Since love and chocolate go hand in hand, with Valentines Day nearing, if there was ever a time to start getting motivated to get your workouts in, now is that time. But working out after the holidays, especially when it’s cold outside, can be daunting. That’s why for me, an easy fix to my motivational blues is always investing in a few new activewear pieces. Nothing makes me feel more confident and ready to hit the gym than a cute new pair of leggings or a cool workout top. Just check out my favorite activewear picks below and start stepping up your workout game.
Archives for January 2017
My beautiful, amazing sister, Jamie, is about to have a baby and I couldn’t be more excited. So, when my mother, Karen Eyer, friend, Sara Landenberger and I decided to throw her a shower to honor her and Baby Isabell, we wanted it to be something she would always remember. We went with a boho chic theme and the basic motto was – the more flowers, the better. Keep reading for more details on how we styled my sisters pretty, boho baby shower.Since this shower was all about fresh flowers, we started by greeting guests with a bouquet of pink roses and hydrangeas, a framed copy of the baby shower invitation designed by Paperless Post and a sign asking guests to leave a note for my sister’s family on custom cards I created. In the dining room, a giant, floral heart wreath was the focal point. To make it, I took an old wire coat hanger from the back of my husband’s closet, disassembled it and bent it into the shape of a heart. Then, I secured the ends with wire and hot glue and added eucalyptus and roses, securing them with floral wire. Once it was complete, we hung it in front of a sheer fabric backdrop. It was pretty easy to assemble and added a big punch to the baby shower. Across from the floral heart wreath, we created a mimosa bar by framing the top of a chalkboard sign with roses and eucalyptus, using a custom “mimosa bar” tag as a table accent and then filled the ice bucket with gorgeous floral ice. To make the floral ice, I just added fresh rose buds and rose petals to ice cube trays, filled them with water and let them sit over night. It was an easy way to add a pretty, custom touch to each drink. In the center of the dining room, we displayed all the food for the shower. From chicken salad croissants, to soup shooters, to lemon cookies, we had a wide selection of foods, but the true show stopper of the shower was the gorgeous and delicious strawberry cake made by friend and desert artist, Amanda Miles of Half Baked Bakery. Flanked by two floral bouquets, this strawberry cake was not only pretty to look at, it was truly one of the most delicious cakes I’ve ever tasted. If you ever have an occasion to order a cake from Half Baked Bakery, you should do it. I promise, your taste buds will thank you! Finally, in the living room where we had presents and a few fun games put together by the lovely Sara Landenberger, we decorated with custom gold balloons that said baby Isabell’s nickname, “Izzy” and of course, another fresh floral bouquet. The day was filled lots of good food, good drinks, precious gifts and most importantly, lots of love and laughter. A special congrats to my favorite big sis on her new baby girl, Isabell. We can’t wait to finally meet her!
There’s nothing better than eating a delicious, warm bowl of soup on a cold, winter day. That’s why I’m sharing a few of my all-time favorite soup recipes today. They’re not only packed with flavor, they are chocked full of vitamins and healthy ingredients. Hope you all enjoy!
Roasted Cauliflower & Chickpea SoupRecipe via Floating Kitchen
For the Soup:
- 1 cauliflower head, cut into florets (about 4 cups total)
- 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp. paprika
- 2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 2 1/2 cups total)
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Reserved roasted cauliflower mix
- Red pepper flakes
- Fresh thyme leaves
- Heavy cream
- Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the cauliflower florets, chickpeas and garlic cloves (just leave them whole) with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and the cumin, salt and paprika. Roast in your pre-heated oven for 30 minutes, stirring once half way through. Remove from your oven and set aside. Reserve about 1/2 cup for the garnish.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the cubed potatoes and black pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the vegetable broth and the water and increase the heat to bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to maintain a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, until the potatoes are very soft, about 15-20 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat. Stir in the roasted cauliflower mix.
- Puree the soup using an immersion blender. Alternatively, you can use a food processor or blender, working in batches if necessary and being careful when transferring and blending hot liquids. Return the pureed soup to the stovetop and gently re-warm it. Stir in the heavy cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and top with the reserved roasted cauliflower mix, red pepper flakes, fresh thyme leaves and a drizzle of heavy cream, if desired. Enjoy immediately.
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in your refrigerator for 2-3 days.
