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27 August 2014

Chocolate Banana Nut Shake

 Smoothies and shakes are excellent snacks or meals that you can eat all year round. They work so well because you can add just about anything to them- and freeze a lot of your fruits and vegetables beforehand. I'm super excited to introduce Lindsay, from Lindsay Living Vegan, to you today. 

I actually met Lindsay, via google hangout, when we both signed up for Erin, over at Living in Yellow's, new blogger happy hour. After handing out advice to one another for an hour +,  I knew she was a blogger I wanted to stay in touch with for a while. She writes fantastic posts about the most delicious looking food (all vegan!)- including spectacular smoothies (I've tried a few, they are dynamite!) 

Thankfully I have her stopping by today to help keep you all company while I play work overseas. 
Check out this mouthwatering shake... definitely will be trying this when I'm back stateside!!

I may be vegan but that doesn't mean that I don't eat my sweets! I am a huge chocolate lover and I need to have something chocolatey everyday or else I am miss crabby pants! So instead of going crazy, I like to take yummy recipes and veganism them. Guaranteed you won't even tell that the recipes I make are vegan!
Last night after eating 2 (yes 2!) bean and rice burritos I was not fully satisfied. Side note - my boyfriend, Jordan, thinks I'm absolutely crazy and that I eat like a teenage boy. I usually just roll my eyes at him or get in crazy mode and try explain to him that the foods I eat are at least healthy. I also just want to point out that I was a vegetarian since I was 4 so I don't even know what meat tastes like and just became vegan last spring. I am the only one in my family and out of my friends who is vegan so I am not one of those vegans who goes around hating and criticizing all the non-vegans out there! I just annoy Jordan :)
Now back to last night... Before I broke out my laptop to see what time Sprinkles closes so that I can run out to get a vegan cupcake, I checked the kitchen thoroughly. I found just enough ingredients to make this chocolatey deliciousness and I am pretty sure you probably have these ingredients as well. If not, they are easy to find!

To make this Chocolate Banana Nut Shake you will need...
  • 1 cup of chocolate almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 fresh banana
  • 1 frozen banana
  • Handful of ice
  • Optional - shredded coconut
I only had 1 frozen banana in my freezer and that is why this recipe calls for 1 frozen and 1 fresh. Frozen bananas blend very creamy and that is how you get that shake/malt texture. I bet if you used 2 frozen bananas then this would taste even better!
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Blend all ingredients until smooth
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Pour into a glass or mason jar for cuteness and sprinkle on top some coconut flakes!

How easy is that? I almost made another batch of it because Jordan drank half of mine! This is a boyfriend non-vegan approved treat that is full of healthy nutritional ingredients! I hope you enjoy it and please let me know what your favorite treats and desserts are. I would love to veganize it!! :)

Be sure to check Lindsay out via facebook, twitter, and instagram
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26 August 2014

How To Get Out of a Speeding Ticket

I have to say I am extremely grateful to have never been pulled over by a cop- ever. But it always gives me hope when I read stories like these- that if I did get pulled over I could work some magic! Today I bring you Lauren, from Lot 48.

Lauren is a fun gal living in L.A with her hubby. She was some fantastic stories about her adventures out there and some freaking adorable nieces and nephews!

Make sure to check out Lauren on twitter/pinterest/instagram

hi everyone!! i am so happy to be guest posting today on Rebekah's blog!! i'm lauren and i blog over at Lot 48.

i have a fun story to tell you today.  it is how i talked myself out of a parking ticket.

last year, i was working as the media director for the local chamber of commerce. it was Christmas season and i was running late to our holiday luncheon.  there was a miscommunication about when i could leave the office to attend the luncheon, so i was running late.  

i was speeding along the road when i saw those horrible three colors.  i was caught! i think i was going 10 over the speed limit.  you know that horrible feeling when you get pulled over.  your heart starts racing and you are quickly start freaking out and thinking how this was going to affect my insurance and life. 

the cop came to my door and did the whole thing of "did you know how fast you were going?" and yadayada.  i knew i was totally screwed.  he took my insurance and such and then told me he would be right back.  

that's when my mind started to actually work.  how was i going to get out of this?? people got out of speeding tickets all the time! surely i could do this!! i just had to think......
click here to finish the story!!
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22 August 2014

Birthday Madness! + Giveaway

Well... it's here. The big 27. I officially feel old now that I've made the transition from mid-20s to late-20s. AHH. At around 8:30 ish this beautiful morning, 27 years ago, I decided to bless the world with my madness.

