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ZOLA – The MODERN Wedding Registry

Hello my fellow brides-to-be! My friend recently sent me to this wedding registry website called ZOLA. It’s the “modern” wedding registry website and iPhone app so you can avoid going to multiple stores to pick out your future presents. It is very easy to navigate and reminds me SO much of Pintrest. When you first sign up, the site prompts you through each curated household category and makes it easy and convenient for you to select your choice by providing you with three clear options. The three options are priced: reasonable, moderate, and splurge. If you already have the item, you can easily skip forward. If it’s an item that you need multiples of (ie. dishware) you can adjust the quantity size. If you have something else in mind, the scanner on your iPhone app or the bookmarklet option allows you to add items to your account from anywhere on the internet.


Your personal page and registry allow you to create a custom URL and a personalized greeting for your guests. If you’re a couple that already has a lot of “stuff” together that would be on a traditional registry, you can opt for the honeymoon cash fund. I love this because you have the option to go traditional (household items), modern (honeymoon fund) or both! Maybe you just want to upgrade a coffee machine, but you already have a toaster…you can add something to your honeymoon fund instead. If the item is expensive, you can set up group gifting so multiple people can contribute. For your guests, the site includes a gift tracker to help the buyer know what has been purchased already. It’s also a great tracking tool for the registered couple so you have a list of who to send thank-you’s to.


  • Convenient, do not have to leave to the store, fight traffic and drag your fiancé along (saving time + energy = success)
  • Easy for guests to purchase. They don’t have to go to the store either! They can just ship your gifts.
  • Easy to promote on your wedding website and/or invitations
  • The combination of both household items AND honeymoon cash fund
  • Easy to navigate, the website prompts you along to each category


  • Could be too modern for older guests that do not frequent the internet
  • Miss out on the traditional in-store scanning experience

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Glam Face with Elate Cosmetics

*Photo courtesy of @OrganicBunny (Check out her Instagram and Blog for frequent non-toxic beauty reviews).

If you’ve been following my blog and Facebook page, you will know that I have recently been making efforts to switch out my beauty products to ones that are more natural and safe for my skin. I started cleaning out my base beauty products (face wash, lotions, toners, etc.) and am now starting to explore more makeup brands as I slowly toss my old toxic ones.

I recently tried Elate Clean Cosmetics after seeing a post from @OrganicBunny. Their products are safe and healthy for your skin because they are vegan, organic, cruelty and chemical free, sustainable and affordable. I tried the Fixed Press Powder in “Tawny”, Universal Creme in “Love”, Vibrant Lipstick in “Tantric”, Moisturizing Lipgloss in “Fierce” and Essential Mascara in “black”. What I love the most about each product is how pigmented they are. My one fear in going the natural route with makeup was that I would not find the colors to replace my vibrant MAC and Chanel colors that I loved so much. To my pleasant surprise, I was more than happy with the results of this line. Below is a review of the products I tried…

*Product photos from Elate website.

Fixed Pressed Powder – $25

This powder gives great coverage! I prefer thicker coverage when going out to help balance my uneven skin tone and this was just enough. I did not need to wear liquid foundation along with this, just a little bit of concealer under my eyes. I also prefer pressed powder foundation as opposed to loose because it is more convenient to travel with.

“Like all Elate products, this pressed powder has minimal packaging to help the planet. The envelope it will arrive in is made of seed paper. Please ensure to plant it in your garden to enjoy herbs and wildflowers. Your powder will fit into the Elate Bamboo Powder compact, or any other magnetic reusable compact, please help us to eliminate waste.” – 

Seed_Paper_TawnyUniversal Cream in “Love” – $20

This was my first time using a “universal” product. I truly fell in love after trying this product. It’s the perfect all-in-one item to have in your purse all of the time in case of an “emergency” situation where you need a quick pick me up! I thought that using this on my cheeks would be too much of a sheen at first, but when I rubbed it on my cheek bones, it was actually the perfect pop and looked very natural. I love that you can use it on your lips too!

