"A Lifestyle Blog"

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

My Makeup Must Haves | Face Edition

The Best Foundation & Concealer

As an avid product junkie, I have tried countless brands of foundation, concealer, and every other possible form of makeup you can think of, the good, the bad & the ugly. Here are some of my top picks for the face!

Liquid Foundation
(From left to right)
1. Loreal Infallible Pro Matte - One of the most long wearing foundations I have EVER tried. When im wearing this my makeup is still "on fleek" even after a long humid florida day! Because it is super matte, I only recommend this foundation for combination to oily skin. I feel it looks better with a good moisturizer underneath. I use cetaphil lotion (as mentioned in my simple (sensitive) skincare post).
2. Maybelline Fit Me Matte & Poreless - LOVE LOVE LOVE this foundation. I find it to be a great dupe for Makeup Forever HD, as it is very smooth, natural looking, & photographs great. I really love the Loreal pro matte layered over this! Great for all skin types, medium build-able coverage.
3. Makeup Forever HD - Need I say more? This baby basically has a cult following. This is my ultimate favorite foundation. It looks extremely natural, no matter how many layers you apply. The finish is absolutely flawless.
4. Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation - Stays put during the hot summer months, keeps me matte throughout the day, pretty much a lifesaver in my book. I would say this foundation is full coverage, I like to use my beauty blender to apply. I really like this layered over something, rather than on its own.

Powder Foundation
(clockwise from top)
1. Too Faced cocoa powder foundation - Sulfate & Paraben Free, which is DEFINATELY a plus. ALSO IT SMELLS LIKE CHOCOLATE! I am literally obsessed with this as a setting powder. It contains antioxidants to protect your skin while you wear it, and has a smooth velvety texture. I feel like it blurs the appearance of my pores a bit also.
2. Bare Minerals Blemish Ready Foundation - Contains, Aspen Bark and Tea Tree Oil to keep skin clear, Aloe to soothe and hydrate skin, & Mineral Powder to help neutralize the appearance of skin redness and control oil and shine. I can literally sleep in this & not break out. I like to wear this on days when im going for that "no makeup look". It looks so natural and feels very light on the skin.
3. Maybelline Fit Me Matte & Poreless Powder - This is a very sheer powder, I like to use it to set my foundation.
4. Makeup forever HD pressed powder - Basically the best thing since sliced bread. I use this to set my makeup & under eye concealer. Blurs any imperfections and makes skin look flawless in any light.

1. Mac Pro Longwear Concealer - I LOVE THIS STUFF. I mostly use it to conceal under my eyes & high light. A little goes a really long way. It completely covers dark circles & lifts your whole under-eye area.
2. Dermablend Cover Creme - The "Mac daddy" of all concealers. This stuff even covers tattoos. If you have a scar or a blemish, dab a little bit of this on & watch it magically disappear.
3. Kat Von D Lock-it Tattoo Concealer - Light weight & good coverage, I like this under the eyes and as an eye shadow base.


Monday, September 21, 2015

My Simple skincare routine | Lazy girl's guide to taking care of your skin

How I Take Care Of My Super Sensitive Skin

So before I get into my routine, I want to explain a little bit about my skin. I have sensitive, combination (dry in some areas, oily in others) skin. Most products cause me to break out so I like to keep the products I put on my face as simple as possible. I don't like to use things with added fragrance, or harsh ingredients, as they tend to cause irritations for me. The products that I use now, have greatly improved my skin and kept it clear. I've pretty much tried every skin care product under the sun and I find that the super fancy stuff just doesn't agree with my skin. Now that we got that out of the way let's get into my routine and the products that I use & love!

My Morning Skin Care Routine:

I don't like to wear makeup every day. I find it really important to let your skin breathe. Sometimes if I feel like my skin needs a little extra something i'll wear a light BB cream. I really like this one from Vichy - (Vichy Pro-Even Mineral BB Cream). It contains vitamin-c and minerals to promote a healthier looking complexion. I really like the idea of BB-cream, it not only perfects your skin when you wear it, but has long term benefits! That a win-win situation for me.

