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

 

 

 

The Ugly Truth – Why I Stopped Blogging/Getting Personal/ What I Was Going Through

Ever since I was a child I suffered from bad eczema. For those of you who are unaware of what eczema is, it a condition that causes the skin to become inflamed, itch, and causes skin to have rough patches, become cracked, and blistering ooze can also occur. 

Over the years my mom spent countless dollars and hours to send me to the best dermatologists money could buy to try and cure my eczema. After many tears shed, a round of shots, and steroid creams I was finally cured after ten years! (Well, we thought!)

As the years went on I  was able to live life normally again. No longer did I have to make up a silly excuse time after time to friends that I couldn’t attend a beach outing or hide my skin in the summer under big loose sweatshirts and sweatpants! Those days were gone, and I never wanted to look back. EVER.

I’ve always been the type of girl who saw things through rose colored glasses, however sometimes in life we are faced with different challenges and have to go through things that crush your spirit and break your heart. Unfortunately I went through just that this past year, and what followed me during the dark times? That’s right: several major cases of hives, along with the return of eczema. 

As if dealing with personal matters weren’t bad enough, talk about adding salt to the wound! After months of crying and feeling hopeless and heartbroken I decided that I can no longer allow myself to become depressed about anything in my life anymore and this was one of them. It was time to see a dermatologist and allergist and hope for the best. It turned out that my diet and stress/trauma was causing my hives and eczema to flare up. I was given a big list of foods that I should avoid, and that list consists of gluten, dairy, wheat, eggs, and citrus fruits. For those of you who know me in real life, you know that I absolutely love and eat each of those items on a daily basis and would never follow those rules lol! 

Even after coming back from the derm and getting my pills, shots, and steroid creams, I know that I will never be fully cured and the harsh reality was if I didn’t change my mind set and diet I am going to go downhill again. This is a battle that I will constantly have but now it is time to fight. And I think after everything that I have gone through over these past few months, it’s time I start learning to love and find myself all over again.

Although healing is a process that will take time, I’m happy to report that I am in a much better head space these days and can finally start to blog again. I still have my sad moments and memories, but I am hopeful for the sunshine at the end of the rainbow. 

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This picture was taken on my trip to beautiful Lake Arrow Head to celebrate my birthday Pre-Covid-19 Scare/Quarantine. Just thankful that I was able to celebrate. (Pisces baby!) 

I’m not perfect with my new eczema diet yet, and I still slip up and eat things I know I shouldn’t, but that’s OK. My life is a work in progress, and I’m just happy to be in the right mindset to be able to accept the things that aren’t perfect. We can’t control somethings that happen to us in life, but I can continue to work on my life and myself and that is all that I can do really. 

Xoxo

Livin’ the Quarantined Life

Spring has sprung and we are now all forced to live in self-isolation. Not to worry, for someone who’s lifestyle consists of mostly being “quarantined” allow me to suggest some ideas!

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Learn Something New:

Yes, sure you can binge watch all of your favorite shows on Netflix during your time in quarantine, and believe me I have had my share of Unusual Suspects marathons. But you can also use this time to learn something new. Nothing like being productive and doing something that can be beneficial towards life after the quarantine is up, right? What I did was try to learn how to cook! I am guilty of being lazy and always ordering food from restaurants via DoorDash, UberEats and Postmates! You name it, I have ordered it. I took this time to really improve myself. I found my new project, ordered my measuring cups via Amazon, and got to browsing simple recipes that I could try that catered to my budget and my taste buds. I will post some of the new simple recipes I have learned for those interested.

Rearrange/Organize Your Space:

If you are starting to feel anxious or depressed get lost in reorganizing your closet. Although my closet is pretty unorganized and hectic most days, this is the perfect chance I have to reorganize and rearrange my clothes. I even forgot about some of the clothes I had! I gathered up some clothes that I can no longer wear (damn holiday weight) and set them aside for friends I know would love them, some I can donate, and some to sell via the Poshmark app. I might even add a link of my Poshmark here if anyone wants to  shop great deals from my closet! 

Meditation:

I used to mediate often when I was younger, when I didn’t have to face any real life problems or heartaches. As I got older, I found it so hard to just close my eyes and breathe. Dealing with a lot of anxiety can really mess with your mind, so before bed, or whenever you can find 10 – 15 minutes in your day, try to close your eyes and just focus on your breathing. I like to hold my crystals and focus on my breathing while I listen to relaxing spa-like music when I am trying to meditate. Not only is mediation relaxing, it is also great for your mental health. If I am sad, anxious or need answers to things I try to meditate, and afterwards I find that I have am more calm, have more clarity, and my thoughts come together a little bit better. 

Although things seem scary and uncertain right now, don’t let it get in the way you enjoy and live your life right now when trying the tips above! How has the Coronavirus affected you? What have you been doing to stay occupied? I would love to hear new ideas and suggestions from you! 

 

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!

 

 

My Fenty beauty review

Snapchat-962147098When Sephora announced that they would be carrying Rhianna’s first-ever makeup collection, all the beauty gurus and the makeup obsessed couldn’t wait! It was like pop culture and makeup fell in love! It was seemed like a match made in heaven. I stopped into Sephora during my lunch break per usual to check it out the first day the collection launched. I saw how bright and beautiful the highlighters were and the endless color choices of foundation that all the makeup reviewers were talking about. Because I had already just bought my foundation that I normally use and already have way more highlighters than any girl could need, I opted for the trio stick which came with a contour stick, highlight stick, and concealer.

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Contour stick shade in Mocha:

I still don’t fully grasp the idea of contouring your whole face, nor do I have the time or skills, but I do like that the stick is easy to blend and the shade isn’t too dark or light for my skin.

