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Review: Caviar Dreams Tuna Fish Budget By Margaret Josephs

Bravo’s Real Housewives of New Jersey, Margaret Josephs, opens up in her tell-all book about business and life.

Find the hard cover or check out the audio version.

Besides being a TV Reality Star, Margaret Josephs is the founder of the Macbeth Collection, Candie Couture, and more.

Read it if: You have simple curiosity lurking.

What’s it about: “The Marge,” as she calls herself, describes the less than idealistic mother-daughter relationship she survived and confesses how this role reversal affected her romantic relationships. Margaret also reveals the family-in-business dynamic she’s created.

Check out Margaret’s biography via Bravo here.

Is it funny: It’s not, sadly no. Some of the one-liners were not even close to comical but rather a bit uncomfortable to listen to; I don’t think Margaret needed to say some of them; they sounded forced and used more for added shock-value.

The cover: Fascinating color scheme. Great choices, Margaret!

Do I recommend it: No. This book is an easy read for the beach; if you’re curious about the housewives of New Jersey and want to know a little more about what’s said on the show that the cameras don’t show. I don’t deduce that this will alter your way of life. While Margaret does give life advice, I didn’t gain valuable insight, personally. The meat of the story (in my opinion) was the infidelity she committed (twice; one which led to her second marriage) and the sexual harassment she faced from previous business partners. Other than that, there was little depth. I was able to relate to the strained relationship she had earlier on in life with her mother, and that was a very vulnerable moment that I did appreciate.

I will note that I enjoyed Margaret’s positive energy she described throughout the hardships she endured. She sounds like a girls girl who would be great to go on vacation with or brunch. Hope this helped you choose your next read. 

Rating: D+

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Review: Let Me Tell You Something by Caroline Manzo

Find the paperback version or audio version

This non-fiction memoir jumps into Caroline’s core values; her classic outlook on married life, family, friendship, and beauty. Though I would like to agree with some of it, I can’t relate because I’m vain (in the beauty area), and I can fully admit that. .__.

TV reality star RHONJ, Caroline, sounds like a great person to meet. In her book, she talks about family traditions, fan interactions, her thoughts on plastic surgery, and “Ask Caroline” sessions (advice). Truth be told, I would ask for advice too, but some of it sounds outdated regarding dating and plastic surgery, but again, I appreciated her take on things. Needles to say, I don’t think Gen Z’s would really enjoy this book? Maybe some Millenials.

Read it if: You want an easy, feel-good book that you can listen to while you’re driving to work or cleaning your house. Also, read it if you’re having relationship troubles and feel like you need advice from someone with life experience.

What’s it about: Caroline’s career and home life built on respect, family, and loyalty. Her life sounds so wholesome, and some of it tragic. The author said at one point (which made me think) that she doesn’t mind if her home gets dirty when she has guests over. I admire that because I’m neurotic about my home, and yet it’s still messy. But she’s inspired me to change that. Plus, what’s the point of having a lovely home if nobody visits becuase you treat your place like a museum. Great tip, Caroline, thanks!

Is it funny: No, I was expecting some of it to be. Caroline has witty one-liners but nothing that will make you spit your drink out.

The cover: I want to sit right next to her. That’s the vibe I get. She looks like a “You can sit with us” kind of person. I like that.

Do I recommend it: To be frank, I don’t think this book is anywhere near in-depth self-help since there aren’t any specific measured action plans. Not that it was supposed to be a self help book, although most of her tips lean towards that. The author does preface that she is not a professional counselor/coach, which I appreciated. Caroline could have raised the bar more. It was very PG. It could be read as if she wasn’t candid or vulnerable. I don’t know if that’s who she is, but I still find her charming. If she does write another book, I would encourage her to be more vulnerable (it doesn’t need to be dramatic).

In ending, it was soothing to hear her read the audiobook.

Rating: B-

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DIY Organic Coconut +Coffee +Sugar Scrub

By far one of my favorite DIY body and face scrub that smells high-end without the hefty price tag! The ingredients are as natural as you want them to be, and most of them you probably already have. 

I would advise a light pour with the coconut oil because of the not-so- pleasant oil stains in your tub later (trust me). Also, if you live in an old building, chances are your pipes will clog too. Less is more.

The real benefit of this scrub is its soothing properties for dry, damaged, and dull skin. I use this scrub when my skin is taking all kinds of hits. It’s the best thing to do the night before a major event. Please be gentle, and if you are using it on your face, maybe scrub two days before a major event.

Ingredients you’ll need:

100% Unrefined coconut oil – 1.5 tablespoon – is an antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory. 

Organic honey – 1.5 tablespoons – a humectant, excellent for dry skin, and acne. My honey is from Ecuador.

