Monday, December 28

Healthy Snacks for the New Year?!

Now that Christmas has come and gone, we've just got New Years to go before we, as a society, feel bad for what we've consumed, how little we've moved and set goals for the New Year. I know that whatever your philosophy toward new year resolutions is, we all like to improve.

So many I'll just approach this topic from my point of view. I have a problem with overeating... I just really like food that much! Planning my snacks out helps me fix this problem, so let's bring healthy cereal bars in to the conversation. There's a lot of brands out there! Nature Valley, Kind, Luna... Each offers its own benefits and draw backs. Recently, I was introduced to another brand - Nakd bars. 

They sent me a variety pack, and I was seriously impressed. There was a time in college where I used these snack bars to supplement meals and as study snacks. Now, I eat these in that 10am period and that 3pm period before and after lunch. Here's what I liked and disliked about them!

Variety of Flavors - Look at these flavors! With some other brands, there were generally only one or two flavors I really liked, but these come with so many! I especially like the seasonal flavors like Pecan Pie, Christmas Pud and Gingerbread. Now, I will say that I haven't gone through all the flavors and that some flavors do taste pretty similar, but I also haven't encountered any I dislike!

Price - Health food can get expensive, and cereal or protein bars are no exception. Nakd bars are on par with its competitors, clocking in at a little over a dollar per bar (without a sale). I've heard that some would pay more for their healthy snacks but for me, I like to compare to vending machine snacks. It is about the same as a bag of chips for $1.25, but much healthier. Can't argue with that! Free shipping in the US too!

Availability - I think this is a drawback. Whereas we can pick up many other kinds of cereal bars in our grocery stores, I've only see Nakd online. You definitely have to put in a bit of extra effort to purchase it, but like I said, at least shipping is free. 

Natural Ingredients - This is not an super important criteria with me, because in my opinion, I'm winning as long as I am not eating chips (or hot cheetos... mmm. Hot cheetos). The ingredients in these bars are much healthier than any other bar I've seen. These bars are made JUST from fruits and nuts with no added sugars. See above, there's just dates, cashews and raisins in this bar. Sure, that means they're not covered with chocolate drizzle or coco nibs like the other bars I eat, but that commitment to natural ingredients is something to be admired. I know exactly what I'm eating and it's all for energy... no fillers involved. 

Check out their products here! Also, see below for a product shot. It's not beautiful. But it is tasty. 

Monday, December 21

How to Find Work Staples: The Pump

The fourth and last essential in my Work Place Staples series is the Pump! 

For footwear, there’s nothing more classic than the pump. Personally, I don’t like 5/6 inch sky high tall shoes for work. There’s a perception that these shoes are more appropriate for clubbing than the office, but for me, I think it’s also how you wear them. It looks bad if your shoes are a bit too tall and your skirt is a bit too short, but wearing a pair of taller heels because your pants are currently unhemmed? Guilty! My other reason why I dislike taller shoes is that I walk slowly in sky-high heels. Don’t be the girl who can’t walk in her own shoes. 

Returning back to the types of pumps I do like though… I think I have a very specific preferred height of 3.5 inches. 
Office Staples: the Pump

The Black Pump - I’m not a girl of very many surprises, but it really shouldn't surprise you that I like plain black pumps. These go with your business suit, any outfit that could use a bit of toning down and everything in between

The Textured Pump - This is something new that I’ve been loving lately. The textured pump can be a basic color, because it's the texture really makes it stand out. I like alligator, suede and ponyhair to add a bit of dimension down below.

The Nude Pump - The nude pump is not a cop out... same shoe as the black pumps, just a different color. It's actually one of my favorite ways to fix up an outfit. The nude pump elongates the legs if the skirt or dress you're wearing cuts you off at a strange height and if you want to make your outfit a bit more springy. 

The Patterned Pump - Very similar to the textured pump, this shoe just adds interest to an outfit. If you're going plain with the outfit (no patterns, no statement jewelry, etc) just let your feet do the talking!

If you liked this post, please check out the rest of my Work Stapes series...

