Saturday Night Reading [Blogmas Day 5 2015]

Blogmas, Gloria Steinem, My Life On The Road, book, bed, reading, black and white

It's getting pretty late and I have been having a hard time figuring out what to write about today.  I haven't been feeling that great and have spent a lot of the day napping on the couch.  I did go to brunch with some friends this morning.  I totally forgot to take a picture but I had banana bread french toast and it was really yummy!  After brunch Steve and I went for a walk because it was sunny and warm, we ended up taking off our coats before we were done.  I think we walked a little bit too long though because I was so wiped out by the time we got home.  I seriously can't believe how tired pregnancy has made me.

Anyway, my plans for the rest of the night are to cozy up in bed with a book.  I've been reading My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem.  In case you didn't know, Gloria Steinem is a huge name in the women's movement and this is her new book all about the things she has learned and people she has met while travelling for her work.  It's a really good book and I feel like I have learned a lot from reading it.  I think I have about 35 pages left so I should be able to finish it before I fall asleep.

What have you been reading lately?
Let me know in the comments!
:) Alice


Blogmas Day 4 [2015] Top 3 Vlogmas Channels

vlogmas, blogmas, christmas, youtube, top 3, list, holiday, 2015

I may be doing Blogmas over here (a post every day of December until Christmas) but there are tons of people doing Vlogmas over on their YouTube channels.  (...and you know how much I love YouTube!)  I will say that it can get a little overwhelming when your subscription box is full of videos from every channel every day.  I definitely pick and choose what I have time to watch this time of year.  I thought I'd share a few of the channels that I've been loving and have been watching daily so far.

Melanie Murphy

The Day-In-The-Life Vlog

Melanie Murphy is an Irish vlogger who normally does a mix of beauty and lifestyle videos.  Her channel (and YouTube career) seems to be really taking off at the moment.  She is daily vlogging for Vlogmas this year and I'm loving it.  She is sharing beauty tips, things she likes to eat and she has a cute cat named Bilbo.  She is also doing a daily giveaway of body shop products throughout the month.

Ingrid Nilson


Ingrid Nilson is one of my favorite YouTubers and I've been watching her for what feels like forever.  She is doing something a little different for Vlogmas this year.  She is putting up a new DIY video every other day until December 25 on her main channel.  So far she's made a really pretty light up wreath and also some really yummy hot chocolate recipes.  You should also check out this video from her second channel in which she explains why she is not doing the standard daily vlog style Vlogmas this year and also that Vlogmas started on her channel!

Don't Stop Readin'


I am loving how many people are doing Vlogmas differently this year.  Of course there are plenty of people daily vlogging but there are also people making different kinds of videos on their main channels all month long.  My friend Reggie is doing Bookmas on her BookTube channel so she's making a book-related video every day.  I think this is a really great way to get in on the fun while staying true to the content that she puts on her channel all year long.

If you have any other Vlogmas channel recommendations please leave them in the comments!  Or if you also make videos and you're doing Vlogmas let me know!

Thanks for reading!
:) Alice


Blogmas Day 3 [2015] I'm Pregnant!

I already announced this over on my daily vlog channel a few days ago but I thought I'd throw it in here as well: I'm pregnant!  We found out two weeks ago and were able to tell our families over the week of Thanksgiving.  It's still pretty early, I'm not exactly sure how far along I am but am guessing it's about 6 weeks.  I've been exhausted for the last three weeks and started feeling nauseous occasionally this week -- all very good signs! :)

I thought I was coming down with a cold but then after a week I thought that I actually might be pregnant.  It's recommended that you take the test in the morning when you first wake up because that when you'll have the most hormones for the test to pick up but I decided on a whim to just take it at night.  I don't know what I expected but I was shocked when the line showed up super dark and also immediately!

One thing I want to mention is that we decided to share this news even though it's still early because we wanted to be able to be excited about it.  This month marks the end of two full years of trying.  I did get pregnant once before in early 2014 but I miscarried.  I will say that this time around is very different.  It's already gone on weeks longer and my pregnancy symptoms seem on track for how far I think I am and they are continuing to be more intense as the days go on so we are cautiously optimistic.  Or just optimistic.  We know that it's still a critical time and that many women/couples like to wait until they are more certain that they've got an established pregnancy.  I wanted to be able to talk freely about it if I wanted to and while I don't currently think that there will be a problem, if there is one, I want to be able to talk freely about that, too.

