Monday, January 31, 2011

Product Push: Deep Conditioner


I spend a lot of time caring for my skin and always avoid my hair. It is my most problematic feature, so like any good procrastinator I've managed to stick only with the basics. Recently, I spent a gift certificate on Redken's Time Reset Youth Revitalizer. This 15 minute deep conditioner is just what my hair needs every week to add shine and smoothness, and an added bonus is the amazing smell. Now, I am able to easily give my hair the health maintenance it deserves.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

January 29, 1911

And though it's always sweet sorrows to part, you know you'll always remain in my heart -Lawrence Welk

Today, 100 years ago, my grandma was born. The sad thing is that we lost her last year right after her 99th birthday. According to my grandma, life is simple and I couldn't agree more. Raising a family that admires and misses you long after you've past is a great legacy. It isn't about how you dress, what car you drive or even your bank account. In the end, how we treat each other is all that matters. Thank you grandma for leading such an amazing life and teaching your daughters and grand kids what it means to be an amazing person.

Until We Meet Again

Friday, January 28, 2011

This Week's Balance: Jewel

"In the end, only kindness matters" - Jewel, Hands

I have found refuge in Jewel's music since high school. I remember listening to her album Spirit on repeat in the rainy months after turning 17. If I try hard enough, I can literally picture myself driving around in my car with her soft melodies playing as the rain pounded down. Now, whenever I am frazzled and need downtime, Jewel equals me out. Her music is my balance. In particular, my favorites include Down So Long, Goodbye Alice in Wonderland and Hands.

Flashback Friday: 1996

Isn't it funny how the same movie carries a different meaning as you go through different experiences in life? I had forgotten how great the love story was between George and Lace in Phenomenon. It is such a touching movie, much more so than when I first saw it at the age of 15. The music is incredible, especially Jewel's Have A Little Faith In Me and Crazy Love by Aaron Neville. I've been losing my thoughts in their melodies all week.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Last Night's Dream

No, I didn't dream of Natalie Portman, but I did shave my head. It wasn't like a scene from V for Vendetta, but the result was the same, no hair (minus Natalie's beautiful face). I was an adult, but my brother was a child. I remember him crying and crying about it. Strange, right? It is so funny the way dreams occur.

SLO: Oprah's Happiest City

photo - Mission San Luis Obispo
The Mission

Since I went to college and got married here, I can confirm Oprah got this exactly right. San Luis Obispo, California is the happiest city in America. This picturesque town is nestled between the Pacific Ocean and wine country. If you live in California, it is the perfect weekend getaway since it is easily accessible from Northern or Southern California. Here are a few of my SLO favorites.

Cal Poly
Northern Cal Poly Campus, San Luis Obispo, CA

Bulls Tavern
Neon America

Bubblegum Alley
Bubblegum Alley

Bishops Peak
Bishop's Peak

Farmers Market

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

First Giveaway!

First Giveaway coming at 400 followers!
Only 5 more to go!

Chasing Confidence

Confidence is one of the most attractive things to exude, but at times it is fleeting. No matter your shape, income or where you live, confidence is universal for power and beauty. Now if only we could keep it constant. When I feel my confidence waning, here are my top 5 tactics to get it back in check.

  • Ask for a Pep Talk. We are our own worst critic, but those close to us recognize our strengths. Don't be afraid to call on your most trusted friend and ask for a pep talk. Just the other night I was overwhelmed by a project, and I called my friend for a pep talk. It is amazing what these 3 minutes did for my psyche.
Street Smile
  • The 5 Minute Smile Test. For five minutes, smile at those you make eye contact with. Whether at the coffee shop, the subway, or walking down the street, a little smile sends a big message. After all, isn't the saying "smile, it increases your face value."
  • Sweat. Plain and simple, get your endorphins going. You don't need to "reinvent yourself" and work out 5x a week either. It is amazing what a 10 minute brisk walk can do for clarity and perspective.
  • Mask It. Bad skin leads to big blues that sink confidence. When my skin isn't cooperating, I put on a clarifying mask. I love the skin renewing feeling, and look of the mask on my face, even if it is just for 15 minutes.
  • Blast Your Tune. You know that song that makes you feel invincible? Turn it up. My song has a strong beat that instantly empowers me. A quick dance session will increase the spring in your step.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My Anticipation List

Most anticipated music video of the year.

