Friday’s Cocktail! | Sangria madness

With  a major heat wave hitting southern California, I am in need of a refreshing cocktail. Sangria is one of my favorites but only if done well.

Recently I had a Sassy Sangria at The Patio in Mission Hills, SD. Essentially a sangria with some tequila… it sure will get you sassy ūüėȬ† The Patio is a fabulous restaurant that is all about local ingredients and being sustainable, on top of that it is absolutely stunning¬†with great¬†¬†ambiance.¬† It is an open kitchen with a¬† wall of lush living plants and a mix of rustic wooden¬†and elegant heather blue turfed chairs. Your plates will look like art and your taste buds will be dancing.¬† It is a must try in San Diego!

My other favorite sangria place an happy hour in general is Costa Brava in Pacific beach, SD. It is a Spanish tapas place with $8 pitcher of delicious fresh fruit sangria… I could have an IV of this stuff!!!¬† You will need some munchies, so.. try everything on the menu ūüôā¬† really… its soo good!

Start your weekend off right with a fabulous glass of sangria and use this amazing chart from wine enthusiast to try something new. Mix it up and get sassy!

Share your favorite cocktails or go to places in your area!

xo- A

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Bacon Crab Stuffed Mushrooms

You know those dinners that are so good that you are picking at it during the whole cooking process…. well Bacon crab stuffed mushrooms is that dish for me. This is a by taste recipe… Alex and our buddy Kellen made this happy creation and now it is a staple.

You can make this as low fat or low carb as you want.

Ingredients-

-Crab legs- chop it up!

-Red pepper- thinly diced…. about one big one.

-Onion-¬† thinly diced…. about the same amount as red pepper.

-Bacon– there is never enough… chop it up!

-Salt and pepper

-Cayenne or red pepper flakes- I like a little kick to it and I am not spicy eater.

-Moisture- We usually use some soft cream cheese and little sour cream- I know not the healthiest but it still is low carb ūüôā¬† You can use mayo, yogurt or even an egg.¬† The cream cheese mix can also be used for a delicious dip. ūüôā

-Parmesan- to Alex it is very important that it is fresh Parm. quarter for in the bowl and the rest for the end.

**Mix all the above and then stuff it into your mushrooms.

We use big portabellas and bake them on a rack to avoid the mushroom getting soggy.

The last few minutes¬†is when you add¬†fresh parmesan¬†on top¬†and put it in the broiler for a few minutes…. it creates a perfect little crust.

Ta daaa…. you have a delicious low carb/low fat however you like dish!

 

 

 

Vacation Surprise!

Summer vacation… there is nothing better! Alex and I had barely been seeing each other due to how busy life was.So,we were so excited to have a week in Florida. We boarded the plane with our usual travel snack pack,essentially a picnic. ūüôā We also happen to have a bunch of free Southwest drink coupons! Best thing ever! We ordered cocktails and cheered to 7 days of white sand beaches and poolside living! We landed and was greeted by Alex’s mom. We were going to visit his grandparent and his mom had already arrived.

This is not your average¬†grandparent visit. We arrived at the estate and had homemade soup waiting for us. It was perfect. It was late but Alex and I were on West Coast time, so we decided to go for a midnight swim. Beers in hand and warm summer night and a perfectly heated pool, vacation had officially started! The next day, we decided to head to the beach club. This is where we met a cabana boy who set up an umbrella,chairs and a table for us and then took our drink order. Every beach needs this! Now I need to join a beach club. ūüėČ

 

 

The ocean was 80¬į ¬†and perfectly clear. I love the southwest Florida for its pool like ocean. San Diego, you have to battle the waves…. which is also fun.¬† Our evenings were filled with watching and tracking the ¬†weather. Alex and his mom love to track thunderstorms while in Florida lol.

A few more of Alex’s Family members came to visit and we had fabulous dinners all together. But after being together with Alex for 7 years, I am continuously asked why we aren’t married. I always say, “I am not the one that gets down on one knee.” I told Alex the next day (our last day) that we needed to come up with a script to tell people on why we aren’t married yet. He laughed at me and said,” we can do that later tonight.” He had seemed weird the past 24hrs, extra lovely but different also. That night we had reservations with the family at the Ritz Carlton on the beach. We all got ready and Alex was looking so handsome.

