HIDDEN TREASURE | The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

If you’re tired of the trendy “must-read” books that are 200 pages with similar story lines and are all compared to Gone Girl (not bashing Gone Girl… I loved it), then pick up this book!

The other day I posted about my top 5 reads of 2015 (so far) and my blogger friend, Jamie, recommended The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón since it was her favorite book of all time (that’s a pretty big award to give a book if you ask me). I’d never even heard of it before, so I did some research!

Even though my “must-read” list was already way too long, I added it anyways because it sounded so good. Then, when I found out it got a 4.2 on Goodreads and a 4.5 on Barnes & Noble, I bumped it up to the top of the list so I could start reading it right that second!

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MORNING TREAT | Snickerdoodle overnight oats

cinnamon overnight oats

You know those mornings you wake up craving something sugary? A cinnamon bun, pancakes dripping in maple syrup, or even a large bowl of Captain Crunch cereal? Well, that happens to me one too many times a week (thank goodness I don’t keep any of the above mentioned heavenly breakfast treats in my house or else I wouldn’t be able to resist them).

To try and combat my yearning for an unhealthy breakfast treat filled with empty calories (sorry cinnamon bun), I turn to spicing up my oatmeal instead! Overnight oats to the rescue!

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HAPPY FRIDAY | How to have a productive weekend

making the most of your weekend

Words can’t describe how happy I am that it’s Friday! I’m sure most of you (all of you) agree :)

The best thing about Fridays is knowing that you have TWO WHOLE DAYS to do whatever you want! But… one of the worst things is getting to Sunday night and feeling like you got nothing accomplished.

Here are my five tricks to making sure I have a fun but productive weekend so that when Monday morning rolls around, I wake up and feel ready to tackle five more work days!

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SNACK TIME | No one likes a hangry person

healthy snacks labara

HANGRY (han-gree) adj. = a state of anger caused by lack of food

Snacking is one of my worst habits. It could be 5am or right after Thanksgiving dinner and I will be on the lookout for a tasty snack.

Believe me, if I could snack on potato chips and chocolate all day long I would be a happy camper! But sadly, that’s just not the best idea for your heart or waist line.

As my boyfriend always says, “No one likes a hangry manderz!” (“manderz” is his loving nickname for me)

So to combat my hangry side from coming out, I always have healthy snacks on hand!

Since I would consider myself a snacking expert, I’ve created a list of my top 6 snacks recommendations! Fruity, salty, crunchy, chewy, chocolaty…. these snacks cover it all.

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MAKI SHOP | The DC sushi restaurant that stole my heart

Maki Shop dc roll

After one too many glasses of wine on Friday night, the boyfriend and I woke up with slight headaches (whoops). Not sure what would cure us, we began to list off different things to eat… mac & cheese, bacon, sushi…? The sushi idea stuck!

We remembered we had passed by an interesting looking sushi-to-go style restaurant on 14th street the night before. It was within walking distance and we could wear workout clothes to it (win, win!)… the sushi plan was in motion!

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august birchbox soak it up

Okay Birchbox… we are friends again! Our relationship is no longer on the rocks (now it’s relaxing by the pool with a frozen margarita).

After not being the happiest-of-customers last month, I’m back to loving them again!

My box arrived August 9th and was filled with wonderful goodies, two of which I would give an A+ rating and would actually think about ordering a full size of (big deal in my book)! Plus, I’ve been dying to get this box design :) Summertime pool box!

So wiggle out of your coverup, slide off your flip flops, and take a dip in the pool with me (aka take a peek inside my Birchbox this month!)

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WORKOUT PLAYLIST | Preparing for my half marathon

Parc del Guinardó

It’s important to always switch up your workout, but it’s just as important to switch up your playlist as well!

Music helps me get in the mood to pull on running shoes when I’m dreading a workout. Here are my go-to songs to get my head bobbing, my fingers snapping, and my feet running (now that I think about it, I probably look really really weird running).

I have a half marathon coming up in ONE MONTH in DC (waaaaaaa????) so I’m beginning to create a perfect running playlist! The last thing I want to do the night before the race is be up all night trying to remember what songs get me pumped…. been there, done that…

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SIMPLE CROCKPOT | Thai peanut chicken crockpot

Thai peanut chicken crockpot

This is the third crockpot I’ve blogged about and I’ve learned something… there is no way to take a flattering photo of a crockpot recipe.

No matter how delicious the recipe is (and this one is quite tasty), a picture of a pile of saucy shredded chicken just can’t look pretty, especially when the sauce is brown and chunky…. Anyways, back to the point, this delicious crockpot recipe!

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FREEZE IT | Rosemary and olive oil ice cubes

fresh rosemary

I’ve been growing a lot of herbs for the last few months (I have made just about every dish possible with them) but now I don’t think I can eat any more basil, cilantro, or rosemary for a while…

I feel bad just throwing these fresh herbs away, so (after some Googling, Pinterest-ing, and great advice I found from Lauren Conrad) I decided to freeze them instead!

olive oil ice cubes

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STAYING FOCUSED | Is it 5pm yet?

staying productive at work

Some days, like today for example, I sit at my desk wondering how the heck it’s only 3pm…. I begin to daydream about large glasses of red wine (yes, plural)!

The moment this begins to happen and I still have 3 more hours of required productivity in the office, I take action! Here are my four tips to surviving the last few hours at the office. And no, sadly one of them is not sipping on wine in a to-go coffee mug at my desk (although that would be wonderful right now).

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