Category Archives: Uncategorized

5 Ingredients To A Perfect Girls’ Weekend In


There’s nothing like chillin’ out with your girls (or girl). Whenever my bro-in-law goes hiking, my sister and I get together and do our own fun thing. Last weekend was the perfect example. You don’t need to do anything fancy. It’s meant to be relaxing!

1. Fun meals. As take-out alternatives, we made kung pao chicken one night, then bought pre-made beef empanadas from a local bakery and topped it off with refried beans and Spanish rice. For breakfast (because you must do a fun b-fast), we made stuffed French toast with my favorite coconut pineapple filling. To amp up the egg batter, I added a generous dash of coconut extract and encrusted the bread in shredded coconut. Food. Gasm.

2. Sugary nom-noms. This time we popped in to the nearby bakery and got cupcakes. But last month when we did this, I made this incredible chocolate cake. You won’t believe the secret ingredient – my sister made a face the whole time I was making it – but we were both blown away by how moist and rich it turned out. And if you’re like me and a little cake-shy, it’s not a complicated recipe at all. (Bonus: it’s gluten-free!)

3. Alaska-free TV. Please don’t be like us and waste an hour choosing a movie to watch. Toward the end of the weekend, we ended up doing a romantic period movie marathon (North & South and The Way We Live Now) with plans to jump into He Knew He Was Right and Bleak House the next time we’re man-free.

4. Window shopping. I don’t think we could complete one of these weekends without some kind of frivolous shopping trip. I haven’t been in a spending mood, so I totally blame my sister for the fact that I came out of the store with three shopping bags full of things I probably didn’t need to buy.

5. In-home facials. There are a lot of beauty regimens I don’t particularly like, but I love facials, and that includes in-home spa treatments. We used these fantastic organic peel pads from emerginC. (These pads do wonders to prevent breakouts.) I’m also testing out some new products by La Roche-Posay  (the thermal spring water and dermo-cleanser). So far, so good!

So pick a spot to hang out, make fun food (or get it already made), and curl up with something epic (or funny) while you show your skin some lovin’ for the perfect relaxing weekend.


Ideas To Get the Most Out Of Pinterest

Pinterest can be just for fun or a way to decompress. At first, I just wanted a place to find and post cute animal photos, and Pinterest was the perfect outlet. But since then, I’ve found it has some practical uses too. (Though I’d say looking at puppies or mini pigs can be practical, depending how your day’s going!)

New Recipes – If you like variety in your diet, then Pinterest is a great resource for new foods to try. The biggest challenge is actually trying the recipes and not just hoarding them!


Outfit Ideas – I literally built my wardrobe for this fall and winter based on outfits I liked on Pinterest. I found a lot of them were more practical (but still trend-aware) for real life than the magazines.

Beauty Tips – If you’re like me and not naturally skilled with these things, people post various makeup and hair tips and tutorials (including helpful video tutorials) I wouldn’t have thought to look up on my own.

Home Decorating & DIY Projects – While I’m not good at DIY projects, I wish I was because there are a ton of good ideas on Pinterest. If you’re looking for ideas for your home, or like to do things yourself, you might start a board for it.

Work & Hobbies – I realized pretty quickly that I could gather images for inspiration for various writing projects. It’s an easy, uncluttered way of storing ideas. Plus, with the private board option, it’s a potential way to share ideas with coworkers or clients.

Travel – A travel board could be a great way to plan a trip, or just keep track of cool places to visit in the future!

Planning An Event – If you’re planning a wedding, or another big event, Pinterest can be a way to store whatever you find online. If you want to make it a private board or invite others to post, you can do that too.

Fitness – Collect and share fitness tips, and be able to refer back to them as needed. This is one area I’ve neglected, so I may need to remedy that.

This is just a sampling of ideas for how to make Pinterest productive as well as fun. Keep your eyes open for how others use this online tool and I’m sure you’ll stumble on new ways to use it!

You can check out my boards at

If You Know A Mountain Biker…

If you’re like me and know a mountain biker, I think you’ll appreciate this. I think of something from this video everyday and it makes me laugh, so I thought it would be a good way to make your Tuesday a little more amusing.

12 Reasons to Love Fall

Just a few weeks ago, as soon as I got up, I had to crank up the A/C. This morning, I had to blast the space heater. And that makes me sad. So I started thinking about all the good things about fall (not including winter following after). Maybe some of these are what you look forward to, or maybe you could add to it.

1. Beautiful trees. Just driving around my normal routes in October can be a stunning golden and orange display with some reds mixed in for good measure.

2. Fabulous clothes. (I’ve got a collection going of my favorites on my Pinterest.)

3. New TV shows. This year, I’m anxiously awaiting the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D show. At least there will be something to do indoors once it gets cold.

4. Fresh baking recipes. I want to tackle bread. Never tried that before. I’ve got my dough hook and I’m ready to do this thing!

5. Nerd movies. We’ve got the next Thor movie, Catching Fire, and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug coming up. That makes me pretty okay with autumn.

6. Book series finales and continuations. I’ve been looking forward to the last Gallagher Girls’ book, the finale to the Divergent trilogy, and the next book in the Heroes of Olympus series for months! So I’ve declared October to be a month of reading.

7. Updated home decorations. It’s time to buy Indian corn and gourds. I love gourds.

8. One-pot dinners. They’re tasty and they last for at least two meals. Woohoo!

9. New writing projects. Besides Drive-Bye, I’ve got a couple other projects in the works that I’m pretty excited about.

10. Seasonal coffee flavors. Bring on the pumpkin spice and white chocolate, people!

11. Clear skies. September and October are actually two of the prettiest months here with the best weather in my opinion.

12. Nesting. Fall and spring are the two times of the year I actually don’t mind cleaning and organizing my swill. May as well go with it!