Thursday, April 6, 2017

Spring Blues

This post was supposed to be up on the first day of spring but unfortunately I have had way TOO much going on that I had to postpone. I thought I'd share with you guys a few purchases I've made for the season and they all have something similar going on.... The spring blues!


My Purchases

Off the shoulder tops/dresses are so cute and trendy. This top is very flattering!

The color white is a major spring staple. These Paige ones are absolutely amazing and SO comfy!! There are so many ways to style them.

I am a sucker for anything with tassels! I think they're so cute and stylish. Perfect for both spring and summer. Under $60 and great quality.

I have these in navy blue and they're so comfortable for flats! I usually tend to stay away from flats but I thought they were too cute to not get and I don't regret it whatsoever. I actually have more espadrilles than I should have :) (oops!) But they're so easy to either dress up or dress down.

I ordered these online as soon as I came across them!

I may or may not have gone crazy with the stripes this season but I think this year it's everywhere! These sleeves roll up for those who are concerned that it may get to hot for this piece.

I'm really trying to be more consistent so thank you to those who still stop by <3

Sunday, February 19, 2017

How I Stay Motivated

SELF MOTIVATION.
(Of course Lexi always needs to be in the photo!!)

Lately I've found myself questioning what I'm doing with my life. There are times I feel behind and begin stressing myself out. To me, "behind" means not being where I want to be in school and in life. I begin to lose motivation but it's up to me to get back to the GRIND. Everyone has their own way of doing things but I thought I'd share with you a few tips on how I keep myself motivated.

Make a list. Every Monday morning I start my week by writing a list of things I need to take care of. Having a to-do list will help you stay organized and on track. I tend to easily forget things and I'll start to freak out knowing I have something to do but cannot remember!! That drives me insane but with my list made, I'm more focused. I've also read numerous articles on how list making is beneficial for your health.

Decide on a deadline. What is it that you want to accomplish before the week ends? Month? Maybe even year? Checking off tasks by a certain date will help you avoid procrastination and in my case, keep you sane!! I know when I see a deadline written down, I make more of an effort to complete tasks. One by one.

Read and listen to motivational speeches. The mornings I have school, I listen to motivational podcasts on my way there because it pumps me up. Listening to motivational/inspirational speeches is like listening to upbeat music, it just gets you going! I arrive to school with a positive mind.

Give yourself a break. This is the most important one! Do not be too hard on yourself. Doing so much at once can become overwhelming. I suggest doing things one by one, at a pace you know you can handle. It's okay to take a break from things as long as you push yourself to get back at it.

The reminder as to WHY. Remind yourself the purpose of why you're doing it.
- The accomplishment. The feeling you get when completing a task is rewarding and makes you feel better about yourself.
- Working towards a goal. Every step is a step closer to your goal. Do not get discouraged! Do not compare yourself to others! Just do you huniiiiii.
- The benefits. What you're working on is nothing but beneficial to you.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

5 Easy Vegan Breakfast Ideas

1. Bagel slices w/ homemade chia jam & vegan cream cheese.
For your chia berry jam you'll need a cup of berries (your choice,) 1 tbsp of agave or maple syrup and 1 tbsp of chia seeds. In a small pot, bring the berries and syrup to a low boil and stir frequently. Once you notice the jam beginning to form, add in the chia seeds and stir. Once the jam is thick (takes about 10 minutes,)  remove from heat and store into a jar. On one slice of bagel, I spread peanut butter and served some jam on top along with coconut shreds. On my other slice, I used vegan cream cheese and topped with sliced strawberries.

2. Oatmeal w/ fruit & granola.
This one is the easiest and quickest from all of the other options. All you have to do is cook the oatmeal according to the package. I use Bobs Red Mill Steel Cut Oats. You have the option to cook them with either water or nondairy milk. I always switch back and forth from almond and coconut. Once the oatmeal is ready, you can throw in granola and your choice of fruit. Get creative! I love decorating my bowls.

3. Tofu scramble taco w/ seasoned potatoes. (I love potatoes!!)
On a pan over medium heat, you want to add in some oil (I use coconut) and throw in some onions (optional) for about a minute and then throw in some tofu (I use Sprouts Organic Medium Tofu.) For flavor I add in a little of cumin + tumeric, pepper and salt. After a few seconds, you can add in any veggies of your choice. I used tomato and bell peppers. In the meantime, heat up your tortilla (I used Ezekiel grain tortilla.) Then back to your tofu, throw in some nutritional yeast to add more of a savory flavor. In about a minute or so, your taco is ready to make. I added in some fresh spinach and threw the tofu scramble on top with avocado slices and squeezed lime for extra flavor. I explain how to cook the potatoes in #5.

