Monday, February 29, 2016

Dress for Work

I wanted to share some work dress ideas that will take you right into spring.



Thursday, February 25, 2016

February Beauty Favorites


At the start of this year, I decided I needed a new makeup look and new colors. This is what I've picked up in the past couple months that are now my favorites.

Jane Iredale Just Kissed Lip Plumper
My new favorite lipstick is their shade Rio which is a nude color. They makes all kinds of claims of plumping your lips to make them look fuller which I don't need and honestly don't think it does. However this pricey ($25) lipstick is made with Shea Butter, Sunflower Oil and Avocado which softens and hydrates my lips. The color really does last all day.

Anastasia Beverly Hills 
I love ABH's face Contour Kit  and eyebrow products! I needed some orange eyeshadow but couldn't find what I wanted at MAC so I bought a couple from ABH and it fits in my MAC eyeshadow palette. I bought Orange Soda and Burnt Orange which are on the right side of the palette. Orange is a great transition shade, I'll be sure to post pics later of me wearing it. Shipping only took 2 days!

NYC Liquid Eyeliner
Not to be confused with NYX, NYC is a different brand with even cheaper products. For the longest time, I couldn't figure out why I couldn't master the winged eyeliner look until I discovered that I was using the wrong eyeliner to do so. Enter NYC Liquid Eyeliner for $2.82 available at Target, but not CVS. It glides on so effortlessly and is so easy to use!

Zoya Nail Polish
Last month Zoya had a sale where you got 4 nail polishes for $15 and free shipping! They normally retail for $10 each so it was a steal! I picked up 4 pastels colors for my nails for spring: Marley, Mia, Kennedy, & Cole.

MAC Cosmetics 
On the left side of the eye palette are MAC's Blanc Type and Brown Script colors. I also got a Paint Pot in Ochre to use as an eyeshadow base. This is definitely a must have product to make any eyeshadow look amazing! Then I've always had a love-hate relationship with my blushes. See I hate pink blush so I usually just wear a bronzer as blush. Lately, I had been wearing regular blush and just didn't like the colors I had. I picked up a blush in the shade Cheek Pollen which is described as a "warm nude". It's a beautiful color that gives me a sun kissed look. MAC has free shipping for any order.

If you have individual MAC eyeshadows that you want to put into a palette, you can easily depot it, I do this all the time. You just pop the eyeshadow out of the pot, melt the glue off the back with a flat iron, then insert it into a palette. You can even melt the glue off the label so you can attach to the back of the separate piece so you won't forget what it is. I do this whenever the store doesn't have the color in palette form but I need to buy it today.




Related posts:
June Beauty Favorites
MAC Cosmetics Haul



Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Peanut Butter Coconut Balls


I've read a lot of cookbooks and The Forest Feast is the most beautiful one I've ever seen! I'm a visual person and if a cookbook doesn't have pictures for every recipe, I can't make the recipe. Erin, the author, lives in a cabin in the California woods and used that as inspiration for all her photos. The vibrant colored recipes are shot on slabs of wood and look more like an oversized art book rather than a cookbook. The layout and presentation are not your typical cookbook, for instance, there are no white page backgrounds. It's a vegetarian cookbook but Erin describes her cooking style as very simple and so her recipes require few ingredients and there's little directions in the book. It's more an eye candy coffee table book with whimsical sketches. Expect lots of creative ways to use vegetables and many of the recipes are seasonal. While it's the most beautiful book I've ever seen, the recipes are more geared for party planning as there are no entrees. But I found these balls really delicious, they're the perfect sweet treat! I stored mine in the freezer.

  Ingredients:


  • ½ cup peanut butter, softened
  • ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut 
  • 1 TB raw honey
  • 10 pitted dates, soaked

  • Directions: 

    Mix all the ingredients in a food processor and form into balls. 

