I like to maximize my fashion budget by purchasing multi-use pieces. You know things like; a dress that’s perfect for wandering around the public market and perfect for a bridal shower, jeans to dress up and dress down, shirts for yoga and paired with jeans or a skirt for a spring or summer day.

Lux and Lovely is a boutique online store, founded by two sisters, that I’m loving right now. Their goal is simple: enhance confidence through affordable fashion pieces that are stylish and timeless.

Their pieces aren’t just timeless, they’re great to add to your wardrobe for many outfit variations. Plus, they focus on offering products with prices that won’t drain your account. Even better if you can wear them many ways!

I got a chance to try out two tops from Lux and Lovely. I wore both to yoga and both to various outings/work.

Oh, and they offer FREE shipping. Can’t beat that! I hate buying online and paying shipping fees so I only buy from stores and online shops with free shipping.

Anchor Tank


This is one of my new favorite tank tops! It is extremely flattering and hangs perfectly with no cling to my sides or front (that’s a biggie for me). It’s sooo soft too.
IMG_4906

IMG_5040

I easily paired it for yoga class with leggings, plus wore it work with jeans and a cardigan. I can’t wait to wear it with jean shorts in the summertime.
IMG_5041

IMG_5044

The best part about this shirt is that it’s made in the USA. I love supporting brands and products that are made in the USA. One of my other favorite USA brands is Alex and Ani.

This tank retails for $32 and for all of the uses you can get from it, I think it’s worth it. It comes in a great grey too. I want the grey one now!! As much as I like wearing colors and usually get compliments when I do, I’m definitely like my basic blacks and greys.

Weekend Deep Neck Pullover in Coral


Great name for a unique piece! I wore it over a tank to yoga class and with jeans for running around on a weekend. I think it would be great paired with a light wash or white jean for a summer dinner out.
IMG_5042

IMG_5043

The cowl deep neck can be worn more open or closed up — obviously with a tank underneath :) It’s a great layering piece for fitness or everyday wear.

The pullover retails at $25 and comes in the super trendy mint color as well.

Lux and Lovely has beautiful accessories in addition to clothes. Remember, people, FREE shipping! And some products are made in the USA. Look fashionable and support your country (if you’re American)!

Check out Lux and Lovely on:
Twitter
Facebook
Instagram

Please note: I was provided the tops free of charge. However, all opinions about Lux and Lovely are genuine, and my own.

 photo Signature_zpsc4dfd5af.png

This past weekend was my cousin, Brianna’s, wedding shower down in Philly.

My mom, aunt and I drove down Saturday AM for the shower. It was held at Bridget Foy’s in South Philly. The other bridesmaids did a beautiful job with decorations! It was rustic, whimsical and dainty.

IMG_4983

IMG_4994

IMG_4980

Favors from the amazing 4th Street Cookie.
IMG_4987

I was in charge of games! One game we played was the clothespin game. Guests aren’t supposed to say specific words during the shower, and if they do someone snatches their clothespin. It was hilarious and some people got competitive (in a good way). It was a perfect ice breaker.
IMG_4990

IMG_4977

The second game was a printout of 17 facts about the bride and groom. Guests had to guess who each fact was about. There were a few surprises!
IMG_5011

The bride and some bridesmaids!
IMG_5033

Me & Mom.
IMG_5031

Later on, we all went out to dinner at Chiarellas, an Italian restaurant that was revamped after being feature on Kitchen Nightmares.

It was the most fun I’ve had in a long time. It was perfect in so many ways.
IMG_5029

IMG_5028

Philly had beautiful weather and the cherry blossoms were blooming. Sad to leave but had a wonderful, loving weekend. Feeling grateful!
IMG_5020

 photo Signature_zpsc4dfd5af.png

I know, Craigslist gets a bad rap sometimes. I mean, I can’t blame people for being wary. It’s been the center of many tragedies like the Craigslist killer, and is filled with oddities.

With all of the bad stuff aside, I can’t get enough of Craigslist. I’ve been a fan for quite a few years and wanted to scream at the top of my lungs: I LOVE CRAIGSLIST.
craigslist

One of the main reasons I love Craigslist is job hunting. I always tell friends who are searching for a job to check CL. I’ve found two jobs/internships from Craigslist.

It’s also a great way to sell and buy pretty much ANYTHING. I’ve bought couches, dressers, decorations and cars off Craigslist.

