Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Musings of a Foodie: Summer Snacking

I love snacking, I always have, and summer is no exception to this pastime. During the warmer months, sometimes it's more enjoyable to graze throughout the day rather than eating three solid meals. The heat and the longer days result in being hungrier and more restless, and honestly, sometimes the only thing that sounds good is eating a little something. 

Here are some of my favorite summertime snacks, and most of them are things that are laying around the kitchen anyway, so that's a plus!

Clementines, or more commonly referred to as "Cuties" have got to be one of the easiest and most delicious snack. Refreshing and fun to eat, they're tiny and sweet and perfect for a quick pick-me-up during a work break or while on the go. Plus, they're a citrus, so they're packed with Vitamin C and good for you at the same time! 

Hummus is one of my all-time favorite snacks, and I'm a die-hard fan of the Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, but when I saw this in Trader Joe's the other day, I thought it sounded pretty good. Boy was I right! This stuff is strangely addicting and just spicy enough to leave a little bite. It's amazing with pita chips and bite sized vegetables, especially carrots and celery. Hummus is made from chickpeas, which contain a ton of fiber and antioxidants which are some great health benefits, while still being delicious. 

The only thing you might be thinking when you see blueberries is breakfast...pancakes...muffins... but blueberries are in fact, great for snacking because they're easy to eat on the go and they're healthy, containing plenty of fiber, Vitamin K and Vitamin C. While they're tasty on their own, you can put them in a bowl of cereal, atop some yogurt or in a fruit salad for even more options. 

As I've mentioned before, who really has time to go to Starbucks every day? When I can't get my go-to tea, I make do with brewing up some of my own. Tazo is one of my favorite tea brands, and this one is strong and flavorful, which is exactly how I like it (I hate wimpy teas) I like to brew a big pitcher of it and keep it in the fridge to sip on all day. I've been trying to drink more water lately (that might be another post of itself) but tea is a good beverage as well, as it keeps me hydrated but is definitely more interesting than just plain old water. 

When I was in school, I loved having a bag of trail mix in my purse to snack on during classes (and I always ended up sharing with my little posse, now that I think about it) but at $6-$10 a bag, snacking can get expensive! I've found that it's cheaper and more fun to buy the ingredients individually, and then just mix them up myself. I like a fair assortment of things, but one of the most simple mixes is just cashews, some dried cranberries or other fruit, and some chocolate chips for added sweetness!

All of these snacks are fairly inexpensive, and can be found at any grocery store or even Target. They're ideal for college students and people on the go because they don't take up much space and require little to no preparation.

What are some of your favorite summer snacks? Do you prefer to munch on little things throughout the day or stick to three square meals? 

All the best, 

♥︎ Greta Elise 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

#FOTD: Classy Summer Makeup

I realized this morning that it has been a while since I've done a beauty related post, so I thought okay, let's see what I can think up today. I'm actually leaving the house today, which requires I put on a bra and some shoes and look at least a little presentable. I thought I'd share my FOTD (blogger lingo for face of the day) In the summer I like to keep my makeup pretty basic and dewey and I have a few go-to warm weather products I like to use! 

I like to start by washing my face with a gritty scrub, to remove any dry skin and dullness from the night before, and also to make sure I have a squeaky clean front. I like this one because it has the consistency of a mask but it works like a cleanser. It has these tiny little particles in it (to be honest I have no idea what they are made of) and it restores my face to it's natural glow. Also it smells incredible! Check it out here

Next I moisturize and prime my face using Clean & Clear's Dual Action Moisturizer, LifeVantage True Science Eye Correction Serum and Neutrogena's Shine Control Primer. This has got to be my new favorite moisturizer because it hydrates my face without feeling oily or thick and because it has Salicylic Acid, it leaves my face tingling and fresh feeling. I highly recommend this product. I apply the eye cream under my eyes and on top of my eyelids, concentrating on my dark circles and crow's feet (well, that general area, I thankfully don't really have an issue here yet) I let it dry a few minutes before putting on some primer; this one has a thick consistency and is extremely matte. I'm not sure if I really like this primer, but I'm going to try it out a few more times and see if it lives up to it's "oil-free all day" claim. Primer and eye cream help my concealer and BB cream to go on smoother and last longer throughout the day while adding an extra layer between the face and the makeup. I never put on a face without these three vital steps!

