Friday, May 31, 2013

cleanliness is yumminess

I love being able to buy organic produce whenever possible, however,
sometimes it can break the bank (especially after an accidental
shopping spree...oops). I like doing good by my
body so I do what I can to clean my produce without buying one of those "fruit
& veggie wash" products from the market.

My personal favorite product to clean my produce is lemon essential oil
(side note, using a certified pure theraputic grade essential oil is
crucial since not all essential oils are safe to ingest. I use DoTerra).

Take a large enough bowl to fit your items and fill with water.

Add 5-10 drops of lemon essential oil depending on the size of the bowl.

Swirl around for a few seconds (they won't mix completely)

Let the fruit or vegetables soak for a a few minutes

Then just give them a good rinse with clean water to get any residual lemon
essential oil off and voila!

Another great way is using the same big bowl of water and adding 3-5
tablespoons of baking soda. Then follow the same directions as with the lemon essential oil.

With both methods you'll see your water get nice and dirty which means
your fruits and veggies are clean.

I prefer the essential oil method because I feel like the oil leaves a
little coating on my fruit so it smells good and feels really clean.
However, I use baking soda a lot because I ALWAYS have it on
hand in large quantities and sometimes I don't want my cauliflower to
smell like lemons..although I have to say the lemon flavor on the strawberries is super yummy! Either way is safe for you and both methods work really well.

And there you have it: the easiest and cheapest way to clean your produce!


Thursday, May 30, 2013

RARE rainy day

Rainy days in Southern California are few and far between and with summer temperatures upon us this coming weekend (likely near 100, what?!) it seems as though our rare spring showers are all but gone as summer approaches. I had only one chance to wear my Hunter rain boots this spring (bummer), but don't worry, I managed to document the rare occasion. This was my rainy day outfit while running a million errands the other day. Of course, the rain disappeared and the sun managed to come out just when I was taking these pictures...I promise it was really raining that day...I wasn't just wearing the rain boots to look cool....

Pants-(old) Zara, T-Shirt-Old Navy, Denim Shirt- KUT from the Kloth via Nordstrom, Anorak-(old) H&M, Wellies-Hunter via Nordstrom, Watch-Michael Kors, Sunglasses-Anthropologie, Turqoise ring-tourist stop in AZ, Necklace-Tiffany & Co.

Cheers darlings!

Photo credit to my patient husband Tyler

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Wednesdays are always one of the hardest days. Not quite the beginning of the week where there's so much to tackle, but not quite the end of the week where freedom is in sight. So, I decided to make my Wednesday a little more exciting by trying a fresh new meal.

I started off with this really simple salad. Everything is from Whole Foods, making it health conscious and tasty. The leafy greens are just a mix found in the produce section. Then I bought frozen Mahi filets (because let's face it I'm on a budget) and sliced almonds. I baked the Mahi at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. To top it off added balsamic vinaigrette for the dressing.

Ingredients for my Wednesday cocktail (Wendsy)...1 1/2 oz. of New Amsterdam Vodka, lime juice from a whole lime, a few drops of Agave nectar, and 3 fresh basil leaves.

Start with ice in the shaker, then add the 1 1/2 oz. of Vodka, squeeze lime juice, and add agave nectar. Shake, then add the basil leaves.

Enjoy :)

I chose to enjoy this fabulous little meal at my house catching up on some of my favorite blogs, but I highly recommend going outside at sunset and enjoy the blessing that is life.

XO, Jax

Monday, May 27, 2013

the rest is just minor details ;)

The greatest thing in life is to enjoy it with people you love. In my point of view one of the most important ingredient in making a fabulous afternoon BBQ is the guest list. Even if you mess up the food, over pour the drinks, or any other crazy thing threatens your party, if you have your very best friends there you will surely have a great party. The rest is just minor details ;)

XO, Jax

Friday, May 24, 2013

low key holiday weekend

low key holiday weekend

Easy essentials for keeping your look in tact over a relaxing holiday weekend. A few outdoor must haves including a chic utility jacket for the chillier temps after the sun sets, comfy chair (this one is sliiiiightly out of my price range, but that doesn't keep me from placing it on the wish list) and a charcoal grill for foolproof burgers. Poolside, grillside, or just relaxing in a comfy chair with a good book (and/or a cocktail!)...can't go wrong with a supersoft t-shirt dress, cool shades and a few basic accessories.

Cheers darlings!

Superga lace sneaker
$68 -

J Crew panama hat

Weishäupl - Cabin Deck Chair
$385 -

Thursday, May 23, 2013

grilled artichoke

Just so you know, grilled artichoke is totally the new roasted Brussel sprout...

If there is one thing I love to do when the weather is nice, it's round up some friends and enjoy good food and a drink (or two) on a patio where we can enjoy the gorgeous weather that Southern California is known for. Recently, Jax and I did just that with a couple friends and one of the dishes we had the pleasure of feasting on was grilled artichoke. Now, I've only had artichoke boiled and am pretty neutral on that experience....not bad, but not great. I think dipping it in butter was the only part I got excited about, which, let's be honest, is not friendly to the waistline. Enter grilled artichoke. Mind blown. This was no longer just another green vegetable. With hidden flavors unlocked from the grilling, it was suddenly something with potential! So, of course, one of my feasting friends (who is brilliant in the kitchen) and I set out to recreate this experience at home...

2 artichokes
juice from 1 lemon
3/4 C. extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cut off the stems of the artichokes and then cut them in half lengthwise. Place them in the boiling water for 15 minutes. While they are cooking, mix together lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Preheat your grill if necessary. Once the artichokes have boiled for 15 minutes, pull them out and give them a good dunking in the olive oil mixture (originally we were going to baste, but dunking them is so much more fun). Place them on the grill over medium-high heat (we used direct heat). Continue turning and basting and turning and basting for a good 10-15 minutes until the artichoke gets deliciously charred looking. Use the leftover olive oil mixture for dipping purposes because it's infinitely better than the standard butter or mayo that I know we were all settling with  in the days of boiled artichoke. Thankfully, those days are over.

