Wednesday, August 23, 2017

BACK TO SCHOOL NECESSITIES

Back to school shopping is my favorite time of year. Even as an adult, I love the brightly lined aisles of Target full of college-ruled notebooks, #2 pencils, and locker decorations. While the key of back to school shopping starts with the perfect backpack, the most fun is found in filling it up. Here are some of my back to school backpack necessities:





1.) Cute, but reliable backpack
2.) Blotting Paper to help control the oil and shine when your crush sits next to you in COMM101
3.) BB Cream
4.) Lip Balm
5.) Snacks, protein bars, popcorn, and other healthy alternatives are great to keep on standby
6.) Planner
7.) Hair Bands/Bobby Pens
8.) Fun Writing Utensils

What are your back to school necessities?

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

DEAN UNGLERT

My love affair with Dean Unglert is no secret. He’s the greatest thing to come to me from The Bachelor franchise besides Chase McNary. Dean is a mega babe with a big heart, but he broke my heart Monday night

I’m sad for Kristina. It must have been miserable to experience what she went through. I can’t imagine the guy I like then turning around and going on a date with someone else in front of me. 

But here’s the thing. This is Paradise. It’s a reality television show where people are claiming to find love but are really on the hunt for Instagram followers and DIFF Eyewear. In every season there have been connections made and then someone comes in and it creates a new connection. Dean owed it to himself to go on a date with Danielle. Him and Kristina had already hit a bump in the road.

Do you really think Dean thought up giving Danielle a birthday cake and celebrating her half birthday? Production did. Why else would Danielle have yelled over the ATV that her birthday was December 28th? No one screams about that while riding an ATV through Mexico. It doesn’t happen. Production set up Kristina to get burned. They set up Dean to look like a douche bag. And they set up Danielle to look like a terrible friend. 

I am not condoning what Dean did. I am not saying Kristina does not have a right to feel broken. But we need to remember this is a television show. Production has their hand in everything that happens and has ulterior motives for it all. You could see pain in Dean’s eyes during the half birthday celebration. But is Kristina paying his rent? No. Bachelor Nation is. So he does what he is told to do to make good television and stir up the drama.

Before you start hating my sweet Deanie Babies, think about what you are watching and think about edits in the past. ABC is the mastermind. The Sugar Bear Hair pushers are their puppets. 

Monday, August 21, 2017

MORNING PAGES

I have loved writing my whole life. I remember being a child keeping a journal, writing poems, and working through emotions on paper. As an adult, this has continually been a passion of mine and has transformed itself into blog form.

Back in April I learned about Morning Pages from entrepreneur Doug Cartwright whose morning routine is on point. The Morning Pages are a morning journaling session. The goal is to write three pages (yes, write! Do not type!) of stream of consciousness first thing when you wake. When I first started it was difficult to fill the three pages, but now I am having to cut myself at page 5 or 6 to get off to work.

There is no form to Morning Pages, you just write what you feel you need to write. Whatever pops up in your head you put it down on paper. Consider it “taking out the trash.” Morning pages allow you to clear any anxieties for the day ahead, process anything from the day prior, come up with new creative ideas, or just write three pages of “I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO WRITE. I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO WRITE. I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO WRITE.”


I encourage you this week to set your alarm for 15 minutes early, wake up, open an old notebook, and write three pages of thoughts. It will positively impact your day. I promise!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

BACHELOR IN PARADISE WEEK 1 RECAP

Bachelor in Paradise started last night and I have to say I felt much more invested in that episode than I was in all of Rachel's season. Although I was disappointed that they did not get into the DeMario/Corinne situation like I had anticipated, I will be locked back in today. ABC sure knows what they are doing over there. Here are 5 thoughts I had during last night's episode:

If we are expecting an engagement this season I can only assume it will be from Iggy and Dean.

Raven throwing shade at Robby for being an influencer is some of the funniest shit I have ever heard.

I am shocked by everyone's obsession with Jasmine. Not in a bad way. I just expected all the guys to be losing it over Raven.

I am glad DeMario gets sent home mainly because I couldn't handle one more blow of the whistle. 

