Edible Arrangements?!

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Dear Diary,

When you live in California you deal with earthquakes on the regular. And the last one broke all my flower vases!! Waaahhh. I haven’t had a chance to scour Goodwill for some new glass wear, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me from housing some gorgeous florals. Having fresh flowers in the house just makes my day instantly better. I can’t help but smile when I see them! I was cutting up an afternoon snack and thought this pineapple could be a good housing option for these stems. What you you think?!

DIY Pineapple Vase

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Choose an array of your favorite colors and textures. Don’t forget the greenery it fills out your bouquet and is much cheaper than flowers!

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Cut off the top inch of your pineapple (You know, that funny tree-looking part).  Take your knife and cut around the inside of the rind and then slice a grid (think tic-tac-toe) in the middle of your pineapple. (Make sure not to puncture the sides of your fruit. You don’t want a leak!) I then took a spoon (a melon baller would work best) and scooped out the middle of the pineapple, eating it as I went of course! All my meals have to be multipurpose! Haha.

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I lined the inside of the pineapple with a sandwich bag before filling it with water. That way the pineapple juice doesn’t affect the flower’s water.

Do you have any clever ways to design centerpieces?! Share with us in the comments below!

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Swim Attire for the Sportie Spices…

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Dear Diary,

Every time I’m on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook – I’ll inevitably see something about summer – be it poolside shots, bikinis or epic sunsets. I guess there’s no hiding from it, summer is here… and it’s a hot one! So it’s time to show your bathing suit body…whether you feel entirely ready or not.

Unfortunately, I’m in the latter category because summer doesn’t make me crave nachos or sweet potato fries any less…. And, I’m just not one to pass up a good summer tart. So you can image my trepidation when putting my swimsuit on. Especially living in a city where people think baby carrots suffice as lunch…plleeasssee, maybe… breakfast. ;0

I have picked up some tricks of the trade, while living Los Angeles though. Here are some tips to help you look and feel your best when catching some rays, especially if you have a more athletic build, like myself. We are of the fake it till you make mentality.

L Space revised Image

-Pair a patterned top with a solid bottom. This draws your eye towards the pattern making your legs seem longer.  I’m in love with my L*Space bathing suit at the moment. They have such great patterns this season! Their bottoms also come with several different coverage options. So you can be completely comfortable. I know tiny is trending, but my Midwest self just can’t let go.

I’m wearing the Twister Top in carnivale, with the Classic Lacy Bottoms in peacock.

-If you are bigger on top, steer clear of extra fabric on your tops: ruffles or fringe can add too much width & made you look bigger than you are…

-Also, if you have a planned beach outing, pass up fiber muffins & lots of spinach a couple days before, instead opt for lean protein, you’ll retain less water and have less chance of bloating. Worse comes to worst, and you are in a pinch during a bathing suit photo opt. Place an object in front of your stomach…like this here coconut and it can help optically shrink your waist.

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-Spray tans are never out of style when you are pale and athletic… seriously no one ever said an ompah loompha looked thick.

The most important thing to looking bathing suit ready, is self-confidence. We aren’t all supermodels and it’s a bummer… but at least we have our humor.

L Space Revised Image 4

Cheers to the weekend! Hope to see you at the beach :)

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Yumm Bowl

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Dear Diary,

I just got back from shooting a wedding in my college town of Eugene, Oregon and of course I got all nostalgic. I had to see all my old spots… I got excited when I thought I recognized someone from the grocery store, I went to my old coffee stand (I was employed at Dutch Bros. Coffee all through college. Tried to jump back in the stand to show off my barista skills and they thought I was trying to rob them. Oops.) and I HAD to go to one of my favorite restaurants, Yumm Cafe!

They have these incredibly tasty and seemingly healthy “Yumm Bowls” with this special sauce I’ve been trying to master for years. They’re now selling it, so I had to stock up! Only to forget them in Oregon :( My sweet girlfriend offered to mail them down to me packed in dry ice, but I thought that was a bit excessive and would only feed my ridiculous obsession.

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Then there was a miracle… I found the recipe online! (I wrote it in here too!) Thank you, Taste Book, for fulling my greatest fantasies! So thankful I can now make this sauce to have whenever I please!

