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Not Your Average Weeknight: One-Pan Wild Rice & Kale Dinner

Did You Know?  When people cook most of their meals at home, they consume fewer carbohydrates, less sugar and less fat than those who cook less or not at all – even if they are not trying to lose weight ( v i a )


Hello hello!

 Kale-and-Wild-Rice-Pan(4)

I have tons of wild rice in my kitchen from Minnesota & I’ve been meaning to find new recipes to cook with it.    I’m used to eating Basmati rice because Wafiq requires it with majority of the meals he eats.  What is a meal without rice people!?

 Kale-and-Wild-Rice-Pan(4)

BUT we both agree that eating the same thing, or even the same ingredients, over and over gets boring.  I start eating outside the house when my kitchen hits a dry spell.  I prefer the cooking process because it’s totally therapeutic but I’m always looking for ways to mix it up!  I get bored VERY easily.

I made the recipe below 3 days in a row – totally different than what I’m used to cooking & I couldn’t get enough.  I had little faith the dish would turn out as I was throwing in the ingredients, and I’m not a huge kale fan, but to my surprise it worked perfectly.  And it was super easy, quick, and affordable.

YUM.

Kale-and-Wild-Rice-Pan(4)


Ingredients:

1 Cup Uncooked Wild Rice

3 Cups Broth

Coconut Oil

1 Chicken Breast cut into bite size pieces, seasoned generously w/salt & pepper *see note

2 Tablespoons Cumin

¼ tsp Cayenne

3 Cups Kale, washed & torn into pieces

5 Cloves Garlic, diced (<< because, Garlic)

½ Cup Red Onion Chopped

1/2 C Parm Cheese

¼ C Pine Nuts

Parsley & Green Onions for garnish

Directions: Cook wild rice per instructions on packaging, use preferred broth instead of water.  Typically, wild rice cooks 1 cup rice per 3 Cups water/broth.  Wild rice takes longer to cook than regular rice so make sure you do this step before anything else.

When rice is ready, leave aside.  Heat deep skillet over med-high heat with 1 tsp coconut oil.  Once oil has melted and skillet is hot, add chicken & cook thoroughly.  Approx. 10 minutes, flipping pieces often.  When cooked, remove chicken & set aside.

In same saucepan you cooked the chicken, add 2 Tbls coconut oil, when melted, add garlic & onion.  Toss for approximately 3 minutes, until just beginning to turn translucent.  Then add, kale, cumin, cayenne & a dash of salt & pepper. Continue mixing for approximately 5 minutes or until kale has wilted.   Add the chicken and wild rice to the skillet, mix together well.  Remove pan from heat.  Mix in parm cheese.  Garnish with green onions & parsley.

Finally, and very importantly – in a small pan, heat 1 tsp olive oil over medium heat.  When warm, add pine nuts constantly turning until toasted, approx. 1 min.  When toasted, sprinkle over wild rice dish.  Serve warm & enjoy!

**Note – You can skip meat, or use shrimp.  If you use shrimp, you don’t need to remove it before adding everything else.  Start shrimp a couple minutes before adding other ingredients.


Kale-and-Wild-Rice-Pan(4)

I’m hungry right now so these pictures have been murdering my soul (drama).    I was sick last week, as I think most people in Texas seemed to be, nothing a little Glinda’s Magic Salsa with extra garlic couldn’t fix.

I’m super happy to be bouncing around healthy again, ready to get after the world!  You know when you’re sick you feel like all life is over?  At least I do, I see the end.

Anyone have EASY & REAL dinner recipe links to share?  I’ve been eating out lately… womp womp

Have a great week & be thoughtful,

Xx

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Life, Thoughts

Single or Taken, Ways To Celebrate Valentine’s Day

Did You Know?  According to an Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Netflix, movies and television shows are the top two icebreakers for a first date. Show-compatibility is important, with 13% saying they would ask someone out based solely on mutual interest in a TV show. ( v i a )


Valentine’s Day is for everyone.  I fucking love February.  The red, pink, white, with flowers, hearts, wine & chocolate?  Hallmark Holiday? YUUUUUUUUHSsss please!