How did God create Dean and how did our universe get so lucky?

Monday, August 14, 2017

BACK TO SCHOOL LUNCH HACKS

Packing lunch is such a simple thing, but when not put at the forefront of your prepping for the following day, it can end up in you running late in the morning and have to go out to lunch, which can be unhealthy and expensive.

Here are 4 lunch pack hacks to make sure you have healthy, convenient meals for work or school:

1. Get ahead of the game on Sunday. Sunday afternoon, in between doing laundry and finishing up homework, prep as much of your lunchtime meals as you can for the week. I like to utilize my crock pot for this to make something delicious and healthy that will last me the whole week.

2. Have a snack station set up. Have crates in the fridge full of various objects such as ready to go packages of fruit, sandwiches, cheese sticks, vegetables, hummus, and more. This will make it easy to grab and go out the door in the morning.

3. Make freezer meals! Believe it or not a simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich can be kept frozen for six weeks. Make a bunch of them one day and you can take them with you to school or work. By lunchtime it will be thawed out and ready to eat!

4. Don't be afraid of leftovers. I know they're not ideal, but make extra of your dinner so that you can eat leftovers for lunch the next day. It will save time and money.





Saturday, August 12, 2017

THIS OR THAT TAG

The This or That Tag has been making its way across blogs and YouTube channels, so I decided to give it a shot! Read below to get to know me better and leave a comment with some of your choices!

The Questions:

MAKEUP:
blush or bronzer
lip gloss or lipstick
eye liner or mascara
foundation or concealer
neutral or color eye shadow
pressed or loose eye shadows
brushes or sponges

NAILS:
OPI or china glaze
Long or short
Acrylic or natural
Brights or darks
Flower or no flower

BODY:
perfume or body splash
lotion or body butter
body wash or soap
lush or other bath company

FASHION:
jeans or sweat pants
long sleeve or short
dresses or skirts
stripes or plaid
flip flops or sandals
scarves or hats
studs or dangly earrings
necklaces or bracelets
heels or flats
cowboy boots or riding boots
jacket or hoodie
forever 21 or charlotte russe
abercombie or Hollister
saks 5th or nordstrom

HAIR:
curly or straight
bun or ponytail
bobby pins or butterfly clips
hair spray or gel
long or short
light or dark
side sweep bangs or full bangs
up or down

RANDOM:
Rain or shine
Summer or winter
Fall or spring
Chocolate or vanilla
East coast or west coast

Thursday, August 10, 2017

ENJOY LIFE REVIEW

Enjoy Life is allergy friendly. Their products are free from wheat/gluten, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, egg, soy, fish, and shellfish. These are the eight most common allergies so it makes their products extremely consumer friendly. Another plus about the company is that their products are GMO free, casein free, and contain no potato, sesame, and sulfites. Their foods are delicious and natural, which is what we should all be striving for with what we put into our bodies.

They offer a wide range of items including cookies, baking mixes, seed and fruit mixes, and more. They recently added three new flavors to their Gluten-Free Chewy Bar collection: Caramel Blondie, Carrot Cake, and Lemon Blueberry Poppyseed. The bars are gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, and soy-free. My favorite is the Lemon Blueberry Poppyseed!



Enjoy Life’s website has many different recipes available for all sorts of events. Enjoy Life products can be found via the store locator on their website but if you are in the Los Angeles are they can often be found in Sprouts, Rite Aid, and Ralphs.

FTC Disclosure: Enjoy Life sent me products complimentary in exchange for a review. All opinions are honest and my own. 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

TOP 5 BEAUTY PRODUCTS

When in a rush, I have a couple go to products that I can easily apply that make me go from half asleep to eyes wide open. These 5 products are my go tos:




FTC Disclosure: Kick Back With Cate is an Amazon Affiliate. Any links to Amazon have potential to provide financial support for Kick Back With Cate.

Monday, August 7, 2017

BACHELORETTE POWER RANKINGS

The Bachelorette finale is on tonight and I have some very strong opinions on some of these men. Here are my Bachelorette power rankings for Rachel's season.

