network and usually the first place I go to look for a new recipe (either on Food Network or her cookbook ). Everything I've made of hers has turned out wonderfully delicious.

We stocked up on Costco last weekened and I always love getting the packs of chicken - the ones that have the 2 breasts packaged together so they are easy to defrost and the perfect amount for 2 (sometimes with leftovers).

Last night I made her Balsamic Chicken but I used chicken breasts instead of wings or legs. I also forgot to add the rosemary and sesame seeds but it still tasted AWESOME. The touch of sweetness is perfect for someone with a sweet tooth. 

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You can get the recipe here.

Monday, January 10, 2011

5 things

I've noticed my other favorite blogs often do their 5 favorite things on Fridays, but I think I might start doing mine on Mondays (though I often make a list on a sticky note several days a week). I think this will be a good way for me to start the week on a thankful, happy note.

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I'm laughing at myself because as you now know, I am a nail polish addict. I love my Miami Beet but changed it to OPI Tasmanian Devil Made Me Do It over the weekend. My guess is I'll have a different color on by Thursday.

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Although I am costantly putting lotion on, I need a little extra thanks to the heater and hotter showers. I'm hooked on Nivea Soft and have a pot of it next to my bed and another in my purse. There is no such thing as using this stuff conservatively.

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My usual pilates mat class was changed to a different, less desirable class (in my book) but thankfully I still have my Monday pilates morning at the instructer's home studio. Another thing I can say I've become addicted to that makes me feel stronger and more confident.
The mom in Step Brothers had it right when she said "pilates changed my life!"

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I know, super silly to be thankful for fabric softened. But I'm sure even you will admit, there's nothing like having clean, crisply white towels fresh out of the dryer that are super softer and smell SO GOOD. We never used fabric softener growing up, but I remember the smell of an old friend's house whenever they were doing laundry. TG for Costco sized amounts too :)

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Although most of their stuff is stubbornly expensive, it's really hard not to love lululemon and want to live in their clothes. Not only do they give you super fun, reusable bags when you get something, their clothes have an amazing quality and feel to them, and their pants make any butt look good. I feel like I hit the jackpot this Christmas, and was given a lululemon Scuba Hoodie (with detachable arms = super cute vest). Given the sub-super cold weather, I've been living in this hoodie. Literally every day, it makes an appearance as it's close to the only thing warm enough to wear.

All you need is love

I rarely dislike movies, and find myself loving yet another one. Country Strong was complex/twisted/dramatic/lovely/endearing/and other misc words. It made me laugh and frown, and of course made my eyes leak a bit.

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I loved Gwyneth's character and felt so bad at times that I wish I could have jumped into the scene and punched Tim McGraw's character in the nose. I loved everything she wore...every dress, every flannel shirt and leather pants, and every furry lined coat.

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I think it's safe to say Gwyneth is topping my list of favorite celebs (though this first started when she became Pepper Potts) and I'll be paying more attention to her style, especially on Celeb Style.

OH! And she's InStyle's cover girl in the January 2011 issue - it's actually a great article and I love it more because she was interviewed by Faith Hill. What a cute pair of girlfriends! 

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Tim McGraw wasn't such a big role as I expected, and I was surprised how much I ended up liking the other dude - Garrett Hedlund. His facial hair bugs a little (and apparently he's way cuter without any), but his voice - yowza. It's the perfect kind of low with that knee melting twang.  I seriously love every song, especially his duo with Leighton Meester and can't wait to download the rest of the CD.

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There were a bunch of great quotes during the movie that I wish I could have remembered better and can't wait for IMDB to come out with more quotes, but here is one I found that I (duh) love...

 " Don't be afraid to fall in love. It's the only thing that matters in life. "