Archive of ‘Life’ category

Galentine’s Day 2015

On Sunday, my friend Natalie hosted a Galentine’s Day party for our little gal group! We chatted and laughed while we sipped on mimosas, ate cucumber & cream cheese tea sandwiches, and some special Valentine’s sweets alongside Natalie’s homemade flat white coffees! It was so fun to have some girl time while some of our guys are away for work!

Galentines-Day-2015-1Natalie made these adorable Crayon Heart Decorations for her house. She has a full instructional DIY on her blog if you click the link!
Galentines-Day-2015-2 Galentines-Day-2015-3 Galentines-Day-2015-4 Galentines-Day-2015-5 Galentines-Day-2015-6 Galentines-Day-2015-7 Galentines-Day-2015-8 Galentines-Day-2015-9Galentines-Day-2015-23We exchanged handmade valentines with each other, just like when we were younger. My friends are seriously so crafty! Brett handmade these stunning fresh flower crowns for each of us, Amanda hand cut the dancing girl emoji’s out of construction paper and turned them into cards, Natalie hand stitched hearts onto her cards, and Celina handmade mini Narwhals that unfolded into hearts (because we are all obsessed)!

Galentines-Day-2015-10 Galentines-Day-2015-11Laila lusted over the flower crowns!

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Galentines-Day-2015-12Of course our mini gals Ruby and Laila got their own special lovey dovey Valentine’s from “Auntie Amanda!” Minnie Mouse plushie purses and heart shaped sunnies!

Galentines-Day-2015-13I loved Nat’s heart tipped nails! She said they were super simple to do, just two crossed brush strokes!

Galentines-Day-2015-14 Galentines-Day-2015-15After mimosas and lunch, Natalie made us all her famous flat whites. She had been hyping them up to me ever since I tried my very first flat white at Starbucks in Seattle last month. Her husband, Jaxin is from New Zealand (home of the flat white) and she assured me that she had been schooled by Jaxin and all of his Kiwi friends on how to make the absolute perfect flat white. She did not disappoint! Girl’s got it going’ on!

Galentines-Day-2015-16Correction, you’re my cup of coffee!

Galentines-Day-2015-17Since I’ve been spending a lot of time on planes and in green rooms, I’ve been learning how to do all sorts of snazzy braids while I have free time to kill! This is a dutch fishtail crown! Maybe when I finally get brave enough I will do a youtube tutorial!

Galentines-Day-2015-18Gals and the little gals! Brett, me, Celia & Laila, Amanda, Ruby & Natalie!

Galentines-Day-2015-19And just the grownup gals! Amanda, Celina, me, Natalie, and Brett!

Galentines-Day-2015-20Laila LOVES dogs, and she was freaking out when Poppy came out to play! She lovessss Poppy!

Galentines-Day-2015-21Puppy love!

Galentines-Day-2015-22Auntie Amanda reading Ruby a story before all of the gals went home, such a sweet moment.

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I am so lucky to be surrounded by such amazing and creative gals. I love these girlies to the moon and back!

I hope everyone had a happy Valentine’s day surrounded by people they love!

Health & Happiness
xo-Catherine

Blog Makeover!

I am sooooo excited, and so exhausted! It’s 5:00am here in California and I still haven’t gone to sleep! I’ve been up late the past few nights working hard on completely redesigning and programing my blog. It’s been almost 3 years since my blog has gotten any sort of update, so I went all out on this one! It has literally been years since I’ve gone this deep into coding. I totally feel like I’m reliving my college days in the studio pulling all-nighters before graphic design final presentations. It makes me miss my old roommates & college friends, and my good friend Ryan! Shout out to my FIDM & Art Center Alum “GD-ers” and anyone else out there who’s still awake working on school work!

Rabbit Food For My Bunny Teeth New Blog DesignSocks: Urban Outfitters  |  Bedding: Anthropologie

ABOUT THE MAKEOVER //

New Navigation // simple and easy to use
I cannot tell you how much my old nav bar bothered me. It looked so stale. Like an old school Macintosh circa 1995 or something. I’m so happy that it’s pretty and sleek now!

