Sunday, May 24, 2015

Mason jar salads: healthful meal prepping, quick and easy!

I'm obsessed with easy-to-make, healthful mason jar salads! It's the best way to keep your greens from getting soggy with dressing on them, since the dressing stays on the bottom.


These salads will stay fresh in your fridge for up to a week, although I recommend consuming them more quickly if you do choose to make them with a soft cheese, like I did in this video.


When you make a mason jar salad, here are some guidelines:

Step #1. Put dressing on the bottom
Step #2. Add hard veggies and fruit (I used zucchini and baby beets, but other good ones are carrots, peppers, onions and celery)
Step #3. Add beans and legumes, you could also throw in grains/quinoa
Step #4. Add soft veggies and fruit such as avocado, tomato, mushroom
Step #5. Stuff your greens on top! Pack it in there!
Step #6. Top with nuts and seeds, and sometimes I throw in some bacon bits and/or green onions

When you're ready to eat your salad, if you have a runny-type dressing like the first salad I made in the video, you can just shake it up then dump it all on a plate. However, if you have a creamier dressing like the second salad I show here, then you may have to scrape the bottom out with your fork and spread the dressing around.

Have you ever tried making a mason jar salad? If so, what is your favorite recipe? Let me know in your comments below!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

#LillyLied... Lusting for #LillyForTarget and going CROSS COUNTRY for it!

Before I moved to Florida, I had never heard of Lilly Pulitzer. I learned of her fashion legacy when I was assigned to do this report for WPTV when she passed away at the age of 81. She was a style icon, and to me, her clothing represented sunshine and happiness. As soon as I got a look at her styles, I immediately fell in love!

Since I try to keep my spending under control, I have never purchased my own "Lilly" (her iconic shift dress). My best friend Rikki generously gave me a "Lilly" for a gift last year, and I freaked out and am so grateful... but the likelihood of me ever getting my own was pretty slim.

My one and only Lilly...

Until Target announced a collaboration with Lilly Pulitzer, and I realized this was IT! A once-in-a-lifetime chance to get AFFORDABLE LILLY! I spent the weeks leading up to today's launch studying up on the Lookbook, trying to figure out what I wanted, making my list and checking it twice...

So I showed up at the Royal Palm Beach Target at 7:50 a.m. this morning. Granted, I have a friend who woke up at 3:30 a.m. so obviously I wasn't as committed as she was... but I was still shocked to see the line wrap around the building.


Then once I was inside, I quickly realized it was an #EpicFail for Target, since only the first dozen or so shoppers lucked out. They greedily grabbed EVERYTHING they could, piling their shopping carts high (byotches!). They wiped out the stock within minutes. Literally, five minutes. I know the website crashed overnight... it was just a HOT MESS.

One lady was super-rude, and was flaunting her finds in front of everyone. Then she was loud and abrasive, trying to trade the stuff she had. "I'm trying to trade, I'm ONLY trying to trade items!" is what she was shouting. Ok, we get it! You grabbed everything and left all the other customers hanging and now you're walking around still trying to work the system! Greedy guts.


So I grabbed a nail polish just to say I got something...


...then as I was checking out, I changed my mind because I realized I was too frustrated and disappointed, since I really wanted a DRESS! I will admit, though, that the woman behind me snatched it from me when I told her I didn't want it any more. That's how the shopping experience at Target truly was, so Black Friday-ish!

This is what I Instagrammed and tagged Target and Lilly Pulitzer
Very disappointed customer!

But then my brain started working in overtime... I realized I have family and friends across the country! I started working the phone and texting people, trying to be all casual with it, like, "Oh, hey, do you happen to live near a Target?" The amount of confused responses I got reminded me that the majority of people don't care so much about this particular designer brand, LOL! My Florida girls would know EXACTLY why I asked that question! ;) 

So my awesome friend Carolyn said she would swing by her Target in Virginia, and she Facetimed with me about what they had. She picked me up the Boom Boom print satin jumpsuit-- which I love, because it has pockets!


I even texted my cousin Rob in San Francisco because he actually is a manager at a Target-- but unfortunately it was his day off. I was also randomly texting my Louisiana friends, too! So if you got a text from me asking about Target, now you know why. 

When I spoke with Rikki about our disappointed experiences, she mentioned, "I feel like the only state that would not sell out would be Alaska." I said, "Hey-- I have family in Alaska!" I started texting my cousin and aunt in Alaska!!! HA! I was seriously trying hard!!! My aunt even said she'll stop by her nearest store in Wasilla tomorrow to see if anything is left... but of course I called that store and it's wiped out, too.

Ria, my friend from high school (representing the G/T clique), commented on my Facebook video of the morning shopping madness that she would be happy to go to her Arkansas Target to get me some goods. I was excited-- until I called that Target, and of course they were wiped out. She was shocked, but at that point, I was not surprised.

Then, Jeni, a Louisiana friend that used to work with me at KTVE, messaged me that she was actually at Target and looking at Lilly stuff! She was awesome, going around the entire store and sending me photos-- she finally GOT ME THIS DRESS!

