I LINK IT, I LOVE IT

KEEP THE SUMMER ROLLIN '

summer roll lunch recipe

summer rolls - perfectly packable - for when your bored of packing salad for lunch

 

This fancy lunch is surprisingly easy to make, not to mention fun! There are so many possibilities of filler combinations using things you already have in your refrigerator. I'm going to share the recipe for one of the summer rolls I've made but I really do switch up my ingredients depending on what I have. The rice paper wraps were very easy to find and shockingly affordable. I found a 50 sheet of them in the Asian section of a generic grocery store for a few dollars! Lunches for DAYS!

suggested ingredients:

  1. rice paper wraps{in the Asian section of your typical grocery store}
  2. tofu 
  3. rice or rice noodles
  4. sliced mango
  5. chopped carrots{I buy them already in this form}
  6.  avocado slices
  7.  arugala
  8.  fresh mint 
  9.  cabbage
  10.  crushed cashews or peanuts
  11. soy sauce or coconut aminos
  12.  *rice vinegar
  13. *tahini

*optional  

directions:

  1. cook rice according to package. I use 1 - minute rice!
  2. fry tofu in a frying pan until the side start to be crispy.
  3. lay out all your other filler ingredients to be easily accessible.
  4. here's the fun part! the rice paper sheets are in the form of a stiff plasticy circle. It is hard to believe that they will ever be in roll form. run the sheet under water for a second or two until the whole surface has been touched by water. Place the sheet on a plate and it will start to become flimsy and sticky within seconds.
  5. place all your ingredients in the center of the paper in any order you want. 
  6. to roll up your summer roll first fold in the two ends to keep ingredients from falling out. then wrap the sides around to form the burrito-like wrap. The paper sticks to itself like plastic wrap!
  7. while your letting the rice paper dry which only takes a few minutes prepare your dipping sauce. I usually mix soy sauce, rice vinegar, tahini and some leftover crushed nuts. But Just soy sauce would be good too!
summer roll lunch recipe

other filler ideas:

  1. quinoa
  2. lettuce
  3. chicken
  4. cucumbers
  5. peaches
  6. shrimp
  7. zucchini
  8. peppers

BLUE JEANS GO GREEN

 
recyled denim insulation. fashion sustainability

Madewell's "Blue Jeans Go Green"

There is a rad sustainability fad in the architecture world right now where insulation can be made from recycled denim! It is estimated that this process saves 200 tons of waste destined for landfills every month! Denim insulation also provide better indoor air quality and does not irritate skin like typical insulation. If you bring your old jeans in any state of condition to your local Madewell store they will send them for you to "Blue Jeans Go Green" to be made into this product! AND with every donation Madewell will give you $20 off your next pair of jeans! That's probably more than you would get for them if you brought your old jeans to Playtos Closet or Buffalo Exchange and you are doing good things for the environment! Madewell has also teamed up with habitat for humanity so you know your contribution to denim insulation is going to a good home. Your donation can be any denim it does not have to be Madewell brand. If you do not live near a Madewell store, with every madewell.com purchase they send you a postage-paid envelope to ship your old denim to them. 

video here ⟶

AYR's Aloe Jeans

Did you know every pair of jeans takes an average of 17 gallons of water to produce?! I had no idea until I read about AYR's new Aloe Jeans. Aloe jeans are washed with ozone gas during production which uses less of earths resources. This is a sustainability practice I had never heard of. Not only are these jeans water-use friendly, but they are also made from recycled cotton. Apparently this is rather unprecedented in the high fashion world because achieving uniform looking denim is difficult with recycled fibers. 

 

Fashionable

Local + global - beautiful products by women who have overcome

"We believe that the end to generational poverty will come when people are able to provide for themselves. We believe in doing the manufacturing in the communities we wish to impact, creating jobs along the way." - Fashionable

Website here ⟶

 

fall denim trends. how to wear cropped flare jeans, wide leg jeans, and strait leg jeans.

