Quote of the Week

"To know and love one other human being 
is the root of all wisdom."
~ Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited

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How We Use Essential Oils


Let's get started, how can you use oils in your home...for those who are wondering, what exactly are essential oils?  Good question!  
Essential oils are the lifeblood of a plant, which can be found in a plant's flower, stem, leaves, bark, or fruit.  When applied topically, they can reach every cell in your body in 20 minutes! (20 minutes!)  Essential oils an transport nutrients, help support cell regeneration, and support digestive, nervous, and immune system health.

The possibilities are endless, but start with a few, trial and error, find what scents you like and dislike, and then begin to establish routines that work for you and your family.  

Why did you start using essential oils?

There are minimal regulations in the United States which dictate which ingredients can be allowed in personal care products.  After doing some research on my own and learning that many of the so-called "clean" products we used as a family were actually hard hitting offenders, I started to make some changes in our home, including adding essential oils.  Since we can't control everything in our environment, trying to take back what control I can to contribute to our quality of life by limiting our exposure to toxins and chemicals.  

I was especially freaked out after the recent memo by the EPA confirming the connection between formaldehyde and leukemia.  Until the FDA regulations increase and improve to eliminate harmful chemicals, we'll keep diligently reading labels, doing our own research, and work to understand what ingredients are really in the products we use.  Companies that are transparent about disclosing their ingredients earn our trust, such as Beautycounter, Young Living, and Seventh Generation.

How does one use oils?

Most people begin with the starter kit which contains 11 commonly used oils (digize, thieves, lemon, peppermint, copaiba, raven, citrus fresh, frankincense, lavender, panaway, and stress away).  Note: you definitely don't have to buy the starter kit, but it's usually a popular choice as you get the most bang for your buck.
Let's get started, how can you use oils in your home...

 We add a few drops of lavender and purification to wool dryer balls to freshen up loads of laundry. Dryer balls help dry faster without any of the toxins of dryer sheets with the bonus of adding a pleasant fragrance to your laundry.
One of my favorite uses for oils is to replace candles.  Some of my favorite blends include peppermint + lemon + lavender, stress away + valor, and orange + northern lights black spruce.  The fragrance and comforting aromas of candles without excess toxins in the air.  A lot of people swear by the 

Also use peppermint for headaches, I dab a drop on my temples and massage.  I don't know if it's the strong minty scent or what, but it usually helps even the worst headaches subside.


I also use purification to absorb stinky odors, for example, our in-house compost bin fills up quickly with two little kids and plenty of sandwich crusts and banana peels. After emptying the bin, it kind of stinks!  I add a rinse of dish soap, a few drops of purification, swirl it around, wipe it clean, and bam, we're back in business!


And my most favorite use for essential oils - sleep!  After my gallbladder surgery I had a really hard time sleeping, something I had never dealt with previously.  I started diffusing a few drops of northern lights black spruce + cedarwood every night and those zzzz's started coming.  Other favorite sleep oils include lavender + cedarwood, lavender + sleepyize, and stress away + lavender.  Sweet dreams!


Speaking of sleep, I also made a sleep spray from cedarwood + lavender + orange, topped off with witch hazel in a spray bottle.  I spritz on our pillows about 5-10 minutes before we're heading to bed for an extra boost of sleep inducing, calming scents.


While I've given you a few ideas as to how we use oils in our home, this is just scratching the surface with the possibilities for essential oils. 

What are your favorite oils?

Seeking Song Recommendations

Hello!  I need your help...with song recommendations!  I've been so immersed in podcast and audiobook listening these days that I don't know what's even on the radio anymore - wow, does that make me sound old!  Looking for upbeat, fast songs for a running / workout playlist.  Dance, pop, rap are all perfectly acceptable and welcomed!  Please share your favorites!

