Monday, June 30, 2014

Protecting Blonde Tresses

I've been blonde for 3 years now and I have to admit it's a lot of work keeping it healthy. Between heat styling, bleach and the sun, it dries out very easily. I get my hair trimmed often and moisturize and seal my hair every evening following this routine. Then additionally I follow this video routine for my color treated hair. If you don't feel like watching the long video here's the gist of it:

I use Infusium 23 as my leave in conditioner. I put it in a small spray bottle because it's so thin it's just a mess coming out the original bottle. Then I combined the other products into a larger spray bottle with 40% Rosewater, 40% Aloe Vera Juice, 20% Vegetable Glycerin and a few drops of Vitamin E oil. The oil is just a preservative for the Aloe Vera Juice which would otherwise have to be refrigerated. You can read here the benefits of aloe vera and rosewater. That mixture I spray onto my hair every evening.

What I didn't realize is how much the sun damages my hair, in just the past two months it has lightened my hair to a Gwen Stefani blonde, not the wheat blonde you see in my picture. I thought fading color was something only colored red heads had to worry about. So I researched various products that claim to be hair sunscreen but they all had bad reviews. So I finally settled on the natural route of aloe vera, Sesame Seed oil and vitamin E as my hair sunscreen as they moisturize my hair and block sun rays. I've added them all to my large spray bottle that I talked about above. They also help with split ends and rejuvenating my hair. Aloe vera's properties allow it to penetrate deep into my hair shaft to moisturize while sesame oil coats my hair with a protectant layer and makes it a little darker. The Vitamin E helps to absorb the UV energy. I spray this onto my hair daily along with my anti-humidity products.


Friday, June 27, 2014

How to travel stylishly

Photo Credit: Chalene Johnson
I love me some colorful sneakers as evident by my last shoe purchase and am totally envious of this suitcase full of pretty sneakers and louboutins! However since I'm not leading fitness classes, I don't need to travel with a whole collection of them. I usually just pack two pairs of shoes and make sure all my outfits go with them. I consider myself a smart packer, I don't overpack and can travel with just one suitcase. The way I do this is I write up an itinerary of what I'm going to wear everyday when I travel. Every morning while on vacation I just refer to my list to see what I'm scheduled to wear that day. I take care in packing the perfect dress for this background or shorts for the day I'm taking a bike ride.

The key is to know what colors look good on you. You won't ever find me in a black dress, I find it boring, but to each their own. I like for my outfits to be bright and stand out since I'll be posing in front of beautiful backgrounds. In preparation for every trip I try on every outfit to see how it fits me and what jewelry goes with it. You want to pack pieces that are simple and classic. That way when you're looking at your pictures years down the line the focus won't be on your clothing choice. When I was younger my mom always had a "travel uniform". lol It was a casual brown strip suit with lots of pockets, I hated that outfit! lol My travel outfit tends to be a cute velour sweatsuit from Bebe. It's comfortable and keeps me warm on long international flights.

Check out my other posts on travel essentials and packing tips.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

My Lulu Haul


I had to stop by the Lululemon store while I was in Santa Monica. I picked up some more colors of my favorite running tank - Cool Racerback. It's simple, streamlined, a long length and great for working on your tan line while running. It's light cool fabric that resists sweat and super soft to the touch. I'm loving their new camo pattern!

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Style Trend: Lace Shorts


My newest fashion obsession are super feminine lace shorts! I've been seen seeing them around town and think they're perfect for summer! They're pretty versatile for either day or night wear. Lace is vintage and modern at the same time, delicate and pretty, so I say keep your top simple.  You don't want to look like Madonna circa 1985 with too many accessories on top of lace. You can find them at Anthropologie, the LOFT, or Oasap. 
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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Summer Nails

With a summer tan I like to wear pale pinks on my nails. Right now my favorite color is OPI's Step Right Up on my fingers and Essie Bazooka's on my toes which is a vibrant orange. Check out my post on my 5 favorite summer pinks.



Monday, June 23, 2014

Think Like a Man Too


I was wondering why the post  I wrote on Kevin Hart last July was getting so many hits, guess people are googling him since his new movie came out this weekend. When I was in LA a couple weeks ago there were posters everywhere advertising this movie plus when I went to the Chinese Theater in Hollywood during the daytime they had set up the red (actually yellow) carpet for the premiere!



