Friday, January 12, 2018

Healthy Snack Ideas (That Will Keep You Full!)

(laughing at the fact that my last recipe post was for a huge apple pie, and now I'm here with these...)

It's that time of year again where everyone and their mother is trying to eat right and work out more. The gym will remain slam-packed for about a month or so more, and then it's back to the same-old-same-old for most new years resolutions quitters. 

I am determined to actually stick with my goals for the new year, and I know that I can do it. Let me preface this by saying that within the past year or so, I've gotten pretty into nutrition. I like to do research on what foods contain which vitamins and what it all does for your body. I actually really like to eat a clean and healthy diet, and I find it easy to stick to when I get into the ~groove~ of eating clean for a few weeks. One issue I sometimes run into, however, is that late afternoon timeframe when I'm usually finishing up class for the day and need something to eat before dinner! I don't buy chips/crackers/nuts or anything "snacky" like that because those are all typically very high in calories, and I would eat may too much in a sitting. So I get in a little bit of a pickle when two pm comes around and I don't eat dinner until 7 or 8. Cue these two snacks - they've been my lifesavers, and they don't taste too "healthy" (aka like grass!) if you're not into all of that.

Okay, avo toast is very trendy and basic at the moment, but it's for good reason. Try this recipe out and you'll get why:

-Bread (obviously) 
(I usually get a GF loaf from Trader Joe's, but any wheat/multigrain will do)
-1/2 avocado or 1 mini avocado
(I should prob buy stock in Trader Joes' "teeny tiny avocados" because I buy so many - One is perfect for two slices of the small gf bread)
-Flax seeds
(these have so many health benefits - do your research! - they're full of omega-3's which promote heart health and can also help with weight loss. They also have a really good flavor and add some crunch)
-Lime juice
(the secret ingredient. The toast isn't the same without it)
This recipe isn't rocket science but I'll break it down anyways: While my bread is toasting, I gather all of the ingredients and cut the avo. I spoon out each side of the avo onto the toast (the key is to mash it onto the toast with a fork!) and then I sprinkle the seeds and finish off with a few squeezes of lime. Don't be afraid to do a lot of flax. It's recommended to eat up to five tablespoons a day! For the lime juice, I just buy the bottled version because it's so much more convenient that cutting/squeezing a whole lime every time. 

Confession time real quick: Since I took these pictures, I have stopped buying greek yogurt because I am trying to limit my dairy intake as much as possible. I pretty much eat this same snack now, but with acai instead of greek yogurt (second pic). Both are really good, and if you like greek yogurt, eat it! (So much protein!) 
-Plain, non-fat greek yogurt
(not to be a Trader Joe's snob, but I preferred their brand in this too!)
-any toppings you want for the top 
In the pic above I had chia seeds, cocoa nibs, banana, and PB protein granola (hemp granola with the acai because pb and acai is gross...) I have also done other types of fruit, shredded unsweetened coconut, walnuts, honey drizzle.I always do chia seeds (again, research the benefits of these as well!), but the other toppings change all of the time depending on my mood and what I have in the kitchen. You do have to be careful because all of the toppings can add up big time in the calorie department. 
For the acai version, I buy the frozen organic acai packets from Trader Joe's. I run a packet under hot water to thaw it until it's breakable, and then I blend it with half of a banana and a splash of almond milk! Call me crazy but I made it the other day with half of a mini avocado into the mix and it was SO creamy and delicious! A 10/10!

I've been loving making these for snacks (and breakfast!) but I'm always looking for more recipes to add to the mix! If you have any that you recommend, please let me know! 

Thanks for reading, and CRUSH those GOALS 💪🏼

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Black and White : My Winter Uniform


^scroll to shop

Okay my wardrobe is in need of some serious TLC in the color department lately. I was looking at my instagram the other day and realized my last few pics have all been me wearing black and white. If you would've asked me three years ago if I would wear an all-black outfit I would have laughed in your face. My style is always evolving and I currently can't get enough of black and white I suppose 🤷🏽‍♀️

Onto the outfit... I have been on the prowl for a big furry "teddy bear" coat like this one for a while, and my oldest sister surprised me with this one for Christmas! It has pockets and I have to stop myself from wearing it everyday. (I want need it in black now, obviously!!!)

Speaking of wearing everyday, I got these sunglasses last week and I can already tell that they will be a major staple in my wardrobe. I had been eyeing so many different pairs of Quay sunglasses for a while, so I'm glad I finally got a pair! I love these mirrored ones so much.

