Power Your Happy!

Reading this book felt like having Lisa Sugar sitting right in front of me, talking me through different aspects of life over a cup of coffee, like a good friend or mentor.

“Power Your Happy” is broken down into ten chapters that range in topics from finding your passion and navigating adulthood to taking care of your health and how to deal with the crappy stuff that happens in the workplace! It’s packed with useful information that’s easy to digest—similar to POPSUGAR articles.

Unlike other business or self-help books that might seem too dry (and basically resemble light textbooks), Lisa makes sure to keep everything light and friendly. She also backs up all of her advice and tips with personal anecdotes and stories about friends and friends-turned-coworkers.

Lisa’s down-to-earth approach is refreshing. Instead of hiding her true path to success like many do, she simply lays everything out. When Lisa can’t directly pull a story from personal experience, she’s still able to share a new enlightening perspective with readers.

For example, when she talks about break-ups and bad relationships, she admits she doesn’t have a lot of experience in that department (she met her husband in college). But, she still talks about how it feels to be the supportive friend, how she’s able to help, and what it takes to move forward.

I find it very respectable that she’s able to admit she isn’t the most experienced or knowledgable in that area but still find ways to talk about it with real examples.

Though the book is mainly geared towards young women in college and young professionals, Lisa Sugar shares good advice for women in all stages of their career. Many women, especially women who aspire to become managers or run businesses someday, will find more of her advice applicable than anybody.

Personally, I wish I had this book when I was still in college because there is a lot of information in here that just I couldn’t get from my family, peers, or professors. I didn’t know any graduates from my program who were in my industry, and at that time, blogs written by my peers didn’t really openly talk about life after college. Or maybe they did and because I was a college kid, I was looking at life after college very differently. And because I probably wasn’t spending time reading through a bunch of blogs. Well anyway, this book is packed with good information all in one spot.

There were so many times while reading the book where I would come across a topic and think about how I had to figure it on my own or how I just had to see things play out with coworkers. While learning from experience is good, I would have been a lot less stressed out and anxious if I had this book before I started my career.

One of the most useful parts of the book (and my favorite part, too!) is how at the end of every chapter, there is a questionnaire you can take to help apply what Lisa has just discussed to your own situation. To me, that’s a really strong way to apply what you’ve just learned and also answer the tough questions. They really help you learn more about yourself, what your goals are, and what you should do in the future to meet those goals.

Overall, this book was a light read even though it was filled with good info and is one I would recommend to college students and young professionals. I would give it a 4/5 and if it were sitting on my bookshelf, I would definitely refer to it from time to time.

For more information, check out http://www.poweryourhappy.com/!

I received this “Power Your Happy” free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Homemade Rosé Marshmallows

Homemade Rosé MarshmallowsHomemade Rosé Marshmallows Homemade Rosé Marshmallows Homemade Rosé Marshmallows Homemade Rosé Marshmallows

Homemade marshmallows are  completely different than what you find in stores–in a good way. There’s just something special about a homemade marshmallow.

Don’t get me wrong–I have nothing against store-bought marshmallows, but you compare the two, store-bought marshmallows are just too powdery and dry.

Before you start to think “ain’t nobody got time for that,” give me a second to tell you that making marshmallows at home are way easier than you think. Aside from having a candy thermometer (they’re inexpensive), there are no special tools you need to make them! The hardest part about the whole thing is waiting for the marshmallows to set (you need at least 4 hours).

The best thing about opting to make your own marshmallows is that you can customize them! For these marshmallows, I threw some rosé into the mix, creating a bold tangy flavor that comes through and complements the sugar from the marshmallow so well!

These rosé marshmallows are great snacks to just have around, but they’re awesome to have around for any fun gatherings where you might be having some rosé. Alternate sips of rosé with bites of rosé marshmallows! Think girls’ night in, bachelorette parties, wedding showers, etc. Or, you could be like me, and make a batch all for yourself and share with a few people. That works too, and I won’t judge you for it!

Alright, here is how you make them!