Sugar – 4 tablespoons – organic is excellent if you have it, but mine is plain old sugar – great for acne, and clogged pores.

Coffee – 2 tablespoons – organic is great, but I used the regular old Folgers brand. Make sure it’s not flavored coffee!

You’ll need a container with depth; that way, it won’t go flying around the countertop when you mix the sticky solution (honey). I used an old container and then poured the ingredients into the saucer in this photo.

Don’t clean utensils with alcohol since it can mess up the smell. Use regular dish soap and then pat dry with a towel or napkin. 

Step 1. Gather all of the dry ingredients, sugar and coffee, and mix them in the container.  

Step 2. Once they are thoroughly mixed, pour a tablespoon of coconut oil, and mix again. 

Step 3. Add the honey and mix until you can see the grains combine. 

Finish: The consistency is supposed to be the soft clump kind. Not too sticky where it turns into balls, but not too weak where they can’t combine. That way, when you scrub your body, it can actually cover the areas you want to polish. 

After your scrub, lather some oil or your favorite moisturizer as if your life depended on it and you’re finished!

You can leave the scrub in the fridge when you’re not using it. I keep mine for about a week since I scrub about 2-3x a week. Don’t let it sit too long in the fridge since it goes bad sooner than later. Since there aren’t preservatives like “citric acid” you may want to toss after five days. I make small batches to limit waste.

I hope you liked it!

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Review: The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F**k by Mark Manson

It’s an easy self-help book to read, that encourages you not to care about the little things, only the things that matter. A bit idealistic, and somewhat self-indulgent. Either way, I still enjoyed a few bits.

Check out the paperback version or the audio version.

Some of it made me want to give a F***k…

Read it if: You think you have too much on your plate, not enough “time,” and sh**priorities. Read it, if you want to better understand why you do what you do (and how to stop if it’s what you’re craving). Also, read it if you want to hear some wisecracks you’d probably think to yourself but never say out loud.

It’s about: Learning not to care but actually care a lot about what you want to gain out of life. Mark has a bit of a philosophical approach to your troubles, in where he tells you flat out that you’re going to die, and maybe, you should start giving a f*ck about the things that truly matter and less so, of the trivial things.

Is it funny: Sometimes. Not the best comic relief, if that’s what you’re looking for, but entertaining.

The cover:  As you can see, ORANGE. It reminded me of this one time, where I went to an interview, and the walls were as bright as this color. When I asked the Recruiter why they chose orange, she told me it was because it calms the interviewees down. I’m guessing Mark Manson’s intention was to calm down his readers as well. Note taken.

Do I recommend it: I think this book is a regurgitation and amalgamation of the 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene and 12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson. Though these two books are my favorites, I feel that the S.A.N.G.A.F, is more of a light skimming of the two, so I didn’t really feel as though I gained thorough knowledge from it. It’s great for an easy read and not an in-depth approach to your troubles. Don’t expect it to scalpel through your deep desires and pour over your greatest struggles. I’d say that this book will suit those who have a perceived normal/tiny bit volatile lifestyle. 

Rating: C+

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Black and White Classic Casual Wear

Can you believe we are at the end of 2020? I can’t either—cheers to the new year, in black and white everything.

 

The black bodysuit is from Boohoo. I’m wearing a size 10(m); I feel like a 5lb sausage in a 3lb bag, so please be sure to measure yourself. I may have lost all sensation in my arms for this photo op, but worth it for you guys. The detail in this bodysuit is beautiful. You can wear it with a skirt or with pants, which is great for versatility. 

I love white, but I’m not blessed enough to maintain things the same color. Usually, I ruin white articles with makeup, my dog’s hair, and pen stains.

My pants are from American Eagle. This brand is great for short term use. The only issue (my fault) is the hip/waist ratio. My love handles don’t like to be hugged, and it’s a bit too low for me, so make sure you’re comfortable in the kind of rise you purchase.

Shoes are by BCBGeneration. I love this brand!! They look sexy, clean, and again, it’s all about versatility for me. I need to dress outfits up and down for me to buy them. Make sure you have flats nearby if you are planning on walking in heels. Tip: rub deodorant on your feet to prevent friction, but not on open skin!

I cannot tell you how much I miss wearing pumps. Before quarantine, I planned to buy new pairs of shoes and dumped about eight. Then covid hit, and now I’m just sitting by shoeless (I’m exaggerating). No point in getting anything now, since there’s nowhere to go (*cries in silence*). 

For accessories, I kept it simple since the colors are what pop out the most.

