Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Organix Moroccan Argan Oils

I've already stated previously that I am a hair oil fanatic, and this is further proof of my obsession. The Organix Moroccan Argan Oil hair line is so good. I use both the penetrating oil as well as the weightless healing dry oil and they are some of my favorite hair oils to date.

I love using the penetrating oil the night before a hair wash. I usually run a dime size amount through dry hair and throw my hair up in a bun overnight. It leaves my hair super silky smooth after a wash. I don't use it unless I'm going to wash my hair the next day though because it is super oily, so it does leave my hair greasy to look at/touch, which is never a good look. The weightless healing dry oil is the perfect everyday hair oil. I usually spritz on a couple sprays before styling my hair and it leaves my hair super shiny and tames my fly-a-ways. Since it is a dry oil, I find that it doesn't make my hair greasy or oily at all, but a couple of times a week I do need a deeper oil treatment to keep my hair feeling soft and manage my split ends. The two together are the ideal combination of hair oils.

What kinds of hair products are your favorites?

Monday, March 30, 2015

Low FODMAP update, challenge #2

So this weekend we did our 2nd challenge. We reintroduced Galactans back into our diet. I can tell you that coffee with soy creamer never tasted so good! Unfortunately our challenge did not go as smoothly as our first one did. While I didn't get sick, I did feel extremely bloated after the aggressive part of the challenge was done. I was even, dare I say it, happy to resume my low FODMAP diet so that I could feel some relief. The poor hubby fared even worse. After the aggressive part of the phase he got his first IBS symptoms since we started low FODMAP. He was extremely sick to his stomach but seemed to get better as the day progressed.
While this wasn't the result we were hoping for it isn't all bad. We now know that while my husband can have some Galactans, it's a very small amount, and definitely not all in succession. And really the whole point of this is to push the boundaries of eating and find our tolerance levels so we definitely learned a lot from this challenge. If you are eating low FODMAP and introducing in challenges I definitely advise keeping a food journal. It's easy to think you'll remember how you felt after eating certain things but it's amazing, especially for someone like me who loves food, how quickly you forget what foods make you feel awful.

Do you ever pay attention to how you feel after what you eat?

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Stress Less Sunday - hand care

I always love giving my skin a good scrub, especially as I've gotten older and experienced my skin becoming more dry! There is something very nurturing to me about taking care of your skin. I feel like it's incredibly important to make the time pamper yourself, especially your skin, as that is the first thing that really made me feel like I was looking my age. I never really took notice of my hands as much as, say, my face or neck. However, especially recently, I've noticed in pictures that my hands are looking...well, for lack of a better word, old. As I've gotten older and had to work a lot more with my hands, including beating them up week after week at the coffee shop, I decided it was high time I took more effort into making my hands look and feel a lot better. This week I decided to do a deep moisturizing on my hands. I want to keep my hands feeling and looking supple and soft, so what better way then a nice scrub and overnight moisturizing?

First I scrubbed my hands with this DIY scrub
Then I slathered on a thick cream, this one from Mary Kay is great for moisturizing but my mom used to use Vaseline, and that actually worked really well too!
Last I threw on these gloves I picked up from the Dollar Tree to be left on overnight

Let me know in the comments what you do to take care of your hands.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

DIY hand scrub and Giveaway Winner!

I love making scrubs at home; they are super easy to make, super cheap and I can mix and match different scents, textures and moisturizers to make them super personal. Today, I made this hand scrub using brown sugar, coconut carrier oil and Sweet Orange essential oil. Since I'm using it as a hand scrub, I used brown sugar because it still exfoliates without being too harsh. The coconut oil gives my hands tons of moisture and the Sweet Orange oil smells so good, you'll want to eat this scrub! You can substitute regular sugar or salt and use the oils of your preference.

 I used 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 1/8 cup of coconut carrier oil and a few drops of essential oil. You want the scrub to be chunky in texture. If you make a big batch for several uses, remember to keep it in an airtight container.

What are your favorite DIY scrubs?

