Healthy Thursday: How Aromatherapy Can Help You

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Recently I've been really interested in aromatherapy. I've always known how different smells can trigger things in your mind to help with various health reasons. I've also used some oils in my daily life before. A lot of people don't realize how amazing aromatherapy actually works for your body and mind. There are a ton of different health problems (mind and body) that aromatherapy helps with. Here are a few that I know a lot of people have problems with!


I talked a lot about how to relieve stress and anxiety in my post here. As I found out from comments and learning experiences, a lot of us have a lot of stress and anxiety in our lives. One of the ways to relieve this is with aromatherapy. The best essential oils to smell is lavender, rose, and Roman chamomile. Lavender is used for different reasons but it helps balance our physical and mental bodies. Rose helps with depression. Roman chamomile helps with mental anxiety, hostility, and paranoia. These three oils help a lot!

Lack of Sleep

Insomnia is something a lot of people suffer from. It takes me about an hour and a half to fall asleep and it prevents me from getting my required amount of sleep each night. Aromatherapy helps a lot with this! Like I said above, lavender helps with a bunch of different problems and it also helps with sleep. Clary sage also helps with sleep because it is a natural sedative. The best way to smell these while sleeping is to spray the scent on your pillow of bedsheets.

Increase Energy

We all have those days where we just can't seem to stay awake. This is a common thing that happens to everyone pretty often. It's crazy to think that smelling something can increase your energy but it can! Cinnamon is one of the best essential oils to smell when you're fatigued. It is a strong scent that opens your eyes and boosts your brain to help you focus. I've heard of some people who keep a tea bag of cinnamon in their purses and often smell it when they need a little pick me up!


I suffer from migraines all of the time and aromatherapy seriously helps. Some smells make it worse but I'll stay away from those when I feel a headache coming on. It is getting pretty common for people getting headaches and migraines so here are a few smells that can help relieve the pain! Peppermint essential oils are great for this. Because of the menthol in it, it helps relieve stress and tension headaches as well as muscle pain!

Colds and Flu

Since we're in the midst of flu season there are many different ways to help this. Next week I'm writing about different cold and flu remedies! One way that can help is with eucalyptus essential oil. This smell stimulates your nervous system and helps relieve nasal congestion!

I'm sure some of you are wondering what to do with the oils. There are many different ways to smell them! One way is to buy a diffuser to put the oils in to distribute them in the air. They also sell essential oils in a spray so you can spray them periodically on your bed or in the air around you. Some people also use this like you would for perfume by dabbing the oil on your wrists. You can also buy tea that has these oils that you can smell throughout your day!

Have a Healthy Thursday everyone!

My Favorite Makeup

Monday, January 26, 2015

I've always been the type of girl that doesn't wear a lot of makeup. I think that might be because for my entire life I've been a dancer and always had to wear a ton of makeup caked on my face for lighting purposes. Because I always had to wear it, I think I just got sick of wearing it and went for a natural face. However, I do wear makeup just not a lot of it. I always like to think little is more. Here are my favorite makeup go-tos!

Face- bareMinerals

bareMinerals is one of my favorite products. I would rather choose to not wear anything for face makeup but sometimes my face will get red or I will have something to cover up :( bareMinerals is such a light powder and it covers everything very well! It's great because it is all natural too! On a daily basis I only use the original medium beige powder. When I go out and wear more makeup, I wear the original powder, the mineral veil (makes it look airbrushed) and then top it off with the warmth on my cheekbones to add a little color.

Eyes- Bobbi Brown and Urban Decay

Normally everyday I only wear top eyeliner and a little mascara. When I go out or have to give a presentation I wear eyeshadow along with the eyeliner (top and bottom) and mascara. My favorite lines of eyeshadow are Bobbi Brown and Urban Decay. I love the Bobbi Brown Blonde (21) eyeshadow and Urban Decay Chopper eyeshadow. I love how the Blonde is more matte and if I ever want to add a little sparkle I add the Chopper to spice it up a bit! I typically only wear natural colors because they go with everything and make my brown eyes pop more!

Lips- Sephora

Typically I only wear either chapstick or nothing on my lips. When I go out, however, I like to finish my look with lipstick or lipgloss. Recently I've been obsessed with this Sephora brand lipstick. It's a light pink color and looks natural on my lips with a little tint of pink! Perfect for when you don't want your lips to stand out. This color is called Sephora Rouge Shine. I can't even explain how obsessed I am with it!