For my base I like to keep things light and simple, and during the summer I never wear foundation. I opt instead for my current favorite BB cream which provides ample coverage, along with a few swipes of concealer, but doesn't feel gloppy or thick on my face. I also find that sun and fresh air have left my skin relatively clear the past few months, so foundation isn't even needed. Why wear it if you don't need it? After I apply the BB cream, I sweep my Instant Age Rewind Concealer from Maybelline under my eyes and on any spots or redness I may be dealing with. It's a super creamy and blend-able consistency and one of my all time favorite concealers. I apply a little powder only along my T-zone where I tend to get shiny throughout the day, and this powder is so incredibly light and matte you don't even know it's there. This is also from Neutrogena's Shine Control line but I like this powder much more than the primer. I apply a little bronzer along my cheekbones, temples and chin, and then dust a speck of blush on the apples of my cheeks, blending it in with my bronzer. My Naked Flushed Palette is my favorite palette lately because it has everything I need for my face all in one easy place. As I said, I like a more dewey look in the summer, so I sweep a little highlighter along the tops of my cheeks, my cupid's bow, and the bridge of my nose just to catch the light and help me look a little more fresh. 

I don't like a full eye for my everyday during the summer and I rarely wear eyeliner, so I just take Foxy from my Naked 2 Palette and apply it all over my lid. I then take a dab of Tease and apply it just along my lash-line, top and bottom, and work it into the crease for a little more definition. I apply Bootycall in my inner corner to brighten up my eyes a bit. 

To finish up, I curl my lashes with my eyelash curler (this one is from ELF and I got it at Target for literally $3) I apply my current favorite mascara, Make Up For Ever's Smoky Extravagant, and mist my face with a setting spray before applying a light lip balm. 

Here's the finished look! I just pulled my hair into a low bun and pinned back my bangs because it's going to be 93º today!

And of course, the mirror selfie, which is definitely a thing, in case you didn't know. My top and shorts are from American Eagle and my necklace is from Francesca's (I think... it was a birthday gift and I love it) My phone is the iPhone 5S in Gold (just in case you were wondering and couldn't tell, I like to be specific)

So there is my basic face of the day! What are your favorite makeup looks for summer? Do you change up your makeup depending on the seasons or do you tend to stick to the same routine? 

All the best, 

♥︎ Greta Elise

Monday, July 28, 2014

Monday Grind: Take 6

Hello lovely people of the internet, and Haaaaappy Monday!

I think it's okay to say that it is now officially halfway through summer. It's a rather sad thought, in many ways, but Sharpies, morning coffee runs and droning lectures have their place too, and it's now 24 days until I move and start my new school. Yay. Until then, it's still summer, and I'm trying to take advantage of that fact. I have a list of things I still want to do and places I want to go before the summer is over, but that's another post entirely. 

Anyway, yesterday it reached 104º, so what does that mean? We went to the lake! 

Lake Berryessa is a man-made lake about an hour and a half from my home. It's not my favorite lake, but it's great that it is so close, and therefore perfect for weekend day trips. My mother and I picked up some things from Trader Joe's (love that store) and spent the remainder of the morning putting together a picnic. 

My siblings swam, and we rocked out to the music blasting about 100 yards away (how loud was it in their boat?) We went on a lovely ride, anchored in a sunny cove and ate hummus and celery and salami and cheese while soaking up the sun. 

I can't stop taking panos this summer; they just capture the whole effect of the scene so much better than a regular photo.

The water was 86º so it was perfect for those of us who have a hard time fitting a bath into our schedules...

We know how to pack a picnic. 

Red Bell Pepper Hummus, Parmesan Pita Chips, Dubliner cheese, fresh salami= the perfect summer antipasti. 

I love being on the water, and I have a feeling there won't be very many opportunities for trips like these during the winter months (especially being in North Dakota) so I'm enjoying making some memories while there is still some summer left. 

What are some of your favorite summer pastimes? Do you have a list of things you still want to do before the summer's end? Let me know! I'd love to hear from you. 

All the best, 

♥︎ Greta Elise

Friday, July 25, 2014

High-Five For Friday!

Happy Friday! Wow, what a week. I'm honestly glad it's over. There is nothing like waking up on a Friday morning and taking a deep breath knowing that it's all going to be okay, even if it doesn't feel like it, because if everything else goes to hell, hey tomorrow is Saturday. 

Today I thought I'd do something a little different for my Friday Favorites; I only wore makeup one day this week, I didn't go anywhere and I will admit it, after I showered each time, I got back in my pajamas. It's just been one of those weeks. That being said, I did a lot of thinking and a whole lot of pinning, and I came up with the idea that I will present to you my five favorite quotes that have really helped me out this week. 

You can check out my Pinterest board with all 7,279 of my favorite quotes here.

Did you have a difficult week too? Do you resort to pinning as one of your coping mechanisms? What are some of your favorite inspirational quotes? Let me know in the comments below! I'd love to hear your thoughts. 

All the best, 

♥︎ Greta Elise

If We Were Having Coffee

I wish I was original in thinking up this post idea, but I'm not...I saw it on my lovely friend Emily's blog about a month ago and have been meaning to write my own ever since. 

