Saturday, August 10, 2019

Summer Break

Hello again!

I haven't been keeping up with my blog because I took some time to myself for some self-reflection. I do love blogging and sharing my golden finds but I also believe that mental, emotional, and physical health are important. As I started my new job and the summer began, I took it upon myself to stop wallowing over my life and dedicate every moment of summer to myself (or as much as possible). I have done some new things and have embraced them with open arms!

 I went to the pool by myself for the second time in my life! It actually took me a lot to talk myself into going because I kept thinking, "What if I see somebody I know? What if it's too crowded? What if it's weird?" Well one day after work, it was about the first 100 degrees that Denver got, I decided I'M GOING TO THE POOL. So I packed my bag and went over to our neighborhood pool. There were like 4 people there and it was really nice and relaxing. The second time, I had to talk myself into it again but after I went, I saw it wasn't weird at all. There were families with their kids, elderly people, others having a BBQ. I knew I wanted to go to the pool and I didn't care if anybody went or not and honestly, I'm glad I went. Because of that new courage, I'm able to go 100 more times and not feel weird about it. :)

I went ATV-ing for the first time and let me tell you, I was like 1% away from peeing my pants. It wasn't fast (we couldn't go over 20mph) but it was bumpy and uneven and all I kept thinking was how we were going to fall over. AH!! But luckily we didn't and it was actually a lot of fun!

 I also fired up the firepit in our backyard and made some s'mores, along with hot dogs, corn, and bosnian food - cevapi! MMM! What a great summer adventure! My favorite part was the mosquitoes - LOL JK. Nobody likes mosquitoes!

Through these fun things, I've realized that I'm tired of just laying around and not doing anything, WISHING that I would have a great summer. I've learned that sometimes wishing and thinking about something isn't enough to actually make you happy. You have to go out there and just go for it. If there's something out there that you've been wanting to do, but haven't because of every excuse in the book, I'm telling you right now to just go and do it. Wanna take a run in the park? GO! Wanna learn how to roller skate? DO IT. Wanna travel on your own? GIRL, YOU BETTER GO. If you don't experience things in life, how can you expect yourself to grow? The only person holding you back is YOU. So go out there, enjoy your summer, fall, winter, spring, and LIFE. Do what makes you happy, enjoy yourself, because life is too short.

P.S. Don't worry - summer isn't over yet! You still have time! & You sure can bet that I will be enjoying every single second!

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Old Navy Sale!

Right now, Old Navy is having a sale where most of the store is 40% off - I actually think it might be the whole store but I don't want to misquote it. Anyway, I found some SUPER cute things and that I wanted to share with all of you! Don't mind me obsessing over them!! (insert heart eye emoji here!)

First up is this SUPER CUTE Fit & Flare Tiered Cami lilac dress (click here). Honestly, I've never been a huge fan of purple, but I get so many compliments when I wear it so I thought why not just start wearing more purple.. Well, when I saw this cute dress, I died. I knew I had to get it. Usually I'm not a fan of the ruffles at the bottom but wearing it, it just adds a perfect design to a simple dress. It's true to size!

The denim jacket (click here) is also a fav of mine. I purchased mine a few years back and it's just amazing. You can literally pair it with almost any dress and it would work perfectly! I think having a jean jacket is a huge staple to a closet. This is true to size and the medium fit snug on me. It wasn't too tight or too loose but of course if you want to adjust, size up or down.

The Faux-Suede Knotted-Twist Slide Sandals (click here) are pretty much my new favorites because I am totally in love! They come in many many colors and are super comfy. A lot of Old Navy shoes have comfy soles now, which make them great to walk around in without your feet hurting! These are true to size!

Next up is striped dresses! There are two different ones. This first one is the Jersey Swing Dress (click here) and is only $8!!! This one (compared to the other one I will show) is more form fitting because the sleeves are hugging your arms. It's about a quarter length sleeve and super comfy! I would've bought this dress if they had talls in store, but because they don't, I ordered online! It's super comfy and perfect for those summer days. If you have a great day at the pool, this would be a good summer dress to wear after or before. The material is thin but it's not see-through. I would recommend getting your true size!

