MAN this week was a long one! I’m super looking forward to having some me-time this weekend…anyone else?! I’ve been seeing people taking baths with those gorgeous and colorful Lush bath bombs a lot lately, which may be good motivation to clean my tub and then hop in there! I’ve never tried using one, but they seem glorious.
I don’t know why, but this week not only felt long, but kind of hard to get through, and not even because work has been overly stressful or anything. I think after the holidays I have a bit of a slump, just because the excitement of Christmas is obviously gone and there’s not much on the horizon. I kid you not, I literally looked up last-minute tickets for a Hawaii getaway at the end of the month randomly during my lunch on Tuesday…who knows if I’ll actually pull the trigger but it sounded SO lovely in the moment!
Anyway, back to the usj! Here’s what I’ve been reading this week:
How to Get Healthy on a Budget – Allllll about these tips. And that discount activewear business is REAL. I was just talking to my mom about this yesterday but there is NO need to spend $100 on great workout pants anymore. Save your money for something else!
Pistachio Coconut Oatmeal – I’ve been having so many smoothies that leave me utterly freezing after I down them, so I’m thinking of adding warm oats to the rotation! These flavors sound incredible, which is no surprise since literally everything Jessica makes is unreal!
Happy New Year, my sweet friends!! I’m a couple of days late, but getting back into the swing of things after break hasn’t been easy, as I’m sure you all know! I so badly wish I could be transported back to a week ago when I was still on vacation with my family on the east coast, but you know what? It’s okay because I’m actually looking forward to getting my sh*t together this month. I’ve just signed up for ClassPass and am super excited to start a new fitness plan, have started to work on some really exciting business opportunities, and will be finishing up decorating our apartment. Lots of good stuff in the works!!
As you probably all could’ve guessed, I’m not really one of those people that waits until January 1st to make resolutions. I tend to make them all year round, writing out my goals and plans monthly, weekly and even daily most of the time, so when I thought about how I wanted to approach 2018, I felt like writing down a list of new year’s resolutions wasn’t going to work for me. Instead, I thought I’d choose a focus word or two, something easy to remember, and truly aligned with my goals for this year. So, without further ado, here they are!😊
It took me a long time to decide if this one was too cheesy or not, but the more I thought about it, the more I knew that it was the perfect fit for this year. First of all, I want to make sure that I’m showing my love for those around me on a regular basis. I live across the country from my family and many of my friends, and don’t even get to see the ones in my city nearly enough either. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned, a little distance can’t come between a strong friendship and nothing is more important than that.
I know a little goes a long way – a letter, phone call, or even text will do if that’s all I can manage. I want to take this year to strengthen the relationships I have, and also take time to cultivate new ones. At the end of the day, it’s who you surround yourself with, and I think it’s so important to express love and gratitude for those people I’m lucky enough to have in my life. I want to lift them up, motivate them, encourage them, and make sure I’m there when they need me.
I also want to take this year to love myself. I’m not necessarily a self-conscious person, but I’m certainly not the most confident, either. Hearing “no” a gazillion times in your professional life can really take a toll on ya😅 (helloooo entertainment industry, I’m lookin’ at you). But seriously, in this era of social media, it’s pretty much the easiest thing in the world to find someone else who looks like they live a way better, more perfect life than you. So how can we not feel inadequate sometimes?
I know that these comparison traps exist, but I want to let them go in 2018. Like BAI, see ya never because if looking at it and thinking about it doesn’t bring me joy or inspire me, I want it GONE. I want to let go of self-doubt, lack of self-esteem, and the things that don’t serve me. I want to take the time to treat myself, even if it’s to something as silly as that iced latté I’ve been craving for a week, or a haircut that’ll make me feel like a million bucks. It’s not about money, but really just taking the time to do what makes me happy because that is the start of self-love. Of living a life I’m proud of, and being the best I can be so I can help others do the same.
