Saturday, October 31, 2015

Pieces of October | Monthly Round-Up

There has been a number of new and different posts on my blog this month. There was the start of my Trader Joe's Tuesday posts where I talked about my current food obsessions from my favorite grocery store. Now I'll be giving these monthly sessions a go. In these posts, I'll be sharing highlights of the month, which will include food, entertainment, and bits and pieces of my life. It's quite exciting to kick off the monthly round-ups on Halloween. Speaking of the spooky holiday, what are your plans for Halloween? I'd love to know what you're going to dress up as!

Best movie I've seen in a long time 


"Hello, how are you" has never given me chills like this before

Want list

Last minute purchase

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Candy Corn Chocolate Pretzels

These bite-sized chocolate pretzels are super easy to make and are perfect for last minute party favors! I wouldn't even call this a recipe, because there are so many possibilities you can come up with by simply using three main ingredients: 

 1. Pretzels (round, square, any standard shape will do)
2. Kisses or Hugs chocolate
3. Small, decorative candy for toppings, such as candy corn or sour patch kids 

Since I knew I had to work fast once the chocolate's melted, I didn't want to have a lot to work with at a time and used a small conventional oven to make these treats. 


Set oven to 300 degrees F.
Place the pretzels on a baking sheet
Put a Kiss chocolate on each pretzel
Bake for 3 minutes or when the chocolate starts to lose its shape
Gently press the topping, in my case, the candy corn, on each pretzel-chocolate, and let it set in the fridge for 10 minutes

Recipe adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Florals in the Fall

Happy weekend! The sun's setting earlier and the leaves are changing colors, marking the beginning of fall. I went to the park on Saturday with my mom and we couldn't help but take some shots of the pretty colored leaves. Though the leaves have started to turn shades of yellow, gold, and orange, the weather has been unbelievably warm and dry. It looks like fall, but summer lingers in the air, hence the floral skirt I'm wearing in the pictures. Summer clothes in October? That's California weather for ya! I've been itching to take out my sweaters and cardigans, so this may be the last of the summer florals for this year. Chunky sweaters will be my go-to pieces once the weather cools down. Do you live for sweater weather? What's your go-to piece for the fall?

top: H&M
bottom: Forever 21
shoes: River Island

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Trader Joe's Tuesday: Pumpkin Waffles

One of the things I love most about Trader Joe's is that they carry the best seasonal food items around this time of the year. Two words: PUMPKIN EVERYTHING.

I've never shown much liking to pumpkin-flavored things aside from pumpkin pies, but Trader Joe's wide selection of pumpkin treats and snacks made it hard for me to resist. I'm all for trying anything that is festive related, especially when food is involved. I showed a little too much excitement over these pumpkin waffles when I saw them in the store. I was giddy over some waffles, so imagine my reaction when I saw pumpkin macarons, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin pie spice butter...(and this was only the tip of the iceberg). I guess the holiday season is really getting to me. 

Okay, focus. I just want to point out how heavenly these waffles smell when fresh out of the toaster. The warm aroma of pumpkin and cinnamon make me want to run out and buy fall-scented candles. I feel very fancy on weekend mornings when I have them with fruits, honey, and all that good stuff for the toppings. I say weekend mornings, because on weekdays I'm always in a rush to go out the door that I eat them I walk to my car or sometimes in my car. I know, it's a little sad but I love it. There's something comforting about having these waffles in the crisp cold mornings. When it comes down to the actual taste and texture, these waffles are just okay. The spiced pumpkin smell is deceiving, because it makes you think that the waffles will have burst with flavor. But nope, I could only taste the smallest hint of pumpkin in every bite. It also doesn't have much of that crunchy-exterior-with-a-fluffy-interior-thing going on. Though the taste isn't amazing, these waffles are still very satisfying and I'm already on my second box. I think I'm mostly drawn to the warm and inviting pumpkin scent more than anything else. It makes me look forward to all the wonderful aromas of the holiday season. And I may or may not have gotten a few more pumpkin-flavored treats to help curb my holiday cravings until Thanksgiving comes around. 

 { rating } 
4 out of 5

Previous Trader Joe's Tuesday posts:
1. Chocolate

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Essie in Topless & Barefoot

I don't do nail posts often, as the previous one was written more than a year ago! Don't get me wrong, I love nail polishes and tend to stand in the nail aisles for way longer than needed just to take in all the pretty seasonal shades. The idea of painting my nails gets me excited, but when it really comes down to it, I just don't seem to have the patience. There were so many times where my freshly painted nails didn't even last 5 minutes before I managed to ruin them with my clumsiness. It's frustrating and a huge downer to find them smudged after spending such a long time on them. My perfectionist side comes out when I do my nails. There can't be any finger marks and not even the smallest missed spots can go unfixed. I've accepted the fact that since nail polishes get chipped eventually, it's not worth doing my nails every so often. Plus I feel like I have to be really careful with my hands when I have my nails painted. Is that weird? 

But with all that being said, I'm going to do a sneaky post on this Topless and Barefoot Essie nail polish before it starts to feel like actual fall weather and everyone is searching for the perfect fall and winter shades. I'm a big fan of Essie's nail polishes, as the quality and smooth application are amazing. The colors last at least 7 days when used with a base and overcoat. I kept coming back to this barely-there color this summer, which is in a creamy soft shade that screams minimalistic. It's a staple piece in my abandoned collection of nail polishes, as it goes with everything that I wear. Neutrals just work with everything, I LOVE it. I've worn this color so many times in the past two months and completely left the rest of my nail polishes in the dust. You can't go wrong with an understated nude shade.

What's your favorite nail polish at the moment? 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Trader Joe's Tuesday: Belgian Dark Chocolate Bar

I was debating for an unreasonably long time on whether I should do a post proclaiming my love for Trader Joe's. Here I am, raving about a grocery store, it makes me sound pretty dorky, right? I mean, grocery stores, in general, don't garner much interest, or any for that matter, being that it's such a common and entirely straightforward subject. But I thought I would try something different, and begin a special food series where I chat about my Trader Joe's finds. The specialty store is my favorite place to go for groceries and frozen treats, hands down. My snack pantry tends to be stocked with many of their delicious and quality food items. I couldn't just keep all the goods to myself, so allow me to give you peeks inside of my ongoing Trader Joe's obsession...let's start with CHOCOLATE! 

I was really craving chocolate the other day when I was in the store for a quick grocery run. And I guess the next logical thing was having this 72% Cacao Belgian Dark Chocolate Bar calling out to me in the check-out station. The packaging gives me Amazon Rainforest vibes even though I have no idea what it's truly like there. Having been a devoted milk chocolate fan ever since I could walk, I was surprised to realize that nowadays I actually prefer the bitter taste of dark chocolate. The 72% cacao content might look intimidating for those who aren't big on dark chocolate, but the flavor isn't as intense as it looks. The chocolate is only mildly bitter. Though it has a bold cacao taste upon the first bite, it melts into a rich and creamy pool of chocolate goodness. I don't think I would've liked it if the cacao percentage went any higher than 72%. It satisfies my craving for sweets, as I happily indulged away - I wasn't shy on eating the last piece of the bar. Due to the health benefits of dark chocolate, it lessens the guilt whenever I reach for seconds. Now if I could only stop myself from eyeing this delicious and exotic-looking chocolate bar every time I'm in the check-out area...

{ rating } 
5 out of 5

Look out for more Trader Joe's Tuesdays!

Friday, October 9, 2015

FAVORITE Everyday Bag :: MZ Wallace Backpack

 || the ultimate city, travel, work, and all around everyday bag ||

I was looking for a new bag for fall, essentially one that I could easily carry on the daily commute to work. My mind was set on totes/shoulder bags, thinking they would be the roomiest and most practical. Being as indecisive as ever (and adding in a bit of impulsiveness on the side), the original plan completely went out the window, as I got a myself a city backpack. Because why not? Backpacks aren't just for school anymore. Okay, maybe I'm going through post-grad anxiety and found comfort in this cute little black backpack. 

Marlena by MZ Wallace is absolutely perfect -- from its design to its practicality -- it's everything I was looking for in a bag. The design of the gold hardware against the black nylon is really lovely, creating a classic and versatile look. On the inside, the bag is in this beautiful shade of red. The vibrant color adds an unexpected and unique edge, setting itself apart from most of the bags I've seen. I adore the color choices  - the gold detail against the sleek black, finished with the red lining - it's a timeless piece that looks effortlessly chic for every occasion.  

The American brand, MZ Wallace is known for its signature Bedford nylon, a high-quality material that's water and stain resistant. Because of this custom fabric, the backpack is super durable and lightweight. The level of detail put into its pocketing is amazing. For someone who likes knowing where everything is in a bag so I can quickly get to them, the Marlena does exactly that and more. Aside from the main pocket that's secured with a magnetic snap and a drawstring closure, there are 3 exterior pockets, and 5 interior pockets. There are literally pockets inside of pockets. It's pretty impressive. I was one happy camper finding pockets left to right, top to bottom. Now I just sound silly. Would it be going overboard if I told you that I organized my things about five times in the beginning because I got carried away with all the pockets? From technology to Metro card slots, this bag has all the bases covered. The main pocket that has the embelished gold-toned buckles carry my heaviest things (packed lunch, books, umbrella), while the interior hold my small everyday essentials (wallet, phone, sunglasses). 

Being that it was my first time hearing of this brand, I did a double take when I saw the price tag. But for the exceptional quality and style of this backpack, it's well worth it. It was quite a splurge for me, but upon getting it, I knew I would be (and have been) wearing the heck out of this bag. I haven't been able to part ways with it. Sometimes, I even take it out for a quick errand run just so I would have a reason to wear it. Kinda obsessed? No, just a bit attached because it's the best bag I've ever owned, and it's my absolute favorite piece of the year!


SEPTEMBER BITS VIDEO || see the MZ Wallace bag in action & watch me talk about all the things I picked up in September!