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.