 

Other Ethical denim lines

 

G-Star - organic and recycled, fair wages

Bluer Denim - eco friendly, fair labor, made in USA

DL1961 - eco friendly, made in USA

 

{FITNESS FAVE} THE MEGAFORMER

 
pilates reformer group fitness class at pure pilates

Group fitness classes have become a huge part of my life this past year. I often went to yoga classes downtown but found that a monthly membership to a single studio was too expensive for the amount of times I wanted to go to yoga a month. I wanted more variety so I decided to try a membership to ClassPass. If you have not heard of ClassPass it is an app where you pay a monthly membership to have access to hundreds of different fitness classes in your area with studios in over 30 cities across the country. There are different packages but the one I do is 10 total classes per month a any studio I want. The only catch is that you can not attend the same class more than 3 times within each month. But this has never been a problem for me, there are so many studios I love going to. I usually go to a mix of yoga, pilates, and barre classes each month. I love that I can decide what kind of workout my body needs in the moment and not have to pay for multiple gym memberships. Also the best part is that the cost of a ClassPass membership is significantly less than an membership to any of the studios I attend regularly. I now have about 6 studios I am faithful to, but I have been to more than I can count around the Austin! 

I've never been able to stick with a habit of going to a gym. Everyone has a different type of exercise that works best for them! For me, I like the structure of a group fitness class and that it forces me to keep pushing myself for the full duration. I hope to start sharing more about my favorite fitness classes with you. I'll start with a pilates class at Pure Pilates Austin that uses "megaformer" machines. Workouts on these resistance machines have sprouted up all over the U.S. in the last ten years. They became popular because of their high intensity yet low impact nature. (Clarification: not all pilates classes use machines like this, others I have attended simply take place on a yoga mat with weights!). 

 

Michelle Obama and Kim Kardashian, two of my fave ladies, are mega fans of the Megaformer!

 

This Pilates studio is right down the street from my apartment. Confession #1: I passed people working out on these machines everyday for over two years and was so intimidated. It took me so long to work up the courage to actually try it even though my intrigue was always strong. I will never forget the first day I went to a class. I had been going to regular pilates classes for months now and felt like I was finally in good enough shape to take on the scary machines. Confession #2: my body shook the entire class and I sweat more than I sweat in hot yoga! Confession #3: I FELL IN LOVE

Yes, this class was one of the most challenging workout classes I have ever attended but the pace was slow and relaxing and the way my body felt after was so rewarding. Also its only 45 minutes! Express lane to getting swole?! The feeling of being "good" sore the next day is addicting, it makes me feel like the time I took to workout was worth it! My fave workout buddy Jayme has also gotten hooked on the megaformer. "I think the megaformer is a great combination of a lot of different workouts but more effective! I always leave class feeling like I really worked my entire body and gained strength. It's the most toned I've ever felt!" Jayme told me when I mentioned that I was going to post about megaformers

Pure Pilates shares on their website "Building on the foundations of traditional pilates, Pure Pilates Austin incorporates strength training and cardio-intervals to maximize your workout and make those muscles burn. By integrating the key elements of resistance and counter-resistance, a unique dynamic occurs whereby clients are able to encourage maximum muscle exertion in an exhilarating, yet, low-impact environment. Many clients have experienced increased body awareness and improved muscle stabilization." 

The moral of my story is - if you are intimated by megaformers like I was (the name alone is scary).... don't be! It's like a more creative way to lift weights! And getting to slide around on the carriage is fun!   

photocred: pure pilates austin

photocred: pure pilates austin

GLUTEN FREE SWEET POTATO APPETIZER

 
gluten free sweet potato appetizer. Perfect fall recipe!

The realization that summer is coming to an end is heart wrenching. Soften the blow with this sweet potato recipe that's giving me positive fall vibes! A few Saturdays ago some friends came over to my place for some appetizers and drinks. Before moving into a studio apartment I wondered if it would feel weird to have company when my bed is virtually in the kitchen and living room. There is no privacy. But I've decided that I love that. I probably have room for a small couch but the scale of it would look off, instead I have a small lounge chair and my bed has become the "couch." I may not have the ideal set-up for entertaining, but that makes it that much more intimate and lovely when my friends come over! After I made everyone drinks in my kitchen I said "let's all move to my living room so I can take a picture of you!" Everyone laughed (because the living room is a mere 2 steps away). 

Jayme brought over a delicious watermelon arugula salad with feta and a lemon vinegarette. Of course she brought it in her vintage pyrex as if it weren't dainty and cute enough already! Instead of putting chunks of watermelon on top of the arugula, the expected arrangement, she sliced the melon in wedges like a pizza and topped with the salad - very chic! 

To drink we had blackberry mojitos. I made these with white rum, sparkling water, fresh mint, agave, and frozen blackberries. This was probably the fanciest drink i've ever made myself! 

gluten free sweet potato appetizer. Perfect fall recipe!

