Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Product Review: Matrix Biolage Advanced Keratindose

I wanted to let you babes in on a little secret that I use to help keep my strands long & healthy.  I use these keratin protein shots weekly by Matrix Biolage Advanced Keratindose.  

This product is perfect for hydrating limp, over processed & color treated hair.  Case in point: last week.  I lightened my hair significantly {see a pic of it here} and my hair stylist was begging me to trim my hair.  I'm kinda anti-trim when in comes to my locks, and only trim my hair a few times per year as I take really good care of it and barely ever use heat products on it which results in minimal breakage & split ends.  We all know that lightening & processing your hair really takes its toll on the ends, so instead of giving in and trimming off my ends, I turned to my trusty protein shots! 

Problem solved.  The dry, brittle ends were once again hydrated & nourished, and I was a happy girl because I didn't have to chop off my hard earned length!  This product is formulated without any nasty sulfates, parabens & harsh salts and couldn't be any easier to use.  You simply shampoo your hair as you normally would, apply the keratin dose directly to your hair & really massage it in.  Leave on for about 3 minutes, rinse, then follow with your normal conditioner.  Voilà!  So easy, and trust me, your hair will thank you! 

If interested, you can purchase the Keratindose by clicking here.

Fill me in, chicas.  What hair products are you using & loving this summer?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Avocado Toast: My Way

Leave it to Instagram to take a good thing and make it ultra trendy {i.e peonies, macarons, and anything Starbucks!}.  I LOVE avocados and could honestly eat them all day long.  I've been making avocado toast for years + years and while it is a little saddening to see it suddenly all over the internet, I can deal with it because it's seriously one of my favorite things ever.

This is my favorite way to make avocado toast; simple ingredients with great flavor.


1 large, ripe avocado
1/2 lemon
Sea salt
Crushed red pepper flakes
Bread of your choice {I love Alvarado St. Bakery 'Sprouted Multi-Grain Bread' from Whole Foods in the frozen section}


Cut avocado in half and remove the pit.  Scoop the avocado out of the skin, and place in a small bowl.  

Squeeze the lemon juice on top of the avocado and mash together with a fork {I like to leave mine a bit lumpy}.

Sprinkle in fresh ground sea salt, and red pepper flakes to suit your taste.

Spread on top of toast, top with one last sprinkle of salt and enjoy!

Makes 2 pieces of heaven avocado toast. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Color Crush: Blush Pink

I was feeling a little girly this weekend and found myself gravitating towards the soft, feminine color of blush pink.  I think when worn correctly {and in small doses}, blush pink can be very chic.  I love to pair shades of pink with nudes & other neutral colors such as whites, tans, and grays.  Here's a few things that caught my eye over the weekend while doing a bit of online shopping....

Shop These Items:

H&M passport holder {so cute & under $6 here!} //  Dolce & Gabbana blush {in rosebud 33 here} //  H&M sleeveless blouse {looks like pricey Equipment blouses! here} //  Ray-Ban shades {available here} //  Stella McCartney lace bra {here, similar budget friendly version for under $20 found here} //  Clarins Eclat Minute Instant Light Natural Lip {my new fave! this looks soooo pretty on! here} //  Chloe Small Marcie Bag {I have the tan version and would love this pink beauty here} //  J.Crew crochet trim scarf {on sale here} //  Bobbi Brown Beach Body Oil {dying to try this! found here} //  Stuart Weitzman suede sandals {so gorgeous & on sale! view here} //  Marc by Marc Jacobs watch {here} //  Aerin Beauty Brush Essentials Kit {5 brushes + a cosmetics bag! here} //  Forever 21 Moonstone ring {so pretty & under $5 here}

Have a great week! xx

Friday, June 13, 2014

Healthy Cherry Crumble

Hello, weekend.  I am so excited to see your arrival.  I hope you guys had a great week, and have loads of exciting plans for the weekend.  Life just gets better on the weekend, especially when summer comes into play.  Wouldn't you agree? 