My Night-time Skin Care Routine:

I also take a variety of vitamin supplements to help clear my skin & make it glow, more about that here in an older post http://coffeemakeseverythingbetter.blogspot.com/2015/09/eat-for-for-perfect-skin-healthy-from.html.

Weekly Treatments:

  • Red Light Therapy - Red Light Therapy is a treatment that does it all, fades dark spots, evens skin tone, prevents aging, smooths skin, and clears acne. I try and get my red light therapy in at least twice a week. Many tanning salons offer this treatment. I go to Planet Beach for my Red Light Facial's. More about this here.
  • I like to use a good exfoliate on my skin once a week, sometimes i'll use my Clarisonic, and other times I use St. Ives apricot scrub
  • I treat my skin to an at home mask weekly, I am obsessed with the Miss Spa Facial Sheet Masks! It was extremely hard to find a sheet mask with no added dyes, fragrances, or parabens, Miss Spa masks are free of all these things.  

So there you have it, This is how I keep my skin clear & smooth, hope it was helpful to all my "sensitive skin peeps"

How To Get A Bigger Booty In One Month! | Natural Curves

It is possible to transform your body naturally, no booty shots needed! With consistency, and the correct diet & exercise, you'll be on your way to a curvier figure in no time. In this post im going to explain how to get curvier in all of the right places, it doesn't happen over night, but I promise you will see results in as little as one month.

Foods that make your butt bigger:

First off you'll want to concentrate on adding some extra protein to your diet. 

Here are some healthy sources of good protein for a curvier figure:

  • Eggs
  • Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Tilapia
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Turkey
  • Protein Powder 
  • Steak
  • Beans & Legumes (kidney, chick peas, etc)
  • Extra Extra Lean Ground Beef
  • Nuts
  • Lean Cut Meats
  • Greek Yogurt

Healthy sources of carbs for a curvier figure:
  • Brown Rice
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Oatmeal
  • Quinoa
  • Ezekiel Bread
  • 100% Whole Grain Bread (sparingly)
  • Low Sugar Breakfast Cereal (sparingly)

Fats for a slimmer waistline: 

Contrary to popular belief, fat does not make you fat. Too many calories and junk/bad foods make you fat. Healthy sources of good fats are essential, and can actually help you to lose weight, particularly in your stomach area! You'll wan't to incorporate MUFA's into your diet. MUFA's are monounsaturated fatty acids that target and destroy belly fat. They also promote fullness and prevent overeating.

  • Fish Oil (fish oil pills, salmon)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews, etc)
  • Avocado
  • Peanut Butter (get the ones that contain only peanuts; typical peanut butter contains harmful additives like hydrogenated oils and sugar)
  • Almond Butter

Photo Credit: LuckyVitamin
Vitamin supplements for a bigger booty:

  • Fenugreek (rich in phytoestrogens which regulate hormone production. fenugreek also contains diosgenin, which is a huge component that boots estrogen levels in our bodies, resulting in a bigger & rounder butt!)
  • Dong Quai ( This herb enhances the effect of curve enhancing supplements by regulating your hormone levels)
  • Gelatanized Maca (has tons of nutritional benefits, regulates hormones, and promotes curvier hips & butt) My favorite brand is Navitas Naturals Gelatanized Maca capsules

Start adding these healthy food sources into your diet, replacing the junk with the good stuff! Healthy food sources like the ones i stated above are essential for giving you the nutrients needed for proper booty growth! You'll also want to start incorporating some butt building exercises into your lifestyle, these foods will insure proper muscle recovery, giving you optimal growth in the areas you want to shape.

Topical Creams for a bigger butt:
  • There are tons of curve enhancing lotions on the market today. One in particular that has been growing in popularity is Pure Leef. It claims to boost the volume and shape of the hips and butt by stimulating fat cells. It uses natural active ingredients to stimulate the body's own fat generation, resulting in a plumper booty and curvier figure.

Do your squats:

There are many exercises you can do for a bigger, rounder booty. These exercises are definitely an essential for getting a curvier figure. I like to work out my legs & glutes about 3-4 times a week. Some of the exercises i do include, Squats, Dead-lifts, and lunges. You'll want to do these exercises with weights. Doing squats alone without weights will not grow your muscles, it will just tone the area. I also like to use the leg press machine at the gym, and the stair master. Here's a "how-to" video that was really helpful to me, http://breakingmuscle.com/video/the-6-best-exercises-for-a-bigger-stronger-booty.

