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


Apple Picking 2015

Massachusetts, Carlson Orchards, apples, trees, nature, New England, Fall, Autumn

Today is my 2nd wedding anniversary but alas, it's a Monday.  There is just no time!  So Steve and I packed our weekend full of fun activities to celebrate in advance.  Tonight we will probably just go to the grocery store.  I mean really, I don't know what says "marriage" more than food shopping on a weeknight.  Anyway, the weather was perfect on Saturday morning so we went apple picking at Carlson Orchards in Harvard, MA.  We picked about 7 billion apples so we'll be eating apples and baking apples for weeks!
Being a good little blogger, I took some pictures.
Enjoy!  :)

Massachusetts, Carlson Orchards, apples, trees, nature, New England, Fall, Autumn

Massachusetts, Carlson Orchards, apples, trees, nature, New England, Fall, Autumn

Massachusetts, Carlson Orchards, apples, trees, nature, New England, Fall, Autumn

Massachusetts, Carlson Orchards, apples, trees, nature, New England, Fall, Autumn


End of Summer Empties

It's empties time!  I had a pile of products I've used up for a while and suddenly I realized that I had a lot.  Most are things I have either already repurchased or would repurchase in the future.  There are a couple that I didn't love.  I've included a video at the end of this post in case you like watching better than reading or in case you like both!  Your choice! :)

Getting Clean

 Neutrogena - Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover

Lush - Happy Hippy Shower Gel

This is my Holy Grail eye makeup remover.  It works so well with waterproof mascara and eyeliner.  The bottle says "no oily residue" but I do find that I need to wash my face after I use it.  Obviously, wash your face after you take off your makeup.  Makeup remover just deals with the actual makeup, not your face underneath.  Speaking of washing... Lush products are known for their scents and the Happy Hippy shower gel is no different.  It smells like grapefruit but it isn't super intense - just nice and fruity.  I would definitely get this again.

Hair Care

 Number 4 - Lumiere d'hiver Super Comb Prep & Protect

OGX - Ever Straight Brazilian Keratin Therapy Flat Iron Spray

That little sample of leave-in conditioner/detangle spray was excellent.  It came in a Birchbox and smells about the same as all other hair products from Number 4 that I've tried.   Which means it makes your head smell like you just came from a very spa-like salon.  The flat iron spray from OGX is a product I have mixed feelings about.  It has a beachy vibe with it's yummy coconut scent and the performance is fine.  It's not the most amazing thing ever but it's not bad.  It's just a regular, functional hair product.  But I HATE the packaging.  I hate that the bottle collapses on itself as you use it up and the spray nozzle/pump part gets sticky.  I know this to be true because I constantly forget how much I hate it and have bought this and used it a million times in my life.  I am hoping that by writing this paragraph I will finally be able to get it to stick in my brain that I do not want to buy this again.  Probably I'll forget and the next time I need something like this I'll only recall the excellent smell and buy it again and be mad.

Last Three

 Harvey Prince - Yogini

 Eucerin - Skin Calming Daily Moisturizing Creme

Yes, that heading says "three" and I only have "two" pictures.  Apparently I forgot to take a picture of the Neil George Body Wash.  It's the little white tube with black and gray writing on it in the picture up at the top of this post.  That was a Birchbox sample (can you tell I've been really trying to use those up?) and it was OK.  It got me clean but didn't do anything special.  The little fragrance sample is meant to be used as an aromatherapy spray.  It has a very light and relaxing scent.  If I had a huge perfume budget I would purchase the full-sized version of this but since perfume can be so expensive for such a little amount I usually only have one or two at a time.  I don't think this would make the cut.  The last is another must have in my life.  This is the best moisturizing creme for super dry, super itchy skin.  I can't survive winter without it.

What products have you been using lately?
Thanks for reading!
:) Alice


Tasty Tuesday | All The Beef

Welcome back to Tasty Tuesday!  I had beef twice today because I ate leftovers.  Meal planning goes right out the window when I go out to eat and I am terrible at incorporating leftovers into my plan, but I do eat them so then I end up with days like this.  Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any meal planning tips! :)

What I Ate, Tasty Tuesday, food diary, almond milk, Blue Diamond, Almond Breeze, Kashi, granola, cocoa coconut, coffee, Eight O'Clock Original, whole bean coffee

For breakfast I had granola.  I am still obsessed with the Cocoa Coconut with Kamut Granola from Kashi.  I had it with almond milk.  This is the kind that I get and the reason is because it is unsweetened and is one of the better options out there for you if you are looking for an almond milk without tons of sugar.  The original flavor of Eight O'Clock coffee is the kind that I have as my basic, every day coffee.  I get the whole beans and grind enough for a few days at a time so that I don't have to struggle through every day.  I am NOT a morning person! Ha ha!

