Wednesday, April 30, 2014

April Favorites

April is finally over! It was a busy month for me full of hard work and fun times. I've always been a big fan of May and I pray this month is no exception. With another month come and gone, it's time for my favorites of the passing month.


  • Favorite thing I did: Finally get on track with changing my life habits to become happier & healthier!
  • Favorite beauty product: Dr. Dennis Gross facial products...I know it's the same as last month's, but I just can't believe the change my face has undergone
  • Favorite song: Meanwhile Back at Mama's by Tim McGraw
  • Favorite snack: Kashi Crunchy Granola & Seed Bars, Chocolate Chip Chia flavor
  • Favorite TV Show: Eric & Jessie: Game On
  • Favorite purchase: all my new workout attire from Old Navy... Stay tuned Friday for my favorite workout outfit these days!

Wishing you all many blessings for May. Don't forget to take a moment to stop & smell the roses. My goal this month is to continue being happy, healthy, and honoring God. What are your goals?

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Love With Food

Image from LOVEWITHFOOD

For those of you who have been following me for awhile, you know I'm a foodaholic who is also on the quest to become more healthy. I recently stumbled across Love With Food, a subscription box full of new, organic, all-natural snacks. There are two size options--8+ snacks for $10/month (tasting box) OR 16-20 snacks for $17/month (deluxe box). These gourmet food items have absolutely ZERO transfats, partially hydrogenated oils, or high fructose corn syrup. Whichever foods you love in your box, you can then purchase on their website. 

My favorite thing about this subscription service is that for every tasting box purchased, one meal is donated to a food bank, such as Feeding America Network or No Kid Hungry. For every deluxe box purchased, two meals are donated. So far Love With Food has been able to feed over 200,000 hungry people who wouldn't otherwise be fed!

Each box is themed & comes with a list of what is inside! 
This months theme was: FLOWER POWER!

It included:
  • Orchard Blend by Sensible Foods: These crunch-dried fruits were yummy, although I'm not a big fan of mango. They were very filling and a nice snack.
  • Heart-tee by Wild Hibiscus Flower Co.: I have yet to try this tea, but it is supposed to lower anxiety & stress...something I always need!
  • Creamed Honey with Chocolate Mint by Vintage Bee: This honey is supposed to be a great mid-day-pick-me-up...I'll be tossing it in my lunchbox for work this week!
  • Almonds with Cranberries, Honey, & Sea Salt by Sahale Snacks: I'm not a fan of almonds, so I gave them to my mom. She really liked the honey flavor to make it a sweeter, more enjoyable snack.
  • Popcorn by Crave Canyon: The hatch green chile flavor had a serious kick to it, but I loved it! I shared it with a co-worker and she was a fan too. I am interested in ordering more of this.
  • Honey Waffle by Meli: This is another product in the snack I want more of. I had it for breakfast one morning and wanted to eat a million more. Would pair great with the creamed honey with chocolate mint.
  • Fiordifrutta Organic Fruit Spread by Rigoni Di Asiago: I haven't tried this yet, but it will go great on a bagel as a healthy alternative to cream cheese sometime this week before work.
  • Organic Energy Bar by Bumble Bar: This energy bar has nuts, sesame, flax, vanilla, and cinnamon. It's great to keep in my purse for a mid day snack while on the go between jobs.


Get $10 of your 1st box by entering the coupon code: YUMMY


Monday, April 28, 2014

Makeup Monday: Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray

On a Sephora shopping spree in January I was looking for a good setting spray that could prevent shine and guarantee my makeup wouldn't move all night when I went out with friends. Someone recommended Urban Decay's All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray, and I immediately fell in love.

