5 New Year’s Resolutions You CAN Keep

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Every year we make resolutions we can’t keep, then punish ourselves with weeks of guilt for failing at our new year’s goals.  Avoid the guilt this year by making resolutions you CAN actually keep.

Make these easy to follow resolutions that will improve your health, and the way you feel every day.

1) Sleep More

Did you know that those who sleep more also weigh less? It’s not that far-fetched of an idea if you think about it.  The more time you spend sleeping, the less time you spend eating! Also, those who sleep more have lower levels of stress.  Sleeping also helps reduce bags under your eyes.

2) Eat More Peppers

Peppers, specifically pickled peppers, burn fat.  Eating spicy foods twice a day can help you burn more calories every day.  By resolving to make dietary changes, instead of straight losing weight, you won’t feel guilty if you don’t reach a particular number.

3) Incorporate Activity

Making a resolution to exercise or hit the gym can be hard to accomplish when you work full time, have children, or both.  While doing an hour of cardio or getting a personal trainer may be out of the question, you can resolve to incorporate some activity into your daily routine.  Whether you go far a short walk when you get home each night or during your lunch break, or do a short workout video at home, getting active will give you more energy and counter some of the calories you intake each day.

4) Eat Less Sodium

We aren’t really aware of how much sodium we really do eat, and how incredibly bad it is for us.  Many Americans will turn to processed bars, snack bags, and frozen meals to help them reach their weight loss goals this year.  Unfortunately these diet side kicks offer up way more sodium than recommended. You can lose weight without the added sodium.  Instead of a frozen meal try a tasty salad, mixed vegetables, fresh protein, or a fruit salad.

5) Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself

Finally, don’t spend your year feeling bad about yourself.  Women spend too much time wishing for better bodies, punishing themselves for not having it, and worrying about how others see them.  It’s your life, and you only get to live it once.  This year resolve to enjoy your year.  Eat the foods you love in moderation.  Resolve to travel, see, and experience new things.  Take the time you would spend envying other people for their looks, and become someone others can envy for being you.

Happy New Year to all my readers!

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Mini Reindeer Cakes

Looking for a festive sweet treat to bake for your Christmas guests? Look no further then this blog entry!

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Cake pops will be the death of me, I am sure of it.  Every year at Christmas time my mom asks me to bake something for her office party.  She hates/can’t cook, and she’ll be the first to admit it.  I have been obsessed with mastering the cake pop, so I thought I would try again.  I used a different recipe this time, and still they didn’t come out like the perfect pops I see at stores.

I couldn’t send my mom to work with those disasters, so I had to think on my feet.  I used the batter to create these cookie shaped cakes, and decorated them with this awesome kit.  Making the cakes takes no time at all, and is much simpler than attempted those damn cake pops!

Ingredients

Any Cake Mix (I used devil’s food cake)

Pudding Mix (Match the flavor of the mix to the flavor of the cake. I used chocolate cake mix, and chocolate pudding mix)

3 Large Eggs

Milk

Vegetable Oil

Baking Spray

Cake Decorating Kit

Directions:

Your cake mix box will provide you with instructions.  It will tell you to use water.  Replace the water with half the amount of milk.  If the box instructs you to use 2 cups of water, you would use 1 cup of milk instead.  Once the wet ingredients have been whisked together, add the cake mix.  Do not over stir the cake batter, simply make sure that all ingredients are wet.  Next, add the pudding mix and stir together until wet.

Take a wide cup, and place a plastic ziplock bag inside of the cup.  Make sure the top bag covers the edges of the cup.  Using your mixing spoon, spoon in the cake mixture into the ziplock baggy.  Once filled, cut the tip off of the bottom corner of the bag.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Spray your baking sheet with baking spray, so that the cakes to do not stick to the pan.  Pipe your cake mix onto a baking sheet in a circular motion, creating a circle the size of a medium cookie.  Let the cakes bake for 15 minutes, or until cooked through.  Let sit, and cool.

Once cooled, take chocolate frosting and cover the top of the cakes only.  Add your candy ears, eyes, noses, and bows.  You’re all done, and ready to enjoy with your guests.

