Friday, September 23, 2011

Food 101: Three Ways to Wake Up Side Dishes

So I love to cook, but sometimes I don't have time to make everything from scratch. I thought I'd share a few of my go to sides and "wake up" tips to add flavor and a "made from scratch" taste:

1. Frozen Corn - try heating it up in basil butter (use food processor to chop 2 cups of fresh basil, add some softened butter and mix together, then toss it in the pan and add the corn, and salt and pepper to taste--delicioso!

2. Frozen Mixed Vegetables (green beans, corn, carrots, peas)- add a few tablespoons of pesto (I love Classico brand) and a few sprinkles of parmesian cheese. BOOM!

3. Couscous/Rice Pilaf/Brown Rice - add some herb de provence/dried Italian seasoning, fresh diced tomato, and/or fresh chopped Italian parsley, salt and pepper to taste.

4. Frozen Pizza (I use Kashi because they are whole grain) - I'll add fresh sliced tomato, basil, fresh cracked pepper and my own selection of other veggies (mushrooms, red pepper, baby spinach) to make it more healthy.

5. Eggs- Add fresh chopped rosemary, salt and pepper to taste--its a very posh way to have gourmet flavor in a quick breakfast staple.

These are just the ones I can think of that I use most often. If you can think of any other quick tips...add them in the comments! I'd love to hear some more good ideas!



I've Been On A Hiatus!

Dearest followers,

I know I have been dead silent on my blog, and for that I appologize! I am currently 9.5 months pregnant and the last 9 months have been into nothing but baby prep/baby stuff--which I'm sure not everyone wants to hear about! I have mentally blogged so many times, but never gotten the chance to write them for you all. BUT, I promise I will be back soon! Continue to write me with feedback on what you like to hear the most about, and I will do my best to get this back up and running! Muah!



Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Food 101: Healthy or A Play On Words?


These days it is "in" to be a healthy eater, and trust me, every company in the food industry knows that! This is why many companies skate around the topic of true nutritional content and use "consumer friendly" labels to trick us like "all natural". Yeah that means absolutely nothing--and if you read a little farther on the label, it is usually full of processed ingredients and things you can't even pronounce! Another trick is "whole wheat" when what you really want is "whole grain wheat".

Although learning how to decipher labels/nutrition facts is integral if you are going to eat well, I'm just going to focus on a little trick I just learned the other day.

Ever heard of The Whole Grains Council? They make it easier for us shoppers (especially in a rush) to quickly locate foods that are truly good for us. They do this by slapping on a "Whole Grain Stamp" (see photo) which means that what is inside has been approvel by the council and truly has whole grains.

As expained on their website, there are two different varieties of Stamp, the Basic Stamp and the 100% Stamp. If a product bears the 100% Stamp, then all its grain ingredients are whole grains. If a product bears the Basic Stamp, it contains at least 8 grams – a half serving – of whole grain, but may also contain some refined grain.

Each Stamp also shows a number, telling you how many grams of whole grain ingredients are in a serving of the product. BOOM! So start checking your boxes for this magic little stamp. Be sure to look thoroughly as sometimes its on the bottom of the box or the top/side/back.

This stamp applies to more than just breads, but also: cereals (hot and cold), pastas, rice, tortillas/wraps, dairy, frozen/prepared entrees, flour, baking mixes, soups, waffle/pancake mix, snack bars and a bunch of others!

Here are some of the brands that I found to have these labels:

Nature's Pride breads
Ronzoni pastas
Post/Kellogg cereals
Kashi products
Annie's homegrown
Barbera's bakery
Quaker Oats
Earth's Best
Nature's Path
Otis Spunkmeyer
Whole Foods Markets

Eat well and prosper!



Friday, March 4, 2011

REALationships: What About Me?

I know you have heard that quote: "If you don't love yourself, how the h--- are you gunna love somebody else?"

I heard it most recently by Ru Paul (yeah, I'm a Drag Race fan). But I really think people hear this and it goes in one ear and out the other. So often people are worried about what significant other they need to find fast, when it really should be, "am I my best self right now?".

Are you living up to your full potential? Do you truly love yourself flaws and all (and not obsess about weight, hair, etc.)? This is just something to think about. So often people have baggage that they aren't even aware of, and it affects potential relationships. Baggage could be from past relationships--with a previous S.O. or even a parent or sibling. Think about if there is any baggage that you are carrying around right now. Maybe you have been hurt by a friend or someone you confided in and you haven't ever confronted the situation. All of these things affect you and hinder you from being your best self.

So...I am going to give you a love yourself challenge. I came across this website the other day called and it allows you to send your future self an email! You can even choose the date for when you want it to be sent (a year from now, 2 years from now, next month).

I won't tell you what to write yourself, but it can be about anything--a love letter to yourself--expressing all of the things you love about you, an encouraging letter or even a congrats for making it this far letter. Anything you want to say to your future self--give it a try! If you need some more ideas--there are tons to read on the website. You can even write more than one.

Feel free to share what you are going to write about in the comments. Maybe it will inspire somebody else :)



Sunday, February 13, 2011

Food 101: Slippery Shrimp

So if you have ever been to Los Angeles, and you were with me, you have been to the famous Yang Chow restaurant in Chinatown. This place always has a line to get a table (even at 2 in the afternoon) and has the most amazing dishes. The one item that is on EVERY table--the Slippery Shrimp. It's a Yang Chow specialty! Think lightly fried shrimp tossed with a sweet, spicy, sticky goodness of a sauce. Every person that I have seen taste it is instantly addicted! Of course I don't live in L.A. anymore, but last night I was craving some Slippery Shrimp and I found the recipe! It tasted JUST like it!!! So here it is...