I've heard my birth story a few times, but I was about 2 weeks late- on Friday my mother went to the doctor and he told her that if I didn't show up by Monday then she was going to be induced. Determined to be a Leo (I'm right on the cusp) my strong-minded baby self decided to appear bright and early on Saturday morning. You're welcome world, I know, I'm awesome.

So Happy Birthday to Me! I'm getting myself a calorie-free day, the ability to fly, and maybe a new couch when I get back to the usa? Who knows- the possibilities are endless!

 I'm going to attempt to reflect on this past year- it's been overall a pretty good one..

1) I can feel my independence growing, and that I've pushed myself to learn who I think I am . I've always had strong feelings about women's rights and this year I felt like I actually talked about it more, made an effort to inform myself, educate others and love me for me.

2) For the first time I've actually set goals for myself, and ones that I feel I can actually keep. The Appalachian trail may still be a year and half away but I know that I will be doing it- the goal is set, and it will be completed.

3) Strength in my friends- for the first time in a while I have a solid group of friends that I know I can turn to, some of them I know will be friends for a lifetime, whether we eventually live in different states, countries, or still down the block. Is it weird to say I'm in love with all of them? They are all reading this and laughing now- but thanks for being awesome.

4) My emotions have changed so much- more so over the past few years and not just the past one and obviously it's because I'm getting older but I couldn't even express how grateful I am for it- I never cried about anything when I was younger and really almost all the way through college. Now though I am happy I can be okay to tear up at a commercial, sob over a book. I'm still not as great as expressing those emotions to other people, but I'm doing better. And I appreciate that I was able to change.

5) I appreciate the chances I've had to travel- not that I always get to see a ton when I travel with work, but I love the fact that I am still visiting foreign places, trying new cuisines and seeing different lifestyles. I look forward to traveling further, and just traveling in my own country this year.

Onward to another year- I think 27 is going to be even better than the last 26!

And on that note...summer is coming to an end (whomp whomp) so what better way to drown our sorrows than in $150 cash. sounds more than a little fantastic to me! I've joined up with Karli, from September Farm and all these other lovely ladies to bring you a nice treat to end the summer with..
 ...just check them out...aren't they dolls-faces?

get entered below. visit their super, fun blogs. thank me later.
soup of the day | beautiful things | p. s. my name is madeline | September FARM
east willow grove | elizabeth loves
harris heart to hearts | a life like mine
blue giraffes + concrete jungles | simply love | the farmer's wife | ribbon in the sky
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and I'm linking up with the regulars!
with my new favorite song... seriously I've played it about a thousand times already..

21 August 2014

Back to School Fashion

Today I bring you the lovely Tess, from Sequins and Sunflowers- an adorable blog dedicated to healthy living, clean makeup and some super cute fashion. Tess has some fantastic ideas for back to school or just the good old fashion fall clothes.

And don't forget to stop by and say hello to Tess on facebook, twitter, and youtube (yes she vlogs and does tutorials- they are incredible- check it out!) 


 Sharpened, wooden pencils are one of the things that immediately transport me back to my childhood and the beginning of school. While most families are taking their last vacations and throwing that one last barbecue in the backyard, I can't help but feel excited for what comes next. The crisp weather that fall delivers so promptly and ever so cleverly just as school begins. Children shop with their mothers for the perfect lunch box and we girls fret over which outfit will be perfect on the first day of school.

While I am no longer in school (!!) I still like to use the beginning of school as a guideline for changing up my wardrobe and beginning the transition to more fall pieces.

In celebration of the coming of fall and the beginning of a new school year, here are two of my favorite interpretations of back to school outfits that will not only be comfortable and chic, but could also be worn in most any other casual situations.

 For those who veer toward the girlier side of fashion, this outfit was made for you. Beginning with a floral romper, layer on a sleeveless jean jacket for a fun twist on the typical summer romper. Because this particular romper has a lot of colors going on, I thought it would be fun to pull one of the less noticeable ones out by pairing a bright pink earring to accentuate the pink colors in the fabric of the romper. Add an adorable pair of lace Keds, a pop of pink lipgloss and the epitome of the girl-next-door you will be (did you hear the Yoda voice there?)!

This is personally the outfit I would wear on my first day of school, if I were attending. Pair a slightly distressed pair of boyfriend jeans with an adorable polka dot top for a cheery take on a classic shirt. Add a modern pair of pointy-toe ballet flats in an electric blue before popping on a hot red gloss. Not only will your outfit pop in all the right ways, but there is still a classic edge to it that makes it perfect for the first day of school. Of course, you can always pop on your favorite pair of glasses (who am I kidding, I have one…) for an added element of nerdy chic because yes, that is a thing.

