New in Review: Nails & Noshes

Hey look, I didn’t totally give up on my new series! I’m going to try to get these up every other week so I hope y’all like them as much as I do!

This week features a couple nail-related beauty products as well as plenty of food items…

  • Veggie-Go’s (sweet potato pie)

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I’ve actually had these before but I never did a formal review on them. They’re anything but your basic fruit strip, because they include veggies (!) and have no added sugar. This flavor in particular tastes like a dessert, but it’s only got 2 grams of sugar, from the sweet potatoes and apples. They’re just fruit, veggies and spices — perfect if you’re like me and prefer your food to be as simple as possible.

Pros: extremely tasty, perfect for a quick 1/2 serving each of fruit & veggies

Cons: a little expensive for the size (~$1.25 per strip)

Where to buy: Whole Foods, their site

  • Sally Hansen Kwik Off Moisturizing Nail Polish Remover

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Has anyone else ever been intrigued by those little containers you dip your fingers in to get nail polish off? My friend had one and it worked magic, so I thought I’d buy one instead of the usual messy nail polish remover liquid. This stuff works like a charm, and it doesn’t smell all chemical-y or get all over the place. I will never buy acetone remover again!

Pros: inexpensive, easy to use, no lingering smell

Cons: honestly, none!

Where to Buy: Target, Sephora, drug stores (CVS and Walgreens probably have them)

  • Dr. in the Kitchen Flackers raw flax crackers

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Another cheat (I first started buying them like 2 years ago), but I started recently buying them more often now that the Whole Foods nearest me carries them. I’ve tried the dill, rosemary, sun dried tomato & basil and cinnamon & currants flavors (basically all of them but the savory flavor) and I love them all except the cinnamon and currants. That one gets a bit too chewy from the currants and the flavor is weirdly sour. But all the others are tasty, not too salty and have stellar nutritionals. 6-7 grams of fiber, raw, gluten free and 4-5 grams of protein per serving. Freakin’ delicious on a snack plate with some olives or raw cashew cheez.

Pros: really healthy, good flavors

Cons: a bit expensive, hard to find

Where to Buy: Whole Foods (not all carry them), natural foods stores, Amazon

  • Honest Fizz (root beer)

Y’all know Zevia has my heart. I mean, sure it costs a lot more than your typical diet soda but it’s so much better for you. If you drink soda, you really need to switch to Zevia.

But Honest Fizz is another great alternative that is a little cheaper. Currently, they only have 4 flavors but I’m hoping they’re successful so maybe they’ll add more. Fingers crossed they (or Zevia) make a watermelon soda. Obsessed. Anyways, the root beer is pretty spot on. I actually prefer the Zevia root beer only because it has a kick from the ginger, but the Honest Fizz was less filling (I don’t drink Zevias too often because I hate being filled up with soda, even if it’s zero calorie) which I like. And I think it would make a pretty good healthy root beer float!

Pros: cheaper than Zevia, less filling

Cons: not many flavor options

Where to Buy: Whole Foods, possibly Sprouts

  •  Broadway Nails imPress press-on manicure

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I’ve gotten into the habit of constantly having my nails painted. The problem is I hate constantly touching up and redoing my nails every few days after they inevitably chip. Enter the fake nails! This is my first time using them, and I can honestly say I am imPressed 😉

These go on really quickly and easily. You press them down for a few minutes and after an hour they’re completely good to go. My nails were fairly short at the time I applied these, so even the ‘short’ length had to be trimmed down a bit, but they look natural. Best of all, no chipping!

Pros: easier than nail polish, look natural

Cons: more expensive per use than nail polish, only get 1-2 uses out of each pack

Where to Buy: Target, CVS, Walgreens

  • Living Intentions superfood cereal (hemp & greens)

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I first discovered this granola at the Whole Foods in my college town. They started stocking it in the bulk bins last spring and once I saw it, I had to give it a try. Of course, being a sprouted, superfood-y type thing, it’s expensive. About $12 per pound! But if you only get a little bit at a time like I do, it’s a lot less expensive. Some stores only sell it prepackaged so you can’t buy only what you need, but if your Whole Foods sells it in the bulk area, BUY IT!

