Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Berry Creamy Smoothie Recipe

Here's an easy post-workout smoothie recipe! All you need is:
-Half a banana
-Protein powder
-Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries
-Almond butter

Tip: Be careful not to put in too much almond butter because that can really overpower the taste of the smoothie!

Mix in a blender and enjoy!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Girl Power

I recently found this article on Buzzfeed about exceptional women (click here to check it out). I hope this list of 51 role models inspires you and makes you proud to be an Everyday Gal. Here are some of my favorites:
  • Mindy Kaling: I recently saw a few episodes of The Mindy Project and I'm not exaggerating when I say I cried of laughter! Mindy (and her writing) is so witty and funny. She's a huge inspiration to women comedians and screenwriters. If you loved her on The Office, you'll love her show.
Currently reading her hilarious memoir
  • Emma Watson: I mean, come on- who doesn't love Emma Watson? Loved her in Sofia Coppola's Bling Ring movie and of course as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter movies. 
  • J.K. Rowling: I remember watching a short documentary on Rowling a couple years ago and I was really inspired. She is so creative! But you already knew that if you've so much as heard the words "Harry Potter". If that magical series wasn't enough, she shocked the world publishing even more incredible books under the pseudonym Robert Galbarith. What a boss!
"It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities."- Albus Dumbledore
  • Amy Poehler: One of my biggest role models. Too bad I didn't watch SNL before 2010 because I've seen clips of her on the show, and she was hilarious. Besides being a comedian and star of Parks and Recreation, she founded a girl-power website Smart Girls at the Party. Side note: they retweeted me on Twitter once!! Major fangirl moment. 
With BFF Tina Fey
The next ladies did not make the cut for this Buzzfeed article, but I thought they deserved a spot on mine:
  • Lana Del Rey: She's an amazing performer and artist. Not everyone loves her unique style and weird music videos but I am a huge fan! My favorite song of hers right now is (unreleased) Breaking My Heart
#1 girl crush 
  • Elisabeth Moss: You could argue that Moss steals every scene she's in on Mad Men. She plays Peggy Olson, a determined girl working her way up the advertising ladder in a male-dominated advertising firm. If you haven't seen the show, watch it on Netflix. Catch up before the second half of the final season airs next year!

Know of anyone who deserves to be on the list? Leave it in the comments below!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Healthy Living Tips

I thought I'd do a post today on how to live healthy and be more happy. I was inspired a bit from Zoella's YouTube video found here. A lot of people think to be more healthy and happy you have to undergo a drastic change, but that's not the case. You can put into practice some small habits and simple changes that will make you feel a lot better. Here's a list of some things I think will work for you- they did for me. Let me know in the comments what you think!

1. Cut Back on Social Media
I'm not asking you to delete your Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc because I know that's virtually impossible for most people. But..I did deactivate my Twitter and Facebook accounts and have never felt better. I do still have Instagram, Bloglovin and Pinterest, because I love pictures and get inspiration from them. However, I found that for me personally, Twitter and Facebook didn't benefit me as much as my other social media accounts. I think in this case, you can't slowly cut back. You have to delete it all before it's too late!! Just kidding.. but don't wait. Go through each of your social media accounts and decide if you use it on a daily basis, if it helps you connect with other people, etc. If you like it, keep it. If you don't, click that deactivate button.

Another thing I do now in regards to social media is check it less. I used to constantly have my phone in hand, refreshing my Insta feed that would show one new picture every half hour. I realized I was missing out on wherever I was when I was checking for new posts. Now, I check my Instagram once or twice a day and set aside time for Bloglovin and Pinterest. It can be hard to detach, especially in a world where everything is fast-paced and instant. But once you decrease your frequent visits to social media feeds, you will see a difference in yourself.

2. Eat Healthy
This is a kinda obvious change, but people often overlook it. What you eat really affects your mood,  how your body feels, etc. Just think back to the last time you ate McDonald's and you know what I mean. Eating healthy should not be a punishment- don't force yourself to eat that spinach if you don't want to! Instead, try to incorporate healthy snacks like this Laughing Cow cheese (only 35 calories a piece) rather than that bag of potato chips. As you get the hang of snacking better, you can move onto healthier meals as a whole. Try my summer lunch recipe if you need an idea.

