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How To Wear A White Dress – Mistake Free!

Did You Know? The theory for the fashion rule to wear white after Memorial day started at the height of its popularity, the color white signified upper class and refinement. You wore white at summer resorts and society events, while the masses wore drab colors as they labored away. “By the 1880s, in order to tell who was acceptable and who wasn’t, the women who were already ‘in’ felt it necessary to create dozens of fashion rules that everyone in the know had to follow…That way, if a woman showed up at the opera in a dress that cost more than most Americans made in a year, but it had the wrong sleeve length, other women would know not to give her the time of day.”

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YAY! ALL WHITE EVERYTHING!

I love wearing white. The color is fresh, clean, young and classy.  I feel like white is a perfect color for any occasion and is definitely a go-to for me.

I used to fear white.  I either risk my outfit getting dirty (hello spray tan) or wearing a fabric that was see through & revealing of all my precious undergarments.

However, I fear no more! Mostly because I don’t care if either of those accidents happen, but also because I’ve mastered avoiding them.

How-I-wear-White

How I Wear White, Mistake Free:

Start with the White Dress:

I wear white shorts & pants all the time, but dresses are also an easy option.  To avoid anything see through or too revealing go for a flowy style or a piece w/layers. I avoid maxi dresses that are white & super long because that’s more fabric to get sabotaged by dirt or stains.

Add Bright Shoes:

The fun part about white is that it matches everything. I’ve been known to pull out my hot pink heels when I wear white because the pop of color adds dimension, if you ask me.  It takes away from concentrating too hard on the dress.  If you’re trying to be a little more casual, white also looks classy & pretty with a nude shoe.

And A Bright Lip:

You’re either doing a bright lip, bright shoe, or both!  This lip stain does NOT move.  Once it’s dry, you really don’t have to worry too much about getting it on your outfit. And a bright lip really pops when you’re wearing all white. I love that combo on anyone!  OoOoO la la

Classic Gold Jewelry:

Subtle gold jewelry, tan skin, and a white dress?!  Yes!  To keep it smooth & classic, go for these skinny chains. Subtle, but the perfect detail for pulling all the pieces together.  I realized when you add a simple piece of jewelry it shows effort. HA! I used to always skip little jewelry, too lazy.

Oil Up w/Avocado Oil:

This one & my next are the biggest secrets.  I’ve been using Avocado Oil as moisturizer lately, it’s not very greasy & soaks in the skin just right.  I would typically recommend a bronzing lotion because I’m obsessed with fake tans but when you’re wearing white that can be a little risky.  Avocado Oil will shine perfectly on your bronzed skin to help you glow – without risking stain.  I put oil on any skin that’s showing!  Also, if you have a spray tan, make sure you do 1 day & 1 shower before your big white moment.  That ways the tan is super stuck on your skin & won’t make your dress brown. You get it.

Never Skip the Highlighter:

The key to life throughout the summer? Highlighter.  Who doesn’t want to glow?! I put it on my shoulders & collar bone, if they’re showing.  It really helps everything POP!

And Finally, Makeup:

Less is more when it comes to wearing makeup while you’re wearing white! Especially if you’re in a hot weather area where make up tends to slide after a while.  There’s nothing worse than foundation marks on your fresh white clothing, right?!  That’s my nightmare, looks cheap & high maintenance to me.  So, I do my face routine that I do for work days – concealer, highlighter, maybe blush & a little bronzer, then my eyes.  But that’s it!  You don’t want to risk touching your face & having the product transfer to your clothes.


Welcome Memorial Day & the summer heat! Welcome! Today, I walked outside my apartment & actually had a hard time breathing because the humidity & heat was so thick it felt like I was breathing under water. (Dramatic?) Anyone else feel me?! NOT a hot person, most definitely dreaming of a thick snow storm.

Also… note, Last Man Standing was canceled. I found out the news yesterday.  I’ve only watched the entire season through about 4 times on Netflix so I was really depending on fresh, new seasons to start soon. Anyone have other light comedy sitcoms to share?  I’m totally open to cheesy.

Have a great weekend everyone!  Be thoughtful,

Xx

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Loving Lately

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Don’t count the days, make the days count

-Muhammad Ali


Hi everyone! Welcome to May, & summer?!  Anyone else?!

I had to participate in an outdoor sand Volleyball tournament last Friday & almost melted to my death.  Of course it was the hottest day we’ve had so far at 90 degrees.  I couldn’t drink enough water to keep myself hydrated & went home with a huge headache Friday.   On the plus side, 1 of the 4 games was a personal success in my book.  The other 3 had a few errors that I’m choosing to ignore.  I’m very competitive so I hate sucking at things.

 

Lately, I have a few new favorites I’ve happily stumbled upon, so lets share!

MissBassmaster-Loving-Lately

 

Nude Gel Polish:

I’m a nail bitter so I have to have my nails done or I’ll constantly be messing with them.  I love hot pinks, blue, purples, white, or really any color nail.

