Gin is In


“It’s cheap…It’s gross…It’s for old people…It’s too dry.” You guys have no idea how many times I have heard those statements about my beloved gin. Just ask the bartender at my favorite dive bar and she’ll tell you how near and dear to my heart gin is. While  whiskey and bourbons are all the rage right now, gin should be what you’re ordering at the bar. Unlike it’s fun cousin tequila, gin is a little trickier to drink. You can’t just take a shot and expect to have a good time  (well you can, but I wouldn’t advise it).

    • You can technically take shots of anything, but do not take shots of gin. Gin is meant to be mixed. Some purist gin hipsters might insist you sip on gin like you would a bourbon, but I’ll stick to my gin cocktails.
    • No two gins are alike. While the base of gin is the juniper berry, there are different botanicals added depending on the brand. For example, Hendrick’s will give you a cucumber and rose flavor, while Bombay Sapphire East will have hints of citrus and pepper. Knowing your gin will make for better cocktails.
    • Gin and tonics originated in the British Colonies. The quinine in tonic water helped combat malaria, and gin was added for flavoring and to help combat scurvy. Knowing it was used as “medicine” kind of makes me feel better about drinking 2 gin and tonics on a Wednesday.
    • Bathtub gin originated during prohibition, and that’s how gin gained its negative reputation. Bathtub gin could hardly be considered gin, containing mostly methanol, and consumption of bathtub gin sometimes lead to death and blindness.
    • Martinis are traditionally made with gin, however James Bond popularized the vodka martini.

Sugary drinks and beer make you bloat, this is common knowledge. I may be biased, but g&t’s never give me a hangover, and I hardly feel bloated when I drink (good) gin. This is perfect for a night out when you’re in that tight dress and don’t want to look beer bloated or for anyone on a diet.

My go-to gin cocktails to order at a bar:
– Tom Collins – Negroni – Gin Gimlet – Gin and Tonic – 

If you’ve been reluctant to order gin at a bar, my twist on the classic gin and tonic is the perfect drink to make at home. It’s simple to make, delicious and refreshing.

-Hendrick’s gin (Hendrick’s works best with the cucumber flavor)
-1 cucumber (peeled and sliced)

-tonic water  (Q tonic water is my personal favorite)
-lime wedges
Place a few cucumber slices in your glass and muddle with a muddle stick or spoon. Combine 1 part gin with 3 parts tonic water in a glass with ice cubes. Garnish with a slice of cucumber and a squeeze of lime juice.  Enjoy. 

Vodka is out, gin is in.



My Date With Frida

This past Sunday I found myself bored with nothing to do so I decided to hop in my car and just drive. I ended up at the Fresno Art Museum which ended up being a treat. I quickly learned that there was a Nickolas Muray exhibit showing various photographs he had taken of the amazing Mexican painter Frida Kahlo.

I wandered around the museum checking out different exhibits, and saved the best for last. I showed up an hour before closing, meaning I had the entire place to myself.

While I wasn’t allowed to photograph inside the museum, I managed to find some of my favorite (photographs) online to share with you all.

Frida and Diego Tizapán – 1937
Nickolas Muray
nikolas muray diego frida tizapan

This photograph stood out to me because of Frida’s chingona stare at Diego. Just from this photo you could tell that it was she who wore the pants.

The two images above are probably Nickolas Muray’s most famous photographs. Both were taken at his studio in New York City, before she left for Paris.
The first photograph of Frida in a magenta rebozo hung, for years, over Diego and Frida’s bed.
On the back she signed,
“Nick, with all my heart, with all my love, with all my memory, I think of you.


Throughout their time spent together Frida began falling for Nickolas, and he for her. They wrote to each other frequently, especially while she was in Paris, criticizing the aristocratic , snooty Europeans. I spent a majority of my time at the museum reading the letters exchanged between Frida and Nickolas. Their exchange of words was beautiful and would put and any Nicholas Sparks novel to shame.

In a letter from Nick Muray to Frida dated February 8, 1939, he wrote:
“Darlingest Xochitl.

The first reaction to your wire was to extend my arms and embrace you to kiss the tears away from your sweet cheeks and swallow the salty sorrow of your heart.
Your Nick.
(all of him)”

In a letter from Frida to Nick dated February 16, 1939, she wrote:
“I could kill that guy and eat it afterwards…I have decided to send everything to hell and scram from this rotten Paris before I get nuts myself…I’d rather sit on the floor in the market of Toluca and sell tortillas.
One special kiss on your neck. 
Your Xochitl.”


what the water gave me
What The Water Gave Me

This painting by Frida Kahlo was given to Nick in exchange for his financial help while she was in Paris. One of Frida’s darker paintings, this one in particular depicted how her life was shaped by destruction.

My experience wandering through the Fresno Art Museum alone was magical. I think everyone should go to a museum alone at least once. It gives you the chance to escape into the world that the artists captured in each painting and photograph, and a chance to escape from your own reality. Continuing my date with myself  I ended my night with tacos,  because any time is a good time for tacos.




July Favorites

Screen Shot 2015-08-03 at 10.32.23 PM

July was a crazy month for me. I felt like I was all over the place, and slept a total of 20 hours all month. Between running around Santa Monica, running late to work, and gallivanting through Vegas, these were my July favs.

Felix Cartal Weekend Workout
I have been on a fitness kick all month-long, surprisingly. I am trying to get back to my goal weight, change my eating habits, and workout more. I do a lot of cardio, and I’m on the treadmill for up to an hour or more. Being the clutz that I am, I avoid messing with my phone as much as I can. My trying to tweet or search songs on Spotify always results in my phone falling and flying 7 feet into the row behind me. I like to have a gym playlist ready, but I get so sick of the same songs week after week. Felix Cartal’s Weekend Workout is the perfect length and vibe for my morning or late night gym sessions. Nine times out of ten, the latest mix is playing on my phone, and it always puts me in the best mood. This is also a great way to discover some dope tracks. His Weekend Workout is available for listening/download via his soundcloud.

Starbucks Iced Coffee: Lightly Sweetened 
I absolutely do NOT have the time to sit in a 15 minute drive-thru for Starbucks before work. I have absolutely NO desire to put on pants and go to Starbucks on a hung over Wednesday Saturday morning. Always running late, per usual, Starbucks pre made Iced Coffee (lightly sweetened) is a lifesaver. This isn’t for the coffee purist. This is for the 20-30 something in a rush with a need for a caffeine fix. I like mine with plenty of ice and a splash of unsweetened coconut milk. It’s not too sweet, and a container will last me about 5 days. The average price I’ve paid is about $4.99. This is actually a steal considering a venti iced coffee usually runs around $3.00.

Mirrored Metal-Frame Sunglasses Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 8.58.00 PM
You have no idea how many compliments I have received on these sunglasses. I’ve grown so fond of them that I have 3 backup pairs. These aren’t the best quality, obvi Forever 21, but they look great. I was drawn to these immediately because they reminded me of a pair I had remembered seeing in Alberta Ferretti Spring/Summer 2014 (pictured to the right). The blue-tinted lens is completely opaque, which is perfect to hide my late night/early morning eye bags. These are especially great for Vegas pool parties. Wear them worry free to Encore Beach Club without the fear of losing your favorite designer pair. They wear comfortably for hours, and for the price, you’d be crazy not to buy a pair…or three.

Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation Moisturizer
Ole Henriksen is one of my favorite skin care lines, and this moisturizer doesn’t disappoint. Some things I’ve noticed after using this moisturizer the whole month of July are a visibly brighter skin tone and a more even complexion.The texture is similar to Clinique’s Dramatically Different moisturizer without the oily feel of the Clinique DDM. My sensitive skin reacted perfectly to this moisturizer, and I have had no problems with any breakouts all of July. One of my favorite things about the Ole Henriksen line is the availability of different sizes for all of their products. I hate spending $40 plus on a product and hating it. While Sephora has a great return policy, it’s just a pain in the a$$ having to return anything. For $14 you can the .5 ounce size moisturizer and see how it works for you. I 100% plan to integrate this product into my regular skin care regimen.

Honorable Mention: Gel Manicure. Honestly, who has the time to sit and paint their nails, and let them dry? Not me. I’m rough on my hands, and not having to worry about chipped nail polish for 10-14 days for under $20 is ideal. Where have you been all of my life gel manis?


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Following Through With Things


Hello to all two of you that will probably read this. I have dabbled with the idea of starting an e-zine/blog for a good 10 years now. I remember taking the Louis Vuitton catalogues, and scanning images to my computer to upload to my e-zine… via AOL dial-up. After several failed attempts with blogspot, tumblr, and WordPress, in the last few years, I am finally going to follow through with keeping a consistent blog.

If I had a dollar for every time my friends told me that I should have cameras following my crazy adventures, I’d probably have my coveted Alma BB bag by now. With this blog I will talk about my fitness journey as a working college student, ratchet Michelle adventures (we will get into that later), my obsession with lavish skin-care/makeup, my love for gin food, and traveling on a broke bitch budget.

If I don’t keep up with this blog, someone personally come slap me.


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