Also, the winner of the 100 subscriber giveaway is Amy from Blonde Amy! Check out her blog!
Thanks to those who entered!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Fashion Friday : Boho Birthday + Giveaway!

In actuality I wore this outfit yesterday out to my birthday dinner, but I loved it so much I had to share it! I'm loving this Spring weather, it's perfect for flowy tops and light jeans, which is one of my favorite looks!

I have to say, I was completely spoiled on my birthday, I am so super lucky to have wonderful family and friends who made my day feel so special! Thanks for all the gifts and birthday wishes I got from everyone!

*Don't forget to enter the giveaway I have going, for details see this post. It ends tomorrow night so you've still got time!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

50 Random Questions Tag

In honor of my birthday being TODAY, I thought I'd share 50 random facts about me. I tag everyone to do this so I can get to know all my internet friends better as well.

1. Would you rather be twice as smart or twice as happy? Twice as happy, being happy makes everything in life so much better.

2. What's your worst habit? My WORST habit is definitely leaving water everywhere after I wash my face. My husband always complains that he puts his phone in my water puddle haha.

3. Are you dating? Much better, I'm MARRIED!

4. Do you take shampoo and conditioner bottles from hotels? Yes, always, for the "next time" I travel, even though next time I just have more shampoo and conditioners from the hotel.

5. What is the one thing you'll never do again? I've thought long and hard, and I honestly cannot come up with one single answer. No regrets and all, right?

6. Do you collect anything? I collect all the things. Seriously, I have a problem. A collecting problem. Some might even call it hoarding.

7. Worst injury you ever had? Rolling my ankle whilst taking wedding photos.

8. What is your favorite pet/animal? DOGS! Specifically Pugs or Poms.

9. What's your dream vacation? I would love to visit Asia. My mother is Korean so that is #1 and I would love to see Japan.

10. Honestly, are things going the way you planned? Things are so much better than I could have ever planned.

11. Do you have any tattoos? I have 9 tattoos.

12. What's your secret to lure in the opposite sex? This is a weird question. Honesty. Having respect for yourself.

13. Any phobias? Water, I am terrified of being surrounded by water!

14. Do you bite your nails? No, I never have!

15. Do you ever count your steps when you walk? Yes, I do this all the time.

16. Heels or flats? Both! I love all the shoes (see collections).

17. Have you ever stolen a street sign before? No.

18. Do you always smile for pictures? It's half and half, I like not smiling, my hubby likes me better smiling.

19. Do you ever dance even if there's no music playing? No, but turn some music on and try to stop me!

20. Do you miss anyone right now? My parents, I rarely get to see them since we work opposite hours for our coffee shop.

21. What's your favorite color? Red and Purple, it's hard to have one favorite of anything.

22. Do you want kids? No, I don't. You can read all about it on my previous post here.

23. Are you patient? More so as I'm getting older but sometimes it's a struggle.

24. Can you swim? No, which explains the water phobia.

25. Tea or coffee? Coffee please!

26. What do you wear to bed? Usually an over-sized shirt.

27. Ever used a gun? Not until recently but yes, I can now say I've shot a gun.

28. Do you sing in the shower? I try not to sing at all, I have a terrible voice. I mostly just whisper songs.

29. Are you stubborn? I can be, depending on how strongly I feel about something.

30. Are you lazy? Not generally.

31. Can you change the oil in a car. No, my friend Jiffy Lube does it for me for a minimal fee.

32. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper? Probably 5 years ago, I had a pen pal I used to work with.

33. Would you ever strip or pose nude in a magazine? No, that kind of thing is not for me.

34. What is your favorite food? Mexican food. Hands down. I didn't realize I had a favorite until I started eating Low FODMAP. Now all I can think of are burritos.

35. Do you still watch cartoons? Yes, I watch what I consider are "adult cartoons."

36. What movie(s) can you watch over and over again and not get bored? Comedies. I love to laugh!

37. What superpower would you have for one day? The ability to time travel. I would love to visit different eras.

38. What's been your favorite age so far? I don't really have one, each year has brought me great things and bad things.

39. How old are you? Even more thirty something as of today.

40. If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self? Work hard, learn everything you can, go for your dreams!

