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5 Uncommon Ingredients For Your Kitchen: Middle East Inspired

Did You Know? Most of us are used to eating popcorn at the movie theater, but in parts of Columbia they snack on Ants.  “Known in Spanish as ‘hormigas culonas,’ the brown, cockroach-size insects are roasted, salted and eaten like peanuts. Considered a delicacy, they can fetch more than 10 times the price per pound of Colombia’s world-famous coffee.”

( v i a )

 


Piggybacking off the Veggie Curry recipe I want you all to make, I became inspired to start sharing uncommon ingredients you need to add to your kitchen cabinets.  One reason I love cooking so much is learning about new ingredients & foods.   It’s like discovering lost treasure.

That’s also one of the best parts I’ve discovered from living abroad, all the new found flavors AND being able to show off favorites from home.

I used to be afraid of recipes that had ingredients I didn’t use or have in my kitchen.  I thought it took too much energy to find them & the unknown price & flavors… But over time & the use of bravery, I’ve stalked my kitchen with all kinds of interesting ingredients & end up using them more than I expected.

I want to help you become familiar with a few of them & encourage you to explore flavors for yourself.  You’ll be so popular & feel really cool.  Today, I’m sharing 5 ingredients, but I plan to share more later.   YUM! I’m hungry.

5-Interesting-Ingredients

5 Uncommon Ingredients for your Kitchen! Mid-East Inspired 

1. Turmeric:

Commonly used in Curry!  Delicious! You can buy fresh turmeric in the grocery store near ginger, those two look similar, or turmeric ground up into a spice.  Turmeric is not scary, unless you make Turmeric Milk, I still have nightmares from this experience.

Right now, Turmeric is the popular girl at school.  Bloggers & healthy people figured out the benefits of turmeric & now it’s all the rage, for good reason.  Benefits can: reduce bloating, heartburn, high cholesterol, headaches, swelling, water retention, inflammation, skin issues, and the list goes on.  (via)

So, Pinterest a yummy Curry recipe, like this one, and give Turmeric a try!  (I really need to get a Curry recipe on MissBassmaster soon…)

2. Cumin: 

How the hell someone does not have a large tub of the cumin spice at home I have no idea… I dump Cumin in everything!  Hummus, spaghetti, Chili, Curry, casseroles, seasoning – I mean everything.  By the way, I’ve watched plenty of Curry & Biryani dishes being made & let me tell you it’s pretty cute how American’s measure out a precious teaspoon of their spices to add in a dish – Arab’s dump them in! I’ve witnessed it & have applied the same strategy when cooking.  With some spices it works against me (*cough* cayenne pepper) but with Cumin, dumping works!  I prefer ground cumin more than the seeds, but to each their own.

3. Cardamom:

Have you ever wanted to know how Arab’s cook the rice they accompany to all their lunches?  Cardamom. They throw a few cardamom pods, & a clove or two, in their rice cooker while the rice is cooking.   This is a staple way to prepare your basmati white rice. Or really any basmati rice dish.  And how easy is that?  Wafiq and I grab a cardamom pod + a clove and toss them in our rice cooker.  Adds the perfect amount of very light flavor to really make you feel like a pro in the kitchen.  Hello, Chef!

Cardamom is known as an expensive spice, but don’t let that scare you.  A little goes a long way & it’s still not that expensive for a good spice. You can find it near the spices at the grocery store.  The bonus? Believed benefits include: mood-elevating properties, aromatherapy, antidepressant, improved blood circulation, cancer protection, treatment for sore throats, congestion, stomach & lung issues… the list is long! (via)

4. Tahini:

Do you have Peanut Butter?  Yes?  Then Tahini shouldn’t scare you away.  It’s basically a different kind of peanut butter but instead of peanuts, Tahini is made from sesame seeds.  You can find it next to Peanut Butter in the grocery store & likely only a dollar or two more than peanut butter.  Most commonly known as an ingredient used in Hummus, which is why I always have a jar in my kitchen. Wafiq’s mom chops dates & drizzles a little Tahini over them for an evening snack… SO GOOD.  (Hummus Recipe: HERE)

5. Saffron:

This is probably the most intimidating ingredient on my list simply because it’s pretty expensive for such a little amount.  And what the hell do you do with it, right?  Saffron is a little tricky to find, usually found near the spices in a little jar. Most rice dishes that are yellow coloring have Saffron in them, unless it’s Turmeric as a substitute.  I’ve only used Saffron in Biryani recipes, like this one.  You can throw in a very little amount, only a very small strand, and the dish will turn yellow as mixed.  You can also mix the saffron in a liquid (we used milk) before you add it to a dish.

