Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday Melodies Link-up #1

Hey y'all! 
So, SUPER sorry I missed Monday Melodies last week. It was just a really late Sunday and I was not feelin' the blogging vibe. Today is the first link-up opportunity, so I'd LOVE for you to link up any recent music-related posts (concert recaps, playlists, etc), at the bottom of this post. Like I said two weeks ago, my theme for this playlist is summer, so I've put together some of my favorite summer songs today. 


Knee Deep- The Zac Brown Band. Yes, this song is country as cowboy boots and horseback rides, and yes, I am a California girl through and through, but there's just something about this song that evokes summer and relaxation for me. 



Walking on Sunshine- Aly and AJ. This song is my happy place. It's my pump-up song, my happiness song, and my summer song. 

                                        


All Summer Long- Kid Rock. Besides the obvious title, this is just an all around fun song with good vibes that make me think of nights at the beach bonfire, playing a guitar and chilling with friends and family.


Life is A Highway- Rascal Flatts. Summer usually means at least one road trip for my family, and this is the perfect roadtrip song to sing to with the windows rolled down on the highway. Also this is in Cars which is like the best movie ever.

Rather Be- Clean Bandit ft. Jess Glynne. This may not have anything to do with summer, per se, but it's my current jam and it's summer, soooo? Plus its my blog and I do what I want.

In light of our upcoming family road trip to Crater Lake, I'm centering next week's playlist around my favorite road trip songs, and you're welcome to do the same, although you don't have to :)

                                             
OKAY now's the fun part you've all been waiting for. Link up your music related posts below!

xo, Hima

Thursday, June 26, 2014

RECIPE: Basic Smoothie Bowls


Hi y'all!  So the other day I was scrolling through my Facebook feed, and this amazing article about smoothie bowls popped up. One click and I was literally obsessed. I really needed to step up my smoothie game, so I decided to try it out after getting back from art class today. My favorite thing about smoothies in general is that they're so easy and you can make them with whatever you have. I'll post what I used, as well as a general recipe you can use :)
Smoothie Base: 

+ 1 cup almond milk, or other milk of your choice
+ 2 cups fresh spinach or other greens
+ 1/2 cup frozen mango
+ 1/2 cup frozen pineapple

I really don't like putting berries in green smoothies because it turns this muddy shade of brown, and although it's delicious, it's not the prettiest thing ever!

Toppings: the best thing about smoothie bowls is the toppings because it's like froyo but healthy! Here's my formula: 
+  sliced banana, 1/2 to full depending on size
+  something crunchy, like granola or cereal
+  something fun and totally up to you :)

Smoothie bowls and I...it was love at first blend! I know smoothie bowls will be part of my regular routine from now. Don't forget to follow me on Instagram to keep up with my food/smoothie bowl adventures!

xo, Hima

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

RECIPE: The Great Wall of Chocolate Trifle Pudding

Hey y’all! So last week, we had a Fathers’ Day,-birthday-graduation brunch (which meant we got their at 11 and didn’t get home until 9 PM) party, and my friend and I were tasked with making dessert.
Let’sbehonest here- what’s better in the summer than a trifle? I had never made anything but a fruit trifle before, so we decided to try our hands at something chocolatey. And oh it was chocolatey. So chocolatey.
The thing about a trifle is that you need a lot of layers, and they need different textures. Smooth and light, rich and heavy, crumbly , and crunchy. Because we had to make do with what we had at home, we made some substitutions, but they turned out well.

