Face Routine – Insta Peel Exfoliant

 

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I’ve been told by my friends that for being 30 years old I have a pretty clean skin. I was lucky to Grow up with a mom that was about skin routines. She, to this day will share her favorite products with me. I will always take her advise because her skin is flawless.

My daily skincare routine is pretty simple. I try to stay away from too many products. As a matter of fact, I don’t really wear that much makeup.  And if I do I make sure that it is good for my skin. I’m more about that natural look.

I was ecstatic to hear about the Earthen Skin Care collection! They were kind enough to send me their instant peel exfoliant to test out.

The package comes with 6 six single use packets inside. This is not be treated as a mask, but more so as an exfoliator.

Application:

-Steam your face for 5 minutes, then gently rub it on certain spots of your face. Until you feel that it has been exfoliated enough. After that wash your face off.

At this point my skin felt so smooth and clean. It was the best feeling! Earthen recommends you to use it weekly/bi-weekly/monthly. I personally use it once a month.

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Stay tuned for a full face routine with different products that I use. For now, know that this has been added to my rotation! I for sure loved the way my skin felt afterwards

You can check out Earthen products online here: https://earthenskincare.com/collections/frontpage/products/instant-peel-exfoliant

Look for this instant peel and tell me what you think about it! #instapeel

xoxo,

Nina

Disclosure: Nina Talks has received a free product for this review. All opinions are my own.

 

OUR PANDA POOL!!

As you might know, I Loves PANDAS! It’s an obsession I tell you… My kids love pandas too because of their cray cray mom. If you were to come into my home here is what you might find: Panda cookie jar, countless amounts of Panda stuffed animals, panda backpacks, panda jewelry, panda shirts, panda toys, panda food (bamboo), panda pictures, and more PANDAS!!

I’m telling you… We are legit OBSESSED! Look at the pictures below and at the end of it tell me you don’t like pandas either:

 

{images via google pictures}

It’s on my bucket list to travel to Thailand and visit the panda sanctuary and get to hold them and enjoy their company. I have yet to make it to the San Diego ZOO. They have the cutest pandas there. I might watch their panda cam from time to time when I need a little inspiration. It’s a crazy addiction I’m telling you. http://zoo.sandiegozoo.org/cams/panda-cam 

Do you have friends and family members that enable your addiction? My friend Stacie from over at Stacie’s Place always gets me the best panda gifts! *PS: check out her blog when you get the chance!

My kiddos have been waiting for summer to get here to so that we could get this PANDA pool set up. When Stacie found this for me, I might have cried a little. Look how cute this is you guys:

 

Our summer has been very exciting this year. Being able to stay at home with the kids means lots and lots of adventures. We have been soaking it all in. We all go back to school full time at the end of August. We will keep making memories until then. Stay tuned!

  

 

On Sundays we Brunch!

One of my favorite things about living in Salt Lake City is all the restaurant options. You should all know by now how much of a Foodie I am (working on getting my YELP account to Elite status). FOOD = LIFE. It’s funny because I keep thinking I have eaten at most restaurants here in Salt Lake City, but then Daniel keeps introducing me to the best hidden gems in town!

20170716_120646Last Sunday we were invited to attend a “Gospel Brunch with a whole lot of SOUL” at the Gateway Mall. After exchanging emails as well as finding out more about the event from their marketing manager we were in!

“There is great food supplied by Cubby’s, Bloody Marys made with Titos Vodka, coffee from 3 Cups as well as amazing live music by the Debra Bonner Unity Gospel Choir.”

We both went in not knowing what to expect. Since there was food involved, and live music, what more could we ask for?

When we first walked in we could tell right away how well organized this event was! The outdoor set up had this “intimate acoustic concert” feel. While the inside (where the food was) had this 5 star restaurant feel to it.

There were a lot of different choices for the food and we couldn’t just pick one! I mean, just look at all the pictures below… We were full by the time we left the event!

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Our spread varied from fresh fruit, breakfast burritos, biscuits and gravy, coffee, and tea.

Mimosas + Delicious Crepes = YUMM!

Live music was provided by Debra Bonner Unity Gospel Choir, a group of 40 singers that will bring you to your feet – clapping, swaying and stomping to the “joyful sound.”

We aren’t really Church going folks, as we do our own spiritual thing, but man oh man… That was awesome! I couldn’t help but smile from ear to ear as the beautiful music hit our soul!