Saffron is still tricky for me, but worth a try!!  I don’t always have Saffron in my kitchen, but from time to time I’ll get my hands on some & Wafiq thanks me 🙂


I hope you’re excited to get to the grocery store (OR you’ve already ordered them on your Amazon app, HA)!

These flavors are currently waiting for a tasting so give them a try! Most are super easy to incorporate into any meal & you can only begin exploring new meals from there.

Anyone have new ingredients to share?  I’m ALWAYS looking 🙂

Have a great day today & 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.

( v i a )


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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Life

15 Things To Get Done This Spring

Did You Know: It’s World Poetry Day March 21st so I thought I would share this one:

Some days,

I feel everything at once.

Other days,

I feel nothing at all.

I don’t know what’s worse:

Drowning beneath the waves

or dying from the thirst. ( o.m. )


I love places with 4 seasons because they’re precious & only a few parts of the world get to fully experience them. For the rest of us, Spring is a date on the calendar & something to pretend we actually experience.

Spring Checklist

I use the change of seasons as a check in.

I hate getting comfortable.  I’m 50% a lover of routine & my home BUT I’m 50% ready to pack a suitcase & start a new life-altering adventure next Tuesday.  Too much comfort gives me anxiety. That’s why, with the change of seasons, I try to get my shit together.  Mix in a couple planned trips, organize my memories, and throw things out!

I’m also the person that has lists EVERYWHERE.  I have a list for every thought in my mind.  As I was making my Spring To Do List I thought I should turn it into a post so you guys don’t have to sit down & do the brainstorming.   Maybe you can take a few things off my list to add to your own, and share a couple things from your Spring lists?  Changing little parts of our routines & making plans is key to cultivating adventures. And who doesn’t like adventures?

Spring Checklist

Shoes ( h e r e ) // Pants ( other color options: h e r e )

15 Things To Get Done This Spring:

  • Clean out your living space, cliché, but this is major. For help: Click Here

  • Take advantage of the sun being out & workout outside (… and shed any added winter weight)

  • Start your allergy medicine regime

  • Buy extra flowers to fill all of your rooms, this is the time to go overboard!

  • Change up your wardrobe, wear florals & pastel colors like: this floral maxi dress & this pink sweater

  • Organize or create your outdoor space (yard or patio) & get a fire pit to have a few fires

  • Start mastering your self-tanning routine, for help: Click Here

  • Order your summer swimsuits, a favorite: one piece here & two piece here

  • Plan your summer vacation & weekend getaways

  • Bring your doggie on a canoe, before it gets too hot & uncomfortable for them

  • Go Camping! While all the flowers are blooming & it’s cold at night

  • Organize your photos from the year so you can start fresh

  • Backup your phone (I’m the worst at this)

  • Download music that has a Spring vibe: Like this or this

  • Write down 5 things your grateful for this Spring

Spring Checklist

Ok, what did I miss? Favorite Spring activities?

I’m currently off to grill burgers.  We haven’t been grilling recently but the weather is already starting to steam in Texas so the BBQ has been calling.  Not to mention it’s been forever since I indulged in my all-time favorite Basic Burger salad & something about the warmer weather has me craving it!  (Can you tell I’m starving hungry?!)

BYE!

As always, be thoughtful

Xx

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Beauty, Food, Life, Style

5 Things I Can’t Go A Day Without

Did You Know? 68% of the people suffer from Phantom Vibration Syndrome, the feeling that one’s phone is vibrating when it’s not. ( v i a )


I love investigating peoples routines & what they do every single day, meaning they’re obsessed.  For a long time that was Target for me.  Not a product, but a place.  I went to Target all the time & it was the one thing I desperately missed when I was out of the country.  I’ve gotten it together since then.  (*Amazon Prime*)

But of course, there are still products you use every single day that you can’t go without & those are the secret’s I need to know about!

Below are mine…

5 Things I use Every Day

5 Things I Can’t Go A Single Day Without:

1. Coconut Oil:

I’ve recently started experimenting with other oils as moisturizer, which I’ll update on later, but I still use coconut oil every single day in the kitchen.  I love the taste it brings to a dish.  I use it as oil when sautéing, mix it in my oatmeal for breakfast, or give my little doggie a spoonful as a treat.    I prefer cooking fresh meals as often as possible & coconut oil goes right along with that – I use it for everything in the kitchen & I love that it doubles as a use for pretty much anything else.

2. Hair Clips:

I can’t go through an entire day without using a hair clip.  My entire life I’ve had long, thick hair which I’ve loved but have only been able to manage with a tight ponytail.  I started hating the huge line mark that a tight  ponytail was making so I made the brave switch to hair clips & haven’t looked back.  I either: 1. Half dry my hair & twirl it into a bun, securing with a clip 2. Pull half my hair up once wearing it down has had its moment  3. Clip up when I get out of the shower when my hair is still wet.

