Friday, June 29, 2012

Venti viernes...or my bad attempt at alliteration.

This is my first time blogging on my iPhone so please excuse any errors. Mom got me out of the house super early today to run errands and hence there was no time for posting from home.

I felt so guilty this morning because I honestly don't remember hearing my alarm. I set an alarm every day to get up and go to the gym. I like arriving to the gym by 8am-ish and I have about a 7 minute drive. Yesterday I didn't make it to spin class because I woke up with a sore throat and slept in. I made it to yoga in the evening though. Sweating for 30 minutes straight counts for something, right guys?

So this morning I had every healthy intention to get up and go to either spin or an ab class. But I was so mad when I woke up and it was 9am!!! It's Friday and the gym has limited classes in Fridays. The next spin class would be at 5pm, but I have to be at a bridal shower in another city by 6pm. Ahhhh!!

Tomorrow my friends, tomorrow this girl will get to 10am spinning. I will do my own hair for my cousin's wedding instead of going to the salon with my mom for the sake of fitness. My healthy intention for the day is to walk a lot and drink plenty of fluids. See the passion tea below? I'm doing great already.

Today is just insane. My mother is not the most organized or rather efficient person when it comes to running errands. It drives me crazy, but bless her heart I love her. For example, we are currently at the outlet mall when we should be renewing her cell phone contract. Excuse the rant, but I take efficiency seriously. Look at those tweets on the bottom if ya don't believe me.

Whenever we are like this--insane, I like to give us space. I am currently inside the Starbucks and I'd like to recommend you go pick up the App of the week and the Song of the week. The App is Kayak Mobile Pro, who doesn't love travel apps?! Booking err dreaming a vacation instead of work?! Ahhh yes! The song of the week is a different version of Jack Johnson's "Better Together" live with Paula Fuga. I'm not a huge fan of Jack, but this is one of his few songs I do like. Who can resist a cutesy love song? I'm such a sap.

Can you tell I'm spastic today?! Alright, I will leave y'all with a picture of my gorgeous Shellac manicure. Haven't tried Shellac? Do it! Best decision you'll ever make. Unless you don't have nails, or you think it's a "feminine" thing to do ;)

What about you, what's your healthy intention for the day my friend?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Extended Relationships

If you are a person in a relationship or someone who has been in a relationship in the past, ponder this: have you ever realized how far your relationship actually extends? I am talking about a relationship between two people, a romantic one, love, amore, the whole enchilada.  Take my previous relationship, I dated this guy for more than a year and a half.  My longest relationship post-high school and truly serious one to be frank.  A lot happens in a year and a half, especially after a switch er neuron er something goes off in your head telling you that the relationship has long-term potential, I mean really long-term potential, as in marriage.

In my big Mexican family you don't exactly bring boys home, not with a father like mine.  In 21 years of my life I NEVER brought a boy home to meet my family, not even friends, not even for prom.  You just don't do it.  It took about 6 months into my relationship to realize that I wanted my family to A. know about this guy and B. to meet him.  I'm talking just my mom and dad, not the WHOLE family.  Just to communicate the differences in cultures this boy introduced me to his parents about a month into our relationship.  A month seemed crazy to me, and completely unacceptable in my belief.  You barely know someone after a month, have you even fought, what if it doesn't last? But, then again I learned a long time ago to respect these differences in culture, which is why I have probably been so accepted by my fellow peers of other races.

So, six months into the relationship I told my mom about it and then I mentioned how I wanted her and my dad to meet the boyfriend.  They met over dinner and a couple of months later he came home with me from college to meet my entire family.  Not just my brothers, sister-in-laws, nephews, and nieces, but cousins, uncles, aunts, and grandmothers.  It was too much, but he loved it.  He was officially attached and the relationship was officially extended.  Not only did he now have a relationship with me, but he had a relationship with my mother, inside jokes with my uncle, nerd-bonding with my brother, and an endearing love with my grandmother.

Mexicans take you in as if you're family. They feed you (a lot), and love you, and hug you, and kiss you as if you've been there their whole life.  They pay for your food, and make you feel welcome.  I think my family did a pretty good job of making the boyfriend feel welcome.  Don't think the family saw him all the time, because for the greater portion of our relationship I was in Louisiana, he was in Austin, Texas, and my family was in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) in Texas.  However, because my family is a priority of mine and yes I would choose my family over the boyfriend (after all he wasn't my husband) I would go see them whenever I could.  The boyfriend would meet me in the RGV and his bonds with my family would continue as if he never left.

If you're wondering what the relationships looked like on the other end I would tell you that they were not extended.  I met his parents (who I love) and when I lived in Austin it became sort of a tradition to all have dinner together on Sunday evenings.  These dinners were always my favorite because sadly my entire family was never able to experience this as I was growing up, or now even.  Due to my family's business and the busy schedules we might have dinner with half the family but never the entire family.  I digress...his younger sister and I met as well, and she's lovely to be around, I wish I got to spend more time with her.  Thank God there is social media to keep us connected.  I met his grandmother once, and a cousin or two.  That's it.  There was not really an extended relationship and I'm not sure if it is just a cultural difference between latinos and whites, or if our families were just very different.  Any insight, anyone?

So now, a month after the break up I am experiencing, or rather, looking to experience the effects of the extended relationship.  I feel like there is a certain obligation that comes with a break up.  An obligation to the family.  After all, you didn't just have a relationship with the other person, but maybe with his/her parents, brother, sister, etc.  If it is a person in the family that you will likely not be speaking to or even seeing after the relationship the courteous thing to do is give them and yourself closure.  It is important to have boundaries, but who says you can't send a text to that person if you saw something that will remind you of your ex's mother, sister, etc.  All within reason of course.  It doesn't have to be as personal as a text but perhaps a Facebook message, Twitter DM, or another form of social media outlet.  I think it's important to set a boundary after the relationship is over, but it doesn't mean you have to let the family go as well.  You didn't break up with the family.

