Happy Holidays!

Although we’ve taken some time off from blogging this holiday season I just want to let you all know you have not been forgotten! We’ve been spending quality time with family and friends and this weekend we’ll be heading up to Whistler to ring the New Year in with style! So from my family to yours, MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Family Christmas Card Shot

Family Christmas Card Shot

Riley dressed up for Christmas Morning

Few of the Cousins on Christmas Eve

Few of the Cousins on Christmas Eve

Hope everyone’s enjoying their time off and have a safe and Happy New Year!

❤ Jamie

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Festive Fit Tip Friday!

Christmas is barreling toward us like a speeding train…can you believe we only have a few more days? I still haven’t done any shopping, nor have we decorated our tree (both on the agenda for today, in addition to an ugly sweater party :)).

I know we’ve talked a lot about indulging this season, cause let’s be real, it’s going to happen. Because it’s pretty much inevitable, I thought it would be beneficial to share some quick, effective workouts you can do to burn off some of that sugar. You’ll feel so much better about your choices if you stick to your workout routine, and it might motivate you to make smarter choices!

Pick your favorite and get moving! These can be done anywhere and are over before you know it so you can get back to the fun 🙂 Make it a family affair and have everyone do it with you! Or use it as an excuse to have some alone time. Either way, you are so much better off!

Have a lovely weekend! We’ll be getting festive, ugly sweater pics to come!

❤ Sarah

3 Ingredient Peppermint Bark Sticks

With Christmas just around the corner, we’ve got the excuse to indulge ourselves with sweets right? I mean diets can start the 26th… do a cleanse and squeeze into that little sequin dress by new years… WRONG! We all know that’s not beneficial to your body. I know I sound like a broken record but it’s all about maintaining a healthy lifestyle with great balance. Buuuuuut you know I’m a girl with a killer sweet tooth and it is the holiday season, so on that note I bring to you peppermint bark pretzel rods! You can never go wrong with salty sweets and wrap a few up and they’re the perfect gift for a coworker, neighbor or girlfriend! Also  to top it off–> Super quick and easy to make,  this is def (one of the many things) on my list this weekend:)

3 Ingredient Peppermint Bark Sticks

Need:

  • Prezle rods
  • Candy canes (or peppermints) for crushing
  • Chocolate
  • Wax paper
  • Hammer

Instructions:

  • Crush peppermints and/or candy canes
  • Melt chocolate (microwave for about 2 mins… is the easy way)
  • Dip rods into chocolate (as much as desired) but preferably leaving only 2 inches uncovered
  • While chocolate is still warm, roll in the crushed peppermints
  • Lay on wax paper for drying

Other Options:

  • Skipping the peppermint and drizzling half the rods with chocolate once they’re drying on the wax paper
  • Instead of pretzel rods use candy canes to dip in white chocolate then roll in sprinkles (pictured below)

Box them up in something like this…

Pinned Image

And they’re ready to go!

I think I might enjoy a few of my leftovers this weekend dipped in hot cocoa and marshmallow vodka 🙂

❤ Jamie

Photo Credit: Image1, Image 2

Benefits of Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

I drink apple cider vinegar cider daily, which recently has sparked a lot of questions from friends. Apple cider vinegar has a laundry list of health benefits, so I’ve made drinking it a regular part of my routine. Since it’s been such a hot topic lately, I thought I’d share my secrets with you guys as well!

I use ACV primarily for its detox/alkalizing properties. I drink 1 tbsp.  mixed in a glass of water 2-3 times daily to offset any environmental or dietary toxins I take in throughout the day. It’s also super helpful in fighting candida, which causes me to be sensitive to sugars, so I take extra when I’ve had a lot of fruit or alcohol (remember my Vegas survival kit?) Here are a few other health benefits ACV offers:

In addition to the above benefits, ACV is also great for your hair and skin. Add it to your regimen to reap the benefits. According to Organic Authority, harsh soaps and shampoos strip hair and skin of its natural oils, leaving you feeling dry all over. The acidity of apple cider vinegar counteracts that process and actually balances your skin and hair’s natural pH levels. Make sure you buy organic, raw ACV with the “mother” for maximum benefit.

For Hair

Apple cider vinegar removes clumpy residue and gunk in hair from product buildup. It also works as a natural detangler. When used regularly in your natural hair care routine, apple cider vinegar can revitalize your hair, leaving it soft and smooth. The vinegar also works by closing the cuticle of the hair, which makes your hair super shiny!

Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse
1 part apple cider vinegar
1 part water

Directions:

To revive your hair to its days of smoothness, mix the apple cider vinegar and water together. After shampooing, pour the mixture into your hair. If you have a spray bottle, that works even better. That way you can spritz your hair with the mixture and massage it into your scalp. Let the apple cider vinegar concoction sit for a few minutes before rinsing fully with water. No need to use conditioner! The apple cider vinegar will leave hair feeling smooth and soft.

For Skin

This simple vinegar can help improve your overall complexion. Because skin is naturally acidic, apple cider vinegar can help restore your skin’s natural pH balance. When your pH levels are in balance your skin sits at that optimum level between oily and dry. Apple cider vinegar can also help reduce red marks and blemishes, and soften skin. For all-over softness, add a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to your next bath.

Apple Cider Vinegar Facial Toner

1 part apple cider vinegar
2 parts water

Directions:

A good toner can moisturize, refresh and purify skin. One part apple cider vinegar mixed with two parts water creates a refreshing toner that leaves skin glowing. When lightly sprayed or dabbed on the face, the acidity of the vinegar will create a light layer on the skin, locking in moisture. It works best when used just after cleansing. Don’t worry, the vinegar smell will dissipate after a few minutes. If you have sensitive skin, you may want to dilute the solution further.

So, I’ll warn you now, it smells and tastes like dirty feet and goes down rougher than a shot of cheap vodka, but I think it’s a small price to pay for the reward. Try adding it to hot water for more apple cider flavor and less vinegar bite. This addition to your routine will be especially helpful if you are trying to avoid overindulgence during the holidays, take some after a large meal or a sugar binge to aid in digestion and offset some of the negative effects of sugar on your body. Or, take before a meal to decrease appetite. Your body will thank you!

❤ Sarah

Christmas Inspiration

Got a new type of workout in yesterday… and it came courtesy of moving day and I’m so glad it’s over! Sarah and I made the huge move… to the condo across the street, and let me tell you the day felt never-ending! Bit of advice: Don’t move your entire condo on only 3 hours of sleep… just saying. Although I like to think Sarah and I have some pretty mean muscles 😉 my arms are still throbbing so boxing with the girls tonight should be real interesting…

Now that we are finally all settled it’s really starting to sink in that Christmas is only a week away and I couldn’t be more excited! Considering I spent allllll yesterday replicating my room (and all last week decking out our office for the annual holiday floor decor competition), decorating the rest of the house can seem like a daunting task, but I love the holidays a little too much to pass it up!  Here’s some decorating inspiration I’ve been pinning on Pinterest!

Christmas filled jars

Happy Monday and let the countdown begin!!

❤ Jamie

In the face of tragedy, find love.

Love is all we need.

I’m sure you are all aware of the tragic and horrifying events that have taken place this week, so I won’t go into detail. Instead, I write this post as a call to action.

I hear so many people say that they are sad to see there are bad people in the world, or lamenting “how could this happen?” I think we need to shift our perception, because this is a fear-based mindset that will only perpetuate more of these acts. Those shooters were once children who wanted love, and something happened to make them fear the world and think it was ok to perform such horrific crimes. Don’t get caught in that downward spiral. Look at these events and take this as an opportunity to show love and see the good in people, rather than live in fear that the world is evil.

So, I’m asking, no BEGGING, you to turn your sadness, anger and frustration into something constructive = LOVE.

Tell people you appreciate them. Your coworkers, family, the garbage man. Recognize good people and they will continue to be good.

Forgive someone who wronged you. You don’t have to say anything to them, nor do you have to accept what they did as ok. But let go of that resentment and move on so it no longer effects you.

Acknowledge someone you’d normally pass by. Make eye contact with that barista you see every morning without actually seeing, smile at that homeless guy on the corner, even if you have nothing to give him. These things go a long way, more than you realize.

Volunteer for a worthy cause. Provide service rather than throwing money at a problem. Your time is priceless, and there are so many in need this holiday season.

Smile at someone today. A real, big, heartfelt smile. You have no idea how much this could mean to someone. I’ve been told countless times by random people that my smile makes their day.

Thank you for reading today, and thank you so much for following our blog. You are all beautiful and have the power to change the world. Do your part.

<3Sarah

Bootie Call

Ankle boots are a staple in my weekend wardrobe. These gems are a great for showing a little leg with a dress or mini shirt or pairing with your favorite jeans or leggings. Booties are a great way to keep things casual and comfortable while still looking put together and trendy. The (typically) small and chunky heel make them perfect for a morning brunch, afternoon shopping, or a night dancing on the town. These little guys are sure to keep you totally in step.

Below I’ve gathered a few faves for all price ranges.  Glittery, suede, leather, fridge, studs and buckles you’ll be sure to find something that fit your style.