Yang Chow's World Famous Slippery Shrimp recipe:


2 cups peanut oil for frying
1 pound peeled and deveined large shrimp
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon white wine
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon ketchup
5 teaspoons white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons water
5 green onions, sliced


1. Heat peanut oil in a wok to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
2. Toss the shrimp with 1/4 cup of cornstarch to coat, then drop into the hot oil, and quickly fry until golden brown, about 45 seconds. Keep them in a little longer to keep them crunchy
3. When done, drain shrimp, and set aside.
4. Pour all but 1 tablespoon of oil from the wok, then stir in the garlic, ginger, and cayenne pepper.
5. Cook and stir until the garlic is fragrant and beginning to brown, about 30 seconds.
6. Pour in the wine, vinegar, ketchup, sugar, salt, and 1/4 cup of water, and bring to a boil over high heat.
7. Dissolve the cornstarch in 2 teaspoons of water, stir into the boiling sauce, and boil until thickened, about 1 minute.
8. Stir the shrimp and green onions into the sauce until coated.
9. (optional) for extra spice, sprinkle some red pepper flakes on top at the very end :)

Serve with white rice or fried rice (the best kind to buy is on the Asian food isle in the grocery store)
*recipe found at




Thursday, February 10, 2011

Fashion Fridays: No More Skinnys!

Now as a woman, you know that one of the hardest things to shop for is jeans, right? We must check the fit on the waist, the hip, the thigh, and of course the derrière...then throw in wash and length and you are literally pulling your hair out! There never seems to be a perfect pair that fits like they were made for us...(unless you are one of the few who are lucky)

One thing to consider for a true perfect fit is getting alterations. If you find a pair that fit your ASSets but don't fit your waist, get them taken in. Or if everything looks good but they bunch up at your feet--have them hemmed. The general rule is to buy the size that fits the widest part of your body. Be sure to sit down and move around to see how they shift when you shift. Seems simple enough right? Another idea is to try multiple designers and find a designer that fits your body type the best--some labels are made for flatter figures (Chip & Pepper, Seven) where others are cut for the curvy chic (Gap curvy, Citizens, Joe's)...

Now while we are on the topic of jeans, another thing I am finding myself wearing less and less (like the smoky eye I mentioned here) are low rise cuts and skinny jeans! I am drawn to the refreshing high waisted, wide leg trouser as of lately (among others) and I suspect these will be on the rise this spring. Thought I'd share some of my favorites:

 Pintucked Wide Leg Trouser $79.50 1969 Curvy Jeans $69.50 Citizens of Humanity Lennox Tapered Loose Fit

Happy hunting (and goodbye muffin top)!



Thursday, January 20, 2011

Food 101: Please Pass the Bread

One of my favorite flavors is when I go to an Italian restaurant and they pour a little olive oil out onto a saucer and add a house blend of seasonings to dip your bread in.
It gives your bread a little pizzazz and is a much healthier alternative to butter! I have created my own version and it tastes amazing, so I thought I'd share.

This is a quick and easy recipe that is great for entertaining, dinner parties, cozy soirees with girlfriends, or just for a snack! Try it out!


1 tablespoon of Italian blend dry seasoning (mixture of oregano, basil, rosemary)
1 teaspoon of McCormick's Spicy Montreal Steak seasoning
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (I like it a tad spicy!)
1 tablespoon parmesian cheese for a buttery cruch (and to replace the salt)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice (or one quick squirt!)
Extra virgin olive oil
1 roll of French bread, sliced in 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch pieces


Prep Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 5 mins

1. Combine all of the dry ingredients and mix well

2. Pour extra virgin olive oil onto a small saucer
3. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of the dry mixture to the olive oil (1 tablespoon of dry mix to every 3- 4 tablespoons of olive oil)

4. Add lemon juice and mix a bit

5. Dip sliced bread in mixture.


*Another variation is to add 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar for a tangy twist*
As you run out, add more dry mix and more olive oil. I promise, you will have your friends practically begging for the secret!
Happy eating!



Saturday, January 8, 2011

Beauty: The Bold/Statement Lip

So I am back from my holiday hiatus, and I have had tons of things that I mentally blogged, so I will have to fill you in!

For now, on my mind is my shift from loving smoky eyes and nude lips to loving BOLD LIPS with jet black eyeliner and/or mascara. Simple yet statement worthy. Add gloss on top if that tickles your fancy! Whatever color you are drawn to--try it!

Here are my 6 favorite color lipsticks from MAC which retail for about $14.50 with free shipping when you use the code "Mickey" for at least the next 24 hours on

MAC Red - The original

Underworld - Intense brownish burgundy

Lady Danger - Vivid bright coral-red matte

Girl About Town - Fabulous fuchsia (amplified creme)

Hot Sass - Bright orange (dazzle)

Gulabi - Bright fuchsia

Don't limit yourself with color. It doesn't have to be bright or trendy to be bold. Dark colors are super sexy, and classic reds are timelessly chic.




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