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Mozart in the Jungle

Need a new show?  Upon recommendations from a few friends, I've just binged the first two seasons of Mozart in the Jungle on Amazon Prime.  Knowing close to nothing about symphonies and how they work, I've enjoyed watching a show about the culture and camaraderie of a symphony (even if it's fiction).  Episodes are 30 minutes; quick, entertaining, there's some love, some drama, some humor, all against a stellar musical backdrop.  

Dinner Last Night: Caribbean Chicken and Rice Lettuce Wraps

Tried these Caribbean chicken and rice lettuce wraps last night and it was a hit!  To avoid turning on my oven, I improvised with the chicken, and instead threw two chicken breasts, herbs de provence, paprika, minced garlic, and coconut milk in the crock pot.  Ultimately I think it turned out great.  The boxed rice was splendidly easy - always nice - and the crunch of the lettuce wrap paired with the refreshing flavor of the mango salsa was perfection!  

Untitled

I don't really like to think that everything happens for a reason, but I saw this on instagram yesterday, on the 17th anniversary of 9/11, it struck a cord.  Shortly thereafter, I read this piece in the Washington Post, about perspectives of kids experiencing 9/11 remember, and I found tears streaming down my face.  

I was 18 on September 11, 2001, just weeks before starting college, and the weight of news, the replays of the footage felt like falling off an abrupt cliff into adulthood.  The gravity of the action taken, the carnage, a confused sense of trying to understand...how life would change in that moment, felt like a departure from adolescence and any remaining innocence forever.  I had never stopped to consider what it might've seemed like or been like to experience such a day as a child.  #neverforget

The Hate U Give

Did you read The Hate U Give?  It is an excellent young adult novel that debuted in February 2017, and has already been made into a movie!  I saw the preview when watching Crazy Rich Asians, I couldn't believe it!  Is it me or is the book-to-movie turnaround light years faster than it used to be?!

Anyway, this book is...WOW!  In a nutshell: sixteen year old Starr Carter is straddling two world; the low income neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends.  Everyday she navigates between her identity among her wealthy, predominantly white friends at school, and her the all black neighborhood where she lives.  She feels like she has a handle on her parallel identities when driving home at night with her childhood best friend Khalil, she witnesses his murder by a white police officer after they're pulled over.

Khalil's death becomes national news.  Many call him a thug, drug dealer, gang banger.  Protesting ensues.  Her identity as a witness is kept confidential due to her age, but what Starr wants more than anything is for the world to know what happened that night, that Khalil was sober, unarmed, and an innocent victim.  

As always, read the book first, but the movie looks just as captivating!

Quote of the Week

“To a parent, your child wasn’t just a person: your child was a place, a kind of Narnia, a vast eternal place where the present you were living and the past you remembered and the future you longed for all existed at once.  You could see it every time you looked at her: layered in her face was the baby she’d been and the child she’d become and the adult she would grow up to be, and you saw them all simultaneously like a 3-D image.  It made your head spin.  It was a place you could take refuge, if you knew how to get in.  And each time you left it, each time your child passed out of your sight, you feared you might never be able to return to that place again." 
- excerpt from Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (p. 122)

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Weekend Baking: Baked Oatmeal

Ever since omitting eggs from my diet, I've felt better, but have been struggling with breakfast.  Since we tend to run about 10 minutes behind schedule, I'm often stashing a protein bar in my bag or eating a cold toaster waffle while running out the door.  

However, on the occasional weekend, when I have all my ducks in a row, the stars align, and somehow I'm prepared and on top of my game, I make this baked oatmeal.  This recipe has been shared amongst my girlfriends, and made in the kitchens of many a girls trip.  Each prepares this oatmeal a tiny bit differently, each adding their own twist or variation, and yet all are delicious.  I personally add coconut chips, coconut milk, sliced almonds, omit the egg, and go heavy on the bananas and frozen berries.  It's relatively quick to throw together, bakes and reheats wonderfully.  It's the perfect breakfast to make ahead and eat throughout the week.

I hope you love it as much as I do!

