Friday, May 22, 2015

Wildflower in Tucson, AZ | Places to Eat

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If you've been following me along as I knock of tasks of the Ollivander Mo's Adventure List, you would know that Wildflower is restaurant no. 2 out of 5 towards task number 80: Eat at 5 New Restaurants.

Wildflower ($$)
(520) 219-4230
7037 N Oracle Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85704

It's located in the Casa Adobes Plaza--the same plaza that houses a Whole Foods and Frost Gelato. The main crossroads of Wildflower is Oracle and Ina. It's a wonderful little restaurant that our waiter described as "new american cuisine with european and asian influences."

Wildflower has an amazing outdoor patio area. It's decorated with string lights and is covered by the building's structure without being fully inside. Service was wonderful. Our server was patient as we attempted to narrow down exactly what it was we wanted.

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They do serve complimentary bread before the meal. Just a few slices with some olive oil (to which I added some pepper) was fine as we ended up ordering the Chef's Board (seen below) as an appetizer.
If you didn't know, I love my veggies so when I saw "asparagus" and "zucchini," I had to have it. The goat cheese spread for the bread on the board was amazing. It was enough to keep us satisfied until our main courses came out. And--also because I love veggies--I ordered a half salad of the spinach salad which, for some reason, I forgot to photograph. It was light and delightful though. 

I was worried that with the bread, the chef's board and a half salad I was going to be full before my food even came out, but it was actually the perfect serving size! 


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I ended up going for the Spinach Pappardelle. More spinach! Yum! One of the things that caught my fancy with this dish (aside from the spinach) was the fact that our waiter told us that all pastas at Wildflower are freshly made in-house. Any time I hear that, I must try the pasta.

I wasn't disappointed either. I could literally eat that pasta plain and be happy as a clam.

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Brandon ended up getting the Short Rib Ravioli, which I only got a bite of, but from what I remember it was good as well. :)

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By the end of the meal I felt full and satisfied without that "I-ate-too-much-help-it-hurts" feeling.

If you're ever in Tucson, you should consider putting Wildflower on you "Places to Eat" list. Wildflower is one of 15 restaurants that make up Fox Restaurant Concepts. FRC started in Tucson in 1998. Their mission is to develop restaurants with remarkable dining experiences.

For those familiar with Fox Restaurants, some of the sister restaurants that can be grouped in with Wildflower include Zin Burger Wine + Burger Bar, Blanco Tacos + Tequila, The Arrogant Butcher, Culinary Dropout and North Italia.



What are some great restaurants in your city? Leave me a comment below!

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Read Next:
-Pasco Kitchen + Lounge in Tucson, AZ | Places to Eat
-The Chantilly Tea Room
-Cooking Attempt: Miso Salmon + Green Beans

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

5 Fantastic Skincare Products

I'm not going to lie. Lately I've been awful at taking care of my skin. I generally have pretty normal skin that doesn't give me much grief. However, after months of taking advantage of it, my face is finally starting to strike back.

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Recently I've been breaking out some and looking a little dull. So I've completely recommitted to my skincare routine and have recruited some old favorites to help revive my smooth complexion. I've done away with the luxurious, intense regimes and gone back to basics.

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1. Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser

It's a cleanser. Simple as that. There's nothing complex about which is what makes it so great for bringing your skin to a clean, clear state. About 5 years ago when I had a severe, stubborn breakout in reaction to a product I was using, Cetaphil cleared it right up. If I'm being honest, I don't use a cleanser every night. You'll find out why below.


2. Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleansing Cloths

We all know I love simple. The less effort the better. Some days I'm too lazy or tired, but rather than sleep with my make up on, I use cloths! These work great. I love that they have a hard cover to keep them all moisturized!


3. Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisurizer W/ SPF 15

This is my morning moisturizer. It gives me a bit of SPF to protect me from the desert sun and just the right amount of moisture to provide a smooth canvas for my make up without making my face all oily.


4. Boots Expert Sensitive Gentle Cleansing & Toning Wipes

If you're a seasoned follower of Ollivander Mo (I'm talking YouTube circa 2011) you'd know these have been my absolute favorite face wipes for years. Not only does it remove make up, but it tones skin. It's complete cleansing without a sink. I know it sounds gross to some, but I went years without using face wash. Just this. No problems whatsoever. It just depends on your skin. I've only recently started breaking out because I've been sleeping in my makeup like it was gonna win me the lottery. Oops.


5. Clean & Clear Dual Action Moisturizer

I've gone back to using this as my night moisturizer because it clears breakouts and moisturizes my skin all in one! It's not drying at all. And, along with my Lush eyecream (bonus #6!) it's perfect for my bedtime skin routine.


Let me know your favorite skincare products in the comments!

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Sunday, May 17, 2015

How to Start Working Out Again -- When You Really Don't Want To

Working out can be a chore. At least for some people. When you're first trying to get back into a routine to start whipping your butt back into shape it can be awful trying to figure out when to squeeze in your work outs and, most of all, find the motivation!