Fancy Schmancy Slideshow // so. much. yes.
I’m obsessed with this element. Once I got it installed I was so overwhelmed that I couldn’t even decide what images to feature, so these are probably temporary. I’m so excited to feature new posts and revive some oldies but goodies with this feature!

Cleaned Up Side Bar // so fresh and so clean cleannnnn
My right side bar was kind of a mess to be honest. I’m a very minimalist designer, and that side bar was getting out of control. I’ve customized the sidebar with some fun new features to organize my sponsors and other goodies on the right.

Organized Comment Section // …finallyyyyyyy!
I seriously despised my old comment sections below posts! It was so confusing and hard to read. Even when I would read comments, I would be unsure of whose comment was whose and if I was responding to the correct person. Well, that problem has been solved! The organization is so much better and the replies are much easier to read. Yay!

Black & White Everything // goodbye bunny cookie background
I’ve finally parted ways with my Annie’s Organic Bunny Cookies ombre background that I created in 2012. As much as I loved it, it was time for a new look. It’s still featured on my twitter and shop background for the time being. I just could’t handle more change in one week! I LOVE black and white, and think it brings more attention to my photography (which has been getting so much better over the years, holy guacamole!)!

Undecided Changes // hmmmmm
I removed the “link within” widget (it shows you similar posts below each post), but sometimes I think it looks too busy, so I’m wavering on bringing it back or not. I know it’s definitely useful for new readers. I can’t decide!

There’s still a few little things that I want to chance and switch around, but overall I’m so excited about the new look! I think it fits my design aesthetic a little more and looks so much cleaner. Plus it’s easier to navigate and focus on. I want to start adding some more lifestyle posts to my blog as well as more DIYs! I love food, but sometimes I need to change it up just to remain sane! Definitely expect more healthy recipes, DIYs, and maybe some hair tutorials coming soon!

If you see anything funky or have any suggestions, don’t hesitate to let me know what you think in the comments below!

Health & Happiness
xo-CatherineP.S. If you have ever been to a barre class (especially Pure Barre) this article is the funniest thing I’ve read all week! It’s a barre class review as told by a dude – it’s on point and so hysterical! {WARNING: profanity, and lots of it!}

How To Clean Your Cycling Shoes

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If you have any type of white athletic shoes, you know how hard they are to keep clean. Before you go out and buy new ones, save yourself some money and try washing them in the dishwasher.  Yes, the dishwasher.

Back in the day (because I’m oh so old, right?) I used to throw my dirty shoes in the washing machine. You name it: Uggs, Vans, Converse, Nikes, I threw them in the washing machine. The only problem with cleaning shoes in the washing machine is that they start deteriorating pretty quickly after that. Putting your shoes in a washing machine filled with water and spinning them around at high speeds on the spin cycle isn’t exactly the best way to keep your shoes in good condition. It bangs them around and weakens the glue that hold them together.

I’m sharing my step-by-step tips for getting your shoes bright and sparkly, odor-free, and in overall tip-top shape!

Before you venture into washing your cycling shoes or other workout shoes, please know that they need about 24 hours or a day in the sun to completely dry. You will want to wash these on a day or two where you don’t need to wear them!

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You will notice that my prized Mavic Giova Women’s Cycling Shoes are a bit brown around the ankle area and tongue. They’re survived one year of spray tans and sweat, but they’re definitely looking a little grimy and not smelling that fab.

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The fronts and sides are completely scuffed up from my spastic walking skills and running into stationary objects, ha ha ha.

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Above is another angle showing the brown fabric tongue before washing.

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Before washing, you will want to take out any removable soles inside of your shoes.
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You will also need to remove your “clips” and any metal hardware from your cycling shoes (these will not be washed).

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Once you have removed your clips and hardware, it’s time for some pre-scrubbing.

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Check your shoes for any areas that need to be pre-scrubbed such as the soles or stained areas. I used a Clorox Gel Bleach Pen and an old toothbrush to get most of the deep stains and discoloration removed. Of course, if you have dark or colored shoes you won’t want to use bleach, but I would recommend using a little bit of dishwasher detergent on the toothbrush bristles to help remove stains and scrub.

