Friday, October 20, 2017

Non-Scary Movies to Watch in October | Fall Happenings

Raise your hand if you're too afraid to watch horror movies. I refuse to see them. If scary films aren't your idea of fun, either, try any of these fun options below! You have probably watched them all before, but sometimes you forget about films you watched as a kid. What would you add to this list?

  • Mean Girls (On October 3rd)
  • Hocus Pocus
  • Casper
  • It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
  • Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Harry Potter (any)
  • Practical Magic
  • Edward Scissorhands
  • Beetlejuice
  • Twilight (any)
  • Matilda
  • The Addams Family

October Happenings:

Among my three-year-old's costume requests this year: Witch, pumpkin, robot, dinosaur, Princess Sophia, Elena of Avalor, wizard, and chicken. She has recently insisted on a dinosaur costume** the most, so that's what I ordered. She looks adorable in it. It's a bit long (She's 3 feet, 1 inch tall.) on her, but we will make it work.

**This post contains affiliate links. I make a small commission on purchases made through these links at no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting Floradise.

We also recently bought some affordable fall decor items. I would love to look for more if we have time this weekend. A peek at our fall decor:

I won these shakers in giveaway on the Small Towns and City Lights blog last year.

I finally picked up the Sweater Weather candle I like.

The pumpkin candy holder is from Target, while the leaf table runner is from Ross.

We switched up our tablecloth for an autumn print we found at Ross.

Besides shopping for V's Halloween costume and some home decor, we haven't had a chance to do any traditional fall activities. I'm counting down the days until we can visit a pumpkin patch, go to the Chicago Botanic Garden or Morton Arboretum, and bake Halloween cookies. Last year I made the fall bucket list below and I find that it's still relevant. What's on your fall list?

Related post:

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Saying Yes to My Well-Being

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #WellYesMoment #CollectiveBias

I've always considered myself to be a motivated and driven person. I am always saying yes to new classes, activities and opportunities, sometimes to my own detriment. I say this because in trying to do too much, I have sometimes neglected my own physical and emotional well-being. I came to this realization recently in my Moment of Yes.

This summer I woke up in the middle of the night in a panic about all the things I had to do. I had a never-ending list because I was taking on too much and trying to put on a one-woman show. I was trying to put out content almost every day of the week, I was trying to be a present mom who also works from home full time, I was trying to train for a half-marathon, and I was trying to explore and do as much as I could in Chicago. I was also trying to make plans with friends, go to yoga, take care of my plants -- the list goes on.

I tend to set many, many goals for myself to the point where it becomes overwhelming. This moment of panic and the feeling of being constantly exhausted taught me that there's a certain Yes I need to be saying: yes to my well-being.

This yes means more time without worrying about my to-do list. Yes to canceling plans if needed. Yes to giving my body time to rest without forcing myself to go out and do something, or to do another workout simply because I feel guilty about not doing it. Yes to really listening when my husband and daughter speak to me without thinking about something I should post on social media, something I need to finish at work, or something I need to get done that day.

Yes to the following ways to take care of myself:

  • Eat well.
  • Simplify.
  • Practice self-care.
  • Prioritize.
  • Be present.
  • And most important: Do less, relax more.

The moment I experienced reminded me that I need to feel nourished in all ways, including what I put into my body and how I spend my time.

So what changes have I made? Well, I am saying yes to things that are good for me and make me happy.

Yes to hiring a sitter when we need a date day/night or I need a break.

Yes to more yoga and taking care of my body.

Yes to more journaling.

Yes to eating delicious meals.

Enjoying a Well Yes!® Minestrone and Kale Soup

As part of my effort to be more mindful in all aspects of my life, I have been loving Well Yes!® Soups.

I've been making more of an effort to log off the computer to give myself time to enjoy my mealtime. The soups I've been loving include Well Yes! Minestrone and Kale, Tomato Carrot Bisque, Black Bean with Red Quinoa and Cajun Red Bean and Vegetable. Well Yes! Soups are flavorful and delicious and they're made from real, non-GMO and nutritious ingredients. The soups are crafted with care so that they contain no artificial flavors or colors. The can packaging is made with a non-BPA lining, too!

As a vegetarian, I am a big fan of soups with beans and lots of vegetables. I love easy-to-prepare meals even more, so Well Yes! Soups have been a win for me.
Cajun Red Bean and Vegetable Soup

Sometimes I enjoy my Well Yes! Soup on the patio for a nice change of scenery.

Black Bean and Red Quinoa

With plenty of Well Yes! varieties, you can switch up your favorite flavors and never get bored.
Tomato Carrot Bisque

Have you experienced a similar feeling of needing to find more balance? Also, have you tasted Well Yes! Soups yet?

Don't forget to enter the #WellYesMoment Sweepstakes in the widget below for a chance to win up to a $500 Visa gift card! It's as easy as clicking, logging in, and sharing your Moment of Yes story! If you win, think of all the ways you can use the prizing to achieve your Moment of Yes!

#WellYesMoment #Sweepstakes (10/14 to 11/17)

Connect with Well Yes!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Toronto and Niagara Falls Trip Tidbits

I already recapped the highlights of our Canada summer road trip, but I left out three more tidbits I wanted to share about our trip. We found that we needed much more time to really experience Toronto and Niagara Falls, but we are glad we visited when we could!
  • We were starving when we arrived in Toronto, but we had not made any reservations for lunch. Many restaurants around the harborfront had long waits, and we even tried going to Amsterdam BrewHouse only to be told they were no longer accepting dining parties -- for the weekend. We walked around the area near Rogers Centre, opting for lunch at an arcade restaurant named Rec Room  simply because it was one of the first suitable places we saw. It ended up being a perfect place to go with a toddler because we played games while we waited about 20 minutes for our table. The only non-toddler-friendly part: They gave us V's drink in a glass cup, which she knocked over and broke during the meal. You would think they would give a child a plastic cup. This reminded me I should bring a cup and toddler flatware to restaurants while traveling, but it wasn't that big of a deal. The outside of the restaurant is an old train depot also shared by a brewery. It was a popular spot before the Toronto Blue Jays game. 

The food was decent, but I really enjoyed the blueberry mojito! Our appetizer was calamari, and we ordered chicken and salad for Victoria.

  • We stopped by a park called Col. Samuel Smith Park on our way from Toronto to Niagara Falls to fly the drone. Most of the Harbourfront area was a no-fly zone, so we decided to find a park that allowed use of the DJI Mavic Pro. The park was beautiful. If we lived in the Toronto area it would be a nice place to walk your dog and spend time with family.

  • I also want to share our amazing hotel accommodations at Niagara Falls (Canada side)! We stayed at the Radisson Fallsview and our 13th floor room had an awesome view of the Falls. We couldn't stop staring at it! I would highly recommend booking a waterfall view room if you stay at this hotel. Note: Part of this stay was paid for with complimentary points I earned as part of a campaign I did with Radisson over the summer. 

Have you been to either Toronto or Niagara Falls?

Trip highlights:

Friday, October 13, 2017

5 Ways to Help Others

I'm someone who has always been driven by a desire to help others. (If you're into the 16 personality types, I would be an ISFJ.) I've been thinking about how to help others more so than usual lately. The barrage of national and international tragedies has deeply saddened me, but I refuse to lose hope, as hard as that is sometimes. I've been searching for ways to feel like myself again after such an off month or so. One of the best ways I've found some semblance of relief (besides journaling and trying to exercise) is helping others. If you, too, have felt as I have, you might be interested in these five ways to be more giving. I'm not claiming these are totally original but really just reminding you how easy it can be to be involved. Leave your own ideas in the comments!
  1. Donate blood, canned food, household items or money. It's impossible for many of us to help every cause right now, but so many people are in need: those affected by the California wildfires, the Las Vegas shooting victims,  Puerto Rico, Houston, and many, many more. Some of the groups I've given to: Unidos Por Puerto Rico, One America Appeal, JJ Watts' YouCaring page, and the American Red Cross.
  2. Volunteer your time at your favorite local organization. (Ideas include animal shelters, homeless shelters and food banks.)
  3. Offer to help someone with something the or she is struggling with. (I'm thinking babysitting for tired parents, buying a meal, helping someone carry groceries or with a household project, etc.)
  4. Send a care package to service members or veterans.
  5. Write to lawmakers about issues you care about and laws you support or don't want passed. Voice your concerns. Also, vote!
What would you add to this list? Any plans to give back this holiday season?

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Spicy Jalapeño Tuna Cakes

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #VivaLaMorena #RediscoverLaMorena #CollectiveBias

Lately I've been feeling homesick. Not just for my family, favorite places and friends, but for the food. I am also in a dining rut. I am a pescatarian and tend to eat the same meals over and over again. However, I constantly crave the dishes my parents and family make. Not only do they make amazing Mexican food, but the fish and seafood they prepare is the best! (I'm not biased at all!) Why do I think so? I come from a family who fished in the Sea of Cortez (and beyond) in Mexico.

My grandpa was a fishing captain in Mexico.

I sadly didn't inherit or try hard enough to learn their secrets. Now, the closest I can come to replicating the flavors of home is by trying new recipes and incorporating the spiciness I love into them.  One such discovery: the Spicy Jalapeño Tuna Cakes I've been trying. They're super easy yet flavorful! This was a little out of my comfort zone because I was not used to eating tuna in this way. I typically just add jalapeños to my tuna salad, which is also delicious, by the way!

I find what I need to make the tuna cakes at Jewel-Osco. I picked up LA MORENA® Whole Jalapeños (28oz) and LA MORENA® Chipotle Sauce because I know the brand has provided the highest-quality traditional flavors for over 45 years. While the recipe only requires a 7 ounce can, I always pick up the 28 ounce option because I place the leftover jalapeños into a glass jar and always have them handy when I want to top my meals with them. You can also pick up LA MORENA® Sliced Jalapeños (7 or 28 ounces) if you prefer.

Spicy Jalapeño Tuna Cakes:

Note: Only one egg is necessary for the Spicy Jalapeño Tuna Cakes. I suggest using two LA MORENA® Jalapeños unless you really enjoy spiciness. Chop the jalapeños as finely as possible.
Makes about two or three tuna cakes per can, which is enough for two or three per person.

1 egg, beaten
2 5-ounce cans of tuna (4 ounces of drained tuna, each)
1/2 cup of chopped cilantro
3/4 cup of plain breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons of mayonnaise
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/3 chopped red onion
2-3 LA MORENA® Whole Jalapeños, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 tablespoons of olive or vegetable oil

Note: Only 1 egg is needed. Exact measurements not pictured.

Combine beaten egg, tuna, cilantro, half of the breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, lemon juice, red onion, LA MORENA® Jalapeños, salt and pepper in a bowl in mix. Using a 1/4 measuring cup or a spoon (or your hands), pick up some of the mixture and form a patty in your hands. Place the remaining breadcrumbs on a plate, then roll each side of the patty into the breadcrumbs until covered. Place two to four of patties on the heated, oiled pan at a time and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes per side.

Each can of tuna makes about three patties, depending on how big you make them in your hands. If you prefer them to be more crispy, cook them for a bit longer on each side. You can enjoy them on a bed of lettuce or spinach if you'd like more greens!

I also like to drizzle a Chipotle sour cream sauce made with LA MORENA® Chipotle sauce on them. It's the same one I put on my savory breakfast tacos, which I shared recently.

For the Chipotle sour cream sauce you will need:
1/3 cup of sour cream (or crema Mexicana)
4 tablespoons of LA MORENA® Chipotle Sauce.
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper

Mix all ingredients in small bowl or ramekin. Add more LA MORENA® Chipotle Sauce as preferred in 1-2 tablespoon increments. Drizzle some sauce on your favorite dishes for added flavor. You can make more than you'll need and save it for later. It goes on just about anything!

Note: Be sure to transfer the leftover LA MORENA® Chipotle Sauce to another container and store it in the fridge for later use in your favorite dishes. See my savory breakfast taco recipe here.

And now I need to master crab cakes! Have you tried LA MORENA® products? What's your favorite dish to make?

Connect with LA MORENA®:

Friday, October 6, 2017

Everything I Own: Nail Polish, Perfume and Makeup

** This post contains affiliate links. I make a small commission on purchases made through these links at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting Floradise!

I've recently been hooked on minimalism vlogs and blogs. One YouTube channel in particular, Femme Life, inspired me to share what I have in an Everything I Own series. Taking a good luck at what's in my home has helped me declutter even further, rediscover items I want to use more and make future purchasing decisions. It's also helped me avoid the temptation to shop for unnecessary items.

I'm starting with items in my bathroom because that's the easiest. I keep my makeup in a three-drawer storage container. Everything fits except my Carli Bybel palette, which sits on top. Everything listed is cruelty-free except one perfume at the bottom of the post.

Eyes and Brows:

  • NYX Tinted Brow Mascara: I just bought this and I am not sure how I feel about it yet. I previously used a Milani brow gel I wasn't crazy about. I don't currently have a brow pencil because I just used up my ABH Brow Wiz.
  • Ciaté London Wonderwand Intensely Volumizing Mascara: I received this for free from Influenster. I haven't made up my mind about it yet. 
  • Wet N Wild Mega Volume mascara: I don't like this. It's too wet. At this point I'm just using it up.
  • Essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara: I love it!
  • Ciaté London Fierce Flicks eyeliner: I have been loving this as well. It's been my go-to lately. It was also sent to me from Influenster for free.
  • NYX Matte Liquid Liner: I only used this a few times before I received the Ciaté liner, so I need to use this more to know how I feel about it.
  • Essence Gel Eye Pencil: I think this is too thick and not smudge proof, which it claims to be. I just want to use this up if I can.


  • BH Cosmetics Carli Bybel Deluxe Edition 21 Color Eyeshadow & Highlighter Palette: This also contains highlighters. I use it for everyday looks. I haven't used the purples in the palette as much as I thought I would.
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Eye Shadow Palette: My most used shades are Burnt Orange, Raw Sienna, Primavera, Golden Ochre, Antique Bronze and Cyprus Umber. I have not touched Realgar, which is an orange color. I also have only used Venetian Red a couple of times but I find this purchase to be worth it for all the other shades I listed.
  • Makeup Geek single eyeshadows: I use these the most for everyday makeup. I own Burlesque, Cocoa Bear, Peach Smoothie, Cosmopolitan, Creme Brulee, Shimma Shimma and Glamorous. The biggest dents are in Peach Smoothie and Creme Brulee.

Blushes and Highlighters:

Lip Products:

  • Random lipstick from my grandma. I'm not even sure what brand it is, but it's a nice nude.
  • Colourpop Ultra Satin Lip in November and Alyssa: I don't need both of these, but November is almost out. They are so similar.
  • Wet N Wild lipsticks in Dark Wine and Bare It All: One is great for fall and the other for everyday wear. I had Spotlight Red but my toddler somehow got her hands on it and destroyed it. I liked that one for the holidays.
  • e.l.f. Matte Lip Color in Wine: I never use this but I need to this fall. This was sent to me last year by Influenster.


Primer/Setting Spray:

Nail Polish:

Snickerdoodle, Miss Honey, Olive, Prince Cornelius, Das Esspensive XXV and Gumption

I store my nail polish and perfume in the packaging that the Tory Burch perfume came in. It was an easy way to reuse the box without creating more waste. I also keep my nail clippers in there.
  • KL Polish in Snickerdoodle, Miss Honey, Olive, Prince Cornelius, Das Esspensive XXV and Gumption. I love all of these colors. I haven't worn Prince Cornelius yet. It's a new addition along with Olive. I like her polishes because they last longer on me than other polishes.
  • Wet N Wild 1 Step Wonder Gel in It's Sher-bert Day.
  • L.A. Colors Color Craze Nail Polish, Shade 207. I found this at a dollar store. I rarely wear it but I want to use it up. 


  • Flora by Gucci in Generous Violet: I wore this on my wedding day. I still have some left and I want it to last as long as possible.
  • Tory Burch rollerball perfume: I got this as a Valentine's Day gift from Graham. I am not sure if this perfume is cruelty-free, though, or if that is something to consider with perfume. They came in a trio but I'm giving one that hasn't been used to my mom.

What does your collection look like? Do you have a bronzer or brow product you recommend? Let me know in the comments!

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