Friday, March 28, 2014

Liebster Award

The Liebster Award: It's a way for up-and-coming bloggers to connect and support each other.

The Guidelines: Mention the person who nominated you; list 11 random facts about yourself; answer the 11 questions asked by the person who nominated you; nominate 11 up-and-coming bloggers; create a new set of 11 questions for your nominations.

Christine from "From the Lion's Den" was sweet enough to nominate me for the Liebster Award. She's an adorable lifestyle blogger originally from Los Angeles. I love her variety of posts and her fun and easy-going blogging style. She posts anything from food to fashion and anything in between. Definitely check out her blog and give her a follow!

11 Random Facts About Me:

1. I have a serious problem with watching bad reality TV. I'm a Real Housewives addict. My favorite's are Beverly Hills and Orange County. I basically watch anything on E! And Bravo. It's definitely a guilty pleasure of mine! (I think Yolanda is my favorite).

2. When I was younger, I wanted to be a veterinarian. I love animals, but I realized that I would have to deal with animals that were sick or have to do surgery on them possibly. That's when I realized that I really just want to cuddle and pet them, so I changed my mind quickly haha.

3. I've subconsciously trained myself to sleep with my hand curled up under my face. I slept this way because I used to sleep with a stuffed animal bunny, but it's still the way that I usually fall asleep.

4. I currently attend the University of Central Florida in Orlando, FL. I'll be graduating in the first week of May with a major in Journalism and a minor in Marketing.

5. I'm a member of the Eta Eta chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma (at UCF).

6. I have extremely long and thick hair. I usually get comments on a daily basis about it, especially if I have my hair in a braid. I think it's definitely my best feature.

7. I really want to invent something! I love watching Shark Tank and my brother invented his own app, so it really makes me want to create something of my own too! The only problem is, I can't think of anything haha, sort of a dilemma.

8. My favorite colors to wear are jewel tones like fuchsia, emerald green and cobalt blue. Dresses are definitely my go-to outfits too.

9. I love designing things on InDesign or Photoshop. I recently designed my own Graduation invitation because I didn't like any of the other free e-vites online, and I made my own creative resume too.

10. I love to read, but I haven't really had much time to because of my schoolwork. I'm looking forward to having a bit of extra time once I graduate to start reading more again. Any good book suggestions?

11. I love the ocean and I love being on the boat and scurfing! Scurfing is like surfing, but behind a boat. You get really close to the back of the boat and use a skim board or surf board to ride the wake that the boat creates. You can even throw the rope back into the boat, so it's like you're actually surfing! Check out the picture of me below.

11 Questions From Christine:

1. Do you have a pet? 
Yes, but not here at school in Orlando. I have a cat, Roxy, who is almost 7 years old. She stays at home with my parents since I'm not allowed to have pets in my apartment here. We actually trained her to sit and beg for treats. My boyfriend also has a two year old pit bull/plott hound mix that I love. They're both in the pictures below.

2. What's your biggest fashion Achilles' heel?
Sales! It's hard for me to say no to something if I see that it's on sale and that I'll be saving money. Sometimes it ends up being my excuse for buying something, even though I don't necessarily need it.

3. Can't leave home without?
My cell phone, wallet and chapstick. I love the eos brand. It looks like a little egg and comes in refreshing flavors. My favorites are lemon and mint.

4. What's something you used to wear and love but are totally embarrassed about now?
In the beginning of high school, the movie High School Musical was just coming out. I loved that movie and of course, Zac Efron. I had a heart locket necklace that had Zac Efron's face on it that I would wear occasionally. Yep, that's definitely embarrassing.

5. Favorite food to eat and/or cook?
Sushi is definitely one of my favorite foods! I've never tried to make it myself at home, but I would love to get a kit and try it sometime.

6. Ideal place to live?
I love the city I grew up in, near Clearwater, FL, which is where I'll be moving back to after I graduate. But I would love to travel to NYC and Los Angeles and other places in California. I think I would really love California because of the warmer weather - I definitely have an issue with the cold.

7. If you could do anything for a career, you would...
Being a personal stylist or a fashion buyer would be an amazing job. I love fashion and looking through clothes, so I feel like it would be an easy and fun job for me. I would also love to work for a fashion magazine.

8. Worst thing you've ever eaten?
Hmm, nothing comes to mind right away, but I'm not a big fan of green olives or brussel sprouts. I can eat them if I have to, and I still like dirty martinis, but I don't prefer them.

9. Favorite workout?
I've recently been using Tone It Up a lot. I love the girl's behind the brand, Karena and Katrina, and they make the workouts fun, but you definitely still get a great workout.

10. What's a current trend you are absolutely hating?
Eyebrow penciling. Shading in eyebrows a little bit to make them look fuller is totally fine, but girls have been taking it to a whole new level lately! They end up just making themselves look like clowns.

11. If you had to wear one brand for the next five years, which would it be?
I've always really like the clothes from Express. They have a lot of cute and fun clothes, but also a lot of clothes are good for the workplace - and they're all pretty reasonably priced. I have a lot of basic tops from there that go with a lot of outfits.

