Monday, February 1, 2016

HealthSMART Coffee: A Blogger’s Perfect ‘Lil Sidekick!

(My perfect sidekick for a loooong day of writing!)
As I sit here typing, I’m listening to the gurgly, drip-drip sounds from my Mr. Coffee and enjoying the lovely scent of java filling the air.  I often think that my coffee-consuming routine could be made simpler if I had one of those Keurig machines or some new toy that produces my coffee at the speed of light! But then I think twice about it and realize that I would miss out on my treasured at-home, coffee-making process: opening a tin of coffee, inhaling the coffee aroma with a smile, and then scooping out a few spoonfuls of coffee grounds for a nice, strong cup. And as I sit here typing, it just dawned on me that my tin of coffee is nearly empty already! 

HealthSMART Coffee really is that good.

When I received the product in December, I was obsessed with iced Americanos from Starbucks and Coffee Bean. But only with multiple packets of artificial sweetener and heavy drops of “half and half,” of course. That was my must-have drink in the morning. As for a second cup of coffee in the afternoon, I’d usually use Maxwell House, Folgers, or another inexpensive brand you can find at Ralph’s or Vons. That, of course, would quickly be smothered with so much flavored, caloric-heavy creamer that I barely even tasted the coffee! 

So, naturally, when I received a 10.5 oz can of HealthSMART Coffee to sample (courtesy of its CEO Michael Reines), I figured I’d work it in somewhere throughout the day to enjoy. For the first two weeks, I would drink it here and there as I worked on my writing projects. The taste was fine and it went down smoothly. But because I was over-doing it with the creamer, I don’t believe I really experienced the coffee’s real vibe.  

(Photo Credit: www.healthsmartcoffee.com)

But then something amazing happened! Not too long after receiving my tin of HealthSMART Coffee, I made the choice to dramatically change my life and adopt a vegan lifestyle. Now, I truly enjoy a cup of HealthSMART Coffee every morning. Sometimes I add a little bit of almond milk or sometimes I embody my mother and drink it black. Either way, it’s heaven. 

Per HealthSMART Coffee  product info, here are some of the reasons why I’m digging it so much:

-       NO BITTERNESS – Just delicious!
-       Organically grown and specially fertilized in the rich soils of Colombia (following the strictest USDA Organic Standards)
-       Includes ALL Essential Nutrients (high in B vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and dietary fiber)
-       Heartburn-Free due to the elimination of excess acids typically found in any other coffee.

(Photo Credit: www.healthsmartcoffee.com)

Ultimately, HealthSMART Coffee is the perfect sidekick for a blogger’s early morning or late-night writing adventures!

To learn more about HealthSMART Coffee , be sure to visit its website! It includes super-important info about TechnoRoastingmore on the Health Benefitsand shopping deals for buying in bulk. 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Featured on Rebels Market: "5 Tips For Accessorizing A Minimalist Outfit"


Super proud to announce that I'm now a contributing blogger for Rebels Market -- an ultra-cool, online retail spot that sells fashion from "the most badass alternative brands and stores." In my first article -- "5 Tips For Accessorizing A Minimalist Outfit" -- I explore the many options minimalist stylistas have when it comes to enhancing their simplistic, structured looks. All comments are welcome, especially if your style is more Victoria Beckham vs. Gwen Stefani. Thanks for reading! xo

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

3 Reasons Why You Should Raid Your Mama's Closet!

We often look to celebrities and those in the public eye for fashion inspiration and style leadership...simply because this is the world we live in and our love (obsession?) for "celebrity" is very powerful. And while I can admit that I'm the first one to flip through Hollywood gossip magazines at the grocery store to see "what the stars are wearing," I enjoy exploring fashion trends based on my own style compass.

I grew up with a very emotional and rebellious approach to dressing -- an approach that always led me to my mama's box of scarves. I knew that no matter what was going on around me at school or with friends, that I could always count on the peace that resonated within me when I touched my mother's cherished accessories and clothing.