How do you get this closure though? By sending a card (via snail mail), making a phone call if you're capable enough, sending a text message, or using a social media outlet.  I would argue and say that you have no obligation to make this closure as personal as you can.  In fact, I think that the less personal the better.  I couldn't do a phone call for example.  But, if this is the only way to reach your ex-girlfriend's mother than do it.  Or send a simple card by mail.  What are you supposed to say?  You don't have to give the family any explanation over the breakup.  Remember, the conversation is not about the break up, it's about your relationship with them.  A simple, "I just wanted to take a moment to tell you how much I appreciated how welcoming you were to me.  It has been great to have you in my life and although the current circumstances will place some distance between us please know that you can always contact me for anything." Something short and sweet, if you'd like to keep the relationship open (meaning they can contact you), make sure you're clear about that.  If you'd rather close it, make sure you don't say something that will welcome them back into your life down the road.

I'm the type of person who doesn't like to close any relationships.  My old beau from high school and I are still friends, it took two years of distancing each other before we could be friends, but we are.  After some time to heal and grow I definitely believe in keeping doors open and not closing them.  You can put a screen on the door and keep some room for airflow.  You just never know.  I'm not saying that your past relationship will result in a new best friend and I'm sure my case is a rare one, but who says you can't be friends or even civil acquaintances after?

As for me, I have done this with the boyfriend's family.  I think my mom is wondering what to do, but it's not her place to do this, but his.  If she feels the need to contact him for closure I respect that, but in all honesty it should be the other way around.  As for the rest of my family, I don't think it's really necessary to send notes or make phone calls, but it is going to be hard.  I've already had family ask me how to spell his name to add him to wedding invites and guest lits.  At the time I didn't have the heart to say that we were no longer dating.  The words literally wouldn't come out of my mouth.  I'm having more and more of these encounters and I have to learn to just say it and not breakdown about it.  Thank God for my sweet grandmother with short-term memory loss.  You see, she would always ask about him ever since she saw him with me.  Since I've been home this summer she's seen me, but no boy.  Bless her heart for not bringing him up anymore, maybe she got a feeling, or he just left her memory.  Maybe...

I'd like to sincerely thank everyone who has been reading this blog.  No matter what part of the country you're in or what part of the world.  I feel blessed to know what there are others who benefit from what I write.  I enjoy blogging so much, but more than anything I hope to inspire you.  If you've enjoyed reading this please share it with someone else and of course keep reading.  Thank you, danke, gracias, merci, grazie, dank u, спасибі, благодарю, asante, शुक्रिया.

I will leave you all with a song that got in my head when I wrote "whole enchilada" up there.  I used to listen to this all the time when I had Sirius XM Satellite radio in my car.  I sure miss XM radio, it was awesome.  This song would always come out on the Coffeehouse station.  Here ya go...

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

What I Wore Wednesday (WIWW)

Hoy es el ombligo de la semana, or as we say in English "hump day", it's funny because the Spanish translates to "today is the bellybutton of the week" :)

Let's start a tradition called, What I Wore Wednesday or WIWW.
Now please excuse my teacher look.  I have my glasses on because my eyes were irritated from contacts and my dress is all wrinkled.
Jessica Simpson Dress - Dillard's
Mustard colored wedges - Payless
Earrings - Francesca's
Note that I look mega tired in this photograph because spinning really did exhaust me this morning.  Also, note to self: work on my left arm because my right one is looking more toned and they appear uneven to me.  I promise I will do my hair next time. 

I love dresses, they are my favorite summer outfit! I have many dresses that I've accumulated over the years.  This particular one I am wearing is super soft and comfy.  It has a cute minimalistic pineapple pattern.  The last time I wore this dress I paired it with flat gold sandals, but I thought I'd try it with wedges today.  I think I like how it looks with the simple sandals a little better though. 
Pineapples are summery, right?

On a random side note I am anxious about this weekend.  I am attending my cousin's wedding about an hour and a half away from where I live.  I love dressing up and I love weddings, but I just have this anxiety built up inside of me.  I think it has to do with meeting new people, the males in particular.  I know they don't bite and I know I should be having fun, but being newly single it's a very strange feeling to interact with guys in a way that I have not in a long time.  Also, for some reason I'm starting to get feelings like when I saw the man who blasted from my past mentioned in Entre Pairos y Derivas. No idea where these feelings are coming from, I'm just anxious I guess.  ...And not making any sense apparently. 

I will leave you all with two last things.  The first is this fabulous picture of the recent Bridal Shower Gift I made thanks to Pinterest for the idea.  

All items purchased at TJ Maxx with the exception of the brown ribbon
Lastly, this lovely engagement story I read on a new blog I discovered.  Made me cry, it was so detailed and sweet.  Enjoy!  

Take a peek

I am all about natural beauty and keeping your makeup routine quick with a "less is more" motto.  But, have you ever read those magazines where they show you what certain celebrities carry in their makeup bag?  I always wonder if what they say they carry is true, but regardless of whether it is or not I sure do enjoy seeing those beauty products and what they have to "say" about them.  If I can find one new product to add to my stash I get really excited.  Who doesn't want a new mascara to try or a new shade of blush?! Tonight I am going to share what's in my makeup bag. While I may not be famous I do promise to share some beauty insight and I promise all that you see really is what I carry in my bag.

My makeup routine usually takes me about 5 minutes or less.  If I am dressing up for an evening out or attending a party of some sort it takes me longer to do the eyes.  Even if I keep makeup simple on most days, and even if I like to go naked (just my face) somedays I still love to splurge on good makeup.  I have found that the expensive items I purchase go a loooong way.

Let's begin shall we...

Makeup Bag: Vera Bradley Large in Java Blue $15
Clarins Beauty Flash Balm $45 Department Stores
Clarins Beauty Flash Balm - this stuff is incredible.  I know $45 is a lot of money.  I don't buy this myself.  My mom is a huge fan of Clarins products and she has been buying their face products for years.  She therefore gets great deals, gifts, specials, etc.  I inherited this little baby from her.   You slather this on the morning after a rough night (didn't get much sleep for example) and it immediately makes your skin GLOW.  It does not count as a moisturizer and you're not really supposed to rub it in either.  It has definitely saved me when I haven't exactly gotten my beauty rest.  