    Nutritional Analysis:
    12 servings
    105 calories, 6g sugar, 3g protein

    Recipe source: The Forest Feast by Erin Gleeson

    Related Posts: 



    Monday, February 22, 2016

    Kitchen Gadgets Worth Your Money


    I'm sure you've gathered from all my recipe posts  that I love to cook. I wanted to post an update to my last post about kitchen gadgets. In it I featured a strawberry huller, well when I made strawberry mimosas with the glitter champage bottles, I asked a friend to prep all the strawberries for me. She raved about the strawberry huller and said she needed one too!

    Citrus reamer I bought this to juice grapefruit and it's perfect for the job!  It can also be used to juice oranges, lemons and limes as well. You cut the fruit in half, hold it in one hand while the other hand juices it. It's much easier to use than a traditional lemon juicer and doesn't leave any juice behind. I plan on using this for grapefruit margaritas.

    Food chopper  I use this powerful chopper all the time to make hummus, pesto, cashew cream, salad dressing, desserts made with dates, and creamy sauces. This comes in a dozen colors, I got mine in green to match my kitchen. It can hold 3.5 cups and it's small size makes it easy to clean. 

    Japanese Rice Washing Bowl Every time I'd read a recipe for quinoa it would always say rinse first and I'd think how am I going to rinse something so small? Well I bought this rice washing bowl which has tiny holes and is perfect for the job. Since I eat a lot of quinoa I know I will get a lot of use out of it.



    Tofu Press I've been eating tofu since high school. Back then I would freeze tofu to get a firm texture. Now I buy TwinOaks Tofu which is different than any other brand of tofu on the market. It really is extra firm unlike what others claim. However it still has a little water in it and that makes it hard for me to marinate and season tofu properly. I've heard people talk about pressing tofu for years but the idea of taking out books to do so seemed like a messy hassle.  But after buying this press, I now can fry up tofu and it soaks up the sauce and burns like it's supposed to! This is definitely a must have for vegetarians! 

    Black Salt Since we're on the topic of tofu, I have to share this new to me seasoning that makes scrambled tofu taste like scrambled eggs. It has a very distinctive sulfurous taste.
    Since I'm often looking up recipes online to cook, this stand makes it easy to keep my phone proped up on the kitchen counter.


    Related posts:
    Which Kitchen Gadgets Are Worth the Money?
    Reorganizing My Kitchen and Taming Clutter
    Wean Green - Glass Food Storage Containers
    New Vegetarian Cookbooks for 2015



    Friday, February 19, 2016

    Girls Show


    The HBO show Girls is not the modern day Sex and the City mainly because it's more realistic. The show is about four college educated girls in their early 20s living in Brooklyn struggling to find a job and always broke. So no fancy fashion like SATC and the parties are underground. Another difference is there's a lot more disrespect from men, awkward moments, and ambiguity in relationships. The main character Hannah (Lena Dunham) is an aspiring writer, self-absorbed, suffers from OCD, bounces from job to job and is often filmed undressed on the show which isn't the norm on TV since she's average weight. The humorous parts of GIRLS are the most self-depreciating parts. It also shows how unstable their friendships are, I mean it's actually unclear if all 4 of them are friends or if they secretly hate each other but stick around? My favorite character is British born Jessa, the long-haired bohemian who is free spirited and in and out of rehab. Though she doesn't seem to get much air time on the show, some of the boys get more air time than the 4 main female characters. Funny thing I just noticed, every season is always filmed in the summer time. The show is fun to watch and you can catch up with episodes on netflix. Season 5 starts February 21!


    Wednesday, February 17, 2016

    Pantone Rose Quartz




    Pantone's color of the year is Serenity (light blue) and Rose Quartz. I absolutely love this soft pastel shade of pink because it's such a feminine pink and one of my favorites. I'm sure it will appear more in spring/summer collections, but here are some ways to incorporate them in winter. I'm a big statement necklace gal and let me tell you that they are a great way to add a hint of color to your outfits if you tend to wear neutrals. Here are some of my recent purchases that I'm excited to rock.

    Zoya had a sale last month where four bottles of nail polish were only $15 with free shipping! I picked up Kennedy which is described as "a full coverage, pale, french beige cream". If you look at the bottle the color doesn't look very impressive, but it's the perfect shade of pale pink on my skin tone. This is the shade I wore for Valentine's Day. It's a lighter shade of my other favorite pink Amanda.

