Thursday, June 30, 2011

{Embrace} Messy Hair and No Makeup

I love summer.  We live in our bathing suits. Eat Popsicles before dinner.  Go camping.  Hit the beach and romp in the waves. Chill with friends.  Meet new people.  Go barefoot.  Family vacations.  Fourth of July.  T-shirts and shorts.

Messy hair and NO makeup.

I love summer...

I'm one lucky girl.  :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Simple Summer Solutions!

As you might know, the salmon recipe I shared with you all on Monday was a part of a series this week hosted by Jacqueline at Chez Mukweto.  I am a little delinquent in informing you of the other participating, so I want to do that now!  I want to make sure you get a chance to visit these great blogs for these awesome recipes!  You can also link up your own summer solution on Friday!!

So Monday I shared the recipe for Chilli Rubbed Salmon.  It is yummy, a must try!

Then on Tuesday we were over at The ArtsyGirl Connection and she shared what looked like a delicious chicken recipe!  I haven't tried it, but it is seriously on the 'to try' list!

Wednesday Tracy from Tracy Cooks it Right shared an awesome smoothie recipe! All her recipes are super healthy and she always finds a way to make them taste GREAT!
And Thursday is going to be at Chez Mukweto and here is a sneak peak at what she is sharing with us!! Um... Yes please!

On Friday come link up your simple summer solution!  It could be a recipe, ideas to beat the heat, tips and tricks for keeping kids busy, you name it, link it up baby!!

I really hope to see you there!  In the meantime, check out these awesome recipes!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Creative Connection LA

1cre·ate verb \krē-ˈāt, ˈkrē-ˌ\

a : to produce through imaginative skill <create a painting>
b : to make or bring into existence something new  

Through blogging I have been able to meet some pretty incredible people.  And by meet, I of course mean 'cyber meet' but meet nonetheless.  Well a couple weekends ago, I actually got to meet, face to face, some of the wonderful creative women out there! 

I met Elise Ostermann on Twitter while I was still in France. (*TWITTER PLUG*: If you're not on twitter, you need to be! Such a cool place to connect!) She had this brilliant idea of getting together with a group of creative women in the LA area!  Well, it turns out I am considered creative (whoo hoo!) and I am from LA!  So Saturday, June 18th I got to be a part of the second Creative Connection! 

The event was held at a little park in North Hollywood.  We all got together to meet other creative woman and basically network.  And let me tell you, with two little boys and a husband, I need me some creative outlet time!  And it was wonderful!!

The beautiful flowers were done by Petalicious.  Cute cute name too, right? 
 So impressed by her talent.  Just beautiful!

You can also find Lindsay on Facebook, Twitter, and she has a blog!

The ladies from The Pomegranate Basket did all the paper good which were beautiful!

They are also on Facebook, Twitter, and have a blog!

The mason jars and little plates were brought by The Vintage Table.  She has different collections of vintage plates and rents them out for parties etc.  What a cute idea!  And her business cards pretty much took the cake!

Aren't they so cute? She made them herself, of course!
You can find The Vintage Table on Facebook and Twitter.

Yummy desserts were also present, of course!  They were made by Kaitlyns Kupcakes.

The recipe for Tracy's mini strawberry muffins, which were fabulous, can be found here.  Tracy also has Twitter and Facebook.  Donna of Sweet Little Cakes by Donna brought her wonderful cake truffles.  If you haven't tried these, you must!  And no, the Starbucks version does not hold a candle to what Donna does.  LOVE IT!  You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

All the beautiful photos taken above were done by the very talented Brienne Michelle.  Love her work!  You can find more of it on Facebook and connect on Twitter as well!

And this would all be for nothing if I didn't mention the brains behind it all!  Elise Osterman is the beautiful lady who came up with this fabulous idea.  She wanted to connect with other women in the LA area who had creative minds like she does.  To bounce ideas off each other, get more creative juices flowing and to meet new people. 

Her fun idea is turning into so much more.  Creative Connection USA has a Facebook page where you can stay up to date with what is happening in the world of creatives.  She has created a place where businesses can be spotlighted, people can ask for advice, or we can even just encourage each other, cheer each other on!  You should definitely go like the Creative Connection USA page on Facebook.  Right now Los Angeles is the first chapter, but there are so many opportunities to expand, and how cool to be at the breaking ground of that! 