Alright, so the layers from bottom to top:

-Brownie: some people prefer to crumble this, but we baked a batch and cut out a circle to go on the bottom of the dish
-Dark Chocolate pudding: with all the sweetness in there, you’ll appreciate this being slightly lighter
-some kind of white cake: We happened to have cinnamon rolls lying around the house, so we just used those and it wasn’t bad!
-More chocolate pudding
-Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse
            -Put together desired amount of chocolate chips, peanut butter, and half and half OR heavy whipping cream into a bowl and microwave for 2-3 minutes, taking it out to stir every 30 seconds. Adjust ratio of chocolate chips to peanut butter after
-Puppy Chow/Muddy Buddies, whatever you want to call it. I’ll be doing a separate post on this later, but for now, I just linked a recipe. We didn’t have Chex at home, so we used Cinnamon Toast Crunch and it turned out well.
-Chocolate Mousse: Mix lots of Cool Whip into the pudding- and refrigerate: it works, I swear
-Brownie bits: we used the leftovers form our base
-Cool Whip, for color
-Top with a final layer of the peanut butter chocolate mousse and some brownie bits.

Remember to refrigerate this for a couple of house before you eat, because this is at least 17 times better when cold.



Okay, does that sound amazing or what!? Go ahead, pin it (I will love you forever if you do), and make it for your next summer get-together. Everyone will love it, and it’s so easy! If you have any questions, put it in the comment section below, or email me at himahearts@gmail.com.


Xo, Hima

Friday, June 20, 2014

The 10 Calorie Starbucks Frappucino

Hey y'all! So for me, summer means heat, which means the inevitable craving for a cold drink. Since I'm not a huge iced coffee drinker, I gravitate towards frappucinos. They're delicious, but they can run upwards of 450 calories and $4, which can add up to a lot! After seeing a deliciously frothy-looking 10-calorie drink on Instagram (@pbeechie), I was inspired to do a little experimenting of my own, and I've come up with what I think is the perfect Starbucks drink. It's a little lighter calorie and money wise, which is always a win!
Okay, so this comes out a little differently each time (which accounts for the color difference in the pictures), but it's delicious!
  • Venti cup, filled 3/4 of the way with ice and water
  • double blended with
    • 1 pump espresso (this is up to you, but I can't take too much coffee)
    • 2 pumps sugar-free caramel syrup
    • 2 pumps sugar-free vanilla syrup
Your barista might hate you, but it shouldn't be too bad if you write it down on your phone and show it to them (yes I did this oops), and it comes out to $2.00-2.50!


Let me know if you try this, because it's bomb! :)

xo, Hima

Thursday, June 19, 2014

100 Happy Days | Days 78 - 87

Hey y’all!  This week I started my summer art class, which I’m super excited about. Who knows- maybe I’m destined to be an artist and I’ll find that out through this class! Just kidding, but hopefully I’ll actually make some friends (this is a legitimate worry I’m not kidding) and produce some pretty room décor. Today’s #100HappyDays recap is the third to last, and I’m really happy about that, so let’s get right into it!
Day 78: Last week, my family and I went out to Castle Rock State Park for some afternoon exploring. This is my favorite place to hike, because it has this giant boulders that are really fun to climb, and I’m always challenged to find new ways up the rocks and to get myself up to the highest point possible. I love that we only have to drive 20 minutes to get to this beautiful place.


Day 79: Shroots and I went back to our old elementary school to visit our teachers from 10 years ago. It's crazy to think they've known us since we were six years old! Both of us have been pretty good at keeping in touch with them, but it was nice to see them as always!

Day 80: The strawberry poppyseed salad at Panera is my favorite salad ever, so every opportunity to have this salad is happy!


Day 81 (1): One of my best friends and I biked out to this adorable little coffee shop called Chromatic Coffee, and we both really liked it! My coffee tolerance isn't that high, so my drink was basically milk with ice and some coffee, but she really liked her cold brew! Also they serve them in mason jars like is that not the best thing ever?

Day 81 (2): Remember on my summer bucket list, how I said I wanted to bike 20 miles? Well I almost did it. I was SO disappointed to map out my route and see that it was only 19. But I burned over 1000 calories which is as good as it gets! Hopefully I'll get to 20 this weekend!

Day 82: I'm in love with her and this picture. I'm not obsessed with The Fault in Our Stars like everyone else on the planet seems to be, but this looks so much like the movie poster!

Day 83: This picture is from February (oops). But cupcakes. 

