September 30, 2014

One of the perks for being a model in HerCampus College Fashion Week Boston is that all of the models receive a complimentary eyebrow wax at the European Wax Center! There 630 locations, however the one closest to my school is in Saugus, MA. 

At first, I thought that we received these brow consultations at the event, but it kind of worked out that I had to go on my own time because I brought some of my girlfriends and we had a good Monday night adventure.

This is Amanda, Claire and I at "Twist 'n' Shake" In Revere after #CheatSnack. I had pistachio ice cream!

Anyway, I had such a lovely brow experience I thought I'd share it with you! Right off the bat they asked me how my modeling has been going and asked me about my blog. It didn't just feel like just small talk, I feel like they were really interested in what I had to say.

My stylist had so much knowledge about brows. She asked me if I wanted a just clean or reshaping. I told her that I've never really had a consultation before so just shape them however  she thought would look fun. Since my eyebrows are somewhat thin already, she took off a patch in the thicker part closer to my nose, so that I would get some shape without losing too much.

We also decided to go with a darker brow powder because I like to pretend I have dark features even though I clearly don't. I'm Greek and Irish by heritage, however my genetics seem to have forgotten the Greek part. For those of you who don't know, I fill in my eyebrows like crazy so I don't look like THIS every day. 

I'm very pleased with the shape and evenness of my eyebrows now. Hopefully they'll be easier to maintain. Does anyone else cringe when they look at their middle school/early high school  eyebrows, too? 

I'd love to see everyones eyebrow transformation! What shape are your eyebrows? Where is your favorite place to get the, waxed?

This post is not sponsored by European Wax Center, College Fashion Week, or HerCampus. These opinions are all my own and I was not asked to do this post.

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dollar store diva


September 25, 2014

We've gotten get general requirements of Recommended Daily Amounts (RDA) of our vitamins and nutrients shoved down our throats from birth. Yes, they're constantly changing, however so are our bodies. I am me, and you are you, and we are different. We have different hair color, skin color, digestive tracts, muscles, activity levels, BMIs, genders, and lifestyles. Why does the FDA try to put us all in one box with a big "RDA" bow" on it?

Luckily for you, my lovelies, I'm a huge nerd. Yes, I'd describe myself as a health-nut, however my "Nutrition and Physical Performance" class is turning me into a health NERD! I now have all of these calculations and facts about how much we need to eat and what we need to eat, based on our weight and lifestyle. I've decided to do a series called "Macro-breakdown Mania" where I get down into the dirty details about each of the three macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, and protein), and to hopefully shed some light on some myths about each of them. Why don't we start off with protein?

To determine how much protein our bodies need, we need to determine how active we are. A "sedentary" person, who doesn't exercise regularly needs 1.0 - 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram. An endurance athlete, who exercises regularly mostly with cardio and light lifting, needs between 1.2 - 1.4 grams of protein per kilogram. A resistance athlete, who does a lot of lifting at a heavier weight, and wishes to gain muscle mass, needs between 1.4 - 1.8 grams of protein per kilogram. Where you lie in your category depends on how often you exercise and the intensity of your exercises.
After your determine where you lie, you must convert your weight into kilograms. This can be done by dividing you weight in pounds by 2.2. For example, a 150 lb person weighs 68 kilograms. So, you take the weight in kilograms and multiply it by where you lie in the intensity scale. A cross country runner would lie at 1.4 for example. Here's the calculation for a 150 lb cross country runner:

68 kg * 1.4 g/kg= 95 g of protein.

A gram of protein = 4 calories, so, that's 380 calories (95*4) of protein in your diet. That's 1/4 of your daily intake, the other 1/4 is lipids/fats and the other 1/2 is carbohydrates!

Proteins surprisingly are not a typical source of energy. One of protein's main functions is tissue formation. We can easily understand protein's function if we understand why runner's are naturally so skinny. Runners are endurance athletes that work out for an extended amount of time. Carbohydrates can only be fuel for so long, eventually your body will start breaking down a non-traditional form of energy, like protein. Breaking down protein means breaking down tissue, which means losing mass, which means looking skinnier and leaner, which means boom. Life mysteries solved.

What foods can we find this tricky macronutrient in? Complete proteins that contain every single amino acids include animal products (meat,fish, dairy, eggs, hemp and chia seed, buckwheat and quinoa). Incomplete protein sources that are missing an amino acid are vegetables, legumes, nuts and seed, and grains. However, if you eat them together, they make a full protein. For example, rice and beans together make protein (Chipotle fans rejoice). Plant protein is prominent as well, so enjoy that salad but maybe add some chicken, seafood, or tofu to get that extra punch.

image credit
However, just like everything else in nutrition and exercise science, everything is relative to the person's activity level, metabolism, and diet. Protein is very vital in the post-workout recovery process. If you eat more than your daily value (see above), then it will be stored in fat or glycogen unless it's used right away!

I hope this blog post helps you navigate this slippery slope of protein. Think of me next time you're wondering whether to put one or two scoops in your protein blender bottle!

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dollar store diva


September 20, 2014

I love salad and I love pasta... My life is constant love triangle between the two loves. My mind wants me to eats carbs all day every day, but my thighs want me to eat salad forever. However, I think I may have found a compromise to keep both sides happy. For my birthday party, I concocted a pasta salad as neutral as Switzerland.

I skimmed pinterest and found a post something along the lines of "19 pasta salads to try this summer." Some looked deliciously decadent, some were asian-infused, however I always like to stick to my Mediterranean styles. I found one that was a "lemony-orzo" salad with feta and cucumber, and another one with tomatoes and broccoli. I did a mash-up of both!

Mediterranean Orzo Pasta Salad

  1. 1 full box of orzo (1-1/2 cups)
  2. 3 tbsp EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
  3. Juice and zest of one full lemon
  4. Parsley to taste
  5. 1 cup of broccoli
  6. Garlic salt to taste
  7. 1-1 and a 1/2 cups of feta cheese (depends on how Greek you are!)
  8. 1 whole cucumber, sliced
  9. 2 roma tomatoes, diced

Look at how many vitamins and minerals you're getting! These dark veggies are choc-full of 'em and green vegetables mean fiber. This picture above is like food porn to me. Eating pasta doesn't always have to be with a thick, creamy alfredo or garlic-wine sauce; it can be light and filling as well.

The reason I think this salad is a good mix is that it has the attributes of a salad and a pasta dish, but not too much of each. The orzo is a pasta, but it's a small pasta. The sauce is olive oil and lemon juice, it's refreshing. The veggies and cheese give it some hearty texture. It's a square meal!

First, I would cook the Orzo according to directions on the box. Then, I would get a pot of steaming water and steam the broccoli until the color is darker. You can skip that part, but I prefer steamer over raw broccoli. Then, you can chop up your veggies. Make sure your broccoli isn't overcooking.

Whenever your broccoli is soft and your pasta is all cooked, drain them both. You can keep the broccoli with the other chopped veggies, and put the orzo in the refrigerator to let it cool. It's very important to let the orzo cool so that the feta doesn't melt away!

In a bowl, mix the oil and lemon juice. You can use a cheese grater to zest the lemon by grating the skin. Mix that in, too!

When the orzo is cooled, mix in the veggies, feta, and dressing (oil and lemon). 

There you have it! This salad was a huge hit at my party might I add. I had a few people ask me for this recipe. Now, I can just tell them to look on my blog.

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REVIEW: Keurig VoxBox #HelloKeurig

September 14, 2014

Even if you don't drink coffee, your friends have probably dragged you to their new favorite cafes or have asked you to go through a Dunkin' Donuts drive-thru before heading out on a journey.  If you're an avid coffee drinker, you probably shell out big bucks for your coffee yearly. Whether you drink it or not, coffee affects our lives in many ways. According to, the regular coffee drinker (several times a week), spends about $500 a year on coffee. Here's how simplesavemn defines three types of coffee drinkers:
  1. Frequent speciality coffee shops at least several times a week to grab coffee on the way to work. Picking up coffee for yourself, not a social event, such as meeting a friend for coffee
  2. Daily coffee drinker, but brews something cost-friendly at home, such as regular old Folgers.
  3. Doesn’t really drink coffee much, unless it’s a social event, such as meeting a friend for coffee.
Where do you fall in this list? I see myself at #1 personally, which means I somehow drop $500 a year on caffeinating myslef. However I hope to transition to being a #2 user thanks to my new shiny Keurig 2.0 K550 from my influenster VoxBox! 

 This amazing Keuris 2.0 comes with and 80 oz. reservior, touch display, clock, strength control, a water filter, a starter carafe, and K Cup variety 6-pack and K-Carafe packs
The brewer itself cost $199.99, and a pack of k-cups usually goes for $10-$15 for 24 cups. Don't worry, I already did the math out for you, that means that it will cost you $0.50-$0.60 per cup of coffee! Compare that to $3-$5 for a medium or large coffee anywhere - Dunkins or Starbucks.

With a one-time investment of $199.99, you can save yourself up to $300 a year, by simply only replenishing k-cups, milk and sugar.

The 80 oz. reservoir feature means that you can brew 4 cups of coffee, tea, or hot cocoa to make a whole carafe for the week or mass sharing with your friends. It also means that you can brew a carafe of coffee, refrigerate it, and have iced coffee for the week! #DIYIcedCoffee, right? Not only can you brew full carafes, but you can brew lattes, cappuccinos, hot cocoa, and teas.