I was hearing some skinny black pants with a sheer white tank with a fringe bottom and a big white and gold floral statement necklace and some gold strappie sandals. . (I would make links but I scored all the pieces at little cheap stores like, Ross and some local little shops.)

The Ritz was beautiful and we ate a the tapas restaurant inside the Ritz. There was even a Spanish guitarist and a box drummer, it was beyond amazing. I ordered myself a raspberry mojito¬†and scanned the menu. Alex and I always share food, so I had to get his thoughts. ¬† He wanted the duck foie gras¬†and I did not! Good thing about small plates is you can order a lot and sample them all. I stuck with ¬†Crab cakes and Chicken and biscuits ūüôā ¬†Alex was loving his ¬†foie gras¬†and ended up dropping some on his shirt. He was so bothered by it and I didn’t understand why. I giggled at him,since normally I am the one always dropping stuff on myself.

After dinner I was ready for dessert! I was listing off all the delicious dishes and hoping I could try them all! Then all of a sudden the waitress walked up¬†and says there is a special for the night. I thought it was a complimentary “I’m sorry” since they messed up grandpa’s order. Well I was wrong!

As the plate was placed in front of me, I read the magical words ” Will You Marry Me?” I looked at Alex and said ” this is happening?!?!” He responded with a huge smile¬†” it’s happening, babe!” He got down on one knee and asked me to be his Wife!!! I said YES!!! I then broke out in tears and sipped champagne with Alex and ¬†of course called my mom to tell her we are getting marrrieeed.. It is still so wild to me. I kept telling Alex how we are officially \¬†adults because we are old enough to get married. We giggled like little kids hearing the word penis. lol. We are so excited for this next chapter and¬†¬†I feel¬†so lucky to have found my person at 20 and to continue riding this journey together!

Now for post on wedding planning … ūüôā

xo.. A

Beach Day Essentials!

Beach Day musts!

Bachelorette Weekend

 

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You reach that time in your life where all your friends begin getting engaged,married and having babies… and not necessarily in that order.¬† Well I am on the cusp of that. This past weekend I got to celebrate at my bachelorette party.¬† I grew up in a little town in Northern California and was lucky to have a group of girlfriends that are just a few years older than me that are now in the peak of EMB (engagement,marriage and babies)¬† The girls flew down¬† to Palm Springs from the Bay Area and I had a nice little 2 hour drive. I have lived in San Diego for almost 7 years and still had never made it to Palm Springs, I always feared the heat! I made sure to have my bikini’s ready because my intention were cocktails while lounging in the pool.

I drove in early Saturday to meet up with my girl B while the others were still flying in. B is from Palm Springs and she gave me a grand tour. First stop of the Riveria Hotel….OMG, it is fabulous!! The walls were mirrored and there were ginormous chandeliers and old Hollywood style furniture. I felt like Marylin Monroe..hehe¬† B took me around to 5 of the major hotels/ pool parties and everyone was themed… I love a good theme. I could go back to stay at different hotels each time just because each experience would be very different.

We ended our time with a beer poolside. I departed my lovely B, to go meet up with my Nor Cal ladies.

I was SOOO excited to see my girls, it had been too long. We are the friends that don’t keep in touch very well but once back together,it is like nothing has changed. We were all decked out in our Palm Springs tanks ready to kick the weekend off right!

First things first, bikinis on!  I am currently obsessed with my itsy bitsy Victoria Secret bottoms.
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We all made our way to the pool as Lisa made up some amazing ¬†MoscowMules…. mmmm… so refreshing and so delicious… and little dangerous.¬† I made sure to bring out my little surprise for the bride before we got too deep into the weekend. I made an awesome Bachelorette weekend survival kit, it was a hit and every single item was used! (detailed post on it later)

It was about 100 degrees but wasn’t as bad as¬† I had thought, as long as you were in the water. The house was amazing, it had a modern yet retro vibe with bright teal and orange accents. The pool had a little shallow area for lounging with an umbrella in the middle… it was perfect!!

