Thursday, September 18, 2014

Travelin' On A Budget

Recently, Mishare and I embarked on a journey to another state for the first time... together.

As recent college graduates we decided it would be a special treat to spend some/all of our graduation money on a place that we have talked about visiting for years.

We set our sights on Seattle, Washington.

Since we are both money conscious women we sat down and figured out where we would like to splurge our monetary gifts. 

Where We Stayed
Rather than book an overpriced hotel in the city or stay in an overpriced hostel, we decided to try...
1. Airbnb
Airbnb (or as I like to call it, AirB & Bizzle) provides a unique experience for travellers by allowing the guest to rent from local hosts in various cities. The website lets you search by location, choose a price range, and select the "type" of housing to stay in, and using keywords to find amenities to best fit personal preference. 
Mishare and I chose an apartment in the University District with two female roommates, only a 30 minute bus ride or 15 minute car ride into the city. We decided we were comfortable enough to share a bed so we selected the "private room"  option which meant that the owners would still be staying in their home and we would be roommates for a couple of days. Unfortunately, due to conflicting schedules we never had the opportunity to meet our host housemates. But they were nice enough to leave travel books and organic oatmeal and coffee for us to enjoy! :)

Pros of this service
Meeting new people
Having locals give tips on where to go
Learning about others way of life

Communication (There was confusion as to what time our flight would arrive - our room had not been cleaned and we had no access into the apartment but it was quickly resolved after a few stressful e-mails.)
Privacy - We had no problem with sharing the space with strangers but we only had few interactions with the host. 

Getting Around
was another issue entirely. 

2. The King County Metro Transit is one of the best and most reliable public transportation systems. Although a bit confusing since the buses work on routes, we were able to figure it out. 
From the airport we took the Light Link Rail which led us to the bus station. On the site we were able to pick a destination and it showed us the appropriate bus to take. 
If you will be in town for a while and/or decide to never leave, I would recommend purchasing an ORCA card which allows you to pre-pay for the bus fare and a simple swipe of the card is all that is needed to ride. Bus fare is under $3. ORCA card is $5.

After a night of fancy cocktails and beer we realized we did not want to travel by bus back to our apartment and resorted to using...
3. Uber
Uber is an app that connect you to local drivers to take you to nearby destinations. 
How it works: provide credit card information, determine current location, select a destination, decide if the fare is acceptable, and within 5- 15 minutes a driver (hopefully with a beard) will pick you up.
This option was quick, reliable, and comfortable. Fares ranged from $9 - 27 per ride, all cars were clean, and the drivers were all friendly and respectful. If you're like me and feel that silences are the worst thing in the world, the drivers will humor you and answer all random questions.

Note: All of the drivers were male, Michelle and I had our cell phones out ready for emergency calls if needed.*

*We did not need it.

What To Do
All we knew was that we had little interest in visiting tourist attractions (with the exception of Pike Place Market) and wanted to get a feel for the city. 
4. was our main girl for recommendations and ideas for a good time. 
She led us to some expensive coffee, unique bars, and a plethora of vegan restaurants. She did not disappoint. 

- Rosa.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Book Review: The Soulmate Experience

One thing I've been wanting to do more of is reading.
But, since I'm a slow reader, it takes a really good book to keep me intrigued and to continue reading.
I'm really glad I came across this little gem, The Soulmate Experience.  It was both enthralling and eye-opening.  It spoke to my soul.

Let me start by saying that most solid relationship books that I've read in my day have REALLY cheesy titles.  Please don't let that deter you from exploring this book.  It turned out to be completely different than what I thought it would be, and for that I'm very grateful.

When I downloaded this book onto my Kindle Fire, I was struggling with a particular area within myself at the time, so I read the chapters out of order.  I started with whatever chapter title spoke to me.  
It helped me to look deep within myself and so some real work.  

FYI: I'm the kind of person who loves doing inner work despite how painful it might be, because I believe that's how you grow as a person. So, be cautious with the contents of this book if you're not ready for all that.

This book caused me to look at all my relationships and interactions with people differently, not just with my partner.  It surprised me by going against the "typical" prototype for how relationships should be, or how you should deal with conflicts.  I saw that I create a lot of my own problems by having the wrong perspective.  I knew this already, but this just expanded my openness even wider.  

