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.

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In My Cup: Weekend Style and Sorts.

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{the best iced latte I have ever had at the 7th Street Farmer’s Market, with Vanilla Bean-infused sugar}

Hm, for the most part life as of late has been pretty busy with here and there, and a lot of craziness in-between. I was stoked about moving somewhere new for the past month, and then like most things, my plans went into a hectic downpour and I decided to stay in my current apartment. In which, yet again, I should know my luck because I waited until the itsy bitsy last minute (as any person of my nature would, life is unpredictable, random invites to Paris could always be hovering around the corner, right?) and someone grabbed my lovely apartment right from beneath me. So now I’m something like a nomad, per usual. Oh, the loveliness of life. Anyhow, after about 3 hours of complete spazz mode seeing I had nine days to figure out a new place to call my habitat, I opted for a bottle of wine. I thought it was a great idea. It must have been actually, because the next day I was notified the heaven-sent angel said he was in ‘no hurry’ to move in (it’s like, where are you going to live you mysterious man? Are you just drifting along, or did you just finish ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ and get all lovely and thankful on me?) so I said karma would grace him any day now, like any normal person would respond. He is giving another 2 months for me to wait until the last minute. What a lovely, indeed.

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{I had to include a quote, you can’t reference ‘Eat, Pray, Love’, without a quote. It’s impossible}

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 {my first choice for stress-management, naturally}

So with the two months in hand, I’m still all over the place as the where I want to move. I could just stay in Charlotte for another year to get a bit more steady, but then my whole ‘Life is short, Laura White, what the hell are you doing?’ voice blows me away like some god-like conscious. Stating the above when I least expect it, like while I’m making coffee, or while I’m in the shower, making pancakes, watching a move, driving, etc. I’m actually kind of a hazard at this moment in my life, please consider this a warning if you see me driving past you…god-like voices from our conscious do not discriminate while driving, apparently.

However, aside from my craziness, as always. I hope your Saturday is lazy and full of summertime randoms. Here are some things/inspirations in my cup lately…

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 {speaking of infusing sugar, I’m thinking of giving this classic idea a healthy twist by infusing my coconut sugar with vanilla beans instead}

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{obvious self portrait moments, that we’re all guilty of, when I realize I’m always ready for it to be Fall/dark color schemes}

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{what I’ll be painting tomorrow, because who can resist gold painted honey bears as vases? Obviously, like, no one. A Beautiful Mess, always has such addicting ideas}

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 {Sex on a first date? My advice, from a gypsy fairy perspective (you’ll know what I mean, ladies, in my best ‘Samantha’ voice), of course}

freepeoplebalcony.

 {Refinery29 nails switching to natural makeup-three-part ‘need to knows’ + these Free People slips are so pretty}

sweetlyrawbananadonuts.

{healthy mini-banana donuts, they do exist! Vegan & gluten-free, plus how cute are they?}

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.

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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