Another week down, another roundup of my favorite reads across the web – but first! I’ve fallen in love with a new protein bar (you know me, bars are my jaaaaaam) and needed to share Square Organics with you because you GUYS. These little things are obviously delicious, otherwise I wouldn’t be telling you about them, but more importantly they’re organic, *duh,* made with plant-based protein (instead of dairy-based whey), gluten-free, soy-free, AND they donate a portion of their profits to fight human-trafficking. How cool is that?!
If you want to grab one of their exclusive sampler packs so you can try them for yourself, just text SAMPLER to 33222 to get your bars for $12.99 plus shipping. You’ll receive a link to the sampler in the text, so you can buy straight from there! And you know me, I love a good sale😉
Slightly Healthier Thai Iced Tea – Fun fact: I LOVE Thai Iced Tea, and I’m pretty sure I’ve only had it 3 times in my life because I know how terrible it is for you. I can’t wait to try this recipe…although admittedly I know that nothing comes close to the glory that is sweetened condensed milk😅
5 Must-Haves from Amazon’s New Plant Shop – Okay, I know this one’s kind of out there, but if you’ve been following me on Instagram you know that I am obsessed with plants!!! I freaked out when I heard Amazon launched a shop because I need to bring more life to our home stat!
Total Body Stress-Relief Workout – I think Lauren is on to something here…also, love that this workout isn’t like, an hour long. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Happy Friday, Lovers! We made it through another week✌🏼
The past few days have been a bit different for me since I wrapped up my current job on Tuesday, but I still somehow have been crazy busy the rest of the week…like I had all of these plans to clean the house, organize myself, work on my blog, shoot another video, and see friends, but only about 1/4 of those things happened😂 I did have a nice, productive Valentine’s Day, though – it started with a solo trip to Ikea, then I had lunch with a friend, took a LIT Method (class thanks to Suja!) – that place is AWESOME if you haven’t been yet, by the way. It’s such a great workout! Then I just had a homemade dinner + dessert in with my love.
I hope you were able to celebrate love in some way this week, even if it was just by treating yourself! Before we head into the weekend, which may be a nice long one for some of you, I wanted to share my usual Friday Finds! Here’s what I’ve been reading this week…
Why You Should Use Instagram As a Diary – Despite the fact that I work in social media, I actually have a love/hate relationship with the thing. I think this piece breaks down a great way to use Instagram as a way to feel inspired as opposed to sucked into a comparison trap!
Hi friends!! I’m back today with some Valentine’s Day cuteness ’cause let’s be real, the fun of this holiday is basically just the treats you get to indulge in😏
I’m going to be honest with you, I could kind of care less about Valentine’s Day. I mean, for like 95% of my life I was single for it, and even if I did have a boyfriend, it felt like any other day. I think my number one thing about it is just knowing that someone thought about me, but the truth is that if you’re dating someone who you’re truly meant to be with, that person is going to show you they’re thinking about you every damn day, y’know? Last year, Alex and I just made dinner at home and this year we’re planning on doing the same thing. I’ll definitely be whipping up something sweet, which I’m veryyyyy excited for (!), but otherwise it’ll be low key!
Regardless of who you’re with (or not with) this V-Day, I think the most important thing you can focus on is showing love to yourself and those around you. Call your parents, your siblings, your best friends, and tell them how much you care about them. Maybe write a card, or bake them something sweet you know they’ll love. And if it’s just you at the end of the night, treat yourself to some self care – a face mask, glass of wine (or kombucha), an episode of your favorite Netflix show, and a lil’ dessert. You deserve it! If you’re looking for something extra to do for yourself, your bae, or just the ‘gram, I’ve got some ideas for you guys that I’ve either done myself or have found across the web during my V-Day research!
Heart-Shaped Food – This one is probably the easiest, cheapest, cutes thing you could possibly do! All you need is a heart cookie cutter and the possibilities are endless. Last year I made us heart-shaped avocado toast (basic b meets overrated holiday😂) and this year I’m planning on making heart-shaped pancakes! The ones in the photo at the beginning of this post were just made from the Birch Benders mix I had on hand and I added an easy chia-berry jam on top.
If you wanted to be reaaaaal cute, you could do pink jam so instead of using mixed berries like I did, do only raspberries or strawberries! To make it, put frozen berries of whichever variety you’d like in a microwave safe dish for about 30 seconds, add a tablespoon of either whole or ground chia seeds, and stir to combine. Let it sit for a couple of minutes and then you’re good to go! I like to use ground chia seeds, which are nice since you can’t even taste them, but they still help bring the jam together like whole seeds do.
White Chocolate Valentine’s Day Popcorn – This one is so perfect if you’re doing a galentine’s party or having a movie night in! I originally made this recipe two years ago, but if I were making it today I’d probably swap out the candy hearts for pink, white and red m&m’s! I know that might be overkill on the chocolate, but like, is there such a thing? The answer is no. Plus they might melt a little and be all soft and chewy and magical. Highly recommend.
