COVID-19 Nail Crisis is Real

I know I am not the only one! Like most women around the world, once the pandemic occurred and nail shops were being forced to close, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of panic. I know that nails are the last thing anybody is going to worry about especially during times like these, but hey, call me a diva all you want; this girl still cares about her nails even if  no one is going to see me!

I was fortunate enough to have had a set of custom gel press-on nails made for me by my nail artist. Once I wore them out after 3 weeks I knew that the right thing to do was to attempt to do my own nails for the time being. Because as beautiful as the custom set was, and as much as I want to help support my local nail artists, it was pretty pricey and I needed to save my money! Because I don’t do my own nails the only thing I had at home were a set of nail clippers. I headed to CVS for the first time since the pandemic, and went wild in the store (haha!). 

I picked up a bottle of Glittery Gold nail polish by Essie, a quick-drying top coat, nail file, acetone, a set of press-on nails from the brand KISS, and some other nail tools. Fifty-something dollars and a dark chocolate mint KitKat in hand later and it was time to head home and get started!

After I cut my natural nails down to little nubs, I filed and buffed them. I decided to save my set of press-ons for another time, so I painted my natural nails with the Glittery Gold nail polish and finished them off with the Essie quick drying top coat. I was happy to see that my real nails were still in great shape given the fact that I haven’t remove my acrylics for years and years. I am guilty of either getting a fill or a new set each time I am at the nail salon, therefore my nails were never given a break to breathe. A lot of nail techs often tell me how  they are surprised and that I am extremely fortunate to have such great nails despite the years and years of damage that I have done.

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I really believe that the only reason why my nails aren’t in as bad a condition as they should be is the fact that I have been taking hair, skin, and nail gummy vitamins for years and I also enjoy drinking bone broth. I am often sipping on some bone broth at least once a week! My friends think I’m gross for this (lol), but honestly it tastes delicious! It’s like drinking chicken soup and I enjoy it a lot! Bone broth is known to promote collagen production which aids in the health and wellness of your nails and your skin. I also have noticed that my eczema has gotten a lot better after drinking bone broth.

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I don’t know when nail salons are able to reopen again in Los Angeles but I am pretty content with the money that I am saving monthly from not doing my nails. Not to mention, I am pleased with my real nails and I think I am starting to get use to them. I hope everyone is staying safe out there. What are some things that you all miss? I’d love to hear what everyone is looking forward to once this pandemic is over!

Xo,

 

 

 

Pandemic Stress Update: Thoughts and Concerns

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If  I’m not watching the news about the pandemic, I’m reading  about it. There are new developments and concerns every day regarding the Coronavirus, and it seems to be getting worse and scarier as the days, weeks, and months pass by.

I have hope that things will get better. I stay inside all of the time and only head out once a week to go food shopping with the exception of ordering something to be delivered once in awhile (hey, we have to support our local businesses during these tough times!). When I do head out to go grocery shopping I wear my DIY mask. I don’t know if it helps, but I like to believe that it is better than nothing. 

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(My Thai warrior DIY mask! Made with a T shirt and hair tie. Thanks, YouTube!) 

What is effecting me and giving me anxiety is knowing that so many people around the world are dying alone and not able to say goodbye to their families and how those who are working the front lines, our health care providers, the first-responders, are being infected and also losing their lives from this as well. It truly breaks my heart. 

I just wanted to say that I feel like it is OK to feel helpless, sad, and anxious during these difficult times. We all cope with things differently. And the pressure to be happy and positive all of the time is not necessary. I am hopeful; I try to fill my time with DIY projects, spa time, and cleaning, but some days I am not as productive and not as hopeful about the situation. I am still battling with issues and feelings I had to deal with prior to the Coronavirus and going into quarantine. We don’t heal wounds by saying this isn’t effecting us or that it doesn’t hurt because it does. Some days I allow myself to achieve, while some days I allow myself just to just exist. And I am completely OK with that. 

To those that are sacrificing so much to save so many, thank you. Also thank you to our farmers, truck drivers, grocery store employees, postal workers, bank tellers, and everyone else who are considered our essential workers and still working during these difficult times. And for everyone else I that I might have forgotten to mention, thank you too! 

To everyone else who is taking their time and reading my blog, I hope that you are well. And please continue to do your part by staying home and staying safe. 

Xo,

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Banana Bite Snacks

I had some left over bananas that were ripening very quickly. After making my banana pancakes I still had some to spare, and thought what better way to make use of them than with this snack!

For those of you who have a sweet tooth like me, this snack would be perfect for you, or for those of you who are quarantined and just tired of eating all of your usual snacks check it out!

Bananas are a great source of fiber and potassium. I paired them with ingredients I already had in my pantry and fridge. The first was a dairy-free hazelnut spread that I had purchased from Eataly along with some baking dark chocolate chips that I had laying around in the fridge from the time my friend Crystal and I were making chocolate chip cookies.