I'm always looking for new makeup to try out! If anyone has any suggestions let me know what your favorites are!


Healthy Thursday: Best Ways To Reduce Anxiety

Thursday, January 22, 2015

This is my first official post in my new blog series Healthy Thursdays! Every Thursday I'm going to be posting something that relates to health. It could by physical health, mental health, or anything that has to do with your body and mind! I hope you enjoy it!

Everyone has those days where anxiety takes over your life. You could be preparing for a presentation, realizing how much you have to do in a small amount of time, or just get anxious for anything. No matter what the situation is, anxiety can kick in. Being able to control your anxiety is key to having a successful day/life! There are a ton of different ways to be able to do this. Here are some of my favorite ways to reduce anxiety!


This one isn't for everyone. It is hard for some people to be able to sit or lay down and just release your thoughts. It takes time for people to be able to actually have a clear mind while meditating. I know for me it is very hard and I don't always have a clear mind. The key (and most important) part about meditating is breathing. If you concentrate on your breathing it can actually reduce your stress! Slowing down your breathing will help slow down your mind and heart rate (incase it's beating fast from the stress). Just breathe and everything will be okay!


Sleeping is important for our everyday life. Without sleep, we can get cranky, nauseous, anxious, and a ton of other emotions. It is important to have your necessary amount of sleep each night. Lack of sleep actually can increase your amount of anxiety. Being able to fall asleep with a good night of sleep will help you wake up with a clear mind!

Eating Healthy

It is crazy how much food impacts our lives! It's even crazier that some foods can decrease your anxiety! Here are some foods that you should eat when you're stressed or know you're about to be! Asparagus has a ton of folic acid in it which is a mood boosting nutrient. Vitamin B deficiency is also linked to stress. Eating foods with Vitamin B like avocados, fish, and all bran cereals! Spinach is also great to eat because it is filled with magnesium. In other words, it regulates your cortisol levels and increases your feeling of wellbeing!

Listen to Music

There are a ton of different genres of music out there. If you're anxious, listening to music really does help make you happy and stress free! However, if you're listening to a fast paced song it might not calm you down. The best type of music to listen to is relaxing and calming music. My personal favorite to listen to is either the spa treatment playlist on spotify or anything from Dave Matthews Band!

Calming Oils

Aromatherapy is super important in our lives. It is crazy how a smell can trigger something in your brain and help you feel relaxed. Next week I'm actually going to make a post specifically on aromatherapy but here is a little blurb from it! The best calming oil to reduce stress is lavender. Lavender is such a light smell that it helps you relax. If you can't fall asleep, lavender is great for that as well! You can put a little on your wrists or even get a diffuser!

Remove Yourself

There are a ton of different situations that make you nervous. Being able to remove yourself from the situation on hand is key. Taking a walk outside to help your breathing with fresh air helps a lot! This is great before a test, meeting, or presentation! Take a deep breath and go back into the room with a clear, relaxed mind!

Keeping your mind happy is key to being stress free! These simple tips can help make a difference in your life! What are some ways that you guys stay stress free??


Staying Organized in School

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Being at school can be such a stressful time. With all of your homework, studying, attending classes, and other various school related activities things can start to get pretty hectic. I know from personal experiences that I get very stressed out when I have a million things to do with not enough hours to accomplish it all. Do you guys ever feel that way?? Since your school life is probably getting pretty crazy as the beginning of the new semester kicks in, it is important to be organized. Not only does help to find things but it also is proven to help your grades and stress. How awesome?! Here are some tips that I find helpful to keeping organized in school.


Your desk is one of the most important utensils to have at school. You do basically everything here. You study, do homework, surf the web, or even eat on sometimes. For me, this is my life (other than my planner of course). Keeping this clean and organized helps for a stress free study sesh. There are many different ways to organize a desk as well as different types of desks to help keep organized! My desk is a pretty basic style desk with a large flat top and 2 open shelves going down on the right side. In my first shelf I keep all of my binders for my classes. In the second shelf I keep some school books and other books that I have for fun to read. On top of my desk I have 2 magazine holders that keep some school books and other class materials. I also keep a wicker basket full of pens, pencils, highlighters, and other school supplies. I also have a stapler and hole puncher next to it (both are essentials for school work). Since it's flu season I also have a bottle of Purell and some candles for when I want to relax when studying.