If you are from LA, the next meet up is July 23.  If you can attend, do it.  And yes, I attended as a 'blogger.'  Here is the link for the invite.  If you can't go or aren't from LA, stop by the Facebook page and let Elise know I sent ya!

I hope to see you all getting involved!  It is always great to have that creative network of support!  Have a great day!

Need a Recipe for Tonight?

You have to go check out Marilyn's recipe at her awesome blog The ArtsyGirl Connection.  It looks FANTASTIC!!

I am aways looking for more recipes, and this looks so yummy!  She is a part of our Simple Summer Solutions week hosted by Jaqueline at Chez Mukweto.  It is always great to share recipes, and what a perfect time to do it, summer!

Here is a little teaser...

It looks sooo goood!  And tomorrow be sure to check Tracy Cooks it Right for a yummy summer smoothie recipe. 

Hope you are all having a great day!

Rock it, Girl!!

Yesterday I was sitting at Jiu Jitsu practice with two friends who also have kids in the class.  One of my friends is pregnant and was talking about how she felt so big and no matter what she does she is huge!  My other friend and I consoled her, telling her she is fine, she eats healthy and lives a healthy life, and she is doing great.  After she is done with the pregnancy she can worry about being fit, etc. etc.

My husband was laughing at us.  He said "all you women are all the same!  You all think the worst about yourself and sit and console the other while she is pouting." (not his words, I couldn't remember exactly what he said. This is the gist of it because I assure you, it would not have sounded the same! lol)

Then later that night he told me I should write about that.  What do we think of ourselves as women? Why are we always so negative??  I saw this quote on twitter today:

"Someone will always be prettier. Someone will always be smarter. Someone will always be younger. But they will never be you..."

Why do we always compare??  Why can't we just be us and be okay with that?  I don't know about you women, but sometimes I will get dressed feeling cute and good and then when I come across a girl I feel like looks better than me, I feel insecure.  Like what I chose to put on wasn't good enough.  Like somehow, I will never be as cute as the next girl.  UGH!! SO pathetic!

I don't want to live that life.  There has to be a healthy balance, right?  A balance where you can feel like you look good and are proud of the way you put yourself together, without being over-confident and cocky.  Without trying to make others feel not as good about themselves just so you can feel better.  And don't lie, ladies, we've all done it!

So here is my challenge for you (and me) today: Be confident in yourself!  Be sure about you!  Don't worry about what everyone else is doing or wearing.  Just be concerned about what works for you.  DON'T COMPARE!!!  It's unhealthy and can never end good. 

What are some ways you feel confident about yourself?  Do you have any ways that help you not compare yourself to other women or other situations?  Let's share them!  Encourage each other!!  We all struggle with the same kinds of things in different forms.  And if someone says they aren't insecure at all, they are the worst ones!

I hope you ladies have a lovely day!  Rock whatever you're wearin'!  Feel good about yourself!! It will shine through!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Summer Solutions ~ Chilli Rubbed Salmon

Happy Monday everyone!

Today I have a yummy summer recipe for you.  A couple of weeks ago, Jacqueline from Chez Mukweto asked me if I would like to participate in a little summer series.  I always love to participate in series of any kind so of course I said yes!  I had to come up with a great summer recipe to share with you all, and it just so happened that I had made this salmon dish a few nights before she asked me and took pictures! How easy!  And you are going to love how easy the dish is.
I bought this salmon at costco.  I don't know if there are better places or anything, but it was good.  So here is the recipe:
Sprinkle a little bit of kosher salt and pepper over the salmon.  Rub chilli powder all over the salmon.  Broil on high for 8-10 minutes.  That. is. it.

With little to no effort you can pair it with some brown rice and a veggie of your choice and dinner is on the table in less than 30 minutes.  I mean, what mom doesn't want to hear that, specially during the summer?!

Even my little guys enjoyed it.  Seriously, they both chowed the whole thing down.
We love meal time!!
Wow, he looks like he loves it... I promise he did, that plate was clean!
I know brown rice is a healthier choice, but I didn't have any, so I went with the white.  It was fine for my boys and husband, but I just left it out and it was still plenty of food. 