I just wanted to add a little note about high school here, in case you aren't the most popular fish in the sea. I was always a little nerdy and a little different, but I always had great friends who didn't look down on me or call me out on my weirdness. Because of this, I accepted myself at a very young age. This isn't to say that there weren't days where I wished I was a little more Laguna Beach and a little less Urkel, but overall keeping my head up and surrounding myself with friends who liked me the way I was made high school much easier for me.

 So as a final word of encouragement, in the words of Dr. Seuss, "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
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19 August 2014

Guilty Pleasures

I'm linking up today with Sarah and Helen for #totalsocial- this months topic, Guilty Pleasures.

Not sure why we have to consider them as something to be guilty of but we all have them,myself included.

I absolutely love any and all celebrity gossip. I get my US Weekly, ONTD updates and just about any and everything in my news feeds. Learning about the inner workings of a celebrity is like crack to me- they wore that? said that? kissed who? I seriously will call family members to tell them something that a celebrity did- mind you all people I do not know.

The Clique book series- one of my biggest guilty pleasures. These are the most ridiculous books and yet I love them so so much. It's a bit embarrassing- but hey, I guess that's why we are here! The author is no longer writing them since I own all of them (yes, all of them) I re-read them from time to time. The series is about a young girl named Claire, who moves with her family from Florida to Westchester. They move in with an old friend of her father's, a very wealthy family who have a daughter the same age as Claire, Massie. Massie is your "typical" popular girl- one who owns her school. She has more designer clothes than I could ever dream about owning and everyone under thumb. Super ridiculous and my favorite thing to get lost in.

And Harry Potter fanfiction - I'm a total nerd at heart but man some of them are amazing, like almost on par with J.K herself. 

Also before I go to sleep at night I like to make-up stories as if I was related to, best friends with or dating a celebrity. Like I have on going stories that I jump back in forth to - some that start as me as practically an infant to old age and relaxing in rocking chairs. I've been doing it probably since middle-school. It's as if I create alternate universes in my head..

Helene in Between

What are some of your guilty pleasures?
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and p.s- today is the LAST day to get %50 off ALL my ad spaces- use code hpforpresident at checkout!

18 August 2014

4 Ways to Get More Out of Your Travels

Why I, myself, travel off to foreign places for work- I bring you Nicole from GenTwenty to give you some great ways to get more out of your travels.
Nicole is one of co-founders and the editor in chief of the online magazine, GenTwenty. GenTwenty is a wonderful collaboration of several young writers who pen articles about love, relationships, travel, health, career, life and finance. Check them all out at GenTwenty, on facebook, and twitter!

 take it away Nicole!

4 Ways to Get More Out of Your Travels 

Many of us twenty-somethings have been bitten with the travel bug and I am no exception. I am always jumping at any chance to hop in the car or board a plane to discover more of this wonderful world we live in.

 I often find myself wavering between trying to enjoy the moment and trying to capture it. It’s the eternal struggle of a traveler to be fully present but to also let your destination resonate with your soul so that you can keep a little piece of it with you for the rest of your life.

These are four things I do when traveling to ensure that I have a healthy balance of both living in the moment and having the chance to relive a trip I never want to forget:

Keep a travel journal. 

Pictures capture the beauty of a place, but a journal holds on to the memories and emotions that a camera can’t capture. It’s fun to start a new journal for every big trip you take, but you can keep one to track smaller trips as well.

In my travel journals, I like to take some time every evening to write about what happened that day. I also find it enjoyable to sit at a cafe or on a bench and people watch while I write. Practicing this forces me to pay more attention to my surroundings and better understand the essence of the place I’ve traveled to.

A journal is also a safe place to keep travel mementos like polaroid pictures, ticket stubs, maps, and postcards.

Don’t overplan.

 It’s so tempting to try to fill your schedule with as many activities as possible while you are traveling. But there is so much beauty to be found in taking a slower pace. I plan only two to three things per day to leave time for aimless wandering around city streets or taking an extra long hike in a national park.

 As a rule of thumb, always tack on an extra hour or two when you are planning a drive to leave time for stopping and meals.

Wake up early.

Nothing quite compares to waking up before the rest of the world. There is a peaceful silence before the day gets started that will clear your mind and refresh your spirit.

Waking up with the sun and wandering around will give you new insight into the city you are staying in. Not to mention you’ll get to see how locals start their day and experience the pace of the city.

Try not to always rely on reviews.

