Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The BEST Skinny Mango Margarita Recipe

Last week, I booked a short little getaway for Adam & I.  We're headed to Mexico next month, and already I've been having major cravings for all things Mexican.  You name it, I'm craving it; tacos, fajitas, chips + salsa, huevos rancheros, guacamole, and especially margaritas!

I'm normally not a frozen drink kinda gal, but frozen mango margaritas are my big exception!  If you've never had one, you have to give it a try.  They're fruity, fresh, and full of sweet mango & clean citrus flavors.  The version that I make is a skinny version, so you can toss one {or two!} back sans guilt.  These are so simple to throw together in your blender and always seem to be a big crowd pleaser!  Even the hubs, who is NOT a margarita drinker whatsoever, will willingly slurp one down :)

Margaritas seem to embody the perfect weekend cocktail.  So come Friday, sit back, kick your feet up and beat the summer heat with this refreshing skinny marg.  Salud!




Ingredients

2 cups fresh mango chunks
1/3 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
3/4 cup silver/blanco tequila
1/4 cup orange liquer {I used Cointreau}
2 tbsp. light agave syrup
2 hearty cups ice
kosher salt
sliced limes for garnish


Directions

Place mango, lime juice, tequila, orange liquer, agave, and ice into a blender.  Puree until until smooth.

Place salt onto a small plate.  Using a sliced lime, moisten the rim of your glass; dip the rim of the glass into the salt and twist to coat the rim.

Pour the margarita mix into your glass and garnish with a sliced lime.

This recipe serves around 4 margaritas.


 



Thanks so much for reading & supporting my blog! xx

Monday, July 28, 2014

Splurge Vs. Save

Happy Monday, babes!  I was doing a bit of online browsing this weekend, and came across these shoes on the Gap website.  I couldn't help but notice how similar they are to this version from Joie.  I'll let you decide for yourself....






Both leather slip ons feature a faux snakeskin pattern in a girly pale dusty pink color that's really fun for summer.  The only major difference that I can spot right away {besides the $140 price difference} is that the platform appears to be taller on the Gap version.  For $140 cheaper, I could deal with a half inch taller platform! :)

I do have these particular Joie sneakers, and LOVE them {they go with everything!}, however if I had seen Gap's version first I may have rethought that purchase....  


The question of the day is which version do you prefer?  Would you save or splurge?

Friday, July 25, 2014

5 Documentaries To Watch This Weekend

Happy Friday, friends!  I hope you all had a great week and have fabulous plans for the weekend.  If, however, you have no plans whatsoever for the next few days {like me!}, and find yourself wanting to watch a movie, I have a few great documentaries that I'd like to recommend.

I don't really watch a lot of tv shows.  Don't get me wrong, I will go through occasional marathon runs of The Real Housewives in which I'll watch a whole season in a few days time span but aside from watching the news every day, I don't really have a show that I HAVE to sit down and watch religiously every single week.  

What I do love to watch, however, are documentaries.  I like that in documentaries, you get to meet real people who have real stories to tell.  I love learning, and have always been fascinated by true stories, and world events.  Many times after I finish a documentary I find myself saying, "I had no idea that {insert topic here}".  Educating yourself can be extremely rewarding, and watching documentaries is a wonderful way to learn something new & expand your awareness of the world around you.

Here's a list of my top 5 documentaries that I've watched lately.

**All of these can be purchased on itunes**




Here's a staggering fact for you: 1.1 Billion people live off of only $1 per day.  Talk about perspective.  In this film, 4 college friends set off to live in rural Guatemala, living just as the local people do for 56 days, each with only $56 dollars. 

I loved this film.  It's educating, eye opening, and inspiring at the same time.  It shows you how little you truly do need to survive, and makes you think about your own priorities in life.

To watch the trailer for this film click here.





In this film, a concerned father poses the same question over & over, what really are gmo's?  What are the health risks?  How do they affect our children?  Do we have a choice and what's really on our plate?  

80% of all processed foods contain gmo's, and most of the meat & dairy in our country start with gmo crops.  With many other countries, including several underdeveloped nations banning gmo's, why hasn't our government taken the necessary steps to inform Americans about the health risks?  Shouldn't we at least have the option to decide for ourselves if we want to consume gmo's or not?  I just watched this film last night, and it is definitely an eye opener!

Watch the trailer here.





"This powerful film odyssey across America explores the sea change in our national attitude from pride in big dams as engineering wonders to the growing awareness that our own future is bound to the life and health of our rivers. Dam removal has moved beyond the fictional Monkey Wrench Gang to go mainstream. Where obsolete dams come down, rivers bound back to life, giving salmon and other wild fish the right of return to primeval spawning grounds, after decades without access."