The next striped one is this Ruffle-Sleeve Tee Dress (click here). I will say that it's a little oversized so I recommend to size down! But if you like your dresses loose, then stay your regular size! It is a little thicker material than the last dress so I wouldn't recommend wearing it on 100 degree weather days, but if it's slightly cooler or if you're indoors with the AC blasting all day, then this dress would be perfect!

Next up is this green Sleeveless Jersey Swing Dress! (click here) This is like the previous (first) striped dress but just sleeveless. It's pretty thin but not see-through at all! The length for me was a little short, so I would have to get the tall size, but if you're not a tall gal, then I recommend to stick with regular. I think this would be great with a jean jacket and some flats or sandals. I didn't have any matching sandals so I didn't add them here but maybe some Espadrilles like these (click here) would look super cute with them! Or even wedges!

Next up are two shirt and pant looks! This Lightweight Flutter-Sleeve Blouse (click here) is the cutest and I totally fell in love with the color! The blouse is super lightweight, almost paper thing, but surprisingly not see-through! The ruffle sleeves are my favorite part because it gives it a little detailing. The V-neck is also a favorite because it's not too deep and very flattering!

The jeans are a new Rockstar from Old Navy. I think they have started to change their sizing because this is the second pair that I had to squeeze into for life. I totally recommend sizing up on these. Besides the sizing, they are super cute. They are the High-Rise Secret-Slim Pockets Button-Fly Rockstar Raw-Edge Ankle Jeans (click here). They are all button, no zipper (so weird, but works!) and the bottom is cut off with the sides also slit. I think it's just such a cute design! One thing Old Navy does great is make sure their jeans are not see-through and this is no exception. I love these!!

The shoes are the Metallic Faux-Leather Tubular-Strap Sandals (click here) and they totally caught my eye as I was shopping around. They come in many other colors but the metallic ones stood out to me the most. They are super comfy and true to size! Although they are metallic, they are a tad on the warmer side so you can totally wear them with warm colors - yellow, red, orange, etc.

Finally, this outfit is the same as above, except the shirt is different. The shirt is the Striped Slub-Weave Popover Tunic (click here). I am totally in love with this shirt because of the material. It's a woven material and super cozy. I think this shirt would be great with white pants or a pair of leggings. I love to wear tunics with leggings, because hello comfy is priority, but if you want to be a fancy pants, I recommend white jeans!

There you have it! Old Navy is one of my favorite places to shop because of their tall sizing and their new spring line has got me HOOKED! Hopefully this helped :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Valentines Day Favorites

Since Valentine's Day is right around the corner, I thought I could share some of my favorite things! I know I'm late to the party (two days away) but I had every intention to post this earlier and that's what matters!!! Along with some outfits, I've also found some cute home decor for Valentine's Day that you can use to throw in a pop of pink or red! You can click on any picture below to see the items!

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Becoming Amela

A few months ago, Michelle Obama had released her own memoir called Becoming. It has been the #1 best selling book for about 3 months now. To be honest, I didn't really know Michelle. I knew she was married to Barack and that she advocated for being healthy. I also had watched her on Ellen a few times and thought she was a pretty cool first lady. I decided I wanted to read her book, primarily because she mentions that she lets her readers know how it is living in the white house. Being someone who may never get the opportunity to, I thought it would be interesting to hear about how things went on in the white house and how it functioned internally. It's always been some sort of secret and never really portrayed in the media. Instead of purchasing the book, I went to my online library and put myself on hold for her audiobook, which was read by Michelle herself. After about 2 months, I got a notification that the book was automatically borrowed for me and I was thrilled to start reading. I got to know about her childhood and how she grew up. I learned about her going to Princeton to get a law degree. She spoke of her various jobs, including a teacher's aid, unofficial babysitter, and a lawyer. She also spoke of her marriage, Barack's campaigning, their move to the white house, her stay during the white house, and after.

To be honest, the more Michelle read about her life to me, the more I found myself that I could relate to her. No, I didn't go to Princeton, but I did get a higher education, which both of us had parents that did not. We both came from nothing and tried our best to make it in the world. She grew up on the South Side of Chicago, living in a small 1 bedroom apartment with her family. I came to America as a refugee with no money at all. As both of our lives progressed, I find that we are more alike than different. I found that through her words, I could relate to her more and how she was just another human being, not the first lady.