At the start of every week, I get excited about upcoming reality events, and this week is no exception. From the daily pressures of Beverly Hills, to keeping up at the Jersey Shore, these "documentaries" always leave me wanting more. Not one show comes comes close, however, to Britney's new music video. Already topping the charts, Britney is holding her spot on top and I'm loving it.

How will it end? This finale is going to get ugly!

The drama never ends with these two, and I love it.

I've been watching since season 1. At first I wasn't excited about Brad, then I remembered it is all about the ladies. And they are not disappointing this year.

My pick for the bachelorette.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Colors of Snow

{brown pine cone}

I finally made it to the snow this weekend and had an amazing time sledding with friends. It is funny that in order to really experience winter cold, I have to make an effort and drive to it. The sun was out, in typical California style, and it displayed a of rich array of colors. From the green moss to the blue hues in the snow, the views were spectacular. Here are a few of my favorite images.

{white wood}

{green moss}

{blue shadows}

{towering red bark}

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday Night Special


I've posted about my nephew here and here. After a long weekend away, I was welcomed home with a phone call from Julian asking why he wasn't up on the blog yet. At 8, he must be my biggest fan, so much so that he made his parent's bed (complete with all the pillows in the house) with the hopes that I'd feature him. This was one deed that won't go unnoticed.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Food Friday: Chocolate Chunk Pumpkin Bread


Trader Joe's does it again! I made this simple and delicious pumpkin bread over the weekend. The prep time was literally 5 minutes. Since I am addicted to dark chocolate, I cut up chunks and added them in the mix. Jimmy and I inhaled the entire loaf in 2 days. Next on my list is banana bread.

{add dark chocolate chunks}

{Trader Joe's pulls through again}

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Olive Branch

{olive tree on the farm}

To extend an olive branch means to bring forth peace and reconciliation. Maturity plays a big role in this process. In my yoga class, we are always asked to set an intention, and I made it mine to offer peace to someone in my life who really needs it. After setting this intention, I acted on it, and I did so without expectation of a response. This felt really good. The response I got back was positive, heartfelt and really just a bonus since I did not expect it.

Is there someone in your life you need to extend an olive branch to? What will it take to get you there? Please share your experiences in this thread and inspire those still holding on to their olive branch.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Mommy Love

Do you ever find yourself in awe of someone for their strength and internal beauty? Someone who exudes the very essence of a woman? Meet Jenni, a mother to twin girls and a baby on the way. Being a mother isn't easy (or so I hear), and Jenni always does it with such passion and class. She is an amazing mother, and I am always captivated by the loving family she leads. When I saw her vibrant photo shoot, I just had to share. The calmness and sheer joy radiating from the Jenni's face is truly inspiring. You can't help but smile when looking at these images.
Who inspires you?

{all images via}

Monday, January 17, 2011

Amber Shadows


It was dusk on the farm and the lighting was perfect. My nephews were playing cowboys, and I was instantly inspired to snap photos with the bright hues in the sky. The blue mountains were the perfect backdrop to the shadowy images. It was a great night for capturing colors.





Saturday, January 15, 2011

My Friend Earl

Tea Time

I usually don't post on the weekends, but as I sit here on this cold day, I want to share a little love of mine, Earl. Nothing matches its aroma and the exquisite feeling of drinking from refined china. Just one of the simple ways to brighten my mood on this brisk Saturday morning.

{homemade biscotti from Auntie }

{the collection}