Tuesday, January 31, 2017

January 2017: Beauty Favorites

My favorites for the month of January include:
L'ANZA Keratin Healing Oil Shampoo
L'ANZA Keratin Healing Oil Conditioner
La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer and Foundation with SPF 15
Artis Brush Fluenta Oval 8 Brush
The Original BeautyBlender
Cle de peau Beaute Radiant Multi-Repair Oil
Lancôme Absolue Oil
Ciate London Dark Choc Pot Nail Polish Remover
Shu Uemura Art of Hair Essence Absolue Nourishing Oil
Wet n Wild Highlighting Gold Bar

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

CHEN Skin Health, Afshar Serum

CHEN Skin Health is a natural beauty line created by Tiffany Chen. As a Tai Chi Chuan expert and martial artist, Chen wanted to create a line skin care that was free of fillers, preservatives, and synthetics. Everything is homemade and created in the heart of NYC. So, what do I think about CHEN Skin Health's Afshar serum?


First and foremost, I love the texture of this serum, as it is outstanding. It isn't too thin yet it isn't thick. It's lightweight and sinks into your skin like a second skin, faster than most oils, serums, and creams on the market.

My skin is combination, but tends to lean towards dry during the Winter and Fall months and oily during the Summer and Spring months. In short, my skin tends to be a product of my environment. The Afshar serum is one of the few products that I have used that works all year round.

When it comes to regeneration, the Afshar serum works amazing as such. The rosehip oil is very evident in this serum. What I loved most about this fantastic CHEN Skin Health addition is the fact that It works incredibly to deliver intense hydration to your moisture barrier. It is also great for balancing your skin's natural pH (including acid mantle). Stimulating collagen naturally, the Afshar serum helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Aside from the skin, rosehip oil also works the same way with hair and nails.

Sometimes our skin can become dry yet parched and other times, it can become the opposite. The Apricot oil in this product makes skin soft and smooth, without looking or feeling greasy virtually instantaneously. Spreading evenly on the skin, this is another oil that makes the Afshar serum one of the best serums I have ever used.

The Red Raspberry Seed Oil in this product is a true antioxidant that is nature's cure for free radical damage, as well as, DNA damage. This essential oil adds elasticity to the skin and aids in relief to an array of problematic skin issues such as acne, eczema, and even psoriasis. And because it contains a significant amount of Vitamin A and Vitamin E, it works to correct, prevent, and even repair the skin while improving antioxidant activity.

By default, Sweet Almond Oil is an anti-inflammatory, an anti-hepatotoxic, a cicatrizant, an immunity booster, a sclerosant, an emollient, and an antioxidant. Whether you have dull skin, dehydrated skin, dry skin, normal skin, combination skin, oily skin, sensitive skin, and even acne prone skin; you can benefit from this essential oil, as you can benefit from the Afshar serum.

When it comes to antibacterial, the astringent functions of the Geranium oil in the Afshar serum really make this product a true healer in more ways than one. What I find fascinating about this incredible CHEN Skin Health addition is how it repairs the skin without the use of needles, drugs, or risk. This essential oil actually works to facilitate blood circulation and produce a healthy melanin flow.

After using the Afshar serum for a week, I noticed that my skin was incredibly hydrated. I noticed that the quality of my skin also improved immensely, as I noticed a change in my skin's texture and tone. This product will create a vibrant yet radiant natural glow that one can not only love, but appreciate too.

After using the Afshar serum for month, I noticed that my skin not only felt smooth, but looked it too. I also noticed that after using this serum, my skin has appeared more youthful. My moisture levels (including my pH levels) were more balanced.

The Afshar serum works amazing as not only a regular face serum, but an eye serum too. I noticed that the skin around my eyes appeared firmer after using this amazing CHEN Skin Health addition.

What I love most about this serum is the fact that it is one of the few that works to your lips hydrated. Recently, I have had issues with chapped lips, but luckily ever since using the Afshar serum, my chapped lips are gone. This works as a natural lip serum, which I love.

Get ready to ditch your makeup remover, as the Afshar serum works as an incredible medium to remove makeup. Take a few drops of this amazing serum, apply it to a cotton ball, and gently wipe across your face.

You can oil pull with the Afshar serum. As all of the ingredients in this serum are antioxidants that work to boost immunity, this is also great for oral and dental health, as well.

