Friday, February 27, 2015

100 Percent Pure Grand Opening

I don't know about you, but I'm counting the days until Spring. It seems like every time I plan to go somewhere fun lately, I end up stuck at home due to snow and ice (yes, I have enjoyed playing in the snow with the kiddos, but this is getting ridiculous).

For example, 100 Percent Pure (you know how much I love the brand) had an official grand opening of its Annapolis location last weekend. I had it marked on my calendar and the invitation on my fridge for weeks. Unfortunately, I was unable to make it at the time, because of the weather, of course.

Thank heavens for Twitter, as I was able to connect with both 100 Percent Pure and Dana, the manager of this particular store. Luckily, they still had some gift with purchases available, so I hopped in my car today to hang with Dana (she's so sweet and knowledgeable), learn more about the store/products (Dana and I took this pic of her holding a mirror, so I could check out the concealer/luminous creme trick she demonstrated on me; the two products combined really make any signs of under-eye fatigue disappear) and pick up a few things while I was there.

Although I've been a fan of the brand for years, (Dana snapped this shot of me and my documented list of all the products I currently have in stock at home; you have no idea how many times I've purchased a color I love, only to discover I already own it, like I almost did today with the Dual-Ended Creamstick Eyeliner Pencil in Cotton/Silk) it was nice to actually see the products in person before I selected colors, etc.

Curious to see to what I purchased today? Let's take a look inside my bag.

I bought a set that caught my eye, that concealer I mentioned and a new cleanser (new to me, not the brand).

In the warmer months, I like 100 Percent Pure's Organic Cucumber Juice Facial Cleansing Foam, but I feel as though I need something more moisturizing this time of year. I have to admit that I've been cleansing my face lately with Josie Maran's Argan Oil Cleanser and was hopeful to find a comparable product from the 100 Percent Pure line. The closest thing I found was this Organic Argan Oil Creamy Cleanser, which is a bit richer than the oil cleanser, but worth a shot. If it doesn't work on my face, it feels incredible on my parched hands (they are looking a bit rough at the moment).

As I said, I bought the Fruit Pigmented Long Lasting Concealer (I got it in Peach Bisque to match my tinted moisturizer). It is perfect for concealing my lack of sleep and works even better with the Luminous Creme, as I mentioned earlier in this post. It really does last all day.

The store had some special sets not available online, so I had to get one. I selected the Love set, which contained a Luminous Creme in Northern Light, a Lip and Cheek Tint in Peach (sold out online), a Pomegranate Oil Anti-Aging Lipstick (you know I love my Poppy one; I'm wearing it in this post) in Foxglove (also sold out online) and a nail polish in I Heart You (the sparkles in it caught my eye before I noticed the set; Hayden and I can do matching manicures with this one). It may have come with a mascara, too, although I think I left mine at the store. Oops! At least I have the same one in my makeup bag already.

My purchases were enough to earn me that free gift. Wrapped in an adorable pink box with a big bow, I found a full-size French Lavender Body Gel with a pink scrubbie, Organic Mint Lip Balm, and mini-size Purity Facial Cleanser and Mask, Super Fruits Reparative Cream and my favorite Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream (I always stock up on this stuff).

I have to say that making the trek to the new store really brightened up my day, even if it snowed on my way there. I'll let you know what I think of my new products in my next post.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Oscar menu inspiration

As you know, my family likes to go all out when it comes to celebrating the Academy Awards (here's last year's post, if you missed it the first time). We dress up (it used to be in old prom/homecoming/bridesmaid dresses, but now we all dress as nominees or characters in nominated movies), roll out the red carpet, cast our ballots and eat Oscar-inspired fare. Here are some ideas for the big night.

For "Birdman," a New York-style pizza could be nice. We are actually going to have a build your own pizza bar. I personally think a beet crust is perfect for the red carpet, like one of my all-time favorite pizza recipes, Brendan Brazier's Sunflower Seed Beet Pizza from his book, "The Thrive Diet."

"Boyhood" makes me think of French fries (I'm all about the baked sweet potato fries), mac and cheese (if you are looking for a good raw option, I like Matthew Kenney's " 'Baked' Macaroni and Cheese" from his book "Everyday Raw"), and other kid-friendly options.

For "The Imitation Game," it's fun to do a play on the word "imitation" and the star's name (Cumberbatch makes me think "cucumber"-batch). May I suggest my Blackberry "Caviar" on Cucumber Rounds. It's just that simple. Break apart some blackberries, separating them from their centers. Serve those little berry bubbles on top of a sliced cucumber round and sprinkle the top with some sea salt.

"Whiplash" is about a drummer, so drumsticks, breadsticks or something whipped like the title of the film (it's also a song in it) would be a great addition to the menu. I'll probably serve some chocolate-dipped strawberries (or more of the cookies I made the other day; they look like chocolate-dipped strawberries) with some whipped coconut cream. My Pink Pastels would also be nice.

My sweet tooth is taking over now, as I get to "The Theory of Everything." Yes, I could go for some everything bagels, but right now I'm leaning toward some No-Bake Everything But The Kitchen Sink Cookies. Pick your favorite baked or no-bake cookie recipe and load it up with whatever you want (chocolate chips, cacoa nibs, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, etc.). Yum!

Some other sites have suggested serving a particular beer to represent the film, "American Sniper," but I don't drink. My recommendation would be this rootbeer kombucha.

