Favorite Looks of the Week

February 27, 2015

I cannot believe it is Friday. This has to have been the fastest week of my life, and I didn’t get much done either! I’m excited for a fun weekend ahead, as I get to catch-up with a number of friends I haven’t seen in awhile.

From the freezing temperatures in New York City to the sunny beaches of Maui, my favorite bloggers were spread all over the place, so there is quite a variety in this week’s top ten. Given my absolute adoration of big bows, Julia Engel’s look definitely wins the #1 spot. I want her Kate Spade blouse so badly, as well as that scalloped coat (which I posted about recently here). Lauren of Murphy’s Law also wore a large black bow paired with a cream blouse while in NYC, and I love the whole outfit!

In honor of this week’s big bows, I am sharing a few of my favorite bow items – dresses, blouses, and swimsuits. One of my favorite items is this blouse from Forever 21 which is less than $20! This ISSA dress is a litttttle out of my budget, but I absolutely adore it. Are you into big bows? Which of these looks is your favorite?

FL5 1 Fancy Pants Report | 2 Murphy’s LawFL4 3 Pink Peonies | 4 Brighton the Day read more

Do As I Say And As I Do

February 26, 2015

Do as I say and as I do Mom Talk Advice Role Model Babies

You’ve probably heard the phrase: ‘Do as I say not as I do‘ a thousand times in your life. As a new mom, I keep on thinking about this adage and how flawed it is. Every night, I pray that I will be a good role model for Isla (and our future kids), and in order to do this, I need to act the way I want her to act. Therefore, my mom mantra is going to be ‘Do as I say and as I do.’

This statement applies to all aspects of life, from being kind and respecting all individuals to eating healthy and staying active. I cannot tell Isla to eat all of her veggies if I’m stuffing my face with pizza, nor would I be able to scold her for talking bad about a classmate if I constantly gossiped about my friends. Although many of the examples I can think of pertain more to a few years down the road, I know that I need to get into a good routine now so that she doesn’t grow up watching Sasha and I have bad habits.

One example of us getting into a bad habit is with our meals at dinner time. We spend a lot of money at the grocery store every week, buying organic veggies, fruit, meat, etc. to prepare all three meals at home. There is a delicious health food store and restaurant a stone’s throw from our house that is very reasonably priced, and so a few weeks ago, we decided to get takeout from A Moveable Feast every night (Monday through Friday) to see if we saved money by eating out (making our grocery bill significantly smaller). Not only did we spend less on food that week, it was such a relief not to have to cook dinner and clean the dishes. By gaining thirty minutes every evening, I felt like a new woman! read more

Healthy, Raw Vegan Oreos

February 25, 2015

My sweet friend, Mara, bought me an incredible raw, vegan cookbook for Christmas, and I have been cursing her every week for it (only kidding!), as I cannot stop myself from making these delicious desserts. In all seriousness, this book has saved poor Sasha from enduring the millions of healthy baking recipes that I tried to invent in my head for years – apparently there’s actually a science to these things and the recipes cannot just be winged like cooking!

I’ve been making most of the recipes following the exact instructions in the book, but yesterday I decided to go a little rogue on Emily’s ‘Raw Chocolate Cookies Sandwiching Vanilla Cashew Cream’ recipe and I’m so glad I did, as the result was phenomenal. I’ll call it the healthy, gluten free, refined sugar free, raw vegan Oreo (catchy little name, right?), or perhaps just vegan Oreo for short.vegan oreo healthy no baking raw oats dates cashews

I’ve got to warn you, these will make about 6 cookies, but they won’t last more than 6 minutes (especially if you’ve got guests over)! These are definitely my new ‘go to’ items, although I won’t stop making my other healthy vegan favorites (Black Bean Brownies, Brownie Bites, Mini-Cheesecakes and Chocolate Beet Brownies).

Cookie Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup of oats (gluten free if baking for someone with Celiacs or gluten intolerance)
  • 2 1/2 cups of pitted dates (I use these which you’ll find next to the raisins and other dried fruit at the grocery store)
  • 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons of melted organic coconut oil read more

My Life-Changing Playlist

February 24, 2015

best christian playlist in oceans deep my faith will stand
I started going to church as a senior in high school because of my best friend from Scotland who was living with us at the time and my boyfriend (and his incredible mom). I became a Christian the summer going into my freshman year of college after reading Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore (naturally I really recommend it, but have Kleenex nearby). I was really, really into Christian novels at the time and went through over twenty of Karen Kingsbury’s books (amongst others). Although most of the reading was fictional, I was incredibly moved by the stories I was reading. I read less now, but recently finished Love Does by Bob Goff and seriously loved it to pieces – it’s an easy and moving read if you’re looking for something in that category.