We had reservations at 8pm and it was seven¬†and we all were still wet and in our bikinis by the pool. The crazy time-keeper that I am made sure to make a small announcement that it was CRUNCH time. lol.¬† Some of the best times are the times getting ready as girls together. ¬†The shouting of what do I wear, who has gloss, help me curl my hair….¬† all the great¬†madness that getting ready involves.
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The bride had an awesome tiger H&M skirt and a new bride tank to pair with it. I convinced her it was necessary to tie up her shirt. With some mid drift showing and her tiger skirt flowing, we were ready for dinner.
The restaurant LuLu’s looked like it came straight out of Miami. All white with big chandeliers. From the looks of it we were in for a treat. Well we were wrong. The tuna crevice was great but other than that nothing was impressive. From non-existant plating to the obviously frozen lobster, it all was a major disappointment. It would have been a great place for a drink and an app, just because of the decor and location.
After a fun but not delicious dinner we decided to not hit the bars and to instead get back in our bikinis and enjoy cocktails by the pool while listening to our 2003/2004 mix CD’S….it was pretty epic.

Vacation Rental—>

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It was my kind of bachelorette party, just enough of everything! We all left tanner and a little hungover , and we all want to do it again!!

 

Dry vs. Dehydrated and The hydration magic of Hydroluric Acid!

 

healthy face

Who knew there was a major difference¬† of¬† Dry vs Dehydrated skin?!!? ¬† I have always thought my skin was oily and that’s why my foundation never lasted. Years and years going to different makeup artist and just being told to use a primer… well I have and it still doesn’t work.¬†¬† Lately, I have noticed my foundation has become patchy after an hour or so. Which is not a cute look. I started looking into patchy foundation and the causes. I stumbled upon lumiashe’s¬† Youtube Channel and she went over what she learned from her research and mostly from Caroline Hirons’ blog

Caroline made a fantastic cheat sheet on Dry vs Dehydrated skin and how you can have oily skin that is dehydrating. New news to me!

Here is what Caroline explained about the differences in skin types and conditions !

“Dry and dehydrated skins have similar characteristics, but different underlying reasons.

Dry Skin – normally a skin type but can be a temporary skin condition

  • caused by lack of oil in the skin
  • small pores
  • ‘tight’ feeling
  • may be flaky
  • milia, blackheads and spots may still be present
  • skin looks dull
  • skin is not plump
  • doesn’t absorb products easily
  • easily irritated – more likely to suffer reactions to products
  • aggravated by poor skincare

Dehydrated Skin – is a skin condition affecting any skin type – including DRY

  • caused by lack of water in the skin
  • pores can be large or small
  • skin feels tight and dry although it can confusingly sometimes look¬†oily and have breakouts
  • absorbs moisturizers really quickly
  • blackheads and spots are still visible
  • makeup disappears (and goes patchy) throughout the day as the skin is absorbing any water in your foundation
  • skin looks ‘ashen’
  • aggravated by lifestyle circumstances – may suffer from a lot of headaches

Skin is made up of 70% water Рaround  20-30% of that is in the epidermis (top layer of the skin). In normal circumstances, your hydrolipidic film acts as a regulator and barrier Рretaining moisture and protecting against germs. If Рfor whatever reason that is compromised, the moisture in the epidermis evaporates too quickly and the normal, healthy state of the skin is compromised.

The following can cause dehydration –

  1. Environment – wind, cold air, dry air, too much sun, air conditioning, central heating
  2. Diet – the wrong foods, alcohol, caffeine, not eating enough water-heavy foods, not drinking enough
  3. Lifestyle – stress , poor skincare routine, using the wrong products, medication – including birth control, smoking
  4. Genetics – monthly cycle, pregnancy

It is quite common to be both dry and dehydrated but if by looking at the above you have ascertained that you are one or the other – these do’s and don’t might help.