I’ve tried a few of the flavors, but my favorite by far is the hemp & greens. This one isn’t sweetened with agave like some of the others, which I like. It’s got a bit of a ‘green’ flavor from the added spirulina, chlorella, spinach, alfalfa and dandelion — what other cereal can boast those ingredients? It’s grain free (made from buckwheat), low sugar, high protein…basically the healthiest granola ever. It’s perfectly crunchy and just a bit sweet and pairs well with almond milk. I also love it as a topping for my protein puddings.

Pros: one of the healthiest cereals ever, great ingredients

Cons: expensive, I love it so much I keep buying it 😉

Where to Buy: Whole Foods, Sprouts, Nuts.com

What new products have you tried lately? 

Working Girl

Don’t worry–I didn’t completely disappear on y’all (and yes, I can now use y’all because I’m living in Oklahoma)! It’s been a crazy busy few weeks, and I’m finally able to catch my breath long enough to share some of it.

I started my first job on Monday. This is actually my second paid job, but this is my first full time job, so it’s kind of a big deal. And…it’s actually in the field I’ve been pursuing since high school. How many recent college grads can say that about their first job? I’m incredibly thankful for this opportunity, and I’m making the very best of it.

Sneaky work selfie on my first day.

Sneaky work selfie on my first day.

I’ve also been living on my own, and while it’s not the first time I’ve done that, it’s the first time in a different state than my family, nearly 700 miles from the place I called home for 19 years of my life. I’m living in a bigger city, which is nice, and the climate is warmer but not too humid (which I appreciate coming from a dry climate) and everyone I’ve met so far is seriously so nice. It’s just a different culture down here, which is great, but a small part of me misses home. It’s hard to change your routine, but I know with time, I’ll get used to this.

Work hasn’t been too hard to get used to. I’m in a similar environment as I was in my internships for the past two summers, but I’m working 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, and mostly working through lunch. It helps that my coworkers are friendly and funny, so right now I’m just trying not to be the awkward new girl and hopefully make some friends in the newsroom AND make my boss happy with my work.

Apparently I overdress for my position...but I'm dressing for the position I WANT to have someday!

Apparently I overdress for my position…but I’m dressing for the position I WANT to have someday!

I’m taking on a lot more adult responsibilities, though. My car’s been having an issue, so I’m trying to live with that until I can take it in and (hopefully) afford to get it fixed. I had to deal with an ant invasion in my apartment–gross, but not awful. I have to figure out health insurance at work, pay my bills AND pay my parents back for things they bought for me. As much as I want to buy all the things now that I have a paycheck, I know I can’t do that. So I’m going to try to avoid the Target/Forever 21/Whole Foods temptations as much as possible, even though I plan on frequenting these stores. I just have to stick with a budget, and keep fun purchases to a minimum and limit them to things I will actually get some use out of.

The WF salad bar here is even better than back home...and it's closer to my apartment and work!

The WF salad bar here is even better than back home…and it’s closer to my apartment and work!

Adult life isn’t always fun, but it sure beats being in school (even though I’m seriously considering enrolling in an online program to get my meteorology certificate). It takes a lot of planning, and a little bit of luck, but I think I can hack this new life of mine!

What’s been going on in your world lately? 

Perfectly Imperfect

This weekend was one of those weekends that I never wanted to end. Don’t get me wrong–it wasn’t the perfect weekend in every way. But perfection is boring! My weekend was perfectly imperfect, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  • I finally got my hair re-done.

It was time for a change and I’m so glad I made one. I got about 5-6 inches off the length (big for me since my hair’s been this long since 9th grade!) and got it colored darker. I’m in love with the results though–but of course, hair is never as amazing as it is right after getting it done.

I'm a brunette again!

I’m a brunette again!

I was a little worried when I went out with my mom later on Friday on a few errands because it was raining & snowing and I didn’t want my new hair getting ruined. Fortunately, it stayed pretty dry and I was able to score a new bikini from Target thanks to my lovely mom. Trying on swimsuits is still an anxiety-provoking thing for me but I was able to get over my body hang-ups and find a cute suit that I love!

View from my room on Friday afternoon. Looks more like December than March!

View from my room on Friday afternoon. Looks more like December than March!