    I've been in the market for a new handbag for awhile but I'm not the type of person who collects them. I buy one every year or so and sport it daily until it wears out.  But I was watching the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills where the ladies were making fun of Eileen's bag. See Eileen, like me, pays little attention to her bag and sports old bags. Kathryn said she always looks at a woman's shoes then the handbag which polishes the outfit. I think that's true because whenever I look at fashion bloggers, the finishing piece to their outfit is their handbag. Michael Kors was having a sale and I got this pink Selma bag for 50%.

    Kendra Scott is my favorite jewelry line and for your birthday, you get 50% off one item. So I visited the store and tried on just about everything having a hard time trying to pick out just what I want. I ended up with the Andy bracelet in rose quartz. It's such a beautiful jewel tone color I think I need the necklace and earrings too!

    How many bracelets does it take to make your wrists happy?
    Last year's color was Marsala which I didn't really wear or see much of in stores.
    What do you think of the color Rose Quartz? Will incorporate it into your wardrobe this year?

    Valentine's Day posts:
    Happy Valentine's Day!
    Chocolate Face Mask
    Valentine’s Healthy Breakfast
    Happy Valentine's Day!

    Friday, February 12, 2016

    2016 Blog Goals



    I wrote my personal resolutions and goals for 2016 and I thought why not set some for TheBlondissima. I think setting goals and making lists of things you want to achieve is so important as it keeps you on track and keeps you motivated. I already stay pretty organized by keeping an editorial calendar of topics I want to to discuss. I'm a planner addict and this blog calendar is what keeps me consistent with producing content so I won't disappear on my readers.

    Goal #1: Double my pageviews. I've always just written for me, but every blogging event I've gone to saying that you should spend only 20% of your time producing content and 80% promoting it. So I've joined some facebook blogging groups to step up my game in the world of blogging. I'm improving my social media skills with Pinterest, Twitter, and StumbleUpon as there's definitely room for improvement. By doing so, I hope to increase the referral traffic to my blog.

    Goal #2: Triple check my writing for grammatical errors. I'm no expert in English as it's not my first language since my parents aren't American. I do cringe when I re-read a published post of mine and see a grammar error, which I will immediately fix. So I downloaded Grammarly which goes beyond basic spell check and tells you if you have a grammatical error in your writing.  I hope my readers enjoy my straightforward and approachable tone as I try to make my writing accessible and engaging accompanied by good quality photographs. I also hope you can hear my personality through my writing and find my content very informative.

    Goal #3: Get a new look/theme for my blog. It's already uploaded now and I love the new look of my blog! I minimized my blog header to make it more simple so it's not overwhelming and distracting. I like the amount of white space on my blog but still has a little color throughout. I made my social media more visible to get more engagement. And I updated my About Me page. I hope you like my rebranding and theme update.

    Goal #4: Learn more about photography. I took a photography class in high school back when we had a dark room to develop our own photos. I feel like I don't know how to use the manual controls on my camera and would like to learn more about lighting. I want to excel in my photography skills.

    Goal #6: Create more of a blogging community. I want to do a better job at responding to comments and posting comments on the blogs I read because that's so important to give back to other bloggers who support me. That's going to be a big time commitment.

    Goal #7: Post more fashion posts. I love fashion but with a full closet, I'm constantly creating spending freezes so that's why there's hasn't been many in the last year. One of my favorite features to see on other blogs are gift guides or what I bought lately posts because it turns me on to must have items I haven't heard of. In my daily life, I'm always wearing statement necklaces but never share them on the blog, so I want to try to do some outfit posts as well. Right now I'm researching photographers to take those photos.

    Goal #8: Spend money on my blog. I read that you have to be willing to invest in your blog because to make it the best it can be. A blog you've spend $0 on looks like it. I just did the math and I spent $100 last week on various things for my blog.



