My Grocery Checklist

It took me a while to get good a grocery shopping. What do I mean by that? When we first moved to LA we would go food shopping, spend over $200, get home and feel like we had nothing to eat. Slowly, I figured out what meals I cook the most and what ingredients I need each week. We've also realized what to buy at each grocery store (i.e. if you buy everything at Whole Foods you'll be broke). Every Sunday afternoon Ray and I go to Trader Joe's, Whole Foods and Bristol Farms. Here is what we typically buy at each store:

Trader Joe's
  • 4 bags of lettuce (usually a mix of romaine and spring mix)
  • Veggies (cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts, mushrooms)
  • Fruits (bananas, strawberries, blueberries, a bag of lemons)
  • Dates
  • Avocado (bag of 4-5 small ones)
  • Sweet Potato (2-3)
  • Protein bars for Ray
  • Earth balance (once a month)
  • Cold Brew for Ray
  • Eggs 
  • Peanut butter and almond butter (once a month)
  • Chips/popcorn for Ray
  • Frozen wild miso Cod (so good and easy to prepare)
  • Some other frozen stuff depending on the week, like gluten free pizza made with cauliflower crust, veggie dumplings, shrimp stir fry etc. 
  • Any sauces we may need
  • Tea 
  • Wine (so cheap!) 
  • Water

Whole Foods 
  • Cranberry tuna salad (small container)
  • Salmon (premade, I hate cooking it)
  • Spinach empanadas 
  • Quinoa salad (small container)
  • Dave's killer bread (thin slice)
  • Miso soup packs
  • Unsweetened vanilla Ripple milk
  • Vegan chocolate pudding

Bristol Farms
  • Ray gets all his meat here and if I'm going to cook fish, I'll buy it here (usually a white fish, salmon or smoked salmon)
  • Freshly squeezed orange juice with ginger or green juice (2-3 bottles for the week)
  • Starbucks breakfast blend coffee (twice a month)
  • Gluten free chia waffles for Ray
  • Beer for Ray 
  • Bio K probiotic yogurt (twice a month) 

Hawaii Recap

Ray and I went to Hawaii for my 30th birthday. We both had never been and didn't really know what to expect. Everyone kept telling us that it was the most magical place. To be honest, we expected it to be a bit like Bali- beyond magical, tropical and foreign (even though it's part of the US). When we landed and noticed all of the strip malls and giant chain stores we were a bit confused. It took us a few days to genuinely appreciate it. While it may not be foreign in the way we had expected it, it was definitely breath-taking and unlike anywhere we've seen before. It also helps to know where to go and what to do.

Island.  We went to Maui and stayed there for 5 nights and 6 days. I think this was the perfect amount of time on the Island.

 We stayed at the Ritz in Kapalua. We only stayed there because we used points. It was okay. The service was amazing but the facilities and rooms were just okay (i.e. not very luxurious). I would recommend it if you wanted to use points but I wouldn't stay there if I had to pay.

Restaurants.  When we landed we stopped at a food truck called Like Poke?, which was 5 minutes from the airport (in a Costco parking lot). I found it on yelp. The poke was UNREAL. We ended up stopping there on our way back to the airport. Our favorite dinners were Mamma's Fish House and Merriman's. Mamma's Fish House sits on the most beautiful piece of land overlooking the water. They have something called a rolling menu. The menu starts off with the fish they have that day and as the fish sells out, the fishermans' come and bring more fresh fish and they update the menu with whatever catch comes in. Merriman's also has the prettiest view (we ended up eating there twice).

Sightseeing.  We spent a day doing the Road to Hana. It's long but worth it. It took us about 9.5 hours of driving in total. I won't lie, I was really nervous since I tend to get pretty car sick. Surprisingly, I was okay. Just make sure to drive with the windows down and sit in the front. The valet driver at our hotel told us about the Shaka App and I don't know how we would have done it without it. The app is like a virtual tour guide. You download it and it works off of your GPS (since you lose service pretty quickly). The guide describes each stop and even offers helpful tips like whether it's worth it stop and see (since there are so many stops you can't possibly do it all in one trip), whether it's family friendly (aka the hikes aren't too difficult- perfect for me haha), where to park, how far you are from Hana etc. It also plays Hawaiin music and tells you stories about Hawaiin culture. It was like having your own private tour guide. I honestly don't know how people do it without it.

Clothes.  Bring cute beach clothes, sandals, running shoes and windbreakers. It rains a ton, but for a few short minutes each time. I didn't wear any of the heels I brought. And I definitely overpacked (oops!).

What I Wore in Tulum

It was so fun planning all my Tulum looks. Every time I book a vacation I look at it as an opportunity to really inspect my closet, see what I wear, what I'm over, what I need etc. For this trip, I mainly got a few new pieces at H&M. If you're heading on vacation hopefully the below will provide some clothing inspo.

