My Road to Clean Beauty

A VLOG of me figuring out what the heck is in my products and replenishing my cabinets

Although I consider myself a minimalist when it comes to all things beauty – a world I will never quite understand or care for – I somehow have managed to collect a large (in my opinion) pile of products. As I am continuing to not only declutter my life, but also focus on using nontoxic products with this heavy metals cleanse I am going through, my drawers of product became the next obvious step to purge and replenish. Unfortunately, the world of non-toxic, or “clean” if you will, beauty is not as straight forward as I had hoped. For someone who has minimal knowledge on this topic to begin with (hell, I just started washing my face a few years ago), I was overwhelmed as hell. After taking my feelings to Instagram stories (duh), it was obvious that a lot of you felt lost as well. Without clear guidelines of labels for brands to follow, and with a ton of companies using this as a marketing scheme, it is hard to know what exactly we should be avoiding.

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Pulled Pork Mac & Cheese

The perfect football Sunday indulgence

As I’ve mentioned in a former post, pulled pork has a special place in my heart thanks to my mom and her ability to serve it at every possible family gathering without anyone ever getting bored of it. In fact, I have a friend who comes over solely around these said holidays just to devour a few bites straight from the pressure cooker. When I was thinking about what to serve at this past snoozefest of a Super Bowl, pulled pork was the first thing that came to mind. We weren’t sure how many people were coming, we had planned this gathering very last minute so I didn’t have much time to prep, and I felt downright lazy when faced with the idea of cooking all day. Instead, I stuck to my mom’s foolproof plan and added a bit of a cheesy and indulgent twist. One of my favorite things to do at prior lacrosse tailgates or at my parent’s infamous Christmas party is combine the homemade pulled pork with some of the mac and cheese that always seemed to conveniently be served next to it. A spark went off in my brain and immediately decided what we’d be having for the big game: pulled pork mac and cheese. Let it be said that by no means is this as “clean” as majority of my recipes on here. I’m usually not one for adding butter and I typically don’t cook with a lot of cheese, but this dish just felt right. Plus, it’s the god damn Super Bowl – a time to worry less about eating vegetables and more about whether any game will ever compare to 2018’s. Plus, I’d venture to say this home cooked dish is still healthier than any comparable you could purchase or order from a restaurant.

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Valentine’s Day Date Night In Roundup

Two delicious options for a great Valentine’s Day date night in

Let me start this post by disclaiming how much I love love. However, in my opinion, Valentine’s Day is up there with New Years… two of the most ludicrous excuses of a holiday. If you’re single, Valentine’s Day kinda feels like a personal attack by shoving everyone’s relationship, happiness, and love in your face. If you have a significant others, it poses this weird stress that I relate to New Years in the sense of making sure you have the “perfect” night. Luckily for us New Yorker’s, we have all the restaurants in the world to capitalize on this by creating pre-fixed menus at ridiculous price tags. Unless you plan on signing a pretty hefty check, I suggest taking this holiday to the four walls of your own home. In the five years Joe and I have lived in NYC, we have successfully avoided this mayhem by creating delicious at-home Valentine’s Day meals in our kitchen.

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Chocolate Covered Strawberry Almond Butter Cups

A glorified Valentine’s Day chocolate covered strawberry

Considering chocolate covered strawberries are basically only consumed on Valentine’s Day (okay, and maybe New Years, but that’s a bit of a stretch), I knew they had to be the hidden star of my V-day themed dessert. Instead of replicating the exact treat that I could purchase anywhere, I decided to get creative. As a girl who loves her layers, and thinks that almond butter is just about the perfect addition to any meal, snack, or dessert, my mind immediately led me here: chocolate covered strawberry almond butter cups. These three-layer treat are the perfectly creative dessert to cap off your meal with and the reinvented version of the oh so classic and (dare I say it?) kind of boring original. Make for your friends, loved one, or yourself – everyone will enjoy!

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The Evolution of my Relationship with Exercise

Why I stopped obsessing over miles and learned to listen to & love my body

Growing up, I never thought twice about working out. That’s not because I wasn’t doing it (hell, I was exercising basically every day), but because I was constantly playing sports and getting in some form of “work out” on the field. Playing soccer and lacrosse my entire childhood, my nights after school and weekends were filled with about as many practices and games as a schedule could possibly permit. Fast forward to college, where I went to play Division 1 lacrosse: one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and something that has shaped my character today, but a signed contract to exert some type of physical activity just about every day for the next four years. Again, “working out” was never something I thought about. We had practice almost every day, games twice a week (while in season), and lifts and conditioning sessions on top of all of that. Was I consistently working out? Duh. I was in the best physical shape of my life. However, these practices and games provided me with something that I never realized until after graduation: there was no contemplation about what I should do for exercise, I just had to show up. I thoroughly enjoyed the sports I played, and therefore it never felt laborious or as if I was doing it to stay in shape.