Cherries have always been one of my favorite summer treats to snack on.  When I was a little girl, I used to climb the large cherry tree in my grandmothers backyard and eat all the cherries until I made myself sick.  We all know that cherries have natural, ahem, "cleansing" properties. :)

This recipe is one of my new favorite clean eating ways to indulge in juicy, ripe cherries; in a crumble that's about as guilt free as they come!  My healthy version is vegan and gluten free & the all natural flavors really enhance the tart cherries.  It's the perfect light dessert to indulge in without derailing your whole diet.  I like to serve mine with a dollop of almond milk ice cream on top!

For this recipe, you will need to pit your cherries and I've found that a cherry pitting tool is the easiest way to do so.  I found mine at Williams & Sonoma for $13 {view it here}.


6 1/2 cups pitted cherries (around 2 bags of cherries before pitting)
2/3 cup white rice flour flour (or any other gluten free flour)
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 Tbsp honey
1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp sugar substitute
1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 Tsp. grated lemon zest
1/4 Tsp salt
5 Tbsp coconut oil
1 Tsp + 1/4 Tsp almond extract
1/2 cup pecans
3/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats
Almond milk ice cream for topping  *optional*


Preheat oven to 400 F.

Lightly spray the bottom and sides of an 8" square baking dish with non stick spray.

In a food processor, combine the flour, brown sugar and salt.  Pulse until combined.  Add in the coconut oil, honey, and 1/4 tsp almond extract and continue pulsing until the mixture is completely combined. 

Next, add the pecans and pulse until the nuts are chopped and fully incorporated but the mixture is still chunky, taking care not to over mix.  Last, add the oatmeal to the mixture and pulse 2 to 3 times to incorporate.  Place the topping in the refrigerator and chill for 15 minutes.

To prepare the cherry filling, gently toss the cherries with the cornstarch, sugar substitute, lemon juice + zest, and 1 tsp almond extract in a large bowl.

To assemble, distribute the cherry filling evenly throughout the prepared pan.  Next, evenly scatter the chilled topping on top of the filling.  Place in oven, and bake until the top is browned and the fruit is bubbling, about 35-40 minutes. 

Check after about 20 minutes, and if the top is starting to brown too quickly, lightly tent with foil and continue baking until the filling is bubbling. 

Transfer to a wire rack and let cool slightly.  Serve immediately with ice cream if desired.

Have an amazing weekend!  Thanks so much for stopping by.  xx

Monday, June 9, 2014

My Beauty Regimen And Skin Care Must Haves

Happy Monday, babes!  How was your weekend?  Hopefully you guys got a chance to get out and enjoy the sunshine!  On Saturday Adam took me out for a mystery date and scheduled lunch at my favorite spot {Michael's Genuine Food & Drink} and a couples massage afterwards at the Mandarin Oriental.  It was such a nice surprise!  He's a keeper for sure ;)

It's been a while since I posted about my skin care routine, and since a couple of you have sent me questions about what products I use, I figured that it was time that I posted about my loves & must haves.

Read on for more deets.

What I'm Currently Using:

Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream -  I've posted many, many times about my love for this eye cream.  I've been using it for years, and hope she never changes the formulation or discontinues it because this is hands down the very best eye cream.  This cream is extremely hydrating, and lasts all day.  I also swear that it has significantly decreased the fine lines around my eye area.  I put this on before I apply under eye concealer, and it makes the application so much smoother; no concealer settling in ultra fine lines, etc. 

SK-II Facial Treatment Mask -   I was skeptical about trying out this mask due to it's high cost, but I've read for years how literally every celeb uses it before big events so I cashed in some Nordstrom notes and gave it a try.  Oh.em.gee girls, this mask is amazing.  After using this mask, I see noticeable results.  My skin glows, it's softer, and primary lines on my face are minimized from the extreme hydrating properties of this mask.  It evens out my skin tone, and helps with my acne scarring.  There is quite a bit of serum that is left over in the package, so I put a paperclip on it to keep it sealed and use it throughout the week. 

