Brightening up, Looking to Spring 2017

Spring is not quite here– but it’s close! California is getting an amazing amount of gorgeous, wonderful rain this winter, which has brought plenty of gray skies with it. A clear, blue day has become something of an anomaly and I find myself gravitating to bright, spring-toned colors to cope.

My 2017 cobalt-blue Sugar Paper Planner is probably most indicative of my current color leanings. However, I’ve also picked up lipsticks from Burt’s Bees in Tulip Tide, Blush Basin and Lily Lake that are both easy to wear and nourishing on the lips.

My current favorite nail polish is Essie’s Angora Cardi and it’s worn well with minimal chipping for the last seven days. I’m almost certain that I’ll being using it again through the end of the month.

My last spring inspiration is Fragonard’s Pebble Soap. It’s so incredibly fragrant that the scent fills an entire room for days and days. It’s also moisturizing and creamy, and lifts my mood whenever I use it.

So, until spring arrives– I’ll find ways to make do. Hope your winter is going well and if you have any tips for brightening moods, be sure to leave a comment.


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Easy Granola Recipe with Cacao nibs, coconut oil, flaxseed and dried cherries

This is currently my favorite granola recipe!* I add it to smoothie bowls, milk or plain yogurt, or even just much on it by itself for a snack.

3 cups rolled oats
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup cacao nibs
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 tbsp vanilla syrup (optional)
2 1/2 tbsp flaxseed meal
1 tbsp cinnamon (ceylon, if possible)
1 tsp salt
1 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 250 F. In one mixing bowl, combine oats, almonds and cacao nibs. In another mixing bowl, combine coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla syrup, flaxseed meal and salt. Pour the wet mixture over the dry oats and nuts, and then toss until evenly coated.

On a cookie sheet, spread the granola evenly (I use parchment paper over the cookie sheet to keep the granola from sticking to the sheet but it isn’t necessary). Sprinkle cinnamon over the granola.

Place the granola into the oven for 1.25 hours, stirring every 15 minutes to make sure it toasts evenly, then remove. Once it cools, put it in an airtight storage container and then add the cherries and chocolate chips. After fitting the lid on the storage container, you can shake it to mix the cherries and chocolate chips into the granola. This mix should be good for up to two weeks depending on your climate.

*I use Alton Brown’s wet/dry ratio as well as baking time and temperature from his recipe on the Food Network website.

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Black Friday 2016: Yosemite National Park

Last year, I decided to skip the shops on Black Friday to head outdoors and it’s now become a tradition. This year, I decided to drive up to Yosemite National Park the day after Thanksgiving– which can be a beautiful though slightly dangerous place to visit in November. This time of year, the famous Tioga Road is closed for the season, often not reopening until the following May, due to heavy and unpredictable snowfall. However, Yosemite Valley was hopping, snow was on the ground in higher elevations, and a good time was had by all!


yoesmite-valley-in-autumn yosemite-falls yosemite-sunset-2 yosemite-sunset

As much as I appreciate finding a good deal in a shop, this was so much better. I’m already making plans for next year. Hope you all had as wonderful a day!

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Fragrance: Transition to Fall


It has been quite a long time since I last posted about fragrances– I tend to think the most about which scents I’m wearing when seasons start to change, and so here I go! Let’s chat about letting go of summer and charging straight into fall.

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My Go-To Acne Breakout Treatment: Alpha Skin Care Intensive Rejuvenating Serum


Quick Note: This product recently underwent a name change– I first started using this product when it was called Alpha Hydrox: Intensive Serum 14% Glycolic AHA.

Let me start off by stating that I use Tazorac, a prescription gel, to combat adult acne. It’s pretty rare that I breakout these days. However, it still happens from time to time. Especially if I forget to refill my prescription in time, which I did quite recently.

I’ve been dealing with a breakout for the last three days that is now mostly on its way to being healed on my chin and lower jawline. Thankfully– I have a pretty powerful breakout treatment that I can get over the counter: Alpha Skin Care Intensive Rejuvenating Serum (I pick mine up at Ulta but it’s also available online and at other drug stores).

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