Moraccan Butternut Squash & Goat Cheese SoupRecipe via Half Baked Harvest
- 1 head garlic, for roasting (or you may sub 2 cloves garlic, not roasted)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 4 cups butternut squash, peeled + cubed
- 1 teaspoon spicy curry powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)
- 1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk (I used full fat, but lite will work too)
- 2 cups veggie broth
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 4 ounces goat cheese, softened + more for topping
- roughly chopped cilantro + pistachios, for topping
- arils from one pomegranate, for topping
- , for serving
- Coconut Ginger Cream
- 1/2 cup cooled canned coconut milk
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh ginger
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Chop off the top portion of the garlic head to reveal cloves. Peel any excess paper/skin off the bulb of garlic. Pour about one teaspoon of olive oil on top of the garlic cloves and cover with foil. Roast for 45 minutes, or until the garlic is golden brown and soft. Remove from the oven and allow to cool five minutes. Squeeze garlic out of the paper skin into a small bowl, mash well with a fork and set aside.
- Meanwhile, add the coconut oil to a large soup pot set over medium heat. Once hot, add the red pepper and cook for 3-5 minutes or until soft. Add the cubed butternut squash, spicy curry powder, smoked paprika, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 3-5 minutes then pour in the coconut milk and veggie broth. Bring the soup to boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the butternut squash is fork tender.
- While the soup is cooking, make the ginger cream. Add the cold coconut milk and 1 tablespoon ginger to a small bowl. Taste and add more ginger if needed. Cover and place in the fridge until ready to serve.
- Once the butternut squash is tender, add the roasted garlic and the crumbled goat cheese to the soup. Remove the pot from the stove and allow to cool slightly, then puree the soup in a blender or food processor. Return the soup back to the stove and heat through.
- To serve, ladle the soup into bowl. Drizzle the coconut ginger cream over the soup and swirl with a spoon. Garnish with chopped cilantro, chopped pistachios and crumbled goat cheese. Sprinkle with pomegranate arils. Serve aside a hot piece of naan .
Chicken, Wild Rice & Mushroom SoupRecipe via Simply Stacie
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 medium sized mushrooms, sliced
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 stick of celery, sliced
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 cup basmati and wild rice blend (or long grain and wild rice blend)
- ½ cup white wine
- 4 cups hot chicken or vegetable stock (water plus a couple of stock cubes is fine)
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- ½ packed cup shredded gruyere cheese
- 2 cups leftover cooked, shredded chicken
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- Heat the oil in a large sauce, and fry the mushrooms on a medium heat until browned. Remove from the pan.
- Melt the butter in the same pan, and fry the onions and celery for 4-5 minutes until softened. Add the flour to the pan, and stir together using a whisk, until the flour is incorporated with the vegetables and butter. Turn the heat up to high, and pour in the milk in a slow stream, whilst stirring with the whisk, until the milk is completely mixed in.
- Add the rice and white wine, and stir. Then add in the stock and dried thyme and stir again. Bring to gentle bubble and simmer for 20 minutes – stirring 2 or 3 times during cooking. Test the rice – it should be cooked at this point (give it a couple more minutes if it needs it).
- Add in the salt, pepper, lemon juice, cream, cheese, cooked chicken and the mushrooms. Stir together and test for seasoning. If you prefer your soup a little thinner, you can stir in a splash of milk.
- Heat until the chicken is warmed through, then serve topped with fresh parsley.
Beatroot, Ginger and Coconut SoupRecipe via Waitrose
500g beetroot, scrubbed
2 tbsp olive oil
2 essential Waitrose leeks, finely sliced
2 essential Waitrose celery stalks, finely sliced
30g fresh root ginger, cut into matchsticks
1 litre fresh vegetable stock
1 tbsp lemon juice
4 tbsp coconut milk yogurt (or use coconut cream), plus extra to serve
small handful dill leaves
- Preheat the oven to 200oC, gas mark 6. Top and tail the beetroot and cut into bite-sized chunks (there’s no need to peel them). Toss with 1 tbsp oil, season, and roast for 30 minutes, tossing halfway.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tbsp oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Sauté the leeks, celery and ginger for 10-15 minutes, until softened and starting to caramelise. Stir in the cooked beetroot, then the stock and bring to the boil. Season, simmer for 5 minutes, then take off the heat and leave to cool for 10 minutes.
- Transfer to a blender with the lemon juice, coconut milk yogurt and most of the dill. Whizz (in batches, if necessary) until smooth, adding more seasoning and lemon juice as required, and a little water to loosen, if needed. Serve in bowls with a spoonful more yogurt and a scattering of dill.
