Donut Fest Cleveland

This post is long over due but my sister, brother-in-law and I attended Donut Fest in early Feb and it was pretty darn amazing. Of course we invested in VIP tickets because we wanted to get all the warm donuts ūüôā

Donut fest was put on in 3 cities, New York, Chicago, and Cleveland. I know..who woulda guessed Cleveland. But I was pretty pumped to be able to go and visit my sister and pig out on donuts all at once.

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When we first arrived they gave us goodie bags filled with our tickets for donuts and coffee, a coffee mug, and a bunch of coupons. There were 12 donut venders and and 6 coffee vendors. At first I thought that wasn’t very many but once we started we realized it was more than enough. They also had a local dairy farm come to supply the most delicious chocolate milk I’ve ever tasted.¬†screen-shot-2017-03-01-at-11-14-22-am_o6a6761_o6a6762

We were able to try one donut from each place and let me tell you, I was in heaven. By the end, we almost had to be rolled out of there. To name a few of my favorite, the donut pictured above had these caramelized Rice Krispie treats on top that I couldn’t get enough of. I’m seriously going to put them on everything from now on.

My absolute favorite though was a donut hole infused with champagne chocolate frosting. It was incredible and I could’ve had ten.

While those were just a few of my faves the winner of the fest was…..

PEACE LOVE AND LITTLE DONUTS!¬†¬†I didn’t quite love the donut they provided at the fest but I’ve been to their shop with my sister before and we love their donuts. They are the perfect size and I like being able to watch them make it right in front you._o6a6784

Overall, I had an amazing time and will definitely be attending any future Donut Fests I can get my hands on. Have a great Sunday everyone! ūüôā

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Be Mine

Just because I don’t have a date this Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean I can’t dress up for it! And when I say dress up I mean dress down because this casual look is everything to me right now.

ILY Couture not only makes adorable graphic tees and sweatshirts for every holiday, but they also make the most comfortable clothes ever. This tee is so soft I’ve worn it more days in a row than I care to admit. I’m also hoping the more I wear it, the more guys I’ll get asking me to be their Valentine. Just kidding about that last part…kind of.

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So whether you’ve got a hot date this Valentine’s Day or you’re just lounging on your couch eating a whole box of chocolates alone…you won’t regret getting one of these soft and adorable shirts from ILYCouture! Trust me on this one.

You guys can shop my look here:

Top Shop Jeans

Kiss Kiss Tee Shirt

Heart on Sleeve Sweatshirt

Heart Sweatshirt

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No Turning Back

2017 has already been a huge year for me. Even though I was only in LA for less than a year, this past weekend, I packed up my apartment in Santa Monica and drove the U-haul back to the Bay Area. Sadly yes, that means no more Alfred coffee or tea… ūüė¶

When I first moved to LA and people would ask me why, I would say I needed a change. But after living there for a few months I realized it wasn’t the place that needed to change, it was me. Ya see, I have learned that I have a tendency to self sabotage. Whether it was when I was in school or recently with my career. Heck I even do it with some of my relationships.

For those of you that are unfamiliar with what it means to self sabotage. I’ll give you the simplest explanation. I am constantly getting in the way of my own success. And as much as I hate to admit it, this most likely stems from fear. Fear of failing. Fear of being unhappy. Fear of disappointing the people I love. Whatever the reason, I’m sick of living in this¬†la la land and I’m finally going to do something about it. I refuse to let fear control my life.

I may be moving back home but I couldn’t be happier. A place can’t determine my happiness and success, only I can. And in 2017, I’m going all in. In all aspects of my life, whether it’s with my career or falling in love, I am choosing to succeed. I am choosing to be happy.

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What are you guys doing to better yourselves this year? I’d love to hear!