LoveVibrant Lipstick in “Tantric” – $16

MY FAVORITE of the products I tried because I love vibrant and bold lip colors. This berry  plum color is beautiful on and contains mango and shea butter along with organic vanilla essential oil. The best part is that you can layer it to make it as dark as you’d like. I wore this for the first time during the day. I layered it lightly so it looked like more of a stain.



Moisturizing Lipgloss in “Fierce” – $17

I have worn this lipgloss by itself and also over the lipstick pictured above. The plum color can be  the perfect daytime and nighttime gloss. The combination of organic coconut oil, castor oil and peppermint essential oil creates a soft, shiny and minty cooling sensation when you put it on!



Essential Mascara in “Black” – $22

The brush on this mascara is perfect for coating and separating the lashes. I wore this mascara all day and it was successfully smudge-free by night! I love knowing that a beauty product that is used so close to my eyes is safe.




The website has many many more products and colors that I can’t wait to try! The store owner, Melody who is based out of Canada, is very friendly and can answer any questions you may have about the products through the customer contact form. To try Elate Cosmetics visit their website here.


Eating Cliffside at Sierra Mar (Big Sur)

*Photo from Post Ranch Inn website.

If you’ve read my post on California’s most beautiful coastal city, Big Sur, and are so inclined to visit…you’ll definitely want to consider making reservations at Sierra Mar. The fine-dining restaurant rests cliffside at the Post Ranch Inn Hotel. It would be my dream to stay the night here one day, but for $1,000 per night, it’s currently a little out of my budget!

My fiancé and I headed here for their lunch menu which features a three-course pre-fixed menu OR a five-course tasting menu. The staff was extremely friendly and explained the menu selections to us very thoroughly. I would describe the cuisine as fresh California fusion. There’s everything from fancier meals like lamb to a good hardy kobe beef burger and of course seafood. You also have the option to order à la carte from the prefix menu selections. The portion sizes were very good for such a nice dining experience. We both were more than full and had food leftover to take home. Although lunchtime wasn’t busy, the restaurant website recommends you make reservations. To see a sample of their dining menu and check out the Post Ranch Inn Hotel, visit their website here.


*Names of the menu items below are not exact. I just wanted to give you a glimpse of how the food is delicately prepared and served.

Pickled artichoke heart (tasting sample)IMG_4640

Onion soup with almond biscottiIMG_4642

Pork croquette with quail egg over radicchio with mustard seeds and yuccaIMG_4645

Seared Ahi tuna over spaghetti squash with clams in a citrus sauceIMG_4647 IMG_4649 Roasted lamb shank over polentaIMG_4651Citrus meringueIMG_4661 IMG_4662 IMG_4672 IMG_4673 IMG_4677

Big Sur Travel Guide

If there was ever a debate on whether or not California is the most beautiful state in the continental US, you must visit Big Sur. Three and a half hours northwest of Los Angeles, Big Sur is home to one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. Yes, the world. It’s been featured in many car commercials for obvious reason.

Located off of Highway 1, you can expect to see dramatic cliff edges, beautiful mountain ranges and of course, the vast beautiful blue Pacific Ocean. We happened to drive down on the perfect day. There was no marine layer and weather was warm enough to let the windows down and enjoy the ocean breeze. There are many designated cliffside parking stops along the way to get out and enjoy the view and take plenty of pictures.

Big Sur is also the perfect staycation and weekend getaway for California natives. There are many hiking trails and restaurants nestled in the forest. Perhaps the best part is that the environment encourages you to just unplug.

There are a few local hotels to stay in the area OR you can stay in Monterey, a beautiful city 30 minutes north of Big Sur that has more tourist attractions and things to do.

To find out more about Big Sur visit the city’s link here.IMG_4626 IMG_4627 IMG_4631 IMG_4682 IMG_4687 IMG_4695 IMG_4701

Healthy Radiant Face ft. Suntegrity Skincare

Sunscreen is and has always been my #1 beauty product. I wear it every single day (even during the winter months) whether or not I wear makeup. Protecting your skin is important for a number of reasons. It prevents sun spots, discoloration and slows down the aging process but most importantly, it helps prevent skin cancer also known as Melanoma.

