Belvoir Farms: A Taste of Simplistic Luxury


Every time I see a drink by Belvoir Farms in the drink section at Whole Foods, it immediately catches my eye. "Ah...I should get it," I think to myself, even though I only came in for one thing. "But it's sooooo delicious," I say to myself again, as I slowly resist the urge to grab every elderflower & rose lemonade they have left.


Belvoir makes authentically delicious cordials, presses and fruit crushes at the Lincolnshire countryside.  As they would say, "100% organic. 100% lovely."

The packaging itself is so beautiful and looks like something out of a Vogue shoot or royal wedding. And the taste isn't too bad either...

Belvoir sent me a sampler (thank you so so much all, it was amazing.) and I am here to review and share with you these products.

Let's do the taste test, shall we?

Elderflower lemonade:

  • Lemonade 2.0. 
  • Tastes very similar to champagne.
  • Pastoral, minimalistic vibes.

Pomegranate & raspberry lemonade:
  • Beet sugar is really strong.
  • Tastes similar to Honest Ade's pomegranate blue.

Elderflower & rose lemonade:
  • Heaven is a place on earth with you.
  • The touch of rose is so subtle yet makes the lemonade so much sweeter to the tastebuds.
  • Delicate, scented and refreshing taste.
  • Also very similar to champagne.
  • Sparking deliciousness, and my personal favorite.

Lime & lemongrass lemonade:
  • Reminiscent of the beginning of spring.
  • Energizing feel & taste.
  • Great for margaritas.
  • The sparkling citrusy texture of this drink reminds me of a healthier Sprite.

Ginger beer lemonade:
  • Has a fiery kick to it.
  • Ginger is prominent.
  • Lemon juice and sparkling spring water compliments it well, making drinking it a memorable experience.
Overall, I really enjoyed my experience with Belvoir Farms and their perfectly crafted lemonades. Any season, any time of day - it's paired greatly with everything. I've had Belvoir late at night with a bag of hot cheetos and Netflix, and I've always chose it to be the drink I had at my last Thanksgiving dinner.

I always appreciate a company with a consistent aesthetic and even more consistent imagery. The ingredients are simple, but you can tell it's crafted with care. It's truly a luxurious experience drinking this and it always inspires me to get up and be the woman I always wanted to be. Keep calm and stay lovely. X


ALL TIME LOW @ The Grove: A Recap


I've been listening to All Time Low for 8 years now. I haven't been a complete super-fan, but I do know all of their songs. My relationship with All Time Low was strictly for the music. I didn't have posters of the band members on my walls and I didn't know every detail of their personal life. But when I heard Dear Maria, Count Me In, Weightless and Somewhere In Neverland, I was taken to another realm of teenage angst and summer recklessness.

We got Sprinkles Cupcakes! Cuban coffee and coconut, obv.

When I saw All Time Low would be playing a free concert at The Grove as a part of their concert series, I instantly knew I HAD to go.

We got there a few hours earlier, because I figured it would be pretty packed. However, there was an entire line of preteen girls circling around The Grove. As we were patiently trying to navigate the end of the line, we realized there was no way all of these people would fit in the tiny space provided. Waiting in line was pointless. We needed to find a way to cheat the system and get a unconventional spot.

Here's the thing: We knew we weren't going to get in the actual tiny space for viewing the concert, and we couldn't block the pathways. So...we found a small space at the fountain to view the concert at. Although there were trees blocking them, it was a lot better than people blocking them. And the sound was perfect for where we were at.

Hearing All Time Low perform some of the most important songs of my life was bloody brilliant. Not only were they great sit-down comedians (Joke credit: Jack), but the vocals were on point. I've always preferred them acoustic, so this was even dreamier than I expected.

THE SET LIST: (Not in order)

  • Kids in the Dark
  • Damned if I Do Ya (Damned If I Don't)
  • Missing You
  • Cinderblock Garden
  • Backseat Serenade
  • Runaways
  • Therapy
  • Remembering Sunday
  • Somethings Gotta Give
  • Weightless
  • Dear Maria, Count Me In


Below you will see my view for All Time Low during Dear Maria, Count Me In. At least I got to see the dancing fountain!
A video posted by Maria Elena (@pinkchanelsuit) on

Omega-3 Supplements...for Vegans?

Omega-3 is something a lot of the population is lacking in their diet. There's a lot of debate regarding how to get it and if we actually need it, but it has been proven to improve heart and overall health.

The most commonly known way to get omega-3 fatty acids is fish. But when it comes down to it, not everyone likes seafood. Not everyone eats animals. And, even if you do eat fish, it's not like you're eating it on a daily basis, right?


Vegans have it hard, sometimes. How can they get their omega-3, especially considering most supplements contain fish? I remember trying to take omega-3 supplements and gagging at the aftertaste alone. So, vegans and anti-seafood enthusiasts, there is a way for you to get your omega-3 without eating fish.