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Friday Fun

Hello, how are you?  Guess what?  I became an aunt again today!!  Yes, and my first niece!  Sweet Lyla Ann was born today in Michigan mid-day, so the weekend is off to a fantastic start!  Also, we're celebrating my daughter's birthday this weekend with a rainbow-unicorn birthday party - bet you wish you were invited to that, am I right?  What are you up to?

+ another great article about Beautycounter's clean mission (if you need another reason to be swayed to this company)

+ i've always wanted to do a New England road trip - but now I'm thinking of narrowing my focus to Maine might be enough - the seafood, the lighthouses, the salty air.  sounds like bliss!

+ might be purchasing this costume for halloween - anyone else thinking ahead?  one kiddo is set in her decision and has been for months and the other is incredible indecisive.  a few of his ideas have included...fire truck, impact hammer, frog, doggy, astronaut kitty...

+ intrigued by this post - do you have a morning "power hour?"

+ some great gift ideas for the 6 and 7-year old range - lots of creative items/products I'd never heard of before


+ wanting to add this to our dinner rotation - I love me a lettuce wrap!


+ ever been to hydra, greece?  me neither.  now i want to go!

+ just abandoned this book, about halfway through it just got dull.  in search of a new one...any favorite recent reads? 

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Crazy Rich Asians

Have you read Crazy Rich Asians - the first in the popular trilogy by Kevin Kwan?  I devoured this book in a manner of days, and was delighted to see that it had already been made into a major motion picture!  And major it was - this was definitely a big budget film, no expenses spared! The cast, sets, cinematography, costumes, humor, everything was over the top, visually captivating, and did justice to book!  If you haven't, read the book first (of course, a must!) and then see the movie.  

The ending in the movie was a bit different than the book, but it seems intentional to set up for what will likely be the next movie in the series.  

Quote of the Week


"There is a moment, a cusp, when the sum of gathered experience is worn down by the details of living. We are never so wise as when we live in this moment" 
- Paul Kalanithi

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Saturday Snooze

Happy September!! Is it really September already??  The summer just flew by!  You're probably in the back to school swing of things - or starting shortly.  Wishing you a happy and stress-free first weekend of September.

+ this recipe for homemade churros + caramel sauce....yuuuuuum!

+ dream trip: a week in france's loire valley. so dreamy!

+ been trying to avoid dairy, but might have to make a one-time exception for this recipe...

+ do you follow kendi everyday?  seen her new clothing company, everyday & co?

+ food for thought: what is better, rewards, punishments, or neither?

+ just started reading this book, have you read beatriz williams? I'm a fan of many of her other books

+ portland, maine is bon appetit's food city of the year, have you been?

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Dryer Balls

Dryer sheets are designed to make your clothes feel soft.  But what you may not know is those chemical, whose sole function is to soften your clothes - those are called "asthmagens."  Ever heard of that word?  Yeah, I hadn't either.  Well, an asthmagen = a chemical that can cause asthma in otherwise healthy people... Let that sink in.  Asthma from dryer sheets.  Worth it?  Um...no.

Many of the chemicals in products like dryer sheets also have antibacterial properties (translation: not good) and many popular brands contain synthetic fragrances and/or cleaning agents called quats (quaternary ammonium compounds) - which have been linked to impacted fertility in mice (think longer time getting pregnant, fewer pups, and more miscarriages).  Super overwhelming and scary, right?  

Well - here's a relatively inexpensive solution - dryer balls!  Dryer balls are eco-friendly, typically crafted from felt or wool and improve tumble drying.  They help soften your clothes, reduce drying time, static, and wrinkling.  All without the harsh, questionable chemicals. I use these wool ones, they come in a pack of 6, and aside from getting temporarily lost in a fitted sheet, they've held up since I ordered them back in December 2016. Also, if you're replacing dryer sheets but missing that extra boost of fragrance in your clean laundry, try adding a drop or two of an essential oil right on the dryer balls (would recommend lavender or purification) for a clean, fresh scent. 

