Festival season is upon us my friends. Brace yourself for an Instagram feed filled with flower crowns, crop tops, and high waisted jean shorts. Now I am all for a good 70's inspired outfit, but don't you feel like kind of a tool dressed like every other bandaid on the block? I just feel like my crop top days are behind me. Unless paired with a nice high waisted wide leg pant, I can get into that. So what is a girl to do when she's sick of flash tats and fedoras? Well I am here to tell you, you have some options, Below are my non Paris Hilton channeling a 17 year old who just did Molly for the first time festival looks. Because that look ain't cute, isn't she like 40?
It's herrreeeeee. I'm Florida bound as we speak (well waiting on a delayed flight), PAYING for WiFi access at Midway. The older man next to me and I are none to pleased. I mean what airport makes you pay for WiFi anymore? It should be free everywhere. Ridic. Anyhow, more importantly I am warm weather bound without a single child in sight, and actually no husband either. IDK where he's been for the past hour.
In preparation for my warm weather destination, I stocked up on muchos sunscreen because I want to avoid looking like this tanorexic and I just have kind of a weird thing with sunscreen. I like body sunscreens that spray and face screens with a tint and for both to be free of gross stuff (i.e. oxybenzone, parabens, and a few other gross chemicals). Here are my picks. I have tried them all and fully endorse every last one. As I mentioned, I'm a bit of a junky.
// Honest Company spray sunscreen SPF 30 is my personal fave despite all the bad press last year. My kids and I have used it for two summers without any problems // Drunk Elephant for face and body SPF 30, is a non- spray but I will make the extra effort for the real cute packaging// Coola spray sunscreen is a solid choice and comes in a bunch of tropic like scents //
Not to go all Rachel Zoe on ya, but I die for this dining room. We're in the process of buying a new house (fingers crossed, don't want to jinx it) and this is ferrrr sure my dining room inspo. Check out the pics below and scroll down to shop and steal this dynamite look.
Isn't this space amazing! So, I doubt that I would go through with the lacquered blue table (they used and Ikea table and painted) I am loving the fabric, wall paper and rug combo. So many layers to love. Click on the pics below for sources.
My Easter celebration planning continues! Here is what I have rounded up so far in the way of decor/ table top. I'm drawing inspo from this amazing spread by Dylan Lauren for One Kings Lane. Photos and how to get the look follows. Hop to and deck your house for this pastel infused holiday.
Whole lot of cuteness with those daffodils and choco bunny.
LOVING this. Just fill some smaller vases with water, put them in your cute basket, insert tulips and voila.
Gotta appreciate a good cake stand. As I have mentioned, cute collector item.
I kind of die for this DIY. Just get yourself a few bowls that you don't care about, some pastel yarn, PVA glue and you're in business. Who knew candy could be so chic?
GETTING THE LOOK
As I have mentioned before, my love for brunching runs deep. There is just so much to love. Lots of food drinks, and then hopefully a nap. And as I haven't mentioned before, I love Easter. Great, low pressure holiday complete with lots of cute, bunny filled festivities. This year I am hosting Easter brunch and I couldn't be happier about it. Let the menu planning begin. More on decor later this week.
I think the food situation is going to look a lil' like this.
A bagel and lox platter that is totally TDF. I'm thinking about attempting this gravlax recipe.
A ham for good measure, thanks to my Aunt.
This pig candy, because why not.
And then last but not least, a mimosa bar. I'll be enjoying my champs with grapefruit juice and perhaps a raspberry for good measure.
// Whitney Port's house is just as cute as she is, see it here //
// This fettuccine recipe with an egg yolk stirred in looks off the chain //
// Hosting an Easter brunch? I am stealing SO many ideas from Dylan Lauren's candy filled Easter celebration. That basket filled with tulips is phenom. //
// Eating Clean by Amy Valpone, all about fighting inflammation and adrenal fatigue. Heard that. //
So I am sure by now you've heard about the multitude of benefits consuming bone broth offers you. If you haven't seen your fave healthy Instagrammer's cleverly captioned post of her sipping bone broth out of her coffee- esque cup, courtesy of NYC bone broth joint Brodo, allow me to brief you. Bone broth is filled with healing ingredients. The collagen is amazing for your skin (read fountain of youth), the gelatin does wonders for your gut, and the glucosamine heals those achy joints. Now if you don't live near Brodo, I have great news. Bone broth is SO easy to make and a great on the go snack. Below is my easy bone broth method as well as a quick and easy lunch option.