Keep in mind, hair clips give your hair room to move so you’re less likely to have breakage.  And I should note, I currently do not own a curling iron so the only way I achieve any volume or curl is by wearing my hair in a bun w/a clip all day or overnight.. When I let it down, BOOM – curls.

3. White Shoes:

They’re too easy.  I wear these either letting my dog out in the morning, at work, after work, a quick run to the grocery story, the beach, with a fancy dress for a night out… Shit, I’ll wear them with anything, anywhere.  I buy a new pair OFTEN because they’re so affordable & there’s nothing better than clean, bright white shoes.

4. Moisturizer / Chapstick:

Cannot survive a day without my moisturizer.   I’ve always had super dry skin & I’m pretty much always trying to hold a self tan, so a moisturizer is an absolute MUST.  The past year I’ve been using my oil of choice & this Tepez Cream.   My face is super sensitive & will break out if you look at it incorrectly, so I’ve tried TONS of products that haven’t worked.  Oils & Tepez Cream never let me down – but I’m still looking.  Anyone have a fantastic moisturizer or eye cream that pumps in moisture they swear by?!  I’ll send you a thank you note if you tell me your secrets… Seriously.

And of course I carry chapstick everywhere.  The one place I NEED it daily is next to my bed.  I smear it on before I sleep and it moisturizes my lips all night long so I wake up fresh.  I can’t fall asleep without it.

5. Huge Sunglasses:

Even on a cloudy day I’m wearing sunglasses if I’m outside (or in a bright room?).  I can’t stand the strain on my eyes from squinting.  Once you realize how much huge, dark sunglasses helps your eyes you’ll never be able to go a day without them.   {They also come in handy when you’re super hungover, at the grocery store, buying frozen pizza, and run into your ex boyfriend.}


When I think about the things I can’t go without, these come to mind.  I feel like each of them serves a purpose in my day to day functioning, including my $15 H&M pants I was wearing in my recent Instagram pic.  As long as I have these items, I’m good to go, ready to conquer the world!

What products can’t you live without?

Have a great week & be thoughtful!

Xx

 

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Life, Thoughts

Life Chat: Meeting Nick from New Girl

Did You Know? When Tim Allen was 25 years old he was arrested in Michigan after he was found to be in possession of 1.43 pounds of Cocaine.

( v i a )


Hey everybody!!

 Austin Texas

What are we up to?!  I’ve been doing my best to engage in SXSW activities.  Wafiq & I always love how cool Austin feels during this time.

Last weekend we were walking around when it was rainy and cold, all the streets downtown were bustling with people & we both immediately felt like we were in another city.  So alive & streets filled with people, not to mention the cooler weather & rain made us feel like we were on vacation… Yes, rain and cold weather makes us feel like we’re on vacation, lived too many years in desert weather!

 Austin Texas

We walked by the SXSW red carpet outside the Paramount Theater & noticed a premiere was showing.  I’m not sure what the movie was BUT, Nick from New Girl was there.

We had an excited moment as we walked by & both excitedly said “It’s Nick! It’s Nick!”.  There were people with their phones out & he was pretty open to talking or saying hi to his fans but as we walked away I realized I didn’t like seeing him.  I don’t want to meet Nick.

Meeting an actor takes away from their character, of which I love!  For example, I want Nick to be Nick – but he isn’t & if I met him I would realize that.  Wafiq & I will forever consider that man to be: NICK. Period.   So he may too busy to talk to us, but we’re too committed to his character to meet the real him.

 Austin Texas

There’s one more weekend left for us to go out (and avoid favorite actors) so we’ll see what we can get into.

We’re currently having perfect weather that hasn’t heated up too much & I’m pretty grateful to enjoy it while I can.

And as much as I would love to say I’m loving the sunshine staying out so late now that we’ve had daylight savings time, it’s really kicking my ass in the mornings.  I don’t remember this being a problem before?!  I was used to getting out of bed easily for Yoga every morning but all of a sudden I feel like I’m still in REM sleep when my alarm goes off…

 Austin Texas

PS.  I’m probably the first person in history to admit this, but I’m a complete fuck up when it comes to my essential oil diffuser.  It smells like something is on fire?! And I’m 90% sure something is, so I stopped using it. That lasted a whole 7 days.  Am I missing something?!

Ok, off to read Sandcastle Kings – a book about Jesus.  We’ll see.

As always, be thoughtful…

Xx

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Beauty

My All Time Favorite Topic: Bronze Skin // Tips & Tricks To Self Tanning

Did You Know? Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon. ( v i a )


Likely my favorite thing to talk about is fake tanning & bronze skin.   Needless to say, I’m proud to finely share, promote, & push you towards fake tanning.

