Another reason to absolutely love Jennifer Lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence recently commented on how she feels about shows like Fashion Police and I could not agree with her more!

Here’s what she had to say:

“The world has this idea that if you don’t look like an airbrushed perfect model… You have to see past it. You look how you look, you have to be comfortable. What are you going to do? Be hungry every single day to make other people happy? That’s just dumb. There are shows like Fashion Police that are just showing these generations of young people to judge people based on all the wrong values and that it’s okay to point at people and call them ugly or fat. They call it ‘fun’ and they say ‘welcome to the real world’ – and that shouldn’t be the real world. It’s going to continue being the real world if we keep it that way. We have to stop treating each other like that and stop calling each other fat. There are unrealistic expectations for women, it’s disappointing that the media keeps it alive and fuels that fire. It’s something that really bothers me – because I love to eat.”
There is so much pressure on girls and women to have perfect bodies and perfect skin and be a size 0, but that is completely unrealistic and would make a very boring world if you ask me! We need to be confident in ourselves and embrace our differences and uniqueness.  That is what makes us beautiful and gives us the power to do anything we want to do.
Here’s a link to a Thought Catalog that shares 61 Quotes That Will Make You Feel Beautiful. I posted a few of my favorites below. (I have a lot of favorites!
“People often say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I say that the most liberating thing about beauty is realizing you are the beholder.”  ~Salma Hayek
“There is no cosmetic for beauty like happiness.”  ~Maria Mitchell
“I am so beautiful, sometimes people weep when they see me. And it has nothing to do with what I look like really, it is just that I gave myself the power to say that I am beautiful, and if I could do that, maybe there is hope for them too. And the great divide between the beautiful and the ugly will cease to be. Because we are all what we choose.” ~Margaret Cho
“The best part of beauty is that which no picture can express.” ~Francis Bacon
“Taking joy in living is a woman’s best cosmetic.” ~Rosalind Russell
“Confidence is the sexiest thing a woman can have. It’s much sexier than any body part.” ~Aimee Mullins
“To love yourself right now, just as you are, is to give yourself heaven. Don’t wait until you die. If you wait, you die now. If you love, you live now.” ~Alan Cohen
“One day I had to sit down with myself and decide that I loved myself no matter what my body looked like and what other people thought about my body. I got tired of hating myself.” ~Gabourey Sidibe
“There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty.” ~Steve Maraboli
“How people interpret my degrees of sexiness is out of my hands.” ~Seth Green
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Openfaced Mushroom and Fontina Melts

DELICIOUS. SIMPLE. CROWD PLEASER.

I made these over the weekend and I am definitely going to make them again soon, and again, and again. They are that good!

I adapted the recipe from howsweeteats (my new obsession). I used the same ingredients but changed the quantities to serve more people and I used Trader Joe’s Aioli Garlic Mustard Sauce rather than making my own mustard aioli.

Here it is!!

24 ounces sliced cremini mushrooms
3 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 tablespoon olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
a pinch of salt + pepper
16 slices whole grain bread
12 ounces fontina cheese, freshly grated

Trader Joe’s Aioli Garlic Mustard Sauce

Directions

1. Preheat oven to broil at 500 degrees

2. Melt butter and olive oil in a sauce pan.

3. Add in mushrooms and stir to coat with butter and oil.

4. Cover and cook for 8-10 minutes.

5. While mushrooms are cooking slice the bread and broil for 2-3 minutes (keep an eye on the bread because it will burn quickly on broil).

6. Remove bread from oven and spread generously with mustard sauce.

7. Top with mushrooms and cheese.

8. Pop back in the oven to broil for another 2-3 minutes and serve!

This could be a great appetizer or a great winter meal served with soup or salad.

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spiced fig and pear sauce with coconut whipped cream

Summer is my favorite time of year in terms of what fruit is in season. There is almost nothing better than a fresh peach in the summer. I was at the farmer’s market the other day and saw some beautiful figs, which I have never used before, so I decided to make some spiced fig and pear sauce (similar to apple sauce). I am known for having quite the sweet tooth, but am well aware of how damaging refined sugar is to the body, so I try to make cleaner versions of treats when possible. This one is great as there are very few ingredients, it is vegan and there is no refined sugar.

Spiced Fig and Pear Sauce

15-17 figs

3 peaches (I used white, but you could use yellow)

2/3 cup grade B maple syrup*

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/3 cup lemon juice

1. Rinse fruit. Cut stems and ends of figs and half or quarter them (just depends on how big you want them to be). Then cut peaches into pieces (also personal preference on size).

2. Place all ingredients into a saucepan and simmer on medium for 40-45 minutes.

3. Pour into a container (I used a mason jar) and let cool in the fridge.

Coconut Whipped Cream

1 can full fat coconut cream

1. Place can of coconut cream in the fridge for at least 12 hours.

2. Placing it in the fridge will result in firmed coconut cream at the top and coconut water at the bottom of the can**. Scoop out the hardened coconut cream into a bowl.

3. Beat the coconut cream until it becomes fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. You can serve immediately or place in fridge until later***.

Serve cold and top with coconut whipped cream.

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If you would like a sweeter coconut cream you can add maple syrup, honey, vanilla, cinnamon or a combination. Start with a little bit and add more depending on how sweet you want it, it’s all about personal preference. I prefer mine without anything added.

*Grade B means it has not been heated so it is in its purest form, it is best to buy grade B maple syrup and honey.