This is literally the most important thing on learning how to stay organized. I can't stress this enough how important this is to my life and how important it should be for yours as well! I keep everything in here. Important dates, birthdays, homework assignments, meetings, blog postings, and anything else that I find important. If you want to know how I keep my planner organized, check out my post on it here!


I personally think that binders are the best way to keep schoolwork organized. I have a separate binder for each class with dividers inside them. The first divider is for the syllabus for each class. This is important to keep with you in case you forget something that is due or need to review how your teacher wants you to format a paper. This makes it easy to find those answers! The next divider I use is for lecture notes. Some of my teachers put up slides before class, so I print those out. Some of my other teachers don't put up their slides, so I keep loose leaf paper in this section to take notes. The next divider is for textbook notes. I keep loose leaf paper in here for when I take notes from the textbook. The final divider I use is for handouts. Some teachers have various activities or other random handouts to give to the class throughout the semester. I keep all of those handouts in this spot so that I have everything I need. The most important part, however, is not to through things out when it's been graded or tested on. At some point the material will show back up throughout the semester. Teachers also lose things. Keeping a graded assignment that your teacher lost the grade for is good to keep so that you can show proof of your grade!

Staying organized in school is soo important. It truly makes a difference in your studying techniques when your desk is free of distractions like clutter. Surfing the web, however, is a different story :) I hope everyone has a great Wednesday and beginning of your semester (yours or your kid's)!


5 Reasons Why I Love Yoga Girl

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Me about 30 min from Bloomington, IN
Recently I have been trying to change my life into a more holistic lifestyle. I've always grown up eating healthy and treating our bodies like it's a temple. This is super important to me to make sure that my body is as healthy as it can be. Why wouldn't I want a healthy life? Obviously I can't control everything out there in the world (pollution, chemicals, etc.) but I want to be able to control what I put in and on my body. This includes foods, make up, medicines, and lotions. A lot of what I've learned is stuff that I've learned from the one and only Yoga Girl aka Rachel Brathen!!

1. Yoga... Obviously

Yoga isn't for everyone. I totally understand that. However, yoga is an amazing thing that, I believe, everyone should try at least once in their lives! The health benefits to this are incredible ranging from mental health relaxation to physical health. Basically it can help your overall well-being which is what I believe to be the most important thing. Through Rachel's various social media accounts she has a ton of amazing yoga pictures, yoga videos, and how-to videos. She also travels around the world teaching yoga and having yoga retreats! Looking at her amazing photos of yoga just makes me want to get up and join her!

2. Inspirational

Rachel is an inspiration to everyone. Her amazing words on her own blog inspires me to be the best that I can be. She really takes a dive into whatever topic she is talking about and helps paint a picture of how beautiful everything can be. The past year she has had an intense roller coaster with her best friend passing away and also getting married shortly after that. Through those tough times she got a little dark but always seemed like everything was going to get better and that a light is shining through! She definitely has helped me with a ton of different things in my life that I've gone through. Always being positive and thinking that everything will turn all right is the most important thing!

3. She Brings You Into Her Life

Like I said above, Rachel has a ton of social media accounts. Through each of these accounts she brings you into her life. My favorite account of hers that I follow is through snapchat. She posts things all day every day about what she's eating, what she's wearing, her doing yoga, different holistic things she uses, and what she's doing at that moment! I love it! It really helps you build that connection with someone who inspires you and is a constant reminder on why you want to be who you are and to love yourself. One of the main things that she says is that she loves building connections with others and that she also always says how beautiful and amazing everyone is... No matter what!! I just love that about her!

4. Makes You Want To Travel

Being Yoga Girl makes her travel a lot. She goes to different places every single week! Sometimes more than one place in a week! She lives in Aruba with her husband, Dennis, and teaches yoga there as well as having retreats at their own house! I think that's pretty incredible! Her mom lives in Sweden so she goes there all of the time as well. I also believe that her dad lives in the states but I'm not 100% sure on that one... oops! Since she teaches yoga classes on the daily basis, traveling is a big thing in her life. She goes all over the world just to teach a yoga class. She also travels around the world for photo shoots, promoting her new book, and guest appearances! The pictures on her Instagram of these beautiful places just makes you want to travel the world! I know for me, I want to go to legit every single place she's been. They all look incredible!!