Healing Turmeric Soup with Lentil & FarroRecipe via Honest Cooking
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, grated (about 1 cup)
- 1 small zucchini, grated (about 1 cup)
- 1 cup grated carrots
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1½ teaspoons turmeric
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 5 cups vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
- ½ cup quick cook farro (I use the 10 minute farro from Trader Joes)
- ½ cup red lentils
- 1 cup chopped kale, stems removed
- 6-8 slices of french baguette, cubed
- 1 clove garlic
- Olive oil
- Heat the oil in a medium sized pot over medium/high heat. Add the onion, zucchini and carrots and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the salt, pepper, turmeric, and cumin and cook for 2-3 more minutes. You should start to smell the spices toasting.
- Stir in the broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling add the farro and lentils and simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes or until lentils and farro are cooked through.
- Meanwhile, make the breadcrumbs. Add the bread and garlic into a food processor. Pulse until the bread is in small crumbs. Pour onto a baking sheet and toss with a little bit of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Bake for 5-7 minutes, or until golden brown.
- In the last couple of minutes of the soup cooking, add the chopped kale and stir until wilted. Serve immediately and top with the toasted breadcrumbs.
Anything-You-Have Cocunut Curry SoupRecipe via Pinch of Yum
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 knob of ginger, peeled and grated
- 1-2 tablespoons red curry paste
- 1-2 tablespoons turmeric
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 12 baby yukon potatoes
- 2 14-ounce cans coconut milk
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 24 ounces extra firm tofu
- anything you have for fresh veggie toppings! see notes
- Start smushing the tofu in that nifty TOFU PRESS. It’s amazing. (Or rig up some kind of system to press the water out of the tofu while you prepare the soup.)
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger, and stir fry for a few minutes until fragrant. Don’t let the garlic burn or brown. Add the curry paste, turmeric, salt, and sugar. Stir fry for another few minutes. Add the potatoes, coconut milk, and broth. Simmer until the potatoes are soft.
- Allow to cool slightly (I can never wait very long…) then transfer to a blender and puree until smooth and silky. The soup should be rich and thick so that it coats the back of a spoon. Add in more water or broth (I think I ended up adding about 2-3 cups) to thin out the soup as needed.
- Remove the tofu from the press and cut into small pieces. In the same pot, heat a little more oil and add the tofu, stir frying until light golden brown. Pour in a small amount of the pureed soup – it will sizzle and pop, and it will also give the tofu the most wonderful color and caramelized exterior. Remove from heat with the tofu is deep golden brown and crispy.
- Top each serving of soup with fresh veggie toppings and crispy caramelized tofu and enjoy your luscious salad-meets-soup combo.
Trends come and go, but one trend that has been around for years and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon is open shelving in kitchens. Open shelving is not only the perfect way to display your favorite kitchen decor, it adds an extra element of style and dimension and the options are endless. From floating, to white, to wood, to marble, here are my top 10 kitchen’s that will inspire you to open your mind to open shelving in 2017.
via Design Sponge
via Theivory Lane
via Bliss at Home
Figuring out what to wear during the cold winter months can be tough. When all you want to do is is layer up to stay warm, style can sometimes get thrown by the wayside, but it doesn’t have to. And having winter style doesn’t mean you have to be uncomfortable doing it. When it’s freezing outside and all I want to do is throw on my warm, cozy sweats, getting a little winter inspiration from my favorite fashionistas always helps keep me in check. Just check out the super cute, stylish and comfortable outfits below and start your winter style revolution.
Pretty in Pink
Try a funky statement piece to amp up your winter look, like this pink jacket via the Note Brooke. Just try pairing it with a basic tee, ripped jeans, black boots and a side braided pony to make it casual cool.
Bring a little spring into your winter step, by following these gorgeous floral, winter cues via Thrifts and Threads. To get the look, try mixing a lovely embroidered, floral top with black jean, a black purse, red lips and to top it all off, try a top knot.
My favorite go to fashion girl of The Fashion Guitar is taking military fashion action and you should too. Try the look by combining a military coat with a basic black tee, ripped jeans, a stylish clutch and add 60s inspired pumps to bring it all together.
Business RocksThis rockin’ winter look from The Closet Heroes shows that business doesn’t have to be all work and no play. You can add some edge to your business week by pairing a fitted suite with an edgy band tee and red heels to make the outfit pop.