This 4.0 fl oz spray has lasted me three months, with use nearly every single day, and still has at least a month left in it. It's oil and paraben free and has temperature control. It prevents melting, cracking, and fading, for up to sixteen hours. There have been nights where I wear this out and don't take my makeup off at night (I know, shame on me!!!) and I wake up with my full face still perfectly in place. It sprays evenly and feels cool and refreshing. It dries quickly too. It's a $30 well spent and I would recommend this product to anyone who wants assurance that their makeup is going no where all night long!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Weekly Wisdom


Thank you Lord for another beautiful weekend with my loved ones! I had Friday off work, so I got an oil change and car wash (of course it rained that night!), then spent the rest of morning with my grandmother, then went on a beautiful hike at Paradise Falls with my old roommate, Courtney. I went to dinner that night with my mom, dad, and boyfriend at Snapper Jacks. Afterwards I hung with James at his place for a bit, then we got a delicious Pizookie for dessert at BJ's. I had a delicious breakfast at Panera Saturday morning, then did some shopping. I treated myself to a whole new workout wardrobe, which I not only need, but definitely deserve. Afterwards I went down to Los Angeles with another former roommate and the person who introduced James and I, Emma, to help her find a new apartment for after she graduates. With no luck, we headed back to Thousand Oaks for a delicious and very fun barbecue at James' house. I love spending time with all our friends together. The weekend was full of delicious food and lots of giggles with amazing people. Now, I'm off to work for the rest of the day.

This week I vow to love others like Jesus loves me and share his word with others when the opportunity arises. I vow to have a kind heart in all that I do and live each day with JOY (Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last.) I love you all, happy Sunday!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Fashion Friday: Afternoon at the Fair

My favorite weekend of the year is quickly approaching...Conejo Valley Days! The fairgrounds in town will have food vendors, carnival games, carnival rides, live bands, and so much more in two weeks and I can't wait. Last year was my most memorable year yet! I won a fish...that died that night. This year I hope to win another that lives at least twice as long :)

When dressing for the fair I always want to be as comfy, but cute, as possible. Here's what I'm thinking about wearing this year!

-RyuRyu Wire Bow Hairband, $7.33
-Marc by Marc Jacobs Daisy Stud Earrings, $48
-Miss Selfridge Double Layer Cami Top, $25
-American Eagle Outfitters Hi-Rise Jegging Crop, $50
-Sperry Top-Sider Angelfish Linen Boat Shoe, $75
-TOPSHOP Name Necklace, $18

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Power of Habit (a book review, yet so much more!)

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life And In Business by Charles Duhigg


I first heard about this book through Shay Carl, of Shaytards fame, when he announced in one of his YouTube videos that him and his wife Colette would be starting a book club on their channels "When The Kids Go To Sleep." It was available free for all their viewers who wanted to participate on Audible.com/shaytards. I first checked the library I work at to see if we had it, but it was checked out with a long hold list, which made me know it was going to be a good read, so I downloaded it free on Audible. I've since listened to it in the past week or two on my morning walks with the baby I take care of.

The book is very scientific, but also very interesting and informative. It begins with talking about certain people and the way their brains are wired with their habits, referred to as the habit loop. Duhigg uses proof from studies to teach readers how to develop new habits, change bad habits, and all the transformation that occurs between the two. The book continues on to talk about successful organizations, such as Target and Starbucks, and how they use data of people's habits to be successful. This is the section of the book I found the most interesting! The third part of the book talks about the habits of society, famous movements, free will, and people's responsibility over their habits.

I found the book to be highly relatable, especially because of the personal endeavor I'm on after reading Gretchen Rubin's book "The Happiness Project." It has taught me ways to change bad habits and replace them with good habits. It has encouraged me to exercise more and eat better, even though that's not what the book is focused on. The research and examples sprinkled throughout the book helped me to look at myself in a different light. I could only imagine the impact it would have on someone who runs their own business! Duhigg's "Cue, Routine, Reward" habit loop challenged me to look at my own habits, and reroute the way I worked.

Two of my favorite quotes from the book:

"Change might not always be fast and it isn't always easy. But with time and effort, almost any habit can be reshaped."

"This is the real power of habit: the insight that your habits are what you choose them to be."