5. Holistic Lifestyle

The most important thing to know about Yoga Girl other than yoga is her holistic lifestyle. She eats all vegan things and doesn't put anything bad into her body. The only time she uses a lot of make up that's not holistic is for photo shoots for various reasons. She had a post on Facebook about the different things that she uses everyday to help keep her body healthy. This post has really got me thinking so I bought a bunch of the products that she uses! They're still in the mail and I will be posting a review about them in the near future! She always talks about how our bodies are temples and that we have to treat them with the respect they deserve. I love that she says that because 1. it's true and 2. my mom has always said that! Her holistic lifestyle has made me want to make my lifestyle holistic. It's going to take some time to make the changes but I'll hopefully get there!

I hope you all will get to know Yoga Girl and become inspired from her words as much as I have! Here are her social media accounts to check out her stuff!!

Snapchat: rachel_brathen


Open When...

Thursday, January 15, 2015

If you didn't know already I'm in a long distance relationship. Ky and I have been dating for about a year and a half now. Which is totally crazy!! He lives in Chicago-- where I'm from-- and I'm at school in Indiana. I do get to see him on breaks and I often go home for a weekend to see him and my mom! Summers are great though cause I get to see him for 3 whole months!! Since the semester just started... I'm back at school. I'm also going on a trip to Florida over my spring break so I'm not sure when I'm going to see him next since nothing is planned yet. I've been scrolling through my feed on Pinterest the other day and saw this amazing idea for long distance relationships! Open when letters!! For those that don't know what that is.. it's a bunch of letters that say "Open when... [insert feeling here]" I thought this was a great idea so I decided to make some of my own! Here are a few examples of mine!

All you need to use to make these are...
  • Envelopes- I got my super cute ones from Staples
  • Pen/pencil
  • Markers
  • Paper
  • Your own words
  • Anything else you think would be fun to include!!
Open when... you first receive these letters

This one is going to be the first letter that he reads. It is basically the reasons why I'm doing this because I'm sure Ky's going to be beyond confused about why he's getting a bunch of letters.

Open when... you're missing me a lot

This one is pretty important. Being away from each other for long periods of time is hard and we tend to miss each other basically 24/7. This is a bunch of reasons why I miss him and I also included a few pictures of us so that he can look at when he needs to see me!

Open when... you need a laugh

Every now and again we need a little pick me up. I included a hilarious, corny joke that I wrote on a handmade card and also included a bunch of jokes in the letter as well!

Open when... you want to know more about me

Since Ky and I have been together for almost a year and a half we know a lot about each other. However, you still learn a lot about the other every day for years! I included a long list of things that I think he might not know about me. And if he ends up knowing some of them already then he gets bonus points in my book!!

Open when... it is the day before you get to see me again!

This one is a very exciting letter! The day before we get to see each other is one of the hardest, longest days because you just want to get to the other already! The excitement is almost unbearable and this letter shows how excited I am to see Ky! 

I made a bunch of other letters as well and will probably keep continuing to think of more ideas for open when letters! I ended every letter the same.. "Love, Liv"and sealed it with a kiss. Literally. I actually put a light pink lipstick on and kissed the signature in the letter! It actually made the letter look even more adorable and personal!

What ideas can you think of for open when letters?!

Guest Post: 9 Tips for New Bloggers by Tiffany

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

blog tips for new bloggers
Hi beautiful people! I'm Tiffany, and I blog over at Endless Bliss, which is a happy lifestyle blog where I share inspiration and happiness along with my love of books and my lust for travel. I'm subbing in for Olivia today to share some of my favorite tips to give to newbie bloggers. I've never considered myself an expert on anything, and blogging is no exception, but after two years, I feel like I've picked up a few tricks here and there. While in some aspects, I still consider myself a newbie (don't ask me any HTML questions - yikes!), I have done enough trial and error to know a few things that can make your blog go from being unnoticed to having frequent visitors. 

