Low-Carb Cauliflower Side Dish Recipe

Y’all, this low carb cauliflower side dish recipe is both easy and delicious.  The sticky consistency tastes almost sweet because of the tahini and dates.

low-carb-cauliflower
Low-Carb Cauliflower Side Dish

Now, I prefer to NOT use tahini in my hummus.  But there is a totally different flavor when mixed with low carb roasted cauliflower!  It is almost sweet!  Think comfort food.  We recreated this low carb dish after eating at a new restaurant in The Woodlands, Texas named True Food Kitchen.  They specialize in low carb food high on flavor.

Chop the cauliflower. Toss with the oil and salt and roast for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.
cauliflower-low-carb-recipe
Roasted Cauliflower

 

 

shelled-pistachios

While it is roasting, shell the pistachios and chop the dates. 

 

When the cauliflower is browned on its edges, immediately toss with dates, 2 big spoons
of Tahini and pistachios.  spoon-of-tahiniAdd more Tahini if needed.  It has the consistency of peanut
butter without the peanut flavor or sugar!

tahini-low-carb
Tahini has a peanut butter consistency
There is something about having this with the Tahini that makes it POP into the comfort
food category.  Remember that I do not prefer Tahini, but it is totally different in this low
carb recipe.

cauliflower-low-carb-recipe
We should have added one more spoon of the Tahini.  Delicious low carb comfort food!

PLEASE let me know if you have the guts to try this dish.  The flavors marry so well together!

Stop by my LauriePOP Ideas That POP YouTube Channel for travel tips, fashion and makeup tips and party hosting ideas that POP into my head.  We’re an airline family so most of my videos include travel tips we have learned.

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10 Things to Do in San Francisco (1 Day)

I’m going to tell you 10 things to do in San Francisco for a day…what to see, where to eat and what to do all down by Fisherman’s Wharf. 

**THE VIDEO ABOVE HAS ALL THE LINKS***

We’re going to visit the Golden Gate Bridge, see the walruses on Pier 39 and eat some amazing chowder and bread and chocolate.  Here are 10 things to do in San Francisco for the day. If you are visiting San Fran or if your airplane lands in San Francisco International Airport, and you have a layover, this video will help you.  The SFO is a 40 minute drive to the Fisherman’s Wharf area. If you like this video, leave me a comment or subscribe for other travel, fashion and party idea videos that POP. We are an airline family so most of my videos are travel tips.

#1 Thing to Do in San Fran is to Uber it toward the San Francisco Cable Car System, which has been running since 1873.  Have your Uber driver drop you off at the Powell Street Cable Car TurnAround stop on Powell and Mason streets. Our Uber driver had a car phone charger for us, gum and water bottles!  We landed in the morning, but the morning traffic wasn’t too bad so the commute took around 40 minutes.  We got in line for the Cable Car at 9 am and waited an hour and a half.  The Axiom Hotel is right by the line; we suggest getting pastries and coffee from there (no line) while you wait.  It’s eye opening seeing some of the disturbed individuals yelling or asking for money, and there are plenty of people around so it’s not unsafe.  Your family members can even run across the street to the huge mall and grab something to eat while you wait.

You can only buy tickets on the actual Cable Car if you have cash.  If you can only pay with a credit card, you will want to stand in a little line at a booth by the Cable Car line.  You will have plenty of time to stand in that line.  We had enough cash so we just bought them on the car, and they WILL check for your ticket.  This Cable Car will take you over many hills straight to Fisherman’s Wharf, but it will stop in China Town.  Now, you can get off at the China Town stop, but you will have to pay full fare to get back on at China Town and continue to Fisherman’s Wharf.  We skipped China Town.  The full fare per person is $7, and if you’re a senior, you only get a discount if you travel before 7 am or after 9 pm.  You can buy a full day passport (I’ll link it below) for $17 per person so if you wanted to hop off and back on in the same day, you do that. But you buy those from the conductors on board so have cash on hand.

#2 Thing to Do in San Francisco is to get the lay of the land once you get off the Cable Car at Fisherman’s Wharf – tourist shops, booking a tour if you want…they have ferry rides around the bay to the Golden Gate Bridge.  Take it from us; set up these tours months ahead.  Crowds made it so that everything was booked that day; we were there the beginning of August, and 6 piers away from Fisherman’s Wharf, where the Alcatraz tours take off were booked until the end of the year when we looked.  Plan ahead for tours.  We saw segway tours, but I’m talking about any boating tours.

