Monday, June 29, 2015

DIY: Healthy Nutella

Healthy and nutella in the same sentence? Heck yes. I was craving some nutella, but no one else in my family is really a fan so we never have it on hand. I decided to make my own, and I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was! I like how it's less sweet than the original, and I kept mine to be thicker. Of course, you can add more milk and blend it longer to get that creamy texture of the original if you want, and add more sugar if desired :) It's all personal preference! 
-2 cups of toasted almonds (you can use cashews too, it'll give a creamier texture)
-your favorite milk * (I use unsweetened almond)
-2 T cane sugar (or sweetener of choice)
-3 T cocoa powder 
-pinch of sea salt
*The amount of milk depends on how creamy you want your nutella to be.
1. Toast almonds carefully in pan for a minute. Then, blend all ingredients together with a splash of milk. Pulse the blender, and stir every couple of times.
2. Add more milk if desired.
3. Store in the fridge for a couple of days and enjoy! 
Some ways I love to eat this is mainly on toast with banana, pretzels, apples, and waffles. Let me know what you'd eat this with!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Love Others

I know this won't be my usual run of the mill blog post, but this is why I started Petite Pastels - to have an outlet so I don't implode. (I swear, it's going to happen one day.) 

It's always weird to look back and think, "I can't believe I was like that". And if you ask people who knew me a couple of years ago, they might say the only thing that's changed about me is that I've dyed two streaks in my hair and I talk a little more than I did before...but I know for a fact I have changed. 

Even though nothing drastic is different about my mannerisms or physical appearances on the outside, I've noticed it in the way I think. It's so weird to see, but a good kind of weird. I remember before this last year I was so judgmental all the time. Yeah, I am a little ashamed to say so (okay a lot), but it's the truth. I wouldn't treat people differently, but I would think things that I'm not proud of.
I know this isn't unusual to some people, but I believe that in me saying things to myself like... 
"Oh she's mean" 
"I can't believe they drink now!"
"Why did she have to go and start smoking?"

...did NOT make me a better person. I was judging. Even if I wasn't actually saying it out loud, I still said it to myself which made a part of me filled with darkness. Then a year ago, I felt God seeking MY heart (um, whoa). That 's when I started to change. God softened my heart so so much. I've said this to some people before, but the ONE things that stands out to me when I think of God, is love
Of course, I'm in no way saying I'm now "perfect" because I'm now proudly a Christian (well that's a whole other post), but now when I think something so rude, I instantly stop myself as often as possible. I'll say "you're not going to judge them, you don't know everything". Who am I to judge? As my wise friend Megan once said, God said He will judge each of us - He never said He needed your help doing it

Like the title of this post - just love others! That's it. I've found that in doing so, there's no way to go wrong. Love is just so right. From what you say, do, think, and believe, love is the center of it all. I don't care how cheesy this must be, but what matters is that it's true and it's pure and... just everything I've ever believed in to be so great and wonderful. And so I don't get more carried away than I already have, I'll leave with this: 
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. - 1 Corinthians 13: 6-7 
ps. I'm pretty darn nervous about posting this because it's a tad bit personal, but I just feel like I have to post this. My email is always open to anyone! 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Saint Anything

It's finally time for me to review book #2 of the summer! I finished Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen a couple of days ago, and it actually didn't take me that long considering it's just over 400 pages. Being her most recent release, I was excited because I've read many others by her in the past. Whenever I go to the library, I feel like I always see her books being checked out - she's pretty well known I'd say.

I guess I'll start with me saying I have always associated her books with romance. This one however, I would describe more as a coming of age book. The main character, Sydney, has always been overshadowed by her brother's actions of drunk driving and paralyzing a young boy. Left in the shadows, she goes to a new school and meets the Chatham family who change her life. Of course, there is some romance, but it's definitely not the center of the plot - a nice change from her other books in my opinion. With each person in the Chatham family having distinct personalities, the creepy family friend Ames, and the fifteen year old boy who was paralyzed, Sydney learns to open up to others and deal with guilt that she didn't deserve. I finished this book pretty fast, and I loved getting to know all of the characters. Even though I thought her past works like Just Listen had stronger moments, I still loved this novel and what it left me feeling like...wanting more.

If you like coming of age novels, I would definitely recommend it. I really bonded with the main character even though we are completely different people. And even if you prefer romance (which I thought I would), I still would give this a try. It might surprise you!
Rating: 4/5

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Something Blue // Lee and Birch

(ps. I forgot to wear my bandeau) Dress, Bag, + Accessories: c/o Lee and Birch // Shoes: Franco Sarto  
I'm so excited for today's post, mainly because it's always an accomplishment finding a dress that fits, and I'll be talking about a local business that's too adorable for words. This dress is super comfortable with adjustable straps, which is perfect for someone as short as me! Paired with an arm party (the blue stone bracelet is hand made), neutral bag, and my favorite wedges,  I loved wearing this for the vintage flea market on Sunday looking at old knick knacks and denim jackets. 

Last week, I was over at Lee and Birch playing a little dress-up, and the girls there picked this out for me (I think they have magical powers, because it fit perfectly). As part of their one year anniversary in Grand Rapids, Michigan, they're having a party on Thursday, June 18th. from 6-9pm where I'll wear this same outfit! With ice cream, boho braids, live music, and 20% off in store, I can't wait.  Let me know if you're going by commenting down below, or RSVPing on facebook
Hope to see you there!
Love always,

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Perfect Pastel Polish : "Kip"

This picture was taken 4 days AFTER painting my nails!
You guys. I finally understand why Butter London nail polish costs an arm and a leg. After I had a coupon code for beautykind.com (a great and charitable organization btw), I decided to finally try one of their polishes out. And oh my, it's become my new favorite color! Since I'm currently working, I know it's frowned upon to wear the bright, summer polishes we all love. To be more professional, I've been wearing this light blue/gray color, and I can't get enough!

It has really sleek and sturdy packaging, and it applies oh so smoothly. I put on three thin coats (along with a base and top coat), and it hasn't chipped in days! I'd say it's prettttty much a lazy girl's dream polish. Ive found plenty of drugstore nail polishes that go on smoothly and are beautiful, but this stands out to me because it lasts such a long time. Even though I won't be buying $18 nail polish all the time, I would honestly say this is worth the splurge with something like birthday money! Treat yo self.
Overall rating: 4.5/5
Price: $$$

What's you favorite pastel polish?

Friday, June 12, 2015

Simple Mini Almond Muffins

Some topping ideas! Medjool date cinnamon glaze, melted chocolate, and coconut flakes. 

I'm pretty sure everyone can agree that miniature food is 1000x cuter than anything normal sized. This resulted in me making these cute muffins that baked in FIVE minutes! I was surprised at how easy it was, and it's fun to play around with different toppings. Since we didn't have any all purpose flour, I used the Ninja blender to grind whole almonds into flour, which I then sifted. Here's the recipe from a cute blog, The Road to the Farm (I looked everywhere for the easiest one haha). 

1 1/4 cups almond flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 eggs
2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup 
1/4 cup coconut oil, butter, (or oil of your choice) melted
Optional additions: vanilla or vanilla bean, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, zest of one lime, lemon or orange. 

- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease pan.
-Separately mix the wet and dry ingredients, and then combine. Pour in oil/butter, and pour into mini muffin pan, donut pan, etc.! 
-Bake for 5 minutes, and keep a close eye on them.
-Let cool for 10 minutes before adding any toppings.

I brought these to a friend's house, and no one even noticed that they were gluten free :) 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Local Loves: The Downtown Market

It's been ages since I did my last Local Loves post, and in my last post I talked about how much absolutely LOVE The Downtown Market. They always have different events each week such as yoga, cooking classes, teen summer camps, and more! Also, every Saturday morning during season is the farmer's market which has the cutest things. Seriously. From homemade popcorn to fresh picked peaches (my fave) I fall in love all over again every time I go. But the best part in my opinion, is the indoor market which is year round. It's so great during the frigid winter to still have a piece of the market open. After opening awhile ago, it has been in a great addition to Grand Rapids, mainly because it thrives on local products and businesses. 

All local ingredients at Taco El Cunado! It's SO GOOD.

Field and Fire baked goods. Oh yeah.
Sweetie-licious bakery! Too cute. 