There aren't enough words for me to tell you how using Google Analytics has completely changed my blogging game. I was using the Blogger Stats page to tell me how well my blog and individual posts were doing, only to find out several months later that all of that data is pretty much inaccurate and irrelevant. Not only does Google Analytics show you more accurate data for pageviews, it also shows you where your traffic is coming from (social media, Google searches, etc.), which of your posts are getting the most impressions and visits, a live feed of people that are viewing your blog right this instant, what keywords are bringing people to your blog, and so, so, so much more. 

Back when I first started blogging, I thought that using Blogger labels was going to help bring my SEO up (not that I knew what SEO was back then, but since I do now, I can put a words - or words - to what I thought it was doing. For those that don't know, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization). In other words, I thought that the labels I used on my blog posts were going to help people find my blog posts in Google searches and such. Boy, was I naive. I used about 10-15 labels on each post, and they were obnoxious. Now that I know that labels are for internal use only, I limit my labels to 1-2 per blog post, and I make them pretty general, such as "books," "travel," "inspiration," etc. For more info on using labels properly, you can check out this handy tutorial-ish post

When I think about how my blog got started, I'm embarrassed to even talk about it, but since we're friends... My blog started off as a rant blog, essentially. It was pretty much my passive aggressive way to let the world know about the little nuisances that I dealt with in my every day life, whether it be about friends or my job, or my dissatisfaction with life in general. There's really no wonder why I didn't have any readers back then. 
So what changed that for me? Making friends in the blog community! How did I make friends in the blog community? I joined blog networks and communities! There are so many different ones out there. Some are just general groups, some are for social media engagement, some are by niche or age group or location. Every blog community operates differently, but for the most part, it helps you discover new bloggers and make connections with people you may not have been able to otherwise. The blogging world is huge, and you can make it a little smaller by focusing on the blogs in a certain community or group. If you're looking for an awesome blog community to join, check out The Blogging Elite!

I'm still struggling with this one, but I've narrowed it down a lot since the beginning. My rant blog became a lifestyle blog, and within my lifestyle blog, the main things I blog about are books, traveling, and inspiration. While other topics may come up, for the most part, those are the main things that people come to my blog for. 
Picking a niche will not only help you stay organized, but it'll also help people find your blog and keep coming to it. If someone finds an awesome recipe on your blog, they're likely to come back to find more recipes, but if you only talked about recipes and food that one time, and you never talk about food or cooking or anything of the sort again, then that person will probably never come back to your blog again. 
A handy way to pick a niche is to look at the labels that we talked about two tips ago. Which labels are you using the most? Use that as a factor, because apparently, you're writing about that a lot. 

You know what totally sucked about my first few blog posts? I showed absolutely zero personality. I was half-anonymous, just ranting about whatever I wanted, and it could have been anyone on the other side of my blog posts. I didn't see a spike in engagement on my blog until after I started showing my personality. I realized people wanted to get to know me, the person behind the blog, and it's the same for you! 
If you're blogging about something and not showing your personality, then it's likely that no one will come back to your blog. You didn't make an impression on them. Showing your personality is what makes your blog interesting; it's what makes it unique. Don't write about something that you don't want to write about. Don't write about something that you think you should write about just because everyone else is writing about it. Write about what you're interested in and let that interest and passion flow through your fingertips onto your blog post. That's what's going to keep people coming back. 

You know when you read a blog post, and you keep thinking "me too!" after every single sentence. Create content like that. Create blog posts that make people think "me too," because if someone can relate to you, then you've pretty much made a new best friend. 

One of my biggest blog regrets - not starting a Facebook page for my blog from the very beginning. I feel like I missed out on so many opportunities for sharing posts and creating loyal readers by not having a Facebook page from the very beginning. All of my other social media pages (Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest) started as personal profiles and kind of morphed into a personal profile/blog profile. Facebook was the exception. 
I know other bloggers who have separate social media accounts for their blog, which is fine, but if you want to do that, you should definitely start the social media accounts ASAP! The more social media, the better. Why? Because people love choices! Some may prefer to only view blogs on Twitter. Some may prefer just looking at bloggers' Instagram accounts. Some people may like to have their Facebook news feeds filled with nothing blog updates (not me, but each his own). Whatever the case may be, have social media accounts along all avenues so people can view your content on their website/app of choice. 
Social media accounts to have: 
-- Bloglovin: essential for all bloggers!
-- Facebook: fan page - not a group or a friend account
-- Twitter
-- Pinterest: most of my blog traffic comes from Pinterest!
-- Instagram: I don't use it for my blog much, but I still have it listed on my blog and have my blog site listed on Instagram. If you're a fashion blogger, Insta is essential!