Some key lessons:
Your perspective creates your experience.
You cannot change anyone other than yourself.
Compromise means giving up part of who you are and vice versa.  Acceptance of others is key.

I definitely recommend this book for anyone and everyone, whether you're in a relationship or not.  Like I said, you can apply this information to all of your relationships with family members, strangers, or difficult people whom you might work with. It just reinforces the idea that we are individuals, but we are also connected.  It's all about dat balance.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Vegan "Chunky Monkey" Nice Cream

Things that are awesome:
Peanut butter
Ice cream
Nuts...ha ha...I said nuts

Something that's even more awesomer:  Combining them.


  • Frozen bananas (I slice them into small pieces before freezing them to make it easier to blend)
  • Unsweetened vanilla almond milk (sub canned coconut milk for a creamier flavor)
  • Natural peanut butter
  • Chocolate chips (semi-sweet vegan choc chips available at Trader Joe's and Costco)
  • Almond or Walnut chunks
  • *Optional* 100% Maple syrup (if you want it sweeter)

I don't really measure things, I just put in the amount I want.
Just make sure you don't put too much of whatever liquid you choose because the ice cream will be runny.
But the right amount will make it like soft serve!

The great thing about making your own ice cream is that you can modify the ingredients to your liking.
You can add or subtract anything you want!


  • Start by adding the frozen bananas, peanut butter, milk alternative, (and maple syrup if you choose) to a high-speed blender.
  • Once it's the consistency you like, pour it into a bowl. You'll probably need a spatula or spoon because it'll be thick.
  • Add Chocolate chips and almonds/walnuts.
  • Then Eat!!!

Super easy, relatively healthy, and delicious!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A More FILLING B-fast Smoothay

This is a spin on the Healthy Chocolate Smoothie recipe I posted previously.
I found that I wasn't staying full for very long, so I decided to add a few more ingredients.

Feel free to add/subtract/multiply/rearrange anything you want.

Get concontin'!

  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (plus more to add if it's too thick)
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup dry oatmeal
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil (adds richness)
  • 1 spoonful unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 ripe banana
  • A large handful of baby kale or baby spinach
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
Note: You will probably need more liquid because there are more ingredients than the last recipe. So don't be surprised if you have to add more once you get blendin'.

This makes about 32 oz. for me.

A full belly is a happy belly :)

*WARNING: This also induces full bladders.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Favorite ELF Products

What's not to love about ELF?  Cruelty-free, quality products, and it's CHEAP.
Unfortunately, not all their products are that great (that's to be expected when they charge like a dollah for most things). And even though a dollar here and there isn't much, why waste your money trying things you may not like? IT ADDS UP.

So, here are my faves.

For your fas:

So legit.  
I use this errday with a Beauty Blender to cover most of my acne scars and then I go over it with Bare Escentuals foundation.  It's the only liquid foundation that doesn't break me out and it has a bunch of awesome acne-fighting ingredients like tea tree oil.
The downside is the range of colors and the fact that it isn't completely full-coverage.  If you have oily skin like myself, it won't keep you matte, either.  But I just put powder on to fix that problem.

Now that I have discovered this, I kind of can't live without it.
I mix it in with my Bare Escentuals foundation and put it all over my face, and then if I have any blemishes I'll dab some on those spots, too.
I just don't get why you can't buy the powder by itself.  It comes with a brush EVERY time.


 In the words of Miley Cyrus, it's pretty cool.
It makes your cheeks a different color than they normally are.
It does it's job.
I wouldn't say it lasts ALL day, but I like it.

I think this lasts a bit longer than just a powder.  I put this on with a powder blush on top.
I use a small stipple brush.  So far it's the only liquid blush I've liked.

THE perfect highlighter.
I love using this on the tops of my cheekbones for that glow when the lights hit you just right.


Cream/gel liners used to be my go-to.  I'm a cat-eye girl all day, every day.
Now I just use a black eyeshadow for my liner, because it's easier for me.
This stuff works well. I use it when I want something more dramatic.
It's also great for your waterline. It lasts.
My only concern is that it tends to dry up kinda fast.