Day 84: My friend and I made the "Great Wall of Chocolate" for a Fathers' Day/birthday/grad party- recipe will be up next week!

Day 85: Fathers' Day! Please enlighten me as to why my parents thought it would be a good idea to have a "western" shoot 11 years ago other than to look back and laugh at the pictures. 

Day 86: Summer workout buddy + bffl!

Day 87: Art has not been a total failure. It's quite relaxing actually!

Aaaand that's another #100happydays recap done! Have any of you ever taken an art class? Let me know what you liked (or hated!) about it in the comments below!

xo, Hima

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

On Junior Year

They say junior year is the hardest year of high school, and based on my experience from the past year, I'd have to agree. I also think, however, that it was the best year. Junior year was a rollercoaster in every way possible, and I thought it would be fun to reflect on a few of the aspects that had the biggest influence on my junior year. Also I chose some of my fave pictures from this year to break up the text!

Academics
School was hard this year. My classes challenged me, which was good, and I found that I was capable of a lot more than I thought. I took Calculus this year, and I really struggled first semester, not just with the material, but with learning in my teacher's teaching style as well. I honestly gave up towards the end of the semester, and I didn't have a ton of motivation. I really wanted a fresh start second semester, so I put everything from first semester behind me and worked my butt off and ended up getting a solid A second semester, which made me really happy! To be honest, there were other academic successes and failures, but this made the biggest impact on me, and it's what I'm the most proud of.

 selfie with the principal is a must. 

Extra- Curriculars
This year, I was able to cut down on some extraneous activities, and focus on things that really mattered to me. One thing I regret doing is quitting piano, but hopefully I’ll be able to get back to it, even recreationally, this summer and throughout next year, because it’s definitely a stress-reliever. Personally, I feel like I grew a lot as a leader this year- I learned how to charm people, how to work with others even if you don’t necessarily have the best relationship, and how to balance a workload. Hopefully I’ll be able to continue this next year- super excited for this! I have also been loving working at my lab in San Francisco! I actually really like the train commute, because there’s no Wifi, so I can write or read without distractions from the internet. It’s been amazing to meet so many inspiring people at the lab, and to see how I’m starting to understand more and more of what is going on. I remember going into a meeting on my first day and wondering what the heck I was getting myself into. I still have those moments, but they’re much less frequent.


Friends
I firmly believe that the people who stick with you when times are tough, or when things are stressful, are the ones who will stick with you for life. I feel like the friends I made and kept through this year, are definitely diamonds in the rough, because they are all such sweet, caring people. I can call them when I’m worried about something, and they’ll just drop everything and talk me through it. They know when I have important things coming up, and always ask me how it’s going. It’s not ever awkward around any of them, and we never run out of things to say or do, and I just love that feeling. Also, this is a little on the lighter side, but you know you’re best friends with someone when instead of smiling at them in the hallway you make the ugliest face possible no matter what the people around you might think.

Family
My mom always says that there is no one who loves and supports me more than my family, and I agree completely. Yes, some times there is tension at home- but let’s be real- my parents are business owners, and on top of all the stuff that’s going on at home, they’re responsible for the livelihood of almost 200 people in the US and overseas, so there are bound to be some stressful days. I might not say it enough, but I love my family, and all of our quirky traditions. They have been so supportive this year, whether that means making me cups upon cups of tea when I’m studying at midnight, or always willing to drive me somewhere, they’re the best.
clearly my junior year fashion sense revolved around comfort.
Blog
It may sound silly, but this blog is a big part of my life. I’m a social creature, so just journaling and writing my thoughts down for myself isn’t necessarily enough for me. I like the fact that I have my own little slice of the Internet to write whatever I please. I like that there is one thing in my life that I can do on my own terms- nothing is for credit, has to have a certain number of words, or has to be in a certain format. It’s all up to me, and I like it that way. I know that my ability to articulate myself has increased immensely because of the this blog and what I’ve written here, and I treasure that ability as I start the college application process.

So, that’s it. Another year in the books. I just want to take a moment to thank everyone who made my junior year so very special, and here’s to hoping senior year is even better!

Xo, Hima

Sidenote: I’m waiting for the train right now and I’m SO distracted by all the people walking by. Maybe this whole no wifi thing doesn’t really help if I’m just looking at people’s outfits.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Monday Melodies: Workout Jam + Big Announcement!

Hey y'all! Like I said last week, this week's playlist is all about workout music. I've been scouring Spotify for great workout music all week, and I think I've found some songs that y'all are definitely going to want to add to your lists!
Also, Marla told me that I should make this a link-up, and I was a little hesitant at first because- let's be real- I have no idea what I'm doing! But then I decided that I can do whatever I want, so I'm trying out this whole link up thing. It'll be starting NEXT week, so please please please come link up your playlists and get the word out on Facebook, Twitter, whatever you use! Also, if you're interesting in co-hosting, I'm 1000% down- just email me at himahearts@gmail.com!

1. I Love it- Icona Pop. This song is a) the epitome of summer, and b) has a fast paced beat that is sure to get your heart pumping!


2. Halfway There- Big Time Rush. Okay, so this is pretty embarrassing, but when I was 11 or so, I used to watch Nickelodeon, and this was one of the shows on there. I've always really liked this one song for working out, and it inevitably goes through my head during a particularly difficult workout!


3. Can't Hold Us- Macklemore. Yeah, because my ability to run through the next mile can't be contained!

4. This is How We Do it- Montell Jordan. Classic music, to be honest. It's one of those songs that will still be iconic in 20 years, and the repetitive beat and uncomplicated lyrics are perfect for a difficult workout.

5. Pura Vida- Don Omar. Backstory: My Spanish teacher of two years at school would always play music while we worked, and this year, all my friends and I got really into it, and started listening to Spanish music. This song is one of my faves! It's like fresh and tribal-y, but still classic Don Omar!

So there's my list for the week! Next week's theme will be SUMMER, so be sure to 1. Come back and link up your summer playlists, and 2. Email me at himahearts@gmail.com if you'd like to cohost!

xo, Hima


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

100 Happy Days | Days 70 - 77

Hey y'all! I just got back from bike riding 8 miles in 95 degree weather, so I'm super tired, but I'm also really happy to just sit down in front of the fan and blog away. (No homework because school is over YAY!) I thought it was time for another installment of #100happydays, so enjoy!

Day 70: Although I didn't have a lot of finals to study for, I had to read this book, and these were my study essentials! Also, my giant mason jar cup is my favorite thing ever. 

Day 71: I haven't really announced this on the blog yet, but I cut my hair! 7 inches, to be exact. It took a little getting used to, but I love it now!
Day 72: We went to Vasona Lake to decompress a little, and it was too glorious not to post a picture of. Look at the water and how blue it is!
Day 73: I found my 6th grade school photo and figured out that I literally have not changed since middle school. This is a serious issue you guys. I was getting on the Caltrain the other day, and the conductor asked me if I was using my older sister's high school ID from the beginning of this year. Awks because that was me last August!

Day 74: My friend Somya and I baked cookies from scratch for all of our teachers and friends for the last day of school and they were amazing. I'll be sure to post the recipe sometime, although I didn't take any pictures!
Day 75: We had our end of year leadership banquet, and I just had to take a picture with Tara. She may of may not have asked if she could be one of my happy days ;) She's so sweet and funny that I was definitely happy to post this adorable picture with her. 
Day 76: Graduation! It was truly bittersweet to see the seniors graduate on Friday, because they're truly such an amazing class and I'm going to miss them, but it was also so cool to officially become seniors!

Day 77: This is Gauri, and she has just been such a rock for me through this year. We also finally got this adorable picture, and I couldn't help but post it!