Brunch with the love of my life… Delicious Food & great Music! What more could this girl ask for?

We Loved when they sang Michael Jackson’s Man in the Mirror:

I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
(If you wanna make the world a better place)
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change
(Take a look at yourself, and then make a change)

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Unfortunately this was the last brunch of the season! I sure hope that they bring it back next year! Another awesome thing that happened was running into my friend from High School. She and her husband were part of the choir. So fun!

After we enjoyed ourselves. We headed over to the theater at the Gateway and watched the new Spider-man movie. (Must watch BTW)

The Gateway was looking awesome! We couldn’t help but notice the improvements that have been made. I sure hope that they bring back the mall I used to know. There is so much potential here. I miss visiting it. Unfortunately there aren’t as many options as there used to be back in the day… Here is hoping that The Gateway continues to grow once again!

Disclosure: Nina Talks has received tickets for this awesome event. All opinions are my own. I 100% recommend you to attend one of these events! 

 

Chocolate Wine Cake

Chocolate & Wine are one of my most favorite combinations. How can one go wrong with that?

I have never been a big drinker as a matter of fact, I am very light weight when it comes to alcohol. Unless we are talking about wine. I can turn on sweet romantic melodies, drink wine, and make a delicious meal. Add dancing in the kitchen with Daniel, and we have the most perfect night!

Music moves my soul… It puts me into the best mood. Here are my recommendations for today’s post:

  1. My Girl – The Temptations 

  2. Stand By Me – Ben E King

  3. Can’t Help Falling in Love – Elvis Presley

  4. I Will Always Love You –  Whitney Houston

  5. I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing – Aerosmith 

  6. Take My Breathe Away – Berlin 

  7. More Than Words – Extreme 

  8. Truly Madly Deeply – Savage Garden 

  9. Listen To Your Heart – Roxette

  10. Much Too Young, To Feel This Damn Old – Garth Brooks

Today I’m sharing with you one of my most favorite recipes. The best part about it is that even if you don’t drink wine you can enjoy this deliciousness because the alcohol gets baked and you are left with a yummy combination of chocolate and wine.  Quick tip: Make sure that you buy DRY red wine(any brand will do). It won’t taste as good if you get a different version.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups dry red wine ( I used Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • Confectioner’s sugar, for dusting

How to:

    1. Preheat the oven to 350; Butter and flour a 12-cup bundt pan. In a bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
    2. In a large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter with the sugar at medium-high speed until fluffy, 4 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until incorporated. Add the vanilla and beat for 2 minutes longer. Working in two batches, alternately fold in the dry ingredients and the wine, until just incorporated.
    3. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a rack; let cool completely.

      *Via Food and Wine

I hope that you enjoy this delicious cake! Try if for your next night in with your loved one 🙂

xoxo,

Nina

 

 

 

 

 

Then she bawled her eyes out… But it was okay!

A few nights ago I found myself laying in my boyfriends bed bawling my eyes out…

Unfortunately, no matter how many times I wiped my tears away, they just kept rolling down my face. 

Daniel is such a kind hearted soul. Instead of asking me to stop crying or what the hell was going on. He just laid there with me. Squeezing me tightly, telling me how beautiful I was, and how much he loves me. He would run his fingers through my hair slowly and look me in the eyes, while I just sat there quietly wiping the tears off my face. It had been a while since I had a good crying session.

You see, I’m the type of person that lets all my emotions build up until I can’t take it anymore. I know, I know. It’s not good for me…

Although my transparency on this blog/Instagram is pretty raw-honest-lay it all out on the table; There are parts of my past that I chose not to share.

Unfortunately those parts of my past sometimes are what keeps me from moving forward. Life really is what you make of it. The Universe throws challenges your way; It’s how you respond to it, How you choose to move forward that makes you stand out from everyone else. We all have different ways of handling situations and if you think about it, its just part of being humans.

So what if I have been recently cursed with 7 years of bad luck? Job- Cars-Lost Phone-Money… (shouldn’t have shattered my mirror) Am I going to sit here and make you all feel bad for me? NOPE! I refuse to wallow in my own self pity. Instead, I’m making a list of things in life that I do have that bring me joy:

  1. I’m healthy. I have a roof over my head.
  2. I have the most beautiful and energetic children that keep me on my toes.
  3. I have the best family anyone could ask for! My mom/Sister are my best friends!
  4. I have the most loving, thoughtful boyfriend that makes me count my lucky stars daily.
  5. I’m almost done with College! I will soon be able to enter my dream Career.