When it comes to "The Grand Budapest Hotel," I immediately thought of the desserts the bellhop's girlfriend made. They would need to be the right size to hide a file in when shipped to the prison. I think my Gluten-free Raw Neapolitan Brownie/Blondies would do the trick.

Last, but certainly not least, is "Selma." I haven't had the opportunity to see this one yet, so I wasn't sure what would be the best representation. I read somewhere that pecan pie would be a good dish and not a bad way to end the evening. I wish Coraco Confections was still make the one they sold around Thanksgiving. Since they're not, these raw turtles would be yummy for tomorrow evening instead.

Does anyone else do something special for the Oscars? What will you be making?

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Simple paper straw & ribbon bracelet

Happy Valentine's Day! It's one of my favorite holidays. I love spending time with my hubby and the kids, serving up pink/red and heart-shaped foods (strawberries, raspberries and anything cut w/a heart-shape cookie-cutter to name a few), and making Valentine crafts with the kiddos. Today's craft couldn't be simpler, made with just some thin ribbon and decorative paper straws.

First, we cut the paper straws into "beads," as shown (our straws have pink hearts and gold swirls printed on them).

Then, we strung the paper straw beads onto a piece of pale pink thin ribbon and tied the ribbon to form a bracelet. Like I said; it couldn't be simpler.

What crafts are you making today? Any special treats? May I suggest my Chocolate-Covered Berry Cookies from my last post or something sweet from the prior post. Have a lovely day!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Chocolate-Covered Berry Cookies

In my last post, I mentioned that my Berry Bliss Philosopops made with Philosophy Berry Bliss products were my latest obsession, so of course, I went right into the kitchen to make more. However, this time, I increased the amount of freeze-dried strawberries (I tripled the amount to give them a more intense pop of color) and styled them just right for the occasion.

Chocolate-covered strawberries are perfect for Valentine's Day, which is why I shaped today's pops into heart-shaped berry cookies. I sprinkled them with hemp seeds to mimic strawberry seeds, dipped them in chocolate and finished them off with Philosophie Green Dream Coconut Butter tops. Too cute. My daughter even helped with the process (I waited until she got home from school, so please excuse the bad lighting).

To make the "unbaked" cookies, I just added 1 cup almond flour, 1/4 cup Philosophie Berry Bliss Superfood Powder, 3/4 cup freeze-dried strawberries ground into a powder, 2 Tbsp. Philosophie Berry Bliss Coconut Butter, 2 Tbsp. Philosophie Berry Bee Honey, 1 Tbsp. almond butter, and sea salt and vanilla to taste (vanilla always makes me think of baked goods), to my mini food processor. Then, I processed my ingredients into a sticky crumb.

Using my hands, I molded the crumbs into a dough and pressed it out on a piece of parchment. When I was happy with the thickness, my 5-year-old daughter (that's her hand in the pic above) and I sprinkled the top of the dough with hemp seeds, pressed the seeds into the dough and cut out heart-shaped cookies (depending on the size of your cookie-cutter and dough thickness, you should end up with 14-16 cookies). We piled all the cookies onto a plate and put them in the freezer while we melted the chocolate.

We melted some dairy-free chocolate chips in a double boiler, as shown.

Then, one by one, we dipped the pointed side of each cookie in the melted chocolate, as if we were dipping chocolate-covered strawberries, and set them on some parchment.

To make them look even more like strawberries, we decorated the tops with some leaves formed out of softened Philosophie Green Dream Coconut Butter (just set the jar in some warm water to bring the coconut butter up to temp).

Lastly, we put them in the fridge to chill/set, with the exception of some testers (we just couldn't wait to try them). They were delicious!

*Just so you know, I purchased all the ingredients myself. I'm just a fan of the Philosophie brand.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Valentine treats for your sweetie

Valentine's Day is almost here, so I searched my blog for some sweet treat inspiration (I can't believe I've been blogging for so many years; it took me a while to sift through the old posts). Here are some of my past favorite recipes to make for this special day.

Berry Bliss Philosopops
These pops are made from three Berry Bliss Philosophie products. They are my latest obsession. Sophie was kind enough to post my recipe on her Philosophie site.

Pink Pastels
These couldn't be easier to make. They only contain 3 ingredients (coconut cream, freeze-dried strawberries and vanilla).

Chocolate Molten Lava Upside Down Cake
This dessert was originally posted for the Oscars (the Academy Awards is just around the corner), but it is a romantic treat to share.

Last Minute Love Bug Brownie Bites
These are perfect for any age, although they are one of my daughter's faves. They are so simple to make when you use Pure Bars as the base.

Perfectly Fit Red Velvet Cupcake
Yet another "unbaked" cupcake, this is one for when you're trying to keep in shape. It contains beets and Perfect Fit protein.

Pink Berry Popcorn
This was one of the first ways Hayden ever had popcorn. It's coated in coconut oil and finely ground freeze-dried strawberries. It also tastes good substituting the basic coconut oil and strawberries with Philosophie Berry Bliss Coconut Butter and Superfood Protein Powder.

Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Stiletto Cupcake
This basic "unbaked" cupcake is styled for the occasion with a raw chocolate bar heel and berry heart embellishment. So lovely.

Gluten-free, Raw Neapolitan Brownies/Blondies
I made these specifically for someone who really appreciated them. They are perfect to serve with love and care.

Raspberry Swirl
Now this recipe is going really far back. It is a family recipe that I put my raw spin on for one of my We Like It Raw posts.

Better Than Sex Cake
This was also one of my favorite We Like It Raw posts, based on a very popular dessert. It's so good!

What will you be making for Valentine's Day?