MCLV Mange| Apple Zucchini Bread

I’m a big fan of zucchini bread. Actually, I’m a big fan of anything were you can sneak in some extra servings of fruit or vegetables. One part of zucchini bread I’m not overly fond of? The huge amount of sugar that’s added. I wanted to play around with a traditional recipe for zucchini bread and try to make it a bit healthier and heartier. I added some fruit and nuts to bulk it up and add some sweetness, and the result was delicious. Crunchy, spicy, and filling, but not overly sweet.

Apple Zucchini Bread Healthy Treats Fitlife Fitspo San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger

{Apple Zucchini Bread – Vegan & Gluten-Free}

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups of flour {I used 1/2 almond meal + 1/2 GF blend}
  • 2 teaspoons baking power
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of apple chunks or 2/3 cup of apple sauce {you could also use banana or a stone fruit like peaches, I just happened to have apples on hand}
  • 2 flax eggs {2 tablespoons of ground flax seed or flax seed meal combined with 5 tablespoons of water. Stir and set aside for ~5 minutes until it gels}
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup grated zucchini {1 large or 2 medium zucchinis – grate & squeeze out excess water using a towel or paper towels}
  • 1 cup of chopped nuts and/or seeds {I did walnuts & almonds with some shelled sunflower seeds}
Apple Zucchini Bread Healthy Treats Fitlife Fitspo San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF {this is a wet, dense loaf so you want to give it time to cook all the way through without burning on the top or bottom}
  2. Make flax eggs and set aside
  3. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl
  4. Add the flax eggs, water, lemon juice, and coconut oil to the dry ingredients and use a hand mixer to mix on low {you can do this by hand if you don’t have a mixer, don’t worry}
  5. Lastly, add in your fruit, zucchini, and nuts/seeds, just mixing until combined
  6. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper. Cook for 55-60 minutes and check if it’s done by inserting a toothpick or fork into the center. If they come out clean, you’re done. Otherwise leave in the oven for 5-10 more minutes.
  7. Alternative: You could make mini loafs, just bake for 25-30 minutes
  8. Cool for 10-15 minutes after you take it out of the oven, and then remove from the pan to finish cooling on a rack

Continue Reading · Comments { 0 }

One Piece Swimsuit Round-Up

It’s always interesting to see what new trends come into existence each season. Sometimes it’s something wholly new, sometimes it’s a reboot of a vintage style.

And while I’m not much for chasing short-term trends, I always appreciate when something extremely wearable becomes all the rage.

Some recent trends I’ve enjoyed the last few season – Stylish tennis shoes, athleisure, flat slides, jumpsuits, mixing high-and-low, and, last but not least, the re-emergence of one piece swimsuits.

In an age when showing as much skin as possible seems to be the name of the game, it has been a breath of fresh air to see one piece suits come back into vogue.

Blame it on Baywatch if you want, but I’m thrilled.

But don’t worry – With lace-up details, ruffles, feminine florals, modern cut-outs, and bold, eye-catching prints, there’s a huge variety out there to choose from.

One Piece Swimsuit Resortwear Swimwear San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style Vacation Shopping

{This stunning striped swimsuit from Dolce & Gabbana is retro-inspired and flattering. Don’t worry though, if you’re not up for spending Dolce & Gabbana-level prices, there are many other options. Anthroplogie has a cute gingham variety, Boys + Arrows is bringing back florals (groundbreaking!), Marysia is playing with sweet details, MiracleSuit has polka dots covered, and SAME Los Angeles has ladylike swimwear wrapped up in a bow.

One Piece Swimsuit Resortwear Swimwear San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style Vacation Shopping

{Going for the chic minimalist look for your warm weather adventures this year? Be sure to check out this key hole cut-out maillot from Vitamin A, plunging necklines from Milly, mesh cut-outs from Kenneth Cole, and ruffled one-shouldered silhouettes from ASOS.

One Piece Swimsuit Resortwear Swimwear San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style Vacation Shopping

{If a feminine, bohomenian style is more your speed, these sweet prints and hippie-inspired pieces will be just the thing. Trina Turk is showing stripes, florals, and cut-outs. Billabong has plunging necklines, laces, and crochet. Michael Kors is all about strapless bandeaus and halter straps. And Shoshanna is showing stripes, polka dots, and lace-up details.}

What’s YOUR favorite comfortable, easy-to-wear trend this season?

Continue Reading · Comments { 0 }

Sephora Spring Bonus | Skin Care Picks

I don’t know about you, but I look forward to the Sephora sales and I was especially excited for the Spring Bonus extravaganza because I’m in desperate need of a restock.

{If you’re a Rouge member, you get first access and an take 20% off with the code HEYROUGE through Monday, May 6th. VIB and Insider access begins May 2nd.}

Now for the important stuff – What to get! I’ve been working on transitioning over to clean beauty products for the last few years and while I still have some not-so-clean favorites, most of the new products that I try out are paraben, sulfate, and phthalate-free. I’ve been waiting for this sale and wanted to re-order some must haves, as well as try some new products to get my skin glowing and wedding-ready.