Make your cold, grey winter days a good think by trying this look by Happily Grey. It’s a great example of how to be casual and cute this winter. To copy the look, throw on a cute pair of grey skinnies with grey booties and a feminine, romantic white blouse to add a whimsical touch.
Faux Fur Real
Take your everyday skinnies to the next level this winter like this stylish outfit via Style Caster. Get the look by adding a fabulous, faux fur and black booties to your basic black skinny jeans.
Hummus is always a great, healthy snack option, but sometimes eating the same old plain hummus can get boring. That’s why I’ve created this cilantro jalapeño hummus. It’s packed with flavor and will definitely spice up your snack game. Just follow the directions below and serve.
Cilantro Jalapeno Hummus
2 15oz Cans Garbanzo Beans
1 Bunch Cilantro
1 Jalapeño, Stem & Seeds Removed
6 tbsp Tahini
6 Cloves Garlic
2 tbsp Olive Oil
Kosher Salt to Taste
1. Combine one can of garbanzo beans drained and one with the liquid in a food processor. Then add in the tahini, cilantro, jalapeño, garlic, olive oil, and lime juice and blend until smooth.
2. Season with kosher salt to taste and then serve with pita bread, chips, crackers or veggies and enjoy!
H&M has long been one of my favorite go-to shops to buy stylish, on-trend clothing and accessories on a dime, but what many people may not know is just how equally amazing their home decor line is. H&M’s decor is not only packed with style, it’s unbelievably inexpensive. It really is hard these days to find such great quality, gorgeous pieces for your home at their low price tags, so if you haven’t experienced the gorgeous eye candy that is the H&M home decor line, do yourself a favor and check it out asap.
There has been an increasing number of gold booties on the fashion scene lately and I’ve gotta say, as a girl who is obsessed with all things gold, I’m loving it. They’re stylish, versatile, fun and again…they’re gold! Just check out this perfectly styled outfit by Charlotte Groeneveld of The Fashion Guitar. Her style is always on point and this outfit is no exception. Her amazing coat, sweater, and jeans, paired with her lovely golden booties is nothing short of amazing. Want to get the golden bootie look, but worried about breaking the bank? Here are some great, affordable gold bootie options that will make you feel like a million bucks without spending a million.
If I had to pick one paint color that reigns supreme, in my book, it would have to be black. Black walls are chic, modern, rich, cozy and I absolutely love them! I know not all people share my affinity for black walls and I can totally understand why. It’s a risk, especially for those who are used to painting rooms white or a pretty color, like my mother. I can still remember the look on my her face when I told her I was painting my master bedroom black. I’m pretty sure she thought I had lost my mind, but once it was complete, she became a true believer in the power of a gorgeous black room. Still not sold? Take a look at some of the amazing, inspirational spaces below and maybe, just maybe, black walls will make their debut in your home in 2017.
Chic Black Space via Style Me Pretty
Eclectic Black Living Roomvia Vosgesparis
Cozy Black Nookvia Marcus Design
Gorgeous Black Hallwayvia Desire to Inspire
Rustic Black Dining Roomvia Curated Interior
Pretty Black Bedroom via Christine Dovey
Relaxing Black Bathroomvia Becki Owens
Stylish Black Office via My Domaine
Modern Black Nurseryvia Decor Pad
The holidays are over and that means for many, it’s time to put down the gravy boat and start eating healthy. But for those who are dreading the thought of eating bland “healthy food”, don’t worry! Just because you’re trying to cut the calories or just trying to be more conscious of what you’re putting in your body, doesn’t mean you have skimp on taste. That’s why this month I’m focusing on creating recipes that are not only healthy, they’re delicious, starting with my recipe for these super yummy raspberry almond yogurt bark. This bark is packed with flavor, easy to make and nutritious!
Raspberry Almond Yogurt Bark
2 1/4 cups Greek Yogurt
2 1/3 cups Raspberries
1/3 cups Chopped Almonds
1 oz Dark Chocolate (75%-85% cocoa) (Broken up into small pieces)
4 tbsp Agave Nectar or Honey
2 tbsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1. Start by lining an 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment paper, then set aside.
2. Next, mix together the yogurt, chopped almonds, agave nectar, vanilla extract, and cinnamon, then fold in the raspberries and chocolate bits.
3. Finally, pour in your parchment paper lined pan and sprinkle with your chopped almonds, making sure to cover the entire surface. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer overnight or until you’re ready to serve. When you are ready to serve, cut into bars or break into pieces. Either way, it’s delicious!