The more you know...

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Dinner Last Night: Takeout Style Sesame Noodles with Cucumbers

We've had an abundance of cucumbers in our garden this summer.  A ton of cucumbers.  My husband has spent several nights in our hot, hot kitchen concocting batch after batch of pickles; some sweet, some bread-n-butter, some briny, some spicy...all of which are marinating in our fridge or filling up our pantry shelves, and still we have cucumbers.  

Time for a recipe that uses the word "cucumber" in the title. Thankfully, Deb of Smitten Kitchen always saves the day with takeout style sesame noodles with cucumbers.  And Deb, she's consistent, she has never let me down yet!  The recipe calls for thicker rice noodles, but I only had thin rice noodles on hand - which substituted just fine.  The sauce is kind of aaaaaamazing, it's like this peanutty, sesame-y, tahini-y blend of goodness.  I want to pour it on all my salads here on out.  Add a little chopped peanuts, cilantro, and allll the cucumbers, and we're in business.  I think our garden grown cucumbers were pretty stoked too, I mean really, how often do they get to be the star of the dinner show?! 

Currently...

We just got back from a fun weekend of camping with friends, and are gearing up for a busy week!  Back to school is in the air?  Freshly sharpened bouquets of pencils anyone?  (Name that movie!).

+ currently obsessed with this audiobook...

+ ...and because i've become such a recent superfan, binging on her podcast

+ just finished reading this book, and started this one

+ diffusing these this oil for a calm, zen vibe

+ just discovered these snack bars (less sugar + more protein than kind bars + D/GF)

+ just started using this shampoo, it has a subtle ginger ale scent (sounds weird but smells nice)

+ just started watching this funny show, I'm digging it

+ loving this dress for my girl for back to school

How's your summer wrapping up?  Are you ready for back to school?


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Quote of the Week

"As you create a home, don't get distracted with a lot of things that have no meaning for you or your family.  Don't dwell on your failures, but think of your successes.  Have joy in your home.  Have joy in your children.  Have joy in your husband.  Be grateful for the journey."
- Marjorie Pay Hinckley

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Ditching Plastic Bags

 We're making small changes in our home as we transition away from using traditional plastic containers, saran-wrap, and ziploc bags. We already use glass tupperware for most of our leftovers; favorite brands include PyrexGlasslock, and Wean Green Cubes for smaller portions (ideal for salad dressings, hummus, and peanut butter).

But for the day to day items, like PB & J sandwiches, snacks on the go, sliced apples, you know the foods of everyday life, I've been appreciating Stasher bags, which are made of 100% food grade silicone, self-sealing, eco friendly, and plastic free. Plastics can leach dangerous chemicals and gasses into our food when subjected to heat.  Here's a great article on other sustainable alternatives to plastic bags.  Also consider that every plastic ziploc bag you've ever used still exists today.  It's out there...somewhere, whether in a landfill, or ocean, or garbage heap somewhere.  I find that fact kind of mind boggling.

It’ll be a gradual shift for us as it’s a financial undertaking to make all the changes, and if it's not within your immediate financial means to make the switch, don't fear.  Start small.  Start with glass.  Toss plastic tupperware unless they are pristine!  Meaning no scratches, etches, and definitely containers that have not been microwaved or subjected to hot food - that's where the leaching begins. Plastic #5 is considered the safest for storing food, and if you have other numbers in your plastic tupperware collection, it might be time to toss those as well.  Small steps make a big impact on the environment!


Cookbook Crush: Ready or Not! Nom Nom Paleo

The Ready or Not! Nom Nom Paleo cookbook has been in heavy rotation in our house lately as we've cut down on dairy and gluten consumption as a family.  The best part of this cookbook is it makes delicious healthy and flavorful paleo recipes quick and accessible.  I'm happy to report back the recipes we've tried thus far have been kid-approved while being delicious for the adults as well!  The format is also very user friendly, with step by step photographs of the food alongside the written instructions. Also appreciated are suggestions for how to modify or adapt a pressure cooker recipe to suit a slow cooker, that kind of thing.

Last week, I posted our success making bo la lot (betel leaf beef rolls).  We've also tried the Pressure Cooker Bo Ssam (a salty sweet caramelized Korean beef).  The recipe was inspired by David Chang's Momofuku version (I used the adapted instructions for a slow cooker since we don't have a pressure cooker) - it was divine!  I was sorely disappointed I didn't make enough for leftovers.  We've also made hobo stew, souvlaki, and XO pork with blistered green beans.  In addition to having about fifty more recipes bookmarked. 

If you've considered making some dietary changes but still like your familiar favorites - this cookbook is a great gateway into the land of Paleo/Whole 30.

Lavender Oil

Lavender oil is one of my favorites of all the oils. I have a hard time crowning one oil above the rest but I can confidently say it’s in the top 5. 

Lavender is soothing and anti inflammatory so it works for everything from sleep to bee stings, not to mention how great it smells! Add a few drops with epsom salts to a hot bath to transform your tub into a spa. Blends well with other oils when diffused (especially lemon, peppermint, and cedarwood). Roll on your feet before sleep for a peaceful slumber. It’s floral, fresh, clean, and calm. 💜 Want to try lavender for yourself? Click here for more info.

In Defense of Harry Potter

Are you a Harry Potter fan?  Before you abruptly stop reading, hear me out...

I feel like people seem to fall squarely into two camps with this topic.  Either you're 
A). Camp One: You love, love, love Harry Potter!  It's one of the most revolutionary book series of our time!  It is brimming with powerful life lessons to educate our children with tales of hardship, exclusion, discrimination, friendship, belonging, and love.
or
B). Camp Two: Nope.  Never read it.  Not really my thing.  

(Insert audible sigh here).  I am definitely in Camp One.  I adore this literary series for so many reasons, many of which can be explained far more eloquently by other writers I admire, such as Tsh Oxenreider and Kelle Hampton.  However, ultimately, I just believe it's a literary rite of passage and experience that I want my children to have, and ideally one we can share as a family.

Long story short, my husband fell into camp 2.  Where I am a voracious reader, he prefers to absorb content via podcasts or online, with a few sporadic books and magazines thrown in for good measure.  A few months ago I propositioned the idea of him reading Book One, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - just to try it!  Perhaps this was selfish of me, but I really want our kids to read and experience the magic of Harry Potter someday, and feel it would be useful for him to learn the language, terminology, and jargon specific to the series.  He begrudgingly complied and lo and behold, ended up devouring book one!!   From there he went on to finish (and enjoy) all seven books in six months!  Am I proud?  You bet I am!   I took a non-believer, reading skeptic, and converted him to a Harry Potter enthusiast.  We have since watched all eight subsequent movies on HBO to expand upon the experience.  If that's not a testament to the power of J.K. Rowling, I don't know what is!

And truth be told, if I'm going off genres of books I typically gravitate toward, Harry Potter is definitely an outlier.  Prior to reading the series, I had never read any fantasy fiction or stories concerning wizards, dragons, magic, and the like.  And aside from The Twilight Saga, I've really never ventured into this genre again since Harry Potter.  

While I finished reading the series long ago, I've enjoyed re-listening to them via audiobook. The narrator throughout all seven books, Jim Dale is phenomenal!  He is a brilliant performer, and is truly able to emulate the essence of each character's distinct voice and personality through his reading.  It was almost as good as reading it for the first time.  If reading a tactile book is not your thing, I highly recommend listening to the series.  These books can be pretty pricy but they're available via downloadable audiobook or audiobook CD at your local library.  Also available on audible.com (first book is free), and if you become a member, you can download each subsequent book, one per month for the $14.95 monthly membership fee (instead of the $35+ original price). {FYI - This post is not sponsored in any way, just want to give you any insider advice I can to save some $$}
And if you're really a true HP fan, you ought to check out the Ringer's Binge Mode Harry Potter podcast, where super fans Mallory Rubin and Jason Concepcion do a deep dive into the themes, character development, motivations, and undercurrents of all seven books, chapter by chapter, starting with book one.  This is not a G rated podcast, there is ample swearing, inappropriate but hilarious fodder, and spoilers everywhere, so please make sure you've already completed the series before listening.