Lancome Visionnaire Advanced Skin Corrector -  I've been using this product for a few months now and really like it.  I purchased it mainly because I needed something to help with my acne scarring {I have a few deep set scars on my forehead} because I wasn't quite ready to resort to laser treatments yet.  I've been using it every morning and can see a major difference in my scars.  It's also very hydrating, and makes my makeup application go on much smoother.  I highly, highly recommend this serum.
Crème De La Mer Moisturizing Cream -  Ok, so this was another extremely pricey purchase, but I truly believe that investing in your skin care is worth it.  

The story behind La Mer is pretty interesting: the doctor who invented the formulation was an aerospace physicist who was part of a lab procedure gone awry, leaving him scarred with chemical burns.  At the time, doctors had no way to heal the appearance of his skin—so he set out to invent one. 

Looking to the sea, Dr. Huber discovered a type of sea kelp off the Pacific coast with an incredible ability to regenerate itself, growing up to 2 feet a day.  After combining the nutrient-rich plant with vitamins, minerals, essential oils and other natural ingredients, he biofermented the concoction using light and sound to help boost its powers.

It took twelve years and 6,000 experiments, but the outcome—La Mer’s "Miracle Broth"was transformational and now lies at the heart of the La Mer skincare line.  Over time, as Huber discovered, firmness and radiance are restored to his own skin, wrinkles and irritation look dramatically reduced.  

I use this every morning and night, and have had less breakouts since I started using it.  I layer this on over the Lancome serum in the a.m and my face instantly has an all over glow.  I also need to add that yes, La Mer is extremely pricey, but a little bit goes a long way and it lasts forever. 

Atralin Gel -  I've also posted about this Retin-A gel before, and I still love it!  I initially received this prescription grade gel from my dermatologist because when I first moved down to Miami, my skin started breaking out really bad.  This has definitely helped with that, and with wrinkle reduction as well.  

I think by the time women reach their late twenties, using a retin-a product is an absolute must have.  Retin-A helps your skin in so many ways; it significantly aids in boosting collagen production, it improves skin texture, it fades dark spots & freckles, it shrinks pores and helps with cell turnover so your pores are less likely to get clogged.  Retin-A is basically a miracle in a tube and you need to be using it.  End of story.  I use it every 2-3 nights so that it doesn't dry out my skin.  I always apply it at night because retin-a is like a vampire and works better in the dark, and I always apply a tiny drop to the backs of my hands as well.  You can search online and get major coupon discounts for this product.

Ahava Time To Clear Purifying Mud Mask -  I actually purchased this mud mask when we were in Israel a few months ago but it can be found at Nordstrom!  I love mud masks because they are amazing for drawing impurities & toxins out of your skin.  I was so intrigued by the fact that the mud in this mask is made with mud from the Dead Sea {which has extreme healing properties}.  I've only tried this mask 1 time so far, but afterwards my husband commented that my face was glowing like I had a spotlight on it!  I'll definitely continue to use this :)

Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser -  I only started using this cleanser because Dr. Brandt discontinued my all time favorite foaming cleanser and I wasn't sure what else to use.  This does it's job and removes all my makeup + waterproof mascara with ease, but it always leaves my face feeling really dry.  To me, this is just an "ehhh" kind of product - nothing to rave about, and I probably will not repurchase.  I need reco's for a good face wash...what are you girls using & loving?  

Do you have any products that you love & want to share?  Fill me in by leaving a comment below.  xx

Friday, June 6, 2014

Current Workout Playlist

Summer season is officially upon us and that means shorts, bathing suits, and less clothing in general.  Hopefully you've been working on your fitness this past winter & spring, but if you're just starting up don't fret!  Small changes in diet & exercise make a big difference and it's pretty easy to get back on that wagon!  

Nothing energizes me more for a good workout than a stellar playlist.  I generally like to workout to house/dance music.  When I first moved down to Miami, I wasn't the biggest house music fan, but after working as a VIP bottle service waitress in a popular nightclub at the Fontainebleau hotel, I quickly grew to love house music because it would pump me up and get me through those long nights working until 3,4, or 5am.  I've loved working out to the fast paced tempo of house ever since!

This is currently what I'm working out to; a mix of older & new songs that power me through my gym sessions.  All of these songs can be found on iTunes.