Doran made fun of me for standing on a chair to take a flat lay of the table "So this is what really happens behind the scenes of a blogger!"... yup! 

This sweet potato appetizers may have an assortment of random ingredients and may look sophisticated - but let me tell you, so simple! If you want to impress your crew at friendsgiving this fall.... going to a potluck soon... this is definitely my recommendation! 

ingredients:  

  1. 2 medium sweet potatoes  
  2. goat cheese 
  3. candied pecans 
  4. dried cranberries  
  5. zest of 1 lemon  
  6. balsamic glaze  
  7. fresh basil  
  8. cooking oil (I used olive oil) 

directions: 

  • Preheat oven to 375.
  • Poke holes in potatoes with a fork and microwave for 2 minutes. This will soften it for ease of slicing.
  • Cut the sweet potato into rounds that are about half an inch thick.
  • Coat each side with cooking oil and place on a baking tray. 
  • Bake for approximately 12 minutes on each side, flipping the rounds in between. 
  • Take the tray out of the oven and virtually the only thing left to do it *decorate* the potatoes with all of the toppings! I put a piece of goat cheese on each first, then the pecans cranberries and mint in any order, drizzle the balsamic glaze, and finally top with lemon zest.  

I was watching the the "Great British Baking Show" on Netflix few weeks ago and one of the judges said "you know a true chef when they use zest, home cooks never think to use zest." Now I categorize myself even below "home cooks" on the totem pole of chefs, but I sure felt pretty fricken snazzy when I topped off my sweet potatoes with that lemon zest! 

gluten free sweet potato appetizer. Perfect fall recipe!

CHLOROPHYLL COMFORT

 
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low light house plants

I may not have human or furry roomies (I did have a fish once RIP dishy the fishy), but I do have plants to keep me company! It's fun to have something to take care of. But more importantly, plants just make me happy! They bring my little space so much life! This is such a quick and affordable way to elevate any space from unfinished to homey and sophisticated. The first plant I had in my apartment was a very large plant that I placed next to my TV stand to hide all the messy cords! Large plants at nurseries can get very pricey but this one was only 11$ from Home Depot! 

Studies have been done to prove that plants lessen effects of stress and anxiety, improve sleep, and even increase focus! I recently heard of a practice called "forest bathing" yup forest bathing! This is some fun info. Much to my surprise, forest bathing does not actually include submerging in water.  It is a form of therapy and meditation that started in Japan. The U.S. Association of Nature & Forest Therapy is currently training guides to help forest bathing flourish in the US! COOL! Forest bathing is not hiking or following a trail through the woods, but instead meandering with no destination or path. Experts in this field are trained to help you focus on colors, textures, smells, and sounds of the forest which in turn eases your mind from thinking of everyday stress. Now, were probably not going to sign up for a forest bathing session anytime soon but one technique I read about seemed doable on your own; forest bathers were told to close their eyes for a minute and when they opened them all the green looked that much greener and perhaps saw things they did not see before. 

low light house plants

As much as I would love to forest bathe among vegetation everyday, that is not going to happen anytime soon. So bringing plants indoors is a fab way to bring they joys of nature to my life in between outdoor adventures! Last week my friends Abby Jayme and I went on a little afternoon plant hunt. We went to Tillery Street Plant Co. and East Austin Succulents on the other side of town. I have never been here before and immediately fell in love. If you have some free time some weekend soon while the weather is still nice I recommend looking up plant nurseries in your city. Its is such a fun thing to do alone or with friends and different than your typical clothes shopping. 

I have gone through more plants than I should have in this house due to my lack of success keeping them alive. I blame it on a combination of not putting the plants near natural light and not watering them the correct amount. This time I decided to do some research and buy a plant that can live in low light conditions and is easy to keep alive. I came to the conclusion that Pothos seemed like a good fit! It seems easy to take care of and remains small / medium in size. I bought a Pothos plant called Pearls and Jade because liked the patterning of different greens on the leaves. I always hear that succulents rarely die... Either I am a horrible succulent mom or I just bought the wrong kinds, but some of mine have not lasted very long. The succulent I have had the best luck with and is now going 10 months strong is called Haworthia

Someday I will delve into the world of drinking chlorophyll! I have yet to try this but it sounds right up my alley! (beverages + green things = the way to my heart) 

low light house plants
low light house plants

D. EYE. Y. PILLOW COVER

 
DIY Eye Pillow

How many times do you see something in a store and say "I can make that!" but then never do? I am a major culprit of this, I definitely get it from my mom. But this time I actually followed through! I have seen similar eye pillows at multiple stores this year. I wondered to myself who is the first person to decide that a pattern of eyeballs is going to be trendy in decor in 2017??? But I dig it's creepy cuteness! I made this pillow cover in less than two hours and you can too! I did use a sewing machine for this one, if you do not have a sewing machine this is easy enough that you can sew it by hand (or even use fabric glue!)