#3 Wow, Alcatraz is amazing if you can swing it for your day in San Fran.  You have individual audio tour head sets to walk around with at your own leisure-you’re not with a tour guide or group.  This, along with the ferry ride will take around 2.5 hours.  They take your picture before you even get on the boat; we recommend making a scary face as a family.  You meet this boat way down at Pier 33.  We also recommend watching the original Escape from Alcatraz with Clint Eastwood.  We got to go on Halloween to Alcatraz…aah back when we could take our child out of school without him being responsible for alot of instruction.

map-of-fishermans-wharf
Map of Fisherman’s Wharf (Fish Alley)

#4 What Food to Eat – In Fisherman’s Wharf, where you get dropped off at the Cable Car – this is called Fish Alley.  This area is a flat triangle of about 5 blocks all along the San Francisco Bay.  If you want a breakfast or pastry or some awesome coffee, look toward the water and turn right on Jefferson Street and go to Boudin Sourdough Cafe.  This is a crowded, fun place to eat at bar top tables and order some delicious coffee.  It’s brisk because the wall height doors are open so you get the sea breeze. There is a restaurant that opens at 11 fyi.  Whenever you are getting hungry, you need to already be at a restaurant because of the wait time.  If you get hangry, that one day in San Fran will be ruined. While we drank our coffee, we planned where we wanted to go first.  This cafe is across the street from Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum if that interests you…or if it’s windy and freezing cold and you want an indoor thing to do.

You will see near lunch, a bunch of vendors under Alioto’s and Fishermen’s Grotto right beside Alioto’s.  Those will see you the freshest clam chowder and fish, and you can take that food and walk right over to the benches or sidewalks to eat by the bay water.  But if you go behind their kiosks, there are tiny restaurants where you can escape the heat or cold.  We ate at saBella.  They and La Torre have vendors outside as well as a restaurant behind their kiosks. There’s even The Chowder Hut right there in the middle of the cement lot in Fish Alley.  You cannot eat inside I don’t think, but you have lots of tables outside to eat at.  It’s an A-frame little restaurant.  Any of the Wharf food is going to be excellent in my opinion.  My uncle was the accountant for Alioto’s back around 1980, and Aliotos was quite a treat.  I think they still have the same carpet, and they have tons of tables inside with a view of the bay.  There’s something about eating warm chowder with the cold, wet wind hitting you while you eat it outside though.  Good times!

#5 Thing to Do in San Francisco If you have a history buff, is to tour the SS Jeremiah O’Brien, ship right there by Alioto’s and Fisherman’s Grotto.  It’s the last standing Normandy ship I think?  You can sit in the turret and look down the scope.  Great tour; the movie Titanic used the belly of this ship to film the pipe sections, do you remember that part in the movie?

Don’t miss the #6 thing in San Francisco and that is the vintage arcade place called Musee Mecanique right before you enter the Pier 42ish for the ship.  It’s all right there beside Alioto’s and Fishermen’s Grotto.  They have vintage games, antiques and new arcade games.  So fun and quirky and quick!

arcade-san-francisco-wharf-musee-mecanique
Vintage Arcade Games You Can Play (and new games)

#7 Thing to See in San Francisco is to walk from Fisherman’s Wharf-Pier 42ish to Pier 39 to watch the famous walruses.  It’s like a man cave all in the open.  Hilarious grunting and blubbering around.  You can stand here watching them for at least 30 minutes.  There’s a tiny museum right above where you watch the walruses that’ll take you about 10 minutes to walk through. This gives you the cool story of how the walruses ended up on Pier 39 after an earthquake. In-between these two piers there is a big white building with a clean bathroom area.  It’s large and white.  Safe.

#8 We recommend you wait until after 2 to Uber to Golden Gate Bridge so the sun will burn off the fog-or if it’s sunny when you arrive, go there immediately!  You never know when the fog will roll in and COMPLETELY block it.  Change your schedule if you need to because a great view from the bridge is the main reason we love San Fran. Our Uber driver came within 2 minutes right there at The Wharf and took us right to the welcome center of the Golden Gate Bridge.  We walked about halfway across the bridge and were freezing so we came back to the welcome center.  This is like a mini museum and gift shop.  They have metal bolted facts about the bridge with large posters of construction that are amazing!  Don’t miss this.  For example, there are approximately 600,000 rivets in each tower of the Golden Gate Bridge.  You can take a selfie near an actual size cable segment holding up the bridge.  The fact posters tell you how many days it took from start to having an automobile on the bridge.  There’s also a coffee shop there with gorgeous views, but it was very crowded!  If you can fit it, I’d take a fleece or a thin wind breaker because that wind-whew!  And we were fine down by the Wharf!

Traffic congestion is a nightmare, and we recommend getting Uber to take you back to Ghirardelli from the bridge.  I’d say the car ride from Fisherman’s Wharf to the bridge is about 6 minutes.  Now, take Uber to Ghirardelli Square, which is in-between the bridge and wharf. 

It came within two minutes, but we met him at the entrance of the welcome center parking lot.  There is a turn around so he won’t have to go through the awful parking lot traffic to pick you up if you just meet him at the entrance.  Remember Uber tells you what the car looks like etc. So you won’t miss him. This Uber car was a Mercedes! And the other one was a Lexus!

If you’re a biker and IF it’s a beautiful day, we recommend renting a bike at the bridge, riding across it and down into Sausalito to a bakery for a quick pick me up.  But be prepared for that head wind!  Brutal!

#9 Must when you visit San Francisco is Ghirardelli Square.  It has 3 levels basically…a walk up ice cream cone section, a cafe, and a gift shop up top.  The Ghirardelli Cafe line has such little room inside so it is deceiving.  It looks like there will be a long wait in the restaurant part.  But don’t be fooled.  Stand in line and order the Sea Salt Caramel Sundae with caramel and hot fudge chocolate sauce.  I always ask for no whip so that I can get to the flavors faster!  They have free water cups by the vintage conveyor belt inside the restaurant so you don’t have to order it.  The food comes out faster than you can tell your waitress what you want.  Then they have the shops upstairs with candy, etc you can buy, as well as where you leave the cafe.

10# Thing to Do in San Francisco If you’re looking for a clean inexpensive hotel, we can recommend The Vagabond Inn.  Even if you do not stay there, take their free shuttle and then take a walk behind the hotel. No frills, but they have free breakfast and transportation to and from the San Francisco airport.  And weekdays are MUCH more expensive than weekend rates.  The 2 other reasons we like this one is that it’s in-between two nice hotels.  So after our day of racing around Fisherman’s Wharf, we came back to our hotel and crashed for an hour and walked right next door to the happy hour menu.  They had delicious and moderately priced foods to choose from that were top notch!  And you’re right by the water that planes land on at the airport.  So there is a view.  And outside of the Vagabond Inn and the others, there’s a really long cement walking path along that water.  You can jog or walk or walk to the Marriott next door to get a Starbucks and enjoy watching planes land and take off at the country’s busiest intersecting airport.  With only two runways, as one is landing, one is taking off at the same time.  It’s precise!  And so cool to watch from a distance.  And where the Vagabond Inn is is usually not fogged in so you will feel the sun.

For an added tip when visiting San Francisco I want to recommend what to wear when you are in San Fran for a day.  I recommend good canvas shoes.  I’m a tennis shoes gal for sight seeing, but with mist almost always in the forecast, you do not want your socks and feet to get wet.  These are excellent for arch support and thick comfortable soles.  I also recommend a tunic over comfy jeans or leggings.  I love cardigans because they are added layering without a lot of bulk.  I’ll link this rain coat below because it’s so fold up-able.  And the sleeves are long enough to wear over a cardigan as it is A-frame.  If the sleeves are too long, you get the happy pops of leopard under the cuff.  This wind breaker rain coat is super thin, but it helps block the wind if it’s not in the middle of winter.  I wore this in Oregon and loved it.  These are all wardrobe pieces for a vacation that you can pull out and wear for your one day in San Francisco that will still match and mix with other clothes in your bag.

I hope these ideas help give you a bird’s eye view of what 10 things to do in San Francisco so you can plan what your family wants to see and eat and do if you only have one day.  Thank you for POPping over!

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9 Travel Outfit Ideas: Wear This NOT That

Today I will share NINE travel outfit ideas for the airplane.  I am going to help you know what to wear and what not to wear when you travel.  How you dress in an airplane will help you be more comfortable in your outfit.  You will worry less about stains, you will be at ease when you are sitting and bending over, and you will not be self conscious about what you are wearing.  Let’s POP into this video.