    Wednesday, February 10, 2016

    Must Haves for Healthy Blonde Hair


    I've been a blonde for about 5 years now and let me tell you it's not easy maintaining platinum hair. I discovered a beauty secret from the stars as I was tipped off in a couple magazine articles that Khloe Kardashian and Rita Ora were using a product called Olaplex to go blonde. Olaplex is a revolutionary new product that stops breakage during the coloring process. It's insurance for your hair and makes it stronger than it was before. The line consists of  three products, the first two your stylist uses during the coloring process. And the No.3 bottle is a lower concentration of the other two products that you use weekly at home. In the two months, I've used No.3 I've noticed a difference in my natural curl pattern as its getting curlier. It's a game-changing treatment!

    In addition, your hair needs Protein, Moisture, and Natural Oils. Protein strengthens hair, Glycerin moisturizes hair, and Oils make your hair shinier. I rotate nightly through different leave in sprays and put oil just on my ends.
    Terax Life Drops I heard about this product in both Christie Brinkley's and Molly Sim's books. It's an Italian brand that is a leave in conditioner with silk and wheat protein that seals in color and locks in moisture. I spray my ends with this and it smells amazing!

    It's a 10 Leave In (comes in two formulas and I'm using the one for blondes) This drugstore product has been around awhile and it's still a stellar product. It has silk protein and panthenol which make my hair so soft and prevents split ends. Panthenol helps your hair retain water which increases volume. I use it a heat protectant from my flat iron.

    Camellia Oil Every time I'd look at the ingredients of an expensive product like Shu Uemura or a number of face oils at Sephora, they all have camellia oil. Camellia oil has been used in Japanese beauty for centuries because of its rich in vitamins, antioxidants and omegas and as absorbed quickly. I put a touch of this on the ends of my hair nightly to seal it from split ends and also use it as a face oil.

    Glycerin I bought this from Whole Foods and keep in a spray bottle as I discussed in Protecting Blonde Tresses.

    I also use a sulfate free shampoo - DevaCare Low-Poo. It has a low lather and is a gentle cleanser for dry, chemically treated, curly hair. Without the harsh chemicals most shampoos have, it won't strip hair. Instead it leaves your hair feeling moisturized, enhance your curls, reduces frizz and makes your hair feel soft.

    Some of my other favorite hair products are in these posts:
    Black Hair Care Tips
    Must Haves for Frizzy Hair

    Monday, February 8, 2016

    New at Athleta




    As I talked about in my New Years Resolutions post, I've joined Orangetheory Fitness which is a class that consists of running, rowing and TRX. I stopped by Athleta to pick up some new workout clothes and was impressed by all the bright and colorful tanks they had, lots of pretty cobalt and orange. Below is what I tried on in the dressing room, and I ended up getting the blue strip shirt. I'm thinking of going back and getting these pants.

    Friday, February 5, 2016

    Grapefruit Bodywash roundup


    I've posted before about some of my favorite grapefruit scented products from lotion, to body wash, to a toner. Well, I found three more grapefruit scented body washes that I really love! It wakes me up in the morning  and makes me feel energized! I'm really in natural cleaners, so you won't catch using a bath set from Bath & Body Works or Victoria Secret. All three of these products are natural so if you love citrus scents you should give these a try!

    Burt's Bees Extra Energizing Citrus & Ginger Body Wash $8 for 12 oz
    This doesn't foam as much as a regular body was because it has no sulfates, but it does have some foam. It's described as a sweet orange scent with ginger root extract.

    Yes to Grapefruit Rejuvenating Body Wash $9 for 16.9oz
    This formula does have sulfates but is petroleum and paraben free (no mineral oil). It uses organic grapefruit peel extract.

    Kiehl's Bath and Shower Liquid Body Cleanser $25 for 16.9oz
    This is a bit of a splurge, but it's formulated with humectants such as aloe vera, peptides and castor oil to help skin maintain its moisture. The ingredients do list sulfates so I'm surprised it has a low lather.

