Highlights

This week has been all about the finishing touches, those small details that make the WORLD of difference. In retrospect, these little details and finishing touches hit nearly every area of my life and lead to one of the best, most productive, and happiest weeks I feel like I’ve had in quite a while.

From returning to yoga practice (after missing two weeks), checking out the Silver Lake Farmers’ Market for the first time for fresh strawberries; frolicking around Universal City Walk in search of the best popcorn ever (see my new favorite flavor here), finally giving in to the use of a make-up primer, to a few sweet surprises from a sweet guy, and stopping to enjoy a small treat a friend brought back from Paris – it’s been a week full of finishing touches, little details, and small pleasures. It’s making the world of difference.

Have a great weekend! xx

Blend

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Naturally Pampered

I’m a big fan of killing two birds with one stone. What I love about this particular D.I.Y. is combining two important passions of mine: fresh produce and flawless skin. Not too long ago, I stumbled across an article about how to make your own facial masks using natural ingredients. The best part when reading the simplicity of the lists, is that it contained items that I typically already have in stock in my kitchen. Thus came the “two birds.” I adored the concept that not only is it completely satisfying that I’m making my own facial masks, but what a great idea to do when you realize that avocado is ripening much faster than when you’ll actually get to around to eating it. With these simple homemade facial mask recipes – I’ll not only never throw out another wasted piece of fruit, my skin will appreciate being drenched in moisture, exfoliated, and refreshed through the undeniable blessings of being naturally pampered.


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Hydrating Mask

Ingredients:

– Mash half a ripe avocado

– Add ½ cup plain yogurt

– Add ¼ cup honey

Directions: Dab on lightly (with a sea sponge).


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Strawberry Lemon Peel 

Ingredients:

– 1 buff puff
– 6 wild strawberries
– 1 liter sparkling water
– 1 6 oz. serving of plain yogurt
– ¼ of a lemon

Directions: Stand in a sunny window for 30 seconds to warm the skin. Gently crush strawberries onto buff puff and, after testing on a small area of your arm, massage into the face for 30 seconds (microdermabrasion). Rinse liberally with sparkling water. Mix the yogurt and lemon juice and slap a thick layer onto face for five minutes (fruit acid peel). Rinse with warm tap water and apply a gentle moisturizer.


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Lemon and Honey Blossom Glow

Ingredients:

–  2 tsp. lemon juice

– 2 tsp. honey

Directions: Steam face to open pores (or take a hot shower) and place mixture on skin for 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water, then cold water to close pores.


**please click images or links for sources.**

|| What I’m Lovin’ Right Now ||

As I have gotten older, I’ve developed a deeper appreciation for natural things and natural beauty. Be it in the simplicity of a bright red fresh sweet strawberry; to the breathtaking colors and fragrance of a vase of stargazer lilies – life somehow feels more connecting and beautiful when you make it a point to take in and surround yourself with its natural resources.

Of course, when working with fresh produce in your meals or placing a vase of flowers on your desk to brighten your space, there comes a time when all good things must come to an end. As such, I find myself scrambling to not be wasteful by trying to eat all of the produce I bought at the farmers’ market and feeling a twinge of sadness when that vibrant vase of flowers begins to wilt and die. Such is the consequence of Earth’s natural beauty.

Suffice to say that when I can find ways to enjoy produce in bulk (i.e. fresh strawberry smoothies in the morning and in frozen yogurt for dessert) so as to not have to throw things out, I get excited. And when coming across Flores Del Sol’s dried flower shop on Etsy, it also sparked my interest. I hate fake flowers, but was inspired by this approach of using real flowers to create lovely dried arrangements. While this will never replace fresh cut flowers or a blooming bright orchid in my book – it is longer-lasting and more cost effective. Perhaps they’re worth a try. Here’s to celebrating natural beauty and natural resources as much as possible. This, among other things is….