Also - a complete side note - if you follow me on Instagram you may have heard me talk about my no sugar diet on my story earlier this week... basically I am trying to eat no added or artificial sugar for the whole month of January. So basically, I'm only getting sugar from fruits and veggies. Y'all. It is hard. I've gotten past the initial phase of craving sweets, but I've had horrible headaches, little to no energy, and would just about kill someone for a diet coke!!! I'm really hoping it will all be worth it in the end though. I plan to do a whole post about it once the month is over, but if you have ever cut out sugar before & have tips on how to cope, pls send them asap!!

Hope you enjoyed! Thanks for reading :)

"work until you no longer have to introduce yourself"

Monday, January 8, 2018

Goals for the New Year: 2018

At the end of the year, I love to take some to sit down and reflect on what goals I have for the new year. I think everyone can benefit from taking time to self-reflect and think about some things they want to do differently or things they want to make happen in the next year. I don't always write mine out, but now that we're a week into the new year, I decided to sit down and share a few here. It always helps to share your goals with others to make yourself more accountable.. right?? ;)

This is something I always know that I should do, but I am sometimes bad about. It is so easy to sit around and watch Netflix when I have free time, but in the new year, I want to make it a priority to conscious with free time. This could be something as simple as taking more time to study, or writing and preparing blog posts.

I always say I want to read more. I love reading, and I could spend hours getting lost in a good book. But these days I never seem to sit down and read a book unless it's summertime... I am aiming to read five books this year (outside of books I have to read for school, obviously). I'm hoping that setting a numeric goal for this one will help me be more accountable.

If you know me you know that I have a problem with drinking water. I don't drink it. I never really think about it, and can go days without drinking water without even realizing it. I try to buy new water bottles to motivate myself to stay hydrated, and it will work for like 3 days before I'm back to my old dried up dehydrated ways... If anyone has any tips on how to make myself drink water please let me know!

I got an apple watch for Christmas, and I've already noticed a difference in my motivation to be more active. I was a big Fitbit girl back in the day (aka two years ago ;) and I was obsessed with getting all of my steps everyday. I have a feeling that now I will be obsessed with closing all of my rings on my apple watch! 

I am generally pretty good at saving my money, but I get in random spurts of buying little things that are unnecessary or buying random clothes that I only wear once, so I want to try and minimize that as much as possible.

I saw this quote on Pinterest recently that said, "Invest in your skin. It is going to represent you for a very long time" - and that is so true! I want to find a great moisturizer and night cream and start dedicating time every day to invest in my skin.

Okay this probably sounds a little psychotic that I'm actually making a new years resolution to Instagram more, but hear me out: I know that one of the biggest ways to grow any blog is through Instagram. Taking good pictures and posting frequently is what will make more people want to follow me on Instagram, which will in turn make more people want to read my blog. I know all of this because this is exactly how I find new blogs to read - from the bloggers I find/follow on Instagram. Knowing all of this, I still don't post nearly as much as I should. This is partly due to the fact that I feel like I never have new content to post because I always feel so busy. In the new year, I'm going to try and take the time to be intentional with asking friends to take pictures for me, and plan my Instagram posts ahead of time so I am able to stay present on there. 

I think a new year is the perfect opportunity to assess how you want to improve physically, mentally, and spiritually for the next 12 months. Spend some time to sit down and write out your vision for 2018. What you want to accomplish, where you want to go, and most importantly HOW you plan to do it all. It's fun and good to say "I want to lose ten pounds", but if you don't plan out how you're going to do it, it will never happen.  If you're unsure on where to begin when it comes to setting goals, read this post from this time last year on how tackle your goals in five easy steps! 

make some goals & make it happen!

2018 : Let's do this!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The Best Apple Pie Recipe EVER

With less than a week until Christmas (!!!), I thought it would be fun to bake a little bit today! School got out so much later for me this year, so I feel like my holiday spirit is a little lacking... anyone else? I am so excited to really get into the swing of the Christmas season now (better late than never!!) 

In other news, let's talk about this pie. THIS PIE. It's everything you could ever want in an apple pie + more! I made this pie for my family on thanksgiving, and they all complimented my cooking (which never happens!!!)

5 or 6 medium apples 
2 pie crusts (one for top and one for bottom)
for filling:
1 stick of butter
3 tbsp flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon

1. Peel and slice apples very thinly, and mound in pie crust. (I used the frozen gluten-free crust from Whole Foods because my mom is GF, and it was turned out great)

2. To make the filling: melt stick of butter in a pan, then add flour. Then add water, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer for five minutes. 

3. While the filling is cooking, take the second pie crust (for the top) and roll it out so that it's all flat. Begin to cut it into strips for a lattice design, or for whatever you want to do for the top crust.

