Follow my blog with Bloglovin 2016 | Emily Ciernia

Friday, December 30, 2016

Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017.

Hey Internet pals -

I hope you all have had a really great holiday season thus far, and as 2016 is coming to a close, that means that it's time to reflect and talk about hopes for the new year.  I would just like to say that I don't really believe that a "new" year has the magic to automatically reset everything because yaknow time is a man-made construct and does not exist, but for the sake of this blog post, I will do it anyways.

Essentially, I want 2017 to be the "Year of Emily", and by that, I mean taking care of myself more and spending more time on myself.  Not in the selfish way of course; but, just spending more time on doing things that make me a better person

Goals for the New Year |

  • Get in shape.  I already have a workout plan figured out that I am going to do, including cardio, abs, and arm work outs.  This is something that I always tell myself I am going to do, but never have.  This year, I am really going to take it more seriously, because it is important to me.
  • Stop drinking pop/drink more water.  I gave up pop for Lent last year and I actually really felt the difference in my skin, teeth, and just body overall.
  • Become more confident and take more chances.  Body confidence is something that I have always struggled with and I hope that by taking my health into my hands, it will help with this.
  • Reduce stress. I have had quite a lot of stress in my life recently, and I would like to be able to handle stress or, even better, lower the amount of stress all together. 
  • Adopt a pet.  I love animals and I want to bring one into my family.

What are your 2017 Resolutions?

See you next year!
x Emily


Saturday, December 24, 2016

Comfy, Cozy Christmas Q&A

Hey y'all - new video!

Merry Christmas!

x Emily


Saturday, December 17, 2016

TMI #3


I bet you are just DYING to know more things about me.  Well, without further ado. Here is TMI #3!

  1. Are you named after anyone? Auntie Em from the Wizard of Oz.  Also because my parents liked the name.
  2. When was the last time you cried? Yesterday.
  3. Do you have kids? No, but one day I hope.
  4. If you were another person, would you be a friend of yourself? Yeah of course!  Not to toot my own horn, but *toot toot*.  I think I am a pretty good friend.
  5. Do you use sarcasm a lot? Definitely not.  (That was sarcasm btw, if you didn't get the joke)
  6. What’s the first thing you notice about people? This is weird, but eyebrows.  I literally have no idea either.
  7. What is your eye color? Brown
  8. Scary movie or happy endings? Scary movie def
  9. Favorite smells? Vanilla, Limoncello, bonfire
  10. What’s the furthest you’ve ever been from home? Arizona, so cross-country!
  11. Do you have any special talents? Lol not really
  12. Where were you born? St. Paul, MN
  13. What are your hobbies? Baking, photo-snapping, interneting
  14. Do you have any pets? Not right now :( but I want to soon!
  15. Do you have any siblings? One sister
  16. What did you want to be when you grew up? A meteorologist or a veterinarian
  17. Who was your first best friend? My BFF Emily, who is still my BFF now.  Going on 16 years of friendship.
  18. How tall are you? 5'10"
  19. Funniest moment throughout School? Can't even be bothered to think about anything from school right now
  20. How many countries have you visited? One (the US lol)
  21. What was your favorite/worst subject in High School? Human Anatomy was my fav, and AP Literature was my least favorite
  22. What is your Favorite drink? Animal? Perfume? Cranberry Apple juice; Snow leopard; Anything that smells good haha I'm not picky
  23. What would you (or have you) name your children? I've always liked the names Zoe, Aria, and Mia for girls; and Liam, Ethan, and Lucas for boys.
  24. What Sports do you play/Have you played? I used to play soccer, softball, and volleyball.
  25. Who are some of your favorite YouTubers? Shane Dawson, JennaMarbles, and tons of vlog channels.  I prefer everyday life vlogs!
  26. How many Girlfriends/Boyfriends have you had? 3
  27. Favorite memory from childhood? Hanging out with my Grandma after school. She instilled my love of music and art.  What I wouldn't give to have that again.
  28. How would you describe your fashion sense? My fashion sense is I-would-wear-cuter-clother-if-I-had-more-money-and-self-confidence-but-now-it's-basically-comfy-cozy-chic.
  29. What phone do you have? (iOS v Android?) Apple iPhone Rose Gold 6s.
  30. Tell us one of your bad habits! I fidget, especially if I'm nervous

That's it for now!
x Emily

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Quinoa Chili [VEGAN]

Today was chilly out!  And for a chilly day, nothing is better than a good bowl of CHILI (LOL see what I did there??! I crack myself up sometimes.)  Anyways, I was in the mood for a hot bowl of chili and decided to try and find a recipe, loved it, and knew that I had to share it with my lovely internet friends.