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Here is a link to where you can purchase this delicious hazelnut spread. They also have an option that isn’t dairy-free and other varieties of the spread as well!

The next filling I chose for the banana bites was my Sunflower Butter that was purchased from Trader Joe’s. I purchased the Sunflower Butter in-store, but wasn’t able to find it on their website (sorry!). I also filled them with blueberries, but the berries were rather large so next time I would probably sprinkle coconut flakes or some chia seeds over the sunflower banana bites. 

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Things You Will Need:

  • One large banana
  • Your favorite nut butters (almond, cashew, peanut, sunflower, etc.) or spread

 

Now Let’s Make Some Banana Bites!

First slice your banana in small bite sized pieces.

Then fill your banana slices with your favorite nut butter or filling.

Place two slices of bananas together, like you’re making a sandwich.

Enjoy!

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Try My Delicious Simple Vegan and Gluten-Free Banana Pancakes!

Nothing I love more than some delicious fluffy pancakes! After having to follow some dietary restrictions due to my severe eczema, I remembered an easy recipe I used to make when I had bought too many bananas and didn’t want them to go to waste. That’s when I came up with this recipe that is super simple to make and doesn’t require much ingredients at all, especially coming from a girl who is the queen of takeout and does NOT cook.

Things You Will Need:

1 cup of oat flour (I made my own by blending old-fashioned oats in my Nutribullet)

1 ripe banana

3/4 rice milk (any milk substitute will do, I chose to use the Rice Dream brand)

Olive oil or cooking spray (butter is optional)

1/2 cup blueberries or strawberries for garnish

Maple syrup, agave, honey, or other sweeteners of your choice to taste 

Equipment 

Mixing bowl

Whisk or fork

Cast iron or non-stick griddle or skillet 

Very thin, wide spatula

Let’s Get Cooking!

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I absolutely adore this alpaca mixing bowl my friend Crystal gave me as part of my Christmas present last year! Thank you for encouraging me to branch out and try new things! (Like cooking!) 

Shall we begin?

1. First, I used my Nutribullet to blend 1 cup of whole rolled oats to make the oat flour.

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2. Peel one banana and break it up into several chunks in the blender with the oat flour, and blend thoroughly. If you do not have a Nutribullet or blender, use your mixing bowl and a dinner fork or whisk to mash the banana until it has a pudding-like consistency with no large lumps remaining. A few chunks are okay. 

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3. Heat your non-stick pan or skillet over medium heat. Add a small amount of oil in the pan if desired. I used a bit of olive oil in mine. 

4. Place your batter into the skillet. The smaller your pancake droppings, the better it will work. Repeat with dropping more of the batter into the pan, leaving an inch or two between the pancakes.

5. Cook the pancakes until the bottoms are browned and golden. When you notice air bubbles forming, the pancake is solidifying. The edges should set quicker, but the center might still be moist. You can check if the center is cooked by gently patting on the center. 

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6. Flip the pancakes gently and slowly. Gently slide your spatula half way under the pancake, then lift until the unsupported half of the pancake is just barely lifted off of the skillet. Yay! You flipped your pancake! If you mess up it’s okay. Not to worry, I’ve broken a few pancakes, but there will be plenty of batter to practice with!

7. Cook for another minute or until the other side is just as golden or brown. You can flip the pancakes a few times if they are not golden or browning. 

8. Transfer the cooked pancakes into a serving plate and continue to cook the rest of your  batter.

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9. Serve warm. These pancakes are best when consumed fresh and warm! Garnish with blueberries or strawberries. Then serve with maple syrup, agave, honey, or any toppings you wish. I chose to top mine off with blueberries and honey drizzle. 

10. If you have leftover pancakes that you didn’t finish, be sure to saran wrap them and keep them refrigerated.  They can be eaten again for another meal or the next day if you place them in the microwave for 30 second bursts until hot. 

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I am pleased that I am finally able to use my Disney china! This one is Ariel’s Castle, one of my favorite plates from the collection. 

I hope you enjoy these pancakes just as much as I’ve enjoyed making them and sharing them with you all. Please feel free to leave me a comment or send me an email and let me know what you thought. I really enjoy receiving your emails and reading your comments. It truly means a lot!

Xoxo

 

 

 

Let’s talk about Covid-19 and my return!

It has been quite some time since I have returned to this site. I have taken long hiatus from blogging due to personal matters that I may or may not get into, but here I am! I think enough time has passed, and I am in the right head space to start blogging again. No better way to get creative now that we are quarantined! 

The Covid-19 scare is real. At first I was hesitant to fully believe everything that I was hearing and reading from the media. I kept myself informed but didn’t feel the need to panic yet.  Two months prior to the Safer at Home order was when I heard from some friends and family members that we need to start preparing for a quarantine. They had advised that I head to the store and get some supplies just in case an order was issued. (No advice to hoard toilet paper and hand sanitizer lol!) I thought it was silly, shrugged it off and went to Whole Foods for my normal food shopping for the week and bought just the essentials and still went about my day. I think many of us Americans were in denial or didn’t want to believe that this war was really happening. If we close our eyes and continue to just go to work and live our best lives, eventually it is going to have to go away right? Wrong.

