Book of the Month

Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine

Why I chose this book:

I was never a huge reader until I was gifted a Kindle Paperwhite for Christmas and realized how nice it is to be able to read throughout the day during downtime instead of mindlessly scrolling through social media. I quickly discovered my obsession with crime novels so this category is usually where I start the search for my next book. This book is also free with my Kindle Unlimited subscription (Including the free Audiobook version!) and had 4.5/5 stars with over 10,000 reviews so I felt like it was safe to take the plunge on this one.

What It Is About:

Gina Royal lives a run-of-the-mill life with her husband and two kids when a car crashes into the side of her husband’s workshop and reveals the body of a missing girl- therefore revealing her husband’s secret life as a serial killer. After the trial her husband is sentenced to life in prison but she quickly learns that her family is still in danger after receiving death threats by the internet stalkers who believe she played a key part in her husband’s killings. The story follows along as she and her kids take new identities and try to seek refuge from the attackers who are determined to give them the punishment they believe they deserve.

My Thoughts on This Book:

The reviews don’t lie! With plot lines like this I always worry about the book being too predictable, but this book was the opposite of that. I would think “oh gosh she’s making it sooo obvious what is going to happen next” and then BOOM something my lame mind couldn’t even process as an option would happen. So do I recommend this book? YES! It is a super suspenseful read and is also book one in a four-part series following Gina Royal and her family so I will definitely be reading the next one in this series as well.



Have a Kindle and want unlimited access to books like this?
Try your first month of Kindle Unlimited Free!


I was also so happy that the free Audiobook version of this book was included in my kindle unlimited membership because I discovered how nice it is to be able to listen to your book when you can’t put it down but have to work on other things during the day. If you’re interested in Audible-
Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks
Or looking for a unique gift?
Gift Someone an Audible Membership!

Have You Read Stillhouse Lake? Comment below and let me know what you think!

Malibu Wine Hike

This Wine Hike takes you on a beautiful 2 mile walk around the vineyard where you get to stop along the way to meet and feed a collection of exotic animals, enjoy a flight of wine, and even have some fruit from the garden if you’re feeling snacky! There are a lot of different options when it comes to booking what you want to do here at Saddlerock Ranch and Vineyard but the one I am posting about today is The Giraffe Hike.

This hike was gifted to us by family for Christmas and it was SO much fun and such a great gift idea!


Enjoying one of the gardens on the property while also pretending to be one of The Real Housewives of Orange County

So many incredible views here! One of the many ‘instagram worthy’ pitstops you take on this hike is at a yellow frame that the owners put up overlooking their favorite view on the property

My favorite part of the entire experience- an animal nerd’s heaven! They have plenty of animals to feed with hilariously punny names and even more comical personalities

The Lady and The Tramp moment I have waited for my whole life…but with a Giraffe

Mid-hike wine stop!

Here you get to try out 3 of their wines consisting of a white, rosé, and a red. I normally only like red but all three were so tasty, it was hard to pick a favorite


We knew we were going to have fun on this outing but we were all pleasantly surprised at just how much fun it was. If you are in the Los Angeles area I would highly recommend this hike and also encourage any animal lovers to spend the extra buck to feed Stanley on your hike! They let you spend a good amount of time with the animals and it is not every day that you get to share a meal with a famous Giraffe…So if you’re interested in going or have been before and want to share your experience comment below!


Interested In Similar Outfits?

My Outfit:

Kev’s Outfit:

Chocolate Banana Protein Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Rolled Oats
  • 2 tbs cocoa powder

Optional Ingredients:

  • Frozen Mixed Berries
  • Semi-sweet Dark Chocolate chips

1. Blend

Blend all of the ingredients together until smooth. If the consistency is too runny, add more rolled oats. If it is too thick consider adding a touch of coconut or almond milk!

2. Cook

This mix cooks very similarly to normal pancake batter. Pour batter into pan (OPTIONAL: add the dark chocolate chips if you’re like me and can’t resist making them just a little bit less healthy) and cook on medium heat for both sides. Be careful not to turn the heat too high because this mixture can burn pretty easily if you aren’t careful!

3. Optional: Mixed Berry Topping

I have never been a huge fan of syrup so I actually like to use this mixed berry topping on my pancakes as a sauce instead! To make this topping pour your desired amount of frozen mixed berries into a bowl (I like to use a mix that doesn’t include strawberries because they don’t mash as well when heated) and microwave on high in increments of 30 seconds stirring in between. The high heat will liquefy most of the berries and make it into a sauce with little to no effort on your end. Then just pour the berries on top of your pancakes and enjoy!

Don’t want to run to the store to get the ingredients to try this new recipe? Click HERE to get a free 30 day trial of prime pantry where they deliver the groceries you need straight to your door!!

Tried these pancakes out for yourself? Comment below and let me know what you think!