Two of my little known CL secrets is checking the “ETC” and “Gigs” sections. Amidst all of the bondage-laced listings, inappropriate model requests and of course a few scams, there can be some real gems. For instance, I once sat in a focus group for Harley Davidson and earned $50 for a couple hours of my time. Luckily I went with a friend so it made for a memorable and unique experience.

As always, use your best judgement while perusing CL. The site is filled with lots of goodies and lots of not-so-goodies. If a listing contains many errors, odd language, inappropriate languages/requests, emails or phone numbers with odd characters like a string of numbers/letters, or the ad just seems weird to you, then move along. No need to waste time with garbage scammers. If you ever meet up with a Craigslist seller, please go with someone else. Buddy system!

Here’s some more ways I have successfully used Craigslist:
-Found an internship in Boston during college
-Found my current position
-Rented two apartments listed on CL
-Was a part of a Harley Davidson focus group and earned $50
-Bought iPod from a nice 12-year old who was selling it veryyyy cheap (am I a bad person?)
-Took a 20 minute survey on tanning and earned $25 to Amazon
-Bought countless dressers (I have a thing for dressers)
-Bought three couches and sold one of them back on Craigslist when it didn’t fit up my stairway
-Bought two cars
-Sold the two aforementioned cars above on CL
-Found Lux and Lovely boutique and received a few shirts from them to try
-Garage sale hunting
-Learned about local leisure/fitness classes
-Bought home decor like mirrors and side tables
-Bought a bike

If you’re super bored, you can also check out Craigslist “Missed Connections” section to see if you’re the shiny-haired, pretty girl from the grocery store that someone has been yearning to meet. Hey, worth a shot (maybe …).

I want to hear from you!
Are you a Craigslist fan or does it skeeve you out?
Have you found or bought anything on Craigslist?

 photo Signature_zpsc4dfd5af.png

It’s no joke that I like coffee. Have you seen my blog name? Now, I’m no coffee connoisseur. I leave the French press up to the French, and I’d never even entertain the idea of drinking coffee black. Hell, I probably only drink hot coffee 3 times a year. Desperate times, people, desperate times.

I’m an iced coffee gal. Yes, even when it is -12°. FYI: This is a judge-free zone. Keep that in mind.

If I’m not drinking a Hanson Milk Tea, aka Black Widow, aka half iced tea and half iced coffee from Starbucks, I’m drinking an iced coffee from Dunkin’ or any other local coffee place. I get one every.single.morning. 7 days a week. I know, it costs money. It’s my thing.

But you know what is annoying about my beloved iced coffee? When the damn ice cubes get all melty and watery. It’s so rude, you know?

So, like, why not make ice cubes that aren’t ice.
IMG_4940

They’re coffee!

I brewed a normal 3 cups of Dunkin’ Caramel Coffee and added in 1-2 tbsp. Stevia/sugar blend. Then poured the coffee into an ice cube tray. It filled up the tray perfectly! Place the tray into the freezer for at least a few hours.

When I was ready for some iced coffee I warmed up a cup of Almond milk. If you don’t slightly warm up your milk of choice, the coffee cubes won’t melt much and it’ll just be a glass of a milk :)
IMG_4937

After the milk is warmed, drop in a few iced coffee cubes, stir well and enjoy! No more watery cubes. Say it with me now!
IMG_4938

Tip: The key is to put your sweetener into the warm coffee before pouring into the ice cube tray. That way it dissolves evenly.

IMG_4939

 photo Signature_zpsc4dfd5af.png

Friday
I did a little post-work shopping since I was meeting my friend from the gym, Elsa, at dinner near the mall.

Silly girl that I am ended up buying a sweater even though it’s “Spring.” Silly city that Rochester is, it ended up snowing that night. Glad I bought the sweater.
IMG_4960

Elsa suggested a new asian restaurant called Papaya to try. It was really refreshing to eat somewhere totally different and new. Plus, the staff was incredible. So attentive and constantly checking in to ensure everything was good for us.

I order pineapple and cashew fried rice with shrimp. Let me tell you it was AWESOME. Wonderful flavors with a kick of spice.
IMG_4934

Elsa got some mango/crab sushi and said it was great.
IMG_4936

For the rest of the night I ended up just laying low and working on designing a bridal game for my cousin’s shower next weekend in Philly.