Looking for an essential oil to use with your vaginal detox? Try using the Afshar serum from CHEN Skin Health instead. All of the ingredients work together to create a plethora of all things good, great, and amazing.

This product is natural and does not contain any artificial or synthetic ingredients. It is also free of sulfates, parabens, DEA, and phthalates. Considered a skin food, this organic product is also free of genetically modified organisms (or GMOs).

The Afshar serum is food-grade.

CHEN Skin Health embraces the cruelty-free concept and is against animal testing. No animals were harmed when the Afshar serum was created.


The serum is made up of the following ingredients: Rosehip Oil, Apricot Oil, Red Raspberry Seed Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Olive Oil, and Geranium Oil. If you are allergic to any of these ingredients, I definitely recommend refraining from using this serum.

The Afshar serum is available at CHEN Skin Health for $45 (2 oz.) or $75 (4 oz.). Would I recommend this serum to a friend? Absolutely. Would I use this serum again? Absolutely. In fact, I just used some 5 minutes ago. For more information about the Afshar Serum, simply click here right now.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Winter skincare tips courtesy of Le Couvent des Minimes

Made from the highest quality botanticals and blended according to time-honored traditions, Le Couvent des Minimes Loving Care Collection is the perfect addition to a Winter skin care regimen. Ideal for every skin type under the sun, the collection will hydrate, hedge and heal your skin, leaving it radiant and smooth. So, how can Le Couvent des Minimes help your skin this Winter season?

Do you have sensitive skin? If so, you may be interested in the Face Cream for Sensitive Skin. As it works to hydrate and protect your skin, it soothes the skin. Infused with grape seed oil, mallow extract, calendula extract and rose flower water this moisturizer works to correct, prevent and even repair dry skin as well as, nourish it. For only $18, this is ideal for sensitive skin.

Micellar water has an array of uses. Not only does it work to remove makeup, it works to gently cleanse the face and eye area too. It also works to refresh your skin and even set your makeup. Suitable for every skin type, Le Couvent des Minimes' 3-in-1 Micellar Water is infused with cornflower water along with mallow extract which work to refresh, tone and hydrate the skin. Available for $19, this amazing addition will meet all of your skin health needs.

Do you have dry skin? Perhaps you may find the Loving Care Body Balm Lotion for Dry Skin appealing. Made with homemade Galen's wax, this hypoallergenic formula works to hydrate and nourish dry skin. Infused with calendula and mallow extract, this moisturizer works to comfort and correct cutaneous dryness. For under $40, this lotion also works to repair the skin instantaneously.

It is so important to exfoliate the skin, as this will renew the skin and leave it so soft and smooth as a result. The Scrub for Dry Skin is not only a new addition to the Le Couvent des Minimes brand, but one of the most popular essentials from the Loving Care collection. This rich and very cream formula is the perfect solution to Winter dry skin. For under $30, this natural formula will gently exfoliate your skin leaving it incredibly soft.

Do you have very dry skin? The Loving Care Body Balm Cream for Very Dry Skin is the perfect essential for you. Made with the in-house Galen's wax along with an epic fusion of calendula and mallow extract, this amazing hypoallergenic formula relieves, repairs and even corrects dry skin. It also works to protect and repair the skin, leaving it soft and supple. This very dry formula is available at Le Couvent des Minimes for $32.

Our skin is the product of our environment and when it is cold, our skin tends to get very dry. As a result our lips are affected. One of the best solutions this Winter is Le Couvent des Minimes' Lip Balm for Dry Lips. Infused with beeswax and shea butter, this is the perfect product for your pout. For under $10, this rich formula works to correct, prevent, repair and even sooth your lips.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Spirulina Macaroni with Nutritional Yeast

Lately, I find myself enjoying vegan food. I've been vegan for quite sometime. Although I am unsure if I will stick with this eating lifestyle considering I am a vegetarian, I do appreciate those days of eating clean without worrying calories, carbohydrates and portion size. When you eat vegan, you can eat so much. Especially if you do intermittent fasting throughout the day. 

Today, I found myself doing something completely different in the kitchen. I took the initiative to make some spirulina macaroni with nutritional yeast. I used Delallo Organic Elbow Macaroni, some SARI Foods Spirulina Powder, NOW Foods Nutritional Yeast Flakes, and some Earth Balance Organic Whipped Buttery Spread. Simplicity is key in this dish; however, there must be flavor. So for good measure I added some salt and pepper for some extra flavor. 

