Importance of Sundays & Soup Recipe

For your fitness and nutrition goals Sundays are the day to meal plan for the week!  You'll be blown away by how satisfied and successful you feel at the end of the week if you lay your week out in advance. I put an exercise schedule in front of my TV so I know which DVD I'm doing each morning. Early morning workouts rev up your metabolism, jump start your energy level and accelerate your ability to burn up calories.

However for the month of October I've decided to mix up my routine a bit. I bought a groupon for a one month gym membership so I can take zumba classes 3x a week. I thought it would be a fun change, but also a hectic change since I'm so used to working out in the morning and having my whole evening free. I'm also going to challenge myself to not consume refined sugar and wine for the month to tone up for my favorite holiday - Halloween! I was inspired by Ashley who is giving up alcohol for a year.

 Now that it's fall I make a pot of soup every Sunday for my lunch for the week. This week I made a lentil, coconut based soup with some Indian spices. Lentils are a great source of protein and cholesterol-lowering fiber which help stabilizing blood sugar levels They're also a great source of folate and magnesium which is good for heart health. Plus it has vitamin B, phosphorus, iron, potassium and other minerals.

Red Lentil Coconut Soup


  • 2 cups red split lentils
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 1 bell pepper  diced
  • 1 carrot diced
  • 1  jalapeno chili pepper, finely chopped, including seeds
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • ½  teaspoon cinnamon
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 can unsweetened light coconut milk
  • ½ of a 15-ounce can of white northern beans
  • 1-2 teaspoons salt (optional)
  •  freshly squeezed lime juice
  •  fresh cilantro for serving
  1. Saute the onions, bell pepper and jalapeno in olive oil
  2. Add the garlic, ginger, spices and tomato paste for a couple more minutes
  3. Add the water, coconut milk, lentils and beans,  cook uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes
  4. Taste and adjust with salt and lime juice 
  5. Serve the soup topped with a sprinkling of fresh cilantro

Nutritional Analysis 
Makes 7 servings, 326 cal, 18g protein, 7g fiber

Butter London Nail Polish

I have to say that happiness really does comes by mail because I'm always excited to come home and check my mailbox!  I bought the most beautiful shade of olive green nail polish online from a company called Butter London. I've never worn green nail polish, having just branched out to wearing blue nail polish a couple years ago so this was big! Non conventional colors are trendy now and I think polish is supposed to be fun since it's easily changeable.

Olive green is my favorite shade of green but it's so hard to find pretty clothes in that color, but when I do I snatch it up! (like my new sweater) I bought a  nail polish color named Wallis that is described as a "tarnished, metallic olive gold nail lacquer, as mysterious and regal as its namesake." It's named after Wallis Simpson, the divorced American that King Edward VIII of England had to abdicate his throne to marry. I LOVE this polish, it's just gorgeous and  a complex golden olive green shimmer. It's a bit thin so it needed 3 coats. The website has free shipping for all orders plus I had a discount code from my IPSY order so it was a good incentive to try this brand out. You can also find it at Nordstrom or Ulta. 

In the picture above you might recognize the watch I posted about here and my initial heart bracelet was inspired by the famed Tiffany's toggle bracelet.

t is named after Wallis Simpson, the "saucy yank" that King Edward VIII left his throne for. I LOVE this polish, it's fantastically beautiful and complex. - See more at:
t is named after Wallis Simpson, the "saucy yank" that King Edward VIII left his throne for. I LOVE this polish, it's fantastically beautiful and complex. - See more at:
t is named after Wallis Simpson, the "saucy yank" that King Edward VIII left his throne for. I LOVE this polish, it's fantastically beautiful and complex. - See more at:
Butter London just released a new color called The 444 for New York Fashion Week, looks like a glitzy glittery champagne.

This week wraps up dress week for me. I set a challenge for myself to wear a dress everyday since I never seem to wear the dresses in my closet. Hope everyone has a nice weekend! I plan on taking a 22 mile bike ride tomorrow!