Well, here's the awesome thing about Nature Science's vegan omega-3 supplements:

  • 5 times more DHA than Krill Oil
  • Vegan friendly formula
  • No fishy aftertaste
  • No mercury risk
  • Easily digestible
  • Vegan capsules
The capsules are very similar to your average omega-3 capsules. A transparent capsule, yellow color, circular shape. They include all the necessary nutrients without the mercury risk. Yay for being plant-based! Taking these can also help prevent heart disease and lower bad cholesterol while raising your good cholesterol.

Natures Science supplements are for sale at Rite Aid, Drugstore.com, Cardinal Health and GNC Canada. 

http://www.naturessciencesupplements.com/

Big thanks to Brandbacker for sponsering this post!

First Star to the Left

the world beat me up like the imaginative frames of literature
and the elastic words of photographs.

i grow tired as my eyes fall downward
each bag darkens
every microscopic fragment of mascara
collectively telling the world i drowned in carbon dioxide
and hydrogen
and capsaicin.

i thought it was nothing but a mere quarrel between colonies
yet i stand here,
as commander general,
wondered why i signed up for this.
wondering why i brought all these innocent people with me.

i can't turn back,
i have to fight.

if i write a novel about this war,
would that make you feel better?

i look at the mirror and laugh.
i can't run away from my tired eyes -
but at least i can win a participations award.

I Cut My Hair. {Literally & Symbolically.}

I cut my hair. Not a big deal right? Just a trim. Just trying something new. Whatever.

But hair is more than just hair and when I do something new to my hair, it never lacks meaning. It always is foreshadowing my future and clinging or letting go of the past.

Like Lady Gaga said, "This is my prayer: that I'll die living just as free as my hair." I know I'm not the
only one that feels this way. Hair is so much more than hair. I don't mean that in a narcissistic  beauty-obsessed way. I could care less about what my hair looks like or how it makes me look. I could care less about how people portray me based on my hair. It's how my hair makes me feel. It's what my hair means. It's what my hair symbolizes. 

I remember this time in 6th grade, I was at McDonald's with my mother and said, "let's dye my hair red." I showed up to school the next day with a deep red with orange undertones to show my devotion towards spontaneity and eternal connection. 

I remember the time I tried cutting my bangs into a cool side bang in 7th grade so I could impress people at school but ended up looking insane for a year. Learned my lesson. 

I remembered when I took the pledge to not dye my hair for years and I stuck to it. I didn't even curl or straighten my hair either. My hair was always natural, every day, for basically my entire high school career. This was all towards my promise to love who I am naturally and showcase my truest self to the world. 

I remembered the time just a few months ago, I got a blonde streak underneath my hair symbolizing the time I did have blonde hair and my attachments to the memories I had along with that. 

And most importantly, I remember the time I cut my bangs in 10th grade and showed up to school the next day completely transformed. Not only had I experienced an immense amount of change that year, but I was starting to realize who I was as an individual and the strength I held. For me, cutting my bangs was one of the most freeing things in the world.

Since then, I've never changed my blunt-yet-awkwardly-never-perfect bangs. And quite frankly, I don't think I ever will. A lot of people try out the whole bangs thing but end up hating it. But for me, my bangs have become apart of me. It's not because I like how it looks, it's because it became apart of who I am. 

I've always used my hair as a platform for my art and experiences. 


And there I was at 10:30 at night, listening to Ceremonials, cutting random pieces of my hair for no reason. That's right. Some are up to my ear. Some are past my chest. Some are hanging on my shoulders. 

I wanted to feel more free. I wanted to do something with no consequences. I wanted to cut my hair. It felt amazing to see these long strawberry brown pieces fall into the sink so lightly.

I mean, why do we all follow this rule of every piece of hair following a systematic order? My hair being a bunch of different lengths seemed adventurous and cute to me. You can't even tell right away, and I'm sure some people will notice it and be confused but to be quite honest, I don't care. Who says I can't rock this? My hair has more layers now. My hair is more free. My hair doesn't follow any rules. My hair can sway with the wind and go into loose ponytails and I can be free.



Vegan Salted Caramel Brownies {Recipe}

Although I'm vegetarian, not vegan, I love eating and cooking vegan. It's a challenge, it's healthier, and it shocks people. I'll cook/bake something, give it to a omnivore, and tell them it's vegan. "WHAT? No way." It's a boost of confidence for the cook, and shows people eating a vegan diet isn't that hard.

So, here's what to do!

what you'll need for the brownies:

  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup earth balance butter (partially melted)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup cane sugar
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
what you'll need for the caramel sauce:
  • 2/3 cup coconut nectar
  • 1.5/4 cup dairy free butter (works best with cashew butter, but earth balance works)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
Here's how to get the delicious vegan salted caramel brownies of your dreams.