Two LED light therapy devices worth trying

I am a sucker for any serum/cream/device that claims to help reduce acne, inflammation, acne scars etc. But I'm also extremely skeptical and picky. Essentially, I mostly listen to what my esthetician, Shani Darden, teaches me. I've mentioned it before but a couple of years ago I went through a period of time where I had the worst breakouts of my entire life. Shani helped me get through them. Once we cleared up my skin, she encouraged me to try LED light therapy to help reduce any further breakouts and minimize acne scars. I reached out to Lightstim and they sent me one and I've been loving it ever since. I was recently sent the new Dr. Dennis Gross acne treatment device called the SpotLite and thought it may be helpful to compare the two devices. This post won't explain how LED therapy works, as I've already done that here. Rather, it will highlight the differences between the two devices in case you are looking to invest in one (if not both). FYI, I tend to use LED light therapy 3-4 times a week but when I have a breakout, I will use it twice a day until it goes away.

  • Size.  I had to start with the size since to me, the size is the biggest difference between the two devices. The LightStim has a larger surface area. I normally apply it in four different spots to cover my entire jawline (where I normally breakout). The Spotlite device has a much smaller surface area. The benefit of the LightStim is that you can cover more of your face, more quickly (there are 36 LEDs). The Spotlite is great to treat one specific breakout at a time and is easier to travel with. 
  • Power.  The LightStim needs to be plugged in whereas the SpotLite runs on battery. 
  • Cost.  The LightStim costs $169 whereas the SpotLite costs $52.
Overall, they're both great options and you can't go wrong. If you intend to use the device as an ongoing part of your skincare routine to kill bacteria as a way to help prevent acne and minimize acne scars then I would go with the LightStim, since it covers a larger surface area more quickly (it takes me approximately 12 minutes to cover my entire jawline for reference).  If you want it more to treat a specific breakout (like you would with an acne cream), then I would go with the SpotLite. As a reminder, these devices aren't going to perform magic. You still need a good skincare routine (read about mine here) and I suggest getting a facial a few times a year to really clean your skin. 

My Summer Holiday Makeup Look

This is the makeup look I wore every day in Europe. It doesn't require a lot of products, feels light and is super glowy- what more could you want for a summer makeup look? If you feel like you need a bit more eye situation (shadow, liner etc), do you! I just didn't feel like it. Plus I had eyelash extensions so I didn't think it was really necessary (I didn't even have to apply mascara because of the lashes, although I did in the video because they are basically all gone). xoxo

What I Packed For Vegas

I didn't post a lot on my Instagram while I was in Vegas but I did post on stories. One night I posted my outfit with a Forever 21 bodysuit and I got the most swipe ups I've ever received! It led me to believe that I'm not the only one who has no idea what to wear in Vegas and is looking for some outfit inspo. I honestly had no idea what to wear since I knew mom jeans wouldn't work, let's be real. I spent hours on Pinterest doing some research and found some good outfit inspo. I then found the looks for less.

The Five Minute Journal

I'm the type of person that loves the idea of meditating but can never find the time to do it. I know everyone always says you only need to spend ten minutes in the morning to meditate, but I don't have 10 minutes! I rush to wake up, drink lemon water, drink coffee, walk Luca, go to an exercise class, get back and get ready for work.

Okay, so maybe those are excuses and I can try and squeeze in 10 minutes, but honestly, it just stresses me out. That's where The Five Minute Journal comes in. And let me preface this by saying it should not replace meditation. But if you're like me, and finding it hard to get into the meditation groove but do want to start your day in a calm, centering and positive way, this is for you.

My best friend Emily came to visit last month and brought me this as a gift. It was the best gift ever as I wanted to buy it for myself for months. Every day starts with a different inspiring quote and then you fill out the same sections. Those are: 1) I am grateful for.... and list three, 2) What would make today great...and list three, 3) I am...and list two. At night you fill our three amazing things that happened today and how could it have been even better.

Straightforward and simple, right? But you can't underestimate the power of positive thinking and starting your day that way. I'm a huge believer in the law of attraction and this ensures that I practice what I believe in. It's so easy for me to wake up, scroll through Instagram, get upset and obsessed over the number of followers I gained or lost, start comparing myself to others, start worrying about everything I have going on that day etc. It's just not healthy and that energy won't get me where I want to be. The Five Minute Journal focuses my attention on the positive and shifts my thinking for the day.

Do you need The Five Minute Journal to do this? Nah. But I know I didn't force myself to sit down every morning and complete this exercise before I got it. It kind of keeps you accountable.

If you're interested in the power of positive thinking and the law of attraction, two books I love are The Universe Has Your Back and You Can Heal Your Life. I also love getting the TUT Notes From The Universe emails every morning.