All Things Christmas | Dessert Recipes

Merry Christmas! It’s no surprise if you’ve been following me for a while that I LOVE Christmas. So I’m putting together a few of my favorite memories, things and recipes for this time of year!

Enjoy xx

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Favorite Holiday Dessert Recipes

Snickerdoodle Chocolate Chip Cookes

Vegan + Paleo

Ingredients:

  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp flax meal, 2.5 tbsp water) 

  • 3 tbsp maple syryp

  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil

  • 1/3 cup cashew butter or sub any nut/seed butter (I used http://www.artisanaorganics.com/nut-butters/cashew-butter/

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 tbsp unsweetened almond milk or any nut milk of choice

  • 2 cups almond flour (I used Bob's Red Mill finely ground almond flour)

  • 1/4 tsp baking soda

  • 1 tsp of cinnamon (or more because cinnamon is the best)  & 1/2 tsp of nutmeg

  • 1/2 dark chocolate bar cut up into chunks (I used @eatingevolved Midnight Coconut Chocolate Bar (100% cacao)) But you can use any dairy free chocolate bar/chips

  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
     

Instructions: 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Make flax egg and set aside to create jelly consistency. Get a bowl and pour in maple syrup, melted coconut oil, cashew butter, vanilla and almond milk to whisk again. Add flax egg, and then stir in almond flour, baking soda, spices and half of the sea salt. Fold in chocolate chunks, leaving some aside for after. Scoop that batter onto a baking sheet covered by parchment paper (should make about 12 cookies) and then place chocolate over the top of each cookie, and sprinkle sea salt.  Pop those babies in the oven for 12 minutes and VOILA... Easy and DELICIOUS. 

 
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Banana Bread Donuts with Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting

Vegan + Grain Free + Gluten Free

Ingredients for the doughnuts

  • 1 bag Simple Mills banana muffin mix 

  • 1 tbsp flax meal, 2.5 tbsp water (set aside and leave for 10 minutes to create "flax egg" ) 

  • 2/3 cup water

  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil melted and slightly cooled

  • 1 mashed very ripe banana

  • 1 Tablespoon coconut flour

  • A very generous amount of dark chocolate (I crushed up eating evolved's midnight dark chocolate bar but you can use whatever chocolate chips or bar of choice) 

Ingredients for the frosting and garnish

(Warning: I majorly eye-balled this. I feel like thats the best way when making frosting: just continuously adding ingredients until it taste good.) (Another Warning: You WILL consume a lot of frosting in the making.) 

  • 1/3 cup maple syrup 

  • 1/3 cup creamy natural peanut butter 

  • 2-3 tbsp of coconut butter

  • Pinch salt

  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil

* For some extra aesthetic points (and taste), mix up coconut sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and sprinkle it on top of the donuts for a delicious cinnamon sugar. 

* I also did a few donuts with dark chocolate peanut butter frosting (added dark chocolate into the peanut butter frosting... but to be honest I preferred them with just the coconut & peanut butter). 

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350F, and lightly grease 2 half-dozen doughnut pans. (Mine made 10 donuts) In a large bowl, mix together the muffin mix, the flax egg, the water, the coconut oil and the banana until very well combined. Stir in coconut flour and allow to sit for a minute to absorb. Fold in chocolate chunks. Scoop batter into donut pan and fill the donut compartments leaving a little extra room for them to rise. Bake for 18-20 minutes until the doughnuts are risen and slightly golden around the edges. Let them cool, and then take them out and add frosting. ENJOY!

 

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday with people you love! I’m so thankful for each and every one of you. Thanks for following my journey and being a part of my amazing life.

Merry Christmas!

Favorite skincare products

I have finally done it! I’ve made a list of all of my current favorite skincare products and I’m so excited to be able to share them with you all. I get tons of questions about what products I use to keep my skin hydrated and glowing. This will be a running blog post. So whenever I find a new “gotta have it” product that I’m loving, I’ll be updating it here and letting you know on social media.