**You can drink the coconut water or use it in smoothies or juices.

***The thing I love about this coconut whipped cream is that it can be used for so many things. You can use it to top almost anything, including cobblers, ice cream, smoothies, oatmeal, and hot chocolate or as a frosting.

newport cottages baby shower

Newport Cottages Baby Shower Event

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The cake pops are from Just a Bite cake pops, they taste delicious and they will match frosting colors for you, which is awesome!

The big cupcakes and lemon bars are from Susie Cakes in Newport Beach. They will also match frosting colors and everyone was raving about how great they tasted.

The mini cupcakes are from Sprinkles. They have a ton of different medallions you can choose from to customize them exactly how you like.

The adorable straws the cake pops are on and the Baby Shower banner are from Where’s the Party in Newport Beach.

I added strawberries, cucumber and mint to the water and it was very refreshing and so simple.

I put out some fresh fruit to be added to the champagne and sparkling cider. Something else you could do is put some juice in wine decanters to make a mimosa bar. Orange, grapefruit and cranberry juice are some good options.

TJ Maxx is a great place get cute and reasonably priced cake stands and platters, which can be used over and over.

my first whole chicken

I made my first whole chicken recently and it was SO GOOD. I was always overwhelmed by the thought of it but turns out it is so easy to make! I was at my friend Bentley’s house and she was making one for her family, and I got inspired so I went to the store and got one I needed then headed home and got to it. The thing I love about this is that there is so much freedom because you can cook it with whatever fruits or vegetables you like, so you can taylor it to your mood or to who you are cooking for.* Quantities are also very flexible which is nice, so I didn’t keep track of how much of everything I added. Here’s what I did.

5-6 pound whole free range chicken (I got mine from Trader Joe’s)**

Carrots

Sweet potato

Brussels sprouts

Onion

Lemon

Garlic

Fresh rosemary

3-4 Kerrygold Irish butter***

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Remove the giblets from inside the chicken, then thoroughly rinse the inside and outside of the chicken. Dry with paper towels and place in baking pan.

2. You can use as much or as little butter as you like. I used 3-4 tablespoons. Melt half of the butter and pour over top of chicken (helps to brown and crisp the skin).

3. Cut the carrots, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, onion, and garlic and place in a bowl. Melt the other half of the butter and pour over vegetables. Toss vegetables in butter so they are evenly coated. Place the vegetables around the chicken.

4. Cut the lemon and squeeze juice over the chicken and vegetables, then place the lemon in the pan.

5. Add some salt, pepper and rosemary to the chicken and vegetables and pop in the oven for about an hour and a half.

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Would be delicious on it’s own or served with salad, brown rice, quinoa, or some rustic bread (Healthiest bread options according to Hungry for Change include sprouted, pumpernickel, or organic sourdough bread).

Enjoy!!

*Herb options: thyme, sage, basil, cilantro, parsley or a combination.

Fruit and vegetable options: red potatoes, russet potatoes, yams, oranges, limes, apples, pumpkin, butternut squash, mushrooms, celery.

** Here’s why I stick to Organic Free Range

***Butter often gets a bad wrap, however, good fats are very important in one’s diet. While it is often thought that fat makes people fat, it is actually true that sugar makes people fat (and there is sugar hidden in EVERYTHING, READ LABELS!) According to the book Hungry for Change, good fats are essential for hormone production and nutrient absorption. Other good fats they suggest include organic dairy, eggs, grass-fed meat, wild-caught fish, macadamia nuts, avocados (I eat these almost every day), and extra virgin olive oil.

I use butter because it is a stable saturated fat, meaning that it can endure high temperatures. Many oils, such as olive oil become toxic to the body when they are exposed to high temperatures (olive oil is beneficial to one’s diet when not heated, like in a salad dressing). Other options for high heat are coconut oil (which I use all the time to saute and bake!) and ghee (which I have never used before). I like Kerrygold butter for many reasons. The cows are grass fed, meaning that their diet consists of mostly grass and some wheat and barley, which is better for the cows, better for us, and better for the environment. It is better for the cows because grass is their most natural diet and is the easiest thing for them to digest. It is better for us because grass-fed cows produce milk high in beta-carotene and unsaturated fatty-acids (Omega 3 & 6). It is better for the environment because there is less of a reliance on food supplements, meaning that energy is saved by not having to produce and transport those supplements for the cows. There are no antibiotics, pesticides, BST (a protein hormone) or growth hormones in Kerrygold products, which differs from most other brands of butter. I usually buy Kerrygold butter from Trader Joe’s but Costco just started carrying it too, which I am so excited about!! You can find out where it’s available on their website.

~S

nobody made a greater mistake

I finally went to hot yoga today after not going for almost a year and I forgot how much I love it and how amazing I feel after. I prefer hot yoga because I love to sweat and I feel cleansed when the class is over. The yoga instructor today said something that really resonated with me.

“Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little.” ~Edmund Burke

I looked it up when I got home and turns out it is a quote by Edmund Burke, who was an Irish statesmen and member of the Whig party who served in the House of Commons of Great Britain.

We are often so overwhelmed with our constant and growing “to-do” lists that we end up doing nothing at all. This reminded me that little steps will make a big difference and eventually lead to accomplishing your goal. I have been wanting to start a blog for years but the thought of wanting to make it perfect and wanting to write something that people were interested in was daunting to me. This was exactly what I needed to hear today and I am so grateful I decided to go to that class.

So go out and clean a little portion of the garage each weekend, read just a few pages of that book you’ve been meaning to start, or add a few more fruits and vegetables to your diet. You will soon realize doing little bits at a time are more rewarding than doing nothing at all.

~S