Saturday
I was #Roc living at Boulder Coffee with Ashley from Saving Money In Your Twenties Saturday morning. We caught up and talked all things blogging and non-blogging.
IMG_4949

Then I did my usual Saturday errand spurt around town. Some returns, more bridal shower errands/crafting, etc., etc.
IMG_4951

Later on I let loose with some Karaoke and girlfriends! Emily from Greens and Granola included! I rarely go out, or at least haven’t in quite some time throughout this past winter. It was really fun to dance and sing with everyone! I know I usually end up going out more when it gets nicer out so I’m definitely looking forward to more outings! Even if I stay up later than my usual 11 p.m. weekend cut-off! #Lame
IMG_4961

Sunday
It’s Sauce Sunday! I was SO exciting to spend time with my Mom and her friends learning how to make sauce.I’m negative percent Italian but I loveeeee me some Italian gravy. My Mom’s friend makes her own sauce and pasta so she gave us a bit of a tutorial. Plus I got a LOT of leftovers and she was gracious enough to make a separate vegetarian sauce for me :)
IMG_4957

Homemade pasta! The real deal.
IMG_4958

Voila!
IMG_4959

 photo Signature_zpsc4dfd5af.png

I’m pretty sure chocolate chip cookies are my favorite cookies. They’re timeless and a real classic. Reminiscent of childhood. Nothing beats chocolate chip cookies, they’re the real deal.

With homemade chocolate too. What more could you want?
homemade choc

Here’s a recipe for chocolate chip cookies that can cater to people on different types of diets like Paleo or dairy free. With natural sugars and almond flour, these are moist and subtly sweet cookies that will satisfy any Paleo sweet tooth.

cookies 2

Ingredents:
-2 cups almond flour
-1 tbsp. coconut flour
-1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
-1/4 cup maple syrup
-1 egg
-1/2 tsp. salt
-1 tsp. baking powder
-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
-chocolate chips (Paleo friendly = Enjoy Life or homemade chocolate)

Recipe yields 15 cookies.

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a medium mixing bowl, add and mix all dry ingredients (almond flour, coconut flour, salt, baking powder). In a separate large bowl, mix all wet ingredients well (maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla, egg). Pour half of dry ingredients into wet ingredient bowl. Mix well and add the other half.

Scoop 1 inch dough balls onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 11 minutes. Let cool on cookie sheet. Remove with a spatula as bottoms may stick a little.

cookies 3

chocolate chip cookies 1

Tip: If there’s one thing I’ve learned from these cookies it’s that they’re best once cooled. And even better the next day.

 photo Signature_zpsc4dfd5af.png

Do you ever have weekends or periods of time where it feels like it’s EVERYONE’S birthday? Well, that was me this past weekend. I love celebrating birthdays so it was really fun, plus I’ll take any excuse to eat cake!

David and I celebrated four birthdays over the weekend! His brother, his nephew, my mother, my brother’s girlfriend.

Friday we went to dinner with his family to good ol’ Red Lobster for his brother’s birthday, Saturday we celebrated his nephew’s 2nd birthday and my mom and brother’s girlfriend, Becca’s, birthdays.

Cake, cake, cake … cue Rihanna.
IMG_4857

IMG_4863

The Best.
2nd birthday

Weekend Slices of Life

Happy Spring! LOL/JKKK. Nothing like a March 29th Winter Storm with nearly a foot of snow.
IMG_4864

Found out I am obsessed with Gnocchi. Needless to say, I won the clean plate award.
IMG_4862

Froyo.
IMG_4858

Have you ever seen this stuff? My brother got it for Becca for her birthday. She said it’s really good.
IMG_4861

Absolutely delicious almond flour pancakes from Carrots ‘n Cake. David made his own almond milk in Philly and dried out the ‘pulp’ to make almond meal and brought it to me this past week :) It’s awesome to get two products from just one bunch of almonds.
IMG_4859

IMG_4905

Speaking of almond flour … almond flour english muffin egg sandwiches for David’s Sunday breakfast. So easy to make, check out the recipe here.
IMG_4904

My new favorite tank from Lux and Lovely Boutique. Seriously, how cute is this?
IMG_4906

 photo Signature_zpsc4dfd5af.png

It really hasn’t sprung yet and it’s killing me! Today I wore a dress I got in Montreal and it just got me so excited about dress season aka spring/summer. It’s coming, I know it is!

Until then, I will try to remain positive and remember that ….
laughing quote

IMG_4856

 photo Signature_zpsc4dfd5af.png

I may be a little late to hop on the Ezekiel bread train. I’ve read a lot about sprouted bread and finally bought a frozen loaf of 7 Sprouted Grain a few weeks back. The flavor is great, plus the bread is supposedly one of the healthiest/best bread options you can eat. You can buy loaves both frozen and unfrozen.
rebeldietitianus

What exactly are “sprouted” grains?