THANK YOU, JENI!!! Yaaaaaaay

Believe it or not, I actually told her not to get it at first because I wasn't sure if I wanted orange. I wore a lot of orange last fall, so I wasn't exactly feeling it when I first saw the dress (although obviously I should have snatched it anyway since it was the last dress and just happened to be my size). But what made me fall in love with it is that I realized that it has GIRAFFES on it! Hello, I work at a zoo! That is absolutely perfect for me.

So although I had to work the phone cross-country to get my Lilly, I'm very happy. Having said that, I just want to have a moment of sympathy for the people who really, really, really wanted Lilly as badly as I did... *SAD*

Now you know what I had to go through to get this stuff, so if you ever see me wearing it, definitely holla. :) Thanks for reading my story!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

I'm being quoted in today's New York Times newspaper-- but I actually didn't want to do the story. Here's why...

So apparently I'm quoted in this article printed in today's issue of The New York Times​ newspaper, talking about how I am not afraid of growing a mustache... That's just fabulous. Sure, that's EXACTLY what I meant.  ;)  Seriously, though, I didn't say it just like that-- true quote is that I told the reporter about former news anchor Judy Waggoner telling me I would not need to worry about growing any facial hair if I used men's Rogaine, back in the day when I went to her laser center in West Monroe! Not sure how the story turned that quote into me specifically saying I wasn't afraid of growing a mustache.

I always try to have sympathy for a journalist making a better story, since goodness knows I have walked in those shoes... So I am just going to say she took what was probably my most "colorful" quote and sassed it up a bit more. UPDATE: I showed the newspaper to my coworkers at the Zoo, and they are cracking up about my "mustache" concerns-- so I am growing more and more OK with the story, LOL!

The story in The Times is about my struggles with having thin hair, and all the drastic measures I've taken to grow it back. I own my own personal little hair laser, I take nutritional supplements, I apply products daily to my scalp, etc. I don't sweat it too much now since I'm no longer on air every day, but it's still something I do notice-- and it's true that I see it when I film my CruzTube videos on YouTube. My most recent video even talks about testing out some hair extensions (even though I didn't like them).

Also for the record... I turned down being interviewed for this story TWICE. I was originally firm about not doing it, because Rogaine has butane and propane (I intentionally did not read the label since I purposely wanted to remain ignorant of what I was putting on my head back when I was supposed to be doing it for a TV story). I am now all about switching to better-for-the-environment, chemical-free, ToxicFree products through being a Pro Rep for the Healthy Home Company​, so I didn't want to promote something that I figure puts flammable stuff straight into your bloodstream.

The main reasons I agreed to the story is because:

#1. I don't mind being vulnerable and exposing some of my struggles to the public, because for me, bottom line is that I hope my story can help others.
#2. The PR rep who convinced me to do the story reminded me that it's always good to let people know what products you have used in the past, whether they worked or not.

Even though I have used Rogaine before, I have switched to using the certified ToxicFree product Grow Hair Elixir, and just like every other Healthy Home Company product, it's completely all-natural and will not harm you. I strongly believe it's a better choice, and hopefully this doesn't embarrass Nathan to say that he's been using it with PHENOMENAL results. His Before/After photos are compelling.

So now you know the TRUTH about what's going on with my situation! And I'm not ashamed of it.  :)  Hair is not something that we can easily control, and we just have to do the best we can with what we have. Most of the time, when you see me in special occasion photos or when I film for YouTube, go ahead and know the reality -- I'm probably wearing hair extensions!

Hopefully me writing this all out will better explain what I've gone through with this personal mini-battle. It's not something that keeps me awake at night-- sheesh, it's just HAIR, after all-- but it is something that I have thought about a lot.  :)  I would consider myself a little something of a "thin hair expert" or such! So please feel free to reach out to me... I would love to tell you about the Grow Hair Elixir, or Healthy Home Company, or even about Rogaine and why I decided to stop using it!

Spot the hair extensions... #TheStruggleIsReal

By the way, my final quote in the article is absolutely true-- I have indeed noticed that my hair is thicker in my most recent CruzTube videos! :) HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL! I do think nutrition was probably the most important reason, because I only applied Rogaine in certain spots on my scalp and the baby hairs are growing all over, not just in the concentrated spots where I put Rogaine. My educated guess is that it's because I started taking Healthy Home Company liquid supplements last year, especially the "Body" liquid multivitamin with probiotics and prebiotics and also the Iron Plus and Omega 3 liquid supplements.

I just recently learned that your hair is the last thing to grow when your body is nutritionally deficient, so your hair won't be full/lush/thick/as beautiful as it could be if you are not getting as much nutrition as you need.

OK, this blog post is way long! Thanks for reading all of this, I know it's a lot but I'm all worked up about being forever memorialized in a national newspaper with a CRAZY QUOTE!! lol ;)

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Fake hair FAIL! First Impressions/REVIEW: Secret Extensions

Check out my review of Secret Extensions! I've been wanting to try them ever since my computer was blowing up with all the ads. I had my suspicions... and now they are confirmed... it's not the greatest set of hair extensions to ever hit shelves. Find out why I don't love them in my video.