41. If you knew you would die in one week, what would you do? Spend as much time with my family as possible.

42. What celebrity would you trade lives with? I don't think any, I think they all have some issues haha.

43. Do people ever take you seriously? If I'm meant to be taken seriously.

44. What happened the last time you cried? I was probably watching a commercial or movie. I'm a soppy mess when I watch something sad.

45. Who knows you best? My hubby.

46. Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed? Open, I have so much crap around my closet all the time I don't even know if it's possible to close the doors.

47. What is your song of the week? Truffle Butter because my husband is loving that song right now!

48. Last person you kissed? My hubby, who is the ONLY person I kiss!

49. Best thing to eat for breakfast? It varies, I like granola bars, cereal or eggs and toast.

50. Does anyone know the password to your email? My hubby knows all of my passwords because it's essentially the same one everywhere.

If you do this tag leave me a link in the comments below!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Shoe appreciation post : The black and gold boot

If you haven't guessed it yet, I love shoes. Like love, love. Especially black boots. Black boots are my thing. And even though the weather is heating up (it's even downright warm these days), I had to throw a little love to my favorite pair of black boots lately before I put them away for the season...

Who am I kidding? I'll probably be pairing these boots with dresses and shorts for the summer, they are that amazing.

These are the Daz boots in black by Shoemint. I got these when they were in the sale and they are worth every single penny! The quilting, the gold zips, the tread on the sole; everything about this boot is PERFECT! Not to mention they are comfortable beyond belief.

Comment below and tell me what's been your favorite pair of shoes lately!

Shoemint Daz Boots

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

What I'm Watching : Brain Games

My husband and I recently started a series recommended to us on Netflix called Brain Games. Oh my goodness, if you are into things that absolutely take your mind for a spin this show is for you. It's all about the inner workings of your mind, how optical illusions and simple challenges can often trick us in our everyday lives. The show is interactive so you participate in games/challenges to see how your mind thinks. It's educational but not in a boring, droning teacher kind of way. It really makes you realize how powerful the brain really is and it definitely makes you more aware of the things you miss in your everyday life. I can tell you right now that on each episode I've watched I've been completely tricked by my own mind! If you are into psychiatry, brain function or optical illusions, this show is for you. Even if you're not, give it a try, I think you'll be as hooked as I am!

Let me know if you watch it and your thoughts!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Low FODMAP mac n' cheese

We reintroduced Fructans back into our diet this weekend with success! No intolerance on either of our ends, which is great because I don't think my husband could live without wheat! Now back to low FODMAP eating until the next challenge. As promised, here is a low FODMAP recipe my husband actually loves!

Low FODMAP mac n' cheese:

1 pound gluten free Ancient Grain organic penne pasta
2 tbsp garlic infused extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp rice flour
1 cup of water OR homemade chicken stock
1 1/2 cups of almond milk
salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste
hot sauce to taste (make sure you check the ingredients, no tomato paste, garlic or onion!)
1 cup parmigiano-reggiano
1 cup extra sharp cheddar
10 oz pureed butternut squash

Cook pasta as directed
Preheat broiler and place rack in middle of oven
Heat garlic infused oil over medium heat, melt in butter and whisk flour into butter for 1 minute. Whisk in water (or stock) and milk, season with salt, pepper and nutmeg, cook for 3 or 4 minutes.
Stir in butternut squash and add hot sauce to taste. Reduce heat. When sauce bubbles, stir in cheeses and combine sauce and macaroni. Transfer to a casserole dish and garnish with some extra sharp cheddar. Brown macaroni under broiler, 4 to 5 minutes until brown.

*This dish was inspired by Rachel Ray's Harvest Moon Macaroni, and changed to our liking/dietary needs. I have tried the original recipe and it is very good also! Find the original recipe  here

We like ours super spicy, so we add a lot of hot sauce. Feel free to switch up the cheese, this time I baked it, because I forgot the parmigiano-reggiano at the store, I just used colby jack and it was just as yummy. Also you can add any of the original herbs and still keep it low FODMAP, this is just the way we prefer ours. The butternut squash pureed is a perfect way to sneak in some healthy vegetables when you have a hubby like mine who doesn't like fruits/veggies on their own. It adds a beautiful color and you can't even taste it!

