Monday, December 13, 2010

So glad that...

Finals are almost over. I've been a professional student for quite a while now, but I have to say this was hands down one of the worst semesters I've ever had! It seems like every teacher had something wrong with them (professionally), and  all I can say is I'm glad it's over! Whew. Now for a month long break before the 5 class schedule begins again.

I've also been having one of those (quarterly, it seems) mind awakenings. Call it maturity if you will, but things are changing around the Leiva household. There have been plenty of things I am working through in my mind, and can't wait to tackle them all in the coming months. I'll be sharing them with my New Year's post in just a couple weeks, and hopefully see what everyone else is planning to do with the new year as well.

Finally, I've been waiting for this time since last year. Tomorrow, the Golden Globe nominations will be announced and I can't wait! I love the Golden Globes because they honor both television and movies, both of which I love dearly :)

Here are some of the shows/films I am rooting for and I can't wait to get the final results bright and early tomorrow!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Holiday Crafts

I don't know what it is, but I've been feeling awfully crafty lately. I just want to make thing with my own hands, invest the time and be creative. When our family friends Lucy and Nery announced they were having a baby, I immediately wanted to do something for them. I came up with a baby quilt. While it is obviously a beginner's quilt, I had so much fun picking out the colors and creating the design all on my own. Since I was going home a month from the announcement, I needed to work fast--and they didn't know what they were having. I chose gender-neutral colors in a mint and cream palette, and used a chocolate fleece for the backing. I used different color embroidery floss for each square and tied it all together with a chocolate ribbon binding. 

Here is my hubby doing the honor of holding it up to the camera soon before I added the ribbon:

Now that I've taken it home and given it to our friends, I feel like I need to do something else. Today, as I was looking around on blogs, I came across a new one -- GCD Studios. (Thanks, Kipp!) 

There, on the front page, is the perfect next craft. Holiday Ornaments!! Not only will they be fun to make, but I can get creative and use them year after year. Here are directions directly off of the GCD Studios blog: 

Styrofoam ball
Hot Glue
GCD Studios Papers

 Cut two 1/2-inch x 4.5" paper strips from each paper color and lace.
- Wrap paper and lace strips around ball crossing at center mark on bottom of the styrofoam ball.

- Apply hot glue and ends at top/bottom of the styrofoam ball.
- Repeat in same way with remaining strips

 Be sure to check out their blog for plenty of other amazing ideas.

Friday, November 19, 2010

My Style Icons

My sense of fashion is as varied as my interests. I love the girly glamour of the 1950s, yet I also like the edgy style girls like Rihanna can pull off. I guess I would call myself a creatively inspired person-- when I hear a song, see a photograph or check out an outfit I am instantly absorbed into it and zone off with my own interpretation or inspiration.

Here are some of my style inspirations:

Grace Kelly 

Audrey Hepburn

Lauren Conrad

Christina Hendricks


Who are your style icons?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Pioneer Woman

I love reading all types of blogs -- from fashion and beauty to home and garden. One of my new favorite blogs to read is The Pioneer Woman. My friend Kipp, who has an amazing blog Shiny Things Distract Me which I think everyone should read, enlightened me to Ms. Ree Drummond a.k.a The Pioneer Woman.

Everything you could possibly be interested in, she has on her blog. No joke-- she has everything!! If you are drawing a blank as to what to make for the holidays, I highly suggest you check out her cooking section, which has delicious looking dishes that will impress anyone. I've been in a baking mood, and seeing all of the amazing pies has made me want to step outside of the typical pumpkin pie box and try something new for the holidays.

Need some holiday gift ideas? Well, you're in luck because she has that. Going on vacation and want a tour of the hotel room before you get there. She has. those. too. I told you I wasn't joking!

Does anyone one else have favorite blogs to share?

Holiday Eating...

You’ve worked hard all year; going to the gym, staying away from junk food, all to be tempted with treats and every food imaginable right before the Thanksgiving Holidays and continuing until New Year’s Day. While it’s nice to indulge once in a while, stepping on the scale after a weekend of parties is enough to turn anyone into a Scrooge. If you don’t want to be associated with the millions of people who ring in the New Year with a weight loss resolution, you can appreciate the delicious treats of the holidays without breaking the scale. Here are a few tips that will keep you from overdoing it, but still allow you to enjoy yourself.

1. Relax

 The holidays are a stressful time, and with stress come overeating. Who wants to be stressed and overweight at the same time? Some people associate the holidays with FOOD, but this year try to partake in other activities with family or even by yourself that burn calories, not consume them.

2. Choose Wisely

Eat your favorite foods, but do so in moderation. There’s nothing worse than hating that pumpkin pie you loved a minute ago because you ate most of it! Pile your plate with low fat foods, vegetables, or protein. If you eat healthier during dinner, you won’t feel the need to overindulge on the dessert tray.

3. Exercise

 Even if it’s a walk around the block, it’s better than nothing. Try to maintain a 20 minute session of cardio at least 3 times a week so you don’t get off track from your regular workouts. Try simple, at home exercises such as Pilates or Yoga to keep toned and energized, and don’t forget to squeeze in your water intake. Drinking plenty of water will also prevent you from overeating at parties, or consuming empty calories.

4. Eat before you leave 

Try to have a healthy snack before you leave the house. This will also keep your stomach full, so you don’t start eyeing those potato chips. Most people gain weight from the holidays because they eat stuff they don’t during the rest of the year. If you have to indulge, do it on seasonal favorites. You spent the whole year not eating junk food for a reason, don’t start now. Limit alcohol intake or mixed drinks. Most mixed drinks are filled with sugar and empty calories and can add the pounds without you even noticing.