The #1 travel outfit idea is to wear one with a Cardigan Not a Poncho – Cardigans add dimension to your travel outfit, they add layering if you get cold, they add length to your body, cardigans can mix and match with your travel outfits while on vacation, cardigans with pockets give you added function in an airport, like a place to store your phone when you have to pay for a coffee. Cardigans can be light weight or heavy for warmth.  Ponchos collapse under the arms if you use a backpack, and they got caught on things like when i sit on the airplane and reach forward to the seat back pocket, my arms cannot extend all the way.  Ponchos are a bit less mobile for a travel outfit item.

The #2 travel outfit idea is one that has a Shell Top Not a Tank Top – Shell tops are usually flattering on more women than tank tops.  Most women I know are not comfortable only wearing a tank top.  When you wear a shell top on the airplane you do not have to worry with bra strap showing, no worries about too much cleavage if the person sitting beside you is taller and can see down your cleavage.

Y’all must watch the video for the pictures and true pictures!  It’ll help give you a true visual.

I would pack several shell tops in my suitcase because they usually have patterns meaning many outfits you can mixed and matched. Shells are blousy and will disguise all you ate on vacation, and you can dress them up with nice pants or down with shorts or jeans.

Another Outfit Item to Wear on an Airplane is Gray Denim Not White Jeans. Gray denim still goes with most every color, can be mixed and matched.  You cannot see through this color; stains are less noticeable.   And you do not have to bring only off white undies.  Or do you plan which undies to wear each day of work or vacation?

The fourth thing to wear on an airplane is a Regular T-shirt Not a T-shirt With Ruffles – A good t-shirt is a foundational piece for your travel outfit. You do not have to iron most t-shirts after being packed in the carryon suitcase during the flight; by the way, if you have not tried this Downy Wrinkle Releaser, it does work if you do not have an iron.  Most hotels have one so I haven’t made a big deal about this.

1. Ruffles get bent forward sometimes and cannot be ironed back.  2. If I’m throwing on a cardigan on the airplane, I do not want to take the extra time to fit the ruffles down into the sleeves.  They bug me like crazy if the ruffles are not in perfect form and shape.

The #5 travel outfit piece is a Plaid Shirt Not Solid Blouse – Plaid adds glad to any travel outfit, plaid has a vacation vibe to it…especially gingham paired with pink. Wrinkles do not show as easily as they do on a solid, just personal preference.  My navy gingham is very wrinkled, but you can hardly tell. These plaid tops drape your body and are great for layering.  I prefer these brands.  They’re not hot or sticky or clingy!  You can tuck plaid in for a put together look without being high maintenance.  And when you do tuck them in, there is enough fabric to blouse them out.

The sixth travel outfit piece is to wear Joggers Not Leggings-you can half tuck shirts into joggers, you can wear with sneakers or sandals or loafer type shoes, you can dress up like my friend Laurie did and dress down.  These types are super drapey; do you think it almost looks like a jumpsuit?  Monochromatic is a great way to wear them.  Some joggers are neutral army green so goes especially well with black and whites, you can add accessories, you cannot see your panty line with joggers and your fine china isn’t on display for men.  I was at the doc, and the older lady in front of my had such cute leggings on with a t-shirt, but the back of the t-shirt had ridden up on her, and you could totally see through to her cheeks.  Since I have a 13 year old boy, I notice all these gals who wear leggings with a short t-shirt revealing a little too much.

#7 on our travel outfit list is to take a Backpack Not a Large Handbag – If you have seen any of my travel videos, you know I use a backpack because 1, you are hands-free.  And 2, you can fit so many items in a backpack.

#8 is to wear Zip Up Boots Not Pull-On Boots – You have to stand to take off your shoes, and it takes much less time to get through airport security if you can unzip your boots to put them in the security shoe bin.  If your boots are a little tight, unzip them a couple of inches for the flight.

The number 9 travel outfit idea is to wear a Tunic Not a Dress – Tunics can be worn with leggings or jeans, you can bend over to take your shoes off in security in a tunic and not worry about underwear showing, you can lift your carryon suitcase up above you into the overhead without your said underwear showing, your tunic will not brush the floor of the onboard lavatory like a dress will, and you can hide all that overeating you did on vacation.

Which outfit piece would you instead of your normal outfit on an airplane?

Let’s be friends on Instagram!

Occasionally I use affiliate links, and all opinions that POP into my head are my very own.

Two Advent Games for Your Teenagers

 

This Christmas pun game is a free printable from Teachers Pay Teachers.  This is for your personal use. IHaveWhoHasChristmasPunsGame

There is also this Would You Rather game that sounds fun. ChristmasWouldYouRatherQuestions 

Please refer to my YouTube video below for the entire advent calendar ideas for teens.  We are an airline family so I have tons of travel tip videos, makeup and fashion videos, as well as home videos.

Leave me a comment and introduce yourself.

Murder Mystery Party: What is it and how do you play?

Before going to our first murder mystery dinner party we did not know what to expect.  We only knew to dress up a little and that one of us was the suspect.  In this video I will help you know what to do at a murder mystery dinner party and how to play.
There is minimal dress up, absolutely no set up, and a script with background information to help you know your character.

mystery-dinner-party-dress-up

Why am I a number one fan of murder mystery dinner parties?  They have you laughing, you get to know each other better, the people who are shy feel more uninhibited because they are in character mind set.  If you are looking for team building exercises or things to do with other adults, plan a murder mystery dinner party.  I do suggest that this be kids-free because there is a script throughout the dinner party, and you need everyone at the table the entire dinner.  There is no time schedule though.  So you can be on task and then take a break to just talk while you eat the main course, for example.

Leader Responsibilities:

The leader of the party is the person who bought the kit.  She will send the party invitation in an email, assigning each guest a character.  You do need to know that that person can for sure attend.  The instructions in your kit will tell you how many people you can invite before you even buy it.  We had 3 couples and then the lead couple who had minimal talking.  Do not be overwhelmed by the menu the kit suggests.  It’s intense-giving you a grocery list and specific menu items to make.  Do what your group wants to do. 

mystery-dinner-party-kitYou can search online for murder mystery dinner parties, for singles, couples or for youth groups (some do not have the word murder in them; it’s just a mystery dinner party).  Ours had a theme, but this one also seemed fun. Some mystery dinner parties are available for download.  And some kits are mailed to you.

On the night of the party, we had the leaders bring roast beef, mashed taters and green beans.  The host provided lots of appetizers…cheese, crackers, cream cheese with pepper jelly.  Then we had a dessert.  I highly recommend having lots of appetizers. You will use those as people arrive as well as when you all sit at the table for the beginning of the mystery.  It was nice having lots of crackers and cheeses to pass around.

couplesSet up:

The leader will send an email invitation with all the characters listed with their info and suggestions for ways to dress.  The dress suggestions are simple ideas that people do not have to spend money on.  Depending on your budget, the leader can purchase party favors and decor, but it is really not necessary.

Here is an example of our Murder Mystery Dinner Party email information that I made up for this video; everyone receives this same list of characters.  It’s fun seeing who got assigned what.  Notice there is a theme.

Poor Caprice Wagon died three years ago, and each of you is a suspect.

Polkst Wagon: You were her husband.  You are a German car dealer whose company filed for bankruptcy 4 years ago but came out of it just a year later.

Costume ideas: sleezy car salesman pants and shirt/tie, greasy hair, German accent

Kim Carcashian: You are dripping in jewels.  You can buy anything you want.  After your car broke down on I-10 during a hurricane, you have been in the limelight ever since.  Hollywood loves you.

Otto Bond: You are a has-been football player.  For the past 3 years you have been dating Kim Carcashian but are rarely seen paying for your dates.  

Minny Cooper:  You have been the Wagon’s house servant for 10 years.  You have been a loyal household maid…always on time and you never call in sick.

Arrival:

As guests arrive, you talk, eat and then move to the dinner table or sofas with the appetizers.  

Background:

The leader who bought the kit will pass around booklets specific to each character.  You listen to a CD for 30 seconds, and it will tell everyone to read page one and stop when you see the picture of a stop sign, for example.  You all read the Background.  This gives you background of your specific character that only you are silently reading about-the good, the bad and the ugly.

When everyone is done reading silently, you all will read through a little script that each person is holding.  It leads everyone into the mystery by telling a story.  No ad-lib happens here, but each person reads their part in character and in order according to the booklet.

Round 1:

Then you listen to the CD for 30 seconds, and it will tell everyone to read page 3 and to stop when you see the picture of the stop sign.  Round 1 is where the fun comes into play.  During this round, each character will have something different in their booklet.  For round one in the mystery dinner party, people have scripted paragraphs of Accusations.  Your paragraph will tell you who to accuse.  You also have Responses.  It tells you like when you are accused by So and so, say this.  This is where you can ad-lib and ham it up.  