And this is a simple yet fun pasta dish. Plus, with the immense health benefits you will get from this, you will want to eat this every single day. Not only does it taste amazing, but you will feel amazing after eating it. 

From my house to your house - enjoy! 

Story Time: Why I voted for Donald Trump

I think all of you are rightfully aware that Donald J. Trump was recently elected as the 45th president of the United States of America. As a citizen of the land of the free and the home of the brave, I am proud to say that I wholeheartedly support Trump as president of the United States. Therefore, I voted for him. 

Why did I vote for Donald J. Trump?

I like what he stands for. He is an outspoken businessman and really wants to fix America on every level. Whether it means establishing jobs for Americans and fixing the ongoing homeless problem, enforcing immigration laws and protecting our country's borders, promoting a strong budget to help strengthen the economy or building a strong reform for healthcare and other benefits. 

My political beliefs and views have changed over the years. I started out as being Independent leaning towards the liberal side of the spectrum shortly before becoming conservative. After looking at every angle of the political spectrum, I realize that I wasn't examining everything fully, but rather, one-dimensionally. 

For instance: I use to be pro abortion, as I believed every woman had the right to choose what they wanted to do with their bodies; however, I learned about a friend of mine several years ago being a product of rape. And another friend of mine who had an abortion and now regrets her decision. I don't believe abortion should be used as a form of contraception; however, a decade ago I use to support this systematic analysis simply because I believed every woman had the choice. 

Granted I believe in free will, as I believe no one has the right to undermine a human's natural right. I am not ignorant and still have friends and family who are democrats and would never support Trump at all. But practically speaking, I also have the right to type this blog post as I have the right to support president Trump and his political views. With that said, I am anxious to see what plans he has for America and the American people. 

It's simple: Trump cares about the American people and wants to do great things to help this country. 

A lot of you are relatively shocked, considering I am an Iranian American woman from California (currently residing in Idaho) and Trump has a reputation for being somewhat audacious, misogynistic, and an overall loose cannon; however, separating the person's non-political past words and actions from their current promises for America and actions has what helped me make my final decision. I like what Trump wants to do for America. 

Hillary Clinton has had many years to make changes. She did nothing. She had many opportunities to make changes as the first lady. Why didn't she do so? As much as I would love for a woman to win, her promises came across as fake. And after watching her testify regarding the 2012 Benghazi attack, I don't think she is American because no American would ever say "What does it matter? He's dead anyway."

I do not think Trump is a predator nor do I see him as someone who has bad intentions. There is no proof he is a rapist either. Trump has always been modestly outspoken with his political beliefs, making him the #1 political hopeful for the presidency.  

Granted Trump has said some terrible things in the past. And although some of you may not overlook them, I think it is time to move forward from his non-political rants simply because he is a man with a voice, a vision, and a message who makes promising claims to better America and the people.

I know many of you who are liberal and/or of a democratic affiliation will come for me regarding my political views, but I am not thinking of myself here. I am thinking of what is best for this country and the people who live here. 

To dictate Trump as a monster simply because he said some fucked up shit in his past is judgmental because you would never want anyone doing the same to you. He is not ego driven nor a megalomaniac, he is simply a man who wants to genuinely help the USA and make America great again.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

NOTD: January 22, 2017

So, I decided to paint my nails today in honor of the big game. Not quite Steelers yellow gold, but close enough. I used OPI Nail Lacquer in 'Towel Me About It' with a hint of Nails Inc. Snowglobe in 'New Globe Walk' and the Sally Hansen - I love Nail Art Studs Kit. I really love how my nails turned out today. By the way, the gold bangle by Kara Ross/Unleashed World

To view my nails today, simply visit my Instagram now. Click here right now.

Black and yellow here we come. Lets go Steelers! 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Look at the snow here right now

Mother nature has a sense of humor, I think. At least today. This is what it looks like right now outside. And the snow just continues to fall at a rapid rate. This is the kind of weather I have been dealing with sporadically since last month. Heavy snowfall, closed roads and no where to go, but home. 

A lot of places are closed, so I cannot go grocery shopping nor order food. Luckily I have some food here I can cook, but I feel like I am in a dilemma considering this is also effecting the power and the phone towers. I have three internet connections (two WIFI and one mobile network) so if they go, I am basically here alone with my pets until they decide to plow the roads and what not. 