Yep, another cheesy one (because what can I say, I love all things Pinterest and inspirational quotes). I literally could not decide between this word and the one above because this one is so freakin’ important to me, too. I’ve said this before, but about 8 years ago, I decided to move across the country to a place where I knew no one and had no job, no nothing, because what I did have was the dream of becoming a professional dancer. I had this crazy drive in me to just say f*ck it, and drop everything (in a well-thought out, very calculated manner of course😂) because I wanted to make it happen. And guess what? I did.
In the last couple of years, I’ve found myself doing so many wonderful things like meeting new people and traveling and starting a new career, which is great, don’t get me wrong, but I feel like I haven’t been doing much daydreaming lately. Does that make sense? Like I’ve been super focused on getting through the day to day and just being a girl with a life and resumé I’m proud of and honestly just watching a crap ton of YouTube videos when I have down time because I LOVE them. But I miss the dreaming part of life. The part where you have these insane ideas and imagine yourself just GOING FOR IT.
I’ve been asking myself lately, if I could do anything right now, like absolutely anything, what would it be? Would I go to Bali? Would I write a book? Would I go for a walk in my neighborhood and find a new restaurant? Who knows! But the possibilities are kind of endless. And I don’t have to stop my life or do something drastic to think this way, I just need to be present and find what fills my cup.
If I had to describe myself in one word, I’d probably say that I’m a hustler. I kid you not, I could be working a job that pays me a six figure salary and I’m 99% sure that I will still say yes to babysitting on a Saturday night because why not? I figure I get to hang out with some super cute kiddos and then get a boat load of work done once they’re asleep. I have a looooot I want to accomplish this year, and sitting on my tucas isn’t going to get me there. I want to take this year to focus on what I really want out of this life, and then go grab it by the ball$. I want to have crazy daydreams and then make them reality.
So yeah. Those are my focus words and I’m SO excited to wake up every morning and choose to love, to dream. I hope I keep doing those things well after 2018, but hey, it’s a start😊
But enough about me – what about you?! Did you make any resolutions this year or choose a focus word? I’d love to hear because chances are, I’ll be adding more to my list as time goes on!
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday! I obviously wanted to take some time this week to just soak up as much time with my family as possible, so I did take a mini blog-break. As I sit on the train down to D.C., I’m feeling so unbelievably grateful for having the opportunity to travel home for the holidays and to work remotely. I hope you all were able to, as well!
This year has been pretty nuts in so many ways, particularly for the world (and this country) in general, but personally I experienced a ton of personal growth, adventuring, and figuring out where I want to be in life. I expanded my skillset professionally, started growing my blog, strengthened new and old friendships, moved into a new apartment with my boyfriend, and traveled to so many new places. It’s been quite the year!
I just want to thank you all so much for reading my blog, you have no idea how fulfilling it has been to create content and have this creative outlet. Reading your comments and hearing your feedback makes me so happy, and I’m honored to be able to share this bit of my life with you. With that, I wanted to take a quick moment to wrap up the year with my top 10 posts of 2017! I’m looking forward to spending even more time in the kitchen and on DFD in the upcoming year, so please let me know in the comments if there’s anything you’d like to see more or less of, or even something different entirely!
I’m actually writing to you from my parent’s house in New York (is it weird for me to still call it MY house? Because it’s totally going to be home for me always). I feel so freakin’ lucky to have been able to come home for both Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, since that hasn’t actually happened in 7 years! It feels so unbelievably good to be here, even if I have to work a bit remotely. Thank goodness for the digital age, #amiright?
Before I leave you for the holiday weekend, I just wanted to wish everyone a wonderful Christmas (if you celebrate) and even if you don’t, I hope you have time to relax, eat some delicious food, and be with friends and/or family. Is it just me or is this time of year the BEST because it reminds you of all the things you’re grateful for?
I’ll be spending most of this weekend baking cookies, sitting by a fire, and catching up with loved ones! I hope you get to do a version of the same😊 And now, back to our usual weekly roundup. They are some awesome last minute gift ideas in here!
5 Things to Get Rid of Before 2018 – Literally all of these, but especially #5. That was actually one of my New Year’s resolutions for this year! I did okay, but not great.
