Archives for the month of: April, 2014

Some people don’t realize how big of a first impression your nails can make.  I talk a lot with my hands, so I try to keep them manicured, moisturized, painted and pretty, always ready to make appearances.  The only thing is, I can’t just get a simple polish & go mani, my nail bed is entirely too oily for that, so the nail polish peels right off like a sticker or chips within about two days or less.  I’ve tried the acrylic nails, tip added and that thins my nails out and severely damages the top layer of my nail.  I thought I had a winner with gel nails, BUT the biggest problem was, once again my oily nail bed.  The gel didn’t stick to my nail bed as long as it should have, like the average little lady, so the sides would lift, the areas around the cuticles and I could peel the whole layer off within a good week. I needed HELP, I wanted to get my money’s worth, I just want pretty nails, was that so hard to ask?!

One day, my co-worker, a customer of mine, one of the two, I noticed her nails and how polished, perfect, natural and neat they looked.  She said that she tried this new process/technique called NEXGENAILS.  It’s a simple process, repetition of dipping and painting, nothing harsh, nothing too fancy.  So, I think about a week after I learned of NEXGENAILS and I started to hear more and more women talk about it, I went to my local nail salon, my manicurist actually recommended it before I requested it, I loved it and I am hooked!

NEXGENAILS is probably the best thing that has ever happened to my nails.  I know I sound like some corny infomercial, but I’m so serious, LoL.  It’s a lightweight, powder formula, yet strong like acrylic, natural looking, helps my nails grow, non-yellowing, needs no primer and the shine to every color is awesome!  The color selection is huge, well at my salon, I always try to go with natural, barely there colors. Spring is pretty much here, so I might try light pinks or light neutrals.  I tend to be drawn towards natural shades, they make my hand look slim.  One of the biggest benefits though, which I know I need and love, it’s HEALTHY for your nail, it adds Calcium and Vitamin E.

So, next time you’re in the mood for a good manicure, you want to treat yourself, simply ask if they offer NEXGENAILS…I’m pretty sure they’ll have it, you’ll fall in love just like I did and get compliments galore just like me.

If you don’t already know, or if you haven’t figured it out from my Instagram posts, I’m on Weight Watchers…I LOVE IT!  It’s a great lifestyle change and my results are AMAZING, down about 25 lbs. since starting in early January.  It’s the first program that’s actually worked and I’ve kept the weight off by losing it slowly and doing things the RIGHT way!

With the support from my loving friends and family and some awesome websites (SkinnyTaste, My Skinny Sweet Tooth), it’s made this process easier and easier as I go.  Things take getting used to, temptation can be tough to NOT give in to, but I do it and the hard work and dedication definitely pay off.

So, I’m always thinking throughout the day what I want to cook, what recipe I want to try next, what site I want to go to and see what’s new.  This recipe, I had seen on several Google searches, other Weight Watchers-friendly sites and also on my girl Stef’s Instagram or FB (go visit her site if Curves Could Talk) , one of them, a while back.  She made them look SO good, so I HAD to try them…the Skinny Funfetti Cupcakes. I found the recipe on Six Sister’s Stuff.  It’s really simple, really quick, REALLY good (my brother thought otherwise) and only 2PP per cupcake, GREATNESS!

I’m going to go through it pretty quickly, give you pics and stuff, but for the DETAILED recipe and lots of other great recipes and pretty cool things, go to Six Sisters Stuff. First, I preheated the oven to 350 degrees, then I made the batter for the cupcakes, which was nothing but one box Pillsbury Funfetti cake mix and Sprite Zero.  All you do is stir until batter is smooth and there are no lumps.

Next, start scooping the batter into cupcake tins, about 1/4 cup of batter.  Let them bake for about 20 minutes, take them out and let them cool.  While they’re cooling, you make the frosting, IF you want frosting.  Once again, two ingredients: Fat Free Cool Whip and Fat Free Jell-O Instant Pudding Vanilla.  I didn’t have vanilla, so I used the cheesecake flavor.  Worked just as well, really.  Mix those two together, frost the cupcakes and I’m telling you, your sweet tooth will be one happy camper.

Easy right?! … E N J O Y ! ! !

If you’ve ever been to Houston, TX and driven by the corner of Travis St. & Alabama St., you’ll more than likely see a line about 50 or more people deep, wrapped around an open parking lot.  You’ll see kids playing and running around, men and women from all walks of life, young and old, conversing, laughing, waiting patiently to do what? Feed their faces at the breakfast klub!

Pretty much every time I visit Houston, it’s a must that I stand in that line, an hour, maybe more and feed my inner foodie.  It’s really a treat and always well worth the wait.  Mr. Marcus Davis, a Houston native himself, the MAN behind the breakfast klub, is a genius, pure genius.  Since it’s opening in September 2001, the breakfast klub has gotten recognized all over the the nation.  Named “best breakfast restaurants in the nation” by Good Morning America, USA Today, Esquire and Forbes. Sounds like a “winner, winner, chicken dinner to me”!

Now, if you ask anyone standing in line, I’m sure they’ll say they’re there for two famous signature items on the menu: wings & waffles OR katfish & grits.  I’ve had both and I don’t think I’ve EVER gotten up from the table without cleaning my plate.

wings & waffles…wouldn’t you clean YOUR plate?!

I’ll tell you one thing, that wait, an hour or more, I can not stress to you enough that every sweet & savory bite is worth it.  The wings, cooked and seasoned perfectly, the waffle, crunchy on the outside, sweet & soft on the inside and sprinkled with just the right amount of powdered sugar.   Everything comes to your table, hot, fresh and ready to devour.  I mean really, look at that plate above.  It’s perfection.  What I wouldn’t give to have that at my dinner table tonight SMH.  Back to the subject at hand as I snap out of my culinary daydream…listen, if you happen to visit Houston, or if you’re just passing through, trust me.  Trust Ms. Chay.  Wait in that line, I promise you will thank me forever.

***the breakfast klub

3711 Travis at Alabama

Houston, TX  77002

 

I look forward to Sunday Fundays!  What makes them even better is when it’s a beautiful day outside, great weather, not too hot, not too chilly and food, friends, family and drinks are in the equation.  Downtown Dallas, Klyde Warren Park is the place to be when the sun is shining and the birds are chirping.  It was my first time going and I had heard nothing but good things about it: nice dog park, huge grass fields, FOOD TRUCKS, walking trails, kiddie playgrounds, just a great, positive environment to really spend all day having a plain ol’ good time…

Of course, I went on an empty stomach, anticipating the casual, culinary choices.  The food trucks were lined up on the side of the street, open for business, some of them their lines 20-30 people long.  One of them stuck out to me.  The Nammi Food Truck.  I remembered bookmarking it on Yelp* and looking at the pictures as well.  All the food looked so fresh and full of flavor!  The line wasn’t too long either, so that was a plus as well.

Walking up, you see a variety of Asian chips, snacks and drinks to grab & go, but I wasn’t worried about all that…I wanted the REAL DEAL, the GOOD STUFF!  To the left of me, I see the menu.  Pretty simple and straight forward, not a huge list of confusing options, having you say to yourself, “What is that?!”  So, first you choose your meat.  I chose the Lemongrass Chicken. Then you choose your meal.  I went with the Bánh Mì, which is a Vietnamese sandwich on a 12″ baguette served with garlic mayo, cucumber, pickled daikon and carrots, jalapeños and cilantro as well as the meat that you chose.  I knew I would need something to wash all of this yummy goodness down and the Fresh Basil Mint Lemonade seemed perfect for just that.

The sandwich was huge! Piled high and made fresh to order.  The baguette was crispy on the outside, chewy yet soft in the middle, the mayonnaise spread really helped with that. Now, if anyone knows me, they KNOW I’m not a huge fan of cilantro at all.  It’s just too pungent and overpowering for me and the sandwich was finished off with it. To my surprise, it satisfied my taste buds combined with the sweet pickled carrots and radishes. I really liked it!

One of my favorite things about the Bánh Mì is the crunch of all of the veggies….the fresh cucumbers, the pickled veggies, even the fresh jalapeño which added just the right amount of kick. Even with all of the veggies and the mayo spread, the lemongrass chicken, which was seasoned perfectly, very juicy, I could taste it in every bite.  The taste was ever overpowered.  All ingredients meshed.  Like a perfect love story.  THEN, to wash it down with the fresh, bright, sweet & sour taste of the lemonade, not too sweet. Everything was DELICIOUS!

Now, I do plan on trying every last one of the food trucks at Klyde Warren Park.  I think my next one will be Ruthie’s Rolling Cafe.  Their specialty: GRILLED CHEESE.  I’m getting off track just thinking about my next foodie adventure SMH.  Wanna try Nammi?  You surely can.  They have a schedule of when and where they’ll be Monday-Sunday, BUT I suggest you do like I did and try it in a great, chill, relaxed, “Happy Sunday Funday” atmosphere like at Klyde Warren Park.  Sit in the sun, on a blanket, wind blowing and feed your face.  It doesn’t get any better than that.

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