1. Preheat the oven to 350.
2. In a medium bowl, mix the ingredients for the caramel together. Put it in the fridge so it can thicken.
3. Mix all the ingredients for the brownies in a separate large bowl. The banana is a substitute for eggs, but gives the brownies a nice taste. I like adding a little bit of coconut oil too, but that's optional.  
4. Pour brownie mix in a 8x8 pan. Pour caramel sauce on top. Works best in a checkered pattern.
5. Cook for 35-38 minutes. If cooking in a larger pan, it will most likely cook in 25-30 minutes so be sure to watch.

That's all there is to it. These brownies turn out DELICIOUS, the caramel is the best part! Let me know what you think! xo

Everything I Need to Know I Learned From a Disney Little Golden Book {Review}

I got this book from BEA / BookCon in New York and instantly fell in love with it based upon my first impression, however, I didn't want to read it until the moment was right. It may sound weird...but I knew this book would be special and perhaps a bit emotional. After all, it is Disney.

That moment fell right on my plate about a week or so ago. I felt like a little girl and a wise prophet all at the same time, except it was full of the best Disney references with the cutest drawings.

"Everything I Need to Know I Learned From a Disney Little Golden Book" is perfect for every age and quite literally teaches you everything you need to know. When I get caught up in the stress of everyday life, I love to pull it out from my desk and reassure myself with the eternal truth of Disney. It's comforting and heartwarming, reminding us all that dreams really do come true.

It officially comes out July 28th. Aren't you excited? Check out all the deets here.


Here is a preview of the book with some of my favorite pages:




Retail LA // Whimsic Alley


Looking for an ethereal getaway? Whimsic Alley is a fantasy store located in Los Angeles on Wilshire Blvd. I've heard about it before, I even remember pinning it a few years ago, but would it live up to the hype? Would I finally get to go? Yes. I luckily was in the area and Andrew and I knew we needed to stop to go on this magical adventure. It was quick, but like I said before, magical. They have rooms dedicated to each and every main fandom.

Yes. You heard me. An entire room dedicated to Harry Potter, an entire room dedicated to Doctor Who, and an entire room dedicated to Game of Thrones. They also have other smaller sections with things from other fandoms such as Supernatural and Downton Abbey. Let's not forget their wand / potion room. 

Personally, my favorite part was the great hall. For a store in the middle of LA, it was pretty on point, and made me want to have a Harry Potter marathon again. And on the way to the Great Hall is a spooky hallway full of amazing wizardy paintings from local artists and such.

There's not many places in the world that focus on selling nerdy merch. We have comic stores and video game stores but they primarily focus on comics and games. 

And contrary to popular belief, our favorite fandoms will never die. From Wizard & Witches Tea, to Wizard Rock, to Wizarding Craft Shows...they have it all. Be sure to keep up with them and their events so you can stay active in the fandom.

As their website states, "visitors are transported through time and space to a bygone era, reminiscent perhaps of a Dickens novel, with quaint storefronts, each with its own unique charm and identity."

Whimsic Alley had some merchandise I haven't seen anywhere in years. It has something timeless about it. No matter how much the world and our favorite fandoms change, I know I can get that classic enthusiastic feeling when walking into Whimsic Alley.






MOCHA COCONUT FRAPS...They're Back.

You heard me. Maybe you haven't really noticed or cared, and normally I would be in the same boat as you...however...


THIS IS A DIFFERENT STORY. It all started on a warm yet windy Chicago evening in 2012. I was young and getting super into coffee and sugary somewhat coffee drinks even more than I was before. I was in Chicago for Leakycon 2012 and I can't remember eating that much. But I do remember getting Starbucks like 3 times a day. Yeah...that was bad. That summer, I was introduced to the mocha coconut frappucino. Now, I call it liquid chicago. But back then? It was everything. It tasted like infinite summer of decadent mocha tropical paradise goodness.

Then they took it away in an instant. I assumed it would be back next summer. Or the summer after that. Or this summer. It wasn't. So I had to finally accept that I would never meet Mocha Coconut again.

Since 2012, I've broadened my coffee horizons. You know...Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Peets, Dunkin, Caribou, and even more independent places. I didn't go into Starbucks as much anymore. I'm not a coffee snob, and I'm not totally against Starbucks, but I know what I want now.

Well....

Today I marched into Starbucks with a huge grin on my face to get my liquid-chicago-paradise-mocha-coconut-darling.

And it was AWESOME. You guys should try it if you haven't yet. They have stated stores have started serving it as of 7/23 and it's only going to be there for a limited time, until supplies last. Who knows what that means? So get it while you can!




Vegan Faire Is TOMORROW!