So because my experience with raiding my mama's closet (with her permission, of course) has always been so gratifying, I encourage you to turn away from celeb stuff for a sec and truly look toward the woman who gave birth to you, raised you, or both.

Here are 3 reasons why you should raid your mama's closet:

1) Gain a deeper connection: Find out more about the styles she likes, the colors she prefers, and the prints that make her happy. Does she have blouses that you've never seen her wear? Interested in knowing why she holds onto certain items for so long? (My mother has multiple pieces from 40 years ago, during her college days.) Simply getting a peak into your mama's closet is like entering her world and getting to know her on a new level. Fashion is very personal, and I predict that going through your mama's closet will bring up several memories and emotions for both of you. Who knows...you may see the blouse that first caught your father's eye!

2) Browse authentic vintage pieces: If you like your mama's style, then wouldn't it be rad to sift through her closet and potentially uncover a one-of-a-kind, vintage item? On the other hand, should you sorta feel iffy about your mother's look...you may be pleasantly surprised and uncover amazing pieces she's kept hidden for years! Depending on how often she wears a certain item and its sentimental value (and how much she trusts you keep it in great condition!), your mother may let you borrow it or even keep it. Although I'm not a mom yet, I can only imagine how it would feel to hand down a favorite of mine to my daughter! Such a beautiful thought...

3) Get organizational tips: Take notice of where your mom places her shoes, work clothes, casual blouses, lounge wear, handbags, etc. Is her closet organized by color? Are items easily accessible? Does her sense of organization give you a new perspective on how to take care of your own wardrobe? My mom keeps her box of scarves on the shelf above her closet, which I always considered a sacred hiding spot. In high school, my mom and I would go through the box together and decide which one would perfectly add to my free-spirited #ootd. In college, I was allowed to go through the box myself. Now, at 35 years old, I have my own box of scarves above my own closet.

Ever raid your mama's closet? Feel free to comment below. I'd love to learn about your experience! 

If you liked this article, you may also enjoy:

"Recreating Your Style in 2016? Let's Revisit Some of My Top Tips!"

"Presented by Her Mama, Lady Gaga Receives "Woman of the Year" at Billboard's Women in Music 2015"

"Lemon Frog Shop: LA's Hip, Unique Treasure!"    

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Bursts of Color (in Sexy Styles!) Ruled the Red Carpet! Check Out My Top 8 Picks!

I absolutely would choose a form-fitting black gown before selecting a bright pop of color for the red carpet! Er...I mean, typically I would choose black. But the bursts of color in sexy silhouettes worn by Hollywood faves, including Jennifer Lopez and Katy Perry, are giving me life in a refreshing way! Here are my top 8 looks from the Golden Globes' red carpet coverage:


(Jennifer Lopez)

(Guiliana Rancic)

(Olivia Wilde)

(Jennifer Lawrence)

(Jada Pinkett-Smith...and hubby Will!)

(Katy Perry)

(Emmy Rossum)

(Kate Winslet)

Photo Credits: Random Instagram finds! 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Recreating Your Style in 2016? Let's Revisit Some of my Top Tips!

(Photo Credit: www.totalbeauty.com)


I don't know about you, but I'm feeling extra energized and motivated in the new year! Although we're only seven days into 2016, there's a magical feeling in the air. Whether walking to the corner market for fresh veggies or interviewing industry professionals, I can't help but notice that inspiration is touching all of us in a special way! 

And with great energy often comes our desire to look within and focus on creating -- or recreating -- a fresh, new style that communicates our personalities. As many of you are, I'm on a continuous path of self-discovery and on the lookout for trends that will embrace and accentuate my personal style. In 2014, I started growing dreadlocks and began making fitness a priority. In 2015, I decided to embrace cute flats more than cute heels, shopped more vintage and local boutiques, and became a proud vegan (recipes coming to the blog soon!). My goal in 2016 is to continue making conscious efforts and decisions within each of these areas, while spreading inspiration to as many people as possible.