11 Questions for My Nominations to Answer:

1. What was your reason for starting your blog?
2. What's your favorite color to wear?
3. If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
4. What's your favorite thing to splurge on?
5. What are your guilty pleasure TV shows?
6. If I gave you $1 million tomorrow, what would you do with it?
7. If you could meet anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
8. What's one food you can't live without?
9. If you had to choose between not having breakfast or dessert for the rest of your life, which would you choose and why?
10. What's one designer you wish you could have everything in their collections?
11. What's one of your favorite quotes?

My 11 Up-and-Coming Blog Nominations:

1. Hillbillies in Heels
2. Pink Peonies
3. Vanilla Extract
4. Rachel Whitton
5. Spoonful of Sugar
6. Champagne Lifestyle on a Beer Budget
7. A House in the Hills
8. Blogging Over Thyme
9. Averie Cooks
10. Envision Pretty
11. Edible Perspective

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Miley Cyrus Bangerz Tour

I'm not the biggest Miley Cyrus fan, but my little sister in my sorority won tickets to her Bangerz tour at the Amway Center in Orlando last night and invited me to go with, so naturally I said of course! I do like most of her new songs, but I wouldn't have paid to go to the concert, but who turns down free tickets!? They weren't great seats, but good enough to see all the ridiculous action taking place on stage. 

The show was what I expected times ten. The props, her outfits and Miley in general were all crazy to say the least. The show wasn't close to being short of twerking and crotch-grabbing, but that's basically what Miley seems to be all about lately. 

During the song "Adore You" she told the crowd to make out with whoever you came with. Then cameramen proceeded to go around the crowd and put couples up on the big screen who were following Miley's orders. You can only imagine what some people were doing to get on that screen. 

During another point in the show, she took swigs of water from her water bottle and spit it out all over the front rows of the crowd. 

Most of her outfits incorporated a revealing, over the hip leotard of some kind. She also had a few different pairs of cowboy boots, J's and heels. Check out the pictures in this post (not ones that I took) to see for yourself. 

Her back-up dancers included little people, giant dancing teddy bears, and girls who could twerk better than anyone I've seen before. She also had crazy props like a Miley tongue slide which she slid down to start the show, a giant gray wolf, a massive bed and a floating hot dog that she rode on.

Even though I'm not the biggest Miley fan, I still had a lot of fun watching the performance. It was definitely entertaining to see all the different props, and it was a great place for people watching too. I wouldn't recommend it for anyone who's not in high school yet though, because it was pretty explicit for young ages. 

Other than that, it was definiltey an experience that I won't forget and will probably be the most outrageous concert that I'll ever attend. 

Are you going to see Miley on her Bangerz tour? What are some of your favorite performers?

Friday, March 21, 2014

Spiralizing Veggies - Zoodles!

I recently bought my own sprializer. Spiralizers are used to cut fruits and vegetables in a thin, spiral-like shape - almost like spaghetti. I had seen a lot of recipes on Pinterest and heard from friends that it was a great substitute for pasta, so I figured I'd give it a try, and boy was I happy.

I'm a carb lover, so pasta is one of my favorites, but this zucchini noodle - or zoodle - substitute was just as great. First of all, I love the fun shape and never ending spirals that I can create. Second, it's super easy and takes just a few minutes to cook! And third, it's calorie count is extremely low, so I don't feel guilty about eating a full plate of "zoodles." Keep reading to see my recipe.

Since I was just making dinner for myself, I used one medium-large sized zucchini, but you can adjust the recipe to reflect however many people you are cooking for.


1-2 medium zucchinis
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


Cut the ends off of the zucchini and place into spiralizer.
Use the spiralizer until all zucchini has been put through.
In a medium saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.
Add zoodles to pan and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
Plate and add your favorite toppings!

I topped my zoodles dish with organic vodka sauce and grilled chicken, but I'm looking forward to trying different toppings and combinations. This is a great dish for those who are eating clean too! If you're interested in what eating clean means, check out my last post or click here

Do you have a spiralizer? Have you ever made zoodles before? What are your favorite spiralizer recipes?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Easy Guide to Eating Clean

I'm the type of girl who hates diets. I love food and I love eating (and I especially love my carbs), so going through the diet cycle of losing and gaining weight was frustrating and annoying. Last April, I discovered "eating clean." Yes, there are restrictions, but I felt that I had much more freedom than I did on other fad diets, and I felt and looked great! So for Lent this year, I went back to strictly eating clean again.

Last April, I picked up Tosca Reno's book, The Eat Clean Diet, to get started. In simple terms, it's all about eating all natural food, eating small portions all throughout the day and pairing complex carbs with proteins. Your body doesn't want to run on preservatives, additives and artificial flavors, so simply feed it the right natural ingredients, and I promise you'll feel great!

I recommend purchasing a book like Reno's to begin or at least doing lots of research online. She gives you a lot of background about what foods are good and why and gives you tips to remember along the journey. But like I said, in simple terms, eating clean means eating foods that are in their whole form without any odd ingredients that you don't recognize or can't pronounce.