Comment and let me know how you love these skincare products too.


fresh soy cleanser

fresh | soy face cleanser

It’s light and for all skin types. So no matter what condition my skin is in at the time, I can count on it doing the job! Honestly one of the best cleansers I’ve ever tried and I would recommend it for anyone.


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kevin murphy | doo over powder

I love all of Kevin Murphy’s products. But this one smells so good and leaves my hair so fresh feeling. It’s got great holding power but leaves my hair feeling wonderful. It’s also for every hair type!


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moon juice | plumping jelly

You guys all know how obsessed I am with Moon Juice. This is my new favorite part of my skincare routine! I’ve noticed my complexion and tightness of my skin improve since using it morning and night. It’s full of adaptogens to help boost your skin.


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leef | wildcrafted cbd oil

I absolutely love this! It reduces redness, inflammation, and calms my skin. CBD oil is getting big and I would totally hop on board if I were you guys. It’s well worth the hype.


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lotus moon | facial toner

This smells like vanilla caramel. It wakes me up every time I use it after my cleanser. Plus, it’s all natural with amazing benefits. So obviously I’m all about it.


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lush | mask of magnaminty

I’m a huge fan of all Lush products! They’re all natural, animal cruelty free, and always use ingredients from the earth. This one has a peppermint scent and gives me a boost of energy.


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cocokind | skin butter

Wow! This smells soooo good. It’s coconut oil taken to a whole new level. It’s great when I need to moisturize my skin. It makes my skin feel so smooth and soft.


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kopari | deodorant

This is one of my all time favorite scents in the world (in addition to the Dry Bar products). It reminds me of Hawaii! The best part is it’s all vegan and has no aluminum.


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cocokind | mymatcha stick

I don’t go anywhere without this. Not only does it help hydrate my skin (lips and under eyes), it leaves me looking more awake when I use it. If you’re busy like me, this is fantastic to carry around with you all the time.


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body blur | sunless tanner

This is my secret to getting the perfect sunless glow. For real. I get complimented all the time whenever I wear it. It looks so natural and makes my skin glow. I absolutely love Vita Liberata products.

Health & Beauty Favorites of 2017

As we take on a new year, with all our resolutions and goals, I like taking a few moments to look back on 2017 and remember all the amazing times, the goals that I accomplished, and the places and things that made a positive impact on my lifestyle.

Here are some places, activities, and products that stood out to me and will continue to use as we merge into the new year!

BEAUTY

Kopari:
A skincare line that smells like HEAVEN ON EARTH. I honestly feel like a Hawaiian cupcake after I lather their products all over me. Its also vegan, cruelty-free, and super moisturizing and leaves your skin feeling amazing. I always travel with their rose toner and spray it on my face when I need a little pick me up.

100 Pure:
This is a makeup and skincare company that I recently discovered. I just love everything they stand for. They use all-natural, unique & healthy ingredients (all the pigment in their products is from fruit). My skin really has felt a difference after using this line and I’m obsessed with their brushes.

HEALTH & FOOD

Hum Nutrition:
I'm so glad I was introduced to this brand. This may sound odd but I’m very obsessed with gut health. It is something that is so important to educate yourself on, and become more aware on how to take care of your gut. If you ever been on antibiotics or experienced digestive issues in any way, than supplements are definitely something to look into. Enzymes and probiotics have saved my life when it comes to issues like this. However my system has become quite selective on what supplements work and don’t work. Hum has many different types available (Cleanse, Gut Instinct, Beauty Sleep, Flatter Me, etc) and I’m a huge fan of them all.