I have no fear when it comes to nail color.  I typically keep them really short because I’ve always thought they look better that way, until recently.  I decided not to cut my nails the last time I went for a manicure & tried a very nude color, so the length wouldn’t be obvious.

I’m obsessed.  I didn’t think nude would work for me… because I’m bright. But it does!  Classy, clean, easy, goes with everything.

I chose “Bubble Bath” Gel from Opi, ask for it next time you go!

 

Victoria’s Secret Knockout Sport Tights:

I know I already shared my love for VS’s sports bra’s but I’ve also been loving their tights which deserves attention too.  Again, not as expensive as other brands & in my opinion they’re better.  Breathable, move with you as you work out, high wasted, comfortable, and I’m loving the styles.  Every time I VS tights to workout someone asks where I got them.  All those Lululemon & Aloyoga people don’t know what hit them when I say Victoria’s Secret.  Also, they aren’t as thick & hot as true Yoga pants from those other brands are.

And trust me – NOT see-through.  I do several squats in a variety of lighting scenarios and I make Wafiq approve the see-through strength prior to any pants being worn in public.  We’ve seen one too many ass cracks in our workouts to take any chances.

 

Kygo Station on Pandora:

The perfect music station for summer!  I have this station going all, the, time.  Of course with intermediate breaks for the Jazz station but Kygo has me going.

I’m having a party MondayFriday in my earphones & I’m pretty happy about it.  The perfect music to get yourself in the summer ready mood!  I also happened to see Kygo at Austin City Music Festival last year & I loved it.  Anything to get people moving & feeling is right up my ally.

 

Kylie Cosmetics Lip Gloss: 

I love lip glosses but don’t love most lip gloss products.   I can’t find any that I like!  Kylie’s glosses are good you guys, really good. I know it’s hard to support & believe in a millionaire 19 year old’s cosmetic business, but that’s life.

If you empty my purse at any time you’ll find “Damn Gina” gloss inside, but I know all of her glosses are really good.  Super shiny & they DO stay put longer than many others. Also, not nearly as expensive as other brands.  My favorite look is huge sunglasses, oil on my face, and gloss on my lips. That’s it! OH! And a spray tan… Of course.

 


 

Besides my regular favorites, the above are a few I’ve added to the list.

Anyone have favorites to share?

I realized I don’t have very many beauty products lately as I’ve cut WAY down on wearing makeup.  Even the weekends can be pretty bare.  When it’s so hot, everything melts off your face anyway – sunscreen turns into the only option.

Everyone, have a great rest of the week & be thoughtful!

Xx

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Amazon Picks, Beauty, Life

10 Amazon Products Under $10

Did You Know? Amazon began in the garage of founder Jeff Bezos’ home in Washington State. The site was launched on July 16 1995

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Like I’ve mentioned before, the one complaint I have about Amazon is the browsing options.    You can’t really get on Amazon & browse through it like you would at a store or another website.  You have to know what you’re looking for in order for Amazon to be useful.  That’s why I like sharing what I buy.

Today’s list is 10 Under $10.

I tried to keep all of the items Prime eligible so you don’t end up paying for shipping, if you’re a Prime member that is – which at this stage in the game, how can you not be?

 10 Under 10 on Amazon

10 Products on Amazon Prime Under $10

1. Waterproof Phone case:

This is your friendly reminder to order this awesome, super affordable water proof phone case before Summer is in full swing.  It’s awesome for the pool/lake/ocean when you want to keep your snapchat & photos going strong – but also convenient to protect your phone from all water concerns.

2. Real Techniques Beauty Sponge:

I was using the original Beauty Blender for a while but I hated how dirty they got.   I attempted cleaning them but am never satisfied.  Spending $20 every time I wanted a new one seemed ridiculous, so I started using these beauty sponges instead & haven’t looked back.  I use them for a majority of my makeup & it honestly makes the application too easy.

3. Wet Brush:

This. Is. The. Shit.  Really, praise Jesus.  This brush goes through my thick, tangled mess with ZERO problems. Enough said.

4. Vacuum Wine Stopper:

If you didn’t know this vacuum wine stopper existed, and at such an affordable price, then I apologize. I was also missing out for a long time & I understand that unfortunate feeling.  Like all your best friends knew about a secret pill to keep you skinny & never told you.  I’m there.

5. LED String Lights:

I love fairy lights because they make the perfect relaxed ambiance.  I’m also a 7 year old girl inside.  I was using old Christmas lights during my morning Yoga to achieve the perfect lighting but since then have discovered these string lights & love them!  I hung them all over the place & get away with it because you can’t see the string until you turn them on 🙂

6. Feathers:

I recently discovered how AMAZING Amazon is for costume & craft supplies.  I went to Carnaval a few months ago & made costumes for Wafiq & I.  After searching costume shops & craft stores I compared all the prices with what I found on Amazon & it was incomparable.  I don’t think I’ll be in a costume or craft store again for a long time, the savings are that awesome. ( Body Jewels, Costume Glue, Yarn )

7. Collapsible Dog Bowls:

If you don’t already own these bowls for your doggies then you need to!  They’re so easy to transport – you’ll always have a dish available for water. My dog still acts like a 2 year old & inhales all her food in mili-seconds so I find it helps to collapse her bowl when she’s done & easily put it away. I’m trying to help her work through her binge eating habits.  (Also, THESE dog treats!)