Do and Do Not:

  • Do upgrade your moisturizer to something suitable for dry skin if you recognize the signs – go for products using the words ‘nourishing’
  • Do change your moisturizer to something labelled ‘hydra’ or ‘hydrating’.
  • Do steer clear of foaming anything¬† – keep the bubbles for your dishes
  • Do use balms, oils and serums for dry skin.
  • Do use milks, specified oils and treatments for dehydrated
  • Do stay away from mineral oils, silicone (in skincare – not makeup), lanolins and synthetic fragrance which will make a dehydrated skin worse and make a dry skin scream for help.”

So, what is the magic to getting hydration back to your face? Hydroluric Acid!!¬† It holds up to 100 times it’s own weight in water.

Doctor Oz covered the who, what and why of  Hydroluric Acid!

He explains, that it is a powerful humectant which is a  moisture-binder. This  keeps skin plump and hydrated and looking young!

Biology geekout:  Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring polysaccharide in the human body. It’s present in large amounts in the spaces between skin cells, where it provides moisture, plumpness, firmness and suppleness to the skin.

As a baby you are born with extra H.A but over time you no longer have the fresh dewy baby skin and need a little help.  While you’re never going to get back that perfectly dewy baby-skin, it is possible to help restore the skin’s hyaluronic acid content and get a  fresher, more supple look.

There are serum or moisturizer that contains hyaluronic acid. While it won’t give you the dramatic, instantaneous  results , you will see benefits in the form of softer, smoother, more hydrated skin.

Applied topically, it will increases hydration, improves elasticity and also reverses free radical damage, so it may have some benefit in protecting from UV damage.

Bonus: Hyaluronic acid is one ingredient that works across the board. Every skin type, even oily, can benefit. Look for hyaluronic acid serums and apply one alone if you have oily skin or under moisturizer if you have dry skin.

It is all about prevention of wrinkles and making sure  your skin is kept  fresh and hydrated.

Hope you babes learned something helpful!

xo- A.

 

 

 

 

Low carb comfort food | Cauliflower Mash

Ingredients:
1 medium head cauliflower

1 tablespoon cream cheese, softened (optional)

1 tablespoon of half and half or cream.

1/4 cup grated Parmesan

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper and salt

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Directions
Boil water over high heat  to then  

Clean and cut cauliflower into small pieces.

Steam cauliflower.about 6 minutes, or until well done.

Drain well; do not let cool and pat cooked cauliflower very dry 

In a bowl with an immersion blender, or in a food processor, puree the hot cauliflower with the cream cheese (or some half and half),

Parmesan, garlic,

salt and pepper to taste.

Blend until smooth or your desired taste.  

Other ways to mix it up:  try rosemary or cheddar cheese. for a whole new taste.


This dish is key to fulfilling my comfort food craving without eating mass amounts of carbs. This is a superb way to eat low carb and not feel like you are missing out on anything! I have also made mock mac n cheese with cauliflower.. which is delicious!!

Finding new ways to enjoy your favorites is important when eating healthy.

xo- A

 bonappetito

Low Carb Cocktail Options

Low Carb Cocktail Options

What is the Cupping Craze?

PHOTO: Celebrity CuppingPHOTO: Celebrity Cupping

Getty Images|Xposure
For the past year or so, I have been seeing celebrities with big red rings on their back, from Gwyneth Paltrow¬†on the red carpet to Lena Dunham posting her cupped back on instagram. Celebrities are flocking to this Ancient Chinese tradition and showing off their marks…so what is causing these marks?
Cupping!!! 

 So what is cupping? Well since I am not a doctor,  I went to my friend WebMD, to get you well-rounded understanding.

Cupping therapy is a form of alternative medicine in which cups are placed on the skin to create suction. The cups can be made of a variety of materials, such as : Glass, Bamboo, Earthenware.

Cupping therapy believe the suction of the cups can mobilizes blood flow to promote the healing of a broad range of medical ailments.

  Cupping therapy dates back to ancient Egyptian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern cultures. One of the oldest medical textbooks in the world, the Ebers Papyrus, describes how the ancient Egyptians were using cupping therapy in 1,550 B.C.
Acne
Facial paralysis
Cervical spondylosis
Blood Circulation
and more!

Types of Cupping Therapy

There are various types of cupping therapy, like dry cupping which is suction only or Wet cupping which is a combination of suction and controlled medicinal bleeding.