    Wednesday, February 3, 2016

    Sports Bra Review























    The experts say that sports bras have a limited run and that you need to replace them after extended wear because they stretch out. I've switched out my old sports bras  for these two. On the left is the Nike Pro Rival that I use for running. As I was making my Vision Board and flipping through all my old issues of Women's Running Magazine, I saw this bra in two issues. What's so unique about it is unlike the typical sports bra that gives you a flat uni-boob, this one keeps you perky and separated. I almost feel like Laverne and Shirley in their sweater sets. lol  It's made of dry fit fabric so it stays dry after a tough workout. For my yoga class, I bought the Lululemon Energy Bra because the design looks so pretty with my backless shirts. If you're well endowed and looking for a high and medium support sports bra, check these out.


    Monday, February 1, 2016

    Supermodel Beauty Secrets!

    I know everyone has different skin types and concerns, but here are some women who have tried virtually every beauty remedy out there. For a product junkie like me, they listed all the things you need to look pretty so you know what to splurge on. They also reminded me to book more appts with my dermatologist and aesthetician as they play a big role in keeping skin healthy and youthful.

    The Everyday Supermodel by Molly Sims, 2014, 336 pages.
    I waited a year for my local library to get this book which it never did, so when I saw the kindle version on sale for $2 I bought it. After reading it I realized I should have bought this book when it first came out, it's that good! Molly is 42 years old and had her first child at 39 and looks stunning! You might remember her from the TV show Vegas or her numerous issues in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. She has an awesome lifestyle blog. She's serious about her supplements and recommends biotin and silica. Molly recommends light peels to bright your skin. Like me, she's a fan of natural products and recommends some lines I hadn't heard of. She shares all the procedures she's had done at the dermatologist and her favorite workouts in NYC. For hair, she recommends It's A 10 leave in conditioner which I had also read was a must have product by Gabrielle Union in a magazine. Both Molly and Christie swore by Terax. Since I color my hair I'm always looking for new products to strengthen it. Molly proudly said she'll color her hair until the day she dies! lol Me too! And her mother wore earrings and lipstick while in the hospital. lol Molly admits to regular botox injections and coolsculpt on her abs. She gives a lot of pregnancy advice. She juices daily and does a liquid cleanse a couple times a year. Molly is working on her second book! 

    Timeless Beauty by Christie Brinkley, 2015, 208 pages
    Christie is 61 years old and looks amazing at her age! I had mixed feelings about this book because it seemed like it was done to promote her beauty line so it didn't feel it as genuine as Molly's book. Christie said smiling was her beauty secret and talks about being positive and happy, yet she's been divorced 4 times so all that smiling must not be working out for her. She starts off saying she just recently stopped eating fish, then describes her diet as "mostly vegan" and eats probiotics with her yogurt every morning. I don't understand why she doesn't call herself a vegetarian since she eats dairy??? She lists all the supplements she takes including BioSil for her hair, skin and nails (which I found at Whole Foods). She says she never skips wearing mascara because "it's the single most important thing you can do to change your face." I completely agree as I've been wearing mascara almost daily since middle school. She swears by sugar water as an old-fashioned trick to hold hair and how it works better than any other product out there. I smiled when I read that because my mother has been using this technique her whole life.  She shares her favorite hair products and recommends the best lasers at the dermatologist. 

    Becoming by Cindy Crawford, 2015, 256 pages

    Cindy is turning 50 this month, can you believe it! She has her own beauty line and furniture collection. Her book doesn't share any of her beauty secrets, but I'm including it here because she is a supermodel. The book is more a coffee table book collection of her photographs and her relationships with all her photographers, including one who told he he'd never work with her again. She talked briefly about her childhood and start into modeling. Then she discusses her iconic photos - the cover of George magazine, the Pepsi commercial, George Michael's "Freedom!" music video. Her decision to pose for Playboy twice and includes those photos in the book. There's only a brief mention of her ex-husband Richard Gere, but a sweet chapter on her husband now. She reminisces on her exercise videos - remember those? Don't expect much juice out of this book, just a small snippet into her life and it's a quick read since it's mostly pictures.



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