I loved this film because a large portion of it was filmed in the area where I grew up.  I grew up hiking & fishing along the Elwha River in Olympic Nation Park, and the dam removal project in this area was the largest to date.  The cinematography in this documentary is beautiful, and learning about how obsolete most dams in the country really are was very interesting.

View the trailer here.




Albert Einstein has said that "If the bees were to disappear from the globe, mankind would only have found years left to live."  

"Over the past 15 years, numerous colonies of bees have been decimated throughout the world, but the causes of this disaster remain unknown. Depending on the world region, 50% to 90% of all local bees have disappeared, and this epidemic is still spreading from beehive to beehive – all over the planet. Everywhere, the same scenario is repeated: billions of bees leave their hives, never to return. No bodies are found in the immediate surroundings, and no visible predators can be located."

I found this to be fascinating, and gave me such an appreciation for bees. 

Watch the trailer here. 

*This majority of this film is in English, but it does have some parts that are in German with English subtitles*



"How much do you think you know about wine? SOMM will make you think again. SOMM takes you on the ultimate insider's tour into a world of obsession, hope, and friendship in red, blanc and sometimes rose."

This film follows 4 guys as they study for the master sommelier exam, which is the hardest test that you have never heard of with a pass rate of only 8%!!  Since the Master Sommelier inception 40 years ago, less than 200 candidates have passed the test.

If you have a love for wine, watch this film.  You'll be shocked!

Watch the trailer here. 




What documentaries have you watched lately?   


Happy viewing & have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Girls Weekend In Napa




Today, I'm finally getting around to sharing my fun little girls weekend in Napa.  This was my first time being in the area, and let me tell you, it completely won me over!  The vino, farm-fresh food, sophisticated yet laid-back wineries, and gorgeous rolling scenery made for the absolute perfect weekend.

Let's get started....




We stayed at the cutest little Bed & Breakfast in Napa called The Inn On First.  This was my first time staying at a B&B and it set the bar pretty high!  The owners were so friendly & accommodating and I would definitely recommend this little budget friendly gem if you're looking to stay in Napa.


Our B&B was just a few blocks from downtown Napa so we walked everywhere.


Out to dinner on the first night wearing: Torn by Ronny Kobo dress //  J.Crew denim jacket //  Jimmy Choo heels {old}
 

The next morning, I was still on East Coast time and found myself wide awake at 4 a.m.  Instead of just laying in bed, I grabbed my camera and walked into town to take some early morning photos.....


Each morning, the B&B prepared the most scrumptious breakfast for us which was served in their garden.


A grown up version of a pop tart!


Getting started bright & early!  Wearing: DVF Blouse {which my dry cleaner has since LOST booo!} //  My FAVE Joe's Jeans cut offs //  Valentino Cage Sandals //  Clare V. Clutch



The first winery that we hit up was Artesa which had amazing views of the surrounding area.


Love these girls!  My friend, Andrea {left} and I have been friends since we were 15.  I met Irina {center} through Andrea and her & I just clicked instantly....wish she lived closer to me!  Lucy {right}, is a new friend and is just the sweetest!


The next spot we hit up after Artesa Winery was Paraduxx.  This was my absolute favorite part of the weekend!  The grounds were stunning; straight out of a magazine!




It was such a relaxing experience at Paraduxx, and the service was awesome.  Definitely recommend this spot but make sure to reserve in advance.


Girls weekends are truly good for the soul.


Next on our agenda was lunch at Farmstead in St. Helena which was the cutest little spot!



The food was off the charts good, and I'm still day dreaming about that indulgent veggie risotto and brick cooked chicken.



We originally had one other winery that we planned on visiting, but after several hours of wine tasting combined with that indulgent lunch, we needed a siesta lol!


I wish that we would have had one more full day to spend exploring the area, but due to all of our various schedules this was what we had to work with.  Sadly, it was time to say our goodbyes and head home :( 


Airport style!  I always travel with my Louis Vuitton Neverfull GM.  It really is a bottomless pit, perfect for traveling!


The weekend ended up being an absolute success and I can't wait to visit Napa Valley again!


Thanks so much for stopping  xx


Monday, July 21, 2014

Product Review: Jouer Cosmetics

Nothing ruins my weekend faster than one simple word: humidity.  Any of my Southern state babes can likely vouch that there is nothing worse than leaving your house looking all hot, only to arrive at your destination lookin' like a hot mess!  

I love wearing tinted moisturizer for an everyday all natural look, but during the summer months most tinted moisturizers combined with the Miami humidity {which is basically the equivalent of living in a steam room} makes my face look like a big ol' oil slick.  That's why I was beyond thrilled to hear about Jouer Cosmetics tinted moisturizer, which is a matte moisturizer.  Dreams do come true, ladies!  

Read below for my full review.