10 Genius Ideas for a Healthier Holiday – These tips are sooooo realistic, unlike so many others I see floating around during this time. Just eat the dang dessert and stop talking about your diet. Please. The kale will be there tomorrow!
GUYS. We are 5 DAYS from Christmas. I repeat: 5. Days.
To say I am excited would be the understatement of the century. I’m literally counting down the minutes until I get to see family and friends, bake a crap ton of cookies with my mom, and spend my first holiday ever with my boyfriend. PUMPED.
Okay now that I’ve exploded with holiday cheer, let’s move on to more pressing matters: these COOKIES. Let me express to you just how good they are – I’m rationing them so that I don’t run out before I go home for the holidays. Like instead of shoveling them all in my mouth at once, I’m actually savoring them bite by bite and THAT is saying a lot. And before you go thinking I’m all full of myself and stuff because I made a recipe that is full on inspiring me to possibly open up a bakery someday, I just want you to know that I legitimately set out to make these as an experiment and thought they might turn out terrible and crumbly and dry like lots of healthy desserts are…but! Thank cookies could not be more opposite of that.
I don’t even know how these have zero dairy in them…it’s kind of mind-blowing. And they 110% do NOT crumble. Isn’t that nuts?! That’s like my biggest pet peeve with some shortbread recipes. I think the best thing about these guys, aside from them being vegan friendly, is that they’re just the riiiiight amount of sweetness. Apparently there are people in this world that don’t love desserts and sugary things (WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE AND WHERE ARE YOU FROM), but these are the perfect cookies for those people.
And I know these are super Christmas-y or seasonal or what have you, but I think that’s what makes them perfect for the holidays. I think we all tend to OD on the rich stuff, the peppermint and chocolate and pecan and all that, so to have something a bit lighter as an option is nice! I know lavender isn’t something people always have on hand, but this recipe coupled with my lavender almond milk latté should give you enough reason to stock up now😉
Vegan Maple Lavender Shortbread Cookies
1/2 cup coconut oil (cooled & hard – pop it in the freezer for a sec if you need to!)
1/3 cup natural powdered sugar (*check this list for vegan sugar brands!)
1. Preheat the oven 350 degrees fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (ideal, but if you don’t have any just use lots of coconut oil!).
2. In a large bowl combine the coconut oil, powdered sugar and sea salt with a fork until all the sugar is combined and light & fluffy (might take a minute or so depending on your arm!).
3. Add the lavender flowers, then the flour 1/3 cup at a time and use your hands or the fork to combine. Don’t use an electric mixer for this one!
4. Finally, add the non-dairy milk and the maple syrup one tablespoon at a time and be careful not to not overmix! The dough may seem dry but try not to add any extra liquid here as it will mess with the consistency of the cookies.
5. Lightly dust a cutting board or clean surface with flour. Form the dough into a ball and then roll it out until it’s about 1/4 inch thick. Use a cookie cutter, mason jar, or glass to form the cookies into shapes.
6. Place the cookies on the parchment paper and bake for 10-12 minutes. *Check on them at 10 minutes just in case! You’ll want to take them out when they’re juuuuust starting to brown on the edges. They overbake quickly!
7. Let cool completely before noshing – I promise they’ll taste better this way! Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
So that’s it for today my loves! Thanks for stopping by – I so appreciate every single one of you and I know I don’t say it enough.
Hello my friends!!! We made it to another Friday, and not just ANY Friday, but really the last Friday before the holiday break😍
And while I’m definitely counting down the days until I go home, my friend Susie made a really good point – rushing to get to Christmas doesn’t totally make sense since the festivities and fun really all happen BEFORE the actual holiday and then when it’s over, it’s over…SO, at the risk of sounding depressing, my message to you (and me) is to enjoy THIS moment and make the most of it😊
That being said, I will be spending this weekend catching up with friends, doing holiday things and hopefully whipping up a fun winter-y recipe! Some of the ones below have seriously caught my eye. Here’s what I’ve been reading this week:
How is everyone doing?! Counting down to the holidays like me? This season tends to be extra crazy at work what with prepping content ahead of time to accommodate everyone’s vacation schedules (I work in social media marketing), so a vacation will be much needed when we finally get to it! I’m not gonna lie though, I always love the weeks leading up to Christmas (and Hanukkah!) because they’re so fun and festive. We went to our first holiday party last weekend and have another this weekend and I don’t think anything beats mulled wine and Christmas cookies.