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer $42 Department Stores or Sephora
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer is not my primary source of coverage.  This tube has lasted me about a year, but I do use it sparingly.  It leaves your skin with a dewy finish and has great coverage for simply being a tinted moisturizer.  This is what I use when I want a little more coverage for a party, date, or fancy evening.  Another tinted moisturizer I love is this one from Clinique.  

From top to bottom: Bare Escentuals Maximum Coverage Concealer Brush $20
Mary Kay Cheek Brush $10
Bare Escentuals Flawless Face Brush $28
Bare Escentuals Angled Face Brush (Price Unavailable)
Laura Mercier Mini Fan Feather Brush Approximately $30
Bare Escentuals Mini Kabuki Brush (Price Unavailable)
Important thing to note: I did not pay full price for ANY of these brushes.  Now, I love my makeup brushes.  They are my babies.  I take care of them, I wash them, and they are well worth their expensive prices. All of my Bare Escentuals brushes I got in special kits or free samples.  I got my Laura Mercier brush as a free sample and I got my Mary Kay brush in a cheap set.  If you are familiar with the Bare Minerals makeup process you should know how all of those brushes work.  I essentially use those for my mineral makeup and concealer.  My Mary Kay brush is specifically for my blush and it has a nice angle for the cheekbones.  My Laura Mercier and mini kabuki brushes I use for translucent powder when I want to give my face a final glow.  They are light, and feathery!  If you don't own makeup brushes or don't know what's a good way to start I would say some essentials are 1) a good foundation or powder brush (depending on which you use), 2) a good concealer brush, and 3) a blush brush.  Real hair brushes are the way to go, especially with any mineral makeup.  

Covergirl Lash Blast Length mascara in brown $8; Tarte Eyelash Curler $16;
Maybelline Great Lash Mascara in Very Black $4
Mascara is probably the item I use the most, and it is also my favorite.  I usually have at least two mascaras in my bag with one of them being the Great Lash.  I like to alternate my second mascara and I usually like to keep it cheap and under $10.  I'm not impressed with Covergirl Lash Blast, the brush is nice and good for separating the lashes, but it doesn't make my eyelashes look any longer than they already are.  Maybelline Great Lash is a classic, and my lashes always feel full and voluminous afterward.  I am also a fan of a good curler, I don't mind splurging on a curler because they last me so long.  I've had this Tarte one for at least two years (note the breakage on the right handle).  My favorite is the Shu Uemora but sadly Sephora stopped carrying it.  Other pricey mascaras I love (but rarely buy) are Diorshow, Benefit BADgal Lashes, and Clinique High Impact mascaras.   

The Body Shop's Satsuma Body Butter $18 
The Body Shop's Satsuma Body Butter is my favorite thing in the whole world right now.  I got lather this one all day long and not get sick of it.  The smell is so fresh and clean, the citrus wakes you up and people can smell me from a mile away.  I lather this stuff on right after I shower and it is really moisturizing.  I just bought a new one today since I am almost out of this one.  The new scent I got is the coconut because it is for Normal/Dry skin.  I cannot get enough of this butt-ah and I promise you won't either, go get yourself some.  The tiny purse size butters run for $5 or you can get a sampler of 6 for $30.  You won't regret it! 

Laura Mercier's Universal Invisible Loose Setting Powder $34
Laura Mercier Universal Invisible Loose Setting Powder is a great finishing translucent powder.  I got this mini version as a free sample! I have had it for about 6 months and still haven't run out.  A little goes a long way.  I'm not sure if I would actually purchase this for myself after I finish my sample, but I can definitely see why people like it.  

Clean & Clear Advantage Acne Spot Treatment $6 
Clean & Clear Advantage Acne Spot Treatment This stuff is fabulous! It contains Salicylic Acid which dries out acne pimples and kills bacteria.  It doesn't over dry your skin and you can feel the burn immediately after applying.  

Clockwise from top: Bare Minerals READY Veil $22
Bare Minerals Original foundation $27
Bare Minerals All Over Face Color $19
Bare Escentuals Makeup I've been using this stuff for about 5 years now and it's what I stick to.  It can be as light as you want it to be or apply a little more for heavier coverage.  I hate to use the word heavy though because this stuff never feels that way.  It is creamy and light on your skin.  Also has great SPF! I also have the concealer, but you can always use your concealer brush in the original foundation an it will work just the same! Flawless natural looking makeup. It also goes a long way because I usually buy about two foundations a year.  I recommend getting yourself a starter kit if you are new to Bare Escentuals because it is way cheaper and you get brushes in the set! 

NARS Orgasm Blush $28
NARS Orgasm Blush an ode to the best blush in the entire world! The name of this shade is orgasm and it is their most popular because it looks great on basically any skin tone.  It is a peachy-gold shimmery shade that's perfect to wear alone or with foundation.  Since I discovered this color five years ago I have not gone back to any other blush.  This blush will usually last me anywhere from a year to a year and half, more if you baby it ;).  If anyone has found a similar shade in blush please let me know because I'd love to compare.  

Mary Kay Concealer in Beige1 $10
Bare Minerals Multi-Tasking Concealer in Summer Bisque $18
Concealer is an essential in my make up bag, even though I don't use it the creamy kind regularly.  My Mary Kay concealer is AWESOME, it has incredible coverage and is the perfect concealer to treat blemishes, dark circles, red spots, sun damage, etc.  I save it for emergencies and for special occasions.  The Mary Kay concealer was also in the O Magazine hall of fame!  The Bare Minerals concealer is also great and better for every day, but I wouldn't buy it regularly.  I received this one in a starter kit and even though it's awesome it is unnecessary for my minimal concealer needs.  

Carmex $3
Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh Mini Perfume (Price unavailable)
Tweezerman Mini Tweezers $13
Oral-B Satin Floss $4
Miscellaneous Items like Carmex are ideals for girls like me who never wear lipstick or even lipgloss.  I do however like to make sure my lips are moisturized and kissable! My current fragrance is Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh which is perfect for summertime with it's sweet and soft floral scent.  I love to floss and even though I don't need to tweeze my eyebrows much I keep them on hand because you never know.  

