Be Inspired

Anyone else looking forward to Fall as much as I am…I love Fall. It’s one of my favorite seasons. Everything about the season inspires me – the colors, textures, garden, and pumpkin spice lattes. I will be working on making some colorful and delicious meals inspired by my favorite season.

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Larabar – Review

Larabars_web-2These bars have been my companions and have helped get over my cooking rut. They have been an inspiration and have reminded me that great things can be made with simple, clean ingredients. When Larabar send me some bars to review I was super excited because I have been a fan for a long time. These bars fuel and nourish my body when I am on the go or stuck in a food rut. The Uber-Banana Foster is my favorite and I love eating it with my morning coffee. What appealed to me right from the start were the minimal, healthy ingredients. All the bars are made with ingredients that I can pronounce, grow, and can easily find in a grocery store. I know many of us have become skeptical about “health bars” because more than often they are candy bars disguised as healthy. But these bars are unsweetened! They also contain no coloring or preservatives. The idea behind them is quite simple, a great product requires great ingredients- natural and whole.

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I talked with a lot of my Paleo friends and Larabar is popular with them. They are also perfect for snacking on road-trips, I think my husband has a subconscience fear of starving to death – the cappucino bar eases that fear for him. I truly believe that he feels like he is being caffeinated and nourished at the same time. When we shoot weddings which lately it has been almost every weekend I like to throw together quick snacks that can give us substance for our 10-14 hour wedding days. I throw an assortment of bars in my wedding day loot. These bars are dense and cure my sweet-tooth! Win-win.

Whole30 Challenge – Day 17

I have officially completed 17 days of the whole30 challenge and to be honest I might have to turn it into a whole60 challenge. I’ve had some bumps along the road and this challenge has taught me to me more … Continue reading

A little DIY on a Food Blog – Antropologie Inspired Snow Globes

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I love Antropologie anyone who knows me knows this…Every time I walk in there I am inspired by all the beauty around me. So much talent in one place. I was at Anthropologie picking out some things for a recent photo-shoot when I came across these mason jar snow globes. They immediately caught my attention, for many reasons…one they are super cute and two I was sure I had seen versions of these on pinterest way before Antro started selling them…which led me to conclude that they are super easy to make! They range from $18-40 at Antropologie not cheap by any means.  If you are not up for making these you can pick them up at your local Antropologie or Craft fair. But if you have your crafty pants on these are easy to make and since I had everything at home already except the trees which I got at Joann’s for like 6 bucks (used a 40% coupon…score).

Things you will need:

Small trees (I bought a whole bag of them for $6 Joann’s)

A Large Mason Jar, Small Mason Jar, or any other jars.

Mini Pine Cones, Pine Piece, Acorns, etc. you may want to add

Fake Snow, Bakers Twine, Glitter, & Clear Gorilla Glue

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You can switch things up if you wish to…

This is how I have them displayed at home. The lights make these globes look like a little city. I made others as well and added gold sprayed deer, owls, and bunnies!

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Road Trip to Portland – One Coffee Shop at a Time

Two week ago the hubs and I decided that it was the perfect time to have a road-trip. We had just finished our last wedding of the season and we did not have any shoots scheduled for a week, so we decided to head to Portland! “Where the dream of the 90’s lives” ;-). We headed to Portland without an itinerary and only one mission in mind, to visit the best coffee shops along the way…and that we did! After-all we love coffee at times it seems like coffee is the reason why I get out of bed at some very odd hours. Coffee and Portland just  made sense.

If you’ve never been to Portland, you must add it to your bucket-list! it was my first time there, my husband and I had been dreaming of what it would be like for a while. It was even prettier than what I had imagine, episodes of Portlandia don’t do it justice. There’s something so cozy +whimsical+ beautiful about Portland…maybe it’s because I live in the land of eternal summer and find any place that has all seasons whimsical. If I could be described as a state I think I would be Portland… the amazing coffee culture, architecture,  the pretty landscape, and the raddest bookstore ever – powell’s book store 

On our way out there we spent some time in Sacramento and found it just as charming. We were lucky enough to stumble on a magazine of the best coffee shops in Sacramento, we kicked-off our trip with Insight Coffee Roasters– this place makes you want to stay awhile, things seem to move slower in there. Grab a house-made dark mocha and sit by the window enjoy the view and people watch.

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Portland_trip_web-2Portland_trip_web-3Portland_trip_web-4Portland_trip_web-7Portland_trip_web-6Portland_trip_web-5Portland_trip_web-10Portland_trip_web-8State Capitol Portland_trip_web-9Mt. Shasta Portland_trip_web-12Breakfast at Clyde CommonPortland_trip_web-13Stumptown Coffee Roasters – They are the prom king of coffee in Portland. So as one my expect my expectations where pretty high – I was not disappointed. It’s location right next to the Ace (yes the Ace in Portland) made this place so much better. Stumptown is passionate about coffee to the way it is farmed + picked + washed + roasted…their espresso is this caramel-like color. The quality and craftsmanship in their coffee is definitely something you can taste!Portland_trip_web-14Portland_trip_web-11Portland_trip_web-33Portland_trip_web-32Portland_trip_web-34Coava Coffee – They make great Americanos and their espresso is pretty amazing with a hint of sweetness to it! They share their space with some amazing bamboo craftsmen.

Part 2 coming soon…

Garden Herbs + Chicken

Breaded chicken…just saying the words makes me want to bite into this mind blowing, fragrant, crisp, and juicy piece of chicken! Better yet this version is gluten-free, paleo, and whole30 friendly…see a trend? The first words out of my mouth after tasting this chicken where OMG! Yes, as soon as I took my first bite, still bubbling from the oven, I knew that this would become my to go chicken recipe: my new favorite chicken recipe. The fresh herbs pack a punch of flavor that make that crusty almond coat even more delicious. This chicken paired with lightly sautéed rainbow chard still tender to the tooth; is a delicious and healthy meal! If you are trying to eat healthier but feel overwhelmed or think that cooking healthy is difficult, I encourage you to try this meal!

Ingrients

4 Chicken Thighs (organic, free-range) 2 eggs
Salt
Black Pepper
Olive Oil
Favorite hot sauce
1/2 tbsp of grain mustard
1 cups of almond flour

Fresh Herbs
2 tbsp Basil
2 tbsp Rosemary
2 tbsp Oregano

Sauteed Chard 
Olive Oil
Rainbow chard
Roasted garlic
Salt & Pepper to taste
Juice from half a lemon

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place chicken on a platter and pat dry, let chicken reach room temperature, season with salt and pepper. The success of this dish lays in being organized. In a bowl combine the eggs, mustard, a few dashes of hot-sauce, and garlic powder. Combine almond flour and minced herbs and then place on a platter. Place each chicken thigh in the egg mixture and then coat with the almond flour. Grease the cookie sheet and place the chicken in the oven for 20 minutes, flipping in between. In between each flip brush the chicken with olive oil.

SMP Recipe Contest + I’m the Winner

This week I have been reminded of all of the things that I have to be grateful for and the list is huge!God has been so good to me and my family and my heart is overwhelmed with all the goodness that is in my life. Sure there are some things that I would love to change but the good thing is that I am working on them! This weekend I woke up to this…I was the winner of the SMP recipe contest and although it might not be a big deal to many, it’s a huge deal to me. Being part of the top 10 finalist was such an accomplishment, its so easy to feel inadequate in a sea of super successful bloggers. But this made me feel like I have a chance; a chance to make my dreams happen and hopefully one day be like those that have inspired me! Seriously from the bottom of my heart THANK YOU!!!! sooo much for taking your time to vote for me 🙂

 

No Oat “Oatmeal”

Any other subject matter at this time, seems small next to what took and is taking place on the East Coast. My thoughts and prayers are with the families and business’ who are hurting right now, I can’t even begin to imagine the devastation. I am moved by the images that I have seen on the news and social media. People from all over the world and from all walks of life coming together to bring community, support, and bring the best out of things that are beyond our control.

More than ever I am grateful for all that God is doing in my life. Today I wanted to complain about the 94 degree weather that we are experiencing in Southern California, but then I was reminded of the blessing that sunny skies is, I’m praying for the millions of Americans that still don’t have energy and are facing freezing temperatures.

Today I bring to you a simple and delicious breakfast option for anyone who is living gluten-free, paleo, Whole30, or simply wants to try something new for breakfast. Sweet and fragrant with a nutty crunch that is lovely against the creamy oatmeal. Yet loaded with protein (no-oat-oats) and topped with juicy berries whose natural sugars condense and caramelize in the hot oven.

Ingredients
1/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup pecans
2 tbsp ground flax-seed
1/2 – 1 tsp Pumpkin Spice Mix
1 tbsp of good vanilla extract
1 tbsp almond butter
1 banana mashed
3 organic eggs
1/4 cup of almond milk (unsweetened)
Top with fruit of your choice

Directions

In a food processor mix the nuts, flax seed and spices to a medium grain, do not pulse to the point of having powder. Set the mixture aside, place the banana and almond butter in the food processor and blend until smooth, set aside as well. In a bowl whisk the eggs, almond milk, and vanilla until you have a loose custard. Place the egg mixture in a medium saucepan and lightly stir until the mixture thickens. Add the nut mixture and fold it into the egg mixture. Remove from the heat and top with the fruit of your choice. I topped it with frozen berries and place the ramekins in the broiler for a few minutes. This brings out the sweetness in the berries.

The inspiration for this recipe came from the Holistic Nutritionist at my Chiropractors office.