Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Blueberry-Lemon Bars {Paleo}

My friend E is not so much a sweets girl. When she asked me to make a dessert for her  Going Away party a few weekends ago I found an amazing sounding, paleo friendly, recipe for Bacon Chocolate chip cookies. As I was standing in the aisle at Whole Foods trying to decide how much more coconut flour I needed I realized the recipe I had found only made 8 cookies. After some panicked googling and found these delicious Blueberry-Lemon bars on The Spunky Coconut.

They weren't as sweet as I was expecting, but as E pointed out, they would be PERFECT for a breakfast. I added twice as many blueberries and probably would have done the same for lemon juice in addition to some zest. This also all came together nicely in my new blender so clean up was very easy! My adapted recipe:

Blueberry Lemon Bars {Paleo Friendly}
3/4 cup of Coconut Flour 
1/2 cup of Tapioca Starch
 1/2 cup of Shortening + 1 tbsp
 1/2 cup of Granulated Sugar
 1/2 cup of  Fresh Lemon Juice
1 tbsp of  Fresh Lemon Zest
 1 tbsp Baking Powder
 1/4 tsp  of Salt 
3/4 cup of Applesauce 
2 cups of Blueberries

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a square baking pan with parchment paper
  2. In a blender, mixer or food processor, mix together the coconut flour, tapioca starch, shortening, sugar, salt, baking powder, lemon juice, lemon zest and applesauce until it forms a thick dough
  3. Pour dough into a mixing bowl & fold in the blueberries
  4. Place dough into the baking pan and press evenly into the pan
  5. Bake for 43-45 minutes
  6. After the bars cool, sprinkle the top with a pinch of granulated or powered sugar

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Summer Adventures Continued

I spent this past weekend in one of my favorite places,  New York City. It was absolutely amazing and such a whirlwind. I can't wait to share my adventures!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wedding Wednesday!

How cute is this couple, this wedding and this video?

When I saw their  post on Style Me Pretty, although a little rustic, the photos made it look so magical!  I was so excited to see they had posted a video too and instantly fell in love.

Emily + Dan from Tower Films on Vimeo.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Remember that Oscar De La Renta Dress?

When I opened my closet the other day and realized I have 2 problems: Pink and Blue & White Stripes. Although, I have so many already I absolutely fell in love with this number when I saw it on MrsCocoWyse. Even better, it's currently on final sale at Lulus for $27!!!

I wore it to my lovely E's going away party this past weekend. It was so elegant and comfortable!

...made me feel like I was walking around in this Oscar dress from a few years back.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Room Sneak Peak #2 - DIY Metallic Desk & Night Stand

I absolutely love the look of dark wood with light, cushy neutrals. My first 5 years here, I was able to collect a beautiful desk, nightstand, ladder bookcase and dresser in a deep cherry that all went perfectly with the vision I had for my room. My new room changed things a bit. Square-footage wise it's bigger but the ceiling isn't as high, it only has 1 window and has hard wood floors.  For some reason everything seemed a little closer together and it made the slight differences in the pieces cherry tones more noticeable, in addition to make the room feel really dark.

After some design research and treasure hunting I thought maybe a table like this would be a nice addition as my other nightstand.  It's 'neutral' and lighter than the wood pieces that seemed to weigh the place down.

Lulu and Georgia

Sadly, with a near $600 price tag it was out of the question for now. I spent endless hours searching for a new table online, but just couldn't seem to find anything in my $100-200 price range.  Then I remembered my parents had a wrought-iron little side table that, I thought they purchased at Ikea and could easily be spray painted a metallic! I was so pleased to find the entire Vittsjo collection, I got all sorts of new ideas for my room. Since this has been in progress for over half a decade now, I made myself stick to my original vision and started out purchasing the Laptop Table ($24!!) and THIS metallic spray paint in 'champagne' that seemed to match perfectly with my curtains.

I put it together in about 20 minutes and spent maybe 10 minutes giving it 2 coats of paint. 48 hours later I had a stunning side table!

After I got it in my room, however, something still just didn't feel quite right. I decided I needed to ditch my cherry desk (that was my first adult furniture purchase & that was so proud of myself for spending hours putting together myself!) and get the Vittsjo Desk ($40!!!). It was a tough choice, but a good one and I absolutely love the finished products! All for under $100.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Note on Love and Other Struggles

I started this post a week or so ago with the thought of referencing this Thought Catalog entry about the difference between a husband and a boyfriend. The death of Robin Williams, an actor and comedian that had such an impact on my childhood and life, has only put it in deeper perspective and motivated me to finish it up.

I mentioned in my end of year post that 2013 was the year of LOVE. I felt a lot of of love from my friends and got a whole new perspective on what it really means to love people. I don't know if it was fairy tales or the way I grew up, but I've always viewed love as somewhat of a selfish act. Saying someone/something is so important to you and your life that I guess one almost looses themselves in the person they 'love'. Almost as if the person you 'loved' belonged to you (and vice versus) and if you found a person who agreed to belong to you that was 'true love'.  With that view this 'love' everyone talked about was exhausting, self consuming and often left me feeling really alone and confused when I was trying to figure out how you can love someone who 'hurts' you. Feelings wise I mean, it left me really angry and defensive. I'm not just talking about relationships either, friendships were in this category. Long story short, if you weren't my best friend you were dirt to me. If you weren't 110% with me, on the same page, you were against me.

There was a point this spring, literally overnight, where this view changed for me. I had one of those "if they loved me how could they even think about doing this to me!" moments that you see in movies. As much as I wanted to push this into the 'dirt' category, there was just something about that couldn't. That would mean that every beautiful, happy, loving moment was dirt and I knew, in my soul, that that wasn't the case. It wasn't black, it wasn't white and bottom line it wasn't about ME. It was about this person. This person that I loved, this person that I knew, at the very least cared about me on some level. So how can a person who cares do something hurtful?  It's not because they hate you, its not because they're not your friend, its because they don't know how to process, like myself at times and like so many humans. In that moment I was filled with so much care and love and concern, but at the same time understood that I didn't have the mental or emotional capacity to put myself through that treatment. Thats when I realized what it meant to love. To understand and respect the struggle of being a human, but to be able to respect your own boundaries. To keep your heart open, but protect yourself.
I was so incredibly surprised when I was so filled with this new love and I just had to get it out, that through shaking and tears face one of my deepest fears and came out 'okay'. A few months prior, had I done what I did I would have 100% regretted it. I sat there, looking at my therapist, and was so weirded out how 'okay' I felt. I was fine. She just looked at me and said "when you do something out of love you don't regret, no matter the outcome."

I think the last paragraph in that Thought Catalog post sums it up:
The Guy You Marry: The guy you have fun with, but also cry with, laugh with, fight with, love with, and will be with for the rest of your life. You have feelings for him, but you are not with him solely because of your emotions. You are with him because you will love him apart from how tired, depressed, or angry you feel. He understands that loving you denotes sacrificing his time, energy, and other aspirations, and is still more than willing to make the commitment. He loves you not with a selfish or envious love, but with a patient, enduring, humble, faithful and selfless one. 
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered; it keeps no record of wrongs. It does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.” -1 Corinthians 13:4-7
I've been wanting a white tattoo for a few years now and in this moment I knew what I wanted to do. I wanted an everyday reminded to keep my heart open, to do all things in 'Love'. 1 Corinthians has been a running theme in my life and I knew I just had to do the simple, white, open heart.


Not to say that Robin Williams wasn't loved, or did hurtful things, but it just strikes the chord of that, everyone is fighting their own battle. Their dealing with their own demons and struggles and actions are based on that. The ones that hurt the most often need the most love.  So keep your heart open. Keep loving. "There are a lot of amazing people out there to be grateful for. Thats what life is about"

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Saturday, August 9, 2014

Weekend Wish List

I've been in major electronic lust lately! I hope that doesn't mean I'm becoming a grown up. They're {mostly} for functional reasons so that makes large purchases okay right?

