Monday, July 21, 2014

zSummer Favorites

I cannot believe that we are already half way through the summer, but I am determined to hold on to the feeling of care free days all the way until Labor Day. And, while I am sitting in the office working, or in the kitchen washing dishes, or running errands... here are a few things I love and use to remind me of sandy beaches, blue sky, bright sun...

The look
1. ST. TROPEZ self tan bronzing mousse ($18).
I am a big believer in sunscreen, but it does not mean I cannot have a nice tan and healthy glow! One application of ST. TROPEZ makes a difference. Need a how to guide? Check out this very entertaining Man Repeller's how to tan at home guide.  Jergens Natural Glow daily moisturizer ($10) is also a great tanning lotion for a great price; but you have to be a little more dedicated because it takes a few applications to start seeing the difference.

The feel
2. Bobby Brown Beach Eau de Parfum ($72) or Beach Eau de Parfum Rollerball ($25)This light and fresh scent brings up that relaxed feeling I get when I feel the sand under my feet and inhale the ocean breeze. I have the rollerball and always keep it in my bag. Whenever I feel I need a good infusion of happy, I dab a drop on my wrists' pulse points... Sense of smell is a powerful thing!

The attitude
3. Bumble and Bumble surf spray ($15).
This salt infused formula adds volume and, most importantly, the texture and the feel of wind blown hair.  Now you can look like a care free beach girl while doing something not as fun by your desk.

The fun
4. Next Issue app ($10-$15/month, first month free trial).  This app gives access to many of my favorite magazine subscriptions. It is great for any time of the year, but during summer, when I spend a little more time gardening and decorating, I download home and garden magazines and swipe through them on iPhone or iPad whenever I can.  And if I see something I like, I either bookmark it or just take a pic of the screen. Got to take advantage of this technology age!

The Fitness
5. MyFitnessPal app (free).  Ok, if you are like me, there is a very high chance that you are interested in loosing a pound or two, especially during summer! And this app helps me, really. It is a calorie count app and helps me understand what I eat in the sense of calories, nutrition, carbs,  proteins, water intake, exercise... It is kind of my fitness buddy. And I love the feature that allows to scan the bar code of products I eat instead of typing the names in. Life is busy, so the shortcuts are my friends!

xo, Zuma A.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Quick Dinner Idea: Tuna Steak and Kale Salad

Nowdays, when stress eating is no longer an exception but a norm, I have to watch what I eat,  especially during summer when I can't really hide extra calories under the thin fabric of my clothes.  So I look for food that is easy to make, healthy, and keeps me full and energized for a longer time.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Red White and Blue Cupcakes in Mason Jars

A few days ago, as I was thinking of the upcoming July 4th party, I decided to bake Red White and Blue Vanilla Cupcakes with blueberries and strawberries, or any kind of Summer berries. What a great way to sweeten the holiday!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Sunscreen Q&A

Every morning, as everyone rushes out of the house to school or to work, I remind them to put sunscreen on... Then I hear that I am too paranoid and that a little sun is good for us. "You are such a mom!" they say... As if it's a bad thing!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Weekend Escape ~ Temecula Wine And Balloon Festival

As I was fighting downtown traffic on Friday afternoon, I got a call from my Honey, and, without saying hello, he said ~ Let's go somewhere!

Okaaaay... he did not mean to go out for a drink, even though that would be nice; he actually meant to get in the car and get out of town... I was not ready for that! I had plans, like taking Alex to his Taekwondo practice, dusting the house (long overdue!), going through my endless pile of papers on the desk... Getting out of town was not part of my plans, but he sounded a little desperate, so I had to agree and to reprogram myself from working mode to fun mode.

Fine, lets be spontaneous! Lets get out of town! And the next morning, we were off to explore... Temecula, California. One of the greatest things about California is that there are so many great places to explore that are no more than hour and a half away, and Temecula is one of them. Known for its rich history and beautiful mountains covered with vineyards, the city is also famous for Hot Air Balloon Tours, and we were in for a treat ~ this was the Temecula's annual Wine And Balloon Festival weekend!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Beautiful Living ~ Butterflies and Hummingbirds

Summer is all about being outdoors, and it is time to clean up and beautify our gardens, backyard patios, and balconies. This is a very relaxing activity, and I always look forward to it, and hope that one day my garden will look effortlessly natural, green, with pops of colors everywhere, and butterflies and hummingbirds flying from flower to flower...

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Father's Day Gift Ideas

Father's day is fast approaching. And I always struggle to come up with gift ideas - it is hard for me to think of what men like. And knowing my weakness, I decided to start the quest for my dad's gift early. I wanted to get something a little different from his usual routine, and here are a few gift ideas I thought to share with you:

1. For Dads who love delicious ribs, ship to him the world's famous Rendezvous' ribs.

famous Rendezvous' Charcoal Ribs ($105)
Have you tried Rendezvous' famous charcoal ribs?  Delicious! Located in the alley behind South 2nd Street in Downtown Memphis, the restaurant hosts several thousand people on an average Saturday night! Even Presidents and Princes could not resist visiting the restaurant to try their delicious ribs.

Now they deliver their ribs too! For $105 they will overnight fresh and ready to heat and eat charcoal ribs and Rendezvous famous sauce or seasoning. Shipment is free for weekday delivery!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Glaze

I love everything coconut! Its a bit heavy in texture and a bit sweet in flavor. It always brings me a sense of comfort. I use coconut in desert and in seafood sauces (it's sweetness balances the heat of the sauces so well). I love pairing coconut with chocolate, pineapple and banana flavors. 

So I thought to share a recipe for coconut cupcakes with coconut glaze (I am finally willing to try something other than the buttercream I am obsessed with!). 

Monday, May 26, 2014

The Flower Power ~ Peonies

I love flowers! So colorful and cheerful, flowers are a beautiful, refreshing and inexpensive way to dress up the house. It is kind of like adding a bright yellow scarf to a gray dress.  I occasionally treat myself with a beautiful bunch of seasonal flowers that I pick up while grocery shopping, and, whenever I walk into the house or a room with fresh flowers, I always think to myself ~ how pretty! So, why not make it a habit to always have fresh flowers in the house and think how pretty more often.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Perfecting Jeans And T-Shirt Look

I am a jean and t-shirt girl. Understand me right, I love dressing up for every occasion, but the second I am back from work, a gathering, or an event, I slip back into my jeans and t-shirt.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Healthy Snacks For Women On The Go

After I figured out the winning formula of losing weight last Monday, I got in the car and drove to work. I placed my coffee in the cup-holder and peanut butter sandwich on my knees and drove off. (Amazingly, it is still legal!) I anticipated a very busy day... and it was, I did not even have a second to stop for a quick lunch or at least a cup of tea.

So the peanut butter sandwich that I ate and two bottles of water I had with me had to carry me for... 12 hours. When I finally finished my work for the day, I could not wait to get home for dinner ~ I stopped by a restaurant and had a giant dinner with... yet another set of fries.  Even worse, the dinner was consumed within 10 minutes! HAPIfork would not be very happy with me if I used it. Agh!