She talks about a time that she graduated with a law degree, became a lawyer, and then saw herself not being fulfilled with her life. I have been in the exact same situation. She had then taken a job that was a 50% pay cut but only because she wanted to explore other directions in life. She wasn't sure of what it is she wanted to do with her life and I cannot relate more. I know she is older than me and has already passed that stage in her life but being where I am and hearing her story, I know that it will all work out in the end.

Michelle talks about first meeting Barack and being curious about him. She talks about the first time they loved each other and their first kiss. She speaks so highly of him and how much he cares for her, knowing when she is upset, uncomfortable, or happy. She talks about the highs and lows of their relationship and how they always managed to work it out. I can relate on all of these points.

I think what makes Michelle relatable is that she admits that she, too, is human. She has faults, mistakes, and regrets, just like anybody else in the world. I think this would have to be the best book I have ever read (heard through audiobook) because I literally cried about 10 times, laughed here and there, and really took the time to listen and understand her life. I think the way she writes is absolutely beautiful and it has inspired me to continue to increase my vocabulary as much as I can. (I googled sooo many words!!)

This blog post wasn't about Becoming Michelle, but rather Becoming Amela. I have gone through so much in my life, but instead of focusing on my hardships, I should be celebrating my successes. Instead of wallowing in pity and despair, I should be looking at the brighter side of life. Michelle brings up the point of how children always look through a positive lens and that's how everyone should be viewing the world. They don't see it through the dark and rough times, but rather the happy moments. They never worry about moments in the future that haven't happened yet, but rather enjoy the moment they are in. I think for 2019 a goal of mine will be to become that better version of myself. I want to be happy and have faith that everything will work itself out in the end. If a door closes, I need to leave it closed and move on. I need to trust that fate will work itself out in the end.

I hope you took away something from this. If you are in a situation and frustrated, take a step back and tell yourself that everything will be okay in the end. If you feel like you've hit rock bottom, well I'm here to tell you that they only way to go from here is up. And with that, I will leave you with this..

I hope there are days when your coffee tastes like magic, your playlist makes you dance, strangers make you smile, and the night sky touches your soul. I hope you fall in love with being alive again.

Monday, February 4, 2019

H&M Haul!

I recently made some purchases at H&M online and they were less than what I expected when they came in the mail so I had to end up returning them. While I was there, I decided to shop and see if there's anything cute that I would like and boy did I liiiike it! Join me on my H&M shopping journey! I have linked everything below, you can click each picture to view the outfits I linked, or you can click 'Shop My Blog' and it will be there as well!

Click the picture above to shop this look!

First up is this suuuuper cute snakeskin bodysuit (click here). I am OBSESSED with it!! It's actually really thick so it's perfect to wear in the chillier times. I wouldn't go as far to say it's for winter wear, but definitely a good long sleeve t-shirt. I will admit that I wasn't too sure about the weird 'V line' but honestly, it compliments sooo well and makes you looks super great! I am obsessed! This skirt is a cute faux leather mini skirt (click here) and I think the two just pair sooo beautifully. I think this would be a great outfit to wear out on a date or to go out with girlfriends. The top is true to size & I would size up one or even two for the skirt! 

Click the picture above to shop this look!

Next up is this super sparkly and cute black sequin dress (click here). It's thick and double lined material. I know usually sequin dresses are itchy but because of the double lining, this material is not itchy one bit! I love that it's long sleeve and a neutral color because you can really pair it with anything. You can pair it with a pop of color - pink or red for Valentine's Day - with some heels, lipstick, and purse, and you're good to go! I would recommend sizing up 1 number if you want more of a loose, comfortable look, otherwise, it's true to size! 

Click the picture above to shop this look!

Click the picture above to shop this look!

Next up is this suuuper cute overall dress (click here) and striped sweater combo (click here)! Striped sweaters have been totally in this season so I thought pairing it with overalls would be the cuuutest! I will say that if you want to be comfortable with a sweater, size up in the overall dress. Otherwise, if you plan on wearing a thin shirt, stay true to size! You can pair this with some cute booties or even flats to finish off the look. I think I would wear baby pink shoes, like these (click here).

Click the picture above to shop this look!

This red dress totally reminds me of Clueless (as if!!) except it's red and not yellow checkered. This pattern is totally coming back and good thing it's on sale !! The material is thick and super comfy! You can pair it with some white flats or even some black ones with a black purse. I went with one size up and it was perfect! They no longer have this pattern online, but they do have some other cute ones, like cheetah, (click here) but you can always try your local H&M to see if they have it!

Click the picture above to shop this look!

Click the picture above to shop this look!

Finally this denim dress (click here)! Since denim is also making a comeback (90s is the best generation, no argument there) this dress is perfect! You can button or unbutton as much as you want. It's super lightweight and the middle section you can tie as much or as little as you'd like. I think this is a great summer dress because of how lightweight it is. This would look cute with some white flats or even these black flats (click here).

These looks are mostly all on sale in store so if you have an H&M near you, go check them out! If not, the prices on the website are reflected pretty low. I'm hoping they will go on sale online as well.. fingers crossed!!

**If you want to see any of the items in the pictures that I post, you can click here or on 'Shop My Blog' at the top and see it all there!**❤

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Super Bowl Nachos!

I personally am not a huge Super Bowl fan unless the Broncos made it all the way. If they are not playing, then I am neither fan, but I know how much my friends and family love to watch so I just tune in and watch with them. (Or if it truly doesn't interest me, I go shopping! Best time to go since everyone else is glued to a TV!) I recently made some super bomb nachos and thought I'd share with everyone!

You can buy nacho chips or make your own. Personally, I love the homemade ones from tortillas. (Partly because I had some left over at home and I thought I should just use them).

Tortilla chips from Tortillas:
1 (12 oz) package of corn/flour tortillas (I only used about 3 at a time when cooking on a single tray ; You can use corn tortillas but all I had was flour)
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
1/2 of a lime or eyeball as much lime juice as you like
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of chili powder
1 teaspoon of salt
(I eyeballed all the seasonings - add as much or as little as you like)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Cut each flour/corn tortilla into 8 chip sized wedges and arrange the wedges in a single layer on a cookie sheet. I used about 3 full ones because that's what could fit on my cookie sheet.

3. Cover each tortilla wedge with oil and lime juice, making sure each is covered well.

4. Combine the cumin, chili powder and salt and sprinkle on the chips.

5. Bake for about 7 minutes. Rotate the pan and bake for another 8 minutes or until the chips are crisp, but not too brown. *Be careful not to let your chips burn.

For the nachos:
Tortilla chips (the ones above or store bought)
1 and 1/2 cups of shredded cheese AND/OR Velveeta cheese + a can of Rotel
Beef or chicken

As much as you'd like:
1-2 diced tomatoes
Sour cream
Baked beans
Green onions

1. Take your chips and layer them at the bottom of a baking dish. You can use as little or as much as you'd like.

2. Sprinkle some shredded cheese on top. I like to use a lot since I'm an avid cheese lover. Pop it into the oven at 350 for about 5 to 10 minutes. Keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn.
*For alternative gooey cheese: Combine some velveeta and rotel into a bowl and pop it into the microwave until it's melted completely through. Mix thoroughly. Poor on top of your nachos

3. Take the pan out of the oven. If you like meat, you can add some chicken or beef, whatever you have at hand.
*To make the beef - get 1lb of beef, cook it in a pan. Add any spices you'd like. I usually add a teaspoon of each: oregano, basil, paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder. When it's all done cooking, add taco seasoning and water (follow directions on the packet) and mix it all together. Cook it about 20 minutes total. 