 Ways-to-Celebrate-Valentines-Day

Around this time of year I start hearing Valentine’s Day haters, so I swing opposite – I’m a Valentine’s Day ride or die lover.  I know I say this every year, but having a reminder to verbally express how much you appreciate or love someone is important.  I know people don’t do it enough, because it’s impossible to do it enough! We’re stuck in routines that create tunnel vision unless we have moments that break us out. Enter >> Valentine’s Day.

Seriously, it might be my favorite holiday.  And I celebrate all month.

 Ways-to-Celebrate-Valentines-Day(2)

Valentine’s Day, when you’re Single –

Being single for Valentine’s Day might be better than being in a relationship.  It’s very unpredictable.  I spent many Valentines Day’s single & I had a fantastic time. The chance of having a date with someone you just met, celebrating with your precious doggie, appreciating a close friendship, taking time for yourself to watch Netflix << All options sound like a fucking dream.  There’s nothing like being single, you have so much freedom to make choices for yourself & Valentine’s Day is a reminder of that.  YOU can decide how you want to love YOU.  On a first date, watching movies, or hanging with a friend? Your choice.  Relationship peeps have to stare at the same face they had dinner with last night + the added pressure of making it special (HA!).    Give your friends a little Valentine’s Day love by bringing them a cake, or a new bracelet, or sparkly shoes. I love giving my girlfriends little gifts & messages.  Valentine’s Day is the time to be a little cheesey & buy some cute, shiny gifts.    Love is most definitely not only between two people in a relationship, it should be spread to everyone.

 

Valentine’s Day when you’re in a Relationship –

GO OUT TO DINNER.  No one does this on Valentine’s Day, have you noticed?  On Valentine’s Day!  We love to use the excuse that Valentine’s Day is just another day, “we love each other everyday” or that Valentine’s Day is stupid, or Lord knows all the reasons Valentine’s Day is a P.O.S. But we get it! You’re so in love all day every day.  (Or, you basically hate romance.)  BUT, take a break in your week, slow down, and go out to a little dinner without phones & connect with your partner. We go so fast – working, playing, skipping, stressing – we don’t allow ourselves space to slow down & create time.  Use Valentine’s Day.  Nothing fancy, because making it a huge deal is exhausting. Take your time through the food, put your phones away, and stare into each others eyes.  LOL LOL just kidding, but listen & talk.

 Ways-to-Celebrate-Valentines-Day(2)

Whether you’re in a relationship or not, use Valentine’s Day as an excuse to show loving behavior that’s out of character for you.  Weird? For example, if you don’t usually bring in snacks for your coworkers because you prefer looking tough & unemotional, bring in a fucking cake & slap it on the table with forks.  Cheers!    If you’ve never given a greeting card with a personal note inside, buy a few & hand them out!  SMILE to everyone. Be nice.  Be thoughtful.  Give your doggie an extra long walk, listen to someone longer that you normally would, call your parents.  And I challenge you (and I) to continue making these nice gestures all month long.

Don’t you think that’s better than all the other shit going on?  Lets keep loving, kissing, hugging, eating cake, dancing, listening, and being thoughtful.

WOOT WOOT!  Excited for this month.

What are you doing to celebrate Valentine’s Day?

Have a great week & be thoughtful…

Xx

Valentine’s Day Gifts:

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Food

White Bean & Spinach Comfort Soup

Did you know?  As little as 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon daily can have positive effects on blood sugar levels, digestion, immunity, and more. Stronger doses are also extremely beneficial for improving heart disease risk and cutting risk for diabetes, cancer, and neuro-degenerative diseases. ( v i a )


For those of you that are cold and looking out the window to snowy days & frozen eyelashes, be grateful.  To have winter means you likely have the privilege of enjoying 4, individually beautiful, seasons.  I spent 18 years hating the snow & literally chose my college based on physical location – the farthest point away from snow that I could get. But here I am missing the variety of weather that I once took for granted.

White-Bean-Spinach-Comfort-Soup(2)

On another note, today we’re making soup.  I’ve been eating this soup for years & currently have pounds of it frozen in my freezer waiting for our lunch date together.

