In My Cup: Weekend Wonders

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This weekend felt very…fast. Is tomorrow really…Monday? Ah, sadly yes. So, today was about getting a couple things together for a job interview that is on Tuesday (fingers crossed) and searching for apartments (again), and trying to remind myself that life is a bigger place than I could ever imagine- I’m just a tiny piece in a greater picture. Somehow, I find a lot of good vibes from that thought. Little worries of mine, could be someone else’s blessings- I often try to tell myself this, because it’s so true. I always find myself thinking of little details that need to be done here and there, and then get all stressed. When really, if I truly think about it…my ‘worries’ are so mediocre. Some people in this world would be blessed to call my ‘worries’…well, true worries. So, I’ve been trying to actively remind myself this, every single day. It’s a peaceful reminder, and I’m definitely working on consciously gaining more depth in this thought process. Isn’t it crazy to think our state of mind is truly…everything? The way we think, is the way our life takes place in front of us. Craziness. Anyhow, I figured this post would be relevant as we start the work week tomorrow. With that- grace and love to you dears. xoxo. Here are a few things in my cup that have been simply nice, recently:

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 {my good-luck handmade ‘love’ earrings that I bought last year from the sweetest lady, pretty sure they’re full of positive karma}

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{morning latte + lipstick: a forever classic combo}

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 {hello next DIY project, probably for more of my 1000 old candle holders via Miss Renaissance}

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 {dairy is usually a moderation thing for me, but what is better than tomatoes and mozzarella?}

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 {keeping in touch with your ex: Do or Don’t? via my article last week}

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{found a candid photograph of a little girl that I took in nyc a couple months ago…}

I loved how happy she was, for no particular reason. Ah, the life lessons we can remember when we look at children- how delicate and easily impressed they are. Good reminder as Monday approaches. xoxo, loves.

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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In My Cup: Simple Inspirations From Friends.

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Even though all I can dream about lately is my favorite season, Fall, I decided I might as well embrace summer here and there before it’s gone. To be completely honest my week has been little sparks of wonderful, and other moments have been a drab. Lots of pondering on where in the hell I’ll be living in exactly one month from now, and trying to find a new job that won’t make me completely miserable, and also balancing heavier thoughts of the universe (i.e. oh, you know, just the meaning of life and all.) On the other hand, I have definitely had my fair share of catching up with friends lately whom I haven’t spoken to in a while, which is always a welcomed change.  For instance, one of my closest friends lives in Asheville, NC and just got a new ‘big-girl’ awesome job where her job title includes camping eight straight days every 2 weeks. How amazing is that? Of course we talked about it for about an hour like two crazed 20somethings having a rare ‘hey, things are going to be okay’ moment. Ah, to have a job hanging out in nature? Lovely. She is a newly-licensed Recreational Therapist, so to score a job within a huge Wellness center is definitely nothing short of amazing.  She will be helping people with substance abuse problems- what a wonderful way to be around people and nature everyday and to give back in a way. It made me rethink a lot of where I’m heading, and where I want to go. Good vibes. Anyhow, hope you loves are having a wonderful Thursday! xoxo. Here’s a few things that have made my life a bit more whimsical as of late, the first being Jessica (whom I talked about in this post) and me in the ridiculous boa, naturally:

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{sweet (blurry) memories of childhood and playing ‘Cinderella’}

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 {summertime treats: GoAgave natural soda}

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{an article I wrote this week about my experiences of living in the South, and how it taught me to trust + a beautiful view from my parent’s home}

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{new superga sneakers, before rainy Dave Matthews concert}

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 {fall-inspired candy corn scented candles in midsummer- instant cozy home makeover}

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 {the plants in my home are starting to make the place look like a jungle, which is a welcomed look especially on rainy evenings while reading}

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 {cupcakes and cashmere + thanks for the drink idea+ carrot margaritas}

xo. Cheers to the weekend!

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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Don’t Get Naked? : Have We Lowered Our Standards of ‘Au-Naturel’?

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(via free people)

So the other day I bought a bag of ‘natural caramel corn.’ The label offering its’ kindest words of, “Hey! I’m sorta’ healthy, and I’ve got pretty packaging with that lucky word, ‘Natural’, on it! Buy me!” It was, indeed, only three ingredients- so I bought it without a second thought.  And, being a pretty healthy-minded young woman I felt that was about the ‘healthiest’ caramel corn I could have bought (i.e. justified, sort of). That is, until recently when I started hearing about the Naked Juice ordeal. How they have been using synthetic added ingredients (i.e. GMO soy, synthetic fiber, etc.) that they didn’t have to necessarily label on their packaging because of the lack of regulation of food here in the US. They are trying to deny all of this, of course, which is why they decided to ‘settle’ the matter, rather than tackle it. Which brings me to my point and back to my lovely caramel corn; Exactly how did we manage to get ‘Natural’ out of caramel corn (of all things) and an array of other foods parading the grocery aisles? I will kindly wait for an explanation, all while considering myself guilty as charged– I’m clearly no saint. And, for that second of justifying both the caramel corn and a product made by Pepsi Co. as being ‘au-natural’– what does that say about our society and what we consider, well, just plain healthy?