The purse is from Nine West. It’s pretty old and has held up exceptionally well. You can find inexpensive quality bags at Marshall’s, but they don’t always pop up. This tote I found online has a similar feel but shop around for your perfect size. I wouldn’t say I like big bags, since I’m short.

My watch is from Kapten and Son in rose gold. Classic, clean, and wrist slamming durable.

Earrings: They are simple teardrop looking with a rose gold/nude hint to them. They were a gift from a friend, but here are some similar-looking ones. If you have a round face, long earrings usually compliment it well.

I added another bag. ^ it’s a mini book-bag from Kapten & Son to make this outfit a bit more playful.

What are you wearing for the New Year? 

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Decluttering Tips for Home or Office

Have you seen those IG pages with pristine homes or offices that are clean and perfectly organized? The kind that make you look at your space and and think, “-shit”.  

Fab Photo by Liana Mikah

Covid-19 has transformed our home into one big birdcage. It’s where we work, exercise, sleep, eat, and even vacation. But how do you relax when there is so much junk everywhere? 

I’ve told my sister about the idea of decluttering her apartment, and she tells me, “I don’t plan on staying here that much longer, maybe a year or so.” But that’s too long to wait! Sitting in a space that is not peaceful, organized, and calming is not worth the money you’re saving.

I’m here to help you organize it; it will be a therapeutic process and change how you feel for the better.

The best way to declutter; start with these simple steps:

  1. Divide the home/office into rooms. Then divide those individual rooms into spaces. (ex: bedroom or a kitchen office)
  2. Once you’ve selected a room (ex: bedroom/kitchen office) – Start categorizing the space.
    1. Drawers – You will start cleaning all drawers in the space first.
    2. Closets – You will start cleaning all drawers in the space second.
    3. Visible space areas – You will start cleaning all v/a in the space third.
  3. Then divide whatever you find in the three categories above into 3 categories.
    1. Things I still use/need.
    2. Things I have not used in 6 months/want to give away.
    3. Things that have no meaning/value (Ex: an old vacation globe that takes up space, a notebook that collects dust, an old I love LA shirt you don’t use).
  4. Know your color palette/style – Not only do you have to throw things out, but you also have to ask yourself, “does this go with the color scheme in this room?”. If not, your place will look like a Macy’s showroom.
  5. Grab a trash bag, and promise to fill it – Fill the bag with things you don’t need and be honest with yourself. How does said item provide peace and meaning in your space?
  6. Create a monthly decluttering schedule – Once a month, commit to decluttering your space. Set a minimal amount of items to either chuck or donate, ex: 5 items per month. The more you do this, the less hours you’ll spend cleaning through mountains of junk. Remember, your time is expensive. 

Benefits: This will ease your mental anxiety over the space and help you find things you always seem to misplace, creating real savings; your time. We spend so much time that we can never get back doing things we could have avoided. By keeping your space organized and clean, it will free your mind and time to do what you truly love!

You will not be able to do this in one sitting, and that’s okay. Be patient with yourself. By decluttering your space, you’ll be able to live/work in an area that fills you with comfort, security, and tranquility. You will also find unique items you forgot you had and help you let go of things that no longer suit your lifestyle or decor. You’ll even think twice before buying!

Hope this helps ❤️

Homemade Salsa Recipe

Chef’s kiss 🙂

An easy and tasty homemade salsa recipe that is both fresh and healthy. Great for parties of two or four.

Ingredients: 

  • 3 plum tomatoes 🍅, diced
  • 1 lime, squeezed (I like my salsa super tangy, so start with 1/2 lime, and see how you like it).
  • 1/4 cup of cilantro 🌿
  • 1/4 cup of white onion 🧅, diced.
  • 1 teaspoon of salt 🧂(more, if you’re okay with it)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder

Equipment:

  • 1 sharp knife
  • 1 spoon
  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • A big bowl
  • A small bowl (for your powders)
  • A volunteer to taste your concoction.

Instructions: Start dicing the tomatoes until they’re small, like chiclets or teeth. Then dice the onion into smaller versions of that. Grab the cilantro and finely chop it up so they look like tiny flakes. Mix them around. Let these ingredients sit with each other while you grab the salt, pepper, chili powder and mix them in a separate bowl.

After that, squeeze the lime juice into the bowl with tomatoes, onion, and cilantro. Once mixed, add the powdered ingredients and mix some more. Voila! 

I made this salsa during a family gathering, and there was a lot of seafood surrounding me. Even though I’m not a fan of seafood, this salsa goes really great with oysters and shrimp. It brings out the taste (I suppose) and really puckers your lips. 

If you’re like me and don’t eat seafood, snag some chips to eat it with, or add black beans to make it into a nice dip.

Enjoy!

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