If we were having coffee I'd be waiting in a corner table, most likely by a window, set apart from the hustle and bustle. I'd have already ordered my usual- a Venti Cool Lime Refresher with lemonade instead of water, hold the limes and with two pumps of green tea if it was summer, or a Grande Tuxedo with an extra shot if it was fall. I'd also have a sausage breakfast sandwich being heated in the kitchen (we're in Starbucks because where else?)

 I would be wearing leggings and flip flops and either a Calvin Klein hoodie if it was cold or a baggy tee if it was warm; my hair would most likely be in a messy bun or braid and my face of the day would be a little mascara and some blush (anything to look more alive!) 

It would probably be about 9:30 AM because that's a perfect time of morning. 

If we were having coffee I'd ask if I could treat you, because I tend to be a somewhat kind person, and it's on my 101 in 1001 to buy a stranger Starbs (although I'm guessing we're not strangers since we're on a coffee date, am I right?) We'd settle in after you'd gotten your order and I'd grabbed my sandwich, piping hot and crusty, and we'd start chatting. 

If we were having coffee I'd ask what you've been up to; how is your family and what are your plans for the fall? If we weren't perfect strangers and we were relatively the same age, I'd ask what you plan on majoring in, are you considering studying abroad, what is your roommate's name? 

I would tell you all about what's been happening in my life...I'm leaving for college in 28 days, I have no idea who my roommate is or where I'll be living and I haven't even picked my classes yet (hopefully I'll be able to answer all of these questions by the end of today, actually) I would give you the rundown on my latest intended major: Business with an emphasis in Communications, minoring in Spanish and Journalism (this is highly subject to change as I'm a very indecisive person) I would tell you that I'm brainstorming a new blog design, after I mentioned my blog of course. I'd tread carefully, not knowing whether you'd think it cool or freakishly lame. 

I'd ask if you were accustomed to getting a refill, and then I'd proceed to ask for one because why not

If we were having coffee I'd ask you where you got that lovely phone case, and we'd start discussing silly material things that make for lively conversation but don't exactly merit any real value. I'd tell you about my plans to study in Italy during my sophomore year and how it coordinates perfectly with when my cousin will be studying there as well...exactly ten minutes away. I'd ask if you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would it be. I'd ask you if you preferred coffee or tea, depending on what you had ordered and why. 

I would tell you that I plan on going back to Texas next Spring and I'm already getting way too excited. I would tell you about my nephew (who happens to be a dog for now.) I'd tell you my sister is in Wisconsin for a week, and I'm going to a country music concert next Thursday. I'd ask what kind of music you like to listen to. 

If we were having coffee it would mean that I really wanted to spend some time with you and maybe we could do this again before I leave? I'd give you my number, if you didn't already have it and throw away all my garbage. 

I'd give you a hug because I'm a hugger and we'd part our ways, and that would be that. 

All the best, 

♥︎ Greta Elise

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Looks Can Be Deceiving

I was browsing through my Facebook feed earlier this afternoon and someone had posted a link to a blogger who wrote a post, sort of a "behind the scenes" look at her Instagram feed...I thought it was a great idea, so I give credit to this lady, for the inspiration behind this post (as much as I wish I was this creative, I'm really not) 

This picture looks like a relaxing afternoon, maybe around sunset, chilling at our lake house. I'm accompanied by Ray-Bans? and a book that I'm buzzing through because I'm all about the novels this summer. And look at that gorgeous tan! 

In reality, it took me about ten different shots at different angles and crops to make sure my legs didn't look fat and the lighting was just right. Those glasses, while I love them, had just broken and were $13 at Target (I'm not ashamed of that, but I'm just being honest) it took me nearly a month to get through a book that could have been easily read in a week. And my tan? Well yes I have gotten tan this summer, but as is the case with 90% of my photos, I applied the F2 filter.  

Classic white girl here, with my usual morning coffee and pastry because that will totally keep me full all day, and I'm so classy with my Coach bag! 

Actually, I was starving again by 12:00, that's not my usual but I felt like treating myself because it was my birthday and I didn't get a job this summer so I had nothing else to do that morning. I went into food blogger mode and had to take a handful of shots to make sure the morning light hit my croissant just right, and while my bag did provide a nice contrast, I was mostly using it to hide my phone so people wouldn't think I was weird for taking pictures. 

Look how artsy I am, perfectly pedicured toes, and the light reflecting just marvelously in my favorite mug. The plant is a wonderful accessory to the scene as well, and this is totally not staged, right?

Wrong! I took a variety of shots trying to get the ideal reflection in my mug, and I was still in my pajamas (those are my favorite pajama shorts) with no makeup on and my hair probably in desperate need of a wash. I totally did stage this whole scene, because I have to make sure reality fits the image I have in my head. OK, let me give myself some credit-I guess I am creative, it just doesn't always play out the way I want it to, so I have to try harder.  

This selfie game is on point. 