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Clearly, as the years have brought a bounty of trying to get back to ‘simple’, we’ve also allowed marketing to create a field of ignorant bliss. I will be the first to say I am horrid at saying “no” to packaging that promises what’s inside. That, of course is the wonders of great marketing, but I think Naked Juice is a lesson that needed to be learned. If we truly are moving towards more ‘home-grown health’, we have to think outside the box of consumerism. These days, marketing health is almost as necessary as actually obtaining it.  Companies will, and always will, try and take the easy way out for a buck or two (or millions, ya’ know), especially when our country makes it blatantly okay to do so.  If the FDA would let them have it, they were only bound to have their cake and eat it, too. That’s exactly what Naked Juice did.  The only ‘natural’ and ‘simple’ intention they had was to sell us $4 dollar juices, that is only worth about a couple of nickels.

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With that, I don’t think we’ve necessarily lowered our standards of what ‘natural’ constitutes (fresh, local produce, etc.), we have just lowered our standards of what that looks like. Let’s be honest, we are attracted to pretty things. If we weren’t there wouldn’t be a fashion industry, or marketing, a multi-billion dollar beauty industry, etc. There has to be more ‘conscious consumerism’ to counteract companies like Pepsi Co. who are making money off of what isn’t really there. ‘Natural’ is pretty simple, and it isn’t caramel corn (sadly) or processed juice made by a company that is known for soda. Health is natural.  Moderation, being smart about the food we choose to buy, and most certainly our own awareness of what our own standards are when it comes to these choices. Hopefully this was a thoughtful message that came across you today, we are in control of the world we live in by these simple choices we make everyday.

That’s my Friday rant, my random thought, and quick point. Cheers to Friday, loves! xoxo

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(via the local rose, lovely blog)

Pretty Simple: Wanna’ Be Healthier?

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Back when I used to juice basically every single day and eat like a fairy, I felt pretty damn amazing.  All the hype is true, juicing and eating a lot of raw foods is a wonderful, marvelous, amazing idea. But there’s this thing…perhaps you’ve heard of it? It’s called real life.

Rewind to a mere few years ago- I remember the days I used to prance around and say in my best granola accent, “It’s so easy to eat like this everyday! What’s the problem? Just bring your juicer everywhere you go and you’ve got that shit down!” I’m no hypocrite either, I’ve been known to carry a couple grocery bags/juicer/small basil plant/etc. around with me wherever I went- in the glorious name of, “I’ll be fuc*ing healthy if it’s the last thing I do.” I had no shame. People looked at me like I was some crazy green-juice lady…and I still was full speed ahead, taking the name with pride.

However, after time I started to shed some of my old ways here and there (i.e. the juicer is no longer a staple in my…pocketbook), but I still wanted to keep the energy I seemed to have infinite amounts of when I was a walking produce isle. And so, here and now, I give to the, the loveliest green single-celled microalgae you will ever lay your pretty little eyes on. Okay, aside from how it sounds, Chlorella is basically a life-support for anyone who needs something to keep their bodies more balanced (i.e. alkaline, etc.), cleaner, and energy efficient. I had to share it on here because every time I go without it, I can tell my body just doesn’t feel as, well, well. Chlorella is full of naturally occurring chlorophyll, iron, protein, vitamin C, and beta-carotene. So, it’s obviously pretty amazing stuff, and I’ve recommended it to my friends only about one million times.  So now it’s your turn, woo! It can be used as a daily super-detox as well, to protect us from everyday free radicals and heavy metals that are constantly around us, trying to make us…useless.

This was just a quick thought I wanted to share with you guys, it’s such an amazing, quick thing to do that has amazing benefits- so why not? If you decide to make a trip to your health food store, you want to make sure it reads ‘broken cell wall‘ on the bottle, that way it is most easily digested and used by our bodies. If it is not, it basically is worthless, so that’s very important! ‘Organic’ chlorella is also the best way to make sure the sourcing is clean and not…iffy. I recommend taking anywhere from 200-1000mg starting off, depending on how much you juice, eating habits, etc. It is definitely worth a try if you want more natural energy. Oh, and it’s also AMAZING for our skin, so if you are dealing with any breakouts or feel like your skin needs some tlc, chlorella is my go-to option. If you have any questions, or other ideas for quick natural ways to have more energy- feel free to leave me a comment! xoxo.

p.s here are some informational videos on chlorella…

Dr. Oz on chlorella and heavy metals.

really interesting talk with internationally renown natural health physician, Dr. Mercola (it’s long, but interesting- starts talking about chlorella at 5:18)

and these two, who are basically as excited as I am about chlorella, I mean, they’re really excited. (p.s.s…at least you’ll laugh) via natural news

happy granola-eatin’ themed Thursday! ha, xoxo.

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