 Using Yelp or Travelocity can be helpful when planning a trip, but some of the best food I’ve ever eaten has been suggested by locals or I’ve wandered into accidentally. I am big on experiencing things firsthand whether others have had a terrible experience or not. Ask a barista, travel guide, or market vendor for their recommendations - most people are happy at the chance to share what they love about their city with travelers.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on ways to both live in the moment and document your travels. Many, many thanks to Rebekah for the opportunity to share this post!
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15 August 2014

The Rain in Spain

First off- it's one week until my birthday! Woo!! And it's my dad's birthday today! Happy Birthday Dad!

The posts this week were all over the place, so many things are going on right now I'm just throwing what I can and feel out there. Yesterday was a pour your heart out kind of day and hopefully you can go with the flow here.

Sunday I am leaving for Spain/France with work- the packing has been never ending- pack all day at work then come home and pack for myself. the joy. I've got a few friends stopping by the blog while I'm gone in the next two weeks- please give them all a warm welcome. I'm hoping to get some things down while I'm away too- although I'm still debating whether or not to bring my computer...

Five Things for the Week

1) This is the best birthday present a friend could ever send! Seriously, fangirl squealing here.

I received this epic gift from a friend of mine who I have known since middle-school. We haven't spoken as often as I would have liked the last few years, but every time we do speak it's like we never stopped. Love her, love this, love Nsync.

2) And all these shipping labels? The first is from my friend, clearly that is my middle name ; ) Birchbox sent the second- they are stepping up their game!

3) Parties! Tomorrow is my sister's bridal shower! Whoop whoop! I picked my beautiful Kate Spade dress today from Rent the Runway, have all my accessories lined up and am ready to spend the day in Philadelphia celebrating her. Hopefully will get some good pictures in! And I got her a really cute gift...

4) Books, books, books- not that I ever stop reading, I'm addicted. I went ahead and signed up for the free trial of the Kindle Unlimited. So far I'm pretty impressed. They have a great selection and for a crazy reader like me it might be worth it. I will update when my 30-days are up..

5) Speaking of books- I've got a rocking guest post about some of my favorite children's books over with Ashley from That Southern Mama. Check it out!

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! 
(I'm linking up with all these peeps because I'm cool like that- check out some other super awesome bloggers today!!)

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14 August 2014

you ain't never had a friend like me

As the week draws to an end, and what a long week it has been- I want to touch on the death of a beloved friend and family member of mine, my grandmother. I know a big celebrity has been in the news, who also passed away, and although he will always be a favorite of mine, my sorrow and grief this week has been for my family members, my father, my aunt and uncle, all of my relatives- who lost a remarkable woman. My MaMa had been battling lung cancer for the past several years and her journey came to an end, thankfully in her own bed, this past weekend.

A beautiful woman, who always had a smile on a face, a piece candy to share and a hug I will most definitely miss. I love you and I miss you so much already.

Both of my mother's parents have passed away as well but I was not nearly as close with them as I was with this grandparent. Honestly, this might be the first person I've known who has passed away for whom I will seriously grieve. I never knew it would be so hard- not that anyone does, or would know. Grieving is such a unique process for every person that nothing could truly prepare you for the feelings.

 Tears stream down my face as I write this goodbye, filled with love, sadness, and the understanding that she is now in a better place. My memories of you will last forever and I can only hope to pass on the goodness you shared with me. Thank you.
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13 August 2014

How to Pack for a Trip with Children

First things first- make a list of everything that could possible go wrong with your child. Think contracting the swine flu to flash blizzard in the desert.

Your next step is to then make of list a everything you could possible need to aid or fix the above disasters. You will end up with something that looks like this:

But seriously, when you pack for a trip with children, you will end up bring an unnecessary amount of items. How many snacks will they eat? What if one child gets diarrhea and goes through 6 outfits in one day? The ultimate disaster- a suitcase gets lost!

For my job, I travel with the family to different countries about 3 times a year. And it doesn't get too much easier until all children are out of diapers. Typically I am packing 2-3 suitcases for two children (depending on the length of our trip and location). Take our upcoming trip, for example.

and this only about half of what I need to pack...
We are spending about 9 days in sunny southern Spain, and then flying to Paris for 5 days. Already the weather in Paris is in the low 70s. This means I will be packing fun, loungy beach clothes, as well as a handful of pants, long sleeve t-shirts, some sweaters.

My list includes- books, toys, puzzles, snack items like - goldfish, cereal, pirate booty. I need to pack all diaper related items- wipes, diapers, swim diapers, diaper cream, bags. Most places don't have kid friendly cups or silverware, so good ahead and throw in those items too. We need bath toys, beach toys, life jackets and sunscreen. The list goes on... and when all is said in done, I may only use about half of it- but when it comes to children, you definitely want to be safe rather than sorry.