1. Adam
Adam was the most underrated cast member this season. He got barely any screen time, yet somehow made it to the final six. I wanted the AJ storyline to be built up a bit more. Not to mention Adam is an absolute catch. I know he will be on Bachelor in Paradise this season and walks away with a very popular Bachelor Nation lady on his arm.

2. Dean
Dean was never going to be the final guy for Rachel. Just their age alone is far too drastic and they are at completely different places in life. However, I believe that Dean is more mature than most men his age and he is ready to settle down with someone. He will just have to find it on Paradise. My respect for him grew so much after watching his hometown date. I feel awful for him and all that he has been through.

3. Peter
I admire Peter’s honesty. That’s something I never felt I could say about anyone on this show. He does not feel ready to propose to Rachel and he is open about that. I am sure that due to his lack of participation in Paradise that Peter will 100% be the next Bachelor.

4. Eric
Eric grew on me throughout the season. He’s unique in his own way and him and Rachel have a lot of fun together. He is a goof ball and is true to who he is as a person. I was surprised to see him make it to the final 3 and I know that he won’t be on Paradise, so I am curious to see what is next for Eric in the Bachelor franchise. I am sure this is not the end of him.

5. Kenny  
Kenny and Mackenzie. Enough said.

6. Diggy

7. Alex

8. Blake K
I know he got eliminated on night one, but I am hoping he will arrive in Paradise. I think he was a good man who did not get a fair chance.

9. Jack Stone

10. Iggy

11. Fred

12. Mohit
Another one who went home night one, but Mohit made for a comical first night.

13. Matt

14. Bryce

15. Will

16. Anthony

17. Brady

18. Josiah

19. Michael

20. Milton

21. Rob

22. Grant

23. Kyle

24. Jamey

25. Jonathan
If this man arrived on night one and tickled me, I would have shoved him back into the limo and sent him to a land far away.

26. Bryan
Yes, one of the top men is near the bottom of my list. I do not like Bryan. I do not trust Bryan. I haven’t since night one. I get major Josh Murray vibes from him and hope Rachel will see through it.

27. Lucas
I love how irrelevant this man has become since Week 2.

28. Jedidiah

29. DeMario
I did not like him via The Bachelorette. I thought it was sketchy what happened when Lexie showed up, but I did gain sympathy for DeMario following the whole Paradise situation. When ranking him, I had to keep what has happened since The Bachelorette separate.

30. Blake E.

31. Lee
Lee is gross. Possibly top 5 grossest cast members in Bachelor history.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

HEALTHY BAKED ZITI

I love carbs, but they go straight to my waistline. However, with moderation and healthier alternatives, I can still include pasta in my weekly recipes. I recently made a healthier alternative of baked ziti and loved every bite of it! This is perfect to make a batch of an enjoy throughout the week. 


Ingredients: 
1/2 box of gluten-free pasta
3/4 cup skim ricotta cheese
1 jar tomato and basil pasta sauce
1/2 lb. lean ground turkey
1/2 cup shredded Italian cheese
garlic powder
onion powder
Italian seasoning
oregano
basil
pepper

How To:
1. Cook noodles.
2. Brown & season ground turkey.
3. Combine noodles, turkey, and cheeses in a bowl.
4. Pour into 13"x9" pan.
5. Sprinkle cheese on top of mixture.
6. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

AUGUST GOALS

August! It’s here! The worst month of the year! (Really positive, right?)

Typically, I hate August. It’s hot. It’s gross. There’s no fun holidays or friend/family birthdays to celebrate. This August I am going to spend August getting organized for the new year. For me, a new year starts in September. 

Whether or not that has to do with being a student and a teacher, or having a September birthday, I see the ninth month as a fresh start. So in order to prep for that, August will be spent decluttering my home, decluttering my brain, and decluttering my heart. I want to get things in order so that I can enter my 25th year with organization and 
motivation. Any tips are greatly appreciated!

What is your goal for August?

Monday, July 31, 2017

JULY FAVES

Another month, Another Top 5.