If you try it, let me know what you think!!!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Crazy Sunday

Today I rode a 22 mile bike ride, which yeah, seems like a Stress Free Sunday right? WRONG! A million times wrong. During that 22 miles I climbed 800 feet. If you know anything about biking or anything about measurements, you will know that is a ridiculous amount. You might remember I mentioned a little race I had coming up in September called Salt to Saint. Well it's about time I start aggressively training and I guess if this doesn't kill me first I may just end up in the best shape of my life. I will admit that after feeling like all my limbs would fall off and calling my husband every name in the book (in my head, kind of my mantra as I biked) I actually felt really good I accomplished what I set out to ride. Still, wish me luck, because I need it!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Mini Haul, Stress Free Saturday and 100 Subscriber Giveaway! *Giveaway Closed*

I feel like it has already been a crazy busy weekend! I started today with drinks and pedicures. Or, more precisely drinking while getting a pedicure. Because my friends and I, we're kind of rebels like that. I decided this week that my stress free activity would be a pedicure and that it would happen today (Saturday) because tomorrow is another busy day. If everyone could start everyday with a pedicure I'm convinced this world would be a better place!

While at the store shopping for dinner I ended up getting a few things for myself...whoops. But I keep justifying it with the fact that my birthday is this week so it's alright, right? Anyway, I picked up a hand cream, some bath goodies and a couple of nail polishes.
I'm super excited to try the gel envy polish to see how it compares to my Sensationail Gel nails. Let me know if you want to see a comparison post.

Lastly, I totally reached 100 followers on Bloglovin! That may seem like a small deal to some (most) people, but it's a really big milestone for me and totally awesome. To celebrate, I'm giving away a Coastal Scents 2 palette OR an Amazon gift card worth $20. The rules are you have to be following me on Bloglovin and you have to comment on this post which of my posts was your favorite. The giveaway will close on Saturday March 28th at 8pm (Mountain Standard Time). Good luck everybody!!!!

Thanks to everyone who followed my blog, seriously so amazing! XOXO

Friday, March 20, 2015

Fashion Friday : Comfy Grunge

There is nothing easier for me then throwing on a dress, a cute flannel and some comfy booties. I pretty much wear this most Fridays because it's easy, it's cute and most importantly, it's comfy. What's your Friday go-to outfit?

Awkward pose #5,621

Love these Steve Madden cutout booties, SO comfy (probably could have done with a better view!)
The mesh detail on the dress is a nice little detail!
Love the close up on my glasses with my hubby in the mix!

Hope you are all having an amazing Friday!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Just a short Hello

Just wanted to stop by and say hi, see how everyone's day was. I worked, took the hubby to the dentist, went on a bike ride and now I'm beat. I'm going to sit down and have myself a nice big baked potato with all of the fixings. Well not all, but most. Did I mention that was the best thing about low FODMAPs? You can still have baked potato with the BEST fixings! Thank goodness for small pleasures!

Tell me how your day has been!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Macadamia Natural Oil Healing Oil Spray

As far as hair oils go, I am an absolute connoisseur. I am telling you, I am obsessed. I'd have to be, really, with my heat damaged, style damaged, dye damaged hair. Out of all the hair oils I've tried and loved, however, there is one that just takes the cake. It's the Macadamia Natural Oil Healing Oil Spray.
This stuff is so super moisturizing without being overly greasy. I can use this on day 1, 2 and 3 hair and it still just leaves my hair silky soft without adding any unwanted grease. I tend to use this the most on just washed hair, it leaves my hair tangle free and it air dries beautifully. And man oh man, how soft it leaves my hair is just ridiculous.
The shine it gives my hair is just unreal. And the fact that it's a spray? All the better, less mess and less fuss is always a plus in my book. I can't rave any more about this product, it's an all around wonder! Also the price isn't that bad, considering. You can get a 4.2 fl oz bottle on Amazon for around $13 and it will last you quite a while as you only need a few spritzes.

Let me know if there are any hair oils you think I should try out!

Find the amazing oil here.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Another year...a fuller bucket

As I approach another birthday delving deeper into my 30's, I'm starting to feel like NOW is the time to start tackling that bucket list. This isn't being dramatic, I know that barring some weird twist of fate I have quite a lot of years left in me. However, we can get so wrapped up in doing the things we NEED to do, that lots of times we forget to enjoy life a little, to do the things we want to do to make it count. Some of the things I've really been wanting to accomplish this year on my bucket list are to learn Korean and to travel someplace I've never been before. Something I've already accomplished was to start this blog, which was a HUGE leap for me and one I'm grateful I took. Some things on the list I think I can put off, maybe forever, are learning how to swim (YIKES!) and getting more tattoos. These are both things I kind of want to do, but kind of feel like I could die happy without ever doing (again, in the case of tattoos) hahaha. Tell me, what are some things your ready to start on your bucket list?

Monday, March 16, 2015

FODMAP: Week 2

Today marks the end of week 2 of our elimination phase. I'd love to say that things got a lot easier, but the truth is, it actually got much more difficult. While we had our lows in week 1, week 2 proved to be even worse. For a lot of week 1 we were riding on the high that my husband felt so much better. Now that we know the elimination period actually worked, why do we have to do it for longer? Well it takes this long for all the built up high FODMAP foods to exit your system. Even though there's quite a lot we can still have in the elimination phase, it's hard anytime you have to cut out foods based on necessity, not choice.

As I said before, we want to continue cutting out certain foods in the future that really had no nutritional benefits for us, but we're eager to start finding out what exactly the hubby is intolerant to, so we can go back to having some of the other foods we've been missing (all in moderation, of course.) Since I've always relied on the same sauces/spices to cook with, it's been a real struggle to find other ways to season things, not to mention time consuming. Anytime I want to add garlic flavor to a dish, I have to infuse oil with garlic and strain it to get the flavor. While this isn't a big deal, try multiplying that by 5 or 6 things I have to do to make just one dish. I know I'm complaining, and I really shouldn't be, because being able to create my own foods from scratch has been very rewarding, I just feel like having to do that for every meal and all our snacks has been quite overwhelming.

We just have one more week to get through and then the challenge phase starts. When I told my husband yesterday that the challenge phase would last 6 weeks, I swear I saw a tear escape his eye. During the challenge phase, while we introduce 1 category of food at a time, we continue to eat as we did on the elimination diet. Which is half good and half terrible and bland. So, that's where we're at. I have found a couple of recipes that my husband has really liked, so I will for sure be adding those in future posts.

Tell me what helps you stick to a healthy lifestyle?

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Stress Free Sunday : Facemask Time!

Finally, a face mask to end my long day! I love a good face mask, as most women do, and because I have oily skin I almost HAVE to do regular face mask to keep my skin under control. Since I find face masks SUPER relaxing I have no problem sticking in time to do a couple a week. Tonight I decided to use my absolute favorite mask. It's by Freeman so it's super affordable and it smells so amazing!
The mask has anti-stress aromas such as Lavender and Bergamot, and the smell is seriously heavenly. Dead sea minerals and sea salt are in the mask which help to purge clogged pores.
The mask goes on super duper blue. Some reviewers said that it actually dyed their hair, but I have dark hair so I've never really had that issue. Just something to keep in mind; be extra careful in using it if you have lighter hair!
What did you do to relax this week?

Get the Freeman Anti-Stress Mask here.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

I Heart Spring Tag

Okay, so today I'm cheating and doing a Tag because I worked at the coffee shop and I'm way too tired to think. I always feel like Tag's are cheating because your answering questions instead of coming up with something original, but to be honest, I absolutely loving reading other people's tag posts! As always, I tag everyone to do this!