Note: Do not use any type of foaming soap or detergent unless it is made for a dishwasher! Tide to Go is also a great option to remove stains from colored shoes.

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You can also use dishwasher detergent and a toothbrush to clean scuffs off of the leather areas of your shoes. My other secret weapon for removing scuff marks is the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. They really are magical! I use Magic Erasers on everything from shoes, to walls, and laptops!

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Once you have spot treated any visible stains, it’s time to put those babies in the dishwasher and watch some serious magic happen. Place your shoes on the bottom rack of the dishwasher, upside down and the removable soles in the racks next to them. Set your dishwasher to delicate and turn off heated drying cycle. Heated drying can shrink your shoes, as well as damage and weaken the faux leather or vinyl areas of your fancy shmancy kicks.

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My favorite dishwasher detergent is Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day in Geranium. I love Mrs. Meyer’s products because they use mainly naturally derived ingredients, minimal chemicals (only for efficiency of cleanliness), and smell absolutely delightful! Read more about Mrs. Meyer’s Product philosophy here! If you haven’t tried their Basil Hand Soap, you must. I get most of my Mrs. Meyer’s products at Target and Whole Foods.

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Once you remove your shoes from the dishwasher, lay them out in the sun to dry for the rest of the day, or until completely dry! You will be left with sparkly clean shoes that look brand spanking new and smell flowery fresh! I mean… check out how clean and white they are now!

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I hope that you found this useful for cleaning any types of workout shoes, or shoes in general! Of course, always read and inspect your shoes to make sure they are safe to put in water beforehand. Most will be just fine, but you won’t want to put your leather Top Siders in the dishwasher. Ha!

Health & Happiness
xo Catherine

In the Kitchen with Butter London + Giveaway

Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t just mean eating clean and working out. It means being happy, doing what you love, and pampering yourself. I am such a girly girly when it comes to fashion and beauty. I love doing my hair and make-up and think painting my nails is therapeutic. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably noticed that I change my nail color almost daily.

Since I spend a lot of time in the kitchen cooking up new recipes for my blog and washing loads of dishes, nail lacquer doesn’t exactly last the longest. After trying gels repeatedly, I would still be left with broken brittle nails that took weeks to recover. I’ve tried tons of different polishes and although I love my collection of OPI and Essie, nothing lasts quite as long as Butter London!

Since I love Butter so much, they’ve generously provided this amazing little Butter box full of goodies for one lucky RFFMBT reader! The box includes a collection of six Nail Lacquers to keep your nails super glam, two Backstage Basics Lotions to keep your hands perfectly moisturized and smooth, and a super luxe Wink Eye Pencil.

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My mani is always put to the test when I’m working with my hands in the kitchen. After a round of cooking and dishes, I’m usually left with a messy mani and chipped polish, but I’ve noticed that Butter polishes stay much longer than other brands.

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I’m in love with Butter London’s new Flawless Gel Topcoat. It dries quickly and gives a super high shine that looks like a gel mani. It also protects your nails from chips and nicks twice as long as your average topcoat without weakening or damaging your nails like traditional gels.

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After doing dishes, I like to moisturize with Butter’s Backstage Basics Signature Lotion. It’s formulated with shea butter and antioxidants to hydrate and soothe your skin.

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One lucky RFFMBT reader will win a Butter box ($143 value)!
Butter box includes:
6 Butter London Nail Laquers in: KeenPikey (Dust-Up)TrifleHRHTitchy, and Anorak.
1 Butter London Backstage Basics Signature Lotion (6oz)
1 Travel Size Butter London Backstage Basics Signature Lotion (3.4 oz)
1 Butter London Wink Eye Pencil in Earl Grey