1. Franco Sarto Shea Wedge Sandal, $23.99 Originally $74.99. Major win!

2. I got to meet Rachel Lindsay & Becca Tilley at the ESPYs and Simply Stylist LA.

3. Trader Joe's Organic Lemon Ginger Water

4. Harry Styles' Harry Styles Album ... Favorite Song is Women. Although, they're all bangers.

5. Amazon Echo has been my new personal assistant. I scored a 50% off deal on Prime Day and have NO regrets.

What did you love in July?

Friday, July 28, 2017

LOOK FOR LESS #BACHELORNATION

The women in Bachelor Nation are always beautifully dressed. I try to emulate their style, but I don't have a stylist on hand and designer companies sending me sample products to wear. However, I can recreate similar versions their outfits for less! This summer time outfit from Ali Fedotowsky can be recreated for just over $100.


Total: $104.37

Thursday, July 27, 2017

FROM THE MALE MIND: DATING APPS

I am lucky enough to have close male friends who tell it like it is. Whether they're mocking my terrible fashion choices or helping me navigate through relationship problems, I can always count on them to give good honest advice. One of these brutally blunt friends is Mitch, a comedian and writer. Today he's spilling a man's opinion on dating apps. Enjoy!

Tinder, Bumble, and Plenty of Fish, the three amigos of online dating, have added a newfound dimension in the pursuit of love. Dating apps, also known as the vanguard of NSFW pics, have become as popular as actual real-life dating. It requires little-to-no effort and allows you to be as shallow as you want, the two guilty pleasures we can all get behind. I want to help you navigate the rigid seas of cyber-dating by giving you some quick tips from the male perspective.

Men choose quantity over quality. If you have a remotely hot first picture, you’re getting a right swipe. We will read your heartfelt bios after we match with you. Otherwise, we swipe right first, and sort through the matches later.

Transparency is key. I can tell when you are trying to hide something. I know all the tricks. Taking photos from the boobs up to look less fat. Standing on your tippy-toes to jut your butt out more. A Snapchat filter in every single picture to hide a lazy eye. Embrace your insecurities, we all have them. At 5’5”, I’m a borderline midget and I’ve got pictures with taller friends to show it. Some girls are into it, most aren’t. But at least I show it, so that if we actually end up going on a date they aren’t as surprised when they bend down to hug me. If you are serious about dating someone off an app, being honest and upfront will help you much more than being misleading or deceptive. 

State your intentions. Whether you are using the apps for fun, for love, or for some good old fashioned baby making, being upfront with your intentions will save everyone time and effort.

Don’t take it personally. These apps are shallow and entertaining. Some guys will say outrageous things purely out of boredom. If you’ve read my Bachelorette post, you would know. Sometimes the ridiculous attention grabber works better than a “what’s up?” As a guy, our main goal is 1) not to creep you out 2) get a response from you.

Almost every girl I swipe through has “take me on an adventure” in their bios, which means that you never should, for several reasons. 1) I don’t learn anything about you. 2) It makes me think you’re really boring because you can’t entertain yourself. 3) Why do you want to go on an adventure with a stranger you met online?! Your parents taught you better!

If you have a height requirement for your guys, don’t be surprised when a guy asks how much you weigh.

We like dog pictures just as much as you do.

Women, when you do have to initiate the conversation, say more than just “Hey”. Be engaging! Conversation is a two player game. No one likes one word answers.

Have fun! You are searching for love through a glowing screen while you are on the toilet! Don’t take everything so seriously. J



Want more advice? Have any questions? Ask/follow me on Twitter and Instagram: @mitchellvirzi
Also my brothers and I will be on ABC’s “The Gong Show” on July 27th at 10pm! Check it out!


Monday, July 24, 2017

SIMPLY STYLIST LA

I had the honor of attending Simply Stylist LA. It was an inspiring day full of panels, breakout session, brand activations, and networking. I left feeling ready to take on the blogging world. It was a humbling experience to be in the same room as people who are at the top of their trade and who have worked hard to get there. Hearing their stories gave me some insight into how I can become a better blogger. 

Here are the top 10 things I learned while at Simply Stylist.

