Pretty Spring Salad

With friends and family coming over as it’s getting warmer, it’s not always easy to find the time to create the perfect lunch with my busy schedule. But, I’m trying! I love using Pinterest to search for easy, healthy recipes, plus getting them to look as beautiful as they are delicious is half the fun. Filled with detoxing ingredients that are rich in amino acids, glutathione, and fiber pectin, it’s perfect to start off a healthy eating plan while removing all toxins from your system. This light edible flowers salad is perfect for impressing guests with minimal effort, treating yourself or snapping a photo to add to your Insta feed (you won’t be able to resist!).

Ingredients:
-One package of mixed greens
-About a handful of edible flowers
-1 bunch of radishes
-4 carrots
-2 green onions
-Half of a radicchio
-Olive oil and vinegar for the dressing
-Pears or apples (or both)

Directions
1. Thinly slice all of your vegetables, and create carrot ribbons using a vegetable peeler.
2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, adding olive oil and vinegar to taste.
3. Garnish with flowers for a gorgeous final touch!

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Guide to Spring Denim Must Have

Is it Spring already? It’s ridiculous how fast time flies these days! Well, a new season calls for a wardrobe change and there are a number of cool trends in store for us this year. Sometimes, updating your style for the new season is as simple as refreshing a classic fashion essential – such as denim. Like most Cali girls, I love my jeans and my collection is pretty extensive. From boot cut, to denim jackets and the perfect cut-off shorts, it’s the easiest fabric to wear. Here are some Spring denim trends for 2018. Which is your fav?

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The Skinny Flare

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The 80’s High Waist

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The Culotte Jeans

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The New Straight Jeans

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The Wide Leg Jeans

Bookworms Unite

Ever wonder if people are still reading books these days? I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’m still a total bookworm and to this day I’m a sucker for actual books rather than digital readers. Whether it’s a page turning piece of fiction, an informative political novel or uplifting biography, a good read keeps our imaginations alive and if anything, keeps us entertained. While I haven’t had much time to read over the last few weeks, but you will always find me cozied up in bed, on the couch and on the plane, scanning pages whenever I possibly can.

I’ve gathered some books that I’m dying to read this year and trust me, some of them look like real page-turners! If reading more was on your New Years Resolutions list this year, I highly encourage taking the time for yourself to relax, sit down somewhere and flip through one of these. Scroll down to see my picks!

DIY Rules for a WTF World: How to Speak Up, Get Creative, and Change the World by Krista Suh

The creator of the Pussyhat Project gives you her inside tips on how to weave (literally and figuratively) around the weird world. She encourages you not only to how to DIY a lot of things, but help you take down the patriarchy, live by your own rules, and to have fun!

Back Talk: Stories by Danielle Lazarin

Another refreshing story about self-love, Lazarin puts together a stunning collection of stories about women and their unexpressed desires. The accounts entail how women defiantly push the boundaries that our world and social norms have narrowly put together for her.

Feel Free by Zadie Smith

Written by renowned essayist Zadie Smith, this novel touches on her take on contemporary culture. She puts interesting perspective on big influencers, popular places and trending phenomena, and answers the general question of why we do what we do. It will definitely leave you understanding the world a bit better.

White Houses by Amy Bloom

This exciting fictitious novel is about the very close, intimate relationship between journalist Lorena Hickok and Eleanor Roosevelt, which turns into a very secret, scandalous affair. It entails her journey from her status as “first friend” in the White House down to their last days together, and Hick never lost sight of her love

Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman

(I know, the book came out last year, but its film adaptation had multiple Golden Globe and Oscar nominations! Which is more reason for us to pick up the actual book and start reading it.) This book follows the intimacy that grows between an adolescent boy and a research student staying at his family’s mansion on the Italian Riviera. Both of them are unprepared for their attraction to each other, not only is it unexpectedly romantic, but the backdrop of ’80’s Italy is all-engrossing.

Oscars Worthy Popcorn

“Weekend ready” is an understatement, is anyone else excited that it’s Friday? With the Oscars just around the corner, I’m feeling inspired to create a glittery snack that seemed totally fitting for a glamorous night. If you’re watching the show this weekend, pop open some red wine and try this with your friends!