I recommend this book to anyone and everyone! It WILL change your daily life. If you are interested on getting it for free, head on over HERE!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Spring Cleaning

It's that time of year again....spring cleaning! Lucky for me-- I'm NOT participating! Since I moved home the last week of December, I spent most of January going through everything I own. I got rid of a ton, put some in storage, donated some, and organized what I had left. After several weeks of it, I decided to provide you all with some tips on how you can make the most out of your spring cleaning!



  • One room at a time! Don't overwhelm yourself by thinking you can get through the whole house in one day. It's unlikely unless you live in a box. Spend 20 minutes a day cleaning and organizing for a month and that 600 minutes can make a HUGE difference.
  • Virtually move. When questioning if you should keep something or get rid of it, ask yourself: "If I was moving, would I take this with me?"
  • Clean greasy gas burners in sealed plastic bags with ammonia. No matter how hard I scrub, the gas burners never look that clean. By letting them soak in ammonia for awhile, it breaks all the grease down and leaves them looking brand new.
  • Boil lemon for a fresh scent. All the cleaning products and dust in the air can leave the house feeling musty and uncomfortable. By boiling a lemon in water, a fresh citrus scent will overpower all cleaning scents.
  • Baking soda cleans all. End of story. 
  • Soak a dryer sheet in pans to remove food that is baked on. Just as with gas burners, sometimes no matter how hard you scrub, there's still some residue there. By using dryer sheets, it eliminates any leftovers the next time you try to bake.
  • After cleaning out your closet, turn all your hangers backwards. When you wear things throughout the year, turn them the right way. When you go to spring clean next year, immediately get rid of all the clothes with their hangs still backwards. It will show you what you didn't wear last year, so you won't wear it this year.
  • The Container Store is your BFF. If you need a little extra organization, head to The Container Store. They have all sorts of organizational helpers for such a great price!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Youtube Tuesday: Carlie Stylez

Lately I've been trying to better myself. I want to be the best person I can for me, my family, my boyfriend, my career, and my future children. I want to be happy, healthy, and a role model to many. I want to inspire those the way I've been inspired by others. One of my biggest inspirations as of lately is a youtuber named Carlie Butler, who has a channel called CarlieStylez. There she shares tips on living a life full of fitness, health, family, style, love, and happiness...the type of life I hope to live. She shares tips, workouts, recipes, beauty, fashion, and also a look into her life as a single mother.

"Ordinary people who faithfully and diligently and consistently do simple things that are right will bring forth extraordinary results." -Carlie's motivation for the week!

I wanted to share Carlie's channel with you all because she's motivating and inspiring to me in so many aspects. On Saturday when I was twitter ranting about her perfect body and how when I lack motivation I look to her and she gave me the advice, "love your body first and it'll speed up the process." What a woman!

Check out her channel!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Makeup Monday: NYC Individual Eyes Custom Compact

Today's Makeup Monday review is on New York Color's Individual Eyes Custom Compact. My #1 favorite thing about NYC products is how inexpensive they are. Eyeshadows are something I like to have many different options for, so I spend much less on them than I would foundation, where I only own one or two at a time. I picked my compact up at Rite Aid for I believe 4.99. I got the palette that is best for green eyes, and I am really enjoying it.

The palette has four different colors, with suggestions on where to place each shade, as well as a primer, illuminator, and eye shadow brush. It stays on throughout the day and really adds a pop that plays up your eyes, because the shades are based to compliment each individual's eye color. It's also compact enough to throw in your purse.

Two things I didn't like about this palette is that it doesn't have a mirror, so while it is an "on-the-go" size, you can't take it on the go without having another compact available and also the fact that I need to do more than one application for it to be visible. I have to build on it 3-4 times for it to be the color shown in the palette.

Overall I enjoy the product and will continue to use it on days I'm not wearing glasses and when I want my eyes to pop!

Here I am yesterday wearing NYC Individual Eye Custom Compact for green eyes


Check out the best palette for your eye shade!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter

Wishing Easter blessings to all of you & your families. I went to mass with my grandmother and am now getting ready to help cook Easter dinner. I'm making my potatoes au gratin I shared with you earlier in the week. Lots of love to you all today and every other day. Check out the video below.