My 4 Must-Have Skincare Products

My life has been a rollercoaster battle with my skin. With combination skin I feel like my skincare needs are constantly changing and by now it seems like I have tried just about every method out there to cure whatever tantrum my skin was deciding to throw at the time, whether it be extreme oiliness or being flakey and dry as a desert, I am endlessly attempting to discover the perfect products to battle it all. Throughout my life I have found myself constantly switching between wanting to try all of the cult-favorites and dish out every penny I have for “the best” skincare products, and wanting to only put natural products on my skin that are processed as little as possible (and cost as little money as possible). But whatever skincare phase I am in, I have discovered a couple of products that I now live by and while a lot of them are fairly popular brands, some of them may surprise you. So enough ranting about my unruly skin- lets check out what products I’m talking about.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Any profits go towards enhancing my blog and helping me to continue sharing with you all the things that I love!

1. Cinnamon

Yes, straight up cinnamon. There is a reason I listed this as number one and it’s because it has been my favorite skincare discovery that no one talks about. Cinnamon is my favorite way to turn any face wash into an exfoliant when I am needing some extra scrubbing. Not only is it great for scrubbing, but cinnamon is proven to help with issues like acne, scarring, fine lines, complexion, and is even an antibacterial. With my skin constantly changing, I am ALWAYS changing my face wash. I have yet to find a daily cleanser that I am in love with so being able to turn whatever face wash I am using at the time into an exfoliant when I need it is a huge plus. Additionally, sometimes I go weeks without needing exfoliant and sometimes I feel as though I’m needing it everyday so this is a great (and affordable) way to customize your face wash without having to buy a separate exfoliating cleanser. Just don’t forget guys, this is cinnamon you are putting on your face so you don’t want to leave it on your skin for too long because it will start to sting! I use this one–> Simply Organic Ceylon Cinnamon

2. Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate Serum

Okay so this is one that you guys may have heard of and it’s a cult-favorite for a reason. This is a Kiehl’s product that I love so much I actually use it both at night and in the morning. This product definitely runs on the more expensive side but this is the one serum I have tried that I feel is worth the price. Not only is my skin brighter in the morning after using it but it actually helps my acne heal so much faster! If you’re hesitant about the price they have smaller travel size versions you can purchase so you can test out the product before dishing out the money for a larger bottle. Find it here–> Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate

3. Clinique All About Eyes Rich Eye Cream

I have to make a confession with this one…I may or may not have discovered my love for this product by sneaking some from my mom’s medicine cabinet every time I was visiting home sooooo sorry maa! But seriously, I have tried about 12 separate “cult-favorite” eye creams (sadly that is not an exaggeration) and none of them compare to this one. The difference between this one and every other eye cream I have tried is the density and its staying power when it comes to moisture. After I put on most eye creams they not only feel super thin and almost too lightweight, but I often feel like any moisture they did provide is gone within a couple of minutes. With the Clinique All About Eyes Rich eye cream, it goes on creamy but not greasy and keeps the skin around my eyes moisturized all day long- Praise. Find it here–> Clinique All About Eyes Rich

4. Caudalíe Hand and Nail Cream

I’m not quite sure if it is the years I have spent frying my skin out in the sun or just my genetic tendency for having dry skin but guys, for only being 22 my hands are in pretty rough shape- like are super wrinkled and painfully dry kind of shape. BUT, one day while testing out makeup in a mall a beautician offered me a sample of this hand and nail cream and boy oh boy did it end up saving my life. Not only did this lotion instantly hydrate my skin without being greasy, but the wrinkles in my skin I was telling you about? Gone…my hands looked so smooth and fresh and happy! I never find myself having to reapply with this cream either. Another great thing about this product is that not only does it last forever (literally forever- it took me a whole year to finish my little sample tube!) but while Caudalíe’s products can get quite expensive, this cream definitely runs on the more affordable side running between $12-$15 per bottle. Find it here–> Caudalíe Hand and Nail Cream

In a hurry? Turn coffee into breakfast with this 10 second trick

Okay people, hear me out on this one….I have recently discovered mixing peanut butter into my coffee and cannot believe it has taken me this long to discover it. It is a crazy easy way to turn your morning cup of coffee into breakfast. So easy that I really didn’t need to write down the steps…but I did anyways just for you guys 🙂

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links! Any profits go towards enhancing my blog and helping me to continue sharing with you all the things that I love!

Ingredients:

  1. Coffee
  2. Peanut Butter or Powdered Peanut Butter
  3. Almond Milk (or preferred milk choice)
  4. Optional: Coconut Oil

1. Pour Coffee

I use—> Colombia Ground Coffee

2. Stir in 1.5 tbs of Peanut Butter or Powdered Peanut Butter

I like both options but I usually pick powdered peanut butter because it gives more of a prominent peanut butter taste and has less fat. An additional downside to using real peanut butter is that you may have to blend it in order for it to completely dissolve into your coffee depending on how hot your coffee is and how much peanut butter you are trying to mix in.

I use —> PBFit

3. Add a splash of Milk

I like Almond Milk with this drink but any type of milk will work!