One of my girlfriends, my current Junior League Co-Char, got me hooked on this amazing protein powder. My old job had all the supplies so I was able to just come into work with my container of powder. No such luck at my new job and spending $8 a day on a smoothie is just not economical. After, extensive, research I think I'm going to go with this Ninja NJ600. It rated better than all but 1 Vitamix in Consumer Reports and it's 1/3rd of the price.

Did I just mention Consumer Reports in blog post? Who am I right now?

I've spent the last year growing my hair out and I'm searching for new ways of managing it and maintaining its health. Straightening seems to be the quickest, but also the most damaging. Again, at my old job they had super nice hair dryers in the gym so I was able to use them there and blow dry in ~ 20 min. My current $25 Walgreens number takes about 45 mins to blow dry and still leaves all sorts of frizzies. I am sooo longing for a Super Solano!

I absolutely love my Origins Rice Microdermabrasion scrub. I do it once a week, but I usually wash my face in the shower and its hard to fit into my routine. I'd love to be able to just turn on this little guy and scrub everything off!

Decent Speakers
My company got free tickets to a concert at the symphony hall and I was able to go to, somewhat oddly, Melissa Etheridge playing with the symphony. The sound in there was. ABSOLUTELY. AMAZING. From classic Ravel to 90's rock, everything gave me goosebumps. I really need to upgrade my sad little laptop speakers.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Room Sneak Peak - B Is for Bonnie Designs

As I put the final details on my room, I'm planning on posting little previews of the little projects it took to put it all together. I had most of the furniture from my old place, it was just a matter of the details like wall art.  I really love the way Ralph Lauren mixes traditional looks with pop culture. His old Hollywood pictures are stunning. After almost 4 years of searching my mom and I found similar frames at Home Goods. I did have these 2 solid black frames I had found and while I loved the black accent, I knew I had to find "lighter" prints to keep the contrast and neutral look.   If you follow my pinterest  or tumblr you know that I love quotes and after some etsy searching I found the gold foiled prints {incorporates the slight metallic) of b is for bonnie and knew they were just what I was looking for!

She has so many cute options {and an amazing blog for all you #bossladies out there} but I decided to go with these 2.

They look great in the frames and fit perfectly in this little nook on the side of my bed! So cozy!


Monday, August 4, 2014

Recent Obsession: Kiesza

I saw her Hideaway video maybe 6 months ago. I think it was trending because it was done in one take, and I didn't really register it was a music video. I heard it on the radio a few months ago and cannot stop listening to it. Her entire LP is so fun and her cover of "What is Love" is breathtaking.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Summer Travel Adventures!

Can you believe it's August already? The 8th month of 2014! The last month of summer! My summer has been filled with several adventures so far, kicking off with a trip to Mexico in the beginning of June! I'd never been and have been anxious to cross it off my list for the past year, though could never convince any one else to go.
Although it was planned before a nuclear bomb hit my life it ended up falling perfectly after the emotional hurdles and in the week transition between jobs. My favorite part was definitely the excursion we took to the Marietas Island where we snorkeled our way into the "hidden beach".
Wanting to enjoy the sunshine and be out on the water we also took a smaller "bird watching" boat trip from our main ferry and were surprised to see Blue, Red and Yellow footed boobies. The Marietas are the only other place outside of the Galapagos's you can seen them!

The trip to Mexico also turned out to be a bit bittersweet as E made the somewhat spontaneous decision to move to New York  3 weeks after we got back!

I was also able to travel for, my second favorite Holiday, the 4th of July! One of my college girlfriends has lived there for almost 4 years and I had yet to visit. I had also never been to Atlanta so I was able to continue crossing places off my travel list. We had a fun a filled weekend of Bloody Mary's (the bill on the 4th actually came out to $17.76), Deep fried everything,  Fireworks (well half fireworks), local beer, pool parties, 21 & 22 Jump Street, Cougar bars, wedding brainstorming and, yes, a late night visit to The Waffle House.  Her fiance is probably the best ever. We were planning on going out after the pool party and I didn't bring a change of clothes so he drove my bag all the way across town. We did convince him to go out with us so it wasn't all for nothing! Gotta love the southern chivalry...I don't think I opened my own door or pulled out my own chair the entire time. Get it together San Francisco.