1. Favorite spring nail polish? Milani's nail lacquer in #66 pink pop, it's just a super vibrant hot pink.

2. What is your must-have lip color this spring? I am obsessed with the L'Oreal Colour Riche Caresse Wet Shine Stain in Coral Tattoo, it's such a deep coral color that's super natural looking.

3. What is your favorite spring dress?  A forever 21 dress I have in 3 different colors/prints because I loved it so much.

4. What is your favorite flower? Daffodils which are completely Spring appropriate, but they are my favorite year round!

5. Favorite Spring scarf/accessory? Floral crowns/headbands.

6. What Spring trend are you most excited about this year? (Makeup, Fashion or both!) This is a tricky one because I don't keep too much up on trends, I just kind of like what I like but I've seen a lot of wide leg jeans coming back and I love that style!

7. Favorite Spring candle? Bath & Body Works Peach Bellini just screams Spring to me.

8. Favorite body spray/perfume for Spring? I just got the Anna Sui Rock Me! Summer of Love perfume and it is so light and fresh, perfect for Spring!

9. What is Spring like where you live? Usually pretty wet and cold but this year we've been super lucky, it's been sunny and warm!

10. What's your favorite thing about Spring? It feels like such a fresh start after the long dreary Winter's we usually have. I like all the growth and freshness Spring brings.

11. Are you a Spring cleaner? Absolutely! When the sun starts shining I feel like I have more motivation to get myself reorganized.

12. Any plans for Spring Break or an upcoming vacation? No big plans for a vacation anytime soon.

Even though I've always counted Fall as my favorite season as I get older I appreciate the new beginning Spring seems to bring with it!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Friday Fashion : Spring Fling

I think I am not alone in saying we are all praising the weather gods that Spring arrived quite quickly this year. For some reason, as the sun starts shining my inner boho always seems to make an appearance. From now til September I will be in nothing but floral and flowy goodness. Once that cold weather hits I'll be back in full rocker chic form. Is this just me?

Here I am in all my awkward glory...sometimes I wonder if Friday Fashion should be a thing I do?

This butterfly headband? My absolute FAVORITE!
Please excuse the dirt that showed up in ALL my shoe photos...whoopsie!

I love the beige top with the black paneling and the tie front, I found it at Ross for super cheap! The shoes are from Ross also, from the Jessica Simpson line, and the darling butterfly crown I'll be sporting through the summer is from Shopko. Bracelets are Forever 21, my fave place for accessories.

Let me know what you like to wear as soon as Spring hits!

P.S. Just an update on my last post, that crumb cake was GOOD!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Gluten Free Mall

Even though we are eating low FODMAP right now, which doesn't necessarily mean we can't have gluten, it's still a lot easier to shop in places that carry a lot of gluten free items as most gluten things don't contain wheat, which is something we definitely can't eat during the elimination phase. We ordered a few things off the Gluten Free Mall site, which has a TON of gluten free goodies like pizzas, breads and desserts. I might also add that we can't have soy or dairy products either, which makes it hard to find bread/dessert options. I feel like I wanted to explore all kinds of low FODMAP foods as a lot of what we eat we want to keep sticking with even after the elimination phase. I thought I'd share a few pics of some of the things we got.
Is it just me or is every gluten free bread made in the smallest loaf pan ever?
 Sorry about the terrible quality, my camera died right after the last photo.

It would be better and probably a lot cheaper to buy these items at a Whole Foods or Trader Joe's but unfortunately the closest one to us is about an hour away. Since we already commute an hour for work and we carpool, we don't really have the time to go there unless it's planned. The Gluten Free Mall site was a convenient way for us to get to try a lot of these types of foods without us having to go out of the way to get them. I'm super excited to try all of these, but especially the Crumb Cake. Also the Udi's bread got lots of positive reviews so I'm really excited to try that since all the gluten free breads we've tried so far seem really...chewy. We also bought a pancake mix and chocolate cake mix but my camera died right before I could take pictures of them. I'll have to update you next week on how we felt about all these foods we're trying.

Let me know if you've ever tried any of these foods or if you have a favorite gluten free product!

Visit the gluten free mall website!