I normally don't see movies opening week but I went to an early matinee at a theater that had reclining seats, talk about comfortable! Think Like a Man Too is a sequel to the movie based on Steve Harvey's book of the same title. The sequel has nothing to do with the book though. The premise of this movie is each couple is going through some sort of conflict while they're all in Las Vegas for Bachelor/Bachelorette parties.

Sequels rarely outshine the original, I saw that with The Hangover, but this movie totally delivered! The humor in the movie comes from Kevin Hart and he keeps it consistently funny. There's several surprise celeb cameos in this movie, so don't want to ruin it for you. Terrace J was just so sexy in the movie!! The movie stays PG-13 as many scenes could have gone another way. I didn't understand why La La Anthony was in the movie, she barely said a word and then wasn't even a bridesmaid in the wedding. I was disapointed that the entire soundtrack is Mary J Blige songs. The signature song from the first movie was John Legend's "Best I Ever Had". Regardless of those small issues, definitely check this movie out, you'll enjoy it!

Kevin Hart has been on a roll lately, with the movies  Ride Along and About Last Night. If you need some movies for your netflix queue, add them to your list. They showed a preview for a movie he's releasing next year that looks hilarious as well - The Ringer.
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Friday, June 20, 2014

Travel Apps You Need!

I did a ton of walking in LA and used a free app called Every Trail to find walking tours. It was really awesome! It gives you a map and shows you where you are on the map through GPS. Then gives pictures and a brief description of every point of interest on the map.  You can also use it for hiking trails. All maps are made by users just like you so you can do your own photo geotagging. It's a great tool for community sharing. You can sort by rating to find the best ones. I'd say this is definitely a must have app and it was all free! I did these 4 tours during my vacation:


Another great app is tripit which organizes your itinerary for you by putting together all your flights, hotels, and other travel plans on your iPhone. It takes all your confirmation emails and builds a folder for you. Your trip folder is nicely organized, with links for tracking your flight status, checking seating charts and an adequate map of the local area that you can view when you have no network connection. If you have Gmail, you can set your TripIt preferences to automatically grab travel-related emails by giving it access to your email account. 

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Healthy Airport Snacks


Next time you travel plan ahead for what you will eat when you go to the  airport to prevent your triggers from getting at you. My local airport has a Cinnabon, there's actually none in my city thankfully, so when I go to the airport I think wow this is a rare treat! I used to always get the smaller sized Bites but unfortunately that comes in a set of 6! Why would one person need a pack of 6?! That pack of 6 is 620 calories, 24 g of fat and 36 grams of sugar! It's hard to resist walking by it because just one whiff of the sweet frosted treat calls my name! But I'm happy to say I've finally been able to quit this sweet sin!

Traveling has a way of wearing you down, which makes it hard for you to make good food choices. So I recommend packing portable oatmeal which I talked about in this post. That way you don't end up getting a bagel and cream cheese, high in calories but nutritionally void. I bought my cashews with me and Shakeology that I mixed with water.



Healthy things you can buy in the airport include:
Nuts
Fruit
Salad
Protein Bar
Greek Yogurt (watch the sugar)
I've seen hardboiled eggs pop up in some airport vendors.
Make sure you buy some water at the airport to prevent being dehydrated on the plane. Here's a great blog post on how to take care of your skin while flying.

Check out my post from last year about what snacks I bring with me when I travel. 

If flying through SFO check out The Plant Organic Cafe, I always get a green juice when I land. If you're flying out of LAX check out Real Food Daily. It's a vegetarian restaurant with a few locations in LA and Santa Monica. It's in Terminal 4 (American Airlines) on the Departures Level. I stopped there for breakfast (scrambled tofu with tempeh bacon) then again to pick up a tofu wrap to go to eat on the plane for lunch. 



Wednesday, June 18, 2014

My Travel Essentials


I've shared Packing Tips before but thought you might enjoy seeing what I travel with. For my inflight comfort I always travel with a pillow, gum (orbitz sweet mint), water, a good book, my ipod (see current playlist), socks and comfortable shoes. 



When I finished my book I purchased wifi on the flight to work on my blog on my kindle fire. In the hotel room I watched the new season of Orange is the New Black. I would have watched it on the plane but their wifi specifically says it will not allow you to access netflix.

