Life Changing Skincare

Let’s talk skincare! I knew that when I got engaged, it was time to improve my skin and get it wedding ready. I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about what I am doing to my skin so I wanted to share with y’all. My skincare routine is my favorite self care ritual and I love it even more now because I am seeing such great results. I have been doing this routine for about 3-4 months now and I’m just being honest, my skin has never looked better! It glows from within and I rarely break out. I credit it 100% to sticking religiously to my routine. I’ve also discovered the beauty of using acids to exfoliate the skin (AHA and BHA) which are much more effective and less irritating than manual exfoliation (scrubs, brushes, etc.). It’s truly how you achieve the glow and get rid of accumulated dead skin cells.

While there are so many options out there, it’s not easy to find a clean and clinically effective skincare routine. As a self professed product junkie, I’ve done my fair share of experimenting with supposedly good products that left my skin overly dry, red, irritated, or that just flat out did not do anything. Many popular brands often are loaded with nasty fragrances (which break down the collagen in the skin), alcohols, parabens, sulfates, and other gross irritants. Through lots of research and consulting Paula Begoun’s Beautypedia, I finally found my “holy grail” skincare routine. I use a combination of products from Drunk Elephant, Paula’s Choice, and EltaMd. Mostly Drunk Elephant products. I love literally everything they make. What first drew me to the brand, other than the raving reviews, was the cute, colorful, and airless packaging. This is SO important! That Vitamin C, E, AHA/BHA, antioxidants, etc. all become much less effective/unstable when they are exposed to oxygen. That’s what we pay the big bucks for so definitely invest in a brand that packages their products correctly and sanitarily! All their products are made in the U.S.A. which is important to me and they are extremely committed to providing clean and clinically effective products. Good skincare is not cheap and cheap skincare is not good. In my opinion, it is smarter to invest in skincare so you don’t need as much makeup!

The only product you cannot purchase online or in store, is the retinoic acid which is a prescription you have to get from a dermatologist. I am currently using only .025% retinoic acid which is super weak but if you don’t want your skin to peel and flake everywhere, start with a low strength and work your way up. I am probably going to bump mine up next time I go to the dermatologist. Also, to all my deep south friends and family, I would definitely suggest not using this many moisturizing products if you live where it’s humid. When I was in Louisiana, I only used the B-Hydra as my moisturizer. This is what works for me living in Colorado where it’s super dry and arid. FYI, this post is not sponsored.

MORNING:

  1. Lather and cleanse with Drunk Elephant Pekee Bar (white) and pat dry
  2. Apply a thin layer of Paula’s Choice 2% BHA liquid with a cotton pad and let dry
  3. Apply 1 pump Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum (this stuff is the BOMB!)
  4. Apply 1-2 pumps Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel
  5. Push a few drops of Drunk Elephant Marula Oil into skin
  6. Apply 1 pump EltaMd UV Clear SPF 46

NIGHT:

  1. Lather and cleanse with Drunk Elephant JuJu Bar (black/brown) and pat dry
  2. Apply a thin layer of Paula’s Choice 2% BHA liquid with a cotton pad and let dry
  3. 4 nights a week- apply 1 pump Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum // 3 nights a week- mix pea size amount of retinoic acid with 1 pump of Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream (alternating nights) 
  4. Push a few drops of Drunk Elephant Marula Oil into skin (especially around eye area) 

I also just tried Drunk Elephant’s newest product, Baby Facial, which is a super strong mask to be used once a week. I have only used it once and absolutely love it!! Most masks sting the crap out of my skin and leave it super dry but this one the total opposite. My skin felt baby soft after and I definitely saw my complexion improve. 

Sourdough Einkorn Country Loaf

So you may be wondering why we are doing a post on making a sourdough boule considering grains are not paleo and we mostly eat a paleo diet. This particular grain, einkorn, is exceptional because it is over 10,000 years old (some think it’s even older). Einkorn is the only non-hybridized wheat so it is truly an ancestral food. Unlike modern/conventional wheat, einkorn is high in protein and fats, with a low glycemic index. We freshly mill our whole, organic einkorn berries in our Vitamix and then we ferment it with wild Boulder yeast. We prefer to mill the whole berries so it keeps the whole bran and wheat germ oil intact. Since we ferment before baking, this bread contains many prebiotics, metabiotics, and lactobacilli spores which basically act as probiotics in our gut. The sourdough product is lower in the naturally occurring wheat starches and sugars The final product is super protein and nutrient dense and has little gluten. It’s seriously the most filling, delicious bread that gives us lots of energy!