Easy Self Tanning

Summer is right around the corner & if you’re in Texas it’s already here.  This means – SKIN.

The sun is an asshole & I have NO CLUE HOW OR WHY PEOPLE IN 2017 SIT IN THE SUN FOR A TAN.  I understand sunshine makes people happy & gives you Vitamin D, but I don’t think either are strong enough arguments to make me believe sitting out & baking in the sun is a good idea.  I didn’t understand it in 2015 & here we are in 2017, still shocked.

Also, the sun is fucking hot & uncomfortable – the shade, with a cool margarita is where it’s at.

Easy Self Tanning

My spray tan story starts with stupid tanning beds.  I hated using them but I hated being white more, so I fake tanned or sat in the sun – both of which my inner self hated, whether I would admit it or not.

Then, my tanning salon brought in the Mystic Tan.

I gave it one try & I was sold.  I looked super orange, missed my feet, was a shade too dark, and had huge contrasting spots all over my hands, but I was fucking excited.  The possibilities were endless. I still remember boasting around with happiness as a friend of mine from a distance was screaming “what happened to your feet!?”

From there, the spray tan machines only got better & I never saw the sun rays again.  I’ll admit, my tan can be patchy at times, orangeish other times, but I passionately don’t care because that’s much better than baking in the sun w/no ozone layer as protection.  Spotty hands?  I’ll take it.

Easy Self Tanning

I even hunted down the one salon in Dubai that owned a spray tan machine & paid all my commissions to use it.  I’m 99% sure I was the only person that ever used the machine & I knew how to work it better than the people that worked there.

Not to mention they were all local Emirates, which I rarely interacted with, so it created a very uncommon friendship as I walked into the salon with my legs & hair barring, no need to stop at the abaya closet to hang my hijab.

There were no men allowed inside & the women didn’t speak English – so one can imagine how those conversations went, being the only white girl asking to spray my skin “dark brown.”

The women all stood around the window when I boasted out the door straight into the car with Wafiq.

Eventually, I started passionately hating the spray tan mist in the machines.  The thought of inhaling any product freaked me out, no matter how long I held my breath or how organic the product.  I imagined my healthy blood-red organs turning…tan.  When they wanted to stay red!

On one of my binge sessions with YouTube I started seeing hard promotion of Loving Tan.  A tanning mousse that you apply yourself.

I’ve tried other self tanning brands before & have been super let down.  Often times they’re patchy, one time I broke out in a horrible rash across my chest, and the end result never compares to the natural look the mist machine gives.  BUT I was fed up with the cost & process of misting so I went out on a limb & ordered Loving Tan.

That’s where I am today – I don’t think I’ll ever change back to the mist.  I’m 100% satisfied with getting my summer glow via tanning mousse vs. the sun or misting machine.

I’ve been doing it this way for over a year & if you’re white like me – you need to get on board.

Easy-Self-Tanning

Self Tan: H E R E // Highlighter: H E R E // Brush: H E R E

Self Tanning Steps:

  1. Shower, Shave & Exfoliate.  But do not apply moisturizer when you finish in the shower, just dry off.

  2. Apply mouse all over the body with a mit.  It’ll look a little patchy, don’t freak out, most of that goes away when you rinse it off. It’s the bronzer guide that shows you what you’ve covered, it comes off.

  3. Ask someone to help with your back, or attempt yourself, but don’t skip it!

  4. Use a fluffy brush to do your face.  For a long time I used a super cheap one from Walmart – now I’m happily using this one: Here.

  5. Use a fluffy brush to get the top of your hands and top of your feet.  Make sure you don’t miss any creases in your fingers.  Anyone who spray tans knows the hands are the hardest part, so be patient figuring this out.

  6. Wait several hours.  Either plan on sleeping or not leaving the house for 6 hours.  I usually sleep in my tan, then shower in the morning.  Loving Tan also offers a 2 hour mousse if you’re not the type to wait around.

  7. Shower & rinse off your tan

  8. Moisturize (SUPER important)

  9. Should last 1 – 2 weeks, then re-apply! Forever!

Easy Self Tanning

Before & after with no edits. Pics from my iphone. //  This is the 2hr Dark Mousse from Loving Tan: H E R E.    //     Full Disclosure: This is not my whitest, I didn’t want to blind the camera, it’s happened before.    //    (Fav Sports Bra: H E R E )

Tips:

Don’t be afraid – I’m not afraid of spray tanning & never have been.  I’m afraid of the fucking sunshine.  But I have a lot of friends who act like the only option spray tan can give – is to end up looking like an Oompa Loompa. I’ve NEVER had those horror stories happen to me.  The formulation of the products these days has progressed – they know people don’t want to look orange & work hard to have a formula that doesn’t have that result. ( Very 1999 to think you’ll look super orange.)  Start with a light color & you’ll eventually want to step it up once you see how sexual you become.