If you're within a 45 minute drive of Grand Rapids, I highly highly recommend checking out the market on a busy day. Perfect for families, couples (there's a wine and cheese bar), and good old teens like me, there much to explore. Oh and once a month in the summer there is a Vintage Flea Market that is seriously so fun. Last year I bought an adorable vintage necklace for only $4 (what?!) If you don't live in Michigan, I would explore your own local area for gems like this. There are so many hidden spots left to find, and it's fun to go with friends and support your community. My next adventure: to find the perfect hiking trail in West Michigan!

 Thank you to Eventbrite for inspiring me to share one of my favorite spots in my city. They're a great organization to make your own, customized events and even sell tickets online through their site. It's a great way to spread the word online, for things like charity events, a 5K, or party! I know organizations like Smart Girls Group and The Bloom Workshop use their service, two things I adore.
I've always wanted to host an event where everyone gets dressed up for my favorite charity, Kids' Food Basket...maybe that'll be my next project? Let me know YOUR favorite local places/companies, and leave links too so I can check them out too! :)
*This post is NOT sponsored. Thanks for reading!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Habits I Want (need) To Form This Summer

I always think the summer is the best time to form good habits. Even though the New Year is all about "resolutions", it's so much easier at home, when there are less distractions (aka school). I can just focus on myself, and here are a couple of things that I hope to improve on. I've read studies say it takes 21 says for a habit to form, and I hope these become incorporated into my everyday life!

-Exercise Three Times A Week
With school and work, I definitely don't want to forget about my physical and mental health. I've grown to love exercising much more than I did last year, especially since I'm not in high school playing tennis all the time. I had to find other ways to exercise that I still enjoyed, and that took forever. My favorite things are strength training with dumbbells, and finishing up with cardio -sprints  or cycling! Those never get boring, and it's a great way to clear you mind while jamming out to George Ezra. 
-Catch Up With Friends
After a year in college, I've lost contact with a couple of friends through distance and time. It's always noticeable when you hang out with a friend for the first time in months, and it's like nothing has changed. That's when you know your relationship is strong. Friends are so important, and your friends need you too!
-Read My Bible 
I can't explain it, but even just reading a couple of verses always brings peace, wisdom, clarity, and most of all, love. I want to have a closer relationship with God, and reading His word is so important. Just waking up ten minutes earlier is all I need to do, and it's literally the perfect start to every morning! 
-Smile At A Stranger Everyday
I'm sure everyone has crappy days once in awhile....and I hope you had your day made from the actions of others. I remember having a bad night and ended up at bubble tea shop by my dorm at 1:30am. The barista asked me how I'm doing and I said "Ehh...", and he gave me my drink for free. Something so small made my night because I knew he cared, and why should we not try to do that for others as much as possible? (don't expect free bubble all the time haha)
-Wear My Retainer
I saved this one for last, because I haven't worn mine in errrr two months? For someone who had braces for a couple of years, the LAST thing I'd want to do is have all of that time go to waste having food stuck in my teeth (so attractive).  Wear your retainers, people! And that includes myself. 

This was fun to put together, and I'd love to know some habits you hope to form this summer, or your favorite Bible verse! 

Monday, June 1, 2015

A Little Life Update

Follow me on insta @petite_pastels to stay updated!
Whew. This first month of summer has been pretty crazy, but it's nice to always have something to do. I have no structure whatsoever for this post, but I always think those can be the most genuine posts. So far, my least favorite part of summer would definitely be the couple of summer classes I'm taking. Even though it's SO much cheaper to take them at my local community college, my motivation is basically (insert picture of Zero from Holes). I mean, who wants to do calculus 5 days a week...in the morning...in the summer?!1!

Other than that, I've been working in retail for the first time ever, and it's actually a lot of fun. The best part is definitely looking at all of the clothes and containing the urge to spend my weekly paycheck on the abundance of graphic tees. The biggest lesson I've learned would be to not let rude customers get to you. I've been in many situations where people will be upset about the littlest things and even yell at you even if you had nothing to do with it. It's weird to think that in retail, you come in contact with so many people all of the time, and you can really make (hopefully not break!!) their day. Weird.

On the days I have off, I'm finishing up the show Revenge, going to the pool, reading, lifting those HEAVY(5 lbs) dumbbells, and trying out new recipes. The usual. Oh and most recently, I've discovered some new blogs that I've been obsessed with! I'm working on a blogroll right now, and I can't wait to share it with you. Let me know your favorite blogs down below!