Pink Puppy Chow (Vegan!) – I originally found this recipe here, and proceeded to pin it immediately because HOW cute. The only reason I didn’t make it this week is because I can’t actually be trusted with a bowl of this stuff, but 1) Valentine’s Day is for sharing and 2) this recipe seems to be slightly better for you, so I really should…but I think it would be SO stinkin’ cute to put a bag of this in your honey’s work bag so that they have a sweet treat during the day. Or, let’s be honest, just put it in your own bag because that post-lunch sweet tooth is REAL #amiright
Here are some other last-minute ideas in case you need some more V-Day inspo!
This week really took it out of me guys, I’m so happy it’s the weekend!! And also, in case you didn’t know, apparently it is also National Tater Tots Day…obvs one of the most important holidays ever. To celebrate, I broke out my new air fryer from ToBox and made some insaaaaanely delicious and crispy tater tots with this easy peasy greek yogurt dip on the side. It. Was. AWESOME.
But I’m not going to lie to you, I was honestly really nervous to use my air fryer for the first time. I realize how irrational this is, considering air fryers are like 10x safer than regular fryers, I was slightly nervous that I’d burn down my kitchen or something😂
Well, I could not have been more wrong because you literally just put your noms in the fryer basket, set it to a certain temperature and time, and then BOOM. Out pops your crunchy, crispy, air-fried goodness. I was kind of in shock at how simple it was and am now officially obsessed! I’ve been thinking of all the things I can air fry like chicken, and cauliflower wings, and hand pies…UGH the list just goes on! If you’d like to read more about why air fryers are awesome, I actually wrote about my experience on the ToBox blog!
I decided to make a dip on the side because, let’s face it, most things taste better with a lil somethin’ somethin’, you know? I’ve never been much of a ketchup girl (I know, don’t hate me), but mustard is one of my favorites! I figured pairing it with some cool & creamy greek yogurt would be the perfect contrast to the warm tater tots, and then the sriracha was just a fun addition. I think I might make this dip pretty often just for veggies, too! OH and if you have a Trader Joe’s nearby and can get your hands on their Everything But the Bagel Seasoning, DO that. And then put it on absolutely everything. You can thank me later…
Spicy Greek Yogurt Mustard Dip
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
2 tbsp mustard (I mixed dijon & spicy brown!)
3-6 dashes of Sriracha depending on your affinity for spice
pinch of sea salt
1-2 shakes TJ’s Everything But the Bagel Seasoning (optional)
1. In a medium sized bowl, combine all ingredients and stir well until yogurt turns completely yellow from the mustard.
2. Serve with hot tater tots and/or veggies!
Alright friends, I hope you have a fantastic weekend!! And let me know in the comments if you have an air fryer too – I’d love to know what you make in them!!
I’ve heard so many people saying that this month has totally dragged on for them, but for me it actually went by kind of quickly! Lots of movement, lots of change. It’s been exciting and stressful and interesting! Promise I will share more details very, very soon😉
This month was full of trying new products in everything from my diet to my beauty regimen and my fitness routine. I found some reallyyyyyy awesome things that have really helped me stay on track with my goals across the board and I know you’ll love them, too! Some of these items were gifts from the holidays, and some I just came across, but everything is linked so that you can find them. And now, in no particular order, my January favorites!…
Simple Mills Rosemary & Sea Salt Crackers – After seeing Simple Mills products alllll over my Insta-feed, I finally got my hands on some of these bad boys (they were on sale at Sprouts, #BlessUp). The big draw is that these are gluten-free, soy-free, and dairy free, although y’all know I’m not actually restrictive with my diet. I will say though that there’s just more nutritional value to crackers made with almond flour and honestly these crackers are just REALLY good. I ate the whole box in an hour, so that should tell you something😅
Trader Joe’s Soyrizo – GUYS. guys. Ok so I saw these written up somewhere as one of Trader Joe’s best selling products of 2017, so I decided to try using them in homemade burrito bowls for dinner one night. Full disclosure – I actually didn’t even tell my boyfriend it was vegan, and he totally loved it. The flavor is insane! And it’s really easy to make, too. I can’t wait to get it again and maybe at it to a scramble or some nachos!!
Fitness Bread – If I had to pick one thing from January that I was obsessed with, it would be this bread (pictured above as the avocado toast!). It’s by a German brand called Mestemacher and I remember my mom eating this when I was little. It’s made of rye flour, wheat germ, and oat fiber making it cholesterol free and high fiber. Each piece is thinly sliced, pretty dense, and a bit nutty. Aside from the fact that it’s got more nutritional value than many other breads, I seriously just think it tastes amazing. I’ve been seeing a lot of bloggers talking about gg crackers, and I’m not sure what the consistency of those is, but these are sooooo much cheaper. I found mine at Sprouts for like $4, but I’ve linked them here on Amazon too in case you don’t have one of those near you! I hiiiiighly recommend making your avocado toast with this. You can thank me later…
Garden of Life Women’s Multivitamin Gummies – If you saw my vlog, you’ll know that I take these every👏single👏day👏 I am obsessed. They taste really good, and are kind of like a little sweet treat, so that’s most likely why I like them so much #LetsBeReal…but they’re also filled with all kind of nutrients we need and may not be getting from our food. I’ve mentioned Garden of Life on my blog before, but I seriously love this brand. They make high quality proteins, supplements and bars and everything is vegan, which is always a plus!