I also like to wear a waist trainer while I work out. I feel like it helps with shaping an hourglass figure. I got mine from www.bombshellcurves.com.

So there you have it, with incorporating the right food, supplements, and exercises into your diet you will be on your way to a curvier figure in as little as one month! Stay consistent! The results are worth it.

Friday, September 18, 2015

What's for dinner | Thanksgiving style cheesy chicken

Thanksgiving Style Cheesy Chicken, 
with a side of hash-browns & green beans.

This is one of the easiest & quickest dinners I have ever made! 
The chicken is simple to prepare and only takes about 30 minutes total to make. 
Delicious and easy. 

| Chicken | Yields: about 6 servings |


  • 2 packages thinly sliced chicken breasts
  • Swiss Cheese (about 10-12 slices)
  • Stuffing mix (I use the chicken flavor)
  • Cream of chicken
  • Olive oil


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Grease a sheet pan, or tray with olive oil, and place chicken breast on top
  • Next, your going to add a layer of your cream-of-chicken (spread evenly over chicken breast)
  • Add a layer of cheese
  • Then, to top it all off, add an even layer of the stuffing mix
  • Cover with foil and pop in the oven for 16-20 minutes.
  • This part is optional, but i like to uncover the chicken and broil it on low for a few minutes until the stuffing mix gets nice and golden.

For my sides I made, green beans, and crispy hash-browns. Again, keeping it simple yet delicious. 

For the beans all I did was drizzle a little bit of olive oil on top, along with some salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Then I covered them with foil, and popped the beans into the oven for about 30 minutes (with my oven still set to 350 degrees). 

For the hash-browns I used "Simply Potatoes" shredded hash browns. I poured them into a bowl, added some butter, salt, and pepper, then poured my hash brown mixture into a greased sheet pan. I cooked these for 45 minutes, at 350 degrees, then broiled on low to get the top nice & golden.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Lose weight, and get healthy! Without dieting

Photo credit: cjnew / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND
Set yourself up for success toward a healthy lifestyle.

Leading a healthy lifestyle is not about strict fad diets, or restricting yourself! You can simply get on the path to a healthier, slimmer you, just by making simple swaps in your everyday life. I come from an Italian background so you can surely bet that I love to eat and cook. I never believed in following diets, I believe in small lifestyle changes that you can make and easily follow. Here is how i changed my lifestyle, lost weight, and increased my over-all health.