The recipe is from Cooking Classy and can be found here.

2 cups cooked quinoa (from 2/3 cup dry)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced (1 3/4 cup)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce 
1 (14.5 oz) can vegetable broth
1 (7 oz) can diced green chiles
2 1/2 Tbsp chili powder (***I didn't add this, but if you like it spicier, go for it.)
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp ground coriander
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 (15 oz) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed (I used dark red)
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn
1 Tbsp lime juice

Heat olive oil in a large enameled pot over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot add onion and saute until translucent, about 4 minutes. 
Add garlic and saute 1 minute longer. Add in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, cooked quinoa, vegetable broth, green chiles, chili powder, paprika, sugar, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring mixture just to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover pot and allow to simmer 30 minutes.
Add in all kidney beans, black beans, corn, and lime and cook until heated through. Serve warm with optional toppings and sides ( diced avocados and tortilla chips, or anything you want!).


Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!

x Emily


Sunday, December 4, 2016

Vegetable Pasta Fagioli [VEGAN]

You know those cold, winter days where you want nothing but a warm bowl of soup?  Well today was one of those days and I made a soup recipe that I really want to share with you today.  I found this recipe from Cilantro and Citronella on Pinterest (as I do most recipes haha), and it is literally SO easy.

Sautéing the onions, garlic, celery, and carrots.

Simmering the mixture down.  
Voila!  The finished delicious soup!

1 tablespoon olive oil
Half an onion, chopped
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 zucchini, sliced
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
28 oz can of whole tomatoes (***I used diced tomatoes and it worked fine)
20 oz of white beans
4.5 oz baby spinach
1 cup vegetable stock
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pepper, to taste
7 oz pasta (***I used macaroni elbow pasta, but you can probably use any shaped, short pasta you have/can find)

Heat a large pot over medium-high heat and add the oil, onion, carrot and celery. Fry for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and transparent.
Add the garlic and fry until soft, then add the zucchini and basil. Fry for another couple of minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the tomatoes and their juice and use your spoon to break them into smaller pieces.
Add the beans and their liquid, spinach, vegetable stock, parsley, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile in a separate pot, cook the the pasta until al dente. Drain and add the pasta to the soup. Serve immediately.

*NOTE: Unless you want mushy noodles, don't add the pasta until you are ready to eat!

So delicious, easy, and healthy!  I hope you make this recipe at home.  If you do, tag me on Twitter or Instagram (@emilyciernia) with #EmilyMakesLunch.

x Emily


Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Festive Season

Today is December 1st, which means that it is officially the Festive Season.  It also means that I am allowed to put up the Christmas tree, listen to Christmas music, and drink all of the holiday drinks from Starbucks!

A list of things that I am excited for the holiday season:
  1. Christmas trees
  2. Gingerbread smells
  3. Peppermint lattes
  4. Cold nights by the fireplace with hot chocolate
  5. Spending time with family
  6. Bentleyville
  7. Christmas Movie Marathons
  8. Sweater Weather
  9. Endless baking
  10. Decorating the house for the holidays

I am so excited for this time of year!  Let me know what is something you love (or hate lol) about the holiday season.  Also, let me know what types of blog posts/videos you would like me to do during this month.  Thanks in advance :)

x Emily

Monday, November 28, 2016

A LOOK AT | Pacifica Vital Immersion Deep Hydration Mask

So it is currently raining and it's been a long day, so I decided to give myself a little pamper night.  First things first: face mask.  Tonight I reached for my Pacifica Vital Immersion Deep Hydration Mask.  I have this mask for a while, but realized that I have NEVER talked about it with you guys.  So I am currently sat in front of the fireplace, ready to talk to you about this product.  Let's go!

I had never used this brand before, so the first thing that drew me to the Pacifica section in Target was the packaging.  So beautiful and clean.  As I took a further look on the packaging it said that it was 100% vegan, cruelty-free,  formulated without animal ingredients, petroleum, parabens, or phthalates.  Yay!!!  It can be difficult to find cruelty-free products (especially in drugstores), so I was even more excited to try this brand.  There are a number of products that they have in their brand, but i decided to go for the Vital Immersion Deep Hydration Mask because it mentioned it was meant to "superhydrate + replenish stressed skin".  SIGN ME UP.  I need to be superhydrated and my skin is stressed!!  The active, natural ingredients include red rice, grapeseed, and jasmine flower water.

