Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Have Goals and Be Respected!

Rome wasn't built in a day.  Having goals and being passionate about them is just as respectable as completing the goal.  Having goals shows that you have ambition.  Also, when you tell others about your goals with passion it shows that you have drive. 

Don't get caught up in the thought that the world is keeping score.  There is no one out there with a check list keeping track of what you do and don't because sometimes when you are working on a goal you may reach a point where you no longer want what you were working for - let's not get it twisted - if your goal is to quit drinking or doing drugs - those types of goals need to be completed for your health and well being.  Also, if you have one or both of those goals - CALL AUNTIE SHIA - she's here for you.  But seriously, sometimes your initial goal can morph into something new or you realize that the end result isn't really what you wanted and you then reevaluate and form a new goal. In all actuality, this realization shows that you are growing as a person which is precisely the reason for making goals.

Even though there is no one keeping score, you have to complete some goals for three reasons.  One is the satisfaction you get when you work hard and see results keeps you empowered.  Goals can be anything you want to make happen in your life.  It doesn't all have to be super serious like becoming the first female President but boy Aunt Shia would be so proud.  Seriously, just anything that improves or enriches your life and makes you happy.  Second is the happiness you get from completing it.  It always just seems that when people get depressed it is because they feel like they have nothing to live for. So always keep your life on a happy track by working on goals.  Third is the pride in yourself you achieve.  It's all well and good for others to be proud of you but to actually be proud of yourself is a different level.  Pride in yourself is more important.  You have to love yourself and love being who you are, your goals make you ... you.  

Keep track of your goals.  Right now you all are receiving gold stars for your accomplishments and you feel the reward by seeing that gold star which is precisely why you need to keep track of your goals.  You have to see the successes.  Goals can have milestones on the way so seeing how far you have come keeps you moving in the right direction.  You know Auntie Shia is part of the 20th century where we liked to write stuff down and see it but now in the 21st century you probably have an app for that.  Whatever way you keep track ... keep it up.  

Last but not least, don't forget you can always tell Aunt Shia about your goals and I'll always be here cheering you on!  Love my girls!!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Espresso Powder ... where the heck do you find it?

Happy Monday everyone.  I hope you all had a fab weekend.  

Paul's birthday is coming up this Wednesday so I thought I would make him a chocolate cake from scratch. Before this great adventure I have made two homemade cakes.  The first one which I have dubbed cake-gate was a complete let down.  The first one was just way to much to tackle for a newbie cake maker.  It had great intentions ... double birthday cake ... for Paul and for my lil sis Debra ... which then just caused my lil sister to be bratty (which she will probably still deny and who in their 20s still wants funfetti cake when someone is WILLING to make you a cake FROM SCRATCH ... hence the name cake-gate) anywho ... I tried making a healthy version using splenda and such and it turned out to be a heavy somewhat tasteless cake. Womp womp womp ... so I went back to cakes in a box.  I mean hello they taste good don't knock Betty Crocker that girl has it DOWN.  

Yet cake-gate and all, I could not let that first fiasco stop me from attempting it again.  Recently I've gotten back in the kick of watching all the cooking shows that pbs airs.  You know like America's Test Kitchen and their "new" (well new to me) Cook's Country.  So I saw this episode with a Strawberry Dream Cake and I thought it would be perfect to try as my next homemade cake (click HERE to watch the show).  The cake was definitely a chore to make.  It called for squeezing the juice from frozen strawberries and reducing it down to a thick syrup.  Let's just say it took WAY longer than the few minutes for them to go over the "how -to" on television.  Well ... the cake was AMAZING.  Strawberry cake, strawberry cream cheese icing and fresh strawberries in the middle ... OMG ... sorry Betty but your Strawberry Cake mix has got NUTIN on this bad boy!!  The cake was gone in like 2 days.  It literally became a part of the day ... CAKE TIME!!
So now we're at my THIRD cake.  Chocolate cake with chocolate icing for Paul because seriously we will be watching tv and he will randomly say ... chocolate cake.  Seriously like once a month he will crave chocolate ... it's kinda nice knowing we aren't the only ones.  So I looked for a pbs cooking show with a delicious looking chocolate cake and no such luck.  So I went to my second tried and true method ... google!  I found a blog toting the The Best Chocolate Cake {Ever}! (<---click on that link to see her amazing cake and for the recipe) and thought I just had to use this recipe. I looked it over about 100 times before making it and each time I thought okay this is WAY easier than that Strawberry Cake.  However, the biggest challenge looming over me for this cake was ... the recipe calling for espresso powder.  I looked almost everywhere for it ... Publix (grocery store), Fresh Market (kinda like Whole Foods), Whole Foods and World Market ... no luck.  I did use that trusty friend of mine google which mentioned that William Sonoma carried it but I was not trekking all the way across town for one ingredient AND paying the William Sonoma price for it.  There just has to be a different way. So I read through all the comments and kept telling myself that even the blogger said that it was just her spin on the Hershey chocolate cake recipe on the back of the cocoa powder container which says NOTHING about espresso powder but yet her words that it just helped bring out the chocolate flavor even more kept haunting me.  Then I found my substitution ... coffee extract.  Well actually I bought something at Whole Foods called Coffee Flavor which I have to guess is the same thing that I later saw at Publix {CHEAPER!! ... bang palm on forehead}.  With that I set off to make my cake and .... it turned out DELICIOUS!  The cake is so moist and delicious and the frosting is to die for!  Seriously you could just make that and spread it over everything and be content.  Screw nutella ... lol.  The cake is definitely rich so definitely have some cold milk {soy for those lactose intolerant like me} or ice water nearby. We had vanilla ice cream with ours ... so yum.  It was also super simple to make.  Granted just about anything might seem simple after that Strawberry Dream Cake but it truly is - other than of course having to measure out all the ingredients - it's just as easy to make as a box cake.  Also, frosting sounds kinda daunting to make especially when it comes so neatly packaged in the correct amount at the supermarket but it is really easy to make and tastes so much better ... I know I know but it is ... trust me ... heck make it. 
I'm hoping the more cakes I make ... the neater they will start to look but hey pretty or not they are sure tasty!