September Sapphires

Sapphire is the birthstone for September and it's also been named one of this season's fall colors by Pantone (the world-renowned authority on color). Here's some ideas on how to shift your wardrobe from summer to autumn with this beautiful color from my two favorite stores.
September Sapphires

While you're add it get a bold blue nail polish. My fave is the second one called Song. It's described as a "bold, vibrant medium primary blue with silver and blue glittery metallic sparkle." You can do a reverse french manicure with it like I did here.

September IPSY Bag Review

I kept hearing about those monthly subscription beauty boxes so I decided to give one a try. I choose IPSY since I knew so many people using it. The way it works is for $10 a month you receive a gift bag with 5 full-sized beauty products. Their website is very interactive where you can see other users post pictures and videos of how they used the products. It arrived in a pretty hot pink foil bubble wrap shipping envelope. I signed up on July 17 and got off the waitlist on Aug 26, and had my first bag arriving mid-Sept. However I got a shipping notification from IPSY after I already received the package and according to the shipping history online it was a week after it left their building.

When you sign up you fill out a quiz to customize the product types you'd like and they give you coupon codes to order from all the brands they send you. I have to say I was underwhelmed with my package. First  I was disappointed to see online that the package was supposed to include Butter London nail polish which I remember saying in the survey I would definitely want, but wasn't included in my kit. See every kit is not the same for everyone and I read that a lot of users are disgruntled as well for getting things they specifically say they do not want like mascara every month or hair products when they have no hair (chemo) or the wrong hair type products.

I'll stick it out for a another month and hope it gets better, but it's not off to a good start.You can sign up here if you want to give it a try too, maybe your experience will be different from mine.


Apple Pie Vanilla Shakeology

Autumn brings apple picking, apple cider, and Honeycrisp apples so I thought why not Apple Pie Vanilla Shakeology? People always ask, "Why should I buy Shakeology? It's so expensive, I can get this shake or that one for waaay cheaper & it's just as good." Well actually, it isn't as good. If you are comparing shakes, make sure you don't just compare the price and the calories. Look at the ingredients - that is where the difference is!

Apple Pie Shakeology

Coconut water Ice cubes
1 scoop Vanilla Shakeology 
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Blend & enjoy!

It's official the Shakeology Sampler Box is now here! If you are interested in trying this amazing shake I keep talking about you can get it here.
I've decided to lead a 30 Day Clean Eating and Shakeology Support Group starting September 30th.  We will incorporate Shakeology as 1 meal each day (whatever meal you choose).   It is going to keep you full for 3 hours, help to curb your cravings, give you natural energy and help you lose weight.  It is the one meal a day that I don't have to think about when I am trying to change my eating habits. Exercise is optional, but is encouraged. The only requirements are that I am your official Beachbody Coach and that you commit to completing the 30 days with Shakeology.

You will be provided with daily tips, motivation, accountability, meal plans and recipes.  You will set goals for yourself based on your own health and fitness. You will be given the principles of clean eating  and taught how to apply them to your every day life. We will discuss topics such as meal planning, snacks, portion sizes, metabolism, emotional eating, dealing with stress, water intake and more.  My goal is to make this a lifestyle change and not another fad diet!  I want you to truly adopt a new way of living.  To know that the food is good, that you don’t have to crash diet and that you can live a healthy and fulfilling life! What do have to lose besides fat? Message me for details or comment below.

 post signature

DIY How to repair a broken lipstick

I've found that red lipstick tends to come off easily, so when I ran the Electric Run, I put my RiRi Woo lipstick in my purse. Well after the run was over and after drinking many cups of water I wanted to touch up my lipstick and reached into my purse and was shocked to find that my lipstick had somehow opened and it had broken off the tube. This lipstick is not for sale in MAC stores, it had to be ordered online and who wants to pay for another lipstick they've only had for a month? Has this happened to you? So frustrating!

So I went about fixing it! I'm happy to report it's working good as new!