I love this!
I use it when I'm lazy and just want to smudge some color at the base of my lashes.

I have to use this or my brows are all over the place.
I don't use the mascara part, but when the brow side runs out I just switch the brush and use the mascara gel.  It's the same thang.

I prefer powder WAY more than pencils for my brows.
I don't ever use the wax, but the powder is good.


This is a recent discovery of mine and I love it so much.
I have only used Rich Red and Tea Rose.  I love both colors.
They stay on pretty well and they're matte, which is awesome.
I don't even know what to say.  I just can't get enough.

I'm not really a gloss person, but I do like this gloss.
First of all, I like that it has natural ingredients.  But it also gives you a nice pearly shine without being too sticky. 

Happy makeup-ing!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Healthy Chocolate Smoothie Recipe (Vegan)

I have been making this smoothie almost every single morning for the last 3 years. I never tire of it!
It tastes JUST like a chocolate shake, but it's made with all healthy thangs.

Let's get our chocolate on.


1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)

1 banana

1-2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

1-2 Tbsp. ground flaxseed (optional)

1-2 handfuls of baby spinach

1 cup frozen blueberries


I find that if you put the ingredients in the blender in the exact order as above, it comes out better.
Note: Also, make sure you are using bananas that have at least some brown spots on it.  It is both better for digestion and makes the smoothie sweeter.

Then, just blendy-blend-blend until smooth!
I have a high-speed blender, but I think you can do this with a regular blender, too.

It should come out as a dark purple color and taste just like chocolate.
Now you can tell everyone you had chocolate for breakfast and not feel guilty about it.
In this case, I even encourage bragging.

Happy breakfasting! 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

DIY Vegan Holiday Gift Basket: Trader Joe's Edition

Can you tell I like Trader Joe's?

Every year, TJ's comes out with a bunch of mouth-watering holiday-themed treats.
However, many of those things are not vegan, which is both sad and rude.
But fear not!  There are still some delicious items in which we can partake.

If you wanna make a cute little vegan holiday gift basket, I have taken the guess-work out of what's vegan and what's not.


 Oh, Candy Cane tea!  You make the holidays so much more enjoyable!
This stuff is great.  It's very minty with a delicious hint of vanilla, without the sweetness of course.

If you want a little caffeine, this tea is also yummy.
I actually drink this all year round.  I STOCK UP.

It's vegan, yo!  You can make hot chocolate or a thick chocolate beverage to sip on out of this, hence the name "sipping chocolate."
The cashier also told me he makes bomb milkshakes out of this, too.
Just add TJ's soy vanilla ice cream!

This is one big candy bar.
I haven't actually tried this, but another cashier told me it was really good.
Plus, the wrapper is pretty.
This special holiday-edition candy has dark chocolate, almonds, cranberries, and ginger.

 These are too addicting.  
If you like oreos, candy canes, or the mint/chocolate combo, don't even hesitate.
Just buy them already.

Ok, so when I first heard of  cookie butter, I was like OH MAN I NEED SOME OF THAT.
So, I went to 4 different TJ's trying to find it, like a mad woman.
But low and behold, it was sold out EVERYWHERE.
One employee told me that they only got 12 in a day and that there was a 2 jar limit per person.
This only fed my desire to get my hands on this stuff.
A couple months later, it appeared out of nowhere like magic!
I finally got it home and tried it...but I was not that impressed.
It was more gingery than I expected.
BUT this stuff, swirled with some cocoa is addicting!
It's better than Nutella!  I tried this on some pretzel thins and I couldn't stop stuffing my face with it.
So, proceed with caution.

If the person you're giving this gift to likes them some figs, you should get this.
It's very...figgy.  Which means it's delicious!
You can put it on toast or celery or basically anything you want to add a fig taste to...obviously.

And of course, to top it all off, you gotta add some Charles Shaw red.
They have a few options like Merlot and Carbanet Sauvignon, as well as others.
And you can't beat the price at $2.49 a pop! (ha ha, "pop!" get it?)

Just throw all these babies in a basket, slap on a bow, and BAM! 
You got yourself a super sexy, super easy, and pretty cheap vegan gift!

Happy holiday eating!