November 16, 2017

Keeping it Real

Since the "keeping it real" posts seem to be among our reader's favorites, I thought I would jump back into blogging with a fresh breath of reality.

A friend posted this photo on Instagram the other day, and it really resonated with me.

I reposted it to my personal Instagram and have been thinking about it ever since... Are these things really all that new?  And are they in fact independent of one another?

Can't rich people be happy and healthy? Why can't success accompany inner peace? And who says the cool kids can't also be kind?

To me the takeaway is about perspective and priorities. It's easy to get caught up in money and success and being cool. There's no denying that our society focuses on these things, sometimes too much, and like it or not, they are important.

These analogies are much like the saying "strong is the new skinny". They are statements that are meant to shift our priorities. There's nothing wrong with being skinny. However, the focus on being skinny has taken much of society to an unhealthy extreme, an extreme that comes with negative consequences. Shifting the focus to "strength" is more positive. The negativity attached to the goal of being "skinny" is much like the negative associations made with success, wealth and being "cool".

So we shift our focus.

If you live with purpose and with the priority to be happy, healthy, kind and at peace, then chances are you will be. It's also quite possible that you will be cool and wealthy and successful (however you define those things) as well.

If you live with the latter as your priorities, it's like the kindness, happiness, health and inner peace in your life will be lost or diminished.

So here's to everyone putting messages like this in their windows. It certainly won't fix all the worlds' problems and won't cause everyone to change their priorities, but it may cause a few people to shift their focus, and sometimes a little goes a long way.

November 13, 2017

Trader Joe's Favorites

For those of you with a Trader Joe's nearby, you definitely want to read this post. Today I'm sharing some of my favorite TJ's items. 

These are my new favorite "healthy sweet treat". They are made of dark chocolate, honey and mint! That's it! So simple and so good. 

I have been eating this red pepper spread on nearly everything....eggs, rice cakes with avocado, salad. It's very low in sugar, and it's delicious! We go through nearly a jar a week.

Katie turned me on to this tasty curry cauliflower quinoa salad. It is sweetened with a little honey but still only has 2g added sugar per serving. 

After spending 3 weeks in Europe this summer I have been on a bit of a muesli kick. This one is simple, has no added sugar and is super tasty! 

I've been enjoying it with the TJ's Plain Icelandic Yogurt. 

My husband is the cook in our house, and he's very particular about his cooking products. Apparently he's done some research, and this Trader Joe's California Estate olive oil is the best quality for the price. 

Lastly, these are one of the Mini Fashionista's favorite snacks. They are far less expensive than similar products and are somewhat far as snacks in a package go. 

So, what are you favorite TJ's products?

November 10, 2017

Currently Coveting

In my year hiatus from blogging some things have changed, but my love for navy and white stripes has not.

This L.L. Bean Rugby shirt is on my "want list" for the upcoming holiday sales! 

It comes in two other color combinations as well...but I'm not ready to change that much quite yet.

November 9, 2017

Red Carpet Rundown

I've been writing "Red Carpet Rundowns" since the inception of this blog, so I couldn't let the CMA Awards pass without a quick review...

She was the belle of the ball, and this was only one of 11 outfits Carrie Underwood wore as the host of the CMA's. (see all 11 here)

I love this dress, but am not sure how much I love KK as a platinum blonde. 
Karlie Kloss in Elie Saab

Pink brought her daughter as her date. And while I like the dress, I think it needed a few alterations. Take away the shoulder draping, shorten the train and slim out the skirt with fewer layers and this dress would be less Bow Peep and more chic! 

Miranda Lambert kept it simple and beautiful! 
Miranda Lambert in Tony Ward

The king and queen of country music didn't deliver like I would hope. I like Faith's dress, but the top looks like it's eating the side of her face. 
Faith Hill in Armani Privé

And worst dressed goes to Michelle Monaghan in Paco Rabanne. There is just nothing good about this situation. 

November 6, 2017

Back to Blogging

I have to admit that when we stopped writing the blog nearly a year ago, I knew we would be back. I knew, at least, I would be back. I didn't say that because I didn't know if I would be back to blogging here on C&C or if maybe I would start another blog, with a different title, on a different platform.

I have reservations about coming back because I know the blog isn't fancy. It's not on the most user friendly platform. The graphics are outdated. The layout is terrible. I could go on and on... C&C was created 8.5 years ago, back when Blogger was one of the only platforms, when blogging wasn't really a profession and when there weren't thousands of bloggers talking about many of the same things. So why bring this up? Despite all the perceived short comings of this blog, I know we have a unique voice that resonates with people. I know we have a solid group of loyal followers, and I'd like to hope that many of you have been positively impacted by our posts. I'd like to think you don't care about all the shortcomings, and that you will continue reading and loving the blog just as it is.

So, here we are, nearly a year later, and we're back to blogging. Don't expect posts five days a week, that's just not realistic for our lives right now, but I can promise we will post at least once a week. Katie can't commit to a regular blogging schedule, but she will definitely be dropping in.

For my first post back I thought I would give you a quick list of some of the things I'm "loving lately", podcasts, kids clothes...think of this as making up for all our lost time in one post!

Loving Lately
1. Rockets of Awesome- This kids subscription clothing box is AWESOME! If you haven't tried it, you must!

2. How to Raise an Adult- One of the best "parenting" books I've ever read. If you have children in your life, as a coach, teacher, aunt, uncle or as a should check this book out. 

3. Thai Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup- This recipe is on repeat in our house. It's easy and delicious. 

4. Podcasts- I've become obsessed with podcasts. I listen while cleaning the house, driving and exercising. Here are a few of my favorites. 
- The Feel Good Effect- the podcast by Robyn Conley Downs of the blog, Real Food Whole Life. 
- Brains On and Wow in the World- both for kids

5. Beauty Counter Shampoo and Conditioner- I've been using Beauty Counter products for nearly 3, and I now use their products almost exclusively (I can't quit my Blinc Mascara). Recently I added the shampoo and conditioner to my arsenal, and I LOVE it. A small amount goes a LONG way so it lasts a long time and somewhat justifies the high price point. 

6. Icarus- This is one of the best documentaries I've ever seen. When filmmaker Bryan Fogel sets out to uncover the truth about doping in sports, a chance meeting with a Russian scientist transforms his story from a personal experiment into a geopolitical thriller. Dirty urine, unexplained death and Olympic gold are all part of the exposure of the biggest scandal in sports history.

January 9, 2017

And Now It's Time to Say Goodbye

After some serious consideration, We've decided to end the blog.

It's been 7 1/2 years since I started writing Cardigans & Couture, and it has provided me with an incredible outlet to share my favorite fashions, recipes, food, stores, restaurants, feelings and so much more.

When Katie joined me in writing nearly six years ago it helped lessen the load, but over the past year we've blogged less as other obligations have taken our time. As I move into 2017, I've decided I need to focus more, to have fewer commitments and not be spread so thin, and Katie feels the same.

This has been a really hard decision. I love this blog. I love that I know people look to us for gift ideas, for travel advice and to connect. I love that I can use the blog as an outlet to write about life, children, stress or whatever else is on my mind. I'm not sure what that outlet will be moving forward.

For now the Instagram account will still be active, and we may post there with more regularity, but I'm just going to take a month or so to feel that out. Do you want C&C to stay active on Instagram or is it the blog you are most interested in? (comment below)

My dear friend Pauline always tells me in times of challenge or transition that it is "this or something better." While it is hard to say goodbye to the time and energy I have put into C&C for the past 7 1/2 years, I know that it will result in something better.

And so for the last time, I will say thank you. Thank you for reading. Thank you for commenting. Thank you for trusting our recommendations and thank you for following this little blog for 7 1/2 years.

It has been a joy.

December 22, 2016

18 Rabbits

You may remember the amazingly delicious granola recipe I posted (here) a while back. Well, finding a granola that tastes this good that is low in sugar is nearly impossible. Earlier this week I came across 18 Rabbits in the Hailey Albertson's and decided to try it. 

With only 3g of sugar per serving I was intrigued. It's usually that granola this low in sugar just tastes like baked oats out of a bag, but this is delicious! 

They also sell the granola in other flavors and as granola bars. All of their products are organic, gluten free, non GMO, dairy free, and soy free. 

I'm anxious to try this fig, cranberry and hazelnut bar.

And they have Jr Granola Cereal that is filled with crispy brown rice, seeds and fruit.

I don't often buy granola or granola bars because of the high sugar, but 18 Rabbits is going to become a regular in our house.