Monday Morning Madness: Creamy Coconut-Garlic Dressing

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The other day we were grilling out and I was in the mood for a homemade salad dressing. I wanted something with a punch and yet had a light feel to it, quick to prepare, and of course- fresh ‘laying around the house’ ingredients. I whipped this together and it was a hit, even with people who definitely would rather slide the idea of ‘healthy’ over. The coconut oil gives the dressing a light and subtle sweet coconut flavor, while the garlic is a balance of rustic and savory, and the avocado I used helps to give everything just the right creaminess for a dressing I plan to use quite often. Plus, it’s super versatile- you can use it a lot this summer in a pinch; sandwiches, a quick dip, or a good toss in a tried and true pasta salad recipe…

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In My Cup: Oh, Hello, Sweet Summer.

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Summer brings about a certain kind of happiness and absolute recklessness. It’s a breathtaking combination, really. A time where we all feel light and our cares seem a little(eee) farther away. It’s a sun-kissed mirage (even when we may still be vampires, hello moi) with plenty of fizzy, light, beverages that muses a makeover for time- just a lovely haze it all becomes. Outfits consist of swimsuits with some sort of circa 70s’ blue silk robe we (perhaps?) stole from our mother’s closet. Who knows, maybe it’s just me on that one. Anyhow, we don’t even know why it seems more than appropriate to lift all responsibilities and take a cross-country drive through little towns when we’re broke (but we’re story-rich), or why we, women, take off hair in places that probably should be illegal all while casually insisting, “It doesn’t hurt that bad.”, while actually thinking, “So far, that is the worst thing that has ever happened to me.” All we know is there has to be some sort of vibrant glowing golden book that explains in detail why a time of year seems to make us want to dance around in the sun with sunflowers to match and say fuck it all, but, until then- let’s just cheers to that statement and run free. xoxo. Here’s what’s in my cup, my dears, styled by summer, of course. 

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1. My new vow to read myself to sleep this summer instead of Arrested-Development-binge-watch-myself-to-sleep. (Magazines are clearly acceptable.) 

2. The best self-tanner ever. I loved seeing it in Elle’s “30 All-Natural Must-Haves” this month, I discovered it when living in the city a few year’s ago and fell in love, it gives the perfect glow with NO orange grossness, and I’m basically Edward Cullen’s sister. It also truly leaves your skin unbelievably soft, my pick if you’re trying to get a pretty glow. {Lavera Self Tanner}

3. Aren’t these beachy pastel-hued clutches absolutely lovely? I instantly gravitated to them when I spotted their fun and bright colors in a tiny shop by my apartment. The designer, Allison Howington, started ‘My A La Mode’ this year and you’ll know each one is one-of-a-kind because she hand makes and paints them herself! As if I didn’t already adore them, she paints them in every pastel ice-cream-inspired color imaginable. {Shop them here

4. Facial oil is my favorite pick for moisturizer during the hottest time of year, it’s a cult-worthy rule of mine. Your skin needs to be balanced to look and feel its’ best, and essential oils are the most calming ways to treat your skin. I found this guy last week by Seventh Generation’s new line of ‘Boost serums’- I chose the one infused with skin-nurturing Baobab oil, which is pretty much a miracle oil for your skin. It is also infused with mint essential oil, which feels heavenly and tingly fresh after washing morning and night. They might just be my new favorite facial oil line. Oh, and did I mention it’s also super affordable too, running for under $10 in some places? Latte money, my dears, is ringing. P.s…they just launched the line, so I don’t have the link, but keep a look out at your local drugstore. They are worth the search. 

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1. This lipstick in ‘Poppy’ is most definitely the perfect red, I’ve found it. It’s bright, yet with a deep undertone, that makes the color a bit mysterious and vintage feeling. It’s summer and winter and all the seasons wrapped into one marvelous, red. I’m obviously living in it at the moment. (literally and figuratively)

2. New York in no match to any other when it comes to frozen yogurt havens, but I have been meaning to check this place out about 1000 times by now. So if you’re in the city, I’m jealous. What a perfect summer treat?

3. It speaks for itself, let’s just be honest. I mean, who doesn’t feel this way? 

4. I’m a believer, a believer in heaven-like bedding, one in which you fall into like a bath of bubbles and pillows, and vanilla scented angels. With that, West Elm is having a sale on bedding (which to me is grounds for party), and this one pretty much recites what is stated above. Plus the clean, symmetrical pattern doesn’t overwhelm the room, but rather gives it a soft, yet fun, feeling. Note: I may or may not admit it sold me when it recited it was inspired by ‘intricate Moroccan mosaic tiles’. I’m still not quite sure why that seems awesome, but I went with it. 

5. ‘A novel about a life-altering, all-engulfing young love.’ Next book I will be reading. Sold to the girl in the crazy blue robe. 

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Smell The Roses; and other Life Lessons.

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Through a child’s eyes the world has little faults. To be simply living and breathing and laughing can make up for a kaleidoscope of troubles and hardships. I always reflect on this when life gets a little overwhelming for me. And believe me, I reflect a lot these days. We often somehow drift very far from our beginning, those roots that once kept us grounded in the pastel-lit summer breeze of our childhood- eventually sways away and we begin trying to fit jagged puzzle pieces together, a mold and creation of what we hope ends up looking like our ‘self’. It’s funny really if you sit and think about it, hell, you probably become too involved in your own mind and drive yourself crazy (much like someone I know, guilty.)- but I’ve been trying to make this ‘puzzle’ a swift trial-and-error kinda’ ordeal, rearranging what’s ‘important’ and what ‘I need to be doing’. Hence, my absence for the past bit on my lovely blog-o-space. I’ve been writing lists and marching around the internet trying to ‘get things done’, and half the time I end up realizing I’m not even completely sure what I’ve actually gotten done. Or, even better, what I’m doing. I’m also a list kinda’ girl, and if you are like me, it’s like random tiny notebooks take an Aladdin-type aura and swarm around me at all hours of the day, some filed with tiny to-do’s, other’s with, like, hilarious ten-step plans for me to be able to sip some sort of iced tea in a decent sized backyard that has flowing assortments of lemon, orange, and avocado trees, and I’m in some marvelous, flowing, white attire practicing ‘enlightenment’ and meditation. Also, I’ve helped the world in some decent, awesome, way and I have no worries because I am able to give back to the world and I get to write all the time about people’s awesome lives as a real big girl job- so everything is peaceful and lovely. It’s like, can that just happen? Ah, my life. Someday.

Anyhow, that’s where I’ve been loves. Fishing for my dreams. Oh, being 23… I’m hoping I’m not the only craze in this gen’?  It felt appropriate to write today about this, especially in light of ‘throwback thursday’, and my already (somewhat) jaded self above (haha).

I’m slowly trying not to be a human cartoon, with all the running and feeling like I’ve past the same scenery…23 times. I think if we all admit it- it’s a part of the whole ‘molding self’ ordeal. Like a right of passage or some way the Universe gets a laugh when it gets bored being so old and such. So I’ll hand it to him, half the time my life does slightly feel like a comedy, but perhaps we just have to take it as a good thing, and laugh with it. Fitting puzzle pieces together swiftly isn’t really working for me, so I figure I’ll just keep writing about the trail and error and lovely things, and somehow everything will simply be okay.