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organic whole einkorn berries from Italy ready to be milled

Organic whole einkorn berries from Italy ready to be milled!

our sourdough starters!

We currently have two sourdough starters; Boulder and San Francisco. We started our Boulder sourdough by capturing wild yeast in the air. We mixed einkorn flour with water in an open mason jar by an open window overnight. This allow the wild yeast to colonize and then we kept feeding it with more flour and water until it became a sourdough starter (thick pancake batter consistency). If anyone is interested in some sourdough starter, please comment below or email us and we will send you some in the mail or if you would like this recipe! It’s a complex process that takes patience to master but we have really been enjoying this healthy grain in our diet.

milling the whole einkorn berries in our Vitamix

Milling the whole einkorn berries in our Vitamix.

sifting the milled flour

Sifting the milled flour.

shaped dough

Shaping dough.

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I find that a 4 quart dutch oven works best for this size loaf (8 inch).

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Fresh out of the oven.

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That’s what I am talking about!

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As you can see, the result is a perfectly chewy and crackily country loaf that has an extremely complex flavor.

Our favorite, and cheapest source of organic einkorn wheat berries: Jovial Einkorn Wheat Berries 160 Oz (10 Lb)

Green Smoothie

I created a delicious & nutritious green smoothie in my Vitamix that I want to share with y’all! I have the Vitamix 750 Professional Series and it is seriously a life changer! It was a huge investment but probably one of the best I’ve made thus far because I use it at least 2-3 times a day. It does everything- smoothies, nice cream, sauces, condiments, soups, nut butters, nut cheeses, nut milks, grinds whole grains, and sooo much more. It can also make baby food so I’m excited to do that with it one day!

This creamy green smoothie is loaded with antioxidants, plant based protein, ripe fruit, fiber, and healthy fats! It’s the perfect balance of nutrients. I feel like I hit the sweet spot with this green smoothie because it’s not overloaded with fruit or greens but has just the right amount of both. Make sure to blend it really really well until it’s completely homogeneous because there is nothing grosser than chunks of kale in your smoothie. Add a few ice cubes in towards the end because the blender does heat up its continents after blending on high for a while.

here is what you’ll need:

  • 3-4 kale leaves
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 apple
  • 1 mango
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 cup hemp milk or nut milk of your choice
  • few drops of raw honey/agave/maple syrup (optional)
  • few ice cubes
  • high powered blender (Vitamix is the way to go)

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Paleo Shrimp Pad Thai

Everyone loves Asian take out, am I right? It’s so delicious and comforting but, usually super unhealthy and far from Paleo. We are slightly obsessed with Thai food so we decided to recreate Pad Thai. It’s ridiculously good and definitely better than any take out! Click continue reading to see the full recipe. I’m using my new Canon camera for these pics!
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~raw ‘nutella’ bliss balls~

These chocolate hazelnut bliss balls seriously taste like nutella!!! Minus the guilt and bad crap. They are paleo and vegan friendly. Hope y’all enjoy!IMG_2427

what you need:

-food processor

-2 cups hazelnuts

-2 cups pitted medjool dates

-1/2 cup fine coconut shreds

-4 tablespoons raw cacao powder

-1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean

-1/4 teaspoon pink salt

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1. toast 2 cups of hazelnuts at 350 degrees for 15 minutes

2. roll toasted hazelnuts around in a clean towel to remove the skin (you can also just rub a handful of them between your hands to remove the skin)

IMG_23963. process 2 cups of dates with 4 tablespoons of raw cacao powder and about a 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla bean until it forms a big chocolate date ball (this food processor is the best we love ours Cuisinart Food Processor)