4. Oatmeal banana pancakes.
These pancakes require the simplest ingredients: 1 ripe banana, oatmeal or oat flour and nondairy milk. You'll have to smash your banana, make sure its not too lumpy and then add in 1/2 cup of oatmeal or oat flour, 1/2 tsp of baking soda, followed by 1/2 cup of nondairy milk of your choice. After mixing the ingredients together, put some oil on a pan over medium heat and pour your batter. Cook and flip until bubbles form. Usually takes about 3-4 minutes depending on how thick your batter is. Once it's ready, top with whatever toppings of your choice. Serve with vegan butter and maple syrup.

5. Avocado Toast w/ seasoned potatoes.
The potatoes take a little longer to cook than it takes to put the avocado toast together.
You'll peel a potato, cut them into squares and then throw them into a boiling water pot for about 10-15 minutes. After they're cooked, you'll rinse them and on a hot pan with a little bit of oil, you'll cook the potatoes, then add in paprika and pepper to taste. They're ready in about 5 minutes.
For the toast, I used a gluten-free/dairy-free slice and toasted it for about a minute. I then sliced a few pieces of avocado and threw some chia and hemp seeds on top.

Let me know if you guys try any of these!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies (Homemade)

Yesterday night I posted a photo of these cookies I made from scratch and got asked by multiple people to make a post on them, so I decided to go ahead and do so! I try to always post what I eat/make/bake on snapchat, so if you're interested make sure to add me @mcardenas14.

The ingredients you will need are:
1/4 cup of vegan butter
About 1 cup of sugar (I use half brown/half cane)
1/4 cup of nondairy milk (I use Almond)
1/4 tsp of vanilla
1 1/2 cups of flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
handful of nondairy chocolate chips
handful of oatmeal (optional)

Directions

1. You will begin by setting your oven to 350 degrees F.

2. 1/2 cup of butter into a bowl.
2. Add in the sugar to mix with the butter. I use a little less than a cup.
3. Blend the butter and sugar together (I use a spoon... *it is a workout!!*) until it forms into dough.
4. Pour 1/4 of milk & 1/4 tsp of vanilla. (forgot to take a photo of that step)
5. Add in 1 tsp of baking powder & baking soda.
6. Add in 1 1/2 cups of flour. (You could mix dry ingredients separately but I just did it all at once.)
7. Mix flour with the rest of the ingredients until your dough gets thicker. You can add more milk/flour depending on the consistency.
 8. Add in your chocolate chips & oatmeal (optional,) my mom loves oatmeal and asked me to add some in :)
*If oatmeal is not added in, you can eat the cookie dough on its own!! It's dairy/egg free so it's safe & tastes AMAZING.
9. Roll up little balls and place on your sheet. I used parchment paper so the cookies don't stick.
10. Place in oven for about 15-20 minutes depending on your oven.
&&&& they're ready!
11. Enjoy ;)
I really hope you guys like these cookies as much as I do!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

2017 Goals

A new year to many of us means, setting new goals. I know there are people who refuse to partake in this and roll their eyes when they hear about New Years Resolutions. I for one am all about supporting those goals, as long as there is commitment and work involved. Many of these resolutions are a failure because people forget what they are striving towards, fall off track and end up not finishing what they started. I admit, I myself get discouraged at times and just want to give up, but then I see the bigger picture all over again and continue. At the moment I cannot help but think about what I could have done better in the past, but I have accepted we can't dwell on the past, but should instead focus on bettering our future. I thought I'd share with you all a few of my goals this year, and hope to encourage some of you to set goals and fulfill them.

1. Read more books. I've always loved to read, when I was younger I would forget about the outside world and get lost into a book. But as I grew older, it has become more difficult to pick up a book. Sometimes I feel like I have such limited time, but when you want something, you make time for it. Any recommendations? I'm a fan of sci-fiction and a sucker for romance!

2. More yoga & pilates. I've tried yoga so many times and end up yawning & feeling sleepy!! But lately, first thing in the morning, I take my mat out and do some stretching, due to the fact my back feels extremely stiff when I wake up. I've found that stretching in the a.m. has helped me become more flexible and has improved my posture. Therefore, I think incorporating yoga in my life will only be beneficial. A few years ago, I did pilates about 3x a week and my core was stronger than ever.... that same year my appendix had burst, so I had to have surgery and afterwards I was so weak, I wasn't able to workout for about a month. I did get back to kickboxing (took classes that year,) but never got back into pilates, due to the fact I had lost most of my core strength. Now that I'm lifting weights, core strength is essential. It'll take time but I'm excited.

3. Making the most out of my time. It's time we all begin to take better advantage of the free time we have. I admit, I'm guilty when it comes to just sitting around and doing absolutely NOTHING. But as I'm growing older and have began "adulting," I have learned every minute counts. So when I'm not at work or in class, I always try to be productive, such as hitting the gym, learning new recipes, watching documentaries.... honestly, there's always something we could be doing! I understand we have those days where you just want to lay in bed all day and binge watch Netflix/Hulu and it is totally OK. -- Just not all the time right? I want 2017 to be full of productiveness and hope the same for you all!

Remember people don't change overnight and accomplishing goals take time and WORK. You cannot sit around procrastinating hoping things will magically happen, you go out there and make them happen.