So I’m smelling the roses and keeping up just doing what I love to do, and with that you can’t go wrong. I was actually thinking about this very statement last week when I was visiting my grandmother’s home at the beach- and I figured I would share. She passed away about a year ago, but she was one of those people that always made you feel like life, indeed, wasn’t falling apart. She was born in 1920, so I always figured her advice was hierarchy to all the rest, wouldn’t you? Especially when I first had my ‘beginning-life-crisis’ in the very beginning of my twenties. She was always a big believer in things working out, and keeping light on ‘the little things’. So, a couple weeks ago I posted this from a picture I took while walking around one day. The quote I thought of just kinda’ stuck, and ever since I’ve been trying to really pay attention to everything around me because I think we are given little signs everyday, to show us we really do have a purpose, and someone is always there. Anyhow, it’s always hard going to South Carolina knowing she won’t be there to cheer me up or give me wonderful life advice, but I was sitting in the sun one day- stressing and worrying particularly at that very moment-and suddenly noticed her favorite roses were blooming in one particular spot. Right about that time, a red cardinal flew in right beneath them…I scrambled around quietly like a spazz for a chance to get a picture- and I got it just before he flew off. It didn’t end up being the clearest shot, but I caught it, and that was enough. Needless to say, even in its somewhat blurriness, it will have a lovely place on a wall somewhere in my home sometime in the very near future. I figured with something so ironic and beautiful (story and all), it has to have a more permanent space in my life.

So, maybe you’re in my boat, or something like it- so it’s a nice reminder to share with you, loves; we’re always apart of something bigger, than ourselves, than our worries, than the things that maybe bring us down sometimes. So, I suppose this post is kind of a kickoff to summer posts, and thoughts, and fashion, and food, and faith? (who knows, anything goes), and ponders, and all sorts of loveliness. From me…then, and now.

ThepureandPinkmoi

Bring it to the Beach: Natural Goodies to Get Your Glow On.

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1. There are plenty of shimmery highlighters out there, but this one is natural, and gives a dewy shimmer for a subtle glow for all skin tones- plus, the argan oil helps to keep skin moisturized while we glow. It’s a definite go-to for summer. (Josie Maran Illuminizer)

2. Keep your skin soft, hydrated, and protected with this MyChelle skin-loving, chemical-free, SPF. It also has a hint of natural coconut for some extra love. (MyChelle-SPF Sun Shield)

3. My absolute favorite BB cream- it protects against UVA/UVB rays with natural SPF 30, helps with anti-aging, gives your skin moisture, all while creating a lovely glow. Definitely a ‘foundation’ with the punch of a skin treatment. Love, love, love. (Tarte BB Cream)

4. Give your skin some silky ‘after-sun’ love with Savannah Bee Company’s Royal-Jelly Body Butter. Packed with goodies your skin needs after being out in the sun all day- like vitamins, lipids, and amino acids- it’s ‘naturally’ a must. The scent is amazing as well, with some ‘southern inspired’ goodness, pecan butter and blackberry. Yum. (Savannah Bee Body Butter)

5. Again, Josie Maran is a wonder and I’m a devout new fan. Her new Coconut Water Cheek Gelee’s are like summertime packed into tiny packages. If you have sensitive skin, like this girl, it is literally a blush from heaven- not to mention it also makes for a beautiful lip color. I’m a fan of ‘Poppy Paradise’, but I literally stood in Sephora forever trying to decide the best color. Amazing. xoxo. (Josie Maran Coconut Cheek Gelee)

5. Of course, a new favorite for beach days are all things ‘Daisy-inspired’ (courtesy of my obsession with The Great Gatsby). For extra sun protection I thought this lovely, Daisy-channeling, peach-hued J.Crew hat what would look lovely while catching up on some reading. (J.Crew summer hat)

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xoxo. Glow-on loves.

Monday Morning Madness: ‘Pretty Simple ways to’ get ‘glow-worthy’ in your recipes.

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Hello loves, I hope your weekend was all that you dreamed it would be. If not, there is plenty of time for wine tonight. Today, I was just hoping to share a few tips to get glowing for summer, and not to mention, healthier. Summertime is definitely full of flavor. From barbecues to seasoning, it’s easy to stick to tried-and-true recipes and habits. However, sometimes it’s nice to get out there and try some new ideas and shake things up a bit. Plus, I promise if you give these three ‘swaps’ a chance, you might be pleasantly surprised at how versatile they become around your kitchen, and how often you’ll be using them. And no, you don’t have to only use these for everything, I have definitely learned not to be a preacher, but ‘here and there’ can make a pretty big difference to your summertime glow, and your health.