What type of shoe do you usually wear to work? And Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 14

Movies to Watch During Holiday Break

I love spending my holidays catching up on movies that are a few years or few months old... you know, those movies that you always meant to watch but never got around to it? Well, if you have a week or two off in December, curl up around the couch and see if you're into these films below:

Or if you're looking to go a bit older, I have an entire series on movie reviews. See 2013 Movies Part 1, and 2013 Movies Part 2, and 2012 Movies!. 
via weheartit

Big Hero 6 - This won for Best Animated Picture and I have to say, it was so deserving. This film was funny, adorable and tugged at your heartstrings... and isn't that all that makes an animated picture perfect? Also, if you like Tokyo or San Francisco, look for all the markers of your favorite city in the movie's San Fransokyo. 4.5/5 

Into the Woods - You can usually count on me to love any musical, but I did not enjoy this one at all. Despite its all star cast, I found that this would probably be better for a stage production. As a movie, it was hugely disjointed. There was a plot twist halfway during the movie that was completely unexpected... I couldn't trust the movie afterwards. 2/5 

Birdman - Realistically speaking... I only watched half an hour of the movie. All of it was so awkward and there was so much interpersonal conflict that I couldn't keep watching. I'm sure it's a great movie, but I don't usually like to go this deep with my entertainment. ?/5 

The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies - This was not my favorite of the three films. I really enjoyed the beginning when the Bard was fighting Smaug, but the rest of the film really seemed to drag on. Even the last battle was not as glorious and epic as I had imagined. 4/5

Hercules - I watched the Hercules reboot with the Rock. Because... you know. The Rock! His movies may not always be Oscar contenders, but they are always a fun enjoyable time. This film is loosely based on the legend of Hercules. All the elements you know and love are present, but it makes no claims on originality. 3.5/5 

Lucy - I thought I was really going to enjoy this movie. It had all the hallmarks of a movie I enjoy. Badass female lead? Check. Action adventure? Check. Comedy? More or less... it seemed lighthearted from the trailer. However, this film was so incoherent in terms of the plot that I could not follow it at all. 3.5/5 

The Interview - What a ridiculously stupid movie. I think at this point, you know whether you like the team of Franco/Rogen. If their other works like Pineapple Express have charmed you, then you will probably enjoy this film. If you find them inane and not in a good way, stay far away from this movie. The publicity (NK would attack theaters showing this film) that went out right before the film really helped its popularity , but was it deserving of media attention? I think not, the film was good but not that inflammatory. 4/5 

A Million Ways to Die in the Past - One of Seth McFarlane's films, but not at all comparable to the classic Family Guy or the appropriate for more audiences "Ted". I am not a fan of Family Guy, but really enjoyed Ted, which is why I thought I would want to see this movie. As it turns out, performances by an all-star cast (Liam Neelson, Charlize Theron) all fell flat. It's still a fun movie if you're very bored one night, if there are other options, I would steer away. 2.5/5 

X-Men Days of Future Past - While an enjoyable action film, this movie does not stand out in my memory. I have to admit that I am not really a huge fan of Jennifer Lawrence and her acting! From the entire "younger" X-Men cast, her portrayal of Mystique is my least favorite. The film will keep you entertained for about 2 hours, but that's it. 3/5 

Grand Budapest Hotel - I wanted to end the note on a very good movie. This is the only other film on this list that is considered a Oscar Contender vs a Summer Blockbuster. And I have to say I loved it! The story telling is extremely captivating and being a Wes Anderson film, the visuals are breathtaking. Ralph Fiennes, who I only knew from Harry Potter is such an excellent actor. 5/5

Monday, December 7

Thinking back to leaves

Fall and Winter always fought to be my favorite time of the year. 

Summer was too hot, especially when I lived in Arizona. 

I always had too many allergies to truly enjoy Spring. (Plus, it bled into Summer, which if I may reiterate, was too warm.) 

But then there was Fall. Fall was a friend who brought boots and coats and leaves, even if I was often one of the last to enjoy them. 

And Winter. Winter was food and family and festivities... who can say no to that? 

But now I'm experiencing Winter somewhere else. I'm cold and I'm away from family, and it's not quite time to enjoy the festivities yet. So today, I'm thinking back to Fall, thinking back to days where the air was crisp but not frosty. And I'm thinking back to leaves-- red and gold, tumbling all over. 

picture taken while walking. #skill