Sunday, December 14, 2014

A LITTLE HOLIDAY BAKING TO CHEER THINGS UP.


The kids and I did a little Holiday baking last night.  I have not been feeling the Christmas spirit this year.  So much that I haven't even put up a Christmas Tree.  I know... shocker!! 

I will be doing that this upcoming week though.  I will post pictures for sure. 

Last night we made these yummy peppermint cookies.  The recipe is from The Larson Lingo.  We followed the recipe except for the peppermint extract.  We thought they were perfect without it.

I think I've been having way too many.  They are so good!  

I hope you are having an amazing Holiday Season.  I am really trying to get back on the blogging horse.  Sometimes life just gets too hectic, but I need to remember to do something for myself and this is definitely it. ;) 


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Thanks for Visiting!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

THANKSGIVING 2014

I skipped Halloween 0=-)

I am a little late with my Thanksgiving post. How was your Thanksgiving? Ours was pretty good.  It was a simple, yet delicious meal with a simple but tastefully decorated table.  Keith, Kay, Ashton and I had dinner at home as usual. 


The menu consisted of the usual chipotle turkey,  which we all love. I made a cauliflower puree instead of mashed potatoes, Cranberry dressing which was to die for, and corn. 

We had Costco sweet dinner rolls. 

Our drink was a punch made with mineral water and cranberry juice.


 Kay couldn't get enough of the dressing. She thought it was the best part of the meal.
 Ashton enjoyed everything.

For dessert I went with store-bought.  I got a red velvet cake from Costco. Originally I was going to buy a pumpkin roll but they were all out of those. 
We didn't want pie so we chose the next best thing that we would all enjoy.

It was really yummy!  The whole spread was pretty delicious!

I hope you had a very nice Thanksgiving!  I have so much to be grateful for.  It was a good day to reflect on everything I have been given.

~
Thanks for Visiting!

Friday, December 5, 2014

COMMUNICATION: AN ESSENTIAL SKILL TO EMOTIONAL SURVIVAL.

Hi!  
Long time no see...

I took a little break to take care of myself and my family.  I am not sure that this post means I'm back, the only thing I know is that I want to continue working on this blog :)

Yesterday I had a pretty interesting experience and I wanted to share. It was an uncomfortable experience but one that I'm sure, I will remember for a long time.  

When I think of myself, I think of a pretty reserved person. I keep to myself and I don't make friends easily.  I do this on purpose because I have a very, very soft heart that is very prone to getting hurt. 
 I'm the kind of person that will give anything to comfort you in time of need, the kind of person that will feel bad even for those who probably don't deserve much compassion.   I'm a very strong person when it comes to my own struggles but I definitely have a soft spot for others and their struggles.

My culture, my essence, my view of life and my rough background  have shaped me to be a person that needs to express and share emotion with others. 

This has gotten me in quite a bit of trouble.  I tend to put myself in vulnerable situations where I'm the one who end up embarrassing myself.  This is not by choice.  I literally suffer when I feel like someone may be having a hard time because of me.  Whatever the case may be. 

In yesterday's experience I learned a few things...

The first thing I learned is to walk away when people don't treat you with the respect that you deserve. 

I had a pretty uncomfortable conversation with someone that appeared to be a pretty decent human being.  Someone I had come to respect and admire. 

I thought I knew this person a little and I thought things would be handled in a kind, understanding, reasonable way.  Instead, I was greeted with the face of annoyance.  I immediately felt the rejection and the disapproval of my oh so called inappropriate approach to the situation.

There was no kindness, patience or reasoning during that conversation.  There was only shame, anger and frustration.

Time seemed to slow down as I very quietly in the back of my mind whispered to myself.. I can't believe I allowed myself to be having this embarrassing conversation.

I felt ashamed for a minute.  Then I learned yet another lesson.

Don't ever stop being YOU because of other people's reactions to your actions.

If there is one thing I took from the whole experience is that it took courage for me to make the decision to be upfront with this person.  It took determination to want to get things resolved.  It took putting myself out there knowing that things could turn out the way they did.

Some people will discourage you from being you. They will make you feel embarrassed and ashamed for whatever you say that makes them feel uncomfortable.  You need to remember that this has nothing to do with you. 

A kind heart and soul will never make others feel ashamed for expressing their thoughts, emotions or concerns.

My next lesson was to be more understanding of other people's emotional needs.

I say this for both myself and the person whom I had the conversation with.