(Photo Credit: www.stylecaster.com)


That said, I'd loooooove to learn more about you -- my lovely reader -- in regards to your goals with style! How do you determine which pieces in your wardrobe should stay or go? Does the idea of hitting the mall for brand, new fashion make you feel frustrated? Do you wish that you were a better budget-conscious shopper?

Over the years, I’ve shared several fashion and shopping tips with you. And with our magical new year in progress, now is a great time to share these with you again! Below, I've listed links to 10 of my "top tips" articles that I think you may enjoy. If a particular tip stands out to you, please feel free to leave a comment or tweet me! Let's make 2016 a fabulously stylish year, my friends! xoxo






"3 Shopping Don'ts That DO!" [July 29, 2014]




Saturday, December 26, 2015

Casual Night In on New Year’s Eve? Here are 5 Outfit Ideas!

I can think of several hot spots in LA that offer great environments for a New Year's Eve celebration! But on a night where too many alcohol-induced drivers are hijacking the road and the chilly air makes for even a tortuous short walk to an uber, a night in with my honey is waaaay more attractive. While I don’t know what the plans are for us this year (the most last-minute decision-makers ever over here!), I know that I’ll be ringing in 2016 feeling good and looking good. The thing is, I’ve made new lifestyle changes that have provided more benefits than I ever knew possible…which have naturally lifted my overall spirits, reduced stress, and improved the quality of my skin, nails, and hair. This includes walking up to five miles a day and adopting a vegan diet. I suppose the pride I take in having made the necessary changes to my lifestyle is reason enough for me to beam within! 

Anyway, like I was saying, if I do end up enjoying a NYE at home, I’m still planning to add a little somethin-somethin to my energy and excitement for 2016. This means a fabulous pair of earrings -- my favorite accessory! These can instantly fancy up a simple tank top, sweater, or even cute pjs, while complementing one's facial features (due to the color, shape, or sparkle). With a hot pair of earrings on and lovely loungewear to keep comfy in, you’re also prepared for pop-up visitors and of course, googoo-gaga photos with your love (as well as selfies galore!).

So here are my 5 outfit ideas for a casual night in on New Year’s Eve! Which look communicates your personality best?


The Classic Girl's Casual Night In - NYE

The Boho Girl's Casual Night In - NYE

The Rebel Girl's Casual Night In - NYE

The Sporty Girl's Casual Night In - NYE

The Glam Girl's Casual Night In - NYE

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Presented by Her Mama, Lady Gaga Receives "Woman of The Year" at Billboard's Women in Music 2015

Did you catch Billboard's Women in Music 2015 Awards last night? Even though I missed nearly the entire show, what I did catch was in perfect, divine timing. When I flipped to Lifetime, a woman with a kind face, platinum hair, and a gorgeous pearl necklace was talking about a girl. As my ears perked and I listened in closely, I quickly realized that this woman -- Cynthia Germanotta -- was talking about her daughter, Stephanie. Or, rather as we know her, Lady Gaga.

In this 15-minute video clip, I believe you'll soak up heavy doses of inspiration -- no matter the type of creative professional you are! It includes Gaga's performance ("Til It Happens To You"), a warm embrace between a mama and daughter, and her beautiful, emotionally heavy acceptance speech after receiving the "Woman of The Year" Award. I'd love to know your thoughts on this major moment. Feel free to comment and share how/if it affected you!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Wanna (Naturally) Plump Your Lips for Picture-Perfect Moments this Holiday Season?

As I get older, I analyze my body and face more than ever! This includes my lips. And although they're not itty-bitty or even a problem, I have noticed that aging has taken a small toll on 'em -- something my mama told me would eventually happen: "Honey! Enjoy your face and body now because things change as you age!" Well, as a healthy 35-year old who is always willing to test new products and services that could improve certain areas, here I am talking about Candy Lipz!

Before I accepted its Single-Lobed Red Apple Lip Plumper, I wanted to get a good feel of what to expect. So I headed straight to the Candy Lipz Instagram page...and, um, wow. Seeing the before and after photos blew me away -- such a difference! Some of the gals' results crazily resembled Kylie Jenner's big 'ol lips in their "after" photos, which sorta freaked me out and sorta excited me! Not a stranger to the world of plastic surgery and beauty enhancements, I won't lie and say that I've never considered lip injections for a fuller look. So, I figured if anything, this was a good experiment to see how I would look and feel with plumped-up lips.

("Fortunately, I did not get any marks...")
Rundown of process: I read instructions about 20 times first, just so I felt completely comfortable getting started. That said, it took me a few tries to get the suctioning perfect! It just wasn't that easy to get it in place correctly, and when I eventually did the little sting from the suctioning made my lips feel a 'lil funny. So I stopped for a few days, even though the slight sting is a normal side effect. But then I was back and determined to conquer my positioning challenge by relaxing and trying it out again. Then yup -- nailed it! In order to prevent another common side effect -- hickey-like marks around the mouth if you suction for too long, too quickly -- I made sure to follow instructions regarding the "lip conditioning period." This period is a Beginner 101 schedule regarding how to initially use the Candy Lipz plumper, how long each session should be, and usage frequency. Fortunately, I did not get any hickies because I went by the book with this product! 

Now, being about two months after I received the product, I use it whenever I can remember and try to make it part of my daily beauty regimen. Now that my lips are accustomed to this process, I basically use it as often as I wish. Typically, I use it for about 5 minutes on and off per session one to two times a day, which is totally fine according to Candy Lipz's product safety information. According to the founder and CEO, Thienna Ho, "If you are diligent and you use your lip plumper daily, in the long-run, the appearance of your lips may stay fuller without you using the lip plumper on a daily basis." 

Recently, I traveled with my lip plumper and used it a few times on the plane, which was very convenient. (I reclined with a jacket over my face, so I didn't look like a nutty chick with an apple stuck to her mouth. But now that I think about it...I probably looked sillier with a jacket over my face!) However, the most common times I use the product: washing the dishes, vacuuming, watching TV, and folding clothes. (Whoa! When did I become so domestic?) Using at night before bed is recommended by Candy Lipz, because its said that our lips are the most still during sleep and the results will last longer. I can attest to this, as I have noticed that my lips are still a little full when I wake up in the morning after using it before bed.

("Recently I traveled with it, and used it a few times on the plane...")
Verdict: I love the results! My Candy Lipz lip plumper has become my new BFF. Would I still consider lip fillers? Well, now seeing how I appear with fuller lips and I enjoy seeing how they balance out my facial features nicely...YES, I can foresee needle pricks here and there in my future for longer-lasting results. Until then, my Candy Lipz and I are doing just fine!

To treat yourself to plumper lips in time for picture-perfect moments this holiday season, head on over to www.candylipz.com to get started. Quite affordable now too! The regular retail price for individual lip plumpers is $69.99, but I noticed that they are currently on sale for $34.99. In addition, I'm happy to offer you an extra 10 percent off (courtesy of Candy Lipz). Just use discount code: luvGGGG10. Valid through December 31, 2015. Before you do, however, be sure to read all about the different plumpers, the concept of this product, and Thienna's reason for developing this product ("Thienna's Personal Story.")

My personal disclaimer: Beauty enhancement products are like fashion trends -- what's right for one person may not be right for another. Therefore, remember to always follow instructions, know your body's limits, and educate yourself before beginning a trial period. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

SLINK Jeans: Premium Denim for the Edgy and Sexy, Full-Figured Woman!






Just as there are vast fashion options for every type of budget, there are vast fashion options today --  than ever before -- for nearly every shape and size. And while I still cringe when I walk into stores that offer the set-up division of smaller and bigger sizes (such a separate-but-equal concept…blah), I still appreciate that more and more brands are making their designs accessible to not just one type of woman.

With this in mind, I’m currently blown away by the online editorial images promoting SLINK Jeans – a line of premium denim designed for the full-figured, confident woman who is proud to show off both her edgy and sexy personality.