Long Time Loves:

sephora sale shopping st tropez sunless self tanner

New Products:

Are YOU going to shop the Sephora Spring Bonus event?

Continue Reading · Comments { 0 }

Making Your Home Spring Ready

Spring is an amazing time of year. The seasons are shifting and suddenly it’s warm and light out. Trees are bright green, flowers are bursting into bloom around you, and Winter seems like a dim, dark memory.

It’s also the perfect time for a fresh start! From healthy living challenges to Spring cleaning, it’s a great time to tackle projects and refresh your living space.

Here are few recommendations to make your home Spring-ready!

Making your home Spring Ready Springtime San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger

{Image from Belle Maison Pinterest Board}

No. 1: Clear Things Out

You can take this to different levels depending on where you’re at right now. If a full clear out of your home seems like an impossible pipe dream, just start small. Try going through your junk drawer. We all have them, and it’s a great place to start. If you’re like me and try to keep things tidy with semi-regular clear outs, now it’s time for the big one. Check out the posts below for some tricks & tips.

No. 2: Freshen Up Your Home

I always crave change in the Spring. I want something new to visually reflect that things are changing. Sometimes that means a new piece of furniture or art, sometimes that means rearranging existing pieces in the space, and sometimes it means swapping things from room-to-room. Regardless of how much I change, or spend, walking into a room and having something new and different greet me, is a great Spring feeling.

Here are few easy, and inexpensive, ways to spruce things up:

No. 3: Embrace Fragrance

Scent is very powerful. A whiff of something can conjure up memories long forgotten. The smell of your grandma’s perfume, the smell of your favorite dinner as a child, the smell of freshly cut grass and honeysuckles… It can change your mood immediately.

So why not apply that to your home. Home fragrances can be a great way to promote relaxation and make your home welcoming the second someone walks in?

Flowers, diffusers, and candles are all great ways to introduce a beautiful, subtle fragrance to your home. I for one love fresh, bright smells this time of year and favor citrus-based products in the Spring. See a few favorites below:

What’s YOUR favorite way to freshen things up for Spring?

Continue Reading · Comments { 0 }

MCLV Weddings | Advice for the Newly Engaged

Welcome to the new MCLV Weddings series!

The number one thing that I realized when we began to plan our wedding is that I had absolutely no concept of the sheer volume of things that would need doing. Things that I didn’t even know existed. I primarily blame myself, 35 years of disinterest in weddings doesn’t exactly prepare you to take the plunge…

That being said, I wanted to keep a positive attitude, stay on top of the timeline, and end up with a fun party at the end of the planning process. And since I am a classic Type A personality, I immediately started drafting spreadsheets, Googling checklists, and making To Do Lists. Since I found some great websites and blogs, and learned some lessons, I thought it would be helpful to round-up those online resources, along with what I’ve learned along the way, to benefit future generations of wedding planners.

As this is the first post in this new series, I thought I’d start with a little {unsolicited} advice for the newly engaged.

Engagement San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger

Set Your Intention(s):

Regardless of whether you’re like me and a bit unsure about the whole wedding thing, or whether you’ve been planning a princess wedding since you were a kid, there’s an important thing to remember. It’s not about the wedding – It’s about the marriage.

Especially if you find yourself getting caught up in the whirlwind of momentum and losing sight of the end goal, this can be a helpful little affirmation for you. While we all love a great party, the party isn’t why we all go through this insane process – Building a strong, happy marriage is the ultimate objective.

Bask:

I beg of you – Upon getting engaged, take a moment to stop and smell the roses. It’s easy to get swept away in the excitement and all the questions people are asking and start planning immediately. But you have a lot of planning to do, so why not stop and enjoy being engaged for a bit? There’s no rush. You’ve just found the person that you want to spend your life with, and that’s huge. Hold them close. Enjoy the excitement together.

Communication:

Planning a wedding is an extremely stressful, time consuming process that involves lots of people, and an endless number of decisions. You spend so much time worrying about everyone else that you tend to lose sight of your own wishes and desires. I highly recommend sitting down with your partner before things get underway and discussing what you want. I wrote down a page of questions early on and we sat down and went through them. What’s important to you? What doesn’t appeal to you? What traditions do you want to uphold?

Get an idea of what page you’re on and check back in with each other throughout the process to make sure that you’re still a united front. It was important to me that I not be the one doing everything, so we made sure to schedule appointments and meetings when we could both attend. We were also extremely lucky to have our families involved and helping out.

Make It Fun:

We happened to get engaged right in the middle of a period where many people around us were getting engaged and married. Which meant tons of helpful advice and suggestions and tips. We even got spreadsheets and binders sent to us!

One of my favorite recommendations was about handling all of the details and decision making. Rather than handling it all ad hoc and answering questions as they came in, this couple set aside time to do it all at once. They opened a bottle of champagne, toasted, and worked through the list together. We’ve been doing that and I highly recommend it. It’s a great way to stay united and keep it fun.

Be sure to stay tuned for some fun posts on wedding dresses, accessorizing, beauty & skin care, and more!

Continue Reading · Comments { 0 }