  1. Take a match or lighter and carefully run it across the base of the broken part of the lipstick. This only takes a few seconds, enough to slightly melt the broken piece so it can reattach.
  2. Put the lipstick back together, careful to see how it fits together and smooth down any lumps on the side.
  3. Put the lipstick in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. 
  4. Give your lipstick tube a little spin and it should be back in action!
ps to avoid lipstick marks on wine glasses, discreetly lick the rim of your glass before sipping. 

Fall Outfit Inspiration

I did some window shopping yesterday at the mall and all these jewel toned items are on my wishlist to buy! I pretty much live in sweaters at work year around and I can never have enough orange sweaters! Every fall I wear my favorite orange nail polish and use pumpkin scented body wash.
Fall outfit inspiration

And let's not forget accessories! Love the mustard pumps! Already have the bracelet and necklace which I got in a lighter blue color which you can see in this video. Will be making my own healthy version of hot apple cider at home.

Fall Accessories

If you want an easy way to follow your favorite bloggers, sign up for bloglovin', just click the subscribe link at the top right of my blog. It only takes 30sec to sign up. Enjoy your weekend!

How to Be Charismatic and Attract Success

I wanted to share this short video from motivational speaker Brian Tracy. I wrote about him before in this post.

Did you know that 85% of your success and happiness will come from your relationships and interactions with others? The more positively others respond to you, the easier it will be for you to get the things you want.

post signature

22 days protein bar

I was looking for some new protein bars to try to add to my favorites list.  So I tried out some gluten free, organic, non-GMO energy & protein bars from 22 days nutrition. They're 220 calories per bar, 100 cal from fat (from the nuts), and the protein ranges from 5-6g for the energy bars and 10g for the protein bar. The sugar is 11-14g which comes from date paste or coconut nectar. The company was founded by fitness expert Marco Borges who has trained both Jay-Z and Pharell. They're available at Whole Foods but my local store didn't have all the flavors so I ordered online since the company had a free shipping deal. But I was disappointed at the humongous box the 4 bars were shipped in! I received:

Fruit Nut Karma - absolutely delicious! The mango and pineapple made it extra sweet!

Goji Maté Firecracker - if you like your bars less sweet this one is for you, it's still good though and tastes just like goji berry if you know what that tastes like. I suspect the tartness comes from the yerba mate.

Pineapple Chocolate Chip Wonder - on first bite I had no idea what the flavor was, looked at the package and saw it said chocolate then thought ok maybe I taste chocolate, either way the bar doesn't have a strong taste and didn't do much for me.

Nut Butter Buddha (protein bar) - this was my least favorite, it was very gummy and tasted like a "protein bar" where you can almost taste the chemicals and it was a tad dry

Since the founder of the company is vegan, he listed where he gets his protein from, see pic below. I eat most of these during the week but I also consume tofu/edamame. One of the best plant sources with a high protein content is hemp, it's 35% protein and deliver tons of nutrients while having lots of fiber. If you're surprised by brown rice and peas on the list, vegan protein powders are made of just those ingredients. Shakeology has just about everything from this list: quinoa, flaxseeds, chia seeds, brown rice protein,  pea protein, and greens (Moringa, Chlorella, Spirulina, Spinach, Barley Grass, Kamut Grass, Wheat Grass, Oat Grass).

Interesting article on actress Michelle Pfeiffer who credits vegan diet with 83 point drop in cholesterol.

Another article on tennis star Venus Williams becoming a vegan to decrease inflammation in her body and reduce the energy-sapping symptoms of her immune system disease (that took her off the court) "by not overloading her body with excess calories, pesticides or sugars."

Paint + Wine = Masterpiece

In the past couple years quite a few places have popped up in my city that offer paint classes that serve wine, the concept has really taken off! I tried a painting class last year with a living social deal where I painted a peacock because as you know that's my favorite bird.  This time I picked the class that was painting Georgia O'Keeffe's Red Poppy to match my orange living room. 