Have a question about the recipe? Leave a comment below.

Happy Holidays!

When Mileage is a Good Thing

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In speaking with a single guy friend the other day about his love life, the topic of “mileage” came up.  Mileage, unlike baggage is not necessarily a bad thing.  In dating terms having mileage means that you have had experience in relationships/dating.  Baggage is often an attempt to say someone is undesirable, because they have yet to move on from a past experience.  Unlike people with baggage, people with mileage aren’t bitter with the world.  They don’t hate all men/women.  They’re just living life, wracking up knowledge and experiences that are valuable.

My friend discussed his difficulties with finding the right woman.  He’s ready to settle down, but having trouble finding the right girl.  Unlike many men who refer to life experiences as “baggage,” he wanted a woman who has lived and experienced both highs and lows.  He understood what many don’t, that you have to go through the bad in order to ever really appreciate the good.

In my opinion a person shouldn’t get married until they have had experiences with other partners.  That may seem “slutty” to some, but I’m not saying you should go ahead and sleep with everyone.  However, I do think that dating helps you determine what you need from a partner, and what you don’t need.  It helps you understand behaviors, understand where people are coming from, be less selfish, and more independent.  The more people you encounter, the better you understand people. It’s a simple fact.

When I was young, and my mother told me that she married my dad at 17 I thought she was crazy.  I was only around 11 years old, but I remember thinking that there was no way I would marry someone right out of high school.  My dad was only the second guy she had dated, and the first person she slept with.  While I’m thankful for that (due to the fact I would not exist otherwise) I thought it was crazy.  My parents are still married by the way, so I will say it does work for some people.  Not for me though.  I knew in order for me to be 100% committed, I would have to know for certain he was the one for me.

My dating life was crazy, but I wouldn’t trade those experiences for anything.  With each jerk I grew increasingly able to spot out the wrong behavior, and more in tune with what I deemed was what I needed from a man.  I turned down relationships I knew weren’t right for me, and that’s hard for a lot of people.  Many women I know would rather settle, then wait for the right guy.  Cereal monogamists don’t necessarily get ahead in life.  Staying single allowed me to have an amazing life, filled with fun and heart ache.  But for all of it I am grateful, and without it I wouldn’t be in the amazing relationship I am today.

While many of my friends hate their exes or the guys who did them wrong, I have no ill will.  I’m able to be friendly with everyone I’ve dated, because they were a means to an end. Educational experiences, I’m better for having.  If you’re single, don’t turn away someone because they’re experienced.  If they have some baggage they know what it’s like to be done wrong, so they’ll be grateful when you get it right.  Don’t get involved with someone unstable, or someone who hasn’t sorted out their life.  However, don’t discard someone for having had a bad brake up, or wanting to be single for a while.

That’s my humble opinion for the day.

Santa Baby. My Top 3 Christmas Costume Choices.

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I am a LITTLE Christmas obsessed, I will admit.  Been in love with Christmas from a very young age.  My parents love decorations, but not in love with decorating.  From the age of 7 I was in charge of all the home decor.  I love Christmas trees, and lights.  My grandparents used to drive me around different neighborhoods at night, so that I could see all the different Christmas light displays.  My mom complains I would sing Jingle Bells in July, and my boyfriend complains that I make him listen to Kost 103.5 starting in November, because they play nothing but Christmas music.

Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas” is my absolute favorite song.  I remember watching the music video, and being jealous of her costume.  I always wanted a cute Mrs. Claus costume, but never had an excuse to buy one. This year I finally had a reason, and found the perfect Mrs. Claus dress.  I had to have it.  

If you’re about to host a Christmas party, you have to consider dressing up in costume. Your guests will appreciate your dedication to theme, and there are so many options to choose from. 

Here are my top 3 Christmas costume choices:

1. The Good: Pair this cute Santa coat with leggings for a festive look.  It provides enough sex appeal to get you noticed, but not enough to get you on the naughty list.

2. The Naughty: Frederick’s of Hollywood offers this velvet cutout, hooded chemise.  Perfect for a holiday celebration just for two.

3. The Nice: Wear this halter top dress (also pictured above) with opaque tights or leggings, and some boots to complete your cute Mrs. Claus look.

Hope you’re enjoying the holiday season as much as I am!

5 Beauty Items You DON’T Need

meesh me make upI will admit, I am a sucker for a beauty product. I love make up, and have so much of it that I forget what items I actually have.  I am a “beauty insider” at Sephora, and get my make up done professionally often.  One side effect of that is that I have bought tons of items I don’t actually need.  According to a recent article posted to Yahoo Shine there are an arsenal of beauty products we shouldn’t be spending our money on. Here are some items I was shocked to find that I don’t actually need.

1) Primer

If you have had your make up done professionally you can tell the difference.  When I would apply make up at home the shadow never looked as dark, or lasted as long, as it did when I got it done professionally.  Then I was turned onto primer.  I was told that this product would keep my make up on my face longer, keep it from smudging, and reduce the amount of eye shadow I needed to use.  While primer does it’s job, it’s a necessary addition to your make up collection.  If you have foundation and/or concealer you can create the same effect.  Foundation and concealer both keep make up on your face, and created a bolder look.

2) Lip Balm

Excuse me? I don’t need lip balm? That’s just absurd. Not according to beauty expert Dr. Sejal K. Shah. All you need is moisturizer. Well most women don’t use lip balm just for moisture, but color as well. If you’re not looking for color or tint, you can forego the balm and use your moisturizer.

3) Lip Liner

According to the experts lip liner actually dries out your lips, and your lips look plumpest when moisturized. However, this is only true for younger girls.  As you age lipstick begins to feather out.  If you’re not wearing a bold color you can get away without lip liner, but always use lip liner when applying red lipstick. You’ll end up looking like a clown without it.

Other Products the Experts Say You Don’t Need Include:

1) Scrubs: Apparently scrubs can do more harm than good, drying out your skin.

2) Toner: Not necessary unless you have very oily skin, and even then it’s not mandatory.

3) Face Blotting Sheets: Expensive and unnecessary according to experts. Try using a mask with tea tree oil instead.

Hope you’ve found this blog useful. Write us with your feedback!

Best Places for Holiday Magic in LA

disneyland christmas castleAnyone who knows me knows that I am obsessed with Christmas.  While many of my friends complain about  the early holiday decor, I revel in it.  I love the bright lights, wreaths, and garland. I love baking, and the smell of candles burning in the house. It warms my heart and lightens my soul. It comes as no shock then that I make sure to visit locations where the holiday cheer is high.

In Los Angeles there are plenty of places that put up special decor during the holidays. With plenty of shopping malls near by, there is no shortage of places to see Santa Clause.  The Beverly Center is famous for their “Hunky Santa.”  What women wouldn’t want a hot guy who gives gifts? Visit hunky Santa at the Beverly Center, sit on his lap, and get your picture taken.  Don’t worry guys, there’s something for you as well.  The Candy Cane girls perform acrobatic stunts when Santa makes his grand entrance. Want to view pics or learn more? Visit here to see what Hunky Santa is all about. The newly renovated Glendale Galleria has a Santa station right outside the Macy’s, and walk across the street to the Americana to visit Santa’s workshop.

If you’re looking for family friendly holiday cheer this season, you will want to make sure to visit the following merry destinations:

Disneyland holidays1) Disneyland

No one does Christmas magic like Disney.  At Disneyland they pull out all the stops making sure you see Christmas decor everywhere you go. Sleeping Beauty’s castle is covered in twinkling lights, giving it a look as if Tinkerbell herself sprinkled pixie dust all over it. Above the pavement on Mainstreet USA hang Christmas wreaths with hundreds of lights.  Mainstreet is also the location of the falling snow during the fireworks show.  The Haunted Mansion is transformed into a Nightmare before Christmas.  This year the movie celebrated it’s 25th anniversary, so even more changes have been made to the experience.  New to Disneyland this holiday season is the “Jingle Cruise.” The Jungle Cruise ride has a special holiday theme this year.  Over at CA Adventure the new Car’s Land has been decorated for the holidays.  Instead of wreaths, tires are decorated and hang above the main street. Enjoy special holiday treats at any number of bakeries located at the park. Also new this year to CA Adventure is the holiday World of Color show. Expect to see Ana and her sister Elsa from Disney’s newest animated feature “Frozen”. Can’t pay the price of admission? You can still enjoy Disney magic by visiting the Downtown Disney District.  The streets are decorated for the holidays, and you can ice skate with your little ones at the pixie themed skating rink.  Admission is free, and parking is free for 3 hours.

the grove christmas2) The Americana/Grove

Looking for things to do during the weekend? You can shop, dine, catch a movie, and see Santa at the Americana and the Grove.  The Grove was a Rick J. Caruso project. A little known fact is that one of the original Disney Imagineers worked on the design.  The Grove opened in 2002, and The Americana followed.  Both destinations set up huge Christmas trees, lights, and Santa’s workshop.  At The Grove it actually “snows” once a night.  There are a variety of restaurants and shops to choose from at both locations.  You can get your shopping done, have a cup of cocoa, and enjoy the lights. Right next to The Grove is the famous Farmer’s Market.  Enjoy fresh produce, and home cooked meals hometown and ethnic. Across from the Americana is the newly renovated Glendale Galleria with even more shopping and dining options.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA3) Universal Studios/City Walk

If you don’t feel like making the drive out to Anaheim, Universal Studios is close by and cheaper.  Visit Grinchmas, Universal’s Grinch themed holiday area where it “snows” in Los Angeles.  Fans of the holiday movie will love this area.  Universal has recreated the set of the hit movie staring Jim Carey.  You can visit all of your favorite characters from the Dr. Suess book.  Located next to the theme park is Universal City Walk.  You can shop, dine, see a movie, play in an arcade, or dance the night away at a nightclub. Universal City Walk offers something for everyone. To purchase your theme park tickets or to learn more about the holiday festivities at Universal Studios Hollywood visit their website here.

Take some time to enjoy the holidays this year.

-Love Meesh

Squid Ink Pasta

Food & Nostalgia 

 

squid ink pastaA relationship with a grandparent is very unique. They’re allowed to impart life lessons, without having to carry all of the burden or responsibilities of a parent, unless of course you were raised by your grandparent.  Both of my parents worked full time during my younger years, so my grandmother took on full parental responsibilities. As a result we have a very close relationship. I spent many summers living with her, sharing a room, and stories. She was my roommate, my best friend, my inspiration, my mom, and my grandma. She was stern with me growing up, but I am who I am today for fear of ever disappointing her.  Parents, want to know how you can get your kids to refrain from drugs and alcohol? Guilt! My grandmother has friends EVERYWHERE!! I never behaved badly, for fear of her ever finding out, and tarnishing how she thought of me.  While kids picked on me at school for being over weight, my grandmother always made me feel special, to her I was always #1.  She is a great cook, and it is because of her that I love to cook so much. Every time I cook, I think of her and our summers together.

My boyfriend often speaks of his grandfather, who sadly passed away a few years ago.  While his grandfather was a tough Italian man, my boyfriend’s fondest memories of him were made in the kitchen.  He loved his Italian cooking, and advice about food.  To take my boyfriend back to that special time, I prepared a dish his grandfather was known for, squid ink pasta.  While he used a squid ink sauce, I used fresh squid ink pasta.  The squid ink gives the pasta it’s dark color and unique shine.  This dish is simple to make, because most of the work has already been done for you.  I found the squid ink pasta at my local Italian market, Marios in Glendale, CA.  Many Italian markets carry specialty pastas with unique flavors.  The squid ink gives the pasta a seafood flavor, so you do not need to add much to the dish.  I added good quality olive oil, graded parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, and capers.  I topped the dish with fresh parmiginao-reggiano and plated with prossciutto.  I surprised him when he got home, and he was taken back immediately to times with his grandfather.