Okay. This was a hard lesson learned for me. Not hard in the sense that I got sued or anything. More like hard in the sense that I had to get rid of a lot of photos on my blog. Apparently you can't just take any photo you want off of Google. Nope. Those are all copyrighted, guys. My advice would be to take your own photos or use stock photos. (Check out this awesome round-up of stock photo sites here!) Alternatively, you can go through the avenues of asking for permission to use the photos and listing image sources on your site. But the moral of the story is: Don't take random photos off the internet to use on your blog. 

When people started saying "Don't judge a book by its cover" and "It's what's on the inside that counts," they weren't talking about blogs. As artificial as it sounds, blog aesthetics do matter. If I visit a blog that isn't aesthetically appealing to me, I'm unlikely to visit again, especially if something's hard to read or find. 
You don't have to spend hundreds of dollars on a blog design. If you know HTML, you could design a few things yourself using free sites like PicMonkey or Pixlr. If you don't know anything at all about HTML or design, you could find a relatively cheap blog template on Etsy for $20 or less. There are also some blog designers out there who are either trying to build their porfolio or don't charge an arm and a leg to build someone a simple blog design. 
Just like you take the time to do your hair and make-up and get dressed in the morning for work or school or to run errands, you should take the time to do the same for your blog. Dress your blog up, and make it look nice. A pretty blog design will go a long way. 
I hope you found these blog tips helpful! You can find more tips and tutorials on my blog by visiting my Blog Tips page. If you want to see more from me (or become my new BFF, because you can never have too many), you can visit my Facebook page or follow me on the Twitter

School Organization Tips

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

It's the beginning of spring semester for a lot of people! It's time to start getting prepared to start classes back up for most. Being organized for school is one of the most important things to do to have a successful semester. Personally, if my desk, planner, binder, and notebook isn't organized... studying and doing school work is hard for me. I guess that's the OCD in me! Oops! Here is a list of posts from fellow bloggers and myself that have amazing posts on getting organized!

Written By Me:

Helpful Study Tips

How To Create A Great Study Guide

Organizing Your Planner

Written By Fellow Bloggers:

Making a College Syllabus 'Cheat Sheet' by Caitlyn from ChemGradBoom

School Supplies for Spring Semester by Megan from Bowtiful Life

Intense Study Tips by Carly from The College Prepster

How I Organize My Planner by Kirsten from Organized Charm

How to Organize Your College Binder by Caitlin from The Holladay Life

How I Study... in an Organized Way by Jessica from Blondes and Louboutins

I hope everyone has a great semester! If you're not in school, then I hope this helps motivate you to be organized!!


Chocolate From Around The World

Thursday, January 8, 2015

This year I got a lot of different amazing gifts from the people that I love. One of my favorite gifts that I had to share with you all is chocolate. Not just any type of chocolate... chocolate from around the world. Seems hard to find... but it's not! It's actually from Trader Joe's! Ah yes.. the amazing Trader Joe's. I have to admit, I'm obsessed with this place. Not only does it have foods to help my dietary needs (being gluten-free) but the produce is always fresh! I was really excited to find out that this chocolate is from there!

I can't even explain how amazing this chocolate is. It is for sure one of my favorite and different gifts! On the front of them it has a brief description of what is in the chocolate and even says what type of drink is good to pair with it! How awesome?! The different countries are Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, Ghana, Dominican Republic, Papua New Guinea, São Tomé, and Tanzania. Check out these chocolates!

Peru: Jasmin notes and a clean finish
Ecuador: deep chocolate aroma with floral and fruit notes
Venezuela: unique, mild taste with hints of floral and dried grasses
Ghana: peppery notes and spicy aromas with a bitter dark chocolate bite
Dominican Republic: slightly nutty notes and a sharp finish
Papua New Guinea: marked fruity taste with a touch of spice
São Tomé: intense cocoa flavor with an exciting bitterness
Tanzania: subtle fruitiness with a fine hint of vanilla

The chocolates range from from 60-73% cacao dark chocolate and you can really tell a difference! To me, some of the chocolates tasted very similar to one another. However, my two favorites were from Ghana and the Dominican Republic. They're amazing and soo different! If you try these chocolates let me know which ones are your favorites!!


