Simple Pleasures

Keeping it simple goes a long long way when you A. live by yourself B. are between living situations C. are ballin on a budget and D. when you are craving something fresh & delicious but aren’t sure what. Since I fall into EVERY one of those categories, I have been a real simple girl lately. So I decided to share some of my most simple recipes in an effort to be your guide when you just can’t figure out what to eat. When in doubt, KISS [keep it simple stupid!]

And since it is hump day and generally we all get a little weary around Wednesday, I figured this would be a nice mid-week pick me up to prevent you from having to commit to cooking a full meal or worrying about dropping money on a meal out.

Caprese

Caprese is one of the easiest, most delicious, and elegant dishes you can throw together. All you need are some ripe tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and a handful of fresh basil. Although most of us already know and love this dish, it is actually a quite healthy choice – even with the cheese.

Mozzarella cheese is actually a great source of calcium, protein and a handful of other vitamins like niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, biotin and vitamin B6. But if you are still skeptical about mozzarella, or any cheese for that matter, read the labels at the store to determine what type of milk is used. Skim milk will cut fat down by up to 15%.

I like to use roma tomatoes, however any good looking tomato will work for a caprese dish. When buying any produce, especially the thin skinned variety, I always shop organic to cut any potential pesticides from being ingested. Herbs – in my opinion – are best grown right in your own backyard. Basil plants are readily available at most grocery stores, and do very well in most regions of the country (if you live somewhere colder, you will want to keep yours inside in front of a window to get the light they need to flourish without exposing them to the severe cold).

Stay tuned for even more tasty simple dishes from my kitchen, up next I’ve got my Yellow Curry in a Hurry :)

Changing like the tide

spring equinox

As many of you can tell by the trippy time warp that has taken over the Western Hemisphere since daylight savings a couple weeks ago, a new season is upon us. And along with the spring equinox, the universe brought with it a new moon and a solar eclipse. Why is this celestial trifecta so important? Because all signs are pointing to change and new beginnings, and who doesn’t like an opportunity to evolve?

Spring is already notorious for new beginnings, seeds coming to fruit, the days getting longer and the light staying later. Alone, all of these things are amazing and much needed after life slows down in the fall and winter. But combine that with the bombastic power of a solar eclipse and a new moon, and you get a whole other level of magic that can only mean good good things are coming.

This moon brings with it a heavy focus on our dreams, imagination and intuition, things that can certainly get swept under the rug in the busy months of winter. It also is a time for us to identify our beliefs, challenge ourselves to take risk, and accept our imperfections. New moons are typically a very healthy time to prune away any dead weight keeping you from getting closer to your goals, especially during this type of Wish Moon.

During new moons, I like to check in with myself, evaluate my goals, and write down my thoughts. Putting things on paper works for me, and if I want any wishes to come to fruition before the next moon cycle, I plant my paper in the dirt and let the moon do it’s magic.

Spring is a time to celebrate after all, and what better way to do so than to take time to relax, reflect, and enjoy Mother Earth’s offerings? I spent some time this weekend doing just that, and had myself a nice little picnic on the lawn in the late afternoon sun. I wrote down all my dreams and wishes, evaluated my accomplishments so far this year, and soaked up the sun. How do you plan on centering your focus on your goals? How will you make the most of what this moon – and season – bring forth? Set an intention for yourself so that you can have a constant reminder of what you are striving for… if you’re unsure where to start, read my recent post on setting intentions for yourself and you will be well on your way to wonderful change!

spring equinox picnic

pistachios & rice crackers with brie and raw pecans

spring equinox picnic

spring equinox picnic

dried mandarins from Trader Joe’s

spring equinox picnic

Free Your Mind

Free Your Mind

Round light
blisshomeanddesign.com

Ceramic mug
$7.80 – chapters.indigo.ca

Pink clock
cafepress.com

Dog book end
$66 – dwell.co.uk

Magnetic office accessory
$18 – mollieandfred.co.uk

White armchair
lampsplus.com

Beam Me Up Baby

There is nothing better than getting yourself into a healthy rhythm and out of a funk. Recently, I went through a tough transition in my personal life that left me on the couch every night with a bottle of wine and CSI marathons for a week. I was starting to feel really gross and depressed, so decided to give myself a detox overhaul complete with a full on body treatment day, a bevy of activities with friends, and the reintroduction of bright colors in my diet.