 

 

On a beautiful Tuesday Daniel and I decided to go on a hike to Bells Canyon. The initial part of the hike was Hell! It was steep, and our heart rate was off the charts. After taking a few breaks I wanted to keep going up. He reassured me that we were so close and that it wouldn’t be uphill like the beginning of this hike was.

Daniel was my personal tour guide. He could do this hike with his eyes closed. He knew where each hill, flat areas, rocky areas, shaded areas, were. It was a great push and reassurance I needed to make it through this hike.

 

 

So there I was, admiring the beautiful view… Taking it all in. Listening quietly to the nature sounds. This hike was everything I needed after the cry session I had earlier in the week… My soul was shinning again. I was letting everything go. I kept thanking nature along the way for bringing me peace to my soul. As we reached the Waterfall, I took a deep breath and looked at Daniel with a huge smile on my face. Serendipity!

Oh! and If you are wondering how I lost my phone. Just close your eyes and picture the following sentence:

We both went on this magical adventure up a mountain. Upon reaching our destination (waterfall) my phone sacrificed itself to the Nature Gods. Leaving me phone less for a week.  

A FULL WEEK! But guess what? this girl survived. It wasn’t the end of the World. I made it work. I wasn’t attached to my phone for a week. It was amazing. Unplugging is one of the best advice I can give you.

What an adventure you guys!

xoxo,

One well-rested Nina

 

 

 

 

 

Harry Potter 5K Muggles battle Cancer with Dragons!

Today I’m Calling all Harry Potter Lovers!!! If you live in Utah there is such a fun even coming your way. Daniel and I wouldn’t miss this magical event so we will see you there! 

The event is at the Riverwoods on July 29 from 6:00-10:30PM.

The event is open to all and the 5k is $25. The 5k will start at 6:30.

There will be booths with games, face-painting, wand-making, s’mores, magical creatures, Horcrux Hunt, Costume contest, Quidditch ring toss, and a silent auction.

Mountain America Credit Union will be there with their “money machine” and Get Away Today will be there with their Sorting Hat.

There will be a magic show at 7:00PM. The silent auction will end at 8:00PM and the movie will start shortly thereafter (as soon as it’s dark).

via GIPHY

To register for the 5K go here:  http://www.active.com/provo-ut/running/distance-running-races/harry-potter-5k-muggles-battle-cancer-with-dragons-2017?int= 

What are you waiting for? Let all have an epic time in the best Harry Potter Way!

PS: We are totally dressing up!

See you there my lovely Muggles 😉

xoxo,

Nina

Disclosure: Nina Talks has received goods in exchange for this post. All opinions and LOVE for Harry Potter are her own. 

10 of The Best Graffiti/Murals Art in Salt Lake City, Utah

One of the coolest things about living Salt Lake City is the ART! We have so many local artists here. If you take a ride around town you are bound to run into one of these Graffiti walls. I love that they are always expressing their creativity for others to admire and enjoy. It sure makes it for an urban/edgy city! A cool thing about these graffiti walls is that there is a lot of respect in between the artist community that once something is painted on a wall, they usually won’t tag it. On a sunny Saturday afternoon, Daniel and I went on a mission to find our top favorites and to discover new ones as well! *Side note, he was such a trooper for driving around town with me looking for walls… Thank you babe!

The Best Street Art Wall Murals in Salt Lake City:

  1. “Greek Gods” 100 Foot-wall on Stone Unlimited Building off of 3000 South and 300 West. The Graffiti Artist is known by SRIL around these parts. He was hired by the company to cover this wall because they were tired of getting it tagged by random graffiti. I follow him on Instagram, and his work is out of this World! Shae Pertersen doesn’t use stencils. He just lets his imagination run wild. While checking out his website, I discovered that he has a Mural Map! What? I need to hit up every single one of them!

2. Fice Gallery – 160 E 200 S. Right across the street from Bar-X. I took so many pictures while there and I still feel like I didn’t get all the art. There is a little bit of everything! FICE is a premier sneaker and clothing Boutique. The owners wanted to highlight different artists from all over, thus creating this awesome gallery. The framed art changes often. I’m not exactly sure how often, but It is for sure worth heading out that way to check it out!