Pleasant and light, reminds me rose water (I'm guessing that comes from the jasmine flower water).  Not too overwhelming.

White cream.  I would not say it's a thick cream, but it's not a liquid.  I think a pretty standard texture as far as creams go.  It remind me more of a moisturizer consistency, as opposed to a thick mask.

Ease of Use
Directions are very simple: Apply a thin layer to face and décolletage.  For best results, leave on for 30 minutes or more.  For intensive therapy, leave on overnight.  Remove with water.

After the mask has been left on my skin for a little over 30 minutes, it easily rinses off with water (I also a face cloth, which I highly recommend).

My skin is so soft!!!  Like baby's butt smooth (I don't get this expression, is a baby's butt really smooth idk but you get it).  Seriously though.  So smooth.  I don't really know if it has helped my "stressed skin" but I do have say that my face does feel hydrated.

Overall, I am very happy with this face mask.  It is vegan, cruelty-free, and natural, so those are all things that I think are pluses.  I just wish that it came in a bigger container...

Let me know your thoughts:  what is your favorite face mask?

x Emily

Friday, November 25, 2016

Emily Makes Lunch: Potato Wedges

x Emily

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

A Wedding in a Cave


This past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending my cousin Shannon's wedding (Hey girl, if you're reading this).  She and her now-husband had met many, many years ago, but lost contact when he went into the army, until he got honorably discharged for an injury and they reconnected.  Truly a love story!!

I actually loved their wedding because of how unique it was!  Tons of geeky references to movies, TV shows, video games etc.  and I think that this blended perfectly with their relationship.  Her dress had embroidered symbols on the skirt of Captain America's shield, Black Widow's insignia, Doctor Who, Star Trek to name a few.  Pretty unique, but also really cool.  Alex, the groom, comes from a Scottish family so all the guys in the wedding party (and my uncle because he wanted to join in on the fun) wore a full kilt get-up.

After the wedding, we proceeded to the reception which was in the Wabasha Street Caves.  A literal cave.  The food was served buffet style.  The music was very loud.  And by the end of the night, my feet hurt from dancing too much.  Overall, very successful night and what a beautiful wedding night.

The reception area with the dance floor to the right.

The entrance to the reception hall.

My sister and I driving to the wedding.

My Wedding OOTD: grey sweater (Old Navy), black leggings (ASOS), light blue pumps (Payless Shoes)

Selfie with my knight in shining armor ;)

The cake had Super Mario characters on top and was filled of raspberry cream. YUM.
Congrats Shannon + Alex! <3
What did you do this weekend?

x Emily


Sunday, November 20, 2016



Yes.  Today is another Sunday Sounds.  I bet you can hardly contain your excitement!  I wanted to take this opportunity to share some new songs with you that I have been loving.

Let's go!

1. 1000 Nights Frenship

2. Lights Down Low MAX (ft. gnash)

3. Say You Won't Let Go James Arthur

4. Breathe Lauv

5. Reforget Lauv

What is your favorite song at the moment?

x Emily

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The State of Hockey

Growing up in Minnesota, I was surrounded by hockey.  It is, of course, the state  Hockey is literally everywhere!  Now saying that, I had never really been that interested in hockey.  I mean, I went to my high school hockey games for pep band, and I had several friends who played on the hockey teams, but it was never anything I was really into.

Up until the other day, when my mom got free club level tickets to the Minnesota Wild hockey game.  I actually had a pretty good time.  The seats were in the club level (so basically up a little ways, but not at the top of the arena), so the view was pretty good.  It was also VERY LOUD.  Everything was loud.  The music, the sound effects, the cheers, everything.  My ears were ringing afterwards.  It was very theatrical, in my opinion, complete with flashing lights, horns, and fog.  It was actually kind of funny.

The people were also very...enthusiastic.  That is the only word I can use without offending anybody.  Loud, but I know it was with passion for their team.

We won, which made it more fun!!  I would definitely go to another hockey game in the future!

x Emily

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

A LOOK AT | Giorgio Armani Luminessence CC Moistruizer

Today I am going to be taking a deeper look at the Giorgio Armani Luminessence CC Moisturizer.  I bought myself this product a couple of months ago, as a treat and also because even though my skin has been so nice and clear recently (thank god), sometimes you just want a little bit of coverage to kind of smooth out you skin tone (i.e. redness).  This product is part CC cream/part moisturizer/part sunscreen.  With all of these things, I think that it is a really good thing to have in your makeup bag.  I particularly like this product because I feel like it does a really nice job of giving just enough coverage without feeling like there is product on my face (plus, the added sunscreen is cool too).

Because I am pale AF, I got the shade 01 Light, and I think that that is the perfect shade, because like I said before, it is not a full coverage or even a medium coverage foundation;  it is essentially a slightly tinted moisturizer that is meant to have Color Control (even out skin tone).

Overall, even though a little more pricey than a lot of CC creams on the market, I think that it is worth it to invest in this product if this is something that interests.  Plus, it lasts FOREVER.  I've used it so much over the past couple of months and I still have a lot left n the tube.

Let me know your thoughts!  Have you ever tried a CC cream?  Do you want to try this product?

x Emily


Thursday, November 3, 2016


x Emily

Monday, October 31, 2016

Pumpkins | #BLOGULA


I hope you are having the best Halloween ever.  Currently, I am preparing the candy bowl for the trick or treaters that will be stopping by shortly.  And by preparing, I mean eating all of the candy.  Sorry kiddos.

Since it is Halloween, I have obviously carved pumpkins because that is a Halloween tradition.

Have a SPOOK-tacular night!
x Emily


Sunday, October 30, 2016

Halloween Memories | #BLOGULA

Happy #BLOGULA day 4!!!!  Today I am going to talk about some memories that I have from Halloween.
One of my most vivid Halloween memories was when I was in elementary school.  A girl in my class invited most, if not all, of the people in the class (I went a very, very small school) to her annual Halloween party.  I have a very specific memory of going over to her house with some of my friends and we would be dressed up as ghosts, witches, or angels to name a few.  There were spiderweb and a tables filled with spooky snacks.  At one point, one of the games was a race to see who could each a donut hanging from the tree without using hands.  I don't know why haha!  I also remember playing ghosts in the graveyard when it got dark out.  What a fun time!

Another one of my favorite Halloween memories was going to my aunt's house.  She had a tractor that pulled a trailer, and we would ride on the trailer around the neighborhood to go trick or treating.  It was really fun!

What's your favorite Halloween memory?

x Emily


Saturday, October 29, 2016

Pumpkin Bars | #BLOGULA

Halloween time means time for all thing pumpkins, and that includes delicious treats.  So today I am going to share with you, a delicious pumpkin bar recipe that I just tried, and I think you will like them too!

I was looking for a good recipe in Pinterest, and found this one from Sugar Apron (click here to go directly to their site) for pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting.  Note: this recipe has instructions for homemade cream cheese frosting, but if you're lazy like me, a can of cream cheese will work perfectly fine!

1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
2 eggs
2 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground gloves
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
4 oz cream cheese
3 tbs butter, softened
1 tsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×9 inch pan with parchment paper and spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, ground ginger, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ground cloves and cinnamon. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the eggs, vanilla, oil and pumpkin on medium speed until light and fluffy. Stir gently, just until combined.
4. Pour into a pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
5. When completely cooled, frost.
6. Combine the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugar and mix at low speed until combined. Stir in the vanilla and mix again.
7. You may need to add a little milk to make it spreadable if your butter wasn’t soft enough.
8. Spread frosting evenly on top of cake. Cut the bar into any size you like.

These pumpkin bars are SO MOIST.  And the cream cheese frosting perfectly compliments the pumpkin flavor.  So delicious!

x Emily


Friday, October 28, 2016

Autumn Colors | #BLOGULA


Welcome to #BLOGULA Day 2!

Today I wanted to make an entire post dedicated to the beautiful autumn colors, specifically the leaves and foliage.  This is one of my most favorite things about Autumn and I love to take snaps of the landscape whenever I get the chance.  Here is just a sample from when we went on a walk the other day...

Look. At. Those. Colors.  I am literally obsessed.

Go out and enjoy all of the colors before it's gone!


x Emily


Thursday, October 27, 2016

All About Fears | #BLOGULA


Today I am discussing...fears.