Alright, enough about Harry Potter for one day.  If I've somehow managed to sway you just an inch toward to "perhaps I'll ready this someday" camp, I consider that a small victory.

Quote of the Week

"Travel makes one modest.  You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world."
~ Gustav Flaubert

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Saturday Snooze

What are you up to this weekend?  My mother in law is in town, so we're staying in town, running errands, riding bikes, and just enjoying the warmth and loveliness of August.  

+ these sandwiches look positively scrumptious

+ great podcasts to listen to in the car with kids

+ is it really the end of summer?!  Oh well, here's 10 delicious end of summer salads to make (she has the best ideas!)

+ love the look and color of this casual day dress

+ love the design and color palette of this guest room

+ another itinerary I want to replicate verbatim

+ if you have a dairy sensitivity/intolerance, have you tried grass-fed dairy?  it's working for me!

+ or just skip the dairy altogether with a delish dairy-free mango ice cream, yum!

+ do you follow along on my instagram account yet?  If not, please do!

have a good one!
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Dinner Last Night: Bo La Lot

I've been trying to expand our dinner rotation to incorporate more meals that utilize the barbecue or stove rather than the oven with our warm temperatures.  While I've had the book, Nom Nom Paleo for a while now, I haven't made too many things from it.  However, these bo la lot (beef + bacon wrapped in leaves) were delish!  I attempted to get betel leaves to make this the traditional way.  The cookbook suggested most Asian grocery stores will carry them, but I had no luck at my local Uwajimaya.  I substituted with swiss chard leaves which did not roll as neatly as this picture above, but still tasted delicious.

And while I thought my kids would be skeptical consuming these rolls, they were all about it once I mentioned, "Oh yeah, there's bacon in there!"  Bacon for the win!

Bo La Lot adapted from Ready or Not! Nom Nom Paleo

Ingredients:

Rolls
1 lb ground beef
3 slices bacon, finely chopped
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 tbsp shallots, finely chopped
2 tsp. curry powder
2 tsp. fish sauce
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. arrowroot powder
10-15 fresh swiss chard leaves (betel leaves preferred if you can find them)
1 tbsp. avocado oil

Garnish
1/4 cup avocado oil
juice from 1 lime

Instructions:
1. In large bowl, combine beef, bacon, garlic, shallots, curry powder, fish sauce, pepper, salt, and arrowroot powder.
2. Mix well with hands.
3. Cut stems off of swiss chard leaves and pat dry.
4. Form a heaping tablespoon of meat mixture into a cylindrical shape.  Roll the top of the leaf over the meat filling, and continue rolling until you get to stem end.
5. Poke a hole in the roll with a toothpick and insert stem into hole to fasten. (Doesn't work as well with swiss chard leaves, but putting roll on skewer helped solve this problem).
6. Repeat steps 3-5 for each roll.  Skewer rolls on a metal skewer, leaving some space in between.
7. Brush 1 tablespoon of avocado oil over tops of rolls.
8. Cook on barbecue over medium heat for 10+ minutes.  Check rolls are done and serve.