During both types of cupping, a flammable substance such as alcohol, herbs, or paper is placed in a cup and set on fire. As the fire goes out, the cup is placed upside down on the patient’s skin.

As the air inside the cup cools, it creates a vacuum. This causes the skin to rise and redden as blood vessels expand. The cup is generally left in place for five to 10 minutes.

A more modern version of cupping uses a rubber pump to create the vacuum inside the cup. Sometimes practitioners use medical-grade silicone cups. These are pliable enough to be moved from place to place on the skin and produce a massage like effect.

During wet cupping, a mild suction is created using a cup that is left in place for about three minutes. The practitioner then removes the cup and uses a small scalpel to make superficial skin incisions. Then he or she performs a second suction to draw out a small quantity of blood.

After the procedure, the site may be covered with an antibiotic ointment and bandage to prevent infection. The skin’s appearance generally returns to normal within 10 days.

Cupping therapy supporters believe that wet cupping removes harmful substances and toxins from the body to promote healing.

Is this something you are rushing to go get?

Some Nay-sayers: 

According to WebMD ” In general, Western medical societies are skeptical of the health claims made by cupping therapy supporters. “Available scientific evidence does not support cupping as a cure for¬†cancer¬†or any other disease,” states the American Cancer Society. “Reports of successful treatment with cupping are mainly anecdotal rather than from research studies.”

But a 2012 study published in the journal¬†PLoS ONE¬†suggests that cupping therapy may have more than a¬†placebo¬†effect. Australian and Chinese researchers reviewed 135 studies on cupping therapy published between 1992 and 2010. They concluded that cupping therapy may be effective when combined with other treatments like¬†acupuncture¬†or¬†medications¬†in treating various diseases and conditions.”

Check out more from WebMD

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Home Workout Essentials and Routines!

At home gym
Having equipment at home can be crucial for those moments you get instant motivation to workout or the days with little motivation to make it all the way to the gym. These are my favorite at home essentials.¬† A lot of my items, I¬† was able to pick up slowly over time for pretty affordable prices. TJ MAX and similar stores have sections with different workout gear on major sale. I got my ab roller for $7 bucks!! I usually get all my workout gear from stores like TJ Max, ross etc. If I can get the same sports bra or workout shorts for significantly cheaper…duh, I am going to. Don’t feel you have to buy everything at once, grow your personal gym slowly. I had only an ab roller, then I bought resistance bands and thanks for a friends ex boyfriend for leaving his kettlebell, I came up on a 20lb kettlebell. There is also the jump rope, it is also a very affordable and small foot print piece of equipment that can burn those calories of quick.
It is important to stay an active healthy babe and that does not mean a certain size or weight but to live a healthy lifestyle and treat your body well because it is the only one you get!
I hate counting so I tend to do my workouts by times.
Try doing each exercise for a minute and if you can’t do a full minute make sure you keep track of your progress.
1 minute each  for 4 rounds.
1. Jump Rope
2.Ab Roller
3.Kettlebell swings
4.Push ups- any style that you do to get them done.
5.Walking squats with  a resistance band tied around your calves. When the resistance band is tied around your legs it provides great resistance. Do different ranges of motion with your leg to reach different muscles in your legs and glutes.
Or try out a at home Crossfit style WOD : My brother is a personal trainer and made this plan for me and I thought what a perfect routine to share!
*** To perfect the moves check out youtube for proper form or to clarify the move. Simply type in the exercise and there is a youtube that is there to help, that I am sure.
DAY 1
10 push ups – this kicked my ass… just keep trying and don’t give up.
8 Moutain  climbers
6 KettleBellAir squats
    *5 rounds for timeDAY  2
15 KB Swings.  26/44 lbs
20 sit ups
25 air squats      *4 rounds for timeDAY 3
6 burpees
8 push ups
10 sit ups

*AMRAP Р12 minutes  (As Many Rounds As Possible)

DAY 4
10 reverse kb lunges
8 kb squats
6 kb push press

*5 roundsDAY 5
40-30-20-10
Mountain climbers
Push upsFor time
Live healthy, live happy and most importantly live life!! 
xx-A