INGREDIENTS:

…YUMM SAUCE…

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup grape seed or canola oil
  • 1/2 cup almond meal or finely chopped almonds
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup cooked garbanzo beans
  • 1/4 cup cooked soybeans or 1/3 cup tofu
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried cilantro

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a small measuring cup, mix together the water and lemon juice. In a separate small measuring cup, measure out the appropriate amount of oil. Set both aside.

2. In a small measuring cup, mix together the water and lemon juice. In a separate small measuring cup, measure out the appropriate           amount of oil. Set both aside.

3. In a blender or food processor, process the almonds, nutritional yeast, garbanzo beans, soybeans or tofu, garlic, salt, curry, oregano, and cilantro together until almost fully ground, about 15 seconds.

4. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula. With the machine running, add lemon juice-water mixture in steady stream through feed tube. Scrape down bowl and continue to process for 1 minute. With the machine running, add the oil mixture in a steady stream through feed tube; continue to process until the sauce is smooth and creamy, about 15 seconds, scraping down bowl as needed.

5. Transfer the sauce to a clean bottle or jar, cover, and refrigerate overnight to allow the flavors to blend.

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…YUMM BOWL…

  • Brown rice, cooked
  • Black beans, cooked
  • Shredded cheddar cheese (I don’t think this is necessary so I forgo cheese, but it is part of the Original Yumm Bowl)
  • Salsa (Optional: I only show love for the Yumm sauce on this one :)
  • Diced fresh tomato
  • Sliced fresh avocado
  • Sliced black olives
  • Sour cream (I skip this too since the Yumm sauce is all I need!)
  • Fresh cilantro sprigs (Optional: I’m not a fan of cilantro. Yuck.)

ASSEMBLY:

1. Place a scoop of brown rice in an individual-sized serving bowl, then layer a scoop of black beans over the rice. Drizzle the rice and beans with a desired amount of Yumm Sauce, then sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese over the rice.

2. Spoon a dollop of salsa in the middle of the bowl, then spoon the tomato, avocado, and olives around the perimeter. Place a dollop of sour cream in the center of the bowl, garnish with some cilantro sprigs, and serve.

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To get some more veggies, I like to mix in arugula too!

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Jackie’s Take on Summertime Scarves

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Dear Diary,

As I struggle this summer to find a job, I also continue the struggle to find balance in my life– social work, acting, family, friends, blogging– I’m constantly being pulled in 15 different directions and somehow I’m supposed to find the BALANCE!?  SFG’s… I know you can relate!  The term balance is often used loosely by a lot of people but it seems so important nonetheless– us ladies do it all, and somehow we all like to pretend that’s easy!  Balance is meant to suggest that we’re able to juggle everything at once, but seriously it’s NOT possible.  Life nowadays is too hectic– but for some reason we keep on trying!

We all know that cooking is one way that I try to find my zen, but another is through yoga.  I am an ultimate yogi– no that doesn’t mean I can meditate in a headstand or make every yoga position look easy, but what it does means is I go regularly, sweat A LOT (a lot may be an understatement), and practice yoga not just for the awesome work out.  I go to focus on nothing… but my breath.  Yup, that’s right!  I go to regain that “balance” that is so often missing in my every day life, and reconnect to myself for just a moment during my day.  As I struggle to complete the class (usually by the 10th chaturanga I’m ready to pack up and completely quit this whole “yoga-thing”), I try to remember that just like in life… perfection is not the goal!  Life (and yoga) is about focusing on the moment, taking each day in and trying to find what’s meaningful and purposeful for your right then and there!  If I start my day off with a yoga class, I feel rocketed into the day!  I not only know that I did something healthy for my body, but I did something healthy for my mind and spirit!  I feel confident and excited to start the day… and I’m no longer dragging my feet, anxious about the next thing that I have to do.

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We came across tiny devotions online and I immediately felt that I had found a kindred spirit in their message and brand… not to mention in their style ;)  hah… I’m all about the bohemian look… it’s sexy, laid-back and looks fabulously effortless.  So when I saw their “hipster scarf”– it was love at first sight!  This scarf makes me feel like I can conquer anything, and not to mention look pretty chic doing it… hey, it even makes my yoga pants look inspired!

All the things that I have to do… work, blog, friends, family… they’re not going away– and I wouldn’t want them to!  I’m devoted to it all… just like my yoga practice!  It’s the only way I’ll stay sane… :)

SFG SCARF 4

 

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Bachelorette Fiesta!

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Dear Diary,

With wedding season in full swing we were inspired to look back at Lauren’s fun road leading up to her nuptials.  We documented her bachelorette and featured it on Lauren Conrad! Incase you missed it, here it is…

It was so much fun…and healthy, too. Seriously, we had fresh pressed cucumber juice cocktails and made healthy Mexican entrées. We can’t help ourselves, healthy is just who we are!

Bachelorette Fiesta Dinner Meal

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We rented an amazing Spanish Villa with a huge kitchen and incredible views. Having everyone cook together was kind of magical. 10 girls whipping up a meal really made a rental house a home. Since we were in a Spanish Villa (and Lauren drools anytime someone mentions chips and salsa), we made the entire bachelorette weekend a Mexican-themed affair. Low calorie enchiladas with guacamole were the fare. But, what really made this a memorable event, fabulous company excluded, was the décor…

Fiesta bachelorette - Decor

Need some great ideas on how to make your bachelorette party pop? Today, we’ve got you covered!

Here are some of our tips:

1.  Pick a color palette.
The rule of thumb is 60 percent of your main color, 30 percent complementary colors, and 10 percent accent color. Lately we’re loving metallic as an accent color.

2. Personalize it.
Nothing will make your guests feel more special than creating unique details just for them. So go ahead and add personal touches wherever you feel it’s appropriate!

3. Create stations or focal areas.
Your décor will make a bigger impression if it’s concentrated in specific areas, rather than sparsely strewn about. Don’t be afraid to move furniture around to make your vision happen.

The dinner table was our favorite area to decorate. We adorned our setting with old charger plates, sombrero name tags and drink labels, red napkins with mini maracas and tiny gold donkey figurines, a Mexican blanket table runner and, of course, the sombrero centerpiece. It really took the cake as far as conveying our fiesta theme.

Bachelorette Tablescape

Bachelorette Tablescape Fiesta Theme

Bachelorette Tablescape DIY Fiesta - Lauren Conrad

What kind of fiesta would it be without a metallic piñata and a photobooth? A photobooth is a fun activity to have at any gathering. Just set up a little sign so guests know where to take their photos, and place funny props and costumes in the area. The photos will captures memories you won’t ever forget.

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Be the hostess with the mostest by thanking your guests for coming to celebrate the bride with little party favors. On the outside, these little gifts were decorated with piñata streamer details and “muchas gracias” tags with each guest’s name. Inside, each guest received a shot glass dipped in gold to remember the weekend.

Thank You Fiesta Boxes - Bachelorette DIY

Muchas Gracias - DIY Bachelorette Thank You

Shot Glass souveniers

And did we mention the Bachelorette Survival Kit decorated with a mustache to tie in with the theme? It came equipped with everything a girl needs on an end of the weekend recovery morning: a hair tie, Band-Aids, Advil, and chewing gum. More than a nice gesture, it was necessary come Sunday morning.

Bachelorette Survival Kit DIY

Our Mexican fiesta was a huge success! We hope you had fun reading about our SFG bachelorette weekend. Just remember, party planning is all in the details!

What theme are you going to choose when hosting your next get-together?

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Photos: Valorie Darling Photography

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Metabolism Boosting Summertime Cocktail…

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Dear Diary,

I’m going through a cayenne pepper phase, who’s with me??Anyone….? First, it started out in my morning shakes, then a dash in my salad dressing and now, it’s ended up in my cocktails.  Why the extra heat? I’m trying to curb my cravings for salty foods: potato chips, turkey jerky and garlic fries are my dream dinner. Salt is what I resort to when things go awry in my life. So, if you catch me with my hand in a McDonald’s bag – beware – emotions ahead!

Cayenne pepper is an acquired taste and it takes a little getting used to, but once you get over the trial period – you are all in. It’s one of those great spices that boosts your metabolism and helps curb your overeating. Maybe it’s because you have to slow down and drink copious amounts of water, if you get heavy handed with your “sprinkle.” Whatever the reason, it seems to be working for me. Weight is a battle I fight everyday… from locking snacks in my trunk to throwing them in hard to reach places. When emotions strike, my healthy tendencies are no longer in control.

Having little routines that make me stop and think about what I’m eating, not what I’m “feel-eating” is a win in my book. I’m “heady,” if you can’t tell, so sometimes I feel it’s necessary to take the edge of with a cocktail & just enjoy life … But why stop the metabolism burning to have a drink?! Cayenne pepper with my cocktail, why, yes please!!

Here’s what you need:

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-          1 ½  Casamigos Tequila Reposado

-          ½ ounce Lemon Juice

-          ½ ounce Lime Juice

-          ½ ounce Grapefruit Juice

-          ½  packet of Stevia or ½ ounce light agave (stevia is really sweet, so I use a little less than a half a packet, it has zero calories and it’s a natural sweetener, so I feel better about using it…

-          Sprinkle of Cayenne pepper, you can add more if you want a little more heat (I go a little crazy with it)

Place all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake, strain and serve with a lime, grapefruit peel garnish.

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Enjoy your weekend :)

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Sit back, relax, and enjoy a Coconut Coffee Float

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COCONUT FLOAT 4Dear Diary,

Another day, another struggle.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a glass half full kinda girl.  I’m all about making the most of what I’ve got, recognizing what I need to change to make it better, and then doing it!  But that’s sometimes easier said than done… What am I struggling with today?  My self- worth… I don’t know about you, but I’m happiest and most productive when I’m busy.  Have you caught on yet that us SFG’s are quite the jugglers!?  We try to do it all!!! And I’m sure you can relate.  BUT this summer, I’m jobless, audition-less… let’s just say I’m pretttttty free.  I was actually at a friend’s house yesterday afternoon and we were talking about taking a vacation– “you’re already on vacation…” my friend smirked.   I was taken off-guard and a little embarrassed…

“I am?” I said… (LONG PAUSE)… “I AM!!!!!!!”

Why was I shy to embrace this, I’m sure to be, short break in my life!?  I had a little money saved, and while I looked forward to finding a job and starting the next phase of my life, it’s important to enjoy this moment for what it is!  When will I ever get this time again!?  I won’t!

Now I still have some sad days where I feel less than– those days, it’s not only important for me to be working towards my next goal, but to also do plenty of productive things to get my mind-set healthy, happy and on track.  Activities are my BFF right now– I go for runs, meet with friends, and spend time outside to take advantage of each day.  Another way to enjoy the time?  I zen out, relax and contemplate my next move in the KITCHEN!!!!!

It’s important to stay positive and savor the moment! And why not savor summer flavors while you’re at it!  Popsicles are all the rage this summer– and it’s so simple to create your own delicious recipes– so I decided to follow that lead and create my take on a rootbeer float.

My mornings can be rough!  Especially right now when I have…er… nothing to wake up for.  But I want to make the most of my day, so I wake up early and get my day started!  A good coffee and a sweet treat is the perfect pep to my morning routine.   This recipe is sweet but healthy and pairs perfectly with a cup of coffee– just dip or melt your Popsicle in your morning joe and you have a new take on your regular routine.

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Enjoy SFG’s!

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Here’s what you need to do (you can use Popsicle molds or ice trays instead):

6 cups of coconut milk

2 tablespoons of stevia

want some texture?  Add dried coconut nibs (unsweetened)

AND THAT’S IT! :)

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Enjoy the summer SFG’s and know that if you keep working hard, you will get to exactly where you want to be!  Just know, you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be RIGHT NOW.

coconut float milky

 

 

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Lauren Conrad – 3 Slim Down Shakes

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Lauren Conrad - L Space Swimsuit - Beach bikini - Skinny Fat Girl Diary

Dear Diary,

We were featured on Lauren Conrad again! Here’s what we had to say…

It’s already summer, which has us running all the time! Like seriously running… and biking, hiking, and yoga-ing (you name it, we’ve done it). And who could blame us? We all want to feel confident and healthy in this season’s attire! And before we bare all at the beach, we wanted to put together a food plan to prepare for the shorts, crop tops and bathing suits ahead. Sadly, working out isn’t always enough. Your figure is also a reflection of what you eat. And unfortunately, carrot cake has never paired well with a two-piece…

Most food plans scare the bejeezus out of us! They have charts and long lists of what not to eat. And nothing seems more tempting to a gal than something with “no” or “off limits” attached to it. Tell us we can’t have something sweet, and guaranteed us three SFGs would scarf down a pint of ice cream quicker than you could say “Ben & Jerry.” So in the spirit of eating healthy and limitation free… we decided to focus on creating balanced meals that are delicious too.