Skincare Spotlight: Rejuvenating Eye Cream

You guys, this eye cream has got me all 🙌! Part of the Beautycounter rejuvenating line, a.k.a anti-aging line, it’s formulated with all kinds of botanical goodness, including wild algae and caffeine. A little dab goes a looooooong way to diminish fine lines, soften wrinkles, and reduce puffiness. If you don’t need that, I bow down to you! 😘

The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society

Did any of you read this book, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society way back in 2009?  Long, cumbersome name, but a delightful, moving read.  Well, turns out, Netflix made an original film out of it, and we watched last night and enjoyed immensely!  Has a lovely, charming cast, including my favorite, Matthew Goode.  Here's the trailer.
What do you think?  Will you watch it?  I highly recommend!  

Dinner Last Night: Turkish Lamb Flatbread

Tried a new recipe from a delightful new cookbook, Tasting Paris by Clotilde Dusoulier, and it was delicious.  Turkish lamb flatbreads, complete with homemade flatbread. And yes, I actually had the wherewithal to plan ahead early Sunday to make the flatbreads in order to have them ready for dinner!  This is no small feat in our house - typically it gets to 5 PM and I realize...oh...I forgot to make the dough...

Wish I had a direct link to the recipe but it was a library book so it's already been returned.  Check out Clotilde Dusoulier's beautiful cookbook, if not for the recipes alone, for the glorious insider peek at Paris.

My Rewatchables

After binging on The Rewatchables, a podcast that rehashes and delights in favorite, rewatchable movies, I decided to make my own rewatchables list.  
First up, It's Complicated.  This is easily one of my favorite movies.  I can rewatch it over and over again and never get bored!  I tend to enjoy Nancy Meyers movies, both for their architectural and interior design splendor as well as their comedic timing and romance.  Meryl Streep's house and bakery in It's Complicated are swoonworthy.  But the real gem is the cast; Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin, Steve Martin, John Krasinski, this movie is entertaining, delightful, and good for a laugh.  It never gets old!  

I Love You, Man is another favorite rewatchable.  Paul Rudd is always a good time in movies, as is Jason Segel.  These two together are so hilarious. Paul Rudd's comedic timing is on point as he awkwardly navigates the world of making platonic male friends.  Some of his comments and one liners...I still find myself laughing out loud to some of the lines from this movie, even after watching it again and again. 
Even though they don't share a scene, Meryl Streep and Amy Adams shine in Julie and Julia - another rewatchable favorite.  I read the book upon which the movie is based and it seemed scattered, and kind of all over the place.  The movie however, seamlessly volleys back and forth between the life of Julia Child and the life of Julie Powell, one woman's infatuation with all that comes with the culinary traditions of Julia Child's most beloved cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  There are some witty supporting characters; Chris Messina, Stanley Tucci, Jane Lynch, and Mary Lynn Rajskub.  All in all, a feel good film that's comforting to return to.
Crazy Stupid Love.  This movie - again, all the laughs.  The cast, the scenes, so many funny moments!  The suave, uber confident Ryan Gosling taking sad, broken-hearted Steve Carrell under his wing. Marisa Tomei as the prowling for affection bar pick up (who also happens to be Steve Carrell's son's English teacher).  The Dirty Dancing "lift" remake scene with Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling.  The babysitter refusing to take Julianne Moore's "slutty money." The comical, almost slapstick man-fight at the end as all of the information surrounding everyone's entanglement comes to light.  The only caveat in this movie is Julianne Moore, I feel like everyone else's casting is pitch perfect, and she's just...okay.  All in all, a bit corny, but definitely rewatchable.
Father of the Bride, probably my favorite movie since it's 1991 debut.  I can quote pretty much the entire movie, much to the chagrin of whoever is watching with me.  It is just such a classic!  Dad, I met a man in Rome, and he's wonderful, and brilliant, and we're getting married!  Steve Martin, Diane Keaton, Kimberly Williams, they're all in their prime in this movie, and work so well together.  I even picked my father-daughter dance song for my wedding based off of this movie, The Temptations' My Girl which is the backdrop for the memorable father-daughter one-on-one basketball scene.  

These are just a few of my favorites.  I could go on and on...  I have many, many more, as I am very much a movie-rewatcher.  What are your rewatchables?