Anyway, I do not plan to turn this into a pregnancy blog but I will probably post about it from time to time.

Thanks for reading!
:) Alice


Blogmas Day 2 [2015] Licked By The Cat

Today was so rainy and gray.  My mom came over for lunch and Stella was obsessed with sitting on top of her bag.  She just climbed on top and sat there looking around as if to say, "This is my bag now.  Too bad for you!"  Ha ha!

Stella is so cute and sometimes I just stare at her trying to figure out what she's thinking.  She was sitting on me licking her paws clean for a while this afternoon after my mom left.  I think she wanted to check in and snuggle once we had the house back to ourselves.  She's pretty obsessed with me and Steve, which is fine, and I think she really does feel like the three of us are a little kitty family.  :)

As proof that she thinks we are just giant cats please notice that we are holding hands in the above picture.  She was actually still grooming here but you can't see her tongue.  She was alternating between her own paws and my hand.  I am pretty sure that if a cat is grooming you it means she loves you, at least as much as a cat can love.  (I'm obsessed with my cat but I know she's still just a cat and therefore doesn't actually have human emotions.)


Blogmas Day 1 [2015] Tasty Tuesday

It's December!  Can you believe it?!  It's almost officially winter on this half of the planet and with that comes the shortest day of the year.  Talk about disbelief: what I can't believe is that there are still a few more weeks to go until we get to the longest darkest night.  It gets dark so early!  Sunset is at 4:12 pm today in Boston.  I know that there are plenty of places in the world where it gets dark earlier than that or is basically dark for the whole day, but 15 hours of darkness a day is still a lot.

Today's #TastyTuesday pictures are from Sunday.  For breakfast I had grits with cheddar cheese mixed in and a little bowl of Greek yogurt with honey and strawberries.

Lunch was kind of small, I had two slices of toast with butter and peanut butter along with a side of kale.  Steve thinks I'm weird for putting butter and peanut butter together but I'm telling you, it's really yummy!

My "snack" for the afternoon was a glass of orange juice.  By the way, that Merry Marshmallow Yankee Candle is the best smelling candle ever made and it smells good all year long because in the summer you can just pretend it's supposed to be s'mores and turn the label to face the wall. :)  Steve's mom sent that to us to get us in the holiday spirit.

I reheated leftover pasta with meat sauce for supper.  I like buying jars of sauce and then adding to it to make it more healthy and filling.  This had kale, red peppers, onions and garlic along with ground beef.

If you are doing Blogmas this year then let me know what your blog is down in the comments section so I can visit!

Thanks for reading!
:) Alice


Blog Changes and Looking Forward

If you've been reading this blog for some time then you'll notice some changes.  I was getting really sick of the dark sidebar and while I loved the grayish minty green that was my former background, it was just time for a change.

Another thing: I am planning to do Blogmas this year!  That is basically just posting every day from the start of December up until Christmas.  Lots of bloggers and vloggers do it every year (the vlog one is called Vlogmas over on YouTube).  I thought that along with a change of color and theme, Blogmas would be a good way for me to give a little extra focus to this blog.  I have been pretty obsessed with YouTube for the past few months.  I didn't forget about my blog but I definitely let it suffer, which was a little annoying to me because I started blogging before I got onto YouTube.  I still enjoy writing and I think blogging is fun so I want to get back into it and give it the attention it deserves.

There are still a few days left of November so I am going to try to get a post or two up in the next week but I will definitely be ready to go come December 1st!  I've been planning out some posts and I figure I'll just write what I'm in the mood for the rest of the time, which always works out better for me anyway.

Let me know what you think of the changes!
Thanks for reading!
:) Alice


Seaweed Crisps | Alternative Chips

Annie Chun's, seaweed, snacks, salty, healthy, chips, gluten-free

I tried these Seaweed Crisps from Annie Chun's last night and they were so good that I had to tell you about them. I bought them on a whim the last time I was at the grocery store because we occasionally get seaweed snacks (just the crispy seaweed sheets) to eat as a snack while making dinner. These are a little bit different because they are pieces of the seaweed sheets stuck onto little puffy rice crisps.