Below is a really basic recipe, so adapt it to your liking. A lot of people use veggie scraps in their's too, I just don't always have those lying around.
1 3-4 lb chicken, roasted (I like to buy the pre cooked rotiserie chickens on Friday night, use the meat throughout the weekend, and then on Sunday use the remains for my broth. If you want to roast your own and use those leftovers go for it)
A big bunch of fresh thyme
A big bunch of fresh italian parsley
6 or more raw garlic cloves
T of sea salt
T black peppercorn
Enough water to cover the chicken
A big glug of raw apple cider vinegar (optional but said to extract more nutrients from chicken bones)
Combine all ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Turn down to low and cover and let simmer for 12-24 hours. When through, run mixture through a colander to avoid swallowing gross little bones. You can also use a slow cooker on high for 12 hours. All ingredients are roughly measured as you can always adjust the taste.
BONE BROTH EGG DROP SOUP
I've been eating this for lunch a lot lately mainly because it is so quick and easy and tasty to boot.
2 C bone broth
1- 2 eggs
2 T raw sauerkraut (I like Bubbie's brand)
Juice of half a lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat up bone broth in a pot on the stove if not warm already. Bring to a simmer. Crack egg(s) into pot, off heat, and cover pot. Let sit for 3 minutes, or longer depending on how runny you like your egg. While you're waiting spoon a couple (or more) tablespoons of sauerkraut into a soup bowl. Pour hot broth and egg over sauerkraut and season with lemon juice, salt and pepper. This meal is oh so easy and SO SO good for you.
It's that time of year folks, time to clean up and clear out. I for one LOVE to get rid of things especially toys. Namely Disney and Barbie related toys. Those disappear from our house on the reg. I get it that some people have a hard time giving things away and to those people I say read the Art of Tidying Up if you haven't already. If it doesn't bring you joy, buh- bye. My main organizational task this spring is to improve the shit show that is our panty. I would show you a before, but it depresses me and I don't want to depress any of y'all. I'll just show you the cute after (Whenever that happens. Operating on REAL slow turn around times over here). Below are my pantry goals. It includes lots of jars, baskets, and groupings.
Isn't this dreamy! Loving the wire baskets and those water decanters on the left. I think it would be so cute to send everyone to bed every night with one of those jars.
What is not to love about this gorge pantry. Swooning over all of the dessert pedestals. Great collection item. Also note the adorable candy jars. Those goodies would be gone in about 5 seconds in my house, but perhaps someone else has children who listen to them. Must be nice.
I love how open shelves displaying plates and mugs looks. We have so much shelving and I love displaying pretty platters and alike.
This is Jenny Kayne's pantry which was featured in Martha Stewart Living. Click here for the article and her pantry storage tips. Love the shape of the Weck jars above.
The nut container's here are awesome. It would be fun to put lots of different trail mix ingredients (cocoa nibs, almonds, shredded coconut, goji berries) into jars and have a running trail mix bar. My kiddos would be into that.
Another shot from Jenny Kayne's pantry. She groups all of the kids stuff in baskets so she can display all of her cute adult stuff (she claims to have Elmo plates. Doubt it),
Love me a good floral and there's lots to love this spring. From stunning arrangements to botanical booty-ish shorts, all these floral vibes have got me sprung.
PINK, RED AND ORANGE ALL OVER
Yea for a Shopbop sale! They don't do enough of these. Enter BIGEVENT2016 at checkout and you'll get a nice little discount. More you spend more you save is Dangerous and that cap D is on purpose. My faves are below. There is just SO. MUCH. The struggle is real.
Spring is in the process of springing round here and I've got all these cute little spring dresses on the brain and maybe some cute tee's for that little guy in my life. I mean, I don't love the idea of a wardrobe refresh every season for the little ones (Boldfaced lie. I LOVE it, I more just don't like defending my purchases to my husband) but it is a necessary evil. These kids grow like freaking weeds! From Target to Peek, there's some cute stuff on the horizon for my kiddies closets this spring.
SUNNY DAY DRESSES
Gotta love a good stuffed potato. It's a real crowd pleaser in this casa which means I make them a lot. It brings me back to food court days at the mall circa 6th grade. Always went for the baked potato with toppings. These recipes are a lot like that, minus the fake liquid cheese, heaps of sour cream, and little plastic baggies filled with Claire's Boutique goodies decorating the table. Now that we have established my middle school mall rat status, let's talk potatoes.
SWEET POTATO ALA MEXICANO
Not sure which language I am going for there, but who cares because this sweet potato combo is real good.
FOR THE BLACK BEANS
1 can of black beans (try for Eden Organics or the bagged kind so you can avoid BPA)
Hand full of cilantro
Two garlic cloves, minced
Half an onion, thinly sliced
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan on the stove, bring to a simmer and then reduce heat to low. Let them cook for a good 20 minutes to get that tinny taste out.
FOR YOUR FAUX FOOD COURT CHEESE (via Pure Mamas)
1 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 1/2 T nutritional yeast (find in the bulk food aisle usually)
Juice of 1 1/2 lemons
1 1/2 C soaked cashews
1 1/2 T miso
Soak cashews for at least 30 minutes. Blend all ingredients in a food processor or high speed blender until well combined.
ALL THE OTHER STUFF
Halved cherry tomatoes
While your sweet potato is baking at 400 degrees for about an hour, prep your other ingredients. Crack open your sweet potato and add as many or as few of the suggested toppings above.
CAESER STUFFED POTATO
Who doesn't love Caeser salad? This super healthy alternative often finds its way into a sweet potato in my house. Add some crispy chickpea croutons and your dinner bases are covered.
2 baked sweet potatoes (45 min- 1 hr @ 400 degrees)
KALE CAESER SALAD via Pure Mamas
2 bunches Lacianto kale (or alternatively one bunch swiss chard and 1 bunch kale)- shredded
1/3 c parm (or try this vegan parm cheese recipe if dairy isn't your thing)
1/3 c olive oil
5-6 cloves garlic
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
4 T lemon juice
1 can anchovies mashed and oil removed OR 2 T capers
Combine your greens in a large salad bowl with the parm. Mix together the rest of the ingredients in a separate bowl making sure to mash the anchovies or capers well. The dressing should look a little creamy when done mixing. Dress your salad couple of minutes before serving
FOR THE CHICKPEA CROUTONS
1 28 oz can chickpeas
3 T olive oil
Salt and pepper
Heat olive oil in a pan. Add rinsed chickpeas and season VERY generously with salt and pepper. Let them sit in the pan for at least five minutes before flipping them so they get a nice crisp to them. Add to your prepared caeser salad and serve all of it in your sweet potato.
DESsERT STUFFED SWEET POTATO
You heard right, a sweet potato for desert. I think the Japanese sweet potatoes are best for this because that are little bit sweeter, but any potato will do once you dress it with these delicious toppings. My oldest loves to do the toppings, my youngest devours her creations, and my middle one begs for Girl Scout cookies. Can't win 'em all.
1 baked sweet potato (400 degrees for 45 min-1 hour)
2 T tahini
2 T dark choco chips (or more if you're a choco freak like me)
1 T coconut oil
Dash of sea salt
Crack open that baked sweet potato and mash the insides together with the coconut oil, tahini, and sea salt. Throw on your chocolate chips and you are in business. And just an FYI, you can really do this with any sweet toppings. More ideas here.
It is sideways wind blizzarding in Chicago, so let's talk spring basics. That's a logical transition, right? But for reals cannot WAIT for spring and have already started filling online shopping carts with my fave warmer weather wares. When I will actually press submit order is TBD, but let me assure you I am well researched on what my fave shopping sites have to offer in the way of spring styles. There's a lot of cuteness going on and I summarized my faves for you below.
While the off the shoulder trend was totally a thing this summer it is EVERYWHERE now and I really enjoy it. The Tibi version above is super adorable and I am dying for it, but other (read more affordable) options are shirt here (real close to the Tibi top), loving this dress here , and super cute striped top here.
WHITE ON KINDA WHITE ON WHITE
I am so so bored with my bedroom situation and after a lot of Pinterest perusing, I have determined that I need a nightstand desk. Or really a nightstand vanity because I am sick of searching through my various makeup bags and purses throughout the house to find all of my makeup. Organization has never been my strong suit, but maybe this nightstand vanity situation is a step in the right direction. These are the some of my favorite multi-tasking combos with some ways to get the look below.