Addictive Wellness:
If you have joined the mushroom health train, then you will love this brand! The couple that started this company in LA are so passionate about their products which makes it that much more exciting. My favorites are the chocolates because they come in all different “mood flavors”. For example, there’s: love, tranquility, passion, re-charge, focus, feminine energy… I think thats all of them. Not only do these little chocolate cups taste amazing but they’re infused with so many superfoods and adaptogens to help you feel however you need to that day. They also have the most delicious drink packets that I started making every morning. I mix the chai flavor packet with heated almond milk and coconut butter and cinnamon and it is heaven in a cup.

Four Sigmatic:
Another genius mushroom idea. Since I try and stay away from several cups of coffee a day (TRY being the key word here), Four Sigmatic’s products are great because they contain a lot less caffeine and are infused with different superfood mushrooms to give you an energy boost and help you focus. I am a big fan of Lion's Mane in the morning since it really keeps me grounded and still gives me the brain focus I need to get work done. Their hot cocoa is also incredible!
 


Hu Chocolate:
I'm currently writing this blog post while sitting at Hu Kitchen in New York City….aka the best place on earth next to Erewhon in LA. I wish we had one in LA, but what I am thankful for is that Erewhon, Whole Foods, and other health food stores all over the USA sell their chocolate bars. The almond butter quinoa, hazelnut butter, and fig flavor are my favorites.

SeaSnax:
My weird obsessions continue. But I kid you not… I could go through hundreds of packages of this stuff in a month. Safe to say I’m addicted. I wrap everything in the nori sheets, and put the wasabi, teriyaki, and onion flavor in all my bowls. I am a strange human. But give it a try… you may be too.

Moon Juice’s Crisps:
I'm sure many of you health nuts have herd of Moon Juice. This company has blown up with their powders, adaptogens, and nutrient dense products. If you live in LA and can find a Moon Juice near you (or Erewhon sells them too) I HIGHLY recommend these crips that they make. The green fermented flavor is my jam. It sounds weird, and to be honest it really is. They pretty much take the pulp left over from their juices, add some seeds and spices and dehydrate it to form into a cracker. The pulp is the most nutritious part though so when you’re drinking a juice you aren’t getting all the nutrients, so that is why I think these little things are the best idea ever. I will say, they’re an extremely pricey obsession.

Philosophie:
A local company in LA. Also includes some of the healthiest ingredients within all their products. As some of you may know, I love coconut butter.. so much… I eat it by the spoonful, bake with it, and also put it in my superfood lattes. Philosophie’s coconut butter is one of the best I’ve tried. It has little cocoa nibs inside it. Its dangerously delicious.

Saje Wellness:
I would not be able to live without my essential oils. Pain, tension, stress, sleep hangovers, etc., the roll-on scents from Saje saves me everyday. I travel with them and keep them beside my bed. I stopped taking Tylenol and any pharmaceutical drug when I discovered this brand. Highly recommend.

LIFESTYLE

Yoga & Mediation
I have continued to take yoga but it has affected my life a lot differently this year. I have found a love for it thats much beyond just a workout to stay fit. I do it for my mental and physical self. It is an amazing thing to get into for the mind, body, and spirit. I have met a few friends that have inspired me to continue doing yoga and try different types. I have started classes at core power in LA, as well as wanderlust, and am always trying to find new places to take classes. There’s a class at Wanderlust that has various locations around the USA called “The Class by Taryn Toomey” and it honestly has changed my life. My instructor at Wanderlust’s name is Natalie and she’s a real life angel that pushes you to release all the emotions you’re holding onto. It’s hard to explain the class, I would honestly just recommend trying it with an open mind. I leave with clarity and feeling much lighter. I can’t wait to continue exploring more studios and improving my practice.

Journaling
This year I really made it a priority to journal my daily thoughts, affirmations, and gratitude lists. It's a great start to the day or to end it as well. When I make a conscious choice to take time out of my day to write these thoughts down, it always seems to leave me more at peace, more focused, and feeling refreshed. Once you start writing down your thoughts and hopes and “goals", you put that energy into the universe. I’ve also learned that involving manifestation in my life has worked best through journaling. I highly recommend writing down just a few sentences each day and see how you feel after a few days.