8. Dog Bags:

I pick up ALL my dog’s droppings & if you have a dog you should too.  I get red with fury when I bring my dog on walks & there’s dog shit everywhere.  Even super large mounds of dog shit in the middle of a path, really?! Who the fuck does this?   It really pisses me off. And, I’ve done so well with my animal,  I’ve managed to teach her not to shit on walking paths – she goes on a little gander off the path to take her bathroom break, then I proceed to pick it up & throw it in the trash can. You also notice I say:  throw it in the trash can?  That doesn’t mean you put the shit in a bag, tie the top, & drop it on the ground for someone else to pick up – doesn’t work like that people.  I know I’m venting on behalf of other people & am definitely not alone.  The dog bags on Amazon come in huge packs so you will NOT run out & they’re super affordable! No excuses.  Pick up your dog shit!

9. Batteries:

You know how annoying it is when one of those small, round batteries dies?  Because you’ll never remember to pick up another one at the store & you definitely won’t remember what battery it is, RTJ-0078 or WJO-2833 or NWH-9340293, – not happening.  They’re typically cheaper on Amazon AND all you have to do is open the app on your phone, click, and order. Easy!

10. Toothpaste

I buy all my dental products on Amazon, and here’s a toothpaste for you.  I like Tom’s products.  I haven’t done research about them but they seem to work the best for me, rather than the typical Crest or Trident brands.  The world made me paranoid of chain products so I trick myself into feeling better by purchasing Tom’s.


If you get the Amazon App you can order everything on this list for under $100 and have it at your door in 2 days.  It’s a miracle, isn’t it?  What else do you guys buy on Amazon, it’s as if Amazon users are in a secret little club of all things easy!

I hope you’re all rounding out your April in the best way! I’m about to finally confront myself with the reality that this may be the last weekend I see 80 degree temperatures in awhile – at least while in Texas.  I’ve had a long talk with my dog about this, as we both hate it equally.  Soon, I think we’ll get our minds right & be able to handle our reality – let’s see.

Have a great day & be thoughtful!

Xx

+ Amazon Prime, Beginners Guide: HERE


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Life

The Trouble With Money…

Did You Know? Some people believe “if I make more money, I can be competitive and win the race,” When money is the top priority for a person, and they lose it – because of a layoff, for instance – their self-worth shrinks. (“They mix up net worth with self-worth.”) They suffer significantly because money is the only thing that matters, instead of another person who places greater value in family and is passionate about other things.

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Lets talk MONEY, shall we?  Delicious, rich, spectacular money.

The Trouble With Money

Money is the driver of pretty much everything.  You need it to survive, to pay the bills, to have a roof over your head.  You also need it to fund activities in order to keep you sane from your full time job that’s paying those bills.

I’ve always dreamt of people with indispensable money – what it looks & feels like to go anywhere & do anything without a worry in the world.  Eat wherever you want, drive whatever you want, pay for your family/friends vacations, payback the people you once had to borrow from, go to any doctor you want, get a nice face mask.

However, this post isn’t about wanting money, it’s about appreciating what we have.

Abroad, all I wanted was fucking money. I was SOOO broke.  I wasn’t able to work right away because the Visa permit for my job was taking longer than I expected & when you breathe in Dubai you spend $500/breath, so there’s that.  Any money I could get my hands on disappeared before I had a chance to look at it.  And, I didn’t even know how to borrow money from anyone at home.  Thank God I didn’t know how to open a credit card!  So, I had to ask favors from people in Dubai that I barely knew at that point.   I felt like I lost all my power & confidence. (Enter: Shingles)  Not exaggerating, I counted every. single. cent. (or dirham in that case).   Until finally, I started working & feeling like myself again.

But, when Wafiq & I moved back to the U.S. from Dubai, with only our savings accounts, we were back to feeling like we had nothing.  Of course we had our savings but with no income those numbers start shrinking fast, not to mention the unexpected cost of immigration lawyers & the fees associated with their services.  Back to NO FREAKING MONEY!   (Very familiar feeling.)  At times, it was sickening & scary. But the curve ball here is, all the moments we shared together where we felt alive!  The hustle of life right under our feet & only possibility ahead.  Not yet in a full time corporate job that was holding us back, only imagination & a blank slate ahead.   It was a mix of feeling like we’re the biggest fucking losers on Earth that can barely eat,  to free spirits with the entire world & all of its opportunities spread out in front of us.    In a cage, but free.

Well, we’re not that broke anymore.