Sephora Colorful Mono Eyeshadow in Aspen Summit $12
MAC Eyeshadow in Creme Brulee $15
Mary Kay Eyeshadow Brush $10
Almay Intense i-Color for Hazel $6
Sharpener $.50
Estee Lauder 'Pure Color' Eyeliner $20
Eye Stuff As you can see, I don't really buy many eyeshadows or eyeliners.  This is because I have BIG eyes and if I play them up too much I look really made up.  I save these dramatic looks or the use of eyeliner for the weekends or date nights.  I do love a good cat eye these days.  Most people can't believe I only use one eyeliner or that I've had the same eyeliner for at least two years now.  Look how tiny it is?  This eyeliner is perfect, it's creamy, it's rich, it doesn't smudge easily.  It was also a free gift because my mom buys lots of Estee Lauder lipsticks and eyeshadows.  My eyeshadows are neutral, the Aspen Summit color I use as a highlighter along the inner lids and below the brow.  My Creme Brulee is an all over color and my Almay Trio is for smoking up my eyes.  Done. 

Tokidoki Arte Palette in Lion Pappa $10 
Recent Purchase happened today because I decided I needed more eyeshadows.  I fell in love with this neutral palette by Tokidoki.  It also comes with a blush in a golden peach color.  The blush isn't NARS Orgasm, but it looks promising.  I'm excited to wear these colors on Saturday night for my cousin's wedding.

Phew, that was a lot of beauty in one sitting.  I hope you enjoyed looking through my makeup bag.  Let me know if you have any questions regarding any products.  

What's your favorite item in your makeup bag?  

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Let's Cha-Cha-Chia

Let's talk about Chia Seeds and Flaxseeds!

I'm really excited because I've recently purchased two bags of these and have decided to add them to my diet.

Chia Seeds
No, my friends, they have no relation to those chia pets from the 80's.  They are considered an ancient super-seed(?).  These magical seeds date back to the Aztecs and Mayans in Latin America.  The seeds are considered SUPER because like other superfoods they deliver an incredible amount of nutrients with minimal calories.  Nutritional benefits of Chia include omega 3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, calcium, and antioxidants.  Chia seeds give you something like 40% of your daily fiber, and that's awesome.  So, while you may have a mental image of Jamie Lee Curtis and those awesome Activia commercials in your head, fiber is not just for good digestive health.  Fiber can also help you to make you feel fuller, therefore benefitting in weight loss.  Ounce per ounce, chia seeds have more Omega 3 than salmon! Isn't that awesome?  These tiny little seeds are jam-packed with nutritional goodness.  They're basically flavorless and you can sprinkle or add them to almost anything.  Oatmeal topper, blend in a smoothie, top yogurt with it, sprinkle on salads.  The options are endless!
They run pretty pricey, but I typically use about a tablespoon or two per day.  I'm sure there's a great way to buy these online for cheaper.
This is the brand I purchased.  They are tiny and black seeds.  
There are three main benefits to adding flaxseed to your diet.  LOTS of fiber, yet again.  It is recommended that if you are new to flaxseed that you begin with about half a tablespoon and build up. This is because of the high fiber and it may cause bloating if you start with too much at first.  Good source of Omega 3's, the ever essential nutrients our bodies need.  They are essential because our body doesn't make these fatty acids naturally and therefore we must consume them. I know, you're probably wondering why you need to buy both chia and flax, but something that flax has that chia does not is lignans.  Lignans reduce the risk of breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men.  Other benefits include reducing hot flashes for menopausal women and even easing the menstrual cycle.  I recommend buying the flaxseed grounded because otherwise you have to grind it yourself.  The flavor is nutty so when you add it to smoothies like banana ones it gives it an awesome flavor!!!  If you don't grind it your body might not recognize it and it will pass right through you and you'll miss out on all the nutrients.

Flax is cheaper than Chia! 

How do I eat these?  I have started adding them to my Green Monsters! My mom likes to sprinkle them on Greek yogurt, but I don't eat yogurt on it's own these days.  I love the smell of flax though.  Oooooh, I bet these would be awesome in a cottage cheese salad, or just topped on cottage cheese.  Yep, I'm going to go try that now.

What about you, do you use either of these seeds? Which do you want to try? 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Good Grief

Grief is not only for those who have passed.  When going through a break up, you are prone to the stages of grief.  It has almost been a month since my break up and I will say that things are fairly good.  I feel great, I am happier, and I'd say that I am moving through the stages of grief pretty quickly.  I think this is partly because I spent about a month prior to our official break up going through the first two stages.  Let's go through the stages for those of you who are not familiar with the grieving process.

1. Shock & Denial
2. Anger
3. Deal Making
4. Sadness
5. Acceptance

I'm not really an angry person, I don't like the energy it sucks out of me.  If I need to feel angry I will and I know how to recognize anger and deal with it in a healthy manner without attempting to seek "revenge" or "get back" at someone.  I have found that it doesn't make me feel better to "get even."  In fact, I feel worse.  It takes too much emotional strength and I'd rather just move on and be happy.  Anger was a stage that I didn't spend too much time in.  I was angry, I recognized it, but I decided to be happy instead.  Therefore, I quickly moseyed on to stage three, Deal Making.

It is said that in the Deal Making stage you literally make a deal with yourself or with a higher power (God) to become a better person/partner in your relationship and love better.  Most recently I remember feeling and even overanalyzing whether I loved the absolute best that I could.  Asking myself whether I should've been there in A., B., or C. situations.  Focusing on the bad, ugly, and worst about myself.  I began to pray to God and tell him to help me to become a better version of myself.  I asked for patience and understanding and to learn to love better.  The truth is, I loved the very best that I knew how to, and by wondering if I loved him "enough" I was negative self-talking and blaming myself for the loss.  I'll admit that I will begin having these thoughts every now and then still and I have to shake myself out of it, replace it with a happy thought and move forward.  It's difficult because I loved with everything I had and lost.  I have made a deal, but not to love better in that relationship, but to love myself better.