I was shocked and disgusted when I found out the product I had been using to protect me was actually hurting me in the long run. When I scanned my beloved Eucerin sunscreen, it scored a solid 10 on the Think Dirty App, which means that it is filled with carcinogens.

Carcinogens = cancer causing


Of course, I dumped it immediatly. I used the App to help me find a healthier brand…alas ‘Suntegrity’ Skincare. Suntegrity is a natural, healthy, holistic mineral sun care line.

Suntegrity Face and Body SPF 30 products use only the best known physical block ingredient (non-nano size zinc oxide) to provide broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection and super anti-oxidants and amino acids to enhance that protection and help with skin repair. Our products use non-toxic preservatives to maintain their integrity without sacrificing safety or health. Our company was awarded “Champion” Status by the EWG/Compact for Safe Cosmetics” – Tricia at

I found Suntegrity at The Detox Market in Los Angeles, but it is also available online through their website (here) and on It is a bit pricey, but you only need a small amount to cover your entire face. The thing I love about it most, it’s not greasy. It’s a bit thicker so it takes longer to rub in, but once it’s on your skin, it does not make you oily. And as I always say…”there’s no price on health.”


  • Safe, non-toxic
  • Smells great (a faint citrus smell)
  • Not greasy
  • A little goes a long way
  • Cruelty-free


  • A bit expensive ($45 for 1.7 oz)

The line also carries several other healthy sun care products for the body which I hope to try and review soon! Leave me a comment and let me know your favorite non-toxic beauty brands.IMG_3514

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Korean BBQ at Road to Seoul

If you’re looking for a unique dining experience with friends, you must try Korean BBQ! However, a trip to the “cook your own meat” style restaurant is not for the faint of heart. You can expect to see a number of meats you’ve never thought were edible. But for $23.99 you can have all of the tender prepared, flavorful meat you want!


I headed to Road to Seoul in Koreatown on a Sunday night. The restaurant was full and had lively music. Imagine “Gangham Style” playing in the background. There was a group of 7 of us, which is more fun because you’re all committed to the experience together. We kicked off the night with Soju (Pineapple and Yogurt flavor). Soju is Korean vodka and very similar to sake. Not as strong as your typical vodka, but very delicious and easy to drink. Next we ordered OPTION B on the menu. There are three options (A, B, C) and every person at the table must order from the same section.  Each option gives you a variety of meat to choose from. My group chose to order shrimp, chicken and beef.


When you first get to the table there are a number of Korean vegetables (mostly pickled) and a salad to eat along with your grilled meats. Some are spicy and some are not, but be open to trying as much as you can because they taste delicious when combined with the meat! Now here’s the “not for the faint of heart” part, once you’ve put your order in, they will bring you a plate of raw meat. If you normally cook meat, you will be fine. IF not, you may be a little thrown off. However, that’s why it’s fun to go with friends because most likely someone in the group cooks and will take over grilling the meats to tasty perfection! The best part is that the dinner is ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT, so no one will leave hungry. You can literally keep ordering until everyone is good and full. To finish it off, we ordered tasty macaroon ice cream sandwiches for dessert!



Avocado Banana Berry Smoothie

I love eating avocados since they are delicious and a healthy fat. I changed up my morning smoothie routine this week by trying an avocado smoothie. Here was my recipe:


  • 1 small avocado
  • 1 cup frozen berry mixture (or fresh)
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 small-medium banana
  • 12 oz of almond milk

The banana and frozen berries helped to sweeten up the drink. If you don’t use frozen berries, you might want to add ice. Enjoy!


Cauliflower Crust Pizza (GUEST BLOGGER)


  • Food processor, juicer or high-powered blender
  • Cheesecloth


  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup ground almonds or almond powder (I used flax seed)
  • 1 & 1/2 tablespoons of oregano
  • 1-2 teaspoons of mixed garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste



*Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Take 1/4 cup chia seeds, put into a bowl of 3/4 cups of water and let sit in fridge for 20 mins until it kind of gets goop-like.


