Brunching: Mozzarella Basil Tofu with Eggs & Asparagus

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To celebrate my first Friday back blogging I wanted to share a little gem I discovered a few weeks ago. It’s crazy simple, looks impressive, and obviously absolutely delicious. It’s now become my brunch staple and perfect for lazy Saturday mornings. Literally you basically put everything in one pan, and wait. It’s pretty wonderful. Continue reading “Brunching: Mozzarella Basil Tofu with Eggs & Asparagus”

A.M. Routine: Drink Your Citrus

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What I’m celebrating today: Happy just about February! This amount of happiness knowing January is about over is pretty much making my heart smile. Spring is that much closer. Ahh…and it’s Friday. Loveliness.

Lately, as you know, I’ve been a bit down and out. Winter has been especially horrid this year for me, but I can’t say I haven’t been a little more pro-active about it. (Although I might have indulged in serious heart-wrentching country music from the 90s lately- that shit isn’t for the faint of heart.) Why is that when we’re down we usually want to jam to songs that are just as sad? Allison Krauss, I’m looking at you. You know, I actually need an answer for that one.

 Anyhow, I used to run pretty avidly, however the past few years have definitely seen a big decline. So, in November before all the NYR’s started rolling out at the gym, I decided to start trekking back to where I used to be. Goal: Run past 15 mins. without looking like a zombie afterwards. Last week I finally(yyy) felt wonderful and happy about having to run. Pro-active score: one check for Laura. Continue reading “A.M. Routine: Drink Your Citrus”

Holiday Gift Ideas: Flowering Frame DIY

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Hi lovelies! It’s a rainy, lazy, Monday here.  Plus it’s super cold and obviously miserable.  Seeing as I’m off work, my day will indeed consist of a warm latte, a movie that indefinitely will include Meg Ryan (i.e. When Harry Met Sally), and a couch. So, I thought why not share a post I never published from October? It’s kind of brilliant if you ask me, seeing as I threw it together literally last minute for a magazine I was contributing to at the moment. It’s super easy, budget-friendly, and actually really quite nice and unique. I’m thinking a perfect gift idea for the holidays! Oh, and if you’re wondering, the picture is of my parents from the late 70s. xo Hope you enjoy:

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Continue reading “Holiday Gift Ideas: Flowering Frame DIY”

How To Give A Gift: Everyone Will Love

Simple Gifts for the Hard-To-Buy-Fors

To start off, here are a few of my favorite odds-and-ends that are simple, festive, & bright.

A cozy throw, a comical plate, a beautiful magazine, lovely glow-worthy skincare + nailart, etc., are simple and definitely no-brainers that many times are a hit among holiday gift-giving (girl-edition, at least.)  However, sometimes it’s definitely not so easy.  Especially when perhaps you don’t know someone that well, or maybe you don’t know their interests.  So I’ve organized some rules that I’ve come up over the years that are really helpful in giving a great gift, to everyone:

Rule 1 Okay, so maybe not everyone, but I’m talking in reference to things not many people don’t like.  Take a topic that is always a ‘win’, enter: food, health, useful home decor/tools (I’m staring at you never-been-used-bread-makers), your own favorite skincare products (Om Aroma & Co.), good spirits, etc.  It’s a simple rule when buying gifts; be thoughtful & unique, and always think to yourself would like the gift if you were the one being gifted.  When you start thinking about gifts that you would like yourself, you’re more likely to be on-point of what others might enjoy, too.  For instance: think of some of the go-to restaurants in your general area that you really love, like a bakery.  Do they ship their speciality items?  Same for local wines, a local brewery, etc.  I mean, how many people don’t like great food and good alcohol.  I can’t think of anyone I know…

Rule 2 Words that work magic together during the holidays: ‘One of a Kind.’   There is something so magical about giving something no one else has.  Yea, it sounds a bit conceited, but it’s really not.  Truthfully…it’s just plain awesome and, well, one-of-a-kind. It’s a no-fail. (p.s…have you ever heard of ‘Of-A-Kind‘? It’s pretty much equivalent to a hidden-rare-jeweled-crusted website of treasure.)

Rule 3 Get your hands dirty with creativity so you don’t overspend. Cheesiest remark ever? Yes, indeed.  However, good gifts aren’t always expensive gifts.  Why is it that so many feel this way?  To be honest, some of my most treasured gifts are well under 30 bucks. For instance, my Dad once bought me a gorgeous ceramic pitcher that has this adorable little lid you can place your teabags around as they steep.  And yes, I’ll probably be the old lady who hands down a tea pitcher as if it were a rare piece of jewelry. My point with this story, yet again: don’t overspend.