 

3. The Pie Hole Wall – 344 S State St. If you haven’t been to that area in town yet, I suggest you to go soon! The Pie hole is such a yummy pizza place, then there is a taco place, and for those of you that like dive bars. You need to hit up the Jackalope Lounge. The coolest people own it and they will treat you right! There is some sweet art inside too!

4.  SLC Pepper – 250 S. 400 W.  (Note: There is a gate around this wall now, it wasn’t like this before and you could walk right up to the mural. We took this picture through the gate). If you are a Beatles fan I bet you recognize this mural! It’s a remake of the original Stg. Pepper album cover. Awesome right?

5. Sea Turtle – 3739 South 900 East (hidden in the same parking lot as Fat Cats. Just go all the way to the back of the parking lot to your left and you will find it). This wall is also by SRIL Art. He is not finished with it yet, but I used to live across the street from this, and walked over here quite often. I can’t wait to see the finished product!

6. Ice Haus – 7 E 4800 S, Murray. This Mural is right by my place.  If you haven’t been to Ice Haus yet, I highly recommend it! They have the yummiest food! The murals are a little bit interesting. There is a cool “ice” glacier/mountains. Then a guy that looks like Bruce Lee. Next time I will do some martial arts move next to it!

7. Fear Factory – 666 W 800 S. Let me tell you a little bit about this area. Is a little sketch. To be honest with you, we stayed in the car to take this picture. Make sure to watch your surrounding while you are there. I still think is worth the drive out to check out the art! ( I might convince my boyfriend to come with me this Halloween).

8. “The Book Mural” – 222 S. Main Street. This was the hardest location to find! It’s hidden in a back alley behind Goldman Sacks. We legit drove passed the alley 3 times..

9. Crank SLC – 749  State St. This is a mural on the side of the Urban Bike Shop named Crank SLC. I love the bike details on the roof! The cool thing about this mural is that it highlights all the local bikeways!

10. The State Room – 638 State Street. The State Room is a cool and intimate concert venue in Salt Lake. The Mural is on the side of the building as well. Love the Jazzy/Blue grass feel of this mural!

BONUS Walls:

  1. Ave Maria – Right in the middle of FICE Gallery. You might miss it if you don’t look up. That’s what happened to us!
  2. Coke Wall –  31 West 400 South (Green Pig Pub) You will also have to look up for this one as well!

I know that there are still a few more around town. Do you have another favorite that I missed?

I hope you enjoy this list! I encourage you to get out there and explore your city!

Xo,

Nina

How to add multiple links to your INSTAGRAM Profile!

As blogger I used to dislike how there could only be one link at a time on my Instagram profile. I’ve always wanted to highlight more than one blog post.  I kept thinking to myself, there has got to be something out there that would solve this issue. So my friends, I did a little digging and research so you don’t have to. I finally found a way to add multiple links to an Instagram profile by using a website named Linktree

Here is my Instagram profile on the left, and my Linktree profile on the right:

Linktree is a free tool for optimizing your Instagram traffic, whether you’re a blogger, an artist or run a content.

  • One bio link: Help your followers discover all your recent content.
  • Multiple destinations: Send followers anywhere: articles, web store, events, socials and more.
  • Easily managed: Paste in new URLs, then drag and drop the links to reorder.

1. Visit Linktree &  sign-in with your Instagram handle.

3. They’ll automatically generate a URL short code for your profile. Here you can add different links (Whatever you would like) to your profile. You can also re-arrange the links, delete them, check to see how many clicks it had, and schedule it to disappear after a few hours. Here is what your profile looks like:

3. Lastly, you can change the appearance of your profile by going under settings:

There you have it,

After a few short steps you get to have multiple links on your Instagram profile!

THE HAPPIEST 5K ON EARTH!

*This post is an original from one of my old blogs, bear with me as I transition everything over to Nina Talks.
mother and son at the color run

The Color Run was founded in March 2011 as an event to promote healthiness and happiness by bringing the community together to participate in the “Happiest 5k on the Planet”. We are the original paint race and have created a completely new genre of running events that continues to grow exponentially. I remember running my first ever The Color Run a few years back, I went in not knowing what to expect. After the first color station I was hooked! Something about running, and then getting chalk thrown at you makes me excited about running. As some of you know, I loathe cardio… This race is different, makes me like cardio a little bit, and will always be on my Summer Bucket List!

Another thing that I loved about this day was being able to run it with my best friend Sarah & the best blogging friend I’ve ever had Stacie from over at Stacie’s Place. They made it for an amazing experience!