I broke it down to the two different experiences.  The one I had and the one I imagine this other person had according to my observations. 

In my experience I walked in feeling anxious, nervous, not knowing exactly what way to approach the situation. 

I walked in confident that I would be treated with understanding no matter how hard it was for me to finally get to what I needed to say.  (This was not the case)  Needless to say I screwed up big time.  I said things backwards and never got to say what I truly wanted to say.

I immediately felt misunderstood, I felt judged and I felt like I've just made a huge mistake.

This is the part where I tell you that mistakes are no accident.  Mistakes happen so that we can learn.  We make mistakes so that we can grow as individuals. Mistakes happen so that we can move onto bigger and better things.

I imagine a scenario when it comes to this person's experience.  

My observations showed that this person experienced confusion,  became upset and defensive.  Experienced short periods of reflection. At times tried to process my words with a feeling of mixed emotions and words that triggered a sense of rejection and self protection.

The overall lesson learned is that we must be willing to give people a chance.  The chance to say what they need to say without assuming, judging or making others feel inadequate with their perception of things in life. 
People process things differently.  What may seem obvious to you, may not be so obvious to others. 
People communicate differently.  Let's give each other the chance to communicate properly no matter how weird or how inadequate our ways may be.

I hope that we all learn to be a little more compassionate towards others.  A little more understanding.  That we allow others to be who they are without ever making them feel bad about how they express themselves.

In a perfect world, I would have been able to deliver my speech flawlessly and without hesitation.

In this imperfect world, I not only failed miserably at my attempt to express my emotions and why I felt that what I needed to say was important,  but I also walked away with a sense of humiliation. 

I learned that my huge mistake was... not stopping myself when I realized my speech was coming out the wrong way.  I confused the other person with my inability to say the right words.  I learned that emotions can and will most likely impair your judgment as well as the other person's, so be careful.  I learned that if kindness and patience would have been applied, I would have been able to recover and put my words together for a better conversation.  I don't say this in an upset way, I take it as a lesson of something I must apply to others in my life.

~
Thanks for visiting!






Sunday, August 24, 2014

CLAUDIA'S FRAGRANCE COLLECTION.






So I thought it would be fun to show you my fragrance collection and share which are my favorite for different occasions.
I keep them in a gold tray from Pier 1 Imports.  I bought it last year.  It was really inexpensive.  I think I only paid $5 dollars for it.

I arrange my fragrances in "favorites" order.

First row from the left, back to front: Givenchy Play, Burberry Brit, Givenchy Dance with Givenchy, Bvlgari Mon Jasmin Noir.
Second and third row, back to front: Tommy Girl by Tommy Hilfiger, Clinique's Happy, Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue,  Coach spring limited edition, Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy,  Prada Candy,  Chloe, Mini bottle of See by Chloe, Mini Bottle of Michael by Michael Kors. 
Fourth row, back to front: Gap's pink,  Dior's J'adore, Burberry London, Hilary Duff's With Love, Mini bottle of Balenciaga's Florabotanica, Mini bottle of Coach Puppy Flower, Mini bottle of Givenchy Play.  Mini rollerball bottles of Elizabeth James Nirvana in both black and white.
The square bottle on top of my makeup remover pads is Blue from The Gap. 




Now for my favorite part...
I'm going to share with you which are my most worn (aka my faves) and which season of the year I think these are best for.

~


BVLGARI Mon JASMIN NOIR

Aaaahh!!!  What can I say... This is the most expensive fragrance I own.  Also the fragrance I reach for when I'm going out for a special occasion.  

With a well balanced mixture of floral and musk, this fragrance is not only very sexy but also very sophisticated and elegant.  It's strong so definitely an evening scent. After it settles on your skin, it leaves a subtle smell of all those floral and musky notes.  I like that!  I'm not a big fan of perfumes that smell so strong, it leaves people thinking you just poured an entire bottle of perfume on yourself.

Words to describe the scent:
Sultry, Seductive, Elegant, Strong at first but then it leaves you with a subtle hint of the most sophisticated scent there is.  

Price: $85 to $90

Appropriate for Summer, Fall and Winter.  I would say mainly for special occasions such as a wedding, a night out with your partner or girl friends, A black tie event.  Definitely an evening Scent.

One of my favorites for sure!  I love the packaging too.

Will definitely repurchase.




DANCE WITH GIVENCHY

This is on my top three favorites.  I'm bummed that it was limited edition and I'm more than half way with my bottle. 