Photo Credit: LuckyVitamin.com

1. Don't drink your calories! - Think twice before reaching for that soda, or sweet iced tea. Some soft drinks contain more calories than your entire lunch! A 12oz can of mountain dew contains 170 calories! If there is one change you make in your diet let it be this, do not drink your calories. If you like iced tea, drink it unsweetened. You can even add some sugar substitute if you'd like. When it comes to sugar substitutes i like to keep it as natural as possible. I use Pyure Organic Stevia in my coffee every morning, or Truvia. Also, try to drink water whenever possible. Water is truly the best thing for you, it has so many benefits for health and well being. 
2. Cut out processed foods - This means no junk, no artificial ingredients, and limiting your visits to the nearest fast food drive through! Stay away from foods that contain artificial flavors and dyes, stick to real whole foods. Next time you go grocery shopping, stay out of the frozen TV dinners aisle. Try to buy as many ingredients as you can from the fresh produce section. Instead of reaching for that frozen breakfast burrito as your running out the door for work, make your own ahead of time, wrap them up and pop them in the freezer.
3. Portion Control - This is a staple in my eating habits, i try not to over-eat as much as possible. When you sit down for a meal, finish it slowly. This will give your brain enough time to get the heads up from your stomach that you are actually full. The slower you eat, the more you will enjoy the food, and you will realize when your stomach is satisfied. I like to take sips of water between bites, this helps to fill me up too. Also, I limit snacking as much as possible. Do not eat out of boredom! Only reach for a snack when you are actually hungry, and cannot possibly make it to your next meal without eating something. Snack on healthy foods with nutritional value, one of my favorite snacks is greek yogurt. I like the Dannon Oikos Triple Zero greek brand, because it has no added sugars, and contains fiber. Sometimes i take a small scoop of peanut butter and mix it into the yogurt. 
4. Eat your veggies (Fill up on the good stuff!) - I try to eat veggies with every meal. For example if im having a sandwich I will add some lettuce, tomato, onions, etc. I always find sneaky ways to incorporate veggies into my meals. Whether it be into a sauce, or as a topping on my steak. It's very important to get your daily serving of fruits & vegetables because they have lots of nutrients, and high fiber content. Fiber fills you up and prevents constipation, a key to maintaining your weight. When I go out to eat I like to have a side salad before my meal, and a big glass of water. This will fill your tummy up preventing you from overeating.
5. Go Whole Grain - Swap out white rice, bread, and pasta for whole grains. Whole grains are naturally low-fat and cholesterol free, contain 10% to 15% protein, and offer loads of fiber, minerals, & vitamins. Going "whole-grain" can help you loose belly fat. New studies have actually shown that people who incorporated more whole-grain breads, cereals, and other foods into their diets, lost more body fat from the abdominal area than those who ate only refined grains like white bread and rice. 
Photo Credit: LuckyVitamin.com
6. Drink Green Tea - Green tea is loaded with antioxidants, and metabolism boosting substances. It contains EGCG, which helps to burn fat & boost metabolism. Green tea is said to especially help with getting rid of belly fat. My favorite brand is Yogi. I like to keep my diet organic whenever possible! Yogi also has an organic decaf green tea that I like to drink in the evening. The Organic Kombucha decaf is also one of my fav's. I recommend two cups of green tea a day to benefit from it's fat fighting abilities.
7. Squeeze in exercise whenever possible - I am constantly moving, which is one of the reasons i tend not to gain weight. I try to get to the gym at least twice a week, and take walks whenever i can, run up & down my stairs a few times, do some squats while watching TV. Wherever, whenever possible I try to squeeze in exercise. There are exercises you can do without even getting up out of bed. Cosmopolitan magazine has a great article on getting toned straight from your home, or mattress. (10 exercises you can do without getting out of bed)

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Eat For For Perfect Skin | Healthy From The Inside Out

Eat your way to clear, smooth, and radiant skin.

At least once in your lifetime, you've probably heard the saying "You are what you eat". What you eat and put into your body takes a HUGE toll on the appearance of your skin. Our skin is the largest organ in our body, which is why what we eat is so important! There are certain foods you can eat that will clear, smooth, and make your skin glow. There are also certain vitamin supplements you can take to beautify the skin, I will talk more about this later. But first, here are some of the best skin beautify-ing foods that you can easily pick up at your local grocery store.

1. Egg's: Egg's contain many vitamins that benefit your skin in different ways. They contain proteins that provide a good source of amino acids. This aids your body in creating new cells, and strengthening your skin tissue.

Packed with Vitamin A, eggs also aid in your body's ability to heal wounds. Vitamin A helps your cells control gene activity, a process essential for new cell development. If you have skin issue's such as acne, eggs will help your skin to heal the acne faster, and the vitamins in eggs will help to prevent any scarring. You can also crack open an egg and use the whites as a facial mask. Just remove the yolk, and beat egg whites until fluffy. Apply this mixture to your skin, and rinse off when completely dry.

Egg's also contain iron which helps to bring oxygen to all of your skin cells. In addition the selenium in eggs helps your skin to protect itself from damage.
2. Almond's: Almonds contain Antioxidants! When plants are left out in the elements, they have to protect themselves, so they produce phenol's. Phenol's are protective chemicals that act as antioxidants to repair sun damage, and also produce a bitter taste to keep insects away. These plant phenol's also help protect people against diseases including heart disease and certain cancers. They also protect your body's largest organ, the skin.

Almonds contain Omega-3 fatty acids. These acids help support a healthy skin inflammatory response which helps achieve clearer skin. Fatty acids can also act as natural moisturizers that moisturize skin from the inside out.

Almonds also contain magnesium. Magnesium is believed to counter the effects of stress hormones, which can help with acne and have anti-aging benefits.

You can also apply sweet almond oil to your skin topically! I personally love Cetaphil's Moisturizing cream, which contains almond oil.
3. Olive Oil: Consuming olive oil, a staple in the healthy Mediterranean diet, provides antioxidants to protect your skin against free radicals and reduce inflammation. Mediterranean locals add olive oil to almost every meal, they believe it is an ancient "super food". All of my cousins who live in Italy have gorgeous skin & hair. This is mostly because they consume a diet rich in whole foods, nothing processed. Unlike European countries, American's live mostly off of processed foods. Instead of using vegetable oil, or canola oil, use olive oil. It has many benefits for your skin and overall health.
4. Blueberries: Blueberries are a good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin B complex and Vitamin C. Filled with antioxidants, blueberries help to improve many skin conditions, like blotchy skin, broken capillaries and acne.

5. Greek Yogurt: Greek yogurt contains a healing chemical which helps reduce inflammation in your skin, kills bacteria, lessens the severity of acne, and nourishes your skin cells from the inside out.
6. Salmon: Contains Omega-3 fatty acids that nourish skin from the inside out. Omega-3 fatty acids, have been shown to help reduce inflammation and signs of aging in the body. These "good fats" help protect and repair damage from the sun, and are responsible for the health and hydration of cell membranes. Omega-3 fatty acids help with keeping toxins out and help skin retain its healthy, soft, and supple appearance.

7. Avocado's: My personal Favorite beauty food, Avocado is amazing for maintaining healthy moisturized skin. This creamy food is rich in healthy mono-saturated fats (also said to reduce belly fat) and vitamin E that nourishes the skin from the inside out. Avocados are also a rich source of antioxidants. They contain anti-inflammatory, and hormone balancing properties that help to clear acne flare-ups.

Aside from eating avocado, you can add some avocado oil into your moisturizer or hair conditioner for extra benefits. I like Now Foods Avocado oil. One tiny drop is all you need, a little goes a long way. Another favorite avocado beauty product of mine is the Freeman Avocado & Oatmeal mask. I try not to use masks on my skin too much, i like to keep it down to only once a week.
8. Sweet Potato: Sweet Potatoes are rich in beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A promotes cell renewal, thereby promoting healthy clear skin. You can apply Vitamin A topically to your skin in the form of retinol. Many drugstores carry over the counter serums and creams that contain retinol. Start out using it sparingly, like twice a week. Once your skin builds up a tolerance you can apply the retinol every other day, eventually working up to using it every day. I only apply it at night-time, since retinol tends to make your skin more sensitive to the sunlight.
9. Turmeric: This incredible super-food has tons of healing properties, especially for the skin. It is widely used in India as a beauty enhancement product. Some even claim it can cure certain cancers. Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory, and cleanses the blood & lymph system, removing toxins from the body. It supports cellular health in the skin, liver, lungs, sinuses, joints, and digestive system. I like to take turmeric in supplement form, you can get it from almost any drugstore or order it online here.
10. Spinach: Eat your greens! Veggies are great for the skin because they provide a variety of nutrients and vitamins needed for your skin to be healthy.

Daily supplement's I take for clear skin & overall health:

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Avocado Toast | Easy & Healthy Snack

Yes, I know "Avocado" is spelled incorrectly in the photo's :(

  1. Spread cheese onto toast
  2. Slice avocado in half, remove the pit, and scoop out the inside of the avocado
  3. Add sliced avocado onto toast & your done! Easiest healthy snack ever

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Easy & Healthy "Gluten-Free Egg & Spinach Wrap"

  1. Crack eggs into a small bowl, add salt & pepper, and milk. Beat eggs until all of the ingredients are combined.
  2. Pour the olive oil into a small pan or skillet, and bring to medium heat.
  3. Pour the egg mixture into the pan. Scramble the eggs as they begin to cook. (How to cook perfect scrambled eggs)
  4. Once the eggs are cooked, remove them from the skillet and place them onto the wrap. Add cheese, and spinach.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Kitchen Organization Basics

De-Clutter & Organize:
Start by removing anything that is no longer of use to you. Gather items that you have not used in the past few months & will no longer use in the future. Donating these items is always a good idea, or setting up a small garage sale can be useful to bring in some extra cash. Next you'll want to organize all of the items you will keep. Start with one room at a time, for example, the kitchen. De-clutter those counters! Put away appliances. If you don't use the toaster on a daily basis, it's time to move it into the pantry (or cabinet). Keep decor simple, this will open up space in your kitchen, making the room look larger. Store kitchen rags/towels inside a drawer or canister, instead of hanging them off the stove. It is also a good idea to keep magnets on the fridge to a minimum. 