I would say that I am currently in the Sadness and Acceptance stages.  Could I possibly be between the two of them?  It all seems a bit quick.  You can't exactly set a time for each stage and everyone is different.  I do find myself accepting the loss more and more every day, and I look forward to a friendship coming out of it at some point.  After all, we always wanted that.  But I have moments when I can't help but stop and think about it.  These moments are sporadic and they can happen anywhere.  For example, today I was walking into Cheddar's and this song by Martina McBride was playing in the background.  A lump grew in my throat, I excused myself from the table and I inevitably shed a couple of tears.  It was the line "this one's for the girls who have loved without holding back" that for some reason got to me.  I feel silly even saying it.  Such a random thing to bring this feeling isn't it?  I still have moments like that though.  It's not so much about missing the relationship itself, but about all of the energy that was put into it I think.  I've accepted that we were not the right people for each other and that it will no longer exist.

I will leave you all with one last thing.  Below is a picture of my current nails.  There is this new nail polish trend taking the world over by storm.  Alright, I don't know if that's actually true, but it is pretty trendy.  Rather than having uniform nails (which I love) you paint your ring fingers a different color or accentuate it with sparkle, a design, etc.  I made the decision to step out of my comfort zone and try this out with a new minty polish I invested in.  the Combination you see is Essie's Absolutely Shore and Haute as Hello (the coral).

Yay or nay on the new nail polish trend? How long did it take you to get over your last relationship?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Le petit déjeuner

Happy Saturday everyone!

Just sipping on a green monster smoothie post-spinning.  I didn't originally have plans to work out today, but my nephew decided he wanted pizza last night and, well, the rest is history.  I decided a morning of cardio was just what I needed to lessen the late night pizza guilt :)
My quads were killing me so I didn't do a great job with the sprints, but nevertheless I made a great healthy decision and walked off the soreness on an incline for fifteen minutes afterward.  It is mornings like this when all that motivation talked about here really comes in handy!

I'd like to take the time to mention to y'all a couple of my favorite healthy foods.  Sometimes we are stuck in a rut and can't figure out what to snack on, or what to have for breakfast.  I typically workout before I have an actual breakfast and so my pre-fuel for my workout typically consists of either 1) an apple, 2) peanut butter toast, or 3) a banana.  I think I'm going to start adding a cup of greek yogurt to that list though, because of the fat burning benefits.  Gotta tackle that belly fat.  When I get hungry between meals and I DO (I take this as a great sign that my metabolism is high and those workouts are paying off), I typically grab some of the Emerald Cocoa Roasted Almonds.  If you typically don't eat nuts and get thrown off by the fat content, well, don't. Yes, it may seem like a lot of fat for such a small baggie, but remember that nuts are a good fat.  These have minimal sodium (15mg) and are lightly and naturally sweetened by the cocoa powder that covers them.  Almonds help to curb my apetite and make me feel full until my next meal.

YUM! You can also purchase simply roasted with no cocoa.  
Other snacks I might consume are pieces of fruit (apples, cherries, strawberries) or the low sodium tiny V8 vegetable juices.  I like to keep my sodium intake to a minimum considering salt retains water and no one wants to look bloated, especially in the summertime.  I might have one or two V8's a week.  Some say the low sodium ones are not as tasty as the regular sodium, but you get used to the difference in taste.  For breakfast (mmmm best meal ever) I am a huge fan of the Green Monster that I mentioned above.  If you have not tried this before, do NOT be discouraged by the looks of it, I swear it tastes AMAZING.  There is a whole Green Monster cult-like fan club out there, I promise I'm not a part of this (sort of).  There are just so many great benefits to drinking these regularly.  Appearance in skin, energy, and even a decrease in cravings for sweets (SO TRUE).  Check out the Green Monster Movement that I hope inspires you to try it out.  The Green Monster makes a great breakfast on it's own, or a snack.  If you'd like to make one now, here's a basic recipe:

  • 1 cup of milk of choice (I usually use regular milk or almond milk)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 handfuls of fresh spinach (you can add more or less)
  • Ice cubes (1-4)
Optional Items:
  • Greek Yogurt (I find that it makes it creamy and dreamy)
  • Chia seeds or flax seeds
  • Nut butter (peanut, almond, sunflower seed)
  • Berries
Start with the liquid, add milk first, then spinach followed by the banana on top.  Top with ice cubes and blend until smooth (typically about 2 mins).  Serves 1-2 cups.  

Don't be like me and put your ingredients in the correct order ;)
The more spinach, the greener.  The less, the more brownish it will look.  But regardless, it'll be tasty
Another breakfast favorite of mine is something light, but protein-rich.  One that I keep coming back to lately is an egg sandwich on pita bread with goat cheese or salsa and spinach.  I should probably tell you that spinach is one of my favorite foods, I can eat it every day and with almost anything.  My third dream job is to become the next Popeye.  I use a poached egg rather than fried, scrambled, or other cooking methods.  With a poached egg I don't have to use any additional oils and I love how pretty they turn out.  If you'd like to scramble yours and make it just egg white, I'm sure this would work too.  I love yolk, and I like my eggs runny.  I don't eat them every day and therefore I'm not too concerned about eating the yolk.  I use whole wheat pita bread pockets because it is low in calories, low in fat, and it doesn't have the sugar that regular bread contains.  You can replace pita bread with basically any sandwich recipe, it's awesome.  Lastly, goat cheese.  Best cheese ever!!! I seriously adore goat cheese, with almost anything.  If you haven't tried it with eggs you absolutely should go do that right now.  The combination is flawless.  I usually pair this meal with some fruit on the side.  Mmm mmm mm.

This one is missing the spinach because I was out.  Make sure and put some in there,  it makes it look colorful.
In regard to how much I eat, I don't really count calories.  I find that excruciating and because I'm a control freak that probably wouldn't be good for me.  I typically know how many calories my food is and I try to keep the meals lower in calories so that I can truly see the benefits from my workouts.  That doesn't mean I eat less.  I definitely don't, just healthier.  Smaller meals, lower in calories and rich in protein at times to keep me feeling full.  That's enough foodie stuff for today.  I promise I will share more another day.  Feel free to ask me any questions about the food.  Enjoy! 

Did you try the green monster? Love it, hate it, not sure how you feel about it?  What's your favorite healthy breakfast?