Healthy Junk restaurant, located in the heart of historic downtown Anaheim, proudly presents its Second Annual Vegan Faire on Saturday, July 25 from noon-7pm and FREE to the public. The event has expanded to almost 60 purveyors of healthy food and services with food tastings, local artisans and educational seminars offered throughout the day along almost 3 blocks of tree lined Center St. Promenade.

I am SO excited to go and just get a feel for things. It's been a few years since I've been to a vegan festival, and the atmosphere is always so nice. And...the food is too, obviously.


Healthy Junk renown chef Lynda Santos, the event organizer, explains: “The rebirth of downtown Anaheim is cause for celebration so this year’s theme is ‘Dancing in the Streets’ and that’s exactly what we’re planning to do! With performers such as Bram Brata’s steel drums, Caitlin Lucia (from The Voice) and Sandro Razciel & Co., along with multiple dance groups including our own Anaheim Ballet School, we are set for a fun day of well-being.” There will be yoga classes on the Promenade throughout the day courtesy of The Yoga Mat with a yoga “dance” as the Faire finale accompanied by a drum circle. Don’t miss this inspirational and educational family fun day!

Thanks go to valued sponsors: The OC Register, The Gypsy Den, Brookfield Homes, Yelp and
The LAB. Contributors include: Mountain Valley Water, Califia Farms, Harmless Harvest, Beyond Meat, Donuttery, Palm Springs Cyclery, Anaheim Public Utilities and the Downtown Anaheim Association.


Center St. Promenade is easily located about 5 minutes east of the 5 freeway off Lincoln Blvd., between Anaheim Blvd. and Harbor Blvd. Plenty of FREE parking available.
For more information contact: veganfaire@gmail.com

R.I.P. Sandra Bland ♡✞


Everyone on the media has reported on it. It's all over twitter. I could tell you what happened, or what I think, but situations like this are getting old. Do I really have to have the same conversation every few weeks about a different person? A different situation? A different death?

This isn't fair. This is sad. And it's like almost every situation sounds worse than the last one. If I knew you could actually be arrested for not using your turn signal, I would be a lot more careful while driving. But I think we all know it goes beyond just a turn signal. It's a hate crime. It's illegal. And they will not get away with this anymore.

Rest in peace, Sandra Bland. You are in a better place now. A place where you actually have freedom. A place where you are not discriminated against. A place where you are accepted. And a place where the people in charge take care of you instead of harm you.

Feminists Can Throw Shade & Wear Turtlenecks, Too

After all this beef has been going on between all these celebrities, mostly female, mostly Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj, it got me wondering: who is in the wrong here, if anyone? There's been a lot of talk of feminism after this...and I didn't quite understand why. Two women are in a disagreement here, with basically the entire world watching, and we make it an conversation of feminism? Women can have their disagreements without it being some over-sexualized cat fight or over-politicalized debate.

Yesterday evening, I watched Missrepresented on Netflix, a documentary about how we wrongly portray women in the media and how it's affecting younger generations of women. This got me thinking even deeper.



Feminism isn't black and white. It's about doing what you want and living life on your own terms. We will get into disagreements and beefs with men and women, and it's not an issue of feminism on either side. End of story. The point isn't that women shouldn't downplay other women, PERIOD, or she is a terrible feminist.

The point is men are prioritized over women.
The point is women are conditioned to believe women are their competition, not men.
The point is women who know the same man are considered competition to be his love interest.
Women in the same job field are constantly compared to each other, often portrayed as a "cat fight."
Women with similar interests are conditioned to compete instead of relate with each other.

The point is, women shouldn't naturally prioritize men, make women their natural competition, and downplay women for no reason whatsoever.

That's the problem with the whole "you shouldn't be pitting women against each other." Was Nicki specifically saying it's wrong for Taylor to be skinny? No. But is Taylor's Bad Blood a travesty on all feminism? Of course not.

If men bring up a point, that's all it is. A point. If women bring up a point about anything, it's never just a point or an opinion. There's always going to be a discussion about feminism.

That's what is going on in society...however...that doesn't mean women can't have beef with one another. That doesn't mean women can't fight. That doesn't mean women can't have an opinion on one another. We all love feminism, but that doesn't mean we have to love all women.

Just as men do things wrong and we have the right to dislike them, we have that right with women. We have to look at people and who they are and their choices as PEOPLE, not genders or any other label for that matter.

The reason I bring this up is because lately, women have been criticized for being "anti-feminists" or whatever else you wanna call it for 'throwing shade' or 'fighting with other women.'

Here's the thing. If someone does something to wrong you, you're allowed to handle it on your own terms. Sure, we all may be against slut-shaming, body-shaming, discrimination, sexism, racism, homophobia, etc. But we can't get along with everyone and there still are bad people out there. Remember that next time you exist with the whole naive "everyone is perfect" philosophy.

---------

Now, onto a second topic: Body empowerment.

Lately, it seems like feminism has been sort of focused on body empowerment, and while I'm all for the concept, I feel like it's backtracking because of how the majority of people are perceiving the concept.