I can't wait to wear this...hopefully soon!

I can’t wait to wear this…hopefully soon!

  • I went hiking with my parents. 

After crappy weather on Friday and some cold (in the 40s) sunshine on Saturday, I was more than ready for some springlike weather like we had on Thursday. Sunday delivered on that, so my parents and I laced up our hiking boots (okay, I just wore some tennis shoes) and hit the trails at a state park in the foothills on the south side of town. The weather was perfect–in the 70s with gorgeous blue skies. I was excited to fit in some exercise out in the fresh air. Everything was great…until we ran into some mud on the trails. And by mud, I mean several inches of sloppy, gooey fresh mud. Not so ideal, especially with the shoes I was wearing but with a little help from my dad, I was able to survive the muddy trails. You never know what’s going to happen when you’re hiking, and that’s what I love. Sure, it wasn’t quite the perfect conditions but we made the best of it and now we have a great story to tell 😉

I was finally reunited with the Whole Foods salad bar!

I was finally reunited with the Whole Foods salad bar for an almost-perfect picnic lunch.

Isn't this view just gorgeous? I'm so lucky to be able to call Colorado my home (for now)!

Isn’t this view just gorgeous? I’m so lucky to be able to call Colorado my home (for now)!

A photobombed selfie on the trail.

A photobombed selfie on the trail. I love my mom!

  • I got my grocery shopping done for the week. 

I’m being serious when I say that grocery shopping is one of my highlights of the week. I love browsing the aisles for new products and being able to pick out my produce and other food for the week. I get a little upset, though, when I have to push back my grocery trip because of my mom or dad’s schedule. Mostly because I go through my groceries by the time the weekend rolls around, and being low on my favorite foods is a little annoying. But I’m learning to be patient, and just to appreciate the fact that right now, my parents are paying for my (slightly expensive) groceries.

My dad and I didn’t get to the store until 5 pm on Sunday because of our hiking escapades earlier in the day, but I really enjoyed the time I spent with him at Sprouts and Whole Foods. We ran into my internship supervisor from last summer–he’s always been so nice and funny and supportive, so we talked a little about my possible upcoming job. My dad and I share a love for fruit, so we went a little crazy in the Sprouts produce area. At Whole Foods, I wasn’t able to buy everything I had on my list (no spinach, boo!) because things weren’t stocked or they were a bit too expensive but I’m just so grateful that my dad spent the time and money to take me to my favorite store. And now I’m all stocked up for the week and ready to try out some new recipes!

Homemade grain free pizza with homemade kale pesto made from the remnants of my last grocery haul.

Homemade grain free pizza with homemade kale pesto made from the remnants of my last grocery haul.

So yeah, my weekend wasn’t perfect. My nail polish chipped right after I painted them, I had some anxieties over my workouts, I ate too many Larabars (I’ve had 1 per day since Thursday even though I meant to save them…oops!), I was disappointed by this week’s SNL, I didn’t drink enough water, I got a not-so-great voice mail from my doctor’s office and I struggled with some lingering cold symptoms. But you know what? My weekend was perfectly imperfect. I enjoyed plenty of family time, I ate some amazing pizza (of the homemade, grain free variety), I helped my sister with a baking project, I slept in and stayed up late and I just lived. Not every weekend or every day will be perfect, but it doesn’t have to be. Sometimes, the imperfect days are the best!

What were some highlights of your weekend?

 

Fashion Friday: Tickled Pink

Aside from a very brief tomboy phase in late elementary school, when I professed my hatred for anything even a little girly, my favorite color has always been pink. I have pink shoes and purses, pink office supplies, a pink hair dryer and I was thisclose to getting a pink Kia Soul when I was getting a car for college. You could say I’m a little obsessed with the color pink. 

I also have a decent amount of pink in my closet, but much of it is brighter pink, like more of a magenta shade. I’ve never been really into baby pink but when I got a sheer button-down in that shade from American Eagle for Valentine’s Day (from my mom, what a sweet Valentine!) I fell in love. Light pink is perfect for spring, and it pairs especially well with black, which is one of my favorite pink pairings.

Look at my thigh gap haha but seriously excuse my weird pose. I always have problems trying to show my full outfit in this mirror.