Needless to say, as much as it is nice to stay home, I don't like being trapped indoors. It makes me depressed and I feel as if I am developing a minor case of seasonal affect disorder, which is giving me major anxiety. Today is Sunday, January 8, 2017 and I just received a company call that work has been canceled as the building I work in is completely shut down due to the storm. Roads are shut down. Airports have been shut down. 

When I lived in Montana, it would get to below -20 degrees. It was very cold, but the snow didn't pile up. This is heavy snow. The kind that can be destructive to a roof top on a house. The kind that can actually cause a minor avalanche. This is a real snowstorm and reminds me of someone experimenting with the weather, although it is possible mother nature does have a sense of humor. But then again that could just be me thinking this way to make light out of a sad situation. 

I guess the only thing I can do is stay home, take advantage of the day (or days) off from work and just veg out here. I just don't understand why the weather is acting this way nor how long it will last, but I am hoping that it stops soon as I don't know how much more I can take. 

I hope the weather is good where you are. 

Saturday, January 7, 2017

2017 iHeartRadio Music Awards

Every year the iHeartRadio recognizes and honors the greatest talent in mainstream music. With over 200 million listeners daily, iHeartRadio reaches more people than any other radio or television outlet in the United States alone. And it is official, the iHeartRadio Music Awards will be held on Sunday, March 5th 2017 at the Historic Forum in the heart of Los Angeles. The real question is; however, who are the nominees for this year's awards?

A song can speak so many words, as a song can tell a story. And if that story is powerful or delivers a message, it can make you want to listen to it all of the time. One thing I love about music is the message. Sure an outstanding melody and backbeat can really lure you in, but a story can keep you interested. With so many songs introduced to us in 2016, iHeartRadio is recognizing five of the best. So, what are the best songs of the year? The nominees for 'Song of the year' are officially here. They include:

- "Can't Stop The Feeling" - Justin Timberlake
- "Cheap Thrills" - Sia featuring Sean Paul
- "Closer" - The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey
- "One Dance" - Drake featuring Wizkid and Kyla
- "Stressed Out" - twenty one pilots

One thing I love about this year's nominees is the fact that they are all talented and yet so very different. Lets face it, the women in music are incredibly talented and what better way to recognize and honor them than by the world's biggest radio platform - iHeartRadio. As the awards approach us, here are this year's nominees:

- Adele
- Ariana Grande
- Rihanna
- Selena Gomez
- Sia

2016 brought us a lot of wonderful things. And as we are now in 2017, we can appreciate last year because of it. With so many talented men in music, only five have been recognized this year as the best. So, who is the Best Male Artist of the year for 2017? The nominees for Best Male Artist include:

- Drake
- Justin Bieber
- Luke Bryan
- Shawn Mendes
- The Weeknd

With so many talented artists out there, the dynamic duos and groups really bring something new and different to music. As a team effort is always required in a workplace environment, it is also a great thing to possess in music. With so many duos and groups, there can only be one 'Best Duo/Group of the year'. The nominees for iHeartRadio's Music Awards this year have been officially announced. So, what are they? 

- Coldplay
- Florida Georgia Line
- The Chainsmokers
- twenty one pilots

Alternative rock has been quite a preferred genre of rock to many music enthusiasts. And even if you don't appreciate rock, you will love it after you hear the alternative genre. Speaking of Alternative rock, the nominees for Best Alternative Rock song for 2017 include:

- "Bored to Death" - blink-182
- "Dark Necessities" - Red Hot Chili Peppers
- "Heathens" - twenty one pilots
- "Ride" - twenty one pilots
- "Trouble" - Cage The Elephant

As a genre, rock has grown immensely into magic to music. With so many sub-genres, rock remains to be one of the greatest ever. And in recent years, alternative rock has really proved this theory to be true. So, who are the nominees for Alternative Rock of the year?

- blink-182
- Cage The Elephant
- Coldplay
- The Strumbellas
- twenty one pilots

Are you ready to rock? I am obsessed with iHeartRadio and when I heard the list of nominees for best rock song, I guess you could say I was pretty stoked. It's not everyday that bands you appreciated as a child are relevant again. The nominees for Best Rock Song have been officially announced...