A total necessity this trip was my iphone portable charger! I have the iphone5 which only holds a charge for 1/3 of the day, then I would connect it to this lipstick case charger I carried in my purse to bump it up to 60%. Then by the end of the day it was out of power again but by then I would be at dinner or dip into the hotel beforehand to charge again. I gotta say I miss my old flip phone that I only had to charge once a week!

After a long tiring day, it's so easy to remove my eye makeup with these wipes.



Monday, June 16, 2014

Four Days until.....


























Chalene Johnson, creator of TurboFire, releases the all-new PiYo Workout!  I can't wait to get my hands on it! It comes with 9 workouts that include:


  • Align (46 mins): The Fundamentals (46 mins)
  • Upper Body (35 mins): this focused workout will strengthen and stretch your entire body, while building on the movement patterns you have learned in Align.
  • Define: Lower Body (25 mins) will shape and tone everything from your glutes, hamstrings, quads and calves gently, yet effectively to help you get sleek and lean legs.
  • Sweat (35 mins) is a traditional PiYo Workout that is fast paced with body weight strength training and ab work!
  • Core (30 mins) an ab-centric workout that targets every angle of the abdominals and back. I’ve read this will be a calorie-torcher too!
  • Drench (45 mins) is a total body workout to get you sweaty, burning calories, and going to have your metabolism on fire!
  • Strength Intervals (25 mins) designed to tone the whole body and burn tons of calories with no weights required!
  • Sculpt (30 mins) no weights are required for this intense, full-body workout either!
  • Free shipping is offered for a short time!

PiYo DEFINE YOURSELF 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

White Dress

White Dress




Here's a few great summer white dresses I tried on recently in stores that I think you might like too. I ended up getting the one of the far right. The June edition of Instyle magazine said "to set off a summer tan, I love a bright apricot lipstick like MAC's Jist" which is one of my favorite lipsticks!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Peach Steel Cut Oats


For this recipe I gave Steel Cut Oats a try. What is that you ask? It's also known as Irish oats and is the least processed kind of oatmeal. Old Fashioned Oats are Steel Cut Oats that have been flattened and steamed in rollers. Steel Cut Oats have a chewier flavor to them. I always try to add chia seeds to my oatmeal for additional protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber.


Ingredients
  • ¼ cup Country Choice Organic Steel-Cut Oats
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 peach
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp maple syrup (or yacon syrup)
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
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 maple syrup and top chopped peaches. 
Nutritional Analysis
255 cal, 8g protein, 8g fiber


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Blueberry Oatmeal
























I've really been enjoying this baked oatmeal thing so I'm continued it on for week 2 on my blog only posting the recipes that actually turned out good. I'd recommend letting this cool a bit before eating because you don't want to crush a steaming hot blueberry inside your mouth. I use Yacon and Lucuma as my sweeteners because they are natural plants from South America with low amounts of sugar. The coconut oil makes it more moist.


Ingredients


  • ½ cup rolled oats 
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp Lucuma powder
  • 1 tsp Yacon syrup
  •  handful of blueberries
  • ½  tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼  tsp baking powder
  • dash of cinnamon


  • Directions
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a ramekin or glass container
    2. Mix all ingredients in a bowl, then fold in blueberries
    3. Bake for 20 minutes.

    Nutritional Analysis
    235 cal, 5g protein, 7g fiber, 4g sugar

    Monday, June 9, 2014

    Plum Baked Oatmeal


    My Polish mother used to make a delicious plum cake and that was my inspiration in creating this juicy plum baked oatmeal. I used coconut oil to make it more moist and lucuma powder as my sweetener. The powder 100% natural fruit, nothing added. Lucuma is a fruit from Peru that looks like an orange avocado and tastes a little bit like maple syrup. One tablespoon of lucuma powder only has 2g of sugar! This recipe gets 7g of sugar from the plum.









    Ingredients:


  • ½ cup rolled oats 
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 1 plum
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp lucuma powder
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • pinch of salt


  • Directions:
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray a single-serve ramekin with nonstick spray.
    2. Cut your pear in half and peel one side. Set one half aside. With the other half, mash it up inside the bowl. This is what provides the sugar to your oatmeal.
    3. Add milk, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Stir until mixed with the mashed pear.
    4. Add oats, ginger, baking powder, and salt. Stir.
    5. With the remaining pear half, dice it into cubes, chunks, or slices and add to the batter. Stir gently.
    6. Pour into the prepared ramekin and bake for 20 minutes.

