Creamy Dairy Free Pasta Sauce

Recently I discovered through my doctor that sugar and dairy are affecting my sensitive skin and stomach. While I am not giving either up entirely (even though I should!), I am trying to cut majorly back. Dairy is the easiest thing to give up (even with my profound love for cheese), since there are so many alternatives on the market. The other day I had a craving for “comfort food” in the shape of creamy and delicious pasta. This makeshift “recipe” was born.  It’s super simple and not even a recipe, but I thought I would share in case you are also trying to cut back on dairy.

Kite Hill’s almond cream cheese is legit the best cream cheese ever. It tastes so delicious that you forget it’s dairy free. Mix about a table spoon of this cream cheese into cooked Al Dente pasta (my favorite is Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Pasta), and then stir in your favorite pasta sauce. I like to make my own, but on a night I am too lazy — I always have Rao’s Spicy Arrabbiata Sauce on hand. It’s delicious with no added sugar (win-win).

 

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Life, Lately.

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Last week was spent in Florida visiting family. Even though we’ve only been back for a few days — I am ready for another trip! It’s great to be home, but I am missing the beach and this view right now.

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Even though we were in a different state, we still spent most days working on ongoing projects (perk of working from home is that you can pretty much work anywhere!) Valentines Day called for a blush pink skirt and matching donut…

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Back at the airport wearing my go-to travel uniform. I always wear comfy sweats or leggings, sneakers (and socks) and a soft sweater or jacket (is it just me or are airports always freeeeeezing?!).

We returned home over the holiday weekend. Monday was all about catching up with friends and eating yummy food // drinking seasonal cockatials.

Happy Friday!

Beauty Review: It Cosmetics CC Cream

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As much as I love beauty products, on a day to day basis I prefer to keep things pretty natural. When I am not wearing any makeup or am too busy to apply makeup, I still find myself reaching for It Cosmetics “Your Skin But Better” CC+ Cream. This CC cream is full coverage with SPF 50+. It is also equipped with an anti-aging hydrating serum and truly camouflages skin imperfections. What I love about this CC cream is that it does provide the perfect amount of coverage and still looks natural. My skin feels hydrated  — and it stays on all day. I have some redness on my cheeks, and this makes me feel confident on days I don’t want to wear makeup. This is hands down the best CC cream I have tried.

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If you are looking for something that is full coverage but still light — and doesn’t feel like makeup, definitely give this a shot. I am really happy to have discovered this CC cream and can’t wait to try more products from It Cosmetics.

Friday Favorites

This week started off with a ton of rain (always a favorite) and flowers from my love.

Over the weekend my husband and I went to Ojai for a little getaway. After a weekend of long hikes, reading while sipping cocktails, and the best spa day,  it was hard to jump back into the grind on Monday.

 We had the best meals in Ojai — including this pasta (made with a 120 year old sauce recipe) and the most amazing breakfast.

A little date night dress up.

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Happy Friday!

The Best Mascara Ever!

As mentioned many times before, beauty and skincare products are my favorite to shop for. I love to try new things and experiment with new brands and products. With that said, I definitely have tried and true favorites that I reach for over and over. After much experimentation, I have found 3 products that win over the rest.

Kevyn Aucoin The Volume Mascara

My all time favorite. If I could only use one mascara for the rest of my life — this would be it. The perfect every day mascara with just enough volume, the perfect separation, and IT NEVER SMUDGES. Ever. While it isn’t water proof, it is water resistant. I have definitely shed a tear while wearing it and I promise it doesn’t move. The best every day mascara.

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Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

Too Faced “Better Than Sex” is my favorite mascara for a date night or evening look. When I want extra volume, extra long lashes, and extra drama — this is what I reach for. It is waterproof, does not smudge, and is easy to apply. A total win.

Bobbi Brown Eye Opening Mascara

If my favorite every day mascara and my favorite night out mascara had a baby — it would be Bobbi Brown “Eye Opening” Mascara. This product makes my eyes look so beautiful and awake. The jumbo brush fans and pushes lashes up and out. It also thickens, curls, and lifts — creating the ultimate eye opening effect.

Beauty Review: Advanced Night Repair Concentrated Recovery PowerFoil Mask

I am pretty obsessed with skincare. As I creep up to age 30, I  care a lot more about maintaining proper moisture in my skin, splurging for a facial instead of a massage, and looking into smart anti-aging techniques that keep my skin healthy. I’ve been using the Advanced Night Repair Serum by Estee Lauder — on and off — for about 2 years. When I saw that they created an intense treatment (of the famed serum) in the form of a weekly mask, I knew I had to try it.

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The Advanced Night Repair Concentrated Recovery PowerFoil Mask is a firming mask that intends to moisturize, brighten and even skin tone — in only 10 minutes (with weekly use).  The high-performance, foil-backed sheet creates a protective barrier on your skin, which allows the brand’s potent technologies to penetrate fast and deep within the skin’s surface and helps lock in moisture. Each treatment delivers a surge of liquid revitalization, immersing skin in a formula that contains hyaluronic acid and ChronoluxCB™ Technology.

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 My take away? This mask did not disappoint and is a great way to spend 10 minutes. My skin felt incredibly moisturized and glow-y after just one use. I am excited to incorporate this into my routine. I don’t know if I would use it every single week (since the serum is great as is) but when my skin needs an extra boost – I will definitely be pulling this out of my drawer.

In the Kitchen: Detox Moroccan-Spiced Chickpea Glow Bowl

I’ve been working on cutting back wheat, since I notice a huge difference in how I feel when I don’t eat any wheat or white flour. This has been going on for the last two weeks or so, and I’ve been searching for some new healthy lunch options. I discovered this recipe for Moroccan Spiced Chickpea Bowl’s from Pinch of Yum. It blew all of my expectations — and was so quick and easy to make. Spicy, Tomato-y, sweet, savory, and just all around delicious. I didn’t make bowls, but instead ate a portion by itself. Since I had leftovers, the following day for lunch I made “wraps” with a little hummus and (MY FAVORITE WHOLE FOODS FIND) these wheat and grain free veggie wraps (the best when toasted on the stove top)! Moroccan-Spiced Chickpea Bowls will definitely be part of my regular meal plan.

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Moroccan-Spiced Chickpeas

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon each – chili powder and cumin
  • 1 teaspoon each – turmeric and garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • dash of each -cinnamon and cayenne (to taste)
  • 2 14-ounce cans chickpeas {note: I only used one}
  • 2 14-ounce cans fire roasted diced tomatoes {note: I only used one}
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion; saute until soft. Add the garlic, spices, salt, and chickpeas – stir until very fragrant. Add the tomatoes (undrained) and simmer for 20 minutes.

Spotlight: Glossier Beauty and Skincare

Recently I have discovered (and subsequently become obsessed with) the new beauty brand: Glossier. The founder of the amazing website “Into The Gloss” created this brand, and I was blown away by how many of their products are new favorites. A beauty brand inspired by real life, the company aims to create new essentials and easy-to-use basics that form the backbone of any beauty routine. My love affair with Glossier started with their lipsticks, that are applied like a balm. I now own two of the Matte Lipsticks (in colors Like and Jam), Balm Dotcom (in regular and rose), Boy Brow (as mentioned in my monthly beauty buys post) and the Milky Jelly Cleanser. I love the price point of all the products and am so excited to share why they have truly become must-have’s in my skincare and makeup routine.

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Generation G Matte Lipsticks

What started it all… In the search to discover a new berry shade of lipstick, I stumbled on Glossier. After reading great reviews about “Jam,” I took the plunge and never looked back. The perfect berry matte shade — it’s my lip staple. Applied like a balm, it’s east to build a strong color or keep it looking like a lip tint. After falling in love with “Jam”, I purchased the pale pink shade “Like” — and was not surprised to fall in love a second time.

Balm Dotcom Universal Skin Salve

Last year was a big travel year, and I needed to find something multipurpose for dry lips and skin. Enter, Balm Dotcom. It is literally the perfect skin salve that I use mainly on my lips, hands, and nails (which get especially dry). I’d also like to mention that nothing has EVER worked better or kept my lips more moisturized. After purchasing the “regular” (and finishing it) — I purchased a second in the “rose” scent.

Milky Jelly Cleanser

My newest Glossier purchase. After feeling bored with my current cleanser, it was a no brainer to give this one a try. The pH-balanced, creamy gel formula is made with a blend of five skin conditioners so your face is left feeling healthy and soft, never tight. Its cleansing power comes from the same gentle cleaning agents you’d find in contact lens solution, so it’s tough on impurities and still safe to use on your eyes. I’ve only used it for a couple of weeks, but so far I really like it. Makeup is easily removed, and my skin feels clean.

Boy Brow

As mentioned in my monthly beauty buys post, this is the ultimate brow product. The creamy wax formula is inspired by traditional hair pomade for soft, flexible hold that doesn’t stiffen or flake. A sheer pigment load gives a natural oomph of color so brows look fuller and more even, and the tiny tapered brush allows for precise application. I use the “Blond” shade and plan to keep this in my makeup bag for a long time.

 

In the Kitchen: Turkey Chili Taco Soup

Happy Monday! Each week, I am going to try and spotlight a new healthy recipe, and write about how it turned out. Since I’m new to cooking (but seriously love it!) this will  be a fun little adventure to document.

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One night last week for dinner, I made Skinny Taste’s “Turkey Chili Taco Soup.” Like all Skinny Taste recipe’s I’ve tried so far, this one was a winner. So delicious, yummy, and healthy — I had leftovers for days.

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The recipe is below. While the chili is tasty as is, it’s a little mild in terms of spice — so if you like things a little extra spicy, I would add some cayenne to the mix. It also only takes about 30 minutes to make, which is a win in my book.

Ingredients:

  • cooking spray
  • 1.3 lbs 99% lean ground turkey
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 10 oz can rotel tomatoes with green chilies
  • 15 oz canned or frozen corn, drained
  • 15 oz no salt added kidney beans, drained
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • 16 oz fat free refried beans
  • 1 packet low-sodium taco seasoning
  • 2 1/2 cups less-sodium chicken broth

Directions:

  1. Spray a large pot with cooking spray then brown the turkey over medium heat, breaking up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. When cooked through, add the onions and pepper and cook 2-3 minutes. Add tomatoes, corn, beans, tomato sauce, re-fried beans, taco seasoning and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer about 10-15 minutes.
  2. Serve with your favorite toppings such as low fat sour cream, jalapeños, reduced fat cheese, chopped scallions,  onions, or chopped fresh cilantro. Freeze leftovers in individual portions for future meals.

Read more at http://www.skinnytaste.com/turkey-chili-taco-soup/#HzyWGBYUD7YzTbHy.99

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! Today I will be sharing some inspiration, highlights, and music that got me through the week. Looking forward to a weekend of adventure, fitting in some workouts, and celebrating my mama.

On Sunday I enjoyed a long brunch full of rose, seafood, and too much laughter. It was the best way to end the weekend.

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Finding this quote kicked off my week. Now more than ever, I am keeping this in mind and close to my heart.

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