That being said, I am trying to make sure I’m taking care of my health before things really ramp up, much like I was before Thanksgiving, because I tend to crave only sweets around this time and unfortunately that just ain’t gonna cut it, sister. I’ve been adding extra greens to my smoothies, extra veggies to my lunch, and trying to get my sweat on in some capacity every single day. Since we all know I’m a big snacker, especially when I need to fuel myself through a workout, ideally I like to combine my sweet tooth with my commitment to my health. And can I tell you? It’s actually reallyyyyy easy to make super delicious “treats” that are full of nourishing ingredients. Just ask my boyfriend – I told him these brownie bites were healthy and his mind was blown. He literally said, “but they don’t taste healthy.” MISSION. ACCOMPLISHED.
I know “healthy” is a relative term, but if chia seeds, rolled oats and nut butter aren’t good for you, I’m not sure what is. These are gluten-free (as long as your oats are) and packed with an insane amount of protein. They also take about 6 minutes from start to finish which is kind of outrageous. My absolute favorite part of them, though? The collagen.
I’ve started incorporating Further Food collagen into my diet (as I mentioned in my November favorites!) and this stuff continues to blow my mind. Dairy free, gluten free, non-GMO, sugar free and organic, collagen helps improve gut health, bone strength, and hair/skin/nails. Apparently in our 20’s we start producing less collagen than before, which can lend itself to saggy, wrinkly skin, weak bones, and achey joints. Nooooo thank you. By adding collagen into our diets through supplementation, we can help prevent and reverse this process. AND! And. It has protein, which helps keep you full and can prevent overeating. Yes. Please.
I’ve been loving Further Food because it has absolutely no taste and dissolves completely. This means I can put it in my coffee, smoothie, oatmeal, yogurt, hot cocoa, fancy golden milk latté, or even WATER without even noticing. Now that’s something you definitely cannot do with protein powder. If you want to try this stuff, and I promise you won’t be disappointed, you can use my code DANCINGFORDONUTS for 10% off! If you don’t, which is totally cool, I would just swap at the collagen in the recipe below for another tbsp of the chocolate protein powder. You won’t get all the awesome extra benefits, though😉
Anywayssssss, these little babies are basically winter goodness in a ball, and they are perfect for when you’re craving something slightly sweet! They’re kind of like how dark chocolate is – a bit sweet but not too much so. If you like things on the sweeter side, I might add a touch more honey. Up to you, though!
Peppermint Brownie Protein Bites
1/2 cup oat flour (just pulse oats in a food processor!)
1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and stir until wet are completely mixed with dry. Use your fingers if you’ve got to, and if it feels too dry after about 30 seconds of mixing, add a touch more almond milk. You shouldn’t need any, though 🙂
2. Shape into 1 inch balls and let harden in the fridge for at least one hour (or freeze ’em for 30 minutes!). Will keep in the fridge for up to one week in an airtight container.
That’s all for today, beauties. Hope you’re having a great week!!
Happy Friday!!! Is anyone else counting down to Christmas?!
It’s just barely starting to feel like fall here in LA (though it’ll be 80 degrees tomorrow, so scratch that…) and I’m so beyond ready to check out, sit in front of a fire, and eat some Christmas cookies. Who’s with me?!
Before we jump into today’s finds, I just want to send my love to everyone in SoCal who’s been affected by these crazy a$$ fires that are displacing people and animals left and right. The first responders & firefighters are legitimately blowing my mind with their ability to fight these things (there were 4 at once people. That’s INSANE.) and keep us safe. If you’d like to help, here’s a good resource for finding out how, and if any of you are in the area and need anything help from me personally, PLEASE do not hesitate to reach out. I’m far enough south to be able to round up goods and bring them to you, house your dogs or cats, whatever you need!
And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming…
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and long weekend! I definitely did, but also somehow been unbelievably sick with a cold (and possibly sinus infection?) for a week now, so I had planned on blogging earlier this week and then plans got derailed! My apologies. Either way, I’m back today with another roundup of my favorite foodie finds from the month of November. And friends, it has been a good one.
GT’s Living in Gratitude Kombucha– So I know this one isn’t totally fair to post since I’m not actually sure if this flavor is available everywhere, but I felt like I needed to include it because not only was it one of my favorite drinks from this month (obviously), but for every photo of the bottle posted to social with the hashtag #LivingInGratitude, GT’s donates 10 meals to those in need via Feeding America. I think that’s super freakin’ cool guys, but also, it honestly just tastes amazing – not as sweet as apple cider, but definitely hints of that flavor, plus warm & cozy spices. SO good!
Further Food Collagen Peptides – So full disclosure, I took biotin supplements for years and still do on days I don’t have collagen, but I will tell you, this stuff is soooo much better than that. It’s amazing for your hair, skin, and nails, has anti-aging properties, AND protein. Like hello, sign. Me. UP. This company is also women owned and run, and you know how I feel about women in business – ALL about them👏👏👏 I’ve been adding this stuff to my oats, smoothies and yogurt when I don’t want to mess with the flavors by adding a chocolate or vanilla protein powder, but I know people add it to their drinks, too. If you want to try this stuff, you can get 10% off with code DANCINGFORDONUTS on their site!☺️
Wild Friends Gingerbread Peanut Butter Blend – GUYS. guys. I cannot stress enough how unbelievably EPIC this nut butter is. I literally didn’t want to have more than 2 tbsp on any given day because I was so afraid to hit the bottom of the container and that is saying a LOT. I generally go through peanut butter faster than you can say Christmas. But seriously, this stuff is winter in a jar, slightly sweet but so, so perfect. I put it on top of pancakes, yogurt, bananas, oatmeal…UGH. I actually miss it as I’m talking about it, so I think I’ll go buy another jar tomorrow…
Lantana Foods Beet Hummus (up there in pink!^) – I’m not going to lie to you, I originally bought this stuff because it was just so dang gorgeous. Like okay, I’m one of those people that thinks food tastes even better when it looks good, y’know? But the taste of this stuff 100% lives up to its looks because I’ve been adding it to every grain bowl and salad in site and it has been delicious. I got mine at Sprouts along with the Sriracha Carrot kind (also amazing!!) but I want to try their other flavors, too! Hummus is the BEST.
Moon Deli Golden Turmeric – So if you haven’t seen Moon Deli floating around the wellness world yet, let me be the first to tell you that their powders are incredible. I have a few of their tonics, but the turmeric powder has made it especially easy to make those beautiful & tasty golden milk lattes that are all the rage these days. I simply add one teaspoon to a mug that’s filled with half hot water and half hot almond milk, plus a touch of stevia. It’s one of those things I just feel good drinking. And it goes back to my earlier point in that it’s easy on the eyes, too😉
Wanu Water – Hydration is unbelievably important to me (and admittedly not something I thought about until a few years ago, if I’m being honest!). I’m super conscious of having water by my desk always and drinking plenty before/during/after workouts. That being said, something plain ol’ water gets kind of boring…to me, at least. I avoid sugary drinks like artificially flavored waters or teas just because I know they have absolutely no nutritional value whatsoever, so when I find an alternative that’s flavorful but also is good for my body, I am IN. I’ve been absolutely loving wanu water since it’s infused with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and even fiber. It’s also sweetened with stevia and monk fruit without being sickly sweet like so many drinks out there! My favorite flavors are Kiwi Cucumber and Strawberry Serrano Lime. SO good, y’all!!
Okay, that’s all I’ve got for today, folks. Have you found anything awesome and delicious this month?! I’d love to hear!