They also work with local organizations in various cities they host events in. The Color Run’s number one goal, as it relates to local charities, is to increase cause awareness. We want to help shine a light on important issues. We hope our Color Runners will spend time on the website of our partner charities, join mailing lists, attend other events hosted by the charity and become an advocate for these causes. We give our charity partners a microphone to speak to thousands of good hearted people.

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What made this years race different was having my son being part of it! Seeing his face light up with excitement once he realized what was going, was just priceless! He has the sweetest soul that brightens up any room! Sharing this special moment with him was amazing. I will always look back at that day and cherish it! I’m thinking that this is going to be a Mommy and son yearly tradition for him and I :)!

There you have it, a little bit more about one of my favorite races, you should check out their site to see if there is one coming to your town soon! http://thecolorrun.com/events/

Editors note: To this day, Logan talks about the Color Run! He has the best memories from it and every time he wears his shirt he tells everyone about that one time he had chalk all over his face!

He is Brazilian too? Our Love Story

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“This post is part 1 of Our Love Story “

I’m in LOVE! I’m in LOVE and I don’t care who knows it! (Name that movie) Okay so in case you can’t remember what movie this is from watch this quick clip: I’m in LOVE!

A few years back, him and I crossed paths… It was very casual.

If English is your second language, I can guarantee you have had this exchange with someone before:

  • Him: Fala portugues? 
  • Me: Sim? Eu sou do Brasil… E voce? 
  • Him: Eu sou do Rio De Janeiro, Da onde voce e?
  • Me: Oh Rio… Eu sou de Sao Paulo!
  • Him: Oh.. Prazer!
  • Me: Prazer Carioca! 

So you run into someone, and you can tell they aren’t from here. They are quite possibly from your home country. So you awkwardly say hi to each other. You tell each other where you are from, then you both get super excited about having a few things in common. You talk for a little bit, then you’re off to doing whatever it was that you were doing before (in our case:workout).

We then followed each other on our fitness Instagram accounts. But once again, I wasn’t having it! Maybe I wasn’t ready to date a Brazilian guy yet, I had heard so many different stories about Brazilian guys that lived in America. They had this alter ego. I wasn’t interested in finding that out… Although I could tell this Carioca was different than those other guys, I just honestly didn’t think of him that way just yet.

Thanks to Social Media, we were still able to keep tabs on each others lives. We would like each others picture casually here and there. Then one of us would post an amazing selfie and that person would casually comment on it. (is this a modern day love story or what?)

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The thing about Social Media is that you only usually see parts of someone’s life. Usually the good parts. That was not my case, I’ve always been pretty real-raw-pour-my-heart into-my-posts-type-of-girl. So this guy has seen it all! My daily struggles as a single mom, and one that was trying to balance work and school, and then many of my heartbreaks, and depression vent sessions all unfold on my Instagram account. (I was a hot mess express train)

The wall to my heart was taller then the wall of china. My heart was very dark too. It was going to take a lot of work for me to go back to my “happy and in-Love self”.

I’m not sure if you believe in the stars, or the Universe aligning. At this point it seemed like it was the only way us both were going to end up together…

2016 was a hard year for a lot of us. Lots of confusion, pain, and just hard times. To me, I was about to quit and trow in the towel. It wasn’t until I decided to go on the trip of a lifetime with my sister (Brazil & Peru) that my whole perspective changed. I finally found myself! I found my purpose in life. I was in LOVE!

Falling in love with yourself is a hard task to achieve. You have to truly believe in it. You have to make the necessary changes to achieve it, but I did it! Think of me as my own version of an independent girl (don’t need a man type of girl).

I remember having this conversation with a friend about dating. She looked at me and said: Girl! We have watched you get hurt, and just not work out with the guys you think you should date. Why aren’t you giving this Brazilian guy a chance?

Why didn’t I listen to my friends before? They had been watching my life from an outside perceptive. Dummy me!

Fast forward to the fall of 2016. I kept running into his pictures on Instagram.

This time, I didn’t just like his pictures. I did a little bit of digging… You know the basic stuff girls do: Single (check), Still a nice guy (check), still workouts out (check). This list could go on and on, but I already knew that it was finally time to make this happen.

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On a cold November night, after exchanging compliments on each others pictures back and forth, he texted me! To be be honest with you, I had forgotten he had my number… It was a nice little surprise.

To be continued…