Have a spray tan outfit – It does rub off on your clothes & sheets but you’ll be super sexy once you wash it off so is it worth it? Yes.

Don’t give up –  If you missed a spot your first time, who cares?!  Try it again next week.  The more you do it the better you’ll get at making sure you don’t miss a spot.

Put it on your face – I know we’re all afraid of putting any product on our precious faces but you have to tan your face.  I usually put a shade lighter on my face than my body because I notice it sets dark.  BUT you have to do your face because it’s like having permanent makeup.  You really look like you just came out of the sun – no makeup needed.

Buy several colors – Sometimes you don’t want to look super dark. I always buy Dark & Ultra Dark in Loving Tan mousses.  If you’re just starting, try light if you want to be cautious.

Easy Self Tanning

Favorite {ever} Sports Bra: HERE

I’m obsessed.  As a translucent white person I’m incredibly thankful there’s a product that can make me feel like a bronzed goddess WITHOUT sitting in the sun.  Once you try tanning, you’ll start feeling uber sexy with a JLO glow & you’ll understand.

Alright, anyone else an addict of fake tans?  Let me know what you use & what’s working!  If you’re new to fake tans, let me know if you have any questions, I consider myself an expert & LOVE talking to people about it, especially virgins.

Have a great day & be thoughtful…

Xx

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I recommend..., Life

Funny & Light Podcasts for Ladies

Did You Know?  The same number of Americans listen to podcasts that use Twitter.  The podcast audience is 57 million Americans in total. And while Twitter has more members than that, research shows their active user base is on-par with the overall podcast audience. ( v i a )


The people around me have likely been annoyed with my presence lately because I’m on a huge podcast kick.  I can’t stop trying to bring the light conversation style of the podcast’s into my day to day interactions – definitely confusing people.

The deal is, podcasts don’t have filters.  People sit behind a microphone and talk, about anything, and use whatever language they choose.  I’ve found this avenue of media to be extremely refreshing.

Favorite Podcasts

I had a lot of resistance towards podcasts because I’m barely a fan of TV & talking in general, if I have spare time I’ll read a book of my choosing or listen to music, or shop online – Podcasts sounded like another avenue of annoying voices.

I first forced myself into listening to a podcast when I was in the middle of a long, boring day at work and my anxiety started kicking.  I was looking for something to distract my mind & I opened the podcast app on my phone.  I landed on a random, gossipy, sans substance podcast… exactly what I needed.  Stress free people talking about Brad Pit, the real housewives and sex noises. SOLD.

Since then I’ve been glued to Podcasts.

I’m very picky.  I don’t like anything too serious.  I want something to take me out of my own head.  Anyone else have that feeling?  Overthinking the world problems & constantly diagnosing myself with terminal illnesses is an easy task, it’s removing myself from them that’s tricky.  I would love listening to funny, light conversations that mean nothing more than a good laugh.


Funny & Light Podcast’s: 

Juicy Scoop with Heather McDonald

This is strictly for women, and probably older women, whom have homes & families. I don’t know why/how I listen to it because it’s very out of my element but for some reason I’m hooked.  GOSSIP GOSSIP GOSSIP. Think – Real Housewives, The Bachelor, E News!, Scientology, and whatever other hot topics are in the media.  The host, Heather, used to be on Chelsea Lately and I always found her to be pretty funny so I landed here.   She’s desperate & I love it.  Spread the word!

Anna Faris Is Unqualified

YES!  This podcast is like a dream I never imagined possible.  Anna has celebrity guests on her show that she interviews & then takes calls with listener’s life questions.  She has A LOT of fun with the celebrities & doesn’t take anything too seriously.   Tons of improve & acting that I’m obsessed with!  I’ve recently started asking anyone/everyone if they want to improve with me.  I’m desperate.  So desperate, I bought this improve game and force Wafiq to play it with me on Friday nights. Current obsession. I can’t say enough with this Podcast.  Wonderful for both men & women.

Serial

By now, I think everyone has listened to this murder mystery podcast, but if you haven’t I wanted to throw it in here.  Great for long car rides.

The Chick Show

This one again, doesn’t exactly fit my demographic but I’m addicted.  These women are older than me but there’s something about listening to women older than me gossip that’s humbling.  Ha! These two ladies are hustling hard & I’m loving it.


I’m a die hard for fun, easy to listen to, not very serious podcasts.  Very drained from the hustling – do this, do that, know this, know that style media.

Podcasts are brand spanking new to me and I’m almost caught up on Anna Faris is Unqualified so send me your favorites!! Needing new material ASAP.