Description: Launched in 2010, Dance With Givenchy was inspired Audrey Hepburn who trained in ballet and the theme The Dancers of Degas. This ultra-feminine floral fragrance is composed of jasmine, ylang ylang, apple, mandarin, orange blossom, wood and musk. Pure, chic and feminine. - 

That description fits perfectly.  This fragrance is very feminine and chic.

I prefer to wear it during Summer, particularly at night or on the weekends when I go out with my family.  I wore it a lot for work meetings when I worked for a local company.  People always asked what I was wearing.

Once it settles on your skin, the fragrance is that of a delicate floral scent.

I won't list the price since it's no longer available :( 
Would most definitely repurchase if I could.

BURBERRY BRIT

This is my go-to fragrance for Fall. 
Although white peony is in it's notes.  I think the mahogany and vanilla notes definitely make this fragrance a more musky vanilla scent.

It's very rich in fragrance so it appears too strong at first.  Once it settles,  you can smell a hint of all the softer notes in it.


$74
Will Repurchase for sure.




COACH SIGNATURE SUMMER 2012

This has been my go-to Spring and Summer daily fragrance since I bought it.  It was Limited Edition.  Smells really good.  Nothing special but pleasant enough that it's good to wear on a daily basis during the warmer months.

Not sure I would repurchase if it was still available.



DOLCE & GABBANA Light Blue

This is a very interesting scent.  Honestly, I can never smell it on myself but quite often get compliments when I wear it.  Go figure!

It's definitely in the Clean and fresh notes family. I smell a little bit of citrus but also a little bit musky.  Hard to describe this one.

I think I will repurchase, merely because it seems to go really well with the natural chemistry of my skin.  Like I said... always get compliments on it.

Spring and Summer scent.

$72



PRADA CANDY

The first time I smelled this fragrance was on a Nordstrom magazine. 
You know how you get fragrance samples you can rub your wrist on? Well I did and I fell in love!! 

I got it in a Sephora kit so I only paid $50 as opposed to the $64 retail price for this size.

Definitely sweet notes.  A stronger scent that smells softer as it settles.

I prefer it during the cooler months.

Although I really like it, I am not sure that I will repurchase.




CHLOE

My husband got me a bottle for my birthday, last year.
I think this is one of those scents you can pull off any time of the year.

Definitely more floral but I have enjoyed it during the warmer months as well as the cooler months.

One of my favorites.  Get compliments all the time. 

$105

Will definitely repurchase.



MINI SEE BY CHLOE

I love this fragrance.  It's very floral but it's a happy floral.  I'm not sure it is for everyone but I really love it when it sets on my skin.  It's super soft and feminine. I have two, this mini bottle and a deluxe tube sample of it. 

I love to wear it when I go out to dinner with my family.

$58 for a smaller bottle

Will definitely purchase when my samples run out.

MINI MICHAEL BY MICHAEL KORS

I have a love-hate relationship with this one.  I really hate it when I first put it on.  It smells like a rich grandma haha.  No better way to describe it.  It's strong and musky with wood notes and strong sweet florals.  It gives me a headache when I first apply it.  However... I really do love the way it settles on my skin. 

Unsure if I will repurchase.

$60 for a small bottle.




Last but not least...

ELIZABETH AND JAMES NIRVANA
BLACK AND WHITE ROLLERBALLS.

I got these two mini rollerballs as point perks from Sephora.  At first I wasn't sure I liked them.  I definitely preferred the white one.  It's floral but the black one was way too musky for my taste.  Almost more of what a men's cologne would smell like. 

I still decided to try them both.  I'm glad I did.  Someone said to combine both scents and it makes an addictive combo.  I agree!!

If you mix them, you will get a beautiful sophisticated scent.

My problem with these is... they don't really last on me.

I love the white one on its own or combined but at a price tag of $22 per rollerball, I'm not sure I want to spend the money again for something that doesn't seem to last on my skin.

They are definitely in my favorites so we'll see.  

My least favorite scents are With Love by Hilary Duff,  Burberry London and Dior's J'adore.  I hardly ever wear them but my husband seems to like Burberry London on me.  It's too strong for my taste. 

I still enjoy my Viva La Juicy and really love my Givenchy Play.  I dislike the bottle of Givenchy Play but the scent is amazing.

A fragrance on my wish list... Gucci II.   What are your favorites?

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

BACK TO SCHOOL: Kay is a 5th grader.