There were constantly new developments every day, each one scarier than the last as the days went on. Seeing the death toll and infection rates in countries like China, Italy, and Iran and everything that was happening was heart breaking and just overall terrifying. Soon enough here in my bubble called Los Angeles restaurants, hotels, and non-essential businesses were required to close, and many of us were ordered to either work from home or faced with the harsh reality that we would be out of work due to the closures. 

As an event coordinator, I work with and for many vendors, restaurants, and hotels. I am currently out of work for the time being, and I have anxiety about what is going to happen with our economy and the virus spreading. To help with these fears, I remind myself to just breathe and know that I am not alone. We are all in this together. I remember to stay thankful and mindful about everything and that, as with everything in life, nothing is forever and this too shall pass. 

With these uncertain times that we are experiencing it is best to stay positive because being hysterical and living in denial doesn’t get us anywhere. As someone who is already a homebody, living in quarantine at the moment isn’t anything stressful for me or hard to do at all. Although I do miss my mani/pedi time and enjoying my sushi, I know that I will soon be able to, and it will be that much sweeter once I can. But for those of you out there having a hard time with social distancing, please try your best to stay inside. The longer we don’t follow these guidelines, the longer we are going to be in quarantine; and the longer we are quarantined, the longer we will be out of work. 

Thank you for those of you who took the time to read my thoughts and concerns, and for those of you who never left the blog and are still subscribed! I truly appreciate it, and would love to hear your thoughts, concerns, or questions you may have. Have a wonderful day, stay safe, and stay inside!

Xo,

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The Holidaze

Although the holidays are supposed to be about spreading cheer and giving thanks, they can also be somewhat stressful! Every time the holidays roll around I feel somewhat of a panic and go into a frenzy. Besides the shorter days, the change in weather, and worsened traffic, I worry that I’m not going to get my Christmas shopping done on time. Sure enough, I ran behind on my Christmas shopping this year. I usually start around Thanksgiving, but this year has been even more hectic and chaotic than usual and I ran behind. Luckily I am done! But for those that are feeling anxious, not to worry. I got you covered! Below are some of my gift giving ideas for the special ladies, women, and girls in your life!

These are some of the things that are on my wish list that I would love to receive but will be gifting to the wonderful ladies in my life:

Pajama sets: PJ sets are great gifts. You can never have too many! Everyone sleeps, right?  I found some really great and affordable ones from Forever 21. Striped Satin PJ set $24.80 from Forever 21.

 

For the makeup lovers in your life: Too Faced Best Year Ever makeup Collection. This set contains Too Faced Cosmetic’s best selling products, such as the Better Than Sex Mascara and 3 separate eye shadow palettes. It also comes in a super cute limited edition bag with a step-by-step how-to glamour guide! What a great deal for all of these products! 

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Candles from Bath and Body Works: I find that Bath and Body Works has the best scented candles for the price and quality! They have a variety of holiday scents to choose from! Candles range from $12.95 and up.

Tiffany’s Love Heart Earrings: Great studs for everyday wear. Sterling Silver with the iconic Tiffany blue.

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Chocolate indulgence:  One of my favorite places to get chocolate’s from is Compartes, especially around the holidays! Although they are a little pricey, they are definitely worth it, and they make a great gift for all the chocolate lovers in your life. I would recommend the Holiday Truffles. 20 pieces $59.95

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Bathtub Caddy: Great for the ultimate bath time relaxation. No need to worry about getting your Kindle, iPad, or book wet. There is even a place for your glass of champagne or wine! Available on Amazon for $39. 

BUY NOW: $39, amazon.com
With room for a wine glass and a book, this caddy promises the most relaxing bubble bath ever. 

 

Just a little friendly reminder, although gifts are nice it is not what Christmas is about. Remember to try to spend time with friends and family, and put aside all of your difference and just try to enjoy the holidays. I wish everyone happy holidays! A special thank you to those who continue to read and support my blog even though I haven’t been as consistent as I would like to be. Cheers!

 

 

Extreme Green Smoothie

When I am on the go and don’t have time for a snack or meal, I like to whip up a quick, easy, and nutritious green smoothie.

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All you need is a greens-based smoothie powder, like Amazing Grass’s Green Superfood. I love this green powder so much! It contains a blend of organic greens such as spinach, wheat grass, spirulina, and broccoli, and it also has a blend of fruits including acai.

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Toasted Coconut Almondmilk

  • One scoop of Green Superfood
  • Milk or almond/coconut alternative (I prefer Califia Farm’s Coconut Almond Milk blend)
  • One banana
  • Handful of baby kale or spinach (whatever fresh greens I have)
  • A drizzle of agave

Just blend and enjoy!