Homemade Rosé Marshmallows

Prep Time: 4 hours

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: 8

Serving Size: 1

Homemade Rosé Marshmallows


  • 1 ½ packages unflavored gelatin
  • ½ cup rosé, divided
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • a pinch of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup confectioners' sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • Nonstick spray


  1. In your stand mixer, add the gelatin and 1/4 cup of rosé. Let sit for about 10 minutes.
  2. Add 1/4 cup of rosé, granulated sugar, corn syrup, and salt to a medium saucepan. Cook on medium-high heat. Use a candy thermometer to see when mixture reaches 240 degrees F. Immediate remove from heat.
  3. With your stand mixer on a low speed with the whisk attachment in place, slowly pour in the syrup into the mixing bowl with the gelatin. Increase to a medium-high speed.
  4. Whip the mixture until it is very thick. Add vanilla and beat for a minute longer.
  5. Use a nonstick spray to coat the inside of a pan. I used a loaf pan for this recipe because it is a small batch.
  6. In a small bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar and cornstarch.
  7. Coat the pan with the sugar/cornstarch mixture. Save the remaining mixture for later.
  8. Pour the marshmallow mixture into the pan. Dust the top with more of the sugar/cornstarch mixture to lightly cover the top. Save the remaining sugar/cornstarch mixture.
  9. Let the marshmallows sit uncovered for at least 4 hours. Overnight is best.
  10. Once the marshmallows are set, remove from the pan and cut into squares. Dust the sides of all the marshmallows with the rest of the sugar/cornstarch mixture.
  11. Store in an air-tight container!




Weekend Brunch at Sideboard in Danville, CA

Sideboard-brunchBrunch is one of my favorite meals, and I have a feeling a lot of you feel the same way.

Tucked away in a nondescript house on a street corner at the edge of Downtown Danville is a lovely cafe that serves freshly baked pastries, light and healthy appetizers, hearty entrees, gourmet coffee, and flavorful cocktails called Sideboard. Really, the location is so easy to miss, we didn’t see the building the first time we drove by, leading to this exchange:

“Are you sure it’s here?”

“Yes, I’m sure! Google says so, too!”

Some of the decor at Sideboard

Some of the decor at Sideboard

Once you enter the house from a side door, not the front entrance, you immediately find yourself in this homey, comfortable environment. The walls are a deep red from with all types of art on the walls, and almost everything inside is mismatched in a the way you might see at someone’s house. All of tables, chairs and benches were mismatched, all the plates were mismatched, and all the silverware was mismatched, but in a good, likable way.

Some of the artwork at Sideboard

Some of the artwork at Sideboard

The place is packed with families, groups of girls catching up, men and women on brunch dates, students working on papers, elderly men reading the newspaper…basically everyone.

There’s no menu on the wall, so you pick up a paper menu and proceed through the line while making a decision on what to order. The menu here is extensive, and there’s something for almost anyone. You will have plenty of time to decide on what to order, and but if you’re anything like me, you will still second guess your choices once you reach the cash register and you’re placing your orders. There’s so much delicious food to choose from, you really have to make sure you have enough room in your belly to actually eat everything you order!

I was pretty tempted by the mac and cheese, but we ended up getting the Grilled Chicken Breast Salad, the Roasted Pink and Gold Beets Salad, a Four Barrel espresso, a Four Barrel Latte, a slice of coffee cake, and the Vampiro (spicy bloody mary!)

A slice of coffee cake

A slice of coffee cake

Since we were there at a peak time, it took us over 10 minutes to find a place to sit,

We ended up sitting at a large community table inside, which was quite roomy and actually made it really easy to talk in the midst of all the loud and fun conversations happening around us.

As soon as we sat down, our food came out quickly, and we devoured our food. I don’t know how but I was somehow able to fit a heaping salad, soup-sized latte, a slice of coffee cake, and half a bloody mary in my belly. My bloody mary ended up being too spicy for me (as in it was burning my stomach), so I decided to not finish it. I’m a fan of spicy bloody marys but my body just wasn’t ready for this one.

Vampiro - Spicy Bloody Mary

Vampiro – Spicy Bloody Mary

I was kind of amazed at myself for eating so much food for one meal! Oh well, we all have those days where we pig out, right?!

If you’re in the Bay Area and you’re out in the East Bay looking for a place to eat that combines healthy food with good flavor, you need to go to Sideboard!

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