What you'll need:

  1.  1 yard of white cotton canvas fabric 
  2.  fabric scissors 
  3.  black acrylic paint
  4.  paint brush 
  5. iron
  6.  pillow insert 14"x14" (you can find these at ikea or amazon link below) 
  7.  sewing machine, needle and thread -or- fabric glue 

step 1.

Cut your yard of fabric so that it is 22 inches by 36 inches (1 yard). Once you have the correct amount of fabric, cut your fabric in half so you have two pieces each 18" by 22". I used a ruler to measure 18 from the top and bottom corners and marked with a pencil. 

Next, cut 4" off of the bottom of one of your pieces and discard. This piece will now be an 18" x 18" square. Cut the other piece of fabric in half so that you have two pieces each 18"x11". 

You will now have all three peices of fabric you need. 

 

DIY Eye Pillow

step 2. 

paint eyes on the square piece of fabric. leave a blank frame around the edge of about 2" making sure not to paint into this margin. This is because an inch and a half of fabric will not show after sewing.  

step 3. 

Now the sewing begins. Take one of the rectangular pieces and fold up one of the edges about an inch. You can iron this so it will stay creases and use pins. Sew through both layers along the edge of the fabric. This will create a nice finished hem.  Repeat this step on the other rectangular piece of fabric. 

170826 eye pillow.jpg

step 4. 

After the eye paintings have dried lay that piece of fabric face up on the table. the place the two rectangles on top of the square piece so that the rough edges face you. You are going to sew around the perimeter of the pillow cover while it is inside out and then turn it ride side out. The eyes and the nice side of the hems should be facing inside so you cannot see them. 

measure and mark 1.5" in from each edge. Sew along these lines, you should sew a complete square that is 15"x15". 

DIY Eye Pillow

step 5. 

Your pillow cover is done! turn ride-side-out via the opening in the pack of the cover and stuff it will a pillow insert! 

DIY Eye Pillow
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H&M HOME

 
my picks.jpg

"Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful of believe to be beautiful"  William Morris

Clothing stores like H&M, Zara, and Urban Outfitters have surprisingly chic and affordable home decor these days! Here are some of the items I loved while browsing H&M Home!

wood box // toothbrush mug // apron // pyramid candlestick // throw blanket // gold tray // woven jute basket // ceramic pitcher // charcuterie board // serving spoons // porcelain plate // wire basket

 

*This is not an ad, I have no affiliation with H&M Home. 

Holy Basil + Other "Magic" Potions

 
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I am about to let you in on one of my biggest anti-stress secrets, brace yourselves. It all began few summers ago when I was hit with a brutal case of Mono. If any of you have ever had Mono you will feel me on this one - the world stops and you are in a dark place for longer than socially acceptable. I was taking Tylenol for over two weeks straight trying to get my fever to subside. Eventually one of my mom's co-workers convinced us that I needed to try "Tulsi" drops which I later learned was also known as "Holy Basil." We were both very skeptical but I was desperate to feel at least a little better. Now, call this magic, but after I started putting a few drops of Holy Basil in my water twice a day my Mono virtually disappeared. I did not even have the typical long recovery and or added fatigue. This was my first experience using adaptogens and my love for them has only grown. I learned that fevers and colds are not the only thing that Holy Basil can combat. It is actually something you can take on a daily basis even in good health to reduce any stress you may have, or even headaches. Let me tell you why Holy basil has become an important staple in my daily routine. 

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I will start by explaining exactly what an adaptogen is. Gaia Herbs CEO and founder, Ric Scalzo, describes them as "a class of herbs and mushrooms that offer heavy-duty support for the body’s natural resistance to 'adverse influences.' They may seem knew to the healthy trend scene, but they have been around for centuries in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. They work by assisting your adrenals, the home to your hormone glands, to find balance. They are generally used as a healthy and natural way to help reduce stress and anxiety. The name adaptogens stems from the notion that they help your body "adapt" to situations. They can be taken in liquid form called "tinkturs" (this is my favorite, it adds to the feeling of magic potion), capsuls, or powder to be used in smoothies or cooking. Some adaptogens you may have heard of are maca powder (often in smoothies), ginseng, licorice root, cinnamon, and turmeric. I am no expert in this field by any means, I am only here to tell you about my experience and review of the adaptogens I incorporate into my life. 