The main thing that I like about them is that they are bite sized. The plain sheets of seaweed that we get are too big to fit in your mouth without breaking or folding them and then you get little seaweed flakes everywhere. You can just pop these right in! The bag is two servings so Steve and I devoured them in one sitting. Honestly, I would've eaten the whole thing myself if he hadn't been there. Ha ha!  They are gluten free, I think they are a good alternative to chips and since the bag is little, it's like portion control. I am totally going to buy these again. I also went to the Annie Chun's website and found out that they have a few different flavors. I'm over here fangirl-ing over a snack food and I felt like I needed to bring you all in on it!

Thanks for reading!

:) Alice


Walking Weekend | OOTD

I did so much walking this weekend!  Steve had a day off on Friday so we decided to go for a walk around the reservoir where we explored the little trails in the "woods" around it as well.  I say "woods" in quotes because it's a reservoir in a city so it's really just a tree buffer between the street and the water.  But it was so windy that day that with all of the leaves rustling we could barely hear any traffic!  We meant to just do a loop around and then go back home but instead we wandered around the city for a few hours.  We took a break to get lunch at Panera and we also did a little shopping at T J Maxx.  After checking on a map we realized we had walked almost 7 miles!  Don't worry though.  We made up for it with a couch day on Saturday.  Ha ha!

fall, fashion, autumn, Primark, black, white, monochrome, outfit, ootd, ankle boots, jeans, sweater, jumper, Alice Manfrida, amanfrida, alicemanfrida

Today (Sunday) has been a filming day for me.  Actually, I filmed two videos yesterday and two today.  I like to take advantage of sunny days when I can!  I broke out this sweater that I bought earlier in the season at Primark.  It is kind of like a baggy t-shirt made out of a blanket.  It's really warm.  I made Steve go outside with me to take pictures but it's so windy that my hair kept blowing in my face and we were laughing so hard.  We only got one good one but here are a few goofy ones anyway.  :)

fall, fashion, autumn, Primark, black, white, monochrome, outfit, ootd, ankle boots, jeans, sweater, jumper, Alice Manfrida, amanfrida, alicemanfrida

fall, fashion, autumn, Primark, black, white, monochrome, outfit, ootd, ankle boots, jeans, sweater, jumper, Alice Manfrida, amanfrida, alicemanfrida

This afternoon we went out for coffee and then went for another walk.  We kept it short this time and only walked about a mile and a half since I was wearing these boots, which are comfortable but still a little high.  When we first went outside I was so cold so I had a coat, scarf and gloves but then by the time we got back I was sweating!  The weather is so back and forth this time of year so it's hard to know what to wear.  In case you're wondering about the rest of my outfit, the long sleeved black top underneath the sweater is from Banana Republic a long time ago, the jeans are from Target this year and the ankle boots are from Call It Spring last year.

One of the videos I filmed this weekend was a Birchbox Unboxing.  If you're interested in seeing what I got this month the video is up on my channel now.

I hope you all had a good weekend!
Thanks for reading!
:) Alice


Tasty Tuesday | Water Struggle

I always think it's more difficult to drink enough water in the colder months of the year.  I'm don't need to make up for summertime sweating and an extra cup of hot coffee is so much more appealing to me now than a cool drink of water.  I made it through five full 12 oz. glasses of water yesterday, which wasn't great but wasn't too bad.  I'm just going to try to beat that today.  Anything more than five (even a sip) counts!  Ha ha!

This week's #TastyTuesday video is up now so you can head over to YouTube to check it out, if you'd like.  This is the second week in a row that filming this lined up with a work day.  It's a little hectic to get it filmed and edited with less time but I think anyone who ever has to pack their lunch while eating breakfast, while doing laundry, while getting dressed looks for new ideas from time to time.  I know I do!


Weekend Recap: Cemetery Walk

We have been so busy just about every weekend for what feels like months.  Actually, now that I think about it, it was actually months.  In August there were two family cookouts to go to and then Steve went away for a weekend bachelor party.  September was packed with a weekend trip to NYC with my mom, a concert, and a wedding.  I even threw in brunch with my sister.  Oh, and the month ended with our 2nd wedding anniversary so we lived it up that weekend.  October's weekends were just as hectic.  We did a lot of driving for a wedding, a family party, dinner at my dad's, a housewarming party for a friend and then Halloween in Salem.  As fun as all of that was, being a social butterfly can get a little exhausting.