I use—> Silk Almond Unsweetened Vanilla

4. Add Optional Coconut Oil

If you are someone who loves the infamous “Bulletproof Coffee” then you will most likely enjoy this option. I personally do not love the oily texture of Bulletproof Coffee so I only add coconut oil to this drink when I need the extra calories+healthy fats for the morning.

I use—> Garden of Life Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

5. Stir and Voila

Don’t Knock It Before You Try It! Give It A Try and Comment Below What You Think!

5 must haves for vacation in Costa Rica that you may not have thought of

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links! Any profits go towards enhancing my blog and helping me to continue sharing with you all the things that I love!

1. Hiking Sandals

Waterproof and supportive hiking sandals are a must for Costa Rica! While it is nice to have a good pair of tennis shoes, the on and off rain and humid-hot temperatures make these sandals the best choice of shoe-ware for the majority of your trip. There are so many hiking sandal options to choose from but I ended up going with this pair from Crocs and was super happy I did. Not only were they extremely comfortable and practical, but I love the style of them and they match with every outfit! Use this link to check them out on amazon! —> Crocs Women’s LiteRide Sandal

2. Waterproof, Battery Powered Watch

I was about to leave for the trip wearing my apple watch when I was reminded why that may not be the best idea. As handy as an apple watch is, it was not a good option for Costa Rica for 3 reasons- 1. Theft can be an issue there and an apple watch is an easy thing to steal and an expensive thing to loose, 2. The charge only lasts one day and we would be spending very little time by charging ports, and 3. Most versions of the watch (including mine) are not waterproof and our trip included A LOT of water. So last minute I opted to bring my waterproof Shark watch and I am so glad I did! Not only was it durable and useful but I have to admit that I also loved how it looked cute with my vacation outfits. Check out my watch on amazon here! —> https://amzn.to/2G7AqVX

Or take a look at this cute new tropical design Shark watch that I am dying to get —> Freestyle Shark Classic Clip Watch

3. Lightweight Rain Jacket

Who would have thought that it would RAIN in the RAINforest?? But seriously, my whole group was very happy we packed these jackets. Even if it wasn’t raining, it was nice to be able to throw something light over our outfit as an extra layer of bug protection. Check out these adorable and affordable packable rain jackets that I would recommend for your trip —> Waterproof Raincoat For Women

4. Sweat-wicking Leggings

The biggest packing mistake I made for this trip was not bringing more pairs of these leggings. Even thought the weather was warm, like the rain jacket, these leggings offer an extra layer of bug protection and comfort while hiking that is really nice to have. Check out my go-to pair here—> Lululemon Align Pant

5. Packable Quick-dry Towel

Image from https://amzn.to/2I9gc0f

This was a purchase I made before the trip that I wasn’t sure I would need but ended up using it every day! These ultra thin packable towels were perfect for the beach, when you got sweaty, or even if you just needed a dry place to sit down mid-hike. I found this set for a great deal on amazon and it fit perfectly in my little day-pack—> Microfiber Travel Towel Set

Going to Costa Rica Soon? Click ‘Join Me!’ for More Posts About My Trip and Comment Below Where You Are Headed!

Best Latte In L.A.

Okay so this is a big claim, I know, but I feel strongly enough about this particular espresso drink that I am ready to face the inevitable debates for my claim. Before I tell you why I think I have found the best tasting latte in Los Angeles, let me first give you an idea of what type of coffee I enjoy. I was raised believing that Honey Nut Cheerios were junk food because they have more sugar than a human should ever eat (which my mother was not wrong guys, sounds crazy but that sugar-to-protein ratio for breakfast is a no-go). So understanding this, it is no surprise that I HATE sugar in my coffee. This makes finding the perfect cup of coffee difficult since I also love flavors in my coffee and dread the super tangy (or as I like to incorrectly call it ‘bitter’) cup that most coffee lovers live for. Even though I am making it pretty clear that my coffee taste lies more in the minority of preferences than it does the majority, I still feel as though I have found the perfect latte because I have yet to met a coffee taster who doesn’t love this latte no matter what their preferred cup of coffee tastes like.

“Came here to try their almond essence latte and it’s by far one of the most delicious drink I have ever had…”

Read Jack F.‘s review of Balconi Coffee Company on Yelp

Okay, so let’s get into to the details of this drink and where you can find it to give it a try yourself.

The Latte that I have been raving about is none other than the Almond Essence Latte from Balconi Coffee Company in Santa Monica, CA. As described by the Company, this latte is an

“Origional Creation! Espresso with steamed organic STRAUS Whole Milk and sweetened pulverized almonds.”

http://www.balconicoffee.com/menu

Yeah you read the right, PULVERIZED ALMONDS. They aren’t just using almond milk or some almond sweetener, but sweetened pulverized almonds to add the perfect unique sweet taste to their espresso without it having the overwhelming sugary sweetness that we are used to in most flavored lattes. If you are dairy-free, I would recommend trying it with their special ordered Oat Milk (This is my personal non-dairy substitute favorite), but they also have other non-dairy substitutes available. Sound too good to be true? Head to Los Angeles to give it a try for yourself and comment below what you think!