Pros:
--Inexpensive (although you get what you pay for... see Cons below).
--Easy for beginners-- all you do is put it on like a headband and pull your hair through.

Cons:
--Hair looks like fake "doll hair," which defeats the point of extensions. They are supposed to look like your own hair-- just more of it.
--Would NOT curl! When it finally did, it just kind of had a bend in it. That darn synthetic hair...
--Was not enough to really look natural. I thought Facebook ads were promoting a "buy one, get one free" deal for these-- that might be better, if you had double the amount than I got.

Conclusion: I paid $39.98 for these at Walmart, but I will be returning them. They were not worth that to me!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Tips and tricks: all about LASHES! #Throwback to my first anchoring days

I'm turning today into a #TBT #ThrowbackThursday because I found this photo from my first anchoring gig, back when I was the morning anchor at KTVE/KARD in my hometown of Monroe, Louisiana.


Maybe it doesn't show in this poor quality picture... but when I see this, the first thing I think of is, "I LOVE eyelashes extensions!" LOL! Standout eyelashes make your eyes really pop, especially on air or in photos.

I have tried sooo many different types of lashes, and I have my favorite styles and looks. If you have the money, I recommend that you go for a professional eyelash extension application. That's what I was wearing in this photo from a salon-- the lashes were individually applied, so they looked PHENOMENAL and they lasted for WEEKS. Worth it if you can afford it!

But if you're like me now, you're all about saving $$$, so you want the cheaper, easier and quicker version of great lashes. So here are some tips and tricks that could help you in your quest for amazing lashes:

1. Choose your preference of which lash enhancement you want to try. Whether it's cluster lashes (my personal favorites for at-home, easy application and a natural look), or even the more challenging but more dramatic and effective strip lashes,  don't be intimidated-- practice until you feel comfortable applying them. Also don't forget that you can do fiber mascara, which are not really false eyelashes but are a great "bridge" between regular mascara and false lashes.

2. Get a glue that matches-- I recommend Duo, the brand I linked to here: if you are blonde, you can get away with clear adhesive, but if you are brunette like I am, go with the dark adhesive

3. Instead of attempting to apply the glue directly on the lashes themselves, try putting a glob on the back of your hand or on a piece of foil on your countertop. Then drag the base of the lashes through the glue to achieve a thin, even line of adhesive. 

4. Here is the MAGIC TIP: wait at least 30 seconds for the glue to become tacky! I wish I had known that years ago. All that wasted time trying to manipulate it to stick on my lashes, haha.

5. When the glue is sufficiently sticky, use your fingers (or tweezers or an eyelash applicator if you have a steady hand) and gently rest the base of the false lashes on the base of your natural eyelashes. Try not to blink, and let it set.

6. Repeat on your other eye, and then let the glue dry completely for at least 3 minutes. The glue will disappear when it's completely dry.

7. I recommend going over the base of the false lashes (where you applied the glue) with some dark liquid eyeliner to kind of "hide" the blobs of glue. I just think it looks better.  :) 

Viola! LOVELY LASHES! 

In the below photo from one of my recent videos, I was wearing strip eyelashes. I haven't been wearing them lately in any other videos, and I think this look makes my eyes stand out WAY MORE. The difference is noticeable!


Hopefully these tips can help you-- comment below with your favorite types of lashes to wear, and why! 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

First impressions/demo Kat Von D Shade + Light Contour Palette

Check out my latest CruzTube video, featuring the Kat Von D Shade + Light Contour Palette, exclusive to Sephora. I already love it! Find out why...



Pros:
--Super-blendable shades with great color payoff.
--Consistency is excellent-- not clumpy, very finely milled.
--Nice big ol' mirror! Very helpful.
--More colors than most palettes-- other palettes would typically give you only four shades instead of the six here.
--My favorite thing about it is how NATURAL the contouring shades look! Not too bronze-y, not too gray, not too warm-- just PERFECT like natural contouring shades would be.

Cons:
--Pricey, although it's about average for a contouring palette
--I wish at least one of the highlighting shades were pearlized-- they're all matte! But I do love love love me some mattes, so I guess that's not really a big con or anything.
--Does not come with a brush-- must buy separately. But I think it's not typical to get a brush with a contouring palette, so again I should HUSH MY MOUF.  ;) 

Final assessment:
--WORTH IT for an investment in contouring. The darkest shade, "subconscious," absolutely made my wide nose look thinner. At least, I think it did! Did you watch my video? What did you think? Did it slim my Filipina nose? :) 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Natural makeup routine for teens!

I just finished uploading the last in a series of videos I did featuring my cousins, Mary Anne and Leanna. Mary Anne is my "Ate," which in the Philippines is a term used to address an older female relative as a sign of respect.  :)  Leanna is Mary Anne's 15-year-old daughter, and I wanted to feature her as a guest face on my channel because she's so beautiful-- and she loves makeup! 


I went with a natural look for Leanna, since she's so young. Hopefully you like her final look!

Products used: 


Throwbacks to Mary Anne's videos: contouring and highlighting with the Anastasia Contour Palette, and an easy daytime glam makeup look, featuring The Nudes eyeshadow palette by Maybelline.