My hair is in a braid because I have curly hair and it does not come out of the shower as anything less than a mane to be tamed. I was suffering from a pretty severe cold and sore throat, and I placed myself in front of a window so the light would reflect in my eyes and make me look more alive. Please excuse the awkwardly visible tan line I have going on, oh, and I might have slept in that shirt...

My caption for this photo is "maybe the real measure of art is what beauty can be found amidst all the chaos." I'm so cool, being a world traveler and all. 

I was in a moving car, cautiously crossing in the hopes of avoiding being hit, about an hour from home (which is actually pretty neat- only being an hour away from the Golden Gate) I was having a bad hair day and it was a really gloomy day, but I was able to use my trusty F2 filter. For me, being a photographer is having the power to capture a moment in time, yes, even amidst the chaos. 

One of my biggest flaws is my severe lack of self-esteem and confidence. Before I was a blogger, I educated myself by reading other blogs, watching YouTube videos and stalking Pinterest boards; I explored people's Instagram accounts, following random strangers who inspired me with their "perfect" lives; their juice cleanses, their world travels, their morning espressos...the more I learned about these bloggers, the more I realized that they only showcase part of their lives: the part they want people to see. When I decided to start my own blog, I found myself adopting this habit as well. My Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and even my Snapchat became outlets for me to showcase who I have worked hard to become (while still staying true to myself) The talented, educated, wander-lusting and yes, artsy woman who I have grown into didn't just grow overnight...she overthought every little thing and wondered how people would react. I struggle with self-image and I find it challenging to face each day when I wake up, just like a lot of other people. I suffer from the occasional depression, anxiety, breakout and bad attitude, and trust me, my life is nowhere near perfect. But that's okay. 

Readers tend to think that bloggers have care-free, wonderful lives, complete with white comforters, Starbucks and their MacBooks...bloggers are in a world of their own, but that doesn't mean that we aren't people just like everyone else. We also take 20 selfies before finding one where we feel beautiful; we can't afford to visit a new place every month so we have to find the extraordinary in the everyday, and who really has time to get Starbucks every single morning? 

I guess what I am trying to say is that image is not everything. Photography and editing are special to me because it is something that I wanted to know, I spent hours practicing, and it has taken me years to become the photographer I am today. Add in my iPhone and my Instagram account and I am able to present my life in my photos to others in the hope that I can also be an inspiration...just remember, it's not a bad thing that we only show what we want the world to know, but it's still very true. 

All the best, 

♥︎ Greta Elise

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

There Is A Time

A very wise but not so-old-woman recently told me, "it will feel different next week, it will feel even more different next month, and next year it will just be a memory." 

I realize that this is a different kind of post than the usual happy-go-lucky foodie and beauty reviews that you are used to by now (if you are a new reader, I apologize you are having to meet me under such glum circumstances) but this is an honest place here, people, and if I'm being honest, sometimes life just sucks. Sometimes, amidst all the good things, something terrible happens. Sometimes we don't understand why, sometimes we do; sometimes we wish we didn't understand so that we could hate the situation instead of hurting for a while. Suffering and pain are very real things, and sometimes (more often than not) they happen to the best of us. 

I have so many things to be happy about and thankful for right now. In exactly a month from today I will be flying 1,579 miles to my new home. I'm scared, because who isn't? But as hard as it is, I feel like I can properly be excited as well. There are so many people who are happy for me and who are encouraging me to go and start my own life. I will be twenty years old next year and in many ways this is just the beginning. I feel so old in some ways, but I'm just a freshie, a noobie, a baby. 

This is my time. 

There is a time for Nutella and Netflix and oversized sweatshirts. There is a time for swollen tear ducts and searing headaches, no makeup and rat's nest hair. And it's okay. Because it happens to the best of us. That doesn't make it hurt any less, but at least it's something. I've always been one for comforting things, and it's a comforting thought to know that I am not alone, as much as it really feels like it. 

So I'm going to cry. I'm going to cry a lot. I'm probably not going to eat, I'm probably not going to get dressed, I'm probably not going to go anywhere except the mailbox and the bathroom and I'm probably not going to do anything except pin and blog. Writing is comforting in and of itself, so even if my content isn't very cheery this week, at least I have this blog and all my supportive readers. 

And when I'm done crying that doesn't mean that I won't feel anymore; I will always have a piece of suffering in me, it's just part of growing up, but that's okay. When I'm done crying though, I will get up and wash my hair and put on my face and put a smile on (even if it's fake) because I am a woman, and women are meant to be put through hell and still come out strong. Eventually, I'll have to be done crying for a while, and being done crying won't mean it's all okay, but that's okay too. 