Ingredients:

Parmigiano-reginao

Graded parmesan

Jarred capers

Squid ink pasta

Red Pepper Flakes

Olive Oil

Instructions:

Boil water. Add salt, and a drizzle of olive oil to boiling water.  Add pasta, and cook for 8 minutes or until pasta is aldente (has a bite to it)

Drain pasta. Add back to pot. Add olive oil, red pepper flakes, graded parmesan, and mix.

Add pasta to dish. Top with capers, and graded parmigiano.

Enjoy!

Food means many different things to different people, but for most it’s comforting.  Food can work as a time machine, taking you back to a time with loved ones.  I hope you enjoy this dish with your loved ones.

What’s For Dinner? Simple & Fresh Flavors

Flavors From Your Past

Italian SandwichGrowing up in Glendale, California there was no shortage of Persian and Armenian markets.  It was convenient for me to get everything I needed to make the Persian dishes I grew up on.  For my boyfriend it’s been a little harder to find that taste of home.  He grew up on the East Coast with an Italian deli always in close proximity.  He went to college in Boston, where he could grab his Italian favorites.  Living in L.A. was an adjustment, but with the opening of Jersey Mike’s and Rita’s Italian Ice he felt a little more at home.

Anyone who cooks dinner multiple nights a week will tell you that it’s easy to run out of ideas.  Coming up with a new menu plan for the week can become challenging after a while.  I look for inspiration every where.  If we go out to dinner, and enjoy a meal I will attempt to recreate it at home.  While attempting to plan this week’s meals I looked for inspiration from my boyfriend’s time in Boston.  Many times he spoke of this amazing sandwich he loved from the East End of Boston.  The sandwich sounded simple, and easy enough to make.  To make this sandwich more than ordinary it would take fresh ingredients.  Fortunately I know of an Italian Deli in Glendale.  Mario’s offers many Italian imports, serving everything from fresh bread to gnocchi and homemade marinara.  I was able to pick up everything I needed, plus some extra pastas for just $20.

Follow the simple instructions below to make a light and easy meal.  This sandwich travels well too, making it the perfect meal for a lunch in the park or office.

031What you’ll need:

Fresh French Bread
Fresh Mozzarella
Organic Basil
Organic Tomato
Prosciutto sliced
Olive Oil
Garlic Salt
Pepper
Balsamic Vinegar

Preparation:032

Make sure to rinse all your produce and pat try with a paper or clean hand towel
Slice tomato into thin slices
Cut bread loaf in half
Slice Mozzarella
Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar over your tomato slices, mozzarella slices, basil, and the inside of the bread slices.
Sprinkle pepper over the mozzarella and tomato.
Sprinkle garlic salt over the tomatoes.
Stack your sandwich any way you like, piling up your ingredients.
Slice and serve! It’s that easy.

Enjoy 🙂

For more simple recipes visit the Feed Me portion of the Meeshme.com website.

Happy Dining XOXO

Pork Chops & Pasta? It Happened

pork chops and pasta

What’s for Dinner?

Sometimes you have to force someone to take a chance, even if it’s just to experiment with food.  We can get so set in our ways when it comes to what we eat.  Visiting the same restaurants, ordering the same dishes, cooking the same meal night after night.  We grow up on certain types of food depending on our cultural backgrounds, then grow up and find other types of foods intimidating.  While the foods you grew up on were amazing, you’ll miss out on some great meals If you never try new things.

My boyfriend’s sister was kind enough to send us a giant package of meat from Omaha steaks for his birthday.  Among the amazing steaks were a few pork chops.  I knew my boyfriend would love them, despite his hate of pork. My mission would be to cook the pork chops in a way where he couldn’t deny their amazing flavor.

I chose to apply my fail-safe marinade to the pork chops, and fix a side of pasta to go with them.  The recipe for these bomb.com pork chops is below.