For example: 

Kim Carcashian’s page:

Accusation-

Accuse Minny Cooper of knowing where every one of the diamonds is in the Wagon mansion.  Point out that she is now the heir of Caprice Wagon’s billions.  Did she change the paperwork so that she would now be the heir?  Then you wait for her response.

Accuse Polkst Wagon-

No one knows but Polkst Wagon inherited $500,000 when his wife died 3 years ago.  Bring up the convenient happening of his company filing for bankruptcy a year before Mrs. Caprice Wagon died and then coming out of bankruptcy the year she died.

Response:

Respond to Polkst Wagon:  It’s true that is my real name.  It was a little embarrassing.  I was in shock that my dad was the captain of that Exxon Valdiesel leak.  I do not have ties to him any longer.  And there never was a cover up.  I share my hard earned money with my current boyfriend, Otto Bond.

Polkst Wagon’s page:

Accusation-

Accuse Kim Carcashian of her false identity.  Her father drove the ship that leaked all that oil from Exxon.  Her name isn’t Kim Carcashian; it’s Polly Valdiesel.  Maybe she was paid to minimize that story in the headlines.

Accuse Otto Bond that he knows she was paid millions, and Otto is dating her to find out the true story of the ship that leaked oil.

Response to Kim Carcashian-

The money you inherited three years ago was for household uses and couldn’t be used on the family car business.  You have the receipts to prove it.  Your business came out of bankruptcy because of Kim Carcashian’s video that went viral.  Now everyone wants that car that Polkst Wagon sells.

Minny Cooper’s page:

Accusation-

Accuse Otto Bond: Point out that Otto Bond just likes Kim Carcashian for her fame status from her unfortunate car video that rocked the nation.  He just wants to be popular again to fill a deep void.

Respond to Kim Carcashian-

The late Mrs. Caprice Wagon was a classic friend who felt like a mother to you.  You cannot help it if Mrs. Caprice Wagon looked at you like daughter and left you her millions.

STOP READING HERE.

Then it’s time for Round 2.  We took a break and ate dinner just talking.  Then we moved on to Round 2 in our booklets.  There will be similar scripting prompts, all the while giving more clues into the mystery.  Then during dessert, you will move on to Round 3.  Everyone can then guess who they think the murderer is.  

murder-mystery-dinner-party-costume
I hope you feel educated so you can host or lead your own Murder Mystery Dinner Party.  It’s so much fun and brings people closer together in friendships.  Thanks for POPping over to my channel!

Our mystery had a winery theme to it.  But there was also this one which looked fun and Italian.

Let’s be friends on Instagram!

Occasionally I use affiliate links, and they are all my very honest ones.

Ann Taylor Loft – End of Summer Looks

Today I am showing you outfit looks from Ann Taylor Loft for the end of summer.  Loft has many sale styles to fit every woman – petite, regular, tall and plus.  These tops and dresses from Loft are items you can wear now. But they will be classic wardrobe pieces to carry you into Fall.  As a woman over 40, I like to be stylish and cute but comfortable in the clothes I am wearing.  How I style my clothes from Ann Taylor Loft may be different from you.  I hope my looks will give you inspiration for your visit to Loft. These outfit looks are what I feel comfortable in.  When we feel comfortable, we look confident.  And I feel like I can relax and really be myself when I am confident in what I’m wearing. feel-comfortable-confident-relaxed-in-loft-clothes

The first piece of clothing from Ann Taylor Loft is like a navy teal gray color.  You have the Fall look while not sweating to death haha.

gold-buttons-on-the-back

teal-shell-from-loft
I wish I had gotten this; I’m keeping my eye on it.

100% polyester in the front  with the back being a knit blend that hangs nicely.  It doesn’t cling with the knit fabric.  The fit is true to size.  I love the buttons in the back-gold.  I can put my top on without having to unbutton it.  With another top and dress, I had to unbutton it before getting my head through the hole.

pink-shell-loft
Exactly the same except for the front fabric.

Pink Shell:  Made differently.  The front is a polyester blend so it is different than the other shell.  Love that it is not see through.  It’s a warm blush color.  True to size fit.  Love the detailing about the neck and arm holes.  This top has the same buttons as the navy one.  All of Loft’s shell tops have a shirttail hem that helps tucking in your shirt easier for different body types.

off-shoulder-loft-sweater
See how it barely sits off the shoulder?
off-shoulder-top-from-loft
Notice the flutter sleeve?