So let’s keep it simple and address one thing at a time. We’ll start with breakfast, the most important meal of the day. If you start off eating well, you’ll mostly likely not many people have the time to cook a well-balanced breakfast and then actually sit down and eat it. So we thought why cook, when you can blend? And blend we did…Until we came up with these bathing-suit friendly shakes. They are packed with fiber, protein and spices to get your metabolism going! Just in time too because we’re obsessed with our L*Space bathing suits! Cover-ups are going to be a thing of the past!

Lauren Conrad - Beach - Skinny Fat Girl Diary

L*Space Swimsuits | The Little Market Blankets

Let’s start with our favorite…

Blueberry Avocado Slim-Down Shake

Summer Slimdown Shake_Smoothie - Lauren Conrad - Skinny Fat Girl Diary

Ingredients:

  • ½ avocado
  • ¼ cup frozen blueberries
  • 2 heaping handfuls of spinach
  • 1 scoop of vanilla vegan protein powder
  • 1 scoop of greens
  • 1 ½ cups of unsweetened almond milk
  • 5 ice cubes
  • 2 tsp cayenne (you can substitute cinnamon instead if that’s more your speed ;))

Do you know how important it is to consume greens in the morning? If not, allow us to enlighten you… Greens not only provide the crucial nutrients and antioxidants that keep us radiant and fit, but also provide fiber—the crucial weapon against unnecessary binging. The more fiber, the longer you stay full.

Next up…

Berry Goodness Smoothie

Berry Goodness Smoothie - Lauren Conrad - Skinny Fat Girl Diary

Ingredients:

  • ½ banana
  • ½ cup frozen or fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup broccoli
  • 1 scoop of vanilla vegan protein powder
  • 1 ½ cups of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 scoop of chia seeds
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 5 ice cubes

Let this concoction lift you away to the Bahamas for a three-night stay… or a five minute oasis, as you sip away unnerved by the traffic jam on your way to work. Not only does the smoothie taste as good as it sounds, but it also provides the boost in energy and crucial nutritional ingredients to keep you going all morning long.

Finally…

Sweet N’ Spicy Shake

SweetnSpicy Smoothie - Lauren Conrad - Skinny Fat Girl Diary

Ingredients:

  • ½ papaya
  • 5 ice cubes
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 tsp cayenne (substitute cinnamon for a different kind of kick!)
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 mint leaves

Need a break from greens? Well try this sweet and spicy concoction. Add the papaya and ice in the blender along with 1 cup of water, squeeze the lemon, add the mint leaves and cayenne. Blend until smooth. Papaya is a fat burning fruit. Throw in some cayenne and your metabolism will be burning hot.

SUmmer Smoothie - Lauren Conrad - Skinny Fat Girl Diary

 

Which recipe do you want to try this morning?

Let us know! And enjoy!

photos: samantha zachrich

 

 

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Beach Waves with DIY Sea Salt Spray

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Dear Diary,

Summer screams beach waves and carefree looks. So you can imagine my despair when I found out my favorite sea salt spray was discontinued. Whhaaa?! How will I survive this tragic time? Start a petition to bring it back and write several letters to John Frieda professing my love and need for it, of course. I will reverse their decision and make the world a beautiful place again. :) No answer back?! Bastards.

So, I resorted to ordering it on ebay and other obscure websites (that I risk someone stealing my identity every time I log in) at a premium rate. Lame, but okay. I may sound irrational, but nothing compares to the coconut-y goodness smell, non-crunchy feel, and perfectly tousled tresses. I’ll do anything for good hair. ANYTHING. But even the internet has run out of my favorite beauty product. How can this be? Shouldn’t the cloud have some backed up or something?! Now it’s truly the worst day ever.

I don’t have enough time to curl my hair everyday, I just like to roll out of bed, spray and go! Easy pea-sy. So apparently I’m going to have to make time to make my own sea salt spray. Why not?! May seem crazy if I already don’t have time to spare, but I will make the time! This is serious. I can’t do expensive products that aren’t as good as my beloved Ocean Waves. Here goes nothing.

DIY Sea Salt Hair Spray

DIY Sea Salt Spray Hair Product

Ingredients:

* 2 tbsp. epsom salt = extra texture

* 1 cup hot water (to help dissolve all ingredients)

(If you want to lighten hair you can also use chamomile tea instead of water, but you will need to keep it refrigerated.)

* 1/2 tsp. Himalayan salt or sea salt = additional stiffness

* 1/2 tsp. coconut oil = conditioning

* 1 tsp. aloe vera (pure), hair gel or pomade (whatever you got!) = lasting waves

(Pssst… make sure to use pure Aloe Vera not the ones specific for sun burn pain relief because you want to avoid adding chemicals like Lidocaine to your hair! I made this mistake when experimenting…oops.)

* (Optional) Couple drops of an essential oil (lavender, rose or coconut are my favs) = scent

* Spray bottle

Sea Salt Spray - Hair DIY

Make sure your spray bottle is on “spray” not “stream” otherwise you risk blinding yourself. Don’t mess around with salt water people!

Sea Salt Spray

I like to rub my hands together holding my hair (like you’re starting a fire with sticks) to get the perfectly messy, carefree look.

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Carefree Holiday with Halo Top!

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Dear Diary,

Happy 4th of July SFGs!!! We LOVE getting festive and celebrating good ole’ America, but we can’t help but get overwhelmed by the endless trays of goodies that go along with it. “Step away from the buffet”… That’s our inner dialogue. We sometimes have to remind ourselves that lingering near the sweets station isn’t a good idea… but let’s get real, half the fun of the holiday is indulging in summer time treats!  You don’t want to undo all your hard work in the gym?  We feel the same way…  That’s why we’re thankful for Halo Top Creamery! If you’ve been following us for awhile you might remember this post when we first discovered this God send. This all-natural ice cream is low in sugar and high in protein! And believe us when we say it’s just as good as the real thing! Now we’re able to indulge guilt-free!

Halo Top Creamery

Enjoy SFGs & of course… God Bless America! ;)

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What are your plans for Independence Day?!

SignaturePhotos: Liana Kramer

 

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Travel + All-American Fashion

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Dear Diary,

Travel is one of my biggest passions and is extremely important to me. I always try to plan one big trip out of the country a year. In the past couple years I’ve visited Turkey, Greece, Australia and Thailand! However, last summer we had to put any additional travel plans on hold since we had 12 weddings to attend. Yep, you heard me right! TWELVE. In ONE Summer. So this year, we decided to block off a couple weeks and make it happen! I’m ecstatic to announce we’re headed to Peru! I’ve never been to South America and I couldn’t be more excited. If you’ve been and have any tips or recommendations for me, please leave a comment :)

Just because we didn’t leave the country last year doesn’t mean we didn’t see cool places and have some incredible experiences though… Last Fourth of July we made our way up to the Pacific Northwest for a festive wedding on the water. We were able to make our wedding weekend also feel like a vacation by exploring the city and taking an out of the box route…

A day in Seattle…

Seattle Public Market

Yep, that’s the very original Starbucks! Sorry for the blocked shot, that just shows how much of a tourist attraction it is. Move over! This SFG needs her caffeine!

Original Starbucks Seattle

We had to check out Pike Place Market!

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Pike Place Market

I couldn’t help but have flashbacks to Free Willy!

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Then we were off to Orcas Island for the wedding! To get to Orcas Island you can either take a float plane or ride the ferry boat. We got a little crazy and decided to take the float plane! Heeeecccck yes! I’m so glad we did because it was unlike anything I’ve ever done! Plus, security was a breeze so now I’m forever spoiled…

Float Plane - Seattle Washington

We flew Kenmore Air and I put together a little video for you to check out. When we headed home we were able to circle the Space Needle and land on Lake Washington! It was the most gorgeous day and everyone was out on the water boating and paddle boarding celebrating the beautiful weather. Seattle’s good days are pretty epic! Wouldn’t you be happy if you were finally seeing the sun after 9 months of torrential downpour?!

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With the wedding being on a holiday weekend I felt the need to be patriotic and bust out some red, white + blue. And why not be a little daring?! To celebrate our Independence Day I got bold and opted for this flirty cut-out dress with an accordion skirt. I rented it from Rent The Runway so I was able to have an awesome designer look without breaking the bank!

Fourth of July Dress

Red White Blue Dress - Fourth of July fashion

Fourth of July - Independence Day Fashion

$20 off with this Sign Up CODE!

BCBG MaxAzria Cut out Dress | My Fourth of July Favorites

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4th of July – Portion Control Sweet Treat!

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Dear Diary,

4th of July is on my mind!! While I love celebrating America’s independence with fireworks and sparklers… A holiday dedicated to barbeque buffets and bathing suits is enough to send this ”Skinny Fat Girl,” into anxiety overdrive. Buffets are my worst nightmare! It’s hard to keep track of my portions and I end up overeating! Then, add alcohol to the mix and there will be a family style bag of barbeque potato chips eaten before noon. I don’t want to be a buzz kill though and have an, “I’m feeling fat meltdown,” during the festivities. So, I’m prepping serving size dishes for this Friday’s gathering. Crazy only happens, when I don’t prepare…but like seriously.

One of my favorite ways to keep my portions “discreetly” in check, is mason jars. First off, they are adorable and make you look like America’s next Martha Stewart. So, instead of indulging in apple pie Friday, I will be making this red, white and blue parfait with our skinny fat girl granola. It’s the perfect way to treat myself to a bit of sweetness and still give my body real food!

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You’ll need strawberries, blueberries and Greek yogurt. I use Fage, 0% fat.

SFG Granola Ingredients:

* 5 cups old fashioned oats

*  1 cup sliced almonds

* 1 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes

* 1/2 cup of raw pumpkin seeds

* 1/2 cup of light agave

* 1/2 cup of canola oil

* 1 tablespoon of cinnamon

Preheat the Oven to 325 degrees. Toss oats, sliced coconut and almonds together in a large bowl. Whisk together agave and canola oil in a small bowl. Pour the liquid over the dry mixture, stir with a wooden spoon until all the oats are thoroughly coated. Spread the mixture onto a large baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes, check periodically and stir with a spatula, until the mixture is golden brown. Let the granola cool.

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Once your granola is completely cooled, the fun begins! I started with a layer of blueberries, then added a spoonful of Greek yogurt, then strawberries, more Greek yogurt and sprinkled my SFG granola on top. Mason jars are really easy to transport as well. Just put the top on and go! Have a great 4th!!

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Fried Cauliflower… ‘nough said

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fried cauliflower SFG 1 Dear Diary,

I know it’s weird to call cauliflower trendy… but it is.  Fried Cauliflower is the “IT” food of the summer… it’s on every restaurant menu and people just can’t get enough, and I can see why!  This dish is the perfect mixture of naughty and nice… it’s simple, spicy and full of flavor, PLUS the main ingredient is a healthy vegetable! whaa-whaaat!… BUT it’s fried.  Hey, look on the bright side– we’re choosing to eat cauliflower rather than french fries!

Every time I’m craving something deep fried, I reach for cauliflower instead, and I know I made the healthier choice. Fried cauliflower is the perfect side dish, appetizer or center piece of any meal… try it out!

SFG FRIED CAULIFLOWER

This beautiful and vibrant yellow color is all thanks to the rich curry powder seasoning…

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 INGREDIENTS:

* Cauliflower

* Curry powder

* Dash of cayenne

* Coconut oil

* Nutritional yeast

* Flaxseeds

* Parsley

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This is what you do:

Put three table spoons of coconut oil into a saucepan on high heat

Add a tablespoon… or two… of curry powder (cayenne is also a great addition for some kick– it also speeds up your metabolism)

Sprinkle in a few pinches of salt & pepper

Add the cauliflower to the pan– it should start to sizzle!  Fry it! (alternative– bake it! It may not be as crunchy, but it will be slightly healthier)

Sprinkle on a small handful of parsley, flaxseeds and nutritional yeast– adds a cheesy flavor, without the fat and more of the protein!

Keep the cauliflower moving in the pan so that it cooks evenly… and ta-da!  It’s done!

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Enjoy SFG’s!

Can’t get enough?! Try out Val’s baked “buffalo” cauliflower. Perfect for healthy tailgating during football season!

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MEDITERRANEAN STATE OF MIND

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greece 2 Dear Diary,

I spent this week reminiscing about Greece.  It’s my favorite place in the entire world, thanks to my best friend who spoiled me with the most ultimate vacations on her home island.  For those of you fortunate enough to have spent time in the Greek isles, I know you understand… there’s nothing more surreal and tranquil than being on a remote island with some of the best and warm people you can find on this earth.  And there is nothing more delicious and satisfying than a fresh mediterranean feast!  I wish I could go back this second!!! But unfortunately, I’m too broke to be traveling anywhere abroad this summer, so my own recreation of mediterranean classics will have to do!

California is kind of like Greece… except the water isn’t as warm, the culture is not quite as charming… ugh, let’s face it– the only thing california and the mediterranean have in common is the serene landscape, but you know what, I’ll take it!  California is full of consciously healthy eaters, and while in Greece they may not be quite as aware of the latest health trends, they’re diet is so naturally healthy, they don’t even have to stress… so if the greeks aren’t stressin’ neither will I.  I can have my cake and eat it too– or more like, eat exactly what I want, and not worry about it!  That’s the beauty of the mediterranean diet, it’s real food, cooked right!  Here’s what I’m making:

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quinoa tabbouleh:

1 cup of cooked quinoa

1 cucumber sliced into cubes

bundle of green onions

bundle of radishes

4 tomatoes

bundle of parsley

lemon juice/salt/pepper/olive oil to taste

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 simple greek meatballs with greek yogurt, whole wheat pita & cucumber salad

bake meatballs in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes

1 lb. of organic meat

salt/pepper

chopped white onion, 4 cloves of garlic sauteed in olive oil until caramelized

1 egg

1/4 cup of panko bread crumbs (flax seeds are a great alternative ;))

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nutritious & delicious, yes please!!

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Summer is made for new adventures, traveling, and experiencing something new! To get you in the spirit– here’s a taste of Greece for you!

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and yes… this is me and my girl swimming in the middle of the aegean sea… that’s right!

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here’s another picture of one of the islands many amazing beaches…

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… and a view from the top of the island at my friend’s beautiful home… does it get any better!?  Have a greek feast and let’s dream the afternoon away!

 

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PB2

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Dear Diary,

I love peanut butter! Like LOOOOOOOOVVVVEEEEE it. However, my love doesn’t even begin to compare to the way my boyfriend feels about it. When we first start dating I remember spotting a peanut butter maker in his cupboard (Yep, you heard me right! A. PEANUT. BUTTER. MAKER.) and thinking he might be a keeper. We had a romantic date over grinding peanuts – we couldn’t even hear each other over the loud grinder, but no words were needed. We were falling in love…in a tiny bathroom. Whaaatttt?! Yeah, we actually had to move our fun little operation into the bathroom to help mute the shrill sound.  Tommy used to live in a cranky building and he didn’t want a noise complaint. I’m not sure what they would have judged more… the fact that he had his own personal peanut butter maker or the fact that we were making it in his bathroom.

Despite our love for the spread, we don’t llllooovvveeee how many calories and fat it contains. Mainly because we can’t stop ourselves from eating the entire jar. Enter PB2…

PB2

 PB2 is powdered peanut butter. Yes, the idea sounds frightening but it’s just dehydrated peanuts which removes the oil and you add water back in. Plus, you can’t argue with 85% less fat and calories and three ingredients: peanuts, sugar + salt.

PB2 versus peanut butter

Nutritional breakdown for 2 TBSP:

* Laura Scudder’s: 210 calories, 16 g fat, 7 g carbohydrates, 7 g protein, 2 g fiber, 90 mg sodium.

* PB2: 45 calories, 1.5 g fat, 5 g carbohydrates, 5 g protein, 2 g fiber, 94 mg sodium, 1 g sugar.

Instructions:

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1. Two Tbsp of PB2

2. One Tbsp water

3. Mix together

Peanut Butter

The taste and consistency is exactly the same as regular peanut butter! And you can make it in the comfort of your kitchen. Ha! Don’t believe me?! Give it a whirl… PB2 will change your world!

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