1. Things will happen the way they should. – Ashley Greene



2. When people say you are different than you were 10 years ago, you should say WELL DUH. – Ashley Greene

3. Hire for your flaws. –Amber Farr (I suck at photography and should hire someone to handle this for me. It will save me stress and increase my quality tenfold.)

4. Whatever you do, just have movement. Little movement every day. –Amber Farr

5. Be consistent. –Lana

6. Flower crowns are my weakness. @Cake&Punch



7. Problem solve before you have a problem. –Audrina Patridge



8. Learn how to say no. – Michael Costello



9. Stay relatable. –Gina Ybarra

10. There are a lot of people out there you can learn from. Being able to attend sessions to learn how to balance the chaos of life, how to master social media, and how to monetize my influence, showed me that whatever I want to learn I can. Seeking out people who are doing their trade right is the best way to learn.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

HEARTBROKEN ANONYMOUS

While going through a breakup, I felt extremely alone. Even if I talked to friends or family, I felt like they just did not understand my emotions. They had lived the relationship with me, they had seen its highs and lows, they had said everything they felt they needed to say to me and moved on with their lives. I however was alone.

Cue a need for Heartbroken Anonymous.

When Naz Perez heard a knock on her front door a couple months ago, she didn’t expect to open it and realize her next opportunity. An upset neighbor was standing at the door, crying about breaking up with her boyfriend of 10+ years. Naz lended an ear to her, providing the neighbor with support. The neighbor said she felt more comfortable sharing with a stranger, and Naz realized that many other people are likely experiencing the same thing. The idea of Heartbroken Anonymous clicked and Naz began seeking out venues to hold the monthly meetings for anyone struggling with a broken heart.

Throughout this process Naz has realized it is more about impact and less about numbers. Even if she only reaches a couple people per meeting, that is more than she would have without Heartbroken Anonymous. “We are all on this Earth for a greater purpose,” said Naz, and right now her purpose is giving people a safe, non-judgmental environment to share their own stories of heartbreak.

Run similarly to AA or NA, Naz mediates the meeting and has strict rules to ensure the comfortableness of each attendee. No cross talking, may only speak while holding a bean bag, and zero cell phone use, are all part of the rules.

“It’s really the blind leading the blind,” said Naz, when asked the best way to heal from heartbreak. “Time is the ultimate healer. People feel better knowing that they are not alone. Be around people. You help yourself by helping other people.”

Heartbroken Anonymous meets the second Thursday of the month in the Fairfax District at Open Space LA.
If you feel you are missing out because you are heartbroken somewhere else in the world, Heartbroken Anonymous will soon have a forum for all to share their stories. Naz also hopes to hold Heartbroken Anonymous pop-ups in other big cities so that others can experience the therapeutic community.

For more on Heartbroken Anonymous, follow them on Instagram @Heartbroken_Anonymous


Naz Perez has worked in production on Ellen, E! True Hollywood Story, and The Bachelor. She is currently a host for the Los Angeles Dodgers and hosts the I Don’t Get It Podcast with Ashley and Lauren Iaconetti. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

MOM'S PLAYLIST

I used to burn my mom a CD every year on her birthday. Now there are iPhones and Spotify and Sirius XM, so my services aren't really needed. In honor of my mom turning another year wiser today, here are 10 songs about MOMS!

1. Mama’s Song by Carrie Underwood
2. Somebody’s Hero by Jamie O’Neal
3. Like My Mother Does by Lauren Alaina
4. The Best Day by Taylor Swift
5. I’ll Be There by Mac Miller
6. Mama Don’t Forget To Pray For Me by Diamond Rio
7. In My Daughter’s Eyes by Martina McBride
8. Angels by Randy Travis
9. Thank You Mom by Good Charlotte
10. Mom by Meghan Trainor

Happy birthday Mom!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

REALITY STEVE

This season of The Bachelorette really sucks. The only eventful thing last night was Dean’s dad and even that did not go beyond what was shown in the commercials. It’s obvious to anyone who has not read the spoilers who is going to win, but I will refrain from posting that spoiler here. If you want to find it, I recommend you head to Reality Steve’s website for all the juicy details.