Ingredients:
-Desired amount of popcorn (you can make it fresh with kernels on the stovetop, use microwave bags, or even use premade popcorn)
-Olive oil spray
-Salt and other seasonings to taste (optional to use garlic powder, or sugar if you like sweet popcorn)
–Edible glitter (I used gold and silver dust, plus gold star flakes)

Directions:
1. After popping your popcorn by your preferred method, place it in a large bowl and spritz it with the olive oil or butter spray. Mix until evenly coated.
2. Add salt and seasonings to taste. Mix thoroughly, and sample to make sure seasonings are to your preference.
3. Transfer to your serving bowl, and lightly dust the popcorn with the gold and silver dust. I kept the 2 colors separate. Top off the entire bowl with gold star flakes for extra sparkle! Enjoy!

Baked Conversations

It always feels like February has officially begun when we start seeing conversation heart candies in grocery stores. I don’t know about you,but seeing those little sayings in their red and pink boxes just make me happy. And, these sweets happen to incorporate some of my favorite color palette (pastels all day, every day please). So, what’s not to love? With these signature Valentine’s Day candies on the brain lately I wanted to share a recipe that I had found to whip up a conversation heart inspired treat. These baked White Chocolate Conversation Heart Donut bites are delicious, easy to make, and obviously so fun to decorate.

Just in case you were considering throwing a donut decorating party to celebrate your Valentines or Galentines this year, this recipe serves as the final piece of persuasion you needed.

Ingredients:

For the donut batter

  • donut pan
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp melted butter
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • gel food coloring (red, yellow, green, orange, purple, pink)
  • 8 ounces coating white chocolate
  • candy coloring (yellow, green, orange, purple, pink)

 

Instructions:

1. Whisk cake flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. In a separate large bowl, whisk melted butter, sugar, buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla. Add your dry ingredients into your wet and whisk just until combined. Try not to over mix or else your batter will be tough.

2. Butter or spray your donut pan and preheat oven to 350 degrees.

3. Divide the batter into 5 small bowls. Color each bowl, with the gel food coloring, into pastel colors.

4. Add the donut batter into a large piping bag and fill each donut cavity until ¾ of the way full. If you don’t have piping bags, don’t worry—use a spoon instead. Piping bags just give you a more even distribution. Bake the donuts for about 7 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.

5. Let the donuts cool in the pan for about a minute, then flip onto your work surface and let cool. Repeat until all of your batter is baked.

6. Melt the coating white chocolate in the microwave, in 30 second intervals, stirring in between.

7. Divide the chocolate into 5 small glass bowls. Color each bowl with the candy color. Try to match the chocolate to the pastel color donuts.

8. Dip the tops of each donut into the chocolate. Place the donuts on a piece of parchment paper and let harden.

9. Put a couple of drops of the red food coloring onto a small piece of parchment paper/aluminum foil/wax paper.

10. Dip a small paintbrush into the red food coloring and write the sayings onto the tops of the donuts.

What cute catchy phrase will you write on your donut?

How To Make Your Super Bowl Party A Touchdown

It’s that time of year again for the Super Bowl and I’m so excited! The Super Bowl is one of my favorite times to throw a party, especially in my new house this year,  I like to invite all my family and friends over to watch the big game and to make so many wonderful and delicious snacks to munch on while watching.

Check out some of my favorite recipes to make so you can be the MVP of your own Super Bowl watch party!

Team Spirit Popcorn

No matter who you’re rooting for, this sweet popcorn recipe is a delicious way to show your team spirit

Recipe from Two Sisters Crafting

Ingredients:

  • 10 cups of popped popcorn
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 cups marshmallows
  • Regular M&M’s (with team colors)
  • Pretzel M&M’s

Directions:

  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add marshmallows. Stir until marshmallows are melted
  2. Pour the marshmallows mixture over the popcorn slowly, making sure most of the popcorn is covered. Leave a little bit of the mixture leftover.
  3. Place popcorn onto a cookie sheet and drizzle the remaining marshmallow mixture on top.
  4. Add the M&M’s, then break into pieces and serve.

 

Game Day Pizza

This is another super easy way to turn a party favorite (who doesn’t love pizza?) into a game day treat. All you have to do is take a normal cheese pizza and use pepperoni slices to create a football shape. Add strategically-placed cheese to make the laces, and you have a party ready pizza.