Well, grains and seeds have a life cycle that turns them into a plant. During the cycle, there’s a time when the seed/grain has begun to sprout into a plant but is not yet fully developed. At this time the nutrients are said to be higher and more ‘bioavailable’ than they would be at an earlier time in the cycle. In addition, research suggests the nutrients are not only higher but also more easily absorbed due to decreased phytic acid, an element that binds to minerals and is not digested or absorbed by the body. So essentially, phytic acid steals all of the minerals from foods and removes them from your body which disables you to reap any benefits from the minerals.

In the sprouting phase, the grain/seed also loses some of it’s starchiness which causes for an easier digestion for some people.

What’s the deal with sprouted bread?

On top of the information I shared above, including higher nutrient count and the possibility for an easier digestion, sprouted bread also doesn’t contain any added sugars like nearly every other bread on the market. One study indicated that people had a reduced blood sugar response/spike when ingesting sprouted grains versus other grains.

Ezekiel bread is a very popular brand of sprouted bread products. It’s a common misconception that sprouted grains and Ezekiel bread are gluten free. They are not. Although they may contain a reduced amount of gluten, the products most definitely contain gluten.

So far I have only tried 7 Sprouted Grains but Ezekiel offers a variety of flavors and products including english muffins, Cinnamon Raisin bread (next one on my list to try), Flax, pita pockets, tortillas, sesame bread, pasta and cereal. Check out a list of products here!

Favorite ways to eat Ezekiel

As a sandwich! I’ve eaten Ezekiel bread sandwiches with fried eggs and cheese, tuna salad and almond butter and jelly.
egg sandwich asparagus

It makes a great sandwich bread, especially toasted.
tuna ezekiel

I really want to try Tina at Carrots ‘n Cake’s Blueberry French Toast bake with Ezekiel.

I also make some french toast with Ezekiel bread. It was pretty good but I did have to soak it in Maple Syrup since the bread is a little drier than a standard bread.
eggs and french toast

So far I’ve noticed Ezekiel bread is available at Trader Joe’s (unfrozen) and Wegmans (frozen).

Check out some past Fab Food Finds!
Better n’ Peanut Butter
PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter
Quark
Cookie Butter

I want to hear from you!
Have you ever tried a sprouted grain before?

Please note: I am in no way affiliated with this brand, I simply like the products! All opinions in this post are my own.

 photo Signature_zpsc4dfd5af.png

Bonjour, Salut!

I’m still speaking a little bit of French (we are talkin’ French 101) from my trip to Montreal this past weekend.

I took French in high school and college and was never any good. But my education actually proved to be very helpful when I visited Paris in college. It’s amazing how much comes back to you when you REALLY need it.

Since Montreal is a bilingual city, almost everyone speaks both French and English but I still tried to speak some French even if it was just simple greetings. I still remembered a lot!

Friday
I left work early and stopped home to David prepping some road snacks for the trip.

He got a lot …

We snacked on berries, cantaloupe, bananas, pistachios (he shelled them for me!), almonds, homemade guac (David makes great guac), celery, carrots and some Honest Teas for our 6 hour car ride to Montreal.

IMG_4775

The plan was to snack so that we could save room for a big Poutine late-night dinner.

I was the driver as we went through customs into Canada and cracked a joke with the border patrol. When he asked if we palnned on leaving anything in Montreal I pointed at David and said “Maybe him!” I THINK I got a teeny crack of a smile from him but regardless he let us go and I burst out laughing. I have no idea what possessed me to try to JOKE at the border but something did and luckily we got away unscathed.

Once we arrived in the city and circled around a few times, we got to the boutique hotel we were staying at on Rue St. Denis, a popular and busy street in the city.

The hotel was great. Small, quaint and the staff was very helpful with all of our inquiries.

We had a reservation for a comedy show so after dropping our bags off we pretty much turned back around to walk to the metro. Of course we got pretty lost waking around after the metro so we were late to the show but luckily they had a few openers and the headliner had not started yet. Thank gosh because we were almost at a breaking point. Traveling can be stressful especially when you have a hard time navigating. Plus it was all in another language.

The comedian was really funny. He was Canadian so he definitely had his fair share at poking fun of Americans but some of the jokes weren’t too far from the truth! Dare I say.