what i’m lovin’ right now


|| Fruit and Oat Smoothies // source here. ||

Ingredientshearty-fruit-oat-007-comp-med109451_vert

  • 1 cup quartered strawberries
  • 1 sliced banana
  • 1/4 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup

|| Dried flower arrangements from Flores Del Sol // Etsy shop here. ||

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|| Words to live by // My new motto. ||

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|| Gold sugar rimmed champagne flutes // Source here. ||

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|| Everything about this photo…with no neighbors of course. ||

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|| Cozy off-the-shoulder sweaters over shorts. ||

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|| Get in my closet…please! ||

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|| Picture framed wall collages // Source here. ||

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The Spring Project

I love a good project! And it’s extra fun when there’s a focused theme surrounding it to help you get the most out of what you hope to accomplish. For me, there’s nothing more satisfying than making a list and crossing things off as you go. It’s so satisfying, in fact, that sometimes when making a list, I add things that I’ve already completed, just so I can have the feeling of crossing it off. (I can’t be the only person that does this? Bueller?)

You can see my recent holiday themed projects for Halloween and Christmas here and here to give you idea of how much I love goal-oriented ventures.

In celebration of the changing of seasons making its official appearance on Wednesday, The Spring Project is a short list of must-do’s that I’ve created to get the most out of the longer sunshine filled days and the renewing feeling that Spring inevitably brings.

I’ll report back as we make our way toward the heated depths of summer. Here’s to Spring and accomplishing your goals.


The Spring Project


// OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW //

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Of course, one of the first things to do is a little spring cleaning. My goal is to finally get into my closet and toss those things that need to go. Next up, to go through my DVD library, pull those “what was I thinking?” purchases and head to Amoeba for a trade-in. Am I EVER going to watch Crossroads again? Yes, I actually own that on DVD, but to my credit I was just a kid college student (in film school, no less!) 🙂


// BE OUTDOORS //

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Naturally, the perfect temperatures and near constant L.A. sunshine make for the perfect recipe to spend as much time outdoors as possible. This Spring trips to Lake Balboa, lounging on the beach, hiking in Griffith Park and to the Hollywood Sign are on the agenda during most weekends.


// FLOWER FRIENDLY //

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I love flowers, plants, any sort of perennial – and try to have their beauty around me as much as I can. Unfortunately, whenever I cut back on spending – this is one of the first things to go, though it’s something that I am always happy to see when I walk into my apartment or sit at my desk at work. Spring makes me want to see blooming vivid colors and inhale the sweet fragrance of flowers, a must have to enjoy the riches of the season and the one thing that I hope to have more of.


// FITNESS //

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There’s no excuse not to get back into a more consistent workout schedule and now that there’s extra sunshine after work, I’ll be more motivated to hit the gym (rather than the couch). Even more motivating, Spring means dresses and shorts as fashion staples. It’s time to shed those winter developed pounds that can be hidden under a sweater no longer. While I’m a big fan of yoga, I need to incorporate more cardio and weightlifting into the routine.


// FRUIT INSPIRED RECIPES //

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Thanks to Pinterest, I’ve been curating lots of yummy recipe ideas using fresh fruit. Here are just a few that I want to indulge in on a lazy sunny weekend afternoon.

1. Spring Fruit Pizza

2. Fruit Pizza

3. Strawberry Basil Moscato Lemonade

4. Peanut butter, Strawberries, Bananas and Granola Wrap

5. Sparkling White Peach Sangria


Highlights

This week went by incredibly fast for me, but turned out to be a good one. I’m loving the extra sunlight after work hours motivating me in ways that fall and winter never seem to. Really great things happened in really small ways as I look back over the last week. My 2nd Birchbox made an appearance, I learned my lesson when I ran out of my favorite cleanser and my skin was NOT happy about it, the new gym in my building opened up, and I treated myself to my first pair of spring inspired wedges.

I have a lot on my plate this weekend. A trip to the museum is on the agenda (since last weekend we ended up at the Walt Disney Concert Hall instead), a stop at my favorite grilled cheese place is a must, as well as spending some time roaming the farmer’s market to kill two birds with one stone – enjoying the 80 degree weather while stocking up on goodies for the week. Have an amazing weekend! It’s going to be gorgeous here!