I love creating healthy dishes that my boys will eat.  It makes me feel like I did something right as a mom when they eat a big healthy meal.  And let me tell you, they can eat.

So I am the first day of this wonderful series!!
Tomorrow will be over at The ArtsyGirl Connection.
Wednesday will be at Tracy Cooks it Right
Thursday will be at Chez Mukweto

And each blogger will be sharing an awesome summer recipe and maybe a few other pointers to enjoy our summers!  So make sure you check back!

Then on Friday is a link party you all can link up your summer solution!  Whether it is something fun you do with your kids, or how to beat the heat, or even a scrumptious recipe, please join in!!

I hope you all had a beautiful weekend and are having a great Monday!! 

Friday, June 24, 2011

Up in the Gym, working on my Fitness!

The other day, I wrote about how America is so unhealthy.  And as I was reading everyone's awesome comments, I thought to myself, 'wait a minute. I am American. I am included in this.  And those 5 pounds?  Those are my fault. No one forced me to drive through that Carl's Jr...'

I have decided that I need to make a change.  I am still relatively young, and I am not heavy, but I am totally out of shape.  I might be thin, but I'm flabby.  I might not gain a ton of weight, but I don't understand how to eat healthy.  These are things I want to know.  I want to learn to eat healthy, consistently work out, and -- wait for it -- enjoy it.

So I started going to the gym two weeks ago.  I wrote a post about it here.  Three days a week is all I can handle right now, and I hope to up that in the future, but I feel like that is an accomplishment for me at this point.  It is like a war zone in my house trying to get ready for the gym.  Like we need our own reality show and I only have two kids.

I also started a program with something called Advocare.  It starts with a 10 day cleanse to rid your body of toxins and prepare for optimal nutrient absorption and then a 14 day supplements for your weight/workout goal.  So far I am loving the cleanse.  I don't really feel like I am on a cleanse, I am not hungry, just a little tired, but nothing I can't handle.  I have lost 3.5 pounds and I feel so trim already and I am only on day 5 of the whole program.  I can't wait to see more results!! (I understand this program is supplemental and me eating healthier and going to the gym is helping too.  I am not unrealistic!)

All that to say you might see a bit more about fitness and healthy eating up here on the little bloggity blog!  I want to share recipes as I go and maybe even workout tips if I can learn some.  Here is a little shout out to some inspirational blogs involving fitness and being healthy.

Think {Pretty} Thoughts She does fashion posts, is hilarious, and hits the gym everyday.

This post over at Episodes of a Mixed Girl. Funny and inspirational.

Totally Smiten writes about her fitness routine and makes me want to hit the gym.

Tracy Cooks it Right - EVERY RECIPE is healthy.  And since I actually know Tracy, and have eaten some of her goodies, I can attest, they are goooood.

Healthful Sense She is super healthy, maybe even a little out of my league in this department, but hey, a girl could dream, right??

And healthy tips you want to share??  I would love love love for you to share them!  I am looking for all the help I can get.  I might even to a series on this stuff.  Hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

29 Ways to Stay Creative

I have been in a funk.  I can't figure it out.  I have things in my head I would like to write about, but when I sit down, nothing comes out.  Nothing good, anyway.  So today is a little break.  Some cute pics and a cool video to help me get inspired.  Maybe help you too.

Tae doing his Jiu Jitsu moves on his brother

They are buddies.  It melts my heart.
And then there is this character...

I mean really? Are there words?

I saw this on my brother's blog and it is just what I needed today.  Check it out, it is kinda fun.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Six Reasons Why America is So Unhealthy?

I am going to be real with you here.  When I left for France in late September last year I weighed about 175 or 180.  Over the course of the 8 months I was living in France, I lost 25 pounds and was down to the lowest I have been in so long I can't remember, 155.  Since being back in America I have already gained 5 pounds. 

So why is it that the second I set foot on American soil and breathe the air here I gain weight?  Is there that much difference in lifestyles between the French and Americans?  The answer: yes.

1.) In America, there is a Starbucks on every corner.  In France, although they do have Starbucks in the larger cities like Paris and Lyon, they are mostly considered an insult to the French 'cafe.'  Starbucks is American and commercial.  Two things the French are not.