I wanted to share with you because it’s incredibly simple, super tasty, affordable, fast, fancy, healthy, and makes enough for everyone + some. And you can easily add loads of garlic & consume with ease, meaning if you’re ever sick – eat this instead of sugar infused Sprite or vitamin C powder.

White-Bean-Spinach-Comfort-Soup(3)


White Bean & Spinach Comfort Soup

Ingredients:

3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil

2 Cans White Beans (Cannoli Beans, Northern Beans, White Kidney Beans – anything similar.  Rinsed & Drained.  For a real curve ball, mash half of the beans with your hands so they become clumpy – this will add a little texture to your soup and a little realness to your hands. )

4+ Cups Fresh Spinach (Rinsed)

15 Cloves of Garlic (Peeled & Chopped)

1 Large Yellow Onion (Diced)

1 Teaspoon each – Salt & Pepper

1 Tablespoon Cumin

1 teaspoon Cayenne

1 teaspoon Cinnamon

Lemon

6 Cups broth

Optional: Parmesan Cheese

Optional: Plain Yogurt

Optional: Sliced Pancetta or precooked Sausage sliced & rolled into balls

Directions:  Heat a deep soup pan over Medium/High heat with 3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil.  Coconut Oil is the shit, I always go heavy on it.  When oil is melted, throw in onion & garlic.  Add Salt & Pepper.  Stir until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.  (If garlic starts to burn, turn down the heat.  If adding Pancetta, mix in once onions & garlic are near done & stir for another minute.) Next, add the spinach.  Continue mixing as the spinach slowly mixes down into the onions and garlic, about 5 minutes. Once the spinach is mixed well and melted down nicely, add more spinach. Jk. (Unless you want to.)  Then add all the spices, mix well.  Add Beans.  Mix well.  Pour broth over mix & turn the heat to high until it begins to boil.  (Throw in sausage balls if you choose to use them.) When boiling, lower to a simmer & let sit for at least 20 minutes, longer if you have time.

To eat: Squeeze tons of lemon on top.  Add fresh garlic if you’re sick, it will blend in nicely.  Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top OR skip the cheese & lump a spoonful of plain yogurt on top.  Add fresh ground pepper.  Eat with sourdough toast.  The options are honestly endless.  My personal fav: tons of lemon juice, yogurt, and fresh pepper with a side of toast.


White-Bean-Spinach-Comfort-Soup

You’ll make this soup & think it’s too easy to be delicious.  How and why?  You’ll want to put more effort into cooking your dinner.  How can you make such a fantastic impression as a chef with such minimal work?  Don’t tell anyone how easy it was – that’s how.  You worked fucking hard for a good 5 minutes. You’re a champion.  Well done.

 White-Bean-Spinach-Comfort-Soup(4)

This is my go-to, quick, healthy dinner.    I also love spaghetti but haven’t figured out how to make the carbs look good on my waistline, I’ll let you know when I discover the trick.

Anyone else have secret, “super hard” recipes to share?  I have another one for cookies that I plan on sharing soon..

Have a great weekend and remember, be thoughtful!

Xx

Cherry on your Master Chef cake:

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I recommend..., Netflix, Thoughts

Best of 2016: TV & Movies

Did You Know? There’s no reason to feel guilty next time you indulge in your favorite shows- 70% of Netflix users binge-watch their tv series ( v i a )


The most important conversation of 2016, what was binge worthy?!  What was worth those hours missed in front of the TV??  I have a few favorites — they didn’t all come out in 2016 but I watched them in 2016, so they count.

best-of-2016-tv-and-movies

( eye pads ) / ( socks )

I rounded up my favorite TV series I watched this year & a few of my favorite movies.

If you’re staying in & relaxing through the New Year weekend here are some binge worthy options to start your 2017 the right way!


 The Americans

The Americans

Different than other shows, I couldn’t peel myself away from the TV.  There’s suspense w a family dynamic that isn’t seen in other shows.  Lies, love, drama, murders, thrill, adventure, passion & loyalty like no other.  Also, I might be bias here, but it was refreshing/different to see non Arabs coming after America…

Jessica Jones Jessica Jones

I have a crush on this movie because I like the character so much.  A badass woman is all dreams come true, and the story line of this series is a winner for me.