Another tip (that will also save you money) is to eat in more. I know the Chipotle by your house is so tempting, but save it for a once-in-awhile outing. Some restaurants do offer pretty healthy options, but nothing beats cooking your own food. At home, you know exactly what is going into your mouth. The plus side to eating out less is when you do go to a restaurant, it's a special treat. It's a reward!

Eating healthy also involves drinking more water. I suggest buying a water bottle that's easy to fill up and doesn't get hot easily. I try to carry around my water bottle throughout the day so I have no excuse for not drinking it. I also never drink soda so when my friends order that at a restaurant, you can find me saying, "Just water please!". If you need more help, check out this post from Lauren Conrad on drinking more water.

3. Read More Books/ Watch More Movies
I should get that printed on a shirt. Seriously, anyone know where I can do that? Anyway, I think it's really important to read and watch movies. You can also watch TV shows but don't binge on them. After I finish Breaking Bad on Netflix (yes I know, I'm very late), I don't plan on starting another show. I'll stick with my Jeopardy, thank you very much. For me, books and movies is something my mom and I are both avid about. I think our shared passion for these things has brought us closer. (Side note: she also has a very cool blog so check it out here). She's introduced me to books like The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini and movies such as The Darjeeling Limited that I probably wouldn't have read/watched without her suggestion. You probably know someone who loves reading and watching movies, so go talk to them! Ask them what their favorites are and discuss it after. Books and movies are a great way to bond with other people and be inspired.

4. Have a Little More "Me" Time
A great way to live healthy and be more happy is to treat yourself. Every now and then, I indulge in my favorite Double Chocolaty Chip Frappucino from Starbucks. This isn't a regular thing I do (as much as I wish it was). I also like treating myself when I accomplish something big or get a good grade. It's really motivating to reward yourself so be a little selfish!

Also, treating yourself includes a little pampering. Have an at home "spa" day. There's tons of ideas on Pinterest. For me, I like to relax in a bath with Epsom salt, baking soda and a few drops of lavender oil. I also put a face mask on but I need to find something that works better for my sensitive skin (still researching that!).

5. Don't Be Lazy
My final tip is don't be lazy. Instead of watching that repeat of America's Next Top Model, go for a walk/jog. When I run errands or go shopping, I purposely park a little far from the store to walk a bit more. The other reason I park far is because I don't want to crash/scratch the cars on either side of the tight spots in the front, but I digress.

Try to work out a little more, too. I took a leave of absence from Blogilates and when I came back, sore is an understatement! It's really important to be active for at least 20 minutes a day. Now in the summer, I like to wake up a little early and do a quick workout. It gets me ready for the day and feeling productive instead of sluggishly rolling out of bed at 10.

I hope these tips help you to feel happy and healthy. I'm always here to answer questions and love hearing your feedback :)

Here's a little more inspiration for your week:

Sunday, July 20, 2014


I love shoes as much as the next girl, but I don't splurge on them very often. The 5 shoes you're about to see are my trusty soles that I've had for awhile and always add the perfect touch to my outfits. Hopefully I give you some "shoe-spiration" (shoe inspiration) for your next buy!

I bought these sandals at Target almost 2 years ago- and they still fit! They're super comfortable and go with pretty much every piece of clothing I own. 

 Here's my loyal pair of Nike sneakers. They've been through a lot of wear and tear but a quick clean in the wash can make them look (almost) brand new.

 These white clog sandals from Topshop are incredibly comfy and easy to put on. I've worn them with socks before, but I also love showing off my toe polish in them!

 These slip ons are the most recent purchase I've made. They're from Kendall and Kylie's new shoe line (Not a huge Jenner/Kardashian fan, but that's just my unpopular opinion!)

 Last but not least, these slippers were a steal at Urban Outfitters- just $16! They do have a hard bottom so you can wear them around the house or to run some errands. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

Try this yummy and easy to follow recipe for chocolate chip cookies- from scratch!!

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons
(8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content (see note)
Sea salt

1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set that aside.

2. Using a mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.

3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.

4. Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day.


Step 1

Now, let me tell you a little about my experience with the baking process. I kept the dough in the refrigerator for 38 hours. This is what they looked like when I put them on the pan:

Here's a great tip my friend told me: use an ice cream scooper to minimize the mess and get good pieces of cookie dough

So after baking them for about 18 minutes, I pulled them out of the oven and saw this..