Saying Goodbye to Animal Products
This year I’ve made a huge effort to be cautious of what I buy, and whats used in the products I use, and clothes I wear. For so long I classified myself as a vegan when I should’ve really been using the term “plant-based” since the only vegan thing about my lifestyle was my diet. It is so much more than that, and I’m slowly realizing new ways I can better this body, our ecosystem, and our planet. I no longer purchase animal products and constantly read labels to make sure I’m not supporting brands that are not animal cruelty free. Of course we aren’t all perfect, and if I'm being brutally honest… I do have certain things I wear or use that I may have got a long time ago or that were a gift. As long as we are aware, and striving to do better, I think thats enough. Im excited to get more involved with organizations in the vegan and animal rights community in 2018.

Have you tried any of these favorites? What were you top picks for 2017? 
 

Favorite Spots When I'm Home In Vancouver

I always love coming home. Vancouver will always hold such a special place in my heart, and theres no greater feeling then getting off the plane and heading straight to my favorite spots in the city. 

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Even though my family lives less than an hour outside of Vancouver, I always try to stay downtown for a couple nights so I can easily walk everywhere and see friends that live in the city. If I’m lucky (in this case I was) I get to head straight from there airport to my absolute favorite hotel: The Rosewood Georgia Hotel, and I check in there for a two night stay. This hotel is a dream to me, especially at Christmas time because they do an amazing job decorating. The location is ideal, right in the center of everything, but you honestly may not want to leave because it is so cozy sitting by the fire in the lobby drinking wine, or visiting their beautiful restaurant and lounge. I’m so so thankful I get the honor to stay here when coming home. 

Next stop: TURF LIVING. 

My #1 favorite cafe in the world. And you guys know how much I love my cafes… so this is a big statement, but it has impressed me so much that I dream about it when I’m home in L.A.

Turf is a workout space, boutique, and cafe all in one. The yoga and fitness classes they offer are so fun, the food and drinks are exactly what I love, and the vibe is so positive. Picking between the treats, the lattes, and all the delicious toasts and bowls they have to offer is always difficult because everything sounds so amazing. I usually just get a few things to split between a friend and I, and of course, a homemade almond milk latte for myself. Turf is based in Kits, so while it's not downtown, it's worth the short drive to experience it. 

Tip: get the everyday cookie, Erin irelands banana bread, and whatever daily toast they offer on the menu. 

And then, A tasty ALmond Milk Latte

When I want to go somewhere walking distance to get a coffee, I will go to Small Victory. It is a cafe in the Yaletown area and it has some of the most beautiful handmade pastries. Now, this cafe is definitely not vegan friendly, so I have not tried any food items from there, but they make their own almond milk and it is delicious, so I’m always happy to go there and get a drink and experience the great atmosphere they offer. 

After my stay at the amazing Hotel Georgia, it is always nice to go home to my family's. This trip was especially comforting since it's the holidays, and the decorations were up. It was starting to get super cold so I got to cozy up near the fireplace with my family and drink hot cocoa and watch ’The Holiday’, and ‘Love Actually’. It was a perfect trip home. 

What are your favorite things to do when you go home? Leave me a comment! I'd love to know. :) 

First time at Fashion Week

New York Fashion Week

I just got back from New York City, where I attended my very first Fashion Week. I didn’t know what to expect in terms of events and fashion shows, but I definitely learned that it can get pretty chaotic. A lot of my friends that are bloggers were changing outfits multiple times a day while running from one show to the next... and then there was me.. A couple shows a day, but always fitting in time to explore the cafes of NYC and hunt for my favorite latte and treat (priorities am I right?) 

Since it was my first time, I didn’t have a completely filled schedule, however I’m happy that I had some free time during the days to wander the city that I love so much. 