Rule 4 Go ‘local.’  I’ll never tire of this statement.  Rev-up your local economy + get an awesome gift for someone?  Pretty sweet gig if you ask moi.  Plus, it pretty much entangles everything we’ve gone over above.  Unique, one-of-a-kind, thoughtful, interesting, etc. There are so many talented people in your own community who spend their days creating something awesome, why not find em’ and know about em’? Oh, and obviously the best part: share them.  (p.s…here is one of my local favorites: My A La Mode)

lovelyliving.ptest

Rule 5  Think of ‘places’ they seem to be a lot, then go from there.  You want to get them something they will use everyday, or at least a lot. Are they in their office space (insert: a calming & inspirational print for their wall,  some low-matenience greenery- I think these guys are too fun, etc.), kitchen, living room space, outdoors.  When you think of the places they spend most of their time, chances are your gift will reflect a certain thoughtfulness a lot of people, often times, miss when gifting.  How many times did you get a gift that was totally not…you.  It’s these simple references that’ll help you get a little closer to the ‘them.’

So lovelies, hope this helps! If you like what you see, I may start a series leading up to Christmas of quick tips and tricks to give a great gift that comes from your heart, not your wallet. So feel free to leave comments and questions! xo, loves!

 

Continue reading “How To Give A Gift: Everyone Will Love”

Pretty Picks: Drugstore (Natural) Beauty

Pretty Picks: Glow Natural
 There are some topics that just simply don’t get old, and somehow drugstore beauty products make that cut. I’m kind of obsessed at looking at simple priced beauty products that never let a girl down.  So, yesterday I decided to pull together some of my own favorite natural drugstore-priced products. I’ve been seeing a lot of them popping up by fellow bloggers out there, but mostly there are no natural products that get mentioned.  Maybe they’re just looked over?  I always try to get the word out about how easy it is to switch to really good, natural, skincare. Especially when you’re on a budget, it’s still a really easy switch! These are the products that I absolutely adore and always find myself purchasing as complete ‘must-haves’ time and time again, so I hope you enjoy! (p.s…the Kiss My Face peaches and cream moisturizer is an all-over moisturizer (body & face) and it works absolute miracles- I’m a cult follower of this product– no lie.)

I’d like to know, what are some of your favorite drugstore-priced natural products that you’ve come across? I’d love to hear what you guys have found as your ‘must-haves’! xo.

Monday Morning Madness: Little Celebrations

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Like most moments of our lives, things seem to pass by so quickly and we begin to wonder where all the time has gone. How we ended up in a particular place and it almost can begin to feel like life has a certain domino effect to it.  This has definitely been a theme to my thoughts lately, just thinking about how it’s already about to be the end of August and my birthday (i.e. October in 2 months, what?!) is about to be around the corner. I think this year has been the quickest year to date, but so far it’s been an amazing one.  

 This past weekend was about celebrating that last bits of summer and also welcoming new opportunities writing-wise, and other ideas, etc…that I’m looking forward to.  I will be posting pictures soon of Charleston, too! Anyhow, lately life handed me this thought; It’s so easy to become excited about where things are headed at times that we begin to completely (and almost unconsciously) dismiss those moments where we didn’t feel like we had any great ‘grand’ ideas, or had a goal that seemed almost untouchable at one point.  I suppose I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the meeting of those two phases in life. I’m at a place where I can see behind me- and I can see in front me.  It’s a fabulous feeling, even if things don’t work out. I suppose this is another phase of being in your 20s, and for me, just about mid-20s. Serious gasp, after that one.  But you know? It’s actually lovely to feel the ground not be quite as shaky.  I emphasize ‘quite’- but it’s a step.  Is this a just-about-mid-20s thought?  Ah, anyhow- this was me celebrating this somewhat ‘meeting place’ of my life, so far, this morning.  A new little routine I’m taking up…now.  You know how I’m all about the little things that make life feel a bit more like Wonderland. And p.s…it’s a dangerously delicious, and simple, combination- so beware.

 I mean, really, what’s better than strawberries, goat cheese, and cinnamon graham crackers?

 I would love to know- what are some of your small, yet magical, routines to celebrate life wanders? xoxo.

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Sunday Brunch Love: Lazy Days, With Simple Ingredients

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This morning has been laziness mostly, and lots of coffee. I feel like Sunday mornings are an all-day pass to say, “I’ll do crafts and watch movies, overload on lattes, and read way too many articles from my favorite content (SHK, Refinery29, Zooey, The New Potato, Domaine, The Coveteur, you get the point.)” So that’s exactly what I’ll be doing. Oh, and cooking lots of delicious food, naturally. This is my personal favorite easy (all organic) brunch below, have a lovely, lazy, Sunday dears! xoxo: 

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Rice, Rice, Baby: Thai Coconut Brown Rice

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{a part from my lame-themed title, this Thai Coconut Brown Rice recipe makes up for it}

So lately as things around my life have just been a little hectic, I’ve been gravitating towards being a complete home-obsessed dog lady.  I’m also equivalent to that of a vampire because of my lack of sun as of late. Although, I am in no way ashamed of that statement- I happen to admire vampires, who doesn’t?  No one, that’s who.  Anyhow, I’m sure vampires love Thai food, another thing no one doesn’t like. Thai food is easy, comforting, and incredibly versatile.  Plus, I like to pretend I’m suiting up for a trip to Thailand in the near future (i.e. just let me dream). Ah, but vampires and Thailand- really. It’s the perfect combination. However, on to the best Thai-takeout-inspired recipe…ever.  Also, it’s much healthier, of course. Woo! 