As soon as J.Crew goes 30% off my girls will for sure be wearing these.
You should probs make this mask while you're Netflix and chilling.
I can't resist a Gwyneth interview.
New York Fashion week highlights according to Vogue's Snapchat.
Loving this spread from a camp themed baby shower.
Will be attempting to make this lasagna in the slow cooker on Sunday.
The New Yorker did a really interesting article on Harvey Levin of TMZ. It's a great read with bonus celeb gossip.
Whoever invented the slow cooker is a freaking genius. This kitchen gadget has become my absolute fave, especially since that third kid of ours came into the picture. I love that I can throw a bunch of stuff in, set it to cook and dinner is ready 8 hours later when I am reaching for a glass of wine amidst yelling at someone for spilling Panda Puffs all over the pantry floor (I despise that cereal and the sound of them crunching underneath my shoes will forever be engrained in my mind).
The slow cooker is no doubt a sanity saver, and a healthy one at that. These 4 recipes are my tops- hopefully they bring you the same amount of enjoyment they bring me. Yup. That's what it has come to. Slow cooker meals = joy.
1.5 lbs chicken (I like using thighs and breasts but your call)
2 onions cut in half and then sliced
27 oz can chopped tomatoes
15 oz can black beans (rinsed and drained)
5 cloves garlic (minced)
1 T cumin
1.5 t cayenne pepper
3 c chicken broth
1/2 c cilantro, chopped
Juice of two limes
Salt and Pepper to taste
minced Jalapeno pepper (optional)
Sliced avo for serving
Drizzle the chicken with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Place in the bottom of the slow cooker and add the rest of the ingredients to the pot. Set to high and cook for 8 hours. Great by itself or served over rice.
SlOW COOKER SPLIT PEA SOUP
So filling and so good with very minimal effort. Adapted from Emeril.
10 c chicken broth
2 lbs dried green split peas, rinsed
1 yellow or white onion, diced small (I always use the pre-diced onions from Trader Joe's or Jewel in soups)
4 carrots, diced small
2 celery stalks, diced small
Half a red bell pepper, diced small
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 T minced fresh thyme leaves (or 1 t dried)
2 dried bay leaves
2 small ham hocks (1 1/4 lbs total) with skin scored
Sea salt and Pepper
Combine all ingredients in the slow cooker, putting the ham hocks in first. Cook on high for 8 hours, until peas are creamy. Remove bay leaves and ham hocks, discard skin and bones. Dice the meat and return it to slow cooker. Mash the peas with the back of a wooden spoon or an immersion blender if you've got it. Delicious din ready to go!
TURKISH LAMB STEW
Maybe I'm a weirdo, but I love lamb and as long as I don't tell my kids that they're eating it, they do too. Adapted this from a Cooking Light recipe.
1 1/2 lbs boneless leg of lamb cut into 1 1/4 inch pieces. Def have your butcher do this unless you're really into Dexter or something
1 1/4 t salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
2 T olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t dried oregano
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 large yukon gold potato, diced
1/2 lb green beans, trimmed
1 small eggplant, cut into thin slices
1 medium zucchini, cut into slices
6 bay leaves
3 T fresh chopped parsley
OK. So, the original recipe asks for you to sear the lamb and saute the veg prior to putting in the slow cooker. I don't like cooking that early in the morning so I opted out and it was really good. I just drizzled the lamb with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper and then added that along with all of the veg to the slow cooker. Cook on high for 7 hours.
I love lasagna and it's one of my husband's faves, but I HATE how long it takes to make. Not the case with this guy. Easy, quick and super delicious. Making this one on Friday for sure.
2 24 oz jars of pasta sauce. I think Rao's Homemade is the best store-bought but to each their own.
9 think lasagna noodles (I have used both rice lasagna noodles and wheat)
24 oz riccota cheese
3 c chopped veg of choice (I've used spinach and kale)
2 c shredded Mozzarella
Parm and fresh parsley for topping
Drizzle bottom of crockpot with olive oil. Pour 1/2 of tomato sauce into crock pot. Place one layer of noodles over sauce. You'll have to break them up a bit to fit. Put 1/3 of the cheese/ veggie/ tomato sauce over that and finish with a layer of noodles. Repeat what you just did until you are out of ingredients finishing with a layer of shredded cheese. Set the crockpot to high and cook for 3 hours or on low for 6 hours. Let the lasagna sit for about an hour after cooking otherwise it will be kind of soupy.