Bootie Call

1. Zadig & Voltaire Fringe

2. Sam Edelman Fringe

3. Vera Wang Pump

4. Steven for Steve Madden  Zip back

5. Frye Cowgirl

6. Kohl’s  Studs

7.  Vince Camuto Glitter

8. Steve Madden Standard side zip

The ‘bootie’ is the it shoe whether you’re the ultimate glam girl, love to keep it casual, country cowgirl, rocker chic, Portland hipster or just a little of everything. How do you sport your booties?

❤ Jamie

How to keep from overindulging at your holiday party

One of my favorite things about this time of year is the parties!! The social butterfly in me thrives on these get-togethers, I try to go to as many as I can! Even if you aren’t an extrovert, you probably at least have a work holiday function you have to intend, or some type of family deal. And we all know that there is an overwhelming amount of unhealthy temptation at such events…alcohol, food and endless amounts of sweets. Most people give up on their health goals this month, assuming they can fix everything with their New Year’s resolutions.

DON’T BE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE!!

Let’s be real, resolutions generally don’t last more than a few weeks anyways. So why not learn to balance holiday indulgence with your healthy lifestyle? It’s totally possible. Here are a few tips for avoiding some of that temptation:

1. Eat before you go! It doesn’t have to be anything big, but eating a salad or some fresh fruit or veggies will fill you up with the good stuff so you have less room for the bad stuff. Definitely don’t show up hungry…

2. Splurge only on what you really love. Sugar cookies your thing? Eggnog? Bacon-wrapped scallops? Don’t eat everything just because it’s there, eat the things you’ll derive the most pleasure from. No point in wasting the calories on food you don’t get super excited about.

3. Focus on activities and conversation. Are there people you want to chat with or fun party games going on? Participate! The more distracted you are, the less likely you’ll be to hang out by the food table. Often we overeat because we are craving something else, love, acceptance, connection, or just because we are bored. This tip banishes all of that. Feed your appetite for love, not your appetite for sugar.

4. Sweat it out. Try to get some movement in during the day before the event, and definitely the morning after. Exercise boosts endorphins and decreases appetite, and I know for me it makes me WANT to eat healthy. I crave the good stuff like no other after I work out. Plus, if you do indulge, you know you at least did something good for your body.

5. Along the same lines, eat healthy all day. Make yourself oatmeal or a green smoothie for breakfast, salad, soup or a veggie bowl for lunch and cut up veggies as a snack. If you set the stage early for healthy eating, a little indulgence won’t kill you.

Holiday parties don’t have  to be stressful! Follow my tips and keep yourself from spiraling downward. Don’t wait till January 1st, make that New Year’s resolution work for you now!

<3Sarah

Isabel

SARAH:

As you know, Jamie is a big brunch lover. I also appreciate a good weekend brunch here and there, but I don’t indulge too often as I haven’t found too many places that cater to my dietary needs and still have delicious, inventive food. Especially since I loooove sweet breakfast foods like pancakes and french toast and let’s be real, finding good gluten and dairy free pancakes isn’t always easy.

This weekend, we had a brunch date with a girlfriend, so we needed to pick a place that would work for everyone. Jamie suggested we hit up one of her favorites, Isabel, and I obliged without even checking the menu, hoping I’d get lucky and find something edible. Upon studying the menu when we arrived, I found that not only did they have things I could eat, the selection was fabulous and everything looked absolutely mouthwatering. I was surprised and delighted to discover that all their pancakes can be made gluten and dairy free, music to my ears!! They also had a creative cocktail menu teeming with seasonal drinks that sounded phenomenal…I’ll definitely need to go back and try a few of those 🙂

As usual, I had a ridiculously hard time deciding on something….thankfully our friend Meghan was down to get two entrees and split them. We ordered the gluten free version of their “King Cakes” which was a short stack of chocolate chip pancakes topped with peanut butter, and the Avocado scramble which was a plate of eggs, avocado, rosemary potatoes, black beans and salsa served with warm corn tortillas.

King Cakes

Gluten-free King Cakes

Obviously, the pancakes were my favorite, but I’m glad we shared because they were super rich, as you can imagine. Plus, it was nice to have a more well rounded breakfast with the savory scramble.

scramble

Avocado Scramble (with artichoke hearts added)

 

JAMIE:

So unlike Sarah this was clearly not my first time to Isabel’s. This last summer, I actually made it to brunch there 4 weekends in a row… pretty impressive, I know.  I suggested this place knowing they cater to all needs.  I personally may not have any foods that I try to avoid, but considering both girlfriends I was meeting did, I knew Isabel’s would be the perfect spot.