 

Buffalo Chicken Stuffed French Bread

Don’t let the lengthy ingredient list on this recipe scare you, its actually very easy to make and I promise will be one of the first dishes at your party to be finished! If you can, heat this up right when your guests arrive so it is served warm with the cheese melting.

Recipe from The Food Network

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf French bread
  • 1/2 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce (add more if you like spice!)
  • 1 packet dry ranch dressing seasoning mix
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 cup bleu cheese crumbles
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese4 cups packed shredded cooked chicken

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2. Cut a large rectangle through the top of the bread, but make sure not to cut through the bottom of the bread. Remove top and hollow out to middle to create a bread bowl.
  3. Mix together cream cheese, mayonnaise, hot sauce, sour cream, ranch dressing, salt, chili powder, garlic powder, paprika, and onion powder in bowl until combined.
  4. Add in bleu cheese, 3/4 cups cheddar and 3/4 cups mozzarella cheese and stir. Then add the chicken.
  5. With a spoon, add the mixture into the bread bowl and top with the rest of the cheddar and mozarella cheese.
  6. Bake for 35-45 minutes on a baking tray, until cheese is melted and golden brown.
  7. Let bread cool for about 10 minutes, then slice and serve!

 

Enjoy your Sunday Super Bowl guys!

Coconut Hair Oil Challenge

I have an insane obsession with coconut oil and, to be perfectly honest, if you aren’t up to speed on all the health benefits behind this omega-3-packed oil, then you might want to brush up on your research. In fact, I have admittedly used coconut for almost every purpose you can think of—body lotion, cooking oil, lip balm, cuticle oil, makeup remover and baking. The only way I hadn’t used coconut oil, up until recently that is, was on my hair. One of my girlfriends swears by its magic as an all natural hair mask, which got me thinking that, with the dry winter season, it was about time to add one more use to my roster of coconut oil remedies. So, a month ago, I set out to do just that.

Today I’m letting you in on my experiment with putting a coconut oil hair mask on my tresses once a week for a month. Scroll down to find out how I did it, how it felt and my overall review on whether I think this word of mouth beauty DIY works or not.

The Process

This coconut oil hair mask itself is quite simple. I just picked up a new jar of my favorite extra virgin organic coconut oil at my local market and started slathering it all over my hair. At the recommendation of my friend, I applied the oil over dry hair and I admit it felt kinda funny to be rubbing oil into dry hair. But you can apply it to wet, shampooed hair if you’d prefer. I scooped the coconut oil into my hands, rubbed my hands together to make it an oily consistency, then evenly coated all strands with the oil, using about two tablespoons total (you will need more with longer hair and less with shorter hair). I focused mostly on the ends, which needed a little more love and went lighter on the roots. Then I used my fingers to comb through my hair to distribute it evenly. Once again, it feels weird, but after doing it twice I completely got used to the feeling of oil in my dry hair. I applied the coconut oil at nighttime before bed for a deep conditioning effect and wore a fabric shower cap over my head to go to sleep, so as to not ruin my pillow case.

The Results

The first time I rinsed out the coconut oil hair mask, I wasn’t quite used to the feeling of how oily my hair would feel in the shower. It took about two rounds of shampooing in the shower to get that oily feeling out and I used conditioner after too. Once I towel dried my hair and let it air dry, it did feel thicker and more hydrated. The best part was that this feeling multiplied after every time I did the mask. By the third week of doing a coconut oil hair mask, my strands felt much thicker and shinier and my hair felt stronger and softer in general.

Why It Works

There is lauric acid in coconut oil which has a low molecular weight, it allows the oil to actually penetrate the hair shaft, nourishing the hair with vitamins, minerals and the medium chain fatty acids. Coconut oil is a fabulous way to give your hair this healthy boost it needs because it is rich in antioxidants, it has antifungal and antibacterial properties. So, it leaves the hair feeling not only moisturized, but clean too. While many of our shampoos, conditioners and other hair products tend to be full of harmful chemicals and toxins, coconut oil is 100% natural and seriously good for your hair and scalp. You can use coconut oil as an intensive overnight hair treatment like I did or as an everyday hair oil, using just about ¼ teaspoon. I recommend using extra virgin organic coconut oil as a great chemical free hair conditioning treatment replacement.

Would you try a hair oil coconut mask?

And, do you have any great DIY hair mask recipes you love?

Tell me about your favorite hair masks in the comments below so that I can give them a try too!