Fear not, you can also still brew your favorite single cups of coffee. The Keurig 2.0 houses revolutionary technology that reads each k-cup lid so that it brews exactly the coffee calls for. You can control the strength of the brew with smart settings. With 250 + varities and 40 + brands, the possibilities of your coffee creations are endless.



September 09, 2014

I have to admit... I didn't come up with this recipe. However, I tried it for myself from my girls at Tone It Up and I am OBSESSED! You read it right, yes, CHOCOLATE zucchini bread. This bread came out sooo crispy on the outside and sooo moist on the inside. It's flavorful, filling, and healthful. 

Zucchini has more potassium than a banana. Therefore, it's great for refueling after a workout. According to the TIU girls, zucchini is "Rich in fiber & antioxidants, potassium, manganese, Vitamin A & Vitamin C." And, there's chocolate. I made this for myself to bring back to school for when I get snacky after a long day. What other reason do you need to make this? Let's get crackin'!

  • 4 cups almond flower
  • 1 cup grated zucchini
  • 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup EVOO
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1.5 tbsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 packet Perfect Fit protein powder (chocolate or vanilla)
Before I started baking, I asked Jackie if she wanted to help and this was my answer. She must've been too pooped from her morning at the dog park!

First, preheat the oven to 350. My next order of business  was to grate the zucchini. First, I cut both ends off and wash the zucchini. Then sliced it into smaller pieces before putting it in the food processor. Then, grated the zucchini either in a food processor or with a cheese grater. With the food processor, it should make a pesto type of consistency (that's what makes the bread so moist).

Then, I mixed my wet ingredients in a small bowl, and my dry ingredients in a big one. I then combined the wet with the dry, then added the zucchini and the chocolate chips after the wet and dry were mixed. 

Pour your batter into a well-greased pan, bake for 35-40 minutes, and enjoy!

I seriously can't get enough of this stuff! I strongly recommend you make this and comment below what you thought! Who knew chocolate and zucchini would be a match made in heaven?

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Monthly Link-Up: September Goals!

September 05, 2014

Happy September, and happy new school year my lovelies! It's time to buckle down on the books and sip our newly released pumpkin spiced lattes. However we can't buckle down if we have nothing to strive for, right? That's why I'm joining my blogger friend Angie from for her monthly "goals" link-up. Here are some goals I wish to accomplished this lovely month of September.

September 2014 Goals
  • Starting using and utilizing my planner more
  • Be more thorough with things, don't rush
  • Start off the semester with all A's this month
  • Run sub-22:50 at theUMass Darmouth race
  • Start lifting 40 lbs
  • Do free-writes twice a week
  • Get in 8 hrs a week at work
  • Plan out HauteMess and DollarStoreDiva posts for the month of October
  • Do the dorm tour and VoxBox post
  • Become A-list on the Kim K game (very important)
These are things that I definitely want to accomplish this month, but now I have a way to track them! Check out the original post here.

How it works:
The linky goes live on the first Wednesday of each month.
  • Follow all three hosts: My So-Called ChaosA Peek at Karen's World, & Jenee Thompson
  • Write up a post recapping previous goals & setting goals for the next month. The post needs to include the Monthly Goals button, use the code above!
  • Link-up your Monthly Goals post in the linky below!
  • Visit other blogs in the linky to show support!
Link Up Your Goals:

Please link up your Goals post!  The post must include either a link back or the button!
Monthly Goals

back to school


September 02, 2014

After scattered shopping trips here and there with some online shopping thrown in, I've finally accumulated my "back to school" pieces. I'm so excited to start the fall off in a warm, boho vibe. I've stocked up on some prints and some statement pieces, and have updated some fall staples that have gone limp in my closet. Let's dig into my new wardrobe!

(from right) Cream cardigan: Marshalls 
Grey Cardigan: Charming Charlie
Navy and White Blazer: White House Black Market

The cream cardigan is chunky, easygoing, trendy, and effortless for fall. The grey cardigan is long and sleeveless. With these two together, I get the best of both trends. I love the stretchiness of the blue and white blazer; I also needed more business-casual pieces in my wardrobe.

Chevron tunic: Charming Charlie
Blue Scallop Crop Top: Topshop
Paisley Lace Tank Top:  Marshalls

I've been dying to find a good tunic, and this one from Charming Charlie is perfect! 

 Geometric Pants: H&M
Cropped Galaxy Workout Pants: Marshalls

I love these comfy geometric pants that are oh so colorful, and the comfy and cool workout crops!

For more details about the clothes, watch my Youtube video about the haul!