So even with a few tips, you can enjoy the holiday season without going up a dress size! Just be aware of what you’re eating and try to maintain somewhat of an exercise regimen. Come January 1st, you won’t be as unhappy as most people will!

Check out some of my other articles here: Yahoo! Contributor Network 

Saturday, October 30, 2010


It's been about a week since the last time I wrote! I have been super busy with school and next week I will be going back home to visit the friends and family...and of course get some In-n-Out, cheesebread at Northwood's Inn, Disneyland and lay out at the beach, since my body will be convinced the 75+ degree weather is actually summer. Of course, I'll have pictures for all to see :)

Since it's Saturday, I will leave you with a delicious picture of tonight's SNL host, Jon Hamm:


Oh, and last night I had a dream I was making out with George Clooney. haha That's a whole different blog post ;)

In a previous post, I shared an image of last years pumpkin... in It's Pumpkin Time! We went to a pumpkin patch yesterday, and there were some amazing views: 

Then, we came home to carve: 

Hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween!!!!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Shoo, Jimmy Choo!

I don't know if it's the rough economic time or my age, but I've become kinda obsessed with making my life financially better off. Unfortunately, as with losing weight, you often don't do something unless you realize the scale has a larger number than the last time you stepped on it, or the bills are a little higher than you remember.

After quite a few years of renting, I'm ready to begin thinking a home is somewhere in the future. I want my own mid-century, modern decor/open floor plan home with my own pool and aromatherapy garden. Clearly, I've been watching too much HGTV. Within the past few months, the hubby and I have decided it's time to grow up and start saving money and paying down bills once and for all. He read Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover and came out with some decent advice. Me, well I need something a little more up my alley. Last week, we went to Barnes & Noble, and I went to the Financial Advice section. That's where I saw this book:

It has exactly what I need, in my own spend-happy world: 

Part I: Style, Diet, and Fitness . . . for Your Finances
Part II: (Spending) Style: An Introduction to Your Spending Style
Part III: (Debt) Diet An Introduction to the Debt Diet (And How It Will Trim Down Your Debt)
Part IV: (Financial) Fitness An Introduction to Financial Fitness (And How It Will Beef Up Your Bottom Line - Once and for All)

While everyone has their own way of doing the budget or saving money, I love the ideas Catey Hill suggests. I'm a quarter way through the book and I have learned a bit about myself and spending habits, and how simple changes add up to a better financial future and outlook. 

Interested? Check out her website Shoo, Jimmy Choo! to look at her blog, order the book or check out the variety of tools she has to offer. 

P.S. I bought the book on Amazon, used, and in perfect condition for $4. What a bargain AND it was at my house within two days!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Early Wake Up!

Tuesdays and Thursdays are hard days for me, because I have to get up at 6 a.m. to go to school. The sun doesn't even get up that early! Throw in freezing Colorado weather and you have a torturous wake-up call. When I get up, the first thing I do is go to the computer. I read Twitter and listen to some music to try and wake myself up as best as possible. This morning, I think this song did just the trick!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

It's Pumpkin Time!

In just a few short days, Halloween will be upon us again. I love Halloween, but for a different reason than everyone else. It's the anniversary of my first date with the hubs! This year we will be celebrating NINE (!) years together!! It's so hard to believe we've been together since we were a ripe age of 18, and it's gone by too fast. When we reminisce of those awesome times of being carefree with piles of money in the bank because we hadn't discovered credit cards, it feels like another life.

Anyways, each year we get three semi-small pumpkins to create a little family. One for the each of us and our dog gets his own. Typically, we do a traditional jack-o-lantern in the front with some sort of tribute to our anniversary on the back. Here is the back of last year's pumpkin:

October 2009

I'm a traditionalist when it comes to carving pumpkins. Today, as I was doing my morning Twitter read-through, I came across this: The Funniest Pop Culture Jack-O-Lanterns Ever . Need some ideas for your own pumpkins this year, try one of these! :)

Justin Bieber 


Mr. Burns

Sarah Palin (Do at your own risk! haha)

Iron Man

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

10 Beauty Steals Under $20

For the past few weeks, I've been updating my beauty goods either because they've needed replacement or I need to change out shades and colors from summer. As a product junkie, I've tried plenty of things and since I've put myself on a home-saving budget I need to be picky with things I buy. Here are my current 10 beauty steals under $20:

Revlon Smoothing Primer $9

Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse $7

CoverGirl Lash Blast $7

Sally Hansen $5

Aveda Hand Relief (purse size) $12

Bath and Body Works Body Wash 
Black Currant Vanilla $13

L'Oreal HIP liquid eyeliner $10

J.R. Watkins Apothecary
Lavender Hand & Cuticle Salve $7

Sally Hansen Spa Lavender Foot Soak $7

Sonia Kashuk Foundation Sponges $6

Monday, October 18, 2010

Stylish Booties for Fall

I really like boots for the fall, though because I'm pretty short I have a hard time finding boots that look good on me. The perfect compromise for wearing boots is with the ankle-sized style since they are easily paired with jeans and other fall-favorite outfits. Here are some amazing shoes that I would really love to have waiting for me in my closet:

Me Too

Gabriella Rocha 

Chinese Laundry 

Franco Sarto 


Kenneth Cole

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Looking Back on Season 4

Today is a sad day because Mad Men is coming to an end. Since the series is only 13 episodes long, it really feels like A) it just got started and B) it ends once things start really rolling along. To commemorate the ending of season 4, I've decided to use pictures as a timeline throughout the past few months. Even if you've never seen an episode, take a second to enjoy the eye candy:

Here is a sneak peek at the finale episode: