Green challenge

So did any of you participate in the Greens for March challenge?  How did you all do?  Truthfully, I did really well at first and then I got lazy.  There were days when we had a lot of leftovers.  I’m not a huge fan of leftovers.  I’m slowly starting to be okay with them, but find that I have to reinvent them to be okay with eating it the next day (how very spoiled of me to say, I know.).  So I was stuck eating leftovers for lunch (not that I’m complaining) and not salads.

But here are a couple of salads I created.  Stay tune for future posts of these recipes.

Beet Farro salad

Shaved brussels sprout salad

Kitchen sink salad with nut butter dressing

Mango, avocado, and black bean salad with chipotle chicken

This April, I’ve joined yet another challenged.  This time I’m doing the Young and Raw 30 day Green Smoothie challenge.  Upon joining the group, you’re emailed a list of ingredients to purchase for the next 5 days.  Then you’re emailed a smoothie recipe the night before using those ingredients.  This isn’t a cleanse challenge.  It’s just a way to get your greens in, via smoothies for 30 days.  You are not to use dairy, which I haven’t really done.  Usually I make my smoothies with greek yogurt and milk or soy milk.  The challenge also has you adding herbs into your smoothies like cilantro, basil, or parsley, which I also have never done before.  As well as adding hemp seeds (I’ve only added chia or flax) or maca.  So trying all these new things has pushed me out of my smoothie making comfort zone, if you may.  I decided to do this after I had the tasty HI-5 juice (okay it’s a juice, not a smoothie. but I don’t want to invest in a juicer right now) from The Protein Bar, while in Chicago.  Cilantro in a juice sounded interesting but intimidating.  To my surprise, it was UNBELIEVABLY tasty and pleasantly refreshing.  That drink inspired me to make my Copineappearanalery smoothie.  We’re in the second week of the challenge and some of the recipes have been good, some have been okay, and some I’d rather not taste again.  The challenge is going on right now and you can still join, unofficially, on Facebook.  There are other groups on Facebook that do something similar.  Some of which, do use dairy products, so I may try that next after this 30 day challenge.

Some people are doing these challenges as a means for dieting, which there are nutritionists that administer these challenges on Facebook.  I, however, am just looking for another way to get my daily dose of vitamins plus enjoy a tasty non-alcoholic drink.  I’m trying to stay clear of sodas and some juices (as they’re loaded with sugar).  Sometimes water can get boring, so smoothies or infusing my water with fruit are my healthy tasty alternatives.

Have you done a juice or smoothie cleanse?  How about a juice or smoothie challenge?  Have you bought into the ever so popular green smoothie trend?  What’s your favorite green smoothie recipe?

South Bay Bloggers

Recently, I had the opportunity to meet up with some fellow South Bay Area Bloggers.  It’s so great talking fashion, food, photography, etc. with these ladies.  As well as having a local community to bounce ideas and thoughts off of.  Lots of great ideas came out of our meeting and I can’t wait for the future has in store for us.  Please keep checking back for updates.

sbb edit

Getting ready to take some pictures after coffee.  

DSC_8055

Taking lookbook photos with Laurie.  

DSC_8068

Group shot with the girls taken by Laurie.  From top (L-R):  Vita, Jennifer, Olivia, Kate  Bottom (L-R):  Me, and Ngoc.
Somehow I didn’t get the no sunglasses memo.  Sorry ladies!  

Check out these girls amazing blogs.  They’re an amazing and talented bunch of ladies.

Top photo:  by Nesscetera.  Two bottom photos, photo cred:  Laurie.

Update:  With Google Reader shutting down in a couple months, be sure to follow me using WordPress Reader or Feedly or BlogLovin.

Nessa Loves

I haven’t done one of these in a while.  I’m planning to do this weekly again.  For now, here are a couple of things I’ve been loving lately.  Since this faves list isn’t just for a week, it may be longer than usual.

FASHION

Statement flats.  This mama has been wearing nothing but flats lately.  The pre-pregnant me is probably laughing at me right now saying “just because you had a baby doesn’t mean you have to wear flats.” Alas Eva is so mobile and when bringing her around in a stroller or carrier, flats are a bit necessary.  The flats at Target have been on point lately, so I snapped up two.

I loved spiked shoes; however, didn’t want spikes all over and wanted something a bit more subtle.  These are perfect!

And then I wanted a punch of color, so I got coral flats with gold studs.  Love!

Side note:  I know flats aren’t comfortable and don’t do anything for the arch of your feet, so I insert my SuperFeetinsoles into all my flats per the recommendation of my doctor.  They’ve alleviated most of the pain I was having at the ball of my feet.

Uniqlo leggings/pants.  LOVE their leggings, especially the printed ones.  I have 3 pairs of the printed leggings:  red tartan, gray subtle houndstooth, and light blue floral (I’m hoping to feature all these pants in a lookbook post soon).  I really think I could buy every color and print they make.  Then I purchased their knit black leggings, which I LOVE because they’re not see-through like other black leggings.  I really wanted to buy their printed jeans but they didn’t have my size in the color I wanted at the store.  Perhaps I’ll get them online.  Decisions…

FOOD

Speculoos Cookies.  So happy Trader Joe’s brought these back.  Although I feel like these crumble easier than before.  (These cookies are a knock off of Biscoff cookies.)  These are so great to have with your afternoon tea or coffee.

Afternoon tea with Sepculoos cookies and Tazo Chai Tea with a touch of cream

Cinnamon Bread.  I’m OBSESSED with cinnamon bread lately.  The SemiFreddi’s cinnamon twist bread you can purchase from Trader Joe’s or from Greenlee’s are SO SO SO GOOD.  It’s my “sweet” snack indulgence.  YUM!

Naturebox.  I’m LOVING this snack subscription.  I’ve been trying to eat healthier snacks, so this has been helpful.  You are sent 5 full size snacks to try out.  Their dark chocolate almonds are delish!  Try it out!  You can get $5 off if you type in HEALTHY upon checking out.

BEAUTY

Haircut.  While my hair is a bit shorter than I’d like, it was so necessary.  My hair was getting  long and felt like it was thinning due to the postpartum hair loss.  Not to mention Eva yanks my hair constantly, so it was looking a bit limp and unhealthy.  I LOVED going to the salon.  A little me pamper time plus I just LOVE my hair stylist.  I’m still trying to figure out how to style it since it’s shorter than usual.  Although their hair is shorter than mine, my favorite look is curling it for some beach wave/boho look, a la Nicole Richie or Vanessa Hudgens.

Hair Inspiration

Loreal TruMatch Crayon Concealer.  I’m always on the hunt for a good concealer.  I’m hitting the big 3-0 soon plus this momma doesn’t always get a lot of sleep, so concealer is my beauty must have.  I love this concealer; however, I do wish they had a wider range of colors.  I had to purchase two to blend together to match my complexion, but I did get a BOGO deal, so I shouldn’t complain.

MOMMY MOMENTS

Eva learning how to clap.  Anytime we say “yay” or start laughing, she starts clapping and tries to sound out “yay.”  It’s amazing how excited we (the hubs and I) get when she learns something new, no matter how small it may be.  This age is so great.  Her curiosity can be tiring (she gets into EVERYTHING), but it’s fascinating to see her facial expressions as she takes in new things.  You start to appreciate how things are second nature for us, but for babies it’s all so new.

Family naps.  The three of us took a nap for 2 1/2 hours one Sunday afternoon.  I woke up knowing we all needed to get up, but I really think all of us could’ve slept for another hour.  Lazy Sundays are the best.

Meeting fellow parents.  One afternoon we decided to bring Eva to the park after work and met a mom with her two daughters, one of them was Eva’s age.  We approached them as they were around the slide, which Eva wanted to go down, and chatted them up.  Before having Eva, my sister in law mentioned it was a bit easier to talk to other moms and dads.  We didn’t really get it, until now.  You’re all going through or have been through the same situations, so you sympathize with one another.  It’s nice to meet families with kids the same age, especially since most of our friends in the area are single/married with no kids.  Not only do we make friends, but so does Eva!  They were so nice that they even invited us to their youngest’s first birthday party.

DD playing in the ball pit (You’re probably saying “OMG, ball pits are so dirty.”  No worries.  We definitely sanitized her hands after she came out of there. Then when we got home we wiped her down and changed clothes.  We’re definitely germaphobes when it comes to our babygirl.)