Because Of Him

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Tyler Farr Concert

Last night I saw Tyler Farr in concert and to be honest with you all, I was not impressed. I was looking forward to the night and had a lot of fun with my boyfriend and some friends, both new and old. The opening act, whose name I don't remember, was really great. They did all covers and got the crowd pumped up for what was to come. However, once Tyler got on stage, we were pretty disappointed. He seemed to have pregamed his concert a little too hard, and I could barely understand the words coming out of his mouth. Luckily the concert was local and pretty cheap and we all still had a great time together. I'm curious to see if his career will pick up at all or if Farr will remain a one hit wonder with Redneck Crazy, especially since he is playing at Stagecoach a week from today.

James & I at Tyler Farr

Friday, April 18, 2014

Fashion Friday: Country Concert Edition

Tonight I'm going to a Tyler Farr concert, so here's a sample of a cute outfit I might be seen wearing tonight, or any other country concert I attend this summer.

-ASOS Bandana Print Headscarf, $11
-Rag & Bone Mila distress denim shorts, $165
-Aerie Side Lace Swing Tank, $18
-Lafayette 148 New York Wide Leather Basket Weave Belt, $298
-C. Wonder Large Honeycomb Cuff, $68
-Ariat Heritage Western X-Toe, $190

Thursday, April 17, 2014

April Showers Playlist--Perfect Music for a Rainy Day


  • Gravity by John Mayer
  • Better Than Love by Griffin House
  • Heart's Content by Brandi Carlile
  • Angel by Jack Johnson
  • Hometown Glory by Adele
  • Rules by Jaymee Dee
  • Bubbly by Colbie Caillat
  • Bottle It Up by Sara Bareilles
  • Make You Smile by +44
  • Zephyr by Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Who You Are by Jessie J
  • I Hold On by Dierks Bentley
  • Give Me Back My Hometown by Eric Church
  • Say Something by A Great Big World

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Cooking With Cate

I did it guys. I made the best meal of all time. No, it wasn't just a delicious dish, it was an all around PERFECT meal. And it got two thumbs up by two food connoisseurs (my boyfriend and his roommate.) I made baked chicken stuffed with pesto & cheese, potatoes au gratin, sauteed sugar snap peas, and topped it off with strawberry sangria.


Baked Chicken Stuffed with Pesto & Cheese

Ingredients:
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • pesto
  • sour cream
  • mozzarella
  • 2 eggs (could've gotten by with just 1)
  • parmesan
  • bread crumbs
How to make:
  1. Pound chicken breasts until thin.
  2. Mix pesto, sour cream, and mozzarella.
  3. Spread over chicken breast thinly, stopping 1/2 inch from edge. (This was really difficult and messy for me, but it turned out looking fine!)
  4. Roll up chicken breasts, using tooth picks to keep together. (I forgot tooth picks and improvised with skewers...trust me, tooth picks are a necessity for this dish!)
  5. Prepare 2 bowls- 1 with beaten eggs and 1 with parmesan and bread crumbs. (Recipe I originally read didn't call for bread crumbs, but I was using them for the potatoes and thought it would be a yummy addition...it was.)
  6. Dip chicken breasts in egg, then in parmesan/bread crumb mixture, thickly coating it. 
  7. Place on baking tin, casserole dish, or whatever tickles your fancy.
  8. Baked at 375F for 30 minutes.
Potatoes Au Gratin

Ingredients:
  • 3 potatoes
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 1/2 c milk
  • onion powder
  • 1 c parmesan
  • 1/2 c bread crumbs
How to make:
  1. Heat 3 tbsp butter until melted, then blend in flour, salt, and pepper. Cook low heat until smooth and bubbly. Stir in milk, half cup at a time. Boil and stir, for about a minute.
  2. Arrange 1/3 of potatoes in greased casserole, topping the layer with 1/3 of the onion powder, 1/3 of blend, and 1/3 of cheese. Repeat this twice. 
  3. Melt tbsp butter and add dry bread crumbs, covering top of potatoes.
  4. Bake at 375 F for 60 minutes.
Sauteed Sugar Snap Peas

Ingredients:
  • sugar snap peas
  • olive oil
  • garlic salt
How to make:
  1. Coat sauce pan with olive oil and a generous amount of garlic salt.
  2. Add sugar snap peas and cook until a light brown.
Strawberry Sangria

Ingredients:
  • 1 bottle of red wine
  • 2 liter of sprite
  • 15 sliced strawberries
How to make:
  • Mix the three up for a YUMMY blend

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

some of my dreams


1.) Be confident and secure of the woman I am.
2.) For my blog to spark a career.
3.) A closer relationship with my family.
4.) Stronger friendships.
5.) Be more positive.
6.) Be financially secure. (Doesn't everyone dream this? HA!)
7.) Feel at peace--no stress & no anxiety.
8.) Live without jealousy of others.
9.) Be the best girlfriend (and eventually wife) I can be.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Makeup Monday Review: Dr. Dennis Gross Clear Skin Solutions 30 Day Supply

This stuff is unbelievable. I rate it an A+ and wish there was a higher rating to give out. My skin has improved so much, I'm actually feeling confident about myself. God bless the woman at Sephora who recommended this product. If I ever see her again I might give her a kiss...
It comes with four products. 

First the clarifying sulfur mask. It doesn't dry my skin out but treats the spots that need it over night. I've read complaints that it doesn't last long, but it is only supposed to be used 2-3 times a week and a little bit goes a long way.

Second is the all-in-one cleansing foam. This is to be used in morning and night, and just as with the mask, a little bit goes a long way. One generous pump or two small ones is enough to have my whole face foamy and feeling clean. It is difficult for me to find a face wash that leaves me feeling completely clean but this does the trick without drying me out. It actually hydrates me even more.

Third is the hydra-pure oil free moisturizer. A common trend here is that a little bit goes a long way. My favorite thing about this moisturizer is that it doesn't leave my face feeling frozen like many other acne treating moisturizers do. 

Last is the one step acne eliminating pads. These flatten and clear blemishes with salicylic acid. They also lighten dark spots. The women at Sephora who first showed me this kit told me that it would tingle really bad the first week of using them. The first three times really bothered me, but then I was used the product. After using them on problem areas consistently for seven days, I began to only use them when needed, usually every couple days. 

Before

After


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Weekly Wisdom


What a great weekend! Friday night I made a DELICIOUS dinner for my boyfriend & his roommate-- scalloped potatoes au gratin, pesto & mozzarella stuffed chicken, garlic snap peas, & strawberry sangria. ALL HOMEMADE. It was the best thing I've ever made & I will be posting the meal this week. Yesterday the three of us went to Anaheim to enjoy the Angels lose to the Mets in 13 innings. I won free tickets via twitter and it was such a good time. We left early (thank goodness--so much traffic!) Then we stopped at a casino for my boyfriend to scratch his gambling itch for 20 minutes. He won $75 so it was well worth the stop. After that we grabbed lunch at Chicago based Portillo's which has unreal hot dogs. They're not the best for my waistline, but we only go when down in Anaheim, which is usually twice a year. Today I have to work, both at the library and then watching the kids, so I wish you all a happy Sunday and amazing week.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Monday Giggles

I was hoping to have time to do a product review of Dr. Dennis Gross skincare products today, but I worked 12 hours so the day slipped away from me. I work another 12 tomorrow, so hopefully I'll get back into the blogging routine when I'm back to my normal schedule Wednesday and on to the rest of the week.

So instead of doing the review, I'll share a funny story of something that happened to me today while at work.