November, skyline, view, Boston, city, travel

This weekend was exactly what we needed after all of that.  The weather was absolutely beautiful on Saturday.  It was sunny and dry with that New England Fall air.  We hopped on a bus over to Cambridge and spent a few hours wandering around Mount Auburn Cemetery.  Before you think that we are too creepy, Mount Auburn is a huge cemetery and green space.  It's a good place to go bird watching and you can climb the tower on the hill (a monument to George Washington) and get really great view of Boston across the river.

view, trees, fall foliage, New England

There are a bunch of famous people buried there so you can go on a scavenger hunt to find them if you want.  My personal favorite game in old cemeteries is to find as many people named Alice as I can.  It's an easy game because it's such and old-fashioned name in this country.  :)

It's getting late in the season here so a lot of the leaves are already down.  But what the trees lacked in pretty colors to look at above our heads, they made up for with TONS of crunchy leaves to kick our way through.  It's a good sound.  Ha ha!

This trip was more slow paced for the purpose of getting fresh air and chilling out so we didn't pay much attention to the history or science of it all.  But we did stop in the Visitor Center first where there is a display of how the materials used in the monuments and headstones look like as they age.  With that in mind, all I could think about what how all of the bumpy and stained marble must have looked like when they were first put in.  It must have been blinding on a sunny day when there were a lot of smoother, shinier and whiter things there.

tree, ivy, nature

As far as tourist things go in the Boston area go, this is a pretty good one.  Their website is pretty informative, if you find this at all interesting. (Mount Auburn Cemetery)  It's also a pretty short bus ride to Harvard Square, which is where we went for lunch, shopping and dinner afterwards!

Thanks for reading!
:) Alice


Tasty Tuesday | Work Day Meals

It's Tuesday!  Most of my #TastyTuesday posts are from days when I am eating at home so I can actually make all of my meals and take the time to film or take pictures.  Yesterday I had to go to work all day so I thought I'd do a Work Day food diary.  I didn't take pictures because I didn't really have the time so I only have a video.  I tried to keep it healthy but it's definitely hard when packing lunch while eating breakfast.  Dinner was a standard late night quick and easy mac & cheese with soup.


Thanks for reading and
thanks for watching!
:) Alice


Bare Nails

I don't know why but I've been going without nail polish a lot lately.  Everyone else is digging into the vampy colors for Fall and I'm over here like, eh, too hard.  I'm not even using clear polish.  Just my nails taking a breather.  I do think it's important to let your nails have a break once in a while.  The same goes for your face.  I used to bite my nails and they looked horrible so now that I have nice nails I love that I can paint them and make them look so pretty.  A lot of times I change the color twice a week.  I'm pretty obsessed and I like it that way.  But for some reason I haven't been in the mood.

How often do you paint your nails?
Do you ever take beauty breaks?

Thanks for reading!
:) Alice


Tasty Tuesday | Trying Something New

Tasty Tuesday, What I Ate, food diary


Tasty Tuesday, What I Ate, food diary

I was half way through my breakfast of oatmeal and coffee when I got off the phone with my mother and remembered that I was planning to do Tasty Tuesday pictures.  But if you've been reading these food diary posts for a while then you've seen what my oatmeal looks like!  I made it pretty simple this time with just oats, flax, raisins, cinnamon and almond milk.


Tasty Tuesday, What I Ate, food diary

For lunch I had a giant bowl of pad thai.  This was leftover from the night before but I bulked it up a little with some scallions and mushrooms.  I also had a glass of water, which was horrible because it was so cold in my house that it was like torture to drink something that wasn't hot.  Ha ha!


Tasty Tuesday, What I Ate, food diary

Speaking of the fact that it was very, very cold here yesterday...  I drank so much tea!  I was drinking this peppermint tea.  I usually get about 3 cups out of one tea bag before it doesn't really give off enough flavor to make it worth it.  I also turned the heat on.


Tasty Tuesday, What I Ate, food diary

This was the big experiment of the day.  I wanted to try baking fish in foil because everyone says that it's so easy!  Well, first of all upon taking the fish out of the refrigerator I discovered that it wasn't completely defrosted.  I decided to do it anyway and wrapped it all up in the foil with a little olive oil, garlic and lemon slices and threw in some salt, pepper and thyme for good measure.  I took it out of the oven and very carefully opened the foil and there was no steam, the fish was not cooked, it was about room temperature so I wrapped it back up.  BUT THE FOIL WAS BREACHED! So then it needed a double layer of foil.  Meanwhile, the quinoa and peas were getting cold.  I ate that first.  Then when the fish was finally done I ate that.  This picture is of Steve's plate with the warm fish and the cold quinoa and peas because he didn't mind eating cold food.


