Am-ster-DAMN!

IMG_0582From Germany, we headed to  Amsterdam, Netherlands via train intending to sleep during the five-hour ride. We were lucky enough to NOT have seats because the powers that be overbooked the train. We sat on the floor and attempted to sleep in our laps. Tiare and I were not successful. Augi, the sleep master, enjoyed a little shut eye.

On our second night in Amsterdam, I suffered a baby heart attack because I accidentally deleted about 300 vacay pictures. I digress.

We took a boat tour through the canals, explored the city by foot, shopped (not until we dropped), and filled our bellies.  Oh! And I recovered a some deleted pics. All in all, we had a great silly time in Amsterdam.

10574426_10101002501775506_1293292983046535184_n 10625101_10101002501665726_2538658925431293179_n 1005824_10100977268917356_6708619263457892427_n 10551651_10101002502109836_1274023686934982312_o 10446006_10101003499710636_6925397946338640257_n

10460883_10101002501560936_1359379311605454460_o

Advertisements

Being A Boss In Menswear-Inspired Shoes

IMG_9102

“Give a girl the right pair of shoes and she can conquer the world.” -Marilyn Monroe

Boss is the first word that comes to mind when I slide my feet in these menswear-inspired loafers. I kick ass and take names. Do I feel this way because I can work in them all day without worrying about my feet hurting? Not sure, but  the average flats do not have the same effect. The surge of power is cray… I feel as if I can conquer the world in them while wearing a Pampers Swaddler and Gerber onesie.

IMG_9103

#Nike Training Club Tour – Los Angeles

1902998_10100838167482746_1334851562_nSelfie w/ Gabby Douglas

Nike Training Club (NTC) Tour Los Angeles proved to be worth every bit of the $75 registration fee that I did not pay. All registered participants received a rose gold Nike Fuel Band ($169 retail value), so we were already winning. The winning streak continued… three guided workout sessions, fitness talks with professionals, manicures (nail shaping, polish and nail art), a braid bar, lunch, healthy snacks, and swag bags filled with goodies were also included. Yes, all for $75! Nike knows how to treat a girl.

IMG_8269Me and my girls (two were cut off) :/

photo

Goodies I received

IMG_8168 2Cold pressed juice? Apple, pineapple and lemon, please! IMG_8159Getting my mani w/ rose gold polka dots (I live for polka dots & stripes)

IMG_8172Tangerine garbanzo chopped salad, lemon cranberry quinoa,

spinach strawberry salad, kale and avocado salad

Grab Your Passport! We’re Going To Europe.

Europe here we come! This summer me, my sister and cousin will travel through Europe visiting Germany, Netherlands, France and Italy. (insert happiest emoji)

Below are maps with circles highlighting places we will visit within each country. Flights are booked, passports are ready, but there is so much more to be done. My biggest challenge will definitely be packing. One suitcase for three weeks … how will I survive? I have already dreamt about packing, forgetting everything and almost missing the flight trying to pack last minute. The trip is in July, but I should start practice packing tomorrow.

Ahhh! I’m so excited. mgermany mfranceitaly_states_map

My Shrimpy Pesto Pizza Birthday

IMG_7077There are two kinds of people in the world: Birthday people and not birthday people. Until 2011, I never worked on my birthday. Of course, I am a birthday person and typically make it multi-day celebration of moi.

This year, instead of organizing a party/events, I had a pretty chill birthday. I like big celebrations, but not coordinating people is pretty awesome. I lived in the moment and enjoyed my day sans stress.

On Friday I received these gorgeous flowers (pictured below) from my man. On Saturday (my actual birthday) he cooked us breakfast, then I went to the nail salon for more pampering, later he took me to dinner at Soleto.  We ordered Shrimp Pesto Pizza and Chicken Fettuccine. I tend to prefer pasta over pizza, but not in this case. Pizza ingredient (garlic shrimp, basil pesto, mozzarella, grana padano, sundried tomatoes, peppers) proportions were great and the pizza crust… not too soft, not too crispy, but just right. It tastes just as delicious as it looks. The pasta did not do anything for me, nothing (flavor, ingredients, presentation) stood out. Pasta and service were both 7, on a scale of  1-10. More Shrimp Pesto Pizza, per favore!

IMG_7119IMG_7074 IMG_7073

Running the Manhattan Beach 10K again

1382334_10100678230283176_801476574_n

Runners take your mark! Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one… Go!!! I’m doing great, pacing myself, and staying in front of the grandmas and grandpas. Yes! After about 1.5 miles I slow down, oopsie. My failure to train kicked in.

 If you remember, the 2012 MB10K was my first race ever. I trained for four weeks that year and walked (7.2 miles) to work once a week. I proudly crossed the finish line in 1:14:04 (74 mins 4 secs), but planned to do it in 60 minutes the next year (2013).

So here were are, back at the 2013 MB10K and my pace has slowed. People are passing me, too many people. Oh no! I start running again, but soon after I take another walk break. I find no joy in running, I like the challenge and the results.