Look at my thigh gap haha but seriously excuse my weird pose. I always have problems trying to show my full outfit in this mirror. 

This outfit works for casual things, like running errands or hanging out but it can easily be dressed up by exchanging the black leggings for skinny black pants and strappy heels. I love the shirt because it’s sheer and see-through (I was wearing a matching pink cami underneath) so it’s great for warmer spring days but you also won’t freeze in it if you wear it to the office. And it’s the perfect fit, just a little loose without being sloppy.

Left: jeweled friendship bracelet (American Eagle), white watch (American Eagle). Right: pink heart pendant (Forever 21).

Left: jeweled friendship bracelet (American Eagle), white watch (American Eagle). Right: pink heart pendant (Forever 21).

Jewelry is a must-have for me. I went very girly with a jeweled woven bracelet, white-and-pink watch (which BTW doesn’t work but I still wear it anyway haha I keep forgetting to get the battery changed) and a pink heart pendant necklace. My coral pink nails went great with the whole ensemble, and I dressed it up a little more with black wedge booties.

Pink sheer button-down (American Eagle), pink cami (Target), black zippered leggings (American Eagle), unpictured black wedge booties (Target).

Pink sheer button-down (American Eagle), pink cami (Target), black zippered leggings (American Eagle), unpictured black wedge booties (Target).

Some days just call for a LOT of selfies.

Some days just call for a LOT of selfies.

What are your thoughts on the color pink? Girly, fun, perfect for pairing with edgier colors, etc.?

 

What’s In My Bag?

I have an obsession. With purses. Specifically large, designer bags. I got my first, a multicolor Coach shoulder bag for Christmas when I was 16 and since then, I’ve been hooked and have added 5 more designer bags to my collection.

My current go-to is a navy blue bird-printed Fossil tote I got for my 21st birthday and I’ve been loving it ever since. It’s the perfect size, shape and it goes with almost everything. I love that it has an interior zippered pocket and a few pouches so I can attempt to organize my stuff, but let’s be honest, I mostly just throw things in there. That’s what a purse is for, right?

I was inspired by Emily’s recent posts about the things in her bag and I wanted to share what’s currently in mine!

In my purse

Makeup bag (Forever 21)…March 2014 People StyleWatch magazine…White Citrus mini lotion (Bath & Body Works)…hairbrush (Clinique)…Bandaid box (hey, I’m accident prone!)…Lemon Vanilla lip gloss (Bath & Body Works)…earphones…mango butter chapstick (Burt’s Bees)…compact mirror (Gilly Hicks)…wallet (Fossil)…vanilla berry sorbet hand sanitizer (Bath & Body Works)…keys…Advil…multicolored pens…Lipslicks lipstick in princess (Covergirl)…cinnamon xylitol mints…sunglasses (Target). 

What’s in your purse?

Fashion Friday: B+W

I remember when I used to hate black. No good reason for it, I just thought it was blah and goth and weird. I owned literally nothing black other than nice dress pants for band concerts.

But then I started shopping at Forever 21, and that’s when my world changed. See, before that I was a Hollister/Abercrombie/American Eagle girl, and while I still like those stores, they’re a lot less affordable than F21. It didn’t help that those stores (other than American Eagle) don’t make anything in black. I loved (and still love) bright colors, but I finally opened up to having black in my closet. It started with a pair of black+white patterned harem pants, and expanded to a few key pieces, including a few dresses. tanks, jackets and pants.

Now when I wear black, it’s almost always paired with white. I love the graphic look of B+W prints and I can always add in a pop of color with a necklace or shoes.

Black+white graphic career jacket (Forever 21), black studded tank (F21), black stretchy pencil skirt (Charlotte Russe), black tights (Target), black wedge ankle booties (Target).

Black+white graphic drapey career jacket (Forever 21), black studded tank (F21), black stretchy pencil skirt (Charlotte Russe), black tights (Target), black wedge ankle booties (Target).

This would be an outfit I would definitely wear to work (ahem, still job searching!) and it works for all seasons–just skip the tights for spring and summer. It’s a bold look because of the graphic-patterned jacket without being overdone because of the simple palette.

Obligatory selfie.