- "Bang Bang" - Green Day
- "Dark Necessities" - Red Hot Chili Peppers
- "Take Me Down" The Pretty Reckless
- "The Devil's Bleeding Crown" Volbeat
- "The Sound Of Silence" - Disturbed

If you know me, you know how much I love rock music. In fact, if I had to choose a favorite genre, this would be it. When I heard about the bands nominated for this category, I was quite happy as I am fan of all of them. But the real question remains; what are the nominees for Rock Artist of the Year?

- Disturbed
- Five Finger Death Punch
- Red Hot Chili Peppers
- Shinedown
- Volbeat

Country music is a genre that brings a southern flair that can best be described in a song. With so many amazing songs to choose from, five of them really stood out this year. As Carrie Underwood shared church bells, Thomas Rhett was wearing a t-shirt. And although Cole Swindell insisted you should be here, Old Dominion asked to Snapback just before Dierks Bentley was somewhere on a beach. So, what are the nominees for Best Country Song of the year?

- "Church Bells" - Carrie Underwood
- "Snapback" - Old Dominion
- "Somewhere On A Beach" - Dierks Bentley
- "T-Shirt" - Thomas Rhett
- "You Should Be Here" - Cole Swindell

2017 is a year of a new dawn, a new day and a new life and I think we can all agree that we are feeling good about this year for many reasons. iHeartRadio just announced the nominees for Country Artist of the Year. So, who is the best Country Music Artist of the year? With all of the incredible talent in country music, I am proud to share the nominees for this year...

- Carrie Underwood
- Jason Aldean
- Keith Urban
- Luke Bryan
- Thomas Rhett

Some of the greatest songs ever come from the dance music genre. After all, they are the life of virtually every party. And after hearing the nominees this year, I don't think there has been a moment I sat down because all I did was dance. Yes, it is true. BTW, here are the nominees for Dance Song of the year...

- "Closer" - The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey
- "Cold Water" - Major Lazer featuring Justin Bieber and MØ
- "Don't Let Me Down" - The Chainsmokers featuring Daya
- "I Took A Pill In Ibiza" - Mike Posner
- "Let Me Love You" - DJ Snake featuring Justin Bieber

There is literally nothing more exciting than music that makes you want to get up and just move. Dance music has been around for quite sometime and has recently evolved into something bigger, dipping heavily into mainstream. With many outstanding artists and bands within the genre, I am proud to announce the nominees for Dance Artist of the year.

- Calvin Harris
- DJ Snake
- Flume
- Major Lazer
- The Chainsmokers

One thing to appreciate about the hip hop genre is it's ability to bring something different to music. Although this genre may not be your cup of tea, it could be ones' idea of a perfect drink. As a fan of the genre, it is great to see iHeartRadio recognize the best songs in the genre. So, what are they? What are the nominees for Best Hip Hop Song of the year?

- "All The Way Up" - Fat Joe and Remy Ma featuring French Montana
- "Controlla" - Drake
- "For Free" - DJ Khaled featuring Drake
- "One Dance" - Drake featuring Wizkid and Kyla
- "Panda" - Desiigner

Hip Hop is one of those genres that brings out a fusion of rap, soul and pop with a hint of beat. What I love about hip hop is it's unique way of telling a story using limericks and beats. One thing is certain, you either get it or you don't. The tried & true talent of Hip Hop is found in this year's nominees...

- Desiigner
- DJ Khaled
- Drake
- Future
- J. Cole

The talent is very much real and alive in the music industry. Thank you to iHeartRadio, the awards are even better than ever. As Beyoncé said she was sorry, Bryson Tiller wanted to exchange. As Usher said no limit, that is when Rihanna and Drake wanted to work before Rihanna needed me. The nominees for Best R&B Song of the year include:

- "Exchange" - Bryson Tiller
- "Needed Me" - Rihanna
- "No Limit" - Usher featuring Young Thug
- "Sorry" - Beyoncé
- "Work" - Rihanna featuring Drake

As we say goodbye to 2016 we fly into 2017, we just can't help but appreciate everything the year brought us. A lot of tried & true talent is one thing; however, the legendary iconic talent is another. When I look at the nominees for Best R&B Artist this year, I see so many people who bring so much to music and therefore, are legendary. So, who are the nominees for Best R&B Artist of the year?

- Beyoncé
- Bryson Tiller
- Rihanna
- The Weeknd
- Usher

With every great artist lies a song. A song that tells more than a story. In Latin culture one thing I learned is that every song projects an emotion. An emotion so big, that it gravitates learn music. If a song is meant to be happy and exciting, it will be. If it's mean to depict sorrow and sadness, well it does that too. But the question remains; what are the nominees for Best Latin Song this year?