Although I became a Christian going into college, my faith developed significantly during my time at The University of Texas, as I was attending an amazing church called The Austin Stone. The worship music was unbelievable. For my first few years, Chris Tomlin led the singing, and it was like being at a concert every Sunday (and the best one ever at that). I learned during my four years in Austin the impact that music can have on your soul. Singing worship songs did not end at church – my iTunes account is 90% Christian music, and I listen to it while I drive, work on the computer and workout. When I start to feel like nothing is going right, I’ll put on Lord I Need You. When I am needing a reminder that I’m loved, I’ll put on How He Loves Us. When my faith feels weak, I listen to Oceans. When I doubt God, I listen to Mighty to Save. When I want to dance around the kitchen with Isla, we jam to Marvelous Light or Like a Lion.

After an insane amount of thought and consideration (i.e. this started off with around 70 songs), I’ve created the 30 most life-changing Christian song playlist (according to moi). I had a great time making this, as I got to listen to all of the songs at one time. ‘Life-changing’ is a really bold statement, right? Well, it’s true. I am a completely different person than I was before 2006. These songs have had a huge impact on the person that I am today, so yes, ‘life-changing’ is right.

  1. Mighty to Save by Hillsong United (iTunes)
  2. Lord, I Need You by Chris Tomlin (iTunes)
  3. What Joy by Generation Church (iTunes)
  4. Desert Song by Hillsong United (iTunes)
  5. It Is Well With My Soul by Aaron Ivey (iTunes) read more

Week in Review

February 23, 2015

I seriously had the best week ever, so much appreciation to all of my lovely friends who made me feel extra special on my birthday. I was surprised by the most gorgeous flowers delivered from my sweet friend Mara (of Hook, Thread and Tinker) – the only way I would have been more excited about the delivery would have been if she had been at my doorstep instead of thousands of miles away in chilly Chicago! I also got beautiful flowers from my three close friends from high school, and have them spread around the house, bringing happiness to various corners! It’s incredible the joy that florals can bring.

In addition to birthday festivities (more details below), one of my best friends, Kirby, was in town with her husband, Brett, and daughter, Lillian (more about this tiny little angel here!). I am so incredibly grateful for the time we were able to spend together (as they live in Oklahoma City), and Sasha is too, as he loves Brett.

We had dinner at her brother and sister-in-law’s house on Friday, then went to her parent’s house during the day on Saturday and celebrated Mardi Gras together at our mutual friend’s parents house on Saturday night. I wish they lived here so badly, but I’ll take action packed visits as a second best option any day!

Some other exciting things that took place this week include:

  • Getting treated to birthday lunch by my best friend, McKenzie, and her wonderful boyfriend, Bryan – we ate at True Food Kitchen, and I’m officially obsessed
  • Eating birthday dinner with Sasha and Isla at Rosie Carrabba’s, which is one of our favorite spots in the city (and his ‘Holy Ship, it’s your birthday!’ card still has be laughing)
  • Celebrating my birthday with my family at Benjy’s on Washington on Saturday for lunch – their beet hummus and Brussels sprouts are phenomenal
  • Meeting Sasha during his lunch break at Zoe’s Kitchen on Monday – his office is only 15 minutes away, so getting to see him for a bit during the day is such a treat
  • Going to lunch with two co-worker friends on Friday at none other than Ruggles Green – so much fun to chat with them, especially since the main topic of conversation was blogging!
  • Feeding Isla restaurant food – she had a chicken skewer at Zoe’s Kitchen, a grilled chicken breast at Benjy’s and Carrabba’s, and guacamole and quinoa from A Moveable Feast – it makes our meals a smidgen more expensive, but we love watching her feed herself like a tiny human (and these stick-on mats are necessary now!)
  • Sleeping – although Sasha and I both feel exhausted from the busy week, Isla has slept from 6:30 pm – 7:30am every night this week, and I’m praying it’s not just a fluke… I want to get used to that!
  • Planning the final wedding details with Amanda, who surprised me with gorgeous tulips, delicious vegan cookies from Whole Foods and an amazing card on my birthday!
  • Getting a manicure and pedicure at Paradise Nails while Isla’s Baba (Sasha’s mom) babysat – it was such a treat, and I’m definitely going to try to keep it up (typically terrible at this…)
  • Going to Sephora and being surprised by my birthday gift, which was two NARS lipsticks – my favorite gift they’ve ever given!
  • Catching up with one of my best friends, Paola, who moved to Honduras after their wedding in Mexico City last fall and I miss her so much it’s insane! I did not want to get off the phone!
  • Spending way too much money at The Monogram Shop – that place is dangerous (if you live in Houston, you need to go)
  • Spending the night at my parent’s house after the Mardi Gras party and waking up with the entire family there – my two sisters had spent the night too!
  • Buying and setting up new furniture for our bedroom as gifts from my parents – they also got me the Audrey Lamp, which has been on my birthday and Christmas lists for years!
  • Heading to Memorial Park during a patch of sunshine on Sunday and doing the 3-mile loop together (and Isla’s straw hat does me in every time!)

You can also follow along during the week by following on Instagram! How was your week? What were the highlights?

W1DSC_0775w3 read more