Photo credit: Aurimas Adomavicius / Foter / CC BY-ND

Keep: Items used on a regular basis
Donate/Sell: Items that are no longer of use, or items that you own duplicates of. Things you could go without, that could possibly benefit someone else.
Store: Sentimental items you want to hold onto, yet do not need cluttering up your living space.
Trash/Recycle: Things that are no longer usable.

(Photo Cred: Amazon.com)
Favorite Organization Products:

  • Spice Rack: A Spice Rack will help get all of your spices in order and in plain sight. You can get one pretty much anywhere, one of my personal faves is the Spicy Shelf. You can get it here. 
  • Foil/Saran Wrap Organizer: Keeps all of your foil, saran wrap, wax paper, and parchment paper in one place. You can get one here.
  • Under Cabinet K-cup holder: Attention coffee lovers! The Coffee Keepers under cabinet K-cup holder, takes up zero counter space, and stores all of your coffee cups in one place and out of sight. 
  • Kitchen tray & Cutting board rack: Organizing your baking sheets and cutting boards will not only free up tons of space inside your cabinets, but it will make them easy to see and remove from the cupboard. Pick one up here.
  • Under The Shelf Basket: You can use this shelf to free up space in you cabinet or pantry, and to add some extra storage. Its good for storing almost anything, from boxes of spaghetti to seasonings or zip-lock bags. You can get one from amazon, here. 
(Photo cred: Amazon.com)
(Photo cred: Amazon.com)
  • Grocery bag dispenser: One of my absolute favorite organizers for the kitchen! This dispenser holds up to 30 bags, and is super easy to install. It comes with double-sided tape adhered on the back, so you could easily attach it to your pantry wall, or the inside of one of your cabinets. You can pick one up here.
  • Tupperware Lid Organizer: Pop one of these baby's into a drawer to organize all of your Tupperware lids by size. You can get one here.
  • Pan Organizing Rack: Stops you from shifting heavy pans around to get to the one on the bottom. This rack keeps your pans easily accessible and in plain sight. Pick one up here.
  • Stack-able can organizer: Keeps all of your canned goods together. This is so perfect for the pantry! Get one here. 

Penne Alla Vodka with chicken

"Park Square Pizza's" Famous Penne Alla Vodka with Chicken

Located in Fish-hawk Ranch, Park Square Pizza Serves delicious Italian favorites. The Penne Alla Vodka dish is a customer favorite. We headed over for dinner tonight to try out the dish many speak about. I have to say, it lives up to the hype! All of their sauces are homemade, which i think makes all the difference. Pasta lovers, meet your match.


Whole Wheat Pancake Recipe


2 large eggs
3 tablespoons light brown sugar (you can also substitute splenda)
1/4 cup vegetable oil (you can also use coconut oil)
2 cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Butter for cooking, plus more for serving
Maple syrup, if desired
Fresh fruit, if desired


  1. First, whisk the eggs, oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and sugar in a large bowl, until well combined. 
  2. Then add flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and stir. You want to make sure not to over-mix the batter.
  3. Bring a large nonstick pan or skillet to medium heat, and grease the surface with a little bit of butter. 
  4. Using a spoon or ladle, add 1/4 cup spoonfuls of pancake batter onto the pan. (I find it really easy to use an ice cream scoop for this part) 
  5. Cook for a couple of minutes, or until bubbles begin to form on the surface of the pancake and the bottom is golden. Carefully flip and cook until the other side is golden. If necessary, keep warm in a 300°F oven until ready to serve. Serve with fruit, and maple syrup.