Speaking of Reality Steve, I had the privilege of attending his fan appreciation birthday party in Vegas last month. It was a fun time and I even walked away getting 2nd place in Bachelor Nation trivia with my trusty sidekick Steph. Steve kindly allowed me to ask him questions about how his website got started, which season he found most interesting, and what life would be like if he had never gotten fired from Jim Rome.



Reality Steve, formally known as Stephen Carbone, grew up in Orange County and attended Loyola Marymount University. He graduated in 1997 with a B.A. in Communications and immediately went to work for Jim Rome. After getting fired for explicit language (there’s more detail than that, but I feel in 2017 this would not have happened), Steve was emailing a handful of friends Joe Millionaire recaps.

When Joe Millionaire wrapped, Trista’s season of The Bachelorette was starting up, so Steve began writing recaps about that. When the e-mail list for these recaps grew to over 300 people, Steve realized it was time to change his method of delivery.

He continued writing the recaps, but got interesting information when it came to Jason Mesnick’s season. Two weeks prior to the finale, Steve spoiled the Molly/Melissa switch up. People were skeptical, but once After the Final Rose aired, his page traffic took off.

Steve has been spoiling Bachelor franchise shows ever since. When he originally leaked spoilers this season, he said one person was the frontrunner. However, he came back shortly thereafter and said his source had supplied him with incorrect information and Rachel actually chose another man. While Steve is NOT wrong in his spoiler, because it was corrected WAY before the airing of the finale, he will naturally get boneheads who give him a hard time. That’s just the way the game goes.

On his weekly podcast, Steve drills his guest with the Rapid 10. I love this because it helps you get to know the guest in a unique way. I decided to give Steve a taste of his own medicine.

1. If your niece or nephew wanted to go on the show, how would you feel?
I’d tell them not to do it. I think this show is becoming too much of a popularity contest between the contestants and it’s sickening. I wouldn’t want them involved in that.

2. Who is your #1 prospect for fantasy football?
I honestly haven’t started doing my research yet, but based on last year’s numbers, I’d say in a PPR league like we do, receivers are more valued than running backs. So I’d probably go with Antonio Brown for receivers and Aaron Rodgers for QB’s.

3. Which season do you think was the most entertaining?
Brad’s first season because he dumped both girls.  That seems like the most realistic ending to me after barely knowing these women over the course of 8 weeks of filming.  

4. What is your favorite reality show?  
 Survivor.  Always has been and always will be.  Amazing how great the production and drama remain this many seasons in.  

5. Lyla Garrity or Tyra Collette?  
 Flip a coin.  I seriously cannot choose between those two.  I’d feel like I was cheating on one if I picked the other.  Can’t do it.  (Lyla.  Just don’t tell Tyra).  

6. How do you manage the business of your job and how do you stay motivated when you don’t feel like writing?  
 It does wear on me at times, and I do get run down by constantly being in front my computer.  But the perks of the job (not having a boss, working from home, being able to come and go as I please) is what motivates me.  And oh yeah, the pay.  

7. Is Chris Harrison your source?  
 No.  Would be nice if he was though.  I’d never get anything wrong.  

8.What has been the weirdest Reality Steve related experience?  
 Probably my first Reality Steve party in Vegas, just because it was also kind of a 40th birthday celebration and to look out and see 50 strangers all in my room there to celebrate me was kind of surreal. I mean, I know I was the one who invited them and it’s not like it was a surprise, but when that night actually hit me, it was all kind of a blur.  

9. Who is your favorite athlete of all time?  
 This is going to sound so random, and anyone outside of Southern California will probably be like, “Who?”  But Jeff Fryer.  Former college basketball player at LMU in the early 90’s.  Basically I wanted to be him when I was in high school.  Even went to the same shooting coach that he did.  

10. Favorite vacation spot?  
 Las Vegas, of course!

Along with his website, Steve has a Reality Steve podcast that releases every Thursday, and a Stitcher Premium Podcast that releases monthly. He can be found on Social Media @RealitySteve.

The winner of the dozen rose giveaway is Megan D. Please email me your address so that I can get those flowers sent your way! Thank you everyone for suggestions you made for upcoming blog posts.