I recently began working out regularly and it took me a while to finally get used to it. I'm not going to lie. I hate working out. I don't want to be ridiculously strong or muscular, I just want to be healthy and offset all the time I spend hunched over a desk/on the computer!

Here are 5 tips to getting motivated to workout again.

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1. Find what kind of workouts work for you

I have a friend who loves going to LA Fitness to get some cardio in, lift and do squats. If I tried to do her workout routines weekly...well...I wouldn't. I'm not the type to get out and go for a run either. Ask anyone. I hate running! However, I love pilates, dance, yoga and workout videos I can do in my living room. I love mixing Blogilates and Tone It Up workouts together!

Because I hate running, I have to be creative and find other ways to get my cardio in. I found that while I hate running, I don't mind hiking. Here in Tucson, we have Tumamoc Hill. It's an easy (3 mile round trip) hike that's paved but incredibly steep. Some crazy people like to run the hill, but walking it is enough to leave my entire lower body sore the next day.


2. Start an energizing teatox

I personally don't believe in using teatoxes to lose weight. Although, I do think that detoxing can sometimes cause reduced bloating though and get rid of some of your water weight. Mostly, I use teatoxes because they often have ingredients that can kickstart your metabolism and give you more energy--which is something you'll need to get through your workout! I recently tried out a 14-Day Teatox by Skinny Mint. You can see my review for that here.

3. Enlist a buddy

When I walk Tumamoc Hill, I always go with someone to make it more fun! I've gone with my friend Natalie, my friend Howard and even my boyfriend. Making set plans at a scheduled time with someone will prevent you from skipping out on your workout!

Or, if you don't have anyone nearby who'll do it with you, you can still be accountability partners! I love Snap-chatting my friend Kayli who lives up in Phoenix whenever I get a work out in. We try to motivate each other to get fit even from afar!

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Some of my favorite workout vids? TIU's Mermaid Workout + Blogilates' I Really Like You Squat Challenge!

4. Plan out your workouts for the week

You know how some people do meal planning? Well, I do workout planning! Because my workouts usually consist of between 2 to 5 different Blogilates or TIU videos a day, at the beginning of the week I literally write out every video (or hike) I'm going to do on a given day in my planner.

It helps me visualize my workouts (if you can dream it you can do it!) and, it helps me realize how doable everything is! If you don't follow a video program like I do, you can always write out the different workouts you're going to do that day (i.e. squats, lunges, leg press etc).

5. Buy new workout clothes/gear

I know that for some people investing a bit of money into something makes them feel more inclined to commit to it! For me, cute clothes is always a mental boost which makes me feel good about myself, which in turn makes me more likely to work out. Plus, after getting myself some weights (and an awesome little kettlebell!) I actually felt excited to use them!


How do you get motivated to workout and what are some of your favorite workouts??

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Saturday, May 16, 2015

How to Ease Wanderlust (When You Can't Take a Vacation)

I've been itching to travel something fierce lately. Maybe it's because my mom and sister are embarking on a two-week trip to the Philippines. Or maybe it's because I've been watching too many travel YouTubers. Whatever the case, I'm stuck dreaming of far off places here in my office in Tucson (which, has no windows, I might add).

Because I've yet to earn any vacation days (and lack the funds) to take a vacay, I've needed to get creative. Basically, it's the whole reason Ollivander Mo's Adventure List exists.

If you're like me, and you're dying for a little bit of fun...try these tips.

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1. Be a tourist in your own city

Life may feel boring at home base, but unless you live in the middle of God-forsaken-nowhere chances are there's something fun to do. Here in Tucson we have an amazing science and astronomy community which means awesome observatories and museums. I mean, Biosphere 2 is right there! Not only will playing tourist ease your restlessness, but you'll gain a new appreciation for the place you call home.


2. Take a weekend road trip to a nearby town/city

Still feel like there's nothing to do? Hop in your car and go somewhere! I love taking weekend trips to Phoenix--It's only about an hour and a half away. Sleep in your car if you have to! Hey, you wanted adventure right?


3. Try something new

Some things on my list are mountain biking, trying out new restaurants and aerial yoga! You know the thing where people do yoga tangled in ribbons in the air? Yeah, that. If you've never gone, you could look for indoor rock climbing gyms in your area.


4. Go out into nature

The easiest way to get a sense of adventure and scratch that travel itch is to get out into nature. Take a camping trip! Go hiking! Find a lake to have a picnic next to. Wherever you live, there has to be an area to get out and be closer to the Earth.


How do you calm your wanderlust??

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Friday, May 15, 2015

Pasco Kitchen & Lounge | Places to Eat in Tucson, AZ

If you're ever in Tucson and looking for a modern eatery with fresh, local ingredients try Pasco Kitchen and Lounge. It's on University Ave in Main Gate Square near the University of Arizona. (Go Cats!!)

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I've eaten at this place multiple times and had drinks there for happy hour as well. It's a great place for a light lunch or dinner with friends. On Yelp, Pasco has two ($$) dollar signs for pricing. It's actually not too expensive and when you go on happy hour it's even better!

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Environment

Since it's on University Avenue, of course there are tons of students, so keep that in mind. Despite that, most students will be at restaurants down the street getting crazy with the beers. Yet, surprisingly Pasco is a calm place so long as you don't go on a day that there's a pep rally or other event going on.

It's a small restaurant, with a nice outdoor patio area. Very modern and classy but urban at the same time.

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Why you need to go

Pasco is dedicated to using fresh, local ingredients and it definitely shows in their dishes. I pretty much always get the T-Town Nachos (pictured) because they're inexpensive, delicious and the portions are huge! They have some interesting cocktails on the menu as well. They serve gourmet burgers, bruchetta, nachos, and more! The menu has a ton of variety but if you're looking for safe, Pasco definitely isn't it.

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What are some of your favorite restaurants that serve fresh, local ingredients?

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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Skinny Mint 14 Day Teatox Review

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I've recently started trying to get back into shape and onto a regular workout routine. However, after a long hiatus it's been difficult for me. Last time I had trouble getting back into working out, I used a teatox. So, I decided to look into a new one this time!

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Teatoxes is one of my favorite ways to kickstart a healthier lifestyle for me. I've never used it thinking that the teatox alone would make me lose weight. Instead, I use to get jump start my metabolism and get more energy--especially in those sluggish first weeks.

This time around, I decided to try out Skinny Mint's 14 Day Starter Teatox!


Details


  • Two part detox for $29.90
  • 14 morning boost tea bags -- one for every morning
  • 7 night cleanse tea bags -- one every other night, starting with day 1
  • Morning cleanse contains green tea (energy + fat burning), yerba mate (to curb appetite + boost metabolism), guarana fruit (cleansing, endurance + weight loss) and more!
  • Night cleanse contains ginger root (anti-bloating + digestive help), senna leaves (natural laxative), peppermint and more! 

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What I liked...

The Morning Boost is INCREDIBLY energizing! It's seriously no joke. One 8oz cup of tea every morning was more than enough to get me through the entire day feeling awake and ready to go. One night, I got 4 hours of sleep and had to be up at work at 8:30 a.m.. 

Thinking I was going to be dragging throughout the entire day, I downed two cups of tea (using the same tea bag). I was SO AWAKE. It was almost like I had taken two shots of espresso, I was a little freaked! Not only that, but it completely CURBED my appetite that day. Despite not eating breakfast, I went well past 7:00 p.m. before being remotely hungry. So yes, one cup in the morning is definitely enough. And if you do your workouts in the morning it'll give you so much energy to get through it! 

Not to mention both teas taste GREAT! The morning boost is fruity and doesn't have a strange taste like some teatoxes do. The evening cleanse is minty and soothing. Perfect for night time. 

I did notice reduced bloating, more energy and a less digestive issues but I can't say if it was from the tea or from more exercise. Regardless, if you're going to use this tea alongside a good exercise regime, it works great! 

What I didn't like...

Because I like things simple (and really can't be bothered), I didn't like that there were two different teas included in the cleanse. When I did the Tiny Tea teatox it was one tea that you took multiple times a day. I'm just lazy though and I didn't like having to remember to find the different tea every other evening. (But for those wondering I didn't have a crazy laxative effect from the night cleanse). 

In conclusion... 

Would I buy this again? Yes! ...and no. I'd totally buy the morning boost again, but I'd probably skip the night cleanse. 


Have you ever tried a teatox? Which one is your favorite?

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Monday, May 11, 2015

No. 45: D&D Pinball | Ollivander Mo's Adventure List

After receiving my new camera in the mail, I have a renewed love for blogging and vlogging again! Without all the fancy tech difficulties of my T3i in the way, the amount of adventures to conquer seems endless! If you haven't already heard I've created an official adventure list which you can find here.
I'm dubbing it Ollivander Mo's Adventure List, which is basically a 101 in 1001 list. If you want to follow along, be sure to follow me on Instagram (@ollivandermo) and search the hashtag - #mosadventurelist. It's going to be a blast! 
This past weekend I was able to go out and get the first adventure off my list completed -- No. 45: Play pinball at D&D Pinball.

D&D Pinball is a quirky little "arcade" located at 331 E 7th Street, right off of 4th Ave. They have been open since 2013, and boast around 30 different pinball machines and even an old-school PacMac game! If you ever find yourself in Tucson, AZ with a bit of time to kill, D&D Pinball is the place to go. Just make sure you have a fist-full of quarters (or a couple dollar bills to feed into their change machine) and you'll be set for a couple of hours. 
If you're over 21, it wouldn't hurt to get a beer or two at O'Malley's before playing like we did! Blue Moon with an orange? Yes please.

Brandon and I ended up going on Saturday afternoon. They opened their garage-style shop at noon that day (for store hours, please check their website!) My personal favorite (and the one I seemed to be best at) was the Doctor Who pinball machine.
The exterior of the shop
Brandon (and his baby face) standing near the Doctor Who pinball machine, which I unfortunately cut out of the picture. 
Didn't get an in-focus picture of the two of us. Oops! Still getting used to the new camera. 
Click below to watch my vlog on my D&D Pinball adventure! 
What's your favorite classic game? 
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