Happy sweat session! xx

Thanks so much for stopping by.  Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Summer Basics On A Budget

Ok, chicas.  Some of you have been requesting more budget friendly picks from me lately which I totally get.  I, myself, was a babe on a budget for the majority of my life.  F21, H&M, and Nordy Rack were my go to stores.  Even though my shopping budget may have increased, I still love to mix and match high end designer duds with budget friendly finds.  

I love a challenge, and today's post was so much fun for me to put together.  This whole look is under $65!!  Effortless, laid back pieces are my absolute favorite, and this look is perfect for the upcoming Summer season. 

See below for shopping deets.

Shop These Items:

Tee: I would order 1 size up for an oversized look {available at H&M here} //  Shorts: I lalalove these perfectly distressed shorts from H&M so much that I already ordered them! {under $25 here} //  Sneakers: These budget friendly sneaks {also under $25 here} are SO identical to the Sam Edelman & Steve Madden versions which are both over $100. //  Sunglasses: Hard to believe that these mirrored aviators are under $5!! {found here}

Happy shopping! xx

Monday, June 2, 2014

Ginger Pad Thai With Chicken & Veggies

I just love Thai food.  Well, let's be honest here - I love all food lol!  But in all seriousness, I really do love Thai cuisine.  I was thrilled when I saw a recipe on Pinterest a couple months ago for light chicken pad thai as I tend to favor light & fresh Thai cuisine over other heavier sauce laden dishes.  

Besides making the occasional stir fry, I really have no experience whatsoever in preparing Asian cuisine at home so the idea of this recipe was a little daunting at first.  Boy was I wrong!  This couldn't have been any easier to whip up in my kitchen.  I've made this dish several times since, and have adjusted the recipe to make the nutritional content a little bit healthier.  

This dish is so good - like there will be no leftovers good.  The light flavors all blend together so perfectly; fresh ginger & cilantro, savory shiitake mushrooms, crunchy carrots, and just a hint of spicy red pepper blended together with lean chicken & healthy brown rice noodles.  If you really like a bit of a kick, serve it with a little drizzle of sriracha sauce on top!  So, so scrumptious! 

Hope you enjoy!


1/2 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut crosswise into slices 1/4-1/3-inch thick
2 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
1 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. tamari (I used Braggs liquid aminos)
1 Tbsp plus 2 tsp. sweet red chili sauce {found in the Asian section of most grocery stores}
3 tsp. sesame oil
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. rice vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 oz. brown rice Pad Thai noodles
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 shallot; thinly sliced
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
3 1/2 cups savoy or napa cabbage, thinly sliced
1 cup shredded carrots
3/4 cup shiitake mushrooms, stemmed & sliced
1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
4 large green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro


In a medium bowl, mix the chicken with 1 tbsp of the ginger, 2 tsp of the tamari, 1 tsp of the sesame oil, 2 tsp of the sweet red chili sauce and 1 tsp of the rice vinegar.  Season lightly with salt and pepper, and set aside.
Boil the noodles in a large pot of salted water, stirring frequently, until just tender {about 5 minutes}.  Drain the noodles, rinse with cold water, and drain again.  Transfer to a medium sized bowl, add the remaining 2 teaspoons of sesame oil, and gently toss to coat.

In a 12-inch wok or nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat, warm the coconut oil.  Add the remaining 1 tbsp ginger, the shallots & red pepper flakes and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the chicken and stir until no longer raw on the outside, about 2 minutes.  Add in the carrots, cabbage and mushrooms and continuously stir until the chicken is cooked throughout and the cabbage is wilted, about 3-4 more minutes.  

Next, add the noodles, the chicken broth, green onions, remaining 1 tbsp tamari, 1 tbsp sweet red chili sauce & 1 tbsp vinegar.  Using tongs, toss until the noodles are thoroughly heated and ingredients are well blended, about 1-2 minutes. 

Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Garnish with cilantro and serve immediately.

Serves 4.

original recipe source

Happy Monday! xx

P.S. I added a couple new items to the 'Shop' section of my blog, and will be adding more throughout the week! 

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