    Nutritional Analysis
    270 cal, 6g protein, 8g fiber, 8g sugar



    Wednesday, June 4, 2014

    Peanut Butter Baked Oatmeal 3 ways


    Baked oatmeal is really my new thing and I think it's because I used to love baking and now that I eat clean I miss that action of mixing things and waiting for a masterpiece to come out of the oven. With baked oatmeal I get to make delicious creations without white flour or white sugar. Many baked oatmeal recipes call for lining the baking dish with mashed bananas for sweetener but since I don't care for bananas I've tried out using other sweeteners.

    I tried this with PB2 to cut back on calories, then with real peanut butter, and then PB&J with blackberries. I'd say the PB&J was my fave because it was sweetest. The one with PB2 only had a light peanut butter taste and the one with real peanut butter was just too heavy and not sweet enough because I held back on the honey to stay low on calories. You can make the PB&J with any berry you have on hand. Since my blackberries weren't very sweet I added a little sweetener, but I bet if I made this with strawberries it wouldn't need it.


    Ingredients
    • ½ cup rolled oats 
    • 1/3 cup Almond Milk
    • 1 TB peanut butter
    • handful of berries
    • ½  tsp vanilla extract
    • ¼  tsp baking powder
    • pinch of salt

    Directions
    1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and spray a single-serving ramekin with non-stick spray.
    2. In a large bowl, mash berries with a fork. Add milk and vanilla extract.
    3. In another bowl, combine dry ingredients: oats, baking powder, and salt. Once mixed, add to wet ingredients and stir until combined.
    4. Transfer to the ramekin.
    5. Small spoonfuls at a time, swirl in peanut butter or drop it in dollops.
    6. Bake for 20 minutes.
    Nutritional Analysis
    270 cal, 9g protein, 9g fiber, 2g sugar


    Recipe Source: theoatmealartist


    Tuesday, June 3, 2014

    Chunky Monkey Overnight Oats

    So you can eat this



    or you can eat this healthy version!
    I'm not a fan of bananas, I think they ruin any smoothie. But this honestly tasted really good, almost like having a milkshake! I used banana flavored chobani yogurt which I thought why do they even make this flavor, who buys this? lol

    Ingredients
    • 1 container Greek Banana Chobani Yogurt
    • 1/3 cup old fashioned rolled oats
    • 1/3 cup unsweetemed almond milk
    • 2 TB PB2
    • 1 ts chia seeds
    • ½ mashed banana
    • ½ TB Hershey's sugar free chocolate chips
    • 1 ts raw agave nectar

    Directions

    Combine all ingredients together in a mason jar. Cover and place in the fridge overnight. Remove from fridge and enjoy! You could also stir in some peanut butter or chopped walnuts.

    I ended up putting this in the microwave for 45 minutes to heat it up a bit and it tasted even better! 

    Nutritional Analysis
    406 calories 22g of protein


    I also made this with Chobani Passion Fruit oatmeal, omitting the banana, and it was delicious as well.

    Monday, June 2, 2014

    Pear & Almond Baked Oatmeal


    Welcome to oatmeal week on my blog! If you're running out of ways to eat your oatmeal, you've come to the right place! I thought it was time to update my standard Oatmeal recipe so I decided to give baked oatmeal a try! I know I should probably hold off using the oven until winter, but oh well! lol I was excited to be able to use my new Wean Green containers. I prepare the bowl before I start my morning workout, then 20 minutes before the video is done I pop the oatmeal in the oven so I smell it baking as I finish up my workout. Even if you're not a big pear fan, this recipe was so delicious! Check out my post about the nutritional value of pears.

    Ingredients:


  • ½ cup rolled oats 
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 1 pear
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp almond extract (key ingredient)
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • pinch of ginger
  • pinch of salt


  • Directions:
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray a single-serve ramekin with nonstick spray.
    2. Cut your pear in half and peel one side. Set one half aside. With the other half, mash it up inside the bowl. This is what provides the sugar to your oatmeal.
    3. Add milk, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Stir until mixed with the mashed pear.
    4. Add oats, ginger, baking powder, and salt. Stir.
    5. With the remaining pear half, dice it into cubes, chunks, or slices and add to the batter. Stir gently.
    6. Pour into the prepared ramekin and bake for 20 minutes.

    Nutritional Analysis
    1 serving
    207 calories, 5g protein, 9g fiber


    Recipe Source: The Oatmeal Artist



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