Friday, June 22, 2012

1, 2, 3...

I hope you read the previous post, it's filled with great information even if it is lengthy.  This one is a shorty, I promise.  I have a couple of songs (1) I'd like to share, an article (2) Leigh Leigh showed me, and a blog (3) I'd like to share.  I will organize it for you in case you want to scroll past the stuff that doesn't interest you.  But hopefully all of it does, but if it doesn't don't tell me. You'll hurt my feelings ;)

(1) Songs
You may have heard this song in the Chevy Sonic commercial or in The Last Song (yes, the one with Miley).  There is something about this song that touches my soul.  The lyrics are powerful.  Enjoy. 

I heard this song today for the first time in a long, long, long time.  It brings back sweet memories for me.  It gives me butterflies in my stomach and I think my heart flutters when I hear it sporadically like I do.  Isn't love great? I can definitely relate to Keith's words in this song.  

The real winner is the song below.  I recently took notice of this song at the wedding I went to last Saturday.  Yes, the wedding mentioned in Entre Pairos y Derivas.  Adele's "One and Only" was the first dance song.  It was beautiful, but I had never really listened to the song before.  Adele's music tends to be kind of "wah-wah-wah no one loves me" and that's not really my style.  Beautiful voice though.  Something about listening to "One and Only" stood out to me and so I went home and looked up the lyrics.  If the lyrics in a song touch my heart chances are that I will like the song 90X better.  I read the lyrics and they described perfectly how I was feeling about said person in the post linked above.  EEEK...
I hope you like it as much as I did. 

(2) Article - here is a little something to regain our faith in humanity :)

(3) Blog Just discovered my friend Lisa Marie's blog Pretty Little Moments.  She's a great writer and has a beautiful layout.  Go visit :) 

Told ya that was short! 

Which was your favorite song? What was your favorite story in the article? 

Back in the saddle, y'all

Hi loves,

Happy almost-weekend! Alright, alright, I know that I'm on summer vacation and every day is kind of like a weekend, except not.  I like taking a break from my every day routine and splurging a little (food-wise), having a drink, spending time with a friend.  I am definitely a routine kind of gal.  It keeps me in order, and all who know me would vouch and tell you I love organization.  See picture below for confirmation.
My color coded and date prioritized FINALS WEEK To-Do List from 2011 
Anyway, back to makes me happy.  I like knowing what to expect and I find that my life runs so much smoother that way.  So even though my summer is pretty much free of any commitments I created a routine for myself filled with trips to the gym, healthy breakfasts, light dinners, and studying for the GRE (well, attempting to).  My weekend is open for spontaneity, as spontaneous as a girl like me can get anyway.

A huge part of this summer is working on my health and happiness.  I am most happy when I feel healthy and my body reflects this lifestyle.  I was very good at this in college, especially my sophomore and junior years.  The stresses brought on by my senior year (and a new relationship) along with my first year of teaching in rural Louisiana put a halt to my previous lifestyle.  A small, small, small town with a total of two gyms in the entire parish (county to us normal states) have few to zero classes and is a good drive from my apartment.  About a week into my summer vacation in my hometown I am back in the groove and feeling amazing!  I am attending a local gym that fulfills my needs.  It is no 24 Hour Fitness (which I miss dearly), but it is spacious, has loads of classes, great hours, and a friendly staff!  

Now, if you're wondering what my gym schedule looks like and what keeps me motivated then this is for you.  I am a huge believer in listening to your body, if you've never been to the gym (or worked out), or need to get back on the saddle then don't attempt a full hour intense workout if your body can't handle it the first day.  Don't try going every day the first week, actually I wouldn't recommend working out every day because our bodies need to rest and recuperate.  Others may disagree, but then again that is what my body needs.  Yours is different.  I began by going three times a week and have increased that to four to five days a week.  With a variation between cardio and strength training.  I LOVE classes, LOVE them.  I think I feel more committed when I go to classes at the gym and I also perform better because I like to do my best and when you have an audience we have a tendency to try our best.  At least this is my philosophy, I'm sure I read an article about it somewhere.  If you've never tried a class then I definitely recommend you try one, or two, or five.  Most gyms will offer a description of all the classes they offer so that you are aware of what each entails (weights, upper body, hand-eye coordination lol).  I would say to choose a class that seems safe, that way you don't become discouraged by an intense boot camp class that makes you throw up after thirty minutes.  Maybe a Zumba class or a class that focuses on upper body strength.  

A couple of tips for attending a class: 

1. Let the instructor know that it is your first time in the class, and if the class requires equipment (weights, steps, resistance bands) ask what items you need and how many.  
Note: Classes will have all equipment available :)

2. Don't be embarrassed to set up near the front.  I wouldn't recommend a spot at the very front your first time so that you can follow along with an experienced class goer and also have a great view of the instructor.  

3. Don't be that person who is afraid to raise their hand when the instructor asks, "Who is here for the first time?"  By being a little vulnerable and raising your hand others in the class will be more likely to help you out, be friendly, and smile at you.  

4. If you need to step out early because of exhaustion or simply listening to your bodies needs, don't hesitate.  All instructors would rather you listen to your body than hurt yourself, so they will not be offended.  

5.  LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! Don't push yourself because the old lady at 75 next to you can hold a plank for 2 minutes straight and you can barely keep it up for 30 seconds.  Take breaks if you need them and get back in the game.  

6.  Drink lots of water! Unless it's a low-key yoga class.  

I am biased to Spinning classes! I am, really.  Spinning typically takes place in a separate room from other classes.  The spinning room will have lots of stationary bikes and some kind of cool lighting, mine has disco lights and my previous gym had blue lights.  It is customary for these classes to keep the lights off so that attendees can focus on their own fitness and not anyone else's.  Awesome upbeat music is usually played and you have different intervals on the bikes such as (hills, jumps, sprints, jogs).  It is intense, and you burn calories in a quick period of time around 500 usually in a 45 minute spin class.  This also depends on how hard you're working.  Spinning is a great option if you're looking to burn a lot of calories in a short period of time.  Great for leaner, longer looking legs, and burning belly fat (keep that core tight).  
A picture of the spinning room at my current gym.  The lights are on here, they go completely off except for the disco
lights when class is in session.  
I know what you're thinking, "But what if I have trouble staying motivated?!"  I have got the perfect solution for you.  Now, I am not Miss Suzi Sunshine every single morning (yes, I go in the morning) and I do have my lack of motivation every now and then.  You gotta do whatever it takes!! Make a star chart, keep a reward system, set an alarm with an inspirational message (see mine below).