4. After the filling has simmered, pour 3/4 over the apples in the pie crust.

5. Put the top crust on the pie. (Which ever design you choose, make sure there's holes for the filling to sink into). I was pretty proud of these leaves I made out of extra pie crust!

6. Pour remaining sauce on top of the pie. (Be careful not to overfill)
7. Put the pie in the oven on a cookie sheet (400 deg) for 15 minutes.
8. Turn down to 350 deg and cook for 45 minutes.

When the pie is done, the top should be hardened and crusty - like caramel. And it will smell amazing! If you read my fall break post, this is the pie we made in the mountains as well. It has quickly become one of my favorite recipes, and it is perfect for any Christmas celebrations you may be going to!


If you make this pie, please leave a comment and let me know how it turns out! Looking at these pictures makes me want to bake it all over again...

Thanks for reading and Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Gift Guide for the: Tech Lover

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Back at it again with another gift guide! Am I the only one that is obsessed with reading/watching gift guides this time of year?? I can not get enough of them! Today I'm rounding up my fourteen favorite gifts for all of the tech-y people in your life, from all different price points!

A tech gift is perfect if you're unsure what to get someone because you don't have to know their size, clothing style, etc.

Also, since today is Cyber Monday, a lot of these are on sale! Click the numbers above or the linked product names in the list below to see what kind of discounts you can get today :)

1. POPSOCKET | I have recently hopped on the pop socket trend, and I don't think I'll ever look back. If you're not familiar, these stick to the back of your phone. They can act as a phone stand or a "knob" to hold to carry your phone. They make it so easy to hold your phone, (especially if you have an iPhone plus like me!) and come in so many different styles/colors. 

2. WASHABLE KEYBOARD | I hadn't really heard of these until recently, but I think it's such a good idea, especially for the clean freak in your life! You can literally stick this under the faucet to get allll of the dust and crumbs out of the keys! It's under $25 and has great reviews.

3. BLUETOOTH SPEAKER | This could make a great gift or stocking stuffer because it's only $15! It's waterproof, so its perfect for the shower. This could really amp up someone's shower singing game ;)

4. BLUETOOTH BEATS HEADPHONES | These are on my wishlist for sure, I love the rose gold!! They are pricey, but I've heard nothing but great things about the whole line of Beats headphones. Also, I feel like these style of headphones look so cool and are perf for getting stuff done.

5. CHARGER TASSEL KEYCHAIN | Perfect for the girl who's phone is always dying (aka me!) This is such a cute gift, and who wouldn't want to have a charger with them ICE at all times??

6. IPHONE FAN | This is kind of funny, but again, such a great gift. One of my friend has this, and it was a lifesaver during football season! All you do is just plug it into your phone, and you're instantly cool'd off. This is a great gift for anyone!

7. SELFIE REMOTE | This is perfect for the instagram queen you know! It's bluetooth, so it's also helpful if you're trying to take a group photo with no one to take it! I feel like this is a very high-maintenance-Kylie-Jenner type of gift.

8. AMAZON FIRESTICK | Okay - these things are so cool! I personally have/love my AppleTV, but if you have Amazon products or Prime, I would recommend this 100%! My parents have this, and it's so cool! All you have to do is plug it into your TV, and then next thing you know you can tell Alexa to rewind your show thirty seconds, or ask her to show you all movies with Matthew Mcconaughey (duh).

9. POLAROID INSTANT PRINTER | One of the best gift ideas by far! I would recommend this so much more than a polaroid camera because this allows you to print out any pic you want from your phone onto the cute polaroid paper! My sister got this for Christmas last year and loves it! She likes to screenshot her instagrams and print them out. The app that you use to print also has an editing section so you can put words or stickers on a picture before you print it out as well! I can't recommend this enough!

10. LIGHT UP MAKEUP MIRROR | On my wishlist for sure! These are pretty popular, but can be expensive. The one I linked is from Target, and is surprisingly a pretty good price! These touch light up mirrors are supposedly so useful, and I love that this one has a little tray attached to the base for extra storage.

11. ECHO DOT | I can not stress how much I love having an echo dot. For one, they are such a great price for everything they do! I definitely don't use mine to all of it's abilities, but I do use it to play my Spotify playlists, for the weather everyday, the news, an alarm clock... me and Alexa are BFFs basically.  I love love love my echo dot!

12. MINI STEAMER | Such a great gift to give the person who you don't know how to shop for! This is a mini clothing steamer, which in case you didn't know, is like a million times better/easier/faster than ironing! My roommate has one of these and it heats up in seconds, and is perfect for travel. Also, this one is pink, so helllooooo..