- "Ay Mi Dios" - IAmChino featuring Pitbull, Yandel and El Chacal
- "De Pies A Cabeza" - Mana featuring Nicky Jam
- "Duele El Corazon" - Enrique Iglesias featuring Wisin
- "La Carretera" - Prince Royce
- "Ya Me Enteré" - Reik featuring Nicky Jam

We live in a century where Latin culture has been embraced in more ways than one. Whether it is through the people, the places, the food and the music, there are so many things one can appreciate. This year the world-renowned radio outlet recognizes some of the greatest Latin artists. So, who are they? Who is the Best Latin Artist of the year?

- Enrique Iglesias
- J Balvin
- Nicky Jam
- Prince Royce
- Yandel

iHeartRadio has officially announced the nominees for this year's awards. Best Regional Mexican Song is a category that you may have never heard of; however, when you hear their music (especially the songs this year) you cannot help but love this genre and appreciate it too. So, what are this year's nominees?

- "Amor Del Bueno" - Calibre 50
- "Cicatrices" - Regulo Caro
- "Me Está Gustando" - Banda Los Recoditos
- "¿Por Qué Terminamos?" - Gerardo Ortiz
- "Solo Con Verte" - Banda Sinaloense MS de Sergio Lizárraga

Hola! Music is suppose to be exciting yet possess a dopamine-like appeal that makes you want to listen to it again and again and again and again. When listening to some of these Mexican artists, I always feel inspired to do something new and different. I've listened to quite a few this year; however, the nominees for 'Best Regional Mexican Artist' tend to stand out the most. The nominees this year include:

- Banda El Recodo de Cruz Lizárraga
- Banda Los Recoditos
- Calibre 50
- Gerardo Ortiz
- Remmy Valenzuela

Best New Rock/Alternative Rock Artist is a new category brought to you by iHeartMusic that recognizes new talent from the rock and/or alternative rock genre. I recently went to a show where I watched about ten different bands back-to-back. I couldn't believe the talent I heard. Needless to say, I was astonished by what I heard. The nominees for 'Best New Rock/Alternative Rock Artist' include:

- Foals
- Kaleo
- Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
- Red Sun Rising
- The Strumbellas

Country music is a genre to appreciate for its originality and quality. When you hear it, you know you live in a place you can call home. I think of country as the music of America, as it is musical category that originated here. With tons of country superstars today, the talent is endless. And like the other categories here, only a few can be acknowledged, recognized and honored for their gifts towards the music industry. So, who are the nominees this year?

- Chris Lane
- Chris Stapleton
- Granger Smith
- Kelsea Ballerini
- Maren Morris

Hip Hop delivers the greatest beats with a limerick that depicts a story, a story that complements the composition. There are many artists in this category; however, only a few were recognized this year by iHeartRadio. So, who are they? Who are the nominees for 'Best New Hip Hop Artist'?

- Chance The Rapper
- Desiigner
- D.R.A.M.
- Kent Jones
- Kevin Gates

Latin music brings an amazingly new unique sound to music. I don't care what anyone says, if you dislike this genre, you evidently have not heard the right artist. As Best New Latin Artist, this category is filled with relatively new, tried & true talent. The nominees for this category include:

- Carlos Rivera
- Christian Daniel
- IAmChino
- Sofia Reyes

Best New R&B Soul artists really bring an unique quality to music. As a crossover genre, this pop soul fusion takes you to a different world every single time you listen to it. So, who are the nominees this year?

- Belly
- Bryson Tiller
- Dreezy
- Kayla Brianna
- Ro James

Just recently, I have garnered an interest in Latino music. Mexican artists really bring something so amazing to music. With a fusion of ethnic flavor, I am really digging the execution and deliver of these artists and as a result, am very much looking forward to hearing more. So, who are the nominees for 'Best New Regional Mexican Artist'?

- Adriel Favela
- Banda Los Sebastianes
- Cheyo Carrillo
- Joss Favela
- La Séptima Banda

A lot of new categories are added this year to the iHeartRadio Awards roster which is quite exciting if you ask me. One of them is the Best New Pop Artist category. So many talented artists attempt to dip into the industry and only few are able to walk through the door. These amazing talents were lucky enough to share their gifts with the world today...