They tasted fine but did not look too good. So I quickly researched on Google to find out why these cookies came out so thin! A lot of reasons attribute it to the ingredients but it was a little late for that. So I decided to put my next batch of dough in the freezer for 20 minutes before baking. And this was the result..

I sprinkled the finished cookies with a little sea salt. Enjoy them by themselves or with a cold glass of milk!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

DIY Inspiration Board

Looking for a new piece of art for your room? No need to waste money or time shopping for one.. make it yourself!

An inspiration board has been defined as "a collage of images you put together that represent colors/styles/themes/vibe you enjoy". It's basically the real life version of tumblr.

If you're stumped and don't know how to get started, Pinterest has tons of ideas!

Here's the board I just finished:

I used magazine cutouts, newspaper titles, concert tickets and drawings I found.

Leftover pieces to use in my next board
Hang it over your bed or desk. Just be sure to put it somewhere that you look often so you can be inspired by what you made!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Breakfast Idea

Here's a quick breakfast idea for the Everyday Gal:

First, pour some granola into a bowl. Then, pile on the toppings (I put strawberries, banana, chia seeds, and a spoonful of almond butter).  Last step is optional: pour a little milk into the bowl and enjoy!

Monday, July 7, 2014

JugoFresh Review

Miami is full of smoothie and organic food shops, but JugoFresh stands out among the rest. Famous for its açaí bowl, JugoFresh also sells "cold-pressed juices and superfood smoothies". Though a bit pricey, the items on the menu are totally worth it. Visit one of the current JugoFresh locations and see for yourself!

Cold-pressed juices and some vegan food options

Layout of the JugoFresh in Wynwood

Some of the most popular items on the menu

Sunset Harbour Açaí Bowl- delish!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Film Inspiration

This is the first of many inspiration posts for the Everyday Gal. Today, I want to focus on film and movies that have inspired me. If you've seen any of the movies I'm about to list, you know why they're in this post. But if you haven't, give them a shot because one (or more) just might become your new favorite.

1. The Darjeeling Limited Wes Anderson
I'm a huuuge Wes Anderson fan and needless to say, I had high expectations for this film. This 2007 indie drama was spectacular, and I could watch it again and again. The story is about three brothers (Francis, Peter and Jack) who board a train going across India in an attempt to bond and become closer. The three eccentric brothers are played by Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, and Jason Schwartzman, whose acting performances compliment each other perfectly. The film's quirky humor and sentimental message capture the audience from the start. I highly recommend this anything-but-traditional film because while entertaining, it also contains an important message about family and finding oneself.

If you want to find out more about Wes Anderson and his unique style, check out this article from ScreenRant.

2. Maleficent Robert Stromberg
This new take on the classic tale of Sleeping Beauty is truly magnificent. (Get it? Maleficent was magnificent?) The film offers a fresh perspective to a story you thought you knew. Angelina Jolie is cast perfectly as the dark and stunning villainess Maleficent. Elle Fanning as Princess Aurora also shines in this unexpected retelling of a Disney favorite. I don't want to reveal too much so if you haven't seen it, get to it! The movie's message of redemption and love truly wows.

The song from the trailer "Once Upon a Dream" (sung by my favorite- Lana Del Rey) can be found here. It captures the tone of the movie to a tee!

3. Submarine Richard Ayoade 
A friend recommended this unique film to me, and I'm glad she did! Submarine is a coming-of-age story about fifteen year old Oliver Tate played by Craig Roberts. The movie is adapted from the novel by Joe Dunthorne, which I have yet to read but plan on it. I'm sure one of the reasons I liked this movie so much is because of it's Wes Anderson feel. The film's soundtrack is written by Alex Turner of the indie band Arctic Monkeys. The movie deals with serious issues despite its seemingly peculiar style. If you're up it, check out this original take on a teenager's life.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Summer Lunch Idea

With all the fun plans we have in the summer, it can be hard to find the time for a healthy and tasty lunch. Here's a quick smoothie-and-sandwich recipe for the girl on the go! Very easy to make and tastes delicious.

Note: Servings amount will vary depending on how you blend it, size of fruit, etc. I used the Nutribullet to make this smoothie and had enough for 4 people.
1 banana
6-7 strawberries
1 handful of blueberries
4 ice cubes
A dash of chia seeds

2 slices bread (I used honey wheat this time but I also like using English muffins)
Almond Butter
Strawberry Jelly