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pictured above: wearing lulu's. (shockingly not holding a latte, but thats because vegan ice cream from Van Leewan's is INSANE)

 A couple of shows and presentations that really stood out to me were “Noon by Noor”, Milly, and Alice and Olivia. All very different from one another but definitely some pieces within each collection that really drew me in. 

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pictured above: wearing head-toe Alice and Olivia (loved their collection) 

Here are a few of my favorite spots in NYC that I discovered while wandering between shows: 

  • Chelsea Market 

 Remember I’m new to visiting New York City so many places I’ve never experienced before. When I came across Chelsea market for the first time, I felt so at home. I mean.. a food market? Yes please. They have the most amazing tahini there, as well as beyond sushi which is an all vegan sushi bar. Highly recommend. 

  • And Other Stories 

Now this may sound silly because apparently they have this store in LA, where I live, and I just never knew about it.. 

But I only just discovered this beautiful store while in New York. I’ve never walked into a store and thought that the entire thing could be my closet and I’d be happy.. until this place. It was my go to store everyday during fashion week when I felt like my outfit wasn’t complete. 

  • The One Hotel Brooklyn

This is actually a new hotel. It is located right in Brooklyn looking over the bridge. It has an incredible rooftop with most insane view of the city, and let’s be honest, every one hotel is just so aesthetically beautiful. We didn’t get to stay here, but the Bvlgari Perfume event we attended the first night was held here, and I couldn’t get over the venue. 

  • Williamsburg 

No where specific. Just the entire Williamsburg. This may be my favorite area of New York. I think if I were to move to NYC, I would definitely consider moving to this neighborhood. It is so trendy, and so interesting with every little corner being so different from the next. It seems to be the home of many creative artists, and you really feel that energy when walking the streets here.  Not to mention the restaurant and bar scene is so fun with each place being so unique. 

  • Peaceful Cafe 

 This is my favorite place to eat. It’s quick, easy, healthy, and so yummy. It is an all plant based cafe, but their options are endless. They have tons of deserts, different types of lattes, and a huge variety of food on the menu. I got the asian salad with tempeh, and a side of roasted pumpkin and Brussels sprouts. I could eat that meal every damn day. Then to go I got a turmeric latte with a pumpkin scone. (Basic) 

  • Soho 

The home to many good cafes, restaurants, and shopping. Anything you need, you can find here (just a little more expensive)

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pictured above: JACKET: Zara SHIRT: Urban Outfitters SKIRT: Aritzia SHOES: Schutz
 

Those were just a few of some of the great places I got to experience in New York City over fashion week. I'm loving getting to learn more about fashion, and realizing how much interest I have in it. Thankful to have met so many talented, creative people on this trip.. and ready for PARIS 

xx

Weekend In Malibu

I just got back from spending the weekend in Malibu with the Foray Collective girls at their beachfront house, and it was one of the nicest weekends I have had in a while. 

They planned so many fun, relaxing activities, and we got to work with some of my favorite brands. 

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(pictured above - wearing faithful the brand dress & barefoot dream sweater)

I love being close to the ocean. Even though I live in California, I honestly see the ocean when I travel more than when I am at home (because I live an hour or so in land from the water). This staycation in Malibu with Foray was exactly what I needed. Plus being spoiled with such good company, brunches and dinners definitely doesn't hurt. 

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(pictured above - brunch featuring the best acai bowls in LA, and following hair styling by my favorite IGK hair.)

Just when I thought the weekend couldn't get any better, my favorite human decided to surprise me by showing up. 

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We seriously had so much fun. We ran around like the children we are, played catch on the beach, ate amazing food and got to bond with some really down to earth people. 

 

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(seriously the coziest blankets and sweaters I have ever experienced - from barefoot dream)

I am now sitting back in my apartment in Hollywood missing the ocean and view from the the Foray Malibu house, but so thankful to have been apart of such a fun, nice, relaxing weekend.