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1. Nutritional yeast has a bit of a ‘cult-following’ by many vegans, and it’s kind of no secret as to why. Besides the name itself being less-than-‘yum’, it is actually one of the best kept secrets in the glow-worthy department of eating for health. The first time I heard of the stuff, I was a bit hesitant, I mean- it sounded more like a bread-starter than a delicious good-for-you cheesy treat. However, I went to my health food store and grabbed some, hoping all it’s glam and gossip would deliver the promises I had read all about. I started mixing and baking and tasting…and sure enough- the stuff can be absolutely delicious, with the flavor consistent with cheese. I am most fond of its’ power when it comes to Macaroni and Cheese, and Strawberry Cheesecakes. The above picture was from just the other night, it’s quick and easy and can be subbed for any cheesy-dish. I like to play around and add things like bell pepper and garlic, for extra health benefits and taste.

Why it’s Glow-Worthy: It is chock-full of good-for-you protein, so it has all the essential amino acids your body needs to be its’ healthiest. Also, one of the best reasons to add some to your recipes, is its’ high content of vitamins; especially B-complex vitamins for extra energy, most notedly B-12. Just a little bit, goes a long way! It is ironically very low in fat and sodium, yet when added to different recipes takes on the flavor of richer dishes. So go ahead and eat your Macaroni and Cheese, it’s really good for you! 😉

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Dulse is an amazing substitute for regular table salt, I’m kind of addicted. However, the best part is that it’s super low in sodium, yet brings a salty flavor we all want. I’m also a big fan of simply adding half pink himalayan salt, and the other half subbed for dulse. I have been finding it adds a good balance, mostly because dulse can have a certain taste that many have to grow used to- yet it is very subtle. What is it, you ask? It is actually a sea vegetable and is used in a lot of asian dishes, so it does have a certain undertone in its’ flavor. It is actually quite versatile in the different recipes you can create with it. I for one, think this recipe would make for a great use of dulse vs salt. And, of course, my above ‘Sweet and Salty Mash’, which is essentially just lots of dulse and garlic, complimented by the sweetness of the sweet potatoes. It’s really good for a summertime side-dish.

Why it’s Glow-Worthy: It is full of beautifying minerals that regular salt just doesn’t add up to (although I’m talking sea salt here vs pink himalayan salt, that I’m also a big fan of), plus the big difference is it’s low-sodium. Dulse also is great for under-eye darkness and can help eliminate puffiness. Which is mostly caused by our over-consumption of salt, which then leads to water retention/a load of problems. When we consume dulse it helps balance the electrolytes in our body, and therefore help to keep us less bloated. It is also a great form of B-vitamins.

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This is a new ‘to do’, with me. I have talked about my bread obsession here, but this is actually such a simple way to add an extra punch of vitamins and minerals to the norm’ ‘sandwiches’ we (or at least I) tend to grab for during the summertime months. It’s something I’m still playing around with and trying to swap a lot more, but with the farmer’s markets getting more dense with an array of fresh, green, leafy veggies, it’s kind of a no-brainer to keep it a routine. As you can see above, all you have to do is cut along the stem to make it easier for wrapping, and voila. I made the above wrap the other day and it was absolutely delicious. I have been thinking of ways to make it a little tastier and I came up with this: in a bowl just throw some apple cider vinegar, pinkhima’ salt, garlic, and dill- then toss the leaves around and let them stay in for at least an hour or so. So now, you have infused them with a little extra spice & flavor- and they are still full of all their goodness. Cooking them, to me, still kind of defeats the purpose of why they are so good for us. However, if you want to give them a light blanche, to make them a little more tender, I suppose it wouldn’t be so bad.