It was more challenging than I thought it would be just getting all the different shades of orange. Then to make it more challenging, the instructor said she doesn't like to use orange paint! She only uses primary colors when she paints (red, blue, yellow) and mixes up whatever color she wants from that. Even though as a child I used to take a lot of pottery classes, I don't have any drawing ability. I had to ask the instructor many times for feedback on my piece because I couldn't see it the way she did. She kept telling me to add more highlights and shadows. I re-did the purple background three times until I got the color just the shade I wanted.

Somehow I managed to produce this beautiful painting that I'm very proud of! If you have a paint bar in your area, I highly recommend going. It makes a great girl's night out. Or you can opt to get paint thrown on you at a color run! lol

September Favorites: Music + Food

I haven't posted a playlist since March, but have to say that the Calvin Harris song is still on frequent repeat mode because I heard it a lot on the radio in Spain along with the first song on this list. I went to Ibiza last month and saw David Guetta in concert so his latest song is on my list as well.

Wake Me Up - Avicii
Play Hard - David Guetta, Ne-Yo, Akon
Hold On we're going home - Drake
High School - Nicki Minaj
The Other Side - Jason Derulo
Summertime Sadness - Lana Del Ray
Don't you Worry Child - Swedish House Mafia
Atmosphere - Kaskade
Reload - Sebastian Ingrosso, Tommy Trash, John Martin
Spectrum - Zedd
This is what it feels like - Armin Van Bueren
Silhouettes - Avicii

In Spain I was introduced to these donut peaches which I also found at Trader Joes.

I'm excited to announce its Honeycrisp apple season!!!!! If you don't know what that is, let me tell you! It's a super big, extra juicy, pricey apple that's only available once a year!

Fall would not be complete without Vitatop pumpkin flavor! Vitatops are muffin tops with only 100 calories and no preservatives. Best served toasted and with a dab of a natural whipped cream - Truwhip!

I also treat myself to a $16 body wash that smells like heavenly pumpkin pie. I find that I only end up using half a bottle in the fall so I put it back in the closet to take out the following year.

My new favorite perfume

I went to Sephora a number of times in Spain and they had a line of perfumes by Loewe that reminded me of the hotel in Miami Beach, though probably no relation. They were light and perfect for summer! I even saw it at the airport duty free but thought I would wait to buy it at home, but sadly I can't find it here. If anyone knows where I can buy these please let me know!

Secrets from a woman who rarely gets sick

You want to know how I manage to rarely get sick? I'd say maybe once a year I get a cough or sore throat, but never a full on cold.
Keeping hands clean through improved hand hygiene is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to other. - CDC
Wash your hands regularly. You're probably not as vigilant as you think. I often see ladies in the washroom run out without washing their hands. I wash my hands when I walk into my office in the morning because I've touched door handles, elevator buttons, etc. Likewise I walk my hands everyday the minute I get home. My local grocery stores have wet wipes available for the shopping carts which I always use. And because of that and my vitamin regime/diet I rarely get a cold.

If I feel an impending cold I attack it with Vitamin C (oranges) and Zinc - I take a few blasts of Zicam. And I drop some Echinacea & Goldenseal drops into my tea. Zinc and Vitamin C will help shorten the length of your cold if taken at the start of your cold.

If I get a sore throat I drink fresh carrot juice with a little apple and fresh ginger, the ginger really clears out my throat. Then I drink this tea adding honey to it:

I've found that the best cough medicine is Delsym. It's expensive and you get a small bottle inside a large box (a 5oz bottle retails for $20). So I read the CVS sale flyer every week and it's on my list of things to buy whenever it's on sale just so I have it in stock. The serving size (cap) is much smaller than Nyquil but it works so much better. It does make me feel a little woozy though but it completely knocks out my cough for the full 12 hours it promises. They also have lozenges which have less medicine so easier to take.
If you do get sick, please wash your hands after you sneeze or blow your noise. Because at work you pass your germs on every time to touch a shared surface like a door or shared keyboard. Likewise don't invite friends over your apt when you're recovering from a cold, it's just common courtesy to try not top pass on your germs.

Interesting article that claims that public restroom soap could be dirtier than toilet water, course the testing was done by GOJO who manufactures hand santizer.