All the best, 

♥︎ Greta Elise

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Letters From A College Freshman: Links I'm Loving

Yesterday I received my official acceptance email, which means as of yesterday, I am a bona fide college freshman! To be honest, I wasn't really expecting it; I was 90% sure I was attending this college since I applied during the early application period way back in October, but due to some complications with transcripts and whatnot, I wasn't completely accepted. This meant that there was a 10% chance I would not be attending school in the fall...which would have required a backup plan (I didn't have one) so I have to admit that I was relieved, though shocked, when I opened my email yesterday. 

I decided now would be the perfect time to start a new series, so I present to you: 
Letters From A College Freshman

My idea for this series is to start with to-do lists and favorite links, duvets and dorm room accessories I have in mind and the occasional recipe or two, and then once I move, I can write about my actual college experiences! What do you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts, and if you have any other blogs by college students that you think I would enjoy, please shoot me an email or leave a comment below! I greatly appreciate all the inspiration and encouragement I can get. 

I've had a college Pinterest board for a while now, and I've been finding fellow bloggers from whom I've been finding a lot of great ideas and advice for this new time in my life. Here is a short list of some of the college-related things that I've been loving recently! 

A Preppy Girl's Packing List  I like this list because it is very detailed but it doesn't seem overwhelming to me. It might simply be because of the font or formatting of the post (which obviously has nothing to do with the amount of items) but I have just found this list to be very helpful as I begin to wrap my head around items I will need to purchase once I move and items that I already own which I can probably ship. 

Ten Study Tips For College Students  I've never been an awful student, but I've never been a straight A one either (this is an honest place here, people!) I have pretty much self-diagnosed myself with ADD and I suffer from the occasional OCD, so studying, especially before tests and exams has always been an issue for me. I work best under pressure, which baffles even myself, but my best high school work, from essays to oral exams in Spanish was always due to the fact that I crammed the night before. These tips are pretty run-of-the-mill, but I have a feeling I will refer to them at least a handful of times once my classes start. 

Discounts For College Students  Being obsessed with shopping, both online and in-store, but also being poor as a church-mouse like every other college student on the planet, I am always in search of a good deal. One of the perks of being accepted to a school is the student I.D. I will receive which means saving money! Woohoo! I'm pretty psyched about the Sephora and J. Crew discounts...

The $30 A Week Grocery Budget My university is in the state capital of North Dakota, but about 15-20 minutes from the city. That being said, I'm not sure how often I will be able to go shopping, due to the fact that I won't have a car, but I'm sure I'll find at least one charitable soul. I will probably find myself eating the majority of my meals in the cafeterias (yes, there are more than one, lucky me) but I do like to have my own stash of fresh fruits and vegetables, snacks and drinks, and Nutella of course. I might not need $30 worth of groceries every single week, but I still find this post very helpful and informative, and I will rely on it, especially during times such as holidays I don't go home or weekends where I choose to cook instead of eat spaghetti or pizza again. 

I am a fairly pessimistic person, and I worry and overthink things more than a little old lady in a nursing home, but I am working on staying enthused and open to the idea that I will be moving in just over a month! I know it will be difficult, but I am not alone in this, and I am eager to find out all the grand opportunities which await me. Hit me up with your favorite college-y things and let me know if you come across anything (or anyone) which you think may be helpful to me. 

All the best, 

♥︎ Greta Elise

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Blogmopolitan Quiz

High-Five For Friday!

Happy Friday everyone! I hope everyone had a pleasant week; mine was full of ups and downs, laughs and tears, but I made it through and now it's the weekend again! 

Without further ado, let's get into this week's random favorites...

I ordered Looking For Alaska from Amazon and I started it earlier this week; it's really good so far! The characters are quirky but believable and I'm only fifty pages in, but I have a feeling I will like it even more the further I get and it will probably be a fairly quick and easy read. 

Nivea Lip Butter in Raspberry Rose Kiss. I know, I know, I have a problem with lip balms...I just can't help it! This stuff is literally a dream. It's soft and creamy and lasts forever on my lips and is shiny enough to be a gloss but still nourishing enough as a balm. It's just a miracle. 

Cool Lime Refresher from Starbucks. I get a venti with lemonade instead of water, hold the whole limes, and with two pumps of green tea. It's refreshing (hence the name) and the perfect summer drink and I'm pretty sure I've already had three this week...It's my go-to drink and has more caffeine than a cup of coffee, so I can drink it in the morning and not sacrifice my necessary caffeine intake. 

Am I Wrong by Nico and Vinz. I can't get over this song. I listen to it every single time I'm in the car and it's become a definite summer anthem. It's one of those songs that just make everything in the world seem OK for a few minutes. 

This is my favorite quote of the week because it really speaks to my personal life right now and it proved to be true this week especially because something good did happen! So here's my little pep can suck sometimes and it feels like we're drowning and it's not going to get any better, but in the meantime, all we can do is keep ourselves busy with other things and just. be. patient. because eventually, something good will happen, usually in the most unexpected way, but it will. So we just gotta hold on. 

All the best, 

♥︎ Greta Elise 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Products I'm Dying To Try: [Beauty]

Untitled #11

Ben Nye Bella Luxury Powder in Banana // find it here

Tarte Cheek Stain in Tipsy // find it here

Marc Jacobs Beauty O! Mega Bronze in Perfect Tan // find it here

Benefit Cosmetics They're Real Push-Up Liner // find it here

The Original Beauty Blender // find it here

BareMinerals Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Concealer in Bisque // find it here

First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads // find them here

Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer in Fair // find it here

The Body Shop Body Butter in Coconut // find it here

St. Tropez Gradual Tan For Body // find it here

All the best, 

♥︎ Greta Elise

Monday, July 14, 2014

Monday Grind: Take 5

After about five seconds of consideration, I decided I'd switch things up a bit and change "Monday Morning Grind" to just "Monday Grind" at least for now. What with it being the truly dog days of summer, and my busy schedule (hardly) I hate to disappoint when a post says Monday Morning but it's 3 pm like it is now. So, without further ado, I present to you, the new and improved Monday Post.

I finally finished reading Sweet Salt Air, and it was not a bad book at all, it just took me a while to get through it because I couldn't stay as focused as I like to be when reading, and I have had quite a bit going on lately. Anyway...I do recommend it if you're looking for a light summery read that you don't have to put much thought into. The characters are gripping and realistic, and the style of the author's writing is very descriptive and poignant. About an hour and a half ago, I started reading Looking For Alaska by John Green, the bestselling author of The Fault In Our Stars, and I am already on page 39. My cousin said that she likes this book almost more than TFIOS which I find hard to believe, I do have quite the love affair with that book, but we will have to see. I saw this tag on another blog this morning, and thought it would be fun to do; something a little different, and perfect because I've just started a new read. So here goes. 

1. Do you have a certain place at home to read? usually read in bed, or on the couch. Laying by the pool is another favorite as well. 

2. Bookmark or random piece of paper? I tend to skip the bookmarks and fold the corners down (yes, even in school textbooks, I know, I'm awful) unless the book isn't mine, but I don't generally read other's books very often.

3. Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter or certain number of pages?  I usually wait for a natural break in the book before putting it down, especially if it doesn't have chapters (Looking for Alaska has sections, not chapters)

4. Do you eat or drink while you read? Of course!

5. Do you watch TV or listen to music while reading? I can, but I don't deliberately put them on and then start reading. If I'm not alone and someone else has them on, I can still read, I just can't stay as focused as I can when it's quiet. 

6. One book at a time or several at once? One book at a time unless I'm reading for school and pleasure simultaneously. 

7. Reading at home or everywhere? I wish I could read everywhere, but it's more I can pin everywhere...I can read on my phone anywhere, but I tend to keep the relaxing book reading at home. 

8. Reading out loud or silently in your head? In my head, 99% of the time. 

9. Do you ever read ahead or skip pages? Honestly, yes, I am guilty of this every once in a while. I also skim parts that seem to be boring, as long as I get the general gist of it. 

10. Break the spine or keep it like new? I never intentionally break the spines of my books, but I also don't keep them in a gold gilded case, so they naturally get worn over time, but isn't that the sign that they are well loved?

All the best, 

♥︎ Greta Elise

Musings of a Foodie: Trip to Tiberon

I've been MIA on my blog for quite a few days now, and I feel conflicted about it. 

I don't want to be someone who blogs every day without fail only to post things that really have nothing of quality to say, aka posting to post for the heck of it. I want my material to be informative and interesting and worthwhile. That being said, I committed to blogging 100% and I do not intend to give up on it or disappear when I can't get motivated or think of anything to write. I am guilty of reading my Bloglovin feed and comparing my blog and its content to my fellow bloggers, which usually results in me feeling worse about myself than I did to begin with. I have to teach myself that whatever I post is good enough, and just because it may be similar or different from other content out there, that does not make it better or worse. So there's my little morning pep talk to myself. And that explains why I've been distant on here for a while. 

Now on to the actual post! 

 Last Thursday, my cousin and I took a little day trip to Tiberon, which is just across the bay from San Francisco. It's much cooler there, being right on the ocean, but it was a nice break from the business and the heat that is our hometown. The whole point of the trip was so we could go to the Vineyard Vines store, (Tiberon being the closest one to us) but it ended up being a great excuse to discover a new eatery, and we both love that. 

These little oceanside towns aren't hick-towns and the food and shopping isn't cheap, but Waypoint Pizza sounded next to perfect after glancing at the menu and the prices. The decor was comfortable and reminded us of a Nicholas Sparks novel, being very ocean/beach-oriented. We sat in a booth along the wall, and besides us there were only three other diners, though it was about 3 pm, so it wasn't exactly the bustling lunch hour. The only con we had about the whole experience was that we had to go up to the counter to order and we got our own water and condiments from a little side table, which was OK, but which seemed less like a restaurant and more like a buffet. That being said, the food entirely made up for the service.

