4.24.2015

Nostalgic 90s (Playlist)

Nostalgic 90s, Playlist

You guys probably know by now that I love getting nostalgic, so it's about time I put together a playlist of some good 90s tunes.

While I have lots of great posts in the works (I’m working on a new Paleo bread recipe, plus I have Jeremy working on a recipe all his own!), I wanted to take a break and flash back to a decade that encapsulates so many great memories for me: from high school to college to my first “real” job, the 90s were a special time.

There are tons of tunes that I could have chosen for this list, but this playlist captures a lot of my favorites from the decade. Some of the songs are obvious choices, and some are pretty random. This may not be your typical 90s playlist, but that’s exactly why I like it. You can preview each song below, or click on the link to access the full song:

4.10.2015

Wish List: White and Gold

Wish List, White and Gold
Wish List, White and Gold

You can’t really go wrong with white and gold. It’s a classic color combination: forever timeless and elegant. It just so happens that I’ve fallen madly in love with my new white and gold wrap bracelet from Stella and Dot (pictured above), so I was inspired to pull together a list of other white and gold items to add to my fashion wish list.

(Also pictured above: Nadri Crystal Bangle, Kate Spade New York 'Idiom - Heart of Gold' Bangle, and Grace and Lace Faux Fur Scarf.)

And now, on to all the white and gold goodness:


Wish List, White and Gold
Wish List, White and Gold
Wish List, White and Gold

1. Black Halo Jackie Jumpsuit • Black Halo • $390
2. Michael Kors Wyatt Watch • Michael Kors • $275
3. Christian Louboutin Survivita Pumps • Christian Louboutin • $995
4. MICHAEL Michael Kors Hamilton Saffiano Leather Tote • MICHAEL Michael Kors • $358
5. Saint Laurent Monogramme Smooth Leather Clutch Bag • Saint Laurent • $1,150
6. Minnie Rose Cashmere Ruana Poncho • Minnie Rose • $196
7. Ariella Collection Pavé Ring • Ariella Collection • $45.56
8. Tory Burch Mini Miller Jelly Thong Sandal, Ivory • Tory Burch • $95
9. J.Crew Vivez Le Rêve cotton and modal-blend T-shirt • J.Crew • $40
10. Astley Clarke Rock N Roll Nugget Bracelet • Astley Clarke • $275
11. Tory Burch Tory Burch Miller Metallic Logo Thong Sandal, Gold • Tory Burch • $195
12. Diane Von Furstenberg Ready to Go Woven Metallic Tote Bag, • Diane von Furstenberg • $428

(*Note: this post contains some affiliate links from ShopSense which allow me to be compensated on a per-click basis. Please note that I only share or endorse products that I personally love and would purchase myself.*)

4.01.2015

Paleo Carrot Muffins

Paleo Carrot Muffins, grain-free, dairy-free, nut-free, refined sugar-free
Paleo Carrot Muffins, grain-free, dairy-free, nut-free, refined sugar-free
Paleo Carrot Muffins, grain-free, dairy-free, nut-free, refined sugar-free
Paleo Carrot Muffins, grain-free, dairy-free, nut-free, refined sugar-free

Consider this a warning: these muffins are addicting. These wholesome treats are not only flavorful and perfectly sweetened, but they are also generous in carrot content and packed with nutrients.

Carrots are rich in vitamin A and antioxidants; they also contain fiber, potassium and a host of other vitamins and minerals. Although we’re all aware of carrots’ reputation for supporting eye health, even more powerful are the studies that show how the antioxidants in carrots help fight against cardiovascular disease and various forms of cancer. Other health benefits of carrots include promoting healthy skin, preventing the effects of aging, improving immune function, and regulating blood sugar.

3.23.2015

10 Healthier Easter Candy Alternatives

10 Healthier Easter Candy Alternatives

Okay, you might have already noticed that this is not a post about filling your child’s Easter basket with tangerines and baby carrots — or for that matter, non-edible items like toys and trinkets — in the place of candy. Not that there’s anything wrong with those things; they are all great ideas! But this is about identifying relatively “healthier” versions of traditional Easter candy, for those who want to indulge a little (even if it’s just one day a year).

Many of us have fond memories attached to treats like Cadbury or Reese’s eggs, Peeps and those cute chocolate bunnies, and even if we’ve made a conscious choice to no longer consume junk foods or most manufactured candies, it’s still nice to feel like we have a few options to indulge in once in a while.

So here are some of my favorite Easter basket treat alternatives. These options are all gluten-free and grain-free, plus free of artificial colors, additives and GMO ingredients. They include some alternatives for those who have food allergies or are on specialized diets, such as Paleo, vegan or GAPS. Most of them do contain sugar (with the exception of one), but only in organic or natural forms (that being said, whether the sugar represented in this bunch is organic and/or natural, it’s still sugar and should be consumed moderately and as a once-in-a-while treat.)