Although the anti-stress benefits I have experienced when drinking Holy Basil each morning feel like magic, there is actually a science behind it! It helps your body combat the physical response to the emotion of stress at the hormonal level. Whether I am going through a very overwhelming time or a typical day I see a noticeable difference in my calmness with Holy Basil.  It makes me happier and more open minded. I put 5-10 drops in my water each morning and occasionally take days off. It is safe and natural, it is really just a concentrated liquid form of strand of basil leaf. 

There's a new member to my daily herbal routine, ashwaganda! I love to say "ashwaganda!" This one has become even more popular in the health world lately. It has very similar benefits to Holy Basil, stress management being high on the list. It is also said to increase energy and productive sleep. 

These can usually be found in the nutrition aisle of your grocery store. If you have not ever thought about herbal supplements before this may seem a little out there. Feel free to comment or message me if you have any more questions about my experience. I would also love to hear if you have any other favorite adaptogens! 

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{TREND TALK} WHAT IS AYURVEDA?

 
Ayurveda Kitchari Bowl

You know that phenomenon where once you learn about something new you start to see it everywhere? That happened to me with "Ayurveda" this summer. I had never heard of it and now I feel as though Ayurveda is haunting me - in a good way. 

I am still a newbie to the world of Ayurveda but I am going to do my best to explain some of what I have learned so far. It is often identified as a diet, but it is more so a way of living intentionally under the idea that our mind and body are completely interconnected. Ayurveda is a holistic life science (Ayur = life, Veda = science or knowledge). Meditation, yoga, eating with intention, and sleeping habits are all important to an Ayurvedic lifestyle.

As far as diet goes, Ayurvedic meals are all plant-based and aim to incorporate all 6 rasas, or tastes; sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent. Having these tastes in combination is said to help balance your digestion and eliminate feelings of bloating or hunger. There are three different doshas, or body / personality types (1. pitta 2. kapha 3. vatta). Depending on your dosha, you need different flavors to balance your digestion. I like this notion that we all have different bodies so different "healthy foods" are healthier for different people. I know it would be a major jump to start eating every meal with this in mind. As much as I am fascinated by Ayurveda I am not ready to fully commit, instead I have been trying to embody things I have learned about the practice. One way to incorporate some Ayurvedic practices into your meal is to add ingredients that have health benifits that you wouldn't normally get in your diet such as turmeric! This is a very common ingredient in Ayurvedic recipes... we all know I love turmeric! Other Ayurvedic practices to consider when eating include sitting upright, chewing slowly, and being mindful of when you are hungry. 

There are so many more layers of things to learn about Ayurveda, this website is a good place to start. 

photo credit: eatcurcuma

photo credit: eatcurcuma

I recently had lunch at the food truck in Austin, TX called Curcuma. Curcuma has an Ayurvedic inspired menu. "Our tag line 'Food with Intention' represents a commitment to choosing the best option on sourcing ingredients, and crafting each menu item. With a balance of flavors and health benefits, every sip and bite is not only delicious but also nourishing and consciously sourced."  - Curcuma

I ordered the kitchari bowl (photographed above): Warm quinoa & mung bean topped with massaged organic spinach, avocado, pickled onion, ginger chutney, crispy chickpeas & turmeric tahini dressing. It was a very new flavor pallet and I liked that about it! Maybe because of the combination of so many rasas! It really was a lot of food but I left feeling perfectly satisfied and comfortable.

6 Ayurvedic rasas. Combine 6 flavors for smooth digestion. Ayurveda chart.

PICNIC IN THE PARK, A SIMPLE LUXURY

 
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I'm heading home to Western Massachusetts for a few weeks, on my last night in Austin some friends and I decided to have a picnic in Zilker Park. I can't think of better Austin summer night to leave on.  Picnics are so underrated, they cost less and there is no wait for an outdoor table! But my favorite part about picnicking is the pace. We were in no rush to leave, there is no one to ask if we are ready for our check, we can just settle - for hours. 