Being cousins, and just obsessed with food and not being able to decide on just one thing, we usually share our meal when we go out, and our lunch was no different. We decided on  the Shrimp Pasta with a garlic and basil cream sauce and the Gourmet Sausage pizza with mushrooms, Italian sausage, green peppers, olives, onions and mozzarella. In one sentence, it was to die for.


The shrimp was fresh and the food was piping hot. Even the sourdough, which we used to mop up the garlic sauce, was crusty and dense. The sauce itself was slightly spicy, but not too creamy, and complimented the crunch of the shrimp and the al dente pasta perfectly. The pizza was cut into four slices, which was perfect for the two of us, and was absolutely delicious. The vegetables were still slightly crunchy, which told us they were fresh and there was the ideal amount of sausage and cheese to make the pizza filling, though it was small. 

As you can see, we licked our plates clean, and the bill ended up being around $25, which we thought was great. 

We would definitely eat at Waypoint Pizza again, and if you are looking for something quick and delicious, but still fresh, with the small oceanside town feel, I highly recommend this place, minus the weak service. Check them out here, and their Yelp reviews here

All the best, 

♥︎ Greta Elise

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

50 Questions

I was surfing for blog inspiration last night at around 10:30 (shocker) trying to come across something more personal and different. This blog is not a superficial act, but I struggle with drawing the line between personal life and what I have decided to share so far. Thus, when I came across these 50 questions, I thought perfect, this will get me to leave my comfort zone a bit but still provide something (hopefully) interesting for my readers. Who knows if you'll like this post, but here it is.