So all in all, my last two cakes were a success and I am even thinking about trying to make a few more real soon for some other birthdays I have coming up.  Also, how awesome would it be if I learned how to make real coconut cake and made it for our ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY!  Since we had coconut cake at our wedding I think it would be fitting to try my hand at that cake next.  

What's your favorite cake to bake?


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Back to School

Back to School

So this week's topic is back to school and guess what ... Shia is back in school!  YAY!  More on that later but for now here's my attempt at geek chic.  Love those bangs but too bad my white girl fro doesn't agree ... boo hoo!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Errand Girl

Errand Girl
So errands can be fun {sometimes} but going through all the prepping can just be a big waste of time.  I'm not big on dressing up unless I am meeting friends for lunch or coffee. However, I do hate to just wear running shorts and have the whole going to the gym look when I have no intentions of going to the gym {ahem flip flops kinda give it away}.  So I thought ... why not find a fun way to dress up some gym shorts and tada ... here is a def look I would wear when doing errands.

What do you think?
Are you one of those girls that looks flawless when doing errands 
... you know the ones I outfit crush on?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Primer Showdown

So, we all know that I love bareMinerals (if you are new look HERE and HERE for my previous posts). However, recently I've tried to be a little more budget conscious and try e.l.f. Mineral Infused Face Primer. I found it at my local Target and thought I'd give it a try since it is half the price of bareMinerals Prime Time.

It looks and feels exactly the same.  Plus, you can buy this primer online in different shades for color correction, brightening and a little glow.  Browse the customer reviews if you plan on trying one of the other shades.  Since I stuck with clear, I have no clue if the others work well.  {If you try one (or currently use one) let me know - I'd love to hear about them}.  This primer is just as smooth and lightweight as the other. I can't even tell the difference, my foundation looks just as even, smooth and natural.  Also, just like the other it doesn't clog my pores.  

The only griped I have is that the container is larger and bulkier and it only holds half as much!  Also, since it is half the size I'll be purchasing it more often but come on who doesn't need a reason for going to Target?

So in my book this is a definite keeper - it's cheaper and works fabulous!
Now I need to check out the mascaras ... stay tuned!!

What cheaper items have you swapped into your makeup?

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Short Story

Short Story

So here's my Friday Fancies on Saturday ... better late then never.  I'm not a huge fan of shorts ... I prefer skirts but I found these shorts similar to a skirt I own and thought I'd so a simple way to look fabulous when out and about this summer.  
Join the fun and link up at {long distance loving}!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Am I Weird?


So instead of telling you all the things that I am okay with this week ... I thought why not share some things that I wonder if I am okay ... so more like a "is it okay?" kinda day.

Isn't it weird that ...

I always think of the most random moments in my life when I am taking a shower.  Seriously, it never fails some weird memory will come back to me and the entire time I am showering I am also thinking where in the world did this chain of thoughts come from?  Weird?

To stop drinking Starbucks (yes weird) but then go back and think ... YUCK ... this stuff is so bitter and have weird caffeine withdrawals or yet the opposite because duh you just drank it.  Then think why the heck didn't I think to get decaf ... you know like easing yourself back into an addiction rather and overdosing.  But wait ... there's more ... then the lil starbucks app has a 1 on it ... you tap it and TADA free drink reward at your service.  Okay so next time ... totally getting decaf.

I am so far out of the blogging world that when I logged in today I had google reader ... um wasn't that something everyone was talking about going away ... like the blog world was ending and we all had to jump on over to bloglovin?  Is it weird that I have no idea about any of it ... I just blog to blog ... is there something wrong with me?

That random old men add me to their circles on google+ ... who are these guys and where the heck are they finding me?  Isn't it a tad creepy or am I just weird?

So what makes you weird?
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