October = Halloween = scary things.  So I thought it was only appropriate to talk about things I hate.  This should be fun...

1. Heights
For as long as I can remember, I have been terrified of heights.  I think it's the fear of falling to my death that I am just too terrified.  Rollercoasters, tall buildings, mountains, you name it, I will not walk near the edge.  No thank you.

2. Spiders
This one is kind of common but I do not like spiders.  Bugs in general, I guess.  They are creepy, they are crawly, and they send shivers up my spine.  Need I say more?

3. Failure
This one is a bit more personal for me:  I have a fear of failure.  And more often than not, this fear of failure

4. Public Speaking
Even if I am the so confident, whenever I get up to do a speech in front of people, my mouth goes dry and my voice quavers, and I seem to lose my train of thought.  Class presentations were such a joy...NOT.

5. The Woods at Night
Because murderers.

What are you afraid of?

x Emily

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Are you ready for...#BLOGULA?!


If you didn't know, I am very, very excited for this time of year, and to celebrate Halloween, I have decided to do #BLOGULA.

Get it??  Blog + Dracula = Blogula. Ha ha ha...Now that I say that out loud it is kind of stupid, but I also kind of love it because of how corny it is.  I think I'll keep it.

SO for the next 5 days starting from October 26 - October 31, I will be doing a blog post every day to celebrate this time of year and of course they will all be Halloween/Autumn related because obvs.

The fun all starts tomorrow, so grab your pumpkin spice lattes and halloween candy and prepare for a very fun time.

Follow along on here, and twitter and instagram with #BLOGULA to chat.

See you tomorrow.

x Emily

Monday, October 17, 2016

The I Spent Too Much Money HAUL

x Emily

Hello, Autumn.

Yesterday, myself and my family decided to head on over to Stillwater to look at the autumn colors.  Stillwater is known for their stunning views over the river.  See here are some shots that I took.

I thought I would also take this as an opportunity to talk about why I love Autumn so. damn. much.  

  1. Pumpkin season.  PSL.  Pumpkin bars.  Pumpkins.
  2. Sweater weather.  Big, comfy, cozy, sweaters. Where it's juuuussstt getting to be cold enough, but not TOO cold.
  3. The aesthetic and beauty of Autumn.  The reds, the oranges, the browns.  Just feels so homey and warm.
  4. Halloween and Thanksgiving.  I have to say, behind Christmas (obvs), Halloween is definitely my favorite holiday.  I don't know what it is: the spooks, the candy, the costumes is just something that makes the whole ordeal fun.
  5. Plus, ACTIVITIES.  Apple picking, pumpkin carving, baking, football games, the whole shebang.  
Let me know your thoughts!  What do you love about Autumn?

x Emily


Saturday, October 15, 2016


Some call it puppy chow, some call it muddie buddies, either way it is delicious AF.  Today I am going to be sharing the recipe for puppy chow to show you how easy it is.  Literally so easy.

  • 9 cups of rice crispy square cereal (most likely Chex Mix)
  • 1/2 cup of peanut butter
  • 1-cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar 
  1. Over low heat, use a sauce pan to melt the chocolate; then, add the peanut butter and mix.
  2. Remove from heat and mix in cereal until fully coated.
  3. Pour the powdered sugar into a large gallon ziploc-type bag, add cereal mixture and shake the bag until all the cereal pieces are covered.
........And voila. Puppy chow is served.
You may be thinking, "Emily, there are only 3 steps to this recipe.  You must be missing some parts - it can't be this easy."  Well I hate to burst your bubble, but it is literally this easy.  Anyone can do it, including my sister ;)  Total prep and cook time is about 10 minutes, so very quick, easy, and a delicious little treat.

Let me know your thoughts!  Try this at home and tag me on twitter and instagram (@emilyciernia) with the hashtag #EmilyBakes


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Como Zoo Japanese Garden

The Como Zoo Japanese Garden is one of my favorite things at the zoo.  It is so peaceful and filled with beautiful bonsai trees and other brush as well as little traditional Japanese touches which make it feel really special.  There is also a traditional Japanese tea house, which I believe there are tea ceremonies that people can sign up for on the weekends, but they are booked out MONTHS in advance.  (Trust me, I asked.)
But I thought I would share this place with you, in case you are ever in the area.  You should totally go. Do it. Do it.

Let me know your thoughts!  What is your favorite place in your local town?

x Emily

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