I’m off to rub oil on my eye lids, thank you allergies. Then prep for the weekend of SXSW adventures, let’s see if this year I can actually figure out what the F SXSW is…. Hmmmmm

Have a great weekend & be thoughtful

Xx

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Loving Lately: Three Everyday Favorites

Did You Know?  Originally, scientists wore beige coats. In the late 19th century, medical professionals chose white ones. The color white was chosen because of the idea of hope and expectations for healing and recovery that the physicians would bring. ( v i a )


Boi, why you so obsessed with me?!  If the following three items had a voice, that’s what they would say. Screw monthly favorite posts, who really has time to try 1,000 products in 1 month and know what’s working and what isn’t?! Impossible.  But there are a few items that I’ve been loving lately, genuinely loving. Let’s get real, that’s what’s important to share.

Also we’re nearing the weekend, I’m planning 0 activities.  SXSW is coming to Austin the next two weekends and although I barely understand what SXSW actually is – I do know there’s a lot happening and always somewhere to be with free drinks and free phones, so I’ll be there.

For now, if you buy all three of the below items you’ll be out a cute $30 << Pretty proud to say that.

Loving Lately

White Canvas Sneakers from Target

I should start by saying I’m a lover of socks & covering feet completely.  The very first thing I look at on a guy is his shoes, if he’s wearing sandals he’s in a terrible category.  OMG I went on a dreadful eHarmony date once & the tiny guy that was supposedly 6ft tall was wearing jeans & sandals, on a first date!  No no no no no.  I don’t have very many deal breakers, but that’s one of them.  Sandals are strictly for the beach or pool.  There’s no beach or pool on this date!

Ok, back on track, I love wearing white because it’s fresh & clean and I love shoes that I can wear with socks that lace up snug.  These shoes are the winning ticket. They’re only $16.99 so when they get too dirty you can buy another pair to keep them looking fresh.  White shoes go with everything  << you’ll notice I wear them in almost all of my pictures.  I was buying stupid expensive Reebok’s before but when I found these $16.99 Target shoes, I felt like I won the lottery.  Now they’re all over my house.

Trader Joe’s Ultra Moisturizing Hand Cream

I’m a nail biter.  So it’s important that 1. I have my nails painted 2. I have moisturizer on them at all times << That combo keeps me from eating them.

The key with moisturizer is to be a little greasy so it sits on my nails without soaking in completely.  This keeps the polish looking fresh, but not too greasy where I can’t touch anything without leaving behind an oily finger print.  I’ve gone through three, yes three tubes of this cream in two months.  I’m obsessed.  I’ve recently purchased another one to leave by my bed… and put on my arms, legs, feet, hands, shit anything really, right before bed. OBESSSED. (I found this other really cool article on beauty products from trader Joe’s for anyone interested: 15 Reasons to Start Buying Beauty Products from Trader Joe’s)

Wine Saver Pump with 2 Vacuum Bottle Stoppers

Shut the F up.  WOW. How did I not know this existed years ago?!  Thank you little baby Jesus for Christmas because Wafiq bought me this wine vacuum for Christmas & its changed my life!  I love wine but I love one glass, or two at night.  Then I work diligently at squeezing the cork back down the bottle in order to keep the wine crisp.  Always a fail and always frustrating.

Here’s how the wine pump & vacuum works: you place the wine vacuum stopper in the wine bottle & place the pump over the top & start pumping. Takes 2 seconds & it’s sealed with the air vacuumed out of it… ?!?!   I knew we were legit when we went to a fancy restaurant & noticed all their wine bottles had the same stoppers!  Yeah, let’s just say they were very privileged to have my presence while dining.  PS. $13.99.  I can’t. I’m done.  No.


What have you been loving?  Share & I’ll try.

Have a great weekend & be thoughtful…

Xx

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Why Non Yoga People Need to Be Doing Yoga

Did You Know?  “The gesture Namaste represents the belief that there is a Divine spark within each of us that is located in the heart. “Nama” means bow, “as” means I, and “te” means you. Therefore, Namaste literally means “bow me you” or “I bow to you.” ” ( v i a )


This is not another Yogi post!  I prefer aggressive workouts – fighting, running, sweating, moving, hitting, pushing, jumping.  (Aggression issues?)  I grew up playing soccer & competition runs through me.  I like competing with myself, or Wafiq, whenever possible.  Recently, I decided in order to balance the muscle tightening workouts, I needed to find a way to gain flexibility.

Yoga for Anxiety

Flexible bitches are sexy.  They bend.  Any direction, any time.

And I’ve always been jealous.  Since joining a workout camp my muscles feel tighter than normal & I slowly started seeing any hint of hot girl flexibility leaving my body.   In order to quickly implement a solution I knew I needed to start Yoga.  The problem is, I wasn’t willing to compromise my daily workout camp with Yoga, so when would I find the time?!