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4. add 2 cups of toasted and skinned hazelnuts and 1/4 cup of the coconut shreds until everything is all combined (you may have to stop it a few times and mix it all around)

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5. spread the rest of the coconut shreds out on a baking pan (you can always use more for good measure)

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6. roll the processed mixture into small balls with damp hands then roll them around in the coconut shreds

IMG_24237. crack some himalayan pink salt over bliss balls and store them in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer

IMG_2427As you can see, this makes a bunch of bliss balls (plus we ate a few)! They are one of my favorite guilt-free treats to make. It’s really amazing how unrestricted I feel eating paleo because there are so many ways to make delicious whole food treats! I was inspired by earthyandy to make these 🙂

Spring Cleaning!! DIY body products + some favorites

Spring is finally here!!! Boulder’s weather is so bipolar, it’s been snowing on and off but I’m crossing my fingers that this fabulous weather is here to stay!! I’m loving all the blooming flowers everywhere. Spring also means spring cleaning!

IMG_2196The other weekend, Tyler and I did a huge purge of old clothes and other unnecessary junk in our house and gave it all to the Goodwill (I swear we had like 6 trash bags FULL of stuff). We also did a deep clean of our house which felt really good. Along with spring cleaning, we have been trying to “clean up” in other ways.

Tyler and I are both super conscious abut using body products that are safe, effective, and as natural as possible. I once heard that you should only put on your skin what you would put in your mouth, and that has kind of always stuck with me for some reason. After all, our skin is our largest organ that quickly absorbs whatever you put on it so it’s important to only use stuff that would be potentially edible (or almost). We try to make as many of our products at home as possible to ensure quality and to save money. That being said, we have a few creations that we want to share with y’all!! I am also going to include a few other natural/organic products that I couldn’t live without (links to all are at the bottom). Tyler created an amazing homemade shampoo/body wash that we’ve been loving and I recently made a body scrub that is seriously the best scrub I’ve ever tried! We both felt like we scrubbed a pound of dead skin off ourselves after using it…sorry if that’s TMI but this stuff works! Both are simple to make. We have also been using raw, organic apple cider vinegar as a toner/astringent and it’s the best! It’s cleansing, tightens the pores, and evens out complexion.

How to make your own 2-in-1 shampoo/body wash:

  1. measure out 1 cup of Dr. Bronner’s Baby Castile Soap
  2. mix soap with 2/3 cup of organic full fat coconut milk (we love our KitchenAid mixer)
  3. option to add a tablespoon or two of oil for more hydration (olive or avocado work best)
  4. add anywhere from 10-50 drops of whatever essential oils you like best (we used a combo of lavender, lemon, and eucalyptus)
  5. funnel mixture into a bottle
  6. shake well before using and enjoy 🙂

tip: when you first open the can of coconut milk be sure to mix the coconut cream at the top thoroughly with the coconut water at the bottom so that it’s all consistent BEFORE you mix it with the castille soap

How to make your own body scrub:

  1. in a mixer, whip equal parts organic brown sugar and organic coconut oil
  2. once that’s thoroughly mixed, throw in a handful of whole himalayan pink salt crystals
  3. option to add a few drops of essential oils (I did not add any because the scrub already smells divine by itself)
  4. transfer to a mason jar and enjoy

Hope y’all enjoy!! Continue reading for reviews of other products we love!

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(n)ice cream

I did a previous post on smoothie bowls but, I want to focus more specifically on how to make delicious nice cream bowls. I’ve had a lot of people ask me how to make it so I figured I’d do a post on it! Nice cream has been my go to treat lately, I love it!! If you’re wondering what in the world nice cream is, it’s just like ice cream but it’s made of frozen bananas in a blender. Part of eating paleo is not consuming any dairy products so this curbs the ice cream craving for sure! The key to achieving that super thick, creamy, ice cream texture is to use as little liquid as possible. This was tricky for me at first but, if you use too much liquid it turns into banana soup. A powerful blender is crucial for making nice cream. I have a pretty high powered blender and it barely does the trick so I’m dying to get a Vitamix!! My 3 favorite variations of nice cream are: chocolate, acai, and mango. Here is how to make them! Feel free to message me on Instagram, email me, or comment below if you have any questions or want more recipes!