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Like my outfit? Find it here:

Fringe Sweater

J. Brand Jeans

Steve Madden Booties

Kate Spade Purse

 

The Perfect Valentine’s Skirt

I LOVE Valentine’s Day! I may be super single, but Valentine’s Day, to me, is so much more than celebrating with a significant other. It’s about appreciating ALL of your loved ones whether that be your boyfriend, friends, your family, or even just yourself! ¬†I spoiled myself a little with this skirt. It’s definitely not something I would wear everyday but for Valentine’s day it’s perfect!¬†id3a5287id3a5293

It is super comfortable, has a lot of movement, and it’s adorable! I paired it with a cozy J.Crew sweater but it would look super cute¬†with a blouse or tank top as well. It’s perfect for your Galentine’s day or date night needs ūüôā

You can find my outfit details here:

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My sister got me this Mantraband bracelet not too long ago and while it is very cute,¬†it’s the message that I love the most about it. It says to enjoy the journey, something that we so often forget to do. It’s easy to get stuck in a¬†routine or constantly worry about your next move and forget to just appreciate what you have right now. Sometimes it’s good to take a step back, look around and say, “Hey I’m here, I’m breathing, and I have a lot to be thankful for.” This bracelet serves as a reminder to enjoy my¬†journey each and every day and maybe it can do the same for you!

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What are some of your favorite “Mantras”? I’d love to hear!

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Best Donuts in Nashville

My friend and I took a quick trip to Nashville over NYE weekend and the majority of our time was spent eating. Whether it was barbecue, tacos, or late night drunchies, our trip pretty much revolved around what our next meal would be!

I had heard so many great things about Five Daughters Bakery in Nashville that I had to check it out for myself. It was so delicious, I had to go back a second time before we headed home. My favorite donut was the simple vanilla sugar and my friend Jamie loved the vanilla cream!

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Nothing is sweeter than family!

While the donuts were amazing, I also loved the story behind the bakery. The bakery is owned and operated by a young couple and their five daughters. The husband just so happens to be a third generation baker (hence the friggin delicious donuts)! The bakery is bright and colorful and when you walk in it just feels super homey. There are family pictures on the walls, as well as adorable signs and decorations. They even had a christmas tree up in the front room!

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They also are a company that values giving back! In the front of their shop they were selling a few goodies and had a bunch of information on an organization called Given Ministries. Given works to rescue children and their families from trafficking and slavery around the world. Their mission is to rescue, restore, and reentry. Not only do they remove people physically from these enslaved situations but they offer rehabilitation to restore their emotional health as well. Lastly, they work on reentry, to give these people the necessary skills to form a career so they never have to look back. Learn more about this awesome organization here: http://www.givenministries.org

It truly was an great experience visiting Five Daughters Bakery and I can’t wait to go back soon! What is your favorite local bakery?! I’d love to visit one day!screen-shot-2016-11-18-at-2-05-16-pm

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Chocolate Dream Loaf

If you hadn’t already guessed, I have an insane sweet tooth. And I’m not saying I have a few pieces of candy here and there. I’m talking eat a dozen cookies and half the batter in one sitting kind of sweet tooth. It’ll probably be a problem for me in years to come, but hey it makes me happy so I’m not pulling this tooth anytime soon.
For those of you who also love sweets or just want to make something yummy for others, this Chocolate Dream Loaf’s name speaks for itself. It tastes like a dream come true. I’ve baked this loaf a few times now and every single time it turns out just so damn moist. I sliced off a piece of this loaf three days after making it and it was just as fresh and delicious as day one.
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I love this recipe because it’s super easy to make (though does make quite a few dirty dishes) and it also makes a great gift!
You can find the recipe here:

CHOCOLATE DREAM LOAF

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Whole¬†Milk
  • 1/2 cup¬†Cocoa Powder
  • 1/4 cup Plain Yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cup Flour
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 6 tbsp. Butter, softened
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 tbsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 cup¬†Semisweet¬†Chocolate Chips

Instructions: 

1.¬†Preheat oven to 350 ¬įF and grease¬†a 9 x 5-in loaf pan.

2. In a bowl, whisk milk into cocoa powder to make a smooth paste; then whisk in the yogurt and set aside.

3. In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

4. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy; beat in eggs one at a time and vanilla extract.

5. Take turns stirring in flour mixture and milk mixture, making around 3 additions of each at a time. Fold in chocolate chips.

6. Spread into prepared pan. Bake for 60 to 70 min. Let cool in pan for 15 min. Turn over onto rack, remove the pan and let it cool completely.

7. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy!

Hope you guys enjoy it as much as I do!

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I put together a list of a few of the necessary and affordable kitchen supplies! You can shop for them below:

Plaid on Plaid

Plaid has become a hugely popular pattern and it’s definitely a staple in my wardrobe. I’ve always considered plaid to be mostly a winter/ holiday pattern and after reading an article on the smithsonianmag.com, there is actually an interesting correlation.

Apparently plaid goes back at least 3,000 years to when it was first called “tartan.” It was used to describe the different patterned clothes of the Scottish clans. They mainly wore the same colors but “plaids” were the heavy coats worn to survive the unbearable Scottish winters. They then became popular when the American and British started recreating the fabric of tartans in all kinds of clothing items.

I’ll definitely be thanking the Scottish every time I throw on my favorite plaid scarf or curl up next to the fire with my cozy plaid blanket!

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Like my outfit?! You can find my outfit here: J. Crew Top, Madewell Beanie, Plaid Scarf, Rag & Bone Jeans, Dolce Vita Ankle Boots

While we may not need a tartan to keep us warm in Los Angeles, there are quite a few people that need help staying warm this winter. One Warm Coat is an organization that provides anyone in need with a coat. Donate any of your old coats or check out onewarmcoat.org to figure out other ways to can keep someone warm today!

What’s your favorite winter apparel?! I’d love to hear ūüôā

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Spiked Peppermint Hot Cocoa

I’m currently flying over these seriously magical clouds on my way to Cleveland and it made me think of this delicious whipped cream I made the other day.

I used the whipped cream on just about everything I could think of. It was¬†perfect on a cup of my favorite spiked peppermint mocha hot cocoa.¬†I wanted to share this heavenly recipe with you just in time for Christmas! Hot cocoa during the holidays is a must but sometimes it‚Äôs fun to spice things up by adding some peppermint schnapps and Bailey‚Äôs. You can make it without the alcohol¬†though if you are under 21 or just don’t drink¬†and it tastes just as good!

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Here is the recipe to warm your soul this holiday season!
Ingredients:

SPIKED PEPPERMINT MOCHA HOT CHOCOLATE

  • 1 1/2 cup Whole¬†Milk
  • 1/3 cup¬†Coffee-Mate¬†Peppermint Mocha Creamer
  • 5 1/2 ounces Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
  • 3¬†tablespoons Irish Cream, optional
  • 2 tablespoons Peppermint Schnapps, optional
  • Marshmallows, Crushed Peppermint Candy Canes, or Whipped Cream Cutouts

WHIPPED CREAM CUTOUTS

  • 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 2 tablespoons Sugar

DIRECTIONS:

SPIKED PEPPERMINT HOT CHOCOLATE

Add the milk, peppermint mocha creamer, and chocolate to a small pot. Bring the mixture to a boil over low heat, mixing constantly with a whisk.

Continue to cook on low for about 1 minute, while whisking. Then turn off the heat, and slowly stir in the peppermint schnapps and Irish cream.

Serve immediately, topping with either whipped cream, marshmallows, peppermint, or all of the above!

WHIPPED CREAM

In a chilled bowl add the cream and sugar and whisk at a medium speed until the cream begins to thicken.

Line a baking tray with parchment paper and spread the whipped cream out into an even layer. Place in the freezer for a few hours or until completely firm. Using a cookie cutter cut out shapes of the whipped cream and store in a freezer-safe container until ready to use!

Important:

Do not serve alcoholic beverages to persons under age 21. This recipe can be prepared without the Irish cream for serving to minors, or anyone who does not consume alcoholic beverages.

How do you guys like your hot cocoa?! I’d love to hear!

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DOGgone Good Cause

The night before Thanksgiving, my sisters and I had just picked-up dinner and were driving back home on a dark and busy street. Cars were braking and my sister yelled, “oh my god, there’s a puppy in the road!” We both got out of the car to grab the dog, I finally was able to chase her down. She was not a puppy, but a very old dachshund. We pulled our car over and went house to house in the area for an hour. ¬†Then we called¬†shelters, animal control, the sheriff, and anyone we could think of to help, however, being the night before Thanksgiving, everything was closed. ¬†We gave up and took the dog back to our house.¬†The whole night the poor pup was making this terrible noise. ¬†It was like she was telling us how badly she wanted to go home.