Tasty Tuesday, What I Ate, food diary

We split a chocolate bar so we each had 5 squares of it.  I also had more tea but I actually only drank about half and held it in my hands to warm them up until it wasn't warm anymore.  I did drink about 3 big glasses of plain water throughout the day, too.

Thanks for reading!
:) Alice

Here's the video if you're interested!


I Ran Today

banana, running, ice, knee, leaves, water, recovery

I made a goal to run this Fall.  I didn't really make a plan to get there but I figured if I pushed myself to workout and go for walks that got longer and faster over time eventually I'd just start running.  I don't know if this is the best strategy for someone who has never run in their life but I am a former runner with a knee injury so I feel like it's a little different.

I was going to do a workout in my house this morning but since it was nice weather I figured I go outside for a quick walk around the block to warm up first.  As soon as my feet hit the pavement I got this urge to run.  This is a pretty normal thing for me and it usually hits when I'm wearing normal clothes and shoes in a parking lot or something.  So I never act upon it.  Today I thought, maybe I should stop "working up to running" and just go "run."  So that's what I did.

Actually, I walked to a playground near my house, ran around the little track, then walked it, then ran a second lap, and then walked home.  The first lap felt really good, the second was tough.  But that's the first time I've run in years.  (I have an old knee injury that was OK but then got a little out of control about 2 years ago and I could barely walk.)

Muscle memory is a thing and my body was super happy to to be running.  During the second lap when my lungs were burning and felt like they were going to pop I realized something.  Sometimes you need to just jump in and do a thing.  (Yup, 1/2 mile of running and I'm immediately back on the running = life bandwagon. Haha!)  I know my body.  I know how to run.  So if I want to run I just need to run.

It was really awesome to find out that my body is totally fine with running (if any of you are new to running, the lungs issue works itself out pretty quickly as you keep training.)  There is only one little part that needs a little extra TLC and I can deal with that.  (See ice in above picture.)


September Favorites | 2015

September has come to a close and it's officially Fall!  To mark the occasion, I have compiled a list of things that I like so that you can share in my obsessions with me.  The internet is for socializing, people!


e.l.f. Eyebrow Kit in Medium
First up is this little eyebrow kit from e.l.f. that the lovely Michele from Let Me Cross Over recommended that I try.  (Seriously, go read her blog!) She was right, it is awesome.  I have been using it almost every day.  I think that it makes my brows look filled in (meaning closer to the same as one another) but still natural and not overdone.

I have been using products from CeraVe just about exclusively for two months and my skin is SO clear!    I wrote up a little review for it last week so check that out if you missed it.


Kashi Cocoa Coconut Granola
OMG I'm obsessed!  This is basically the grown-up version of a chocolate-y kid cereal.  It's so yummy, it turns the milk brown, it is "healthy" -- I'm not sure what else you'd want in an easy breakfast.  I will say that I'm a little addicted because starting the day with something that feels like dessert is a slippery slope for me.  It's granola coated with cocoa mixed up with shaved coconut.  When you open the bag it gives off a pretty strong coconut smell but it tastes mostly like chocolate.

Lucy Wyndham-Read does fitness and nutrition videos on YouTube and I've been trying out her breakfast ideas from her Tuesday Toast Topping series.  One tip I liked a lot was to mix some dry oats into cream cheese before spreading it on toast with fruit and honey.  These breakfasts have been a good alternative to making oatmeal because it's about as filling but takes so much less time to make.


I've been on a house cleaning mission for the past few months and the KonMari Method has really been working for me.  I've done some videos on the process (be warned they are LONG) and I'm not finished yet but I'm really happy with what I've done so far.  One of the biggest tips I've taken away from it is to declutter and organize by category, not location, because you probably have similar items stored in different places throughout your house and organizing the same stuff in multiple drawers can leave you with more things that you really even want.