Chocolate nice cream: 3 frozen chopped bananas + spoonful of coconut milk + about 2 tablespoons of cacao powder + little bit of sweetener (totally optional- I use coconut nectar or a few dates) + unsweetened pure dark chocolate chips/chunks (add this towards the end so they don’t get overly blended). Top it with more chocolate chunks, nut butter, bananas, or whatever! This is arguably my favorite type of nice cream. It’s definitely more of a sweet treat/dessert variety but trust me it’s the bombbbb.com!! Seriously it tastes just like chocolate ice cream.

Acai nice cream: 3 frozen chopped bananas + an unsweetened Sambazon acai packet + spoonful of coconut/nut milk. Acai nice cream is perfect for breakfast, lunch, or a snack on a warm day! This bowl is packed with tons of flavor and antioxidants. I love to top my acai bowls generously with homemade grain-free granola, assorted fresh fruits, coconut shred, nut butter, etc.
Mango nice cream: exact same formula as the acai bowl just substitute the acai packet for a large handful of frozen mangoes. I suggest topping your bowl with fresh mangoes and coconut shreds to layer the flavors!

~~smoothie bowl madness~~

Alright sooo I’m officially a smoothie bowl addict. I’ve been making them pretty much every day. They’re sooo amazing and delicious!! I could literally eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner–no joke. I’ve even got Ty hooked on them!! Such a great way to get a mega dose of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and ENERGY. For me, it’s super important to get some raw plant based meals in my diet because sometimes I get a little burnt out on meat or sometimes I just don’t feel like cooking lol, especially in the mornings. Another reason I love smoothie bowls so much is because it allows me to get my creative juices flowing with different ingredient combinations and presentation. It’s so inspiring to see pics of peoples smoothie bowls on instagram. I serve them in glass bottles, mason jars, or coconut bowls and top them like crazy with lots of yummy superfoods! I buy all organic fruit from whole foods & costco. Buying organic is super important to me and costco has recently stepped up their organic game big time so it makes it more affordable to buy organic in bulk. Smoothie bowl recipes are super flexible. You can pretty much add as little or as much liquid as you want to get it the consistency you desire– creamy or juicy or whatever you’re feeling at the moment! See below for pics of my recent creations & my go to smoothie bowl formula!
Forewarning: I’m only getting started with my smoothie bowl obsession.

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acai nice cream bowls (frozen bananas + frozen berries + frozen kale + coconut milk + acai) topped with coconut + homemade granola + fresh strawberries + mango of course
my go to smoothie bowl formula: 
frozen fruit + fresh fruit liquid + superfoods + toppings galore = 
bomb smoothie bowl!for frozen fruit: I use lots of frozen bananas & berries
for fresh fruit: I use whatever is in season- right now mangoes & strawberries are and I lovee it!
for liquid: I try to use as little as possible to get that nice & creamy consistency- coconut water, coconut milk, orange juice, whatever floats your boat
for superfoods: I usually pick one or two- acai powder, chia seeds, matcha powder, frozen kale cubes
for toppings: my favorite & most aesthetically pleasing part of smoothie bowls so get experimental here!!- hemp seeds, goji berries, coconut shreds, homemade granola, pumpkin seeds, fresh fruit, chopped nuts, nut butters, etc.

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chia seed pudding topped with strawberries, coconut flakes, hemp seeds, and goji berries