For those of you who don't know, I'm a nanny in the morning and a library assistant in the afternoon and evening. (In my head I'm a full time blogger.) This morning I was walking to the park with three kids all under three-the older ones twins & a nine month old baby. We had the baby in a Radio Flyer push cart buckled in front and one of the twins was standing on the back peddles. I was pushing. After about a 20 minute walk, we were almost to the park when a wheel went flying off the Radio Flyer. My jaw hit the floor. Not only did the wheel just roll off, it rolled into the opening on the side of the road for the sewage system, so there was NO getting it back. I took the baby out and put her on my hip, pushing the missing wheeled stroller back up the hill toward their house, the kids walking next to me & one of them in tears because the wheel was gone. I was doing my best to keep my cool, all while screaming in my head, when a very nice older man stopped his car and asked if the wheel had broken. I told him the situation and he got us, and the push cart back home.

In the moment I was frustrated and stressed out, but looking back twelve hours later, it's the funniest part of my day.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Happiness Project (Month 1)

I have been reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and have decided to go on my own happiness journey. Mine is similar to hers, but I have changed a few things. For example, I don't need to focus on becoming a better mother and wife. However, I do need to build stronger friendships and become better with my money.

For the month of April I am trying to boost my energy. In order to do so I follow twelve things a day to further my energy. Some I am doing great at and some I haven't done a single day. For example, no electronics after 9:30 pm--I have read that this can lead to a better night's sleep, however I am too big a fan of television and texting before bed. Maybe this week I'll do better.

My twelve steps to having more energy in April:

  1. No electronics after 9:30.
  2. Get up at 6 AM on the weekdays & 9 AM on the weekends.
  3. Get ready for bed at 8:30 PM (Sunday-Thursday nights)
  4. Walk 10,000 steps a day.
  5. Strength train 20 minutes a day, 3 times per week.
  6. 5 minutes of sunshine each day.
  7. Do what ought to be done.
  8. Declutter.
  9. Virtual move. (While decluttering, if you wouldn't pack it while moving, THROW IT OUT.)
  10. Tidy up for 10 minutes at night.
  11. Make a to-do-list each day.
  12. Act with more energy. (Fake it til you make it!)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Songs of the Summer

With Stagecoach just around the corner, all my friends are gearing up for the big weekend. I can no longer go because of work so I am going to take the money I spent for the festival and go see a few shows of artists I really wanted to see. There are so many concerts I'm interested in seeing this summer! Here are a few of the top country concerts (besides Stagecoach) headed to Southern California in the coming months.

May 18, 2014 Tim McGraw at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine

June 14, 2014 Oakheart Country Music Festival at Conejo Creek South Park in Thousand Oaks feat. Love & Theft, Jana Kramer, and Craig Campbell

July 12, 2014 Brad Paisley at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine

July 25, 2014 Dierks Bentley at Greek Theater in Los Angeles

October 4, 2014 Blake Shelton at Hollywood Bowl in Hollywood

Seeing Dierks Bentley is on my bucket list & he just recently added this show to his summer Riser tour. This is one I will 100% be at. I couldn't be more excited for a show! 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

March Favorites

I can't believe it's already April 1st! I know I saw this every month, but the year is FLYING by. This month was crazy for me. I feel like all I did was work, but I'm happy with what I'm doing.

This month I'm setting off on Gretchen Rubin's Happiness Project, so stay tuned in the coming days for my April goals and throughout the year to see if I can become happier with my life now that I've finally seemed to shake the post grad depression.

Per usual here are my favorites from the previous month:

  • favorite thing I did: St. Patrick's Day party!
  • favorite beauty product: Dr. Dennis Gross facial products (review will be coming in a few days!)
  • favorite song: Drunk on a Plane by Dierks Bentley (review of this album coming too...I have big plans for my April posts!)
  • favorite snack: cantaloupe
  • favorite TV Show: How I Met Your Mother, still bawling over the finale
  • favorite purchase: Love With Luv box--what is Love with Luv? check out their site below!
Love With Food is excited to launch Love With Luv , a subscription service bringing you food that gets you in the mood. ;) 

Many of you have been asking us for food that gets you into the mood, and that idea gave birth to this brand new subscription line! Check out http://www.lovewithluv.com for a free trial!