Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Summer is Coming!


It's the most wonderful time of the year, guys! Well, almost. Since moving to Vegas, it's been a little difficult to remain faithful to my favorite season of the year, but even despite the crazy intense hot temperatures in the desert, summer remains my favorite time of the year. I love the flip flops, tan skin, cold drinks, long days, fresh food, active lifestyle, and slow pace that summer brings. A few weeks back, I was really feeling the summer vibes and put together this summer mood board.

Links to all products below.

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In addition to all the fun swimwear and accessories summertime has to offer, one of my favorite things about summer is the outdoor gatherings around food...did someone say BBQ?

Paperless Post recently reached out to me and it made me remember just how much I love them! They offer the cutest designs for online invitations...best of the best, in my opinion. I've always been a fan of actual, physical mail but since becoming a Mom, I'm reminded over and over again just how precious and valuable my time is. Paperless Post makes it so easy to send invitations (or any type of mail) through email and still make it personal, special, and meaningful. The way they animate the invitation coming out of the envelope goes such a long way in helping the recipient feel special. I've picked out a few of my favorite summertime invites and shared them below. It's already got me dreaming of hosting a sweet summer get-together and I'm so excited about it!












Monday, March 26, 2018

Coconut Crack Bars


This is a keto-friendly, low-carb, gluten-free, sugar-free, paleo, and vegan dessert snack. And it's also super delicious! It only had four ingredients and when you bite into it, the texture literally "cracks" in your mouth. Fresh and decadent at the same time, I was surprised how much I enjoyed pulling a square from the fridge at least once a day. The perfect guilt-free pick-me-up.

Coconut Crack Bars
Yield: about 20 squares
Active Time: 20 minutes
Cooling Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: about an hour

INGREDIENTS:

3 cups shredded unsweetened coconut flakes
1 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup honey (may substitute with any liquid sweetener of your choice)
1-2 cups chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:

Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil and sit aside.

In a large mixing bowl, add all ingredients and mix very well. Pour batter into the lined pan. Using your hands, press firmly in place. Place in the fridge or freezer to firm up.

Once firm, remove and cut into bars. Place in the refrigerator.

Melt chocolate chips and individually, dip each coconut bar in the melted chocolate until coated evenly. Repeat until all the bars are evenly coated. Refrigerate until chocolate firms up and enjoy!
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Friday, March 16, 2018

Kale Detox Salad with Roasted Chick Peas & Sweet Potatoes


I'm a big fan of salads and lately I've been drawn to kale as the base because (1) it's super healthy and (2) it's super sturdy, which means that I can literally make an entire salad hours in advance, including tossing it with dressing, and it will hold up till dinnertime. It will even hold up for leftovers the next day and still taste amazing. No wilty lettuce here! I love that this recipe uses hearty fillings like chick peas and sweet potatoes so I'm not left feeling hungry after the meal. With some chicken, this is a great salad for dinner.

Kale Detox Salad
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake/Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

1 bunch kale, stems removed
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
3-4 carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds
1 15 oz. can chick peas, drained and rinsed
Olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
dash dried thyme
Grilled chicken
Pesto
Brown rice (optional)
Sesame seeds (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, combine chopped potato, chopped carrots & chick peas. Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, parsley, basil, garlic powder, and thyme. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Let cool.

While vegetables are baking, prepare chicken. In a sauté pan, heat two tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle two chicken breasts with garlic powder and lemon pepper. Sauté for 8 minutes on each side, keeping the lid on pan to lock in moisture. Chop.

Chop kale into small ribbons and transfer to a large salad bowl. Massage the kale for 1-2 minutes and add in pesto. Mix until evenly covered. Add in vegetable, chicken, and (if using) brown rice. If using top with sesame seeds. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Skillet Bread




This bread is known in our house simply as "the bread".  Bradford loves it. 
"What are we having for dinner tonight?", he'll ask.
"White Chicken Chili and bread", I'll answer.
"Is it 'the bread'?", he'll ask hopefully.
"Yes, it's 'the bread'", I'll answer.
He sighs happily.
This bread is one of the best kept secrets out there. I'm telling you, it's so good, so simple and so easy! Truly a staple in our home.

Skillet Bread


INGREDIENTS:

1 cup water, lukewarm
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon dry yeast
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS:

In a bowl, mix water, honey, and yeast. Leave it for five minutes so that the yeast starts to work. Add flour, salt, and oil. Work the dough together. Cover with plastic and let rise for one hour. 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Add a couple glugs of olive oil to a cast-iron skillet. Transfer dough to the skillet, add another glug of olive oil on top and use your fingers to spread it over the dough. Sprinkle with sea salt and fresh herbs.

Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden. 

Friday, March 2, 2018

Wanderlust: Tasmania


Ever since my cousin Kelsey decided to move her little family to Australia for six months, I can't get enough of the land down under. Having grown up by the beach in Southern California, I've always felt an affinity toward Australia as it seems to share a similar vibe to SoCal. Every Australian I've met in my life has been fairly laid back and easy to talk to. Beautiful beaches, sustained economy, outdoor adventure. And the fact that it's just this small island continent out and away from the main hubbub of the goings-on of the world, make it seem wild, intriguing, and appealing. 

Last week, I was made aware of Tasmania, thanks to Ellie Bullen, who was there enjoying a gorgeous dinner on a hemp farm. If Australia seems a little wild in my mind, then Tasmania takes it to another level...look below to see for yourself: towering sea cliffs, wild Tasmanian devils, deserted sandy beaches. Put me on a plane tomorrow, please!

Click each picture to view the source.