I did it.  I jumped on the ECLP bandwagon.  See?  I'm even using the acronym!  I bought the vertical 18-month version and have now used it for a solid two months.  I bought it because I was trying to be more productive, and obviously my desire is what has lead to success but this is a good tool and I think it's helped me to be more organized.  For starters I designated a spot to keep track of things I'm loving and it resulted in the writing of this very Favorites Post that you have been enjoying during these past few minutes. :)  In case you are wondering, I chose the Honeycomb pattern with Slate as the background color and Lagoon as the accent color.

There you have it, folks: my current favorite things.  Leave a comment below to let me know about the things you have been loving.

Thanks for reading!
:) Alice


Primark Haul | Fashion Friday

Maybe it's something about Fall and wanting to do indoor things but I feel like I've been (re)bitten by the blogging bug and I'm excitedly diving back into posting regularly on here.  I think I'm going to try to vary the content a little better so that I don't burn out on any one topic so I have dedicated Fridays for fashion and style posts.  Hence the unoriginal alliteration that just about every single style blogger has used since the beginning of time (I'm not counting the time before blogging was a thing because...modern world!)  Anyway, enough with the set-up...TO THE CLOTHES!  I went to the brand new Primark that has arrived in Boston and I emerged with a new wardrobe.  For only $65.  YESSSSSS!!!!!

black, white, sweater, jumper, striped, color block, navy blue, grey, Primark, clothes haul, autumn, Fall, Alice Manfrida, amanfrida, alicemanfrida, clothing, fashion, style

This isn't the best picture of the really cute $7 color blocked flats that I bought but it shows the black and navy well.  They have pointed toes so they fill the gap in my heart that has been aching since I finally tossed my old navy and gray plaid flannel flats that were absolutely shredded from years of wear.  I plan to wear holes into these as well. :)

This knit top is black with white stripes and has zipper detailing at the bottom (fyi, the zips are functional but there is nothing behind them.)  It's got short sleeves but they are kind of longish short sleeves, if that makes sense.  I paid $11 for this one.

This one is super basic.  It's a very soft and thin grey v-neck sweater.  There were a ton of colors and some different necklines available.  I had to tear myself away from the table because it was only $8.

It's hard to see the neckline on this one.  I'll have to do an outfit of the day post with this one in the future because I think it's really cool.  The neckline is super high and straight across and though the sweater was made without a neck hole and then someone just slashed a line at the top and slapped a sort of faux-leather strip around the edges.  It's a creamy ivory color and the back is slightly longer than the front.  This one was $18.

For a whopping $21 I got this awesome thing!  It's super thick and kind of feels like a blanket.  It looks really good with a thin black long-sleeved top underneath as well as with bare arms.  It's really warm though so I think it'll be really good for layering this winter.

Primark, stripes, black, white, cat, tuxedo cat, clothes, clothing, fashion, style, monochrome, blogger, behind the scenes, Alice Manfrida

Primark, stripes, black, white, cat, tuxedo cat, clothes, clothing, fashion, style, monochrome, blogger, behind the scenes, Alice Manfrida

Seriously, I don't know what the heck I'd do without Stella, my blogging assistant.  She is literally the most helpful with everything.  Well, she's cute anyway.  Ha ha! :)

Thanks for reading!
:) Alice


CeraVe Skincare | Review

skincare, CeraVe, moisturizer, cleanser, eye cream, face, skin, hydrating, dry skin, breakouts, spf

I am no skincare expert but I can tell you that this stuff is great and I will now excitedly tell you over and over how much I love these products: I've been using CeraVe products for a solid two months now and I am so happy with the results.  My skin is so clear!  I wanted to wait this long before I wrote up my thoughts because I have pretty horrible breakouts every month.  I know that they are caused by hormones but it's SO much better since I've been using CeraVe consistently.

I have been using the Hydrating Cleanser and the Eye Repair Cream twice a day.  The AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion is for morning because it has an SPF and the PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion is for before bed.  While I do get oily in places occasionally, I would classify my skin as normal to dry and sensitive and this routine has really been working for me.

The cleanser and the PM lotion feel like a hydrating bath for your skin.  The Eye Repair Cream is super gentle and is therefore a great basic everyday choice.  The AM Lotion is a little thicker and less slippery feeling than the PM version, which I think is because of the SPF.  It seems to soak in and dry more quickly, which is nice as part of a morning routine that includes needing to hurry up and get some makeup on.  Overall I haven't had any issues with dry patches for my makeup to get caked on.