I first heard about Jouer on Instagram.  I can't remember exactly whose page I was stalking browsing, but it was some celebrity makeup artist who was displaying various products that she used for a photoshoot.  I had never heard of Jouer before and was curious as to what type of products they offered.  A quick google search turned up an endless list of YouTube + blog reviews, all of which were actually pretty good.  I saw that Jouer is sold online at Nordstrom, and since I basically buy all of my makeup/beauty products from there {it's all about those Nordy notes!} and given Nordstroms great return policy, I decided to give it a try.



 The matte moisture tint is amaaaaaazing!  It's like velvet blending into your skin, and you need to only apply a small amount as a little goes a long way.  It is lightweight, but provides the perfect amount of coverage and completely covers any imperfections on my face.  I LOVE the matte formula because I don't need to apply a finishing powder afterwards and can not imagine ever going back to a regular tinted moisturizer that leaves that glowing, greasy looking sheen.  The moisture tint is oil free, hypoallergenic, fragrance free, and is infused with vitamins A, C & E.  Additionally, it offers SPF 15 to protect from UVA & UVB rays.  I also lovelovelove the fact that Jouer 100% does not test on animals!  

I also purchased Mineral Bronzing Powder {in Suntan} and love it as well!  It blends seamlessly on top of the moisture tint and makes my face have an allover healthy golden sun tan glow.  The bronzer is also oil free, and is infused with Japanese green tea {which is a powerful antioxidant}, as well as vitamins C & E.  It's labeled as "perfect for all skin tones".

Jouer {zhew-ey} means 'to play' in French, and what girl doesn't like to play with makeup?!  The containers for all the bronzers, blushes, eye shadows, etc. that Jouer manufacturers are all made to clip into place with one another, essentially creating your own custom palette.  What an ingenious idea!



I am so happy that I discovered Jouer, and can't wait to try out more of their products.  I've read that the blushes are supposed to be amazing!

Right now, Nordstrom is having a Jouer promotion.  If you spend $50 in Jouer products, you receive a full sized Jouer liquid eyeliner, a mini Jouer lip gloss, and a cute leopard print Jouer cosmetics bag {as pictured above} for free.  The promo is online only, and you can click here to be directed.

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Have any of you tried out Jouer yet?  What are your thoughts?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Easy Side Dish: Pan Fried Spicy Sweet Potato

Since we always seem to have sweet potatoes on hand, I find myself cooking them more often than not.  Besides being a great source of complex carbohydrates, the sweet potato is loaded with dietary fiber, vitamins, and many other micronutrients + it tastes pretty amazing {much better than a regular ol' potato if you ask me!}.  Baking sweet potatoes in the oven gets real old, real fast & this recipe is one of my favorite ways to cook them up.  It's fast, easy, and has great flavor that rivals any sweet potato french fry!  This makes the perfect healthy side dish for your morning eggs, or for grilled chicken/fish in the evening. 

Enjoy!



Ingredients

1 large sweet potato, scrubbed, peeled, and chopped into 1" to 2" chunks
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c. chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. salt
generous pinch of chilli powder


Directions

Heat olive oil in a non stick pan over medium high heat.  Once heated, place sweet potato in pan and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Next, season with salt & pepper, tossing to ensure potatoes are coated with seasoning.  Place lid on pan and continue to cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.  Don't be afraid to let your potatoes brown up a bit on the bottom, it adds extra flavor!

After cooking for 10 minutes, your potatoes should be soft enough to pierce with a fork, but still slightly hard on the inside.  At this point, add in onions, garlic, and chilli powder.  Lower heat slightly to medium-low, and place the lid back on.  Continue to cook for 5 more minutes, or until onions are soft and translucent.

Remove from heat and serve immediately.

*This recipe makes 2 servings, but can be easily doubled*




Thanks for stopping by!  Have a great day.  xx

Monday, July 14, 2014

Summer Trend To Love: Distressed Denim Shorts

This has been the summer of distressed denim shorts.  We've seen mega ripped up versions like these Rag & Bone shorts that have been super popular this summer, and also much tamer versions which I tend to prefer.  The beauty of cut offs is that they go with almost anything; from tanks & tees, flowy blouses, casual knit sweaters, and even dressed up with a fitted blazer.  This is the new workhorse for your summer wardrobe.


images via here, here, & here.


I've been a big fan of distressed denim for years and am always on the hunt for that perfect pair.  Girls, I found them!  Meet the best denim shorts you'll ever buy: Joe's Jeans cut off shorts.  These have been such a staple in my closet for the past month that I've been wearing them with literally everything I own.  Additionally, {I'm not gonna beat around the bush here,} I purchased them in 2 different sizes because, yes, I love them that much.  I wanted a looser much more relaxed version as well as a normal fitted version.  Hello, summer uniform!
 
Distressed denim shorts have always managed to exude a free spirited, laid back vibe and that's what summer is all about, right?  

Are you loving ripped up denim shorts as much as me?  Which one of the above is your fave?

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