But, the best external motivator I have found so far is the iPhone app GymPact.  Disregard if you do not have an iPhone and do yourself a favor and go buy one...NOW.  GymPact is fantastic, you make a weekly pact for working out and check in every time you go.  If you fulfill your pact you earn money (yes, for real) and if you don't you pay up.  For example, I currently commit to going to the gym a minimum of 4 days a week and my workouts must be a minimum of 30 minutes for them to count.  You set your stakes for not going, I have $5 because I think that's a lot of money to lose for not going to the gym.  But you can do $10 or even $20 if that will motivate you more.  
A real image from my check-in process when I went to the gym this week.  

I hope this post inspires you to get back in the saddle with your fitness.   Hopefully GymPact will get a few more users in the next few days.  Seriously, it's the best.  If you use GymPact and love it, leave a comment.  Maybe you can make your gym alarm say "If Brittney can get through 2007, you can get through another workout." (Inspiration here) haha.

What about y'all, what is your favorite gym class? Are you going to try a class now?  Did you download GymPact? 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

"Expectation is the root of all heartache"

First things first.  Yes, I do realize that my previous post Entre Pairos y Derivas was a bit erratic and the word vulnerable doesn't even begin to describe the series of emotions I have gone through as a result.  Regrets? Absolutely not.  Expectations? Attempting not to make any.  After all Shakespeare did say, Expectation is the root of all heartache.  Don't worry, I plan to keep you all updated on the effects of it.  

I'd like to give you all a rundown of some blogs that inspire me.  Something that really matters to bloggers is having their message spread.  Everyone wants to feel important and worthwhile.  So, I encourage you to take a click at some of the blogs that I read regularly.  Some are extremely successful, meaning some of these women actually blog for a living  (AHH DREAM JOB!!).  Others are just trying to share their story.  All, however are worthwhile because everyone has something new to teach us if we are willing to learn.  I do ask that you help spread the word about these blogs.  Even if they are super successful blogs like P-Dubs they could always use more readers.  Simply forward it to your best friend if you enjoyed what you read, post a link on Twitter, Facebook, or even your own blog.  If you have a blog, I'd love to read what you have to share so leave me a comment and I promise I will visit often! 

The blog roll: 

Healthy Tipping Point because this is the first blog that I fell in love with.  I am a devoted reader and it sounds silly, but I feel like I know Caitlin personally because of it.  Caitlin is a 27 year old living in North Carolina and a brand new momma! She inspires me to live a healthy life by taking small steps to wards an amazing YOU.  Love you HTP! 

Operation Beautiful is the reason that I found Healthy Tipping Point in the first place. I remember stumbling upon this website in college when I was trying to figure out a wellness program (I was an RA) to put on for the residents of a female residence hall.  I was inspired by the Operation Beautiful movement whose mission is to post anonymous notes of encouragement and positivity in public places for other people to find.  It's awesome! If you have found an Operation Beautiful note before, please comment.  Better yet, tell Caitlin at 

Young House Love  This is a great blog for the lover of DIY or HGTV(I kid).  But, really, John and Sherry are the cutest couple and give their house the same amount of love that they hopefully ;) give each other.  It's wonderful to read and full of home inspiration.  My favorite is their projects page to browse through when I'm in need of something to do pin.  

Katy Loves She just seems so genuine and sweet.  A true woman of God.  Always positive and always sweet and always sharing what others are doing.  

The Girls with Glasses This is the fashion blog I read.  Summer Bellessa and Brooke White tend to post short, sweet, and to the point videos with awesome fashion/makeup/life advice.  There are not always videos, although they are my favorite.  They are two gorgeous girl with a great sense of style. 

Yuppie Yogini Although Nicole doesn't post often, I still check back to find her next post.  More than anything she makes me laugh with her quirky opinions.  She is also a practicing therapist (DREAM JOB again).  

Kath Eats Real Food I love Kath! I know, I know, I don't really KNOW her, but still.  She is a registered dietitian who inspires other through her successful weight loss, and her eating of REAL food.  She is also expecting a baby so you can find her mommy-to-be journey there as well.  

Taking Back My Twenties Laura is Kath's younger sister and I relate a lot to her journey.  I recently found her blog and love reading about the beer she drinks (beer snob, like me) and about her recent engagement! Oh, and we have the same name :) 

Lisa Lupo Photography Lisa is an old friend from high school.  Even though I haven't seen her in years, I'm sure she's just as I remember her.  Easy to be around, funny, goofy, and talented.  Lisa is a newly wed living in the Seattle, Washington area.  Although Lisa studied Anthropology in college she is taking over the world with her amazing talent for taking beautiful photographs.  I would definitely hire her!  Her blog documents her learnings as a new photographer with snippets about her life.  

Lauren Noelle is one of my lovely friends from college.  I read her blog regularly because it is my way of keeping in touch with her.  Lauren has been writing about her post-grad life and her coming-of-age process as she discovers so much about what she wants and the woman she is becoming.  

The Forever Optimist is about my BFF Sarah.  No one in the world is as caring, genuine, funny, down-to-earth-real, and lovely as she is.  She is also a terrific writer.  She has once again found her inspiration and is on quite a journey.  Go join her! 

The Pioneer Woman of course! Rhee Drummond is an inspiration to all women.  She is your country-gal next door.  Amazing recipes, photography, fun quizzes, and absolutely HILARIOUS.  P-Dubs will change your life.   

Epicurean Vixen a blog about food in Austin, TX (best city in Texas).  My friend Karen is such a foodie and is the best food critic.  

Musings From The Law is one of my best friends from college.  She is like a sister to me.  She is also a consistent blogger and a writer.  I am so proud of all that she has done.  You can currently read about her experience in Chile.    