13. KEY FINDER | One of the most helpful items on this list.. and perfect for that person that is always losing things! This is basically a tracker that you can put on your keychain (or wherever else you tend to lose things!) and you are able to track it through an app on your phone.

14. BLUETOOTH BEANIE | I've truly seen it all now. This is a beanie that has built in bluetooth headphones so that you can listen to music in your hat. What?? I really can't believe the price on this beanie, and the reviews are great! I think this would be perfect for someone that walks to work or class (me), or even for someone that enjoys running in the cold (not me ;).

I think these are all unique gift options that a lot of people wouldn't necessarily already have! I tried to include some good, affordable options in here as well! Please let me know if you have any other categories of gift guides you'd like to see before Christmas.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Gift Guide For the: Hostess


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I am officially beginning the holiday season here on the blog! I know it's a little early, but I have so many great ideas planned so I want to get a jump start. One of the holiday series I am going to be doing is gift guides! I absolutely love reading other people's gift guides, and I have some interesting, different themed guides that will hopefully help you with all of your Christmas shopping.

This Hostess guide is probably going to be one of my favorites since I'm living in a house in college this year! I have had so much fun decorating it, and am obsessed with finding new ways to incorporate my style into my house. I absolutely love (and want!) (@santa) everything I put in the collage above:

1. GOLD EYE PLATE | I've been loving eye patterns lately for some reason and this plate is no exception. And it's gold so naturally I was drawn to it. Gold is definitely a pattern around here... And you really can't beat the price... At $6 you could buy a little set of them, tie some ribbon around them and create the perfect gift!

2. and 3. KITCHEN TOWELS | Me and one of my roommates have a running joke about my obsession with kitchen towels. I seem to buy one for every season because I always get suckered in to the ones with funny sayings on them. The "Stirring the Pot" one is my fav for sure.

4. GOLD SPARKLE CANDLE | This just screams Christmas to me. I want like eighty of these for my whole house. They also come in red and silver!

5. ROSES DIPTYQUE CANDLE | Not only are Diptique candles super trendy, they also smell so. good. They are pricey for the size of the candle, but are a good one-stop gift for someone.

6. DOTTED PORCELAIN BOWL | How. cute. is this bowl!? I am obsessed with this one and the leopard print version (it says go wild inside!) It's $10 and I don't want to be too dramatic, but I think I only want to eat out of these bowls for the rest of my life...

7. GLASS DOME | This is the perfect addition to any table's centerpiece. I love how the website styled it with Christmas ornaments inside! So fun and you can change out the decorations inside for every season. 

8. TRIANGLE NAPKIN HOLDER | Another perfect addition to any table. I love the hammered detailing! ($10)

9. CHRISSY TEIGAN COOKBOOK | I don't have this cookbook, but if you follow Chrissy on social media you know that girl can COOK. Her food always looks so good, so why wouldn't you want to gift someone with a book full of her recipes!? It also makes great kitchen decor (with this bookstand?)

10. GLAMOROUS WASH DETERGENT | This is currently in my amazon cart. I haven't ever used it, but I have heard RAVE reviews all over the internet saying it's the best smelling thing they've ever had! (read the amazon reviews!) Sounds like a great gift for a hostess that you love.

11. FOOD CONTAINERS | I am obsessed with these! These fall in the category of something people don't like buying for themselves, but as a gift, they're great! I also love the circular version.

Does anyone else get as obsessed over home decor items as I do?? Writing this makes me so excited for the holiday season and buying gifts for others! 

Check out my "giving back" gift guide from last year. 
Send this blog post to your favorite hostess ;)

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Distressed Sweater for $20


Welp. It's officially fall here in South Carolina. Today (wednesday) was so gloomy and it rained on and off all day. The high was only 53!!! 

I have been living in sweaters lately, but this one is probably my favorite of the season. (It also comes in grey 😍I get so many compliments when I wear it, and I have found a couple of similar ones online that range from $200+. It is surprisingly good quality for the price point. I was kind of nervous about the whole "one size" thing once again, and you can see that it hit me just at the waist - it's definitely not an oversized fit!

These boots... I ordered these during the Nordstrom anniversary sale this summer, so I had them for a few months before I was able to wear them. They were SO worth the wait! These are hands down my favorite boots I've ever owned - no joke. They lengthen your legs and actually stay in place (which is a problem I've had with over the knee boots in the past.) My favorite part about them is there's no ties in the back! I really want them in brown, too! So worth the money.

In other news, this cold weather really has me excited for the holidays! I have so many ideas for the next few weeks, but if there is any holiday-related content you want to see (Thanksgiving or Christmas) please let me know! I'm always taking suggestions from comments, email, or Instagram! 

Thanks for reading, and Happy Thursday!