- Alessia Cara
- Daya
- Lukas Graham
- The Chainsmokers

There are not many people in this world that can take music and turn it into something remarkable. An artist can do so much; however, we live in the 21st century where so much can be done to enhance a tune and make it that much better. A producer not only lays out the tracks, they mix and master the entire recording. And it is because of this they deserve true recognition for their efforts towards another gifted talent. So, who are the nominees this year?

- Benny Blanco
- Greg Kurstin
- Max Martin
- Mike Elizondo
- The Chainsmokers

When a song is good, it sounds good. The composition is there. However; when a song is great, amazing or even incredible, it depicts a story that one can relate to. A story that simply makes sense. Lyrics really create something special to music. Composition is a foundation; however, without lyrics there is no story one can truly relate to. What are the nominees for 'Best Lyrics'?

- "7 Years" - Lukas Graham
- "Came Here to Forget" - Blake Shelton
- "Cheap Thrills" - Sia featuring Sean Paul
- "Closer" - The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey
- "Heathens" - twenty one pilots
- "Love Yourself" - Justin Bieber
- "Scars To Your Beautiful" - Alessia Cara
- "Send My Love (To Your New Lover)" - Adele
- "Too Good" – Drake featuring Rihanna
- "You Should Be Here" - Cole Swindell

As another socially voted category, I think we can all agree that collaborations add something special to music. One of the things I love about music is the collaboration between two gifted talents. Whether two artists, two bands or an artist with a band and vice versus. You have to admit, it really makes you appreciate music that much more. So, who are the nominees for 'Best Collaboration' this year?

- "Cheap Thrills" - Sia featuring Sean Paul
- "Closer" - The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey
- "Don't Let Me Down" - The Chainsmokers featuring Daya
- "This Is What You Came For" - Calvin Harris featuring Rihanna
- "Work" - Rihanna featuring Drake

Covers can make or break an artist, as they are often compared to the original; however, if they have more moments than the original, they can shine their way creating a world-wide hit (take 'I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston' for instance). Many great talents this year have proved that their rendition of a song is destined to shine and as a result, they are recognized for it. The nominees for this year's best cover song include:

- "All I Ask" - Bruno Mars
- "Ex's and Oh's" - Fifth Harmony
- "Fast Car" - Justin Bieber
- "Hands to Myself" - DNCE
- "Here" - Shawn Mendes
- "How Will I Know" - Ariana Grande
- "Love on the Brain" - Kelly Clarkson
- "Purple Rain" - Jennifer Hudson and the cast of The Color Purple
- "Sound of Silence" - Disturbed
- "Too Good" - Zara Larsson

Every time you watch a movie, do you notice what is playing before, during or after? Another category this year includes 'Best Song from a Movie'. As the Suicide Squad brought you life from your favorite comic book, Trolls delivered a timeless toon of your favorite doll. As the Ghostbusters remake recognized the original by changing things up a bit, we got to see what really happened to Bridget Jones and watch Alice Looking Through the Walking Glass. The question remains; what are the best? Here are this year's nominees:

- "Can't Stop the Feeling" - Justin Timberlake (Trolls)
- "Falling for You" - Ellie Goulding (Bridget Jones's Baby)
- "Girls Talk Boys" - 5 Seconds of Summer (Ghostbusters)
- "Heathens" - twenty one pilots (Suicide Squad)
- "Just Like Fire" - P!nk (Alice Through the Looking Glass)

So, what is your favorite music video this year? The Best New Music category is on fire this year with an array of talent lined up to take home the big award March 5th. As a new category to the awards this year, this is one that recognizes only the hottest in mainstream music today. And the best part is, you get to vote for the best. Who are the nominees this year?