 The Blacklist

netflix

I left this series during the first season but after tough convincing I came back to it, and I’m glad I did.  As soon as you think you have the series figured out, the twists keep it interesting & eliminate all room for boring.

 Chelsea

Chelsea Netflix

I was 50/50 with Chelsea Lately & was not a huge fan of her books… BUT, this talk show is constantly inspiring me.  Yes, Chelsea Handler is inspiring me.  You can tell she developed an idea for a show that would have more than senseless humor, & rolled with it.  Teaching proper vocabulary & spelling, the importance of politics, and incorporating WORLD knowledge – couldn’t be happier about this series.

Last Man Standing

Last man Standing

I would say New Girl as my 2016 favorite but I know I’m getting old on that one.  Last Man Standing is FUNNY!  I was hesitant, but have recently blown through 5 seasons nearly back to back so I don’t think I qualify to say I’m hesitant any longer.  The writers should be getting paid big $$…

Baby Daddy

Baby Daddy

I like shows that make me laugh.  There’s something about easy, quick TV episodes that can do the trick on your casual Wednesday.

Sense 8

Sense 8

This show took me a minute, but once I was into it I was hooked and couldn’t stop.  I think I binged the entire season in 1 day.  No shame.

How to Be Single

 How To Be Single

I almost wrote an entire blog post on this movie, I still might.  What a fantastic film.  The lesson for women to be patient & appreciate their alone time is something money can’t buy.   This movie needs to be taken seriously, ha! And all 20-30 yr olds should be required to watch it w that perspective.  LOVE this movie!

 Chef

Chef

Why would you watch a sad/emotional/thriller/bloody movie when you can watch a light & fluffy movie like Chef.  Is there anything better than this movie?  Can we get more made like this please?!

No Escape

No Escape

…but if you need high suspense/thriller/action – this movie is for you.  I watched it a couple times this year.

 


Time to share your favorite binge worthy movies & TV series of the year!  I’m having a major dry spell with TV series at the moment (forcing me to read), I’m not finding anything capable of getting me hooked – needs to be GOOD.

Enjoy this last weekend of December & remember to be thoughtful, always 🙂

Xx

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Life, Thoughts

5 Tips for Listening

HO HO HO!

5 Listening Tips

I’ve been wanting to write about listening for SO. LONG.  But I wasn’t sure how to get across what I wanted to say.  Then the holidays came creeping in & I realized this is one of those times of the year where listening is at the forefront of my mind.

People love to talk about themselves. LOVE IT.  The people who love it the most are the people who say they don’t.  Everyone loves to talk about themselves & topics they adore.  Period.  They might ask you questions, and look as though they’re listening, but likely are waiting for you to finish so they can bring it back to something they experienced.  You know you do it.  I do too. Everyone does.  I tell a story, you tell a story, I tell a story, you tell a story.  No listening or engagement.

But listening is important.

SO SO SO important.  And listening doesn’t mean staring in the general direction of a person talking & nodding your head.

I left a job several years ago that I absolutely hated.  I dreaded work every day, hated what I was doing & was focused heavily on accomplishing as little work as possible while I job hunted for something else.  I was only at the job for about 6 months.  When I said I was leaving several people were really upset & sad to see me go.  I looked like a deer in headlights trying to figure out why… How can these people be sad I’m leaving?  I did a shit job on all my work, I put 5% energy into everything.  I came late, left early.  So, blah.

This company threw me a going away party.  Offered to let me stay as long as I needed.  Supported, encouraged my path, handed out all their contact information to stay in touch.  Truly made me feel something special. I was completely stunned.  I thought they were going to kick me out the second I gave them a chance!

I’m TOTALLY the type of person to reflect on situations that I don’t understand.  Almost too much.  I focus on a situation that’s happened until I figure out the psychology behind it.

Later, I realized these people liked me because all I did was actively LISTEN to them.  I didn’t want to work, so I had conversations all day.  (Winner employee, I know.)  And I did NOT want to talk about myself, otherwise I would risk revealing my secret plans to quit.  Eventually, I knew everything about everyone!  I knew their families, their stories, their feelings, their pets, their pet peeves, their frustrations, their friggen health problems, boob size, weight, their happiness and their sadness.  I could tell you more about each of the employees than the all of them combined knew about me.  I knew every detail of their lives and offered comfort, a friend, gossip, bitching, a hug, whatever it was – I was there, front row.  (Still avoiding actually working).

This was the first time I noticed the power of listening.

I realized how listening can make someone feel.  Often times, all a person needs is someone to listen to them.  I heard the craziest stories, ideas, & theories that I sometimes totally disagreed with, or often didn’t believe but I fucking went with it, fully on board.  Intrigued, engaged, mesmerized, interested.

listening-tips3

 5 Listening Tips:

  1. Don’t be shy or afraid. Ask one question – How is your dog doing?  Do you have any travel plans?  Have you read any good books?  Do you actually enjoy work? Where did you get that dress?  Where do you do your hair? When you ask one question, you’ll be able to  keep the conversation moving for a long time, keep focusing on them.

  2. Continue asking questions about a topic they’re on, several questions.  Engage and respond.

  3. Keep an open mind!  Do NOT let your opinions get in the way of a topic that doesn’t agree with you.  Ask more questions to understand where someone is coming from rather than start disagreeing or arguing right off the bat – try to understand them and their thoughts.  How did they get there?

  4. If you hear yourself start talking about… yourself – quickly bring it back to another question for them!  It’s about them, not you!

  5. Don’t be an asshole & push a topic they quite clearly don’t want to discuss.  If they don’t appear interested in talking about a breakup they just had, ask them about their dog.  Don’t push for the sake of learning the newest gossip, again it’s not about you, it’s about THEM. If the conversation goes long enough, put a few feeler questions about deeper topics out there but do NOT push them.  However, people tend to open up more the longer they get to talk.

listening-tips2

Listening is the most fantastic gift to give someone – free, easy & special.

Come this precious holiday season, practice shutting the fuck up & listening to the people around you.  And be interested.  Even people you don’t like or agree with.  Listen, ask them questions, be an ear for them.  Don’t think about yourself or how you feel or that awesome idea you have – it’s not about YOU! It’s about THEM! And their awesome ideas & stories. Them them them!

Shhhhhhhhhhhh

Listening is a constant work in progress, even for the best listeners – but it’s also my favorite quality to find in someone.  A conversation between listeners goes the greatest depths w the most interesting results that gives you all the feelings.  Layers + Layers can be discovered, and can be quite fun.

This is your friendly reminder to be a good listener this holiday season, and as always – be thoughtful 🙂

Xx

 

2017 Celebrations:

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Life

Petite Ponderings: “Bobby, Don’t Be Mean”

October, October bring on October.  A lot going on!

Kim Kardashian held at gun point in Paris?  I hate hearing things like that because I start thinking – if she can get in that situation, so can anyone!  She has body guards, I have a freaking doggie that’s afraid of people.  I guess when it’s your time, it’s your time.

petite-ponderings-being-kind

Recently, a lot going on around me.  I feel like I need to stand completely still.  Hold on to sweet Bernie & Wafiq for dear life… & not move.

Does that ever happen to you?  So much movement & activity, the only thing you can do is try to be still.  (I imagine that’s a little how the apocalypse will feel.)

You’re a little invested in each person’s difficulties & you take it on yourself, but also try not to because it’s important for you to keep it together for them.  One day at a time is the best way to go.

Through all this, one thing I can’t stand is mean people.  It sounds like something your 2nd grade teacher would say, but I notice myself finding that’s the best word I can find to describe people:  “Don’t be mean little Bobby.”   I find myself wanting to do less & less with other people because I don’t want to be around anyone that’s mean – to me or to anyone else.  And shockingly that’s hard to find.   When I do find nice people I appreciate them so much.

I think people are mean either because they’re selfish & are upset that any given situation isn’t going their way, so they lash out & act mean as a way to return their feelings.

The other reason I think people are mean is to defend themselves.  Either their confidence, their lifestyle, their choices, their words, their actions, their moods…

Both reasons suck.

I keep telling myself to be as nice as possible to as many people as I can & hopefully that will rub off on them. Even when I’m around a group of mean people for example, I notice myself mumbling mean things under my breathe & I have to immediately remind myself to stop.

Staying away from mean people is the best way to handle it, because adding only makes things worse.

I will say, defending yourself is acceptable & different than being mean.  My suggestion when defending yourself is to use facts & as little emotion as possible, otherwise mean things might projectile out.

Facts keep things unarguable.

Defending yourself is just as important as being kind, but being mean is a whole other ball game that I have no interest in getting tickets to.

One a lighter note – What’s going on in our house?  I’ve been working to streamline my blog, try to focus it a little more.  My goal is to have all the brand aspects, website accessibility, links, posts, social media, ect more functional by the end of the year.  I feel like I worked this year to experiment a little (thank you to anyone still straggling along with me) to see what was comfortable, what worked, what didn’t… And next year I want a little better focus.  So between now and January that’s what I’m working towards.

Wafiq, Bernice and our house is as happy of a home as it can be.  We’re so happy to have it!  I can’t express how much I live for little ways of decorating, visiting Home Goods, buying a new cooking tool, organizing and purging my own closet – it’s a dream.

How’s everyone else doing?  I’m excited because this is the first year I’m exercising my right to vote! WOOT WOOT!  Felling more American than ever.

Have a relaxed day, be kind, and extra thoughtful.

Xx

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Drinks, Recipe

Relax & Enjoy – A Classic Margarita

My drink of choice: A classic Margarita.

 A-classic-Margarita-

Cold, delicious, simple & a refreshing treat to the weekend.

Since making my own classic margarita’s at home I can’t stand ordering one that’s made incorrectly.  I’m assuming it’s either cheap tequila, added sugar, fakey fake premade mix, or an extra cheap ass ingredient thrown in as filler.  Who knows!

I always ask for my Margarita with no added sugar and that usually forces the bartender to mix a fresh drink, w/fresh ingredients.  And surprisingly, the bartenders never seem bothered – more appreciative that they get to use their mixology skills to create a delicious, fresh margarita.  Love it!

 Classic Margarita

3 Oz Tequila

2 Oz Triple Sec

1 Oz Lime Juice

Splash of Orange Juice

 Directions: Mix in a cocktail shaker w/ice & pour over ice.  (*I go light on the tequila & heavy on the lime + orange juice)

For Wafiq’s Birthday, we mixed a large batch and put it in a water bottle for people to pour over ice.  It was a big hit!  We were at the pool so something cold & refreshing w/out a ton of added sugar was the perfect touch.

And this tequila is my favorite. One of my most memorable nights is drinking it w/cheese & crackers at the house we stayed in while living in Los Angeles.  The owners bought it & invited us in – great conversations and memories tied to this bottle.  Perfect little buzz w/out a hangover too.  You get it.

Mix it up & pour yourself a glass! Unwind, relax, & enjoy.

Xx

 

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Places: Texas, Travel

A Day In San Antonio, Texas

Last week Wafiq & I went to San Antonio for a couple days because the immigration office is located there and he had a meeting… I took it as a stellar excuse to get out of Austin.

 San-Antonio-Texas

We stayed at The Crockett Hotel & what a pleasant surprise that was. Great location for everything we had to get done – cute, clean, affordable, great customer service & delicious breakfast (HA!). // Tippidy-Tip: If you plan on going, ask for a room with a window facing The Alamo.

 The-Crockett-Hotel-San-Antonio

The Riverwalk & The Alamo are probably the most known parts of San Antonio, or draw in the largest tourist crowds. {Besides Sea World & Six Flags – but captured killer whales + sky high roller coasters aren’t my ideal situation.}

I’m all about playing tourist.

The Alamo was part of the Texas Revolution, I can’t think of specific movies w/ The Alamo story line but I know they’re out there.  “Remember the Alamo!”