It's that time of the year.  
Back to school for a new grade, new teacher and new friends.
For the last couple of weeks, Kay has been acting different.  She seems more mature, more grown up.
She was all ready this morning.  I helped her choose what to wear, but that was about it.  She wrote her name on her school supplies.  Her handwriting is now the handwriting of a teenager.  She makes the letters all decorative and pretty. She got her lunch ready, styled her hair.  My little girl is growing way too fast.

It was a rainy, cloudy morning but I still managed to snap a few shots.

In past years I had to beg her to smile and pose for the pictures.  This year she was a freaking model in front of the camera haha.  I was like... what the heck happened to you?!?! ☺

I painted her toenails white and she wore these simple flip flops.
She looked so cute!


Thanks for Visiting!



Monday, August 11, 2014

A LITTLE DIY AND KAY'S FIRST SOCCER GAME OF THE SEASON

This past week, Kay and I worked on giving her trash can a little makeover.  With her room being changed into a more grown up girl's room, this Hello Kitty trash can no longer fitted in.

I told her we should go with polka dots.  Anything I found was too expensive.  Instead we headed to the supply store and grabbed some goodies for our little DIY project.


We sprayed painted the trash can white.  We went with a Satin finish.  I got some gold leaf to paint the wooden beats so we could glue them to the bottom of the trash can.  It was more for decoration than anything else.  I got the idea from Jen's post over at the I heart organizing blog (I love her blog.)

Originally we intended to create the dots with paint but as we opened the paint bottle and saw the color we decided to go with the gold leaf instead. 
I knew it wouldn't be such a clean finish but Kay said she liked the color better.

I used the round brush to dip it into the gold leaf and with a soft hand I dotted the can.

We glued on the painted wooden beats and painted the trim gold.  I might also do the bottom. We have not decided on that yet.

It looks really cute and complements her room decor nicely.
Total cost of supplies used was probably less than $2.00



On Saturday Kay had her first game of this season.  She woke up early to practice with her dad and then we all headed to the game.
I'm really glad she is enjoying playing soccer.
 Ashton took charge of the ball as soon as we got home.




The day was beautiful.  I felt like taking some random shots.


~
Thanks for Visiting!

Monday, August 4, 2014

HEALTHY MONDAY: TURKEY-AVOCADO BREAKFAST PANINI RECIPE


A few years ago my family and I had a tradition to go out for breakfast every weekend.  We tried different places.  

One day we decided to give Einstein Bro's Bagels a try.  My husband didn't care for his food.  Kay said it was just okay.  Mine, A panini sandwich; was really yummy but a very small sandwich and quite pricey.  One day I was craving it and decided to try to recreate it at home.  Theirs was turkey, egg white and cheese.  I didn't want to add any mayo to my version, so I tried a little bit of hummus as a substitute and added some avocado.  It turned out delicious! 

I used to make it with egg whites only but as I've learned more about whole eggs being good for you, I often just add the whole thing.  I hope you like it.  We definitely think it's a winner.


WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

Sprouted wheat bread (A healthier bread option)
Turkey meat slices (2-3 per sandwich)
Low-fat Provolone Cheese slices (1 per sandwich)
Eggs or egg whites (1 per sandwich)
Avocado slices ( 1/2 avocado per sandwich)
Hummus

TOOLS YOU WILL NEED:

Panini press 

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat a pan to cook the eggs.  While that's going, lay out enough bread slices for the amount of sandwiches you are making.  Spread hummus on each bread slice and add a turkey meat slices and cheese.  Cover with top slice and put it in the panini press.  While that's going, get cooking the sunny side up eggs in the preheated pan.  

Once the sandwiches are looking pressed and the cheese is melted take it off the panini press and carefully open it to add the cooked egg and avocado slices.  Serve with fruit and your drink of choice. 



I used thinner turkey slices because that's what I had but a thicker cut from the deli is great too.
I normally use spicy hummus because that's what my family and I prefer.  My local market didn't have any in stock so I went with pesto.  Grab whatever you like.
I made three sandwiches so that's what I have three eggs but remember... one egg per sandwich.
A while back while searching for a healthier bread option. I found a few articles about sprouted bread.  The process is a little different than regular bread.  More goes into making this bread and it's supposed to go easier on your digestive system.
I won't bore you with all the details but if you Google it, you will find a few articles on why is better than regular bread.









ENJOY!!

Thanks for Visiting!