As if you thought my blog wasn't already seeming enough like a Trader Joes advertisement... here is what I had for dinner -

My pre-made salad was called a "salad palette" this title made me chuckle but also it looked colorful and delicious, a must buy! I also had to get this Matcha yogurt because you know I love all things matcha. What will be matcha flavored next??? Yogurt might be the most unique yet! Or maybe the matcha kit-kats or maybe the oreos... And finally a spiked seltzer. I'm very happy this trend has finally found its way south, I hadn't been able to find spiked seltzer for a while in Texas. I think the brand Truly is new, I love how it is not sweet at all so it's very refreshing. I can probably say with confidence that this is the healthiest picnic meal I have ever head, I usually devour two whole blocks of cheese. (Sam and Valeria just so happened to bring the cherries I posted about last week and give their endorsements as well.) 

We made an abundance of new friends at our picnic. Most-unique-dog-name award definitely goes to "Mystery Bean."  Mystery Bean's owner just moved back to Austin after spending 6 years in San Francisco. He said that Austin has changed a lot since he left, but that it seems for the better! This was very refreshing to hear! People are constantly pointing out how much Austin is changing and only focusing on the negatives. The green space is indeed still flourishing despite the rapid urban growth downtown. 

To top of this lovely Austin summer night, we took a dip in Barton Springs. 

{TREND TALK} WHAT IS HYGGE?

 

What is Hygge?? Home Decor v. Lifestyle

 

You may have seen the trend on pinterest lately about "hygge" in the home. If you don't know, hygge, pronounced  "hue-gah," is a danish word that describes a feeling of comfort that is cozy and special. Hygge can be found alone, or surrounded by good company. An important quality of hygge is being present in the moment. This concept is exploding in the U.S. right now with the wave of mindfulness and meditation. I find it so fascinating to come across words in other languages that take a while to explain in English because we do not have a direct translation. If you want to learn even more about living "hygge" the following book is a really great place to start. 

A blog post I read recently describes "Hygge is the outcome of the political, educational and social climate in Denmark. It is part of who they are. Danes aren’t hustling or striving or performing. They are just enjoying the simple things because everyone is on a very level plane in terms of their socioeconomic status." 

There is some debate over hygge lately. The fear is that the word "hygge" is becoming synonymous with imagery of fuzzy white blankets, twinkle lights, candles and tea. This Scandinavian inspired home decor is starting to embody the whole concept. 

 

Hygge is not just an aesthetic of home decor, it is a way of thinking and being.

 

Now, the warm fuzzy home decor comes in to the picture because the things you surround yourself with play a major role in feeling comfortable and content. As a designer, I find utmost importance in the correlation between visuals and senses. However, in an effort to fully explain the original Danish use of the word, I want to reiterate how important it is that you can't buy hygge, you can't photograph hygge, it is a way of feeling.

I am clearly on the bandwagon of the white fuzzy blanket + candle + tea because those are things that help me slow down and enjoy where I physically am in the present. If bright red walls, florescent light and cold glass of OJ make you feel content in the moment in a physical place - that's hygge too! 

Okay - I'm about to add another layer to the definition of hygge (how crazy is this word?!) A major source of comfort from hygge in Denmark often comes from the feeling of entertaining and welcoming people into your home. This episode of The Simple Show Podcast does a good job explaining this idea. “The art of creating intimacy” is another way to define hygge. So when applying this concept to entertaining, the idea is to feel surrounded by people who care about each other and provide ways for guests to feel comfortable in your home. You can do this by simply pouring them a drink, serving warm cookies, ~or~ perhaps providing guests with slippers!

 

Hygge-ify your home with these! (Remember to only buy home decor that you love and appreciate!)

 

{TACO TUESDAY} FEELIN' PEACHY

 
Easy Peach taco dinner recipe. Gluten free dairy free vegan tacos.

Peach Tacos  ~ Recipe for Two ~

Freshman year of college, my first southern winter, had a surprising amount of "snow days." Although it did not really snow it was cold for Texas standards. My design professor at the time came into studio one day looking distraught. When we asked her what was upsetting her she replied "I lost sleep thinking about how sad I feel for the peaches in Fredricksburg!"  Every time I look at a peach now I think of Judy's undeniable affection for the little fruit and smile. Almost four years later and 100 degrees warmer, me and a few friends recently went on a day trip to Fredricksburg. Fredricksburg is a tiny German town in the Hill Country  that looks like a Texas inspired movie set. Its known for tourist shops, peach farms, and wine tastings. The drive from Austin is pretty much one long highway through an abyss of dry grass. We knew we were close to town when the road was lined with little barns and hand-painted signs for peach farms. "There's something romantic about peaches. strawberries are sexy romantic, peaches are lets-grow-old-together romantic" said my friend Lindsay as we pulled into town. 