The next morning we thought to text the woman who walks our pug – thinking she might recognize the dog or could at least provide some guidance. ¬†Guess what?? ¬†It was a¬†Thanksgiving miracle… she¬†knew the dog! ¬†Her name was Moo Moo and her parents were out of town for the weekend.

What surprised us the most was that¬†no¬†one had stopped to help the dog.¬†I couldn’t help but think what could’ve happened to this sweet girl had someone¬†not stopped to get¬†her. She could’ve been hit by a car, eaten by an animal, or taken to an animal shelter. Luckily though she’s home safe and sound with her family.

This kind of parallels the story of Blue, the pup pictured below.¬†This cute little guy belongs to my sister and brother-in-law. They rescued him from a kill shelter in¬†Rancho Cucamonga a few years ago. He has been such a big part of our family ever since. But before then his life wasn’t so easy. Animal Control found him wandering the streets malnourished with scabs all over his body. ¬†He was a mess with parasites, kennel cough, an eye infection and seizures when they first adopted him. ¬†It’s crazy to see how he’s transformed from a sick and timid dog into such a loving and adorable part of our family.

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Blue is a great example of why everyone should adopt! There are so many dogs in shelters that could really use a happy home. I know that a lot of people are unable to adopt but there are other ways to help those animals in need!

I got this shirt from a company called Treat Dreams. They have adorable shirts, mugs, as well as gourmet baked treats for your pets! I love this company not only for providing me with this hilarious shirt, but for what they stand for: 10% of their proceeds from every purchase goes to a different Canine Rescue Group each month. Check them out here and see more of their amazing products: https://treatdreamsthedogbakery.com

Treekisser is a similar company that donates 10% of its sales to animal rescue and advocacy organizations! You can purchase one of these shirts by clicking on the images below:

     

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5 Gifts that Give Back

The holidays are coming up fast!  What better gift to give someone than the gift of helping others. For the family and friends you struggle to buy for every year, I found your solution. I put together a list of my favorite companies that not only sell great items people will love, but stand for something much greater than any physical gift you could receive.

1. The Home T

This company makes apparel and home decor from each state.  Their items super cute and for those who like comfort Рtheir shirts are insanely soft. The best part about this company though, is that 10% of their proceeds go to multiple sclerosis research, a disease that affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide. Click on the image below to get this shirt from amazon or head to their website to learn more: https://www.thehomet.com

2. Bloom & Give

This company sells adorable clutches and scarves while donating 50% of their profits to support girl’s education programs in India. No that wasn’t a typo, I said 50%!! This company is making strides in one of the world’s most impoverished countries.¬†You can get your friend a cute bag and help support India’s gender equality in education at the same time. Who wouldn’t love to get that gift during the holidays?! Shop their bag selection here:¬†https://www.bloomandgive.com/collections/bags

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Taken from bloomandgive.com

3. Bird + Stone

This jewelry company gives opportunities to widowed Kenyan women who aspire to be independent.   This opportunity helps to bring these women out of poverty.  You can learn more about it and purchase this cuff here: https://shop.birdandstone.com/bracelets/dreambuilder-cuff

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Image from birdandstone.com

4. Toms

I’m sure most of you have already heard of Toms, but did you know they make super cute wedges and booties now?! I’m serious – they have some shoes that I mistook for Steve Maddens the other day. Toms has always had the motto One for One. For every pair of shoes purchased they give a pair to kids in need.¬†For every pair of glasses sold, a person in need receives an eye exam and treatment. For each bag of Toms coffee sold, 140 liters of safe water is provided to a person in need. Toms is doing some really amazing things, so why not join in¬†this holiday. You can purchase a pair of Toms booties by clicking on the image below or head to¬†http://www.toms.com to see what other goodies they have in stock!

5. Alex and Ani

Charity by Design is a segment of this jewelry company that gives back to organizations that mean the most to you! This bracelet in particular is of a Lotus Blossom which symbolizes beauty, strength, and grace. 20% of the purchase price for every one of these bracelets sold goes to Women & Infants Hospital, one of the best hospitals for women and newborns. You can purchase this bracelet by clicking on the image below or go to their website and see what other charities/bracelets someone would love to get this holiday season: http://www.alexandani.com/collections/charity-by-design.html

What our some of your favorite companies that give back?

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