Obligatory selfie.

I kept the makeup look polished and simple. Liquid & powder foundation, blush, grey eyeshadow, dark brown eyeliner, volumizing mascara (I use Maybelline Colossal Volum’ Express) and a little pink lip stain. I don’t use fancy makeup, mostly Covergirl and Maybelline, the kind of stuff you can get at Target and drug stores. I wish I could afford Sephora…a girl can dream!

Triangles necklace (Forever 21), white rose ring (F21).

Triangles necklace (Forever 21), white rose ring (F21). Coach Poppy backpack purse in the background.

Accessories are always a must in my world. I kept this look simple with a small pendant necklace and white rose-adorned ring, both from Forever 21.Yes, their jewelry is cheap, but it holds together fairly well and it’s great for someone like me who loves to have a wide variety of jewelry. Oh, and I paired this outfit with my Coach Poppy black+white+red backpack purse I got for my 19th birthday. Love this bag, it’s like a fancy backpack!

What colors do you like to pair with black? 

Friday Five: Foodie Edition

Thanks for all the helpful words on my last post! It’s hard to deal with well-meaning but unhelpful advice from family and friends, but it’s a good reminder that we have to take those words with a grain of salt and do what’s best for our health.

I wanted to bring back the Friday Five posts again and this week, I’m focusing on some fun food things for all my fellow foodies out there!

1. I found some new Larabar flavors…at Target!

You all know my love for Target and Larabars…so put the two together and it’s a perfect match! I actually generally don’t buy my Larabars from Target since they don’t usually have a huge selection like Whole Foods and Sprouts do. But since they have a lot of New Years resolution health stuff right now, they had some Uber bars on sale for $1 each, including 2 new-to-me flavors! You definitely can’t beat that–and they sound downright delicious too.

Ummmm, yum!

Ummmm, yum!

2. I’m obsessed with making grain-free flatbreads. 

First, it was this flatbread made into grain free stuffing. Then it was my staple socca. Now it’s this focaccia, which happens to be egg-free also! If you think grain free baking is hard, try it without eggs. It’s really fun to experiment with grain-free flours and when something turns out delicious, it’s even better.

3. I’m really craving the produce of spring and summer. 

Winter is hard enough as it is, with plenty of cold days, snow and the general feeling of blah-ness once the holidays are over. At least I didn’t get hit with the crazy cold weather here in Colorado (we’ve been in the 40s and 50s, which I can’t complain too much about) and we get over 300 days of sunshine each year, so my mood stays the same. The one thing I crave (other than warmer weather) is spring and summer produce. I miss all the berries, the watermelon, the peaches and cherries, the asparagus and the artichokes. Winter produce just isn’t cutting it–I’m already sick of squashes and citrus. At least I still have my beloved pomegranate…only 68 days until spring arrives!

I miss having fresh berries for my breakfast!

I miss having fresh berries for my breakfast!

4. I haven’t had peanut flour in over 6 months…and I kinda want it again.

Remember when I was addicted to ordering food from iHerb? Yeah, me neither since the last time I ordered from them was last May! I don’t know what happened, but I guess I got more budget-conscious and my monthly orders stopped happening. I used to eat peanut flour AT LEAST once per day, and I haven’t had it since June. I just miiiiight end up ordering some more with some of my graduation money, but then again, it might all go towards clothes #sorrynotsorry

5. I’m debating going back on the raw foods train.

I actually did this for quite a while last summer and then I stopped once school started back up and fall came and there was less good produce around. I’m not planning on going 100% raw anytime soon, but I’d like to reincorporate more raw foods into my diet. I’m a big fan of eating whole, minimally-processed foods and this just takes it an extra step. This might be more realistic once spring happens, because there will be more produce, and I love loading up my plate with plenty of fresh fruits and veggies, but in the meantime, I’m going to be buying more raw things, like nuts/seeds and making my own almond milk and stuff like that. I have a lot more time on my hands now that I’m just looking for a job, so I have tons of time to experiment in the kitchen!

I'm going to be making more recipes from this book.

I’m going to be making more recipes from this book.

Anyone else missing the warm weather produce? What’s a food you haven’t eaten in awhile that you want to start eating again more often?