 

"Strawberries are sexy romantic, peaches are lets-grow-old-together romantic."

 

Since this trip I've been in quite the peach eating phase! Its perfect timing being that were currently in the peak of peach season. This peach taco recipe is a new one for me! I really love the combination of fruit in unexpected and savory places. 

Ingredients [serves 2]:

  • 1 large peach
  • 1 lime
  • 1 - 2 shallots
  • 1 can of corn 
  • lentils {1 cup}
  • green cabbage {1 cup}
  • 6 corn tortillas 
  • chili powder {1 tsp}
  • cooking oil {2 tsp}
  • hot sauce *optional 

directions:

  1. Cook lentils according to package (this may take around 30 minutes) 
  2. Dice shallots. Sautée shallots, corn and chili powder with cooking oil on a higher temperature in a saucepan until corn begins to char. Turn down the heat and let sit and stay warm.
  3. Slice avocado and peaches
  4. Heat tortillas in another pan
  5. Fill tortillas with lentils and corn mixture. Top with cabbage and avocado then peaches. Squeeze lime juice onto each taco and top with hot sauce. 
     

These tacos were amazing and quite a new flavor pallet. I don't know how I had leftovers... but I'm happy I did. I put the leftovers in a tuperware on top of a bed of cabbage and brought it to work for lunch as a refreshing salad the next day!

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO

 

Podcasts:

  • WELL / AWARE SHOW Episode 016: Expressing your truest self with artist Satsuki Shibuya.

This was a very unique interview about how Satsuki became a minimalist water-colorist. She explains how she did not feel complete until she came across this passion. The journey to finding this alignment had some surprising effects on her health. Satsuki also describes her ability to read auras. I like the way she describes what minimalism means to her in the watercolor medium. 

Follow Satsuki on Instagram, I love her commentary on her work. 

  • CLEVER - Amy and Jaime [the founder of Design Milk] inverview designers about not only their design strategies but also how their upbringings molded how they think. 

Music:

  • Artist: Ley Line Album: Field Notes - This is a local girls group here in Austin. I saw them perform at the Coffee Shop / Bar called RADIO one night when I was there alone working on my computer. They describe their genre as "dreamy world fusion free folk and acoustic soul." They incorperate folk songs in different languages that they learn while traveling. 

PSA: THESE CHERRIES

 
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If you are reading this you should immediately drop what you are doing and go treat yourself to some cherries from Trader Joes. They are $2.99!!!!!!!!! I cant believe the price, cherries can be such an investment. I'm here to tell you that they are just delectable - the perfect balance of sweet and sour. I brought them to a cookout the other night and was so pleased that I had to go buy another container for my own fridge. 

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE DAY JOURNAL

 

Keeping a "Highlights of the Day" journal is one of the most important things I do to feel content. I contribute so much of my positivity to this habit that only takes five minutes a day. This is my OG bullet journal. 


The tradition started back when I spent my summers at a girls sleep-away camp in Massachusetts called Chimney Corners. Every night before going to bed we sat around in a circle on the floor of our cabin around a single candle. This was a time to calm down from all of the days activities and reflect on everything we did. We would go around in a circle and share the highlight of our day with our cabin-mates. Its so easy to forget most of the things that happen in a day because we get so busy with so many things and start looking forward to tomorrow. 

I find that negative thoughts, exhaustion, and stress surface at the end of the day and it is so easy for me to think I didn't have a great day. But I have never sat down to write my highlight of the day and not been able to think of something. Sometimes the smallest interactions make me feel so fulfilled. 


I have tried journaling or keeping a diary so many times in my life but that habit has never stuck. I have been keeping a highlights journal for 7 years now! Of course I miss a days here and there but its hard to get myself to do it when I know I'm only committing to writing one or two bullet points when I pick up my pen. Prior to this my journals were usually long rants when I was really upset about something and then a month of no journaling in between. I think the magic of a highlights journal is that its just highs, no lows, I can write about my lows elsewhere. I love flipping back through my highlights and smiling about little things all over again that I forgot had happened. 

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If your like me, you are always on the hunt for the perfect pen. This is my current favorite, it has the perfect amount of juice and has a ridiculously fine tip 0.25 to be exact. 