But, because I know the feeling & I don’t doubt that it could happen again… I wanted to write about being broke.  It fucking sucks baaaaad.   But so does having money.  Money sucks.  I’ve been friends with people that have had a lot of money their entire lives, and always will.  With money comes greed & stubbornness.  Your surroundings appear cloudy.  What’s real & what isn’t.  Who needs a favor & who wants one.

I’ve also been friends with people that once received a lot of money after living without it for most of their lives.  Even this scenario can turn ugly.  Money changes people.  Takes away the depth of conversations, turns the topics into competition.  Proving themselves & their worth.

Looking back, not having money was a grind that I’m happy I did my best to appreciate.  I had beautifully authentic conversations & met some of the most genuine people in those times.  I had nothing more to offer than my friendship & a night in playing cards w/$3 bottles of wine, drinking it out of a plastic coffee cup.  (PS.  I was out of college, this was no longer acceptable.)  I connected with people that valued life & friendship more than the depth of each other’s pockets.

When Wafiq & I had no money we wouldn’t go out very often because we simply couldn’t afford it.  But it was so easy to say that: “we can’t afford going out because we don’t currently have a job… or money.” HA!  Now? We have to say yes to a steak dinner and taste our wine with a seal of approval before we purchase the glass.   Once upon a time, we used to get very creative with dates. The park or beach with a picnic meal & cheap wine.  Cheese plates with a movie in the background & cards on the table. Driving around brainstorming ideas of companies to apply for or career paths to get involved in.

My point is, the grass is not always greener on the other side. And I think the solution is to be grateful for what you currently have & to be thoughtful of the people around you.  Whether you have money now or you don’t, be thoughtful & appreciate where you’re at.   Listen, create good conversations about weird things.  Also, get out of your own demographic a little.  For me, that helped understand money a lot better.  When you become friends with people that truly have NO money and people that truly have an abundance of money, you’ll learn a lot.

 The-Trouble-With-Money

I love the idea of simply being thoughtful.  It takes slowing down & being vulnerable, but that’s better than leading with insecurities.  Go out today & be thoughtful while you take on the world & work work work work work!  You got this, whatever amount is in your pocket is enough for today!

Xx


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I recommend..., Life

Recent Readings On MissBassmaster

Did You Know? It takes an average of 475 hours to write a novel

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Books + Podcasts + Music are the three things I need.  I use them to help my mind take a break.   I want to disclose, I’m all over the place when it comes to reading.  I go through phases where I want to read about drug addiction, then Jesus Christ, then marketing, and sometimes a good fiction of a girl trapped in the woods.  The variety keeps me from getting bored & I highly recommend opening your genre preferences.

MissBassmaster-Recent-Reading


Recent Readings on MissBassmaster:

I Like You Just The Way I Am by Jenny Mollen

I first saw Jenny Mollen on Chelsea from Netflix.  She’s married to Jason Biggs.  I didn’t know these two are so hilarious until watching the show. They’re funny in the exact way I’m obsessed with.  Her book is full of honest stories throughout her life that everyone can relate to but no one would admit.  Honesty is my favorite comedy.  I was a mix of laughing & in shock throughout the whole read.   Super easy, funny & fast read.

Bossypants by Tina Fey

I wanted more from this book.  It made me feel nice inside & was funny but not too much more.  I heard really good things which is why I went back in time to read Bossypants, but I would have to say it was only okay.  You know, I’m looking for the sauce!   She might be too perfect for that.

The Power Of The Dog by Don Winslow

Unfortunately, I couldn’t get through this book, I just couldn’t!  I tried reading, restarting, trying again and again, but nothing!  It’s about the drug world & following a DEA agent named Art.  The story takes place over a long period of time & has several storylines that intertwine.  If anyone has read this book and has a review, please share it with me.  Or just tell me the ending.  Maybe I’m not Veteran enough to get through a book like this.  Or maybe it sucks.

Down The Rabbit Hole by Holly Madison

Ok, call me crazy, but I loved this book. Ha! So juicy. I used to watch The Girls Next Door & couldn’t believe these women would ever date this old guy, even with the money!   If you want gossip & to get the inside scoop into someone else’s life that is a total opposite of yours, this is the book.  I loved it. Talk about sauce.

Coreyography by Corey Feldman

I don’t know who Corey Feldman is but happened upon the book when I was going through Amazon, now I want to go back & watch his movies.   He was a young actor & eventually became addicted to drugs.  He was BFF’s with Michael Jackson.  He talks about the darkest shit in such a light way.  It made me realize you don’t know what people are going through, even while they’re functioning.  Dark, but good read.

Thug Kitchen

My cousin recommended this cookbook, I think because they say Fuck a lot.   I would say a 10 for the food education parts of the book, but some of the recipes were pretty bland.  Let’s just say, I’m not convinced I can be a Vegan after trying a couple recipes.  Although, the corn bread cake + whip cream.  YES! YESSSSSS! It is SO. GOOD.  I would recommend this book for the food education & Corn Bread Cake any day.  Also, if you like the word Fuck.