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Paleo Lifestyle

I don’t like the word diet or even the concept of it really. However, at the start of 2016, Tyler and I both made a serious commitment to our health. That meant cleaning up our diet, purging our kitchen, and working out more. Plus, we are going to the beach at the end of March so we wanted to drop some lbs and get fit. We set our own personal health & fitness goals and started with a super low carb diet, high in fat & protein. Initially, we cut out the hard stuff, all sugars (aka crack cocaine) & grains. We both lost weight and decided after about one month to transition to a paleo lifestyle, further cutting out dairy & soy. We realized that by going paleo we would actually diversify our diet and feel less deprived by making a lifestyle change, even though there are seemingly more limitations. I’m big on eating our ancestral diet and consuming local, heirloom foods. Our bodies have not adapted at the rate of modern technology and food production so it’s important to feed ourselves real, whole foods. We are both thriving and feel more energized than ever eating paleo!!
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homemade vanilla bean almond milk
We homemake almost everything we consume because we can truly make it the best!! Everything tastes better homemade and that’s no lie. It’s more time consuming but eating clean and delicious food is a priority so we make time. When people say they don’t have enough time, they really mean it’s not a priority. We are extremely lucky to have access to so much wonderful, local food here in Boulder. We get tons of fresh, local produce seasonally. Almost all of our meats that we consume are local grass-fed (beef & lamb) and local berkshire pork. I’m SOO grateful for the availability & abundance of local food. I just can’t wait until we can have our own chickens one day! Personally, derailing is not worth it to me at all when there are so many great paleo options. If I am really craving a chocolate chip cookie or brownie, I can make an equally, if not more, delicious paleo treat. Below are pictures of some of our homemade paleo creations and meals! Feel free to drop a comment or reach out if you want a recipe.
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homemade paleo siracha aka nectar of the gods
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our beloved cast iron collection of some lodges & antique wagner’s
kitchen items we could not live without:

  • food processor
  • instant pot
  • nut bags for making nut milks
  • mason jars of all sizes
  • cast iron skillets & dutch ovens
  • meat smoker
  • tea kettle
  • spiralizer
  • blender

paleo staples:

  • coconut everything! coconut milk, cream, oil, vinegar, aminos, flour, etc.
  • homemade nut milks (vanilla almond is my favorite)
  • ghee (clarified grass-fed butter)
  • cashew & nutritional yeast based ‘cheese’ sauce & ‘parmesan’ (Tyler makes the best)
  • pink himalayan salt (it’s basically my sugar now)
  • red & black hawaiian sea salts
  • fresh herbs
  • pressure cooked bone broth
  • coffee & loose teas
  • berkshire lard & grass-fed tallow
  • avocados & avocado oil
  • homemade paleo siracha
  • cracklins/pork rinds (homemade are the best as always)
  • berkshire pork
  • grass-fed, local beef & lamb
  • nut butters (peanut, almond, cashew, pistachio, etc.)
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hawaiian handrolls: pressure cooked pulled kalua pork, coconut cauliflower rice, cilantro, avocado, pineapple, red hawaiian sea salt & black hawaiian sea salt wrapped in nori w/ paleo siracha (side of braised cabbage not pictured)

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Valentine’s Weekend 2016

Tyler & I enjoyed our 3rd Valentine’s day together this year! It’s so crazy that we have been together for almost 3 years now! Time has seriously flown by. Tyler recently turned 23 years old, I will turn 23 in May, Waldo turns 3 in June, and Tyler and I’s 3rd anniversary is in June also! A lot of 3’s! When I was talking to Tyler the other day, we realized that this will be our 4th summer together (we already have a lot planned). To me, the seasons are a much better way of measuring time rather than months and years.
This weekend was so romantic and chill, even though at one point we had 3 dogs in our little home haha (dog sitting for co-workers). On Saturday, we went on a trail (interval) run which was super fun! We went to a loop trail in North Boulder, almost to Lyons, that was about 3 miles. The trail was a bit muddy but still awesome and great for running because there weren’t a bunch of rocks everywhere and it was a relatively smooth grade. Trail running is way more challenging than regular running! I haven’t been on a run in a long time so it was good to get some cardio in. My abs and legs were actually sore the next day! I’m also about mid way through my squat challenge which is kicking my ass, literally and figuratively! Tyler has certainly noticed & appreciated the results 🙂 On Saturday night, we made the most amazing paleo pressure cooked lemongrass & coconut chicken served over cauliflower rice! I usually am not a big fan of chicken, it’s so boring, but this was so incredible! It tasted almost like green curry and the chicken was falling off the bone (thank you instant pot). Of course we also watched Twin Peaks on Saturday night because it’s the best.

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my man carrying firewood

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