And that wraps up this week's edition of #100HappyDays. I can't believe I'm almost done with this project- expect a recap at the end! :)

xo, Hima

Monday, June 9, 2014

Monday Melodies: Productivity Playlist

                                 
Hey y'all! So I've been thinking about having separate themes for each week of Monday Melodies, and I decided to start off this week with a few songs that really help maximize my productivity, and will hopefully help you too!
1. Crazy in Love- Emeli Sande. Although this was by request from one of my friends, I really love this song from the Gatsby soundtrack. It honestly sounds like it's from the 20s and it makes me want to Charleston my worries away in a fringed flapper dress. 


2. Whole Wide World- Mindy Gledhill. I'm not a huge fan of the video, but I really like her voice- it's so light and clear! The lyrics of the song itself are really nice too.

3. Escape (The Piña Colada Song)- Jack Johnson. Who doesn't like this song? It's the epitome of summer, and Jack Johnson's voice is literally melting butter. 



4. Titanium/Pavane Mashup- the Piano Guys. The rich melody of this song combined with the lack of lyrics inspires everyone to write out pages of notes or do tons of math problems. The Piano Guys in general are very productivity-inspiring.

5. Radio- Lana Del Rey. Most of the time, Lana's voice is too soothing for me, and I just fall asleep, but something about this song is really nice for getting stuff down. I'm listening to it as I write this post actually :)

And that's this week's edition of Monday Melodies! Next weeks' theme is an awesome workout playlist, so be sure to leave any of your favorite workout songs in the comments below!

xo, Hima

                                                                         

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Summer Bucket List

Hi y'all!
So my finals are basically over, which means school is over, which means summer is here! While I've definitely got my work cut out for me this summer with my job, college apps, homecoming, and an art class I'm taking at Community College, I'm still planning to have a ton of fun. I love making bucket lists, and so I thought I'd make one for the summer and revisit at the end to see what I've accomplished!

*Go to the beach with friends

*Build a sandcastle (not a snowmen hehe)

*Do a photoshoot with the friends

*Build a lightbox

*Go to a midnight movie premiere, hopefully the Giver

*Hike Mission Peak again!

*Go paddleboarding

*Tie-dye a shirt

*Have a bonfire

*Make cake pops

*Have a picnic

*Organize and download my music

*Go on a 20 mile bike ride

*Spend a day complimenting strangers

*Decorate my room more

*Make a memory jar

That's all for me- I want to keep it manageable! Tell me, what are you hoping to do over summer?

xo, Hima



Monday, June 2, 2014

Let's Shake Things Up a Little

Hey y'all! It's Monday, which, normally isn't the best, but it also marks my last week of school, and a finals-less finals week (Most of my finals were before the AP  tests/are projects), so I'm pretty happy!
Today, I thought we'd do something a little different from (what has become) the usual photo dump. I've been finding some really great music lately, and I wanted to share some of it with y'all.

I also wanted to make it a little more regular, so I bring you Monday Melodies! Every week, I'll share a few songs I'm really loving right now, along with their videos, as well as embed a running Spotify playlist that y'all can follow!

1. Dare (La La La)- Shakira // Not only is this is the Brazil 2014 theme song, it's also the catchiest thing ever. To be honest, it just makes me want to dance. All. the. time.


2. New York, New York- Frank Sinatra // This song makes me want to go to New York and dance in the middle of Times Square and gallivant around Central Park. Also Sinatra has the voice of God- let's be real. 

3. Bounce- Iggy Azalea. We all know that Iggy is the epitome of fab, and this song, while completely meaningless, is one of those songs that gets in your head, and gets your fingers tapping, feet shuffling, and in general, dancing. Also, the video is the most visually pleasing cultural appropriation video I've ever seen. 

4. Read All About it- Emeli Sandé. Although it has a less positive tone than the other three videos, this is one of the most beautiful songs I know. It is possible that you will cry while watching this video. If you do anything today, watch the video. It's just so amazing!



And we'll finish out with that for that day. If you have any suggestions for me, I'm always looking for new music, so feel free to leave it in the comments below! Also, don't forget to tell me- what's your jam right now?

xo, Hima