What I Ate, Tasty Tuesday, food diary, Miso Beef Ramen, Wagamama

This is leftover soup from Wagamama.  I got the Miso Beef Ramen and I at so much I practically rolled (or sloshed because...soup) out of there but there was still so much left!  I took it home and reheated it on the stove today.  There were a few pieces of beef left but mostly it was veggies, noodles and broth.  I had one glass of water while my soup was reheating and another once I got it into the bowl.

Saltine Crackers, Premium crackers, snack, What I Ate, Tasty Tuesday, peppermint tea, tea time

For an afternoon snack I had some saltine crackers with butter and raspberry jam on top and peppermint tea.  It's a kind of weird snack but we don't really have any other snack foods in the house and this really did hit the spot.

steak, pasta, asparagus, balanced meal, dinner, supper, home-cooking, cooking, Tasty Tuesday, What I Ate

I made steak with pasta and asparagus and it was SO GOOD!  It was so good that I ate half the steak and asparagus and some of the pasta before I remembered to take the picture for this blog post.  Ha ha!  I cooked the steak in a pan on the stove with olive oil, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce along with some garlic.  The asparagus was on it's last legs and was starting to go floppy so I chopped it up and put in a little pan with some water and just sort of stirred it around until it was hot.  I put butter, salt and pepper on that and the pasta and then the pasta also got some Parmesan cheese.  I am literally drooling over every word I am typing right now because I wish I was eating it again right now.

Steve made me hot chocolate on the stove for a dessert treat.  I put some stale marshmallows in it (they are left over from our Maine vacation two months ago), drank it and called it a night.


Outdoor Daytime Wedding Guest | OOTD

outfit, casual, dressy, Alice Manfrida, alicemanfrida, amanfrida, skirt, gold, shoes, bow, black, green

Happy Monday Everyone!  I had a long weekend because I was at a daytime wedding on Friday.   It was held outside by the water in Salem, MA so everyone was glad that the weather cooperated.  It was a nice send-off to Summer!

green, skirt, belt, bow, Musee Matisse Skirt, ModCloth, black, ootd, outfit, details, Alice Manfrida, alicemanfrida, amanfrida

I wore my green Musee Matisse skirt from ModCloth.  I'm not sure that they do all of the colors that they used to but I did check and they do still sell the skirt.  I wore it out to dinner last September for my anniversary but I haven't worn it much since then because the fabric is mostly linen and therefore needs ironing.  (Not difficult but I'm lazy.)  Also to note, if you are interested in this skirt for yourself, this skirt is not really see-through but I did feel more comfortable with a half slip on underneath. :)

black, wrap, top, blouse, shirt, v neck, gold necklace, scissors, sunglasses, green, sunny, sunnies, oversized, brunette, outfit, ootd, details, Alice Manfrida, alicemanfrida, amanfrida

I wore a black 3/4 sleeved top from Loft a million years ago.  It has a pretty deep v because it has a wrap neckline.

I kept it pretty simple for accessories.  My earrings are studs made of pyrite, which has a gray-ish gold color, my necklace is from Forever 21 and has a pendant that looks like old-fashioned sewing scissors and my bracelet is the gold Boston one from Alex + Ani.  My shoes are also gold, and glittery.  These are flats that I bought at Payless for my own wedding two years ago.

gold, scissors, necklace, delicate, accessories, jewelry, Forever 21, F21, Alice Manfrida, alicemanfrida, amanfrida

gold, shoes, flats, glitter, sparkle, sparkly, Payless, fancy, brick, feet, Alice Manfrida, alicemanfrida, amanfrida

I'll end this post with a shot of The Friendship.  The ceremony was held next to the boat and then the reception was held at the Sea Level Oyster Bar next door.

Thanks for reading!
:) Alice


Tasty Tuesday: Lazy Chicken


Breakfast was toast with peanut butter, honey and pear.  I could only fit a little of the pear on the actual toast but I did chop up the rest and ate the pieces.  I had my usual black coffee and some water, too.


Leftovers!  I reheated some pasta and meat sauce that I had made on Friday.  The sauce was from a jar and then I added ground beef, green pepper, onion and garlic.  Once it was hot I added some Parmesan cheese on top and had a coffee refill and some more water.


I had two cups of tea throughout the afternoon.  Before heading out to the grocery store I had some applesauce and some almonds because I was super hungry and I didn't want to go crazy and buy everything at the store. :)


While we were at the grocery store we picked up a cooked chicken and some soup.  The soup was Baked Potato with Bacon.  I had a HUGE bowl of the soup and it was really filling.  Honestly I would probably not go out of my way to buy it again because it was pretty salty but it was still tasty.  I ate some chicken and then wrapped up the rest to save for sandwiches throughout the week.


This is a tiny bowl of cookies & cream ice cream.  I know you can't really tell how big the bowl is because it's just by itself on the counter in this picture but it's the teeny tiny fruit bowl so it's only a couple of spoonfuls.  Not that I'm concerned about anyone judging me.  I'm just saying it's way less than I would normally eat because I really wanted it but I was still really full from that soup.  Ha ha!

Thanks for reading!
:) Alice