Our entire society is mostly run by men - therefore, most of the rules are made by men. "Wear a loosely fitted, unflattering body suit at work so you don't distract your male peers, but in real life, wear tightly fitted, body-con dresses so your male peers actually pay attention to you!"

We've heard it all, haven't we?

Some women like to show off their bodies and some women like to cover up. Both are acceptable and fine and it shouldn't be an issue what a women wants to do. RIGHT?! I just want you to ask yourself this question: Do you show off / cover up for YOURSELF? Because it makes you comfortable?

Or do you do it to gain mens attention? Or to reject their attention? To keep them away? Or perhaps to spite them and show them you can do what you want? Do you do it to gain approval at work or school? To get more instagram likes?

At the very end of the day, we don't realize how often our decisions are shaped because of men, even if it is to spite them, reject them, keep them away, or to show them what we're made of. We shouldn't have that responsibility.

That's the issue for me. Womens' bodies are THEIR bodies and it's not meant to be some kind of object to make a statement with or some kind of advertising tactic to gain approval with.

The issue isn't body empowerment itself, as I have stated before, it's the fact that we are primarily focusing on body empowerment. It's the fact that we are showing girls that that may be the only choice they have to gain attention or be successful. It's the fact that some of the most successful women right now are women who are known for sex and their bodies. It's the fact that we are at a point where excessive makeup, plastic surgeries, and unhealthy procedures are acceptable, empowering, and okay as long as it makes the person doing it happy - which is correct, but the most famous people in the world are the plastic ones - showing the entire world that we now have even more unattainable standards than we did before. Just because the world of fashion and beauty is gaining diversity of race and size doesn't mean there still aren't beauty standards. It's the fact that the women who are gaining their empowerment through their bodies and sex are gaining constant attention and acclaim where as women who chose to gain their empowerment elsewhere can barely make a headline.

For me, it's MORE than okay to love your body and embrace it. However, we all need to realize we are not just our bodies and our worth is beyond that. We are not defined by our bodies. We all have infinite souls and unique minds and one of a kind personalities, that shouldn't be sacrificed. We shouldn't be focusing on just one side of empowerment.

The title of this post is true. We women can do what we want. That is the point of feminism. We women are not consumable goods, regardless of our choice to show off our bodies or cover up our bodies. We women are not trophy feminists or media traps, we can get in disagreements with other women without it being a travesty or debate. We can throw shade while wearing turtlenecks. We can talk politely while wearing bathing suits.

And we should teach the younger generations of girls that they have a choice to be who they are and get where they are without having to adapt or sell themselves out to fit an image.

Why Nicki's Anaconda "Snub" Isn't About Race, Gender, or Size

I love Nicki Minaj. I ALWAYS have. I love Taylor Swift. I ALWAYS have.
Getty Images

In fact, they are on my list of top 5 favorite artists of all time. I can rap the 'The Pink Print' and I can belt 'Speak Now' (quite off tune) but regardless, I love them both and they have impacted my life greatly.

If you haven't heard by now, Nicki went on a HUGE twitter rant because Anaconda didn't get nominated for 'Video of the Year' at the VMAS. A twitter rant including shady tweets, quite obviously directed at Taylor Swift considering she is the only other woman in the category besides Beyonce. See some of the tweets here.

I noticed the racism and sexism of the entertainment industry, especially the Grammys. I've noticed the discrimination against women in the industry. I've noticed how women who are skinnier gain privilege. (although I will say that is dying quite fast. Thick women are slowly ruling the world.)  However, just because your video isn't nominated for a small category, doesn't mean it's about any type of discrimination.

Bad Blood got nominated because it had high production value, a lot of hype, it was a quality song from a talented woman featuring Kendrick Lamar, a talented rapper. It included a lot of celebrities and stunts. Taylor really came up with the concept herself and crafted it together well. And yes, it just so happened to break records.

Anaconda didn't get nominated. I can't say why, but it broke records and had "cultural impact" that wasn't lasting because it was solely due to sexual content and shock value. Some people will argue it is a great video, but just because the VMA's didn't think so, doesn't mean you can start playing the blame game with other people in the industry.

To say I lost respect for Nicki's twitter rant would be an understatement. It's okay to speak your mind, but to shade other artists and play a blaming game with shady tweets, RTs and favorites and then to act like you're innocent is quite insane. As an artist, it's backtracking. Also, Taylor Swift is the low-key, maybe high-key reason 'Super Bass' became a single and had so much radio play...she publicly advertised it before it gained any popularity. Did I mention how Taylor outsold Nicki's entire discography just with 1989?

Nicki is nominated for best female video and best hip-hop video for 'Anaconda,' and for best collaboration for 'Bang Bang'. She has THREE nominations. Some artists barely have any plays on soundcloud, girl. Come on.