Birthday Surprises in NYC

Jord and I decided to spend a few days in New York City after being in the Hamptons for the revolve trip. It’s only about an hour and a half drive, so we thought we would head into the city, see Jordan’s family (they live in New York), and spend our birthday together there. Our friend let us use is his apartment while he was away, so we got stay right in Union Square in a two bedroom apartment… We for real lucked out. 

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It was such a good feeling not really having a plan. Usually when we go visit cities or other destinations, we have a full itinerary, or very specific obligations that take up a lot of our time and we don’t get to do as much as we hope for. But in this case, we had the freedom to wake up in the morning and take our time, and figure out what we wanted to do with no pressure. We went to the cafes I had been drooling over Instagram hoping to go to soon: Bluestone Lane, Twohands, The Butchers Daughter, Peacefood Cafe, and Cafe Clover. Honestly none of them disappointed, but I would definitely recommend going to Bluestone Lange in West Village, and getting one avocado toast and one cashew butter toast…The perfect savory and sweet meal, and so delicious. 

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This NYC trip happened to be over July 7th. This is a special date since its both Jordan and I’s birthday. Yes, we share the same b-day. I love that about us. The day before our birthday we got dinner with Jordans family and a few of our friends that lived in the city, as well as Helen and Zack who also extended their stay in New York for a few days. I felt so spoiled being around so many great people in such an exciting city. But the real spoiling came on our real birthday when Jordan surprised me with gifts in bed, and the best night of my life. The little s**** told me he had a surprised and kept throwing me off with what we were doing that evening. At one point he told me to wear athletic clothes just to throw me off and thankfully I didn’t listen and still wore a dress and heels (fashion first ammiiiright? ). We hopped in a cab and as we were driving through Time Square, Jordan asked the taxi driver to pull over so we could get out. We walked a few blocks down, and that’s when I saw the sign…. the lit up sign outside the theatre “HAMILTON”. 

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IT WAS UNREAL. I honestly can’t put into words how unbelievably well done it was. I grew up going to shows, and thought I had seen some pretty amazing musicals, but this was probably my favorite of all. I’m still singing and will continue to sing the songs from Hamilton. 

So spoiled. Couldn’t have asked for a better birthday. New York City was indeed a dream. 

My Week in The Hamptons with Revolve

A few months back when I decided I would start blogging, I pictured what type of things I could be involved in, and who I may get to work with. I must admit that I most definitely daydreamed of wearing GRLFRND denim jeans, a lovers&friends top while being on one of the revolve around the world trips. I didn’t think this would happen so soon after I made the decision to get involved in the fashion world. 

You can imagine how excited I was when they asked me to come along to their Hamptons House for a few nights to celebrate the Fourth of July. Jord and I obviously agreed to going, and were excited that we would get to hang out at this absolutely beautiful house in New York, and meet the whole Revolve family. It all worked out perfectly since our good friends Helen and Zack, and Eva and Adam were also attending these dates. So I picked my outfits from Revolve that I would wear over the 4 days of being at the house, (EVERYTHING is perfect so it was a hard decision) and we packed up and were on our way. 

welcome to Hamptons house

 

We arrived at the house and it was seriously beautiful. I freaked out over the foyer and giant kitchen (with a FREAKING personal chef) and Jordan freaked out over the basketball court, tennis court, and all the set up activities… he’s my little child :) 

Waking up every day to the best coffee and avocado toast I could imagine (shout to chef James..You the man!), and hanging by the pool with friends, shooting photos of gorgeous clothes, and sitting down to beautiful dinner settings with such good company: the days here in the Hamptons were simply perfect. 

(wearing lovers&friends dress)

To all the people on this trip, I LOVE & MISS YOU. And Thank you Revolve for doing such a great job, and letting me and Jord tag along and hang out with you guys. Already looking forward to the next trip! 

beautiful ladies all wearing the brand: privacy pls.