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Highlight stick in Trippin’:

I love how pretty this highlight is. It isn’t the kind of highlight stick if you are that girl that is looking for a bright highlight you can blind someone with, haha! I love that it has a nice shimmer and that it is similar to my blush shade.

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Concealer stick Bamboo:

The concealer stick from the Fenty Beauty is my least favorite of the three. I usually prefer my concealer to be more creamy and blend-able. This concealer left my skin on the dry side and doesn’t have as much coverage as I’d prefer. I will stick to my Nar’s or MAC concealer for my under eye area for now.

Although I haven’t tried anything else from the Fenty beauty collection, I am pleased with the products that I have purchased. I look forward to trying out more items from this collection. Those that have tried Fenty Beauty, what are your thoughts? What is worth trying and what is not?

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Quick and Easy: How I Clean My Makeup Brushes

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For some, cleaning makeup brushes is one of the last things they’d probably would want to be doing. For me though, it is rather therapeutic. I want to share the quick, easy, and cost effective way I clean my makeup brushes. 

Things you will need:

  • Olive oil
  • Dish washing liquid 
  • Sigma brush cleaning mat optional

In a small dish or mug combine a mixture of olive oil and dish soap. Add warm water and stir the ingredients together. I then use my mat from Sigma to scrub it all out and lay the brushes  flat to air dry so they are soft, clean, and ready for use the next day!

I have bought expensive brush cleaners from MAC and other brands in the past, but I find that dish soap is just as gentle and gets the job done as well as any name brand product. The olive oil works as a conditioner to soften the brush so it feels like new again. So, if you’re ever in a pinch or on a budget or would just like to try something different, give this brush cleansing treatment a go and let me know what you think!

If you have any other tips or household solutions for savings, feel free to share them or link them in the comments section!  

Toxic Relationships

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No relationship is perfect, whether it is personal or professional. It’s hard to see what’s really best for yourself when you’re invested in something that is supposed to be so meaningful regardless if it is your career, a friendship, or a romantic relationship. It’s not easy to remember who you are and what you really want sometimes. Sometimes you even start to lose sight of yourself and forget that your well-being and happiness should be a priority as well. Sometimes we put up with these toxic relationships because of fear or  not wanting to feel the pain of letting go. But with time and distance, soon we’re all able to see the relationship for what it really was: toxic

It isn’t realistic to expect to be happy every moment of everyday. Someone once told me that life wasn’t all pink and filled with butterflies. But for the most part, a good relationship should make you feel secure, respected, and happy. On the other hand, toxic relationships make you feel drained, distraught, and sometimes even defeated. Toxic relationships can cause you to slowly begin accepting what you used to consider unacceptable. Whether you are running a business or invested in a partner, the last thing anyone needs is any form of toxicity in their lives.  If someone or something is making you unhappy, you owe it to yourself to let that person or thing go. If you are constantly feeling your worst, you cannot be the best version of yourself. You wouldn’t hold onto a peach while it goes rotten just because at one point it was good.

Have you ever had a toxic relationship in your life? When did you realize it was toxic, and how were you able to move on? I’d love to hear your experiences, and I’m sure others could benefit as well!

Too-Faced for Sephora: The Peaches and Cream Haul

As someone whose nickname is Peach, this collection couldn’t have been a better fit for me! Too-Faced Cosmetics is one of my favorite brands when it comes to makeup, and I couldn’t have been more thrilled for this sweet collection! 

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Once again, during my lunch break I went into Sephora to get my hands on the first day release of this collection. I only purchased three items from the line today, but after playing around with them I just might have to head back for more! 😛

Peach Kiss Matte Lipstick In the Shade Doll Face

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At first glance I was already head over heels with the packaging. It is by far the cutest lipstick that I’ve ever purchased from Too-Faced.  The color has a nude-ish hue (I know, I know, another nude colored lipstick?! Yes! I am obsessed with nude lips what can I say?) The lipstick smells absolutely amazing, the matte formula is supposed to be long-lasting and hydrating, and of course it is infused with refreshing peaches and sweet fig cream. Heck, everything from the peaches and cream collection smells devine. I also love how it has little peach patterns inside the lipstick. It is almost too cute to use!

Too-Faced Peach Perfect Mattifying Loose Setting Powder

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Again, I don’t think I need to clarify how adorable the packaging is, but I am obsessed! I am currently using the translucent setting powder from Laura Mercier which I use only under my eyes to set my concealer. I find it quite heavy, so I was in search of another one and happened upon this one. Of course, having only purchased this earlier this afternoon I cannot say how I like it. But this refreshing peach loose setting powder has “universal peach tint” that is supposed to set your foundation and brighten the skin, and I am looking forward to using this tomorrow! 

Peach Mist Mattifying Setting Spray

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I am currently using my All Nighter setting spray from Urban Decay. I was running low and badly wanted the coconut infused setting spray when MAC cosmetics had their Fruity and Juicy collection this summer. I wasn’t able to get it because it was sold out the very first day that it had launched! I wasn’t surprised, but I was a bit bummed out. But this makes up for it! Well, they say good things come to those who wait! 😉 I sprayed a sample of this setting spray while I was shopping on my lunch break, and I knew that I needed to purchase it. The spray smelled amazing, and my makeup that I was wearing from this morning was still on even during this heat wave we have going on in California, so I knew this peach mist was a winner! 

I would love to know your thoughts and see your Peaches and Cream haul from this collection! I know that I haven’t posted in awhile, but thank you to those that stuck around are still following. It is much appreciated; have a peachy day!