Juice and smoothie places are a dime a dozen these days, but Be Beaming is really something special. Beaming’s mission is to inspire and empower people of all ages to experience greater health, happiness and vitality through the power of nutritious plant-based foods that taste amazing. And what about that doesn’t sound freaking awesome? We are always saying how we need to eat more fruits and veggies, and this is a super easy – and tasty – way of doing so, especially for on-the-go people like me.

Be Beaming

Be Beaming

 

Be Beaming Menu

I felt smarter and more educated just be being in the atmosphere. Superfoods, magic elixirs and robust recipes lined the walls and fridges like a colorful candy store except without all the refined sugar and crap. The people shopping and ordering were bursting with infectious energy to the point even I couldn’t wipe the smile off of my face. I picked up a few essentials… a Cold Buster Shot to give my sinus infection one last kick in the ass, a Rockstar smoothie with a green boost to gear me up for my shift at work (soooo delish!), and a Vitality Shot to give my digestive system a head start on inventory day when I am up before the sun

Be Beaming Shots

Meet my new fave morning pick me up…

Rockstar Smoothie: coconut water, almond milk, coconut butter, Blue Majik greens powder, Beaming Organic Raw Plant Based Superfood Protein Blend, date, banana with an extra spinach booster. YUMMMM!

be beaming

 

 

Skincare 101: Being Proactive with Arbonne

Prologue: I feel like I am in a time warp with this whole daylight savings change. Every morning I feel like I haven’t slept, and I am starting to lose track of the time and days. I completely forgot to post on Monday, so I decided to post a nice hearty entry about my new jam – my new and improved skin routine!

I have always gotten a lot of sun exposure – between growing up by the beach and playing lots of outdoor sports – and haven’t generally been the best about sun protection. I also rarely wear makeup, which has allowed me to think I don’t have to wash my face every night. I actually believed that putting product on my face would cause me to break out, so I dodged the skincare aisle every time I went to the drug store. You know what they say, hindsight is 20/20, so naturally looking back I am pretty skeeved out by what I was allowing to chill on my face. Pollution, dirt, germs, dead skin, ICKKKK!

arbonne

I have recently paying a lot more attention to my skin, and thanks to the helpful advice of professionals who dedicate their lives to the science of skincare, I have finally got my regimen dialed. But I won’t sugar coat it or sit here and act like I am a pro, it took some time and research to figure out exactly what worked for me, and I am sure it will continue to change like the seasons. But once I accepted the fact that there was more I could do to help preserve my naturally beautiful skin, I began making much wiser choices that I know I will thank myself for later when I am old and wrinkle free.

A couple of my friends began talking about Arbonne, a plant-based skincare line that boasts amazing all natural ingredients and a killer anti-aging collection. I attended a little facial party at my girlfriend’s house, where I learned about all the harmful crap drugstore brands put into their products, and I quickly understood why I was under the impression using those products made me break out. Who wouldn’t break out after slathering animal fat all over their face?

The first thing I did was go home and throw out anything I had used or held onto in regards to skin care. I then decided to try out a couple products to see how my skin did and take it from there. I settled on their gentle smoothing facial cleanser to help rid my skin of impurities and makeup residue, and a moisture rich night repair creme to hydrate my skin cells while I sleep. Neither of these were cheap, however after learning about what being thrifty with skin care can lead to, I didn’t mind shelling out a little extra dough for the good stuff.

arbonne re-9

I have to admit, that after about a week of transitionary toxins coming out of my skin, I have noticed incredible results from such a small change in what I am doing. I had a zillion small bumps on my forehead when originally started seeking out skin solutions, and they have long since vanished from my face. I am seeing a lot less dryness, and my complexion is shades brighter. The products even have slightly aromatherapeutic qualities, which helps me fall asleep easier.

All in all, I highly recommend being proactive and getting some anti-aging products ahead of the curve. Because once you have experienced significant sun damage or wrinkles, there is no turning back the clock. Using all natural anti-aging products like these can be preventative, so start doing your research before it is too late!