Why it’ Glow-Worthy: Well ironically, they literally brighten our skin’s tone. No joke. Only one cup provides us with up to 70% of our daily vitamin C. It also has a very high content of chlorophyll which helps to create a cleansing effect to our blood, and overall gives us better circulation which =’s a healthy glow. I suppose you can judge a vegetable by its’ denseness, and kind of put together how much ‘good stuff’ it is brimming with. Collards are definitely super dense- to me- even more so than cult-standing kale. It is also very high in body (and skin)-loving vitamin A, B vitamins, and E. While also providing a serious amount of calcium and iron, which many of us girls need a lot of in our early 20s-30s. Plus, it’s super absorbable when in the form of collard leafs.

So, with nothing else to really say, get glowing my dears with these three simple swaps. Kind of crazy all the good the littlest changes can create. Oh, and a mantra for your Monday, because it’s so true. 😉 xoxo.

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What I’m Adoring: The Perfect Summer Outfit.

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So, I need to know where this white t-shirt is from because it is literally perfect. The hunt begins now. One would be very surprised at how ‘effortfull’…this effortless t-shirt can be on women. Love, love, love. Oh, and don’t get me started with the below. They are literally my perfect flat. Foxes= more love.

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“With Liquid Sunshine, She Smiled.” (writings, and a little love for your friday.)

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Today, was mostly working on a few things writing-wise and way too much coffee. Lots of swarming of ideas…and people and places. Which I can’t really complain besides the fact that sometimes writing brings about so many emotions and ideas that you just can’t write fast enough. Anyhow, I figured I would share a piece with you guys…which will probably become a reg’ here on the Pure and Pink Elephant. It’s funny how sometimes characters and such, can come to you so vividly and you want to capture them, but it’s so much at once that you probably just have a bunch of puzzle pieces unshapely together- that’s probably quite the case with this piece, so it’s definitely a rough draft. However, it’s a part of the lovely process. Anyhow, I hope the weekend is about to meet you well and you have lots of sun and lovely meetings/bouts ahead :). Oh, and ps…this whole ‘signals’ thing from the Universe is real…I randomly captured this shot yesterday (although I can’t seem to get it bigger?) of these two children completely content and drawing with chalk, it just felt like a must. And then, this morning this little piece came to me, how ironic is that? If you listen to the Universe, things will surely start to fit, I think that’s becoming a theme here lately. Enjoy my loves! Talk soon xoxo.

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With Liquid Sunshine, She Smiled

On some days the world had no real love affair with the lives that inhibited it, they were just plain, ordinary, people crowding into the masses. In tiny places- in big places. The Universe knew they had no real sense of where they were truly heading, just a direction they knew they were supposed to follow. Their emotions all ricocheted into the the air, getting lost somewhere where time and love and money didn’t exist, or perhaps just didn’t matter anymore. It wasn’t to say the World didn’t care, because it did. Yet, it was silly to think the World wouldn’t become jaded, just like anyone else would, after all the chances it gives. Like anything, everything has a purpose- it just so happens the World had a much bigger responsibility than most, and all those emotions that constantly shattered against her was sure to be overwhelming.

However, the World knew that through the plastic static rhythm of their days, which many were trapped in, there were signals that must be given to them to help them see the beautiful life that was just out of reach. They sometimes got it confused with raw material, but that was something the World had come to expect with modern times. Now, these signs were not always big, and red, and loud- nor, were they small, and white, and mousy. In fact, the signs were mere moments that either passed by, or were recognized. It was an array of colorful moments, and simplicity, all thrashed against one another. If only they could see the pattern from up here- all those chances- all those beautiful, simple, moments.