1. What are your nicknames? What do you prefer to be called? G, Grets, Homie, Babe. I generally prefer to be called by any of these or my actual name, but it's annoying when people pronounce my name as if it is spelled with a's not Gre-duh, its Gre-tuh. 
2. What books on your shelf are begging to be read? Does my Goodreads bookshelf count? The Vacationers, The Longest Ride, Looking for Alaska, Eleanor and Park, Blogging for Dummies, Adulting: How to Become a Grownup in 468 Easy-ish Steps
3. How often do you doodle? What do your doodles look like? As much as I wish I was, I'm not a very artistic person, and the extent of my doodling career was on my History notes waaay back in high school (that was supposed to be sarcastic) I tended to specialize in hearts and song lyrics because I'm the epitome of a hopeless romantic. 
4. What do you do if you can’t sleep at night? Do you count sheep? Toss and Turn? Try to get up and do something productive? This typically happens to me nearly every night, usually between the hours of 2 and 4 AM, and if I really can't fall back to sleep, I'll send long, meaningful texts to one of two people, watch a show on Netflix, or think up every possible scenario for my perfect day. 
5. How many days could you last in solitary confinement? How would you do it? Probably a month, but I'd do it as long as I had to. Eat a lot, sleep a lot, Netflix a lot and try to keep myself busy to avoid thinking about my depressing situation (not unlike what I do the majority of the time right now)
6. Do you save old greeting cards and letters? Throw them away? For the most part, I save them, unless I really don't want to remember that specific person/event/glittery kitten on the front. 
7. Who is the biggest pack rat you know? My little sister(s). 
8. When making an entrance in to a party, do you make your presence known? Do you slip in and look for someone you know? Do you sneak in quietly and find a safe spot to roost? I'm a hen, so I ignore the obnoxious roosters, hide from the annoying chicks and sneak in quietly and find a safe spot to roost. 
9. What are you most likely to eat as a midnight snack? A bowl of cereal. 
10. How many times a day do you look at yourself in the mirror? Obviously every time I go into a room with a mirror. 
11. What is the strangest thing you believed as a child? Drinking coffee is a huge deal. 
12. What is one guilty pleasure you enjoy too much to give up? Just one? I'm sorry I just can't pick only one. 
13. Who performs the most random acts of kindness out of everyone you know? I do. 
14. How often do you read the newspaper? Which paper? Which sections? Never...
15. Which animals scare you most? Do spiders count? I can't stand snakes, rodents, and TBH, cats really give me the creeps. 
16. Are you more likely to avoid conflict or engage it head-on? Avoid conflict. 
17. What was the most recent compliment you’ve received and savored? "You're beautiful."
18. What is something about yourself that you hope will change, but probably never will? My severely low self-esteem and constant overthinking. 
19. Are you a creature of habit? Explain. Yes. I like what I like, I do the same things over and over and I don't want anyone to mess with my schedule. 
20. Are you high maintenance? Explain. Some have said yes, others no, as far as I'm concerned, I can be. 
21. When was the last time you really pushed yourself to your physical limits? Well I walked to the kitchen to get Oreos...
22. Do you have a whole lot of acquaintances or just a few very close friends? Why? A few very close friends because I'd rather have four quarters than one hundred pennies. 
23. Are you more inclined to “build your own empire” or unleash the potential of others? Build my own empire, as anyone who really knows me, would agree. 
24. What’s a strange occurrence you’ve experienced but have never (or rarely) shared with anyone? That one time I got distracted and ended up in the ER in shock and with a hole in my foot. Yeah, that happened. 
25. What do you think about more than anything else? "What's going to happen tomorrow, next week, in six months, in five years..."
26. What’s something that amazes you? How Walt Disney Studios was able to make The Parent Trap. 
27. Do you prefer that people shoot straight with you or temper their words? Why? I prefer them to shoot straight and get it over with because I can't stand beating around the bush or dishonesty. 
28. Where’s your favourite place to take an out-of-town guest? The Oxbow. 
29. What’s one thing you’d rather pay someone to do than do yourself? Why? I'd rather pay someone to give me a manicure because I frankly suck at it and always end up staining either the bathroom counter or my sleeve with polish. 
30. Do you have a catchphrase? "It's fine."
31. What’s your reaction towards people who are outspoken about their beliefs? I'll say what I think, and most of the time I'll probably come off as pretty rude, sorry, just being honest. 
32. How and where do you prefer to study? I prefer to study with music in my ears, at a big table or on the kitchen floor, a bed always works too. 
33. What position do you sleep in? I sleep like every other girl; cuddling a sentimental item, one foot hanging off the bed so I don't get too hot, and on my side with my head under the covers. 
34. What’s your all-time favourite town or city? Why? Hm...this is a tricky one. I love Napa, Walnut Creek, Calistoga, Sonoma, Chicago, Madrid, Venice, Santa Cruz, Monterey, Santa Fe, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Those are all all-time favorites, so don't judge me. 
35. What are the top three qualities that draw you to someone new? Their ability to smell good, their sense of humor and their genuineness. 
36. How has your birth order/characteristics of siblings affected you? Being the third oldest, with four underneath me, and being the oldest still living at home, I get the blessing of having an older sister who I talk to every day and who gives me the best advice, listens to me without complaint and makes me laugh on crappy days. However, I also serve as an example to my four younger siblings who, though they would never admit it, look up to me and are influenced by a lot of my actions. 
37. If you could eliminate one weakness or limitation in your life, what would it be? The idea of a perfect scenario in every situation which limits my experiences and relationships so much. 
38. If you could restore one broken relationship, which would it be? I'll let you know when I find a broken one worth restoring. 
39. If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to? Sophia. 
40. Do you believe ignorance is bliss? Why or why not? No. Don't get me wrong, I believe it is definitely easier, and in some situations (kids not knowing there are cookies on top of the fridge) it is harmless, but in the adult world, as much as it may hurt at first, honesty and knowing the full story is always best. 
41. What do you consider unforgivable? Eating the last piece of pie. 
42. Have you forgiven yourself for past personal failures? Why or why not? I honestly cannot think of any major personal failures, but I suspect I have not forgiven myself or at least not entirely because I am very hard on myself and don't get over things very easily when it comes to my personal life. 
43. How difficult is it for you to forgive someone who refuses to apologize? If they knock it off and start proving themselves in other areas, I tend to get over it pretty quickly. 
44.Do you hold any convictions that you would be willing to die for? What does this even mean? 
45. To what extent do you trust people? Explain. I trust them until they break my trust and it takes a lot for them to regain it. 
46. In what area of your life are you immature? I'm immature? Well, sometimes I'm immature in the way I deal with difficult situations (by avoiding them), also with my sense of humor at times, and the way I find it necessary to hide my food in the backs of the cupboard so no one can find it. 
47. What was the best news you ever received? Grammy bought Nutella. 
48. How difficult is it for you to be honest, even when your words may be hurtful or unpopular? Not very difficult, actually. 
49. When did you immediately click with someone you just met? Why? What was the long term result? Conversely, are you close with anyone now that you really disliked at first? I immediately clicked with my cousin, who I consider just having met nearly three years ago because I had lived far away for ten years. We clicked because we're perfect for each other in every way, shape and form, and we're related duh. She's the Hallie to my Annie (if you get this reference I love you) the Wilfred to my Mildred, and the Peaches to my Cream. The long term result? We will potentially continue to do everything together, from studying abroad to getting married to giving birth and probably going through a mid-life crisis at the same time. Conversely, I guess you could say I'm close to someone I hated at first...but then of course I really hate someone I liked at first, so...ya know. 
50. When do you find yourself singing? On mini road trips with my cousin, in my bed at 11:30 at night and with my mom in the kitchen. 

All the best, 

♥︎ Greta Elise