- "Don't Let Me Down" - The Chainsmokers featuring Daya
- "Formation" - Beyoncé
- "Hasta El Amanecer" - Nicky Jam
- "Heathens" - twenty one pilots
- "Hymn for the Weekend" - Coldplay
- "I Took A Pill In Ibiza" - Mike Posner
- "Pillowtalk" - ZAYN
- "Side to Side" - Ariana Grande featuring Nicki Minaj
- "This Is What You Came For" - Calvin Harris featuring Rihanna
- "Work" - Rihanna featuring Drake
- "Work From Home" - Fifth Harmony featuring Ty Dolla $ign

Best Underground Alternative band is a new category to the awards this year which recognizes the best undiscovered talent who embrace the alternative culture and genre. And guess what? You get to choose your favorite. The nominees include:

- Hey Violet
- Pierce the Veil
- Sleeping With Sirens
- Tonight Alive

Social Star Award. As a socially voted category, this is a new category for the awards this year which recognizes your favorite online personality. The nominees for this year include:

- Alex Aiono from YouTube
- Baby Ariel from Musical.ly
- Emma McGann from YouNow
- Hailey Knox from YouNow
- Jack and Jack from Snapchat
- Jacob Sartorius from Musical.ly
- Marcus Perez from Facebook
- Steph Clavin from Instagram
- Todrick Hall from YouTube
- xYego from Smule

Best Fan Army (which is presented by Taco Bell) recognizes fans and enthusiasts of different artists and bands. This is a socially voted category which means you get to vote for your favorites. The nominees for this year include:

- 5 Seconds of Summer - 5SOSFam
- Ariana Grand - Arianators
- Beyoncé - Beyhive
- Britney Spears - Britney Army
- Demi Lovato - Lovatics
- Fifth Harmony - Harmonizers
- Justin Bieber - Beliebers
- Katy Perry - KatyCats
- Lady Gaga - Little Monsters
- Rihanna - Rihanna Navy
- Selena Gomez - Selenators
- Shawn Mendes - Mendes Army
- twenty one pilots - #twentyonepilots 

Who do you think will win this year?

The event will be televised on TBS, TNT, truTV at 8 pm EST (or 5 pm PST). It will also be live streamed on iHeartRadio's simulcast. Will you be watching the awards this year? I know, I will. For more information about iHeartRadio's 2017 Music Awards visit the official website today. #iHeartRadio

Monday, January 2, 2017

Mackey's in Ontario, Oregon

As many of you are aware, I moved to Idaho a few years ago. A few days ago I had to visit Ontario, Oregon which is about a 45 minute drive from me to meet with some friends and family for dinner. With quite a few restaurants to choose from, we all decided to eat at Mackey's, as it was a new place for all of us. As a vegetarian, I didn't know what to expect, but like most eateries now day, it seems to be a lifestyle most cater to. 

In the heart of Ontario on 111 SW Street lies one of the most underrated dining establishments, Mackey's. Traditionally this eatery is known as both a Pub and Steakhouse, hence the Irish theme. 

To be quite frank, I have never really ate at an Irish restaurant, but always wanted to. I guess what stopped me was the idea that they wouldn't have anything for vegetarians let alone anything plant-based. Needless to say I was wrong with my assumptions. 

Looking at the menu, I was modestly impressed. To be honest, I was thinking they offered only a few things that were meat-free, but here, they had quite a few options. 

To start my meal, I wanted a beer. We were in an Irish themed eatery, so I thought it would pair amazingly with my meal. Then, to start I ordered mozzarella cheese sticks along with the homemade spinach and artichoke dip. I also ordered a grilled cheese with a side of French fries.

Shortly after my waitress brought me the beer, she brought out the mozzarella cheese sticks followed by the homemade spinach and artichoke dip. The dip was complemented with flat bread and an assortment of raw veggies. Needless to say, the presentation looked fantastic and my mouth was already watering. And about a few minutes later she brought out the grilled cheese with the side of French fries. 

The food was ultimately fantastic. I loved how everything was prepared. I felt like the food was fresh from the kitchen, as everything was warm. The homemade spinach and artichoke dip was loaded with cheese, including cream cheese. They also added quite a few other things into it including red onion. I truly believe the portion size was excellent. 

And as much as I enjoyed the mozzarella cheese sticks and the grilled cheese, it was the homemade spinach and artichoke dip that stole the show. What more can I say? This appetizer won me over. I would literally eat at Mackey's everyday just to eat this again. 

Overall, my experience at Mackey's was a great one. And if you are a vegetarian, you will not only love this place, but appreciate it for catering to the lifestyle. The only thing they need to make is a house-made veggie burger and they would be set. 

I would also like to add that the service was truly exceptional, as the waitress was quite swift and attentive. 

But the real question remains; however, would I recommend this restaurant? And if so, would I dine here again? Yes, I would recommend this restaurant and yes, I would definitely eat here again. 

For more information about Mackey's, visit the official website by clicking here