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A sharp screech sounded against the harsh, rusty, tracks. Allaine bobbed along, carefully highlighting the book in her hand while skimming over the words that now seemed to jumble together at this point. She paused for a moment, bored. Eyeing her way down the train to see if anyone was people-watching worthy; outfits, books, and most importantly, conversations- were her normal go-to’s. And anything love-induced, so she could wallow in her own non-existent love life. The regular stared back at her; music venues, lost tourists, and slight sadness. Disappointed at the options, she briefly met eyes with the two little girls across from her. Both were dressed in neatly tailored clothing, designer backpacks, patented Miu Miu oxfords, and immersed in an astounding conversation for ten year olds. Something about travel plans for the summer ‘holiday’. Allaine stared down at her own messy muse, half-laughing by the end of her reflection recollection in the window behind them. It wasn’t all that bad, she coaxed herself, staring down at the coffee she split on her jeans earlier while nonchalantly rearranging her hair, and hopefully her life.’The Universe put forth that irony in a devious and absolutely brilliant sense of peace’, she thought comically to herself. ‘Ten years olds and their worldly travel and trendy attire, I almost definitely will need a drink’, she packed up her book bag and headed for the platform.

She had worried all day about the decision that was sure to change her life, but an odd sense of comfort replaced her worry, she imagined all her feelings falling upwards into the unknown. Everything just disappearing, except for perhaps a beach and a bar. Only leaving behind a certain simplicity to life and maybe illuminate just…the good about a person. She felt a little lighter for some reason, ‘Maybe a place where time and love and money didn’t exist’, but there was no way the World would have such a thought. ‘Damn’, she wandered through her mind, ‘I just need a sign.’ 

She shuffled through the recognizable strangers of her neighborhood stop and emerged from beneath the world onto the corner of a cemented Brooklyn street. It was tree-lined, but hard. It had been a place of captivating richness, and had plenty of stories to tell. Which is why Allaine knew it was perfect for her. The stories always seemed to swing into the air, lazy, and hoping for someone to catch them. And Allaine hoped they would pick her to do so.

She started down the usual path- past the coffee shop, past the bodega, past the three men who were always sitting at a table in what looked like the middle of the street. Entertained and enticed by a thrilling game of Chess and rambunctious gossip. Allaine knew she didn’t feel much at times, but she could feel the vibes and the rhythm of humanity all around her here. It was July, and she felt the embrace of the warm sun touching her face as she began the walk home, it was a catalyst. A soft, yet chaotic laugh, emerged from her soul. She didn’t know quite where it came from, but she imagined it was a laugh of perhaps a certain independence, and gain, and maybe, just maybe- a subtle feeling of somewhat lose of mind. Only some of the familiar strangers took the time to look her way…to observe such a raw moment that would play back only as a mere nanosecond of the record of her life. It amused her actually, the looks of misunderstanding faces- for they were just static muses in the backdrop. ‘So what if they think I’ve lost my mind?’, she softly spoke to herself, ‘Perhaps I have?’

She shyly felt the laughter stop and from the moment, began retracing her steps back to the straight and narrow street. Ironically remembering the ten year olds and coming back down to reality, yet with a new sense of irrational composure. As she walked, she began to think about how funny it is that life gives you something- anything, to hold onto and it’s your decision to take it and stay sane, or to emerge into a life of madness.

She kept walking and something hit her,’The kids must have been out here again this morning since the rain washed everything away last night.’ She walked along slowly- oddly captivated today by the children’s work. She admired the mis-shaped colorful chalk all down the block, the reflection each one seemed to beam back into the sun. Beautifully disorganized, and carefully crafted; all the smiles, bright neons, and such a sheer happiness that reflected only out of a soft childhood demeanor. There was no way this could get lost in the Universe, the Universe must see this as some sort of…purpose- and meaning- in all our disarray down here. How our lives have become, so drained and stale and tired. Allaine had the first clear thought of her day, to simply feel this moment. She didn’t know why this particular moment, it didn’t seem like anything out of the ordinary, but it was something she recognized. In an instant a thrash of tears started to take form, it was as if she was viewing life again for the first time. A new Chance. And all it took was a ten minute subway ride with two little girls and a box of chalk.

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The World saw Allaine, and with something like a liquid sunshine, she smiled. She had listened to the quiet hum of my song, the World thought, she had felt the simplicity of at least a part of why they are here. To feel, and to love, and to tell a story. Even when I’m sometimes jaded myself. The World looked at it’s pattern and one more colorful, brilliant, beautiful moment, simply appeared.