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Shaved Vegetable Salad, Pressure Cooker Lamb, and Mushroom Risotto

A Valentine’s Day Dinner to Impress

As discussed in my Valentine’s Day Dinner on a Budget recipe, I’m not one for dining out on this “holiday”. Don’t get me wrong, I love restaurants and I love love, but I definitely do not love spending an outrageous amount of money for an overcharged set menu just because it happens to be a specific day in the middle of February. As a person who likes to peruse a menu, try a few things, make a shit-ton of substitutions, and split as much as possible, prefix and I don’t work to well. However, even in the walls of our own dining room (who am I kidding, we live in NY, it’s all one room), sometimes you want to ball out like you’re at a restaurant. That my friends, is why I’ve created this recipe. This Valentine’s Day Dinner to Impress will have your date (or friend, or family member, or, hell, yourself) feeling like you’ve stepped into the fine dining of one of your favorite NY restaurants. The best part? You don’t need the culinary background those chefs have. Win, win!

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Cauliflower Gnocchi with Ribeye Steak and Vegetables

Valentine’s Day Dinner on a Budget

Among many things, Valentine’s Day can be expensive – there is no getting around it. If you’re like me and you’ve already decided there is 0 chance you are spending money on a prefix menu just because its February 14th, I’m assuming you’re heading to your kitchen to whip something up. While we all (hopefully?) love to celebrate love, and want to spoil the person we are cooking for that night, whether it be a significant other, a friend, or hell, ourselves, a lot of us are on a serious budget. Who says you need to spend a ton of money for a delicious meal? Not I. For those of us who are watching our costs this Valentine’s Day, I’m here to help with a meal that costs less than $15 per person (assuming you already have the pantry staples). Hell, that’s comparable, and way more impressive, than Chipotle pickup. You’re welcome!

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Grainless Pistachio Coconut Granola

Dare I say better than the bagged options?

This weekend I found myself in a very unfamiliar situation: without any granola in the apartment. As someone who loves to add some type of crunch to all of my yogurt parfaits and needs that extra fuel, granola is something I rely on heavily. (That being said, I am especially pick about which ones I purchase and consume). Surprisingly enough, I have never attempted at making my own. Sure, I’ve heard it’s easy, and I know it’s delicious based on some of my friend’s creations that I’ve tried, but I’ve never been the one mixing the ingredients for a fresh new parfait topping. That is, until this past Sunday morning. Opening my fridge to tons of tasty yogurts and beautiful fruits and realizing I had nothing to top it with, I decided to get creative. Considering I always have a stocked pantry, it wasn’t too hard to whip up a combination I loved. I’ll still be purchasing a few of my favorite brands going forward, but, this one will definitely be added in to my rotation!

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Super Bowl Sunday Stars

Roundup of my favorite crowd-pleasing recipes for the big day

Sure, I love me a good Sunday meal prep to set myself up for a healthy and efficient week ahead, but there is nothing I love more about Sundays than eating delicious food with friends and family while watching football (preferably an Eagles win). That is why the Super Bowl is my Mecca of Sundays. Obviously, no Super Bowl will compare to last year’s, when Joe and I were in the stands crying as we watched the Eagles win their first ever championship live, but that’s neither here nor there. The thing I don’t love about Super Bowl Sunday (besides the fact that it should be a 4:20 start time)? Waking up on Monday and feeling like absolute shit. Why is it that majority of football food (aka bar food) is loaded with crap? Who says you can’t eat well and still cheer for your favorite team? Not I. That is why I’m here to roundup some of my favorite football Sunday recipes to make sure you have the best lineup for your party this weekend. Enjoy all the food without the stomachaches. I wish I could promise no hangover either, but that’s on you boo.

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Stove Top Oatmeal with Cinnamon Apples

A big old bowl of coziness

There is something incredibly warming and comforting about a nice big bowl of stovetop oatmeal. Between the ease of the cooking process, the smell that fills your kitchen, and the physical warmth that fills each bite, it makes me feel all sorts of cozy inside. Although primarily a cold weather dish, it is something I enjoy all year round. In theme with the heat of the oats, I love to top mine with fruits of the similar temperature – fresh off the sauté pan with all of my favorite spices. Sure, I can write home about my love for almond butter and banana as a topping for any type of bowl, but when I want to cuddle on the couch with a blanket and feel all sorts of “Sunday morning” vibes, there is no better combination for this stovetop oatmeal than stewed cinnamon apples. Truly, my heaven. Perfect for a lazy weekend morning with a book or netflix, or as a pre-prepped breakfast for the office. No matter where you’re eating it, the comfort will commence.

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