2.) In America, there are a million fast food chains and they too are on every corner.  France has two main fast food chains.  Good old McDonald's and Quick.  And they are not on every corner and they are not as easily accessed. 

3.) Americans live such a fast paced lifestyle, they need to eat fast food.  The French enjoy food.  They take two-hour lunch breaks and have five-course meals.  We are running off to soccer practice and have to grab Carl's Jr. along the way.

4.) Food isn't enjoyed like it should be. See point three.  The French take time to sit down and enjoy their food.  They take pride in the way it is prepared and consumed.  They sit down together and give it time to digest. 

5.) Americans will literally drive around the corner.  No one walks.  Anywhere.  The French walk everywhere.  Some people don't even own cars.  In the 8 months I was living in France this last year, I didn't step foot in the gym or run or do workouts at home.  I did walk my son to school every day and cook meals most every night.

6.)  Because people here are so busy, we buy for weeks at a time if possible, and not as many fresh foods.  The French go to the store sometimes on a daily basis.  There are farmer's markets in every city, big or small.  There is always availability to buy fresh foods.

Overall, the French lead a healthier lifestyle.  They take a two-hour lunch break every day, students included.  Kids never go to school on Wednesdays.  What happens if you are a parent with a business?  You close your shop on Wednesdays.  Everyone takes a two-hour lunch.  They have 6 weeks of vacation time compared to our standard 2.  SIX WEEKS!!

I think us Americans can learn something from these crazy Frenchies.  Just chill.  You don't have to conquer the world today.  Take a breather.  Enjoy your family.  Take a walk.  Relax. 

Granted, I think the French could learn a few things from us too.  Like when you actually do go to work, WORK!  And I am not doing you a disservice by asking you to do your job.  That is why you get paid.

Now how do we make necessary changes here in America?  What are some things you think we should do to try to cultivate healthier lifestyles?  I wish we could change things, but I think it might be a personal choice.  What do you think?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Summer Beauty Tips

So today I thought it would be fun to chat about some of my summer beauty secrets.  Well, I suppose they might not be secrets, but they are some of my favorites for summer, and they are super easy and fast for us momma's to be cute in no time at all!

First off, ditch the foundation!  It is usually too heavy for summer and takes a bit more effort.  Instead I love to use a tinted moisturizer.  My personal favorite is CoverGirl Smoothers.  They have different shades for different skin tones, and you apply it just like normal moisturizer.  The best part about this little beauty secret?  It is like 4 bucks a pop and can be found at your local Target or Walmart.  Um, yes please!  Of course you can find other more expensive brands, but I have found it works and I am stickin' with it!

My next little secret not everyone will agree with, but I have used it and loved it, so I am gonna share it.  It is self tanning face cream.  Probably one of the best is Lancome, but I use Jergens and love it (and it's a better price!).  Now, don't be scared!  Make sure when you purchase your product, you purchase one that is self tanner and lotion in one.  This way the tanner isn't too harsh and you don't have to worry about it turning you orange.  If you bought a straight self-tanner, fear not!  You can just mix it with your favorite moisturizer and voila! You made your own!  You also don't have to use everyday.  Maybe once every three days, helps give ya a little boost without being noticeable.
 Now you want to add a little glow, right?  The next little secret is bronzer.  Okay, not really a secret, but a must have for summer beauty tips!  Super fast, super easy and you add a quick highlighted glow to your beautiful skin!  You might want to choose one like Nars  Portrait of Paradise.  You blend all three colors for a nice even bronze.  At $55 it is a little pricey, so find one that works for you, and rock it!

Now you might see a little theme going on here.  Yes, a little bronzation!  I don't know about you, but I feel 10 pounds lighter and so much healthier when I have a little color.  Why diet when you can just tan??  But seriously, since I am not all about laying in the sun all day, and have two little ones to prevent me from doing just that, I have found these other tips to help me out a bit.  Pair them with an excellent mascara like Christian Dior Diorshow and you are ready to go in 5 minutes flat!

What are your summer beauty secrets?  Please, do share!  I always love learning new tips and tricks.

And don't forget to enter the All is Bright giveaway!!

Hope you are having a great Monday! 


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