My week’s highlights…


EXPLORE| grand park

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I sat in the new(ish) Grand Park in downtown L.A. with my boyfriend watching the massive water fountain and sipping an iced tea on a Saturday afternoon and it was simply magical. I plan to spend more time here at some point in the coming months enjoying all the free concerts and programming offered.


BEAUTY| birchbox

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Boy, was I glad to see this hand delivered to my door last Saturday morning. So far, I’m very happy with this month’s samples. Review post to come later this month!


BREAKFAST| strawberries

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I bought a huge vat of sweet strawberries and have been happily enjoying them for breakfast (and when I need a frozen yogurt fix) this week, but it’s reminding me to always keep dental floss in my purse.


BEAUTY| murad

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I ran out of my favorite cleanser and didn’t immediately replace it, instead using some left over product I had on hand. Let’s just say my skin was not very happy about it and rebelled pretty quickly. Once that became utterly clear, I ordered it online and painstakingly waited a week for its arrival because I save so much more money (gotta love Amazon). Now, all is well in the world.


SHOES| audrey brooke teagan

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I stumbled on these Audrey Brooke Teagan Wedge Pumps a few weeks back and instantly added them to my Pinterest gotta have board. Patience paid off when I received a great coupon and free shipping earlier this week. They’re on their way!


|| What I’m Lovin’ Right Now ||

I‘m a firm believer in spring cleaning. Being that I’m very slightly O.C.D., I’m more the type to try (and sometimes fail) to keep up on this throughout the year because I absolutely, with a passion, hate (HATE) clutter. This season, I’m committed to really doing a hardcore spring cleaning cycle. I have clothes in my closet that I need to part with for your typical reasons. Jewelry in my jewelry box that I bought at Forever 21 years ago that now looks like it’s from Forever 21 (cheap). And of course, there’s a storage closet and old paperwork that could use a good sift through. I‘m by no means a pack rat. I‘ve even been told that for a grown woman I don’t have much stuff, which is how I prefer to keep it during my younger years. It means I can pick-up and move with the flow of life or to Europe at any time. Either way, we can all use a good purge. It not only feels amazing when you let go, but makes room for what the new season brings. One week until Spring!


here’s what i’m lovin’ right now


|| How to rock the statement necklace. ||


|| Steve Madden Rise Wedges in mint. ||

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|| Ice Cream Lab // The new liquid nitrogen futuristic ice cream parlor opening this Friday in the 90210 // Read more here. ||

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|| Decadent tree houses. ||

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|| Gratitude. ||

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|| D.I.Y. – From picture frame to table tray // Read more here. ||

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|| Lavender maxi dresses. ||

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|| Peanut butter, strawberries, bananas and granola wrap // Healthy options on the go // Recipe here. ||

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Homemade Pinkberry…Sort Of

I am a fan of frozen yogurt (and that’s an understatement). There was a period in time when I would go to Pinkberry most nights of the week telling myself I deserved it and after all, it’s only yogurt, right? Of course, we must always exercise moderation in our eating habits… and for the sake of our wallets. Then I got to thinking recently…

An average, medium-sized, frozen yogurt runs around $5.00 – give or take on your preferences and where you choose to get your brain freeze. I decided to take matters into my own hands and experiment in a less costly way to get my fro-yo fix. This is by no means a Martha Stewart-esque approach (I didn’t make the yogurt from scratch or anything) and it’s not at all rocket science to throw some toppings together, but if it inspires you to try creating your own versions of an indulgence at home, no matter how simple it may be, then I’ve done good.

D.I.Y. // Homemade Pinkberry…Sort Of 

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Ingredients: I couldn’t find the Pinkberry-ish Tart flavor that I was looking for at Whole Foods, so just went with this vanilla flavor from Stonyfield for my experiment. Add in some strawberries, chocolate chips, granola, or whatever your favorite toppings are. Voilà!

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