The Battle of the Alamo was the defeat a large Mexican Army had over a small group of Texan Soldiers. Bravely, the Texans managed to hold off the Mexican Army for nearly 13 days!? (I’m not a history buff so I know there’s a ton more to the story but I believe that’s the general idea for anyone scratching their heads) // v i a 

San-Antonio-Texas-the-alamo

The Alamo

We walked around outside the Alamo, as it was closed when we were in the area.  And I don’t go outside before 4:00pm, as it’s too hot. (hi)

The entire area near the Alamo is a nice walk.  The buildings are huge & older so there’s history you can easily see.

 San-Antonio-Texas(3)

We took a recommendation from a local friend of ours and went to The Pearl.  Very pretty, great recommendation.  We got there when the sun was setting & the river was gorgeous.  Lots of wedding & graduation pics happening, as they should be.

I noticed Hotel Emma is all the rage in San Antonio right now.   I’d be interested to stay there on our next trip down.  We didn’t have a chance to check out the inside of the hotel, but the outside was beautiful, similar to the surrounding areas.

San-Antonio-Texas(4)

Wafiq always says: “Now point @ the camera”…. ??

I also noticed, the entire area by the Pearl was extremely dog friendly.  Which, hi, yes please.

And after researching the restaurants nearby we landed on a Peruvian-Asian restaurant called Botika Pearl. New, fresh w/a light menu.  Big & open – totally our style.

Besides the unfortunately long, uncomfortable wait at the bar, the restaurant was excellent.  Our waitress was excited, knowledgeable & confident (which I notice can sometimes lack at new restaurants) and the food was gone. We ate it all. Several plates.  Fresh, light, unique and delicious.   Totally recommend.

Botika-San-Antonia-The-Pearl

Chifa Ceviche – Botika

The next day we walked around the Riverwalk, walkways lining the San Antonio River, in downtown San Antonio.  I made an effort to avoid restaurants.  In such touristy locations they tend to be overpriced & freezer style food – which I can’t stand <–  It’s hurts me to eat that shit.

So we stopped at In & Out Burger on the way home. LOL! My life.

 San-Antonio-Texas(5)

We also stopped at the San Marcos Outlets on the way home.

OMG OMG OMG if you ever question living in America – go to that outlet mall and all questions will be answered.  I can’t stay away, thanks God Wafiq doesn’t allow me to stay for too long.  Someone savvveeee meeeee!

 San-Antonio-Texas(2)

And that’s it for the quick couple days in San Antonio!

Even though it was short, it felt like a long & comfortable break.  A few days of a break from your regular routine are super underrated. No matter where you go – go!

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And if you go to San Antonio let me know what you find! I can easily tell there’s a lot more to see & do.

I want to go back soon, anyone from San Antonio want to weigh in?!  I love when locals share their love for their city.

Talk to you laters, stay happy!

Xx

 

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Beauty, I recommend...

How Coconut Oil Saved Me From Hormonal Acne

My life w/coconut oil.

 Coconut-Oil-and-Hormonal-Acne

I know there’s lists of 101 ways to use coconut oil, and I doubt very few of them, but there’s ONE thing I use coconut oil for that makes me a believer – face moisturizer for chin acne!

I’ll be the first to say I have major jealousy issues w/girls who have smooth, oily, acne & wrinkle free skin. I doubt I came out the womb w/that type of skin.

One major problem for me has always been acne. In high school = baaaaaaaaaaaad.  I managed to get rid of the acne for awhile in college, while I was taking birth control pills.

Then, I quit taking birth control pills & noticed (how could I miss them) nasty zits on my chin area… & they would NOT go away.

I wasn’t getting acne anywhere else. Just my chin.

I went to the dermatologist and she gave me some crap that was more placebo than anything – didn’t do shit.

I did my own research and tried face masks, methods, ideas, and strategies. BUT NOPE, NASTY LITTLE ZITS KEPT POPPING UP! UGH!