I noticed reading & listening to a variety of genres keeps the creativity side of my brain functioning.  The conversations I have with Wafiq are never dull. It’s important to keep conversations moving!  The worst is having the same conversations over and over and over again.  I noticed books, podcasts, & music bring in variety.

New topics.  New talks.

What good books have you been reading?  Nothing too depressing please 🙂

Have a great weekend & as always, be thoughtful!

Xx


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Life, Thoughts

College. Don’t Do It!

Did You Know?  Student loan debt is the second highest form of debt in the U.S., second only to mortgages. Around 75% of student loan borrowers have delayed buying a home because of their debt & over 40% of borrowers have delayed starting a family because of their debt.

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COLLEGE – DON’T DO IT!

Let me explain.

Going-To-College

As I was growing up, teachers, parents, grandparents, cousins, graduates, & friends all stressed the importance of having good grades to get into a good college after high school.  That was the only option for anyone who wanted to be successful.   That’s why we worked so hard in high school, so we can go to college.  Because who doesn’t know what they want to do with their entire life at 18 years old?  And if you didn’t know, you can take classes until you find out.  “If you don’t go now, you’ll never go back!”

I’m not sure how this path was drilled in everyone’s mind because it doesn’t make sense to me.  I think for the generation before mine, college carried more significance than it does now.  It actually meant something to have a general, liberal arts, communication degree.  At least you had a degree on your resume.   And because it meant so much then, it only makes sense that you wouldn’t want to miss out on it now.

But times have changed.

Going To College

After graduating college & applying for real life jobs, all the openings required several years of experience.  A degree didn’t matter, they wanted someone who has been in the field for years.   Searching through job applications today is the same story: experience, experience, experience.  When I met with a job recruiter, about a year ago, she sat down to look at my resume & saw my degree listed on the weeee bottom line & asked if I actually received it, when I said yes, she replied “Ok, I’m just asking because if you didn’t we can just take it off… It’s not a big deal.”

Big deal?! My family & I just paid 1 million fucking dollars for this degree at the weee bottom of my resume & you’re saying it’s not a big deal if I leave it off?!

I wasn’t surprised.  I already knew the degree wasn’t what employers were looking for, but hearing her confirm my thoughts stabbed me in the gut.  Not only was I hoping the million dollar degree would help me land a job, but I was assuming I would also find a job that would make the money spent on school worth it.

Going To College

College WAS the best decision of my life. It paved the way for my future.  Not because of the education, but the choice to leave home & grow up.  I went from shy to strong.  From self-conscious to confident.  From scared to brave.  From 1 friend to 3.   I consider it the best & most important decision I made so far in my life.

But the truth is, I thought that was the only option for me to go out on my own.  I thought it was college or stay home.  So I had to make the move to college, because it was the only option & I’m glad I did.

That’s also why I wanted to share this post, because there are other options.    All the money you’re going to spend on college could be invested in yourself.  Your own business or ideas.  Travel.  Experience. Life. Work.

Going To College

I went into college, failed fucking math & took the Communication degree.  Here’s the deal, I didn’t know shit about finances or business so math was impossible.  These days, I’m reading books about money, entrepreneurs, taxes, business – all things I wish I would’ve studied in college because now I actually relate to them.  I can understand them beyond just taking a class & simply digesting information.

I don’t think college is smart.  I talk a lot of shit about college.  But, if you know you want a career as a doctor, or scientist or engineer then you need college to fulfill your career.  You can’t follow that path without the education.  BUT, if you question your choice whatsoever or don’t know what you want to do, why go spend a ton of money on a path you’re uncertain of?  Take time off to work, travel & learn about yourself.  Move to a different state.  Take an easy going job that you enjoy.  Party.  Date. Order a ton of books off Amazon & start educating yourself for .99 cents.  (because Amazon is the shit like that).

Then, when you’re older, and happily have a savings account without millions in student loan debt, and you know what you want to do & how to get there – go back to school.  If that’s the path.  School’s not going anywhere & maybe someday it’ll actually be affordable.

Going To College

I should also mention, in other countries the college degree holds a very high significance.  They don’t care what degree it is as long as you have one.  I noticed that in Dubai, so as soon as I was regretting that expensive piece of paper I did have a moment of gratitude, otherwise I don’t know if I would’ve been able to work while abroad.  Do I consider the degree worth it for my stint in Dubai? Not really.  But it doesn’t make me feel as bad about the whole situation either.

There are SO many ways to be successful without college today.  Education is at our fingertips in more affordable & accessible ways than ever before.   If I’m the only person that’s saying this, then I’m glad to do so.  You DO NOT have to go to college after high school.  You are likely smarter than the people who do.

 

Have I fallen off my rocker or are you with me? Thoughts?

 

Welcome to April! Go out, skip school & be thoughtful!

Xx

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Places: Texas, Travel

Quick Trips: Houston, TX

Put It On Your Bucket List: The Houston Rodeo reached a record high attendance this year at approximately 2,611,676 people!  The show features rodeo action (bull riding), livestock competitions, concerts, a huge carnival, pig racing, barbecue, International Wine Competition, shopping, sales and livestock auctions.

