Warm Kale Salad

New, healthy, fast, cheap, easy recipe alert!

I love salads but in the winter they just don’t sound quite as good so I came up with this warm kale salad!

Warm salad might sound really gross but it isn’t gross, I promise! And actually cooking the kale a little makes it easier on the digestive track which is also a bonus!

You can obviously customize this salad with any fruit/nut/vegetable combo you want. I just made it with ingredients I had on hand and it turned out so well I’ve been eating it every night. I can’t get enough of it, really!

warm kale salad

Warm Kale Salad

3 cups/handfuls of kale, torn into small pieces, no stem
2 teaspoons +/- coconut oil (or whatever oil you prefer)
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic (optional)
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 cup blueberries
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup shredded carrot
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the coconut oil in a frying pan on low heat. When the pan is hot add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds, then add the kale, lime juice, salt, pepper and toss to coat. Cover the pan and allow kale to get warm and slightly soft, stirring occasionally. This will only take about 3 minutes and you don’t want the kale to get too soft. When it’s bright green that usually means it’s done. Add the blueberries, almonds and carrots and toss again. Enjoy with your protein of choice.

And I know I’ve been slacking on my Rocco pics! He is kind of hard to photograph since he is almost always in motion. Also, he’s in a phase where he gets mad at me if I’m paying attention to my phone or tablet. Seriously, he will bark at me when I’m looking at my devices (he gets in trouble for that). He actually got hold of my iPad once and chewed the case off. Luckily the iPad was fine!

Here he is involved in an intense wrestling match with his stuffed skunk.

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And here he is sleeping in his car seat after a long hike and trip to the dog park.

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Have a great weekend!

Laura

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A Post about Hair

I have so many recipes to share but I want to take a little break from food posts to talk about some other topics that are near and dear to my heart…like hair and skin care!

I am totally unqualified to give any advice in the hair/skin department. In fact I’m kind of a bozo when it comes to hair because I never blow dry, curl or straighten my hair and I don’t even own hairspray. But, I have hair and there are some products I absolutely swear by so I’m going to write about them!

Here are my favorite products!

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First up is my newest obsession. I know this is kind of out there and it was a big splurge for me, but it is totally worth it, especially if you have long, dry, chemically treated hair like I do.

This T3 Showerhead Filter is incredible. I came across it while researching how to get the brassiness out of my hair. I would be happy with just not having my hair turn orange, so the fact that it makes my hair softer, shinier, less frizzy and a zillion times easier to brush is all just a bonus. Let’s make it weird: here’s a photo of me in my bathrobe and the back of my head-a couple hours after washing my hair and letting it air dry. Normally my hair turns into a poof ball as it dries. No more! PS I took this picture to send to my hair stylist so she could see the difference. She was convinced.

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Read the reviews on this thing and you’ll be convinced. One girl said it cured her cystic acne! PS I am going to do a whole post on how I cured my acne (and it wasn’t because of this showerhead), just you wait!

Up next is my beloved Pureology Shampoo and Conditioner. I have been using this stuff since college which means I’ve been using it for 15 YEARS!! The purple shampoo is my favorite. I like the purple conditioner too but I’ve been liking the the blue, “Strength Cure” conditioner as well. Although now that I have this new showerhead the blue might be too moisturizing. I never thought I would say that! I know this stuff is pricey but a little goes a loooong way. I used to use less expensive brands but I ended up spending more money in the long run because I had to use so much product, especially conditioner.

I always buy this stuff on sale. Who am I kidding, I buy almost everything on sale. But for real, watch for Ulta to have a sale. They send out “20% off entire purchase” coupons from time to time and that is the time to stock up. It’s only available in store though. Locally, I also buy it at http://www.gotbeauty.com and they also occasionally have sales.

After I wash and brush my hair I apply 1 pump only of this Aveda Light Elements Smoothing Fluid. This step is crucial to prevent my hair from getting too poofy. I’ve had my bottle for over a year and I’ve hardly made a dent in it. This is the only smoothing serum I’ve ever used that doesn’t make my hair feel greasy or weighed down.