Cheers darlings!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

weekend activity list

As "grown-ups" we no longer get a three month long summer vacation where we enjoy everything under the sun. We have to pay bills, go to work, and make the most of weekends. But with the beautiful weather peeking out behind the clouds there is still a lot of fun to be had. Here's some summer ideas that can fit into everyone's busy schedule.

Close to home concerts
 Unless you've been living under a rock you know what music festivals are. Coachella, Stagecoach, and Lalapalooza are some of the most popular but they are also very expensive and can require more days off of work than some of us can manage. So for a night of live music check out these venues around Southern California.

Camping Adventures
Reconnecting with nature is one of the best and easiest ways to relax and unplug. Whether you're "glamping" or roughing it make sure to check out these areas.

Photo Credit: Martha Alejandre

Act like a kid

There are plenty of reasons to spark your inner child and have a ball. Boomers they have adventures that would make Barney Stinson say "AW....wait for it....SOME" Pole Position Raceway is a high speed go karting experience for every age. 

These are just some silly suggestions to get you out of the average box. I guarantee that these adventures will result in some sort of story to tell all your 'not so awesome' friends ;)

XO, Jax

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

paying a visit to pasadena

Every time I visit a new place, I look for little things that inspire me.  Pasadena has such a calming vibe. The colors, the neighbors passing by, and the birds in the trees made me feel like I was transported to a different time.  It has managed to keep it's original charm while adding little  flares of modern trends. 

Green and white: I loved how this house brought out all the same colors in my outfit. Green utility jacket is from Forever 21, scoop neck tank top and white jeans Nordstrom, Black wedges are TOMS. Bag from Urban Outfitters

Diana enjoying showing me around her lovely little neighborhood. 

XO, Jax

Monday, May 20, 2013

chocolate chip cookies with sea salt

For whatever reason, I am known among my group of friends for my chocolate chip cookies. I had the Tollhouse recipe memorized at a young age and have been a loyal follower for many years, but recently I've been experimenting with subtle changes here and there (while hoping they would remain the group favorite!). As I get older, I've found I appreciate my desserts with a more sophisticated level of sweetness rather than the overbearing sugar high I craved as a kid. This recipe gives a nice juxtaposition between sweet and salty that I have become a big fan of as I grow older....

Ingredients (in order of use)

1 C. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 C. brown sugar
3/4 C. white sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsps. Vanilla*
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 1/4 C. flour
2 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
sea salt

*I used vanilla made by Abigail and rumor has it there were will be a tutorial coming soon on how to do this yourself! Otherwise, I like to use the Trader Joe's Bourbon Vanilla Extract.

Preheat oven  to 375 degrees (my oven runs hot, so I set mine to 350). Combine butter, brown sugar and white sugar in a bowl and mix on low until combined. Add your eggs and vanilla and mix until combined. Add salt, baking soda and flour 1 cup at a time (or less) and continue mixing until thoroughly combined. Add the chocolate chips and fold in with a spatula or spoon. I love to use my melon baller to get even sized drops of cookie dough and then I sprinkled a few granules of sea salt on top of each ball of dough. Bake in the oven 8-11 minutes, depending on your oven and the consistency you like your cookies (I baked mine for about 8 minutes). Pull them out and let them cool enough on the sheet, so they don't fall apart when you transfer them to the cooling rack. Eat warm if possible :)

Cheers darlings!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

trending: nude nails

Yay or nay on the nude nails trend?

ring-Dara Ettinger

I, personally, am loving the fresh look of the nude nails trend. I did my nails with the Sally Hansen Salon Gel Polish in Sheer Ecstasy. Ever since I got the kit and have been able to do my own gel manicure at home, I've been addicted!

Some of my other favorite nudes: Essie polish in Sand Tropez, Butter London polish in Shandy (part of the Starker Collection), Zoya polish in Shay. Fo  slightly darker nudes OPI polish in Tickle My France-Y and Essie polish in Don't Sweater It

Cheers darlings!

Friday, May 17, 2013

sporty summer

Sporty Summer
My take on the sporty trend for summer. A little sporty and a little boho with a touch of retro glam makes summertime a chic breeze. Easy Cali livin'....
Topshop striped t shirt

American Apparel harem pants

Karen walker

Hair accessory

Nike Air Max IVO
$145 -

why the retro swim suit should make a come back...

Being a long time swimmer, I have worn almost every suit imaginable. Literally, google synchronized swimming costumes and you'll see what I mean. Although most of the different styles I've worn are for competition, lately I've been trying on, and loving, the retro style. While I am still a major fan of the classic string bikini, I will be bringing back the retro trend more than once this summer.

The high waisted look may seem a little overwhelming, but this one by Jantzen was a perfect fit for me. It hit right at my belly button so it hid some of my problem areas (aka love handles) and I paired it with a bright top from Victoria's Secret

This was taken in Orlando, Florida on a shoot with the Aqualillies. The stylist for the Lillies, Erica Rice, picked out amazing jewel toned one-pieces. The purple suit had a built in bra with removable straps and the teal one was fitted through the body also with a removable strap. Both flattering to any body type.

Even though this swimsuit from Target is pretty modern, it still has a twist of retro with the eyelet patterns on the edges. To make it a little retro (and to properly protect my face from the sun!) I added my vintage blue and white floppy hat. Perfect combination for Emerald Beach in the Caribbean!

XO, Jax