Ingredients:

Pork Chops (Amount depends on who you’re cooking for. My boyfriend was able to eat 3 in one meal)

Pasta (I used regular spaghetti noodles, you can use any type of noodle you prefer)

Marinade:

Balsamic Vinegar

2 tablespoon Oregano

1 tablespoon Red Pepper Flakes

1 tablespoon Pepper

1 tablespoon Garlic Salt

Olive Oil

Pre-Cooking Instructions:

The night before I coated the pork chops in olive oil.  Take a tablespoon of olive oil and rub it into the meat.

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl: garlic salt, oregano, red pepper flakes, and pepper.

Sprinkle the mixture over the pork chops and pat down compacting the dry ingredients.

put the pork chops into a plastic Ziplock bag, and add the balsamic vinegar.

Put into the refrigerator, and let sit over night.

Cooking Instructions:

Heat your oven to 200 F

Add a teaspoon of olive oil to a sauce pan, and add your pork chops

Place the pork chops into the oven without a lid.

Let cook for 10 minutes then flip the pork chops, and let them cook for another 10 minutes

Take the pan out of the oven and put it on the stove top over high heat.

Cook the pork chops on either side for 1 to five minutes depending how brown you want the outside.

Take a piece of aluminum foil and loosely tent the pan letting the pork sit for 10 minutes

This will save the pork juices, preventing drying.

pork chops in pan

Pasta:

Boil Water

Add salt and teaspoon of olive oil

Add pasta when water comes to a boil

Cook aldente and drain

Remove pork chops from the cooking pan

Do not clean the pan.

Place pan over medium heat, and add pasta.

Add a splash of balsamic vinegar and tablespoon of olive oil

Mix the pasta with the drippings from the pork chops

Cook for five minutes or until mixed.

Plate with pork chops and serve!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this recipe.  Come visit us here at Meeshme.com again soon!

Halloween: Create Your Own Look

evil queen costumeI love Halloween, because it gives me a reason to be creative.  Sure you can buy a costume in a bag at any local Halloween shop, but the results are always the same.  A baggy, ill-fitting, too short costume is not the way to go.  After a few disastrous Halloweens during my early 20s I decided to start adding my own personal touch to costumes.  If you can’t sew like me, you can create an easy costume using items in your closet.  With the right dress all you really need are some Halloween accessories, which won’t cost you much at all. In need of costume accessories? I found mine here.

Each year I put together two costumes, a different costume for each of the nights I go out.  This year the theme was good vs. evil.  For my first look, I decided on the evil queen.  I drew my inspiration from the hit TV series Once Upon a Time.  In the show Regina plays an evil queen with killer style.  With each episode I watched I grew ever more jealous that I couldn’t wear her outfits in my day to day life, but on Halloween we can be as glamorous and sexy as we want to be.

To recreate Regina’s look I went for a black laced halter corset found here. Next, I searched for a skirt that would be fun and sexy, but still fit in with the theme.  I knew I could do better than a typical tutu, and found this high-low fairy tale skirt in black online here.  The crown would be the most important part of the costume, without it people would have trouble figuring out what I was supposed to be. I found this amazing crown at Amazon.com here.  The crown is definitely my favorite part of this costume. Wish I could wear it every day lol!

cinderella costumeEvery little girl dreams of being a Disney Princess.  Cinderella was one of my favorite movies as a little girl, and still is to this day, so for my second look I chose to recreate Cinderella’s iconic look.  My boyfriend had purchased the crown for me from Disneyland several months back, and Halloween gave me an opportunity to wear it out in public without seeming like a lunatic.  To recreate the rest of the look I started with this white corset from Frederick’s of Hollywood.  Although Cinderella’s dress is often depicted as blue, it always looked white, and glittery to me.  The shine in this corset was perfect.  I paired it with a white maxi skirt I had in my closet purchased at Foreign Exchange for less than $40.  To complete the look I’ll be wearing full length white gloves, and a black choker similar to the one found here.

No matter what your fairy tale dreams are you can make them come true on Halloween.  You don’t have to look unshapely in a costume from a bag just because you can’t sew.  Putting together a costume isn’t as hard as you might think, and the results are always better.

Wishing you and yours a very Happy Halloween!

-Meeshme