Obviously, I still have breakouts but I've gone through two cycles while doggedly practicing this skin care regime and both were free of the face pain that I have come to expect as my lot in life for about the last 3 years.  While I'm sure it's not only these products but is actually a combination of the variety of things I've been doing to deal with the problem, I've had the most rapid success during the time I've been using this stuff.

I started this trial period in the middle of summer so I will say to you and to myself that this may not be the most accurate result and a winter test would be a good idea before declaring any miracles.  But I have run through my first bottle of cleanser and have already happily started a new one.


What's In My OGIO Soho Backpack | Review

briefcase, professional, organization, accessories, what's in my, backpack, style, fuction

I bought a backpack / work bag a couple of months ago and I thought I'd write up a post about it in case any of you are looking for something similar.  I spent a lot of time researching different bags before I finally decided on the Ogio Soho Backpack.  I tried some out in various stores, I searched every online retailer I could think of, and then I did a seriously thorough search on blogs and on YouTube channels the world over.  Ha ha!

briefcase, professional, organization, accessories, what's in my, backpack, style, fuction

In order to narrow it down I made a list of criteria:
1. Backpack style
2. NOT super athletic looking
3. Professional-ish style
4. Accommodates a 17" laptop
5. Sturdy enough to hold lots of stuff without breaking
6. As slim as possible because I refuse to be the jerk on public transit who smashes into people with her backpack.

briefcase, professional, organization, accessories, what's in my, backpack, style, fuction

The Soho backpack is literally all of those things.  It is marketed as a women's backpack so it's made to fit women comfortably.  (Women typically have more going on in the chest area than men do so uncomfortable straps can be a problem.)  Top to bottom it's pretty long/tall because it fits a 17" laptop but it stays slim from front to back.

briefcase, professional, organization, accessories, what's in my, backpack, style, fuction

It has three main pockets, is super padded to keep a laptop safe and it actually has a second padded section in the front pocket to store a tablet.  It has a place for a power cable that doesn't get in the way of books and notebooks you probably have in there as well.  There is also a super slim separate pocket made for keeping file folders safe and flat.  See?  Totally professional and useful.

briefcase, professional, organization, accessories, what's in my, backpack, style, fuction

briefcase, professional, organization, accessories, what's in my, backpack, style, fuction

I chose the black version and it has a black and white pattern on the inside.  There were other colors and some of them had a more colorful pattern inside.  I hope you found this post and these pictures interesting.  I also did a What's In My Backpack video, which you can watch if you'd like to see it in action with a bunch of stuff in it.  I thought I'd share because when I was deciding what to buy I thought that the promotional video didn't show it very well...although I still bought it! :)

Thanks for reading!
:) Alice


Celebratory Dessert | Tasty Tuesday

Tasty Tuesday, Food Diary, coffee, breakfast, toast, peanut butter, water, healthy, diet

I went for super easy breakfast today and had two slices of peanut butter toast.  I also had a glass of water and 2 cups of coffee.

Tasty Tuesday, food diary, lunch, leftovers, fried rice, chicken, pineapple, fried eggs, egg, water, healthy, diet

For lunch I had leftover pineapple fried rice, which had chicken in it.  I plopped two over-easy eggs on top, poured a glass of water and called it a day.

Tasty Tuesday, What I Ate, Healthy Diet, apple, kefir, snack, snacking, food, food diary

So about those apples... I had an apple and a glass of blueberry flavored kefir for a late afternoon snack.

Tasty Tuesday, What I Ate, food diary, simple, easy, supper, dinner, soup, sandwich

We went for a simple supper kind of night.  I made cheesy tuna melts along with lentil vegetable soup from a can.  Steve and I split a glass of wine to mark our 2nd anniversary.  It was a low key night full of working late and grocery shopping but that's what marriage is.  Plus, we had a super packed fun weekend so we're not feeling bad about it. :)

Tasty Tuesday, What I Ate, dessert, ice cream, Friendly's, Reese's, peanut butter, chocolate, treat, camera

Talk about a celebration!  We got these little ice cream sundae cups while we were at the grocery store.  I got the peanut butter cup one and Steve got one with Reese's Pieces in it.  Mine had peanut butter ice cream and it was SO good!

And would you look at that.  Two blogging days in a row!  I'm on a roll!  :)
I'm going for 5, by the way.

Thanks for reading!
:) Alice