Then, it was POUTINE time. You know Poutine? It’s Canada’s specialty dish. Fries, cheese curds and gravayyy. A gourmet dish of fat and grease.
IMG_4779

IMG_4827

David had been talking about Poutine for weeks so we were both salivating when we arrived at the restaurant around 10:30 p.m. We went to La Banquise, a very popular, 24-hour Poutine place that serves a vegetarian gravy (yay!!). Big thanks to Janine for commenting on a post of mine and recommending the restaurant. It was a great, funky spot.

Oh, I’ve decided you have gotta be funky to live in Montreal. Everyone had their own eclectic style.

Speaking of Montrealians (?), on our way there I was curious if a lot of people would smoke since we were going to an area with heavy European influences. The verdict is that A LOT of people smoke. Many young people too! I guess I’m so surprised because it seems like smoking has decreased in America, or at least where I live. I wasn’t used to it. But I am sure there are plenty of things we do in America that other cultures wouldn’t understand. It’s what makes the world go round, right?

Saturday
Well, as much we all welcomed Spring with open arms just a few days ago, Mother Nature was not going to give up Winter without a fight.

We planned on doing a lot around the city today but Montreal got hit with about 9 inches of snow. So we had to cut a few things but we still trudged into the winter wonderland to explore eat as much as we could.
IMG_4795

Started off the day with some sucre (sugar) crepes and lattes at La Bulle Au Carre. I got chocolate and David got salted caramel with Maple syrup.
IMG_4788

IMG_4789

IMG_4790

They had old French comic books at each table for people to read.
IMG_4792

Later, we made our way to Old Montreal to see the Notre Dame Basilica and shop/eat. This is an area with a very European vibe, brick roads (although they were snow covered) and a lot of art, high-end boutiques and cafes/pubs.
IMG_4796

IMG_4799

IMG_4804

We ate at this really fun cafe called Le Marché de la Villette. It was really lively with loud music and a lot of clapping and cheering.
IMG_4806

IMG_4807

After a few hours of snowy walking we made our way underground to Eaton Centre, the underground “city” that stretches 15 miles under the city. The area we went to was essentially just a mall but looking back we think we were in Eaton Centre a few times and didn’t even realize it.

We stopped at a few of my favorite stores like Zara and Roots. Canadian favorites! I also became obsessed with Canada Goose winter coats because literally everyone had one and they looked so warm. I later found out they’re a hefty $650+ price-wise.

We were BEAT after a long day of walking. My hamstrings were so tight from walking in Uggs and snowy side walks.

After a recoup at the hotel we got some dessert at a chocolate bar, Juliette et Chocolat, down the street from our hotel.

Holy chocolate. Like, REAL chocolate. You know with Cacao!!

I got a chocolate brownie with bittersweet chocolate syrup and David got a caramel-filled cake with chocolate syrup on it. Can you see the pattern? Me=chocolate, David=caramel.
IMG_4809

We had a side of ridiculously over-the-top PDA at the table next to us. As I was inhaling my chocolate I was simultaneously nauseated with the action next door.

Sunday
Ahhh, Burlington. There’s something about this place that is so darn welcoming and comfortable. I first visited Burlington over the summer with David and we both fell in love with both the state of Vermont and Burlington.

Thankfully we conveniently made it back to the area on our way back from Canada to get lunch with my friends from college. Three of them live in Burlington now and it was AWESOME to see them.
IMG_4823

We ate at the popular Penny Cluse Cafe right off the main Church Street strip.

I got gingerbread pancakes. Freaking best combo. I never knew I loved gingerbread so much until I discovered Cookie Butter. I’ve been hooked on the flavor ever since.
IMG_4813

IMG_4814

A trip to Vermont is not complete without some Ben and Jerry’s.
IMG_4821

#Dorks
IMG_4824

This weekend was a much needed getaway and it was especially perfect because we went somewhere that felt like another country (okay, I know we were in Canada but we felt like we were in Europe), and I got to see some of my best friends.

I would love to visit Montreal again, especially when it’s a little warmer. There is still so much I want to see and I really enjoyed traveling there.

Merci, Au Revoir!

Sorry, had to throw in just a few last French words. Being there has really made me want to get back into learning the language. Rosetta Stone anyone?

If you stuck with this long-arse post, I want to hear from you!
Have you traveled anywhere recently?
How was your weekend?

 photo Signature_zpsc4dfd5af.png