Divided into two parts, section one focuses on store-bought options, while section two features wholesome, healthy make-at-home recipes. And now, on to the list!

3.13.2015

Puppy Love, Part 2: Luciano

Puppy Love, Part 2: Luciano
Puppy Love, Part 2: Luciano
Puppy Love, Part 2: Luciano
Puppy Love, Part 2: Luciano
Puppy Love, Part 2: Luciano
Puppy Love, Part 2: Luciano
Puppy Love, Part 2: Luciano

Sometimes you don’t know you’re incomplete, until something -- or someone -- comes along and well, completes you.

That was Luciano for us. Spencer was our first puppy child, and taking care of him kept our plates pretty full for those first few months after we adopted him. But as time went by, we decided we might want to start looking for a doggy companion for him. So we set out to the local weekly dog adoption to simply start looking for a brother or sister for Spencer. It was not our intention to adopt a dog that day (we wanted some time to think about it first), but when we walked into the adoption event, everything changed.

Luciano caught our attention immediately. He was energetic and charismatic, full of personality and affectionate as could be. He appeared to be a favorite among the volunteers. The rest of his litter had already been adopted out, so he was the only one left from the bunch still looking for a forever home.

That’s when we learned about what Luciano had gone through during his early puppy life. Flashback to six months prior: a precious litter of puppies was born in Mexico. Our amazing local dog rescue group, Doggies 911, was informed that this litter had been dumped and was in danger, so they went through extreme measures to cross the border to save them. After facing multiple challenges, they were finally able to cross back into California with this rambunctious litter of puppies in tow. One of the puppies was a black and tan little charmer whom they decided to name Luciano. They were happy to have made it back across the border, but the relief was short-lived, as they soon learned that Luciano had contracted canine parvovirus or “parvo,” a life-threatening, highly contagious virus that requires intensive veterinary treatment. The disease is often fatal, but the team at Doggies 911 persevered, sparing no expense to get Luciano the best possible medical attention. Luciano went through the necessary treatment, but because the condition is so contagious, he was forced to live in isolation for quite some time while he recovered (knowing now how social Luciano is, we imagine that this had to be terribly depressing for him). But Luciano beat the odds and survived, and was eventually healthy enough to be eligible to find his forever home.

3.07.2015

Vintage Vacation: Ireland

Vintage Vacation: Ireland
Vintage Vacation: Ireland, Hole of Sorrows, Cow
Vintage Vacation: Ireland, Cliffs of Moher
Vintage Vacation: Ireland, Cliffs of Moher
Vintage Vacation: Ireland, Cliffs of Moher
Vintage Vacation: Ireland, Limerick City, Shannon River
Vintage Vacation: Ireland, Limerick City, King John's Castle and the Shannon River
Vintage Vacation: Ireland, Durty Nelly’s
Vintage Vacation: Ireland, Bunratty Castle

If there ever was a place that appeared to come straight out of a fairy tale, it’s Ireland. It was the year 2000, and although we would only be there for a few days (my friends and I had five cities and four countries to visit in a matter of two and a half weeks, so we were on a tight schedule), it would turn out to be one of the most unforgettable places I’ve ever visited.

While most might have planned to visit Dublin during their first trip to Ireland, we decided to spend our short duration of time there on the more rural, west side of the Emerald Isle, visiting Limerick and the surrounding areas instead. We wanted to experience the beauty of the countryside, although I admit that my vote was also largely influenced by the fact that I was a big fan of Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt’s Pulitzer Prize winning memoir, which was set in his hometown of Limerick City). Since it was our first stop, it would be my first impression of western Europe, and what an impression it was.

The first thing I noticed when we stepped off the plane was how clean the air was (coming from southern California, it was a strange and foreign feeling in my lungs). The air was crisp and brisk, almost intoxicating. I felt a bit out of my element, but in a good way. The second thing I noticed was that Ireland is perhaps the friendliest country on the planet. (Well, in all fairness, I haven’t visited every country on the planet…but it definitely tops the list out of everywhere I’ve been.) Our taxi driver was a sweet older gentleman named Noel who offered to be our personal driver for the remainder of the visit. He handed us his card, and we called him anytime we needed a ride for the rest of the trip (we nicknamed him “dad” because he was a kind, concerned father-like figure that made us feel like there was someone looking over us.)

All of this was impressive, but Ireland’s breathtakingly beautiful scenery is probably what stands out most in my mind. It was everything I’d dreamt up in my mind and more: bright green grasslands as far as the eye could see, set beside a deep blue ocean and beneath a vibrant blue sky. Even during the cloudy hours, it was magnificent. The 15-year old printed photos that came from my old 35mm camera unfortunately don't do it justice, but I promise you: it's a place you want to experience in person.