Quote of the Week

“Give me health for a long time, not too much work, love from time to time but champagne all of the time.”
~“Morning Prayers” rough translation, on building in Hautvillers, France

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Skincare Spotlight: My Daily Face Makeup

This picture encapsulates my daily face makeup routine. I wear these 3 products pretty much everyday.  

What are they, you ask?.
+ Dew Skin (shade #2): Dew skin is a lightly tinted moisturizer with 20 SPF.  It's hydrating and goes on smooth using a blending sponge or in a pinch, your fingers.  It's light enough that you can see freckles beneath it, but helps provide an even finish to minimize pores and create a smoother, dewy glow.  

+ Concealer Touch Up Pen (shade: light): I love this buildable, medium-coverage concealer.  It helps camouflage blemishes and dark spots, and blends evenly into the dew skin. It's a click-pen design, so you only click for as much coverage as you need.

+ Mattifying Powder: This is a loose, colorless powder that seals your look, absorbing shine and providing a smooth matte finish.  And the best part - it lasts all day long.
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Most days our routine includes pre-school drop off and pickup, a playdate or two, and afternoon activities.  No need for a lot of makeup so this look is perfect!  You'll usually find me with a few other touches including eyebrow pencil, blush, and mascara, but I feel ready for the day with these three staples on my face. 

Want to try? Today’s the last day for 20% off. Use promo code LOVE at checkout and shop my link.  Spread the word, safe skincare for everyone!

20% Off Beautycounter

Big news, big news, HUGE! (Slightly edited, but name that movie).... 

Beautycounter is offering 20% off site-wide using the promo code LOVE at checkout.  Friends, this kind of sale does not happen often. 20% off goes through August 13th- but be aware, it is likely that products will sell out, so if you're interested, I suggest you act fast!


My recommendations? For skincare- the cleansing balm, charcoal bar, charcoal facial mask, countermatch serum, brightening facial oil, and rejuvenating eye cream. For makeup, I like the dew skin, mattifying powder, concealer pen, classic eye shadow palette, lip sheer in orchid, and peony lip gloss. And FYI- only items NOT included in this promo are the overnight resurfacing peel, sunscreen, and full skincare sets. 

Shop using my link, and don’t hesitate to comment or email (lovelylittlethingsblog@gmail.com) with questions! Cheers to clean skincare and makeup at a discount! 


image/beautycounter

Snacking Last Night: Powerballs

Was going to title this weeknight baking, but there is no baking involved!  As I've made some changes to my diet, I've struggled to find satisfying snacks that aren't full of junk.  I recently tried these powerballs at a friend's house and loved the flavor and satiety they provided.

We made ours in the standing Kitchenaid mixer, as suggested, which yielded pliable dough within seconds.  Mine were a little on the dry side, so I added extra honey and coconut oil to help meld it all together.  Also added cacao nibs and a scoop of banana protein powder for some extra oomph.  It suggests you pop in the fridge, but we prefer the texture after they've been in the freezer, so that's an option as well.

Happy snacking!

Quote of the Week


Saturday Snooze

Happy Friday everyone!  What are you up to?  We're in for a lazy weekend around home, possibly seeing the Blue Angels which are in town for Seattle's annual Seafair.  And I'm excited for a little mom-time with a massage this weekend, woohoo!!!  Have a good one!

+ underestimating the power of gratitude (see, thank you notes are important)

+ fancy a trip to Puglia?  this recap of Matera looks amazing!

+ motherhood in the age of fear

+ the Ringer compiled a list of the 100 best TV episodes on the century (#1 is from my favorite, LOST, and an excellent episode it is!)

+ ever wanted to treasure hunt for real?  this man buried a legit treasure chest in the Rocky Mountains containing rubies, emeralds, gold, and other valuables. thus far, it's never been found!

+ have you been reading about Nia Wilson?  read this.

+ wanting to try this salad

+ this salad also looks kind of amazing

image/potterfinch