Who needs a pick me up? Insert girl raising her hand emoji here. One day I will figure out how to do that on here, but that day isn't today. Instead, I devoted my time to rounding up 30 little gifts under $30. I felt like that was a far more productive use of my time, so you're welcome for helping you spend money. Go ahead and treat yourself. You earned it.
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I literally CAN'T EVEN with this house. I probably look at this home tour a few times a week, so I thought I would share with the group. The owners of my dream home are a Nashville couple and are just cute as can be. I hope you find it just as fab as I do. If you want to "steal the look" there's some fun finds after all my favorite pics. Full home tour here and here.
Stuffy nose, sore throat, a cough that leaves everyone cringing on the elevator? I hear ya. Having three little ones we are exposed to everything and anything you can imagine. Not a week goes by November through April without on of those cute little slips informing us that someone has strep, pneumonia, or my personal favorite, pink eye. Apart from living in a bubble or wisely moving to warmer temps, how do you fight cold and flu season? The flu shot never really did me any favors, so here's what I've got for you and all of them can be found in your grocery store aisle or better yet in your Amazon Prime app.
Juice it, slice it and simmer it with water for some tea, or eat it whole. This game changer soothes sore throats and nausea and packs an immunity punch to boot. Lately I've been juicing a bunch at a time and mixing with lemon and water for a nice little tonic. This is also a really delicious ginger smoothie recipe.
What a basic and what a superfood. These citrus fruits are great for nausea, coughs, and detoxification. Just add to your water for a little immunity boost or try making this super delicious tea from Nutrition Stripped.
Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
This one rids your body of bad bacteria, soothes stomaches, fights colds, and increases energy. If you can't handle a shot, mix with warm water, lemon and a little bit of raw honey for a nice tonic. Bonus fact- if you rinse your hair with this it makes it SO soft and shiny. My hair has never felt better.
Sprinkle on your salads or even in smoothies/ juices to alleviate congestion and thin mucous. The active ingredient, capsaicin does all of that and speeds up your metabolism. So basically, you'll be skinny and healthy, k?
Super strong natural antibiotic that clears your sinuses too. Great raw in salad dressings and also in basically everything, Super yum (and you can def up the garlic content!) pesto recipe here.
Raw honey is antiseptic and anti-fungal which means it gets rid of gross stuff inside and outside of your body. Your mom probably put it in tea for you when you were younger to help with your soar throat, girlfriend knew what she was talking about. If you have extra, rub some on your face as it's antimicrobial properties clear up blemishes and leave your skin all aglow.
OK, you might not find this at your run of the mill grocer, but it's worth going out to find it. Oil of oregano (here) is powerful stuff. It doesn't taste amazing but it is a big time immunity booster, digestion helper, and infection reliever. Mix a drop or two in water and shoot it. If you can't stomach it, I've been told told to put a couple drops in a bath for my kids with epsom salts, and a little bit of coconut oil at the onset of flu symptoms (witchy right? but this lady knows what she's talking about).
Another one that you might have to trek to Whole Foods for, but worth your while. Recipe for the ambitious here to make a fermented salad. If you don't have the patience like me, I really like this brand, Farmhouse Culture. They make probiotic shots (LOVE these and good for hangovers), kimchi and sauerkraut. Fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut (both are great with eggs and avocado!) do amazing things for your digestion. Healthy gut = healthy life, it doesn't rhyme but it's the truth.
What wellness list aren't they on? I think I've said this a bazillion times, but greens are just all around amazing for you. Luckily, I really like to eat my greens BUT these little tablets invented by a former model/ cancer survivor are a great sub when that can't happen. Just dissolve them in water and viola.
Be well my friends!
// Can't wait to try this amazing looking Native Foods inspired recipe from Love and Lemons. If you have a Native Foods near you go and get them nachos because they will convert any non-vegan // Step up your chocolate game with these fancy bars // Want to try a miracle berry that makes everything taste better? Swallow this //