The Real Secrets to Mermaid Hair

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Last week I got my hair trimmed, which was long(ggg) overdue.  The last time I had gotten a ‘trim’ was longer than I care to admit. Now I’ll be honest- I’m usually a complete spazz, eyeing the poor girl/guy about to barely take off an inch. However, this time I was all about getting a serious 5 inches snipped.  Yet, one question the stylist asked me was how in the world I had managed to go so long without trimming, and my hair still be healthy. This is where I’ll admit how long it had been: One year, and six months. I know, it’s horrid. Continue reading “The Real Secrets to Mermaid Hair”

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”

Winter’s Neon + Vanilla Beet Smoothie

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Hello loves, here I am. It feels like months and months since I last updated this lovely space of mine. I’d be lying if I said life has been all things sparkle and glitter lately. I’ve been brushed with a lot of emotion on so many different levels. Mainly, I cannot think of any other description besides this; life has been, winter. Since my last ‘mini-post’, writing- really anything- has felt a bit forced. Especially if I’m trying to share a fun post. So I’ve summed it into this: It’s another stage of this bright life, a time and place where we’re supposed to really pay attention to the present. Not document it so much.

Although, I’ll admit, that thought sometimes seems funny to me. Most of our lives almost have to be documented these days, in so many social standards. And I’m just as guilty as any other. Continue reading “Winter’s Neon + Vanilla Beet Smoothie”

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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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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Monday Morning Madness: New Age Martha Stewart, Here.

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Hello Monday, you’ve really kicked my ass. Stress-wise, that is. You know the feeling, so I’m not going to harp, or keep the negative energy flowing, I’m going to make peach and fig tarts. As I did above. And, yes, they are pretty mostly because I like pretty things, but note, they fell apart the second you tried to eat them because, again, yes, I insisted they be gluten-free. So no worries, I’m no real Martha Stewart, my tarts are all show. But they tasted amazing and were also vegan, so woo! I only used honey and a tad of agave to sweeten, so I suppose it’s ‘a give and a take’ sorta’ thing. The flour was gluten-free obviously, so they were a brown-rice flour, so it makes the dough a little, hm, flakier, we’ll say. However, it did singe the ‘guilt’ a bit. Anyhow, this was the inspiration for a Monday afternoon full of attempt-to-be-Martha-Stewart fun. Of course, I opted for the ‘Laura-version’, trying to make it vegan and such. Note: I am no longer vegan (vegetarian), yet I sometimes find making things vegan are easier, and no, I have no idea as to why. I am definitely by no means good at baking, but it was actually quite lovely and stress-relieving. Maybe it was the wine? Probably, but we’ll go with the baking on this one. Perhaps we’ll be drunken Martha’s together? Perfect. Creative endeavors come in all forms, we’ll stick to that. xoxo. 

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{p.s…when you are trying to ‘vibe’ with your inner Martha, if you mix honey and cinnamon…it makes a mean natural and delicious decorating tool/option when you put it in a ketchup bottle, etc., so you can make frilly hearts, like above, without all the added refined sugar, hell yea!}

p.s.s…check out my 10 Reasons He Doesn’t Have a Girlfriend, with all the other awesome writers over at 20something. xoxo.