Oh my word, this off the shoulder is beautiful.  It barely comes off the shoulder.  If you are over 40 and have been on the fence about an off the shoulder shirt, this short sleeve sweater from Loft is a great choice and fit!  You need to wear pants that are higher waisted because the top hits right at the waist.  But for a special night, this would be a treat!

lace-detailing-stripe-swing-dress-with-denim-jacket-for-autumn
Love this with a denim jacket. I like leaving the buttons undone at the wrists.

This white lace stripe halter swing dress is so dreamy.  Swiss dots line the neck and arm holes. 

I bought it in Tall Medium, and I love the fit.  Fully lined with just a bit of flow.  Love this! I do not feel like a 40 year old trying to look younger.  I feel airy and cool on a hot summer day at a picnic for about 5 minutes because we’re in Houston.

tried-on-spring-floral-halter-dress-from-loft

spring-floral-halter-topThis floral sprinkle halter swing dress is beautiful and airy too.  And the regular Medium was plenty long enough for me as 5’8”.  I just didn’t want it bad enough.  I did have to unbutton this dress to fit it over my head.

 

floral-shell-ann-taylor-loft
Gasped when I tried this on!

Ya know that feeling when you immediately gasp when you see a top you love?  This floral smock shell is my favorite purchase from Ann Taylor Loft this summer.  The fit is great.  If you have a tummy, this baby doll style will be flattering on you.  Love this color, and I think it will look great with jeans, navy and army green pants.  This is fully lined and would also be a great work outfit piece for your wardrobe. pink-shell-from-ann-taylor-loft

Loft has upped their quality in the last 2 years, and I’m loving how they have lined their tops and dresses.

floral-drop-waist-loft
LOVE this dress with coral and blush loafers.

Loved this dress, but I was worried I wouldn’t wear it enough.  I am keeping this sun dress because you can style it with a coral or blush cardigan. I wore it with my blush loafers.  Can you see the mint and blush? Again, because I live in the south I paired it with a jean jacket and boots. It’s long enough of a dress for me to feel comfortable in the summer and in Fall.

ann-taylor-drop-waist-dress-with-boots
Great dress for Summer and Fall.

I really like Loft’s denim because they make a curvy skinny which works well with my body type.  I tried on 9 pairs at Madewell yesterday, and none of them looked or fit correctly for me.  I also tried on some expensive ones at Nordstrom and did not bring home any of them.  Finding good jeans is like shopping for a bathing suit, right?

Thank you Ann Taylor Loft for lined tops and dresses, making them not see-through!

Let’s be friends on Instagram! And you can find more videos about travel tips (since we’re an airline family), makeup and fashion on my YouTube Channel.

Occasionally I use affiliate links, and all opinions are my very honest ones.

19 ish LIFE HACKS (travel-kitchen-closet)

Today I’m sharing 19 ish Life Hacks with you.  These are life hacks for the kitchen, life hacks for travel, life hacks in the closet, and life hacks for cleaning.  These 19 tips and tricks are from friends, other social media friends

light fabric life hack for purse
Choose a light fabric inside your handbag.

and hacks I have figured out on my own to help you my viewerslight fabric inside life hackdark fabric cannot see things in purse

The number one life hack is to make sure your purse has a light colored inner fabric to help you see what’s in the Deep black hole of your purse.  This hack is just a helpful tip that I got from my friend Shawn. 

life hack for kitchen shred chicken with mixer
Life hack for kitchen

Another life hack is for the kitchen from my friends Desneige and Carrie.  When you have to cook shredded chicken for tacos or for a crowd, boil your chicken.  Then toss 2-3 chicken breasts in your kitchen mixer to shred it.  Shredding your chicken with a mixer will shred it perfectly.

This life hack is to help you get through airport security with peace of mind and more quickly.  Take a screenshot of the email pass from your airline so you will not have to scroll through emails while in the security line.  This pass is what will get you through security.  TSA can easily scan it from your photo.  You won’t be worried about finding wi-fi in order to open your emails.  No need to look up the email when you get to the airport; just show your picture on your phone.  It is also one less thing to keep up with-no paper ticket thing.

hotel travel hack
Use pants coat hanger from the hotel closet to keep those curtains closed and the morning light OUT.

We are an airline family so do not miss my travel videos.  In my Travel Hack video, a subscriber commented with this life hack.  Use pants hanger from your hotel closet to keep hotel curtains closed and keep the morning light out!

This next life hack is for your closet.  Put a rubber band on the edges of your hanger to keep your wide-necked blouse on the hanger.  I got this idea from Benriwaza on YouTube.

For makeup hacks, store your beauty blender in a plastic easter egg!  Since Beauty Blenders are damp after using them, an easter egg allows air flow if it has holes in the bottom and top.  Brilliant!  I cannot remember who I got that idea from; it was like a year ago.

beauty blender makeup life hack
Store your damp beauty blender in the holed plastic Easter egg. Brilliant

Lazy Budget Chef suggests using a cotton ball to remove permanent marker from clothing by rubbing the alcohol-soaked cotton ball onto the piece of clothing stain.  She also says you can remove sticker label excess from jars or for me, this foundation container that they sealed it with so you couldn’t open it.  Works like a charm!  My foundation from an Over 40 video was sealed with this tape.  It took forever to take off the tape, but the residue left is still sticky.  Her hack took it off.  The video proves each of these life hacks.

My creative husband has a life hack for your home office.  Use a plastic gum container to hold multiple usb sticks.  This plastic is sturdy.

 

Keep copy of insurance card (health) inside glove box.  This life hack is for other people God forbid you’re in an accident.  I’m talking about your health insurance card in addition to your car insurance card.  Having that health insurance card will lead authorities to your doctor and then to your emergency contact person.

life hack
This is not your proof of insurance. It is a way to get in contact with your family via the doctors.

This next life hack is for when you are traveling abroad.  Stuff cash in-between the padding of your sports bra when you travel-in the suitcase but also while you’re wearing one in a foreign city.

 

This next life hack is for the kitchen.  Use an apple slicer to cut potato wedges or to make steak fries.  I suggest cutting the bottom rounded end so that the potato stands flat and so that the blade goes all the way through.

When we moved to Houston three years ago we were so excited to have fresh guacamole.  Avocados are cheap here, and there is a life hack for finding a beautiful green one…a perfect avocado like Barefoot Contessa would use.  When you are in the grocery store, pop off the stem thing on the end.  If it’s light green or has just a few spots of brown, you have found a fantastic one.  Green avocado everytime.

life hack for kitchen
Green avocado every time!

This next life hack is for the closet.  If you have a long shirt tail that you don’t want to tuck in, use Cheryl’s idea from Northwest Mountain Living.  Loop it through a belt loop.  Either belt loop will work.  Isn’t that cute?

Another subscriber gave me this life hack and that is to use the free newspaper bag that gets thrown on your driveway for travel.  Pack shoes in that free bag.

 

You have heard of the lemon wedge down the disposal life hack.  If you do not have a lemon, you can toss 10-15 coffee beans down your disposal to absorb funky smells.  Flight attendants will sometimes clip a coffee filter bean pouch to the inside of the lavatory on board airplanes.  Coffee beans are great at absorbing smells.

cotton ball hack
One drop of rosemary oil on this cotton ball will help give a fresh scent; like it’s been cleaned.

My friend Tammy sells essential oils (Oily Goals on Facebook), and she suggested putting one drop on a cotton ball and storing it in the bottom of your kitchen trash can.  This life hack gives your kitchen a fresh smell.  It does not smell like your kitchen has rosemary blooming, but it just smells fresh and clean.

We love FatHead Pizza and slathering a tube of basil on the crust.  It tastes like pesto but all the work has been done for you.  Just cut the tube and you have a good two tablespoons left of basil.  This tube is in the produce section, near the herbs, of your store.

We also use this life hack with our stand up lotion bottle.  I use strong kitchen scissors to cut the bottle, giving me three weeks of lotion.  It is a financial life hack.

Take it from my mistakes when you use this next life hack.  Do not wash your tassels when washing your cute tops.  Hold them out of the sink.  If you absolutely need to wash them, run water over them while forming the same tassel shape.  It will help prevent unruly tassel threads.  I had to cut mine on this shirt because they were so damaged.

Another hack came from Brenda Kinsel and Northwest Mountain Living (Cheryl).  Pull your long shirttail through a belt loop for a feminine life hack.

 

This last life hack comes from Frugal Miss Julie.  She repurposed a mug holder for her bracelets.  Such a clever DIY idea for a jewelry holder and a way to store bracelets.

Thank you so much for visiting my LauriePOP Channel.  I hope these life hacks give you tips and tricks to help you in travel, in the kitchen, and in daily life.

Occasionally I use affiliate links, but all opinions are my own honest ones.