Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Cilantro Lime Salad Dressing


I made my first salad dressing from scratch! Salad dressing was the one thing I was always intimidated to make myself, just general laziness when you can just buy a bottle of it. lol My favorite salad dressing is Trader Joe's reduced fat Cilantro Dressing so I thought I'd try making it myself.  Here's the ingredient list for their dressing:
Mayonnaise dressing (water, expeller pressed canola oil, modified food starch, distilled vinegar, soy protein, apple cider vinegar, non fat dry milk, lemon juice concentrate, onion powder, xanthan gum, vitamin E, natural flavor, mustard oil, paprika), nonfat milk (fat free milk, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin d3), red wine vinegar (contains sulfites), cilantro, pasilla chile, garlic, cojita cheese (cultured pasteurized milk, skim milk, sea salt, enzymes), pumpkin seeds [natural soybean oil (refined), salt, wheat flour, pepitas], xanthan gum.
I stored my dressing in my Wean Green glass food storage container. It's not as thick as it looks.

Ingredients
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, stems removed
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt (I used Siggi's 0%)
  • ¼  cup olive oil
  • 1 or 2 garlic gloves
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 2 TB Apple Cider Vinegar
  • pinch of pink Himalayan salt
  • dash of onion powder, mustard powder, paprika (optional)
Directions
  1. Combing the cilantro, yogurt, garlic, lime and salt in a food processor. 
  2. Then slowly add in the olive oil and vinegar
Nutritional Analysis
Makes 12 - 1 TB servings
48 cal, 1g protein, 5g fat, 1g sugar

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Autumn Mustard


The LOFT already has their fall line up and the color theme is Mustard. Even though they had a sale this weekend I didn't buy anything because I'm sticking to my 31 Day Closet Challenge. From left to right here's what I tried on:

Autumn Blossom Pencil Skirt - is very form fitting but super pretty!

Tiny Floral Piped Shirtdress - there's a reason it's called tiny! I'm 5'6 and this dress is too short for the office. Also it's a very thin material so it shows every bulge you have underneath.

Floral Bud Utility Blouse - I'm definitely getting this!

Easy Tee - It's a very loose and too long.

Autumn Bloom Cotton Cardigan - I love the pattern and color but not sure how much wear I would get out of it?

I was surprised to find pretty multi-colored Mirrored Aviator Style Sunglasses. The website picture doesn't do it justice.

A matching Autumn Blossom Scarf. With my blonde hair I'm a sucker for yellow scarves.



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Monday, July 28, 2014

Peach and Cherry Oatmeal



It's cherry season now and to be honest cherries aren't something I usually buy, just too much of a hassle to eat. But then I added them pitted to my oatmeal and am really enjoying them!

Ingredients
  • ¼ cup Country Choice Organic Steel-Cut Oats
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • ½ peach chopped
  • 5 cherries (pitted)
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • dash of cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 tsp yacon syrup (optional)
Directions
  1. Bring milk to boil on the stove. Then add the the oats and reduce heat. Cook for about 15 minutes.
  2. Mix in vanilla, cinnamon and chia seeds.
  3. Transfer to a bowl and add the yacon syrup and top with peaches and cherries.
  4. You may add additional toppings like shredded coconut, shivered almonds, or walnut pieces.
Nutritional Analysis
255 cal, 8g protein, 8g fiber

Recipe source: the oatmeal artist

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Drugstore Makeup Haul: NYX

Drugstore Beauty




I've been a loyal MAC Cosmetics user since high school, anything cheap I'd turn my nose up on.  But I decided to give some budget beauty products a try! I heard that NYX Cosmetics was having a 40% off sale for the 4th of July holiday and free shipping for orders over $25. The company is named after the Greek Goddess NYX (goddess of the night) and their products are 100% cruelty-free and PETA certified. Their products are very affordable and can be found at CVS, Bed Bath &Beyond, Urban Outfitters and Target. For $28.80 I got 6 products and free shipping! So I finally got a brush cleanser as I was always too cheap to spend money on that.

I did a lot research on what are their best products and found that two of their products are dupes for more expensive brands! For instance their Studio Finishing Powder is comparable to Tarte's Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder I bought at Sephora. I'm always on the look out for a good eyeshadow primer and their High Definition Eye Shadow Base is a good dupe for Nars Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base ($25) and Smashbox's Photo Finish Lid Primer ($20) at a fraction of the price! I snagged it for $4.20 but it retails for $7. It really does hold my eye shadow in place, long lasting with no creases. I also got their blush in the brown shade of Taupe because everywhere I saw online people are using it as contour shade!



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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Reading List for Summer 2014

If you read my blog regularly you know I enjoy reading books. Here's a link to all of my past book posts. This summer my reading list has a wanderlust theme of stories that talk about travel adventures. One book is on Oprah's reading list, I've always enjoyed her selections! Two books are coming out as movies this year and so I want to hurry up and read them before they hit the theaters because you get so many more details in the book.  Here's the books I've downloaded to my kindle or put on hold at my library.  I've finally learned how to get digital books from my library! Did you know that you can lend e-books to your friends, amazon explains how it works.


Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (Oprah's Book Club 2.0 1) by Cheryl Strayed

Wild is the memoir of 26 year old Cheryl Strayed who details her 1,000 mile solo hike along the Pacific Coast Trail to deal with both the loss of her mother and filing for divorce. Reese Witherspoon is starring in the movie adaptation coming out in December. I started reading it this weekend and haven't been able to put it down. 

Cheryl is a very articulate writer and the book is about soul searching and having the guts to overcome something in her life.  This is a woman who was flat broke, had so many dysfunctions in her life, is so brutally honest about her weaknesses yet funny at the same time. The book is not about backpacking nor a trail guide, it's a story of an ill-prepared woman trekking alone, with no electronics in 1995, hiking at night with no lamp posts, when she had never backpacked before. She didn't practice for this hike, including not trying on her backpack to see if it might be too heavy. lol She hikes with sore feet on a healing journey. I found myself googling pictures of the Mojave Desert so I can picture the terrain.  

Couple neat facts  - upon her divorce she and her ex-husband got matching tattoos and she gave herself the last name Strayed. 


Hector and the Search for Happiness by Francois Lelord                       Lelord is French psychiatrist who had a number of patients who were unhappy for no apparent reason, he was finding it more of a strain and made him tired. So he wrote a fictional story of  a psychiatrist named Hector who traveled around the world to understand what makes people happy. As he travels from Paris to China to Africa to the United States, he lists his observations about the people he meets and what the secret to happiness is. It's a very small book so I think it will be a quick read. It was a best seller in France then translated to English and the movie adaptation comes out in September starring Toni Collette. 









Margarita Wednesdays by Deborah Rodriguez
In answer to the question of what happened following her New York Times bestseller Kabul Beauty School, Deborah Rodriquez is back with a new memoir. She's an American who decided to move to a seaside town in Mexico despite having no plan, no friends, and no Spanish. This book is about her adventures and misadventures that ensue.





Only in Spain: A Foot-Stomping, Firecracker of a Memoir about Food, Flamenco, and Falling in Love by Nellie Bennett 
This is written by a first time author and just published on July 1, 2014. It's the memoir of an Australian who worked retail but decided to move to Spain to take flamenco lessons. This intrigued me since I visited Spain last year.











What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding: A Memoir by Kristin Newman 
Another new book by a first time author just published in May 2014. It's a memoir of a young woman who traveled the world, often alone, for several weeks each year and shares her hilarious stories from Paris, Amsterdan, Moscow Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, New Zealand, Iceland, Tel Aviv  and just about everywhere in between.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Sample Society Beauty Subscription Box


After nine months I finally cancelled my Ipsy monthly subscription which I kept for way too long. I switched to Sample Society which is a monthly beauty subscription from BeautyBar.com and Allure magazine. It's made of generous sample sizes from high end brands, more up my speed! It comes in a glossy red box with a mini magazine (not pictured) with info on the products included.

This month I got a full size Butter London nail polish in a pretty penny copper color which is worth $15. I paid $15 for this box and received about $45 worth of product, so I'm thrilled with that and definitely think the box is worth it and I plan on using everything.

Also included:
Laura Mercier Matte Highlighter
L'Oreal Lip Gloss in bright red which I can wear with my RiRi Woo
perfrume sample of Maison Francis Kurkdjian Paris Aqua Universalis which smells amazing!
Fekkai PrX Reparatives Intense Fortifying Hair Masque with Argan Oil


use code: ANNA0420
Buy Beauty Products at BeautyBar.com

Excludes existing customers of BeautyBar.com, Bookworm.com, Look.com or other Quidsi sites. Restrictions apply.

Monday, July 21, 2014

31 Day Closet Challenge


I'm really excited to be participating in the 31 Day Closet Challenge. I've been reading several blogs that have participated in this challenge and have really enjoyed reading their content. As I have been working to reduce clutter in my home and in my life, I thought I also needed to get my closet in shape. The goal is to not repeat an item of clothing for 31 days. Have you ever looked at your closet and been overwhelmed by what to wear in the morning?  Well that's me! I feel like I wear the same things over and over again to work when I have an overflowing closet full of clothes I forget I own. It's already mid-summer, so I just want to give you a little motivation to get your July looking stylish. My goal is to spend the month wearing all of my dresses paired with a necklace. And to not buy any clothes for the next 31 days.

I just read a really interesting article in the August issue of ELLE magazine called Goodbye To All That which is about dressing in your 30s. I really related to the author who was trying to redefine herself with her wardrobe and get rid of the pieces she bought when she was in her 20s. For me I want my wardrobe to be more "officey" with stylish dresses. I tend to wear a lot of pants to the office then feel frumpy when I know that's not my fashion personality at all. I'm sure you've heard the saying "Dress for the job you want, not for the job you have." I've decided that my work wardrobe is way more important than my weekend clothes since I spend more days at work, so I try not to buy pieces that can't be worn to work.

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