I’m about to check out for the rest of the holiday weekend, but before I go, I wanted to share my gift guide for this year in time for Black Friday and all of the other crazy sales going on right now! I don’t know about you, but I’m seriously hoping to get allllll of my holiday shopping done this weekend. There are so many awesome gifts up there ^ that range in price points, so if you’re a #BabeOnABudget looking to treat another #BabeOnABudget (or yourself…or anyone else really…) I’d like to think of this gift guide under $75 as a good place to start 🙂
1. Snow Day Pajamas: Soooo I am kind of obsessed with pajamas, anyone else? No? …just me then? cool. Well, I saw these at Nordstrom and had to check them out. They are THE softest and so stinkin’ cute. I feel like pajamas are a great gift too, because you don’t have to worry about the perfect sizing (sometimes big/baggy is good!) and everyone could use ’em!
2. The Five-Minute Journal: If you’ve been reading my recent posts, you’ll know that this is definitely something I want to start using…most likely in 2018 since things are a little cray cray until then, y’know? I’ve heard such incredible things about journals like this – they promote positive thinking, goal-setting, and gratitude. Who doesn’t want more of that in their life?!
3. Knit Eye Mask: Another gift that would be cute. as. a. BUTTON. I also felt this little thing when I was checking out those pajamas ^ and if I didn’t already have a sleep mask, I would 100% buy this for myself (…or someone else because that’s what gift guides are for, right?). I truly believe that blocking out the light makes for a much better night’s sleep and giving the gift of sleep to someone might be the best thing you could give, tbh.
4. Corduroy Baseball Cap: How CUTE is this?! Baseball hats are super in right now and I am IN because hellooooo bad hair days and yet somehow hats make you look more put together. That’s a win-win in my book. I think this would be the perfect gift for a girlfriend or even like, your mom, y’know? If I thought mine wasn’t reading this right now, I’d probably order her one actually…
5. Donut Pan: Y’all. This blog is about donuts. That means that if you’re reading and don’t have a donut pan, or know someone that doesn’t, do them (or you) a massive favor and get on that stat. Food is more fun when it’s in the shape of a donut #letsbereal and you can essentially use this with any muffin recipe. It just looks more fancy 😉
6. Teapot Infuser: Tea is the ultimate wellness girl (or guy) beverage and a gorgeous teapot would make the perfect gift. If you paired this cute little thing with a box of seasonal cozy tea, that would be SO cute for anyone, even a coworker or something!
7. 52 Lists for Happiness Book: So a friend of mine gave me the original “52 Lists” book as a gift last spring when I was having a rough month, and it has legitimately been my favorite thing. I love going into this journal/book when I’m in need of some inspiration, a pick me up, or just taking a moment for self care because it’s super inspirational and instantly lifts my mood. Highlyyyyy recommend!!
8.Zella Ankle Leggings: So admittedly I don’t own a pair of Zella leggings, but I’ve felt them and heard sooooo many people rave about them. Like where else are you going to find gorgeous, squat-proof leggings for less than $95 these days?! I think the price point on these is stellar and the colors are super cute for a workout, or even just athleisure-ing around!
9. The Pretty Dish Cookbook: I’ve been following Jessica Merchant’s blog for probably 7 years now and am obsessed with every single thing she makes…not to mention her food photos are UNREAL. I think cookbooks are such a great gift to give to foodies and this one is packed with healthy, beautiful recipes!
10. Glitter Bomb Pink Stardust Water Bottle: This one’s for all you fitnessistas out there (and their friends) because a solid water bottle is a must for a complete gym bag! This one has to be the prettiest I’ve found in ages (that also doesn’t cost $45), and would be such a great add-on gift. If you’re going for a fitness theme, pair this with a yoga mat, pretty sports bra, or little gym bag and you’ll have a gift I am very, very jealous of.
11. No Drama Club Mug: I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t just order this mug today. I’m THE biggest fan of anything ban.do makes and this message/design just makes me smile. This would be the perfect gift for the cool-girl in your life – fill it with a bag of coffee beans or a super soft pair of socks for a super cute gift!
Alright my babes, that’s all for today. I’ve gotta get myself packed up and ready for a red-eye tonight 😉 I hope you have the most incredible Thanksgiving and if I haven’t told you lately, I am so beyond grateful to you for reading!! <3