Here's what I've got to say about 'Anaconda:'

It had some cultural impact, however, it was quite a joke. People made parody videos and danced to it not because it was a quality song, but because it as ALL about twerking and ass. Nicki KNEW that it would get a lot of views because it's controversial and sexual. 'Anaconda' is LITERALLY the worst song on Pink Print, but it was marketable. It doesn't showcase Nicki's voice or rapping skills. So...what is it showcasing, exactly? Do people still talk about it? Do we still hear it on the radio? If it comes on your itunes on shuffle, will you listen to it or skip it? Does the video have a clear concept? Does it have iconic choreography? Did it break records because of the uniqueness of the video or because of the nudity?

At the end of the day, it's a VMA nomination. You think as a confident, secure artist with tons of money, you wouldn't care about such a thing. Artists are snubbed every single year at every single award show ever. But once you start complaining about it, that's when people lose respect for you.

Why is it that Nicki was favoriting shady tweets about Taylor and targeting her with the whole "skinny women" tweet, yet she didn't shade Kendrick Lamar, Beyonce, Bruno Mars or Ed Sheeran?

Why is it that Nicki was clearly favoriting these shady tweets about Taylor and clearly targeting her with certain tweets, then acting all brand new when Taylor actually tweeted back at her?

We live in a world now where music isn't dominated by certain shapes, size, genders, races, sexual orientations, etc anymore. Every now and then, certain people have more privilege but this is not one of those situations.

It's not racism. It's not about women. It's most definitely not about size.
We can't expect every nomination category to be diverse every year, but it actually happens to be that way this year.

Kendrick Lamar: A black man.
Beyonce: A 'thick' black woman.
Taylor Swift: A 'skinny' white woman.
Bruno Mars: A Puerto Rican man.
Ed Sheeran: A white man.

All of their songs and videos had impact beyond shock value. All of their songs and videos were crafted uniquely. Uptown Funk and Thinking Out Loud will be played at proms and weddings for decades to come. Bad Blood and 7/11 will be on everyones playlists for years. 'All Right' will always be remembered for the actual cultural impact it had beyond twerking.

I'm not saying Anaconda was terrible, but it wasn't nominated. That's really all there is to it. Only five people could be nominated, and hundreds of quality videos were put out this year. When you are quick to pull out the racism, sexism, or discrimination card for when something goes your way, you loose your voice for when racism, sexism or discrimination is actually happening.

The worst thing about all of this? How this simple beef is making people quick to find faults in Nicki or Taylor. They are still both talented women. They still both put out great music, and hey, I still love them both.

But before you start tweeting about white privilege  sexism, discrimination, body-shaming, or whatever else- think about it. Stop and think about all the women who CHANGED the game with music. Some skinny, some thick. Some black, some white, some somewhere in between. Nicki's "snub" isn't a snub, and every one in the category deserved it.

I hope we can all stop caring so much when someone is or isn't nominated for something.

Grilled Peanut Butter Banana Sandwiches! {Recipe}

I'm sure you've all heard of the whole peanut butter on toast with bananas thing. But this? Oh, no. This is that taken to the next level. Nutritionists are known to recommend this for breakfast to start the day or to eat after a workout. The crispiness of the bread resembles a grilled cheese so it makes every bite heavenly, and the peanut butter and bananas will give you the nutrients you need to start the day. Plus, it's so cheap to make. So yes, even poor people like myself can make it!

I was full for HOURS later, and that's from a girl who is literally always hungry. This recipe hits all levels of awesome: it's filling, healthy, tasty and cheap. Yes please!

Here's what you need:
  • Your choice of bread (I chose wheat)
  • Peanut butter
  • Banana
  • Your choice of oil (I chose vegetable)
  • Chia seeds
Now, what to do:
  • Lay out slices of bread.
  • Put an even amount of peanut butter on each slice, so the bananas lock themselves in.
  • Sprinkle each slice with chia seeds.
  • Cut banana into 1/4-1/2 inch slices. 
  • Put on one piece of bread.
  • Start heating oil on frying pan.
  • Add your sandwich to the pan, watch for 2-5 minutes.
  • BAM! You're done. Cut in half and enjoy, and expect to be full for a few hours. x

COCOWHITE: Oil Pulling for Whiter Teeth

There have been two movements going on recently: The coconut oil movement and the teeth-whitening movement. Both are quite pricy and it's hard to know where to start, am I right?

Well, there's an easy way to whiten your teeth using oil pulling from coconut oil: COCOWHITE. It's a great step before you make any quick steps into actual teeth whitening at the dentist / bizarre treatments / or oil pulling yourself. You can see how it works for you and keep your work and money to a minimum.

Coconut oil has been found to basically cure and improve everything. You know, a "superfood." Or super oil..