Giveaway ends on Thursday, June 19th at 11:59pm PST.
Winner will be announced on Friday, June 20th.
*Must use a valid email address and be a US resident to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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T H E    D E T A I L S
Photography // Jessica at Cardelucci.com
Nails // Butter London in HRH (Her Royal Highness)
Raglan Top // Sub Urban Riot
Bracelet // Cartier LOVE, & Pura Vida
Watch // Vintage Cartier Tank Francaise
Rings // Alex Mika

Elle Est Forte

I fight this all too familiar feeling fairly often. I struggle with body image, and it’s days like this that  I realize that an eating disorder is something that I have to live with. It doesn’t define me or consume me, but I have some serious down days (and weeks) where I struggle. I mainly struggle with how I see myself. Sometimes I am so happy and content with my body and the scale or my clothing size doesn’t bother me, but there are other times where I can be extremely triggered by seeing myself in the mirror or in photographs that makes me want to stop eating, or gorge myself in sweets. It’s hard for some of my friends and family to understand my struggles with food and body image. I hear “you’re gorgeous” and “you look great,” but it’s nothing like that. I’m not programmed like everyone else.

When I was younger, my weight didn’t really phase me. Of course I wanted to be a “skinny” girl, but I never tried to diet or made an effort to be anything but myself and how I was. After losing 80 pounds after college, I have never seen myself the same. I feel like I will never be content with how I look wether I’m 100 pounds of 200 pounds. Even at the same weight I was in high school, I am so unhappy with my body. My body composition is completely different because I spin 5-6 days a week and have more muscle definition and tone, but I’m still so unhappy. It’s sad. Sometimes I wish that I never lost weight to begin with because I wouldn’t have this problem. Now that I’ve seen what I look like super “skinny” (at an unhealthy weight, mind you) I cannot get that image out of my head. I visually myself looking like that again, and can’t get that image out of my head. I find myself looking at photos of me at my lightest and comparing myself to what I look like today. It’s the WORST possible thing I can do, and I cannot stop. It’s triggering, it makes me sad, and it makes me hate my body even more because I’ve gained weight. When I take a step back, the comparison and negative thoughts that I have with myself make me so sad.

Sometimes talking about these things is hard, but I’ve learned through my blog that I’m not going through it alone, so why not write about it, right?

When I’m down, it’s so hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I describe my down moments as if I am treading in water. My head isn’t underwater, but my nose is barely peaking out. I’m able to get work done and get through the day, but it’s a struggle. Dealing with this same thing for a couple of years now, I’ve gotten better at coping with it. I no longer isolate myself from friends, or stop doing things that I love because I’m sad, but as I said, it’s a struggle. I guess why I’m talking about this is because writing is my therapy. Sometimes I completely shut down and keep everything inside, but writing is a way to get everything out.

On Saturday night I attended an event hosted by Full Psycle which celebrated the strong fit women of FP. At Full Psycle, we all compete inside “The Asylum” to get stronger,  but we’ve all formed quite a comradeship outside of the studio that gives us strength internally. This amazing group of ladies came together to celebrate and support the National Breast Cancer Foundation for a FP Girls Night filled with fitness, laughter, and shopping! Seeing so many strong, gorgeous, amazing women come together to celebrate ourselves was an amazing amazing feeling. Sometimes being a girl is just hard! We spend a lot of time criticizing ourselves and comparing ourselves to others, when we should really be celebrating ourselves! The event was so much fun. I love my Full Psycle family! Full Psycle has literally been my therapy since last July. I cannot go very many days without it, because it makes me happy. The workout and my Full Psycle family of friends and instructors lifts my mood and makes me feel so much better. In many ways, it has changed my life.

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I got a shirt that that benefits the National Breast Cancer Foundation, and I am absolutely obsessed with it. It reads “elle est forte” (she is strong). When I got home to try my new shirt on, something hit me and I felt so emotional. I’ve been very down on myself recently, and when I put my new shirt on, it spoke to me. I am strong. I’ve been through a roller coaster of ups and down in my life from my weight loss, eating disorder, and depression, to my accomplishments and success in school and my career, and through it all, I am strong.

I want every woman reading this to know that you are strong. There are so many obstacles that we as women face every day, but we get through it, because we are strong!

xo Catherine

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