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.