I can’t begin to count all the people I’ve dragged to Isabel’s with me and not one has ever left disappointed.  When it comes to the brunch menu, there aren’t many things I haven’t tried.  Lately I have been sticking to one of their savory scrambles, either the avocado, jalapeno or artichoke.  But the savory menu isn’t what hooked me. (It was the mimosa’s… clearly!) But seriously, I was on a brunch date when I got introduced to Isabel’s and the first thing that was a clear standout was the coconut french toast.  To top that off the mimosas are actually the best I’ve had (which is saying something, I’ve had my share!)  They will do any combination of their fresh squeezed fruits so I’m always trying something new.  Some of my reoccurring faves: pineapple/blueberry, guava/grapefruit, anything with pear, pineapple/grapefruit or just straight pomegranate.  It’s impossible to make a bad choice.

Pineapple/Blueberry Mimosa

Pineapple/Blueberry Mimosas

Besides a mimosa, what I highly recommend at Isabel’s is trying one of their specials of the day.  After tackling majority of the menu items, I now typically go straight for the special.  This last weekend that entailed me to switch back to the sweet side. Upon walking in, my eyes always dart right towards the specials board and what instantly caught my eye was these 3 words “Pineapple coconut pancakes.” Considering I am a huge fan of… well ALL of those I was sold!

Pineapple Coconut Pancakes

Pineapple Coconut Pancakes

The pineapples were not on top as I expected, but cooked into the pancakes, which they managed to do without making them mushy. This was the perfect morning sweet treat and I will def be giving these a try at home. Besides one of my go-to scrambles, other faves include: the breakfast or power burritos, single happiness(with chicken), or one of their many Mexican-themed specials.

Single Happiness (w/ Chicken)

Single Happiness (w/ Chicken)

This is from a previous trip and more of a lunch, than a brunch item.  The veggies included change daily, I’ve never received this menu item the same.

Avocado Srammble

Avocado Scramble

Also from a previous trip (and one of the chosen recommendations for Sarah and Meghan), the avocado scramble (sub flour tortilla for corn). + Pineapple/Grapefruit mimosa 🙂

The Skinny: Isabel Pearl

  • Address: 330 NW 10th Ave Portland, OR
  • Phone: (503) 222-4333
  • Hours: Breakfast & Lunch: 8am-3pm, Happy Hour: 5-6:30pm, Dinner: 5-9pm
  • Menu
  • Website
  • Fun fact: All their pancakes can be made gluten free!

This place is easily one of our all around favorites and we can guarantee you will not leave disappointed… or hungry!!

❤ Jamie & Sarah

Kombucha Cocktails

Is it Monday again already? I guess time flies when your having fun…no secret that I’ve been having a looot of fun lately 🙂

Last week, I had the privilege of traveling to San Francisco for a work event. I love San Francisco, it was a good 10 degrees warmer than Portland and it’s so much more of a big city feel, which I totally thrive on.

Nothing like seeing palm trees at Christmastime!

Nothing like seeing palm trees at Christmastime!

 

I love walking the streets and taking everything in, it just energizes me like nothing else. And to have my trip completely paid for made it that much better.

The view from my morning run

The view from my morning run

One of the best parts of traveling is getting to check out new restaurants (on the company’s dime ;)). I knew San Fran had a killer vegan food scene, so I was excited to try some of the legendary spots I so often hear about. The first night we were there we decided to try Millenium, an upscale, dinner only establishment that serves gourmet vegan food. The food was amazing, as expected, but I was also enamored with their drink options.

Some of you may know that I have a reoccurring issue with Candida which requires me to abstain from all forms of sugar, including alcohol. While I don’t follow this sugar free diet 100% of the time, I do try to stay away from alcohol when I can. Unfortunately, I love wine and fancy cocktails, so it’s sometimes hard to resist. This particular Wednesday night, I wanted something to sip on but wasn’t ready to start drinking, so I ordered from Millenium’s non-alcoholic drink menu. I’d normally just skip drinks altogether in this case (I prefer not to drink my calories), but I saw a kombucha cocktail and HAD to try it. Kombucha is full of health benefits, so I figured I was doing myself a solid by ordering it 🙂

The "RAW-Volution"

The “RAW-Volution

The drink was a mix of kombucha, ginger agave syrup, lemon juice and muddled seasonal fruit, in this case, pears. It was sweet without being overly so, and the kombucha added a kick that is somewhat reminiscent of booze, but not as obvious. I’m definitely planning on making my own in the near future and experimenting with flavors. Try using different types of fruit and spices, and of course, you can always add alcohol if you so desire!

As Christmas approaches, my schedule gets more and more packed…between work holiday fetes and ugly sweater parties, my week is pretty booked! I’m loving getting into the spirit (I may or may not be listening to Justin Bieber’s Christmas album as we speak), and I hope you are too!

❤ Sarah