Even though I’m NOT a morning person I thought rolling myself out of bed 30 minutes earlier to do Yoga would be manageable. At least for a month or until I came up with a Plan B.

It’s been more than a month since I made this decision, and I have shocking news to share.

I’ve been waking up every single morning & doing a Yoga Camp I found on YouTube.  This alone says A LOT.  I can’t tell you how much I despise getting up early.  I’ve never dreamed or aspired to be a morning person.  I don’t like the morning.  All the perfect people are awake at that time and I don’t fit in.

Since doing Yoga, while it’s still dark in the morning, I haven’t had any trouble waking up – I actually look forward to it. (?!?)

Yoga for anxiety

Essential Oil Diffuser: Here

However, the greatest benefit I’ve noticed from doing Yoga has not been the hot girl flexibility I was looking for, it’s been something much harder to tackle – ANXIETY.  In the last 6 months or so I’ve seen the evil side of anxiety & received a major wake up call to pay attention to it.  Although I heard Yoga helps anxiety I didn’t realize how much it would help.     Swear to baby Jesus, had I known my whole life how much Yoga would help mental health, I would’ve started as a child.

Flexibility would be an awesome perk, but it’s no longer my greatest benefit.  The mindset I’m able to take away from Yoga each morning effects my entire day.  Life changing. Yes, life changing.

 Yoga for anxiety

I know Yoga people say this all the time – but take it from a very NON Yoga person.  You have to try this in the morning!  It could change everything!

I wake up, go to my living room, turn on my little string lights so the room is still pretty dark, and practice my Yoga video of the day.  Me & my princess doggie together in the quiet with the video playing off my phone. So easy.

 

Here’s where you need to start:  Yoga Camp

ANYONE can do it.  No knowledge, flexibility, age or excuse required.

I recommend starting each morning like this, and really stick to it for the entire 30 days.   Have the same mentality I did.  There’s no pressure, it’s quick & easy, so why not see what happens?  Maybe you’ll gain the flexibility you’re missing, get in shape, tone your arms, or have a positive start to your day.  If you’re dealing with anxiety in any way, shape, or form – get on it!  Tomorrow morning.

Normally Yoga is fucking $$$$.  This is FREE.  FREE.  FREE.  We love FREE medicine/workouts.

I’ll follow up in a few months & let you know if I have hot girl flexibility from morning Yoga – I can’t deny that that’s important too 🙂

Yoga thoughts?!

Have a great day, stay positive, and be thoughtful.

Xx

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Tips, Tricks, and Ideas to Help You Clean Out Your Living Spaces

 Did You Know? Hoarding disorder is a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them. A person with hoarding disorder experiences distress at the thought of getting rid of the items. Excessive accumulation of items, regardless of actual value, occurs.  Compulsive hoarding affects approximately 700,000 to 1.4 million people in the U.S. and only 15% know their behaviors are irrational. ( v i a / v i a )


MissBassmaster crashed – alllllll the users I’ve been having crashed it!  Just kidding, I wish. That sounds much better than the truth, me forgetting to renew my domain name.  Procrastinating & ignoring emails that I don’t understand finally caught up to me.  Thank God for my super helpful, wonderfully intelligent friends that can fix all my problems 🙂

 Cleaning-Your-House

It’s the end of January & time to talk my favorite activity – PURGING.  The New Year, especially when things have settled down & gotten back into a routine, is the perfect time to clean out your living spaces.  I actually attempt to throw things away every single weekend, in case immigration knocks at our door and kicks Wafiq & I out of the U.S., we’ll easily be ready to catch the red eye back to Dubai :0

Getting rid of things doesn’t come naturally to me or feel comfortable.  I cried when I had to get rid of a $10 box TV and $25 bright red sofa a few years ago as I was moving. Wafiq had to pry me off my red sofa as it was sitting outside by the dumpster waiting for someone to pick up for free. (#neverforget)  In the moment, it was traumatizing.  I latch on to items because they’re tied to memories & money.

One of the better parts of leaving the United States & living out of a suit case was having to get rid of everything.  I’ve done this a few times. All of a sudden you can live with minimum items & surprisingly barely notice, so I know it’s doable.

Since moving back to Austin, finally getting an apartment, and having more than -$100 in my bank account, I’ve tried to keep a handle on the “things” I have.  If I don’t have enough room for something I take it as a sign to clean out!  To brag – I’ve been doing a fantastic job.  Border line too good?  I’m throwing things out faster than I have a chance to doubt my decision. BYEEEEEEEEE!