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{another lamed-theme statement; my modest kitchen, aka, where the magic happens…hell yea. Clearly, I believe in year-round christmas lights, it’s the simple things}

you will need

1 cup brown rice

2 cups of coconut milk (I used half whole-fat coconut milk, and half light coconut milk)- you may give or take on the cup-age, I’m a risky kinda’ girl and eyed it. 

2 tbsp of grapeseed oil 

1/2 diced onion

1/2 diced bell pepper

Handful of fresh basil

Handful of fresh cilantro

as wanted, purple cabbage served raw (it’s delicious with the rice + amazing for us raw)

pinch of smoked paprika, pink himalayan salt, & pepper

oh, and clearly, Sriracha is a no-brainer for this one

p.s…some of the directions below may seem a little backwards, but just go with the flow, yo. 

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Secret to cooking the perfect rice: add the oil to the bottom of the pan on high-heat- after oil is heated- add your rice and slightly brown rice before cooking it. Works like a charm. 

Directions: Add your coconut milk to the already somewhat browned rice, and bring to a boil. Also, because we don’t want the rice, well, ‘rice-y’, stir the rice continuously so the rice becomes more on the sticky side. It makes for a creamier dish, which is what you want here. Add your onions, bell peppers, and spices once at a boil. Continue by following the cooking time as directed for your rice. For instance, I cooked the brown basmati rice I was using for about 35 minutes, give or take. Just depends on the type of rice you are using.  Remember to keep stirring continuously (i.e. arm workout.) After your rice is cooked, before cooling, add your basil.  Stir. Serve atop your purple cabbage and top it with cilantro.  

Obviously, the cabbage is optional, but it’s absolutely delicious with this because of the balance and texture it gives the dish. It’s very fresh and feels like spin on a nutrient-dense salad. It would be perfect for day-after lunches, too. So making this in advance is always an option. Hope you enjoy, feel free to ask in questions or suggestions in the comment box. Til’ next time my loves. Oh, and cheers to delicious Thai food, and vampires. 

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5 Ravishing Recipes for Weekend Festivities.

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{Mini Fish Tacos via: A Beautiful Mess}

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{Vegan Espresso Fudgesicles via: Take a MegaBite}

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{Herb and Feta Polenta Bites via: Diet, Dessert, and Dogs}

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{Booze Infused Pops: Watermelon Margarita via: Refinery29}

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{Stuffed Avocado with Chipotle Mayo (vegan, raw) via: Rawmazing}

Because it’s Friday and everything about these recipes are simple, beautiful, and healthy! The booze too, let’s be honest. Cheers to a happy and delicious weekend, loves! xoxo.

Lazy Strawberry Scone Cake

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This is, indeed, the easiest, laziest, cake you’ll ever make. Mostly because it’s so versatile and only requires about three ingredients, but mainly because it does involve a box. Now, I’m usually not too keen on anything boxed, I like to make everything the ole’ fashion way…from scratch. However, if it’s the best box possible, I’ll take it. It can be gluten free, vegan, purple-polka dotted, and it would undoubtedly work in this recipe.

 So without further adieu, you’ll need:

 1 box of whatever delicious scone mix you desire. (options: Wholesome Chow has a great vegan, gluten-free mix, or Alex Jamison’s homemade scone recipe could add some prep time, but would pay off)

 1 1/2 cups farmer’s market strawberries (you can also mix around the fruit, peaches would be delightful)

 Coconut oil, about 3 tbsp.

 1 cup Almond Milk

Directions

Preheat oven to 350F

Follow the scone recipe as directed (the oven prep time might be a bit different depending on different mix use, if so, follow their directions). Pour scone batter in coconut-oil greased glassware. On top of the first layer of your batter, add your strawberries. Then, with remaining batter, simply pour over the strawberries (hell, get crazy, if you think you may want more strawberries before you cover them with your batter, throw some more in). Pop it in the over for around 15-20 minutes depending on your oven. Serve warm (my pick), or at room-temperature.

*note: you may have more or less bake time, because you want to the strawberries to cook down and become almost, jam-like. So keep an eye on it, once you see a bit more of a ‘melted’ strawberry middle and a bit of browning on the top, it’s done.

 It’s kind of crazy how pretty and Southern cobbler-ish, it turns out to be, being so…lazy. It’s perfect for a cozy get-together dessert, and best right out of the oven. You could have it in your fridge ready to go, and pop it in the oven just before dinner or whenever, and voila! Call me a cheat, but being a ‘southern belle’, and such, best believe it’ll be ‘homemade’ that night. xoxo.

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