I have tried (I’m not kidding) every dry shampoo on the market. Seriously, I’ve tried them all and I have very high standards so I consider myself quite an expert in this department. Someone should pay me to test dry shampoos.  Oscar Blandi ‘Pronto’ Dry Shampoo is hands down the best. It’s a powder you sprinkle on right at your roots and then rub in like crazy/brush through. A little goes a long way so a bottle of this will last a really long time. I like the powder so much more than aerosols! Aerosol powders makes my hair dry, brittle and unbrushable. Yuk. With the Oscar Blandi powder I’m able to contain the grease at the root and still have the rest of my hair feel like my hair.

And last, this is the question I get the most about my hair: How do I make it wavy?

I gave up blow-drying, curling and flat ironing almost 2 years ago and my hair has gotten SO much healthier. I hardly ever get split ends now. And when I travel I don’t have to pack my blow dryer and flat iron! It’s been so liberating!

This is what I do: In the evening (around 8pm usually) I shampoo & condition my hair. After my shower I wrap it up in the towel even though they tell you not to. I’m such a rebel. I take the towel off and brush it with a paddle brush similar to this one. I apply 1 pump of the smoothing serum and work it around the ends of my hair, steering clear of the roots.

Then I leave it down for a couple hours as my hair dries. When my hair is starting to get dry, or when it’s time for bed, whichever comes first, I twist twist twist my hair up into a bun on top of my head. If I’m still up doing things I’ll lightly put a clamp or elastic around it to hold it in place. But if I’m just going to sleep, I coil it up there and just leave it and somehow-it stays-it’s magic. I guess I don’t move much in my sleep.

When I wake up I unravel it and voila, curly hair! Some days turn out better than others but it’s always better than having to take the time to blow dry & curl my hair.

So there you have it! Thanks for hanging in through this long post. I’m excited to write about my skin care regimen next!

Have a great week!

Laura

Happy New Year + Pictures!

Happy New Year!

How is your 2015 so far? Did you set goals? I personally am deeming 2015 the year of “doing things that feel good”. I plan on only doing things that are fun and that feel good to my body & mind. I’ve spent many, many years torturing myself with things that on the outside look healthy and perhaps ambitious but on the inside cause stress, injury and negativity. Do you do this too? Have you ever “pushed through” something to get it over with but didn’t enjoy the process at all? Something like intense training for an event, or plowing through college to get it over with, or putting your nose to the grindstone to accomplish some huge goal you set for yourself but the process made you miserable? (That figure competition I did back in the day comes to mind). Well to that I say, NO MORE! From now on I jut do awesome stuff all the time. 🙂

We can all thank Eckhart Tolle for that insight!

My husband and I just got back from a 12 day European vacation through Italy & France. Poor us, I know. It is a hard life. I started 2015 off drinking wine and eating cheese fondue in France, how is that for only doing awesome stuff?!

I could write a novel about the trip and how much fun we had and how much food we ate, but I will spare everyone!

Instead I will sum up our trip in 5 pictures!

1. Coffee

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We drank TONS of coffee, all of it good, but the Italians do it the best.

2. Wine

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We drank tons of wine too! I am still yet to find a white wine I don’t like, and believe me, I’ve been searching… 😉

3. Old, really neat buildings

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4. Mountains

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Lots of them, everywhere. Huge, majestic & pristine.

5. Being cold on mountains

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We don’t have more than 3 photos where we aren’t bundled up in coats. Some days I wore 3 coats and snow pants just to walk around! The temps were around 10 degrees but much colder with the humidity and wind chill.

Not pictured: Gobs and gobs of chocolate, cheese, incredible food, raw beef I accidentally ordered (and couldn’t eat) and tons of tons of laughing.

My awesome Mother-in-law took on the task of caring for Rocco while we were gone. He is such a handful and has so much energy but luckily she loves dogs and has a really positive attitude! She did a great job capturing pictures of him while we were gone. Many are posted on Instagram-follow Rocco @ Rocco_the_minpin (his IG name is Rocco James).

Here is a photo of him from this weekend. He told me he wanted to look out the window and I do everything my dog tells me to do 🙂

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Have a great week!
Laura