Cleaning-Your-House

“Things” to get rid of TODAY:

Bedroom & Closet

  • Clothes that are uncomfortable
  • Clothes that are cheap
  • Clothes that are broken, tearing, or have holes (this includes bras/underwear)
  • Old Swimsuits that’s don’t match or fit
  • Shoes that are old or broken
  • Shoes that don’t fit
  • Clothes that don’t fit
  • Old jewelry that has changed color
  • Jewelry you won’t wear
  • Mismatched socks
  • Worn purses
  • Old pillows
  • Paper/books/magazines that collect in your bedroom

Random

  • Furniture (I’m serious.)
  • Pens/Pencils/Markers/Tape Rolls/Paper Clips/Stapler
  • Gifts (Yes. Gifts.)
  • Anything you have 2 of
  • Photos.  (Unless they’re very special, scan & throw them.)
  • Greeting cards.

Living Room

  • Books
  • Furniture that you don’t like
  • Paper (scan everything you actually need & save to a hard drive)
  • DVD’s  (one word, Netflix)
  • Video Games
  • Magazines
  • Decorations – knick knacks, wall hangings

Kitchen

  • Tupperware that doesn’t have a matching lid
  • Plastic Cups
  • Old food you’ll never eat
  • Cookware you have 2 of or that’s old
  • Serving utensils you have 2 of
  • Your entire junk drawer

Bathroom

  • Old makeup
  • Towels with holes or torn or too small
  • If you have too many towels, get rid of the ones that don’t match
  • Hair products you don’t use
  • Soaps, cheap lotions, old candles, old toothbrush, hand products – ANY product you don’t use
  • Unnecessary decorations

 Cleaning-Your-House

Tips:

  1. Understand the term: OLD.  If it’s old, it needs to go.  The items might not be old in age, but may be old in use or appearance.  Yes, you can judge your items by physical appearance.  If you have to question anything to determine whether or not it’s old, it’s old.  Throw it away.

  2. Don’t ask yourself – What if I could use this in the future?  That’s a killer question & a no win.  If you can answer it, that would make you a fortune teller.  If you end up needing something similar in the future you’ll buy another one or find something else.  It’s not worth the clutter in your house to ask yourself: What If?  What if you never need it again?  It’s just sitting there. Taking space.

  3. Less is more. Trust me when I say, it IS better to have empty/open space than space filled with crap.  Open & empty is trending & totally chic.  If you have a big ass table that the dogs ate the legs off of, throw it away.  You don’t have money to replace it?  Don’t.  Let the space be open.  (We did this & it’s fine.)

  4. Don’t feel bad about throwing things away.  This was the hard part for me, to literally throw items in the trash can.  Especially when you see how much you throw.  When you don’t have money you never want to throw ANYTHING away.  If you can’t find a charity, or if it’s broken & a charity doesn’t make sense, then throw things in your trash can.  Yes, waste it.  Recycle it if possible, but it needs to go.  Once you come to terms with the fact that you’ll be “wasting” things, and throwing things in the trash can, you’ll get better at it.  Not ideal, but sometimes that’s your only option.

  5. Always assume you don’t need it until proven you do.  I always tell myself I don’t need whatever item I’m debating about.  If I can’t find a great reason to keep it, it’s gone!  Unless you’re currently wearing it, cooking with it, or sitting on it – you don’t need it.

 Cleaning-Your-House

A few places to consider donating: Goodwill, Half Price Books, The Salvation Army, Safe Place but it’s also super important to google local organizations that are looking for donations. Unfortunately, Texas has an overwhelming amount of homeless people so Wafiq & I will bring them extra blankets, pillows, and jackets/clothes that we’re done using. Having a place to bring a lot of the items you’re getting rid of also makes the entire process easier. Find what works for you…

Cleaning-Your-House

I can’t imagine starting this process if you haven’t done it before.  I have very little to go through & it’s still an overwhelming day, but it’s worth it.  If you’re a newb, take it room by room.  Even closet by closet.  Do one this Saturday & another one next Saturday, eventually you’ll get there & your living space will have never felt better!  Throw on Michael Buble station from Pandora, pour a glass of wine & get to work. I’m telling you, it’s life changing & one of the most rewarding experiences I can share with you.  HA!

As follow up, I’ll need a report card from you.  I would like an A for excellent, impeccable, everything-serves-a-purpose room & an F for I’m hoarding but am scheduling with my therapist.  I would like a letter grade for each room you go through.  I’m holding you accountable!  And I’m not a fan of excuses.

 Cleaning-Your-House

Woofta! Here’s to a new week & a start to the most loving month – February.  Yes to big ass hearts & big asses, pounds of chocolate, extra kissing & hugs, romantic dinners & spreading the love – WE FREAKING NEED FEBRUARY THIS YEAR.

Now, more than ever, please remember to be extra thoughtful to all the peeps.  Just be thoughtful.  That’s it.  Nothing more.  I think that’s easy enough for everyone.   <3

Xx

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