Homemade Hummus Recipe

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

I have finally been able to cross something off of my 25 before 25 list! Check out this post and set some goals for yourself as well! It is such an amazing feeling to say that I have accomplished something that I've had in my goal list by the time I turn 25! Item number 23... you've been crossed off!! Yay!

My mom got me a rocket blender for the holidays this year and I've been crazily obsessed with it the past few weeks! I've made smoothies, juices, and homemade hummus! It's crazy how much a little appliance in the kitchen can make so many different foods! Here's the recipe that I used for my hummus! I'm sure you can use this recipe in a normal food processor as well.

1/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock (I used vegetable stock)
14 oz. can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
3 cloves garlic (you can add more if you like a stronger garlic taste)
3 Tbsp lemon juice
3 tsp tahini (sesame paste)
1/2 tsp sea salt
A few dashes of paprika
Add olive oil if you please

1. Combine all the ingredients into the large blending cup (or food processor)
2. Twist cup into base, push down and pulse until a smooth consistency is reached (for those who are using the Rocket Blender)
3. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with paprika to serve (optional)
4. Enjoy!!

Pretty easy recipe and it tastes amazing! You can either dip pita chips or vegetables in it! It also serves 4-6 people and trust me you're going to be eating a lot of this!


Red Velvet Cake in a Mug

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The other day I was browsing on Pinterest and found this amazing recipe for cakes in a mug! Yes, a mug! I had to try it out and was really excited about it that I had to share with you guys! Since I'm gluten-free I modified it a bit to make it appropriate for my diet restrictions. She has a bunch of different recipes for cakes in a mug as well as other recipes in general (mostly desserts). If you want to see this and other recipes, click here! Here's the recipe for red velvet cake in a mug!


4 Tbsp flour (I used gluten-free flour)
4 1/2 Tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
Pinch of cinnamon
3 Tbsp oil
3 Tbsp buttermilk
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp red food coloring

1. mix all the wet ingredients together into an oversized mug using a fork until batter is smooth
Just wet ingredients

2. Add in the dry ingredients and mix until combined
Wet and dry ingredients mixed

3. Cook in microwave for about 50 seconds (I kept it in an extra 20 seconds)
4. Be careful not to overcook as batter will become dense and rubbery
Yeah.. I stole a piece before taking the pic... oops!

5. Let cake cool slightly before piping on cream cheese frosting (I used passion fruit fluffy cream cheese from a local restaurant in the Chicago suburbs)
Still working on putting the frosting on better

I can't explain how amazing this was and how easy it was to make! Be careful with the red food coloring since it can stain clothes and your counters... I learned that the hard way. I hope you like the recipe and let me know if you try it out!!


January Monthly Goals

Monday, January 5, 2015

It's officially the first of the new year! How exciting is that!? It's crazy to have to start writing 2015 on homework assignments and on checks for bills. I'm ready for a new year, new semester, and a new month of goals!!

December Goals
Take a cute holiday pic with Ky Finally forced him to take a pic!
Figure out what to get Ky for the holidays Got him socks (inside joke) and a gift certificate for a massage!
Finish the Ellen Degeneres book Finally finished this and loved every second of it
Get 20 more followers on Bloglovin'
Don't procrastinate for my finals Did well on my finals!!
Have someone guest post on my blog

January Goals
Have someone guest post on my blog (let me know if there are any takers on this one!)
Cross something off of my 25 by 25 list
Get back on my blogging schedule
Find a new book to read
Cook a meal with Ky

I hope everyone had a great new years!!


I'm Back!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Wow has it been forever since I've written on my blog! I'm soo sorry to have been missing the past few weeks but have been crazy busy with finals and then the holidays. This post isn't going to be a normal size but I wanted to catch you all up on some things that I've been up to with pictures! And I am super excited for some of my new ideas to show with you guys! I love you all!!

Hanukkah party with my cousins

Christmas Eve dinner with Ky's family

Hanukkah party with Ky

Night in the city with my best friend since preschool

Christmas Eve lunch with my cousins