After using it the first time, I didn't know a huge difference in terms of whitening, although my teeth felt cleaner and smoother. After my 4th use, I noticed a difference, which is great because each box comes with 14 sachets. All it is is coconut oil (liquified) and mint flavoring. The simpler the better. Here's what you do.


Step 1:
Cut satchet along dotted line and carefully squeeze into mouth. (It's usually liquid, so watch out.) If product is solid, you can still consume it. Otherwise, warm with hands.

Step 2: Swirl for 5-15 minutes. It will be the longest 5-15 minutes of your life.

Step 3: Spit out and smile! For better results, brush after use.

If you want to learn more about COCOWHITE or want to purchase, click here. Happy whitening, everybody!

Netflix {Summer} Picks


This generation is all about Netflix and chill. Mostly by ourselves, but occasionally with people. Sometimes we're in the mood for a light romantic comedy, sometimes we're in the mood for a classic black and white film. Yet after all these years of binge watching, we run out of things to watch. Although Netflix frequently removes and adds titles, it gets harder and harder to browse titles. To help you all out, I've compiled a list of my current Netflix picks. I tried to keep it diverse and full of variety so everyone has options. All of these titles are currently on Netflix as of July 19, 2015. Here are my Netflix picks - let me know what you think!

1. They Came Together
This is a without a doubt one of my top picks. I passed it up a few times, but then I thought, "Amy Poehler is in it, therefore, it must be somewhat tolerable." It seemed like a boring romantic comedy but what it actually is a parody of those boring romantic comedies. As if the writing and concept of this film isn't hilarious enough as it is, the casting is impeccable. All of your favorites from NBC comedies and SNL are here. It's worth the watch, and will for sure make you laugh.

2. Hot Girls Wanted

This is a documentary that really makes you think, and I know some of us need a break from our mindless Netflix rendezvous of OITNB or House of Cards marathons. There are so many documentaries but this is one that makes us realize something we often overlook: how women and young girls are exploited in the entertainment industry. Produced by Rashida Jones, it shows a realistic yet disturbing insight on things and still leaves some room for debate and interpretation. 

3. Annie Hall
If you're in the mood to enlighten yourself to a classic Woody Allen film, this is a good one to start with. Annie Hall resembles 500 Days of Summer, except it came out 30 years before. Annie Hall is one of the first manic pixie dream girls, without a doubt. Regardless, the fashion and the quotes in Annie Hall are worth the watch. You've probably reblogged screencaps from this film before, that's how iconic it is. 

4. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
I've spoken about this Netflix series on my blog before, but I can't write a post about my Netflix picks without including it. This show is HILARIOUS. Seriously, it's good. Tituss Burgess is personally my favorite character, and he even just got nominated for an Emmy along with the show. If you haven't started watching it by now, you will once season 2 comes along.

5. Forks Over Knives
Yet another documentary, except instead of disturbing you, it will enlighten you. Several doctors and nutrition experts come together to teach us why people go vegan and the cold hard facts about being vegan. It's a really informative documentary if you have a hard time grasping the concept. It doesn't talk about harming animals and all of that, it simply focuses on health. So you might rethink your diet a bit after watching this...in a good way.

6. Frances Ha

Not all of us are into the indie film scene, but it's never a bad thing to try, right? Frances Ha is generally a pretty easy watch. You know, the whole young-adults-trying-to-make-it-in-NYC thing. Without the glamour, though. It's a modern film in black and white. The relationships aren't traditional and the message is different, so it's definitely an indie film. It may be new for you, but it's an awakening from the same old.

7. The Hours
Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, and Julianne Moore all as female leads? Yes please. Exploring gender roles of women, depression, love, motherhood, expectations + reality, writing, and much more. The Hours made me feel, made me cry, and really made me open my eyes.

8. Our Idiot Brother

This is a great film to watch if you're looking for a general crowd pleaser with a large group of people. It's comedic but not too deep, and you REALLY want to root for the protagonist. If you're scanning through Netflix with nothing to watch, just watch Our Idiot Brother. 

9. Orange is the New Black

I feel like it's quite redundant to even include this on the list because everyone is probably watching this by now. But if you aren't, GO. Give it a chance. It's so easy to be sucked into OITNB. Every episode is filled with so much suspense and depth, and each character has a unique backstory that actually makes sense. Now...when is season four coming out?

10. Amazing Classic Disney Channel Movies:


  • Cadet Kelly
  • Camp Rock 1 & 2
  • Jump In
  • Cheetah Girls
  • High School Musical 1 & 2
Yes. You heard me. They may not show up on your feed, but if you search for them, they are there. If you're from my generation, these films may spark some bittersweet, nostalgic feelings in you. We're all in this togetherrrrrr....