Two weeks before the 2013 race, my end time goal went from 60 minutes to just beating my 2012 time. People on the sidelines were really cheering us in about 2 miles from the finish line. “You can do it! You’re almost there!” and then I heard “These are the slow runners”. I picked up my pace and anxiously crossed the finish line in 1:13:25 (73 mins 25 sec).

IMG_4252

The Lego Movie makes everything AWESOME!

It is ok for three adults to see a “children’s movie” sans kids, right? If not, oh well! We proudly laughed, cheered and sung “everything is awesome” with the theater full of seven-year-olds.

The beginning started slow (we missed the first five minutes, so after that), but it quickly picked up. We might have enjoyed The Lego Movie more than the kids, because of jokes we caught that flew over their pretty little heads. I went with two guys, one laughed so hard that water fell from his eyes. In addition to laughs, there is a great message. Don’t believe me, just watch. Be prepared for the flood of product placement (not my fave), everything else is awesome.

Sophisticated Box Braid Updo (Bunning it up)

Braids have been in heavy rotation, because I decided to grow my tapered cut out (I want my hair back!).  Awkwardness of the awkward-length stage is more awkward when your hair is uneven, so braids have been my crutch.

Growing up, I believed that braids were not appropriate for sophisticated occasions, but it’s all in how you style them.  I attended a few events that required a fancy upgrade from the basic everyday top bun I wore.

The video above by Jennifer Olaleye inspired the braided bun i’m rocking below on the left. I added my own twist to the style by crossing a few braids from each side and clamping them with a thin metal barrette. Instead of wrapping the ponytail with hair (as shown in the tutorial), I used a hair tie for a more secure ponytail. I also used a rubber band to secure the final bun and a few bobby pins to hold the bun in place. Pictured on the right is an alternative to the braided bun, I created a regular bun by wrapping the hair in a circle, then pinned it in place.

Make sure that your braids are not pulling your hair, especially around the edges. Loosen hair as needed to stay alopecia free.

IMG_7770IMG_6156

Long List, Short Order…

bb3517d88a2d11e383b112c72e2865fd_8

IMG_7353

‘Restaurants to Visit’ is a collection of places to grub. When I  see or receive a recommendation of a place with potential to make my mouth water, I add it to the ‘Restaurants to Visit’ list in my phone.

One of my best friends told me to choose a restaurant and she would treat me to a late birthday dinner… I would usually go to my restaurant list, but I accidentally ERASED IT! Ugh! It took forever, but I decided to dine at Short Order.

We went during dineLA Restaurant Week and ordered from the prix fixe menu (see below). I ordered the items pictured above (circled on the menu). We did halfsies with the meat, so I got to try the flat iron steak too.

Dante’s  moist, tender, well-seasoned fried chicken eclipsed the steak. The warm, gooey, lightly breaded mac n’ cheese was yummy. My order came with Short Order spuds and a fresh standard side salad. I forced myself to stop eating, so that I could save room for a vanilla shake… apparently shakes were in high demand because they ran out of ice cream after us. Nothing disappointed, but a few items (Dante’s Fried Chicken,  the mac ‘n’ cheese and vanilla shake)  were extra tasty.

DineLA2014 Dinner

Fill your closet with Luxury Brands, it’s practically FREE!

IMG_6677Blue Tank Top by Urban Outfitters & Black Cross Back Tank Top by Zara

Inhaling the scent, then gliding my legs and arms through the openings of new clothes or beautiful shoes became a ritual. Pumped by the register ringing as each price tag floated near the scanner that read its barcode…  yes, it was an addiction. Careless shopping became a habit that my bank account should not have funded.

I grew and learned that I would always be poor if I failed to budget. Becoming fiscally responsible has not erased my love for clothes and shoes. However, it has inspired me to explore alternative options, like FREE clothes.

In December, a friend (@socalsaver85) introduced me to Twice, an online concierge-style marketplace for quality secondhand clothing. Pricing is great, shipping is fast and easy.

Twice offers a wide selection of brands including Urban Outfitters, ASOS, Phillip Lim,  Marc Jacobs, Gap, Dolce & Gabana, Diane Von Furstenberg, Lululemon, Michael Kors, and Yves Saint Laurent. 

Receive your first item totally free without entering  your credit card info, I kid you not. I was skeptical, but I figured I had nothing to lose. I have now received six tops from Twice.

  • Follow this link (https://www.liketwice.com/RIbMG) to setup up your account online, you earn a $10 credit. If choose not to sign up through the referral link above, you will not receive the $10 credit.
  • Download the Twice app, you earn an additional $10 credit for each (iPhone and iPad) device download.
  • Use the promo code BUNDLEUP15 to save 15 percent off your first purchase

Your item will be shipped to you totally free if it’s priced below $26 and  you have racked up $30 in credit. Choose an item below $16 if you receive $20 in credit.

I received all items pictured for free using Twice credit, but paid partial shipping for a few items.

IMG_7483Navy Blue Blouse by ASOS & Multicolored Tank Top by Calvin KleinIMG_7489Purple Solid Tank Top by Kensie & Black Tank Top by Talbots

IMG_7490