 Coconut-Oil-and-Hormonal-Acne

I finally came to the conclusion that the zits would forever be at home on my chin. Hormonal acne that would never go away. AT LEAST it wasn’t ­­my whole face.

UNTIL.

The time I started experimenting with coconut oil.

I was trying to see how awesome coconut oil was after arriving back in the states and hearing all the rave reviews. I started using coconut oil as shaving cream, tried oil pulling & hair masks. All impressive.

THEN I tried coconut oil as a body moisturizer…. And, to be honest, liked the little shine it gave my freshly spray tanned legs. So there’s that.

And one day thought: my face is as dry as the planet mars, lets throw some coconut oil on it.

I slathered it straight from the jar onto my face before bed & felt amazing. When I woke up my face was super moisturized and that’s what mattered to me. I started doing this every night… for months.

And my chin acne started going away.

Coconut-Oil-and-Hormonal-Acne(5)

I didn’t even realllllllllllly believe it was from the coconut oil (I thought my hormones just took a turn for the better), UNTIL my trip from hell in New York.

I forgot coconut oil & brought regular face moisturizer.

WOW. My chin had a hay day.

I got back to Austin and my chin was back to it’s worst! FULL ACNE!

I immediately washed my face and SLATHERED coconut oil all over it. The next day my chin felt significantly better & every day after that my chin got better and better.

It was then that I realized coconut oil was fixing my acne.

 Coconut-Oil-and-Hormonal-Acne

I also noticed when I would use certain face masks it would make me break out, so now I keep the masks away from my chin – coconut oil only!

I’ve been doing this for about 7 months & STILL get nervous when I slather oil on my face – thinking I’ll definitely break out in the morning. (Adding oil to acne?!)   But every morning I wake up with a happy chin.

Coconut-Oil-and-Hormonal-Acne

This is what I learned after researching it a bit:

Coconut Oil is anti-inflammatory + anti-bacterial and contains Vitamins E, K and A. ( v i a / v i a )

Which is why I notice any acne I do have reduces in size & swelling so quickly + keeps acne away. Poof!

SO if anyone is struggling w/acne, especially chin or hormonal acne & has dry skin – give coconut oil a try! It sounds crazy & will feel weird but who would’ve thought something so simple could help me so much!?!

I use it all over my face every single night (I even travel w/little packets like this now so I never go a day without) & sometimes use it in the morning if I’m not wearing makeup or don’t mind a shiny face.

I’ve also read some people mix in tree oil? Haven’t tried that yet, but definitely will.

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YAY! I’m excited to share this, hoping it’ll help someone.  Having your face look different than you feel is frustrating.

Let me know if you give it a try (or have any other ideas)!

I’m off to explore San Antonio, took a little getaway South this week & the only thing missing is my Bernice – I’ll post San Antonio pictures soon, for now catch them on Instagram.

Have a positive rest of the week!

 

Xx

 

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Style, Uncategorized, What I Wore

Summer Pretty Skirts

It was August when I first moved to Texas from Minnesota – the heat just about made me pack up my bags & turn around.

My roommate instructed me to go buy a couple of skirts, explaining it’s the only way to stay comfortable. <— Ever since then, a skirt has been my go-to when I can’t take the heat anymore.

Flowing, light, + pretty.

You can dress them up, switch them around with a couple crop tops, dress them down w/a T-Shirt… The creativity is endless (…and necessary on Day 30 of 100+ degrees)!

Here’s some pretty online finds:

Summer-Ready-Skirts-1

Forever 21 Contemporary Fringe Pencil Skirt

Although I have a plain black maxi skirt I wear all the time, one with a little fringe + a vintage t-shirt sounds like a win.

Calvin Klein Lace Scuba A-line Skirt

 Love this for work. White is my favorite color. Clean & crisp.  Staying cool at work helps get through the day without bitting someones head off.

BOG Collective Tulip Wrap Maxi Skirt

Florals?! Yes please.  Dress it up w/heels and jewelry.  Dress it down w/ sandals and an itty bitty crop top. NEEEEEED IT.

 

Off to slumber!! Prepped my mind for another great week – let’s get at it Monday! OUIIII!

 

Xx

 

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