What to Do When Your Car Overheats

When your car overheats, there's usually a sense of panic. It's overwelming. All of the sudden, lights on your dashboard start flashing, a peculiar aroma captures the air, and all you can see is smoke. The possibilities are pretty open. Is it a simple overheating issue? Is your car leaking excessively? Do you need to get it towed? These are questions that I am going to simplify for you guys.

I've never been a car expert or tried to learn excessive knowledge about cars. I mean, it's not like I've even been driving that long. But for the time I have been driving, I've dealt with only (and I mean only) old, run-down cars. Therefore, I've been forced to learn about cars.

The first time I dealt with an overheating issue was with a 2001 chevy malibu. The car started smoking, and it was a metallic, sweet smell. It was terrifying. Not to mention, it was leaking excessively from the bottom left side. We tried to drive it a little more to the driveway and it just kept leaking even more. Upon further inspection, we found out there was more than just one issue. The car wouldn't take any water or coolant. There was a hole in the hose and the engine was janked. We eventually had to get it towed and fixed up at the shop, but the car fell apart a few months later. Yikes.

The second overheating issue happened the other day, just as we entered the Disney parking lot, except with a 1998 chrysler concorde. As it was overheating, it had the same symptoms. Smoking with a weird smell, leaking, and flashing lights. "Shit. I don't wanna get a new car again," I thought. Regardless, we went onto Disney and enjoyed our time for 16 hours as the car rested. We called Triple A but decided to take matters into our own hands.

We put a little bit of water in and drove to the closest gas station with no smoking or leaking. That was a good sign. After putting coolant in and driving the 18 miles home, there were no issues. We got an oil change two days later and the car was working better than ever.

There are two similar yet different situations with two different cars. You really have to test things out for yourself.

So, why do cars overheat?

Why cars overheat:
1. Hot weather.
2. You're simply low on coolant.
3. You're low on coolant, but it's not that simple, because your car won't take any of the coolant due to a leak.
4. You've been hard on the engine. Long drives in hot weather with excessive air conditioner? Your car may not be use to that.

Some will say you shouldn't drive your car without a cooling system, and those people are correct. However, there are cases where you can't get it towed. (for example, if you're trapped in a Disney parking lot.) So, what should you do in this case?

What to do in worst case scenarios:
1. If in traffic or some other scenario where you can't pull over, turn the air conditioner off so you can give your engine a rest. If it's that bad, turn the heater on to transfer the heat from the engine to the heater. It may be rough, but it can save your car.

2. Just because the car is leaking, doesn't mean there is a hole in the hose. It's actually quite common for cars to leak, even if you just keep the AC on for too long. But if the car is leaking after you put more coolant in and start driving, this could be a potential issue and you need to get it checked ASAP. Better safe than sorry, right?

3. If you don't have any coolant on you and you need to get to a gas station, use water. I've found water works quite well, especially if you only need to drive a few miles.

Important things to remember:
1. Before working on the car, wait for it to COMPLETELY cool down. For your own safety and for the cars well-being. Wait at least 30 minutes, but the cooler, the better.

2. Read your cars manual. Every car has a different approach to coolant and overheating. Make sure you read this to save your car in the long-run.

3. Even if things are A-okay after you insert the coolant, I recommend getting an oil change. The reason for your car overheating may be as simple as hot weather, but a quick fix-up and look wouldn't hurt.

----

You probably just need coolant, but you can be the judge of that. Inspect it yourself, figure out the symptoms, call road-side assistance  etc. Do what you gotta do to protect your car. Know your car, and then you will be able to identify the problem. I've been forced to get to know cars almost as old as I am, therefore I've been able to fix cars problems on my own.

Dining LA // Toppings Pizza



Toppings Pizza is located in Long Beach, California on Xixemo ave. It seems like people love pizza and are always looking for new pizza places to eat, whether it be from a ma & pa shop or a fancy new italian restaurant. If you're from SoCal and are looking for that new pizza place, I recommend Toppings.

As of right now, it is the only one of it's kind. I was shocked to hear this, considering it seemed so established already.

Basically, you get to customize your own pizza. (if you wish to.) Here are the steps.

  • Choose a regular or gluten free dough
  • Choose a sauce. (examples are BBQ, Pesto, Tomato, Fire, etc)
  • Choose your cheese, or mix of cheeses. 
  • Chose your meats.
  • Chose your veggies.
  • BAM.
The best part? You get unlimited toppings for a fixed price. Each pizza is 8.00. It comes with a thin crust. But you can have unlimited meats, veggies, cheeses, sauces, whatever. It's all up to you. 

The pizza I got my first time was a regular dough with a mozzarella and gorgonzola cheese mix, with a tomato fire sauce mix, with spinach, arugula, red peppers, green peppers, and sun dried tomato on top. Oh, and a whole lot of crushed red pepper, because I put that on EVERYTHING. I'm so very excited to try Toppings again. It's a great concept and I'm so happy I live within walkable distance to them.

You can call them at 562-498-0654.