Hair, Skin and Nails Gummies – Another one I mentioned in the blog, I’ve been taking these gummies for years. My nails are super brittle for some reason so I’ll take these in addition to the mulitivitamin above. Since the multivitamin I take contains 100% of the suggested daily value, and two of the Hair, Skin and Nails Gummies is like 1000%, I’ll just take one. That way I’m getting extra biotin without causing my body to overproduce oil (hellooooo breakouts). Just check whichever vitamins you take to see the percentage, but make sure you get enough biotin without it being too much!
Booty Bands – My brother bought me these for Christmas after I kept seeing booty band workouts on YouTube and I’m in LOVE. These are so great for glute activation before a workout, or even just a booty band workout in itself! I’m really trying to work on my tush before summer (it’s one of those areas I’m just overly self-conscious about for no reason) so having the bands for extra resistance allows me to work them a bit harder. I promise I’ll put a workout with these up soon! Don’t let me forget…
Ab Gliders – So these were also part of that same holiday gift, and I also think they’re an essential for any home gym! You can put your feet or hands on them, and they work on any kind of floor since they just slide along. If you’ve ever used a pilates reformer, it’s kind of the same sensation in that you really have to engage your muscles so that you’re not just sliding all over the place. These prove that you don’t need any fancy equipment to work your core (or anything) else, though!
OleHenriksen Banana Bright Undereye Cream – Full transparency on this one, I received this as a free sample so I didn’t necessarily have high hopes, but I am looooooving this cream. I’m not sure if it really brightens the undereye so much as makes it hydrated and smooth, so it’s a perfect base for concealer (a must for actually looking like I get enough sleep!). I think my favorite part of this product is just the fact that it makes me feel like I have a real skincare routine now – something I never had before and feel is increasingly necessary as I get older! It has vitamin c in it, which is apparently very good for the skin, so I’ll take it!
Aesop Hand Cream – This was a gift from my coworker and oh MAN does it make me feel fancy! I know this one isn’t cheap, so I’m extra thankful it was given to me (thanks Shane!) because it is sooo luxurious. If you read my post on my focus words for 2018, you know I’m trying to focus more on loving myself, which essentially means splurging on the things that make me feel good. Bath and body products are 100% included in this because can you honestly tell me anything better than a hot shower at the end of the day that makes you feel like you’re at a spa? So yeah, putting this hand cream on after that shower makes me feel like a straight up QUEEN and I highly recommend it!
Murad Time Release Acne Cleanser – I don’t know about you, but I have been maaaaajorly struggling with my skin these days. I wouldn’t call it adult acne necessarily, but it’s not that far off and as someone who didn’t really have acne before, it makes me super frustrated and self-conscious. I’ve tried a ton of cleansers in the last year and the only one that seems to make my skin feel really clear is this one. I’ve been using it for about two weeks now and love it so much. It’s slightly more expensive than other cleansers, but definitely cheaper than many and it comes in a huge bottle. I think it’s SO worth it if you’re having trouble finding something that works for you!
Well, that’s all for January! Let me know in the comments if you’ve found anything this month that you’re loving – always on the hunt for cool stuff😉
Guys. I did something. I made my first YouTube video🙊
I’m not gonna lie to you, I’m kind of afraid to post this, but I’m also kind of really proud so I want to share it with you…
I promised myself I would learn how to create and edit video in 2018, so here I am! It’s not perfect, the sound isn’t great and the transitions are off, plus I definitely need to work on my lighting and my voice, but HEY. I’ll get there😊
If I’ve hung out with you in the last few months, you probably know that I’ve become semi-addicted to YouTube videos…I’m not sure why, but I do know that I feel like I know some of the YouTubers I follow (which is ridiculous, I know…) because it is SO much easier to get to know someone via video rather than writing or photos. Do you know what I mean? Like if you can hear someone’s voice and picture them, you can just get a sense of their personality much better. So it was this idea, coupled with the fact that I want to be able to offer video services to my social media clients, that I decided to start vlogging. I had the MOST fun time making this and I honestly can’t wait to make more.
That being said, please oh please give me feedback, even if it’s a little negative (I have thick skin)! I want to get better, to make better content for YOU so if there’s something you’d want to see more or less of, or if you think this is a silly idea altogether, feel free to let me know. I appreciate your honesty! And if you want to see more, just hit the subscribe button on the bottom right under the video once you’re on YouTube’s actual website😊
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!
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: