June 18, 2018

Bueller....Bueller...Bueller...

I've noticed a significant decrease in the traffic here on the blog recently. Maybe it's because it's summer? Maybe it's my erratic posting? Maybe it's the content? Whatever the reason, ya'll just aren't reading as much as you used to. (sigh)

I've also noticed that when I post on highly personal topics the page views go WAY up! It makes me want to title all my posts with something personal and controversial just to get you to click on it. They call that "click bait". I promise I won't do that, but...

Here's my question...are you reading? Why do you read? What do you want to read? What don't you want to read.

I've got a lot going on in my life between my consulting business, Beautycounter, Scout & Cellar and my daily mother/wife activities, so this blog really is a labor of love, so a little blog love would be nice right now.

Bueller...Bueller...Bueller...

June 11, 2018

C&C in the Kitchen: Strawberry Oat Banana Bread

On Thursday I picked two flats of strawberries totally 14 lbs. This is the second time in the last two weeks that we've been to our favorite local farm, Columbia Farm, to pick. They have the most amazing berries...raspberries and blueberries will start soon, and it's a weekly event for us to pick there during berry season.

I'm often asked what we do with the berries....make jam, freeze them? Usually we just eat them, all of them. This time, however, I noticed that they were getting moldy faster than we could eat them, so I decided to make something.

Yesterday the Mini and I made strawberry banana bread! It was so good that we've eaten the whole pan already, and I thought I would share the recipe.

This ingredients are healthy, easy to have on-hand and the recipe would work with many other fruits and adds ons, such as chocolate chips, nuts, coconut, etc. This is going to be a new staple in our house.

STRAWBERRY OAT BANANA BREAD
Wet Ingredients
2 ripe medium sized bananas, mashed
2 eggs
1/3 cup drippy nut butter (I used peanut butter)
1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted and cooled


Dry Ingredients 
3/4 cup oat flour (oatmeal food processed)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Additional items
1/2 cup strawberries or any other fruit

Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease loaf pan or line with parchment paper.
2. Mix wet ingredients with mixer
3. Add dry ingredients
4. Fold in strawberries
5. Bake for  35-40 minutes
6. Let cool and enjoy



June 5, 2018

Little Sous

For those of you with little aspiring chefs in your life, let me introduce you to my friend Kelly's fantastic new project, Little Sous.

Through their website, unique classes, and at-home education modules, Little Sous helps children become culinary adventurers who discover their natural talents and become intuitive cooks as they explore the world’s cultures through food.

Just yesterday they launched an  “early access” campaign for their first edition product—a creative cooking box subscription for kids. 

Check it out! 

This is such a new and fun way to get gets engaged in the kitchen! You can support their campaign here and you can follow Little Sous on Instagram and Facebook as well!

June 4, 2018

Au Naturel

Given my recent jump into safer skincare and cosmetics I've gotten a lot of questions about "natural" deodorant. Unfortunately, Beautycounter doesn't sell one (yet...hopefully they are working on it), but there are a number of great options out there. I thought I would share a few that I've heard good things about.

I am currently using Tom's of Maine, which I purchased at Trader Joe's.
Long Lasting Deodorant

When I'm ready to purchase a new one, here are some of the brands that have been recommended to me. I am looking forward to trying something new, and then after I can give you a true product comparison. 

Primally Pure- It comes in a variety of scents including: lemongrass, lavender, geranium and tea tree and unscented. 
Image result for primally pure deodorant

Ursa Major-I've blogged about the Ursa Major products before (here) as my husband is a big fan. 
Ursa Major Hoppin' Fresh Deodorant

LaVanila- I've actually used this brand before but somehow made the mistake of buying one that was vanilla scented, and I couldn't stand it. I will definitely try the unscented though, as I liked the application and the overall feel of it. 
LaVanilla Unscented Deodorant

Clean Pits Company- I especially like the name of this one, but am not so sure about the method of application from the jar to my pits. However, it is in a glass jar, which is recyclable and much more earth friendly compared to the others in plastic containers. For that reason it might be at the top of my list for the next one I will try. 

Lavender

Type A- This one comes recommended from a few different sources, including Lindsay Dahl who has tested it and says it passed with flying colors.
Image result for type a deodorant

Native- This is Katie's favorite.

May 30, 2018

1901 Nordstrom

Nordstrom recently launched a new line to celebrate the year they opened their first store, 1901. The line is filled with the classics—crisp shirting, smart tailoring, stripes—and brings them up to date with fresh print mixes, vibrant colors and never-ending styling potential. A reimagined mix of heritage pieces with American prep vibes, 1901 is timeless style with a modern twist.