I sure hope I didn't leave any out, but I probably did.  I come across so many blogs, but the ones I picked are the ones I read on a regular basis.  Even religiously with some.  

What about you, what blogs do you read? 

I will leave y'all with the following song.  This is my theme song for the summer of 2012.  I know it's in portuguese it is brazilian after all, but promise you'll give it a chance :) 
Michel Télo - Ai Se Eu Te Pego 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Entre Pairos y Derivas

As much as I think this is a summer of change, some things never do.  This was made evident on Saturday night.  I will have to go back approximately nine years to do my story justice.  You see, almost nine years ago the summer before my first year of high school I fell in love.  Now...don't go away, you're probably tempted after reading that line.  Stay...stay...hope I convinced you there ;)
Yes, it sounds crazy, because it was.  I didn't realize it was love at the time and believe me, it took me a good four to five years of denial to even call it love.  

This boy made me believe in love at first sight (cliche, I know, but I promise it happens).  He is someone who can make laugh at the drop of a hat (God knows I have the worst sense of humor).  Someone who's eyes I cannot resist for anything.  Someone who has spoken some of the most genuine words I've ever heard.  Someone who, almost nine years later still gives me butterflies at the pit of my stomach.  Someone who I can hold a stare with forever, not because I'm a creeper, but because my eyes cannot help themselves.  Nine years.  Nine years have passed and last night we encountered each other again.  

(Side note: throughout these nine years there have been previous encounters and we have kept in touch in some way, shape, or form. )

Last night our eyes met after several years and he came over with a smile to greet me (in true Latin culture fashion) with a kiss on the cheek.  To my embarrassment I found myself holding his cheek as he pressed his against mine and the rest was a blur.  The truth is that I don't think either one of us knew how to react to one another.  There I was taking sips of Dos Equis to build up the courage to dance with him.  What are you supposed to do when the person you fell for at the age of thirteen is giving you the same feelings now that you're a grown woman?!  After several stares back and forth I thank God for the group dance as he moseyed over stood by me and began to speak.  Small talk and jokes mostly. It's difficult to express how I feel when I'm around him.  I feel absolutely beautiful, beaming, like a light radiates inside and everyone takes notice. (Why yes,  I realize how dramatic that sounds after reading it)    As much as I knew that this encounter of ours would only last a couple of hours it didn't make it any less exciting.  To be honest, all I could think about was kissing him.

I've spent too many years asking the what if and we had nothing to lose.  I was so afraid, but of what?!   Scared that he would reject my carefree offer, that after nine years he felt absolutely nothing.  Afraid he would say he had a girlfriend (although I'm fairly certain he currently does not).  With many stares back and forth, back and forth, shaking of heads, and unspoken words, the night ended.  Stares that said a thousand words and yet I wish I could say what they were.  I came home and cannot stop thinking about him (naturally).  

What my point is, and what I have been contemplating about this encounter is this: will I find someone who will make me feel the way that he does?  Should we settle for mediocre when it is just a waste of time.  There are too many mediocre things in life and love should be mad, passionate, and extraordinary, right?  I don't necessarily believe in coincidences and while part of me wants to say it was a coincidence running into him again I think I was supposed to learn something from it.  The question is, what?

Why bring back these incredible feelings that I have only ever had with him?  Why, if he lives in another country?  Why? WHY?!  It just kills me.  Am I supposed to be in a relationship with someone who makes me feel this way?   Or am I supposed to realize I won't ever feel this way about anyone else  and live with the fact that he's out there?  As a rational person who is not idealistic, I am aware of all the cynical and even the realistic answers, and it just all seems like...well, bullshit.  

I trust God and why I ened up in certain situations, I just ask for the patience and perseverance to understand this.  And, finally.  To the boy (now man) who changed my life nine years ago: if you're reading this, "por los mares de mi vida, hoy me veo siempre bogando a ti." 

Una canción que me regresa a ti.  Translate if you must, but this man is truly poetic.  

Recap: Summer 2012

This summer is one of change.   It's in the air, I can feel it and I can almost smell it.  I am writing about my process of becoming as I figure things out in my twenties.  This is the summer I will turn twenty-three.  This is my first summer out of college.  My first summer earning a real income .  A lot is different already, my summer began embracing change immediately.  

My boyfriend of my first real relationship since high school broke up with me approximately three days into my summer vacation.  It had been about a year and half and when you begin to seriously date someone for that long you begin to build your life around them.  The decisions you make for your future like whether you will see your family or your boyfriend for your next break (we were long distance btw).  Whether to apply to graduate school, and if so whether there would be a program in Austin where I could be with him? Will I change my religion?  Something that has been such an important part of me as a woman of God.  My religion became really true to me in college and I was always a faithful catholic and felt sure of myself within the catholic church.  

This relationship opened up the question of a new religious denomination.  This was a no brainer at the start and my answer, "ABSOLUTELY NOT HAPPENING."  There were no doubts, not one hesitation about ever changing.  It's funny what love can do to you as you begin to love someone so much that you begin to change yourself.  I began to consider a change in my religion for someone else, I know that if it happened it was because I was going to marry him.  I'm still unsure of this is acceptable if it is in the name of love.  But some changes were learning experiences for which I am humbled and grateful for.  I became more selfless and learned how to work incredibly hard to understand someone else.  I worked hard to get through the hard times we faced.  I kept wanting to improve who I was and if there was something that I was doing wrong or if I wasn't being a considerate enough person then I wanted to change.  

To this person: I am so, so thankful for all I have learned about myself and about what it means to love somebody else. I can safely say that I loved as best as I knew how and know that I can bring my becomings to a new relationship.  I do feel broken.  As anyone who goes through a break up does, especially when you began to think they were your forever and always.  As broken as I am though, I am also free.  I feel no anger or bitterness inside me.  I feel so much love in my heart and I feel truly hopeful.  I'm not sure what these feelings mean yet, but I will figure it out.  You move on, you move forward, you learn, and you give thanks because regrets are nonexistent when it comes to love.  

I leave you with an incredible song by Dave Matthews Band.  Listen to the lyrics if you can.