In order to do this, you have to become label obsessed at first. But the good thing is, instead of looking at the calories, fat or carbs on the label, you're looking at the ingredients. I was surprised to find that some of my favorite foods that I thought were "clean" weren't at all. For example, most peanut butters have added salts and sugars, so I switched to an all natural peanut butter. Even ketchup has added sugar! Whole Food Markets will become your best friends.

Here are some examples of foods that I was eating before that I switched out for clean foods:
White Potatoes -> Sweet Potatoes
White Rice -> Brown Rice or Quinoa 
Instant Oatmeal -> Steel Cut Oats
Peanut Butter -> All Natural Peanut Butter or Almond Butter
White Bread -> Whole Wheat Bread
White Pasta -> Whole Wheat Pasta

In summary:
  • Only eat whole foods - no additives, artificial flavoring, etc.
  • Check the label - always check the food label to see what ingredients are in the food. You may be surprised with what you find.
  • Try to pair complex carbs (like whole wheat bread or brown rice) with proteins (like chicken or almonds)
  • Drink lots of water! At least 8 glasses a day.
  • Schedule your meals - This makes it a lot easier at the grocery store and so you won't stray away from your plan.
  • Try to avoid sugars and sodium as much as possible.
  • Eat 5-6 small meals throughout the day.

Remember it may be hard to change your ways at first, but I promise you, it's worth it. Even if you eat clean during the week and save your weekends for indulging, that's making progress! I'll be posting recipes here on my blog (like the maple salmon pictured above), but you can find tons of supplemental information and fun recipes to try on Pinterest too!

Have you ever tried eating strictly clean? What are your favorite clean recipes?

Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday Favorites 03/14/2014

This week I was loving Kim and Khloe Kardashian's all nude ensembles. I stumbled upon a gorgeous leopard print backpack and sparkling Kendra Scott earrings. 

Kim Kardashian in a Kardashian Kollection sweater and Alaia dress and shoes

Khloe Kardashian in an Elisabetta Franchi jumpsuit and Gianvito Rossi shoes

I've always been a major fan of leopard print - in moderation of course. So when I naturally love this amazing Jerome Dreyfuss backpack. Unfortunately, it's a bit out of my price range at $1,140, but I'll keep dreaming. 

There's nothing better than a gorgeous pair of earrings and I love basically everything from Kendra Scott nowadays. These new studs and drop earrings are amazing, and the turquoise would look great next to my blonde hair. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

My First and Last Spring Break Vacation

So this is my senior year at the University of Central Florida and I had yet to take a Spring Break trip. Since it was my last opportunity, I booked a 4 day Royal Caribbean cruise with my roommates and little sister in my sorority. I've been on cruises with my family before, but none with my friends, so I was excited for the new experience.

Needless to say, we had tons of fun. The cruise went out of Miami, then proceeded to Nassau, Bahamas, CocoCay, Bahamas, and Key West, Florida, respectively. We had great weather except for the last part of the day at Key West. My Dad was nice enough to let me use his Go Pro camera so that I could record all of our festivities throughout the trip. It was hard to cut down all the video, but I managed to fit it into a 15 minute video which you can find at the end of this post. 

Nassau, Bahamas was my favorite stop. I even got a hair wrap - which ended up taking an hour and fifteen minutes because my hair was so long. I was definitely not expecting that, but I couldn't stop half way through! 

All in all, we had a great time. I don't think I've ever laughed to much in that period of time either. I got a bit of a tan and ate and drank way too much. But in the end, it was definitely worth the money spent and calories gained. I would definitely recommend it for anyone who wants a short getaway!

Have you had any fun Spring Break trips? Where do you want to vacation to?

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Lupita Nyong'o: Red Carpet Season MVP

The Academy Awards tonight sealed the deal for new-comer actress Lupita Nyong'o. I'm not talking about how many awards she has won or how often she has been recognized for her superior acting in "12 Years a Slave," but rather, her amazing red carpet choices.

She has blown the crowds away with her amazing gowns. Red, teal, white, baby blue and emerald green - they're different and daring and the colors look impeccable with her flawless dark skin. It also doesn't hurt that she's so humble and genuine in interviews on camera. 

Here's a quick review of her stand-out looks from the past few months. 

 Golden Globe Awards. Wearing: Ralph Lauren. January 12, 2014.

Critic's Choice Awards. Wearing: Calvin Klein. January 16, 2014.

Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards. Wearing: Gucci. January 18, 2014. 

The British Academy of Film & Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards. Wearing: Dior Couture. February 16, 2014. 

 The Academy Awards. Wearing: Prada. March 2, 2014.

This is my absolute favorite out of all of her amazing looks. The sky blue colors pops and looks so beautiful on her. Lupita even commented in an interview that this blue shade reminds her of Nairobi, where she grew up for part of her life. The gown is so simple, yet so elegant. She was hands down the best dressed at The Academy Awards...not to mention she also won Best Supporting Actress.  

Are you loving Lupita's looks as much as I am? Who was your favorite from the Academy Awards?