Don't forget the rain gear! (children in the rain are the worst!)
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12 August 2014

lets talk about your business...

I mean the business that comes out of your back end- that's right, poop. A scary subject I know, but in reality one that is all about your health.

I admit it- I poop. And whether you like to do the same or not, truth is you do it too- perception aside it is how our bodies function.

Now it may not be fun, but I have discovered a product that makes pooping a bit easier, no no- not like your constipated easier but in the fact that it makes your poop smell better. Which then makes it easier to go in public places, or at work. A product that lets you go and no one will know! Amazing!
This beautiful little bottle of magic is called Poo-pourri. It really does wonders.. I had seen it around at boutiques and whatnot and though, hey- what not try it. I poop, and it would be nice to not smell it.. So for the past few months I've kept it in my bathroom and when it's time to go I use it. (is this a weird post or what?)

You spray 4-6 pumps of the product across the top of the water in your toilet.The scent is a kind of a lemon/ginger. And then you go- and no smell! It's a miracle- seriously.

I brought my bottle with me for my sister's bachelorette party weekend, turns out I wasn't the only one with that brilliant idea either- one of her friends brought a bottle of it too. We kept one in each main bathroom, and it definitely kept everyone much happier.

Overall the product is a win! And although pooping may be an awkward subject, there is no reason we need to smell it- check out the product here on amazon! (this is an affiliate link- if you click through and buy the product I will receive compensation)

*I did not receive this product complimentary, but chose to purchase and share it on my own- all thoughts and opinions are mine.*

AND on another note- in honor of my new updated sponsor page, I'm giving 50% off all spots- use code hpforpresident

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11 August 2014

Weekend Schmeekend

Welcome to Monday- where the fun never ends! Blah.

The weekend- let's see- I spent a good chunk of my weekend attending birthday parties for small children.

I started off Friday by getting cancelled on again for my second date with that kid from the other day. He was sick- which is fine, my throat wasn't feeling too great either. I ended up watching X-Men and drinking some wine with a friend.

Saturday I woke up feeling worse (lotion tissues are my jam these days) but my sister came into town, and my mom flew in in the morning and we all went over to Rent The Runway to try on and pick out dresses for the bridal shower next week and rehearsal dinner for the wedding in October. The trip was a success- I picked out a super cute Kate Spade dress for next weekend and this other cute lace dress that I  never normally would have picked for myself for the rehearsal dinner this fall.
kate spade dress

dress for rehearsal dinner from Nha Khanh

After dress shopping we went to Big J's birthday party- on Saturday he turned 5! It was adorable watching all the little munchkins run around, Big J and Little J were super excited to see me there- and my nephew, who came with us, had as much fun as a one-year old can. We had to laugh too because Little J and my nephew (who are a year and a half apart) are almost the same height!

two cuties playing together!
 My sisters, my mom and I went to lunch after and then I did some shopping while continually feeling worse and worse. I finally dragged myself home around 5 where I then spent the rest of the afternoon/evening curled on the couch with some tea and large box of tissues. Just the way I wanted to spend my Saturday! On another fun note, apparently it's okay if a guy cancels because he is sick- but not okay if I cancel because I am sick- needless to say, date #1 maybe our last... whomp whomp.

Sunday I woke up feeling better- which is good, because in just one week we are flying to Europe. (btw- I'm looking for some guest posters for the few weeks I will be gone, if you are interested send me an email!) I started "packing" - meaning I threw a bunch of things I might want to bring into a pile on my floor. This week will be lots of fun- I mean it!
packing- at it's finest!

The afternoon was spent celebrating my nephews first birthday! I seriously can't believe he is already one! He is oh so cute, crawls like a bear, is going to be walking very soon, and already loves cake. Best kid ever. I bought him a handful of the J's favorite stories along with an L.L Bean monogrammed bag (you got start them young with the monograms!).

reading with the birthday boy
The books will be lifelong favorites and the bag will last forever- they are really great bags if you don't have one (I have 3) and L.L Bean has a lifetime guarantee so once it does start to fall apart they will replace it for free. This is one of my favorite things about them, my mom has this one backpack with a leather fastener and I'm pretty sure she has gotten it replaced by them at least 3 times. Customer service is key in a business!

Off track- sorry, Sunday night I did some more packing, noseblowing, and some reading... And if you haven't checked out the first episode of Outlander yet- you totally should. It was amazing, a perfect cast and right on par with the book. I'm so glad it was made into a TV show and not a movie- now they will be able to do it like it should be done.

And on another lovely note- I've totally revamped my sponsor page with the help of Charissa from House of Bliss, check it out!!!

Hope everyone had a fabulous weekend! 
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