THE POWER OF GOLDEN MILK

 

Turmeric is a spice that has been used in cooking and medicine for thousands of years in India and Ayurveda. This may be * t m i * but I recently had an infected cyst on my back. It had been swollen, red, and sore for a few weeks. I was casually reading about the countless benefits of turmeric when I came across a claim that the spice's ant-inflammatory properties help with infections. I had been meaning to try making my own golden milk, this seemed like the perfect time. I was't sure if I believed that drinking golden milk would completely cure me but hoped that it may help. Well, call this a coincidence, but after a few days of making this turmeric recipe each day the pain and swelling went away! The cyst is still there but I am so much more comfortable without the infection.

I take it most of you are not also dealing with an infected cyst, however the amount of benefits turmeric has are astounding. But in all honesty, my most important take away from this little experiment of mine was that golden milk is SO GOOD!!!!! I have been loving this new twist on a warm cup of tea, especially when I don't necessarily feel like I need caffeine.

ingredients:

  • water{1/2 cup}
  • unsweetened coconut or almond milk {1 cup}
  • turmeric {1 tbsp}
  • cinnamon {1 tbsp}
  • vanilla {1 tsp}
  • ground black pepper {1/4 tsp}
  • coconut oil {1 tsp} *optional

directions:

  1. Heat water in a kettle, microwave, or stove.
  2. Stir in turmeric, cinnamon, vanilla, pepper, and coconut oil until thoroughly dissolved.
  3. Pour your choice of milk into the mixture.  (you may heat the milk as well. I find if I am going to drink my golden milk right away the cold milk cools the hot water to the perfect temperature!)

Because turmeric is digested quickly, the body does not absorb all of the antioxidants and benefits that are available. Studies show that eating turmeric in combination with black pepper aids the absorption process.

Read about other benefits  of turmeric including cancer prevention and  improving brain function here ⟶ 

Other mouth - watering recipes using turmeric:

ginger turmeric vanilla cookies
turmeric cauliflower soup
golden pancakes
pineapple tofu kebabs
mango ginger turmeric smoothie

 

{TACO TUESDAY} CORN ON CORN

 

Simple [Vegetarian + Gluten Free] Cauliflower and Corn Taco Recipe

Its only fitting that my first blog post is taco themed. Tacos have been my favorite food since the 1st grade - they call me "tacotay". Being a Northern gal in Texas, I am constantly being asked "why did you come here?!" More often than not I tell people I moved to Austin for the tacos! This recipe comes from my favorite cookbook The Forest Feast by Erin Gleeson. The recipes are so easy to make and shop for having very few ingredients and minimal steps. Not to mention every page is absolutely beautiful with water color paintings, handwriting and photography. I have Celiac so I always cook gluten free recipes. I cannot call myself a vegetarian, I do indulge in an occasional brisket taco, however I prefer to cook vegetarian meals.

Forest Feast cookbook found here → http://www.theforestfeast.com/  

As you can see pretty much everything in my kitchen comes from Trader Joes! The cute packaging at affordable prices are right up my alley. I tweaked the recipe a tad from the way Erin writes it. For example, I substituted corn on the cob for canned corn to make this even easier to make. I also used smaller proportions as I am cooking for just myself.

ingredients:

  • whole kernel corn - 1 can
  • chopped cauliflower - 1 small head
  • corn toritillas - approx. 8
  • plain greek yogurt - 1 cup
  • feta cheese
  • hot saucce
  • garlic or garlic powder
  • red pepper flakes
  • oil of your choice - 1 tbs (I tend to cook with coconut oil)

There are so few steps to this recipe. First Sauté corn, chopped cauliflower, and garlic with oil in a saucepan until it begins to char as if it were grilled #grillhack! Pour contents into a serving bowl while you heat the tortillas in the same saucepan. Fill each tortilla with a spoonful of the corn + cauliflower, top with a dollop of Greek yogurt, hot sauce, feta cheese, and red pepper flakes.

Let me tell you, these are scrumptious! I can't believe there is no meat or beans in them and they are so flavorful! I have always been hesitant to sub sour cream for Greek yogurt, but I have to say these tacos converted me. I used plain Greek yogurt with no added sugar so it was savory. I had plenty of leftovers too! The second time I made these I put avocado slices on top. It ruined the minimalism monochrome vibe they have going, but i need my avocado fix!

Wah-Lah!