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If you’re following along on Snapchat (UN: MissBassmaster) or Instagram, you’ll have noticed I spent the weekend in Houston. Wafiq & I had tickets to the Houston Rodeo –  When in Texas, right?

Quick-Trips_Houston

Quick-Trips_Houston

Hermann Park

Quick-Trips_Houston

Workout w/a view // (Camp Gladiator)

As long as I’ve lived in Austin you’d think I would know more about Houston & Dallas but I definitely don’t – other than the reputation that Houston is hot & humid, which is enough to keep me away most of the year.

I brought my princess child so we did our best to do & go places that were pet friendly. We ate A LOT but every single thing we had & place we went was delicious!  I’m pretty picky when it comes to eating out. Like, really picky.  Because I make most of my meals at home & love cooking, I don’t like eating out – it’s never as good as my own kitchen!  And I imagine where the food came from, who touched it, how long it’s been in the freezer, what ingredients were added (I worked in a kitchen while in High School, I know too much).

Quick-Trips_Houston Tiny Boxwoods

@ Tiny Boxwoods

Quick-Trips_Houston Tiny Boxwoods

Tiny Boxwoods Nursery

Quick-Trips_Houston Brasil Cafe

Quick-Trips_Houston Brasil Cafe

Cafe Brasil // Brasil Benedict & Eggs w/Salmon

Food I Loved:

Tiny Boxwoods //  I think this restaurant was created for me.  Tiny Boxwoods is a café/restaurant in the middle of a flower nursery.  I mean, it doesn’t get better than that for me.  Take a stroll through the nursery while sipping Rose.  Even before the food I was hooked, but once I took a bite of the pizza I was SOLD.   From the instagramable moments, the relaxed setting, the incredibly fresh & flavorful food, the superior service – Tiny Boxwoods was by far my favorite.  We finished the meal with a cookie… and 4 to-go.  (They’re opening one in Austin soon.)

Brasil Café //  After our morning workout happened shockingly well, we hit up Brasil Café & as we were sipping coffee,  working our way through the Brasil Benedict & Eggs, we were proud of this decision.  Exactly the place we were looking for, an easy Saturday morning breakfast with bae (Bernice).

Boheme //  This place was cute.  We went at night & the lighting was a little romance.  There’s plenty of seating & a generally good atmosphere.  We tried their popular Vietnamese Fries << Spicy!

Axelrad // I wish there was somewhere close to my house similar to Axelrad.  Luigi’s Pizza is next door so you can order your pizza & eat it at Axlerad while you drink wine/beer & listen to music.  They have tons of seating, a huge projector, and hammocks as seating.  Very chill place, great spot to end a busy day.

Barnaby’s Café //  The only problem here was portion control.  I felt like their burgers & salads were HUGE. Needless to say, the general atmosphere of this place hit the spot for a Sunday morning meal.   Burgers, salads, and Strawberry mimosa’s… Perfect!

Quick-Trips_Houston(7)

Quick-Trips_Houston(7)

This animal sold for $345,000 !

Quick-Trips_Houston Rodeo

Obsessed w/all the dresses (w/pockets) @ Zara right now // Dress: H E R E

Quick-Trips_Houston

Brad Paisley concert after the Rodeo

Besides the food, we spent most of Saturday at the Rodeo.  Wafiq & I have never seen actual bull riding & horse bucking before so this was a new experience.

I would say anyone who keeps a bucket list needs to add the Houston Rodeo to it.

I’m SO happy we experienced this now, while we’re in Texas & have the opportunity.  We felt like we were in an old Western movie.  I’m desperately searching for Western belt buckles & cowboy hats for both Wafiq & I.  There truly is nothing sexier than a Cowboy.   Take a trip to the Houston Rodeo & you’ll get it.

Both of us were ecstatic no one died.  I was very confident, at minimum, 1 person dies per rodeo.

Quick-Trips_Houston

Little babies herding sheep

OMG I almost forgot to mention, we watched the dog herding competition prior to the rodeo.  The dogs herd sheep through an obstacle & into their cage under a certain time limit.  I cried twice.  I couldn’t bare seeing the doggies lose!  They were working so hard!  Each dog looked like my little Bernice so I imagined how disappointed she would feel if she failed me.

So, I cried.

Wafiq made us leave.  I seriously question how I could ever have a child, I’ll cry at the freaking spelling bee!!!  I can’t.  My emotions can’t handle it.  Hats off to parents.

Besides the Rodeo we spent Sunday at Hermann Park.  They had a little kite festival, perfect weather, and a huge ass blooming conservancy – of course that’s where you could find us.  We loved it. Bernice loved it. Parks are our jam.

Quick-Trips_Houston

Hermann Park

Quick-Trips_Houston(4)

Look at those tree vines!

Houston was fun! So much bigger than Austin & diverse, I miss big cities 🙁

I hope you’re off having a great week & enjoying the blooming… As always, be thoughtful

Xx

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Life, Travel

How A Poem Cleared Up My Weird Travel Emotions

Did You Know?  1/3 of the world’s airports are located in the U.S. ( v i a )


I was looking through poetry the other day for National Poetry Day & the next thing I know 4 hours passed, I ordered 6 poetry books off Amazon, & I confessed to Wafiq that I’m going to become a song writer.

This too shall pass.

When You Don't Want To Travel

One poem really stood out.  Take a quick read:

Let me tell the tale
Of a girl who didn’t stop
Who climbed up every mountain
Without a pause upon the top
She’d dance until each blade of grass
Was clothed in drops of dew
And the sun knew her by name
But the silver moon did too
For a fear had setled in her bones
A fear of sitting still
That if you’re not moving forward
It must mean you never will
So in time her dance got slower
And she looked at all she’d seen
But found gaps inside the places
That she’d never fully been
For she was a human doing
Human moving, human seeing
But she’d never taken time
To simply be a human being
– e.h

When You Don't Want To Travel

When I came back from Dubai I couldn’t figure out why I hated the idea of traveling so much.  The biggest drag was talking travel.  I couldn’t get inspired or motivated to think about vacations, explorations, studying abroad, beaches, getaways, culture, language, hotels.  BLAH.

And this feeling stuck with me until about 3 months ago.  I spent at least a year in that feeling of travel = BLAH.   I wasn’t even the slight bit interested when I met someone with an international accent, or recently back from another country.  It was weird (…and now I’m realizing a little racist?)  I used to DIE to ask people thousands of questions about their recent vacations or country/state of origin, but I found myself completely uninterested.  (I wrote this post: here during that time, and I can tell, HA!)

I was pretty confused as to why.  After all, I’m the girl that moved across the country after high school, studied abroad by myself in a country that I didn’t know the language (at all), moved across the world with a suitcase & no clue what the hell I was going to do!  Travel gave me life & truly fulfilled my spirit…  I used to spend my life googling where to go & what to do. Who I could meet & where.  How I would get there & how I would convince my family I wasn’t crazy.

Why the fuck couldn’t I be amused by it now??!!  I felt really bad.  Not even a beach vacation?!  Boooooring.

Give-Yourself-A-Break(3)

When I read this poem it made sense to me.  I was always moving, moving, moving, & going, going, going… I swear even if other people didn’t see it, all they had to do was be in my mind.  FULL of plans & what’s next, constantly.  So afraid of stillness because it meant being stuck.

Without much intention, the past year I’ve gone to bed amazed with what I have & my routine.  I got way better at taking time to be present & patient, which I’ve never done before.  I literally look at the wall of the rooms where I live & am like “hot damn Katie, you’re fucking living. YES! YES!”. HA!

Although all of those moving, moving, moving choices gave me the best experiences of my life, this is a new kind of best experience – Like they have all been.  To be still for a quick minute & feel the stillness is a brand spanking new best experience.  Making sense?

When You Don't Want To Travel

Now, do I have plans to pick up my shit & move to Iceland tomorrow?  Maybe…  I’m getting back to feeling excited about travel & adventures, but it took some time.  This poem helped me feel excited about that time, like I’m not going to miss out on being a “human being”.  I want to be a human being too!  Not just a Human Moving OR a Human Doing!  A Human Being!

Anyways, because this particular poem helped me understand myself a little better I really wanted to share it.  I wish I read it when I was in the thick of “TRAVEL = BLAH” because it would’ve helped me feel comfortable with the feeling.

Thoughts?

As always, be thoughtful…

Xx

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Food

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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Beauty, I recommend...

10 Products From Amazon, A Beginners Guide

Did you know?  Prime members are driving sales for Amazon. According to a recent survey, 53% of all Amazon purchases came from Prime members (an all-time high). ( v i a )


What the F do I buy on Amazon?  That’s what I first asked my friend who mentioned she stopped going into stores because she literally orders anything she needs off Amazon.

 Favorite-Amazon-Products

Mmmmmkay but where do I start?  Since then, we discussed the only real problem with Amazon is knowing where to start. Unfortunately, Amazon doesn’t have a great browsing site which makes it tricky to find products unless you know exactly what you’re looking for.  This is why sharing is so important.

Because I’ve become loyal to Amazon & do believe it’s going to take over the world, I want to help you get on board now.  I decided I’ll give you lists every so often of products I’m buying so you have a place to start.  That’s key.  Once you get the hang of it you’ll be an addict as well & won’t even know the name Target anymore.

Favorite-Amazon-Products

Here we go: 10 Products I Buy On Amazon

  1. Gel Pens – If you’re a note taking freak, you need to buy these Gel pens off Amazon.  They come in huge packages & are SUPER affordable.  I’ve been using them for my color coded notes & calendar.  I also like that they have metallic colors that show up on dark paper, last Christmas I wrote on black paper so I had to go on the hunt for a metallic pen that would show up on black.  I probably paid the same for that one pen that I did for this entire pack.

  2. Cologne – This is a little tricky but I’m loyal to never going into a mall again.  The deal with perfume & cologne is to read reviews FIRST.  Some cologne appears to be knock-off’s so beware.  However, I haven’t had an issue with that.  I read the reviews first which is usually a dead giveaway.   Perfume tends to be more affordable on Amazon than buying them in the store.

  3. Books – Especially older books, you can get them for a few dollars!  I mean why not?!  (How is Barnes & Noble still in business?!)  Usually you can’t get the best deal through Prime, so make sure you order a couple weeks ahead of time because they’ll take more than a few days to arrive.

  4. Hair Serum – I’ve wanted something to put in my hair when I feel like it needs a little moister. This serum has been doing the trick, it’s not too oily & doesn’t do anything funky to my hair.  I put it on after I brush it when I get out of the shower. I rarely use hair products – not hair spray, not often enough purple shampoo, not mousse, rarely shampoo (ha!) so I wanted something that was easy to use & that I would barely notice.

  5. Wet Brush – I don’t know why the good lord baby Jesus didn’t bless me with this brush when I was a child… I have LONG, THICK, hair & that makes brushing it a pain in the ASS. Big time.  This brush slides right through my hair, I can untangle & move on so quickly I’m barely inconvenienced.  I could cry.  If you have kids with long hair that gets tangled, buy this brush! My mom & I would have been much happier when I was a child had we had this brush.

  6. Lip Balm – I love Carmex but I also love badass ingredients. The gold mine behind this chapstick I found online has been answering all my requests.  I needed a PACK of chapsticks because they need to be found everywhere, anytime.  I can’t buy a pack with 2, that’s bullshit.  This pack of 6 is affordable, luxurious, and clean.

  7. Coconut Oil  – Obviously.  And here’s why.  You need a shit ton of coconut oil on hand at all times.  I need a jar all over the house. Buying it on amazon is a little more affordable & you can buy it in bulk or smaller jars. For example, I keep one bulk size in the kitchen and 1 smaller size in the bathroom.

  8. Eye Pads –  I’ve tried several eye pads they sell in Ulta & Sephora but haven’t been happy with them.  They all slide off?  I feel like they don’t stay moist very long & they cost a million dollars.  Anyone else?  But the eye pads online are affordable & I feel like they actual help the eye situation, especially if you pull them out of the fridge – like an ice pack to the puffy.

  9. Games – I have two things to say here:  1.  If you don’t have games in your house, yes even as an adult, you need to buy some.  2.  Buy them on amazon.  If you’re looking for somewhere to start your collection I’d say Cards Against Humanity, Cranium, and Scrabble.

  10. Moisturizer – I know I’ve mentioned this moisturizer before, but last night I noticed mine ran out & I’ll be ordering more so I thought I should throw it on this list.  I break out if ANYTHING touches my chin area, even if it’s meant to help acne – it’ll break me out.  It’s very annoying because I have to avoid so many products.  Not only does this moisturizer not break out my chin area, I think it’s actually been helping.  I’m loving the price, ingredients, and product.

 Favorite Amazon Products

A Few Tips:

  1. Reviews are your friend. I always read the reviews before I buy a product, you can usually tell right away if something is going to work or not.   Look at the majority rather than one asshole that decided to write a thorough review on a $2 item.

  2. The more reviews the better.  If you’re looking at a product & one of them has 10,000+ reviews with a 4+ rating – it’s likely a solid product.

  3. Stick to Prime.  For the most part, I buy products that are Prime.  That’s because Amazon Prime is the shit.  I think it’s $99/annually & you receive free 2 day shipping on all Prime products.  Once you start ordering you won’t be able to stop & you’ll easily get that money back in savings.

  4. Once you’re a Prime member, order everything you want.  Deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush, snacks, batteries, lightbulbs – if it’s a Prime product it’ll save you a trip to the store so don’t be afraid to order the items you use every single day online, rather making a trip to the store for batteries.

  5. Amazon has an app! This is a recent discovery.  You can download the Amazon app on your phone, so if you realize you need batteries you can quickly get on the app & put batteries in your cart.  You can skip the whole list making part of life!

 Favorite Amazon Products

And that’s it for now!  10 Products I’m currently buying off Amazon. What do you buy?

If you have an item you ALWAYS buy on Amazon or a secret find that I haven’t discovered, please make my day & share.  I literally get as excited as a child with rich parents would on Christmas morning when I discover a new product to purchase off Amazon. It’s bad.

PS.  Although it does appear Amazon is my number 1 sponsor, they’re not.  I’m just aware this is the future & want to help you get on board!


Off to start a new week, it’s Monday, a fresh start!  It’s also still February which floats my boat. I went to Trader Joe’s last night, they were wrapping flowers & the store was flooded with chocolates & red + pink hearts.  Can it remain Feb for the rest of 2017? I’m going to try my best to keep it in the love making zone.

See you tomorrow, but today, remember to be thoughtful 🙂

Xx

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