There are so many cute things.
Stripe Wide Leg Jumpsuit,
                        Main,
                        color, Navy

Plaid Cotton Wrap Style Dress,
                        Main,
                        color, Pink- Blue Plaid

Midi Trench Coat,
                        Main,
                        color, Khaki

Ruffle Sleeve Tee,
                        Main,
                        color, Navy Night

Bow Front Strapless Midi Dress,
                        Main,
                        color, Black Gingham

May 29, 2018

Keeping it Real: Letting Go of Friendship

One of my intentions for the new year (you can read the post here) was to focus more on the friendships that really matter...the ones that fuel my soul and leave me feeling supported and loved and warm and fuzzy.

In the process of identifying the friendships that mattered most to me, I game to grips with the fact that some of my "friendships" weren't truly friendships anymore. I struggle with letting friendships go. I think we all do. It's hard to let something go that once brought you joy and happiness. This "quote" really sums it up.
Image result for once best friends now strangers with memories

I read something once that said, "Not all friendships are meant to endure, and that's okay." I've had two friends over the last few years that have become strangers with memories. I spent time trying to make them "work", but they just haven't. I didn't feel the effort was mutual. In fact, it sometimes felt that there was no effort at all. Who knows, maybe they felt the same. It's hard not to take the losss of a friendship personally. But the reality is that life changes and friendships change and sometimes not all friendships endure, and that's okay. So despite some sadness, I've decided to move on.
Sometimes sad but true

In the process of moving on, I've realized that letting go of a friendship doesn't mean that I won't miss that friend. In fact, I will probably always miss them. We had good times. We made good memories. And just like with any loss, I need to allow myself time to grieve it.

With the intention of focusing on the friendships that matter most, I recently hopped a red-eye to Detroit to visit one of my dear friends for the weekend. Our time together reminded me that true friendship endures time and distance and the roller coaster that is life, and it is these friendships, the ones that leave me feeling warm and fuzzy, are the ones I should focus my energy on.

May 25, 2018

Keeping it Real: Parenting

The last few months have been stressful in the parenting department. Words like psychologist, ADHD, evaluation, tutor, anxiety and a handful of others have been on top of mind. As anyone can imagine, these things make parenting really, really stressful. For any of you that have been here, you know what I'm talking about, and I assure you...you're not alone.

Long story short, the Mini Fashionista has been dealing with some anxiety. She has a hard time focusing on her school work because she is worried about what kids around her are doing. As I mentioned in a previous post, reading and writing are coming more slowly (but they are coming) and she compares herself to others in a detrimental way... often setting high and unrealistic expectations. While she has tremendous self confidence in many areas, she lacks self compassion in others.

If you read the blog regularly, you know that my go-to resource for all things parenting is Positive Parenting Solutions. If you have children between the ages of 2 and 18 I highly recommend checking it out (the Online Gold program is what I recommend).

A few months ago, amidst, the stress and worry,  I listened to a one hour Expert Series in the Positive Parenting Solutions program on anxiety. The podcast was led by child psychologist Renee Jain of GoZen and it was, like all the information on PPS, so incredibly helpful.

A few highlights....

1) Worry is a natural and protective response. It is not bad to worry.
2) Reassuring your child that "everything will be okay" is not a helpful tool to cope with anxiety. Help them by labeling their feelings and emotions.
3) When your child is worried/anxious and you can't think of what to say. "I love you and you're safe" is always a good response.
4) The goal is not to be stress free, but to stress better.
5) Worry is exaggerated thinking. We should teach our kids not to be positive thinkers, but accurate thinkers.

Not only did I learn some great tips to help the Mini (and myself...let's be honest, we all deal with some level of worry and anxiety), but I was introduced to Renee's incredible website/tool, GoZen.
GoZen! provides informational programs to teach kids research-based coping, resilience, and happiness skills using online cartoon videos. The Mini Fashionista doesn't get a lot of screen time, so I knew she'd be up for watching the videos, regardless of the content.

Here's a look at the topics of some of the modules.
Image result for gozen progra

We've only gone through the whole program once, but I've already noticed on a number of instances where she refers to the concepts and strategies from the videos, so I know that she's paying attention and really absorbing the information. We will likely start it again in the coming weeks to re-inforce the strategies they provide. 

If you have a child that is experiencing worry/anxiety I highly recommend this tool! So far it has been extremely helpful for our family. Also, feel free to reach out with any questions about how we are using it.