While your seeds are soaking, take 1 large head of cauliflower (you’ll need 3 cups of it once it’s blended), chop it up and then place it in a food processor and blend until it’s fine (kind of looks like the pulp that comes out of the back of your juicer. One recipe even suggested “juicing” the cauliflower then using the pulp.)
IMG_4026 IMG_4027

Once the cauliflower is grounded finely, use a cheesecloth to get as much moisture out of the cauliflower as possible. (*You can also use a clean dish towel if you don’t have a cheesecloth handy).


Take 3/4 cups of ground almonds/almond powder, around 1 and a half tablespoons of oregano, your desired amount of salt and ground black pepper and mix it all in with the cauliflower.

Add 1 egg and 1-2 teaspoons of minced garlic.

IMG_4030 Make a hole in the center of your cauliflower mixture and pour in the chia-seed goop. Then get down and dirty with your hands, mixing it all in the shape of a big ball.


IMG_4031 Cover a baking tray with parchment paper, lightly spray it with non-stick cooking oil and push the dough into the tray (shape your pizza any way you want. You can even build the ridge around the edges if you want it raised). I kept mine roughly 1/2 an inch thick.


Then place the cauliflower dough in the oven and bake 15-30 minutes. Keep checking on it.

If you’re not doing a crust/ridge, carefully flip it half-way through and bake the other side to ensure it cooks all the way through.

Once the crust is cooked through, pull it out and cover your pizza with sauce and your choice of toppings. Put back in the oven for additional 10-15 minutes, remove and enjoy!


Alice Hunter

**Pictures of my pizzas after following Alice’s recipe! I used fat-free pizza sauce from Trader Joe’s and feta cheese on both. 

Supreme: Artichoke, Broccoli, Chicken Sausage, Olives, Mushrooms and Mediterranean Feta Cheese.

IMG_4043 IMG_4038 IMG_4055Brussel Sprouts & Bacon with Feta 




Almond Milk Latte at Stumptown Coffee Roasters (Downtown LA)

Even though I have my own coffee maker at home, I always love trying new coffee shops around the city. Coffee shops tend to have their own uniqueness and character. I discovered Stumptown Coffee Roasters while visiting the FreeRange LA food truck. The brand, which is based out of Portland, Oregon focuses on delivering quality coffee through it’s delicate roasting technique which is displayed in the coffee shop for customers to see.

StumptownRoaster*Photo via LA Weekly

I ordered a plain latte with almond milk and it was delicious! Since there was no flavoring, you could really taste the strong coffee flavor and when mixed in with almond milk, it was just like dessert, a mild sweet nutty taste.



Also, the coffee shop has several unique pastries. If you’ve ever been to Hawaii, are Hawaiian or are familiar with the Hawaiian culture, you will appreciate the Spam Musibi Croissant. Even after ordering from the food truck, my Hawaiian heritage would not allow me to pass it up!






Chirashi Bowls at Murakami on Melrose

My new favorite sushi trend, Chirashi bowls! Chirashi means “scattered” and that’s exactly what these bowls are, an eclectic mix of fresh fish on top of rice. I tried a Chirashi bowl for the first time at Murakami on Melrose Ave. They are known for their bowls and have a variety of combinations to choose from or you can build your own. Each bowl starts around $14 at 3-4 items and up. I am huge fan of Spicy Tuna, so I tried the “Spicy Trio” which included: spicy tuna, spicy yellowtail and spicy salmon. I love these bowls as an alternative to traditional sushi rolls because I feel like you get a lot more fish for your buck! Murakami also has other traditional Japanese dishes on their menu, but I highly recommend giving the bowl a try! If you’re going carb-free, you can request your bowl on mixed greens. Enjoy!

7160 Melrose Ave Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 692-1450

*Lunch | Mon ~ Fri: 12:00 pm ~ 2:30 pm | Sat & Sun: 12:00 pm ~ 3:00 pm
*Dinner | Mon ~ Sat: 5:30 pm ~ 10:00 pm | Sun: 5:30 pm ~ 9:30 pm

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