4. To the pan with the tortilla chips, add in diced tomatoes, guacamole, sour cream, baked beans, green onions, cilantro, corn, and olives. Take away or add anything else you'd like. You can also always buy these by the can if you don't have time to get fresh ones.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Chicken Fried Rice

So this is how it happened.. I bought some chicken tikka masala from king soopers (kroger) - I guess the marketplace has this frozen section of certain foods that you can put into a bucket and take home with you.. it includes chicken masala, shrimp scampi, mac & cheese, and a whole bunch of other foods so I decided to get some chicken tikka masala. Well, I didn't know what to eat with it cause I couldn't just eat it on its own, so I made some rice in my Instant Pot. Well, silly me forgot that 1 cup of rice = 1 gallon of rice after it's been cooked so I had a lot left over. I decided I should wing it at making some fried rice. I kinda sorta half listened to some videos on YouTube and winged the rest. I will tell you, it took me about 10 times before I perfected the recipe. (I'm not saying I made 10 batches that night, that would be crazy). But, I can successfully say that I did it! And for you, here is my recipe! :) If you make some, let me know so I can share!

1 tray of chicken tenderloins (or chicken breast, whichever), diced into bite-size pieces
1 teaspoon of oregano
1 teaspoon of basil
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of pepper
2 tablespoons of oil
1 medium sized onion, diced
1/2 cup of peas (I used frozen, you can use whatever you prefer)
1/2 cup of diced carrots (I had a bag of mixed peas and carrots, you can use fresh)
1 cup of jasmine rice
1 cup of water (or more if cooking on stovetop)
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
1 egg
salt & pepper to taste

1. Cook your rice and water until it's cooked. I like to have the rice ready before I start cooking the rest of my ingredients. I used my instant pot and it cooked in 12 minutes. If you don't have one, you can cook it over the stovetop & follow directions on the bag. 

2. Season your diced bite-size chicken with your oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. If you like to add paprika or whatever other spices, feel free to do so. (Or leave any out)

3. In a hot skillet, add oil and chicken. The skillet should be big enough to fit the rice and all of the ingredients. I went with a large one (not sure of size, just the biggest skillet I had)

4. Once the chicken is about 50% cooked (should be about 2 to 3 minutes), add in your diced peas and carrots. 

5. After about 2 to 3 minutes, add in your diced onions. 

6. Once the onions are somewhat translucent and your chicken is fully cooked, add in your rice and mix in with all the ingredients. 

7. Add in your soy sauce. I'm gonna be honest and say I just kinda wing it with the soy sauce. I just add in however much looks good. You can add 1 tablespoon but if you feel that it's not enough, you can certainly add more or less. Your choice!

8. Once that's all mixed in nicely, I use my wooden spoon and move all the rice and vegetables towards the outside of the pan, leaving a big hole in the middle - kinda like a donut. Crack one egg in the middle and start scrambling it. As the egg starts to cook more, mix it with all of your ingredients. 

9. Keep mixing until all the ingredients are fully mixed and cooked through! Add in salt and pepper as you wish, or any other spices.

You can certainly add in any other ingredients that you like - celery, peppers, leave out peas - whatever you like because it's your fried rice and you can make it however you like!

Enjoy! :)

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Amazon Favorites!

If you haven't realized the beauty of Amazon, you certainly will! Initially, I ended up getting an account, along with Amazon Prime, because I needed it for school. I heard it was the cheapest place to get books (rented or bought) so I made an account and it saved me from buying $300 books because Amazon had them for like $30. Thank you, Amazon! Amazon not only has textbooks, I discovered, but many, many, mannny other things. I've purchased things from household items, to clothes, to makeup and tanning supplies.. the list goes on an on. I decided to make a blog post about my favorite Amazon items and share them all with you! Click on any of the pictures below! I always, always, always look at the reviews. I actually trust Amazon reviews more than any other website because I know about 99% of the time, they are genuine.

**I'll keep updating this as I find more things I like**

First up is clothes! I love clothes because they are art, in a sense that they let you express yourself on how you want to look and wear. I've never really thought about becoming a designer or a model, but when I throw something on that I like, it makes me feel good, so why not? Live your best life.

Next up is some beauty and accessories that I love! I have purchased several of these and am totally in love! My favorite would have to be the purple and blue shampoo, just because it makes my hair less brassy and I can't believe how cheap it is!

Finally, some household items that I think would be fun to have around the house! I think the modern look nowadays is rustic with lots of greenery and a pop of color. The color I am always leaning towards is a gold rose but you can really pick any to make your house pop!

If you have any Amazon recommendations that you swear by, let me know so I can add them on! :) As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.