I was recently introduced to SLINK Jeans during a phone chat with its cofounder, Albert Dahan. With nearly two decades in the fashion industry, the entrepreneurial giant and denim pioneer proudly opened up about the beauty of SLINK Jeans. “There’s a new generation of women who feel empowered,” says the notable CEO of Joe’s Jeans Kids and DA-NANG. “SLINK Jeans are based on the concept of being proud and owning how you look.” With sizes starting at size 10, Dahan does not define SLINK Jeans as a fashion option for "plus size" women, simply due to the fact that categories and stringent titles could actually do more harm than good to a woman’s sense of empowerment. “What we’re saying is: You’re big and you’re sexy. Here is a premium brand to help you feel even more beautiful,” says Dahan.

As reported in a recent Los Angeles Times article, “SLINK extends to fit the equivalent of a size 22 or 24 with a 44- to 48-inch waist. Jackets and tops run from large to 3X. The jeans will retail between $119 and $129; tops between $39 and $44. Jackets are slated to roll out next year.” The positive message behind SLINK Jeans is literally a part of the product, as women will appreciate the special details included with each pant. According to the LA Times article, this includes the word “curvy” embroidered on the interior waistbands of the jeans, in addition to heart-shaped hangtags and interior pockets that are printed with the inspiring message: “Love Your Body.”

While Dahan and I chatted on the phone, I was salivating over the website images…I mean, everything he was speaking about was evident in the editorial images featuring the curvalicious models in edgy and sexy poses. This includes Olympic gold medalist Amanda Bingson among several lovely models who rocked the brand with an infectious vibe of “I feel beautiful” attitude and power.   

Online distribution of SLINK Jeans starts this Friday, November 20th, and I’m looking forward to keeping up with the buzz that I predict will quickly surround it! To learn more about this premium brand, be sure to follow SLINK Jeans on Twitter and Instagram!

Photo Credit: Courtesy of SLINK Jeans 


Sunday, November 1, 2015

Rollable 'Flat Out of Heels' for Comfort, Convenience, and Style!


(Use my discount code to get $2 off your own pair of Flat Out of Heels!)

All women appreciate convenient fashion -- the pieces that can easily be thrown on and off. Think zip-up hoodies, slip-on boots, our boyfriends' tees (for those off days), and now...rollable ballet-style flats by Flat Out of Heels!

Flat Out of Heels, which was founded four years ago by Dawn Dickson, is a smart option for stylish chicks on the go. As stated on its website, “No matter where you are going or what you are wearing, Flat Out of Heels has a rollable flat to match every outfit, every style, every mood and every occasion.”

("...the rollable quality of the shoe is just way cool and a total space-saver!")

 Although I typically wear flip-flops (I’m such a So Cal girl!), Nike running shoes, or Camper sneakers, it’s awesome to have a delicate pair of flats to add to my collection of comfy wear. My pair of Kimberly (Pink Floral) flats have an ultra-feminine print and fit comfortably (snug elastic around the heel). Although I wouldn’t walk a crazy, long distance wearing these flats – I’m so heavy-footed that I wear shoes out quickly – I appreciate its hard, durable sole. It’s now one of my running-errands-all-day-in-LA type of shoe, which looks great with olive-colored pants (as seen in the above pic) or any style of blue jeans. In addition, the rollable quality of the shoe is just way cool and a total-space saver. Great for traveling! 

Thanks to Flat Out of Heels, you can get an exclusive $2 off your next online purchase! The original cost of its rollable ballet-style flats ranges from $19.99 to $29.99. So yes…this is an amazing deal! [Discount Code: goodgirlgoneshopping]. Visit www.flatoutofheels.com to get your shop on! xo

Connect with Flat Out of Heels on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter

Photo Credit: My pics!

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If you liked this article, you might also like:

"Looking Forward to a Night Out in the City? Here are 3 Reasons to Ditch Your Heels!

"Are You OVER Your Style? Top 3 Tips On How to Reveal the Real You!"

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